Science.gov

Sample records for improved economic diversity

  1. Cultural diversity, economic development and societal instability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Office of Economic Impact and Diversity 2003 annual report

    SciTech Connect

    None, None

    2004-05-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. Socio-Economic Diversity and Mathematical Competences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thiel, Oliver

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Political diversity will improve social psychological science.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dill, David D.; Teixeira, Pedro

    2000-01-01

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

  7. Improving global health care through diversity.

    PubMed

    Kulwicki, Anahid

    2006-10-01

    One of the major challenges facing the nursing profession is the globalization of nursing education, research, and practice. The word diversity is derived from the Latin word divertere meaning being different or having differences. Diversity in nursing practice means providing competent care to clients from different cultures, conducting research in multi-cultural settings, and implementing educational programs to diverse populations. Key principles and practices that provide a framework for diverse relationships in nursing practice, research, and education must be driven by a professional commitment in building a global community that is inclusive, respectful, and dedicated to global health care for all. Through international collaborations and individual and collective partnerships, nurses can build bridges between and among national health care systems, strengthen the international health care infrastructure, broaden health care delivery systems, and improve the quality of health care for all.

  8. Accessing genetic diversity for crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Glaszmann, J C; Kilian, B; Upadhyaya, H D; Varshney, R K

    2010-04-01

    Vast germplasm collections are accessible but their use for crop improvement is limited-efficiently accessing genetic diversity is still a challenge. Molecular markers have clarified the structure of genetic diversity in a broad range of crops. Recent developments have made whole-genome surveys and gene-targeted surveys possible, shedding light on population dynamics and on the impact of selection during domestication. Thanks to this new precision, germplasm description has gained analytical power for resolving the genetic basis of trait variation and adaptation in crops such as major cereals, chickpea, grapevine, cacao, or banana. The challenge now is to finely characterize all the facets of plant behavior in carefully chosen materials. We suggest broadening the use of 'core reference sets' so as to facilitate material sharing within the scientific community.

  9. Diversity improves performance in excitable networks

    PubMed Central

    Copelli, Mauro; Roberts, James A.

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Improving Diversity in the Health Professions.

    PubMed

    Valentine, Peggy; Wynn, Jacqueline; McLean, Darius

    2016-01-01

    The health professional workforce of North Carolina does not reflect the rich diversity of the state's population, and the underrepresentation of various demographic groups in health care may affect the health outcomes of the state's citizens. There are opportunities for educational institutions to partner with others, share successful strategies, and implement measures to promote diversity among health professionals.

  11. Integrating diverse datasets improves developmental enhancer prediction.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Improved Economics of Nuclear Plant Life Management

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-07-31

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

  14. Improving cultural diversity awareness of physical therapy educators.

    PubMed

    Lazaro, Rolando T; Umphred, Darcy A

    2007-01-01

    In a climate of increasing diversity in the population of patients requiring physical therapy (PT) services, PT educators must prepare students and future clinicians to work competently in culturally diverse environments. To be able to achieve this goal, PT educators must be culturally competent as well. The purposes of the study were to develop a valid and reliable instrument to assess cultural diversity awareness and to develop an educational workshop to improve cultural diversity awareness of PT academic and clinical educators. Phase 1 of the study involved the development of an instrument to assess cultural diversity awareness. The Cultural Diversity Awareness Questionnaire (CDAQ) was developed, validated for content, analyzed for reliability, and field and pilot tested. Results indicated that the CDAQ has favorable psychometric properties. Phase 2 of the study involved the development and implementation of the Cultural Diversity Workshop (CDW). The seminar contents and class materials were developed, validated, and implemented as a one-day cultural diversity awareness seminar. A one-group, pretest-posttest experimental design was used, with participants who completed the CDAQ before and after the workshop. Results indicated that the workshop was effective in improving cultural diversity awareness of the participants. Results of the workshop evaluation affirmed the achievement of objectives and effectiveness of the facilitator. This study provided a solid initial foundation upon which a comprehensive cultural competence program can be developed.

  15. Does State Legislation Improve Nursing Workforce Diversity?

    PubMed

    Travers, Jasmine; Smaldone, Arlene; Cohn, Elizabeth Gross

    2015-08-01

    A health-care workforce representative of our nation's diversity is a health and research priority. Although racial and ethnic minorities represent 37% of Americans, they comprise only 16% of the nursing workforce. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of state legislation on minority recruitment to nursing. Using data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and U.S. census, we compared minority enrollment in baccalaureate nursing programs of states (Texas, Virginia, Michigan, California, Florida, Connecticut, and Arkansas) before and 3 years after enacting legislation with geographically adjacent states without legislation. Data were analyzed using descriptive and chi-square statistics. Following legislation, Arkansas (13.8%-24.5%), California (3.3%-5.4%), and Michigan (8.0%-10.0%) significantly increased enrollment of Blacks, and Florida (11.8%-15.4%) and Texas (11.2%-13.9%) significantly increased enrollment of Hispanic baccalaureate nursing students. States that tied legislation to funding, encouragement, and reimbursement had larger enrollment gains and greater minority representation.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Fatimah Linda Collier

    1993-01-01

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

  17. Curriculum and Assessment Considerations for Young Children from Culturally, Linguistically, and Economically Diverse Backgrounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Espinosa, Linda M.

    2005-01-01

    Early childhood educators and school personnel increasingly will be working with children and families from diverse economic, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds. While the student population is rapidly becoming diverse, the teaching force remains predominantly White and from middle-class backgrounds (Whitebook, 2003). This growing…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  20. Economic and policy implications of improving longevity.

    PubMed

    Vladeck, Bruce C

    2005-09-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitry, Darryl J.

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Improved, Low-Stress Economical Submerged Pipeline

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Jack A.; Chao, Yi

    2011-01-01

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

  3. The Relations of a School's Capacity for Institutional Diversity to Student Achievement in Socio-Economically, Ethnically, and Linguistically Diverse Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Min, Sookweon; Goff, Peter T.

    2016-01-01

    This study examines how a school's capacity for institutional diversity relates to student achievement in socio-economically, ethnically, and linguistically diverse schools. It also investigates whether various student groups benefit differently from a school's level of student diversity and its institutional capacity for diversity. Using data…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Economic load dispatch using improved gravitational search algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  6. Condensing economizers for thermal efficiency improvements and emissions control

    SciTech Connect

    Heaphy, J.P.; Carbonara, J.; Litzke, W.; Butcher, T.A.

    1993-12-31

    Flue gas condensing economizers improve the thermal efficiency of boilers by recovering sensible heat and water vapor latent heat from flue gas exhaust. In addition to improving thermal efficiency, condensing economizers also have the potential to act as control devices for emissions of particulates, SO{sub x}, and air toxics. Both Consolidated Edison of New York and Brookhaven National LaborAtory are currently working on condensing economizer technology with an emphasis on developing their potential for emissions control. Con Edison is currently conducting a condensing economizer demonstration at their oil-fired 74th Street Station in New York. Since installing this equipment in February of 1992 a heat rate improvement of 800 Btu/kWh has been seen. At another location, Ravenswood Station, a two stage condensing economizer has been installed in a pilot test. In this advanced configuration -the ``Integrated Flue Gas Treatment or IFGT system- two heat exchanger sections are installed and sprays of water with and without SO{sub 2} sorbents are included. Detailed studies of the removal of particulates, SO{sub 2}, SO{sub 3}, and selected air toxics have been done for a variety of operating conditions. Removal efficiencies for SO{sub 2} have been over 98% and for SO{sub 3} over 65%. Brookhaven National Laboratory`s studies involve predicting and enhancing particulate capture in condensing economizers with an emphasis on small, coal-fired applications. This work is funded by the Pittsburgh Energy Technology Center of the Department of Energy. Flyash capture efficiencies as high as 97% have been achieved to date with a single stage economizer.

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

    PubMed

    White, Douglas C

    2007-06-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bender, Lloyd D.; And Others

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

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

  10. Improving Economic Understanding of Students in Junior College Economic Principles Courses.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barr, Saul Zusman; Carr, Glenna D.

    1980-01-01

    Describes a study comparing a conventional textbook/lecture teaching method and a teaching method based on current event readings with lectures and class discussions. The study sought to show whether improvement in students' understanding of economics was influenced by teaching method and selected characteristics of students and teachers. (AYC)

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

    PubMed Central

    Ashraf, Quamrul; Galor, Oded

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Why Economic Analysis of Health System Improvement Interventions Matters.

    PubMed

    Broughton, Edward Ivor; Marquez, Lani

    2016-01-01

    There is little evidence to direct health systems toward providing efficient interventions to address medical errors, defined as an unintended act of omission or commission or one not executed as intended that may or may not cause harm to the patient but does not achieve its intended outcome. We believe that lack of guidance on what is the most efficient way to reduce medical errors and improve the quality of health-care limits the scale-up of health system improvement interventions. Challenges to economic evaluation of these interventions include defining and implementing improvement interventions in different settings with high fidelity, capturing all of the positive and negative effects of the intervention, using process measures of effectiveness rather than health outcomes, and determining the full cost of the intervention and all economic consequences of its effects. However, health system improvement interventions should be treated similarly to individual medical interventions and undergo rigorous economic evaluation to provide actionable evidence to guide policy-makers in decisions of resource allocation for improvement activities among other competing demands for health-care resources.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Increasing crop diversity mitigates weather variations and improves yield stability.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kates, S L

    2016-01-01

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

  17. The “S” curve relationship between export diversity and economic size of countries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Lunchao; Tian, Kailan; Wang, Xin; Zhang, Jiang

    2012-02-01

    The highly detailed international trade data among all countries in the world during 1971-2000 shows that the kinds of export goods and the logarithmic GDP (gross domestic production) of a country have an S-shaped relationship. This indicates that all countries can be divided into three stages accordingly. First, the small economies always export very few kinds of products as we expect. Second, once the economic size magnitude (log(GDP)) of a country is beyond a threshold, its export diversity may increase dramatically. However, this is not the case for large economies because a ceiling on the export diversity is observed when their logarithmic GDPs are higher than another threshold. This pattern is very stable for different years although the concrete parameters of the fitting sigmoid functions may change with time. In addition, we also discussed other relationships such as import diversity with respect to logarithmic GDP, diversity of exporters with respect to the number of export goods etc.; all of these relationships show S-shaped or power law patterns which can be derived by the “S” curve relations. Although this paper does not explain the origin of the S-shaped curve, it may provide a basic empirical fact and insights for economic diversity.

  18. The potential economic benefits of improvements in weather forecasting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, J. C.

    1972-01-01

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

  19. The science and economics of improving clinical communication.

    PubMed

    O'Byrne, William T; Weavind, Liza; Selby, John

    2008-12-01

    This article presents a complex clinical scenario based on actual communication breakdowns that led to a sentinel event. Basic communication theory that underlies clinical interactions and the tenets of health care economic evaluation are reviewed. The process of the handoff as it relates to clinical interactions is discussed and the weaknesses in communication arising from handoff failures in the operative and critical care environments are examined. The discussion follows by looking at the influences of current medical culture, emerging technology, and changing care environments and their impact on communication behaviors and resultant effect on patient outcomes. A detailed cost analysis of the charges incurred for both standard and escalated care required for the case is followed by a discussion of the economic basis for improving clinical communication and patient safety using the SBAR tool.

  20. Commercial Plant Production and Consumption Still Follow the Latitudinal Gradient in Species Diversity despite Economic Globalization.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Erik J; Helmus, Matthew R; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Polasky, Stephen; Lasky, Jesse R; Zanne, Amy E; Pearse, William D; Kraft, Nathan J B; Miteva, Daniela A; Fagan, William F

    2016-01-01

    Increasing trade between countries and gains in income have given consumers around the world access to a richer and more diverse set of commercial plant products (i.e., foods and fibers produced by farmers). According to the economic theory of comparative advantage, countries open to trade will be able to consume more-in terms of volume and diversity-if they concentrate production on commodities that they can most cost-effectively produce, while importing goods that are expensive to produce, relative to other countries. Here, we perform a global analysis of traded commercial plant products and find little evidence that increasing globalization has incentivized agricultural specialization. Instead, a country's plant production and consumption patterns are still largely determined by local evolutionary legacies of plant diversification. Because tropical countries harbor a greater diversity of lineages across the tree of life than temperate countries, tropical countries produce and consume a greater diversity of plant products than do temperate countries. In contrast, the richer and more economically advanced temperate countries have the capacity to produce and consume more plant species than the generally poorer tropical countries, yet this collection of plant species is drawn from fewer branches on the tree of life. Why have countries not increasingly specialized in plant production despite the theoretical financial incentive to do so? Potential explanations include the persistence of domestic agricultural subsidies that distort production decisions, cultural preferences for diverse local food production, and that diverse food production protects rural households in developing countries from food price shocks. Less specialized production patterns will make crop systems more resilient to zonal climatic and social perturbations, but this may come at the expense of global crop production efficiency, an important step in making the transition to a hotter and more

  1. Techniques to improve the economics of limestone FGDS

    SciTech Connect

    Bresowar, G.E.; Klingspor, J.

    1995-12-31

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Improving sensor data analysis through diverse data source integration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casper, Jennifer; Albuquerque, Ronald; Hyland, Jeremy; Leveille, Peter; Hu, Jing; Cheung, Eddy; Mauer, Dan; Couture, Ronald; Lai, Barry

    2009-05-01

    Daily sensor data volumes are increasing from gigabytes to multiple terabytes. The manpower and resources needed to analyze the increasing amount of data are not growing at the same rate. Current volumes of diverse data, both live streaming and historical, are not fully analyzed. Analysts are left mostly to analyzing the individual data sources manually. This is both time consuming and mentally exhausting. Expanding data collections only exacerbate this problem. Improved data management techniques and analysis methods are required to process the increasing volumes of historical and live streaming data sources simultaneously. Improved techniques are needed to reduce an analysts decision response time and to enable more intelligent and immediate situation awareness. This paper describes the Sensor Data and Analysis Framework (SDAF) system built to provide analysts with the ability to pose integrated queries on diverse live and historical data sources, and plug in needed algorithms for upstream processing and filtering. The SDAF system was inspired by input and feedback from field analysts and experts. This paper presents SDAF's capabilities, implementation, and reasoning behind implementation decisions. Finally, lessons learned from preliminary tests and deployments are captured for future work.

  4. Commercial Plant Production and Consumption Still Follow the Latitudinal Gradient in Species Diversity despite Economic Globalization

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Erik J.; Helmus, Matthew R.; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Polasky, Stephen; Lasky, Jesse R.; Zanne, Amy E.; Pearse, William D.; Kraft, Nathan J. B.; Miteva, Daniela A.; Fagan, William F.

    2016-01-01

    Increasing trade between countries and gains in income have given consumers around the world access to a richer and more diverse set of commercial plant products (i.e., foods and fibers produced by farmers). According to the economic theory of comparative advantage, countries open to trade will be able to consume more–in terms of volume and diversity–if they concentrate production on commodities that they can most cost-effectively produce, while importing goods that are expensive to produce, relative to other countries. Here, we perform a global analysis of traded commercial plant products and find little evidence that increasing globalization has incentivized agricultural specialization. Instead, a country’s plant production and consumption patterns are still largely determined by local evolutionary legacies of plant diversification. Because tropical countries harbor a greater diversity of lineages across the tree of life than temperate countries, tropical countries produce and consume a greater diversity of plant products than do temperate countries. In contrast, the richer and more economically advanced temperate countries have the capacity to produce and consume more plant species than the generally poorer tropical countries, yet this collection of plant species is drawn from fewer branches on the tree of life. Why have countries not increasingly specialized in plant production despite the theoretical financial incentive to do so? Potential explanations include the persistence of domestic agricultural subsidies that distort production decisions, cultural preferences for diverse local food production, and that diverse food production protects rural households in developing countries from food price shocks. Less specialized production patterns will make crop systems more resilient to zonal climatic and social perturbations, but this may come at the expense of global crop production efficiency, an important step in making the transition to a hotter and more

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

    SciTech Connect

    Seright, R.

    1996-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Dräbenstedt, Alexander

    2014-05-27

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dräbenstedt, Alexander

    2014-05-01

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

  8. Improving the Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Medical Devices.

    PubMed

    Tarricone, Rosanna; Callea, Giuditta; Ogorevc, Marko; Prevolnik Rupel, Valentina

    2017-02-01

    Medical devices (MDs) have distinctive features, such as incremental innovation, dynamic pricing, the learning curve and organisational impact, that need to be considered when they are evaluated. This paper investigates how MDs have been assessed in practice, in order to identify methodological gaps that need to be addressed to improve the decision-making process for their adoption. We used the Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS) checklist supplemented by some additional categories to assess the quality of reporting and consideration of the distinctive features of MDs. Two case studies were considered: transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) representing an emerging technology and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) representing a mature technology. Economic evaluation studies published as journal articles or within Health Technology Assessment reports were identified through a systematic literature review. A total of 19 studies on TAVI and 41 studies on ICDs were analysed. Learning curve was considered in only 16% of studies on TAVI. Incremental innovation was more frequently mentioned in the studies of ICDs, but its impact was considered in only 34% of the cases. Dynamic pricing was the most recognised feature but was empirically tested in less than half of studies of TAVI and only 32% of studies on ICDs. Finally, organisational impact was considered in only one study of ICDs and in almost all studies on TAVI, but none of them estimated its impact. By their very nature, most of the distinctive features of MDs cannot be fully assessed at market entry. However, their potential impact could be modelled, based on the experience with previous MDs, in order to make a preliminary recommendation. Then, well-designed post-market studies could help in reducing uncertainties and make policymakers more confident to achieve conclusive recommendations. © 2017 The Authors. Health Economics published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yeager, Katherine L.; Nafukho, Fredrick M.

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Educating Everybody's Children: Diverse Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners. What Research and Practice Say about Improving Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cole, Robert W., Ed.

    The culmination of work by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development's (ASCD) Urban Middle Grades Network, a special Advisory Panel on Improving Student Achievement, and the Improving Student Achievement Research Panel, this book proposes a repertoire of tools for educators meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse student…

  14. Does Child Labor Decline with Improving Economic Status?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edmonds, Eric V.

    2005-01-01

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

  15. Improved viability of populations with diverse life-history portfolios.

    PubMed

    Greene, Correigh M; Hall, Jason E; Guilbault, Kimberly R; Quinn, Thomas P

    2010-06-23

    A principle shared by both economists and ecologists is that a diversified portfolio spreads risk, but this idea has little empirical support in the field of population biology. We found that population growth rates (recruits per spawner) and life-history diversity as measured by variation in freshwater and ocean residency were negatively correlated across short time periods (one to two generations), but positively correlated at longer time periods, in nine Bristol Bay sockeye salmon populations. Further, the relationship between variation in growth rate and life-history diversity was consistently negative. These findings strongly suggest that life-history diversity can both increase production and buffer population fluctuations, particularly over long time periods. Our findings provide new insights into the importance of biocomplexity beyond spatio-temporal aspects of populations, and suggest that maintaining diverse life-history portfolios of populations may be crucial for their resilience to unfavourable conditions like habitat loss and climate change.

  16. Improved viability of populations with diverse life-history portfolios

    PubMed Central

    Greene, Correigh M.; Hall, Jason E.; Guilbault, Kimberly R.; Quinn, Thomas P.

    2010-01-01

    A principle shared by both economists and ecologists is that a diversified portfolio spreads risk, but this idea has little empirical support in the field of population biology. We found that population growth rates (recruits per spawner) and life-history diversity as measured by variation in freshwater and ocean residency were negatively correlated across short time periods (one to two generations), but positively correlated at longer time periods, in nine Bristol Bay sockeye salmon populations. Further, the relationship between variation in growth rate and life-history diversity was consistently negative. These findings strongly suggest that life-history diversity can both increase production and buffer population fluctuations, particularly over long time periods. Our findings provide new insights into the importance of biocomplexity beyond spatio-temporal aspects of populations, and suggest that maintaining diverse life-history portfolios of populations may be crucial for their resilience to unfavourable conditions like habitat loss and climate change. PMID:20007162

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

    PubMed

    Reyes, Teija; Quiroz, Roberto; Msikula, Shija

    2005-11-01

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

  18. Improving in vitro mineral nutrition for diverse germplasm

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  19. Growth Versus Government Management Improvement During Economic Downturn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  20. Growth versus government management improvement during economic downturn.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Growth Versus Government Management Improvement During Economic Downturn

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. ON IMPROVING THE ECONOMIC STATUS OF THE NEGRO.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    TOBIN, JAMES

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1976-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. How crawler track-mounted conveyors improve bulk handling's economics

    SciTech Connect

    Hawkins, G.P.

    1984-11-01

    Crawler track-mounted conveyors can be used in most applications formerly requiring stacking, reclaiming or movement from excavators to bench conveyors. The crawler track-mounted conveyor has been automated for push button operation and allows mobilization of in-pit operations for the movement of overburden, minerals and coal. In-pit mobilization of crushers, the use of mobilized steep angle conveyor for the removal of coal from the pit, and the movement of overburden from excavation to spoil can all be done more economically when a combination of a crawler track mounted conveyor is used in conjunction with a shiftable or fixed conveyor.

  11. Ontogeny strongly and differentially alters leaf economic and other key traits in three diverse Helianthus species.

    PubMed

    Mason, Chase M; McGaughey, Sarah E; Donovan, Lisa A

    2013-10-01

    The leaf economics spectrum (LES) describes large cross-species variation in suites of leaf functional traits ranging from resource-acquisitive to resource-conservative strategies. Such strategies have been integral in explaining plant adaptation to diverse environments, and have been linked to numerous ecosystem processes. The LES has previously been found to be significantly modulated by climate, soil fertility, biogeography, growth form, and life history. One largely unexplored aspect of LES variation, whole-plant ontogeny, is investigated here using multiple populations of three very different species of sunflower: Helianthus annuus, Helianthus mollis, and Helianthus radula. Plants were grown under environmentally controlled conditions and assessed for LES and related traits at four key developmental stages, using recently matured leaves to standardize for leaf age. Nearly every trait exhibited a significant ontogenetic shift in one or more species, with trait patterns differing among populations and species. Photosynthetic rate, leaf nitrogen concentration, and leaf mass per area exhibited surprisingly large changes, spanning over two-thirds of the original cross-species LES variation and shifting from resource-acquisitive to resource-conservative strategies as the plants matured. Other traits being investigated in relation to the LES, such as leaf water content, pH, and vein density, also showed large changes. The finding that ontogenetic variation in LES strategy can be substantial leads to a recommendation of standardization by developmental stage when assessing 'species values' of labile traits for comparative approaches. Additionally, the substantial ontogenetic trait shifts seen within single individuals provide an opportunity to uncover the contribution of gene regulatory changes to variation in LES traits.

  12. Improving science inquiry with elementary students of diverse backgrounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-03-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  14. Assessing the Quality of Medical Information Technology Economic Evaluations: Room for Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Eisenstein, Eric L.; Ortiz, Maqui; Anstrom, Kevin J.; Crosslin, David R.; Lobach, David F.

    2006-01-01

    Medical information systems are being recognized for their ability to improve patient outcomes. While standards for the economic evaluation of medical technologies were instituted in the mid-1990s, little is known about their application in medical information technology studies. In a review of medical information technology evaluation studies published between 1982 and 2002, we found that the volume and variety of economic evaluations had increased; however, investigators routinely omitted key cost or effectiveness elements in their designs, resulting in publications with incomplete, and potentially biased, economic findings. Of the studies that made economic claims, 23% did not report any economic data, 40% failed to include any effectiveness measures, and more than 50% used a case study or pre- post- test design. Thus, during a time when health economic study methods in general have experienced significant development, there is little evidence of similar progress in medical information technology economic evaluations. PMID:17238338

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

    PubMed Central

    Fenwick, Elisabeth; Macdonald, Catriona; Thomson, Hilary

    2013-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-06-05

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-21

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

  18. Frequency Diversity for Improving Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-03-01

    xiii List of Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xvi I. Introduction ...Improving Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging I. Introduction 1.1 Research Motivation Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is an active radio frequency (RF) imaging...PFA) begins with introduction of the linear frequency modulated (LFM) waveform. LFM is the most common waveform used in general radar applications [25

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. [Radiology information systems: improved performance evaluation, economics and quality assurance?].

    PubMed

    Gross-Fengels, W; Weber, M

    1997-03-01

    By means of complete service control and standardized accounting processes, radiological information systems clearly contribute to improved results. They provide the prerequisites for the establishment of expanded networks and allow comparisons with comparable institutions. The quality of patient care can be improved since, for example, the production time from referral to finished result becomes shorter. Direct access to patient and findings data from several positions is possible. Preliminary results can be viewed immediately. The patient's history is accessible to authorized users at all times. The exact reproducibility and assignment of services leads to more clarity. By means of the information available form RIS, rapid adaptive processes can be undertaken. The system assists the to fulfill the requirements of health regulations. The above-mentioned relationships demonstrate that the EDP systems are well accepted by physicians, medical assistants, and administrators and represent an indispensable aid for solving problems.

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

    PubMed

    Mohapatra, P C; Pattanaik, B E

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  4. Improving the diversity of manufacturing electroluminescent flat panel displays

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-09-01

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

  5. Production economics analysis of investment initiated to improve working environment.

    PubMed

    Abrahamsson, L

    2000-02-01

    This article describes the results of an evaluation of a new work place for ladle preparation at Swedish Steel in Luleå, Sweden. The company initiated a development project related to ladle service work, in order to come to grips with the difficult working environment and problems associated with absenteeism due to illness and occupational injuries. The evaluation was performed for the first three years after implementation of the project and it shows that the new work place considerably improved working conditions and increased both the quality and efficiency of production. The purpose of this article is also to discuss some methodological problems. The follow-up of the various changes in working environment and personnel statistics was fairly simple to carry out. But in terms of production effects, the company's in-house production follow-up system proved to be too unspecified and oversimplified. It was also difficult to decide which changes should count as effects of the new work place and to value these in monetary terms. The profitability calculation shows that an investment initiated to improve the working environment can yield good profitability.

  6. Food neophobia and associations with cultural diversity and socio-economic status amongst rural and urban Australian adolescents.

    PubMed

    Flight, Ingrid; Leppard, Phillip; Cox, David N

    2003-08-01

    Exposure to diverse cultures and higher socio-economic status (SES) may increase knowledge of a wide variety of stimuli, including food, and be negatively associated with food neophobia. We contrasted questionnaire responses from two groups of Australian high school students (aged 12-18 years) from remote rural (rural, n=243) and cosmopolitan urban (city, n=696) locations to the food neophobia scale (FNS), familiarity with certain foods and willingness to try those foods. Cultural diversity measures and two SES scales were created. City students were less food neophobic than rural students (mean FNS scores 29.35 versus 34.68, p<0.001). City students were also significantly more familiar with different foods and more willing to try unfamiliar foods, were of higher SES and had greater exposure to cultural diversity. However, the association between the FNS and familiarity with foods, willingness to try unfamiliar foods, SES, and exposure to cultural diversity, were only weak or moderate for both city and rural students. Greater exposure to cultural diversity and higher SES has some influence on adolescents' responses to unfamiliar foods, but the relationship between these factors and the FNS score is tenuous.

  7. Economics.

    PubMed

    Palley, Paul D; Parcero, Miriam E

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-06-01

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

  11. Economics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    James, L. D.

    1978-01-01

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

  12. Use of the family resource scale in children's mental health: reliability and validity among economically diverse samples.

    PubMed

    Brannan, Ana María; Manteuffel, Brigitte; Holden, E Wayne; Heflinger, Craig Anne

    2006-03-01

    The adequacy of a family's resources has implications for child and family service processes and outcomes. The field needs tools to assess resources in a manner relevant to children's services research. The purpose of this study was to examine the reliability and validity of the FRS among families caring for children who are receiving mental health services and to compare its measurement quality across samples that differ on economic variables. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported similar factor structures across samples, and internal consistency was equivalent. Findings from the regression analyses provided evidence of construct validity for the FRS. Overall, findings indicated that the FRS holds promise as a reliable and valid tool for assessing perceived adequacy of concrete resources among economically diverse families of children with emotional and behavioral disorders. However, the FRS could benefit from some refinements; those recommendations are discussed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bhattacharyya, R.; Greenberg, J.

    1975-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Badat, Saleem

    2005-01-01

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

  15. Techno-economical study of biogas production improved by steam explosion pretreatment.

    PubMed

    Shafiei, Marzieh; Kabir, Maryam M; Zilouei, Hamid; Sárvári Horváth, Ilona; Karimi, Keikhosro

    2013-11-01

    Economic feasibility of steam explosion pretreatment for improvement of biogas production from wheat straw and paper tube residuals was investigated. The process was simulated by Aspen plus ®, and the economical feasibility of five different plant capacities was studied by Aspen Process Economic Analyzer. Total project investment of a plant using paper tube residuals or wheat straw was 63.9 or 61.8 million Euros, respectively. The manufacturing cost of raw biogas for these two feedstocks was calculated to 0.36 or 0.48 €/m(3) of methane, respectively. Applying steam explosion pretreatment resulted in 13% higher total capital investment while significantly improved the economy of the biogas plant and decreased the manufacturing cost of methane by 36%. The sensitivity analysis showed that 5% improvement in the methane yield and 20% decrease in the raw material price resulted in 5.5% and 8% decrease in the manufacturing cost of methane, respectively.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-04-15

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

  17. Economics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kemp, Rodger

    This course presents basic economic concepts and explores issues such as how goods and services are produced and distributed, what affects costs and profits, and how wealth is spread around or concentrated. The course is designed to be used with students enrolled in an adult high school diploma program; course content is appropriate to meet social…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Linse, Caroline Teresa

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Neighborhood economic disadvantage, violent crime, group density, and pregnancy outcomes in a diverse, urban population.

    PubMed

    Masi, Christopher M; Hawkley, Louise C; Piotrowski, Z Harry; Pickett, Kate E

    2007-12-01

    Prior research has established associations between pregnancy outcomes and specific neighborhood characteristics, including economic disadvantage, violent crime, and racial/ethnic segregation. Recently, associations have also been found between various health outcomes and group density, the degree to which an individual is a racial or ethnic majority in his or her local community. The objective of this study was to determine the extent to which census tract economic disadvantage, violent crime rate, and group density are associated with pregnancy outcomes among White, Black, and Hispanic infants in a large metropolitan setting. This cross-sectional study utilized 1990 census data, 1991 crime data, and 1991 birth certificate information for singleton live births in Chicago, Illinois. Results show substantial racial segregation in Chicago, with 35% of census tracts having more than 90% Black residents and 45% of census tracts having fewer than 10% Black residents. After stratifying by maternal race/ethnicity, we used multilevel analyses to model pregnancy outcomes as a function of individual and census tract characteristics. Among all racial/ethnic groups, violent crime rate accounted for most of the negative association between tract economic disadvantage and birth weight. Group density was also associated with birth weight but this association was stronger among Whites and Hispanics than among Blacks. Further analysis revealed that group density was more strongly associated with preterm birth while violent crime rate was more strongly associated with small for gestational age. These results suggest that group density and violent crime may impact birth weight via different mechanisms.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ripple, Carol

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

  2. It doesn't happen here: eating disorders in an ethnically diverse sample of economically disadvantaged, urban college students.

    PubMed

    Gentile, Katie; Raghavan, Chitra; Rajah, Valli; Gates, Katie

    2007-01-01

    The bulk of eating disorder studies have focused on white, middle-upper class women, excluding ethnically and economically diverse women and men. Accordingly, our knowledge of prevalence rates and risk factors is reliant on this narrow literature. To expand upon the current literature, we examined eating disorders in ethnically diverse low-income, urban college students. We surveyed 884 incoming freshmen during an orientation class to assess the frequency of eating disorder diagnosis and the risk factors of child physical abuse and sexual abuse before and after age 13. We found 10% of our sample received an eating disorder diagnosis, 12.2% of the women and 7.3% of the men. The majority of these students were Latino/a or "other," with White women receiving the fewest diagnoses. For all women, both child physical abuse and both indices of sexual abuse contributed equally to the development of an eating disorder. For men only the sexual abuse indices contributed to an eating disorder diagnosis. These results indicate that ethnic minority populations do suffer from relatively high rates of self-reported eating disorders and that a history of trauma is a significant risk factor for eating disorders in these diverse populations of both women and men.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-14

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Modest enhancements to conventional grassland diversity improve the provision of pollination services.

    PubMed

    Orford, Katherine A; Murray, Phil J; Vaughan, Ian P; Memmott, Jane

    2016-06-01

    Grassland for livestock production is a major form of land use throughout Europe and its intensive management threatens biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in agricultural landscapes. Modest increases to conventional grassland biodiversity could have considerable positive impacts on the provision of ecosystem services, such as pollination, to surrounding habitats.Using a field-scale experiment in which grassland seed mixes and sward management were manipulated, complemented by surveys on working farms and phytometer experiments, the impact of conventional grassland diversity and management on the functional diversity and ecosystem service provision of pollinator communities were investigated.Increasing plant richness, by the addition of both legumes and forbs, was associated with significant enhancements in the functional diversity of grassland pollinator communities. This was associated with increased temporal stability of flower-visitor interactions at the community level. Visitation networks revealed pasture species Taraxacum sp. (Wigg.) (dandelion) and Cirsium arvense (Scop.) (creeping thistle) to have the highest pollinator visitation frequency and richness. Cichorium intybus (L.) (chichory) was highlighted as an important species having both high pollinator visitation and desirable agronomic properties.Increased sward richness was associated with an increase in the pollination of two phytometer species; Fragaria × ananassa (strawberry) and Silene dioica (red campion), but not Vicia faba (broad bean). Enhanced functional diversity, richness and abundance of the pollinator communities associated with more diverse neighbouring pastures were found to be potential mechanisms for improved pollination. Synthesis and applications. A modest increase in conventional grassland plant diversity with legumes and forbs, achievable with the expertise and resources available to most grassland farmers, could enhance pollinator functional diversity, richness and abundance

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartley, Robyn; Horne, Jackie

    2005-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eisenkopf, Gerald; Sulser, Pascal A.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nwosu, Constance C.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Back into the wild-Apply untapped genetic diversity of wild relatives for crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hengyou; Mittal, Neha; Leamy, Larry J; Barazani, Oz; Song, Bao-Hua

    2017-01-01

    Deleterious effects of climate change and human activities, as well as diverse environmental stresses, present critical challenges to food production and the maintenance of natural diversity. These challenges may be met by the development of novel crop varieties with increased biotic or abiotic resistance that enables them to thrive in marginal lands. However, considering the diverse interactions between crops and environmental factors, it is surprising that evolutionary principles have been underexploited in addressing these food and environmental challenges. Compared with domesticated cultivars, crop wild relatives (CWRs) have been challenged in natural environments for thousands of years and maintain a much higher level of genetic diversity. In this review, we highlight the significance of CWRs for crop improvement by providing examples of CWRs that have been used to increase biotic and abiotic stress resistance/tolerance and overall yield in various crop species. We also discuss the surge of advanced biotechnologies, such as next-generation sequencing technologies and omics, with particular emphasis on how they have facilitated gene discovery in CWRs. We end the review by discussing the available resources and conservation of CWRs, including the urgent need for CWR prioritization and collection to ensure continuous crop improvement for food sustainability.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-26

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-06-01

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

  16. Improving Demographic Diversity in the U.S. Air Force Officer Corps

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-01-01

    research quality and objectivity. Improving Demographic Diversity in the U.S. Air Force Officer Corps Nelson Lim, Louis T. Mariano, Amy G. Cox, David ...Louis T. Mariano, Amy G. Cox, David Schulker, Lawrence M. Hanser Prepared for the United States Air Force Approved for public release...career fields, 6 See Karen R. Humes , Nicholas A. Jones, and Roberto R. Ramirez, Overview of Race and

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seaward, James Nicholas

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

  18. Improvement of Climate Model Simulation through Inter-Model Diversity: An ENSO Example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ham, Y. G.; Kug, J. S.

    2014-12-01

    In this study, a new methodology is developed to improve the climate simulation of state-of-the-art coupled GCMs, by post-processing based on the inter-model diversity (i.e. ensemble spread from the Multi-Model Ensemble (MME)). Based on the close connection between the interannual variability and climatological state, the distinctive relation between the inter-model diversity of the interannual variability, and that of the basic state, is found. Based on this relation, the simulated interannual variabilities can be improved, by correcting their climatological bias. In order to test this methodology, the dominant inter-model difference in precipitation responses during the ENSO is investigated, and its relationship with climatological state. It is found that the dominant inter-model diversity of the ENSO precipitation in CMIP5 is associated with the zonal location shift of the positive precipitation center during El Nino. This dominant inter-model difference is significantly correlated with the difference in the basic state. The models with wetter (dryer) climatology than the climatology of the MME over the central Pacific, tend to shift positive ENSO precipitation anomalies to the east (west). Based on the model's systematic errors in atmospheric ENSO response and bias, it is shown that the models with better climatological state tend to simulate more realistic atmospheric ENSO responses. Therefore, the statistical method to correct the ENSO response by minimizing mean bias mostly improves the ENSO response. After the statistical correction, the deficiencies in simulating the MME ENSO precipitation are improved, so that the pattern correlation of tropical atmospheric MME response is increased from 0.81 before the correction, to 0.92 after the correction. In particular, this improvement is robust in the models whose original response is far from realistic. These results provide the possibility that the methodology developed in this study can also be applied to

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

    PubMed

    Savory, F R; Ramakrishnan, U

    2015-03-01

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

  20. A systematic review of economic evaluations of CHW interventions aimed at improving child health outcomes.

    PubMed

    Nkonki, L; Tugendhaft, A; Hofman, K

    2017-02-28

    Evidence of the cost-effectiveness of community health worker interventions is pertinent for decision-makers and programme planners who are turning to community services in order to strengthen health systems in the context of the momentum generated by strategies to support universal health care, the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goal agenda.We conducted a systematic review of published economic evaluation studies of community health worker interventions aimed at improving child health outcomes. Four public health and economic evaluation databases were searched for studies that met the inclusion criteria: National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database (NHS EED), Cochrane, Paediatric Economic Evaluation Database (PEED), and PubMed. The search strategy was tailored to each database.The 19 studies that met the inclusion criteria were conducted in either high income countries (HIC), low- income countries (LIC) and/or middle-income countries (MIC). The economic evaluations covered a wide range of interventions. Studies were grouped together by intended outcome or objective of each study. The data varied in quality. We found evidence of cost-effectiveness of community health worker (CHW) interventions in reducing malaria and asthma, decreasing mortality of neonates and children, improving maternal health, increasing exclusive breastfeeding and improving malnutrition, and positively impacting physical health and psychomotor development amongst children.Studies measured varied outcomes, due to the heterogeneous nature of studies included; a meta-analysis was not conducted. Outcomes included disease- or condition -specific outcomes, morbidity, mortality, and generic measures (e.g. disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)). Nonetheless, all 19 interventions were found to be either cost-effective or highly cost-effective at a threshold specific to their respective countries.There is a growing body of economic evaluation literature on cost-effectiveness of CHW

  1. Economics of efficiency improvements in residential appliances and space conditioning equipment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levine, M. D.; Koomey, J.; Ruderman, H.; Craig, P.; McMahon, J.; Chan, P.

    1985-11-01

    The energy efficient choices for residential appliances and space conditioning equipment are analyzed. A brief illustration of historical trends in the average efficiencies of new appliances sold in the U.S. during the last decade is presented. Results of the life-cycle cost analysis of eight major residential appliances are given. These indicate that improving the efficiency to economically optimal level would reduce the annual energy expenditure by 30 percent. (AIP)

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lijun, Zhang; Fei, Wang

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Improved BDF Relaying Scheme Using Time Diversity over Atmospheric Turbulence and Misalignment Fading Channels

    PubMed Central

    García-Zambrana, Antonio; Castillo-Vázquez, Carmen; Castillo-Vázquez, Beatriz

    2014-01-01

    A novel bit-detect-and-forward (BDF) relaying scheme based on repetition coding with the relay is proposed, significantly improving the robustness to impairments proper to free-space optical (FSO) communications such as unsuitable alignment between transmitter and receiver as well as fluctuations in the irradiance of the transmitted optical beam due to the atmospheric turbulence. Closed-form asymptotic bit-error-rate (BER) expressions are derived for a 3-way FSO communication setup. Fully exploiting the potential time-diversity available in the relay turbulent channel, a relevant better performance is achieved, showing a greater robustness to the relay location since a high diversity gain is provided regardless of the source-destination link distance. PMID:24587711

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nguyen, Trien; Trimarchi, Angela; Williams, Julia

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Explaining household socio-economic related child health inequalities using multiple methods in three diverse settings in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Despite free healthcare to pregnant women and children under the age of six, access to healthcare has failed to secure better child health outcomes amongst all children of the country. There is growing evidence of socioeconomic gradient on child health outcomes Methods The objectives of this study were to measure inequalities in child mortality, HIV transmission and vaccination coverage within a cohort of infants in South Africa. We also used the decomposition technique to identify the factors that contribute to the inequalities in these three child health outcomes. We used data from a prospective cohort study of mother-child pairs in three sites in South African. A relative index of household socio-economic status was developed using principal component analysis. This paper uses the concentration index to summarise inequalities in child mortality, HIV transmission and vaccination coverage. Results We observed disparities in the availability of infrastructure between least poor and most poor families, and inequalities in all measured child health outcomes. Overall, 75 (8.5%) infants died between birth and 36 weeks. Infant mortality and HIV transmission was higher among the poorest families within the sample. Immunisation coverage was higher among the least poor. The inequalities were mainly due to the area of residence and socio-economic position. Conclusion This study provides evidence that socio-economic inequalities are highly prevalent within the relatively poor black population. Poor socio-economic position exposes infants to ill health. In addition, the use of immunisation services was lower in the poor households. These inequalities need to be explicitly addressed in future programme planning to improve child health for all South Africans. PMID:21463530

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuck Bonner, Natalie Christine

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

  7. Surveying Rubisco Diversity and Temperature Response to Improve Crop Photosynthetic Efficiency.

    PubMed

    Orr, Douglas J; Alcântara, André; Kapralov, Maxim V; Andralojc, P John; Carmo-Silva, Elizabete; Parry, Martin A J

    2016-10-01

    The threat to global food security of stagnating yields and population growth makes increasing crop productivity a critical goal over the coming decades. One key target for improving crop productivity and yields is increasing the efficiency of photosynthesis. Central to photosynthesis is Rubisco, which is a critical but often rate-limiting component. Here, we present full Rubisco catalytic properties measured at three temperatures for 75 plants species representing both crops and undomesticated plants from diverse climates. Some newly characterized Rubiscos were naturally "better" compared to crop enzymes and have the potential to improve crop photosynthetic efficiency. The temperature response of the various catalytic parameters was largely consistent across the diverse range of species, though absolute values showed significant variation in Rubisco catalysis, even between closely related species. An analysis of residue differences among the species characterized identified a number of candidate amino acid substitutions that will aid in advancing engineering of improved Rubisco in crop systems. This study provides new insights on the range of Rubisco catalysis and temperature response present in nature, and provides new information to include in models from leaf to canopy and ecosystem scale.

  8. Surveying Rubisco Diversity and Temperature Response to Improve Crop Photosynthetic Efficiency1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Andralojc, P. John

    2016-01-01

    The threat to global food security of stagnating yields and population growth makes increasing crop productivity a critical goal over the coming decades. One key target for improving crop productivity and yields is increasing the efficiency of photosynthesis. Central to photosynthesis is Rubisco, which is a critical but often rate-limiting component. Here, we present full Rubisco catalytic properties measured at three temperatures for 75 plants species representing both crops and undomesticated plants from diverse climates. Some newly characterized Rubiscos were naturally “better” compared to crop enzymes and have the potential to improve crop photosynthetic efficiency. The temperature response of the various catalytic parameters was largely consistent across the diverse range of species, though absolute values showed significant variation in Rubisco catalysis, even between closely related species. An analysis of residue differences among the species characterized identified a number of candidate amino acid substitutions that will aid in advancing engineering of improved Rubisco in crop systems. This study provides new insights on the range of Rubisco catalysis and temperature response present in nature, and provides new information to include in models from leaf to canopy and ecosystem scale. PMID:27342312

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

    PubMed

    Elbakidze, L; Jin, Y H

    2015-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Seright, R.S.

    1995-03-01

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

  11. Improving environmental quality in an operating room: clinical outcomes and economic implications.

    PubMed

    Sartini, M; Spagnolo, A M; Panatto, D; Perdelli, F; Cristina, M L

    2013-06-01

    An experimental study was conducted in a hospital in Liguria (northern Italy) on two groups of patients with the same disease severity who were undergoing the same type of surgery (primary hemiarthroplasty). Our aim was to assessing the results of a quality-improvement scheme implemented in the operating room. The quality-improvement protocol involved analyzing a set of parameters concerning the operating team's behavior and environmental conditions that could be attributed to the operating team itself A program of training and sanitary education was carried to rectify any improper behavior of the operating staff Two hundred and six hip-joint replacement operations (primary hip hemiarthroplasty--ICD9-CM 81.51) all conducted in the same operating room were studied: 103 patients, i.e. operations performed before the quality-improvement scheme and 103 patients, i.e. operations performed after the quality improvement scheme; all were comparable in terms of type of surgery and severity. The scheme resulted in an improvement in both behavioral and environmental parameters and an 80% reduction in the level of microbial air contamination (p < 0.001). Patient outcomes improved in terms of average postoperative hospitalization time, the occurrence and duration of fever (> 37.5 degrees C) and microbiological contamination of surgical wounds. From an economic point of view, facility efficiency increased by 28.57%, average hospitalization time decreased (p < 0.001) and a theoretical increase of Euro 1,441,373.58 a year in revenues was achieved.

  12. Massive integration of diverse protein quality assessment methods to improve template based modeling in CASP11.

    PubMed

    Cao, Renzhi; Bhattacharya, Debswapna; Adhikari, Badri; Li, Jilong; Cheng, Jianlin

    2016-09-01

    Model evaluation and selection is an important step and a big challenge in template-based protein structure prediction. Individual model quality assessment methods designed for recognizing some specific properties of protein structures often fail to consistently select good models from a model pool because of their limitations. Therefore, combining multiple complimentary quality assessment methods is useful for improving model ranking and consequently tertiary structure prediction. Here, we report the performance and analysis of our human tertiary structure predictor (MULTICOM) based on the massive integration of 14 diverse complementary quality assessment methods that was successfully benchmarked in the 11th Critical Assessment of Techniques of Protein Structure prediction (CASP11). The predictions of MULTICOM for 39 template-based domains were rigorously assessed by six scoring metrics covering global topology of Cα trace, local all-atom fitness, side chain quality, and physical reasonableness of the model. The results show that the massive integration of complementary, diverse single-model and multi-model quality assessment methods can effectively leverage the strength of single-model methods in distinguishing quality variation among similar good models and the advantage of multi-model quality assessment methods of identifying reasonable average-quality models. The overall excellent performance of the MULTICOM predictor demonstrates that integrating a large number of model quality assessment methods in conjunction with model clustering is a useful approach to improve the accuracy, diversity, and consequently robustness of template-based protein structure prediction. Proteins 2016; 84(Suppl 1):247-259. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Quantifying the Economic and Grid Reliability Impacts of Improved Wind Power Forecasting

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Qin; Martinez-Anido, Carlo Brancucci; Wu, Hongyu; Florita, Anthony R.; Hodge, Bri-Mathias

    2016-10-01

    Wind power forecasting is an important tool in power system operations to address variability and uncertainty. Accurately doing so is important to reducing the occurrence and length of curtailment, enhancing market efficiency, and improving the operational reliability of the bulk power system. This research quantifies the value of wind power forecasting improvements in the IEEE 118-bus test system as modified to emulate the generation mixes of Midcontinent, California, and New England independent system operator balancing authority areas. To measure the economic value, a commercially available production cost modeling tool was used to simulate the multi-timescale unit commitment (UC) and economic dispatch process for calculating the cost savings and curtailment reductions. To measure the reliability improvements, an in-house tool, FESTIV, was used to calculate the system's area control error and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation Control Performance Standard 2. The approach allowed scientific reproducibility of results and cross-validation of the tools. A total of 270 scenarios were evaluated to accommodate the variation of three factors: generation mix, wind penetration level, and wind fore-casting improvements. The modified IEEE 118-bus systems utilized 1 year of data at multiple timescales, including the day-ahead UC, 4-hour-ahead UC, and 5-min real-time dispatch. The value of improved wind power forecasting was found to be strongly tied to the conventional generation mix, existence of energy storage devices, and the penetration level of wind energy. The simulation results demonstrate that wind power forecasting brings clear benefits to power system operations.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamagata, H.; Sedlak, D. L.

    2008-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Dinesh Agrawal

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schüßler, Arthur; Krüger, Claudia; Urgiles, Narcisa

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Genetic diversity and genomic strategies for improving drought and waterlogging tolerance in soybeans.

    PubMed

    Valliyodan, Babu; Ye, Heng; Song, Li; Murphy, MacKensie; Shannon, J Grover; Nguyen, Henry T

    2016-12-07

    Drought and its interaction with high temperature are the major abiotic stress factors affecting soybean yield and production stability. Ongoing climate changes are anticipated to intensify drought events, which will further impact crop production and food security. However, excessive water also limits soybean production. The success of soybean breeding programmes for crop improvement is dependent on the extent of genetic variation present in the germplasm base. Screening for natural genetic variation in drought- and flooding tolerance-related traits, including root system architecture, water and nitrogen-fixation efficiency, and yield performance indices, has helped to identify the best resources for genetic studies in soybean. Genomic resources, including whole-genome sequences of diverse germplasms, millions of single-nucleotide polymorphisms, and high-throughput marker genotyping platforms, have expedited gene and marker discovery for translational genomics in soybean. This review highlights the current knowledge of the genetic diversity and quantitative trait loci associated with root system architecture, canopy wilting, nitrogen-fixation ability, and flooding tolerance that contributes to the understanding of drought- and flooding-tolerance mechanisms in soybean. Next-generation mapping approaches and high-throughput phenotyping will facilitate a better understanding of phenotype-genotype associations and help to formulate genomic-assisted breeding strategies, including genomic selection, in soybean for tolerance to drought and flooding stress.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  7. Cooperation, but not competition, improves 4-year-old children's reasoning about others' diverse desires.

    PubMed

    Jin, Xinyi; Li, Pengchao; He, Jie; Shen, Mowei

    2017-05-01

    Three experiments examined whether cooperation or competition affects 4-year-old children's reasoning about other people's desires-which differed from their own-in a gift selection task. Experiment 1 (N=72) found that children's performance in selecting an adult-preferred gift for an adult experimenter was enhanced by a short period of preceding cooperative, but not competitive or individualistic, play with the experimenter. Experiment 2 (N=24) ruled out the alternative explanation that children resisted satisfying their opponent after competition. Experiment 3 (N=48) replicated the cooperation advantage in selecting a gift for someone else, indicating that children's understanding of diverse desires was generally improved by cooperation but not competition. These findings support the constructivist view of social development and highlight the advantage of cooperation.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-11-01

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

  9. Improving the use of economics in animal health - Challenges in research, policy and education.

    PubMed

    Rushton, Jonathan

    2017-02-01

    The way that an economist and an animal health professional use economics differs and creates frustrations. The economist is in search of optimizing resource allocation in the management of animal health and disease problems with metrics associated with the productivity of key societal resources of labour and capital. The animal health professional have a strong belief that productivity can be improved with the removal of pathogens. These differences restrict how well economics is used in animal health, and the question posed is whether this matters. The paper explores the question by looking at the changing role of animals in society and the associated change of the animal health professional's activities. It then questions if the current allocation of scarce resources for animal health are adequately allocated for societies and whether currently available data are sufficient for good allocation. A rapid review of the data on disease impacts - production losses and costs of human reaction - indicate that the data are sparse collected in different times and geographical regions. This limits what can be understood on the productivity of the economic resources used for animal health and this needs to be addressed with more systematic collection of data on disease losses and costs of animal health systems. Ideally such a process should learn lessons from the way that human health has made estimates of the burden of diseases and their capture of data on the costs of human health systems. Once available data on the global burden of animal diseases and the costs of animal health systems would allow assessments of individual disease management processes and the productivity of wider productivity change. This utopia should be aimed at if animal health is to continue to attract and maintain adequate resources.

  10. Better options for work and retirement: some suggestions for improving economic security mechanisms for old age.

    PubMed

    Chen, Y P

    1988-01-01

    After identifying the income security system as a tripod structure symbolizing the efforts of the individual, the employer, and the government, the first section of this chapter suggested that economic security is a broader concept than income security, since a person is concerned not only with the acquisition of income and assets but also with the retention and disposal of them. Factors such as health care expenditures, housing and living arrangements, service delivery, and support networks affect income and asset retention. Both acquisition and retention of income and assets, furthermore, are influenced by macroeconomic policies. This section also discussed the possibility that the role of the individual in providing economic security may be underestimated. In the second section, the heterogeneity of older persons was demonstrated in terms of both income sources and the relative importance of these sources to persons in different income classes. Social Security declines in importance as income level rises, whereas assets and employment as sources of income increase with income levels. Occupational pensions are of minimal importance to persons in the lowest-income class. Though more important to persons in the higher-income classes, occupational pensions as a proportion to their total income lie between 10% and 20% for these groups. By definition, public assistance is important only to the lowest-income class. During the last two decades, the relative importance of these income sources has changed, as pointed out in the third section, which also speculated on their future roles. The fourth section proposed possible ways of improving the five income security mechanisms: to provide more child-care credit for women under Social Security, to strengthen portability under private pension plans, to make IRAs more accessible and more meaningful for retirement purposes, to enhance the role of employment for adults, and to raise SSI so as to eliminate poverty. The chapter

  11. From economic development to public health improvement: China faces equity challenges.

    PubMed

    Liu, S; Griffiths, S M

    2011-10-01

    In the past three decades China has been going through a period of rapid economic growth, which has had profound repercussions for the nation's public health system. Prior to the current health reforms much of the population was left uninsured and facing high financial risk from inadequate healthcare, with especially deep divisions between the urban and rural populations, which continues to pose a huge challenge to health equity and social justice. This paper explores the relationship between economic development and public health and discusses a series of health disparity issues that are emerging in China. These include: (1) health risk and access to care issues among unregistered urban populations (i.e. migrants); (2) low recognition of mental health, and the stigma associated with people with mental illness or communicable disease; and (3) challenges to the traditional system of family care for the elderly, as younger generations migrate to the cities and the remaining rural population ages. Implications for government policy and action to address these issues and improve public health as well as equity are discussed.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Dinesh Agrawal

    2006-09-30

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Dinesh Agrawal; Paul Gigl; Mark Hunt; Mahlon Dennis

    2007-07-31

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

  14. Proceedings of the Department of Defense (DoD) Symposium. DoD Entomology: Global, Diverse, and Improving Public Health

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-12-14

    Proceedings of the Department of Defense (DoD) Symposium “DoD Entomology : Global, Diverse, and Improving Public Health” Annual Meeting...of the Entomological Society of America 14 December 2010 Town and Country Conference Center, San Diego, CA Report Documentation Page Form...COVERED 00-00-2010 to 00-00-2010 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Proceedings of the Department of Defense (DoD) Symposium ’DoD Entomology : Global, Diverse, and

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hanushek, Eric A.; Woessmann, Ludger

    2010-01-01

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

  16. AST: an automated sequence-sampling method for improving the taxonomic diversity of gene phylogenetic trees.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Seright, R.S.

    1993-12-01

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

  19. The economic value of an improved malaria treatment programme in Zambia: results from a contingent valuation survey

    PubMed Central

    Masiye, Felix; Rehnberg, Clas

    2005-01-01

    Background Zambia is facing a double crisis of increasing malaria burden and dwindling capacity to deal with the endemic malaria burden. The pursuit of sustainable but equity mechanisms for financing malaria programmes is a subject of crucial policy discussion. This requires that comprehensive accounting of the economic impact of the various malaria programmes. Information on the economic value of programmes is essential in soliciting appropriate funding allocations for malaria control. Aims and objectives This paper specifically seeks to elicit a measure of the economic benefits of an improved malaria treatment programme in Zambia. The paper also studies the equity implications in malaria treatment given that demand or malaria treatment is determined by household socio-economic status. Methods A contingent valuation survey of about 300 Zambian households was conducted in four districts. Willingness-to-pay (WTP) was elicited for an improved treatment programme for malaria in order to generate a measure of the economic benefits of the programme. The payment card method was used in eliciting WTP bids. Findings The study reports that malaria treatment has significant economic benefits to society. The total economic benefits of an improved treatment programme were estimated at an equivalent of US$ 77 million per annum, representing about 1.8% of Zambia's GDP. The study also reports the theoretically anticipated association between WTP and several socio-economic factors. Our income elasticity of demand is positive and similar in magnitude to estimates reported in similar studies. Finally, from an equity standpoint, the constraints imposed by income and socio-economic status are discussed. PMID:16356176

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

    PubMed Central

    Sassner, Per; Zacchi, Guido

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, F. R.; Johnson, R.

    2002-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lhota, John; Xie, Lei

    2016-04-01

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

  3. Diversity of Students' background as a source for improving teaching Physics at a Liberal Arts Institution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agrest, Mikhail

    2001-11-01

    Presented work is dedicated to improvement of teaching-learning process and classroom time utilization. What should students carry with them from the classroom? Enthusiasm of their teacher, understanding of the basic concepts, understanding of what they should work on at home and, of course, some notes Teaching materials, which relate concepts of Physics to each other and to a variety of concepts in other areas of knowledge and human activity were developed. This approach is based on my experience of interacting with students with diversity of backgrounds, educational goals and objectives. Those include Business and Politics, Literature and Media, everyday family and College life, etc. A supplement workbook based on teaching materials was developed to be available for students to make notes during the lectures. This method was tested in Introductory Physics classes at the College of Charleston during some past years. The teaching-learning effectiveness has been increased and positive feedback was received from students and faculty at the College and some other Universities.

  4. Promising Approaches From Behavioral Economics to Improve Patient Lung Cancer Screening Decisions.

    PubMed

    Barnes, Andrew J; Groskaufmanis, Lauren; Thomson, Norman B

    2016-12-01

    Lung cancer is a devastating disease, the deadliest form of cancer in the world and in the United States. As a consequence of CMS's determination to provide low-dose CT (LDCT) as a covered service for at-risk smokers, LDCT lung cancer screening is now a covered service for many at-risk patients that first requires counseling and shared clinical decision making, including discussions of the risks and benefits of LDCT screening. However, shared decision making fundamentally relies on the premise that with better information, patients will arrive at rational decisions that align with their preferences and values. Evidence from the field of behavioral economics offers many contrary viewpoints that take into account patient decision making biases and the role of the shared decision environment that can lead to flawed choices and that are particularly relevant to lung cancer screening and treatment. This article discusses some of the most relevant biases, and suggests incorporating such knowledge into screening and treatment guidelines and shared decision making best practices to increase the likelihood that such efforts will produce their desired objectives to improve survival and quality of life.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Robert J. Englar

    2001-05-14

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Dinesh Agrawal; Paul Gigl; Mahlon Dennis; Roderic Stanley

    2005-03-01

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

  8. Use of the Rice Diversity Panel 1 to map traits important for rice improvement

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ‘Rice Diversity Panel 1’ (RDP1) is composed of 421 diverse Oryza sativa accessions from 79 countries, including indica and aus which belong to the Indica varietal group, and tropical japonica, temperate japonica, and aromatic (Group V) which comprise the Japonica varietal group. This panel was ...

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

    PubMed Central

    Pega, Frank; Wilson, Nick

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Increasing Graduate Management Education Candidate Diversity: Improving Attraction to Underrepresented Segments. GMAC® Research Report RR-16-03

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Sabrina; Rea, Jeff

    2016-01-01

    This white paper, "Increasing Graduate Management Education Candidate Diversity: Improving Attraction to Underrepresented Segments," presents findings from a research study that GMAC commissioned from globalsojourn, a market strategy and research firm, to gain insights into the dynamics of the perceptions and interest of U.S.…

  11. Identifying Successful Strategies Implemented by Teachers in High Performing, High Poverty Schools to Address the Diverse Needs of Economically Disadvantaged Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor-Statom, Yolanda

    2012-01-01

    This research study sought to identify the successful strategies used by teachers in high performing, high poverty schools to address the needs of economically disadvantaged students. The study examined teacher perceptions, motivation factors, and instructional strategies as they relate to the improvement of the academic progress of economically…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McIntosh, Daniel H.

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Robert J. Englar

    2000-06-19

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

  17. Improving the coverage of the cyanobacterial phylum using diversity-driven genome sequencing.

    PubMed

    Shih, Patrick M; Wu, Dongying; Latifi, Amel; Axen, Seth D; Fewer, David P; Talla, Emmanuel; Calteau, Alexandra; Cai, Fei; Tandeau de Marsac, Nicole; Rippka, Rosmarie; Herdman, Michael; Sivonen, Kaarina; Coursin, Therese; Laurent, Thierry; Goodwin, Lynne; Nolan, Matt; Davenport, Karen W; Han, Cliff S; Rubin, Edward M; Eisen, Jonathan A; Woyke, Tanja; Gugger, Muriel; Kerfeld, Cheryl A

    2013-01-15

    The cyanobacterial phylum encompasses oxygenic photosynthetic prokaryotes of a great breadth of morphologies and ecologies; they play key roles in global carbon and nitrogen cycles. The chloroplasts of all photosynthetic eukaryotes can trace their ancestry to cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria also attract considerable interest as platforms for "green" biotechnology and biofuels. To explore the molecular basis of their different phenotypes and biochemical capabilities, we sequenced the genomes of 54 phylogenetically and phenotypically diverse cyanobacterial strains. Comparison of cyanobacterial genomes reveals the molecular basis for many aspects of cyanobacterial ecophysiological diversity, as well as the convergence of complex morphologies without the acquisition of novel proteins. This phylum-wide study highlights the benefits of diversity-driven genome sequencing, identifying more than 21,000 cyanobacterial proteins with no detectable similarity to known proteins, and foregrounds the diversity of light-harvesting proteins and gene clusters for secondary metabolite biosynthesis. Additionally, our results provide insight into the distribution of genes of cyanobacterial origin in eukaryotic nuclear genomes. Moreover, this study doubles both the amount and the phylogenetic diversity of cyanobacterial genome sequence data. Given the exponentially growing number of sequenced genomes, this diversity-driven study demonstrates the perspective gained by comparing disparate yet related genomes in a phylum-wide context and the insights that are gained from it.

  18. Behavioral economics: reunifying psychology and economics.

    PubMed

    Camerer, C

    1999-09-14

    "Behavioral economics" improves the realism of the psychological assumptions underlying economic theory, promising to reunify psychology and economics in the process. Reunification should lead to better predictions about economic behavior and better policy prescriptions.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Richard E. Waryasz; Gregory N. Liljedahl

    2004-09-08

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

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

    PubMed

    Schulz-Mirbach, Tanja; Ladich, Friedrich

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Improving a web-based employability intervention for work-disabled employees: results of a pilot economic evaluation.

    PubMed

    Noben, Cindy; Evers, Silvia; Genabeek, Joost van; Nijhuis, Frans; de Rijk, Angelique

    2016-01-23

    Purpose The purpose of this study is to improve web-based employability interventions for employees with work-related health problems for both intervention content and study design by means of a pilot economic evaluation. Methods Uptake rate analysis for the intervention elements, cost effectiveness, cost utility and subgroup analyses were conducted to identify potential content-related intervention improvements. Differences in work ability and quality-adjusted life years and overall contribution of resource items to the total costs were assessed. These were used to guide study design improvements. Results Sixty-three participants were a-select allocated to either the intervention (n = 29) or the control (n = 34) group. Uptake regarding the intervention elements ranged between 3% and 70%. Cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analyses resulted in negative effects although higher total costs. Incremental effects were marginal (work ability -0.51; QALY -0.01). Conclusions The web-based tool to enhance employability among work disabled employees requires improvements regarding targeting and intensity; outcome measures selected and collection of cost data. With respect to the studies of disability and rehabilitation, the findings and methods presented in this pilot economic evaluation could guide the assessment of future assistive "e-health" technologies. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION The methods presented in this pilot economic evaluation have large potentials to guide the assessment of future assistive e-health technologies addressing work-disabilities. The findings show that the web-based tool requires content related improvements with respect to targeting and intensity to enhance employability among work disabled employees. The findings show that the web-based tool would benefit from improvements related to the study design by more adequately selecting and collecting both outcome measures and cost data. The burden attributable to large-scale studies and

  2. An Unbiased Estimator of Gene Diversity with Improved Variance for Samples Containing Related and Inbred Individuals of any Ploidy.

    PubMed

    Harris, Alexandre M; DeGiorgio, Michael

    2017-02-09

    Gene diversity, or expected heterozygosity (H), is a common statistic for assessing genetic variation within populations. Estimation of this statistic decreases in accuracy and precision when individuals are related or inbred, due to increased dependence among allele copies in the sample. The original unbiased estimator of expected heterozygosity underestimates true population diversity in samples containing relatives, as it only accounts for sample size. More recently, a general unbiased estimator of expected heterozygosity was developed that explicitly accounts for related and inbred individuals in samples. Though unbiased, this estimator's variance is greater than that of the original estimator. To address this issue, we introduce a general unbiased estimator of gene diversity for samples containing related or inbred individuals, which employs the best linear unbiased estimator of allele frequencies, rather than the commonly used sample proportion. We examine the properties of this estimator, [Formula: see text] relative to alternative estimators using simulations and theoretical predictions, and show that it predominantly has the smallest mean squared error relative to others. Further, we empirically assess the performance of [Formula: see text] on a global human microsatellite dataset of 5795 individuals, from 267 populations, genotyped at 645 loci. Additionally, we show that the improved variance of [Formula: see text] leads to improved estimates of the population differentiation statistic, [Formula: see text] which employs measures of gene diversity within its calculation. Finally, we provide an R script, BestHet, to compute this estimator from genomic and pedigree data.

  3. An Unbiased Estimator of Gene Diversity with Improved Variance for Samples Containing Related and Inbred Individuals of any Ploidy

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Alexandre M.; DeGiorgio, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Gene diversity, or expected heterozygosity (H), is a common statistic for assessing genetic variation within populations. Estimation of this statistic decreases in accuracy and precision when individuals are related or inbred, due to increased dependence among allele copies in the sample. The original unbiased estimator of expected heterozygosity underestimates true population diversity in samples containing relatives, as it only accounts for sample size. More recently, a general unbiased estimator of expected heterozygosity was developed that explicitly accounts for related and inbred individuals in samples. Though unbiased, this estimator’s variance is greater than that of the original estimator. To address this issue, we introduce a general unbiased estimator of gene diversity for samples containing related or inbred individuals, which employs the best linear unbiased estimator of allele frequencies, rather than the commonly used sample proportion. We examine the properties of this estimator, H∼BLUE, relative to alternative estimators using simulations and theoretical predictions, and show that it predominantly has the smallest mean squared error relative to others. Further, we empirically assess the performance of H∼BLUE on a global human microsatellite dataset of 5795 individuals, from 267 populations, genotyped at 645 loci. Additionally, we show that the improved variance of H∼BLUE leads to improved estimates of the population differentiation statistic, FST, which employs measures of gene diversity within its calculation. Finally, we provide an R script, BestHet, to compute this estimator from genomic and pedigree data. PMID:28040781

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2012-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Improving models of democracy: the example of lagged effects of economic development, education, and gender equality.

    PubMed

    Balaev, Mikhail

    2014-07-01

    The author examines how time delayed effects of economic development, education, and gender equality influence political democracy. Literature review shows inadequate understanding of lagged effects, which raises methodological and theoretical issues with the current quantitative studies of democracy. Using country-years as a unit of analysis, the author estimates a series of OLS PCSE models for each predictor with a systematic analysis of the distributions of the lagged effects. The second set of multiple OLS PCSE regressions are estimated including all three independent variables. The results show that economic development, education, and gender have three unique trajectories of the time-delayed effects: Economic development has long-term effects, education produces continuous effects regardless of the timing, and gender equality has the most prominent immediate and short term effects. The results call for the reassessment of model specifications and theoretical setups in the quantitative studies of democracy.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Dinesh Agrawal; Paul Gigl; Mahlon Dennis

    2006-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Birdi, Tannaz J.; Shah, Shimoni U.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bennett, Jill E.; Sekaquaptewa, Denise

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lambert, Julie; Ariza, Eileen N. Whelan

    2008-01-01

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

  11. An improved empirical model for diversity gain on Earth-space propagation paths

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hodge, D. B.

    1981-01-01

    An empirical model was generated to estimate diversity gain on Earth-space propagation paths as a function of Earth terminal separation distance, link frequency, elevation angle, and angle between the baseline and the path azimuth. The resulting model reproduces the entire experimental data set with an RMS error of 0.73 dB.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Is an Intervention Program Necessary in Order to Improve Economically Disadvantaged Children's IQ Scores?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zigler, Edward; And Others

    1982-01-01

    The hypothesis was investigated that alleviation of negative motivational factors underlies much of the 10-point IQ increase commonly found in economically disadvantaged children's performance following a preschool intervention program. Head Start and non-Head Start groups were tested on IQ and motivational measures three times before and during…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haynes, Deborah C.; Chinadle, Nicole

    2007-01-01

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

  17. Plate-based diversity subset screening generation 2: an improved paradigm for high-throughput screening of large compound files.

    PubMed

    Bell, Andrew S; Bradley, Joseph; Everett, Jeremy R; Loesel, Jens; McLoughlin, David; Mills, James; Peakman, Marie-Claire; Sharp, Robert E; Williams, Christine; Zhu, Hongyao

    2016-11-01

    High-throughput screening (HTS) is an effective method for lead and probe discovery that is widely used in industry and academia to identify novel chemical matter and to initiate the drug discovery process. However, HTS can be time consuming and costly and the use of subsets as an efficient alternative to screening entire compound collections has been investigated. Subsets may be selected on the basis of chemical diversity, molecular properties, biological activity diversity or biological target focus. Previously, we described a novel form of subset screening: plate-based diversity subset (PBDS) screening, in which the screening subset is constructed by plate selection (rather than individual compound cherry-picking), using algorithms that select for compound quality and chemical diversity on a plate basis. In this paper, we describe a second-generation approach to the construction of an updated subset: PBDS2, using both plate and individual compound selection, that has an improved coverage of the chemical space of the screening file, whilst only selecting the same number of plates for screening. We describe the validation of PBDS2 and its successful use in hit and lead discovery. PBDS2 screening became the default mode of singleton (one compound per well) HTS for lead discovery in Pfizer.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crane, R. K.

    1982-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Jian; Li, Meizhen; Lin, Senjie

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Yuan, Jian; Li, Meizhen; Lin, Senjie

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Murphy, Kevin M; Topel, Robert H

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tripathi, Nagendra; Peek, Edgar; Stroud, Milton

    2011-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Greenspan, Ehud

    2015-11-04

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Sugden, Nicole A.; Moulson, Margaret C.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sugden, Nicole A; Moulson, Margaret C

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Incorporating 16S gene copy number information improves estimates of microbial diversity and abundance.

    PubMed

    Kembel, Steven W; Wu, Martin; Eisen, Jonathan A; Green, Jessica L

    2012-01-01

    The abundance of different SSU rRNA ("16S") gene sequences in environmental samples is widely used in studies of microbial ecology as a measure of microbial community structure and diversity. However, the genomic copy number of the 16S gene varies greatly - from one in many species to up to 15 in some bacteria and to hundreds in some microbial eukaryotes. As a result of this variation the relative abundance of 16S genes in environmental samples can be attributed both to variation in the relative abundance of different organisms, and to variation in genomic 16S copy number among those organisms. Despite this fact, many studies assume that the abundance of 16S gene sequences is a surrogate measure of the relative abundance of the organisms containing those sequences. Here we present a method that uses data on sequences and genomic copy number of 16S genes along with phylogenetic placement and ancestral state estimation to estimate organismal abundances from environmental DNA sequence data. We use theory and simulations to demonstrate that 16S genomic copy number can be accurately estimated from the short reads typically obtained from high-throughput environmental sequencing of the 16S gene, and that organismal abundances in microbial communities are more strongly correlated with estimated abundances obtained from our method than with gene abundances. We re-analyze several published empirical data sets and demonstrate that the use of gene abundance versus estimated organismal abundance can lead to different inferences about community diversity and structure and the identity of the dominant taxa in microbial communities. Our approach will allow microbial ecologists to make more accurate inferences about microbial diversity and abundance based on 16S sequence data.

  8. A Guide for Determining Which Teaching Methodology to Utilize in Economic Education: Trying to Improve How Economic Information Is Communicated to Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wentland, Daniel

    2004-01-01

    In this article, a practical framework for classifying various economic education teaching methodologies is established. This framework contributes to the literature regarding economic education by fostering a better understanding of how various teaching methodologies fit within the scope of economic education while also providing educators with…

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Simultaneous modeling of visual saliency and value computation improves predictions of economic choice.

    PubMed

    Towal, R Blythe; Mormann, Milica; Koch, Christof

    2013-10-01

    Many decisions we make require visually identifying and evaluating numerous alternatives quickly. These usually vary in reward, or value, and in low-level visual properties, such as saliency. Both saliency and value influence the final decision. In particular, saliency affects fixation locations and durations, which are predictive of choices. However, it is unknown how saliency propagates to the final decision. Moreover, the relative influence of saliency and value is unclear. Here we address these questions with an integrated model that combines a perceptual decision process about where and when to look with an economic decision process about what to choose. The perceptual decision process is modeled as a drift-diffusion model (DDM) process for each alternative. Using psychophysical data from a multiple-alternative, forced-choice task, in which subjects have to pick one food item from a crowded display via eye movements, we test four models where each DDM process is driven by (i) saliency or (ii) value alone or (iii) an additive or (iv) a multiplicative combination of both. We find that models including both saliency and value weighted in a one-third to two-thirds ratio (saliency-to-value) significantly outperform models based on either quantity alone. These eye fixation patterns modulate an economic decision process, also described as a DDM process driven by value. Our combined model quantitatively explains fixation patterns and choices with similar or better accuracy than previous models, suggesting that visual saliency has a smaller, but significant, influence than value and that saliency affects choices indirectly through perceptual decisions that modulate economic decisions.

  13. Simultaneous modeling of visual saliency and value computation improves predictions of economic choice

    PubMed Central

    Towal, R. Blythe; Mormann, Milica; Koch, Christof

    2013-01-01

    Many decisions we make require visually identifying and evaluating numerous alternatives quickly. These usually vary in reward, or value, and in low-level visual properties, such as saliency. Both saliency and value influence the final decision. In particular, saliency affects fixation locations and durations, which are predictive of choices. However, it is unknown how saliency propagates to the final decision. Moreover, the relative influence of saliency and value is unclear. Here we address these questions with an integrated model that combines a perceptual decision process about where and when to look with an economic decision process about what to choose. The perceptual decision process is modeled as a drift–diffusion model (DDM) process for each alternative. Using psychophysical data from a multiple-alternative, forced-choice task, in which subjects have to pick one food item from a crowded display via eye movements, we test four models where each DDM process is driven by (i) saliency or (ii) value alone or (iii) an additive or (iv) a multiplicative combination of both. We find that models including both saliency and value weighted in a one-third to two-thirds ratio (saliency-to-value) significantly outperform models based on either quantity alone. These eye fixation patterns modulate an economic decision process, also described as a DDM process driven by value. Our combined model quantitatively explains fixation patterns and choices with similar or better accuracy than previous models, suggesting that visual saliency has a smaller, but significant, influence than value and that saliency affects choices indirectly through perceptual decisions that modulate economic decisions. PMID:24019496

  14. Economic impact of breast-feeding-associated improvements of childhood cognitive development, based on data from the ALSPAC.

    PubMed

    Straub, Niels; Grunert, Philipp; Northstone, Kate; Emmett, Pauline

    2016-01-22

    The aim of this study was to assess the economic benefits of improved cognitive development related to being breast-fed. Breast-feeding rates were assessed in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Educational attainment was assessed at age 16 years with higher attainment defined as gaining five General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) passes at a high grade. The economic benefit of being breast-fed was calculated in a decision model using a child's educational attainment and the corresponding expected value of average income in later life. There was a positive association between being breast-fed and achieving higher educational attainment, which remained significant, after adjustment for possible confounders: being breast-fed £33·6 million over the working life of the cohort. Therefore, breast-feeding promotion is likely to be highly cost-effective and policymakers should take this into consideration.

  15. Molecular approaches for genetic improvement of seed quality and characterization of genetic diversity in soybean: a critical review.

    PubMed

    Tripathi, Niraj; Khare, Dhirendra

    2016-10-01

    Soybean is an economically important leguminous crop. Genetic improvements of soybeans have focused on enhancement of seed and oil yield, development of varieties suited to different cropping systems, and breeding resistant/tolerant varieties for various biotic and abiotic stresses. Plant breeders have used conventional breeding techniques for the improvement of these traits in soybean. The conventional breeding process can be greatly accelerated through the application of molecular and genomic approaches. Molecular markers have proved to be a new tool in soybean breeding by enhancing selection efficiency in a rapid and time-bound manner. An overview of molecular approaches for the genetic improvement of soybean seed quality parameters, considering recent applications of marker-assisted selection and 'omics' research, is provided in this article.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carey, David

    2007-01-01

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

  17. Progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis: A case with improvement in liver tests and growth following partial external biliary diversion.

    PubMed

    Koshy, Abraham; Ramesh, Hariharan; Mahadevan, Pushpa; Mukkada, Roy Joykutty; Francis, Vadukkoot Jose; Chettupuzha, Antony Paul; Mathew, Pradeep George; Cyriac, Johny; Augustine, Philip

    2009-01-01

    A 2(1/2)-year-old boy presented with pruritus and jaundice of 2 weeks duration. On investigation, serum total bilirubin was 23.4 mg/dL and gamma glutamyl transpeptidase was normal. Liver biopsy was consistent with progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC). A partial external biliary diversion (PEBD) was done. Pruritus disappeared, growth improved and serum total bilirubin became normal, 2 months after surgery. This is the first report from India, of PFIC treated with PEBD and suggests that PEBD should be considered in patients with PFIC even if bridging fibrosis is present.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

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

  19. Paramagnetic cellulose DNA isolation improves DNA yield and quality among diverse plant taxa1

    PubMed Central

    Moeller, Jackson R.; Moehn, Nicholas R.; Waller, Donald M.; Givnish, Thomas J.

    2014-01-01

    • Premise of the study: The chemical diversity of land plants ensures that no single DNA isolation method results in high yield and purity with little effort for all species. Here we evaluate a new technique originally developed for forensic science, based on MagnaCel paramagnetic cellulose particles (PMC), to determine its efficacy in extracting DNA from 25 plant species representing 21 families and 15 orders. • Methods and Results: Yield and purity of DNA isolated by PMC, DNeasy Plant Mini Kit (silica column), and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) methods were compared among four individuals for each of 25 plant species. PMC gave a twofold advantage in average yield, and the relative advantage of the PMC method was greatest for samples with the lowest DNA yields. PMC also produced more consistent sample purity based on absorbance ratios at 260:280 and 260:230 nm. • Conclusions: PMC technology is a promising alternative for plant DNA isolation. PMID:25309836

  20. Sentencing diversion programs for A&D--improving their imperiled future.

    PubMed

    Solursh, L P; Solursh, D S

    1996-01-01

    Self-proclaimed U.S. "Conservatives" have become much more forceful in attacking all government social support programs, including cost-reducing sentencing diversion programs, as failing to unambiguously reduce conveniently assigned behavioral parameters or other behavior assumed to be causally related. Public anxiety and continuing need to feel "something is being done" is thus manipulated to divert anger away from the elected officials' understandable inability to solve complex, multifactorial problems. Several cases will illustrate how court-mandated attendance in Alcohol and Drug programs might better identify and respond to the frequent concerns by this population, about sexual dysfunction and/or high or high risk behaviors, hopefully promoting client/patient involvement in the process of treatment and potential change.

  1. Tracking POD's Engagement with Diversity: A Content Analysis of "To Improve the Academy" and POD Network Conference Programs from 1977 to 2011

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grooters, Stacy E.

    2014-01-01

    This study examines the degree to which sessions from the annual Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network Conference and articles from "To Improve the Academy" engage questions of diversity. The titles and abstracts of 3,946 conference sessions and 560 journal articles were coded for presence and type of diversity. A…

  2. The behavioralist as nutritionist: leveraging behavioral economics to improve child food choice and consumption.

    PubMed

    List, John A; Samek, Anya Savikhin

    2015-01-01

    We leverage behavioral economics to explore new approaches to tackling child food choice and consumption. Using a field experiment with >1500 children, we report several key insights. We find that incentives have large influences: in the control, 17% of children prefer the healthy snack, whereas introduction of small incentives increases take-up of the healthy snack to ∼75%. There is some evidence that the effects continue post-treatment, consistent with a model of habit formation. We find little evidence that the framing of incentives (loss vs. gain) matters. Educational messaging alone has little effect, but we observe a combined effect of messaging and incentives: together they provide an important influence on food choice.

  3. Centralization of dairy farming facilities for improved economics and environmental quality.

    PubMed

    Inaba, Rokuta; Furuichi, Tohru; Komatsu, Toshihiro; Tanikawa, Noboru; Ishii, Kazuei

    2009-01-01

    In Japan, most farm animal excreta has been stored directly on farmland. Runoff from this storage has often caused water pollution. Biogasification is anticipated as an important technology to manage excreta properly, but complex problems hinder its introduction. Economic aspects of management have been especially difficult for dairy farmers. For this study, structural problems regarding introduction of biogasification into dairy farming were identified. Subsequently, a desirable system of dairy farming including biogasification was suggested, and an evaluation model of the financial balance was constructed. A case study using current financial balances of several systems of dairy farming was evaluated using the constructed model and actual data. The systems were based on several policy alternatives including the suggested system mentioned above. Results show that a farmer can obtain sufficient income from a system featuring centralization of dairy housing and biogasification facilities and coordinated management by over six farmers.

  4. A Linear Programing Economic Analysis of Lake Quality Improvements Using Phosphorus Buffer Curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogg, Clayton W.; Pionke, Harry B.; Heimlich, Ralph E.

    1983-02-01

    A linear programing model is used to evaluate the economic feasibility of reducing phosphorus loads from cropland to levels that are expected to alter adequately the trophic conditions of a water supply reservoir. The model employs phosphorus buffer curves for distributing phosphorus losses between runoff and eroded soil. Phosphorus pollution reductions are estimated for conservation activities according to the amount of erosion control and phosphorus fertility status. The planning model is intended to provide the best available estimates of pollution control attainable with given budget outlays, as well as to allocate pollution control funds efficiently among watersheds. It also contains sufficient detail to suggest practices for each local soil that are consistent with water quality plans.

  5. Exploration of genetic and phenotypic diversity within Saccharomyces uvarum for driving strain improvement in winemaking.

    PubMed

    Verspohl, Alexandra; Solieri, Lisa; Giudici, Paolo

    2017-03-01

    The selection and genetic improvement of wine yeast is an ongoing process, since yeast strains should match new technologies in winemaking to satisfy evolving consumer preferences. A large genetic background is the necessary starting point for any genetic improvement programme. For this reason, we collected and characterized a large number of strains belonging to Saccharomyces uvarum. In particular, 70 strains were isolated from cold-stored must samples: they were identified and compared to S. uvarum strains originating from different collections, regarding fermentation profile, spore viability and stress response. The results demonstrate a large biodiversity among the new isolates, with particular emphasis to fermentation performances, genotypes and high spore viability, making the isolates suitable for further genetic improvement programmes. Furthermore, few of them are competitive with Saccharomyces cerevisiae and per se, suitable for wine fermentation, due to their resistance to stress, short lag phase and fermentation by-products.

  6. How to reconcile environmental and economic performance to improve corporate sustainability: corporate environmental strategies in the European paper industry.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Marcus

    2005-07-01

    This paper discusses the relationship between environmental and economic performance and the influence of corporate strategies with regard to sustainability and the environment. After formulating a theoretical model, results are reported from an empirical analysis of the European paper manufacturing industry. New data are used to test hypotheses derived from the theoretical model, using environmental performance indices representing different corporate environmental strategy orientations. In particular, an emissions-based index largely reflecting end-of-pipe strategies and an inputs-based index reflecting integrated pollution prevention are distinguished. For the emissions-based index, a predominantly negative relationship between environmental and economic performance is found, whereas for the inputs-based index no significant link is found. This is consistent with the theoretical model, which predicts the possibility of different relationships. The results also show that for firms with pollution prevention-oriented corporate environmental strategies, the relationship between environmental and economic performance is more positive, thus making improvements in corporate sustainability more likely. Based on this last insight, managerial implications of this are discussed with regard to strategy choices, investment decisions and operations management.

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

    PubMed

    Vaughn, Justin N; Li, Zenglu

    2016-09-08

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

  8. Behavioral economics: Reunifying psychology and economics

    PubMed Central

    Camerer, Colin

    1999-01-01

    “Behavioral economics” improves the realism of the psychological assumptions underlying economic theory, promising to reunify psychology and economics in the process. Reunification should lead to better predictions about economic behavior and better policy prescriptions. PMID:10485865

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. A Community Engagement Symposium to Prevent and Improve Stroke Outcomes in Diverse Communities

    PubMed Central

    Bharmal, Nazleen; Lucas-Wright, Anna “Aziza”; Vassar, Stefanie D.; Jones, Felica; Jones, Loretta; Wells, Rebekah; Cienega, Jason; Brown, Arleen F.

    2016-01-01

    Background Racial/ethnic minorities have a higher burden of stroke, but lower awareness and understanding of stroke and its risk factors. Our community–academic collaborative hosted a symposium in South Los Angeles to increase awareness about stroke, provide information on the Los Angeles Stroke Intervention and Research Program (SPIRP), and facilitate bidirectional communication between researchers and community stakeholders. Objectives We discuss our partnered approach to increase stroke awareness, elicit community perspectives and perceptions about stroke prevention and research participation, and increase community involvement in research using a community engagement symposium (CES). Methods We used a community-partnered participatory research (CPPR) conference framework to guide symposium planning, implementation and analysis. The morning session included clinical lectures, a panel of researchers describing LA SPIRP, and a panel presentation by stroke caregivers and survivors. In afternoon breakout sessions, attendees identified 1) community-based strategies to prevent stroke and 2) methods to increase recruitment of diverse populations in stroke research studies. Attendees were surveyed about stroke knowledge before and after the morning session. Data from breakout sessions were analyzed using content analysis and pile sorting to identify themes. Conclusions We found that the CES based on CPPR principles was effective method to increase short-term stroke awareness and stimulate discussion about stroke research among community members and community stakeholders who serve racial/ethnic minorities. PMID:27018364

  11. Improving Area Control Error Diversity Interchange (ADI) Program by Incorporating Congestion Constraints

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, Ning; Etingov, Pavel V.; Makarov, Yuri V.; Guttromson, Ross T.; McManus, Bart

    2010-04-30

    The area control error (ACE) determines how much a balancing authority (BA) needs to move its regulating units to meet mandatory control performance standard requirements. Regulation is an expensive resource that could cost several hundred million dollars a year for a BA. The amount of regulation needed in a system is increasing with more intermittent generation resources added to the system. The ACE diversity interchange (ADI) program provides a tool for reducing the regulation requirement by combining ACEs from several participating BAs followed by sharing the total ACE among all participating balancing areas. The effect is achieved as a result of the low statistical correlation between the original ACEs of participating BAs. A rule-based ADI approach has already been put into practice in the US Western Interconnection. The degree of actual ACE sharing is artificially limited because of the unknown redistribution of power flows and possible system congestion (these factors are not monitored in the existing ADI). This paper proposes a two-step linear programming (LP) ADI approach that incorporates congestion constraints. In the first step of the proposed LP ADI, the line transmission limits are enforced by setting up corresponding constraints. In the second step, the business fairness is pursued. Simulation is performed to compare the properties of the proposed LP ADI and the existing rule-based ADI. Favorable features, such as avoiding line limit violations and increasing the degree of possible ACE sharing, are observed for the proposed LP ADI.

  12. Photosynthesis: ancient, essential, complex, diverse .. and in need of improvement in a changing world

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A challenge to crop improvement is the fact that the photosynthetic process has been fine tuned by billions of years of natural selection, and is subject to deeply rooted genetic controls shaped in the native environments of the crop ancestors. These may be difficult to change and may not be optima...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  14. Improvement of baking quality traits through a diverse soft winter wheat population

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Breeding baking quality improvements into soft winter wheat (SWW) entails crossing lines based on quality traits, assessing new lines, and repeating several times as little is known about the genetics of these traits. Previous research on SWW baking quality focused on quantitative trait locus and ge...

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  17. Template-Directed Instrumentation Reduces Cost and Improves Efficiency for Total Knee Arthroplasty: An Economic Decision Analysis and Pilot Study.

    PubMed

    McLawhorn, Alexander S; Carroll, Kaitlin M; Blevins, Jason L; DeNegre, Scott T; Mayman, David J; Jerabek, Seth A

    2015-10-01

    Template-directed instrumentation (TDI) for total knee arthroplasty (TKA) may streamline operating room (OR) workflow and reduce costs by preselecting implants and minimizing instrument tray burden. A decision model simulated the economics of TDI. Sensitivity analyses determined thresholds for model variables to ensure TDI success. A clinical pilot was reviewed. The accuracy of preoperative templates was validated, and 20 consecutive primary TKAs were performed using TDI. The model determined that preoperative component size estimation should be accurate to ±1 implant size for 50% of TKAs to implement TDI. The pilot showed that preoperative template accuracy exceeded 97%. There were statistically significant improvements in OR turnover time and in-room time for TDI compared to an historical cohort of TKAs. TDI reduces costs and improves OR efficiency.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Economic value of improved quantification in global sources and sinks of carbon dioxide.

    PubMed

    Durant, A J; Le Quéré, C; Hope, C; Friend, A D

    2011-05-28

    On average, about 45 per cent of global annual anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO(2)) emissions remain in the atmosphere, while the remainder are taken up by carbon reservoirs on land and in the oceans-the CO(2) 'sinks'. As sink size and dynamics are highly variable in space and time, cross-verification of reported anthropogenic CO(2) emissions with atmospheric CO(2) measurements is challenging. Highly variable CO(2) sinks also limit the capability to detect anomolous changes in natural carbon reservoirs. This paper argues that significant uncertainty reduction in annual estimates of the global carbon balance could be achieved rapidly through coordinated up-scaling of existing methods, and that this uncertainty reduction would provide incentive for accurate reporting of CO(2) emissions at the country level. We estimate that if 5 per cent of global CO(2) emissions go unreported and undetected, the associated marginal economic impacts could reach approximately US$20 billion each year by 2050. The net present day value of these impacts aggregated until 2200, and discounted back to the present would have a mean value exceeding US$10 trillion. The costs of potential impacts of unreported emissions far outweigh the costs of enhancement of measurement infrastructure to reduce uncertainty in the global carbon balance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. On the tragedy of the commons: When predation and livestock loss may improve the economic lot of herders.

    PubMed

    Skonhoft, Anders; Johannesen, Anne Borge; Olaussen, Jon Olaf

    2017-03-30

    This paper studies the practice of semi-domestic reindeer (Rangifer t. tarandus) herding in Finnmark county in northern Norway. In this area, the Saami reindeer herders compete for space and grazing areas and keep large herds, while at the same time, the reindeer population is heavily exposed to carnivore predation by the lynx (Lynx lynx), the wolverine (Gulo gulo), and the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). It is demonstrated that predation actually may improve the economic lot of livestock holders in this unmanaged local common setting. There are ecological as well as economic reasons as to why this happens. The ecological reason is that predation compensates for natural mortality; that is, increased predation reduces natural mortality, indicating that the net loss due to predation actually may be quite small. When predation reduces livestock density, the feeding conditions of the animals will improve, resulting in increased livestock weight and higher per animal slaughter value. At the same time, a smaller stock reduces the operating costs of the herders.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Workshop: Improving the Assessment and Valuation of Climate Change Impacts for Policy and Regulatory Analysis: Research on Climate Change Impacts and Associated Economic Damages (part 2)

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This is a workshop titled Improving the Assessment and Valuation of Climate Change Impacts for Policy and Regulatory Analysis: Research on Climate Change Impacts and Associated Economic Damages (part 2)

  4. Economic evaluation of mobile phone text message interventions to improve adherence to HIV therapy in Kenya

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Anik R.; Kessler, Jason; Braithwaite, R. Scott; Nucifora, Kimberly A.; Thirumurthy, Harsha; Zhou, Qinlian; Lester, Richard T.; Marra, Carlo A.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Background: A surge in mobile phone availability has fueled low cost short messaging service (SMS) adherence interventions. Multiple systematic reviews have concluded that some SMS-based interventions are effective at improving antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, and they are hypothesized to improve retention in care. The objective of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of SMS-based adherence interventions and explore the added value of retention benefits. Methods: We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of weekly SMS interventions compared to standard care among HIV+ individuals initiating ART for the first time in Kenya. We used an individual level micro-simulation model populated with data from two SMS-intervention trials, an East-African HIV+ cohort and published literature. We estimated average quality adjusted life years (QALY) and lifetime HIV-related costs from a healthcare perspective. We explored a wide range of scenarios and assumptions in one-way and multivariate sensitivity analyses. Results: We found that SMS-based adherence interventions were cost-effective by WHO standards, with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of $1,037/QALY. In the secondary analysis, potential retention benefits improved the cost-effectiveness of SMS intervention (ICER = $864/QALY). In multivariate sensitivity analyses, the interventions remained cost-effective in most analyses, but the ICER was highly sensitive to intervention costs, effectiveness and average cohort CD4 count at ART initiation. SMS interventions remained cost-effective in a test and treat scenario where individuals were assumed to initiate ART upon HIV detection. Conclusions: Effective SMS interventions would likely increase the efficiency of ART programs by improving HIV treatment outcomes at relatively low costs, and they could facilitate achievement of the UNAIDS goal of 90% viral suppression among those on ART by 2020. PMID:28207516

  5. Thinning increases understory diversity and biomass, and improves soil properties without decreasing growth of Chinese fir in southern China.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Lili; Cai, Liping; He, Zongming; Wang, Rongwei; Wu, Pengfei; Ma, Xiangqing

    2016-12-01

    Sustainable forestry requires adopting more ecosystem-informed perspectives. Tree thinning improves forest productivity by encouraging the development of the understory, which in turn improves species diversity and nutrient cycling, thereby altering the ecophysiological environment of the stand. This study aimed to quantify tree growth, understory vegetation, and soil quality of 9- and 16-year-old Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook.) plantations in South China, 1-7 years after pre-commercial thinning. The quadratic mean diameter (QMD) and individual tree volume were greatly increased and compensated for the reduced stand yield in thinned stands. In 2011, the stand volume in unthinned and thinned stands were 276.33 and 226.46 and 251.30 and 243.64 m(3) ha(-1), respectively, for young and middle stage. Therefore, we predicted that over time, the stand volume in thinned stands should exceed that in unthinned stands. The composition, diversity, and biomass of understory vegetation of the plantation monocultures significantly increased after thinning. The effects of thinning management on understory development were dynamic and apparent within 1-2 years post-thinning. Some light-demanding plant species such as Styrax faberi, Callicarpa formosana, Lophatherum gracile, and Gahnia tristis emerged in the shrub and herb layer and became dominant with the larger gaps in the canopy in thinned stands. The trigger effects of thinning management on understory and tree growth were more pronounced in the young stage. The beneficial effects on soil physical and chemical properties were measurable at later stages (7 years after thinning). The strong positive relationship between understory biomass and volume increment (at the tree and stand levels) indicated that understory improvement after thinning did not restrict productivity within Chinese fir stands but rather, benefited soil water content and nutrient status and promoted tree growth.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padula, S.; Harou, J. J.

    2012-12-01

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

  7. Harnessing the hidden genetic diversity for improving multiple abiotic stress tolerance in rice (Oryza sativa L.)

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Yong-Ming; Ma, Xiu-Fang; Meng, Li-Jun; Wang, Ying; Pang, Yun-Long; Guan, Yong-Sheng; Xu, Mei-Rong; Revilleza, Jastin E.; Franje, Neil J.; Zhou, Shao-Chuan; Li, Zhi-Kang

    2017-01-01

    To develop superior rice varieties with improved yield in most rainfed areas of Asia/Africa, we started an introgression-breeding program for simultaneously improving yield and tolerances of multiple abiotic stresses. Using eight BC1 populations derived from a widely adaptable recipient and eight donors plus three rounds of phenotypic selection, we developed 496 introgression lines (ILs) with significantly higher yield under drought, salt and/or non-stress conditions in 5 years. Six new varieties were released in the Philippines and Pakistan and many more are being evaluated in multi-location yield trials for releasing in several countries. Marker-facilitated genetic characterization revealed three interesting aspects of the breeding procedure: (1) the donor introgression pattern in specific BC populations was characteristic; (2) introgression frequency in different genomic regions varied considerably, resulting primarily from strong selection for the target traits; and (3) significantly lower heterozygosity was observed in BC progenies selected for drought and salinity tolerance. Applying strong phenotypic selection under abiotic stresses in early segregating generations has major advantages for not only improving multiple abiotic stress tolerance but also achieving quicker homozygosity in early generations. This breeding procedure can be easily adopted by small breeding programs in developing countries to develop high-yielding varieties tolerant of abiotic stresses. The large set of trait-specific ILs can be used for genetic mapping of genes/QTL that affect target and non-target traits and for efficient varietal development by designed QTL pyramiding and genomics-based recurrent selection in our Green Super Rice breeding technology. PMID:28278154

  8. Harnessing the hidden genetic diversity for improving multiple abiotic stress tolerance in rice (Oryza sativa L.).

    PubMed

    Ali, Jauhar; Xu, Jian-Long; Gao, Yong-Ming; Ma, Xiu-Fang; Meng, Li-Jun; Wang, Ying; Pang, Yun-Long; Guan, Yong-Sheng; Xu, Mei-Rong; Revilleza, Jastin E; Franje, Neil J; Zhou, Shao-Chuan; Li, Zhi-Kang

    2017-01-01

    To develop superior rice varieties with improved yield in most rainfed areas of Asia/Africa, we started an introgression-breeding program for simultaneously improving yield and tolerances of multiple abiotic stresses. Using eight BC1 populations derived from a widely adaptable recipient and eight donors plus three rounds of phenotypic selection, we developed 496 introgression lines (ILs) with significantly higher yield under drought, salt and/or non-stress conditions in 5 years. Six new varieties were released in the Philippines and Pakistan and many more are being evaluated in multi-location yield trials for releasing in several countries. Marker-facilitated genetic characterization revealed three interesting aspects of the breeding procedure: (1) the donor introgression pattern in specific BC populations was characteristic; (2) introgression frequency in different genomic regions varied considerably, resulting primarily from strong selection for the target traits; and (3) significantly lower heterozygosity was observed in BC progenies selected for drought and salinity tolerance. Applying strong phenotypic selection under abiotic stresses in early segregating generations has major advantages for not only improving multiple abiotic stress tolerance but also achieving quicker homozygosity in early generations. This breeding procedure can be easily adopted by small breeding programs in developing countries to develop high-yielding varieties tolerant of abiotic stresses. The large set of trait-specific ILs can be used for genetic mapping of genes/QTL that affect target and non-target traits and for efficient varietal development by designed QTL pyramiding and genomics-based recurrent selection in our Green Super Rice breeding technology.

  9. During economic crisis can sleep questionnaires improve the value of oximetry for assessing sleep apnea?

    PubMed Central

    Pataka, Athanasia; Hohenforst-Schmidt, Wolfgang; Tsiouda, Theodora; Tsavlis, Drosos; Kioumis, Ioannis; Papakala, Elene; Karapantzos, Ilias; Karapantzou, Chrysa; Rapti, Aggeliki; Tsakiridis, Kosmas; Zarogoulidis, Konstantinos; Argyropoulou, Parakevi

    2016-01-01

    Background The diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) is essential but polysomnography (PSG) is expensive and time consuming. Oximetry has been used as a less expensive indicator of OSAHS. The aim of the study was to evaluate the clinical utility of the combination of oximetry with four different questionnaires: Stop, Stop Bang (S-B), Berlin questionnaire (BQ), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) in order to identify patients at risk for OSAHS compared with in-laboratory PSG. Methods Patients visiting a sleep clinic were prospectively studied. They completed Stop, S-B, BQ and ESS. Home oximetry and in laboratory PSG were performed within 3–20 days. Results A total of 204 patients were included in the study (77.5% males, mean age 51.8±13.8 years, BMI 32.8±6.2 kg/m2, SaO2% awake 95.7±2). S-B had the highest sensitivity (Se) (97.5%) and negative predictive value (NPV) (62.5%) but the lowest specificity (Sp) (9%), whereas ESS had the best Sp (75%) and positive predictive values (PPV) (81.4%). The predictive values of questionnaires improved as the severity of OSAHS worsened. The predictive values of oximetry were high for severe but low for mild and moderate OSAHS. For that oximetry was combined with different sleep questionnaires in different OSAHS severity groups, but with no improvement in the predictive values. Conclusions Oximetry may be used as a tool for identifying severe OSAHS. For mild and moderate disease the combination of questionnaires did not improve the diagnostic accuracy and especially for symptomatic patients with negative results, the need of PSG is essential. PMID:27999777

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olds, John R.; Tooley, Jeffrey

    1999-01-01

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

  11. Economic analysis of a randomized trial of academic detailing interventions to improve use of antihypertensive medications.

    PubMed

    Simon, Steven R; Rodriguez, Hector P; Majumdar, Sumit R; Kleinman, Ken; Warner, Cheryl; Salem-Schatz, Susanne; Miroshnik, Irina; Soumerai, Stephen B; Prosser, Lisa A

    2007-01-01

    The authors estimated the costs and cost savings of implementing a program of mailed practice guidelines and single-visit individual and group academic detailing interventions in a randomized controlled trial to improve the use of antihypertensive medications. Analyses took the perspective of the payer. The total costs of the mailed guideline, group detailing, and individual detailing interventions were estimated at 1000 dollars, 5500 dollars, and 7200 dollars, respectively, corresponding to changes in the average daily per person drug costs of -0.0558 dollars (95% confidence interval, -0.1365 dollars to 0.0250 dollars) in the individual detailing intervention and -0.0001 dollars (95% confidence interval, -0.0803 dollars to 0.0801 dollars) in the group detailing intervention, compared with the mailed intervention. For all patients with incident hypertension in the individual detailing arm, the annual total drug cost savings were estimated at 21,711 dollars (95% confidence interval, 53,131 dollars savings to 9709 dollars cost increase). Information on costs of academic detailing could assist with health plan decision making in developing interventions to improve prescribing.

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. An improved multi-objective optimization model for supporting reservoir operation of China's South-to-North Water Diversion Project.

    PubMed

    Li, Yangyang; Cui, Quan; Li, Chunhui; Wang, Xuan; Cai, Yanpeng; Cui, Guannan; Yang, Zhifeng

    2017-01-01

    An improved multi-objective optimization model based on goal programming (GP) for supporting reservoir operation was developed under inflow senarios of multiple runoff guarantee rates (i.e., 25%, 75%, perennial mean, and 95%) and ecological goals with the combination of steady- and pulse-state ecological water demands. Under these four scenarios, discharge flows of Danjingkou Reservoir would be 358.40, 369.67, 268.91 and 98.14×10(8)m(3)/a, and those at Taocha Canal headwork would be 104.61, 86.62, 95.08 and 64.00×10(8)m(3)/a, respectively. The generated results for stream flows could successfully meet the predetermined operational goals for the project. Comparatively, under the scenario of 95% runoff guarantee rate, the obtained strategies could not satisfy the ecological water demands. The modeling results indicated that the capacity of water diversion and storage for Danjiangkou Reservoir would be enhanced due to the operation of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project. The results showed the risks associated with possible flooding would be comparatively low under those four runoff guarantee rates. This represents the current priority for flood control in Danjiangkou Reservoir needs to be changed into multiple ones including ecological water supply, water transfer, as well as downstream water security maintenance.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-05-01

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

  16. Applying hyperspectral imaging to explore natural plant diversity towards improving salt stress tolerance.

    PubMed

    Sytar, Oksana; Brestic, Marian; Zivcak, Marek; Olsovska, Katarina; Kovar, Marek; Shao, Hongbo; He, Xiaolan

    2017-02-01

    Salinity represents an abiotic stress constraint affecting growth and productivity of plants in many regions of the world. One of the possible solutions is to improve the level of salt resistance using natural genetic variability within crop species. In the context of recent knowledge on salt stress effects and mechanisms of salt tolerance, this review present useful phenomic approach employing different non-invasive imaging systems for detection of quantitative and qualitative changes caused by salt stress at the plant and canopy level. The focus is put on hyperspectral imaging technique, which provides unique opportunities for fast and reliable estimate of numerous characteristics associated both with various structural, biochemical and physiological traits. The method also provides possibilities to combine plant and canopy analyses with a direct determination of salinity in soil. The future perspectives in salt stress applications as well as some limits of the method are also identified.

  17. Water-alternating-steam process improves project economics at West Coalinga field

    SciTech Connect

    Hong, K.C.; Stevens, C.E. )

    1992-11-01

    This paper reports on the water-alternating-steam process (WASP) applied to vertical expansion (VE) sands in the pilot area of Section 13D, West Coalinga field to stop wasteful steam production and to improve vertical conformance of injected steam. Before the WASP application, steam breakthrough in the VE sands caused well sanding, cutting of downhole tubulars, and high-temperature-fluid handling problems. To alleviate these problems, pumps had to be raised in five wells and one well had to be shut in, reducing oil production from the VE sands and the lower waterflooded zones. A WASP field test, based on a numerical simulation study, was implemented in July 1988 with alternating slugs of water and steam, each injected over 4 months. The WASP eliminated steam production, allowing the pumps to be lowered and the one shut-in well to return to production.

  18. Wheat forecast economics effect study. [value of improved information on crop inventories, production, imports and exports

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mehra, R. K.; Rouhani, R.; Jones, S.; Schick, I.

    1980-01-01

    A model to assess the value of improved information regarding the inventories, productions, exports, and imports of crop on a worldwide basis is discussed. A previously proposed model is interpreted in a stochastic control setting and the underlying assumptions of the model are revealed. In solving the stochastic optimization problem, the Markov programming approach is much more powerful and exact as compared to the dynamic programming-simulation approach of the original model. The convergence of a dual variable Markov programming algorithm is shown to be fast and efficient. A computer program for the general model of multicountry-multiperiod is developed. As an example, the case of one country-two periods is treated and the results are presented in detail. A comparison with the original model results reveals certain interesting aspects of the algorithms and the dependence of the value of information on the incremental cost function.

  19. Could Transparency Bring Economic Diversity?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kahlenberg, Richard D.

    2007-01-01

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

  20. Estimates of genetic parameters and selection strategies to improve the economic efficiency of postweaning growth in lambs.

    PubMed

    Snowder, G D; Van Vleck, L D

    2003-11-01

    The objectives of this study were to estimate (co)variance components for growth and feed efficiency measures, and to compare selection strategies to improve economic efficiency of gain. Variance components for pre- and postweaning growth, body weight, and measures of feed efficiency were estimated from data collected on 1,047 Targhee lambs over 7 yr. Approximately 21 d after weaning, lambs were group-fed for 4 wk, with ad libitum access to a diet of 37% whole barley grain and 63% pelleted alfalfa hay. Lambs were then individually fed for 6 wk. Lambs were then returned to group feeding for another 4-wk period. The mean feed conversion ratio (gain/intake) for the individual feeding period was 0.11. Mean postweaning ADG for the total 14-wk feeding period was 0.26 kg. (Co)variance components were estimated from single- and two-trait animal models using REML. The selection strategies compared included direct selection, index selection, and restricted index selection. Estimates of (co)variances derived from single- and two-trait models were similar, except for mid-test body weight. Preweaning growth had a low heritability estimate (0.03 +/- 0.04) compared with postweaning growth measures (0.25 to 0.39), but all measures of growth were highly correlated (r2 > 0.98). Heritability estimates of measures of gain efficiency were variable (total feed intake = 0.39; feed conversion ratio = 0.26; residual feed intake = 0.26). Total feed intake was strongly correlated genetically with feed conversion ratio (0.79) and residual feed intake (0.77). The estimate of genetic correlation between feed conversion ratio and residual feed intake was low (0.23). Comparison of selection strategies showed the superiority of index selection (ADG, total feed, body weight) for economic improvement compared with other strategies. Economic response to direct selection for ADG was at least twice that for direct selection for feed conversion ratio or against total feed intake, and that for restricted

  1. Farm-economic analysis of reducing antimicrobial use whilst adopting improved management strategies on farrow-to-finish pig farms.

    PubMed

    Rojo-Gimeno, Cristina; Postma, Merel; Dewulf, Jeroen; Hogeveen, Henk; Lauwers, Ludwig; Wauters, Erwin

    2016-07-01

    Due to increasing public health concerns that food animals could be reservoirs for antibiotic resistant organisms, calls for reduced current antibiotic use on farms are growing. Nevertheless, it is challenging for farmers to perform this reduction without negatively affecting technical and economic performance. As an alternative, improved management practices based on biosecurity and vaccinations have been proven useful to reduce antimicrobial use without lowering productivity, but issues with insufficient experimental design possibilities have hindered economic analysis. In the present study a quasi-experimental approach was used for assessing the economic impact of reduction of antimicrobial use coupled with improved management strategies, particularly biosecurity strategies. The research was performed on farrow-to-finish pig farms in Flanders (northern region of Belgium). First, to account for technological progress and to avoid selection bias, propensity score analysis was used to compare data on technical parameters. The treatment group (n=48) participated in an intervention study whose aim was to improve management practices to reduce the need for use of antimicrobials. Before and after the change in management, data were collected on the technical parameters, biosecurity status, antimicrobial use, and vaccinations. Treated farms were matched without replacement with control farms (n=69), obtained from the Farm Accountancy Data Network, to estimate the difference in differences (DID) of the technical parameters. Second, the technical parameters' DID, together with the estimated costs of the management intervention and the price volatility of the feed, meat of the finisher pigs, and piglets served as a basis for modelling the profit of 11 virtual farrow-to-finish pig farms representative of the Flemish sector. Costs incurred by new biosecurity measures (median +€3.96/sow/year), and new vaccinations (median €0.00/sow/year) did not exceed the cost reduction

  2. [On the need to improve the system for the prevention of falsification of food products in the Eurasian Economic Union].

    PubMed

    Arnautov, O V; Bagryantseva, O V; Bessonov, V V

    2016-01-01

    Adulteration of food is misleading consumers about the composition of foods in order to obtain economic benefits. Olive oil, wine and other alcoholic beverages, spices, tea, fish, honey, milk and dairy products, meat products, cereal products, beverages based on fruit juices, spices, coffee are falsified with the highest frequency. In addition, sufficient data on the frequency of adulterated food products are missing not only in Russia but also in the developed countries. This is because the purpose of the manufacturer and distributors of such products is primarily an economic advantage. Therefore, the majority of incidents of falsification of food products remained undetected since their production, generally had not led to the risk of food safety, and consumers often did not notice the reduction in quality of foodstuffs. The analysis of international data and data of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) has shown that, in order to improve the quality of food products and to reduce sales of adulterated food the following steps should be done: introduce the definition of falsificated food products into legislation of the EAEU; expand the list of methods for confirming the authenticity of the food and detecting the presence of substances which are not permitted for usage in the food industry; consolidate the principle of the responsibility of all participants in the treatment of food that does not comply with the mandatory requirements at the legislative level; introduce the indicators of the quality of foodstuffs in the technical regulations of the EAEU; return to the mandatory requirements for the quality of foods given in the interstate and state standards.

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

    PubMed Central

    Landrine, Hope; Corral, Irma

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Hierarchical Mentoring: A Transformative Strategy for Improving Diversity and Retention in Undergraduate STEM Disciplines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Zakiya S.; Holmes, Lakenya; Degravelles, Karin; Sylvain, Monica R.; Batiste, Lisa; Johnson, Misty; McGuire, Saundra Y.; Pang, Su Seng; Warner, Isiah M.

    2012-02-01

    In the United States, less than half of the students who enter into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) undergraduate curricula as freshmen will actually graduate with a STEM degree. There is even greater disparity in the national STEM graduation rates of students from underrepresented groups with approximately three-fourths of minority students leaving STEM disciplines at the undergraduate level. A host of programs have been designed and implemented to model best practices in retaining students in STEM disciplines. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professors Program at Louisiana State University, under leadership of HHMI Professor Isiah M. Warner, represents one of these programs and reports on a mentoring model that addresses the key factors that impact STEM student attrition at the undergraduate level. By integrating mentoring and strategic academic interventions into a structured research program, an innovative model has been developed to guide STEM undergraduate majors in adopting the metacognitive strategies that allow them to excel in their programs of study, as they learn to appreciate and understand science more completely. Comparisons of the persistence of participants and nonparticipants in STEM curricular, at the host university and with other national universities and colleges, show the impact of the model's salient features on improving STEM retention through graduation for all students, particularly those from underrepresented groups.

  5. An Improved Forwarding of Diverse Events with Mobile Sinks in Underwater Wireless Sensor Networks

    PubMed Central

    Raza, Waseem; Arshad, Farzana; Ahmed, Imran; Abdul, Wadood; Ghouzali, Sanaa; Niaz, Iftikhar Azim; Javaid, Nadeem

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, a novel routing strategy to cater the energy consumption and delay sensitivity issues in deep underwater wireless sensor networks is proposed. This strategy is named as ESDR: Event Segregation based Delay sensitive Routing. In this strategy sensed events are segregated on the basis of their criticality and, are forwarded to their respective destinations based on forwarding functions. These functions depend on different routing metrics like: Signal Quality Index, Localization free Signal to Noise Ratio, Energy Cost Function and Depth Dependent Function. The problem of incomparable values of previously defined forwarding functions causes uneven delays in forwarding process. Hence forwarding functions are redefined to ensure their comparable values in different depth regions. Packet forwarding strategy is based on the event segregation approach which forwards one third of the generated events (delay sensitive) to surface sinks and two third events (normal events) are forwarded to mobile sinks. Motion of mobile sinks is influenced by the relative distribution of normal nodes. We have also incorporated two different mobility patterns named as; adaptive mobility and uniform mobility for mobile sinks. The later one is implemented for collecting the packets generated by the normal nodes. These improvements ensure optimum holding time, uniform delay and in-time reporting of delay sensitive events. This scheme is compared with the existing ones and outperforms the existing schemes in terms of network lifetime, delay and throughput. PMID:27827905

  6. Balancing therapeutic safety and efficacy to improve clinical and economic outcomes in schizophrenia: a managed care perspective.

    PubMed

    Liu, Junqing

    2014-06-01

    Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder associated with high morbidity and mortality, reduced life expectancy, and increased economic burden. Antipsychotic agents used for the management of schizophrenia are often associated with undesirable adverse effects, such as weight gain and metabolic abnormalities, contributing to elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and mortality. Contributors to the growing economic burden of schizophrenia include direct (eg, medical care and hospitalization) and indirect costs (eg, lost productivity and mortality). Strategies to reduce these expenditures include the use of generic medications, improving treatment adherence, avoidance of switching antipsychotic therapies, reducing disease relapses, and appropriate management of cardiometabolic disease. Arguably, while pharmacy benefit and managed care strategies (eg, prior authorization, prescription caps, copayments and patient cost-sharing strategies, tiered formulary pricing, and gap coverage) are designed and implemented to reduce healthcare costs, they may have the unintended result of creating barriers to treatment access and thereby contribute to further adverse patient outcomes. Managed care professionals should be cognizant of the drivers of cost and the need for cardiometabolic monitoring to individualize care for patients with schizophrenia. Further, comprehensive disease management plans should be developed that include the monitoring of disease progression and treatment adherence, while factoring in medication and healthcare administration costs.

  7. A synthetic C16 omega-hydroxyphytoceramide improves skin barrier functions from diversely perturbed epidermal conditions.

    PubMed

    Oh, Myoung Jin; Nam, Jin Ju; Lee, Eun Ok; Kim, Jin Wook; Park, Chang Seo

    2016-10-01

    Omega-hydroxyceramides (ω-OH-Cer) play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of skin barrier. ω-OH-Cer are the primary lipid constituents of the corneocyte lipid envelope (CLE) covalently attached to the outer surface of the cornified envelope linked to involucrin to become bound form lipids in stratum corneum (SC). CLE becomes a hydrophobic impermeable layer of matured corneocyte preventing loss of natural moisturizing factor inside the corneocytes. More importantly, CLE may also play an important role in the formation of proper orientation of intercellular lipid lamellar structure by interdigitating with the intercellular lipids in a comb-like fashion. Abnormal barrier conditions associated with atopic dermatitis but also UVB-irradiated skins are known to have lowered level of bound lipids, especially ω-OH-Cer, which indicate that ω-OH-Cer play an important role in maintaining the integrity of skin barrier. In this study, protective effects of a novel synthetic C16 omega-hydroxyphytoceramides (ω-OH-phytoceramide) on skin barrier function were investigated. Epidermal barrier disruption was induced by UVB irradiation, tape-stripping in hairless mouse and human skin. Protective effect of damaged epidermis was evaluated using the measurement of transepidermal water loss and cohesion of SC. Increased keratinocyte differentiation was verified using cultured keratinocyte through western blot. Results clearly demonstrated that a synthetic C16 ω-OH-phytoceramide enhanced the integrity of SC and accelerated the recovery of damaged skin barrier function by stimulating differentiation process. In a conclusion, a synthetic C16 ω-OH-phytoceramide treatment improved epidermal homeostasis in several disrupted conditions.

  8. [Antonio de Saldanha da Gama's proposals to improve the slave trade "for humanitarian and economic reasons," Rio de Janeiro, 1810].

    PubMed

    Viotti, Ana Carolina de Carvalho

    2016-01-01

    In 1808, Dom João VI issued an edict which regulated the shipping and treatment of slaves on the transatlantic crossing from Africa. Two years later, Antonio de Saldanha da Gama, a member of the Treasury Council, drafted a letter discussing some points of the resolution. This key figure in the Portuguese administration of Brazil argued that his respectful considerations concerning the determinations of His Royal Highness were designed to improve them "for humanitarian and economic reasons." Safeguarded in the archives of Arquivo Histórico Ultramarino, this letter is transcribed, annotated, and contextualized here, supplying an interesting perspective on the prevailing concerns and justifications about the trafficking of African slaves to Brazil.

  9. APPLICATION OF RESERVOIR CHARACTERIZATION AND ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE RECOVERY AND ECONOMICS IN A LOWER QUALITY SHALLOW SHELF SANANDRES RESERVOIR

    SciTech Connect

    Unknown

    2003-01-15

    The Class 2 Project at West Welch was designed to demonstrate the use of advanced technologies to enhance the economics of improved oil recovery (IOR) projects in lower quality Shallow Shelf Carbonate (SSC) reservoirs, resulting in recovery of additional oil that would otherwise be left in the reservoir at project abandonment. Accurate reservoir description is critical to the effective evaluation and efficient design of IOR projects in the heterogeneous SSC reservoirs. Therefore, the majority of Budget Period 1 was devoted to reservoir characterization. Technologies being demonstrated include: (1) Advanced petrophysics; (2) Three-dimensional (3-D) seismic; (3) Crosswell bore tomography; (4) Advanced reservoir simulation; (5) Carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) stimulation treatments; (6) Hydraulic fracturing design and monitoring; (7) Mobility control agents.

  10. Demand response to improved walking infrastructure: A study into the economics of walking and health behaviour change.

    PubMed

    Longo, Alberto; Hutchinson, W George; Hunter, Ruth F; Tully, Mark A; Kee, Frank

    2015-10-01

    Walking is the most common form of moderate-intensity physical activity among adults, is widely accessible and especially appealing to obese people. Most often policy makers are interested in valuing the effect on walking of changes in some characteristics of a neighbourhood, the demand response for walking, of infrastructure changes. A positive demand response to improvements in the walking environment could help meet the public health target of 150 min of at least moderate-intensity physical activity per week. We model walking in an individual's local neighbourhood as a 'weak complement' to the characteristics of the neighbourhood itself. Walking is affected by neighbourhood characteristics, substitutes, and individual's characteristics, including their opportunity cost of time. Using compensating variation, we assess the economic benefits of walking and how walking behaviour is affected by improvements to the neighbourhood. Using a sample of 1209 respondents surveyed over a 12 month period (Feb 2010-Jan 2011) in East Belfast, United Kingdom, we find that a policy that increased walkability and people's perception of access to shops and facilities would lead to an increase in walking of about 36 min/person/week, valued at £13.65/person/week. When focussing on inactive residents, a policy that improved the walkability of the area would lead to guidelines for physical activity being reached by only 12.8% of the population who are currently inactive. Additional interventions would therefore be needed to encourage inactive residents to achieve the recommended levels of physical activity, as it appears that interventions that improve the walkability of an area are particularly effective in increasing walking among already active citizens, and, among the inactive ones, the best response is found among healthier, younger and wealthier citizens.

  11. Improving Indonesia's Cities: A Case Study of Economic Development, Including a Teaching Guide and An Economic Summary of Indonesia. Toward a Better World Series, Learning Kit No. 5.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baldwin, Harriet, Ed.; Rosen, Carol, Ed.

    This World Bank (Washington, D.C.) kit is designed to teach secondary school social studies students the impact of rapid urbanization on Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. The kit contains a pamphlet, a booklet, a filmstrip, and a teacher's guide. The pamphlet, "An Economic Summary of Indonesia" provides students with the structure,…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Committee for Economic Development, 2006

    2006-01-01

    Early education programs have long been regarded as an important step in preparing children for primary school--but investing in the education of America's youngest learners has emerged as one of the most promising ways to help strengthen the future economic and fiscal position of our states and nation. High-quality preschool programs offer…

  13. The economic impact of a partnership-measurement model of disease management: Improving Cardiovascular Outcomes in Nova Scotia (ICONS).

    PubMed

    Crémieux, Pierre-Yves; Fortin, Pierre; Meilleur, Marie-Claude; Montague, Terrence; Royer, Jimmy

    2007-01-01

    Improving Cardiovascular Outcomes in Nova Scotia (ICONS) was a five-year, community partnership-based disease-management project that sought, as a primary goal, to improve the care and outcomes of patients with heart disease in Nova Scotia. This program, based on a broad stakeholder partnership, provided repeated measurement and feedback on practices and outcomes as well as widespread communication and education among all partners. From a clinical viewpoint, ICONS was successful. For example, use of proven therapies for the target diseases improved and re-hospitalization rates decreased. Stakeholders also perceived a sense of satisfaction because of their involvement in the partnership. However, the universe of health stakeholders is large, and not many have had an experience similar to ICONS. These other health stakeholders, such as decision-makers concerned with the cost of care and determining the value for cost, might, nonetheless, benefit from knowledge of the ICONS concepts and results, particularly economic analyses, as they determine future health policy. Using budgetary data on actual dollars spent and a robust input-output methodology, we assessed the economic impact of ICONS, including trickle-down effects on the Canadian and Nova Scotian economies. The analysis revealed that the $6.22 million invested in Nova Scotia by the private sector donor generated an initial net increase in total Canadian wealth of $5.32 million and a global net increase in total Canadian wealth of $10.23 million, including $2.27 million returned to the different governments through direct and indirect taxes. Thus, the local, provincial and federal governments are important beneficiaries of health project investments such as ICONS. The various government levels benefit from the direct influx of private funds into the publicly funded healthcare sector, from direct and indirect tax revenues and from an increase in knowledge-related employment. This, of course, is in addition to the

  14. Prescriber preferences for behavioural economics interventions to improve treatment of acute respiratory infections: a discrete choice experiment

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Cynthia L; Hay, Joel W; Meeker, Daniella; Doctor, Jason N

    2016-01-01

    Objective To elicit prescribers' preferences for behavioural economics interventions designed to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing, and compare these to actual behaviour. Design Discrete choice experiment (DCE). Setting 47 primary care centres in Boston and Los Angeles. Participants 234 primary care providers, with an average 20 years of practice. Main outcomes and measures Results of a behavioural economic intervention trial were compared to prescribers' stated preferences for the same interventions relative to monetary and time rewards for improved prescribing outcomes. In the randomised controlled trial (RCT) component, the 3 computerised prescription order entry-triggered interventions studied included: Suggested Alternatives (SA), an alert that populated non-antibiotic treatment options if an inappropriate antibiotic was prescribed; Accountable Justifications (JA), which prompted the prescriber to enter a justification for an inappropriately prescribed antibiotic that would then be documented in the patient's chart; and Peer Comparison (PC), an email periodically sent to each prescriber comparing his/her antibiotic prescribing rate with those who had the lowest rates of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing. A DCE study component was administered to determine whether prescribers felt SA, JA, PC, pay-for-performance or additional clinic time would most effectively reduce their inappropriate antibiotic prescribing. Willingness-to-pay (WTP) was calculated for each intervention. Results In the RCT, PC and JA were found to be the most effective interventions to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing, whereas SA was not significantly different from controls. In the DCE however, regardless of treatment intervention received during the RCT, prescribers overwhelmingly preferred SA, followed by PC, then JA. WTP estimates indicated that each intervention would be significantly cheaper to implement than pay-for-performance incentives of $200/month

  15. Predicting moisture and economic value of solid forest fuel piles for improving the profitability of bioenergy use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauren, Ari; Kinnunen, Jyrki-Pekko; Sikanen, Lauri

    2016-04-01

    Bioenergy contributes 26 % of the total energy use in Finland, and 60 % of this is provided by solid forest fuel consisting of small stems and logging residues such as tops, branches, roots and stumps. Typically the logging residues are stored as piles on site before transporting to regional combined heat and power plants for combustion. Profitability of forest fuel use depends on smart control of the feedstock. Fuel moisture, dry matter loss, and the rate of interest during the storing are the key variables affecting the economic value of the fuel. The value increases with drying, but decreases with wetting, dry matter loss and positive rate of interest. We compiled a simple simulation model computing the moisture change, dry matter loss, transportation costs and present value of feedstock piles. The model was used to predict the time of the maximum value of the stock, and to compose feedstock allocation strategies under the question: how should we choose the piles and the combustion time so that total energy yield and the economic value of the energy production is maximized? The question was assessed concerning the demand of the energy plant. The model parameterization was based on field scale studies. The initial moisture, and the rates of daily moisture change and dry matter loss in the feedstock piles depended on the day of the year according to empirical field measurements. Time step of the computation was one day. Effects of pile use timing on the total energy yield and profitability was studied using combinatorial optimization. Results show that the storing increases the pile maximum value if the natural drying onsets soon after the harvesting; otherwise dry matter loss and the capital cost of the storing overcome the benefits gained by drying. Optimized timing of the pile use can improve slightly the profitability, based on the increased total energy yield and because the energy unit based transportation costs decrease when water content in the biomass is

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

    PubMed

    Butters, Janice M; Winter, Paul A

    2002-06-01

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

  17. A Bridge to the Stars: A Model High School-to-College Pipeline to Improve Diversity in STEM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McIntosh, Daniel H.; Jennings, Derrick H.

    2017-01-01

    Increasing participation by historically underrepresented Americans in the STEM workforce remains a national priority. Existing strategies have failed to increase diversity especially in the physical sciences despite federal mandates. To meet this urgent challenge, it is imperative to immediately identify and support the expansion of effective high school-to-college STEM pipelines. A Bridge to the Stars (ABttS) is a creative and tested pipeline designed to steadily increase the numbers of disadvantaged 15-21 year-olds pursuing and completing 4-year STEM degrees. This unique program offers extended engagement in astronomy, arguably the most accessible window to science, through a 3-tier STEM immersion program of innovative learning (in a freshman science course), authentic research training (in a freshman science lab), and supportive near-peer mentoring at U.Missouri-Kansas City, an urban research university. Each tier of the ABttS pipeline by itself has the potential to broaden student aspirations for careers as technological innovators or STEM educators. Students who elect to transition through multiple tiers will substantially reinforce their successes with STEM activities, and significantly bolster their self-esteem necessary to personally manifest STEM aspirations. We will summarize the impact of this program after 5 years, and share our latest improvements. The long-term mission of ABttS is to see urban educational institutions across the U.S. adopt similar pipelines in all STEM disciplines built on the ABttS model.

  18. Bridging the gap: exploring the barriers to using economic evidence in healthcare decision making and strategies for improving uptake.

    PubMed

    Merlo, Gregory; Page, Katie; Ratcliffe, Julie; Halton, Kate; Graves, Nicholas

    2015-06-01

    Evidence from economic evaluations is often not used to inform healthcare policy despite being well regarded by policy makers and physicians. This article employs the accessibility and acceptability framework to review the barriers to using evidence from economic evaluation in healthcare policy and the strategies used to overcome these barriers. Economic evaluations are often inaccessible to policymakers due to the absence of relevant economic evaluations, the time and cost required to conduct and interpret economic evaluations, and lack of expertise to evaluate quality and interpret results. Consistently reported factors that limit the translation of findings from economic evaluations into healthcare policy include poor quality of research informing economic evaluations, assumptions used in economic modelling, conflicts of interest, difficulties in transferring resources between sectors, negative attitudes to healthcare rationing, and the absence of equity considerations. Strategies to overcome these barriers have been suggested in the literature, including training, structured abstract databases, rapid evaluation, reporting checklists for journals, and considering factors other than cost effectiveness in economic evaluations, such as equity or budget impact. The factors that prevent or encourage decision makers to use evidence from economic evaluations have been identified, but the relative importance of these factors to decision makers is uncertain.

  19. Diversity Matters: New Directions for Institutional Research on Undergraduate Racial/Ethnic and Economic Diversity. SERU Project and Consortium Research Paper. Research & Occasional Paper Series: CSHE.8.11

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomson, Gregg

    2011-01-01

    This paper reviews the new directions in institutional research on undergraduate racial/ethnic and socioeconomic diversity at the University of California, Berkeley. The use of SERU/UCUES and other web-based census surveys has made possible more detailed and extensive analysis of student diversity. Included is research on an expanded number of…

  20. Utilizing Culture to Improve Communication and School Involvement with Parents from Diverse Backgrounds as a Means to Improve Student Achievement Levels in the United States: A National Focus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacobs, Karen Dupre; Kritsonis, William Allan

    2007-01-01

    School leadership in communicating to parents and students from diverse backgrounds is a problem in education that must be addressed. As the population of the United States is becoming more and more diverse, school administrators must develop new ways to reach their stakeholders. All families must be involved in their children's academic progress…

  1. Reducing GHG emissions through genetic improvement for feed efficiency: effects on economically important traits and enteric methane production.

    PubMed

    Basarab, J A; Beauchemin, K A; Baron, V S; Ominski, K H; Guan, L L; Miller, S P; Crowley, J J

    2013-06-01

    Genetic selection for residual feed intake (RFI) is an indirect approach for reducing enteric methane (CH4) emissions in beef and dairy cattle. RFI is moderately heritable (0.26 to 0.43), moderately repeatable across diets (0.33 to 0.67) and independent of body size and production, and when adjusted for off-test ultrasound backfat thickness (RFI fat) is also independent of body fatness in growing animals. It is highly dependent on accurate measurement of individual animal feed intake. Within-animal repeatability of feed intake is moderate (0.29 to 0.49) with distinctive diurnal patterns associated with cattle type, diet and genotype, necessitating the recording of feed intake for at least 35 days. In addition, direct measurement of enteric CH4 production will likely be more variable and expensive than measuring feed intake and if conducted should be expressed as CH4 production (g/animal per day) adjusted for body size, growth, body composition and dry matter intake (DMI) or as residual CH4 production. A further disadvantage of a direct CH4 phenotype is that the relationships of enteric CH4 production on other economically important traits are largely unknown. Selection for low RFI fat (efficient, -RFI fat) will result in cattle that consume less dry matter (DMI) and have an improved feed conversion ratio (FCR) compared with high RFI fat cattle (inefficient; +RFI fat). Few antagonistic effects have been reported for the relationships of RFI fat on carcass and meat quality, fertility, cow lifetime productivity and adaptability to stress or extensive grazing conditions. Low RFI fat cattle also produce 15% to 25% less enteric CH4 than +RFI fat cattle, since DMI is positively related to enteric methane (CH4) production. In addition, lower DMI and feeding duration and frequency, and a different rumen bacterial profile that improves rumen fermentation in -RFI fat cattle may favor a 1% to 2% improvement in dry matter and CP digestibility compared with +RFI fat cattle. Rate

  2. Genetic diversity of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) germplasm collections from Africa: implications for improvement and conservation of genetic resources.

    PubMed

    Hayati, A; Wickneswari, R; Maizura, I; Rajanaidu, N

    2004-05-01

    A total of 723 accessions of oil palm ( Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) from 26 populations representing ten countries in Africa and one Deli dura family were screened for allelic variation at seven enzyme loci from six enzyme systems using starch gel electrophoresis. On average, 54.5% of the loci were polymorphic (0.99 criterion). The average and effective number of alleles per locus was 1.80 and 1.35, respectively. Mean expected heterozygosity was 0.184, with values ranging from 0.109 (population 8, Senegal) to 0.261 (population 29, Cameroon). The genetic differentiation among populations was high (F(ST)=0.301), indicating high genetic divergence. The calculation of F(ST) by geographic zones revealed that the high F(ST) was largely due to F(ST) among populations in West Africa, suggesting diversifying selection in this region. The mean genetic distance across populations was 0.113. The lowest genetic distance (D) was observed between population 5 from Tanzania and population 7 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (0.000) and the highest was found between population 4 from Madagascar and population 13 from Sierra Leone (0.568). The total gene flow across oil palm populations was low, with an Nm of 0.576, enhancing genetic structuring, as evident from the high F(ST) values. UPGMA cluster analysis revealed three main clusters; the western outlying populations from Senegal and Sierra Leone were in one cluster but separated into two distinct sub-clusters; the eastern outlying populations from Madagascar were in one cluster; the populations from Angola, Cameroon, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Tanzania, Nigeria and Guinea were in one cluster. The Deli dura family seems to be closely related to population 6 from Guinea. Oil palm populations with high genetic diversity-i.e. all of the populations from Nigeria, Cameroon and Sierra Leone, population 6 of Guinea, population 1 of Madagascar and population 2 of Senegal should be used in improvement programmes

  3. The economics of direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription-only drugs: prescribed to improve consumer welfare?

    PubMed

    Morgan, Steven; Mintzes, Barbara; Barer, Morris

    2003-10-01

    According to economic theory, one might expect that the informational content of direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription-only drugs would improve consumers' welfare. However, contrasting the models of consumer and market behaviour underlying this theory with the realities of the prescription-only drug market reveals that this market is distinct in ways that render it unlikely that advertising will serve an unbiased and strictly informative function. A review of qualitative evidence regarding the informational content of drug advertising supports this conclusion. Direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising concentrates on particular products, and features of those products, to the exclusion of others, and the information provided has frequently been found to be biased or misleading in regulatory and academic evaluations. Governments that have so far resisted direct-to-consumer advertising should invest in independent sources of evidence that could help consumers and professionals to better understand the risks and benefits of treating disease with alternative drug and non-drug therapies, rather than permitting direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising.

  4. Improving the economic and humanistic outcomes for diabetic patients: making a case for employer-sponsored medication therapy management

    PubMed Central

    Pinto, Sharrel L; Kumar, Jinender; Partha, Gautam; Bechtol, Robert A

    2013-01-01

    Background The purpose of this study was to determine the cost savings of a pharmacist-led, employer-sponsored medication therapy management (MTM) program for diabetic patients and to assess for any changes in patient satisfaction and self-reported medication adherence for enrollees. Methods Participants in this study were enrollees of an employer-sponsored MTM program. They were included if their primary medical insurance and prescription coverage was from the City of Toledo, they had a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, and whether or not they had been on medication or had been given a new prescription for diabetes treatment. The data were analyzed on a prospective, pre-post longitudinal basis, and tracked for one year following enrollment. Outcomes included economic costs, patient satisfaction, and self-reported patient adherence. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the population, calculate the number of visits, and determine the mean costs for each visit. Friedman’s test was used to determine changes in outcomes due to the nonparametric nature of the data. Results The mean number of visits to a physician’s office decreased from 10.22 to 7.07. The mean cost of these visits for patients increased from $47.70 to $66.41, but use of the emergency room and inpatient visits decreased by at least 50%. Employer spending on emergency room visits decreased by $24,214.17 and inpatient visit costs decreased by $166,610.84. Office visit spending increased by $11,776.41. A total cost savings of $179,047.80 was realized by the employer at the end of the program. Significant improvements in patient satisfaction and adherence were observed. Conclusion Pharmacist interventions provided through the employer-sponsored MTM program led to substantial cost savings to the employer with improved patient satisfaction and adherence on the part of employees at the conclusion of the program. PMID:23610526

  5. The Behavioralist Goes to School: Leveraging Behavioral Economics to Improve Educational Performance. NBER Working Paper No. 18165

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levitt, Steven D.; List, John A.; Neckermann, Susanne; Sadoff, Sally

    2012-01-01

    A long line of research on behavioral economics has established the importance of factors that are typically absent from the standard economic framework: reference dependent preferences, hyperbolic preferences, and the value placed on non-financial rewards. To date, these insights have had little impact on the way the educational system operates.…

  6. Economic Evaluation of Text-Messaging and Smartphone-Based Interventions to Improve Medication Adherence in Adolescents with Chronic Health Conditions: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Kuhns, Lisa M

    2016-01-01

    Background The rate of chronic health conditions (CHCs) in children and adolescents has doubled in the past 20 years, with increased health care costs. Technology-based interventions have demonstrated efficacy to improving medication adherence. However, data to support the cost effectiveness of these interventions are lacking. Objective The objective of this study is to conduct an economic evaluation of text-messaging and smartphone-based interventions that focus on improving medication adherence in adolescents with CHCs. Methods Searches included PubMed MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and Inspec. Eligibility criteria included age (12-24 years old), original articles, outcomes for medication adherence, and economic outcomes. Results Our search identified 1118 unique articles that were independently screened. A total of 156 articles met inclusion criteria and were then examined independently with full-text review. A total of 15 articles met most criteria but lacked economic outcomes such as cost effectiveness or cost-utility data. No articles met all predefined criteria to be included for final review. Only 4 articles (text messaging [n=3], electronic directly observed therapy [n=1]) described interventions with possible future cost-saving but no formal economic evaluation. Conclusions The evidence to support the cost effectiveness of text-messaging and smartphone-based interventions in improving medication adherence in adolescents with CHCs is insufficient. This lack of research highlights the need for comprehensive economic evaluation of such interventions to better understand their role in cost-savings while improving medication adherence and health outcomes. Economic evaluation of technology-based interventions can contribute to more evidence-based assessment of the scalability, sustainability, and benefits of broader investment of such technology

  7. An Exploratory Study of the Effectiveness of the Staff Development Model and the Research-Based Assessment Plan in Improving the Identification of Gifted Economically Disadvantaged Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frasier, Mary M.; Hunsaker, Scott L.; Lee, Jongyeun; Finley, Vernon S.; Garcia, Jaime H.; Martin, Darlene; Frank, Elaine

    This monograph discusses a project involving 246 teachers that investigated a Staff Development Model (SDM) and a Research-Based Assessment Plan (RAP) for their potential to improve the identification and education of gifted students from economically disadvantaged families, some of whom have limited proficiency in the English language. The…

  8. Indicators for Improving Educational, Employment, and Economic Outcomes for Youth and Young Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: A National Report on Existing Data Sources

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sulewski, Jennifer Sullivan; Zalewska, Agnes; Butterworth, John

    2012-01-01

    This report summarizes available national data on educational, employment and economic outcomes for youth and young adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) over the years 2000-2010. These data can be used to benchmark progress in improving these outcomes for young adult population across the country and within individual states. Data is…

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

    SciTech Connect

    Rebecca Egg

    2002-09-30

    The OXY-operated Class 2 Project at West Welch is designed to demonstrate how the use of advanced technology can improve the economics of miscible CO{sub 2} injection projects in lower quality Shallow Shelf Carbonate reservoirs. The research and design phase (Budget Period 1) primarily involved advanced reservoir characterization. The current demonstration phase (Budget Period 2) is the implementation of the reservoir management plan for an optimum miscible CO{sub 2} flood design based on the reservoir characterization. Although Budget Period 1 for the Project officially ended 12/31/96, reservoir characterization and simulation work continued during the Budget Period 2. During the fifth and sixth annual reporting periods (8/3/98-8/2/00) covered by this report, work continued on interpretation of the cross well seismic data to create porosity and permeability profiles which were distributed into the reservoir geostatistically. The initial interwell seismic CO{sub 2} monitor survey was conducted, the acquired data processed and interpretation started. Only limited well work and facility construction was conducted in the project area. The CO{sub 2} injection initiated in October 1997 was continued, although the operator had to modify the operating plan in response to low injection rates, well performance and changes in CO{sub 2} supply. CO{sub 2} injection was focused in a smaller area to increase the reservoir processing rate. By the end of the reporting period three producers had shown sustained oil rate increases and ten wells had experienced gas (CO{sub 2}) breakthrough.

  10. Improving diversity through strategic planning: a 10-year (2002-2012) experience at theMedical University of South Carolina.

    PubMed

    Deas, Deborah; Pisano, Etta D; Mainous, Arch G; Johnson, Natalie G; Singleton, Myra Haney; Gordon, Leonie; Taylor, Wanda; Hazen-Martin, Debra; Burnham, Willette S; Reves, J G

    2012-11-01

    The Medical University of South Carolina launched a systematic plan to infuse diversity among its students, resident physicians, and faculty in 2002. The dean and stakeholders of the College of Medicine (COM) embraced the concept that a more population-representative physician workforce could contribute to the goals of providing quality medical education and addressing health care disparities in South Carolina. Diversity became a central component of the COM's strategic plan, and all departments developed diversity plans consistent with the overarching plan of the COM. Liaisons from the COM diversity committee facilitated the development of the department's diversity plans. By 2011, the efforts resulted in a doubling of the number of underrepresented-in-medicine (URM, defined as African American, Latino, Native American) students (21% of student body); matriculation of 10 African American males as first-year medical students annually for four consecutive years; more than a threefold increase in URM residents/fellows; expansion of pipeline programs; expansion of mentoring programs; almost twice as many URM faculty; integration of cultural competency throughout the medical school curriculum; advancement of women and URM individuals into leadership positions; and enhanced learning for individuals from all backgrounds. This article reports the implementation of an institutional plan to create a more racially representative workforce across the academic continuum. The authors emphasize the role of the stakeholders in promoting diversity, the value of annual assessment to evaluate outcomes, and the positive benefits for individuals of all backgrounds.

  11. A Study of Faculty Racial Diversity in Business Schools: Perceptions of Business Deans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moshiri, Farrokh; Cardon, Peter Wilson

    2016-01-01

    For decades, business schools in the United States have attempted to increase faculty diversity. The goals and benefits of increasing faculty diversity include improved educational outcomes, social justice, and economic competitiveness. While Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business data shows that a gender gap still exists in…

  12. Diversity in mixed species groups improves success in a novel feeder test in a wild songbird community

    PubMed Central

    Freeberg, Todd M.; Eppert, Shannon K.; Sieving, Kathryn E.; Lucas, Jeffrey R.

    2017-01-01

    Mixed-species groups are common and are thought to provide benefits to group members via enhanced food finding and antipredator abilities. These benefits could accrue due to larger group sizes in general but also to the diverse species composition in the groups. We tested these possibilities using a novel feeder test in a wild songbird community containing three species that varied in their dominant-subordinate status and in their nuclear-satellite roles: Carolina chickadees (Poecile carolinensis), tufted titmice (Baeolophus bicolor), and white-breasted nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis). We found that chickadees and titmice were more likely to obtain seed from the novel feeder with greater diversity of species composition in their mixed-species flocks. For successful chickadee flocks, furthermore, the latency to obtain seed from the novel feeder was shorter the more diverse their flocks were. These results in a natural setting indicate that diversity, per se, can benefit individuals in mixed-species groups in biologically meaningful contexts such as finding food in novel places. PMID:28230159

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Advanced cycle breeding utilizes crosses among elite lines and is a successful method to develop new inbreds. However, it results in a reduction in genetic diversity within the breeding population. The development of malting barley varieties requires the adherence to a narrow malting quality profile...

  14. Creating a Front Porch in Systems of Care: Improving Access to Behavioral Health Services for Diverse Children and Families

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Callejas, Linda M.; Hernandez, Mario; Nesman, Teresa; Mowery, Debra

    2010-01-01

    Despite recognition of the central role that service accessibility (and availability) should assume within a system of care, the definition proposed in the feature article of this special issue does not identify specific factors that systems of care must take into account in order to serve diverse children with serious emotional disturbance and…

  15. Genetic Diversity Analysis of Indian Bitter Gourd (Momordica Charantia L.) Allows for the Development of Crop Improvement Strategies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L. var. minima and var. maxima) or bitter melon is one of the most economically important cucurbit species worldwide. Although India is the center of origin of bitter melon, and cultivars and landraces of this species are widely cultivated in Asia, a rigorous asses...

  16. Organizing Hazards, Engineering Disasters? Improving the Recognition of Political-Economic Factors in the Creation of Disasters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freudenburg, William R.; Gramling, Robert; Laska, Shirley; Erikson, Kai T.

    2008-01-01

    Disaster studies have made important progress in recognizing the unequally distributed consequences of disasters, but there has been less progress in analyzing social factors that help create "natural" disasters. Even well-known patterns of hazard-creation tend to be interpreted generically--as representing "economic development" or…

  17. Improved (ERTS) information and its impact on U.S. markets for agricultural commodities: A quantitiative economic investigation of production, distribution and net export effects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    An econometric investigation into the markets for agricultural commodities is summarized. An overview of the effort including the objectives, scope, and architecture of the analysis and the estimation strategy employed is presented. The major empirical results and policy conclusions are set forth. These results and conclusions focus on the economic importance of improved crop forecasts, U.S. exports, and government policy operations. A number of promising avenues of further investigation are suggested.

  18. Application of Reservoir Characterization and Advanced Technology to Improve Recovery and Economics in a Lower Quality Shallow Shelf Carbonate Reservoir, Class II

    SciTech Connect

    Hickman, T. Scott; Justice, James J.; Egg, Rebecca

    2001-08-07

    The Oxy operated Class 2 Project at West Welch Project is designed to demonstrate how the use of advanced technology can improve the economics of miscible CO2 injection projects in lower quality Shallow Shelf Carbonate reservoirs. The research and design phase (Budget Period 1) primarily involved advanced reservoir demonstration characterization. The current demonstration phase (Budget Period 2) is the implementation of the reservoir management plan for an optimum miscible CO2 flood design based on the reservoir characterization.

  19. Maximizing the phylogenetic diversity of seed banks.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Kate E; Balding, Sharon T; Dickie, John B; Lewis, Gwilym P; Pearce, Tim R; Grenyer, Richard

    2015-04-01

    Ex situ conservation efforts such as those of zoos, botanical gardens, and seed banks will form a vital complement to in situ conservation actions over the coming decades. It is therefore necessary to pay the same attention to the biological diversity represented in ex situ conservation facilities as is often paid to protected-area networks. Building the phylogenetic diversity of ex situ collections will strengthen our capacity to respond to biodiversity loss. Since 2000, the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership has banked seed from 14% of the world's plant species. We assessed the taxonomic, geographic, and phylogenetic diversity of the Millennium Seed Bank collection of legumes (Leguminosae). We compared the collection with all known legume genera, their known geographic range (at country and regional levels), and a genus-level phylogeny of the legume family constructed for this study. Over half the phylogenetic diversity of legumes at the genus level was represented in the Millennium Seed Bank. However, pragmatic prioritization of species of economic importance and endangerment has led to the banking of a less-than-optimal phylogenetic diversity and prioritization of range-restricted species risks an underdispersed collection. The current state of the phylogenetic diversity of legumes in the Millennium Seed Bank could be substantially improved through the strategic banking of relatively few additional taxa. Our method draws on tools that are widely applied to in situ conservation planning, and it can be used to evaluate and improve the phylogenetic diversity of ex situ collections.

  20. High gene flow and genetic diversity in three economically important Zanthoxylum Spp. of Upper Brahmaputra Valley Zone of NE India using molecular markers

    PubMed Central

    Medhi, K.; Sarmah, D.K.; Deka, M.; Bhau, B.S.

    2014-01-01

    The genetic diversity in Zanthoxylum species viz.  Zanthoxylum nitidum, Zanthoxylum oxyphyllum and Zanthoxylum rhesta collected from the Upper Brahmaputra Valley Zone of Assam (NE India) was amplified using 13 random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers and 9 inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. RAPD markers were able to detect 81.82% polymorphism whereas ISSR detected 98.02% polymorphism. The genetic similarities were analyzed from the dendrogram constructed by RAPD and ISSR fingerprinting methods which divided the 3 species of Zanthoxylum into 3 clear different clusters. The principle component analysis (PCA) was carried out to confirm the clustering pattern of RAPD and ISSR analysis. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed the presence of significant variability between different Zanthoxylum species and within the species by both RAPD and ISSR markers. Z. nitidum was found to be sharing a high degree of variation with the other two Zanthoxylum species under study. The Nei's gene diversity (h), Shannon's information index (I), observed number of alleles (na) and effective number of alleles (ne) were also found to be higher in ISSR markers (0.3526, 0.5230, 1.9802 and 1.6145) than in RAPD markers (0.3144, 0.4610, 1.8182 and 1.5571). The values for total genotype diversity for among population (HT), within population diversity (Hs) and gene flow (Nm) were more in ISSR (0.3491, 0.2644 and 1.5610) than RAPD (0.3128, 0.2264 and 1.3087) but the mean coefficient of gene differentiation (GST) was more in RAPD (0.2764) than ISSR (0.2426). A comparison of this two finger printing methods was done by calculating MR, EMI and MI. The correlation coefficient between data matrices of RAPD and ISSR based on Mantel test was found to be significant (r = 0.65612). PMID:25606454

  1. 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.

  2. Economic Benefits of Improved Information on Worldwide Crop Production: An Optimal Decision Model of Production and Distribution with Application to Wheat, Corn, and Soybeans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Andrews, J.

    1977-01-01

    An optimal decision model of crop production, trade, and storage was developed for use in estimating the economic consequences of improved forecasts and estimates of worldwide crop production. The model extends earlier distribution benefits models to include production effects as well. Application to improved information systems meeting the goals set in the large area crop inventory experiment (LACIE) indicates annual benefits to the United States of $200 to $250 million for wheat, $50 to $100 million for corn, and $6 to $11 million for soybeans, using conservative assumptions on expected LANDSAT system performance.

  3. The improvement of the effectiveness of using natural gas in hot-water boilers by means of condensing economizers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vnukov, A. K.; Rozanova, F. A.

    2013-07-01

    The paper describes the results of the study of the mathematical model of a condensing economizer (CE) interacting with the technological parameter of the particular district heating station. This model has been developed by the authors. It is shown that the CE, due to condensation of water vapor and augmentation of convective heat exchange between products of natural gas combustion, makes it possible to save up to 8% of fuel.

  4. Diverse Thinking about Diversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaplan, Sandra N.

    2013-01-01

    This article focuses on the concept of diversity in educational decision making. It is noted that the differences that distinguish the needs, interests and abilities are identified by educators. It lists misconceptions resulting from not attending to within-group diversity, and states that a "loss of self" for individual members of…

  5. Do consumers' preferences for improved provision of malaria treatment services differ by their socio-economic status and geographic location? A study in southeast Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Improvement of utilization of malaria treatment services will depend on provision of treatment services that different population groups of consumers prefer and would want to use. Treatment of malaria in Nigeria is still problematic and this contributes to worsening burden of the disease in the country. Therefore this study explores the socio-economic and geographic differences in consumers' preferences for improved treatment of malaria in Southeast Nigeria and how the results can be used to improve the deployment of malaria treatment services. Methods This study was undertaken in Anambra state, Southeast Nigeria in three rural and three urban areas. A total of 2,250 randomly selected householders were interviewed using a pre tested interviewer administered questionnaire. Preferences were elicited using both a rating scale and ranking of different treatment provision sources by the respondents. A socio-economic status (SES) index was used to examine for SES differences, whilst urban-rural comparison was used to examine for geographic differences, in preferences. Results The most preferred source of provision of malaria treatment services was public hospitals (30.5%), training of mothers (19%) and treatment in Primary healthcare centres (18.1%). Traditional healers (4.8%) and patent medicine dealers (4.2%) were the least preferred strategies for improving malaria treatment. Some of the preferences differed by SES and by a lesser extent, the geographic location of the respondents. Conclusion Preferences for provision of improved malaria treatment services were influenced by SES and by geographic location. There should be re-invigoration of public facilities for appropriate diagnosis and treatment of malaria, in addition to improving the financial and geographic accessibility of such facilities. Training of mothers should be encouraged but home management will not work if the quality of services of patent medicine dealers and pharmacy shops where drugs for

  6. Design and generation of highly diverse fluorinated fragment libraries and their efficient screening with improved (19) F NMR methodology.

    PubMed

    Vulpetti, Anna; Dalvit, Claudio

    2013-12-01

    Fragment screening performed with (19) F NMR spectroscopy is becoming increasingly popular in drug discovery projects. With this approach, libraries of fluorinated fragments are first screened using the direct-mode format of the assay. The choice of fluorinated motifs present in the library is fundamental in order to ensure a large coverage of chemical space and local environment of fluorine (LEF). Mono- and poly-fluorinated fragments to be included in the libraries for screening are selected from both in-house and commercial collections, and those that are ad hoc designed and synthesized. Additional fluorinated motifs to be included in the libraries derive from the fragmentation of compounds in development and launched on the market, and compounds contained in other databases (such as Integrity, PDB and ChEMBL). Complex mixtures of highly diverse fluorine motifs can be rapidly screened and deconvoluted in the same NMR tube with a novel on the fly combined procedure for the identification of the active molecule(s). Issues and problems encountered in the design, generation and screening of diverse fragment libraries of fluorinated compounds with (19) F NMR spectroscopy are analyzed and technical solutions are provided to overcome them. The versatile screening methodology described here can be efficiently applied in laboratories with limited NMR setup and could potentially lead to the increasing role of (19) F NMR in the hit identification and lead optimization phases of drug discovery projects.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Domesticated crops have experienced strong human-driven selection aimed at the development of improved varieties adapted to local conditions. To detect regions of the wheat genome subject to selection during improvement, we developed a high-throughput array to interrogate 9,000 gene-associated DNA m...

  8. Engineering and organizational solutions for improvement of engineering and economic characteristics of the TPE-216 boilers equipped with MV-3300/800/490 pulverizing fans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirillov, M. V.; Safronov, P. G.

    2014-07-01

    Efficiency of coal-fired boilers is determined in many respects by optimal operation of the coal-pulverizing plants that are increasingly frequently equipped with pulverizing fans. By an example of retrofitted MV-3300/800/490 pulverizing fans, the effects of different factors on the performance and economic efficiency of the coal-pulverizing plants are analyzed. The experience gained in retrofitting MV-3300/800/490 pulverizing fans by introducing the three-crusher operation mode of a TPE-216 boiler employing the internal recirculation and a blading device in the classifier was also studied. Optimization of the boiler's operation mode was made when switching over from the four-crusher to the three-crusher mode, which considerably improved the engineering and economic characteristics.

  9. An environmental, economic, and social assessment of improving cattle finishing weight or average daily gain within U.S. beef production.

    PubMed

    White, R R; Capper, J L

    2013-12-01

    The objective of this study was to assess environmental impact, economic viability, and social acceptability of 3 beef production systems with differing levels of efficiency. A deterministic model of U.S. beef production was used to predict the number of animals required to produce 1 × 10(9) kg HCW beef. Three production treatments were compared, 1 representing average U.S. production (control), 1 with a 15% increase in ADG, and 1 with a 15% increase in finishing weight (FW). For each treatment, various socioeconomic scenarios were compared to account for uncertainty in producer and consumer behavior. Environmental impact metrics included feed consumption, land use, water use, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGe), and N and P excretion. Feed cost, animal purchase cost, animal sales revenue, and income over costs (IOVC) were used as metrics of economic viability. Willingness to pay (WTP) was used to identify improvements or reductions in social acceptability. When ADG improved, feedstuff consumption, land use, and water use decreased by 6.4%, 3.2%, and 12.3%, respectively, compared with the control. Carbon footprint decreased 11.7% and N and P excretion were reduced by 4% and 13.8%, respectively. When FW improved, decreases were seen in feedstuff consumption (12.1%), water use (9.2%). and land use (15.5%); total GHGe decreased 14.7%; and N and P excretion decreased by 10.1% and 17.2%, compared with the control. Changes in IOVC were dependent on socioeconomic scenario. When the ADG scenario was compared with the control, changes in sector profitability ranged from 51 to 117% (cow-calf), -38 to 157% (stocker), and 37 to 134% (feedlot). When improved FW was compared, changes in cow-calf profit ranged from 67% to 143%, stocker profit ranged from -41% to 155% and feedlot profit ranged from 37% to 136%. When WTP was based on marketing beef being more efficiently produced, WTP improved by 10%; thus, social acceptability increased. When marketing was based on production

  10. Antibody VH and VL recombination using phage and ribosome display technologies reveals distinct structural routes to affinity improvements with VH-VL interface residues providing important structural diversity.

    PubMed

    Groves, Maria A T; Amanuel, Lily; Campbell, Jamie I; Rees, D Gareth; Sridharan, Sudharsan; Finch, Donna K; Lowe, David C; Vaughan, Tristan J

    2014-01-01

    In vitro selection technologies are an important means of affinity maturing antibodies to generate the optimal therapeutic profile for a particular disease target. Here, we describe the isolation of a parent antibody, KENB061 using phage display and solution phase selections with soluble biotinylated human IL-1R1. KENB061 was affinity matured using phage display and targeted mutagenesis of VH and VL CDR3 using NNS randomization. Affinity matured VHCDR3 and VLCDR3 library blocks were recombined and selected using phage and ribosome display protocol. A direct comparison of the phage and ribosome display antibodies generated was made to determine their functional characteristics.In our analyses, we observed distinct differences in the pattern of beneficial mutations in antibodies derived from phage and ribosome display selections, and discovered the lead antibody Jedi067 had a ~3700-fold improvement in KD over the parent KENB061. We constructed a homology model of the Fv region of Jedi067 to map the specific positions where mutations occurred in the CDR3 loops. For VL CDR3, positions 94 to 97 carry greater diversity in the ribosome display variants compared with the phage display. The positions 95a, 95b and 96 of VLCDR3 form part of the interface with VH in this model. The model shows that positions 96, 98, 100e, 100f, 100 g, 100h, 100i and 101 of the VHCDR3 include residues at the VH and VL interface. Importantly, Leu96 and Tyr98 are conserved at the interface positions in both phage and ribosome display indicating their importance in maintaining the VH-VL interface. For antibodies derived from ribosome display, there is significant diversity at residues 100a to 100f of the VH CDR3 compared with phage display. A unique deletion of isoleucine at position 102 of the lead candidate, Jedi067, also occurs in the VHCDR3.As anticipated, recombining the mutations via ribosome display led to a greater structural diversity, particularly in the heavy chain CDR3, which in turn

  11. Economic consequences of improved temperature forecasts: An experiment with the Florida citrus growers (an update of control group results)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Braen, C.

    1978-01-01

    The economic experiment, the results obtained to date and the work which still remains to be done are summarized. Specifically, the experiment design is described in detail as are the developed data collection methodology and procedures, sampling plan, data reduction techniques, cost and loss models, establishment of frost severity measures, data obtained from citrus growers, National Weather Service and Federal Crop Insurance Corp. Resulting protection costs and crop losses for the control group sample, extrapolation of results of control group to the Florida citrus industry and the method for normalization of these results to a normal or average frost season so that results may be compared with anticipated similar results from test group measurements are discussed.

  12. Rhizocompetence and antagonistic activity towards genetically diverse Ralstonia solanacearum strains--an improved strategy for selecting biocontrol agents.

    PubMed

    Xue, Qing-Yun; Ding, Guo-Chun; Li, Shi-Mo; Yang, Yang; Lan, Cheng-Zhong; Guo, Jian-Hua; Smalla, Kornelia

    2013-02-01

    Bacterial wilt caused by Ralstonia solanacearum is a serious threat for agricultural production in China. Eight soil bacterial isolates with activity against R. solanacearum TM15 (biovar 3) were tested in this study for their in vitro activity towards ten genetically diverse R. solanacearum isolates from China. The results indicated that each antagonist showed remarkable differences in its ability to in vitro antagonize the ten different R. solanacearum strains. Strain XY21 (based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing affiliated to Serratia) was selected for further studies based on its in vitro antagonistic activity and its excellent rhizocompetence on tomato plants. Under greenhouse conditions XY21 mediated biocontrol of tomato wilt caused by seven different R. solanacearum strains ranged from 19 to 70 %. The establishment of XY21 and its effects on the bacterial community in the tomato rhizosphere were monitored by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of 16S rRNA gene fragments PCR-amplified from total community DNA. A positive correlation of the in vitro antagonistic activities of XY21 and the actual biocontrol efficacies towards seven genetically different R. solanacearum strains was found and further confirmed by the efficacy of XY21 in controlling bacterial wilt under field conditions.

  13. Project (inverted exclamation mark)EXITO!: success through diversity and universality for outcomes improvement among Hispanic home care patients.

    PubMed

    Woerner, Louise; Espinosa, Javier; Bourne, Susan; O'Toole, Marie; Ingersoll, Gail L

    2009-01-01

    The National Health Disparities Report notes that Hispanics have poorer quality of care in 23 of 38 core measures. The result of this disparity is great personal and health system costs, which could be reduced. Prior studies have focused on access and language. We studied outcomes improvement. The purpose of this project was to develop a replicable theory-based outcomes improvement model for delivery of nursing care to Hispanic patients. The Leininger Sunrise Enabler approach was used to design a program specific to the cultural needs of a home care population. Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) data from 125 unduplicated home care patients were tracked. Nursing care delivery was analyzed using ethnographic research techniques. Delivery of nursing care using a culturally congruent approach reduced acute hospitalization and emergent care visits. Medication management and customer and nursing satisfaction also improved. National standards for culturally and linguistically appropriate services in health care help reduce healthcare disparities, but improving Hispanic outcomes requires moving beyond symptoms and symptom management to transcultural care. The estimated savings to the health care system are significant.

  14. Improving Public-spending Efficiency in Czech Regions and Municipalities. OECD Economics Department Working Papers, No. 499

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hemmings, Philip

    2006-01-01

    This paper looks at ways of ensuring Czech regions and municipalities are fully motivated to make efficiency improvements in public service provision and so help achieve countrywide fiscal sustainability. The very large number of small municipalities in the Czech Republic means that scale economies are difficult to exploit and the policy options…

  15. Application of Reservoir Characterization and Advanced Technology to Improve Recovery and Economics in a Lower Quality Shallow Shelf San Andres Reservoir.

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, A.R.; Hickman, T.S.; Justice, J.J.

    1997-07-30

    The Oxy West Welch Project is designed to demonstrate how the use of advanced technology can improve the economics of miscible CO{sub 2} injection projects in lower quality shallow shelf carbonate reservoirs. The research and development phase (Budget Period 1) primarily involved advance and reservoir characterization. The current demonstration phase (Budget Period 2) will implement the reservoir management plan for an optimum miscible CO{sub 2} flood design based on the reservoir characterization. Although Budget Period I officially ended 12/31/96, reservoir characterization and optimum flood design has continued into the first part of Budget Period 2. Specifically, the geologic model was enhanced by integration of the 3-D seismic interpretations. This resulted in improved history match by the simulator and more accurate predictions of flood performance on which to base the project design. The majority of the project design work has been completed, material specifications provided and bids solicited. Preparation of the demonstration area is well underway.

  16. Expanding the generation and use of economic and financial data to improve HIV program planning and efficiency: a global perspective.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Charles B; Atun, Rifat; Avila, Carlos; Blandford, John M

    2011-08-01

    Cost information is needed at multiple levels of health care systems to inform the public health response to HIV. To date, most attention has been paid to identifying the cost drivers of providing antiretroviral treatment, and these data have driven interventions that have been successful in reducing drug and human resource costs. The need for further cost information, especially for less well-studied areas such as HIV prevention, is particularly acute given global budget constraints and ongoing efforts to extract the greatest possible value from money spent on the response. Cost information can be collected from multiple perspectives and levels of the health care system (site, program, and national levels), and it is critical to choose the appropriate methodology in order to generate the appropriate information for decision-making. Organizations such as United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and other organizations are working together to bridge the divide between the fields of economics and HIV program implementation by accelerating the collection of cost data and building further local demand and capacity for their use.

  17. Towards improved understanding of the diversity and abundance patterns of the mid-ocean ridge macro- and megafauna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergstad, O. A.; Falkenhaug, T.; Astthorsson, O. S.; Byrkjedal, I.; Gebruk, A. V.; Piatkowski, U.; Priede, I. G.; Santos, R. S.; Vecchione, M.; Lorance, P.; Gordon, J. D. M.

    2008-01-01

    Mid-ocean ridges are vast features of all oceans but their fauna and ecological significance remain poorly understood. Ridge studies in recent decades were understandably biased in favour of the newly discovered chemosynthetic ecosystems. Investigations of photosynthesis-based systems and communities associated with ridges were scattered and few despite their much larger scale and significance for ocean productivity patterns and biogeography and for the management of human activities on the high seas. This knowledge gap was recognised by the Census of Marine Life (CoML) programme and led to the initiation of a dedicated field project on non-chemosynthetic systems and communities of a mid-ocean ridge. The present collection of articles highlights results from the project 'Patterns and Processes of the Ecosystems of the northern Mid-Atlantic' (MAR-ECO), the CoML field project that aims to explore the diversity and distribution patterns of photosynthesis-based communities of mid-ocean ridges by a range of classical and new technologies and methods. In 2003-2005, comprehensive investigations were conducted on pelagic and epibenthic macro- and megafauna of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between Iceland and the Azores. Several research vessels participated in the first field phase of the project, but the majority of the results were from a 2-month international expedition on the Norwegian vessels R.V. G.O. Sars and the chartered fishing vessel M.S. Loran in 2004. This introduction explains the background and goals of MAR-ECO, summarizes the strategies and sampling efforts, and briefly introduces future plans as the project enters a second field phase in 2007-2009.

  18. Accurate Estimation of Fungal Diversity and Abundance through Improved Lineage-Specific Primers Optimized for Illumina Amplicon Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Walters, William A.; Lennon, Niall J.; Bochicchio, James; Krohn, Andrew; Pennanen, Taina

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT While high-throughput sequencing methods are revolutionizing fungal ecology, recovering accurate estimates of species richness and abundance has proven elusive. We sought to design internal transcribed spacer (ITS) primers and an Illumina protocol that would maximize coverage of the kingdom Fungi while minimizing nontarget eukaryotes. We inspected alignments of the 5.8S and large subunit (LSU) ribosomal genes and evaluated potential primers using PrimerProspector. We tested the resulting primers using tiered-abundance mock communities and five previously characterized soil samples. We recovered operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belonging to all 8 members in both mock communities, despite DNA abundances spanning 3 orders of magnitude. The expected and observed read counts were strongly correlated (r = 0.94 to 0.97). However, several taxa were consistently over- or underrepresented, likely due to variation in rRNA gene copy numbers. The Illumina data resulted in clustering of soil samples identical to that obtained with Sanger sequence clone library data using different primers. Furthermore, the two methods produced distance matrices with a Mantel correlation of 0.92. Nonfungal sequences comprised less than 0.5% of the soil data set, with most attributable to vascular plants. Our results suggest that high-throughput methods can produce fairly accurate estimates of fungal abundances in complex communities. Further improvements might be achieved through corrections for rRNA copy number and utilization of standardized mock communities. IMPORTANCE Fungi play numerous important roles in the environment. Improvements in sequencing methods are providing revolutionary insights into fungal biodiversity, yet accurate estimates of the number of fungal species (i.e., richness) and their relative abundances in an environmental sample (e.g., soil, roots, water, etc.) remain difficult to obtain. We present improved methods for high-throughput Illumina sequencing of the

  19. DNA barcoding unmasks overlooked diversity improving knowledge on the composition and origins of the Churchill algal flora

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Sampling expeditions to Churchill in the Canadian subarctic were completed with the aim of compiling a molecular-assisted survey of the macroalgal flora (seaweeds) for comparison to published accounts for this area, which are based on morphological identifications. Further, because the Churchill region was covered by ice until recently (~10,000 before present), the current algal flora has had to migrate from adjacent waters into that region. We used our DNA barcode data to predict the relative contribution of the North Atlantic and North Pacific floras (Likely Source Region) in repopulating the Churchill region following the most recent glacial retreat. Results We processed 422 collections representing ~50 morpho-species, which is the approximate number reported for this region, and generated DNA barcode data for 346 of these. In contrast to the morpho-species count, we recovered 57 genetic groups indicating overlooked species (this despite failing to generate barcode data for six of the ~50 morpho-species). However, we additionally uncovered numerous inconsistencies between the species that are currently listed in the Churchill flora (again as a result of overlooked species diversity, but combined with taxonomic confusion) and those identified following our molecular analyses including eight new records and another 17 genetic complexes in need of further study. Based on a comparison of DNA barcode data from the Churchill flora to collections from the contiguous Atlantic and Pacific floras we estimate that minimally 21% (possibly as much as 44%) of the Churchill flora was established by migration from the Pacific region with the balance of species arriving from the Atlantic (predominantly North American populations) following the last glacial retreat. Conclusions Owing to difficulties associated with the morphological identification of macroalgae, our results indicate that current comprehension of the Canadian Arctic flora is weak. We consider that

  20. Gender diversity in STEM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beijerinck, Herman C. W.

    2017-03-01

    There is a strong business case for the value of diversity. Research by the World Economic Forum shows a 36% higher return on equity (ROE) for companies having a workforce with strong gender diversity1. Also growth is influenced in a positive way: in 2009 - 2012 companies with a strong female leadership have increased their ROE by 10.1% as compared to an average of 7.4% for the rest. Diversity is not a problem but a solution!2

  1. Improved oil production using economical biopolymer-surfactant blends for profile modification and mobility control. Final report, November 1998

    SciTech Connect

    Gabitto, J.; Barrufet, M.A.; Burnett, D.B.

    1998-12-01

    In the past, starch hydrocolloids have not been effective alternates to partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamides, copolymers, and xanthan gum polymers as water shutoff agents in fractures and in matrix flow configurations. Poor injectivity and questionable stability have usually prevented their use in profile control applications. However, in recent years, the demands of the oil and gas drilling industry have led to the development of new drilling, drill-in, and completion fluids with improved functionality. New types of modified starches have contributed to these new drill in fluid (DIF) products. It was felt that the properties of the new products would lend themselves to applications in improved recovery. The objective of this project has been to evaluate the use of agricultural starch biopolymers for gelled and polymer applications in oil recovery processes. The authors believe that there is great potential for finding new functional starch products because of their chemical and structural flexibility, low cost, and wide availability. The goals of this project have been, therefore, to systematically investigate how the physical properties and chemical composition of relatively inexpensive agricultural starch products will influence their use as effective selective permeability control agents or as gels for water shut-off.

  2. Long-term changes in abundance and diversity of macrophyte and waterfowl populations in an estuary with exotic macrophytes and improving water quality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rybicki, N.B.; Landwehr, J.M.

    2007-01-01

    We assessed species-specific coverage (km2) of a submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) community in the fresh and upper oligohaline Potomac Estuary from 1985 to 2001 using a method combining field observations of species-proportional coverage data with congruent remotely sensed coverage and density (percent canopy cover) data. Biomass (estimated by density-weighted coverage) of individual species was calculated. Under improving water quality conditions, exotic SAV species did not displace native SAV; rather, the percent of natives increased over time. While coverage-based diversity did fluctuate and increased, richness-based community turnover rates were not significantly different from zero. SAV diversity was negatively related to nitrogen concentration. Differences in functional traits, such as reproductive potential, between the dominant native and exotic species may explain some interannual patterns in SAV. Biomass of native, as well as exotic, SAV species varied with factors affecting water column light attenuation. We also show a positive response by a higher trophic level, waterfowl, to SAV communities dominated by exotic SAV from 1959 to 2001. ?? 2007, by the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Inc.

  3. Prospects for improving CO2 fixation in C3-crops through understanding C4-Rubisco biogenesis and catalytic diversity.

    PubMed

    Sharwood, Robert E; Ghannoum, Oula; Whitney, Spencer M

    2016-06-01

    By operating a CO2 concentrating mechanism, C4-photosynthesis offers highly successful solutions to remedy the inefficiency of the CO2-fixing enzyme Rubisco. C4-plant Rubisco has characteristically evolved faster carboxylation rates with low CO2 affinity. Owing to high CO2 concentrations in bundle sheath chloroplasts, faster Rubisco enhances resource use efficiency in C4 plants by reducing the energy and carbon costs associated with photorespiration and lowering the nitrogen investment in Rubisco. Here, we show that C4-Rubisco from some NADP-ME species, such as maize, are also of potential benefit to C3-photosynthesis under current and future atmospheric CO2 pressures. Realizing this bioengineering endeavour necessitates improved understanding of the biogenesis requirements and catalytic variability of C4-Rubisco, as well as the development of transformation capabilities to engineer Rubisco in a wider variety of food and fibre crops.

  4. Taking a fresh look at boiling heat transfer on the road to improved nuclear economics and efficiency

    DOE PAGES

    Pointer, William David; Baglietto, Emilio

    2016-05-01

    Here, in the effort to reinvigorate innovation in the way we design, build, and operate the nuclear power generating stations of today and tomorrow, nothing can be taken for granted. Not even the seemingly familiar physics of boiling water. The Consortium for the Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors, or CASL, is focused on the deployment of advanced modeling and simulation capabilities to enable the nuclear industry to reduce uncertainties in the prediction of multi-physics phenomena and continue to improve the performance of today’s Light Water Reactors and their fuel. An important part of the CASL mission is the developmentmore » of a next generation thermal hydraulics simulation capability, integrating the history of engineering models based on experimental experience with the computing technology of the future.« less

  5. Taking a fresh look at boiling heat transfer on the road to improved nuclear economics and efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Pointer, William David; Baglietto, Emilio

    2016-05-01

    Here, in the effort to reinvigorate innovation in the way we design, build, and operate the nuclear power generating stations of today and tomorrow, nothing can be taken for granted. Not even the seemingly familiar physics of boiling water. The Consortium for the Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors, or CASL, is focused on the deployment of advanced modeling and simulation capabilities to enable the nuclear industry to reduce uncertainties in the prediction of multi-physics phenomena and continue to improve the performance of today’s Light Water Reactors and their fuel. An important part of the CASL mission is the development of a next generation thermal hydraulics simulation capability, integrating the history of engineering models based on experimental experience with the computing technology of the future.

  6. Declining Trend of Hepatitis A Seroepidemiology in Association with Improved Public Health and Economic Status of Thailand.

    PubMed

    Sa-nguanmoo, Pattaratida; Posuwan, Nawarat; Vichaiwattana, Preeyaporn; Vuthitanachot, Viboonsak; Saelao, Siriporn; Foonoi, Monthana; Fakthongyoo, Apinya; Makaroon, Jamorn; Srisingh, Klaita; Asawarachun, Duangporn; Owatanapanich, Somchai; Wutthiratkowit, Norra; Tohtubtiang, Kraisorn; Vongpunsawad, Sompong; Yoocharoen, Pornsak; Poovorawan, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is transmitted via the fecal-oral route from contaminated food or water. As part of the most recent survey of viral hepatitis burden in Thailand, we analyzed the current seroprevalence of HAV in the country and compared with data dating back to 1971. From March to October, 2014, a total of 4,260 individuals between one month and 71 years of age from different geographical regions (North = 961; Central = 1,125; Northeast = 1,109; South = 1,065) were screened for anti-HAV IgG antibody using an automated chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Overall, 34.53% (1,471/4,260) possessed anti-HAV IgG antibody, and the age-standardized seroprevalence was 48.6%. Seroprevalence rates were 27.3% (North), 30.8% (Central), 33.8% (Northeast) and 45.8% (South) and were markedly lower than in the past studies especially among younger age groups. The overall trend showed an increase in the age by which 50% of the population were anti-HAV IgG antibody: 4.48 years (1971-1972), 6 (1976), 12.49 (1990), 36.02 (2004) and 42.03 (2014).This suggests that Thailand is transitioning from low to very low HAV endemicity. Lower prevalence of HAV correlated with improved healthcare system as measured by decreased infant mortality rate and improved national economy based on increased GDP per capita. The aging HAV immuno-naïve population may be rendered susceptible to potential HAV outbreaks similar to those in industrialized countries and may benefit from targeted vaccination of high-risk groups.

  7. Declining Trend of Hepatitis A Seroepidemiology in Association with Improved Public Health and Economic Status of Thailand

    PubMed Central

    Sa-nguanmoo, Pattaratida; Posuwan, Nawarat; Vichaiwattana, Preeyaporn; Vuthitanachot, Viboonsak; Saelao, Siriporn; Foonoi, Monthana; Fakthongyoo, Apinya; Makaroon, Jamorn; Srisingh, Klaita; Asawarachun, Duangporn; Owatanapanich, Somchai; Wutthiratkowit, Norra; Tohtubtiang, Kraisorn; Vongpunsawad, Sompong; Yoocharoen, Pornsak; Poovorawan, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is transmitted via the fecal-oral route from contaminated food or water. As part of the most recent survey of viral hepatitis burden in Thailand, we analyzed the current seroprevalence of HAV in the country and compared with data dating back to 1971. From March to October, 2014, a total of 4,260 individuals between one month and 71 years of age from different geographical regions (North = 961; Central = 1,125; Northeast = 1,109; South = 1,065) were screened for anti-HAV IgG antibody using an automated chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Overall, 34.53% (1,471/4,260) possessed anti-HAV IgG antibody, and the age-standardized seroprevalence was 48.6%. Seroprevalence rates were 27.3% (North), 30.8% (Central), 33.8% (Northeast) and 45.8% (South) and were markedly lower than in the past studies especially among younger age groups. The overall trend showed an increase in the age by which 50% of the population were anti-HAV IgG antibody: 4.48 years (1971–1972), 6 (1976), 12.49 (1990), 36.02 (2004) and 42.03 (2014).This suggests that Thailand is transitioning from low to very low HAV endemicity. Lower prevalence of HAV correlated with improved healthcare system as measured by decreased infant mortality rate and improved national economy based on increased GDP per capita. The aging HAV immuno-naïve population may be rendered susceptible to potential HAV outbreaks similar to those in industrialized countries and may benefit from targeted vaccination of high-risk groups. PMID:27008531

  8. Economic analysis

    SciTech Connect

    1980-06-01

    The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) mandated that minimum energy efficiency standards be established for classes of refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers, freezers, clothes dryers, water heaters, room air conditioners, home heating equipment, kitchen ranges and ovens, central air conditioners, and furnaces. EPCA requires that standards be designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified. Following the introductory chapter, Chapter Two describes the methodology used in the economic analysis and its relationship to legislative criteria for consumer product efficiency assessment; details how the CPES Value Model systematically compared and evaluated the economic impacts of regulation on the consumer, manufacturer and Nation. Chapter Three briefly displays the results of the analysis and lists the proposed performance standards by product class. Chapter Four describes the reasons for developing a baseline forecast, characterizes the baseline scenario from which regulatory impacts were calculated and summarizes the primary models, data sources and assumptions used in the baseline formulations. Chapter Five summarizes the methodology used to calculate regulatory impacts; describes the impacts of energy performance standards relative to the baseline discussed in Chapter Four. Also discussed are regional standards and other program alternatives to performance standards. Chapter Six describes the procedure for balancing consumer, manufacturer, and national impacts to select standard levels. Details of models and data bases used in the analysis are included in Appendices A through K.

  9. A qualitative study of diverse experts' views about barriers and strategies to improve the diets and health of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) beneficiaries.

    PubMed

    Leung, Cindy W; Hoffnagle, Elena E; Lindsay, Ana C; Lofink, Hayley E; Hoffman, Vanessa A; Turrell, Sophie; Willett, Walter C; Blumenthal, Susan J

    2013-01-01

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the largest federal food assistance program, currently serves 44.7 million Americans with a budget of $75 billion in 2011. This study engaged leading experts for in-depth, semi-structured interviews to explore their opinions concerning the existing challenges and barriers to eating nutritiously in SNAP. Experts also proposed strategies for improving nutritional status among SNAP recipients. Twenty-seven individuals were interviewed from advocacy, government, industry, and research organizations. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, coded, and analyzed for thematic content. The high cost of nutrient-rich foods, inadequate SNAP benefits, limited access to purchasing healthy foods, and environmental factors associated with poverty were identified as barriers that influence nutrition among low-income households in the United States. Six themes emerged among respondents from diverse sectors about how to address these challenges, including providing SNAP participants with incentives to purchase nutrient-rich food consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, restricting the purchase of nutrient-poor foods and beverages with program benefits, modifying the frequency of SNAP benefit distribution, enhancing nutrition education, improving the SNAP retailer environment, and increasing state and federal level coordination and consistency of program implementation. Given the recent dramatic increase in SNAP enrollment, policymakers must address existing barriers as well as consider new strategies to improve nutrition policies in SNAP so that the program can continue to address food insecurity needs as well as provide a healthful diet for SNAP beneficiaries.

  10. A Qualitative Study of Diverse Experts’ Views About Barriers and Strategies to Improve the Diets and Health of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Beneficiaries

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Cindy W.; Hoffnagle, Elena E.; Lindsay, Ana C.; Lofink, Hayley E.; Hoffman, Vanessa A.; Turrell, Sophie; Willett, Walter C.; Blumenthal, Susan J.

    2012-01-01

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the largest federal food assistance program, currently serves 44.7 million Americans with a budget of $75 billion in 2011. This study engaged leading experts for in-depth, semi-structured interviews to explore their opinions concerning the existing challenges and barriers to eating nutritiously in SNAP. Experts also proposed strategies for improving nutritional status among SNAP recipients. Twenty-seven individuals were interviewed from advocacy, government, industry, and research organizations. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, coded and analyzed for thematic content. The high cost of nutrient-rich foods, inadequate SNAP benefits, limited access to purchasing healthy foods, and environmental factors associated with poverty were identified as barriers that influence nutrition among low-income households in the United States. Six themes emerged among respondents from diverse sectors about how to address these challenges including: 1) providing SNAP participants with incentives to purchase nutrient-rich food consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans; 2) restricting the purchase of nutrient-poor foods and beverages with program benefits; 3) modifying the frequency of SNAP benefit distribution; 4) enhancing nutrition education; 5) improving the SNAP retailer environment and 6) increasing state and federal level coordination and consistency of program implementation. Given the recent dramatic increase in SNAP enrollment, policymakers must address existing barriers as well as consider new strategies to improve nutrition policies in SNAP so that the program can continue to address food insecurity needs as well as provide a healthful diet for SNAP beneficiaries. PMID:23260725

  11. The Economics of Publishing and the Publishing of Economics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    La Manna, Manfredi

    2003-01-01

    Explores the relationship between economics and scientific journal publishing. Topics include journal pricing in economics; market power exerted by the dominant commercial publisher in economics journal publishing; academic experiments to improve scholarly communication in economics; policies of the United Kingdom Competition Commission; and…

  12. Economic approaches to improving access to evidence-based and recovery-oriented services for people with severe mental illness.

    PubMed

    Latimer, Eric A; Bond, Gary R; Drake, Robert E

    2011-09-01

    During the past 3 decades, research has identified several psychosocial evidence-based practices (EBPs) for people with severe mental illness (SMI). Starting from a different origin, the recovery movement has influenced perceptions of how EBPs and other services should be delivered, and also emphasized the value of peer supports. We now know much more than 30 years ago about the kinds of services that help people with SMI live satisfying lives in the community. Evidence-based and recovery-oriented services require additional resources but use them sparingly: they are highly individualized, often result in reductions in costs of other mental health services, such as hospitalizations, and favour reliance on and integration into community settings rather than mental health services. Nevertheless, access to such services remains very limited. During the same period, the place of medications in the services system has become a source of growing concern, and there are several reasons to believe that current spending on medications is excessive. Inadequate housing and community supports that increase lengths of stay unnecessarily and spending on ineffective, nonrecovery-oriented vocational services are only 2 additional forms of misallocation of resources. Devolving control over medication budgets to regional or local health authorities, introducing program budgeting and marginal analysis, and implementing individual budgets to give more control to service users (in addition to promoting shared decision making) merit further investigation as potential strategies to improve outcomes for people with SMI in Canada in the context of limited budgets.

  13. Towards the improved discovery and design of functional peptides: common features of diverse classes permit generalized prediction of bioactivity.

    PubMed

    Mooney, Catherine; Haslam, Niall J; Pollastri, Gianluca; Shields, Denis C

    2012-01-01

    The conventional wisdom is that certain classes of bioactive peptides have specific structural features that endow their particular functions. Accordingly, predictions of bioactivity have focused on particular subgroups, such as antimicrobial peptides. We hypothesized that bioactive peptides may share more general features, and assessed this by contrasting the predictive power of existing antimicrobial predictors as well as a novel general predictor, PeptideRanker, across different classes of peptides.We observed that existing antimicrobial predictors had reasonable predictive power to identify peptides of certain other classes i.e. toxin and venom peptides. We trained two general predictors of peptide bioactivity, one focused on short peptides (4-20 amino acids) and one focused on long peptides (> 20 amino acids). These general predictors had performance that was typically as good as, or better than, that of specific predictors. We noted some striking differences in the features of short peptide and long peptide predictions, in particular, high scoring short peptides favour phenylalanine. This is consistent with the hypothesis that short and long peptides have different functional constraints, perhaps reflecting the difficulty for typical short peptides in supporting independent tertiary structure.We conclude that there are general shared features of bioactive peptides across different functional classes, indicating that computational prediction may accelerate the discovery of novel bioactive peptides and aid in the improved design of existing peptides, across many functional classes. An implementation of the predictive method, PeptideRanker, may be used to identify among a set of peptides those that may be more likely to be bioactive.

  14. MeSHLabeler: improving the accuracy of large-scale MeSH indexing by integrating diverse evidence

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ke; Peng, Shengwen; Wu, Junqiu; Zhai, Chengxiang; Mamitsuka, Hiroshi; Zhu, Shanfeng

    2015-01-01

    Motivation: Medical Subject Headings (MeSHs) are used by National Library of Medicine (NLM) to index almost all citations in MEDLINE, which greatly facilitates the applications of biomedical information retrieval and text mining. To reduce the time and financial cost of manual annotation, NLM has developed a software package, Medical Text Indexer (MTI), for assisting MeSH annotation, which uses k-nearest neighbors (KNN), pattern matching and indexing rules. Other types of information, such as prediction by MeSH classifiers (trained separately), can also be used for automatic MeSH annotation. However, existing methods cannot effectively integrate multiple evidence for MeSH annotation. Methods: We propose a novel framework, MeSHLabeler, to integrate multiple evidence for accurate MeSH annotation by using ‘learning to rank’. Evidence includes numerous predictions from MeSH classifiers, KNN, pattern matching, MTI and the correlation between different MeSH terms, etc. Each MeSH classifier is trained independently, and thus prediction scores from different classifiers are incomparable. To address this issue, we have developed an effective score normalization procedure to improve the prediction accuracy. Results: MeSHLabeler won the first place in Task 2A of 2014 BioASQ challenge, achieving the Micro F-measure of 0.6248 for 9,040 citations provided by the BioASQ challenge. Note that this accuracy is around 9.15% higher than 0.5724, obtained by MTI. Availability and implementation: The software is available upon request. Contact: zhusf@fudan.edu.cn PMID:26072501

  15. APPLICATION OF RESERVOIR CHARACTERIZATION AND ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE RECOVERY AND ECONOMICS IN A LOWER QUALITY SHALLOW SHELF SAN ANDRES RESERVOIR

    SciTech Connect

    Raj Kumar; Keith Brown; T. Scott Hickman; James J. Justice

    2000-04-27

    The Class 2 Project at West Welch was designed to demonstrate the use of advanced technologies to enhance the economics of improved oil recovery (IOR) projects in lower quality Shallow Shelf Carbonate (SSC) reservoirs, resulting in recovery of additional oil that would otherwise be left in the reservoir at project abandonment. Accurate reservoir description is critical to the effective evaluation and efficient design of IOR projects in the heterogeneous SSC reservoirs. Therefore, the majority of Budget Period 1 was devoted to reservoir characterization. Technologies being demonstrated include: (1) Advanced petrophysics; (2) Three-dimensional (3-D) seismic; (3) Crosswell bore tomography; (4) Advanced reservoir simulation; (5) Carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) stimulation treatments; (6) Hydraulic fracturing design and monitoring; and (7) Mobility control agents.

  16. APPLICATION OF RESERVOIR CHARACTERIZATION AND ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE RECOVERY AND ECONOMICS IN A LOWER QUALITY SHALLOW SHELF SAN ANDRES RESERVOIR

    SciTech Connect

    T. Scott Hickman; James J. Justice

    2001-12-11

    The Class 2 Project at West Welch was designed to demonstrate the use of advanced technologies to enhance the economics of improved oil recovery (IOR) projects in lower quality Shallow Shelf Carbonate (SSC) reservoirs, resulting in recovery of additional oil that would otherwise be left in the reservoir at project abandonment. Accurate reservoir description is critical to the effective evaluation and efficient design of IOR projects in the heterogeneous SSC reservoirs. Therefore, the majority of Budget Period 1 was devoted to reservoir characterization. Technologies being demonstrated include: (1) Advanced petrophysics; (2) Three-dimensional (3-D) seismic; (3) Crosswell bore tomography; (4) Advanced reservoir simulation; (5) Carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) stimulation treatments; (6) Hydraulic fracturing design and monitoring; and (7) Mobility control agents.

  17. APPLICATION OF RESERVOIR CHARACTERIZATION AND ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE RECOVERY AND ECONOMICS IN A LOWER QUALITY SHALLOW SHELF SAN ANDRES RESERVOIR

    SciTech Connect

    T. Scott Hickman

    2003-01-17

    The Class 2 Project at West Welch was designed to demonstrate the use of advanced technologies to enhance the economics of improved oil recovery (IOR) projects in lower quality Shallow Shelf Carbonate (SSC) reservoirs, resulting in recovery of additional oil that would otherwise be left in the reservoir at project abandonment. Accurate reservoir description is critical to the effective evaluation and efficient design of IOR projects in the heterogeneous SSC reservoirs. Therefore, the majority of Budget Period 1 was devoted to reservoir characterization. Technologies being demonstrated include: (1) Advanced petrophysics; (2) Three-dimensional (3-D) seismic; (3) Crosswell bore tomography; (4) Advanced reservoir simulation; (5) Carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) stimulation treatments; (6) Hydraulic fracturing design and monitoring; and (7) Mobility control agents.

  18. APPLICATION OF RESERVOIR CHARACTERIZATION AND ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE RECOVERY AND ECONOMICS IN A LOWER QUALITY SHALLOW SHELF SAN ANDRES RESERVOIR

    SciTech Connect

    T. Scott Hickman; James J. Justice

    2001-08-10

    The Class 2 Project at West Welch was designed to demonstrate the use of advanced technologies to enhance the economics of improved oil recovery (IOR) projects in lower quality Shallow Shelf Carbonate (SSC) reservoirs, resulting in recovery of additional oil that would otherwise be left in the reservoir at project abandonment. Accurate reservoir description is critical to the effective evaluation and efficient design of IOR projects in the heterogeneous SSC reservoirs. Therefore, the majority of Budget Period 1 was devoted to reservoir characterization. Technologies being demonstrated include: (1) Advanced petrophysics; (2) Three-dimensional (3-D) seismic; (3) Crosswell bore tomography; (4) Advanced reservoir simulation; (5) Carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) stimulation treatments; (6) Hydraulic fracturing design and monitoring; and (7) Mobility control agents.

  19. APPLICATION OF RESERVOIR CHARACTERIZATION AND ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE RECOVERY AND ECONOMICS IN A LOWER QUALITY SHALLOW SHELF SAN ANDRES RESERVOIR

    SciTech Connect

    T. Scott Hickman; James J. Justice

    2001-06-16

    The Class 2 Project at West Welch was designed to demonstrate the use of advanced technologies to enhance the economics of improved oil recovery (IOR) projects in lower quality Shallow Shelf Carbonate (SSC) reservoirs, resulting in recovery of additional oil that would otherwise be left in the reservoir at project abandonment. Accurate reservoir description is critical to the effective evaluation and efficient design of IOR projects in the heterogeneous SSC reservoirs. Therefore, the majority of Budget Period 1 was devoted to reservoir characterization. Technologies being demonstrated include: (1) Advanced petrophysics; (2) Three-dimensional (3-D) seismic; (3) Crosswell bore tomography; (4) Advanced reservoir simulation; (5) Carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) stimulation treatments; (6) Hydraulic fracturing design and monitoring; and (7) Mobility control agents.

  20. A cost of living longer: Projections of the effects of prospective mortality improvement on economic support ratios for 14 advanced economies.

    PubMed

    Parr, Nick; Li, Jackie; Tickle, Leonie

    2016-07-01

    The economic implications of increasing life expectancy are important concerns for governments in developed countries. The aims of this study were as follows: (i) to forecast mortality for 14 developed countries from 2010 to 2050, using the Poisson Common Factor Model; (ii) to project the effects of the forecast mortality patterns on support ratios; and (iii) to calculate labour force participation increases which could offset these effects. The forecast gains in life expectancy correlate negatively with current fertility. Pre-2050 support ratios are projected to fall most in Japan and east-central and southern Europe, and least in Sweden and Australia. A post-2050 recovery is projected for most east-central and southern European countries. The increases in labour force participation needed to counterbalance the effects of mortality improvement are greatest for Japan, Poland, and the Czech Republic, and least for the USA, Canada, Netherlands, and Sweden. The policy implications are discussed.

  1. A randomized controlled trial to improve health among women receiving welfare in the US: the relationship between employment outcomes and the economic recession.

    PubMed

    Kneipp, Shawn M; Kairalla, John A; Sheely, Amanda L

    2013-03-01

    The high prevalence of health conditions among U.S. women receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, or 'welfare') impedes the ability of many in this group to move from 'welfare-to-work', and the economic recession has likely exacerbated this problem. Despite this, few interventions have been developed to improve employment outcomes by addressing the health needs of women receiving TANF, and little is known about the impact of economic downturns on the employment trajectory of this group. Using data from a recent randomized controlled trial (RCT) that tested the efficacy of a public health nursing (PHN) intervention to address the chronic health condition needs of 432 American women receiving TANF, we examine the effect of the intervention and of recession exposure on employment. We further explore whether intervention effects were modified by select sociodemographic and health characteristics. Both marginal and more robust intervention effects were noted for employment-entry outcomes (any employment, p = 0.05 and time-to-employment, p = 0.01). There were significant effects for recession exposure on employment-entry (any employment, p = 0.002 and time-to-employment, p < 0.001). Neither the intervention nor recession exposure influenced longer-term employment outcomes (employment rate or maximum continuous employment). Intervention effects were not modified by age, education, prior TANF receipt, functional status, or recession exposure, suggesting the intervention was equally effective in improving employment-entry across a fairly heterogeneous group both before and after the recession onset. These findings advance our understanding of the health and employment dynamics among this group of disadvantaged women under variable macroeconomic conditions, and have implications for guiding health and TANF-related policy.

  2. Protocol for the economic evaluation of a community-based intervention to improve growth among children under two in rural India (CARING trial)

    PubMed Central

    Sinha, Rajesh; Kumar Ojha, Amit; Sarangi, Soumendra; Nair, Nirmala; Tripathy, Prasanta; Sachdev, H S; Bhattacharyya, Sanghita; Gope, Rajkumar; Rath, Shibanand; Rath, Suchitra; Srivastava, Aradhana; Pulkki-Brännström, Anni-Maria; Costello, Anthony; Copas, Andrew; Saville, Naomi; Prost, Audrey; Haghparast-Bidgoli, Hassan

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Undernutrition affects ∼165 million children globally and contributes up to 45% of all child deaths. India has the highest proportion of global undernutrition-related morbidity and mortality. This protocol describes the planned economic evaluation of a community-based intervention to improve growth in children under 2 years of age in two rural districts of eastern India. The intervention is being evaluated through a cluster-randomised controlled trial (cRCT, the CARING trial). Methods and analysis A cost-effectiveness and cost–utility analysis nested within a cRCT will be conducted from a societal perspective, measuring programme, provider, household and societal costs. Programme costs will be collected prospectively from project accounts using a standardised tool. These will be supplemented with time sheets and key informant interviews to inform the allocation of joint costs. Direct and indirect costs incurred by providers will be collected using key informant interviews and time use surveys. Direct and indirect household costs will be collected prospectively, using time use and consumption surveys. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) will be calculated for the primary outcome measure, that is, cases of stunting prevented, and other outcomes such as cases of wasting prevented, cases of infant mortality averted, life years saved and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) averted. Sensitivity analyses will be conducted to assess the robustness of results. Ethics and dissemination There is a shortage of robust evidence regarding the cost-effectiveness of strategies to improve early child growth. As this economic evaluation is nested within a large scale, cRCT, it will contribute to understanding the fiscal space for investment in early child growth, and the relative (in)efficiency of prioritising resources to this intervention over others to prevent stunting in this and other comparable contexts. The protocol has all necessary ethical

  3. COGNITIVE ECONOMICS.

    PubMed

    Kimball, Miles

    2015-06-01

    Cognitive economics is the economics of what is in people's minds. It is a vibrant area of research (much of it within behavioural economics, labour economics and the economics of education) that brings into play novel types of data, especially novel types of survey data. Such data highlight the importance of heterogeneity across individuals and highlight thorny issues for welfare economics. A key theme of cognitive economics is finite cognition (often misleadingly called "bounded rationality"), which poses theoretical challenges that call for versatile approaches. Cognitive economics brings a rich toolbox to the task of understanding a complex world.

  4. COGNITIVE ECONOMICS

    PubMed Central

    KIMBALL, MILES

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive economics is the economics of what is in people’s minds. It is a vibrant area of research (much of it within behavioural economics, labour economics and the economics of education) that brings into play novel types of data, especially novel types of survey data. Such data highlight the importance of heterogeneity across individuals and highlight thorny issues for welfare economics. A key theme of cognitive economics is finite cognition (often misleadingly called “bounded rationality”), which poses theoretical challenges that call for versatile approaches. Cognitive economics brings a rich toolbox to the task of understanding a complex world. PMID:28149186

  5. Metro Nature, Environmental Health, and Economic Value

    PubMed Central

    Robbins, Alicia S.T.

    2015-01-01

    Background Nearly 40 years of research provides an extensive body of evidence about human health, well-being, and improved function benefits associated with experiences of nearby nature in cities. Objectives We demonstrate the numerous opportunities for future research efforts that link metro nature, human health and well-being outcomes, and economic values. Methods We reviewed the literature on urban nature-based health and well-being benefits. In this review, we provide a classification schematic and propose potential economic values associated with metro nature services. Discussion Economic valuation of benefits derived from urban green systems has largely been undertaken in the fields of environmental and natural resource economics, but studies have not typically addressed health outcomes. Urban trees, parks, gardens, open spaces, and other nearby nature elements—collectively termed metro nature—generate many positive externalities that have been largely overlooked in urban economics and policy. Here, we present a range of health benefits, including benefit context and beneficiaries. Although the understanding of these benefits is not yet consistently expressed, and although it is likely that attempts to link urban ecosystem services and economic values will not include all expressions of cultural or social value, the development of new interdisciplinary approaches that integrate environmental health and economic disciplines are greatly needed. Conclusions Metro nature provides diverse and substantial benefits to human populations in cities. In this review, we begin to address the need for development of valuation methodologies and new approaches to understanding the potential economic outcomes of these benefits. Citation Wolf KL, Robbins AS. 2015. Metro nature, environmental health, and economic value. Environ Health Perspect 123:390–398; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1408216 PMID:25626137

  6. Improving the economic value of photographic screening for optical coherence tomography-detectable macular oedema: a prospective, multicentre, UK study.

    PubMed Central

    Olson, J; Sharp, P; Goatman, K; Prescott, G; Scotland, G; Fleming, A; Philip, S; Santiago, C; Borooah, S; Broadbent, D; Chong, V; Dodson, P; Harding, S; Leese, G; Styles, C; Swa, K; Wharton, H

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVES To determine the best photographic surrogate markers for detecting sight-threatening macular oedema (MO) in people with diabetes attending UK national screening programmes. DESIGN A multicentre, prospective, observational cohort study of 3170 patients with photographic signs of diabetic retinopathy visible within the macular region [exudates within two disc diameters, microaneurysms/dot haemorrhages (M/DHs) and blot haemorrhages (BHs)] who were recruited from seven study centres. SETTING All patients were recruited and imaged at one of seven study centres in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Dundee, Dunfermline, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Oxford. PARTICIPANTS Subjects with features of diabetic retinopathy visible within the macular region attending one of seven diabetic retinal screening programmes. INTERVENTIONS Alternative referral criteria for suspected MO based on photographic surrogate markers; an optical coherence tomographic examination in addition to the standard digital retinal photograph. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES (1) To determine the best method to detect sight-threatening MO in people with diabetes using photographic surrogate markers. (2) Sensitivity and specificity estimates to assess the costs and consequences of using alternative strategies. (3) Modelled long-term costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). RESULTS Prevalence of MO was strongly related to the presence of lesions and was roughly five times higher in subjects with exudates or BHs or more than two M/DHs within one disc diameter. Having worse visual acuity was associated with about a fivefold higher prevalence of MO. Current manual screening grading schemes that ignore visual acuity or the presence of M/DHs could be improved by taking these into account. Health service costs increase substantially with more sensitive/less specific strategies. A fully automated strategy, using the automated detection of patterns of photographic surrogate markers, is superior to all current manual grading

  7. Improving Access to Preschool and Postsecondary Education. Hearings before the Subcommittee on Education and Health of the Joint Economic Committee. Congress of the United States, One Hundredth Congress, Second Session (December 14-15, 1988).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joint Economic Committee, Washington, DC.

    Joint hearings on the process of improving access to preschool and postsecondary education in the United States were convened to examine the economic significance of improved access to the nation. James H. Scheuer presided. These 2 days of hearings were the last of 11 days; information given on the previous days, which focused on what the country…

  8. Working with Culturally Diverse Learners.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knott, Elizabeth S.

    1991-01-01

    Reviews demographic and economic trends promoting cultural diversity in postsecondary education. Urges educators to support cultural diversity and respect cultural differences, rather than forcing students to reject their culture of origin and adopt the dominant culture. Discusses instructional implications of ethnic/racial differences,…

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    AFRICAN GOAT IMPROVEMENT PROJECT: A FEED THE FUTURE INITIATIVE HARNESSING GENETIC DIVERSITY FOR CONSERVATION, DISEASE RESISTANCE, AND IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY Food production systems in Africa depend heavily on the use of locally adapted animals. These animals are of agricultural, cultural, and econom...

  10. Behavioral economics.

    PubMed

    Camerer, Colin F

    2014-09-22

    Behavioral economics uses evidence from psychology and other social sciences to create a precise and fruitful alternative to traditional economic theories, which are based on optimization. Behavioral economics may interest some biologists, as it shifts the basis for theories of economic choice away from logical calculation and maximization and toward biologically plausible mechanisms.

  11. β-Cell Function Improvements in Grade I/II Obese Subjects With Type 2 Diabetes 1 Month After Biliopancreatic Diversion

    PubMed Central

    Junqueira Vasques, Ana Carolina; Pareja, José Carlos; de Oliveira, Maria da Saude; Satake Novaes, Fernanda; Miranda de Oliveira Lima, Marcelo; Chaim, Élinton A.; Piccinini, Francesca; Dalla Man, Chiara; Cobelli, Claudio; Geloneze, Bruno

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To investigate the effect of biliopancreatic diversion (BPD) surgery on β-cell function in grade I and II obese patients with type 2 diabetes using oral and intravenous glucose loads. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Sixty-eight women were divided into the following three groups: 19 lean-control (23.0 ± 2.2 kg/m2) and 18 obese-control (35.0 ± 4.8 kg/m2) subjects with normal glucose tolerance, and 31 obese patients with type 2 diabetes (36.3 ± 3.7 kg/m2). Of the 31 diabetic women, 64% underwent BPD (n = 20, BMI: 36.5 ± 3.7 kg/m2) and were reassessed 1 month after surgery. Oral glucose tolerance tests and hyperglycemic clamps were performed. Mathematical modeling was used to analyze basal and stimulated β-cell function, insulin sensitivity (IS), hepatic extraction (HE) of insulin, and delay time of β-cell response to a specific plasma glucose concentration. RESULTS After BPD, restoration of the basal disposition index (P < 0.001) and improvement of the stimulated disposition indices in oral and intravenous glucose stimulation of the β-cell were observed (P < 0.05). In both dynamic tests, there were no changes in the delay time of β-cell response. IS for oral glucose stimulation (ISoral) and intravenous clamp glucose stimulation (ISclamp) was completely normalized (P < 0.001). ISoral and ISclamp increased approximately 5.0-fold and 3.5-fold, respectively (P < 0.01). The HE of insulin increased in the basal (P < 0.05) and stimulated states (P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS β-Cell function, IS, and HE of insulin improved after BPD, which improved glycemic control. PMID:24135388

  12. Teaching and Learning Economics. ERIC Digest.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seiter, David M.

    This ERIC Digest on economics education discusses: (1) the economic literacy of secondary school students; (2) the improvement of the economic curriculum; (3) the improvement of social studies teachers' training and teaching methods; and (4) the implications of improved economics education. A national survey sponsored by the Joint Council on…

  13. Population structure and phylogenetic relationships in a diverse panel of Brassica rapa L.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The crop species Brassica rapa L. has significant economic importance around the globe. Crop domestication and improvement has resulted in extreme phenotypic diversity and subspecies that are used for oilseed, food for human consumption and fodder for livestock. However, the global distribution and ...

  14. Rethinking Diversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gordon, Jack

    1992-01-01

    Managing diversity is about coping with unassimilated differences, about building systems and a culture that unite different people in a common pursuit without undermining their diversity. The goal of diversity training is a high performance organization rather than a climate in which no one's feathers are ruffled. (SK)

  15. Rethinking Diversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1996

    These three papers were presented at a symposium on rethinking diversity in human resource development (HRD) moderated by Neal Chalofsky at the 1996 conference of the Academy of Human Resource Development. "Diversity: A Double-Edged Sword" (Sally F. Angus) presents the notion of work force diversity through two differing perspectives in order to…

  16. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)/Maize (Zea mays L.) Intercropping Provides a Feasible Way to Improve Yield and Economic Incomes in Farming and Pastoral Areas of Northeast China

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Baoru; Peng, Yi; Yang, Hongyu; Li, Zhijian; Gao, Yingzhi; Wang, Chao; Yan, Yuli; Liu, Yanmei

    2014-01-01

    Given the growing challenges to food and eco-environmental security as well as sustainable development of animal husbandry in the farming and pastoral areas of northeast China, it is crucial to identify advantageous intercropping modes and some constraints limiting its popularization. In order to assess the performance of various intercropping modes of maize and alfalfa, a field experiment was conducted in a completely randomized block design with five treatments: maize monoculture in even rows, maize monoculture in alternating wide and narrow rows, alfalfa monoculture, maize intercropped with one row of alfalfa in wide rows and maize intercropped with two rows of alfalfa in wide rows. Results demonstrate that maize monoculture in alternating wide and narrow rows performed best for light transmission, grain yield and output value, compared to in even rows. When intercropped, maize intercropped with one row of alfalfa in wide rows was identified as the optimal strategy and the largely complementary ecological niches of alfalfa and maize were shown to account for the intercropping advantages, optimizing resource utilization and improving yield and economic incomes. These findings suggest that alfalfa/maize intercropping has obvious advantages over monoculture and is applicable to the farming and pastoral areas of northeast China. PMID:25329376

  17. Improvement of anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge in a wastewater treatment plant by means of mechanical and thermal pre-treatments: Performance, energy and economical assessment.

    PubMed

    Ruffino, Barbara; Campo, Giuseppe; Genon, Giuseppe; Lorenzi, Eugenio; Novarino, Daniel; Scibilia, Gerardo; Zanetti, Mariachiara

    2015-01-01

    Performances of mechanical and low-temperature (<100°C) thermal pre-treatments were investigated to improve the present efficiency of anaerobic digestion (AD) carried out on waste activated sludge (WAS) in the largest Italian wastewater treatment plant (2,300,000p.e.). Thermal pre-treatments returned disintegration rates of one order of magnitude higher than mechanical ones (about 25% vs. 1.5%). The methane specific production increased by 21% and 31%, with respect to untreated samples, for treatment conditions of respectively 70 and 90°C, 3h. Thermal pre-treatments also decreased WAS viscosity. Preliminary energy and economic assessments demonstrated that a WAS final total solid content of 5% was enough to avoid the employment of auxiliary methane for the pre-treatment at 90°C and the subsequent AD process, provided that all the heat generated was transferred to WAS through heat exchangers. Moreover, the total revenues from sale of the electricity produced from biogas increased by 10% with respect to the present scenario.

  18. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)/maize (Zea mays L.) intercropping provides a feasible way to improve yield and economic incomes in farming and pastoral areas of northeast China.

    PubMed

    Sun, Baoru; Peng, Yi; Yang, Hongyu; Li, Zhijian; Gao, Yingzhi; Wang, Chao; Yan, Yuli; Liu, Yanmei

    2014-01-01

    Given the growing challenges to food and eco-environmental security as well as sustainable development of animal husbandry in the farming and pastoral areas of northeast China, it is crucial to identify advantageous intercropping modes and some constraints limiting its popularization. In order to assess the performance of various intercropping modes of maize and alfalfa, a field experiment was conducted in a completely randomized block design with five treatments: maize monoculture in even rows, maize monoculture in alternating wide and narrow rows, alfalfa monoculture, maize intercropped with one row of alfalfa in wide rows and maize intercropped with two rows of alfalfa in wide rows. Results demonstrate that maize monoculture in alternating wide and narrow rows performed best for light transmission, grain yield and output value, compared to in even rows. When intercropped, maize intercropped with one row of alfalfa in wide rows was identified as the optimal strategy and the largely complementary ecological niches of alfalfa and maize were shown to account for the intercropping advantages, optimizing resource utilization and improving yield and economic incomes. These findings suggest that alfalfa/maize intercropping has obvious advantages over monoculture and is applicable to the farming and pastoral areas of northeast China.

  19. Economic uncertainty and econophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schinckus, Christophe

    2009-10-01

    The objective of this paper is to provide a methodological link between econophysics and economics. I will study a key notion of both fields: uncertainty and the ways of thinking about it developed by the two disciplines. After having presented the main economic theories of uncertainty (provided by Knight, Keynes and Hayek), I show how this notion is paradoxically excluded from the economic field. In economics, uncertainty is totally reduced by an a priori Gaussian framework-in contrast to econophysics, which does not use a priori models because it works directly on data. Uncertainty is then not shaped by a specific model, and is partially and temporally reduced as models improve. This way of thinking about uncertainty has echoes in the economic literature. By presenting econophysics as a Knightian method, and a complementary approach to a Hayekian framework, this paper shows that econophysics can be methodologically justified from an economic point of view.

  20. Economic analysis of selected water policy options for the Pacific northwest. Agriculture economic report

    SciTech Connect

    Schaible, G.D.; Gollehon, N.R.; Kramer, M.S.; Aillery, M.P.; Moore, M.R.

    1995-06-01

    Agriculture in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) could use significantly less water with minimal impact on agricultural economic returns. Less water use by agriculture makes more water available for municipal, industrial, and recreational uses; for improved water quality and wildlife habitat; and for Native American water rights claims. Net water savings up to 18.5 percent of current levels of field-crop use can be realized by such actions as reducing Bureau of Reclamation (BoR) surface-water diversion, improving water-use efficiency, and raising the cost of water. Effects on agricultural economic returns for PNW field crops range from a decline of $22 million (1.7 percent) to an increase of $171 million (13.1 percent). Combining different approaches spreads the conservation burden among farmers, water suppliers, and production regions.

  1. Television Economics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Owen, Bruce M.; And Others

    Intended as an introduction to the economics of commercial television for the general reader, this volume considers the theory and analytical basis of television and the policy implications of those economics. Part I considers the economics of television markets with particular attention of the determinants of viewer markets; the supply of…

  2. Stimulating Economics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Banaian, King

    2009-01-01

    With the current economic slump possibly the deepest since the Great Depression, interest in the subject of macroeconomics has reignited, and the number of students majoring in economics has increased during the last two years. While this would appear to be good news for educators in the economics field, the profession is nervous about more than…

  3. Research Priorities for Economic Analyses of Prevention: Current Issues & Future Directions

    PubMed Central

    Crowley, D. Max; Hill, Laura Griner; Kuklinski, Margaret R.; Jones, Damon E.

    2013-01-01

    In response to growing interest in economic analyses of prevention efforts, a diverse group of prevention researchers, economists, and policy analysts convened a scientific panel, on “Research Priorities in Economic Analysis of Prevention” at the 19th annual conference of the Society for Prevention Research. The panel articulated four priorities that, if followed in future research, would make economic analyses of prevention efforts easier to compare and more relevant to policymakers, and community stakeholders. These priorities are: (1) increased standardization of evaluation methods, (2) improved economic valuation of common prevention outcomes, (3) expanded efforts to maximize evaluation generalizability and impact, as well as (4) enhanced transparency and communicability of economic evaluations. In this paper we define three types of economic analyses in prevention, provide context and rationale for these four priorities as well as related sub-priorities, and discuss the challenges inherent in meeting them. PMID:23963624

  4. A Polarization-Diversity Homodyne Image-Reject Optical Tranceiver Architecture for Improved Range and Signal Detection in Coherent Doppler Lidars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abari, C. F.; Chu, X.; Mann, J.

    2014-12-01

    Doppler light detection and ranging (lidar) has been used for a few decades for the characterization of wind fields and turbulence structures in the atmosphere. More recently, due to the advances in fiber optic communications, all-fiber coherent Doppler lidars (CDL) have been developed and widely used as a primary instrument for probing the atmospheric boundary layer wind fields. Due to a variety of reasons, all-fiber CDLs have gradually replaced their counterparts benefiting from technologies other than fiber optics. Most CDLs suffer from a number of drawbacks inherent to their principle of operation. For instance, one of the main challenges in CDLs is extracting the signal information from noisy observations, which is common to most opto-electronic systems. Moreover, it is sometimes challenging to extract the sign of the measured radial velocity. Conventionally, CDLs have benefitted from an intermediate frequency (IF) heterodyne receiver architecture for the determination of the radial velocity. In such systems, either the transmitted or the local oscillator (LO) signal is shifted in frequency. Such architectures may suffer from increased noise and spurious effects due to the employment of additional active components, e.g., acousto-optic modulator (AOM), limited measurement bandwidth (BW), and a more sophisticated electronic front-end for signal detection. On the other hand, one of the main challenges in long-range (pulsed) CDLs is the limitations imposed on the pulse repetition rate (PRR) as well as the available transmit power. These restrictions are more significant in all-fiber pulsed CDLs in which Erbium doped fiber amplifiers (EDFA) are employed for the amplification of the optical pulses. In this study, we propose an alternative reconfigurable opto-electronic front-end transceiver architecture in all-fiber CDLs where there is no compromise in the detection BW. Additionally, by benefiting from a polarization diversity architecture we show that both the PRR

  5. An Assessment of Genetic Diversity and Drought Tolerance in Argan Tree (Argania spinosa) Populations: Potential for the Development of Improved Drought Tolerance.

    PubMed

    Chakhchar, Abdelghani; Haworth, Matthew; El Modafar, Cherkaoui; Lauteri, Marco; Mattioni, Claudia; Wahbi, Said; Centritto, Mauro

    2017-01-01

    The argan tree (Argania spinosa) occurs in a restricted area of Southwestern Morocco characterized by low water availability and high evapotranspirative demand. Despite the adaptation of the argan tree to drought stress, the extent of the argan forest has declined markedly due to increased aridity, land use changes and the expansion of olive cultivation. The oil of the argan seed is used for cooking and as the basis for numerous cosmetics. The identification of argan tree varieties with enhanced drought tolerance may minimize the economic losses associated with the decline of the argan forest and constrain the spread of desertification. In this study we collected argan ecotypes from four contrasting habitats and grew them under identical controlled environment conditions to investigate their response to drought. Leaf gas exchange analysis indicated that the argan ecotypes showed a high degree of adaptation to drought stress, maintaining photosynthetic activity at low levels of foliar water content and co-ordinating photosynthesis, stomatal behavior and metabolism. The stomata of the argan trees were highly sensitive to increased leaf to air vapor pressure deficit, representing an adaptation to growth in an arid environment where potential evapotranspiration is high. However, despite originating in contrasting environments, the four argan ecotypes exhibited similar gas exchange characteristics under both fully irrigated and water deficit conditions. Population genetic analyses using microsatellite markers indicated a high degree of relatedness between the four ecotypes; indicative of both artificial selection and the transport of ecotypes between different provinces throughout centuries of management of the argan forest. The majority of genetic variation across the four populations (71%) was observed between individuals, suggesting that improvement of argan is possible. Phenotypic screening of physiological responses to drought may prove effective in identifying

  6. An Assessment of Genetic Diversity and Drought Tolerance in Argan Tree (Argania spinosa) Populations: Potential for the Development of Improved Drought Tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Chakhchar, Abdelghani; Haworth, Matthew; El Modafar, Cherkaoui; Lauteri, Marco; Mattioni, Claudia; Wahbi, Said; Centritto, Mauro

    2017-01-01

    The argan tree (Argania spinosa) occurs in a restricted area of Southwestern Morocco characterized by low water availability and high evapotranspirative demand. Despite the adaptation of the argan tree to drought stress, the extent of the argan forest has declined markedly due to increased aridity, land use changes and the expansion of olive cultivation. The oil of the argan seed is used for cooking and as the basis for numerous cosmetics. The identification of argan tree varieties with enhanced drought tolerance may minimize the economic losses associated with the decline of the argan forest and constrain the spread of desertification. In this study we collected argan ecotypes from four contrasting habitats and grew them under identical controlled environment conditions to investigate their response to drought. Leaf gas exchange analysis indicated that the argan ecotypes showed a high degree of adaptation to drought stress, maintaining photosynthetic activity at low levels of foliar water content and co-ordinating photosynthesis, stomatal behavior and metabolism. The stomata of the argan trees were highly sensitive to increased leaf to air vapor pressure deficit, representing an adaptation to growth in an arid environment where potential evapotranspiration is high. However, despite originating in contrasting environments, the four argan ecotypes exhibited similar gas exchange characteristics under both fully irrigated and water deficit conditions. Population genetic analyses using microsatellite markers indicated a high degree of relatedness between the four ecotypes; indicative of both artificial selection and the transport of ecotypes between different provinces throughout centuries of management of the argan forest. The majority of genetic variation across the four populations (71%) was observed between individuals, suggesting that improvement of argan is possible. Phenotypic screening of physiological responses to drought may prove effective in identifying

  7. APPLICATION OF RESERVOIR CHARACTERIZATION AND ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE RECOVERY AND ECONOMICS IN A LOWER QUALITY SHALLOW SHELF SAN ANDRES RESERVOIR

    SciTech Connect

    T. Scott Hickman; James J. Justice

    2002-01-09

    The OXY-operated Class 2 Project at West Welch is designed to demonstrate how the use of advanced technology can improve the economics of miscible CO{sub 2} injection projects in lower quality Shallow Shelf Carbonate reservoirs. The research and design phase (Budget Period 1) primarily involved advanced reservoir characterization. The current demonstration phase (Budget Period 2) is the implementation of the reservoir management plan for an optimum miscible CO{sub 2} flood design based on the reservoir characterization. Although Budget Period 1 for the Project officially ended 12/31/96, reservoir characterization and simulation work continued during the Budget Period 2. During the fifth and sixth annual reporting periods (8/3/98-8/2/00) covered by this report, work continued on interpretation of the cross well seismic data to create porosity and permeability profiles which were distributed into the reservoir geostatistically. The initial interwell seismic CO{sub 2} monitor survey was conducted, the acquired data processed and interpretation started. Only limited well work and facility construction was conducted in the project area. The CO{sub 2} injection initiated in October 1997 was continued, although the operator had to modify the operating plan in response to low injection rates, well performance and changes in CO{sub 2} supply. CO{sub 2} injection was focused in a smaller area to increase the reservoir processing rate. By the end of the reporting period three producers had shown sustained oil rate increases and ten wells had experienced gas (CO{sub 2}) breakthrough.

  8. APPLICATION OF RESERVOIR CHARACTERIZATION AND ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE RECOVERY AND ECONOMICS IN A LOWER QUALITY SHALLOW SHELF SAN ANDRES RESERVOIR

    SciTech Connect

    Tom Beebe

    2003-05-05

    The OXY-operated Class 2 Project at West Welch is designed to demonstrate how the use of advanced technology can improve the economics of miscible CO{sub 2} injection projects in lower quality Shallow Shelf Carbonate reservoirs. The research and design phase (Budget Period 1) primarily involved advanced reservoir characterization. The current demonstration phase (Budget Period 2) is the implementation of the reservoir management plan for an optimum miscible CO{sub 2} flood design based on the reservoir characterization. Although Budget Period 1 for the Project officially ended 12/31/96, reservoir characterization and simulation work continued during the Budget Period 2. During the seventh annual reporting period (8/3/00-8/2/01) covered by this report, work continued on interpretation of the interwell seismic data to create porosity and permeability profiles which were distributed into the reservoir geostatistically. The initial interwell seismic CO{sub 2} monitor survey was conducted and the acquired data processed and interpretation started. Only limited well work and facility construction were conducted in the project area. The CO{sub 2} injection initiated in October 1997 was continued, although the operator had to modify the operating plan in response to low injection rates, well performance and changes in CO{sub 2} supply. CO{sub 2} injection was focused in a smaller area to increase the reservoir processing rate. By the end of the reporting period three producers had shown sustained oil rate increases and six wells had experienced gas (CO{sub 2}) breakthrough.

  9. Energy and Economics. [Revised Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walstad, William; Gleason, Joyce

    This unit is designed to provide high school students with an introduction to topics of energy and economics. A basic premise of the unit is that energy issues and economics are interrelated. It is believed that the application of basic economic concepts to energy issues can provide students with the tools to improve their analysis of problems and…

  10. Massage therapy improves the development of HIV-exposed infants living in a low socio-economic, peri-urban community of South Africa.

    PubMed

    Perez, E M; Carrara, H; Bourne, L; Berg, A; Swanevelder, S; Hendricks, M K

    2015-02-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the effect of massage therapy on the growth and development of infants of HIV-infected mothers in a low socio-economic community in Cape Town. It was a prospective, randomised, controlled intervention trial that included massage therapy and control groups of HIV-infected mothers and their normal birth weight infants who were enrolled in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programme. Participants were recruited at the 6-week clinic visit and followed up every 2 weeks until their infants were 9 months of age. Mother-infant pairs in the massage therapy and control groups included 73 and 88 at 6 weeks and 55 and 58 at 9 months, respectively. Mothers in the intervention group were trained to massage their infants for 15 min daily. The socioeconomic status, immunity, relationship with the partner and mental pain of mothers; the infants' dietary intake, anthropometry and development (Griffiths Mental Development Scales); and haematological and iron status of mothers and infants were assessed at baseline and follow-up. Nine infants (5.3%) were HIV-infected on the HIV DNA PCR test at 6 weeks. Despite significantly higher levels of maternal mental pain, infants in the massage therapy compared to control group scored higher in all five of the Griffiths Scales of Mental Development and significantly higher in the mean quotient (p=0.002) and mean percentile (p=0.004) for the hearing and speech scale at 9 months. Based on the mean difference in scores, the massage therapy group showed greater improvement for all five scales compared to the control group. The mean difference in scores was significantly greater for the hearing and speech quotient (21.9 vs. 11.2) (p<0.03) and the general quotient percentile (19.3 vs. 7.7) (p=0.03) in the massage therapy compared to the control group. These scales remained significant when adjusting for the relationship with the partner and maternal mental pain. Both groups had lower scores in

  11. Behavioral Economics

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Derek D.; Niileksela, Christopher R.; Kaplan, Brent A.

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, behavioral economics has gained much attention in psychology and public policy. Despite increased interest and continued basic experimental studies, the application of behavioral economics to therapeutic settings remains relatively sparse. Using examples from both basic and applied studies, we provide an overview of the principles comprising behavioral economic perspectives and discuss implications for behavior analysts in practice. A call for further translational research is provided. PMID:25729506

  12. Economic Sanctions and Zimbabwe

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-03-01

    continuing oppression and repressive authoritarian practices. Despite hope for improved economic activity and success, President Mugabe’s presence...experiencing “a nascent economic recovery”. 82 Human rights however, have been repressed or openly and wholly disregarded by the ruling ZANU-PF...intangible effect of advertising external disgust with Mugabe’s actions. However, the accompanying or resultant international withdrawal of regime

  13. SEASAT economic assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hicks, K.; Steele, W.

    1974-01-01

    The SEASAT program will provide scientific and economic benefits from global remote sensing of the ocean's dynamic and physical characteristics. The program as presently envisioned consists of: (1) SEASAT A; (2) SEASAT B; and (3) Operational SEASAT. This economic assessment was to identify, rationalize, quantify and validate the economic benefits evolving from SEASAT. These benefits will arise from improvements in the operating efficiency of systems that interface with the ocean. SEASAT data will be combined with data from other ocean and atmospheric sampling systems and then processed through analytical models of the interaction between oceans and atmosphere to yield accurate global measurements and global long range forecasts of ocean conditions and weather.

  14. Improved activity and durability of Rh-based three-way catalyst under diverse aging atmospheres by ZrO2 support.

    PubMed

    Cao, Yidan; Ran, Rui; Wu, Xiaodong; Zhao, Baohuai; Weng, Duan

    2017-02-01

    The catalytic activity and durability of Rh/ZrO2 catalyst were investigated compared with Rh/Al2O3 catalyst under diverse aging atmospheres, including lean, rich and lean-rich cyclic aging atmospheres, to simulate the real working conditions of three-way catalyst. Oxidation states and microstructures of rhodium species were investigated to correlate with the catalytic performance of the catalysts. The catalytic performance and durability of the Rh catalyst under diverse aging atmospheres were drastically enhanced by ZrO2 support. ZrO2 support was confirmed to be able to effectively inhibit rhodium sintering even under diverse aging conditions. It can also successfully keep Rh species in an active low-valence state on the surface of the catalyst. The superiority of ZrO2 support compared to Al2O3 was verified by the Rh-based monolith catalyst.

  15. Economics Pupils

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, Alexander; Straker-Cook, Dawn

    1976-01-01

    This paper contains survey information relating to the relative performance of economics pupils at"A" level, their feelings about the subject, and the type of teaching to which they are exposed. The primary concern is to stimulate debate about the issues raised. Journal is available from: Economics Association, Room 340, Hamilton House, Mabledon…

  16. China Report, Economic Affairs.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-02-14

    the Dandong Harbor in Dandong. Completion of these two ports will greatly improve the traffic and transport services of Jinzhou and Dandong. 37 5...consumption by means of technical improve - ments, rational utilization, scientific control , and rationalization of the economic structure. Ch II...make greater efforts to fight smuggling and improve control of foreign exchange. China plans to add 5 ’million kw of power-generating capacity this

  17. Improved Socio-Economic Status of a Community Population Following Schistosomiasis and Intestinal Worm Control Interventions on Kome Island, North-Western Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Mwanga, Joseph R; Kaatano, Godfrey M; Siza, Julius E; Chang, Su Young; Ko, Yunsuk; Kullaya, Cyril M; Nsabo, Jackson; Eom, Keeseon S; Yong, Tai-Soon; Chai, Jong-Yil; Min, Duk-Young; Rim, Han-Jong; Changalucha, John M

    2015-10-01

    Research on micro-level assessment of the changes of socio-economic status following health interventions is very scarce. The use of household asset data to determine wealth indices is a common procedure for estimating socio-economic position in resource poor settings. In such settings information about income is usually lacking, and the collection of individual consumption or expenditure data would require in-depth interviews, posing a considerable risk of bias. In this study, we determined the socio-economic status of 213 households in a community population in an island in the north-western Tanzania before and 3 year after implementation of a participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation (PHAST) intervention to control schistosomiasis and intestinal worm infections. We constructed a household 'wealth index' based housing construction features (e.g., type of roof, walls, and floor) and durable assets ownership (e.g., bicycle, radio, etc.). We employed principal components analysis and classified households into wealth quintiles. The study revealed that asset variables with positive factor scores were associated with higher socio-economic status, whereas asset variables with negative factor scores were associated with lower socio-economic status. Overall, households which were rated as the poorest and very poor were on the decrease, whereas those rated as poor, less poor, and the least poor were on the increase after PHAST intervention. This decrease/increase was significant. The median shifted from -0.4376677 to 0.5001073, and the mean from -0.2605787 (SD; 2.005688) to 0.2605787 (SD; 1.831199). The difference in socio-economic status of the people between the 2 phases was highly statistically significant (P<0.001). We argue that finding of this study should be treated with caution as there were other interventions to control schistosomiasis and intestinal worm infections which were running concurrently on Kome Island apart from PHAST intervention.

  18. Network Diversity and Affect Dynamics: The Role of Personality Traits

    PubMed Central

    Alshamsi, Aamena; Pianesi, Fabio; Lepri, Bruno; Pentland, Alex; Rahwan, Iyad

    2016-01-01

    People divide their time unequally among their social contacts due to time constraints and varying strength of relationships. It was found that high diversity of social communication, dividing time more evenly among social contacts, is correlated with economic well-being both at macro and micro levels. Besides economic well-being, it is not clear how the diversity of social communication is also associated with the two components of individuals’ subjective well-being, positive and negative affect. Specifically, positive affect and negative affect are two independent dimensions representing the experience (feeling) of emotions. In this paper, we investigate the relationship between the daily diversity of social communication and dynamic affect states that people experience in their daily lives. We collected two high-resolution datasets that capture affect scores via daily experience sampling surveys and social interaction through wearable sensing technologies: sociometric badges for face-to-face interaction and smart phones for mobile phone calls. We found that communication diversity correlates with desirable affect states–e.g. an increase in the positive affect state or a decrease in the negative affect state–for some personality types, but correlates with undesirable affect states for others. For example, diversity in phone calls is experienced as good by introverts, but bad by extroverts; diversity in face-to-face interaction is experienced as good by people who tend to be positive by nature (trait) but bad for people who tend to be not positive by nature. More broadly, the moderating effect of personality type on the relationship between diversity and affect was detected without any knowledge of the type of social tie or the content of communication. This provides further support for the power of unobtrusive sensing in understanding social dynamics, and in measuring the effect of potential interventions designed to improve well-being. PMID:27035904

  19. Network Diversity and Affect Dynamics: The Role of Personality Traits.

    PubMed

    Alshamsi, Aamena; Pianesi, Fabio; Lepri, Bruno; Pentland, Alex; Rahwan, Iyad

    2016-01-01

    People divide their time unequally among their social contacts due to time constraints and varying strength of relationships. It was found that high diversity of social communication, dividing time more evenly among social contacts, is correlated with economic well-being both at macro and micro levels. Besides economic well-being, it is not clear how the diversity of social communication is also associated with the two components of individuals' subjective well-being, positive and negative affect. Specifically, positive affect and negative affect are two independent dimensions representing the experience (feeling) of emotions. In this paper, we investigate the relationship between the daily diversity of social communication and dynamic affect states that people experience in their daily lives. We collected two high-resolution datasets that capture affect scores via daily experience sampling surveys and social interaction through wearable sensing technologies: sociometric badges for face-to-face interaction and smart phones for mobile phone calls. We found that communication diversity correlates with desirable affect states--e.g. an increase in the positive affect state or a decrease in the negative affect state--for some personality types, but correlates with undesirable affect states for others. For example, diversity in phone calls is experienced as good by introverts, but bad by extroverts; diversity in face-to-face interaction is experienced as good by people who tend to be positive by nature (trait) but bad for people who tend to be not positive by nature. More broadly, the moderating effect of personality type on the relationship between diversity and affect was detected without any knowledge of the type of social tie or the content of communication. This provides further support for the power of unobtrusive sensing in understanding social dynamics, and in measuring the effect of potential interventions designed to improve well-being.

  20. Ecological economics and economic growth.

    PubMed

    Victor, Peter A

    2010-01-01

    Boulding's 1966 paper on the economics of spaceship Earth established the framework for ecological economics and an understanding of economic growth. In ecological economics, economies are conceptualized as open subsystems of the closed biosphere and are subject to biophysical laws and constraints. Economic growth measured as an increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) has generally been associated with increases in the use of energy and materials and the generation of wastes. Scale, composition, and technology are the proximate determinants of environmental impacts. They are often reduced to two: scale (GDP) and intensity (impact per unit GDP). New work described in this paper defines "green" growth as intensity that declines faster than scale increases. Similarly, "brown" growth occurs when intensity declines more slowly than increases in scale, and "black" growth happens when both scale and intensity increase. These concepts are then related to the environmental Kuznets curve, which can be understood as a transition from brown to green growth. Ecological economics provides a macroperspective on economic growth. It offers broad policy principles, and it challenges the primacy of economic growth as a policy objective, but many important questions remain.

  1. Swarm Economics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazadi, Sanza; Lee, John

    The Hamiltonian Method of Swarm Design is applied to the design of an agent based economic system. The method allows the design of a system from the global behaviors to the agent behaviors, with a guarantee that once certain derived agent-level conditions are satisfied, the system behavior becomes the desired behavior. Conditions which must be satisfied by consumer agents in order to bring forth the `invisible hand of the market' are derived and demonstrated in simulation. A discussion of how this method might be extended to other economic systems and non-economic systems is presented.

  2. ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOUNTING: BALANCING ECONOMIC GROWTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Modern industrial economies depend on the environment to support economic production and a high standard of living. Economic production, in turn, impacts the productivity of ecosystems through waste production and resource use or diversion. Human activities control many energy an...

  3. The Economic Benefits of Closing Educational Achievement Gaps: Promoting Growth and Strengthening the Nation by Improving the Educational Outcomes of Children of Color

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lynch, Robert G.; Oakford, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Our nation is currently experiencing growing levels of income and wealth inequality, which are contributing to longstanding racial and ethnic gaps in education outcomes and other areas. This report quantifies the economic benefits of closing one of the most harmful racial and ethnic gaps: the educational achievement gap that exists between black…

  4. Transonic transport study: Economics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, C. L.; Wilcox, D. E.

    1972-01-01

    An economic analysis was performed to evaluate the impact of advanced materials, increased aerodynamic and structural efficiencies, and cruise speed on advanced transport aircraft designed for cruise Mach numbers of .90, .98, and 1.15. A detailed weight statement was generated by an aircraft synthesis computer program called TRANSYN-TST; these weights were used to estimate the cost to develop and manufacture a fleet of aircraft of each configuration. The direct and indirect operating costs were estimated for each aircraft, and an average return on investment was calculated for various operating conditions. There was very little difference between the operating economics of the aircraft designed for Mach numbers .90 and .98. The Mach number 1.15 aircraft was economically marginal in comparison but showed significant improvements with the application of carbon/epoxy structural material. However, the Mach .90 and Mach .98 aircraft are the most economically attractive vehicles in the study.

  5. The Creativity-Diversity Link

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gates, Gary J.

    2004-01-01

    The growing dominance of the creative economy challenges cities and regions to move beyond the impulse toward "big ticket" economic development strategies like stadiums and convention centres and consider increased support for community-level strategies that encourage social and cultural diversity. Vibrant street scenes, eclectic…

  6. Leadership in diversity.

    PubMed

    Hunt, P L

    1994-12-01

    As principal change agents, healthcare leaders are well positioned to integrate diversity into their institutions' organizational structure. Thus healthcare leaders must be competent in handling diversity issues. Diversity refers to any characteristic that helps shape a person's attitudes, behaviors, perspective, and interpretation of what is "normal." In the healthcare ministry, diversity encompasses the cultural differences that can be found across functions or among organizations when they merge or partner. Managers and supervisors will have to be familiar with the nuances of diversity if they are to be effective. Those managers who are not adept at incorporating diversity into human resource management may incorrectly evaluate subordinates' capabilities and provide inappropriate training or supervision. As a result, some employees may be underutilized. Others may resist needed direction, overlook instructions, or hide problems such as a language barrier. If executives, marketers, and strategic planners are to develop relevant healthcare services that take into account the needs of their constituencies, they will need to determine how different groups understand and access healthcare. Healthcare leaders who know how to uncover cultural dynamics and challenge cultural assumptions will go far in enabling their staff and managers to confront personal attitudes about community residents. Ultimately, quality of service delivery will be improved.

  7. Economic conversion: The US experience

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, R.C.

    1994-12-31

    At the end of the Second World War, our country experienced what economists have called {open_quotes}The Great Conversion{close_quotes} or {open_quotes}The Great Disarmament.{close_quotes} Following that period and until the beginning of the Viet-Nam War was a time marked by economic expansion and boom. Since those years, there have been several periods during which bases were closed and defense spending was slowed. For the communities going through these transitions, again there was economic expansion. A recent survey reports that, within the last 25 years, over 100 communities redeveloped their economic base and experienced, not catastrophy as they expected, but a period of economic growth. Jobs were not lost but nearly doubled. Small businesses and educational institutions multiplied. Building starts accelerated. The survey attributed this economic growth to proper planning, increased awareness of the need for job training and education, diversification of economic activity, and an ownership on the part of the citizens in their collective economic future. The lesson for us should be that realigning our community economic priorities away from such a strong emphasis on military spending and toward a diverse and productive civilian economy brings economic health. We are relearning this lesson in the redevelopment of Lowry Air Force Base and the transition of Rocky Flats Nuclear Plant from a weapons manufacturing mission to one of cleanup.

  8. The economic and poverty impacts of animal diseases in developing countries: new roles, new demands for economics and epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Rich, Karl M; Perry, Brian D

    2011-09-01

    Animal disease outbreaks pose significant threats to livestock sectors throughout the world, both from the standpoint of the economic impacts of the disease itself and the measures taken to mitigate the risk of disease introduction. These impacts are multidimensional and not always well understood, complicating effective policy response. In the developing world, livestock diseases have broader, more nuanced effects on markets, poverty, and livelihoods, given the diversity of uses of livestock and complexity of livestock value chains. In both settings, disease control strategies, particularly those informed by ex ante modeling platforms, often fail to recognize the constraints inherent among farmers, veterinary services, and other value chain actors. In short, context matters. Correspondingly, an important gap in the animal health economics literature is the explicit incorporation of behavior and incentives in impact analyses that highlight the interactions of disease with its socio-economic and institutional setting. In this paper, we examine new approaches and frameworks for the analysis of economic and poverty impacts of animal diseases. We propose greater utilization of "bottom-up" analyses, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of value chain and information economics approaches in impact analyses and stressing the importance of improved integration between the epidemiology of disease and its relationships with economic behavior.

  9. [Economic Growth and Development].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clausen, A. W.

    Recent efforts of the World Bank to improve global economic problems are described, issues which will influence the role of the World Bank in the decade to come are discussed, and the Bank's future role is examined. Recent World Bank efforts to help developing nations include a lending program, project investments, analytical and advisory work,…

  10. Discovering Diversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manner, Barbara M.; Hattler, Jean Anne

    2000-01-01

    Introduces a preservice teacher field trip to the rain forests and coastal areas. This experience develops an awareness for different cultures among preservice teachers by experiencing biological and cultural diversity in Costa Rica. Presents students' own ideas on this experience. (YDS)

  11. Diversity's Calling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Kenneth J.

    2011-01-01

    This article discusses how a Harvard-educated scholar of English and poetry, Dr. M. Lee Pelton puts a prominent face on changes that are underway at Boston's Emerson College. Faced with a public controversy over its limited faculty diversity, Emerson College has responded with a spate of hirings and promotions of minorities, capped by the…

  12. PLANT DIVERSITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Habitat change statistics and species-area curves were used to estimate the effects of alternative future scenarios for agriculture on plant diversity in Iowa farmlands. Study areas were two watersheds in central Iowa of about 50 and 90 square kilometers, respectively. Future s...

  13. Generational diversity.

    PubMed

    Kramer, Linda W

    2010-01-01

    Generational diversity has proven challenges for nurse leaders, and generational values may influence ideas about work and career planning. This article discusses generational gaps, influencing factors and support, and the various generational groups present in today's workplace as well as the consequences of need addressing these issues. The article ends with a discussion of possible solutions.

  14. Molecular diversity, cultivation, and improved detection by fluorescent in situ hybridization of a dominant group of human gut bacteria related to Roseburia spp. or Eubacterium rectale.

    PubMed

    Aminov, Rustam I; Walker, Alan W; Duncan, Sylvia H; Harmsen, Hermie J M; Welling, Gjalt W; Flint, Harry J

    2006-09-01

    Phylogenetic analysis was used to compare 16S rRNA sequences from 19 cultured human gut strains of Roseburia and Eubacterium rectale with 356 related sequences derived from clone libraries. The cultured strains were found to represent five of the six phylotypes identified. A new oligonucleotide probe, Rrec584, and the previous group probe Rint623, when used in conjunction with a new helper oligonucleotide, each recognized an average of 7% of bacteria detected by the eubacterial probe Eub338 in feces from 10 healthy volunteers. Most of the diversity within this important group of butyrate-producing gut bacteria can apparently be retrieved through cultivation.

  15. Airship economics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neumann, R. D.; Hackney, L. R. M.

    1975-01-01

    Projected operating and manufacturing costs of a large airship design which are considered practical with today's technology and environment are discussed. Data and information developed during an 18-month study on the question of feasibility, engineering, economics and production problems related to a large metalclad type airship are considered. An overview of other classic airship designs are provided, and why metalclad was selected as the most prudent and most economic design to be considered in the 1970-80 era is explained. Crew operation, ATC and enroute requirements are covered along with the question of handling, maintenance and application of systems to the large airship.

  16. Exploiting the genetic diversity of Beauveria bassiana for improving the biological control of the coffee berry borer through the use of strain mixtures.

    PubMed

    Cruz, Lina P; Gaitan, Alvaro L; Gongora, Carmenza E

    2006-08-01

    Beauveria bassiana is an entomopathogen widely used to control the coffee berry borer in Colombia, as part of an Integrated Pest Management strategy. Traditionally, the development of fungal insect pathogens as biocontrol agents in crop pests has been oriented towards the selection and formulation of elite clonal strains. Instead, we explored the potential application of genetic diversity in B. bassiana by determining the effect of strain mixtures on coffee berry borer mortality compared to clonal isolates. Genomic DNA from 11 strains was characterized using internal transcribed spacers and beta-tubulin sequences as well as amplified fragment length polymorphism markers. Cluster analysis produced three genetic groups and confirmed the low but significant intraspecific genetic diversity present among the strains. Single strain virulence towards the coffee berry borer under laboratory conditions, using 1x10(6) conidia ml(-1), ranged between 89.9 and 57.5%. All the inoculations with mixtures resulted in coinfection events. Combinations of genetically similar strains showed no significant differences when their virulences were compared. However, mixtures of genetically different strains led to both antagonism and synergism. The lowest virulence percentage (57%) was obtained by putting together the most virulent strain of each group, contrary to the highest virulence percentage (93%) that resulted from mixing the three least virulent strains. The results indicate the promising potential of designing strain mixtures as an alternative for the biocontrol of Hypothenemus hampei and other pests and provide tools for the understanding of the ecological dynamics of entomopathogen populations under natural conditions.

  17. Improved Yield of High Molecular Weight DNA Coincides with Increased Microbial Diversity Access from Iron Oxide Cemented Sub-Surface Clay Environments

    DOE PAGES

    Hurt, Jr., Richard A.; Robeson II, Michael S.; Shakya, Migun; ...

    2014-07-14

    Despite more than three decades of progress, efficient nucleic acid extraction from microbial communities has remained difficult, particularly from clay environments. Lysis with concentrated guanidine followed by concentrated sodium phosphate extraction supported DNA and RNA recovery from high iron, low humus content clay. Alterating the extraction pH or using other ionic solutions (Na2SO4 and NH4H2PO4) yielded no detectable nucleic acid. DNA recovered using a lysis solution with 500 mM phosphate buffer (PB) followed by a 1 M PB wash was 15.22±2.33 g DNA/g clay, with most DNA consisting of >20 Kb fragments, compared to 2.46±0.25 g DNA/g clay with themore » Powerlyzer soil DNA system (MoBio). Increasing [PB] in the lysis reagent coincided with increasing DNA fragment length. Rarefaction plots based on16S rRNA (V1/V3 region) pyrosequencing libraries from A-horizon and clay soils showed an ~80% and ~400% larger accessed diversity compared to a previous grinding protocol or the Powerlyzer soil DNA system, respectively. The observed diversity from the Firmicutes showed the strongest increase with >3-fold more bacterial species recovered using this system. Additionally, some OTU's having more than 100 sequences in these libraries were absent in samples extracted using the PowerLyzer reagents or the previous lysis method.« less

  18. Improved Yield of High Molecular Weight DNA Coincides with Increased Microbial Diversity Access from Iron Oxide Cemented Sub-Surface Clay Environments

    SciTech Connect

    Hurt, Jr., Richard A.; Robeson II, Michael S.; Shakya, Migun; Moberly, James G.; Vishnivetskaya, Tatiana; Gu, Baohua; Elias, Dwayne A.

    2014-07-14

    Despite more than three decades of progress, efficient nucleic acid extraction from microbial communities has remained difficult, particularly from clay environments. Lysis with concentrated guanidine followed by concentrated sodium phosphate extraction supported DNA and RNA recovery from high iron, low humus content clay. Alterating the extraction pH or using other ionic solutions (Na2SO4 and NH4H2PO4) yielded no detectable nucleic acid. DNA recovered using a lysis solution with 500 mM phosphate buffer (PB) followed by a 1 M PB wash was 15.22±2.33 g DNA/g clay, with most DNA consisting of >20 Kb fragments, compared to 2.46±0.25 g DNA/g clay with the Powerlyzer soil DNA system (MoBio). Increasing [PB] in the lysis reagent coincided with increasing DNA fragment length. Rarefaction plots based on16S rRNA (V1/V3 region) pyrosequencing libraries from A-horizon and clay soils showed an ~80% and ~400% larger accessed diversity compared to a previous grinding protocol or the Powerlyzer soil DNA system, respectively. The observed diversity from the Firmicutes showed the strongest increase with >3-fold more bacterial species recovered using this system. Additionally, some OTU's having more than 100 sequences in these libraries were absent in samples extracted using the PowerLyzer reagents or the previous lysis method.

  19. [On improvement of the mechanism for establishing and changing indicators of quality and food safety in the regulatory and legal acts of the Eurasian Economical Union].

    PubMed

    Arnautov, O V

    2016-01-01

    In accordance with the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) to ensure the sanitary and epidemiological welfare of the population within the Union, a coordinated policy in agreed policy in the sphere of application of sanitary measures is carried out. Sanitary measures are the obligatory requirements and procedures, including requirements for the final product, processing methods, production, transportation, storage and disposal, sampling procedures, methods of research (tests), risk assessment, the state registration, requirements for packaging directly aimed at ensuring the safety of products (goods) in order to protect human welfare, and they should be applied on the basis having a scientific explanation, and only to the extent that is necessary to protect human welfare. Sanitary measures applied within the Union should be based on international and regional standards, guidelines and (or) the recommendations, except when they based on appropriate scientific studies and explanations. In this case sanitary measures which could provide a higher level of sanitary protection are introduced. At present, the mechanism of the development, justification and approval of common sanitary and epidemiological requirements (ESR) and procedures of the Eurasian Economic Commission (the Commission) is not installed. The absence of a clear mechanism for the development, approval and implementation of the ESR to the products (goods) on the basis having a scientific explanation on the one hand could lead to the creation of unjustified barriers to foreign and mutual trade, on the other--to weaken the level of safety for human life and health of products (goods) placed on markets of the Union. In order to bring the regulatory legal acts of the Customs Union in accordance with the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union the Commission in cooperation with the competent authorities of the Member States in the field of sanitary and epidemiological welfare developed the project of

  20. Adult and adolescent livestock productive asset transfer programmes to improve mental health, economic stability and family and community relationships in rural South Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo: a protocol of a randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Kohli, Anjalee; Perrin, Nancy A; Remy, Mitima Mpanano; Alfred, Mirindi Bacikenge; Arsene, Kajabika Binkurhorhwa; Nadine, Mwinja Bufole; Heri, Banyewesize Jean; Clovis, Mitima Murhula; Glass, Nancy

    2017-01-01

    Introduction People living in poverty have limited access to traditional financial institutions. Microfinance programmes are designed to meet this gap and show promise in improving income, economic productivity and health. Our Congolese–US community academic research partnership developed two livestock productive asset transfer programmes, Pigs for Peace (PFP) and Rabbits for Resilience (RFR), to address the interlinked health, social and economic well-being of individuals, their families and communities. The community-based randomised controlled trials examine the effectiveness of PFP and RFR to improve health, economic stability, and family and community relationships among male and female adults and adolescents living in 10 rural, postconflict villages of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Methods and analysis PFP participants include adult permanent residents of rural villages; adolescent participants in RFR include male and female adolescents 10–15 years old living in the selected rural villages. Participants were randomised to intervention or delayed control group. Participants in PFP completed baseline interview prior to intervention and follow-up interview at 6, 12 and 18 months postintervention. In RFR, participants completed baseline interview prior to intervention and follow-up interview at 6, 12 and 18 months postbaseline. The primary outcome of both trials, the change in baseline mental health distress at 18 months in the intervention group (adults, adolescents) compared to control group, is used to calculate sample size. Ethics and dissemination The Johns Hopkins Medical Institute Internal Review Board approved this protocol. A committee of respected Congolese educators and community members (due to lack of local ethics review board) approved the study. The findings will provide important information on the potential for community-led sustainable development initiatives to build on traditional livelihood (livestock raising, agriculture

  1. Home Economics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ontario Dept. of Education, Toronto. School Planning and Building Research Section.

    This presentation of suggested layouts and specifications for home economics facilities has been prepared to be of service to school boards, architects, teachers, and administrators who are planning new schools or making renovations to existing structures. Room layouts are shown for a foods and nutrition room, or the foods and nutrition area of a…

  2. Basketball Economics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scheinman, Daniel; Scheinman, Ted

    This teaching unit offers five economics lessons related to basketball. Lessons include: (1) "Money, Money, Money in the Basketball Player's World"; (2) "Take Me to the Basketball Game Lesson"; (3) "What Does It Take?"; (4) "Productivity of a Basketball Player"; and (5) "Congratulations! You Just Won…

  3. Economic impact

    SciTech Connect

    Technology Transfer Department

    2001-06-01

    In federal fiscal year 2000 (FY00), Berkeley Lab had 4,347 full- and part-time employees. In addition, at any given time of the year, there were more than 1,000 Laboratory guests. These guests, who also reside locally, have an important economic impact on the nine-county Bay Area. However, Berkeley Lab's total economic impact transcends the direct effects of payroll and purchasing. The direct dollars paid to the Lab's employees in the form of wages, salaries, and benefits, and payments made to contractors for goods and services, are respent by employees and contractors again and again in the local and greater economy. Further, while Berkeley Lab has a strong reputation for basic scientific research, many of the Lab's scientific discoveries and inventions have had direct application in industry, spawning new businesses and creating new opportunities for existing firms. This analysis updates the Economic Impact Analysis done in 1996, and its purpose is to describe the economic and geographic impact of Laboratory expenditures and to provide a qualitative understanding of how Berkeley Lab impacts and supports the local community. It is intended as a guide for state, local, and national policy makers as well as local community members. Unless otherwise noted, this analysis uses data from FY00, the most recent year for which full data are available.

  4. Resource Economics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conrad, Jon M.

    2000-01-01

    Resource Economics is a text for students with a background in calculus, intermediate microeconomics, and a familiarity with the spreadsheet software Excel. The book covers basic concepts, shows how to set up spreadsheets to solve dynamic allocation problems, and presents economic models for fisheries, forestry, nonrenewable resources, stock pollutants, option value, and sustainable development. Within the text, numerical examples are posed and solved using Excel's Solver. These problems help make concepts operational, develop economic intuition, and serve as a bridge to the study of real-world problems of resource management. Through these examples and additional exercises at the end of Chapters 1 to 8, students can make dynamic models operational, develop their economic intuition, and learn how to set up spreadsheets for the simulation of optimization of resource and environmental systems. Book is unique in its use of spreadsheet software (Excel) to solve dynamic allocation problems Conrad is co-author of a previous book for the Press on the subject for graduate students Approach is extremely student-friendly; gives students the tools to apply research results to actual environmental issues

  5. Economic Blues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stuart, Reginald

    2009-01-01

    Today, a national economy gone bust has derailed Black Americans' plans across the country. Gone are many of the economic gains, small as they were, achieved in the post-segregation era by millions of 1960s generation children and their children. Black America today is beset by job losses, business closures, pay cuts, furloughs, investment and…

  6. Cable Economics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cable Television Information Center, Washington, DC.

    A guide to the economic factors that influence cable television systems is presented. Designed for local officials who must have some familiarity with cable operations in order to make optimum decisions, the guide analyzes the financial framework of a cable system, not only from the operators viewpoint, but also from the perspective of the…

  7. Economics for Grades K-9.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Valentine, Gregory P.

    1994-01-01

    Reviews the National Survey of American Economic Literacy and asserts that U.S. citizens and students show significant and serious deficiencies in knowledge of economics and the economy. Provides suggestions for improving course content and instructional strategies. Includes a list of teacher resources. (CFR)

  8. Bamboo: an overview on its genetic diversity and characterization.

    PubMed

    Yeasmin, Lucina; Ali, Md Nasim; Gantait, Saikat; Chakraborty, Somsubhra

    2015-02-01

    Genetic diversity represents the heritable variation both within and among populations of organisms, and in the context of this paper, among bamboo species. Bamboo is an economically important member of the grass family Poaceae, under the subfamily Bambusoideae. India has the second largest bamboo reserve in Asia after China. It is commonly known as "poor man's timber", keeping in mind the variety of its end use from cradle to coffin. There is a wide genetic diversity of bamboo around the globe and this pool of genetic variation serves as the base for selection as well as for plant improvement. Thus, the identification, characterization and documentation of genetic diversity of bamboo are essential for this purpose. During recent years, multiple endeavors have been undertaken for characterization of bamboo species with the aid of molecular markers for sustainable utilization of genetic diversity, its conservation and future studies. Genetic diversity assessments among the identified bamboo species, carried out based on the DNA fingerprinting profiles, either independently or in combination with morphological traits by several researchers, are documented in the present review. This review will pave the way to prepare the database of prevalent bamboo species based on their molecular characterization.

  9. The Evolution of Building a Diverse Geosciences in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keane, Christopher; Houlton, Heather; Leahy, P. Patrick

    2016-04-01

    Since the 1960s, the United States has had numerous systematic efforts to support diversity in all parts of society. The American Geosciences Institute has had active ongoing research and diversity promotion programs in the geosciences since 1972. Over this time, the drivers and goals of promoting a diverse discipline have evolved, including in the scope and definition of diversity. The success of these efforts have been mixed, largely driven by wildly different responses by specific gender and racial subsets of the population. Some critical cultural barriers have been solidly identified and mitigation approaches promoted. For example, the use of field work in promotion of geoscience careers and education programs is viewed as a distinct negative by many African American and Hispanic communities as it equates geoscience as non-professional work. Similarly, efforts at improving gender diversity have had great success, especially in the private sector, as life-balance policies and mitigations of implicit biases have been addressed. Yet success in addressing some of these cultural and behavioral issues has also started to unveil other overarching factors, such as the role of socio-economic and geographic location. Recent critical changes in the definition of diversity that have been implemented will be discussed. These include dropping Asian races as underrepresented, the introduction of the multiracial definition, evolution of the nature of gender, and the increased awareness of persons with disabilities as a critical diverse population. This has been coupled with dramatic changes in the drivers for promoting diversity in the geosciences in the U.S. from a moral and ethical good to one of economic imperative and recognizing the way to access the best talent in the population as the U.S. rapidly approaches being a majority minority society. These changes are leading to new approaches and strategies, for which we will highlight specific programmatic efforts both by AGI

  10. Economic Synergy between Dry Cow Diet Improvement and Monensin Bolus Use to Prevent Subclinical Ketosis: An Experimental Demonstration Based on Available Literature

    PubMed Central

    Raboisson, Didier; Barbier, Maxime

    2017-01-01

    The prevention of subclinical ketosis (SCK) is based on maintaining adequate nutrition in dairy cows during the dry period and close to calving. Recently, an oral-route monensin bolus to prevent SCK was approved in Europe. The present study aims to define the allocation of resources for SCK management at the herd level and evaluate the profitability of administering monensin boluses in cows at risk for SCK. A stochastic model was used to calculate the total cost of SCK for a population with a given prevalence of cows at risk for SCK. This model included the ability of the farmer to correctly target and preventatively treat these cows at risk for SCK. The results clearly demonstrated economic synergy between two management practices. First, reducing the prevalence of cows at risk for SCK dramatically reduces the total cost of SCK and seems profitable in most situations. Second, monensin bolus use to reduce the occurrence of SCK in cows already at risk for SCK is cost-effective. The results also highlighted three economic strategies to manage SCK in the dairy industry in Europe. First, monensin bolus use throughout an entire herd when the prevalence of cows at risk for SCK is high is only profitable in the short-term as a tool to correct acute deterioration at the herd level. Second, decreasing the prevalence of cows at risk for SCK through adequate feeding in the dry period is of financial interest as a baseline strategy when prevalence is high, assuming moderate additional cost linked to the new diet. Third, monensin bolus use when the prevalence of cows at risk for SCK is low is also profitable as a long-term strategy when only cows at high risk for SCK (such as cows that are over-conditioned, old, or have a previous history of SCK-related disorders) are targeted for preventative treatment. Authors suggest to use the present results considering that farmers have a correct, but not perfect, ability to target animals to be preventively targeted with the monensin

  11. Improvement of Human Resources Quality through Vocational Training in Tourism in Karimunjawa Islands (Central Java, Indonesia): A Pro-Economical Tourism Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Putro, S. Eko; Sukirno; Budi, S.; Didik, W.

    2016-01-01

    The effort to improve human resource quality is not easy to be implemented. This effort becomes more complicated to do when implemented to the group of poor community, especially in this case marginal community of small island. This research analyzes the characteristic of poor household in small island as well as the strategy of poverty…

  12. China Report, Economic Affairs

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-04-22

    improving macroeconomic control in developing the national economy overall and sought diverse avenues to amass capital. In addition it also adjusted the...energy development, and transportation and shipping; and in energy conservation, prevention of environmental pollution , and developing major areas of...functions of such a system, as should highway maintenance, the coordinated use of highways and other modes of transportation and traffic management

  13. Microbial diversity of biological filters in recirculating aquaculture systems.

    PubMed

    Schreier, Harold J; Mirzoyan, Natella; Saito, Keiko

    2010-06-01

    Development of environmentally sustainable farming of marine and freshwater species using recirculating aquaculture systems (RASs) requires a complete understanding of the biological component involved in wastewater treatment. This component integrates biofilters composed of microbial communities whose structure, dynamics, and activities are responsible for system success. Engineering highly efficient, environmentally sound, disease-free, and economically viable systems necessitates a thorough knowledge of microbial processes involved in all facets of RAS biofilters and has only recently been the focus of comprehensive studies. These studies have included the application of molecular tools to characterize community diversity and have identified key processes useful for improving system performance. In this paper we summarize the current understanding of the microbial diversity and physiology of RAS biofilters and discuss directions for future studies.

  14. Application of reservoir characterization and advanced technology to improve recovery and economics in a lower quality shallow shelf San Andres Reservoir. Annual report, August 4, 1996--August 3, 1997

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, A.R.; Hickman, T.S.; Justice, J.J.

    1997-07-30

    The Oxy West Welch Project is designed to demonstrate how the use of advanced technology can improve the economics of miscible CO{sub 2} injection projects in lower quality shallow shelf carbonate reservoirs. The research and development phase (Budget Period 1) primarily involved advanced reservoir characterization. The current demonstration phase (Budget Period 2) will implement the reservoir management plan for an optimum miscible CO{sub 2} flood design based on the reservoir characterization. Although Budget Period 1 officially ended 12/31/96, reservoir characterization and optimum flood design has continued into the first part of Budget Period 2. Specifically, the geologic model was enhanced by integration of the 3-D seismic interpretations. This resulted in improved history match by the simulator and more accurate predictions of flood performance on which to base the project design. The majority of the project design work has been completed, material specifications provided and bids solicited. Preparation of the demonstration area is well underway.

  15. Hybrid support vector regression and autoregressive integrated moving average models improved by particle swarm optimization for property crime rates forecasting with economic indicators.

    PubMed

    Alwee, Razana; Shamsuddin, Siti Mariyam Hj; Sallehuddin, Roselina

    2013-01-01

    Crimes forecasting is an important area in the field of criminology. Linear models, such as regression and econometric models, are commonly applied in crime forecasting. However, in real crimes data, it is common that the data consists of both linear and nonlinear components. A single model may not be sufficient to identify all the characteristics of the data. The purpose of this study is to introduce a hybrid model that combines support vector regression (SVR) and autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) to be applied in crime rates forecasting. SVR is very robust with small training data and high-dimensional problem. Meanwhile, ARIMA has the ability to model several types of time series. However, the accuracy of the SVR model depends on values of its parameters, while ARIMA is not robust to be applied to small data sets. Therefore, to overcome this problem, particle swarm optimization is used to estimate the parameters of the SVR and ARIMA models. The proposed hybrid model is used to forecast the property crime rates of the United State based on economic indicators. The experimental results show that the proposed hybrid model is able to produce more accurate forecasting results as compared to the individual models.

  16. Recreational music-making: an integrative group intervention for reducing burnout and improving mood states in first year associate degree nursing students: insights and economic impact.

    PubMed

    Bittman, Barry B; Snyder, Cherie; Bruhn, Karl T; Liebfreid, Fran; Stevens, Christine K; Westengard, James; Umbach, Paul O

    2004-01-01

    The challenges of providing exemplary undergraduate nursing education cannot be underestimated in an era when burnout and negative mood states predictably lead to alarming rates of academic as well as career attrition. While the multi-dimensional nature of this complex issue has been extensively elucidated, few rational strategies exist to reverse a disheartening trend recognizable early in the educational process that subsequently threatens to undermine the future viability of quality healthcare. This controlled prospective crossover study examined the impact of a 6-session Recreational Music-making (RMM) protocol on burnout and mood dimensions as well as Total Mood Disturbance (TMD) in first year associate level nursing students. A total of 75 first year associate degree nursing students from Allegany College of Maryland (ACM) participated in a 6-session RMM protocol focusing on group support and stress reduction utilizing a specific group drumming protocol. Burnout and mood dimensions were assessed with the Maslach Burnout Inventory and the Profile of Mood States respectively. Statistically significant reductions of multiple burnout and mood dimensions as well as TMD scores were noted. Potential annual cost savings for the typical associate degree nursing program (16,800 dollars) and acute care hospital (322,000 dollars) were projected by an independent economic analysis firm. A cost-effective 6-session RMM protocol reduces burnout and mood dimensions as well as TMD in associate degree nursing students.

  17. Improvement of the sediment ecosystem following diversion of an intertidal sewage outfall at the Fraser river estuary, Canada, with emphasis on Corophium salmonis (Amphipoda).

    PubMed

    Arvai, J L; Levings, C D; Harrison, P J; Neill, W E

    2002-06-01

    Primary treated sewage effluent from the city of Vancouver, Canada was deposited directly onto the intertidal ecosystem of Sturgeon bank, Fraser river estuary between 1962 and 1988. In response to the degraded sediment conditions an azoic zone developed near the discharge outfall. Effluent discharges into the intertidal zone were almost completely stopped in 1988 with the construction of a submerged outfall. Our studies, conducted between 1994 and 1996, showed considerable improvement in the environment of the mudflat ecosystem, including increased dissolved oxygen, decreased sediment chlorophyll, decreased organic material in the sediment, reduced heavy metals in surficial sediment and increased grain size. The amphipod Corophium salmonis, important in the food web for juvenile salmon and other fish species, recolonized the previously azoic location. At reference stations, C. salmonis density was similar to that observed in previous surveys two decades earlier. Our data strongly suggest that improvement or sediment conditions near the former sewage outfall was a major factor enabling colonization by C. salmonis.

  18. Dietary Prebiotics and Bioactive Milk Fractions Improve NREM Sleep, Enhance REM Sleep Rebound and Attenuate the Stress-Induced Decrease in Diurnal Temperature and Gut Microbial Alpha Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Robert S.; Roller, Rachel; Mika, Agnieszka; Greenwood, Benjamin N.; Knight, Rob; Chichlowski, Maciej; Berg, Brian M.; Fleshner, Monika

    2017-01-01

    Severe, repeated or chronic stress produces negative health outcomes including disruptions of the sleep/wake cycle and gut microbial dysbiosis. Diets rich in prebiotics and glycoproteins impact the gut microbiota and may increase gut microbial species that reduce the impact of stress. This experiment tested the hypothesis that consumption of dietary prebiotics, lactoferrin (Lf) and milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) will reduce the negative physiological impacts of stress. Male F344 rats, postnatal day (PND) 24, received a diet with prebiotics, Lf and MFGM (test) or a calorically matched control diet. Fecal samples were collected on PND 35/70/91 for 16S rRNA sequencing to examine microbial composition and, in a subset of rats; Lactobacillus rhamnosus was measured using selective culture. On PND 59, biotelemetry devices were implanted to record sleep/wake electroencephalographic (EEG). Rats were exposed to an acute stressor (100, 1.5 mA, tail shocks) on PND 87 and recordings continued until PND 94. Test diet, compared to control diet, increased fecal Lactobacillus rhamnosus colony forming units (CFU), facilitated non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep consolidation (PND 71/72) and enhanced rapid eye movement (REM) sleep rebound after stressor exposure (PND 87). Rats fed control diet had stress-induced reductions in alpha diversity and diurnal amplitude of temperature, which were attenuated by the test diet (PND 91). Stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed a significant linear relationship between early-life Deferribacteres (PND 35) and longer NREM sleep episodes (PND 71/72). A diet containing prebiotics, Lf and MFGM enhanced sleep quality, which was related to changes in gut bacteria and modulated the impact of stress on sleep, diurnal rhythms and the gut microbiota. PMID:28119579

  19. Cell-wall properties contributing to improved deconstruction by alkaline pre-treatment and enzymatic hydrolysis in diverse maize (Zea mays L.) lines.

    PubMed

    Li, Muyang; Heckwolf, Marlies; Crowe, Jacob D; Williams, Daniel L; Magee, Timothy D; Kaeppler, Shawn M; de Leon, Natalia; Hodge, David B

    2015-07-01

    A maize (Zea mays L. subsp. mays) diversity panel consisting of 26 maize lines exhibiting a wide range of cell-wall properties and responses to hydrolysis by cellulolytic enzymes was employed to investigate the relationship between cell-wall properties, cell-wall responses to mild NaOH pre-treatment, and enzymatic hydrolysis yields. Enzymatic hydrolysis of the cellulose in the untreated maize was found to be positively correlated with the water retention value, which is a measure of cell-wall susceptibility to swelling. It was also positively correlated with the lignin syringyl/guaiacyl ratio and negatively correlated with the initial cell-wall lignin, xylan, acetate, and p-coumaric acid (pCA) content, as well as pCA released from the cell wall by pre-treatment. The hydrolysis yield following pre-treatment exhibited statistically significant negative correlations to the lignin content after pre-treatment and positive correlations to the solubilized ferulic acid and pCA. Several unanticipated results were observed, including a positive correlation between initial lignin and acetate content, lack of correlation between acetate content and initial xylan content, and negative correlation between each of these three variables to the hydrolysis yields for untreated maize. Another surprising result was that pCA release was negatively correlated with hydrolysis yields for untreated maize and, along with ferulic acid release, was positively correlated with the pre-treated maize hydrolysis yields. This indicates that these properties that may negatively contribute to the recalcitrance in untreated cell walls may positively contribute to their deconstruction by alkaline pre-treatment.

  20. Cell-wall properties contributing to improved deconstruction by alkaline pre-treatment and enzymatic hydrolysis in diverse maize (Zea mays L.) lines

    PubMed Central

    Li, Muyang; Heckwolf, Marlies; Crowe, Jacob D.; Williams, Daniel L.; Magee, Timothy D.; Kaeppler, Shawn M.; de Leon, Natalia; Hodge, David B.

    2015-01-01

    A maize (Zea mays L. subsp. mays) diversity panel consisting of 26 maize lines exhibiting a wide range of cell-wall properties and responses to hydrolysis by cellulolytic enzymes was employed to investigate the relationship between cell-wall properties, cell-wall responses to mild NaOH pre-treatment, and enzymatic hydrolysis yields. Enzymatic hydrolysis of the cellulose in the untreated maize was found to be positively correlated with the water retention value, which is a measure of cell-wall susceptibility to swelling. It was also positively correlated with the lignin syringyl/guaiacyl ratio and negatively correlated with the initial cell-wall lignin, xylan, acetate, and p-coumaric acid (pCA) content, as well as pCA released from the cell wall by pre-treatment. The hydrolysis yield following pre-treatment exhibited statistically significant negative correlations to the lignin content after pre-treatment and positive correlations to the solubilized ferulic acid and pCA. Several unanticipated results were observed, including a positive correlation between initial lignin and acetate content, lack of correlation between acetate content and initial xylan content, and negative correlation between each of these three variables to the hydrolysis yields for untreated maize. Another surprising result was that pCA release was negatively correlated with hydrolysis yields for untreated maize and, along with ferulic acid release, was positively correlated with the pre-treated maize hydrolysis yields. This indicates that these properties that may negatively contribute to the recalcitrance in untreated cell walls may positively contribute to their deconstruction by alkaline pre-treatment. PMID:25871649

  1. Cell-wall properties contributing to improved deconstruction by alkaline pre-treatment and enzymatic hydrolysis in diverse maize ( Zea mays L.) lines

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Muyang; Heckwolf, Marlies; Crowe, Jacob D.; Williams, Daniel L.; Magee, Timothy D.; Kaeppler, Shawn M.; de Leon, Natalia; Hodge, David B.

    2015-02-20

    A maize (Zea mays L. subsp. mays) diversity panel consisting of 26 maize lines exhibiting a wide range of cell-wall properties and responses to hydrolysis by cellulolytic enzymes was employed to investigate the relationship between cell-wall properties, cell-wall responses to mild NaOH pre-treatment, and enzymatic hydrolysis yields. Enzymatic hydrolysis of the cellulose in the untreated maize was found to be positively correlated with the water retention value, which is a measure of cell-wall susceptibility to swelling. It was also positively correlated with the lignin syringyl/guaiacyl ratio and negatively correlated with the initial cell-wall lignin, xylan, acetate, and p-coumaric acid (pCA) content, as well as pCA released from the cell wall by pre-treatment. The hydrolysis yield following pre-treatment exhibited statistically significant negative correlations to the lignin content after pre-treatment and positive correlations to the solubilized ferulic acid and pCA. Several unanticipated results were observed, including a positive correlation between initial lignin and acetate content, lack of correlation between acetate content and initial xylan content, and negative correlation between each of these three variables to the hydrolysis yields for untreated maize. Also, another surprising result was that pCA release was negatively correlated with hydrolysis yields for untreated maize and, along with ferulic acid release, was positively correlated with the pre-treated maize hydrolysis yields. In conclusion, this indicates that these properties that may negatively contribute to the recalcitrance in untreated cell walls may positively contribute to their deconstruction by alkaline pre-treatment

  2. Cell-wall properties contributing to improved deconstruction by alkaline pre-treatment and enzymatic hydrolysis in diverse maize ( Zea mays L.) lines

    DOE PAGES

    Li, Muyang; Heckwolf, Marlies; Crowe, Jacob D.; ...

    2015-02-20

    A maize (Zea mays L. subsp. mays) diversity panel consisting of 26 maize lines exhibiting a wide range of cell-wall properties and responses to hydrolysis by cellulolytic enzymes was employed to investigate the relationship between cell-wall properties, cell-wall responses to mild NaOH pre-treatment, and enzymatic hydrolysis yields. Enzymatic hydrolysis of the cellulose in the untreated maize was found to be positively correlated with the water retention value, which is a measure of cell-wall susceptibility to swelling. It was also positively correlated with the lignin syringyl/guaiacyl ratio and negatively correlated with the initial cell-wall lignin, xylan, acetate, and p-coumaric acid (pCA)more » content, as well as pCA released from the cell wall by pre-treatment. The hydrolysis yield following pre-treatment exhibited statistically significant negative correlations to the lignin content after pre-treatment and positive correlations to the solubilized ferulic acid and pCA. Several unanticipated results were observed, including a positive correlation between initial lignin and acetate content, lack of correlation between acetate content and initial xylan content, and negative correlation between each of these three variables to the hydrolysis yields for untreated maize. Also, another surprising result was that pCA release was negatively correlated with hydrolysis yields for untreated maize and, along with ferulic acid release, was positively correlated with the pre-treated maize hydrolysis yields. In conclusion, this indicates that these properties that may negatively contribute to the recalcitrance in untreated cell walls may positively contribute to their deconstruction by alkaline pre-treatment« less

  3. Exercise-induced improvement in endothelial dysfunction is not mediated by changes in CV risk factors: pooled analysis of diverse patient populations.

    PubMed

    Green, Daniel J; Walsh, Jennifer H; Maiorana, Andrew; Best, Matthew J; Taylor, Roger R; O'Driscoll, J Gerard

    2003-12-01

    We have pooled data from a series of our exercise training studies undertaken in groups with a broad range of vascular (dys) function to the examine the hypothesis that exercise-induced improvements in the conduit and/or resistance vessel function are related to improvements in risk factors for cardiovascular (CV) disease. Endothelium-dependent and -independent conduit vessel function were assessed by using wall tracking of high-resolution ultrasound images of the brachial artery response to flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and glyceryl trinitrate. Resistance vessel function was assessed using intrabrachial administration of acetylcholine (ACh), sodium nitroprusside, and NG-monomethyl-l-arginine. Randomized cross-over studies of 8-wk exercise training were undertaken in untreated hypercholesterolemic (n = 11), treated hypercholesterolemic (n = 11), coronary artery disease (n = 10), chronic heart failure (n = 12), Type 2 diabetic (n = 15), and healthy control subjects (n = 16). Exercise training did not significantly alter plasma lipids, blood pressure, blood glucose, waist-to-hip ratio, or body mass index values, despite significant improvement in both FMD and ACh responses. There were no correlations between changes in any risk factor variables and indexes of either resistance or conduit vessel function. We conclude that, in these subjects with antecedent vascular dysfunction, the beneficial effects of relatively short-term exercise training on vascular function are not solely mediated by the effects of exercise on CV risk factors.

  4. Blood and Diversity

    MedlinePlus

    ... Blood > Blood and Diversity Printable Version Blood and Diversity People come in all different shapes, sizes and ... groups. Therefore it is essential that the donor diversity match the patient diversity. For example, U-negative ...

  5. Representing the Economic Geographies of "Others": Reconsidering the Global South

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, James T.

    2006-01-01

    This essay examines how undergraduate economic geography courses in Anglo-American institutions traditionally frame economic activities in developing regions and asserts that mainstream approaches have devalued the complexity and diversity of economic geographies in the Global South. Focusing on developmentalism as a commonly used heuristic frame,…

  6. Cultural targeting and tailoring of shared decision making technology: a theoretical framework for improving the effectiveness of patient decision aids in culturally diverse groups.

    PubMed

    Alden, Dana L; Friend, John; Schapira, Marilyn; Stiggelbout, Anne

    2014-03-01

    Patient decision aids are known to positively impact outcomes critical to shared decision making (SDM), such as gist knowledge and decision preparedness. However, research on the potential improvement of these and other important outcomes through cultural targeting and tailoring of decision aids is very limited. This is the case despite extensive evidence supporting use of cultural targeting and tailoring to improve the effectiveness of health communications. Building on prominent psychological theory, we propose a two-stage framework incorporating cultural concepts into the design process for screening and treatment decision aids. The first phase recommends use of cultural constructs, such as collectivism and individualism, to differentially target patients whose cultures are known to vary on these dimensions. Decision aid targeting is operationalized through use of symbols and values that appeal to members of the given culture. Content dimensions within decision aids that appear particularly appropriate for targeting include surface level visual characteristics, language, beliefs, attitudes and values. The second phase of the framework is based on evidence that individuals vary in terms of how strongly cultural norms influence their approach to problem solving and decision making. In particular, the framework hypothesizes that differences in terms of access to cultural mindsets (e.g., access to interdependent versus independent self) can be measured up front and used to tailor decision aids. Thus, the second phase in the framework emphasizes the importance of not only targeting decision aid content, but also tailoring the information to the individual based on measurement of how strongly he/she is connected to dominant cultural mindsets. Overall, the framework provides a theory-based guide for researchers and practitioners who are interested in using cultural targeting and tailoring to develop and test decision aids that move beyond a "one-size fits all" approach

  7. Socioeconomics drive urban plant diversity

    PubMed Central

    Hope, Diane; Gries, Corinna; Zhu, Weixing; Fagan, William F.; Redman, Charles L.; Grimm, Nancy B.; Nelson, Amy L.; Martin, Chris; Kinzig, Ann

    2003-01-01

    Spatial variation in plant diversity has been attributed to heterogeneity in resource availability for many ecosystems. However, urbanization has resulted in entire landscapes that are now occupied by plant communities wholly created by humans, in which diversity may reflect social, economic, and cultural influences in addition to those recognized by traditional ecological theory. Here we use data from a probability-based survey to explore the variation in plant diversity across a large metropolitan area using spatial statistical analyses that incorporate biotic, abiotic, and human variables. Our prediction for the city was that land use, along with distance from urban center, would replace the dominantly geomorphic controls on spatial variation in plant diversity in the surrounding undeveloped Sonoran desert. However, in addition to elevation and current and former land use, family income and housing age best explained the observed variation in plant diversity across the city. We conclude that a functional relationship, which we term the “luxury effect,” may link human resource abundance (wealth) and plant diversity in urban ecosystems. This connection may be influenced by education, institutional control, and culture, and merits further study. PMID:12847293

  8. Residents' diverse perspectives of the impact of neighbourhood renewal on quality of life and physical activity engagement: Improvements but unresolved issues

    PubMed Central

    Coulson, J.C.; Fox, K.R.; Lawlor, D.A.; Trayers, T.

    2011-01-01

    Few studies have been published on the reactions of residents to modifications of their residential landscape. We explored residents' experiences of home zone remodelling and construction of a new cycle-walkway in a deprived neighbourhood with a particular focus on aspects of quality of life and physical activity participation. Focus groups (n=5 groups, 21 individuals) were used to investigate residents' perceptions of the effects of neighbourhood change on their lives. Consultation by planners was received positively. Several aspects of the neighbourhood were perceived to have improved, including spatial aesthetics, lighting and streetscape planting. However, influence on physical activity was minimal. Car-focused behaviour and ownership remained dominant, and safety related concerns limited behavioural choices. Residents highlighted many socio-environmental challenges that remained such as sense of neighbourhood safety, poor public transport provision, people's parking behaviour locally, and problem neighbours, and these tended to dominate conversations. Infrastructural intervention may be one important part of multi-layered solutions to improved neighbourhood life. PMID:21145277

  9. The Economics of Open Educational Resources

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Casserly, Catherine M.

    2007-01-01

    This article examines from an economic perspective the ways in which Open Educational Resources (OER) can be linked to economic growth, equality of access to knowledge, and the improvement of teaching and learning. In leading economies, technology and knowledge are the critical factors of economic growth, which is a significant shift from the…

  10. Economic Inequality Predicts Biodiversity Loss

    PubMed Central

    Mikkelson, Gregory M.; Gonzalez, Andrew; Peterson, Garry D.

    2007-01-01

    Human activity is causing high rates of biodiversity loss. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the extent to which socioeconomic factors exacerbate or ameliorate our impacts on biological diversity. One such factor, economic inequality, has been shown to affect public health, and has been linked to environmental problems in general. We tested how strongly economic inequality is related to biodiversity loss in particular. We found that among countries, and among US states, the number of species that are threatened or declining increases substantially with the Gini ratio of income inequality. At both levels of analysis, the connection between income inequality and biodiversity loss persists after controlling for biophysical conditions, human population size, and per capita GDP or income. Future research should explore potential mechanisms behind this equality-biodiversity relationship. Our results suggest that economic reforms would go hand in hand with, if not serving as a prerequisite for, effective conservation. PMID:17505535

  11. Diverse Classrooms, Diverse Curriculum, Diverse Complications: Three Teacher Perspectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ungemah, Lori D.

    2015-01-01

    Racial, ethnic, linguistic, and religious diversity continues to increase in classrooms. Many call for a more diverse curriculum, but curricular diversity brings its own challenges to both teachers and students. These three vignettes are drawn from my ethnographic data at Atlantic High School in Brooklyn, New York, where I worked for ten years as…

  12. Application of reservoir characterization and advanced technology to improve recovery and economics in a lower quality shallow shelf carbonate reservoir. End of budget period report, August 3, 1994--December 31, 1996

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, A.R.; Hinterlong, G.; Watts, G.; Justice, J.; Brown, K.; Hickman, T.S.

    1997-12-01

    The Oxy West Welch project is designed to demonstrate how the use of advanced technology can improve the economics of miscible CO{sub 2} injection projects in a lower quality shallow shelf carbonate reservoir. The research and design phase primarily involves advanced reservoir characterization and accelerating the production response. The demonstration phase will implement the reservoir management plan based on an optimum miscible CO{sub 2} flood as designed in the initial phase. During Budget Period 1, work was completed on the CO{sub 2} stimulation treatments and the hydraulic fracture design. Analysis of the CO{sub 2} stimulation treatment provided a methodology for predicting results. The hydraulic fracture treatment proved up both the fracture design approach a and the use of passive seismic for mapping the fracture wing orientation. Although the 3-D seismic interpretation is still being integrated into the geologic model and interpretation of borehole seismic is still underway, the simulator has been enhanced to the point of giving good waterflood history matches. The simulator-forecasted results for an optimal designed miscible CO{sub 2} flood in the demonstration area gave sufficient economics to justify continuation of the project into Budget Period 2.

  13. Population, poverty and economic development

    PubMed Central

    Sinding, Steven W.

    2009-01-01

    Economists, demographers and other social scientists have long debated the relationship between demographic change and economic outcomes. In recent years, general agreement has emerged to the effect that improving economic conditions for individuals generally lead to lower birth rates. But, there is much less agreement about the proposition that lower birth rates contribute to economic development and help individuals and families to escape from poverty. The paper examines recent evidence on this aspect of the debate, concludes that the burden of evidence now increasingly supports a positive conclusion, examines recent trends in demographic change and economic development and argues that the countries representing the last development frontier, those of Sub-Saharan Africa, would be well advised to incorporate policies and programmes to reduce high fertility in their economic development strategies. PMID:19770153

  14. Orbital-optimized opposite-spin scaled second order correlation: An economical method to improve the description of open-shell molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Lochan, Rohini C.; Head-Gordon, Martin

    2007-01-01

    Coupled cluster methods based on Brueckner orbitals are well-known to resolve the problems of symmetry-breaking and spin-contamination that are often associated with Hartree-Fock orbitals. However their computational cost is large enough to prevent application to large molecules. Here they present a simple approximation where the orbitals are optimized with the mean-field energy plus a correlation energy taken as the opposite-spin component of the second order many-body correlation energy, scaled by an empirically chosen parameter (recommended as 1.2 for general applications). This optimized 2nd order opposite spin (abbreviated as O2) method requires fourth order computation on each orbital iteration. O2 is shown to yield predictions of structure and frequencies for closed shell molecules that are very similar to scaled second order Moller-Plesset methods. However it yields substantial improvements for open shell molecules, where problems with spin-contamination and symmetry breaking are shown to be greatly reduced.

  15. "Give and Take," Economics Achievement, and Basic Skills Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chizmar, John F.; And Others

    1985-01-01

    An economics program designed for junior high and senior high school students indicates that learning economic content tends to improve a student's ability in social studies skills and, indirectly, also improves language arts and quantitative skills. (Author/RM)

  16. Diversity and Dissimilarity Coefficients: A Unified Approach.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-07-01

    Balakrishnan, 1972), in economics ( Gini , 1912 ; Sen, 1973) in sociology (Agresti and Agresti, 1978) and in biology (Sokhal and Sneath, 1963, Pielou, 1975...introduced by Gini ( 1912 ) and used by Simpson (1949) in biological work]. The properties of (2.2.9) have been studied by various authors (Bhargava and...developed for choosing a measure of diversity in a given class of measures. The Gini -Simpson index of diversity is derived as the solution to a functional

  17. Genetic diversity and species diversity of stream fishes covary across a land-use gradient.

    PubMed

    Blum, Michael J; Bagley, Mark J; Walters, David M; Jackson, Suzanne A; Daniel, F Bernard; Chaloud, Deborah J; Cade, Brian S

    2012-01-01

    Genetic diversity and species diversity are expected to covary according to area and isolation, but may not always covary with environmental heterogeneity. In this study, we examined how patterns of genetic and species diversity in stream fishes correspond to local and regional environmental conditions. To do so, we compared population size, genetic diversity and divergence in central stonerollers (Campostoma anomalum) to measures of species diversity and turnover in stream fish assemblages among similarly sized watersheds across an agriculture-forest land-use gradient in the Little Miami River basin (Ohio, USA). Significant correlations were found in many, but not all, pair-wise comparisons. Allelic richness and species richness were strongly correlated, for example, but diversity measures based on allele frequencies and assemblage structure were not. In-stream conditions related to agricultural land use were identified as significant predictors of genetic diversity and species diversity. Comparisons to population size indicate, however, that genetic diversity and species diversity are not necessarily independent and that variation also corresponds to watershed location and glaciation history in the drainage basin. Our findings demonstrate that genetic diversity and species diversity can covary in stream fish assemblages, and illustrate the potential importance of scaling observations to capture responses to hierarchical environmental variation. More comparisons according to life history variation could further improve understanding of conditions that give rise to parallel variation in genetic diversity and species diversity, which in turn could improve diagnosis of anthropogenic influences on aquatic ecosystems.

  18. Genetic diversity and species diversity of stream fishes covary across a land-use gradient

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blum, M.J.; Bagley, M.J.; Walters, D.M.; Jackson, S.A.; Daniel, F.B.; Chaloud, D.J.; Cade, B.S.

    2012-01-01

    Genetic diversity and species diversity are expected to covary according to area and isolation, but may not always covary with environmental heterogeneity. In this study, we examined how patterns of genetic and species diversity in stream fishes correspond to local and regional environmental conditions. To do so, we compared population size, genetic diversity and divergence in central stonerollers (Campostoma anomalum) to measures of species diversity and turnover in stream fish assemblages among similarly sized watersheds across an agriculture-forest land-use gradient in the Little Miami River basin (Ohio, USA). Significant correlations were found in many, but not all, pair-wise comparisons. Allelic richness and species richness were strongly correlated, for example, but diversity measures based on allele frequencies and assemblage structure were not. In-stream conditions related to agricultural land use were identified as significant predictors of genetic diversity and species diversity. Comparisons to population size indicate, however, that genetic diversity and species diversity are not necessarily independent and that variation also corresponds to watershed location and glaciation history in the drainage basin. Our findings demonstrate that genetic diversity and species diversity can covary in stream fish assemblages, and illustrate the potential importance of scaling observations to capture responses to hierarchical environmental variation. More comparisons according to life history variation could further improve understanding of conditions that give rise to parallel variation in genetic diversity and species diversity, which in turn could improve diagnosis of anthropogenic influences on aquatic ecosystems. ?? 2011 Springer-Verlag.

  19. The Chief Diversity Officer

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Damon; Wade-Golden, Katrina

    2007-01-01

    Numerous institutions are moving toward the chief diversity officer model of leading and managing diversity in higher education. These officers carry formal administrative titles and ranks that range from vice president for institutional diversity to associate vice chancellor for diversity and climate and dean of diversity and academic engagement.…

  20. Economic Evaluation of Environmental Health Interventions to Support Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    Hutton, Guy

    2008-01-01

    Environmental burden of disease represents one quarter of overall disease burden, hence necessitating greater attention from decision makers both inside and outside the health sector. Economic evaluation techniques such as cost-effectiveness analysis and cost-benefit analysis provide key information to health decision makers on the efficiency of environmental health interventions, assisting them in choosing interventions which give the greatest social return on limited public budgets and private resources. The aim of this article is to review economic evaluation studies in three environmental health areas—water, sanitation, hygiene (WSH), vector control, and air pollution—and to critically examine the policy relevance and scientific quality of the studies for selecting and funding public programmers. A keyword search of Medline from 1990–2008 revealed 32 studies, and gathering of articles from other sources revealed a further 18 studies, giving a total of 50 economic evaluation studies (13 WSH interventions, 16 vector control and 21 air pollution). Overall, the economic evidence base on environmental health interventions remains relatively weak—too few studies per intervention, of variable scientific quality and from diverse locations which limits generalisability of findings. Importantly, there still exists a disconnect between economic research, decision making and programmer implementation. This can be explained by the lack of translation of research findings into accessible documentation for policy makers and limited relevance of research findings, and the often low importance of economic evidence in budgeting decisions. These findings underline the importance of involving policy makers in the defining of research agendas and commissioning of research, and improving the awareness of researchers of the policy environment into which their research feeds. PMID:21572840

  1. Final Report DE-SC0006634. Quantifying phenotypic and genetic diversity of Miscanthus sinensis as a resource for knowledge-based improvement of M. ×giganteus (M. sinensis × M. sacchariflorus)

    SciTech Connect

    Sacks, Erik

    2016-02-08

    Miscanthus is especially attractive as a bioenergy crop for temperate environments because it produces high yields, needs few inputs, and grows well during the cool weather of early spring and late fall when few warm-season grasses can. However, Miscanthus feedstock production for the emerging U.S. bioenergy industry and for existing demand in Europe is based on a single sterile, vegetatively propagated variety of M. ×giganteus. M. ×giganteus is an interspecific hybrid of the parental species M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus. Prior to the current study, little information existed about the genetic diversity and breeding potential of either M. ×giganteus parental species. In the current project, we studied more than 600 accessions of M. sinensis from throughout its native range in China, Japan, and Korea, in addition to ornamental cultivars and U.S. naturalized populations. Using thousands of DNA markers, we identified seven geographically distinct genetic groups of M. sinensis. Notably, we found that the ornamental cultivars and U.S. naturalized populations were derived from only a subset of the Southern Japan group, indicating that our study greatly increased the genetic diversity available for breeding new biomass cultivars. Additionally, this new understanding of M. sinensis population structure could be used to predict which crosses may produce progeny with the greatest hybrid vigor. Replicated field trials were also established at multiple locations in North America and Asia. Data on traits of importance for biomass productivity, such as flowering time, yield and height, were taken. Analyses of the phenotypic data from the field trials along with the DNA markers allowed us to identify many marker-trait associations. These results will enable marker-assisted breeding, which will allow selection at the seedling stage rather than waiting two to three years to obtain phenotypic data. Thus, this study is expected to greatly increase the efficiency of breeding

  2. Comparative assessment of genetic diversity in cytoplasmic and nuclear genome of upland cotton.

    PubMed

    Egamberdiev, Sharof S; Saha, Sukumar; Salakhutdinov, Ilkhom; Jenkins, Johnie N; Deng, Dewayne; Y Abdurakhmonov, Ibrokhim

    2016-06-01

    The importance of the cytoplasmic genome for many economically important traits is well documented in several crop species, including cotton. There is no report on application of cotton chloroplast specific SSR markers as a diagnostic tool to study genetic diversity among improved Upland cotton lines. The complete plastome sequence information in GenBank provided us an opportunity to report on 17 chloroplast specific SSR markers using a cost-effective data mining strategy. Here we report the comparative analysis of genetic diversity among a set of 42 improved Upland cotton lines using SSR markers specific to chloroplast and nuclear genome, respectively. Our results revealed that low to moderate level of genetic diversity existed in both nuclear and cytoplasm genome among this set of cotton lines. However, the specific estimation suggested that genetic diversity is lower in cytoplasmic genome compared to the nuclear genome among this set of Upland cotton lines. In summary, this research is important from several perspectives. We detected a set of cytoplasm genome specific SSR primer pairs by using a cost-effective data mining strategy. We reported for the first time the genetic diversity in the cytoplasmic genome within a set of improved Upland cotton accessions. Results revealed that the genetic diversity in cytoplasmic genome is narrow, compared to the nuclear genome within this set of Upland cotton accessions. Our results suggested that most of these polymorphic chloroplast SSRs would be a valuable complementary tool in addition to the nuclear SSR in the study of evolution, gene flow and genetic diversity in Upland cotton.

  3. The Improving Economic Status of Black Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, James P.

    The major explanations for the narrowing in wage differentials between blacks and whites can be placed under four general categories: (1) more recent black cohorts begin their job experiences with larger initial stocks of human capital than previous cohorts; (2) the rural South to urban North migration has partly been superceded by Southern blacks…

  4. Improving Air Quality with Economic Incentive Programs

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This document may be of assistance in applying the New Source Review (NSR) air permitting regulations including the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) requirements. This document is part of the NSR Policy and Guidance Database. Some documents in the database are a scanned or retyped version of a paper photocopy of the original. Although we have taken considerable effort to quality assure the documents, some may contain typographical errors. Contact the office that issued the document if you need a copy of the original.

  5. Scaling and universality in urban economic diversification

    PubMed Central

    Bettencourt, Luís M. A.; Lobo, José; Strumsky, Deborah; Samaniego, Horacio; West, Geoffrey B.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding cities is central to addressing major global challenges from climate change to economic resilience. Although increasingly perceived as fundamental socio-economic units, the detailed fabric of urban economic activities is only recently accessible to comprehensive analyses with the availability of large datasets. Here, we study abundances of business categories across US metropolitan statistical areas, and provide a framework for measuring the intrinsic diversity of economic activities that transcends scales of the classification scheme. A universal structure common to all cities is revealed, manifesting self-similarity in internal economic structure as well as aggregated metrics (GDP, patents, crime). We present a simple mathematical derivation of the universality, and provide a model, together with its economic implications of open-ended diversity created by urbanization, for understanding the observed empirical distribution. Given the universal distribution, scaling analyses for individual business categories enable us to determine their relative abundances as a function of city size. These results shed light on the processes of economic differentiation with scale, suggesting a general structure for the growth of national economies as integrated urban systems. PMID:26790997

  6. Scaling and universality in urban economic diversification.

    PubMed

    Youn, Hyejin; Bettencourt, Luís M A; Lobo, José; Strumsky, Deborah; Samaniego, Horacio; West, Geoffrey B

    2016-01-01

    Understanding cities is central to addressing major global challenges from climate change to economic resilience. Although increasingly perceived as fundamental socio-economic units, the detailed fabric of urban economic activities is only recently accessible to comprehensive analyses with the availability of large datasets. Here, we study abundances of business categories across US metropolitan statistical areas, and provide a framework for measuring the intrinsic diversity of economic activities that transcends scales of the classification scheme. A universal structure common to all cities is revealed, manifesting self-similarity in internal economic structure as well as aggregated metrics (GDP, patents, crime). We present a simple mathematical derivation of the universality, and provide a model, together with its economic implications of open-ended diversity created by urbanization, for understanding the observed empirical distribution. Given the universal distribution, scaling analyses for individual business categories enable us to determine their relative abundances as a function of city size. These results shed light on the processes of economic differentiation with scale, suggesting a general structure for the growth of national economies as integrated urban systems.

  7. Health as an economic engine: evidence for the importance of health in economic development.

    PubMed

    Mirvis, David M; Chang, Cyril F; Cosby, Arthur

    2008-01-01

    Most discussions on the relationships between health and economic conditions have focused on the impact of differences in personal finances or national economic conditions on health. Recently, however, the role of health as an 'economic engine' has been promoted. This paradigm proposes that better health leads to economic development. Evidence from historical, national, and transnational studies have shown that improved health increases economic growth through impacts on micro- and macro-economic factors. In this review, we will summarize the evidence supporting these concepts as a basis for discussing their implications for underdeveloped regions within the United States.

  8. Asian Diversity: More Than Meets the Eye.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, CA.

    This informational booklet describes the diversity among Asian Americans who, because of similar physical characteristics, are often assumed to be alike. Asian Americans differ not only in their families' national origin, but in just about every other way imaginable, including economic status, life experience, culture, customs, tastes, values,…

  9. China Report, Economic Affairs.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    This is China Report include Economic Affairs. It contains the issues with different topics on People’s Republic of China: Provincial Affairs, Economic Planning, Economic Management, Finance and Banking, Mineral Resources , Industry, Transportation.

  10. Aging and Economics: The Future Is Now.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wall, Ronald W.

    1986-01-01

    Examines the economic and social implications of world aging (social welfare costs, strain on family finances, diversion of youth-oriented expenditures to elderly-oriented expenditures, need for containment of inflation, return to a nuclear family) and the role of home economists in preparing people for this future. (CT)

  11. 10 Diversity Champions II

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nealy, Michelle J.; Pluviose, David; Roach, Ronald

    2008-01-01

    Introducing the "Champions of Diversity" in the Academic Kickoff issue proved a timely reminder of the mission of Diverse during the lead up to the 25th anniversary of Cox, Matthews and Associates, the founder of the former Black Issues in Higher Education and publisher of Diverse. In this edition, the editors at Diverse unveil its second slate of…

  12. Concepts of Diversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacklin, Phil

    This paper attempts to establish a theory of communication essential to democratic diversity. Twelve kinds of diversity, divided into two classes, are described. One class relates to the way in which diverse things differ, the other class relates to the kinds of things which are diverse. The criteria for evaluating the importance of a certain kind…

  13. A Systematic Review of the Economic Evaluation of Telemedicine in Japan

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: There is no systematic review on economic evaluations of telemedicine in Japan, despite over 1000 trials implemented. Our systematic review aims to examine whether Japan’s telemedicine is cost-saving or cost-effective, examine the methodological rigorousness of the economic evaluations, and discuss future studies needed to improve telemedicine’s financial sustainability. Methods: We searched five databases, including two Japanese databases, to find peer-reviewed articles published between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2014 in English and Japanese that performed economic evaluations of Japan’s telemedicine programs. The methodological rigorousness of the economic analyses was assessed with a well-established checklist. We calculated the benefit-to-cost ratio (BCR) when a reviewed study reported related data but did not report the BCR. All cost values were adjusted to 2014 US dollars. Results: Among the 17 articles identified, six studies reported on settings connecting physicians for specialist consultations, and eleven studies on settings connecting healthcare providers and patients at home. There are three cost-benefit analyses and three cost-minimization analyses. The remaining studies measured the benefit of telemedicine only, using medical expenditure saved or users’ willingness-to-pay. There was substantial diversity in the methodological rigorousness. Studies on teledermatology and teleradiology indicated a favorable level of economic efficiency. Studies on telehomecare gave mixed results. One cost-benefit analysis on telehomecare indicated a low economic efficiency, partly due to public subsidy rules, e.g., a too short budget period. Conclusions: Overall, telemedicine programs in Japan were indicated to have a favorable level of economic efficiency. However, the scarcity of the economic literature indicates the need for further rigorous economic evaluation studies. PMID:27499161

  14. Effects of Problem Based Economics on High School Economics Instruction. Final Report. NCEE 2010-4022rev

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Finkelstein, Neal; Hanson, Thomas; Huang, Chun-Wei; Hirschman, Becca; Huang, Min

    2011-01-01

    This study examines whether the Problem Based Economics curriculum developed by the Buck Institute for Education improves grade 12 students' content knowledge as measured by the Test of Economic Literacy, a test refined by the National Council on Economic Education (NCEE) over decades. Students' problem-solving skills in economics were also…

  15. Application of reservoir characterization and advanced technology to improve recovery and economics in a lower quality shallow shelf San Andres reservoir. Quarterly progress report, April 1--June 30, 1997

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, A.R.; Hickman, T.S.; Justice, J.J.

    1997-07-30

    The Class 2 Project at West Welch was designed to demonstrate the use of advanced technologies to enhance the economics of improved oil recovery (IOR) projects in lower quality Shallow Shelf Carbonate (SSC) reservoirs, resulting in recovery of additional oil that would otherwise be left in the reservoir at project abandonment. Accurate reservoir description is critical to the effective evaluation and efficient design of IOR projects in the heterogeneous SSC reservoirs. Therefore, the majority of Budget Period 1 was devoted to reservoir characterization. Technologies being demonstrated include: advanced petrophysics; three-dimensional seismic; cross-well bore tomography; advanced reservoir simulation; CO{sub 2} stimulation treatments; hydraulic fracturing design and monitoring; and mobility control agents. During the quarter, cross well seismic work continued, using the revised processing software. The validity of the seismic-guided mapping was confirmed by the drilling of a well. Revised CO{sub 2} performance projects were run using the enhanced geologic model in which the seismic data had been incorporated. Facilities for supplying and distributing CO{sub 2} to the area were designed and bids solicited for the materials and construction.

  16. Economic Resources for Older Women.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Sheila J.

    Although the older person's economic stiuation has improved, older women, minorities, and rural residents have incomes significantly lower than those for the older population in general. Older married women may appear to be financially secure, but many of their resources often disappear when their husbands die. Widowhood or divorce endangers the…

  17. Economic Conditions of Military Families

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hosek, James; MacDermid Wadsworth, Shelley

    2013-01-01

    In this article, the authors found that the economic circumstances of military families are good, certainly much improved compared with even a decade ago. The military context is nonetheless challenging, with long hours, dangerous work, frequent transfers, and stressful absences during deployment. Service members receive relatively high pay and…

  18. Constructing and Protecting Identity in a Diverse Higher Education Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jaspal, Rusi

    2015-01-01

    UK higher education (HE) has become increasingly diverse. Despite the clear social, economic and pedagogical benefits of diversity, it can also be challenging for identity as it may bring about psychological change and compel both the "dominant majority" and "minorities" to adjust to the presence, identities and worldviews of…

  19. Preparing the Future STEM Workforce for Diverse Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daily, Shaundra Bryant; Eugene, Wanda

    2013-01-01

    Following the belief that diversity breeds innovation in scientific endeavors, there is a national push for more diversity in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce in order to maintain national economic competitiveness. Currently, STEM-related employment is only 28% non-White; however, greater efforts to recruit…

  20. Analysis of population structure and genetic diversity of Egyptian and exotic rice (Oryza sativa L.) genotypes.

    PubMed

    Salem, Khaled F M; Sallam, Ahmed

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the population structure and genetic diversity is a very important goal to improve the economic value of crops. In rice, a loss of genetic diversity in the last few centuries is observed. To address this challenge, a set of 22 lines from three different regions - India (two), and Philippines (six), and Egypt (14) - were used to assess the genetic diversity and the features of population structure. These genotypes were analyzed using 106 SSR alleles that showed a clear polymorphism among the lines. Genetic diversity was estimated based on the number of different alleles, polymorphism information content (PIC), and gene diversity. A total of 106 SSR alleles was identified from the 23 SSR loci and used to study the population structure and carry out a cluster analysis. All SSR loci showed a wide range of the number of different alleles extended from two (one loci) to seven alleles (three loci). Five and eight loci showed high PIC and gene diversity (≥0.70), respectively. The results of population structure are in agreement with cluster analysis results. Both analyses revealed two different subpopulations (G1 and G2) with different genetic properties in number of private alleles, number of different alleles (Na), number of effective alleles (Ne), expected heterozygosity (He), and Shannon's Information Index (SII). Our findings indicate that five SSR loci (RM 111, RM 307, RM 22, RM 19, and RM 271) could be used in breeding programs to enhance the marker-assisted selection through QTL mapping and association studies. A high genetic diversity found between genotypes which can be exploited to improve and produce rice cultivars for important traits (e.g. high agronomic features and tolerance to biotic or/and abiotic stresses).

  1. Focus: International Economics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lynch, Gerald J.; Watts, Michael W.; Wentworth, Donald R.

    The "Focus" series, part of the National Council on Economic Education's (NCEE) EconomicsAmerica program, uses economics to enhance learning in subjects such as history, geography, civics, and personal finance, as well as economics. Activities are interactive, reflecting the belief that students learn best through active, highly…

  2. Engaging Undergraduates in Economics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gajwani, Kiran; Miron, Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

    Siegfried and Stock (2007) explore the undergraduate training of PhD economists. Their findings show that among U.S. undergraduate economics programs, the Harvard University Economics Department produces many eventual economics PhD recipients. In this article, the authors discuss Harvard's undergraduate economics program and highlight some key…

  3. Primer on Social Economics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Darcy, Robert L.

    An elaboration of the author's booklet entitled "First Steps Toward Economic Understanding," this primer is designed to help the reader develop a functional understanding of the economic process so that he can make wiser decisions on issues of social policy and on matters affecting his economic well-being. The document is not "economics in one…

  4. Economics of simulation task force

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, Steven C.

    2001-09-01

    It is both logical and appropriate for decision-makers to ask for ways to judge the value of simulation. Often, the request is even more pointed than just wanting a report on the value of simulation, and specifics on the economics of simulation are requested. Clearly, undertaking to answer questions about the economics of simulation will be critical to building an understanding of how to spend future marginal National Defense dollars. As an example, one can evaluate the economics of simulation where it supports our ability to develop, build, and test new weapon systems. Here, historically derived returns on investment, cost avoidance, cycle time reductions, and lifecycle cost savings have been documented and warrant further investigation. However, there is a larger area of use for simulation where judging its value must go beyond economics. Simulation, in most uses, has a value (or benefit or impact) beyond cost savings, and most efforts to understand the economics of simulation really intend to include the more general topic of the value of simulation. The broader question of the value of simulation will be tackled because simulation must prove its worth. If it is adequately funded and intelligently used, simulation will save valuable national resources and improve readiness. A task force of volunteers is now looking at the economics (benefits, value, impact) of simulation, and this paper seeks to provide an overview of the state of understanding of this topic and solicit volunteers to join this task force effort.

  5. Diversity Statements: How Faculty Applicants Address Diversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmaling, Karen B.; Trevino, Amira Y.; Lind, Justin R.; Blume, Arthur W.; Baker, Dana L.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine application materials for assistant professor positions in 3 academic disciplines. Applicants were asked to write a diversity statement describing how they would advance diversity through their research, teaching, and service. The sample included application materials submitted by 191 candidates for…

  6. Does Staff Diversity Imply Openness to Diversity?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lauring, Jakob; Selmer, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Post-secondary educational organizations are currently some of the most diverse settings to be found. However, few educational studies have dealt with staff diversity and hardly any has looked outside the USA. The purpose of this paper is to present a study of members of international university departments in Denmark. The authors set out…

  7. Capturing the Diversity in Lexical Diversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jarvis, Scott

    2013-01-01

    The range, variety, or diversity of words found in learners' language use is believed to reflect the complexity of their vocabulary knowledge as well as the level of their language proficiency. Many indices of lexical diversity have been proposed, most of which involve statistical relationships between types and tokens, and which ultimately…

  8. Finding the economics in economic entomology.

    PubMed

    Onstad, David W; Knolhoff, Lisa M

    2009-02-01

    To recommend new pest management tactics and strategies to farmers and policy makers, economic entomologists must evaluate the economics of biologically reasonable approaches. We collected data to determine how frequently these economic evaluations occur. We discovered from our survey of entomological journals representing the discipline of economic entomology that < 1% of research papers published since 1972 include economic evaluations of pest management tactics. At least 85% of these analyses were performed by entomologists and not economists. Much of the research on economic evaluations is performed without special funds granted by agencies separate from the authors' institutions. In the United States, USDA competitive grants supported 20% of the economic evaluations published since 2000. However, only approximately 12% of the projects funded since 2000 by three sections of the USDA (Crops at Risk, Risk Avoidance and Mitigation Program, and Pest Management Alternatives Program) resulted in publications concerning economic evaluations. If the purpose of economic entomology is to ultimately determine the value of different kinds of tactics, the discipline may need to take steps to enhance the research that supports these evaluations.

  9. Lessons Learned from a Multiculturally, Economically Diverse Classroom Setting.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lyman, Lawrence

    For her sabbatical a professor of teacher education at Emporia State University returned to the elementary classroom after a 20-year absence to teach in a third/fourth combination classroom in the Emporia, Kansas Public Schools. The return to elementary classroom teaching provided the professor with the opportunity to utilize some of the social…

  10. The Mixed Economic Progress of Immigrants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schoeni, Robert F.; And Others

    This report examines whether the economic well-being of male immigrants to the United States improves substantially over time, details differences in economic progress of immigrants from different countries of origin, and assesses the impact of educational attainment on immigrants' earnings. Analyses are based on Public Use Micro Samples of the…

  11. Molecular markers: a potential resource for ginger genetic diversity studies.

    PubMed

    Ismail, Nor Asiah; Rafii, M Y; Mahmud, T M M; Hanafi, M M; Miah, Gous

    2016-12-01

    Ginger is an economically important and valuable plant around the world. Ginger is used as a food, spice, condiment, medicine and ornament. There is available information on biochemical aspects of ginger, but few studies have been reported on its molecular aspects. The main objective of this review is to accumulate the available molecular marker information and its application in diverse ginger studies. This review article was prepared by combing material from published articles and our own research. Molecular markers allow the identification and characterization of plant genotypes through direct access to hereditary material. In crop species, molecular markers are applied in different aspects and are useful in breeding programs. In ginger, molecular markers are commonly used to identify genetic variation and classify the relatedness among varieties, accessions, and species. Consequently, it provides important input in determining resourceful management strategies for ginger improvement programs. Alternatively, a molecular marker could function as a harmonizing tool for documenting species. This review highlights the application of molecular markers (isozyme, RAPD, AFLP, SSR, ISSR and others such as RFLP, SCAR, NBS and SNP) in genetic diversity studies of ginger species. Some insights on the advantages of the markers are discussed. The detection of genetic variation among promising cultivars of ginger has significance for ginger improvement programs. This update of recent literature will help researchers and students select the appropriate molecular markers for ginger-related research.

  12. Economics of nursing.

    PubMed

    Aiken, Linda H

    2008-05-01

    Pay-for-performance initiatives have renewed interest in payment reform as a vehicle for improving nurse staffing and working conditions in hospitals because of research linking investments in nursing and better patient outcomes. This article addresses the economics of nursing from a broad perspective that considers how both national policies such as hospital prospective payment and managerial decisions within institutions impact the outcomes of nurses and patients. Cost offsets are considered from the perspective of savings in patient-care resources that accrue from investments in nursing. Cost offsets are also considered from the perspective of the interactions among different strategies for investing in nursing, including the impact of staffing levels on patient outcomes with varying educational levels of nurses and varying quality of practice environments.

  13. Basic Business and Economics: Economics for Everyone

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frandino, Millie; Duffy, Eileen

    1978-01-01

    To give students the necessary basic economic concepts in the general business course, Monroe-Woodbury High School, Central Valley, New York, expanded the curriculum to offer seven quarter-courses in economics, the court system, principles of banking and insurance, consumer education, the working citizen, and business management. (MF)

  14. The Economics of Pollution. Economic Topic Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolozin, Harold

    One of the major reasons for the present concern for the pollution of the environment lies in the doubts about whether economic growth is possible without proportionate increases in the pollution of our air, land, and water. In response, Professor Wolozin devotes Part One of this trilogy to examining the economic relationships that help to explain…

  15. Application of reservoir characterization and advanced technology to improve recovery and economics in a lower quality shallow shelf San Andres reservoir. Quarterly progress report, October 1--December 31, 1997

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, A.R.; Hickman, T.S.; Justice, J.J.

    1998-01-31

    West Welch Unit is one of four large waterflood units in the Welch Field in the northwestern portion of Dawson County, Texas. The Welch Field produces oil under a solution gas drive mechanism from the San Andres formation at approximately 4,800 ft. The field has been under waterflood for 30 years and a significant portion has been infill-drilled on 20-ac density. A 1982--86 pilot CO{sub 2} injection project in the offsetting South Welch Unit yielded positive results. Recent installation of a CO{sub 2} pipeline near the field allowed the phased development of a miscible CO{sub 2} injection project at the South Welch Unit. The Class 2 Project at West Welch was designed to demonstrate the use of advanced technologies to enhance the economics of improved oil recovery (IOR) projects in lower quality Shallow Shelf Carbonate (SSC) reservoirs, resulting in recovery of additional oil that would otherwise be left in the reservoir at project abandonment. Accurate reservoir description is critical to the effective evaluation and efficient design of IOR projects in the heterogeneous SSC reservoirs. Therefore, the majority of Budget Period 1 was devoted to reservoir characterization. Technologies being demonstrated include: advanced petrophysics; three-dimensional seismic; cross-well bore tomography; advanced reservoir simulation; CO{sub 2} stimulation treatments; hydraulic fracturing design and monitoring; and mobility control agents. During the quarter, development of the project`s south expansion area was undertaken, work was continued on interpreting the crosswell seismic data and CO{sub 2} injection into 11 wells was initiated.

  16. Rewarding Healthy Food Choices in SNAP: Behavioral Economic Applications

    PubMed Central

    Richards, Michael R; Sindelar, Jody L

    2013-01-01

    Context American obesity rates continue to escalate, but an effective policy response remains elusive. Specific changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have been proposed as one way to improve nutrition and combat obesity among lower-income populations. While current SNAP proposals hold promise, some important challenges still remain. Methods We discuss the four most common recommendations for changes to SNAP and their benefits and limitations. We then propose three new delivery options for SNAP that take advantage of behavioral economic insights and encourage the selection of healthy foods. Findings Although the existing proposals could help SNAP recipients, they often do not address some important behavioral impediments to buying healthy foods. We believe that behavioral economics can be used to design alternative policies with several advantages, although we recognize and discuss some of their limitations. The first proposal rewards healthy purchases with more SNAP funds and provides an additional incentive to maintain healthier shopping patterns. The second proposal uses the opportunity to win prizes to reward healthy food choices, and the prizes further support healthier habits. The final proposal simplifies healthy food purchases by allowing individuals to commit their SNAP benefits to more nutritious selections in advance. Conclusions Reforming the delivery structure of SNAP's benefits could help improve nutrition, weight, and overall health of lower-income individuals. We advocate for more and diverse SNAP proposals, which should be tested and, possibly, combined. Their implementation, however, would require political will, administrative capacity, and funding. PMID:23758515

  17. Genetic Diversity and Societally Important Disparities

    PubMed Central

    Rosenberg, Noah A.; Kang, Jonathan T. L.

    2015-01-01

    The magnitude of genetic diversity within human populations varies in a way that reflects the sequence of migrations by which people spread throughout the world. Beyond its use in human evolutionary genetics, worldwide variation in genetic diversity sometimes can interact with social processes to produce differences among populations in their relationship to modern societal problems. We review the consequences of genetic diversity differences in the settings of familial identification in forensic genetic testing, match probabilities in bone marrow transplantation, and representation in genome-wide association studies of disease. In each of these three cases, the contribution of genetic diversity to social differences follows from population-genetic principles. For a fourth setting that is not similarly grounded, we reanalyze with expanded genetic data a report that genetic diversity differences influence global patterns of human economic development, finding no support for the claim. The four examples describe a limit to the importance of genetic diversity for explaining societal differences while illustrating a distinction that certain biologically based scenarios do require consideration of genetic diversity for solving problems to which populations have been differentially predisposed by the unique history of human migrations. PMID:26354973

  18. Leadership and Diversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coleman, Marianne

    2012-01-01

    As part of the special edition recognizing the 40th anniversary of "Educational Management Administration & Leadership" this article reviews the coverage of leadership and diversity issues in the journal. The majority of articles concerning diversity have focused on gender, with attention turning to the wider concept of diversity since the year…

  19. Insights on Diversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bloom, Carol, Ed.; And Others

    This state-of-the-art report presents a series of essays on the topic of diversity. Essays include: (1) "Committing to Diversity" (George L. Mehaffy); (2) "Serving the Community by Serving Our Members" (Michael P. Wolfe); (3) "How Diversity Matters" (Asa G. Hilliard, III); (4) "A Prerequisite to Teaching Multiculturally" (Mary Louise Gomez); (5)…

  20. BioDiversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, E. O., Ed.; Peter, Frances M., Ed.

    The diversity of life forms is one of the greatest wonders of the planet earth. The biosphere is an intricate tapestry of interwoven life forms. This book offers an overall view of this biological diversity and carries an urgent warning about the rapid alteration and destruction of the environments that have fostered the diversity of life forms…

  1. Multilevel and Diverse Classrooms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baurain, Bradley, Ed.; Ha, Phan Le, Ed.

    2010-01-01

    The benefits and advantages of classroom practices incorporating unity-in-diversity and diversity-in-unity are what "Multilevel and Diverse Classrooms" is all about. Multilevel classrooms--also known as mixed-ability or heterogeneous classrooms--are a fact of life in ESOL programs around the world. These classrooms are often not only…

  2. Diversity in livestock resources in pastoral systems in Africa.

    PubMed

    Kaufmann, B A; Lelea, M A; Hulsebusch, C G

    2016-11-01

    Pastoral systems are important producers and repositories of livestock diversity. Pastoralists use variability in their livestock resources to manage high levels of environmental variability in economically advantageous ways. In pastoral systems, human-animal-environment interactions are the basis of production and the key to higher productivity and efficiency. In other words, pastoralists manage a production system that exploits variability and keeps production costs low. When differentiating, characterising and evaluating pastoral breeds, this context-specific, functional dimension of diversity in livestock resources needs to be considered. The interaction of animals with their environment is determined not only by morphological and physiological traits but also by experience and socially learned behaviour. This high proportion of non-genetic components determining the performance of livestock means that current models for analysing livestock diversity and performance, which are based on genetic inheritance, have limited ability to describe pastoral performance. There is a need for methodological innovations to evaluate pastoral breeds and animals, since comparisons based on performance 'under optimal conditions' are irrelevant within this production system. Such innovations must acknowledge that livestock or breed performance is governed by complex human-animal-environment interactions, and varies through time and space due to the mobile and seasonal nature of the pastoral system. Pastoralists' breeding concepts and selection strategies seem to be geared towards improving their animals' capability to exploit variability, by - among other things - enhancing within-breed diversity. In-depth studies of these concepts and strategies could contribute considerably towards developing methodological innovations for the characterisation and evaluation of pastoral livestock resources.

  3. Particle fuel diversion structure

    SciTech Connect

    Eshleman, R. D.

    1985-07-30

    A particle fuel burning furnace has an upper combustion chamber for holding a pile of particle fuel and burning the same from the bottom thereof. The furnace also includes a lower combustion chamber for after-burning combustible gases given off by the burning of solid fuel in the upper chamber and a series of spaced apart vertically-extending passageways arranged in a row and interconnecting the upper and lower chambers for communicating the combustible gases from the upper to the lower chamber. A first improved feature relates to a particle fuel delivery control device which operates an auger for filling the upper chamber with particle fuel to a desired level. A beam of light is transmitted and reflected between a photoelectric cell and reflector respectively of the device. When the particle fuel pile has grown in height during filling to the desired level the light beam is interrupted and filling is terminated. A second improved feature relates to a particle fuel diversion structure positioned in spaced relationship above and overlying the row of passageways. The structure forms a horizontal slot which extends laterally from the passageways which prevents particles of fuel from falling through the passageways and relocates the flame which burns the particle fuel pile from the bottom to a region away from the passageways.

  4. An economic and financial exploratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cincotti, S.; Sornette, D.; Treleaven, P.; Battiston, S.; Caldarelli, G.; Hommes, C.; Kirman, A.

    2012-11-01

    This paper describes the vision of a European Exploratory for economics and finance using an interdisciplinary consortium of economists, natural scientists, computer scientists and engineers, who will combine their expertise to address the enormous challenges of the 21st century. This Academic Public facility is intended for economic modelling, investigating all aspects of risk and stability, improving financial technology, and evaluating proposed regulatory and taxation changes. The European Exploratory for economics and finance will be constituted as a network of infrastructure, observatories, data repositories, services and facilities and will foster the creation of a new cross-disciplinary research community of social scientists, complexity scientists and computing (ICT) scientists to collaborate in investigating major issues in economics and finance. It is also considered a cradle for training and collaboration with the private sector to spur spin-offs and job creations in Europe in the finance and economic sectors. The Exploratory will allow Social Scientists and Regulators as well as Policy Makers and the private sector to conduct realistic investigations with real economic, financial and social data. The Exploratory will (i) continuously monitor and evaluate the status of the economies of countries in their various components, (ii) use, extend and develop a large variety of methods including data mining, process mining, computational and artificial intelligence and every other computer and complex science techniques coupled with economic theory and econometric, and (iii) provide the framework and infrastructure to perform what-if analysis, scenario evaluations and computational, laboratory, field and web experiments to inform decision makers and help develop innovative policy, market and regulation designs.

  5. Metagenomics: an inexhaustible access to nature's diversity.

    PubMed

    Langer, Martin; Gabor, Esther M; Liebeton, Klaus; Meurer, Guido; Niehaus, Frank; Schulze, Renate; Eck, Jürgen; Lorenz, Patrick

    2006-01-01

    The chemical industry has an enormous need for innovation. To save resources, energy and time, currently more and more established chemical processes are being switched to biotechnological routes. This requires white biotechnology to discover and develop novel enzymes, biocatalysts and applications. Due to a limitation in the cultivability of microbes living in certain habitats, technologies have to be established which give access to the enormous resource of uncultivated microbial diversity. Metagenomics promises to provide new and diverse enzymes and biocatalysts as well as bioactive molecules and has the potential to make industrial biotechnology an economic, sustainable success.

  6. Economics and lighting level recommendations

    SciTech Connect

    Clear, R.; Berman, S.

    1992-04-01

    The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America develops light level recommendations for tasks where visual performance is important. The 1959 and 1972 recommendations for illumination levels were based on the principle of delivering a fixed level of performance as predicted by the visual performance models of the time. This same principle is being considered for future revisions to the recommendations. There is currently no explicit method for determining whether a given fixed performance level is in any sense optimal or best. Visual performance increases with lighting levels, but so do economic and environmental costs. These costs lessen the economic benefits of the improved visual performance. A formal method for including these factors in light level recommendations is to restate the problem in terms of net benefits (benefits minus costs). The resulting equations have well defined optima versus light level, and thus give an explicit estimate of what the best lighting levels are in terms of current visual performance models, and current economic conditions. A simple net-benefit procedure is described, and sample calculations are shown for two current visual performance models. Fixed performance levels do not provide economically optimal recommendations with either model. There are also differences between models, but they are less significant than the large differences between the principles of fixed performance levels and economic optimization.

  7. Contemporary Radical Economics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sherman, Howard J.

    1984-01-01

    The origins of contemporary radical economics are examined. Applications of radical economics to price and value theory, labor segmentation theory, business cycles, industrial organization, government and business, imperialism and development, and comparative systems are reviewed. (Author/RM)

  8. USSR Report, Economic Affairs.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    This report from the USSR contains articles on Economic Affairs. The main topics are Economic Policy, Organization and Management; Resource Utilization and Supply; Regional Development ; and Introduction of New Technology;

  9. USSR Report, Economic Affairs.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-05-22

    This report from the USSR contains articles on Economic Affairs. The main topics are Economic Policy, Organization and Management; Planning and Plan Implementation; Investment, Prices, Budget and Finance; Resource Utilization and Supply; and Regional Development .

  10. USSR Report, Economic Affairs.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-11-16

    This report from the USSR contains articles on Economic Affairs. The main topics are Economic Policy, Organization and Management; Investment, Prices, Budget and Finance; Resource Utilization and Supply and Regional Development .

  11. Basic Transportation Economics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kneafsey, J. T.

    1972-01-01

    Transportation economics is an integral part of all transportation activities. Refined, detailed, and careful economic analyses consider conduct-performance methodology and the specifications of production, cost and demand functions.

  12. Modifiable factors governing indoor fungal diversity and risk of asthma.

    PubMed

    Sharpe, R; Thornton, C R; Osborne, N J

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to dampness and fungi in the home is a known risk factor for individuals with allergic asthma. Inadequate heating and ventilation may lead to dampness and concomitant increased exposure to spores of allergenic fungi such as Aspergillus and Penicillium. These fungi have been cultured from sputum of asthmatic and non-asthmatic individuals, and implicated in the initiation or exacerbation of asthma. Indoor environmental factors influence the presence and concentrations of fungal propagules and, in turn, risk of asthma outcomes. This review aims to identify modifiable risk factors in the built environment that have been shown to influence fungal composition indoors, and to examine this association with the risk of asthma development and/or exacerbation. A complex interaction between residential characteristics, the built environment and the behaviour of people regulate the diversity and concentrations of indoor fungi. Modifiable factors include build age, architectural design, level of maintenance, variations in construction materials, presence of pets, heating and ventilation patterns. Risk of fungal contamination and asthma outcomes are also influenced by low occupant awareness concerning potential health effects and socio-economic factors. Addressing these factors provides an opportunity to improve future housing interventions, though it is not clear how the built environment and occupant behaviours interact to modify the diversity of indoor fungi and resultant risk of asthma. A combination of housing improvements combined with awareness programmes and the alleviation of fuel poverty can be used to lower the allergen burden associated with damp homes. Further research is needed to identify factors that regulate the concentration and diversity of indoor fungi and how this may act as a modifier for asthma outcomes.

  13. Economic Components of Grief

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corden, Anne; Hirst, Michael

    2013-01-01

    This article investigates the nature, context, and impact of economic stressors associated with loss, drawing on a mixed-methods study of changes in financial circumstances and economic roles following death of a life partner. Findings show how economic changes, and the practicalities of dealing with such transitions, shaped individual responses…

  14. Economics: It's Your Business.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Billings, Henry

    This document is a text for teaching economics. The book is divided into seven units. Unit 1 is called "What is Economics?" Its seven chapters discuss economics and scarcity, money, the role of the consumer, the role of the producer, capitalism and the free enterprise system, and the circular flow of the economy. The second unit is "How the United…

  15. Applying Behavioral Economics to Public Health Policy

    PubMed Central

    Matjasko, Jennifer L.; Cawley, John H.; Baker-Goering, Madeleine M.; Yokum, David V.

    2016-01-01

    Behavioral economics provides an empirically informed perspective on how individuals make decisions, including the important realization that even subtle features of the environment can have meaningful impacts on behavior. This commentary provides examples from the literature and recent government initiatives that incorporate concepts from behavioral economics in order to improve health, decision making, and government efficiency. The examples highlight the potential for behavioral economics to improve the effectiveness of public health policy at low cost. Although incorporating insights from behavioral economics into public health policy has the potential to improve population health, its integration into government public health programs and policies requires careful design and continual evaluation of such interventions. Limitations and drawbacks of the approach are discussed. PMID:27102853

  16. Transportation economics and energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soltani Sobh, Ali

    The overall objective of this research is to study the impacts of technology improvement including fuel efficiency increment, extending the use of natural gas vehicle and electric vehicles on key parameters of transportation. In the first chapter, a simple economic analysis is used in order to demonstrate the adoption rate of natural gas vehicles as an alternative fuel vehicle. The effect of different factors on adoption rate of commuters is calculated in sensitivity analysis. In second chapter the VMT is modeled and forecasted under influence of CNG vehicles in different scenarios. The VMT modeling is based on the time series data for Washington State. In order to investigate the effect of population growth on VMT, the per capita model is also developed. In third chapter the effect of fuel efficiency improvement on fuel tax revenue and greenhouse emission is examined. The model is developed based on time series data of Washington State. The rebound effect resulted from fuel efficiency improvement is estimated and is considered in fuel consumption forecasting. The reduction in fuel tax revenue and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as two outcomes of lower fuel consumption are computed. In addition, the proper fuel tax rate to restitute the revenue is suggested. In the fourth chapter effective factors on electric vehicles (EV) adoption is discussed. The constructed model is aggregated binomial logit share model that estimates the modal split between EV and conventional vehicles for different states over time. Various factors are incorporated in the utility function as explanatory variables in order to quantify their effect on EV adoption choices. The explanatory variables include income, VMT, electricity price, gasoline price, urban area and number of EV stations.

  17. Complexity and behavioral economics.

    PubMed

    Rosser, J Barkley; Rosser, Marina V

    2015-04-01

    This paper will consider the relationship between complexity economics and behavioral economics. A crucial key to this is to understand that Herbert Simon was both the founder of explicitly modern behavioral economics as well as one of the early developers of complexity theory. Bounded rationality was essentially derived from Simon's view of the impossibility of full rationality on the part of economic agents. Modern complexity theory through such approaches as agent-based modeling offers an approach to understanding behavioral economics by allowing for specific behavioral responses to be assigned to agents who interact within this context, even without full rationality. Other parts of modern complexity theory are considered in terms of their relationships with behavioral economics. Fundamentally, complexity provides an ultimate foundation for bounded rationality and hence the need to use behavioral economics in a broader array of contexts than most economists have thought appropriate.

  18. Dynamic Transmission Economic Evaluation of Infectious Disease Interventions in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Literature Review.

    PubMed

    Drake, Tom L; Devine, Angela; Yeung, Shunmay; Day, Nicholas P J; White, Lisa J; Lubell, Yoel

    2016-02-01

    Economic evaluation using dynamic transmission models is important for capturing the indirect effects of infectious disease interventions. We examine the use of these methods in low- and middle-income countries, where infectious diseases constitute a major burden. This review is comprised of two parts: (1) a summary of dynamic transmission economic evaluations across all disease areas published between 2011 and mid-2014 and (2) an in-depth review of mosquito-borne disease studies focusing on health economic methods and reporting. Studies were identified through a systematic search of the MEDLINE database and supplemented by reference list screening. Fifty-seven studies were eligible for inclusion in the all-disease review. The most common subject disease was HIV/AIDS, followed by malaria. A diverse range of modelling methods, outcome metrics and sensitivity analyses were used, indicating little standardisation. Seventeen studies were included in the mosquito-borne disease review. With notable exceptions, most studies did not employ economic evaluation methods beyond calculating a cost-effectiveness ratio or net benefit. Many did not adhere to health care economic evaluations reporting guidelines, particularly with respect to full model reporting and uncertainty analysis. We present a summary of the state-of-the-art and offer recommendations for improved implementation and reporting of health economic methods in this crossover discipline.

  19. OptiPhy, a technical-economic optimisation model for improving the management of plant protection practices in agriculture: a decision-support tool for controlling the toxicity risks related to pesticides.

    PubMed

    Mghirbi, Oussama; LE Grusse, Philippe; Fabre, Jacques; Mandart, Elisabeth; Bord, Jean-Paul

    2017-03-01

    The health, environmental and socio-economic issues related to the massive use of plant protection products are a concern for all the stakeholders involved in the agricultural sector. These stakeholders, including farmers and territorial actors, have expressed a need for decision-support tools for the management of diffuse pollution related to plant protection practices and their impacts. To meet the needs expressed by the public authorities and the territorial actors for such decision-support tools, we have developed a technical-economic model "OptiPhy" for risk mitigation based on indicators of pesticide toxicity risk to applicator health (IRSA) and to the environment (IRTE), under the constraint of suitable economic outcomes. This technical-economic optimisation model is based on linear programming techniques and offers various scenarios to help the different actors in choosing plant protection products, depending on their different levels of constraints and aspirations. The health and environmental risk indicators can be broken down into sub-indicators so that management can be tailored to the context. This model for technical-economic optimisation and management of plant protection practices can analyse scenarios for the reduction of pesticide-related risks by proposing combinations of substitution PPPs, according to criteria of efficiency, economic performance and vulnerability of the natural environment. The results of the scenarios obtained on real ITKs in different cropping systems show that it is possible to reduce the PPP pressure (TFI) and reduce toxicity risks to applicator health (IRSA) and to the environment (IRTE) by up to approximately 50 %.

  20. China Report: Economic Affairs. No. 372

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    enterprises. It affects the stable increase of the state revenues and improvement of management and improvement of management and control on the part of the... improve management and control , tap internal hidden potentialities, and create more wealth for the state, deriving therefrom the benefits which it...under "stringent control ." 4. We must strictly enforce the principle of improving and perfecting the economic responsibility system of the enterprises