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Sample records for improved economic diversity

  1. Cultural Diversity, Economic Development and Societal Instability

    PubMed Central

    Nettle, Daniel; Grace, James B.; Choisy, Marc; Cornell, Howard V.; Guégan, Jean-François; Hochberg, Michael 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 or α diversity, but also diversity between a nation and its neighbours or β 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 α and β 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 types and domains of diversity have interacting effects. As previously documented, linguistic α 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 β diversity, the higher the linguistic diversity among nations in a region, the less stable the nation. But, religious β 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. PMID:17895970

  2. Cultural diversity, economic development and societal instability.

    PubMed

    Nettle, Daniel; Grace, James B; Choisy, Marc; Cornell, Howard V; Guégan, Jean-François; Hochberg, Michael E

    2007-09-26

    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 or alpha diversity, but also diversity between a nation and its neighbours or beta 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. We assembled a large cross-national dataset with information on alpha and beta 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 types and domains of diversity have interacting effects. As previously documented, linguistic alpha 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 beta diversity, the higher the linguistic diversity among nations in a region, the less stable the nation. But, religious beta diversity has the opposite effect, reducing instability, particularly in the presence of high linguistic diversity. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  6. 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.…

  7. 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.…

  8. Managing Your Diverse Workforce through Improved Communication.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sadri, Golnaz; Tran, Hoa

    2002-01-01

    Improved supervisor-supervisee communication will help organizations manage a diverse work force. Two strategies for improvement are management of personal growth (short term) and mentoring (long term). (Contains 28 references.) (SK)

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Student Diversity, Choice, and School Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Willie, Charles V.; Edwards, Ralph; Alves, Michael J.

    This book examines research about trends affecting public school diversity, improvement, and choice. It finds that schools with socioeconomically and racially diversified student bodies are more effective learning communities than schools that are poverty-concentrated and racially homogenous; public school choice implemented via the controlled…

  13. 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.

  14. Improving the Teaching of Economics: Achievements and Aspirations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bach, G. L.; Kelley, Allen C.

    Achievements and possible future projects of the American Economic Association's Committee on Economic Education (CEE), whose goal is to improve teaching in college and university economics, are discussed. The Teacher Training Program (TTP) was established by the CEE in the 1970's to develop programs to train economic educators. To date the…

  15. Diversity improves performance in excitable networks.

    PubMed

    Gollo, Leonardo L; 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Integrating Diverse Datasets Improves Developmental Enhancer Prediction

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  19. 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

  20. Diversity, Knowledge Clusters, and Job Placement: Graduate Economics Teaching of Core Microeconomics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Arthur; Feinstein, Jonathan S.; Hong, Soonwook; Qian, Sharon; Williams, Trevor C.

    2017-01-01

    The authors present an empirical analysis of what is taught in core micro-economics at a set of top U.S. doctoral economics programs. Their aim is to evaluate the diversity across programs and assess whether there are distinct "schools of thought" in graduate economics education. Their empirical findings reveal substantial, in fact,…

  1. 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.

  2. Trust-aware recommendation for improving aggregate diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Haifeng; Bai, Xiaomei; Yang, Zhuo; Tolba, Amr; Xia, Feng

    2015-10-01

    Recommender systems are becoming increasingly important and prevalent because of the ability of solving information overload. In recent years, researchers are paying increasing attention to aggregate diversity as a key metric beyond accuracy, because improving aggregate recommendation diversity may increase long tails and sales diversity. Trust is often used to improve recommendation accuracy. However, how to utilize trust to improve aggregate recommendation diversity is unexplored. In this paper, we focus on solving this problem and propose a novel trust-aware recommendation method by incorporating time factor into similarity computation. The rationale underlying the proposed method is that, trustees with later creation time of trust relation can bring more diverse items to recommend to their trustors than other trustees with earlier creation time of trust relation. Through relevant experiments on publicly available dataset, we demonstrate that the proposed method outperforms the baseline method in terms of aggregate diversity while maintaining almost the same recall.

  3. Improved trees: economic promises and pitfalls

    Treesearch

    George F. Dutrow

    1977-01-01

    Surging demands for wood fiber that must be produced on a decreasing acreage of forest land suggest soaring prices, a shrinking market for wood products, or both. Either of these consequences can be forestalled or prevented by implementing existing technologies, one of which is cultivation of genetically improved trees. Multiple and sizable gains from improved trees...

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.…

  11. 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.…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Frequency Diversity for Improving Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-03-01

    Frequency Diversity for Improving Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging DISSERTATION Jawad Farooq, Major, USAF AFIT/DEE/ENG/09-04 DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR...Department of Defense, or the United States Government. AFIT/DEE/ENG/09-04 Frequency Diversity for Improving Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging DISSERTATION...aperture radar (SAR) is a critical battlefield enabler as it provides imagery during day or night and in all-weather conditions. SAR image resolution

  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. © The Author(s) 2015.

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. Summit on Improving the Economics of America's Nuclear Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Collins, John; Mason, Charles

    2016-09-01

    The Summit on Improving the Economics of America’s Nuclear Power Plants was convened May 19, 2016, by Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and co-sponsored by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo to stress the importance of existing nuclear reactors in meeting our nation’s energy goals. The summit was also designed to identify and discuss policy options that can be pursued at federal and state levels to address economic challenges, as well as technical options that utilities can use to improve the economic competitiveness of operating nuclear power plants (NPPs) and avoid early plant retirements that are driven by temporary market conditions. The owners of NPPs face difficult economic decisions and are working to improve the performance of existing NPPs. However, it soon became clear that some of the actions taken by states and regional markets have had an impact on the economic viability of existing power plants, including carbon free NPPs. Summit speakers identified concepts and actions that could be taken at state and federal levels to improve the economics of the existing fleet within these regulated and restructured electricity markets. This report summarizes the speeches, concepts, and actions taken.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    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).

  2. Economic analysis of tree improvement: A status report

    Treesearch

    George F. Dutrow

    1974-01-01

    Review of current literature establishes that most authors believe that tree improvement expands production, although some point out drawbacks and alternatives. Both softwood and hardwood improvement programs have been analyzed. The authors used various models, economic assumptions, and standards of measurement, but available data were limited. Future models shouId...

  3. 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.

  4. Leveraging Behavioral Economics to Improve Heart Failure Care and Outcomes.

    PubMed

    Chang, Leslie L; DeVore, Adam D; Granger, Bradi B; Eapen, Zubin J; Ariely, Dan; Hernandez, Adrian F

    2017-08-22

    Behavioral challenges are often present in human illness, so behavioral economics is increasingly being applied in healthcare settings to better understand why patients choose healthy or unhealthy behaviors. The application of behavioral economics to healthcare settings parallels recent shifts in policy and reimbursement structures that hold providers accountable for outcomes that are dependent on patient behaviors. Numerous studies have examined the application of behavioral economics principles to policy making and health behaviors, but there are limited data on applying these concepts to the management of chronic conditions, such as heart failure (HF). Given its increasing prevalence and high associated cost of care, HF is a paradigm case for studying novel approaches to improve health care; therefore, if we can better understand why patients with HF make the choices they do, then we may be more poised to help them manage their medications, influence daily behaviors, and encourage healthy decision making. In this article, we will give a brief explanation of the core behavioral economics concepts that apply to patients with HF. We will also examine how to craft these concepts into tools such as financial incentives and social networks that may improve the management of patients with HF. We believe that behavioral economics can help us understand barriers to change, encourage positive behaviors, and offer additional approaches to improving the outcomes of patients with HF. © 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. Rapid economic analysis of northern hardwood stand improvement options

    Treesearch

    William B. Leak

    1980-01-01

    Data and methodology are provided for projecting basal area, diameter, volumes, and values by product for northern hardwood stands, and for determining the rate of return on stand improvement investments. The method is rapid, requires a minimum amount of information, and should prove useful for on-the-ground economic analyses.

  8. 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.

  9. Diversity RF receiving system with improved phase-lock characteristics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Di Losa, V. J.; Laughlin, C. R., Jr.

    1968-01-01

    Improved diversity receiving system automatically utilizes the combined output from its two independent receiving channels /with cross- polarized receiving antennas/ to increase the reliability of maintaining the requisite phase lock for optimum signal reception. It is adapted for use with AM, PM, or narrow band FM signals.

  10. Performance improvement of BOTDR system using wavelength diversity technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lalam, Nageswara; Ng, Wai Pang; Dai, Xuewu; Wu, Qiang; Fu, Yong Qing

    2017-04-01

    In this paper, a novel technique was proposed to improve the sensing performance by employing wavelength diversity in Brillouin optical time domain reflectometry (BOTDR). This technique enables to maximize the launch pump power to achieve a higher measurement accuracy, without activating the nonlinear effects, which limit the conventional BOTDR performance. Experimentally, we have demonstrated the proposed technique, that provides measurement accuracy improvement of 3.6 times at far end of the sensing fibre compared to the conventional BOTDR system.

  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. 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)

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. 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.

  2. Enacting Diverse Learning Environments: Improving the Climate for Racial/Ethnic Diversity in Higher Education. ERIC Digest.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hurtado, Sylvia; Milem, Jeffrey; Clayton-Pedersen, Alma; Allen, Walter

    This digest examines ways in which learning and educational objectives can be maximized to achieve diversity while improving social and learning environments for students from different racial/ethnic backgrounds. The digest examines the literature on campus climate for racial/ethnic diversity, looks at the impact on student diversity of the campus…

  3. 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.

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    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. © 2014 The Authors. FEMS Microbiology Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

  7. Housing improvements for health and associated socio-economic outcomes.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Hilary; Thomas, Sian; Sellstrom, Eva; Petticrew, Mark

    2013-02-28

    The well established links between poor housing and poor health indicate that housing improvement may be an important mechanism through which public investment can lead to health improvement. Intervention studies which have assessed the health impacts of housing improvements are an important data resource to test assumptions about the potential for health improvement. Evaluations may not detect long term health impacts due to limited follow-up periods. Impacts on socio-economic determinants of health may be a valuable proxy indication of the potential for longer term health impacts. To assess the health and social impacts on residents following improvements to the physical fabric of housing. Twenty seven academic and grey literature bibliographic databases were searched for housing intervention studies from 1887 to July 2012 (ASSIA; Avery Index; CAB Abstracts; The Campbell Library; CINAHL; The Cochrane Library; COPAC; DH-DATA: Health Admin; EMBASE; Geobase; Global Health; IBSS; ICONDA; MEDLINE; MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations; NTIS; PAIS; PLANEX; PsycINFO; RIBA; SCIE; Sociological Abstracts; Social Science Citations Index; Science Citations Index expanded; SIGLE; SPECTR). Twelve Scandinavian grey literature and policy databases (Libris; SveMed+; Libris uppsök; DIVA; Artikelsök; NORART; DEFF; AKF; DSI; SBI; Statens Institut for Folkesundhed; Social.dk) and 23 relevant websites were searched. In addition, a request to topic experts was issued for details of relevant studies. Searches were not restricted by language or publication status. Studies which assessed change in any health outcome following housing improvement were included. This included experimental studies and uncontrolled studies. Cross-sectional studies were excluded as correlations are not able to shed light on changes in outcomes. Studies reporting only socio-economic outcomes or indirect measures of health, such as health service use, were excluded. All housing improvements which

  8. 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.

  9. Eccentric endurance exercise economically improves metabolic and inflammatory risk factors.

    PubMed

    Zeppetzauer, Markus; Drexel, Heinz; Vonbank, Alexander; Rein, Philipp; Aczel, Stefan; Saely, Christoph H

    2013-08-01

    Exercise is a cornerstone of cardiovascular prevention. Because many individuals are not willing or not able to perform regular exercise, new methods of exercise (like eccentric exercise) are necessary. Eccentric endurance exercise is supposed to be less strenuous than concentric exercise but its effects on glucose and lipid metabolism in relation to energy expenditure are unclear. We randomly allocated 45 healthy sedentary individuals to one of two groups, each hiking upwards or downwards for 2 months, with a crossover for a further 2 months; for the opposite way, a cable car was used. The difference in altitude was 540 metres; the distance was covered between three and five times a week. Energy expenditure was assessed for each hiking period. Both eccentric and concentric endurance exercise improved glucose tolerance vs. baseline (by 4.1%, p = 0.136; 6.2%, p = 0.023, respectively). Of note, adjustment for energy expenditure per exercise unit (127 ± 22 kcal/unit with eccentric and 442 ± 78 kcal/unit with concentric exercise) revealed a significantly greater improvement of glucose tolerance per kilocalorie spent by eccentric than by concentric exercise (4-times more economical; 0.1123 mg h/dl/kcal vs. 0.0245 mg h/dl/kcal; p = 0.038). Also the decrease of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol per kilocalorie spent was significantly stronger with eccentric exercise (0.0982 mg/dl/kcal vs. 0.0346 mg/dl/kcal, p = 0.014). Serum levels of C-reactive protein and creatine kinase activity were reduced in both groups. Eccentric endurance exercise economically improves glucose tolerance and LDL cholesterol. It therefore is a promising new exercise modality for individuals who are not able to participate in more strenuous exercise regimens.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Diverse approaches to the health economic evaluation of bariatric surgery: a comprehensive systematic review.

    PubMed

    Campbell, J A; Venn, A; Neil, A; Hensher, M; Sharman, M; Palmer, A J

    2016-09-01

    Health economic evaluations inform healthcare resource allocation decisions for treatment options for obesity including bariatric/metabolic surgery. As an important advance on existing systematic reviews, we aimed to capture, summarize and synthesize a diverse range of economic evaluations on bariatric surgery. Studies were identified by electronic screening of all major biomedical/economic databases. Studies included if they reported any quantified health economic cost and/or consequence with a measure of effect for any type of bariatric surgery from 1995 to September 2015. Study screening, data extraction and synthesis followed international guidelines for systematic reviews. Six thousand one hundred eighty-seven studies were initially identified. After two levels of screening, 77 studies representing 17 countries (56% USA) were included. Despite study heterogeneity, common themes emerged, and important gaps were identified. Most studies adopted the healthcare system/third-party payer perspective; reported costs were generally healthcare resource use (inpatient/shorter-term outpatient). Out-of-pocket costs to individuals, family members (travel time, caregiving) and indirect costs due to lost productivity were largely ignored. Costs due to reoperations/complications were not included in one-third of studies. Body-contouring surgery included in only 14%. One study evaluated long-term waitlisted patients. Surgery was cost-effective/cost-saving for severely obese with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Study quality was inconsistent. There is a need for studies that assume a broader societal perspective (including out-of-pocket costs, costs to family and productivity losses) and longer-term costs (capture reoperations/complications, waiting, body contouring), and consequences (health-related quality-of-life). Full economic evaluation underpinned by reporting standards should inform prioritization of patients (e.g. type 2 diabetes mellitus with body mass index 30 to 34.9

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Advanced Placement Economics Improves Both Merit and Equity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meek, Sally; Morton, John

    2009-01-01

    In 1989, microeconomics and macroeconomics examinations debuted on the Advanced Placement (AP) scene. At that time, many professors of economics were skeptical that college freshmen had the skills and maturity to understand the concepts in principles of economics courses. They thought teaching these concepts to high school students was even more…

  18. Advanced Placement Economics Improves Both Merit and Equity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meek, Sally; Morton, John

    2009-01-01

    In 1989, microeconomics and macroeconomics examinations debuted on the Advanced Placement (AP) scene. At that time, many professors of economics were skeptical that college freshmen had the skills and maturity to understand the concepts in principles of economics courses. They thought teaching these concepts to high school students was even more…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Nutrition education linked to agricultural interventions improved child dietary diversity in rural Cambodia.

    PubMed

    Reinbott, Anika; Schelling, Anna; Kuchenbecker, Judith; Jeremias, Theresa; Russell, Iean; Kevanna, Ou; Krawinkel, Michael B; Jordan, Irmgard

    2016-10-01

    Poor infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices are major determinants of chronic malnutrition. The main objective of this study was to assess the impact of a nutrition education (NE) programme aimed at promoting improved IYCF behaviours in combination with an agriculture intervention on children's dietary diversity and nutritional status. From 2012 to 2014, a cluster randomised trial was rolled out in Cambodia in the context of an agriculture and nutrition project of the FAO of the UN. The cross-sectional baseline study was carried out in sixteen pre-selected communes in 2012. Restricted randomisation allotted the communes to either intervention (NE and agriculture intervention) or comparison arms (agriculture intervention only). The impact survey was conducted as a census in all FAO project villages in 2014. Caregivers of children aged 0-23 months were interviewed using standardised questions on socio-economic status and dietary diversity (24-h recall). Anthropometric measurements were taken. A difference-in-differences model was applied. The sample comprised 743 households with children ≥6 months of age at baseline and 921 at impact. After 1 year of NE, 69 % of the intervention households reported to have participated in the NE. Estimated mean child dietary diversity was significantly different at impact between comparison and intervention (3·6 and 3·9, respectively). In particular, the consumption of pro-vitamin A-rich foods and other fruits and vegetables increased. No treatment effects on height-for-age Z-scores could be shown. NE led to improvements in children's diets. For effects on growth, it is assumed that longer NE activities are required to achieve sustainable behaviour change of age-appropriate infant feeding.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Gender, economics and culture: diversity and the international evolution of smoking prevalence.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Andy R A; Caan, Woody

    2008-05-01

    To examine whether the observed diversity between national patterns of smoking prevalence could require modification of the World Health Organization (WHO) linear model for an international 'smoking pandemic' (a worldwide epidemic) to address data from non-western countries. We conducted secondary research using current measures in three publicly available databases: Globalink, the International Labour Organization and the World Bank (all Internet-accessible). The measures we used are the separate percentage data for men and women on: smoking and employment and national income per capita (US$) and percentage growth per annum. Regression analysis showed that women smokers were more frequent in countries with higher national income, but women were less likely to smoke in countries of rapid growth. Men were less likely to smoke in countries with higher national income, but more likely to smoke in countries of rapid growth. Two principle components together explained 62% of all the variance in the international data. The largest factor was positively correlated with the percentage of employed females, the percentage of female smokers and national income per capita, but negatively correlated with the percentage of male smokers and percentage annual. growth. The effect of female employment was not continuous, but above a threshold of 51%, was associated with a higher prevalence of female smoking. The smaller, second factor was only weakly correlated with any smoking variables. In his 1994 model (subsequently adopted by the WHO) Lopez looked at historical trends in 'stages' of smoking prevalence. These have been associated with 'stages' of economic development. We extended this analysis to look at a dynamic change (% annual growth) and a social indicator (employment). Male and female smoking is affected differentially by economic change and by level of income. These are also strongly related to the percentage of women in employment. This has implications for workplace

  11. Improving the N-terminal diversity of sansanmycin through mutasynthesis.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yuanyuan; Jiang, Zhibo; Lei, Xuan; Zhang, Ningning; Cai, Qiang; Li, Qinglian; Wang, Lifei; Si, Shuyi; Xie, Yunying; Hong, Bin

    2016-05-06

    . Among them, MX-2 and MX-4 showed promising anti-MDR and anti-XDR tuberculosis activity and greater stability than sansanmycin A. These results indicated that ssaX deletion mutant SS/XKO was a suitable host to expand the diversity of the N-terminus of UPAs, with potential to yield more novel compounds with improved activity and/or other properties.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Improvements in nitrogen technology prove economical for natural gas streams

    SciTech Connect

    Butts, R.C.; Chou, K.

    1996-12-31

    A substantial quantity of high nitrogen gas reserves found throughout the US are not developed due to the cost and complexity involved in reducing the nitrogen content to acceptable pipeline specifications. Although technology to remove nitrogen has been available for several years, utilization has primarily been economical for volumes of gas 30 MMscfd or larger. BCCK has developed and patented a new process technology, Nitech, that provides an economic, efficient solution for removing high concentrations of nitrogen. Advantages the Nitech process offers include process flexibility, uncomplicated equipment design, simplified operation and maintenance, minimal electrical requirements, low recompression horsepower demands and high CO{sub 2} tolerance.

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. Increasing Teacher Diversity: Strategies to Improve the Teacher Workforce

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bireda, Saba; Chait, Robin

    2011-01-01

    The lack of diversity in the teaching force is troubling for several reasons. Fewer minority teachers may indicate that few minorities are interested in pursuing a career in teaching. The low number of minority teachers also may indicate that there are fewer minority candidates with the skills and qualifications to enter the field. The inability…

  1. Preparing Students for a Diverse Workplace: Strategies to Improve Dispositions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Melton, Deana; Dail, Teresa

    2010-01-01

    The curriculum for kinesiology students typically includes foundation courses focused on the scientific principles underlying human movement. Modifications for gender, age, and physical ability are also commonly included in these courses. Rarely addressed, however, are students' dispositions toward diverse groups. This article examines several…

  2. A century of potato breeding: improvement, diversification, and diversity

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Breeding within potato has relied almost entirely on phenotypic selection and little is known of the underlying genetic elements being acted upon. To characterize the effects of this selection on phenotypic and genotypic diversity within cultivated potato, the SolCAP 8300 Infinium SNP chip was utili...

  3. Improving in vitro mineral nutrition for diverse germplasm

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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....

  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. 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.

  13. The Challenge of Creating a More Diverse Economics: Lessons from the UCR Minority Pipeline Project

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dymski, Gary A.

    2017-01-01

    This paper reflects on the experience of the 1999-2002 minority pipeline program (MPP) at the University of California, Riverside. With support from the American Economic Association, the MPP identified students of color interested in economics, let them explore economic issues affecting minority communities, and encouraged them to consider…

  14. Strategies for Improving Diversity at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, Cherry A.

    2001-03-01

    Over the last quarter century, top management in Bell Labs Research has initiated efforts to train, recruit, and encourage underrepresented minorities into science and engineering positions, and in hiring and retaining underrepresented minority scientists and engineers. I will give some historical background of some of the programs which have worked over the years and some of the new programs in recruiting, mentoring and career planning that we have recently initiated in order to better create a workplace that is accepting and even welcoming of diversity.

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Fenwick, Elisabeth; Macdonald, Catriona; Thomson, Hilary

    2013-10-01

    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. 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. 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. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  20. 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.

  1. An improved criterion for new particle formation in diverse environments

    SciTech Connect

    Kuang, C.; Riipinen, I.; Sihto, S.-L.; Kulmala, M.; McCormick, A.; McMurry, P.

    2010-03-15

    A dimensionless theory for new particle formation (NPF) was developed, using an aerosol population balance model incorporating recent developments in nucleation rates and measured particle growth rates. Based on this theoretical analysis, it was shown that a dimensionless parameter Lg, characterizing the ratio of the particle scavenging loss rate to the particle growth rate, exclusively determined whether or not NPF would occur on a particular day. This parameter determines the probability that a nucleated particle will grow to a detectable size before being lost by coagulation with the pre-existing aerosol. Cluster-cluster coagulation was shown to contribute negligibly to this survival probability under conditions pertinent to the atmosphere. Data acquired during intensive measurement campaigns in Tecamac (MILAGRO), Atlanta (ANARChE), Boulder, and Hyytiala (QUEST II, QUEST IV, and EUCAARI) were used to test the validity of Lg as an NPF criterion. Measurements included aerosol size distributions down to 3 nm and gas-phase sulfuric acid concentrations. The model was applied to 77 NPF events and 19 non-events (characterized by growth of pre-existing aerosol without NPF) measured in diverse environments with broad ranges in sulfuric acid concentrations, ultrafine number concentrations, aerosol surface areas, and particle growth rates (nearly two orders of magnitude). Across this diverse data set, a nominal value of Lg = 0.7 was found to determine the boundary for the occurrence of NPF, with NPF occurring when Lg < 0.7 and being suppressed when Lg > 0.7. Moreover, nearly 45% of measured Lg values associated with NPF fell in the relatively narrow range of 0.1 < Lg < 0.3.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23671071

  4. 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.

  5. Economic Impact on the Justice System from Reductions in Diversion Program Funding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dembo, Richard; Wareham, Jennifer; Chirikos, Thomas N.; Schmeidler, James

    2005-01-01

    Following a national trend of "getting tough" on increased juvenile crime, the Florida legislature eliminated one of the primary community service-oriented juvenile diversion programs, the Juvenile Alternative Services Program (JASP). JASP was subsequently replaced with four other diversion programs, two of which (the Walker Plan and an…

  6. Improving understanding of the functional diversity of fisheries by exploring the influence of global catch reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Nash, Kirsty L; Watson, Reg A; Halpern, Benjamin S; Fulton, Elizabeth A; Blanchard, Julia L

    2017-09-06

    Functional diversity is thought to enhance ecosystem resilience, driving research focused on trends in the functional composition of fisheries, most recently with new reconstructions of global catch data. However, there is currently little understanding of how accounting for unreported catches (e.g. small-scale and illegal fisheries, bycatch and discards) influences functional diversity trends in global fisheries. We explored how diversity estimates varied among reported and unreported components of catch in 2010, and found these components had distinct functional fingerprints. Incorporating unreported catches had little impact on global-scale functional diversity patterns. However, at smaller, management-relevant scales, the effects of incorporating unreported catches were large (changes in functional diversity of up to 46%). Our results suggest there is greater uncertainty about the risks to ecosystem integrity and resilience from current fishing patterns than previously recognized. We provide recommendations and suggest a research agenda to improve future assessments of functional diversity of global fisheries.

  7. [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.

  8. 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.

  9. Economic value of improving the environmental quality of Galveston Bay. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Whittington, D.; Cassidy, G.; Amaral, D.; McClelland, E.; Wang, H.

    1994-06-01

    The objective of the report is to develop the best possible estimates of the economic value of improving the environmental quality of Galveston Bay given the time and resources available. People often ask about the economic value of a natural resource such as Galveston Bay. Some want to know the economic value of the bay in order to rigorously compare the economic benefits of cleaning up or protecting the bay with the costs of improving its environmental quality. Others want to have an estimate of the dollar value of the natural resource in an attempt to answer the question, Is Galveston Bay worth a lot or a little. Whatever the uses to which estimates of economic value are put, such estimates are a common ingredient in public policy debates about appropriate strategies for managing natural resources.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Exploitation of interspecific diversity for monocot crop improvement

    PubMed Central

    King, J; Armstead, I; Harper, J; Ramsey, L; Snape, J; Waugh, R; James, C; Thomas, A; Gasior, D; Kelly, R; Roberts, L; Gustafson, P; King, I

    2013-01-01

    In many cultivated crop species there is limited genetic variation available for the development of new higher yielding varieties adapted to climate change and sustainable farming practises. The distant relatives of crop species provide a vast and largely untapped reservoir of genetic variation for a wide range of agronomically important traits that can be exploited by breeders for crop improvement. In this paper, in what we believe to be the largest introgression programme undertaken in the monocots, we describe the transfer of the entire genome of Festuca pratensis into Lolium perenne in overlapping chromosome segments. The L. perenne/F. pratensis introgressions were identified and characterised via 131 simple sequence repeats and 1612 SNPs anchored to the rice genome. Comparative analyses were undertaken to determine the syntenic relationship between L. perenne/F. pratensis and rice, wheat, barley, sorghum and Brachypodium distachyon. Analyses comparing recombination frequency and gene distribution indicated that a large proportion of the genes within the genome are located in the proximal regions of chromosomes which undergo low/very low frequencies of recombination. Thus, it is proposed that past breeding efforts to produce improved varieties have centred on the subset of genes located in the distal regions of chromosomes where recombination is highest. The use of alien introgression for crop improvement is important for meeting the challenges of global food supply and the monocots such as the forage grasses and cereals, together with recent technological advances in molecular biology, can help meet these challenges. PMID:23321705

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Global assessment of the economics of land degradation and improvement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nkonya, Ephraim

    2017-04-01

    Land degradation—defined by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment report as the long-term loss of ecosystems services—is a global problem, negatively affecting the livelihoods and food security of billions of people. Intensifying efforts, mobilizing more investments and strengthening the policy commitment for addressing land degradation at the global level needs to be supported by a careful evaluation of the costs and benefits of action versus costs of inaction against land degradation. Consistent with the definition of land degradation, we adopt the Total Economic Value (TEV) approach to determine the costs of land degradation and use remote sensing data and global statistical databases in our analysis. The results show that the annual costs of land degradation due to land use and land cover change (LUCC) are about US231 billion per year or about 0.41 % of the global GDP of US56.49 trillion in 2007. Contrary to past global land degradation assessment studies, land degradation is severe in both tropical and temperate countries. However, the losses from LUCC are especially high in Sub-Saharan Africa, which accounts for 26 % of the total global costs of land degradation due to LUCC. However, the local tangible losses (mainly provisioning services) account only for 46 % of the total cost of land degradation and the rest of the cost is due to the losses of ecosystem services (ES) accruable largely to beneficiaries other than the local land users. These external ES losses include carbon sequestration, biodiversity, genetic information and cultural services. This implies that the global community bears the largest cost of land degradation, which suggests that efforts to address land degradation should be done bearing in mind that the global community,as a whole, incurs larger losses than the local communities experiencing land degradation. The cost of soil fertility mining due to using land degrading management practices on maize, rice and wheat is estimated to be

  16. 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)

  17. 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)

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Quality improvement with a culturally diverse staff: implications for nurse managers.

    PubMed

    Frederick, B; Frederick, L

    1995-09-01

    Cultural diversity is a noticeable reality in today's work force. The problems resulting from cultural diversity pose special challenges to nurse managers. If nurse managers are to be successful at managing diversity, they need to not only be aware of the specific issues created by diversity, but they must plan effective management and leadership strategies to enable staff to collectively meet the desired goals of the work setting. The authors of this article are employed in one of the most culturally diverse work settings in the world. Their experiences in successfully implementing a quality improvement program, and in using strategies to gain shared vision and commitment by management and staff, will be explored and the implications for nurse managers outlined.

  2. Cultural diversity process improves organizational community in urban teaching medical center.

    PubMed

    Carter, R; Spence, M M

    1996-01-01

    An urban teaching facility with nearly 3,000 employees had communication problems associated with race, gender and other cultural differences. It also competed for health care dollars and faced possible reduction in federal funding. The medical center instituted mandatory training in cultural diversity and customer service-and integrated the training process with the hospital's overall quality improvement plan and marketing strategy. The integrated approach affected the bottom line-Hurley's patient base has increased, and the medical center operates in the black. Training in cultural diversity and customer service is an effective tool to improve employee communication and improve financial outlook.

  3. Tree improvement opportunities in the North-Central States related to economic trends, a problem analysis.

    Treesearch

    David H. Dawson; John A. Pitcher

    1970-01-01

    Economic trends are interpreted and related to planning applied forest tree-improvement programs for the North-Central Region. Projected demands for forest products are considered in light of the forest resource and alternatives for its use. Suggestions are given for tree-improvement programs for seven conifer and three hardwood species.

  4. 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.

  5. Specific guidelines for assessing and improving the methodological quality of economic evaluations of newborn screening

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Economic evaluation of newborn screening poses specific methodological challenges. Amongst others, these challenges refer to the use of quality adjusted life years (QALYs) in newborns, and which costs and outcomes need to be considered in a full evaluation of newborn screening programmes. Because of the increasing scale and scope of such programmes, a better understanding of the methods of high-quality economic evaluations may be crucial for both producers/authors and consumers/reviewers of newborn screening-related economic evaluations. The aim of this study was therefore to develop specific guidelines designed to assess and improve the methodological quality of economic evaluations in newborn screening. Methods To develop the guidelines, existing guidelines for assessing the quality of economic evaluations were identified through a literature search, and were reviewed and consolidated using a deductive iterative approach. In a subsequent test phase, these guidelines were applied to various economic evaluations which acted as case studies. Results The guidelines for assessing and improving the methodological quality of economic evaluations in newborn screening are organized into 11 categories: “bibliographic details”, “study question and design”, “modelling”, “health outcomes”, “costs”, “discounting”, “presentation of results”, “sensitivity analyses”, “discussion”, “conclusions”, and “commentary”. Conclusions The application of the guidelines highlights important issues regarding newborn screening-related economic evaluations, and underscores the need for such issues to be afforded greater consideration in future economic evaluations. The variety in methodological quality detected by this study reveals the need for specific guidelines on the appropriate methods for conducting sound economic evaluations in newborn screening. PMID:22947299

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. Diversity in the School Problems of Economically Disadvantaged Adolescents: Dual Pathways of Reading and Externalizing Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ackerman, Brian; Smith, Clare; Kobak, Roger

    2009-01-01

    This study of economically disadvantaged 13-year-olds examined the relations between serious reading difficulties and clinical levels of externalizing behaviors in school. The variable-centered results showed that family variables, adolescent verbal ability, and negative emotion patterns differed in uniquely predicting reading achievement and…

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. A new algorithm based on bipartite graph networks for improving aggregate recommendation diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Lulu; Zhang, Jun

    2017-08-01

    Most of the traditional recommendation algorithms focus on the accuracy of recommendation results; however, the diversity of recommendation results is also important, which can be used to avoid the long-tail phenomenon. In this paper, a new algorithm for improving aggregate recommendation diversity is proposed. Firstly, a candidate recommendation list based on predictive scores is constructed; and then a bipartite graph network model is constructed. Secondly, item capacity is set to limit the number of recommendations of popular items. Finally, the final recommendation result is generated by combining the recommendation augmenting path. Based on the real world movie rating datasets, experiment results show that the proposed algorithm can effectively guarantee the accuracy of the recommendation results as well as improved the aggregate diversity of the recommendation.

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. Health outcomes in young adults from foster care and economically diverse backgrounds.

    PubMed

    Ahrens, Kym R; Garrison, Michelle M; Courtney, Mark E

    2014-12-01

    Foster youth have high rates of health problems in childhood. Little work has been done to determine whether they are similarly vulnerable to increased health problems once they transition to adulthood. We sought to prospectively evaluate the risk of cardiovascular risk factors and other chronic conditions among young adults formerly in foster care (FC) and young adults from economically insecure (EI) and economically secure (ES) backgrounds in the general population. We used data from the Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth (FC group; N = 596) and an age-matched sample from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (EI and ES groups; N = 456 and 1461, respectively). After controlling for covariates, we performed multivariate regressions to evaluate health outcomes and care access by group at 2 time points (baseline at late adolescence, follow-up at 25-26 years). Data revealed a consistent pattern of graduated increase in odds of most health outcomes, progressing from ES to EI to FC groups. Health care access indicators were more variable; the FC group was most likely to report having Medicaid or no insurance but was least likely to report not getting needed care in the past year. Former foster youth appear to have a higher risk of multiple chronic health conditions, beyond that which is associated with economic insecurity. Findings may be relevant to policymakers and practitioners considering the implementation of extended insurance and foster care programs and interventions to reduce health disparities in young adulthood. Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  18. Leaf and stem economics spectra drive diversity of functional plant traits in a dynamic global vegetation model.

    PubMed

    Sakschewski, Boris; von Bloh, Werner; Boit, Alice; Rammig, Anja; Kattge, Jens; Poorter, Lourens; Peñuelas, Josep; Thonicke, Kirsten

    2015-01-22

    Functional diversity is critical for ecosystem dynamics, stability and productivity. However, dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) which are increasingly used to simulate ecosystem functions under global change, condense functional diversity to plant functional types (PFTs) with constant parameters. Here, we develop an individual- and trait-based version of the DGVM LPJmL (Lund-Potsdam-Jena managed Land) called LPJmL- flexible individual traits (LPJmL-FIT) with flexible individual traits) which we apply to generate plant trait maps for the Amazon basin. LPJmL-FIT incorporates empirical ranges of five traits of tropical trees extracted from the TRY global plant trait database, namely specific leaf area (SLA), leaf longevity (LL), leaf nitrogen content (Narea ), the maximum carboxylation rate of Rubisco per leaf area (vcmaxarea), and wood density (WD). To scale the individual growth performance of trees, the leaf traits are linked by trade-offs based on the leaf economics spectrum, whereas wood density is linked to tree mortality. No preselection of growth strategies is taking place, because individuals with unique trait combinations are uniformly distributed at tree establishment. We validate the modeled trait distributions by empirical trait data and the modeled biomass by a remote sensing product along a climatic gradient. Including trait variability and trade-offs successfully predicts natural trait distributions and achieves a more realistic representation of functional diversity at the local to regional scale. As sites of high climatic variability, the fringes of the Amazon promote trait divergence and the coexistence of multiple tree growth strategies, while lower plant trait diversity is found in the species-rich center of the region with relatively low climatic variability. LPJmL-FIT enables to test hypotheses on the effects of functional biodiversity on ecosystem functioning and to apply the DGVM to current challenges in ecosystem management from local

  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. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Economic trade-offs between genetic improvement and longevity in dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    De Vries, A

    2017-05-01

    Genetic improvement in sires used for artificial insemination (AI) is increasing faster compared with a decade ago. The genetic merit of replacement heifers is also increasing faster and the genetic lag with older cows in the herd increases. This may trigger greater cow culling to capture this genetic improvement. On the other hand, lower culling rates are often viewed favorably because the costs and environmental effects of maintaining herd size are generally lower. Thus, there is an economic trade-off between genetic improvement and longevity in dairy cattle. The objective of this study was to investigate the principles, literature, and magnitude of these trade-offs. Data from the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding show that the estimated breeding value of the trait productive life has increased for 50 yr but the actual time cows spend in the herd has not increased. The average annual herd cull rate remains at approximately 36% and cow longevity is approximately 59 mo. The annual increase in average estimated breeding value of the economic index lifetime net merit of Holstein sires is accelerating from $40/yr when the sire entered AI around 2002 to $171/yr for sires that entered AI around 2012. The expectation is therefore that heifers born in 2015 are approximately $50 more profitable per lactation than heifers born in 2014. Asset replacement theory shows that assets should be replaced sooner when the challenging asset is technically improved. Few studies have investigated the direct effects of genetic improvement on optimal cull rates. A 35-yr-old study found that the economically optimal cull rates were in the range of 25 to 27%, compared with the lowest possible involuntary cull rate of 20%. Only a small effect was observed of using the best surviving dams to generate the replacement heifer calves. Genetic improvement from sires had little effect on the optimal cull rate. Another study that optimized culling decisions for individual cows also showed that the

  12. Evaluation of a service intervention to improve awareness and uptake of bowel cancer screening in ethnically-diverse areas

    PubMed Central

    Shankleman, J; Massat, N J; Khagram, L; Ariyanayagam, S; Garner, A; Khatoon, S; Rainbow, S; Rangrez, S; Colorado, Z; Hu, W; Parmar, D; Duffy, S W

    2014-01-01

    Background: Uptake of bowel cancer screening is lowest in London, in populations of lower socio-economic status, and in particular ethnic or religious groups. Methods: We report on the evaluation of two interventions to improve uptake in an area including populations of low socio-economic status and considerable ethnic diversity. The interventions were face-to-face health promotion on bowel cancer screening at invitees' general practice and health promotion delivered by telephone only. Nine large general practices in East London were chosen at random to offer face-to-face health promotion, and nine other large practices to offer telephone health promotion, with 24 practices of similar size as comparators. Data at practice level were analysed by Mann–Whitney–Wilcoxon tests and grouped-logistic regression. Results: There were 2034 invitees in the telephone intervention practices, 1852 in the face-to-face intervention practices and 5227 in the comparison practices. Median gFOBt kit uptake in the target population (aged 59–70) was 46.7% in the telephone practices, 43.8% in the face-to-face practices and 39.1% in the comparison practices. Significant improvements in the odds of uptake were observed following telephone intervention in both males (OR=1.39, 95% CI=1.20–1.61, P<0.001) and females (OR=1.49, 95% CI=1.29–1.73, P<0.001), while the face-to-face intervention mainly impacted uptake in males (OR=1.23, 95% CI=1.10–1.36), P<0.001) but did not lead to a significant increase in females (OR=1.12, 95% CI=0.96–1.29, P=0.2). Conclusions: Personally delivered health promotion improved uptake of bowel cancer screening in areas of low socio-economic status and high ethnic diversity. The intervention by telephone appears to be the most effective method. PMID:24983374

  13. Improvement of gadolinia fuel cycle economics by isotopic enrichment of /sup 157/Gd

    SciTech Connect

    Hove, C.M.; Spetz, S.W.

    1985-11-01

    Burnable absorbers are used in fuel cycle design for controlling excess reactivity and core power distributions. Gadolinia (Gd/sub 2/O/sub 3/) has been used for a number of years in both boiling water and pressurized water reactor fuel as a burnable absorber. However, gadolinia exhibits significant end-of-cycle (EOC) residual absorption that translates to an economic penalty. This paper presents the concept of using gadolinia enriched in the /sup 157/Gd isotope to reduce this residual and thereby improve the economics of gadolinia fuel cycles.

  14. First Steps Toward Improving DoD STEM Workforce Diversity: Response to the 2012 Department of Defense STEM Diversity Summit

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-01-01

    For More Information Visit RAND at www.rand.org Explore the RAND National Defense Research Institute View document details Support RAND Purchase ...STEM workforce and its diver- sity, particularly racial /ethnic and gender diversity. This report supports the efforts of the DoD Diversity STEM...Are as Racially /Ethnically Diverse as STEM Citizen Workers Overall

  15. Improving the quality of primary care by allocating performance-based targets, in a diverse insured population.

    PubMed

    Peled, Ronit; Porath, Avi; Wilf-Miron, Rachel

    2016-11-21

    Primary Care Health organizations, operating under universal coverage and a regulated package of benefits, compete mainly over quality of care. Monitoring, primary care clinical performance, has been repeatedly proven effective in improving the quality of care. In 2004, Maccabi Healthcare Services (MHS), the second largest Israeli HMO, launched its Performance Measurement System (PMS) based on clinical quality indicators. A unique module was built in the PMS to adjust for case mix while tailoring targets to the local units. This article presents the concept and formulas developed to adjust targets to the units' current performance, and analyze change in clinical indicators over a six year period, between sub-population groups. Six process and intermediate outcome indicators, representing screening for breast and colorectal cancer and care for patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease, were selected and analyzed for change over time (2003-2009) in overall performance, as well as the difference between the lowest and the highest socio-economic ranks (SERs) and Arab and non-Arab members. MHS demonstrated a significant improvement in the selected indicators over the years. Performance of members from low SERs and Arabs improved to a greater extent, as compared to members from high ranks and non-Arabs, respectively. The performance measurement system, with its module for tailoring of units' targets, served as a managerial vehicle for bridging existing gaps by allocating more resources to lower performing units. This concept was proven effective in improving performance while reducing disparities between diverse population groups.

  16. 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.

  17. Medicinal plants of Dagala region in Bhutan: their diversity, distribution, uses and economic potential.

    PubMed

    Wangchuk, Phurpa; Namgay, Kuenga; Gayleg, Karma; Dorji, Yeshi

    2016-06-24

    The traditional g.so-ba-rig-pa hospitals in Bhutan uses more than 100 polyingredient medicines that are manufactured by the Menjong Sorig Pharmaceuticals (MSP). The MSP has been collecting medicinal plants from Lingzhi region for about 48 years and therefore the ecological pressure on these plants have increased. It is MSP's top priority to identify an alternative collection site to ease the problem. Therefore, this study was carried out to determine whether Dagala region could potentially be an alternative collection site for MSP. First the multidisciplinary research team generated a tentative plant list by reviewing a body of ancient g.so-ba-rig-pa literature, current formulations, and the MSP medicinal plants inventory documents. Second, the research team visited the study areas in Dagala region for spot identification of medicinal plants. Third, we confirmed our traditional and botanical identification by crosschecking the descriptions with the series of books on traditional texts, Flora of Bhutan, scientific papers on medicinal plants, and the plant databases. We have identified 100 species of high altitude medicinal plants from Dagala region. Of these, 24 species grow abundantly, 29 species grow in moderate numbers and 47 species were scarce. More than 85 species belonged to the herbaceous life form and 51 of them are used as a whole plant. A total of 68 species grow in between 4000 and 4999 meter above sea level. These 100 medicinal plants represented 39 different families and 80 genera and the maximum number of plants belonged to the family Asteraceae. Of 60 species that are currently used for formulating medicines at MSP, 16 species have economic importance with potential for commercial collection. Out of seven areas covered by the survey, Kipchen hosted maximum number of medicinal plants (21 species). Our survey identified 100 medicinal plants from Dagala region and of these, 16 species has economic potential that could benefit both MSP and Dagala

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Modelling snow cover duration improves predictions of functional and taxonomic diversity for alpine plant communities

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Bradley Z.; Choler, Philippe; Renaud, Julien; Dedieu, Jean-Pierre; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Quantifying relationships between snow cover duration and plant community properties remains an important challenge in alpine ecology. This study develops a method to estimate spatial variation in energy availability in the context of a topographically complex, high-elevation watershed, which was used to test the explanatory power of environmental gradients both with and without snow cover in relation to taxonomic and functional plant diversity. Methods Snow cover in the French Alps was mapped at 15-m resolution using Landsat imagery for five recent years, and a generalized additive model (GAM) was fitted for each year linking snow to time and topography. Predicted snow cover maps were combined with air temperature and solar radiation data at daily resolution, summed for each year and averaged across years. Equivalent growing season energy gradients were also estimated without accounting for snow cover duration. Relationships were tested between environmental gradients and diversity metrics measured for 100 plots, including species richness, community-weighted mean traits, functional diversity and hyperspectral estimates of canopy chlorophyll content. Key Results Accounting for snow cover in environmental variables consistently led to improved predictive power as well as more ecologically meaningful characterizations of plant diversity. Model parameters differed significantly when fitted with and without snow cover. Filtering solar radiation with snow as compared without led to an average gain in R2 of 0·26 and reversed slope direction to more intuitive relationships for several diversity metrics. Conclusions The results show that in alpine environments high-resolution data on snow cover duration are pivotal for capturing the spatial heterogeneity of both taxonomic and functional diversity. The use of climate variables without consideration of snow cover can lead to erroneous predictions of plant diversity. The results further indicate that

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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)

  8. 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…

  9. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Socio-economic determinants of household food security and women's dietary diversity in rural Bangladesh: a cross-sectional study.

    PubMed

    Harris-Fry, Helen; Azad, Kishwar; Kuddus, Abdul; Shaha, Sanjit; Nahar, Badrun; Hossen, Munir; Younes, Leila; Costello, Anthony; Fottrell, Edward

    2015-07-10

    There has been limited decline in undernutrition rates in South Asia compared with the rest of Asia and one reason for this may be low levels of household food security. However, the evidence base on the determinants of household food security is limited. To develop policies intended to improve household food security, improved knowledge of the determinants of household food security is required. Household data were collected in 2011 from a randomly selected sample of 2,809 women of reproductive age. The sample was drawn from nine unions in three districts of rural Bangladesh. Multinomial logistic regression was conducted to measure the relationship between selected determinants of household food security and months of adequate household food provisioning, and a linear regression to measure the association between the same determinants and women's dietary diversity score. The analyses found that land ownership, adjusted relative risk ratio (RRR) 0.28 (CI 0.18, 0.42); relative wealth (middle tertile 0.49 (0.29, 0.84) and top tertile 0.18 (0.10, 0.33)); women's literacy 0.64 (0.46, 0.90); access to media 0.49 (0.33, 0.72); and women's freedom to access the market 0.56 (0.36, 0.85) all significantly reduced the risk of food insecurity. Larger households increased the risk of food insecurity, adjusted RRR 1.46 (CI 1.02, 2.09). Households with vegetable gardens 0.20 (0.11, 0.31), rich households 0.46 (0.24, 0.68) and literate women 0.37 (0.20, 0.54) were significantly more likely to have better dietary diversity scores. Household food insecurity remains a key public health problem in Bangladesh, with households suffering food shortages for an average of one quarter of the year. Simple survey and analytical methods are able to identify numerous interlinked factors associated with household food security, but wealth and literacy were the only two determinants associated with both improved food security and dietary diversity. We cannot conclude whether improvements in all

  13. 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

  14. Fast food intake in Canada: Differences among Canadians with diverse demographic, socio-economic and lifestyle characteristics.

    PubMed

    Black, Jennifer L; Billette, Jean-Michel

    2015-02-03

    To estimate the contribution of fast food to daily energy intake, and compare intake among Canadians with varied demographic, socioeconomic and lifestyle characteristics. Using the National Cancer Institute method, nationally representative estimates of mean usual daily caloric intake from fast food were derived from 24-hour dietary recall data from the Canadian Community Health Survey Cycle 2.2 (n = 17,509) among participants age ≥ 2 years. Mean daily intake and relative proportion of calories derived from fast food were compared among respondents with diverse demographic (age, sex, provincial and rural/urban residence), socio-economic (income, education, food security status) and health and lifestyle characteristics (physical activity, fruit/vegetable intake, vitamin/ mineral supplement use, smoking, binge drinking, body mass index (BMI), self-rated health and dietary quality). On average, Canadians reported consuming 146 kcal/day from fast food, contributing to 6.3% of usual energy intake. Intake was highest among male teenagers (248 kcal) and lowest among women ≥ 70 years of age (32 kcal). Fast food consumption was significantly higher among respondents who reported lower fruit and vegetable intake, poorer dietary quality, binge drinking, not taking vitamin/mineral supplements (adults only), and persons with higher BMI. Socio-economic status, physical activity, smoking and self-rated health were not significantly associated with fast food intake. While average Canadian fast food consumption is lower than national US estimates, intake was associated with lower dietary quality and higher BMI. Findings suggest that research and intervention strategies should focus on dietary practices of children and adolescents, whose fast food intakes are among the highest in Canada.

  15. 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…

  16. Improving biomass project economic evaluations with the use of fuzzy modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Warnken, P.G.

    1994-12-31

    This paper discusses the use of fuzzy modeling for improving economic feasibility evaluations of biomass power generation projects. Fuzzy logic, in concert with traditional financial and economic concepts, provides a powerful tool for incorporating qualitative and uncertain information into the evaluation framework. The paper first describes the basic elements of fuzzy logic - fuzzy set theory and verbal rules. Through the modeling process, these elements form a language-based representation of complex business problems. An example of a simple fuzzy investment decision expert system is then provided to demonstrate the mechanics of fuzzy model development. The example shows how multiple expert opinions and confidence in profitability measures can be modeled using fuzzy concepts. Finally, generic applications of fuzzy modeling to the investment decisionmaking process are discussed.

  17. 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

  18. AMCP Partnership Forum: FDAMA Section 114-Improving the Exchange of Health Care Economic Data.

    PubMed

    2016-07-01

    The Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act (FDAMA) of 1997 included Section 114 as a regulatory safe harbor with the goal of increasing the dissemination of health care economic information (HCEI) to those responsible for formulary decision making. HCEI is typically not included within FDA-approved labeling. Although it has been nearly 20 years since passage and enactment of Section 114, proactive distribution of HCEI has been underutilized by biopharmaceutical companies partly because of (a) vague wording in the statute and (b) the absence of FDA-implementing regulations. Consequently, companies and health care decisions makers have had to speculate about the scope of the provisions. As a result, the biopharmaceutical industry has significant concerns about stepping over the line when using the safe harbor. Also, payers and other "payer-like" decision makers (e.g., self-funded corporate insurers) who are trying to make appropriate coverage and utilization decisions are demanding this information but are not receiving it because of the uncertainties in the statute. Considering this renewed interest by multiple stakeholders regarding the need for revisions and/or guidance pertaining to Section 114, the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy held a partnership forum on March 1-2, 2016, with a diverse group of health care stakeholders to provide the FDA with considerations for disseminating a guidance document on current thinking for the sharing of HCEI with health care decision makers. Forum participants represented the managed care industry, biopharmaceutical industry, health care providers, pharmacoeconomic experts, policy experts, and patient advocacy groups with specific expertise in the development, use, and dissemination of HCEI. The multistakeholder group represented the key professionals and entities affected by the provisions of Section 114 and present the collective credibility necessary for Congress and the FDA to modernize and operationalize the safe

  19. Modelling snow cover duration improves predictions of functional and taxonomic diversity for alpine plant communities.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Bradley Z; Choler, Philippe; Renaud, Julien; Dedieu, Jean-Pierre; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2015-11-01

    Quantifying relationships between snow cover duration and plant community properties remains an important challenge in alpine ecology. This study develops a method to estimate spatial variation in energy availability in the context of a topographically complex, high-elevation watershed, which was used to test the explanatory power of environmental gradients both with and without snow cover in relation to taxonomic and functional plant diversity. Snow cover in the French Alps was mapped at 15-m resolution using Landsat imagery for five recent years, and a generalized additive model (GAM) was fitted for each year linking snow to time and topography. Predicted snow cover maps were combined with air temperature and solar radiation data at daily resolution, summed for each year and averaged across years. Equivalent growing season energy gradients were also estimated without accounting for snow cover duration. Relationships were tested between environmental gradients and diversity metrics measured for 100 plots, including species richness, community-weighted mean traits, functional diversity and hyperspectral estimates of canopy chlorophyll content. Accounting for snow cover in environmental variables consistently led to improved predictive power as well as more ecologically meaningful characterizations of plant diversity. Model parameters differed significantly when fitted with and without snow cover. Filtering solar radiation with snow as compared without led to an average gain in R(2) of 0·26 and reversed slope direction to more intuitive relationships for several diversity metrics. The results show that in alpine environments high-resolution data on snow cover duration are pivotal for capturing the spatial heterogeneity of both taxonomic and functional diversity. The use of climate variables without consideration of snow cover can lead to erroneous predictions of plant diversity. The results further indicate that studies seeking to predict the response of alpine

  20. 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.

  1. The potential health and economic impact of improving stroke care standards for Australia.

    PubMed

    Kim, Joosup; Andrew, Nadine E; Thrift, Amanda G; Bernhardt, Julie; Lindley, Richard I; Cadilhac, Dominique A

    2017-10-01

    Background Evidence of the burden of suboptimal stroke care should expedite quality improvement. We aimed to estimate the health and economic impact of improving acute stroke management to best practice standards using Australia as a case study. Methods Hospital performance in Australia was estimated using data from the National Stroke Audit of Acute Services 2013. The percentage of patients provided evidence-based therapies in all hospitals was compared to that achieved in the aggregate of top performing benchmark hospitals (that included between them, a minimum contribution of 15% of all cases audited). The number of additional patients who would receive therapies if this performance gap was rectified was applied to a standardized economic simulation model that comprised stroke rates and resource-use estimates from the North East Melbourne Stroke Incidence Study applied to the 2013 Australian population. Results In 2013, 41,398 patients were estimated to have been hospitalized with stroke. If acute care was improved to that of Australian benchmarks, there would be an additional 15,317 patients accessing stroke units; 1960 receiving thrombolysis; and 4007 being treated with antihypertensive medication, 3082 with antiplatelet medication, 2179 with anticoagulant medication, and 3514 with lipid-lowering therapy. Approximately 9329 disability-adjusted life years could be avoided. This additional care provided would be cost effective at AUD 3304 per disability adjusted life year avoided. Conclusion The benefits of reducing evidence-practice gaps in Australia are considerable. Further investment in initiatives to optimize hospital care is justified.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. 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.

  12. Protocol: a rapid and economical procedure for purification of plasmid or plant DNA with diverse applications in plant biology.

    PubMed

    Li, Jian-Feng; Li, Li; Sheen, Jen

    2010-01-14

    Research in plant molecular biology involves DNA purification on a daily basis. Although different commercial kits enable convenient extraction of high-quality DNA from E. coli cells, PCR and agarose gel samples as well as plant tissues, each kit is designed for a particular type of DNA extraction work, and the cost of purchasing these kits over a long run can be considerable. Furthermore, a simple method for the isolation of binary plasmid from Agrobacterium tumefaciens cells with satisfactory yield is lacking. Here we describe an easy protocol using homemade silicon dioxide matrix and seven simple solutions for DNA extraction from E. coli and A. tumefaciens cells, PCR and restriction digests, agarose gel slices, and plant tissues. Compared with the commercial kits, this protocol allows rapid DNA purification from diverse sources with comparable yield and purity at negligible cost. Following this protocol, we have demonstrated: (1) DNA fragments as small as a MYC-epitope tag coding sequence can be successfully recovered from an agarose gel slice; (2) Miniprep DNA from E. coli can be eluted with as little as 5 mul water, leading to high DNA concentrations (>1 mug/mul) for efficient biolistic bombardment of Arabidopsis seedlings, polyethylene glycol (PEG)-mediated Arabidopsis protoplast transfection and maize protoplast electroporation; (3) Binary plasmid DNA prepared from A. tumefaciens is suitable for verification by restriction analysis without the need for large scale propagation; (4) High-quality genomic DNA is readily isolated from several plant species including Arabidopsis, tobacco and maize. Thus, the silicon dioxide matrix-based DNA purification protocol offers an easy, efficient and economical way to extract DNA for various purposes in plant research.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 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. © 2014 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. 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

  17. The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of diversion and aftercare programmes for offenders using class A drugs: a systematic review and economic evaluation.

    PubMed

    Hayhurst, Karen P; Leitner, Maria; Davies, Linda; Flentje, Rachel; Millar, Tim; Jones, Andrew; King, Carlene; Donmall, Michael; Farrell, Michael; Fazel, Seena; Harris, Rochelle; Hickman, Matthew; Lennox, Charlotte; Mayet, Soraya; Senior, Jane; Shaw, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    The societal costs of problematic class A drug use in England and Wales exceed £15B; drug-related crime accounts for almost 90% of costs. Diversion plus treatment and/or aftercare programmes may reduce drug-related crime and costs. To assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of diversion and aftercare for class A drug-using offenders, compared with no diversion. Adult class A drug-using offenders diverted to treatment or an aftercare programme for their drug use. Programmes to identify and divert problematic drug users to treatment (voluntary, court mandated or monitored services) at any point within the criminal justice system (CJS). Aftercare follows diversion and treatment, excluding care following prison or non-diversionary drug treatment. Thirty-three electronic databases and government online resources were searched for studies published between January 1985 and January 2012, including MEDLINE, PsycINFO and ISI Web of Science. Bibliographies of identified studies were screened. The UK Drug Data Warehouse, the UK Drug Treatment Outcomes Research Study and published statistics and reports provided data for the economic evaluation. Included studies evaluated diversion in adult class A drug-using offenders, in contact with the CJS. The main outcomes were drug use and offending behaviour, and these were pooled using meta-analysis. The economic review included full economic evaluations for adult opiate and/or crack, or powder, cocaine users. An economic decision analytic model, estimated incremental costs per unit of outcome gained by diversion and aftercare, over a 12-month time horizon. The perspectives included the CJS, NHS, social care providers and offenders. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis and one-way sensitivity analysis explored variance in parameter estimates, longer time horizons and structural uncertainty. Sixteen studies met the effectiveness review inclusion criteria, characterised by poor methodological quality, with modest sample sizes

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Quality improvement activities of local health departments during the 2008-2010 economic recession.

    PubMed

    Carman, Angela L; Timsina, Lava R; Scutchfield, F Douglas

    2014-02-01

    A review of the work of researchers in the field of quality reveals a connection between the use of quality improvement (QI) concepts and improved financial performance. The disconnect between the expanding role of public health and the levels of per capita spending to support this role suggests that local health departments with a change in funding might benefit by employing QI to increase service delivery efficiency. To examine the relationship between changes in local health department (LHD) total revenue during the 2008-2010 economic recession and changes in LHD quality improvement activities during the same period. A matched-pairs study assessed change in revenue and associated change in QI activities at two points of time, 2008 and 2010. The study was completed in 2013. A proportional odds regression model estimated the adjusted ORs, measuring the association between change in QI activities and total revenue change, controlling for demographics, leadership QI training, and accreditation intention. Neither changes in revenue nor changes in expenses predicted change in QI activities in LHDs. Enhanced QI activities were found in LHDs led by a director with a master's degree, led by directors trained in QI, or those serving medium-sized (50,000-499,000) jurisdictions. This study revealed that neither changes in revenue nor changes in LHD expenses predict enhanced QI activities. Rather, improvements appear to be more related to characteristics of local health department leaders, which suggests areas to focus on for future efforts in public health services improvement. © 2013 American Journal of Preventive Medicine Published by American Journal of Preventive Medicine All rights reserved.

  11. Autologous stem cell transplantation improves quality of life in economically challenged, Brazilian multiple myeloma patients

    PubMed Central

    Etto, Leina Y.; Morelli, Vânia Maris; Silva, Vanderleia C.; Hungria, Vania T. M.; Ciconelli, Rozana M.; Almeida, Manuella S. S.; de Oliveira, José Salvador R.; Barros, José Carlos; Durie, Brian G.; Colleoni, Gisele W. B.

    2011-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: 1) To characterize the impact of multiple myeloma on the quality of life of patients treated in two public institutions in São Paulo State, Brazil, using a generic Short Form 36 Health Survey and a questionnaire specific for oncologic patients (QLQ-C30) upon diagnosis, after the clinical treatment, and at day +100 after autologous stem cell transplantation; 2) to evaluate whether autologous stem cell transplantation can improve the quality of life of our economically challenged population aside from providing a clinical benefit and disease control. METHODS: We evaluated 49 patients with multiple myeloma (a total of 70 interviews) using the two questionnaires. The scores upon diagnosis, post-treatment/pre-autologous stem cell transplantation, and at D+100 were compared using ANOVA (a comparison of the three groups), post hoc tests (two-by-two comparisons of the three groups), and paired t-tests (the same case at two different times). RESULTS : Of the included patients, 87.8% had a family budget under US $600 (economic class C, D, or E) per month. The generic Short Form 36 Health Survey questionnaire demonstrated that physical function, role-physical, and bodily pain indices were statistically different across all three groups, favoring the D+100 autologous stem cell transplantation group (ANOVA). The questionnaire specific for oncologic patients, the QLQ-C30 questionnaire, confirmed what had been demonstrated by the Short Form 36 Health Survey with respect to physical function and bodily pain, with improvements in role functioning, fatigue, and lack of appetite and constipation, favoring the D+100 autologous stem cell transplant group (ANOVA). The post hoc tests and paired t-tests confirmed a better outcome after autologous stem cell transplantation. CONCLUSION: The questionnaire specific for cancer patients seems to be more informative than the generic Short Form 36 Health Survey questionnaire and reflects the real benefit of autologous stem cell

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. Rich genomic and agro-morphological diversity provides fuel for rice varietal improvement

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Cultivated Asian rice (Oryza sativa L.) has tremendous phenotypic and genotypic diversity that traces back to ancient times. A “Rice Diversity Panel” composed of 413 diverse rice accessions from 82 countries was assembled to explore this genotypic and phenotypic variation. The objectives of this stu...

  16. Invited review: Helping dairy farmers to improve economic performance utilizing data-driving decision support tools.

    PubMed

    Cabrera, V E

    2017-07-18

    The objective of this review paper is to describe the development and application of a suite of more than 40 computerized dairy farm decision support tools contained at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) Dairy Management website http://DairyMGT.info. These data-driven decision support tools are aimed to help dairy farmers improve their decision-making, environmental stewardship and economic performance. Dairy farm systems are highly dynamic in which changing market conditions and prices, evolving policies and environmental restrictions together with every time more variable climate conditions determine performance. Dairy farm systems are also highly integrated with heavily interrelated components such as the dairy herd, soils, crops, weather and management. Under these premises, it is critical to evaluate a dairy farm following a dynamic integrated system approach. For this approach, it is crucial to use meaningful data records, which are every time more available. These data records should be used within decision support tools for optimal decision-making and economic performance. Decision support tools in the UW-Dairy Management website (http://DairyMGT.info) had been developed using combination and adaptation of multiple methods together with empirical techniques always with the primary goal for these tools to be: (1) highly user-friendly, (2) using the latest software and computer technologies, (3) farm and user specific, (4) grounded on the best scientific information available, (5) remaining relevant throughout time and (6) providing fast, concrete and simple answers to complex farmers' questions. DairyMGT.info is a translational innovative research website in various areas of dairy farm management that include nutrition, reproduction, calf and heifer management, replacement, price risk and environment. This paper discusses the development and application of 20 selected (http://DairyMGT.info) decision support tools.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Sassner, Per; Zacchi, Guido

    2008-04-15

    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. 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. 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 cost reductions almost

  1. 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

  2. Economic Evaluation of Quality Improvement Interventions for Bloodstream Infections Related to Central Catheters: A Systematic Review.

    PubMed

    Nuckols, Teryl K; Keeler, Emmett; Morton, Sally C; Anderson, Laura; Doyle, Brian; Booth, Marika; Shanman, Roberta; Grein, Jonathan; Shekelle, Paul

    2016-12-01

    Although quality improvement (QI) interventions can reduce central-line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSI), their economic value is uncertain. To systematically review economic evaluations of QI interventions designed to prevent CLABSI and/or CRBSI in acute care hospitals. A search of Ovid MEDLINE, Econlit, Centre for Reviews & Dissemination, New York Academy of Medicine's Grey Literature Report, Worldcat, prior systematic reviews (January 2004 to July 2016), and IDWeek conference abstracts (2013-2016), was conducted from 2013 to 2016. We included English-language studies of any design that evaluated organizational or structural changes to prevent CLABSI or CRBSI, and reported program and infection-related costs. Dual reviewers assessed study design, effectiveness, costs, and study quality. For each eligible study, we performed a cost-consequences analysis from the hospital perspective, estimating the incidence rate ratio (IRR) and incremental net savings. Unadjusted weighted regression analyses tested predictors of these measures, weighted by catheter-days per study per year. Of 505 articles, 15 unique studies were eligible, together representing data from 113 hospitals. Thirteen studies compared Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-recommended practices with usual care, including 7 testing insertion checklists. Eleven studies were based on uncontrolled before-after designs, 1 on a randomized controlled trial, 1 on a time-series analysis, and 2 on modeled estimates. Overall, the weighted mean IRR was 0.43 (95% CI, 0.35-0.51) and incremental net savings were $1.85 million (95% CI, $1.30 million to $2.40 million) per hospital over 3 years (2015 US dollars). Each $100 000-increase in program cost was associated with $315 000 greater savings (95% CI, $166 000-$464 000; P < .001). Infections and net costs declined when hospitals already used checklists or had baseline infection rates of 1

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    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.

  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. 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

  9. Randomised controlled trial of a livestock productive asset transfer programme to improve economic and health outcomes and reduce intimate partner violence in a postconflict setting

    PubMed Central

    Glass, Nancy; Perrin, Nancy A; Kohli, Anjalee; Campbell, Jacquelyn; Remy, Mitima Mpanano

    2017-01-01

    Background Diverse economic empowerment programmes (eg, microcredit, village-led savings and loan, cash and productive asset transfers) for the poor have demonstrated mixed results as vehicles for improved economic stability, health and women's empowerment. However, limited rigorous evaluations exist on the impact of financial and non-financial outcomes of these programmes, especially in conflict-affected areas. Methods The team evaluated the effectiveness of an innovative livestock productive asset transfer intervention—Pigs for Peace (PFP)—on economic, health and women's empowerment outcomes with participants in households in 10 villages in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Residual change analysis was used to examine the amount of change from baseline to 18 months between the intervention and delayed control groups, controlling for baseline scores. Findings The majority of the 833 household participants were women (84%), 25 years of age or older, married, had on average 3 children and had never attended school. At 18 months postbaseline, the number of participants in the PFP households having outstanding credit/loans was 24.7% lower than households in the control group (p=0.028), and they had an 8.2% greater improvement in subjective health (p=0.026), a 57.1% greater reduction in symptoms of anxiety (p=0.020) and a 5.7% greater improvement in symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (p<−0.001). At 18 months postbaseline, partnered women and men reported a reduction in experience and perpetration of all forms of intimate partner violence, although not statistically significant between groups. Interpretation The findings support scalability of a livestock productive asset transfer programme in rural and conflict-affected settings where residents have extremely limited access to financial institutions or credit programmes, health or social services and where social norms that sustain gender inequality are strong. Trial registration number NCT

  10. Randomised controlled trial of a livestock productive asset transfer programme to improve economic and health outcomes and reduce intimate partner violence in a postconflict setting.

    PubMed

    Glass, Nancy; Perrin, Nancy A; Kohli, Anjalee; Campbell, Jacquelyn; Remy, Mitima Mpanano

    2017-01-01

    Diverse economic empowerment programmes (eg, microcredit, village-led savings and loan, cash and productive asset transfers) for the poor have demonstrated mixed results as vehicles for improved economic stability, health and women's empowerment. However, limited rigorous evaluations exist on the impact of financial and non-financial outcomes of these programmes, especially in conflict-affected areas. The team evaluated the effectiveness of an innovative livestock productive asset transfer intervention-Pigs for Peace (PFP)-on economic, health and women's empowerment outcomes with participants in households in 10 villages in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Residual change analysis was used to examine the amount of change from baseline to 18 months between the intervention and delayed control groups, controlling for baseline scores. The majority of the 833 household participants were women (84%), 25 years of age or older, married, had on average 3 children and had never attended school. At 18 months postbaseline, the number of participants in the PFP households having outstanding credit/loans was 24.7% lower than households in the control group (p=0.028), and they had an 8.2% greater improvement in subjective health (p=0.026), a 57.1% greater reduction in symptoms of anxiety (p=0.020) and a 5.7% greater improvement in symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (p<-0.001). At 18 months postbaseline, partnered women and men reported a reduction in experience and perpetration of all forms of intimate partner violence, although not statistically significant between groups. The findings support scalability of a livestock productive asset transfer programme in rural and conflict-affected settings where residents have extremely limited access to financial institutions or credit programmes, health or social services and where social norms that sustain gender inequality are strong. NCT02008708.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. Suggestions for Improving the Classroom Climate for Women in the Introductory Economics Course: A Review Article.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferber, Marianne A.

    1984-01-01

    The first part of the article summarizes evidence that women students appear to be at some disadvantage in economics courses at all levels and presents some suggestions for mitigating this problem. The second part provides illustrations of how more information about and relevant to women can be integrated into economics courses. (RM)

  16. Using Prompted Praxis to Improve Teacher Professional Development in Culturally Diverse Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodriguez, Alberto J.; Zozakiewicz, Cathy; Yerrick, Randy

    2005-01-01

    Recent science and teacher education reports continue to stress the need for radical changes in the way teachers are prepared to teach science to diverse learners. In response, a three-year intervention project was developed to help teachers in culturally diverse schools transform their science teaching practices using learning technologies. Many…

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  18. 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.…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. Use of economic evaluation in decision making: evidence and recommendations for improvement.

    PubMed

    Simoens, Steven

    2010-10-22

    Information about the value for money of a medicine as derived from an economic evaluation can be used for decision-making purposes by policy makers, healthcare payers, healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies. This article illustrates the use of economic evaluation by decision makers and formulates a number of recommendations to enhance the use of such evaluations for decision-making purposes. Over the last decades, there has been a substantial increase in the number of economic evaluations assessing the value for money of medicines. Economic evaluation is used by policy makers and healthcare payers to inform medicine pricing/reimbursement decisions in more and more countries. It is a suitable tool to evaluate medicines and to present information about their value for money to decision makers in a familiar format. In order to fully exploit the use of economic evaluation for decision-making purposes, researchers need to take care to conduct such economic evaluations according to methodologically sound principles. Additionally, researchers need to take into account the decision-making context. They need to identify the various objectives that decision makers pursue and discuss how decision makers can use study findings to attain these objectives. These issues require further attention from researchers, policy makers, healthcare payers, healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies with a view to optimizing the use of economic evaluation in decision making.

  3. 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.

  4. Contemporary trends in improvement of organizational-economic mechanism of environmental management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiseleva, T. V.; Mikhailov, V. G.; Mikhailov, G. S.

    2017-09-01

    The article deals with the effective functioning of ecological and economic systems of various levels on the basis of an adequate organizational and economic management mechanism. The compliance matrix of the presented innovative elements in the structure of organizational and economic mechanism of environmental management is developed. The practical component of the conducted study can be recommended to municipal, regional and federal authorities, as well as industrial enterprises, to support effective, environmentally reasonable management decisions that are consistent with the global concept of sustainable development.

  5. 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.

  6. Improved annotation of the insect vector of citrus greening disease: biocuration by a diverse genomics community

    PubMed Central

    Hosmani, Prashant S.; Villalobos-Ayala, Krystal; Miller, Sherry; Shippy, Teresa; Flores, Mirella; Rosendale, Andrew; Cordola, Chris; Bell, Tracey; Mann, Hannah; DeAvila, Gabe; DeAvila, Daniel; Moore, Zachary; Buller, Kyle; Ciolkevich, Kathryn; Nandyal, Samantha; Mahoney, Robert; Van Voorhis, Joshua; Dunlevy, Megan; Farrow, David; Hunter, David; Morgan, Taylar; Shore, Kayla; Guzman, Victoria; Izsak, Allison; Dixon, Danielle E.; Cridge, Andrew; Cano, Liliana; Cao, Xiaolong; Jiang, Haobo; Leng, Nan; Johnson, Shannon; Cantarel, Brandi L.; Richards, Stephen; English, Adam; Shatters, Robert G.; Childers, Chris; Chen, Mei-Ju; Hunter, Wayne; Cilia, Michelle; Mueller, Lukas A.; Munoz-Torres, Monica; Nelson, David; Poelchau, Monica F.; Benoit, Joshua B.; Wiersma-Koch, Helen; D’Elia, Tom; Brown, Susan J.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama) is the insect vector of the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), the pathogen associated with citrus Huanglongbing (HLB, citrus greening). HLB threatens citrus production worldwide. Suppression or reduction of the insect vector using chemical insecticides has been the primary method to inhibit the spread of citrus greening disease. Accurate structural and functional annotation of the Asian citrus psyllid genome, as well as a clear understanding of the interactions between the insect and CLas, are required for development of new molecular-based HLB control methods. A draft assembly of the D. citri genome has been generated and annotated with automated pipelines. However, knowledge transfer from well-curated reference genomes such as that of Drosophila melanogaster to newly sequenced ones is challenging due to the complexity and diversity of insect genomes. To identify and improve gene models as potential targets for pest control, we manually curated several gene families with a focus on genes that have key functional roles in D. citri biology and CLas interactions. This community effort produced 530 manually curated gene models across developmental, physiological, RNAi regulatory and immunity-related pathways. As previously shown in the pea aphid, RNAi machinery genes putatively involved in the microRNA pathway have been specifically duplicated. A comprehensive transcriptome enabled us to identify a number of gene families that are either missing or misassembled in the draft genome. In order to develop biocuration as a training experience, we included undergraduate and graduate students from multiple institutions, as well as experienced annotators from the insect genomics research community. The resulting gene set (OGS v1.0) combines both automatically predicted and manually curated gene models. Database URL: https://citrusgreening.org/

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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. 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. This paper combines statistical analysis methods such as correlation and regression analysis, methods of economic analysis, and scenario method. 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%. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Carbohydrate components in sweetpotato storage roots: their diversities and genetic improvement

    PubMed Central

    Kitahara, Kanefumi; Nakamura, Yoshiyuki; Otani, Motoyasu; Hamada, Tatsuro; Nakayachi, Osamu; Takahata, Yasuhiro

    2017-01-01

    Carbohydrates are important components in sweetpotatoes in terms of both their industrial use and eating quality. Although there has been a narrow range of diversity in the properties of sweetpotato starch, unique varieties and experimental lines with different starch traits have been produced recently both by conventional breeding and genetic engineering. The diversity in maltose content, free sugar composition and textural properties in sweetpotato cultivars is also important for their eating quality and processing of storage roots. In this review, we summarize the current status of research on and breeding for these important traits and discuss the future prospects for research in this area. PMID:28465669

  2. A demonstration of the improved efficiency of the canonical coordinates method using nonlinear combined heat and power economic dispatch problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Hung-Chieh; Lin, Pei-Chun

    2014-02-01

    Economic dispatch is the short-term determination of the optimal output from a number of electricity generation facilities to meet the system load while providing power. As such, it represents one of the main optimization problems in the operation of electrical power systems. This article presents techniques to substantially improve the efficiency of the canonical coordinates method (CCM) algorithm when applied to nonlinear combined heat and power economic dispatch (CHPED) problems. The improvement is to eliminate the need to solve a system of nonlinear differential equations, which appears in the line search process in the CCM algorithm. The modified algorithm was tested and the analytical solution was verified using nonlinear CHPED optimization problems, thereby demonstrating the effectiveness of the algorithm. The CCM methods proved numerically stable and, in the case of nonlinear programs, produced solutions with unprecedented accuracy within a reasonable time.

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. [Phylogenetic diversity of the culturable rare actinomycetes in marine sponge Hymeniacidon perlevis by improved isolation media].

    PubMed

    Xin, Yanjuan; Wu, Peichun; Deng, Maicun; Zhang, Wei

    2009-07-01

    Based on the molecular diversity information, seven actinomycete-selective culture media and isolation conditions were modified to isolate and cultivate diverse rare actinomycetes from Hymeniacidon perlevis. Modified, selective cultivation and enrichment media were used, with the addition of an elemental solution of simulating the elemental composition of marine sponge H. perlevis. Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of 16S rDNA sequence was used to reveal the diversity of culturable rare actinomycetes. A total of 59 actinomycete strains were isolated from the marine sponge H. perlevis. A total of 27 representative actinomycetes were selected according to their morphological feature, color and pigments. They gave 15 different RFLP patterns after digesting their PCR products of 16s rDNA with Hha I. The results showed that these isolates belonged to 10 genera: Streptomyces, Nocardiopsis, Micromonospora, Cellulosimicrobium, Gordonia, Nocardia, Prauseria, Pseudonocardia , Saccharomonospora and Microbacterium. The modified isolation media and selective cultivation procedures are highly effective in the recovery of culturable actinomycetes from the marine sponge H. perlevis, resulting in the highest diversity of culturable rare actinomycetes from any sponges.

  9. 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.

  10. Comment on "Computational improvements reveal great bacterial diversity and high metal toxicity in soil".

    PubMed

    Volkov, Igor; Banavar, Jayanth R; Maritan, Amos

    2006-08-18

    Based on analysis of the reassociation kinetics of bacterial DNA in soil, Gans et al. (Reports, 26 August 2005, p. 1387) claimed that millions of microbe species existed in 10 grams of pristine soil and that 99.9% of the diversity was lost as a result of toxic metals. We show that the data do not support these startling conclusions unambiguously.

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Listening to Students: Intellectual Entrepreneurship--Improving Education and Increasing Diversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hurtado, Ana Lucia

    2007-01-01

    According to the author, the lack of diversity in graduate programs is a national crisis. A May 2005 report by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation indicated that, even though African Americans and Hispanics make up 32 percent of all U.S. citizens in the normal age range of Ph.D. candidates, only seven percent of all doctoral…

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. Nutrition education improves dietary diversity of children 6-23 months at community-level: Results from a cluster randomized controlled trial in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Kuchenbecker, Judith; Reinbott, Anika; Mtimuni, Beatrice; Krawinkel, Michael B; Jordan, Irmgard

    2017-01-01

    Low dietary quality and quantity and inappropriate feeding practices can cause undernutrition. Poor nutritional status in early childhood is associated with growth faltering. The objective of the study was to assess the potential of community-based nutrition education to improve height-for-age z-scores in children 6-23 months of age. We carried out a cluster-randomized-controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of nutrition education. A total of 24 Extension Planning Area Sections served as clusters. The selection criteria were: the position of the extension officer was staffed and the sections had been selected by the project for activities in its first project year. The sections were randomized into intervention and control restricted on mean height for age Z-score using baseline information. In the intervention area, food security activities and community-based nutrition education was implemented. The control area received food security activities only. At baseline (2011) and endline (2014), caregivers with a child below two years of age were enrolled. Data assessment included anthropometric measurements, interviews on socio-economic status, dietary intake and feeding practices. A difference-in-differences estimator was used to calculate intervention effects. A positive impact on child dietary diversity was observed (B (SE) = 0.39 (0.15), p = 0.01; 95%CI 0.09-0.68). There was a non-significant positive intervention effect on mean height-for-age z-scores (B (SE) = 0.17 (0.12), p = 0.15; 95%CI -0.06-0.41). The 24h dietary recalls used to measure dietary diversity did not consider quantities of consumed foods. Unrecorded poor quality of consumed foods might have masked a potential benefit of increased child dietary diversity on growth. Participatory community-based nutrition education for caregivers improved child dietary diversity even in a food insecure area. Nutrition education should be part of programs in food insecure settings aiming at ameliorating food

  18. Nutrition education improves dietary diversity of children 6-23 months at community-level: Results from a cluster randomized controlled trial in Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Kuchenbecker, Judith; Reinbott, Anika; Mtimuni, Beatrice; Krawinkel, Michael B.

    2017-01-01

    Background: Low dietary quality and quantity and inappropriate feeding practices can cause undernutrition. Poor nutritional status in early childhood is associated with growth faltering. The objective of the study was to assess the potential of community-based nutrition education to improve height-for-age z-scores in children 6–23 months of age. Methods and Findings: We carried out a cluster-randomized-controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of nutrition education. A total of 24 Extension Planning Area Sections served as clusters. The selection criteria were: the position of the extension officer was staffed and the sections had been selected by the project for activities in its first project year. The sections were randomized into intervention and control restricted on mean height for age Z-score using baseline information. In the intervention area, food security activities and community-based nutrition education was implemented. The control area received food security activities only. At baseline (2011) and endline (2014), caregivers with a child below two years of age were enrolled. Data assessment included anthropometric measurements, interviews on socio-economic status, dietary intake and feeding practices. A difference-in-differences estimator was used to calculate intervention effects. A positive impact on child dietary diversity was observed (B (SE) = 0.39 (0.15), p = 0.01; 95%CI 0.09–0.68). There was a non-significant positive intervention effect on mean height-for-age z-scores (B (SE) = 0.17 (0.12), p = 0.15; 95%CI -0.06–0.41). Limitations: The 24h dietary recalls used to measure dietary diversity did not consider quantities of consumed foods. Unrecorded poor quality of consumed foods might have masked a potential benefit of increased child dietary diversity on growth. Conclusions: Participatory community-based nutrition education for caregivers improved child dietary diversity even in a food insecure area. Nutrition education should be part of

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Dietary diversity scores can be improved through the use of portion requirements: an analysis in young Filipino children.

    PubMed

    Daniels, M C; Adair, L S; Popkin, B M; Truong, Y K

    2009-02-01

    Early childhood malnutrition is a pressing international concern which dietary diversity scores (summary scores of food groups in the diet) may be helpful in addressing. We explored three current research needs surrounding diversity scores: the impact of portion size on score function, the relationship of scores to nutrient adequacy and density and the ability of scores to function as screening tools. 1810 children, age 24 months. Cross sectional study of a birth cohort. We evaluated two nine food group dietary diversity scores based on 0 and 10 g minimum food group requirements for their relationship to nutrient adequacy and nutrient density. Both scores were significantly correlated with nutrient adequacy and density and predicted statistically significant increases (P<0.05) in the probability of adequacy for all nutrients. However, correlations and predicted increases were somewhat larger for the 10 g score. We also considered the sensitivity and specificity of each score for detecting low and high nutrient adequacy in the population. The 10 g cutoff improved score ability to predict low nutrient adequacy, and reduced the misclassification of subjects for all comparisons. This research suggests that the score without portion requirements reflects dietary adequacy, but when feasible, further refinement of diversity scores is desirable through the application of minimum portion requirements.

  3. Are social relationships a healthy influence on obesogenic behaviors among racially/ethnically diverse and socio-economically disadvantaged residents?

    PubMed

    Tamers, Sara L; Okechukwu, Cassandra; Allen, Jennifer; Yang, May; Stoddard, Anne; Tucker-Seeley, Reginald; Sorensen, Glorian

    2013-01-01

    To examine associations between social support and ties (family, friend, and neighbors) individually and jointly with diet and physical activity among an ethnically-diverse, low-income population. The Health in Common study (2005-2009) was designed to examine risk factors among individuals residing in low-income housing in the Boston, MA area. Cross-sectional surveys (n = 828) were administered in residents' homes. Linear/logistic multivariable analyses were employed with clustering of individuals within housing sites controlled as a random effect. In multivariable analyses, total social support was significantly associated with higher red meat consumption per day (p = 0.029). Having more friends was significantly associated with more daily fruit and vegetable intake (p = 0.007) and higher levels of daily vigorous physical activity (p = 0.011). Those who reported having a greater number of family ties also reported higher daily consumption of sugary drinks (p = 0.013) and fast food (p = 0.011). More neighbor social ties were associated with more fast food per day (p = 0.024). Social relationships can have both positive and negative associations with health behaviors. Understanding these relationships could help to inform the design of interventions that promote healthy behavior change among vulnerable populations. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. Empirical validation of a short version of the Adolescent Sleep-Wake Scale using a sample of ethnically diverse adolescents from an economically disadvantage community.

    PubMed

    Sufrinko, Alicia M; Valrie, Cecelia R; Lanzo, Lauren; Bond, Kayzandra E; Trout, Krystal L; Ladd, Rebecca E; Everhart, D Erik

    2015-10-01

    There is a need for brief, psychometrically sound instruments to assess adolescent sleep, particularly for ethnic minority and economically disadvantaged adolescents. A 10-item short version of the Adolescent Sleep-Wake Scale was recently proposed based upon exploratory factor analysis with primarily Caucasian healthy adolescents from middle- to high-income families. The aim of this study was to expand the utility of the short version of the Adolescent Sleep-Wake Scale by investigating the empirical and construct validity of the measure on an ethnically diverse sample of adolescents from an economically disadvantaged community. Participants included 467 adolescents (40% African American, 35.5% Caucasian, 16.5% Latino, and 7.9% multiethnic), aged 12-18 years (mean = 15.27 years, SD = 1.96 years), who completed the Adolescent Sleep-Wake Scale. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was conducted with Mplus 7 based on the three-factor solution proposed by Essner et al. (2014). CFA indicated that the three-factor structure was a good fit for the data (χ(2) (29) = 52.053, p = 0.005, root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.04, CFI = 0.98, TLI = 0.96, standardized root mean residuals (SRMR) = 0.03), and factor loadings for each item were >0.40. Cronbach's alphas by ethnicity indicated that the scale has acceptable reliability (0.70 ≤ α ≤ 0.90) for African American, Caucasian, and multiethnic adolescents, but not for Latino adolescents. Our results support the use of the Adolescent Sleep-Wake Scale short form for the majority of ethnic minority and economically disadvantaged adolescents. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Phenological studies to improve the accuracy of remote sensing data in a diverse pasture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gecse, Bernadett; Petrás, Dóra; Kertész, Péter; Koncz, Péter; Fóti, Szilvia; Balogh, János

    2017-04-01

    Remote sensing has been used widely to map nearly all types of vegetation of the Earth. This technique is excessively valuable because it can determine the distribution and the health condition of the vegetation, however it is rarely used in diverse vegetation. Remote sensing is challenged in diverse vegetation, where there is a high variability in the rate and intensity of flowering, greening/senescing among plants. We hypothesised that the interpretation of images of diverse vegetation could become more accurate if the growth and distribution of the dominant plant species are also considered. Our first goal was to establish a monitoring protocol as how to capture the main phenological changes of a diverse (over 80 species per hectare) pasture and reveal the ratio of the production of dominant species to the total biomass production. Our second goal was to answer how flowering influences (i.e. to what extent) the correlation coefficient between airborne Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and biomass. To monitor the phenological changes we measured leaf area index (LAI), estimated the cover of flowers (%), and performed vegetation survey in permanent quadrates (15) during eight measurement campaigns. We also selected 20 dominant species, based on the experience of previous years, which have visually dominant flowers in the area. For these species besides the cover of plant species (%) the number of flowering individuals, the number of flowers and other plant traits were recorded in permanent plots during measurement campaigns. In these plots 10 individuals per species were selected to measure the area and biomass of their leaves, shoots and flowers in the lab. Our results from the biomass production estimations show that biomass of the five most dominant species provided 68% of the total biomass production. We analyzed the connection between the percentage of flowering coverage and the correlation of NDVI and biomass. The data indicated that after June

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  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. A Global Evaluation of Coral Reef Management Performance: Are MPAs Producing Conservation and Socio-Economic Improvements?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hargreaves-Allen, Venetia; Mourato, Susana; Milner-Gulland, Eleanor Jane

    2011-04-01

    There is a consensus that Marine Protected Area (MPA) performance needs regular evaluation against clear criteria, incorporating counterfactual comparisons of ecological and socio-economic performance. However, these evaluations are scarce at the global level. We compiled self-reports from managers and researchers of 78 coral reef-based MPAs world-wide, on the conservation and welfare improvements that their MPAs provide. We developed a suite of performance measures including fulfilment of design and management criteria, achievement of aims, the cessation of banned or destructive activities, change in threats, and measurable ecological and socio-economic changes in outcomes, which we evaluated with respect to the MPA's age, geographical location and main aims. The sample was found to be broadly representative of MPAs generally, and suggests that many MPAs do not achieve certain fundamental aims including improvements in coral cover over time (in 25% of MPAs), and conflict reduction (in 25%). However, the large majority demonstrated improvements in terms of slowing coral loss, reducing destructive uses and increasing tourism and local employment, despite many being small, underfunded and facing multiple large scale threats beyond the control of managers. However spatial comparisons suggest that in some regions MPAs are simply mirroring outside changes, with demonstrates the importance of testing for additionality. MPA benefits do not appear to increase linearly over time. In combination with other management efforts and regulations, especially those relating to large scale threat reduction and targeted fisheries and conflict resolution instruments, MPAs are an important tool to achieve coral reef conservation globally. Given greater resources and changes which incorporate best available science, such as larger MPAs and no-take areas, networks and reduced user pressure, it is likely that performance could further be enhanced. Performance evaluation should test for

  16. A global evaluation of coral reef management performance: are MPAs producing conservation and socio-economic improvements?

    PubMed

    Hargreaves-Allen, Venetia; Mourato, Susana; Milner-Gulland, Eleanor Jane

    2011-04-01

    There is a consensus that Marine Protected Area (MPA) performance needs regular evaluation against clear criteria, incorporating counterfactual comparisons of ecological and socio-economic performance. However, these evaluations are scarce at the global level. We compiled self-reports from managers and researchers of 78 coral reef-based MPAs world-wide, on the conservation and welfare improvements that their MPAs provide. We developed a suite of performance measures including fulfilment of design and management criteria, achievement of aims, the cessation of banned or destructive activities, change in threats, and measurable ecological and socio-economic changes in outcomes, which we evaluated with respect to the MPA's age, geographical location and main aims. The sample was found to be broadly representative of MPAs generally, and suggests that many MPAs do not achieve certain fundamental aims including improvements in coral cover over time (in 25% of MPAs), and conflict reduction (in 25%). However, the large majority demonstrated improvements in terms of slowing coral loss, reducing destructive uses and increasing tourism and local employment, despite many being small, underfunded and facing multiple large scale threats beyond the control of managers. However spatial comparisons suggest that in some regions MPAs are simply mirroring outside changes, with demonstrates the importance of testing for additionality. MPA benefits do not appear to increase linearly over time. In combination with other management efforts and regulations, especially those relating to large scale threat reduction and targeted fisheries and conflict resolution instruments, MPAs are an important tool to achieve coral reef conservation globally. Given greater resources and changes which incorporate best available science, such as larger MPAs and no-take areas, networks and reduced user pressure, it is likely that performance could further be enhanced. Performance evaluation should test for

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Study on improving the method of analyzing the economic incident effects caused by public investment policies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Momma, Toshiyuki; Hino, Seiichi; Koike, Atsushi; Nakano, Takeshi; Fujii, Satoshi

    A nationwide micro-econometric model was established to estimate changes in the national gross product based on road-related investment amounts. And by considering the supply-demand balance during inflationary and deflationary times and the price adjustment mechanism, this model was then used to examine issues with the current micro-econometric model in light of the present economic circumstances. The results showed that during deflationary times issuing government bonds is less likely to have a crowding-out effect and public investments tend to be more effective than during inflationary times.

  20. 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.

  1. Incorporating 16S Gene Copy Number Information Improves Estimates of Microbial Diversity and Abundance

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23133348

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. Recruiting diverse patients to a breast cancer risk communication trial--waiting rooms can improve access.

    PubMed Central

    Bodurtha, Joann N.; Quillin, John M.; Tracy, Kelly A.; Borzelleca, Joseph; McClish, Donna; Wilson, Diane Baer; Jones, Resa M.; Quillin, Julie; Bowen, Deborah

    2007-01-01

    Low participation among underserved populations in health research constrains progress in public health practices. From 2003 to 2005, Women's Health Clinic patients at the VCU Health System were recruited to a trial investigating breast cancer risk communication. In secondary analyses, we examined dimensions of the recruitment of these diverse women. The sample characteristics (age, insurance, race and previous mammograms) were compared to the overall clinic. Of recruitment attempts for eligible women, 45% consented; of those who declined, the top cited reasons were lack of time (40%) and lack of interest (18%). Of 899 participants, 35% qualified for the indigent care program, compared to 31% of the overall clinic (P<0.001). Forty-five percent of participants were African American, compared to 54% of overall clinic patients (P<0.001). Participants were younger (50 vs. 53 years, P<0.001) than the overall clinic population. Nonrepresentative enrollment of patients in clinical trials is common and could lead to suboptimal applicability of findings. Although there were statistically significant race and age differences between the study sample and the overall population, we demonstrate that waiting room recruitment can engage diverse women in a clinical trial and cancer risk communication. PMID:17722671

  5. Species Diversity Improves the Efficiency of Mercury-Reducing Biofilms under Changing Environmental Conditions

    PubMed Central

    von Canstein, Harald; Kelly, Sven; Li, Ying; Wagner-Döbler, Irene

    2002-01-01

    Six mercury-resistant environmental proteobacterial isolates and one genetically modified mercury-resistant Pseudomonas putida strain were analyzed for physiological traits of adaptive relevance in an environment of packed-bed bioreactors designed for the decontamination of mercury-polluted chlor-alkali wastewater. The strains displayed characteristic differences in each trait (i.e., biofilm formation capability, growth rate in mercury contaminated wastewaters, and mercury reduction efficiency). Subsequently, they were immobilized either as a monoculture or as a mixed culture on porous carrier material in packed-bed bioreactors through which different batches of filter-sterilized industrial chlor-alkali wastewater were pumped. In monospecies bioreactors, the mercury retention efficiency was sensitive to rapidly increasing mercury concentrations in the wastewater. Mixed culture biofilms displayed a high mercury retention efficiency that was not affected by rapid increases in mercury or continuously high mercury concentrations. The dynamic in the community composition of the mixed culture bioreactors was determined by ribosomal intergenic spacer polymorphism analysis. Mercury-mediated selective pressure decreased the number of prevalent strains. Microbial diversity was completely restored after easing of the selective pressure. Microbial diversity provides a reservoir of strains with complementary ecological niches that results in a superior bioreactor performance under changing environmental conditions. PMID:12039739

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Cavanagh, Colin R.; Chao, Shiaoman; Wang, Shichen; Huang, Bevan Emma; Stephen, Stuart; Kiani, Seifollah; Forrest, Kerrie; Saintenac, Cyrille; Brown-Guedira, Gina L.; Akhunova, Alina; See, Deven; Bai, Guihua; Pumphrey, Michael; Tomar, Luxmi; Wong, Debbie; Kong, Stephan; Reynolds, Matthew; da Silva, Marta Lopez; Bockelman, Harold; Talbert, Luther; Anderson, James A.; Dreisigacker, Susanne; Baenziger, Stephen; Carter, Arron; Korzun, Viktor; Morrell, Peter Laurent; Dubcovsky, Jorge; Morell, Matthew K.; Sorrells, Mark E.; Hayden, Matthew J.; Akhunov, Eduard

    2013-01-01

    Domesticated crops experience strong human-mediated selection aimed at developing high-yielding 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 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in a worldwide sample of 2,994 accessions of hexaploid wheat including landraces and modern cultivars. Using a SNP-based diversity map we characterized the impact of crop improvement on genomic and geographic patterns of genetic diversity. We found evidence of a small population bottleneck and extensive use of ancestral variation often traceable to founders of cultivars from diverse geographic regions. Analyzing genetic differentiation among populations and the extent of haplotype sharing, we identified allelic variants subjected to selection during improvement. Selective sweeps were found around genes involved in the regulation of flowering time and phenology. An introgression of a wild relative-derived gene conferring resistance to a fungal pathogen was detected by haplotype-based analysis. Comparing selective sweeps identified in different populations, we show that selection likely acts on distinct targets or multiple functionally equivalent alleles in different portions of the geographic range of wheat. The majority of the selected alleles were present at low frequency in local populations, suggesting either weak selection pressure or temporal variation in the targets of directional selection during breeding probably associated with changing agricultural practices or environmental conditions. The developed SNP chip and map of genetic variation provide a resource for advancing wheat breeding and supporting future population genomic and genome-wide association studies in wheat. PMID:23630259

  11. 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.

  12. Economic Valuation for Improved Water Quality: Analyzing the Public's Preferences Using Geospatial Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsagarakis, Konstantinos P.; Mavragani, Amaryllis; Gemitzi, Alexandra

    2017-04-01

    As the subject of water quality in the European Union is becoming all the more important, public awareness is of significant importance in exploring ways towards the implementation of better water quality. Over the last decade, significant steps towards this direction have been employed in EU, such as Directive 2008/105/EC and Directive 2013/39/EU and Groundwater Directive and Decision 2015/495. What has been suggested so far is that public participation and information levels are relatively low in some EU countries. This paper focuses on providing a review on economic valuation in EU and in regions with degradated waters by applying geospatial techniques. Overall, it is shown that public awareness and information levels are crucial in better assessing the issues that arise due to water quality, and help better implement EU legislation.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  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. Stepwise Evolution Improves Identification of Diverse Peptides Binding to a Protein Target.

    PubMed

    Lyamichev, Victor I; Goodrich, Lauren E; Sullivan, Eric H; Bannen, Ryan M; Benz, Joerg; Albert, Thomas J; Patel, Jigar J

    2017-09-21

    Considerable efforts have been made to develop technologies for selection of peptidic molecules that act as substrates or binders to a protein of interest. Here we demonstrate the combination of rational peptide array library design, parallel screening and stepwise evolution, to discover novel peptide hotspots. These hotspots can be systematically evolved to create high-affinity, high-specificity binding peptides to a protein target in a reproducible and digitally controlled process. The method can be applied to synthesize both linear and cyclic peptides, as well as peptides composed of natural and non-natural amino acid analogs, thereby enabling screens in a much diverse chemical space. We apply this method to stepwise evolve peptide binders to streptavidin, a protein studied for over two decades and report novel peptides that mimic key interactions of biotin to streptavidin.

  1. 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.

  2. How did Japanese rural dwellers become rapidly healthier in the two decades following World War II?: Examining the diverse policy interventions that improved the population's health.

    PubMed

    Yuasa, Motoyuki

    2017-01-01

    Objective During the two decades following Japan's World War II surrender in 1945, tremendous improvement in the population's health was observed, particularly in infant mortality and life expectancy. How did Japanese rural dwellers achieve such remarkable health improvement during this relatively short time span while its economy remained heavily damaged following the war? While the efforts from government-driven public health strategies and programs are well known, relatively little is known about the contributions of policies in non-health sectors. Therefore, the main aim is to verify, using literature based sources, whether non-health sectors contributed to the betterment of the population's health in addition to the public health sector policies.Hypotheses Synergistic efforts of diverse interventions from different policies and programs likely catalyzed the drastic health improvement observed in the Japanese population in the two decades after World War II. The Ministry of Health and Welfare, for example, implemented programs to provide health care services. These are thought to have contributed directly to reducing maternal and child mortality, as well as tuberculosis-related mortality. Additionally, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry carried out a nationwide livelihood improvement program to enhance individual and family lifestyles, improve indoor and outdoor environments, and strengthen social solidarity. The ministry also attempted to generate income stability for farmers through an agricultural improvement program to ensure allocation of household income to family health. The Ministry of Education also had an initiative to disseminate the concepts of democracy and rational thought to the Japanese population through a social education program. Through these efforts, superstition and pre-modern customs were reduced, and subsequently health awareness increased, leading to an improvement in the population's health.Conclusion The public health

  3. Decoupled leaf and root carbon economics is a key component in the ecological diversity and evolutionary divergence of deciduous and evergreen lineages of genus Rhododendron.

    PubMed

    Medeiros, Juliana S; Burns, Jean H; Nicholson, Jaynell; Rogers, Louisa; Valverde-Barrantes, Oscar

    2017-06-01

    We explored trait-trait and trait-climate relationships for 27 Rhododendron species while accounting for phylogenetic relationships and within-species variation to investigate whether leaf and root traits are coordinated across environments and over evolutionary time, as part of a whole-plant economics spectrum. We examined specific leaf area (SLA) and four root traits: specific root length (SRL), specific root tip abundance (SRTA), first order diameter, and link average length, for plants growing in a cold, seasonal climate (Kirtland, Ohio) and a warmer, less seasonal climate (Federal Way, Washington) in the United States. We estimated a phylogeny and species' climate of origin, determined phylogenetic signal on mean traits and within-species variation, and used phylogenetically informed analysis to compare trait-trait and trait-climate relationships for deciduous and evergreen lineages. Mean SLA and within-species variation in SRL were more similar between close relatives than expected by chance. SLA and root traits differed according to climate of origin and across growth environments, though SLA differed within- and among-species less than roots. A negative SRL-SRTA correlation indicates investment in foraging scale vs. precision as a fundamental trade-off defining the root economic spectrum. Also, the deciduous clade exhibited a strong negative relationship between SLA and SRL, while evergreen clades showed a weaker positive or no relationship. Our work suggests that natural selection has shaped relationships between above- and belowground traits in genus Rhododendron and that leaf and root traits may evolve independently. Morphological decoupling may help explain habitat diversity among Rhododendron species, as well as the changes accompanying the divergence of deciduous and evergreen lineages. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

  4. 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. Executive Summary

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Committee for Economic Development, 2006

    2006-01-01

    Preschool programs have long prepared children for early educational success, but investing in high-quality early education also offers promising ways to strengthen the future economic and fiscal position of states and the nation. The Committee for Economic Development (CED) believes that broadening access to preschool programs for all children is…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Understanding the distribution of economic benefits from improving coastal and marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Pakalniete, Kristine; Aigars, Juris; Czajkowski, Mikołaj; Strake, Solvita; Zawojska, Ewa; Hanley, Nick

    2017-04-15

    The ecological status of coastal and marine waterbodies world-wide is threatened by multiple stressors, including nutrient inputs from various sources and increasing occurrences of invasive alien species. These stressors impact the environmental quality of the Baltic Sea. Each Baltic Sea country contributes to the stressors and, at the same time, is affected by their negative impacts on water quality. Knowledge about benefits from improvements in coastal and marine waters is key to assessing public support for policies aimed at achieving such changes. We propose a new approach to account for variability in benefits related to differences in socio-demographics of respondents, by using a structural model of discrete choice. Our method allows to incorporate a wide range of socio-demographics as explanatory variables in conditional multinomial logit models without the risk of collinearity; the model is estimated jointly and hence more statistically efficient than the alternative, typically used approaches. We apply this new technique to a study of the preferences of Latvian citizens towards improvements of the coastal and marine environment quality. We find that overall, Latvians are willing to pay for reducing losses of biodiversity, for improving water quality for recreation by reduced eutrophication, and for reducing new occurrences of invasive alien species. However a significant group within the sample seems not to value environmental improvements in the Baltic Sea, and, thus, is unwilling to support costly measures for achieving such improvements. The structural model of discrete choice reveals substantial heterogeneity among Latvians towards changes in the quality of coastal and marine waters of Latvia. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Physical modification of palm kernel meal improved available carbohydrate, physicochemical properties and in vitro digestibility in economic freshwater fish.

    PubMed

    Thongprajukaew, Karun; Yawang, Pinya; Dudae, Lateepah; Bilanglod, Husna; Dumrongrittamatt, Terdtoon; Tantikitti, Chutima; Kovitvadhi, Uthaiwan

    2013-12-01

    Unavailable carbohydrates are an important limiting factor for utilization of palm kernel meal (PKM) as aquafeed ingredients. The aim of this study was to improve available carbohydrate from PKM. Different physical modifications including water soaking, microwave irradiation, gamma irradiation and electron beam, were investigated in relation to chemical composition, physicochemical properties and in vitro carbohydrate digestibility using digestive enzymes from economic freshwater fish. Modified methods had significant (P < 0.05) effects on chemical composition by decreasing crude fiber and increasing available carbohydrates. Improvements in physicochemical properties of PKM, such as water solubility, microstructure, relative crystallinity and lignocellulosic spectra, were mainly achieved by soaking and microwave irradiation. Carbohydrate digestibility varied among the physical modifications tested (P < 0.05) and three fish species had different abilities to digest PKM. Soaking was the appropriate modification for increasing carbohydrate digestion specifically in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), whereas either soaking or microwave irradiation was effective for striped snakehead (Channa striata). For walking catfish (Clarias batrachus), carbohydrate digestibility was similar among raw, soaked and microwave-irradiated PKM. These findings suggest that soaking and microwave irradiation could be practical methods for altering appropriate physicochemical properties of PKM as well as increasing carbohydrate digestibility in select economic freshwater fish. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Vaughn, Justin N.; Li, Zenglu

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27402364

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  4. Improving Word Conceptualization of First Grade Low Achievers through the Use of Diverse Instructional Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atkinson, S. Darlene

    This practicum was designed to provide low-achieving first graders with the opportunity to improve their concept of what a word is and motivate children to become more enthusiastic about the reading process. Cooperative learning, cross-age tutoring, and skill-oriented instruction were utilized in the classroom during the 3-month period to…

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  6. Leading for Diversity: How School Leaders Can Improve Interethnic Relations. Educational Practice Report 7.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henze, Rosemary

    This report examines 21 case studies of schools where leaders took proactive steps to improve relations among different racial/ethnic groups. Among the dilemmas they encountered were staff issues (differential treatment based on race) and student issues (the composition of ethnic clubs). Roots of racial/ethnic conflict included segregation,…

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Improving quality of life in diverse rural older adults: a randomized trial of a psychological treatment.

    PubMed

    Scogin, Forrest; Morthland, Martin; Kaufman, Allan; Burgio, Louis; Chaplin, William; Kong, Grace

    2007-12-01

    The efficacy of home-delivered cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in improving quality of life and reducing psychological symptoms in older adults was examined in this study. One hundred thirty-four participants, predominately African American and characterized as primarily rural, low resource, and physically frail, were randomly assigned to either CBT or a minimal support control condition. Results indicate that CBT participants evidenced significantly greater improvements in quality of life and reductions in psychological symptoms. Mediation of treatment through cognitive and behavioral variables was not found despite the acceptable delivery of CBT by research therapists. These data suggest that treatment can be effective with a disadvantaged sample of older adults and extend efficacy findings to quality of life domains. Creating access to evidence-based treatments through nontraditional delivery is an important continuing goal for geriatric health care. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Economic Evaluation of Quality-of-Life Improvement with Second-Generation Antihistamines and Montelukast in Patients with Allergic Rhinitis

    PubMed Central

    Saverno, Kim R.; Seal, Brian; Goodman, Michael J.; Meyer, Kellie

    2009-01-01

    Background Allergic rhinitis causes significant economic losses and substantial reductions in quality of life. Improving a patient's symptoms can therefore enhance the patient's quality of life. Objective To measure the relative cost-effectiveness of prescription second-generation antihistamines (levocetirizine, desloratadine, and fexofenadine) and montelukast based on their impact on quality of life in patients with uncomplicated allergic rhinitis. Methods A retrospective, cost-effectiveness model was constructed using 1-year costs to managed care payers and using the Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire to measure the quality of life in patients taking prescription second-generation antihistamines or montelukast for the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Clinical trial results for levocetirizine, desloratadine, fexofenadine (brand and generic), or montelukast were combined as standardized mean differences to create a pooled effectiveness measure. The costs of prescription drugs and physician office visits for allergic rhinitis were used as direct costs measures. Sensitivity was assessed by a Monte Carlo simulation run 1000 times. Results All the drugs in the study showed significant improvement in quality of life, with levocetirizine showing the greatest improvement. The incremental cost-effectiveness of levocetirizine dominated montelukast (incremental cost-effective ratio, −1317; 95% confidence interval, −7471, −212). The incremental cost-effectiveness favored levocetirizine compared with desloratadine and branded fexofenadine. Conclusion There are significant differences in the cost-effectiveness of various oral prescription agents with regard to improving quality of life of patients with allergic rhinitis. PMID:25126304

  14. Socio-economic improvements and health system strengthening of maternity care are contributing to maternal mortality reduction in Cambodia.

    PubMed

    Liljestrand, Jerker; Sambath, Mean Reatanak

    2012-06-01

    Maternal mortality has been falling significantly in Cambodia since 2005 though it had been stagnant for at least 15 years before that. This paper analyzes the evolution of some major societal and health system factors based on recent national and international reports. The maternal mortality ratio fell from 472 per 100,000 live births in 2000-2005 to 206 in 2006-2010. Background factors have included peace and stability, economic growth and poverty reduction, improved primary education, especially for girls, improved roads, improved access to information on health and health services via TV, radio and cellphones, and increased ability to communicate with and within the health system. Specific health system improvements include a rapid increase in facility-based births and skilled birth attendance, notably investment in midwifery training and numbers of midwives providing antenatal care and deliveries within an expanding primary health care network, a monetary incentive for facility-based midwives for every live birth conducted, and an expanding system of health equity funds, making health care free of cost for poor people. Several major challenges remain, including post-partum care, family planning, prevention and treatment of breast and cervical cancer, and addressing sexual violence against women, which need the same priority attention as maternity care. Copyright © 2012 Reproductive Health Matters. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Economic Value of Improved Accuracy for Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose Devices for Type 1 Diabetes in Canada

    PubMed Central

    McQueen, R. Brett; Breton, Marc D.; Ott, Markus; Koa, Helena; Beamer, Bruce; Campbell, Jonathan D.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: The objective was to simulate and compare clinical and economic outcomes of self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) devices along error ranges and strip price. Methods: We programmed a type 1 diabetes natural history and treatment cost-effectiveness model. In phase 1, using past evidence from in silico modeling validated by the Food and Drug Administration, we associated changes in SMBG error to changes in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and separately, changes in severe hypoglycemia requiring an inpatient stay. In phase 2, using Markov cohort simulation modeling, we estimated clinical and economic outcomes from the Canadian payer perspective. The primary comparison was a SMBG device with strip price $0.73 Canadian dollars (CAD) and 10% error (exceeding accuracy requirements by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 15197:2013) versus a SMBG device with strip price $0.60 CAD and 15% error (accuracy meeting ISO 15197:2013). Outcomes for the average patient, were quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs), and budget impact. Results: Assuming benefits translate into HbA1c improvements only, the ICER with 10% error versus 15% was $11 500 CAD per QALY. Assuming the benefits translate into reduced severe hypoglycemia requiring an inpatient stay only, an SMBG device with 10% error dominated (ie, less costly, more effective) an SMBG device with 15% error. The 3-year budget impact findings ranged from $0.004 CAD per member per month for HbA1c improvements to cost-savings for severe hypoglycemia reductions. Conclusions: From efficiency (cost-effectiveness) and affordability (budget impact) payer perspectives, investing in devices with improved accuracy (less error) appears to be an efficient and affordable strategy. PMID:26275642

  16. 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

  17. Assessing the Total Economic Value of Improving Water Quality to Inform Water Resources Management: Evidence and Challenges from Southeast Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jalilov, S.; Fukushi, K.

    2016-12-01

    Population growth, high rates of economic development and rapid urbanization in the developing countries of Southeast Asia (SEA) have resulted in degradation and depletion of natural resources, including water resources and related ecosystem services. Many urban rivers in the region are highly polluted with domestic, industrial and agricultural wastes. Policymakers are often aware of the direct value of water resources for domestic and industrial consumption, but they often underestimate the indirect value of these functions, since they are not exchanged in the market and do not appear in national income accounts. Underestimation of pollution and over-exploitation of water resources result in a loss of these benefits and have adverse impacts on nearby residents, threatening the long-term sustainable development of natural resources in the region. Behind these constraints lies a lack of knowledge (ignorance) from governments that a clean water environment could bring significant economic benefits. This study has been initiated to tackle this issue and to foster a more rational approach for sustainable urban development in Metro Manila in the Philippines. We applied a Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) based on Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) technique. Results show that users are willing to pay up to PHP 102.42 (2.18) monthly to improve quality of urban waterbodies whereas nonusers are willing to pay up to PHP 366.53 (7.80) as one-time payment towards water quality improvement. The estimated monetary value of water quality improvements would be a useful variable in cost-benefit analyses of various water quality-related policies, in both public and private sectors in Metro Manila. This survey design could serve as a useful template for similar water quality studies in other SEA countries.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The economic feasibility of price discounts to improve diet in Australian Aboriginal remote communities.

    PubMed

    Magnus, Anne; Moodie, Marj L; Ferguson, Megan; Cobiac, Linda J; Liberato, Selma C; Brimblecombe, Julie

    2016-04-01

    To estimate the cost-effectiveness of fiscal measures applied in remote community food stores for Aboriginal Australians. Six price discount strategies on fruit, vegetables, diet drinks and water were modelled. Baseline diet was measured as 12 months' actual food sales data in three remote Aboriginal communities. Discount-induced changes in food purchases were based on published price elasticity data while the weight of the daily diet was assumed constant. Dietary change was converted to change in sodium and energy intake, and body mass index (BMI) over a 12-month period. Improved lifetime health outcomes, modelled for the remote population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, were converted to disability adjusted life years (DALYs) saved using a proportional multistate lifetable model populated with diet-related disease risks and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rates of disease. While dietary change was small, five of the six price discount strategies were estimated as cost-effective, below a $50,000/DALY threshold. Stakeholders are committed to finding ways to reduce important inequalities in health status between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-Indigenous Australians. Price discounts offer potential to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. Verification of these results by trial-based research coupled with consideration of factors important to all stakeholders is needed. © 2015 The Authors.

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. [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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Innovation in health economic modelling of service improvements for longer-term depression: demonstration in a local health community

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The purpose of the analysis was to develop a health economic model to estimate the costs and health benefits of alternative National Health Service (NHS) service configurations for people with longer-term depression. Method Modelling methods were used to develop a conceptual and health economic model of the current configuration of services in Sheffield, England for people with longer-term depression. Data and assumptions were synthesised to estimate cost per Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs). Results Three service changes were developed and resulted in increased QALYs at increased cost. Versus current care, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) for a self-referral service was £11,378 per QALY. The ICER was £2,227 per QALY for the dropout reduction service and £223 per QALY for an increase in non-therapy services. These results were robust when compared to current cost-effectiveness thresholds and accounting for uncertainty. Conclusions Cost-effective service improvements for longer-term depression have been identified. Also identified were limitations of the current evidence for the long term impact of services. PMID:23622353

  11. Innovation in health economic modelling of service improvements for longer-term depression: demonstration in a local health community.

    PubMed

    Tosh, Jonathan; Kearns, Ben; Brennan, Alan; Parry, Glenys; Ricketts, Thomas; Saxon, David; Kilgarriff-Foster, Alexis; Thake, Anna; Chambers, Eleni; Hutten, Rebecca

    2013-04-26

    The purpose of the analysis was to develop a health economic model to estimate the costs and health benefits of alternative National Health Service (NHS) service configurations for people with longer-term depression. Modelling methods were used to develop a conceptual and health economic model of the current configuration of services in Sheffield, England for people with longer-term depression. Data and assumptions were synthesised to estimate cost per Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs). Three service changes were developed and resulted in increased QALYs at increased cost. Versus current care, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) for a self-referral service was £11,378 per QALY. The ICER was £2,227 per QALY for the dropout reduction service and £223 per QALY for an increase in non-therapy services. These results were robust when compared to current cost-effectiveness thresholds and accounting for uncertainty. Cost-effective service improvements for longer-term depression have been identified. Also identified were limitations of the current evidence for the long term impact of services.

  12. 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.

  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. Maintenance of quality of life improvements in diverse rural older adults.

    PubMed

    Scogin, Forrest; Morthland, Martin; Kaufman, Allan; Chaplin, William; Kong, Grace

    2011-06-01

    The maintenance of effects from home-delivered cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) was examined. One hundred thirty-four participants, predominantly African American and primarily rural, low-resource, and physically frail, were randomly assigned to either immediate or delayed CBT. The six-month follow-up assessments indicated that among those who remained in the study, participants evidenced significantly improved quality of life and reductions in psychological symptoms at follow-up, relative to pretreatment levels. Posttreatment gains were maintained at follow-up. These data suggest that treatment effects can be achieved and perhaps maintained with a disadvantaged sample of older adults and suggest that evidence-based treatments delivered through nontraditional means can have effects beyond posttreatment. (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved.

  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. [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.

  18. 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.

  19. The upside down world of diabetes care medical economics and what we might do to improve it.

    PubMed

    Harlan, David M; Hirsch, Irl B

    2017-04-01

    Increasingly over the past generation, the American healthcare delivery system has received consistently poor marks with regard to public health outcomes and costs. This review by two seasoned diabetes care providers is intended to shed light on the fundamental flaws we believe to underlie that poor performance, and suggest options for better outcomes and cost efficiencies. Despite major advances in diabetes management medications and tools, overall public health with regard to diabetes outcomes remains poor. Efforts focused on controlling costs appear to be exacerbating the problem. For chronic diseases like diabetes, fee-for-service care models are fundamentally flawed and predictably fail. We suggest that a major overhaul of the medical economics underlying diabetes care can improve patient outcomes and decrease costs.

  20. Economic Evaluation of Quality Improvement Interventions Designed to Prevent Hospital Readmission: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Nuckols, Teryl K; Keeler, Emmett; Morton, Sally; Anderson, Laura; Doyle, Brian J; Pevnick, Joshua; Booth, Marika; Shanman, Roberta; Arifkhanova, Aziza; Shekelle, Paul

    2017-07-01

    Quality improvement (QI) interventions can reduce hospital readmission, but little is known about their economic value. To systematically review economic evaluations of QI interventions designed to reduce readmissions. Databases searched included PubMed, Econlit, the Centre for Reviews & Dissemination Economic Evaluations, New York Academy of Medicine's Grey Literature Report, and Worldcat (January 2004 to July 2016). Dual reviewers selected English-language studies from high-income countries that evaluated organizational or structural changes to reduce hospital readmission, and that reported program and readmission-related costs. Dual reviewers extracted intervention characteristics, study design, clinical effectiveness, study quality, economic perspective, and costs. We calculated the risk difference and net costs to the health system in 2015 US dollars. Weighted least-squares regression analyses tested predictors of the risk difference and net costs. Main outcomes measures included the risk difference in readmission rates and incremental net cost. This systematic review and data analysis is reported in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Of 5205 articles, 50 unique studies were eligible, including 25 studies in populations limited to heart failure (HF) that included 5768 patients, 21 in general populations that included 10 445 patients, and 4 in unique populations. Fifteen studies lasted up to 30 days while most others lasted 6 to 24 months. Based on regression analyses, readmissions declined by an average of 12.1% among patients with HF (95% CI, 8.3%-15.9%; P < .001; based on 22 studies with complete data) and by 6.3% among general populations (95% CI, 4.0%-8.7%; P < .001; 18 studies). The mean net savings to the health system per patient was $972 among patients with HF (95% CI, -$642 to $2586; P = .23; 24 studies), and the mean net loss was $169 among general populations (95% CI

  1. Clinical and economic impact of a quality improvement initiative to enhance early recognition and treatment of sepsis.

    PubMed

    Judd, William R; Stephens, Dana M; Kennedy, Charles A

    2014-10-01

    Studies evaluating the clinical effectiveness of sepsis screening tools and methods to improve the time from diagnosis to antibiotic administration are needed to improve sepsis-related outcomes. To evaluate the clinical and economic impact of a sepsis quality improvement initiative to improve early recognition and treatment of sepsis. A retrospective observational study of adults with sepsis was performed in a 433-bed tertiary medical center. Baseline data were collected for 181 patients with sepsis diagnosis-related group (DRG) coding assignments from July through September 2013. The intervnetion group included 216 patients from October through December 2013. A First-Dose STAT Antibiotic policy was developed, and nurses were instructed to complete an electronic sepsis screening tool once per shift. Primary outcomes included in-hospital mortality and intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay (LOS). Secondary outcomes included overall LOS and cost per case. Nonsignificant decreases in overall LOS (7.43 ± 5.68 days vs 6.77 ± 5 days; P = 0.138) and in-hospital mortality (13.8% vs 8.8%; P = 0.113) were observed in patients with sepsis DRGs. Early recognition and treatment contributed to significant reductions in ICU LOS (5.85 ± 4.38 days vs 4.21 ± 3.64 days; P = 0.003) and total cost per case ($14 378 vs $12 311; P = 0.033). The percentage of highest disease-severity DRG coding assignments decreased from 7.9% to 0%. Strategies to improve early recognition and treatment of sepsis, including routine use of an electronic sepsis screening tool and implementation of a First-Dose STAT Antibiotic policy, contributed to significant reductions in ICU LOS and cost per case. © The Author(s) 2014.

  2. Needs-gap analysis on culturally and linguistically diverse grandparent carers' 'hidden issues': a quality improvement project.

    PubMed

    Sepulveda, Mercedes; Henderson, Saras; Farrell, Dana; Heuft, Gaby

    2016-02-01

    In Australia, a significant number of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) grandparents are sole carers for their grandchildren. Available information on the impact of caring on CALD grandparents and the ability of service providers to respond to their needs is limited. Our needs-gap analysis quality improvement project aimed to uncover 'hidden issues' for CALD grandparent carers so that services can be improved. One hundred service providers, such as community and aged-care services, child and/or grandparent support services and CALD-specific services, were approached using six structured questions. Six consultative forums on the caring role, issues encountered, and what needed to be done, were conducted with African, Asian, Spanish, Middle Eastern, European, Pacific Island and Maori grandparent carers in Queensland. The data were qualitatively analysed. Six themes emerged: 1) service provider and grandparent carer perception that there was limited research on CALD grandparents; 2) inadequate legal and financial support; 3) barriers to accessing information; 4) lack of childcare options; 5) transport difficulties; and 6) inadequate technological skills. Our findings provide insight to health service providers on the 'hidden issues' so that they can better assist CALD grandparent carers by improving access to relevant information, referrals and resources.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  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. Diagnostic needle arthroscopy and the economics of improved diagnostic accuracy: a cost analysis.

    PubMed

    Voigt, Jeffrey D; Mosier, Michael; Huber, Bryan

    2014-10-01

    Hundreds of thousands of surgical arthroscopy procedures are performed annually in the United States (US) based on MRI findings. There are situations where these MRI findings are equivocal or indeterminate and because of this clinicians commonly perform the arthroscopy in order not to miss pathology. Recently, a less invasive needle arthroscopy system has been introduced that is commonly performed in the physician office setting and that may help improve the accuracy of diagnostic findings. This in turn may prevent unnecessary follow-on arthroscopy procedures from being performed. The purpose of this analysis is to determine whether the in-office diagnostic needle arthroscopy system can provide cost savings by reducing unnecessary follow on arthroscopy procedures. Data obtained from a recent trial and from a systematic review were used in comparing the accuracy of MRI and VisionScope needle arthroscopy (VSI) with standard arthroscopy (gold standard). The resultant false positive and false negative findings were then used to evaluate the costs of follow-on procedures. These differences were then modeled for the US patient population diagnosed and treated for meniscal knee pathology (most common disorder) to determine if a technology such as VSI could save the US healthcare system money. Data on surgical arthroscopy procedures in the US for meniscal knee pathology were used (calendar year [CY] 2010). The costs of performing diagnostic and surgical arthroscopy procedures (using CY 2013 Medicare reimbursement amounts), costs associated with false negative findings, and the costs for treating associated complications arising from diagnostic and therapeutic arthroscopy procedures were assessed. In patients presenting with medial meniscal pathology (International Classification of Diseases, 9th edition, Clinical Modification [ICD9CM] diagnosis 836.0), VSI in place of MRI (standard of care) resulted in a net cost savings to the US system of US$115-US$177 million (CY 2013

  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. 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,…

  9. 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…

  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. 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

  12. Cancer rehabilitation may improve function in survivors and decrease the economic burden of cancer to individuals and society.

    PubMed

    Silver, Julie K; Baima, Jennifer; Newman, Robin; Galantino, Mary Lou; Shockney, Lillie D

    2013-01-01

    Cancer and its treatment may cause physical impairments and psychological distress in survivors. Rehabilitation is a critical component of quality cancer care, returning survivors to their highest functional potential. This overview focuses on the benefits of multidisciplinary cancer rehabilitation - including improving physical function, reducing psychological distress, promoting return to work and, therefore, decreasing the economic burden of cancer and its treatment on individuals and society in general. Relevant literature was identified through a search of the PubMed database and reviewed for its relevance to cancer rehabilitation and the topic of this article. Search terms included, but were not limited to, cancer rehabilitation, cancer prehabilitation, disability, return to work, employment, and unemployment. Cancer survivors are less likely to be employed and take more sick leave than workers without a history of cancer. Pain, musculoskeletal issues, deconditioning, fatigue, balance, psychosocial issues, and lymphedema are most amenable to rehabilitation. Overall health and the need for work accommodations must be addressed in order to improve return to work and subsequent productivity in cancer survivors. Survivors are usually best served by a multidisciplinary care team comprising members who can address the myriad impairments affecting survivor function.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Improved clinical and economic outcomes in severe bronchiolitis with pre-emptive nCPAP ventilatory strategy.

    PubMed

    Essouri, Sandrine; Laurent, Marie; Chevret, Laurent; Durand, Philippe; Ecochard, Emmanuelle; Gajdos, Vincent; Devictor, Denis; Tissières, Pierre

    2014-01-01

    Severe bronchiolitis is the leading cause of admission to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) has become the primary respiratory support, replacing invasive mechanical ventilation (MV). Our objective was to evaluate the economic and clinical consequences following implementation of this respiratory strategy in our unit. This was a retrospective cohort analysis of 525 infants with bronchiolitis requiring respiratory support and successively treated during two distinct periods with invasive MV between 1996 and 2000, P1 (n = 193) and nCPAP between 2006 and 2010, P2 (n = 332). Costs were estimated using the hospital cost billing reports. Patients' baseline characteristics were similar between the two periods. P2 is associated with a significant decrease in the length of ventilation (LOV) (4.1 ± 3.5 versus 6.9 ± 4.6 days, p < 0.001), PICU length of stay (LOS) (6.2 ± 4.6 versus 9.7 ± 5.5 days, p < 0.001) and hospital LOS. nCPAP was independently associated with a shorter duration of ventilatory support than MV (hazard ratio 1.8, 95% CI 1.5-2.2, p < 0.001). nCPAP was also associated with a significant decrease in ventilation-associated complications, and less invasive management. The mean cost of acute viral bronchiolitis-related PICU hospitalizations was significantly decreased, from 17,451 to 11,205 € (p < 0.001). Implementation of nCPAP led to a reduction of the total annual cost of acute viral bronchiolitis hospitalizations of 715,000 €. nCPAP in severe bronchiolitis is associated with a significant improvement in patient management as shown by the reduction in invasive care, LOV, PICU LOS, hospital LOS, and economic burden.

  16. An economic analysis of adherence engineering to improve use of best practices during central line maintenance procedures.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Richard E; Angelovic, Aaron W; Nelson, Scott D; Gleed, Jeremy R; Drews, Frank A

    2015-05-01

    Adherence engineering applies human factors principles to examine non-adherence within a specific task and to guide the development of materials or equipment to increase protocol adherence and reduce human error. Central line maintenance (CLM) for intensive care unit (ICU) patients is a task through which error or non-adherence to protocols can cause central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs). We conducted an economic analysis of an adherence engineering CLM kit designed to improve the CLM task and reduce the risk of CLABSI. We constructed a Markov model to compare the cost-effectiveness of the CLM kit, which contains each of the 27 items necessary for performing the CLM procedure, compared with the standard care procedure for CLM, in which each item for dressing maintenance is gathered separately. We estimated the model using the cost of CLABSI overall ($45,685) as well as the excess LOS (6.9 excess ICU days, 3.5 excess general ward days). Assuming the CLM kit reduces the risk of CLABSI by 100% and 50%, this strategy was less costly (cost savings between $306 and $860) and more effective (between 0.05 and 0.13 more quality-adjusted life-years) compared with not using the pre-packaged kit. We identified threshold values for the effectiveness of the kit in reducing CLABSI for which the kit strategy was no longer less costly. An adherence engineering-based intervention to streamline the CLM process can improve patient outcomes and lower costs. Patient safety can be improved by adopting new approaches that are based on human factors principles.

  17. Improvement of wheat straw anaerobic digestion through alkali pre-treatment: Carbohydrates bioavailability evaluation and economic feasibility.

    PubMed

    Romero-Güiza, Maycoll Stiven; Wahid, Radziah; Hernández, Verónica; Møller, Henrik; Fernández, Belén

    2017-04-09

    Lignocellulosic biomasses such as wheat straw are widely used as a feedstock for biogas production. However, these biomasses are mainly composed of a compact fibre structure and therefore, it is recommended to treat them prior to its usage for biogas production in order to improve their bioavailability. The aim of this work is to evaluate, in terms of performance stability, methane yield and economic feasibility, two different scenarios: a mesophilic codigestion of wheat straw and animal manure with or without a low-energy demand alkaline pre-treatment (0.08gKOHgTS(-1)of wheat straw, for 24h and at 25°C). Besides this, said pre-treatment was also analysed based on the improvement of the bioavailable carbohydrate content in the untreated versus the pre-treated wheat straw. The results pointed out that pre-treated wheat straw prompted a more stable performance (in terms of pH and alkalinity) and an improved methane yield (128% increment) of the mesophilic codigestion process, in comparison to the "untreated" scenario. The pre-treatment increased the content of cellulose, hemicellulose and other compounds (waxes, pectin, oil, etc.) in the liquid fraction, from 5% to 60%, from 11.5% to 39.1% TS and from 57% to 79% of the TS in the liquid fraction for the untreated and pre-treated wheat straws, respectively. Finally, the pre-treated scenario gained an energy surplus of a factor 13.5 and achieved a positive net benefit of 90.4€tVS-WS(-1)d(-1), being a favourable case for an eventual scale-up of the combined process.

  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. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Water transfer and major environmental provisions of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act: A preliminary economic evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loomis, John B.

    1994-06-01

    Increasing block water pricing, water transfer, and wildlife refuge water supply provisions of the Central Valley Project (CVP) Improvement Act are analyzed in terms of likely farmer response and economic efficiency of these provisions. Based on a simplified partial equilibrium analysis, we estimate small, but significant water conservation savings due to pricing reform, the potential for substantial water transfers to non-CVP customers in severe drought years when the water price exceeds 110 per acre foot (1 acre foot equals 1.234 × 103 m3) and positive net benefits for implementation of the wildlife refuge water supply provisions. The high threshold water price is partly a result of requiring farmers to pay full cost on transferred water plus a surcharge of 25 per acre foot if the water is transferred to a non-CVP user. The act also sets an important precedent for water pricing reform, water transfer provisions, and environmental surcharges on water users that may find their way to other Bureau of Reclamation projects.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Butters, Janice M.; Winter, Paul A.

    2002-01-01

    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. PMID:12078931

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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.…

  10. 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.…

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Badawy, Sherif M; Kuhns, Lisa M

    2016-10-25

    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. 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. 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. 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. 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 tools in adolescents with CHCs.

  13. Utilizing the Wikidata System to Improve the Quality of Medical Content in Wikipedia in Diverse Languages: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Pfundner, Alexander; Schönberg, Tobias; Horn, John; Boyce, Richard D

    2015-01-01

    Background Wikipedia is an important source of medical information for both patients and medical professionals. Given its wide reach, improving the quality, completeness, and accessibility of medical information on Wikipedia could have a positive impact on global health. Objective We created a prototypical implementation of an automated system for keeping drug-drug interaction (DDI) information in Wikipedia up to date with current evidence about clinically significant drug interactions. Our work is based on Wikidata, a novel, graph-based database backend of Wikipedia currently in development. Methods We set up an automated process for integrating data from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) high priority DDI list into Wikidata. We set up exemplary implementations demonstrating how the DDI data we introduced into Wikidata could be displayed in Wikipedia articles in diverse languages. Finally, we conducted a pilot analysis to explore if adding the ONC high priority data would substantially enhance the information currently available on Wikipedia. Results We derived 1150 unique interactions from the ONC high priority list. Integration of the potential DDI data from Wikidata into Wikipedia articles proved to be straightforward and yielded useful results. We found that even though the majority of current English Wikipedia articles about pharmaceuticals contained sections detailing contraindications, only a small fraction of articles explicitly mentioned interaction partners from the ONC high priority list. For 91.30% (1050/1150) of the interaction pairs we tested, none of the 2 articles corresponding to the interacting substances explicitly mentioned the interaction partner. For 7.21% (83/1150) of the pairs, only 1 of the 2 associated Wikipedia articles mentioned the interaction partner; for only 1.48% (17/1150) of the pairs, both articles contained explicit mentions of the interaction partner. Conclusions Our prototype

  14. Utilizing the Wikidata system to improve the quality of medical content in Wikipedia in diverse languages: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Pfundner, Alexander; Schönberg, Tobias; Horn, John; Boyce, Richard D; Samwald, Matthias

    2015-05-05

    Wikipedia is an important source of medical information for both patients and medical professionals. Given its wide reach, improving the quality, completeness, and accessibility of medical information on Wikipedia could have a positive impact on global health. We created a prototypical implementation of an automated system for keeping drug-drug interaction (DDI) information in Wikipedia up to date with current evidence about clinically significant drug interactions. Our work is based on Wikidata, a novel, graph-based database backend of Wikipedia currently in development. We set up an automated process for integrating data from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) high priority DDI list into Wikidata. We set up exemplary implementations demonstrating how the DDI data we introduced into Wikidata could be displayed in Wikipedia articles in diverse languages. Finally, we conducted a pilot analysis to explore if adding the ONC high priority data would substantially enhance the information currently available on Wikipedia. We derived 1150 unique interactions from the ONC high priority list. Integration of the potential DDI data from Wikidata into Wikipedia articles proved to be straightforward and yielded useful results. We found that even though the majority of current English Wikipedia articles about pharmaceuticals contained sections detailing contraindications, only a small fraction of articles explicitly mentioned interaction partners from the ONC high priority list. For 91.30% (1050/1150) of the interaction pairs we tested, none of the 2 articles corresponding to the interacting substances explicitly mentioned the interaction partner. For 7.21% (83/1150) of the pairs, only 1 of the 2 associated Wikipedia articles mentioned the interaction partner; for only 1.48% (17/1150) of the pairs, both articles contained explicit mentions of the interaction partner. Our prototype demonstrated that automated updating of medical content

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Economic evaluation of an intervention program with the aim to improve at-work productivity for workers with rheumatoid arthritis.

    PubMed

    Noben, Cindy; Vilsteren, Myrthe van; Boot, Cécile; Steenbeek, Romy; Schaardenburg, Dirkjan van; Anema, Johannes R; Evers, Silvia; Nijhuis, Frans; Rijk, Angelique de

    2017-05-25

    Evaluating the cost effectiveness and cost utility of an integrated care intervention and participatory workplace intervention for workers with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to improve their work productivity. Twelve month follow-up economic evaluation alongside a randomized controlled trial (RCT) within specialized rheumatology treatment centers. Adults diagnosed with RA between 18-64 years, in a paid job for at least eight hours per week, experiencing minor difficulties in work functioning were randomized to the intervention (n = 75) or the care-as-usual (CAU) group (n = 75). Effect outcomes were productivity and quality of life (QALYs). Costs associated with healthcare, patient and family, productivity, and intervention were calculated from a societal perspective. Cost effectiveness and cost utility were assessed to indicate the incremental costs and benefits per additional unit of effect. Subgroup and sensitivity analyses evaluated the robustness of the findings. At-work productivity loss was about 4.6 hours in the intervention group and 3.5 hours in the care as usual (CAU) group per two weeks. Differences in QALY were negligible; 0.77 for the CAU group and 0.74 for the intervention group. In total, average costs after twelve months follow-up were highest in the intervention group (€7,437.76) compared to the CAU group (€5,758.23). The cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analyses show that the intervention was less effective and (often) more expensive when compared to CAU. Sensitivity analyses supported these findings. The integrated care intervention and participatory workplace intervention for workers with RA provides gains neither in productivity at the workplace nor in quality of life. These results do not justify the additional costs.

  18. 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.

  19. An Economic Optimization Model for Improving the Efficiency of Vitamin A Interventions: An Application to Young Children in Cameroon.

    PubMed

    Vosti, Stephen A; Kagin, Justin; Engle-Stone, Reina; Brown, Kennth H

    2015-09-01

    Vitamin A (VA) intervention programs in developing countries do not generally consider spatial differences in needs or in intervention costs. New data from Cameroon reveal nonuniform spatial distributions of VA deficiency among young children and of costs of some of the programs designed to address them. We develop a spatially explicit, intertemporal economic optimization tool that makes use of subnational dietary intake data and VA intervention program costs to identify more efficient sets of interventions to improve VA nutrition among young children aged 6 to 59 months in Cameroon. The model suggests substantial changes in the composition and geographic foci of VA intervention programs vis-à-vis a business-as-usual scenario. National VA-fortified edible oil and bouillon cube programs are cost-effective, even when start-up costs are considered. High-dosage VA supplementation delivered via Child Health Days is most cost-effective in the North macro-region, where needs are greatest and the cost per child effectively covered is lowest. Overall, the VA intervention programs suggested by the optimization model are approximately 44% less expensive, with no change in the total number of children effectively covered nationwide. The VA intervention programs should consider spatial and temporal differences in needs and in the expected benefits and costs of alternative VA interventions. Doing so will require spatially disaggregated strategies and the data and political will to support them, longer planning time horizons than are currently used in most developing countries, and long-term funding commitments. © The Author(s) 2015.

  20. Economic evaluation of an intervention program with the aim to improve at-work productivity for workers with rheumatoid arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Noben, Cindy; van Vilsteren, Myrthe; Boot, Cécile; Steenbeek, Romy; van Schaardenburg, Dirkjan; Anema, Johannes R.; Evers, Silvia; Nijhuis, Frans; de Rijk, Angelique

    2017-01-01

    Objectives: Evaluating the cost effectiveness and cost utility of an integrated care intervention and participatory workplace intervention for workers with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to improve their work productivity. Methods: Twelve month follow-up economic evaluation alongside a randomized controlled trial (RCT) within specialized rheumatology treatment centers. Adults diagnosed with RA between 18-64 years, in a paid job for at least eight hours per week, experiencing minor difficulties in work functioning were randomized to the intervention (n = 75) or the care-as-usual (CAU) group (n = 75). Effect outcomes were productivity and quality of life (QALYs). Costs associated with healthcare, patient and family, productivity, and intervention were calculated from a societal perspective. Cost effectiveness and cost utility were assessed to indicate the incremental costs and benefits per additional unit of effect. Subgroup and sensitivity analyses evaluated the robustness of the findings. Results: At-work productivity loss was about 4.6 hours in the intervention group and 3.5 hours in the care as usual (CAU) group per two weeks. Differences in QALY were negligible; 0.77 for the CAU group and 0.74 for the intervention group. In total, average costs after twelve months follow-up were highest in the intervention group (€7,437.76) compared to the CAU group (€5,758.23). The cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analyses show that the intervention was less effective and (often) more expensive when compared to CAU. Sensitivity analyses supported these findings. Discussion: The integrated care intervention and participatory workplace intervention for workers with RA provides gains neither in productivity at the workplace nor in quality of life. These results do not justify the additional costs. PMID:28381814

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. Valuing Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Fryer, Roland G.; Loury, Glenn C.

    2014-01-01

    This paper explores the economics of diversity-enhancing policies. A model is proposed in which heterogeneous agents, distinguished by skill level and social identity, purchase productive opportunities in a competitive market. We analyze policies designed to raise the status of a disadvantaged identity group. When agent identity is contractible, efficient policy grants preferred access to slots but offers no direct assistance for acquiring skills. When identity is not contractible, efficient policy provides universal subsidies to skill development when the fraction of the disadvantaged group at the skill development margin is larger than their share at the slot assignment margin. PMID:25525280

  5. Workplace diversity: a leadership challenge. Managing diversity is a social, financial, and moral imperative.

    PubMed

    Lappetito, J

    1994-03-01

    Fostering workplace diversity is about building an organizational culture that embraces personal differences and encourages heterogeneous persons to work together toward a common end. Setting in motion the transition to a more inclusive and productive workplace is an uncommon challenge and the primary responsibility of leaders, especially in Catholic healthcare. The origins of diversity can be found in creation itself. Not only are we united as a people of God and as members of the body of Christ, we are bound together through our shared humanity. Three values are especially relevant to promoting diversity in the workplace: respect for human dignity, the common good, and distributive justice as participation in the common good. Economic incentives strengthen the theological and moral motives for developing a diverse work force. Organizations' financial success will depend ultimately on how well diversity is integrated into the organizational culture. As a process, managing diversity enables healthcare leaders to discover new ways to develop the potential of all employees and at the same time improve performance and production. At the heart of managing diversity lies the reform of internal systems, structures, and processes. Managing diversity also requires the transformation of the organization's culture. Initiatives that are useful for setting a positive future course include conducting a cultural audit, establishing a cultural diversity task force, and putting in place a diversity "champion" who is accountable directly to the chief executive officer.

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Consideration of the haplotype diversity at nonallelic homologous recombination hotspots improves the precision of rearrangement breakpoint identification.

    PubMed

    Hillmer, Morten; Summerer, Anna; Mautner, Victor-Felix; Högel, Josef; Cooper, David N; Kehrer-Sawatzki, Hildegard

    2017-09-01

    Precise characterization of nonallelic homologous recombination (NAHR) breakpoints is key to identifying those features that influence NAHR frequency. Until now, analysis of NAHR-mediated rearrangements has generally been performed by comparison of the breakpoint-spanning sequences with the human genome reference sequence. We show here that the haplotype diversity of NAHR hotspots may interfere with breakpoint-mapping. We studied the transmitting parents of individuals with germline type-1 NF1 deletions mediated by NAHR within the paralogous recombination site 1 (PRS1) or paralogous recombination site 2 (PRS2) hotspots. Several parental wild-type PRS1 and PRS2 haplotypes were identified that exhibited considerable sequence differences with respect to the reference sequence, which also affected the number of predicted PRDM9-binding sites. Sequence comparisons between the parental wild-type PRS1 or PRS2 haplotypes and the deletion breakpoint-spanning sequences from the patients (method #2) turned out to be an accurate means to assign NF1 deletion breakpoints and proved superior to crude reference sequence comparisons that neglect to consider haplotype diversity (method #1). The mean length of the deletion breakpoint regions assigned by method #2 was 269-bp in contrast to 502-bp by method #1. Our findings imply that paralog-specific haplotype diversity of NAHR hotspots (such as PRS2) and population-specific haplotype diversity must be taken into account in order to accurately ascertain NAHR-mediated rearrangement breakpoints. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-23

    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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  16. Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Implications for Transition Personnel. Essential Tools: Improving Secondary Education and Transition for Youth with Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leake, David; Black, Rhonda

    2005-01-01

    This volume in NCSET's Essential Tools series summarizes current research about transition issues and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) youth with disabilities. It offers information on how transition personnel can effectively support these youth by building on their strengths and enhancing natural supports available within their…

  17. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  2. Economic evaluation of interventions delivered by primary care providers to improve neurodevelopment in children aged under 5 years: protocol for a scoping review.

    PubMed

    Edmond, Karen M; Strobel, Natalie A; McAuley, Kimberley; Geelhoed, Elizabeth; Hurt, Lisa

    2017-03-21

    Frequently cited benefit-cost ratios suggest that interventions to improve neurodevelopment have high economic returns when implemented during pregnancy and early childhood. However, there are many challenges when primary care providers implement these interventions at scale, and it is unclear how many research studies or programmes have examined cost-effectiveness and which methods were used. There are no current scoping or systematic reviews which have assessed economic evaluations of interventions delivered by primary care providers to improve child neurodevelopment. The aim of this review is to describe the economic evaluations of interventions delivered by primary care providers to improve neurodevelopment in children aged 0-4 years. Specific subgroup analyses will include income level of country (high, middle and low); population type (universal vs targeted); time period when intervention was implemented (antenatal vs infancy [0-11 months] vs early childhood [12-59 months]); and setting (research study vs programmes evaluation at scale). All study designs will be included. The primary outcomes of interest are cost per neurodevelopmental or cognitive health gain in children aged 0-4 years. All measures of cost, neurodevelopment or cognitive function that have been previously validated as an appropriate test in this domain will be included. Databases such as MEDLINE (OVID), PsycINFO (OVID), EMBASE (OVID), CINAHL, Cochrane Library (including CENTRAL, DARE, HTA and NHS EED), Paediatric Economic Database Evaluation (PEDE) and WHO databases and reference lists of papers will be searched for relevant articles. Five phases will be followed: identifying the research question, identifying relevant studies, study selection, charting data and collating, summarising and reporting results. We will present cost and effectiveness data descriptively. This review appears to be the first to be conducted in this area. The findings will be an important resource for future

  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. Metro nature, environmental health, and economic value.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Kathleen L; Robbins, Alicia S T

    2015-05-01

    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. We demonstrate the numerous opportunities for future research efforts that link metro nature, human health and well-being outcomes, and economic values. 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. 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. 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.

  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. 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…

  7. 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…

  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. Creating a front porch in systems of care: improving access to behavioral health services for diverse children and families.

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

    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 their families in a culturally competent manner. This paper provides support for inclusion of the concepts of access and availability in the system of care definition and presents important factors that systems of care must take into account in order to increase access in a culturally competent manner, a core system of care value.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Reduced Mass and Diversity of the Colonic Microbiome in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis and Their Improvement with Ketogenic Diet.

    PubMed

    Swidsinski, Alexander; Dörffel, Yvonne; Loening-Baucke, Vera; Gille, Christoph; Göktas, Önder; Reißhauer, Anne; Neuhaus, Jürgen; Weylandt, Karsten-Henrich; Guschin, Alexander; Bock, Markus

    2017-01-01

    Background: Colonic microbiome is thought to be involved in auto-immune multiple sclerosis (MS). Interactions between diet and the colonic microbiome in MS are unknown. Methods: We compared the composition of the colonic microbiota quantitatively in 25 MS patients and 14 healthy controls.Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with 162 ribosomal RNA derived bacterial FISH probes was used. Ten of the MS patients received a ketogenic diet for 6 months. Changes in concentrations of 35 numerically substantial bacterial groups were monitored at baseline and at 2, 12, and 23/24 weeks. Results: No MS typical microbiome pattern was apparent.The total concentrations and diversity of substantial bacterial groups were reduced in MS patients (P < 0.001). Bacterial groups detected with EREC (mainly Roseburia), Bac303 (Bacteroides), and Fprau (Faecalibacterium prausnitzii) probes were diminished the most. The individual changes were multidirectional and inconsistent. The effects of a ketogenic diet were biphasic. In the short term, bacterial concentrations and diversity were further reduced. They started to recover at week 12 and exceeded significantly the baseline values after 23-24 weeks on the ketogenic diet. Conclusions: Colonic biofermentative function is markedly impaired in MS patients.The ketogenic diet normalized concentrations of the colonic microbiome after 6 months.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  14. 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.

  15. Tumor-Infiltrating Merkel Cell Polyomavirus-Specific T Cells Are Diverse and Associated with Improved Patient Survival. | Office of Cancer Genomics

    Cancer.gov

    Tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells are associated with improved survival of patients with Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), an aggressive skin cancer causally linked to Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV). However, CD8+ T-cell infiltration is robust in only 4% to 18% of MCC tumors. We characterized the T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire restricted to one prominent epitope of MCPyV (KLLEIAPNC, "KLL") and assessed whether TCR diversity, tumor infiltration, or T-cell avidity correlated with clinical outcome.

  16. The evolution of the cancer formulary review in Canada: Can centralization improve the use of economic evaluation?

    PubMed

    Wranik, W Dominika; Gambold, Liesl; Hanson, Natasha; Levy, Adrian

    2017-04-01

    Public reimbursement of drugs is a costly proposition for health care systems. Decisions to add drugs to the public formulary are often guided by review processes and committees. The evolution of the formulary review process in Canada's publicly funded health system is characterized by increased centralization and systematization. In the past, the review of evidence and recommendation was conducted at the regional level, but was replaced with the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review in 2011. We assess the extent to which centralization and systematization of the review process have responded to past challenges, focusing on the use of economic evaluation in the process. Past challenges with economic evaluation experienced by regionalized review committees were identified from literature and qualitative data collected in the province of Nova Scotia. We categorize these using a typology with a macro-, meso, and micro-level hierarchy, which provides a useful framework for understanding at which level change is required, and who has the authority to influence change. Using grounded theory methods, we identify approaches used by Nova Scotia past committee members to compensate for perceived shortcomings of the process. These include an undue reliance on other committee members, on the multidisciplinarity of the committee, and on past decisions. Using a policy analysis approach, we argue that centralization and systematization of the review process only partially address the shortcomings of the previous regionalized process. Lessons from Canada can inform policy discussions across all health systems, where similar challenges with the formulary review process have been identified. © 2016 The Authors. The International Journal of Health Planning and Management published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. © 2016 The Authors. The International Journal of Health Planning and Management published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. 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

  18. Costs and outcomes of improving population health through better social housing: a cohort study and economic analysis.

    PubMed

    Bray, Nathan; Burns, Paul; Jones, Alice; Winrow, Eira; Edwards, Rhiannon Tudor

    2017-06-13

    We sought to determine the impact of warmth-related housing improvements on the health, well-being, and quality of life of families living in social housing. An historical cohort study design was used. Households were recruited by Gentoo, a social housing contractor in North East England. Recruited households were asked to complete a quality of life, well-being, and health service use questionnaire before receiving housing improvements (new energy-efficient boiler and double-glazing) and again 12 months afterwards. Data were collected from 228 households. The average intervention cost was £3725. At 12-month post-intervention, a 16% reduction (-£94.79) in household 6-month health service use was found. Statistically significant positive improvements were observed in main tenant and household health status (p < 0.001; p = 0.009, respectively), main tenant satisfaction with financial situation (p = 0.020), number of rooms left unheated per household (p < 0.001), frequency of household outpatient appointments (p = 0.001), and accident/emergency department attendance (p < 0.012). Warmth-related housing improvements may be a cost-effective means of improving the health of social housing tenants and reducing health service expenditure, particularly in older populations.

  19. Improvement of the Koradi parallel algorithm for molecular dynamics and application to the economic organization and optimization of recycling costs of waste electrical and electronic equipment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabria, I.; Queiruga, D.

    2005-09-01

    A parallel algorithm for molecular dynamics, MD, the Koradi point-centered decomposition algorithm, especially designed for inhomogeneous systems, is improved and applied to the organization and optimization of recycling costs of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, WEEE, and also to systems of atoms. This organization requires the numbers and locations of storage centers and recycling plants of the WEEE that minimize the recycling cost. The Koradi algorithm finds these optimal numbers and locations, dealing very fast with large numbers of data, in contrast with other methods. The changes of the original algorithm (different ways of generating the initial centers and especially the requirement of location convergence) improve its performance for this economic problem and also for MD simulations.

  20. 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.

  1. Improved ethanol yield and reduced minimum ethanol selling price (MESP) by modifying low severity dilute acid pretreatment with deacetylation and mechanical refining: 2) Techno-economic analysis

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Our companion paper discussed the yield benefits achieved by integrating deacetylation, mechanical refining, and washing with low acid and low temperature pretreatment. To evaluate the impact of the modified process on the economic feasibility, a techno-economic analysis (TEA) was performed based on the experimental data presented in the companion paper. Results The cost benefits of dilute acid pretreatment technology combined with the process alternatives of deacetylation, mechanical refining, and pretreated solids washing were evaluated using cost benefit analysis within a conceptual modeling framework. Control cases were pretreated at much lower acid loadings and temperatures than used those in the NREL 2011 design case, resulting in much lower annual ethanol production. Therefore, the minimum ethanol selling prices (MESP) of the control cases were $0.41-$0.77 higher than the $2.15/gallon MESP of the design case. This increment is highly dependent on the carbohydrate content in the corn stover. However, if pretreatment was employed with either deacetylation or mechanical refining, the MESPs were reduced by $0.23-$0.30/gallon. Combing both steps could lower the MESP further by $0.44 ~ $0.54. Washing of the pretreated solids could also greatly improve the final ethanol yields. However, the large capital cost of the solid–liquid separation unit negatively influences the process economics. Finally, sensitivity analysis was performed to study the effect of the cost of the pretreatment reactor and the energy input for mechanical refining. A 50% cost reduction in the pretreatment reactor cost reduced the MESP of the entire conversion process by $0.11-$0.14/gallon, while a 10-fold increase in energy input for mechanical refining will increase the MESP by $0.07/gallon. Conclusion Deacetylation and mechanical refining process options combined with low acid, low severity pretreatments show improvements in ethanol yields and calculated MESP for cellulosic

  2. Improved ethanol yield and reduced minimum ethanol selling price (MESP) by modifying low severity dilute acid pretreatment with deacetylation and mechanical refining: 2) Techno-economic analysis.

    PubMed

    Tao, Ling; Chen, Xiaowen; Aden, Andy; Kuhn, Eric; Himmel, Michael E; Tucker, Melvin; Franden, Mary Ann A; Zhang, Min; Johnson, David K; Dowe, Nancy; Elander, Richard T

    2012-09-11

    Our companion paper discussed the yield benefits achieved by integrating deacetylation, mechanical refining, and washing with low acid and low temperature pretreatment. To evaluate the impact of the modified process on the economic feasibility, a techno-economic analysis (TEA) was performed based on the experimental data presented in the companion paper. The cost benefits of dilute acid pretreatment technology combined with the process alternatives of deacetylation, mechanical refining, and pretreated solids washing were evaluated using cost benefit analysis within a conceptual modeling framework. Control cases were pretreated at much lower acid loadings and temperatures than used those in the NREL 2011 design case, resulting in much lower annual ethanol production. Therefore, the minimum ethanol selling prices (MESP) of the control cases were $0.41-$0.77 higher than the $2.15/gallon MESP of the design case. This increment is highly dependent on the carbohydrate content in the corn stover. However, if pretreatment was employed with either deacetylation or mechanical refining, the MESPs were reduced by $0.23-$0.30/gallon. Combing both steps could lower the MESP further by $0.44 ~ $0.54. Washing of the pretreated solids could also greatly improve the final ethanol yields. However, the large capital cost of the solid-liquid separation unit negatively influences the process economics. Finally, sensitivity analysis was performed to study the effect of the cost of the pretreatment reactor and the energy input for mechanical refining. A 50% cost reduction in the pretreatment reactor cost reduced the MESP of the entire conversion process by $0.11-$0.14/gallon, while a 10-fold increase in energy input for mechanical refining will increase the MESP by $0.07/gallon. Deacetylation and mechanical refining process options combined with low acid, low severity pretreatments show improvements in ethanol yields and calculated MESP for cellulosic ethanol production.

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Vulnerability- and Diversity-Aware Anonymization of Personally Identifiable Information for Improving User Privacy and Utility of Publishing Data

    PubMed Central

    Majeed, Abdul; Ullah, Farman; Lee, Sungchang

    2017-01-01

    Personally identifiable information (PII) affects individual privacy because PII combinations may yield unique identifications in published data. User PII such as age, race, gender, and zip code contain private information that may assist an adversary in determining the user to whom such information relates. Each item of user PII reveals identity differently, and some types of PII are highly identity vulnerable. More vulnerable types of PII enable unique identification more easily, and their presence in published data increases privacy risks. Existing privacy models treat all types of PII equally from an identity revelation point of view, and they mainly focus on hiding user PII in a crowd of other users. Ignoring the identity vulnerability of each type of PII during anonymization is not an effective method of protecting user privacy in a fine-grained manner. This paper proposes a new anonymization scheme that considers the identity vulnerability of PII to effectively protect user privacy. Data generalization is performed adaptively based on the identity vulnerability of PII as well as diversity to anonymize data. This adaptive generalization effectively enables anonymous data, which protects user identity and private information disclosures while maximizing the utility of data for performing analyses and building classification models. Additionally, the proposed scheme has low computational overheads. The simulation results show the effectiveness of the scheme and verify the aforementioned claims. PMID:28481298

  7. 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.

  8. Improving Academic Achievement, but at What Cost? The Demands of Diversity and Equity at Birch Middle School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castagno, Angelina E.

    2008-01-01

    This case focuses on an urban middle school that has recently seen much improvement in the academic performance of its students and its reputation within the community. These positive changes, however, have come about largely because of what might be perceived as a narrow focus on standardized curricula, pedagogy, and assessment techniques.…

  9. Comprehensively Measuring Health-Related Subjective Well-Being: Dimensionality Analysis for Improved Outcome Assessment in Health Economics.

    PubMed

    de Vries, Marieke; Emons, Wilco H M; Plantinga, Arnoud; Pietersma, Suzanne; van den Hout, Wilbert B; Stiggelbout, Anne M; van den Akker-van Marle, M Elske

    2016-01-01

    Allocation of inevitably limited financial resources for health care requires assessment of an intervention's effectiveness. Interventions likely affect quality of life (QOL) more broadly than is measurable with commonly used health-related QOL utility scales. In line with the World Health Organization's definition of health, a recent Delphi procedure showed that assessment needs to put more emphasis on mental and social dimensions. To identify the core dimensions of health-related subjective well-being (HR-SWB) for a new, more comprehensive outcome measure. We formulated items for each domain of an initial Delphi-based set of 21 domains of HR-SWB. We tested these items in a large sample (N = 1143) and used dimensionality analyses to find a smaller number of latent factors. Exploratory factor analysis suggested a five-factor model, which explained 65% of the total variance. Factors related to physical independence, positive affect, negative affect, autonomy, and personal growth. Correlations between the factors ranged from 0.19 to 0.59. A closer inspection of the factors revealed an overlap between the newly identified core dimensions of HR-SWB and the validation scales, but the dimensions of HR-SWB also seemed to reflect additional aspects. This shows that the dimensions of HR-SWB we identified go beyond the existing health-related QOL instruments. We identified a set of five key dimensions to be included in a new, comprehensive measure of HR-SWB that reliably captures these dimensions and fills in the gaps of the existent measures used in economic evaluations. Copyright © 2016 International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. NutriBee Intervention Improves Diet and Psychosocial Outcomes by Engaging Early Adolescents from Diverse and Disadvantaged Communities.

    PubMed

    Kohlstadt, Ingrid; Gittelsohn, Joel; Fang, Yu

    2016-07-01

    NutriBee was the first clinical nutrition intervention designed to bring the Institute of Medicine recommendations for 20 hours of experiential nutrition-themed learning to grades 4-7 into club and camp settings. We piloted NutriBee to assess acceptability and impact among early adolescents in diverse and disadvantaged communities in order to evaluate its future potential as a group medical nutrition intervention. Nine communities across Guam, Maryland, Michigan, and New Mexico representing South Pacific Island, American Indian, urban African American, recently immigrated Hispanic, and rural Caucasian ethnic groups piloted NutriBee in nonclinical settings (clubs, schools, camps). The 6 club and camp pilots administered consenting NutriBee participants a 41-question pre-post survey assessing impact on food selection and the psychosocial parameters of intentions, outcome expectations, self-efficacy, and knowledge. Process measures included dose, fidelity, and acceptability questions. Pre- and postsurveys were completed by 170 of 179 (95%) consenting, eligible participants. Impact scores increased significantly (p < 0.001): Food selection behavior (+9.3%), intentions (+19.1%), outcome expectations (+15.1%), self-efficacy (+7.4%), and knowledge (+17.6%). Each pilot (n = 6) demonstrated significant (p < 0.001) impact, a mean dose delivered of 80% (16 hours) or higher, and an acceptability score of at least 74%. Girls participating in girl-only programs (n = 72) shared greater impact than girls in coed programs (n = 41; 13.6% vs. 10.4% mean score increase, p = 0.05). NutriBee successfully extended the impact of an IOM-aligned intervention to club and camp settings to which clinicians can refer at-risk early adolescents.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. Co-creating a Peer Education program to improve skin health in older people from diverse communities: An innovation in health promotion.

    PubMed

    Ogrin, Rajna; Brasher, Kathleen; Occleston, Jessica; Byrne, Jennifer

    2017-06-01

    Chronic wounds, debilitating and costly to manage, are more common in older people. Prevention is possible through improving skin health. We developed, implemented and evaluated an innovative health promotion program to improve skin health of older adults. A one-hour, peer education program was co-created and delivered to culturally diverse community-dwelling older people. A mixed-methods evaluation approach comprised objective measures of skin health and barrier function at commencement and six weeks posteducation, and focus groups posteducation. Seventy-three participants participated in the study (mean age 74.38 ± 11.80 years). Hydration significantly improved at follow-up for English speaking participants (t(27) = -2.90, P = 0.007). The majority of participants reported the education to be informative and useful in supporting behaviour changes. The peer education program improved skin hydration in older English speaking individuals. Peer education may effectively deliver health promotion information in some groups. © 2017 AJA Inc.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Saunders, Gary W; McDevit, Daniel C

    2013-03-16

    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. 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. 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 morphology-based field

  20. Improving dietary diversity of school adolescents through school based nutrition education and home gardening in Jimma Zone: Quasi-experimental design.

    PubMed

    Tamiru, Dessalegn; Argaw, Alemayehu; Gerbaba, Mulusew; Nigussie, Aderajew; Ayana, Girmay; Belachew, Tefera

    2016-12-01

    The purpose of this operational study was to assess the effectiveness school-based health and nutrition intervention supported with backyard gardening on the dietary diversity among school adolescents. A total of 1000 school adolescents from 10 to 19years were selected randomly. The intervention involved peer-led behavior change communication and health promotion through school media and health clubs. Data were collected at baseline, midline and end-line using structured questionnaires. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to determine the independent effect of interventions. There was a significant increment of proportion of school children consuming diversified diet among the intervention group from 34.8% at baseline through 65.6% at midline to 74.7% at the end-line (p<0.001). Among control group, there was no change from midline (49.4%) to endline (48.8%), though there was a change from baseline (32.1%) to midline (49.4%). A significant difference of dietary diversity intake was observed between intervention and control groups at midline (F=5.64, p=0.042) and endline (F=5.85, p<0.001) survey. Being in the intervention school (OR=2.55 [1.55, 3.50]), being a boy (OR=1.75 [1.91, 2.56]) and having farmer mothers (OR=2.58 [1.01, 6.87]) were independent positive predictors of a diversified diet intake. However, having a mother who attended secondary schools were inversely associated (OR=0.25 [0.06, 0.97]) with consuming a diversified diet. Findings of this study demonstrated that there was a significant improvement in dietary diversity of adolescents in intervention schools. The results imply that school based nutrition education should be a part of comprehensive school health programs to reach students and potentially their families. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.