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Sample records for affords cross-clade protection

  1. MVA-based H5N1 vaccine affords cross-clade protection in mice against influenza A/H5N1 viruses at low doses and after single immunization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joost H C M Kreijtz

    Full Text Available Human infections with highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses of the H5N1 subtype, frequently reported since 2003, result in high morbidity and mortality. It is feared that these viruses become pandemic, therefore the development of safe and effective vaccines is desirable. MVA-based H5N1 vaccines already proved to be effective when two immunizations with high doses were used. Dose-sparing strategies would increase the number of people that can be vaccinated when the amount of vaccine preparations that can be produced is limited. Furthermore, protective immunity is induced ideally after a single immunization. Therefore the minimal requirements for induction of protective immunity with a MVA-based H5N1 vaccine were assessed in mice. To this end, mice were vaccinated once or twice with descending doses of a recombinant MVA expressing the HA gene of influenza virus A/Vietnam/1194/04. The protective efficacy was determined after challenge infection with the homologous clade 1 virus and a heterologous virus derived from clade 2.1, A/Indonesia/5/05 by assessing weight loss, virus replication and histopathological changes. It was concluded that MVA-based vaccines allowed significant dose-sparing and afford cross-clade protection, also after a single immunization, which are favorable properties for an H5N1 vaccine candidate.

  2. An anti-HIV-1 V3 loop antibody fully protects cross-clade and elicits T-cell immunity in macaques mucosally challenged with an R5 clade C SHIV.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer D Watkins

    Full Text Available Neutralizing antibodies have been shown to protect macaques against SHIV challenge. However, genetically diverse HIV-1 clades have evolved, and a key question left unanswered is whether neutralizing antibodies can confer cross-clade protection in vivo. The novel human monoclonal antibody HGN194 was isolated from an individual infected with an HIV-1 clade AG recombinant circulating recombinant form (CRF. HGN194 targets an epitope in the third hypervariable loop (V3 of HIV-1 gp120 and neutralizes a range of relatively neutralization-sensitive and resistant viruses. We evaluated the potential of HGN194 to protect infant rhesus monkeys against a SHIV encoding a primary CCR5-tropic HIV-1 clade C envelope. After high-dose mucosal challenge, all untreated controls became highly viremic while all HGN194-treated animals (50 mg/kg were completely protected. When HGN194 was given at 1 mg/kg, one out of two monkeys remained aviremic, whereas the other had delayed, lower peak viremia. Interestingly, all protected monkeys given high-dose HGN194 developed Gag-specific proliferative responses of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. To test whether generation of the latter involved cryptic infection, we ablated CD8+ cells after HGN194 clearance. No viremia was detected in any protected monkeys, thus ruling out virus reservoirs. Thus, induction of CD8 T-cell immunity may have resulted from transient "Hit and Run" infection or cross priming via Ag-Ab-mediated cross-presentation. Together, our data identified the HGN194 epitope as protective and provide proof-of-concept that this anti-V3 loop mAb can prevent infection with sterilizing immunity after challenge with virus of a different clade, implying that V3 is a potential vaccine target.

  3. Immunologic protection afforded by sunscreens in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, V; Morris, J F; Chu, A C

    1997-06-01

    Several studies have suggested a lack of correlation between sunscreen sun protection factor and protection of the skin immune system, potentially allowing greater damage to the skin by removing the natural protective erythemal response to sun exposure. Despite this, routine testing of immune protection afforded by sunscreens is not performed by industry. Current laboratory methods for investigating the efficacy of sunscreen protection of epidermal immune function use the induction of contact hypersensitivity or epidermal cell alloantigen presentation. Animal models, cell culture systems, and in vivo human studies are commonly employed, but all these systems have significant drawbacks for use in routine testing. The purpose of this study was to develop an in vitro system for testing the immunologic protection afforded by sunscreens in human skin. Five test sunscreens plus a vehicle control were tested in a "blind" fashion for their in vitro level of immune protection. Creams were applied in a standard manner to human whole skin explants and were irradiated over a range of physiologic doses using an Oriel solar simulator. A mixed epidermal lymphocyte reaction was used to quantify epidermal alloantigen-presenting capacity, in the presence or absence of test cream, for five explants. Results consistently demonstrated that all the test sunscreens protected beyond their designated sun protection factors, whereas the vehicle conferred no protection. The explant-mixed epidermal lymphocyte reaction system gave consistent, reproducible results and may prove useful for the allocation of an immune protection factor to all sunscreens. PMID:9182811

  4. Crashworthy Seats Would Afford Superior Protection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gohmert, Dustin

    2009-01-01

    Seats to prevent or limit crash injuries to astronauts aboard the crew vehicle of the Orion spacecraft are undergoing development. The design of these seats incorporates and goes beyond crash-protection concepts embodied in prior spacecraft and racing-car seats to afford superior protection against impacts. Although the seats are designed to support astronauts in a recumbent, quasi-fetal posture that would likely not be suitable for non-spacecraft applications, parts of the design could be adapted to military and some civilian aircraft seats and to racing car seats to increase levels of protection. The main problem in designing any crashworthy seat is to provide full support of the occupant against anticipated crash and emergency-landing loads so as to safely limit motion, along any axis, of any part of the occupant s body relative to (1) any other part of the occupant s body, (2) the spacecraft or other vehicle, and (3) the seat itself. In the original Orion spacecraft application and in other applications that could easily be envisioned, the problem is complicated by severe limits on space available for the seat, a requirement to enable rapid egress by the occupant after a crash, and a requirement to provide for fitting of the seat to a wide range of sizes and shapes of a human body covered by a crash suit, space suit, or other protective garment. The problem is further complicated by other Orion-application-specific requirements that must be omitted here for the sake of brevity. To accommodate the wide range of crewmember body lengths within the limits on available space in the original Orion application, the design provides for taller crewmembers to pull their legs back closer toward their chests, while shorter crewmembers can allow their legs to stretch out further. The range of hip-support seat adjustments needed to effect this accommodation, as derived from NASA s Human Systems Integration Standard, was found to define a parabolic path along which the knees

  5. Armour Protection and Affordable Protection for Futuristic Combat Vehicles

    OpenAIRE

    V. Madhu; T. Balakrishna Bhat

    2011-01-01

    Protection creates a shift in the internal paradigm of the soldier and leads to multiplied psychological stamina for moving fearlessly in the battlefield which generates a major force-multiplier effect. Hence, the mechanized forces are still likely to be one of the dominant forces on the futuristic battlefield and would be the primary target of enemy forces capable of engaging from tank guns up to 4-5 km in a direct fire mode and up to 8-10 km in an indirect fire modes. Increased protection i...

  6. Armour Protection and Affordable Protection for Futuristic Combat Vehicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Madhu

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Protection creates a shift in the internal paradigm of the soldier and leads to multiplied psychological stamina for moving fearlessly in the battlefield which generates a major force-multiplier effect. Hence, the mechanized forces are still likely to be one of the dominant forces on the futuristic battlefield and would be the primary target of enemy forces capable of engaging from tank guns up to 4-5 km in a direct fire mode and up to 8-10 km in an indirect fire modes. Increased protection is possible only using advanced armour technology. Throughout the history of warfare, materials technologies have had a significant impact on land-combat force capabilities. Armour materials have progressed through improvements in metallic systems and development of advanced, lightweight (low areal density composite materials. The advancements in ceramic systems have further improved the performance. Similarly, the advances in development of explosive reactive armour has generated efficient armour system against all contemporary high explosive antitank (HEAT ammunition and missile threats for armoured vehicles. Yet, to achieve armour performance exceeding that of the current light combat vehicles and main battle tanks for new vehicular systems, weighing significantly less than the present combat vehicles, advances in new armour materials, systems, and survivability technologies are required. This paper describes various approaches and advancements in the metallic, ceramic, and composite armour materials and new dynamic armour systems that are essential to improve the survivability of armoured vehicles in the futurisitic multi-spectral battlefied scenarios.Defence Science Journal, 2011, 61(4, pp.394-402, DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.14429/dsj.61.365

  7. Bioassay of thermal protection afforded by candidate flight suit fabrics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knox, F S; Wachtel, T L; McCahan, G R

    1979-10-01

    The United States Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (USAARL) porcine cutaneous bioassay technique was used to determine what mitigating effect four thermally protective flight suit fabrics would have on fire-induced skin damage. The fabrics were 4.8-ox twill weave Nomex aramide, 4.5-oz stabilized twill weave polybenzimidazole, 4.8-oz plain weave experimental high-temperature polymer (HT4), and 4.8-oz plain weave Nomex aramide (New Weave Nomex or NWN). Each fabric sample was assayed 20 times in each of four configurations: as a single layer in contact with the skin; as a single layer with a 6.35 mm (0.25 in) air gap between fabric and skin; in conjuction with a cotton T-shirt with no air gaps; and, finally, in conjuction with a T-shirt with a 6.35 mm air gap between T-shirt and fabric. Bare skin was used as a control. A JP-4 fueled furnace was used as a thermal source and was adjested to deliver a mean heat flux of 3.07 cal/cm2/s. The duration of exposure was 5 s. Four hundred burn sites were graded using clinical observation and microscopic techniques. Used as single layers, none of the fabrics demonstrated superiority in providing clinically significant protection. When used with a cotton T-shirt, protection was improved. Protection improved progressively for all fabrics and configuration when an air gap was introduced. The experimental high-temperature polymer consistently demonstrated lower heat flux transmission in all configurations, but did not significantly reduce clinical burns. PMID:518445

  8. 76 FR 41929 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Standards Related to Reinsurance, Risk Corridors and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-15

    ... E--Health Insurance Issuer Standards Related to the Transitional Reinsurance Program F. Subpart F... July 15, 2011 Part III Department of Health and Human Services 45 CFR Part 153 Patient Protection and... OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 45 CFR Part 153 RIN 0938-AR07 Patient Protection and Affordable Care...

  9. 16 CFR 1061.8 - Information on the heightened degree of protection afforded.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 16 Commercial Practices 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Information on the heightened degree of protection afforded. 1061.8 Section 1061.8 Commercial Practices CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION GENERAL APPLICATIONS FOR EXEMPTION FROM PREEMPTION § 1061.8 Information on the heightened degree of protection...

  10. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: The Role of the School Nurse. Position Statement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Combe, Laurie G.; Sharpe, Susan; Feeser, Cynthia Jo; Ondeck, Lynnette; Fekaris, Nina

    2015-01-01

    It is the position of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) that the registered professional school nurse (hereinafter referred to as school nurse) serves a vital role in the delivery of health care to our nation's students within the healthcare system reshaped by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, commonly known as…

  11. 78 FR 54069 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Program Integrity: Exchange, SHOP, and Eligibility...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-30

    ...; Exchange Standards for Employers, 77 FR 18310 (March 27, 2012). \\2\\ Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Standards Related to Reinsurance, Risk Corridors and Risk Adjustment, 77 FR 17220 (March 23, 2012... and Amendments to the HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2014, 78 FR 15410 and...

  12. Cross-clade neutralizing antibodies against HIV-1 induced in rabbits by focusing the immune response on a neutralizing epitope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Studies were performed to induce cross-clade neutralizing antibodies (Abs) by testing various combinations of prime and boost constructs that focus the immune response on structurally-conserved epitopes in the V3 loop of HIV-1 gp120. Rabbits were immunized with gp120 DNA containing a V3 loop characterized by the GPGR motif at its tip, and/or with gp120 DNA with a V3 loop carrying the GPGQ motif. Priming was followed by boosts with V3-fusion proteins (V3-FPs) carrying the V3 sequence from a subtype B virus (GPGR motif), and/or with V3 sequences from subtypes A and C (GPGQ motif). The broadest and most consistent neutralizing responses were generated when using a clade C gp120 DNA prime and with the V3B-FP boost. Immune sera displayed neutralizing activity in three assays against pseudoviruses and primary isolates from subtypes A, AG, B, C, and D. Polyclonal Abs in the immune rabbit sera neutralized viruses that were not neutralized by pools of human anti-V3 monoclonal Abs. Greater than 80% of the neutralizing Abs were specific for V3, showing that the immune response could be focused on a neutralizing epitope and that vaccine-induced anti-V3 Abs have cross-clade neutralizing activity.

  13. Atomic force microscopy imaging reveals the formation of ASIC/ENaC cross-clade ion channels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeggle, Pia; Smith, Ewan St. J.; Stewart, Andrew P. [Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1PD (United Kingdom); Haerteis, Silke; Korbmacher, Christoph [Institut für Zelluläre und Molekulare Physiologie, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Waldstrasse 6, 91054 Erlangen (Germany); Edwardson, J. Michael, E-mail: jme1000@cam.ac.uk [Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1PD (United Kingdom)

    2015-08-14

    ASIC and ENaC are co-expressed in various cell types, and there is evidence for a close association between them. Here, we used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to determine whether ASIC1a and ENaC subunits are able to form cross-clade hybrid ion channels. ASIC1a and ENaC could be co-isolated from detergent extracts of tsA 201 cells co-expressing the two subunits. Isolated proteins were incubated with antibodies against ENaC and Fab fragments against ASIC1a. AFM imaging revealed proteins that were decorated by both an antibody and a Fab fragment with an angle of ∼120° between them, indicating the formation of ASIC1a/ENaC heterotrimers. - Highlights: • There is evidence for a close association between ASIC and ENaC. • We used AFM to test whether ASIC1a and ENaC subunits form cross-clade ion channels. • Isolated proteins were incubated with subunit-specific antibodies and Fab fragments. • Some proteins were doubly decorated at ∼120° by an antibody and a Fab fragment. • Our results indicate the formation of ASIC1a/ENaC heterotrimers.

  14. Patient navigator programs, cancer disparities, and the patient protection and affordable care act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moy, Beverly; Chabner, Bruce A

    2011-01-01

    Patients in vulnerable population groups suffer disproportionately from cancer. The elimination of cancer disparities is critically important for lessening the burden of cancer. Patient navigator programs have been shown to improve clinical outcomes. Among its provisions relevant to disparities in cancer care, The Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act authorizes continued funding of patient navigator programs. However, given the current economic and political environment, this funding is in jeopardy. This article describes patient navigator programs and summarizes the elements of the health care law that are relevant to these programs. It is vital that the entire oncology community remain committed to leading efforts toward the improvement of cancer care among our most vulnerable patients. PMID:21804070

  15. Experiments for the validation of computer codes uses to assess the protection factors afforded by dwellings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Two experimental campaigns were carried out to verify: 1) the method of assessing the mean kerma in a household used in the computer code BILL calculating the protection factor afforded by dwellings; 2) in what conditions the kerma calculated in cubic meshes of a given size (code PIECE) agreed with TLD measurements. To that purpose, a house was built near the caesium 137 source of the Ecosystem irradiator located at the Cadarache Nuclear Research Center. During the first campaign, four experiments with different house characteristics were conducted. Some 50 TLSs locations describing the inhabitable volume were defined in order to obtain the mean kerma. 16 locations were considered outside the house. During the second campaign a cobalt 60 source was installed on the side. Only five measurement locations were defined, each with 6 TLDs. The results of dosimetric measurements are presented and compared with the calculations of the two computer codes. The effects of wall heterogeneity were also studied

  16. 78 FR 42823 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Exchange Functions: Standards for Navigators and Non...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-17

    ... choice of affordable health insurance, and give small businesses the same purchasing power as large... referrals to consumer assistance programs (CAPs) and health insurance ombudsmen for enrollees with... inform consumers about the Exchange and insurance affordability programs to encourage participation....

  17. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: the victory of unorthodox lawmaking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaussier, Anne-Laure

    2012-10-01

    The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was a major legislative achievement of the 111th Congress. This law structurally reforms the US health care system by encouraging universal health care coverage through regulated competition among private insurance companies. When looking at the process for reform, what strikes an observer of US health care policy in the first place is that the Democratic majority was able to enact something in a political field characterized by strong resistance to change. This article builds on that observation. Arguments concentrate on the legislative process of the reform and support the idea that it may be partly explained by considering an evolution of US legislative institutions, mostly in the sense of a more centralized legislative process. Based on approximately one hundred semidirected interviews, I argue that the Democratic majority, building on lessons from both President Bill Clinton's health care reform attempt and the Republicans' strategy of using strong congressional leadership to pass social reforms, was able to overcome institutional constraints that have long prevented comprehensive change. A more centralized legislative process, which has been described as "unorthodox lawmaking," enabled the Democratic leadership to overcome multiple institutional and political veto players. PMID:22700946

  18. A systems thinking approach to analysis of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, John C

    2015-01-01

    The public health community is challenged with understanding the many complexities presented by systems thinking and its applications in systems modeling. The model presented encompasses multiple variables needed (eg, model building) for the construction of a conceptual system model of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The model tracks the ACA from inception, through passage, March 2010, to its current state. Justification for the need to reform the current health care system rests, in part, on the heels of social justice. Proponents of the ACA have long argued that health reform was needed by the millions of uninsured person who suffered from health disparities, took little advantage of health prevention advice, and faced issues of access to providers as well as insurers. In addition the ACA seeks to address our uncontrollable spending on health care delivery. This article highlights the ACA from a systems perspective. The conceptual model presented encompasses both health reform variables (eg, health care provisions, key legislative components, system environment) and system variables (eg, inputs, outputs, feedback, and throughput) needed to understand current health care reform efforts from a systems perspective. The model presented shows how the interrelationships and interconnections of elements of a system come together to achieve its purpose or goal. PMID:25414950

  19. Health Education Specialists' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceptions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strong, Jessica; Hanson, Carl L; Magnusson, Brianna; Neiger, Brad

    2016-03-01

    The changing landscape of health care as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) may provide new opportunities for health education specialists (HES). The purpose of this study was to survey HES in the United States on their knowledge and attitudes of the ACA and assess their perceptions of job growth under the law. A random sample of 220 (36% response rate) certified HES completed a 53-item cross sectional survey administered online through Qualtrics. Findings were compared to public opinion on health care reform. HES are highly favorable of the law (70%) compared to the general public (23%). A total of 85% of respondents were able to list a provision of the ACA, and most (81%) thought the ACA would be successful at increasing insured Americans. Over half (64.6%) believe job opportunities will increase. Those who viewed the law favorably were significantly more likely to score better on a knowledge scale related to the ACA. HES understand publicized provisions but are uncertain about common myths and specific provisions related to Title IV, "Prevention of Chronic Disease and Improving Public Health." Directed and continuing education to HES regarding the ACA is warranted. PMID:26272884

  20. The Yeast Homolog of Heme Oxygenase-1 Affords Cellular Antioxidant Protection via the Transcriptional Regulation of Known Antioxidant Genes*

    OpenAIRE

    Collinson, Emma J.; Wimmer-Kleikamp, Sabine; Gerega, Sebastien K.; Yang, Yee Hwa; Parish, Christopher R.; Dawes, Ian W.; Stocker, Roland

    2010-01-01

    Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) degrades heme and protects cells from oxidative challenge. This antioxidant activity is thought to result from the HO-1 enzymatic activity, manifested by a decrease in the concentration of the pro-oxidant substrate heme, and an increase in the antioxidant product bilirubin. Using a global transcriptional approach, and yeast as a model, we show that HO-1 affords cellular protection via up-regulation of transcripts encoding enzymes involved in cellular antioxidant defens...

  1. 78 FR 13405 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Health Insurance Market Rules; Rate Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-27

    ... Care Act; Health Insurance Market Rules; Rate Review'' (77 FR 70584). These standards apply to health... grandfathered health insurance coverage. \\3\\ The applicable definitions for ``individual market,'' ``small group... Affordable Care Act. \\4\\ See 45 CFR 144.103 for definitions of ``plan year'' and ``policy year.'' These...

  2. 77 FR 17219 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Standards Related to Reinsurance, Risk Corridors and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-23

    ... health insurance premium stabilization programs (that is, reinsurance, risk corridors, and risk... and the RFC, where relevant. On July 15, 2011, we published in the Federal Register (76 FR 41950-41956... Affordable Care Act; Standards Related to Reinsurance, Risk Corridors and Risk Adjustment; Final Rule...

  3. Evaluation of doses and protection afforded by dwellings against atmospheric releases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Le Grand, J.; Roux, Y. (CEA Centre d' Etudes Nucleaires de Fontenay-aux-Roses, 92 (France). Inst. de Protection et de Surete Nucleaire); Patau, J.P. (Toulouse-3 Univ., 31 (France). Faculte de Pharmacie)

    1985-01-01

    A computer program library allowing complete simulation of photon transport for a radioactive cloud surrounding a simplified dwelling and a human phantom are described. Results on radiation spectra, doses and protection factors are presented.

  4. Biochemical analysis of plant protection afforded by a nonpathogenic endophytic mutant of Colletotrichum magna

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Redman, R.S.; Rodriguez, R.J. (Geological Survey, Seattle, WA (United States) Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States). Dept. of Botany); Clifton, D.R.; Morrel, J.; Brown, G. (Geological Survey, Seattle, WA (United States)); Freeman, S. (Volcani Center, Bet Dagan (Israel). Dept. of Plant Pathology)

    1999-02-01

    A nonpathogenic mutant of Colletotrichum magna (path-1) was previously shown to protect watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) and cucumber (Cucumis sativus) seedlings from anthracnose disease elicited by wild-type C. magna. Disease protection was observed in stems of path-1-colonized cucurbits but not in cotyledons, indicating that path-1 conferred tissue-specific and/or localized protection. Plant biochemical indicators of a localized and systemic (peroxidase, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, lignin, and salicylic acid) plant-defense response were investigated in anthracnose-resistant and-susceptible cultivars of cucurbit seedlings exposed to four treatments: (1) water (control), (2) path-1 conidia, (3) wild-type conidia, and (4) challenge conditions (inoculation into path-1 conidia for 48 h and then exposure to wild-type conidia). Collectively, these analyses indicated that disease protection in path-1-colonized plants was correlated with the ability of these plants to mount a defense response more rapidly and to equal or greater levels than plants exposed to wild-type C. magna alone. Watermelon plants colonized with path-1 were also protected against disease caused by Colletotrichum orbiculare and Fusarium oxysporum. A model based on the kinetics of plant-defense activation is presented to explain the mechanism of path-1-conferred disease protection.

  5. 77 FR 67865 - Enhancing Protections Afforded Customers and Customer Funds Held by Futures Commission Merchants...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-14

    ... procedures for computing a targeted amount required under the new risk management provisions in Sec. 1.11... customer protections, risk management programs, internal monitoring and controls, capital and liquidity... better risk management systems and controls, along with an increase in risk-oriented oversight...

  6. High School Youth and Suicide Risk: Exploring Protection Afforded through Physical Activity and Sport Participation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taliaferro, Lindsay A.; Rienzo, Barbara A.; Miller, M. David; Pigg, R. Morgan, Jr.; Dodd, Virginia J.

    2008-01-01

    Background: Suicide ranks as the third leading cause of death for adolescents. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that the adolescent suicide rate increased 18% between 2003 and 2004. Sport may represent a promising protective factor against adolescent suicide. This study examined the relative risk of…

  7. 78 FR 65045 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Program Integrity: Exchange, Premium Stabilization...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-30

    ... Federal Register on March 11, 2013 (78 FR 15541), related to risk corridors and cost-sharing reduction... Reinsurance, Risk Corridors and Risk Adjustment, 77 FR 17220 (March 23, 2012). \\3\\ Patient Protection and... Integrity: Exchange, SHOP, Premium Stabilization Programs, and Market Standards'' (78 FR 37032),...

  8. 77 FR 70583 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Health Insurance Market Rules; Rate Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-26

    ... the United States, 2007: Results of a National Study, The American Journal of Medicine, Vol. 122, No... have a lower premium, protect against high out-of-pocket costs, and cover recommended preventive... final rule with comment period (76 FR 29964), to implement the annual review ] of unreasonable...

  9. KCNMA1 encoded cardiac BK channels afford protection against ischemia-reperfusion injury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Soltysinska, Ewa; Bentzen, Bo Hjorth; Barthmes, Maria;

    2014-01-01

    Mitochondrial potassium channels have been implicated in myocardial protection mediated through pre-/postconditioning. Compounds that open the Ca2+- and voltage-activated potassium channel of big-conductance (BK) have a pre-conditioning-like effect on survival of cardiomyocytes after ischemia....../reperfusion injury. Recently, mitochondrial BK channels (mitoBKs) in cardiomyocytes were implicated as infarct-limiting factors that derive directly from the KCNMA1 gene encoding for canonical BKs usually present at the plasma membrane of cells. However, some studies challenged these cardio-protective roles of mito......BKs. Herein, we present electrophysiological evidence for paxilline- and NS11021-sensitive BK-mediated currents of 190 pS conductance in mitoplasts from wild-type but not BK-/- cardiomyocytes. Transmission electron microscopy of BK-/- ventricular muscles fibres showed normal ultra-structures and matrix...

  10. Blackberry subjected to in vitro gastrointestinal digestion affords protection against Ethyl Carbamate-induced cytotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Wei; Xu, Yang; Zhang, Lingxia; Su, Hongming; Zheng, Xiaodong

    2016-12-01

    Ethyl Carbamate (EC) was detected in many fermented foods. Previous studies indicated that frequent exposure to ethyl carbamate may increase the risk to suffer from cancers. Blackberry is rich in polyphenols and possesses potent antioxidant activity. This study aims to investigate the protective effect of blackberry homogenates produced before (BH) and after in vitro simulated gastrointestinal digestion (BD) on EC-induced toxicity in Caco-2 cells. Our results showed that blackberry homogenates after digestion (BD) was more effective than that before digestion (BH) in ameliorating EC-induced toxicity in Caco-2 cells. Further investigation revealed that BD remarkably attenuated EC-induced toxicity through restoring mitochondrial function, inhibiting glutathione depletion and decreasing overproduction of intracellular reactive oxygen species. Additionally, LC-MS result implied that the better protective capacity of BD may be related to the increased content of two anthocyanins (cyanidin-3-glucoside and cyanidin-3-dioxalyglucoside). Overall, the present study may give implication to prevent EC-induced health problem. PMID:27374576

  11. Cancer testis antigen vaccination affords long-term protection in a murine model of ovarian cancer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurizio Chiriva-Internati

    Full Text Available Sperm protein (Sp17 is an attractive target for ovarian cancer (OC vaccines because of its over-expression in primary as well as in metastatic lesions, at all stages of the disease. Our studies suggest that a Sp17-based vaccine can induce an enduring defense against OC development in C57BL/6 mice with ID8 cells, following prophylactic and therapeutic treatments. This is the first time that a mouse counterpart of a cancer testis antigen (Sp17 was shown to be expressed in an OC mouse model, and that vaccination against this antigen significantly controlled tumor growth. Our study shows that the CpG-adjuvated Sp17 vaccine overcomes the issue of immunologic tolerance, the major barrier to the development of effective immunotherapy for OC. Furthermore, this study provides a better understanding of OC biology by showing that Th-17 cells activation and contemporary immunosuppressive T-reg cells inhibition is required for vaccine efficacy. Taken together, these results indicate that prophylactic and therapeutic vaccinations can induce long-standing protection against OC and delay tumor growth, suggesting that this strategy may provide additional treatments of human OC and the prevention of disease onset in women with a family history of OC.

  12. The affordances of broken affordances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grünbaum, Martin Gielsgaard; Simonsen, Jakob Grue

    2015-01-01

    We consider the use of physical and virtual objects having one or more affordances associated to simple interactions with them. Based on Kaptelinin and Nardi’s notion of instrumental affordance, we investigate what it means to break an affordance, and the two ensuing questions we deem most...... important: how users may (i) achieve their goals in the presence of such broken affordances, and may (ii) repurpose or otherwise interact with artefacts with broken affordances. We argue that (A) thorough analyses of breakdowns of affordances and their associated signifiers and feedbacks have implication...

  13. Network Affordances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Samson, Audrey; Soon, Winnie

    2015-01-01

    This paper examines the notion of network affordance within the context of network art. Building on Gibson's theory (Gibson, 1979) we understand affordance as the perceived and actual parameters of a thing. We expand on Gaver's affordance of predictability (Gaver, 1996) to include ecological...... and computational parameters of unpredictability. We illustrate the notion of unpredictability by considering four specific works that were included in a network art exhibiton, SPEED SHOW [2.0] Hong Kong. The paper discusses how the artworks are contingent upon the parameteric relations (Parisi, 2013......), of the network. We introduce network affordance as a dynamic framework that could articulate the experienced tension arising from the (visible) symbolic representation of computational processes and its hidden occurrences. We base our proposal on the experience of both organising the SPEED SHOW and participating...

  14. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010: reforming the health care reform for the new decade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manchikanti, Laxmaiah; Caraway, David L; Parr, Allan T; Fellows, Bert; Hirsch, Joshua A

    2011-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the ACA, for short) became law with President Obama's signature on March 23, 2010. It represents the most significant transformation of the American health care system since Medicare and Medicaid. It is argued that it will fundamentally change nearly every aspect of health care, from insurance to the final delivery of care. The length and complexity of the legislation and divisive and heated debates have led to massive confusion about the impact of ACA. It also became one of the centerpieces of 2010 congressional campaigns. Essentials of ACA include: 1) a mandate for individuals and businesses requiring as a matter of law that nearly every American have an approved level of health insurance or pay a penalty; 2) a system of federal subsidies to completely or partially pay for the now required health insurance for about 34 million Americans who are currently uninsured - subsidized through Medicaid and exchanges; 3) extensive new requirements on the health insurance industry; and 4) numerous regulations on the practice of medicine. The act is divided into 10 titles. It contains provisions that went into effect starting on June 21, 2010, with the majority of provisions going into effect in 2014 and later. The perceived major impact on practicing physicians in the ACA is related to growing regulatory authority with the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). In addition to these specifics is a growth of the regulatory regime in association with further discounts in physician reimbursement. With regards to cost controls and projections, many believe that the ACA does not fix the finances of our health care system - neither public nor private. It has been suggested that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the administration have used creative accounting to arrive at an alleged deficit reduction; however, if everything is included appropriately and

  15. Affordances revisited

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dohn, Nina Bonderup

    2009-01-01

    argued, is a problem for both design and empirical research. Because HCI discussions of the concept have informed CSCL, views presented within this discourse are discussed. A Merleau-Pontian account of affordances is developed, building on his view of the human being as always already being-in-the world...

  16. Protection Afforded by Fluoroquinolones in Animal Models of Respiratory Infections with Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, and Francisella tularensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Johnny W; Moen, Scott T; Healy, Daniel; Pawlik, Jennifer E; Taormina, Joanna; Hardcastle, Jason; Thomas, John M; Lawrence, William S; Ponce, Cindy; Chatuev, Bagram M; Gnade, Bryan T; Foltz, Sheri M; Agar, Stacy L; Sha, Jian; Klimpel, Gary R; Kirtley, Michelle L; Eaves-Pyles, Tonyia; Chopra, Ashok K

    2010-01-01

    Successful treatment of inhalation anthrax, pneumonic plague and tularemia can be achieved with fluoroquinolone antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin, and initiation of treatment is most effective when administered as soon as possible following exposure. Bacillus anthracis Ames, Yersinia pestis CO92, and Francisella tularensis SCHU S4 have equivalent susceptibility in vitro to ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin (minimal inhibitory concentration is 0.03 μg/ml); however, limited information is available regarding in vivo susceptibility of these infectious agents to the fluoroquinolone antibiotics in small animal models. Mice, guinea pig, and rabbit models have been developed to evaluate the protective efficacy of antibiotic therapy against these life-threatening infections. Our results indicated that doses of ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin required to protect mice against inhalation anthrax were approximately 18-fold higher than the doses of levofloxacin required to protect against pneumonic plague and tularemia. Further, the critical period following aerosol exposure of mice to either B. anthracis spores or Y. pestis was 24 h, while mice challenged with F. tularensis could be effectively protected when treatment was delayed for as long as 72 h postchallenge. In addition, it was apparent that prolonged antibiotic treatment was important in the effective treatment of inhalation anthrax in mice, but short-term treatment of mice with pneumonic plague or tularemia infections were usually successful. These results provide effective antibiotic dosages in mice, guinea pigs, and rabbits and lay the foundation for the development and evaluation of combinational treatment modalities. PMID:21127743

  17. American Society of Clinical Oncology policy statement: opportunities in the patient protection and affordable care act to reduce cancer care disparities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moy, Beverly; Polite, Blase N; Halpern, Michael T; Stranne, Steven K; Winer, Eric P; Wollins, Dana S; Newman, Lisa A

    2011-10-01

    Patients in specific vulnerable population groups suffer disproportionately from cancer. The elimination of cancer disparities is critically important for lessening the burden of cancer. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides both opportunities and challenges for addressing cancer care disparities and access to care. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) advocates for policies that ensure access to cancer care for the underserved. Such policies include insurance reform and the reduction of economic barriers to quality health care. Building on ASCO's prior statement on disparities in cancer care (2009), this article summarizes elements of the health care law that are relevant to cancer disparities and provides recommendations for addressing major provisions in the law. It outlines specific strategies to address insurance reform, access to care, quality of care, prevention and wellness, research on health care disparities, and diversity in the health care workforce. ASCO is committed to leading efforts toward the improvement of cancer care among the most vulnerable patients. PMID:21810680

  18. Influenza A vaccines using linear expression cassettes delivered via electroporation afford full protection against challenge in a mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Xuefei; Söderholm, Jonas; Lin, Feng; Kobinger, Gary; Bello, Alexander; Gregg, Derek A; Broderick, Kate E; Sardesai, Niranjan Y

    2012-11-01

    Alternative DNA vaccine constructs such as fully synthetic linear expressing cassettes (LECs) offer the advantage of accelerated manufacturing techniques as well as the lack of both antibiotic resistance genes and bacterial contaminants. The speed of manufacture makes LEC technology a possible future vaccination strategy for pandemic influenza outbreaks. Previously, we reported on a novel concept of DNA delivery to dermal tissue by a minimally invasive electroporation (EP) surface device powered using low voltage parameters. This device allows electroporation without penetration of electrodes into the skin. In addition to enhancing the delivery of traditional plasmid DNA vaccines, this device may also offer a safe, tolerable and efficient method to administer LECs. To assess immunogenicity and efficacy of EP-enhanced LEC delivery in mice, we designed and tested two influenza antigens in the form of LEC constructs delivered using the newly developed surface dermal EP device. Strong CTL and antibody responses were induced by the LEC versions of the DNA vaccine. When challenged with A/Canada/AB/RV1532/2009 viruses, mice immunized with LEC encoding the M2 and NP antigens recovered faster than naïve or mice immunized ID without EP. Mice immunized with equal-molar doses of LEC encoding the M2 and NP antigens demonstrated 100% survival following a lethal (100× LD50) challenge of the heterologuos and highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza virus (A/Vietnam/1203/04). These results suggest that influenza DNA vaccines based on LEC technology combined with the surface delivery platform are capable of fully protecting mice in a lethal challenge and the LEC based DNA constructs may serve as viable vaccine candidates. PMID:22406460

  19. Involvement of Proteasome and Macrophages M2 in the Protection Afforded by Telmisartan against the Acute Myocardial Infarction in Zucker Diabetic Fatty Rats with Metabolic Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Di Filippo

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the involvement of proteasome and macrophages M2 in the protection afforded by telmisartan against the acute myocardial infarction in Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF rats with metabolic syndrome. ZDF rats were treated for three weeks with telmisartan at doses of 7 and 12 mg/kg/day. After treatment, rats were subjected to a 25 min occlusion of the left descending coronary artery followed by 2 h reperfusion (I/R. At the end of the I/R period, biochemical, immunohistochemical, and echocardiographic evaluations were done. Telmisartan treatment (7 mg/kg and 12 mg/kg reduced the myocardial infarct size, the expression of proteasome subunits 20S and 26S, and the protein ubiquitin within the heart. The compound has led to an increased M2 macrophage phenotype within the cardiac specimens and a modification of the cardiac cytokine and chemokine profile. This was functionally translated in improved cardiac performance as evidenced by echography after 2 h reperfusion. 7 mg/kg/day telmisartan was sufficient to improve the left ventricular ejection fraction LVEF of the rat heart recorded after I/R (e.g., vehicle 38 ± 2.2%; telmisartan 54 ± 2.7% and was sufficient to improve the diastolic function and the myocardial performance index up to values of 0.6 ± 0.01 measured after I/R.

  20. Commentary: Personalized health planning and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: an opportunity for academic medicine to lead health care reform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinan, Michaela A; Simmons, Leigh Ann; Snyderman, Ralph

    2010-11-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) mandates the exploration of new approaches to coordinated health care delivery--such as patient-centered medical homes, accountable care organizations, and disease management programs--in which reimbursement is aligned with desired outcomes. PPACA does not, however, delineate a standardized approach to improve the delivery process or a specific means to quantify performance for value-based reimbursement; these details are left to administrative agencies to develop and implement. The authors propose that coordinated care can be implemented more effectively and performance quantified more accurately by using personalized health planning, which employs individualized strategic health planning and care relevant to the patient's specific needs. Personalized health plans, developed by providers in collaboration with their patients, quantify patients' health and health risks over time, identify strategies to mitigate risks and/or treat disease, deliver personalized care, engage patients in their care, and measure outcomes. Personalized health planning is a core clinical process that can standardize coordinated care approaches while providing the data needed for performance-based reimbursement. The authors argue that academic health centers have a significant opportunity to lead true health care reform by adopting personalized health planning to coordinate care delivery while conducting the research and education necessary to enable its broad clinical application. PMID:20844424

  1. N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine Affords Protection against Lead-Induced Cytotoxicity and Oxidative Stress in Human Liver Carcinoma (HepG2 Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul B. Tchounwou

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Although lead exposure has declined in recent years as a result of change to lead-free gasoline, several epidemiological have pointed out that it represents a medical and public health emergency, especially in young children consuming high amounts of lead-contaminated flake paints. A previous study in our laboratory indicated that lead exposure induces cytotoxicity in human liver carcinoma cells. In the present study, we evaluated the role of oxidative stress in lead-induced toxicity, and the protective effect of the anti-oxidant n-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC. We hypothesized that oxidative stress plays a role in lead-induced cytotoxicity, and that NAC affords protection against this adverse effect. To test this hypothesis, we performed the MTT [3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] assay and the trypan blue exclusion test for cell viability. We also performed the thiobarbituric acid test for lipid peroxidation. Data obtained from the MTT assay indicated that NAC significantly increased the viability of HepG2 cells in a dosedependent manner upon 48 hours of exposure. Similar trend was obtained with the trypan blue exclusion test. Data generated from the thiobarbituric acid test showed a significant (p ≤ 0.05 increase of MDA levels in lead nitrate-treated HepG2 cells compared to control cells. Interestingly, the addition of NAC to lead nitrate-treated HepG2 cells significantly decreased cellular content of reactive oxygen species (ROS, as evidenced by the decrease in lipid peroxidation byproducts. Overall, findings from this study suggest that NAC inhibits lead nitrate-induced cytotoxicity and oxidative stress in HepG2 cells. Hence, NAC may be used as a salvage therapy for lead-induced toxicity in exposed persons.

  2. Affordable Care Act (ACA)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Social Security Administration — The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a federal statute enacted with a goal of increasing the quality and affordability of health insurance. Through a web service, CMS...

  3. Canonical affordances in context

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Costall

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available James Gibson’s concept of affordances was an attempt to undermine the traditional dualism of the objective and subjective. Gibson himself insisted on the continuity of “affordances in general” and those attached to human artifacts. However, a crucial distinction needs to be drawn between “affordances in general” and the “canonical affordances” that are connected primarily to artifacts. Canonical affordances are conventional and normative. It is only in such cases that it makes sense to talk of the affordance of the object. Chairs, for example, are for sitting-on, even though we may also use them in many other ways. A good deal of confusion has arisen in the discussion of affordances from (1 the failure to recognize the normative status of canonical affordances and (2 then generalizing from this special case.

  4. Protecting the delivery of heart failure: Regenerative Medicine/Stem Cell Therapeutics: Potential protections afforded by the Department of Health and Human Services and Health Resources Service Administration's Bureau of Special Programs

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Gary S Friedman; John S. Tomicki; Neil Cohen; Robert Marshall; Philip Lowry; Jeffrey Warsh

    2006-01-01

    malpractice liability have not impeded the development and growth of organ/cell/tissue transplantation despite increased risks of infection, malignancy and cardiovascular disease in transplant recipients. Currently, human transplantation is only performed using FDA/CBER-approved, non-embryonic stem cells from peripheral blood, bone marrow or umbilical cord blood. Federal legislation passed in 2005 (HR2520 and S1317: The Bone Marrow and Cord Blood Cell Transplantation Program) authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services acting through the Director of HRSA to ensure uniform stem cell units distribution and outcomes monitoring via the federally-designated C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplant Program.Historically in the U.S., human biological therapies (vaccines, organ transplant and stem cell transplant) have required federal protections to ensure continued distribution, fair access and avoidance of inhibitory product liability via protections afforded under the "stewardship" of the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 established the NVICP to equitably and expeditiously compensate individuals, or families of individuals, who have been declared injured by vaccines, thereby stabilizing a once imperiled vaccine supply by substantially reducing the threat of liability for vaccine companies, physicians, and other health care professionals who administer vaccines. Vaccines were the first biologics administered to U.S. citizens en masse and presage stem cell therapeutics(which may similarly be administered to millions) will similarly necessitate that a Stem Cell Injury Compensation Program(SCICP) will also need to be in place to demonstrate an intention to do good, an understanding that industry may do well,but that the health care consumer has a right of protection-all recognized from the outset. The Federal Tort Claims Act(FTCA) addresses liability claims via the Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches of Government

  5. Assuring Access to Affordable Coverage

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Under the Affordable Care Act, millions of uninsured Americans will gain access to affordable coverage through Affordable Insurance Exchanges and improvements in...

  6. Affordable Vehicle Avionics Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockrell, James J.

    2015-01-01

    Public and private launch vehicle developers are reducing the cost of propulsion for small commercial launchers, but conventional high-performance, high-reliability avionics remain the disproportionately high cost driver for launch. AVA technology performs as well or better than conventional launch vehicle avionics, but with a fraction of the recurring costs. AVA enables small launch providers to offer affordable rides to LEO to nano-satellites as primary payloads meaning, small payloads can afford to specify their own launch and orbit parameters

  7. Health gains and financial risk protection afforded by public financing of selected interventions in Ethiopia: An extended cost-effectiveness analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Dr. Stéphane Verguet, PhD; Zachary D Olson, MA; Joseph B Babigumira, PhD; Dawit Desalegn, MD; Kjell Arne Johansson, PhD; Margaret E Kruk, MD; Carol E Levin, PhD; Rachel A Nugent, PhD; Clint Pecenka, PhD; Mark G Shrime, MD; Solomon Tessema Memirie, MD; David A Watkins, MD; Prof. Dean T Jamison, PhD

    2015-01-01

    Background: The way in which a government chooses to finance a health intervention can affect the uptake of health interventions and consequently the extent of health gains. In addition to health gains, some policies such as public finance can insure against catastrophic health expenditures. We aimed to evaluate the health and financial risk protection benefits of selected interventions that could be publicly financed by the government of Ethiopia. Methods: We used extended cost-effectiven...

  8. Transient Loss of Protection Afforded by a Live Attenuated Non-typhoidal Salmonella Vaccine in Mice Co-infected with Malaria

    OpenAIRE

    Mooney, Jason P.; Lee, Seung-Joo; Lokken, Kristen L.; Nanton, Minelva R.; Nuccio, Sean-Paul; Stephen J McSorley; Tsolis, Renée M.

    2015-01-01

    In immunocompetent individuals, non-typhoidal Salmonella serovars (NTS) are associated with gastroenteritis, however, there is currently an epidemic of NTS bloodstream infections in sub-Saharan Africa. Plasmodium falciparum malaria is an important risk factor for invasive NTS bloodstream in African children. Here we investigated whether a live, attenuated Salmonella vaccine could be protective in mice, in the setting of concurrent malaria. Surprisingly, mice acutely infected with the nonletha...

  9. Vietnam Affordable Housing

    OpenAIRE

    World Bank Group

    2015-01-01

    Affordable housing will be instrumental to helping Vietnam achieve its goals for increasing productivity and inclusive urban growth. Since Doi Moi, the country has experienced impressive economic growth, averaged at 7.4 percent per annum from 1990 to 2008, lowering to an average of 6 percent per annum from 2007 to 2013. Strong economic growth has supported a substantial reduction in povert...

  10. Protection Afforded by a Recombinant Turkey Herpesvirus-H5 Vaccine Against the 2014 European Highly Pathogenic H5N8 Avian Influenza Strain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steensels, M; Rauw, F; van den Berg, Th; Marché, S; Gardin, Y; Palya, V; Lambrecht, B

    2016-05-01

    A highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 (clade 2.3.4.4) virus, circulating in Asia (South Korea, Japan, and southern China) since the beginning of 2014, reached the European continent in November 2014. Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Hungary confirmed H5N8 infection of poultry farms of different species and of several wild bird species. Unlike the Asian highly pathogenic (HP) H5N1, this HP H5N8 also went transatlantic and reached the American West Coast by the end of 2014, affecting wild birds as well as backyard and commercial poultry. This strain induces high mortality and morbidity in Galliformes, whereas wild birds seem only moderately affected. A recombinant turkey herpesvirus (rHVT) vector vaccine expressing the H5 gene of a clade 2.2 H5N1 strain (rHVT-H5) previously demonstrated a highly efficient clinical protection and reduced viral excretion against challenge with Asian HP H5N1 strains of various clades (2.2, 2.2.1, 2.2.1.1, 2.1.3, 2.1.3.2, and 2.3.2.1) and was made commercially available in various countries where the disease is endemic. To evaluate the protective efficacy of the rHVT-H5 vaccine against the first German H5N8 turkey isolate (H5N8 GE), a challenge experiment was set up in specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chickens, and the clinical and excretional protection was evaluated. SPF chickens were vaccinated subcutaneously at 1 day old and challenged oculonasally at 4 wk of age with two viral dosages, 10(5) and 10(6) 50% egg infective doses. Morbidity and mortality were monitored daily in unvaccinated and vaccinated groups, whereas viral shedding by oropharyngeal and cloacal routes was evaluated at 2, 5, 9, and 14 days postinoculation (dpi). Serologic monitoring after vaccination and challenge was also carried out. Despite its high antigenic divergence of the challenge H5N8 strain, a single rHVT-H5 vaccine administration at 1 day old resulted in a full clinical protection against challenge and a significant reduction

  11. Learning Grasp Affordance Densities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Detry, Renaud; Kraft, Dirk; Kroemer, Oliver;

    2011-01-01

    records their outcomes. When a satisfactory number of grasp data is available, an importance-sampling algorithm turns these into a grasp density. We evaluate our method in a largely autonomous learning experiment run on three objects of distinct shapes. The experiment shows how learning increases success......We address the issue of learning and representing object grasp affordance models. We model grasp affordances with continuous probability density functions (grasp densities) which link object-relative grasp poses to their success probability. The underlying function representation is nonparametric...... and relies on kernel density estimation to provide a continuous model. Grasp densities are learned and refined from exploration, by letting a robot “play” with an object in a sequence of graspand-drop actions: The robot uses visual cues to generate a set of grasp hypotheses; it then executes these and...

  12. Enhanced protective efficacy against Mycobacterium tuberculosis afforded by BCG prime-DNA boost regimen in an early challenge mouse model is associated with increased splenic interleukin-2-producing CD4 T-cell frequency post-vaccination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Han; Yuan, Qin; Ma, Hui; Hu, Zhi-Dong; Han, De-Ping; Wu, Kang; Lowrie, Douglas B; Fan, Xiao-Yong

    2014-12-01

    The development of improved vaccines and vaccination strategies against Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been hindered by a limited understanding of the immune correlates of anti-tuberculosis protective immunity. Simple measurement of interferon-γ frequency or production per se does not provide adequate prediction of immune protection. In this study, we examined the relationship between T-cell immune responses and protective efficacy conferred by the heterologous vaccination strategy, bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) prime-Ag85A DNA boost (B/D), in an early challenge mouse model of pulmonary tuberculosis. The results demonstrated that mice vaccinated with the B/D regimen had a significantly reduced bacillary load compared with BCG-vaccinated mice, and the reduction in colony-forming units was associated with decreased pathology and lower levels of inflammatory cytokines in the infected lungs. Further analysis of immunogenicity showed that the superior protection afforded by the B/D regimen was associated with significantly increased frequency of splenic interleukin-2 (IL-2) -producing CD4 T cells and increased IL-2 production when measured as integrated mean fluorescence intensity post-vaccination as well. These data suggest that measurement of elevated frequency of IL-2-producing CD4 T cells or IL-2 production in the spleens of vaccinated mice can predict vaccine efficacy, at least in the B/D strategy, and add to the accumulating body of evidence suggesting that BCG prime-boost strategies may be a useful approach to the control of M. tuberculosis infection. PMID:24965530

  13. The Affordable Care Act: Dispersing the Fog of Misinformation

    OpenAIRE

    Max J. Skidmore

    2012-01-01

    Editor Max J. Skidmore provides a concise history and political analysis of the attacks on American efforts to achieve near universal health care, and also reviews an innovative history of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

  14. Heavy fuel oil: acceptable? available? affordable?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Increasingly stringent environmental legislation on emissions limits poses problems for large industrial energy users, causing them to re-examine their choice of fuel source. Choice of fuel must be made flexibly, preferably in the form of a dual fuel strategy, it is argued here. This article examines the relationship between the 1995 Environment Act, the 1990 Environmental Protection Act, and the likely future of heavy fuel oils in terms of acceptability, availability and affordability. (UK)

  15. The Concept of Disciplinary Affordance

    OpenAIRE

    Airey, John; Eriksson, Urban; Fredlund, Tobias; Linder, Cedric

    2014-01-01

    Since its introduction by Gibson (1979) the concept of affordance has been discussed at length by a number of researchers. Most famous, perhaps is the disagreement between Gibson and Norman (1988) about whether affordances are inherent properties of objects or are only present when perceived by an organism. More recently, affordance has been drawn on in the educational arena, particularly with respect to multimodality (see Linder (2013) for a recent example). Here, Kress et al (2001) claim th...

  16. Affordable Access to Space (AAS): Affordable Vehicle Avionics Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Affordable Vehicle Avionics (AVA) is being developed at NASA Ames Research Center and is sponsored by Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) Game Changing...

  17. Housing Affordability Data System (HADS)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Housing and Urban Development — The Housing Affordability Data System (HADS) is a set of files derived from the 1985 and later national American Housing Survey (AHS) and the 2002 and later Metro...

  18. An affordable humanitarian mine detector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniels, David J.; Curtis, Paul; Amin, Rajan; Dittmer, Jon

    2004-09-01

    This paper describes the further development of the MINETECT affordable humanitarian mine detector produced by ERA Technology with sponsorship from the UK Department for International Development. Using a radically different patented approach from conventional ground penetrating radar (GPR) designs in terms of the man machine interface, MINETECT offers simplicity of use and affordability, both key factors in humanitarian demining operations. Following trials in 2002 and reported at SPIE 2002, further development work including research on classifying mines, based on data from planned trials in the United Kingdom, is presented. MINETECT has the capability of detecting completely non-metallic mines and offers a considerable improvement in hand-held mine detection.

  19. On Accepting and Affording Subjects in Economic Compensation of Cultivated Land Protection Based on Questionnaire Surveys%耕地保护经济补偿的接受和给付主体分析——基于110份接受主体和445份给付主体的问卷调查

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    牛海鹏; 许传阳; 李明秋; 张安录

    2011-01-01

    Defining accepting and affording subjects of cultivated land protection economic compensation is the key of constructing the economic compensation system and mechanisms of cultivated land protection. The internal and interregional accepting subjects of economic compensation of cultivated land protection were defined and analyzed based on the theory of externalities donator. Meanwhile, the internal and interregional affording subjects of economic compensation of cultivated land protection were also defined and analyzed based on the externalities acceptor and its action patterns. Results suggest that (1) The externalities of cultivated land protection consist of internal and interregional externalities in terms of different consumption subjects. The externality problem of cultivated land protection can be conceptually divided into the internal externality problem and interregional externality problem. The internal externality problem is generally influenced by internal and interregional externalities; 2) The subject of cultivated land protection can be divided into the management subject, social supervision subject, and utilization subject by patterns of the behavior and mode of action of the subject in cultivated land protection;3) The utilization subject of cultivated land may be defined as the accepting subject of internal economic compensation in cultivated land protection in terms of the characteristics and connotation of externalities donator. The key areas for cultivated land protection may be termed an agent donator as it has not the characteristics of externalities donator. It consists of all accepting subjects in internal economic compensation in the key areas, also referred to as interregional union accepting subject of economic compensation of cultivated land protection; 4) The affording subject involves internal and interregional individuals who gain ecological and social benefits from cultivated land protection. It is indicated that the outside area

  20. Malaysian Affordability Housing Policies Revisited

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samad Diwa

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Housing has always been a significant aspiration of family expression and distinctly priciest investment by household. It plays a momentous role in the country’s economy and so central to the societal well-being that is emplaced in the United Nation Universal declaration of Human rights. Yet in developed and developing world alike, cities struggle to provide decent housing for lower and middle income population. The provision of affordable housing is a major policy concern around the world with Malaysia being no exception; rising income hardly keep pace with price hike of housing unit and housing interventions has majorly concentrated on demand side leading to a non-responsive supply sector. Therefore, this paper highlights affordable housing issues pertaining Malaysia. It formulates Malaysian Map of affordability and conducts an evaluation of global housing schemes to better identify policy priorities for Malaysia. It’s significant to harmonize supply and demand side factors in the housing market to ensure that housing supply fits the needs of citizens based on the location, price and target group. In case of Malaysia supply oriented initiative are of urgency in short and medium run. This must be supported by long term demand side schemes in parallel. Convergence of these two factors is essential for a balanced equilibrium and obtaining affordability.

  1. Global affordability of fluoride toothpaste

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holmgren Christopher J

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Objective Dental caries remains the most common disease worldwide and the use of fluoride toothpaste is a most effective preventive public health measure to prevent it. Changes in diets following globalization contribute to the development of dental caries in emerging economies. The aim of this paper is to compare the cost and relative affordability of fluoride toothpaste in high-, middle- and low-income countries. The hypothesis is that fluoride toothpaste is not equally affordable in high-, middle- and low-income countries. Methods Data on consumer prices of fluoride toothpastes were obtained from a self-completion questionnaire from 48 countries. The cost of fluoride toothpaste in high-, middle- and low-income countries was compared and related to annual household expenditure as well as to days of work needed to purchase the average annual usage of toothpaste per head. Results The general trend seems to be that the proportion of household expenditure required to purchase the annual dosage of toothpaste increases as the country's per capita household expenditure decreases. While in the UK for the poorest 30% of the population only 0.037 days of household expenditure is needed to purchase the annual average dosage (182.5 g of the lowest cost toothpaste, 10.75 days are needed in Kenya. The proportion of annual household expenditure ranged from 0.02% in the UK to 4% in Zambia to buy the annual average amount of lowest cost toothpaste per head. Conclusion Significant inequalities in the affordability of this essential preventive care product indicate the necessity for action to make it more affordable. Various measures to improve affordability based on experiences from essential pharmaceuticals are proposed.

  2. Glosario crítico EN-ES de términos que figuran en la "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA", en la "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA" y en la legislación conexa en materia sanitaria de los Estados Unidos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Manuel Martín Arias

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available La "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA" y la "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA" son actualmente las dos leyes más importantes de los EE. UU. en materia de asistencia sanitaria. En este glosario crítico hemos recogido los términos de traducción difícil o engañosa que aparecen en estas dos leyes y en otras de menor importancia, que, juntas, constituyen el entramado jurídico-administrativo del sistema sanitario de los EE. UU. El glosario se ha elaborado desde la perspectiva de la traducción EN-ES, por lo que la elección de las entradas se ha basado no solo en su importancia legal-administrativa, sino también en su relevancia para el traductor. ----------------------------------------- An EN-ES critical glossary of terms that appear in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA and related US health care legislation. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA are currently the two most important health care laws in the United States. In this critical glossary, we have compiled terms from these two laws or from other, less important legislation that forms the legal and administrative framework of the United States healthcare system. The terms which appear here are those which translators may find difficult or misleading. This glossary has been created for EN-ES translation, so entries have been chosen not only for their legal and administrative importance, but also for their relevance for translators.

  3. Glosario crítico EN-ES de términos que figuran en la "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)", en la "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)" y en la legislación conexa en materia sanitaria de los Estados Unidos

    OpenAIRE

    Juan Manuel Martín Arias

    2012-01-01

    La "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)" y la "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)" son actualmente las dos leyes más importantes de los EE. UU. en materia de asistencia sanitaria. En este glosario crítico hemos recogido los términos de traducción difícil o engañosa que aparecen en estas dos leyes y en otras de menor importancia, que, juntas, constituyen el entramado jurídico-administrativo del sistema sanitario de los EE. UU. El glosario se ha elaborado...

  4. Optics learning through affordable kit

    Science.gov (United States)

    P, Anusha N.; Shaji, Chitra; Sharan, Alok

    2014-10-01

    An affordable kit which helps to understand some of the optical phenomena qualitatively and quantitatively is presented in this paper. It supplements optics taught in classes. The kit consists of equipments which are available in the market at nominal cost such as laser pointer, lenses, glass plates, razor blades, coins, ball bearing etc. Experiments which come under wave optics (interference and diffraction) and ray optics (reflection and refraction) are explained using this kit.

  5. Optics learning through affordable kit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An affordable kit which helps to understand some of the optical phenomena qualitatively and quantitatively is presented in this paper. It supplements optics taught in classes. The kit consists of equipments which are available in the market at nominal cost such as laser pointer, lenses, glass plates, razor blades, coins, ball bearing etc. Experiments which come under wave optics (interference and diffraction) and ray optics (reflection and refraction) are explained using this kit

  6. Optics learning through affordable kit

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    P, Anusha N, E-mail: anushnp@gmail.com, E-mail: chitrashaji@gmail.com, E-mail: aloksharan@gmail.com; Shaji, Chitra, E-mail: anushnp@gmail.com, E-mail: chitrashaji@gmail.com, E-mail: aloksharan@gmail.com; Sharan, Alok, E-mail: anushnp@gmail.com, E-mail: chitrashaji@gmail.com, E-mail: aloksharan@gmail.com [Department of Physics, Pondicherry University, Puducherry-605014 (India)

    2014-10-15

    An affordable kit which helps to understand some of the optical phenomena qualitatively and quantitatively is presented in this paper. It supplements optics taught in classes. The kit consists of equipments which are available in the market at nominal cost such as laser pointer, lenses, glass plates, razor blades, coins, ball bearing etc. Experiments which come under wave optics (interference and diffraction) and ray optics (reflection and refraction) are explained using this kit.

  7. Mandatory and affordable health insurance

    OpenAIRE

    Len M. Nichols

    2007-01-01

    This paper asserts that America's health care system is broken and cannot be repaired with timid half-measures. It suggests that we need both universal coverage and a more efficient delivery system and that these are not competing objectives: Each is necessary to make the other possible. It further states that if we do not make health care more affordable and our delivery system more efficient and sustainable, a majority of Americans will be uninsured in short order. And the persistence of mi...

  8. Fisiognomica emozionale. Affordances, estasi, atmosfere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tonino Griffero

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Through an atmospherological approach, primarily inspired by the so-called Aisthetik or New Aesthetics (Gernot Böhme and the New Phenomenology (Hermann Schmitz, the paper defines the atmospheric perception as a first pathemic impression and investigates the relationship between this kind of perception and the expressive qualities of the surrounding spaces. The aim is to understand atmospheres as (amodal, transmodal, sinaesthetic affordances that permeate the lived space, namely as ‘ecological’ and affective invites or meanings which are ontologically rooted in things and quasi-things.

  9. Affordable Housing: An Economic Perspective

    OpenAIRE

    John F. McDonald

    2015-01-01

    The economist's approach to social problems has two interrelated parts, consistent measurement and use of a cost-benefit test to assess alternative policies. This essay examines both parts of the economist's method, primarily in the context of the United States but with attention paid to the United Kingdom also. It will seek to demonstrate that the problem of affordable housing can be measured and is large, even in the U. S. Furthermore, it will suggest that the problem primarily is one of po...

  10. The marriage of green and affordable

    OpenAIRE

    Trisha Miller

    2008-01-01

    Developers are beginning to apply green design to affordable housing. The budding practice has the potential to provide significant benefits to lower-income families, who pay proportionately more for energy and are disproportionately affected by poor air quality. This article discusses the case for uniting green and affordable and highlights the first national design and construction criteria for green affordable homes.

  11. Perceiving Affordances for Fitting through Apertures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishak, Shaziela; Adolph, Karen E.; Lin, Grace C.

    2008-01-01

    Affordances--possibilities for action--are constrained by the match between actors and their environments. For motor decisions to be adaptive, affordances must be detected accurately. Three experiments examined the correspondence between motor decisions and affordances as participants reached through apertures of varying size. A psychophysical…

  12. Achieving affordable housing through energy efficiency strategy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cooperation between public and private sector has achieved a remarkable widespread, in the Italian context, over the last two decades. Nevertheless, the increasing difficulty in accessing the capital market and the rising cost of funding sources, both noticeable over the past few years, led to a slowdown of Public–Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives. Meanwhile, the community is expressing new needs to be satisfied, such as the conversion of brownfields, the recovery of housing stock dating back to former times, as well as the refurbishment of public offices or schools. Emerging priorities include the supply of affordable dwellings for low to medium income households. This essay aims to examine a case study in which PPP and buildings energy efficiency have been successfully combined, in order to jointly contribute to the achievement of a social housing settlement. Thanks to energy efficiency measures—concerning building envelope insulation, heating system and other installations—the agreed rent results far higher than social rent of protected tenancies, and furthermore above the range of fair rents characterising other regulated tenancies, but mildly lower than market rents. All this allows to achieve an equity yield rate satisfying from the perspective of a venture philanthropy investment. -- Highlights: •Provision of affordable dwellings is an emerging priority within Italian context. •Lack of public funds leads to promote Public–Private Partnership schemes. •Without public grants the adoption of a venture philanthropy approach is needed. •The examined case study allows to explain the role of buildings energy efficiency. •Buildings energy efficiency may boost feasibility of social housing transactions

  13. Affordable In-Space Transportation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, L. A.; VanDyke, M. K.; Lajoie, R. M.; Woodcock, G. R.

    1996-01-01

    Current and proposed launch systems will provide access to low-Earth orbit (LEO), and destinations beyond LEO, but the cost of delivering payloads will preclude the use of these services by many users. To develop and encourage revolutionary commercial utilization of geosynchronous orbit (GEO) and to provide an affordable means to continue NASA space science and exploration missions, the transportation costs to in-space destinations must be reduced. The principal objective of this study was to conceptually define three to four promising approaches to in-space transportation for delivery of satellites and other payloads, 3,000- to 10,000-lb class, to GEO destinations. This study established a methodology for evaluating in-space transportation systems based on life-cycle cost. The reusable concepts seemed to fare better in the evaluation than expendable, since a major driver in the life-cycle cost was the stage production cost.

  14. Small businesses and the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Sara R; Davis, Karen; Nicholson, Jennifer L; Stremikis, Kristof

    2010-09-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes several short- and long-term provisions designed to help small businesses pay for and maintain health insurance for their workers, and to allow workers without employer coverage to gain access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance. Provisions include a small business tax credit to offset premium costs for firms that offer coverage starting this taxable year, establishment of state-based insurance exchanges that promise to lower administrative costs and pool risk more broadly, and creation of new market rules and an essential benefit standard to protect small firms and their workers. Analysis shows that up to 16.6 million workers are in firms that would be eligible for the tax credit in 2010 to 2013. Over the next 10 years, small businesses and organizations could receive an estimated $40 billion in federal support through the premium credit program. PMID:20812427

  15. The Affordable Care Act and implications for young adult health

    OpenAIRE

    Monaghan, Maureen

    2013-01-01

    In the USA, young adults are most likely to be uninsured and least likely to report a usual source of medical care than any age group. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) recognizes the critical need for expanded insurance coverage for this age group, and multiple provisions of the ACA address insurance coverage and health care utilization in young adults. This paper presents a brief overview of the challenges of maintaining health insurance coverage and accessing health care...

  16. RESIDUAL INCOME MEASURE OF HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

    OpenAIRE

    Norazmawati Md. Sani

    2013-01-01

    Housing affordability is an indicator of householder’s ability to own a house. While residual income measure is a popular measurement of housing affordability. Every measurement has its own criteria and elements that make it different from another. The objective of this research is to examine the residual income measure of housing affordability as well as to examine the variables that affect low-cost homeownership amongst the low-income group in Kuala Lumpur. In order to measure the housing a...

  17. Dopamine, affordance and active inference.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl J Friston

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The role of dopamine in behaviour and decision-making is often cast in terms of reinforcement learning and optimal decision theory. Here, we present an alternative view that frames the physiology of dopamine in terms of Bayes-optimal behaviour. In this account, dopamine controls the precision or salience of (external or internal cues that engender action. In other words, dopamine balances bottom-up sensory information and top-down prior beliefs when making hierarchical inferences (predictions about cues that have affordance. In this paper, we focus on the consequences of changing tonic levels of dopamine firing using simulations of cued sequential movements. Crucially, the predictions driving movements are based upon a hierarchical generative model that infers the context in which movements are made. This means that we can confuse agents by changing the context (order in which cues are presented. These simulations provide a (Bayes-optimal model of contextual uncertainty and set switching that can be quantified in terms of behavioural and electrophysiological responses. Furthermore, one can simulate dopaminergic lesions (by changing the precision of prediction errors to produce pathological behaviours that are reminiscent of those seen in neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease. We use these simulations to demonstrate how a single functional role for dopamine at the synaptic level can manifest in different ways at the behavioural level.

  18. Can consumers make affordable care affordable? The value of choice architecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Eric J; Hassin, Ran; Baker, Tom; Bajger, Allison T; Treuer, Galen

    2013-01-01

    Tens of millions of people are currently choosing health coverage on a state or federal health insurance exchange as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We examine how well people make these choices, how well they think they do, and what can be done to improve these choices. We conducted 6 experiments asking people to choose the most cost-effective policy using websites modeled on current exchanges. Our results suggest there is significant room for improvement. Without interventions, respondents perform at near chance levels and show a significant bias, overweighting out-of-pocket expenses and deductibles. Financial incentives do not improve performance, and decision-makers do not realize that they are performing poorly. However, performance can be improved quite markedly by providing calculation aids, and by choosing a "smart" default. Implementing these psychologically based principles could save purchasers of policies and taxpayers approximately 10 billion dollars every year. PMID:24367484

  19. Can consumers make affordable care affordable? The value of choice architecture.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric J Johnson

    Full Text Available Tens of millions of people are currently choosing health coverage on a state or federal health insurance exchange as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We examine how well people make these choices, how well they think they do, and what can be done to improve these choices. We conducted 6 experiments asking people to choose the most cost-effective policy using websites modeled on current exchanges. Our results suggest there is significant room for improvement. Without interventions, respondents perform at near chance levels and show a significant bias, overweighting out-of-pocket expenses and deductibles. Financial incentives do not improve performance, and decision-makers do not realize that they are performing poorly. However, performance can be improved quite markedly by providing calculation aids, and by choosing a "smart" default. Implementing these psychologically based principles could save purchasers of policies and taxpayers approximately 10 billion dollars every year.

  20. An adenovirus-based vaccine with a double-stranded RNA adjuvant protects mice and ferrets against H5N1 avian influenza in oral delivery models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scallan, Ciaran D; Tingley, Debora W; Lindbloom, Jonathan D; Toomey, James S; Tucker, Sean N

    2013-01-01

    An oral gene-based avian influenza vaccine would allow rapid development and simplified distribution, but efficacy has previously been difficult to achieve by the oral route. This study assessed protection against avian influenza virus challenge using a chimeric adenovirus vector expressing hemagglutinin and a double-stranded RNA adjuvant. Immunized ferrets and mice were protected upon lethal challenge. Further, ferrets immunized by the peroral route induced cross-clade neutralizing antibodies, and the antibodies were selective against hemagglutinin, not the vector. Similarly, experiments in mice demonstrated selective immune responses against HA with peroral delivery and the ability to circumvent preexisting vector immunity. PMID:23155123

  1. The concept of a structural affordance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Alsmith

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available I provide an analysis of the concept of an “affordance” that enables one to conceive of “structural affordance” as a kind of affordance relation that might hold between an agent and its body. I then review research in the science of humanoid bodily movement to indicate the empirical reality of structural affordance.

  2. The concept of a structural affordance

    OpenAIRE

    Adrian Alsmith

    2012-01-01

    I provide an analysis of the concept of an “affordance” that enables one to conceive of “structural affordance” as a kind of affordance relation that might hold between an agent and its body. I then review research in the science of humanoid bodily movement to indicate the empirical reality of structural affordance.

  3. Section 8: Affordable Housing for Exceptional Families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Wesley E.

    2009-01-01

    Shelter is a basic human need. Unfortunately, affordable housing is a need that low income families who are caring for children and adults with disabilities can rarely afford without assistance. Because participating families generally pay rent of no more than 30 percent of their adjusted monthly income, the Section 8 program can provide…

  4. Affordability Approaches for Human Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holladay, Jon; Smith, David Alan

    2012-01-01

    The design and development of historical NASA Programs (Apollo, Shuttle and International Space Station), have been based on pre-agreed missions which included specific pre-defined destinations (e.g., the Moon and low Earth orbit). Due to more constrained budget profiles, and the desire to have a more flexible architecture for Mission capture as it is affordable, NASA is working toward a set of Programs that are capability based, rather than mission and/or destination specific. This means designing for a performance capability that can be applied to a specific human exploration mission/destination later (sometime years later). This approach does support developing systems to flatter budgets over time, however, it also poses the challenge of how to accomplish this effectively while maintaining a trained workforce, extensive manufacturing, test and launch facilities, and ensuring mission success ranging from Low Earth Orbit to asteroid destinations. NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in support of Exploration Systems Directorate (ESD) in Washington, DC has been developing approaches to track affordability across multiple Programs. The first step is to ensure a common definition of affordability: the discipline to bear cost in meeting a budget with margin over the life of the program. The second step is to infuse responsibility and accountability for affordability into all levels of the implementing organization since affordability is no single person s job; it is everyone s job. The third step is to use existing data to identify common affordability elements organized by configuration (vehicle/facility), cost, schedule, and risk. The fourth step is to analyze and trend this affordability data using an affordability dashboard to provide status, measures, and trends for ESD and Program level of affordability tracking. This paper will provide examples of how regular application of this approach supports affordable and therefore sustainable human space exploration

  5. Rethinking Affordable Housing Delivery: An Analytical Insight

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olanrewaju Abdullateef

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Malaysia currently has a housing shortage of 12 million units. Towards the year 2020, this would require an annual supply of a minimum of 2 million homes. With the current production rate, the deficits will remain over the next 100 years. The crisis will lead to poor standards of living, un-affordable rental price, high mortgage payment, abandonment, and dilapidation of the existing housing stock. Lack of affordable housing is already a source of concern among many Malaysians. The middle and lower income earners spend more than 30% of their income on rent or for mortgage payment. Housing rent or mortgage is a basic need like foods, education, clothing and health. The government has introduced various measures to address the housing deficit. Despite these measures, the housing supply and distribution gaps continue to grow. To better understand the issues, there is a need to examine how the procurement planning in the affordable housing delivery supply chain and market is formulated, explore how cost of affordable housing would be reduced, identify the user value systems in affordable housing, and identify the criteria in the current regulatory framework? For these purposes, this paper reviews the relevant literature to reach preliminary findings on the stated issues. Among the factors found accounting for housing shortages, the overwhelming factors were that of poor policies, strategies, practice, management, and finance. The findings are meaningful in framing an affordable housing delivery model. It could also be useful to stakeholders involved in affordable housing delivery in Malaysia and elsewhere.

  6. Safety versus affordability as targets of insurance regulation in an opaque market: A welfare approach

    OpenAIRE

    Stoyanova, Rayna; Schlütter, Sebastian

    2012-01-01

    Insurance regulation is typically aimed at policyholder protection. In particular, regulators attempt to ensure the financial safety of insurance firms, for example, by means of capital regulation, and to enhance the affordability of insurance, for example, by means of price ceilings. However, these goals are in conflict. Therefore, we identify situations in which regulators should be more concerned with safety or, alternatively, affordability. Our model incorporates default-risk-sensitive in...

  7. Smoking Bans in Affordable Housing Benefit All

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_160501.html Smoking Bans in Affordable Housing Benefit All: Study Secondhand exposure ... researchers found. At properties with only indoor smoking bans, there was actually an increase in outdoor secondhand ...

  8. Rethinking Affordable Housing Delivery: An Analytical Insight

    OpenAIRE

    Olanrewaju Abdullateef; Yeow Seong; Lim Lee

    2016-01-01

    Malaysia currently has a housing shortage of 12 million units. Towards the year 2020, this would require an annual supply of a minimum of 2 million homes. With the current production rate, the deficits will remain over the next 100 years. The crisis will lead to poor standards of living, un-affordable rental price, high mortgage payment, abandonment, and dilapidation of the existing housing stock. Lack of affordable housing is already a source of concern among many Malaysians. The middle and ...

  9. The Great Recession and Housing Affordability

    OpenAIRE

    Kroll, Cynthia A.

    2013-01-01

    The decline in home prices in the Great Recession and the lack of recovery in prices in the early years of recovery have created a significant improvement in some types of housing affordability measures. Yet incomes also dropped, and rent levels often moved in the opposite direction to home prices, showing that improvements in affordability were far from universal. This paper uses aggregate statistics available from a variety of public and private sources to illustrate different types of affo...

  10. How curcumin affords effective protection against amyloid fibrillation in insulin?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rabiee, Atefeh; Ebrahim Habibi, Azadeh; Ghasemi, Atiyeh Ghasemi;

    2013-01-01

    at different time points resulted in reduced amounts of final fibrils. Disaggregation of pre-formed fibrils was also observed upon addition of curcumin, as well as reduction in final fibril amounts after seeding. Overall, this compound appears to be able to interact with native, intermediate and fibrillar...... forms. Docking experiment suggests a potential interacting site with the B-chain of insulin, as well as a possibility for beta-sheet breaker activity....

  11. Assessing the Role of TRIPS Agreement for Inaccessibility and Un-affordability of Essential Medicines in Nigeria

    OpenAIRE

    Umar Abubakar Dubagari

    2015-01-01

    Intellectual property rights (IPRs) protection was not recognised in Nigeria and essential medicines were accessible and affordable to all but reverse is the case with the implementation of TRIPS agreement on IPRs. This resulted in inordinate policy formulation and implementation that exacerbates the public health care despite Nigeria’s endowment with enormous human and natural resources. This paper argues that patents protection hinders access and affordability to essential medicines in Ni...

  12. Affordances for robots: a brief survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas E. Horton

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we consider the influence of Gibson's affordance theory on the design of robotic agents. Affordance theory (and the ecological approach to agent design in general has in many cases contributed to the development of successful robotic systems; we provide a brief survey of AI research in this area. However, there remain significant issues that complicate discussions on this topic, particularly in the exchange of ideas between researchers in artificial intelligence and ecological psychology. We identify some of these issues, specifically the lack of a generally accepted definition of "affordance" and fundamental differences in the current approaches taken in AI and ecological psychology. While we consider reconciliation between these fields to be possible and mutually beneficial, it will require some flexibility on the issue of direct perception.

  13. Affordances and the musically extended mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krueger, Joel

    2014-01-01

    I defend a model of the musically extended mind. I consider how acts of "musicking" grant access to novel emotional experiences otherwise inaccessible. First, I discuss the idea of "musical affordances" and specify both what musical affordances are and how they invite different forms of entrainment. Next, I argue that musical affordances - via soliciting different forms of entrainment - enhance the functionality of various endogenous, emotion-granting regulative processes, drawing novel experiences out of us with an expanded complexity and phenomenal character. I argue that music therefore ought to be thought of as part of the vehicle needed to realize these emotional experiences. I appeal to different sources of empirical work to develop this idea. PMID:24432008

  14. Affordances in Mobile Augmented Reality Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tor Gjøsæter

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores the affordances of augmented reality content in a mobile augmented reality application. A user study was conducted by performing a multi-camera video recording of seven think aloud sessions. The think aloud sessions consisted of individual users performing tasks, exploring and experiencing a mobile augmented reality (MAR application we developed for the iOS platform named ARad. We discuss the instrumental affordances we observed when users interacted with augmented reality content, as well as more complex affordances rising from conventions from media content, AR and the traditional WIMP paradigm. We find that remediation of traditional newspaper content through the MAR medium can provide engaging, pleasing and exciting user experiences. However, the some of the content still suffers from being shoveled onto the MAR platform without adapting it properly. Finally, we discuss what content was most successfully mediated to the user and how the content impacts the user experience.

  15. The Transformation of Ergonomic Affordances into Cultural Affordances: The Case of the Alnuset System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiappini, Giampaolo

    2012-01-01

    Is it possible to study the ergonomic affordances offered by a system designed for educational aims and their transformation into cultural affordances? To this purpose, what references can we adopt? This work describes the theoretical framework used to realise this study referring to AlNuSet, a system realised within the EC ReMath project to…

  16. The Affordable Care Act and orthopaedic trauma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Issar, Neil M; Jahangir, A Alex

    2014-10-01

    The Affordable Care Act has resulted in a dramatic governmental restructuring of the healthcare insurance market and delivery system. Orthopaedic traumatologists must be aware of the law's impact on their clinical practice, finances, and overall business model. This includes the effect of accountable care organizations, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, and the Physician Value-Based Payment Modifier program, as well as the impact of the Affordable Care Act's grace period provision, medical device excise tax, and cuts to funding for the Disproportionate Share Hospital program. PMID:25229683

  17. Affordance Templates for Shared Robot Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Stephen; Dinh, Paul; Hambuchen, Kim

    2014-01-01

    This paper introduces the Affordance Template framework used to supervise task behaviors on the NASA-JSC Valkyrie robot at the 2013 DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Trials. This framework provides graphical interfaces to human supervisors that are adjustable based on the run-time environmental context (e.g., size, location, and shape of objects that the robot must interact with, etc.). Additional improvements, described below, inject degrees of autonomy into instantiations of affordance templates at run-time in order to enable efficient human supervision of the robot for accomplishing tasks.

  18. Affordances and distributed cognition in museum exhibitions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Achiam, Marianne; May, Michael; Marandino, Martha

    2014-01-01

    history museum. We show how differences in exhibit characteristics give rise to differences in the interpretive strategies used by visitors in their meaning-making process, and conclude by discussing how the notions of affordance and distributed cognition can be used in an exhibit design perspective....

  19. Options for Affordable Fission Surface Power Systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fission surface power systems could provide abundant power anywhere on the surface of the moon or Mars. Locations could include permanently shaded regions on the moon and high latitudes on Mars. To be fully utilized, however, fission surface power systems must be safe, have adequate performance, and be affordable. This paper discusses options for the design and development of such systems. (authors)

  20. Affordability for sustainable energy development products

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • Clean cookstoves that also generate electricity improve affordability. • Excel spreadsheet model to assist stakeholders to choose optimum technology. • Presents views for each stakeholder villager, village and country. • By adding certain capital costs, affordability and sustainability are improved. • Affordability is highly dependent on carbon credits and social understandings. - Abstract: Clean burning products, for example cooking stoves, can reduce household air pollution (HAP), which prematurely kills 3.5 million people each year. By careful selection of components into a product package with micro-finance used for the capital payment, barriers to large-scale uptake of products that remove HAP are reduced. Such products reduce smoke from cooking and the lighting from electricity produced, eliminates smoke from kerosene lamps. A bottom-up financial model, that is cognisant of end user social needs, has been developed to compare different products for use in rural areas of developing countries. The model is freely available for use by researchers and has the ability to assist in the analysis of changing assumptions. Business views of an individual villager, the village itself and a country view are presented. The model shows that affordability (defined as the effect on household expenses as a result of a product purchase) and recognition of end-user social needs are as important as product cost. The effects of large-scale deployment (greater that 10 million per year) are described together with level of subsidy required by the poorest people. With the assumptions given, the model shows that pico-hydro is the most cost effective, but not generally available, one thermo-acoustic technology option does not require subsidy, but it is only at technology readiness level 2 (NASA definition) therefore costs are predicted and very large investment in manufacturing capability is needed to meet the cost target. Thermo-electric is currently the only

  1. An Affordable Open-Source Turbidimeter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher D. Kelley

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Turbidity is an internationally recognized criterion for assessing drinking water quality, because the colloidal particles in turbid water may harbor pathogens, chemically reduce oxidizing disinfectants, and hinder attempts to disinfect water with ultraviolet radiation. A turbidimeter is an electronic/optical instrument that assesses turbidity by measuring the scattering of light passing through a water sample containing such colloidal particles. Commercial turbidimeters cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, putting them beyond the reach of low-resource communities around the world. An affordable open-source turbidimeter based on a single light-to-frequency sensor was designed and constructed, and evaluated against a portable commercial turbidimeter. The final product, which builds on extensive published research, is intended to catalyze further developments in affordable water and sanitation monitoring.

  2. Affordances and the musically extended mind

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel eKrueger

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available I defend a model of the musically extended mind. I consider how acts of musicking grant access to novel emotional experiences otherwise inaccessible. First, I discuss the idea of musical affordances and specify both what musical affordances are and how they invite different forms of entrainment. Next, I argue that musical affordances—via soliciting different forms of entrainment—enhance the functionality of various endogenous, emotion-granting regulative processes, drawing novel experiences out of us with an expanded complexity and phenomenal character. I suggest that music therefore ought to be thought of as part of the vehicle needed to realize these emotional experiences. I appeal to different sources of empirical work to develop this idea.

  3. Refining Grasp Affordance Models by Experience

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Detry, Renaud; Kraft, Dirk; Buch, Anders Glent;

    2010-01-01

    We present a method for learning object grasp affordance models in 3D from experience, and demonstrate its applicability through extensive testing and evaluation on a realistic and largely autonomous platform. Grasp affordance refers here to relative object-gripper configurations that yield stable...... visual model of the object they characterize. We explore a batch-oriented, experience-based learning paradigm where grasps sampled randomly from a density are performed, and an importance-sampling algorithm learns a refined density from the outcomes of these experiences. The first such learning cycle is...... bootstrapped with a grasp density formed from visual cues. We show that the robot effectively applies its experience by downweighting poor grasp solutions, which results in increased success rates at subsequent learning cycles. We also present success rates in a practical scenario where a robot needs to...

  4. System Concepts for Affordable Fission Surface Power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Lee; Poston, David; Qualls, Louis

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents an overview of an affordable Fission Surface Power (FSP) system that could be used for NASA applications on the Moon and Mars. The proposed FSP system uses a low temperature, uranium dioxide-fueled, liquid metal-cooled fission reactor coupled to free-piston Stirling converters. The concept was determined by a 12 month NASA/DOE study that examined design options and development strategies based on affordability and risk. The system is considered a low development risk based on the use of terrestrial-derived reactor technology, high efficiency power conversion, and conventional materials. The low-risk approach was selected over other options that could offer higher performance and/or lower mass.

  5. Examining Affordability Issues in Northern Ireland

    OpenAIRE

    Brown, L.; S. McGreal; Gibb, K.; Joe Frey; Frey, J.

    2007-01-01

    The paper explores the relationship between house price growth, income levels, investor activity and the effects on entrants to the housing market. It concentrates on the area of first time buyers to the market and the issues of affordability which are now becoming increasingly apparent in Northern Ireland. House prices in Northern Ireland have experienced unprecedented growth particularly in the last 12 months (37% in 2006 alone according to the University of Ulster Quarterly House Price Ind...

  6. Affordable health benefits for workers without employer coverage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etheredge, L; Jones, S B

    1998-02-01

    With 42 million individuals lacking health insurance in 1996, an increase of 1.1 million uninsured from the previous year, new initiatives to deal with health insurance problems merit a high priority among domestic policy initiatives. This paper examines the opportunities for assisting full-time workers (and their families) who do not receive employer-paid health insurance-a group that now includes 49 million individuals-by using three policy tools that Congress and President Clinton have already agreed to use in recent healthcare legislation: (a) equitable tax assistance; (b) market reforms; and (c) competition among health plans that offer economical benefits. Estimates for a model plan illustrate that such strategies could make decent private health insurance more affordable and more accessible for workers and their families who want to purchase it; family insurance protection, with guaranteed issue of insurance and large-group-rated premiums, could be offered at potential savings of 42% (or more). Premiums for worker's coverage, after tax assistance, would be below $1,200 per year, i.e., less than 60 cents per hour. These market-oriented reforms can be accomplished with a limited government role, and, after start-up costs, ongoing federal expenses would be modest, predictable, and controllable. When combined with the new $24 billion child health initiative to assist low-income families, the proposed plan would provide considerable progress toward universal access to affordable insurance coverage. PMID:12856671

  7. Perceiving Affordances for Different Motor Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Whitney G.; Chan, Gladys L. Y.; Vereijken, Beatrix; Adolph, Karen E.

    2013-01-01

    We examined several factors that affect people’s ability to perceive possibilities for action. In Experiment 1, 24 participants crossed expanses of various sizes in three conditions: leaping, a familiar, launching action system; arm-swinging on monkey bars, an unpracticed skill that uses the arms rather than the legs; and crawling on hands and knees, a disused skill that involves all four limbs. Before and after performing each action, participants gave verbal judgments about the largest gap they could cross. Participants scaled initial judgments to their actual abilities in all three conditions. But they considerably underestimated their abilities for leaping, a launching action, and for arm-swinging when it was performed as a launching action; judgments about crawling, a non-launching action, and arm-swinging when it was performed as a non-launching action were more accurate. Thus, launching actions appear to produce a deficit in perceiving affordances that is not ameliorated by familiarity with the action. However, after performing the actions, participants partially corrected for the deficiency and more accurately judged their abilities for launching actions—suggesting that even brief action experience facilitates the perception of affordances. In Experiment 2, we confirmed that the deficit was due to the launching nature of the leaping and arm-swinging actions in Experiment 1. We asked an additional 12 participants to cross expanses using two non-launching actions using the legs (stepping across an expanse) and the arms (reaching across an expanse). Participants were highly accurate when judging affordances for these actions, supporting launching as the cause of the underestimation reported in Experiment 1. PMID:23411672

  8. The housing bust and housing affordability in New England

    OpenAIRE

    Robert Clifford

    2010-01-01

    This discussion paper updates the Center's 2006 housing affordability working paper, drawing on housing market data through 2008 to provide an in-depth analysis of housing affordability after the recent housing market bust. The paper looks at affordability in the New England states, their largest metropolitan areas, competitor metropolitan areas, and for the nation. The results show that as New England's housing prices have declined, affordability has been returning to the pre-housing crisis ...

  9. Experiments on affordance in the journal "ecological psychology"

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Trettvik, Johan

    2009-01-01

    There are two general aims: 1) to review how the concept of affordance is construed, in theory as well as in practice/experiments, and 2) to review the experiments on affordances.......There are two general aims: 1) to review how the concept of affordance is construed, in theory as well as in practice/experiments, and 2) to review the experiments on affordances....

  10. Dignity for all: affordable assisted living.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janeski, James F; Pruchnicki, Alec

    2006-01-01

    In 2026, the first of the baby boomers, including Presidents Clinton and Bush, will reach the age of 80, the average age of residents currently in assisted living facilities. In her book The Denial of Aging: Perpetual Youth, Eternal Life, and Other Dangerous Fantasies, Muriel Gillick proposes that the baby boomers will seek assisted living as an alternative to nursing home care. But what about that portion of the population not able to afford the high cost of private assisted living? What option will be available to the low-asset/low-income population in lieu of nursing home care? PMID:17214248

  11. How to Think About Changes in Higher Education Affordability

    OpenAIRE

    Robert B. Archibald; Feldman, David H.

    2008-01-01

    Many have argued that because the cost of attending college has increased more rapidly than family income, college has become less affordable. In this paper, we argue that this is not the correct way to think about affordability. Goods and services are more or less affordable if the consumer can or cannot afford to purchase the market basket of goods and services in the second time period he or she could afford in the first period. The measure of whether an increase in tuition and fees has in...

  12. Housing Affordability in Czech Regions and Demographic Behaviour – Does Housing Affordability Impact Fertility?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kostelecký, Tomáš; Vobecká, Jana

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 45, č. 6 (2009), s. 1191-1213. ISSN 0038-0288 R&D Projects: GA MMR WD-05-07-3 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z70280505 Keywords : housing affordability * fertility * Czech regions Subject RIV: AO - Sociology, Demography Impact factor: 0.562, year: 2009

  13. NASA's Space Launch System: Affordability for Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    May, Todd A.; Creech, Stephen D.

    2012-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Space Launch System (SLS) Program, managed at the Marshall Space Flight Center, is charged with delivering a new capability for human exploration beyond Earth orbit in an austere economic climate. But the SLS value is clear and codified in United States (U.S.) budget law. The SLS Program knows that affordability is the key to sustainability and will provide an overview of initiatives designed to fit within the funding guidelines by using existing engine assets and hardware now in testing to meet a first launch by 2017 within the projected budget. It also has a long-range plan to keep the budget flat, yet evolve the 70-tonne (t) initial lift capability to 130-t lift capability after the first two flights. To achieve the evolved configuration, advanced technologies must offer appropriate return on investment to be selected through the competitive process. For context, the SLS will be larger than the Saturn V that took 12 men on 6 trips for a total of 11 days on the lunar surface some 40 years ago. Astronauts train for long-duration voyages on platforms such as the International Space Station, but have not had transportation to go beyond Earth orbit in modern times, until now. To arrive at the launch vehicle concept, the SLS Program conducted internal engineering and business studies that have been externally validated by industry and reviewed by independent assessment panels. In parallel with SLS concept studies, NASA is now refining its mission manifest, guided by U.S. space policy and the Global Exploration Roadmap, which reflects the mutual goals of a dozen member nations. This mission planning will converge with a flexible heavy-lift rocket that can carry international crews and the air, water, food, and equipment they need for extended trips to asteroids and Mars. In addition, the SLS capability will accommodate very large science instruments and other payloads, using a series of modular fairings and

  14. Visual Descriptor Learning for Predicting Grasping Affordances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Mikkel Tang

    2016-01-01

    feature space consisting of surface features was performed. Dimensions in the visual space were varied and the effects were evaluated with the task of grasping unknown object. The evaluation was performed using a novel probabilistic grasp prediction approach based on neighbourhood analysis. The resulting...... success-rates for predicting grasps were between 75% and 90% depending on the object class. The investigations also provided insights into the importance of selecting a proper visual feature space when utilising it for predicting affordances. As a consequence of the gained insights, a semi-local surface...... for creating a hierarchical representation of visual surface descriptors in SE(3). The mechanism provides a generic way of creating a hierarchical representation of N layers using pairs of descriptors. The created hierarchies were evaluated on the task of grasping unknown objects and the resulting...

  15. Affordances of form in stanzaic narrative poetry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. McHale

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available This article develops the notion that poetry is crucially distinguished from other forms of verbal art by its foregrounding of segmentivity, the spacing of language. If a measure is regarded as the smallest unit of resistance to meaning, measure determines where gaps open up in a poetic text. Poetry is, however, not only measured, but typically countermeasured and narrative in poetry can also be countermeasured against the segmentation that is specific to narrative. The present article investigates segmentivity in one particular type of narrative poem, namely poems in discontinuous stanzaic forms. The concept of affordances (referring to different potentials for use is applied to the stanzaic form in Edmund Spenser’s “The faerie queene” (1590; 1596 and to the “ottava rima” stanza, as exemplified by Kenneth Koch’s postmodernist narrative poem, “Seasons on earth” (1960; 1977; 1987.

  16. Affordable Hybrid Heat Pump Clothes Dryer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    TeGrotenhuis, Ward E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Butterfield, Andrew [Jabil, St. Petersburg, FL (United States); Caldwell, Dustin D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Crook, Alexander [Jabil, St. Petersburg, FL (United States)

    2016-06-30

    This project was successful in demonstrating the feasibility of a step change in residential clothes dryer energy efficiency by demonstrating heat pump technology capable of 50% energy savings over conventional standard-size electric dryers with comparable drying times. A prototype system was designed from off-the-shelf components that can meet the project’s efficiency goals and are affordable. An experimental prototype system was built based on the design that reached 50% energy savings. Improvements have been identified that will reduce drying times of over 60 minutes to reach the goal of 40 minutes. Nevertheless, the prototype represents a step change in efficiency over heat pump dryers recently introduced to the U.S. market, with 30% improvement in energy efficiency at comparable drying times.

  17. We all want it, but we don't know what it is: toward a standard of affordability for health insurance premiums.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muennig, Peter; Sampat, Bhaven; Tilipman, Nicholas; Brown, Lawrence D; Glied, Sherry A

    2011-10-01

    The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148), or ACA, requires that U.S. citizens either purchase health insurance or pay a fine. To offset the financial burden for lower-income households, it also provides subsidies to ensure that health insurance premiums are affordable. However, relatively little work has been done on how such affordability standards should be set. The existing literature on affordability is not grounded in social norms and has methodological and theoretical flaws. To address these issues, we developed a series of hypothetical vignettes in which individual and household sociodemographic characteristics were varied. We then convened a panel of eighteen experts with extensive experience in affordability standards to evaluate the extent to which each vignette character could afford to pay for one of two health insurance plans. The panel varied with respect to political ideology and discipline. We find that there was considerable disagreement about how affordability is defined. There was also disagreement about what might be included in an affordability standard, with substantive debate surrounding whether savings, debt, education, or single parenthood is relevant. There was also substantial variation in experts' assessed affordability scores. Nevertheless, median expert affordability assessments were not far from those of ACA. PMID:21785011

  18. Postpartum Depression and the Affordable Care Act: Recommendations for Social Work Educators

    OpenAIRE

    Robert H. Keefe; Carol Brownstein-Evans; Lane, Sandra D.; D. Bruce Carter; Rebecca S. Rouland Polmanteer

    2016-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates ongoing research on postpartum depression; however, very little research has been published in social work journals and in advanced-level textbooks on this topic. This article describes the problem of postpartum depression and argues that social work educators and researchers must pay greater attention to this issue in light of the ACA mandates, so that social workers can provide effective services to postpartum mothers and their c...

  19. Physicians, the Affordable Care Act, and Primary Care: Disruptive Change or Business as Usual?

    OpenAIRE

    JACOBSON, Peter D.; Jazowski, Shelley A.

    2011-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act1 (ACA) presages disruptive change in primary care delivery. With expanded access to primary care for millions of new patients, physicians and policymakers face increased pressure to solve the perennial shortage of primary care practitioners. Despite the controversy surrounding its enactment, the ACA should motivate organized medicine to take the lead in shaping new strategies for meeting the nation’s primary care needs. In this commentary, we arg...

  20. THE IMPACTS OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: HOW REASONABLE ARE THE PROJECTIONS?

    OpenAIRE

    Gruber, Jonathan

    2011-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the most comprehensive reform of the U.S. medical system in at least 45 years. The ACA transforms the non-group insurance market in the United States, mandates that most residents have health insurance, significantly expands public insurance and subsidizes private insurance coverage, raises revenues from a variety of new taxes, and reduces and reorganizes spending under the nation’s largest health insurance plan, Medicare. Projecting the...

  1. Theoretical Framework of Fair Distribution of Affordable Housing in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Zhang

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization and industrialization in China result in dramatic growth of population in urban areas. The housing price rises so high that low-income people living in urban cannot afford to buy their own houses. In order to alleviate their housing plight, affordable housing has been built in mainland China. However, unfair distribution of affordable housing failed to accomplish the goal of this program. The paper firstly introduces the current situation and problem of affordable housing distribution. It then discusses the rationale of Theory of Justice from John Rawl, and puts forward a systematic legal framework, which consists of affordable housing legislation, enforcement, judiciary and sanction, to safeguard the justice of affordable housing distribution.

  2. Rethinking Space Design Standards Toward Quality Affordable Housing In Malaysia

    OpenAIRE

    Ishak Nor Haniza; Mohd Ariffin Ati Rosemary; Sulaiman Raha; Mohd Zailani Muhammad Najib

    2016-01-01

    Provision of affordable housing is important to low- and middle-income population. A fit form of house will not only fulfil a basic human need for shelter, but it also contributes to physical and psychological well-being of the occupants. Excellent quality and affordable housing is an indication of a high quality of life. While writings exist on various aspects of the quality of affordable housing in Malaysia, discussion regarding space and design standards has scarcely been given any serious...

  3. A ratio or budget benchmark for comparing affordability across countries?

    OpenAIRE

    Heylen, Kristof; Haffner, Marietta

    2013-01-01

    In this article, the methodological strengths and weaknesses of two common housing affordability indicators - the expenditure-to-income ratio and the residual income - are discussed, using data for the Belgian region of Flanders and the Netherlands. Affordability standards are used in order to distinguish the group facing affordability problems. In case of residual income, we use minimum budget standards – excluding housing - that allow for decent participation in society. For the expenditur...

  4. Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities and the Affordable Care Act: a Status Update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sealy-Jefferson, Shawnita; Vickers, Jasmine; Elam, Angela; Wilson, M Roy

    2015-12-01

    Persistent racial and ethnic health disparities exist in the USA, despite decades of research and public health initiatives. Several factors contribute to health disparities, including (but not limited to) implicit provider bias, access to health care, social determinants, and biological factors. Disparities in health by race/ethnicity are unacceptable and correctable. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a comprehensive legislation that is focused on improving health care access, quality, and cost control. This health care reform includes specific provisions which focus on preventive care, the standardized collection of data on race, ethnicity, primary language and disability status, and health information technology. Although some provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have not been implemented, such as funding for the U.S. Public Health Sciences track, which would have addressed the shortage of medical professionals in the USA who are trained to use patient-centered, interdisciplinary, and care coordination approaches, this legislation is still poised to make great strides toward eliminating health disparities. The purpose of this manuscript is to highlight the unprecedented opportunities that exist for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health in the USA. PMID:26668787

  5. Control your mind, make affordance available.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Zheng; Lee, Yang; Zhu, Jin

    2015-01-01

    Evaluating the affordance-control interpretation of the relationship between performance and object estimation has been proposed by psychophysical and psychonomic studies. This study examined the weight estimation-performance relationship. Individuals with visual impairment or blindness put shots that varied in weight among five scales. In Experiment 1, only the perceived weight was a significant performance constraint. In Experiment 2, the weight was perceived as heavier when the participants' actions were manipulated through cognitive interpretation. The increase in perceived weight appeared to be related to performance and intrinsically scaled to the action, even when the action was only mental rather than physical. The study's findings suggest that bodily experience and action are the basis for physical judgments and likely underlie other basic cognitive interpretations of sensory stimuli. This suggestion goes hand in hand with the biofunctional approaches which assume direct experience of the integrated wholeness of one's body is fundamental for developing other kinds of awareness. Different perspectives from oriental philosophy and psychology are also discussed. PMID:25741298

  6. Empathy and the responsiveness to social affordances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiverstein, Julian

    2015-11-01

    The direct perception theory of empathy claims that we can immediately experience a person's state of mind. I can see for instance that my neighbour is angry with me in his bodily countenance. I develop a version of the direct perception theory of empathy which takes this perceptual capacity to depend upon recognising in what way the other person is responsive to the affordances the environment provides. By recognising which possibilities for action are relevant to a person, I can thereby understand something about the meaning they give to the world. I come to share something of their perspective on the world, and this allows me to grasp based on my perception of them something about their current state of mind. I argue that shared affect plays a central role in this perceptual capacity. Shared affect allows me to orient my attention to possibilities for action that matter to the other person. I end by briefly discuss the implications of this view of empathy for the disturbances in so-called "cognitive empathy" that are found in people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. PMID:26021190

  7. Partnerships for affordable and equitable disaster insurance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mysiak, J.; Pérez-Blanco, C. D.

    2015-08-01

    Extreme events are becoming more frequent and intense, inflating the economic damages and social hardship set-off by natural catastrophes. Amidst budgetary cuts, there is a growing concern on societies' ability to design solvent disaster recovery strategies, while addressing equity and affordability concerns. The participation of private sector along with public one through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) has gained on importance as a means to address these seemingly conflicting objectives through the provision of (catastrophic) natural hazard insurance. This is the case of many OECD countries, notably some EU Member States such as the United Kingdom and Spain. The EU legislator has adapted to this new scenario and recently produced major reforms in the legislation and regulation that govern the framework in which PPPs for (catastrophic) natural hazard insurance develop. This paper has a dual objective: (1) review the complex legal background that rules the provision of insurance against natural catastrophes in the EU after these major reforms, (2) assess the implications of the reforms and offer concise Policy Guiding Principles.

  8. Affordable underwater wireless optical communication using LEDs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilipenko, Vladimir; Arnon, Shlomi

    2013-09-01

    In recent years the need for high data rate underwater wireless communication (WC) has increased. Nowadays, the conventional technology for underwater communication is acoustic. However, the maximum data rate that acoustic technology can provide is a few kilobits per second. On the other hand, emerging applications such as underwater imaging, networks of sensors and swarms of underwater vehicles require much faster data rates. As a result, underwater optical WC, which can provide much higher data rates, has been proposed as an alternative means of communication. In addition to high data rates, affordable communication systems become an important feature in the development requirements. The outcome of these requirements is a new system design based on off-the-shelf components such as blue and green light emitting diodes (LEDs). This is due to the fact that LEDs offer solutions characterized by low cost, high efficiency, reliability and compactness. However, there are some challenges to be met when incorporating LEDs as part of the optical transmitter, such as low modulation rates and non linearity. In this paper, we review the main challenges facing the incorporation of LEDs as an integral part of underwater WC systems and propose some techniques to mitigate the LED limitations in order to achieve high data rate communication

  9. Ground Processing Affordability for Space Vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingalls, John; Scott, Russell

    2011-01-01

    Launch vehicles and most of their payloads spend the majority of their time on the ground. The cost of ground operations is very high. So, why so often is so little attention given to ground processing during development? The current global space industry and economic environment are driving more need for efficiencies to save time and money. Affordability and sustainability are more important now than ever. We can not continue to treat space vehicles as mere science projects. More RLV's (Reusable Launch Vehicles) are being developed for the gains of reusability which are not available for ELV's (Expendable Launch Vehicles). More human-rated vehicles are being developed, with the retirement of the Space Shuttles, and for a new global space race, yet these cost more than the many unmanned vehicles of today. We can learn many lessons on affordability from RLV's. DFO (Design for Operations) considers ground operations during design, development, and manufacturing-before the first flight. This is often minimized for space vehicles, but is very important. Vehicles are designed for launch and mission operations. You will not be able to do it again if it is too slow or costly to get there. Many times, technology changes faster than space products such that what is launched includes outdated features, thus reducing competitiveness. Ground operations must be considered for the full product Lifecycle, from concept to retirement. Once manufactured, launch vehicles along with their payloads and launch systems require a long path of processing before launch. Initial assembly and testing always discover problems to address. A solid integration program is essential to minimize these impacts, as was seen in the Constellation Ares I-X test rocket. For RLV's, landing/recovery and post-flight turnaround activities are performed. Multi-use vehicles require reconfiguration. MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) must be well-planned--- even for the unplanned problems. Defect limits and

  10. Commercial Platforms Allow Affordable Space Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    At an altitude of about 240 miles, its orbital path carries it over 90 percent of the Earth s population. It circles the Earth in continuous free fall; its crew of six and one Robonaut pass the days, experiencing 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets every 24 hours, in microgravity, an environment in which everything from bodily functions to the physical behavior of materials changes drastically from what is common on the ground. Outside its shielded confines, temperatures cycle from one extreme to the other, radiation is rampant, and atomic oxygen corrodes everything it touches. A unique feat of engineering, the International Space Station (ISS) also represents the most remarkable platform for scientific research ever devised. In 2005, anticipating the space station s potential for NASA and non-NASA scientists alike, the NASA Authorization Act designated the US segment of the ISS as a national laboratory, instructing the Agency to "increase the utilization of the ISS by other Federal entities and the private sector." With the ISS set to maintain operations through at least 2020, the station offers an unprecedented long-term access to space conditions, enabling research not previously possible. "There will be new drug discoveries, new pharmaceuticals, a better understanding of how we affect the planet and how we can maintain it," says Marybeth Edeen, the ISS National Laboratory manager, based at Johnson Space Center. The ISS, she says, represents a major example of the government s role in making such advancements possible. "The government is key in that researchers cannot afford to build the kind of infrastructure that the government can provide. But we then have to make that infrastructure available at a reasonable cost." Enter Jeff Manber, who saw in the ISS National Lab an extraordinary opportunity to advance science, education, and business in ways never before seen.

  11. Affordable Space Tourism: SpaceStationSim

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    For over 5 years, people have been living and working in space on the International Space Station (ISS), a state-of-the-art laboratory complex orbiting high above the Earth. Offering a large, sustained microgravity environment that cannot be duplicated on Earth, the ISS furthers humankind s knowledge of science and how the body functions for extended periods of time in space all of which will prove vital on long-duration missions to Mars. On-orbit construction of the station began in November 1998, with the launch of the Russian Zarya Control Module, which provided battery power and fuel storage. This module was followed by additional components and supplies over the course of several months. In November 2000, the first ISS Expedition crew moved in. Since then, the ISS has continued to change and evolve. The space station is currently 240 feet wide, measured across the solar arrays, and 171 feet long, from the NASA Destiny Laboratory to the Russian Zvezda Habitation Module. It is 90 feet tall, and it weighs approximately 404,000 pounds. Crews inhabit a living space of about 15,000 cubic feet. To date, 90 scientific investigations have been conducted on the space station. New results from space station research, from basic science to exploration research, are being published each month, and more breakthroughs are likely to come. It is not all work on the space station, though. The orbiting home affords many of the comforts one finds on Earth. There is a weightless "weight room" and even a musical keyboard alongside research facilities. Holidays are observed, and with them, traditional foods such as turkey and cobbler are eaten, with lemonade to wash them down

  12. Affordable WDM components: the polymer solution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldada, Louay A.; Yin, Shing; Norwood, Robert A.; Yardley, James T.

    1998-02-01

    An advanced polymeric waveguide technology was developed for affordable WDM components that address the needs of both the Telecom and the Datacom industries. We engineered high- performance organic polymers that can be readily made into both multimode and single-mode optical waveguide structures of controlled numerical aperture and geometry. These materials are formed from highly-crosslinked acrylate monomers with specific linkages that determine properties such as flexibility, toughness, loss, and environmental stability. These monomers are intermiscible, providing for precise adjustment of the refractive index from 1.3 to 1.6. In polymer form, they exhibit state-of-the-art loss values, high thermal stability, high humidity resistance, low dispersion and low birefringence. Waveguides are formed photolithographically, with the liquid monomer mixture polymerizing upon illumination in the UV via either mask exposure or laser direct writing. A wide range of rigid and flexible substrates can be used, including glass, quartz, oxidized silicon, glass-filled epoxy printed circuit board substrate, and flexible polyimide film. Waveguiding structures measuring tens of inches in length can be produced on computer boards, and guides that are meters long can be printed on rolls of plastic. We describe the fabrication of both Bragg gratings and waveguide grating routes in our polymers for filtering and demultiplexing applications in Telecom WDM systems. In Datacom, we describe polymeric components that we produced for aerospace WDM sensor systems. The importance of CAD tools in designing WDM devices is emphasized in this work. We further discuss the low-cost manufacturing of WDM components in an industrial environment.

  13. Nurturing Opportunities for Educational Leadership: How Affordance and Leadership Interconnect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margolin, Ilana

    2013-01-01

    This qualitative ethnographic study focused on the affordances that facilitated the emergence of leadership, capturing a range of perspectives on leadership and leadership development of four groups: district superintendents; teacher-educators; mentor-teachers and graduates. The term "affordances" implies a reciprocal relationship…

  14. An Affordability Comparison Tool (ACT) for Space Transportation

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCleskey, C. M.; Bollo, T. R.; Garcia, J. L.

    2012-01-01

    NASA bas recently emphasized the importance of affordability for Commercial Crew Development Program (CCDP), Space Launch Systems (SLS) and Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). System architects and designers are challenged to come up with architectures and designs that do not bust the budget. This paper describes the Affordability Comparison Tool (ACT) analyzes different systems or architecture configurations for affordability that allows for a comparison of: total life cycle cost; annual recurring costs, affordability figures-of-merit, such as cost per pound, cost per seat, and cost per flight, as well as productivity measures, such as payload throughput. Although ACT is not a deterministic model, the paper develops algorithms and parametric factors that use characteristics of the architectures or systems being compared to produce important system outcomes (figures-of-merit). Example applications of outcome figures-of-merit are also documented to provide the designer with information on the relative affordability and productivity of different space transportation applications.

  15. The Affordable Care Act: the ethical call to transform the organizational culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piper, Llewellyn E

    2014-01-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will require health care leaders and managers to develop strategies and implement organizational tactics for their organization to survive and thrive under the federal mandates of this new health care law. Successful health care organizations and health care systems will be defined by their adaptability in the new value-based marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act. The most critical underlining challenge for this success will be the effective transformation of the organizational culture. Transformational value-based leadership is now needed to answer the ethical call for transforming the organizational culture. This article provides a model and recommendations to influence change in the most difficult leadership duty-transforming the organizational culture. PMID:25068882

  16. What Health Care Reform Means for Immigrants: Comparing the Affordable Care Act and Massachusetts Health Reforms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph, Tiffany D

    2016-02-01

    The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed to provide more affordable health coverage to Americans beginning in 2014. Modeled after the 2006 Massachusetts health care reform, the ACA includes an individual mandate, Medicaid expansion, and health exchanges through which middle-income individuals can purchase coverage from private insurance companies. However, while the ACA provisions exclude all undocumented and some documented immigrants, Massachusetts uses state and hospital funds to extend coverage to these groups. This article examines the ACA reform using the Massachusetts reform as a comparative case study to outline how citizenship status influences individuals' coverage options under both policies. The article then briefly discusses other states that provide coverage to ACA-ineligible immigrants and the implications of uneven ACA implementation for immigrants and citizens nationwide. PMID:26567382

  17. Cross-clade immunity in cats vaccinated with a canarypox-vectored avian influenza vaccine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Several felid species have been shown to be susceptible to infection with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses of the H5N1 subtype. Infection of felids by H5N1 HPAI virus is often fatal, and cat-to-cat transmission has been documented. Domestic cats may then be involved in the transmis...

  18. Criteria for Affordable Housing Performance Measurement: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esruq-Labin A.M.J.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A home is one of the basic human needs, thus a new concept known as Grow Home has risen. This concept was established to encourage more families to buy their own houses. The Grow Home concept is based on the notion of affordable housing. This paper aims to explore a proposal for affordable housing measurement with six assessment components. In other words, this work intends to study factors that can affect affordable housing assessment. In this paper, we investigated the 20 criteria for affordable housing assessment given by Mulliner and Maliene in their study. Then, we rearranged these criteria into five components, and added the Grow Home component. Each component has different criteria. Finally, six affordable housing measurement components are identified, namely, income ratios, loans and accommodations, facilities and services, safety and comfort, quality management, and Grow Home. These components are also considered as main factors that directly affect affordable housing. This study aspires to contribute to existing literature by proposing six assessment components as a measurement of affordable housing.

  19. Developing an Assessment Framework for Affordable and Sustainable Housing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Pullen

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable housing has been subject to research, practice and policy making for some considerable time. More recently attention has been drawn to the separate problem of declining affordability in housing. This paper describes research aimed at developing an assessment framework for both affordability and sustainability as part of the effort to incorporate both of these features into new housing projects. The research has a particular focus on developments aimed at urban densification. Background literature on both affordability and sustainability is reviewed as well as emerging schemes aimed at dealing with both aspects of housing developments. Performance indicators are identified and these are incorporated in an interim assessment framework which is tested using a group of industry experts. The research has highlighted areas where further development is required to attain quantitative assessments of affordable and sustainable housing developments

  20. Facilitating investment in affordable housing: towards an Australian model. Draft

    OpenAIRE

    Lawson, J. M.; Berry, M; Milligan, V.; Yates, J

    2009-01-01

    This paper argues that sustainable and affordable finance provides a crucial pillar to support the provision of affordable housing in the long term. This finance can take on a variety of forms, comprising grants, public loans, commercial loans as well as shareholder equity. It can be facilitated by various forms of collateral, government guarantees, mortgage insurance and tax privileges, often involving a specialist financial intermediary. Importantly, how this pillar is constructed influence...

  1. Direct subsidies and housing affordability in Australian private rental markets

    OpenAIRE

    Gavin A Wood; Matthew Forbes; Kenneth Gibb

    2005-01-01

    Many countries have undergone a broad retreat from the use of indirect (supply) subsidies to meet low-income housing-affordability problems, shifting to direct subsidies often linked to means-tested income-maintenance systems. Although the reasons for this change of direction are well documented, the efficacy of direct housing subsidies in terms of tackling affordability remains in question. The authors examine in detail one such system, Australia’s Rent Assistance (RA) programme, making use ...

  2. Learning Basic Object Affordances in a Robotic System

    OpenAIRE

    Ridge, Barry

    2014-01-01

    One of the fundamental enabling mechanisms of human and animal intelligence, and equally, one of the great challenges of modern day autonomous robotics is the ability to perceive and exploit environmental affordances. To recognise how you can interact with objects in the world, that is to recognise what they afford you, is to speak the language of cause and effect, and as with most languages, practice is one of the most important paths to understanding. This is clear from early childhood deve...

  3. Development of Basic Housing Systems for Maximum Affordability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aglan, H.; Gibbons, A.; McQueen, T.M.; Morris, C.; Raines, J.; Wendt, R.L.

    1999-04-19

    The ability to provide safe, habitable, comfortable housing for very low income residents within the target budget of $10,000 presents unique design and construction challenges. However, a number of preliminary conclusions have been inferred as being important concepts relative to the study of affordable housing. The term affordable housing can have many meanings and research is needed to define this explicitly. As it is most often used, affordable housing refers to an economic relationship between the price of housing, household income and current interest rates available from a lending institution. There is no direct relationship between architectural style, construction technology or user needs and the concept of affordability. For any home to be affordable, the home owner must balance the combination of housing needs and desires within the limits of an actual budget. There are many misconceptions that affordable housing must be defined as housing for those who cannot afford the free-market price. The concept of affordable housing must also include a component that recognizes the quality of the housing as an important element of the design and construction. In addition, responses to local climate impacts are necessary and are always part of a regional expression of architectural design. By using careful planning and design it may be possible to construct a limited dwelling unit today for a sum of approximately $10,000. Since the organization of the construction process must involve the owner/occupants as well as other volunteers, the project must not only be well conceived, but well developed and coordinated.

  4. Collaborative Affordances of Hybrid Patient Record Technologies in Medical Work

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Houben, Steven; Frost, Mads; Bardram, Jakob E

    2015-01-01

    The medical record is a central artifact used to organize, communicate and coordinate information related to patient care. Despite recent deployments of electronic health records (EHR), paper medical records are still widely used because of the affordances of paper. Although a number of approache...... a medical simulation. Based on these empirical studies, this paper introduces and discusses the concept of collaborative affordances, which describes a set of properties of the medical record that foster collaborative collocated work....

  5. Mobile Tritium Removal Facility - an affordable option?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tritium removal facilities are only likely to be an issue when CANDU plants have matured and the increasing tritium levels in the water have become intolerable from a personnel health physics perspective. Even then some station owners claim that a Tritium removal facility is unnecessary, because improved health physics performance and practices is all that is required to protect against possible personnel exposure. To support this argument it is also true to say that the tritium accumulation does stabilize, and will reach a stage where the tritium content will no longer increase. However for station owners that support the view that they follow an ALARA principle in which only the lowest level achievable is acceptable, a tritium extraction plant when the plant is new or one built later when the plant is operating and in mid life, both have arguments to support the expense. For a CANDU reactor in mid-life, there are two options for siting the Tritium Removal Facility (TRF): Stationary Option which will require permanent structures for each station; and, Mobile Option which considers a complete TRF that can be moved from station to station. In most existing CANDU-6 stations, no provisions have been made to construct and operate a TRF. This would make the Stationary Option costly because space would have to be provided and newly added infrastructure would have to be installed. With appropriate seismic qualification and following the necessary codes and standards, a Mobile TRF unit could be more cost effective, particularly if there were a possibility to share the unit with other stations in like position. (author)

  6. Affordability of electric vehicles for a sustainable transport system: An economic and environmental analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper compares the economic and environmental benefits of electric and hybrid electric vehicles with that of conventional vehicles. Without tax credits, only the hybrids without plug-in incur lifetime total costs equivalent to a conventional vehicle whereas the consumer affordability for all other vehicles is less encouraging and depends on changes in gasoline prices. With the provision of federal tax incentives, the lifetime total cost for all electric vehicle types that are driven for 120,000 miles over 12 years was found to be generally affordable with no more than 5% higher in lifetime total cost than a conventional vehicle, except the hybrid electric plug-in equipped with a 35-mile electric driving range. Results of sensitivity analysis reveal that a greater lifetime driven mileage would promote further overall cost savings even at a greenhouse gas abatement cost as low as $42 per ton. Our study has demonstrated the importance of an energy policy that includes tax credits to address the inadequacy of cost differentials and consumer affordability. The environmental benefits provided by the electric and hybrid electric vehicles should satisfy consumers' interest in protecting the environment, reducing the dependence on imported fossil fuels, and switching from traditional to alternative fuel vehicles. - Highlights: • Electric/hybrid vehicles exhibit at least 27% lower in lifetime energy cost. • Electric/hybrid cars with tax credits are <5% higher in lifetime ownership cost, except PHEV35. • Hybrid electric vehicles provide more than 28% reduction in GHG tailpipe emission, as compared with a CV. • Upstream energy production elevates the lifetime emission cost at high gas prices. • The lifetime total cost with tax credits are affordably <5% higher than CVs, except PHEV35

  7. The Affordable Care Act, health care reform, prescription drug formularies and utilization management tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ung, Brian L; Mullins, C Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (hence, Affordable Care Act, or ACA) was signed into law on March 23, 2010. Goals of the ACA include decreasing the number of uninsured people, controlling cost and spending on health care, increasing the quality of care provided, and increasing insurance coverage benefits. This manuscript focuses on how the ACA affects pharmacy benefit managers and consumers when they have prescriptions dispensed. PBMs use formularies and utilization control tools to steer drug usage toward cost-effective and efficacious agents. A logic model was developed to explain the effects of the new legislation. The model draws from peer-reviewed and gray literature commentary about current and future U.S. healthcare reform. Outcomes were identified as desired and undesired effects, and expected unintended consequences. The ACA extends health insurance benefits to almost 32 million people and provides financial assistance to those up to 400% of the poverty level. Increased access to care leads to a similar increase in overall health care demand and usage. This short-term increase is projected to decrease downstream spending on disease treatment and stunt the continued growth of health care costs, but may unintentionally exacerbate the current primary care physician shortage. The ACA eliminates limitations on insurance and increases the scope of benefits. Online health care insurance exchanges give patients a central location with multiple insurance options. Problems with prescription drug affordability and control utilization tools used by PBMs were not addressed by the ACA. Improving communication within the U.S. healthcare system either by innovative health care delivery models or increased usage of health information technology will help alleviate problems of health care spending and affordability. PMID:25217142

  8. The Affordance Template ROS Package for Robot Task Programming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Stephen; Dinh, Paul; Hambuchen, Kimberly

    2015-01-01

    This paper introduces the Affordance Template ROS package for quickly programming, adjusting, and executing robot applications in the ROS RViz environment. This package extends the capabilities of RViz interactive markers by allowing an operator to specify multiple end-effector waypoint locations and grasp poses in object-centric coordinate frames and to adjust these waypoints in order to meet the run-time demands of the task (specifically, object scale and location). The Affordance Template package stores task specifications in a robot-agnostic XML description format such that it is trivial to apply a template to a new robot. As such, the Affordance Template package provides a robot-generic ROS tool appropriate for building semi-autonomous, manipulation-based applications. Affordance Templates were developed by the NASA-JSC DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) team and have since successfully been deployed on multiple platforms including the NASA Valkyrie and Robonaut 2 humanoids, the University of Texas Dreamer robot and the Willow Garage PR2. In this paper, the specification and implementation of the affordance template package is introduced and demonstrated through examples for wheel (valve) turning, pick-and-place, and drill grasping, evincing its utility and flexibility for a wide variety of robot applications.

  9. Conflict between object structural and functional affordances in peripersonal space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalénine, Solène; Wamain, Yannick; Decroix, Jérémy; Coello, Yann

    2016-10-01

    Recent studies indicate that competition between conflicting action representations slows down planning of object-directed actions. The present study aims to assess whether similar conflict effects exist during manipulable object perception. Twenty-six young adults performed reach-to-grasp and semantic judgements on conflictual objects (with competing structural and functional gestures) and non-conflictual objects (with similar structural and functional gestures) presented at difference distances in a 3D virtual environment. Results highlight a space-dependent conflict between structural and functional affordances. Perceptual judgments on conflictual objects were slower that perceptual judgments on non-conflictual objects, but only when objects were presented within reach. Findings demonstrate that competition between structural and functional affordances during object perception induces a processing cost, and further show that object position in space can bias affordance competition. PMID:27327864

  10. Exploring Affordances of Social Media Use in Election Campaigns

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dyrby, Signe; Jensen, Tina Blegind

    this tendency by posing two research questions: 1) what do political parties perceive as affordances of social media use in their campaign strategy? And 2) how are these affordances reflected in the political parties’ actual actions during the campaign? To address the two questions, we conducted a...... of generating interaction and involvement is limited by their actions as most of them do not engage with the users’ posts and comments. The tensions between perceived affordances and actual use prompt further investigation of what political parties should consider when engaging in social media......In recent years, social media have become omnipresent and highly important for social networking and content sharing. Lately we have witnessed how also political parties adopt social media as part of their political campaign strategy. The purpose of this work-in-progress paper is to investigate...

  11. The role of affordances in Libras acquisition as second language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jéssica Puhl

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Libras is a visual-spatial language used by the Brazilian deaf community. Following the principles of spatiality and vision, the user of the sign language resorts more easily to stimuli from the environment than the user of the oral language. Thus, the hypothesis of this research is that the affordances (environmental properties that enable psychologically possible actions would be a facilitator element in the process of Libras acquisition. In this paper we use the narrative and interpretive-qualitative research to discuss the role of affordances in the listener perception, interpretation and action cycle in Libras acquisition as second language. Results show that the Libras’ iconic signs can be considered important affordances in the early stages of the acquisition. It is also observed the importance of the permanence in the niche where Libras is used for the sign language development.

  12. Conflict in the kitchen: Contextual modulation of responsiveness to affordances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wokke, Martijn E; Knot, Sarah L; Fouad, Aisha; Richard Ridderinkhof, K

    2016-02-01

    Recently, human behavior has been considered the product of continuous interactions between perception, cognition and action in which "affordances" (action possibilities the environment has to offer) play an important role. Converging evidence suggests that multiple action possibilities simultaneously compete for further processing, while external and internal factors (e.g., incoming sensory information, predictions) bias this competition. In the present study we used a stop-task to investigate whether context is able to modulate the strength of the responsiveness to affordances. We therefore placed participants in an actual kitchen and workshop during electroencephalographic recordings. A faster response to context congruent objects demonstrated that the direct surrounding is able to affect responsiveness to affordances. In addition, when responses needed to be withheld, context congruent objects evoked greater response conflict as indicated by an enhanced N2 Event Related Potential (ERP) component. PMID:26821243

  13. The affordable housing shortage: considering the problem, causes and solutions

    OpenAIRE

    2002-01-01

    Many observers claim that we are in the midst of an “affordable housing shortage” or, even worse, an “affordable housing crisis.” The primary concern is that too many households live in “unaffordable” rental units. We hope to clarify the current debate by first measuring the size of the problem, then diagnosing its underlying causes and, finally, discussing treatments that policymakers should consider. While our review is hardly exhaustive, we conclude that a shortage of income is largely beh...

  14. Approach to an Affordable and Sustainable Space Transportation System

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCleskey, Caey M.; Rhodes, R. E.; Robinson, J. W.; Henderson, E. M.

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes an approach and a general procedure for creating space transportation architectural concepts that are at once affordable and sustainable. Previous papers by the authors and other members of the Space Propulsion Synergy Team (SPST) focused on a functional system breakdown structure for an architecture and definition of high-payoff design techniques with a technology integration strategy. This paper follows up by using a structured process that derives architectural solutions focused on achieving life cycle affordability and sustainability. Further, the paper includes an example concept that integrates key design techniques discussed in previous papers. !

  15. Adults ages 50-64 and the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Sara R; Doty, Michelle M; Garber, Tracy

    2010-12-01

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which will provide health insurance to nearly all U.S. citizens and improve the quality of health insurance, will particularly benefit adults ages 50 to 64, a group suffering from extended unemployment and a loss of employer health benefits. Several early provisions that go into effect in 2010, including preexisting condition insurance plans, will provide transitional assistance for adults who have struggled to gain health insurance. The biggest improvements will come in 2014 through a significant expansion in eligibility for Medicaid and the creation of health insurance exchanges with subsidized private insurance for people with low and moderate incomes. Of the 8.6 million adults ages 50 to 64 who were uninsured in 2009, up to 6.8 million may gain subsidized insurance through Medicaid and the exchanges and 1.4 million with higher incomes will have access to comprehensive health plans with new consumer protections. PMID:21155372

  16. Affordable comfort 95 - investing in our energy future

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-12-31

    This report describes the topics from the conference on Affordable Comfort, held March 26-31, 1995. Topics are concerned with energy efficiency in homes, retrofitting, weatherization, and monitoring of appliances, heating, and air conditioning systems for performance, as well as topics on electric utilities.

  17. 24 CFR 1000.101 - What is affordable housing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 4 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false What is affordable housing? 1000.101 Section 1000.101 Housing and Urban Development Regulations Relating to Housing and Urban Development (Continued) OFFICE OF ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC AND INDIAN HOUSING, DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING...

  18. 24 CFR 81.14 - Special Affordable Housing Goal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Special Affordable Housing Goal. 81.14 Section 81.14 Housing and Urban Development Office of the Secretary, Department of Housing and... MAE) AND THE FEDERAL HOME LOAN MORTGAGE CORPORATION (FREDDIE MAC) Housing Goals § 81.14...

  19. Lean, Mean and Green: An Affordable Net Zero School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanfield, Kenneth

    2010-01-01

    From its conception, Richardsville Elementary was designed to be an affordable net zero facility. The design team explored numerous energy saving strategies to dramatically reduce energy consumption. By reducing energy use to 19.31 kBtus annually, the net zero goal could be realized through the implementation of a solar array capable of producing…

  20. Pedagogical Affordances of Multiple External Representations in Scientific Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Hsin-Kai; Puntambekar, Sadhana

    2012-12-01

    Multiple external representations (MERs) have been widely used in science teaching and learning. Theories such as dual coding theory and cognitive flexibility theory have been developed to explain why the use of MERs is beneficial to learning, but they do not provide much information on pedagogical issues such as how and in what conditions MERs could be introduced and used to support students' engagement in scientific processes and develop competent scientific practices (e.g., asking questions, planning investigations, and analyzing data). Additionally, little is understood about complex interactions among scientific processes and affordances of MERs. Therefore, this article focuses on pedagogical affordances of MERs in learning environments that engage students in various scientific processes. By reviewing literature in science education and cognitive psychology and integrating multiple perspectives, this article aims at exploring (1) how MERs can be integrated with science processes due to their different affordances, and (2) how student learning with MERs can be scaffolded, especially in a classroom situation. We argue that pairing representations and scientific processes in a principled way based on the affordances of the representations and the goals of the activities is a powerful way to use MERs in science education. Finally, we outline types of scaffolding that could help effective use of MERs including dynamic linking, model progression, support in instructional materials, teacher support, and active engagement.

  1. Can Canadian Seniors on Public Pensions Afford a Nutritious Diet?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Rebecca J.; Williams, Patricia L.; Johnson, C. Shanthi; Blum, Ilya

    2008-01-01

    This study examined whether Canada's public pensions (Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan) provided adequate income for seniors living in Nova Scotia in 2005 to afford a basic nutritious diet. Monthly incomes were compared to essential monthly expenses for four household scenarios: (a) married couple, 80 years and 78 years, in urban Nova…

  2. Learning Affordances of Language and Communication National Curricula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, David

    2016-01-01

    This article focuses on the learning affordances of different language and communication curricula in the world. For reasons of space, only two national education systems (Finland and Singapore) and their language and communication curricula are referred to. The accounts of national education systems consist of the identification of mechanisms…

  3. The ICCE Framework: Framing Learning Experiences Afforded by Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Aroutis; Shah, Mamta

    2015-01-01

    There is a need for game-based learning frameworks that provide a lens for understanding learning experiences afforded in digital games. These frameworks should aim to facilitate game analyses, identification of learning opportunities, and support for learner experiences. This article uses the inquiry, communication, construction, and expression…

  4. Energy affordability and the benefits system in Italy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this paper, we discuss a number of ways to define and measure the affordability of energy consumption, and we examine the emergence of energy poverty in Italy in the period from 1998 to 2011. The paper examines the eligibility criteria for claiming the benefits available to support energy consumption for vulnerable families and it identifies the potential beneficiaries. The study assesses the appropriateness of the eligibility criteria by comparing the population targeted by the policy with the population actually facing affordability problems. A simulation exercise, using the hypothetical scenario most likely to result in energy benefits being made available, shows that, regardless of the affordability index adopted, the provision of state energy benefits has little impact on fuel poverty. - Highlights: • The paper provides a discussion of alternative measure of energy affordability. • We examine the emergence of fuel poverty in Italy from 1998 to 2011. • We assess the appropriateness of the Italian energy benefits eligibility criteria. • A simulation shows that the energy benefits have little impact on fuel poverty

  5. Material Affordances: The Potential of Scrapbooks in the Composition Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Kara Poe

    2013-01-01

    A multiliteracies pedagogy has renewed our interest in materiality, or how the physical text interacts with the author's choices and the context to contribute to the message, yet little attention has been paid to materiality in analog texts, such as the scrapbook, even though this medium contains affordances (capabilities and limitations) that…

  6. Affordances as Probabilistic Functions: Implications for Development, Perception, and Decisions for Action

    OpenAIRE

    Franchak, John; Adolph, Karen

    2014-01-01

    We propose a new way to describe affordances for action. Previous characterizations of affordances treat action possibilities as binary categories—either possible or impossible—separated by a critical point. Here, we show that affordances are probabilistic functions, thus accounting for variability in motor performance. By measuring an affordance function, researchers can describe the likelihood of success for every unit of the environment. We demonstrate how to fit an affordance function to ...

  7. 47 CFR 90.307 - Protection criteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ..., where protection will be in accordance with the values set forth in tables B and E in 47 CFR 90.309. (b... station (control station antenna height shall not exceed 31 meters (100 feet) above average terrain (AAT... and having an antenna height (AAT) less than 152 meters (500 feet) shall afford protection to...

  8. Learning Objects and Grasp Affordances through Autonomous Exploration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kraft, Dirk; Detry, Renaud; Pugeault, Nicolas;

    2009-01-01

    We describe a system for autonomous learning of visual object representations and their grasp affordances on a robot-vision system. It segments objects by grasping and moving 3D scene features, and creates probabilistic visual representations for object detection, recognition and pose estimation......, which are then augmented by continuous characterizations of grasp affordances generated through biased, random exploration. Thus, based on a careful balance of generic prior knowledge encoded in (1) the embodiment of the system, (2) a vision system extracting structurally rich information from stereo...... image sequences as well as (3) a number of built-in behavioral modules on the one hand, and autonomous exploration on the other hand, the system is able to generate object and grasping knowledge through interaction with its environment....

  9. Motivational Affordance and Risk-Taking Across Decision Domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Xi; Scholer, Abigail A

    2016-03-01

    We propose a motivational affordance account to explain both stability and variability in risk-taking propensity in major decision domains. We draw on regulatory focus theory to differentiate two types of motivation (prevention, promotion) that play a key role in predicting risk-taking. Study 1 demonstrated that prevention motivation is negatively associated with risk-taking across six key decision domains, including health/safety, ethics, recreation, gambling, investment, and social. In contrast, promotion motivation is positively associated with risk-taking in the social and investment domains. Study 2 replicated the same pattern and provided direct evidence that promotion motivation is a strong predictor of risk-taking only in domains where there is true potential for gains. Study 3 manipulated promotion (vs. prevention) motivation experimentally to demonstrate that motivational affordance is a critical mechanism for understanding risk-taking behaviors. PMID:26802189

  10. Redefining privacy and anonymity through social networking affordances

    OpenAIRE

    Cirucci, Angela M.

    2015-01-01

    Social networking sites allow people to create, broadcast, and interpret the self in new and evolving ways. While early online social media studies praised the Internet for providing an anonymous space in which to experiment with identity, more recent research suggests that social networking sites have become not anonymous, as they compel users to perform identity in new ways. Through a novel application of affordance theory, this paper argues that instead of attempting to apply outdated defi...

  11. Affordability in Health Care: Operationalizations and Applications in Different Contexts

    OpenAIRE

    Niëns, Laurens

    2014-01-01

    markdownabstract__Abstract__ Over the last decades, total health expenditures have increased significantly (Meltzer, 2001; Folland et al., 2004). Governments in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) as well as in high-income countries face the difficult challenge of ensuring that necessary interventions are accessible for those who need them, while keeping care affordable. Since good quality health care and new medical interventions can be expensive, the process of balancing the goals of e...

  12. Promoting Prevention Through the Affordable Care Act: Workplace Wellness

    OpenAIRE

    Anderko, Laura; Roffenbender, Jason S.; Goetzel, Ron Z.; Millard, Francois; Wildenhaus, Kevin; DeSantis, Charles; Novelli, William

    2012-01-01

    Public health in the United States can be improved by building workplace “cultures of health” that support healthy lifestyles. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which includes the Prevention and Public Health Fund, will support a new focus on prevention and wellness, offering opportunities to strengthen the public’s health through workplace wellness initiatives. This article describes the opportunity the ACA provides to improve worker wellness.

  13. Affordable immersive projection system for 3d interaction

    OpenAIRE

    Andújar Gran, Carlos Antonio; Fairén González, Marta; Brunet Crosa, Pere

    2002-01-01

    This paper describes an affordable Virtual Reality system designed and developed by a group of researchers at the Polytechnic University of Catalunya (UPC). The system allows direct selection and manipulation of virtual 3D objects. The interaction is based on stereoscopic images projected over the user’s working space and on devices tracking the user’s natural movements. The system includes a screen being adjustable both in orientation and height, sensors tracking the head and hand movemen...

  14. Self-Supervised Online Learning of Basic Object Push Affordances

    OpenAIRE

    Barry Ridge; Aleš Leonardis; Aleš Ude; Miha Deniša; Danijel Skočaj

    2015-01-01

    Continuous learning of object affordances in a cognitive robot is a challenging problem, the solution to which arguably requires a developmental approach. In this paper, we describe scenarios where robotic systems interact with household objects by pushing them using robot arms while observing the scene with cameras, and which must incrementally learn, without external supervision, both the effect classes that emerge from these interactions as well as a discriminative model for predicting the...

  15. Nurturing Opportunities for Educational Leadership: How Affordance and Leadership Interconnect

    OpenAIRE

    Ilana Margolin

    2013-01-01

    This qualitative ethnographic study focused on the affordances that facilitated the emergence of leadership, capturing a range of perspectives on leadership and leadership development of four groups: district superintendents; teacher-educators; mentor-teachers and graduates. The term ‘affordances’ implies a reciprocal relationship between organisms and features of their environment thus, becomes a critical element in leadership. The findings indicate that (a) there seems to be relationships b...

  16. Can Low-Income Americans Afford a Healthy Diet?

    OpenAIRE

    Drewnowski, Adam; Eichelsdoerfer, Petra

    2010-01-01

    Many nutritional professionals believe that all Americans, regardless of income, have access to a nutritious diet of whole grains, lean meats, and fresh vegetables and fruit. In reality, food prices pose a significant barrier for many consumers who are trying to balance good nutrition with affordability. The Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), commonly cited as a model of a healthy low-cost diet, achieves cost goals by relaxing some nutrition constraints and by disregarding the usual eating habits of th...

  17. Monolithic QCL design approaches for improved reliability and affordability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, K. K.

    2013-12-01

    Many advances have been made recently in mid-wave infrared and long-wave infrared quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) technologies, and there is an increasing demand for these laser sources for ever expanding Naval, DoD and homeland security applications. We will discuss in this paper a portfolio of various Naval Air Warfare Weapons Division's current and future small business innovative research programs and efforts on significantly improving QCLs' performance, affordability, and reliability.

  18. The Affordable Care Act and the Labor Market

    OpenAIRE

    Aaronson, Daniel; Lubotsky, Darren

    2014-01-01

    In 2010, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the largest expansion of health insurance since the advent of Medicaid and Medicare roughly a half century ago. Because the law is being phased in slowly and many provisions are still years away from being launched, the law’s impact on employment, wages, job mobility, retirement, self-employment, economic efficiency, and overall well-being remains contentious.

  19. FRUGAL INNOVATIONS: THE FUTURE OF AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GEETHA MANI, KALAIVANI ANNADURAI RAJA DANASEKARAN

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Frugal innovations are cost-conscious innovations developed to meet the needs in resource-poor settings, withoutcompromising quality. While there have been various innovations in the field of health care in the past decades, there is avast difference in the distribution and utilization of these innovations between developed and developing countries. Frugalinnovations can play a potential role in bridging the gap between countries and ensure affordable health care for all.

  20. Approach to an Affordable and Productive Space Transportation System

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCleskey, Carey M.; Rhodes, Russel E.; Lepsch, Roger A.; Henderson, Edward M.; Robinson, John W.

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes an approach for creating space transportation architectures that are affordable, productive, and sustainable. The architectural scope includes both flight and ground system elements, and focuses on their compatibility to achieve a technical solution that is operationally productive, and also affordable throughout its life cycle. Previous papers by the authors and other members of the Space Propulsion Synergy Team (SPST) focused on space flight system engineering methods, along with operationally efficient propulsion system concepts and technologies. This paper follows up previous work by using a structured process to derive examples of conceptual architectures that integrate a number of advanced concepts and technologies. The examples are not intended to provide a near-term alternative architecture to displace current near-term design and development activity. Rather, the examples demonstrate an approach that promotes early investments in advanced system concept studies and trades (flight and ground), as well as in advanced technologies with the goal of enabling highly affordable, productive flight and ground space transportation systems.

  1. Affordance-based individuation of junctions in Open Street Map

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Scheider

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available We propose an algorithm that can be used to identify automatically the subset of street segments of a road network map that corresponds to a junction. The main idea is to use turn-compliant locomotion affordances, i.e., restricted patterns of supported movement, in order to specify junctions independently of their data representation, and in order to motivate tractable individuation and classification strategies. We argue that common approaches based solely on geometry or topology of the street segment graph are useful but insufficient proxies. They miss certain turn restrictions essential to junctions. From a computational viewpoint, the main challenge of affordance-based individuation of junctions lies in its complex recursive definition. In this paper, we show how Open Street Map data can be interpreted into locomotion affordances, and how the recursive junction definition can be translated into a deterministic algorithm. We evaluate this algorithm by applying it to small map excerpts in order to delineate the contained junctions.

  2. The Politics of Native American Health Care and the Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Daniel

    2016-02-01

    This article examines an important but largely overlooked dimension of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), namely, its significance for Native American health care. The author maintains that reading the ACA against the politics of Native American health care policy shows that, depending on their regional needs and particular contexts, many Native Americans are well-placed to benefit from recent Obama-era reforms. At the same time, the kinds of options made available by the ACA constitute a departure from the service-based (as opposed to insurance-based) Indian Health Service (IHS). Accordingly, the author argues that ACA reforms--private marketplaces, Medicaid expansion, and accommodations for Native Americans--are best read as potential "supplements" to an underfunded IHS. Whether or not Native Americans opt to explore options under the ACA will depend in the long run on the quality of the IHS in the post-ACA era. Beyond understanding the ACA in relation to IHS funding, the author explores how Native American politics interacts with the key tenets of Obama-era health care reform--especially "affordability"--which is critical for understanding what is required from and appropriate to future Native American health care policy making. PMID:26567380

  3. Are Marketplace Plans Affordable? Consumer Perspectives from the Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey, March-May 2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Sara R; Gunja, Munira; Rasmussen, Petra W; Doty, Michelle M; Beutel, Sophie

    2015-09-01

    Most employers who provide health insurance to employees subsidize their premiums and provide a comprehensive benefit package. Before the Affordable Care Act, people who lacked health insurance through a job and purchased it on their own paid the full cost of their plans, which often came with skimpy benefit packages and high deductibles. Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey, March--May 2015, indicate that the law's tax credits have made premium costs in health plans sold through the marketplaces roughly comparable to employer plans, at least for people with low and moderate incomes. At higher incomes, the phase-out of the subsidies means that adults in marketplace plans have higher premium costs than those in employer plans. Overall, larger shares of adults in marketplace plans reported deductibles of $1,000 or more, compared with those in employer plans, though these differences were narrower among low-and moderate-income adults. PMID:26445739

  4. Healthy Libraries Develop Healthy Communities: Public Libraries and their Tremendous Efforts to Support the Affordable Care Act

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Lydia N.

    2015-01-01

    This article is about the dedication of public library staff and my role as the Consumer Health Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region (NN/LM MAR) to support outreach efforts for health insurance enrollment under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). ACA was created in order to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable health care. What we didn’t know is that public libraries across the nation would play such an integral role in the health insurance enrollment process. The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) worked closely with public libraries in order to assist with this new role. As we approach the second enrollment and re-enrollment periods, public libraries are gearing up once again to assist with ACA. PMID:25798077

  5. The Relevance of the Affordable Care Act for Improving Mental Health Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mechanic, David; Olfson, Mark

    2016-03-28

    Provisions of the Affordable Care Act provide unprecedented opportunities for expanded access to behavioral health care and for redesigning the provision of services. Key to these reforms is establishing mental and substance abuse care as essential coverage, extending Medicaid eligibility and insurance parity, and protecting insurance coverage for persons with preexisting conditions and disabilities. Many provisions, including Accountable Care Organizations, health homes, and other structures, provide incentives for integrating primary care and behavioral health services and coordinating the range of services often required by persons with severe and persistent mental health conditions. Careful research and experience are required to establish the services most appropriate for primary care and effective linkage to specialty mental health services. Research providing guidance on present evidence and uncertainties is reviewed. Success in redesign will follow progress building on collaborative care and other evidence-based practices, reshaping professional incentives and practices, and reinvigorating the behavioral health workforce. PMID:26666969

  6. The State of Diabetes Prevention Policy in the USA Following the Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konchak, Juleigh Nowinski; Moran, Margaret R; O'Brien, Matthew J; Kandula, Namratha R; Ackermann, Ronald T

    2016-06-01

    Type 2 diabetes is a major public health problem in the USA, affecting over 12 % of American adults and imposing considerable health and economic burden on individuals and society. There is a strong evidence base demonstrating that lifestyle behavioral changes and some medications can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in high risk adults, and several policy and healthcare system changes motivated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) have the potential to accelerate diabetes prevention. In this narrative review, we (1) offer a conceptual framework for organizing how the ACA may influence diabetes prevention efforts at the level of individuals, healthcare providers, and health systems; (2) highlight ACA provisions at each of these levels that could accelerate type 2 diabetes prevention nationwide; and (3) explore possible policy gaps and opportunity areas for future research and action. PMID:27145778

  7. Implications of the Affordable Care Act for occupational therapy practitioners providing services to Medicare recipients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Gail; Friesema, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA; Pub. L. 111-148) represents the largest expansion in government funding of health care since Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965 (Curfman, Abel, & Landers, 2012). Although the health insurance mandate and Medicaid expansion have received the most attention as a result of legal challenges and the July 2012 Supreme Court ruling on the legality of the ACA (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2012), other ACA initiatives may have even greater implications for occupational therapy. The ACA includes sections on improving quality and health systems performance for Medicare recipients, with some sections also applying to Medicaid recipients. Insurance companies commonly follow Medicare rules; therefore, the Medicare reforms are likely to spread across all payers, health care settings, and care recipients. PMID:23968787

  8. 76 FR 76573 - Medical Loss Ratio Requirements Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-07

    ... categorize certain activities as fraud detection due to the lack of a clear definition for fraud detection... value from these policies ] until 2014. We plan on publishing the data used in this analysis in the... data provided by issuers. By allowing fraud reduction expenses as an adjustment to incurred claims,...

  9. 77 FR 33133 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Data Collection To Support Standards Related to...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-05

    ... Exchange. After a survey of the market, to HHS's knowledge, only two entities that accredit health plans...; mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription...: ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization; maternity and newborn care; mental...

  10. 75 FR 37187 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Preexisting Condition Exclusions, Lifetime and Annual...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-28

    .... 2. Emergency Services If a plan or health insurance coverage provides any benefits with respect to emergency services in an emergency department of a hospital, the plan or issuer must cover emergency... require that a plan or health insurance coverage providing emergency services must do so without...

  11. 77 FR 18309 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-27

    ... price, quality, and other factors. The Exchanges, which will become operational by January 1, 2014, will..., and give small businesses the same purchasing clout as large businesses. DATES: Effective Date: These regulations are effective on May 29, 2012. Comment Date: Certain provisions of this final rule are...

  12. 76 FR 41865 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-15

    ... on the basis of price, quality, and other factors. The Exchanges, which will become operational by... Federal Employees Health Benefits Program HEDIS Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set HHS U.S... relating to Exchanges, published in the Federal Register on August 3, 2010 (75 FR 45584). Second, ]...

  13. 76 FR 77392 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-13

    ... bring meaningful resolution to the lack of consumer choice in the health insurance market. The commenter... program (CO-OP) to foster the creation of new consumer-governed, private, nonprofit health insurance issuers. In addition to improving consumer choice and plan accountability, the CO- OP program also...

  14. Loss of the endothelial glucocorticoid receptor prevents the therapeutic protection afforded by dexamethasone after LPS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie E Goodwin

    Full Text Available Glucocorticoids are normally regarded as anti-inflammatory therapy for a wide variety of conditions and have been used with some success in treating sepsis and sepsis-like syndromes. We previously demonstrated that mice lacking the glucocorticoid receptor in the endothelium (GR EC KO mice are extremely sensitive to low-dose LPS and demonstrate prolonged activation and up regulation of NF-κB. In this study we pre-treated these GR EC KO mice with dexamethasone and assessed their response to an identical dose of LPS. Surprisingly, the GR EC KO mice fared even worse than when given LPS alone demonstrating increased mortality, increased levels of the inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-6 and increased nitric oxide release after the dexamethasone pre-treatment. As expected, control animals pre-treated with dexamethasone showed improvement in all parameters assayed. Mechanistically we demonstrate that GR EC KO mice show increased iNOS production and NF-κB activation despite treatment with dexamethasone.

  15. 77 FR 70643 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Standards Related to Essential Health Benefits...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-26

    ..., states, employers, employees, and Members of Congress. We considered all of these comments as we... received: http://www.regulations.gov . Follow the search instructions on that Web site to view public... Services DOL U.S. Department of Labor EHB Essential Health Benefits ERISA Employee Retirement...

  16. Loss of the Endothelial Glucocorticoid Receptor Prevents the Therapeutic Protection Afforded by Dexamethasone after LPS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodwin, Julie E.; Feng, Yan; Velazquez, Heino; Zhou, Han; Sessa, William C.

    2014-01-01

    Glucocorticoids are normally regarded as anti-inflammatory therapy for a wide variety of conditions and have been used with some success in treating sepsis and sepsis-like syndromes. We previously demonstrated that mice lacking the glucocorticoid receptor in the endothelium (GR EC KO mice) are extremely sensitive to low-dose LPS and demonstrate prolonged activation and up regulation of NF-κB. In this study we pre-treated these GR EC KO mice with dexamethasone and assessed their response to an identical dose of LPS. Surprisingly, the GR EC KO mice fared even worse than when given LPS alone demonstrating increased mortality, increased levels of the inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-6 and increased nitric oxide release after the dexamethasone pre-treatment. As expected, control animals pre-treated with dexamethasone showed improvement in all parameters assayed. Mechanistically we demonstrate that GR EC KO mice show increased iNOS production and NF-κB activation despite treatment with dexamethasone. PMID:25299055

  17. 78 FR 4093 - Extension of Comment Period for the Rulemaking Enhancing Protections Afforded Customers and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-18

    ... Customer Funds Held by Futures Commission Merchants and Derivatives Clearing Organizations, 77 FR 67866.... Office of the Chief Economist: Camden Nunery, Economist, cnunery@cftc.gov , 202-418-5723,...

  18. Affordable Resins for High-Performance, Ablative Thermal Protection Systems Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Cornerstone Research Group Inc. (CRG) proposes to advance fundamental material development of a high-temperature resistant, multifunctional polymer system conceived...

  19. 78 FR 69418 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans, Quality Rating...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-19

    ... safety, prevention, population health, patient engagement, patient experience, and efficient resource use... Department of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) holds primary responsibility for establishing the... performance data for the QRS in general topics, such as clinical effectiveness of care, patient safety,...

  20. 78 FR 68505 - Enhancing Protections Afforded Customers and Customer Funds Held by Futures Commission Merchants...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-14

    ... 2. New Cleared Swaps Segregation Schedules 3. Amendments to Form 1-FR-FCM 4. FCM Certified Annual.... Paperwork Reduction Act Appendix 1--Table of Comment Letters Appendix 2--CFTC Form 1-FR-FCM I. Background A... Contracts and Collateral; Conforming Amendments to the Commodity Broker Bankruptcy Provisions, 77 FR...

  1. Rethinking Space Design Standards Toward Quality Affordable Housing In Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ishak Nor Haniza

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Provision of affordable housing is important to low- and middle-income population. A fit form of house will not only fulfil a basic human need for shelter, but it also contributes to physical and psychological well-being of the occupants. Excellent quality and affordable housing is an indication of a high quality of life. While writings exist on various aspects of the quality of affordable housing in Malaysia, discussion regarding space and design standards has scarcely been given any serious academic attention. Standards concerning residential development usually cover different aspects or stages of the development process. They can include planning standards, design standards, space standards and technical construction standards. The main concern of this paper is on space and design standards specifically. Space standard can be defined as a set of framework which dictates fixed internal space minimums. Meanwhile, design standard indicates design guidelines to ensure the functionality, comfortability and habitability of the house. This paper is concerned exclusively with indoor spaces of a house excluding external circulation spaces and service facilities (in case of strata housing. Its interest is in internal space as an aspect of housing quality. It can be concluded that one of the way forward will be to find the balance between providing adequate minimum spaces for resident satisfactions and having economic values for housing developers. This paper may be used as a valuable reference for authorities and policy makers to better address the best housing space design standards that would benefit not only the occupants, but also the local government and developers alike.

  2. A Bootstrap Approach to an Affordable Exploration Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oeftering, Richard C.

    2011-01-01

    This paper examines the potential to build an affordable sustainable exploration program by adopting an approach that requires investing in technologies that can be used to build a space infrastructure from very modest initial capabilities. Human exploration has had a history of flight programs that have high development and operational costs. Since Apollo, human exploration has had very constrained budgets and they are expected be constrained in the future. Due to their high operations costs it becomes necessary to consider retiring established space facilities in order to move on to the next exploration challenge. This practice may save cost in the near term but it does so by sacrificing part of the program s future architecture. Human exploration also has a history of sacrificing fully functional flight hardware to achieve mission objectives. An affordable exploration program cannot be built when it involves billions of dollars of discarded space flight hardware, instead, the program must emphasize preserving its high value space assets and building a suitable permanent infrastructure. Further this infrastructure must reduce operational and logistics cost. The paper examines the importance of achieving a high level of logistics independence by minimizing resource consumption, minimizing the dependency on external logistics, and maximizing the utility of resources available. The approach involves the development and deployment of a core suite of technologies that have minimum initial needs yet are able expand upon initial capability in an incremental bootstrap fashion. The bootstrap approach incrementally creates an infrastructure that grows and becomes self sustaining and eventually begins producing the energy, products and consumable propellants that support human exploration. The bootstrap technologies involve new methods of delivering and manipulating energy and materials. These technologies will exploit the space environment, minimize dependencies, and

  3. Delivering affordable cancer care in high-income countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Richard; Peppercorn, Jeffrey; Sikora, Karol; Zalcberg, John; Meropol, Neal J; Amir, Eitan; Khayat, David; Boyle, Peter; Autier, Philippe; Tannock, Ian F; Fojo, Tito; Siderov, Jim; Williamson, Steve; Camporesi, Silvia; McVie, J Gordon; Purushotham, Arnie D; Naredi, Peter; Eggermont, Alexander; Brennan, Murray F; Steinberg, Michael L; De Ridder, Mark; McCloskey, Susan A; Verellen, Dirk; Roberts, Terence; Storme, Guy; Hicks, Rodney J; Ell, Peter J; Hirsch, Bradford R; Carbone, David P; Schulman, Kevin A; Catchpole, Paul; Taylor, David; Geissler, Jan; Brinker, Nancy G; Meltzer, David; Kerr, David; Aapro, Matti

    2011-09-01

    The burden of cancer is growing, and the disease is becoming a major economic expenditure for all developed countries. In 2008, the worldwide cost of cancer due to premature death and disability (not including direct medical costs) was estimated to be US$895 billion. This is not simply due to an increase in absolute numbers, but also the rate of increase of expenditure on cancer. What are the drivers and solutions to the so-called cancer-cost curve in developed countries? How are we going to afford to deliver high quality and equitable care? Here, expert opinion from health-care professionals, policy makers, and cancer survivors has been gathered to address the barriers and solutions to delivering affordable cancer care. Although many of the drivers and themes are specific to a particular field-eg, the huge development costs for cancer medicines-there is strong concordance running through each contribution. Several drivers of cost, such as over-use, rapid expansion, and shortening life cycles of cancer technologies (such as medicines and imaging modalities), and the lack of suitable clinical research and integrated health economic studies, have converged with more defensive medical practice, a less informed regulatory system, a lack of evidence-based sociopolitical debate, and a declining degree of fairness for all patients with cancer. Urgent solutions range from re-engineering of the macroeconomic basis of cancer costs (eg, value-based approaches to bend the cost curve and allow cost-saving technologies), greater education of policy makers, and an informed and transparent regulatory system. A radical shift in cancer policy is also required. Political toleration of unfairness in access to affordable cancer treatment is unacceptable. The cancer profession and industry should take responsibility and not accept a substandard evidence base and an ethos of very small benefit at whatever cost; rather, we need delivery of fair prices and real value from new technologies

  4. Affordable Housing Policy: Integration of Land Use Tools and the Role of State Growth Management

    OpenAIRE

    Morrow, Melissa Josephine

    2001-01-01

    Affordable housing is recognized as a problem in many localities throughout the United States. Local governments have the power to influence housing affordability through land use policies. Land use tools exist to address affordable housing.. However, these tools are primarily used to address other environmental, economic, and social issues. When implemented to serve other land use objectives, these tools can have a negative impact on affordable housing. This paper will describe the link ...

  5. Housing Affordability in New Zealand: Evidence from Household Surveys

    OpenAIRE

    David Law; Lisa Meehan

    2013-01-01

    Housing affordability has been a topic of much interest in New Zealand over recent years with the median house price increasing by over 50% between 2004 and 2008. The aim of this paper is to inform debate by drawing out evidence from two surveys: the Household Economic Survey (HES); and the Survey of Family, Income and Employment (SoFIE). In particular, the paper examines how patterns of house prices, expenditures, and home ownership have changed over time and across groups. A model which may...

  6. The Reader's Devices: The affordances of ebook readers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather MacFadyen

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Print books and ebook devices now co-exist in a reading eco-system. The ways in which readers understand and describe their experience of reading on ebook devices is shaped by long-established cultural expectations about the abstract as well as the physical affordances of the print book. Ebook devices cannot help but challenge those expectations. A review of readers’ reactions to the emergence of ebook devices offers a glimpse into the complex cultural position of both the idea and the experience of reading.

  7. The affordances and use of green citizen engagement web tools

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoff, Jens Villiam; Scheele, Christian Elling

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to analyse if and how three different green web applications create the basis for different levels of environmental citizen participation. This is relevant in both an e-governance context and an environmental policy context, as it is normally assumed that ICT...... that differences in affordance translates into differences in use. Theoretically, the paper departs from Contextual New Medium Theory. This theory focuses on technological practices, and demonstrates how these are created in interplay between technology, policy ideas and actor skills. Empirically, the paper...

  8. 77 FR 20615 - DAU Industry Day: “Affordability, Efficiency, and the Industrial Base”

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-05

    ... of the Secretary DAU Industry Day: ``Affordability, Efficiency, and the Industrial Base'' AGENCY..., President of Defense Acquisition University, will host a forum with industry to discuss affordability... Industry Day: ``Affordability, Efficiency, and the Industrial Base''. DATES: Tuesday, May 1, 2012, from...

  9. On possibilities for action: The past, present and future of affordance research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gert-Jan Pepping

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available We give a historical overview of the development of almost 50 years of empirical research on the affordances in the past and in the present. Defined by James Jerome Gibson in the early development of the Ecological Approach to Perception and Action as the prime of perception and action, affordances have become a rich topic of investigation in the fields of human movement science and experimental psychology. The methodological origins of the empirical research performed on affordances can be traced back to the mid 1980’s and the works of Warren (1984, 1988 and Michaels (1988. Most of the research in Ecological Psychology performed since has focused on the actualization of discretely defined actions, the perception of action boundaries, the calculation of pi-numbers, and the measurement of response times. The research efforts have resulted in advancements in the understanding of the dynamic nature of affordances, affordances in a social context and the importance of calibration for perception of affordances. Although affordances are seen as an instrumental part of the control of action most studies investigating affordances do not pay attention to the control of the action. We conclude that affordances are still primarily treated as a utility to select behaviour, which creates a conceptual barrier that hinders deeper understanding of affordances. A focus on action-boundaries has largely prevented advancement in other aspects of affordances, most notably an integrative understanding of the role of affordances in the control of action.

  10. Assessment of fire protection systems in proscenium theaters

    OpenAIRE

    Jaewook Kwon

    2014-01-01

    Stage fire protection measures, details differing from one region to another, have been established, codified and enforced throughout the world and have changed little over the past 100 years. Technological advancements in both stagecraft and fire protection systems have led to a need in the theater community to study the current state of theater fire protection requirements. The objective of the study was to assess the level of protection afforded by stage active fire protection measures, as...

  11. Demonstrating the Viability and Affordability of Nuclear Surface Power Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandyke, Melissa K.

    2006-01-01

    A set of tasks have been identified to help demonstrate the viability, performance, and affordability of surface fission systems. Completion of these tasks will move surface fission systems closer to reality by demonstrating affordability and performance potential. Tasks include fabrication and test of a 19-pin section of a Surface Power Unit Demonstrator (SPUD); design, fabrication, and utilization of thermal simulators optimized for surface fission' applications; design, fabrication, and utilization of GPHS module thermal simulators; design, fabrication, and test of a fission surface power system shield; and work related to potential fission surface power fuel/clad systems. Work on the SPUD will feed directly into joint NASA MSFC/NASA GRC fabrication and test of a surface power plant Engineering Development Unit (EDU). The goal of the EDU will be to perform highly realistic thermal, structural, and electrical testing on an integrated fission surface power system. Fission thermal simulator work will help enable high fidelity non-nuclear testing of pumped NaK surface fission power systems. Radioisotope thermal simulator work will help enable design and development of higher power radioisotope systems (power ultimately limited by Pu-238 availability). Shield work is designed to assess the potential of using a water neutron shield on the surface of the moon. Fuels work is geared toward assessing the current potential of using fuels that have already flown in space.

  12. Architecture & Design of Affordable and Highly Available Enterprise Cloud Service

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rabi Prasad Padhy

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Cloud computing is a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in additional infrastructure, licensing additional software or training new personnel. Enterprises must embrace this bleeding edge real-time business model in order to compete in the current marketplace. Deployment of enterprise applications in public cloud can reduce investment on IT infrastructure both in terms of hardware and software, whenever new services are to be provisioned. Furthermore, cloud services are quite attractive to business because of its dynamic scalability, privacy, performance and ability to handle heterogeneous environments. Instead of spending a lot of time in figuring out server setup and working on routers, it is judicious to subscribe cloud based 24/7 support and affordable services. It’s an extremely important consideration to subscribe to at least two cloud vendors for smooth running of applications and ensure application availability by switching from one provider to another with minimal management effort. In this article we have proposed an architecture and design of a cost affordable online enterprise cloud application that subscribes to two public cloud vendors with respect to cost and availability parameters. We also present the reasons for the current trend of enterprises moving towards 24/7 online business cloud services.

  13. Anticipating Human Activities Using Object Affordances for Reactive Robotic Response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koppula, Hema S; Saxena, Ashutosh

    2016-01-01

    An important aspect of human perception is anticipation, which we use extensively in our day-to-day activities when interacting with other humans as well as with our surroundings. Anticipating which activities will a human do next (and how) can enable an assistive robot to plan ahead for reactive responses. Furthermore, anticipation can even improve the detection accuracy of past activities. The challenge, however, is two-fold: We need to capture the rich context for modeling the activities and object affordances, and we need to anticipate the distribution over a large space of future human activities. In this work, we represent each possible future using an anticipatory temporal conditional random field (ATCRF) that models the rich spatial-temporal relations through object affordances. We then consider each ATCRF as a particle and represent the distribution over the potential futures using a set of particles. In extensive evaluation on CAD-120 human activity RGB-D dataset, we first show that anticipation improves the state-of-the-art detection results. We then show that for new subjects (not seen in the training set), we obtain an activity anticipation accuracy (defined as whether one of top three predictions actually happened) of 84.1, 74.4 and 62.2 percent for an anticipation time of 1, 3 and 10 seconds respectively. Finally, we also show a robot using our algorithm for performing a few reactive responses. PMID:26656575

  14. Sonic mediatization of the book: affordances of the audiobook

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iben Have

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available This article addresses cultural changes resulting from the growing number of audiobook users and changes in audiobook use emerging from digital technological developments of the past decade. The sonification of the written text is inscribed in the general transformation and mediatization of the printed book but offers radically different affordances than do visually perceived e-books. New portable digital audio media change the act of reading, moving it towards fields of practice in which reading has not been common before: the gym, the bicycle ride, gardening, resting in the dark, etc. From being a medium typically associated with children, the visually handicapped, or the dyslexic, the audiobook has developed into a popular phenomenon, which, we argue, has as much in common with other kinds of mediated mobile listening practices, like music and radio listening, as it has with the reading of printed books. Taking an inductive approach from the micro-level of the individual’s use, the term affordances will be used as a methodological tool within the concept of mediatization.

  15. NASA Affordable Vehicle Avionics (AVA): Common Modular Avionics System for Nano-Launchers Offering Affordable Access to Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockrell, James

    2015-01-01

    Small satellites are becoming ever more capable of performing valuable missions for both government and commercial customers. However, currently these satellites can only be launched affordably as secondary payloads. This makes it difficult for the small satellite mission to launch when needed, to the desired orbit, and with acceptable risk. NASA Ames Research Center has developed and tested a prototype low-cost avionics package for space launch vehicles that provides complete GNC functionality in a package smaller than a tissue box with a mass less than 0.84 kg. AVA takes advantage of commercially available, low-cost, mass-produced, miniaturized sensors, filtering their more noisy inertial data with realtime GPS data. The goal of the Advanced Vehicle Avionics project is to produce and flight-verify a common suite of avionics and software that deliver affordable, capable GNC and telemetry avionics with application to multiple nano-launch vehicles at 1 the cost of current state-of-the-art avionics.

  16. Design and construction of an optical compact and affordable tweezers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The following paper presents a new design allowing a reduction on the amount of required optical elements for the construction of the optical tweezers, which results in a compact and affordable system. The latter is composed by a 40 mW Nd: YAG (532 nm) laser and commercially available optics and mounts. A virtual instrument, developed using Lab View 8.0, controls both a XYZ table and a web camera for visualizing. The quality of the laser beam at the end of optical system was characterized using the knife-edge method, resulting in a Gaussian shaped (TEM00) intensity profile. It is presented as well the necessary information to align and calibrate each optical element. (Author)

  17. Community-specific evaluation of tool affordances in wild chimpanzees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruber, Thibaud; Muller, Martin N; Reynolds, Vernon; Wrangham, Richard; Zuberbühler, Klaus

    2011-01-01

    The notion of animal culture, defined as socially transmitted community-specific behaviour patterns, remains controversial, notably because the definition relies on surface behaviours without addressing underlying cognitive processes. In contrast, human cultures are the product of socially acquired ideas that shape how individuals interact with their environment. We conducted field experiments with two culturally distinct chimpanzee communities in Uganda, which revealed significant differences in how individuals considered the affording parts of an experimentally provided tool to extract honey from a standardised cavity. Firstly, individuals of the two communities found different functional parts of the tool salient, suggesting that they experienced a cultural bias in their cognition. Secondly, when the alternative function was made more salient, chimpanzees were unable to learn it, suggesting that prior cultural background can interfere with new learning. Culture appears to shape how chimpanzees see the world, suggesting that a cognitive component underlies the observed behavioural patterns. PMID:22355645

  18. Pico Reentry Probes: Affordable Options for Reentry Measurements and Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ailor, William H.; Kapoor, Vinod B.; Allen, Gay A., Jr.; Venkatapathy, Ethiraj; Arnold, James O.; Rasky, Daniel J.

    2005-01-01

    It is generally very costly to perform in-space and atmospheric entry experiments. This paper presents a new platform - the Pico Reentry Probe (PREP) - that we believe will make targeted flight-tests and planetary atmospheric probe science missions considerably more affordable. Small, lightweight, self-contained, it is designed as a "launch and forget" system, suitable for experiments that require no ongoing communication with the ground. It contains a data recorder, battery, transmitter, and user-customized instrumentation. Data recorded during reentry or space operations is returned at end-of-mission via transmission to Iridium satellites (in the case of earth-based operations) or a similar orbiting communication system for planetary missions. This paper discusses possible applications of this concept for Earth and Martian atmospheric entry science. Two well-known heritage aerodynamic shapes are considered as candidates for PREP: the shape developed for the Planetary Atmospheric Experiment Test (PAET) and that for the Deep Space II Mars Probe.

  19. Medical loss ratio regulation under the Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Scott E

    2013-01-01

    The minimum medical loss ratio (MLR) regulations in the Affordable Care Act guarantee that a specific percentage of health insurance premiums is spent on medical care and specified activities to improve health care quality. This paper analyzes the regulations' potential unintended consequences and incentive effects, including: higher medical costs and premiums for some insurers; less innovation to align consumer, provider, and health plan incentives, less consumer choice and increased market concentration; and the risk that insurers will pay rebates if claim costs are lower than projected when premiums are established, despite the regulations' permitted "credibility adjustments." The paper discusses modifications and alternatives to the MLR regulations to help achieve their stated goals with less potential for adverse effects. PMID:23720876

  20. Strategic options towards an affordable high-performance infrared camera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oduor, Patrick; Mizuno, Genki; Dutta, Achyut K.; Lewis, Jay; Dhar, Nibir K.

    2016-05-01

    The promise of infrared (IR) imaging attaining low-cost akin to CMOS sensors success has been hampered by the inability to achieve cost advantages that are necessary for crossover from military and industrial applications into the consumer and mass-scale commercial realm despite well documented advantages. Banpil Photonics is developing affordable IR cameras by adopting new strategies to speed-up the decline of the IR camera cost curve. We present a new short-wave IR (SWIR) camera; 640x512 pixel InGaAs uncooled system that is high sensitivity low noise ( 500 frames per second (FPS)) at full resolution, and low power consumption (electronics, and dense or ultra-small pixel pitch devices.

  1. Available, accessible and affordable. Malaysia. The Hague Forum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ismail, P Z

    1999-01-01

    While Malaysia already had policies for a balanced, equitable, and sustainable development before the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the conference gave Malaysia the chance to pursue specific and more complex issues. Reproductive health services including family planning have been integrated and are available, accessible, and affordable within the existing health care system, both public and private. Since Malaysia's government needs help implementing Cairo's goals, regular consultations are held with advocacy groups, the private sector, and community groups on program design and implementation. Annual grants to nongovernmental organizations are made to ensure that programs and services ultimately reach the various target groups. While Malaysia has made progress implementing the ICPD program of action, it has more to accomplish. Economic conditions leading to a 20% across-the-board budget cut in July 1998 have not adversely affected the country's population and reproductive health programs. PMID:12322184

  2. Suggested Interactivity: Seeking Perceived Affordances for Information Visualization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boy, Jeremy; Eveillard, Louis; Detienne, Françoise; Fekete, Jean-Daniel

    2016-01-01

    In this article, we investigate methods for suggesting the interactivity of online visualizations embedded with text. We first assess the need for such methods by conducting three initial experiments on Amazon's Mechanical Turk. We then present a design space for Suggested Interactivity (i. e., visual cues used as perceived affordances-SI), based on a survey of 382 HTML5 and visualization websites. Finally, we assess the effectiveness of three SI cues we designed for suggesting the interactivity of bar charts embedded with text. Our results show that only one cue (SI3) was successful in inciting participants to interact with the visualizations, and we hypothesize this is because this particular cue provided feedforward. PMID:26390473

  3. Affordances in activity theory and cognitive systems engineering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Albrechtsen, H.; Andersen, H.H.K.; Bødker, S.;

    2001-01-01

    supplemented by careful analyses of other human modalities and activities than visual perception. Within HMI two well established perspectives on HMI,Activity Theory (AT) and Cognitive Systems Engineering (CSE), have discussed such analyses and design of action possibilities focusing on providing computer...... in HMI, notably those that have been putforward by Norman and Gaver, affordances are in the foreground, whereas the system or work area is in the background. AT and CSE share the view that the actors' perception of foreground and background shifts dynamically according to the actors......'situational context in purposeful activity. AT and CSE follow the original notion by Gibson on the actor's dynamic shifting between foreground and background of the environment. Furthermore, their work- and actor-centred approach to analysis and designof information systems opens up to an extension of Gibson...

  4. Situational Affordance - Appreciating human Interpretations in New Product Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mathiasen, John Bang; Koch, Christian

    New Product Development (NPD) takes place within a web of connected actors who do not master fully the objects of the process, but rather they interpret the affordance - the en-abling and constraining framing by objects such as sketches, drawings, specifications, mock-ups and prototypes. The arti...... and individualistic activity, but a process where human agency makes use of a network in which social and material factors constitute the interpretation. Our findings thus substanti-ate that artefacts frame the possibilities for action within NPD....... as a combination of reading and writing text in a situated context. The relational dimension is extended by employing American pragmatism. The empirical part of the arti-cle consists of four case studies of NPD in enterprises (under pseudonyms). Two cases fo-cus predominantly on technical issues of NPD, whereas...

  5. Situational Affordance - Appreciating human Interpretations in New Product Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mathiasen, John Bang; Koch, Christian

    2009-01-01

    New Product Development (NPD) takes place within a web of connected actors who do not master fully the objects of the process, but rather they interpret the affordance - the enabling and constraining framing by objects such as sketches, drawings, specifications, mock-ups and prototypes. The artic...... agency makes use of a net-work in which social and material factors constitute the interpretation. Our findings thus substantiate that artefacts frame the possibilities for action within NPD....... of reading and writing text in a situated context. The relational dimension is extended by employing American pragmatism. The empirical part of the arti-cle consists of four case studies of NPD in enterprises (under pseudonyms). Two cases fo-cus predominantly on technical issues of NPD, whereas two are more...

  6. ADAM (Affordable Desktop Application Manager): a Unix desktop application manager

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    ADAM stands for Affordable Desktop Application Manager. It is a GUI developed at CERN with the aim to ease access to applications. The motivation to develop ADAM came from the unavailability of environments like COSE/CDE and their heavy resource consumption. ADAM has proven to be user friendly: new users are able to customize it to their needs in few minutes. Groups of users may share through ADAM a common application environment. ADAM also integrates the Unix and the PC world. PC users can excess Unix applications in the same way as their usual Windows applications. This paper describes all the ADAM features, how they are used at CERN Public Services, and the future plans for ADAM. (author)

  7. Enabling Dedicated, Affordable Space Access Through Aggressive Technology Maturation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Jonathan; Kibbey, Tim; Lampton, Pat; Brown, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    A recent explosion in nano-sat, small-sat, and university class payloads has been driven by low cost electronics and sensors, wide component availability, as well as low cost, miniature computational capability and open source code. Increasing numbers of these very small spacecraft are being launched as secondary payloads, dramatically decreasing costs, and allowing greater access to operations and experimentation using actual space flight systems. While manifesting as a secondary payload provides inexpensive rides to orbit, these arrangements also have certain limitations. Small, secondary payloads are typically included with very limited payload accommodations, supported on a non interference basis (to the prime payload), and are delivered to orbital conditions driven by the primary launch customer. Integration of propulsion systems or other hazardous capabilities will further complicate secondary launch arrangements, and accommodation requirements. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Marshall Space Flight Center has begun work on the development of small, low cost launch system concepts that could provide dedicated, affordable launch alternatives to small, risk tolerant university type payloads and spacecraft. These efforts include development of small propulsion systems and highly optimized structural efficiency, utilizing modern advanced manufacturing techniques. This paper outlines the plans and accomplishments of these efforts and investigates opportunities for truly revolutionary reductions in launch and operations costs. Both evolution of existing sounding rocket systems to orbital delivery, and the development of clean sheet, optimized small launch systems are addressed. A launch vehicle at the scale and price point which allows developers to take reasonable risks with new propulsion and avionics hardware solutions does not exist today. Establishing this service provides a ride through the proverbial "valley of death" that lies between

  8. Respective capabilities of affordable Coronagraphs and Interferometers searching for Biosignatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leger, Alain M.

    2015-12-01

    We describe an analytic model to estimate the capabilities of space missions dedicated to the search for biosignatures in the atmosphere of rocky planets located in the Habitable Zone of nearby stars. Relations between performance and parameters such as mirror diameter, distance to target, stellar properties, are obtained.Two types of instruments are considered: Coronagraphs observing in the visible, and Nulling Interferometers observing in the thermal infrared. Missions considered as affordable are single-pupil coronagraphs with a 2.4 m primary mirror, and formation flying interferometers with 4 x 0.75 m collecting mirrors with baselines ranging from a few decameters to a few hectometers.The numbers of accessible planets are calculated as a function of ηearth, the mean number of Earth analogues and super-Earths in stellar Habitable Zones.Based on current estimates, ηearth=10% around FGK stars and 20% around M stars, the built-in coronagraph and starshade could study only ~2.0 relevant planets, and the interferometer ~14. These numbers are obtained under the major assumption that the exozodiacal light around the target stars is not an issue for any of these instruments.For the coronagraphs, our estimates are in agreement with the values recently published by Stark et al. (2014), but these authors did not consider the case of interferometers.For the long-term future, building both types of spectroscopic instruments, and using them on the same targets, will be the optimal solution because they provide complementary information. But as a first affordable space mission, the interferometer looks the more promising in term of biosignature harvest.

  9. Affordable Development and Qualification Strategy for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerrish, Harold P., Jr.; Doughty, Glen E.; Bhattacharyya, Samit K.

    2013-01-01

    A number of recent assessments have confirmed the results of several earlier studies that Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is a leading technology for human exploration of Mars. It is generally acknowledged that NTP provides the best prospects for the transportation of humans to Mars in the 2030's. Its high Isp coupled with the high thrusts achievable, allow reasonable trip times, thereby alleviating concerns about space radiation and "claustrophobia" effects. NASA has embarked on the latest phase of the development of NTP systems, and is adopting an affordable approach in response to the pressure of the times. The affordable strategy is built on maximizing the use of the large NTP technology base developed in the 1950's and 60's. The fact that the NTP engines were actually demonstrated to work as planned, is a great risk reduction feature in its development. The strategy utilizes non-nuclear testing to the fullest extent possible, and uses focused nuclear tests for the essential qualification and certification tests. The perceived cost risk of conducting the ground tests is being addressed by considering novel testing approaches. This includes the use of boreholes to contain radioactive effluents, and use of fuel with very high retention capability for fission products. The use of prototype flight tests is being considered as final steps in the development prior to undertaking human flight missions. In addition to the technical issues, plans are being prepared to address the institutional and political issues that need to be considered in this major venture. While the development and deployment of NTP system is not expected to be cheap, the value of the system will be very high, and amortized over the many missions that it enables and enhances, the imputed costs will be very reasonable. Using the approach outlined, NASA and its partners, currently the DOE, and subsequently industry, have a good chance of creating a sustained development program leading to human

  10. Multifunction protective relay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harlow, J.; Yalla, M.; Kantor, J.

    1991-11-01

    Since the enactment of the National Energy Act of 1979, many private energy producers have been planning and building small generation and cogeneration facilities in order to sell power to the local utility. Many of the non-utility generators built after 1979 are connected directly to the closest utility distribution circuit. Aware of the problems associated with connecting generators in this manner, electric utilities across the country developed specifications and standards to allow safe and reliable interconnection. The report describes a malfunction protective relay which uses state-of-the-art digital signal processing procedures to accomplish the objective of providing most of the relay requirements of utility electrical interconnections. The relay has been demonstrated to be suitable for this critical application through extensive laboratory and in-service field testing. The relay, incorporating thirteen distinct protection functions affords the user the savings of the initial capital cost plus simplicity of installation and use.

  11. Industrial hygiene protection for the podiatric physician

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cohen, B.S.

    1987-07-01

    The podiatrist should remain alert to the potential for exposure to hazardous agents such as those discussed in this article. Exposures in the office or hospital may be evaluated by the methods of industrial hygiene. If control is needed, simple measures can frequently effect substantial reduction in exposure and afford protection to the physician, staff, and patient.

  12. 78 FR 52832 - Catastrophic Risk Protection Endorsement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-27

    .... See the Notice related to 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V, published at 48 FR 29115, June 24, 1983... the Federal Register at 76 FR 50929-50931. The public was afforded 60 days to submit written comments... Federal Crop Insurance Corporation 7 CFR Part 402 RIN 0563-AC31 Catastrophic Risk Protection...

  13. Burnout Stress Syndrome in Child Protection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verstraete, Patricia A.

    1994-01-01

    Burnout stress syndrome is a complex concept reflecting a failure in both the individual's defense mechanism and in the work environment. Since child protection agencies cannot afford the costs of staff burnout, time and money spent by the organization to reduce employee stress is an investment in better service delivery. (TJQ)

  14. Skin protection creams in medical settings: successful or evil ?

    OpenAIRE

    Charlier Corinne; Denooz Raphaël; Macarenko Elena; Xhauflaire-Uhoda Emmanuelle; Piérard Gérald E

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Background Chronic exposure to mild irritants including cleansing and antiseptic products used for hand hygiene generates insults to the skin. To avoid unpleasant reactions, skin protection creams are commonly employed, but some fail to afford protection against a variety of xenobiotics. In this study, two skin protection creams were assayed comparatively looking for a protective effect if any against a liquid soap and an alcohol-based gel designed for hand hygiene in medical setting...

  15. Affordable Housing Needs Assessment Methodology: The Adaptation of the Florida Model to Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Mozart Vitor Serra; William J. O’Dell; Joseli Macedo; Marc T. Smith; Maria da Piedade Morais; Santiago F. Varella; Diep Nguyen

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents the adaptation of the “Florida Affordable Housing Needs Assessment Methodology” (Noll et al., 1997) to Brazil. This was a task developed jointly by the Florida team with researchers from IPEA and the World Bank. The Affordable Housing Needs Assessment Methodology, developed by the Shimberg Center for Affordable Housing for the State of Florida, is based on household estimates calculated from household formation rates and population-by-age projections. The Brazilian Model w...

  16. Examining the Factors Contributing to Affordable Housing in Kosofe Local Government Council Area, Laogs, Nigeria

    OpenAIRE

    Ajibola, M. O; Oluwunmi, A. O.; Eguh, O.

    2012-01-01

    The term housing affordability has come into popular usage in the last two decades replacing housing need at the centre of debate about the provision of adequate housing for all. The aim of affordability would be defeated if housing cost becomes burdensome to an individual income in relation to his other needs. This is the reason why the researchers examined the factors contributing to affordable housing in Kosofe Local Government Council Area, Lagos, Nigeria. The study was conducted using qu...

  17. Innovative Processing Methods for the Affordable Manufacture of Multifunctional High Temperature Coatings Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Research is proposed to investigate the feasibility of using advanced manufacturing techniques to enable the affordable application of multi-functional high...

  18. Small firm self-insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buettgens, Matthew; Blumberg, Linda J

    2012-11-01

    The Affordable Care Act changes the small-group insurance market substan­tially beginning in 2014, but most changes do not apply to self-insured plans. This exemp­tion provides an opening for small employers with healthier workers to avoid broader sharing of health care risk, isolating higher-cost groups in the fully insured market. Private stop-loss or reinsurance plans can mediate the risk of self-insurance for small employ­ers, facilitating the decision to self-insure. We simulate small-employer coverage decisions under the law and find that low-risk stop-loss policies lead to higher premiums in the fully insured small-group market. Average single premiums would be up to 25 percent higher, if stop-loss insurance with no additional risk to employers than fully insuring is allowed--an option available in most states absent further government action. Regulation of stop-loss at the federal or state level can, however, prevent such adverse selection and increase stabil­ity in small-group insurance coverage. PMID:23214183

  19. Rheumatic heart disease echocardiographic screening: approaching practical and affordable solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nascimento, Bruno R; Nunes, Maria Carmo P; Lopes, Eduardo L V; Rezende, Vitória M L R; Landay, Taylor; Ribeiro, Antonio L P; Sable, Craig; Beaton, Andrea Z

    2016-05-01

    Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) affects at least 32.9 million people worldwide and ranks as a leading cause of death and disability in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). Echocardiographic screening has been demonstrated to be a powerful tool for early RHD detection, and holds potential for global RHD control. However, national screening programmes have not emerged. Major barriers to implementation include the lack of human and financial resources in LMICs. Here, we focus on recent research advances that could make echocardiographic screening more practical and affordable, including handheld echocardiography devices, simplified screening protocols and task shifting of echocardiographic screening to non-experts. Additionally, we highlight some important remaining questions before echocardiographic screening can be widely recommended, including demonstration of cost-effectiveness, assessment of the impact of screening on children and communities, and determining the importance of latent RHD. While a single strategy for echocardiographic screening in all high-prevalence areas is unlikely, we believe recent advancements are bringing the public health community closer to developing sustainable programmes for echocardiographic screening. PMID:26891757

  20. The NAO humanoid: a combination of performance and affordability

    CERN Document Server

    Gouaillier, David; Blazevic, Pierre; Kilner, Chris; Monceaux, Jerome; Lafourcade, Pascal; Marnier, Brice; Serre, Julien; Maisonnier, Bruno

    2008-01-01

    This article presents the design of the autonomous humanoid robot called NAO that is built by the French company Aldebaran-Robotics. With its height of 0.57 m and its weight about 4.5 kg, this innovative robot is lightweight and compact. It distinguishes itself from its existing Japanese, American, and other counterparts thanks to its pelvis kinematics design, its proprietary actuation system based on brush DC motors, its electronic, computer and distributed software architectures. This robot has been designed to be affordable without sacrificing quality and performance. It is an open and easy-to-handle platform where the user can change all the embedded system software or just add some applications to make the robot adopt specific behaviours. The robot's head and forearms are modular and can be changed to promote further evolution. The comprehensive and functional design is one of the reasons that helped select NAO to replace the AIBO quadrupeds in the 2008 RoboCup standard league.

  1. An Automated Telescope: Affordable Astronomy for Undergraduate Institutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medlock, K.; Chin, V.; Jessop, H.; Spear, G.

    1992-12-01

    Epoch Instruments and Sonoma State University have joined to create a new automated telescope system, designed for rapid data acquisition at unprecedented affordability. The result has been the creation of a system with capabilities comparable to larger professional observatories, but available for a fraction of the cost. The system consists of a 25-cm Newtonian reflector, on a fork equatorial mount, with roller drives on both axes. The telescope is controlled by a PC-based software package driving a DC servo motor interface. At a focal ratio of f/5, when coupled with the Sonoma State Astrolink 512X512 pixel array CCD camera, the system is able to obtain photometry to 16th magnitude, within the light polluted setting of Sonoma State's suburban area. With an initial set-up time requiring only minutes, and the ability to move from target to target within several seconds, the Epoch Automated Telescope has made CCD photometry work at Sonoma State extremely efficient and rapid. Data collection has routinely yielded over 50 mega-bytes of data per night, with CCD integration times of a few minutes, over the 20 arcminute field of view. Consequently, this system has greatly increased the scope of undergraduate research which can be performed at Sonoma State, and has provided a revolutionary `hands-on' educational opportunity. In this paper, we will present some of the research made feasible by this system within the first six months of use at Sonoma State.

  2. Essential drugs in AIDS care: issues of availability and affordability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, S R

    1996-01-01

    Several antiretroviral drugs against HIV/AIDS have been developed in recent years. These drugs, reverse transcriptase inhibitors and protease inhibitors, inhibit the reproduction of HIV, but do not eliminate the presence of HIV in the body. The cost of drugs to treat one person with HIV/AIDS easily runs into the thousands of US dollars per year. These new drugs are therefore routinely used in developed countries, but not among the masses in developing countries. Many of the drugs needed to treat the opportunistic infections present during advanced HIV infection and AIDS are also prohibitively expensive for both developing countries and most individuals in those countries. The imposition of World Bank and International Monetary Fund structural adjustment programs together with decreased household purchasing power during the 1990s has led to increased demand for public sector services amid reduced public expenditure. The private sector is increasingly taking over the drug supply in developing countries, driving the cost of drugs out of the range of affordability for the vast majority of the poor. One strategy to contain the cost of drugs is for governments to develop and implement an integrated national drug policy based upon the concept of essential drugs and their rational use. PMID:12292110

  3. Federal Restrictions on Educational Research: Privacy Protection Study Commission Hearings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael, John; Weinberg, JoAnn

    1977-01-01

    The Privacy Protection Study Commission (PPSC) held public hearings on personal data record-keeping policies and practices in educational institutions in Los Angeles in October and in Washington, D.C. in November, 1976. Under consideration were the protections afforded parents and students by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.…

  4. Affordable Development and Qualification Strategy for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerrish, Harold P., Jr.; Doughty, Glen E.; Bhattacharyya, Samit K.

    2013-01-01

    Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is a concept which uses a nuclear reactor to heat a propellant to high temperatures without combustion and can achieve significantly greater specific impulse than chemical engines. NTP has been considered many times for human and cargo missions beyond low earth orbit. A lot of development and technical maturation of NTP components took place during the Rover/NERVA program of the 60's and early 70's. Other NTP programs and studies followed attempting to further mature the NTP concept and identify a champion customer willing to devote the funds and support the development schedule to a demonstration mission. Budgetary constraints require the use of an affordable development and qualification strategy that takes into account all the previous work performed on NTP to construct an existing database, and include lessons learned and past guidelines followed. Current guidelines and standards NASA uses for human rating chemical rocket engines is referenced. The long lead items for NTP development involve the fuel elements of the reactor and ground testing the engine system, subsystem, and components. Other considerations which greatly impact the development plans includes the National Space Policy, National Environmental Policy Act, Presidential Directive/National Security Council Memorandum #25 (Scientific or Technological Experiments with Possible Large-Scale Adverse Environmental Effects and Launch of Nuclear Systems into Space), and Safeguards and Security. Ground testing will utilize non-nuclear test capabilities to help down select components and subsystems before testing in a nuclear environment to save time and cost. Existing test facilities with minor modifications will be considered to the maximum extent practical. New facilities will be designed to meet minimum requirements. Engine and test facility requirements are based on the driving mission requirements with added factors of safety for better assurance and reliability

  5. Some perspectives on affordable healthcare systems in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Y T; Yan, Y S; Poon, C C Y

    2007-01-01

    Consistent with the global population trend, China is becoming an aging society. Over one-fifth of the world's elderly population (aged 65 and over) lives in China. Statistics show that the elderly populace in China constitutes 8% of the total population in 2006 and the percentage will be tripled to become 24% in 2050. As a result, there is inevitably an increase in the prevalence of chronic disease that accounted for almost 80% of all deaths in China in 2005. On the other hand, from 1978 to 2003, the total expenditure on healthcare in China increased from 11.02 billion RMB up to 658.41 billion RMB, and in terms of GDP, it is an increase from 3.04% to 5.62%. The annual average increase (12.1%) in healthcare investment is therefore even higher than the annual rate of GDP increase (9.38%) during the last two decades. Meeting the long-term healthcare needs of this growing elderly population and escalating healthcare expenditure pose a grim challenge to the current Chinese healthcare system and the solvency of state budgets. In fact, the healthcare services in China have become less accessible since the early 1980s when its costs soared up. The rising costs have prevented many Chinese people from seeking early medical care. The phenomenon has created a wide disparity in seeking healthcare between urban and rural areas. These trends are of particular concern to the elderly, who have higher healthcare needs yet lesser means to afford the services. Furthermore, according to the 3rd National Health Service Survey, 79.1% of rural residents and 44.8% of urban citizens did not have any form of medical insurance. Such a low percentage of coverage of medical insurance indicates that many people may not be able to afford medical services when they suffer from severe diseases. Therefore, there is a great need of a more effective and low-cost healthcare system. A new system that can allow multi-level, multi-dimensional and standardized healthcare services for urban and rural

  6. Teaching radio astronomy with Affordable Small Radio Telescope (ASRT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Bhal Chandra

    A simple, easy to build and portable radio telescope, called Affordable Small Radio Telescope (ASRT), has been developed by the Radio Physics Laboratory (RPL), a radio astronomy teaching unit associated with the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (TIFR) and Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), which are two premier astronomy institutes in India. ASRT consists of off-the-shelf available Direct to Home television dishes and is easy to assemble. Our design is scalable from simple very low cost telescope to more complex yet moderately costing instrument. ASRT provides a platform for demonstrating radio physics concepts through simple hands-on experiment as well as for carrying out solar monitoring by college/University students. The presentation will highlight the concept of ASRT and the different experiments that can be carried out using it. The solar monitoring observations will be discussed along-with details of methods for calibrating these measurements. The pedagogical usefulness of ASRT in introducing undergraduatephysics students to astrophysics, measurements and analysis methods used in radio astronomy will also be discussed. Use of ASRT in the last three years in the programs of RPL, namely the annual Radio Astronomy Winter School for College students (RAWSC) and Pulsar Observing for Students (POS) is also presented. This year a new program was initiated to form a virtual group of an ASRT community, which will not only share their measurements, but also think of improving the pedagogical usefulness of ASRT by innovative experiments. This initiative is presented with the best practices drawn from our experience in using ASRT as a tool for student training in space sciences. The talk will also point out future ideas in involving a larger body of students in simple radio astronomy experiments with the ASRT, which RPL is likely to nucleate as part of its mandate.

  7. Affordable Care Act risk adjustment: overview, context, and challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kautter, John; Pope, Gregory C; Keenan, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    Beginning in 2014, individuals and small businesses will be able to purchase private health insurance through competitive marketplaces. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides for a program of risk adjustment in the individual and small group markets in 2014 as Marketplaces are implemented and new market reforms take effect. The purpose of risk adjustment is to lessen or eliminate the influence of risk selection on the premiums that plans charge and the incentive for plans to avoid sicker enrollees. This article--the first of three in the Medicare & Medicaid Research Review--describes the key program goal and issues in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) developed risk adjustment methodology, and identifies key choices in how the methodology responds to these issues. The goal of the HHS risk adjustment methodology is to compensate health insurance plans for differences in enrollee health mix so that plan premiums reflect differences in scope of coverage and other plan factors, but not differences in health status. The methodology includes a risk adjustment model and a risk transfer formula that together address this program goal as well as three issues specific to ACA risk adjustment: 1) new population; 2) cost and rating factors; and 3) balanced transfers within state/market. The risk adjustment model, described in the second article, estimates differences in health risks taking into account the new population and scope of coverage (actuarial value level). The transfer formula, described in the third article, calculates balanced transfers that are intended to account for health risk differences while preserving permissible premium differences. PMID:25364625

  8. Affordable Window Insulation with R-10/inch Rating

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jenifer Marchesi Redouane Begag; Je Kyun Lee; Danny Ou; Jong Ho Sonn; George Gould; Wendell Rhine

    2004-10-15

    During the performance of contract DE-FC26-00-NT40998, entitled ''Affordable Window Insulation with R-10/inch Value'', research was conducted at Aspen Aerogels, Inc. to develop new transparent aerogel materials suitable for window insulation applications. The project requirements were to develop a formulation or multiple formulations that have high transparency (85-90%) in the visible region, are hydrophobic (will not opacify with exposure to water vapor or liquid), and have at least 2% resiliency (interpreted as recoverable 2% strain and better than 5% strain to failure in compression). Results from an unrelated project showed that silica aerogels covalently bonded to organic polymers exhibit excellent mechanical properties. At the outset of this project, we believed that such a route is the best to improve mechanical properties. We have applied Design of Experiment (DOE) techniques to optimize formulations including both silica aerogels and organically modified silica aerogels (''Ormosils''). We used these DOE results to optimize formulations around the local/global optimization points. This report documents that we succeeded in developing a number of formulations that meet all of the stated criteria. We successfully developed formulations utilizing a two-step approach where the first step involves acid catalyzed hydrolysis and the second step involves base catalyzed condensation to make the gels. The gels were dried using supercritical CO{sub 2} and we were able to make 1 foot x 1 foot x 0.5 inch panels that met the criteria established.

  9. Educational Affordances of a Ubiquitous Learning Environment in a Natural Science Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Tan-Hsu; Lin, Min-Sheng; Chu, Yu-Ling; Liu, Tsung-Yu

    2012-01-01

    Educational affordances are worthy of being explored because the affordances of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) provide the pedagogical effects for promoting cognitive acceleration, increasing the self-management of students, facilitating data collection, and presentation in science learning. This study aims to explore educational…

  10. California Community Colleges: Making Them Stronger and More Affordable. National Center Report #07-1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zumeta, William; Frankle, Deborah

    2007-01-01

    This report highlights the affordability gaps faced by California's community colleges. Despite the lowest tuition in the country and tuition waivers for the lowest-income students, many California students struggle to afford the total cost of education, which includes housing, food, health care, and textbooks. And although California students are…

  11. Affordances and Cognitive Walkthrough for Analyzing Human-Virtual Human Interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruttkay, Z.M.; Akker, op den H.J.A.; Esposito, A.; Bourbakis, N.; Avouris, N.; Hatzilygeroudis, I.

    2008-01-01

    This study investigates how the psychological notion of affordance, known from human computer interface design, can be adopted for the analysis and design of communication of a user with a Virtual Human (VH), as a novel interface. We take as starting point the original notion of affordance, used to

  12. An Exploratory Study of Emotional Affordance of a Massive Open Online Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Jeremy C. Y.

    2014-01-01

    This exploratory study examines emotional affordance of a massive open online course (MOOC). Postings in a discussion forum of a MOOC in computer science are analysed following a research design informed by virtual ethnography. Emotional affordance is investigated, focusing on non-achievement emotions which are not directly linked to achievement…

  13. Sun Protection

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Emitting Products Radiation-Emitting Products and Procedures Tanning Sun Protection Share Tweet Linkedin Pin it More sharing ... for integrating sun protection into your daily routine. Sun Protection Tips Avoid overexposure to UV rays from ...

  14. Understanding the adoption dynamics of medical innovations: affordances of the da Vinci robot in the Netherlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrishami, Payam; Boer, Albert; Horstman, Klasien

    2014-09-01

    This study explored the rather rapid adoption of a new surgical device - the da Vinci robot - in the Netherlands despite the high costs and its controversial clinical benefits. We used the concept 'affordances' as a conceptual-analytic tool to refer to the perceived promises, symbolic meanings, and utility values of an innovation constructed in the wider social context of use. This concept helps us empirically understand robot adoption. Data from 28 in-depth interviews with diverse purposively-sampled stakeholders, and from medical literature, policy documents, Health Technology Assessment reports, congress websites and patients' weblogs/forums between April 2009 and February 2014 were systematically analysed from the perspective of affordances. We distinguished five interrelated affordances of the robot that accounted for shaping and fulfilling its rapid adoption: 'characteristics-related' affordances such as smart nomenclature and novelty, symbolising high-tech clinical excellence; 'research-related' affordances offering medical-technical scientific excellence; 'entrepreneurship-related' affordances for performing better-than-the-competition; 'policy-related' affordances indicating the robot's liberalised provision and its reduced financial risks; and 'communication-related' affordances of the robot in shaping patients' choices and the public's expectations by resonating promising discourses while pushing uncertainties into the background. These affordances make the take-up and use of the da Vinci robot sound perfectly rational and inevitable. This Dutch case study demonstrates the fruitfulness of the affordances approach to empirically capturing the contextual dynamics of technology adoption in health care: exploring in-depth actors' interaction with the technology while considering the interpretative spaces created in situations of use. This approach can best elicit real-life value of innovations, values as defined through the eyes of (potential) users. PMID

  15. Encapsulating the delivery of affordable housing: An overview of Malaysian practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamaluddin Nor Baizura

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Urban population increases much faster than other geographical areas and this brings huge challenges to Malaysian government especially those responsible for the provision of housing. Moreover, the rise of living cost and pressure towards the current economic situation had inevitably led to huge demands for affordable housing. Thus, affordability and inaccessibility of people in owning a house has become one of the major issues in Malaysia. These issues are not only faced by the low-income group but mostly experienced by urban dwellers including the middle-income group whom are not eligible to apply for low-cost housing delivered by the government, yet cannot afford to buy a house. Hence, the Malaysian government had therefore established the Perumahan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (PR1MA as the catalyst in providing adequate, quality and affordable houses. Furthermore, the Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB and the state governments also play their big role in providing affordable house at the state level. In trying to ensure smooth delivery of affordable housing, a systematic approach is required. This paper intends to examine the delivery of affordable housing in Malaysia. The objective was to assess the parties involved, and the various stages of the process. The methodology adopted for this study includes in-depth interviews with affordable housing agencies. Investigation showed that the major problem relates to a mismatch in the delivery of affordable housing. Moreover, the political and economic aspects, as well as the organization situation had also influenced the inefficiency of affordable housing delivery system. Additionally, the significant of this paper is expected to formulate an improved strategy and guidance in delivery system, thus ensuring that the method of practice is applicable throughout the country.

  16. Implications for multiple sclerosis in the era of the Affordable Care Act: the shifting managed care landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathis, A Scott; Owens, Gary M

    2014-12-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disorder of the central nervous system that is associated with disability, reduced quality of life, extensive medical and nonmedical costs, and lost productivity. Specialty medications that are crucial to effective disease management, helping to prevent debilitating episodes of relapse, account for a substantial portion of the medical expenditures associated with MS. Although these therapies are not considered cost-effective by conventional definitions, they are comparable to one another in cost-effectiveness estimates, leaving the complex task of designing cost-efficient formulary management strategies to managed care professionals. Current epidemiologic data suggest that most patients with MS are covered by some form of healthcare insurance, but plan designs and formulary restrictions may still create access barriers for some patients. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is recent federal legislation that seeks to provide new consumer protections, improve healthcare quality and accessibility while mitigating expenditures, and increase accountability of healthcare insurance companies. The impact of the ACA on specialty pharmaceuticals is unclear at this time, but it does appear to have already begun improving healthcare coverage across the population. Managed care professionals must work within the confines of the ACA to provide better and more affordable care that targets overall cost reductions rather than just pharmacy expenses. PMID:25734889

  17. Partially Assembled K99 Fimbriae Are Required for Protection

    OpenAIRE

    Ascón, Miguel A.; Ochoa-Repáraz, Javier; Walters, Nancy; Pascual, David W.

    2005-01-01

    Antibodies to K99 fimbriae afford protection to F5+ bovine enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). Previous studies show that murine dams immunized with Salmonella vaccine vectors stably expressing K99 fimbriae confer protection to ETEC-challenged neonatal pups. To begin to address adaptation of the K99 scaffold to display heterologous B- and T-cell epitopes, studies were conducted to determine how much of the assembled K99 fimbria is required to maintain protective immunity. Sequential dele...

  18. Protective immunity against plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornelius, Claire; Quenee, Lauriane; Anderson, Deborah; Schneewind, Olaf

    2007-01-01

    Plague, an infectious disease that reached catastrophic proportions during three pandemics, continues to be a legitimate public health concern worldwide. Although antibiotic therapy for the causative agent Yersinia pestis is available, pharmaceutical supply limitations, multi-drug resistance from natural selection as well as malicious bioengineering are a reality. Consequently, plague vaccinology is a priority for biodefense research. Development of a multi-subunit vaccine with Fraction 1 and LcrV as protective antigens seems to be receiving the most attention. However, LcrV has been shown to cause immune suppression and Y. pestis mutants lacking F1 expression are thought to be fully virulent in nature and in animal experiments. The LcrV variant, rV10, retains the well documented protective antigenic properties of LcrV but with diminished inhibitory effects on the immune system. More research is required to examine the molecular mechanisms of vaccine protection afforded by surface protein antigens and to decipher the host mechanisms responsible for vaccine success. PMID:17966437

  19. Job mobility among parents of children with chronic health conditions: Early effects of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterji, Pinka; Brandon, Peter; Markowitz, Sara

    2016-07-01

    We examine the effects of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (ACA) prohibition of preexisting conditions exclusions for children on job mobility among parents. We use a difference-in-difference approach, comparing pre-post policy changes in job mobility among privately-insured parents of children with chronic health conditions vs. privately-insured parents of healthy children. Data come from the 2004 and 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Among married fathers, the policy change is associated with about a 0.7 percentage point, or 35 percent increase, in the likelihood of leaving an employer voluntarily. We find no evidence that the policy change affected job mobility among married and unmarried mothers. PMID:27060524

  20. Differential protective effects of antioxidants against cell killing and mutagenesis of Salmonella typhimurium by gamma radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A commercial mixture of phenolic antioxidants containing BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and PG (propyl gallate), commonly used in the food industry, was found to protect Salmonella typhimurium against killing and induction of his+ mutations by gamma radiation. The protective effect was apparent only when irradiation was performed in the presence of oxygen and no protection could be detected in its absence. When each of the components of the antioxidant mixture was tested separately, only PG displayed a protective effects. The amount of protection provided by the mixture of antioxidants was close to the protection afforded by hypoxia. Also, protection against cell killing was very similar in magnitude to protection against induction of mutations. The protective effect could be detected only when antioxidants were added to the cells before irradiation. No protection was afforded upon addition immediately after irradiation. (author)

  1. Affordability, cost and cost-effectiveness of universal anti-retroviral therapy for HIV

    OpenAIRE

    Williams, Brian G; Gouws, Eleanor

    2012-01-01

    If people at risk of HIV infection are tested annually and started on treatment as soon as they are found to be HIV-positive it should be possible to reduce the case reproduction number for HIV to less than one, eliminate transmission and end the epidemic. If this is to be done it is essential to know if it would be affordable, and cost effective. Here we show that in all but eleven countries of the world it is affordable by those countries, that in these eleven countries it is affordable for...

  2. Identifying Variables Influencing Tenant Affordability to Pay Rent in Ipoh City Council Public Housing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salleh Nor Aini

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Affordability reflects the challenges faced by households in balancing the real cost of housing and non housing expenditures against income limitations placed upon the household. Various methods have been introduced to measure housing affordability among households. This study was undertaken to identify the variables influencing tenant affordability to pay rent. Data was obtained through questionnaire distribution on 350 MBI public housing tenants using the strata sampling technique. This study found that only ethnic group variable significantly influenced the ability to pay rent. The study’s findings proved that different ethnic groups faced different housing costs liabilities attributable to different socioeconomic status.

  3. FCJ-178 Network Affordances: The unpredictable parameters of a Hong Kong SPEED SHOW

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Audrey Samson

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the notion of network affordance within the context of network art. We expand on the notion of affordances, (Gibson, 1977; Gaver, 1996 to include ecological and computational parameters of unpredictability. We illustrate the notion of unpredictability by considering four specific works that were included in a network art exhibition, SPEED SHOW [2.0] Hong Kong (2013. The paper discusses how the artworks are contingent upon the parametric relations (Parisi, 2013 of the network. We introduce network affordance as a dynamic framework that could articulate the experience of tension arising from the (visible symbolic representation of computational processes and its hidden occurrences.

  4. What can be done with an egg? Creativity, material objects and the theory of affordances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Glaveanu, Vlad Petre

    2012-01-01

    This article offers a reflection on the role of material objects in the creative process and explores the potential links between creativity and the theory of affordances (Gibson, ), conceptualized from a sociocultural perspective. From this standpoint, creativity can be defined as a process of...... of existing action potentials, the generation of objects with novel affordances, and the transgression of conventional procedures, all resulting in creative forms of expression. In the end, some conclusions are drawn regarding the ways in which an affordance theory of creativity can enrich our...... understanding of the phenomenon and contribute to the development of a new program of research concerned with situated and distributed creative acts....

  5. SunShot Initiative: Making Solar Energy Affordable for All Americans (Fact Sheet)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2013-10-01

    Through SunShot, DOE supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour, making solar energy affordable for more American families and businesses.

  6. 77 FR 42831 - Office of Domestic Finance; Small Business, Community Development and Affordable Housing Policy...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-20

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY Office of Domestic Finance; Small Business, Community Development and Affordable Housing Policy; Small... INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information should be directed to the Office of Domestic...

  7. 77 FR 19750 - Office of Domestic Finance; Small Business, Community Development and Affordable Housing Policy...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-02

    ... Office of Domestic Finance; Small Business, Community Development and Affordable Housing Policy; Small... of consideration. ADDRESSES: Direct all written comments to Office of Domestic Finance, Small... be directed to the Office of Domestic Finance, Small Business Lending Fund; Daniel Rourke;...

  8. Exploring Affordances of Facebook as a Social Media Platform in Political Campaigning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Tina Blegind; Dyrby, Signe

    2013-01-01

    In recent years we have witnessed political parties adopting social media as part of their election campaign strategy to encourage citizen participation and involvement. The purpose of this paper is to investigate what Facebook as a social media platform is perceived to afford political parties in...... communication to promote political interests and enable dialogue, 2) projection of an image of authenticity through informal media and 3) creating interaction and involvement through dynamic relationships with supporters. A closer look at the parties’ actual use of Facebook shows that the majority of the...... intended affordances is acted out in practice; however, our findings also highlight that certain aspects are neglected by the parties and that yet new types of affordances surface. The observed discrepancies between perceived affordances and actual use prompt a discussion of what political parties should...

  9. Are Housing Markets Decoupled? A Case Study of Residential Real Estate Affordability in Austria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian PHILIPP

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Real estate arguably forms the most important asset to most households and the basis for their wealth. Around this context a model has been set up testing the relative affordability of real estate for the median household in Austria and the consequences of lower borrowing costs between 2004 and 2013 by vintage year. In this paper the hypothesis that the significant decline in base interest rates is not sufficient to offset the relative affordability loss caused by declining net household incomes and the simultaneous increase of real estate prices. To test this hypothesis a model has been set up comparing two different Housing Affordability Indices – one including and one excluding financing effects, having been compared via a multi factor model. Based on this calculation the author finds decreased base interest rates to offset relative affordability losses by only approximately 50%, verifying the hypothesis. The paper therefore argues for a potential decoupling of the residential housing market in Austria.

  10. Health Migration: Crossing Borders for Affordable Health Care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Miller-Thayer

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Approximately 45.7 million people in the United States are uninsured and unknown numbers of this population are underinsured, severely limiting their access to medical care. To address this problem, people use innovative strategies to increase their access through cross-border care options. The U.S.-Mexico border provides unique challenges and opportunities for health care in this context. The lower cost of medical and dental procedures and medications in Mexico makes that country an attractive alternative for low-income populations in the United States. Thus segments of the U.S. population practice transnational medical consumerism in an attempt to optimize their health by using the resources available in both countries. This practice has economic benefits for the people who access health care at an affordable rate and for the medical markets of the country providing the care. Drawing on data collected in the field in 2002, 2004, and 2005, this paper presents some of the complexities and dynamics of medical pluralism occurring at the U.S.-Mexico border.Environ 45,7 millions de personnes vivant aux Etats-Unis n’ont pas de couverture sociale et nombreux sont celles à être sous-assurées, ce qui limite considérablement leur accès aux soins. Face à ce problème, les Américains font preuve d'ingéniosité pour améliorer leur accès aux soins : ils se font soigner au-delà des frontières. Dans ce contexte, la frontière entre les Etats-Unis et le Mexique offre des opportunités uniques de soins. Le Mexique constitue en effet une alternative séduisante pour les Américains à faible revenu, car les tarifs des actes médicaux et dentaires, et des médicaments, sont nettement inférieurs à ceux en vigueur aux Etats-Unis. Ainsi, certains Américains pratiquent le consumérisme médical transnational et recourent aux ressources disponibles dans les deux pays afin d’optimiser leur santé. Cette pratique présente des avantages économiques

  11. Mortgaging the Future: the Financialization of Affordable Housing in Canada, 1984-2008

    OpenAIRE

    Clifford, Brian Keith

    2014-01-01

    This project provides a policy history of the ideological and structural factors that underpinned the transformation of federal affordable housing policy in Canada from 1984 to 2008. Emerging out the subsidy-based Keynesian housing programs of the 1970s, the federal government began to construct a new ‘financialized’ approach to affordable housing in the 1980s centered on the mortgage insurance and securitization operations of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Canada’s federal hous...

  12. The low-income single-family house and the effectiveness of architects in affecting affordability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ron Dulaney Jr.

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Architects are increasingly engaged in efforts to provide affordable, owner-occupied housing in the United States. Yet architects’ roles in broadly addressing affordable housing remain marginal as was anecdotally evident by the absence of architects at a recent university-sponsored affordable housing workshop. Apparently, the potential contributions of architects in “the development of innovative approaches and best practices” related to affordable, owner-occupied housing is not always valued to housing policymakers and planners such as those who organized this workshop. This paper speculatively explores the gap between the potential value of architects and their actual effectiveness at realizing widespread relevancy, innovation, and change in improving the quality and attainability of affordable, owner occupied housing and how this gap may contribute to the undervaluation and marginalization of architects’ efforts to address affordable housing needs in the United States. Case studies of several recent U.S. house design competitions exemplify these gaps. Potential strategies for closing these gaps and thus appreciating the value of architects’ efforts in this endeavor are identified.To become central in providing much-needed affordable, owner-occupied housing, architects must make the value of their potential contributions evident. This requires a clear definition of design goals, a rigorous assessment of built projects, and the thorough dissemination of findings and methodologies. Architects must engage those fields to which they have, in the U.S., long relinquished affordable, single-family housing. Architects must demonstrate that qualitative design improvements are not just possible within the frameworks and agendas of those other fields but that good design will better enable the achievement of those extra-disciplinary goals.

  13. Children in outdoor contexts : affordances and independent mobility in the assessment of environmental child friendliness

    OpenAIRE

    Kyttä, Marketta

    2003-01-01

    According to James J. Gibson, the concept of the affordance refers to the functionally significant properties of the environment, and provides a psychologically relevant means to analyze evolving child-environment relationships. Affordances operationalize the transactional approach. Thus the concept allows researchers to bring the material environment back into the realm of environmental psychology. The framework of ecological perceptual psychology, and in particular the concept of the af...

  14. The shaping of environmental information in social media : affordances and technologies of self-control.

    OpenAIRE

    Haider, Jutta

    2015-01-01

    This article studies environmental information as it circulates in social media, specifically in personal blogs and microblogs. It rests on a thematic analysis of a selection of Swedish language, personal, everyday life environment blogs active during 2011 and 2012 and the social media applications connected to these blogs. Gibson’s concept of affordances and Foucault's notion of governmentality are brought together to work out how material and technological affordances of social media an...

  15. Food Access, Availability, and Affordability in 3 Los Angeles Communities, Project CAFE, 2004-2006

    OpenAIRE

    Vallianatos, Mark; Azuma, Andrea Misako; Gilliland, Susan; Gottlieb, Robert

    2010-01-01

    Introduction Racial/ethnic minority communities are at increasingly high risk for chronic diseases related to obesity. Access to stores that sell affordable, nutritious food is a prerequisite for adopting a healthful diet. The objective of this study was to evaluate food access, availability, and affordability in 3 nonoverlapping but similar low-income communities in urban Los Angeles, California. Methods Using a community-based participatory research approach, we trained community members to...

  16. Chamberlain Heights Redevelopment: A Large Scale, Cold Climate Study of Affordable Housing Retrofits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Donnelly, K. [Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB), Norwalk, CT (United States); Mahle, M. [Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB), Norwalk, CT (United States)

    2012-03-01

    The City of Meriden Housing Authority (MHA) collaborated with affordable housing developer Jonathon Rose Companies (JRC) to complete a gut renovation of 124 residential units in the Chamberlain Heights retrofit project. The affordable housing community is made up of 36 buildings in duplex and quad configurations located on 22 acres within two miles of downtown Meriden, CT. The final post-retrofit analysis showed 40-45% source energy savings over the existing pre-retrofit conditions.

  17. Zonal playfield attributes – A stochastic approach to subjective passing affordances in football

    OpenAIRE

    Steiner, Silvan; Scherer, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: According to the ecological view, coordination establishes byvirtueof social context. Affordances thought of as situational opportunities to interact are assumed to represent the guiding principles underlying decisions involved in interpersonal coordination. It’s generally agreed that affordances are not an objective part of the (social) environment but that they depend on the constructive perception of involved subjects. Theory and empirical data hold that cognitive operatio...

  18. Using task dynamics to quantify the affordances of throwing for long distance and accuracy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Andrew D; Weightman, Andrew; Bingham, Geoffrey P; Zhu, Qin

    2016-07-01

    In 2 experiments, the current study explored how affordances structure throwing for long distance and accuracy. In Experiment 1, 10 expert throwers (from baseball, softball, and cricket) threw regulation tennis balls to hit a vertically oriented 4 ft × 4 ft target placed at each of 9 locations (3 distances × 3 heights). We measured their release parameters (angle, speed, and height) and showed that they scaled their throws in response to changes in the target's location. We then simulated the projectile motion of the ball and identified a continuous subspace of release parameters that produce hits to each target location. Each subspace describes the affordance of our target to be hit by a tennis ball moving in a projectile motion to the relevant location. The simulated affordance spaces showed how the release parameter combinations required for hits changed with changes in the target location. The experts tracked these changes in their performance and were successful in hitting the targets. We next tested unusual (horizontal) targets that generated correspondingly different affordance subspaces to determine whether the experts would track the affordance to generate successful hits. Do the experts perceive the affordance? They do. In Experiment 2, 5 cricketers threw to hit either vertically or horizontally oriented targets and successfully hit both, exhibiting release parameters located within the requisite affordance subspaces. We advocate a task dynamical approach to the study of affordances as properties of objects and events in the context of tasks as the future of research in this area. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26766510

  19. Mathematical Learning Opportunities in Kindergarten through the Use of Digital Tools: Affordances and Constraints

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Carlsen

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available This study aims at scrutinising the mathematical learning opportunities of children engaging with digital tools and the emerging affordances and constraints faced in such settings. By adopting a sociocultural perspective on learning and development, the multimodal analysis of the adult–child interaction shows that the children are participants in processes of appropriating the mathematical concepts of sorting and counting. Affordances are taken advantage of by the adults and constraints causing didactical dissonance are overcome and transformed into didactical harmony.

  20. Cardioprotection Afforded by Norepinephrine-mediated Postconditioning in Isolated Rat Hearts

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xinhua Huang; Dai Li; Yishuai Zhang; Nianshen Li; Benmei Chen; Jun Peng; Yuanjian Li

    2008-01-01

    Objectives Previous studies have demonstrated that endogenous norepinephrine (NE) plays an important role in the mediation of ischemic preconditioning. The present study is designed to determine whether NE is also involved in medi-ation of the protective effects of postconditioning. Methods The rat hearts were rapidly excised under anesthesia and attached to a Langendorff apparatus via the aorta for retrograde perfusion with Krebs-Henseleit buffer solution. All hearts were subjected to 30 min of left coronary artery occlusion followed by 60 rain of reperfusion, except the control group. Animals were randomly divided into 5 groups as follows: ① control group, the hearts were underwent same procedures without ischemic insult; ② ischemia reperfusion group, the left coronary artery was occluded for 30 min and followed by 60 min of reperfusion;③ ischemic postconditioning (Ipost) group, immediately at the onset of reperfusion, the heart was initiated with 1 min of full coronary flow, followed by 1 min of re-occlusion, repeated for a total of three cycles; ④ Ipost plus prazosin group, the heart was perfused with prazosin for 10 min before ischemia; ⑤ Ipost plus reserpine group, a single dose of reserpine was administered by I.m. Injection, 24 hours before the experiment. Coronary flow was measured by timed collection of coronary effluent and sample of coronary effluent at 5 rain of reperfusion were collected for the measurement of ereatine kinase (CK). Infarct size and risk area were determined at the end of experiments. Results 30 rain of ischemia and followed by 60 min of reperfusion caused a significant decrease in cardiac function and a significant increase in CK release and infarct size. Postconditioning with three cycles of 1-min ischemia and 1-min reperfusion markedly improved cardiac function and reduced CK release and infarct size. However,the cardioprotection afforded by postconditioning was abolished by prazosin (10-6M), a selective α1 adrenergic

  1. Environmental protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this chapter environmental protection in the Slovak Republic in 1997 are reviewed. The economics of environmental protection, state budget, Slovak state environmental fund, economic instruments, environmental laws, environmental impact assessment, environmental management systems, and environmental education are presented

  2. Can poor consumers pay for energy and water? An affordability analysis for transition countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Low-income households spend a substantial share of their income on utility services such as electricity, heating and water. The difficulty of these socially vulnerable consumers to absorb further price increases is often used as an argument against tariff reform. However, detailed quantitative information on the affordability of tariff adjustments for low-income consumers is actually quite scarce. Much of the available information is based on households. This paper takes a more detailed look at the affordability of electricity, district heating and water for low-income consumers in transition countries. While the available data are incomplete, the paper finds that affordability is a problem for low-income consumers in most countries, in particular in the water sector and in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The affordability consequences of tariff reform ultimately depend on the speed of tariff adjustments relative to the growth in household income, the level of tariffs needed for cost recovery, the level of effective tariffs at the outset (tariffs adjusted for non-payment) and the demand response to the tariff increase. The paper finds that delaying tariff reform by a few years makes little difference to affordability constraints, and may therefore not be an effective way to mitigate the social impact of utility reform

  3. Can poor consumers pay for energy and water? An affordability analysis for transition countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Low-income households spend a substantial share of their income on utility services such as electricity, heating and water. The difficulty of these socially vulnerable consumers to absorb further price increases is often used as an argument against tariff reform. However, detailed quantitative information on the affordability of tariff adjustments for low-income consumers is actually quite scarce. Much of the available information is based on households. This paper takes a more detailed look at the affordability of electricity, district heating and water for low-income consumers in transition countries. While the available data are incomplete, the paper finds that affordability is a problem for low-income consumers in most countries, in particular in the water sector and in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The affordability consequences of tariff reform ultimately depend on the speed of tariff adjustments relative to the growth in household income, the level of tariffs needed for cost recovery, the level of effective tariffs at the outset (tariffs adjusted for non-payment) and the demand response to the tariff increase. The paper finds that delaying tariff reform by a few years makes little difference to affordability constraints, and may therefore not be an effective way to mitigate the social impact of utility reform. (author)

  4. Learning outcomes afforded by self-assessed, segmented video–print combinations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jack Koumi

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Learning affordances of video and print are examined in order to assess the learning outcomes afforded by hybrid video–print learning packages. The affordances discussed for print are: navigability, surveyability and legibility. Those discussed for video are: design for constructive reflection, provision of realistic experiences, presentational attributes, motivational influences and teacher personalisation. The video affordances are examined through a framework of pedagogic design principles and a set of pedagogic roles that video is outstandingly capable of yielding. The paper first discusses the learning outcomes afforded through video alone, then through print alone, and finally through three versions of video–print combinations. One version involves non-segmented video, complemented with print material. In the other two versions the videos are divided into short segments, one version having narration, while the other has only printed commentary. All three versions include self-assessment questions after each segment. The learning outcomes posited by the paper for each of the three video–print versions are categorised using the Revision of Bloom’s Learning Taxonomy. This categorisation can help teachers to assess whether the outcomes they intend for a lesson can be advanced by one of the three versions. This is particularly relevant for teachers who are flipping classrooms or developing massive open online courses (MOOCs.

  5. Mobilidade e affordance como cerne dos Estudos Pessoa-Ambiente Mobility and affordance as the core of Person-Environment Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hartmut Günther

    2003-08-01

    Full Text Available Partindo de uma reflexão sobre a multiplicidade disciplinar, teórica, metodológica e terminológica e utilizando uma analogia com o modelo multivariado da correlação canônica, propõe-se o rótulo Estudos Pessoa-Ambiente para englobar as diferentes sub-áreas disciplinares e temáticas que lidam com as relações recíprocas pessoa-espaço físico. Segue uma discussão de quatro conceitos do espaço (espaço pessoal, territorialidade, apinhamento e privacidade e sua relação com mobilidade. Após algumas considerações sobre affordance sugere-se o elo mobilidade-affordance como elemento molecular da relação recíproca pessoa-espaço físico no cerne dos estudos pessoa-ambiente.Starting with a reflection on the disciplinary, theoretical, methodological and terminological multiplicity, and using the analogy of the multivariate model of the canonical correlation, the use of the label Person-Environment Studies is justified. This is followed by a discussion of four spatial concepts (personal space, territoriality, crowding and privacy and their relationship to mobility. After some comments about affordance, it is suggested that the mobility-affordance link constitutes the molecular element of the reciprocal person-physical space relationship at the core of the Person-Environment Studies.

  6. What Can We Do To Protect the Environment?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    1998-01-01

    THE progress of modern science and technology has brought with it not only the rapid growth of the global economy but the large-scale exploration and utilization of natural resources as well. Increasingly, people are realizing that they cannot afford not to pay attention to issues of ecological balance and environmental protection. Taking

  7. Machine Protection

    OpenAIRE

    Schmidt, R.

    2016-01-01

    The protection of accelerator equipment is as old as accelerator technology and was for many years related to high-power equipment. Examples are the protection of powering equipment from overheating (magnets, power converters, high-current cables), of superconducting magnets from damage after a quench and of klystrons. The protection of equipment from beam accidents is more recent. It is related to the increasing beam power of high-power proton accelerators such as ISIS, SNS, ESS and the PSI ...

  8. Efficacy of a Vaccine Based on Protective Antigen and Killed Spores against Experimental Inhalational Anthrax▿ ‡

    OpenAIRE

    Gauthier, Yves P.; Tournier, Jean-Nicolas; Paucod, Jean-Charles; Corre, Jean-Philippe; Mock, Michèle; Goossens, Pierre L.; Vidal, Dominique R.

    2008-01-01

    Protective antigen (PA)-based anthrax vaccines acting on toxins are less effective than live attenuated vaccines, suggesting that additional antigens may contribute to protective immunity. Several reports indicate that capsule or spore-associated antigens may enhance the protection afforded by PA. Addition of formaldehyde-inactivated spores (FIS) to PA (PA-FIS) elicits total protection against cutaneous anthrax. Nevertheless, vaccines that are effective against cutaneous anthrax may not be so...

  9. Intellectual property protection for agricultural biotechnological inventions: a case of Malaysia

    OpenAIRE

    Ismail, Suzi Fadhilah

    2011-01-01

    This research focuses on the current legal protection for agricultural biotechnological inventions in Europe and the U.S. It has been a subject of debate whether plants and agricultural biotechnological inventions which includes plants, transgenic plants and plant varieties, can be the subject of patent protection, in addition to or as an alternative to the protection afforded by plant variety rights. Biotechnological patents have been criticized for granting an excessive scope of protection ...

  10. Which moral hazard? Health care reform under the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza, Roger Lee

    2016-06-20

    Purpose - Moral hazard is a concept that is central to risk and insurance management. It refers to change in economic behavior when individuals are protected or insured against certain risks and losses whose costs are borne by another party. It asserts that the presence of an insurance contract increases the probability of a claim and the size of a claim. Through the US Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, this study seeks to examine the validity and relevance of moral hazard in health care reform and determine how welfare losses or inefficiencies could be mitigated. Design/methodology/approach - This study is divided into three sections. The first contrasts conventional moral hazard from an emerging or alternative theory. The second analyzes moral hazard in terms of the evolution, organization, management, and marketing of health insurance in the USA. The third explains why and how salient reform measures under the ACA might induce health care consumption and production in ways that could either promote or restrict personal health and safety as well as social welfare maximization. Findings - Insurance generally induces health care (over) consumption. However, not every additional consumption, with or without adverse selection, can be considered wasteful or risky, even if it might cost insurers more in the short run. Moral hazard can generate welfare and equity gains. These gains might vary depending on which ACA provisions, insured population, covered illnesses, treatments, and services, as well as health outcomes are taken into account, and because of the relative ambiguities surrounding definitions of "health." Actuarial risk models can nonetheless benefit from incorporating welfare and equity gains into their basic assumptions and estimations. Originality/value - This is the first study which examines the ACA in the context of the new or alternative theory of moral hazard. It suggests that containing inefficient moral hazard, and encouraging its desirable

  11. Implementing the Affordable Care Act: Promoting Competition in the Individual Marketplaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusano, David; Lucia, Kevin

    2016-02-01

    A main goal of the Affordable Care Act is to provide Americans with access to affordable coverage in the individual market, achieved in part by pro­moting competition among insurers on premium price and value. One primary mechanism for meeting that goal is the establishment of new individual health insurance marketplaces where consumers can shop for, compare, and purchase plans, with subsidies if they are eligible. In this issue brief, we explore how the Affordable Care Act is influencing competition in the individual marketplaces in four states--Kansas, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Washington. Strategies include: educating consumers and providing coverage information in one place to ease decision-making; promoting competition among insurers; and ensuring a level playing field for premium rate development through the rate review process. PMID:26910926

  12. Self-organization, free energy minimization, and optimal grip on a field of affordances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jelle eBruineberg

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we set out to develop a theoretical and conceptual framework for the new field of Radical Embodied Cognitive Neuroscience. This framework should be able to integrate insights from several relevant disciplines: theory on embodied cognition, ecological psychology, phenomenology, dynamical systems theory, and neurodynamics. We suggest that the main task of Radical Embodied Cognitive Neuroscience is to investigate the phenomenon of skilled intentionality from the perspective of the self-organization of the brain-body-environment system, while doing justice to the phenomenology of skilled action. In previous work, we have characterized skilled intentionality as the organism’s tendency towards an optimal grip on multiple relevant affordances simultaneously. Affordances are possibilities for action provided by the environment. In the first part of this paper, we introduce the notion of skilled intentionality and the phenomenon of responsiveness to a field of relevant affordances. Second, we use Friston’s work on neurodynamics, but embed a very minimal version of his Free Energy Principle in the ecological niche of the animal. Thus amended, this principle is helpful for understanding the embeddedness of neurodynamics within the dynamics of the brain-body-environment system. Next, we show how we can use this adjusted principle to understand the neurodynamics of selective openness to the environment: interacting action-readiness patterns at multiple timescales contribute to the organism’s selective openness to relevant affordances. In the final part of the paper, we emphasize the important role of metastable dynamics in both the brain and the brain-body-environment system for adequate affordance-responsiveness. We exemplify our integrative approach by presenting research on the impact of Deep Brain Stimulation on affordance responsiveness of OCD patients.

  13. Understanding Structures and Affordances of Extended Teams in Global Software Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ali Babar, Muhammad; Zahedi, Mansooreh

    2013-01-01

    Growing popularity of Global Software Development (GSD) has resulted in an increasing number of cross-organizational teams that are formed according to Extended Team Model (ETM). There is little known about the structures (work, social, and communication) that may exist in ETM and what affordances...... studied team help deal with different GSD challenges, these structures appear to have certain challenges inherent in them and the affordances they provide. We make a few recommendations for improving the current structures to deal with the observed challenges. Our findings are expected to provide insights...

  14. Utilizing fission technology to enable rapid and affordable access to any point in the solar system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fission technology can enable rapid, affordable access to any point in the solar system. Potential fission-based transportation options include bimodal nuclear thermal rockets, high specific energy propulsion systems, and pulsed fission propulsion systems. In-space propellant re-supply enhances the effective performance of all systems, but requires significant infrastructure development. Safe, timely, affordable utilization of first-generation space fission propulsion systems will enable the development of more advanced systems. First generation space systems will build on over 45 years of US and international space fission system technology development to minimize cost

  15. Environmental protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The question of environment protection related to the use of nuclear energy aiming to power generation, based on the harmonic concept of economic and industrial development, preserving the environment, is discussed. A brief study of environmental impacts for some energy sources, including nuclear energy, to present the systems of a nuclear power plant which aim at environmental protection, is done. (M.C.K.)

  16. Negotiating Protection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bille, Mikkel

    This thesis examines protection against risks as material and social phenomena among the Ammarin tribe in Petra - a settled Bedouin community in southern Jordan. By examining the active role of material culture that is often disregarded in risk studies, the thesis discusses how protective...... architecture, the social use of luminosity, prophylactic items, saint veneration, Qur'anic items, and heritage production. The thesis challenges the preoccupation with "meaning" in material culture studies, by focusing on conceptualizations of "presence" and "absence" as equally important to protective...... strategies are entangled in cultural, religious, and national identities. Using ethnographic methods, I investigate protection against selected risks: harm from evil eyes, violation of domestic sanctity, and cultural heritage dilapidation. Protection against these risks is examined through studies of...

  17. 77 FR 72581 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of the Multi-State Plan Program for the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-05

    ... phase-in period to fully participate in the SHOP. \\37\\ 77 FR at 18401 (March 27, 2012). 3. Authority To... offers coverage over four years, but it must offer MSPs on Exchanges in all States and the District of... U.S. Office of Personnel Management PHS Act Public Health Service Act QHP Qualified Health Plan...

  18. 75 FR 48974 - Notice of Intent To Award Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Funding to Approved But...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-12

    ... establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, or swimming pool. (Recovery Act Sec. 1604) Disclosure of Fraud or... Program, the Education and Outreach Campaign for Preventative Benefits, and Immunization Programs....

  19. 78 FR 15559 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of the Multi-State Plan Program for the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-11

    ... December 5, 2012, OPM published proposed regulations (77 FR 72582) establishing the MSPP at part 800 of... that their MSPs do not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex, gender... Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) dental or vision plan option, respectively,...

  20. Financial protection afforded by employer-sponsored health insurance: current plan designs and high-deductible health plans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDevitt, Roland; Gabel, Jon; Gandolfo, Laura; Lore, Ryan; Pickreign, Jeremy

    2007-04-01

    This article provides the first national estimates of actuarial values and out-of-pocket spending from the era of nonrestrictive managed care that began in the late 1990s. Employer plans paid about 84 percent of total medical expense for those with employer-sponsored coverage in 2004, about 1 percent less than in 2000, and high users faced potential out of pocket spending in the thousands of dollars when they received a portion of their care out of network. Since 2004, more employers have offered plans with higher deductibles coupled with employer-funded personal accounts. These arrangements can result in low out of pocket costs for many employees, but high users will face substantially higher costs. Many employers adopting high-deductible plans are not contributing to personal accounts. Those who are concerned about higher out-of-pockets might consider income-related cost sharing, educational efforts to communicate the savings that can result from using in-network providers, and continued availability of managed care options that limit out-of-pocket spending. PMID:17406021

  1. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2017. Final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-03-01

    This final rule sets forth payment parameters and provisions related to the risk adjustment, reinsurance, and risk corridors programs; cost-sharing parameters and cost-sharing reductions; and user fees for Federally-facilitated Exchanges. It also provides additional amendments regarding the annual open enrollment period for the individual market for the 2017 and 2018 benefit years; essential health benefits; cost sharing; qualified health plans; Exchange consumer assistance programs; network adequacy; patient safety; the Small Business Health Options Program; stand-alone dental plans; third-party payments to qualified health plans; the definitions of large employer and small employer; fair health insurance premiums; student health insurance coverage; the rate review program; the medical loss ratio program; eligibility and enrollment; exemptions and appeals; and other related topics. PMID:26964153

  2. 78 FR 15409 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-11

    ...This final rule provides detail and parameters related to: the risk adjustment, reinsurance, and risk corridors programs; cost-sharing reductions; user fees for Federally-facilitated Exchanges; advance payments of the premium tax credit; the Federally-facilitated Small Business Health Option Program; and the medical loss ratio program. Cost-sharing reductions and advance payments of the......

  3. The corrosion protection of several aluminum alloys by chromic acid and sulfuric acid anodizing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danford, M. D.

    1994-01-01

    The corrosion protection afforded 7075-T6, 7075-T3, 6061-T6, and 2024-T3 aluminum alloys by chromic acid and sulfuric acid anodizing was examined using electrochemical techniques. From these studies, it is concluded that sulfuric acid anodizing provides superior corrosion protection compared to chromic acid anodizing.

  4. Affordably priced new drugs for poor populations: Approaches for a global solution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mossialos, E; Dukes, G

    2001-01-01

    A very large proportion of the world's population, particularly the poor in developing countries, still have insufficient access or none at all to treatment with essential drugs. This situation can arise with any drug and for various reasons, but it exists in extreme form where the drug is irreplaceable yet entirely unaffordable. That is the case with new or relatively recent drugs which could save lives or eradicate endemic disease, but which (particularly during their period of patent protection) are usually sold at prices higher than patients or their community can afford to pay. The consequences of this situation in terms of persistent illness, suffering and large-scale mortality are felt most immediately in the developing world, but because today disease travels so rapidly it represents a threat to the world as a whole. As of late 2001, only a number of limited ad hoc solutions to these problems have emerged. They have provided relief in a number of specific situations but they offer no guarantee of permanence, are applied mainly at the discretion of multinational companies or aid agencies and leave the bulk of the global problem unchanged. The problem must be capable of a broad and lasting solution since the basic costs of manufacturing and distributing most of the drugs in question are not in themselves prohibitive. High prices are primarily a consequence of the need to provide an adequate return on investment, to finance research and development, and to pay the very high costs of promotion in intensively competitive markets. At present, however, these secondary costs are almost entirely covered by the sales income from industrialized countries, and that is unlikely to change. In the developing world, where the sales of such drugs has been negligible, it must be possible to supply them in more adequate quantities, at a fair and affordable prices which are very close to the basic manufacturing and distribution costs. This will require an innovative commercial

  5. Radiation protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A NRPB leaflet in the 'At-a-Glance' series explains in a simple but scientifically accurate way what radiation is, the biological effects and the relative sensitivity of different parts of the human body. The leaflet then discusses radiation protection principles, radiation protection in the UK and finally the effectiveness of this radiation protection as judged by a breakdown of the total dose received by an average person in the UK, a heavy consumer of Cumbrian seafood, an average nuclear industry worker and an average person in Cornwall. (UK)

  6. Robust High Temperature Environmental Barrier Coating System for Ceramic Matrix Composite Gas Turbine Components using Affordable Processing Approach Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Research is proposed to demonstrate the use of advanced manufacturing techniques to enable the affordable application of multi-functional thermal / environmental...

  7. TECHNICAL AND ECONOMIC SUBSTANTIATION OF PROJECTS OF THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING CONSTRUCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KRAVCHUNOVSKA T. S.

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Summary. Problem statement. The development of inhabitant locality of Ukraine is characterized by significant differences in levels of socio and economic development. An excessive concentration of population and industry in large cities, inefficient, slow development of most medium and small cities, towns and villages, considerable territorial disproportions of economic development of the country, considerable shortcomings in the territorial organization of society are observed. At the same time the tendency of the total area of increasing of inhabitant locality. The lands are used inefficiently. Among the most common problems of inhabitant locality is the housing problem. When making a decision on the design of affordable housing construction is one of the most important stages in the development of the technique and economic substantiation of the project is determination of the advisability and effectiveness of construction. The substantiation of advisability and effectiveness of affordable housing based on the definition of technical and economic indicators of projects, one of the most important among them is the cost, in its calculation is necessary to take into account the influence of organizational and technological factors, reflecting the features of construction in condition of compacted construction. Purpose. Development of methodical recommendations on substantiation of cost construction of affordable housing in the conditions of compacted construction. Conclusion. To provide a processing and the analysis of data is necessary development of the applied software on the basis of the developed block scheme of justification of cost construction of affordable housing.

  8. Understanding Presence, Affordance and the Time/Space Dimensions for Language Learning in Virtual Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nocchi, Susanna; Blin, Françoise

    2013-01-01

    Notwithstanding their potential for novel approaches to language teaching and learning, Virtual Worlds (VWs) present numerous technological and pedagogical challenges that require new paradigms if the language learning experience and outcomes are to be successful. In this presentation, we argue that the notions of presence and affordance, together…

  9. An Affordable, Low-Risk Approach to Launching Research Spacecraft as Tertiary Payloads

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pranajaya, F.M.; Zee, R.E.; Thomsen, Per Lundahl; Blanke, Mogens; Wisniewski, Rafal; Franklin, L.; Puig-Suari, J.

    2003-01-01

    Rapid and affordable access to space for university researchers and educators has always been a challenge. Despite the availability of lower-cost (e.g. Russian) launch vehicles, launching payloads 20 kg or less typically involves a certain minimum cost that necessitates a cost sharing arrangement...

  10. A Policy Analysis of Child Care Subsidies: Increasing Quality, Access, and Affordability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moodie-Dyer, Amber

    2011-01-01

    Changing family dynamics over the past four decades, including rises in the numbers of working mothers and single-parent families, have created an increased need for affordable child care. Government response to this need has involved a number of stop-and-start policy approaches, which have led to a fractured child care system that makes it…

  11. Developing and Implementing a Simple, Affordable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Laboratory in Introductory Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klara, Kristina; Hou, Ning; Lawman, Allison; Wu, Liheng; Morrill, Drew; Tente, Alfred; Wang, Li-Qiong

    2014-01-01

    A simple, affordable hydrogen proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell laboratory was developed through a collaborative effort between faculty and undergraduate students at Brown University. It has been incorporated into the introductory chemistry curriculum and successfully implemented in a class of over 500 students per academic year for over 3…

  12. Effects of response task on reaction time and the detection of affordances

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pepping, GJ; Li, FX

    2005-01-01

    Studies on affordance perception commonly report systematic errors; a finding that is at odds with the observation that everyday motor behavior is accurate. The present study investigated whether the means by which perceptual performance is measured could explain the reported errors. Perception of o

  13. Access to Affordable and Low-Income Housing in East Asia and the Pacific

    OpenAIRE

    World Bank

    2014-01-01

    Across the world, the housing sector plays a key role in local and national economies, and expanding access to housing can encourage more equitably shared economic growth. This report surveys current policy interventions designed to encourage affordable housing in East Asia and the Pacific (EAP). The purpose of this report is to provide a general overview of the recent trends in urbanizati...

  14. 24 CFR 1000.240 - When is a local cooperation agreement required for affordable housing activities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 4 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false When is a local cooperation... ACTIVITIES Indian Housing Plan (IHP) § 1000.240 When is a local cooperation agreement required for affordable housing activities? The requirement for a local cooperation agreement applies only to rental and...

  15. The Affordability of Housing in the Netherlands: An Increasing Income Gap Between Renting and Owning?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haffner, M.E.A.; Boumeester, H.J.F.M.

    2010-01-01

    Housing became more expensive in the Netherlands between 2002 and 2006, a trend which has been demonstrated using various measures of affordability. The expenditure-to-income ratios calculated for households confirm that the average cost of housing rose for tenants and homeowners, as well as for mos

  16. 24 CFR 982.632 - Homeownership option: Financing purchase of home; affordability of purchase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... financing, refinancing or other debt if the PHA determines that the debt is unaffordable, or if the PHA... 24 Housing and Urban Development 4 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Homeownership option: Financing...: Financing purchase of home; affordability of purchase. (a) The PHA may establish requirements for...

  17. Mobile Service Affordability for the Needy, Addiction, and ICT Policy Implications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L-F. Pau (Louis-François)

    2008-01-01

    textabstractThis paper links communications and media usage to social and household economics boundaries. It highlights that in present day society, communications and media are a necessity, but not always affordable, and that they furthermore open up for addictive behaviours which raise additional

  18. Enabling Mobile Communications for the Needy: Affordability Methodology, and Approaches to Requalify Universal Service Measures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louis-Francois PAU

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper links communications and media usage to social and household economics boundaries. It highlights that in present day society, communications and media are a necessity, but not always affordable, and that they furthermore open up for addictive behaviors which raise additional financial and social risks. A simple and efficient methodology compatible with state-of-the-art social and communications business statistics is developed, which produces the residual communications and media affordability budget and ultimately the value-at-risk in terms of usage and tariffs. Sensitivity analysis provides precious information on bottom-up communications and media adoption on the basis of affordability. This approach differs from the regulated but often ineffective Universal service obligation, which instead of catering for individual needs mostly addresses macro-measures helping geographical access coverage (e.g. in rural areas. It is proposed to requalify the Universal service obligations on operators into concrete measures, allowing, with unchanged funding, the needy to adopt mobile services based on their affordability constraints by bridging the gap to a standard tariff. Case data are surveyed from various countries. ICT policy recommendations are made to support widespread and socially responsible communications access.

  19. Diversity in housing affordability and regional economic disparities – Is there a link?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Sunega, Petr; Mikeszová, Martina

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 7-8 (2008), s. 22-25. ISSN 1214-1720 R&D Projects: GA MMR WD-05-07-3 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z70280505 Keywords : Housing * affordability * regional disparities Subject RIV: AO - Sociology, Demography http://www.socioweb.cz/upl/editorial/download/152_socioweb_7_08.pdf

  20. Understanding Enactivism: A Study of Affordances and Constraints of Engaging Practicing Teachers as Digital Game Designers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qing

    2012-01-01

    This study is intended to deepen our understanding of enactivism, an emergent theoretical paradigm, through empirical exploration of teacher undertakings as digital game creators. Specifically, it explores the affordances and constraints, two important enactivism concepts, of practicing teachers' experiences in designing and developing games for…

  1. Awareness, Perceptions, and Communication Needs about the Affordable Care Act across the Life Span

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergeron, Caroline D.; Friedman, Daniela B.; Sisson, Diana C.; Tanner, Andrea; Kornegay, Vance L.; Owens, Otis L.; Weis, Megan A.; Patterson, Lee L.

    2016-01-01

    Background: By March 2014, all U.S. citizens were required to have health insurance according to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Purpose: Study objectives were to explore individuals' opinions, perceptions, and communication sources and needs about the ACA and to assess differences by age group. Methods: In November 2013, 10 1-hour focus groups (5…

  2. Understanding and using technological affordances: a commentary on Conole and Dyke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom Boyle

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available The paper by Conole and Dyke sets the context by pointing to a number of problems that inhibit the widespread, effective use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT to support learning. They argue that this situation highlights the need to explore a theoretical basis for the use of ICT to support learning. The central argument of the paper is that the notion of affordances can make a significant contribution to this endeavour. The paper aims to articulate the potential impact of these affordances primarily through the development of a taxonomy. It draws on social constructivist theory to help understand and articulate the impact of these affordances. The concept of affordances is potentially both rich and provocative. Conole and Dyke provide a refreshing and diverse look at the theoretical basis for the use of ICT to support learning. We have structured our commentary around six questions that are provided by Conole and Dyke in their Discussion section. Whilst examining these questions we highlight various issues raised by the paper, which we believe, need further consideration and clarification.

  3. Assessing Affordances of Selected Cloud Computing Tools for Language Teacher Education in Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ofemile, Abdulmalik Yusuf

    2015-01-01

    This paper reports part of a study that hoped to understand Teacher Educators' (TE) assessment of the affordances of selected cloud computing tools ranked among the top 100 for the year 2010. Research has shown that ICT and by extension cloud computing has positive impacts on daily life and this informed the Nigerian government's policy to…

  4. Redefining Technological Literacy in the Workplace: A Qualitative Study of Social Affordances in Workplace Email

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacci, Tina Marie

    2011-01-01

    This dissertation examines the social affordances of workplace email use. Through group and individual interviews of six knowledge workers in a distributed real estate firm, it explores the extent workplace writers recognize and rely on extra-textual devices (i.e., copy, blind-copy, and forward devices) and email applications (i.e., email…

  5. Completing the Affordability Picture: The Need for More Data on Financial Aid. Report 09-09

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Jessika

    2009-01-01

    The Commission adopted two affordability reports in 2008. One report examined costs for students at a four-year public university who live on campus. The other examined costs for students living in their parent's home while studying at a community college. Costs were compared to trends in family income over the past 30 years. The resulting report…

  6. Cultural Affordances: Scaffolding Local Worlds Through Shared Intentionality and Regimes of Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramstead, Maxwell J D; Veissière, Samuel P L; Kirmayer, Laurence J

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we outline a framework for the study of the mechanisms involved in the engagement of human agents with cultural affordances. Our aim is to better understand how culture and context interact with human biology to shape human behavior, cognition, and experience. We attempt to integrate several related approaches in the study of the embodied, cognitive, and affective substrates of sociality and culture and the sociocultural scaffolding of experience. The integrative framework we propose bridges cognitive and social sciences to provide (i) an expanded concept of 'affordance' that extends to sociocultural forms of life, and (ii) a multilevel account of the socioculturally scaffolded forms of affordance learning and the transmission of affordances in patterned sociocultural practices and regimes of shared attention. This framework provides an account of how cultural content and normative practices are built on a foundation of contentless basic mental processes that acquire content through immersive participation of the agent in social practices that regulate joint attention and shared intentionality. PMID:27507953

  7. Technologies for Learning? An Actor-Network Theory Critique of "Affordances" in Research on Mobile Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Steve; Parchoma, Gale

    2011-01-01

    How is the link between learner and technology made in mobile learning? What is the value of the concept of "affordances"? And how does research articulating this concept act to position mobile devices as "technologies for learning"? This literature review used both unstructured and structured search samples of published research on mobile…

  8. Songs in Our Hearts: The Affordances and Constraints of an Intergenerational Multimodal Arts Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heydon, Rachel; O'Neill, Susan

    2014-01-01

    This qualitative case study examines the affordances and constraints of an intergenerational multimodal arts curriculum that was designed to expand communication and identity options for children and elder participants. The authors drew on actor-network theory to conceptualize curriculum as a network effect and refer to literature on multimodal…

  9. A multimodal dataset of spontaneous speech and movement production on object affordances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vatakis, Argiro; Pastra, Katerina

    2016-01-01

    In the longstanding effort of defining object affordances, a number of resources have been developed on objects and associated knowledge. These resources, however, have limited potential for modeling and generalization mainly due to the restricted, stimulus-bound data collection methodologies adopted. To-date, therefore, there exists no resource that truly captures object affordances in a direct, multimodal, and naturalistic way. Here, we present the first such resource of 'thinking aloud', spontaneously-generated verbal and motoric data on object affordances. This resource was developed from the reports of 124 participants divided into three behavioural experiments with visuo-tactile stimulation, which were captured audiovisually from two camera-views (frontal/profile). This methodology allowed the acquisition of approximately 95 hours of video, audio, and text data covering: object-feature-action data (e.g., perceptual features, namings, functions), Exploratory Acts (haptic manipulation for feature acquisition/verification), gestures and demonstrations for object/feature/action description, and reasoning patterns (e.g., justifications, analogies) for attributing a given characterization. The wealth and content of the data make this corpus a one-of-a-kind resource for the study and modeling of object affordances. PMID:26784391

  10. Affording Explicit-Reflective Science Teaching by Using an Educative Teachers' Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Shu-Fen; Lieu, Sang-Chong; Chen, Sufen; Huang, Mao-Tsai; Chang, Wen-Hua

    2012-01-01

    Although researchers have achieved some success in effective nature of science (NOS) teaching, helping teachers teach NOS continues to be a great challenge. The development of an educative teachers' guide would provide support for NOS teaching. In this study, we explored the effects that a research-based guide had on affording elementary school…

  11. The Influence of Affordances on Learner Preferences in Mobile Language Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uther, Maria; Banks, Adrian

    2015-01-01

    This study investigates the influence of sensory and cognitive affordances on the usability of mobile devices for multimedia language learning applications. An audio-based learning application--the "Vowel Trainer" (audio-based speech app), developed by University College London was chosen, against a comparison, text and picture-based…

  12. Radiation protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This work define procedures and controls about ionizing radiations. Between some definitions it found the following topics: radiation dose, risk, biological effects, international radioprotection bodies, workers exposure, accidental exposure, emergencies and radiation protection

  13. Eye Protection

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... of protection is wise indeed. WHAT ARE THE DANGERS ASSOCIATED WITH WELDING? Acetylene torch welding and cutting ... welding masks with filtering lenses. Mail order and Internet–based safety suppliers are also an option. National ...

  14. Accessibility, affordability and use of health services in an urban area in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ethelwynn L. Stellenberg

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Background: Inequalities in healthcare between population groups of South Africa existed during the apartheid era and continue to exist both between and within many population groups. Accessibility and affordability of healthcare is a human right.Objectives: The aim of the study was to explore and describe accessibility, affordability and the use of health services by the mixed race (coloured population in the Western Cape, South Africa.Method: A cross-sectional descriptive, non-experimental study with a quantitative approach was applied. A purposive convenient sample of 353 participants (0.6% was drawn from a population of 63 004 economically-active people who lived in the residential areas as defined for the purpose of the study. All social classes were represented. The hypothesis set was that there is a positive relationship between accessibility, affordability and the use of health services. A pilot study was conducted which also supported the reliability and validity of the study. Ethics approval was obtained from the University of Stellenbosch and informed consent from respondents. A questionnaire was used to collect the data.Results: The hypothesis was accepted. The statistical association between affordability (p = < 0.01, accessibility (p = < 0.01 and the use of health services was found to be significant using the Chi-square (χ² test.Conclusion: The study has shown how affordability and accessibility may influence the use of healthcare services. Accessibility is not only the distance an individual must travel to reach the health service point but more so the utilisation of these services. Continuous Quality Management should be a priority in healthcare services, which should be user-friendly.

  15. Affordability as a discursive accomplishment in a changing National Health Service.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Jill; Greenhalgh, Trisha

    2012-12-01

    Health systems worldwide face the challenges of rationing. The English National Health Service (NHS) was founded on three core principles: universality, comprehensiveness, and free at the point of delivery. Yet patients are increasingly hearing that some treatments are unaffordable on the NHS. We considered affordability as a social accomplishment and sought to explore how those charged with allocating NHS resources achieved this in practice. We undertook a linguistic ethnography to examine the work practices of resource allocation committees in three Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in England between 2005 and 2012, specifically deliberations over 'individual funding requests' (IFRs)--requests by patients and their doctors for the PCT to support a treatment not routinely funded. We collected and analysed a diverse dataset comprising policy documents, legal judgements, audio recordings, ethnographic field notes and emails from PCT committee meetings, interviews and a focus group with committee members. We found that the fundamental values of universality and comprehensiveness strongly influenced the culture of these NHS organisations, and that in this context, accomplishing affordability was not easy. Four discursive practices served to confer legitimacy on affordability as a guiding value of NHS health care: (1) categorising certain treatments as only eligible for NHS funding if patients could prove 'exceptional' circumstances; (2) representing resource allocation decisions as being not (primarily) about money; (3) indexical labelling of affordability as an ethical principle, and (4) recontextualising legal judgements supporting refusal of NHS treatment on affordability grounds as 'rational'. The overall effect of these discursive practices was that denying treatment to patients became reasonable and rational for an organisation even while it continued to espouse traditional NHS values. We conclude that deliberations about the funding of treatments at the margins of NHS

  16. Environmental Protection

    OpenAIRE

    Berger, Regina; Diewald, Martin

    2003-01-01

    Nature protection and conservation are fundamental elements of environmental protection as this is an important part of the human existence; it is a vital component of the present and future harmonious socio economic development. The ecosystems and the organisms, like the marine and atmospheric terrestrial resources used by humankind, must be administrated in such a way that their optimum and continuous productivity may be assured and maintained. It is necessary to take rigorous measures agai...

  17. Radiation Protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Major achievements of SCK-CEN's Radiation Protection Department in 2000 are described. The main areas for R and D of the department remain neutron dosimetry and neutron activation analysis, safeguards information handling and non-destructive assay techniques. Further activities include low-level radioactivity measurements in environmental and biological samples and radiation protection research. Finally, achievements in decision strategy research and social sciences in nuclear research are reported

  18. Radiological protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This work is directed to all those people related with the exercise of the radiological protection and has the purpose of providing them a base of knowledge in this discipline so that they can make decisions documented on technical and scientist factors for the protection of the personnel occupationally exposed, the people in general and the environment during the work with ionizing radiations. Before de lack of a text on this matter, this work seeks to cover the specific necessities of our country, providing a solid presentation of the radiological protection, included the bases of the radiations physics, the detection and radiation dosimetry, the radiobiology, the normative and operational procedures associates, the radioactive wastes, the emergencies and the transport of the radioactive material through the medical and industrial applications of the radiations, making emphasis in the relative particular aspects to the radiological protection in Mexico. The book have 16 chapters and with the purpose of supplementing the given information, are included at the end four appendixes: 1) the radioactive waste management in Mexico, 2-3) the Mexican official standards related with the radiological protection, 4) a terms glossary used in radiological protection. We hope this book will be of utility for those people that work in the investigation and the applications of the ionizing radiations. (Author)

  19. A FEW FOR-PROFIT BUSINESSES’ BATTLE OVER THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT’S PREVENTATIVE SERVICES MANDATE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leigh Argentieri Coogan

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, employers are required to provide employees with health plans, which must include FDA, approved contraceptives with no cost sharing. While Health and Humans Services (HHS revised the regulation to allow for a compromise among religious organizations and non-profits run by religious organizations, private for profit businesses must comply with the ACA even if the business asserts to be founded on religious principles. Several for profit business have sued in district court for an injunction against the requirements. However, a circuit split exists among courts granting preliminary injunctions against the ACA pending a granting of appeal. This note will focus on whether the federal government can compel secular, for profit organizations to provide employee health plans that include contraceptives, the morning after pill and sterilization under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Unless the statute or regulation changes, the Supreme Court will likely need to grant certiorari to resolve the issue.

  20. Should the Affordable Care Act's preventive services coverage provision be used to widely disseminate whole genome sequencing to Americans?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Perry W

    2014-02-01

    I argue that the provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, which eliminates cost sharing for preventive services, should be utilized as a pathway for reimbursing whole genome sequencing (WGS) and making it widely available to most Americans. This act provides multiple routes for determining which preventive services receive this designation. Three of these routes should be considered as pathways for reimbursing WGS, including approval by the United States Preventive Services Task Force, inclusion in the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics Bright Futures Project, and classification as a preventive service for women by the Institute of Medicine. There are valid arguments against the expansion of this technology, including inadequate national and state laws prohibiting genetic discrimination, informed consent limitations, and potentially expensive genome interpretations. These concerns should not inhibit the wide dissemination of this technology, as current efforts by the NIH and industry to expand the use of genome sequencing demonstrate. The ACA should be used as a tool to prevent disparities in access to genome information in the United States and avoid the development of a two-tiered health system based on those with and without genome sequence data. PMID:24193604

  1. Protected Areas - Protected Federal Lands

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC GIS Inventory (aka Ramona) — The Federal Lands data consists of land areas that are run and maintained by U.S. Governmental authorities and are considered protected.The Department of Natural...

  2. Machine Protection

    CERN Document Server

    Schmidt, R

    2014-01-01

    The protection of accelerator equipment is as old as accelerator technology and was for many years related to high-power equipment. Examples are the protection of powering equipment from overheating (magnets, power converters, high-current cables), of superconducting magnets from damage after a quench and of klystrons. The protection of equipment from beam accidents is more recent. It is related to the increasing beam power of high-power proton accelerators such as ISIS, SNS, ESS and the PSI cyclotron, to the emission of synchrotron light by electron–positron accelerators and FELs, and to the increase of energy stored in the beam (in particular for hadron colliders such as LHC). Designing a machine protection system requires an excellent understanding of accelerator physics and operation to anticipate possible failures that could lead to damage. Machine protection includes beam and equipment monitoring, a system to safely stop beam operation (e.g. dumping the beam or stopping the beam at low energy) and an ...

  3. Effects of Infant-Parent Play with a Technology-Enhanced Toy: Affordance-Related Actions and Communicative Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergen, Doris; Hutchinson, Kathleen; Nolan, Joan T.; Weber, Deborah

    2010-01-01

    Infant-parent play with toys is an early form of social communication, and the toy features (i.e., affordances), as well as the child's language competence, contribute to the developmental level of the play and the types of play actions that occur. This research, conducted in cooperation with a toy manufacturer, investigated how the affordances of…

  4. Obstacles and Affordances for Integer Reasoning: An Analysis of Children's Thinking and the History of Mathematics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, Jessica Pierson; Lamb, Lisa L.; Philipp, Randolph A.; Whitacre, Ian; Schappelle, Bonnie P.; Lewis, Melinda L.

    2014-01-01

    We identify and document 3 cognitive obstacles, 3 cognitive affordances, and 1 type of integer understanding that can function as either an obstacle or affordance for learners while they extend their numeric domains from whole numbers to include negative integers. In particular, we highlight 2 key subsets of integer reasoning: understanding or…

  5. Seven Affordances of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning: How to Support Collaborative Learning? How Can Technologies Help?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Heisawn; Hmelo-Silver, Cindy E.

    2016-01-01

    This article proposes 7 core affordances of technology for collaborative learning based on theories of collaborative learning and CSCL (Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning) practices. Technology affords learner opportunities to (1) engage in a joint task, (2) communicate, (3) share resources, (4) engage in productive collaborative learning…

  6. Social Media and Organizing – An Empirical Analysis of the Role of Wiki Affordances in Organizing Practices

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mansour, Osama; Askenäs, Linda; Ghazawneh, Ahmad

    2013-01-01

    the increasing use of social media in organizations and the lack of knowledge on their consequences for organizing, we use an affordance lens to explore the enactment of organizational wiki affordances. Using qualitative data obtained through interviews, field visits, and documents from two...

  7. 24 CFR 1000.242 - When does the requirement for exemption from taxation apply to affordable housing activities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... exemption from taxation apply to affordable housing activities? 1000.242 Section 1000.242 Housing and Urban... ACTIVITIES Indian Housing Plan (IHP) § 1000.242 When does the requirement for exemption from taxation apply to affordable housing activities? The requirement for exemption from taxation applies only to...

  8. Computer applications in radiation protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Computer applications in general and diagnostic radiology in particular are becoming more widespread. Their application to the field of radiation protection in medical imaging, including quality control initiatives, is similarly becoming more widespread. Advances in computer technology have enabled departments of diagnostic radiology to have access to powerful yet affordable personal computers. The application of databases, expert systems and computer-based learning is under way. The executive information systems for the management of dose and QA data that are under way at IRS are discussed. An important consideration in developing these pragmatic software tools has been the range of computer literacy within the end user group. Using interfaces have been specifically designed to reflect the requirements of many end users who will have little or no computer knowledge. (Author)

  9. Physical protection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Myre, W.C.; DeMontmollin, J.M. (Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (USA))

    1989-07-01

    Serious concern about physical protection of nuclear facilities began around 1972. R and D was initiated at Sandia National Laboratories which had developed techniques to protect weapons for many years. Special vehicles, convoy procedures, and a communications system previously developed for weapons shipments were improved and extended for shipments of other sensitive materials. Barriers, perimeter alarms, portal and internal control systems were developed, tested, and published in handbooks and presented at symposia. Training programs were initiated for U.S. and foreign personnel. Containment and surveillance techniques were developed for the IAEA. Presently emphasis is on computer security, active barriers, and techniques to prevent theft or sabotage by insiders .

  10. "White Box" Epidemiology and the Social Neuroscience of Health Behaviors: The Environmental Affordances Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mezuk, Briana; Abdou, Cleopatra M; Hudson, Darrell; Kershaw, Kiarri N; Rafferty, Jane A; Lee, Hedwig; Jackson, James S

    2013-07-01

    Crucial advances have been made in our knowledge of the social determinants of health and health behaviors. Existing research on health disparities, however, generally fails to address a known paradox in the literature: While blacks have higher risk of medical morbidity relative to non-Hispanic whites, blacks have lower rates of common stress-related forms of psychopathology such as major depression and anxiety disorders. In this article we propose a new theoretical approach, the Environmental Affordances Model, as an integrative framework for the origins of both physical and mental health disparities. We highlight early empirical support and a growing body of experimental animal and human research on self-regulatory health behaviors and stress coping that is consistent with the proposed framework. We conclude that transdisciplinary approaches, such as the Environmental Affordances Model, are needed to understand the origins of group-based disparities to implement effective solutions to racial and ethnic group inequalities in physical and mental health. PMID:24224131

  11. “White Box” Epidemiology and the Social Neuroscience of Health Behaviors: The Environmental Affordances Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mezuk, Briana; Abdou, Cleopatra M.; Hudson, Darrell; Kershaw, Kiarri N.; Rafferty, Jane A.; Lee, Hedwig; Jackson, James S.

    2013-01-01

    Crucial advances have been made in our knowledge of the social determinants of health and health behaviors. Existing research on health disparities, however, generally fails to address a known paradox in the literature: While blacks have higher risk of medical morbidity relative to non-Hispanic whites, blacks have lower rates of common stress-related forms of psychopathology such as major depression and anxiety disorders. In this article we propose a new theoretical approach, the Environmental Affordances Model, as an integrative framework for the origins of both physical and mental health disparities. We highlight early empirical support and a growing body of experimental animal and human research on self-regulatory health behaviors and stress coping that is consistent with the proposed framework. We conclude that transdisciplinary approaches, such as the Environmental Affordances Model, are needed to understand the origins of group-based disparities to implement effective solutions to racial and ethnic group inequalities in physical and mental health. PMID:24224131

  12. Implementing the Affordable Care Act: State Action to Establish SHOP Marketplaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dash, Sarah J; Lucia, Kevin W; Thomas, Amy

    2014-03-01

    The Affordable Care Act seeks to help small employers offer coverage by reforming the small-group market and establishing Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) marketplaces. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia chose to operate their own SHOP marketplaces in 2014, with the federal government operating the SHOP marketplace in 33 states. This brief examines state decisions to enhance the value of SHOP marketplaces for small employers and finds that most have set predictable participation and eligibility requirements and will offer a competitive choice of insurers and plans. States also are seeking to facilitate small employers' shopping experience through online tools and access to personalized assistance. While not all SHOP marketplaces are yet functioning as intended, their establishment offers an opportunity to identify successful strategies for improving the affordability and accessibility of coverage for small employers. PMID:26259258

  13. Legal and policy foundations for global generic competition: Promoting affordable drug pricing in developing societies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zapatero Miguel, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    The so-called 'TRIPS flexibilities' restated in 2001 by the World Trade Organization's Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health offer a variety of policy avenues for promoting global price-based competition for essential medicines, and thus for improving access to affordable medicines in the developing world. In recent years, developing countries and international organisations alike have begun to explore the potentialities of global generic markets and competition generally, and also of using compulsory licensing to remedy anti-competitive practices (e.g. excessive pricing) through TRIPS-compatible antitrust enforcement. These and other 'pro-competitive' TRIPS flexibilities currently available provide the critical leverage and policy space necessary to improve access to affordable medicines in the developing world. PMID:25737069

  14. Evaporation-Cooled Protective Suits for Firefighters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinstein, Leonard Murray

    2007-01-01

    Suits cooled by evaporation of water have been proposed as improved means of temporary protection against high temperatures near fires. When air temperature exceeds 600 F (316 C) or in the presence of radiative heating from nearby sources at temperatures of 1,200 F (649 C) or more, outer suits now used by firefighters afford protection for only a few seconds. The proposed suits would exploit the high latent heat of vaporization of water to satisfy a need to protect against higher air temperatures and against radiant heating for significantly longer times. These suits would be fabricated and operated in conjunction with breathing and cooling systems like those with which firefighting suits are now equipped

  15. Can We Afford It? Reference Point Dependent Investment Decisions of Family and Nonfamily Owners

    OpenAIRE

    Welsh, Dianne; Zellweger, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    This study focuses on an issue particularly relevant in these difficult financial times. Can family businesses afford the risk associated with making investments that could generate higher returns? Studies examining financing behavior of family firms report higher control risk aversion than nonfamily firms, whereby control risk is measured through leverage levels. We found that family firm owners\\' degree of control risk aversion depends on reference points. Investment alternatives implying h...

  16. Assessing the Engineering Performance of Affordable Net-Zero Energy Housing

    OpenAIRE

    Wallpe, Jordan P

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this research was to evaluate affordable technologies that are capable of providing attractive, cost-effective energy savings to the housing industry. The research did so by investigating the 2011 Solar Decathlon competition, with additional insight from the Purdue INhome. Insight from the Purdue INhome verified the importance of using a three step design process to design a net-zero energy building. In addition, energy consumption values of the INhome were used to compare and ...

  17. Smartphones give you wings: pedagogical affordances of mobile Web 2.0

    OpenAIRE

    Cochrane, Thomas; Bateman, Roger

    2010-01-01

    Built on the foundation of four years of research and implementation of mobile learning projects (mlearning), this paper provides an overview of the potential of the integration of mobile web 2.0 tools (based around smartphones) to facilitate social constructivist pedagogies and engage students in tertiary education. Pedagogical affordances of mobile web 2.0 tools are evaluated, and student usage and feedback is outlined via an interactive multimedia timeline (using YouTube videos...

  18. Exaggerated object affordance and absent automatic inhibition in alien hand syndrome

    OpenAIRE

    Jennifer McBride, Petroc Sumner, Stephen R. Jackson, Nin Bajaj, & Masud Husain

    2013-01-01

    Patients with alien hand syndrome (AHS) experience making apparently deliberate and purposeful movements with their hand against their will. However, the mechanisms contributing to these involuntary actions remain poorly understood. Here, we describe two experimental investigations in a patient with corticobasal syndrome (CBS) with alien hand behaviour in her right hand. First, we show that responses with the alien hand are made significantly more quickly to images of objects which afford an ...

  19. Adolescents’ Instrumental and Expressive Text Messaging Behavior and their Friendship Quality: a Perceived Affordances-Approach

    OpenAIRE

    Vanden Abeele, Mariek; Schouten, Alexander P.; Marjolijn L. Antheunis

    2013-01-01

    While current approaches to the study of contemporary Mobile Youth Culture have been valuable in revealing similarities in teen mobile phone use, limited attention has gone out to the role of demographic, social and psychological antecedents in explaining adolescent mobile phone use. We propose the notion of ‘perceived affordances’ as a promising concept for future research into the differences between adolescents. The affordances-concept reflects itself in the commonalities in teen mobile...

  20. Staged Development of Robot Skills: Behavior Formation, Affordance Learning and Imitation

    OpenAIRE

    Ugur, E.; Nagai, Y.; Sahin, E.; Öztop, Erhan

    2015-01-01

    Inspired by infant development, we propose a three staged developmental framework for an anthropomorphic robot manipulator. In the first stage, the robot is initialized with a basic reach-and- enclose-on-contact movement capability, and discovers a set of behavior primitives by exploring its movement parameter space. In the next stage, the robot exercises the discovered behaviors on different objects, and learns the caused effects; effectively building a library of affordances and associated ...

  1. Online social networking skills: The social affordances approach to digital inequality

    OpenAIRE

    Hsieh, Yuli Patrick

    2012-01-01

    This paper sets out to develop a theoretical framework for examining implications of digital media uses for digital inequality in the domain of social interaction. First, by drawing on the social affordances perspective, this paper seeks to establish an additional dimension of digital skills, namely, online social networking skills. Furthermore, to explore the implications of interactional ICT use for digital inequality, this paper theorizes how people’s online social networking skills may co...

  2. The Affordability of Housing in the Netherlands: An Increasing Income Gap Between Renting and Owning?

    OpenAIRE

    Haffner, M.E.A.; Boumeester, H.J.F.M.

    2010-01-01

    Housing became more expensive in the Netherlands between 2002 and 2006, a trend which has been demonstrated using various measures of affordability. The expenditure-to-income ratios calculated for households confirm that the average cost of housing rose for tenants and homeowners, as well as for most income groups generally. This contribution analyses the development of various components of household expenditure which contributed to these higher ratios. One of the most important consideratio...

  3. Strategies that delay or prevent the timely availability of affordable generic drugs in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Gregory H; Carrier, Michael A; Silver, Richard T; Kantarjian, Hagop

    2016-03-17

    High cancer drug prices are influenced by the availability of generic cancer drugs in a timely manner. Several strategies have been used to delay the availability of affordable generic drugs into the United States and world markets. These include reverse payment or pay-for-delay patent settlements, authorized generics, product hopping, lobbying against cross-border drug importation, buying out the competition, and others. In this forum, we detail these strategies and how they can be prevented. PMID:26817958

  4. Affordable care act: comparison of healthcare indicators among different insurance beneficiaries with new coverage eligibility

    OpenAIRE

    Hong, Young Rock; Holcomb, Derek; Bhandari, Michelyn; Larkin, Laurie

    2016-01-01

    Background Health coverage in the United States will be increased to nearly universal levels under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In order to better understand the impact of the type of health insurance and health outcomes, there is a need to examine health disparities and inequalities between the insured and the uninsured based on their eligibility for coverage. Methods The current study used the data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 2012 (MEPS). Selected health characteristics and ...

  5. Mobile Service Affordability for the Needy, Addiction, and ICT Policy Implications

    OpenAIRE

    2008-01-01

    This paper links communications and media usage to social and household economics boundaries. It highlights that in present day society, communications and media are a necessity, but not always affordable, and that they furthermore open up for addictive behaviours which raise additional financial and social risks. A simple and efficient methodology compatible with state-of-the-art social and communications business statistics is developed, which produces the residual communications and media ...

  6. DeepDriving: Learning Affordance for Direct Perception in Autonomous Driving

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Chenyi; Seff, Ari; Kornhauser, Alain; Xiao, Jianxiong

    2015-01-01

    Today, there are two major paradigms for vision-based autonomous driving systems: mediated perception approaches that parse an entire scene to make a driving decision, and behavior reflex approaches that directly map an input image to a driving action by a regressor. In this paper, we propose a third paradigm: a direct perception approach to estimate the affordance for driving. We propose to map an input image to a small number of key perception indicators that directly relate to the affordan...

  7. New Policies to Facilitate Affordable Housing in Central and Eastern Europe

    OpenAIRE

    W. Amann

    2010-01-01

    Affordable housing construction is a lagging sector in most of the CEE countries. Recent increases in housing production have mainly served the top end of the market. In some countries, policy schemes for public housing have been established. However, actual construction of housing for moderate-income households has yet to take place. Wolfgang Amann describes the approach of the Austria-based IIBW – Institute for Real Estate, Construction and Housing aimed at rectifying this unsatisfactory si...

  8. Motivation for aggressive religious radicalization: goal regulation theory and a personality × threat × affordance hypothesis

    OpenAIRE

    McGregor, Ian; Hayes, Joseph; Prentice, Mike

    2015-01-01

    A new set of hypotheses is presented regarding the cause of aggressive religious radicalization (ARR). It is grounded in classic and contemporary theory of human motivation and goal regulation, together with recent empirical advances in personality, social, and neurophysiological psychology. We specify personality traits, threats, and group affordances that combine to divert normal motivational processes toward ARR. Conducive personality traits are oppositional, anxiety-prone, and identity-we...

  9. The Optimum Blend: Affordances and Challenges of Blended Learning For Students

    OpenAIRE

    Nuray Gedik; Ercan Kiraz; M.Yaşar ÖZDEN

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to elicit students’ perceptions regarding the most facilitative and most challenging features (affordances and barriers) in a blended course design. Following the phenomenological approach of qualitative inquiry, data were collected from ten undergraduate students who had experiences in a blended learning environment. Data were collected from the students’ weekly reflection papers, interviews with students, and documents, and analyzed by structurally and textural...

  10. Stimulation of construction of affordable housing by reformation of a construction complex management system

    OpenAIRE

    BRONEVYTSKYI S. P.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. Development of offers on stimulation of construction of affordable housing by reformation of a construction complex management system. Methodology. The revelation of the problems of planning of construction in large cities. The analysis of forming of structure of a build complex management in soviet times and in a transitional period. The revelation of the modern, actual, socio-economic problems of the construction activity management. Proposition on the improvement of methods of con...

  11. Affordable Virtual Reality System Architecture for Representation of Implicit Object Properties

    OpenAIRE

    Stoyan Maleshkov; Dimo Chotrov

    2013-01-01

    A flexible, scalable and affordable virtual reality software system architecture is proposed. This solution can be easily implemented on different hardware configurations: on a single computer or on a computer cluster. The architecture is aimed to be integrated in the workflow for solving engineering tasks and oriented towards presenting implicit object properties through multiple sensorial channels (visual, audio and haptic). Implicit properties represent hidden object features (i.e. magneti...

  12. Mobile Service Affordability for the Needy, Addiction, and ICT Policy Implications

    OpenAIRE

    Pau, Louis-François

    2008-01-01

    textabstractThis paper links communications and media usage to social and household economics boundaries. It highlights that in present day society, communications and media are a necessity, but not always affordable, and that they furthermore open up for addictive behaviours which raise additional financial and social risks. A simple and efficient methodology compatible with state-of-the-art social and communications business statistics is developed, which produces the residual communication...

  13. Regional Differences in Rental Housing (Un)affordability following the Rent Deregulation in the Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mikeszová, Martina

    Liberec : Technická univerzita Liberec, 2009 - (Kocourek, A.), s. 219-233 ISBN 978-80-7372-523-5. [Liberec Economic Forum – LEF 2009. Liberec (CZ), 15.09.2009-16.09.2009] R&D Projects: GA MMR WD-05-07-3 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z70280505 Keywords : housing affordability * rental housing * social exclusion Subject RIV: AH - Economics

  14. Comprender la realidad sin representaciones: Affordances y psicología ecológica

    OpenAIRE

    Manuel Heras Escribano

    2012-01-01

    Frente al paradigma tradicional en ciencia cognitiva, donde la metáfora del ordenador es la imperante, la psicología ecológica se ofrece como la alternativa más potente en el futuro desarrollo de las investigaciones sobre el fenómeno de la cognición. Dentro de ella, la noción de affordance juega un papel fundamental, aunque el concepto no está exento de polémica.

  15. Perception and human interaction for developmental learning of objects and affordances

    OpenAIRE

    Ivaldi, Serena; Lyubova, Natalya; Gérardeaux-Viret, Damien; Droniou, Alain; Anzalone, Salvatore; Chetouani, Mohamed; Filliat, David; Sigaud, Olivier

    2012-01-01

    In this paper we describe a cognitive architecture for humanoids interacting with objects and caregivers in a developmental robotics scenario. The architecture is foundational to the MACSi project: it is designed to support experiments to make a humanoid robot gradually enlarge its repertoire of known objects and skills combining autonomous learning, social guidance and intrinsic motivation. This complex learning process requires the capability to learn affordances first. Here, we present the ...

  16. Can low carbon societies deliver on energy policy goals including security and affordability?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Transitions to low carbon societies will have far reaching implications for national and international energy policies. Whilst climate change mitigation remains an important driver of these policies, other policy objectives, such as energy security and affordability, are also high on the agenda in many countries. Understanding the potential and trade-offs that could result from specific policies, strategies and technologies is therefore necessary, as is identifying opportunities to maximise synergies and co-benefits

  17. Protection Myopia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laursen, Keld; Salter, Ammon; Li, Cher

    The strategies firms use to protect their intellectual property and knowledge can strongly influence their ability to capture the benefits of their innovative efforts. Using the attention-based theory, we explore positive and negative sides of legal appropriability. While asserting the benefits...

  18. Assessing the engineering performance of affordable net-zero energy housing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallpe, Jordan P.

    The purpose of this research was to evaluate affordable technologies that are capable of providing attractive, cost-effective energy savings to the housing industry. The research did so by investigating the 2011 Solar Decathlon competition, with additional insight from the Purdue INhome. Insight from the Purdue INhome verified the importance of using a three step design process to design a net-zero energy building. In addition, energy consumption values of the INhome were used to compare and contrast different systems used in other houses. Evaluation of unbiased competition contests gave a better understanding of how a house can realistically reach net-zero. Upon comparison, off-the-shelf engineering systems such as super-efficient HVAC units, heat pump hot water heaters, and properly designed photovoltaic arrays can affordably enable a house to become net-zero. These important and applicable technologies realized from the Solar Decathlon will reduce the 22 percent of all energy consumed through the residential sector in the United States. In conclusion, affordable net-zero energy buildings can be built today with commitment from design professionals, manufacturers, and home owners.

  19. A Challenge Facing the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Sector: Quality and Affordability of the National Medications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abubaker Abdellah

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Enhancing public satisfaction of the quality and affordability of medicines is an important task in health services. Objective: This study was intended to assess the trust and acceptance of public concerning quality and affordability of locally manufactured medicines in Malaysia. Methodology: A cross sectional study was performed, and a validated Likert scale questionnaire was used in this study. The results were analyzed using the statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS software version 20. A total of 544 questionnaires were collected from three major cities in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kota Baru. The respondents aged between 20 and 60 years. Results: Most of the respondents were satisfied with the quality (65.1% and affordability (66% of manufactured medicines in Malaysia. Furthermore, (45% of respondents in Malaysia prefer locally manufactured medicines. However, there is concern about the escalating prices and hence demonstrates the need for price regulation, as asserted by the majority in Malaysia (88.9%. Conclusion: Medicine’s price control is one of the demands declared by Malaysian public. Moreover, majority of public have an opinion that quality of life, quality of medicines and prices are correlated

  20. Biopolymer-reinforced synthetic granular nanocomposites for affordable point-of-use water purification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankar, Mohan Udhaya; Aigal, Sahaja; Maliyekkal, Shihabudheen M; Chaudhary, Amrita; Anshup; Kumar, Avula Anil; Chaudhari, Kamalesh; Pradeep, Thalappil

    2013-05-21

    Creation of affordable materials for constant release of silver ions in water is one of the most promising ways to provide microbially safe drinking water for all. Combining the capacity of diverse nanocomposites to scavenge toxic species such as arsenic, lead, and other contaminants along with the above capability can result in affordable, all-inclusive drinking water purifiers that can function without electricity. The critical problem in achieving this is the synthesis of stable materials that can release silver ions continuously in the presence of complex species usually present in drinking water that deposit and cause scaling on nanomaterial surfaces. Here we show that such constant release materials can be synthesized in a simple and effective fashion in water itself without the use of electrical power. The nanocomposite exhibits river sand-like properties, such as higher shear strength in loose and wet forms. These materials have been used to develop an affordable water purifier to deliver clean drinking water at US $2.5/y per family. The ability to prepare nanostructured compositions at near ambient temperature has wide relevance for adsorption-based water purification. PMID:23650396

  1. An integrated approach to low-income energy affordability for a restructured world

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamilton, B.; Carroll, D.; Adams, B.; Ringhof, S.

    1998-07-01

    In the context of retail electric competition, various mechanisms have been proposed to address threats to low-income energy affordability. Most proposals include the use of ratepayer for (a) low-income bill payment support (e.g., rate discounts) and/or (b) energy efficiency programs specifically designated for low-income customers. An integrated approach to both energy efficiency and low-income bill payment is being tested in New Jersey. The program specifically targets payment-troubled customers and those with the lowest incomes. It combines a three-part approach to energy affordability: (1) deep and comprehensive gas and electric efficiency measures; (2) extensive customer energy education, with the goals of both (a) empowering participants with the skills and knowledge to gain control of their energy situation and (b) securing action commitment that the customer carries out as a partner to save energy and lower their utility bills; and (3) an affordable payment plan which includes extended payment of arrearages, partial arrearage forgiveness, and a bill discount for those in the lowest income tier who maintain their partnership obligations. This paper describes the E-Team Partners program design, presents preliminary impact evaluation results for the first 7,000 participants, and discusses the attributes of this model in a restructured environment.

  2. Affordances and Constraints of Using the Socio-Political Debate for Authentic Summative Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anker-Hansen, Jens; Andrée, Maria

    2015-10-01

    This article reports from an empirical study on the affordances and constraints for using staged socio-political debates for authentic summative assessment of scientific literacy. The article focuses on conditions for student participation and what purposes emerge in student interaction in a socio-political debate. As part of the research project, a socio-political debate was designed for assessing student competences of scientific literacy in classroom practices. The debate centred on a fictive case about a lake where a decline in the yield of fish had been established. The students were assigned the task of participating in the debate from appointed roles as different stakeholders. Data were collected with video recordings of the enacted student debates. Student participation was analysed with the theoretical framework of communities of practice. The results show that multiple conflicting purposes of the socio-political debate as an assessment task emerged. The emergent purposes were (1) putting scientific knowledge on display versus staying true to one's role, (2) putting scientific knowledge on display versus expressing social responsibility, (3) putting scientific knowledge on display versus winning the debate, and (4) using sources tactically versus using sources critically. As these purposes emerged in classroom practice, tensions between different ways of enacting participation in the debates became manifest. Based on these findings, this article discusses the affordances and constraints for using a socio-political debate for classroom-based assessment of scientific literacy and argumentation in terms of validity, reliability and affordability.

  3. Impact of higher energy efficiency standards on housing affordability in Alberta

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    As a result of changes to provincial and national building and energy costs, the impact of increasing energy efficiency standards on housing affordability has been questioned. Determining housing affordability is a complicated process. This report presented the results of a costing analysis completed for upgrades of EnerGuide 80 levels of energy efficiency in homes in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta. The elements of residential construction were identified. In order to better understand the cost impact of energy efficiency upgrades on a home, pricing data was obtained. Costing elements that were examined included housing price indexes; construction material price indexes; unionized trade wages; and land value. Specifically, the report presented the new housing price index analysis using material and labour costs. An analysis of energy efficiency improvement was then presented in terms of lifecycle costs (capital costs and life cycle costing results). It was concluded that although the price of labour and materials is increasing, the value of land is the primary driver for rising house prices. The price of housing is strongly correlated to the price of land and not the price of labour or materials. In addition, moving to EnerGuide 80 levels of energy efficiency for housing in Alberta made homes more affordable for homebuyers by lowering their total monthly housing costs. 4 tabs., 3 figs., 3 appendices.

  4. The Role of Probabilistic Design Analysis Methods in Safety and Affordability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safie, Fayssal M.

    2016-01-01

    For the last several years, NASA and its contractors have been working together to build space launch systems to commercialize space. Developing commercial affordable and safe launch systems becomes very important and requires a paradigm shift. This paradigm shift enforces the need for an integrated systems engineering environment where cost, safety, reliability, and performance need to be considered to optimize the launch system design. In such an environment, rule based and deterministic engineering design practices alone may not be sufficient to optimize margins and fault tolerance to reduce cost. As a result, introduction of Probabilistic Design Analysis (PDA) methods to support the current deterministic engineering design practices becomes a necessity to reduce cost without compromising reliability and safety. This paper discusses the importance of PDA methods in NASA's new commercial environment, their applications, and the key role they can play in designing reliable, safe, and affordable launch systems. More specifically, this paper discusses: 1) The involvement of NASA in PDA 2) Why PDA is needed 3) A PDA model structure 4) A PDA example application 5) PDA link to safety and affordability.

  5. Technology scale and supply chains in a secure, affordable and low carbon energy transition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • Energy systems need to decarbonise, provide security and remain affordable. • There is uncertainty over which technologies will best enable this to happen. • A strategy to deal with uncertainty is to assess a technologies ability to show resilience, flexibility and adaptability. • Scale is important and smaller scale technologies are like to display the above characteristics. • Smaller scale technologies are therefore more likely to enable a sustainable, secure, and affordable energy transition. - Abstract: This research explores the relationship between technology scale, energy security and decarbonisation within the UK energy system. There is considerable uncertainty about how best to deliver on these goals for energy policy, but a focus on supply chains and their resilience can provide useful insights into the problems uncertainty causes. Technology scale is central to this, and through an analysis of the supply chains of nuclear power and solar photovoltaics, it is suggested that smaller scale technologies are more likely to support and enable a secure, low carbon energy transition. This is because their supply chains are less complex, show more flexibility and adaptability, and can quickly respond to changes within an energy system, and as such they are more resilient than large scale technologies. These characteristics are likely to become increasingly important in a rapidly changing energy system, and prioritising those technologies that demonstrate resilience, flexibility and adaptability will better enable a transition that is rapid, sustainable, secure and affordable

  6. Biosignal PI, an Affordable Open-Source ECG and Respiration Measurement System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farhad Abtahi

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Bioimedical pilot projects e.g., telemedicine, homecare, animal and human trials usually involve several physiological measurements. Technical development of these projects is time consuming and in particular costly. A versatile but affordable biosignal measurement platform can help to reduce time and risk while keeping the focus on the important goal and making an efficient use of resources. In this work, an affordable and open source platform for development of physiological signals is proposed. As a first step an 8–12 leads electrocardiogram (ECG and respiration monitoring system is developed. Chips based on iCoupler technology have been used to achieve electrical isolation as required by IEC 60601 for patient safety. The result shows the potential of this platform as a base for prototyping compact, affordable, and medically safe measurement systems. Further work involves both hardware and software development to develop modules. These modules may require development of front-ends for other biosignals or just collect data wirelessly from different devices e.g., blood pressure, weight, bioimpedance spectrum, blood glucose, e.g., through Bluetooth. All design and development documents, files and source codes will be available for non-commercial use through project website, BiosignalPI.org.

  7. Biosignal PI, an affordable open-source ECG and respiration measurement system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abtahi, Farhad; Snäll, Jonatan; Aslamy, Benjamin; Abtahi, Shirin; Seoane, Fernando; Lindecrantz, Kaj

    2015-01-01

    Bioimedical pilot projects e.g., telemedicine, homecare, animal and human trials usually involve several physiological measurements. Technical development of these projects is time consuming and in particular costly. A versatile but affordable biosignal measurement platform can help to reduce time and risk while keeping the focus on the important goal and making an efficient use of resources. In this work, an affordable and open source platform for development of physiological signals is proposed. As a first step an 8-12 leads electrocardiogram (ECG) and respiration monitoring system is developed. Chips based on iCoupler technology have been used to achieve electrical isolation as required by IEC 60601 for patient safety. The result shows the potential of this platform as a base for prototyping compact, affordable, and medically safe measurement systems. Further work involves both hardware and software development to develop modules. These modules may require development of front-ends for other biosignals or just collect data wirelessly from different devices e.g., blood pressure, weight, bioimpedance spectrum, blood glucose, e.g., through Bluetooth. All design and development documents, files and source codes will be available for non-commercial use through project website, BiosignalPI.org. PMID:25545268

  8. Fuel poverty as injustice: Integrating distribution, recognition and procedure in the struggle for affordable warmth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bringing attention to fuel poverty as a distinct manifestation of social inequality has asserted the place of affordable warmth in the profile of contemporary rights and entitlements. As such, fuel poverty can be understood as an expression of injustice, involving the compromised ability to access energy services and thereby to secure a healthful living environment. In this paper, we consider how fuel poverty may be aligned to various alternative concepts of social and environmental justice. Whilst recognising that fuel poverty is fundamentally a complex problem of distributive injustice, we argue that other understandings of injustice are also implicated and play important roles in producing and sustaining inequalities in access to affordable warmth. Addressing fuel poverty has to involve seeking justice in terms of the cultural and political recognition of vulnerable and marginalised social groups and pursuing procedural justice through opening up involvement and influence in decision-making processes. We make this argument both in theoretical terms, and through considering the experience of fuel poverty advocacy and policy development in the UK. Opportunities for future action may be illuminated through such interconnected justice framings as wider awareness of energy, climate and poverty issues emerge. - Highlights: ► We examine fuel poverty through different concepts of social and environmental justice. ► UK experience is used to inform and exemplify our analysis. ► Distributional justice is central but insufficient on its own. ► Procedural justice and justice as recognition are key necessary goals in the struggle for affordable warmth.

  9. STIMULATION OF CONSTRUCTION OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING BY REFORMATION OF A CONSTRUCTION COMPLEX MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BRONEVYTSKYI S. P.

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. Development of offers on stimulation of construction of affordable housing by reformation of a construction complex management system. Methodology. The revelation of the problems of planning of construction in large cities. The analysis of forming of structure of a build complex management in soviet times and in a transitional period. The revelation of the modern, actual, socio-economic problems of the construction activity management. Proposition on the improvement of methods of construction management in cities of Ukraine. Results. The methods of a construction complex management in countries with a market economy as for building of affordable housing are shown. Originality. In composition of a town-planning documentations, except for the norms of the common use of territories of city (density of population of micro region, the maximum parameters of a construction examining of land areas are proposed to determine: building percent and coefficient of maximum superficial area. Practical value. The principle of management and organization of construction is norms of a build use of territories for building of mass affordable housing for funds of population and investors while providing of the comfort of housing in accordance with state construction norms.

  10. Making Safe Surgery Affordable: Design of a Surgical Drill Cover System for Scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchan, Lawrence L; Black, Marianne S; Cancilla, Michael A; Huisman, Elise S; Kooyman, Jeremy J R; Nelson, Scott C; OʼHara, Nathan N; OʼBrien, Peter J; Blachut, Piotr A

    2015-10-01

    Many surgeons in low-resource settings do not have access to safe, affordable, or reliable surgical drilling tools. Surgeons often resort to nonsterile hardware drills because they are affordable, robust, and efficient, but they are impossible to sterilize using steam. A promising alternative is to use a Drill Cover system (a sterilizable fabric bag plus surgical chuck adapter) so that a nonsterile hardware drill can be used safely for surgical bone drilling. Our objective was to design a safe, effective, affordable Drill Cover system for scale in low-resource settings. We designed our device based on feedback from users at Mulago Hospital (Kampala, Uganda) and focused on 3 main aspects. First, the design included a sealed barrier between the surgical field and hardware drill that withstands pressurized fluid. Second, the selected hardware drill had a maximum speed of 1050 rpm to match common surgical drills and reduce risk of necrosis. Third, the fabric cover was optimized for ease of assembly while maintaining a sterile technique. Furthermore, with the Drill Cover approach, multiple Drill Covers can be provided with a single battery-powered drill in a "kit," so that the drill can be used in back-to-back surgeries without requiring immediate sterilization. The Drill Cover design presented here provides a proof-of-concept for a product that can be commercialized, produced at scale, and used in low-resource settings globally to improve access to safe surgery. PMID:26356212

  11. Cultural Affordances: Scaffolding Local Worlds Through Shared Intentionality and Regimes of Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramstead, Maxwell J. D.; Veissière, Samuel P. L.; Kirmayer, Laurence J.

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we outline a framework for the study of the mechanisms involved in the engagement of human agents with cultural affordances. Our aim is to better understand how culture and context interact with human biology to shape human behavior, cognition, and experience. We attempt to integrate several related approaches in the study of the embodied, cognitive, and affective substrates of sociality and culture and the sociocultural scaffolding of experience. The integrative framework we propose bridges cognitive and social sciences to provide (i) an expanded concept of ‘affordance’ that extends to sociocultural forms of life, and (ii) a multilevel account of the socioculturally scaffolded forms of affordance learning and the transmission of affordances in patterned sociocultural practices and regimes of shared attention. This framework provides an account of how cultural content and normative practices are built on a foundation of contentless basic mental processes that acquire content through immersive participation of the agent in social practices that regulate joint attention and shared intentionality. PMID:27507953

  12. Affordance-based perception-action dynamics: A model of visually guided braking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Henry S; Turvey, Michael T; Frank, Till D

    2016-04-01

    Behavioral dynamics is a framework for understanding adaptive behavior as arising from the self-organizing interaction between animal and environment. The methods of nonlinear dynamics provide a language for describing behavior that is both stable and flexible. Behavioral dynamics has been criticized for ignoring the animal's sensitivity to its own capabilities, leading to the development of an alternative framework: affordance-based control. Although it is theoretically sound and empirically motivated, affordance-based control has resisted characterization in terms of nonlinear dynamics. Here, we provide a dynamical description of affordance-based control, extending behavioral dynamics to meet its criticisms. We propose a general modeling strategy consistent with both theories. We use visually guided braking as a representative behavior and construct a novel dynamical model. This model demonstrates the possibility of understanding visually guided action as respecting the limits of the actor's capabilities, while still being guided by informational variables associated with desired states of affairs. In addition to such "hard" constraints on behavior, our framework allows for the influence of "soft" constraints such as preference and comfort, opening a new area of inquiry in perception-action dynamics. PMID:26881694

  13. The role of affordances in children's learning performance and efficiency when using virtual manipulative mathematics touch-screen apps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyer-Packenham, Patricia S.; Bullock, Emma K.; Shumway, Jessica F.; Tucker, Stephen I.; Watts, Christina M.; Westenskow, Arla; Anderson-Pence, Katie L.; Maahs-Fladung, Cathy; Boyer-Thurgood, Jennifer; Gulkilik, Hilal; Jordan, Kerry

    2016-03-01

    This paper focuses on understanding the role that affordances played in children's learning performance and efficiency during clinical interviews of their interactions with mathematics apps on touch-screen devices. One hundred children, ages 3 to 8, each used six different virtual manipulative mathematics apps during 30-40-min interviews. The study used a convergent mixed methods design, in which quantitative and qualitative data were collected concurrently to answer the research questions (Creswell and Plano Clark 2011). Videos were used to capture each child's interactions with the virtual manipulative mathematics apps, document learning performance and efficiency, and record children's interactions with the affordances within the apps. Quantitized video data answered the research question on differences in children's learning performance and efficiency between pre- and post-assessments. A Wilcoxon matched pairs signed-rank test was used to explore these data. Qualitative video data was used to identify affordance access by children when using each app, identifying 95 potential helping and hindering affordances among the 18 apps. The results showed that there were changes in children's learning performance and efficiency when children accessed a helping or a hindering affordance. Helping affordances were more likely to be accessed by children who progressed between the pre- and post-assessments, and the same affordances had helping and hindering effects for different children. These results have important implications for the design of virtual manipulative mathematics learning apps.

  14. Radiation protection

    CERN Multimedia

    Radioactive Shipping Service

    2005-01-01

    The section of the radiation protection group in charge of shipping radioactive material would like to remind users that all radioactive material leaving CERN must be checked for radioactivity and must be shipped according to the procedure given at http://cern.ch/service-rp-shipping Do not hesitate to contact us for any question or control. Radioactive Shipping Service: service-rp-shipping@cern.ch Tél. 73171

  15. Radiation protection

    CERN Multimedia

    2005-01-01

    The section of the Radiation Protection Group in charge of shipping radioactive material would like to remind users that all radioactive material leaving CERN must be checked for radioactivity and must be shipped according to the procedure given at http://cern.ch/service-rp-shipping Do not hesitate to contact us for any question or control. Radioactive Shipping Service: service-rp-shipping@cern.ch Tél. 73171

  16. Radiation protection

    CERN Multimedia

    2005-01-01

    The section of the Radiation Protection Group in charge of shipping radioactive material would like to remind users that all radioactive material leaving CERN must be checked for radioactivity and must be shipped according to the procedure given at http://cern.ch/service-rp-shipping Do not hesitate to contact us for any question or control. Radioactive Shipping Service: service-rp-shipping@cern.ch Tel. 73171

  17. Corrosion protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This invention describes a corrosion protection device for long-term storage containers of radioactive matter, in particular of irradiated fuel elements stored in geological formations apt for the purpose. This device prevents corrosion of the containers even if water emerges unexpectedly, or, in any case, inhibits and minimizes corrosion. The device comprehends reactive anodes that are connected to the containers by means of conductive connections. (orig.)

  18. State trends in premiums and deductibles, 2003-2009: how building on the Affordable Care Act will help stem the tide of rising costs and eroding benefits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoen, Cathy; Stremikis, Kristof; How, Sabrina K H; Collins, Sara R

    2010-12-01

    Rapidly rising health insurance costs have strained U.S. families and employers in recent years. This issue brief examines data for all states on changes in private employer premiums and deductibles for 2003 and 2009. The analysis finds that premiums for businesses and their employees increased 41 percent across states from 2003 to 2009, while per-person deductibles jumped 77 percent in large as well as small firms. If these trends continue at the rate prior to enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the average premium for family coverage will rise 79 percent by 2020, to more than $23,000. The authors describe how health reform offers the potential to reduce insurance cost growth while improving value and protection. If reforms succeed in slowing premium growth by 1 percentage point annually in all states, by 2020 employers and families together will save $2,323 annually for family coverage, compared with projected trends. PMID:21125770

  19. Concepts of radiation protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This seventh chapter presents the concepts and principles of safety and radiation protection, emergency situations; NORM and TENORM; radiation protection care; radiation protection plan; activities of the radiation protection service; practical rules of radiation protection and the radiation symbol

  20. Building a Successful Security Infrastructure: What You Want vs. What You Need vs. What You Can Afford

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crabb, Michele D.; Woodrow, Thomas S. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    With the fast growing popularity of the Internet, many organizations are racing to get onto the on-ramp to the Information Superhighway. However, with frequent headlines such as 'Hackers' break in at General Electric raises questions about the Net's Security', 'Internet Security Imperiled - Hackers steal data that could threaten computers world-wide' and 'Stanford Computer system infiltrated; Security fears grow', organizations find themselves rethinking their approach to the on-ramp. Is the Internet safe? What do I need to do to protect my organization? Will hackers try to break into my systems? These are questions many organizations are asking themselves today. In order to safely travel along the Information Superhighway, organizations need a strong security framework. Developing such a framework for a computer site, whether it be just a few dozen hosts or several thousand hosts is not an easy task. The security infrastructure for a site is often developed piece-by-piece in response to security incidents which have affected that site over time. Or worse yet, no coordinated effort has been dedicated toward security. The end result is that many sites are still poorly prepared to handle the security dangers of the Internet. This paper presents guidelines for building a successful security infrastructure. The problem is addressed in a cookbook style method. First is a discussion on how to identify your assets and evaluate the threats to those assets; next are suggestions and tips for identifying the weak areas in your security armor. Armed with this information we can begin to think about what you really need for your site and what you can afford. In this stage of the process we examine the different categories of security tools and products that are available and then present some tips for deciding what is best for your site.

  1. Radiation protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Three main pillars underpin the IAEA's mission: Safety and Security - The IAEA helps countries to upgrade their infrastructure for nuclear and radiation safety and security, and to prepare for and respond to emergencies. Work is keyed to international conventions, the development of international standards and the application of these standards. The aim is to protect people and the environment from the harmful effects of exposure to ionizing radiation. Science and Technology - The IAEA is the world's focal point for mobilizing peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology for critical needs in developing countries. The work contributes to alleviating poverty, combating disease and pollution of the environment and to other goals of sustainable development. Safeguards and Verification - The IAEA is the nuclear inspectorate, with more than four decades of verification experience. Inspectors work to verify that nuclear material and activities are not diverted towards military purposes. Quantities and Units: Dose equivalent is the product of absorbed dose of radiation and quality factor (Q). For absorbed dose in rads, dose equivalent is in rems. If absorbed dose is in gray, the dose equivalent is in sievert. Quality factor is defined without reference to any particular biological end point. Quality factors are recommended by committees such as the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) or the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP), based on experimental RBE values but with some judgment exercised. Effective Dose Equivalent: It is the sum of the weighted dose equivalents for all irradiated tissues, in which the weighting factors represent the different risks of each tissue to mortality from cancer and hereditary effects. Committed dose equivalent: It is the integral over 50 years of dose equivalent following the intake of a radionuclide. Collective effective dose equivalent: It is a quantity for a population and is

  2. Environmental protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Environmental Studies and Internal Dosimetry projects include: Environmental Protection; 1977 Environmental Monitoring Report; Sewage Sludge Disposal on the Sanitary Landfill; Radiological Analyses of Marshall Islands Environmental Samples, 1974 to 1976; External Radiation Survey and Dose Predictions for Rongelap, Utirik, Rongerik, Ailuk, and Wotje Atolls; Marshall Islands - Diet and Life Style Study; Dose Reassessment for Populations on Rongelap and Utirik Following Exposure to Fallout from BRAVO Incident (March 1, 1954); Whole Body Counting Results from 1974 to 1979 for Bikini Island Residents; Dietary Radioactivity Intake from Bioassay Data, a Model Applied to 137Cs Intake by Bikini Island Residents; and External Exposure Measurements at Bikini Atoll

  3. Effects of paired-object affordance in search tasks across the adult lifespan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wulff, Melanie; Stainton, Alexandra; Rotshtein, Pia

    2016-06-01

    The study investigated the processes underlying the retrieval of action information about functional object pairs, focusing on the contribution of procedural and semantic knowledge. We further assessed whether the retrieval of action knowledge is affected by task demands and age. The contribution of procedural knowledge was examined by the way objects were selected, specifically whether active objects were selected before passive objects. The contribution of semantic knowledge was examined by manipulating the relation between targets and distracters. A touchscreen-based search task was used testing young, middle-aged, and elderly participants. Participants had to select by touching two targets among distracters using two search tasks. In an explicit action search task, participants had to select two objects which afforded a mutual action (e.g., functional pair: hammer-nail). Implicit affordance perception was tested using a visual color-matching search task; participants had to select two objects with the same colored frame. In both tasks, half of the colored targets also afforded an action. Overall, middle-aged participants performed better than young and elderly participants, specifically in the action task. Across participants in the action task, accuracy was increased when the distracters were semantically unrelated to the functional pair, while the opposite pattern was observed in the color task. This effect was enhanced with increased age. In the action task all participants utilized procedural knowledge, i.e., selected the active object before the passive object. This result supports the dual-route account from vision to action. Semantic knowledge contributed to both the action and the color task, but procedural knowledge associated with the direct route was primarily retrieved when the task was action-relevant. Across the adulthood lifespan, the data show inverted U-shaped effects of age on the retrieval of action knowledge. Age also linearly increased the

  4. Evaluating drug prices, availability, affordability, and price components: implications for access to drugs in Malaysia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zaheer Ud Din Babar

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Malaysia's stable health care system is facing challenges with increasing medicine costs. To investigate these issues a survey was carried out to evaluate medicine prices, availability, affordability, and the structure of price components. METHODS AND FINDINGS: The methodology developed by the World Health Organization (WHO and Health Action International (HAI was used. Price and availability data for 48 medicines was collected from 20 public sector facilities, 32 private sector retail pharmacies and 20 dispensing doctors in four geographical regions of West Malaysia. Medicine prices were compared with international reference prices (IRPs to obtain a median price ratio. The daily wage of the lowest paid unskilled government worker was used to gauge the affordability of medicines. Price component data were collected throughout the supply chain, and markups, taxes, and other distribution costs were identified. In private pharmacies, innovator brand (IB prices were 16 times higher than the IRPs, while generics were 6.6 times higher. In dispensing doctor clinics, the figures were 15 times higher for innovator brands and 7.5 for generics. Dispensing doctors applied high markups of 50%-76% for IBs, and up to 316% for generics. Retail pharmacy markups were also high-25%-38% and 100%-140% for IBs and generics, respectively. In the public sector, where medicines are free, availability was low even for medicines on the National Essential Drugs List. For a month's treatment for peptic ulcer disease and hypertension people have to pay about a week's wages in the private sector. CONCLUSIONS: The free market by definition does not control medicine prices, necessitating price monitoring and control mechanisms. Markups for generic products are greater than for IBs. Reducing the base price without controlling markups may increase profits for retailers and dispensing doctors without reducing the price paid by end users. To increase access and

  5. Postural sway and perception of affordances in children at risk for developmental coordination disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, F C; Tsai, C L; Wu, S K

    2014-07-01

    Gibson (The ecological approach to visual perception, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1979/1986) defined affordances as opportunities for motor behaviors, and highly emphasized the interaction between perception and action. Research on children with developmental coordination disorder commonly reports difficulties in judgments of affordances (perception) and in postural control (action). However, how perception and action are coupled has not been studied yet. The present study sought to evaluate the relationship between control of postural sway and perception of affordances in children at risk for developmental coordination disorder (RDCD) and typically developing children (TDC). We hypothesized that the relationship between perception and action would differ between groups. Participants made a series of judgments about their maximum sitting height (SHmax) while standing with and without wearing 10 cm blocks on feet. Postural sway and the judgment accuracy were recorded. Our findings showed that RDCD swayed more during judgment sessions and made less accurate judgments compared to TDC. In addition, TDC reduced postural sway from inter-judgment to judgment sessions, whereas the postural sway of RDCD remained identical between sessions. Last, while TDC reduced postural sway across judgment trials and revealed a learning effect of the judgments about SHmax in the block condition, RDCD never modulated postural sway and did not learn their SHmax in both non-block and block conditions. Overall, modulation of postural sway differed between groups during judgment sessions and between inter-judgment and judgment sessions, whereby their perceptual judgments about SHmax were differentially influenced. To summarize, this study demonstrated a difference in perception and action coupling between RDCD and TDC. PMID:24671651

  6. Affordable High-Performance Homes: The 2002 NREL Denver Habitat for Humanity House, A Cold-Climate Case Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2005-04-01

    Habitat for Humanity affiliates throughout the U.S. are taking the lead on an integrated systems-design approach to building homes that are more efficient, more comfortable, more affordable, and more durable than homes built with standard practices.

  7. Women's Preventive Services Guidelines Affordable Care Act Expands Prevention Coverage for Women's Health and Well-Being

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... icio.us Digg Facebook Google Bookmarks Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines Affordable Care Act Expands Prevention Coverage for ... are delivered by a network provider. Women's Preventive Services Guidelines Supported by the Health Resources and Services ...

  8. Building Affordable Rental Housing in Unaffordable Cities: A Canadian Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

    OpenAIRE

    Marion Steele; Francois Des Rosiers

    2009-01-01

    Many Canadian cities are short of affordable rental housing. Waiting lists for low-income housing are years in length, and new-build construction of rental housing has fallen over the last two decades. This study proposes a better way to build more low-income housing in expensive Canadian cities. A made-in-Canada Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) could leverage private sector expertise in site location, building, and management to build more and better low-income rental housing.

  9. A comparison of small, affordable seismic sources at the Ketzin CO2 storage site, Germany

    OpenAIRE

    Sopher, Daniel; Christopher, Juhlin; Fei, Huang; Monika, Ivandic; Stefan, Lueth

    2014-01-01

    Seismic methods have proven to be effective for monitoring the movement and location of injected CO2 within deep saline aquifers. However, a disadvantage of seismic monitoring is the high costs associated with many repeat seismic surveys as part of a long term monitoring strategy of a CO2 storage site. As the cost for the use of the seismic source is often a significant part of the overall survey cost, affordable, smaller sources would increase the potential feasibility of a long term seismic...

  10. New solutions to old problems: housing affordability and access within Australia and New Zealand

    OpenAIRE

    D C Thorns

    1988-01-01

    During the 1970s and 1980s the Australian and New Zealand economies have been passing through a period of restructuring. This has had important impacts upon the housing sector, leading to rises in house and land prices, in interest rates, and therefore in the costs of house purchase. Under these conditions a new agenda of housing issues has appeared concerning the affordability of housing and the continued access of modest and lower income households to the dominant form of tenure, owner-occu...

  11. Results of 30 kWt Safe Affordable Fission Engine (SAFE-30) primary heat transport testing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The use of resistance heaters to simulate heat from fission allows extensive development of fission systems to be performed in non-nuclear test facilities, saving time and money. Resistance heated tests on the Safe Affordable Fission Engine--30 kilowatt (SAFE30) test article are being performed at the Marshall Space Flight Center. This paper discusses the results of these experiments to date, and describes the additional testing that will be performed. Recommendations related to the design of testable space fission power and propulsion systems are made

  12. Software Development in the Cloud: Exploring the Affordances of Platform-as-a-Service

    OpenAIRE

    Krancher, Oliver; Luther, Pascal

    2015-01-01

    Software development teams increasingly adopt platform-as-a-service (PaaS), i.e., cloud services that make software development infrastructure available over the internet. Yet, empirical evidence of whether and how software development work changes with the use of PaaS is difficult to find. We performed a grounded-theory study to explore the affordances of PaaS for software development teams. We find that PaaS enables software development teams to enforce uniformity, to exploit knowledge embe...

  13. National workplace health promotion surveys: the Affordable Care Act and future surveys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeJoy, David M; Dyal, Mari-Amanda; Padilla, Heather M; Wilson, Mark G

    2014-01-01

    This commentary reviews findings from the four previous national surveys of workplace health promotion activities (1985, 1992, 1999, and 2004, respectively) and offers recommendations for future surveys mandated under the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Future surveys should place greater emphasis on assessing program quality, reach, and effectiveness. Both employer and employee input should be sought. In addition, sampling plans should differentiate worksites from employers, and results should include public as well as private sector organizations. Ideas are offered for addressing these limitations and for creating a sustainable survey process and multifunctional database of results. PMID:24380423

  14. California's Early Coverage Expansion under the Affordable Care Act: A County-Level Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Sommers, Benjamin Daniel; Chua, Kao-Ping; Kenney, Genevieve M; Sharon K. Long; McMorrow, Stacey

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To assess the coverage effects of California's 2011 Low-Income Health Program (LIHP), enacted as an “early expansion” under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and to demonstrate the feasibility of using Census data to measure county-level coverage changes. Data Sources/Study Setting: 2008–2012 American Community Survey (ACS). The sample contained California adults ages 19–64 years (n = 237,876) and children 0–18 years (n = 113,159) with incomes below 200 percent of the federal po...

  15. Comprender la realidad sin representaciones: Affordances y psicología ecológica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Heras Escribano

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Frente al paradigma tradicional en ciencia cognitiva, donde la metáfora del ordenador es la imperante, la psicología ecológica se ofrece como la alternativa más potente en el futuro desarrollo de las investigaciones sobre el fenómeno de la cognición. Dentro de ella, la noción de affordance juega un papel fundamental, aunque el concepto no está exento de polémica.

  16. The Affordable Care Act and Diabetes Diagnosis and Care: Exploring the Potential Impacts

    OpenAIRE

    Myerson, Rebecca; Laiteerapong, Neda

    2016-01-01

    This article reviews available data on the implications of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the diagnosis and care of type 2 diabetes. We provide a general overview of the major issues for diabetes diagnosis and care, and describe the policies in the ACA that affect diabetes diagnosis and care. We also estimate that approximately 2.3 million of the 4.6 million people in the USA with undiagnosed diabetes aged 18–64 in 2009–2010 may have gained access to free preventive care under the ACA, whi...

  17. Inclusionary Housing in International Perspective: Affordable Housing, Social Inclusion, and Land Value Recapture Edited by Nico Calavita and Alan Mallach

    OpenAIRE

    Wegmann, Jake

    2011-01-01

    Affordable housing often, these days, appears to occupy a low rank on the planning agenda. Emergent issues such as climate change and the obesity crisis, along with the various solutions that planning proposes for them, seem to take up much of the available planning communication bandwidth. Indeed, with a widespread foreclosure crisis in the United States and drastically depressed housing prices in much of the world, many have come to see housing affordability as a less urgent concern than it...

  18. Factors that have a decisive effect on the indicators of efficiency of organizational and technological decisions for affordable housing

    OpenAIRE

    V. I. Bolshakov; Kravchunovs'ka, T. S.; Bronevitsky, S.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose. Systematization and formalization of organizational, technological and economic factors reflecting the specific features of the construction of affordable housing and performing substantial impact on the cost of building production and the duration of works. Methodology. Substantiation of the list of factors exercising a decisive influence on the cost and duration of construction of affordable housing, using the methods of expert estimations. Findings. It was formed the system of org...

  19. The corrosion protection of aluminum by various anodizing treatments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danford, Merlin D.

    1989-01-01

    Corrosion protection to 6061-T6 aluminum, afforded by both teflon-impregnated anodized coats (Polylube and Tufram) and hard-anodized coats (water sealed and dichromate sealed), was studied at both pH 5.5 and pH 9.5, with an exposure period of 28 days in 3.5 percent NaCl solution (25 C) for each specimen. In general, corrosion protection for all specimens was better at pH 9.5 than at pH 5.5. Protection by a Tufram coat proved superior to that afforded by Polylube at each pH, with corrosion protection by the hard-anodized, water-sealed coat at pH 9.5 providing the best protection. Electrochemical work in each case was corroborated by microscopic examination of the coats after exposure. Corrosion protection by Tufram at pH 9.5 was most comparable to that of the hard-anodized samples, although pitting and some cracking of the coat did occur.

  20. Making astronomy incredibly easy, engaging and affordable for anyone with a desire to see outer space for themselves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paolucci, Michael

    2015-08-01

    We have built a social interface and funding model based on collaborative consumption to empower public access to powerful telescopes.Slooh’s robotic observatories put anyone with a desire to look up and wonder in the driver’s seat of powerful mountaintop telescopes. Our members have taken millions of images of over 50,000 objects in the night sky, from tracking asteroids for NASA to discovering supernovae. Slooh launched December 25th, 2003 from our flagship observatory at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands and in the ensuing decade we’ve built a network of 20+ observatory partners around the world to capture every magical moment in outer space. We are the world’s largest community of people peering into space together.About SloohSlooh makes astronomy incredibly easy, engaging and affordable for anyone with a desire to see outer space for themselves. Since 2003 Slooh has connected telescopes to the Internet for access by the broader public. Slooh’s automated observatories develop celestial images in real-time for broadcast to the Internet. Slooh’s technology is protected by Patent No.: US 7,194,146 B2 which was awarded in 2006. Slooh members have taken over 3m photos/150,000 FITS of over 50,000 celestial objects, participated in numerous discoveries with leading astronomical institutions and made over 2,000 submissions to the Minor Planet Center. Slooh’s flagship observatories are situated on Mt. Teide, in partnership with the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC), and in Chile, in partnership with the Catholic University. Slooh has also broadcast live celestial events from partner observatories in Arizona, Japan, Hawaii, Cypress, Dubai, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Norway. Slooh’s free live broadcasts of potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs), comets, transits, eclipses, solar activity etc. feature narration by astronomy experts Will Gater, Bob Berman, Paul Cox and Eric Edelman and are syndicated to

  1. First year participation in the affordable care act: costs and accessibility to gynecologic oncology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlik, Edward J; Ore, Robert; Toyama, Aimi; Woolum, Dylan; Pavlik, Thomas E; Baldwin, Lauren

    2015-11-01

    With the ending of the operational first year of the American Affordable Care Act, health insurance premiums were accessed online. For a US$50,000 income, the lowest premiums ranged from US$805 annually (age 20 years) to US$3802 (age 64 years), while the highest ranged from US$2186 (age 20 years) to US$10,326 (age 64 years). The lowest premiums at age 50 years were higher in rural areas in contrast to the highest premiums that were less expensive rurally. At age 64 years, the lowest premiums were 9-12.6% of a US$50,000 income, while the most expensive varied between 16.5 and 39%. Access to gynecologic oncologists was variable in different networks. Medicaid enrollment nationally was ∼6× higher than paid enrollment. Eligible participation in Affordable Care Act coverage exceeded expectations by >190%. Performance of four healthcare exchange traded funds indicated that investor confidence is high in the American healthcare sector. PMID:26387757

  2. Affordances of Augmented Reality in Science Learning: Suggestions for Future Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Kun-Hung; Tsai, Chin-Chung

    2013-08-01

    Augmented reality (AR) is currently considered as having potential for pedagogical applications. However, in science education, research regarding AR-aided learning is in its infancy. To understand how AR could help science learning, this review paper firstly has identified two major approaches of utilizing AR technology in science education, which are named as image- based AR and location- based AR. These approaches may result in different affordances for science learning. It is then found that students' spatial ability, practical skills, and conceptual understanding are often afforded by image-based AR and location-based AR usually supports inquiry-based scientific activities. After examining what has been done in science learning with AR supports, several suggestions for future research are proposed. For example, more research is required to explore learning experience (e.g., motivation or cognitive load) and learner characteristics (e.g., spatial ability or perceived presence) involved in AR. Mixed methods of investigating learning process (e.g., a content analysis and a sequential analysis) and in-depth examination of user experience beyond usability (e.g., affective variables of esthetic pleasure or emotional fulfillment) should be considered. Combining image-based and location-based AR technology may bring new possibility for supporting science learning. Theories including mental models, spatial cognition, situated cognition, and social constructivist learning are suggested for the profitable uses of future AR research in science education.

  3. Drivers’ decision-making when attempting to cross an intersection results from choice between affordances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geoffrey eMARTI

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In theory, a safe approach to an intersection implies that the driver can simultaneously manage two scenarios: they either cross or they must give way to an oncoming vehicle. In this article we formalize the critical time for safe crossing (CTcross and the critical time for safe stopping (CTstop to represent crossing and stopping possibilities, respectively. We describe these critical times in terms of affordances and empirically test their respective contribution to the driver’s decision-making process. Using a driving simulator, three groups of participants drove cars with identical acceleration capabilities and different braking capabilities. They were asked to try to cross an intersection where there was an oncoming vehicle, if they deemed the maneuver to be safe. If not, they could decide to stop or, as a last resort, make an emergency exit. The intersections were identical among groups.Results showed that although the crossing possibilities (CTcross were the same for all groups, there were between-group differences in crossing frequency. This suggests that stopping possibilities (CTstop play a role in the driver’s decision-making process, in addition to the crossing possibilities. These results can be accounted for by a behavioral model of decision making, and provide support for the hypothesis of choice between affordances.

  4. Affordable uniform isotope labeling with 2H, 13C and 15N in insect cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    For a wide range of proteins of high interest, the major obstacle for NMR studies is the lack of an affordable eukaryotic expression system for isotope labeling. Here, a simple and affordable protocol is presented to produce uniform labeled proteins in the most prevalent eukaryotic expression system for structural biology, namely Spodoptera frugiperda insect cells. Incorporation levels of 80 % can be achieved for 15N and 13C with yields comparable to expression in full media. For 2H,15N and 2H,13C,15N labeling, incorporation is only slightly lower with 75 and 73 %, respectively, and yields are typically twofold reduced. The media were optimized for isotope incorporation, reproducibility, simplicity and cost. High isotope incorporation levels for all labeling patterns are achieved by using labeled algal amino acid extracts and exploiting well-known biochemical pathways. The final formulation consists of just five commercially available components, at costs 12-fold lower than labeling media from vendors. The approach was applied to several cytosolic and secreted target proteins

  5. The Massive Affordable Computing Project: Prototyping of a High Data Throughput Processing Unit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Mitchell A.; Mellado, Bruce

    2015-05-01

    Scientific experiments are becoming highly data intensive to the point where offline processing of stored data is infeasible. High data throughput computing or High Volume throughput Computing, for future projects is required to deal with terabytes of data per second. Conventional data-centres based on typical server-grade hardware are expensive and are biased towards processing power rather than I/O bandwidth. This system imbalance can be solved with massive parallelism to increase the I/O capabilities, at the expense of excessive processing power and high energy consumption. The Massive Affordable Computing Project aims to use low-cost, ARM System on Chips to address the issue of system balance, affordability and energy efficiency. An ARM-based Processing Unit prototype is currently being developed, with a design goal of 20 Gb/s I/O throughput and significant processing power. Novel use of PCI-Express is used to address the typically limited I/O capabilities of consumer ARM System on Chips.

  6. "Having Housing Made Everything Else Possible": Affordable, Safe and Stable Housing for Women Survivors of Violence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clough, Amber; Draughon, Jessica E; Njie-Carr, Veronica; Rollins, Chiquita; Glass, Nancy

    2014-09-01

    Research indicates that the need for safe housing and the economic resources to maintain safe housing are two of the most pressing concerns among abused women who are planning to or have recently left abusers. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is frequently an immediate cause or precursor to homelessness and housing instability. The aim of the study is to explore abused women's experiences accessing affordable, safe, and stable housing. To achieve the aim, adult female IPV survivors answered questions about: 1) steps that were taken to secure housing; 2) safety issues after leaving the abuser; 3) barriers to obtaining housing; and 4) responses from housing and domestic violence advocacy systems related to survivors' housing needs. Four major themes emerged from the in-depth interviews: 1) stable, affordable housing is critical in increasing safety; 2) survivors face multiple systemic or individual barriers; 3) survivors develop and utilize an array of creative and resourceful strategies; and 4) survivors identified a variety of supportive services tailored to address their needs. The findings inform practice, policy and research for both the housing and domestic violence service systems with an emphasis on collaboration to meet the complex safety and stable housing needs of survivors and their families, particularly following the impact on housing of the 2008 U.S. economic crisis and subsequent recession. PMID:25328440

  7. Influence of Affordances in the Home Environment on Motor Development of Young Children in Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiro Mori

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Previous research indicates that the home environment is a significant factor in early child development. The present study examined influence of the multidimensional home environment on young Japanese children’s motor development. A Japanese translation of the Affordances in the Home Environment for Motor Development-Self Report (AHEMD-SR was used to assess home motor affordances in 262 families. Motor ability was assessed by parental report using the Enjoji Infant Analytic Developmental Test. We also asked parents to rate their own physical activity in terms of level and years of experience. As results, we found that the home environment in Japan was generally sufficient for children’s motor development and that children’s access to Fine Motor Toys (FMT and Gross Motor Toys (GMT had the strongest influence on their development. Analysis also indicated that AHEMD-SR scores were higher for children of parents who had some level of physical activity experience compared to children whose parents indicated no physical activity experience. Parents’ self-reported activity level was correlated with higher scores for the subscales FMT and GMT and for total AHEMD-SR score. These results indicate that both the physical and social-psychological environments (parental experience and views of the home influenced children’s motor development.

  8. Affordability and other factors affecting the purchase of energy-efficient manufactured homes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hattrup, M.P.; Lee, A.D.; Sandahl, L.J. [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States); Onisko, S.A. [USDOE Bonneville Power Administration, Portland, OR (United States)

    1993-06-01

    The Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) and the Bonneville Power Administration (Bonneville) conducted this study to evaluate the manufactured home owner`s purchase decision process and to provide Bonneville with a better understanding of how consumers view a manufactured home`s affordability and energy efficiency. This study addresses manufactured homes built under the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) standards; these homes are sometimes referred to as HUD-code homes or mobile homes. Manufactured home owners in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington were included in this analysis. This report adds to the information presented in Sandahl et al. (1992), which discussed the practices of lenders, appraisers, and dealers -- all of whom play a key role in the manufactured home market due to the impact their practices have on the overall affordability of manufactured homes. This report focuses exclusively on the most important, and probably least understood, player -- the home buyer. The primary data were collected via a mail survey sent to 1,550 manufactured home owners in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington in late 1992. A 71% response rate was achieved; 1,106 usable responses were received. This study focuses on the Pacific Northwest but presents information that may be relevant to other parts of the country.

  9. A Systems Approach to Developing an Affordable Space Ground Transportation Architecture using a Commonality Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Jerry L.; McCleskey, Carey M.; Bollo, Timothy R.; Rhodes, Russel E.; Robinson, John W.

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a structured approach for achieving a compatible Ground System (GS) and Flight System (FS) architecture that is affordable, productive and sustainable. This paper is an extension of the paper titled "Approach to an Affordable and Productive Space Transportation System" by McCleskey et al. This paper integrates systems engineering concepts and operationally efficient propulsion system concepts into a structured framework for achieving GS and FS compatibility in the mid-term and long-term time frames. It also presents a functional and quantitative relationship for assessing system compatibility called the Architecture Complexity Index (ACI). This paper: (1) focuses on systems engineering fundamentals as it applies to improving GS and FS compatibility; (2) establishes mid-term and long-term spaceport goals; (3) presents an overview of transitioning a spaceport to an airport model; (4) establishes a framework for defining a ground system architecture; (5) presents the ACI concept; (6) demonstrates the approach by presenting a comparison of different GS architectures; and (7) presents a discussion on the benefits of using this approach with a focus on commonality.

  10. Refactoring affordances in corporate wikis: a case for the use of mind maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puente, Gorka; Díaz, Oscar; Azanza, Maider

    2015-11-01

    The organisation of corporate wikis tends to deteriorate as time goes by. Rearranging categories, structuring articles and even moving sections among articles are cumbersome tasks in current wiki engines. This discourages the layman. But, it is the layman who writes the articles, knows the wiki content and detects refactoring opportunities. Our goal is to improve the refactoring affordances of current wiki engines by providing an alternative front-end tuned to refactoring. This is achieved by (1) surfacing the structure of the wiki corpus as a mind map, and (2) conducting refactoring as mind map reshaping. To this end, we introduce WikiWhirl, a domain-specific language for wiki refactoring. WikiWhirl is supported as an extension of FreeMind, a popular mind mapping tool. In this way, refactoring operations are intuitively conducted as actions upon mind map nodes. In a refactoring session a user imports the wiki structure as a FreeMind map; next, conducts the refactoring operations on the map, and finally, the effects are saved in the wiki database. The operational semantics of the WikiWhirl operations follow refactoring good practices (e.g., authorship preservation). Results from a controlled experiment suggest that WikiWhirl outperforms MediaWiki in three main affordance enablers: understandability, productivity and fulfillment of refactoring good practices.

  11. Small Launch Vehicle Concept Development for Affordable Multi-Stage Inline Configurations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beers, Benjamin R.; Waters, Eric D.; Philips, Alan D.; Threet, Grady E., Jr.

    2014-01-01

    The Advanced Concepts Office at NASA's George C. Marshall Space Flight Center conducted a study of two configurations of a three stage, inline, liquid propellant small launch vehicle concept developed on the premise of maximizing affordability by targeting a specific payload capability range based on current industry demand. The initial configuration, NESC-1, employed liquid oxygen as the oxidizer and rocket propellant grade kerosene as the fuel in all three stages. The second and more heavily studied configuration, NESC-4, employed liquid oxygen and rocket propellant grade kerosene on the first and second stages and liquid oxygen and liquid methane fuel on the third stage. On both vehicles, sensitivity studies were first conducted on specific impulse and stage propellant mass fraction in order to baseline gear ratios and drive the focus of concept development. Subsequent sensitivity and trade studies on the NESC-4 configuration investigated potential impacts to affordability due to changes in gross liftoff weight and/or vehicle complexity. Results are discussed at a high level to understand the severity of certain sensitivities and how those trade studies conducted can either affect cost, performance or both.

  12. Protective clothing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A protective suit used for isolating its wearer from radioactively contaminated areas is described in three parts. The first part includes the covering for the wearer's head, arms and upper body and at the waist is releasably fitted around an opening into the contaminated area. The second part includes the legs of the suit and is releasably connectible to the first part of the suit to enclose the wearer who is then supplied with air through an umbilical pipe. A further part surrounds the second part and is releasably connectible to it, enclosing a space between the parts. This further part is also releasably connectible to the opening at the waist to prevent egress from the contaminated area. The releasable connections between the parts may be bayonet type fittings or may be rotating T-shaped projections which engage in T-shaped grooves. (author)

  13. Prices, Costs, and Affordability of New Medicines for Hepatitis C in 30 Countries: An Economic Analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swathi Iyengar

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available New hepatitis C virus (HCV medicines have markedly improved treatment efficacy and regimen tolerability. However, their high prices have limited access, prompting wide debate about fair and affordable prices. This study systematically compared the price and affordability of sofosbuvir and ledipasvir/sofosbuvir across 30 countries to assess affordability to health systems and patients.Published 2015 ex-factory prices for a 12-wk course of treatment were provided by the Pharma Price Information (PPI service of the Austrian public health institute Gesundheit Österreich GmbH or were obtained from national government or drug reimbursement authorities and recent press releases, where necessary. Prices in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD member countries and select low- and middle-income countries were converted to US dollars using period average exchange rates and were adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP. We analysed prices compared to national economic performance and estimated market size and the cost of these drugs in terms of countries' annual total pharmaceutical expenditure (TPE and in terms of the duration of time an individual would need to work to pay for treatment out of pocket. Patient affordability was calculated using 2014 OECD average annual wages, supplemented with International Labour Organization median wage data where necessary. All data were compiled between 17 July 2015 and 25 January 2016. For the base case analysis, we assumed a 23% rebate/discount on the published price in all countries, except for countries with special pricing arrangements or generic licensing agreements. The median nominal ex-factory price of a 12-wk course of sofosbuvir across 26 OECD countries was US$42,017, ranging from US$37,729 in Japan to US$64,680 in the US. Central and Eastern European countries had higher PPP-adjusted prices than other countries: prices of sofosbuvir in Poland and Turkey (PPP$101,063 and PPP$70

  14. Prices, Costs, and Affordability of New Medicines for Hepatitis C in 30 Countries: An Economic Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tay-Teo, Kiu; Vogler, Sabine; Beyer, Peter; Wiktor, Stefan; de Joncheere, Kees; Hill, Suzanne

    2016-01-01

    Introduction New hepatitis C virus (HCV) medicines have markedly improved treatment efficacy and regimen tolerability. However, their high prices have limited access, prompting wide debate about fair and affordable prices. This study systematically compared the price and affordability of sofosbuvir and ledipasvir/sofosbuvir across 30 countries to assess affordability to health systems and patients. Methods and Findings Published 2015 ex-factory prices for a 12-wk course of treatment were provided by the Pharma Price Information (PPI) service of the Austrian public health institute Gesundheit Österreich GmbH or were obtained from national government or drug reimbursement authorities and recent press releases, where necessary. Prices in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries and select low- and middle-income countries were converted to US dollars using period average exchange rates and were adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP). We analysed prices compared to national economic performance and estimated market size and the cost of these drugs in terms of countries’ annual total pharmaceutical expenditure (TPE) and in terms of the duration of time an individual would need to work to pay for treatment out of pocket. Patient affordability was calculated using 2014 OECD average annual wages, supplemented with International Labour Organization median wage data where necessary. All data were compiled between 17 July 2015 and 25 January 2016. For the base case analysis, we assumed a 23% rebate/discount on the published price in all countries, except for countries with special pricing arrangements or generic licensing agreements. The median nominal ex-factory price of a 12-wk course of sofosbuvir across 26 OECD countries was US$42,017, ranging from US$37,729 in Japan to US$64,680 in the US. Central and Eastern European countries had higher PPP-adjusted prices than other countries: prices of sofosbuvir in Poland and Turkey (PPP

  15. Facile one-pot synthesis of unsymmetrical ureas, carbamates, and thiocarbamates from Cbz-protected amines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hee-Kwon; Lee, Anna

    2016-07-26

    A novel one-pot synthesis of unsymmetrical ureas, carbamates and thiocarbamates from Cbz-protected amines has been developed. In the presence of 2-chloropyridine and trifluoromethanesulfonyl anhydride, isocyanates are generated in situ, which facilitate rapid reaction with amines, alcohols, and thiols to afford the corresponding ureas, carbamates and thiocarbamates in high yields. PMID:27406041

  16. Catastrophic medical protection: a plan for sharing excessive costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hester, R D

    1982-01-01

    Cost sharing provisions in both private and public health insurance plans have greatly increased consumer out-of-pocket expenses for medical services in recent years. The effects of these provisions, coupled with the effects of massive unemployment, have been that many individuals are unable to afford adequate health insurance protection. To protect the nation's health, new proposals to expand health coverage have given rise to catastrophic health insurance. This new health policy priority may assist many low-wage and unemployed workers to meet their cost-sharing obligations in the face of rising medical costs. PMID:10298874

  17. Protective Skins for Aerogel Monoliths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leventis, Nicholas; Johnston, James C.; Kuczmarski, Maria A.; Meador, Ann B.

    2007-01-01

    A method of imparting relatively hard protective outer skins to aerogel monoliths has been developed. Even more than aerogel beads, aerogel monoliths are attractive as thermal-insulation materials, but the commercial utilization of aerogel monoliths in thermal-insulation panels has been inhibited by their fragility and the consequent difficulty of handling them. Therefore, there is a need to afford sufficient protection to aerogel monoliths to facilitate handling, without compromising the attractive bulk properties (low density, high porosity, low thermal conductivity, high surface area, and low permittivity) of aerogel materials. The present method was devised to satisfy this need. The essence of the present method is to coat an aerogel monolith with an outer polymeric skin, by painting or spraying. Apparently, the reason spraying and painting were not attempted until now is that it is well known in the aerogel industry that aerogels collapse in contact with liquids. In the present method, one prevents such collapse through the proper choice of coating liquid and process conditions: In particular, one uses a viscous polymer precursor liquid and (a) carefully controls the amount of liquid applied and/or (b) causes the liquid to become cured to the desired hard polymeric layer rapidly enough that there is not sufficient time for the liquid to percolate into the aerogel bulk. The method has been demonstrated by use of isocyanates, which, upon exposure to atmospheric moisture, become cured to polyurethane/polyurea-type coats. The method has also been demonstrated by use of commercial epoxy resins. The method could also be implemented by use of a variety of other resins, including polyimide precursors (for forming high-temperature-resistant protective skins) or perfluorinated monomers (for forming coats that impart hydrophobicity and some increase in strength).

  18. A comparison of small, affordable seismic sources at the Ketzin CO2 storage site, Germany

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sopher, Daniel; Juhlin, Christopher; Huang, Fei; Ivandic, Monika; Lueth, Stefan

    2014-05-01

    Seismic methods have proven to be effective for monitoring the movement and location of injected CO2 within deep saline aquifers. However, a disadvantage of seismic monitoring is the high costs associated with many repeat seismic surveys as part of a long term monitoring strategy of a CO2 storage site. As the cost for the use of the seismic source is often a significant part of the overall survey cost, affordable, smaller sources would increase the potential feasibility of a long term seismic monitoring strategy. A comparison of three land seismic sources is performed at the Ketzin CO2 storage site, Germany. Two of these sources (Vibsist 500 and Bobcat drop hammer) can be considered to be smaller and more affordable sources than those conventionally used in the seismic monitor surveys at Ketzin. In this study these smaller sources are compared to a larger more conventional Vibsist 3000 source. The subsurface target for the three sources in this comparison is the CO2 storage reservoir for the Ketzin site, located within the Triassic Stuttgart formation, which lies at a depth of approximately 600m/500ms. Two of the sources are Swept Impact (SIST) type courses (Vibsist 500 and 3000) which use hydraulic concrete breaking hammers. The third source uses a concrete breaking drop hammer tool mounted on a Bobcat loader. Data were collected along a 984m long profile with 24m receiver spacing and 12m shot spacing in 2011, 2012 and 2013 using the three different sources. A quantitative and qualitative comparison of the raw data from the three sources was performed in order to assess their relative performance. Frequency content, signal to noise ratio and penetration depth curves were calculated for the raw data. Data from the three sources was also processed using a conventional workflow to produce stacked sections which were compared. Based on the results from this study the Bobcat drop hammer source appears to perform better than the Vibsist 500 source. However both of the

  19. On the Intentionality of Cultural Products: Representations of Black History As Psychological Affordances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salter, Phia S; Adams, Glenn

    2016-01-01

    A cultural-psychological analysis emphasizes the intentionality of everyday worlds: the idea that material products not only bear psychological traces of culturally constituted beliefs and desires, but also subsequently afford and promote culturally consistent understandings and actions. We applied this conceptual framework of mutual constitution in a research project using quantitative and qualitative approaches to understand the dynamic resonance between sociocultural variance in Black History Month (BHM) representations and the reproduction of racial inequality in the U.S. In studies 1 and 2, we considered whether mainstream BHM artifacts reflect the preferences and understandings of White Americans (i.e., psychological constitution of cultural worlds). Consistent with the psychological constitution hypothesis, White American participants reported more positive affect, better recognition, and greater liking for BHM representations from the schools where White Americans were the majority than BHM representations from the schools where Black students and other students of color were the majority. Moreover, as an indication of the identity relevance of BHM representations, White identification was more positively associated with judgments of positive affect and preference in response to BHM representations from White schools than BHM representations from the schools where Black students were in the majority. In studies 3 and 4, we considered whether BHM representations from different settings differentially afford support or opposition to anti-racism policies (i.e., cultural constitution of psychological experience). In support of the cultural constitution hypothesis, BHM representations typical of schools where Black students were in the majority were more effective at promoting support for anti-racism policies compared to BHM representations typical of predominately White schools and a control condition. This effect was mediated by the effect of (different) BHM

  20. On the Intentionality of Cultural Products: Representations of Black History As Psychological Affordances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salter, Phia S.; Adams, Glenn

    2016-01-01

    A cultural-psychological analysis emphasizes the intentionality of everyday worlds: the idea that material products not only bear psychological traces of culturally constituted beliefs and desires, but also subsequently afford and promote culturally consistent understandings and actions. We applied this conceptual framework of mutual constitution in a research project using quantitative and qualitative approaches to understand the dynamic resonance between sociocultural variance in Black History Month (BHM) representations and the reproduction of racial inequality in the U.S. In studies 1 and 2, we considered whether mainstream BHM artifacts reflect the preferences and understandings of White Americans (i.e., psychological constitution of cultural worlds). Consistent with the psychological constitution hypothesis, White American participants reported more positive affect, better recognition, and greater liking for BHM representations from the schools where White Americans were the majority than BHM representations from the schools where Black students and other students of color were the majority. Moreover, as an indication of the identity relevance of BHM representations, White identification was more positively associated with judgments of positive affect and preference in response to BHM representations from White schools than BHM representations from the schools where Black students were in the majority. In studies 3 and 4, we considered whether BHM representations from different settings differentially afford support or opposition to anti-racism policies (i.e., cultural constitution of psychological experience). In support of the cultural constitution hypothesis, BHM representations typical of schools where Black students were in the majority were more effective at promoting support for anti-racism policies compared to BHM representations typical of predominately White schools and a control condition. This effect was mediated by the effect of (different) BHM

  1. Vaccine protection against Zika virus from Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larocca, Rafael A; Abbink, Peter; Peron, Jean Pierre S; Zanotto, Paolo M de A; Iampietro, M Justin; Badamchi-Zadeh, Alexander; Boyd, Michael; Ng'ang'a, David; Kirilova, Marinela; Nityanandam, Ramya; Mercado, Noe B; Li, Zhenfeng; Moseley, Edward T; Bricault, Christine A; Borducchi, Erica N; Giglio, Patricia B; Jetton, David; Neubauer, George; Nkolola, Joseph P; Maxfield, Lori F; De La Barrera, Rafael A; Jarman, Richard G; Eckels, Kenneth H; Michael, Nelson L; Thomas, Stephen J; Barouch, Dan H

    2016-08-25

    Zika virus (ZIKV) is a flavivirus that is responsible for the current epidemic in Brazil and the Americas. ZIKV has been causally associated with fetal microcephaly, intrauterine growth restriction, and other birth defects in both humans and mice. The rapid development of a safe and effective ZIKV vaccine is a global health priority, but very little is currently known about ZIKV immunology and mechanisms of immune protection. Here we show that a single immunization with a plasmid DNA vaccine or a purified inactivated virus vaccine provides complete protection in susceptible mice against challenge with a strain of ZIKV involved in the outbreak in northeast Brazil. This ZIKV strain has recently been shown to cross the placenta and to induce fetal microcephaly and other congenital malformations in mice. We produced DNA vaccines expressing ZIKV pre-membrane and envelope (prM-Env), as well as a series of deletion mutants. The prM-Env DNA vaccine, but not the deletion mutants, afforded complete protection against ZIKV, as measured by absence of detectable viraemia following challenge, and protective efficacy correlated with Env-specific antibody titers. Adoptive transfer of purified IgG from vaccinated mice conferred passive protection, and depletion of CD4 and CD8 T lymphocytes in vaccinated mice did not abrogate this protection. These data demonstrate that protection against ZIKV challenge can be achieved by single-shot subunit and inactivated virus vaccines in mice and that Env-specific antibody titers represent key immunologic correlates of protection. Our findings suggest that the development of a ZIKV vaccine for humans is likely to be achievable. PMID:27355570

  2. Expanding Access to a New, More Affordable Levonorgestrel Intrauterine System in Kenya: Service Delivery Costs Compared With Other Contraceptive Methods and Perspectives of Key Opinion Leaders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rademacher, Kate H; Solomon, Marsden; Brett, Tracey; Bratt, John H; Pascual, Claire; Njunguru, Jesse; Steiner, Markus J

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Background: The levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG IUS) is one of the most effective forms of contraception and offers important non-contraceptive health benefits. However, it is not widely available in developing countries, largely due to the high price of existing products. Medicines360 plans to introduce its new, more affordable LNG IUS in Kenya. The public‐sector transfer price will vary by volume between US$12 to US$16 per unit; for an order of 100,000 units, the public-sector transfer price will be approximately US$15 per unit. Methods: We calculated the direct service delivery cost per couple-years of protection (CYP) of various family planning methods. The model includes the costs of contraceptive commodities, consumable supplies, instruments per client visit, and direct labor for counseling, insertion, removal, and resupply, if required. The model does not include costs of demand creation or training. We conducted interviews with key opinion leaders in Kenya to identify considerations for scale-up of a new LNG IUS, including strategies to overcome barriers that have contributed to low uptake of the copper intrauterine device. Results: The direct service delivery cost of Medicines360’s LNG IUS per CYP compares favorably with other contraceptive methods commonly procured for public-sector distribution in Kenya. The cost is slightly lower than that of the 3-month contraceptive injectable, which is currently the most popular method in Kenya. Almost all key opinion leaders agreed that introducing a more affordable LNG IUS could increase demand and uptake of the method. They thought that women seeking the product’s non-contraceptive health benefits would be a key market segment, and most agreed that the reduced menstrual bleeding associated with the method would likely be viewed as an advantage. The key opinion leaders indicated that myths and misconceptions among providers and clients about IUDs must be addressed, and that demand creation

  3. Implementing the Affordable Care Act: choosing an essential health benefits benchmark plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corlette, Sabrina; Lucia, Kevin W; Levin, Max

    2013-03-01

    To improve the adequacy of private health insurance, the Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover a minimum set of medical benefits, known as "essential health benefits." In implementing this requirement, states were asked to select a "benchmark plan" to serve as a reference point. This issue brief examines state action to select an essential health benefits benchmark plan and finds that 24 states and the District of Columbia selected a plan. All but five states will have a small-group plan as their benchmark. Each state, whether or not it made a benchmark selection, will have a set of essential health benefits that reflects local, employer-based health insurance coverage currently sold in the state. States adopted a variety of approaches to selecting a benchmark, including intergov­ernmental collaboration, stakeholder engagement, and research on benchmark options. PMID:23547335

  4. Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology Satellite (FASTSAT) Huntsville-01 (HSV-01) Spacecraft Lessons Learned Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Timothy A.

    2012-01-01

    The Fast Affordable Science and Technology Satellite (FASTSAT) project is a path finding effort to produce reliable satellite busses for different applications at an unprecedented speed and low cost. The project is designed to be a generational project and the first satellite produced is the Huntsville -01 (HSV-01) spacecraft. The subject of this report is the lessons learned gained during the development, testing, and up to the delivery of the FASTSAT HSV -01 spacecraft. The purpose of this report is to capture the major findings that will greatly benefit the future FASTSAT satellites and perhaps other projects interested in pushing the boundaries for cost and schedule. The FASTSAT HSV -01 primary objectives, success criteria, and team partners are summarized to give a frame of reference to the lessons learned.

  5. Affordable thermal imaging systems for the UK light-armored vehicle fleet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, Ian

    2003-01-01

    This paper describes the background to the planned upgrade of the UK Light Armoured Vehicle fleet, focussing specifically on the introduction of Thermal Imaging and Tactical Navigation systems which meet the requirement to conduct 24 hour operations and enhance the situational awareness of the crew. The main bulk of the paper will concentrate on the Battle Group Thermal Imaging (BGTI) system(s) selected by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to be installed on the Warrior Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle (AIFV) and Scimitar Close Recce vehicle. In particular the paper will describe the Gunners Sight, the integrated Commanders Crew Station, the Tactical Navigation sub-system and the interfacing of the Thales Optronics BGTI system to the General Dynamics Bowman Radio and Battlefield Management System (BMS). Throughout the paper, the Author will make reference to the need to offer affordable solutions that ensure the total cost to the UK MoD is kept within their budget.

  6. The Spectacular Suburb: Creativity and affordance in Contemporary Electronic Music and Sound Art

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Strachan

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This article examines the relationship between sound, creative practice and the representation of landscape and environment. It uses an analysis of a single sound art/electronic music event, the Spectacular Suburb, a collaboration between sound recordist Chris Watson and the electronic producer/musician Matthew Herbert, as a central case study. Drawing upon interview material and the author’s own experiences as a curator of the event the article explores how individual sound objects are utilized subject to differing creative strategies. The article proposes a theoretical model of creativity influenced by ecological approaches to human perception. In particular, it suggests that for electronic musicians and sound artists creativity takes place according to complex affordance structures characterized by the relationship between the physical properties of sound, a highly nuanced set of socially constructed contexts, and specific technological and musical conventions.

  7. When creating new learning spaces, the affordance is a key study aspect

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dau, Susanne

    2013-01-01

    what are the actors prerequisite and explicated understanding of what drives their learning activities in these different spaces? The analysis draws on a conceptual frame of complex affordance of spaces in a socio-cultural perspective, but also the concepts of ba and cyper-ba as spaces for both social...... contribution to sociality, identity, referential embodied experiences as having huge influence on students’ preferences and learning activity. The results are addressed to learning and knowledge development. It´s concluded, that individual as well as social constructed learning make influence, and are...... social-cultural theory, questions are raised as a tool to take into account, when developing new learning spaces in educations....

  8. Achieving Challenge Home in Affordable Housing in the Hot-Humid Climate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beal, D.; McIlvaine, J.; Winter, B.; Allnutt, R.

    2014-08-01

    The Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction (BA-PIRC), one of the Building America research team leads, has partnered with two builders as they work through the Challenge Home certification process in one test home each. The builder partners participating in this cost-shared research are Southeast Volusia County Habitat for Humanity near Daytona, Florida and Manatee County Habitat for Humanity near Tampa, Florida. Both are affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International, a non-profit affordable housing organization. This research serves to identify viable technical pathways to meeting the CH criteria for other builders in the region. A further objective of this research is to identify gaps and barriers in the marketplace related to product availability, labor force capability, code issues, cost effectiveness, and business case issues that hinder or prevent broader adoption on a production scale.

  9. Learners with Dyslexia: Exploring their experiences with different online reading affordances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chwen Jen Chen

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available To date, empirically derived guidelines for designing accessible online learning environments for learners with dyslexia are still scarce. This study aims to explore the learning experience of learners with dyslexia when reading passages using different online reading affordances to derive some guidelines for dyslexia-friendly online text. The study employed a multiple-case qualitative approach and key themes were interpreted based on these learners’ perceived learning, engagement and satisfaction. The study concludes that the use of screen reader for online reading should be optional, adequate control of screen reader should be provided and screen reader is more beneficial when online text is written in a language that the learner is not proficient. Results from this study also provide empirical support of the appropriateness of some existing web accessibility guidelines.

  10. Toward Affordable, Theory-and-Simulation-Inspired, Models for Realistic Wind Turbine Aerodynamics and Noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladeinde, Foluso; Alabi, Ken; Li, Wenhai

    2015-11-01

    The problem of generating design data for the operation of a farm of wind turbines for clean energy production is quite complicated, if properly done. Potential flow theories provide some models, but these are not suitable for the massive aerodynamic separation and turbulence that characterize many realistic wind turbine applications. Procedures, such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD), which can potentially resolve some of the accuracy problems with the purely theoretical approach, are quite expensive to use, and often prohibit real-time design and control. In our work, we seek affordable and acceptably-accurate models derived from the foregoing approaches. The simulation used in our study is based on high-fidelity CFD, meaning that we use high-order (compact-scheme based), mostly large-eddy simulation methods, with due regards for the proper treatment of the stochastic inflow turbulence data. Progress on the project described herein will be presented.

  11. Affordable Virtual Reality System Architecture for Representation of Implicit Object Properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stoyan Maleshkov

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available A flexible, scalable and affordable virtual reality software system architecture is proposed. This solution can be easily implemented on different hardware configurations: on a single computer or on a computer cluster. The architecture is aimed to be integrated in the workflow for solving engineering tasks and oriented towards presenting implicit object properties through multiple sensorial channels (visual, audio and haptic. Implicit properties represent hidden object features (i.e. magnetization, radiation, humidity, toxicity, etc. which cannot be perceived by the observer through his/her senses but require specialized equipment in order to expand the observers sensory ability. Our approach extends the underlying general scene graph structure incorporating additional effects nodes for implicit properties representation.

  12. Achieving Challenge Home in Affordable Housing in the Hot-Humid Climate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beal, D. [Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction, Cocoa, FL (United States); McIlvaine, J. [Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction, Cocoa, FL (United States); Winter, B. [Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction, Cocoa, FL (United States); Allnutt, R. [Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction, Cocoa, FL (United States)

    2014-08-01

    The Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction (BA-PIRC), one of the Building America research team leads, has partnered with two builders as they work through the Challenge Home certification process (now Zero Energy Ready Home) in one test home each. The builder partners participating in this cost-shared research are Southeast Volusia County Habitat for Humanity near Daytona, Florida and Manatee County Habitat for Humanity near Tampa, Florida. Both are affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International, a non-profit affordable housing organization. This research serves to identify viable technical pathways to meeting the CH criteria for other builders in the region. A further objective of this research is to identify gaps and barriers in the marketplace related to product availability, labor force capability, code issues, cost effectiveness, and business case issues that hinder or prevent broader adoption on a production scale.

  13. Implementing the Affordable Care Act: The Promise and Limits of Health Care Reform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberlander, Jonathan

    2016-08-01

    The Obama administration has confronted a formidable array of obstacles in implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA has overcome those obstacles to substantially expand access to health insurance, though significant problems with its approach have emerged. What does the ACA's performance to date tell us about the possibilities and limits of health care reform in the United States? I identify key challenges in ACA implementation-the inherently disruptive nature of reform, partisan polarization, the limits of "near universal" coverage, complexity, and divided public opinion-and analyze how these issues have shaped its evolution. The article concludes by exploring the political and policy challenges that lie ahead for the ACA. PMID:27127261

  14. The CBO's Crystal Ball: How Well Did It Forecast the Effects of the Affordable Care Act?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glied, Sherry; Arora, Anupama; Solís-Román, Claudia

    2015-12-01

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a nonpartisan agency of Congress, made official projections of the Affordable Care Act's impact on insurance coverage rates and the costs of providing subsidies to consumers purchasing health plans in the insurance marketplaces. This analysis finds that the CBO overestimated marketplace enrollment by 30 percent and marketplace costs by 28 percent, while it underestimated Medicaid enrollment by about 14 percent. Nonetheless, the CBO's projections were closer to realized experience than were those of many other prominent forecasters. Moreover, had the CBO correctly anticipated income levels and health care prices in 2014, its estimate of marketplace enrollment would have been within 18 percent of actual experience. Given the likelihood of additional reforms to national health policy in future years, it is reassuring that, despite the many unforeseen factors surrounding the law's rollout and participation in its reforms, the CBO's forecast was reasonably accurate. PMID:26702467

  15. Comparing Individual Health Coverage On and Off the Affordable Care Act's Insurance Exchanges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCue, Michael J; Hall, Mark A

    2015-08-01

    The new health insurance exchanges are the core of the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) reforms, but how the law improves the nonsubsidized portion of the individual market is also important. This issue brief compares products sold on and off the exchanges to gain insight into how the ACA's market reforms are functioning. Initial concerns that insurers might seek to enroll lower-risk customers outside the exchanges have not been realized. Instead, more-generous benefit plans, which appeal to people with health problems, constitute a greater portion of plans sold off-exchange than those sold on-exchange. Although insur­ers that sell mostly on the exchanges incur an additional fee, they still devote a greater portion of their premium dollars to medical care. Their projected admin­istrative costs and profit margins are lower than are those of insurers selling only off the exchanges. PMID:26372970

  16. Patent dispute: Delhi High Court gives a boost to access to affordable medicines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menghaney, Leena

    2010-01-01

    The Delhi High Court has rejected the petition filed by Bayer Corporation seeking to stop the Drugs Controller of India (DCGI) from registering a generic version of a patented cancer drug. The case was filed in 2008 by Bayer to try and introduce "patent linkage" which involves linking the registration (marketing approval) of drugs with their patent status. If Bayer's plea for "patent linkage" had been accepted by the court, it would have undermined public health safeguards contained in India's patent legislation. This comment discusses the Bayer case in the context of efforts by multinational pharmaceutical companies to introduce barriers to generic competition, the only proven means of reducing the prices of medicines to make them affordable to those in need. Bayer has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, indicating that it does not intend to give up. PMID:20432882

  17. Rethinking the Affordable Care Act's "Cadillac tax": A More Equitable Way to Encourage "Chevy" Consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowak, Sarah; Eibner, Christine

    2015-12-01

    The Affordable Care Act's "Cadillac tax" will apply a 40 percent excise tax on total employer health insurance premiums in excess of $10,200 for single coverage and $27,500 for family coverage, starting in 2018. Employer spending on premiums is currently excluded from income and payroll taxes. Economists argue that this encourages overconsumption of health care, favors high-income workers, and reduces federal revenue. This issue brief suggests that the Cadillac tax is a "blunt instrument" for addressing these concerns because it will affect workers on a rolling timetable, does relatively little to address the regressive nature of the current exclusion, and may penalize firms and workers for cost variation that is outside their control. Replacing the current exclusion with tax credits for employer coverage that scale inversely with income might allow for regional adjustments in health care costs and eliminate aspects of the tax exclusion that favor high-income over low-income workers. PMID:26702468

  18. Modelling the affordability and distributional implications of future health care financing options in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntyre, Di; Ataguba, John E

    2012-03-01

    South Africa is considering introducing a universal health care system. A key concern for policy-makers and the general public is whether or not this reform is affordable. Modelling the resource and revenue generation requirements of alternative reform options is critical to inform decision-making. This paper considers three reform scenarios: universal coverage funded by increased allocations to health from general tax and additional dedicated taxes; an alternative reform option of extending private health insurance coverage to all formal sector workers and their dependents with the remainder using tax-funded services; and maintaining the status quo. Each scenario was modelled over a 15-year period using a spreadsheet model. Statistical analyses were also undertaken to evaluate the impact of options on the distribution of health care financing burden and benefits from using health services across socio-economic groups. Universal coverage would result in total health care spending levels equivalent to 8.6% of gross domestic product (GDP), which is comparable to current spending levels. It is lower than the status quo option (9.5% of GDP) and far lower than the option of expanding private insurance cover (over 13% of GDP). However, public funding of health services would have to increase substantially. Despite this, universal coverage would result in the most progressive financing system if the additional public funding requirements are generated through a surcharge on taxable income (but not if VAT is increased). The extended private insurance scheme option would be the least progressive and would impose a very high payment burden; total health care payments on average would be 10.7% of household consumption expenditure compared with the universal coverage (6.7%) and status quo (7.5%) options. The least pro-rich distribution of service benefits would be achieved under universal coverage. Universal coverage is affordable and would promote health system equity, but

  19. Affordable, stable and assured supply of energy for poverty alleviation in Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    For people living in poverty, the most pressing priority is the satisfaction of basic human needs, which includes access to food, shelter, water supply and sanitation and other services that will improve their standard of living, such as health care, education, and better transport. Problems of poverty in all its dimensions can be addressed with the improved provision of energy services and it is significant that most of those without having access to modern energy services live in developing countries; like Pakistan and belong to the segment of the human population that lives in poverty. While assured and adequate energy supplies do not guarantee economic growth and employment generation, their absence typically limits growth. Although low energy consumption is not a cause of poverty, the lack of available energy services correlates closely with many poverty indicators. The link between poverty and energy should not, however, be construed simply in terms of ability of the poor to afford better energy services. Energy services constitute a sizeable share of total household expenditure in Pakistan. People living in poverty often pay a higher price per unit of energy services than do the rich. They also spend more time in obtaining these energy services and rely on resource-scarce and polluting ways of converting energy for services like cooking, drinking water, heating and lighting, all of which have associated health impacts. The production and use of energy have environmental consequences at local, regional and global levels. These impacts extend throughout the fuel cycle of an Energy Chain. Energy plays a substantial role in the everyday lives of humans. Poverty describes a condition of people who are denied the opportunities for sustainable existence. for social uplift of the people of Pakistan at large through affordable, stable, and assured supply of energy keeping in view the environmental constraints. (author)

  20. Landscape and Health: Connecting Psychology, Aesthetics, and Philosophy through the Concept of Affordance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menatti, Laura; Casado da Rocha, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we address a frontier topic in the humanities, namely how the cultural and natural construction that we call landscape affects well-being and health. Following an updated review of evidence-based literature in the fields of medicine, psychology, and architecture, we propose a new theoretical framework called "processual landscape," which is able to explain both the health-landscape and the medical agency-structure binomial pairs. We provide a twofold analysis of landscape, from both the cultural and naturalist points of view: in order to take into account its relationship with health, the definition of landscape as a cultural product needs to be broadened through naturalization, grounding it in the scientific domain. Landscape cannot be distinguished from the ecological environment. For this reason, we naturalize the idea of landscape through the notion of affordance and Gibson's ecological psychology. In doing so, we stress the role of agency in the theory of perception and the health-landscape relationship. Since it is the result of continuous and co-creational interaction between the cultural agent, the biological agent and the affordances offered to the landscape perceiver, the processual landscape is, in our opinion, the most comprehensive framework for explaining the health-landscape relationship. The consequences of our framework are not only theoretical, but ethical also: insofar as health is greatly affected by landscape, this construction represents something more than just part of our heritage or a place to be preserved for the aesthetic pleasure it provides. Rather, we can talk about the right to landscape as something intrinsically linked to the well-being of present and future generations. PMID:27199808

  1. Landscape and health: Connecting psychology, aesthetics and philosophy through the concept of affordance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura eMenatti

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we address a frontier topic in the humanities, namely how the cultural and natural construction that we call landscape affects well-being and health. Following an updated review of evidence-based literature in the fields of medicine, psychology and architecture, we propose a new theoretical framework called processual landscape, which is able to explain both the health-landscape and the medical agency-structure binomial pairs. We provide a two-fold analysis of landscape, from both the cultural and naturalist points of view: in order to take into account its relationship with health, the definition of landscape as a cultural product needs to be broadened through naturalization, grounding it in the scientific domain. Landscape cannot be distinguished from the ecological environment. For this reason, we naturalize the idea of landscape through the notion of affordance and Gibson’s ecological psychology. In doing so, we stress the role of agency in the theory of perception and the health-landscape relationship. Since it is the result of continuous and co-creational interaction between the cultural agent, the biological agent and the affordances offered to the landscape perceiver, the processual landscape is, in our opinion, the most comprehensive framework for explaining the health-landscape relationship. The consequences of our framework are not only theoretical, but ethical also: insofar as health is greatly affected by landscape, this construction represents something more than just part of our heritage or a place to be preserved for the aesthetic pleasure it provides. Rather, we can talk about the right to landscape as something intrinsically linked to the well-being of present and future generations.

  2. Landscape and Health: Connecting Psychology, Aesthetics, and Philosophy through the Concept of Affordance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menatti, Laura; Casado da Rocha, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we address a frontier topic in the humanities, namely how the cultural and natural construction that we call landscape affects well-being and health. Following an updated review of evidence-based literature in the fields of medicine, psychology, and architecture, we propose a new theoretical framework called “processual landscape,” which is able to explain both the health-landscape and the medical agency-structure binomial pairs. We provide a twofold analysis of landscape, from both the cultural and naturalist points of view: in order to take into account its relationship with health, the definition of landscape as a cultural product needs to be broadened through naturalization, grounding it in the scientific domain. Landscape cannot be distinguished from the ecological environment. For this reason, we naturalize the idea of landscape through the notion of affordance and Gibson’s ecological psychology. In doing so, we stress the role of agency in the theory of perception and the health-landscape relationship. Since it is the result of continuous and co-creational interaction between the cultural agent, the biological agent and the affordances offered to the landscape perceiver, the processual landscape is, in our opinion, the most comprehensive framework for explaining the health-landscape relationship. The consequences of our framework are not only theoretical, but ethical also: insofar as health is greatly affected by landscape, this construction represents something more than just part of our heritage or a place to be preserved for the aesthetic pleasure it provides. Rather, we can talk about the right to landscape as something intrinsically linked to the well-being of present and future generations. PMID:27199808

  3. Democratizing Higher Education: Exploring MOOC Use Among Those Who Cannot Afford a Formal Education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tawanna Dillahunt1, 1, 2 and 1

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Massive open online courses (“MOOCs” provide free access to higher education for anyone with Internet access. MOOCs are considered a means for democratizing education. These courses will hopefully provide an opportunity for individuals to learn from the best educators in the world, as well as help expand their personal networks, and facilitate their career development. However, research thus far shows that the majority of people taking advantage of these courses are already employed, have post-secondary degrees, and have encountered few barriers related to the affordability of higher education. Little is known about MOOC learners with financial constraints and who do not fit the typical profile of MOOC learners. This paper presents the results of the analysis of data from six Coursera courses offered by the University of Michigan from fall 2012 through winter 2013. In this analysis learners who self-identified as being unable to afford to pursue a formal education (the target group were contrasted to other learners (the comparison group in terms of demographics, motivations, course enrollment, engagement and performance. Learners in the target group were primarily male and over 25 years old. A statistically significant portion of the target group held less than a 4-year college degree than the comparison group. Target learners were also significantly underrepresented in the enrollment of the courses examined here. Although the comparison group had a significantly higher completion rate overall than the target group, the target group had a statistically significant higher rate of completing courses with certificates of distinction. This article provides a discussion of these results and suggests how MOOCs could be adapted to better address the needs of learners who feel financially unable to pursue a more traditional path to a post-secondary education.

  4. Affordable Development and Demonstration of a Small NTR Engine and Stage: How Small is Big Enough?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, S. K.; Sefcik, R. J.; Fittje, J. E.; McCurdy, D. R.; Qualls, A. L.; Schnitzler, B. G.; Werner, J.; Weitzberg, A.; Joyner, C. R.

    2015-01-01

    In FY11, NASA formulated a plan for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) development that included Foundational Technology Development followed by system-level Technology Demonstrations The ongoing NTP project, funded by NASAs Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) program, is focused on Foundational Technology Development and includes 5 key task activities:(1) Fuel element fabrication and non-nuclear validation testing of heritage fuel options;(2) Engine conceptual design;(3) Mission analysis and engine requirements definition;(4) Identification of affordable options for ground testing; and(5) Formulation of an affordable and sustainable NTP development program Performance parameters for Point of Departure designs for a small criticality-limited and full size 25 klbf-class engine were developed during FYs 13-14 using heritage fuel element designs for both RoverNERVA Graphite Composite (GC) and Ceramic Metal (Cermet) fuel forms To focus the fuel development effort and maximize use of its resources, the AES program decided, in FY14, that a leader-follower down selection between GC and cermet fuel was required An Independent Review Panel (IRP) was convened by NASA and tasked with reviewing the available fuel data and making a recommendation to NASA. In February 2015, the IRP recommended and the AES program endorsed GC as the leader fuel In FY14, a preliminary development schedule DDTE plan was produced by GRC, DOE industry for the AES program. Assumptions, considerations and key task activities are presented here Two small (7.5 and 16.5 klbf) engine sizes were considered for ground and flight technology demonstration within a 10-year timeframe; their ability to support future human exploration missions was also examined and a recommendation on a preferred size is provided.

  5. A live attenuated Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium vaccine provides cross-protection against Salmonella serovars to reduce disease severity and pathogen transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    A live attenuated Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium vaccine was developed to confer broad protection against multiple Salmonella serovars to prevent disease and reduce pathogen colonization and shedding. Two vaccine trials were performed in swine to determine the protection afforded by the vac...

  6. On the protection of "protected areas".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joppa, Lucas N; Loarie, Scott R; Pimm, Stuart L

    2008-05-01

    Tropical moist forests contain the majority of terrestrial species. Human actions destroy between 1 and 2 million km(2) of such forests per decade, with concomitant carbon release into the atmosphere. Within these forests, protected areas are the principle defense against forest loss and species extinctions. Four regions-the Amazon, Congo, South American Atlantic Coast, and West Africa-once constituted about half the world's tropical moist forest. We measure forest cover at progressively larger distances inside and outside of protected areas within these four regions, using datasets on protected areas and land-cover. We find important geographical differences. In the Amazon and Congo, protected areas are generally large and retain high levels of forest cover, as do their surroundings. These areas are protected de facto by being inaccessible and will likely remain protected if they continue to be so. Deciding whether they are also protected de jure-that is, whether effective laws also protect them-is statistically difficult, for there are few controls. In contrast, protected areas in the Atlantic Coast forest and West Africa show sharp boundaries in forest cover at their edges. This effective protection of forest cover is partially offset by their very small size: little area is deep inside protected area boundaries. Lands outside protected areas in the Atlantic Coast forest are unusually fragmented. Finally, we ask whether global databases on protected areas are biased toward highly protected areas and ignore "paper parks." Analysis of a Brazilian database does not support this presumption. PMID:18451028

  7. Labour mobility and housing: the impact of housing tenure and housing affordability on labour migration in the Czech Republic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lux, Martin; Sunega, Petr

    2012-01-01

    This article examines whether housing tenure and regional differences in housing affordability have an impact on labour mobility. This relationship is important for understanding the sources of structural unemployment and impediments to economic growth. Using two sample surveys from the Czech Republic, this research reveals that at the individual level housing tenure is the most powerful factor determining willingness to change residence for employment reasons. A time-series regression analysis reveals that the impact of housing affordability on observed interregional migration patterns is relatively weak and that this effect is concentrated among the highly educated seeking employment in the capital, Prague. These results demonstrate that housing tenure has a significant impact on labour migration plans in case of unemployment and that the dynamic impact of regional differences in housing affordability on labour mobility is concentrated within the most highly skilled segment of the labour force. PMID:22500343

  8. Determinants of accessibility and affordability of health care in post-socialist Tajikistan: evidence and policy options.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, L; Habibov, N N

    2009-01-01

    There is increasing evidence of rising levels of inequality in health care utilisation in the post-socialist countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. Against this backdrop, we investigate the determinants of accessibility and affordability of health care utilisation in Tajikistan. A modified version of the Andersen Behavioural Model is used to conceptualise the determinants of health care utilisation in Tajikistan. Poisson and Ordered Logit regression models are performed to estimate the determinants of health care utilisation. Empirical results demonstrate that poverty, chronic illness and disability are the most important determinants of health care utilisation and affordability in Tajikistan. Other significant determinants include gender, the level of education of the household head, and the availability of medical personnel at a given population point. These findings suggest an urgent need for health care reform in order to ensure equality in accessibility and affordability for the entire population. PMID:19326278

  9. Can you handle this? The impact of object affordances on how co-speech gestures are produced

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masson-Carro, Ingrid; Goudbeek, Martijn; Krahmer, Emiel

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Hand gestures are tightly coupled with speech and with action. Hence, recent accounts have emphasised the idea that simulations of spatio-motoric imagery underlie the production of co-speech gestures. In this study, we suggest that action simulations directly influence the iconic strategies used by speakers to translate aspects of their mental representations into gesture. Using a classic referential paradigm, we investigate how speakers respond gesturally to the affordances of objects, by comparing the effects of describing objects that afford action performance (such as tools) and those that do not, on gesture production. Our results suggest that affordances play a key role in determining the amount of representational (but not non-representational) gestures produced by speakers, and the techniques chosen to depict such objects. To our knowledge, this is the first study to systematically show a connection between object characteristics and representation techniques in spontaneous gesture production during the depiction of static referents. PMID:27226970

  10. Prevention under the Affordable Care Act (ACA: Has the ACA Overpromised and under Delivered?; Comment on “Interrelation of Preventive Care Benefits and Shared Costs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol Molinari

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available This policy brief discusses preventive care benefits and cost-sharing included in health insurance provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA legislation and highlights some consequences to Americans and the country in terms of healthcare costs and value.

  11. Sampling designs matching species biology produce accurate and affordable abundance indices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grant Harris

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Wildlife biologists often use grid-based designs to sample animals and generate abundance estimates. Although sampling in grids is theoretically sound, in application, the method can be logistically difficult and expensive when sampling elusive species inhabiting extensive areas. These factors make it challenging to sample animals and meet the statistical assumption of all individuals having an equal probability of capture. Violating this assumption biases results. Does an alternative exist? Perhaps by sampling only where resources attract animals (i.e., targeted sampling, it would provide accurate abundance estimates more efficiently and affordably. However, biases from this approach would also arise if individuals have an unequal probability of capture, especially if some failed to visit the sampling area. Since most biological programs are resource limited, and acquiring abundance data drives many conservation and management applications, it becomes imperative to identify economical and informative sampling designs. Therefore, we evaluated abundance estimates generated from grid and targeted sampling designs using simulations based on geographic positioning system (GPS data from 42 Alaskan brown bears (Ursus arctos. Migratory salmon drew brown bears from the wider landscape, concentrating them at anadromous streams. This provided a scenario for testing the targeted approach. Grid and targeted sampling varied by trap amount, location (traps placed randomly, systematically or by expert opinion, and traps stationary or moved between capture sessions. We began by identifying when to sample, and if bears had equal probability of capture. We compared abundance estimates against seven criteria: bias, precision, accuracy, effort, plus encounter rates, and probabilities of capture and recapture. One grid (49 km2 cells and one targeted configuration provided the most accurate results. Both placed traps by expert opinion and moved traps between capture

  12. Local Bamboo and Earth Construction Potential for Provision of Affordable Structures in Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    OJI ACHUKA NWOKE

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available In Nigeria and other developing countries where reinforced concrete in construction is widely used, the high and steadily increasing cost of steel has made construction very expensive. This, coupled with the political will, usually christened “Nigerian Factor” has made any conceived affordable mass housing program by successive governments a mirage. This development has triggered off the search for alternative and suitable replacement for steel reinforcement in concrete works. This search for a cheaper alternative has led to the exploration of abundant, naturally occurring materials such as bamboo, coconut fibres, sisal and oil palm fibres  which can be obtained locally at low cost and low levels of energy using local manpower and technology. The use of these locally available materials as substitute for the conventional materials in reinforced concrete elements can cut construction costs by as much as between 30% and 80%. Interest in these local materials is heightened by the facts that not only are they considered cheap; they are also “eco-friendly”. Also, the rising level of pollution in the construction industry has called for the adoption of “Eco-structures”, which are constructions that are in harmony with the surroundings and do not violate the environment neither through the chosen building materials nor through the construction methods. Several studies  have shown that contemporary  earth construction has the potentials to address the urban housing crisis in the developing countries. On the other hand there is a wrong perception among the users and the professionals that, ‘earth houses are only used by the poor people’. This paper investigates the information available on bamboo and earth material and their possible use as a low cost sustainable building material in Nigeria  in the light of problem of affordable structure. The findings of  this paper shows that more research has to be done to come up with reasonable

  13. Measuring access to medicines: a survey of prices, availability and affordability in Shaanxi province of China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minghuan Jiang

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To measure the prices and availability of selected medicines in Shaanxi Province after the implementation of new healthcare reform in 2009. METHODS: Data on the prices and availability of 47 medicines were collected from 50 public and 36 private sector medicine outlets in six regions of Shaanxi Province, Western China using a standardized methodology developed by the World Health Organization and Health Action International from September to October 2010. Medicine prices were compared with international reference prices to obtain a median price ratio. Affordability was measured as the number of days' wages required for the lowest-paid unskilled government worker to purchase standard treatments for common conditions. FINDINGS: The mean availabilities of originator brands and lowest-priced generics were 8.9% and 26.5% in the public sector, and 18.1% and 43.6% in the private sector, respectively. The public sector procured generics and originator brands at median price ratios of 0.75 and 8.49, respectively, while patients paid 0.97 and 10.16. Final patient prices for lowest-priced generics and originator brands in the private sector were about 1.53 and 8.36 times their international retail prices, respectively. Public sector vendors applied high markups of 30.4% to generics, and 19.6% to originator brands. In the private sector, originator brands cost 390.7% more, on average, than their generic equivalents. Generic medicines were priced 17.3% higher in the private sector than the public sector. The lowest-paid government worker would need 0.1 day's wages to purchase captopril for lowest-priced generics from private sector, while 6.6 days' wages for losartan. For originator brands, the costs rise to 1.2 days' wages for salbutamol inhaler and 15.6 days' wages for omeprazole. CONCLUSIONS: The prices, availability and affordability of medicines in China should be improved to ensure equitable access to basic medical treatments, especially for

  14. Sampling designs matching species biology produce accurate and affordable abundance indices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farley, Sean; Russell, Gareth J.; Butler, Matthew J.; Selinger, Jeff

    2013-01-01

    Wildlife biologists often use grid-based designs to sample animals and generate abundance estimates. Although sampling in grids is theoretically sound, in application, the method can be logistically difficult and expensive when sampling elusive species inhabiting extensive areas. These factors make it challenging to sample animals and meet the statistical assumption of all individuals having an equal probability of capture. Violating this assumption biases results. Does an alternative exist? Perhaps by sampling only where resources attract animals (i.e., targeted sampling), it would provide accurate abundance estimates more efficiently and affordably. However, biases from this approach would also arise if individuals have an unequal probability of capture, especially if some failed to visit the sampling area. Since most biological programs are resource limited, and acquiring abundance data drives many conservation and management applications, it becomes imperative to identify economical and informative sampling designs. Therefore, we evaluated abundance estimates generated from grid and targeted sampling designs using simulations based on geographic positioning system (GPS) data from 42 Alaskan brown bears (Ursus arctos). Migratory salmon drew brown bears from the wider landscape, concentrating them at anadromous streams. This provided a scenario for testing the targeted approach. Grid and targeted sampling varied by trap amount, location (traps placed randomly, systematically or by expert opinion), and traps stationary or moved between capture sessions. We began by identifying when to sample, and if bears had equal probability of capture. We compared abundance estimates against seven criteria: bias, precision, accuracy, effort, plus encounter rates, and probabilities of capture and recapture. One grid (49 km2 cells) and one targeted configuration provided the most accurate results. Both placed traps by expert opinion and moved traps between capture sessions, which

  15. Quantifying the Impoverishing Effects of Purchasing Medicines: A Cross-Country Comparison of the Affordability of Medicines in the Developing World

    OpenAIRE

    Laurens M Niëns; Alexandra Cameron; Ellen Van de Poel; Margaret Ewen; Werner B.F. Brouwer; Richard Laing

    2010-01-01

    Editors' Summary Background In recent years, the international community has prioritized access to essential medicines, which has required focusing on the accessibility, availability, quality, and affordability of life-saving medicines and the development of appropriate data and research agendas to measure these components. Determining the degree of affordability of medicines, especially in low- and middle-income countries, is a complex process as the term affordability is vague. However, the...

  16. Designing a Situational Awareness Information Display: Adopting an Affordance-Based Framework to Amplify User Experience in Environmental Interaction Design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yingjie Victor Chen

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available User experience remains a crucial consideration when assessing the successfulness of information visualization systems. The theory of affordances provides a robust framework for user experience design. In this article, we demonstrate a design case that employs an affordance-based framework and evaluate the information visualization display design. SolarWheels is an interactive information visualization designed for large display walls in computer network control rooms to help cybersecurity analysts become aware of network status and emerging issues. Given the critical nature of this context, the status and performance of a computer network must be precisely monitored and remedied in real time. In this study, we consider various aspects of affordances in order to amplify the user experience via visualization and interaction design. SolarWheels visualizes the multilayer multidimensional computer network issues with a series of integrated circular visualizations inspired by the metaphor of the solar system. To amplify user interaction and experience, the system provides a three-zone physical interaction that allows multiple users to interact with the system. Users can read details at different levels depending on their distance from the display. An expert evaluation study, based on a four-layer affordance framework, was conducted to assess and improve the interactive visualization design.

  17. 24 CFR 1000.156 - Is affordable housing developed, acquired, or assisted under the IHBG program subject to...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ..., acquired, or assisted under the IHBG program subject to limitations on cost or design standards? 1000.156... developed, acquired, or assisted under the IHBG program subject to limitations on cost or design standards... determination of moderate design applies to all housing assisted under an affordable housing activity,...

  18. Expanding Access to Housing Finance : Task 1. Business and Sustainability Plan for Affordable Housing Finance Pilot Projects

    OpenAIRE

    Merrill, Sally; Kayiira, Duncan; Kalema, William

    2009-01-01

    The objective of the First Initiative Project in Uganda is to expand the access of households to housing finance, especially modest and lower income households, by introducing new and innovative housing loan products, by introducing innovative loan products combined with affordable housing designs. The project has delivered two studies to the Bank of Uganda: i) a study addressing the finan...

  19. The Affordance of Blogging on Establishing Communities of Practice in a Pre-Service Elementary Teacher Education Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justice, Julie; Anderson, Janice; Nichols, Kathleen; Gorham, Jennifer Jones; Wall, Steve; Boyd, Ashley; Altheiser, Leah

    2013-01-01

    This study examines the affordances of blogging on establishing communities of practice within an elementary teacher education program. Building upon the previous work with in-service teachers of Luehmann (2008), we examined pre-service teacher participation in an online community of practice where pre-service teachers, over the course of their…

  20. The Role of Affordances in Children's Learning Performance and Efficiency When Using Virtual Manipulative Mathematics Touch-Screen Apps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyer-Packenham, Patricia S.; Bullock, Emma K.; Shumway, Jessica F.; Tucker, Stephen I.; Watts, Christina M.; Westenskow, Arla; Anderson-Pence, Katie L.; Maahs-Fladung, Cathy; Boyer-Thurgood, Jennifer; Gulkilik, Hilal; Jordan, Kerry

    2016-01-01

    This paper focuses on understanding the role that affordances played in children's learning performance and efficiency during clinical interviews of their interactions with mathematics apps on touch-screen devices. One hundred children, ages 3 to 8, each used six different virtual manipulative mathematics apps during 30-40-min interviews. The…

  1. Affordance of Participation Rights for Children in Home-Based Education and Care: An Interactive Process Model of Participation--2007

    Science.gov (United States)

    Layland, Judy

    2010-01-01

    Recent models relating to the affordance of children's participation rights, based on articles 12 and 13 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights Of the Child (1989), have focused on the role of and strategies used by the adults working with children ("Children and Society" 10, 2001: 107-117; "Children and Society" 20, 2006: 209-222). Whilst…

  2. Enhancing Student Engagement through the Affordances of Mobile Technology: A 21st Century Learning Perspective on Realistic Mathematics Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bray, Aibhín; Tangney, Brendan

    2016-01-01

    Several recent curriculum reforms aim to address the shortfalls traditionally associated with mathematics education through increased emphasis on higher-order-thinking and collaborative skills. Some stakeholders, such as the US National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the UK Joint Mathematical Council, advocate harnessing the affordances of…

  3. Language and Content "Integration": The Affordances of Additional Languages as a Tool within a Single Curriculum Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Russell

    2016-01-01

    "Language across the curriculum" has been pivotal in establishing a knowledge base on the role of language for accessing opportunities afforded by the curriculum. Yet, the ubiquity of language "within" all facets of human activity--not least of all the more abstract domains of thinking and relating with others--can easily…

  4. A community for grieving: affordances of social media for support of bereaved parents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segerstad, Ylva Hård Af; Kasperowski, Dick

    2015-04-01

    The purpose of this paper was to study bereaved parents' use of a closed peer grief support community on Facebook and the features of the community that are important to them. The death of a child is an uncomfortable subject in most contemporary societies. This limits the exploration of experiences and possibilities for coping with grief. However, with the introduction of social media, this has changed. Theoretical perspectives on parental grief recognizing the importance of continued relational bonds with the lost child are used, together with the ontological assumption that social media enhance the dissolving of private/public and time/space. This study is based on questionnaire, interviews, and content from the closed peer grief support community, to which the research team has insider access. The community encompasses a diverse range of experiences and stages of grief, independent of the time elapsed since the loss of a child. Bereavement of children of all ages and from all conceivable causes of death is distributed among the members. The results show how the affordances of social media become vital resources for coping with grief in ways not available previously, comprising aspects of the closed nature of the group, shared experiences, time, and accessibility.

  5. CASSAVA (Manihot esculenta crantz: AN AFFORDABLE ENERGY SOURCE IN DAIRY RATIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F.R., ANJOS

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The current paper explores the evidence that exists on the potential use of cassava plant (Manihot esculenta Crantz as an energy source for dairy cattle. Several studies have proven cassava roots, leaves and processing residues to be an important ruminant animal feed resource. Cassava root chip and meal are a potentially good rumen fermentable energy for dairy cows in the tropics. The vegetative parts of cassava are considered to be wastes since human beings grow cassava for its tubers. Feeding trials with cattle have shown cassava hay to have a dry matter intake levels DMI of around 3.2% of BW and a digestibility (71%. The hay also contains tannin-protein complexes that may be a good source of rumen un-degradable protein that will be available to the animal post-ruminally. It has also be shown that supplementing 1-2 kg/head/day of cassava to dairy cattle may go a long way in reducing feeding costs and significantly increasing milk quality and quantity produced. Cassava hay was also noted to be anthelminthic and therapeutic since it contains condensed tannins. Condensed tannins have been proven to reduce gastrointestinal nematodes. Use of cassava as a substitute of maize in dairy rations can significantly lower the feed costs in smallholder dairy farms in cassava producing countries like Mozambique. It was concluded that cassava is potentially an affordable substitute for conventional energy source for small scale dairy farmers.

  6. Perception of Affordance during Short-Term Exposure to Weightlessness in Parabolic Flight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourrelly, Aurore; McIntyre, Joseph; Morio, Cédric; Despretz, Pascal; Luyat, Marion

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the role of the visual eye-height (VEH) in the perception of affordance during short-term exposure to weightlessness. Sixteen participants were tested during parabolic flight (0g) and on the ground (1g). Participants looked at a laptop showing a room in which a doorway-like aperture was presented. They were asked to adjust the opening of the virtual doorway until it was perceived to be just wide enough to pass through (i.e., the critical aperture). We manipulated VEH by raising the level of the floor in the visual room by 25 cm. The results showed effects of VEH and of gravity on the perceived critical aperture. When VEH was reduced (i.e., when the floor was raised), the critical aperture diminished, suggesting that widths relative to the body were perceived to be larger. The critical aperture was also lower in 0g, for a given VEH, suggesting that participants perceived apertures to be wider or themselves to be smaller in weightlessness, as compared to normal gravity. However, weightlessness also had an effect on the subjective level of the eyes projected into the visual scene. Thus, setting the critical aperture as a fixed percentage of the subjective visual eye-height remains a viable hypothesis to explain how human observers judge visual scenes in terms of potential for action or “affordances”. PMID:27097218

  7. Benefits of High-Intensity Intensive Care Unit Physician Staffing under the Affordable Care Act

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sachin Logani

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama, with its value-based purchasing program, is designed to link payment to quality processes and outcomes. Treatment of critically ill patients represents nearly 1% of the gross domestic product and 25% of a typical hospital budget. Data suggest that high-intensity staffing patterns in the intensive care unit (ICU are associated with cost savings and improved outcomes. We evaluate the literature investigating the cost-effectiveness and clinical outcomes of high-intensity ICU physician staffing as recommended by The Leapfrog Group (a consortium of companies that purchase health care for their employees and identify ways to overcome barriers to nationwide implementation of these standards. Hospitals that have implemented the Leapfrog initiative have demonstrated reductions in mortality and length of stay and increased cost savings. High-intensity staffing models appear to be an immediate cost-effective way for hospitals to meet the challenges of health care reform.

  8. Piloting the Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria: what will success look like?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamey, Gavin; Schäferhoff, Marco; Montagu, Dominic

    2012-06-01

    The Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria is an innovative financing mechanism, managed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This initiative aims to increase the use of artemisinin-based combination therapies for treating malaria. A pilot is underway in eight countries to determine whether the mechanism reduces the consumer price of these drugs and increases their availability in public and private outlets, their market share and their use. To evaluate the pilot, an analysis was done to estimate predetermined "benchmarks" of success at 1 and 2 years. The analysis used a mixed-methods approach, triangulating data from a literature review with information from 33 interviews with experts. A sensitivity analysis and other methods were used to verify the results. Benchmarks used to determine success include an increase in availability of artemisinin-based combination therapies of 40 percentage points from baseline, and an increase in their use of 10-15 percentage points from baseline at year 2. These benchmarks were based on evidence that national public health programmes aimed at increasing the use of a specific health commodity in developing countries have generally achieved only modest changes in use within a 2-year time frame. Evaluation should also take individual country contexts into account. PMID:22690035

  9. Risk transfer formula for individual and small group markets under the Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pope, Gregory C; Bachofer, Henry; Pearlman, Andrew; Kautter, John; Hunter, Elizabeth; Miller, Daniel; Keenan, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    The Affordable Care Act provides for a program of risk adjustment in the individual and small group health insurance markets in 2014 as Marketplaces are implemented and new market reforms take effect. The purpose of risk adjustment is to lessen or eliminate the influence of risk selection on the premiums that plans charge. The risk adjustment methodology includes the risk adjustment model and the risk transfer formula. This article is the third of three in this issue of the Medicare & Medicaid Research Review that describe the ACA risk adjustment methodology and focuses on the risk transfer formula. In our first companion article, we discussed the key issues and choices in developing the methodology. In our second companion paper, we described the risk adjustment model that is used to calculate risk scores. In this article we present the risk transfer formula. We first describe how the plan risk score is combined with factors for the plan allowable premium rating, actuarial value, induced demand, geographic cost, and the statewide average premium in a formula that calculates transfers among plans. We then show how each plan factor is determined, as well as how the factors relate to each other in the risk transfer formula. The goal of risk transfers is to offset the effects of risk selection on plan costs while preserving premium differences due to factors such as actuarial value differences. Illustrative numerical simulations show the risk transfer formula operating as anticipated in hypothetical scenarios. PMID:25352994

  10. Evaluation of Affordable Prototype Houses at Two Levels of Energy Efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hendron, R.; Barker, G.; Hancock, E.; Reeves, P.

    2006-10-01

    Two high performance prototype houses were built in Carbondale, Colorado, as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Building America (BA) Program. Each prototype was a 1256 ft2 (117 m2), 1-story, 3-bedroom house, and met the local requirements for affordable housing. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) performed short-term field testing and DOE-2.2 simulations in support of this project at the end of December 2004. We also installed long-term monitoring equipment in one of the houses, and are currently tracking the performance of key building systems under occupied conditions. One of the houses (designated H1) included a package of cost-effective energy efficiency features that placed it well above the Energy Star level, targeting a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of 88-89. The other (designated H2) was a BA research house, targeting a HERS score of 94-95, and 45% whole-house energy savings compared to the BA Benchmark. Preliminary results from the field evaluation indicate that the energy savings for both houses will exceed the design targets established for the project, although the performance of certain building systems, including the ventilation and foundation systems, leave some room for improvement.

  11. Bringing Back the Social Affordances of the Paper Memo to Aerospace Systems Engineering Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidoff, Scott; Holloway, Alexandra

    2014-01-01

    Model-based systems engineering (MBSE) is a relatively new field that brings together the interdisciplinary study of technological components of a project (systems engineering) with a model-based ontology to express the hierarchical and behavioral relationships between the components (computational modeling). Despite the compelling promises of the benefits of MBSE, such as improved communication and productivity due to an underlying language and data model, we observed hesitation to its adoption at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. To investigate, we conducted a six-month ethnographic field investigation and needs validation with 19 systems engineers. This paper contributes our observations of a generational shift in one of JPL's core technologies. We report on a cultural misunderstanding between communities of practice that bolsters the existing technology drag. Given the high cost of failure, we springboard our observations into a design hypothesis - an intervention that blends the social affordances of the narrative-based work flow with the rich technological advantages of explicit data references and relationships of the model-based approach. We provide a design rationale, and the results of our evaluation.

  12. Humanoid infers Archimedes' principle: understanding physical relations and object affordances through cumulative learning experiences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhat, Ajaz Ahmad; Mohan, Vishwanathan; Sandini, Giulio; Morasso, Pietro

    2016-07-01

    Emerging studies indicate that several species such as corvids, apes and children solve 'The Crow and the Pitcher' task (from Aesop's Fables) in diverse conditions. Hidden beneath this fascinating paradigm is a fundamental question: by cumulatively interacting with different objects, how can an agent abstract the underlying cause-effect relations to predict and creatively exploit potential affordances of novel objects in the context of sought goals? Re-enacting this Aesop's Fable task on a humanoid within an open-ended 'learning-prediction-abstraction' loop, we address this problem and (i) present a brain-guided neural framework that emulates rapid one-shot encoding of ongoing experiences into a long-term memory and (ii) propose four task-agnostic learning rules (elimination, growth, uncertainty and status quo) that correlate predictions from remembered past experiences with the unfolding present situation to gradually abstract the underlying causal relations. Driven by the proposed architecture, the ensuing robot behaviours illustrated causal learning and anticipation similar to natural agents. Results further demonstrate that by cumulatively interacting with few objects, the predictions of the robot in case of novel objects converge close to the physical law, i.e. the Archimedes principle: this being independent of both the objects explored during learning and the order of their cumulative exploration. PMID:27466440

  13. New Policies to Facilitate Affordable Housing in Central and Eastern Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Amann

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Affordable housing construction is a lagging sector in most of the CEE countries. Recent increases in housing production have mainly served the top end of the market. In some countries, policy schemes for public housing have been established. However, actual construction of housing for moderate-income households has yet to take place. Wolfgang Amann describes the approach of the Austria-based IIBW – Institute for Real Estate, Construction and Housing aimed at rectifying this unsatisfactory situation. The framework for a Public-Private Partnership (PPP model in housing will be established, with two parallel strategies. First, a legal framework will be established to allow for a new business model of PPP housing. Second, financing tools will be implemented, similar to structured financing, implementing the different layers of sources. This approach refers to lessons learned in many Western European countries, e.g., the Netherlands and Austria, where a Third Sector in housing contributes substantially to good housing provision for large parts of the population. IIBW is currently implementing this new approach in several CEE countries, including Romania, Montenegro and Albania. 

  14. The Affordable Care Act and Cancer Stage at Diagnosis Among Young Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Xuesong; Zang Xiong, Ka; Kramer, Michael R; Jemal, Ahmedin

    2016-09-01

    The Affordable Care Act-dependent coverage expansion provision implemented in 2010 allows young adults to be covered under their parents' health insurance until age 26 years, and millions of young adults have gained insurance as a result. The impact of this policy on cancer patients has yet to be determined. Using 2007 to 2012 data from 18 registries of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, comparing cancer patients age 19 to 25 years to a control group of patients age 26 to 34 years who were not affected by the provision, we observed a 2.0 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.7 to 3.4) percentage point decrease in uninsured rate and a 2.7 (95% CI = 0.6 to 4.8) percentage point increase in diagnosis at stage I disease for patients age 19-25 years. Further analyses by specific cancer site revealed that the statistically significant shifts were confined to carcinoma of cervix (21.2, 95% CI = 9.6 to 32.7 percentage points) and osseous and chondromatous neoplasms (14.4, 95% CI = 0.3 to 28.5 percentage points), which are detectable by either screening or clinical manifestation. These early observations suggest the policy has had positive benefits in cancer outcomes. PMID:27140956

  15. Humanoid infers Archimedes' principle: understanding physical relations and object affordances through cumulative learning experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Emerging studies indicate that several species such as corvids, apes and children solve ‘The Crow and the Pitcher’ task (from Aesop's Fables) in diverse conditions. Hidden beneath this fascinating paradigm is a fundamental question: by cumulatively interacting with different objects, how can an agent abstract the underlying cause–effect relations to predict and creatively exploit potential affordances of novel objects in the context of sought goals? Re-enacting this Aesop's Fable task on a humanoid within an open-ended ‘learning–prediction–abstraction’ loop, we address this problem and (i) present a brain-guided neural framework that emulates rapid one-shot encoding of ongoing experiences into a long-term memory and (ii) propose four task-agnostic learning rules (elimination, growth, uncertainty and status quo) that correlate predictions from remembered past experiences with the unfolding present situation to gradually abstract the underlying causal relations. Driven by the proposed architecture, the ensuing robot behaviours illustrated causal learning and anticipation similar to natural agents. Results further demonstrate that by cumulatively interacting with few objects, the predictions of the robot in case of novel objects converge close to the physical law, i.e. the Archimedes principle: this being independent of both the objects explored during learning and the order of their cumulative exploration. PMID:27466440

  16. Affordable Cold Climate Infill Housing with Hybrid Insulation Approach, Wyandotte, Michigan (Fact Sheet)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Metzger, C.; Lukachko, A.; Grin, A.; Bergey, D.

    2013-11-01

    Even builders who are relatively new to energy-efficient construction can consistently reach a target whole house airtightness of 1.5 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals (ACH50) with high R-value enclosures that use a hybrid insulation approach. The City of Wyandotte, Michigan, started a construction program in 2010 to build affordable, energy-efficient homes on lots in existing neighborhoods. A goal of the program was to engage local builders in energy-efficient construction and be able to deliver the new houses for less than $100/ft2. By the end of 2012, approximately 25 new houses were built by five local builders under this program. To help builders consistently achieve the airtightness target, a local architect worked with researchers from Building Science Corporation, a U.S. Department of Energy Building America team, to develop a technology specification with several key pieces. A high R-value wall and roof assembly made use of 2 ?6 advanced framing and a hybrid insulation approach that included insulating sheathing to control thermal bridging and closed cell spray polyurethane foam insulation (ccSPF) for its airtightness and vapor control benefits. This approach allows the air barrier to be completed and tested before any finishing work occurs, ensuring that problems are spotted and corrected early in the construction process.

  17. Building America Case Study: Demonstration House of Cold-Climate Solutions for Affordable Housing, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2016-05-01

    Single family homes in urban areas that are available for renovation by nonprofit developers are often in rough shape (1MM to 2MM nationally). Budgeting has historically focused on improving homes to meet basic housing standards. A rising interest in the long-term impact of homeownership has introduced the need to balance basic needs with home performance. This demonstration project aims to help nonprofit affordable housing developers become familiar with three Building America performance measures, the installation processes, and impacts and benefits of each. A story and a half home in North Minneapolis, MN was presented by Urban Homeworks our local nonprofit partner. The team helped them install three researched upgrade measures: exterior roof insulation or 'overcoat,' exterior foundation insulation, or 'excavationless', and a combined space and water heating HVAC system or 'combi'. To maximize efficiency of application and to address budget issues, the Team worked with Urban Homeworks to identify ways to use volunteers and construction training programs to install the measures. An open invitation to visit the job site was extended to other nonprofit developers and industry partners to encourage dialog about the systems during live installation.

  18. Budget impact and cost-effectiveness: can we afford precision medicine in oncology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doble, Brett

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decade there have been remarkable advancements in the understanding of the molecular underpinnings of malignancy. Methods of testing capable of elucidating patients' molecular profiles are now readily available and there is an increased desire to incorporate the information derived from such tests into treatment selection for cancer patients. This has led to more appropriate application of existing treatments as well as the development of a number of innovative and highly effective treatments or what is known collectively as precision medicine. The impact that precision medicine will have on health outcomes is uncertain, as are the costs it will incur. There is, therefore, a need to develop economic evidence and appropriate methods of evaluation to support its implementation to ensure the resources allocated to these approaches are affordable and offer value for money. The market for precision medicine in oncology continues to rapidly expand, placing an increased pressure on reimbursement decision-makers to consider the value and opportunity cost of funding such approaches to care. The benefits of molecular testing can be complex and difficult to evaluate given currently available economic methods, potentially causing a distorted appreciation of their value. Funding decisions of precision medicine will also have far-reaching implications, requiring the consideration of both patient and public perspectives in decision-making. Recommendations to improve the value proposition of precision medicine are, therefore, provided with the hopes of facilitating a better understanding of its impact on outcomes and the overall health budget. PMID:27426412

  19. Motivation and possibilities of affordable low-frequency radio interferometry in space

    CERN Document Server

    Janhunen, P; Karlsson, R; Griessmeier, J M

    2003-01-01

    The motivation to build spaceborne interferometric arrays for low-frequency radio astronomy is widely recognised because frequencies below the ionospheric cutoff are inaccessible for ground-based radio telescopes. We discuss the theoretical possibilities to use low-frequency spacecraft arrays to detect signals from magnetized extrasolar planets, including earthlike ones. A major uncertainty that prohibits us from knowing if it is possible to detect exoplanet cyclotron maser signals is the incomplete knowledge of the properties of the interstellar plasma. We also present some ideas of how to construct efficient and affordable space-based radio telescopes. We discuss two possibilities, a log-periodic antenna in the spin plane and a two-spacecraft concept where one spacecraft holds a large parabolic wire mesh reflector and the other one contains the receiver. In the latter case, the effective area could be of the order of 1 km$^2$. The purpose of the paper is to stress once more the importance of spaceborne low-...

  20. Disparities of Food Availability and Affordability within Convenience Stores in Bexar County, Texas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Lee Smith

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The American Diabetes Association (ADA recommends healthful food choices; however, some geographic areas are limited in the types of foods they offer. Little is known about the role of convenience stores as viable channels to provide healthier foods in our “grab and go” society. The purposes of this study were to (1 identify foods offered within convenience stores located in two Bexar County, Texas, ZIP Codes and (2 compare the availability and cost of ADA-recommended foods including beverages, produce, grains, and oils/fats. Data were analyzed from 28 convenience store audits performed in two sociodemographically diverse ZIP Codes in Bexar County, Texas. Chi-squared tests were used to compare food availability, and t-tests were used to compare food cost in convenience stores between ZIP Codes. A significantly larger proportion of convenience stores in more affluent areas offered bananas (χ2=4.17, P=0.003, whole grain bread (χ2=8.33, P=0.004, and baked potato chips (χ2=13.68, P<0.001. On average, the price of diet cola (t=−2.12, P=0.044 and certain produce items (e.g., bananas, oranges, tomatoes, broccoli, and cucumber was significantly higher within convenience stores in more affluent areas. Convenience stores can play an important role to positively shape a community’s food environment by stocking healthier foods at affordable prices.