WorldWideScience

Sample records for rapidly increasing costs

  1. Rapid and sustained cost management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanson, D.

    2009-01-01

    Accenture helps clients develop comprehensive, process-driven strategies for rapid and sustained cost management that leverage deep insights and analytics. This approach enables companies to gain operating cost advantages by rationalizing, simplifying and automating current operating capabilities. It drives structural cost advantages by optimizing business mix, capital structure, organizational structure and geographic presence. This paper discussed how successful companies achieve high performance during times of economic turmoil. It also discussed the value of the winner's strategy in terms of rapid and sustained cost management (RSCM). It discussed how Accenture operates and its leveraged capabilities, improved efficiency, margins and cash flow while maintaining customer service levels. Building structural advantage and the Accenture difference were also discussed. It was concluded that RSCM is one vital way that Accenture can help companies achieve success. 4 figs

  2. [Electrical acupoint stimulation increases athletes' rapid strength].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hua-yuan; Liu, Tang-yi; Kuai, Le; Gao, Ming

    2006-05-01

    To search for a stimulation method for increasing athletes' performance. One hundred and fifty athletes were randomly divided into a trial group and a control group, 75 athletes in each group. Acupoints were stimulated with audio frequency pulse modulated wave and multi-blind method were used to investigate effects of the electric stimulation of acupoints on 30-meter running, standing long jumping and Cybex isokinetic testing index. The acupoint electric stimulation method could significantly increase athlete's performance (P < 0.05), and the biomechanical indexes, maximal peak moment of force (P < 0.05), force moment accelerating energy (P < 0.05) and average power (P < 0.05). Electrical acupoint stimulation can enhance athlete's rapid strength.

  3. Africa: rapid population increase retards development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-10-01

    The Organization of African Unity (OAU), the African Development Bank (ADB) and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have criticized African governments for not taking the problem of unchecked population growth seriously enough. "Until recently most African governments did not view rapid population growth as a matter for concern," said the OAU assistant secretary-general for political affairs, Machivenyika Mapuranga, at a seminar on 'population and development'. The OAU estimates that an annual average population increase of 3.1% far outstrips Africa's economic growth, which in 1992 was less than 1%. Mapuranga acknowledged that cutting the population increase is an uphill struggle, especially among rural communities. African agriculture is largely labor intensive, sustained by smallholders, which encourages farmers to have more children. Like other wage earners, African farmers look to support from their family when they grow old and, for that reason, the number of children also counts. But with agricultural production growing at an average annual rate of 2.5%, self-sufficiency in food remains an elusive goal. Cities in sub-Saharan Africa are growing much faster than the overall rate of population increase of 3.1% per year. Between 1980 and 1988 the region's urban population increased at the rate of 6.9% a year. Urban areas now account for nearly 30% of the sub-Saharan Africa population, currently put at 680 million. By 2025, approximately 700 million people are expected to live in urban areas. Despite migration to towns, the rural population is expected to rise more than 68%, reaching over 590 million. full text

  4. The cost of implementing rapid HIV testing in sexually transmitted disease clinics in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggman, Ashley A; Feaster, Daniel J; Leff, Jared A; Golden, Matthew R; Castellon, Pedro C; Gooden, Lauren; Matheson, Tim; Colfax, Grant N; Metsch, Lisa R; Schackman, Bruce R

    2014-09-01

    Rapid HIV testing in high-risk populations can increase the number of persons who learn their HIV status and avoid spending clinic resources to locate persons identified as HIV infected. We determined the cost to sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics of point-of-care rapid HIV testing using data from 7 public clinics that participated in a randomized trial of rapid testing with and without brief patient-centered risk reduction counseling in 2010. Costs included counselor and trainer time, supplies, and clinic overhead. We applied national labor rates and test costs. We calculated median clinic start-up costs and mean cost per patient tested, and projected incremental annual costs of implementing universal rapid HIV testing compared with current testing practices. Criteria for offering rapid HIV testing and methods for delivering nonrapid test results varied among clinics before the trial. Rapid HIV testing cost an average of US $22/patient without brief risk reduction counseling and US $46/patient with counseling in these 7 clinics. Median start-up costs per clinic were US $1100 and US $16,100 without and with counseling, respectively. Estimated incremental annual costs per clinic of implementing universal rapid HIV testing varied by whether or not brief counseling is conducted and by current clinic testing practices, ranging from a savings of US $19,500 to a cost of US $40,700 without counseling and a cost of US $98,000 to US $153,900 with counseling. Universal rapid HIV testing in STD clinics with same-day results can be implemented at relatively low cost to STD clinics, if brief risk reduction counseling is not offered.

  5. Cost and Price Increases in Higher Education: Evidence of a Cost Disease on Higher Education Costs and Tuition Prices and the Implications for Higher Education Policy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trombella, Jerry

    2011-01-01

    As concern over rapidly rising college costs and tuition sticker prices have increased, a variety of research has been conducted to determine potential causes. Most of this research has focused on factors unique to higher education. In contrast, cost disease theory attempts to create a comparative context to explain cost increases in higher…

  6. Global variation in the cost of increasing ecosystem carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larjavaara, Markku; Kanninen, Markku; Gordillo, Harold; Koskinen, Joni; Kukkonen, Markus; Käyhkö, Niina; Larson, Anne M.; Wunder, Sven

    2018-01-01

    Slowing the reduction, or increasing the accumulation, of organic carbon stored in biomass and soils has been suggested as a potentially rapid and cost-effective method to reduce the rate of atmospheric carbon increase1. The costs of mitigating climate change by increasing ecosystem carbon relative to the baseline or business-as-usual scenario has been quantified in numerous studies, but results have been contradictory, as both methodological issues and substance differences cause variability2. Here we show, based on 77 standardized face-to-face interviews of local experts with the best possible knowledge of local land-use economics and sociopolitical context in ten landscapes around the globe, that the estimated cost of increasing ecosystem carbon varied vastly and was perceived to be 16-27 times cheaper in two Indonesian landscapes dominated by peatlands compared with the average of the eight other landscapes. Hence, if reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) and other land-use mitigation efforts are to be distributed evenly across forested countries, for example, for the sake of international equity, their overall effectiveness would be dramatically lower than for a cost-minimizing distribution.

  7. 20 CFR 404.270 - Cost-of-living increases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... INSURANCE (1950- ) Computing Primary Insurance Amounts Cost-Of-Living Increases § 404.270 Cost-of-living... rises in the cost of living. These automatic increases also apply to other benefit amounts, as described...

  8. Rapid increases in tropospheric ozone production and export from China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verstraeten, W.W.; Neu, J.L.; Williams, J.E.; Bowman, K.W.; Worden, J.R.; Boersma, K.F.

    2015-01-01

    Rapid population growth and industrialization have driven substantial increases in Asian ozone precursor emissions over the past decade1, with highly uncertain impacts on regional and global tropospheric ozone levels. According to ozonesonde measurements2, 3, tropospheric ozone concentrations at two

  9. Increased costs to US pavement infrastructure from future temperature rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Underwood, B. Shane; Guido, Zack; Gudipudi, Padmini; Feinberg, Yarden

    2017-10-01

    Roadway design aims to maximize functionality, safety, and longevity. The materials used for construction, however, are often selected on the assumption of a stationary climate. Anthropogenic climate change may therefore result in rapid infrastructure failure and, consequently, increased maintenance costs, particularly for paved roads where temperature is a key determinant for material selection. Here, we examine the economic costs of projected temperature changes on asphalt roads across the contiguous United States using an ensemble of 19 global climate models forced with RCP 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios. Over the past 20 years, stationary assumptions have resulted in incorrect material selection for 35% of 799 observed locations. With warming temperatures, maintaining the standard practice for material selection is estimated to add approximately US$13.6, US$19.0 and US$21.8 billion to pavement costs by 2010, 2040 and 2070 under RCP4.5, respectively, increasing to US$14.5, US$26.3 and US$35.8 for RCP8.5. These costs will disproportionately affect local municipalities that have fewer resources to mitigate impacts. Failing to update engineering standards of practice in light of climate change therefore significantly threatens pavement infrastructure in the United States.

  10. Software Cuts Homebuilding Costs, Increases Energy Efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    To sort out the best combinations of technologies for a crewed mission to Mars, NASA Headquarters awarded grants to MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics to develop an algorithm-based software tool that highlights the most reliable and cost-effective options. Utilizing the software, Professor Edward Crawley founded Cambridge, Massachussetts-based Ekotrope, which helps homebuilders choose cost- and energy-efficient floor plans and materials.

  11. Rapid, low-cost, image analysis through video processing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Levinson, R.A.; Marrs, R.W.; Grantham, D.G.

    1976-01-01

    Remote Sensing now provides the data necessary to solve many resource problems. However, many of the complex image processing and analysis functions used in analysis of remotely-sensed data are accomplished using sophisticated image analysis equipment. High cost of this equipment places many of these techniques beyond the means of most users. A new, more economical, video system capable of performing complex image analysis has now been developed. This report describes the functions, components, and operation of that system. Processing capability of the new video image analysis system includes many of the tasks previously accomplished with optical projectors and digital computers. Video capabilities include: color separation, color addition/subtraction, contrast stretch, dark level adjustment, density analysis, edge enhancement, scale matching, image mixing (addition and subtraction), image ratioing, and construction of false-color composite images. Rapid input of non-digital image data, instantaneous processing and display, relatively low initial cost, and low operating cost gives the video system a competitive advantage over digital equipment. Complex pre-processing, pattern recognition, and statistical analyses must still be handled through digital computer systems. The video system at the University of Wyoming has undergone extensive testing, comparison to other systems, and has been used successfully in practical applications ranging from analysis of x-rays and thin sections to production of color composite ratios of multispectral imagery. Potential applications are discussed including uranium exploration, petroleum exploration, tectonic studies, geologic mapping, hydrology sedimentology and petrography, anthropology, and studies on vegetation and wildlife habitat

  12. Mechanisms Underlying Early Rapid Increases in Creatinine in Paraquat Poisoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamed, Fahim; Endre, Zoltan; Jayamanne, Shaluka; Pianta, Timothy; Peake, Philip; Palangasinghe, Chathura; Chathuranga, Umesh; Jayasekera, Kithsiri; Wunnapuk, Klintean; Shihana, Fathima; Shahmy, Seyed; Buckley, Nicholas

    2015-01-01

    Background Acute kidney injury (AKI) is common after severe paraquat poisoning and usually heralds a fatal outcome. The rapid large increases in serum creatinine (Cr) exceed that which can be explained by creatinine kinetics based on loss of glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Methods and Findings This prospective multi-centre study compared the kinetics of two surrogate markers of GFR, serum creatinine and serum cystatin C (CysC), following paraquat poisoning to understand and assess renal functional loss after paraquat poisoning. Sixty-six acute paraquat poisoning patients admitted to medical units of five hospitals were included. Relative changes in creatinine and CysC were monitored in serial blood and urine samples, and influences of non-renal factors were also studied. Results Forty-eight of 66 patients developed AKI (AKIN criteria), with 37 (56%) developing moderate to severe AKI (AKIN stage 2 or 3). The 37 patients showed rapid increases in creatinine of >100% within 24 hours, >200% within 48 hours and >300% by 72 hours and 17 of the 37 died. CysC concentration increased by 50% at 24 hours in the same 37 patients and then remained constant. The creatinine/CysC ratio increased 8 fold over 72 hours. There was a modest fall in urinary creatinine and serum/urine creatinine ratios and a moderate increase in urinary paraquat during first three days. Conclusion Loss of renal function contributes modestly to the large increases in creatinine following paraquat poisoning. The rapid rise in serum creatinine most probably represents increased production of creatine and creatinine to meet the energy demand following severe oxidative stress. Minor contributions include increased cyclisation of creatine to creatinine because of acidosis and competitive or non-competitive inhibition of creatinine secretion. Creatinine is not a good marker of renal functional loss after paraquat poisoning and renal injury should be evaluated using more specific biomarkers of renal injury

  13. Streamlining: Reducing costs and increasing STS operations effectiveness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersburg, R. K.

    1985-01-01

    The development of streamlining as a concept, its inclusion in the space transportation system engineering and operations support (STSEOS) contract, and how it serves as an incentive to management and technical support personnel is discussed. The mechanics of encouraging and processing streamlining suggestions, reviews, feedback to submitters, recognition, and how individual employee performance evaluations are used to motivation are discussed. Several items that were implemented are mentioned. Information reported and the methodology of determining estimated dollar savings are outlined. The overall effect of this activity on the ability of the McDonnell Douglas flight preparation and mission operations team to support a rapidly increasing flight rate without a proportional increase in cost is illustrated.

  14. Eliminating Residents Increases the Cost of Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMarco, Deborah M; Forster, Richard; Gakis, Thomas; Finberg, Robert W

    2017-08-01

    Academic health centers are facing a potential reduction in Medicare financing for graduate medical education (GME). Both the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (Deficit Commission) have suggested cutting approximately half the funding that teaching hospitals receive for indirect medical education. Because of the effort that goes into teaching trainees, who are only transient employees, hospital executives often see teaching programs as a drain on resources. In light of the possibility of a Medicare cut to GME programs, we undertook an analysis to assess the financial risk of training programs to our institution and the possibility of saving money by reducing resident positions. The chief administrative officer, in collaboration with the hospital chief financial officer, performed a financial analysis to examine the possibility of decreasing costs by reducing residency programs at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center. Despite the real costs of our training programs, the analysis demonstrated that GME programs have a positive impact on hospital finances. Reducing or eliminating GME programs would have a negative impact on our hospital's bottom line.

  15. 20 CFR 228.60 - Cost-of-living increase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Cost-of-living increase. 228.60 Section 228... COMPUTATION OF SURVIVOR ANNUITIES The Tier II Annuity Component § 228.60 Cost-of-living increase. The tier II... tier II component at the time the survivor annuity begins, all cost-of-living increases that were...

  16. Lean-Six Sigma: tools for rapid cycle cost reduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, Chip

    2006-10-01

    Organizational costs can be grouped as process cost, cost of quality, and cost of poor quality. Providers should train managers in the theory and application of Lean-Six Sigma, including the seven categories of waste and how to remove them. Healthcare financial executives should work with managers in eliminating waste to improve service and reduce costs.

  17. HIV Rapid Testing in a VA Emergency Department Setting: Cost Analysis at 5 Years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Herschel; Chan, Kee

    2015-07-01

    To conduct a comprehensive cost-minimization analysis to comprehend the financial attributes of the first 5 years of an implementation wherein emergency department (ED) registered nurses administered HIV oral rapid tests to patients. A health science research implementation team coordinated with ED stakeholders and staff to provide training, implementation guidelines, and support to launch ED registered nurse-administered HIV oral rapid testing. Deidentified quantitative data were gathered from the electronic medical records detailing quarterly HIV rapid test rates in the ED setting spanning the first 5 years. Comprehensive cost analyses were conducted to evaluate the financial impact of this implementation. At 5 years, a total of 2,620 tests were conducted with a quarterly mean of 131 ± 81. Despite quarterly variability in testing rates, regression analysis revealed an average increase of 3.58 tests per quarter. Over the course of this implementation, Veterans Health Administration policy transitioned from written to verbal consent for HIV testing, serving to reduce the time and cost(s) associated with the testing process. Our data indicated salient health outcome benefits for patients with respect to the potential for earlier detection, and associated long-run cost savings. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  18. A low cost rapid prototype platform for a three phase PFC rectifier application

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haase, Frerk; Kouchaki, Alireza; Nymand, Morten

    2015-01-01

    In this paper the design and development of a low cost rapid prototype platform for a Three Phase PFC rectifier application is presented. The active rectifier consists of a SiC-MOSFET based PWM converter and a low cost rapid prototype platform for simulating and implementing the digital control...

  19. Regional-employment impact of rapidly escalating energy costs. [Riverside-San Bernardino SMSA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kolk, D X

    1983-04-01

    This paper presents a methodology for incorporating price-induced technological substitution into a regional input-output forecasting model. The model was used to determine the employment impacts of rapidly escalating energy costs on the Riverside-San Bernardino (California) SMSA. The results indicate that the substitution effect between energy and other goods was dominated by the income effect. A reallocation of consumer expenditures from labor-intensive to energy-intensive goods occurred, resulting in a two- to threefold increase in the unemployment rate among low-skilled individuals. 18 references, 5 tables.

  20. Class Size Reduction or Rapid Formative Assessment?: A Comparison of Cost-Effectiveness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeh, Stuart S.

    2009-01-01

    The cost-effectiveness of class size reduction (CSR) was compared with the cost-effectiveness of rapid formative assessment, a promising alternative for raising student achievement. Drawing upon existing meta-analyses of the effects of student-teacher ratio, evaluations of CSR in Tennessee, California, and Wisconsin, and RAND cost estimates, CSR…

  1. E-learning: controlling costs and increasing value.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Kieran

    2015-04-01

    E-learning now accounts for a substantial proportion of medical education provision. This progress has required significant investment and this investment has in turn come under increasing scrutiny so that the costs of e-learning may be controlled and its returns maximised. There are multiple methods by which the costs of e-learning can be controlled and its returns maximised. This short paper reviews some of those methods that are likely to be most effective and that are likely to save costs without compromising quality. Methods might include accessing free or low-cost resources from elsewhere; create short learning resources that will work on multiple devices; using open source platforms to host content; using in-house faculty to create content; sharing resources between institutions; and promoting resources to ensure high usage. Whatever methods are used to control costs or increase value, it is most important to evaluate the impact of these methods.

  2. Systematic Review of the Cost and Cost-Effectiveness of Rapid Endovascular Therapy for Acute Ischemic Stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sevick, Laura K; Ghali, Sarah; Hill, Michael D; Danthurebandara, Vishva; Lorenzetti, Diane L; Noseworthy, Tom; Spackman, Eldon; Clement, Fiona

    2017-09-01

    Rapid endovascular therapy (EVT) is an emerging treatment option for acute ischemic stroke. Several economic evaluations have been published examining the cost-effectiveness of EVT, and many international bodies are currently making adoption decisions. The objective of this study was to establish the cost-effectiveness of EVT for ischemic stroke patients and to synthesize all the publicly available economic literature. A systematic review of the published literature was conducted to identify economic evaluations and cost analyses of EVT for acute ischemic stroke patients. Systematic review best practices were followed, and study quality was assessed. Four-hundred sixty-three articles were identified from electronic databases. After deduplication, abstract review, and full-text review, 17 studies were included. Seven of the studies were cost analyses, and 10 were cost-effectiveness studies. Generally, the cost analyses reported on the cost of the approach/procedure or the hospitalization costs associated with EVT. All of the cost-effectiveness studies reported a cost per quality-adjusted life year as the primary outcomes. Studies varied in regards to the costs considered, the perspective adopted, and the time horizon used. All the studies reported a cost per quality-adjusted life year of cost and cost-effectiveness of EVT. The cost analyses suggested that although EVT was associated with higher costs, it also resulted in improved patient outcomes. From the cost-effectiveness studies, EVT seems to be good value for money when a threshold of $50 000 per quality-adjusted life year gained is adopted. © 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.

  3. Multiple drug cost containment policies in Michigan's Medicaid program saved money overall, although some increased costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kibicho, Jennifer; Pinkerton, Steven D

    2012-04-01

    Michigan's Medicaid program implemented four cost containment policies--preferred drug lists, joint and multistate purchasing arrangements, and maximum allowable cost--during 2002-04. The goal was to control growth of drug spending for beneficiaries who were enrolled in both Medicaid and Medicare and taking antihypertensive or antihyperlipidemic prescription drugs. We analyzed the impact of each policy while holding the effect of all other policies constant. Preferred drug lists increased both preferred and generic drugs' market share and reduced daily cost--the cost per day for each prescription provided to a beneficiary. In contrast, the maximum allowable cost policy increased daily cost and was the only policy that did not generate cost savings. The joint and multistate arrangements did not affect daily cost. Despite these policy trade-offs, the cumulative effect was a 10 percent decrease in daily cost and a total cost savings of $46,195 per year. Our findings suggest that policy makers need to evaluate the impact of multiple policies aimed at restraining drug spending, and further evaluate the policy trade-offs, to ensure that scarce public dollars achieve the greatest return for money spent.

  4. Rapid determination of the hypoxanthine increase in ischemic exercise tests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bolhuis, P. A.; Zwart, R.; Bär, P. R.; de Visser, M.; van der Helm, H. J.

    1988-01-01

    After ischemic exercise tests, performed to detect glycogenoses or myoadenylate deaminase (EC 3.5.4.6) deficiency, the increases in serum lactate and ammonia usually are measured. Determination of hypoxanthine instead of ammonia can also be used to show myoadenylate deaminase deficiency, but HPLC of

  5. Near-linear cost increase to reduce climate-change risk

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaeffer, M. [Environmental Systems Analysis Group, Wageningen University and Research Centre, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen (Netherlands); Kram, T.; Van Vuuren, D.P. [Climate and Global Sustainability Group, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, P.O. Box 303, 3720 AH Bilthoven (Netherlands); Meinshausen, M.; Hare, W.L. [Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, P.O. Box 60 12 03, 14412 Potsdam (Germany); Schneider, S.H. (ed.) [Stanford University, Stanford, CA (United States)

    2008-12-30

    One approach in climate-change policy is to set normative long-term targets first and then infer the implied emissions pathways. An important example of a normative target is to limit the global-mean temperature change to a certain maximum. In general, reported cost estimates for limiting global warming often rise rapidly, even exponentially, as the scale of emission reductions from a reference level increases. This rapid rise may suggest that more ambitious policies may be prohibitively expensive. Here, we propose a probabilistic perspective, focused on the relationship between mitigation costs and the likelihood of achieving a climate target. We investigate the qualitative, functional relationship between the likelihood of achieving a normative target and the costs of climate-change mitigation. In contrast to the example of exponentially rising costs for lowering concentration levels, we show that the mitigation costs rise proportionally to the likelihood of meeting a temperature target, across a range of concentration levels. In economic terms investing in climate mitigation to increase the probability of achieving climate targets yields 'constant returns to scale', because of a counterbalancing rapid rise in the probabilities of meeting a temperature target as concentration is lowered.

  6. Uranium solution mining cost estimating technique: means for rapid comparative analysis of deposits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1978-01-01

    Twelve graphs provide a technique for determining relative cost ranges for uranium solution mining projects. The use of the technique can provide a consistent framework for rapid comparative analysis of various properties of mining situations. The technique is also useful to determine the sensitivities of cost figures to incremental changes in mining factors or deposit characteristics

  7. 12 CFR 1206.4 - Increased costs of regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 12 Banks and Banking 7 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Increased costs of regulation. 1206.4 Section 1206.4 Banks and Banking FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS ASSESSMENTS § 1206... regulation of a Regulated Entity due to its classification as other than adequately capitalized, or as a...

  8. Downsizing a database platform for increased performance and decreased costs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, M.M.; Tolendino, L.F.

    1993-06-01

    Technological advances in the world of microcomputers have brought forth affordable systems and powerful software than can compete with the more traditional world of minicomputers. This paper describes an effort at Sandia National Laboratories to decrease operational and maintenance costs and increase performance by moving a database system from a minicomputer to a microcomputer.

  9. Cost Accounting as a Tool for Increasing Cost Transparency in Selective Hepatic Transarterial Chemoembolization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Osman; Patel, Mikin; Ward, Thomas; Sze, Daniel Y; Telischak, Kristen; Kothary, Nishita; Hofmann, Lawrence V

    2015-12-01

    To increase cost transparency and uncover potential areas for savings in patients receiving selective transarterial chemoembolization at a tertiary care academic center. The hospital cost accounting system charge master sheet for direct and total costs associated with selective transarterial chemoembolization in fiscal years 2013 and 2014 was queried for each of the four highest volume interventional radiologists at a single institution. There were 517 cases (range, 83-150 per physician) performed; direct costs incurred relating to care before, during, and after the procedure with respect to labor, supply, and equipment fees were calculated. A median of 48 activity codes were charged per selective transarterial chemoembolization from five cost centers, represented by the angiography suite, units for care before and after the procedure, pharmacy, and observation floors. The average direct cost of selective transarterial chemoembolization did not significantly differ among operators at $9,126.94, $8,768.77, $9,027.33, and $8,909.75 (P = .31). Intraprocedural costs accounted for 82.8% of total direct costs and provided the greatest degree in cost variability ($7,268.47-$7,691.27). The differences in intraprocedural expense among providers were not statistically significant (P = .09), even when separated into more specific procedure-related labor and supply costs. Cost accounting systems could effectively be interrogated as a method for calculating direct costs associated with selective transarterial chemoembolization. The greatest source of expenditure and variability in cost among providers was shown to be intraprocedural labor and supplies, although the effect did not appear to be operator dependent. Copyright © 2015 SIR. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Rapid population increase in an introduced muskox population, West Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carsten Riis Olesen

    1993-10-01

    Full Text Available In 1962 and 1965, 27 (13 and 14 muskox yearlings were translocated from East Greenland (71°N to the Angujaartorfiup Nunaa range in West Greenland (67°N. Angujaartorfiup Nunaa is a 6600 km2 icefree, continental area where caribou are indigenous. The climate is strictly continental with a minimum of precipitation but with abundant vegetation. Aerial surveys in 1990 documented that the muskox population has increased to 2600 heads despite quota-based harvesting since 1988. The annual quota was 200, 300 and 400 for 1988, 1989 and 1990, respectively. Distribution of muskoxen shows a significant preference for low altitude habitats southeast of Kangerlussuaq Airport and around Arnangarnup Qoorua (Paradise valley. Annual population increment averages 30% and the calf crop is around 24% of the population. Yearling recruitment in the population reveals that calf mortality during winter is very limited. About half of the 1-year-old females are served and they eventually give birth to their first calf when they turn 2 years old. With half of the 2-year-old females reproducing, the calf/cow ration ranges between 0.9 and 1.0.

  11. A Rapid and Cost-Effective Method for DNA Extraction from Archival Herbarium Specimens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krinitsina, A A; Sizova, T V; Zaika, M A; Speranskaya, A S; Sukhorukov, A P

    2015-11-01

    Here we report a rapid and cost-effective method for the extraction of total DNA from herbarium specimens up to 50-90-year-old. The method takes about 2 h, uses AMPure XP magnetic beads diluted by PEG-8000- containing buffer, and does not require use of traditional volatile components like chloroform, phenol, and liquid nitrogen. It yields up to 4 µg of total nucleic acid with high purity from about 30 mg of dry material. The quality of the extracted DNA was tested by PCR amplification of 5S rRNA and rbcL genes (nuclear and chloroplast DNA markers) and compared against the traditional chloroform/isoamyl alcohol method. Our results demonstrate that the use of the magnetic beads is crucial for extraction of DNA suitable for subsequent PCR from herbarium samples due to the decreasing inhibitor concentrations, reducing short fragments of degraded DNA, and increasing median DNA fragment sizes.

  12. Cost-effectiveness of malaria microscopy and rapid diagnostic tests versus presumptive diagnosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Batwala, Vincent; Magnussen, Pascal; Hansen, Kristian Schultz

    2011-01-01

    .9) than in low transmission setting (US$1.78). At a willingness to pay of US$2.8, RDT remained cost effective up to a threshold value of the cost of treatment of US$4.7. CONCLUSION: RDT was cost effective in both low and high transmission settings. With a global campaign to reduce the costs of AL and RDT......ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Current Uganda National Malaria treatment guidelines recommend parasitological confirmation either by microscopy or rapid diagnostic test (RDT) before treatment with artemether-lumefantrine (AL). However, the cost-effectiveness of these strategies has not been assessed...... departments were enrolled from March 2010 to February 2011. Of these, a random sample of 1,627 was selected to measure additional socio-economic characteristics. Costing was performed following the standard step-down cost allocation and the ingredients approach. Effectiveness was measured as the number...

  13. Hospital Merger Increased Medicare and Medicaid Payments for Capital Costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-12-22

    15 provisions relating to depreciation and appraisals, i.e., the very subjects addressed by the draft report, expressly incorporate GAAP . For example...the historical cost for depreciation purposes of "owned" assets and, as stated be- fore, (see p. 54) places limitations on the use of GAAP for es...increased because of the acquisition by a net amount of about $55 million attributable to changes in interest, depreciation , and home office expenses. A

  14. Delayed otolaryngology referral for voice disorders increases health care costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Seth M; Kim, Jaewhan; Roy, Nelson; Courey, Mark

    2015-04-01

    Despite the accepted role of laryngoscopy in assessing patients with laryngeal/voice disorders, controversy surrounds its timing. This study sought to determine how increased time from first primary care to first otolaryngology outpatient visit affected the health care costs of patients with laryngeal/voice disorders. Retrospective analysis of a large, national administrative claims database was performed. Patients had an International Classification of Diseases, 9(th) Revision-coded diagnosis of a laryngeal/voice disorder; initially saw a primary care physician and, subsequently, an otolaryngologist as outpatients; and provided 6 months of follow-up data after the first otolaryngology evaluation. The outpatient health care costs accrued from the first primary care outpatient visit through the 6 months after the first otolaryngology outpatient visit were determined. There were 260,095 unique patients who saw a primary care physician as an outpatient for a laryngeal/voice disorder, with 8999 (3.5%) subsequently seeing an otolaryngologist and with 6 months postotolaryngology follow-up data. A generalized linear regression model revealed that, compared with patients who saw an otolaryngologist ≤1 month after the first primary care visit, patients in the >1-month and ≤3-months and >3-months time periods had relative mean cost increases of $271.34 (95% confidence interval $115.95-$426.73) and $711.38 (95% confidence interval $428.43-$993.34), respectively. Increased time from first primary care to first otolaryngology evaluation is associated with increased outpatient health care costs. Earlier otolaryngology examination may reduce health care expenditures in the evaluation and management of patients with laryngeal/voice disorders. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. A Rapid and Low-Cost PCR Thermal Cycler for Infectious Disease Diagnostics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamfai Chan

    Full Text Available The ability to make rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases broadly available in a portable, low-cost format would mark a great step forward in global health. Many molecular diagnostic assays are developed based on using thermal cyclers to carry out polymerase chain reaction (PCR and reverse-transcription PCR for DNA and RNA amplification and detection, respectively. Unfortunately, most commercial thermal cyclers are expensive and need continuous electrical power supply, so they are not suitable for uses in low-resource settings. We have previously reported a low-cost and simple approach to amplify DNA using vacuum insulated stainless steel thermoses food cans, which we have named it thermos thermal cycler or TTC. Here, we describe the use of an improved set up to enable the detection of viral RNA targets by reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR, thus expanding the TTC's ability to identify highly infectious, RNA virus-based diseases in low resource settings. The TTC was successful in demonstrating high-speed and sensitive detection of DNA or RNA targets of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, Ebola hemorrhagic fever, and dengue fever. Our innovative TTC costs less than $200 to build and has a capacity of at least eight tubes. In terms of speed, the TTC's performance exceeded that of commercial thermal cyclers tested. When coupled with low-cost endpoint detection technologies such as nucleic acid lateral-flow assay or a cell-phone-based fluorescence detector, the TTC will increase the availability of on-site molecular diagnostics in low-resource settings.

  16. Component Commonality and Its Cost Implications - Increasing the Commonality of the Right Components

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lyly-Yrjänäinen, Jouni; Suomala, Petri; Israelsen, Poul

    Component commonality (Labro 2004, Zhou & Gruppström 2004) can be defined as the use of the same version of a component across multiple products. It is usually seen as a means to manage costs without sacrificing product variety. However, when managing costs with component commonality, the managers...... constructions was identified as the most important bottleneck for the delivery process causing many indirect costs, especially with respect to project-management-related activities. Interestingly, by eliminating the need for mechanical engineering, the context starts to approach assembly-to-order context, also...... should be able to identify rather rapidly which group of components would enable the most significant cost reductions. Unfortunately, the existing literature lacks profound discussion of how to identify the right components for increased component commonality. The objective of the paper is to discuss how...

  17. Fuel cycle cost considerations of increased discharge burnups

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scherpereel, L.R.; Frank, F.J.

    1982-01-01

    Evaluations are presented that indicate the attainment of increased discharge burnups in light water reactors will depend on economic factors particular to individual operators. In addition to pure resource conserving effects and assuming continued reliable fuel performance, a substantial economic incentive must exist to justify the longer operating times necessary to achieve higher burnups. Whether such incentive will exist or not will depend on relative price levels of all fuel cycle cost components, utility operating practices, and resolution of uncertainties associated with the back-end of the fuel cycle. It is concluded that implementation of increased burnups will continue at a graduated pace similar to past experience, rather than finding universal acceptance of particular increased levels at any particular time

  18. Increased accuracy of cost-estimation using product configuration systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Jeppe Bredahl; Hvam, Lars; Mortensen, Niels Henrik

    This article describes an approach for utilizing Product Configuration Systems (PCS) for quantifying project costs in project-based companies. It presents a case study demonstrating a method of quantifying costs in a way that makes it possible to configure cost- and time estimates. Piecework costs......, material costs and sub-supplier costs are used as principle cost elements and linked to structural and process elements to facilitate configuration. The cost data are used by the PCS to generate fast and accurate cost-estimates, quotations, time estimates and cost summaries. The described cost...... quantification principles have been used in a Scandinavian SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprise) since the 90’s, but have since 2011 been adopted to be used in a configuration system. A longitudinal case study was conducted to compare cost and time-estimation accuracy before and after implementation. We...

  19. Low-Cost Rapid Prototyping of Whole-Glass Microfluidic Devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuen, Po Ki; Goral, Vasiliy N.

    2012-01-01

    A low-cost, straightforward, rapid prototyping of whole-glass microfluidic devices is presented using glass-etching cream that can be easily purchased in local stores. A self-adhered vinyl stencil cut out by a desktop digital craft cutter was used as an etching mask for patterning microstructures in glass using the glass-etching cream. A specific…

  20. Collateral damage: rapid exposure-induced evolution of pesticide resistance leads to increased susceptibility to parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, Mieke; Stoks, Robby; Coors, Anja; van Doorslaer, Wendy; de Meester, Luc

    2011-09-01

    Although natural populations may evolve resistance to anthropogenic stressors such as pollutants, this evolved resistance may carry costs. Using an experimental evolution approach, we exposed different Daphnia magna populations in outdoor containers to the carbamate pesticide carbaryl and control conditions, and assessed the resulting populations for both their resistance to carbaryl as well as their susceptibility to infection by the widespread bacterial microparasite Pasteuria ramosa. Our results show that carbaryl selection led to rapid evolution of carbaryl resistance with seemingly no cost when assessed in a benign environment. However, carbaryl-resistant populations were more susceptible to parasite infection than control populations. Exposure to both stressors reveals a synergistic effect on sterilization rate by P. ramosa, but this synergism did not evolve under pesticide selection. Assessing costs of rapid adaptive evolution to anthropogenic stress in a semi-natural context may be crucial to avoid too optimistic predictions for the fitness of the evolving populations. © 2011 The Author(s).

  1. Low Cost Rapid Response Spacecraft, (LCRRS): A Research Project in Low Cost Spacecraft Design and Fabrication in a Rapid Prototyping Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spremo, Stevan; Bregman, Jesse; Dallara, Christopher D.; Ghassemieh, Shakib M.; Hanratty, James; Jackson, Evan; Kitts, Christopher; Klupar, Pete; Lindsay, Michael; Ignacio, Mas; hide

    2009-01-01

    The Low Cost Rapid Response Spacecraft (LCRRS) is an ongoing research development project at NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), Moffett Field, California. The prototype spacecraft, called Cost Optimized Test for Spacecraft Avionics and Technologies (COTSAT) is the first of what could potentially be a series of rapidly produced low-cost satellites. COTSAT has a target launch date of March 2009 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle. The LCRRS research system design incorporates use of COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf), MOTS (Modified Off The Shelf), and GOTS (Government Off The Shelf) hardware for a remote sensing satellite. The design concept was baselined to support a 0.5 meter Ritchey-Chretien telescope payload. This telescope and camera system is expected to achieve 1.5 meter/pixel resolution. The COTSAT team is investigating the possibility of building a fully functional spacecraft for $500,000 parts and $2,000,000 labor. Cost is dramatically reduced by using a sealed container, housing the bus and payload subsystems. Some electrical and RF designs were improved/upgraded from GeneSat-1 heritage systems. The project began in January 2007 and has yielded two functional test platforms. It is expected that a flight-qualified unit will be finished in December 2008. Flight quality controls are in place on the parts and materials used in this development with the aim of using them to finish a proto-flight satellite. For LEO missions the team is targeting a mission class requiring a minimum of six months lifetime or more. The system architecture incorporates several design features required by high reliability missions. This allows for a true skunk works environment to rapidly progress toward a flight design. Engineering and fabrication is primarily done in-house at NASA Ames with flight certifications on materials. The team currently employs seven Full Time Equivalent employees. The success of COTSATs small team in this effort can be attributed to highly cross trained

  2. CERN reacts to increased costs to completion of the LHC

    CERN Multimedia

    2002-01-01

    Aspects of LHC construction. The CERN Council, where the representatives of the 20 Member States of the Organization decide on scientific programmes and financial resources, held its 120th session on 14 December under the chairmanship of Prof. Maurice Bourquin (CH). CERN adjusts to the LHC Director-General, Luciano Maiani, stressed that CERN was now fully engaged in the LHC and outlined the first moves to react to the increased cost to completion of the LHC. The new accelerator is an extremely complex, high-tech project which CERN is building under very severe conditions. However, the technical challenges are solved and industrial production of accelerator elements, and installation are starting. Professor Maiani said that 2001 had been a very hard but decisive year for CERN. An important milestone had been passed during this meeting with the approval of the LHC dipole magnets contract, the last major contract for the accelerator. The new costs to completion of the LHC project are now clear. A first propos...

  3. Increased Set Shifting Costs in Fasted Healthy Volunteers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolton, Heather M.; Burgess, Paul W.; Gilbert, Sam J.; Serpell, Lucy

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the impact of temporary food restriction on a set shifting task requiring participants to judge clusters of pictures against a frequently changing rule. 60 healthy female participants underwent two testing sessions: once after fasting for 16 hours and once in a satiated state. Participants also completed a battery of questionnaires (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale [HADS]; Persistence, Perseveration and Perfectionism Questionnaire [PPPQ-22]; and Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire [EDE-Q6]). Set shifting costs were significantly increased after fasting; this effect was independent of self-reported mood and perseveration. Furthermore, higher levels of weight concern predicted a general performance decrement under conditions of fasting. We conclude that relatively short periods of fasting can lead to set shifting impairments. This finding may have relevance to studies of development, individual differences, and the interpretation of psychometric tests. It also could have implications for understanding the etiology and maintenance of eating disorders, in which impaired set shifting has been implicated. PMID:25025179

  4. Rapid, low-cost prototyping of centrifugal microfluidic devices for effective implementation of various microfluidic operations

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Hugo, S

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available can be achieved. This work provides a complete centrifugal microfluidic platform and the building blocks on which to develop a variety of microfluidic applications and potential products rapidly and at a low cost. ... stream_source_info Hugo_2015_ABSTRACT.pdf.txt stream_content_type text/plain stream_size 1281 Content-Encoding UTF-8 stream_name Hugo_2015_ABSTRACT.pdf.txt Content-Type text/plain; charset=UTF-8 Rapid Product Development...

  5. Insight into the Physical and Dynamical Processes that Control Rapid Increases in Total Flash Rate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Christopher J.; Carey, Lawrence D.; Schultz, Elise V.; Blakeslee, Richard J.; Goodman, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Rapid increases in total lightning (also termed "lightning jumps") have been observed for many decades. Lightning jumps have been well correlated to severe and hazardous weather occurrence. The main focus of lightning jump work has been on the development of lightning algorithms to be used in real-time assessment of storm intensity. However, in these studies it is typically assumed that the updraft "increases" without direct measurements of the vertical motion, or specification of which updraft characteristic actually increases (e.g., average speed, maximum speed, or convective updraft volume). Therefore, an end-to-end physical and dynamical basis for coupling rapid increases in total flash rate to increases in updraft speed and volume must be understood in order to ultimately relate lightning occurrence to severe storm metrics. Herein, we use polarimetric, multi-Doppler, and lightning mapping array measurements to provide physical context as to why rapid increases in total lightning are closely tied to severe and hazardous weather.

  6. Increasing Air Compressor Productivity While Reducing Maintenance and Repair Costs

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Foss, R. S

    1993-01-01

    .... When this vital utility is put into this perspective we can start to deal with the considerations of systems engineering, planning, performance evaluation, cost control and preventive maintenance...

  7. 20 CFR 404.278 - Additional cost-of-living increase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Additional cost-of-living increase. 404.278... DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950- ) Computing Primary Insurance Amounts Cost-Of-Living Increases § 404.278 Additional cost-of-living increase. (a) General. In addition to the cost-of-living increase explained in...

  8. 20 CFR 225.44 - When a cost-of-living increase is payable.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false When a cost-of-living increase is payable... RETIREMENT ACT PRIMARY INSURANCE AMOUNT DETERMINATIONS Cost-of-Living Increases § 225.44 When a cost-of-living increase is payable. A cost-of-living increase is payable beginning with December of the year for...

  9. Cost of increasing access to artemisinin combination therapy: the Cambodian experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Socheat Duong

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria-endemic countries are switching antimalarial drug policy from cheap ineffective monotherapies to artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs for the treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria and the global community are considering setting up a global subsidy to fund their purchase. However, in order to ensure that ACTs are correctly used and are accessible to the poor and remote communities who need them, specific interventions will be necessary and the additional costs need to be considered. Methods This paper presents an incremental cost analysis of some of these interventions in Cambodia, the first country to change national antimalarial drug policy to an ACT of artesunate and mefloquine. These costs include the cost of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs, the cost of blister-packaging the drugs locally and the costs of increasing access to diagnosis and treatment to remote communities through malaria outreach teams (MOTs and Village Malaria Workers (VMW. Results At optimum productive capacity, the cost of blister-packaging cost under $0.20 per package but in reality was significantly more than this because of the low rate of production. The annual fixed cost (exclusive of RDTs and drugs per capita of the MOT and VMW schemes was $0.44 and $0.69 respectively. However because the VMW scheme achieved a higher rate of coverage than the MOT scheme, the cost per patient treated was substantially lower at $5.14 compared to $12.74 per falciparum malaria patient treated. The annual cost inclusive of the RDTs and drugs was $19.31 for the MOT scheme and $11.28 for the VMW scheme given similar RDT positivity rates of around 22% and good provider compliance to test results. Conclusion In addition to the cost of ACTs themselves, substantial additional investments are required in order to ensure that they reach the targeted population via appropriate delivery systems and to ensure that they are used appropriately. In addition, differences

  10. Public financing of the Medicare program will make its uniform structure increasingly costly to sustain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baicker, Katherine; Shepard, Mark; Skinner, Jonathan

    2013-05-01

    The US Medicare program consumes an ever-rising share of the federal budget. Although this public spending can produce health and social benefits, raising taxes to finance it comes at the cost of slower economic growth. In this article we describe a model incorporating the benefits of public programs and the cost of tax financing. The model implies that the "one-size-fits-all" Medicare program, with everyone covered by the same insurance policy, will be increasingly difficult to sustain. We show that a Medicare program with guaranteed basic benefits and the option to purchase additional coverage could lead to more unequal health spending but slower growth in taxation, greater overall well-being, and more rapid growth of gross domestic product. Our framework highlights the key trade-offs between Medicare spending and economic prosperity.

  11. 20 CFR 404.273 - When are automatic cost-of-living increases effective?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false When are automatic cost-of-living increases..., SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950- ) Computing Primary Insurance Amounts Cost-Of-Living Increases § 404.273 When are automatic cost-of-living increases effective? We make automatic cost-of-living...

  12. Organizational Perspectives on Rapid Response Team Structure, Function, and Cost: A Qualitative Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Patricia L; McSweeney, Jean

    Understanding how an organization determines structure and function of a rapid response team (RRT), as well as cost evaluation and implications, can provide foundational knowledge to guide decisions about RRTs. The objectives were to (1) identify influencing factors in organizational development of RRT structure and function and (2) describe evaluation of RRT costs. Using a qualitative, ethnographic design, nurse executives and experts in 15 moderate-size hospitals were interviewed to explore their decision-making processes in determining RRT structure and function. Face-to-face interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim and verified for accurateness. Using content analysis and constant comparison, interview data were analyzed. Demographic data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The sample included 27 participants from 15 hospitals in 5 south-central states. They described a variety of RRT responders and functions, with the majority of hospitals having a critical care charge nurse attending all RRT calls for assistance. Others described a designated RRT nurse with primary RRT duties as responder to all RRT calls. Themes of RRT development from the data included influencers, decision processes, and thoughts about cost. It is important to understand how hospitals determine optimal structure and function to enhance support of quality nursing care. Determining the impact of an RRT on costs and benefits is vital in balancing patient safety and limited resources. Future research should focus on clarifying differences between team structure and function in outcomes as well as the most effective means to estimate costs and benefits.

  13. Rapid prototyping prosthetic hand acting by a low-cost shape-memory-alloy actuator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soriano-Heras, Enrique; Blaya-Haro, Fernando; Molino, Carlos; de Agustín Del Burgo, José María

    2018-06-01

    The purpose of this article is to develop a new concept of modular and operative prosthetic hand based on rapid prototyping and a novel shape-memory-alloy (SMA) actuator, thus minimizing the manufacturing costs. An underactuated mechanism was needed for the design of the prosthesis to use only one input source. Taking into account the state of the art, an underactuated mechanism prosthetic hand was chosen so as to implement the modifications required for including the external SMA actuator. A modular design of a new prosthesis was developed which incorporated a novel SMA actuator for the index finger movement. The primary objective of the prosthesis is achieved, obtaining a modular and functional low-cost prosthesis based on additive manufacturing executed by a novel SMA actuator. The external SMA actuator provides a modular system which allows implementing it in different systems. This paper combines rapid prototyping and a novel SMA actuator to develop a new concept of modular and operative low-cost prosthetic hand.

  14. Evaluation of ways and procedures to reduce construction cost and increase competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    Construction cost inflation is affecting many state highway agencies including the Texas Department of : Transportation While some of this increase can be attributed to factors such as soaring cost of energy, : reports of large variations in cost of ...

  15. The Rapid Transit System That Achieves Higher Performance with Lower Life-Cycle Costs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sone, Satoru; Takagi, Ryo

    In the age of traction system made of inverter and ac traction motors, distributed traction system with pure electric brake of regenerative mode has been recognised very advantageous. This paper proposes a new system as the lowest life-cycle cost system for high performance rapid transit, a new architecture and optimum parameters of power feeding system, and a new running method of trains. In Japan, these components of this proposal, i.e. pure electric brake and various countermeasures of reducing loss of regeneration have been already popular but not as yet the new running method for better utilisation of the equipment and for lower life-cycle cost. One example of what are proposed in this paper will be made as Tsukuba Express, which is under construction as the most modern commuter railway in Greater Tokyo area.

  16. The Hepatitis C Genotype 1 Paradox: Cost per Treatment Is Increasing, but Cost per Cure Is Decreasing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen D Shafran

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Significant attention has been focused on the perceived increase in the cost of antiviral treatment for hepatitis C genotype 1 infection since the approval of the first direct-acting antiviral agents in 2011. Using Canadian list prices, the present analysis points out a paradox: while the cost per antiviral regimen is increasing, the cost per cure is decreasing, especially with interferon-free therapy. In a publicly funded health care system, the lowest cost per cure is a more valuable measure of value for public money than the cost per regimen.

  17. The hepatitis C genotype 1 paradox: cost per treatment is increasing, but cost per cure is decreasing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shafran, Stephen D

    2015-01-01

    Significant attention has been focused on the perceived increase in the cost of antiviral treatment for hepatitis C genotype 1 infection since the approval of the first direct-acting antiviral agents in 2011. Using Canadian list prices, the present analysis points out a paradox: while the cost per antiviral regimen is increasing, the cost per cure is decreasing, especially with interferon-free therapy. In a publicly funded health care system, the lowest cost per cure is a more valuable measure of value for public money than the cost per regimen.

  18. Cost effectiveness of FDG-PET: rapid evaluation in recurrent colorectal cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kelley, B.B.; Miles, K.A.; Keith, C.J.; Wong, D.C.; Griffiths, M.R.

    2002-01-01

    Full text: Intensive patient follow-up in assessments of the cost-effectiveness of a new imaging modality is associated with time-delays, ethical difficulties and increased costs. This study aims to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of FDG-PET in recurrent colorectal cancer using Australian data whilst avoiding intensive patient follow-up. The study population comprised patients with recurrent colorectal under consideration for resection of apparently isolated hepatic metastasis in whom demonstration of extra-hepatic tumour would preclude surgery. The results of FDG-PET in a consecutive series of 75 such patients referred to the Wesley PET centre were used to determine the range of possible values for disease prevalence and specificity, assuming the value for PET sensitivity as reported in the federal government's PET review. These values, along with the diagnostic accuracy of CT and Australian costs for procedures (PET = $ 1200), were entered into decision trees modelling a diagnostic strategy comprising CT only and an alternative strategy where patients without extra-hepatic tumour on CT also undergo FDG-PET. The cost per patient, accuracy and Incremental Cost-Accuracy Ratio (ICAR) were determined for each strategy. The PET strategy is cheaper for all possible values of disease prevalence and PET specificity ($306-328/patient) and is more cost-effective for values of disease prevalence above 0.18 or PET specificity above 0.86. At a typical disease prevalence of 0.3 (PET specificity 0.92), the ICAR for the PET strategy is $9700 versus $11,200 for CT. PET remains cost saving even if the best reported values for sensitivity of CT and worse values for PET are used, FDG-PET for recurrent colorectal cancer in Australia would be cost-saving and most probably cost-effective. Copyright (2002) The Australian and New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine Inc

  19. Increased corrosion resistance of the AZ80 magnesium alloy by rapid solidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aghion, E; Jan, L; Meshi, L; Goldman, J

    2015-11-01

    Magnesium (Mg) and Mg-alloys are being considered as implantable biometals. Despite their excellent biocompatibility and good mechanical properties, their rapid corrosion is a major impediment precluding their widespread acceptance as implantable biomaterials. Here, we investigate the potential for rapid solidification to increase the corrosion resistance of Mg alloys. To this end, the effect of rapid solidification on the environmental and stress corrosion behavior of the AZ80 Mg alloy vs. its conventionally cast counterpart was evaluated in simulated physiological electrolytes. The microstructural characteristics were examined by optical microscopy, SEM, TEM, and X-ray diffraction analysis. The corrosion behavior was evaluated by immersion, salt spraying, and potentiodynamic polarization. Stress corrosion resistance was assessed by Slow Strain Rate Testing. The results indicate that the corrosion resistance of rapidly solidified ribbons is significantly improved relative to the conventional cast alloy due to the increased Al content dissolved in the α-Mg matrix and the correspondingly reduced presence of the β-phase (Mg17 Al12 ). Unfortunately, extrusion consolidated solidified ribbons exhibited a substantial reduction in the environmental performance and stress corrosion resistance. This was mainly attributed to the detrimental effect of the extrusion process, which enriched the iron impurities and increased the internal stresses by imposing a higher dislocation density. In terms of immersion tests, the average corrosion rate of the rapidly solidified ribbons was <0.4 mm/year compared with ∼2 mm/year for the conventionally cast alloy and 26 mm/year for the rapidly solidified extruded ribbons. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. 20 CFR 404.275 - How is an automatic cost-of-living increase calculated?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false How is an automatic cost-of-living increase..., SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950- ) Computing Primary Insurance Amounts Cost-Of-Living Increases § 404.275 How is an automatic cost-of-living increase calculated? (a) Increase based on the CPI. We...

  1. 20 CFR 404.271 - When automatic cost-of-living increases apply.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false When automatic cost-of-living increases apply... AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950- ) Computing Primary Insurance Amounts Cost-Of-Living Increases § 404.271 When automatic cost-of-living increases apply. Besides increases in the primary insurance amounts...

  2. Future Capacity Procurements Under Unknown Demand and Increasing Costs

    OpenAIRE

    Apostolos Burnetas; Stephen Gilbert

    2001-01-01

    In this paper we study a situation in which a broker must manage the procurement of a short-life-cycle product. As the broker observes demand for the item, she learns about the demand process. However, as is often the case in practice, it becomes either more difficult or more expensive to procure the item as the selling season advances. Thus, the broker must trade off higher procurement costs against the benefit of making ordering decisions with better information about demand. Problems of th...

  3. ModGrasp: An open-source rapid-prototyping framework for designing low-cost sensorised modular hands

    OpenAIRE

    Sanfilippo, Filippo; Zhang, Houxiang; Pettersen, Kristin Ytterstad; Salvietti, G.; Prattichizzo, Domenico

    2014-01-01

    This paper introduces ModGrasp, an open-source virtual and physical rapid-prototyping framework that allows for the design, simulation and control of low-cost sensorised modular hands. By combining the rapid-prototyping approach with the modular concept, different manipulator configurations can be modelled. A real-time one-to-one correspondence between virtual and physical prototypes is established. Different control algorithms can be implemented for the models. By using a low-cost sensing ap...

  4. Modeling social norms increasingly influences costly sharing in middle childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    House, Bailey R; Tomasello, Michael

    2018-07-01

    Prosocial and normative behavior emerges in early childhood, but substantial changes in prosocial behavior in middle childhood may be due to it becoming integrated with children's understanding of what is normative. Here we show that information about what is normative begins influencing children's costly sharing in middle childhood in a sample of 6- to 11-year-old German children. Information about what is normative was most influential when indicating what was "right" (i.e., "The right thing is to choose this"). It was less influential when indicating what was prescribed by a rule (i.e., "There is a rule that says to choose this") or when it indicated what the majority of people do (i.e., "Most people choose this"). These findings support the idea that middle childhood is when social norms begin to shape children's costly sharing and provide insight into the psychological foundations of the relationship between norms and prosocial behavior. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Impact of increased fuel costs and inflation on the cost of desalting sea water and brackish waters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reed, S.A.

    1976-01-01

    The combined increases in the cost of fuel, equipment, and money during the past four years have had a marked impact on the cost of desalting saline waters. The current costs of desalting seawater by distillation and reverse osmosis and brackish waters by reverse osmosis and electrodialysis as a function of plant size and feedwater chemistry are estimated. Typically, distillation plant capital costs have increased from dollar 1 per daily gallon to dollar 3 per daily gallon for large plants (100 Mgd) and from approximately dollar 1.40 per daily gallon to approximately dollar 5 per daily gallon per plant sizes of 5 Mgd or less. Consequently, water costs are now ranging from dollar 3 to dollar 4 per 1000 gal when oil is used to generate steam. Similarly, the costs of desalting inland brackish waters using reverse osmosis or electrodialysis have increased significantly

  6. 20 CFR 226.13 - Cost-of-living increase in employee vested dual benefit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Cost-of-living increase in employee vested... Annuity § 226.13 Cost-of-living increase in employee vested dual benefit. If the employee's annuity begins June 1, 1975 or later, a cost-of-living increase is added to the total vested dual benefit amount. This...

  7. 20 CFR 225.43 - PIA's subject to cost-of-living increases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false PIA's subject to cost-of-living increases... RETIREMENT ACT PRIMARY INSURANCE AMOUNT DETERMINATIONS Cost-of-Living Increases § 225.43 PIA's subject to cost-of-living increases. The Retirement Tier I, Overall Minimum, Survivor Tier I, Employee RIB and RLS...

  8. 20 CFR 228.40 - Cost of living increase applicable to the tier I annuity component.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Cost of living increase applicable to the... § 228.40 Cost of living increase applicable to the tier I annuity component. The tier I annuity... the Federal Register annually. The cost-of-living increase is payable beginning with the benefit for...

  9. 20 CFR 225.41 - How a cost-of-living increase is determined and applied.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false How a cost-of-living increase is determined... RAILROAD RETIREMENT ACT PRIMARY INSURANCE AMOUNT DETERMINATIONS Cost-of-Living Increases § 225.41 How a cost-of-living increase is determined and applied. Depending on the condition of the social security...

  10. Rapid detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus directly from clinical samples: methods, effectiveness and cost considerations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stürenburg, Enno

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA isolates is a serious public health problem whose ever-increasing rate is commensurate with the pressure it is exerting on the healthcare system. At present, more than 20% of clinical S. aureus isolates in German hospitals are methicillin resistant. Strategies from low-prevalence countries show that this development is not necessarily inevitable. In the Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands, thanks to a rigorous prevention programme, MRSA prevalence has been kept at an acceptably low level (<1–3%. Central to these ‘search and destroy’ control strategies is an admission screening using several MRSA swabs taken from mucocutaneous colonisation sites of high-risk patients (‘MRSA surveillance’. It has also been reported that the speed with which MRSA carriage is detected has an important role to play, as it is a key component of any effective strategy to prevent the pathogen from spreading. Since MRSA culturing involves a 2–3 day delay before the final results are available, rapid detection techniques (commonly referred to as ‘MRSA rapid tests’ using PCR methods and, most recently, rapid culturing methods have been developed. The implementation of rapid tests reduces the time of detection of MRSA carriers from 48–72 to 2–5 h. Clinical evaluation data have shown that MRSA can thus be detected with very high sensitivity. Specificity however is sometimes impaired due to false-positive PCR signals occurring in mixed flora specimens. In order to rule out any false-positive PCR results, a culture screen must always be carried out simultaneously.The data provide preliminary evidence that a PCR assay can reduce nosocomial MRSA transmission in high-risk patients or high-risk areas, whereas an approach that screens all patients admitted to the hospital is probably not effective. Information concerning the cost-effectiveness of rapid MRSA tests is still sparse and thus the issue remains

  11. A Rapid and Low-Cost PCR Thermal Cycler for Low Resource Settings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grace Wong

    Full Text Available Many modern molecular diagnostic assays targeting nucleic acids are typically confined to developed countries or to the national reference laboratories of developing-world countries. The ability to make technologies for the rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases broadly available in a portable, low-cost format would mark a revolutionary step forward in global health. Many molecular assays are also developed based on polymerase chain reactions (PCR, which require thermal cyclers that are relatively heavy (>20 pounds and need continuous electrical power. The temperature ramping speed of most economical thermal cyclers are relatively slow (2 to 3 °C/s so a polymerase chain reaction can take 1 to 2 hours. Most of all, these thermal cyclers are still too expensive ($2k to $4k for low-resource setting uses.In this article, we demonstrate the development of a low-cost and rapid water bath based thermal cycler that does not require active temperature control or continuous power supply during PCR. This unit costs $130 to build using commercial off-the-shelf items. The use of two or three vacuum-insulated stainless-steel Thermos food jars containing heated water (for denaturation and annealing/extension steps and a layer of oil on top of the water allow for significantly stabilized temperatures for PCR to take place. Using an Arduino-based microcontroller, we automate the "archaic" method of hand-transferring PCR tubes between water baths.We demonstrate that this innovative unit can deliver high speed PCR (17 s per PCR cycle with the potential to go beyond the 1,522 bp long amplicons tested in this study and can amplify from templates down to at least 20 copies per reaction. The unit also accepts regular PCR tubes and glass capillary tubes. The PCR efficiency of our thermal cycler is not different from other commercial thermal cyclers. When combined with a rapid nucleic acid detection approach, the thermos thermal cycler (TTC can enable on-site molecular

  12. Preventive health screenings and health consultations in primary care increase life expectancy without increasing costs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Susanne R; Thomsen, Janus Laust; Kilsmark, Janni

    2007-01-01

    AIMS: The intention was to investigate whether preventive health checks and health discussions are cost effective. METHODS: In a randomized trial the authors compared two intervention groups (A and B) and one control group. In 1991 2,000 30- to 49-year-old persons were invited and those who...... were given fixed appointments for health consultations. The follow-up period was six years. Analysis was carried out on the "intention to treat" principle. Outcome parameters were life years gained, and direct and total health costs (including productivity costs), discounted by 3% annually. Costs were...... in average direct (3,255 euro (3,703 euro) versus 4,186 euro) and total costs (10,409 euro (9,399 euro) versus 10,667 euro). The effect in group B is, however, better than in group A with no significant differences in costs. The results are insensitive to a range of assumptions regarding costs, effects...

  13. Rapid Increase of Genetically Diverse Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Copenhagen, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bartels, Mette Damkjær; Boye, Kit; Larsen, Anders Rhod

    2007-01-01

    In Copenhagen, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) accounted for <15 isolates per year during 1980-2002. However, since 2003 an epidemic increase has been observed, with 33 MRSA cases in 2003 and 110 in 2004. We analyzed these 143 cases epidemiologically and characterized isolates ...... and soft tissue infections dominated. CO-MRSA with diverse genetic backgrounds is rapidly emerging in a low MRSA prevalence area. Udgivelsesdato: October...

  14. Rapid increase in cystic volume of an anaplastic astrocytoma misdiagnosed as neurocysticercosis: A case report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hong-Jiang; Han, Hong-Xiu; Feng, Dong-Fu

    2016-01-01

    Reports describing a rapid increase in the cystic volume of anaplastic astrocytoma (AA) in a short time frame are rare. The present study reports the case of a 68-year-old male who was admitted to the No. 9 People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine (Shanghai, China), with a small cystic brain lesion and positive immunological testing for cysticercosis. Head magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed a cystic lesion, 6 mm in diameter, in the left frontal lobe. Neurocysticercosis was suspected and the patient was treated with a clinical trial of albendazole and steroids. A period of 25 days later, the patient's condition had deteriorated, and MRI revealed a cystic lesion in the left frontal lobe; thereafter, the cystic lesion was removed and a diagnosis of AA was established. The tumor was soft, ivory white and gelatinous due to myxoid degeneration. In this case, tumor-related angiogenesis and microvascular extravasation (blood-brain barrier disruption) may have been the main cause of the rapid increase in the cystic volume in such a short time frame. The similarity of the glioma and cysticercus antigens may have been the cause of the positive reactions in the cystic fluid. The present study reports the rare occurrence of a rapid increase of cystic volume and potential diagnostic difficulties. PMID:27698865

  15. Calotropis procera seedlings could be used as a rapid cost effective bioindicator for measuring aluminum environmental pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosa, Kareem A.; El-Keblawy, Ali; Najar, Atyat

    2017-04-01

    Calotropis procera seedlings could be used as a rapid cost effective bioindicator for measuring aluminum environmental pollution Kareem A. Mosa, Ali El-Keblawy, Atyat Najar Department of Applied Biology, College of Sciences, University of Sharjah, UAE Rapid industrialization and urbanization processes has led to the incorporation of different heavy metals in natural resources like soil, water and air thus affecting their quality. Aluminum (Al) is a dominant heavy metal pollutant that causes serious toxic effects to living systems including plants. Therefore, it is critical to regularly monitor the changes in Al levels in natural resources. Living organisms could be used as bioindicators for monitoring and measuring the levels of heavy metals in environmental samples. The aim of this study was to develop a cost effective bioindicator for monitoring aluminum (Al) and assess the damage caused by Al bioaccumulation using the root system of Calotropis Procera seedlings. A hydroponic system was developed for growing C. Procera in four different concentrations of Al (20, 40, 60 and 80 ppm). Root length and shoot fresh and dry weights were assessed after 5, 10, 15 and 20 days of Al treatment. The results showed remarkable sensitivity of C. Procera seedlings for the different concentrations of Al. There was gradual but significant decrease in C. Procera root length with the increase in the Al concentrations. X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XRF) analysis indicated a significant increase in Al concentration in C. Procera roots with the increase of both Al concentration in the hydroponic solution and the growing period. Moreover, electrical conductivity analysis showed that Al induced damage to C. Procera root plasma membrane as indicated by the increase in electrolyte leakages. Randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) PCR analysis confirmed the genotoxin effect of Al which induced C. Procera genomic DNA modification. Altogether, the result demonstrated that C. Procera could

  16. Cost-effective and rapid blood analysis on a cell-phone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Hongying; Sencan, Ikbal; Wong, Justin; Dimitrov, Stoyan; Tseng, Derek; Nagashima, Keita; Ozcan, Aydogan

    2013-04-07

    We demonstrate a compact and cost-effective imaging cytometry platform installed on a cell-phone for the measurement of the density of red and white blood cells as well as hemoglobin concentration in human blood samples. Fluorescent and bright-field images of blood samples are captured using separate optical attachments to the cell-phone and are rapidly processed through a custom-developed smart application running on the phone for counting of blood cells and determining hemoglobin density. We evaluated the performance of this cell-phone based blood analysis platform using anonymous human blood samples and achieved comparable results to a standard bench-top hematology analyser. Test results can either be stored on the cell-phone memory or be transmitted to a central server, providing remote diagnosis opportunities even in field settings.

  17. Rapid mapping using low-cost structure-from-motion photogrammetry expedites the lahar modeling process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratner, Jacqueline; Pyle, David; Mather, Tamsin

    2014-05-01

    Structure-from-motion (SfM) is a branch of photogrammetry that triangulates points in digital photos to produce a 3D model. When applied to topographical modeling, SfM presents a powerful tool for rapid terrain mapping. At little to no cost and on a timescale of hours, a metric-resolution digital terrain model (DTM) can be produced; the resultant DTM can be used for many types of hazard scenario modeling and is here applied to lahars and floods. This study demonstrates the robustness of the SfM method through two case studies. First, an SfM DTM of Boscastle, UK, is compared against LiDAR and SRTM DTMs in a flood simulation model. Resolution is found to be more robust than for satellite based DTMs, and though less precise than the most detailed LiDAR survey, still perfectly adequate for the purposes of modeling flows. Next, the same method is applied to a region of Ecuador lacking the regionally comprehensive LiDAR survey available in the UK. Compared against the only other topographical data available, (SRTM, ASTER, 1956 topographical map), the SfM DTM is shown to have a higher resolution and is a preferable alternative for modeling lahars. The advantages of this study for emergency management are to provide a cheap and rapid metric-resolution alternative to low resolution or costly topography data sets. In regions such as Ecuador where scientific resources are scarce, SfM assists in providing a thorough, but otherwise unattainable, understanding of potential disaster scenarios that is accessible to local authorities to be used in the disaster prevention and mitigation processes.

  18. Optofluidic refractive-index sensors employing bent waveguide structures for low-cost, rapid chemical and biomedical sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, I-Chen; Chen, Pin-Chuan; Chau, Lai-Kwan; Chang, Guo-En

    2018-01-08

    We propose and develop an intensity-detection-based refractive-index (RI) sensor for low-cost, rapid RI sensing. The sensor is composed of a polymer bent ridge waveguide (BRWG) structure on a low-cost glass substrate and is integrated with a microfluidic channel. Different-RI solutions flowing through the BRWG sensing region induce output optical power variations caused by optical bend losses, enabling simple and real-time RI detection. Additionally, the sensors are fabricated using rapid and cost-effective vacuum-less processes, attaining the low cost and high throughput required for mass production. A good RI solution of 5.31 10 -4 × RIU -1 is achieved from the RI experiments. This study demonstrates mass-producible and compact RI sensors for rapid and sensitive chemical analysis and biomedical sensing.

  19. Do rapid 'superbug' tests pay off? Balance the costs and benefits of leading-edge technology. Interview by Alan Joch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Margie Ann

    2009-02-01

    As hospitals become increasingly sensitive to the health and financial consequences of health care-associated infections (HAIs), a new generation of molecular-based testing technologies promises to significantly shorten the time required to identify "superbugs" and other bacterial infections. The leading-edge techniques promise to reduce costs by helping hospitals quickly determine which patients to isolate because they carry active methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections, for example, or which ones to release from prophylactic isolation because they ultimately tested negative for a dangerous infection. But diagnostic speed comes at a price--the costs to perform molecular tests are significantly higher than conventional methods. This challenges hospitals to balance health care expenses with medical efficacy, says molecular testing veteran Margie Morgan, Ph.D., scientific director at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles. "The rapid methods can be extreme time savers and possibly help a great deal with the isolation of patients. But some of the tests may cost five times what manual methods might be, so there is a price for seeing so much of a reduction in time," she says.

  20. Low-Cost Rotating Experimentation in Compressor Aerodynamics Using Rapid Prototyping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathias Michaud

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available With the rapid evolution of additive manufacturing, 3D printed parts are no longer limited to display purposes but can also be used in structural applications. The objective of this paper is to show that 3D prototyping can be used to produce low-cost rotating turbomachinery rigs capable of carrying out detailed flow measurements that can be used, among other things, for computational fluid dynamics (CFD code validation. A fully instrumented polymer two-stage axial-mixed flow compressor test rig was designed and fabricated with stereolithography (SLA technology by a team of undergraduate students as part of a senior-year design course. Experiments were subsequently performed on this rig to obtain both the overall pressure rise characteristics of the compressor and the stagnation pressure distributions downstream of the blade rows for comparison with CFD simulations. In doing so, this work provides a first-of-a-kind assessment of the use of polymer additive technology for low-cost rotating turbomachinery experimentation with detailed measurements.

  1. Risk based maintenance to increase safety and decrease costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phillips, J.H.

    2000-01-01

    Risk-Based techniques have been developed for commercial nuclear power plants for the last eight years by a team working through the ASME Center for Research and Technology Development (CRTD). System boundaries and success criteria is defined using the Probabilistic Risk Analysis or Probabilistic Safety Analysis developed to meet the Individual Plant Evaluation. Final ranking of components is by a plant expert panel similar to the one developed for the Maintenance Rule. Components are identified as being high risk-significant or low risk-significant. Maintenance and resources are focused on those components that have the highest risk-significance. The techniques have been developed and applied at a number of plants. Results from the first risk-based inspection pilot plant indicates safety due to pipe failure can be doubled while the inspection reduced to about 80% when compared with current inspection programs. Pilot studies on risk-based testing indicate that about 60% of pumps and 25 to 30% of valves in plants are high safety-significant The reduction in inspection and testing reduces the person-rem exposure and resulting in further increases in safety. These techniques have been documented in publications by the ASME CRTD which are referenced. (author)

  2. Serine Protease Zymography: Low-Cost, Rapid, and Highly Sensitive RAMA Casein Zymography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasumitsu, Hidetaro

    2017-01-01

    To detect serine protease activity by zymography, casein and CBB stain have been used as a substrate and a detection procedure, respectively. Casein zymography has been using substrate concentration at 1 mg/mL and employing conventional CBB stain. Although ordinary casein zymography provides reproducible results, it has several disadvantages including time-consuming and relative low sensitivity. Improved casein zymography, RAMA casein zymography, is rapid and highly sensitive. RAMA casein zymography completes the detection process within 1 h after incubation and increases the sensitivity at least by tenfold. In addition to serine protease, the method also detects metalloprotease 7 (MMP7, Matrilysin) with high sensitivity.

  3. Rapid experimental evolution of pesticide resistance in C. elegans entails no costs and affects the mating system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia C Lopes

    Full Text Available Pesticide resistance is a major concern in natural populations and a model trait to study adaptation. Despite the importance of this trait, the dynamics of its evolution and of its ecological consequences remain largely unstudied. To fill this gap, we performed experimental evolution with replicated populations of Caenorhabditis elegans exposed to the pesticide Levamisole during 20 generations. Exposure to Levamisole resulted in decreased survival, fecundity and male frequency, which declined from 30% to zero. This was not due to differential susceptibility of males. Rather, the drug affected mobility, resulting in fewer encounters, probably leading to reduced outcrossing rates. Adaptation, i.e., increased survival and fecundity, occurred within 10 and 20 generations, respectively. Male frequency also increased by generation 20. Adaptation costs were undetected in the ancestral environment and in presence of Ivermectin, another widely-used pesticide with an opposite physiological effect. Our results demonstrate that pesticide resistance can evolve at an extremely rapid pace. Furthermore, we unravel the effects of behaviour on life-history traits and test the environmental dependence of adaptation costs. This study establishes experimental evolution as a powerful tool to tackle pesticide resistance, and paves the way to further investigations manipulating environmental and/or genetic factors underlying adaptation to pesticides.

  4. Rapid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nahla M. Wassim

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Members of Aedes caspius mosquitoes are incriminated to be a potential reservoir of “Rift Valley Fever Virus” (RVF during interepizootic periods in Egypt. Ae. caspius contains two distinct forms which are morphologically indistinguishable but differ in physiology and behavior; Ae. caspius form (a requires a blood meal for each egg batch(anautogeny, is unable to mate in confined spaces(eurygamous. The second form (b lays egg batch without blood meal (autogenous and can mate in confined spaces (stenogamous. In this work, we collected the autogenous and anautogenous forms of Ae. caspius from two different breeding habitats in the Qalyubia Governorate. Analysis of the Drosophila ace-Orthologous acetylecholinesterase gene revealed that a single polymorphic region characterized each species. Based on this region, specific primers were used to amplify the entire section of intron II, sections of Exon 2 and Exon 3 of ace-2 gene for differentiating the complex species of mosquitoes. The amplicons of anautogenous form sized 441 pb and increase 116 bp than autogenous form of Ae. caspius. High rates of point mutations were addressed; deletion/insertion events are 120 bases. The transversion mutations were 44 bases and were relatively close to the transtion mutations 43 base. The genetic distance was 0.01 between the two forms.

  5. 48 CFR 1552.217-74 - Option for increased quantity-cost-plus-award-fee contract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... quantity-cost-plus-award-fee contract. 1552.217-74 Section 1552.217-74 Federal Acquisition Regulations... Texts of Provisions and Clauses 1552.217-74 Option for increased quantity—cost-plus-award-fee contract. As prescribed in 1517.208(e), insert this contract clause in cost-plus-award-fee term contracts when...

  6. The impact of unit cost reductions on gross profit: Increasing or decreasing returns?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ely Dahan

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available We suggest that marketers actively participate in reducing unit costs during new product development, consistent with the theme of integrated marketing and manufacturing. Most marketing managers misjudge the impact on gross profit of reducing variable unit manufacturing costs, mistakenly believing that such cost reductions yield decreasing or linear returns while they actually generate increasing returns.

  7. Exogenous Testosterone Rapidly Increases Aggressive Behavior in Dominant and Impulsive Men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carré, Justin M; Geniole, Shawn N; Ortiz, Triana L; Bird, Brian M; Videto, Amber; Bonin, Pierre L

    2017-08-15

    Although traditional wisdom suggests that baseline levels of testosterone (T) promote aggressive behavior, decades of research have produced findings that have been largely weak and inconsistent. However, more recent experimental work suggests that exogenous administration of T rapidly potentiates amygdala and hypothalamus responses to angry facial expressions. Notably, these brain regions are rich in androgen receptors and play a key role in modulating aggressive behavior in animal models. The present experiment extends this work by examining whether acutely increasing T potentiates aggressive behavior in men. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, between-subject design, healthy adult men (n = 121) were administered either T or placebo, and subsequently engaged in a well-validated decision-making game that measures aggressive behavior in response to social provocation. In light of prior correlational research, we also assessed the extent to which T's effects on aggressive behavior would depend on variability in trait dominance and/or trait self-control. Exogenous T on its own did not modulate aggressive behavior. However, T's effects on aggression were strongly influenced by variation in trait dominance and trait self-control. Specifically, T caused an increase in aggressive behavior, but only among men scoring relatively high in trait dominance or low in trait self-control. These findings are the first to demonstrate that T can rapidly (within 60 minutes) potentiate aggressive behavior, but only among men with dominant or impulsive personality styles. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Rapid Environmental Change Drives Increased Land Use by an Arctic Marine Predator.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd C Atwood

    Full Text Available In the Arctic Ocean's southern Beaufort Sea (SB, the length of the sea ice melt season (i.e., period between the onset of sea ice break-up in summer and freeze-up in fall has increased substantially since the late 1990s. Historically, polar bears (Ursus maritimus of the SB have mostly remained on the sea ice year-round (except for those that came ashore to den, but recent changes in the extent and phenology of sea ice habitat have coincided with evidence that use of terrestrial habitat is increasing. We characterized the spatial behavior of polar bears spending summer and fall on land along Alaska's north coast to better understand the nexus between rapid environmental change and increased use of terrestrial habitat. We found that the percentage of radiocollared adult females from the SB subpopulation coming ashore has tripled over 15 years. Moreover, we detected trends of earlier arrival on shore, increased length of stay, and later departure back to sea ice, all of which were related to declines in the availability of sea ice habitat over the continental shelf and changes to sea ice phenology. Since the late 1990s, the mean duration of the open-water season in the SB increased by 36 days, and the mean length of stay on shore increased by 31 days. While on shore, the distribution of polar bears was influenced by the availability of scavenge subsidies in the form of subsistence-harvested bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus remains aggregated at sites along the coast. The declining spatio-temporal availability of sea ice habitat and increased availability of human-provisioned resources are likely to result in increased use of land. Increased residency on land is cause for concern given that, while there, bears may be exposed to a greater array of risk factors including those associated with increased human activities.

  9. Increase the Performance of Companies in the Energy Sector by Implementing the Activity-Based Costing

    OpenAIRE

    Letitia-Maria Rof; Sorinel Capusneanu

    2015-01-01

    This article highlights the increasing performances as result of implementation stages of the ActivityBased Costing in the companies operating in the energy sector in Romania. There are presented some aspects of the usefulness of applying the Activity-Based Costing in the energy sector and the advantages it offers compared to traditional costing. There are also outlined the steps for applying the Activity-Based Costing and its implementation in the largest hydropower producer in Romania. The ...

  10. Costs and Outcomes of Increasing Access to Bariatric Surgery: Cohort Study and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Using Electronic Health Records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulliford, Martin C; Charlton, Judith; Prevost, Toby; Booth, Helen; Fildes, Alison; Ashworth, Mark; Littlejohns, Peter; Reddy, Marcus; Khan, Omar; Rudisill, Caroline

    2017-01-01

    To estimate costs and outcomes of increasing access to bariatric surgery in obese adults and in population subgroups of age, sex, deprivation, comorbidity, and obesity category. A cohort study was conducted using primary care electronic health records, with linked hospital utilization data, for 3,045 participants who underwent bariatric surgery and 247,537 participants who did not undergo bariatric surgery. Epidemiological analyses informed a probabilistic Markov model to compare bariatric surgery, including equal proportions with adjustable gastric banding, gastric bypass, and sleeve gastrectomy, with standard nonsurgical management of obesity. Outcomes were quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and net monetary benefits at a threshold of £30,000 per QALY. In a UK population of 250,000 adults, there may be 7,163 people with morbid obesity including 1,406 with diabetes. The immediate cost of 1,000 bariatric surgical procedures is £9.16 million, with incremental discounted lifetime health care costs of £15.26 million (95% confidence interval £15.18-£15.36 million). Patient-years with diabetes mellitus will decrease by 8,320 (range 8,123-8,502). Incremental QALYs will increase by 2,142 (range 2,032-2,256). The estimated cost per QALY gained is £7,129 (range £6,775-£7,506). Net monetary benefits will be £49.02 million (range £45.72-£52.41 million). Estimates are similar for subgroups of age, sex, and deprivation. Bariatric surgery remains cost-effective if the procedure is twice as costly, or if intervention effect declines over time. Diverse obese individuals may benefit from bariatric surgery at acceptable cost. Bariatric surgery is not cost-saving, but increased health care costs are exceeded by health benefits to obese individuals. Copyright © 2017 International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Cost-Effectiveness of Increasing Influenza Vaccination Coverage in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes in Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akın, Levent; Macabéo, Bérengère; Caliskan, Zafer; Altinel, Serdar; Satman, Ilhan

    2016-01-01

    In Turkey, the prevalence of diabetes is high but the influenza vaccination coverage rate (VCR) is low (9.1% in 2014), despite vaccination being recommended and reimbursed. This study evaluated the cost-effectiveness of increasing the influenza VCR of adults with type 2 diabetes in Turkey to 20%. A decision-analytic model was adapted to Turkey using data derived from published sources. Direct medical costs and indirect costs due to productivity loss were included in the societal perspective. The time horizon was set at 1 year to reflect the seasonality of influenza. Increasing the VCR for adults with type 2 diabetes to 20% is predicted to avert an additional 19,777 influenza cases, 2376 hospitalizations, and 236 deaths. Associated influenza costs avoided were estimated at more than 8.3 million Turkish Lira (TRY), while the cost of vaccination would be more than TRY 8.4 million. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was estimated at TRY 64/quality-adjusted life years, which is below the per capita gross domestic product of TRY 21,511 and therefore very cost-effective according to World Health Organization guidelines. Factors most influencing the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio were the excess hospitalization rate, inpatient cost, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization, and influenza attack rate. Increasing the VCR to >20% was also estimated to be very cost-effective. Increasing the VCR for adults with type 2 diabetes in Turkey to ≥20% would be very cost-effective.

  12. Costs of living for juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in an increasingly warming and invaded world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuehne, Lauren M.; Olden, Julian D.; Duda, Jeffrey J.

    2012-01-01

    Rapid environmental change in freshwater ecosystems has created a need to understand the interactive effects of multiple stressors, with temperature and invasive predators identified as key threats to imperiled fish species. We tested the separate and interactive effects of water temperature and predation by non-native smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) on the lethal (mortality) and sublethal (behavior, physiology, and growth) effects for juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in seminatural stream channel experiments. Over 48 h trials, there was no difference in direct predation with warmer temperatures, but significant interactive effects on sublethal responses of juvenile salmon. Warmer temperatures resulted in significantly stronger and more variable antipredator responses (surface shoaling and swimming activity), while physiological indicators (plasma glucose, plasma cortisol) suggested suppression of physiological mechanisms in response to the combined stressors. These patterns corresponded with additive negative growth in predation, temperature, and combined treatments. Our results suggest that chronic increases in temperature may not increase direct predation over short periods, but can result in significant sublethal costs with negative implications for long-term development, disease resistance, and subsequent size-selective mortality of Pacific salmon.

  13. Clustered lot quality assurance sampling to assess immunisation coverage: increasing rapidity and maintaining precision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pezzoli, Lorenzo; Andrews, Nick; Ronveaux, Olivier

    2010-05-01

    Vaccination programmes targeting disease elimination aim to achieve very high coverage levels (e.g. 95%). We calculated the precision of different clustered lot quality assurance sampling (LQAS) designs in computer-simulated surveys to provide local health officers in the field with preset LQAS plans to simply and rapidly assess programmes with high coverage targets. We calculated sample size (N), decision value (d) and misclassification errors (alpha and beta) of several LQAS plans by running 10 000 simulations. We kept the upper coverage threshold (UT) at 90% or 95% and decreased the lower threshold (LT) progressively by 5%. We measured the proportion of simulations with d unvaccinated individuals if the coverage was LT% (pLT) to calculate alpha (1-pLT). We divided N in clusters (between 5 and 10) and recalculated the errors hypothesising that the coverage would vary in the clusters according to a binomial distribution with preset standard deviations of 0.05 and 0.1 from the mean lot coverage. We selected the plans fulfilling these criteria: alpha LQAS plans dividing the lot in five clusters with N = 50 (5 x 10) and d = 4 to evaluate programmes with 95% coverage target and d = 7 to evaluate programmes with 90% target. These plans will considerably increase the feasibility and the rapidity of conducting the LQAS in the field.

  14. Thermodynamic balance of photosynthesis and transpiration at increasing CO2 concentrations and rapid light fluctuations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marín, Dolores; Martín, Mercedes; Serrot, Patricia H; Sabater, Bartolomé

    2014-02-01

    Experimental and theoretical flux models have been developed to reveal the influence of sun flecks and increasing CO2 concentrations on the energy and entropy balances of the leaf. The rapid and wide range of fluctuations in light intensity under field conditions were simulated in a climatic gas exchange chamber and we determined the energy and entropy balance of the leaf based on radiation and gas exchange measurements. It was estimated that the energy of photosynthetic active radiation (PAR) accounts for half of transpiration, which is the main factor responsible for the exportation of the entropy generated in photosynthesis (Sg) out of the leaf in order to maintain functional the photosynthetic machinery. Although the response of net photosynthetic production to increasing concentrations of CO2 under fluctuating light is similar to that under continuous light, rates of transpiration respond slowly to changes of light intensity and are barely affected by the concentration of CO2 in the range of 260-495 ppm, in which net photosynthesis increases by more than 100%. The analysis of the results confirms that future increases of CO2 will improve the efficiency of the conversion of radiant energy into biomass, but will not reduce the contribution of plant transpiration to the leaf thermal balance. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  15. 42 CFR 413.40 - Ceiling on the rate of increase in hospital inpatient costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... October 1, 2002, is the percentage increase projected by the hospital market basket index. (4) Target... target amount for the previous cost reporting period, updated by the market basket percentage increase... each cost reporting period, the ceiling is determined by multiplying the updated target amount, as...

  16. 78 FR 68133 - Cost-of-Living Increases and Other Determinations for 2014; Correction

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-13

    ... SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION [Docket No. SSA-2013-0057] Cost-of-Living Increases and Other Determinations for 2014; Correction AGENCY: Social Security Administration. ACTION: Notice; Correction. SUMMARY..., concerning the cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits effective December 2013. The document...

  17. Estimated Cost of the Administration's Proposal to Increase the Army's and the Marine Corps's Personnel Levels

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schmit, Matt; Wheelock, Jason; Newman, David

    2007-01-01

    .... The Administration also plans to increase the size of the Army Reserve and National Guard. The cost of the Administration's proposal to increase the size of the armed forces depends on the personnel levels it is being measured against...

  18. Noninvasive Hemoglobin Monitoring: A Rapid, Reliable, and Cost-Effective Method Following Total Joint Replacement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, J Ryan; Camp, Christopher L; Stitz, Amber; Young, Ernest Y; Abdel, Matthew P; Taunton, Michael J; Trousdale, Robert T

    2016-03-02

    Noninvasive hemoglobin (nHgb) monitoring was initially introduced in the intensive care setting as a means of rapidly assessing Hgb values without performing a blood draw. We conducted a prospective analysis to compare reliability, cost, and patient preference between nHgb monitoring and invasive Hgb (iHgb) monitoring performed via a traditional blood draw. We enrolled 100 consecutive patients undergoing primary or revision total hip or total knee arthroplasty. On postoperative day 1, nHgb and iHgb values were obtained within thirty minutes of one another. iHgb and nHgb values, cost, patient satisfaction, and the duration of time required to obtain each reading were recorded. The concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) was utilized to evaluate the agreement of the two Hgb measurement methods. Paired t tests and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were utilized to compare mean Hgb values, time, and pain for all readings. The mean Hgb values did not differ significantly between the two measurement methods: the mean iHgb value (and standard deviation) was 11.3 ± 1.4 g/dL (range, 8.2 to 14.3 g/dL), and the mean nHgb value was 11.5 ± 1.8 g/dL (range, 7.0 to 16.0 g/dL) (p = 0.11). The CCC between the two Hgb methods was 0.69. One hundred percent of the patients with an nHgb value of ≥ 10.5 g/dL had an iHgb value of >8.0 g/dL. The mean time to obtain an Hgb value was 0.9 minute for the nHgb method and 51.1 minutes for the iHgb method (p measurement, resulting in a savings of $26 per Hgb assessment when the noninvasive method is used. Noninvasive Hgb monitoring was found to be more efficient, less expensive, and preferred by patients compared with iHgb monitoring. Providers could consider screening total joint arthroplasty patients with nHgb monitoring and only order iHgb measurement if the nHgb value is protocol had been applied to the first blood draw in our 100 patients, approximately $2000 would have been saved. Extrapolated to the U.S. total joint arthroplasty practice

  19. Integrating unmanned aerial systems and LSPIV for rapid, cost-effective stream gauging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Quinn W.; Lindroth, Evan M.; Rhoads, Bruce L.

    2018-05-01

    Quantifying flow in rivers is fundamental to assessments of water supply, water quality, ecological conditions, hydrological responses to storm events, and geomorphological processes. Image-based surface velocity measurements have shown promise in extending the range of discharge conditions that can be measured in the field. The use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in image-based measurements of surface velocities has the potential to expand applications of this method. Thus far, few investigations have assessed this potential by evaluating the accuracy and repeatability of discharge measurements using surface velocities obtained from UAS. This study uses large-scale particle image velocimetry (LSPIV) derived from videos captured by cameras on a UAS and a fixed tripod to obtain discharge measurements at ten different stream locations in Illinois, USA. Discharge values are compared to reference values measured by an acoustic Doppler current profiler, a propeller meter, and established stream gauges. The results demonstrate the effects of UAS flight height, camera steadiness and leveling accuracy, video sampling frequency, and LSPIV interrogation area size on surface velocities, and show that the mean difference between fixed and UAS cameras is less than 10%. Differences between LSPIV-derived and reference discharge values are generally less than 20%, not systematically low or high, and not related to site parameters like channel width or depth, indicating that results are relatively insensitive to camera setup and image processing parameters typically required of LSPIV. The results also show that standard velocity indices (between 0.85 and 0.9) recommended for converting surface velocities to depth-averaged velocities yield reasonable discharge estimates, but are best calibrated at specific sites. The study recommends a basic methodology for LSPIV discharge measurements using UAS that is rapid, cost-efficient, and does not require major preparatory work at a

  20. Minim typing--a rapid and low cost MLST based typing tool for Klebsiella pneumoniae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Patiyan; Tong, Steven Y C; Bell, Jan M; Turnidge, John D; Giffard, Philip M

    2012-01-01

    Here we report a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) based genotyping method for Klebsiella pneumoniae utilising high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis of fragments within the multilocus sequence typing (MLST) loci. The approach is termed mini-MLST or Minim typing and it has previously been applied to Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecium. Six SNPs were derived from concatenated MLST sequences on the basis of maximisation of the Simpsons Index of Diversity (D). DNA fragments incorporating these SNPs and predicted to be suitable for HRM analysis were designed. Using the assumption that HRM alleles are defined by G+C content, Minim typing using six fragments was predicted to provide a D = 0.979 against known STs. The method was tested against 202 K. pneumoniae using a blinded approach in which the MLST analyses were performed after the HRM analyses. The HRM-based alleles were indeed in accordance with G+C content, and the Minim typing identified known STs and flagged new STs. The tonB MLST locus was determined to be very diverse, and the two Minim fragments located herein contribute greatly to the resolving power. However these fragments are refractory to amplification in a minority of isolates. Therefore, we assessed the performance of two additional formats: one using only the four fragments located outside the tonB gene (D = 0.929), and the other using HRM data from these four fragments in conjunction with sequencing of the tonB MLST fragment (D = 0.995). The HRM assays were developed on the Rotorgene 6000, and the method was shown to also be robust on the LightCycler 480, allowing a 384-well high through-put format. The assay provides rapid, robust and low-cost typing with fully portable results that can directly be related to current MLST data. Minim typing in combination with molecular screening for antibiotic resistance markers can be a powerful surveillance tool kit.

  1. Minim typing--a rapid and low cost MLST based typing tool for Klebsiella pneumoniae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patiyan Andersson

    Full Text Available Here we report a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP based genotyping method for Klebsiella pneumoniae utilising high-resolution melting (HRM analysis of fragments within the multilocus sequence typing (MLST loci. The approach is termed mini-MLST or Minim typing and it has previously been applied to Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecium. Six SNPs were derived from concatenated MLST sequences on the basis of maximisation of the Simpsons Index of Diversity (D. DNA fragments incorporating these SNPs and predicted to be suitable for HRM analysis were designed. Using the assumption that HRM alleles are defined by G+C content, Minim typing using six fragments was predicted to provide a D = 0.979 against known STs. The method was tested against 202 K. pneumoniae using a blinded approach in which the MLST analyses were performed after the HRM analyses. The HRM-based alleles were indeed in accordance with G+C content, and the Minim typing identified known STs and flagged new STs. The tonB MLST locus was determined to be very diverse, and the two Minim fragments located herein contribute greatly to the resolving power. However these fragments are refractory to amplification in a minority of isolates. Therefore, we assessed the performance of two additional formats: one using only the four fragments located outside the tonB gene (D = 0.929, and the other using HRM data from these four fragments in conjunction with sequencing of the tonB MLST fragment (D = 0.995. The HRM assays were developed on the Rotorgene 6000, and the method was shown to also be robust on the LightCycler 480, allowing a 384-well high through-put format. The assay provides rapid, robust and low-cost typing with fully portable results that can directly be related to current MLST data. Minim typing in combination with molecular screening for antibiotic resistance markers can be a powerful surveillance tool kit.

  2. Fitness cost of resistance to Bt cotton linked with increased gossypol content in pink bollworm larvae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer L Williams

    Full Text Available Fitness costs of resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt crops occur in the absence of Bt toxins, when individuals with resistance alleles are less fit than individuals without resistance alleles. As costs of Bt resistance are common, refuges of non-Bt host plants can delay resistance not only by providing susceptible individuals to mate with resistant individuals, but also by selecting against resistance. Because costs typically vary across host plants, refuges with host plants that magnify costs or make them less recessive could enhance resistance management. Limited understanding of the physiological mechanisms causing fitness costs, however, hampers attempts to increase costs. In several major cotton pests including pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella, resistance to Cry1Ac cotton is associated with mutations altering cadherin proteins that bind this toxin in susceptible larvae. Here we report that the concentration of gossypol, a cotton defensive chemical, was higher in pink bollworm larvae with cadherin resistance alleles than in larvae lacking such alleles. Adding gossypol to the larval diet decreased larval weight and survival, and increased the fitness cost affecting larval growth, but not survival. Across cadherin genotypes, the cost affecting larval growth increased as the gossypol concentration of larvae increased. These results suggest that increased accumulation of plant defensive chemicals may contribute to fitness costs associated with resistance to Bt toxins.

  3. Treating Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus with a Rapid-Acting Analog Insulin Regimen vs. Regular Human Insulin in Germany: A Long-Term Cost-Effectiveness Evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentine, William J; Van Brunt, Kate; Boye, Kristina S; Pollock, Richard F

    2018-06-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the cost effectiveness of rapid-acting analog insulin relative to regular human insulin in adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus in Germany. The PRIME Diabetes Model, a patient-level, discrete event simulation model, was used to project long-term clinical and cost outcomes for patients with type 1 diabetes from the perspective of a German healthcare payer. Simulated patients had a mean age of 21.5 years, duration of diabetes of 8.6 years, and baseline glycosylated hemoglobin of 7.39%. Regular human insulin and rapid-acting analog insulin regimens reduced glycosylated hemoglobin by 0.312 and 0.402%, respectively. Compared with human insulin, hypoglycemia rate ratios with rapid-acting analog insulin were 0.51 (non-severe nocturnal) and 0.80 (severe). No differences in non-severe diurnal hypoglycemia were modeled. Discount rates of 3% were applied to future costs and clinical benefits accrued over the 50-year time horizon. In the base-case analysis, rapid-acting analog insulin was associated with an improvement in quality-adjusted life expectancy of 1.01 quality-adjusted life-years per patient (12.54 vs. 11.53 quality-adjusted life-years). Rapid-acting analog insulin was also associated with an increase in direct costs of €4490, resulting in an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of €4427 per quality-adjusted life-year gained vs. human insulin. Sensitivity analyses showed that the base case was driven predominantly by differences in hypoglycemia; abolishing these differences reduced incremental quality-adjusted life expectancy to 0.07 quality-adjusted life-years, yielding an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of €74,622 per quality-adjusted life-year gained. Rapid-acting analog insulin is associated with beneficial outcomes in patients with type 1 diabetes and is likely to be considered cost effective in the German setting vs. regular human insulin.

  4. Hospital costs fell as numbers of LVADs were increasing: experiences from Oslo University Hospital

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mishra Vinod

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The current study was undertaken to examine total hospital costs per patient of a consecutive implantation series of two 3rd generation Left Ventricle Assist Devices (LVAD. Further we analyzed if increased clinical experience would reduce total hospital costs and the gap between costs and the diagnosis related grouped (DRG-reimbursement. Method Cost data of 20 LVAD implantations (VentrAssist™ from 2005-2009 (period 1 were analyzed together with costs from nine patients using another LVAD (HeartWare™ from 2009-June 2011 (period 2. For each patient, total costs were calculated for three phases - the pre-LVAD implantation phase, the LVAD implantation phase and the post LVAD implant phase. Patient specific costs were obtained prospectively from patient records and included personnel resources, medication, blood products, blood chemistry and microbiology, imaging and procedure costs including operating room costs. Overhead costs were registered retrospectively and allocated to the specific patient by predefined allocation keys. Finally, patient specific costs and overhead costs were aggregated into total hospital costs for each patient. All costs were calculated in 2011-prices. We used regression analyses to analyze cost variations over time and between the different devices. Results The average total hospital cost per patient for the pre-LVAD, LVAD and post-LVAD for period 1 was $ 585, 513 (range 132, 640- 1 247, 299, and the corresponding DRG- reimbursement (2009 was $ 143, 192 . The mean LOS was 54 days (range 12- 127. For period 2 the total hospital cost per patient was $ 413, 185 (range 314, 540- 622, 664 and the corresponding DRG- reimbursement (2010 was $ 136, 963. The mean LOS was 49 days (range 31- 93. The estimates from the regression analysis showed that the total hospital costs, excluding device costs, per patient were falling as the number of treated patients increased. The estimate from the trend variable was -14

  5. Cost-effectiveness of increasing access to mammography through mobile mammography for older women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naeim, Arash; Keeler, Emmett; Bassett, Lawrence W; Parikh, Jay; Bastani, Roshan; Reuben, David B

    2009-02-01

    To compare the costs of mobile and stationary mammography and examine the incremental cost-effectiveness of using mobile mammography to increase screening rates. A cost-effectiveness analysis was performed using effectiveness data from a randomized clinical trial and modeling of costs associated with the mobile mammography intervention. The trial involved 60 community-based meal sites, senior centers, and clubs. Four hundred ninety-nine individuals were enrolled in the study, of whom 463 had outcome data available for analysis. Costs were calculated for stationary and mobile mammography, as well as costs due to differences in technology and film versus digital. Incremental cost-effectiveness (cost per additional screen) was modeled, and sensitivity analysis was performed by altering efficiency (throughput) and effectiveness based on subgroup data from the randomized trial. The estimated annual costs were $435,162 for a stationary unit, $539,052 for a mobile film unit, and $456, 392 for a mobile digital unit. Assuming mobile units are less efficient (50% annual volume), the cost per screen was $41 for a stationary unit, $86 for a mobile film unit, and $102 for a mobile digital unit. The incremental cost per additional screen were $207 for a mobile film unit and $264 for a mobile digital unit over a stationary unit. Although mobile mammography is a more effective way to screen older women, the absolute cost per screen of mobile units is higher, whereas the reimbursement is no different. Financial barriers may impede the widespread use of this approach.

  6. Rapid, sensitive and cost effective method for isolation of viral DNA from feacal samples of dogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Savi.

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available A simple method for viral DNA extraction using chelex resin was developed. The method used was eco-friendly and cost effective compared to other methods such as phenol chloroform method which use health hazardous organic reagents. Further, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR based detection of canine parvovirus (CPV using primers from conserved region of VP2 gene was developed. To increase the sensitivity and specificity of reaction, nested PCR was designed. PCR reaction was optimized to amplify 747bp product of VP2 gene. The assay can be completed in few hours and doesn’t need hazardous chemicals. Thus, the sample preparation using chelating resin along with nested PCR seems to be a sensitive, specific and practical method for the detection of CPV in diarrhoeal feacal samples. [Vet. World 2010; 3(3.000: 105-106

  7. Rapid increase in the use of oral antidiabetic drugs in the United States, 1990-2001.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wysowski, Diane K; Armstrong, George; Governale, Laura

    2003-06-01

    To describe the use of oral antidiabetic drugs for management of type 2 diabetes in the U.S. from 1990 through 2001. Data on oral antidiabetic drugs were derived from two pharmaceutical marketing databases from IMS Health, the National Prescription Audit Plus and the National Disease and Therapeutic Index. In 1990, 23.4 million outpatient prescriptions of oral antidiabetic agents were dispensed. By 2001, this number had increased 3.9-fold, to 91.8 million prescriptions. Glipizide and glyburide, two sulfonylurea medications, accounted for approximately 77% of prescriptions of oral antidiabetic drugs in 1990 and 35.5% of prescriptions in 2001. By 2001, the biguanide metformin (approved in 1995) had captured approximately 33% of prescriptions, and the thiazolidinedione insulin sensitizers (rosiglitazone and pioglitazone marketed beginning in 1999) accounted for approximately 17% of market share. Compared with patients treated in 1990, those in 2001 were proportionately younger and they more often used oral antidiabetic drugs and insulin in combination. Internists and general and family practitioners were the primary prescribers of this class of drugs. Consistent with the reported increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, the number of dispensed outpatient prescriptions of oral antidiabetic drugs increased rapidly between 1990 and 2001. This period was marked by an increase in the treatment of younger people and the use of oral antidiabetic drugs in combination. With the approval in the last decade of several new types of oral antidiabetic medications with different mechanisms of action, options for management of type 2 diabetes have expanded.

  8. Risk Factors Associated with Mortality and Increased Drug Costs in Nonvariceal Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Mingliang; Sun, Gang; Zhang, Xiu-li; Zhang, Xiao-mei; Liu, Qing-sen; Huang, Qi-yang; Lau, James W Y; Yang, Yun-sheng

    2015-06-01

    To determine risk factors associated with mortality and increased drug costs in patients with nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding. We retrospectively analyzed data from patients hospitalized with nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding between January 2001-December 2011. Demographic and clinical characteristics and drug costs were documented. Univariate analysis determined possible risk factors for mortality. Statistically significant variables were analyzed using a logistic regression model. Multiple linear regression analyzed factors influencing drug costs. p study included data from 627 patients. Risk factors associated with increased mortality were age > 60, systolic blood pressurebleeding rate is 11.20% and mortality is 5.74%. The mortality risk in patients with comorbidities was higher than in patients without comorbidities, and was higher in patients requiring blood transfusion than in patients not requiring transfusion. Rebleeding was associ-ated with mortality. Rebleeding, blood transfusion, and prolonged hospital stay were associated with increased drug costs, whereas bleeding from lesions in the esophagus and duodenum was associated with lower drug costs.

  9. Minim Typing – A Rapid and Low Cost MLST Based Typing Tool for Klebsiella pneumoniae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Patiyan; Tong, Steven Y. C.; Bell, Jan M.; Turnidge, John D.; Giffard, Philip M.

    2012-01-01

    Here we report a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) based genotyping method for Klebsiella pneumoniae utilising high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis of fragments within the multilocus sequence typing (MLST) loci. The approach is termed mini-MLST or Minim typing and it has previously been applied to Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecium. Six SNPs were derived from concatenated MLST sequences on the basis of maximisation of the Simpsons Index of Diversity (D). DNA fragments incorporating these SNPs and predicted to be suitable for HRM analysis were designed. Using the assumption that HRM alleles are defined by G+C content, Minim typing using six fragments was predicted to provide a D = 0.979 against known STs. The method was tested against 202 K. pneumoniae using a blinded approach in which the MLST analyses were performed after the HRM analyses. The HRM-based alleles were indeed in accordance with G+C content, and the Minim typing identified known STs and flagged new STs. The tonB MLST locus was determined to be very diverse, and the two Minim fragments located herein contribute greatly to the resolving power. However these fragments are refractory to amplification in a minority of isolates. Therefore, we assessed the performance of two additional formats: one using only the four fragments located outside the tonB gene (D = 0.929), and the other using HRM data from these four fragments in conjunction with sequencing of the tonB MLST fragment (D = 0.995). The HRM assays were developed on the Rotorgene 6000, and the method was shown to also be robust on the LightCycler 480, allowing a 384-well high through-put format. The assay provides rapid, robust and low-cost typing with fully portable results that can directly be related to current MLST data. Minim typing in combination with molecular screening for antibiotic resistance markers can be a powerful surveillance tool kit. PMID:22428067

  10. Cost effectiveness of withdrawal of fall-risk-increasing drugs in geriatric outpatients

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Velde, Nathalie; Meerding, Willen Jan; Looman, Caspar W.; Pols, Huibert A. P.; van der Cammen, Tischa J. M.

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Withdrawal of fall-risk-increasing drugs has been proven to be effective in older persons. However, given the enormous rise in healthcare costs in recent decades, the effect of such withdrawals on healthcare costs also needs to be considered. METHOD: Within a common geriatric outpatient

  11. Rapid and Low-cost Prototyping of Medical Devices Using 3D Printed Molds for Liquid Injection Molding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Philip; Heller, J. Alex; Etemadi, Mozziyar; Ottoson, Paige E.; Liu, Jonathan A.; Rand, Larry; Roy, Shuvo

    2014-01-01

    Biologically inert elastomers such as silicone are favorable materials for medical device fabrication, but forming and curing these elastomers using traditional liquid injection molding processes can be an expensive process due to tooling and equipment costs. As a result, it has traditionally been impractical to use liquid injection molding for low-cost, rapid prototyping applications. We have devised a method for rapid and low-cost production of liquid elastomer injection molded devices that utilizes fused deposition modeling 3D printers for mold design and a modified desiccator as an injection system. Low costs and rapid turnaround time in this technique lower the barrier to iteratively designing and prototyping complex elastomer devices. Furthermore, CAD models developed in this process can be later adapted for metal mold tooling design, enabling an easy transition to a traditional injection molding process. We have used this technique to manufacture intravaginal probes involving complex geometries, as well as overmolding over metal parts, using tools commonly available within an academic research laboratory. However, this technique can be easily adapted to create liquid injection molded devices for many other applications. PMID:24998993

  12. Explaining the Rapid Increase in Nigeria's Sex Ratio at Birth: Factors and Implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaba, Amadu J

    2015-06-01

    This paper examines the rapid increase in Nigeria's sex ratio at birth from 1.03 boys born for every 1 girl born in each year from 1996-2008 to 1.06 in each year from 2009-2014, second only to Tunisia in Africa at 1.07. The average sex ratio at birth in the world in 2014 was 1.07. In most Black African nations or Black majority nations, it is 1.03 or less. Among the factors presented for this development are: historical fluctuations of sex ratio at birth; geography and ethnicity; male preference/chasing a son; Age of parents; high death rates of male infants and males in general; and wealth/socioeconomic status. Among the potential implications are: young and poor men in Nigeria may not be able to find brides and form families due to a potential shortage of females; emigration of young and poor Nigerian men to West (Africa) and elsewhere to seek brides and form families; immigration of marriage age women from West (Africa) and around the world to Nigeria to seek husbands; and low contraceptive use and high fertility rates in Nigeria.

  13. Rapid increase of near atomic resolution virus capsid structures determined by cryo-electron microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Phuong T; Reddy, Vijay S

    2018-01-01

    The recent technological advances in electron microscopes, detectors, as well as image processing and reconstruction software have brought single particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) into prominence for determining structures of bio-molecules at near atomic resolution. This has been particularly true for virus capsids, ribosomes, and other large assemblies, which have been the ideal specimens for structural studies by cryo-EM approaches. An analysis of time series metadata of virus structures on the methods of structure determination, resolution of the structures, and size of the virus particles revealed a rapid increase in the virus structures determined by cryo-EM at near atomic resolution since 2010. In addition, the data highlight the median resolution (∼3.0 Å) and size (∼310.0 Å in diameter) of the virus particles determined by X-ray crystallography while no such limits exist for cryo-EM structures, which have a median diameter of 508 Å. Notably, cryo-EM virus structures in the last four years have a median resolution of 3.9 Å. Taken together with minimal sample requirements, not needing diffraction quality crystals, and being able to achieve similar resolutions of the crystal structures makes cryo-EM the method of choice for current and future virus capsid structure determinations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Rapid eye movement sleep deprivation induces an increase in acetylcholinesterase activity in discrete rat brain regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benedito M.A.C.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Some upper brainstem cholinergic neurons (pedunculopontine and laterodorsal tegmental nuclei are involved in the generation of rapid eye movement (REM sleep and project rostrally to the thalamus and caudally to the medulla oblongata. A previous report showed that 96 h of REM sleep deprivation in rats induced an increase in the activity of brainstem acetylcholinesterase (Achase, the enzyme which inactivates acetylcholine (Ach in the synaptic cleft. There was no change in the enzyme's activity in the whole brain and cerebrum. The components of the cholinergic synaptic endings (for example, Achase are not uniformly distributed throughout the discrete regions of the brain. In order to detect possible regional changes we measured Achase activity in several discrete rat brain regions (medulla oblongata, pons, thalamus, striatum, hippocampus and cerebral cortex after 96 h of REM sleep deprivation. Naive adult male Wistar rats were deprived of REM sleep using the flower-pot technique, while control rats were left in their home cages. Total, membrane-bound and soluble Achase activities (nmol of thiocholine formed min-1 mg protein-1 were assayed photometrically. The results (mean ± SD obtained showed a statistically significant (Student t-test increase in total Achase activity in the pons (control: 147.8 ± 12.8, REM sleep-deprived: 169.3 ± 17.4, N = 6 for both groups, P<0.025 and thalamus (control: 167.4 ± 29.0, REM sleep-deprived: 191.9 ± 15.4, N = 6 for both groups, P<0.05. Increases in membrane-bound Achase activity in the pons (control: 171.0 ± 14.7, REM sleep-deprived: 189.5 ± 19.5, N = 6 for both groups, P<0.05 and soluble enzyme activity in the medulla oblongata (control: 147.6 ± 16.3, REM sleep-deprived: 163.8 ± 8.3, N = 6 for both groups, P<0.05 were also observed. There were no statistically significant differences in the enzyme's activity in the other brain regions assayed. The present findings show that the increase in Achase activity

  15. Corruption Significantly Increases the Capital Cost of Power Plants in Developing Contexts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumar Biswajit Debnath

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Emerging economies with rapidly growing population and energy demand, own some of the most expensive power plants in the world. We hypothesized that corruption has a relationship with the capital cost of power plants in developing countries such as Bangladesh. For this study, we analyzed the capital cost of 61 operational and planned power plants in Bangladesh. Initial comparison study revealed that the mean capital cost of a power plant in Bangladesh is twice than that of the global average. Then, the statistical analysis revealed a significant correlation between corruption and the cost of power plants, indicating that higher corruption leads to greater capital cost. The high up-front cost can be a significant burden on the economy, at present and in the future, as most are financed through international loans with extended repayment terms. There is, therefore, an urgent need for the review of the procurement and due diligence process of establishing power plants, and for the implementation of a more transparent system to mitigate adverse effects of corruption on megaprojects.

  16. High laboratory cost predicted per tuberculosis case diagnosed with increased case finding without a triage strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunbar, R; Naidoo, P; Beyers, N; Langley, I

    2017-09-01

    Cape Town, South Africa. To model the effects of increased case finding and triage strategies on laboratory costs per tuberculosis (TB) case diagnosed. We used a validated operational model and published laboratory cost data. We modelled the effect of varying the proportion with TB among presumptive cases and Xpert cartridge price reductions on cost per TB case and per additional TB case diagnosed in the Xpert-based vs. smear/culture-based algorithms. In our current scenario (18.3% with TB among presumptive cases), the proportion of cases diagnosed increased by 8.7% (16.7% vs. 15.0%), and the cost per case diagnosed increased by 142% (US$121 vs. US$50). The cost per additional case diagnosed was US$986. This would increase to US$1619 if the proportion with TB among presumptive cases was 10.6%. At 25.9-30.8% of TB prevalence among presumptive cases and a 50% reduction in Xpert cartridge price, the cost per TB case diagnosed would range from US$50 to US$59 (comparable to the US$48.77 found in routine practice with smear/culture). The operational model illustrates the effect of increased case finding on laboratory costs per TB case diagnosed. Unless triage strategies are identified, the approach will not be sustainable, even if Xpert cartridge prices are reduced.

  17. The management of aldosterone-producing adrenal adenomas--does adrenalectomy increase costs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimel, Bethann; Zanocco, Kyle; Russo, Mark J; Zarnegar, Rasa; Clark, Orlo H; Allendorf, John D; Chabot, John A; Duh, Quan-Yang; Lee, James A; Sturgeon, Cord

    2010-12-01

    Most experts agree that primary hyperaldosteronism (PHA) caused by an aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) is best treated by adrenalectomy. From a public health standpoint, the cost of treatment must be considered. We sought to compare the current guideline-based (surgical) strategy with universal pharmacologic management to determine the optimal strategy from a cost perspective. A decision analysis was performed using a Markov state transition model comparing the strategies for PHA treatment. Pharmacologic management for all patients with PHA was compared with a strategy of screening for and resecting an aldosterone-producing adenoma. Success rates were determined for treatment outcomes based on a literature review. Medicare reimbursement rates were calculated to estimate costs from a third-party payer perspective. Screening for and resecting APAs was the least costly strategy in this model. For a reference patient with 41 remaining years of life, the discounted expected cost of the surgical strategy was $27,821. The discounted expected cost of the medical strategy was $34,691. The cost of adrenalectomy would have to increase by 156% to $22,525 from $8,784 for universal pharmacologic therapy to be less costly. Screening for APA is more costly if fewer than 9.6% of PHA patients have resectable APA. Resection of APAs was the least costly treatment strategy in this decision analysis model. Copyright © 2010 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Economic costs attributable to smoking in Hong Kong in 2011: a possible increase from 1998.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jing; McGhee, Sarah; Lam, Tai Hing

    2017-11-15

    Reduction in smoking prevalence does not necessarily reduce the costs of smoking as evidence shows in developed countries. We provide up-to-date estimates for direct and indirect costs attributable to smoking in Hong Kong in 2011 and compare with our 1998 estimates. We took a societal perspective to include lives and life years lost, health care costs and time lost from work in the costing. We followed guidelines on estimating costs of active smoking for those aged 35 years or above (35+) and costs due to SHS exposure for 35+, infants aged 12 months and under and children aged 15 and below. All costs are in US$. We estimated that 6154 deaths among 35+ in Hong Kong in 2011 were attributable to active smoking, an increase of 10% from 1998. Besides, 672 deaths were attributable to SHS exposure, i.e. 10% of the total 6826 smoking-attributable deaths. The estimate of productive life lost due to deaths from active smoking by those aged under 65 years in 2011 was $166 million, an increase of about 4% over the estimate in 1998. Our conservative estimate of the annual tobacco-related disease cost in 2011 was $716 million which accounted for 0.3% of GDP. If we added the value of attributable lives lost, the annual cost would be $4.7 billion. Despite the reduction in smoking prevalence, smoking-attributable disease still imposes a substantial economic burden on Hong Kong society. These findings support more stringent and effective tobacco control legislation, polices and measures. Current evidence shows reduction in smoking prevalence does not necessarily reduce the economic costs of smoking. Most studies in developed countries employed a societal perspective, including costs of productivity loss and indirect costs, but not all studies estimated costs associated with second-hand smoking (SHS). The present study estimated the total costs of smoking in Hong Kong including direct and indirect costs attributable to active smoking and to SHS exposure. Our study confirms the

  19. Cost-effectiveness analysis of malaria rapid diagnostic tests for appropriate treatment of malaria at the community level in Uganda

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Kristian S; Ndyomugyenyi, Richard; Magnussen, Pascal

    2017-01-01

    was a cost-effectiveness analysis of the introduction of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (mRDTs) performed by CHWs in two areas of moderate-to-high and low malaria transmission in rural Uganda. CHWs were trained to perform mRDTs and treat children with artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT......) in the intervention arm while CHWs offered treatment based on presumptive diagnosis in the control arm. Data on the proportion of children with fever 'appropriately treated for malaria with ACT' were captured from a randomised trial. Health sector costs included: training of CHWs, community sensitisation, supervision...

  20. Low-cost rapid prototyping of flexible plastic paper based microfluidic devices

    KAUST Repository

    Fan, Yiqiang; Li, Huawei; Yi, Ying; Foulds, Ian G.

    2013-01-01

    This research presents a novel rapid prototyping method for paper-based flexible microfluidic devices. The microchannels were fabricated using laser ablation on a piece of plastic paper (permanent paper), the dimensions of the microchannels

  1. RAPID KNEE-EXTENSIONS TO INCREASE QUADRICEPS MUSCLE ACTIVITY IN PATIENTS WITH TOTAL KNEE ARTHROPLASTY

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Husted, Rasmus Skov; Wilquin, Lousia; Jakobsen, Thomas Linding

    2017-01-01

    rapid knee-extensions were associated with greater voluntary quadriceps muscle activity during an experimental strength training session, compared to that elicited using slow knee-extensions. STUDY DESIGN: A randomized cross-over study. METHODS: Twenty-four patients (age 66.5) 4-8 weeks post total knee...... agonist muscle activity, especially if the exercise is conducted using rapid muscle contractions. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine if patients with total knee arthroplasty could perform rapid knee-extensions using a 10 RM load four to eight weeks after surgery, and the degree to which...... arthroplasty randomly performed one set of five rapid, and one set of five slow knee-extensions with the operated leg, using a load of their 10 repetition maximum, while surface electromyography recordings were obtained from the vastus medialis and lateralis of the quadriceps muscle. RESULTS: Data from 23...

  2. Rapid knee-extensions to increase quadriceps muscle activity in patients with total knee arthroplasty

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Husted, Rasmus Skov; Wilquin, Lousia; Jakobsen, Thomas Linding

    2017-01-01

    rapid knee-extensions were associated with greater voluntary quadriceps muscle activity during an experimental strength training session, compared to that elicited using slow knee-extensions. STUDY DESIGN: A randomized cross-over study. METHODS: Twenty-four patients (age 66.5) 4-8 weeks post total knee...... agonist muscle activity, especially if the exercise is conducted using rapid muscle contractions. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine if patients with total knee arthroplasty could perform rapid knee-extensions using a 10 RM load four to eight weeks after surgery, and the degree to which...... arthroplasty randomly performed one set of five rapid, and one set of five slow knee-extensions with the operated leg, using a load of their 10 repetition maximum, while surface electromyography recordings were obtained from the vastus medialis and lateralis of the quadriceps muscle. RESULTS: Data from 23...

  3. Comparative study of efficacy, rapidity of detection, and cost-effectiveness of potassium hydroxide, calcofluor white, and Chicago sky blue stains in the diagnosis of dermatophytoses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prakash, R; Prashanth, Hosakere Veerappa; Ragunatha, Shivanna; Kapoor, Meenakshi; Anitha, T K; Krishnamurthy, Veena

    2016-04-01

    The diagnosis of superficial mycosis such as dermatophytosis is often done clinically. However, in difficult cases, a rapid test with high sensitivity and specificity helps in the immediate confirmation and administration of treatment. The efficacy, rapidity of detection, and cost-effectiveness of KOH preparation, calcofluor white (CW) stain, and Chicago sky blue (CSB) stain in the identification of fungal elements were assessed in patients with dermatophytoses attending the dermatology clinic of a tertiary care hospital. All three tests were performed on each sample collected from 73 patients according to standard procedure. The slides were examined after 5 and 30 minutes in × 10 and × 40 magnifications. The sensitivity and specificity of CW and CSB at 5 and 30 minutes were calculated using KOH preparation as the standard test. CSB stain showed highest positivity (94.5%) within 5 minutes when compared to KOH (75.3%) and CW (83.5%). After 30 minutes, positivity increased in KOH (84.9%) and CW stains (89%), but it remained the same in CSB stain. Both CW and CSB stains when compared to 10% KOH are equally sensitive (100%), but CW was more specific (72.7%), particularly at 30 minutes. When cost of performing tests on 100 specimens is considered, KOH, CW, and CSB stains cost Rs 5, 100, and 15, respectively. CSB stain is a better stain for rapid diagnosis of dermatophytoses because of ease of performance, rapidity of detection, better appreciation of morphology of fungal elements, and cost effectiveness. © 2016 The International Society of Dermatology.

  4. Rapid and low-cost fabrication of polystyrene-based molds for PDMS microfluidic devices using a CO2 laser

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Huawei

    2011-11-01

    In this article, we described a rapid and low-cost method to fabricate polystyrene molds for PDMS microfluidic devices using a CO2 laser system. It takes only several minutes to fabricate the polystyrene mold with bump pattern on top of it using a CO2 laser system. The bump pattern can be easily transferred to PDMS and fabricate microchannles as deep as 3μm on PDMS. © (2012) Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland.

  5. Rapid and low-cost fabrication of polystyrene-based molds for PDMS microfluidic devices using a CO2 laser

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Huawei; Fan, Yiqiang; Foulds, Ian G.

    2011-01-01

    In this article, we described a rapid and low-cost method to fabricate polystyrene molds for PDMS microfluidic devices using a CO2 laser system. It takes only several minutes to fabricate the polystyrene mold with bump pattern on top of it using a CO2 laser system. The bump pattern can be easily transferred to PDMS and fabricate microchannles as deep as 3μm on PDMS. © (2012) Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland.

  6. Cost-effectiveness of Increasing Access to Contraception during the Zika Virus Outbreak, Puerto Rico, 2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, Katharine B.; Bertolli, Jeanne; Rivera-Garcia, Brenda; Cox, Shanna; Romero, Lisa; Koonin, Lisa M.; Valencia-Prado, Miguel; Bracero, Nabal; Jamieson, Denise J.; Barfield, Wanda; Moore, Cynthia A.; Mai, Cara T.; Korhonen, Lauren C.; Frey, Meghan T.; Perez-Padilla, Janice; Torres-Muñoz, Ricardo; Grosse, Scott D.

    2017-01-01

    We modeled the potential cost-effectiveness of increasing access to contraception in Puerto Rico during a Zika virus outbreak. The intervention is projected to cost an additional $33.5 million in family planning services and is likely to be cost-saving for the healthcare system overall. It could reduce Zika virus–related costs by $65.2 million ($2.8 million from less Zika virus testing and monitoring and $62.3 million from avoided costs of Zika virus–associated microcephaly [ZAM]). The estimates are influenced by the contraception methods used, the frequency of ZAM, and the lifetime incremental cost of ZAM. Accounting for unwanted pregnancies that are prevented, irrespective of Zika virus infection, an additional $40.4 million in medical costs would be avoided through the intervention. Increasing contraceptive access for women who want to delay or avoid pregnancy in Puerto Rico during a Zika virus outbreak can substantially reduce the number of cases of ZAM and healthcare costs. PMID:27805547

  7. Cost-effectiveness of Increasing Access to Contraception during the Zika Virus Outbreak, Puerto Rico, 2016.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Rui; Simmons, Katharine B; Bertolli, Jeanne; Rivera-Garcia, Brenda; Cox, Shanna; Romero, Lisa; Koonin, Lisa M; Valencia-Prado, Miguel; Bracero, Nabal; Jamieson, Denise J; Barfield, Wanda; Moore, Cynthia A; Mai, Cara T; Korhonen, Lauren C; Frey, Meghan T; Perez-Padilla, Janice; Torres-Muñoz, Ricardo; Grosse, Scott D

    2017-01-01

    We modeled the potential cost-effectiveness of increasing access to contraception in Puerto Rico during a Zika virus outbreak. The intervention is projected to cost an additional $33.5 million in family planning services and is likely to be cost-saving for the healthcare system overall. It could reduce Zika virus-related costs by $65.2 million ($2.8 million from less Zika virus testing and monitoring and $62.3 million from avoided costs of Zika virus-associated microcephaly [ZAM]). The estimates are influenced by the contraception methods used, the frequency of ZAM, and the lifetime incremental cost of ZAM. Accounting for unwanted pregnancies that are prevented, irrespective of Zika virus infection, an additional $40.4 million in medical costs would be avoided through the intervention. Increasing contraceptive access for women who want to delay or avoid pregnancy in Puerto Rico during a Zika virus outbreak can substantially reduce the number of cases of ZAM and healthcare costs.

  8. The price of information: Increased inspection costs reduce the confirmation bias in visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajsic, Jason; Wilson, Daryl E; Pratt, Jay

    2018-04-01

    In visual search, there is a confirmation bias such that attention is biased towards stimuli that match a target template, which has been attributed to covert costs of updating the templates that guide search [Rajsic, Wilson, & Pratt, 2015. Confirmation bias in visual search. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. Advance online publication. doi:10.1037/xhp0000090]. In order to provide direct evidence for this speculation, the present study increased the cost of inspections in search by using gaze- and mouse-contingent searches, which restrict the manner in which information in search displays can be accrued, and incur additional motor costs (in the case of mouse-contingent searches). In a fourth experiment, we rhythmically mask elements in the search display to induce temporal inspection costs. Our results indicated that confirmation bias is indeed attenuated when inspection costs are increased. We conclude that confirmation bias results from the low-cost strategy of matching information to a single, concrete visual template, and that more sophisticated guidance strategies will be used when sufficiently beneficial. This demonstrates that search guidance itself comes at a cost, and that the form of guidance adopted in a given search depends on a comparison between guidance costs and the expected benefits of their implementation.

  9. Increasing value in plagiocephaly care: a time-driven activity-based costing pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inverso, Gino; Lappi, Michael D; Flath-Sporn, Susan J; Heald, Ronald; Kim, David C; Meara, John G

    2015-06-01

    Process management within a health care setting is poorly understood and often leads to an incomplete understanding of the true costs of patient care. Using time-driven activity-based costing methods, we evaluated the high-volume, low-complexity diagnosis of plagiocephaly to increase value within our clinic. A total of 59 plagiocephaly patients were evaluated in phase 1 (n = 31) and phase 2 (n = 28) of this study. During phase 1, a process map was created, encompassing each of the 5 clinicians and administrative personnel delivering 23 unique activities. After analysis of the phase 1 process maps, average times as well as costs of these activities were evaluated for potential modifications in workflow. These modifications were implemented in phase 2 to determine overall impact on visit-time and costs of care. Improvements in patient education, workflow coordination, and examination room allocation were implemented during phase 2, resulting in a reduced patient visit-time of 13:25 (19.9% improvement) and an increased cost of $8.22 per patient (7.7% increase) due to changes in physician process times. However, this increased cost was directly offset by the availability of 2 additional appointments per day, potentially generating $7904 of additional annual revenue. Quantifying the impact of a 19.9% reduction in patient visit-time at an increased cost of 7.7% resulted in an increased value ratio of 1.113. This pilot study effectively demonstrates the novel use of time-driven activity-based costing in combination with the value equation as a metric for continuous process improvement programs within the health care setting.

  10. Cost effectiveness of withdrawal of fall-risk-increasing drugs in geriatric outpatients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Velde, Nathalie; Meerding, Willen Jan; Looman, Caspar W; Pols, Huibert A P; van der Cammen, Tischa J M

    2008-01-01

    Withdrawal of fall-risk-increasing drugs has been proven to be effective in older persons. However, given the enormous rise in healthcare costs in recent decades, the effect of such withdrawals on healthcare costs also needs to be considered. Within a common geriatric outpatient population, patients with a history of falls were assessed for falls risk (n = 139). Fall-risk-increasing drugs were withdrawn when appropriate (n = 75). All participants had a 2-month follow-up for fall incidents. The number of prevented falls was calculated using a loglinear regression model. The savings on health expenditures as a result of prevented injuries (estimated from a literature review) and reduced consumption of pharmaceuticals were compared with the intervention costs. After adjustment for confounders, drug withdrawal resulted in a falls risk reduction of 0.89 (95% CI 0.33, 0.98) per patient compared with the non-withdrawal group. Net cost savings were euro1691 (95% CI 662, 2181) per patient in the cohort. This resulted in a cost saving of euro491 (95% CI 465, 497) per prevented fall. Withdrawal of fall-risk-increasing drugs generates significant cost savings. Extrapolation of these findings to a national scale results in an estimated reduction of euro60 million in healthcare expenditures, that is, 15% of fall-related health costs.

  11. Rapid evaluation of the cost-effectiveness o FDG-PET in recurrent colorectal cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miles, K.A.; Keith, C.J.; Wong, D.C.; Griffiths, M.R.

    2002-01-01

    Full text: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of FDG-PET in recurrent colorectal cancer using Australian data whilst avoiding the time delays, costs and ethical difficulties associated with intensive patient follow-up. A decision tree sensitivity analysis was used. The study population comprised patients with recurrent colorectal under consideration for resection of apparently isolated hepatic metastasis in whom demonstration of extra-hepatic tumour would preclude surgery.The results of FDG-PET in a consecutive series of 75 such patients referred to the Wesley PET centre were used to determine the range of possible values for disease prevalence and specificity, assuming the value for PET sensitivity as reported in the federal government's PET review. These values, along with the diagnostic accuracy of CT and Australian costs for procedures (PET = $1200), were entered into decision trees modelling a diagnostic strategy comprising CT only and an alternative strategy where patients without extrahepatic tumour on CT also undergo FDG-PET. The cost per patient, accuracy and Incremental Cost-Accuracy Ratio (ICAR) were determined for each strategy. The PET strategy is cheaper for all possible values of disease prevalence and PET specificity ($306-328 / patient) and is more cost-effective for values of disease prevalence above 0.18 or PET specificity above 0.86. At a typical disease prevalence of 0.3 (PET specificity 0.92), the ICAR for the PET strategy is $9700 versus $11,200 for CT. PET remains cost saving even if the best reported values for sensitivity of CT and worse values for PET are used. FDG-PET for recurrent colorectal cancer in Australia would be cost saving and most probably cost-effective. Copyright (2002) Blackwell Science Pty Ltd

  12. Climate change and the insurance industry. The cost of increased risk and the impetus for action

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tucker, Michael

    1997-01-01

    A convincing economic argument for taking action to prevent or ameliorate climate change has not developed because of both uncertainty about the degree of change and its timing. Recent costly weather-related catastrophes with consequent negative impacts on the insurance industry has made the insurance industry a potential advocate for slowing what has been identified as a causal factor in climate change: emissions of greenhouse gases. However, rising costs of claims, without a longer-term trend of such catastrophic losses, will make it difficult to present a strong case for taking costly economic action. Using the Black Scholes Option Pricing Model, it is shown that increasing levels of climate variability as embedded in the anticipated variability of damage to insured assets will have an immediate economic cost that could serve to bolster the argument for more immediate action. That cost is shown to be economically justified higher insurance premiums

  13. Rapid Manufacturing of Durable, Cost-Effective Ceramic Matrix Composites for High Temperature Structures, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Hypersonic vehicles require durable and cost-effective hot structures that do not impose weight penalties such as those associated with the use of non-structural...

  14. Metabolic and respiratory costs of increasing song amplitude in zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sue Anne Zollinger

    Full Text Available Bird song is a widely used model in the study of animal communication and sexual selection, and several song features have been shown to reflect the quality of the singer. Recent studies have demonstrated that song amplitude may be an honest signal of current condition in males and that females prefer high amplitude songs. In addition, birds raise the amplitude of their songs to communicate in noisy environments. Although it is generally assumed that louder song should be more costly to produce, there has been little empirical evidence to support this assumption. We tested the assumption by measuring oxygen consumption and respiratory patterns in adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata singing at different amplitudes in different background noise conditions. As background noise levels increased, birds significantly increased the sound pressure level of their songs. We found that louder songs required significantly greater subsyringeal air sac pressure than quieter songs. Though increased pressure is probably achieved by increasing respiratory muscle activity, these increases did not correlate with measurable increases in oxygen consumption. In addition, we found that oxygen consumption increased in higher background noise, independent of singing behaviour. This observation supports previous research in mammals showing that high levels of environmental noise can induce physiological stress responses. While our study did not find that increasing vocal amplitude increased metabolic costs, further research is needed to determine whether there are other non-metabolic costs of singing louder or costs associated with chronic noise exposure.

  15. Initiating antiretroviral therapy for HIV at a patient's first clinic visit: a cost-effectiveness analysis of the rapid initiation of treatment randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Lawrence C; Maskew, Mhairi; Brennan, Alana T; Mongwenyana, Constance; Nyoni, Cynthia; Malete, Given; Sanne, Ian; Fox, Matthew P; Rosen, Sydney

    2017-07-17

    Determine the cost and cost-effectiveness of single-visit (same-day) antiretroviral treatment (ART) initiation compared to standard of care initiation. Cost-effectiveness analysis of individually randomized (1 : 1) pragmatic trial of single-visit initiation, which increased viral suppression at 10 months by 26% [relative risk (95% confidence interval) 1.26 (1.05-1.50)]. Primary health clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. HIV positive, adult, nonpregnant patients not yet on ART or known to be eligible who presented at the clinic 8 May 2013 to 29 August 2014. Same-day ART initiation using point-of-care laboratory instruments and accelerated clinic procedures to allow treatment-eligible patients to receive antiretroviral medications at the same visit as testing HIV positive or having an eligible CD4 cell count. Comparison was to standard of care ART initiation, which typically required three to five additional clinic visits. Average cost per patient enrolled and per patient achieving the primary outcome of initiated 90 days or less and suppressed 10 months or less, and production cost per patient achieving primary outcome (all costs per primary outcome patients). The average cost per patient enrolled, per patient achieving the primary outcome, and production cost were $319, $487, and $738 in the standard arm and $451, $505, and $707 in the rapid arm. Same-day treatment initiation was more effective than standard initiation, more expensive per patient enrolled, and less expensive to produce a patient achieving the primary outcome. Omitting point-of-care laboratory tests at initiation and focusing on high-volume clinics have the potential to reduce costs substantially and should be evaluated in routine settings.

  16. Climate change and electricity consumption-Witnessing increasing or decreasing use and costs?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pilli-Sihvola, Karoliina; Aatola, Piia; Ollikainen, Markku; Tuomenvirta, Heikki

    2010-01-01

    Climate change affects the need for heating and cooling. This paper examines the impact of gradually warming climate on the need for heating and cooling with an econometric multivariate regression model for five countries in Europe along the south-north line. The predicted changes in electricity demand are then used to analyze how climate change impacts the cost of electricity use, including carbon costs. Our main findings are, that in Central and North Europe, the decrease in heating due to climate warming, dominates and thus costs will decrease for both users of electricity and in carbon markets. In Southern Europe climate warming, and the consequential increase in cooling and electricity demand, overcomes the decreased need for heating. Therefore costs also increase. The main contributors are the role of electricity in heating and cooling, and the climatic zone.

  17. A high performance, high precision, low cost rapid prototyping and manufacturing technology

    OpenAIRE

    Viacheslav R. Shulunov

    2014-01-01

    A novel roll powder sintering (RPS) technology is proposed for processing real plastic, ceramic, metal and other 3-D objects 1m³ (or more) in volume directly from a CAD model within several hours. The breakthrough advantages of the technology are compared to the dominant rapid prototyping and manufacturing (RP&M) processes that are currently on the market.

  18. Control costs, enhance quality, and increase revenue in three top general public hospitals in Beijing, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lue-Ping Zhao

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: With market-oriented economic and health-care reform, public hospitals in China have received unprecedented pressures from governmental regulations, public opinions, and financial demands. To adapt the changing environment and keep pace of modernizing healthcare delivery system, public hospitals in China are expanding clinical services and improving delivery efficiency, while controlling costs. Recent experiences are valuable lessons for guiding future healthcare reform. Here we carefully study three teaching hospitals, to exemplify their experiences during this period. METHODS: We performed a systematic analysis on hospitalization costs, health-care quality and delivery efficiencies from 2006 to 2010 in three teaching hospitals in Beijing, China. The analysis measured temporal changes of inpatient cost per stay (CPS, cost per day (CPD, inpatient mortality rate (IMR, and length of stay (LOS, using a generalized additive model. FINDINGS: There were 651,559 hospitalizations during the period analyzed. Averaged CPS was stable over time, while averaged CPD steadily increased by 41.7% (P<0.001, from CNY 1,531 in 2006 to CNY 2,169 in 2010. The increasing CPD seemed synchronous with the steady rising of the national annual income per capita. Surgical cost was the main contributor to the temporal change of CPD, while medicine and examination costs tended to be stable over time. From 2006 and 2010, IMR decreased by 36%, while LOS reduced by 25%. Increasing hospitalizations with higher costs, along with an overall stable CPS, reduced IMR, and shorter LOS, appear to be the major characteristics of these three hospitals at present. INTERPRETATIONS: These three teaching hospitals have gained some success in controlling costs, improving cares, adopting modern medical technologies, and increasing hospital revenues. Effective hospital governance and physicians' professional capacity plus government regulations and supervisions may have played a role

  19. Concepts of increasing productivity and reducing the processing cost of machine parts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    О. С. Кленов

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The basic conditions to reduce the cost of processing technology and improve productivity through the use of modern cutting tools produced by leading foreign firms producing tools have been appraised from theory in the work. Theoretically, it has been found that an increase in the cost of processing varies according to extremum dependence, passing the minimum point. It is possible to reduce the minimum processing cost due to the increase of productivity using cutting edge tools, characterized by a high capacity for work in high cutting temperatures. The criterion showing the technological price cost minimum is the ratio of the expenditures on workers’ wages to the expenditures on the cutting tools, it being quite specific for various processing conditions. To analyze the possibilities of practical use of the proposed criterion, a complex of experimental researches of the technological prime cost and productivity of the processing with hard alloy cutting tools with wear-resistant coatings produced by the company «Iscar» has been carried out. It has been established that their use makes it possible by more than one half to reduce the labour consumption and overall costs as compared to the hard alloy cutting tools traditionally used in home industry. It has been shown that this effect is achieved by increasing the cutting speed and feed due to increased wear resistance and heat resistance of the «Iscar» company tools. It was established that it is much more possible to achieve low processing cost at milling than at turning. It was stated with regard to all major expenditures including the workers' wages, the cost of the cutting tools, equipment and other costs, allowing more correctly estimate the cost-effectiveness of mechanical processing. Experiments confirmed that the main condition for reducing the processing cost to its minimum value is to increase the processing performance through the use of a heat-resistant and wear-resistant cutting

  20. A rapid cosmic-ray increase in BC 3372-3371 from ancient buried tree rings in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, F Y; Yu, H; Zou, Y C; Dai, Z G; Cheng, K S

    2017-11-14

    Cosmic rays interact with the Earth's atmosphere to produce 14 C, which can be absorbed by trees. Therefore, rapid increases of 14 C in tree rings can be used to probe previous cosmic-ray events. By this method, three 14 C rapidly increasing events have been found. Plausible causes of these events include large solar proton events, supernovae, or short gamma-ray bursts. However, due to the lack of measurements of 14 C by year, the occurrence frequency of such 14 C rapidly increasing events is poorly known. In addition, rapid increases may be hidden in the IntCal13 data with five-year resolution. Here we report the result of 14 C measurements using an ancient buried tree during the period between BC 3388 and 3358. We found a rapid increase of about 9‰ in the 14 C content from BC 3372 to BC 3371. We suggest that this event could originate from a large solar proton event.

  1. A METHOD OF THE MINIMIZING OF THE TOTAL ACQUISITIONS COST WITH THE INCREASING VARIABLE DEMAND

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ELEONORA IONELA FOCȘAN

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Over time, mankind has tried to find different ways of costs reduction. This subject which we are facing more often nowadays, has been detailed studied, without reaching a general model, and also efficient, regarding the costs reduction. Costs reduction entails a number of benefits over the entity, the most important being: increase revenue and default to the profit, increase productivity, a higher level of services / products offered to clients, and last but not least, the risk mitigation of the economic deficit. Therefore, each entity search different modes to obtain most benefits, for the company to succeed in a competitive market. This article supports the companies, trying to make known a new way of minimizing the total cost of acquisitions, by presenting some hypotheses about the increasing variable demand, proving them, and development of formulas for reducing the costs. The hypotheses presented in the model described below, can be maximally exploited to obtain new models of reducing the total cost, according to the modes of the purchase of entities which approach it.

  2. Dynamic Cost-Contingency Management: A Method for Reducing Project Costs While Increasing the Probability of Success

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kujawski, Edouard

    2007-01-01

    In the real world, "Money Allocated is Money Spent" (MAIMS). As a consequence, cost underruns are rarely available to protect against cost overruns, while task overruns are passed on to the total project cost...

  3. Effect of increased regulation on capital costs and manual labor requirements of nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paik, S.; Schriver, W.R.

    1981-01-01

    An attempt is made to explain the impact of increasing governmental regulation on capital costs and labor requirements for constructing light water reactor (LWR) electric power plants. The principal factors contributing to these increases are: (1) market conditions and (2) increased regulation. General market conditions include additional costs attributable to price inflation of equipment, material, labor, and the increased cost of money. The central objective of this work is to estimate the impact of increasing regulation on plant costs and, conversely, on output. To do this it is necessary to isolate two opposing sets of forces which have been in operation during the period of major regulatory expansion: learning based upon plant design experience and economies of scale with increasing size (generating capacity) of newer plants. Conceptual models are specified to capture the independent effects of increasing regulation, learning, and economies of scale. Empirical results were obtained by estimating the models on data collected from industry experience during the 1967-1980 period. 23 refs

  4. Manufacturing of Low Cost, Durable Membrane Electrode Assemblies Engineered for Rapid Conditioning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Busby, Colin [W. L. Gore & Associates Inc., Newark, DE (United States)

    2017-05-23

    Over the past 20 years significant progress in membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) technology development for polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEMFCs) has resulted in the PEMFC technology approaching a commercial reality for transportation applications. However, there remain two primary technical challenges to be addressed in the MEA. First and foremost is meeting the automotive cost targets: Producing a fuel cell stack cost competitive with today’s internal combustion engine. In addition to the material cost, MEA (and other components) and stack assembly production methods must be amenable for use in low cost, high speed, automotive assembly line. One impediment to this latter goal is that stack components must currently go through a long and tedious conditioning procedure before they produce optimal power. This so-called “break-in” can take many hours, and can involve quite complex voltage, temperature and/or pressure steps. These break-in procedures must be simplified and the time required reduced if fuel cells are to become a viable automotive engine. The second challenge is to achieve the durability targets in real-world automotive duty cycle operations. Significant improvements in cost, break-in time, and durability for the key component of fuel cell stacks, MEAs were achieved in this project. Advanced modeling was used to guide design of the new MEA to maximize performance and durability. A new, innovative process and manufacturing approach utilizing direct in-line coating using scalable, cost-competitive, continuous high volume 3-layer rolled-good manufacturing processes was developed and validated by single cell and short stack testing. In addition, the direct coating methods employed were shown to reduce the cost for sacrificial films. Furthermore, Gore has demonstrated a 10 µm reinforced membrane that is used in the new low-cost process and can meet automotive power density and durability targets. Across a wide range of operating conditions, the

  5. SMS messages increase adherence to rapid diagnostic test results among malaria patients: results from a pilot study in Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modrek, Sepideh; Schatzkin, Eric; De La Cruz, Anna; Isiguzo, Chinwoke; Nwokolo, Ernest; Anyanti, Jennifer; Ujuju, Chinazo; Montagu, Dominic; Liu, Jenny

    2014-02-25

    The World Health Organization now recommends parasitological confirmation for malaria case management. Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for malaria are an accurate and simple diagnostic to confirm parasite presence in blood. However, where they have been deployed, adherence to RDT results has been poor, especially when the test result is negative. Few studies have examined adherence to RDTs distributed or purchased through the private sector. The Rapid Examination of Malaria and Evaluation of Diagnostic Information (REMEDI) study assessed the acceptability of and adherence to RDT results for patients seeking care from private sector drug retailers in two cities in Oyo State in south-west Nigeria. In total, 465 adult participants were enrolled upon exit from a participating drug shop having purchased anti-malaria drugs for themselves. Participants were given a free RDT and the appropriate treatment advice based on their RDT result. Short Message Service (SMS) text messages reiterating the treatment advice were sent to a randomly selected half of the participants one day after being tested. Participants were contacted via phone four days after the RDT was conducted to assess adherence to the RDT information and treatment advice. Adherence to RDT results was 14.3 percentage points (P-val <0.001) higher in the treatment group who were sent the SMS. The higher adherence in the treatment group was robust to several specification tests and the estimated difference in adherence ranged from 9.7 to 16.1 percentage points. Further, the higher adherence to the treatment advice was specific to the treatment advice for anti-malarial drugs and not other drugs purchased to treat malaria symptoms in the RDT-negative participants who bought both anti-malarial and symptom drugs. There was no difference in adherence for the RDT-positive participants who were sent the SMS. SMS text messages substantially increased adherence to RDT results for patients seeking care for malaria from

  6. Low-cost rapid prototyping of flexible plastic paper based microfluidic devices

    KAUST Repository

    Fan, Yiqiang

    2013-04-01

    This research presents a novel rapid prototyping method for paper-based flexible microfluidic devices. The microchannels were fabricated using laser ablation on a piece of plastic paper (permanent paper), the dimensions of the microchannels was carefully studied for various laser powers and scanning speeds. After laser ablation of the microchannels on the plastic paper, a transparent poly (methyl methacrylate)(PMMA) film was thermally bonded to the plastic paper to enclose the channels. After connection of tubing, the device was ready to use. An example microfluidic device (droplet generator) was also fabricated using this technique. Due to the flexibility of the fabricated device, this technique can be used to fabricate 3D microfluidic devices. The fabrication process was simple and rapid without any requirement of cleanroom facilities. © 2013 IEEE.

  7. Economical Feedback of Increasing Fuel Enrichment on Electricity Cost for VVER-1000

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Saad Dwiddar

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available A methodology of evaluating the economics of the front-end nuclear fuel cycle with a price change sensitivity analysis for a VVER-1000 reactor core as a case study is presented. The effect of increasing the fuel enrichment and its corresponding reactor cycle length on the energy cost is investigated. The enrichment component was found to represent the highly expenses dynamic component affecting the economics of the front-end fuel cycle. Nevertheless, the increase of the fuel enrichment will increase the reactor cycle length, which will have a positive feedback on the electricity generation cost (cent/KWh. A long reactor operation time with a cheaper energy cost set the nuclear energy as a competitive alternative when compared with other energy sources.

  8. A rapid and low-cost DNA extraction method for isolating ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    2011-02-21

    Feb 21, 2011 ... Available online at http://www.academicjournals.org/AJB ... α-casein, produces PCR ready DNA at a fraction of the cost of commercial DNA extraction kits. Key words: DNA .... This experiment was performed to evaluate the efficiency of the ..... Zoetendal EG, Ben-Amor K, Akkermans AD, Abee T, De Vos WM.

  9. A rapid and low-cost DNA extraction method for isolating ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The price of commercial DNA extraction methods makes the routine use of polymerase chain reaction amplification (PCR) based methods rather costly for scientists in developing countries. A guanidium thiocayante-based DNA extraction method was investigated in this study for the isolation of Escherichia coli (E. coli) DNA ...

  10. 20 CFR 225.42 - Notice of the percentage amount of a cost-of-living increase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT ACT PRIMARY INSURANCE AMOUNT DETERMINATIONS Cost-of-Living Increases § 225.42 Notice of the percentage amount of a cost-of-living increase. The percentage amount of the cost-of-living... 20 Employees' Benefits 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Notice of the percentage amount of a cost-of...

  11. Cost-effectiveness of policies aimed at increasing organ donation: the case of Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domínguez, J; Harrison, R; Atal, R; Larraín, L

    2013-01-01

    In this article we present an economic evaluation of policies aimed at increasing deceased organ donation in Chile, a developing country that has low donation rates; it had 5.4 donors per million people (pmp) in 2010. Expert opinions of leading participants in donation and transplantation were analyzed, resulting in a set of local policies aimed at increasing donation rates. Using previous results of reported cost savings of increasing kidney transplantation in Chile, we estimated the net benefits of these policies, as a function of additional donors. The main problem of the Chilean system seems to be the low capability to identify potential donors and a deficit in intensive care unit (ICU) beds. Among considered policies central to increase donation are the following: increasing human and capital resources dedicated to identifying potential donors, providing ICU beds from private centers, and developing an online information system that facilitates procurement coordination and the evaluation of performance at each hospital. Our results show that there is a linear relationship between cost savings and incremental donors pmp. For example, if these policies are capable of elevating donation rates in Chile by 6 donors pmp net estimated cost savings are approximately US $1.9 million. Likewise, considering the effect on patients' quality of life, savings would amount to around $15.0 million dollars per year. Our estimates suggest that these policies have a large cost-saving potential. In fact, considering implementation costs, cost reduction is positive after 4 additional donors pmp, and increasing afterward. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Control costs, enhance quality, and increase revenue in three top general public hospitals in Beijing, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Lue-Ping; Yu, Guo-Pei; Liu, Hui; Ma, Xie-Min; Wang, Jing; Kong, Gui-Lan; Li, Yi; Ma, Wen; Cui, Yong; Xu, Beibei; Yu, Na; Bao, Xiao-Yuan; Guo, Yu; Wang, Fei; Zhang, Jun; Li, Yan; Xie, Xue-Qin; Jiang, Bao-Guo; Ke, Yang

    2013-01-01

    With market-oriented economic and health-care reform, public hospitals in China have received unprecedented pressures from governmental regulations, public opinions, and financial demands. To adapt the changing environment and keep pace of modernizing healthcare delivery system, public hospitals in China are expanding clinical services and improving delivery efficiency, while controlling costs. Recent experiences are valuable lessons for guiding future healthcare reform. Here we carefully study three teaching hospitals, to exemplify their experiences during this period. We performed a systematic analysis on hospitalization costs, health-care quality and delivery efficiencies from 2006 to 2010 in three teaching hospitals in Beijing, China. The analysis measured temporal changes of inpatient cost per stay (CPS), cost per day (CPD), inpatient mortality rate (IMR), and length of stay (LOS), using a generalized additive model. There were 651,559 hospitalizations during the period analyzed. Averaged CPS was stable over time, while averaged CPD steadily increased by 41.7% (Phospitalizations with higher costs, along with an overall stable CPS, reduced IMR, and shorter LOS, appear to be the major characteristics of these three hospitals at present. These three teaching hospitals have gained some success in controlling costs, improving cares, adopting modern medical technologies, and increasing hospital revenues. Effective hospital governance and physicians' professional capacity plus government regulations and supervisions may have played a role. However, purely market-oriented health-care reform could also misguide future healthcare reform.

  13. The cost-effectiveness of using payment to increase living donor kidneys for transplantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnieh, Lianne; Gill, John S; Klarenbach, Scott; Manns, Braden J

    2013-12-01

    For eligible candidates, transplantation is considered the optimal treatment compared with dialysis for patients with ESRD. The growing number of patients with ESRD requires new strategies to increase the pool of potential donors. Using decision analysis modeling, this study compared a strategy of paying living kidney donors to waitlisted recipients on dialysis with the current organ donation system. In the base case estimate, this study assumed that the number of donors would increase by 5% with a payment of $10,000. Quality of life estimates, resource use, and costs (2010 Canadian dollars) were based on the best available published data. Compared with the current organ donation system, a strategy of increasing the number of kidneys for transplantation by 5% by paying living donors $10,000 has an incremental cost-savings of $340 and a gain of 0.11 quality-adjusted life years. Increasing the number of kidneys for transplantation by 10% and 20% would translate into incremental cost-savings of $1640 and $4030 and incremental quality-adjusted life years gain of 0.21 and 0.39, respectively. Although the impact is uncertain, this model suggests that a strategy of paying living donors to increase the number of kidneys available for transplantation could be cost-effective, even with a transplant rate increase of only 5%. Future work needs to examine the feasibility, legal policy, ethics, and public perception of a strategy to pay living donors.

  14. ScreenCube: A 3D Printed System for Rapid and Cost-Effective Chemical Screening in Adult Zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monstad-Rios, Adrian T; Watson, Claire J; Kwon, Ronald Y

    2018-02-01

    Phenotype-based small molecule screens in zebrafish embryos and larvae have been successful in accelerating pathway and therapeutic discovery for diverse biological processes. Yet, the application of chemical screens to adult physiologies has been relatively limited due to additional demands on cost, space, and labor associated with screens in adult animals. In this study, we present a 3D printed system and methods for intermittent drug dosing that enable rapid and cost-effective chemical administration in adult zebrafish. Using prefilled screening plates, the system enables dosing of 96 fish in ∼3 min, with a 10-fold reduction in drug quantity compared to that used in previous chemical screens in adult zebrafish. We characterize water quality kinetics during immersion in the system and use these kinetics to rationally design intermittent dosing regimens that result in 100% fish survival. As a demonstration of system fidelity, we show the potential to identify two known chemical inhibitors of adult tail fin regeneration, cyclopamine and dorsomorphin. By developing methods for rapid and cost-effective chemical administration in adult zebrafish, this study expands the potential for small molecule discovery in postembryonic models of development, disease, and regeneration.

  15. Dimensional Error in Rapid Prototyping with Open Source Software and Low-cost 3D-printer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rendón-Medina, Marco A; Andrade-Delgado, Laura; Telich-Tarriba, Jose E; Fuente-Del-Campo, Antonio; Altamirano-Arcos, Carlos A

    2018-01-01

    Rapid prototyping models (RPMs) had been extensively used in craniofacial and maxillofacial surgery, especially in areas such as orthognathic surgery, posttraumatic or oncological reconstructions, and implantology. Economic limitations are higher in developing countries such as Mexico, where resources dedicated to health care are limited, therefore limiting the use of RPM to few selected centers. This article aims to determine the dimensional error of a low-cost fused deposition modeling 3D printer (Tronxy P802MA, Shenzhen, Tronxy Technology Co), with Open source software. An ordinary dry human mandible was scanned with a computed tomography device. The data were processed with open software to build a rapid prototype with a fused deposition machine. Linear measurements were performed to find the mean absolute and relative difference. The mean absolute and relative difference was 0.65 mm and 1.96%, respectively ( P = 0.96). Low-cost FDM machines and Open Source Software are excellent options to manufacture RPM, with the benefit of low cost and a similar relative error than other more expensive technologies.

  16. Dimensional Error in Rapid Prototyping with Open Source Software and Low-cost 3D-printer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco A. Rendón-Medina

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Summary:. Rapid prototyping models (RPMs had been extensively used in craniofacial and maxillofacial surgery, especially in areas such as orthognathic surgery, posttraumatic or oncological reconstructions, and implantology. Economic limitations are higher in developing countries such as Mexico, where resources dedicated to health care are limited, therefore limiting the use of RPM to few selected centers. This article aims to determine the dimensional error of a low-cost fused deposition modeling 3D printer (Tronxy P802MA, Shenzhen, Tronxy Technology Co, with Open source software. An ordinary dry human mandible was scanned with a computed tomography device. The data were processed with open software to build a rapid prototype with a fused deposition machine. Linear measurements were performed to find the mean absolute and relative difference. The mean absolute and relative difference was 0.65 mm and 1.96%, respectively (P = 0.96. Low-cost FDM machines and Open Source Software are excellent options to manufacture RPM, with the benefit of low cost and a similar relative error than other more expensive technologies.

  17. Low-Cost, Rapidly Responsive, Controllable, and Reversible Photochromic Hydrogel for Display and Storage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yongqi; Guan, Lin; Gao, Guanghui

    2018-04-25

    Traditional optoelectronic devices without stretchable performance could be limited for substrates with irregular shape. Therefore, it is urgent to explore a new generation of flexible, stretchable, and low-cost intelligent vehicles as visual display and storage devices, such as hydrogels. In the investigation, a novel photochromic hydrogel was developed by introducing the negatively charged ammonium molybdate as a photochromic unit into polyacrylamide via ionic and covalent cross-linking. The hydrogel exhibited excellent properties of low cost, easy preparation, stretchable deformation, fatigue resistance, high transparency, and second-order response to external signals. Moreover, the photochromic and fading process of hydrogels could be precisely controlled and repeated under the irradiation of UV light and exposure of oxygen at different time and temperature. The photochromic hydrogel could be considered applied for artificial intelligence system, wearable healthcare device, and flexible memory device. Therefore, the strategy for designing a soft photochromic material would open a new direction to manufacture flexible and stretchable devices.

  18. A simple, rapid, cost-effective and sensitive method for detection of Salmonella in environmental and pecan samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobhal, S; Zhang, G; Rohla, C; Smith, M W; Ma, L M

    2014-10-01

    PCR is widely used in the routine detection of foodborne human pathogens; however, challenges remain in overcoming PCR inhibitors present in some sample matrices. The objective of this study was to develop a simple, sensitive, cost-effective and rapid method for processing large numbers of environmental and pecan samples for Salmonella detection. This study was also aimed at validation of a new protocol for the detection of Salmonella from in-shell pecans. Different DNA template preparation methods, including direct boiling, prespin, multiple washing and commercial DNA extraction kits, were evaluated with pure cultures of Salmonella Typhimurium and with enriched soil, cattle feces and in-shell pecan each spiked individually with Salmonella Typhimurium. PCR detection of Salmonella was conducted using invA and 16S rRNA gene (internal amplification control) specific primers. The effect of amplification facilitators, including bovine serum albumin (BSA), polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), polyethylene glycol (PEG) and gelatin on PCR sensitivity, was also evaluated. Conducting a prespin of sample matrices in combination with the addition of 0·4% (w/v) BSA and 1% (w/v) PVP in PCR mix was the simplest, most rapid, cost-effective and sensitive method for PCR detection of Salmonella, with up to 40 CFU Salmonella per reaction detectable in the presence of over 10(9 ) CFU ml(-1) of background micro-organisms from enriched feces soil or pecan samples. The developed method is rapid, cost-effective and sensitive for detection of Salmonella from different matrices. This study provides a method with broad applicability for PCR detection of Salmonella in complex sample matrices. This method has a potential for its application in different research arenas and diagnostic laboratories. © 2014 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  19. Expedited Site Characterization: A rapid, cost-effective process for preremedial site characterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burton, J.C.; Walker, J.L.; Jennings, T.V.; Aggarwal, P.K.; Hastings, B.; Meyer, W.T.; Rose, C.M.; Rosignolo, C.L.

    1993-01-01

    Argonne National Laboratory has developed a unique, cost- and time-effective, technically innovative process for preremedial site characterization, referred to as Expedited Site Characterization (ESC). The cost of the ESC field sampling process ranges from 1/10 to 1/5 of the cost of traditional site characterization. The time required for this ESC field activity is approximately 1/30 of that for current methods. Argonne's preremedial site investigations based on this approach have been accepted by the appropriate regulatory agencies. The ESC process is flexible and neither site nor contaminant dependent. The process has been successfully tested and applied in site investigations of multiple contaminated landfills in New Mexico (for the US Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management [BLM]) and at former grain storage facilities in Nebraska and Kansas, contaminated with carbon tetrachloride (for the Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation [CCC/USDA]). A working demonstration of this process was sponsored by the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Technology Development as a model of the methodology needed to accelerate site characterizations at DOE facilities. This report describes the application of the process in New Mexico, Nebraska and Kansas

  20. Screening and rapid molecular diagnosis of tuberculosis in prisons in Russia and Eastern Europe: a cost-effectiveness analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel E Winetsky

    Full Text Available Prisons of the former Soviet Union (FSU have high rates of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB and are thought to drive general population tuberculosis (TB epidemics. Effective prison case detection, though employing more expensive technologies, may reduce long-term treatment costs and slow MDR-TB transmission.We developed a dynamic transmission model of TB and drug resistance matched to the epidemiology and costs in FSU prisons. We evaluated eight strategies for TB screening and diagnosis involving, alone or in combination, self-referral, symptom screening, mass miniature radiography (MMR, and sputum PCR with probes for rifampin resistance (Xpert MTB/RIF. Over a 10-y horizon, we projected costs, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs, and TB and MDR-TB prevalence. Using sputum PCR as an annual primary screening tool among the general prison population most effectively reduced overall TB prevalence (from 2.78% to 2.31% and MDR-TB prevalence (from 0.74% to 0.63%, and cost US$543/QALY for additional QALYs gained compared to MMR screening with sputum PCR reserved for rapid detection of MDR-TB. Adding sputum PCR to the currently used strategy of annual MMR screening was cost-saving over 10 y compared to MMR screening alone, but produced only a modest reduction in MDR-TB prevalence (from 0.74% to 0.69% and had minimal effect on overall TB prevalence (from 2.78% to 2.74%. Strategies based on symptom screening alone were less effective and more expensive than MMR-based strategies. Study limitations included scarce primary TB time-series data in FSU prisons and uncertainties regarding screening test characteristics.In prisons of the FSU, annual screening of the general inmate population with sputum PCR most effectively reduces TB and MDR-TB prevalence, doing so cost-effectively. If this approach is not feasible, the current strategy of annual MMR is both more effective and less expensive than strategies using self-referral or symptom screening alone

  1. Cost-effectiveness of increasing bisphosphonates adherence for osteoporosis in community pharmacies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Boven, J.F.M.; Oosterhof, P.; Hiddink, E.G.; Stuurman-Bieze, A.G.G.; Postma, M.J.; Vegter, S.

    2011-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Increasing real-life adherence to bisphosphonates therapy is important to achieve the clinical benefits of reducing fractures reported in randomized clinical trials (RCTs). The aim of this pharmacoeconomic analysis was to determine the cost-effectiveness of a pharmaceutical care

  2. Increasing the cost-constrained availability of WDM Networks with Degree-3 Structured Topologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gutierrez Lopez, Jose Manuel; Georgakilas, Kostas; Katrinis, Kostas

    2010-01-01

    based on genetic algorithms, we evaluate the performance of structured topologies and compare it against a practical topology (NSFNET). The results manifest that nodal degree fairness leads to increased availability compared to conventional topologies, while not incurring higher capital and deployment...... cost....

  3. Colleges Struggle to Dispose of Hazardous Wastes in Face of Rising Costs and Increased Regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magner, Denise K.

    1989-01-01

    After years of being ignored by federal regulators because of the low volume of hazardous waste in question, colleges and universities are facing increased enforcement of environmental laws concerning waste disposal and storage, at great cost in money, facilities, and personnel. (MSE)

  4. Cost-optimal electricity systems with increasing renewable energy penetration for islands across the globe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blok, K.; van Velzen, Leonore

    2018-01-01

    Cost-optimal electricity system configurations with increasing renewable energy penetration were determined in this article for six islands of different geographies, sizes and contexts, utilizing photovoltaic energy, wind energy, pumped hydro storage and battery storage. The results of the

  5. Cost-effectiveness of increasing statin adherence for primary and secondary prevention in community pharmacies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vegter, S.; Oosterhof, P.; Van Boven, J.F.; Stuurman-Bieze, A.G.G.; Hiddink, E.G.; Postma, M.J.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives: Therapy persistence is important to achieve optimal clinical benefits of statin therapy. The aim of this study was to determine the cost-effectiveness of pharmaceutical care in community pharmacies, aimed to increase persistence with statin therapy for both primary and secondary

  6. 76 FR 66111 - Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-25

    ... visit our Internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov . SUPPLEMENTARY... SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION [Docket No. SSA-2011-0075] Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2012 AGENCY: Social Security Administration. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: Under title II of the...

  7. 77 FR 65754 - Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-30

    ... eligibility or claiming benefits, call 1-800-772-1213, or visit our Internet site, Social Security Online, at... SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION [Docket No. SSA-2012-0054] Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2013 AGENCY: Social Security Administration. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: Under title II of the...

  8. 75 FR 65696 - Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-26

    ... eligibility or claiming benefits, call 1-800-772-1213, or visit our Internet site, Social Security Online, at... SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION Office of the Commissioner [Docket No. SSA-2010-0054] Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2011 AGENCY: Social Security Administration. ACTION: Notice...

  9. Short-term responses of Dutch vacationers to a sharp increase in transport costs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Cranenburgh, S.

    2016-01-01

    This paper investigates vacationers’ short-term responses to a sharp increase in transport costs. It aims to (1) acquire an understanding of the relative popularity of the different types of responses among vacationers and (2) explore whether there are distinct market segments of vacationers that

  10. Health, Health Inequality, and Cost Impacts of Annual Increases in Tobacco Tax: Multistate Life Table Modeling in New Zealand.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tony Blakely

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Countries are increasingly considering how to reduce or even end tobacco consumption, and raising tobacco taxes is a potential strategy to achieve these goals. We estimated the impacts on health, health inequalities, and health system costs of ongoing tobacco tax increases (10% annually from 2011 to 2031, compared to no tax increases from 2011 ["business as usual," BAU], in a country (New Zealand with large ethnic inequalities in smoking-related and noncommunicable disease (NCD burden.We modeled 16 tobacco-related diseases in parallel, using rich national data by sex, age, and ethnicity, to estimate undiscounted quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs gained and net health system costs over the remaining life of the 2011 population (n = 4.4 million. A total of 260,000 (95% uncertainty interval [UI]: 155,000-419,000 QALYs were gained among the 2011 cohort exposed to annual tobacco tax increases, compared to BAU, and cost savings were US$2,550 million (95% UI: US$1,480 to US$4,000. QALY gains and cost savings took 50 y to peak, owing to such factors as the price sensitivity of youth and young adult smokers. The QALY gains per capita were 3.7 times greater for Māori (indigenous population compared to non-Māori because of higher background smoking prevalence and price sensitivity in Māori. Health inequalities measured by differences in 45+ y-old standardized mortality rates between Māori and non-Māori were projected to be 2.31% (95% UI: 1.49% to 3.41% less in 2041 with ongoing tax rises, compared to BAU. Percentage reductions in inequalities in 2041 were maximal for 45-64-y-old women (3.01%. As with all such modeling, there were limitations pertaining to the model structure and input parameters.Ongoing tobacco tax increases deliver sizeable health gains and health sector cost savings and are likely to reduce health inequalities. However, if policy makers are to achieve more rapid reductions in the NCD burden and health inequalities, they will also

  11. Health, Health Inequality, and Cost Impacts of Annual Increases in Tobacco Tax: Multistate Life Table Modeling in New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blakely, Tony; Cobiac, Linda J.; Cleghorn, Christine L.; Pearson, Amber L.; van der Deen, Frederieke S.; Kvizhinadze, Giorgi; Nghiem, Nhung; McLeod, Melissa; Wilson, Nick

    2015-01-01

    Background Countries are increasingly considering how to reduce or even end tobacco consumption, and raising tobacco taxes is a potential strategy to achieve these goals. We estimated the impacts on health, health inequalities, and health system costs of ongoing tobacco tax increases (10% annually from 2011 to 2031, compared to no tax increases from 2011 [“business as usual,” BAU]), in a country (New Zealand) with large ethnic inequalities in smoking-related and noncommunicable disease (NCD) burden. Methods and Findings We modeled 16 tobacco-related diseases in parallel, using rich national data by sex, age, and ethnicity, to estimate undiscounted quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) gained and net health system costs over the remaining life of the 2011 population (n = 4.4 million). A total of 260,000 (95% uncertainty interval [UI]: 155,000–419,000) QALYs were gained among the 2011 cohort exposed to annual tobacco tax increases, compared to BAU, and cost savings were US$2,550 million (95% UI: US$1,480 to US$4,000). QALY gains and cost savings took 50 y to peak, owing to such factors as the price sensitivity of youth and young adult smokers. The QALY gains per capita were 3.7 times greater for Māori (indigenous population) compared to non-Māori because of higher background smoking prevalence and price sensitivity in Māori. Health inequalities measured by differences in 45+ y-old standardized mortality rates between Māori and non-Māori were projected to be 2.31% (95% UI: 1.49% to 3.41%) less in 2041 with ongoing tax rises, compared to BAU. Percentage reductions in inequalities in 2041 were maximal for 45–64-y-old women (3.01%). As with all such modeling, there were limitations pertaining to the model structure and input parameters. Conclusions Ongoing tobacco tax increases deliver sizeable health gains and health sector cost savings and are likely to reduce health inequalities. However, if policy makers are to achieve more rapid reductions in the NCD

  12. Corticosterone rapidly increases thorns of CA3 neurons via synaptic/extranuclear glucocorticoid receptor in rat hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miyuki eYoshiya

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Modulation of synapses under acute stress is attracting much attention. Exposure to acute stress induces corticosterone (CORT secretion from the adrenal cortex, resulting in rapid increase of CORT levels in plasma and the hippocampus. We tried to test whether rapid CORT effects involve activation of essential kinases as non-genomic processes.We demonstrated rapid effects (~ 1 h of CORT on the density of thorns, by imaging Lucifer Yellow-injected neurons in adult male rat hippocampal slices. Thorns of thorny excrescences of CA3 hippocampal neurons are post-synaptic regions whose presynaptic partners are mossy fiber terminals. The application of CORT at 100, 500 and 1000 nM induced a rapid increase in the density of thorns in the stratum lucidum of CA3 pyramidal neurons. Co-administration of RU486, an antagonist of glucocorticoid receptor (GR, abolished the effect of CORT. Blocking a single kinase, including MAPK, PKA or PKC, suppressed CORT-induced enhancement of thorn-genesis. On the other hand, GSK-3β was not involved in the signaling of thorn-genesis. Blocking AMPA receptors suppressed the CORT effect. Expression of CA3 synaptic/extranuclear GR was demonstrated by immunogold electron microscopic analysis. From these results, stress levels of CORT (100-1000 nM might drive the rapid thorn-genesis via synaptic/extranuclear GR and multiple kinase pathways, although a role of nuclear GRs cannot be completely excluded.

  13. A cost-effective device for the rapid transfer of gel-separated proteins onto membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tam, Hann W; Huang, Yu-Chen; Tam, Ming F

    2009-03-01

    We describe here the fabrication of a cost-effective semi-dry blotting apparatus for the transfer of proteins onto membranes. Graphite sheets were used as electrodes. Protein mixtures were separated on NuPAGE 4% to 12% polyacrylamide gradient gels. With a Tris-bicine buffer, we demonstrated that close to 80% of the proteins with apparent molecular mass of 80kDa or less were removed from the gels after 8min of blotting. The process is much faster than the techniques reported previously in the literature.

  14. 20 CFR 404.277 - When does the frozen minimum primary insurance amount increase because of cost-of-living...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... insurance amount increase because of cost-of-living adjustments? 404.277 Section 404.277 Employees' Benefits... Primary Insurance Amounts Cost-Of-Living Increases § 404.277 When does the frozen minimum primary insurance amount increase because of cost-of-living adjustments? (a) What is the frozen minimum primary...

  15. A novel low-cost mobile robot for rapid prototyping of precision farming applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kjeld; Neerup, Mathias Mikkel; Larsen, Leon Bonde

    Experimental research in precision farming is a significant challenge due to the considerable resources required to perform field experiments. Simulating the field environment is a frequently used technique which is useful for functional software tests, but beyond that it is necessary to perform...... experiments. In this work we present a novel FrobitPro robot platform designed for rapid prototyping of FroboMind field robot applications. FrobitPro has a fundamental design similar to many current wheeled and tracked robots such as the Kongskilde Robotti, and the workflow of migrating from simulation...... as outdoor driving in semi-rugged terrain such as grass fields and bare soil. This paper presents the FrobitPro robot and describes two use cases in current research projects, namely the Grassbots project which focuses on harvesting of grass on lowland areas for biofuel production and the SAFE project...

  16. Non-linear increase of respiratory diseases and their costs under severe air pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Ying; Wu, Yiyun; Chen, Guangdi; Van Grinsven, Hans J M; Wang, Xiaofeng; Gu, Baojing; Lou, Xiaoming

    2017-05-01

    China is experiencing severe and persistent air pollution, with concentrations of fine particulate matters (PM 2.5 ) reaching unprecedentedly high levels in many cities. Quantifying the detrimental effects on health and their costs derived from high PM 2.5 levels is crucial because of the unsolved challenges to mitigate air pollution in the following decades. Using the daily monitoring data on PM 2.5 concentrations and clinic visits, we found a non-linear increase of respiratory diseases, but not for other diseases (e.g., digestive diseases) under severe air pollution. We found an increase of respiratory diseases by 1% for each 10 μg m -3 increase in PM 2.5 when the annual average daily PM 2.5 concentration was less than 50 μg m -3 ; while this ratio was doubled (around 2%) with the daily PM 2.5 concentration larger than 50 μg m -3 . Under severe air pollution (PM 2.5 concentration >150 μg m -3 ), the respiratory diseases increased by over 50% compared to that in clean days. Children are more sensitive to the severe air pollution. The increase of clinic visits, especially for adults, was observed mainly in bigger (>500 beds) hospitals. Re-allocating medical resources (e.g., doctors) from big hospitals to community hospitals can benefit the respiratory patients due to air pollution. The total medical cost of clinic visits of respiratory diseases derived from PM 2.5 pollution was estimated at 17.2-57.0 billion Yuan in 2014 in China, accounting for 0.5-1.6% of national total health expenditure. Because these medical costs only represent a small part of total health cost derived from air pollution, the reduction of associated health costs would be an important co-benefit of implementation of air pollution preventive strategies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Association of increased monetary cost of dietary intake, diet quality and weight management in Spanish adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schröder, Helmut; Serra-Majem, Luis; Subirana, Isaac; Izquierdo-Pulido, Maria; Fitó, Montserrat; Elosua, Roberto

    2016-03-14

    Higher monetary diet cost is associated with healthier food choices and better weight management. How changes in diet cost affect changes in diet quality and weight remains unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of changes in individual monetary diet cost on changes in diet quality, measured by the modified Mediterranean diet score recommendations (MDS-rec) and by energy density (ED), as well as changes in weight and BMI. We conducted a prospective, population-based study of 2181 male and female Spaniards aged between 25 and 74 years, who were followed up to the 2009-2010 academic year. We measured weight and height and recorded dietary data using a validated FFQ. Average food cost was calculated from official Spanish government data. We fitted multivariate linear and logistic regression models. The average daily diet cost increased from 3·68(SD0.0·89)€/8·36 MJ to 4·97(SD1·16)€/8·36 MJ during the study period. This increase was significantly associated with improvement in diet quality (Δ ED and Δ MDS-rec; Pcost per 8·36 MJ was associated with a decrease of 0·3 kg in body weight (P=0·02) and 0·1 kg/m(2) in BMI (P=0·04). These associations were attenuated after adjusting for changes in diet quality indicators. An improvement in diet quality and better weight management were both associated with an increase in diet cost; this could be considered in food policy decisions.

  18. A rapid and cost-effective fluorescence detection in tube (FDIT) method to analyze protein phosphorylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Xiao; Gou, Jin-Ying

    2016-01-01

    Protein phosphorylation is one of the most important post-translational modifications catalyzed by protein kinases in living organisms. The advance of genome sequencing provided the information of protein kinase families in many organisms, including both model and non-model plants. The development of proteomics technologies also enabled scientists to efficiently reveal a large number of protein phosphorylations of an organism. However, kinases and phosphorylation targets are still to be connected to illustrate the complicated network in life. Here we adapted Pro-Q ® Diamond (Pro-Q ® Diamond Phosphoprotein Gel Stain), a widely used phosphoprotein gel-staining fluorescence dye, to establish a rapid, economical and non-radioactive fluorescence detection in tube (FDIT) method to analyze phosphorylated proteins. Taking advantages of high sensitivity and specificity of Pro-Q ® diamond, the FDIT method is also demonstrated to be rapid and reliable, with a suitable linear range for in vitro protein phosphorylation. A significant and satisfactory protein kinase reaction was detected as fast as 15 min from Wheat Kinase START 1.1 (WKS1.1) on a thylakoid ascorbate peroxidase (tAPX), an established phosphorylation target in our earlier study. The FDIT method saves up to 95% of the dye consumed in a gel staining method. The FDIT method is remarkably quick, highly reproducible, unambiguous and capable to be scaled up to dozens of samples. The FDIT method could serve as a simple and sensitive alternative procedure to determine protein kinase reactions with zero radiation exposure, as a supplementation to other widely used radioactive and in-gel assays.

  19. A rapid and cost-effective fluorescence detection in tube (FDIT method to analyze protein phosphorylation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao Jin

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Protein phosphorylation is one of the most important post-translational modifications catalyzed by protein kinases in living organisms. The advance of genome sequencing provided the information of protein kinase families in many organisms, including both model and non-model plants. The development of proteomics technologies also enabled scientists to efficiently reveal a large number of protein phosphorylations of an organism. However, kinases and phosphorylation targets are still to be connected to illustrate the complicated network in life. Results Here we adapted Pro-Q® Diamond (Pro-Q® Diamond Phosphoprotein Gel Stain, a widely used phosphoprotein gel-staining fluorescence dye, to establish a rapid, economical and non-radioactive fluorescence detection in tube (FDIT method to analyze phosphorylated proteins. Taking advantages of high sensitivity and specificity of Pro-Q® diamond, the FDIT method is also demonstrated to be rapid and reliable, with a suitable linear range for in vitro protein phosphorylation. A significant and satisfactory protein kinase reaction was detected as fast as 15 min from Wheat Kinase START 1.1 (WKS1.1 on a thylakoid ascorbate peroxidase (tAPX, an established phosphorylation target in our earlier study. Conclusion The FDIT method saves up to 95% of the dye consumed in a gel staining method. The FDIT method is remarkably quick, highly reproducible, unambiguous and capable to be scaled up to dozens of samples. The FDIT method could serve as a simple and sensitive alternative procedure to determine protein kinase reactions with zero radiation exposure, as a supplementation to other widely used radioactive and in-gel assays.

  20. Rapid, low cost prototyping of transdermal devices for personal healthcare monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanjiv Sharma

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The next generation of devices for personal healthcare monitoring will comprise molecular sensors to monitor analytes of interest in the skin compartment. Transdermal devices based on microneedles offer an excellent opportunity to explore the dynamics of molecular markers in the interstitial fluid, however good acceptability of these next generation devices will require several technical problems associated with current commercially available wearable sensors to be overcome. These particularly include reliability, comfort and cost. An essential pre-requisite for transdermal molecular sensing devices is that they can be fabricated using scalable technologies which are cost effective.We present here a minimally invasive microneedle array as a continuous monitoring platform technology. Method for scalable fabrication of these structures is presented. The microneedle arrays were characterised mechanically and were shown to penetrate human skin under moderate thumb pressure. They were then functionalised and evaluated as glucose, lactate and theophylline biosensors. The results suggest that this technology can be employed in the measurement of metabolites, therapeutic drugs and biomarkers and could have an important role to play in the management of chronic diseases. Keywords: Microneedles, Minimally invasive sensors, Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM, Continuous lactate monitoring (CLM, Interstitial therapeutic drug monitoring (iTDM

  1. A low-cost approach for rapidly creating demonstration models for hands-on learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinzli, Kristoph-Dietrich; Kunberger, Tanya; O'Neill, Robert; Badir, Ashraf

    2018-01-01

    Demonstration models allow students to readily grasp theory and relate difficult concepts and equations to real life. However drawbacks of using these demonstration models are that they are can be costly to purchase from vendors or take a significant amount of time to build. These two limiting factors can pose a significant obstacle for adding demonstrations to the curriculum. This article presents an assignment to overcome these obstacles, which has resulted in 36 demonstration models being added to the curriculum. The article also presents the results of student performance on course objectives as a result of the developed models being used in the classroom. Overall, significant improvement in student learning outcomes, due to the addition of demonstration models, has been observed.

  2. The Great Recession And Increased Cost Sharing In European Health Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palladino, Raffaele; Lee, John Tayu; Hone, Thomas; Filippidis, Filippos T; Millett, Christopher

    2016-07-01

    European health systems are increasingly adopting cost-sharing models, potentially increasing out-of-pocket expenditures for patients who use health care services or buy medications. Government policies that increase patient cost sharing are responding to incremental growth in cost pressures from aging populations and the need to invest in new health technologies, as well as to general constraints on public expenditures resulting from the Great Recession (2007-09). We used data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe to examine changes from 2006-07 to 2013 in out-of-pocket expenditures among people ages fifty and older in eleven European countries. Our results identify increases both in the proportion of older European citizens who incurred out-of-pocket expenditures and in mean out-of-pocket expenditures over this period. We also identified a significant increase over time in the percentage of people who incurred catastrophic health expenditures (greater than 30 percent of the household income) in the Czech Republic, Italy, and Spain. Poorer populations were less likely than those in the highest income quintile to incur an out-of-pocket expenditure and reported lower mean out-of-pocket expenditures, which suggests that measures are in place to provide poorer groups with some financial protection. These findings indicate the substantial weakening of financial protection for people ages fifty and older in European health systems after the Great Recession. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  3. Rapidly increasing use of proton pump inhibitors prescribed in primary care: a nationwide observational study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haastrup, Peter; Hansen, Jane Møller; Jarbøl, Dorte Ejg

    2013-01-01

    Background: Antisecretory drugs (ADs) are often prescribed in primary care for upper gastrointestinal symptoms. Reimbursement modifications have been made in Denmark to minimize costs related to use of ADs. However knowledge about development in use of ADs over the past decade and the impacts...... of the reimbursement modifications is sparse. Research questions: How has use of ADs developed in Denmark 2001-2011? Which impacts have the reimbursement modifications had on the use of ADs? Methods: The Register of Medicinal Product Statistics includes all sales and redeemed prescriptions nationwide covering...... through the years 2001-2011 were used. Data from prescriptions redeemed by persons younger than 20 years were excluded. Prescriptions for ulcerogenic drugs (acetylsalicylic acid and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) redeemed by persons aged 65 years and older were included since ulcer prophylaxis...

  4. Benefits and costs of increased levels of corticosterone in seabird chicks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitaysky, A.S.; Kitaiskaia, E.V.; Piatt, John F.; Wingfield, J.C.

    2003-01-01

    Seabird chicks respond to food shortages by increasing corticosterone (cort) secretion, which is probably associated with fitness benefits and costs. To examine this, we experimentally increased levels of circulating cort in captive black-legged kittiwake chicks fed ad libitum. We found that cort-implanted chicks begged more frequently and were more aggressive compared to controls. These behavioral modifications must be beneficial to chicks as they facilitate acquisition of food from the parents and might trigger brood reduction and reduced competition for food. Cort-implanted chicks also increased food intake; however, their growth rates were similar to controls. To examine the costs of chronically increased circulating levels of cort, we removed cort implants and, after a 10-day recovery period, tested cognitive abilities of young kittiwakes. We found that the ability of kittiwakes to associate a visual cue with the presence of food in a choice situation was compromised by the experimental elevation of cort during development. To examine the long-term costs of increased levels of cort, 8 months later we tested the performance of the same individuals in a spatial task requiring them to make a detour around a barrier in order to escape from an enclosure. Individuals treated with cort during development took significantly more time to solve this task compared to controls. The results of this study suggest that the adrenocortical response of a developing bird to environmental stressors is associated with both benefits (increased food intake, foraging behavior, and aggression) and costs (low growth efficiency and compromised cognitive abilities later in life). This provides an evolutionary framework for relating juvenile physiological traits to fitness of birds in subsequent life-history stages. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.

  5. Cost-effectiveness analysis of malaria rapid diagnostic test incentive schemes for informal private healthcare providers in Myanmar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ingrid T; Aung, Tin; Thant, Hnin Nwe Nwe; Sudhinaraset, May; Kahn, James G

    2015-02-05

    The emergence of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum parasites in Southeast Asia threatens global malaria control efforts. One strategy to counter this problem is a subsidy of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) within the informal private sector, where the majority of malaria care in Myanmar is provided. A study in Myanmar evaluated the effectiveness of financial incentives vs information, education and counselling (IEC) in driving the proper use of subsidized malaria RDTs among informal private providers. This cost-effectiveness analysis compares intervention options. A decision tree was constructed in a spreadsheet to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) among four strategies: no intervention, simple subsidy, subsidy with financial incentives, and subsidy with IEC. Model inputs included programmatic costs (in dollars), malaria epidemiology and observed study outcomes. Data sources included expenditure records, study data and scientific literature. Model outcomes included the proportion of properly and improperly treated individuals with and without P. falciparum malaria, and associated disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). Results are reported as ICERs in US dollars per DALY averted. One-way sensitivity analysis assessed how outcomes depend on uncertainty in inputs. ICERs from the least to most expensive intervention are: $1,169/DALY averted for simple subsidy vs no intervention, $185/DALY averted for subsidy with financial incentives vs simple subsidy, and $200/DALY averted for a subsidy with IEC vs subsidy with financial incentives. Due to decreasing ICERs, each strategy was also compared to no intervention. The subsidy with IEC was the most favourable, costing $639/DALY averted compared with no intervention. One-way sensitivity analysis shows that ICERs are most affected by programme costs, RDT uptake, treatment-seeking behaviour, and the prevalence and virulence of non

  6. Caffeine increases the velocity of rapid eye movements in unfatigued humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connell, Charlotte J W; Thompson, Benjamin; Turuwhenua, Jason; Hess, Robert F; Gant, Nicholas

    2017-08-01

    Caffeine is a widely used dietary stimulant that can reverse the effects of fatigue on cognitive, motor and oculomotor function. However, few studies have examined the effect of caffeine on the oculomotor system when homeostasis has not been disrupted by physical fatigue. This study examined the influence of a moderate dose of caffeine on oculomotor control and visual perception in participants who were not fatigued. Within a placebo-controlled crossover design, 13 healthy adults ingested caffeine (5 mg·kg -1 body mass) and were tested over 3 h. Eye movements, including saccades, smooth pursuit and optokinetic nystagmus, were measured using infrared oculography. Caffeine was associated with higher peak saccade velocities (472 ± 60° s -1 ) compared to placebo (455 ± 62° s -1 ). Quick phases of optokinetic nystagmus were also significantly faster with caffeine, whereas pursuit eye movements were unchanged. Non-oculomotor perceptual tasks (global motion and global orientation processing) were unaffected by caffeine. These results show that oculomotor control is modulated by a moderate dose of caffeine in unfatigued humans. These effects are detectable in the kinematics of rapid eye movements, whereas pursuit eye movements and visual perception are unaffected. Oculomotor functions may be sensitive to changes in central catecholamines mediated via caffeine's action as an adenosine antagonist, even when participants are not fatigued.

  7. Increasing usage of rapid diagnostics for Dengue virus detection in Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hasan, Z.; Razzak, S.; Farhan, M.; Rahim, M.; Islam, N.; Samreen, A.; Khan, E.

    2017-01-01

    To evaluate the trends in usage of dengue virus diagnostics in Pakistan. Methods: This retrospective study was conducted at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, and comprised data for specimens tested for dengue virus from January 2012 to December 2015. Test for dengue virus ribonucleic acid by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, dengue virus antigen by immunochromatic assay and for human immunoglobulin M against dengue virus by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were reviewed. SPSS 17 was used for data analysis. Results: Overall, 33,577 specimens tested for dengue virus. Of them, 11,995 (35.7%) were positive. among them, 1,039(8.66%) were reported in 2012; 5,791(48.28%) in 2013; 1,027(8.56%) in 2014; and 4,138(34.49%) in 2015. In 2012, 966(93%) of the positive samples were diagnosed by immunoglobulin M-based method and 73(7%) by non-structural protein-1 antigen. In 2013, 4,401(76%) samples were tested positive by immunoglobulin M, 1,332(23%) by antigen and 58(1%) by polymerase chain reaction. The trend continued in 2014, but in 2015, 2,111(51%) of all dengue positive tests were determined by antigen testing, 1,969(47.6%) by immunoglobulin M and 58(1.4%) by polymerase chain reaction. Conclusion: There was a shift in usage of direct virus identification for rapid diagnosis of dengue virus compared with host immunoglobulin M testing. (author)

  8. More rapid climate change promotes evolutionary rescue through selection for increased dispersal distance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boeye, Jeroen; Travis, Justin M J; Stoks, Robby; Bonte, Dries

    2013-02-01

    Species can either adapt to new conditions induced by climate change or shift their range in an attempt to track optimal environmental conditions. During current range shifts, species are simultaneously confronted with a second major anthropogenic disturbance, landscape fragmentation. Using individual-based models with a shifting climate window, we examine the effect of different rates of climate change on the evolution of dispersal distances through changes in the genetically determined dispersal kernel. Our results demonstrate that the rate of climate change is positively correlated to the evolved dispersal distances although too fast climate change causes the population to crash. When faced with realistic rates of climate change, greater dispersal distances evolve than those required for the population to keep track of the climate, thereby maximizing population size. Importantly, the greater dispersal distances that evolve when climate change is more rapid, induce evolutionary rescue by facilitating the population in crossing large gaps in the landscape. This could ensure population persistence in case of range shifting in fragmented landscapes. Furthermore, we highlight problems in using invasion speed as a proxy for potential range shifting abilities under climate change.

  9. Increased length of stay and costs associated with weekend admissions for failure to thrive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Rachel T; Bennett, William E; Finnell, S Maria E; Downs, Stephen M; Carroll, Aaron E

    2013-03-01

    To evaluate whether admission day of the week affects the length of stay (LOS) and health care costs for failure to thrive (FTT) admissions. Administrative data were obtained for all children aged <2 years (N = 23 332) with a primary admission diagnosis of FTT from 2003-2011 from 42 freestanding US hospitals. Demographic characteristics, day of admission, LOS, costs per stay, number of discharge diagnoses, primary discharge diagnoses, primary procedure code, number of radiologic and laboratory units billed during admission were obtained for each admission. Linear regression and zero-truncated Poisson regression were used for analysis. Weekend admission was significantly correlated with increased LOS and increased average cost (P < .002). This finding was also true for children with both admission and discharge diagnoses of FTT (P < .001). The number of procedures for children admitted on the weekend was not significantly different compared with children admitted on the weekdays (incident rate ratio [IRR]:1.04 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.99-1.09]). However, weekend admissions did have more radiologic studies (IRR: 1.13 [95% CI: 1.10-1.16]) and laboratory tests (IRR: 1.39 [95% CI: 1.38-1.40]) performed. If one-half of weekend admissions in 2010 with both admission and discharge diagnoses of FTT were converted to Monday admissions, total savings in health care dollars for 2010 would be $534, 145. Scheduled FTT admissions on weekends increased LOS and health care costs compared with weekday admissions of similar levels of complexity. Reduction in planned weekend admissions for FTT could significantly reduce health care costs.

  10. Blood Transfusion During Total Ankle Arthroplasty Is Associated With Increased In-Hospital Complications and Costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, Michael A; Huntley, Samuel R; Baker, Dustin K; Smith, Kenneth S; Hudson, Parke W; McGwin, Gerald; Ponce, Brent A; Johnson, Michael D

    2018-04-01

    Total ankle arthroplasty (TAA) is an increasingly used, effective treatment for end-stage ankle arthritis. Although numerous studies have associated blood transfusion with complications following hip and knee arthroplasty, its effects following TAA are largely unknown. This study uses data from a large, nationally representative database to estimate the association between blood transfusion and inpatient complications and hospital costs following TAA. Using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database from 2004 to 2014, 25 412 patients who underwent TAA were identified, with 286 (1.1%) receiving a blood transfusion. Univariate analysis assessed patient and hospital factors associated with blood transfusion following TAA. Patients requiring blood transfusion were more likely to be female, African American, Medicare recipients, and treated in nonteaching hospitals. Average length of stay for patients following transfusion was 3.0 days longer, while average inpatient cost was increased by approximately 50%. Patients who received blood transfusion were significantly more likely to suffer from congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, hypothyroidism, coagulation disorder, or anemia. Acute renal failure was significantly more common among patients receiving blood transfusion ( P < .001). Blood transfusions following TAA are infrequent and are associated with multiple medical comorbidities, increased complications, longer hospital stays, and increased overall cost. Level III: Retrospective, comparative study.

  11. Increased care demand and medical costs after falls in nursing homes: A Delphi study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterke, Carolyn Shanty; Panneman, Martien J; Erasmus, Vicki; Polinder, Suzanne; van Beeck, Ed F

    2018-04-21

    To estimate the increased care demand and medical costs caused by falls in nursing homes. There is compelling evidence that falls in nursing homes are preventable. However, proper implementation of evidence-based guidelines to prevent falls is often hindered by insufficient management support, staff time and funding. A three-round Delphi study. A panel of 41 experts, all working in nursing homes in the Netherlands, received three online questionnaires to estimate the extra hours of care needed during the first year after the fall. This was estimated for ten falls categories with different levels of injury severity, in three scenarios, that is a best-case, a typical-case and a worst-case scenario. We calculated the costs of falls by multiplying the mean amount of extra hours that the participants spent on the care for a resident after a fall with their hourly wages. In case of a noninjurious fall, the extra time spent on the faller is on average almost 5 hr, expressed in euros that add to € 193. The extra staff time and costs of falls increased with increasing severity of injury. In the case of a fracture of the lower limb, the extra staff time increased to 132 hr, expressed in euros that is € 4,604. In the worst-case scenario of a fracture of the lower limb, the extra staff time increased to 284 hr, expressed in euros that is € 10,170. Falls in nursing homes result in a great deal of extra staff time spent on care, with extra costs varying between € 193 for a noninjurious fall and € 10,170 for serious falls. This study could aid decision-making on investing in appropriate implementation of falls prevention interventions in nursing homes. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Rapidly increasing prescribing of proton pump inhibitors in primary care despite interventions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haastrup, Peter; Paulsen, Maja Skov; Zwisler, Jon Eik

    2014-01-01

    Background: Guideline and reimbursement modifications have been introduced to optimize prescribing of antisecretory medication in Danish general practice. Impacts of the interventions have not been evaluated. Objectives: To analyse developments in prescribing of antisecretory medication in Denmark...... increased substantially during the past decade. Both number of users and the average individual use have increased. The prescribing of ulcerogenic drugs to the elderly has stagnated in the same time range. Reimbursement modifications and scientific guidelines do not seem to have had a substantial influence...

  13. A rapid, sensitive, reproducible and cost-effective method for mutation profiling of colon cancer and metastatic lymph nodes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fumagalli, Debora; Gavin, Patrick G; Taniyama, Yusuke; Kim, Seung-Il; Choi, Hyun-Joo; Paik, Soonmyung; Pogue-Geile, Katherine L

    2010-01-01

    An increasing number of studies show that genetic markers can aid in refining prognostic information and predicting the benefit from systemic therapy. Our goal was to develop a high throughput, cost-effective and simple methodology for the detection of clinically relevant hot spot mutations in colon cancer. The Maldi-Tof mass spectrometry platform and OncoCarta panel from Sequenom were used to profile 239 colon cancers and 39 metastatic lymph nodes from NSABP clinical trial C-07 utilizing routinely processed FFPET (formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue). Among the 238 common hot-spot cancer mutations in 19 genes interrogated by the OncoCarta panel, mutations were detected in 7 different genes at 26 different nucleotide positions in our colon cancer samples. Twenty-four assays that detected mutations in more than 1% of the samples were reconfigured into a new multiplexed panel, termed here as ColoCarta. Mutation profiling was repeated on 32 mutant samples using ColoCarta and the results were identical to results with OncoCarta, demonstrating that this methodology was reproducible. Further evidence demonstrating the validity of the data was the fact that the mutation frequencies of the most common colon cancer mutations were similar to the COSMIC (Catalog of Somatic Mutations in Cancer) database. The frequencies were 43.5% for KRAS, 20.1% for PIK3CA, and 12.1% for BRAF. In addition, infrequent mutations in NRAS, AKT1, ABL1, and MET were detected. Mutation profiling of metastatic lymph nodes and their corresponding primary tumors showed that they were 89.7% concordant. All mutations found in the lymph nodes were also found in the corresponding primary tumors, but in 4 cases a mutation was present in the primary tumor only. This study describes a high throughput technology that can be used to interrogate DNAs isolated from routinely processed FFPET and identifies the specific mutations that are common to colon cancer. The development of this technology and the Colo

  14. A rapid, sensitive, and cost-efficient assay to estimate viability of potato cyst nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Elsen, Sven; Ave, Maaike; Schoenmakers, Niels; Landeweert, Renske; Bakker, Jaap; Helder, Johannes

    2012-02-01

    Potato cyst nematodes (PCNs) are quarantine organisms, and they belong to the economically most relevant pathogens of potato worldwide. Methodologies to assess the viability of their cysts, which can contain 200 to 500 eggs protected by the hardened cuticle of a dead female, are either time and labor intensive or lack robustness. We present a robust and cost-efficient viability assay based on loss of membrane integrity upon death. This assay uses trehalose, a disaccharide present at a high concentration in the perivitelline fluid of PCN eggs, as a viability marker. Although this assay can detect a single viable egg, the limit of detection for regular field samples was higher, ≈10 viable eggs, due to background signals produced by other soil components. On the basis of 30 nonviable PCN samples from The Netherlands, a threshold level was defined (ΔA(trehalose) = 0.0094) below which the presence of >10 viable eggs is highly unlikely (true for ≈99.7% of the observations). This assay can easily be combined with a subsequent DNA-based species determination. The presence of trehalose is a general phenomenon among cyst nematodes; therefore, this method can probably be used for (for example) soybean, sugar beet, and cereal cyst nematodes as well.

  15. Rapid, portable and cost-effective yeast cell viability and concentration analysis using lensfree on-chip microscopy and machine learning

    KAUST Repository

    Feizi, Alborz; Zhang, Yibo; Greenbaum, Alon; Guziak, Alex; Luong, Michelle; Chan, Raymond Yan Lok; Berg, Brandon; Ozkan, Haydar; Luo, Wei; Wu, Michael; Wu, Yichen; Ozcan, Aydogan

    2016-01-01

    and cost-effective automatic yeast analysis platform (AYAP), which can rapidly measure cell concentration and viability. AYAP is based on digital in-line holography and on-chip microscopy and rapidly images a large field-of-view of 22.5 mm2. This lens

  16. ANALYSIS BENEFIT COST RATIO OF BIOCHAR IN AGRICULTURE LAND TO INCREASE INCOME HOUSEHOLD IN MERAUKE REGENCY

    OpenAIRE

    Maria Magdalena Diana Widiastuti

    2016-01-01

    Biochar has been proven to increase the availability of soil nutrient, yield productivity and farmers income. Biochar can be made from forestry/agricultural waste and do not required high technology. The objective of this study were: (1) to analyze Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) of biochar made from rice husk, (2) to compare yield productivity of paddy with biochar treatment, and (3) to analyze of paddy farming system with biochar treatment. The methodology by using BCR and productivity approa...

  17. Climate-based policies may increase life-cycle social costs of vehicle fleet operation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Emery, Isaac; Mbonimpa, Eric; Thal, Alfred E.

    2017-01-01

    Sustainability guidelines and regulations in the United States often focus exclusively on carbon or petroleum reductions. Though some of these policies have resulted in substantial progress toward their goals, the effects of these efforts on other social and environmental externalities are often ignored. In this study, we examine the life-cycle air pollutant emissions for alternative fuel and vehicle purchase scenarios at a military installation near a typical urban area in the United States (U.S.). We find that scenarios which minimize petroleum use or greenhouse gas emissions do not concomitantly minimize criteria air pollutant emissions. We also employ social cost methodologies to quantify economic externalities due to climate change and health-related air pollutant impacts. Accounting for the social costs of climate change and air pollution from vehicle use reveals that criteria air pollutants may have a greater total impact than greenhouse gas emissions in locations similar to the urban area examined in this study. Use of first-generation biofuels, particularly corn grain ethanol, may reduce net petroleum use at the cost of increased total health impacts. More comprehensive policies may be needed to ensure that sustainability policies result in a net benefit to society. - Highlights: • U.S. energy and transportation policies focus on petroleum use and greenhouse gases. • Use of corn ethanol at a military base in Ohio, U.S. increases total social costs vs. gasoline. • Renewable electricity provides cost-effective climate and health protection. • DOD strategy to improve energy security may damage Americans' health. • More inclusive policies needed to protect health and climate.

  18. Rapid surface accumulation of NMDA receptors increases glutamatergic excitation during status epilepticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naylor, David E; Liu, Hantao; Niquet, Jerome; Wasterlain, Claude G

    2013-06-01

    After 1h of lithium-pilocarpine status epilepticus (SE), immunocytochemical labeling of NMDA receptor NR1 subunits reveals relocation of subunits from the interior to the cell surface of dentate gyrus granule cells and CA3 pyramidal cells. Simultaneously, an increase in NMDA-miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSC) as well as an increase in NMDA receptor-mediated tonic currents is observed in hippocampal slices after SE. Mean-variance analysis of NMDA-mEPSCs estimates that the number of functional postsynaptic NMDA receptors per synapse increases 38% during SE, and antagonism by ifenprodil suggests that an increase in the surface representation of NR2B-containing NMDA receptors is responsible for the augmentation of both the phasic and tonic excitatory currents with SE. These results provide a potential mechanism for an enhancement of glutamatergic excitation that maintains SE and may contribute to excitotoxic injury during SE. Therapies that directly antagonize NMDA receptors may be a useful therapeutic strategy during refractory SE. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Increasing coal-fired power generation efficiency to reduce electric cost and environmental emissions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torrens, I.M.; Stenzel, W.C.

    1997-01-01

    New generating capacity required globally between 1993 and 2010 is estimated to be around 1500 GW, of which some two-thirds will be outside the OECD, and some 40 % in the Asian non-OECD countries. Coal is likely to account for a substantial fraction of this new generation. Today's state-of-the-art supercritical coal-fired power plant has a conversion efficiency of some 42-45 %. The capital cost increase associated with the supercritical or ultra-supercritical pulverized coal power plant compared to a conventional subcritical plant is small to negligible. The increased efficiency associated with the supercritical plant leads to an actual reduction in the total cost of electricity generated in cents/kWh, relative to a conventional plant. Despite this, the power sector continues to build subcritical plants and has no near term plans to increase the efficiency of power plants in the projects it is developing. Advanced clean coal technologies such as integrated gasification combined cycle and pressurized fluidized bed combustion will be selected for independent power projects only in very specific circumstances. Advanced clean coal plants can be operated reliably and with superior performance, and specifically that their present estimated capital costs can be reduced substantially to a point where they are competitive with state-of-the-art pulverized coal technologies. (R.P.)

  20. Effect of increasing energy cost on arm coordination in elite sprint swimmers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komar, J; Leprêtre, P M; Alberty, M; Vantorre, J; Fernandes, R J; Hellard, P; Chollet, D; Seifert, L

    2012-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to analyze the changes in stroke parameters, motor organization and swimming efficiency with increasing energy cost in aquatic locomotion. Seven elite sprint swimmers performed a 6×300-m incremental swimming test. Stroke parameters (speed, stroke rate and stroke length), motor organization (arm stroke phases and arm coordination index), swimming efficiency (swimming speed squared and hand speed squared) and stroke index were calculated from aerial and underwater side-view cameras. The energy cost of locomotion was assessed by measuring oxygen consumption and blood lactate. Results showed that the increase in energy cost of locomotion was correlated to an increase in the index of coordination and stroke rate, and a decrease in stroke length (pstroke index did not change significantly with the speed increments (pstroke rate were observed, along with a decrease in stroke length, stroke index and hand speed squared with each increment, revealing an adaptation to the fatigue within the 300m. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Rapid increases in training load affects markers of skeletal muscle damage and mechanical performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kamandulis, Sigitas; Snieckus, Audrius; Venckunas, Tomas

    2012-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to monitor the changes in indirect markers of muscle damage during 3 weeks (nine training sessions) of stretch-shortening (drop jump) exercise with constant load alternated with steep increases in load. Physically active men (n = 9, mean age 19.1 years) performed....... Maximal jump height increased by 7.8% ± 6.3% (P training session, respectively. Gains in isometric knee extension MVC (7.9% ± 8.2%) and 100-Hz-evoked torque (9.9% ± 9.6%) (both P ... within 17 days after the end of training. The magnitude of improvement was greater after this protocol than that induced by a continuous constant progression loading pattern with small gradual load increments in each training session. These findings suggest that plyometric training using infrequent...

  2. Identification and manipulation of the pleuromutilin gene cluster from Clitopilus passeckerianus for increased rapid antibiotic production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Andy M.; Alberti, Fabrizio; Kilaru, Sreedhar; Collins, Catherine M.; de Mattos-Shipley, Kate; Hartley, Amanda J.; Hayes, Patrick; Griffin, Alison; Lazarus, Colin M.; Cox, Russell J.; Willis, Christine L.; O'Dwyer, Karen; Spence, David W.; Foster, Gary D.

    2016-05-01

    Semi-synthetic derivatives of the tricyclic diterpene antibiotic pleuromutilin from the basidiomycete Clitopilus passeckerianus are important in combatting bacterial infections in human and veterinary medicine. These compounds belong to the only new class of antibiotics for human applications, with novel mode of action and lack of cross-resistance, representing a class with great potential. Basidiomycete fungi, being dikaryotic, are not generally amenable to strain improvement. We report identification of the seven-gene pleuromutilin gene cluster and verify that using various targeted approaches aimed at increasing antibiotic production in C. passeckerianus, no improvement in yield was achieved. The seven-gene pleuromutilin cluster was reconstructed within Aspergillus oryzae giving production of pleuromutilin in an ascomycete, with a significant increase (2106%) in production. This is the first gene cluster from a basidiomycete to be successfully expressed in an ascomycete, and paves the way for the exploitation of a metabolically rich but traditionally overlooked group of fungi.

  3. Increases in myocardial workload induced by rapid atrial pacing trigger alterations in global metabolism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aslan T Turer

    Full Text Available To determine whether increases in cardiac work lead to alterations in the plasma metabolome and whether such changes arise from the heart or peripheral organs.There is growing evidence that the heart influences systemic metabolism through endocrine effects and affecting pathways involved in energy homeostasis.Nineteen patients referred for cardiac catheterization were enrolled. Peripheral and selective coronary sinus (CS blood sampling was performed at serial timepoints following the initiation of pacing, and metabolite profiling was performed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS.Pacing-stress resulted in a 225% increase in the median rate·pressure product from baseline. Increased myocardial work induced significant changes in the peripheral concentration of 43 of 125 metabolites assayed, including large changes in purine [adenosine (+99%, p = 0.006, ADP (+42%, p = 0.01, AMP (+79%, p = 0.004, GDP (+69%, p = 0.003, GMP (+58%, p = 0.01, IMP (+50%, p = 0.03, xanthine (+61%, p = 0.0006], and several bile acid metabolites. The CS changes in metabolites qualitatively mirrored those in the peripheral blood in both timing and magnitude, suggesting the heart was not the major source of the metabolite release.Isolated increases in myocardial work can induce changes in the plasma metabolome, but these changes do not appear to be directly cardiac in origin. A number of these dynamic metabolites have known signaling functions. Our study provides additional evidence to a growing body of literature on metabolic 'cross-talk' between the heart and other organs.

  4. Increased insight in microbial processes in rapid sandfilters in drinking water treatment (DW BIOFILTERS)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen; Gülay, Arda; Lee, Carson

    2012-01-01

    . The sustainability and climate friendliness are evaluated by life cycle assessment (LCA). Molecular methods based on qPCR are being developed and implemented to quantify bacteria in different functional groups, such as those responsible for nitrification. This allows for development of diagnostic tools to detect...... of increased load of e.g. ammonium, manganese and ferrous iron. This filter will also be used to validate the mathematical models build for the biological filters at full scale....

  5. Rapid responses of permafrost and vegetation to experimentally increased snow cover in sub-arctic Sweden

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johansson, Margareta; Bosiö, Julia; Akerman, H Jonas; Jackowicz-Korczynski, Marcin; Christensen, Torben R; Callaghan, Terry V

    2013-01-01

    Increased snow depth already observed, and that predicted for the future are of critical importance to many geophysical and biological processes as well as human activities. The future characteristics of sub-arctic landscapes where permafrost is particularly vulnerable will depend on complex interactions between snow cover, vegetation and permafrost. An experimental manipulation was, therefore, set up on a lowland peat plateau with permafrost, in northernmost Sweden, to simulate projected future increases in winter precipitation and to study their effects on permafrost and vegetation. After seven years of treatment, statistically significant differences between manipulated and control plots were found in mean winter ground temperatures, which were 1.5 ° C higher in manipulated plots. During the winter, a difference in minimum temperatures of up to 9 ° C higher could be found in individual manipulated plots compared with control plots. Active layer thicknesses increased at the manipulated plots by almost 20% compared with the control plots and a mean surface subsidence of 24 cm was recorded in the manipulated plots compared to 5 cm in the control plots. The graminoid Eriophorum vaginatum has expanded in the manipulated plots and the vegetation remained green longer in the season. (letter)

  6. Socioeconomic Status Accounts for Rapidly Increasing Geographic Variation in the Incidence of Poor Fetal Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ball, Stephen J.; Jacoby, Peter; Zubrick, Stephen R.

    2013-01-01

    Fetal growth is an important risk factor for infant morbidity and mortality. In turn, socioeconomic status is a key predictor of fetal growth; however, other sociodemographic factors and environmental effects may also be important. This study modelled geographic variation in poor fetal growth after accounting for socioeconomic status, with a fixed effect for socioeconomic status and a combination of spatially-correlated and spatially-uncorrelated random effects. The dataset comprised 88,246 liveborn singletons, aggregated within suburbs in Perth, Western Australia. Low socioeconomic status was strongly associated with an increased risk of poor fetal growth. An increase in geographic variation of poor fetal growth from 1999–2001 (interquartile odds ratio among suburbs = 1.20) to 2004–2006 (interquartile odds ratio = 1.40) indicated a widening risk disparity by socioeconomic status. Low levels of residual spatial patterns strengthen the case for targeting policies and practices in areas of low socioeconomic status for improved outcomes. This study indicates an alarming increase in geographic inequalities in poor fetal growth in Perth which warrants further research into the specific aspects of socioeconomic status that act as risk factors. PMID:23799513

  7. Proton Pump Inhibition Increases Rapid Eye Movement Sleep in the Rat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Munazah Fazal Qureshi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Increased bodily CO2 concentration alters cellular pH as well as sleep. The proton pump, which plays an important role in the homeostatic regulation of cellular pH, therefore, may modulate sleep. We investigated the effects of the proton pump inhibitor “lansoprazole” on sleep-wakefulness. Male Wistar rats were surgically prepared for chronic polysomnographic recordings. Two different doses of lansoprazole (low: 1 mg/kg; high: 10 mg/kg were injected intraperitoneally in the same animal (n=7 and sleep-wakefulness was recorded for 6 hrs. The changes in sleep-wakefulness were compared statistically. Percent REM sleep amount in the vehicle and lansoprazole low dose groups was 9.26±1.03 and 9.09±0.54, respectively, which increased significantly in the lansoprazole high dose group by 31.75% (from vehicle and 34.21% (from low dose. Also, REM sleep episode numbers significantly increased in lansoprazole high dose group. Further, the sodium-hydrogen exchanger blocker “amiloride” (10 mg/kg; i.p. (n=5 did not alter sleep-wake architecture. Our results suggest that the proton pump plays an important role in REM sleep modulation and supports our view that REM sleep might act as a sentinel to help maintain normal CO2 level for unperturbed sleep.

  8. Rapidly increasing macroalgal cover not related to herbivorous fishes on Mesoamerican reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Suchley

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Long-term phase shifts from coral to macroalgal dominated reef systems are well documented in the Caribbean. Although the impact of coral diseases, climate change and other factors is acknowledged, major herbivore loss through disease and overfishing is often assigned a primary role. However, direct evidence for the link between herbivore abundance, macroalgal and coral cover is sparse, particularly over broad spatial scales. In this study we use a database of coral reef surveys performed at 85 sites along the Mesoamerican Reef of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, to examine potential ecological links by tracking site trajectories over the period 2005–2014. Despite the long-term reduction of herbivory capacity reported across the Caribbean, the Mesoamerican Reef region displayed relatively low macroalgal cover at the onset of the study. Subsequently, increasing fleshy macroalgal cover was pervasive. Herbivorous fish populations were not responsible for this trend as fleshy macroalgal cover change was not correlated with initial herbivorous fish biomass or change, and the majority of sites experienced increases in macroalgae browser biomass. This contrasts the coral reef top-down herbivore control paradigm and suggests the role of external factors in making environmental conditions more favourable for algae. Increasing macroalgal cover typically suppresses ecosystem services and leads to degraded reef systems. Consequently, policy makers and local coral reef managers should reassess the focus on herbivorous fish protection and consider complementary measures such as watershed management in order to arrest this trend.

  9. Increased lower limb muscle coactivation reduces gait performance and increases metabolic cost in patients with hereditary spastic paraparesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinaldi, Martina; Ranavolo, Alberto; Conforto, Silvia; Martino, Giovanni; Draicchio, Francesco; Conte, Carmela; Varrecchia, Tiwana; Bini, Fabiano; Casali, Carlo; Pierelli, Francesco; Serrao, Mariano

    2017-10-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the lower limb muscle coactivation and its relationship with muscles spasticity, gait performance, and metabolic cost in patients with hereditary spastic paraparesis. Kinematic, kinetic, electromyographic and energetic parameters of 23 patients and 23 controls were evaluated by computerized gait analysis system. We computed ankle and knee antagonist muscle coactivation indexes throughout the gait cycle and during the subphases of gait. Energy consumption and energy recovery were measured as well. In addition to the correlation analysis between coactivation indexes and clinical variables, correlations between coactivation indexes and time-distance, kinematic, kinetic, and energetic parameters were estimated. Increased coactivity indexes of both knee and ankle muscles throughout the gait cycle and during the subphases of gait were observed in patients compared with controls. Energetic parameters were significantly higher in patients than in controls. Both knee and ankle muscle coactivation indexes were positively correlated with knee and ankle spasticity (Ashworth score), respectively. Knee and ankle muscle coactivation indexes were both positively correlated with energy consumption and both negatively correlated with energy recovery. Positive correlations between the Ashworth score and lower limb muscle coactivation suggest that abnormal lower limb muscle coactivation in patients with hereditary spastic paraparesis reflects a primary deficit linked to lower limb spasticity. Furthermore, these abnormalities influence the energetic mechanisms during walking. Identifying excessive muscle coactivation may be helpful in individuating the rehabilitative treatments and designing specific orthosis to restrain spasticity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Recent rapid increases in the demand for city gas in manufacturing industries and future developments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kusano, Shigero

    1992-01-01

    City gas companies in Japan are experiencing an expansion in demand for gas in all manufacturing industries. The reason for this is, first and foremost, external, in that the first and second oil crises and the recent Gulf War have placed the oil market in a state of flux. That is to say, supply and demand in the oil products market is unstable while the stability of city gas, which is the main raw material for LNG, is being highly appraised. Another external reason is related to a subject much in the news recently the world over - the environment. City gas is highly regarded for its minimum environmental impact. Domestic reasons for the expansion include the fact that with the increase in use of city gas in manufacturing industries, the end user is beginning to recognize the various special qualities that city gas possesses. The expansion is also due in part to the unrelenting efforts in sales by the gas producers themselves. This report focuses on the expansion in demand in city gas over the past ten years from the point of view of Tokyo Gas as a producer that has been party to the increased sales of city gas in manufacturing industries for over 10 years giving views on the reasons for the increase. Graphic reports of the actual situation of the industry at meetings such as these are rare and therefore although this is slightly different from the main theme, I would like to proceed with the debate in the hope that this will be beneficial in the expansion of future gas demand in countries all over the world

  11. Rapid increases and time-lagged declines in amphibian occupancy after wildfire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R; Lowe, Winsor H; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2013-02-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of drought and wildfire. Aquatic and moisture-sensitive species, such as amphibians, may be particularly vulnerable to these modified disturbance regimes because large wildfires often occur during extended droughts and thus may compound environmental threats. However, understanding of the effects of wildfires on amphibians in forests with long fire-return intervals is limited. Numerous stand-replacing wildfires have occurred since 1988 in Glacier National Park (Montana, U.S.A.), where we have conducted long-term monitoring of amphibians. We measured responses of 3 amphibian species to fires of different sizes, severity, and age in a small geographic area with uniform management. We used data from wetlands associated with 6 wildfires that burned between 1988 and 2003 to evaluate whether burn extent and severity and interactions between wildfire and wetland isolation affected the distribution of breeding populations. We measured responses with models that accounted for imperfect detection to estimate occupancy during prefire (0-4 years) and different postfire recovery periods. For the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris), occupancy was not affected for 6 years after wildfire. But 7-21 years after wildfire, occupancy for both species decreased ≥ 25% in areas where >50% of the forest within 500 m of wetlands burned. In contrast, occupancy of the boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas) tripled in the 3 years after low-elevation forests burned. This increase in occupancy was followed by a gradual decline. Our results show that accounting for magnitude of change and time lags is critical to understanding population dynamics of amphibians after large disturbances. Our results also inform understanding of the potential threat of increases in wildfire frequency or severity to amphibians in the region. ©2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. Increasing survival time decreases the cost-effectiveness of using "test & treat'' to eliminate HIV epidemics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Bradley G; Coburn, Brian J; Blower, Sally

    2013-01-01

    Treating HIV-infected individuals reduces their viral load, consequently increasing their survival time and decreasing their infectivity. It has been proposed that universal testing and treatment (i.e., universal "test & treat'') could lead to HIV elimination and would be extremely cost-effective. It is now being debated whether to use a universal "test & treat'' approach in the "real-world'' as a prevention strategy to control HIV epidemics. However current modeling predictions of the impact, and cost-effectiveness, of universal `"est & treat'' strategies are based on an unrealistically short survival time for treated individuals. Here we use mathematical modeling and a longer, more realistic, survival time. We model the potential impact of a universal "test & treat'' strategy in South Africa. Our results show that increasing the length of the survival time on treatment, although beneficial to individuals, reduces the probability of eliminating HIV and decreases the cost-effectiveness of using universal "test & treat'' strategies. Therefore our results show that individual-level benefits and public health benefits will conflict when using "test &treat'' strategies to reduce HIV transmission.

  13. Rapid Increase in Scrub Typhus Incidence in Mainland China, 2006-2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yi-Cheng; Qian, Quan; Magalhaes, Ricardo J Soares; Han, Zhi-Hai; Haque, Ubydul; Weppelmann, Thomas A; Hu, Wen-Biao; Liu, Yun-Xi; Sun, Yan-Song; Zhang, Wen-Yi; Li, Shen-Long

    2016-03-01

    Scrub typhus is a vector-borne disease, which has recently reemerged in China. In this study, we describe the distribution and incidence of scrub typhus cases in China from 2006 to 2014 and quantify differences in scrub typhus cases with respect to sex, age, and occupation. The results of our study indicate that the annual incidence of scrub typhus has increased during the study period. The number of cases peaked in 2014, which was 12.8 times greater than the number of cases reported in 2006. Most (77.97%) of the cases were reported in five provinces (Guangdong, Yunnan, Anhui, Fujian, and Shandong). Our study also demonstrates that the incidence rate of scrub typhus was significantly higher in females compared to males (P scrub typhus incidence, but also document an expansion in the geographic distribution throughout the country. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  14. Symptoms and Mucosal Changes Stable During Rapid Increase of Pediatric Celiac Disease in Norway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beitnes, Ann-Christin R; Vikskjold, Florin B; Jóhannesdóttir, Gróa B; Perminow, Gøri; Olbjørn, Christine; Andersen, Solveig N; Bentsen, Beint S; Rugtveit, Jarle; Størdal, Ketil

    2017-04-01

    We aimed to study whether the incidence of pediatric celiac disease (CD) in South-Eastern Norway changed from 2000 to 2010. We also examined whether there was a change in symptoms and histopathological morphology in the duodenal biopsies during the same period. In 3 hospitals in South-Eastern Norway, records from pediatric patients (0-14.9 years) diagnosed with CD during two 3-year periods (2000-2002 and 2008-2010) were reviewed. Only cases with a duodenal biopsy diagnosis of CD classified as Marsh grade 2 and 3a-c were included. Frequencies of symptoms, anthropometric data, and laboratory results were compared, in addition to re-examinations of histological sections from one of the hospitals. A total of 400 cases were diagnosed with a female to male ratio of 1.5:1. The incidence rate for 2000 to 2002 was 15.9 cases per 100,000 person-years (95% confidence interval 12.8-19.4), compared with 45.5 cases per 100,000 person-years during 2008 to 2010 (95% confidence interval 40.5-50.9), P symptoms and the distribution of histopathological changes were similar in the 2 periods, whereas weight z scores and hemoglobin levels were significantly lower in the first period. We found a 3-fold increase in the incidence rate for CD in the Norwegian pediatric population during the decade 2000 to 2010. Slightly higher weight and hemoglobin levels at diagnosis in the latter period may be due to improved CD awareness. Unaltered relative frequencies of symptoms and histopathological changes in the gut, however, suggest a true increase of CD in Norwegian children.

  15. Synthetic polymers in the marine environment: a rapidly increasing, long-term threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Charles James

    2008-10-01

    Synthetic polymers, commonly known as plastics, have been entering the marine environment in quantities paralleling their level of production over the last half century. However, in the last two decades of the 20th Century, the deposition rate accelerated past the rate of production, and plastics are now one of the most common and persistent pollutants in ocean waters and beaches worldwide. Thirty years ago the prevailing attitude of the plastic industry was that "plastic litter is a very small proportion of all litter and causes no harm to the environment except as an eyesore" [Derraik, J.G.B., 2002. The pollution of the marine environment by plastic debris: a review. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 44(9), 842-852]. Between 1960 and 2000, the world production of plastic resins increased 25-fold, while recovery of the material remained below 5%. Between 1970 and 2003, plastics became the fastest growing segment of the US municipal waste stream, increasing nine-fold, and marine litter is now 60-80% plastic, reaching 90-95% in some areas. While undoubtedly still an eyesore, plastic debris today is having significant harmful effects on marine biota. Albatross, fulmars, shearwaters and petrels mistake floating plastics for food, and many individuals of these species are affected; in fact, 44% of all seabird species are known to ingest plastic. Sea turtles ingest plastic bags, fishing line and other plastics, as do 26 species of cetaceans. In all, 267 species of marine organisms worldwide are known to have been affected by plastic debris, a number that will increase as smaller organisms are assessed. The number of fish, birds, and mammals that succumb each year to derelict fishing nets and lines in which they become entangled cannot be reliably known; but estimates are in the millions. We divide marine plastic debris into two categories: macro, >5 mm and micro, plastic micro-debris by filter feeders at the base of the food web is known to occur, but has not been quantified

  16. Low-Cost Behavioral Nudges Increase Medicaid Take-Up Among Eligible Residents Of Oregon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Bill J; Garcia-Alexander, Ginny; Weller, Margarette A; Baicker, Katherine

    2017-05-01

    Efforts to reduce the ranks of the uninsured hinge on take-up of available programs and subsidies, but take-up of even free insurance is often less than complete. The evidence of the effectiveness of policies aiming to increase take-up is limited. We used a randomized controlled design to evaluate the impact of improved communication and behaviorally informed "nudges" designed to increase Medicaid take-up among eligible populations. Fielding randomized interventions in two different study populations in Oregon, we found that even very low-cost interventions substantially increased enrollment. Effects were larger in a population whose members had already expressed interest in obtaining coverage, but the effects were more persistent in low-income populations whose members were already enrolled in other state assistance programs but had not expressed interest in health insurance. The effects were similar across different demographic groups. Our results suggest that improving the design of enrollment processes and using low-cost mass-outreach efforts have the potential to substantially increase insurance coverage of vulnerable populations. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  17. Increased common carotid artery wall thickness is associated with rapid progression of asymptomatic carotid stenosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diomedi, Marina; Scacciatelli, Daria; Misaggi, Giulia; Balestrini, Simona; Balucani, Clotilde; Sallustio, Fabrizio; Di Legge, Silvia; Stanzione, Paolo; Silvestrini, Mauro

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed to identify clinical and ultrasound imaging predictors of progression of carotid luminal narrowing in subjects with asymptomatic moderate internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis. A total of 571 subjects with asymptomatic moderate (50-69%) ICA stenoses were enrolled. They underwent ultrasound examination at baseline and after 12 months. Demographics, vascular risk factors, medications, plaque characteristics (surface and echogenicity) and common carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) were collected. At the follow-up examination, any change of ICA stenosis was graded in three categories (i) ≥70% to near occlusion, (ii) near occlusion, and (iii) occlusion. Progression of stenosis was defined as an increase in the stenosis degree by at least one category from baseline to follow-up. At 12 months, progression occurred in 142 subjects (prevalence rate 25%). At the multivariable logistic model, pathological IMT values (considered as binary variable: normal: ≤1 mm vs. pathologic: >1 mm) significantly predicted the risk for plaque progression after adjusting the model for possible confounders (OR 2.28, 95% CI 1.18-4.43, P = .014, multivariable logistic model). Our results confirm the role of carotid wall thickening as a marker of atherosclerosis. Carotid IMT measurement should be considered to implement risk stratification in patients with asymptomatic carotid disease.

  18. Rapid temperature increase near the anode and cathode in the afterglow of a pulsed positive streamer discharge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ono, Ryo

    2018-06-01

    The spatiotemporal evolution of the temperature in the afterglow of point-to-plane, pulsed positive streamer discharge was measured near the anode tip and cathode surface using laser-induced predissociation fluorescence of OH radicals. The temperature exhibited a rapid increase and displayed a steep spatial gradient after a discharge pulse. The rate of temperature rise reached 84 K μs‑1 at mm, where z represents the distance from the anode tip. The temperature rise was much faster than in the middle of the gap; it was only 2.8 K μs‑1 at mm. The temperature reached 1700 K near the anode tip at s and 1500 K near the cathode surface at s, where t represents the postdischarge time. The spatial gradient reached 1280 K mm‑1 near the anode tip at s. The mechanism responsible for the rapid temperature increase was discussed, including rapid heating of the gas in the early postdischarge phase (s), and vibration-to-translation energy transfer in the later postdischarge phase (s). The high temperatures near the anode tip and cathode surface are particularly important for the ignition of combustible mixtures and for surface treatments, including solid-surface treatments, water treatments, and plasma medicine using pulsed streamer discharges.

  19. Rapidly increasing body mass index among children, adolescents and young adults in a transitioning population, South Africa, 2008-15.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartorius, B; Sartorius, K; Taylor, M; Aagaard-Hansen, J; Dukhi, N; Day, C; Ndlovu, N; Slotow, R; Hofman, K

    2017-12-14

    There is a global epidemic of overweight and obesity; however, this rate of increase is even greater in some low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). South Africa (SA) is undergoing rapid socioeconomic and demographic changes that have triggered a rapid nutrition transition. The paper focuses on the recent rate of change of body mass index (BMI) among children, adolescents and young adults, further stratified by key sociodemographic factors. We analysed mean BMI of 28 247 individuals (including children) from 7301 households by age and year, from anthropometric data from four national cross-sectional (repeated panel) surveys using non-linear fitted curves and associated 95% confidence intervals. From 2008 to 2015, there was rapid rise in mean BMI in the 6-25 age band, with the highest risk (3-4+ BMI unit increase) among children aged 8-10 years. The increase was largely among females in urban areas and of middle-high socioeconomic standing. Prominent gains were also observed in certain rural areas, with extensive geographical heterogeneity across the country. We have demonstrated a major deviation from the current understanding of patterns of BMI increase, with a rate of increase substantially greater in the developing world context compared with the global pattern. This population-wide effect will have major consequences for national development as the epidemic of related non-communicable disease unfolds, and will overtax the national health care budget. Our refined understanding highlights that risks are further compounded for certain groups/places, and emphasizes that urgent geographical and population-targeted interventions are necessary. These interventions could include a sugar tax, clearer food labelling, revised school feeding programmes and mandatory bans on unhealthy food marketing to children.The scenario unfolding in South Africa will likely be followed in other LMICs. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the

  20. Assessing the Potential of Low-Cost 3D Cameras for the Rapid Measurement of Plant Woody Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles Nock

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Detailed 3D plant architectural data have numerous applications in plant science, but many existing approaches for 3D data collection are time-consuming and/or require costly equipment. Recently, there has been rapid growth in the availability of low-cost, 3D cameras and related open source software applications. 3D cameras may provide measurements of key components of plant architecture such as stem diameters and lengths, however, few tests of 3D cameras for the measurement of plant architecture have been conducted. Here, we measured Salix branch segments ranging from 2–13 mm in diameter with an Asus Xtion camera to quantify the limits and accuracy of branch diameter measurement with a 3D camera. By scanning at a variety of distances we also quantified the effect of scanning distance. In addition, we also test the sensitivity of the program KinFu for continuous 3D object scanning and modeling as well as other similar software to accurately record stem diameters and capture plant form (<3 m in height. Given its ability to accurately capture the diameter of branches >6 mm, Asus Xtion may provide a novel method for the collection of 3D data on the branching architecture of woody plants. Improvements in camera measurement accuracy and available software are likely to further improve the utility of 3D cameras for plant sciences in the future.

  1. Rapid and Low-Cost CRP Measurement by Integrating a Paper-Based Microfluidic Immunoassay with Smartphone (CRP-Chip)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Meili; Wu, Jiandong; Ma, Zimin; Peretz-Soroka, Hagit; Zhang, Michael; Komenda, Paul; Tangri, Navdeep; Liu, Yong; Rigatto, Claudio; Lin, Francis

    2017-01-01

    Traditional diagnostic tests for chronic diseases are expensive and require a specialized laboratory, therefore limiting their use for point-of-care (PoC) testing. To address this gap, we developed a method for rapid and low-cost C-reactive protein (CRP) detection from blood by integrating a paper-based microfluidic immunoassay with a smartphone (CRP-Chip). We chose CRP for this initial development because it is a strong biomarker of prognosis in chronic heart and kidney disease. The microfluidic immunoassay is realized by lateral flow and gold nanoparticle-based colorimetric detection of the target protein. The test image signal is acquired and analyzed using a commercial smartphone with an attached microlens and a 3D-printed chip–phone interface. The CRP-Chip was validated for detecting CRP in blood samples from chronic kidney disease patients and healthy subjects. The linear detection range of the CRP-Chip is up to 2 μg/mL and the detection limit is 54 ng/mL. The CRP-Chip test result yields high reproducibility and is consistent with the standard ELISA kit. A single CRP-Chip can perform the test in triplicate on a single chip within 15 min for less than 50 US cents of material cost. This CRP-Chip with attractive features of low-cost, fast test speed, and integrated easy operation with smartphones has the potential to enable future clinical PoC chronic disease diagnosis and risk stratification by parallel measurements of a panel of protein biomarkers. PMID:28346363

  2. Ablation - breakthrough technology to reduce uranium mining cost and increase resources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scriven, D.

    2014-01-01

    Ablation Technologies, LLC has developed and patented a revolutionary mining technology termed “ablation”. Ablation is a process using only mechanical forces to upgrade sandstone uranium ores. Uranium bearing sandstone orebodies are formed from a uranium enriched solution flowing through an aquifer until it reached some type of a “red/ox” zone forcing the uranium and other heavy metals to come out of solution. The precipitate forms a thin coating on the sand grains and fills the interstitial space between the sand grains but does no penetrate the sand grains. The ablation process knocks the precipitate off the sand grains using the forces of abrasion, elastic compression and rebounding, much like a mud coated tennis ball will sheds the mud when bounced off the ground, and to some extent, sonic waves. This produces a product which collectively is exactly the same as the ore going in but with all the individual components separated. This allows for disgressionary separation, the most important of which is screening. The uranium and heavy metals report to the finer fractions of the material, typically less than 250 mesh. The larger fractions contain less than five percent of the uranium but 90 to 95 percent of the mass. The advantages of making an enriched ore are numerous: • Reduce haulage costs from 90 to 95 percent. • Reduce milling costs by reducing material handling costs, acid consumption and tailings disposal costs. • In addition to reducing overall mining and milling costs, the overall recovery of the recourse is increased because the ablation process is so inexpensive, if the material has to be mined it will be ablated and screened. This basically means ore control is significantly reduced, cutoff grade goes to practically zero and overall resource recovery is significantly increased. • Environmentally, the two major advantages are reduced tailings requirements at the mill site and cleaner waste dumps at the mine site. This paper will show

  3. Phylogenomics of a rapid radiation: is chromosomal evolution linked to increased diversification in north american spiny lizards (Genus Sceloporus)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leaché, Adam D; Banbury, Barbara L; Linkem, Charles W; de Oca, Adrián Nieto-Montes

    2016-03-22

    Resolving the short phylogenetic branches that result from rapid evolutionary diversification often requires large numbers of loci. We collected targeted sequence capture data from 585 nuclear loci (541 ultraconserved elements and 44 protein-coding genes) to estimate the phylogenetic relationships among iguanian lizards in the North American genus Sceloporus. We tested for diversification rate shifts to determine if rapid radiation in the genus is correlated with chromosomal evolution. The phylogenomic trees that we obtained for Sceloporus using concatenation and coalescent-based species tree inference provide strong support for the monophyly and interrelationships among nearly all major groups. The diversification analysis supported one rate shift on the Sceloporus phylogeny approximately 20-25 million years ago that is associated with the doubling of the speciation rate from 0.06 species/million years (Ma) to 0.15 species/Ma. The posterior probability for this rate shift occurring on the branch leading to the Sceloporus species groups exhibiting increased chromosomal diversity is high (posterior probability = 0.997). Despite high levels of gene tree discordance, we were able to estimate a phylogenomic tree for Sceloporus that solves some of the taxonomic problems caused by previous analyses of fewer loci. The taxonomic changes that we propose using this new phylogenomic tree help clarify the number and composition of the major species groups in the genus. Our study provides new evidence for a putative link between chromosomal evolution and the rapid divergence and radiation of Sceloporus across North America.

  4. The influence of increased distal loading on metabolic cost, efficiency, and kinematics of roller ski skating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolger, Conor M; Bessone, Veronica; Federolf, Peter; Ettema, Gertjan; Sandbakk, Øyvind

    2018-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the influence of increased loading of the roller ski on metabolic cost, gross efficiency, and kinematics of roller ski skating in steep and moderate terrain, while employing two incline-specific techniques. Ten nationally ranked male cross-country skiers were subjected to four 7-minute submaximal intervals, with 0, 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 kg added beneath the roller-ski in a randomized order. This was done on two separate days, with the G2 skating at 12% incline and 7 km/h speed and G3 skating at 5% incline and 14 km/h speed, respectively. At 12% incline, there was a significant increase in metabolic rate and a decrease in gross efficiency with added weight (P0.05). No changes in cycle characteristics were observed between the different ski loadings at either incline, although the lateral and vertical displacements of the foot/skis were slightly altered at 12% incline with added weight. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that increased loading of the ski increases the metabolic cost and reduces gross efficiency during steep uphill roller skiing in G2 skating, whereas no significant effect was revealed when skating on relatively flat terrain in G3. Cycle characteristics remained unchanged across conditions at both inclines, whereas small adjustments in the displacement of the foot coincided with the efficiency changes in uphill terrain. The increased RPE values with added ski-weight at both inclines indicates that other factors than those measured here could have influenced effort and/or fatigue when lifting a heavier ski.

  5. The rapid growth of domestic oil consumption in Saudi Arabia and the opportunity cost of oil exports foregone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gately, Dermot; Al-Yousef, Nourah; Al-Sheikh, Hamad M.H.

    2012-01-01

    We analyze the rapid growth of Saudi Arabia's domestic oil consumption, a nine-fold increase in 40 years, to nearly 3 million barrels per day, about one-fourth of production. Such rapid growth in consumption – 5.7% annually, which is 37% faster than its income growth of 4.2% – will challenge Saudi Arabia's ability to increase its oil exports, which are relied upon in long-term world oil projections by the International Energy Agency (IEA), US Department of Energy (DOE) and British Petroleum (BP). However, these institutions assume unprecedented slowdowns in Saudi oil consumption – from 5.7% annual growth historically to less than 2% in the future – allowing them to project increases in Saudi oil exports. Using 1971–2010 data, we estimate that the income responsiveness (elasticity) of oil consumption is at least 1.5—using both Ordinary Least Squares regression and Cointegration methods. We believe that continued high growth rates for domestic oil consumption are more likely than the dramatic slowdowns projected by IEA, DOE and BP. This will have major implications for Saudi production and export levels. - Highlights: ► We analyze the rapid growth of Saudi Arabia's domestic oil consumption, now one-fourth of production. ► Estimated income elasticity of oil demand at least 1.5, using OLS and Co-integration. ► Yet IEA, DOE and BP project unprecedented slowdowns, from 5.7% historically to below 2%, half the rate of income growth. ► Continued high growth rates are more likely, with major implications for Saudi production and export levels.

  6. Possible causes of the recent rapid increase in the radial increment of silver fir in the Western Carpathians

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bošeľa, Michal; Petráš, Rudolf; Sitková, Zuzana; Priwitzer, Tibor; Pajtík, Jozef; Hlavatá, Helena; Sedmák, Róbert; Tobin, Brian

    2014-01-01

    Silver fir is one of the most productive and ecologically valuable native European tree species, however, it has been experiencing decline which has periodically occurred over its natural range. This paper aims to investigate the recent climate–growth relationships of silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) and its temporal change along the course of its life. Long-term tree-ring databases, as well as records on climate, atmospheric SO 2 , NO 3 and acid concentrations from four different regions in the Western Carpathians were used. The results provide clear evidence of significant increase of silver fir's radial increment over the entire Western Carpathian area since 1970–1980. The results indicated that the most probable factors behind the rapid recovery of tree radial increment were reductions in emissions of NO 3 and SO 2 , alongside a significant increase in mean June, July and April temperatures. Highlights: • Silver fir radial growth was mostly related to mean month late winter temperatures. • Silver fir growth also responded to summer, especially July temperatures. • Strength of the climate–growth response has gradually increased since 1960–1980. • SO 2 , NO 3 , and recent climate change as major factor of the rapid radial growth recovery. -- Reductions of SO 2 and NO 3 emission along with climate change are the major causes of the recent recovery of Silver fir radial growth

  7. ANALYSIS BENEFIT COST RATIO OF BIOCHAR IN AGRICULTURE LAND TO INCREASE INCOME HOUSEHOLD IN MERAUKE REGENCY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Magdalena Diana Widiastuti

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Biochar has been proven to increase the availability of soil nutrient, yield productivity and farmers income. Biochar can be made from forestry/agricultural waste and do not required high technology. The objective of this study were: (1 to analyze Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR of biochar made from rice husk, (2 to compare yield productivity of paddy with biochar treatment, and (3 to analyze of paddy farming system with biochar treatment. The methodology by using BCR and productivity approach. The result showed that, firstly, the BCR of biochar from rice husks was 1.35 which indicated that biochar productivity as feasible. Secondly, the provision of biochar and fertilizer on agricultural could increase rice productivity of 4.2 ton/ha (control treatment to 5.5 ton/ha (treatment biochar + organic fertilizer and 6 ton/ha (treatment biochar + organic fertilizer + chemical fertilizers. Thirdly, the benefit cost ratio of paddy farming system for control treatment (1.54, higher than biochar+organic fertilizer treatment (1.46 and biochar+organic fertilizer+chemical fertilizer treatment.

  8. Increased disease calls for a cost-benefits review of marine reserves.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma C Wootton

    Full Text Available Marine reserves (or No-Take Zones are implemented to protect species and habitats, with the aim of restoring a balanced ecosystem. Although the benefits of marine reserves are commonly monitored, there is a lack of insight into the potential detriments of such highly protected waters. High population densities attained within reserves may induce negative impacts such as unfavourable trophic cascades and disease outbreaks. Hence, we investigated the health of lobster populations in the UK's Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ at Lundy Island. Comparisons were made between the fished, Refuge Zone (RZ and the un-fished, No-Take Zone (NTZ; marine reserve. We show ostensibly positive effects such as increased lobster abundance and size within the NTZ; however, we also demonstrate apparent negative effects such as increased injury and shell disease. Our findings suggest that robust cost-benefit analyses of marine reserves could improve marine reserve efficacy and subsequent management strategies.

  9. Room Service Improves Nutritional Intake and Increases Patient Satisfaction While Decreasing Food Waste and Cost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCray, Sally; Maunder, Kirsty; Krikowa, Renee; MacKenzie-Shalders, Kristen

    2018-02-01

    Room service is a foodservice model that has been increasingly implemented across health care facilities in an effort to improve patient satisfaction and reduce food waste. In 2013, Mater Private Hospital Brisbane, Australia, was the first hospital in Australia to implement room service, with the aim of improving patient nutrition care and reducing costs. The aim of this study was to comprehensively evaluate the nutritional intake, plate waste, patient satisfaction, and patient meal costs of room service compared to a traditional foodservice model. A retrospective analysis of quality-assurance data audits was undertaken to assess patient nutritional intake between a facility utilizing a traditional foodservice model and a facility utilizing room service and in a pre-post study design to assess plate waste, patient satisfaction, and patient meal costs before and after the room service implementation. Audit data were collected for eligible adult inpatients in Mater Private Hospital Brisbane and Mater Hospital Brisbane, Australia, between July 2012 and May 2015. The primary outcome measures were nutritional intake, plate waste, patient satisfaction, and patient meal costs. Independent samples t-tests and χ 2 analyses were conducted between pre and post data for continuous data and categorical data, respectively. Pearson χ 2 analysis of count data for sex and reasons for plate waste for data with counts more than five was used to determine asymptotic (two-sided) significance and n-1 χ 2 used for the plate waste analysis. Significance was assessed at P<0.05. This study reported an increased nutritional intake, improved patient satisfaction, and reduced plate waste and patient meal costs with room service compared to a traditional foodservice model. Comparison of nutritional intake between a traditional foodservice model (n=85) and room service (n=63) showed statistically significant increases with room service in both energy (1,306 kcal/day vs 1,588 kcal/day; P=0

  10. Rapid Bolus Administration Does not Increase The Extravasation Rate of Albumin: A Randomized Controlled Trial in The Endotoxemic Pig.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Seth, Magnus; Lipcsey, Miklós; Engström, Peter; Larsson, Anders; Hillered, Lars; Maripuu, Enn; Widström, Charles; Sjölin, Jan

    2017-04-01

    Some experimental data suggest that rapid bolus administration of albumin causes less plasma-expanding effects than slow, continuous infusion. To determine whether rapid bolus administration, in comparison with slow infusion, results in greater extravasation of albumin in experimental septic shock we performed a randomized controlled trial with 32 endotoxemic pigs. The animals were monitored and ventilated with standard intensive care equipment and given 10 mL × kg 5% albumin labeled with Technetium-99m, either as a rapid 15-min bolus (Bolus group, n = 16) or as a 2-h infusion (Infusion group, n = 16). Radioactivity was monitored in plasma, extracellular microdialysate, and urine for 6 h. Physiological parameters were monitored hourly. Radioactivity in the liver, spleen, kidney, and lung was analyzed post mortem.The plasma area under the curve activity0-6 h was 4.4 ± 0.9 × 10 in the Bolus group and 4.4 ± 1.1 × 10 counts × min × mL × h in the Infusion group. Blood hemoglobin levels increased in both groups, suggesting severe capillary leakage. Yet, there were no group differences in albumin radioactivity in plasma, muscle tissue, urine, or in the post-mortem analysis of the organs. Following albumin administration, circulatory and respiratory parameters were similar in the two groups.In conclusion, the present results suggest that albumin might be given as a bolus without leading to increased extravasation of albumin, in contrast to previous animal experiments in rodents.

  11. Alternative long term strategies for sustainable development: Rapidly increasing electricity consumption in Asian countries and future role of nuclear energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sagawa, N.

    1997-01-01

    Many people in the world express the concern that global warming will become an increasingly serious problem. A rapid increase in population and demand for energy in the Asian region must be discussed in this context. Despite the forecast of an increase in demand for energy, the Asian region is short of oil and natural gas resources. In addition, only less energy can be supplied by renewable energy sources in the Asian region than in the other regions because of high population density. Nuclear energy is an important energy resource for fulfilling the future increasing energy demand in the Asian region and for contributing to the suppression of carbon dioxide emissions. In the Asian region alone, however, we cannot rely limitlessly on LWR which does not use plutonium. According to a scenario analysis, the total capacity of nuclear power plants in the Asian region would reach large scale and the cumulative amount of demand for natural uranium will increase to about 5 million tons in the Asian region alone. Just the nuclear power plants of this scale in Asia alone will rapidly consume the world's cheap natural uranium resources if we rely only on natural uranium. In the Asian region, few countries have embarked on nuclear power generation and the capacity of equipment is still small. Currently, however, many plans for nuclear power generation are being designed. Many Asian countries obviously consider nuclear power generation as a valid option. Many potential policies must be examined in the light of future uncertainty. In the future, both renewable energy and nuclear energy must be resorted to. When nuclear energy is utilized, the use of plutonium and FBR in the Asian region must be taken into account in order to attain continual growth and development. (author)

  12. The population in China’s earthquake-prone areas has increased by over 32 million along with rapid urbanization

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Chunyang; Huang, Qingxu; Dou, Yinyin; Tu, Wei; Liu, Jifu

    2016-07-01

    Accurate assessments of the population exposed to seismic hazard are crucial in seismic risk mapping. Recent rapid urbanization in China has resulted in substantial changes in the size and structure of the population exposed to seismic hazard. Using the latest population census data and seismic maps, this work investigated spatiotemporal changes in the exposure of the population in the most seismically hazardous areas (MSHAs) in China from 1990 to 2010. In the context of rapid urbanization and massive rural-to-urban migration, nearly one-tenth of the Chinese population in 2010 lived in MSHAs. From 1990 to 2010, the MSHA population increased by 32.53 million at a significantly higher rate of change (33.6%) than the national average rate (17.7%). The elderly population in MSHAs increased by 81.4%, which is much higher than the group’s national growth rate of 58.9%. Greater attention should be paid to the demographic changes in earthquake-prone areas in China.

  13. Reducing Nitrogen Pollution while Decreasing Farmers' Costs and Increasing Fertilizer Industry Profits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanter, David R; Zhang, Xin; Mauzerall, Denise L

    2015-03-01

    Nitrogen (N) pollution is emerging as one of the most important environmental issues of the 21st Century, contributing to air and water pollution, climate change, and stratospheric ozone depletion. With agriculture being the dominant source, we tested whether it is possible to reduce agricultural N pollution in a way that benefits the environment, reduces farmers' costs, and increases fertilizer industry profitability, thereby creating a "sweet spot" for decision-makers that could significantly increase the viability of improved N management initiatives. Although studies of the economic impacts of improved N management have begun to take into account farmers and the environment, this is the first study to consider the fertilizer industry. Our "sweet spot" hypothesis is evaluated via a cost-benefit analysis of moderate and ambitious N use efficiency targets in U.S. and China corn sectors over the period 2015-2035. We use a blend of publicly available crop and energy price projections, original time-series modeling, and expert elicitation. The results present a mixed picture: although the potential for a "sweet spot" exists in both countries, it is more likely that one occurs in China due to the currently extensive overapplication of fertilizer, which creates a greater potential for farmers and the fertilizer industry to gain economically from improved N management. Nevertheless, the environmental benefits of improving N management consistently dwarf the economic impacts on farmers and the fertilizer industry in both countries, suggesting that viable policy options could include incentives to farmers and the fertilizer industry to increase their support for N management policies. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  14. Rehabilitating acid soils for increasing crop productivity through low-cost liming material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhat, Javid Ahmad; Kundu, Manik Chandra; Hazra, Gora Chand; Santra, Gour Hari; Mandal, Biswapati

    2010-09-15

    Productivity of red and lateritic soils is low because of their acidity and deficiencies in few essential nutrients viz., nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, boron, molybdenum etc. We compared the effectiveness of basic slag, a low-cost liming material, with that of calcite as an ameliorant for these soils using mustard followed by rice as test crops. Experiments were conducted with three levels of each of basic slag and calcite along with a control on farmers' fields at 14 different locations. Influence of farmyard manure (FYM) and poultry manure (PM) on the effectiveness of the slag was also tested. On an average, basic slag performed better than calcite in increasing yields of both mustard and rice and left over higher amounts of available Ca, Si and Zn in residual soils. The slag also improved N, P, K and Ca nutrition of mustard and Si and Zn nutrition of rice with a favorable benefit:cost (B:C) ratio over the calcite (4.82 vs. 1.44). Effectiveness of the basic slag improved when it was applied in combination with FYM or PM (B:C, 5.83 and 6.27). Basic slag can, therefore, be advocated for use in the acidic red and lateritic soils for economically improving their productivity. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Rehabilitating acid soils for increasing crop productivity through low-cost liming material

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhat, Javid Ahmad; Kundu, Manik Chandra; Hazra, Gora Chand; Santra, Gour Hari; Mandal, Biswapati

    2010-01-01

    Productivity of red and lateritic soils is low because of their acidity and deficiencies in few essential nutrients viz., nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, boron, molybdenum etc. We compared the effectiveness of basic slag, a low-cost liming material, with that of calcite as an ameliorant for these soils using mustard followed by rice as test crops. Experiments were conducted with three levels of each of basic slag and calcite along with a control on farmers' fields at 14 different locations. Influence of farmyard manure (FYM) and poultry manure (PM) on the effectiveness of the slag was also tested. On an average, basic slag performed better than calcite in increasing yields of both mustard and rice and left over higher amounts of available Ca, Si and Zn in residual soils. The slag also improved N, P, K and Ca nutrition of mustard and Si and Zn nutrition of rice with a favorable benefit:cost (B:C) ratio over the calcite (4.82 vs. 1.44). Effectiveness of the basic slag improved when it was applied in combination with FYM or PM (B:C, 5.83 and 6.27). Basic slag can, therefore, be advocated for use in the acidic red and lateritic soils for economically improving their productivity.

  16. Rehabilitating acid soils for increasing crop productivity through low-cost liming material

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bhat, Javid Ahmad [Directorate of Research, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Kalyani - 741 235, West Bengal (India); Kundu, Manik Chandra, E-mail: mckundu@rediffmail.com [Directorate of Research, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Kalyani - 741 235, West Bengal (India); Hazra, Gora Chand [Directorate of Research, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Kalyani - 741 235, West Bengal (India); Santra, Gour Hari [Department of Soil Science and Agril. Chemistry, Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, Bhubaneswar - 751003, Orissa (India); Mandal, Biswapati [Directorate of Research, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Kalyani - 741 235, West Bengal (India)

    2010-09-15

    Productivity of red and lateritic soils is low because of their acidity and deficiencies in few essential nutrients viz., nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, boron, molybdenum etc. We compared the effectiveness of basic slag, a low-cost liming material, with that of calcite as an ameliorant for these soils using mustard followed by rice as test crops. Experiments were conducted with three levels of each of basic slag and calcite along with a control on farmers' fields at 14 different locations. Influence of farmyard manure (FYM) and poultry manure (PM) on the effectiveness of the slag was also tested. On an average, basic slag performed better than calcite in increasing yields of both mustard and rice and left over higher amounts of available Ca, Si and Zn in residual soils. The slag also improved N, P, K and Ca nutrition of mustard and Si and Zn nutrition of rice with a favorable benefit:cost (B:C) ratio over the calcite (4.82 vs. 1.44). Effectiveness of the basic slag improved when it was applied in combination with FYM or PM (B:C, 5.83 and 6.27). Basic slag can, therefore, be advocated for use in the acidic red and lateritic soils for economically improving their productivity.

  17. Why does the energy price increase when cheaper-than-avoided-cost DSM is added?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Packey, D.J.

    1993-01-01

    This paper systematically approaches the various cost implications of including demand-side management (DMS) in a utility's resource mix. A multidimensional cost structure is developed. The costs of DSM programmes are identified and displayed separately from the standard utility resource costs. Through the use of different marketplace conditions, likely scenarios are identified and described. Cheaper-than-avoided-cost DSM programmes are added to the cost framework, and the results are displayed and examined. The results are then generalized, and the conditions are identified wherein additions of DSM to the utility's resource mix will have a positive (or negative) effect on the utility's prices. (author)

  18. Changes in Indirect Markers of Muscle Damage and Tendons After Daily Drop Jumping Exercise with Rapid Load Increase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vidas Paleckis, Mantas Mickevičius, Audrius Snieckus, Vytautas Streckis, Mati Pääsuke, Saulius Rutkauskas, Rasa Steponavičiūtė, Albertas Skurvydas, Sigitas Kamandulis

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to assess changes in indirect markers of muscle damage and type I collagen degradation, as well as, patellar and Achilles tendon morphological differences during nine daily drop-jumps sessions with constant load alternated with rapid increases in load to test the hypothesis that frequent drop-jump training results in negative muscular and tendon adaptation. Young men (n = 9 performed daily drop jump workouts with progression every 3 days in terms of number of jumps, platform height and squat amplitude. Voluntary and electrically evoked knee extensor torque, muscle soreness, blood plasma creatine kinase (CK activity and carboxyterminal cross-linked telopeptide (ICTP, patellar and Achilles tendon thickness and cross-sectional area (CSA were assessed at different time points during the training period and again on days 1, 3, 10 and 17 after the training. The findings were as follows: (1 steady decline in maximal muscle strength with major recovery within 24 hours after the first six daily training sessions; (2 larger decline in electrically induced muscle torque and prolonged recovery during last three training sessions; (3 increase in patellar and Achilles tendons CSA without change in thickness towards the end of training period; (4 increase in jump height but not in muscle strength after whole training period. Our findings suggest that frequent drop-jump sessions with constant load alternated with rapid increases in load do not induce severe muscle damage or major changes in tendons, nonetheless, this type of loading is not advisable for muscle strength improvement.

  19. Rapid, low-cost photogrammetry to monitor volcanic eruptions: an example from Mount St. Helens, Washington, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diefenbach, Angela K.; Crider, Juliet G.; Schilling, Steve P.; Dzurisin, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    We describe a low-cost application of digital photogrammetry using commercially available photogrammetric software and oblique photographs taken with an off-the-shelf digital camera to create sequential digital elevation models (DEMs) of a lava dome that grew during the 2004–2008 eruption of Mount St. Helens (MSH) volcano. Renewed activity at MSH provided an opportunity to devise and test this method, because it could be validated against other observations of this well-monitored volcano. The datasets consist of oblique aerial photographs (snapshots) taken from a helicopter using a digital single-lens reflex camera. Twelve sets of overlapping digital images of the dome taken during 2004–2007 were used to produce DEMs and to calculate lava dome volumes and extrusion rates. Analyses of the digital images were carried out using photogrammetric software to produce three-dimensional coordinates of points identified in multiple photos. The evolving morphology of the dome was modeled by comparing successive DEMs. Results were validated by comparison to volume measurements derived from traditional vertical photogrammetric surveys by the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory. Our technique was significantly less expensive and required less time than traditional vertical photogrammetric techniques; yet, it consistently yielded volume estimates within 5% of the traditional method. This technique provides an inexpensive, rapid assessment tool for tracking lava dome growth or other topographic changes at restless volcanoes.

  20. Europe's gas consumption and imports to increase with adequate low cost supplies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Odell, P.R.

    1997-01-01

    Gas in Europe has always been sold above its long-run supply price. Lower prices, however, still permit profitable indigeneous supply expansion. As further reductions in production and transport costs from technological advances are expected, this will continue based on the exploitation of large proven and probable reserves. By 2025, indigeneous output will be 60% up on 1995. Nevertheless, an average 2.2%/annum growth in gas demand will increase import dependence from 130 to 320 BCM over this period. Future international oil prices indicate gas-equivalent border values adequate to secure profitable supply from a range of external sources, leading to continuing competition for markets and the diversification of imports. (9 tables; 31 references). (author)

  1. A Low-Cost, Simplified Platform of Interchangeable, Ambient Ionization Sources for Rapid, Forensic Evidence Screening on Portable Mass Spectrometric Instrumentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick W. Fedick

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Portable mass spectrometers (MS are becoming more prevalent due to improved instrumentation, commercialization, and the robustness of new ionization methodologies. To increase utility towards diverse field-based applications, there is an inherent need for rugged ionization source platforms that are simple, yet robust towards analytical scenarios that may arise. Ambient ionization methodologies have evolved to target specific real-world problems and fulfill requirements of the analysis at hand. Ambient ionization techniques continue to advance towards higher performance, with specific sources showing variable proficiency depending on application area. To realize the full potential and applicability of ambient ionization methods, a selection of sources may be more prudent, showing a need for a low-cost, flexible ionization source platform. This manuscript describes a centralized system that was developed for portable MS systems that incorporates modular, rapidly-interchangeable ionization sources comprised of low-cost, commercially-available parts. Herein, design considerations are reported for a suite of ambient ionization sources that can be crafted with minimal machining or customization. Representative spectral data is included to demonstrate applicability towards field processing of forensic evidence. While this platform is demonstrated on portable instrumentation, retrofitting to lab-scale MS systems is anticipated.

  2. Can broader diffusion of value-based insurance design increase benefits from US health care without increasing costs? Evidence from a computer simulation model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braithwaite, R Scott; Omokaro, Cynthia; Justice, Amy C; Nucifora, Kimberly; Roberts, Mark S

    2010-02-16

    Evidence suggests that cost sharing (i.e.,copayments and deductibles) decreases health expenditures but also reduces essential care. Value-based insurance design (VBID) has been proposed to encourage essential care while controlling health expenditures. Our objective was to estimate the impact of broader diffusion of VBID on US health care benefits and costs. We used a published computer simulation of costs and life expectancy gains from US health care to estimate the impact of broader diffusion of VBID. Two scenarios were analyzed: (1) applying VBID solely to pharmacy benefits and (2) applying VBID to both pharmacy benefits and other health care services (e.g., devices). We assumed that cost sharing would be eliminated for high-value services (value services ($100,000-$300,000 per life-year or unknown), and would be increased for low-value services (>$300,000 per life-year). All costs are provided in 2003 US dollars. Our simulation estimated that approximately 60% of health expenditures in the US are spent on low-value services, 20% are spent on intermediate-value services, and 20% are spent on high-value services. Correspondingly, the vast majority (80%) of health expenditures would have cost sharing that is impacted by VBID. With prevailing patterns of cost sharing, health care conferred 4.70 life-years at a per-capita annual expenditure of US$5,688. Broader diffusion of VBID to pharmaceuticals increased the benefit conferred by health care by 0.03 to 0.05 additional life-years, without increasing costs and without increasing out-of-pocket payments. Broader diffusion of VBID to other health care services could increase the benefit conferred by health care by 0.24 to 0.44 additional life-years, also without increasing costs and without increasing overall out-of-pocket payments. Among those without health insurance, using cost saving from VBID to subsidize insurance coverage would increase the benefit conferred by health care by 1.21 life-years, a 31% increase

  3. Can broader diffusion of value-based insurance design increase benefits from US health care without increasing costs? Evidence from a computer simulation model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R Scott Braithwaite

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Evidence suggests that cost sharing (i.e.,copayments and deductibles decreases health expenditures but also reduces essential care. Value-based insurance design (VBID has been proposed to encourage essential care while controlling health expenditures. Our objective was to estimate the impact of broader diffusion of VBID on US health care benefits and costs. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We used a published computer simulation of costs and life expectancy gains from US health care to estimate the impact of broader diffusion of VBID. Two scenarios were analyzed: (1 applying VBID solely to pharmacy benefits and (2 applying VBID to both pharmacy benefits and other health care services (e.g., devices. We assumed that cost sharing would be eliminated for high-value services ($300,000 per life-year. All costs are provided in 2003 US dollars. Our simulation estimated that approximately 60% of health expenditures in the US are spent on low-value services, 20% are spent on intermediate-value services, and 20% are spent on high-value services. Correspondingly, the vast majority (80% of health expenditures would have cost sharing that is impacted by VBID. With prevailing patterns of cost sharing, health care conferred 4.70 life-years at a per-capita annual expenditure of US$5,688. Broader diffusion of VBID to pharmaceuticals increased the benefit conferred by health care by 0.03 to 0.05 additional life-years, without increasing costs and without increasing out-of-pocket payments. Broader diffusion of VBID to other health care services could increase the benefit conferred by health care by 0.24 to 0.44 additional life-years, also without increasing costs and without increasing overall out-of-pocket payments. Among those without health insurance, using cost saving from VBID to subsidize insurance coverage would increase the benefit conferred by health care by 1.21 life-years, a 31% increase. CONCLUSION: Broader diffusion of VBID may amplify benefits from

  4. Cost-effectiveness of Bariatric Surgery: Increasing the Economic Viability of the Most Effective Treatment for Type II Diabetes Mellitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Jeremy A; Ewing, Joseph A; Hale, Allyson L; Blackhurst, Dawn W; Bour, Eric S; Scott, John D

    2015-08-01

    There has been considerable debate on the cost-effectiveness of bariatric surgery within larger population groups. Despite the recognition that morbid obesity and its comorbidities are best treated surgically, insurance coverage is not universally available. One of the more costly comorbidities of obesity is Type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We propose a model that demonstrates the cost-effectiveness of increasing the number of bariatric surgical operations performed on patients with T2DM in the United States. We applied published population cost estimates (2012) for medical care of T2DM to a retrospective cohort of morbidly obese patients in South Carolina. We compared differences in 10-year medical costs between those having bariatric surgery and controls. Resolution of T2DM in the bariatric cohort was assumed to be 40 per cent. Considering only the direct medical costs of T2DM, the 10-year aggregate cost savings compared with a control group is $2.7 million/1000 patients; the total (direct and indirect) cost savings is $5.4 million/1000 patients. When considering resolution of T2DM alone, increasing the number of bariatric operations for a given population leads to a substantial cost savings over a 10-year period. This study adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that bariatric surgery is a cost-effective means of caring for the obese patient.

  5. Cost-free and sustainable incentive increases healthy eating decisions during elementary school lunch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittman, D W; Parker, J S; Getz, B R; Jackson, C M; Le, T-A P; Riggs, S B; Shay, J M

    2012-01-01

    We aimed to develop a cost-free and sustainable program to influence healthier eating decisions during elementary school lunch. Baseline food and beverage choices were assessed for 9 days during lunch service at two racially and economically diverse elementary schools in Spartanburg County, SC, USA. After being informed that the labeled items on the daily lunch menu represented the healthiest choice, students were allowed to ring a call bell in the cafeteria for public recognition when they chose all of the identified healthiest food and beverage items during lunch service. Using menus matched to the baseline phase, food and beverage choices were measured during a 9-day intervention phase. After 30 days, food and beverage choices were reassessed during a 3-day follow-up phase. Healthiest food & beverage choices increased 49% with >60% of students choosing non-flavored milk over flavored milk during the intervention phase. There was no difference in the success of the program between the two schools. The program continued and healthy eating decisions were significantly sustained at a 30-day follow-up assessment. Public recognition through bell ringing appears to be an effective practice to sustain increases in healthy eating decisions during elementary school lunch and warrants expansion to larger scale, longitudinal trials.

  6. Hydric "Costs" of Reproduction: Pregnancy Increases Evaporative Water Loss in the Snake Vipera aspis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lourdais, Olivier; Dupoué, Andréaz; Guillon, Michaël; Guiller, Gaëtan; Michaud, Bruno; DeNardo, Dale F

    Water constraints can mediate evolutionary conflict either among individuals (e.g., parent-offspring conflict, sexual conflict) or within an individual (e.g., cost of reproduction). During pregnancy, water is of particular importance because the female provides all water needed for embryonic development and experiences important maternal shifts in behavior and physiology that, together, can compromise female water balance if water availability is limited. We examined the effect of pregnancy on evaporative water loss and microhabitat selection in a viviparous snake, the aspic viper. We found that both physiological (increased metabolism and body temperature) and morphological (body distension) changes contribute to an increased evaporative water loss in pregnant females. We also found that pregnant females in the wild select warmer and moister basking locations than nonreproductive females, likely to mitigate the conflict between thermal needs and water loss. Water resources likely induce significant reproductive constraints across diverse taxa and thus warrant further consideration in ecological research. From an evolutionary perspective, water constraints during reproduction may contribute to shaping reproductive effort.

  7. Cost-effectiveness analysis of cervical cancer prevention based on a rapid human papillomavirus screening test in a high-risk region of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Carol E; Sellors, John; Shi, Ju-Fang; Ma, Li; Qiao, You-lin; Ortendahl, Jesse; O'Shea, Meredith K H; Goldie, Sue J

    2010-09-01

    This study assessed the cost-effectiveness of a new, rapid human papillomavirus (HPV)-DNA screening test for cervical cancer prevention in the high-risk region of Shanxi, China. Using micro-costing methods, we estimated the resources needed to implement preventive strategies using cervical cytology or HPV-DNA testing, including the Hybrid Capture 2 (hc2) test (QIAGEN Corp., Gaithersburg, MD) and the rapid HPV-DNA careHPV test (QIAGEN). Data were used in a previously published model and empirically calibrated to country-specific epidemiological data. Strategies differed by initial test, targeted age, frequency of screening, number of clinic visits required (1, 2 or 3) and service delivery setting (national, county and township levels). Outcomes included lifetime risk of cancer, years of life saved (YLS), lifetime costs and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (cost per YLS). For all screening frequencies, the most efficient strategy used 2-visit rapid HPV-DNA testing at the county level, including screening and diagnostics in the first visit, and treatment in the second visit. Screening at ages 35, 40 and 45 reduced cancer risk by 50% among women compliant with all 3 screening rounds, and was US$ 150 per YLS, compared with this same strategy applied twice per lifetime. This would be considered very cost-effective evaluated against China's per-capita gross domestic product (US$ 1,702). By enhancing the linkage between screening and treatment through a reduced number of visits, rapid HPV-DNA testing 3 times per lifetime is more effective than traditional cytology, and is likely to be cost-effective in high-risk regions of China.

  8. Using agent based modeling to assess the effect of increased Bus Rapid Transit system infrastructure on walking for transportation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemoine, Pablo D; Cordovez, Juan Manuel; Zambrano, Juan Manuel; Sarmiento, Olga L; Meisel, Jose D; Valdivia, Juan Alejandro; Zarama, Roberto

    2016-07-01

    The effect of transport infrastructure on walking is of interest to researchers because it provides an opportunity, from the public policy point of view, to increase physical activity (PA). We use an agent based model (ABM) to examine the effect of transport infrastructure on walking. Particular relevance is given to assess the effect of the growth of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Bogotá on walking. In the ABM agents are assigned a home, work location, and socioeconomic status (SES) based on which they are assigned income for transportation. Individuals must decide between the available modes of transport (i.e., car, taxi, bus, BRT, and walking) as the means of reaching their destination, based on resources and needed travel time. We calibrated the model based on Bogota's 2011 mobility survey. The ABM results are consistent with previous empirical findings, increasing BRT access does indeed increase the number of minutes that individuals walk for transportation, although this effect also depends on the availability of other transport modes. The model indicates a saturation process: as more BRT lanes are added, the increment in minutes walking becomes smaller, and eventually the walking time decreases. Our findings on the potential contribution of the expansion of the BRT system to walking for transportation suggest that ABMs may prove helpful in designing policies to continue promoting walking. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. QUALITY COSTS AS THE FACTOR OF COMPETITIVENESS INCREASE AT DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN MARKET

    OpenAIRE

    Lazibat, Tonći; Matić, Božo

    2000-01-01

    The paper discusses the importance of quality costs as the factor of competitiveness at the world market. For this purpose it is given definition of quality costs, their structure and characteristics, and the control system-supervision, as the subsystem of quality system determined by international standards ISO 9000ff. There are also analyzed experiences in monitoring the quality costs in developed countries and countries in transition-transitional countries, with a special retrospect to the...

  10. Dietary changes needed to reach nutritional adequacy without increasing diet cost according to income: An analysis among French adults.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthieu Maillot

    Full Text Available To explore the dietary changes needed to achieve nutritional adequacy across income levels at constant energy and diet cost.Individual diet modelling was used to design iso-caloric, nutritionally adequate optimised diets for each observed diet in a sample of adult normo-reporters aged ≥20 years (n = 1,719 from the Individual and National Dietary Survey (INCA2, 2006-2007. Diet cost was estimated from mean national food prices (2006-2007. A first set of free-cost models explored the impact of optimisation on the variation of diet cost. A second set of iso-cost models explored the dietary changes induced by the optimisation with cost set equal to the observed one. Analyses of dietary changes were conducted by income quintiles, adjusting for energy intake, sociodemographic and socioeconomic variables, and smoking status.The cost of observed diets increased with increasing income quintiles. In free-cost models, the optimisation increased diet cost on average (+0.22 ± 1.03 euros/d and within each income quintile, with no significant difference between quintiles, but with systematic increases for observed costs lower than 3.85 euros/d. In iso-cost models, it was possible to design nutritionally adequate diets whatever the initial observed cost. On average, the optimisation at iso-cost increased fruits and vegetables (+171 g/day, starchy foods (+121 g/d, water and beverages (+91 g/d, and dairy products (+20 g/d, and decreased the other food groups (e.g. mixed dishes and salted snacks, leading to increased total diet weight (+300 g/d. Those changes were mostly similar across income quintiles, but lower-income individuals needed to introduce significantly more fruit and vegetables than higher-income ones.In France, the dietary changes needed to reach nutritional adequacy without increasing cost are similar regardless of income, but may be more difficult to implement when the budget for food is lower than 3.85 euros/d.

  11. Rapidly Increasing Trend of Recorded Alcohol Consumption Since the End of the Armed Conflict in Sri Lanka.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nugawela, Manjula D; Lewis, Sarah; Szatkowski, Lisa; Langley, Tessa

    2017-09-01

    To evaluate temporal changes in recorded alcohol consumption in Sri Lanka during and after the armed conflict 1998-2013. District level alcohol sales, and mid-year population data for the whole study period (1998-2013) were consistently available from the Department of Excise and the Department of Census and Statistics for 18 of 25 districts. These data were used to estimate the recorded per capita consumption for the areas that were not directly exposed to the armed conflict. An interrupted time series design was employed to estimate the impact of the end of the armed conflict on recorded adult per capita alcohol consumption of population lived in the 18 districts. Adult per capita recorded alcohol consumption among Sri Lankans living in the 18 districts was 1.59 l of pure alcohol in 1998. This increased up to 2.07 l in 2009 and 2.55 l in 2013. Prior to the end of the conflict in 2009 adult per capita recorded consumption increased by 0.051 l of pure alcohol per year (95% CI: 0.029-0.074, P increased markedly after the end of the conflict. Rapid socio-economic development, alcohol industry penetration and lack of alcohol control strategies during the post-conflict period may have driven this increase. Adult per capita recorded alcohol consumption among Sri Lankans living in 18 districts that were not directly exposed to the armed conflict increased markedly after the end of the conflict in 2009, with a dramatic acceleration in the trend of per capita beer consumption. © The Author 2017. Medical Council on Alcohol and Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

  12. A comparative analysis of costs of single and dual rapid HIV and syphilis diagnostics: results from a randomised controlled trial in Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obure, Carol Dayo; Gaitan-Duarte, Hernando; Losada Saenz, Ricardo; Gonzalez, Lina; Angel-Muller, Edith; Laverty, Maura; Perez, Freddy

    2017-11-01

    HIV and congenital syphilis are major public health burdens contributing to substantial perinatal morbidity and mortality globally. Although studies have reported on the costs and cost-effectiveness of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for syphilis screening within antenatal care in a number of resource-constrained settings, empirical evidence on country-specific cost and estimates of single RDTs compared with dual RDTs for HIV and syphilis are limited. A cluster randomised controlled study design was used to compare the incremental costs of two testing algorithms: (1) single RDTs for HIV and syphilis and (2) dual RDTs for HIV and syphilis, in 12 health facilities in Bogota and Cali, Colombia. The costs of single HIV and syphilis RDTs and dual HIV and syphilis RDTs were collected from each of the health facilities. The economic costs per woman tested for HIV and syphilis and costs per woman treated for syphilis defined as the total costs required to test and treat one woman for syphilis were estimated. A total of 2214 women were tested in the study facilities. Cost per pregnant woman tested and cost per woman treated for syphilis were US$10.26 and US$607.99, respectively in the single RDT arm. For the dual RDTs, the cost per pregnant woman tested for HIV and syphilis and cost per woman treated for syphilis were US$15.89 and US$1859.26, respectively. Overall costs per woman tested for HIV and syphilis and cost per woman treated for syphilis were lower in Cali compared with Bogota across both intervention arms. Staff costs accounted for the largest proportion of costs while treatment costs comprised <1% of the preventive programme. Findings show lower average costs for single RDTs compared with dual RDTs with costs sensitive to personnel costs and the scale of output at the health facilities. NCT02454816; results. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  13. Anchorage onto deciduous teeth: effectiveness of early rapid maxillary expansion in increasing dental arch dimension and improving anterior crowding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutinelli, Sabrina; Manfredi, Mario; Guiducci, Antonio; Denotti, Gloria; Cozzani, Mauro

    2015-01-01

    Anchorage onto permanent dentition is a common procedure in rapid maxillary expansion. However, replacing first permanent molars with the second deciduous molars seems to be an option to reduce some negative side effects during orthodontic treatment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the dental effect of rapid maxillary expansion with anchorage exclusively onto deciduous teeth performed in the first period of transition. Twenty patients with a lateral cross-bite treated exclusively by a Haas expander in early mixed dentition were retrospectively analyzed before treatment, at appliance removal, and at 21 months out of retention. The sagittal and transverse dimensions, together with the inter-canine arch and irregularity index, were digitally measured on scanned images of dental casts. The patients were compared with three balanced control groups (in total, 60 individuals) matched for gender. Two control groups had the same canine dental class as the treated group at T1, were in the inter-transitional period, and either had or lacked a lateral cross-bite. The last control group was comprised of adolescents in permanent dentition with a dental class I. The statistical analysis was performed by means of repeated-measures ANOVA for paired data and one-way ANOVA, the Kruskal-Wallis test, and the Mann-Whitney test for independent measures (α-level p dentition), the dental arch dimensions of treated patients were similar to those of adolescents with a dental class I and significantly wider than those of patients with a lateral cross-bite. Also, the anterior irregularity index was lower among patients who had undergone expansion treatments than in all untreated study participants. The Haas expander anchored to the deciduous teeth is effective in increasing the dental arch width in patients with a lateral cross-bite. The dimensions of the dental arch were modified earlier toward the values of the permanent dentition.

  14. Yersinia pestis endowed with increased cytotoxicity is avirulent in a bubonic plague model and induces rapid protection against pneumonic plague.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayelet Zauberman

    Full Text Available An important virulence strategy evolved by bacterial pathogens to overcome host defenses is the modulation of host cell death. Previous observations have indicated that Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague disease, exhibits restricted capacity to induce cell death in macrophages due to ineffective translocation of the type III secretion effector YopJ, as opposed to the readily translocated YopP, the YopJ homologue of the enteropathogen Yersinia enterocolitica Oratio8. This led us to suggest that reduced cytotoxic potency may allow pathogen propagation within a shielded niche, leading to increased virulence. To test the relationship between cytotoxic potential and virulence, we replaced Y. pestis YopJ with YopP. The YopP-expressing Y. pestis strain exhibited high cytotoxic activity against macrophages in vitro. Following subcutaneous infection, this strain had reduced ability to colonize internal organs, was unable to induce septicemia and exhibited at least a 10(7-fold reduction in virulence. Yet, upon intravenous or intranasal infection, it was still as virulent as the wild-type strain. The subcutaneous administration of the cytotoxic Y. pestis strain appears to activate a rapid and potent systemic, CTL-independent, immunoprotective response, allowing the organism to overcome simultaneous coinfection with 10,000 LD(50 of virulent Y. pestis. Moreover, three days after subcutaneous administration of this strain, animals were also protected against septicemic or primary pneumonic plague. Our findings indicate that an inverse relationship exists between the cytotoxic potential of Y. pestis and its virulence following subcutaneous infection. This appears to be associated with the ability of the engineered cytotoxic Y. pestis strain to induce very rapid, effective and long-lasting protection against bubonic and pneumonic plague. These observations have novel implications for the development of vaccines/therapies against Y. pestis and shed

  15. Co-Morbidity, Mortality, Quality of Life and the Healthcare/Welfare/Social Costs of Disordered Sleep: A Rapid Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garbarino, Sergio; Lanteri, Paola; Durando, Paolo; Magnavita, Nicola; Sannita, Walter G

    2016-08-18

    Sleep disorders are frequent (18%-23%) and constitute a major risk factor for psychiatric, cardiovascular, metabolic or hormonal co-morbidity and mortality. Low social status or income, unemployment, life events such as divorce, negative lifestyle habits, and professional requirements (e.g., shift work) are often associated with sleep problems. Sleep disorders affect the quality of life and impair both professional and non-professional activities. Excessive daytime drowsiness resulting from sleep disorders impairs efficiency and safety at work or on the road, and increases the risk of accidents. Poor sleep (either professional or voluntary) has detrimental effects comparable to those of major sleep disorders, but is often neglected. The high incidence and direct/indirect healthcare and welfare costs of sleep disorders and poor sleep currently constitute a major medical problem. Investigation, monitoring and strategies are needed in order to prevent/reduce the effects of these disorders.

  16. Co-Morbidity, Mortality, Quality of Life and the Healthcare/Welfare/Social Costs of Disordered Sleep: A Rapid Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Garbarino

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Sleep disorders are frequent (18%–23% and constitute a major risk factor for psychiatric, cardiovascular, metabolic or hormonal co-morbidity and mortality. Low social status or income, unemployment, life events such as divorce, negative lifestyle habits, and professional requirements (e.g., shift work are often associated with sleep problems. Sleep disorders affect the quality of life and impair both professional and non-professional activities. Excessive daytime drowsiness resulting from sleep disorders impairs efficiency and safety at work or on the road, and increases the risk of accidents. Poor sleep (either professional or voluntary has detrimental effects comparable to those of major sleep disorders, but is often neglected. The high incidence and direct/indirect healthcare and welfare costs of sleep disorders and poor sleep currently constitute a major medical problem. Investigation, monitoring and strategies are needed in order to prevent/reduce the effects of these disorders.

  17. The Brazilian policy of withholding treatment for ADHD is probably increasing health and social costs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos R. Maia

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To estimate the economic consequences of the current Brazilian government policy for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD treatment and how much the country would save if treatment with immediate-release methylphenidate (MPH-IR, as suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO, was offered to patients with ADHD. Method: Based on conservative previous analyses, we assumed that 257,662 patients aged 5 to 19 years are not receiving ADHD treatment in Brazil. We estimated the direct costs and savings of treating and not treating ADHD on the basis of the following data: a spending on ADHD patients directly attributable to grade retention and emergency department visits; and b savings due to impact of ADHD treatment on these outcomes. Results: Considering outcomes for which data on the impact of MPH-IR treatment are available, Brazil is probably wasting approximately R$ 1.841 billion/year on the direct consequences of not treating ADHD in this age range alone. On the other hand, treating ADHD in accordance with WHO recommendations would save approximately R$ 1.163 billion/year. Conclusions: By increasing investments on MPH-IR treatment for ADHD to around R$ 377 million/year, the country would save approximately 3.1 times more than is currently spent on the consequences of not treating ADHD in patients aged 5 to 19 years.

  18. Newly patented process enables low-cost solution for increasing white light spectrum of LEDs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spanard, Jan-Marie

    2017-10-01

    A newly patented process for completing the spectral light array emitted by LED bulbs provides a low-cost method for producing better human centered lighting (HCL). This process uses non-luminescent colorant filters, filling out the jagged LED spectral emission into a full, white light array. While LED bulbs have the distinct economic advantages of using less energy, producing less heat and lasting years longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, the persistent metameric failure of LED bulbs has resulted in slower, and sometimes reluctant, adoption of LED lighting by the residential, retail and architectural markets. Adding missing wavelengths to LED generated bulbs via colorant filters increases the aesthetic appeal of the light by decreasing current levels of metameric failure, reducing the `flatness', `harshness', and `dullness' of LED generated light reported by consumers. LED phosphor-converted light can be successfully tuned to "whiter" white light with selective color filtering using permanent, durable transparent pigments. These transparent pigments are selectively applied in combination with existing manufacturing technologies and utilized as a final color-tuning step in bulb design. The quantity of emitted light chosen for color filtering can be adjusted from 1% to 100% of emitted light, creating a custom balance of light quantity with light quality. This invention recognizes that "better light" is frequently chosen over "more light" in the consumer marketplace.

  19. Increased installation in existing hydro power plants. Potentials and costs; Oekt installasjon i eksisterende kraftverk. Potensial og kostnader

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stensby, Kjell Erik (ed.)

    2011-06-15

    This report seeks to highlight the costs associated with increased installed capacity of existing hydropower plants. Five selected power plant is further studied. Furthermore, given an overview of the technical possibilities of power expansions in Norway. (AG)

  20. Cost and Cost-Effectiveness of a Demand Creation Intervention to Increase Uptake of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision in Tanzania: Spending More to Spend Less.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Rueda, Sergio; Wambura, Mwita; Weiss, Helen A; Plotkin, Marya; Kripke, Katharine; Chilongani, Joseph; Mahler, Hally; Kuringe, Evodius; Makokha, Maende; Hellar, Augustino; Schutte, Carl; Kazaura, Kokuhumbya J; Simbeye, Daimon; Mshana, Gerry; Larke, Natasha; Lija, Gissenge; Changalucha, John; Vassall, Anna; Hayes, Richard; Grund, Jonathan M; Terris-Prestholt, Fern

    2018-03-19

    Although voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) reduces the risk of HIV acquisition, demand for services is lower among men in most at-risk age groups (ages 20-34 years). A randomised controlled trial was conducted to assess the effectiveness of locally-tailored demand creation activities (including mass media, community mobilisation and targeted service delivery) in increasing uptake of campaign-delivered VMMC among men aged 20-34 years. We conducted an economic evaluation to understand the intervention's cost and cost-effectiveness. Tanzania (Njombe and Tabora regions). Cost data were collected on surgery, demand creation activities and monitoring and supervision related to VMMC implementation across clusters in both trial arms, as well as start-up activities for the intervention arm. The Decision Makers' Program Planning Tool was used to estimate the number of HIV infections averted and related cost savings given total VMMCs per cluster. Disability-adjusted life years were calculated and used to estimate incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. Client load was higher in the intervention arms than in the control arms: 4394 v. 2901, respectively, in Tabora and 1797 v. 1025 in Njombe. Despite additional costs of tailored demand creation, demand increased more than proportionally: mean costs per VMMC in the intervention arms were $62 in Tabora and $130 in Njombe, and in the control arms $70 and $191, respectively. More infections were averted in the intervention arm than in the control arm in Tabora (123 v. 67, respectively) and in Njombe (164 v. 102, respectively). The intervention dominated the control as it was both less costly and more effective. Cost-savings were observed in both regions stemming from the antiretroviral treatment costs averted as a result of the VMMCs performed. Spending more to address local preferences as a way to increase uptake of VMMC can be cost-saving.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons

  1. Routes to increasing efficiency and reducing the cost of thin-film solar panels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deelen, J. van; Barink, M.; Klerk, L.; Voorthuijzen, P.; Hovestad, A.

    2015-01-01

    Most development work in the laboratory is dedicated to efficiency enhancements at the cell level; improvements in efficiency can lead to higher cost-competitiveness of PV. However, the cost of panel manufacturing is an important aspect as well. For CIGS panels the deposition of the active layer is

  2. Explicit instructions increase cognitive costs of deception in predictable social context

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcel eFalkiewicz

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Convincing participants to deceive remains one of the biggest and most important challenges of laboratory-based deception research. The simplest and most prevalent method involves explicitly instructing participants to lie or tell the truth before presenting each task item. The usual finding of such experiments is increased cognitive load associated with deceptive responses, explained by necessity to inhibit default and automatic honest responses. However, explicit instructions are usually coupled with the absence of social context in the experimental task. Context plays a key role in social cognition by activating prior knowledge, which facilitates behaviors consistent with the latter. We hypothesized that in the presence of social context, both honest and deceptive responses can be produced on the basis of prior knowledge, without reliance on truth and without additional cognitive load during deceptive responses. In order to test the hypothesis, we have developed Speed-Dating Task (SDT, which is based on a real-life social event. In SDT, participants respond both honestly and deceptively to questions in order to appear similar to each of the dates. The dates are predictable and represent well-known categories (i.e. atheist or conservative. In one condition participants rely on explicit instructions preceding each question (external cue. In the second condition no explicit instructions are present, so the participants need to adapt based on prior knowledge about the category the dates belong to (internal cue. With internal cues, reaction times are similar for both honest and deceptive responses. However, in the presence of external cues, reaction times are longer for deceptive than honest responses, suggesting that deceptive responses are associated with increased cognitive load. Compared to internal cues, deception costs were higher when external cues were present. However, the effect was limited to the first part of the experiment, only

  3. Cost-effectiveness analysis of rapid diagnostic test, microscopy and syndromic approach in the diagnosis of malaria in Nigeria: implications for scaling-up deployment of ACT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Onwujekwe Obinna E

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The diagnosis and treatment of malaria is often based on syndromic presentation (presumptive treatment and microscopic examination of blood films. Treatment based on syndromic approach has been found to be costly, and contributes to the development of drug resistance, while microscopic diagnosis of malaria is time-consuming and labour-intensive. Also, there is lack of trained microscopists and reliable equipment especially in rural areas of Nigeria. However, although rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs have improved the ease of appropriate diagnosis of malaria diagnosis, the cost-effectiveness of RDTs in case management of malaria has not been evaluated in Nigeria. The study hence compares the cost-effectiveness of RDT versus syndromic diagnosis and microscopy. Methods A total of 638 patients with fever, clinically diagnosed as malaria (presumptive malaria by health workers, were selected for examination with both RDT and microscopy. Patients positive on RDT received artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT and febrile patients negative on RDT received an antibiotic treatment. Using a decision tree model for a hypothetical cohort of 100,000 patients, the diagnostic alternatives considered were presumptive treatment (base strategy, RDT and microscopy. Costs were based on a consumer and provider perspective while the outcome measure was deaths averted. Information on costs and malaria epidemiology were locally generated, and along with available data on effectiveness of diagnostic tests, adherence level to drugs for treatment, and drug efficacy levels, cost-effectiveness estimates were computed using TreeAge programme. Results were reported based on costs and effects per strategy, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. Results The cost-effectiveness analysis at 43.1% prevalence level showed an incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER of 221 per deaths averted between RDT and presumptive treatment, while microscopy is dominated

  4. Free-swimming northern elephant seals have low field metabolic rates that are sensitive to an increased cost of transport

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maresh, Jennifer L; Simmons, Samantha E; Crocker, Daniel E

    2014-01-01

    locomotion, elephant seals had low energy requirements (106.5±28.2 kJ kg−1 day−1), approaching or even falling below predictions of basal requirements. Seals responded to a small increase in locomotion costs by spending more time resting between dives (149±44 s) compared with matched control treatments (102......Widely ranging marine predators often adopt stereotyped, energy-saving behaviours to minimize the energetic cost of transport while maximizing energy gain. Environmental and anthropogenic disturbances can disrupt energy balance by prompting avoidance behaviours that increase transport costs...

  5. Moving toward rapid and low-cost point-of-care molecular diagnostics with a repurposed 3D printer and RPA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Kamfai; Wong, Pui-Yan; Parikh, Chaitanya; Wong, Season

    2018-03-15

    Traditionally, the majority of nucleic acid amplification-based molecular diagnostic tests are done in centralized settings. In recent years, point-of-care tests have been developed for use in low-resource settings away from central laboratories. While most experts agree that point-of-care molecular tests are greatly needed, their availability as cost-effective and easy-to-operate tests remains an unmet goal. In this article, we discuss our efforts to develop a recombinase polymerase amplification reaction-based test that will meet these criteria. First, we describe our efforts in repurposing a low-cost 3D printer as a platform that can carry out medium-throughput, rapid, and high-performing nucleic acid extraction. Next, we address how these purified templates can be rapidly amplified and analyzed using the 3D printer's heated bed or the deconstructed, low-cost thermal cycler we have developed. In both approaches, real-time isothermal amplification and detection of template DNA or RNA can be accomplished using a low-cost portable detector or smartphone camera. Last, we demonstrate the capability of our technologies using foodborne pathogens and the Zika virus. Our low-cost approach does not employ complicated and high-cost components, making it suitable for resource-limited settings. When integrated and commercialized, it will offer simple sample-to-answer molecular diagnostics. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 20 CFR 404.274 - What are the measuring periods we use to calculate cost-of-living increases?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... ADMINISTRATION FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950- ) Computing Primary Insurance Amounts... determine whether there will be an automatic cost-of-living increase and if so, its amount. (b) Measuring... increase is effective; or (ii) The third calendar quarter of any year in which the last automatic increase...

  7. Predictive value and cost-effectiveness analysis of a rapid polymerase chain reaction for preoperative detection of nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrestha, Nabin K; Shermock, Kenneth M; Gordon, Steven M; Tuohy, Marion J; Wilson, Deborah A; Cwynar, Roberta E; Banbury, Michael K; Longworth, David L; Isada, Carlos M; Mawhorter, Steven D; Procop, Gary W

    2003-05-01

    To determine the accuracy and cost-effectiveness of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detecting nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus directly from clinical specimens. CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY: This occurred in a tertiary-care hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, and included 239 consecutive patients who were scheduled for a cardiothoracic surgical procedure. Conventional cultures and a PCR for S. aureus from nasal swabs were used as measurements. COST-EFFECTIVENESS ANALYSIS: Data sources were market prices and Bureau of Labor Statistics. The time horizon was the maximum period for availability of culture results (3 days). Interventions included universal mupirocin therapy without testing; initial therapy, with termination if PCR negative (treat-PCR); initial therapy, with termination if culture negative (treat-culture); treat PCR-positive carriers (PCR-guided treatment); and treat culture-positive carriers (culture-guided treatment). The perspective was institutional and costs and the length of time to treatment were outcome measures. Sixty-seven (28%) of the 239 swabs grew S. aureus. Rapid PCR was 97.0% sensitive and 97.1% specific for the detection of S. aureus. For populations with prevalences of nasal S. aureus carriage of up to 50%, the PCR assay had negative predictive values of greater than 97%. PCR-guided treatment had the lowest incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (1.93 dollars per additional day compared with the culture strategy). Among immediate treatment strategies, treat-PCR was most cost-effective. The universal therapy strategy cost 38.19 dollars more per additional day gained with carrier identification compared with the PCR strategy. Rapid real-time PCR is an accurate, rapid, and cost-effective method for identifying S. aureus carriers for preoperative intervention.

  8. Impact of Cost-Sharing Increases on Continuity of Specialty Drug Use: A Quasi-Experimental Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Pengxiang; Hu, Tianyan; Yu, Xinyan; Chahin, Salim; Dahodwala, Nabila; Blum, Marissa; Pettit, Amy R; Doshi, Jalpa A

    2017-07-24

    To examine the impact of cost-sharing increases on continuity of specialty drug use in Medicare beneficiaries with multiple sclerosis (MS) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Five percent Medicare claims data (2007-2010). Quasi-experimental study examining changes in specialty drug use among a group of Medicare Part D beneficiaries without low-income subsidies (non-LIS) as they transitioned from a 5 percent cost-sharing preperiod to a ≥25 percent cost-sharing postperiod, as compared to changes among a disease-matched contemporaneous control group of patients eligible for full low-income subsidies (LIS), who faced minor cost sharing (≤$6.30 copayment) in both the pre- and postperiods. Key variables were extracted from Medicare data. Relative to the LIS group, the non-LIS group had a greater increase in incidence of 30-day continuous gaps in any Part D treatment from the lower cost-sharing period to the higher cost-sharing period (MS, absolute increase = 10.1 percent, OR = 1.61, 95% CI 1.19-2.17; RA, absolute increase = 21.9 percent, OR = 2.75, 95% CI 2.15-3.51). The increase in Part D treatment gaps was not offset by increased Part B specialty drug use. Cost-sharing increases due to specialty tier-level cost sharing were associated with interruptions in MS and RA specialty drug treatments. © Health Research and Educational Trust.

  9. Low-Cost and Rapid Fabrication of Metallic Nanostructures for Sensitive Biosensors Using Hot-Embossing and Dielectric-Heating Nanoimprint Methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuang-Li Lee

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available We propose two approaches—hot-embossing and dielectric-heating nanoimprinting methods—for low-cost and rapid fabrication of periodic nanostructures. Each nanofabrication process for the imprinted plastic nanostructures is completed within several seconds without the use of release agents and epoxy. Low-cost, large-area, and highly sensitive aluminum nanostructures on A4 size plastic films are fabricated by evaporating aluminum film on hot-embossing nanostructures. The narrowest bandwidth of the Fano resonance is only 2.7 nm in the visible light region. The periodic aluminum nanostructure achieves a figure of merit of 150, and an intensity sensitivity of 29,345%/RIU (refractive index unit. The rapid fabrication is also achieved by using radio-frequency (RF sensitive plastic films and a commercial RF welding machine. The dielectric-heating, using RF power, takes advantage of the rapid heating/cooling process and lower electric power consumption. The fabricated capped aluminum nanoslit array has a 5 nm Fano linewidth and 490.46 nm/RIU wavelength sensitivity. The biosensing capabilities of the metallic nanostructures are further verified by measuring antigen–antibody interactions using bovine serum albumin (BSA and anti-BSA. These rapid and high-throughput fabrication methods can benefit low-cost, highly sensitive biosensors and other sensing applications.

  10. Benefits and costs of ecological restoration: Rapid assessment of changing ecosystem service values at a U.K. wetland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peh, Kelvin S-H; Balmford, Andrew; Field, Rob H; Lamb, Anthony; Birch, Jennifer C; Bradbury, Richard B; Brown, Claire; Butchart, Stuart H M; Lester, Martin; Morrison, Ross; Sedgwick, Isabel; Soans, Chris; Stattersfield, Alison J; Stroh, Peter A; Swetnam, Ruth D; Thomas, David H L; Walpole, Matt; Warrington, Stuart; Hughes, Francine M R

    2014-10-01

    Restoration of degraded land is recognized by the international community as an important way of enhancing both biodiversity and ecosystem services, but more information is needed about its costs and benefits. In Cambridgeshire, U.K., a long-term initiative to convert drained, intensively farmed arable land to a wetland habitat mosaic is driven by a desire both to prevent biodiversity loss from the nationally important Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve (Wicken Fen NNR) and to increase the provision of ecosystem services. We evaluated the changes in ecosystem service delivery resulting from this land conversion, using a new Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA) to estimate biophysical and monetary values of ecosystem services provided by the restored wetland mosaic compared with the former arable land. Overall results suggest that restoration is associated with a net gain to society as a whole of $199 ha(-1)y(-1), for a one-off investment in restoration of $2320 ha(-1). Restoration has led to an estimated loss of arable production of $2040 ha(-1)y(-1), but estimated gains of $671 ha(-1)y(-1) in nature-based recreation, $120 ha(-1)y(-1) from grazing, $48 ha(-1)y(-1) from flood protection, and a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worth an estimated $72 ha(-1)y(-1). Management costs have also declined by an estimated $1325 ha(-1)y(-1). Despite uncertainties associated with all measured values and the conservative assumptions used, we conclude that there was a substantial gain to society as a whole from this land-use conversion. The beneficiaries also changed from local arable farmers under arable production to graziers, countryside users from towns and villages, and the global community, under restoration. We emphasize that the values reported here are not necessarily transferable to other sites.

  11. Rapid, low-cost fluorescent assay of β-lactamase-derived antibiotic resistance and related antibiotic susceptibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erdem, S. Sibel; Khan, Shazia; Palanisami, Akilan; Hasan, Tayyaba

    2014-10-01

    Antibiotic resistance (AR) is increasingly prevalent in low and middle income countries (LMICs), but the extent of the problem is poorly understood. This lack of knowledge is a critical deficiency, leaving local health authorities essentially blind to AR outbreaks and crippling their ability to provide effective treatment guidelines. The crux of the problem is the lack of microbiology laboratory capacity available in LMICs. To address this unmet need, we demonstrate a rapid and simple test of β-lactamase resistance (the most common form of AR) that uses a modified β-lactam structure decorated with two fluorophores quenched due to their close proximity. When the β-lactam core is cleaved by β-lactamase, the fluorophores dequench, allowing assay speeds of 20 min to be obtained with a simple, streamlined protocol. Furthermore, by testing in competition with antibiotics, the β-lactamase-associated antibiotic susceptibility can also be extracted. This assay can be easily implemented into standard lab work flows to provide near real-time information of β-lactamase resistance, both for epidemiological purposes as well as individualized patient care.

  12. Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Costs and Benefits in the Rulemaking Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Advance notice of proposed rulemaking for standardizing terminology and specificity provided in each law regarding the nature and scope of the cost and benefit considerations when setting pollution standards.

  13. Rapid ecological shift following piscivorous fish introduction to increasingly eutrophic and warmer Lake Furnas (Azores Archipelago, Portugal): A paleoecological approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buchaca, Teresa; Skov, Tue; Amsinck, Susanne Lildal

    2011-01-01

    Lake ecosystems are nowadays often subjected to multi-stressors, such as eutrophication, climate change, and fish manipulations, the effects of which can be difficult to disentangle, not least from the usual short-term limnological time-series that are available. However, multi-proxy paleoecologi......Lake ecosystems are nowadays often subjected to multi-stressors, such as eutrophication, climate change, and fish manipulations, the effects of which can be difficult to disentangle, not least from the usual short-term limnological time-series that are available. However, multi......, meteorological forcing, and fish species introduction for recent lake ecosystem development in Lake Furnas on the island of Sa˜o Miguel, the Azores. The lake was stocked with cyprinids in the late nineteenth century and recently also with piscivorous fish, and has been affected by increasing agricultural......, and cryptophytes. The composition of microbial and algal assemblages changed rapidly after Daphnia appearance, and the covariance between fish stocking, nutrient loading, and enhanced temperatures captured most of the variability in algae accumulation, and thus likely in lake primary production as well. Thus, lake...

  14. Caffeine ingestion after rapid weight loss in judo athletes reduces perceived effort and increases plasma lactate concentration without improving performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes-Silva, Joao P; Felippe, Leandro J C; Silva-Cavalcante, Marcos D; Bertuzzi, Romulo; Lima-Silva, Adriano E

    2014-07-22

    The objective of this study was to examine the effect of caffeine on judo performance, perceived exertion, and plasma lactate response when ingested during recovery from a 5-day weight loss period. Six judokas performed two cycles of a 5-day rapid weight loss procedure to reduce their body weight by ~5%. After weigh-in, subjects re-fed and rehydrated over a 4-h recovery period. In the third hour of this "loading period", subjects ingested a capsule containing either caffeine (6 mg·kg-1) or placebo. One hour later, participants performed three bouts of a judo fitness test with 5-min recovery periods. Perceived exertion and plasma lactate were measured before and immediately after each test bout. Body weight was reduced in both caffeine and placebo conditions after the weight loss period (-3.9% ± 1.6% and -4.0% ± 2.3% from control, respectively, p caffeine or placebo groups. However, plasma lactate was systemically higher and perceived exertion lower in the subjects who ingested caffeine compared to either the control or placebo subjects (p caffeine did not improve performance during the judo fitness test after a 5-day weight loss period, but reduced perceived exertion and increased plasma lactate.

  15. A low cost, safe, disposable, rapid and self-sustainable paper-based platform for diagnostic testing: lab-on-paper

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Costa, M N; Veigas, B; Jacob, J M; Santos, D S; Martins, R; Fortunato, E; Gomes, J; Inácio, J; Baptista, P V

    2014-01-01

    There is a strong interest in the use of biopolymers in the electronic and biomedical industries, mainly towards low-cost applications. The possibility of developing entirely new kinds of products based on cellulose is of current interest, in order to enhance and to add new functionalities to conventional paper-based products. We present our results towards the development of paper-based microfluidics for molecular diagnostic testing. Paper properties were evaluated and compared to nitrocellulose, the most commonly used material in lateral flow and other rapid tests. Focusing on the use of paper as a substrate for microfluidic applications, through an eco-friendly wax-printing technology, we present three main and distinct colorimetric approaches: (i) enzymatic reactions (glucose detection); (ii) immunoassays (antibodies anti-Leishmania detection); (iii) nucleic acid sequence identification (Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex detection). Colorimetric glucose quantification was achieved through enzymatic reactions performed within specific zones of the paper-based device. The colouration achieved increased with growing glucose concentration and was highly homogeneous, covering all the surface of the paper reaction zones in a 3D sensor format. These devices showed a major advantage when compared to the 2D lateral flow glucose sensors, where some carryover of the coloured products usually occurs. The detection of anti-Leishmania antibodies in canine sera was conceptually achieved using a paper-based 96-well enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay format. However, optimization is still needed for this test, regarding the efficiency of the immobilization of antigens on the cellulose fibres. The detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis nucleic acids integrated with a non-cross-linking gold nanoprobe detection scheme was also achieved in a wax-printed 384-well paper-based microplate, by the hybridization with a species-specific probe. The obtained results with the above

  16. A low cost, safe, disposable, rapid and self-sustainable paper-based platform for diagnostic testing: lab-on-paper

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, M. N.; Veigas, B.; Jacob, J. M.; Santos, D. S.; Gomes, J.; Baptista, P. V.; Martins, R.; Inácio, J.; Fortunato, E.

    2014-03-01

    There is a strong interest in the use of biopolymers in the electronic and biomedical industries, mainly towards low-cost applications. The possibility of developing entirely new kinds of products based on cellulose is of current interest, in order to enhance and to add new functionalities to conventional paper-based products. We present our results towards the development of paper-based microfluidics for molecular diagnostic testing. Paper properties were evaluated and compared to nitrocellulose, the most commonly used material in lateral flow and other rapid tests. Focusing on the use of paper as a substrate for microfluidic applications, through an eco-friendly wax-printing technology, we present three main and distinct colorimetric approaches: (i) enzymatic reactions (glucose detection); (ii) immunoassays (antibodies anti-Leishmania detection); (iii) nucleic acid sequence identification (Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex detection). Colorimetric glucose quantification was achieved through enzymatic reactions performed within specific zones of the paper-based device. The colouration achieved increased with growing glucose concentration and was highly homogeneous, covering all the surface of the paper reaction zones in a 3D sensor format. These devices showed a major advantage when compared to the 2D lateral flow glucose sensors, where some carryover of the coloured products usually occurs. The detection of anti-Leishmania antibodies in canine sera was conceptually achieved using a paper-based 96-well enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay format. However, optimization is still needed for this test, regarding the efficiency of the immobilization of antigens on the cellulose fibres. The detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis nucleic acids integrated with a non-cross-linking gold nanoprobe detection scheme was also achieved in a wax-printed 384-well paper-based microplate, by the hybridization with a species-specific probe. The obtained results with the above

  17. Caffeine Ingestion after Rapid Weight Loss in Judo Athletes Reduces Perceived Effort and Increases Plasma Lactate Concentration without Improving Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joao P. Lopes-Silva

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to examine the effect of caffeine on judo performance, perceived exertion, and plasma lactate response when ingested during recovery from a 5-day weight loss period. Six judokas performed two cycles of a 5-day rapid weight loss procedure to reduce their body weight by ~5%. After weigh-in, subjects re-fed and rehydrated over a 4-h recovery period. In the third hour of this “loading period”, subjects ingested a capsule containing either caffeine (6 mg·kg−1 or placebo. One hour later, participants performed three bouts of a judo fitness test with 5-min recovery periods. Perceived exertion and plasma lactate were measured before and immediately after each test bout. Body weight was reduced in both caffeine and placebo conditions after the weight loss period (−3.9% ± 1.6% and −4.0% ± 2.3% from control, respectively, p < 0.05. At three hours after weigh-in, body weight had increased with both treatments but remained below the control (−3.0% ± 1.3% and −2.7% ± 2.2%. There were no significant differences in the number of throws between the control, caffeine or placebo groups. However, plasma lactate was systemically higher and perceived exertion lower in the subjects who ingested caffeine compared to either the control or placebo subjects (p < 0.05. In conclusion, caffeine did not improve performance during the judo fitness test after a 5-day weight loss period, but reduced perceived exertion and increased plasma lactate.

  18. Can Better Outdoor Environments Lead to Cost Benefits in Assisted Living Facilities Through Increased Word-of-Mouth Referrals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodiek, Susan; Boggess, May M; Lee, Chanam; Booth, Geoffrey J; Morris, Alisan

    2013-01-01

    This study explores how better outdoor environments may produce cost benefits for assisted living providers by raising occupancy levels through increased resident satisfaction and word-of-mouth referrals. Older adults who spend even minimal time outdoors may reap substantial health benefits. However, many existing outdoor areas in assisted living facilities are reportedly underutilized, in part because of design issues. Providers may be more willing to improve outdoor areas if they produce cost benefits for provider organizations. This study used data from a recent assisted living survey to assess the relationship between satisfaction with outdoor spaces, time spent outdoors, and resulting improvements in mood. A financial analysis was developed to estimate potential benefits from improved outdoor areas attributable to increased occupancy and decreased marketing costs associated with increased word-of-mouth referrals. Increasing resident satisfaction with outdoor areas (from approximately 29% to 96%) results in residents spending more time outdoors (increase of 1½ hours per week per resident) and improved psychological well-being (12% increase in feeling better). This greater overall satisfaction leads to 8% more residents willing to refer potential residents to their community. Because word-of-mouth referrals by current residents are a major factor in resident recruitment, improving outdoors areas leads to an estimated 4% increase in new residents, resulting in over $170,000 of increased revenue per year for a community of 100 residents. Improved outdoor space can provide substantial cost benefits for assisted living providers. Increasing resident well-being and satisfaction, and thereby generating additional word-of-mouth referrals, can result in higher occupancy levels. Outdoor environments, assisted living, cost benefits, resident satisfaction, occupancy levels, seniors, rental income, word-of-mouth referralPreferred Citation: Rodiek, S., Boggess, M. M., Lee

  19. Low-cost, rapidly-developed, 3D printed in vitro corpus callosum model for mucopolysaccharidosis type I [version 2; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony Tabet

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The rising prevalence of high throughput screening and the general inability of (1 two dimensional (2D cell culture and (2 in vitro release studies to predict in vivo neurobiological and pharmacokinetic responses in humans has led to greater interest in more realistic three dimensional (3D benchtop platforms. Advantages of 3D human cell culture over its 2D analogue, or even animal models, include taking the effects of microgeometry and long-range topological features into consideration. In the era of personalized medicine, it has become increasingly valuable to screen candidate molecules and synergistic therapeutics at a patient-specific level, in particular for diseases that manifest in highly variable ways. The lack of established standards and the relatively arbitrary choice of probing conditions has limited in vitro drug release to a largely qualitative assessment as opposed to a predictive, quantitative measure of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in tissue. Here we report the methods used in the rapid, low-cost development of a 3D model of a mucopolysaccharidosis type I patient’s corpus callosum, which may be used for cell culture and drug release. The CAD model is developed from in vivo brain MRI tracing of the corpus callosum using open-source software, printed with poly (lactic-acid on a Makerbot Replicator 5X, UV-sterilized, and coated with poly (lysine for cellular adhesion. Adaptations of material and 3D printer for expanded applications are also discussed.

  20. Anchorage onto deciduous teeth: effectiveness of early rapid maxillary expansion in increasing dental arch dimension and improving anterior crowding

    OpenAIRE

    Mutinelli, Sabrina; Manfredi, Mario; Guiducci, Antonio; Denotti, Gloria; Cozzani, Mauro

    2015-01-01

    Background Anchorage onto permanent dentition is a common procedure in rapid maxillary expansion. However, replacing first permanent molars with the second deciduous molars seems to be an option to reduce some negative side effects during orthodontic treatment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the dental effect of rapid maxillary expansion with anchorage exclusively onto deciduous teeth performed in the first period of transition. Methods Twenty patients with a lateral cross-bite tre...

  1. The costs, effects and cost-effectiveness of strategies to increase coverage of routine immunizations in low- and middle-income countries: systematic review of the grey literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batt, Katherine; Fox-Rushby, J A; Castillo-Riquelme, Marianela

    2004-09-01

    Evidence-based reviews of published literature can be subject to several biases. Grey literature, however, can be of poor quality and expensive to access. Effective search strategies also vary by topic and are rarely known in advance. This paper complements a systematic review of the published literature on the costs and effects of expanding immunization services in developing countries. The quality of data on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of strategies to increase immunization coverage is shown to be similar across literatures, but the quality of information on costing is much lower in the grey literature. After excluding poorer quality studies from this review we found the quantity of available evidence almost doubled, particularly for more complex health-system interventions and cost or cost-effectiveness analyses. Interventions in the grey literature are more up to date and cover a different geographical spread. Consequently the conclusions of the published and grey literatures differ, although the number of papers is still too low to account for differences across types of interventions. We recommend that in future researchers consider using non-English keywords in their searches.

  2. Eight new genomes and synthetic controls increase the accessibility of rapid melt-MAMA SNP typing of Coxiella burnetii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edvin Karlsson

    Full Text Available The case rate of Q fever in Europe has increased dramatically in recent years, mainly because of an epidemic in the Netherlands in 2009. Consequently, there is a need for more extensive genetic characterization of the disease agent Coxiella burnetii in order to better understand the epidemiology and spread of this disease. Genome reference data are essential for this purpose, but only thirteen genome sequences are currently available. Current methods for typing C. burnetii are criticized for having problems in comparing results across laboratories, require the use of genomic control DNA, and/or rely on markers in highly variable regions. We developed in this work a method for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP typing of C. burnetii isolates and tissue samples based on new assays targeting ten phylogenetically stable synonymous canonical SNPs (canSNPs. These canSNPs represent previously known phylogenetic branches and were here identified from sequence comparisons of twenty-one C. burnetii genomes, eight of which were sequenced in this work. Importantly, synthetic control templates were developed, to make the method useful to laboratories lacking genomic control DNA. An analysis of twenty-one C. burnetii genomes confirmed that the species exhibits high sequence identity. Most of its SNPs (7,493/7,559 shared by >1 genome follow a clonal inheritance pattern and are therefore stable phylogenetic typing markers. The assays were validated using twenty-six genetically diverse C. burnetii isolates and three tissue samples from small ruminants infected during the epidemic in the Netherlands. Each sample was assigned to a clade. Synthetic controls (vector and PCR amplified gave identical results compared to the corresponding genomic controls and are viable alternatives to genomic DNA. The results from the described method indicate that it could be useful for cheap and rapid disease source tracking at non-specialized laboratories, which requires accurate

  3. Rapid assessment of Schistosoma mansoni: the validity, applicability and cost-effectiveness of the Lot Quality Assurance Sampling method in Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooker, Simon; Kabatereine, Narcis B; Myatt, Mark; Russell Stothard, J; Fenwick, Alan

    2005-07-01

    Rapid and accurate identification of communities at highest risk of morbidity from schistosomiasis is key for sustainable control. Although school questionnaires can effectively and inexpensively identify communities with a high prevalence of Schistosoma haematobium, parasitological screening remains the preferred option for S. mansoni. To help reduce screening costs, we investigated the validity of Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) in classifying schools according to categories of S. mansoni prevalence in Uganda, and explored its applicability and cost-effectiveness. First, we evaluated several sampling plans using computer simulation and then field tested one sampling plan in 34 schools in Uganda. Finally, cost-effectiveness of different screening and control strategies (including mass treatment without prior screening) was determined, and sensitivity analysis undertaken to assess the effect of infection levels and treatment costs. In identifying schools with prevalences > or =50%, computer simulations showed that LQAS had high levels of sensitivity and specificity (>90%) at sample sizes LQAS where 15 children were sampled had excellent diagnostic performance (sensitivity: 100%, specificity: 96.4%, positive predictive value: 85.7% and negative predictive value: 92.3%). Screening using LQAS was more cost-effective than mass treating all schools (US$218 vs. US$482/high prevalence school treated). Threshold analysis indicated that parasitological screening and mass treatment would become equivalent for settings where prevalence > or =50% in 75% of schools and for treatment costs of US$0.19 per schoolchild. We conclude that, in Uganda, LQAS provides a rapid, valid and cost-effective method for guiding decision makers in allocating finite resources for the control of schistosomiasis.

  4. Large and abundant flowers increase indirect costs of corollas: a study of coflowering sympatric Mediterranean species of contrasting flower size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixido, Alberto L; Valladares, Fernando

    2013-09-01

    Large floral displays receive more pollinator visits but involve higher production and maintenance costs. This can result in indirect costs which may negatively affect functions like reproductive output. In this study, we explored the relationship between floral display and indirect costs in two pairs of coflowering sympatric Mediterranean Cistus of contrasting flower size. We hypothesized that: (1) corolla production entails direct costs in dry mass, N and P, (2) corollas entail significant indirect costs in terms of fruit set and seed production, (3) indirect costs increase with floral display, (4) indirect costs are greater in larger-flowered sympatric species, and (5) local climatic conditions influence indirect costs. We compared fruit set and seed production of petal-removed flowers and unmanipulated control flowers and evaluated the influence of mean flower number and mean flower size on relative fruit and seed gain of petal-removed and control flowers. Fruit set and seed production were significantly higher in petal-removed flowers in all the studied species. A positive relationship was found between relative fruit gain and mean individual flower size within species. In one pair of species, fruit gain was higher in the large-flowered species, as was the correlation between fruit gain and mean number of open flowers. In the other pair, the correlation between fruit gain and mean flower size was also higher in the large-flowered species. These results reveal that Mediterranean environments impose significant constraints on floral display, counteracting advantages of large flowers from the pollination point of view with increased indirect costs of such flowers.

  5. High or Low Target Prevalence Increases the Dual-Target Cost in Visual Search

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menneer, Tamaryn; Donnelly, Nick; Godwin, Hayward J.; Cave, Kyle R.

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated a dual-target cost in visual search. In the current study, the relationship between search for one and search for two targets was investigated to examine the effects of target prevalence and practice. Color-shape conjunction stimuli were used with response time, accuracy and signal detection measures. Performance…

  6. Near-linear cost increase to reduce climate-change risk

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaeffer, M.; Kram, T.; Meinshausen, M.; Vuuren, van D.P.; Hare, W.L.

    2008-01-01

    One approach in climate-change policy is to set normative long-term targets first and then infer the implied emissions pathways. An important example of a normative target is to limit the global-mean temperature change to a certain maximum. In general, reported cost estimates for limiting global

  7. Report: EPA Needs to Improve Internal Controls to Increase Cost Recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Report #09-P-0144, April 27, 2009. Within a sample of removal actions we reviewed, EPA collected from responsible parties approximately 11 percent ($31.4 of $294.5 million) of the Federal Government’s costs for conducting the removal actions.

  8. What factors increase the risk of incurring high market impact costs?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bikker, Jacob A.; Spierdijk, L.; van der Sluis, Pieter Jelle

    2010-01-01

    This article applies quantile regression to assess the factors that influence the risk of incurring high trading costs. Using data on the equity trades of the world’s second largest pension fund in the first quarter of 2002, we show that trade timing, momentum, volatility and the type of broker

  9. Army Corps of Engineers: Cost Increases in Flood Control Projects and Improving Communication with Nonfederal Sponsors

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-01

    such poor condition that it had to have major rehabilitation work performed. Work to fix the deteriorated tunnel cost $10 million more than had...originally been estimated.19 Corps officials on the Little Calumet project said during construction they encountered a former landfill along one portion

  10. 75 FR 33987 - Disposing of Unneeded Federal Real Estate Increasing Sales Proceeds, Cutting Operating Costs, and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-16

    ... operations and maintenance costs. Past attempts at reducing the Federal Government's civilian real property..., save energy and water, and further reduce greenhouse gas pollution, I hereby direct executive... eliminating all forms of Government waste and to leading by example as our Nation transitions to a clean...

  11. 78 FR 66413 - Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-05

    ... General The minimum amount an election official and election worker must earn so that such earnings are... administrative-cost fee assessment charged to an appointed representative such as an attorney, agent, or other... be $1,900 for domestic workers and $1,600 for election officials and election workers. FOR FURTHER...

  12. What factors increase the risk of incurring high market impact costs?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bikker, Jacob A.; Spierdijk, Laura; van der Sluis, Pieter-Jelle

    2010-01-01

    This article applies quantile regression to assess the factors that influence the risk of incurring high trading costs. Using data on the equity trades of the world's second largest pension fund in the first quarter of 2002, we show that trade timing, momentum, volatility and the type of broker

  13. Cost-effectiveness of increasing cervical cancer screening coverage in the Middle East: An example from Lebanon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Monisha; Seoud, Muhieddine; Kim, Jane J

    2017-01-23

    Most cervical cancer (CC) cases in Lebanon are detected at later stages and associated with high mortality. There is no national organized CC screening program so screening is opportunistic and limited to women who can pay out-of-pocket. Therefore, a small percentage of women receive repeated screenings while most are under-or never screened. We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of increasing screening coverage and extending intervals. We used an individual-based Monte Carlo model simulating HPV and CC natural history and screening. We calibrated the model to epidemiological data from Lebanon, including CC incidence and HPV type distribution. We evaluated cytology and HPV DNA screening for women aged 25-65years, varying coverage from 20 to 70% and frequency from 1 to 5years. At 20% coverage, annual cytologic screening reduced lifetime CC risk by 14% and had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of I$80,670/year of life saved (YLS), far exceeding Lebanon's gross domestic product (GDP) per capita (I$17,460), a commonly cited cost-effectiveness threshold. By comparison, increasing cytologic screening coverage to 50% and extending screening intervals to 3 and 5years provided greater CC reduction (26.1% and 21.4, respectively) at lower costs compared to 20% coverage with annual screening. Screening every 5years with HPV DNA testing at 50% coverage provided greater CC reductions than cytology at the same frequency (23.4%) and was cost-effective assuming a cost of I$18 per HPV test administered (I$12,210/YLS); HPV DNA testing every 4years at 50% coverage was also cost-effective at the same cost per test (I$16,340). Increasing coverage of annual cytology was not found to be cost-effective. Current practice of repeated cytology in a small percentage of women is inefficient. Increasing coverage to 50% with extended screening intervals provides greater health benefits at a reasonable cost and can more equitably distribute health gains. Novel HPV DNA strategies offer greater

  14. Meat Feeding Restricts Rapid Cold Hardening Response and Increases Thermal Activity Thresholds of Adult Blow Flies, Calliphora vicina (Diptera: Calliphoridae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul C Coleman

    Full Text Available Virtually all temperate insects survive the winter by entering a physiological state of reduced metabolic activity termed diapause. However, there is increasing evidence that climate change is disrupting the diapause response resulting in non-diapause life stages encountering periods of winter cold. This is a significant problem for adult life stages in particular, as they must remain mobile, periodically feed, and potentially initiate reproductive development at a time when resources should be diverted to enhance stress tolerance. Here we present the first evidence of protein/meat feeding restricting rapid cold hardening (RCH ability and increasing low temperature activity thresholds. No RCH response was noted in adult female blow flies (Calliphora vicina Robineau-Desvoidy fed a sugar, water and liver (SWL diet, while a strong RCH response was seen in females fed a diet of sugar and water (SW only. The RCH response in SW flies was induced at temperatures as high as 10°C, but was strongest following 3h at 0°C. The CTmin (loss of coordinated movement and chill coma (final appendage twitch temperature of SWL females (-0.3 ± 0.5°C and -4.9 ± 0.5°C, respectively was significantly higher than for SW females (-3.2 ± 0.8°C and -8.5 ± 0.6°C. We confirmed this was not directly the result of altered extracellular K+, as activity thresholds of alanine-fed adults were not significantly different from SW flies. Instead we suggest the loss of cold tolerance is more likely the result of diverting resource allocation to egg development. Between 2009 and 2013 winter air temperatures in Birmingham, UK, fell below the CTmin of SW and SWL flies on 63 and 195 days, respectively, suggesting differential exposure to chill injury depending on whether adults had access to meat or not. We conclude that disruption of diapause could significantly impact on winter survival through loss of synchrony in the timing of active feeding and reproductive development with

  15. A RAPID Method for Blood Processing to Increase the Yield of Plasma Peptide Levels in Human Blood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teuffel, Pauline; Goebel-Stengel, Miriam; Hofmann, Tobias; Prinz, Philip; Scharner, Sophie; Körner, Jan L; Grötzinger, Carsten; Rose, Matthias; Klapp, Burghard F; Stengel, Andreas

    2016-04-28

    Research in the field of food intake regulation is gaining importance. This often includes the measurement of peptides regulating food intake. For the correct determination of a peptide's concentration, it should be stable during blood processing. However, this is not the case for several peptides which are quickly degraded by endogenous peptidases. Recently, we developed a blood processing method employing Reduced temperatures, Acidification, Protease inhibition, Isotopic exogenous controls and Dilution (RAPID) for the use in rats. Here, we have established this technique for the use in humans and investigated recovery, molecular form and circulating concentration of food intake regulatory hormones. The RAPID method significantly improved the recovery for (125)I-labeled somatostatin-28 (+39%), glucagon-like peptide-1 (+35%), acyl ghrelin and glucagon (+32%), insulin and kisspeptin (+29%), nesfatin-1 (+28%), leptin (+21%) and peptide YY3-36 (+19%) compared to standard processing (EDTA blood on ice, p processing, while after standard processing 62% of acyl ghrelin were degraded resulting in an earlier peak likely representing desacyl ghrelin. After RAPID processing the acyl/desacyl ghrelin ratio in blood of normal weight subjects was 1:3 compared to 1:23 following standard processing (p = 0.03). Also endogenous kisspeptin levels were higher after RAPID compared to standard processing (+99%, p = 0.02). The RAPID blood processing method can be used in humans, yields higher peptide levels and allows for assessment of the correct molecular form.

  16. Calculating the Social Costs of Carbon without knowing preferences : Comment on “A rapid assessment model for understanding the social cost of carbon”

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerlagh, R.

    The Social Costs of Carbon (SCC) equals the marginal welfare loss associated with one unit of emitted CO2, divided by the marginal welfare gain associated with one unit of consumption. In stochastic assessments, both the nominator and denominator can depend on uncertain parameters; specifically they

  17. Between Cost Cheap Prices And Increasing High Quality Educational University In Pekanbaru City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prama Widayat

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The need of higher education in the community has become the main thing for the future, not all can study at State Universities (PTN but some must enter in Private Universities (PTS. But the problem that arises is the problem of tuition fees in the PTS course higher than the state university, the tendency of prospective students in choosing Higher Education (PT based on cost and quality. While the problems from the PT side lies in the budget constraints in improving quality because of talk about the quality of course comprehensive from the means of lectures to the specialization of universities. Limitations of costs can at least be overcome by the synergy of universities, private companies and governments so it is not always student.

  18. Assessing Potential Energy Cost Savings from Increased Energy Code Compliance in Commercial Buildings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rosenberg, Michael I.; Hart, Philip R.; Athalye, Rahul A.; Zhang, Jian; Wang, Weimin

    2016-02-15

    The US Department of Energy’s most recent commercial energy code compliance evaluation efforts focused on determining a percent compliance rating for states to help them meet requirements under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. That approach included a checklist of code requirements, each of which was graded pass or fail. Percent compliance for any given building was simply the percent of individual requirements that passed. With its binary approach to compliance determination, the previous methodology failed to answer some important questions. In particular, how much energy cost could be saved by better compliance with the commercial energy code and what are the relative priorities of code requirements from an energy cost savings perspective? This paper explores an analytical approach and pilot study using a single building type and climate zone to answer those questions.

  19. Increased Patient Cost-Sharing, Weak US Economy, and Poor Health Habits: Implications for Employers and Insurers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haren, Melinda C; McConnell, Kirk; Shinn, Arthur F

    2009-04-01

    Many healthcare stakeholders, including insurers and employers, agree that growth in healthcare costs is inevitable. But the current trend toward further cost-shifting to employees and other health plan members is unsustainable. In 2008, the Zitter Group conducted a large national study on the relationship between insurers and employers, to understand how these 2 healthcare stakeholders interact in the creation of health benefit design. The survey results were previously summarized and discussed in the February/March 2009 issue of this journal. The present article aims to assess the implications of those results in the context of the growing tendency to increase patient cost-sharing, a weak US economy, and poor health habits. Increasing cost-sharing is a blunt instrument: although it may reduce utilization of frivolous services, it may also result in individuals forgoing medically necessary care. Increases in deductibles will lead to an overall decrease in optimal care-seeking behavior as families juggle healthcare costs with a weak economy and stagnating wages.

  20. [Thin layer agar represents a cost-effective alternative for the rapid diagnosis of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Sarmiento, José M; Martínez-Negrete, Milton A; Castrillón-Velilla, Diana M; Mejía-Espinosa, Sergio A; Mejía-Mesa, Gloria I; Zapata-Fernández, Elsa M; Rojas-Jiménez, Sara; Marín-Castro, Andrés E; Robledo-Restrepo, Jaime A

    2014-01-01

    Using cost-benefit analysis for comparing the thin-layer agar culture method to the standard multiple proportion method used in diagnosing multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB). A cost-benefit evaluation of two diagnostic tests was made at the Corporación para Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB) in Medellín, Colombia. 100 patients were evaluated; 10.8% rifampicin resistance and 14.3% isoniazid resistance were found. A computer-based decision tree model was used for cost-effectiveness analysis (Treeage Pro); the thin-layer agar culture method was most cost-effective, having 100% sensitivity, specificity and predictive values for detecting rifampicin and isoniazid resistance. The multiple proportion method value was calculated as being US$ 71 having an average 49 day report time compared to US$ 18 and 14 days for the thin-layer agar culture method. New technologies have been developed for diagnosing tuberculosis which are apparently faster and more effective; their operating characteristics must be evaluated as must their effectiveness in terms of cost-benefit. The present study established that using thin-layer agar culture was cheaper, equally effective and could provide results more quickly than the traditional method. This implies that a patient could receive MDR TB treatment more quickly.

  1. Cost-effectiveness of investing in sidewalks as a means of increasing physical activity: a RESIDE modelling study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veerman, J Lennert; Zapata-Diomedi, Belen; Gunn, Lucy; McCormack, Gavin R; Cobiac, Linda J; Mantilla Herrera, Ana Maria; Giles-Corti, Billie; Shiell, Alan

    2016-09-20

    Studies consistently find that supportive neighbourhood built environments increase physical activity by encouraging walking and cycling. However, evidence on the cost-effectiveness of investing in built environment interventions as a means of promoting physical activity is lacking. In this study, we assess the cost-effectiveness of increasing sidewalk availability as one means of encouraging walking. Using data from the RESIDE study in Perth, Australia, we modelled the cost impact and change in health-adjusted life years (HALYs) of installing additional sidewalks in established neighbourhoods. Estimates of the relationship between sidewalk availability and walking were taken from a previous study. Multistate life table models were used to estimate HALYs associated with changes in walking frequency and duration. Sensitivity analyses were used to explore the impact of variations in population density, discount rates, sidewalk costs and the inclusion of unrelated healthcare costs in added life years. Installing and maintaining an additional 10 km of sidewalk in an average neighbourhood with 19 000 adult residents was estimated to cost A$4.2 million over 30 years and gain 24 HALYs over the lifetime of an average neighbourhood adult resident population. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was A$176 000/HALY. However, sensitivity results indicated that increasing population densities improves cost-effectiveness. In low-density cities such as in Australia, installing sidewalks in established neighbourhoods as a single intervention is unlikely to cost-effectively improve health. Sidewalks must be considered alongside other complementary elements of walkability, such as density, land use mix and street connectivity. Population density is particularly important because at higher densities, more residents are exposed and this improves the cost-effectiveness. Health gain is one of many benefits of enhancing neighbourhood walkability and future studies might

  2. A discrete event simulation to model the cost-utility of fingolimod and natalizumab in rapidly evolving severe relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in the UK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Stephen M; Maruszczak, Maciej J; Slater, David; Kusel, Jeanette; Nicholas, Richard; Adlard, Nicholas

    2017-05-01

    Two disease-modifying therapies are licensed in the EU for use in rapidly-evolving severe (RES) relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), fingolimod and natalizumab. Here a discrete event simulation (DES) model to analyze the cost-effectiveness of natalizumab and fingolimod in the RES population, from the perspective of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, is reported. A DES model was developed to track individual RES patients, based on Expanded Disability Status Scale scores. Individual patient characteristics were taken from the RES sub-groups of the pivotal trials for fingolimod. Utility data were in line with previous models. Published costs were inflated to NHS cost year 2015. Owing to the confidential patient access scheme (PAS) discount applied to fingolimod in the UK, a range of discount levels were applied to the fingolimod list price, to capture the likelihood of natalizumab being cost-effective in a real-world setting. At the lower National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) threshold of £20,000/quality-adjusted life year (QALY), fingolimod only required a discount greater than 0.8% of list price to be cost-effective. At the upper threshold of £30,000/QALY employed by the NICE, fingolimod was cost-effective if the confidential discount is greater than 2.5%. Sensitivity analyses conducted using fingolimod list-price showed the model to be most sensitive to changes in the cost of each drug, particularly fingolimod. The DES model shows that only a modest discount to the UK fingolimod list-price is required to make fingolimod a more cost-effective option than natalizumab in RES RRMS.

  3. [Increasing cost of insulin therapy in Belgium. From a critical analysis of the situation to a search for practical solutions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheen, A J

    2006-09-01

    Cost related to insulin therapy is markedly increasing in Belgium, as in other Eucopean countries. In the present paper, we will briefly analyze the main reasons for such aa increase, integrate such observation withIn the global context of diabetes management and suggest some solutions to provide best care to insulin-treated diabetic patients at a reasonable cost. The rise of the cost of insulin therapy has a multifactorial origin. It mainly results from an increase in the number of diabetic patients, a more intensive management, In both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and a greater use of more expansive insulin analogues. It is important to analyze the increase of the cost of insulin therapy within the global burden of diabetes melitus. Only a better responsibility of all health care partners, patients, physicians, pharmaceutical companies, public health authorities, could provide solutions allowing diabetic people to profit from best treatments they should receive in order to prevent diabetic complications, by far the main cause of expenses.

  4. How Performance-Contingent Reward Prospect Modulates Cognitive Control: Increased Cue Maintenance at the Cost of Decreased Flexibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hefer, Carmen; Dreisbach, Gesine

    2017-01-01

    Growing evidence suggests that reward prospect promotes cognitive stability in terms of increased context or cue maintenance. In 3 Experiments, using different versions of the AX-continuous performance task, we investigated whether this reward effect comes at the cost of decreased cognitive flexibility. Experiment 1 shows that the reward induced…

  5. 75 FR 74123 - Office of the Commissioner; Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2011; Correction

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-30

    ... claiming benefits, call 1-800-772- 1213, or visit our Internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www... SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION [Docket No. SSA-2010-0054] Office of the Commissioner; Cost-of-Living Increase and Other Determinations for 2011; Correction AGENCY: Social Security Administration...

  6. Cost-effectiveness of counseling and pedometer use to increase physical activity in the Netherlands: a modeling study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E.A.B. Over (Eelco); G.C.W. Wendel-Vos (Wanda); M. van den Berg (Matthijs); H.H.H. Reenen (Heleen ); L. Tariq (Luqman); R.T. Hoogenveen (Rudolf); P.H.M. Van Baal (Pieter)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Counseling in combination with pedometer use has proven to be effective in increasing physical activity and improving health outcomes. We investigated the cost-effectiveness of this intervention targeted at one million insufficiently active adults who visit their general

  7. Increasing the Benefit from Cost-Minimizing Loads via Centralized Adjustments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antti Alahäivälä

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Several demand response (DR strategies rely on real-time pricing and selfish local optimization, which may not result in optimal electricity consumption patterns from the viewpoint of an energy supplier or a power system. Thus, this paper proposes a strategy enabling centralized adjustments to cost-minimize consumers’ load. By employing the strategy, an aggregator is able to alter electricity consumption in order to remove power imbalances and to participate in the balancing power market (BPM. In this paper, we focus on direct electric space heating (DESH loads that aim to minimize their heating cost locally. The consumers and an aggregator agree about an indoor temperature band, within which the aggregator is allowed to alter the temperature, and thus the electricity consumption. Centrally, the aggregator procures its electricity demand from a day-ahead (DA market by utilizing the allowed temperature band and employs the band later in real-time (RT operation for the balancing of its own imbalances or regulating power in the BPM.

  8. Spacecraft Software Maintenance: An Effective Approach to Reducing Costs and Increasing Science Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shell, Elaine M.; Lue, Yvonne; Chu, Martha I.

    1999-01-01

    Flight software is a mission critical element of spacecraft functionality and performance. When ground operations personnel interface to a spacecraft, they are typically dealing almost entirely with the capabilities of onboard software. This software, even more than critical ground/flight communications systems, is expected to perform perfectly during all phases of spacecraft life. Due to the fact that it can be reprogrammed on-orbit to accommodate degradations or failures in flight hardware, new insights into spacecraft characteristics, new control options which permit enhanced science options, etc., the on- orbit flight software maintenance team is usually significantly responsible for the long term success of a science mission. Failure of flight software to perform as needed can result in very expensive operations work-around costs and lost science opportunities. There are three basic approaches to maintaining spacecraft software--namely using the original developers, using the mission operations personnel, or assembling a center of excellence for multi-spacecraft software maintenance. Not planning properly for flight software maintenance can lead to unnecessarily high on-orbit costs and/or unacceptably long delays, or errors, in patch installations. A common approach for flight software maintenance is to access the original development staff. The argument for utilizing the development staff is that the people who developed the software will be the best people to modify the software on-orbit. However, it can quickly becomes a challenge to obtain the services of these key people. They may no longer be available to the organization. They may have a more urgent job to perform, quite likely on another project under different project management. If they havn't worked on the software for a long time, they may need precious time for refamiliarization to the software, testbeds and tools. Further, a lack of insight into issues related to flight software in its on

  9. PCR-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism for Rapid, Low-Cost Identification of Isoniazid-Resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caws, Maxine; Tho, Dau Quang; Duy, Phan Minh; Lan, Nguyen Thi Ngoc; Hoa, Dai Viet; Torok, Mili Estee; Chau, Tran Thi Hong; Van Vinh Chau, Nguyen; Chinh, Nguyen Tran; Farrar, Jeremy

    2007-01-01

    PCR-restriction fragment length poymorphism (PCR-RFLP) is a simple, robust technique for the rapid identification of isoniazid-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. One hundred consecutive isolates from a Vietnamese tuberculosis hospital were tested by MspA1I PCR-RFLP for the detection of isoniazid-resistant katG_315 mutants. The test had a sensitivity of 80% and a specificity of 100% against conventional phenotypic drug susceptibility testing. The positive and negative predictive values were 1 and 0.86, respectively. None of the discrepant isolates had mutant katG_315 codons by sequencing. The test is cheap (less than $1.50 per test), specific, and suitable for the rapid identification of isoniazid resistance in regions with a high prevalence of katG_315 mutants among isoniazid-resistant M. tuberculosis isolates. PMID:17428939

  10. Increased Burden of Healthcare Utilization and Cost Associated with Opioid-Related Constipation Among Patients with Noncancer Pain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Ancilla W.; Kern, David M.; Datto, Catherine; Chen, Yen-Wen; McLeskey, Charles; Tunceli, Ozgur

    2016-01-01

    Background Opioids are widely accepted as treatment for moderate to severe pain, and opioid-induced constipation is one of the most common side effects of opioids. This side effect negatively affects pain management and patients’ quality of life, which could result in increased healthcare utilization and costs. Objective To assess healthcare utilization and costs (all-cause, constipation-related, and pain-related) for individuals with and without opioid-induced constipation during the 12 months after initiation of opioid therapy for noncancer pain. Methods This retrospective cohort study was conducted using administrative claims data from HealthCore Integrated Research Environment between January 1, 2006, and June 30, 2014. The analysis was limited to patients aged ≥18 years who filled a prescription for continuous opioid treatment (≥28 days) for noncancer pain. Propensity scores were used to match opioid users with constipation (cohort 1) and opioid users without constipation (cohort 2), using a 1:1 ratio. Generalized linear models were used to estimate all-cause, constipation-related, and pain-related healthcare utilization and costs during the 12 months after the initiation of opioid therapy. Results After matching and balancing for all prespecified variables, 17,384 patients were retained in each cohort (mean age, 56 years; 63% female). Opioid users with constipation were twice as likely as those without constipation to have ≥1 inpatient hospitalizations (odds ratio, 2.28; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.17–2.39) during the 12 months. The total mean adjusted overall costs per patient during the study period were $12,413 higher for patients with constipation versus those without it (95% CI, $11,726–$13,116). The total mean adjusted overall pain-related costs per patient were $6778 (95% CI, $6293–$7279) higher for the patients with constipation than those without. Among patients using opioids for noncancer pain, the annual mean constipation

  11. A novel approach for rapidly and cost-effectively assessing toxicity of toxic metals in acidic water using an acidophilic iron-oxidizing biosensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Shih-Hung; Cheng, Kuo-Chih; Liao, Vivian Hsiu-Chuan

    2017-11-01

    Contamination by heavy metals and metalloids is a serious environmental and health concern. Acidic wastewaters are often associated with toxic metals which may enter and spread into agricultural soils. Several biological assays have been developed to detect toxic metals; however, most of them can only detect toxic metals in a neutral pH, not in an acidic environment. In this study, an acidophilic iron-oxidizing bacterium (IOB) Strain Y10 was isolated, characterized, and used to detect toxic metals toxicity in acidic water at pH 2.5. The colorimetric acidophilic IOB biosensor was based on the inhibition of the iron oxidizing ability of Strain Y10, an acidophilic iron-oxidizing bacterium, by metals toxicity. Our results showed that Strain Y10 is acidophilic iron-oxidizing bacterium. Thiobacillus caldus medium (TCM) (pH 2.5) supplied with both S 4 O 6 2- and glucose was the optimum growth medium for Strain Y10. The optimum temperature and pH for the growth of Strain Y10 was 45 °C and pH 2.5, respectively. Our study demonstrates that the color-based acidophilic IOB biosensor can be semi-quantitatively observed by eye or quantitatively measured by spectrometer to detect toxicity from multiple toxic metals at pH 2.5 within 45 min. Our study shows that monitoring toxic metals in acidic water is possible by using the acidophilic IOB biosensor. Our study thus provides a novel approach for rapid and cost-effective detection of toxic metals in acidic conditions that can otherwise compromise current methods of chemical analysis. This method also allows for increased efficiency when screening large numbers of environmental samples. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Palliative care in Dutch hospitals: A rapid increase in the number of expert teams, a limited number of referrals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A. Brinkman-Stoppelenburg (Arianne); Boddaert, M.; Douma, J.; A. van der Heide (Agnes)

    2016-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Palliative care expert teams in hospitals have positive effects on the quality of life and satisfaction with care of patients with advanced disease. Involvement of these teams in medical care is also associated with substantial cost savings. In the Netherlands, professional

  13. Multiplex pyrosequencing assay using AdvISER-MH-PYRO algorithm: a case for rapid and cost-effective genotyping analysis of prostate cancer risk-associated SNPs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambroise, Jérôme; Butoescu, Valentina; Robert, Annie; Tombal, Bertrand; Gala, Jean-Luc

    2015-06-25

    Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) identified in Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) have generally moderate association with related complex diseases. Accordingly, Multilocus Genetic Risk Scores (MGRSs) have been computed in previous studies in order to assess the cumulative association of multiple SNPs. When several SNPs have to be genotyped for each patient, using successive uniplex pyrosequencing reactions increases analytical reagent expenses and Turnaround Time (TAT). While a set of several pyrosequencing primers could theoretically be used to analyze multiplex amplicons, this would generate overlapping primer-specific pyro-signals that are visually uninterpretable. In the current study, two multiplex assays were developed consisting of a quadruplex (n=4) and a quintuplex (n=5) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) each followed by multiplex pyrosequencing analysis. The aim was to reliably but rapidly genotype a set of prostate cancer-related SNPs (n=9). The nucleotide dispensation order was selected using SENATOR software. Multiplex pyro-signals were analyzed using the new AdvISER-MH-PYRO software based on a sparse representation of the signal. Using uniplex assays as gold standard, the concordance between multiplex and uniplex assays was assessed on DNA extracted from patient blood samples (n = 10). All genotypes (n=90) generated with the quadruplex and the quintuplex pyroquencing assays were perfectly (100 %) concordant with uniplex pyrosequencing. Using multiplex genotyping approach for analyzing a set of 90 patients allowed reducing TAT by approximately 75 % (i.e., from 2025 to 470 min) while reducing reagent consumption and cost by approximately 70 % (i.e., from ~229 US$ /patient to ~64 US$ /patient). This combination of quadruplex and quintuplex pyrosequencing and PCR assays enabled to reduce the amount of DNA required for multi-SNP analysis, and to lower the global TAT and costs of SNP genotyping while providing results as reliable as uniplex

  14. RAPID MAPPING FOR BUILT HERITAGE AT RISK USING LOW-COST AND COTS SENSORS. A TEST IN THE DUOMO VECCHIO OF SAN SEVERINO MARCHE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Calantropio

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In the last years, the researchers in the field of Geomatics have focused their attention in the experimentation and validation of new methodologies and techniques, stressing especially the potential of low-cost and COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf solutions and sensors. In particular, these tools have been used with purposes of rapid mapping in different contexts (ranging from the construction industry, environmental monitoring, mining activities, etc.. The Built Heritage, due to its intrinsic nature of endangered artefact, can largely benefit from the technological and methodological innovations in this research field. The contribute presented in this paper will highlight these main topics: the rapid mapping of the Built Heritage (in particular the one subjected to different types of risk using low-cost and COTS solutions. Different sensors and techniques were chosen to be evaluated on a specific test site: the Duomo Vecchio of San Severino Marche (MC - Italy, that was partially affected by the earthquake swarm that hit the area of Central Italy starting from the 24th of August 2016. One of the main aims of this work is to demonstrate how low-cost and COTS sensors can contribute to the documentation of the Built Heritage for its safeguard, for damage assessment in case of disastrous events and operations of restoration and preservation.

  15. Rapid Mapping for Built Heritage at Risk Using Low-Cost and Cots Sensors. a Test in the Duomo Vecchio of San Severino Marche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calantropio, A.; Colucci, E.; Teppati Losè, L.

    2017-11-01

    In the last years, the researchers in the field of Geomatics have focused their attention in the experimentation and validation of new methodologies and techniques, stressing especially the potential of low-cost and COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) solutions and sensors. In particular, these tools have been used with purposes of rapid mapping in different contexts (ranging from the construction industry, environmental monitoring, mining activities, etc.). The Built Heritage, due to its intrinsic nature of endangered artefact, can largely benefit from the technological and methodological innovations in this research field. The contribute presented in this paper will highlight these main topics: the rapid mapping of the Built Heritage (in particular the one subjected to different types of risk) using low-cost and COTS solutions. Different sensors and techniques were chosen to be evaluated on a specific test site: the Duomo Vecchio of San Severino Marche (MC - Italy), that was partially affected by the earthquake swarm that hit the area of Central Italy starting from the 24th of August 2016. One of the main aims of this work is to demonstrate how low-cost and COTS sensors can contribute to the documentation of the Built Heritage for its safeguard, for damage assessment in case of disastrous events and operations of restoration and preservation.

  16. Is reproduction costly? No increase of oxidative damage in breeding bank voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ołdakowski, Łukasz; Piotrowska, Zaneta; Chrzaácik, Katarzyna M; Sadowska, Edyta T; Koteja, Paweł; Taylor, Jan R E

    2012-06-01

    According to life-history theory, investment in reproduction is associated with costs, which should appear as decreased survival to the next reproduction or lower future reproductive success. It has been suggested that oxidative stress may be the proximate mechanism of these trade-offs. Despite numerous studies of the defense against reactive oxygen species (ROS) during reproduction, very little is known about the damage caused by ROS to the tissues of wild breeding animals. We measured oxidative damage to lipids and proteins in breeding bank vole (Myodes glareolus) females after rearing one and two litters, and in non-breeding females. We used bank voles from lines selected for high maximum aerobic metabolic rates (which also had high resting metabolic rates and food intake) and non-selected control lines. The oxidative damage was determined in heart, kidneys and skeletal muscles by measuring the concentration of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, as markers of lipid peroxidation, and carbonyl groups in proteins, as markers of protein oxidation. Surprisingly, we found that the oxidative damage to lipids in kidneys and muscles was actually lower in breeding than in non-breeding voles, and it did not differ between animals from the selected and control lines. Thus, contrary to our predictions, females that bred suffered lower levels of oxidative stress than those that did not reproduce. Elevated production of antioxidant enzymes and the protective role of sex hormones may explain the results. The results of the present study do not support the hypothesis that oxidative damage to tissues is the proximate mechanism of reproduction costs.

  17. RCRA Part B permit modifications for cost savings and increased flexibility at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jierree, C.; Ticknor, K.

    1996-10-01

    With shrinking budgets and downsizing, a need for streamlined compliance initiatives became evident at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS). Therefore, Rocky Mountain Remediation Services (RMRS) at the RFETS successfully and quickly modified the RFETS RCRA Part B Permit to obtain significant cost savings and increased flexibility. This 'was accomplished by requesting operations personnel to suggest changes to the Part B Permit which did not diminish overall compliance and which would be most. cost beneficial. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) subsequently obtained approval of those changes from the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE)

  18. Development of Production PVD-AIN Buffer Layer System and Processes to Reduce Epitaxy Costs and Increase LED Efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cerio, Frank

    2013-09-14

    The DOE has set aggressive goals for solid state lighting (SSL) adoption, which require manufacturing and quality improvements for virtually all process steps leading to an LED luminaire product. The goals pertinent to this proposed project are to reduce the cost and improve the quality of the epitaxial growth processes used to build LED structures. The objectives outlined in this proposal focus on achieving cost reduction and performance improvements over state-of-the-art, using technologies that are low in cost and amenable to high efficiency manufacturing. The objectives of the outlined proposal focus on cost reductions in epitaxial growth by reducing epitaxy layer thickness and hetero-epitaxial strain, and by enabling the use of larger, less expensive silicon substrates and would be accomplished through the introduction of a high productivity reactive sputtering system and an effective sputtered aluminum-nitride (AlN) buffer/nucleation layer process. Success of the proposed project could enable efficient adoption of GaN on-silicon (GaN/Si) epitaxial technology on 150mm silicon substrates. The reduction in epitaxy cost per cm{sup 2} using 150mm GaN-on-Si technology derives from (1) a reduction in cost of ownership and increase in throughput for the buffer deposition process via the elimination of MOCVD buffer layers and other throughput and CoO enhancements, (2) improvement in brightness through reductions in defect density, (3) reduction in substrate cost through the replacement of sapphire with silicon, and (4) reduction in non-ESD yield loss through reductions in wafer bow and temperature variation. The adoption of 150mm GaN/Si processing will also facilitate significant cost reductions in subsequent wafer fabrication manufacturing costs. There were three phases to this project. These three phases overlap in order to aggressively facilitate a commercially available production GaN/Si capability. In Phase I of the project, the repeatability of the performance

  19. The Costs and Benefits of Increasing the Minimum Service Requirement for NROTC Graduates

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sankes, Karen J

    2008-01-01

    On 9 June 2008, during the Future Years Defense Program Officer Accessions Brief, the Chief of Naval Personnel requested more information on increasing the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC...

  20. Cost-effectiveness of increasing the reach of smoking cessation interventions in Germany: results from the EQUIPTMOD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huber, Manuel B; Präger, Maximilian; Coyle, Kathryn; Coyle, Doug; Lester-George, Adam; Trapero-Bertran, Marta; Nemeth, Bertalan; Cheung, Kei Long; Stark, Renee; Vogl, Matthias; Pokhrel, Subhash; Leidl, Reiner

    2017-12-15

    To evaluate costs, effects and cost-effectiveness of increased reach of specific smoking cessation interventions in Germany. A Markov-based state transition return on investment model (EQUIPTMOD) was used to evaluate current smoking cessation interventions as well as two prospective investment scenarios. A health-care perspective (extended to include out-of-pocket payments) with life-time horizon was considered. A probabilistic analysis was used to assess uncertainty concerning predicted estimates. Germany. Cohort of current smoking population (18+ years) in Germany. Interventions included group-based behavioural support, financial incentive programmes and varenicline. For prospective scenario 1 the reach of group-based behavioral support, financial incentive programme and varenicline was increased by 1% of yearly quit attempts (= 57 915 quit attempts), while prospective scenario 2 represented a higher reach, mirroring the levels observed in England. EQUIPTMOD considered reach, intervention cost, number of quitters, quality-of-life years (QALYs) gained, cost-effectiveness and return on investment. The highest returns through reduction in smoking-related health-care costs were seen for the financial incentive programme (€2.71 per €1 invested), followed by that of group-based behavioural support (€1.63 per €1 invested), compared with no interventions. Varenicline had lower returns (€1.02 per €1 invested) than the other two interventions. At the population level, prospective scenario 1 led to 15 034 QALYs gained and €27 million cost-savings, compared with current investment. Intervention effects and reach contributed most to the uncertainty around the return-on-investment estimates. At a hypothetical willingness-to-pay threshold of only €5000, the probability of being cost-effective is approximately 75% for prospective scenario 1. Increasing the reach of group-based behavioural support, financial incentives and varenicline for smoking cessation by

  1. Energy Transition-Index Germany. Costs are increasing steadily; Energiewende-Index Deutschland. Die Kosten steigen weiter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vahlenkamp, Thomas; Kropeit, Julia [McKinsey and Company, Duesseldorf (Germany); Ritzenhofen, Ingmar [McKinsey and Company, Koeln (Germany); Gersema, Gerke [McKinsey and Company, Hamburg (Germany)

    2017-03-15

    How expensive the energy transition truly will be? The question of costs is coming more and more into the focus: The Bundesrechnungshof calls for more transparency, the policy confronted with the complexity of the subject matter is not able to quantify concrete costs. At the same time, all participants are working to curb spending growth. The fact is, the total costs will continue to rise. It is already foreseeable that by 2025 the annual electricity costs will increase by Euro 14 billion - to then Euro 77 billion. The main drivers are grid charges and rising fuel costs. [German] Wie teuer wird die Energiewende wirklich? Die Frage nach den Kosten geraet zunehmend in den Fokus: Der Bundesrechnungshof fordert mehr Transparenz, die Politik sieht sich mit Blick auf die Komplexitaet der Thematik ausserstande, konkrete Kosten zu beziffern. Gleichzeitig treten alle Beteiligten dafuer ein, die Ausgabenentwicklung zu bremsen. Fakt ist: Die Gesamtkosten werden weiter steigen. Bereits heute ist absehbar, dass sich bis 2025 die jaehrlich anfallenden Stromkosten um 14 Mrd. Euro erhoehen werden - auf dann 77 Mrd. Euro. Haupttreiber sind die Netzentgelte und steigende Brennstoffkosten.

  2. Can Broader Diffusion of Value-Based Insurance Design Increase Benefits from US Health Care without Increasing Costs? Evidence from a Computer Simulation Model

    OpenAIRE

    Scott Braithwaite, R.; Omokaro, Cynthia; Justice, Amy C.; Nucifora, Kimberly; Roberts, Mark S.

    2010-01-01

    Editors' Summary Background More money is spent per person on health care in the US than in any other country. US health care expenditure accounts for 16.2% of the gross domestic product and this figure is rising. Indeed, the increase in health care costs is outstripping the economy's growth rate. Consequently, US policy makers and providers of health insurance?health care in the US is largely provided by the private sector and is paid for through private health insurance or through governmen...

  3. Increase plant safety and reduce cost by implementing risk-informed in-service inspection programs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Billington, A.; Monette, P.

    2001-01-01

    The idea behind the program is that it is possible to 'inspect less, but inspect better'. In other words, the risk-informed In-Service Inspection (ISI) process is used to improve the effectiveness of examination of piping components, i.e. concentrate inspection resources and enhance inspection strategies on high safety significant locations, and reduce inspection requirements on others. The Westinghouse Owners Group (WOG) risk-informed ISI process has already been applied for full scope (Millstone 3, Surry 1) and limited scope (Beznau, Ringhals 4, Asco, Turkey Point 3). By examining the high safety significant piping segments for the different fluid piping systems, the total piping core damage frequency is reduced. In addition, more than 80% of the risk associated with potential pressure boundary failures is addressed with the WOG risk-informed ISI process, while typically less that 50% of this same risk is addressed by the current inspection programs. The risk-informed ISI processes are used to improve the effectiveness of inspecting safety-significant piping components, to reduce inspection requirements on other piping components, to evaluate improvements to plant availability and enhanced safety measures, including reduction of personnel radiation exposure, and to reduce overall Operation and Maintenance (O and M) costs while maintaining regulatory compliance. A description of the process as well as benefits from past projects is presented, since the methodology is applicable for WWER plant design. (author)

  4. Increase plant safety and reduce cost by implementing risk-informed In-Service Inspection programs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Billington, A.; Monette, P.; Doumont, C.

    2000-01-01

    The idea behind the program is that it is possible to 'inspect less, but inspect better'. In other words, the risk-informed In-Service Inspection (ISI) process is used to improve the effectiveness of examination of piping components, i.e. concentrate inspection resources and enhance inspection strategies on high safety significant locations, and reduce inspection requirements on others. The Westinghouse Owners Group (WOG) risk-informed ISI process has already been applied for full scope (Millstone 3, Surry 1) and limited scope (Beznau, Ringhals 4, Asco, Turkey Point 3). By examining the high safety significant piping segments for the different fluid piping systems, the total piping core damage frequency is reduced. In addition, more than 80% of the risk associated with potential pressure boundary failures is addressed with the WOG risk-informed ISI process, while typically less than 50% of this same risk is addressed by the current inspection programs. The risk-informed ISI processes are used: to improve the effectiveness of inspecting safety-significant piping components; to reduce inspection requirements on other piping components; to evaluate improvements to plant availability and enhanced safety measures, including reduction of personnel radiation exposure; and to reduce overall Operation and Maintenance (O and M) costs while maintaining regulatory compliance. A description of the process as well as benefits of past projects is presented, since the methodology is applicable for VVER plant design. (author)

  5. [Statistical Process Control (SPC) can help prevent treatment errors without increasing costs in radiotherapy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Govindarajan, R; Llueguera, E; Melero, A; Molero, J; Soler, N; Rueda, C; Paradinas, C

    2010-01-01

    Statistical Process Control (SPC) was applied to monitor patient set-up in radiotherapy and, when the measured set-up error values indicated a loss of process stability, its root cause was identified and eliminated to prevent set-up errors. Set up errors were measured for medial-lateral (ml), cranial-caudal (cc) and anterior-posterior (ap) dimensions and then the upper control limits were calculated. Once the control limits were known and the range variability was acceptable, treatment set-up errors were monitored using sub-groups of 3 patients, three times each shift. These values were plotted on a control chart in real time. Control limit values showed that the existing variation was acceptable. Set-up errors, measured and plotted on a X chart, helped monitor the set-up process stability and, if and when the stability was lost, treatment was interrupted, the particular cause responsible for the non-random pattern was identified and corrective action was taken before proceeding with the treatment. SPC protocol focuses on controlling the variability due to assignable cause instead of focusing on patient-to-patient variability which normally does not exist. Compared to weekly sampling of set-up error in each and every patient, which may only ensure that just those sampled sessions were set-up correctly, the SPC method enables set-up error prevention in all treatment sessions for all patients and, at the same time, reduces the control costs. Copyright © 2009 SECA. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  6. Increasing Water Use Efficiency Comes at a Cost for Norway Spruce

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanja G M Sanders

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Intrinsic water use efficiency (WUEi in trees is an indication of the ratio of carbon assimilation to the rate of transpiration. It is generally assumed that it is a response to water availability. In agricultural research, the question of drought tolerance by increased WUEi has been well studied. In general, the increase is a trade-off for productivity and is therefore not desired. For forest trees, this question is less clearly understood. Using stable carbon isotopes derived from tree rings combined with productivity as the product of the annual growth increment and annual density measurements, we compared the change in WUEi over a 15 year period. While WUEi increased over this period, the productivity decreased, causing an opposing trend. The gradient of the correlation between WUEi and productivity varies between provenances and sites. Counterintuitively, the populations at the drier site showed low WUEi values at the beginning of the investigation. Slopes vary with the provenance from Poland showing the least decline in productivity. In general, we found that a decline in productivity aligned with an increase in WUEi.

  7. Transaction cost analysis of in-clinic versus telehealth consultations for chronic pain: preliminary evidence for rapid and affordable access to interdisciplinary collaborative consultation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theodore, Brian R; Whittington, Jan; Towle, Cara; Tauben, David J; Endicott-Popovsky, Barbara; Cahana, Alex; Doorenbos, Ardith Z

    2015-06-01

    With ever increasing mandates to reduce costs and increase the quality of pain management, health care institutions are faced with the challenge of adopting innovative technologies and shifting workflows to provide value-based care. Transaction cost economic analysis can provide comparative evaluation of the consequences of these changes in the delivery of care. The aim of this study was to establish proof-of-concept using transaction cost analysis to examine chronic pain management in-clinic and through telehealth. Participating health care providers were asked to identify and describe two comparable completed transactions for patients with chronic pain: one consultation between patient and specialist in-clinic and the other a telehealth presentation of a patient's case by the primary care provider to a team of pain medicine specialists. Each provider completed two on-site interviews. Focus was on the time, value of time, and labor costs per transaction. Number of steps, time, and costs for providers and patients were identified. Forty-six discrete steps were taken for the in-clinic transaction, and 27 steps were taken for the telehealth transaction. Although similar in costs per patient ($332.89 in-clinic vs. $376.48 telehealth), the costs accrued over 153 business days in-clinic and 4 business days for telehealth. Time elapsed between referral and completion of initial consultation was 72 days in-clinic, 4 days for telehealth. U.S. health care is moving toward the use of more technologies and practices, and the information provided by transaction cost analyses of care delivery for pain management will be important to determine actual cost savings and benefits. Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Use of HRP-2-based rapid diagnostic test for Plasmodium falciparum malaria: assessing accuracy and cost-effectiveness in the villages of Dielmo and Ndiop, Senegal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trape Jean-François

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In 2006, the Senegalese National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP has recommended artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT as the first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria and, in 2007, mandated testing for all suspected cases of malaria with a Plasmodium falciparum HRP-2-based rapid diagnostic test for malaria (RDT(Paracheck®. Given the higher cost of ACT compared to earlier anti-malarials, the objectives of the present study were i to study the accuracy of Paracheck® compared to the thick blood smear (TBS in two areas with different levels of malaria endemicity and ii analyse the cost-effectiveness of the strategy of the parasitological confirmation of clinically suspected malaria cases management recommended by the NMCP. Methods A cross-sectional study was undertaken in the villages of Dielmo and Ndiop (Senegal nested in a cohort study of about 800 inhabitants. For all the individuals consulting between October 2008 and January 2009 with a clinical diagnosis of malaria, a questionnaire was filled and finger-prick blood samples were taken both for microscopic examination and RDT. The estimated costs and cost-effectiveness analysis were made considering five scenarios, the recommendations of the NMCP being the reference scenario. In addition, a sensitivity analysis was performed assuming that all the RDT-positive patients and 50% of RDT-negative patients were treated with ACT. Results A total of 189 consultations for clinically suspected malaria occurred during the study period. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were respectively 100%, 98.3%, 80.0% and 100%. The estimated cost of the reference scenario was close to 700€ per 1000 episodes of illness, approximately twice as expensive as most of the other scenarios. Nevertheless, it appeared to us cost-effective while ensuring the diagnosis and the treatment of 100% of malaria attacks and an adequate management of 98.4% of episodes

  9. Use of HRP-2-based rapid diagnostic test for Plasmodium falciparum malaria: assessing accuracy and cost-effectiveness in the villages of Dielmo and Ndiop, Senegal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ly, Alioune Badara; Tall, Adama; Perry, Robert; Baril, Laurence; Badiane, Abdoulaye; Faye, Joseph; Rogier, Christophe; Touré, Aissatou; Sokhna, Cheikh; Trape, Jean-François; Michel, Rémy

    2010-06-04

    In 2006, the Senegalese National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) has recommended artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) as the first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria and, in 2007, mandated testing for all suspected cases of malaria with a Plasmodium falciparum HRP-2-based rapid diagnostic test for malaria (RDT(Paracheck). Given the higher cost of ACT compared to earlier anti-malarials, the objectives of the present study were i) to study the accuracy of Paracheck compared to the thick blood smear (TBS) in two areas with different levels of malaria endemicity and ii) analyse the cost-effectiveness of the strategy of the parasitological confirmation of clinically suspected malaria cases management recommended by the NMCP. A cross-sectional study was undertaken in the villages of Dielmo and Ndiop (Senegal) nested in a cohort study of about 800 inhabitants. For all the individuals consulting between October 2008 and January 2009 with a clinical diagnosis of malaria, a questionnaire was filled and finger-prick blood samples were taken both for microscopic examination and RDT. The estimated costs and cost-effectiveness analysis were made considering five scenarios, the recommendations of the NMCP being the reference scenario. In addition, a sensitivity analysis was performed assuming that all the RDT-positive patients and 50% of RDT-negative patients were treated with ACT. A total of 189 consultations for clinically suspected malaria occurred during the study period. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were respectively 100%, 98.3%, 80.0% and 100%. The estimated cost of the reference scenario was close to 700 euros per 1000 episodes of illness, approximately twice as expensive as most of the other scenarios. Nevertheless, it appeared to us cost-effective while ensuring the diagnosis and the treatment of 100% of malaria attacks and an adequate management of 98.4% of episodes of illness. The present study also demonstrated

  10. Badges to Acknowledge Open Practices: A Simple, Low-Cost, Effective Method for Increasing Transparency.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mallory C Kidwell

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Beginning January 2014, Psychological Science gave authors the opportunity to signal open data and materials if they qualified for badges that accompanied published articles. Before badges, less than 3% of Psychological Science articles reported open data. After badges, 23% reported open data, with an accelerating trend; 39% reported open data in the first half of 2015, an increase of more than an order of magnitude from baseline. There was no change over time in the low rates of data sharing among comparison journals. Moreover, reporting openness does not guarantee openness. When badges were earned, reportedly available data were more likely to be actually available, correct, usable, and complete than when badges were not earned. Open materials also increased to a weaker degree, and there was more variability among comparison journals. Badges are simple, effective signals to promote open practices and improve preservation of data and materials by using independent repositories.

  11. Cost efficiency of measures to increase the amount of coarse woody debris in managed Norway spruce forest

    OpenAIRE

    Ranius, Thomas; Ekvall, Hans; Jonsson, Mattias; Bostedt, Göran

    2005-01-01

    Changing silvicultural methods in managed forestland to improve habitat quality for forest organisms has become one of the main means to preserve forest biodiversity in Fennoscandia. In boreal forests, coarse woody debris (CWD) is an important substrate for red-listed species. In this study, we analyse cost efficiency of five management measures taken in Swedish forestry, which aim at increasing CWD in managed forests: retention of living trees at harvest, artificial creation of high stumps, ...

  12. Activity-based Management of Logistic Costs in a Manufacturing Company: A Case of Increased Visibility of Logistics Costs in a Slovenian Paper Manufacturing Company

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julijana Krajnc

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Both the transparent reporting of logistics costs and the related accounting of their cost drivers present a significant factor for the successful management of material flows and the related logistics activities in production companies. These costs, which are mainly reported as part of overhead (indirect costs in such companies, usually remain hidden or are not explicitly visible when the traditional method of accounting is applied. The aim of this research is to create a model of activity-based accounting of logistics costs in a production company, and to test its efficiency in the disclosure of logistics costs compared with traditional cost accounting. The application of the model in a production company shows that an activity-based approach discloses as much as 108% more logistics costs at the level of a group of products than the traditional cost-accounting approach. Further, detailed information on logistics costs obtained in this way enables their more efficient management. Key words: logistics costs; activity-based costing; cost allocation; cost visibility; cost management

  13. Simulation for Teaching Orthopaedic Residents in a Competency-based Curriculum: Do the Benefits Justify the Increased Costs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nousiainen, Markku T; McQueen, Sydney A; Ferguson, Peter; Alman, Benjamin; Kraemer, William; Safir, Oleg; Reznick, Richard; Sonnadara, Ranil

    2016-04-01

    among the competency-based curriculum and regular stream residents for teaching (60 residents) and among 14 competency-based curriculum residents and 21 regular stream residents for assessment. The total costs of using simulation to teach and assess all residents in the competency-based curriculum and regular stream programs (academic year 2012-2013) (CDN 155,750, USD 158,050) were approximately 15 times higher than the cost of using simulation to teach residents before the implementation of the competency-based curriculum (academic year 2008-2009) (CDN 10,090, USD 11,140). The number of hours spent teaching and assessing trainees increased from 96 to 317 hours during this period, representing a threefold increase. Although the financial costs and time demands on faculty in running the simulation program in the new competency-based curriculum at the University of Toronto have been substantial, augmented learner and trainer satisfaction has been accompanied by direct evidence of improved and more efficient learning outcomes. The higher costs and demands on faculty time associated with implementing simulation for teaching and assessment must be considered when it is used to enhance surgical training.

  14. Open microfluidic gel electrophoresis: Rapid and low cost separation and analysis of DNA at the nanoliter scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutzweiler, Ludwig; Gleichmann, Tobias; Tanguy, Laurent; Koltay, Peter; Zengerle, Roland; Riegger, Lutz

    2017-07-01

    Gel electrophoresis is one of the most applied and standardized tools for separation and analysis of macromolecules and their fragments in academic research and in industry. In this work we present a novel approach for conducting on-demand electrophoretic separations of DNA molecules in open microfluidic (OM) systems on planar polymer substrates. The approach combines advantages of slab gel, capillary- and chip-based methods offering low consumable costs (<0.1$) circumventing cost-intensive microfluidic chip fabrication, short process times (5 min per analysis) and high sensitivity (4 ng/μL dsDNA) combined with reasonable resolution (17 bases). The open microfluidic separation system comprises two opposing reservoirs of 2-4 μL in volume, a semi-contact written gel line acting as separation channel interconnecting the reservoirs and sample injected into the line via non-contact droplet dispensing and thus enabling the precise control of the injection plug and sample concentration. Evaporation is prevented by covering aqueous structures with PCR-grade mineral oil while maintaining surface temperature at 15°C. The liquid gel line exhibits a semi-circular cross section of adaptable width (∼200-600 μm) and height (∼30-80 μm) as well as a typical length of 15-55 mm. Layout of such liquid structures is adaptable on-demand not requiring time consuming and repetitive fabrication steps. The approach was successfully demonstrated by the separation of a standard label-free DNA ladder (100-1000 bp) at 100 V/cm via in-line staining and laser induced fluorescent end-point detection using an automated prototype. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. Rapid increase in cosmogenic 14C in AD 775 measured in New Zealand kauri trees indicates short-lived increase in 14C production spanning both hemispheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Güttler, D.; Adolphi, F.; Beer, J.; Bleicher, N.; Boswijk, G.; Christl, M.; Hogg, A.; Palmer, J.; Vockenhuber, C.; Wacker, L.; Wunder, J.

    2015-02-01

    In 2012, Miyake et al. reported a sudden and strong increase of the atmospheric radiocarbon (14C) content in Japanese cedar trees of 1.2% between AD 774 and 775. While their findings were quickly confirmed by a German oak chronology for the Northern Hemisphere (NH), the question remained if the effect was seen in both hemispheres. Here we present the first annually resolved Southern Hemisphere (SH) 14C record spanning the interval AD 760-787, using New Zealand kauri (Agathis australis) chronology wood. An almost identical distinct increase compared to Northern Hemisphere data was observed, suggesting a cosmic event with globally uniform impact as a potential cause for the increase. Deploying a carbon cycle box model a worldwide averaged net 14C production of 2.2 ×108 14C atoms cm-2 was estimated, which is 3.7 times higher than the average annual 14C production. The immediate appearance of the event in tree rings on both hemispheres suggests a short duration event of significantly less than 1 yr.

  16. Increasing personal exemption of fixed income earners: A cost-benefit analysis on government revenues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Maquiling

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Personal exemption (PE was one of the remedies of the government to offset the burden of taxation imposed to its sovereignty. In the Philippines, a motion to increase the PE has already been made by lawmakers, and this prompted the researchers to conduct a study on the effect of this disposable income of fixed income earners on their spending pattern on identified goods and services to VAT and other taxes collected by the government. The study made use of descriptive-survey method given to 100 random respondents earning fixed income in the City of Davao, Philippines. The study determined that the respondents’ age, civil status, sex, and number of qualified dependents affects her/his spending pattern. Married people spend more on basic commodities than single people, male spends more alcohol and tobacco than the female, zero dependents spends more on recreation than more dependents and there is a decrease of spending in recreation as people aged. Moreover, the survey revealed that implementing additional PE will decrease direct income tax of the government. However, forty percent of this will return in the form of indirect taxes since respondents have lower marginal propensity to save than their marginal propensity to consume, it results in a positive impact in the economy as a whole. This is done through the use of the concept of the Tax Cut Multiplier (m[tax]= -MPC/MPS effect. Given the prospective increase in PE, consumers spend their additional disposable income on basic commodities, additional clothing, recreation and excises taxed products, among others.

  17. Analysis of complete mitochondrial genome sequences increases phylogenetic resolution of bears (Ursidae, a mammalian family that experienced rapid speciation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryder Oliver A

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite the small number of ursid species, bear phylogeny has long been a focus of study due to their conservation value, as all bear genera have been classified as endangered at either the species or subspecies level. The Ursidae family represents a typical example of rapid evolutionary radiation. Previous analyses with a single mitochondrial (mt gene or a small number of mt genes either provide weak support or a large unresolved polytomy for ursids. We revisit the contentious relationships within Ursidae by analyzing complete mt genome sequences and evaluating the performance of both entire mt genomes and constituent mtDNA genes in recovering a phylogeny of extremely recent speciation events. Results This mitochondrial genome-based phylogeny provides strong evidence that the spectacled bear diverged first, while within the genus Ursus, the sloth bear is the sister taxon of all the other five ursines. The latter group is divided into the brown bear/polar bear and the two black bears/sun bear assemblages. These findings resolve the previous conflicts between trees using partial mt genes. The ability of different categories of mt protein coding genes to recover the correct phylogeny is concordant with previous analyses for taxa with deep divergence times. This study provides a robust Ursidae phylogenetic framework for future validation by additional independent evidence, and also has significant implications for assisting in the resolution of other similarly difficult phylogenetic investigations. Conclusion Identification of base composition bias and utilization of the combined data of whole mitochondrial genome sequences has allowed recovery of a strongly supported phylogeny that is upheld when using multiple alternative outgroups for the Ursidae, a mammalian family that underwent a rapid radiation since the mid- to late Pliocene. It remains to be seen if the reliability of mt genome analysis will hold up in studies of other

  18. Rapid, portable and cost-effective yeast cell viability and concentration analysis using lensfree on-chip microscopy and machine learning

    KAUST Repository

    Feizi, Alborz

    2016-09-24

    Monitoring yeast cell viability and concentration is important in brewing, baking and biofuel production. However, existing methods of measuring viability and concentration are relatively bulky, tedious and expensive. Here we demonstrate a compact and cost-effective automatic yeast analysis platform (AYAP), which can rapidly measure cell concentration and viability. AYAP is based on digital in-line holography and on-chip microscopy and rapidly images a large field-of-view of 22.5 mm2. This lens-free microscope weighs 70 g and utilizes a partially-coherent illumination source and an opto-electronic image sensor chip. A touch-screen user interface based on a tablet-PC is developed to reconstruct the holographic shadows captured by the image sensor chip and use a support vector machine (SVM) model to automatically classify live and dead cells in a yeast sample stained with methylene blue. In order to quantify its accuracy, we varied the viability and concentration of the cells and compared AYAP\\'s performance with a fluorescence exclusion staining based gold-standard using regression analysis. The results agree very well with this gold-standard method and no significant difference was observed between the two methods within a concentration range of 1.4 × 105 to 1.4 × 106 cells per mL, providing a dynamic range suitable for various applications. This lensfree computational imaging technology that is coupled with machine learning algorithms would be useful for cost-effective and rapid quantification of cell viability and density even in field and resource-poor settings.

  19. Rapid, portable and cost-effective yeast cell viability and concentration analysis using lensfree on-chip microscopy and machine learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feizi, Alborz; Zhang, Yibo; Greenbaum, Alon; Guziak, Alex; Luong, Michelle; Chan, Raymond Yan Lok; Berg, Brandon; Ozkan, Haydar; Luo, Wei; Wu, Michael; Wu, Yichen; Ozcan, Aydogan

    2016-11-01

    Monitoring yeast cell viability and concentration is important in brewing, baking and biofuel production. However, existing methods of measuring viability and concentration are relatively bulky, tedious and expensive. Here we demonstrate a compact and cost-effective automatic yeast analysis platform (AYAP), which can rapidly measure cell concentration and viability. AYAP is based on digital in-line holography and on-chip microscopy and rapidly images a large field-of-view of 22.5 mm 2 . This lens-free microscope weighs 70 g and utilizes a partially-coherent illumination source and an opto-electronic image sensor chip. A touch-screen user interface based on a tablet-PC is developed to reconstruct the holographic shadows captured by the image sensor chip and use a support vector machine (SVM) model to automatically classify live and dead cells in a yeast sample stained with methylene blue. In order to quantify its accuracy, we varied the viability and concentration of the cells and compared AYAP's performance with a fluorescence exclusion staining based gold-standard using regression analysis. The results agree very well with this gold-standard method and no significant difference was observed between the two methods within a concentration range of 1.4 × 10 5 to 1.4 × 10 6 cells per mL, providing a dynamic range suitable for various applications. This lensfree computational imaging technology that is coupled with machine learning algorithms would be useful for cost-effective and rapid quantification of cell viability and density even in field and resource-poor settings.

  20. Cost-Effectiveness and Validity Assessment of Cyscope Microscope, Quantitative Buffy Coat Microscope, and Rapid Diagnostic Kit for Malaria Diagnosis among Clinic Attendees in Ibadan, Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abiodun Ogunniyi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Unavailability of accurate, rapid, reliable, and cost-effective malaria diagnostic instruments constitutes major a challenge to malaria elimination. We validated alternative malaria diagnostic instruments and assessed their comparative cost-effectiveness. Method. Using a cross-sectional study design, 502 patients with malaria symptoms at selected health facilities in Ibadan between January and April 2014 were recruited consecutively. We examined malaria parasites using Cyscope®, QBC, and CareStart™ and results were compared to light microscopy (LM. Validity was determined by assessing sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV, and negative predictive value (NPV. Costs per hour of use for instruments and turnaround time were determined. Result. Sensitivity of the instruments was 76.0% (CareStart, 95.0% (Cyscope, and 98.1% (QBC. Specificity was 96.0% (CareStart, 87.3% (Cyscope, and 85.5% (QBC. PPV were 65.2%, 67.5%, and 84.7%, while NPV were 93.6%, 98.6%, and 99.4% for CareStart, Cyscope, and QBC with Kappa values of 0.75 (CI = 0.68–0.82 for CareStart, 0.72 (CI = 0.65–0.78 for Cyscope, and 0.71 (CI = 0.64–0.77 for QBC. Average cost per hour of use was the lowest ($2.04 with the Cyscope. Turnaround time was the fastest with Cyscope (5 minutes. Conclusion. Cyscope fluorescent microscope had the shortest turnaround time and is the most cost-effective of all the malaria diagnostic instruments evaluated.

  1. Rapid decadal convective precipitation increase over Eurasia during the last three decades of the 20th century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Hengchun; Fetzer, Eric J; Wong, Sun; Lambrigtsen, Bjorn H

    2017-01-01

    Convective precipitation-localized, short-lived, intense, and sometimes violent-is at the root of challenges associated with observation, simulation, and prediction of precipitation. The understanding of long-term changes in convective precipitation characteristics and their role in precipitation extremes and intensity over extratropical regions are imperative to future water resource management; however, they have been studied very little. We show that annual convective precipitation total has been increasing astonishingly fast, at a rate of 18.4%/°C, of which 16% is attributable to an increase in convective precipitation occurrence, and 2.4% is attributable to increased daily intensity based on the 35 years of two (combined) historical data sets of 3-hourly synoptic observations and daily precipitation. We also reveal that annual daily precipitation extreme has been increasing at a rate of about 7.4%/°C in convective events only. Concurrently, the overall increase in mean daily precipitation intensity is mostly due to increased convective precipitation, possibly at the expanse of nonconvective precipitation. As a result, transitional seasons are becoming more summer-like as convective becomes the dominant precipitation type that has accompanied higher daily extremes and intensity since the late 1980s. The data also demonstrate that increasing convective precipitation and daily extremes appear to be directly linearly associated with higher atmospheric water vapor accompanying a warming climate over northern Eurasia.

  2. Fitness costs of increased cataract frequency and cumulative radiation dose in natural mammalian populations from Chernobyl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehmann, Philipp; Boratyński, Zbyszek; Mappes, Tapio; Mousseau, Timothy A; Møller, Anders P

    2016-01-27

    A cataract is a clouding of the lens that reduces light transmission to the retina, and it decreases the visual acuity of the bearer. The prevalence of cataracts in natural populations of mammals, and their potential ecological significance, is poorly known. Cataracts have been reported to arise from high levels of oxidative stress and a major cause of oxidative stress is ionizing radiation. We investigated whether elevated frequencies of cataracts are found in eyes of bank voles Myodes glareolus collected from natural populations in areas with varying levels of background radiation in Chernobyl. We found high frequencies of cataracts in voles collected from different areas in Chernobyl. The frequency of cataracts was positively correlated with age, and in females also with the accumulated radiation dose. Furthermore, the number of offspring in female voles was negatively correlated with cataract severity. The results suggest that cataracts primarily develop as a function of ionizing background radiation, most likely as a plastic response to high levels of oxidative stress. It is therefore possible that the elevated levels of background radiation in Chernobyl affect the ecology and fitness of local mammals both directly through, for instance, reduced fertility and indirectly, through increased cataractogenesis.

  3. Cost of lower NO x emissions: Increased CO 2 emissions from heavy-duty diesel engines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnamurthy, Mohan; Carder, Daniel K.; Thompson, Gregory; Gautam, Mridul

    This paper highlights the effect of emissions regulations on in-use emissions from heavy-duty vehicles powered by different model year engines. More importantly, fuel economy data for pre- and post-consent decree engines are compared. The objective of this study was to determine the changes in brake-specific emissions of NO x as a result of emission regulations, and to highlight the effect these have had on brake-specific CO 2 emission; hence, fuel consumption. For this study, in-use, on-road emission measurements were collected. Test vehicles were instrumented with a portable on-board tailpipe emissions measurement system, WVU's Mobile Emissions Measurement System, and were tested on specific routes, which included a mix of highway and city driving patterns, in order to collect engine operating conditions, vehicle speed, and in-use emission rates of CO 2 and NO x. Comparison of on-road in-use emissions data suggests NO x reductions as high as 80% and 45% compared to the US Federal Test Procedure and Not-to-Exceed standards for model year 1995-2002. However, the results indicate that the fuel consumption; hence, CO 2 emissions increased by approximately 10% over the same period, when the engines were operating in the Not-to-Exceed region.

  4. Does plasticity in plant physiological traits explain the rapid increase in water use efficiency? An ecohydrological modeling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastrotheodoros, Theodoros; Fatichi, Simone; Pappas, Christoforos; Molnar, Peter; Burlando, Paolo

    2016-04-01

    The rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration is expected to stimulate plant productivity by enhancing photosynthesis and reducing stomatal conductance and thus increasing plant water use efficiency (WUE) worldwide. An analysis of eddy covariance flux tower data from 21 forested ecosystems across the north hemisphere detected an unexpectedly large increase in WUE (Keenan et al, 2013), which was six times larger than the increase found by most previous studies based on controlled experiments (e.g., FACE), leaf-scale analyses, and numerical modelling. This increase could be solely attributed to the increase in atmospheric CO2 since other confounding factors were ruled out. Here, we investigate the potential contribution of plant plasticity, reflected in the temporal adjustment of major plant physiological traits, on changes in WUE using the ecohydrological model Tethys and Chloris (T&C). We hypothesize that the increase in WUE can be attributed to small variations in plant physiological traits, undetectable through observations, eventually triggered by the atmospheric CO2 increase. Data from the 21 sites in the above mentioned study are used to force the model. Simulation results with and without plasticity in the physiological traits (i.e., model parameters in our numerical experiments) are compared with the observed trends in WUE. We test several plant adaptation strategies in being effective in explaining the observed increase in WUE using a multifactorial numerical experiment in which we perturb in a systematic way selected plant parameters. Keenan, T. F., Hollinger, D. Y., Bohrer, G., Dragoni, D., Munger, J. W., Schmid, H. P., and Richardson, A. D. (2013). Increase in forest water-use efficiency as atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations rise. Nature, 499(7458), 324-7.

  5. Promoting Approaches For Increasing The Cost-Efficiency Of Energy Wood And Pulpwood Harvesting In Young Stands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oikari, Markku; Palander, Teijo; Ovaskainen, Heikki (Univ. of Joensuu, Faculty of Forest Science FI-80101 Joensuu (Finland)); Kaerhae, Kalle (Metsaeteho Oy , FI-00171 Helsinki (Finland))

    2008-10-15

    Potential approaches for increasing the cost-efficiency of energy wood and industrial roundwood (i.e. pulpwood) harvesting from early thinnings in Finland were ranked in the survey carried out by Metsaeteho Oy and the University of Joensuu. The study was implemented by conducting personal interviews. Research data, based on a total of 40 interviews, were collected during January and February, 2008. In this study, employment, education, and operator issues proved to be of decisive importance for improving energy wood and industrial roundwood harvesting. In the opinion of the respondents, there is considerable potential for increasing the cost-efficiency of wood harvesting by improving harvesting conditions (i.e. effective tending of seedling stands, delaying harvesting operations, pre-clearance of undergrowth, and new wood production methods). The interviewees also stressed that harvesting methods can be rationalized, e.g. multiple-tree handling in industrial roundwood cuttings, integrated pulpwood and energy wood harvesting, and grapple scale measuring. If the most potential methods and techniques were utilized completely in wood harvesting, then there would be significant possibilities for cost savings in young stands. Based on the suggestions of this study, the most profitable guidelines should be utilized immediately

  6. A wider pelvis does not increase locomotor cost in humans, with implications for the evolution of childbirth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna G Warrener

    Full Text Available The shape of the human female pelvis is thought to reflect an evolutionary trade-off between two competing demands: a pelvis wide enough to permit the birth of large-brained infants, and narrow enough for efficient bipedal locomotion. This trade-off, known as the obstetrical dilemma, is invoked to explain the relative difficulty of human childbirth and differences in locomotor performance between men and women. The basis for the obstetrical dilemma is a standard static biomechanical model that predicts wider pelves in females increase the metabolic cost of locomotion by decreasing the effective mechanical advantage of the hip abductor muscles for pelvic stabilization during the single-leg support phase of walking and running, requiring these muscles to produce more force. Here we experimentally test this model against a more accurate dynamic model of hip abductor mechanics in men and women. The results show that pelvic width does not predict hip abductor mechanics or locomotor cost in either women or men, and that women and men are equally efficient at both walking and running. Since a wider birth canal does not increase a woman's locomotor cost, and because selection for successful birthing must be strong, other factors affecting maternal pelvic and fetal size should be investigated in order to help explain the prevalence of birth complications caused by a neonate too large to fit through the birth canal.

  7. A biodegradable colorimetric film for rapid low-cost field determination of formaldehyde contamination by digital image colorimetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wongniramaikul, Worawit; Limsakul, Wadcharawadee; Choodum, Aree

    2018-05-30

    A biodegradable colorimetric film was fabricated on the lid of portable tube for in-tube formaldehyde detection. Based on the entrapment of colorimetric reagents within a thin film of tapioca starch, the yellow reaction product was observed with formaldehyde. Intensity of the blue channel from the digital image of yellow product showed a linear relationship in the range of 0-25 mg L -1 with low detection limit of 0.7 ± 0.1 mg L -1 . Inter-day precision of 0.61-3.10%RSD were obtained with less than 4.2% relative error from control samples. The developed method was applied for various food samples in Phuket and formaldehyde concentration range was non-detectable to 1.413 mg kg -1 . The quantified concentrations of formaldehyde in fish and squid samples provided relative errors of -7.7% and +10.8% compared to spectrophotometry. This low cost sensor (∼0.04 USD/test) with digital image colorimetry was thus an effective alternative for formaldehyde detection in food sample. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Simple, rapid and cost-effective method for high quality nucleic acids extraction from different strains of Botryococcus braunii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Byung-Hyuk Kim

    Full Text Available This study deals with an effective nucleic acids extraction method from various strains of Botryococcus braunii which possesses an extensive extracellular matrix. A method combining freeze/thaw and bead-beating with heterogeneous diameter of silica/zirconia beads was optimized to isolate DNA and RNA from microalgae, especially from B. braunii. Eukaryotic Microalgal Nucleic Acids Extraction (EMNE method developed in this study showed at least 300 times higher DNA yield in all strains of B. braunii with high integrity and 50 times reduced working volume compared to commercially available DNA extraction kits. High quality RNA was also extracted using this method and more than two times the yield compared to existing methods. Real-time experiments confirmed the quality and quantity of the input DNA and RNA extracted using EMNE method. The method was also applied to other eukaryotic microalgae, such as diatoms, Chlamydomonas sp., Chlorella sp., and Scenedesmus sp. resulting in higher efficiencies. Cost-effectiveness analysis of DNA extraction by various methods revealed that EMNE method was superior to commercial kits and other reported methods by >15%. This method would immensely contribute to area of microalgal genomics.

  9. Increasing magnitude of Hurricane Rapid Intensification in the central-eastern Atlantic over the past 30 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, L. R.; Balaguru, K.; Foltz, G. R.

    2017-12-01

    During the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, several hurricanes underwent rapid intensification (RI) in the central-eastern Atlantic. This motivates an analysis of trends in the strength of hurricane RI during the 30-year post-satellite period of 1986-2015. Our results show that in the eastern tropical Atlantic, to the east of 60W, the mean RI magnitude averaged during 2001-2015 was 3.8 kt per 24 hr higher than during 1986-2000. However, in the western tropical Atlantic, to the west of 60W, changes in RI magnitude over the same period were not statistically significant. We examined the large-scale environment to understand the causes behind these changes in RI magnitude and found that various oceanic and atmospheric parameters that play an important role in RI changed favorably in the eastern tropical Atlantic. More specifically, changes in SST, Potential Intensity, upper-ocean heat content, wind shear, relative humidity and upper-level divergence enhanced the ability for hurricanes to undergo RI in the eastern tropical Atlantic. In contrast, changes in the same factors are inconsistent in the western tropical Atlantic. While changes in SST and Potential Intensity were positive, changes in upper-ocean heat content, wind shear and upper-level divergence were either insignificant or unfavorable for RI. Finally, we examined the potential role of various climate phenomena, which are well-known to impact Atlantic hurricane activity, in causing the changes in the large-scale environment. Our analysis reveals that changes in the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation over the 30-year period are predominantly responsible. These results provide important aspects of the large-scale context to understand the Atlantic hurricane season of 2017.

  10. Transnasal Humidified Rapid-Insufflation Ventilatory Exchange (THRIVE): a physiological method of increasing apnoea time in patients with difficult airways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, A; Nouraei, S A R

    2015-03-01

    Emergency and difficult tracheal intubations are hazardous undertakings where successive laryngoscopy-hypoxaemia-re-oxygenation cycles can escalate to airway loss and the 'can't intubate, can't ventilate' scenario. Between 2013 and 2014, we extended the apnoea times of 25 patients with difficult airways who were undergoing general anaesthesia for hypopharyngeal or laryngotracheal surgery. This was achieved through continuous delivery of transnasal high-flow humidified oxygen, initially to provide pre-oxygenation, and continuing as post-oxygenation during intravenous induction of anaesthesia and neuromuscular blockade until a definitive airway was secured. Apnoea time commenced at administration of neuromuscular blockade and ended with commencement of jet ventilation, positive-pressure ventilation or recommencement of spontaneous ventilation. During this time, upper airway patency was maintained with jaw-thrust. Transnasal Humidified Rapid-Insufflation Ventilatory Exchange (THRIVE) was used in 15 males and 10 females. Mean (SD [range]) age at treatment was 49 (15 [25-81]) years. The median (IQR [range]) Mallampati grade was 3 (2-3 [2-4]) and direct laryngoscopy grade was 3 (3-3 [2-4]). There were 12 obese patients and nine patients were stridulous. The median (IQR [range]) apnoea time was 14 (9-19 [5-65]) min. No patient experienced arterial desaturation gaseous exchange through flow-dependent deadspace flushing. It has the potential to transform the practice of anaesthesia by changing the nature of securing a definitive airway in emergency and difficult intubations from a pressured stop-start process to a smooth and unhurried undertaking. © 2014 The Authors Anaesthesia published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.

  11. Increasing the competitiveness of maintenance contract rates by using an alternative methodology for the calculation of average vehicle maintenance costs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Carstens

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Companies tend to outsource transport to fleet management companies to increase efficiencies if transport is a non-core activity. The provision of fleet management services on contract introduces a certain amount of financial risk to the fleet management company, specifically fixed rate maintenance contracts. The quoted rate needs to be sufficient and also competitive in the market. Currently the quoted maintenance rates are based on the maintenance specifications of the manufacturer and the risk management approach of the fleet management company. This is usually reflected in a contingency that is included in the quoted maintenance rate. An alternative methodology for calculating the average maintenance cost for a vehicle fleet is proposed based on the actual maintenance expenditures of the vehicles and accepted statistical techniques. The proposed methodology results in accurate estimates (and associated confidence limits of the true average maintenance cost and can beused as a basis for the maintenance quote.

  12. The Effect of Rapid Antigen Detection Test on Antibiotic Prescription Decision of Clinicians and Reducing Antibiotic Costs in Children with Acute Pharyngitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kose, Engin; Sirin Kose, Seda; Akca, Deniz; Yildiz, Kerem; Elmas, Cengizhan; Baris, Mustafa; Anil, Murat

    2016-08-01

    We aimed to investigate the effect of rapid antigen detection test (RADT) in the diagnosis of streptococcal pharyngitis, its impact on antibiotic prescription decision of pediatricians and influence on reduction of antibiotic treatment costs in children with pharyngitis. The study group consisted of 223 patients who were diagnosed with pharyngitis by pediatricians. The sensitivity and specificity of RADT were 92.1% (95% Cl: 78.6-98.3%) and 97.3% (95% Cl: 93.8-99.1%), respectively. In the first assessment, before performing RADT, pediatricians decided to prescribe antibiotics for 178 (79.8%) patients with pharyngitis. After learning RADT results, pediatricians finally decided to prescribe antibiotics for 83 (37.2%) patients with pharyngitis, and antibiotic prescription decreased by 42.6%. Antibiotic costs in non-Group A streptococcus pharyngitis, Group A streptococcus pharyngitis and all subjects groups decreased by 80.8%, 48%, and 76.4%, respectively. Performing RADT in children with pharyngitis has an important impact on treatment decision of clinicians, reduction of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions and antibiotic costs. © The Author [2016]. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Enduring increases in anxiety-like behavior and rapid nucleus accumbens dopamine signaling in socially isolated rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yorgason, Jordan T; España, Rodrigo A; Konstantopoulos, Joanne K; Weiner, Jeffrey L; Jones, Sara R

    2013-03-01

    Social isolation (SI) rearing, a model of early life stress, results in profound behavioral alterations, including increased anxiety-like behavior, impaired sensorimotor gating and increased self-administration of addictive substances. These changes are accompanied by alterations in mesolimbic dopamine function, such as increased dopamine and metabolite tissue content, increased dopamine responses to cues and psychostimulants, and increased dopamine neuron burst firing. Using voltammetric techniques, we examined the effects of SI rearing on dopamine transporter activity, vesicular release and dopamine D2-type autoreceptor activity in the nucleus accumbens core. Long-Evans rats were housed in group (GH; 4/cage) or SI (1/cage) conditions from weaning into early adulthood [postnatal day (PD) 28-77]. After this initial housing period, rats were assessed on the elevated plus-maze for an anxiety-like phenotype, and then slice voltammetry experiments were performed. To study the enduring effects of SI rearing on anxiety-like behavior and dopamine terminal function, another cohort of similarly reared rats was isolated for an additional 4 months (until PD 174) and then tested. Our findings demonstrate that SI rearing results in lasting increases in anxiety-like behavior, dopamine release and dopamine transporter activity, but not D2 activity. Interestingly, GH-reared rats that were isolated as adults did not develop the anxiety-like behavior or dopamine changes seen in SI-reared rats. Together, our data suggest that early life stress results in an anxiety-like phenotype, with lasting increases in dopamine terminal function. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  14. Rapid Increases in forest understory diversity and productivity following a mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae outbreak in pine forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory J Pec

    Full Text Available The current unprecedented outbreak of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta forests of western Canada has resulted in a landscape consisting of a mosaic of forest stands at different stages of mortality. Within forest stands, understory communities are the reservoir of the majority of plant species diversity and influence the composition of future forests in response to disturbance. Although changes to stand composition following beetle outbreaks are well documented, information on immediate responses of forest understory plant communities is limited. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of D. ponderosae-induced tree mortality on initial changes in diversity and productivity of understory plant communities. We established a total of 110 1-m2 plots across eleven mature lodgepole pine forests to measure changes in understory diversity and productivity as a function of tree mortality and below ground resource availability across multiple years. Overall, understory community diversity and productivity increased across the gradient of increased tree mortality. Richness of herbaceous perennials increased with tree mortality as well as soil moisture and nutrient levels. In contrast, the diversity of woody perennials did not change across the gradient of tree mortality. Understory vegetation, namely herbaceous perennials, showed an immediate response to improved growing conditions caused by increases in tree mortality. How this increased pulse in understory richness and productivity affects future forest trajectories in a novel system is unknown.

  15. Rapid Increases in forest understory diversity and productivity following a mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) outbreak in pine forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pec, Gregory J; Karst, Justine; Sywenky, Alexandra N; Cigan, Paul W; Erbilgin, Nadir; Simard, Suzanne W; Cahill, James F

    2015-01-01

    The current unprecedented outbreak of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) forests of western Canada has resulted in a landscape consisting of a mosaic of forest stands at different stages of mortality. Within forest stands, understory communities are the reservoir of the majority of plant species diversity and influence the composition of future forests in response to disturbance. Although changes to stand composition following beetle outbreaks are well documented, information on immediate responses of forest understory plant communities is limited. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of D. ponderosae-induced tree mortality on initial changes in diversity and productivity of understory plant communities. We established a total of 110 1-m2 plots across eleven mature lodgepole pine forests to measure changes in understory diversity and productivity as a function of tree mortality and below ground resource availability across multiple years. Overall, understory community diversity and productivity increased across the gradient of increased tree mortality. Richness of herbaceous perennials increased with tree mortality as well as soil moisture and nutrient levels. In contrast, the diversity of woody perennials did not change across the gradient of tree mortality. Understory vegetation, namely herbaceous perennials, showed an immediate response to improved growing conditions caused by increases in tree mortality. How this increased pulse in understory richness and productivity affects future forest trajectories in a novel system is unknown.

  16. Activity-based Management of Logistic Costs in a Manufacturing Company: A Case of Increased Visibility of Logistics Costs in a Slovenian Paper Manufacturing Company

    OpenAIRE

    Julijana Krajnc; Klavdij Logožar; Bojana Korošec

    2012-01-01

    Both the transparent reporting of logistics costs and the related accounting of their cost drivers present a significant factor for the successful management of material flows and the related logistics activities in production companies. These costs, which are mainly reported as part of overhead (indirect) costs in such companies, usually remain hidden or are not explicitly visible when the traditional method of accounting is applied. The aim of this research is to create a model of activity-...

  17. Asynchronous hatching provides females with a means for increasing male care but incurs a cost by reducing offspring fitness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, L E; Smiseth, P T

    2016-02-01

    In species with biparental care, sexual conflict occurs because the benefit of care depends on the total amount of care provided by the two parents while the cost of care depends on each parent's own contribution. Asynchronous hatching may play a role in mediating the resolution of this conflict over parental care. The sexual conflict hypothesis for the evolution of asynchronous hatching suggests that females adjust hatching patterns in order to increase male parental effort relative to female effort. We tested this hypothesis in the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides by setting up experimental broods with three different hatching patterns: synchronous, asynchronous and highly asynchronous broods. As predicted, we found that males provided care for longer in asynchronous broods whereas the opposite was true of females. However, we did not find any benefit to females of reducing their duration of care in terms of increased lifespan or reduced mass loss during breeding. We found substantial negative effects of hatching asynchrony on offspring fitness as larval mass was lower and fewer larvae survived to dispersal in highly asynchronous broods compared to synchronous or asynchronous broods. Our results suggest that, even though females can increase male parental effort by hatching their broods more asynchronously, females pay a substantial cost from doing so in terms of reducing offspring growth and survival. Thus, females should be under selection to produce a hatching pattern that provides the best possible trade-off between the benefits of increased male parental effort and the costs due to reduced offspring fitness. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  18. Programme level implementation of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) use: outcomes and cost of training health workers at lower level health care facilities in Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyabayinze, Daniel J; Asiimwe, Caroline; Nakanjako, Damalie; Nabakooza, Jane; Bajabaite, Moses; Strachan, Clare; Tibenderana, James K; Van Geetruyden, Jean Pierre

    2012-04-20

    The training of health workers in the use of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) is an important component of a wider strategy to improve parasite-based malaria diagnosis at lower level health care facilities (LLHFs) where microscopy is not readily available for all patients with suspected malaria. This study describes the process and cost of training to attain competence of lower level health workers to perform malaria RDTs in a public health system setting in eastern Uganda. Health workers from 21 health facilities in Uganda were given a one-day central training on the use of RDTs in malaria case management, including practical skills on how to perform read and interpret the test results. Successful trainees subsequently integrated the use of RDTs into their routine care for febrile patients at their LLHFs and transferred their acquired skills to colleagues (cascade training model). A cross-sectional evaluation of the health workers' competence in performing RDTs was conducted six weeks following the training, incorporating observation, in-depth interviews with health workers and the review of health facility records relating to tests offered and antimalarial drug (AMD) prescriptions pre and post training. The direct costs relating to the training processes were also documented. Overall, 135 health workers were trained including 63 (47%) nursing assistants, a group of care providers without formal medical training. All trainees passed the post-training concordance test with ≥ 80% except 12 that required re-training. Six weeks after the one-day training, 51/64 (80%) of the health workers accurately performed the critical steps in performing the RDT. The performance was similar among the 10 (16%) participants who were peer-trained by their trained colleagues. Only 9 (14%) did not draw the appropriate amount of blood using pipette. The average cost of the one-day training was US$ 101 (range $92-$112), with the main cost drivers being trainee travel and per

  19. Programme level implementation of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs use: outcomes and cost of training health workers at lower level health care facilities in Uganda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyabayinze Daniel J

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The training of health workers in the use of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs is an important component of a wider strategy to improve parasite-based malaria diagnosis at lower level health care facilities (LLHFs where microscopy is not readily available for all patients with suspected malaria. This study describes the process and cost of training to attain competence of lower level health workers to perform malaria RDTs in a public health system setting in eastern Uganda. Methods Health workers from 21 health facilities in Uganda were given a one-day central training on the use of RDTs in malaria case management, including practical skills on how to perform read and interpret the test results. Successful trainees subsequently integrated the use of RDTs into their routine care for febrile patients at their LLHFs and transferred their acquired skills to colleagues (cascade training model. A cross-sectional evaluation of the health workers’ competence in performing RDTs was conducted six weeks following the training, incorporating observation, in-depth interviews with health workers and the review of health facility records relating to tests offered and antimalarial drug (AMD prescriptions pre and post training. The direct costs relating to the training processes were also documented. Results Overall, 135 health workers were trained including 63 (47% nursing assistants, a group of care providers without formal medical training. All trainees passed the post-training concordance test with ≥ 80% except 12 that required re-training. Six weeks after the one-day training, 51/64 (80% of the health workers accurately performed the critical steps in performing the RDT. The performance was similar among the 10 (16% participants who were peer-trained by their trained colleagues. Only 9 (14% did not draw the appropriate amount of blood using pipette. The average cost of the one-day training was US$ 101 (range $92-$112, with the

  20. Post-Mesozoic Rapid Increase of Seawater Mg/Ca due to Enhanced Mantle-Seawater Interaction

    OpenAIRE

    Marco Ligi; Enrico Bonatti; Marco Cuffaro; Daniele Brunelli

    2013-01-01

    The seawater Mg/Ca ratio increased significantly from ~ 80?Ma to present, as suggested by studies of carbonate veins in oceanic basalts and of fluid inclusions in halite. We show here that reactions of mantle-derived peridotites with seawater along slow spreading mid-ocean ridges contributed to the post-Cretaceous Mg/Ca increase. These reactions can release to modern seawater up to 20% of the yearly Mg river input. However, no significant peridotite-seawater interaction and Mg-release to the ...

  1. Impaired gait function in adults with cerebral palsy is associated with reduced rapid force generation and increased passive stiffness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geertsen, Svend Sparre; Kirk, Henrik; Lorentzen, Jakob

    2015-01-01

    analysis of the ankle joint during treadmill walking was obtained by 3-D motion analysis. RESULTS: Passive stiffness was significantly increased in adults with CP compared to controls. Passive stiffness and RFDdf were correlated to reduced toe lift. RFDpf provided the best correlation to push-off velocity...

  2. Characterization of apoplast phenolics: Invitro oxidation of acetosyringone results in a rapid prolonged increase in the redox potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    In a previous study we observed that if tobacco cell suspensions were inoculated with certain bacterial strains, several hours later the redox potential of the suspensions would increase (oxidative), as much as 100 mV, and in some cases last more than an hour. To discover possible contributors to t...

  3. Rapid increase in lymphogranuloma venereum in men who have sex with men, United Kingdom, 2003 to September 2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Childs, Tristan; Simms, Ian; Alexander, Sarah; Eastick, Kirstine; Hughes, Gwenda; Field, Nigel

    2015-01-01

    United Kingdom (UK) national data show a sharp increase in diagnoses of lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) since 2012. Most cases are in men who have sex with men (MSM) living in London, with high rates of co-infection with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. In light of these data, and the recent finding that one quarter of LGV infections may be asymptomatic, clinicians should be vigilant in testing for LGV, including in asymptomatic HIV-positive MSM.

  4. Post-Mesozoic Rapid Increase of Seawater Mg/Ca due to Enhanced Mantle-Seawater Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligi, Marco; Bonatti, Enrico; Cuffaro, Marco; Brunelli, Daniele

    2013-01-01

    The seawater Mg/Ca ratio increased significantly from ~ 80 Ma to present, as suggested by studies of carbonate veins in oceanic basalts and of fluid inclusions in halite. We show here that reactions of mantle-derived peridotites with seawater along slow spreading mid-ocean ridges contributed to the post-Cretaceous Mg/Ca increase. These reactions can release to modern seawater up to 20% of the yearly Mg river input. However, no significant peridotite-seawater interaction and Mg-release to the ocean occur in fast spreading, East Pacific Rise-type ridges. The Mesozoic Pangean superocean implies a hot fast spreading ridge system. This prevented peridotite-seawater interaction and Mg release to the Mesozoic ocean, but favored hydrothermal Mg capture and Ca release by the basaltic crust, resulting in a low seawater Mg/Ca ratio. Continent dispersal and development of slow spreading ridges allowed Mg release to the ocean by peridotite-seawater reactions, contributing to the increase of the Mg/Ca ratio of post-Mesozoic seawater. PMID:24067442

  5. Trends in the incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancer in Denmark 1978-2007: Rapid incidence increase among young Danish women

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Birch-Johansen, Fatima; Jensen, Allan; Mortensen, Lone

    2010-01-01

    Nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is the most common cancer among Caucasian populations worldwide, and incidence rates are increasing. However, NMSC data are not routinely collected by cancer registries, but Denmark has extensive registration of NMSC in two nationwide population-based registries. We...... assessed incidence trends of NMSC in Denmark from 1978 to 2007. Data for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) were obtained from the Danish Cancer Registry and the Danish Registry of Pathology. For both genders, age-specific incidence rates and overall incidence rates, age...

  6. Rapid increase of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate in the HeLa cells after hypergravity exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumei, Yasuhiro; Whitson, Peggy A.; Cintron, Nitza M.; Sato, Atsushige

    1990-01-01

    The IP3 level in HeLa cells has been elevated through the application in hypergravity in a time-dependent manner. The data obtained for the hydrolytic products of PIP2, IP3, and DG are noted to modulate c-myc gene expression. It is also established that the cAMP accumulation by the IBMX in hypergravity-exposed cells was suppressed relative to the control. In light of IP3 increase and cAMP decrease results, a single GTP-binding protein may play a role in the hypergravity signal transduction of HeLa cells by stimulating PLC while inhibiting adenylate cyclase.

  7. Rapid Prototyping Laboratory

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The ARDEC Rapid Prototyping (RP) Laboratory was established in December 1992 to provide low cost RP capabilities to the ARDEC engineering community. The Stratasys,...

  8. Alcohol consumption in Polish middle and high school pupils – has this rapidly increased during 2009–11?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulina Wojtyła-Buciora

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available [b]Introduction.[/b] The dynamic rise of alcohol consumption in adolescents is a matter of serious concern, requiring frequently updated monitoring. By such means, it is possible to optimise preventative measures for dealing with this problem. [b]Objective[/b]. To estimate the magnitude/amount and frequency of alcohol consumed by middle and high school pupils in Poland, including the circumstances when alcohol was first drunk. [b]Materials and Methods[/b]. A randomised survey was performed throughout Poland on middle school (junior high school pupils, (n=9360 in 2009, followed by both middle and high school pupils in 2011 (n=7971. The questionnaire was devised by the Polish Chief Sanitary Inspectorate (GIS. [b]Results[/b]. A strikingly sharp increase in alcohol consumption (29% was observed in subjects between 2009 – 2011. In the latter year, 1 month prior to survey, respectively, 50% and 71% of middle school and high school pupils drank alcohol, and correspondingly, 36% and 63% of these pupils ever became intoxicated/drunk. [b]Conclusions[/b]. 1 Adolescent alcohol consumption increases with age and is highest in girls. Monitoring as well as in-depth analysis thus becomes necessary. 2 Systematic monitoring and analysis of changing healthy lifestyle behaviour should be used for taking the necessary corrective action. This should happen concurrently and consist of planned health education programmes, including health promotion.

  9. Rapid increases in permeability and porosity of bentonite-sand mixtures due to alteration by water vapor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Couture, R.A.

    1984-01-01

    Packed columns of canister packing material containing 25% bentonite and 75% quartz or basalt sand, were exposed to water vapor at temperatures up t 260 0 C. The permeabilities of the columns were subsequently measured after complete saturation with liquid water in a pressurized system. Exposure to water vapor caused irreversible increases in permeability by factors of up to 10 5 . After saturation with liquid water, the permeability was nearly independent of temperature. The increases in permeability were due to a large decrease in the ability of the bentonite to swell in water. Calculations suggest that swelling of bentonite altered at 250 0 C was not sufficient to fill the pore spaces. If the pore spaces are filled, the mixture will form an effective barrier against flow, diffusion, and transport of colloids. The results suggest that if bentonite-based canister packing material is exposed even briefly to water vapor at high temperatures in a high-level nuclear waste repository, its performance will be seriously impaired. The problem is less severe if the proportion of bentonite is high and the material is highly compacted. Previous results show significant degradation of bentonite by water vapor at temperatures as low as 150 0 C. This suggests that in some repositories, backfill in tunnels and drifts may also be affected. 9 references, 5 figures, 1 table

  10. A Boom for Whom? Exploring the Impacts of a Rapid Increase in the Male Population Upon Women's Services in Darwin, Northern Territory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ennis, Gretchen; Tofa, Matalena; Finlayson, Mary; U'Ren, Julie

    2016-05-03

    A rapidly expanding natural-resource extraction industry and a growing military presence mean an increasingly male-skewed population for the city of Darwin, Australia. This has sparked concerns about the potential for increased violence against women. In this article, we present qualitative research detailing the views of 13 participants from 10 women's support services in the Darwin area. We argue that women's support services bear witness to and are tasked with responding to the impacts of population change on women, yet their work is undermined by uncertainties that stem from neoliberal funding rationales and limited demands on companies to address social issues. © The Author(s) 2016.

  11. Going for increased recycling. A social cost-benefit analysis; Inzetten op meer recycling. Een maatschappelijke kosten-batenanalyse

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Warringa, G.E.A.; De Bruyn, M.; Bijleveld, M.M.

    2013-05-15

    While the environmental benefits of scenarios geared to increased recycling have been convincingly demonstrated by previous studies, the question arises whether such scenarios bring economic benefits, too. This study therefore assesses the main economic effects of increased recycling in the Netherlands, providing data that can be used to advance policy development in this area. To address the main issue we performed a social cost-benefit analysis (SCBA), a welfare-theory-based tool that can be used to chart the full range of economic impacts ('welfare impacts') of a project or policy intervention. In doing so, a broad definition of welfare is adopted, encompassing not only financial and economic consequences, but also environmental and employment impacts and so on. Using SimaPro, all the environmental interventions inventoried (including energy consumption, transport and recycling process emissions) were assessed for each individual material flow, with impacts being expressed as far as possible in monetary terms to enable comparison. The main social costs of increased recycling are the higher costs for local authorities associated with separate waste collection. There is also reduced revenue for waste incinerators, because more waste will need to be imported from abroad. Finally, there are the policy costs of incentives for increased recycling and extra efforts to induce citizens to separate their waste. The latter costs were not quantified. Over and against these costs are positive welfare impacts. The main benefits are environmental, expressed monetarily in the present study in terms of avoided damage costs for society as a whole and avoided measures for securing government reduction targets. In addition, the separated waste has a value, reflected in lower processing costs. Increased recycling also creates new jobs, while recycling firms generate more profit than waste incinerators. Finally, there are the benefits accruing from greater innovation and

  12. A rapid culture system uninfluenced by an inoculum effect increases reliability and convenience for drug susceptibility testing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Yong-Gyun; Kim, Hyejin; Lee, Sangyeop; Kim, Suyeoun; Jo, EunJi; Kim, Eun-Geun; Choi, Jungil; Kim, Hyun Jung; Yoo, Jungheon; Lee, Hye-Jeong; Kim, Haeun; Jung, Hyunju; Ryoo, Sungweon; Kwon, Sunghoon

    2018-06-05

    The Disc Agarose Channel (DAC) system utilizes microfluidics and imaging technologies and is fully automated and capable of tracking single cell growth to produce Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) drug susceptibility testing (DST) results within 3~7 days. In particular, this system can be easily used to perform DSTs without the fastidious preparation of the inoculum of MTB cells. Inoculum effect is one of the major problems that causes DST errors. The DAC system was not influenced by the inoculum effect and produced reliable DST results. In this system, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of the first-line drugs were consistent regardless of inoculum sizes ranging from ~10 3 to ~10 8 CFU/mL. The consistent MIC results enabled us to determine the critical concentrations for 12 anti-tuberculosis drugs. Based on the determined critical concentrations, further DSTs were performed with 254 MTB clinical isolates without measuring an inoculum size. There were high agreement rates (96.3%) between the DAC system and the absolute concentration method using Löwenstein-Jensen medium. According to these results, the DAC system is the first DST system that is not affected by the inoculum effect. It can thus increase reliability and convenience for DST of MTB. We expect that this system will be a potential substitute for conventional DST systems.

  13. A Cost-effective Method for Resolution Increase of the Twostage Piecewise Linear ADC Used for Sensor Linearization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jovanović Jelena

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available A cost-effective method for resolution increase of a two-stage piecewise linear analog-to-digital converter used for sensor linearization is proposed in this paper. In both conversion stages flash analog-to-digital converters are employed. Resolution increase by one bit per conversion stage is performed by introducing one additional comparator in front of each of two flash analog-to-digital converters, while the converters’ resolutions remain the same. As a result, the number of employed comparators, as well as the circuit complexity and the power consumption originating from employed comparators are for almost 50 % lower in comparison to the same parameters referring to the linearization circuit of the conventional design and of the same resolution. Since the number of employed comparators is significantly reduced according to the proposed method, special modifications of the linearization circuit are needed in order to properly adjust reference voltages of employed comparators.

  14. Rapid Increase in Genome Size as a Consequence of Transposable Element Hyperactivity in Wood-White (Leptidea) Butterflies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talla, Venkat; Suh, Alexander; Kalsoom, Faheema; Dinca, Vlad; Vila, Roger; Friberg, Magne; Wiklund, Christer; Backström, Niclas

    2017-10-01

    Characterizing and quantifying genome size variation among organisms and understanding if genome size evolves as a consequence of adaptive or stochastic processes have been long-standing goals in evolutionary biology. Here, we investigate genome size variation and association with transposable elements (TEs) across lepidopteran lineages using a novel genome assembly of the common wood-white (Leptidea sinapis) and population re-sequencing data from both L. sinapis and the closely related L. reali and L. juvernica together with 12 previously available lepidopteran genome assemblies. A phylogenetic analysis confirms established relationships among species, but identifies previously unknown intraspecific structure within Leptidea lineages. The genome assembly of L. sinapis is one of the largest of any lepidopteran taxon so far (643 Mb) and genome size is correlated with abundance of TEs, both in Lepidoptera in general and within Leptidea where L. juvernica from Kazakhstan has considerably larger genome size than any other Leptidea population. Specific TE subclasses have been active in different Lepidoptera lineages with a pronounced expansion of predominantly LINEs, DNA elements, and unclassified TEs in the Leptidea lineage after the split from other Pieridae. The rate of genome expansion in Leptidea in general has been in the range of four Mb/Million year (My), with an increase in a particular L. juvernica population to 72 Mb/My. The considerable differences in accumulation rates of specific TE classes in different lineages indicate that TE activity plays a major role in genome size evolution in butterflies and moths. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  15. Rapid extirpation of a North American frog coincides with an increase in fungal pathogen prevalence: Historical analysis and implications for reintroduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Andrea J; Pessier, Allan P; Briggs, Cheryl J

    2017-12-01

    As extinctions continue across the globe, conservation biologists are turning to species reintroduction programs as one optimistic tool for addressing the biodiversity crisis. For repatriation to become a viable strategy, fundamental prerequisites include determining the causes of declines and assessing whether the causes persist in the environment. Invasive species-especially pathogens-are an increasingly significant factor contributing to biodiversity loss. We hypothesized that Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the causative agent of the deadly amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, was important in the rapid (herpetological experts, analysis of archived field notes and museum specimen collections, and field sampling of the extant amphibian assemblage to examine (1) historical relative abundance of R. boylii ; (2) potential causes of R. boylii declines; and (3) historical and contemporary prevalence of Bd. We found that R. boylii were relatively abundant prior to their rapid extirpation, and an increase in Bd prevalence coincided with R. boylii declines during a time of rapid change in the region, wherein backcountry recreation, urban development, and the amphibian pet trade were all on the rise. In addition, extreme flooding during the winter of 1969 coincided with localized extirpations in R. boylii populations observed by interview respondents. We conclude that Bd likely played an important role in the rapid extirpation of R. boylii from southern California and that multiple natural and anthropogenic factors may have worked in concert to make this possible in a relatively short period of time. This study emphasizes the importance of recognizing historical ecological contexts in making future management and reintroduction decisions.

  16. Strict adherence to malaria rapid test results might lead to a neglect of other dangerous diseases: a cost benefit analysis from Burkina Faso

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tinto Halidou

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs have generally been found reliable and cost-effective. In Burkina Faso, the adherence of prescribers to the negative test result was found to be poor. Moreover, the test accuracy for malaria-attributable fever (MAF is not the same as for malaria infection. This paper aims at determining the costs and benefits of two competing strategies for the management of MAF: presumptive treatment for all or use of RDTs. Methods A cost benefit analysis was carried out using a decision tree, based on data previously obtained, including a randomized controlled trial (RCT recruiting 852 febrile patients during the dry season and 1,317 in the rainy season. Cost and benefit were calculated using both the real adherence found by the RCT and assuming an ideal adherence of 90% with the negative result. The main parameters were submitted to sensitivity analysis. Results and discussion At real adherence, the test-based strategy was dominated. Assuming ideal adherence, at the value of 525 € for a death averted, the total cost of managing 1,000 febrile children was 1,747 vs. 1,862 € in the dry season and 1,372 vs. 2,138 in the rainy season for the presumptive vs. the test-based strategy. For adults it was 2,728 vs. 1,983 and 2,604 vs. 2,225, respectively. At the subsidized policy adopted locally, assuming ideal adherence, the RDT would be the winning strategy for adults in both seasons and for children in the dry season. At sensitivity analysis, the factors most influencing the choice of the better strategy were the value assigned to a death averted and the proportion of potentially severe NMFI treated with antibiotics in patients with false positive RDT results. The test-based strategy appears advantageous for adults if a satisfactory adherence could be achieved. For children the presumptive strategy remains the best choice for a wide range of scenarios. Conclusions For RDTs to be preferred, a positive result

  17. Socioeconomic disparities in access to ART treatment and the differential impact of a policy that increased consumer costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, G M; Hoang, V P; Illingworth, P J

    2013-11-01

    What was the impact on access to assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment by different socioeconomic status (SES) groups after the introduction of a policy that increased patient out-of-pocket costs? After the introduction of a policy that increased out-of-pocket costs in Australia, all SES groups experienced a similar percentage reduction in fresh ART cycles per 1000 women of reproductive age. Higher SES groups experienced a progressively greater reduction in absolute numbers of fresh ART cycles due to existing higher levels of utilization. Australia has supportive public funding arrangements for ARTs. Policies that substantially increase out-of-pocket costs for ART treatment create financial barriers to access and an overall reduction in utilization. Data from the USA suggests that disparities exist in access to ART treatment based on ethnicity, education level and income. Time series analysis of utilization of ART, intrauterine insemination (IUI) and clomiphene citrate by women from varying SES groups before and after the introduction of a change in the level of public funding for ART. Women undertaking fertility treatment in Australia between 2007 and 2010. Women from higher SES quintiles use more ART treatment than those in lower SES quintiles, which likely reflects a greater ability to pay for treatment and a greater need for ART treatment as indicated by the trend to later childbearing. In 2009, 10.13 and 5.17 fresh ART cycles per 1000 women of reproductive age were performed in women in the highest and lowest SES quintiles respectively. In the 12 months after the introduction of a policy that increased out-of-pocket costs from ∼$1500 Australian dollars (€1000) to ∼$2500 (€1670) for a fresh IVF cycle, there was a 21-25% reduction in fresh ART cycles across all SES quintiles. The absolute reduction in fresh ART cycles in the highest SES quintile was double that in the lowest SES quintile. In this study, SES was based on the average relative

  18. Heavy-metal contamination of soils in Saxony/Germany by foundry fumes and low-cost rapid analyses of contaminated soils by XRF

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mucke, D.

    2012-04-01

    Heavy-metal contamination of soils in Saxony/Germany by foundry fumes and low-cost rapid analysis of contaminated soils by XRF Dieter Mucke, Rolf Kumann, Sebastian Baldauf GEOMONTAN Gesellschaft für Geologie und Bergbau mbH&Co.KG, Muldentalstrasse 56, 09603 Rothenfurth, Saxony/Germany For hundreds of years in the Ore Mountains between Bohemia and Saxony silver and other ores are produced and smelted. Sulphide- and sulpharsenide-ores needed to be roasted first. In doing so the sulphide sulphur was oxidised under formation of sulphur dioxide SO2 and arsenide conversed into elemental arsenic and arsenide trioxide As2O3 respectively. Also the metals lead, cadmium and zinc are components of hut smokes, in the field of nickel foundries also nickel. The contents of soils basically reflect the geogenic conditions, which are caused by decomposition- and relocation-effects of the mineralisations, in the area of foundries also with influences by with the hut smokes anthropogenic mobilised elements. The Saxonian Agency for Environment and Geology drafted in 1992 a Soil Investigation Program with the aim of investigation of the contamination of Saxonian soils with arsenic and toxic heavy metals. In order of this Agency GEOMONTAN investigated 1164 measuring points in the grid 4 * 4 km.soil profiles and extracted soil samples for analysis. In the result of the laboratory examinations the Agency edited the "Soil atlas of the Free State of Saxony". 27 elements, pH and PAK are shown in detailed maps and allow in whole Saxony the first assessment of the contamination of soils with arsenic and toxic heavy metals. Each of the investigated soil profiles represent an area of 16 km2. Already by the different use of the districts (agricultural, industrial, urban) restricts representative values. GEOMONTAN in the meantime used at the exploration of a copper deposit in Brandenburg/Germany with approx. 50,000 single tests at drill cores a very fast low-cost method: the X Ray fluorescence

  19. A systematic review of the clinical, public health and cost-effectiveness of rapid diagnostic tests for the detection and identification of bacterial intestinal pathogens in faeces and food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abubakar, I; Irvine, L; Aldus, C F; Wyatt, G M; Fordham, R; Schelenz, S; Shepstone, L; Howe, A; Peck, M; Hunter, P R

    2007-09-01

    To determine the diagnostic accuracy of tests for the rapid diagnosis of bacterial food poisoning in clinical and public health practice and to estimate the cost-effectiveness of these assays in a hypothetical population in order to inform policy on the use of these tests. Studies evaluating diagnostic accuracy of rapid tests were retrieved using electronic databases and handsearching reference lists and key journals. Hospital laboratories and test manufacturers were contacted for cost data, and clinicians involved in the care of patients with food poisoning were invited to discuss the conclusions of this review using the nominal group technique. A systematic review of the current medical literature on assays used for the rapid diagnosis of bacterial food poisoning was carried out. Specific organisms under review were Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli O157, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens and Bacillus cereus. Data extraction was undertaken using standardised data extraction forms. Where a sufficient number of studies evaluating comparable tests were identified, meta-analysis was performed. A decision analytic model was developed, using effectiveness data from the review and cost data from hospitals and manufacturers, which contributed to an assessment of the cost-effectiveness of rapid tests in a hypothetical UK population. Finally, diagnostic accuracy and cost-effectiveness results were presented to a focus group of GPs, microbiologists and consultants in communicable disease control, to assess professional opinion on the use of rapid tests in the diagnosis of food poisoning. Good test performance levels were observed with rapid test methods, especially for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. The estimated levels of diagnostic accuracy using the area under the curve of the summary receiver operating characteristic curve was very high. Indeed, although traditional culture is the natural reference test to use for comparative statistical

  20. Increased mechanical cost of walking in children with diplegia: the role of the passenger unit cannot be neglected.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van de Walle, P; Hallemans, A; Truijen, S; Gosselink, R; Heyrman, L; Molenaers, G; Desloovere, K

    2012-01-01

    Gait efficiency in children with cerebral palsy is decreased. To date, most research did not include the upper body as a separate functional unit when exploring these changes in gait efficiency. Since children with spastic diplegia often experience problems with trunk control, they could benefit from separate evaluation of the so-called 'passenger unit'. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to improve insights in the role of the passenger unit in decreased gait efficiency in children with diplegia. Mechanical cost of walking was investigated by calculating work by the integrated joint power approach in 18 children with diplegia and 25 age-related typical developing controls. The total mechanical work in children with diplegia was 1.5 times higher than in typical children. In children with diplegia work at the lower limbs was increased by 37% compared to typical children. Substantially higher increases, up to 222%, were noted at the passenger unit. Trunk and head were the main contributors to the increased work of the passenger unit, but the role of the arms cannot be neglected. Due to these disproportional increases in locomotor and passenger unit, the demands of the passenger unit in pathological gait can no longer be considered minor, as in typical gait. Therefore, the role of the passenger unit must be recognized in the decrease of gait efficiency in children with spastic diplegia and should be part of the evaluation of gait efficiency in clinical practice. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Power-to-heat in adiabatic compressed air energy storage power plants for cost reduction and increased flexibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreißigacker, Volker

    2018-04-01

    The development of new technologies for large-scale electricity storage is a key element in future flexible electricity transmission systems. Electricity storage in adiabatic compressed air energy storage (A-CAES) power plants offers the prospect of making a substantial contribution to reach this goal. This concept allows efficient, local zero-emission electricity storage on the basis of compressed air in underground caverns. The compression and expansion of air in turbomachinery help to balance power generation peaks that are not demand-driven on the one hand and consumption-induced load peaks on the other. For further improvements in cost efficiencies and flexibility, system modifications are necessary. Therefore, a novel concept regarding the integration of an electrical heating component is investigated. This modification allows increased power plant flexibilities and decreasing component sizes due to the generated high temperature heat with simultaneously decreasing total round trip efficiencies. For an exemplarily A-CAES case simulation studies regarding the electrical heating power and thermal energy storage sizes were conducted to identify the potentials in cost reduction of the central power plant components and the loss in round trip efficiency.

  2. Consumers Buy Lower-Cost Plans On Covered California, Suggesting Exposure To Premium Increases Is Less Than Commonly Reported.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabel, Jon R; Arnold, Daniel R; Fulton, Brent D; Stromberg, Sam T; Green, Matthew; Whitmore, Heidi; Scheffler, Richard M

    2017-01-01

    With the notable exception of California, states have not made enrollment data for their Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace plans publicly available. Researchers thus have tracked premium trends by calculating changes in the average price for plans offered (a straight average across plans) rather than for plans purchased (a weighted average). Using publicly available enrollment data for Covered California, we found that the average purchased price for all plans was 11.6 percent less than the average offered price in 2014, 13.2 percent less in 2015, and 15.2 percent less in 2016. Premium growth measured by plans purchased was roughly 2 percentage points less than when measured by plans offered in 2014-15 and 2015-16. We observed shifts in consumer choices toward less costly plans, both between and within tiers, and we estimate that a $100 increase in a plan's net annual premium reduces its probability of selection. These findings suggest that the Marketplaces are helping consumers moderate premium cost growth. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  3. Development of a method for efficient cost-effective screening of Aspergillus niger mutants having increased production of glucoamylase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xudong; Arman, Bessembayev; Chu, Ju; Wang, Yonghong; Zhuang, Yingping

    2017-05-01

    To develop an efficient cost-effective screening process to improve production of glucoamylase in Aspergillus niger. The cultivation of A. niger was achieved with well-dispersed morphology in 48-deep-well microtiter plates, which increased the throughput of the samples compared to traditional flask cultivation. There was a close negative correlation between glucoamylase and its pH of the fermentation broth. A novel high-throughput analysis method using Methyl Orange was developed. When compared to the conventional analysis method using 4-nitrophenyl α-D-glucopyranoside as substrate, a correlation coefficient of 0.96 by statistical analysis was obtained. Using this novel screening method, we acquired a strain with an activity of 2.2 × 10 3  U ml -1 , a 70% higher yield of glucoamylase than its parent strain.

  4. Succumbing to Bottom-Up Biases on Task Choice Predicts Increased Switch Costs in the Voluntary Task Switching Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orr, Joseph M.; Weissman, Daniel H.

    2010-01-01

    Bottom-up biases are widely thought to influence task choice in the voluntary task switching paradigm. Definitive support for this hypothesis is lacking, however, because task choice and task performance are usually confounded. We therefore revisited this hypothesis using a paradigm in which task choice and task performance are temporally separated. As predicted, participants tended to choose the task that was primed by bottom-up biases. Moreover, such choices were linked to increased switch costs during subsequent task performance. These findings provide compelling evidence that bottom-up biases influence voluntary task choice. They also suggest that succumbing to such biases reflects a reduction of top-down control that persists to influence upcoming task performance. PMID:21713192

  5. Estimating Total Program Cost of a Long-Term, High-Technology, High-Risk Project with Task Durations and Costs That May Increase Over Time

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Brown, Gerald G; Grose, Roger T; Koyak, Robert A

    2006-01-01

    .... Each task suffers some risk of delay and changed cost. Ignoring budget constraints, we use Monte Carlo simulation of the duration of each task in the project to infer the probability distribution of the project completion time...

  6. Exposure to high hydrostatic pressure rapidly selects for increased RpoS activity and general stress-resistance in Escherichia coli O157:H7.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanlint, Dietrich; Rutten, Nele; Govers, Sander K; Michiels, Chris W; Aertsen, Abram

    2013-04-15

    Exposure to high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) is increasingly being used in food preservation as a non-thermal pasteurization process, and its further implementation necessitates a more thorough understanding of bacterial resistance development and intraspecies variability with regard to inactivation by HHP. In this report, we discovered that exposure to high hydrostatic pressure stress can rapidly select for strongly increased RpoS activity in a hypersensitive Escherichia coli O157:H7 strain (ATCC 43888), leading to a simultaneous increase in HHP and heat resistance. Moreover, the level of RpoS activity correlated well with the original hypersensitivity and the extent of acquired HHP resistance, and extremely HHP-resistant mutants of ATCC 43888 clearly incurred a number of additional RpoS-dependent phenotypes. These findings suggest that implementation of novel processing techniques in the food production chain can readily affect the physiology of food-borne pathogens. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum infection is associated with anaemia in pregnancy and can be more cost-effectively detected by rapid diagnostic test than by microscopy in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matangila, Junior R; Lufuluabo, Jean; Ibalanky, Axel L; Inocêncio da Luz, Raquel A; Lutumba, Pascal; Van Geertruyden, Jean-Pierre

    2014-04-02

    In areas of high malaria transmission, Plasmodium falciparum infection during pregnancy is characterized by malaria-related anaemia, placental malaria and does not always result in clinical symptoms. This situation is associated with poor pregnancy outcomes. The aim of this study was to determine the extent of asymptomatic P. falciparum infection, its relation with anaemia as well as the most cost-effective technique for its diagnosis in healthy pregnant women living in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. In a cross-sectional study design, information on socio-demographic characteristics and cost data were collected in healthy pregnant women attending antenatal care consultations. Plasmodium falciparum infection was diagnosed using rapid diagnostic test (RDT), microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Haemoglobin concentration was also determined. In total, 332 pregnant women were enrolled. RDT and microscopy data were available for all the blood samples and 166 samples were analysed by PCR. The prevalence of asymptomatic P. falciparum infection using microscopy, RDTs and PCR, were respectively 21.6%, 27.4% and 29.5%. Taking PCR as a reference, RDTs had a sensitivity of 81.6% and a specificity of 94.9% to diagnose asymptomatic P. falciparum infection. The corresponding values for microscopy were 67.3% and 97.4%. The prevalence of anaemia was 61.1% and asymptomatic malaria increased five times the odds (p anaemia. RDTs were more cost-effective compared to microscopy. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was US$ 63.47 per microscopy adequately diagnosed case. These alarming results emphasize the need to actively diagnose and treat asymptomatic malaria infection during all antenatal care visits. Moreover, in DRC, malaria and anaemia control efforts should be strengthened by promoting the use of insecticide-treated nets, intermittent preventive treatment with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine and iron and folic acid supplements.

  8. The Budget Impact of Increased Use of Febuxostat in the Management of Gout: A US Health Plan Managed Care Pharmacy and Medical Costs Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolen, Lee J; Gahn, James C; Mitri, Ghaith; Shiozawa, Aki

    2016-07-01

    Gout is a chronic disease characterized by the deposition of urate crystals in the joints and throughout the body, caused by an excess burden of serum uric acid (sUA). The study estimates pharmacy and medical cost budgetary impacts of wider adoption by US payers of febuxostat, a urate-lowering therapy (ULT) for the treatment of gout. A US payer-perspective budget impact model followed ULT patients from a 1,000,000-member plan over 3 years. The current market share scenario, febuxostat (6%) and ULT allopurinol (94%), was compared with an 18% febuxostat market share. Data were implemented from randomized controlled trials, census and epidemiologic studies, and real-world database analyses. An innovation was the inclusion of gout-related chronic kidney disease costs. Cost results were estimated as annual and cumulative incremental costs, expressed as total costs, cost per member per month, and cost per treated member per month. Clinical results were also estimated. Increasing the febuxostat market share resulted in a 6.3% increase in patients achieving the sUA target level of <6.0 mg/dL and a 1.4% reduction in gout flares during the 3-year period. Total cost increased 1.4%, with a 49.9% increase in ULT costs, a 1.4% reduction in flare costs, a 1.2% reduction in chronic kidney disease costs, and a 2.8% reduction in gout care costs. The cumulative incremental costs were $1,307,425 in the first year, $1,939,016 through the second year, and $2,092,744 through the third year. By the third year, savings in medical costs offset most of the increase in treatment costs. Impacts on cumulative cost per member per month and cumulative cost per treated member per month followed the same pattern, with the highest impact in the first year and cumulative impacts declining during the 3-year period. The cumulative cost per member per month impact was estimated as $0.109, $0.081, and $0.058 and the cumulative cost per treated member per month impact was estimated as $12.416, $9.207, and

  9. Low-cost, highly transparent flexible low-e coating film to enable electrochromic windows with increased energy savings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berland, Brian [ITN Energy Systems, Inc., Littleton, CO (United States); Hollingsworth, Russell [ITN Energy Systems, Inc., Littleton, CO (United States)

    2015-03-31

    Five Quads of energy are lost through windows annually in the U.S. Low-e coatings are increasingly employed to reduce the wasted energy. Most commonly, the low-e coating is an oxide material applied directly to the glass at high temperature. With over 100,000,000 existing homes, a retrofit product is crucial to achieve widespread energy savings. Low-e films, i.e. coatings on polymeric substrates, are now also available to meet this need. However, the traditional oxide materials and process is incompatible with low temperature plastics. Alternate high performing low-e films typically incorporate materials that limit visible transmission to 35% or less. Further, the cost is high. The objective of this award was to develop a retrofit, integrated low-e/electrochromic window film to dramatically reduce energy lost through windows. While field testing of state-of-the-art electrochromic (EC) windows show the energy savings are maximized if a low-e coating is used in conjunction with the EC, available low-e films have a low visible transmission (~70% or less) that limits the achievable clear state and therefore, appearance and energy savings potential. Comprehensive energy savings models were completed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL). A parametric approach was used to project energy usage for windows with a large range of low-e properties across all U.S. climate zones, without limiting the study to materials that had already been produced commercially or made in a lab. The model enables projection of energy savings for low-e films as well as integrated low-e/EC products. This project developed a novel low-e film, optimized for compatibility with EC windows, using low temperature, high deposition rate processes for the growth of low-e coatings on plastic films by microwave plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition. Silica films with good density and optical properties were demonstrated at deposition rates as high as 130Å/sec. A simple bi-layer low-e stack of

  10. Modeling Impact and Cost-Effectiveness of Increased Efforts to Attract Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision Clients Ages 20-29 in Zimbabwe.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharine Kripke

    Full Text Available Zimbabwe aims to increase circumcision coverage to 80% among 13- to 29-year-olds. However, implementation data suggest that high coverage among men ages 20 and older may not be achievable without efforts specifically targeted to these men, incurring additional costs per circumcision. Scale-up scenarios were created based on trends in implementation data in Zimbabwe, and the cost-effectiveness of increasing efforts to recruit clients ages 20-29 was examined.Zimbabwe voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC program data were used to project trends in male circumcision coverage by age into the future. The projection informed a base scenario in which, by 2018, the country achieves 80% circumcision coverage among males ages 10-19 and lower levels of coverage among men above age 20. The Zimbabwe DMPPT 2.0 model was used to project costs and impacts, assuming a US$109 VMMC unit cost in the base scenario and a 3% discount rate. Two other scenarios assumed that the program could increase coverage among clients ages 20-29 with a corresponding increase in unit cost for these age groups.When circumcision coverage among men ages 20-29 is increased compared with a base scenario reflecting current implementation trends, fewer VMMCs are required to avert one infection. If more than 50% additional effort (reflected as multiplying the unit cost by >1.5 is required to double the increase in coverage among this age group compared with the base scenario, the cost per HIV infection averted is higher than in the base scenario.Although increased investment in recruiting VMMC clients ages 20-29 may lead to greater overall impact if recruitment efforts are successful, it may also lead to lower cost-effectiveness, depending on the cost of increasing recruitment. Programs should measure the relationship between increased effort and increased ability to attract this age group.

  11. Polymeric nanoparticles for increased oral bioavailability and rapid absorption using celecoxib as a model of a low-solubility, high-permeability drug.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgen, Michael; Bloom, Corey; Beyerinck, Ron; Bello, Akintunde; Song, Wei; Wilkinson, Karen; Steenwyk, Rick; Shamblin, Sheri

    2012-02-01

    To demonstrate drug/polymer nanoparticles can increase the rate and extent of oral absorption of a low-solubility, high-permeability drug. Amorphous drug/polymer nanoparticles containing celecoxib were prepared using ethyl cellulose and either sodium caseinate or bile salt. Nanoparticles were characterized using dynamic light scattering, transmission and scanning electron microscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry. Drug release and resuspension studies were performed using high-performance liquid chromatography. Pharmacokinetic studies were performed in dogs and humans. A physical model is presented describing the nanoparticle state of matter and release performance. Nanoparticles dosed orally in aqueous suspensions provided higher systemic exposure and faster attainment of peak plasma concentrations than commercial capsules, with median time to maximum drug concentration (Tmax) of 0.75 h in humans for nanoparticles vs. 3 h for commercial capsules. Nanoparticles released celecoxib rapidly and provided higher dissolved-drug concentrations than micronized crystalline drug. Nanoparticle suspensions are stable for several days and can be spray-dried to form dry powders that resuspend in water. Drug/polymer nanoparticles are well suited for providing rapid oral absorption and increased bioavailability of BCS Class II drugs.

  12. Multi-modal defences in aphids offer redundant protection and increased costs likely impeding a protective mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Adam J; Doremus, Matthew R; Kraft, Laura J; Kim, Kyungsun L; Oliver, Kerry M

    2018-03-01

    The pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, maintains extreme variation in resistance to its most common parasitoid wasp enemy, Aphidius ervi, which is sourced from two known mechanisms: protective bacterial symbionts, most commonly Hamiltonella defensa, or endogenously encoded defences. We have recently found that individual aphids may employ each defence individually, occasionally both defences together, or neither. In field populations, Hamiltonella-infected aphids are found at low to moderate frequencies and while less is known about the frequency of resistant genotypes, they show up less often than susceptible genotypes in field collections. To better understand these patterns, we sought to compare the strengths and costs of both types of defence, individually and together, in order to elucidate the selective pressures that maintain multi-modal defence mechanisms or that may favour one over the other. We experimentally infected five aphid genotypes (two lowly and three highly resistant), each with two symbiont strains, Hamiltonella-APSE8 (moderate protection) and Hamiltonella-APSE3 (high protection). This resulted in three sublines per genotype: uninfected, +APSE8 and +APSE3. Each of the 15 total sublines was first subjected to a parasitism assay to determine its resistance phenotype and in a second experiment, a subset was chosen to compare fitness (fecundity and survivorship) in the presence and absence of parasitism. In susceptible aphid genotypes, parasitized sublines infected with Hamiltonella generally showed increased protection with direct fitness benefits, but clear infection costs to fitness in the absence of parasitism. In resistant genotypes, Hamiltonella infection rarely conferred additional protection, often further reduced fecundity and survivorship when enemy challenged, and resulted in constitutive fitness costs in the absence of parasitism. We also identified strong aphid genotype × symbiont-strain interactions, such that the best defensive

  13. Optimal distribution feeder reconfiguration for increasing the penetration of plug-in electric vehicles and minimizing network costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kavousi-Fard, Abdollah; Abbasi, Alireza; Rostami, Mohammad-Amin; Khosravi, Abbas

    2015-01-01

    Appearance of PEVs (Plug-in Electric Vehicles) in future transportation sector brings forward opportunities and challenges from grid perspective. Increased utilization of PEVs will result in problems such as greater total loss, unbalanced load factor, feeder congestion and voltage drop. PEVs are mobile energy storages dispersed all over the network with benefits to both owners and utilities in case of V2G (Vehicle-to-Grid) possibility. The intelligent bidirectional power flow between grid and large number of vehicles adds complexity to the system and requires operative tools to schedule V2G energy and subdue PEV impacts. In this paper, DFR (Distribution Feeder Reconfiguration) is utilized to optimally coordinate PEV operation in a stochastic framework. Uncertainty in PEVs characteristics can be due to several sources from location and time of grid connection to driving pattern and battery SoC (State-of-Charge). The proposed stochastic problem is solved with a self-adaptive evolutionary swarm algorithm based on SSO (Social Spider Optimization) algorithm. Numerical studies verify the efficacy of the proposed DFR to improve the system performance and optimal dispatch of V2G. - Highlights: • Consideration effect of PEVS on the distribution feeder reconfiguration. • Increasing the penetration of PEVS. • Introducing a new artificial optimization algorithm. • Modeling the uncertainty in network. • Investigating the degradation cost of batteries in V2G technology.

  14. Increased temperature mitigates the effects of ocean acidification on the calcification of juvenile Pocillopora damicornis, but at a cost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Lei; Zhang, Fang; Guo, Ming-Lan; Guo, Ya-Juan; Zhang, Yu-Yang; Zhou, Guo-Wei; Cai, Lin; Lian, Jian-Sheng; Qian, Pei-Yuan; Huang, Hui

    2018-03-01

    This study tested the interactive effects of increased seawater temperature and CO2 partial pressure ( pCO2) on the photochemistry, bleaching, and early growth of the reef coral Pocillopora damicornis. New recruits were maintained at ambient or high temperature (29 or 30.8 °C) and pCO2 ( 500 and 1100 μatm) in a full-factorial experiment for 3 weeks. Neither a sharp decline in photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm) nor evident bleaching was observed at high temperature and/or high pCO2. Furthermore, elevated temperature greatly promoted lateral growth and calcification, while polyp budding exhibited temperature-dependent responses to pCO2. High pCO2 depressed calcification by 28% at ambient temperature, but did not impact calcification at 30.8 °C. Interestingly, elevated temperature in concert with high pCO2 significantly retarded the budding process. These results suggest that increased temperature can mitigate the adverse effects of acidification on the calcification of juvenile P. damicornis, but at a substantial cost to asexual budding.

  15. Increasing costs due to ocean acidification drives phytoplankton to be more heavily calcified: optimal growth strategy of coccolithophores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takahiro Irie

    Full Text Available Ocean acidification is potentially one of the greatest threats to marine ecosystems and global carbon cycling. Amongst calcifying organisms, coccolithophores have received special attention because their calcite precipitation plays a significant role in alkalinity flux to the deep ocean (i.e., inorganic carbon pump. Currently, empirical effort is devoted to evaluating the plastic responses to acidification, but evolutionary considerations are missing from this approach. We thus constructed an optimality model to evaluate the evolutionary response of coccolithophorid life history, assuming that their exoskeleton (coccolith serves to reduce the instantaneous mortality rates. Our model predicted that natural selection favors constructing more heavily calcified exoskeleton in response to increased acidification-driven costs. This counter-intuitive response occurs because the fitness benefit of choosing a better-defended, slower growth strategy in more acidic conditions, outweighs that of accelerating the cell cycle, as this occurs by producing less calcified exoskeleton. Contrary to the widely held belief, the evolutionarily optimized population can precipitate larger amounts of CaCO(3 during the bloom in more acidified seawater, depending on parameter values. These findings suggest that ocean acidification may enhance the calcification rates of marine organisms as an adaptive response, possibly accompanied by higher carbon fixation ability. Our theory also provides a compelling explanation for the multispecific fossil time-series record from ∼200 years ago to present, in which mean coccolith size has increased along with rising atmospheric CO(2 concentration.

  16. Impaired photosynthesis and increased leaf construction costs may induce floral stress during episodes of global warming over macroevolutionary timescales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haworth, Matthew; Belcher, Claire M; Killi, Dilek; Dewhirst, Rebecca A; Materassi, Alessandro; Raschi, Antonio; Centritto, Mauro

    2018-04-18

    Global warming events have coincided with turnover of plant species at intervals in Earth history. As mean global temperatures rise, the number, frequency and duration of heat-waves will increase. Ginkgo biloba was grown under controlled climatic conditions at two different day/night temperature regimes (25/20 °C and 35/30 °C) to investigate the impact of heat stress. Photosynthetic CO 2 -uptake and electron transport were reduced at the higher temperature, while rates of respiration were greater; suggesting that the carbon balance of the leaves was adversely affected. Stomatal conductance and the potential for evaporative cooling of the leaves was reduced at the higher temperature. Furthermore, the capacity of the leaves to dissipate excess energy was also reduced at 35/30 °C, indicating that photo-protective mechanisms were no longer functioning effectively. Leaf economics were adversely affected by heat stress, exhibiting an increase in leaf mass per area and leaf construction costs. This may be consistent with the selective pressures experienced by fossil Ginkgoales during intervals of global warming such as the Triassic - Jurassic boundary or Early Eocene Climatic Optimum. The physiological and morphological responses of the G. biloba leaves were closely interrelated; these relationships may be used to infer the leaf economics and photosynthetic/stress physiology of fossil plants.

  17. Dietary standards for school catering in France: serving moderate quantities to improve dietary quality without increasing the food-related cost of meals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieux, Florent; Dubois, Christophe; Allegre, Laëtitia; Mandon, Lionel; Ciantar, Laurent; Darmon, Nicole

    2013-01-01

    To assess the impact on food-related cost of meals to fulfill the new compulsory dietary standards for primary schools in France. A descriptive study assessed the relationship between the level of compliance with the standards of observed school meals and their food-related cost. An analytical study assessed the cost of series of meals published in professional journals, and complying or not with new dietary standards. The costs were based on prices actually paid for food used to prepare school meals. Food-related cost of meals. Parametric and nonparametric tests from a total of 42 and 120 series of 20 meals in the analytical and descriptive studies, respectively. The descriptive study indicated that meeting the standards was not related to cost. The analytical study showed that fulfilling the frequency guidelines increased the cost, whereas fulfilling the portion sizes criteria decreased it. Series of meals fully respecting the standards (ie, frequency and portion sizes) cost significantly less (-0.10 €/meal) than series not fulfilling them, because the standards recommend smaller portion sizes. Introducing portion sizes rules in dietary standards for school catering may help increase dietary quality without increasing the food cost of meals. Copyright © 2013 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Rapid Increase in Reports of Syphilis Associated With Men Who Have Sex With Women and Women Who Have Sex With Men, Japan, 2012 to 2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Takuri; Arima, Yuzo; Yamagishi, Takuya; Nishiki, Shingo; Kanai, Mizue; Ishikane, Masahiro; Matsui, Tamano; Sunagawa, Tomimasa; Ohnishi, Makoto; Oishi, Kazunori

    2018-01-01

    Background In Japan, syphilis reports have recently increased rapidly. However, unlike other developed countries where men who have sex with men (MSM) were associated with the rise, the increase in Japan has been attributed more to men who have sex with women (MSW) and women who have sex with men (WSM). We report on this increase based on surveillance data. Methods Syphilis is a notifiable disease requiring all laboratory-confirmed cases to be reported; stage and sex of the sex partner(s) suspected as the infection source are also reported. Focusing on primary and secondary (P&S) cases, we describe the temporal, demographic, and geographic distributions of reported cases in 2012 through 2016. Results A total of 7040 (64.0%) of 10,997 cases were P&S; the annual rate of increase was greatest for P&S and the proportion of P&S increased over time. Among P&S cases (1609 MSM, 2768 MSW, and 1323 WSM), MSW and WSM each surpassed MSM cases in 2016. Men were older with a wider age distribution (median, 37 years; interquartile range, 28–46 years) relative to women (median, 26 years; interquartile range, 21–34 years). Among women, 20- to 24-year-olds consistently had the highest reporting rate, reaching 9.0 per 100,000 in 2016. Congenital syphilis reports increased from 0.4 in 2012 to 1.4 per 100,000 live births in 2016. Although Tokyo prefecture had the highest reporting rate (3.98 per 100,000 person-years), the proportionate contribution from Tokyo decreased in 2016. Conclusions Reports on P&S syphilis increased yearly among MSW and WSM. Young women seem to be at particular risk, and with increased reports of congenital syphilis, syphilis prevention and control is currently a public health priority in Japan. PMID:29420439

  19. Prospects for Increased Energy Recovery from Horse Manure—A Case Study of Management Practices, Environmental Impact and Costs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Åsa Hadin

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available A transition to renewable energy sources and a circular economy has increased interest in renewable resources not usually considered as energy sources or plant nutrient resources. Horse manure exemplifies this, as it is sometimes recycled but not often used for energy purposes. The purpose of this study was to explore horse manure management in a Swedish municipality and prospects for energy recovery. The case study includes a survey of horse manure practices, environmental assessment of horse manure treatment in a biogas plant, including associated transport, compared to on-site unmanaged composting, and finally a simplified economic analysis. It was found that horse manure management was characterized by indoor collection of manure most of the year and storage on concrete slabs or in containers, followed by direct application on arable land. Softwood was predominantly used as bedding, and bedding accounted for a relatively small proportion (13% of the total mix. Anaerobic digestion was indicated to reduce potential environmental impact in comparison to unmanaged composting, mainly due to biogas substituting use of fossil fuels. The relative environmental impact from transport of manure from horse facilities to anaerobic digestion plant was small. Results also indicate a relatively high cost for horse keepers to change from composting on site to anaerobic digestion in a centralized plant.

  20. Costs and cost-effectiveness of periviable care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caughey, Aaron B; Burchfield, David J

    2014-02-01

    With increasing concerns regarding rapidly expanding healthcare costs, cost-effectiveness analysis allows assessment of whether marginal gains from new technology are worth the increased costs. Particular methodologic issues related to cost and cost-effectiveness analysis in the area of neonatal and periviable care include how costs are estimated, such as the use of charges and whether long-term costs are included; the challenges of measuring utilities; and whether to use a maternal, neonatal, or dual perspective in such analyses. A number of studies over the past three decades have examined the costs and the cost-effectiveness of neonatal and periviable care. Broadly, while neonatal care is costly, it is also cost effective as it produces both life-years and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). However, as the gestational age of the neonate decreases, the costs increase and the cost-effectiveness threshold is harder to achieve. In the periviable range of gestational age (22-24 weeks of gestation), whether the care is cost effective is questionable and is dependent on the perspective. Understanding the methodology and salient issues of cost-effectiveness analysis is critical for researchers, editors, and clinicians to accurately interpret results of the growing body of cost-effectiveness studies related to the care of periviable pregnancies and neonates. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. The Social Cost of Trading: Measuring the Increased Damages from Sulfur Dioxide Trading in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, David D., III; Muller, Nicholas Z.; Mendelsohn, Robert O.

    2011-01-01

    The sulfur dioxide (SO[subscript 2]) cap and trade program established in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments is celebrated for reducing abatement costs ($0.7 to $2.1 billion per year) by allowing emissions allowances to be traded. Unfortunately, places with high marginal costs also tend to have high marginal damages. Ton-for-ton trading reduces…

  2. The linkages of anthropogenic emissions and meteorology in the rapid increase of particulate matter at a foothill city in the Arawali range of India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, Ravi; Beig, G.; Jaaffrey, S. N. A.

    2014-03-01

    The city of Udaipur (24.58°N, 73.68°E) in the province of Rajasthan in the Western part of India has a special significance as it is surrounded by the Arawali mountain ranges on one side and desert on the other side. It is located around the foothills of the rocky Arawali range. It is on the world map due to its tourist attraction. The changing pattern in particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) during the past three years indicates an alarming increasing trend, posing a threat to its environment & tourism sector which regulates its economy to a period during the monsoon and distribution of particulate matter is found to be governed by the meteorology and changes the trend. The level of PM10, which was already above the threshold level in 2010, further increased in 2012. The trend is found to be rapid during the months of October & November where an increase by 37% is observed in 3 years. The level of PM2.5, which is the most hazardous for respiratory system diseases, has now started to cross the ambient air quality standards set by the World Health Organization. The impact is significant during winter when the inversion layer is down due to colder temperature and foreign tourists are a peak giving rise an increased morbidity rate. The linkages of local weather with an anthropogenically induced trend and long range transport of pollutants have been outlined.

  3. The Cost of Distribution System Upgrades to Accommodate Increasing Penetrations of Distributed Photovoltaic Systems on Real Feeders in the United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horowitz, Kelsey A [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Ding, Fei [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Mather, Barry A [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Palmintier, Bryan S [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)

    2018-04-05

    The increasing deployment of distributed photovoltaic systems (DPV) can impact operations at the distribution level and the transmission level of the electric grid. It is important to develop and implement forward-looking approaches for calculating distribution upgrade costs that can be used to inform system planning, market and tariff design, cost allocation, and other policymaking as penetration levels of DPV increase. Using a bottom-up approach that involves iterative hosting capacity analysis, this report calculates distribution upgrade costs as a function of DPV penetration on three real feeders - two in California and one in the Northeastern United States.

  4. Rapid point-of-care CD4 testing at mobile HIV testing sites to increase linkage to care: an evaluation of a pilot program in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Bruce A; Schnippel, Kathryn; Ndibongo, Buyiswa; Xulu, Thembisile; Brennan, Alana; Long, Lawrence; Fox, Matthew P; Rosen, Sydney

    2012-10-01

    A mobile HIV counseling and testing (HCT) program around Johannesburg piloted the integration of point-of-care (POC) CD4 testing, using the Pima analyzer, to improve linkages to HIV care. We report results from this pilot program for patients testing positive (n = 508) from May to October 2010. We analyzed 3 primary outcomes: assignment to testing group (offered POC CD4 or not), successful follow-up (by telephone), and completed the referral visit for HIV care within 8 weeks after HIV testing if successfully followed up. Proportions for each outcome were calculated, and relative risks were estimated using a modified Poisson approach. Three hundred eleven patients were offered the POC CD4 test, and 197 patients were not offered the test. No differences in patient characteristics were observed between the 2 groups. Approximately 62.7% of patients were successfully followed up 8 weeks after HIV testing, with no differences observed between testing groups. Among those followed up, 54.4% reported completing their referral visit. Patients offered the POC CD4 test were more likely to complete the referral visit for further HIV care (relative risk 1.25, 95% confidence interval: 1.00 to 1.57). In this mobile HCT setting, patients offered POC CD4 testing as part of the HCT services were more likely to visit a referral clinic after testing, suggesting that rapid CD4 testing technology may improve linkage to HIV care. Future research can evaluate options for adjusting HCT services if POC CD4 testing was included permanently and the cost-effectiveness of the POC CD4 testing compared with other approaches for improving linkage of care.

  5. Niche public transport operational and capital investment strategies to minimize fares in the light of increased energy costs

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Letebele, MO

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Fuel costs are a significant component of a public transport fare. It is therefore of critical importance for measures aimed at containing household public transport expenditure to explore alternative ways of reducing fuel consumption or fuel...

  6. Osmotic Edema Rapidly Increases Neuronal Excitability Through Activation of NMDA Receptor-Dependent Slow Inward Currents in Juvenile and Adult Hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelli Lauderdale

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Cellular edema (cell swelling is a principal component of numerous brain disorders including ischemia, cortical spreading depression, hyponatremia, and epilepsy. Cellular edema increases seizure-like activity in vitro and in vivo, largely through nonsynaptic mechanisms attributable to reduction of the extracellular space. However, the types of excitability changes occurring in individual neurons during the acute phase of cell volume increase remain unclear. Using whole-cell patch clamp techniques, we report that one of the first effects of osmotic edema on excitability of CA1 pyramidal cells is the generation of slow inward currents (SICs, which initiate after approximately 1 min. Frequency of SICs increased as osmolarity decreased in a dose-dependent manner. Imaging of real-time volume changes in astrocytes revealed that neuronal SICs occurred while astrocytes were still in the process of swelling. SICs evoked by cell swelling were mainly nonsynaptic in origin and NMDA receptor-dependent. To better understand the relationship between SICs and changes in neuronal excitability, recordings were performed in increasingly physiological conditions. In the absence of any added pharmacological reagents or imposed voltage clamp, osmotic edema induced excitatory postsynaptic potentials and burst firing over the same timecourse as SICs. Like SICs, action potentials were blocked by NMDAR antagonists. Effects were more pronounced in adult (8–20 weeks old compared with juvenile (P15–P21 mice. Together, our results indicate that cell swelling triggered by reduced osmolarity rapidly increases neuronal excitability through activation of NMDA receptors. Our findings have important implications for understanding nonsynaptic mechanisms of epilepsy in relation to cell swelling and reduction of the extracellular space.

  7. Increasing biopsy number and sampling from gastric body improve the sensitivity of rapid urease test in patients with peptic ulcer bleeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Tzong-Hsi; Lin, Chien-Chu; Chung, Chen-Shuan; Lin, Cheng-Kuan; Liang, Cheng-Chao; Tsai, Kuang-Chau

    2015-02-01

    Previous studies demonstrated that the sensitivity of rapid urease test (RUT) for diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection decreased during peptic ulcer bleeding. We designed this study and tried to find a better method to improve the detection rate of H. pylori infection at the same session of endoscopic diagnosis of peptic ulcer bleeding. We prospectively enrolled 116 patients with peptic ulcer bleeding. These patients received intravenous proton pump inhibitor and then received upper gastrointestinal endoscopy within 24 h after arrival. We took one piece of biopsy from gastric antrum (Group 1), four pieces from gastric antrum (Group 2), and one piece from the gastric body (Group 3) for three separate RUTs, respectively. (13)C-urease breath test was used as gold standard for diagnosis of H. pylori infection. There were 74 patients (64 %) with positive (13)C-urease breath test. Among these 74 patients, 45 patients had positive RUT (sensitivity: 61 %) in Group 1; 55 patients had positive RUT (sensitivity: 74 %) in Group 2; 54 patients had positive RUT (sensitivity: 73 %) in Group 3. There were significant differences between Group 1 and Group 2 (p = 0.02) and between Group 1 and Group 3 (p = 0.022). The sensitivity of RUT was 61 % during peptic ulcer bleeding. The sensitivity of RUT can be increased significantly by increased biopsy number from gastric antrum or biopsy from gastric body.

  8. Large-scale deployment of seed treatments has driven rapid increase in use of neonicotinoid insecticides and preemptive pest management in US field crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, Margaret R; Tooker, John F

    2015-04-21

    Neonicotinoids are the most widely used class of insecticides worldwide, but patterns of their use in the U.S. are poorly documented, constraining attempts to understand their role in pest management and potential nontarget effects. We synthesized publicly available data to estimate and interpret trends in neonicotinoid use since their introduction in 1994, with a special focus on seed treatments, a major use not captured by the national pesticide-use survey. Neonicotinoid use increased rapidly between 2003 and 2011, as seed-applied products were introduced in field crops, marking an unprecedented shift toward large-scale, preemptive insecticide use: 34-44% of soybeans and 79-100% of maize hectares were treated in 2011. This finding contradicts recent analyses, which concluded that insecticides are used today on fewer maize hectares than a decade or two ago. If current trends continue, neonicotinoid use will increase further through application to more hectares of soybean and other crop species and escalation of per-seed rates. Alternatively, our results, and other recent analyses, suggest that carefully targeted efforts could considerably reduce neonicotinoid use in field crops without yield declines or economic harm to farmers, reducing the potential for pest resistance, nontarget pest outbreaks, environmental contamination, and harm to wildlife, including pollinator species.

  9. The increased cost of medical services for people diagnosed with primary open-angle glaucoma: a decision analytic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kymes, Steven M; Plotzke, Michael R; Li, Jim Z; Nichol, Michael B; Wu, Joanne; Fain, Joel

    2010-07-01

    Glaucoma accounts for more than 11% of all cases of blindness in the United States, but there have been few studies of economic impact. We examine incremental cost of primary open-angle glaucoma considering both visual and nonvisual medical costs over a lifetime of glaucoma. A decision analytic approach taking the payor's perspective with microsimulation estimation. We constructed a Markov model to replicate health events over the remaining lifetime of someone newly diagnosed with glaucoma. Costs of this group were compared with those estimated for a control group without glaucoma. The cost of management of glaucoma (including medications) before the onset of visual impairment was not considered. The model was populated with probability data estimated from Medicare claims data (1999 through 2005). Cost of nonocular medications and nursing home use was estimated from California Medicare claims, and all other costs were estimated from Medicare claims data. We found modest differences in the incidence of comorbid conditions and health service use between people with glaucoma and the control group. Over their expected lifetime, the cost of care for people with primary open-angle glaucoma was higher than that of people without primary open-angle glaucoma by $1688 or approximately $137 per year. Among Medicare beneficiaries, glaucoma diagnosis not found to be associated with significant risk of comorbidities before development of visual impairment. Further study is necessary to consider the impact of glaucoma on quality of life, as well as aspects of physical and visual function not captured in this claims-based analysis. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Estimated Cost-Effectiveness of Intensive Interdisciplinary Behavioral Treatment for Increasing Oral Intake in Children With Feeding Difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dempster, Robert; Burdo-Hartman, Wendelin; Halpin, Elizabeth; Williams, Carol

    2016-09-01

    OBJECTIVE : To examine the cost-effectiveness of intensive interdisciplinary behavioral treatment (IIBT) to address severe pediatric feeding difficulties and lead to the removal or prevention of gastrostomy tubes (G tubes) from the perspective of the insurance company.  METHODS : Costs associated with G tubes and IIBT were compiled from the available literature and national databases. Costs were updated to price at the start of 2015 to allow data from different years to be analyzed on the same scale.  RESULTS : One-way sensitivity and two-way threshold analyses demonstrated that IIBT may be a cost-effective treatment for prevention and removal of G tubes over 5 and 10 years.  DISCUSSION : Data from this study can be used to justify cost of services for IIBT, and programs can use these data to discuss conservative savings of IIBT based on their treatment model and level of effectiveness. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Pediatric Psychology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Eating 'Junk-Food' Produces Rapid and Long-Lasting Increases in NAc CP-AMPA Receptors: Implications for Enhanced Cue-Induced Motivation and Food Addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oginsky, Max F; Goforth, Paulette B; Nobile, Cameron W; Lopez-Santiago, Luis F; Ferrario, Carrie R

    2016-12-01

    Urges to eat are influenced by stimuli in the environment that are associated with food (food cues). Obese people are more sensitive to food cues, reporting stronger craving and consuming larger portions after food cue exposure. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) mediates cue-triggered motivational responses, and activations in the NAc triggered by food cues are stronger in people who are susceptible to obesity. This has led to the idea that alterations in NAc function similar to those underlying drug addiction may contribute to obesity, particularly in obesity-susceptible individuals. Motivational responses are mediated in part by NAc AMPA receptor (AMPAR) transmission, and recent work shows that cue-triggered motivation is enhanced in obesity-susceptible rats after 'junk-food' diet consumption. Therefore, here we determined whether NAc AMPAR expression and function is increased by 'junk-food' diet consumption in obesity-susceptible vs -resistant populations using both outbred and selectively bred models of susceptibility. In addition, cocaine-induced locomotor activity was used as a general 'read out' of mesolimbic function after 'junk-food' consumption. We found a sensitized locomotor response to cocaine in rats that gained weight on a 'junk-food' diet, consistent with greater responsivity of mesolimbic circuits in obesity-susceptible groups. In addition, eating 'junk-food' increased NAc calcium-permeable-AMPAR (CP-AMPAR) function only in obesity-susceptible rats. This increase occurred rapidly, persisted for weeks after 'junk-food' consumption ceased, and preceded the development of obesity. These data are considered in light of enhanced cue-triggered motivation and striatal function in obesity-susceptible rats and the role of NAc CP-AMPARs in enhanced motivation and addiction.

  12. Eating ‘Junk-Food' Produces Rapid and Long-Lasting Increases in NAc CP-AMPA Receptors: Implications for Enhanced Cue-Induced Motivation and Food Addiction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oginsky, Max F; Goforth, Paulette B; Nobile, Cameron W; Lopez-Santiago, Luis F; Ferrario, Carrie R

    2016-01-01

    Urges to eat are influenced by stimuli in the environment that are associated with food (food cues). Obese people are more sensitive to food cues, reporting stronger craving and consuming larger portions after food cue exposure. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) mediates cue-triggered motivational responses, and activations in the NAc triggered by food cues are stronger in people who are susceptible to obesity. This has led to the idea that alterations in NAc function similar to those underlying drug addiction may contribute to obesity, particularly in obesity-susceptible individuals. Motivational responses are mediated in part by NAc AMPA receptor (AMPAR) transmission, and recent work shows that cue-triggered motivation is enhanced in obesity-susceptible rats after ‘junk-food' diet consumption. Therefore, here we determined whether NAc AMPAR expression and function is increased by ‘junk-food' diet consumption in obesity-susceptible vs -resistant populations using both outbred and selectively bred models of susceptibility. In addition, cocaine-induced locomotor activity was used as a general ‘read out' of mesolimbic function after ‘junk-food' consumption. We found a sensitized locomotor response to cocaine in rats that gained weight on a ‘junk-food' diet, consistent with greater responsivity of mesolimbic circuits in obesity-susceptible groups. In addition, eating ‘junk-food' increased NAc calcium-permeable-AMPAR (CP-AMPAR) function only in obesity-susceptible rats. This increase occurred rapidly, persisted for weeks after ‘junk-food' consumption ceased, and preceded the development of obesity. These data are considered in light of enhanced cue-triggered motivation and striatal function in obesity-susceptible rats and the role of NAc CP-AMPARs in enhanced motivation and addiction. PMID:27383008

  13. Cranking up the heat: relationships between energetically costly song features and the increase in thorax temperature in male crickets and katydids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erregger, Bettina; Kovac, Helmut; Stabentheiner, Anton; Hartbauer, Manfred; Römer, Heinrich; Schmidt, Arne K D

    2017-07-15

    Sexual displays of acoustically signalling insects are used in the context of mate attraction and mate choice. While energetic investment in sound production can increase the reproductive success of the sender, this entails metabolic costs. Resource allocation to sexually selected, reproductive traits can trade off against allocation to naturally selected traits (e.g. growth, immunity) when individuals' energy budgets are limited. Estimating the magnitude of the costs invested in acoustic signalling is necessary to understand this trade-off and its influence on fitness and life history. To compare the costs associated with acoustic signalling for two ensiferan species, we simultaneously took respiratory measurements to record the rate of CO 2 production and used infrared thermography to measure the increase in thorax temperature. Furthermore, to identify what combinations of acoustic parameters were energetically costly for the sender, we recorded the calling songs of 22 different cricket and katydid species for a comparative analysis and measured their thorax temperature while they sang. Acoustic signalling was energetically costly for Mecopoda sp. and Anurogryllus muticus , requiring a 12- and 16-fold increase over resting levels in the CO 2 production rate. Moreover, calling increased thorax temperature, on average by 7.6 and 5.8°C, respectively. We found that the song intensity and effective calling rate, not simply the chirp/trill duty cycle or the pulse rate alone, were good predictors for the thorax temperature increase in males. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. Utility and Cost-Effectiveness of Motivational Messaging to Increase Survey Response in Physicians: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Randolph C. H.; Mak, Winnie W. S.; Pang, Ingrid H. Y.; Wong, Samuel Y. S.; Tang, Wai Kwong; Lau, Joseph T. F.; Woo, Jean; Lee, Diana T. F.; Cheung, Fanny M.

    2018-01-01

    The present study examined whether, when, and how motivational messaging can boost the response rate of postal surveys for physicians based on Higgin's regulatory focus theory, accounting for its cost-effectiveness. A three-arm, blinded, randomized controlled design was used. A total of 3,270 doctors were randomly selected from the registration…

  15. Plasma leptin and growth hormone levels in the fine flounder (Paralichthys adspersus) increase gradually during fasting and decline rapidly after refeeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, Eduardo N; Kling, Peter; Einarsdottir, Ingibjörg Eir; Alvarez, Marco; Valdés, Juan Antonio; Molina, Alfredo; Björnsson, Björn Thrandur

    2012-05-15

    In fish, recent studies have indicated an anorexigenic role of leptin and thus its possible involvement in regulation of energy balance and growth. In the present study, the effects of fasting and refeeding periods on plasma leptin levels were studied in the fine flounder, a flatfish with remarkably slow growth. To further assess the endocrine status of the fish during periods of catabolism and anabolism, plasma growth hormone (GH) levels were also analyzed. Under normal feeding condition, plasma leptin and GH levels remained stable and relatively high in comparison with other teleost species. For the three separate groups of fish, fasted for 2, 3, and 4 weeks, respectively, plasma leptin levels increase gradually, becoming significantly elevated after 3 weeks, and reaching highest levels after 4-week fasting. Plasma GH levels were significantly elevated after 2-week fasting. At the onset of refeeding, following a single meal, leptin levels decline rapidly to lower than initial levels within 2 h, irrespective of the length of fasting. Plasma GH also decline, the decrease being significant after 4, 24 and 2 h for the 2, 3 and 4-week fasted groups, respectively. This study shows that plasma leptin levels in the fine flounder are strongly linked to nutritional status and suggests that leptin secretion is regulated by fast-acting mechanisms. Elevated leptin levels in fasted fish may contribute to a passive survival strategy of species which experience natural food shortage periods by lowering appetite and limiting physical foraging activity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Essential roles of GABA transporter-1 in controlling rapid eye movement sleep and in increased slow wave activity after sleep deprivation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin-Hong Xu

    Full Text Available GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system that has been strongly implicated in the regulation of sleep. GABA transporter subtype 1 (GAT1 constructs high affinity reuptake sites for GABA and regulates GABAergic transmission in the brain. However, the role of GAT1 in sleep-wake regulation remains elusive. In the current study, we characterized the spontaneous sleep-wake cycle and responses to sleep deprivation in GAT1 knock-out (KO mice. GAT1 KO mice exhibited dominant theta-activity and a remarkable reduction of EEG power in low frequencies across all vigilance stages. Under baseline conditions, spontaneous rapid eye movement (REM sleep of KO mice was elevated both during the light and dark periods, and non-REM (NREM sleep was reduced during the light period only. KO mice also showed more state transitions from NREM to REM sleep and from REM sleep to wakefulness, as well as more number of REM and NREM sleep bouts than WT mice. During the dark period, KO mice exhibited more REM sleep bouts only. Six hours of sleep deprivation induced rebound increases in NREM and REM sleep in both genotypes. However, slow wave activity, the intensity component of NREM sleep was briefly elevated in WT mice but remained completely unchanged in KO mice, compared with their respective baselines. These results indicate that GAT1 plays a critical role in the regulation of REM sleep and homeostasis of NREM sleep.

  17. Low cost technology for the rapid and safe in-house (hospital-based) preparation of dual - radiotherapeutic (Rx) and radiodiagnostic (Dx) - dosage forms of high specific activity 131I-mIBG for clinical application

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noronha, O.P.D.; Sonawane, G.A.; Samuel, A.M.

    1998-01-01

    Radioiodinated mIBG is finding increasing utility in nuclear medicine. However, its widespread use in developing countries is precluded by logistic constraints owing to the relative instability of the labelled molecule with respect to time and temp., and high costs. This prompted us to develop a low cost in-house batch process technology that could be used for the small-scale preparation of 131 I-mIBG even in a less equipped hospital-based radiopharmacy. The production of large amounts of 131 I-mIBG for clinical use requires sophisticated infrastructure (a scarce resource) to contain / safeguard against internal and external radiation exposures. We have indigenously designed a semi-automated, self-shielded, remote-controlled and safe microplant + process assemblies using easily accessible and cheap inputs, and developed the complete technology for the rapid and safe production of dual dosage forms of 131 I-mIBG, a radiotherapeutic (R x ) single dosage form of high activity along with 1-3 low activity radiodiagnostics (D x ) as multidosage forms. The radioiodide exchange reaction was effected in the solid / melt phase at 190 deg. C in 1.0 h. The radiolabelling yield was ∼80.0-86.0%, and the radiochemical purity > 99.5% and specific activity of R x /D x =900-1300/60-800 MBq ( x dosage forms at 3 weeks. The dosage forms (especially R x ) were only made against firm patient appointment(s). Thus far we have prepared 14 R x (49.0 GBq) and 70 + 14 batches (43.43 GBq) of (∼150 nos.) D x forms, and used them in 14 and > 1100 patients respectively. (author)

  18. New plant construction cost and schedule

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akins, M. J.

    2009-01-01

    The presentation covers the following topics: cost structure; capital costs; variation of capital costs; trends in power plant construction; studies of costs completion; periods and risks. Nuclear plant costs have recently risen so rapidly that vendors are not willing to publicly commit to cost estimates: ∼ $2000/Kw overnight costs in 2006 in the US market > $4000/Kw and in 2008 in the US market > $6000/Kw in 2008 in emerging markets. There is vendors pricing uncertainty. Current contract models may not apply. Current construction projects have problems: Olkiluoto-3 is reported to be 50% over budget and two years behind schedule, increasing perceptions that nuclear costs will continue to increase rapidly; Price of materials is a big volatile unknown, which may decrease Labor could become more available due to limited number of new projects; Lack of debt/credit to finance new project may decrease demand of new construction

  19. Ship Maintenance Processes with Collaborative Product Lifecycle Management and 3D Terrestrial Laser Scanning Tools: Reducing Costs and Increasing Productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-20

    that the normal cost-reduction learning curve for common ship alterations, across a series of common ship platforms, has not materialized . This study...ship alterations, across a series of common ship platforms, has not materialized . This study uses the knowledge value added (KVA) + systems dynamics...Valuation Services and Global Financial Services practice of KPMG Consulting and a Manager with the Economic Consulting Services practice at KPMG LLP. He

  20. Cost-Effectiveness of Antibiotic Prophylaxis Strategies for Transrectal Prostate Biopsy in an Era of Increasing Antimicrobial Resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kyueun; Drekonja, Dimitri M; Enns, Eva A

    2018-03-01

    To determine the optimal antibiotic prophylaxis strategy for transrectal prostate biopsy (TRPB) as a function of the local antibiotic resistance profile. We developed a decision-analytic model to assess the cost-effectiveness of four antibiotic prophylaxis strategies: ciprofloxacin alone, ceftriaxone alone, ciprofloxacin and ceftriaxone in combination, and directed prophylaxis selection based on susceptibility testing. We used a payer's perspective and estimated the health care costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) associated with each strategy for a cohort of 66-year-old men undergoing TRPB. Costs and benefits were discounted at 3% annually. Base-case resistance prevalence was 29% to ciprofloxacin and 7% to ceftriaxone, reflecting susceptibility patterns observed at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System. Resistance levels were varied in sensitivity analysis. In the base case, single-agent prophylaxis strategies were dominated. Directed prophylaxis strategy was the optimal strategy at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $50,000/QALY gained. Relative to the directed prophylaxis strategy, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of the combination strategy was $123,333/QALY gained over the lifetime time horizon. In sensitivity analysis, single-agent prophylaxis strategies were preferred only at extreme levels of resistance. Directed or combination prophylaxis strategies were optimal for a wide range of resistance levels. Facilities using single-agent antibiotic prophylaxis strategies before TRPB should re-evaluate their strategies unless extremely low levels of antimicrobial resistance are documented. Copyright © 2018 International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Dexamethasone rapidly increases GABA release in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus via retrograde messenger-mediated enhancement of TRPV1 activity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrei V Derbenev

    Full Text Available Glucocorticoids influence vagal parasympathetic output to the viscera via mechanisms that include modulation of neural circuitry in the dorsal vagal complex, a principal autonomic regulatory center. Glucocorticoids can modulate synaptic neurotransmitter release elsewhere in the brain by inducing release of retrograde signalling molecules. We tested the hypothesis that the glucocorticoid agonist dexamethasone (DEX modulates GABA release in the rat dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings revealed that DEX (1-10 µM rapidly (i.e. within three minutes increased the frequency of tetrodotoxin-resistant, miniature IPSCs (mIPSCs in 67% of DMV neurons recorded in acutely prepared slices. Glutamate-mediated mEPSCs were also enhanced by DEX (10 µM, and blockade of ionotropic glutamate receptors reduced the DEX effect on mIPSC frequency. Antagonists of type I or II corticosteroid receptors blocked the effect of DEX on mIPSCs. The effect was mimicked by application of the membrane-impermeant BSA-conjugated DEX, and intracellular blockade of G protein function with GDP βS in the recorded cell prevented the effect of DEX. The enhancement of GABA release was blocked by the TRPV1 antagonists, 5'-iodoresiniferatoxin or capsazepine, but was not altered by the cannabinoid type 1 receptor antagonist AM251. The DEX effect was prevented by blocking fatty acid amide hydrolysis or by inhibiting anandamide transport, implicating involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the response. These findings indicate that DEX induces an enhancement of GABA release in the DMV, which is mediated by activation of TRPV1 receptors on afferent terminals. The effect is likely induced by anandamide or other 'endovanilloid', suggesting activation of a local retrograde signal originating from DMV neurons to enhance synaptic inhibition locally in response to glucocorticoids.

  2. The apoptotic response in HCT116BAX-/- cancer cells becomes rapidly saturated with increasing expression of a GFP-BAX fusion protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Semaan, Sheila J; Nickells, Robert W

    2010-01-01

    Many chemotherapeutic agents promote tumor cell death by activating the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis. Intrinsic apoptosis involves permeabilization of the mitochondrial outer membrane and the release of cytochrome c, a process that is controlled by proteins of the BCL2 gene family. Chemoresistance is often associated with abnormalities in concentrations of BCL2 family proteins. Although stoichiometirc interactions between anti-apoptotic and BH3-only BCL2 family proteins have been well documented as affecting cell death, the association between changes in BAX concentration and intrinsic apoptosis are poorly understood. Exogenous GFP-murine Bax fusion constructs were transfected into BAX-deficient HCT116 cells. To titrate the expression of the fusion protein, GFP-BAX was cloned into a tetracycline sensitive expression cassette and cotransfected with a plasmid expressing the rtTA transcription factor into HCT116 BAX-/- cells. Linear expression of the fusion gene was induced with doxycycline and monitored by quantitative PCR and immunoblotting. Cell death was assayed by DAPI staining cells after exposure to indomethacin, and scoring nuclei for condensed chromatin and fragmented nuclei. HCT116 BAX-/- cells were resistant to indomethacin, but susceptibility could be recovered in cells expressing a GFP-BAX fusion protein. Titration of GFP-BAX expression revealed that the concentration of BAX required to induce a saturating apoptosis response from baseline, was rapidly achieved. Increased levels of GFP-BAX were unable to stimulate higher levels of cell death. Examination of GFP-BAX distribution before and after indomethacin treatment indicated that BAX protein did not form aggregates when present at sub-lethal concentrations. Within the limitations of this experimental system, BAX-dependent apoptosis in HCT116 cells exhibits an all-or-none response depending on the level of BAX protein present. The lack of BAX aggregation at sub-saturation levels suggests that the

  3. The apoptotic response in HCT116BAX-/- cancer cells becomes rapidly saturated with increasing expression of a GFP-BAX fusion protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Semaan Sheila J

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many chemotherapeutic agents promote tumor cell death by activating the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis. Intrinsic apoptosis involves permeabilization of the mitochondrial outer membrane and the release of cytochrome c, a process that is controlled by proteins of the BCL2 gene family. Chemoresistance is often associated with abnormalities in concentrations of BCL2 family proteins. Although stoichiometirc interactions between anti-apoptotic and BH3-only BCL2 family proteins have been well documented as affecting cell death, the association between changes in BAX concentration and intrinsic apoptosis are poorly understood. Methods Exogenous GFP-murine Bax fusion constructs were transfected into BAX-deficient HCT116 cells. To titrate the expression of the fusion protein, GFP-BAX was cloned into a tetracycline sensitive expression cassette and cotransfected with a plasmid expressing the rtTA transcription factor into HCT116BAX-/- cells. Linear expression of the fusion gene was induced with doxycycline and monitored by quantitative PCR and immunoblotting. Cell death was assayed by DAPI staining cells after exposure to indomethacin, and scoring nuclei for condensed chromatin and fragmented nuclei. Results HCT116BAX-/- cells were resistant to indomethacin, but susceptibility could be recovered in cells expressing a GFP-BAX fusion protein. Titration of GFP-BAX expression revealed that the concentration of BAX required to induce a saturating apoptosis response from baseline, was rapidly achieved. Increased levels of GFP-BAX were unable to stimulate higher levels of cell death. Examination of GFP-BAX distribution before and after indomethacin treatment indicated that BAX protein did not form aggregates when present at sub-lethal concentrations. Conclusion Within the limitations of this experimental system, BAX-dependent apoptosis in HCT116 cells exhibits an all-or-none response depending on the level of BAX protein present. The lack of

  4. Towards Universal Screening for Toxoplasmosis: Rapid, Cost-effective and Simultaneous Detection of Toxoplasma Anti-IgG, IgM and IgA Antibodies Using Very Small Serum Volumes

    Science.gov (United States)

    No dataset associated with this publication.This dataset is associated with the following publication:Augustine, S. Towards Universal Screening for Toxoplasmosis: Rapid, Cost-effective and Simultaneous Detection of Toxoplasma Anti-IgG, IgM and IgA Antibodies Using Very Small Serum Volumes. JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC, USA, 56(7): 1-2, (2016).

  5. Student Response to Tuition Increase by Academic Majors: Empirical Grounds for a Cost-Related Tuition Policy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Jung Cheol; Milton, Sande

    2008-01-01

    This study explored the responses of students in different academic majors to tuition increase, with a particular focus on the relationship between tuition increase, and future earnings and college expenditures. We analyzed effects of tuition increase on enrollment in six academic majors--Engineering, Physics, Biology, Mathematics, Business, and…

  6. Rapid Electrical Stimulation Increased Cardiac Apoptosis Through Disturbance of Calcium Homeostasis and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Le Geng

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Heart failure induced by tachycardia, the most common arrhythmia, is frequently observed in clinical practice. This study was designed to investigate the underlying mechanisms. Methods: Rapid electrical stimulation (RES at a frequency of 3 Hz was applied on human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs for 7 days, with 8 h/day and 24 h/day set to represent short-term and long-term tachycardia, respectively. Age-matched hiPSC-CMs without electrical stimulation or with slow electrical stimulation (1 Hz were set as no electrical stimulation (NES control or low-frequency electrical stimulation (LES control. Following stimulation, JC-1 staining flow cytometry analysis was performed to examine mitochondrial conditions. Apoptosis in hiPSC-CMs was evaluated using Hoechst staining and Annexin V/propidium iodide (AV/PI staining flow cytometry analysis. Calcium transients and L-type calcium currents were recorded to evaluate calcium homeostasis. Western blotting and qPCR were performed to evaluate the protein and mRNA expression levels of apoptosis-related genes and calcium homeostasis-regulated genes. Results: Compared to the controls, hiPSC-CMs following RES presented mitochondrial dysfunction and an increased apoptotic percentage. Amplitudes of calcium transients and L-type calcium currents were significantly decreased in hiPSC-CMs with RES. Molecular analysis demonstrated upregulated expression of Caspase3 and increased Bax/Bcl-2 ratio. Genes related to calcium re-sequence were downregulated, while phosphorylated Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII was significantly upregulated following RES. There was no significant difference between the NES control and LES control groups in these aspects. Inhibition of CaMKII with 1 µM KN93 partly reversed these adverse effects of RES. Conclusion: RES on hiPSC-CMs disturbed calcium homeostasis, which led to mitochondrial stress, promoted cell apoptosis and

  7. Increasing the use of second-line therapy is a cost-effective approach to prevent the spread of drug-resistant HIV: a mathematical modelling study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nichols, Brooke E.; Sigaloff, Kim C. E.; Kityo, Cissy; Hamers, Raph L.; Baltussen, Rob; Bertagnolio, Silvia; Jordan, Michael R.; Hallett, Timothy B.; Boucher, Charles A. B.; de Wit, Tobias F. Rinke; van de Vijver, David A. M. C.

    2014-01-01

    Earlier antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation reduces HIV-1 incidence. This benefit may be offset by increased transmitted drug resistance (TDR), which could limit future HIV treatment options. We analyze the epidemiological impact and cost-effectiveness of strategies to reduce TDR. We develop a

  8. Resource utilization and cost-effectiveness of counselor- vs. provider-based rapid point-of-care HIV screening in the emergency department.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rochelle P Walensky

    Full Text Available Routine HIV screening in emergency department (ED settings may require dedicated personnel. We evaluated the outcomes, costs and cost-effectiveness of HIV screening when offered by either a member of the ED staff or by an HIV counselor.We employed a mathematical model to extend data obtained from a randomized clinical trial of provider- vs. counselor-based HIV screening in the ED. We compared the downstream survival, costs, and cost-effectiveness of three HIV screening modalities: 1 no screening program; 2 an ED provider-based program; and 3 an HIV counselor-based program. Trial arm-specific data were used for test offer and acceptance rates (provider offer 36%, acceptance 75%; counselor offer 80%, acceptance 71%. Undiagnosed HIV prevalence (0.4% and linkage to care rates (80% were assumed to be equal between the screening modalities. Personnel costs were derived from trial-based resource utilization data. We examined the generalizability of results by conducting sensitivity analyses on offer and acceptance rates, undetected HIV prevalence, and costs.Estimated HIV screening costs in the provider and counselor arms averaged $8.10 and $31.00 per result received. The Provider strategy (compared to no screening had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $58,700/quality-adjusted life year (QALY and the Counselor strategy (compared to the Provider strategy had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $64,500/QALY. Results were sensitive to the relative offer and acceptance rates by strategy and the capacity of providers to target-screen, but were robust to changes in undiagnosed HIV prevalence and programmatic costs.The cost-effectiveness of provider-based HIV screening in an emergency department setting compares favorably to other US screening programs. Despite its additional cost, counselor-based screening delivers just as much return on investment as provider based-screening. Investment in dedicated HIV screening personnel is justified in

  9. Resource utilization and cost-effectiveness of counselor- vs. provider-based rapid point-of-care HIV screening in the emergency department.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walensky, Rochelle P; Morris, Bethany L; Reichmann, William M; Paltiel, A David; Arbelaez, Christian; Donnell-Fink, Laurel; Katz, Jeffrey N; Losina, Elena

    2011-01-01

    Routine HIV screening in emergency department (ED) settings may require dedicated personnel. We evaluated the outcomes, costs and cost-effectiveness of HIV screening when offered by either a member of the ED staff or by an HIV counselor. We employed a mathematical model to extend data obtained from a randomized clinical trial of provider- vs. counselor-based HIV screening in the ED. We compared the downstream survival, costs, and cost-effectiveness of three HIV screening modalities: 1) no screening program; 2) an ED provider-based program; and 3) an HIV counselor-based program. Trial arm-specific data were used for test offer and acceptance rates (provider offer 36%, acceptance 75%; counselor offer 80%, acceptance 71%). Undiagnosed HIV prevalence (0.4%) and linkage to care rates (80%) were assumed to be equal between the screening modalities. Personnel costs were derived from trial-based resource utilization data. We examined the generalizability of results by conducting sensitivity analyses on offer and acceptance rates, undetected HIV prevalence, and costs. Estimated HIV screening costs in the provider and counselor arms averaged $8.10 and $31.00 per result received. The Provider strategy (compared to no screening) had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $58,700/quality-adjusted life year (QALY) and the Counselor strategy (compared to the Provider strategy) had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $64,500/QALY. Results were sensitive to the relative offer and acceptance rates by strategy and the capacity of providers to target-screen, but were robust to changes in undiagnosed HIV prevalence and programmatic costs. The cost-effectiveness of provider-based HIV screening in an emergency department setting compares favorably to other US screening programs. Despite its additional cost, counselor-based screening delivers just as much return on investment as provider based-screening. Investment in dedicated HIV screening personnel is justified in situations

  10. Endovascular Thrombectomy for Ischemic Stroke Increases Disability-Free Survival, Quality of Life, and Life Expectancy and Reduces Cost

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce C. V. Campbell

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available BackgroundEndovascular thrombectomy improves functional outcome in large vessel occlusion ischemic stroke. We examined disability, quality of life, survival and acute care costs in the EXTEND-IA trial, which used CT-perfusion imaging selection.MethodsLarge vessel ischemic stroke patients with favorable CT-perfusion were randomized to endovascular thrombectomy after alteplase versus alteplase-only. Clinical outcome was prospectively measured using 90-day modified Rankin scale (mRS. Individual patient expected survival and net difference in Disability/Quality-adjusted life years (DALY/QALY up to 15 years from stroke were modeled using age, sex, 90-day mRS, and utility scores. Level of care within the first 90 days was prospectively measured and used to estimate procedure and inpatient care costs (US$ reference year 2014.ResultsThere were 70 patients, 35 in each arm, mean age 69, median NIHSS 15 (IQR 12–19. The median (IQR disability-weighted utility score at 90 days was 0.65 (0.00–0.91 in the alteplase-only versus 0.91 (0.65–1.00 in the endovascular group (p = 0.005. Modeled life expectancy was greater in the endovascular versus alteplase-only group (median 15.6 versus 11.2 years, p = 0.02. The endovascular thrombectomy group had fewer simulated DALYs lost over 15 years [median (IQR 5.5 (3.2–8.7 versus 8.9 (4.7–13.8, p = 0.02] and more QALY gained [median (IQR 9.3 (4.2–13.1 versus 4.9 (0.3–8.5, p = 0.03]. Endovascular patients spent less time in hospital [median (IQR 5 (3–11 days versus 8 (5–14 days, p = 0.04] and rehabilitation [median (IQR 0 (0–28 versus 27 (0–65 days, p = 0.03]. The estimated inpatient costs in the first 90 days were less in the thrombectomy group (average US$15,689 versus US$30,569, p = 0.008 offsetting the costs of interhospital transport and the thrombectomy procedure (average US$10,515. The average saving per patient treated with thrombectomy was US$4

  11. Determination of GABA and vigabatrin in human plasma by a rapid and simple HPLC method: correlation between clinical response to vigabatrin and increase in plasma GABA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Löscher, W; Fassbender, C P; Gram, L; Gramer, M; Hörstermann, D; Zahner, B; Stefan, H

    1993-03-01

    The novel antiepileptic drug vigabatrin (Sabril) acts by inhibiting degradation of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), increasing the GABA concentrations in the brain. Because the GABA degrading enzyme GABA aminotransferase (GABA-T) is also present in peripheral tissues, including blood platelets, measurement of plasma GABA levels might be a useful indication of the pharmacological response to vigabatrin during therapeutic monitoring. However, because of the very low concentrations of GABA in plasma, the few methods available for plasma GABA analysis are time-consuming, difficult to perform and/or not selective enough because of potential interference with other plasma constituents. In the present study, a rapid, selective and sensitive amino acid analysis HPLC method has been developed for plasma GABA determination with fluorescence detection, using o-phthaldialdehyde as a precolumn derivatizing agent. By employing a 3 microns particle size reversed-phase column and a multi-step gradient system of two solvents, the very low endogenous concentration of GABA in human plasma could be reproducibly quantitated without interference of other endogenous compounds. Incubation of human plasma samples with GABA degrading enzyme(s) resulted in an almost total loss of the GABA peak, thus demonstrating the specificity of the method for GABA analysis. In addition to GABA and other endogenous amino acids, the HPLC method could be used to quantitate plasma levels of vigabatrin. Thus, this improved HPLC amino acid assay might be used to examine whether concomitant monitoring of plasma GABA and vigabatrin is useful for clinical purposes. This was examined in 20 epileptic patients undergoing chronic treatment with vigabatrin. The average plasma GABA level of these 20 patients did not differ significantly from non-epileptic controls. However, when epileptic patients were subdivided according to their clinical response to vigabatrin, vigabatrin responders

  12. [Relating costs to activities in hospitals. Use of internal cost accounting].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavem, K

    1995-01-10

    During the last few years hospital cost accounting has become widespread in many countries, in parallel with increasing cost pressure, greater competition and new financing schemes. Cost accounting has been used in the manufacturing industry for many years. Costs can be related to activities and production, e.g. by the costing of procedures, episodes of care and other internally defined cost objectives. Norwegian hospitals have lagged behind in the adoption of cost accounting. They ought to act quickly if they want to be prepared for possible changes in health care financing. The benefits can be considerable to a hospital operating in a rapidly changing health care environment.

  13. Cost-effectiveness of healthy eating and/or physical activity promotion in pregnant women at increased risk of gestational diabetes mellitus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Broekhuizen, Karen; Simmons, David; Devlieger, Roland

    2018-01-01

    was performed alongside a European multicenter-randomized controlled trial. A total of 435 pregnant women at increased risk of GDM in primary and secondary care settings in nine European countries, were recruited and randomly allocated to a healthy eating and physical activity promotion intervention (HE + PA...... intervention), a healthy eating promotion intervention (HE intervention), or a physical activity promotion intervention (PA intervention). Main outcome measures were gestational weight gain, fasting glucose, insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), quality adjusted life years (QALYs), and societal costs. Results: Between...... intervention strategy. At 35-37 weeks, it depends on the decision-makers' willingness to pay per kilogram reduction in gestational weight gain whether the HE + PA intervention is cost-effective for gestational weight gain, whereas it was not cost-effective for fasting glucose and HOMA-IR. After delivery...

  14. Cost-effectiveness of healthy eating and/or physical activity promotion in pregnant women at increased risk of gestational diabetes mellitus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Broekhuizen, Karen; Simmons, David; Devlieger, Roland

    2018-01-01

    for pregnant women at increased risk for GDM. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the healthy eating and/or physical activity promotion intervention compared to usual care among pregnant women at increased risk of GDM from a societal perspective. Methods: An economic evaluation...... was performed alongside a European multicenter-randomized controlled trial. A total of 435 pregnant women at increased risk of GDM in primary and secondary care settings in nine European countries, were recruited and randomly allocated to a healthy eating and physical activity promotion intervention (HE + PA...... intervention), a healthy eating promotion intervention (HE intervention), or a physical activity promotion intervention (PA intervention). Main outcome measures were gestational weight gain, fasting glucose, insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), quality adjusted life years (QALYs), and societal costs. Results: Between...

  15. Cost-effectiveness of using a social franchise network to increase uptake of oral rehydration salts and zinc for childhood diarrhea in rural Myanmar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishai, David; Sachathep, Karampreet; LeFevre, Amnesty; Thant, Hnin New Nwe; Zaw, Min; Aung, Tin; McFarland, Willi; Montagu, Dominic

    2015-01-01

    This paper examines the cost-effectiveness of achieving increases in the use of oral rehydration solution and zinc supplementation in the management of acute diarrhea in children under 5 years through social franchising. The study uses cost and outcome data from an initiative by Population Services International (PSI) in 3 townships of Myanmar in 2010 to promote an ORS-Zinc product called ORASEL. The objective of this study was to determine the incremental cost-effectiveness of a strategy to promote ORS-Z use through private sector franchising compared to standard government and private sector practices. Costing from a societal perspective included program, provider, and household costs for the 2010 calendar year. Program costs including ORASEL program launch, distribution, and administration costs were obtained through a retrospective review of financial records and key informant interviews with staff in the central Yangon office. Household out of pocket payments for diarrheal episodes were obtained from a household survey conducted in the study area and additional estimates of household income lost due to parental care-giving time for a sick child were estimated. Incremental cost-effectiveness relative to status quo conditions was calculated per child death and DALY averted in 2010. Health effects included deaths and DALYs averted; the former modeled based on coverage estimates from a household survey that were entered into the Lives Saved Tool (LiST). Uncertainty was modeled with Monte Carlo methods. Based on the model, the promotional strategy would translate to 2.85 (SD 0.29) deaths averted in a community population of 1 million where there would be 81,000 children under 5 expecting 48,373 cases of diarrhea. The incremental cost effectiveness of the franchised approach to improving ORASEL coverage is estimated at a median $5,955 (IQR: $3437-$7589) per death averted and $214 (IQR: $127-$287) per discounted DALY averted. Investing in developing a network of

  16. Decision and cost analysis of empirical antibiotic therapy of acute sinusitis in the era of increasing antimicrobial resistance: do we have an additional tool for antibiotic policy decisions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babela, Robert; Jarcuska, Pavol; Uraz, Vladimir; Krčméry, Vladimír; Jadud, Branislav; Stevlik, Jan; Gould, Ian M

    2017-11-01

    No previous analyses have attempted to determine optimal therapy for upper respiratory tract infections on the basis of cost-minimization models and the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance among respiratory pathogens in Slovakia. This investigation compares macrolides and cephalosporines for empirical therapy and look at this new tool from the aspect of potential antibiotic policy decision-making process. We employed a decision tree model to determine the threshold level of macrolides and cephalosporines resistance among community respiratory pathogens that would make cephalosporines or macrolides cost-minimising. To obtain information on clinical outcomes and cost of URTIs, a systematic review of the literature was performed. The cost-minimization model of upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) treatment was derived from the review of literature and published models. We found that the mean cost of empirical treatment with macrolides for an URTIs was €93.27 when the percentage of resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae in the community was 0%; at 5%, the mean cost was €96.45; at 10%, €99.63; at 20%, €105.99, and at 30%, €112.36. Our model demonstrated that when the percentage of macrolide resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae exceeds 13.8%, use of empirical cephalosporines rather than macrolides minimizes the treatment cost of URTIs. Empirical macrolide therapy is less expensive than cephalosporines therapy for URTIs unless macrolide resistance exceeds 13.8% in the community. Results have important antibiotic policy implications, since presented model can be use as an additional decision-making tool for new guidelines and reimbursement processes by local authorities in the era of continual increase in antibiotic resistance.

  17. Incremento de costes atribuible a la infección quirúrgica de la apendicectomía y colectomía Increase in costs attributable to surgical infection after appendicectomy and colectomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Ríos

    2003-06-01

    and 23 controls for patients operated on apendicectomy and 20 cases and 20 controls for those operated on colectomy. In matching 2, the sample consisted on 17 pairs of cases and controls on apendicectomy and 14 pairs of cases and controls on colectomy. The infection increased the average length of stay between 7.7 days (matching 1 and 7.3 days (matching 2 in cases of infected apendicectomy and between 17.6 days (matching 1 and 15.4 days (matching 2 in cases of infected colectomy. The patients with apendicectomy infection presented an average cost three times higher than the ones not infected, both in matching 1 (2,998.60 versus 941.89 €, respectively; p < 0.0001 and in matching 2 (2,751.70 versus 870.81 €, respectively; p < 0.0001. Similar findings were observed in colectomy both in matching 1 (10,705.34 versus 2,600.55 €, respectively; p < 0.0001 and in matching 2 (9,081.12 versus 2,621.39 €, respectively; p < 0.0001. The average cost of surgical site infection oscillated between 2,056.71 € (matching 1 and 1,880.89 € (matching 2 in apendicectomy and between 8,140.79 € (matching 1 and 6,405.65 € (matching 2 in colectomy. Conclusions: Under the study conditions, the infection of surgical site determines the prolongation of the hospital stay in more than one week in apendicectomy and in more than two in colectomy, with an increase higher than 300% in the total direct cost.

  18. The SpikerBox: A Low Cost, Open-Source BioAmplifier for Increasing Public Participation in Neuroscience Inquiry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzullo, Timothy C.; Gage, Gregory J.

    2012-01-01

    Although people are generally interested in how the brain functions, neuroscience education for the public is hampered by a lack of low cost and engaging teaching materials. To address this, we developed an open-source tool, the SpikerBox, which is appropriate for use in middle/high school educational programs and by amateurs. This device can be used in easy experiments in which students insert sewing pins into the leg of a cockroach, or other invertebrate, to amplify and listen to the electrical activity of neurons. With the cockroach leg preparation, students can hear and see (using a smartphone oscilloscope app we have developed) the dramatic changes in activity caused by touching the mechanosensitive barbs. Students can also experiment with other manipulations such as temperature, drugs, and microstimulation that affect the neural activity. We include teaching guides and other resources in the supplemental materials. These hands-on lessons with the SpikerBox have proven to be effective in teaching basic neuroscience. PMID:22470415

  19. The SpikerBox: a low cost, open-source bioamplifier for increasing public participation in neuroscience inquiry.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy C Marzullo

    Full Text Available Although people are generally interested in how the brain functions, neuroscience education for the public is hampered by a lack of low cost and engaging teaching materials. To address this, we developed an open-source tool, the SpikerBox, which is appropriate for use in middle/high school educational programs and by amateurs. This device can be used in easy experiments in which students insert sewing pins into the leg of a cockroach, or other invertebrate, to amplify and listen to the electrical activity of neurons. With the cockroach leg preparation, students can hear and see (using a smartphone oscilloscope app we have developed the dramatic changes in activity caused by touching the mechanosensitive barbs. Students can also experiment with other manipulations such as temperature, drugs, and microstimulation that affect the neural activity. We include teaching guides and other resources in the supplemental materials. These hands-on lessons with the SpikerBox have proven to be effective in teaching basic neuroscience.

  20. Sci-Fri AM: Quality, Safety, and Professional Issues 03: The Increasing Costs of Shielding Diagnostic CT Scanners in Ontario

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Richer, Jeff; Frimeth, Jeff; Nesbitt, James [Windsor Regional Hospital, Xspect Inc., XRCT Inc. (Canada)

    2016-08-15

    Purpose: In Ontario, shielding for all X-ray machines, including CT scanners, must be evaluated according to Safety Code 20A (Health Canada, 1983) which is based on NCRP-49 (NCRP, 1976). NCRP-147 (NCRP, 2004) is the international standard for shielding calculations of CT scanners and is also referenced in Safety Code 35 (Health Canada, 2008) which, was published to supersede SC20A. The goal of this work is to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of NCRP-147 for CT scanner shielding. Methods: CT scanner shielding calculations are performed using SC20A and NCRP-147: A room located on the third floor with the nearest building 75m away A room with high occupancy uncontrolled adjacent spaces Two side by side rooms on the main floor Results: 1. SC20A: The exterior windows required 0.1mm of Pb to protect the public who may occupy the building at 75m. 1. NCRP-147: No additional shielding required. 2. SC20A: Two walls adjacent to high occupancy uncontrolled space required an additional 1.58mm Pb. 2. NCRP-147: No additional shielding required. 3. SC20A: The entire floor and ceiling slabs in both rooms required an additional 0.79mm Pb. In addition, 0.79mm Pb was added to the walls from the ceiling to overlap the existing Pb shielding in the walls. 3. NCRP-147: No additional shielding required. Conclusion: The application of NCRP Report No. 147 affords the required protection to staff and the public, in the true spirit of the ALARA principle, taking into account relevant social and economic factors.

  1. A lesson in business: cost-effectiveness analysis of a novel financial incentive intervention for increasing physical activity in the workplace.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dallat, Mary Anne T; Hunter, Ruth F; Tully, Mark A; Cairns, Karen J; Kee, Frank

    2013-10-10

    Recently both the UK and US governments have advocated the use of financial incentives to encourage healthier lifestyle choices but evidence for the cost-effectiveness of such interventions is lacking. Our aim was to perform a cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) of a quasi-experimental trial, exploring the use of financial incentives to increase employee physical activity levels, from a healthcare and employer's perspective. Employees used a 'loyalty card' to objectively monitor their physical activity at work over 12 weeks. The Incentive Group (n=199) collected points and received rewards for minutes of physical activity completed. The No Incentive Group (n=207) self-monitored their physical activity only. Quality of life (QOL) and absenteeism were assessed at baseline and 6 months follow-up. QOL scores were also converted into productivity estimates using a validated algorithm. The additional costs of the Incentive Group were divided by the additional quality adjusted life years (QALYs) or productivity gained to calculate incremental cost effectiveness ratios (ICERs). Cost-effectiveness acceptability curves (CEACs) and population expected value of perfect information (EVPI) was used to characterize and value the uncertainty in our estimates. The Incentive Group performed more physical activity over 12 weeks and by 6 months had achieved greater gains in QOL and productivity, although these mean differences were not statistically significant. The ICERs were £2,900/QALY and £2,700 per percentage increase in overall employee productivity. Whilst the confidence intervals surrounding these ICERs were wide, CEACs showed a high chance of the intervention being cost-effective at low willingness-to-pay (WTP) thresholds. The Physical Activity Loyalty card (PAL) scheme is potentially cost-effective from both a healthcare and employer's perspective but further research is warranted to reduce uncertainty in our results. It is based on a sustainable "business model" which

  2. Technology Alliance Portfolios and Financial Performance : Value-Enhancing and Cost-Increasing Effects of Open Innovation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faems, Dries; de Visser, Matthias; Andries, Petra; Van Looy, Bart

    Firms increasingly adopt an open innovation model in which they rely on technology alliances to complement and supplement their internal innovation efforts. Although previous studies provide in-depth insight into the impact of technology alliances on the innovation performance, they remain

  3. Technology alliance portfolios and financial performance: Value-enhancing and cost-increasing effects of open innovation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faems, D.L.M.; de Visser, Matthias; Andries, Petra; van Looy, Bart; van Looy, Bart

    2010-01-01

    Firms increasingly adopt an open innovation model in which they rely on technology alliances to complement and supplement their internal innovation efforts. Although previous studies provide in-depth insight into the impact of technology alliances on the innovation performance, they remain

  4. Technology Alliance Portfolios and Financial Performance : Value-Enhancing and Cost-Increasing Effects of Open Innovation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faems, Dries; de Visser, Matthias; Andries, Petra; Van Looy, Bart

    2010-01-01

    Firms increasingly adopt an open innovation model in which they rely on technology alliances to complement and supplement their internal innovation efforts. Although previous studies provide in-depth insight into the impact of technology alliances on the innovation performance, they remain

  5. Increased mobility and on/off ratio in organic field-effect transistors using low-cost guanine-pentacene multilayers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Wei; Zheng, Yifan; Taylor, André D.; Yu, Junsheng; Katz, Howard E.

    2017-07-01

    Layer-by-layer deposited guanine and pentacene in organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) is introduced. Through adjusting the layer thickness ratio of guanine and pentacene, the tradeoff of two electronic parameters in OFETs, charge carrier mobility and current on/off ratio, was controlled. The charge mobility was enhanced by depositing pentacene over and between guanine layers and by increasing the proportion of pentacene in the layer-by-layer system, while the current on/off ratio was increased via the decreased off current induced by the guanine layers. The tunable device performance was mainly ascribed to the trap and dopant neutralizing properties of the guanine layers, which would decrease the density of free hydroxyl groups in the OFETs. Furthermore, the cost of the devices could be reduced remarkably via the adoption of low-cost guanine.

  6. The devil to pay: a cost of mutualism with Myrmelachista schumanni ants in ‘devil's gardens’ is increased herbivory on Duroia hirsuta trees

    OpenAIRE

    Frederickson, Megan E; Gordon, Deborah M

    2007-01-01

    ‘Devil's gardens’ are nearly pure stands of the myrmecophyte, Duroia hirsuta, that occur in Amazonian rainforests. Devil's gardens are created by Myrmelachista schumanni ants, which nest in D. hirsuta trees and kill other plants using formic acid as an herbicide. Here, we show that this ant–plant mutualism has an associated cost; by making devil's gardens, M. schumanni increases herbivory on D. hirsuta. We measured standing leaf herbivory on D. hirsuta trees and found that they sustain higher...

  7. Technique to increase performance of C-program for control systems. Compiler technique for low-cost CPU; Seigyoyo C gengo program no kosokuka gijutsu. Tei cost CPU no tame no gengo compiler gijutsu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yamada, Y [Mazda Motor Corp., Hiroshima (Japan)

    1997-10-01

    The software of automotive control systems has become increasingly large and complex. High level languages (primarily C) and the compilers become more important to reduce coding time. Most compilers represent real number in the floating point format specified by IEEE standard 754. Most microprocessors in the automotive industry have no hardware for the operation using the IEEE standard due to the cost requirements, resulting in the slow execution speed and large code size. Alternative formats to increase execution speed and reduce code size are proposed. Experimental results for the alternative formats show the improvement in execution speed and code size. 4 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  8. Evaluation of increased adherence and cost savings of an employer value-based benefits program targeting generic antihyperlipidemic and antidiabetic medications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Bobby; DuChane, Janeen; Hou, John; Rubinstein, Elan; McMurray, Jennifer; Duncan, Ian

    2014-02-01

    .001). Similar results were found among users of antihyperlipidemics. The mean adherence rate was sustained over time for participants (77.7% vs. 78.3%) but declined over time for nonparticipants (77.6% vs. 70.8%). The difference in mean change over time was statistically significant between participants and nonparticipants (0.6% vs. -6,8%, P  less than  0.001). Average prescription costs PMPY increased for participants of the ZCP program during the post-implementation period; however, the increase was not larger than the cost increase among nonparticipants ($581 vs. $584, P = 0.95). Furthermore, among antihyperlipidemics the cost increase post-implementation was actually significantly less for participants than nonparticipants ($51 vs. $143, P  less than  0.001).  Plan sponsors are increasingly evaluating the use of value-based benefit design (VBBD) to change member behavior. This ZCP program used a reduction in cost sharing to incentivize members to use more generic drugs and to enroll in a care management coaching program. The study also demonstrated that a VBBD program can have a positive impact on adherence and cost outcomes among those who participate compared with nonparticipants. 

  9. Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of environmental decisions: Benefit-cost analysis and effluent fees: A critical review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lave, L.; Gruenspecht, H.

    1991-01-01

    The objective of this critical review is to evaluate and summarize the literature on economic tools used to improve environmental decision making. Environmental decisions are complicated by pervasive uncertainty, and the lack of consensus on goals and on tradeoffs, such as air versus water pollution and versus loss of coal mining jobs. Five decision frameworks are used by regulatory agencies to simplify decision making. Congress' choice of a decision framework designates the amount of data and analysis that will be required and the range and depth of social values that must be considered. Economic incentives have worked well for phasing out lead in gasoline, for increasing recycling and for reducing the volume of municipal solid waste. Congress has mandated incentives for acid rain and CFCs, and several countries have implemented carbon taxes to abate greenhouse gas emissions. Economic tools have become more central to the analysis and implementation of environmental policies; their role should continue to increase. We conclude that economic tools are extremely valuable, although their application is difficult

  10. Drive Cost Reduction, Increase Innovation and Mitigate Risk with Advanced Knowledge Discovery Tools Designed to Unlock and Leverage Prior Knowledge

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitchell, I.

    2016-01-01

    Full text: The nuclear industry is knowledge-intensive and includes a diverse number of stakeholders. Much of this knowledge is at risk as engineers, technicians and project professionals retire, leaving a widening skills and information gap. This knowledge is critical in an increasingly complex environment with information from past projects often buried in decades-old, non-integrated systems enterprise. Engineers can spend 40% or more of their time searching for answers across the enterprise instead of solving problems. The inability to access trusted industry knowledge results in increased risk and expense. Advanced knowledge discovery technologies slash research times by as much as 75% and accelerate innovation and problem solving by giving technical professionals access to the information they need, in the context of the problems they are trying to solve. Unlike traditional knowledge management approaches, knowledge discovery tools powered by semantic search technologies are adept at uncovering answers in unstructured data and require no tagging, organization or moving of data, meaning a smaller IT footprint and faster time-to-knowledge. This session will highlight best-in-class knowledge discovery technologies, content, and strategies to give nuclear industry organizations the ability to leverage the corpus of enterprise knowledge into the future. (author

  11. Rapid, low-cost MR imaging protocol to document central nervous system and sinus abnormalities prior to pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leite, Eliane D.; Barbosa, Felipe G. de; Szarf, Gilberto; Lederman, Henrique M. [Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Sao Paulo (Brazil); Seber, Adriana; Ginani, Valeria C.; Carlesse, Fabianne C.; Gouvea, Roseane V.; Zecchin, Victor G.; Carvalho, Cinthya R. [Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Division of Pediatric Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Sao Paulo (Brazil)

    2011-06-15

    Patients undergoing bone marrow transplant (BMT) are at risk for infectious complications, including those of the sinus. Central nervous system (CNS) abnormalities related to the chemotherapy or radiation that the patient received for the treatment of underlying malignancy or to transplant-related effects are also commonly seen. The only effective way to differentiate pre- and post-transplant causes is to have a baseline evaluation prior to the admission for transplant. The current method used to evaluate these patients is head CT. However, CT is not accurate to demonstrate CNS abnormalities and exposes the patient to radiation. MRI, despite better sensitivity for white matter abnormalities, has not been routinely used because of the higher cost and longer duration of the exam. Therefore, we designed a fast, low-cost and radiation-free MRI-based protocol to simultaneously evaluate sinus and brain abnormalities. (orig.)

  12. Does increasing community and liquor licensees' awareness, police activity, and feedback reduce alcohol-related violent crime? A benefit-cost analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Héctor José; Shakeshaft, Anthony; Doran, Christopher M; Petrie, Dennis J

    2013-10-28

    Approximately half of all alcohol-related crime is violent crime associated with heavy episodic drinking. Multi-component interventions are highly acceptable to communities and may be effective in reducing alcohol-related crime generally, but their impact on alcohol-related violent crime has not been examined. This study evaluated the impact and benefit-cost of a multi-component intervention (increasing community and liquor licensees' awareness, police activity, and feedback) on crimes typically associated with alcohol-related violence. The intervention was tailored to weekends identified as historically problematic in 10 experimental communities in NSW, Australia, relative to 10 control ones. There was no effect on alcohol-related assaults and a small, but statistically significant and cost-beneficial, effect on alcohol-related sexual assaults: a 64% reduction in in the experimental relative to control communities, equivalent to five fewer alcohol-related sexual assaults, with a net social benefit estimated as AUD$3,938,218. The positive benefit-cost ratio was primarily a function of the value that communities placed on reducing alcohol-related harm: the intervention would need to be more than twice as effective for its economic benefits to be comparable to its costs. It is most likely that greater reductions in crimes associated with alcohol-related violence would be achieved by a combination of complementary legislative and community-based interventions.

  13. Does Increasing Community and Liquor Licensees’ Awareness, Police Activity, and Feedback Reduce Alcohol-Related Violent Crime? A Benefit-Cost Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Héctor José; Shakeshaft, Anthony; Doran, Christopher M.; Petrie, Dennis J.

    2013-01-01

    Approximately half of all alcohol-related crime is violent crime associated with heavy episodic drinking. Multi-component interventions are highly acceptable to communities and may be effective in reducing alcohol-related crime generally, but their impact on alcohol-related violent crime has not been examined. This study evaluated the impact and benefit-cost of a multi-component intervention (increasing community and liquor licensees’ awareness, police activity, and feedback) on crimes typically associated with alcohol-related violence. The intervention was tailored to weekends identified as historically problematic in 10 experimental communities in NSW, Australia, relative to 10 control ones. There was no effect on alcohol-related assaults and a small, but statistically significant and cost-beneficial, effect on alcohol-related sexual assaults: a 64% reduction in in the experimental relative to control communities, equivalent to five fewer alcohol-related sexual assaults, with a net social benefit estimated as AUD$3,938,218. The positive benefit-cost ratio was primarily a function of the value that communities placed on reducing alcohol-related harm: the intervention would need to be more than twice as effective for its economic benefits to be comparable to its costs. It is most likely that greater reductions in crimes associated with alcohol-related violence would be achieved by a combination of complementary legislative and community-based interventions. PMID:24169411

  14. Does Increasing Community and Liquor Licensees’ Awareness, Police Activity, and Feedback Reduce Alcohol-Related Violent Crime? A Benefit-Cost Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis J. Petrie

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Approximately half of all alcohol-related crime is violent crime associated with heavy episodic drinking. Multi-component interventions are highly acceptable to communities and may be effective in reducing alcohol-related crime generally, but their impact on alcohol-related violent crime has not been examined. This study evaluated the impact and benefit-cost of a multi-component intervention (increasing community and liquor licensees’ awareness, police activity, and feedback on crimes typically associated with alcohol-related violence. The intervention was tailored to weekends identified as historically problematic in 10 experimental communities in NSW, Australia, relative to 10 control ones. There was no effect on alcohol-related assaults and a small, but statistically significant and cost-beneficial, effect on alcohol-related sexual assaults: a 64% reduction in in the experimental relative to control communities, equivalent to five fewer alcohol-related sexual assaults, with a net social benefit estimated as AUD$3,938,218. The positive benefit-cost ratio was primarily a function of the value that communities placed on reducing alcohol-related harm: the intervention would need to be more than twice as effective for its economic benefits to be comparable to its costs. It is most likely that greater reductions in crimes associated with alcohol-related violence would be achieved by a combination of complementary legislative and community-based interventions.

  15. Lowering Saudi Arabia's fuel consumption and energy system costs without increasing end consumer prices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matar, Walid; Murphy, Frederic; Pierru, Axel; Rioux, Bertrand

    2015-01-01

    Using a multi-sector equilibrium model of the Saudi energy system that handles administered prices in a mixed-complementarity formulation, we present results from a set of policy scenarios that lower oil consumption in the country. Some of these scenarios are the solutions to Mathematical Programs subject to Equilibrium Constraints (MPECs) that maximize the net economic gain for the Saudi economy. The policies examined have the potential to generate economic gains exceeding 23 billion USD in 2011, or about 4% of Saudi Arabia's GDP. This economic gain comes mainly from inter-sectoral fuel pricing policies that incent shifting the mix in technologies that generate electricity and produce water from energy intensive technologies to more efficient ones. We show that when complemented by credits for investments in solar and nuclear power generation capacities, a modest increase in the transfer prices of fuels among sectors is sufficient to produce economic gains close to those achieved by deregulating transfer prices. The approach we develop here is an alternative to the classic recommendation of deregulating inter-sectoral fuel prices in situations where the conditions for successful liberalized markets do not exist. It is a template for introducing the notions of incentivizing behavior using prices into countries that rely more on administrative procedures than markets, leading to a deeper understanding of how markets can lead to economic gain. - Highlights: • The policies examined would have potentially generated economic gains exceeding 23 billion USD in 2011. • We design policies that produce economic benefits close to those achieved by deregulating inter-sectoral fuel prices. • This paper provides a template for building multi-sector models when transfer prices between sectors are administered

  16. Increased Severe Trauma Patient Volume is Associated With Survival Benefit and Reduced Total Health Care Costs: A Retrospective Observational Study Using a Japanese Nationwide Administrative Database.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endo, Akira; Shiraishi, Atsushi; Fushimi, Kiyohide; Murata, Kiyoshi; Otomo, Yasuhiro

    2017-06-07

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the associations of severe trauma patient volume with survival benefit and health care costs. The effect of trauma patient volume on survival benefit is inconclusive, and reports on its effects on health care costs are scarce. We conducted a retrospective observational study, including trauma patients who were transferred to government-approved tertiary emergency hospitals, or hospitals with an intensive care unit that provided an equivalent quality of care, using a Japanese nationwide administrative database. We categorized hospitals according to their annual severe trauma patient volumes [1 to 50 (reference), 51 to 100, 101 to 150, 151 to 200, and ≥201]. We evaluated the associations of volume categories with in-hospital survival and total cost per admission using a mixed-effects model adjusting for patient severity and hospital characteristics. A total of 116,329 patients from 559 hospitals were analyzed. Significantly increased in-hospital survival rates were observed in the second, third, fourth, and highest volume categories compared with the reference category [94.2% in the highest volume category vs 88.8% in the reference category, adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence interval, 95% CI) = 1.75 (1.49-2.07)]. Furthermore, significantly lower costs (in US dollars) were observed in the second and fourth categories [mean (standard deviation) for fourth vs reference = $17,800 ($17,378) vs $20,540 ($32,412), adjusted difference (95% CI) = -$2559 (-$3896 to -$1221)]. Hospitals with high volumes of severe trauma patients were significantly associated with a survival benefit and lower total cost per admission.

  17. Rapid evidence review of the comparative effectiveness, harms, and cost-effectiveness of pharmacogenomics-guided antidepressant treatment versus usual care for major depressive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Kimberly; Dieperink, Eric; Anderson, Johanna; Boundy, Erin; Ferguson, Lauren; Helfand, Mark

    2017-06-01

    This study aims to conduct an evidence review of the effectiveness, harms, and cost-effectiveness of pharmacogenomics-guided antidepressant treatment for major depressive disorder. We searched MEDLINE®, the Cochrane Central Registry of Controlled Trials, and PsycINFO through February 2017. We used prespecified criteria to select studies, abstract data, and rate internal validity and strength of the evidence (PROSPERO number CRD42016036358). We included two randomized trials (RCT), five controlled cohort studies, and six modeling studies of mostly women in their mid-40s with few comorbidities. CNSDose (ABCB1, ABCC1, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, UGT1A1) is the only pharmacogenomics test that significantly improved remission (one additional remitting patient in 12 weeks per three genotyped, 95% CI 1.7 to 3.5) and reduced intolerability in an RCT. ABCB1 genotyping leads to one additional remitting patient in 5 weeks per three genotyped (95% CI 3 to 20), but tolerability was not reported. In an RCT, GeneSight (CYP2D6, CYPC19, CYP1A2, SLC6A4, HTR2A) did not statistically significantly improve remission, and evidence is inconclusive about its tolerability. Evidence is generally low strength because RCTs were few and underpowered. Cost-effectiveness is unclear due to lack of directly observed cost-effectiveness outcomes. We found no studies that evaluated whether pharmacogenomics shortens time to optimal treatment, whether improvements were due to switches to genetically congruent medication, or whether effectiveness varies based on test and patient characteristics. Certain pharmacogenomics tools show promise of improving short-term remission rates in women in their mid-40s with few comorbidities. But, important evidence limitations preclude recommending their widespread use and indicate a need for further research.

  18. Options to address concerns regarding EU ETS induced increases in power prices and generators' profits. The case of carbon cost pass-through in Germany and the Netherlands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sijm, J.P.M.; Hers, J.S.; Wetzelaer, B.J.H.W.

    2008-02-01

    Power prices in EU countries have increased significantly since the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) became effective on 1 January 2005. This suggests that these increases in power prices are due to this scheme, in particular the pass-through of the costs of EU allowances (EUAs) to cover the CO2 emissions of eligible installations. In all sectors, however - including the power sector - eligible installations have usually received almost all of their needed allowances for free during the first phase of the EU ETS (2005-07). In several EU countries, the coincidence of the increases in power prices and the implementation of the EU ETS has raised questions, and sometimes fierce political debate, on whether power producers have indeed passed through the costs of freely allocated CO2 allowances to electricity prices, and to what extent the increase in these prices can be attributed to this pass-through or to other factors. In addition, it has raised discussions on whether - and to what extent - the supposed passing through of these costs has led to additional profits for power producers, that is, the so-called 'windfall profits' induced by the EU ETS. Finally, the supposed ETSinduced increases in power prices and generators' profits has raised concerns affecting the legitimacy of the present EU ETS, including concerns regarding its impact on the international competitiveness of some powerintensive industries, the purchasing power of electricity end-users such as small households or, more generally, the distribution of social welfare among power producers and consumers. As a result, in several countries policy makers and stakeholders have suggested a variety of options to address these concerns, including changing the emissions trading allocation system, taxing windfall profits or controlling market prices of EU carbon allowances, electricity or both. Against this background, the objectives of this chapter include: (a) To analyse empirically the trends in power

  19. Use of extraction chromatography, ion chromatography and liquid scintillation spectrometry for rapid determination of strontium-89 and strontium-90 in food in cases of increased release of radionuclides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heilgeist, M.

    2000-01-01

    For rapid determination of 89 Sr and 90 Sr in food, isocratic ion chromatography used for Sr isolation and purification is integrated in a complete analytical system comprising sample preparation, incineration, dissolution, phosphate precipitation for alkali/alkaline earth separation, and Sr specific extraction chromatography on crown ether basis for Ca/Sr separation. Strontium-89 and 90 Sr are determined by liquid scintillation spectrometry after carbonate precipitation. The components of the mixed spectra obtained are calculated by the computerized spectra subtraction method. Two days plus measuring time are required for single, three for double analysis. The limit of detection for 89 Sr and 90 Sr is ca. 0.1 Bq x kg -1 , related to the fresh produce. (author)

  20. Can cognitive dissonance methods developed in the West for combatting the 'thin ideal' help slow the rapidly increasing prevalence of eating disorders in non-Western cultures?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witcomb, Gemma L; Arcelus, Jon; Chen, Jue

    2013-12-01

    Eating disorders are common, life-threatening conditions in Western countries, but until relatively recently they were regarded as uncommon in non-Western cultures. However, the prevalence of eating disorders in many of the more affluent non-Western countries is rising rapidly as community members, particularly young women, internalize the 'thin ideal' that has been widely promoted by the international media. This review discusses the factors involved in the development of eating disorders in non-Western settings with a particular emphasis on the influences of urbanization, modernization, Westernization, and the resulting changes in women's roles. The cognitive dissonance programs developed in Western countries that have proven successful in countering the negative effects of the thin idea are described and their potential application to East Asia and other non-Western countries are discussed.

  1. The transgenerational effects of heat stress in the nematode Caenorhabditis remanei are negative and rapidly eliminated under direct selection for increased stress resistance in larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sikkink, Kristin L; Ituarte, Catherine M; Reynolds, Rose M; Cresko, William A; Phillips, Patrick C

    2014-12-01

    Parents encountering stress environments can influence the phenotype of their offspring in a form of transgenerational phenotypic plasticity that has the potential to be adaptive if offspring are thereby better able to deal with future stressors. Here, we test for the existence of anticipatory parental effects in the heat stress response in the highly polymorphic nematode Caenorhabditis remanei. Rather providing an anticipatory response, parents subject to a prior heat stress actually produce offspring that are less able to survive a severe heat shock. Selection on heat shock resistance within the larvae via experimental evolution leads to a loss of sensitivity (robustness) to environmental variation during both the parental and larval periods. Whole genome transcriptional analysis of both ancestor and selected lines shows that there is weak correspondence between genetic pathways induced via temperature shifts during parental and larval periods. Parental effects can evolve very rapidly via selection acting directly on offspring. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. A novel highly flexible, simple, rapid and low-cost fabrication tool for paper-based microfluidic devices (μPADs) using technical drawing pens and in-house formulated aqueous inks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuchtavorn, Nantana; Macka, Mirek

    2016-05-05

    Paper-based microfluidic devices (μPADs) are capable of achieving rapid quantitative measurements of a variety of analytes inexpensively. μPADs rely on patterning hydrophilic-hydrophobic regions on a sheet of paper in order to create capillary channels within impermeable fluidic brakes on the paper. Here, we present a novel, highly flexible and low-cost fabrication method using a desktop digital craft plotter/cutter and technical drawing pens with tip size of 0.5 mm. The pens were used with either commercial black permanent ink for drawing fluidic brakes, or with specialty in-house formulated aqueous inks. With the permanent marker ink it was possible to create barriers on paper rapidly and in a variety of designs in a highly flexible manner. For instance, a design featuring eight reservoirs can be produced within 10 s for each μPAD with a consistent line width of brakes (%RSD drawing pens provides flexibility in the use of in-house formulated inks, short fabrication time, simplicity and low cost. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Design and Development of Low Cost, Simple, Rapid and Safe, Modified Field Kits for the Visual Detection and Determination of Arsenic in Drinking Water Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Anjaneyulu

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available Arsenic is naturally found in surface and ground waters and the inorganic forms of arsenic are the most toxic forms. The adverse health effects of arsenic may involve the respiratory, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, nervous, and haematopoietic systems. Arsenic contamination in drinking water is a global problem widely seen in Bangladesh and West Bengal of the Indian sub continent. As there is a great demand for field test kits due to the anticipated reduction of the US EPA arsenic standard from 50ppb to 10ppb a field kit which offers rapid, simple and safe method for precise estimation of arsenic at 10ppb in drinking water samples is developed. Field methods, based on the mercuric-bromide-stain, consist of three different major parts, which are carried out stepwise. The first part of the procedure is to remove serious interference caused by hydrogen sulphide. In commercially available kits either the sulphide is oxidized to sulphate and the excess oxidizing reagent removed prior to the hydride generation step or, the hydrogen sulphide is filtered out by passing the gas stream through a filter impregnated with lead acetate during the hydride generation step. The present method employs cupric chloride in combination with ferric chloride or Fenton’s reagent for the removal of hydrogen sulphide, which is rapid, simple and more efficient. Other interferences at this step of the analyses are normally not expected for drinking water analysis. In the second step, the generation of the arsine gas involves the classical way of using zinc metal and hydrochloric acid, which produce the ‘nascent’ hydrogen, which is the actual reducing agent. Hydrochloric acid can be replaced by sulfamic acid, which is solid and avoids a major disadvantage of having to handle a corrosive liquid in the field. The arsine gas produces a yellowish spot on the reagent paper. Depending on the arsenic content, either, Yellow – H

  4. Comparison between neurostimulation techniques rapid transcranial magnetic stimulation vs electroconvulsive therapy for the treatment of resistant depression: patient preference and cost-effectiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magnezi R

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Racheli Magnezi,1 Emanuel Aminov,1 Dikla Shmuel,2 Merav Dreifuss,1 Pinhas Dannon1,2 1Public Health and Health Systems Management Program, Department of Management, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, 2Beer Yaakov Mental Health Center affiliated to Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel Objectives: Major depressive disorder (MDD is a common disorder, widely distributed in the population, and is often associated with severe symptoms and functional impairment. It has been estimated that 30% of MDD patients do not benefit adequately from therapeutic interventions, including pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. Treatment-resistant depression (TRD is generally defined as a failure to achieve remission, despite therapeutic interventions. Aim: The most effective treatment alternatives for TRD are hospitalization, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS. Here we compared the clinical effectiveness of ECT and TMS, including success rates, patient responses, side-effect profiles, and financial worthiness. Results: We found that ECT (P<0.0001 was more effective than TMS (P<0.012 (not statistically significant in group effect in TRD patients. However, ECT patients reported a higher percentage of side effects (P<0.01 and the TMS treatment scored better in terms of patient preference. The cost benefit of ECT was higher than that of TMS (US$2075 vs US$814. Patient’s preferences for treatment could be more intense in the TMS, if the TMS is included in the Health Maintenance Organization’s service list. Conclusion: We propose that both of these treatment options should be available in psychiatric wards, thus expanding the therapeutic toolkit for TRD. Keywords: ECT, TMS, treatment-resistant depression, cost benefit, patient preference

  5. Capital-cost behavior: is nuclear different

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lotze, C.D.; Riordan, B.J.

    1978-01-01

    The capital costs of coal-fired and nuclear power plants are found to be comparable when costs for pollution control are included. Trends in capital costs reveal a similar rate gain that retains the same economic balance. Graphs of selected cost indices are used to show that the rapid increase in direct construction costs is not unique to nuclear plants, those of hydroelectric plants as well as coal-fired having the same pattern. Comparisons of indirect capital costs, based on analyses of direct capital and total capital costs, show estimated average growth rates of total costs to be 14% for coal and 13.6% for nuclear, while direct cost growth rates are 10.2% and 10.4%. The economics of market competition can be expected to push alternative energy source projects into balance

  6. Increasing faculty participation in resident education and providing cost-effective self-assessment module credit to faculty through resident-generated didactics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyun; Malatesta, Theresa M; Anné, Pramila R; McAna, John; Bar-Ad, Voichita; Dicker, Adam P; Den, Robert B

    Board certified radiation oncologists and medical physicists are required to earn self-assessment module (SAM) continuing medical education (CME) credit, which may require travel costs or usage fees. Data indicate that faculty participation in resident teaching activities is beneficial to resident education. Our hypothesis was that providing the opportunity to earn SAM credit in resident didactics would increase faculty participation in and improve resident education. SAM applications, comprising CME certified category 1 resident didactic lectures and faculty-generated questions with respective answers, rationales, and references, were submitted to the American Board of Radiology for formal review. Surveys were distributed to assess main academic campus physician, affiliate campus physician, physicist, and radiation oncology resident impressions regarding the quality of the lectures. Survey responses were designed in Likert-scale format. Sign-test was performed with P motivation to attend resident didactics (P = .004). Residents reported an increased amount of time required to prepare lectures (P = .008). We are the first department, to our knowledge, to offer SAM credit to clinical faculty for participation in resident-generated didactics. Offering SAM credit at resident lectures is a cost-effective alternative to purchasing SAM resources, increases faculty attendance, and may improve the quality of radiation oncology resident education. Copyright © 2016 American Society for Radiation Oncology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Rapid and cost-effective identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing in patients with Gram-negative bacteremia directly from blood-culture fluid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakarikou, Christina; Altieri, Anna; Bossa, Maria Cristina; Minelli, Silvia; Dolfa, Camilla; Piperno, Micol; Favalli, Cartesio

    2018-03-01

    Rapid pathogen identification (ID) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) in bacteremia cases or sepsis could improve patient prognosis. Thus, it is important to provide timely reports, which make it possible for clinicians to set up appropriate antibiotic therapy during the early stages of bloodstream infection (BSI). This study evaluates an in-house microbiological protocol for early ID as well as AST on Gram negative bacteria directly from positive monomicrobial and polymicrobial blood cultures (BCs). A total of 102 non-duplicated positive BCs from patients with Gram-negative bacteremia were tested. Both IDs and ASTs were performed from bacterial pellets extracted directly from BCs using our protocol, which was applied through the combined use of a MALDI-TOF MS and Vitek2 automated system. The results of our study showed a 100% agreement in bacterial ID and 98.25% categorical agreement in AST when compared to those obtained by routine conventional methods. We recorded only a 0.76% minor error (mE), 0.76% major error (ME) and a 0.20% very major error (VME). Moreover, the turnaround time (TAT) regarding the final AST report was significantly shortened (ΔTAT = 8-20 h, p patient management, by early and appropriate antimicrobial treatment and could potentially optimize antimicrobial stewardship programs. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. An easy, rapid, and cost-effective method for DNA extraction from various lichen taxa and specimens suitable for analysis of fungal and algal strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Sook-Young; Jang, Seol-Hwa; Oh, Soon-Ok; Kim, Jung A; Hur, Jae-Seoun

    2014-12-01

    Lichen studies, including biodiversity, phylogenetic relationships, and conservation concerns require definitive species identification, however many lichens can be challenging to identify at the species level. Molecular techniques have shown efficacy in discriminating among lichen taxa, however, obtaining genomic DNA from herbarium and fresh lichen thalli by conventional methods has been difficult, because lichens contain high proteins, polysaccharides, and other complex compounds in their cell walls. Here we report a rapid, easy, and inexpensive protocol for extracting PCR-quality DNA from various lichen species. This method involves the following two steps: first, cell breakage using a beadbeater; and second, extraction, isolation, and precipitation of genomic DNA. The procedure requires approximately 10 mg of lichen thalli and can be completed within 20 min. The obtained DNAs were of sufficient quality and quantity to amplify the internal transcribed spacer region from the fungal and algal lichen components, as well as to sequence the amplified products. In addition, 26 different lichen taxa were tested, resulting in successful PCR products. The results of this study validated the experimental protocols, and clearly demonstrated the efficacy and value of our KCl extraction method applied in the fungal and algal samples.

  9. [Cost] effectiveness of withdrawal of fall-risk increasing drugs versus conservative treatment in older fallers: design of a multicenter randomized controlled trial (IMPROveFALL-study).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartholt, Klaas A; Boyé, Nicole D A; Van der Velde, Nathalie; Van Lieshout, Esther M M; Polinder, Suzanne; De Vries, Oscar J; Kerver, Albert J H; Ziere, Gijsbertus; Bruijninckx, Milko M M; De Vries, Mark R; Mattace-Raso, Francesco U S; Uitterlinden, André G; Van Beeck, Ed F; Lips, Paul; Patka, Peter; Van der Cammen, Tischa J M

    2011-08-21

    Fall incidents represent an increasing public health problem in aging societies worldwide. A major risk factor for falls is the use of fall-risk increasing drugs. The primary aim of the study is to compare the effect of a structured medication assessment including the withdrawal of fall-risk increasing drugs on the number of new falls versus 'care as usual' in older adults presenting at the Emergency Department after a fall. A prospective, multi-center, randomized controlled trial will be conducted in hospitals in the Netherlands. Persons aged ≥65 years who visit the Emergency Department due to a fall are invited to participate in this trial. All patients receive a full geriatric assessment at the research outpatient clinic. Patients are randomized between a structured medication assessment including withdrawal of fall-risk increasing drugs and 'care as usual'. A 3-monthly falls calendar is used for assessing the number of falls, fallers and associated injuries over a one-year follow-up period. Measurements will be at three, six, nine, and twelve months and include functional outcome, healthcare consumption, socio-demographic characteristics, and clinical information. After twelve months a second visit to the research outpatient clinic will be performed, and adherence to the new medication regimen in the intervention group will be measured. The primary outcome will be the incidence of new falls. Secondary outcome measurements are possible health effects of medication withdrawal, health-related quality of life (Short Form-12 and EuroQol-5D), costs, and cost-effectiveness of the intervention. Data will be analyzed using an intention-to-treat analysis. The successful completion of this trial will provide evidence on the effectiveness of withdrawal of fall-risk increasing drugs in older patients as a method for falls reduction. The trial is registered in the Netherlands Trial Register (NTR1593).

  10. [Cost]effectiveness of withdrawal of fall-risk increasing drugs versus conservative treatment in older fallers: design of a multicenter randomized controlled trial (IMPROveFALL-study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mattace-Raso Francesco US

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Background Fall incidents represent an increasing public health problem in aging societies worldwide. A major risk factor for falls is the use of fall-risk increasing drugs. The primary aim of the study is to compare the effect of a structured medication assessment including the withdrawal of fall-risk increasing drugs on the number of new falls versus 'care as usual' in older adults presenting at the Emergency Department after a fall. Methods/Design A prospective, multi-center, randomized controlled trial will be conducted in hospitals in the Netherlands. Persons aged ≥65 years who visit the Emergency Department due to a fall are invited to participate in this trial. All patients receive a full geriatric assessment at the research outpatient clinic. Patients are randomized between a structured medication assessment including withdrawal of fall-risk increasing drugs and 'care as usual'. A 3-monthly falls calendar is used for assessing the number of falls, fallers and associated injuries over a one-year follow-up period. Measurements will be at three, six, nine, and twelve months and include functional outcome, healthcare consumption, socio-demographic characteristics, and clinical information. After twelve months a second visit to the research outpatient clinic will be performed, and adherence to the new medication regimen in the intervention group will be measured. The primary outcome will be the incidence of new falls. Secondary outcome measurements are possible health effects of medication withdrawal, health-related quality of life (Short Form-12 and EuroQol-5D, costs, and cost-effectiveness of the intervention. Data will be analyzed using an intention-to-treat analysis. Discussion The successful completion of this trial will provide evidence on the effectiveness of withdrawal of fall-risk increasing drugs in older patients as a method for falls reduction. Trial Registration The trial is registered in the Netherlands Trial Register (NTR1593

  11. Fluoroquinolone resistance mechanisms in urinary tract pathogenic Escherichia coli isolated during rapidly increasing fluoroquinolone consumption in a low-use country

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Nina; Nielsen, Lene; Jakobsen, Lotte

    2011-01-01

    Resistance to ciprofloxacin in Escherichia coli from urinary tract infections (UTI) in Denmark is increasing parallel to increased use of fluoroquinolones both in Denmark and in other European countries. The objective was to investigate the occurrence of ciprofloxacin resistance mechanisms......, phenotypic coresistance, and if ciprofloxacin resistance was caused by clonal spread or to individual mutational events in a collection of consecutively obtained E. coli submitted to a clinical microbiology department at a Danish hospital. One hundred four UTI-related E. coli resistant toward nalidixic acid...

  12. Have you tried spermine? A rapid and cost-effective method to eliminate dextran sodium sulfate inhibition of PCR and RT-PCR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krych, Łukasz; Kot, Witold; Bendtsen, Katja M B; Hansen, Axel K; Vogensen, Finn K; Nielsen, Dennis S

    2018-01-01

    The Dextran Sulfate Sodium (DSS) induced colitis mouse model is commonly used to investigate human inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Nucleic acid extracts originating from these animals are often contaminated with DSS, which is a strong inhibitor of many enzymatic based molecular biology reactions including PCR and reverse-transcription (RT). Methods for removing DSS from nucleic acids extracts exist for RNA, but no effective protocol for DNA or cDNA is currently available. However, spermine has previously been shown to be an effective agent for counteracting DSS inhibition of polynucleotide kinase, which led to the hypothesis, that spermine could be used to counteract DSS inhibition of PCR and RT. We investigated the means of adding spermine in an adequate concentration to PCR based protocols (including qPCR, two-step RT-qPCR, and amplicon sequencing library preparation) to remove DSS inhibition. Within the range up to 0.01g/L, spermine can be added to PCR/qPCR or RT prophylactically without a significant reduction of reaction efficiency. Addition of spermine at the concentration of 0.08g/L can be used to recover qualitative PCR signal inhibited by DSS in concentrations up to 0.32g/L. For optimal quantitative analysis, the concentration of spermine requires fine adjustment. Hence, we present here a simple fluorometric based method for adjusting the concentration of spermine ensuring an optimal efficiency of the reaction exposed to an unknown concentration of DSS. In conclusion, we demonstrate a cost effective and easy method to counteract DSS inhibition in PCR and two-step RT-qPCR. Fixed or fine-tuned concentrations of spermine can be administered depending on the qualitative or quantitative character of the analysis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Rapid Increase in Ownership and Use of Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets and Decrease in Prevalence of Malaria in Three Regional States of Ethiopia (2006-2007

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Estifanos Biru Shargie

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Following recent large scale-up of malaria control interventions in Ethiopia, this study aimed to compare ownership and use of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN, and the change in malaria prevalence using two population-based household surveys in three regions of the country. Each survey used multistage cluster random sampling with 25 households per cluster. Household net ownership tripled from 19.6% in 2006 to 68.4% in 2007, with mean LLIN per household increasing from 0.3 to 1.2. Net use overall more than doubled from 15.3% to 34.5%, but in households owning LLIN, use declined from 71.7% to 48.3%. Parasitemia declined from 4.1% to 0.4%. Large scale-up of net ownership over a short period of time was possible. However, a large increase in net ownership was not necessarily mirrored directly by increased net use. Better targeting of nets to malaria-risk areas and sustained behavioural change communication are needed to increase and maintain net use.

  14. Localized infusions of the partial alpha 7 nicotinic receptor agonist SSR180711 evoke rapid and transient increases in prefrontal glutamate release

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bortz, D M; Mikkelsen, J D; Bruno, J P

    2013-01-01

    The ability of local infusions of the alpha 7 nicotinic acetycholine receptor (α7 nAChR) partial agonist SSR180711 to evoke glutamate release in prefrontal cortex was determined in awake rats using a microelectrode array. Infusions of SSR180711 produced dose-dependent increases in glutamate levels...

  15. Study protocol: the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of an employer-led intervention to increase walking during the daily commute: the Travel to Work randomised controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Audrey, Suzanne; Cooper, Ashley R; Hollingworth, William; Metcalfe, Chris; Procter, Sunita; Davis, Adrian; Campbell, Rona; Gillison, Fiona; Rodgers, Sarah E

    2015-02-18

    Physical inactivity increases the risk of many chronic diseases including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. It is recommended that adults should undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity throughout the week but many adults do not achieve this. An opportunity for working adults to accumulate the recommended activity levels is through the daily commute. Employees will be recruited from workplaces in south-west England and south Wales. In the intervention arm, workplace Walk-to-Work promoters will be recruited and trained. Participating employees will receive Walk-to-Work materials and support will be provided through four contacts from the promoters over 10 weeks. Workplaces in the control arm will continue with their usual practice. The intervention will be evaluated by a cluster randomized controlled trial including economic and process evaluations. The primary outcome is daily minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Secondary outcomes are: overall physical activity; sedentary time; modal shift away from private car use during the commute; and physical activity/MVPA during the commute. Accelerometers, GPS receivers and travel diaries will be used at baseline and one year follow-up. Questionnaires will be used at baseline, immediately post intervention, and one year follow-up. The process evaluation will examine the context, delivery and response to the intervention from the perspectives of employers, Walk-to-Work promoters and employees using questionnaires, descriptive statistics, fieldnotes and interviews. A cost-consequence study will include employer, employee and health service costs and outcomes. Time and consumables used in implementing the intervention will be measured. Journey time, household commuting costs and expenses will be recorded using travel diaries to estimate costs to employees. Presenteeism, absenteeism, employee wellbeing and health service use will be recorded. Compared

  16. Cost Behavior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoffmann, Kira

    The objective of this dissertation is to investigate determinants and consequences of asymmetric cost behavior. Asymmetric cost behavior arises if the change in costs is different for increases in activity compared to equivalent decreases in activity. In this case, costs are termed “sticky......” if the change is less when activity falls than when activity rises, whereas costs are termed “anti-sticky” if the change is more when activity falls than when activity rises. Understanding such cost behavior is especially relevant for decision-makers and financial analysts that rely on accurate cost information...... to facilitate resource planning and earnings forecasting. As such, this dissertation relates to the topic of firm profitability and the interpretation of cost variability. The dissertation consists of three parts that are written in the form of separate academic papers. The following section briefly summarizes...

  17. A surge of p-values between 0.041 and 0.049 in recent decades (but negative results are increasing rapidly too)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodou, Dimitra

    2015-01-01

    It is known that statistically significant (positive) results are more likely to be published than non-significant (negative) results. However, it has been unclear whether any increasing prevalence of positive results is stronger in the “softer” disciplines (social sciences) than in the “harder” disciplines (physical sciences), and whether the prevalence of negative results is decreasing over time. Using Scopus, we searched the abstracts of papers published between 1990 and 2013, and measured longitudinal trends of multiple expressions of positive versus negative results, including p-values between 0.041 and 0.049 versus p-values between 0.051 and 0.059, textual reporting of “significant difference” versus “no significant difference,” and the reporting of p 0.05. We found no support for a “hierarchy of sciences” with physical sciences at the top and social sciences at the bottom. However, we found large differences in reporting practices between disciplines, with p-values between 0.041 and 0.049 over 1990–2013 being 65.7 times more prevalent in the biological sciences than in the physical sciences. The p-values near the significance threshold of 0.05 on either side have both increased but with those p-values between 0.041 and 0.049 having increased to a greater extent (2013-to-1990 ratio of the percentage of papers = 10.3) than those between 0.051 and 0.059 (ratio = 3.6). Contradictorily, p 0.05 (ratios = 1.4 and 4.8, respectively), while the use of “significant difference” has shown only a modest increase compared to “no significant difference” (ratios = 1.5 and 1.1, respectively). We also compared reporting of significance in the United States, Asia, and Europe and found that the results are too inconsistent to draw conclusions on cross-cultural differences in significance reporting. We argue that the observed longitudinal trends are caused by negative factors, such as an increase of questionable research practices, but also by

  18. An Analysis of Army Rapid Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-01

    measuring its bottom-line impacts enables managers to increase the productivity of these critical assets.”16 If we determine that the current rapid...readiness-requirements/. 111 William Beaver , “Mantech Awarded $61M for Contractor Logistics Sustainment Support Services,” Danger Zone Jobs (blog...could be quickly produced and fielded.”120  Stable and Available Funding. MRAP “was able to avoid negative cost and schedule impacts that are

  19. Impaired left ventricular systolic function and increased brachial-ankle pulse-wave velocity are independently associated with rapid renal function progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Szu-Chia; Lin, Tsung-Hsien; Hsu, Po-Chao; Chang, Jer-Ming; Lee, Chee-Siong; Tsai, Wei-Chung; Su, Ho-Ming; Voon, Wen-Chol; Chen, Hung-Chun

    2011-09-01

    Heart failure and increased arterial stiffness are associated with declining renal function. Few studies have evaluated the association between left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and brachial-ankle pulse-wave velocity (baPWV) and renal function progression. The aim of