Key Characteristics (key + characteristic)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Novel ecosystems: theoretical and management aspects of the new ecological world order

GLOBAL ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2006
Richard J. Hobbs
ABSTRACT We explore the issues relevant to those types of ecosystems containing new combinations of species that arise through human action, environmental change, and the impacts of the deliberate and inadvertent introduction of species from other regions. Novel ecosystems (also termed ,emerging ecosystems') result when species occur in combinations and relative abundances that have not occurred previously within a given biome. Key characteristics are novelty, in the form of new species combinations and the potential for changes in ecosystem functioning, and human agency, in that these ecosystems are the result of deliberate or inadvertent human action. As more of the Earth becomes transformed by human actions, novel ecosystems increase in importance, but are relatively little studied. Either the degradation or invasion of native or ,wild' ecosystems or the abandonment of intensively managed systems can result in the formation of these novel systems. Important considerations are whether these new systems are persistent and what values they may have. It is likely that it may be very difficult or costly to return such systems to their previous state, and hence consideration needs to be given to developing appropriate management goals and approaches. [source]

Erosional vs. accretionary shelf margins: the influence of margin type on deepwater sedimentation: an example from the Porcupine Basin, offshore western Ireland

BASIN RESEARCH, Issue 5 2009
M. C. Ryan
ABSTRACT A 1000 km2 three-dimensional (3D) seismic data survey that extends out from the western margin of the Porcupine Basin, offshore western Ireland reveals the internal geometry and depositional history of a large Palaeogene (Palaeocene,Early Eocene) shelf-margin. Two wells intersect the margin thereby constraining the depositional environments. The 34/19-1 well (landward end) intersects slope, shelf, marginal marine to coastal plain facies. The 35/21-1 well (basinward end) intersects seismically imaged shelf-margin clinoforms where base of slope back up to coastal plain deposits (source-to-sink) are represented. The basin-fill stratal architecture of the Palaeogene succession reveals sediment deposition under two end member, basin physiographic styles: (1) an erosional margin style and (2) an accretionary or progradational margin style. Uplift of the western margin of the basin is suggested as the major cause of the initially oversteepened shelf-slope erosional profile. Key characteristics of an erosional margin include sediment bypass of the shelf, canyon formation, and the development of significant onlapping submarine fan deposits on the lower slope. Failure on the slope is also revealed by several mass,transport complexes (MTCs) that carve out major erosive features across the slope. Three-dimensional seismic analysis illustrates variations in size, geometry and depositional trend and transport mechanisms of the MTCs. Confined, thick chaotic seismic facies, erosional basal scours and syn-depositional thrusting (pressure ridges) at terminus as opposed to thin, high-amplitude discontinuous facies with an unconfined lobate terminus are interpreted to indicate slump- and slide-dominated vs. debris flow-dominated MTCs, respectively. The erosional margin was transformed into an accretionary margin when the gradient of the shelf-slope to basin-floor profile was sufficiently lowered through the infilling and healing of the topographic lows by the onlapping submarine-fan deposits. This shallowing of the basin allowed nearshore systems to prograde across the deepwater systems. The accretionary margin was characterised by a thick sediment prism composed of clinoforms both at the shoreface/delta (tens of metres) and shelf-margin (hundreds of metres) scales. Shelf-margin clinoforms, the focus of this study, are the fundamental regressive to transgressive building blocks (duration 10,100 kyr) of the stratigraphic succession and can be observed on a larger scale (,1 Myr) through the migration and trajectory patterns of the shelf-edge. Trajectory pathways in the accretionary margin are accretionary in a descending or ascending manner. The descending style was characterised by a shelf-slope break that migrated seawards and obliquely downwards as a result of a relative sea-level fall. The descending trajectory geometry is lobate along strike suggestive of a point source progradation. Internally, the descending trajectory consists of downward stepping, steeply dipping shelf-margin clinoforms that display extensive slumping and deposition of sediment on the lower slope indicative of rapid deposition. Furthermore, basin-floor fans and associated ,feeder' channels extend basinwards beyond toe of slope. The ascending trajectory reflects a shelf-slope break that is interpreted to have migrated seawards during steady or rising relative sea level. The ascending trajectory geometry is associated with significant lateral sediment dispersal along the shelf-edge, reflecting distributary systems that were less ,fixed' or a greater reworking and longshore drift of sediment. Accretion involving the ascending shelf-edge trajectory characteristically lacked significant basin-floor deposits. Variable ascending trajectories are recognised in this study, as read from the angle at which the shelf-slope break migrates. Horizontal to high angle ascending trajectories correspond to dominantly progradational and dominantly aggradational shelf-edge trajectories, respectively. The sequence stratigraphic analysis of the Porcupine deltaic complex reveals a long-term relative sea-level rise. [source]

Ecological modernization in the UK: rhetoric or reality?

Andrea Revell
Abstract This paper discusses the degree to which recent trends in UK policy-making amount to a paradigm shift towards the prescriptions of ecological modernization (EM) theory. First, in keeping with EM's ,win,win' philosophy, recent political speeches and policy documents on the environment have expressed the idea that there is no conflict between environmental protection and economic growth. Second, policies have attempted to encourage the invention and diffusion of clean technologies. Third, policy-makers have explored innovative market-based policy approaches to tackle environmental problems. These three trends suggest UK policy-makers' predilection towards EM as a policy strategy. However, there has arguably been less success in terms of a fourth key characteristic of ,ecologically modernized' states, that of environmental policy integration. The paper concludes that New Labour's failure at ,greening government', combined with its economistic and technocratic policy focus, places the UK at the weak end of Christoff's (1996) weak,strong continuum of ecological modernization. As such, environmental imperatives continue to remain ideologically and politically peripheral to conventional economic goals. Copyright 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]


EVOLUTION, Issue 4 2007
Adam G. Jones
Evolvability is a key characteristic of any evolving system, and the concept of evolvability serves as a unifying theme in a wide range of disciplines related to evolutionary theory. The field of quantitative genetics provides a framework for the exploration of evolvability with the promise to produce insights of global importance. With respect to the quantitative genetics of biological systems, the parameters most relevant to evolvability are the G -matrix, which describes the standing additive genetic variances and covariances for a suite of traits, and the M -matrix, which describes the effects of new mutations on genetic variances and covariances. A population's immediate response to selection is governed by the G -matrix. However, evolvability is also concerned with the ability of mutational processes to produce adaptive variants, and consequently the M -matrix is a crucial quantitative genetic parameter. Here, we explore the evolution of evolvability by using analytical theory and simulation-based models to examine the evolution of the mutational correlation, r,, the key parameter determining the nature of genetic constraints imposed by M. The model uses a diploid, sexually reproducing population of finite size experiencing stabilizing selection on a two-trait phenotype. We assume that the mutational correlation is a third quantitative trait determined by multiple additive loci. An individual's value of the mutational correlation trait determines the correlation between pleiotropic effects of new alleles when they arise in that individual. Our results show that the mutational correlation, despite the fact that it is not involved directly in the specification of an individual's fitness, does evolve in response to selection on the bivariate phenotype. The mutational variance exhibits a weak tendency to evolve to produce alignment of the M -matrix with the adaptive landscape, but is prone to erratic fluctuations as a consequence of genetic drift. The interpretation of this result is that the evolvability of the population is capable of a response to selection, and whether this response results in an increase or decrease in evolvability depends on the way in which the bivariate phenotypic optimum is expected to move. Interestingly, both analytical and simulation results show that the mutational correlation experiences disruptive selection, with local fitness maxima at ,1 and +1. Genetic drift counteracts the tendency for the mutational correlation to persist at these extreme values, however. Our results also show that an evolving M -matrix tends to increase stability of the G -matrix under most circumstances. Previous studies of G -matrix stability, which assume nonevolving M -matrices, consequently may overestimate the level of instability of G relative to what might be expected in natural systems. Overall, our results indicate that evolvability can evolve in natural systems in a way that tends to result in alignment of the G -matrix, the M -matrix, and the adaptive landscape, and that such evolution tends to stabilize the G -matrix over evolutionary time. [source]

A human phospholamban promoter polymorphism in dilated cardiomyopathy alters transcriptional regulation by glucocorticoids,

HUMAN MUTATION, Issue 5 2008
Kobra Haghighi
Abstract Depressed calcium handling by the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca-ATPase and its regulator phospholamban (PLN) is a key characteristic of human and experimental heart failure. Accumulating evidence indicates that increases in the relative levels of PLN to Ca-ATPase in failing hearts and resulting inhibition of Ca sequestration during diastole, impairs contractility. Here, we identified a genetic variant in the PLN promoter region, which increases its expression and may serve as a genetic modifier in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The variant AF177763.1:g.203A>C (at position ,36,bp relative to the PLN transcriptional start site) was found only in the heterozygous form in 1 out of 296 normal subjects and in 22 out of 381 cardiomyopathy patients (heart failure at age of 18,44 years, ejection fraction=229%). In vitro analysis, using luciferase as a reporter gene in rat neonatal cardiomyocytes, indicated that the PLN-variant increased activity by 24% compared to the wild type. Furthermore, the g.203A>C substitution altered the specific sequence of the steroid receptor for the glucocorticoid nuclear receptor (GR)/transcription factor in the PLN promoter, resulting in enhanced binding to the mutated DNA site. These findings suggest that the g.203A>C genetic variant in the human PLN promoter may contribute to depressed contractility and accelerate functional deterioration in heart failure. Hum Mutat 29(5), 640,647, 2008. 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

International Financial Rescues and Debtor-Country Moral Hazard,

Prasanna Gai
This paper examines whether recent international policy initiatives to facilitate financial rescues in emerging market countries have influenced debtors' incentives to access official sector resources. The paper highlights a country's systemic importance as a key characteristic that drives access to official sector finance. It estimates the effect of these financial rescue initiatives on IMF programme participation using a pooled probit model. The safety net permitting exceptional access is shown to have a greater marginal impact on official sector resource usage, the more systemically important the debtor country. The results can be interpreted as offering some support for the presence of debtor-country moral hazard. [source]

The role of prey size and abundance in the geographical distribution of spider sociality

Summary 1Social species in the spider genus Anelosimus predominate in lowland tropical rainforests, while congeneric subsocial species occur at higher elevations or higher latitudes. 2We conducted a comparative study to determine whether differences in total biomass, insect size or both have been responsible for this pattern. 3We found that larger average insect size, rather than greater overall biomass per se, is a key characteristic of lowland tropical habitats correlating with greater sociality. 4Social species occupied environments with insects several times larger than the spiders, while subsocial species nearing dispersal occupied environments with smaller insects in either high or low overall biomass. 5Similarly, in subsocial spider colonies, individuals lived communally at a time when they were younger and therefore smaller than the average insect landing on their webs. 6We thus suggest that the availability of large insects may be a critical factor restricting social species to their lowland tropical habitats. [source]

A Survey of Exchange Rate Pass-Through in Asia

Amit Ghosh
Exchange rate pass-through (ERPT) refers to the transmission of exchange-rate changes into import (export) prices of goods in the destination-market currency as well as into aggregate domestic prices. This paper examines the analytical and empirical literature on ERPT with particular reference to Asia. It is generally believed that Asian economies are potentially susceptible to ERPT into domestic inflation since they are highly trade-dependent. Particular attention is paid to production sharing,a key characteristic of Asian trade,and its implications for ERPT. [source]

The UK Research Assessment Exercise: Performance Measurement and Resource Allocation

Jane Broadbent
This paper is a personal reflection on the nature and implications of research assessment in the UK. It reflects on the extent to which the dual functions of performance measurement and resource allocation interact. It provides a description of the 2001 and 2008 Research Assessment Exercises (RAE) in the United Kingdom (UK). It also refers to the developments undertaken at the time of writing to develop the successor exercise , the Research Excellence Framework (REF). The paper illustrates the changes that have taken place over time in order to address perceived weaknesses in the structures of the RAE that have led to particular types of game playing. The RAE is a form of management control that has achieved its success by the alignment of individual and institutional interests. Success in the RAE produces both financial and reputational gains for Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) that they are willing to pay for. Hence, the RAE has provided financial gains for academics who can deliver success. The peer-evaluation process in the UK research assessment is a key characteristic of the UK approach. While this is seen as expensive, it has maintained the legitimacy of the RAE. The accounting and finance academic community has engaged with the exercise and retained some control over the assessment process. A question is raised as to whether UK accounting and finance is likely to be subsumed in larger Business School submissions in the future. [source]

Temperature-mediated plasticity and genetic differentiation in egg size and hatching size among populations of Crepidula (Gastropoda: Calyptraeidae)

Offspring size is a key characteristic in life histories, reflecting maternal investment per offspring and, in marine invertebrates, being linked to mode of development. Few studies have focused explicitly on intraspecific variation and plasticity in developmental characteristics such as egg size and hatching size in marine invertebrates. We measured over 1000 eggs and hatchlings of the marine gastropods Crepidula atrasolea and Crepidula ustulatulina from two sites in Florida. A common-garden experiment showed that egg size and hatching size were larger at 23 C than at 28 C in both species. In C. ustulatulina, the species with significant genetic population structure in cytochrome oxidase I (COI), there was a significant effect of population: Eggs and hatchlings from the Atlantic population were smaller than those from the Gulf. The two populations also differed significantly in hatchling shape. Population effects were not significant in C. atrasolea, the species with little genetic population structure in COI, and were apparent through their marginal interaction with temperature. In both species, 60,65% of the variation in egg size and hatching size was a result of variation among females and, in both species, the population from the Atlantic coast showed greater temperature-mediated plasticity than the population from the Gulf. These results demonstrate that genetic differentiation among populations, plastic responses to variation in environmental temperature, and differences between females all contribute significantly to intraspecific variation in egg size and hatching size. 2010 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2010, 99, 489,499. [source]

The evolution of social inbreeding mating systems in spiders: limited male mating dispersal and lack of pre-copulatory inbreeding avoidance in a subsocial predecessor

Cooperation and group living are extremely rare in spiders and only few species are known to be permanently social. Inbreeding is a key characteristic of social spiders, resulting in high degrees of within-colony relatedness that may foster kin-selected benefits of cooperation. Accordingly, philopatry and regular inbreeding are suggested to play a major role in the repeated independent origins of sociality in spiders. We conducted field observations and laboratory experiments to investigate the mating system of the subsocial spider Stegodyphus tentoriicola. The species is suggested to resemble the ,missing link' in the transition from subsociality to permanent sociality in Stegodyphus spiders because its social period is prolonged in comparison to other subsocial species. Individuals in our two study populations were spatially clustered around maternal nests, indicating that clusters consist of family groups as found in the subsocial congener Stegodyphus lineatus. Male mating dispersal was limited and we found no obvious pre-copulatory inbreeding avoidance, suggesting a high likelihood of mating with close kin. Rates of polygamy were low, a pattern ensuring high relatedness within broods. In combination with ecological constraints, such as high costs of dispersal, our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the extended social period in S. tentoriicola is accompanied with adaptations that facilitate the transition towards permanent sociality. 2009 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2009, 98, 851,859. [source]

Are perceptions of parenting and interpersonal functioning related in those with personality disorder?

Evidence from patients detained in a high secure setting
We explored the widely-held assumption that dysfunctional interpersonal behaviour, a key characteristic of personality disorder, is associated with adverse experiences in childhood in a sample of patients detained in high secure care. We obtained Parental Bonding Inventory (PBI) and Chart of Interpersonal Relations in Closed Living Environment (CIRCLE) data from 79 patients detained at a high secure hospital. This comprised 48 with the legal classification (1983 Mental Health Act) of Psychopathic Disorder (PD) and 31 with the legal classification of Mental Illness (MI). On the PBI, the PD group had significantly lower care scores and increased protection scores compared with the MI group; the latter reported care and protection scores similar to those from published norms. The CIRCLE scores also demonstrated significantly different interpersonal functioning between the PD and MI groups, with each group typically plotted in opposing halves of the interpersonal circle (IPC). Although the PDs showed abnormalities in both the PBI and CIRCLE in the expected direction, there were no clear associations between aspects of abnormal parenting and adult dysfunctional interpersonal behaviour within this group. This finding did not confirm our hypothesis and we discuss possible explanations. Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

(Re)designing mediation to address the nuances of power imbalance

Ilan G. Gewurz
This paper addresses the complex relationship between negotiating power and mediation. It begins with the premise that to say in absolute terms that mediation is or is not an effective way of dealing with power imbalance is to ignore the complexity of both the concept of power and the range of processes that can be deemed mediation. This article examines sources of power in an effort to develop a clear, yet thorough, understanding of negotiating power. It then turns to the scholarship on mediation, highlighting key characteristics that distinguish mediation approaches from one another and advancing the debate on what constitutes mediation. Finally, the article highlights bow a specific style of mediation may be appropriate for a given situation, depending on the existing power dynamics between the disputing parties. [source]

Non-Executive Directors: key characteristics

Article first published online: 11 SEP 200
No abstract is available for this article. [source]

Local authorities, climate change and small and medium enterprises: identifying effective policy instruments to reduce energy use and carbon emissions

Jaryn Bradford
Abstract This paper discusses potential policy options available to local and municipal authorities, to achieve reductions in energy usage and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Researchers conducted surveys with 112 SMEs, and the results have been used to disaggregate the category of ,SME' into sub-sectors based on industrial sector, two measurements of employee size and annual turnover. A statistical analysis identifies key characteristics and behaviours of the sub-sectors of firms and discusses the type of policy measure these groups of SMEs would probably respond to. The key results of the research indicate that categories of firms differ in terms of energy use behaviours, internal constraints and attitudes toward possible policy options. The paper presents a ,policy matrix' to represent the most and least likely policy options to achieve energy savings from different categories of SMEs. Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]

Managers' profile in environmental strategy: a review of the literature

Esteban Fernndez
Abstract Environmental legislation and stakeholders are putting pressure on organizations to change. The role of management is a key factor. The aim of the present work is to determine the key characteristics required of a manager with environmental responsibilities and determine which are the critical aptitudes and attitudes for environmental success through a deep review of the literature. We include three kinds of characteristic: (a) managerial attitude and social influence, (b) individual characteristics (demographic characteristics, capability to perceive strategic opportunities, leadership, individual entrepreneurial ability and international awareness) and (c) organizational characteristics (organizational culture, capability to influence strategy, long-term orientation, organizational structure and demographic characteristics). With this purpose, we have collected and integrated the most relevant contributions of the literature. We have also suggested future research streams: for example, analysis of the interdependences among the diverse dimensions of a manager with environmental responsibilities, analysis of the characteristics typical of external stakeholders that condition the managerial behaviour and other aspects of environmental strategy on which management attitude has an influence. Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]

Attitude and tendency of cheating behaviours amongst undergraduate students in a Dental Institution of India

M. Monica
Abstract Honesty and integrity are key characteristics expected of a doctor, although academic misconduct amongst medical students is not new. Academic integrity provides the foundation upon, which a flourishing academic life rests. The aim of this study was to investigate the attitude of undergraduate dental students about the seriousness of cheating behaviours and to determine the rate of malpractice amongst these students. A self designed closed ended questionnaire was distributed to 300 undergraduate students in a Dental Institution in India, to rate the seriousness of six cheating behaviours and to assess the rate of malpractice. The response rate was 100%. Two of the six cheating behaviours were considered by at least 61% of the students as very serious cheating behaviours. Almost 70% of the students agreed that they have involved in malpractice in examinations at least once. The majority also felt that cheating in examinations will not have any significant effect on their future. This study has revealed that cheating is an important issue, which needs to be addressed for the benefit of the society at large. [source]

Portfolios: Possibilities for Addressing Emergency Medicine Resident Competencies

Patricia O'Sullivan EdD
Portfolios are an innovative approach to evaluate the competency of emergency medicine residents. Three key characteristics add to their attractiveness. First, portfolios draw from the resident's actual work. Second, they require self-reflection on the part of the resident. Third, they are inherently practice-based learning since residents must review and consider their practice in order to begin the portfolio. This paper illustrates five different applications of portfolios. First, portfolios are applied to evaluating specific competencies as part of the training of emergency physicians. While evaluating specific competencies, the portfolio captures aspects of the general competencies. Second, the article illustrates using portfolios as a way to address a specific residency review committee (RRC) requirement such as follow-ups. Third is a description of how portfolios can be used to evaluate resident conferences capturing the competency of practice-based learning and possibly other competencies such as medical knowledge and patient care. Fourth, the authors of the article designed a portfolio as a way to demonstrate clinical competence. Fifth, they elaborate as to how a continuous quality improvement project could be cast within the portfolio framework. They provide some guidance concerning issues to address when designing the portfolios. Portfolios are carefully structured and not haphazard collections of materials. Following criteria is important in maintaining the validity of the portfolio as well as contributing to reliability. The portfolios can enhance the relationship between faculty and residents since faculty will suggest cases, discuss anomalies, and interact with the residents around the portfolio. The authors believe that in general portfolios can cover many of the general competencies specified by the ACGME while still focusing on issues important to emergency medicine. The authors believe that portfolios provide an approach to evaluation commensurate with the self-evaluation skills they would like to develop in their residents. [source]

Agent-based ontology mapping and integration towards interoperability

EXPERT SYSTEMS, Issue 3 2008
Li Li
Abstract: Interoperability is an important issue in ontology research. In this paper, a novel agent-based framework for managing ontologies in a dynamic environment is developed. The framework has several key characteristics such as flexibility and extensibility that differentiate this research from others. Based on the proposed framework, ontology mapping and integration are investigated. It is believed that inter-ontology processes like ontology mapping with logical semantics are foundations of ontology-based applications. Accordingly, several types of semantic relations are proposed and corresponding mapping mechanisms are developed. Based on mapping results, ontology integration is developed to provide abstract views for participating organizations in the presence of a variety of ontologies. A prototype is built to demonstrate the design and functionalities and is applied to beer ontologies. The prototype shows that the framework is not only flexible but also practical. All agents derived from the framework exhibit their behaviours as expected. [source]

Toward a Biopsychosocial Model for 21st -Century Genetics

FAMILY PROCESS, Issue 1 2005
John S. Rolland M.D.
Advances in genomic research are increasingly identifying genetic components in major health and mental health disorders. This article presents a Family System Genetic Illness model to address the psychosocial challenges of genomic conditions for patients and their families, and to help organize this complex biopsychosocial landscape for clinical practice and research. This model clusters genomic disorders based on key characteristics that define types of disorders with similar patterns of psychosocial demands over time. Key disease variables include the likelihood of developing a disorder based on specific genetic mutations, overall clinical severity, timing of clinical onset in the life cycle, and whether effective treatment interventions exist to alter disease onset and/or progression. For disorders in which carrier, predictive, or presymptomatic testing is available, core nonsymptomatic time phases with salient developmental challenges are described pre- and post-testing, including a long-term adaptation phase. The FSGI model builds on Rolland's Family System Illness model, which identifies psychosocial types and phases of chronic disorders after clinical onset. The FSGI model is designed to be flexible and responsive to future discoveries in genomic research. Its utility is discussed for research, preventive screening, family assessment, treatment planning, and service delivery in a wide range of healthcare settings. [source]

Development and growth characteristics of Caucasian and white clover seedlings, compared with perennial ryegrass

A. D. Black
Abstract Seedling competition for resources during establishment affects the potential success of individual species within a pasture. Germination, emergence and leaf expansion are key characteristics that contribute to the competitive ability of species. In this study, development and growth characteristics of Caucasian clover, white clover and perennial ryegrass (PRG) seedlings were quantified. A base temperature of <4C and an optimum temperature of ,27C were found for development in each species. Thermal time (Tt) requirements for 75% of final germination were lower for Caucasian clover (46C d) and white clover (40C d) than for PRG (76C d), but Tt requirements for 50% of final emergence were similar (,110C d). The phyllochron (C d leaf,1) for primary stem leaves was slower for Caucasian clover (109C d) than for white clover (94C d) and PRG (101C d). Appearance of the first PRG tiller, which indicates the initiation of secondary leaf development, occurred after 373C d, compared with 532C d for the first white clover stolon. Caucasian clover crown shoots did not develop until >1180C d. Consequently, white clover and PRG had more leaves (,15 plant,1) and faster shoot relative growth rates (,0062 mg mg,1 d,1) than Caucasian clover (5 leaves plant,1, 0049 mg mg,1 d,1). [source]

HIV, AIDS and human services: exploring public attitudes in West Hollywood, California

Robin M. Law
Abstract The provision of human services associated with HIV and AIDS has been a controversial issue in Western countries, given the degree of stigma attached to AIDS, and the high level of public concern about the possibility of contracting HIV. Previous research on attitudes to controversial human services has identified some key characteristics associated with negative attitudes and resistant ,not-in-my-backyard' behaviour. Attitudes towards HIV- and AIDS-related services may be affected by other factors as well; in particular, they may be related to self-identified sexual orientation, given the role of HIV and AIDS in the emergence of a strong gay political identity. However, little research has yet been conducted to explore how knowledge and attitudes towards these services in particular localities are associated with a range of characteristics of local residents, including sensitive information such as sexual orientation and household HIV status, and how these might contribute to the creation of more accepting environments. This paper provides an analysis of a 1994 city-wide survey conducted in West Hollywood, California. This small city has a large and politically-organized gay and lesbian population, as well as significant numbers of residents in other, diverse social groupings, and has experienced high levels of HIV infection and AIDS relative to the surrounding Los Angeles County. Although issues of HIV and AIDS service provision have been well publicized in the city, residents may be expected to hold rather different sets of knowledge about and attitudes to these services, depending on their personal characteristics. Analysis of the survey data reveals that a large proportion of residents of West Hollywood rated HIV and AIDS services as very important, but there were interesting differences among groups. Most notably, variation in knowledge of services and attitudes to services (rating of importance) was particularly associated with age and language, but was less affected by sexual orientation and household HIV status. [source]

A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies

Maria J. Grant
Background and objectives:, The expansion of evidence-based practice across sectors has lead to an increasing variety of review types. However, the diversity of terminology used means that the full potential of these review types may be lost amongst a confusion of indistinct and misapplied terms. The objective of this study is to provide descriptive insight into the most common types of reviews, with illustrative examples from health and health information domains. Methods:, Following scoping searches, an examination was made of the vocabulary associated with the literature of review and synthesis (literary warrant). A simple analytical framework,Search, AppraisaL, Synthesis and Analysis (SALSA),was used to examine the main review types. Results:, Fourteen review types and associated methodologies were analysed against the SALSA framework, illustrating the inputs and processes of each review type. A description of the key characteristics is given, together with perceived strengths and weaknesses. A limited number of review types are currently utilized within the health information domain. Conclusions:, Few review types possess prescribed and explicit methodologies and many fall short of being mutually exclusive. Notwithstanding such limitations, this typology provides a valuable reference point for those commissioning, conducting, supporting or interpreting reviews, both within health information and the wider health care domain. [source]

Dissociating the past from the present in the activity of place cells

HIPPOCAMPUS, Issue 9 2006
Livia de Hoz
Abstract It has been proposed that declarative memories can be dependent on both an episodic and a semantic memory system. While the semantic system deals with factual information devoid of reference to its acquisition, the episodic system, characterized by mental time travel, deals with the unique past experience in which an event took place. Episodic memory is characteristically hippocampus-dependent. Place cells are recorded from the hippocampus of rodents and their firing reflects many of the key characteristics of episodic memory. For example, they encode information about "what" happens "where," as well as temporal information. However, when these features are expressed during an animal's behavior, the neuronal activity could merely be categorizing the present situation and could therefore reflect semantic memory rather than episodic memory. We propose that mental time travel is the key feature of episodic memory and that it should take a form, in the awake animal, similar to the replay of behavioral patterns of activity that has been observed in hippocampus during sleep. Using tasks designed to evoke episodic memory, one should be able to see memory reactivation of behaviorally relevant sequences of activity in the awake animal while recording from hippocampus and other cortical structures. 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Promoting organizational learning and self-renewal in Taiwanese companies: The role of HRM

Bih-Shiaw Jaw
This study identifies key characteristics of human resource management (HRM) practices that contribute to promoting positive learning attitudes and creating a self-renewal organizational climate. We use a behavioral perspective to develop a framework to show the relationships among learning-oriented HRM, positive learning attitudes, and a self-renewal organizational climate. Structural equation analysis is applied to empirically test the relationships and the path model suggests that a learning-oriented HRM plays an important role in either directly creating a self-renewal organizational climate or indirectly facilitating positive learning attitudes that foster organizational self-renewal. 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

Performance measurement in industrial R&D

Inge Kerssens-van Drongelen
Currently, the need for R&D performance measurements that are both practically useful and theoretically sound seems to be generally acknowledged; indeed, the rising cost of R&D, greater emphasis on value management and a trend towards decentralization are escalating the need for ways of evaluating the contribution of R&D to corporate performance. However, although recent research and writing on the subject shows that the challenge of developing such sound measurements has been taken up by many academics and organizations, it is also clear that there is no generally applicable approach. In this review, we consider various approaches for measuring the performance in industrial R&D and identify their key characteristics. We also include a brief summary of the ,history' of performance measurement in R&D, which shows that although there are some new ways of looking at the issue there are many examples from the past that can contribute to our current thinking. The approaches found in the literature and practice are very varied in their application, some being more suitable for the project level, others for the R&D department, and some for the development process or for the organization as a whole. Furthermore, the uses of the approaches tend to be different. For example, some approaches are intended to justify the continuation of investment in R&D to upper management, whilst others are more suited to support learning and self-correction by empowered R&D teams. In this paper these uses, or ,functions', of performance measurement and a taxonomy of typical subjects of measurement in R&D environments are explored. Finally, we conclude the review with a discussion of some limitations of the growing literature on R&D performance measurement. [source]

Comparative theoretical study of small Rhn nanoparticles (2 , n , 8) using DFT methods

V. Bertin
Abstract This work is aimed at identifying some key characteristics (energy, geometry, and spin) concerning Rhn particles (2 = n , 8) to perform further studies on adsorption and coadsorption sites of pollutants (CO and NO). The DFT methods of the Gaussian 03 program with the LANL2DZ basis set and the LANL2 potential are used. With the purpose to obtain a better nanoparticles definition, five different functionals were tested: B3LYP, O3LYP, BPW91, BP86, and HCTH; and the corresponding results are used to determine which of them best describes distances, spin, and gives acceptable highest vibration frequency and binding energy values, by comparing these results with values measured or calculated by many other authors. For the structure optimization process of the particles, the initial geometric shape was taken mainly from the literature, using the Rh,Rh distance: 2.67 , known for the bulk; and doing a complete optimization. We also considered flat nanoparticles structures, which most of them display three-dimensional structures after the optimization process. The few flat shapes are mainly higher in energy than those of three-dimensional structure. For some Rhn particles for different n values, the spin of the ground state present degeneration. In some cases, the optimization process changes the initial geometry, but in most cases, there are only minor changes in bonds and geometry. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Quantum Chem, 2010 [source]

Chile's Neoliberal Agrarian Transformation and the Peasantry

Cristbal Kay
In the mid,1970s, following the early shift to neoliberalism, the Chilean rural sector was restructured dramatically, becoming one of the most successful cases of non,traditional agricultural export (NTAE) growth. However, many analysts fail to discuss the problematic nature of Chile's integration into the global market. Underpinning this rapid growth of NTAEs is the exploitation of cheap peasant labour, especially seasonal female wage workers. This article examines the elements of continuity and change in agrarian policy since the transition to democracy in 1990. In particular, it presents the policy debate on the future of the peasantry: capitalization or proletarianization? The dilemma that policy makers face over maintaining high rates of NTAE growth while at the same time attempting to reduce poverty and income inequalities are also highlighted. The Chilean case can be considered as paradigmatic insofar as it exhibits key characteristics of the classical capitalist transformation of agriculture: the emergence of a new class of dynamic agricultural entrepreneurs, renewed proletarianization and land concentration, and intensification of social differentiation. [source]

Applying Prochaska's model of change to needs assessment, programme planning and outcome measurement

Kathryn Parker MA
Abstract A major goal of continuing medical education (CME) is to enhance the performance of the learner. In order to accomplish this goal, careful consideration and expertise must be applied to the three primary ingredients of CME planning: assessing learner needs, programme design and outcome measurement. Traditional methods used to address these three components seldom result in CME initiatives that change performance, even in the presence of sophisticated CME formats and capable learners. In part, performance may not change because the learner is not ,ready to change'. Planners of CME are aware of this concept but have been unable to measure ,readiness to change' or employ it in assessing learner needs, and planning and evaluating CME. One theory that focuses on an individual's readiness to change is Prochaska's model, which postulates that change is a gradual process proceeding through specific stages, each of which has key characteristics. This paper examines the applicability of this model to all components of CME planning. To illustrate the importance of this model, this paper provides examples of these three components conducted both with and without implementation of this model. [source]

Effects of Naltrexone Treatment for Alcohol-Related Disorders on Healthcare Costs in an Insured Population

ALCOHOLISM, Issue 6 2010
Henry R. Kranzler
Objective:, To determine the impact of treatment with oral naltrexone on healthcare costs in patients with alcohol-related disorders. Methods:, Using data from the MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database for 2000,2004, we identified a naltrexone group (with an alcohol-related diagnosis and at least one pharmacy claim for oral naltrexone) and two control groups. Alcohol controls had an alcohol-related diagnosis and were not prescribed an alcoholism treatment medication. Nonalcohol controls had no alcohol-related diagnosis and no prescription for an alcoholism treatment medication. The control groups were matched three to one to the naltrexone group on demographic and other relevant measures. Healthcare expenditures were calculated for the 6-month periods before and after the index naltrexone drug claim (or matched date for controls). Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to compare the groups on key characteristics and on healthcare costs. Results:, Naltrexone patients (n = 1,138; 62% men; mean age 45 11 years) had significantly higher total healthcare expenditures in the pre-index period than either of the control groups. In the postindex period, naltrexone patients had a significantly smaller increase than alcohol controls in total alcohol-related expenditures. Total nonalcohol-related expenditures also increased significantly less for the naltrexone group than for the alcohol control group. Multivariate analyses showed that naltrexone treatment significantly reduced alcohol-related, nonalcohol-related, and total healthcare costs relative to alcohol controls. Conclusions:, Although prior to treatment patients with alcohol-related disorders had higher healthcare costs, treatment with oral naltrexone was associated with reductions both in alcohol-related and nonalcohol-related healthcare costs. [source]