Distribution by Scientific Domains

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  • Selected Abstracts


    ABSTRACT. A study of sandstorms in the Loess Plateau and neighbouring areas is based on observations of sandstorms and precipitation. Through analysis of the relationship between the mean annual number of sandstorms and the mean annual precipitation, an original sandstorm zone and a secondary high-frequency zone of sandstorms have been defined. The latter is mainly formed as a result of human activities, such as vegetation destruction and waste-land cultivation, and not because of climatic change. The secondary sandstorm zone is located 350,500 km away from the original sandstorm zone, reflecting the fact that the sandstorm zone in the Loess Plateau area has shifted 350,500 km to the southeast, in response to human impact. Some abrupt change has been found in the area where the mean annual precipitation is 270 mm, where the original sandstorm zone ends and a secondary zone of high-frequency sandstorms begins. This transition area can be regarded as an abnormally unstable area. This study shows that destruction of the vegetation can cause changes in the environment similar to those attributed to climatic change. [source]

    Brief communication: Admixture analysis with forensic microsatellites in Minas Gerais, Brazil: The ongoing evolution of the capital and of an African-derived community

    Marília O. Scliar
    Abstract We report the estimated allele frequencies for 13 and 14 microsatellite loci in two populations of Minas Gerais, Brazil as follows: Belo Horizonte (the capital) and Marinhos (an African-derived community). Analysis of the African, Amerindian, and European genetic contributions to both populations, together with historical information, revealed distinct differences between the two populations. Estimates for Belo Horizonte revealed a higher-European (66%) than African (32%) contribution, and a minimal Amerindian contribution. These results are consistent with the peopling of the city mainly by people from the Minas Gerais hinterland, a people highly admixed but with more European ancestry. Estimates for Marinhos confirmed the high-African component of the population. However, a temporal analysis of two datasets,CURRENT (representing the population living in Marinhos today) and ORIGINAL (representing families, who have lived in Marinhos since the onset of the 20th century),,identified a diminishing of the population's African ancestry from 92% in the ORIGINAL group to 67% in the CURRENT group. This change is here interpreted as a consequence of the growing migration into the village of people with more European ancestry and subsequent admixture with the local population. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Group contribution prediction of surface charge density profiles for COSMO-RS(Ol)

    AICHE JOURNAL, Issue 12 2007
    Tiancheng Mu
    Abstract A new method for predicting the surface charge density distribution (, profile) and cavity volume of molecules based on group contributions was developed. The original , profiles used for the regression were obtained using Gaussian 03 B3LYP/6-311G(d,p). In total 1363 , profiles were used for the regression of group parameters. Group definitions are identical to those used previously for boiling point estimation. Original and estimated , profiles were used to predict activity coefficients at infinite dilution and VLE data of binary systems using the COSMO-RS(Ol) model. The results were compared with the experimental data stored in the Dortmund Data Bank. In many cases the results were of comparable accuracy. However, for a few compounds, poor results were obtained, in particular for conjugated components like nitrobenzenes. The method offers a fast and reliable generation of , profiles to be used with COSMO-RS(Ol) within its range of applicability. © 2007 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2007 [source]

    Systematic review: clinical efficacy of chelator agents and zinc in the initial treatment of Wilson disease

    Summary Background, No consensus is available on the optimal initial treatment in Wilson disease. Aim, To assess systematically the available literature of treatment in newly presenting patients with a presymptomatic, hepatic or neurological presentation of Wilson disease. Methods, A systematic literature search of the MEDLINE, EMBASE and COCHRANE databases was performed. Original studies on clinical efficacy of d -penicillamine, trientine, tetrathiomolybdate or zinc monotherapy as initial treatment in Wilson disease were included. A descriptive analysis of the relevant published data was performed. Results, One randomized trial and 12 observational studies met the inclusion criteria. These studies were quite heterogeneous and generally of low validity. Nevertheless, according to currently available data, patients with hepatic presentation of Wilson disease are probably most effectively treated by d -penicillamine. Zinc seems to be preferred above d -penicillamine for treatment of presymptomatic and neurological patients, as in these subgroups, the tolerance profile is in favour of zinc, while no obvious differences in clinical efficacy could be observed. Conclusions, There is lack of high-quality evidence to estimate the relative treatment effects of the available drugs in Wilson disease. Therefore, multicentre prospective randomized controlled comparative trials are necessary. [source]

    Postmarketing drug dosage changes of 499 FDA-approved new molecular entities, 1980,1999,

    James Cross MS
    Abstract Purpose Risks and benefits of marketed drugs can be improved by changing their labels to optimize dosage regimens for indicated populations. Such postmarketing label changes may reflect the quality of pre-marketing development, regulatory review, and postmarketing surveillance. We documented dosage changes of FDA-approved new molecular entities (NMEs), and investigated trends over time and across therapeutic groups, on the premise that improved drug development methods have yielded fewer postmarketing label changes over time. Methods We compiled a list of NMEs approved by FDA from 1 January 1980 to 31 December 1999 using FDA's website, Freedom of Information Act request, and PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) database. Original labeled dosages and indicated patient populations were tracked in labels in the Physician's Desk Reference®. Time and covariate-adjusted risks for dosage changes by 5-year epoch and therapeutic groups were estimated by survival analysis. Results Of 499 NMEs, 354 (71%) were evaluable. Dosage changes in indicated populations occurred in 73 NMEs (21%). A total of 58 (79%) were safety-motivated, net dosage decreases. Percentage of NMEs with changes by therapeutic group ranged from 27.3% for neuropharmacologic drugs to 13.6% for miscellaneous drugs. Median time to change following approval fell from 6.5 years (1980,1984) to 2.0 years (1995,1999). Contrary to our premise, 1995,1999 NMEs were 3.15 times more likely to change in comparison to 1980,1984 NMEs (p,=,0.008, Cox analysis). Conclusions Dosages of one in five NMEs changed, four in five changes were safety reductions. Increasing frequency of changes, independent of therapeutic group, may reflect intensified postmarketing surveillance and underscores the need to improve pre-marketing optimization of dosage and indicated population. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Original and a ,bench study' replica

    ANAESTHESIA, Issue 4 2010
    D. Pavlovic
    No abstract is available for this article. [source]

    Original and Efficient Synthesis of D -Cycloserine

    ARCHIV DER PHARMAZIE, Issue 8 2010
    Xiaomeng Li
    Abstract A simple pathway for the preparation of D -cycloserine is presented. The intermediates and D -cycloserine were characterized by FT-IR, 1H-NMR spectra and elemental analysis. D -Cycloserine can inhibit the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and can be used as a second-line drug for the treatment of tuberculosis, especially for the use in developing countries. [source]

    ChemInform Abstract: SrNp(PO4)2: An Original Ordered Modification of Cheralite.

    CHEMINFORM, Issue 39 2010
    Karin Popa
    Abstract The new title compound is prepared by solid state reaction of 237NpO2, Sr(NO3)2, and excess (NH4)2HPO4 (argon; 1. [source]

    New developments in carbapenems

    J. N. Kattan
    Abstract Antibiotic resistance among Gram-negative pathogens in hospitals is a growing threat to patients and is driving the increased use of carbapenems. Carbapenems are potent members of the ,-lactam family of antibiotics, with a history of safety and efficacy for serious infections that exceeds 20 years. Original and review articles were identified from a Medline search (1979,2008). Reference citations from identified publications, abstracts from the Interscience Conferences on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy and package inserts were also used. Carbapenems are effective in treating severe infections at diverse sites, with relatively low resistance rates and a favourable safety profile. Carbapenems are the ,-lactams of choice for the treatment of infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms. Optimized dosing of carbapenems should limit the emergence of resistance and prolong the utility of these agents. The newly approved doripenem should prove to be a valuable addition to the currently available carbapenems: imipenem, meropenem and ertapenem. [source]

    User-Controllable Color Transfer

    Xiaobo An
    This paper presents an image editing framework where users use reference images to indicate desired color edits. In our approach, users specify pairs of strokes to indicate corresponding regions in both the original and the reference image that should have the same color "style". Within each stroke pair, a nonlinear constrained parametric transfer model is used to transfer the reference colors to the original. We estimate the model parameters by matching color distributions, under constraints that ensure no visual artifacts are present in the transfer result. To perform transfer on the whole image, we employ optimization methods to propagate the model parameters defined at each stroke location to spatially-close regions of similar appearance. This stroke-based formulation requires minimal user effort while retaining the high degree of user control necessary to allow artistic interpretations. We demonstrate our approach by performing color transfer on a number of image pairs varying in content and style, and show that our algorithm outperforms state-of-the-art color transfer methods on both user-controllability and visual qualities of the transfer results. [source]

    Shrinkability Maps for Content-Aware Video Resizing

    Yi-Fei Zhang
    Abstract A novel method is given for content-aware video resizing, i.e. targeting video to a new resolution (which may involve aspect ratio change) from the original. We precompute a per-pixel cumulative shrinkability map which takes into account both the importance of each pixel and the need for continuity in the resized result. (If both x and y resizing are required, two separate shrinkability maps are used, otherwise one suffices). A random walk model is used for efficient offline computation of the shrinkability maps. The latter are stored with the video to create a multi-sized video, which permits arbitrary-sized new versions of the video to be later very efficiently created in real-time, e.g. by a video-on-demand server supplying video streams to multiple devices with different resolutions. These shrinkability maps are highly compressible, so the resulting multi-sized videos are typically less than three times the size of the original compressed video. A scaling function operates on the multi-sized video, to give the new pixel locations in the result, giving a high-quality content-aware resized video. Despite the great efficiency and low storage requirements for our method, we produce results of comparable quality to state-of-the-art methods for content-aware image and video resizing. [source]

    Leadership: a New Frontier in Conservation Science

    estrategia; influencia; liderazgo; manejo; política Abstract:,Leadership is a critical tool for expanding the influence of conservation science, but recent advances in leadership concepts and practice remain underutilized by conservation scientists. Furthermore, an explicit conceptual foundation and definition of leadership in conservation science are not available in the literature. Here we drew on our diverse leadership experiences, our reading of leadership literature, and discussions with selected conservation science leaders to define conservation-science leadership, summarize an exploratory set of leadership principles that are applicable to conservation science, and recommend actions to expand leadership capacity among conservation scientists and practitioners. We define 2 types of conservation-science leadership: shaping conservation science through path-breaking research, and advancing the integration of conservation science into policy, management, and society at large. We focused on the second, integrative type of leadership because we believe it presents the greatest opportunity for improving conservation effectiveness. We identified 8 leadership principles derived mainly from the "adaptive leadership" literature: recognize the social dimension of the problem; cycle frequently through action and reflection; get and maintain attention; combine strengths of multiple leaders; extend your reach through networks of relationships; strategically time your effort; nurture productive conflict; and cultivate diversity. Conservation scientists and practitioners should strive to develop themselves as leaders, and the Society for Conservation Biology, conservation organizations, and academia should support this effort through professional development, mentoring, teaching, and research. Resumen:,El liderazgo es una herramienta crítica para la expansión de la influencia de la ciencia de la conservación, pero los avances recientes en los conceptos y práctica del liderazgo son subutilizados por los científicos de la conservación. Más aun, en la literatura no hay una fundamentación conceptual ni definición de liderazgo en la ciencia de la conservación. Aquí nos basamos en nuestras experiencias de liderazgo, nuestra lectura de literatura sobre liderazgo y discusiones con líderes selectos de la ciencia de conservación para definir liderazgo para la ciencia de la conservación, resumir un conjunto exploratorio de principios de liderazgo aplicables a la ciencia de la conservación y recomendar acciones para expandir la capacidad de liderazgo entre los científicos y los practicantes de la conservación. Definimos dos tipos de liderazgo de la ciencia de la conservación: configuración de la ciencia de la conservación mediante investigación original, y avance hacia la integración del liderazgo en la ciencia de la conservación en la política, el manejo y la sociedad en general. Nos centramos en el segundo tipo de liderazgo porque consideramos que presenta la mejor oportunidad para mejorar la efectividad de la conservación. Identificamos ocho principios de liderazgo derivados principalmente de la literatura sobre "liderazgo adaptativo": reconocer la dimensión social del problema; alternar entre acción y reflexión frecuentemente; obtener y mantener atención; combinar fortalezas de múltiples líderes; extender el alcance mediante redes de relaciones; organizar el esfuerzo estratégicamente; evitar conflictos productivos y desarrollar la biodiversidad. Los científicos y los practicantes de la conservación deberían esforzarse para desarrollarse como líderes y la Sociedad para la Biología de la Conservación, las organizaciones de conservación y la academia deberían respaldar este esfuerzo mediante el desarrollo profesional, la tutoría, la enseñanza y la investigación. [source]

    Refining Biodiversity Conservation Priorities

    Bosque del Atlántico; percepción remota; priorización; SIG; sitios prioritarios para la conservación Abstract:,Although there is widespread agreement about conservation priorities at large scales (i.e., biodiversity hotspots), their boundaries remain too coarse for setting practical conservation goals. Refining hotspot conservation means identifying specific locations (individual habitat patches) of realistic size and scale for managers to protect and politicians to support. Because hotspots have lost most of their original habitat, species endemic to them rely on what remains. The issue now becomes identifying where this habitat is and these species are. We accomplished this by using straightforward remote sensing and GIS techniques, identifying specific locations in Brazil's Atlantic Forest hotspot important for bird conservation. Our method requires a regional map of current forest cover, so we explored six popular products for mapping and quantifying forest: MODIS continuous fields and a MODIS land cover (preclassified products), AVHRR, SPOT VGT, MODIS (satellite images), and a GeoCover Landsat thematic mapper mosaic (jpg). We compared subsets of these forest covers against a forest map based on a Landsat enhanced thematic mapper. The SPOT VGT forest cover predicted forest area and location well, so we combined it with elevation data to refine coarse distribution maps for forest endemic birds. Stacking these species distribution maps enabled identification of the subregion richest in threatened birds,the lowland forests of Rio de Janeiro State. We highlighted eight priority fragments, focusing on one with finer resolved imagery for detailed study. This method allows prioritization of areas for conservation from a region >1 million km2 to forest fragments of tens of square kilometers. To set priorities for biodiversity conservation, coarse biological information is sufficient. Hence, our method is attractive for tropical and biologically rich locations, where species location information is sparse. Resumen:,Aunque hay acuerdo generalizado sobre las prioridades de conservación a escalas mayores (i. e., sitios prioritarios para la conservación de la biodiversidad), los límites son muy gruesos como para definir metas de conservación prácticas. La refinación de la conservación de sitios prioritarios significa la identificación de localidades específicas (parches de hábitat individuales) de tamaño y escala realistas para ser protegidos por gestores y apoyados por políticos. Debido a que los sitios prioritarios han perdido la mayor parte de su hábitat original, las especies endémicas dependen del que permanece. Ahora el asunto es identificar donde están el hábitat y las especies. Logramos lo anterior mediante técnicas directas de percepción remota y de SIG para identificar localidades específicas importantes para la conservación de aves en el sitio prioritario Bosque del Atlántico en Brasil. Nuestro método requiere de un mapa regional de la cobertura forestal actual, así que exploramos seis productos populares para el mapeo y cuantificación de bosques: campos continuos MODIS y una cobertura de suelo MODIS (productos preclasificados), AVHRR, SPOT VGT, MODIS (imágenes de satélite) y un mosaico GeoCover Landsat thematic mapper (jpg). Comparamos subconjuntos de estas coberturas forestales con las de un mapa basado en un Landsat enhanced thematic mapper. La cobertura forestal SPOT VGT predijo bien la superficie y localización del bosque, así que lo combinamos con datos de altitud para refinar los mapas generales de distribución de aves endémicas de bosques. La sobreposición de estos mapas de distribución permitió la identificación de la subregión más rica en aves amenazadas,los bosques en bajíos del Estado de Río de Janeiro. Dimos relevancia a ocho fragmentos prioritarios, con atención en uno con imágenes de resolución fina para estudio en detalle. Este método permite la priorización de áreas para conservación de fragmentos de decenas de kilómetros cuadrados en una región >1 millón km2. La información biológica general es suficiente para definir prioridades de conservación de la biodiversidad. Por lo tanto, nuestro método es atractivo para localidades tropicales y biológicamente ricas, para las que la información sobre la ocalización de las especies es escasa. [source]

    Cells of all somitic compartments are determined with respect to segmental identity

    Marlyse Dieuguie Fomenou
    Abstract Development of somite cells is orchestrated by two regulatory processes. Differentiation of cells from the various somitic compartments into different anlagen and tissues is regulated by extrinsic signals from neighboring structures such as the notochord, neural tube, and surface ectoderm. Morphogenesis of these anlagen to form specific structures according to the segmental identity of each somite is specified by segment-specific positional information, based on the Hox -code. It has been shown that following experimental rotation of presomitic mesoderm or newly formed somites, paraxial mesodermal cells adapt to the altered signaling environment and differentiate according to their new orientation. In contrast, presomitic mesoderm or newly formed somites transplanted to different segmental levels keep their primordial segmental identity and form ectopic structures according to their original position. To determine whether all cells of a segment, including the dorsal and ventral compartment, share the same segmental identity, presomitic mesoderm or newly formed somites were rotated and transplanted from thoracic to cervical level. These experiments show that cells from all compartments of a segment are able to interpret extrinsic local signals correctly, but form structures according to their original positional information and maintain their original Hox expression in the new environment. Developmental Dynamics 233:1386,1393, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Essentialism in the absence of language?

    Evidence from rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta)
    We explored whether rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) share one important feature of human essentialist reasoning: the capacity to track category membership across radical featural transformations. Specifically, we examined whether monkeys , like children (Keil, 1989) , expect a transformed object to have the internal properties of its original category. In two experiments, monkeys watched as an experimenter visually transformed a familiar fruit (e.g. apple) into a new kind of fruit (e.g. coconut) either by placing a fruit exterior over the original, or by removing an exterior shell and revealing the inside kind of fruit. The experimenter then pretended to place an inside piece of the transformed fruit into a box which the monkey was allowed to search. Results indicated that monkeys searched the box longer when they found a piece of fruit inconsistent with the inside kind, suggesting that the monkeys expected that the inside of the transformed fruit would taste like the innermost kind they saw. These results suggest that monkeys may share at least one aspect of psychological essentialism: They maintain category-specific expectations about an object's internal properties even when that object's external properties change. These results therefore suggest that some essentialist expectations may emerge in the absence of language, and thus raise the possibility that such tendencies may emerge earlier in human development than has previously been considered. [source]

    Development and validation of the Diabetes Obstacles Questionnaire (DOQ) to assess obstacles in living with Type 2 diabetes

    DIABETIC MEDICINE, Issue 8 2007
    H. Hearnshaw
    Abstract Aims To develop and validate an easy-to-use questionnaire to identify obstacles to self management in Type 2 diabetes. Methods The Diabetes Obstacles Questionnaire (DOQ) was developed from earlier research and the literature. It was completed by 180 people with Type 2 diabetes, recruited from 22 general practices in the UK. Responders also completed a quality-of-life questionnaire (ADDQoL) and the Problem Areas in Diabetes (PAID) scale. Results From analysis of the 176 usable questionnaires, 36 items of the original 113 items were deemed redundant. The remaining 77 items were assembled into eight sub-scales covering Medication, Self Monitoring, Knowledge and Beliefs, Diagnosis, Relationships with Health-Care Professionals, Lifestyle Changes, Coping, and Advice and Support. Each sub-scale had a factor structure of no more than three factors, had Cronbach's alpha of more than 0.75, and a Kaiser,Meyer,Olkin of more than 0.75. Each sub-scale correlated significantly with the PAID scale (P < 0.01), demonstrating criterion validity. Construct validity was shown by significant correlation between HbA1c and the sub-scales which relate to managing blood glucose levels: Self Monitoring, Relationship with Health-Care Professionals, Lifestyle Changes and Coping. Construct validity was further shown by significant correlation between QoL scores and Medication, Lifestyle Changes and Coping. Discussion The DOQ, comprising eight sub-scales, is a usable, valid instrument for both clinical and research settings. It helps to identify in detail the obstacles which an individual finds in living with Type 2 diabetes. [source]

    Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in the island of Gran Canaria: comparison of three major diagnostic proposals

    DIABETIC MEDICINE, Issue 12 2005
    M. Boronat
    Abstract Aims The present study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in a Canarian population, and to compare its frequency as defined by the most commonly used working definitions. Methods Cross-sectional population-based study. One thousand and thirty adult subjects were randomly selected from the local census of Telde, a city located on the island of Gran Canaria. Participants completed a survey questionnaire and underwent physical examination, fasting blood analyses, and a 75-g standardized oral glucose tolerance test. The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome was estimated according to the definitions proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Group for the Study of Insulin Resistance (EGIR) and the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), the latter with the original (6.1 mmol/l) and the revised criterion (5.6 mmol/l) for abnormal fasting glucose. Results The adjusted prevalence of the metabolic syndrome was 28.0, 15.9, 23.0 and 28.2%, using the WHO, EGIR, NCEP and revised NCEP criteria, respectively. The measure of agreement (, statistic) was 0.57 between the WHO and the original NCEP definitions, and 0.61 between the WHO and the revised NCEP definitions. After excluding diabetic subjects, the agreement between the EGIR and WHO proposals was fairly good (, = 0.70), whereas concordance of the EGIR with the original and the revised NCEP definitions was moderate (, = 0.47 and 0.46, respectively). Conclusions Whichever the considered diagnostic criteria, the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in this area of the Canary Islands is greater than that observed in most other European populations. [source]

    Locating Responsibility: The Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Its Rationale

    DISASTERS, Issue 2 2004
    James Darcy
    Criticised by some as a technical initiative that neglects core principles, Sphere was seen by its originators precisely as an articulation of principle. The Humanitarian Charter was the main vehicle through which this was expressed, but its relationship to the Minimum Standards has remained a matter of uncertainty. Specifically, it was unclear in the original (1999) edition of Sphere how the concept of rights informed the Minimum Standards. The revised (2004) edition goes some way to clarifying this in the way the standards are framed, yet the link between the standards and the charter remains unclear. The concern with the quality and accountability of humanitarian assistance, which motivated the attempt to establish system-wide standards through the Sphere Project, was accompanied by a desire to establish such actions in a wider framework of legal and political responsibility. In part, this reflects the conditional nature of the undertaking that agencies make when they adopt Sphere. This aspect of the charter has been neglected, but it is fundamental to an understanding of the standards and their application. This paper considers the rationale of the Sphere Humanitarian Charter and the conceptual model that underpins it. It discusses the relationship between the charter and the Minimum Standards, and the sense in which the latter are properly called ,rights-based' (explored further in a related paper herein by Young and Taylor). The author was closely involved in the conception and drafting of the charter, and this paper attempts to convey some of the thinking that lay behind it. [source]

    Magistrates' Early Referral into Treatment (MERIT): preliminary findings of a 12-month court diversion trial for drug offenders

    DAVID REILLY BSc(Psych Hons), MPsychol
    Abstract The purpose of this paper is to present a description and preliminary findings of a 12-month trial of a Local Court diversion programme, called MERIT for Magistrates' Early Referral into Treatment. The aim of MERIT is to divert eligible drug offenders to treatment and rehabilitation services. A total of 172 offenders were assessed and 131 entered the programme. The sources of referral were court (58%), police (17%) and self (10%). Main problem drugs were heroin (57%), cannabis (21%) and amphetamines (11%). The majority (85%) had previous convictions and 50% had been in jail. At the end of the trial period one-third (33%) completed the programme and one-third (33%) remained in treatment. Main treatment interventions were case management and out-patient counselling, detoxification, residential rehabilitation and methadone maintenance. Police records showed that of the original 43 (33%) graduates only six had come to police notice, mainly for relatively minor offences. Early acceptance and preliminary results has led to an expansion of the MERIT programme across New South Wales. With the rapid expansion of drug courts and diversion programmes across Australia, descriptive studies are useful to provide beneficial data to assist policy makers and service providers to develop programmes. [source]

    Reservoir siltation in the semi-arid highlands of northern Ethiopia: sediment yield,catchment area relationship and a semi-quantitative approach for predicting sediment yield

    L. Tamene
    Abstract Due to shortage of rainfall and its increasing variability, moisture stress is identified to be one of the most critical factors affecting agricultural productivity in the drylands of Ethiopia. To circumvent this problem, a strategy of supplemental irrigation through surface water harvesting was adopted by the government and several micro-dams have been built in the semi-arid parts of the country. However, the benefits from the water harvesting schemes are not sustainable because of rapid water storage loss due to siltation. There is, therefore, an urgent need for improved catchment-based erosion control and sediment management strategies. The design and implementation of such strategies require data on the rate and magnitude of sediment deposition. To this end, reservoir surveys were conducted to estimate sediment deposition rate for 11 reservoirs identified to be representative of catchments in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia. Two approaches were employed during the survey: one was based on measurement of sediment thickness in reservoirs while the other was based on comparing the original and existing topography of the reservoir-beds. The average annual sediment yield estimated for the study sites was about 19 t ha,1 y,1. An equation of the type SSY = 3á36A0á67 (with SSY = area specific sediment yield in t ha,1 y,1 and A = catchment area in km2) was also established for the study region, which is opposite to the ,universal' SSY,A relationship. In order to improve the sediment yield predictive capability of A, it was integrated with a factorial index that assesses the catchment's propensity to erosion and potential sediment yield. The effect of accelerated sediment deposition on water storage loss of reservoirs and possible controlling factors of the SSY,A relationship are outlined. The potential semi-quantitative scoring approach to characterize catchments in terms of erosion sensitivity and the significance of the A -index approach to predict SSY of similar catchments are also highlighted. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Testing bedload transport formulae using morphologic transport estimates and field data: lower Fraser River, British Columbia

    Yvonne Martin
    Abstract Morphologic transport estimates available for a 65-km stretch of Fraser River over the period 1952,1999 provide a unique opportunity to evaluate the performance of bedload transport formulae for a large river over decadal time scales. Formulae tested in this paper include the original and rational versions of the Bagnold formula, the Meyer-Peter and Muller formula and a stream power correlation. The generalized approach adopted herein does not account for spatial variability in flow, bed structure and channel morphology. However, river managers and engineers, as well as those studying rivers within the context of long-term landscape change, may find this approach satisfactory as it has minimal data requirements and provides a level of process specification that may be commensurable with longer time scales. Hydraulic geometry equations for width and depth are defined using morphologic maps based on aerial photography and bathymetric survey data. Comparison of transport predictions with bedload transport measurements completed at Mission indicates that the original Bagnold formula most closely approximates the main trends in the field data. Sensitivity analyses are conducted to evaluate the impact of inaccuracies in input variables width, depth, slope and grain size on transport predictions. The formulae differ in their sensitivity to input variables and between reaches. Average annual bedload transport predictions for the four formulae show that they vary between each other as well as from the morphologic transport estimates. The original Bagnold and Meyer-Peter and Muller formulae provide the best transport predictions, although the former underestimates while the latter overestimates transport rates. Based on our findings, an error margin of up to an order of magnitude can be expected when adopting generalized approaches for the prediction of bedload transport. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Ciliated band structure in planktotrophic and lecithotrophic larvae of Heliocidaris species (Echinodermata: Echinoidea): a demonstration of conservation and change

    ACTA ZOOLOGICA, Issue 3 2001
    M. Byrne
    Abstract The evolution of lecithotrophic (non-feeding) development in sea urchins is associated with reduction or loss of structures found in the planktotrophic (feeding) echinopluteus larvae. Reductions or losses of larval feeding structures include pluteal arms, their supporting skeleton and the ciliated band that borders them. The barrel-shaped lecithotrophic larva of Heliocidaris erythrogramma has, at its posterior end, two or three ciliated band segments comprised of densely packed, elongate cilia. These cilia may be expressions of the epaulettes that would have been present in an ancestral larval form, represented today by the feeding echinopluteus of H. tuberculata. We compared the development and cellular organization of the larval ciliary structures of both Heliocidaris species to assess whether the ciliary bands of H. erythrogramma are expressions of the feeding ciliated band or epaulettes of an echinopluteus. Epaulette development in feeding larvae of H. tuberculata involves separation of specific parts of the ciliated band from the rest of the feeding ciliated band, hyperplastic addition of ciliated cells and hypertrophic growth of the cilia. Like epaulettes, the ciliated bands of H. erythrogramma are composed of long spindle-shaped cells arranged in a cup-shaped collection that bulges into the blastocoel; and these cells have elongated cilia. In their developmental origin and topological arrangement however, the ciliated bands of H. erythrogramma correspond more closely with parts of the pluteal feeding ciliated band than with epaulettes. The larvae of this echinoid appear to develop epaulette-like bands from parts of the original (but reduced) feeding ciliated band. The evolution of development in H. erythrogramma has thus involved both conservation and change in echinopluteal ciliary structures. [source]

    Seismic performance evaluation of a 34-story steel building retrofitted with response modification elements

    Yuan-Tao Weng
    Abstract The original structural design of this case study consisted of five basement floors and a 34-story hotel tower in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The construction started in 1993, and the erection of the entire steel frame and the pouring of concrete slabs up to the 26th floor were completed before 1996. However, construction of the original hotel was subsequently suspended for 10 years. Recently, this building has been retrofitted for residential purposes. Buckling restrained braces (BRBs) and eccentrically braced frames were incorporated into the seismic design of the new residential tower. This paper presents the seismic resisting structural system, seismic design criteria, full-scale test results of one BRB member and the as-built welded moment connections. Test results confirm that the two side web-plate stiffening details can effectively improve the rotational capacity of welded moment connection. The paper also discusses the analytical models for simulating the experimental responses of the BRB members and the welded moment connections. Nonlinear response history analyses (NLRHA) indicate that the inelastic deformational demands of the original and the redesigned structures induced by the maximum considered earthquakes are less than those found in the seismic building codes or laboratory tests. This paper also proposes a ground motion scaling method considering multi-mode effects for NLRHA of the example building. It is shown that the proposed scaling method worked well in reducing the scatter in estimated peak seismic demands. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Size-dependent species-area relationships in benthos: is the world more diverse for microbes?

    ECOGRAPHY, Issue 3 2002
    Andrey I. Azovsky
    Using original and literature data on species richness, I compared the species-area relations for 5 different size classes of the Arctic benthos: macrofauna sensu lato, polychaetes, nematodes, ciliates and diatom algae. The data pool covered a wide range of areas from single samples to the whole seas. Both the slopes and intercepts of the curves depended significantly on the logarithm of the mean body size of the group. The number of small species (ciliates and diatom algae) showed relatively higher local diversity but increased more slowly with the area than the number of larger ones. Thus, both ,- and ,-components of species diversity of the marine benthos were size-dependent. As a consequence, the actual relations between number of species and their physical size are spatially scale-dependent: there are many more species of smaller size classes in any one local community, but at a global scope the situation changes drastically. The possible reasons are discussed, including dispersal efficiency, rates of speciation and size-dependent perception of environmental heterogeneity. Body size is suggested to be the important scaling factor in manifestation of so-called "general ecological laws". [source]

    Modelling variable source area dynamics in a CEAP watershed

    ECOHYDROLOGY, Issue 3 2009
    Helen E. Dahlke
    Abstract In the Northeast US, saturation excess is the most dominant runoff process and locations of runoff source areas, typically called variable source areas (VSAs), are determined by the available soil water storage and the landscape topographic position. To predict runoff generated from VSAs some water quality models use the Soil Conservation Service Curve Number equation (SCS-CN), which assumes a constant initial abstraction of rainfall is retained by the watershed prior to the beginning of runoff. We apply a VSA interpretation of the SCS-CN runoff equation that allows the initial abstraction to vary with antecedent moisture conditions. We couple this modified SCS-CN approach with a semi-distributed water balance model to predict runoff, and distribute predictions using a soil topographic index for the Town Brook watershed in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. The accuracy of predicted VSA extents using both the original and the modified SCS-CN equation were evaluated for 14 rainfall-runoff events through a comparison with average water table depths measured at 33 locations in Town Brook from March,September 2004. The modified SCS-CN equation captured VSA dynamics more accurately than the original equation. However, during events with high antecedent rainfall VSA dynamics were still under-predicted suggesting that VSA runoff is not captured solely by knowledge of the soil water deficit. Considering the importance of correctly predicting runoff generation and pollutant source areas in the landscape, the results of this study demonstrate the feasibility of integrating VSA hydrology into water quality models to reduce non-point source pollution. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    The quest for a null model for macroecological patterns: geometry of species distributions at multiple spatial scales

    ECOLOGY LETTERS, Issue 8 2008
    David Storch
    Abstract There have been several attempts to build a unified framework for macroecological patterns. However, these have mostly been based either on questionable assumptions or have had to be parameterized to obtain realistic predictions. Here, we propose a new model explicitly considering patterns of aggregated species distributions on multiple spatial scales, the property which lies behind all spatial macroecological patterns, using the idea we term ,generalized fractals'. Species' spatial distributions were modelled by a random hierarchical process in which the original ,habitat' patches were randomly replaced by sets of smaller patches nested within them, and the statistical properties of modelled species assemblages were compared with macroecological patterns in observed bird data. Without parameterization based on observed patterns, this simple model predicts realistic patterns of species abundance, distribution and diversity, including fractal-like spatial distributions, the frequency distribution of species occupancies/abundances and the species,area relationship. Although observed macroecological patterns may differ in some quantitative properties, our concept of random hierarchical aggregation can be considered as an appropriate null model of fundamental macroecological patterns which can potentially be modified to accommodate ecologically important variables. [source]


    ECONOMIC AFFAIRS, Issue 3 2006
    Harry Telser
    In the present allocation of resources in healthcare, preferences of consumers as the ultimate financiers of healthcare services are judged to be of little relevance. This state of affairs is being challenged because the past decade has seen great progress in the measurement of preferences, or more precisely, willingness-to-pay (WTP) as applied to healthcare services. This article reports evidence on WTP of the Swiss population with regard to three hypothetical modifications of the drug benefit to be covered by social health insurance: delaying access to the most recent therapeutic innovations (among them, drugs) by two years in exchange for a reduction of the monthly premium; substituting original preparations by generics, again in return for a lowered premium; and the exclusion of preparations for the treatment of minor complaints from the drug benefit. Using discrete-choice experiments, WTP and its determinants are estimated. Average WTP for avoiding such a delay (which acts across the board) is much higher than for eschewing the exclusive use of generics (which are claimed to be largely equivalent to the original) or the retention of ,unimportant' drugs in the list of benefits , a rating predicted by economic theory. In addition, a great deal of preference heterogeneity between the French-speaking minority and the German-speaking majority was found, pointing to considerable efficiency losses caused by uniformity of social health insurance. [source]

    Integrating an Enzyme-Entrapped Conducting Polymer Electrode and a Prereactor in a Microfluidic System for Sensing Glucose

    ELECTROANALYSIS, Issue 6 2008
    Po-Chin Nien
    Abstract In this study, the flow injection analysis was applied to the enzyme-entrapped electrode on a chip for sensing glucose. The on-chip microelectrode was fabricated by the standard photolithography in clean-room environment and the microfluidic channel height of 100,,m on the chip was formed by poly(dimethylsiloxane). The conducting polymer, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene), PEDOT, was electropolymerized to entrap the coexisting glucose oxidase (GOD) by cyclic voltammetry (CV). The amount of enzyme entrapped in the matrix measured spectroscopically was about 0.101,U/cm2. At a flow rate of 10,ml/hr, the working electrode (Pt/PEDOT/GOD, WE1) was set at 0.7,V (vs. Ag/AgCl) and sensing of H2O2 was carried out by injecting samples with various concentrations of glucose (Glu). A linear relationship between the sensing current and the glucose concentration, ranging from 1 to 20,mM, was obtained with a sensitivity of 8,nA mm,2 mM,1. The response time and the recovery time were about 30 and 230,s, respectively. For a single-potential test, the oxidation currents of 0.08,mM ascorbic acid (AA) and a blend of 0.08,mM AA and 10,mM Glu reached 31.3% and 145.5%, respectively, when compared with the oxidation current of 10,mM Glu alone. However, when a pre-reactor (WE2) was set at the same potential (0.7,V) before the main enzyme integrated electrode (WE1), the oxidation current for the above mixed solution reached 99.6% of the original one. [source]

    Cover Picture: Electrophoresis 24'2008

    ELECTROPHORESIS, Issue 24 2008
    Article first published online: 7 JAN 200
    This issue is a paper symposium on "Miniaturization and Microfluidics" with "30 exciting contributions, spanning reviews, original research papers and short communications. The articles are arranged in themed groups reflecting the variety of topics that characterize the fields of miniaturization, micro-total analysis systems and lab-on-a-chip devices. Fundamentals and theoretical investigations go hand in hand with new instrumentation and new technological developments, often finding their application within the areas of genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, cellomics and so forth. The life sciences continue to be the dominating "playground" for miniaturized systems. In addition, issue 24 has a "Fast Track" article on dielectrophoretic detection and quantification of hybridized DNA molecules on nano-genetic particles. [source]

    Litigation and alcohol policy: lessons from the US Tobacco Wars

    ADDICTION, Issue 2009
    James F. Mosher
    ABSTRACT Aims This paper explores the role of litigation in preventing alcohol-related harms, identifying lessons from the use of litigation in tobacco control policy in the United States. It analyzes the key components of litigation in an international context, provides a case study of its potential use in addressing the marketing of alcopops to youth and offers recommendations for pursuing litigation strategies in future alcohol policy efforts. Methods The paper's analyses are based on both original and secondary legal research. State and federal case law and secondary sources are reviewed in assessing lessons learned from tobacco litigation in the United States and the potential role of litigation in alcohol policy, both in the United States and internationally. Assessment of alcohol litigation cases and state and federal laws and regulations provides the foundation for the alcopops case study. Findings The tobacco litigation experience demonstrates that litigation is a powerful tool in addressing aggressive marketing by purveyors of addictive products such as alcohol. Conclusions To be effective at both national and international levels, litigation should encompass a broad array of legal tactics designed to identify and restrict unfair, deceptive and misleading alcohol marketing tactics and should be utilized in conjunction with complementary prevention strategies. Research conducted on the impact of alcohol marketing on youth alcohol consumption and problems is needed to support potential litigation claims. Developing litigation expertise within the alcohol policy field and building collaboration with litigation specialists in tobacco control should also be considered a high priority. [source]