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Domestic dogs display complex roaming behaviours, which need to be captured to more realistically model the spread of rabies. We have previously shown that roaming behaviours of domestic dogs can be categorised as stay-at-home, roamer and explorer in the Northern Peninsular Area (NPA), Queensland, Australia. These roaming behaviours are likely to cause heterogeneous contact rates that influence the speed or pattern of rabies spread in a dog population. The aim of this study was to define contact spatial kernels using the overlap of individual dog utilisation distributions to describe the daily probability of contact between pairs of dogs exhibiting these three a priori roaming behaviours. We further aimed to determine if the kernels lead to different predicted rabies outbreaks (outbreak duration and number of rabid dogs) by incorporating the spatial kernels into a previously developed rabies spread model for the NPA. Spatial kernels created with both dogs in a pair being explorers or one dog explorer and one dog roamer (who roamed away from their residence) produced short but large outbreaks compared with spatial kernels with at least one stay-at-home dog. Outputs from this model incorporating heterogeneous contacts demonstrate how roaming behaviours influence disease spread in domestic dog populations.
Introduction: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Canada. The Anthonisen criteria utilizes the cardinal symptoms of acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD), increased shortness of breath, increased sputum production, and increased sputum purulence, to determine which patients should receive antibiotics. In July 2015, a COPD Order Set Pilot was implemented in Saskatoon emergency departments (ED). The order set utilizes the Anthonisen criteria to optimize AECOPD patient management and ensure appropriate antibiotic usage. By January 2019, we aim to optimize AECOPD patient management in Saskatoon ED. We aim to increase physician uptake of the order set to 50% and to increase appropriate antibiotic prescription to 90%. Methods: Our project was designed following the Plan-Do-Study-Act method. Our primary outcome was to measure the rate of appropriate antibiotic prescription when managing AECOPD patients. Our secondary outcome was to measure physician uptake of the order set. We believed that a standardized order set would optimize patient care. We hypothesized that 80% of AECOPD patients would be managed with antibiotics appropriately and that 25% of emergency physicians would utilize the order set. A chart review was conducted examining AECOPD patient management in Saskatoon ED. The study period included the 6 months following the implementation of the order set. Our inclusion criteria were patients diagnosed with AECOPD and managed in the ED. Our exclusion criteria were patients currently prescribed antibiotics or patients requiring inpatient admission. A convenience sample of 125 charts was selected for review, enabling an accurate representation of order set utilization and antibiotic usage. A secondary reviewer abstracted a random 15% sample of the charts to ensure validity of the data. Results: Our results showed that, during our study period, none of the AECOPD patients were managed with the order set. Of the patients receiving antibiotic therapy, only 32 of the 53 (60.38%) met the Anthonisen criteria and were appropriately prescribed antibiotics. Of the patients not given antibiotics, 15 of the 42 (35.71%) met the Anthonisen criteria and should have been managed with antibiotics. These results refuted both of our hypotheses. Conclusion: As COPD is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Canada, proper management is crucial. Our results state that uptake of the order set is low and that antibiotic utilization is not optimized. These results demonstrate the need to modify and promote the current order set. We believe that by encouraging the use of the order set and streamlining the management guidelines, we can increase physician uptake. This will subsequently increase appropriate antibiotic prescription and improve AECOPD patient care. A second identical chart review for 2017 has been completed. Data analysis will be finalized prior to the conference.
The application of safeguards measures by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) involves analytical measurements of samples taken during inspections of nuclear facilities. Thus constant development and advancement of analytical techniques is required. For quality control purposes, the IAEA has implemented a dedicated project to enhance its analytical capabilities by producing tailor-made reference materials for the analysis of uranium isotope signatures in (single) particles.
To this end, a particle production set-up was developed and implemented at Forschungszentrum Juelich capable to produce uranium oxide microparticles which are intended to be used as (certified) reference materials for particle analysis methods. A step towards the certification process is the evaluation of consistency of the size distribution and homogeneity. A monodisperse particle size distribution as well as the single phase triuranium octoxide structure was confirmed using SEM, µ-XRD and µ-Raman spectroscopy, respectively. Analysis performed on single uranium oxide microparticles confirmed consistency of the uranium isotopic ratios in comparison to the initial precursor solutions. To improve the homogeneity and particle handling, the particles are transferred into suspensions, for which the stability was investigated with respect to dissolution.
In many regions of the world domestic dogs are free roaming and live in close relationship with humans. These free-roaming domestic dogs (FRDD) can cause public health problems such as dog bites and transmission of infectious diseases. To effectively control diseases transmitted by FRDD, knowledge on the dogs’ behaviour is required. To identify predictors of home range (HR) size, we collected global positioning system data from 135 FRDD living in eight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Northern Australia. The core HR size ranged from 0·17 to 2·33 ha and the extended HR size from 0·86 to 40·46 ha. Using a linear mixed effect model with a Restricted Maximum Likelihood approach, the dog's sex and reproductive status were identified as predictors of roaming. Non-castrated males had the largest HRs, followed by neutered females. Also, FRDDs were found to roam further during the pre- than the post-wet season. These findings have implications for infectious disease spread. Identification of risk groups for disease spread within a population allows for more targeted disease response and surveillance. Further investigation of predictors of roaming in other FRDD populations worldwide would increase the external validity of such studies.
For political scientists who engage in longitudinal analyses, the question of how best to deal with nonstationary time-series is anything but settled. While many believe that little is lost when the focus of empirical models shifts from the nonstationary levels to the stationary changes of a series, others argue that such an approach erases any evidence of a long-term relationship among the variables of interest. But the pitfalls of working directly with integrated series are well known, and post-hoc corrections for serially correlated errors often seem inadequate. Compounding (or perhaps alleviating, if one believes in the power of selective perception) the difficult question of whether to difference a time-series is the fact that analysts have been forced to rely on subjective diagnoses of the stationarity of their data. Thus, even if one felt strongly about the superiority of one modeling approach over another, the procedure for determining whether that approach is even applicable can be frustrating.
My aim in this note is not to rejoin the useful comments of Beck and Williams (in this volume) in this symposium, but rather to speculate about the future place of cointegration and error correction in the discipline of political science. Stopping somewhere short of the pejorative “hegemony” Williams anticipates for the ECM framework, I agree that this modeling approach is likely to enjoy wide play in a variety of substantive arenas. As such, I believe it is critical that analysts concerned with advancing cointegration methodology do so with an eye toward not just technical issues, but also questions regarding the theory of cointegration, error correction, and time-series stationarity. Furthermore, if methodological advancements are to be of any real value, they must be accessible to political scientists who, for inexplicable reasons, care not to make econometrics the center of their beings. In short, I am concerned
that we will produce a method (1) dominated by questions of measurement and measurement strategy (at the expense of theory) and (2) inaccessible to (and therefore ignored by) most analysts. Such an evolution would be tantamount to losing the error correction forest for its trees.
Early plant establishment through seed germination and seedling emergence is a crucial process that determines seedling number, emergence time distribution and the early growth of seedlings, all of which are affected by soil climate and soil structure. In the current context of climate change, in which increasing the diversity of cultivated species is considered desirable, and new tillage practices are considerably modifying top-soil surface characteristics, we need to improve our ability to model the effects of the environment on plant establishment. Using a trait-based and model-based framework, we aimed to identify general relationships between seed and seedling traits (e.g. seed mass and lipid content, seedling diameter, base temperature) and germination and emergence model parameters (e.g. time to mid-germination, shoot elongation rate) measured for 18 genotypes belonging to 14 species. Relationships were also investigated among model parameters or traits. Germination rates were faster for species with a high base temperature and for species with seed reserves located principally in the embryo (rather than the endosperm or perisperm). During heterotrophic growth, maximal shoot length and elongation rate increased with seed dry mass. The sensitivity of seedlings to soil obstacles was negatively related to shoot diameter. Thus apart from the known effects of seed mass on seedling establishment, we found that seed reserve location, seedling shoot diameter and shape affected germination rate and emergence success. Such generic rules linking plant traits to germination and emergence parameters enhance our understanding of the determinants of environmental effects on plant establishment success.
This paper is a follow-up on Section 5 of Drèze, Malinvaud et al.’s 1994 position paper on “Growth and Employment: The Scope for a European Initiative”, in favour of policies aiming to sustain demand through investments, without aggravating public deficits. We build on several recent papers to investigate further the argument. We first briefly review a nonstandard theoretical model based upon contemporaneous thinking about incompleteness of markets, and its econometric validation. This analysis suggests that policies aimed at stimulating aggregate activity and supporting more optimistic expectations may be needed to achieve faster growth in economies suffering from persistent underutilisation of resources. We next elaborate on the principle of employment subsidies, with reference to housing. At times of severe unemployment, a correct evaluation of investment projects must take into account the wedge between the private and the social cost of labour. This labour cost distortion generates a discouting distortion. We briefly discuss both and derive implications for investment stimulation policies. We also review the main problems of implementation of a European investment program and report on a preliminary attempt at checking the applicability to housing in Wallony.
With the current sovereign debt crisis, the incompleteness of economic integration in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) has become patent, leading to an intense debate among academics and policy makers. Much of the debate concerns fiscal rules and austerity measures, both of which weigh on growth prospects. In this paper we look at the main structural shortcomings of EMU through the lens of general equilibrium theory. We address two issues (international sharing of macroeconomic risks and coordinated growth stimulation) which are at the heart of the sustainability of EMU. We propose: (A) a specific scheme for mutual insurance of macroeconomic risks; (B) locating responsibility for demand policies at the EMU level, with ambitious investment programs (public, or fiscally-neutral private) as main instrument.
This paper deals with some issues that recently arised from the puzzling evolution of Stock Markets during the nineties, in particular from the sharp increase of equity prices on the Nasdaq. We examine the hypothesis according to which such a bullish market could be explained by investors’ increasingly optimistic expectations about the ‘New economy’ perspectives. We then analyse to what extent the evolution of financial markets may have recently affected aggregate demand in a stronger way than in the past. Using a simple aggregate model with rational expectations, we finally show how monetary policy decisions should be influenced by such changes in the behaviour of investors and consumers.
Objectives: Visuospatial processing deficits have been reported in Huntington’s disease (HD). To date, no study has examined associations between visuospatial cognition and posterior brain findings in HD. Methods: We compared 119 premanifest (55> and 64<10.8 years to expected disease onset) and 104 early symptomatic (59 stage-1 and 45 stage-2) gene carriers, with 110 controls on visual search and mental rotation performance at baseline and 12 months. In the disease groups, we also examined associations between task performance and disease severity, functional capacity and structural brain measures. Results: Cross-sectionally, there were strong differences between all disease groups and controls on visual search, and between diagnosed groups and controls on mental rotation accuracy. Only the premanifest participants close to onset took longer than controls to respond correctly to mental rotation. Visual search negatively correlated with disease burden and motor symptoms in diagnosed individuals, and positively correlated with functional capacity. Mental rotation (“same”) was negatively correlated with motor symptoms in stage-2 individuals, and positively correlated with functional capacity. Visual search and mental rotation were associated with parieto-occipital (pre-/cuneus, calcarine, lingual) and temporal (posterior fusiform) volume and cortical thickness. Longitudinally, visual search deteriorated over 12 months in stage-2 individuals, with no evidence of declines in mental rotation. Conclusions: Our findings provide evidence linking early visuospatial deficits to functioning and posterior cortical dysfunction in HD. The findings are important since large research efforts have focused on fronto-striatal mediated cognitive changes, with little attention given to aspects of cognition outside of these areas. (JINS, 2016, 22, 595–608)
The on-going financial crisis continues to expose the limits of our collective knowledge and thereby motivate new avenues of research for academics, practitioners and policymakers and perhaps none more so than those that lie at the intersection of monetary and financial economics. As has been well documented, the origins of the crisis go back to problems in the US sub-prime market that became increasingly clear in the early part of 2007 and culminated in the announcement by BNP Paribas on 9 August 2007 of the suspension of a number of funds as it was no longer possible to value their assets. The BNP Paribas statement was a reflection of the fact that by that summer liquidity had all but evaporated in many securitised lending markets. But the statement itself triggered a further collapse in liquidity in many other markets and also a break-down in interbank lending markets. And what started as a liquidity crisis soon became a credit crisis as it became increasingly apparent that risk in many capital markets had been underpriced and that consequently much of the private sector was carrying too much debt, with many parts of the financial sector leveraged to an untenable degree. Subsequently, at various points in the crisis the very financial network itself seemed threatened with extinction, most notably after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. Eventually, the interaction between banking and sovereign risk led to increasing spreads on government debt in many countries and full-blown sovereign debt crises in a number of euro area countries.