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The design of government portfolios – that is, the distribution of competencies among government ministries and office holders – has been largely ignored in the study of executive and coalition politics. This article argues that portfolio design is a substantively and theoretically relevant phenomenon that has major implications for the study of institutional design and coalition politics. The authors use comparative data on portfolio design reforms in nine Western European countries since the 1970s to demonstrate how the design of government portfolios changes over time. Specifically, they show that portfolios are changed frequently (on average about once a year) and that such shifts are more likely after changes in the prime ministership or the party composition of the government. These findings suggest a political logic behind these reforms based on the preferences and power of political parties and politicians. They have major implications for the study of institutional design and coalition politics.
Geometrical work piece deviations are unavoidable and directly affect the function and quality of technological products. Tolerance management is regarded as a crucial subtask of the development of technological products, because it ensures the function as well as a sufficient product quality while maintaining reasonable production costs. That means, that geometric tolerances as an essential part of the product description greatly affect the functional capability, manufacturability, mountability, verifiability and the costs of the final product. The research group FOR 2271 was founded to enable the computer-aided specification of tolerances, which meet the requirements of production, assembly, verification and function by close cooperation between the departments responsible for product design, assembly and metrology. The aim of this contribution is to determine the manufacturing process scatter as well as the measurement uncertainty and establish ways and means to include that information into efficient meta-models, ultimately enabling improved and accurate tolerance analyses.
The genus Aegilops belongs to the secondary gene pool of wheat and has great importance for wheat cultivar improvement. As a genus with only annual species, regeneration from seeds in Aegilops is crucial. In several species in Aegilops, spikes produce different seed morphs, both in size and germination patterns. However, little is known about the ecology of seed germination, nor about the seed longevity in this genus. Here we investigated the germination phenology of Ae. neglecta under laboratory and field conditions and assessed longevity of different seed morphs of five additional Aegilops species using controlled ageing tests. Large seeds were short-lived and germinated faster than small seeds in most of the species. Field experiments with Ae. neglecta showed that large seeds of the dimorphic pair germinated 3 months after dispersal in contrast to 14 months for smaller seeds. Differences in longevity were detected not only in dimorphic seed pairs, but also among seeds from different positions on the spike. Our results indicate that different longevities in seed morphs of Aegilops may reflect a different soil seed bank persistence, with smaller seeds able to maintain a higher viability after dispersal than larger ones, thereby spreading seedling emergence over two years. Differences of seed germination and longevities between seed morphs in Aegilops may have important implications for ex situ seed conservation and reinforce the hypothesis of a bet-hedging strategy in the germination ecology of this genus.
Modeling the instantaneous kinematics of lower pair linkages using joint screws and the finite kinematics with Lie group concepts is well established on a solid theoretical foundation. This allows for modeling the forward kinematics of mechanisms as well the loop closure constraints of kinematic loops. Yet there is no established approach to the modeling of complex mechanisms possessing multiple kinematic loops. For such mechanisms, it is crucial to incorporate the kinematic topology within the modeling in a consistent and systematic way. To this end, in this paper a kinematic model graph is introduced that gives rise to an ordering of the joints within a mechanism and thus allows to systematically apply established kinematics formulations. It naturally gives rise to topologically independent loops and thus to loop closure constraints. Geometric constraints as well as velocity and acceleration constraints are formulated in terms of joint screws. An extension to higher order loop constraints is presented. It is briefly discussed how the topology representation can be used to amend structural mobility criteria.
The effect of climate change in the 20th century is investigated based on measured mass-balance data. Annual, winter and summer mass balances on Claridenfirn, Switzerland, (since 1914/15) Storglaciären, Sweden, (since 1945/46) Storbreen, Norway, (since 1948/49) Glacier de Sarennes, France, (since 1948/49) and Vernagtferner, Austria, (since 1965/66) are studied with air temperature at high-altitude stations and the longest records of solar global radiation in Europe. The mean mass balances of these glaciers during the 20th century were mostly negative except for the first two decades. The fluctuating mass balance reaches the minimum (largest loss) and maximum (almost equilibrium) around 1940 and 1980, respectively, with a drastic loss in the last 15 years. These variations are mostly steered by the variation in summer mass balance. The change in the summer mass balance is determined to 72% by temperature and the remaining 28% by solar radiation. During the colder period (e.g. 1960–80), the reduction in solar radiation counteracted the warming trend due to the greenhouse effect. Since 1990 the greenhouse effect of terrestrial radiation and the global brightening effect of solar radiation have both been acting to accelerate the melt, resulting in the unprecedented mass loss of the observational era. The glacier mass balance during the 20th century clearly reacted towards temperature and solar radiation changes, which reflected the greenhouse effect and aerosol and cloud variations.
Absorption and fluorescence of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) in sea ice and surface waters in the southern Sea of Okhotsk was examined. Sea-water CDOM had featureless absorption increasing exponentially with shorter wavelengths. Sea ice showed distinct absorption peaks in the ultraviolet, especially in younger ice. Older first-year sea ice had relatively flat absorption spectra in the ultraviolet range. Parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC) identified five fluorescent CDOM components, two humic-like and three protein-like. Sea water was largely governed by humic-like fluorescence. In sea ice, protein-like fluorescence was found in considerable excess relative to sea water. The accumulation of protein-like CDOM fluorescence in sea ice is likely a result of biological activity within the ice. Nevertheless, sea ice does not contribute excess CDOM during melt, but the material released will be of different composition than that present in the underlying waters. Thus, at least transiently, the CDOM introduced during sea-ice melt might provide a more labile source of fresher protein-like DOM to surface waters in the southern Sea of Okhotsk.
Multidimensional effects are essential for the success of the neutrino-driven explosion mechanism of core-collapse supernovae. Although astrophysical phenomena in nature involve three spatial dimensions, the huge computational demands still allow only for a few self-consistent, three-dimensional (3D) simulations focusing on specific aspects of the explosion physics, whereas systematic studies of larger sets of progenitor models or detailed investigations of different explosion parameters are restricted to the axisymmetric (2D) modeling approach at the moment. Employing state-of-the-art neutrino physics, we present the results of self-consistent core-collapse supernova simulations performed with the Prometheus-Vertex code in 2D and 3D. The 2D study of 18 successfully exploding pre-supernova models in the range of 11 to 28 solar masses shows the progenitor dependence of the explosion dynamics: if the progenitor exhibits a pronounced decline of the density at the Si/Si-O composition shell interface, the rapid drop of the mass-accretion rate at the time the interface arrives at the shock induces a steep reduction of the accretion ram pressure. This causes a strong shock expansion supported by neutrino heating and thus favors an early explosion. In case of a more gradually decreasing accretion rate, it takes longer for the neutrino heating to overcome the accretion ram pressure and explosions set in later. By considering the effects of turbulent pressure in the gain layer, we derive a generalized condition for the critical neutrino luminosity that captures the explosion behavior of all models very well. We show that this concept can also be extended to describe the effects of rotation as well as the behavior of recent 3D simulations and that the conditions necessary for the onset of explosion can be defined in a similar way.
We present the first successful simulations of neutrino-driven supernova explosions in three dimensions (3D) using the Vertex-Prometheus code including sophisticated energy-dependent neutrino transport. The simulated models of 9.6 and 20 solar-mass iron-core stars demonstrate that successful explosions can be obtained in self-consistent 3D simulations, where previous models have failed. New insights into the supernova mechanism can be gained from these explosions. The first 3D model (Melson et al. 2015a) explodes at the same time but more energetically than its axially symmetric (2D) counterpart. Turbulent energy cascading reduces the kinetic energy dissipation in the cooling layer and therefore suppresses neutrino cooling. The consequent inward shift of the gain radius increases the gain layer mass, whose recombination energy provides the surplus for the explosion energy.
The second explosion (Melson et al. 2015b) is obtained through a moderate reduction of the neutral-current neutrino opacity motivated by strange-quark contributions to the nucleon spin. A corresponding reference model without these corrections failed, which demonstrates how close current 3D models are to explosion. The strangeness adjustment is meant as a prototype for remaining neutrino opacity uncertainties.
Between 2010 and 2012, 3 outbreaks of nosocomial infections in German neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) attracted considerable public interest. Headlines on national television channels and in newspapers had important consequences for the involved institutions and a negative impact on the relationship between families and staff in many German NICUs.
To determine whether NICU outbreaks reported in the media influenced provider behavior in the community of neonatal care and led to more third-line antibiotic prescribing.
Observational cohort study.
To investigate secular trends, we evaluated data for very-low-birth-weight infants (VLBWIs, birth weight <1,500 g) enrolled in the German Neonatal Network (GNN) between 2009 and 2014 (N=10,253). For outbreak effects, we specifically analyzed data for VLBWIs discharged 6 months before (n=2,428) and 6 months after outbreaks (n=2,508).
The exposure of all VLBWIs to third-line antibiotics increased after outbreaks (19.4% before vs 22.5% after; P=.007). This trend particularly affected male infants (4.6% increase; P=.005) and infants with a birth weight between 1,000 and 1,499 g (3.5% increase; P=.001)
In a logistic regression analysis, month of discharge as linear variable of time was associated with increased exposure to third-line antibiotics (odds ratio [OR], 1.01; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.009–1.014; P<.001), and discharge within the 6-month period after outbreak reports independently contributed to this long-term trend (OR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.017–1.270; P=.024).
Media reports directly affect medical practice, eg, overuse of third-line antibiotics. Future communication and management strategies must be based on objective dialogues between the scientific community and investigative journalists.
To unambiguously evaluate the indium and nitrogen concentrations in InxGa1−xNyAs1−y, two independent sources of information must be obtained experimentally. Based on high-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) images taken with a high-angle annular dark-field (HAADF) detector the strain state of the InGaNAs quantum well is determined as well as its characteristic HAADF-scattering intensity. The strain state is evaluated by applying elasticity theory and the HAADF intensity is used for a comparison with multislice simulations. The combination of both allows for determination of the chemical composition where the results are in accordance with X-ray diffraction measurements, three-dimensional atom probe tomography, and further transmission electron microscopy analysis. The HAADF-STEM evaluation was used to investigate the influence of As-stabilized annealing on the InGaNAs/GaAs sample. Photoluminescence measurements show an annealing-induced blue shift of the emission wavelength. The chemical analysis precludes an elemental diffusion as origin of the energy shift—instead the results are in agreement with a model based on an annealing-induced redistribution of the atomic next-neighbor configuration.
In an earlier publication Rosenauer et al. introduced a method for determination of composition in AlGaN/GaN heterostructures from high-angle annular dark field (HAADF) images. Static atomic displacements (SADs) were neglected during simulation of reference data because of the similar covalent radii of Al and Ga. However, SADs have been shown (Grillo et al.) to influence the intensity in HAADF images and therefore could be the reason for an observed slight discrepancy between measured and nominal concentrations. In the present study parameters of the Stillinger–Weber potential were varied in order to fit computed elastic constants, lattice parameters and bonding energies to experimental ones. A reference data set of HAADF images was simulated, in which the new parameterization was used to account for SADs. Two reference samples containing AlGaN layers with different Al concentrations were investigated and Al concentrations in the layers determined based on the new data set. We found that these concentrations were in good agreement with nominal concentrations as well as concentrations determined using alternative techniques such as strain state analysis and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy.
Impaired social functioning and autistic symptoms are characteristics of schizophrenia. The social hormones oxytocin (OT) and arginine-vasopressin (AVP) both modulate social interaction and therefore may be involved in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. We investigated whether men with schizophrenia show altered OT and AVP levels compared with healthy controls (HC) and whether autism symptoms are associated with OT levels.
Forty-one men with non-acute schizophrenia and 45 matched HC were enroled. Schizophrenia was assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Blood samples were collected on 2 days, and plasma OT and AVP levels were measured by ELISA immunoassay.
The schizophrenia patients had significantly lower plasma OT levels than the HC; a similar trend was found for AVP. Plasma OT levels were associated with severe life events, fewer important attached persons, and a higher score on the PANSS negative scale; the most dominant PANSS items were ‘preoccupation’, ‘emotional withdrawal’, and ‘passive/apathetic social withdrawal’.
These findings support an association between the social hormones OT and AVP and schizophrenia. We suggest that OT metabolism may be altered in schizophrenia, but other possible causes for decreased plasma OT levels in schizophrenia patients include decreased OT synthesis, mRNA expression, and translation. Especially the ‘autistic’ symptoms of schizophrenia seem to be closely linked to an altered metabolism of OT, the ‘attachment’ hormone.
New technologies do not diffuse instantaneously, and adoption lags are considered a major determinant of productivity differences across firms and nations. In a classic paper, Griliches (1957) documented that new, more-productive seeds of hybrid corn diffused slowly across U.S. agricultural regions, with a 15-year lag between adoption in Iowa and Alabama, and that their diffusion was affected by local conditions such as geography and market potential. The spread of more recent technologies follows a similar pattern. Kiessling (2009) reported evidence of slow adoption of information and communication-technology diffusion both between and within countries. For instance, although personal computers became available in the early 1980s, in 2006, the percentage of the population using computers was 80.6 percent in the United States, 36.3 percent in Spain, 5.6 percent in China, and 2.7 percent in India. Cross-country studies confirm that technology adoption depends on both country-specific factors and characteristics of new technologies. For example, a McKinsey (2001) report on India identified as a major source of inefficiency the fact that firms are too small to benefit from the best technologies and that these may require skills that the country does not possess. The importance of local economic conditions also was stressed by Caselli and Wilson (2004), who showed that countries import technologies complementing their abundant factors; and by Ciccone and Papaioannou (2009), who found that human capital fosters the adoption of skill-augmenting technologies. At the aggregate level, there is evidence that differences in technology are a key determinant of cross-country income disparities.