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We implemented universal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing of patients undergoing surgical procedures as a means to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE). The rate of asymptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was <0.5%, which suggests that early local public health interventions were successful. Although our protocol was resource intensive, it prevented exposures to healthcare team members.
We investigated potential transmissions of a symptomatic SARS-CoV-2–positive physician in a tertiary-care hospital who worked for 15 cumulative hours without wearing a face mask. No in-hospital transmissions occurred, despite 254 contacts among patients and healthcare workers. In conclusion, exposed hospital staff continued work, accompanied by close clinical and virologic monitoring.
New financial technology holds the promise of innovation and competition, challenging established products and services and frequently improving market processes. However, regulation of these new services faces a double challenge: to keep pace with innovation and facilitate new market entries while at the same time understanding and managing the regulatory risks that are involved.
At this stage, the existing EU regulatory framework is of little help: the bulk of the present body of financial regulation stems from a different time, with different regulatory problems in mind. EU regulation is also very slow to change and to adapt. Therefore, this paper proposes a regulatory “sandbox” – an experimentation space – as a step towards a regulatory environment where such new business models can thrive. A sandbox would allow market participants to test fintech services in the real market, with real consumers, but under the close scrutiny of the supervisor. The benefit of such an approach is that it fuels the development of new business practices and reduces the “time to market” cycle of financial innovation, while simultaneously safeguarding consumer protection. At the same time, a sandbox allows for mutual learning in a technical field which is sometimes poorly understood, both for firms and for the regulator. This would help to reduce the prevalent regulatory uncertainty for all market participants.
In the particular EU legal framework with various layers of legal instruments, the implementation of such a sandbox is not straightforward. In this paper, we propose a “guided sandbox”, operated by the EU Member States, but with endorsement, support, and monitoring by EU institutions. This innovative approach would be somewhat uncharted territory for the EU, and thereby also contribute to the future development of EU financial market governance as a whole.
Natural law is part of an ethical theory, guiding our moral actions. The question I would like to discuss in this chapter is the implications of natural law theory for the political order. If someone were to take natural law ethics as a starting point, what principles of political life would flow from it?
This chapter will begin with a description of the fundamental principles of natural law ethics (in its classic form, in Thomas Aquinas), noting the importance of its integral connection with a virtue ethics and a philosophical anthropology. From there, I will try to unfold the moral principles that guide political and social life, drawing the connections between them and general natural law principles.
A brief preliminary point: the classical exposition of natural law in Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae occurs in a theological context, and philosophical and theological arguments overlap a good deal.
Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the influence of lower limb loss (LL) on mental workload by assessing neurocognitive measures in individuals with unilateral transtibial (TT) versus those with transfemoral (TF) LL while dual-task walking under varying cognitive demand. Methods: Electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded as participants performed a task of varying cognitive demand while being seated or walking (i.e., varying physical demand). Results: The findings revealed both groups of participants (TT LL vs. TF LL) exhibited a similar EEG theta synchrony response as either the cognitive or the physical demand increased. Also, while individuals with TT LL maintained similar performance on the cognitive task during seated and walking conditions, those with TF LL exhibited performance decrements (slower response times) on the cognitive task during the walking in comparison to the seated conditions. Furthermore, those with TF LL neither exhibited regional differences in EEG low-alpha power while walking, nor EEG high-alpha desynchrony as a function of cognitive task difficulty while walking. This lack of alpha modulation coincided with no elevation of theta/alpha ratio power as a function of cognitive task difficulty in the TF LL group. Conclusions: This work suggests that both groups share some common but also different neurocognitive features during dual-task walking. Although all participants were able to recruit neural mechanisms critical for the maintenance of cognitive-motor performance under elevated cognitive or physical demands, the observed differences indicate that walking with a prosthesis, while concurrently performing a cognitive task, imposes additional cognitive demand in individuals with more proximal levels of amputation.
We present the second data release (DR2) of the SkyMapper Southern Survey, a hemispheric survey carried out with the SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia, using six optical filters: u, v, g, r, i, z. DR2 is the first release to go beyond the
) limit of the Shallow Survey released in the first data release (DR1), and includes portions of the sky at full survey depth that reach
mag in g and r filters. The DR2 photometry has a precision as measured by internal reproducibility of 1% in u and v, and 0.7% in griz. More than 21 000
have data in some filters (at either Shallow or Main Survey depth) and over 7 000
have deep Main Survey coverage in all six filters. Finally, about 18 000
have Main Survey data in i and z filters, albeit not yet at full depth. The release contains over 120 000 images, as well as catalogues with over 500 million unique astrophysical objects and nearly 5 billion individual detections. It also contains cross-matches with a range of external catalogues such as Gaia DR2, Pan-STARRS1 DR1, GALEX GUVcat, 2MASS, and AllWISE, as well as spectroscopic surveys such as 2MRS, GALAH, 6dFGS, and 2dFLenS.
Catholic social thought has always emphasized that the state or government plays an essential role in political, social, and economic life, but government’s role has been increasingly emphasized since 1960. Trends in modern secular thought and political practice that have placed a greater emphasis on government solutions to social problems and are less inclined toward other (and especially free market) solutions, may be one factor in this increased emphasis. As CST has embraced the idea of more active government, it has always qualified that embrace with important limits, some of which are discussed. But in this chapter I ask, “To what extent has CST considered the possibility of government abusing its expanded powers to regulate?” and “What suggestions does it offer for dealing with such abuses?” The answer to both questions is, I suggest, “Not enough.” The primary point I make is not that CST ought to adopt a particular stance regarding the specific institutional limits on government that should be employed, or how much government power ought to be limited, but rather that it is a significant gap in CST that it barely considers this issue at all.
The appearances of palaeosurfaces intercalated into palaeo-dune fields on Fuerteventura are multifaceted. Although reddened layers in these dune sediments might suggest that strong soil-formation processes have taken place, the combination of aridity and parent material, namely biogenic carbonate sand of shelf origin, reveals that strong soil formation seems unlikely. These sediments rather represent de- and recalcification processes only. Solely in the case of admixed material of volcanic origin and dust deposits further soil-forming processes seem to be possible. Hematite-rich Saharan dust contributes to reddish colouration of the palaeosurfaces. In addition, CaCO3-coated iron particles appear to be ingredients of dust being leached after deposition and transformed to hematite. Overall, we propose much weaker soil-forming processes during the Pleistocene than previously postulated. Our findings support the relevance of local environments. Carbonate sands of shelf origin hinder strong soil formation and the reddish layers separating dune generations are palaeosurfaces, which mainly consist of Saharan dust. After deposition of allochthonous material, these layers are overprinted by weak soil-forming processes. The formation of palaeosurfaces primarily depends on morphodynamically stable periods during limited sand supply. Our data suggest a cyclicity of processes in the following order: (1) sand accumulation, (2) dust accumulation and weak soil formation, and (3) water-induced erosion. For the Canary Islands, we support the assumption of glacial maxima being periods of increased levels of moisture. In combination with rising sea level, we propose that favorable conditions of surface stability occur immediately after glacial maxima during periods of starting transgression, whereas regression periods immediately after sea-level high stands seem to yield the highest sand supply for the study area.
The U.S. livestock industry is increasingly faced with pressure to adjust practices in response to societal concerns—specifically related to farm animal welfare. Using best-worst scaling, we determine which practices the U.S. public and cow-calf producers view as the most effective and most practical practices to improve beef cattle welfare. Latent class models are used to understand heterogeneity within and across the public and producers. Fresh, clean feed and water was viewed by most groups as both effective and practical. Furthermore, castrate with pain control and dehorn with pain control were seen as the least effective and practical practices.
We report the discovery of the ultra-luminous quasi-stellar object SMSS J215728.21−360215.1 with magnitude z = 16.9 and W4 = 7.42 at redshift 4.75. Given absolute magnitudes of M145, AB = −29.3, M300, AB = −30.12, and logLbol/Lbol, ⊙ = 14.84, it is the quasi-stellar object with the highest unlensed UV-optical luminosity currently known in the Universe. It was found by combining proper-motion data from Gaia DR2 with photometry from SkyMapper DR1 and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. In the GAIA database, it is an isolated single source and thus unlikely to be strongly gravitationally lensed. It is also unlikely to be a beamed source as it is not discovered in the radio domain by either NRAO-VLA Sky Survey or Sydney University Molonglo Southern Survey. It is classed as a weak-emission-line quasi-stellar object and possesses broad absorption line features. A lightcurve from ATLAS spanning the time from 2015 October to 2017 December shows little sign of variability.
We present the first data release of the SkyMapper Southern Survey, a hemispheric survey carried out with the SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. Here, we present the survey strategy, data processing, catalogue construction, and database schema. The first data release dataset includes over 66 000 images from the Shallow Survey component, covering an area of 17 200 deg2 in all six SkyMapper passbands uvgriz, while the full area covered by any passband exceeds 20 000 deg2. The catalogues contain over 285 million unique astrophysical objects, complete to roughly 18 mag in all bands. We compare our griz point-source photometry with Pan-STARRS1 first data release and note an RMS scatter of 2%. The internal reproducibility of SkyMapper photometry is on the order of 1%. Astrometric precision is better than 0.2 arcsec based on comparison with Gaia first data release. We describe the end-user database, through which data are presented to the world community, and provide some illustrative science queries.
Recent trends favoring organic and sustainable turfgrass management practices have led to an increased desire for biologically based alternatives to traditional synthetic herbicides. Thaxtomin A, produced by the bacterium Streptomyces scabies, has been reported to have PRE efficacy on broadleaf weeds, but efficacy of thaxtomin A on annual grassy weeds and safety to newly seeded cool-season turfgrasses have not been reported. Field experiments were conducted to evaluate PRE efficacy of thaxtomin A on smooth crabgrass and annual bluegrass. Monthly applications of thaxtomin A from April to July controlled smooth crabgrass through July but did not provide season-long control equivalent to an industry standard PRE herbicide. An initial application of thaxtomin A at 380 g ai ha−1 followed by two applications at 190 or 380 g ha−1 at 4-wk intervals provided season-long annual bluegrass control similar to an industry standard PRE herbicide. At 380 g ha−1, thaxtomin A reduced tall fescue and perennial ryegrass cover when applied 1 wk before seeding, at seeding, or 1 wk after seeding but was safe at other application timings. Up to three applications of thaxtomin A at 380 g ha−1 at 4-wk intervals did not reduce perennial ryegrass cover. Applications to creeping bentgrass resulted in unacceptable turfgrass injury. These results suggest that thaxtomin A can suppress annual grassy weeds in tall fescue or perennial ryegrass turf when applied at least 2 wk before or after seeding. Furthermore, repeated applications of thaxtomin A can provide effective PRE control of annual bluegrass during overseeded perennial ryegrass establishment.
Both regulatory and consumer forces have increased the demand for biopesticides, particularly in amenity areas such as turfgrass. Unfortunately, few natural products are available for selective weed control in turfgrass. Two bioherbicides reported to control broadleaf weeds without injuring turfgrass are Phoma macrostoma and thaxtomin A. Field and container experiments were conducted to evaluate PRE and POST efficacy of P. macrostoma and thaxtomin A on regionally important broadleaf weeds. In container experiments, PRE applications of P. macrostoma provided 65 to 100% control of dandelion, marsh yellowcress, and flexuous bittercress, equivalent to that of pendimethalin. Control of yellow woodsorrel, henbit, hairy galinsoga, common chickweed, or annual bluegrass was less than with pendimethalin. In contrast, POST applications did not control any species as well as an industry-standard synthetic auxin herbicide. PRE or POST applications of thaxtomin A controlled six of the eight species tested as well as the industry-standard PRE or POST herbicides. In field tests, overall PRE broadleaf weed control with P. macrostoma and thaxtomin A peaked 4 wk after treatment at 64 and 72%, respectively, and declined afterward, suggesting that these bioherbicides possess short residuals and therefore must be reapplied for season-long control. Overall POST broadleaf weed control using P. macrostoma and thaxtomin A was only 41 and 25%, respectively. PRE followed by early-POST applications of thaxtomin A provided ≥ 86% henbit control. These results suggest that both P. macrostoma and thaxtomin A are capable of controlling certain broadleaf weeds in turfgrass. However, both lack efficacy on some important weed species, particularly chickweed. Thaxtomin A efficacy on henbit was improved by increased dose and by PRE followed by early-POST applications.
Increasing volatility in milk and feed prices has led to higher levels of market and financial risk for dairy farmers. We examine dairy farmer use of forward pricing methods for milk sales and feed purchases. Operators with larger herds, higher levels of education, and those farm businesses that were not organized as sole proprietorships were more likely to have used forward pricing. We also examine reasons dairy farm operators had not used these tools to date and find that the most common reason was lack of knowledge. These findings may be used to target educational seminars and outreach to dairy farm managers.