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Insurance industry practitioners have deep knowledge of their industry, but there is a lack of a simple-to-understand, practical blueprint on applying distributed ledger technology solutions, including blockchain. This paper provides a practical guide for actuaries, risk professionals, insurance companies and their Boards on blockchain, including an education piece to provide an understanding of the technology. Examples of real-world applications and use cases in insurance are provided to illustrate the capability of the technology. The current risks and challenges in adopting the technology are also considered. Finally, a checklist of issues to consider in adopting a blockchain solution for insurance business problems is provided.
The objective was to evaluate the association between changes in daily rumination time (dRT) and early stages of disease during early lactation and to assess the performance of two proposed disease detection indices. This cohort study included 210 multiparous Holstein cows at the University of Florida Dairy Unit. Cows were affixed with a neck collar containing rumination loggers providing rumination time. The occurrence of health disorders (mastitis, metritis, clinical hypocalcemia, depression/dehydration/fever (DDF), digestive conditions, lameness and clinical ketosis) was assessed until 60 days in milk. Two indices were developed to explore the association between dRT and disease: (i) Cow index (CIx), based on changes in dRT in the affected cow during the days before the diagnosis of health disorders; (ii) Mates index (MIx), index based on deviations in dRT relative to previous days and healthy pen mate cohorts. Subsequently, an alert model was proposed for each index (ACIx and AMIx) considering the reference alert cut-off values as the differences between average index values in healthy and sick cows for each specific disease. The sensitivity (SE) of ACIx detecting disease ranged from 42% (digestive conditions and DDF) to 80% (clinical hypocalcemia) with 84% specificity (SP). The SE of AMIx ranged from 46% (digestive conditions and DDF) to 100% (clinical hypocalcemia) with 85% SP. Consistent reductions in rumination activity, both within cow and relative to healthy mate cohorts, were observed for each health disorder at the day of diagnosis. However, the ability of the proposed algorithms for detecting each specific disease was variable.
An outbreak of mumps within a student population in Scotland was investigated to assess the effect of previous vaccination on infection and clinical presentation, and any genotypic variation. Of the 341 cases, 79% were aged 18–24. Vaccination status was available for 278 cases of whom 84% had received at least one dose of mumps containing vaccine and 62% had received two. The complication rate was 5·3% (mainly orchitis), and 1·2% were admitted to hospital. Genetic sequencing of mumps virus isolated from cases across Scotland classified 97% of the samples as genotype G. Two distinct clusters of genotype G were identified, one circulating before the outbreak and the other thereafter, suggesting the virus that caused this outbreak was genetically different from the previously circulating virus. Whilst the poor vaccine effectiveness we found may be due to waning immunity over time, a contributing factor may be that the current mumps vaccine is less effective against some genotypes. Although the general benefits of the measles–mumps–rubella (MMR) vaccine should continue to be promoted, there may be value in reassessing the UK vaccination schedule and the current mumps component of the MMR vaccine.
Several outbreaks of hepatitis A in men who have sex with men (MSM) were reported in the 1980s and 1990s in Australia and other countries. An effective hepatitis A virus (HAV) vaccine has been available in Australia since 1994 and is recommended for high-risk groups including MSM. No outbreaks of hepatitis A in Australian MSM have been reported since 1996. In this study, we aimed to estimate HAV transmissibility in MSM populations in order to inform targets for vaccine coverage in such populations. We used mathematical models of HAV transmission in a MSM population to estimate the basic reproduction number (R0) and the probability of an HAV epidemic occurring as a function of the immune proportion. We estimated a plausible range for R0 of 1·71–3·67 for HAV in MSM and that sustained epidemics cannot occur once the proportion immune to HAV is greater than ~70%. To our knowledge this is the first estimate of R0 and the critical population immunity threshold for HAV transmission in MSM. As HAV is no longer endemic in Australia or in most other developed countries, vaccination is the only means of maintaining population immunity >70%. Our findings provide impetus to promote HAV vaccination in high-risk groups such as MSM.
The Kennicutt-Schmidt law (Schmidt 1959; Kennicutt 1998, hereafter K-S law) is a power law correlation between area averaged star formation rate (ΣSFR) and gas surface density (Σgas). Despite its importance, the physics that underlie this correlation has remained unclear. The power law index, N, is a prime discriminator of the mechanisms that regulate star formation and form the K-S law (e.g. Leroy et al. 2008; Tan 2010). We present a study of the resolved K-S law for 10 nearby disk galaxies using our new CO(1-0) data at 750 and 500 pc resolutions. The CO(1-0) line emission is established as a tracer of the molecular gas column density, and results in a super-linear correlation (N = 1.3 and 1.8). We discuss the cause of the discrepancy between previous studies, and the mechanism of star formation indicated from our new results.
For each positive integer n ≥ 2, there is a well-known regular orientable Hamiltonian embedding of Kn, n, and this generates a regular face 2-colourable triangular embedding of Kn, n, n. In the case n ≡ 0 (mod 8), and only in this case, there is a second regular orientable Hamiltonian embedding of Kn, n. This paper presents an analysis of the face 2-colourable triangular embedding of Kn, n, n that results from this. The corresponding Latin squares of side n are determined, together with the full automorphism group of the embedding.
In the development of virtue ethics, it was necessary to examine the connection between virtue and happiness. The concept of virtue as a normative theory for medical ethics paralleled the history of the concept of virtue in general ethics. To define the values at the core of medicine and to reach some consensus on the goals of medicine, a report was produced by an international project of the Hastings Center in which four goals for medicine were listed: the prevention of disease and injury and the promotion and maintenance of health; the relief of pain and suffering caused by maladies; the care and cure of those with a malady and the care of those who cannot be cured; the avoidance of premature death and the pursuit of a peaceful death. Gentle humor is a good antidote for a child's anxiety and even serves to alleviate the monotony of medical routine.
InN has been grown in a gas-source MBE system using an RF nitrogen plasma source and standard TMI, solution TMI and solid In. Both solid and solution TMI produce InN with electron and carbon concentrations ≥ 1020 cm−3. Solution TMI-derived material, however, contains significantly less oxygen (8 × 1018 cm−3 vs. ≥ 1020 cm−3 for solid TMI). While the amine used to liquefy the TMI helps to displace the ether believed to be responsible for the oxygen contamination, it also appears to interfere with the growth, resulting in poorer morphology than for standard TMI. While solid In produced the lowest carrier concentration (≤ mid-1018 cm−3), it also produced the worst morphology of the sources examined, presumably due to poor surface mobility. Based on this data, it appears that carbon can play a significant role in the electrical properties of InN, and that the In source is critical in determining the structural quality.
Anisotropic pattern transfer has been performed for GaN, InN and AIN in Cl2/Ar, BI3/Ar and BBr3/Ar Inductively Coupled Plasmas(ICP). Controlled etch rates in the range of 500–1500Å·min−1 are obtained for III-nitride materials in Cl2/Ar chemistry. Etch selectivities of 100:1 were achieved for InN over both GaN and AIN in the BI3 mixtures, while for BBr3 discharges values of 100:1 for InN over AIN and 25:1 for InN over GaN were measured.
In this paper, we have reported our investigations related to the growth of high temperature superconducting YBa2Cu3O7-δ (YBCO) and colossal magnetoresistive La0.7MnxO3-δ (LMO) thin films in presence of silver. The films were grown using pulsed laser deposition (PLD) techniques and characterized using x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, Squid magnetometer. The focus of our work is on the realization of significant improvement in microstructural and physical properties of these films by the addition of a common material (silver) to the films during their in-situ formation. Optical emission studies of plumes emanating from Ag target have been carried out to find the role of Ag acting as additional source of oxygen-supply to oxide lattices during film-growth.
Inductively coupled plasma etching of GaN, AlN, InN, InGaN and InAlN was investigated in CH4/H2/Ar plasmas as a function of dc bias, and ICP power. The etch rates were generally quite low, as is common for III-nitrides in CH4 based chemistries. The etch rates increased with increasing dc bias. At low rf power (150W), the etch rates increased with increasing ICP power, while at 350W rf power, a peak was found between 500 and 750 W ICP power. The etched surfaces were found to be smooth, while selectivities of etch were ≤ 6 for InN over GaN, AlN, InGaN and InAlN under all conditions.
High-density plasma etching has been an effective patterning technique for the group-III nitrides due to ion fluxes which are 2 to 4 orders of magnitude higher than more conventional reactive ion etch (RIE) systems. GaN etch rates exceeding 0.68 μm/min have been reported in Cl2/H2/Ar inductively coupled plasmas (ICP) at -280 V dc-bias. Under these conditions, the etch mechanism is dominated by ion bombardment energies which can induce damage and minimize etch selectivity. High selectivity etch processes are often necessary for heterostructure devices which are becoming more prominent as growth techniques improve. In this study, we will report high-density ICP etch rates and selectivities for GaN, AIN, and InN as a function of cathode power, ICP-source power, and chamber pressure. GaN:AIN selectivities > 8:1 were observed in a Cl2/Ar plasma at 10 mTorr pressure, 500 W ICP-source power, and 130 W cathode rf-power, while the GaN:InN selectivity was optimized at ∼ 6.5:1 at 5 mTorr, 500 W ICP-source power, and 130 W cathode rf-power.
Metalorganic molecular beam epitaxy has been utilized to incorporate Er into AlGaN materials during growth utilizing elemental and metalorganic sources. Room temperature 1.54 μm photoluminescence was observed from AlN:Er and GaN:Er. Photoluminescence from AlN:Er doped during growth using the elemental source was several times more intense than that observed from implanted material. For the first time, strong room temperature 1.54 μm PL was observed in GaN:Er grown on Si. Temperature-dependent photoluminescence experiments indicated the 1.54 μm intensities were reduced to 60% and 40% for AlN:Er and GaN:Er, respectively, between 15 K and 300 K. The low volatility of Er(III) tris (2,2,6,6 - tetramethyl heptanedionate) and temperature limitations imposed by transport considerations limited maximum doping levels to ∼1017 cm-3 indicating that this precursor is unsuitable for UHV.