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We consider the Bernoulli bandit problem where one of the arms has win probability α and the others β, with the identity of the α arm specified by initial probabilities. With u = max(α, β), v = min(α, β), call an arm with win probability u a good arm. Whereas it is known that the strategy of always playing the arm with the largest probability of being a good arm maximizes the expected number of wins in the first n games for all n, we conjecture that it also stochastically maximizes the number of wins. That is, we conjecture that this strategy maximizes the probability of at least k wins in the first n games for all k, n. The conjecture is proven when k = 1, and k = n, and when there are only two arms and k = n - 1.
On July 15, 1969, while more than one million space enthusiasts flocked to Florida's Cape Canaveral to celebrate the final countdown of the Apollo 11 launch the following day, a less festive gathering took place just a few miles away in an empty field outside the western gate of the Kennedy Space Center. On one side of the clearing stood NASA's chief, Thomas O. Paine, with several space agency administrators, while at the other end waited the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's (SCLC) president, Ralph Abernathy, with twenty-five poor African American families, four scruffy mules pulling two rickety wagons, and, much to Paine's dismay, a phalanx of newspaper reporters and television news crews. When Abernathy's group began slowly marching hand-in-hand singing “We Shall Overcome,” Paine and his entourage walked forward to meet them in the middle of the field. Abernathy then took a microphone, nodded toward the Apollo 11 rocket towering in the distance, and explained that his Poor People's Campaign had not traveled to the cape to protest the Apollo launch, but instead to demonstrate against the country's distorted sense of national priorities. “I want NASA scientists,” he explained to the gathered press, “to tackle problems we face in society”.
Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) regimes for HIV are associated with raised levels of circulating triglycerides (TGs) in western populations. However, there are limited data on the impact of ART on cardiometabolic risk in sub-Saharan African (SSA) populations.
Pooled analyses of 14 studies comprising 21 023 individuals, on whom relevant cardiometabolic risk factors (including TG), HIV and ART status were assessed between 2003 and 2014, in SSA. The association between ART and raised TG (>2.3 mmol/L) was analysed using regression models.
Among 10 615 individuals, ART was associated with a two-fold higher probability of raised TG (RR 2.05, 95% CI 1.51–2.77, I2 = 45.2%). The associations between ART and raised blood pressure, glucose, HbA1c, and other lipids were inconsistent across studies.
Evidence from this study confirms the association of ART with raised TG in SSA populations. Given the possible causal effect of raised TG on cardiovascular disease (CVD), the evidence highlights the need for prospective studies to clarify the impact of long term ART on CVD outcomes in SSA.
In laboratory experiments, we investigated how media with varying ratio of peat:sand and two levels of compaction influence dispersal success of entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) species with different foraging strategies: Steinernema carpocapsae (ambusher), Heterorhabditis downesi (cruiser) and Steinernema feltiae (intermediate). Success was measured by the numbers of nematodes moving through a 4 cm column and invading a wax moth larva. We found that both compaction and increasing peat content generally decreased EPN infective juvenile (IJ) success for all three species. Of the three species, H. downesi was the least affected by peat content, and S. carpocapsae was the most adversely influenced by compaction. In addition, sex ratios of the invading IJs of the two Steinernema species were differentially influenced by peat content, and in the case of S. feltiae, sex ratio was also affected by compaction. This indicates that dispersal of male and female IJs is differentially affected by soil parameters and that this differentiation is species-specific. In conclusion, our study shows that organic matter: sand ratio and soil compaction have a marked influence on EPN foraging behaviour with implications for harnessing them as biological pest control agents.
Poor sleep quality is highly prevalent in patients with low back pain (LBP) and is associated with high levels of pain, psychological distress, and physical disability. Studies have reported a bidirectional relationship between sleep problems and intensity of LBP. Accordingly, effective management of LBP should address sleep quality. In addition, genetics has been found to significantly affect the prevalence of both LBP and insomnia. Our study aims to establish the feasibility of a trial exploring the efficacy of a web-based sleep quality intervention in people with LBP, with the genetic influences being controlled for. 30 twins (15 complete pairs) with subacute or chronic LBP (>6 weeks) will be recruited from the Australian Twin Registry. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of the two groups with each twin within a pair receiving either an interactive web-based sleep intervention based on cognitive behavioral therapy principles (intervention) or a web-based education program (control) for 6 weeks. The feasibility of the trial will be investigated with regard to recruitment rate, feasibility of data collection and outcome measure completion, contamination of intervention, acceptability and experience of intervention, and sample size requirement for the full trial. Patient outcomes will be collected electronically at baseline, immediately post-treatment, and at 3-months’ follow-up post-randomization. This trial employs a robust design that will effectively control for the influence of genetics on treatment effect. Additionally, this study addresses sleep quality, a significant but under-explored issue in LBP. Results will inform the design and implementation of the definitive trial.
To examine the association between protective lifestyle behaviours (PLB) and depression in middle-aged Irish adults.
Secondary analysis of a cross-sectional study. PLB (non-smoker, moderate alcohol, physical activity, adequate fruit and vegetable intake) were assessed using a general health and lifestyle questionnaire and a validated FFQ. Depression was assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. A score of 15–21 indicates mild/moderate depression and a score of 22 or more indicates a possibility of major depression. Binary logistic regression was used to examine the association between PLB and depression.
Livinghealth Clinic, Mitchelstown, North Cork, Republic of Ireland.
Men and women aged 50–69 years were selected at random from a list of patients registered at the clinic (n 2047, 67 % response rate).
Over 8 % of participants engaged in zero or one PLB, 24 % and 39 % had two and three PLB respectively, while 28 % had four PLB. Those who practised three/four PLB were significantly more likely to be female, have a higher level of education and were categorised as having no depressive symptoms. Engaging in zero or one PLB was significantly associated with an increased odds of depression compared with four PLB. Results remained significant after adjusting for several confounders, including age, gender, education and BMI (OR=2·2; 95 % CI 1·2, 4·0; P for trend=0·001).
While causal inference cannot be established in a cross-sectional study, the findings suggest that healthy behaviours may play a vital role in the promotion of positive mental health or, at a minimum, are associated with lower levels of depression.
Few studies have described clinical characteristics of patients subject to an involuntary detention in an Irish context. The Irish Mental Health Act 2001 makes provision under Section 23(1), whereby a person who has voluntary admission status can be detained.
This study aimed to describe all involuntary admissions to St Patrick’s University Hospital (SPUH) (2011–2013) and to evaluate clinical characteristics of voluntary patients who underwent Mental Health Act assessment during 2011 to determine differences in those who had involuntary admission orders completed and those who did not.
All uses of Mental Health Act 2001 within SPUH 2011–2013 were identified. All uses of Section 23(1) during 2011 were reviewed and relevant documents/case-notes examined using a pro forma covering clinical data, factors recognized to influence involuntary admissions and validated scales were used to determine diagnoses, insight, suicide and violence risk.
Over 2011–2013, 2.5–3.8% of all admissions were involuntary with more detained after use of Section 23(1) than Section 14(2). The majority of initiations of Section 23(1) did not result in an involuntary admission (72%), occurred out of hours (52%) and many occurred early after admission (<1 week, 43%). Initiation of Section 23(1) by a consultant psychiatrist (p=0.001), suicide risk (p=0.03) and lack of patient insight into treatment (p=0.007) predicted conversion to involuntary admission.
This study predicts a role for patient insight, suicide risk and consultant psychiatrist decision making in the initiation of Mental Health Act assessment of voluntary patients. Further data describing the involuntary admissions process in an Irish setting are needed.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
Migraine is classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as being one of the top 20 most debilitating diseases. According to the neurovascular hypothesis, neuroinflammation may promote the activation and sensitisation of meningeal nociceptors, inducing the persistent throbbing headache characterized in migraine. The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) gene cluster, made up of TNFα, lymphotoxin α (LTA), and lymphotoxin β (LTB), has been implicated to influence the intensity and duration of local inflammation. It is thought that sterile inflammation mediated by LTA, LTB, and TNFα contributes to threshold brain excitability, propagation of neuronal hyperexcitability and thus initiation and maintenance of a migraine attack. Previous studies have investigated variants within the TNF gene cluster region in relation to migraine susceptibility, with largely conflicting results. The aim of this study was to expand on previous research and utilize a large case-control cohort and range of variants within the TNF gene cluster to investigate the role of the TNF gene cluster in migraine. Nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected for investigation as follows: rs1800683, rs2229094, rs2009658, rs2071590, rs2239704, rs909253, rs1800630, rs1800629, and rs3093664. No significant association with migraine susceptibility was found for any of the SNPs tested, with further testing according to migraine subtype and gender also showing no association for disease risk. Haplotype analysis showed that none of the tested haplotypes were significantly associated with migraine.
This paper provides a description of a structured template which allows review of the operation of the Mental Health Act 2001 at St Patrick's Mental Health Services (incorporating St Patrick's University Hospital, St Edmundsbury Hospital and Willow Grove Adolescent Unit). These structured processes were implemented to ensure rigorous monitoring of all clinical governance activities associated with adherence to the Mental Health Act (MHA) 2001. The paper describes in detail the information contained in the St Patrick's Mental Health Services dashboard for 2012. The dashboard displays the key performance indicators that are monitored and the paper describes how these were reviewed by the Hospital's Clinical Governance Committee on a weekly basis for the three approved centres. The dashboard has also been used by the Clinical Governance Committee to provide ongoing education and engagement with staff in order to improve the operation of the MHA 2001. The use of this structured monitoring process has allowed the hospital to measure adherence to the MHA 2001 and also to measure activities that impact directly on the care and treatment of patients detained under the Act. The use of structured monitoring tools (i.e. the dashboard) to review the operation of the MHA 2001 allows for coherent observation of key events and issues which can cause concern in terms of the operation of the Act.
Barbados has been making significant progress in its efforts towards removing major longstanding cultural, social and economic problems. The Barbadian economy has long suffered from under-development particularly in financial and credit markets. The enactment of a new competition law and the establishment of a new competition authority have been part of a wider effort to enhance technical and business knowledge, protect consumers and improve enterprise and productivity.
Relevant legislation and statutory standards
Mergers are regulated under section 20 of the Fair Competition Act 2002–2019 (Chapter 326C) (FCA2002 or ‘the Act’) which prohibits any relevant merger unless specifically pre-approved by the Fair Trading Commission. The law therefore requires prior notification and approval for all mergers satisfying certain size thresholds.
Decision-making bodies and enforcement authority(ies)
The Fair Trading Commission (‘the Commission’) is an independent body – created on 2 January 2001 pursuant to section 3 of the Fair Trading Commission Act (CAP. 326B) – responsible for assessing and investigating mergers in Barbados and determining whether they comply with the terms of the FCA2002. The Commission may also direct that a given merger be subject to an assessment by it. Its responsibilities under the Act include the following:
promotion and maintenance of fair competition;
investigating the conduct of trade to prevent practices contravening the Act;
review of commercial activities to ensure prevention or termination of practices adverse to the interests of consumers;
taking necessary action to prevent abuse of a dominant position, eliminate anti-competitive agreements and control mergers;
advising the Minister responsible for Commerce and Consumer Affairs on matters of operation of the Act;
other functions required to give effect to the Act.
Despite concerted governmental efforts directed at improving Kenya’s economy, the country still faces significant hurdles to achieving consistent economic growth. Indeed a Report prepared by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2003 stated that Kenya’s economic performance remains well below its potential. Clearly, this can be expected to affect the development of competition law and policy in the country and on the whole it has done so.
Relevant legislation and statutory standards
Mergers and acquisitions in Kenya are governed by Part III of the Restrictive Trade Practices, Monopolies and Price Control Act, Chapter 504, Laws of Kenya 1989 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the RTPMPCA1989’ or ‘the Act’). The Act is in place to encourage a healthy system of competition, by reducing participation in restrictive trade practices and controlling monopolies and concentrations of economic power. In general, any agreements or trade associations featuring the following are defined as restrictive trade practices which shall not be enforceable in legal proceedings:
Refusal and discrimination in connection with the sale or supply of goods.
At the start of the 1990s, the Peruvian government implemented a profound macroeconomic stabilisation and structural adjustment programme that led to the abandonment of all forms of import-substituting industrialisation policies, eliminated price controls, freed the exchange rate and interest rates, liberalised trade, gave equal treatment to foreign investors, initiated a comprehensive tax reform and redefined the state’s involvement in the economy, moving it away from the role of directly producing goods and services and towards the role of supervisor and regulator of private actors and privatised companies in a competitive environment.
Among the pillar reforms implemented, between November 1991 and late 1992, Peru enacted for the first time legislation on competition, consumer protection, commercial advertisement and unfair competition, all of which had a primarily facilitative function of bringing into being and strengthening competitive markets.
Consolidating these reforms, the Peruvian Political Constitution of 1993 adopted a social market economy model, based on the recognition and protection of fundamental individual economic freedoms (i.e. free trade and freedom of enterprise, freedom of contract, property rights, equal treatment of domestic and foreign investment, among others) and the subsidiary role of the state in economic activities. Within this framework, Section 61 of the Peruvian Constitution proclaims that ‘the State combats all practices that limit [competition] and the abuse of dominant or monopolistic positions in the marketplace’, explicitly prohibiting the authorisation or establishment of monopolies through laws or cartels. Interpreting this constitutional provision, the Peruvian Constitutional Tribunal has afirmed that the acquisition of a dominant position or a monopoly through the legitimate means of the competitive process is not in itself illegal.
Costa Rica has witnessed an interesting economic transition since the early 1990s, with more efforts being directed at making the country an attractive destination for tourists and a lucrative investment opportunity for foreign hi-tech firms following many years of focus originally on the production of bananas and coffee and, later, in textile drawback operations.
Several key sectors are still controlled by state monopolies, although some considerable political efforts have been made over the last 4 years or so to privatise as many sectors as possible. The latest and perhaps the most relevant effort, has been the liberalisation of the telecommunications market as a result of the Free Trade Agreement with the Caribbean and United States. Of course, the success of these privatisation efforts will have a direct impact on the role and standing of competition law and policy in Costa Rica, including the country’s mechanism for merger control.
Relevant legislation and statutory standards
Merger and acquisition activities are regulated under the Law on Promotion of Competition and Effective Defence of the Consumer1 (‘the Act’). The Act is supplemented by the Regulations of the Law on Promotion of Competition and Effective Defence of the Consumer2 (‘the Regulations’). In post-merger and acquisition situations, in which the right to private enforcement and the right to appeal arise, the provisions of the General Law of Public Administration3 and the Law for the Regulation of Jurisdiction on Administrative Law4 apply respectively (see below).
The Republic of Cyprus has a well-documented history of conflict concerning, largely, the legitimacy of its government and the relationship of its populace to influential mainland powers. Since the 1974 invasion of the north part of the island by the Turkish army resulting in a de facto division of the island into the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (recognised only by Turkey) and the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot administration in the south (which claims dominion over the whole republic), the economy of the island as a whole has suffered from foreign investors’ reluctance to invest in a ‘war zone’ and has faced immeasurable lost trading opportunities arising out of the UN-maintained ‘buffer zone and demarcation line’. Furthermore, until recently North Cyprus faced a European Union (EU) trade embargo which greatly weakened its economy.
The goal of acceding to the EU has been part of a longstanding struggle to bring peace and economic stability to the troubled island and to define its identity on the world stage. European countries have been understandably eager to settle the internal conflict before admitting the country to the EU (not least to avoid undermining relations with Turkey). The European Council resolved in 2002 to admit Cyprus as a whole if the North and South could reach a UN-brokered solution by 28 February 2003. Failing that, the application of North Cyprus would be suspended. The settlement foundered when simultaneous referenda were put forward on 24 April 2004 and passed by North Cyprus but rejected by the Greek Cypriots. The latter therefore acceded to the EU on 1 May 2004, while the former remains outside as, according to the EU, ‘areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control’. The EU subsequently decided to put an end to the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community and to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community. On 7 July 2004, the European Commission announced draft regulations aimed at the following: establishing financial support and encouraging contacts between the two communities; facilitating direct trade with the north with a preferential import regime; defining special rules for intra-island trade and authorising the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce to certify import items.