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The ‘Landscapes of Production and Punishment’ project aims to examine how convict labour from 1830–1877 affected the built and natural landscapes of the Tasman Peninsula, as well as the lives of the convicts themselves.
The development of an economic capital model requires a decision to be made regarding how to aggregate capital requirements for the individual risk factors while taking into account the effects of diversification. Under the Individual Capital Adequacy Standards framework, UK life insurers have commonly adopted a correlation matrix approach due to its simplicity and ease in communication to the stakeholders involved, adjusting the result, where appropriate, to allow for non-linear interactions. The regulatory requirements of Solvency II have been one of the principal drivers leading to an increased use of more sophisticated aggregation techniques in economic capital models. This paper focusses on a simulation-based approach to the aggregation of capital requirements using copulas and proxy models. It describes the practical challenges in parameterising a copula including how allowance may be made for tail dependence. It also covers the challenges associated with fitting and validating a proxy model. In particular, the paper outlines how insurers could test, communicate and justify the choices made through the use of some examples.
Janus spheres, micron-sized silica spheres half-coated with platinum, move rectilinearly away from the platinum side in aqueous hydrogen peroxide. Upon self-assembling, these colloidal particles can form dimers with different conformations that exhibit both rectilinear and rotational modes of motion depending upon the relative orientation of each Janus sphere. At the micron length-scale, stochastic rotational Brownian dynamics is of the order of deterministic dynamics, and their coupling results in effective diffusion, in addition to passive translational diffusion. For dimers with rotary motion, the dynamic coupling leads to spiral trajectories for an ensemble average of the displacement vector.
In 2010, an outbreak of cyclosporiasis affected passengers and crew on two successive voyages of a cruise ship that departed from and returned to Fremantle, Australia. There were 73 laboratory-confirmed and 241 suspected cases of Cyclospora infection reported in passengers and crew from the combined cruises. A case-control study performed in crew members found that illness was associated with eating items of fresh produce served onboard the ship, but the study was unable conclusively to identify the responsible food(s). It is likely that one or more of the fresh produce items taken onboard at a south-east Asian port during the first cruise was contaminated. If fresh produce supplied to cruise ships is sourced from countries or regions where Cyclospora is endemic, robust standards of food production and hygiene should be applied to the supply chain.
Memory consolidation in a discriminative bead pecking task is modulated by endogenous adenosine triphosphate (ATP) acting at purinergic receptors in the hippocampus. Consolidation, from short- to intermediate- to long-term memory during two distinct periods following training, was blocked by the non-selective P2 purinergic receptor antagonist PPADS (pyridoxal phosphate-6-azo(benzene-2,4-disulphonic acid) tetrasodium salt hydrate and the specific P2Y1 receptor antagonist MRS2179. Direct injections of the ATP agonists (ATPγS and ADPβS) potentiated memory consolidation and the effect of ADPβS was blocked by MRS2179, suggesting an important role of ATP on memory consolidation via the P2Y1 receptor in the chick hippocampus. Incubation of astrocytes with ATPγS and ADPβS resulted in the increase of intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i), the latter being blocked by MRS2179 suggesting a specific role for P2Y1 receptors in the calcium response. This response was prevented by blocking astrocytic oxidative metabolism with fluoroacetate. We argue that the source of the ATP acting on neuronal P2Y1 receptors is most likely to be astrocytes. Thrombin selectively increases [Ca2+]i in astrocytes but not in neurones. The main findings of the present study are: (a) astrocytic [Ca2+]i plays an important role in the consolidation of short-term to long-term memory; and (b) ATP released from chick astrocytes during learning modulates neuronal activity through astrocytic P2Y1 receptors.
Although an effective whooping cough vaccine has been available in the UK since the 1950s, its current association with neurotoxicity has resulted in poor uptake: as a consequence major epidemics (with significant morbidity and mortality) arc still being experienced.
Component (sub-unit) vaccines, which incorporate those antigens thought to be concerned with generating a protective effect, have been developed and are now available for field testing. This paper addresses how such a vaccine might be evaluated, the organization of a trial and the difficulties to be expected.
Most neogastropod species exhibit masculinization of the female when subject to tributyltin (TBT) pollution (a process known as ‘imposex’). To date, the dog-whelk Nucella lapillus is seemingly unique in having a genetic deficiency (termed Dumpton syndrome or DS) that disrupts the development of normal male sex organs, its presence being readily recognizable by the underdevelopment, or non-development (aphally), of the penis, and incomplete formation (non-closure) of the vas deferens, causing a split prostate. In highly contaminated conditions, female carriers of DS can be identified by a lesser degree of masculinization (notably aphally): they escape sterilization caused by the advanced stages of imposex. To date, DS has only been reported in areas with high TBT pollution which induces sterilization of normal females (i.e. non DS-affected females). DS is now, for the first time, observed at some locations where present TBT levels are low and some normal females lack penis development. In such conditions it is not possible to discriminate normal from DS-affected females using aphally. As DS-affected females must be discarded from the calculation of the imposex bioindicators to monitor TBT pollution, indirect tools such as molecular probe are now needed to further survey those areas where DS and TBT pollution may interact as, for example, in south-west Brittany.
The glycaemic index (GI) concept was originally introduced to classify different sources of carbohydrate (CHO)-rich foods, usually having an energy content of >80 % from CHO, to their effect on post-meal glycaemia. It was assumed to apply to foods that primarily deliver available CHO, causing hyperglycaemia. Low-GI foods were classified as being digested and absorbed slowly and high-GI foods as being rapidly digested and absorbed, resulting in different glycaemic responses. Low-GI foods were found to induce benefits on certain risk factors for CVD and diabetes. Accordingly it has been proposed that GI classification of foods and drinks could be useful to help consumers make ‘healthy food choices’ within specific food groups. Classification of foods according to their impact on blood glucose responses requires a standardised way of measuring such responses. The present review discusses the most relevant methodological considerations and highlights specific recommendations regarding number of subjects, sex, subject status, inclusion and exclusion criteria, pre-test conditions, CHO test dose, blood sampling procedures, sampling times, test randomisation and calculation of glycaemic response area under the curve. All together, these technical recommendations will help to implement or reinforce measurement of GI in laboratories and help to ensure quality of results. Since there is current international interest in alternative ways of expressing glycaemic responses to foods, some of these methods are discussed.
Despite optimistic expectations to the contrary, the post–Cold War era has generated a considerable degree of violent conflict. These conflicts have caused substantial human suffering and destabilization for the inhabitants of affected regions. The continent of Africa has been especially prone to political strife. Selected countries in other areas of the world, such as Afghanistan, Colombia, and the former Yugoslavia, have also been affected. And even relatively prosperous countries, such as the United States are not insulated from the effects of Third World instability—as the events of September 11 have dramatically demonstrated. Naturally enough, the world community has sought ways to settle these conflicts through negotiated settlements, often supervised by “impartial” external authorities like the United Nations. And there has been a growing interest among academics in these efforts at external third-party mediation.