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Solvency II came into force on 1 January 2016 and included a transitional measure on technical provisions (“TMTP”) designed to help smooth in the capital impact of Solvency II over a 16-year period. The working party’s view is that the main intention of the TMTP is to mitigate the impact of the introduction of the risk margin, which significantly increases the technical provisions of firms, relative to their Solvency I Pillar 2 liabilities.
The majority of firms who hold a TMTP have now had at least one recalculation approved by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA); or are in the process of applying for a recalculation. Despite this large number of approved recalculations, there remains significant uncertainty in the industry around the approach and triggers for recalculation.
This paper considers aspects of TMTP recalculation for regulated UK life firms, for example practicalities of the calculation, asset and liability considerations, and communications/announcements.
In this paper, we outline the need for pragmatism when considering the approach to recalculation of a measure originally intended to serve as the bridge between two regimes. We call for an allowance for doing what is sensible in a principles-based regime balancing what might be more theoretically correct with what is practical and possible to support effective management of the business.
The concentration of global crop and food animal production in regions where plant selenium content is low has led to a decline in the amount of selenium in the human food supply. The central reason is that where soil pH is acidic, selenium cannot be absorbed by plants, thereby preventing transfer of selenoamino acids up the food chain through cereal grains and food animal products. Direct addition of inorganic selenium salts prevents acute deficiency symptoms, however selenium salts added to food animal diets do not provide meaningful amounts of selenium in edible animal tissues. Because human selenium status is a public health concern, researchers have examined nutritional means of increasing the selenium content of meat, milk and eggs using selenium produced by yeast, which like higher plants are able to form selenoamino acids. While part of the focus is on producing ‘designer’ foods, a more general question pertains to both existing selenium levels in food animal products and to those when commercial food animals are given selenium in naturally-occurring organic vs inorganic form. The following summarizes selenium levels in edible tissues in commercial and controlled research settings where inorganic and organic (Sel-PlexTM selenium yeast, Alltech Inc.) were compared.
Feed grains available in Britain contain low concentrations of natural selenium. As the grains in most cases do not cover the requirements of the animals, selenium supplementation of diets is a standard practice in feed manufacturing. Selenium supply to the breeder hens impacts the selenium content of the egg, the developing embryo and therefore the antioxidant status of the chick at hatch (Surai, 2000). The aim of this study was to determine the effect of selenium from Sel-Plex® (Alltech Inc.) on the transfer of selenium into the egg of broiler breeder hens under commercial conditions.
The foetal mammary gland is sensitive to maternal weight and nutrition during gestation, which could affect offspring milk production. It has previously been shown that ewes born to dams offered maintenance nutrition during pregnancy (day 21 to 140 of gestation) produced greater milk, lactose and CP yields in their first lactation when compared with ewes born to dams offered ad libitum nutrition. In addition, ewes born to heavier dams produced greater milk and lactose yields when compared with ewes born to lighter dams. The objective of this study was to analyse and compare the 5-year lactation performance of the previously mentioned ewes, born to heavy or light dams that were offered maintenance or ad libitum pregnancy nutrition. Ewes were milked once per week, for the first 6 weeks of their lactation, for 5 years. Using milk yield and composition data, accumulated yields were calculated over a 42-day period for each year for milk, milk fat, CP, true protein, casein and lactose using a Legendre orthogonal polynomial model. Over the 5-year period, ewes born to heavy dams produced greater average milk (P=0.04), lactose (P=0.01) and CP (P=0.04) yields than offspring born to light dams. In contrast, over the 5-year period dam nutrition during pregnancy did not affect average (P>0.05) offspring milk yields or composition, but did increase milk and lactose accumulated yield (P=0.03 and 0.01, respectively) in the first lactation. These results indicate that maternal gestational nutrition appears to only affect the first lactational performance of ewe offspring. Neither dam nutrition nor size affected grand-offspring live weight gain to, or live weight at weaning (P>0.05). Combined these data indicate that under the conditions of the present study, manipulating dam weight or nutrition in pregnancy can have some effects of offspring lactational performance, however, these effects are not large enough to alter grand-offspring growth to weaning. Therefore, such manipulations are not a viable management tool for farmers to influence lamb growth to weaning.
European explorers and traders, on their arrival in North America, found the aboriginal peoples willing to exchange furs and other goods for European-made metal objects and glass beads, the remains of which may be found at archaeological sites. Specific trade goods, including multi-coloured or curiously shaped glass beads that are visually distinctive, are used as chronological markers by archaeologists. Most of the single coloured, mainly blue or opaque white beads are very common and cannot be visually, chronologically differentiated. Non-destructive analysis (INAA) of turquoise blue or white beads from known-age archaeological sites in Ontario has revealed chemical changes in glass manufacturing compositions over time. This allows these otherwise nondescript, single coloured beads to be used as chronological and trade markers. Although the turquoise beads were always coloured by Cu, the white beads employed different opacifiers over time. First came Sn-rich beads (early to late 17th century); then Sb-rich beads (late 17th century to mid-19th century); finally As-rich beads (very late 18th century to early 20th century) and even F-whitened beads (19th century to 20th century). Within each major group, it appears that changes in glass making recipes may be found using the Na, K, Ca, Al and Cl contents. Therefore, chemical analysis of white glass trade beads may be as profitable as chemical analysis of turquoise blue trade beads in establishing chemical chronologies.
Of crucial importance to all areas of the microelectronics industry is the characterisation of silicon wafer quality. An important indicator of this is carrier lifetime, and a convenient non-destructive method for its measurement is Pholothermal Radiometry. This involves the photo-generation within a semiconductor sample of electron-hole pairs. Periodic generation of carriers leads to modulation of free-carrier absorption of mid-ir radiation provided by a black body source. The fr-radiation detected from the photo-excited region is inversely proportional to the optically induced carrier density. As the modulation frequency is increased, a point is reached at which the photo-generated carriers no longer have sufficient time to decay between pulses. This frequency is dependent on the carrier lifetime. We present a description of the Photothermal Radiometric lifetime scanning instrument built at UCL. This instrument offers an accurate method for producing detailed maps of carrier lifetime across whole or part wafers. The problem of surface-state effects has been addressed by employing a broad-band uv source to optically fill the surface states of the sample under investigation. The instrument is capable of producing maps of lifetime variation with 0.5 mm resolution. Alternatively, for selected points on a wafer, the instrument can generate detailed frequercy scans of free-carrier absorption. From these, it is possible to obtain information on surface recombination velocity and diffusion length.
A number of groups have demonstrated an efficient excitation transfer mechanism in erbium-doped crystalline and porous silicon. It has been postulated that this is a carrier-mediated transfer, which points to the possibility of fabricating efficient silicon-based 1.5 µm emitters.
We have previously reported the existence of a similar transfer mechanism in silicon-rich silica. In this paper we extend this study to include silicon nanopowders and demonstrate the existence of the same mechanism. Comparing the photoluminescence excitation spectra of erbium doped silica, silicon-rich silica and silicon nanopowders we show that the coupling mechanism enables broad-band pumping of the rare-earth ion.
We have also measured carrier lifetimes in the nanoclustered silicon materials using photoinduced free carrier decay. The measured lifetimes are surprisingly long (in the 2-10 millisecond regime), and we discuss the effect of this on the transfer mechanism.
We have exploited the interaction between erbium ions and silicon nanoclusters to produce a photodetector for use in the spectral region around 1.5 μm. The device consists of an MOS structure in which the oxide layer has been implanted with both erbium and silicon and annealed to produce silicon nanocrystals around 3 nm in diameter. Upon illumination with a 1480 nm laser diode, the well-known interaction between the nanocrystals and the rare-earth ions results in a transfer of excitation from the erbium ion to nearby silicon nanocrystals. The resultant modification of the conductivity of the oxide layer enables a current to flow when a voltage is applied.
High throughput, thin film synthesis and screening methods have been developed to investigate potential bulk metallic glass (BMG) compositions. Physical vapor deposition (PVD) was used for sample synthesis. A novel screening tool was developed to measure changes in resistance vs. temperature of these thin film samples. Example data for 34 compositions in the Mg-rich region of the Mg-Cu-Y ternary system are presented.
High throughput, thin film synthesis methods have been used to make libraries of diverse metallic and metal-chalcogenide compositions. These libraries have been subject to a variety of screening protocols, including X-ray diffraction (XRD) after repeated annealing steps, and the measurement of temperature dependent electrical properties. The application of these methods for the development of materials for non-magnetic storage media is presented.
The current study investigated the effects of dam weight and nutrition during gestation on the reproductive performance of female primiparous offspring at 2 years of age. Four hundred and fifty heavy (H) (mean±s.e.m.: 60·8 kg±0·18) and 450 light (L) (42·5 kg±0·17) dams were randomly allocated to ad libitum (A) or maintenance (M) nutritional regimens from day 21 until day 140 of pregnancy, under pastoral grazing conditions. One week prior to lambing, all dams and their lambs were provided with ad libitum feeding through to weaning. After weaning, female progeny were managed and fed to requirements as one group. At 2 years of age, the oestrous cycles of the female offspring (n=207) were synchronized and the offspring were naturally mated. Ewes were scanned for pregnancy by ultrasound at day 70 of pregnancy. Within 24 h of birth, lambs were weighed and body dimensions were measured. Lambs were also weighed at day 24 (L24) and weaning. No effects of dam nutrition or dam weight were found (P>0·10) on the reproductive performance of the ewe offspring. Lambs of M-grand-dams were heavier at birth (P=0·024) and weaning (P=0·031) than lambs of A-grand-dams. Twin lambs of H-grand-dams were heavier at birth (P=0·014) than twin lambs of L-grand-dams; however, grand-dam weight had no effect (P>0·10) on lamb weaning weight. In summary, dam weight had no effect on reproductive performance of the female offspring, with only a minor effect on the weight of grand-offspring. Thus, being born to a larger dam has no advantages over being born to a smaller dam, in terms of number of lambs born and weight of lambs at birth and weaning. Grand-dam maintenance nutrition had no effect on reproductive performance although it increased lamb birth and weaning weight and lamb growth rates of the grand-offspring. Therefore, this indicates that ewes born to dams fed at maintenance during pregnancy have an advantage over A-ewes in physiological stressful situations including pregnancy or lactation.
The present study investigated the effects of maternal plasma iodine concentration on twin- and triplet-born lamb plasma thyroid hormone concentrations, rectal temperature and maximal heat production. On pregnancy day 68 (P68), 16 twin- and 14 triplet-bearing ewes were randomly chosen from ewes that were injected intramuscularly with 1·5 ml of iodized peanut oil and ewes that were not. Selected ewes were grazed on ad libitum pasture from P68 until parturition. After parturition, lamb blood samples were collected within 5 min of birth and at 3, 12 and 24–36 h after birth. Lamb rectal temperatures were measured within 5 min of birth and at 1, 3 and 12 h after birth. Lamb body weight, crown–rump length and thoracic-girth circumference were recorded at 3 h of age, and the capability of the lamb to produce heat at 24–36 h of age was measured using indirect open-circuit calorimetry. Maternal iodine supplementation successfully increased plasma iodine concentrations of twin- and triplet-bearing ewes throughout pregnancy, but had no effect on the rectal temperature, thyroid hormone concentration and maximal heat production of twin- or triplet-born lambs. Compared with twin-born lambs, triplet-born lambs had lower birth weights, rectal temperatures and plasma T4 and T3 concentrations within 5 min of birth. Overall, under the conditions of the present study, maternal iodine supplementation offered no benefit in improving lamb heat production.
It was hypothesized that exposure of the fetus to adverse conditions in utero due to either maternal constraint or nutrition may result in developmental adaptations altering metabolism and postnatal growth of the offspring. Heavy (H) and light (L) Romney dams (G0) were allocated to ad libitum (A) or maintenance (M) nutritional regimens, from day 21–day 140 of pregnancy. Female twin-born offspring (G1) born to the dams in the four treatment groups will be referred to as HA-ewes, LA-ewes, HM-ewes and LM-ewes. At 16 months of age, offspring were catheterized and given intravenous insulin tolerance test (ITT), glucose tolerance test (GTT) and epinephrine tolerance test challenges to assess their glucose and fat metabolism in relation to their birth weight and postnatal growth. In HA-ewes, the regression coefficients of growth rates prior to puberty on insulin and glucose curves in response to GTT (InsAUCGTT) and ITT (GluAUCITT), respectively, were different from 0 (P < 0.05) and were different from the regression coefficients of HM-ewes. This may indicate that HA-ewes may have showed puberty-related insulin resistance at 16 months of age with increasing growth rates prior to puberty compared to HM- or LM-ewes. In HM-ewes, the regression coefficients of growth rates after puberty on InsAUCGTT and GluAUCITT were different from 0 (P < 0.05) and were different from those of HA-ewes. These results may indicate that offspring born to heavy dams fed maintenance during pregnancy and with greater postnatal growth rates after puberty could develop glucose intolerance and insulin resistance in later life.
This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of offering ewes two different feeding levels, during mid and late pregnancy, on ewe and lamb behaviour 12 to 24 h after birth. Romney ewes, bearing twin (n = 80) or triplet foetuses (n = 56), were allocated to a pasture sward height of 2 or 4 cm between 70 and 107 days of pregnancy. In late pregnancy (day 107 to 147), half of the ewes were reallocated the alternate sward height, which produced four treatments: 2-2, 2-4, 4-2 and 4-4. Ewes were weighed on days 65, 92, 107 and 130 of pregnancy and lamb live weights were recorded 12 to 24 h after birth. Twelve to 24 h after birth the maternal behaviour score (MBS) of the ewes were determined, whilst their lambs were tagged. After the lambs were released, the behaviour of each ewe and her lambs was observed for 5 min. Ewe treatment and litter size had no effect on ewe MBS. However, as MBS increased (ewes stayed closer to lambs during tagging), ewes bleated less in a high-pitch and were quicker to make contact with their lamb. During the observation period, ewes in the 4-4 treatment had a greater percentage of their bleats in a low pitch (P < 0.05) than ewes in the 2-2 and 4-2 treatment (61.3% v. 41.3% and 38.8% low bleats, respectively) and more lambs born to 4-4 ewes (95%) bleated than lambs born to 2-2 ewes (84%; P < 0.05). However, lambs born to ewes in the 2-2 treatment bleated earlier than lambs in all other treatments (P < 0.05). Lambs born to 4-4 ewes were less likely (P < 0.05) to move towards their dam in order to make contact than lambs born to 2-2 or 4-2 ewes (3.1% v. 16.9% and 16.7%, respectively). These findings suggest that under the conditions of the present study, ewe nutrition had little effect on maternal behaviour. However, lambs born to ewes offered 2 cm pasture sward heights during mid and/or late pregnancy (2-2, 2-4 and 4-2 treatments) displayed behaviour that demonstrated greater ‘need’ whereas lambs born to ewes offered 4 cm during mid and late pregnancy sought less attention from their dam.
The current study investigated the effect of offering concentrate supplement to ewes in late pregnancy on twin- and triplet-born lamb heat production at 24–36 h old and performance from birth until lactation day 94 (L94). Twin- (n=40) and triplet-bearing (n=28) ewes were grazed on a 60 mm sward height from day 70 of pregnancy (P70) until L94. From P100, half of the ewes from each litter size were offered 400 g/ewe/day of concentrate sheep pellets. Ewe liveweight and body condition were recorded on P50, 100, 130, 135 and 140. Ewe blood samples were also collected on P130, 135 and 140, and ewe herbage intake was estimated from P133–136 using the n-alkane method. Lamb measurements included liveweight and body size at birth, production of heat using indirect open-circuit calorimetry at 24–36 h old and liveweight at L94. Blood samples were also collected from lambs at 24–36 h old and directly before and after calorimetry measurements. While estimates of ewe herbage intake suggested that substitution of herbage for concentrate did not occur, offering concentrate supplement failed to improve ewe liveweight gain, or birth weight of lambs. Offering concentrate supplement, however, did have a positive effect (P<0·05) on the maximal amount of heat a triplet-born lamb can produce on a per kg of body weight basis (concentrate 21±1·3 W/kg, non-concentrate 17±0·6 W/kg). It also had a positive effect (P<0·05) on lamb square-root-transformed plasma gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) concentrations, an indicator of colostrum uptake (concentrate 46±3·1 U/l, non-concentrate 38±2·9 U/l). Irrespective of lamb birth rank, offering concentrate supplement had a positive effect (P<0·01) on liveweight gain per day from birth until L94 (concentrate 261±5·7 g/day, non-concentrate 239±5·8 g/day), although there was no effect on the total weight of lamb reared/ewe. Supplementation with concentrate resulted in triplet-born lambs that produced more heat which may have positive effects on the ability of the newborn lamb to deal with cold stress and potentially its survival. Offering concentrate supplement also produced greater lamb growth in twin- and triplet-born lambs.
The Gattini-DomeC project, part of the IRAIT site testing campaign and ongoing since January 2006, consists of two cameras for the measurement of optical sky brightness, large area cloud cover, and auroral detection above the DomeC site, home of the French-Italian Concordia station. The cameras are transit in nature and are virtually identical except for the nature of the lenses. The cameras have operated throughout the past two Antarctic winter seasons and here we present the results obtained from the 2006 winter-time dataset of the wide field “All-sky camera".
To establish the prevalence of new vestibular and otological symptoms in a group of patients who had sustained a low grade (Quebec grades one or two) whiplash injury.
A retrospective review of the case records of 109 patients undergoing assessment by a single practitioner for the purposes of compiling a medicolegal report on their whiplash injury.
Four patients complained of short-lived, non-specific dizziness symptoms in the acute phase following their original injury. There were no reports of vertigo, tinnitus or hearing loss after a mean period of 149 days following the whiplash injury.
No patients reported otological or persistent vestibular symptoms in the acute phase following their whiplash injury. This suggests that caution should be exercised when attributing these symptoms to such an injury. Before whiplash injuries are admitted as an aetiological factor in the development of such symptoms, other causes should be excluded.
The Gattini cameras are two site testing instruments for the measurement of optical sky brightness, large area cloud cover and auroral detection of the night sky above the high altitude Dome C site in Antarctica. The cameras have been operating since installation in January 2006 and are currently at the end of the first Antarctic winter season. The cameras are transit in nature and are virtually identical, both adopting Apogee Alta CCD detectors. By taking frequent images of the night sky we obtain long term cloud cover statistics, measure the sky background intensity as a function of solar and lunar altitude and phase and directly measure the spatial extent of bright aurora if present and when they occur. The full data set will return in December 2006 however a limited amount of data has been transferred via the Iridium network enabling preliminary data reduction and system evaluation. An update of the project is presented together with preliminary results from data taken since commencement of the winter season.
Ear lobule deformities can occur as a result of trauma. Surgical reconstruction can be challenging. There does not appear to be a consensus on the best form of repair. We report the case of a 27-year-old woman who suffered traumatic loss of the ear lobule during childhood. A novel technique is described using a posterior based bi-lobar flap to completely reconstruct the ear lobule in two stages.
This form of repair has the advantage of a well-hidden scar, with the donor site providing skin of similar thickness and pigmentation.