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The design of government portfolios – that is, the distribution of competencies among government ministries and office holders – has been largely ignored in the study of executive and coalition politics. This article argues that portfolio design is a substantively and theoretically relevant phenomenon that has major implications for the study of institutional design and coalition politics. The authors use comparative data on portfolio design reforms in nine Western European countries since the 1970s to demonstrate how the design of government portfolios changes over time. Specifically, they show that portfolios are changed frequently (on average about once a year) and that such shifts are more likely after changes in the prime ministership or the party composition of the government. These findings suggest a political logic behind these reforms based on the preferences and power of political parties and politicians. They have major implications for the study of institutional design and coalition politics.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) shows clear, albeit heterogeneous, cognitive dysfunctions. However, personality traits are not well understood in adults with ADHD, and it is unclear whether they are predisposing factors or phenotypical facets of the condition.
To assess whether personality traits of impulsivity, sensation seeking and sensitivity to punishment and reward are predisposing factors for ADHD or aspects of the clinical phenotype.
Twenty adults with ADHD, 20 unaffected first-degree relatives and 20 controls completed rating scales assessing traits of impulsivity, sensation seeking and sensitivity to punishment/reward.
Compared with relatives and controls, individuals with ADHD showed increased impulsive personality traits, were more susceptible to boredom and presented hypersensitivity to reward but normal sensitivity to punishment.
High impulsivity traits, heightened sensitivity to reward and boredom are associated with the phenotype of ADHD, rather than being predisposing factors, as these traits were not shared between ADHD probands and their relatives.
The hepatitis E virus (HEV) has been described in humans and various animal species in different regions of the world. However, the knowledge on natural HEV infection in non-human primates and the corresponding risk of zoonotic transmission is scarce. To determine whether primates in captivity are affected by HEV infection, we investigated 259 individual sera of clinically healthy non-human primates of 14 species from nine German zoos. Using a commercial double-antigen-sandwich ELISA and a commercial IgG ELISA, 10 animals (3·9%) reacted positive in at least one assay. Three ape species and one Old World monkey species were among the seropositive animals: bonobo (Pan paniscus), gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), lar gibbon (Hylobates lar) and drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus). Testing for anti-HEV-IgM antibodies by commercial ELISA and for viral RNA by reverse-transcription real-time polymerase chain reaction resulted in negative results for all animals indicating the absence of acute HEV infections. In the past, no clinical signs of hepatitis were recorded for the seropositive animals. The results suggest that non-human primates in zoos can get naturally and subclinically infected with HEV or related hepeviruses. Future studies should evaluate potential sources and transmission routes of these infections and their impact on human health.
Many questions in economics involve long-run or “trend” variation and covariation in time series. Yet, time series of typical lengths contain only limited information about this long-run variation. This paper suggests that long-run sample information can be isolated using a small number of low-frequency trigonometric weighted averages, which in turn can be used to conduct inference about long-run variability and covariability. Because the low-frequency weighted averages have large sample normal distributions, large sample valid inference can often be conducted using familiar small sample normal inference procedures. Moreover, the general approach is applicable for a wide range of persistent stochastic processes that go beyond the familiar I (0) and I (1) models.
This paper discusses inference about trends in economic time series. By “trend” we mean the low-frequency variability evident in a time series after forming moving averages such as low-pass (cf. Baxter and King, 1999) or Hodrick and Prescott (1997) filters. To measure this low-frequency variability we rely on projections of the series onto a small number of trigonometric functions (e.g., discrete Fourier, sine, or cosine transforms). The fact that a small number of projection coefficients capture low-frequency variability reflects the scarcity of low-frequency information in the data, leading to what is effectively a “small-sample” econometric problem. As we show, it is still relatively straightforward to conduct statistical inference using the small sample of low-frequency data summaries.Moreover, these low-frequency methods are appropriate for both weakly and highly persistent processes. Before getting into the details, it is useful to fix ideas by looking at some data.
Figure 1 plots the value of per-capita GDP growth rates (panel A) and price inflation (panel B) for the United States using quarterly data from 1947 through 2014, and where both are expressed in percentage points at an annual rate. The plots show the raw series and two “trends.” The first trend was constructed using a band-pass moving average filter designed to pass cyclical components with periods longer than T/6 ≈ 11 years, and the second is the full-sample projection of the series onto a constant and twelve cosine functions with periods 2T/j for j = 1, …, 12, also designed to capture variability for periods longer than 11 years.
Background: The assessment of therapeutic adherence is essential for accurately interpreting treatment outcomes in psychotherapy research. However, such assessments are often neglected. Aims: To fill this gap, we aimed to develop and test a scale that assessed therapeutic adherence to Cognitive Processing Therapy – Cognitive Only (CPT), which was adapted for a treatment study targeting patients with post-traumatic stress disorder and co-occurring borderline personality symptoms. Method: Two independent, trained raters assessed 30 randomly selected treatment sessions involving seven therapists and eight patients who were treated in a multicentre randomized controlled trial. Results: The inter-rater reliability for all items and the total score yielded good to excellent results (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] = 0.70 to 1.00). Cronbach's α was .56 for the adherence scale. Regarding content validity, three experts confirmed the relevance and appropriateness of each item. Conclusion: The adherence rating scale for the adapted version of CPT is a reliable instrument that can be helpful for interpreting treatment effects, analysing possible relationships between therapeutic adherence and treatment outcomes and teaching therapeutic skills.
Lithium sulfur (Li–S) batteries have the potential to provide higher energy storage density at lower cost than conventional lithium ion batteries. A key challenge for Li–S batteries is the loss of sulfur to the electrolyte during cycling. This loss can be mitigated by sequestering the sulfur in nanostructured carbon–sulfur composites. The nanoscale characterization of the sulfur distribution within these complex nanostructured electrodes is normally performed by electron microscopy, but sulfur sublimates and redistributes in the high-vacuum conditions of conventional electron microscopes. The resulting sublimation artifacts render characterization of sulfur in conventional electron microscopes problematic and unreliable. Here, we demonstrate two techniques, cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) and scanning electron microscopy in air (airSEM), that enable the reliable characterization of sulfur across multiple length scales by suppressing sulfur sublimation. We use cryo-TEM and airSEM to examine carbon–sulfur composites synthesized for use as Li–S battery cathodes, noting several cases where the commonly employed sulfur melt infusion method is highly inefficient at infiltrating sulfur into porous carbon hosts.
Between 2010 and 2012, 3 outbreaks of nosocomial infections in German neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) attracted considerable public interest. Headlines on national television channels and in newspapers had important consequences for the involved institutions and a negative impact on the relationship between families and staff in many German NICUs.
To determine whether NICU outbreaks reported in the media influenced provider behavior in the community of neonatal care and led to more third-line antibiotic prescribing.
Observational cohort study.
To investigate secular trends, we evaluated data for very-low-birth-weight infants (VLBWIs, birth weight <1,500 g) enrolled in the German Neonatal Network (GNN) between 2009 and 2014 (N=10,253). For outbreak effects, we specifically analyzed data for VLBWIs discharged 6 months before (n=2,428) and 6 months after outbreaks (n=2,508).
The exposure of all VLBWIs to third-line antibiotics increased after outbreaks (19.4% before vs 22.5% after; P=.007). This trend particularly affected male infants (4.6% increase; P=.005) and infants with a birth weight between 1,000 and 1,499 g (3.5% increase; P=.001)
In a logistic regression analysis, month of discharge as linear variable of time was associated with increased exposure to third-line antibiotics (odds ratio [OR], 1.01; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.009–1.014; P<.001), and discharge within the 6-month period after outbreak reports independently contributed to this long-term trend (OR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.017–1.270; P=.024).
Media reports directly affect medical practice, eg, overuse of third-line antibiotics. Future communication and management strategies must be based on objective dialogues between the scientific community and investigative journalists.
The contribution by Axel Christophersen aims to present new perspectives for the archaeology of medieval and post-medieval towns. In enlisting ‘social-practice theory’, the author would like to view the town as a dynamic, ever-changing network of social and cultural practices which is registered in the archaeological data. This perspective on the town lies, therefore, somewhere between structure-centred and agent-centred approaches. As such, Axel Christophersen's contribution can be seen as more comprehensive. I assess the piece also as a programmatic contribution to the development of theory in the apparently long-term conflict between ‘processual and postprocessual archaeology’. It should be said in advance that he was successful in this. At the same time, however, his contribution makes it clear that it is not easy to transfer or apply current cultural-studies concepts to historical periods and the materiality of archaeological data.
Group III nitrides are promising materials for light emitting diodes (LEDs). The occurrence of structural defects strongly affects the efficiency of these LEDs. We investigate the optical properties of basal plane stacking faults (BFSs), and the assignment of specific spectral features to distinct defect types by direct correlation of localized emission bands measured by cathodoluminescence in a scanning electron microscope with defects found in high resolution (scanning) transmission electron microscopy and electron beam induced current at identical sample spots. Thus, we are able to model the electronic structure of BSFs addressing I1, I2, and E type BSFs in GaN and AlGaN with low Al content. We find hints that BSFs in semipolar AlGaN layers cause local changes of the Al content, which strongly affects the usability of AlGaN as an electron blocking layer in nitride based LEDs.
How ambitious are MPs in European parliaments and how does progressive ambition affect their strategies? We argue that progressively ambitious members of parliament try to generate individual visibility and seek the support of party leaders who decide on promotion while at the same time ensuring reelection by adjusting to electoral system incentives. Using novel data from a 15-country MP survey we show that progressive ambition is widespread in Europe and Israel. As hypothesized, progressively ambitious MPs are more likely to favor personal rather than party-centered electoral campaigns and to address the national or regional party leadership instead of their local party. Electoral system features and party ideology also have the theoretically expected effects.
To measure compliance with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommendations in two adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) clinics and to guide further service development. We audited the case notes of 150 patients referred to adult ADHD clinics in East Anglia in 2010–2011 against NICE standards using an adapted version of the ADHD audit support tool.
We found good compliance with NICE standards for diagnosis, assessment and pharmacological treatment of adult ADHD. There was a failure in smooth transitional arrangements from child and adolescent mental health to adult ADHD services. Comprehensive treatment programmes addressing psychological, behavioural, educational and occupational needs were not well developed. Deficiencies were observed in conducting recommended physical examinations. Substance use was prevalent in almost half of ADHD patients.
Greater attention is needed in delivering better transitional arrangements and comprehensive treatment programmes for adult ADHD. More structured training with emphasis on ADHD-specific psychological interventions, physical examination and treatment of complex cases, especially with comorbid substance misuse, should be offered to clinicians.
Except at the order-disorder transition, defects in lamella-forming block copolymers have a free energy of several hundreds kBT where kBT denotes the thermal energy scale. Thus, they cannot be conceived as equilibrium fluctuations around a perfectly ordered state. Instead, defects, which are observed in experiments, are formed in the course of self-assembly. Their behavior is dictated by the kinetics of structure formation, in particular, the kinetic pathways of defect motion and annihilation.
Computational modeling can contribute to optimize materials parameters such as film thickness, interaction between copolymer blocks and substrate, geometry of confinement, in order to avoid the formation of defects in the early stages of structure formation or facilitate defect annihilation. Computations also provide fundamental insights into the universal physical mechanisms of directing the self-assembly, addressing the equilibrium structure and thermodynamics as well as the kinetics of self-assembly.
We present computer simulation of highly coarse-grained particle-based models and self-consistent field calculations that allow us to access the long time and large length scales associated with self-assembly. These calculations provide information about the free-energy landscape and mechanisms of defect annihilation in thin films. Additionally, opportunities for directing the kinetics of self-assembly by temporal changes of thermodynamic conditions are discussed.
The excavation of the Wattendorf-Motzenstein Corded Ware settlement in Franconia (Germany) has yielded new information with regard to the architecture, economy, and ritual activities, as well as the social organisation of Final Neolithic groups in Central Europe. The settlement is dated to 2660–2470 cal BC and was an agrarian community. Detailed analyses of the material culture combined with biological and pedological parameters allowed new interpretations regarding Corded Ware economies as well as domestic and ritual spheres. The settlement contained about 35 individuals at most, who were organised in fewer than eight households. The exceptional results obtained call for further research strategies to be developed.