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The aim of this research was to look at the emergence of wearable technology and the internet of things (IoT) and their current and potential use in the health and care area. There is a wide and ever-expanding range of wearables, devices, apps, data aggregators and platforms allowing the measurement, tracking and aggregation of a multitude of health and lifestyle measures, information and behaviours. The use and application of such technology and the corresponding richness of data that it can provide bring the health and care insurance market both potential opportunities and challenges. Insurers across a range of fields are already engaging with this type of technology in their proposition designs in areas such as customer engagement, marketing and underwriting. However, it seems like we are just at the start of the journey, on a learning curve to find the optimal practical applications of such technology with many aspects as yet untried, tested or indeed backed up with quantifiable evidence. It is clear though that technology is only part of the solution, on its own it will not engage or change behaviours and insurers will need to consider this in terms of implementation and goals. In the first weeks of forming this working party, it became evident that the potential scope of this technology, the information already out there and the pace of development of it, is almost overwhelming. With many yet-unanswered questions the paper focuses on pulling together in one place relevant information for the consideration of the health and care actuary, and also to open the reader’s eyes to potential future innovations by drawing on use of the technology in other markets and spheres, and the “science fiction–like” new technology that is just around the corner. The paper explores:
an overview of wearables and IoT and available measures,
examples of how this technology is currently being used,
risks and challenges,
future technology developments and
what this may mean for the future of insurance.
Insurers who engage now are likely to be on an evolving business case model and product development journey, over which they can build up their understanding and interpretation of the data that this technology can provide. An exciting area full of potential – when and how will you get involved?
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
Gyro-phase drift is a guiding center drift that is directly dependent on the charging rate limit of dust grains. The effect of introducing a gyro-phase-dependence on the grain charge leads to two orthogonal components of guiding-center drift. One component, referred to here as grad-q drift, results from the time-varying, gyro-phase angle dependent, in-situ-equilibrium grain charge, assuming that the grain charging is instantaneous. For this component, the grain is assumed to be always in its in-situ-equilibrium charge state and this state gyro-synchronously varies with respect to the grain's average charge state. The other component, referred to here as the gyro-phase drift, arises from any non-instantaneous-charging-induced modification of the diamagnetic drift and points in the direction of -∇RLd (where RLd is the grain gyro-radius), i.e. the direction associated with increasing magnitude of in-situ-equilibrium charge state. For this component, the grain gyro-synchronously undercharges and overcharges with respect to its gyro-synchronously varying, in-situ-equilibrium charge state. These characteristics are illustrated with a single-particle code for predicting grain trajectory that demonstrates how gyro-phase drift magnitude and direction could be exploited, using an extended version of the presented model, as sensitive indicators of the charging time of dust grains because of the cumulative effect of the ever-changing charge state of a grain making repeated excursions in inhomogeneous plasma over many gyro-periods.
If a magnetized-orbit-charged grain encounters any abrupt inhomogeneity in plasma conditions during a gyro-orbit, such that the resulting in-situ equilibrium charge is significantly different between these regions (q1/q2 ~ 2, where q1 is the in-situ equilibrium charge on one side of the inhomogeneity, q2 is the in-situ equilibrium charge on the other side, and q1 < q2 < 0), then the capacitive effects of charging and discharging of the dust grain can result in a modification to the orbit-averaged grain trajectory, i.e. gyro-phase drift. The special case of q1/q2 is notioned for the purpose of illustrating the utility of the method. An analytical expression is derived for the grain velocity, assuming a capacitor approximation to the OML charging model. For cases in which a strong electric field suddenly appears in the wake or at the space-plasma-to-crater interface from solar wind and/or ultraviolet illumination and in which a magnetic field permeates an asteroid, comet, or moon, this model could contribute to the interpretation of the distribution of fields and particles.
The neurocognitive deficits and other correlates of problem gambling are also observable in individuals with lower cognitive abilities, suggesting that a low IQ may be a determinant of problem gambling. There has been very little research into this possibility. This study aimed to investigate the characteristics associated with problem gambling in a large population-based study in England, with a particular focus on IQ.
The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) 2007 comprised detailed interviews with 7403 individuals living in private households in England. Problem gambling was ascertained using a questionnaire based on DSM-IV criteria. Verbal IQ was estimated using the National Adult Reading Test (NART). Confounders included socio-economic and demographic factors, common mental disorders, impulsivity, smoking, and hazardous drug and alcohol use.
More than two-thirds of the population reported engaging in some form of gambling in the previous year, but problem gambling was rare [prevalence 0.7%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.5–1.0]. The odds of problem gambling doubled with each standard deviation drop in estimated verbal IQ [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.1, 95% CI 1.3–3.4, p = 0.003], after adjusting for other characteristics associated with problem gambling including age, sex, socio-economic factors, drug and alcohol dependence, smoking, impulsivity and common mental disorders. There was no strong relationship observed between IQ and non-problem gambling.
People with lower IQs may be at a higher risk of problem gambling. Further work is required to replicate and study the mechanisms behind these findings, and may aid the understanding of problem gambling and inform preventative measures and interventions.
The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) will give us an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the transient sky at radio wavelengths. In this paper we present VAST, an ASKAP survey for Variables and Slow Transients. VAST will exploit the wide-field survey capabilities of ASKAP to enable the discovery and investigation of variable and transient phenomena from the local to the cosmological, including flare stars, intermittent pulsars, X-ray binaries, magnetars, extreme scattering events, interstellar scintillation, radio supernovae, and orphan afterglows of gamma-ray bursts. In addition, it will allow us to probe unexplored regions of parameter space where new classes of transient sources may be detected. In this paper we review the known radio transient and variable populations and the current results from blind radio surveys. We outline a comprehensive program based on a multi-tiered survey strategy to characterise the radio transient sky through detection and monitoring of transient and variable sources on the ASKAP imaging timescales of 5 s and greater. We also present an analysis of the expected source populations that we will be able to detect with VAST.
Foraminiferal analyses of 404 contiguous samples, supported by diatom, lithologic, geochronologic and seismic data, reveal both rapid and gradual Holocene paleoenvironmental changes in an 8.21-m vibracore taken from southern Pamlico Sound, North Carolina. Data record initial flooding of a latest Pleistocene river drainage and the formation of an estuary 9000 yr ago. Estuarine conditions were punctuated by two intervals of marine influence from approximately 4100 to 3700 and 1150 to 500 cal yr BP. Foraminiferal assemblages in the muddy sand facies that accumulated during these intervals contain many well-preserved benthic foraminiferal species, which occur today in open marine settings as deep as the mid shelf, and significant numbers of well-preserved planktonic foraminifera, some typical of Gulf Stream waters. We postulate that these marine-influenced units resulted from temporary destruction of the southern Outer Banks barrier islands by hurricanes. The second increase in marine influence is coeval with increased rate of sea-level rise and a peak in Atlantic tropical cyclone activity during the Medieval Climate Anomaly. This high-resolution analysis demonstrates the range of environmental variability and the rapidity of coastal change that can result from the interplay of changing climate, sea level and geomorphology in an estuarine setting.
To survive in Antarctica, early explorers of Antarctica's Heroic Age erected wooden buildings and brought in large quantities of supplies. The introduction of wood and other organic materials may have provided new nutrient sources for fungi that were indigenous to Antarctica or were brought in with the materials. From 30 samples taken from Discovery Hut, 156 filamentous fungi were isolated on selective media. Of these, 108 were screened for hydrolytic activity on carboxymethyl cellulose, of which 29 demonstrated activities. Endo-1, 4-β-glucanase activity was confirmed in the extracellular supernatant from seven isolates when grown at 4°C, and also when they were grown at 15°C. Cladosporium oxysporum and Geomyces sp. were shown to grow on a variety of synthetic cellulose substrates and to use cellulose as a nutrient source at temperate and cold temperatures. The research findings from the present study demonstrate that Antarctic filamentous fungi isolated from a variety of substrates (wood, straw, and food stuffs) are capable of cellulose degradation and can grow well at low temperatures.
By virtue of their planetary-scale magnetic fields, the Earth and all of the gas giants in our solar system possess solar-wind deformed magnetospheres. The magnetic polar regions of these “magnetic planets” produce intense, aurora-related radio emission from solar-wind powered electron currents. Simple scaling laws suggest that Jovian-mass planets close to their host stars should produce radio emission; detecting such emission would be the first direct detection of many of these planets. We describe searches using the Very Large Array (VLA) for radio emission from the planets orbiting HD 114762, 70 Vir, and τ Boo. Our limits are just above those predicted for the planetary emissions. We discuss the possibilities for more stringent limits and the implications that the existing observations have for the planets' radio emissions, and hence on the planetary magnetic fields and stellar wind environments.
In cases of thyroid surgery that require a drain post-operatively, the authors suggest the subcutaneous tunnelling of the drain to exit in the bra-strap line. This simple but effective technique hides the potentially unsightly resultant scars that may be of concern to women wearing clothes that expose the upper chest and lower neck. The bra-strap line can be easily found in the patient and the authors have found no additional complications with exiting the drain at this site.
A new two-volume edition of the sources and major analogues of all the Canterbury Tales prepared by members of the New Chaucer Society. This collection, the first to appear in over half a century, features such additions as a fresh interpretation of Chaucer's sources for the frame of the work, chapters on the sources of the General Prologue and Retractions, and modern English translations of all foreign language texts. Chapters on the individual tales contain an updated survey of the present state of scholarship on their source materials. Several sources and analogues discovered during the past fifty years are found here together for the first time, and some other familiar sources are re-edited from manuscripts closer to Chaucer's copies. Volume I includes chapters on the Frame and the tales of the Reeve, Cook, Friar, Clerk, Squire, Franklin, Pardoner, Melibee, Monk, Nun's Priest, Second Nun and Parson. Chapters on the other tales, together with the General Prologue and Retractions will appear in Volume Two. ROBERT M. CORREALE teaches at Wright State University, Ohio; MARY HAMEL teaches at Mount St Mary College, Maryland.
Bryan and Dempster's Sources and Analogues of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, first published in 1941, has been one of the most important reference tools in Chaucer studies. It has played a leading role in helping scholars understand and assess how Chaucer handled the many classical, patristic and medieval sources he used in fashioning his masterpiece. In the past sixty years, however, there have been many new developments in the field, and a revised and expanded edition has long been needed. This new Sources and Analogues of The Canterbury Tales is a collaborative effort by an international team of scholars to meet this need. Its purpose is essentially the same as that of its distinguished predecessor – to present the sources in the forms that Chaucer knew them, and where sources are unknown, to present the closest analogues to the tales in the forms with which Chaucer was presumably acquainted.
There are, however, several important differences in content and format between Bryan and Dempster's work and this volume. Several new sources and analogues of the Tales discovered in the past half century (e.g. Friar's Tale, Second Nun's Tale) are printed here together for the first time. Some wellknown sources of others (e.g. Man of Law's Tale, Wife of Bath's Prologue) are re-edited from manuscripts closer to those Chaucer presumably knew and used. Some source texts in Bryan and Dempster have been omitted, including especially Sercambi's Novelle, now known to have been written too late to have influenced Chaucer's idea for the frame of the Tales. The most noticeable difference is the appearance of modern English translations of all sources and analogues in foreign languages. This addition, which will make these texts more accessible to scholars and students of Chaucer, as well as to a larger audience of interested readers of the Tales, has also required expansion of this edition to two volumes.
This first volume begins with a fresh examination of the sources of the frame of the work. Helen Cooper's assertion that Boccaccio's Decameron is the one text “that can stake a primary claim to being Chaucer's model for the Tales” represents a major shift of opinion among a number of scholars who are now willing to credit the influence of this work on The Canterbury Tales, and also signals another distinct change from Bryan and Dempster.