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Digital platform business models are disrupting traditional business processes and reveal a new way of creating value. Current validation processes for business models are designed to assess pipeline business models. They cannot grasp the logic of digital platforms, which increasingly integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) to ensure success. This study developed a new validation process for early market validation of digital platform business models by following the Design Science Research methodology. The designed process, the Smart Platform Experiment Cycle (SPEC), is created by combining the Four-Step Iterative Cycle of business experiments, the Customer Development Process, and the Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop of the Lean Startup approach and enriching it with the knowledge of digital platforms. It consists of five iterative steps showing the startup how to design their platform business model and corresponding experiments and how to run, measure, analyze, and learn from the outcomes and results. To assess its efficacy, applicability, and validity, SPEC was applied in the German startup GassiAlarm, a service marketplace business model. The application of SPEC revealed shortcomings in the pricing strategy and highlighted to what extent their current business model would be successful. SPEC reduces the risk of building a product or service the market deems redundant and gives insights into its success rate. More applications of the SPEC are needed to validate its robustness further and to extend it to other types of digital platform business models for improved generalization.
This study presents two years of characterization of a warm temperate rhodolith bed in order to analyse how certain environmental changes influence the community ecology. The biomass of rhodoliths and associated species were analysed during this period and in situ experiments were conducted to evaluate the primary production, calcification and respiration of the dominant species of rhodoliths and epiphytes. The highest total biomass of rhodoliths occurred during austral winter. Lithothamnion crispatum was the most abundant rhodolith species in austral summer. Epiphytic macroalgae occurred only in January 2015, with Padina gymnospora being the most abundant. Considering associated fauna, the biomass of Mollusca increased from February 2015 to February 2016. Population densities of key reef fish species inside and around the rhodolith beds showed significant variations in time. The densities of grouper (carnivores/piscivores) increased in time, especially from 2015 to 2016. On the other hand, grunts (macroinvertebrate feeders) had a modest decrease over time (from 2014 to 2016). Other parameters such as primary production and calcification of L. crispatum were higher under enhanced irradiance, yet decreased in the presence of P. gymnospora. Community structure and physiological responses can be explained by the interaction of abiotic and biotic factors, which are driven by environmental changes over time. Biomass changes can indicate that herbivores play a role in limiting the growth of epiphytes, and this is beneficial to the rhodoliths because it decreases competition for environmental resources with fleshy algae.
Early childhood is a well-established critical period for growth and development, potentially impacting on life-long health. Healthy dietary habits formed during the transition from a predominantly milk-based to a food-based diet track into later life. Globally, there is no established process for developing food-based dietary guidelines (FBDG) for 1–5 year old children. This study aims to establish a protocol for developing FBDG for 1–5 year old children for use in population health globally.
Foods consumed by > 10% of consumers aged 1–5 years (at each eating occasion) were identified by secondary analysis of the Irish National Pre-School Nutrition Survey (NPNS; 2012). Consultations were held with registered dietitians to update the NPNS data and reflect current dietary habits. Dietary modelling, based on healthy eating principles, was conducted on boys (n30) and girls (n30) at five percentiles on the World Health Organisation (WHO) growth charts (0.4th; 25th; 50th; 75th; 99.6th) and at six age time-points (1y; 1.5y; 2y; 3y; 4y and 5y). Intake targets were identified for energy, macronutrients and 6 key micronutrients. For those with inadequate nutrient intakes, key contributing foods were identified and used in the modelling.
Dietary modelling yielded 640 four-day food intake patterns. For 1–3 year olds, especially those < 25th growth percentile, iron was identified as an at-risk nutrient as the intake target was not achieved. For all 1–5 year olds, vitamin D was identified as an at-risk nutrient. Red meat and iron-fortified cereal (> 12mg/100g) were identified as key contributors to iron intake. A combination of red meat (30 g, 3 days/week) and iron-fortified cereal (30 g, 5 days/week) resolved inadequate iron intakes for 1–3 year olds, except those < 25th growth percentile. For those children, the additional inclusion of 4 mg iron from use of iron-fortified milk (1.2mg/100mL) or a low-dose iron supplement (7 mg, 4 days/week) resulted in adequate iron intakes. For all children aged 1–5 years, vitamin D intakes improved by including a daily 5μg vitamin D supplement, but still did not reach the intake target.
Worldwide, significant resources are invested in assessing growth and development of 1–5 year olds. This study provides a protocol for developing FBDG to meet nutritional needs of 1–5 year olds at various growth parameters (age and percentiles), using WHO charts. This enables the provision of practical food-based interventions to nutritionally vulnerable children. Using national dietary data, this approach can be applied for developing FBDG specific to a country's needs.
Mutations in the progranulin gene (GRN) are a common cause of familial frontotemporal dementia. We used a comprehensive neuropsychological battery to investigate whether early cognitive changes could be detected in GRN mutation carriers before dementia onset. Twenty-four at-risk members from six families with known GRN mutations underwent detailed neuropsychological testing. Group differences were investigated by domains of attention, language, visuospatial function, verbal memory, non-verbal memory, working memory and executive function. There was a trend for mutation carriers (n=8) to perform more poorly than non-carriers (n=16) across neuropsychological domains, with significant between group differences for visuospatial function (p<.04; d=0.92) and working memory function (p<.02; d=1.10). Measurable cognitive differences exist before the development of frontotemporal dementia in subjects with GRN mutations. The neuropsychological profile of mutation carriers suggests early asymmetric, right hemisphere brain dysfunction that is consistent with recent functional imaging data from our research group and the broader literature. (JINS, 2014, 20, 1–10)
Cerebral palsy is not a specific disease but a clinical syndrome caused by a non-progressive injury to the developing brain that results in a disorder of movement and posture that is permanent but not unchanging. It is the most common cause of physical disability affecting children in developed countries. The incidence is steady in most countries at approximately 2 per 1000 live births. The prevalence of cerebral palsy is much higher in children with birth weight under 1500 g and in those born earlier than 28 weeks of gestation. The location, timing and severity of the brain lesion are extremely variable, which results in many different clinical presentations. Despite the static nature of the brain injury, the majority of children with cerebral palsy develop progressive musculoskeletal problems such as posturing and muscle contractures (Koman et al., 2004). Additionally, as pointed out in an expert consensus on cerebral palsy, it is important to recognize that there are also frequent yet inconsistent disturbances of sensation, cognition, communication and perception; abnormalities of behavior; and seizures (Bax et al., 2005).
Cerebral palsy may be classified according to the cause of the brain lesion (when this is known), and the location of the brain lesion as noted on imaging such as MRI or CT. Clinically more useful classification schemes are based on the type of movement disorder, the distribution of the movement disorder (Box 15.1) and the gross motor function of the child.
In addition to the hundreds of known visual-wavelength Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs), a number of DIBs in the near-infrared (NIR) are now also known to exist. We present here high-resolution UKIRT echelle spectroscopy of two of the NIR DIBs toward sightlines exhibiting a range of visual extinctions. Variations in the strengths and profile shapes of the bands are considered in the context of known properties of the narrow DIBs at visual wavelengths.
Present soil moisture and ocean salinity maps retrieved by remote sensing are characterized by a coarse spatial resolution. Hydrological, meteorological and climatological applications would benefit greatly from a better spatial resolution. Owing to the dimensions of the satellite structure and to the degradation of the instrument’s radiometric sensitivity, such improvement cannot be achieved with classical interferometry. Then, in order to achieve this goal an original concept for passive interferometric measurements is described. This concept should allow to achieve a much finer spatial resolution, which can be further improved with the application of disaggregation methods. The results will then allow the integration of global soil moisture maps into hydrological models, a better management of water resources at small scales and an improvement in spatial precision for various applications.
A method for typing Haemophilus species is described, based on the analysis of genomic DNA from Haemophilus parainfluenzae. The DNA was extracted by a rapid method and digested with the restriction enzyme BamHI to provide a characteristic ‘fingerprint’. The pattern of fragments in the ranges 1–1·6 kb, 1·6–2 kb and 2–3 kb were used to produce a numerical profile of each isolate. In total 97 isolates were examined; 88 from throat swab material isolated from the 15 members of a British Antarctic Survey base and 9 type strains. Seventy-two of the 88 antarctic isolates were H. parainfluenzae and were found to be very diverse, comprising 41 identifiable strains with up to 5 strains being isolated from a single throat swab sample. There was evidence for both carriage and transmission within the isolated community. The technique provided a highly discriminatory method for characterizing Haemophilus strains which is suitable for epidemiological studies.