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Smart contracts have been proposed as a means of revolutionizing transacting between human actors and contributing to blockchain platforms substituting for many current institutions. However, the technical nature of blockchain platforms and smart contracts requires levels of certainty and foresight sufficient for contracts to be complete. We examine the technical and economic characteristics of blockchains and smart contracts to identify sources of uncertainty that may pose challenges to the ability of these technologies to displace existing institutional arrangements, in particular, the courts and other arbitration arrangements. Despite the development of alternative automated blockchain institutions such as the Kleros dispute resolution system, the case for smart contracts and blockchain applications to supplant real-world institutions remains weak. Inherent incompleteness due to limits to information availability, human cognition, and communication means that traditional contract governance institutions will continue to complement blockchain smart contract governance arrangements. The more complex and unique the transaction, the higher the value at risk, the harder to anticipate and precisely specify contingencies and measure and observe outcomes. Furthermore, the longer the time frame between agreement and execution, the less likely it is that smart contracting will be more efficient than traditional contracting.
People with neurodevelopmental disorders often present with challenging behaviours and psychiatric illnesses. Diagnosis and treatment require patients, families and healthcare professionals to work closely together in partnership, acknowledging their respective areas of expertise. Good treatment outcomes should also be underpinned by robust research evidence. Key research priorities are highlighted.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Mollusc seashells grow through the local deposition and calcification of material at the shell opening by a soft and thin organ called the mantle. Through this process, a huge variety of shell structures are formed. Previous models have shown that these structural patterns can largely be understood by examining the mechanical interaction between the deformable mantle and the rigid shell aperture to which it adheres. In this paper we extend this modelling framework in two distinct directions. For one, we incorporate a mechanical feedback in the growth of the mollusc. Second, we develop an initial framework to couple the two primary and orthogonal modes of pattern formation in shells, which are termed antimarginal and commarginal ornamentation. In both cases we examine the change in shell morphology that occurs due to the different mechanical influences and evaluate the hypotheses in light of the fossil record.
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.
In 2013, New York State mandated that, during influenza season, unvaccinated healthcare personnel (HCP) wear a surgical mask in areas where patients are typically present. We found that this mandate was associated with increased HCP vaccination and decreased HCP visits to the hospital Workforce Health and Safety Department with respiratory illnesses and laboratory-confirmed influenza.
The Zadko telescope is a 1 m f/4 Cassegrain telescope, situated in the state of Western Australia about 80-km north of Perth. The facility plays a niche role in Australian astronomy, as it is the only meter class facility in Australia dedicated to automated follow-up imaging of alerts or triggers received from different external instruments/detectors spanning the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Furthermore, the location of the facility at a longitude not covered by other meter class facilities provides an important resource for time critical projects. This paper reviews the status of the Zadko facility and science projects since it began robotic operations in March 2010. We report on major upgrades to the infrastructure and equipment (2012–2014) that has resulted in significantly improved robotic operations. Second, we review the core science projects, which include automated rapid follow-up of gamma ray burst (GRB) optical afterglows, imaging of neutrino counterpart candidates from the ANTARES neutrino observatory, photometry of rare (Barbarian) asteroids, supernovae searches in nearby galaxies. Finally, we discuss participation in newly commencing international projects, including the optical follow-up of gravitational wave (GW) candidates from the United States and European GW observatory network and present first tests for very low latency follow-up of fast radio bursts. In the context of these projects, we outline plans for a future upgrade that will optimise the facility for alert triggered imaging from the radio, optical, high-energy, neutrino, and GW bands.
Two-sided oxidation experiments were recently conducted at 1000-1200°C in flowing steam with samples of sponge-based Zr-1Nb alloy E110. Although the old electrolytic E110 tubing exhibited a high degree of susceptibility to nodular corrosion and experienced breakaway oxidation rates in relatively short time, the new sponge-based E110 has demonstrated steam oxidation behavior comparable to Zircaloy-4. The sponge-based E110 followed the parabolic law, and the derived oxidation rate constant is in good agreement with the Cathcart-Pawel (CP) correlation at 1100-1200°C. For 1000°C oxidation, the weight-gain of sponge-based E110 is much lower than Zircaloy-4. No breakaway oxidation was observed at 1000°C up to 8000 s. Ring compression tests were conducted to evaluate the residual ductility of oxidized samples at room temperature and at 135°C. All sponge-based E110 specimens were still ductile at 135°C after being oxidized up to 20% equivalent cladding reacted at 1000-1200°C. Metallographic examinations were performed on oxidized E110 specimens to correlate material performance with microstructure.
The first observations by a worldwide network of advanced interferometric gravitational wave detectors offer a unique opportunity for the astronomical community. At design sensitivity, these facilities will be able to detect coalescing binary neutron stars to distances approaching 400 Mpc, and neutron star–black hole systems to 1 Gpc. Both of these sources are associated with gamma-ray bursts which are known to emit across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Gravitational wave detections provide the opportunity for ‘multi-messenger’ observations, combining gravitational wave with electromagnetic, cosmic ray, or neutrino observations. This review provides an overview of how Australian astronomical facilities and collaborations with the gravitational wave community can contribute to this new era of discovery, via contemporaneous follow-up observations from the radio to the optical and high energy. We discuss some of the frontier discoveries that will be made possible when this new window to the Universe is opened.
In this paper, we consider the straining flow of a weakly interacting polymer–surfactant solution below a free surface, with the bulk surfactant concentration above the critical micelle concentration. We formulate a set of coupled differential equations describing the concentration of monomers, micelles, polymer, and polymer–micelle aggregates in the flow. We analyse the model in several asymptotic limits, and make predictions about the distribution of each of the species. In particular, in the large-reaction-rate limit we find that the model predicts a region near the free surface where no micelles or aggregates are present, and beneath this a region where the concentration of surfactant is constant, across which the concentration of aggregates increases until all the free polymer is consumed. For certain parameter regimes, a maximum in the concentration of the polymer–micelle complex occurs within the bulk fluid. In the finite-reaction-rate limit, micelles, and aggregates are present right up to the free surface, and the plateau in the concentration of surfactant in the bulk is no longer present. Results from the asymptotic theory compare favorably with full numerical solutions.
To evaluate Medical Reserve Corps volunteers and public health workers in conducting chronic care triage by use of a rubric prior to sheltering to connect survivors with services.
Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 algorithms or a control group during a simulated disaster scenario and were asked to rate 20 survivors arriving at a chronic care triage station with situation-appropriate transport services. Survivors were simulated on the basis of the expected disability distributions of mobility, sensory-visual, cognition, medical devices, capacity to perform activities of daily living (ADLs), age (18 to 90 years), weight, and gender expected in the general population but expanded to 90% of those presenting. Mean percentage correct scores were assessed by using one-way analysis of variance.
Accounting for personal care assistance and service methodology during chronic care triage increased efficiency by up to 8% in meeting chronic care health service needs during disaster community mass care management.
A chronic care triage process as part of community mass care management that considers the availability of personal care assistance and service methodology will enhance the allocation of functional needs support services and increase compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements regarding not segregating persons because of disability. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:265-274)
Herbicides inhibit biochemical and physiological processes or both with lethal consequences. The target sites of these small molecules are usually enzymes involved in primary metabolic pathways or proteins carrying out essential physiological functions. Herbicides tend to be highly specific for their respective target sites and have served as tools to study these physiological and biochemical processes in plants (Dayan et al. 2010b).
The effects of a bovine whey peptide product enriched in proline (wPRP) on the solubility of milk proteins were tested under ambient conditions or following heat treatment at 75 and 100 °C, for 1 and 15 min, followed by post-incubation storage at either ambient temperature or 4 °C for up to 7 d. wPRP promoted solubilisation of milk proteins in a concentration-dependent manner without heat treatment and also after heat treatment at 75 and 100 °C, and the effect was enhanced after storage under either ambient or refrigerated storage conditions. Interactions of wPRP and milk proteins were monitored by particle size analysis and tryptic digestion and specifically linked with solubilisation of αS1 casein (αS1-Cn), which supported observed changes in milk protein solubility. The results suggested that wPRP preferably prevented or reversed physical versus covalent protein aggregation, with the relaxation of hydrophobic interactions at 4 °C providing an additive effect. This application of wPRP represents a novel approach to stabilisation of dairy proteins following thermal processing with industrial usefulness yet to be explored.
Even though most American retirees benefit from Medicare coverage, a mounting body of research predicts that many will face large and increasing out-of-pocket expenditures for healthcare costs in retirement and that many already struggle to finance these costs. It is unclear, however, whether the general population understands the likely magnitude of these out-of-pocket expenditures well enough to plan for them effectively. This study is the first comprehensive examination of Americans' expectations regarding their out-of-pocket spending on healthcare in retirement. We surveyed over 1700 near retirees and retirees to assess their expectations regarding their own spending and then compared their responses to experts' estimates. Our main findings are twofold. First, overall expectations of out-of-pocket spending are mixed. While a significant proportion of respondents estimated out-of-pocket costs in retirement at or above expert estimates of what the typical retiree will spend, a disproportionate number estimated their future spending substantially below what experts view as likely. Estimates by members of some demographic subgroups, including women and younger respondents, deviated relatively further from the experts' estimates. Second, respondents consistently misjudged spending uncertainty. In particular, respondents significantly underestimated how much individual health experience and changes in government policy can affect individual out-of-pocket spending. We discuss possible policy responses, including efforts to improve financial planning and ways to reduce unanticipated financial risk through reform of health insurance regulation.