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The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) is imprecise and often involves trial-and-error to determine the most effective approach. To facilitate optimal treatment selection and inform timely adjustment, the current study investigated whether neurocognitive variables could predict an antidepressant response in a treatment-specific manner.
In the two-stage Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care (EMBARC) trial, outpatients with non-psychotic recurrent MDD were first randomized to an 8-week course of sertraline selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or placebo. Behavioral measures of reward responsiveness, cognitive control, verbal fluency, psychomotor, and cognitive processing speeds were collected at baseline and week 1. Treatment responders then continued on another 8-week course of the same medication, whereas non-responders to sertraline or placebo were crossed-over under double-blinded conditions to bupropion noradrenaline/dopamine reuptake inhibitor or sertraline, respectively. Hamilton Rating for Depression scores were also assessed at baseline, weeks 8, and 16.
Greater improvements in psychomotor and cognitive processing speeds within the first week, as well as better pretreatment performance in these domains, were specifically associated with higher likelihood of response to placebo. Moreover, better reward responsiveness, poorer cognitive control and greater verbal fluency were associated with greater likelihood of response to bupropion in patients who previously failed to respond to sertraline.
These exploratory results warrant further scrutiny, but demonstrate that quick and non-invasive behavioral tests may have substantial clinical value in predicting antidepressant treatment response.
Images play a crucial role in shaping and reflecting political life. Digitization has vastly increased the presence of such images in daily life, creating valuable new research opportunities for social scientists. We show how recent innovations in computer vision methods can substantially lower the costs of using images as data. We introduce readers to the deep learning algorithms commonly used for object recognition, facial recognition, and visual sentiment analysis. We then provide guidance and specific instructions for scholars interested in using these methods in their own research.
Although the extra-solar planets discovered so far are of the giant, gaseous type, the increased sensitivity of future surveys will result in the discovery of lower mass planets. The detection of O2 in the atmosphere of a rocky extra-solar planet would be a potential indicator of life. In this paper we address the specific issue of whether we would be able to detect the O2 A-band absorption feature in the atmosphere of a planet similar to the Earth, if it were in orbit around a nearby star. Our method is empirical, in that we use observations of the Earth's O2 A-band, with a simple geometric modification for a transiting extra-solar planet, allowing for limb-darkening of the host star. We simulate the spectrum of the host star with the superposed O2 A-band absorption of the transiting planet, assuming a spectral resolution of ~8 kms−1(typical of current echelle spectrographs), for a range of spectral signal-to-noise ratios. The main result is that in principle we may be able to detect the O2 A-band of the transiting planet for host stars with radii R≤ 0.3Rʘ. However, using existing instrumentation and 8m telescopes, this requires target M-stars with m(V) ≈ 10 or brighter for integration times of ~10 hours or less. The number of such stars over the sky is small. Larger aperture telescopes and/or improved instrumentation efficiency would enable surveys of M-stars down to m(V) ≈ 13 and greatly improve the chances of discovering life elsewhere.
Success in economic as well as political development depends primarily on improving institutions. This has become the consensus among economists over the last twenty years, as the world has witnessed many development failures in spite of abundant capital, natural resources, and educated populations, who emigrate or stagnate if institutions do not put them to good use. The question now is: What institutions are right? As elaborated later in this chapter, some argue that developing countries should emulate the institutions of the most successful, high-income economies of the OECD. We and others, however, see evidence that most low- and middle-income countries are not ready to utilize many Western European or North American institutions or that these institutions function very differently if transplanted into these low- and middle-income economies.
The purpose of this volume is to develop and apply an alternative framework for understanding the dynamic interaction of political, economic, and social forces in developing countries, which was first laid out by North, Wallis, and Weingast (2009, hereafter NWW). The standard approach begins with neoclassical assumptions that growth will occur whenever profitable opportunities present themselves unless the intervention of political or social impediments prevent markets from working. In contrast, the alternative perspective presented here begins with the recognition that all societies must deal with the problem of violence. In most developing countries, individuals and organizations actively use or threaten to use violence to gather wealth and resources, and violence has to be restrained for development to occur. In many societies the potential for violence is latent: organizations generally refrain from violence in most years, but occasionally find violence a useful tool for pursuing their ends. These societies live in the shadow of violence, and they account for most of human history and for most of today’s world population. Social arrangements deter the use of violence by creating incentives for powerful individuals to coordinate rather than fight. The dynamics of these social arrangements differ from those described in neoclassical models, and this difference limits the value of the neoclassical tools for understanding the problems of development.
Thinking of developing countries as limited access orders with their own social dynamic rather than as flawed or incomplete open-access societies affords new insights into the impediments and paths to development. The perspective distinguishes between two development problems that are normally conflated. The second development problem involves the transition of societies from LAOs to OAOs. The first development problem involves the movement of LAO societies toward forms of social organization that enable more economic output, reduced violence, stable political outcomes, and greater individual well-being. World Bank borrowers face the first development problem: developing as an LAO, from fragile to basic and from basic to mature LAO, while avoiding regression. The lessons we draw from the case studies presented in this volume are primarily concerned with enabling places like the DR Congo to accomplish social outcomes that more closely resemble Mexico or Zambia. We also draw lessons about making transitions to open access, but our primary focus is on the first development problem because it is first in terms of human priorities. Understanding better the logic of limited access societies and the dynamics of how they change holds out greater rewards in terms of reducing poverty and violence.
The control of violence is central to the logic of all LAOs and hence is central to the problem of development. The traditional economic development framework focuses mainly on the second development problem and fails to understand violence or incorporate an appreciation of the dynamics of violence into policy recommendations. Indeed, the Washington consensus of the 2000s was dominated by efforts to embed institutions of open-access orders – property rights, entry into markets, elections, or institutions of good governance – directly into limited access orders. Because these reforms ignore the logic of the LAO, they often fail to produce development and sometimes exacerbate the problem of violence. The traditional development perspective typically treats violence as a country-specific phenomenon and leaves dealing with violence for local police and courts. By doing so, this perspective fails to understand that LAOs are organized to prevent violence and that this often hinders traditional reform efforts.
This book applies the conceptual framework of Douglass C. North, John Joseph Wallis and Barry R. Weingast's Violence and Social Orders (Cambridge University Press, 2009) to nine developing countries. The cases show how political control of economic privileges is used to limit violence and coordinate coalitions of powerful organizations. Rather than castigating politicians and elites as simply corrupt, the case studies illustrate why development is so difficult to achieve in societies where the role of economic organizations is manipulated to provide political balance and stability. The volume develops the idea of limited-access social order as a dynamic social system in which violence is constantly a threat and political and economic outcomes result from the need to control violence rather than promoting economic growth or political rights.