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Emergency preparedness is a continuous quality improvement process through which roles and responsibilities are defined to effectively anticipate, respond to, and recover from the impact of emergencies. This process results in documented plans that provide a backbone structure for developing the core capacities to address health threats. Nevertheless, several barriers can impair an effective preparedness planning, as it needs a 360° perspective to address each component according to the best evidence and practice. Preparedness planning shares common principles with health technology assessment (HTA) as both encompass a multidisciplinary and multistakeholder approach, follow an iterative cycle, adopt a 360° perspective on the impact of intervention measures, and conclude with decision-making support. Our “Perspective” illustrates how each HTA domain can address different component(s) of a preparedness plan that can indeed be seen as a container of multiple HTAs, which can then be used to populate the entire plan itself. This approach can allow one to overcome preparedness barriers, providing an independent, systematic, and robust tool to address the components and ensuring a comprehensive evaluation of their value in the mitigation of the impact of emergencies.
The president of a Silicon Valley firm was asked by a possible merger partner how he would evaluate his company. The president replied, “a million dollars for each engineer.”
In his classic work, Modern Economic Growth: Rate Structure and Spread, Simon Kuznets wrote that the modern economic era was characterized by the sustained increase in total product per capita and per worker. The increase was based on a fundamental historical innovation, “the extended application of science to problems of economic production” (Kuznets 1966, 9). By the mid-nineteenth century scientific knowledge was clearly being applied in the fastest growing regions of the globe, but characterizing the role of science in the first decades of sustained economic growth in the late eighteenth and very early nineteenth centuries is problematic. Only a few of the new technologies that were invented and applied in Britain, Belgium, France, and the United States employed contemporary scientific knowledge. In these early decades, if there was a link to science, most frequently it was in the use of a scientific experimental methodology when inventors and innovators tried new ideas and machines.
Yet, when many Western and Central European governments and manufacturing communities were confronted by the surging industrial economy of Great Britain in the first decades of the nineteenth century, it was widely believed that an important means of fortifying their economies was to inaugurate and strengthen institutions that supported applied science.
The TEDI (TripleSpec - Exoplanet Discovery Instrument) is a dedicated instrument for the near-infrared radial velocity search for planetary companions to low-mass stars with the goal of achieving meters-per-second radial velocity precision. Heretofore, such planet searches have been limited almost entirely to the optical band and to stars that are bright in this band. Consequently, knowledge about planetary companions to the populous but visibly faint low-mass stars is limited. In addition to the opportunity afforded by precision radial velocity searches directly for planets around low mass stars, transits around the smallest M dwarfs offer a chance to detect the smallest possible planets in the habitable zones of the parent stars. As has been the the case with followup of planet candidates detected by the transit method requiring radial velocity confirmation, the capability to undertake efficient precision radial velocity measurements of mid-late M dwarfs will be required. TEDI has been commissioned on the Palomar 200” telescope in December 2007, and is currently in a science verification phase.
Learning and performance on a ballistic task were investigated in
children with spina bifida meningomyelocele (SBM), with either upper level
spinal lesions (n = 21) or lower level spinal lesions (n
= 81), and in typically developing controls (n = 35).
Participants completed three phases (20 trials each) of an elbow
goniometer task that required a ballistic arm movement to move a cursor to
one of two target positions on a screen, including (1) an initial
learning phase, (2) an adaptation phase with a gain
change such that recalibration of the ballistic arm movement was required,
and (3) a learning reactivation phase under the original gain
condition. Initial error rate, asymptotic error rate, and learning rate
did not differ significantly between the SBM and control groups. Relative
to controls, the SBM group had reduced volumes in the cerebellar
hemispheres and pericallosal gray matter (the region including the basal
ganglia), although only the pericallosal gray matter was significantly
correlated with motor adaptation. Congenital cerebellar dysmorphology is
associated with preserved motor skill learning on voluntary, nonreflexive
tasks in children with SBM, in whom the relative roles of the cerebellum
and basal ganglia may differ from those in the adult brain.
(JINS, 2006, 12, 598–608.)
We are developing a device, the MEMS flux concentrator, that will greatly decrease the effect of 1/f noise in magnetic sensors. It does this by modulating the incoming signal and thus shifting the operating frequency of the sensor. This is accomplished by placing flux concentrators on MEMS structures that oscillate at kHz frequencies. Depending upon the sensor, shifting the operating frequency reduces the 1/f noise by one to three orders of magnitude at one Hz. We have succeeded in fabricating the necessary MEMS structures and observing the desired kHz normal mode resonant frequency. Only microwatts are required to drive the motion. We have used spin valves for our magnetic sensors. The measured field enhancement provided by the flux concentrators agrees to within 3% with the value estimated from finite element calculations. Noise measurements provide strong evidence that the device is likely to reduce the effect of 1/f noise. Flip chip bonding is likely to allow us to fabricate complete, fully functioning sensors.
The cerebellum is part of a neural circuit involved in procedural
motor learning. We examined how congenital cerebellar malformations
affect mirror drawing performance, a procedural learning task that
involves learning to trace the outline of a star while looking at the
reflection of the star in a mirror. Participants were 88 children with
spina bifida myelomeningocele, a neural tube defect that results in
lesions of the spinal cord, dysmorphology of the cerebellum, and
requires shunt treatment for hydrocephalus, and 35 typically developing
controls. Participants completed 10 trials in the morning and 10 trials
following a 3-hr delay. Although children with spina bifida
myelomeningocele were initially slower at tracing and made more errors
than controls, all participants improved their performance of the task,
as demonstrated by increased speed and accuracy across trials.
Moreover, degree of cerebellar dysmorphology was not correlated with
level of performance, rate of acquisition, or retention of mirror
drawing. The results suggest that congenital cerebellar dysmorphology
in spina bifida does not impair motor skill learning as measured by
acquisition and retention of the mirror drawing task. (JINS,
2004, 10, 877–887.)
Great Britain’s immense capital export is among the most important historical phenomena of the period between 1860 and 1914. Rising in the 1850s and 1860s, the flow of net foreign investment averaged about a third of the nation’s annual accumulations from 1870 to 1914. As a result of these annual flows, net overseas assets grew from around 7 per cent of the stock of net national wealth in 1850 to around 14 per cent in 1870 and then to around 32 per cent in 1913. Paish (1914), estimating the value of the stock of British overseas assets just before the First World War, net of repatriations and foreign sales, suggested that the total stock at the end of 1913 was not less than £4,000 million (see also Platt 1986; Kennedy 1987b; Feinstein 1990b). Never before or since has one nation committed so much of its national income and savings to capital formation abroad.
To some observers the immense capital export went abroad because of the high profitability of railroad and other social overhead investments in the emerging primary product economies of North America, South America and Australasia. Others have argued that the capital export was a result of weaknesses in the domestic British economy. In one argument domestic investment demand weakened due to a pause or slowdown in British productivity growth – a productivity climacteric – and, because Britons continued to save despite slowing domestic investment demand, funds moved abroad by default. Another argument is that the British distribution of income and wealth led to tendencies to oversave, with the excess carried off abroad.
Adherence to fixed parities and convertibility of national currencies into gold served as a signal of financial rectitude or a “good housekeeping seal of approval” during the classical gold standard era from 1870–1914. Peripheral countries that adhered faithfully to the gold standard rule had access at better terms to capital from the core countries of Western Europe than did countries with poor records of adherence (Bordo and Rockoff 1996). In this chapter we extend the approach to ascertain whether the “good housekeeping seal” was also an important institution under the interwar gold exchange standard, which prevailed only from 1925 to 1931.
In simplest terms, the “good housekeeping seal” hypothesis views the gold standard as a commitment mechanism. Adherence to the fixed parity of gold required that members follow domestic monetary and fiscal policies and have other institutions of financial probity (such as having a monetary authority that holds gold reserves) consistent with long-run maintenance of the fixed price of gold. It also signaled to potential overseas lenders that the borrowers were “good people.”
An important part of the hypothesis is that the gold standard should be viewed as a contingent rule or a rule with escape clauses. Members were expected to adhere to convertibility except in the event of a well-understood emergency such as a war, a financial crisis, or a shock to the terms of trade.
On four occasions during the twentieth century major international confrontations led American society to shift substantial amounts of labor, capital, and technology from peacetime employments to production for national defense and international war: World War I, 1917–1918; World War II, 1941–1945; the Korean War, 1950–1953; and the Vietnam War, 1964–1973. Significant resources were also committed to national defense during the four decades of the Cold War, 1947–1989. With the exception of the Civil War, the typical nineteenth-century share of military expenditures in U.S. gross national output, expenditure, and income (hereafter GNP) was well below 1 percent. Conquering and pacifying the Western regions of the nation and defending the lengthening land and sea borders were the principal aims of nineteenth-century national security policy. U.S. foreign policy deliberately sought to insulate the nation from the international conflicts of the imperial European nations.
In the last quarter of the nineteenth century several factors began to change American national security policy. First, American overseas trade and investment interests expanded; as the last continental frontiers were settled, overseas economic opportunities gained attractiveness. Second, the major European powers expanded their imperial rule in Africa and Asia, areas where the United States heretofore had had relatively unfettered, though largely untapped, trade access. Finally, the major European powers became involved in a naval arms race. In the mid-1880s the U.S. Congress began to appropriate substantial funds for heavily armored and gunned naval vessels to patrol the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans thousands of miles off the North American shoreline.
Transformations in electroplated Cu films from a fine to course grain crystal structure (average grain sizes went from ∼0.1 µm to several microns) were observed to strongly depend on film thickness and geometry. Thinner films underwent much slower transformations than thicker ones. A model is proposed which explains the difference in transformation rates in terms of the physical constraint experienced by the film since grain growth in thinner films is limited by film thickness. Geometrical constraints imposed by trench and via structures appear to have an even greater retardation effect on the grain growth. Experimental observations indicate that it takes much longer for Cu in damascene structures to go through grain size transformations than blanket films.
With the advent of copper metallization in interconnect structures, new barrier layers are required to prevent copper diffusion into the adjacent dielectrics as well as the underlying silicon. These barriers must not only prevent interdiffusion but also provide adequate adhesion to both the dielectric and copper. Ta and TaN have received considerable attention as barrier layers in copper metallization schemes. While much has been reported on their diffusion properties, little or no quantitative data exists on their adhesive properties. We present data on both the interface fracture energy and the subcritical debonding of ionmetal- plasma sputtered Ta and TaN films on thermal silicon oxide. Data is also presented showing the significant effect of interfacial chemistry, particularly varying nitrogen contents at the TaN/SiO2 interface.
A collection P of bounded linear operators in l2 is constructed in such a manner that given any separable metric space X, and any countable collection F of continuous self-maps of X, there is a homeomorphism h of X onto a subset of l2 such that for each f ∈ F there is P ∈ P with hf = Ph.
While similar results were obtained by Baayen and Dc Groot, our construction makes it possible to impose additional conditions on h (depending on F). For example, if all the members of F are uniformly continuous then h too can be made uniformly continuous.