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We describe an ultra-wide-bandwidth, low-frequency receiver recently installed on the Parkes radio telescope. The receiver system provides continuous frequency coverage from 704 to 4032 MHz. For much of the band (
), the system temperature is approximately 22 K and the receiver system remains in a linear regime even in the presence of strong mobile phone transmissions. We discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the new receiver, including its astronomical objectives, as well as the feed, receiver, digitiser, and signal processor design. We describe the pipeline routines that form the archive-ready data products and how those data files can be accessed from the archives. The system performance is quantified, including the system noise and linearity, beam shape, antenna efficiency, polarisation calibration, and timing stability.
In the United States, both tort and contract law are generally matters of state rather than federal law. While there is a common core to both tort and contract doctrines in the US, one can find variation – sometimes narrow but sometimes broad – across the 51 independent state jurisdictions. In this United States country report, we attempt to provide a synthesis of state law while also trying to point out states whose laws deviate significantly from the synthesis.
TRACING THE BORDERLINES
The bases for liability in tort and contract are thought of as distinct in the US. The phrase ‘law of obligations’ is largely unknown in the United States. Contractual obligations are derived from the agreement of the parties to a contract that sets forth the bilateral obligations of the parties. By contrast, tort duties are imposed on parties by operation of law. This clean conceptual separation can break down in a number of contexts in which a tort occurs in a relationship where there is also a contract or potential contract between the parties, and where a contract is meant to benefit a third party. Medical and other professional malpractice, products liability, landlords’ obligations for defects in rented premises, implied warranties and other terms in contracts, and contractual waivers of tort liability are among the instances in which this occurs.
A court's characterization of an action as tort or contract matters for several reasons. Statutes of limitations typically limit tort actions to two years from the date of discovery of injury; contract actions typically are given four years from the date of material breach. Insurance contracts and principles of governmental immunity sometimes turn on the nature of the claim. The standard for liability is also quite different – to prevail in the typical tort case, a plaintiff must prove negligence; breach of contract requires no such proof, but merely that the defendant breached the agreed-upon terms. In addition, the applicable damages rules are different – rules regarding mitigation, scope of liability (proximate cause), non-pecuniary losses, and punitive damages are much more permissive in the tort context than in contract. Indeed, even some rules that tort and contract actions share – eg causation – are applied differently in sometimes outcome-determinative ways.
Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia have exhibited declines in marine survival over the last 40 years. While the cause of these declines is unknown, multiple factors, acting cumulatively or synergistically, have likely contributed. To evaluate the potential contribution of a broad suite of drivers on salmon survival, we used qualitative network modelling (QNM). QNM is a conceptually based tool that uses networks with specified relationships between the variables. In a simulation framework, linkages are weighted and then the models are subjected to user-specified perturbations. Our network had 33 variables, including: environmental and oceanographic drivers (e.g., temperature and precipitation), primary production variables, food web components from zooplankton to predators and anthropogenic impacts (e.g., habitat loss and hatcheries). We included salmon traits (survival, abundance, residence time, fitness and size) as response variables. We invoked perturbations to each node and to suites of drivers and evaluated the responses of these variables. The model showed that anthropogenic impacts resulted in the strongest negative responses in salmon survival and abundance. Additionally, feedbacks through the food web were strong, beginning with primary production, suggesting that several food web variables may be important in mediating effects on salmon survival within the system. With this model, we were able to compare the relative influence of multiple drivers on salmon survival.
Standard estimates of the impact of Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) on inpatient lengths of stay (LOS) may overstate inpatient care costs attributable to CDI. In this study, we used multistate modeling (MSM) of CDI timing to reduce bias in estimates of excess LOS.
A retrospective cohort study of all hospitalizations at any of 120 acute care facilities within the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) between 2005 and 2012 was conducted. We estimated the excess LOS attributable to CDI using an MSM to address time-dependent bias. Bootstrapping was used to generate 95% confidence intervals (CI). These estimates were compared to unadjusted differences in mean LOS for hospitalizations with and without CDI.
During the study period, there were 3.96 million hospitalizations and 43,540 CDIs. A comparison of unadjusted means suggested an excess LOS of 14.0 days (19.4 vs 5.4 days). In contrast, the MSM estimated an attributable LOS of only 2.27 days (95% CI, 2.14–2.40). The excess LOS for mild-to-moderate CDI was 0.75 days (95% CI, 0.59–0.89), and for severe CDI, it was 4.11 days (95% CI, 3.90–4.32). Substantial variation across the Veteran Integrated Services Networks (VISN) was observed.
CDI significantly contributes to LOS, but the magnitude of its estimated impact is smaller when methods are used that account for the time-varying nature of infection. The greatest impact on LOS occurred among patients with severe CDI. Significant geographic variability was observed. MSM is a useful tool for obtaining more accurate estimates of the inpatient care costs of CDI.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(9):1024–1030
Optical absorption efficiency, an important metric for sensing, radiometric and energy harvesting applications, has been studied theoretically and experimentally in porous, ordered nanostructures, including multi-walled- (MW) carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and single-walled- (SW) CNTs. We have characterized the absorption efficiencies in the 350 nm -7000 nm wavelength range of vertically aligned MWCNT arrays with high site densities synthesized directly on metallic substrates using a plasma-enhanced (PE)- chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process. Our ultra-thin absorbers exhibit a reflectance as low as ∼ 0.02 % (100 X lower than the benchmark). Such high efficiency absorbers are particularly attractive for radiometry, as well as energy harnessing applications. This work increases the portfolio of materials that can be integrated with such absorbers due to the potential for reduced synthesis temperatures arising from a plasma process. Optical modeling calculations were conducted that enabled a determination of the extinction coefficient in the films.
Evidence of the relationship between altered cognitive function and depleted Fe status is accumulating in women of reproductive age but the degree of Fe deficiency associated with negative neuropsychological outcomes needs to be delineated. Data are limited regarding this relationship in university women in whom optimal cognitive function is critical to academic success. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between body Fe, in the absence of Fe-deficiency anaemia, and neuropsychological function in young college women. Healthy, non-anaemic undergraduate women (n 42) provided a blood sample and completed a standardised cognitive test battery consisting of one manual (Tower of London (TOL), a measure of central executive function) and five computerised (Bakan vigilance task, mental rotation, simple reaction time, immediate word recall and two-finger tapping) tasks. Women's body Fe ranged from − 4·2 to 8·1 mg/kg. General linear model ANOVA revealed a significant effect of body Fe on TOL planning time (P= 0·002). Spearman's correlation coefficients showed a significant inverse relationship between body Fe and TOL planning time for move categories 4 (r − 0·39, P= 0·01) and 5 (r − 0·47, P= 0·002). Performance on the computerised cognitive tasks was not affected by body Fe level. These findings suggest that Fe status in the absence of anaemia is positively associated with central executive function in otherwise healthy college women.
A single nucleotide polymorphism rs12807809 located upstream of the neurogranin (NRGN) gene has been identified as a risk variant for schizophrenia in recent genome-wide association studies. To date, there has been little investigation of the endophenotypic consequences of this variant, and our own investigations have suggested that the effects of this gene are not apparent at the level of cognitive function in patients or controls. Because the impact of risk variants may be more apparent at the level of brain, the aim of this investigation was to delineate whether NRGN genotype predicted variability in brain structure and/or function. Healthy individuals participated in structural (N = 140) and/or functional (N = 36) magnetic resonance imaging (s/fMRI). Voxel-based morphometry was used to compare gray and white matter volumes between carriers of the non-risk C allele (i.e., CC/CT) and those who were homozygous for the risk T allele. Functional imaging data were acquired during the performance of a spatial working memory task, and were also analyzed with respect to the difference between C carriers and T homozygotes. There was no effect of the NRGN variant rs12807809 on behavioral performance or brain structure. However, there was a main effect of genotype on brain activity during performance of the working memory task, such that while C carriers exhibited a load-independent decrease in left superior frontal gyrus/BA10, TT individuals failed to show a similar decrease in activity. The failure to disengage this ventromedial prefrontal region, despite preserved performance, may be indicative of a reduction in processing efficiency in healthy TT carriers. Although it remains to be established whether this holds true in larger samples and in patient cohorts, if valid, this suggests a potential mechanism by which NRGN variability might contribute to schizophrenia risk.
The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the impairments in cognitive function observed in unsupported dieting are related to compromised Fe status. During a non-clinical intervention, overweight participants (age: 18–45 years, BMI: 25–30 kg/m2) either participated in a commercially available weight-loss regimen (n 14), dieted without support (n 17) or acted as a non-dieting control group (n 14) for a period of 8 weeks. Measurements of cognitive function and blood chemistry were taken at a pre-diet baseline, after 1 week and 8 weeks of dieting. After 1 week, unsupported dieters displayed impaired verbal memory, executive function and slower reaction speeds than the other two groups, this difference disappearing by the end of the study. There were no significant group-related changes in blood chemistry over the course of the study, although there were group-related changes in a number of self-reported food-related cognitions. In conclusion, impaired cognition among unsupported dieters is not due to compromised Fe status and is most likely to result from psychological variables.
This study compared the comprehension of syntactically simple with more complex sentences in Italian–English adult bilinguals and monolingual controls in the presence or absence of sentence-level interference. The task was to identify the agent of the sentence and we primarily examined the accuracy of response. The target sentence was signalled by the gender of the speaker, either a male or a female, and this varied over trials, where the target was spoken in a male voice the distractor was spoken in a female voice and vice versa. In contrast to other work showing a bilingual disadvantage in sentence comprehension under conditions of noise, we show that in this task, where voice permits selection of the target, adult bilingual speakers are in fact better able than their monolingual Italian peers to resist sentence-level interference when comprehension demands are high. Within bilingual speakers we also found that degree of proficiency in English correlated with the ability to resist interference for complex sentences both when the target and distractor were in Italian and when the target was in English and the distractor in Italian.
This chapter examines the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and decisions concerning export subsidies in the nonagricultural context to determine why these disputes are so prevalent and contentious and whether the rules or their interpretation should be altered. It discusses the basic economic case against export subsidies and political economy explanations for their continued use. It then reviews two central concerns about the WTO rules on export subsidies. First, it examines issues surrounding identification of export subsidies, including defining what constitutes a subsidy, distinguishing export subsidies from other types of subsidies, and how closely the WTO should review domestic policies for potential (rather than actual) export subsidies. Second, it discusses the difficulty the WTO has had in finding an appropriate remedy for violations of the prohibition against export subsidies. It argues that existing WTO rules do not adequately address either set of issues. In particular, Panels and the Appellate Body should adopt a more appropriate level of penalty for the use of export subsidies, such as tying the level of penalty to the adverse trade effects from the subsidy.
Export subsidies have been at the center of a long series of high-profile disputes at the WTO. For example, in the 1990s, Canada and Brazil initiated reciprocal complaints that each gave subsidies for the export of domestically made regional aircraft. A number of countries challenged the United States over its rules for “foreign sales corporations.”