289 research outputs found

    Regular finite decomposition complexity

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    We introduce the notion of regular finite decomposition complexity of a metric family. This generalizes Gromov's finite asymptotic dimension and is motivated by the concept of finite decomposition complexity (FDC) due to Guentner, Tessera and Yu. Regular finite decomposition complexity implies FDC and has all the permanence properties that are known for FDC, as well as a new one called Finite Quotient Permanence. We show that for a collection containing all metric families with finite asymptotic dimension all other permanence properties follow from Fibering Permanence

    The Effects of Capital Adequacy Requirements on Banks’ Market Share in Tanzania

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    This study investigated how, in the course of implementing the capital adequacy requirements, particularly the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR), might have effects on banks’ market share in Tanzania. Specifically, the study investigated the significance and relationship between changes in the CAR to the banking sector’s profitability in general and individual bank profitability in particular. The Herfindahl Hirschman Index (HHI) is an independent variable used to measure banks’ market share. We obtained a sample of twenty-one banks from the population of sixty-three banks in the Tanzanian banking industry as at December 2016. Main source of secondary data was the Banking Supervision Information System (BSIS) covering the period of fifteen years, from 2002 to 2016. The study used the Pooled Effects Model (Pooled OLS Regression model) and the Fixed Effects Model to analyse the impacts of capital adequacy requirements on banks’ market share. Further, the Seemingly Unrelated Regressions (SUREG) were also performed and discussed in order to address problems relating to individual heterogeneity, which were omitted in the model applied. The results revealed that although in general terms capital adequacy requirements have been proved not to influence banks’ market share, the individual bank analyses have proved statistically that they do. It is recommended therefore that in addition to the overall capital adequacy requirements prescribed by the BOT in place, banks should be encouraged to develop their internal capital adequacy requirements by developing the Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP) as required by Basel II. These are the banks' privately-optimal capital levels whose determination takes into account circumstances and peculiarity of a particular bank including its risk profile. Through this way banks will be able to know at what capital levels their performance might be impacted negatively or positively and thus make informed decisions in as far as banks’ capital management is concerned. Keywords: Capital adequacy, Risk Management and Market Share

    Upper-Room Ultraviolet Light and Negative Air Ionization to Prevent Tuberculosis Transmission

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    Background Institutional tuberculosis (TB) transmission is an important public health problem highlighted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the emergence of multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant TB. Effective TB infection control measures are urgently needed. We evaluated the efficacy of upper-room ultraviolet (UV) lights and negative air ionization for preventing airborne TB transmission using a guinea pig air-sampling model to measure the TB infectiousness of ward air. Methods and Findings For 535 consecutive days, exhaust air from an HIV-TB ward in Lima, Perú, was passed through three guinea pig air-sampling enclosures each housing approximately 150 guinea pigs, using a 2-d cycle. On UV-off days, ward air passed in parallel through a control animal enclosure and a similar enclosure containing negative ionizers. On UV-on days, UV lights and mixing fans were turned on in the ward, and a third animal enclosure alone received ward air. TB infection in guinea pigs was defined by monthly tuberculin skin tests. All guinea pigs underwent autopsy to test for TB disease, defined by characteristic autopsy changes or by the culture of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from organs. 35% (106/304) of guinea pigs in the control group developed TB infection, and this was reduced to 14% (43/303) by ionizers, and to 9.5% (29/307) by UV lights (both p < 0.0001 compared with the control group). TB disease was confirmed in 8.6% (26/304) of control group animals, and this was reduced to 4.3% (13/303) by ionizers, and to 3.6% (11/307) by UV lights (both p < 0.03 compared with the control group). Time-to-event analysis demonstrated that TB infection was prevented by ionizers (log-rank 27; p < 0.0001) and by UV lights (log-rank 46; p < 0.0001). Time-to-event analysis also demonstrated that TB disease was prevented by ionizers (log-rank 3.7; p = 0.055) and by UV lights (log-rank 5.4; p = 0.02). An alternative analysis using an airborne infection model demonstrated that ionizers prevented 60% of TB infection and 51% of TB disease, and that UV lights prevented 70% of TB infection and 54% of TB disease. In all analysis strategies, UV lights tended to be more protective than ionizers. Conclusions Upper-room UV lights and negative air ionization each prevented most airborne TB transmission detectable by guinea pig air sampling. Provided there is adequate mixing of room air, upper-room UV light is an effective, low-cost intervention for use in TB infection control in high-risk clinical settings

    Integrating Human Indoor Air Pollutant Exposure within Life Cycle Impact Assessment

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    Neglecting health effects from indoor pollutant emissions and exposure, as currently done in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), may result in product or process optimizations at the expense of workers’ or consumers’ health. To close this gap, methods for considering indoor exposure to chemicals are needed to complement the methods for outdoor human exposure assessment already in use. This paper summarizes the work of an international expert group on the integration of human indoor and outdoor exposure in LCA, within the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative. A new methodological framework is proposed for a general procedure to include human-health effects from indoor exposure in LCA. Exposure models from occupational hygiene and household indoor air quality studies and practices are critically reviewed and recommendations are provided on the appropriateness of various model alternatives in the context of LCA. A single-compartment box model is recommended for use as a default in LCA, enabling one to screen occupational and household exposures consistent with the existing models to assess outdoor emission in a multimedia environment. An initial set of model parameter values was collected. The comparison between indoor and outdoor human exposure per unit of emission shows that for many pollutants, intake per unit of indoor emission may be several orders of magnitude higher than for outdoor emissions. It is concluded that indoor exposure should be routinely addressed within LCA

    Professional and Home-Made Face Masks Reduce Exposure to Respiratory Infections among the General Population

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    Governments are preparing for a potential influenza pandemic. Therefore they need data to assess the possible impact of interventions. Face-masks worn by the general population could be an accessible and affordable intervention, if effective when worn under routine circumstances.We assessed transmission reduction potential provided by personal respirators, surgical masks and home-made masks when worn during a variety of activities by healthy volunteers and a simulated patient.All types of masks reduced aerosol exposure, relatively stable over time, unaffected by duration of wear or type of activity, but with a high degree of individual variation. Personal respirators were more efficient than surgical masks, which were more efficient than home-made masks. Regardless of mask type, children were less well protected. Outward protection (mask wearing by a mechanical head) was less effective than inward protection (mask wearing by healthy volunteers).Any type of general mask use is likely to decrease viral exposure and infection risk on a population level, in spite of imperfect fit and imperfect adherence, personal respirators providing most protection. Masks worn by patients may not offer as great a degree of protection against aerosol transmission

    Roles of TRPV1 and neuropeptidergic receptors in dorsal root reflex-mediated neurogenic inflammation induced by intradermal injection of capsaicin

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Acute cutaneous neurogenic inflammation initiated by activation of transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (TRPV<sub>1</sub>) receptors following intradermal injection of capsaicin is mediated mainly by dorsal root reflexes (DRRs). Inflammatory neuropeptides are suggested to be released from primary afferent nociceptors participating in inflammation. However, no direct evidence demonstrates that the release of inflammatory substances is due to the triggering of DRRs and how activation of TRPV<sub>1 </sub>receptors initiates neurogenic inflammation via triggering DRRs.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Here we used pharmacological manipulations to analyze the roles of TRPV<sub>1 </sub>and neuropeptidergic receptors in the DRR-mediated neurogenic inflammation induced by intradermal injection of capsaicin. The degree of cutaneous inflammation in the hindpaw that followed capsaicin injection was assessed by measurements of local blood flow (vasodilation) and paw-thickness (edema) of the foot skin in anesthetized rats. Local injection of capsaicin, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) or substance P (SP) resulted in cutaneous vasodilation and edema. Removal of DRRs by either spinal dorsal rhizotomy or intrathecal administration of the GABA<sub>A </sub>receptor antagonist, bicuculline, reduced dramatically the capsaicin-induced vasodilation and edema. In contrast, CGRP- or SP-induced inflammation was not significantly affected after DRR removal. Dose-response analysis of the antagonistic effect of the TRPV<sub>1 </sub>receptor antagonist, capsazepine administered peripherally, shows that the capsaicin-evoked inflammation was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner, and nearly completely abolished by capsazepine at doses between 30–150 μg. In contrast, pretreatment of the periphery with different doses of CGRP<sub>8–37 </sub>(a CGRP receptor antagonist) or spantide I (a neurokinin 1 receptor antagonist) only reduced the inflammation. If both CGRP and NK<sub>1 </sub>receptors were blocked by co-administration of CGRP<sub>8–37 </sub>and spantide I, a stronger reduction in the capsaicin-initiated inflammation was produced.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Our data suggest that 1) the generation of DRRs is critical for driving the release of neuropeptides antidromically from primary afferent nociceptors; 2) activation of TRPV<sub>1 </sub>receptors in primary afferent nociceptors following intradermal capsaicin injection initiates this process; 3) the released CGRP and SP participate in neurogenic inflammation.</p

    Prioritizing Risks and Uncertainties from Intentional Release of Selected Category A Pathogens

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    This paper synthesizes available information on five Category A pathogens (Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Francisella tularensis, Variola major and Lassa) to develop quantitative guidelines for how environmental pathogen concentrations may be related to human health risk in an indoor environment. An integrated model of environmental transport and human health exposure to biological pathogens is constructed which 1) includes the effects of environmental attenuation, 2) considers fomite contact exposure as well as inhalational exposure, and 3) includes an uncertainty analysis to identify key input uncertainties, which may inform future research directions. The findings provide a framework for developing the many different environmental standards that are needed for making risk-informed response decisions, such as when prophylactic antibiotics should be distributed, and whether or not a contaminated area should be cleaned up. The approach is based on the assumption of uniform mixing in environmental compartments and is thus applicable to areas sufficiently removed in time and space from the initial release that mixing has produced relatively uniform concentrations. Results indicate that when pathogens are released into the air, risk from inhalation is the main component of the overall risk, while risk from ingestion (dermal contact for B. anthracis) is the main component of the overall risk when pathogens are present on surfaces. Concentrations sampled from untracked floor, walls and the filter of heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system are proposed as indicators of previous exposure risk, while samples taken from touched surfaces are proposed as indicators of future risk if the building is reoccupied. A Monte Carlo uncertainty analysis is conducted and input-output correlations used to identify important parameter uncertainties. An approach is proposed for integrating these quantitative assessments of parameter uncertainty with broader, qualitative considerations to identify future research priorities

    A New Family of Lysozyme Inhibitors Contributing to Lysozyme Tolerance in Gram-Negative Bacteria

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    Lysozymes are ancient and important components of the innate immune system of animals that hydrolyze peptidoglycan, the major bacterial cell wall polymer. Bacteria engaging in commensal or pathogenic interactions with an animal host have evolved various strategies to evade this bactericidal enzyme, one recently proposed strategy being the production of lysozyme inhibitors. We here report the discovery of a novel family of bacterial lysozyme inhibitors with widespread homologs in gram-negative bacteria. First, a lysozyme inhibitor was isolated by affinity chromatography from a periplasmic extract of Salmonella Enteritidis, identified by mass spectrometry and correspondingly designated as PliC (periplasmic lysozyme inhibitor of c-type lysozyme). A pliC knock-out mutant no longer produced lysozyme inhibitory activity and showed increased lysozyme sensitivity in the presence of the outer membrane permeabilizing protein lactoferrin. PliC lacks similarity with the previously described Escherichia coli lysozyme inhibitor Ivy, but is related to a group of proteins with a common conserved COG3895 domain, some of them predicted to be lipoproteins. No function has yet been assigned to these proteins, although they are widely spread among the Proteobacteria. We demonstrate that at least two representatives of this group, MliC (membrane bound lysozyme inhibitor of c-type lysozyme) of E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, also possess lysozyme inhibitory activity and confer increased lysozyme tolerance upon expression in E. coli. Interestingly, mliC of Salmonella Typhi was picked up earlier in a screen for genes induced during residence in macrophages, and knockout of mliC was shown to reduce macrophage survival of S. Typhi. Based on these observations, we suggest that the COG3895 domain is a common feature of a novel and widespread family of bacterial lysozyme inhibitors in gram-negative bacteria that may function as colonization or virulence factors in bacteria interacting with an animal host
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