2,269 research outputs found

    Radon and skin cancer in southwest England: an ecologic study

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    This is the author's post peer review version of the article. The final version is published in Epidemiology. 2012 Jan;23(1):44-52. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e31823b6139.Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas, is a carcinogen that causes a small proportion of lung cancers among exposed populations. Theoretical models suggest that radon may also be a risk factor for skin cancer, but epidemiologic evidence for this relationship is weak. In this study, we investigated ecologic associations between environmental radon concentration and the incidence of various types of skin cancer

    Hospital treatment -is it affordable? A structured cost analysis of vaginal deliveries and planned caesarean sections

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Introduction</p> <p>The analysis of cost effectiveness in hospitals is as difficult as treating the patients properly. We are yet not able to answer the simple question of what costs are caused by a certain diagnosis and its treatment during an average hospital stay.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>To answer some issues of the global problem of cost effectiveness during hospitalisation, we analysed the costs and the cost structure of a normal obstetrical hospital stay during an uncomplicated vaginal delivery and a planned caesarean section. Cost data was collected and summarized from the patients file, the hospital's computer system gathering all cost centres, known material expenses and expenses of non obstetrical medical services.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>For vaginal deliveries/planned caesareans we can calculate with a surplus of about 83 €/1432 €. About 45% of the summarized costs are calculated on a reliable database.</p> <p>Discussion</p> <p>The introduction of the DRG based clearing system in Germany has aggravated the discussion on cost effectiveness. Our meticulous work-up of expenses excluded personal precautionary costs and personnel costs of documentation because no tools are described to depict such costs. If we would add these costs to the known expenses of our study, we strongly suspect that hospital treatment of vaginal deliveries or planned caesarean sections is not cost effective.</p

    Deletion of parasite immune modulatory sequences combined with immune activating signals enhances vaccine mediated protection against filarial nematodes

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    &lt;p&gt;Background: Filarial nematodes are tissue-dwelling parasites that can be killed by Th2-driven immune effectors, but that have evolved to withstand immune attack and establish chronic infections by suppressing host immunity. As a consequence, the efficacy of a vaccine against filariasis may depend on its capacity to counter parasite-driven immunomodulation.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Methodology and Principal Findings: We immunised mice with DNA plasmids expressing functionally-inactivated forms of two immunomodulatory molecules expressed by the filarial parasite Litomosoides sigmodontis: the abundant larval transcript-1 (LsALT) and cysteine protease inhibitor-2 (LsCPI). The mutant proteins enhanced antibody and cytokine responses to live parasite challenge, and led to more leukocyte recruitment to the site of infection than their native forms. The immune response was further enhanced when the antigens were targeted to dendritic cells using a single chain Fv-αDEC205 antibody and co-administered with plasmids that enhance T helper 2 immunity (IL-4) and antigen-presenting cell recruitment (Flt3L, MIP-1α). Mice immunised simultaneously against the mutated forms of LsALT and LsCPI eliminated adult parasites faster and consistently reduced peripheral microfilaraemia. A multifactorial analysis of the immune response revealed that protection was strongly correlated with the production of parasite-specific IgG1 and with the numbers of leukocytes present at the site of infection.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Conclusions: We have developed a successful strategy for DNA vaccination against a nematode infection that specifically targets parasite-driven immunosuppression while simultaneously enhancing Th2 immune responses and parasite antigen presentation by dendritic cells.&lt;/p&gt

    High field level crossing studies on spin dimers in the low dimensional quantum spin system Na2_2T2_2(C2_2O4_4)3_3(H2_2O)2_2 with T=Ni,Co,Fe,Mn

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    In this paper we demonstrate the application of high magnetic fields to study the magnetic properties of low dimensional spin systems. We present a case study on the series of 2-leg spin-ladder compounds Na2_2T2_2(C2_2O4_4)3_3(H2_2O)2_2 with T = Ni, Co, Fe and Mn. In all compounds the transition metal is in the T2+T^{2+} high spin configuation. The localized spin varies from S=1 to 3/2, 2 and 5/2 within this series. The magnetic properties were examined experimentally by magnetic susceptibility, pulsed high field magnetization and specific heat measurements. The data are analysed using a spin hamiltonian description. Although the transition metal ions form structurally a 2-leg ladder, an isolated dimer model consistently describes the observations very well. This behaviour can be understood in terms of the different coordination and superexchange angles of the oxalate ligands along the rungs and legs of the 2-leg spin ladder. All compounds exhibit magnetic field driven ground state changes which at very low temperatures lead to a multistep behaviour in the magnetization curves. In the Co and Fe compounds a strong axial anisotropy induced by the orbital magnetism leads to a nearly degenerate ground state and a strongly reduced critical field. We find a monotonous decrease of the intradimer magnetic exchange if the spin quantum number is increased

    Does insurance fraud in automobile theft insurance fluctuate with the business cycle?

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    [[abstract]]Financial institutions face various cyclical risks, but very few studies have analyzed the cyclicality of operational risk. External fraud is an important operational risk faced by insurers. In this research, we analyze the empirical relationship between insurance fraud and business cycle and we concentrate our study on two insurance contracts that may create an incentive to defraud. We find that residual insurance fraud exists both in the contract with replacement cost endorsement and the contract with no-deductible endorsement in the Taiwan automobile theft insurance market. These results are consistent with previous literature on the relationship between fraud activity and non-optimal insurance contracting. We also show that the severity of insurance fraud is countercyclical. Fraud is stimulated during periods of recession and mitigated during periods of expansion. Although this last result seems intuitive, our contribution is the first to measure its significance.[[notice]]補正完畢[[incitationindex]]SSCI[[booktype]]紙本[[booktype]]電子