40,831 research outputs found

    Modelling uncertainties for measurements of the H → γγ Channel with the ATLAS Detector at the LHC

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    The Higgs boson to diphoton (H → γγ) branching ratio is only 0.227 %, but this final state has yielded some of the most precise measurements of the particle. As measurements of the Higgs boson become increasingly precise, greater import is placed on the factors that constitute the uncertainty. Reducing the effects of these uncertainties requires an understanding of their causes. The research presented in this thesis aims to illuminate how uncertainties on simulation modelling are determined and proffers novel techniques in deriving them. The upgrade of the FastCaloSim tool is described, used for simulating events in the ATLAS calorimeter at a rate far exceeding the nominal detector simulation, Geant4. The integration of a method that allows the toolbox to emulate the accordion geometry of the liquid argon calorimeters is detailed. This tool allows for the production of larger samples while using significantly fewer computing resources. A measurement of the total Higgs boson production cross-section multiplied by the diphoton branching ratio (σ × Bγγ) is presented, where this value was determined to be (σ × Bγγ)obs = 127 ± 7 (stat.) ± 7 (syst.) fb, within agreement with the Standard Model prediction. The signal and background shape modelling is described, and the contribution of the background modelling uncertainty to the total uncertainty ranges from 18–2.4 %, depending on the Higgs boson production mechanism. A method for estimating the number of events in a Monte Carlo background sample required to model the shape is detailed. It was found that the size of the nominal γγ background events sample required a multiplicative increase by a factor of 3.60 to adequately model the background with a confidence level of 68 %, or a factor of 7.20 for a confidence level of 95 %. Based on this estimate, 0.5 billion additional simulated events were produced, substantially reducing the background modelling uncertainty. A technique is detailed for emulating the effects of Monte Carlo event generator differences using multivariate reweighting. The technique is used to estimate the event generator uncertainty on the signal modelling of tHqb events, improving the reliability of estimating the tHqb production cross-section. Then this multivariate reweighting technique is used to estimate the generator modelling uncertainties on background V γγ samples for the first time. The estimated uncertainties were found to be covered by the currently assumed background modelling uncertainty

    The Professional Identity of Doctors who Provide Abortions: A Sociological Investigation

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    Abortion is a medicalised problem in England and Wales, where the law places doctors at the centre of legal provision and puts doctors in control of who has an abortion. However, the sex-selection abortion scandal of 2012 presented a very real threat to 'abortion doctors', when the medical profession's values and practices were questioned in the media, society and by Members of Parliament. Doctors found themselves at the centre of a series of claims that stated doctors were acting both illegally and unethically, driven by profit rather than patient needs. Yet, the perspectives of those doctors who provide abortions has been under-researched; this thesis aims to fill that gap by examining the beliefs and values of this group of doctors. Early chapters highlight the ambiguous position of the abortion provider in Britain, where doctors are seen as a collective group of professionals motivated by medical dominance and medical autonomy. They outline how this position is then questioned and contested, with doctors being presented as unethical. By studying abortion at the macro-, meso- and micro-levels, this thesis seeks to better understand the values of the 'abortion doctor', and how these levels shape the work and experiences of abortion providers in England and Wales. This thesis thus addresses the question: 'What do abortion doctors' accounts of their professional work suggest about the contemporary dynamics of the medicalisation of abortion in Britain?'. It investigates the research question using a qualitative methodological approach: face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted with 47 doctors who provide abortions in England and Wales. The findings from this empirical study show how doctors' values are linked to how they view the 'normalisation of abortion'. At the macro-level doctors, openly resisted the medicalisation of abortion through the position ascribed to them by the legal framework, yet at the meso-level doctors construct an identity where normalising abortion is based on further medicalising services. Finally, at the micro-level, the ambiguous position of the abortion provider is further identified in terms of being both a proud provider and a stigmatised individual. This thesis shows that while the existing medicalisation literature has some utility, it has limited explanatory power when investigating the problem of abortion. The thesis thus provides some innovative insights into the relevance and value of medicalisation through a comprehensive study on doctors' values, beliefs and practices

    The interpretation of Islam and nationalism by the elite through the English language media in Pakistan.

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    The media is constructed and interpreted through what people 'know'. That knowledge is, forthe most part, created through day to day experiences. In Pakistan, Islam and nationalism aretwo components of this social knowledge which are intrinsically tied to the experiences of thePakistani people. Censorship and selection are means through which this knowledge isarticulated and interpreted.General conceptions of partially shared large scale bodies of knowledge and ideas reinforce,and are reinforced by, general medium of mass communication: the print and electronic media.Focusing on the govermnent, media institutions and Pakistani elites, I describe and analyse thedifferent, sometimes conflicting, interpretations of Islam and Pakistani nationalism manifest inand through media productions presented in Pakistan.The media means many things, not least of which is power. It is the media as a source ofpower that is so frequently controlled, directed and manipulated. The terminology may beslightly different according to the context within which one is talking - propaganda, selection,etc. - but ultimately it comes down to the same thing - censorship. Each of the three groups:government, media institutions and Pakistani elites - have the power to interpret and censormedia content and consideration must be taken of each of the other power holders consequentlyrestricting the power of each group in relation to the other two. The processes of thismanipulation and their consequences form the major themes of this thesis

    Political Islam and grassroots activism in Turkey : a study of the pro-Islamist Virtue Party's grassroots activists and their affects on the electoral outcomes

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    This thesis presents an analysis of the spectacular rise of political Islam in Turkey. It has two aims: first to understand the underlying causes of the rise of the Welfare Party which -later became the Virtue Party- throughout the 1990s, and second to analyse how grassroots activism influenced this process. The thesis reviews the previous literature on the Islamic fundamentalist movements, political parties, political party systems and concentrates on the local party organisations and their effects on the party's electoral performance. It questions the categorisation of Islamic fundamentalism as an appropriate label for this movement. An exploration of such movements is particularly important in light of the event of 11`x' September. After exploring existing theoretical and case studies into political Islam and party activism, I present my qualitative case study. I have used ethnographic methodology and done participatory observations among grassroots activists in Ankara's two sub-districts covering 105 neighbourhoods. I examined the Turkish party system and the reasons for its collapse. It was observed that as a result of party fragmentation, electoral volatility and organisational decline and decline in the party identification among the citizens the Turkish party system has declined. However, the WP/VP profited from this trend enormously and emerged as the main beneficiary of this process. Empirical data is analysed in four chapters, dealing with the different aspects of the Virtue Party's local organisations and grassroots activists. They deal with change and continuity in the party, the patterns of participation, the routes and motives for becoming a party activist, the profile of party activists and the local party organisations. I explore what they do and how they do it. The analysis reveals that the categorisation of Islamic fundamentalism is misplaced and the rise of political Islam in Turkey cannot be explained as religious revivalism or the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. It is a political force that drives its strength from the urban poor which has been harshly affected by the IMF directed neoliberal economy policies. In conclusion, it is shown that the WP/VP's electoral chances were significantly improved by its very efficient and effective party organisations and highly committed grassroots activists

    What is the importance of sperm subpopulations?

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    .The study of sperm subpopulations spans three decades. The origin, meaning, and practical significance, however, are less clear. Current technology for assessing sperm morphology (CASA-Morph) and motility (CASA-Mot) has enabled the accurate evaluation of these features, and there are many options for data classification. Subpopulations could occur as a result of the stage of development of each spermatozoon in the subpopulation. Spermatogenesis might contribute to the production of these subpopulations. Insights from evolutionary biology and recent molecular research are indicative of the diversity among male gametes that could occur from unequal sharing of transcripts and other elements through cytoplasmic bridges between spermatids. Sperm cohorts exiting the gonads would contain different RNA and protein contents, affecting the spermatozoon physiology and associations with the surrounding environmental milieu. Subsequently, these differences could affect how spermatozoa interact with the environmental milieu (maturation, mixing with seminal plasma, and interacting with the environmental milieu, or female genital tract and female gamete). The emergence of sperm subpopulations as an outcome of evolution, related to the reproductive strategies of the species, genital tract structures, and copulatory and fertilization processes. This kind of approach in determining the importance of sperm subpopulations in fertilization capacity should have a practical impact for conducting reproductive technologies, inspiring and enabling new ways for the more efficient use of spermatozoa in the medical, animal breeding, and conservation fields. This manuscript is a contribution to the Special Issue in memory of Dr. Duane GarnerS

    Exploring the effects of spinal cord stimulation for freezing of gait in parkinsonian patients

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    Dopaminergic replacement therapies (e.g. levodopa) provide limited to no response for axial motor symptoms including gait dysfunction and freezing of gait (FOG) in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Richardson’s syndrome progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP-RS) patients. Dopaminergic-resistant FOG may be a sensorimotor processing issue that does not involve basal ganglia (nigrostriatal) impairment. Recent studies suggest that spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has positive yet variable effects for dopaminergic-resistant gait and FOG in parkinsonian patients. Further studies investigating the mechanism of SCS, optimal stimulation parameters, and longevity of effects for alleviating FOG are warranted. The hypothesis of the research described in this thesis is that mid-thoracic, dorsal SCS effectively reduces FOG by modulating the sensory processing system in gait and may have a dopaminergic effect in individuals with FOG. The primary objective was to understand the relationship between FOG reduction, improvements in upper limb visual-motor performance, modulation of cortical activity and striatal dopaminergic innervation in 7 PD participants. FOG reduction was associated with changes in upper limb reaction time, speed and accuracy measured using robotic target reaching choice tasks. Modulation of resting-state, sensorimotor cortical activity, recorded using electroencephalography, was significantly associated with FOG reduction while participants were OFF-levodopa. Thus, SCS may alleviate FOG by modulating cortical activity associated with motor planning and sensory perception. Changes to striatal dopaminergic innervation, measured using a dopamine transporter marker, were associated with visual-motor performance improvements. Axial and appendicular motor features may be mediated by non-dopaminergic and dopaminergic pathways, respectively. The secondary objective was to demonstrate the short- and long-term effects of SCS for alleviating dopaminergic-resistant FOG and gait dysfunction in 5 PD and 3 PSP-RS participants without back/leg pain. SCS programming was individualized based on which setting best improved gait and/or FOG responses per participant using objective gait analysis. Significant improvements in stride velocity, step length and reduced FOG frequency were observed in all PD participants with up to 3-years of SCS. Similar gait and FOG improvements were observed in all PSP-RS participants up to 6-months. SCS is a promising therapeutic option for parkinsonian patients with FOG by possibly influencing cortical and subcortical structures involved in locomotion physiology

    Prospective life cycle assessment of hydrogen production by waste photoreforming

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    Identifying sustainable energy vectors is perhaps one of the most critical issues that needs addressing to achieve a climate-neutral society by 2050. In this context, the hydrogen economy has been proposed as a solution to mitigate our current fossil-based energy system while the concept of the circular economy aims to boost the efficient use of resources. Photoreforming offers a promising opportunity for recycling and transforming widely available biomass-derived wastes (e.g., crude glycerol from biodiesel) into clean hydrogen fuel. This processing technology may be a versatile method that can be performed not only under UV light but also under visible light. However, this approach is currently at the lab-scale and some inherent challenges must be overcome, not least the relatively modest hydrogen production rates for the lamps? substantial energy consumption. This study aims to assess the main environmental impacts, identifying the hotspots and possible trade-off in which this technology could operate feasibly. We introduce an assessment of the windows of opportunity using seven categories of environmental impact with either artificial light or sunlight as the source of photocatalytic conversion. We compared the environmental indicators from this study with those of the benchmark water electrolysis and steam?methane reforming (SMR) technologies, which are currently operating at a commercial scale. The results obtained in this study situate biowaste photoreforming within the portfolio of sustainable H2 production technologies of interest for future development in terms of target H2 production rates and lifetimes of sustainable operation.Financial support from projects RTI2018-099407-B-I00 and RTI2018-099407-B-I00 funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033/FEDER and by “ERDF A way of making Europe” by the “European Union” is gratefully acknowledged. We would like also to thank MICIN for providing Marta Rumayor with a Juan de la Cierva postdoctoral contract IJCI-2017-32621

    Walking with the Earth: Intercultural Perspectives on Ethics of Ecological Caring

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    It is commonly believed that considering nature different from us, human beings (qua rational, cultural, religious and social actors), is detrimental to our engagement for the preservation of nature. An obvious example is animal rights, a deep concern for all living beings, including non-human living creatures, which is understandable only if we approach nature, without fearing it, as something which should remain outside of our true home. “Walking with the earth” aims at questioning any similar preconceptions in the wide sense, including allegoric-poetic contributions. We invited 14 authors from 4 continents to express all sorts of ways of saying why caring is so important, why togetherness, being-with each others, as a spiritual but also embodied ethics is important in a divided world
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