4,195 research outputs found

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    Exploring the Cost Effectiveness of Land Conservation Auctions and Payment Policies

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    Until recently public efforts to encourage conservation on private land in many countries has primarily been through uniform payment policies. Auctions are increasingly used as a payment mechanism to acquire public benefits such as conservation actions that provide environmental improvements on private land (e.g. the US Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The economic rationale for use of auctions is that they create decentralised incentives to offer bids at close to the true landholder opportunity costs, even when the implementing agency holds little information about these opportunity costs. This paper assesses the cost of a case study auction relative to four payment policies that use varying levels of information strategically to reduce rent payment and to prioritise funding based on environmental value. The results suggest that the estimated cost savings achievable with the discriminant price auction for conservation contracts depends on the policy to which the auction outcomes are compared. Auction cost savings are likely to be greatest when compared to policy alternatives involving little effort to discriminate amongst offers based on differences in landholder opportunity costs. A further key finding is that, for this case study, most of the savings resulting from the discriminant price auction could be attributed to the use of the environmental benefits index in project ranking and selection.Land Economics/Use,

    Evidence for the intense exchange of MazG in marine cyanophages by horizontal gene transfer

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    Background: S-PM2 is a phage capable of infecting strains of unicellular cyanobacteria belonging to the genus Synechococcus. S-PM2, like other myoviruses infecting marine cyanobacteria, encodes a number of bacterial-like genes. Amongst these genes is one encoding a MazG homologue that is hypothesized to be involved in the adaption of the infected host for production of progeny phage. Methodology/Principal Findings: This study focuses on establishing the occurrence of mazG homologues in other cyanophages isolated from different oceanic locations. Degenerate PCR primers were designed using the mazG gene of S-PM2. The mazG gene was found to be widely distributed and highly conserved among Synechococcus myoviruses and podoviruses from diverse oceanic provinces. Conclusions/Significance: This study provides evidence of a globally connected cyanophage gene pool, the cyanophage mazG gene having a small effective population size indicative of rapid lateral gene transfer despite being present in a substantial fraction of cyanophage. The Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus phage mazG genes do not cluster with the host mazG gene, suggesting that their primary hosts are not the source of the mazG gene

    Motivations to Gamble in Younger and Older Adults

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    Gambling is a form of entertainment that is enjoyed by many adults, ranging from university students to older adults. A small subset of gambling research focuses on the motivations to pursue gambling, and very little research has investigated if age differences exist in motivation. Older adults typically experience decreased sense of control compared to university students (Mirowsky 1995, 2013), and it was hypothesized that this would be a key motivational difference. Through two experiments, this research aimed to investigate if different motivation models for gambling should be used for different age groups. Two competing models are tested: Loroz’s (2004) model of gambling motivations for older adults compared to Binde’s (2013) comprehensive model of gambling motivations. Experiment 1, which had 90 university students, had participants complete pre and post measures for perceived control and mood following a manipulation (gambling task or control task). Experiment 2, which had 68 older adult participants (above 50), replicated the methodology of experiment 1. There were no significant differences for perceived control or mood, across conditions and age groups. The use of different motivational models for different age groups was not supported, and as such there is support that Binde’s (2013) model is better for understanding motivations to gamble. Older adult participants did not experience a change in perceived control as expected; it is proposed that older adults may not experience the decreased sense of control that is identified by Mirowsky (1995, 2013)

    Sequential primed kinases create a damage-responsive phosphodegron on Eco1.

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    Sister-chromatid cohesion is established during S phase when Eco1 acetylates cohesin. In budding yeast, Eco1 activity falls after S phase due to Cdk1-dependent phosphorylation, which triggers ubiquitination by SCF(Cdc4). We show here that Eco1 degradation requires the sequential actions of Cdk1 and two additional kinases, Cdc7-Dbf4 and the GSK-3 homolog Mck1. These kinases recognize motifs primed by previous phosphorylation, resulting in an ordered sequence of three phosphorylation events on Eco1. Only the latter two phosphorylation sites are spaced correctly to bind Cdc4, resulting in strict discrimination between phosphates added by Cdk1 and by Cdc7. Inhibition of Cdc7 by the DNA damage response prevents Eco1 destruction, allowing establishment of cohesion after S phase. This elaborate regulatory system, involving three independent kinases and stringent substrate selection by a ubiquitin ligase, enables robust control of cohesion establishment during normal growth and after stress

    Comparing Food and Cash Transfers to the Ultra-Poor in Bangladesh

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    "Bangladesh has some social safety net programs that transfer food to the poor, some that transfer cash, and some that provide a combination of both. This study evaluates the relative impacts of food and cash transfers on food security and livelihood outcomes among the ultra poor in Bangladesh. The programs impacts are evaluated according to various measures, including how well transfers are delivered; which transfers beneficiaries prefer; how accurately the programs target the extremely poor; effects on food security, livelihoods, and women’s empowerment; and cost effectiveness. The report identifies what has and has not worked in food and cash transfers and recommends ways of improving these programs. This study will be valuable to policymakers and others concerned with poverty reduction in Bangladesh and elsewhere." from textCash transfers, cost effectiveness, food security, Poverty, Poverty reduction, safety net programs, women empowerment,

    County-level USA: No Robust Relationship between Geoclimatic Variables and Cognitive Ability

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    Using a sample of ~3,100 U.S. counties, we tested geoclimatic explanations for why cognitive ability varies across geography. These models posit that geoclimatic factors will strongly predict cognitive ability across geography,even when a variety of common controls appear in the regression equations.Our results generally do not support UV radiation (UVR) based or other geoclimatic models. Specifically, although UVR alone predicted cognitive ability at the U.S. county-level (β = -.33), its validity was markedly reduced in the presence of climatic and demographic covariates (β = -.16), and was reduced even further with a spatial lag (β = -.10). For climate models,average temperature remained a significant predictor in the regression equation containing a spatial lag (β = .35). However, the effect was in the wrong direction relative to typical cold weather hypotheses. Moreover,when we ran the analyses separately by race/ethnicity, no consistent pattern appeared in the models containing the spatial lag. Analyses of gap sizes across counties were also generally inconsistent with predictions from the UVR model. Instead, results seemed to provide support for compositional models
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