616 research outputs found

    Municipal Infrastructure Delivery in Ethiopia: A bottomless pit or an option to reach the Millennium Development Goals?

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    The following paper examines the different options to finance local public infrastructure in Ethiopia based on the assumption that the federal government of Ethiopia will not provide any guarantees for local borrowing. Besides a detailed description of the local public finance system and the capital market in Ethiopia, the paper also sets out some international successful practices in municipal infrastructure financing. Based on the observation of the Ethiopian case and the consideration of the international experiences, the paper has two major pillars that very specifically identify actions required for implementation. On the one hand, the paper recommends a number of feasible arrangements to generate a revenue enhancement of the local authorities in the existing intergovernmental framework. On the other hand, the paper suggests a solution - for creditworthy as well as for potentially creditworthy urban local governments (ULG) - to finance their future demand of public infrastructure together with the national finance institutions as well as the international donors.Fiscal Federalism, Grants, Ethiopia, Urban and Rural Economies


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    The goal of this article is to assess the pro and cons of various reform proposals in the area of profi t taxation from an economic perspective. In do-ing so, the authors try to highlight some misunderstandings in the current reform debate, reconcile the polar positions of proponents of (i) pure cash accounting and (ii) pure accrual accounting, identify viable options that combine the advantages of both methods and discuss the potential and limits of approaches to simplifying the method of calculating profi t tax in practice. In this article the authors also present a new method of determining taxable profi t based on the Heidelberg Simple Tax1 Model. This new method has been applied in the Brcko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2004.<Cilj je ovoga rada s ekonomskog gledi┼íta ocijeniti argumente za i protiv raznih pri-jedloga reformi na podru─Źju oporezivanja dobiti. U toj su namjeri autori poku┼íali osvi-jetliti neke nesporazume u teku─çoj reformskoj raspravi, pomiriti suprotstav ljene pozicije zagovara─Źa (I) ra─Źunovodstva na ─Źistoj gotovinskoj osnovi i (II) ra─Źunovodstva na ─Źistoj obra─Źunskoj osnovi, zatim identifi cirati odr┼żive opcije koje kombiniraju prednosti obiju metoda i raspravljaju mogu─çnosti i granice pristupa pojednostavljenju metode izra─Źuna poreza na dobit u praksi. U ovome ─Źlanku autori tako─Ĺer predstavljaju novu metodu odre─Ĺivanja oporezive dobiti na osnovi heidelber┼íkog modela jednostavnog poreza (Hei-delberg Simple Tax Model). Ta se nova metoda primjenjuje u distriktu Br─Źko, Bosna i Hercegovina, od godine 2004

    The complete mitochondrial genome of Paragonimus ohirai (Paragonimidae: Trematoda: Platyhelminthes) and its comparison with P. Westermani congeners and other trematodes

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    We present the complete mitochondrial genome of Paragonimus ohirai Miyazaki, 1939 and compare its features with those of previously reported mitochondrial genomes of the pathogenic lung-fluke, Paragonimus westermani, and other members of the genus. The circular mitochondrial DNA molecule of the single fully sequenced individual of P. ohirai was 14,818 bp in length, containing 12 protein-coding, two ribosomal RNA and 22 transfer RNA genes. As is common among trematodes, an atp8 gene was absent from the mitogenome of P. ohirai and the 50 end of nad4 overlapped with the 30 end of nad4L by 40 bp. Paragonimusohirai and four forms/strains of P. westermani from South Korea and India, exhibited remarkably different base compositions and hence codon usage in protein-coding genes. In the fully sequenced P. ohirai individual, the non-coding region started with two long identical repeats (292 bp each), separated by tRNAGlu. These were followed by an array of six short tandem repeats (STR), 117 bp each. Numbers of the short tandem repeats varied among P. ohirai individuals. A phylogenetic tree inferred from concatenated mitochondrial protein sequences of 50 strains encompassing 42 species of trematodes belonging to 14 families identified a monophyletic Paragonimidae in the class Trematoda. Characterization of additional mitogenomes in the genus Paragonimus will be useful for biomedical studies and development of molecular tools and mitochondrial markers for diagnostic, identification, hybridization and phylogenetic/epidemiological/evolutionary studies

    The ribosomal transcription units of Haplorchis pumilio and H. taichui and the use of 28S rDNA sequences for phylogenetic identification of common heterophyids in Vietnam

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    Background: Heterophyidiasis is now a major public health threat in many tropical countries. Species in the trematode family Heterophyidae infecting humans include Centrocestus formosanus, Haplorchis pumilio, H. taichui, H. yokogawai, Procerovum varium and Stellantchasmus falcatus. For molecular phylogenetic and systematic studies on trematodes, we need more prospective markers for taxonomic identification and classification. This study provides near-complete ribosomal transcription units (rTU) from Haplorchis pumilio and H. taichui and demonstrates the use of 28S rDNA sequences for identification and phylogenetic analysis. Results: The near-complete ribosomal transcription units (rTU), consisting of 18S, ITS1, 5.8S, ITS2 and 28S rRNA genes and spacers, from H. pumilio and H. taichui from human hosts in Vietnam, were determined and annotated. Sequence analysis revealed tandem repetitive elements in ITS1 in H. pumilio and in ITS2 in H. taichui. A phylogenetic tree inferred from 28S rDNA sequences of 40 trematode strains/species, including 14 Vietnamese heterophyid individuals, clearly confirmed the status of each of the Vietnamese species: Centrocestus formosanus, Haplorchis pumilio, H. taichui, H. yokogawai, Procerovum varium and Stellantchasmus falcatus. However, the family Heterophyidae was clearly not monophyletic, with some genera apparently allied with other families within the superfamily Opisthorchioidea (i. e. Cryptogonimidae and Opisthorchiidae). These families and their constituent genera require substantial re-evaluation using a combination of morphological and molecular data. Our new molecular data will assist in such studies. Conclusions: The 28S rDNA sequences are conserved among individuals within a species but varied between genera. Based on analysis of 40 28S rDNA sequences representing 19 species in the superfamily Opisthorchioidea and an outgroup taxon (Alaria alata, family Diplostomidae), six common human pathogenic heterophyids were identified and clearly resolved. The phylogenetic tree inferred from these sequences again confirmed anomalies in molecular placement of some members of the family Heterophyidae and demonstrates the need for reappraisal of the entire superfamily Opisthorchioidea. The new sequences provided here supplement those already available in public databases and add to the array of molecular tools that can be used for the diagnosis of heterophyid species in human and animal infections

    Crystal protein Cry5B as a novel and powerful anthelmintic

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    Soil-transmitted helminths (STHs), most notably, hookworms, whipworms, and Ascaris, are nematodes that infect more than 1.5 billion of the poorest people and are amongst the leading causes of morbidity worldwide. Only two classes of de-worming drugs (anthelmintics) are available for treatment, and only one is commonly used in mass drug administrations. New anthelmintics are urgently needed to overcome emerging resistance and to produce higher cure rates. Crystal (Cry) proteins, in particular Cry5B, made by Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are promising new candidates. Cry5B has excellent anthelmintic properties against many free-living and parasitic nematodes, including in vivo efficacy against multiple STH infections in rodents (Heligomasmidoes polygyrus and Ancylostoma ceylanicum) and in pigs (Ascaris suum). An enormous challenge for STHs, very different from most diseases worked on in the developing world, is the requirement that therapies be very cheap (the people infected are very poor and current drugs costs pennies a dose), massively scalable (over 4 billion people are at risk from infection), and have a long shelf life in harsh environments, that have high temperature and humidity and no cold chain. We will update our progress in several key areas. We will present new data on the in vivo activity of Cry5B against a major human parasite in humans. We will also present data on the whether or not the immune system is required for Cry5B action in vivo. We will also present on our development efforts to produce a deployable version of Cry5B that is cheap, safe, scalable, and stable. These efforts are currently focused on bacterial engineering, expression, and formulation

    Terpenes as ÔÇśresistance-bustingÔÇŁ anthelmintic drug

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    There is an urgent need for new therapies for parasitic helminthic diseases affecting 1.5-2 billion people worldwide due to the threat of wide-spread resistance development to existing treatments and due to problems of incomplete efficacies. Terpenes are plant secondary metabolites and major essential oil constituents. Historically, the terpene thymol was successfully used to cure hookworm infections in the 1900ÔÇÖs. Although effective, large doses were needed and thymol treatment had significant side effects. Because free terpenes are absorbed in the stomach, less than 10% of oral terpenes entered the site where the parasites live. To overcome these problems we have developed microparticle encapsulated terpenes and enteric coated terpene capsules. We screened 20 terpenes for anthelmintic activity in vitro against adult stages of the hookworm and whipworm parasitic nematodes Ancylostoma ceylanicum and Trichuris muris. Here we will present results of this work, which shows the promising potential for some terpenes as pan-nematode anthelmintics. This work has allowed us to classify terpenes into at least two groups based on their in vitro killing kinetics. We have also shown that some terpenes are effective against an albendazole-resistant Caenorhabditis elegans strain suggesting that terpenes may play an important role in overcoming helminthic drug resistance. We will also present our work on optimizing lead terpene formulations in vitro and in vivo in animal models of parasitic nematode infection in order to overcome the challenges and realize the potential of ÔÇťresistance-bustingÔÇŁ terpene-based anthelmintic therapies

    Adversarial Attacks on Code Models with Discriminative Graph Patterns

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    Pre-trained language models of code are now widely used in various software engineering tasks such as code generation, code completion, vulnerability detection, etc. This, in turn, poses security and reliability risks to these models. One of the important threats is \textit{adversarial attacks}, which can lead to erroneous predictions and largely affect model performance on downstream tasks. Current adversarial attacks on code models usually adopt fixed sets of program transformations, such as variable renaming and dead code insertion, leading to limited attack effectiveness. To address the aforementioned challenges, we propose a novel adversarial attack framework, GraphCodeAttack, to better evaluate the robustness of code models. Given a target code model, GraphCodeAttack automatically mines important code patterns, which can influence the model's decisions, to perturb the structure of input code to the model. To do so, GraphCodeAttack uses a set of input source codes to probe the model's outputs and identifies the \textit{discriminative} ASTs patterns that can influence the model decisions. GraphCodeAttack then selects appropriate AST patterns, concretizes the selected patterns as attacks, and inserts them as dead code into the model's input program. To effectively synthesize attacks from AST patterns, GraphCodeAttack uses a separate pre-trained code model to fill in the ASTs with concrete code snippets. We evaluate the robustness of two popular code models (e.g., CodeBERT and GraphCodeBERT) against our proposed approach on three tasks: Authorship Attribution, Vulnerability Prediction, and Clone Detection. The experimental results suggest that our proposed approach significantly outperforms state-of-the-art approaches in attacking code models such as CARROT and ALERT

    Illicit drug use and cerebral microbleeds in stroke and transient ischemic attack patients

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    Background: Cerebral microbleeds (CMB) signal cerebral small vessel disease and are associated with ischemic stroke (IS) incidence, recurrence, and complications. While illicit drug use (IDU) is associated with cerebral small vessel disease, the association between CMB and IDU is understudied. We sought to delineate differences in vascular risk factors between IDU and CMB and determine the effect of this relationship on outcomes in IS/transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients. Methods: We included 2001 consecutive IS and TIA patients (years 2009-2018) with a readable T2*gradient-echo MRI sequence. CMB rating followed standardized guidelines and CMB were grouped topographically into lobar, deep or infratentorial. IDU data (history and/or urine toxicology) was available for 1746 patients. The adverse composite outcome included pneumonia, urinary tract infection, deep venous thrombosis or death during hospitalization. Good functional outcome was defined as modified Rankin scale score < 3 and ambulatory on discharge. Univariate analysis was used to assess vascular risk factors and multivariable logistic regression was used to characterize the IDU/CMB relationship on outcomes. Results: We observed IDU in 13.8 % (n=241), and CMB in 32.9% (n=575, 53.8% lobar, 27.3% deep and 18.8% infratentorial). Patients with IDU and at least one CMB were older (53.6┬▒10.5 vs. 56.9┬▒11.5, p=0.04), had a lower BMI (28.1┬▒5.9 vs. 26.6┬▒4.4, p=0.04), and were more likely to have had a previous IS/TIA (25.1% vs. 41.9%, p=0.01). IDU trended higher for those with severe CMB (10+) compared with those without CMB and 1-9 CMB (25% [n=9] vs 14.3% [n=1171] and 12.1% [n=65] respectively; p=0.07) without individual drug deviations from this pattern. Adverse and good functional outcomes were observed in 177 and 905 total patients, respectively. No significant interaction was observed between IDU and CMB with either adverse or functional composite outcomes. Conclusion: IDU prevalence was high in our urban study population, and showed a borderline association with increasing CMB burden. Patients with CMB and IDU history were older and more likely to have had a previous IS/TIA. Further studies are required to clarify the clinical consequences related to the relationship between IDU and CMB.Author Disclosures: B. Petrie: None. H. Lau: None. F. Cajiga-Pena: None. S. Abbas: None. B. Finn: None. K. Dam: None. A. Cervantes-Arslanian: None. T.N. Nguyen: None. H. Aparicio: None. D. Greer: None. J.R. Romero: Speakers' Bureau; Modest; Received speaker honoraria from Ferrer Group

    VulCurator: A Vulnerability-Fixing Commit Detector

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    Open-source software (OSS) vulnerability management process is important nowadays, as the number of discovered OSS vulnerabilities is increasing over time. Monitoring vulnerability-fixing commits is a part of the standard process to prevent vulnerability exploitation. Manually detecting vulnerability-fixing commits is, however, time consuming due to the possibly large number of commits to review. Recently, many techniques have been proposed to automatically detect vulnerability-fixing commits using machine learning. These solutions either: (1) did not use deep learning, or (2) use deep learning on only limited sources of information. This paper proposes VulCurator, a tool that leverages deep learning on richer sources of information, including commit messages, code changes and issue reports for vulnerability-fixing commit classifica- tion. Our experimental results show that VulCurator outperforms the state-of-the-art baselines up to 16.1% in terms of F1-score. VulCurator tool is publicly available at https://github.com/ntgiang71096/VFDetector and https://zenodo.org/record/7034132#.Yw3MN-xBzDI, with a demo video at https://youtu.be/uMlFmWSJYOE.Comment: accepted to ESEC/FSE 2022, Tool Demos Trac
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