260 research outputs found

    Physics Opportunities with Polarized e- and e+ Beams at TESLA

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    Beam polarization at e+ e- linear colliders will be a powerful tool for high precision analyses. Often it is assumed that the full information from polarization effects is provided by polarization of the electron beam and no further information can be obtained by the simultaneous polarization of the positrons. In this paper we point out the advantages of polarizing both beams, and summarize the polarization-related results of the Higgs, Electroweak, QCD, SUSY and Alternative Theories working groups of the ECFA/DESY workshop for a planned linear collider operating in the energy range sqrt{s}= 500-800 GeV.Comment: 36 pages, 21 postscript figures, latex using epsfi

    A Falsification of the Citation Impediment in the Taxonomic Literature

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    Current science evaluation still relies on citation performance, despite criticisms of purely bibliometric research assessments. Biological taxonomy suffers from a drain of knowledge and manpower, with poor citation performance commonly held as one reason for this impediment. But is there really such a citation impediment in taxonomy? We compared the citation numbers of 306 taxonomic and 2291 non-taxonomic research articles (2009-2012) on mosses, orchids, ciliates, ants, and snakes, using Web of Science (WoS) and correcting for journal visibility. For three of the five taxa, significant differences were absent in citation numbers between taxonomic and non-taxonomic papers. This was also true for all taxa combined, although taxonomic papers received more citations than non-taxonomic ones. Our results show that, contrary to common belief, taxonomic contributions do not generally reduce a journal's citation performance and might even increase it. The scope of many journals rarely featuring taxonomy would allow editors to encourage a larger number of taxonomic submissions. Moreover, between 1993 and 2012, taxonomic publications accumulated faster than those from all biological fields. However, less than half of the taxonomic studies were published in journals in WoS. Thus, editors of highly visible journals inviting taxonomic contributions could benefit from taxonomy's strong momentum. The taxonomic output could increase even more than at its current growth rate if: (i) taxonomists currently publishing on other topics returned to taxonomy and (ii) non-taxonomists identifying the need for taxonomic acts started publishing these, possibly in collaboration with taxonomists. Finally, considering the high number of taxonomic papers attracted by the journal Zootaxa, we expect that the taxonomic community would indeed use increased chances of publishing in WoS indexed journals. We conclude that taxonomy's standing in the present citation-focused scientific landscape could easily improve‚ÄĒif the community becomes aware that there is no citation impediment in taxonom

    Genomic Signature of Shifts in Selection in a Subalpine Ant and Its Physiological Adaptations

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    Understanding how organisms adapt to extreme environments is fundamental and can provide insightful case studies for both evolutionary biology and climate-change biology. Here, we take advantage of the vast diversity of lifestyles in ants to identify genomic signatures of adaptation to extreme habitats such as high altitude. We hypothesized two parallel patterns would occur in a genome adapting to an extreme habitat: 1) strong positive selection on genes related to adaptation and 2) a relaxation of previous purifying selection. We tested this hypothesis by sequencing the high-elevation specialist Tetramorium alpestre and four other phylogenetically related species. In support of our hypothesis, we recorded a strong shift of selective forces in T. alpestre, in particular a stronger magnitude of diversifying and relaxed selection when compared with all other ants. We further disentangled candidate molecular adaptations in both gene expression and protein-coding sequence that were identified by our genome-wide analyses. In particular, we demonstrate that T. alpestre has 1) a higher level of expression for stv and other heat-shock proteins in chill-shock tests and 2) enzymatic enhancement of Hex-T1, a rate-limiting regulatory enzyme that controls the entry of glucose into the glycolytic pathway. Together, our analyses highlight the adaptive molecular changes that support colonization of high-altitude environments

    Centralization of Esophageal Cancer Surgery: Does It Improve Clinical Outcome?

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    Background: The volume-outcome relationship for complex surgical procedures has been extensively studied. Most studies are based on administrative data and use in-hospital mortality as the sole outcome measure. It is still unknown if concentration of these procedures leads to improvement of clinical outcome. The aim of our study was to audit the process and effect of centralizing oesophageal resections for cancer by using detailed clinical data. Methods: From January 1990 until December 2004, 555 esophagectomies for cancer were performed in 11 hospitals in the region of the Comprehensive Cancer Center West (CCCW); 342 patients were operated on before and 213 patients after the introduction of a centralization project. In this project patients were referred to the hospitals which showed superior outcomes in a regional audit. In this audit patient, tumor, and operative details as well as clinical outcome were compared between hospitals. The outcome of both cohorts, patients operated on before and after the start of the project, were evaluated. Results: Despite the more severe comorbidity of the patient group, outcome improved after centralizing esophageal resections. Along with a reduction in postoperative morbidity and length of stay, mortality fell from 12% to 4% and survival improved significantly (P = 0.001). The hospitals with the highest procedural volume showed the biggest improvement in outcome. Conclusion: Volume is an important determinant of quality of care in esophageal cancer surgery. Referral of patients with esophageal cancer to surgical units with adequate experience and superior outcomes (outcome-based referral) improves quality of care

    Dose dependent effect of statins on postoperative atrial fibrillation after cardiac surgery among patients treated with beta blockers

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Previous studies on the effects of Statins in preventing atrial fibrillation (AF) after cardiac surgery have shown conflicting results. Whether statins prevent AF in patients treated with postoperative beta blockers and whether the statin-effect is dose related are unknown.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>We retrospectively studied 1936 consecutive patients who underwent coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) (n = 1493) or valve surgery (n = 443) at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center. All patients were in sinus rhythm before the surgery. Postoperative beta blockers were administered routinely (92% within 24 hours postoperatively).</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Mean age was 66+10 years and 68% of the patients were taking Statins. Postoperative AF occurred in 588 (30%) patients and led to longer length of stay in the intensive care unit versus those without AF (5.1+7.6 days versus 2.5+2.3 days, p < 0.0001). Patients with a past history of AF had a 5 times higher risk of postoperative AF (odds ratio 5.1; 95% confidence interval 3.4 to 7.7; p < 0.0001). AF occurred in 31% of patients taking statins versus 29% of the others (p = 0.49). In multivariable analysis, statins were not associated with AF (odds ratio (OR) 0.93, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.7 to 1.2; p = 0.59). However, in a subgroup analysis, the patients treated with Simvastatin >20 mg daily had a 36% reduction in the risk of postoperative AF (OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.6; p = 0.03) in comparison to those taking lower dosages.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Among cardiac surgery patients treated with postoperative beta blockers Statin treatment reduces the incidence of postoperative AF when used at higher dosages</p

    Consumer‚Äďbrand identification revisited: An integrative framework of brand identification, customer satisfaction, and price image and their role for brand loyalty and word of mouth

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    Consumer‚Äďbrand identification has received considerable attraction among scholars and practitioners in recent years. We contribute to previous research by proposing an integrative model that includes consumer‚Äďbrand identification, customer satisfaction, and price image to investigate the interrelationships among these constructs as well as their effects on brand loyalty and positive word of mouth. To provide general results, we empirically test the model using a sample of 1443 respondents from a representative consumer panel and 10 service/product brands. The results demonstrate that identification, satisfaction, and price image significantly influence both loyalty and word of mouth. Moreover, we find significant interrelationships among the constructs: Identification positively influences both satisfaction and price image, which also increases satisfaction. By disclosing the relative importance of three separate ways of gaining and retaining customers, this study helps managers more appropriately choose the right mix of branding, pricing, and relationship marketing. From an academic point of view, our research is the first to explicitly examine the effects of the concept of identification for price management and to integrate variables from the fields of branding, relationship marketing, and behavioral pricing, which have separately been identified as particularly important determinants of marketing outcomes

    Global burden of 369 diseases and injuries in 204 countries and territories, 1990-2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019

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    Five insights from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019

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    The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019 provides a rules-based synthesis of the available evidence on levels and trends in health outcomes, a diverse set of risk factors, and health system responses. GBD 2019 covered 204 countries and territories, as well as first administrative level disaggregations for 22 countries, from 1990 to 2019. Because GBD is highly standardised and comprehensive, spanning both fatal and non-fatal outcomes, and uses a mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive list of hierarchical disease and injury causes, the study provides a powerful basis for detailed and broad insights on global health trends and emerging challenges. GBD 2019 incorporates data from 281 586 sources and provides more than 3.5 billion estimates of health outcome and health system measures of interest for global, national, and subnational policy dialogue. All GBD estimates are publicly available and adhere to the Guidelines on Accurate and Transparent Health Estimate Reporting. From this vast amount of information, five key insights that are important for health, social, and economic development strategies have been distilled. These insights are subject to the many limitations outlined in each of the component GBD capstone papers.Peer reviewe

    The study of atmospheric ice-nucleating particles via microfluidically generated droplets

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    Ice-nucleating particles (INPs) play a significant role in the climate and hydrological cycle by triggering ice formation in supercooled clouds, thereby causing precipitation and affecting cloud lifetimes and their radiative properties. However, despite their importance, INP often comprise only 1 in 10¬≥‚Äď10‚Ā∂ ambient particles, making it difficult to ascertain and predict their type, source, and concentration. The typical techniques for quantifying INP concentrations tend to be highly labour-intensive, suffer from poor time resolution, or are limited in sensitivity to low concentrations. Here, we present the application of microfluidic devices to the study of atmospheric INPs via the simple and rapid production of monodisperse droplets and their subsequent freezing on a cold stage. This device offers the potential for the testing of INP concentrations in aqueous samples with high sensitivity and high counting statistics. Various INPs were tested for validation of the platform, including mineral dust and biological species, with results compared to literature values. We also describe a methodology for sampling atmospheric aerosol in a manner that minimises sampling biases and which is compatible with the microfluidic device. We present results for INP concentrations in air sampled during two field campaigns: (1) from a rural location in the UK and (2) during the UK‚Äôs annual Bonfire Night festival. These initial results will provide a route for deployment of the microfluidic platform for the study and quantification of INPs in upcoming field campaigns around the globe, while providing a benchmark for future lab-on-a-chip-based INP studies

    Global burden of 369 diseases and injuries in 204 countries and territories, 1990‚Äď2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019