723 research outputs found

    Gianluigi Zenti, President, Academia Barilla SpA - The Changing Consumer: Demanding but Predictable

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    It is crucial to understand and predict consumers' behaviour to meet future consumer demands. This report contributes to the discussion by giving an insight into consumers' behaviour from the perspective of Gianluigi Zenti, executive director of Academia Barilla. It is discussed how consumers' choice has changed in particular with regard to Italian food in the US and how Barilla has responded to that challenge.Consumer demand, consumer behaviour, Academia Barilla, Italian food, Consumer/Household Economics,

    Do They Always Say No? German Consumers and Second-Generation GMO Foods

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    European consumers and, in particular, German consumers are known to be very critical towards the introduction of genetically modified (GM) foods. It is analyzed here whether German consumers do reject second-generation GMO foods, too. Whereas first-generation GM crops induced producer-related benefits, second-generation GM crops are associated with consumer-oriented benefits like an improvement of nutritional quality. The determinants of demand for second-generation GM rapeseed oil are investigated within an online survey of 1556 German consumers. It is elaborated how two functional properties of that product matter; i.e. long-chain ϖ3 fatty acids and the cholesterol-lowering effect of phytosterols. It turns out that GMO rapeseed oil is neglected by 74 % of all respondents. Output traits, however, will increase the probability of purchases of GMO rapeseed oil. This is more the case for long-chain ϖ3 fatty acids than for phytosterols.consumer behavior, second generation, GMO foods, rapeseed oil, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,

    Estimating the demand for risk reduction from foodborne pathogens through food irradiation

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    In this study the response of US consumers to irradiation in meat processing is examined. Despite scientific evidence of the effectiveness and safety of irradiation, meat processors and retailers have been slow to market irradiated beef products due to uncertainty about consumer acceptance. The objective of this study was therefore to examine the factors influencing consumer demand for irradiation using data from a contingent valuation (CV) survey with 819 households in eight midwestern US states. The analysis focused on the value of reduced risk from Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella in ground beef consumption. Respondents were on average willing to pay a price premium of 22 cents/lb. for safer ground beef. Willingness to Pay (WTP) amounts were influenced by protective actions at home and varied partly with the scope of the risk reduction.food safety, irradiation, Willingness to Pay (WTP), Contingent Valuation (CV), Demand and Price Analysis, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Risk and Uncertainty,

    Self-broadening and self-shift in the 3Μ2\mathbf{3\nu_{2}} band of ammonia from mid-infrared-frequency-comb spectroscopy

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    We report the broadband absorption spectrum of the 3Îœ23\nu_{2} band of 14^{14}NH3_{3} near 4 ÎŒm\mu m. The data were recorded using a mid-infrared frequency comb coupled to a homebuilt Fourier-transform spectrometer with a resolution of 0.00501 cm−1cm^{-1}. Line positions, line intensities, self-broadening, and self-shift parameters for six rovibrational lines were determined at room temperature (T=296T=296 K). Comparison with HITRAN 2016 shows good agreement at improved precision. The high precision and the rapid tunability of our experiment enables advanced fast spectroscopy of molecular gases

    Lichen preservation in amber : morphology, ultrastructure, chemofossils, and taphonomic alteration

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    The fossil record of lichens is scarce and many putative fossil lichens do not show an actual physiological relationship between mycobionts and photobionts or a typical habit, and are therefore disputed. Amber has preserved a huge variety of organisms in microscopic fidelity, and so the study of amber fossils is promising for elucidating the fossil history of lichens. However, so far it has not been tested as to how amber inclusions of lichens are preserved regarding their internal characters, ultrastructure, and chemofossils. Here, we apply light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and Raman spectroscopy to an amber-preserved Eocene lichen in order to gain information about the preservation of the fossil. The lichen thallus displays lifelike tissue preservation including the upper and lower cortex, medulla, photobiont layer, apothecia, and soredia. SEM analysis revealed globular photobiont cells in contact with the fungal hyphae, as well as impressions of possible former crystals of lichen compounds. EDX analysis permitted the differentiation between halite and pyrite crystals inside the lichen which were likely formed during the later diagenesis of the amber piece. Raman spectroscopy revealed the preservation of organic compounds and a difference between the composition of the cortex and the medulla of the fossil.Peer reviewe

    Virulence Evolution of the Human Pathogen Neisseria meningitidis by Recombination in the Core and Accessory Genome

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    Joseph B, Schwarz RF, Linke B, et al. Virulence Evolution of the Human Pathogen Neisseria meningitidis by Recombination in the Core and Accessory Genome. PLoS ONE. 2011;6(4): e18441.Background: Neisseria meningitidis is a naturally transformable, facultative pathogen colonizing the human nasopharynx. Here, we analyze on a genome-wide level the impact of recombination on gene-complement diversity and virulence evolution in N. meningitidis. We combined comparative genome hybridization using microarrays (mCGH) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) of 29 meningococcal isolates with computational comparison of a subset of seven meningococcal genome sequences. Principal Findings: We found that lateral gene transfer of minimal mobile elements as well as prophages are major forces shaping meningococcal population structure. Extensive gene content comparison revealed novel associations of virulence with genetic elements besides the recently discovered meningococcal disease associated (MDA) island. In particular, we identified an association of virulence with a recently described canonical genomic island termed IHT-E and a differential distribution of genes encoding RTX toxin-and two-partner secretion systems among hyperinvasive and non-hyperinvasive lineages. By computationally screening also the core genome for signs of recombination, we provided evidence that about 40% of the meningococcal core genes are affected by recombination primarily within metabolic genes as well as genes involved in DNA replication and repair. By comparison with the results of previous mCGH studies, our data indicated that genetic structuring as revealed by mCGH is stable over time and highly similar for isolates from different geographic origins. Conclusions: Recombination comprising lateral transfer of entire genes as well as homologous intragenic recombination has a profound impact on meningococcal population structure and genome composition. Our data support the hypothesis that meningococcal virulence is polygenic in nature and that differences in metabolism might contribute to virulence

    Measurement of differential cross sections for top quark pair production using the lepton plus jets final state in proton-proton collisions at 13 TeV

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    National Science Foundation (U.S.

    Particle-flow reconstruction and global event description with the CMS detector

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    The CMS apparatus was identified, a few years before the start of the LHC operation at CERN, to feature properties well suited to particle-flow (PF) reconstruction: a highly-segmented tracker, a fine-grained electromagnetic calorimeter, a hermetic hadron calorimeter, a strong magnetic field, and an excellent muon spectrometer. A fully-fledged PF reconstruction algorithm tuned to the CMS detector was therefore developed and has been consistently used in physics analyses for the first time at a hadron collider. For each collision, the comprehensive list of final-state particles identified and reconstructed by the algorithm provides a global event description that leads to unprecedented CMS performance for jet and hadronic tau decay reconstruction, missing transverse momentum determination, and electron and muon identification. This approach also allows particles from pileup interactions to be identified and enables efficient pileup mitigation methods. The data collected by CMS at a centre-of-mass energy of 8 TeV show excellent agreement with the simulation and confirm the superior PF performance at least up to an average of 20 pileup interactions

    Differential cross section measurements for the production of a W boson in association with jets in proton–proton collisions at √s = 7 TeV

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    Measurements are reported of differential cross sections for the production of a W boson, which decays into a muon and a neutrino, in association with jets, as a function of several variables, including the transverse momenta (pT) and pseudorapidities of the four leading jets, the scalar sum of jet transverse momenta (HT), and the difference in azimuthal angle between the directions of each jet and the muon. The data sample of pp collisions at a centre-of-mass energy of 7 TeV was collected with the CMS detector at the LHC and corresponds to an integrated luminosity of 5.0 fb[superscript −1]. The measured cross sections are compared to predictions from Monte Carlo generators, MadGraph + pythia and sherpa, and to next-to-leading-order calculations from BlackHat + sherpa. The differential cross sections are found to be in agreement with the predictions, apart from the pT distributions of the leading jets at high pT values, the distributions of the HT at high-HT and low jet multiplicity, and the distribution of the difference in azimuthal angle between the leading jet and the muon at low values.United States. Dept. of EnergyNational Science Foundation (U.S.)Alfred P. Sloan Foundatio