754 research outputs found

    Analogue and digital linear modulation techniques for mobile satellite

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    The choice of modulation format for a mobile satellite service is complex. The subjective performance is summarized of candidate schemes and voice coder technologies. It is shown that good performance can be achieved with both analogue and digital voice systems, although the analogue system gives superior performance in fading. The results highlight the need for flexibility in the choice of signaling format. Linear transceiver technology capable of using many forms of narrowband modulation is described

    Mitigation: Plausible mitigation targets

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    Whether the widely accepted 2 °C limit for climate change is practically achievable depends partly on climate sensitivity, but predominantly on complex socio-economic dynamics

    Modelling socio-technical transition patterns and pathways

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    We report on research that is developing a simulation model for assessing systemic innovations, or 'transitions', of societal systems towards a more sustainable development. Our overall aim is to outline design principles for models that can offer new insights into tackling persistent problems in large-scale systems, such as the European road transport system or the regional management of water resources. The systemic nature of these problems is associated with them being complex, uncertain and cutting across a number of sectors, and indicates a need for radical technological and behavioural solutions that address changes at the systems level rather than offering incremental changes within sub-systems. Model design is inspired by recent research into transitions, an emerging paradigm which provides a framework for tackling persistent problems. We use concepts from the literature on transitions to develop a prototype of a generic 'transition model'. Our prototype aims to capture different types of transition pathways, using historical examples such as the transition from horse-drawn carriages to cars or that from sailing ships to steam ships. The model combines agent-based modelling techniques and system dynamics, and includes interactions of individual agents and sub-systems, as well as cumulative effects on system structures. We show success in simulating different historical transition pathways by adapting the model's parameters and rules for each example. Finally, we discuss the improvements necessary for systematically exploring and detailing transition pathways in empirical case-study applications to current and future transitions such as the transition to a sustainable transport system in Europe

    New Gravity Map of the Western Galicia Margin:The Spanish Exclusive Economic Zone Project

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    Since 1995, the most intensive mapping of the seafloor off the Spanish coast has been carried out in the framework of the Spanish Exclusive Economic Zone Project (ZEEE).The main objectives of this project are to obtain improved multibeam bathymetric cartography of the areas off Spanish coastlines, and to perform a geophysical survey,well-suited with a 10-knot navigation velocity (some techniques requires lower navigation velocity). The geophysical survey includes gravity, geomagnetism, and low-penetration seismic techniques in order to infer the geological structure of the seafloor. Other oceanographic variables such as current, surface salinity, and temperature profiles, can be recorded without compromising this systematic survey effort. The ZEEE Project has carried out its survey activities for one month every year.Data acquisition is achieved aboard the Spanish R/V Hesperides. Until 1997, surveying efforts concentrated on the Balearic Sea and Valencia Gulf, both in the western Mediterranean Sea. Between 1998 and 2000, the ZEEE Project investigations were conducted offshore the Canary Archipelago. Since 2001, the third phase of the program has been focused on the West Galicia Margin in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean. Survey results on the West Galicia Margin area are of interest for two key reasons. First, there is great scientific interest in the improvement of the knowledge of this non-volcanic rifting margin, since this margin offers good conditions for the study of the processes that take place in this type of geological context,because it is sediment-starved. Second, the obtained results also have major socioeconomic repercussions because they can prove significant to defining the expansion of the Spanish shelf,beyond Spain’s Economic Exclusive Zone distance of 200 nautical miles. All of the gravity data acquired to date on this area have been stored as a database, with the aim of preparing gravity anomaly maps on a scale 1:200,000.The database and gravity anomaly charts from the ZEEE Project will provide the most coherent and complete gravity perspective available for this area. This article describes the efforts and accomplishments of the project to date

    Changing social contracts in climate-change adaptation

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    Risks from extreme weather events are mediated through state, civil society and individual action 1 , 2 . We propose evolving social contracts as a primary mechanism by which adaptation to climate change proceeds. We use a natural experiment of policy and social contexts of the UK and Ireland affected by the same meteorological event and resultant flooding in November 2009. We analyse data from policy documents and from household surveys of 356 residents in western Ireland and northwest England. We find significant differences between perceptions of individual responsibility for protection across the jurisdictions and between perceptions of future risk from populations directly affected by flooding events. These explain differences in stated willingness to take individual adaptive actions when state support retrenches. We therefore show that expectations for state protection are critical in mediating impacts and promoting longer-term adaptation. We argue that making social contracts explicit may smooth pathways to effective and legitimate adaptation

    Towards standard setting for patient-reported outcomes in the NHS homeopathic hospitals

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    We report findings from a pilot data collection study within a programme of quality assurance, improvement and development across all five homeopathic hospitals in the UK National Health Service (NHS).<p></p> <b>Aims</b> (1) To pilot the collection of clinical data in the homeopathic hospital outpatient setting, recording patient-reported outcome since first appointment; (2) to sample the range of medical complaints that secondary-care doctors treat using homeopathy, and thus identify the nature and complexity of complaints most frequently treated nationally; (3) to present a cross section of outcome scores by appointment number, including that for the most frequently treated medical complaints; (4) to explore approaches to standard setting for homeopathic practice outcome in patients treated at the homeopathic hospitals.<p></p> <b>Methods</b> A total of 51 medical practitioners took part in data collection over a 4-week period. Consecutive patient appointments were recorded under the headings: (1) date of first appointment in the current series; (2) appointment number; (3) age of patient; (4) sex of patient; (5) main medical complaint being treated; (6) whether other main medical complaint(s); (7) patient-reported change in health, using Outcome Related to Impact on Daily Living (ORIDL) and its derivative, the ORIDL Profile Score (ORIDL-PS; range, –4 to +4, where a score ≤−2 or ≥+2 indicates an effect on the quality of a patient's daily life); (8) receipt of other complementary medicine for their main medical complaint.<p></p> <b>Results</b> The distribution of patient age was bimodal: main peak, 49 years; secondary peak, 6 years. Male:female ratio was 1:3.5. Data were recorded on a total of 1797 individual patients: 195 first appointments, 1602 follow-ups (FUs). Size of clinical service and proportion of patients who attended more than six visits varied between hospitals. A total of 235 different medical complaints were reported. The 30 most commonly treated complaints were (in decreasing order of frequency): eczema; chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS); menopausal disorder; osteoarthritis; depression; breast cancer; rheumatoid arthritis; asthma; anxiety; irritable bowel syndrome; multiple sclerosis; psoriasis; allergy (unspecified); fibromyalgia; migraine; premenstrual syndrome; chronic rhinitis; headache; vitiligo; seasonal allergic rhinitis; chronic intractable pain; insomnia; ulcerative colitis; acne; psoriatic arthropathy; urticaria; ovarian cancer; attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); epilepsy; sinusitis. The proportion of patients with important co-morbidity was higher in those seen after visit 6 (56.9%) compared with those seen up to and including that point (40.7%; P < 0.001). The proportion of FU patients reporting ORIDL-PS ≥ +2 (improvement affecting daily living) increased overall with appointment number: 34.5% of patients at visit 2 and 59.3% of patients at visit 6, for example. Amongst the four most frequently treated complaints, the proportion of patients that reported ORIDL-PS ≥ +2 at visit numbers greater than 6 varied between 59.3% (CFS) and 73.3% (menopausal disorder).<p></p> <b>Conclusions</b> We have successfully piloted a process of national clinical data collection using patient-reported outcome in homeopathic hospital outpatients, identifying a wide range and complexity of medical complaints treated in that setting. After a series of homeopathy appointments, a high proportion of patients, often representing “effectiveness gaps” for conventional medical treatment, reported improvement in health affecting their daily living. These pilot findings are informing our developing programme of standard setting for homeopathic care in the hospital outpatient context

    Visual Climate Change Communication: From Iconography To Locally Framed 3D Visualization

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    Climate change is an urgent problem with implications registered not only globally, but also on national and local scales. It is a particularly challenging case of environmental communication because its main cause, greenhouse gas emissions, is invisible. The predominant approach of making climate change visible is the use of iconic, often affective, imagery. Literature on the iconography of climate change shows that global iconic motifs, such as polar bears, have contributed to a public perception of the problem as spatially and temporally remote. This paper proposes an alternative approach to global climate change icons by focusing on recognizable representations of local impacts within an interactive game environment. This approach was implemented and tested in a research project based on the municipality of Delta, British Columbia. A major outcome of the research is Future Delta, an interactive educational game featuring 3D visualizations and simulation tools for climate change adaptation and mitigation future scenarios. The empirical evaluation is based on quantitative pre/post-game play questionnaires with 18 students and 10 qualitative expert interviews. The findings support the assumption that interactive 3D imagery is effective in communicating climate change. The quantitative post-questionnaires particularly highlight a shift in support of more local responsibility

    Differential activation of JNK1 isoforms by TRAIL receptors modulate apoptosis of colon cancer cell lines

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    Tumour necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) induces apoptosis on binding to its receptors, death receptor 4 and 5 (DR4, DR5). TRAIL can also activate c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) through the adaptor molecules, TNF receptor-associated factor 2 (TRAF2) and receptor-interacting protein (RIP). The role of JNK in TRAIL-induced tumour cell apoptosis is unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that JNK is activated by TRAIL in colon cancer cells. Inhibition of JNK with L-JNKI reduced rhTRAIL-induced cell death but enhanced cell death induced by selective activation of DR4 or DR5. This difference was unrelated to receptor internalisation or differential activation of c-Jun, but activation of different JNK isoforms. Our data demonstrate that JNK1, but not JNK2 is activated by rhTRAIL in the examined colon cancer cell lines. Although rhTRAIL activated both the long and short isoforms of JNK1, selective activation of DR4 or DR5 led to predominant activation of the short JNK1 isoforms (JNK1α1 and/or JNK1β1). Knockdown of JNK1α1 by shRNA enhanced apoptosis induced by TRAIL, agonistic DR4 or DR5 antibodies. On the other hand, knockdown of the long JNK1 isoforms (JNK1α2 and JNK1β2) had the opposite effect; it reduced TRAIL-induced cell death. These data indicate that the short JNK1 isoforms transmit an antiapoptotic signal, whereas the long isoforms (JNK1α2 or JNK1β2) act in a proapoptotic manner

    Building a Social Mandate for Climate Action: Lessons from COVID-19

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    The COVID-19 imposed lockdown has led to a number of temporary environmental side effects (reduced global emissions, cleaner air, less noise), that the climate community has aspired to achieve over a number of decades. However, these benefits have been achieved at a massive cost to welfare and the economy. This commentary draws lessons from the COVID-19 crisis for climate change. It discusses whether there are more sustainable ways of achieving these benefits, as part of a more desirable, low carbon resilient future, in a more planned, inclusive and less disruptive way. In order to achieve this, we argue for a clearer social contract between citizens and the state. We discuss how COVID-19 has demonstrated that behaviours can change abruptly, that these changes come at a cost, that we need a ‘social mandate’ to ensure these changes remain in the long-term, and that science plays an important role in informing this process. We suggest that deliberative engagement mechanisms, such as citizens’ assemblies and juries, could be a powerful way to build a social mandate for climate action post-COVID-19. This would enable behaviour changes to become more accepted, embedded and bearable in the long-term and provide the basis for future climate action
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