Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Resource allocation


Global programs of anti-HIV treatment depend on sustained laboratory capacity to assess treatment initiation thresholds and treatment response over time. Currently, there is no valid alternative to CD4 count testing for monitoring immunologic responses to treatment, but laboratory cost and capacity limit access to CD4 testing in resource-constrained settings. Thus, methods to prioritize patients for CD4 count testing could improve treatment monitoring by optimizing resource allocation.

Concepts: Retrospective, Economics, CD4, Resource allocation, Resource, Allocation of resources


BackgroundAs proposed by Darwin, climbers have been assumed to allocate a smaller fraction of biomass to support organs in comparison with self-supporting plants. They have also been hypothesized to possess a set of traits associated with fast growth, resource uptake and high productivity.ScopeIn this review, these hypotheses are evaluated by assembling and synthesizing published and unpublished data sets from across the globe concerning resource allocation, growth rates and traits of leaves, stems and roots of climbers and self-supporting species.ConclusionsThe majority of studies offer little support for the smaller allocation of biomass to stems or greater relative growth rates in climbers; however, these results are based on small sized (<1 kg) plants. Simulations based on allometric biomass equations demonstrate, however, that larger lianas allocate a greater fraction of above-ground biomass to leaves (and therefore less biomass to stems) compared with similar sized trees. A survey of leaf traits of lianas revealed their lower average leaf mass per area (LMA), higher N and P concentration and a slightly higher mass-based photosynthetic rate, as well as a lower concentration of phenolic-based compounds than in woody self-supporting species, consistent with the specialization of lianas towards the fast metabolism/rapid turnover end of the global trait spectra. Liana stems have an efficient hydraulic design and unique mechanical features, while roots appear to penetrate deeper soil levels than in trees and are often able to generate hydraulic pressure. Much remains to be learned, however, about these and other functional specializations of their axial organs and the associated trade-offs. Developmental switches between self-supporting, searcher and climbing shoots within the same individual are a promising field of comparative studies on trait association in lianas. Finally, some of the vast trait variability within lianas may be reduced when species with different climbing mechanisms are considered separately, and when phylogenetic conservatism is accounted for.

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Leaf, Plant morphology, Resource allocation, Climbing


The Syrian armed conflict has been ongoing since 2011 and has already caused thousands of deaths. The analysis of death tolls helps to understand the dynamics of the conflict and to better allocate resources and aid to the affected areas. In this article, we use information on the daily number of deaths to study temporal and spatial correlations in the data, and exploit this information to forecast events of deaths. We found that the number of violent deaths per day in Syria varies more widely than that in England in which non-violent deaths dominate. We have identified strong positive auto-correlations in Syrian cities and non-trivial cross-correlations across some of them. The results indicate synchronization in the number of deaths at different times and locations, suggesting respectively that local attacks are followed by more attacks at subsequent days and that coordinated attacks may also take place across different locations. Thus the analysis of high temporal resolution data across multiple cities makes it possible to infer attack strategies, warn potential occurrence of future events, and hopefully avoid further deaths.

Concepts: Time, Death, Future, Logic, Golan Heights, Resource allocation, Ancient Rome, Syrian


Bees provide critical pollination services to 87% of angiosperm plants; however, the reliability of these services may become threatened as bee populations decline. Agricultural intensification, resulting in the simplification of environments at the landscape scale, greatly changes the quality and quantity of resources available for female bees to provision their offspring. These changes may alter or constrain the tradeoffs in maternal investment allocation between offspring size, number and sex required to maximize fitness. Here we investigate the relationship between landscape scale agricultural intensification and the size and number of individuals within a wild ground nesting bee species, Andrena nasonii. We show that agricultural intensification at the landscape scale was associated with a reduction in the average size of field collected A. nasonii adults in highly agricultural landscapes but not with the number of individuals collected. Small females carried significantly smaller (40%) pollen loads than large females, which is likely to have consequences for subsequent offspring production and fitness. Thus, landscape simplification is likely to constrain allocation of resources to offspring through a reduction in the overall quantity, quality and distribution of resources.

Concepts: Evolution, Insect, Sex, Flowering plant, Flower, Bee, Resource allocation, Bees


The scientific interest in meditation and mindfulness practice has recently seen an unprecedented surge. After an initial phase of presenting beneficial effects of mindfulness practice in various domains, research is now seeking to unravel the underlying psychological and neurophysiological mechanisms. Advances in understanding these processes are required for improving and fine-tuning mindfulness-based interventions that target specific conditions such as eating disorders or attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. This review presents a theoretical framework that emphasizes the central role of attentional control mechanisms in the development of mindfulness skills. It discusses the phenomenological level of experience during meditation, the different attentional functions that are involved, and relates these to the brain networks that subserve these functions. On the basis of currently available empirical evidence specific processes as to how attention exerts its positive influence are considered and it is concluded that meditation practice appears to positively impact attentional functions by improving resource allocation processes. As a result, attentional resources are allocated more fully during early processing phases which subsequently enhance further processing. Neural changes resulting from a pure form of mindfulness practice that is central to most mindfulness programs are considered from the perspective that they constitute a useful reference point for future research. Furthermore, possible interrelations between the improvement of attentional control and emotion regulation skills are discussed.

Concepts: Scientific method, Psychology, Attention, Neuroscience, Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Hyperactivity, Buddhist meditation, Resource allocation


Relapse is high in lifestyle obesity interventions involving behavior and weight change. Identifying mediators of successful outcomes in these interventions is critical to improve effectiveness and to guide approaches to obesity treatment, including resource allocation. This article reviews the most consistent self-regulation mediators of medium- and long-term weight control, physical activity, and dietary intake in clinical and community behavior change interventions targeting overweight/obese adults.

Concepts: Nutrition, Obesity, Physical exercise, Overweight, Weight loss, Review, Physical fitness, Resource allocation


As Zika virus continues to spread, decisions regarding resource allocations to control the outbreak underscore the need for a tool to weigh policies according to their cost and the health burden they could avert. For example, to combat the current Zika outbreak the US President requested the allocation of $1.8 billion from Congress in February 2016.

Concepts: President of the United States, United States Congress, United States Constitution, Ronald Reagan, Resource allocation, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton


Current cancer mortality statistics are important for public health decision making and resource allocation. Age standardized rates and numbers of deaths are predicted for 2016 in the European Union.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Senescence, European Union, United States, Estonia, Resource allocation, European integration, Largest urban areas of the European Union


BACKGROUND: Medicare Part A provides similar resources for coverage of inpatient hospitalization costs for patients treated with total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) and reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA). This is based on an assumption that TSA and RSA are used to treat similar patient populations with comparable disease severity. However, no objective clinical information is available to support this resource allocation. The purpose of this study is to quantify the disease severity and subsequent improvement from primary TSA, primary RSA, and revision arthroplasty (TSA and RSA). METHODS: From March 2004 through May 2006, 174 shoulders (87 primary TSA, 55 primary RSA, and 32 revision cases) were prospectively studied using Biodex (Biodex Medical Systems, Shirley, NY, USA) isometric strength and standardized video range of motion measurements performed by an independent third-party observer at 1 week before surgery and at an average of 49 months (range, 32-69 months) postoperatively. Patient impairment ratings were calculated using the Florida Impairment Guidelines. RESULTS: Primary TSA had the lowest average preoperative impairment (21%), and revision arthroplasty had the highest (28%). All patients demonstrated improvement in the parameters tested. At an average 49 months, all 3 groups demonstrated a similar reduction in impairment ratings (TSA: 21% to 10%; RSA: 25% to 15%; revision arthroplasties: 28% to 20%). CONCLUSION: There are distinct differences in preoperative disease severity among patients undergoing primary TSA, primary RSA, and revision arthroplasty. Greater impairment is evident in patients undergoing a revision arthroplasty. However, all groups may be expected to achieve improvements and maintain these improvements 4 years postoperatively.

Concepts: Improve, Patient, Hospital, Physician, Range of motion, Isometric exercise, Resource allocation, Allocation of resources


European countries are facing increasing pressures on their water resources despite stringent regulations and systematic efforts on environmental protection. In this context, research and innovation play a strategic role reinforcing the efficiency of water policies. The present study provides a multilevel assessment of research and innovation practices in the field of water resource management in southern European countries and regions (more specifically; Cyprus, Albania, Poitou-Charentes in France, Andalusia in Spain and the North of Portugal). The analysis was based on a strategic framework aimed at gaining an insight of the current constraints, as well as of the existing and future technological solutions for a better water resource management. The triple helix model proved to be a useful analytical framework for assessing the efforts of different groups towards a common goal. The analysis proved the existence of a significant evolution in the use of technological tools to assist decision-making processes in integrated river basin management in all regions. Nevertheless, the absence of formal channels for knowledge and data exchange between researchers and water resource managers complicates the formers involvement in the decision-making process regarding water allocation. Both researchers and consultants emphasize the low availability of data, together with the need to advance on water resource economics as relevant constraints in the field. The SWOT analysis showed similar concerns among the participating regions and provided a battery of effective projects that resulted in the preparation of a Joint Action Plan.

Concepts: Water, Hydrology, Management, Strategic management, Europe, Water resources, Resource allocation, Resource management