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Revisiting the age of enlightenment from a collective decision making systems perspective

Description: The ideals of the eighteenth century's Age of Enlightenment are the foundation of modern democracies. The era was characterized by thinkers who promoted progressive social reforms that opposed the long-established aristocracies and monarchies of the time. Prominent examples of such reforms include the establishment of inalienable human rights, self-governing republics, and market capitalism. Twenty-first century democratic nations can benefit from revisiting the systems developed during the Enlightenment and reframing them within the techno-social context of the Information Age. This article explores the application of social algorithms that make use of Thomas Paine's (English: 1737--1809) representatives, Adam Smith's (Scottish: 1723--1790) self-interested actors, and Marquis de Condorcet's (French: 1743--1794) optimal decision making groups. It is posited that technology-enabled social algorithms can better realize the ideals articulated during the Enlightenment.
Date: January 1, 2009
Creator: Rodriguez, Marko A & Watkins, Jennifer H
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Limitations of science and adaptive management

Description: Adaptive management consists in patterning human sustenancewithin the constraints of Earth and biological systems whose behavior isinherently uncertain and difficult to control. For successful adaptivemanagement, a mind-set recognizing the limitations of science isneeded.
Date: December 20, 2001
Creator: Narasimhan, T.N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Expected residence time model

Description: The Transportation Technology Department of Sandia National Laboratories develops analytical and computational tools for the US Department of Energy to assess the radiological consequences and risks from the transportation of radioactive materials by all modes. When large quantities of materials are to be transported movements may occur over an extended period of time in what is collectively referred as a ``shipping campaign``. Since the routes over which the shipments occur often remain the same, cumulative exposure to individuals inhabiting the population zones adjacent to the transport links must be estimated. However, individuals do not remain in the same residences throughout their lifetimes and, in fact, move quite often. To appropriately allocate exposures among populations over extended periods of time, perhaps years, requires a model that accounts for three population categories; (1) the original populations residing in the areas adjacent to the transport links, (2) individuals moving out and (3) individuals moving into residences in the designated areas. The model described here accounts for these conditions and will be incorporated as a user option in the RADTRAN computer code for transportation consequence and risk analysis (Reference 1). RADTRAN is a computer code for estimating the consequences and risks associated with the transport of radioactive materials.
Date: March 1, 1996
Creator: Smith, J.D.; Neuhauser, K.S. & Kanipe, F.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Genetic Privacy Act and commentary

Description: The Genetic Privacy Act is a proposal for federal legislation. The Act is based on the premise that genetic information is different from other types of personal information in ways that require special protection. The DNA molecule holds an extensive amount of currently indecipherable information. The major goal of the Human Genome Project is to decipher this code so that the information it contains is accessible. The privacy question is, accessible to whom? The highly personal nature of the information contained in DNA can be illustrated by thinking of DNA as containing an individual`s {open_quotes}future diary.{close_quotes} A diary is perhaps the most personal and private document a person can create. It contains a person`s innermost thoughts and perceptions, and is usually hidden and locked to assure its secrecy. Diaries describe the past. The information in one`s genetic code can be thought of as a coded probabilistic future diary because it describes an important part of a unique and personal future. This document presents an introduction to the proposal for federal legislation `the Genetic Privacy Act`; a copy of the proposed act; and comment.
Date: February 28, 1995
Creator: Annas, G.J.; Glantz, L.H. & Roche, P.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Near-ground cooling efficacies of trees and high-albedo surfaces

Description: Daytime summer urban heat islands arise when the prevalence of dark-colored surfaces and lack of vegetation make a city warmer than neighboring countryside. Two frequently-proposed summer heat island mitigation measures are to plant trees and to increase the albedo (solar reflectivity) of ground surfaces. This dissertation examines the effects of these measures on the surface temperature of an object near the ground, and on solar heating of air near the ground. Near-ground objects include people, vehicles, and buildings. The variation of the surface temperature of a near-ground object with ground albedo indicates that a rise in ground albedo will cool a near-ground object only if the object`s albedo exceeds a critical value. This critical value of object albedo depends on wind speed, object geometry, and the height of the atmospheric thermal boundary layer. It ranges from 0.15 to 0.37 for a person. If an object has typical albedo of 0.3, increasing the ground albedo by.
Date: May 1, 1997
Creator: Levinson, R.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Functional Genomics Initiative at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Description: The Functional Genomics Initiative at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory integrates outstanding capabilities in mouse genetics, bioinformatics, and instrumentation. The 50 year investment by the DOE in mouse genetics/mutagenesis has created a one-of-a-kind resource for generating mutations and understanding their biological consequences. It is generally accepted that, through the mouse as a surrogate for human biology, we will come to understand the function of human genes. In addition to this world class program in mammalian genetics, ORNL has also been a world leader in developing bioinformatics tools for the analysis, management and visualization of genomic data. Combining this expertise with new instrumentation technologies will provide a unique capability to understand the consequences of mutations in the mouse at both the organism and molecular levels. The goal of the Functional Genomics Initiative is to develop the technology and methodology necessary to understand gene function on a genomic scale and apply these technologies to megabase regions of the human genome. The effort is scoped so as to create an effective and powerful resource for functional genomics. ORNL is partnering with the Joint Genome Institute and other large scale sequencing centers to sequence several multimegabase regions of both human and mouse genomic DNA, to identify all the genes in these regions, and to conduct fundamental surveys to examine gene function at the molecular and organism level. The Initiative is designed to be a pilot for larger scale deployment in the post-genome era. Technologies will be applied to the examination of gene expression and regulation, metabolism, gene networks, physiology and development.
Date: December 31, 1997
Creator: Johnson, Dabney; Justice, Monica; Beattle, Ken; Buchanan, Michelle; Ramsey, Michael; Ramsey, Rose et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

What Makes a Simulation Useful

Description: Modern computers make possible a new blending of systems, man, and cybernetics in the detailed simulation of large sociotechnical systems. Several such simulations are currently under development at Los Alamos National Laboratory and elsewhere. When deployed, they will affect the daily lives of hundreds of millions of people and the allocation of billions of dollars. Whether they are deployed depends entirely on their perceived usefulness, which in turn depends on answers to the following: What kinds of questions does the simulation address and what kinds of solutions does it provide? How can the solutions be validated? Is simulation more cost-effective than other methods? Answers to these questions lead us to define a useful simulation as one which efficiently provides correct, robust estimates required by decision-making needs, together with well understood variability for the outcomes in hypothetical situations. This paper examines the implications of this criterion for the design o f TRANSIMS, a regional transportation network simulation, and by extension, for simulations of other sociotechnical systems.
Date: October 12, 1999
Creator: Eubank, S.G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Models of reality : the unconscious tattletale.

Description: Humans are constantly subjected to enormous amounts of information greatly exceeding our conscious ability to sense fully experiences vis-a-vis reality. As a consequence, we assimilate this vast array of information at the unconscious level so it can later be considered useful during the process of identifying belief systems and behaviors for learning, decision-making, memory, language, and knowledge. These assimilations are ordered using internal strategies that can be externally observed as analog feedback behavior(s) from an individual's unconscious. These can then be concisely expressed in models for application regarding effective choices in decision-making and learning strategies, memory access, and the actualization of other understandings and applied as knowledge. How we can learn from the unconscious is the focus of this paper.
Date: August 29, 2000
Creator: Brown-VanHoozer, S. A. & VanHoozer, W. R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Health risk from earthquake caused releases of UF{sub 6} at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant

Description: The health risk to the public and workers from potential exposure to the toxic materials from earthquake caused releases of uranium hexafluoride from the Paducah gaseous Diffusion Plant are evaluated. The results of the study show that the health risk from earthquake caused releases is small, and probably less than risks associated with the transportation of hydrogen fluoride and other similar chemicals used by industry. The probability of more than 30 people experiencing health consequences (injuries) from earthquake damage is less than 4xlO{sup 4}/yr.
Date: May 1, 1998
Creator: Brown, N.W; Lu, S.; Chen, J.C.; Roehnelt, R. & Lombardi, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Use of chromosome translocations for measuring prior environment exposures in humans

Description: Recent advances in cytogenetic methodology are beginning to have a major impact upon our ability to provide assessments of environmental exposure in humans. The advent of fluorescent-based techniques for `painting` whole chromosomes has made the analysis of chromosome translocations rapid, specific, sensitive and routine. Chromosome painting has been used to address a wide variety of scientific questions, resulting in an increased understanding of the biological consequences of adverse environmental exposure. This paper describes the use of chromosome translocations as a biological marker of exposure and effect in humans. The relevance of translocations is discussed, as are the advantages and disadvantages of painting compared to classical cytogenetic methods for translocation evaluation. The factors to consider in the use of translocations as a retrospective indicator of exposure are then described. Several theoretical parameters that are important to the use of translocations are provided, and the paper concludes with a vision for the future of cytogenetic methodology.
Date: May 1, 1997
Creator: Tucker, J. D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Identification and Characterization of a Human DNA Double-Strand Break Repair Complex

Description: The authors have used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to characterize the assembly and structure of the macromolecular assemblies involved in DNA repair. They have demonstrated using AFM that the DNA-dependent protein kinase can play a structural role in the repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) by physically holding DNA ends together. They have extended these studies to include other DNA damage response proteins, these efforts have resulted in important and novel findings regarding the ATM protein. Specifically, the work has demonstrated, for the first time, that the ATM protein binds with specificity to a DNA end. This finding is the first to implicate the ATM protein in the detection of DNA damage by direct physical interaction with DSBs.
Date: July 12, 1999
Creator: Chen, D.J. & Cary, R.B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reexamining traditional issues in survey research: Just how evil is the anathema of low response rate?

Description: Survey researchers have long been exhorted to strive for high response rates in order to maximize the likelihood that the respondents are representative of the population being surveyed. It is not surprising then, that much survey research has been directed towards examining the effects of various manipulatable factors on response rate. It is clear that attempts to reach the goal of minimizing the likelihood of nonresponse bias through testing various methods of increasing survey response rates have consumed much research and debate. The results obtained in this research have been inconsistent. Some studies have found significant differences, others have found none. The present study was designed to determine the extent to which the results of an employment survey of former graduates of a teacher preparation program would have been affected by changes in response rate.
Date: August 1, 1995
Creator: Clark, S.B. & Boser, J.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final report-98-ERI-003 identification of population with lifetime 41Ca-labeled skeletons

Description: In 1997 we first postulated the existence of a special human population that had had their skeletons inadvertently isotopically adulterated in the past. We theorized that the population, and the necessary LLNL accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) measurement technology, would prove a significant resource in the fight to combat osteoporosis. This LDRD project was to establish such. The project was significantly successful in its initial year, but was not renewed for another and the research is now ended at LLNL. We proposed a three-year program to (1) confirm the magnitude and extent of historical 41 Ca dosing, (2) exactly characterize the long-term 41 Ca signal by comparing it with conventional measurements of skeletal health, and (3) demonstrate the utility of the historically labeled population in evaluating an actual potential therapy for osteoporosis. However, rather than investigate historical records to learn the identity of those inadvertently dosed, find them, and if possible enroll them into a new protocol, this project was to be particularly efficient by making use of a multiyear archive of samples from original, inadvertent 41 Ca-dosing experiments at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Because the subjects had been dosed in conventional studies of calcium kinetics, much important correlating historical data would also be available for comparison. Measurements of contemporary urine samples specifically provided for this project by selected identified subjects would follow. We discovered a second archive at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. This is potentially a better source of material as the samples were generated in numerous historical evaluations of actual osteoporosis therapies in which 41 Ca-impure radiotracers were used. The therapies might now powerfully be retrospectively evaluated, both to contribute to our understanding of the therapies and to highlight the potential of the use of 41 Ca tracer and LLNL measurement.
Date: February 25, 1999
Creator: Freeman, S P
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program facilities newsletter, August 2000

Description: The primary objective of this USDA program is to provide information to the agricultural community about the geographic and temporal climatology of UV-B radiation. Scientists also use the data to determine changes in stratospheric ozone levels, cloud cover, and aerosols as they pertain to UV-B radiation and to improve the understanding of factors that control transmission of UV-B radiation. Advances have been made in areas of agriculture, human health effects, ecosystem studies, and atmospheric science. ARM Program personnel are excited about being a part of such a worthwhile effort.
Date: August 30, 2000
Creator: Sisterson, D. L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Most of rare missense alleles in humans are deleterious:implications for evolution of complex disease and associationstudies

Description: The accumulation of mildly deleterious missense mutations inindividual human genomes has been proposed to be a genetic basis forcomplex diseases. The plausibility of this hypothesis depends onquantitative estimates of the prevalence of mildly deleterious de novomutations and polymorphic variants in humans and on the intensity ofselective pressure against them. We combined analysis of mutationscausing human Mendelian diseases, human-chimpanzee divergence andsystematic data on human SNPs and found that about 20 percent of newmissense mutations in humans result in a loss of function, while about 27percent are effectively neutral. Thus, more than half of new missensemutations have mildly deleterious effects. These mutations give rise tomany low frequency deleterious allelic variants in the human populationas evident from a new dataset of 37 genes sequenced in over 1,500individual human chromosomes. Surprisingly, up to 70 percent of lowfrequency missense alleles are mildly deleterious and associated with aheterozygous fitness loss in the range 0.001-0.003. Thus, the low allelefrequency of an amino acid variant can by itself serve as a predictor ofits functional significance. Several recent studies have reported asignificant excess of rare missense variants in disease populationscompared to controls in candidate genes or pathways. These studies wouldbe unlikely to work if most rare variants were neutral or if rarevariants were not a significant contributor to the genetic component ofphenotypic inheritance. Our results provide a justification for thesetypes of candidate gene (pathway) association studies and imply thatmutation-selection balance may be a feasible mechanism for evolution ofsome common diseases.
Date: October 24, 2006
Creator: Kryukov, Gregory V.; Pennacchio, Len A. & Sunyaev, Shamil R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energy consumption and expenditure projections by population group on the basis on the annual energy outlook 2000 forecast.

Description: The changes in the patterns of energy use and expenditures by population group are analyzed by using the 1993 and 1997 Residential Energy Consumption Surveys. Historically, these patterns have differed among non-Hispanic White households, non-Hispanic Black households, and Hispanic households. Patterns of energy use and expenditures are influenced by geographic and metropolitan location, the composition of housing stock, economic and demographic status, and the composition of energy use by end-use category. As a consequence, as energy-related factors change across groups, patterns of energy use and expenditures also change. Over time, with changes in the composition of these factors by population group and their variable influences on energy use, the impact on energy use and expenditures has varied across these population groups.
Date: May 31, 2001
Creator: Poyer, D. A. & Sciences, Decision and Information
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department