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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

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

Subject Responses to Electrochromic Windows

Description: Forty-three subjects worked in a private office with switchable electrochromic windows, manually-operated Venetian blinds, and dimmable fluorescent lights. The electrochromic window had a visible transmittance range of approximately 3-60%. Analysis of subject responses and physical data collected during the work sessions showed that the electrochromic windows reduced the incidence of glare compared to working under a fixed transmittance (60%) condition. Subjects used the Venetian blinds less often and preferred the variable transmittance condition, but used slightly more electric lighting with it than they did when window transmittance was fixed.
Date: March 3, 2006
Creator: Clear, Robert; Inkarojrit, Vorapat & Lee, Eleanor
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Communal spaces: aggregation and integration in the Mogollon Region of the United States Southwest

Description: Aggregation and integration are processes that occur in human societies throughout the globe. An informative example of population aggregation and social integration can be observed in the North American desert borderlands from A.D. 250 to 1450 in the area known as the Mogollon region. In fact, Mogollon communities oscillated from smaller social groups into larger ones and dispersed into smaller groups only to form larger ones again. For this reason, examining the groups of people living in the Mogollon region provides a magnified view of social change over a substantial period. Understanding patterns of aggregation and integration provides researchers with the promise for research into the nature of these phenomena. In general, the Mogollon region is characterized by limited water supplies and low average annual precipitation. However, pockets of the Mogollon area, including the Mimbres valley and the Gila River valley, represent oases, where permanent rivers and their associated tributaries allowed for the pursuit of agricultural endeavors and access to a wide variety of wild plant and animal resources. The areas with these kinds of potential became population centers for previously dispersed groups of people living in the region. These people exploited natural resources and practiced agriculture in areas surrounding their communities. Over time, more organized aggregated and socially integrated communities were established throughout the region. Using ancient Mogollon communal architecture, commonly called kivas, this study examines issues of, and evidence for, population aggregation and social integration.
Date: December 1, 2006
Creator: Nisengard, Jennifer E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evolving T-cell vaccine strategies for HIV, the virus with a thousand faces

Description: HIV's rapid global spread and the human suffering it has left in its wake have made AIDS a global heath priority for the 25 years since its discovery. Yet its capacity to rapidly evolve has made combating this virus a tremendous challenge. The obstacles to creating an effective HIV vaccine are formidable, but there are advances in the field on many fronts, in terms of novel vectors, adjuvants, and antigen design strategies. SIV live attenuated vaccine models are able to confer protection against heterologous challenge, and this continues to provide opportunities to explore the biological underpinnings of a protective effect (9). More indirect, but equally important, is new understanding regarding the biology of acute infection (43), the role of immune response in long-term non-progression (6,62, 81), and defining characteristics of broadly neutralizing antibodies (4). In this review we will focus on summarizing strategies directed towards a single issue, that of contending with HIV variation in terms of designing aT-cell vaccine. The strategies that prove most effective in this area can ultimately be combined with the best strategies under development in other areas, with the hope of ultimately converging on a viable vaccine candidate. Only two large HIV vaccine efficacy trials have been completed and both have failed to prevent infection or confer a benefit to infected individual (23,34), but there is ample reason to continue our efforts. A historic breakthrough came in 1996, when it was realized that although the virus could escape from a single antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, it could be thwarted by a combination of medications that simultaneously targeted different parts of the virus (HAART) (38). This revelation came after 15 years of research, thought, and clinical testing; to enable that vital progress the research and clinical communities had to first define and understand, then develop a strategy ...
Date: January 1, 2009
Creator: Korber, Bette
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contaminant Uptake and Demography of the Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Site 300

Description: Concentrations of eleven potential environmental contaminants (metals) in the blood and retrice feathers of fledged-Hatch Year and adult loggerhead shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus) were examined at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Site 300 and a control site, in San Joaquin and Contra Costa Counties, California. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine, through non-lethal means, if loggerhead shrikes are exposed to metals at Site 300 and whether specific demographic variables (i.e., clutch size, fledgling success, etc.) are affected. Loggerhead shrikes at Site 300 had higher blood concentrations of metals, especially birds on the west side of the site, when compared to control site birds. Metal concentrations in the feathers of control site birds tended to be higher than Site 300 shrikes. Blood concentrations of metals in loggerhead shrikes from both Site 300 and the control site were well below the Most Tolerant Dietary Level (MTDL) for domestic birds for all metals except selenium. Clutch size was similar to other populations but one deformed embryo was discovered in a failed egg. The results of this pilot study suggest further work is needed to understand possible synergistic effects related to other contaminants of concern found at Site 300 and overall population variability.
Date: February 23, 2005
Creator: van Hattem, M G & Santolo, G
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

End Sequencing and Finger Printing of Human & Mouse BAC Libraries

Description: This project provided for continued end sequencing of existing and new BAC libraries constructed to support human sequencing as well as to initiate BAC end sequencing from the mouse BAC libraries constructed to support mouse sequencing. The clones, the sequences, and the fingerprints are now an available resource for the community at large. Research and development of new metaodologies for BAC end sequencing have reduced costs and increase throughput.
Date: September 27, 2005
Creator: Fraser, C.
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