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A General HIV Incidence Inference Scheme Based on Likelihood of Individual Level Data and a Population Renewal Equation
Guy Severin Mahiane, Rachid Ouifki, Hilmarie Brand, Wim Delva, Alex Welte
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044377
Abstract: We derive a new method to estimate the age specific incidence of an infection with a differential mortality, using individual level infection status data from successive surveys. The method consists of a) an SI-type model to express the incidence rate in terms of the prevalence and its derivatives as well as the difference in mortality rate, and b) a maximum likelihood approach to estimate the prevalence and its derivatives. Estimates can in principle be obtained for any chosen age and time, and no particular assumptions are made about the epidemiological or demographic context. This is in contrast with earlier methods for estimating incidence from prevalence data, which work with aggregated data, and the aggregated effect of demographic and epidemiological rates over the time interval between prevalence surveys. Numerical simulation of HIV epidemics, under the presumption of known excess mortality due to infection, shows improved control of bias and variance, compared to previous methods. Our analysis motivates for a) effort to be applied to obtain accurate estimates of excess mortality rates as a function of age and time among HIV infected individuals and b) use of individual level rather than aggregated data in order to estimate HIV incidence rates at times between two prevalence surveys.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) versus treatment-as-prevention (TasP) for the control of HIV: Where does the balance lie?
Brian G. Williams,Eleanor Gouws,John Hargrove,Cari van Schalkwyk,Hilmarie Brand
Quantitative Biology , 2012,
Abstract: Anti-retroviral drugs can reduce the infectiousness of people living with HIV by about 96%--treatment as prevention or TasP--and can reduce the risk of being infected by an HIV positive person by about 70%--pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP--raising the prospect of using anti-retroviral drugs to stop the epidemic of HIV. The question as to which is more effective, more affordable and more cost effective, and under what conditions, continues to be debated in the scientific literature. Here we compare TasP and PreP in order to determine the conditions under which each strategy is favourable. This analysis suggests that where the incidence of HIV is less than 5% or the risk-reduction under PrEP is less than 50%, TasP is favoured over PrEP; otherwise PrEP is favoured over TasP. The potential for using PreP should therefore be restricted to those among whom the annual incidence of HIV is greater than 5% and TasP reduces transmission by more than 50%. PreP should be considered for commercial sex workers, young women aged about 20 to 25 years, men-who-have-sex with men, or intravenous drug users, but only where the incidence of HIV is high.
Towards Quantitative Characterisation of the Small Force Transducer Used in Nanoindentation Instruments  [PDF]
Zhi Li, Uwe Brand
Modern Instrumentation (MI) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/mi.2013.24009

Quantitative characterization of the mechanical properties of materials in micro-/nano-scale using depth-sensing indentation technique demands high performance of nanoindentation instruments in use. In this paper, the efforts to calibrate the capacitive force transducer of a commercial nanoindentation instrument are presented, where the quasi-static characteristic of the force transducer has been calibrated by a precise compensation balance with a resolution of ~1 nN. To investigate the dynamic response of the transducer, an electrostatic MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical System) based on nano-force transfer standard with nano-Newton (10-9 Newton) resolution and a bandwidth up to 6 kHz have been employed. Preliminary experimental results indicate that 1) the force transducer under calibration has a probing force uncertainty less than 300 nN (1σ) in the calibration range of 1 mN; 2) the transient duration at contact points amounts to 10 seconds; 3) the overshoot of engagement is pre-load dependent.

Selectivities at Work: Climate Concerns in the Midst of Corporatist Interests. The Case of Austria  [PDF]
Ulrich Brand, Adam Pawloff
Journal of Environmental Protection (JEP) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/jep.2014.59080

Despite legally binding greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and good pre-conditions for progressive climate action, emissions in Austria are on the rise. This article explores the reasons why climate change policy is so ineffective in Austria. We show that the social partnership has contributed significantly to the standstill in renewable energy production and the rejection of more ambitious reduction targets concerning greenhouse gas emissions, and consider the role of experts and expertise in climate change policies. The ineffectiveness of climate policy in Austria is largely due to corporatist actors who often act like an ex-ante filter or selective mechanism for what is politically acceptable or possible and what is not. Climate change is for the most part successfully kept off the political agenda and (climate sceptical) politicization does not take place. Insights from the literature on corporatism are enhanced by the concepts of strategic and epistemic selectivity to analyse not only access to the state terrain but also the domination of specific knowledge forms, problem perceptions, and narratives over others.

Public health genomics Relevance of genomics for individual health information management, health policy development and effective health services.
Angela Brand,Helmut Brand
Italian Journal of Public Health , 2006, DOI: 10.2427/5914
Abstract: Healthcare delivery systems are facing fundamental challenges. New ways of organising theses systems based on the different needs of stakeholders’ are required to meet these challenges. While medicine is currently undergoing remarkable developments from its morphological and phenotype orientation to a molecular and genotype orientation, promoting the importance of prognosis and prediction, the discussion about the relevance of genome-based information and technologies for the health care system as a whole and especially for public health is still in its infancy. The following article discusses the relevance of genome-based information and technologies for individual health information management, health policy development and effective health services.
Public Health Genetics : Challenging "Public Health at the Crossroads"
Angela Brand,Helmut Brand
Italian Journal of Public Health , 2005, DOI: 10.2427/5999
Abstract: Dear public health professionals, Honestly, isn’t it time to ask whether or not we are doing “the right things”in public health? Are our present public health strategies evidence-based? The public health agenda demands a vision that reaches beyond research to the application of public health and the determination of it’s impact. In this scenario what is the role of genomics? In the past twenty years, advances in genome research have revolutionised what is known about the role of inheritance in health and disease.[1] Nowadays,we know that our DNA determines not only the cause of single-gene disorders, but also determines our predisposition to common diseases.Whereas medicine is currently undergoing extraordinary developments from its morphological and phenotype orientation to a molecular and genotype orientation, promoting the importance of prognosis and prediction, public health practice has to date concerned itself with environmental determinants of health and disease and has paid scant attention to genetic variations within the population. The advances brought about by genomics is changing these perceptions.[2,3] Many predict, that this knowledge will enable health promotion messages and disease prevention programmes to be specifically directed at susceptible individuals or at subgroups of the population, based on their genetic profile.[4,5] The new technologies will allow researchers to examine genetic mutations at the functional genomic unit level, and to better understand the significance of environmental factors such as noxious agents, nutrition and personal behaviour in relation to the causation of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, psychiatric disorders and infectious diseases.
Hyphal Growth in Human Fungal Pathogens and Its Role in Virulence
Alexandra Brand
International Journal of Microbiology , 2012, DOI: 10.1155/2012/517529
Abstract: Most of the fungal species that infect humans can grow in more than one morphological form but only a subset of pathogens produce filamentous hyphae during the infection process. This subset is phylogenetically unrelated and includes the commonly carried yeasts, Candida albicans, C. dubliniensis, and Malassezia spp., and the acquired pathogens, Aspergillus fumigatus and dermatophytes such as Trichophyton rubrum and T. mentagrophytes. The primary function of hypha formation in these opportunistic pathogens is to invade the substrate they are adhered to, whether biotic or abiotic, but other functions include the directional translocation between host environments, consolidation of the colony, nutrient acquisition and the formation of 3-dimensional matrices. To support these functions, polarised hyphal growth is co-regulated with other factors that are essential for normal hypha function in vivo.
Nuevas citas de Trichoptera para la Patagonia argentina
Revista de la Sociedad Entomol?3gica Argentina , 2009,
Abstract: the present paper provides 9 new records of trichoptera species, for northwestern patagonia, argentina. the family tasimiidae and verger affinis (schmid), v. bispinus (schmid) and v. obliquus (schmid) (limnephilidae) are cited for argentina for the first time. the distribution of some species of helicophidae, hydrobiosidae, limnephilidae and philorheithridae is updated.
De wortels van de Randstad. Overheidsinvloed en stedelijke hi rarchie in het westen van Nederland tussen de 13de en 20ste eeuw
Nikki Brand
A+BE : Architecture and the Built Environment , 2013, DOI: 10.7480/a+be.vol2.diss2
Abstract: The starting point of this study concerns the origins of the polycentric nature of contemporary cities in the western area of the Netherlands, commonly known as ‘the Randstad’. Within the disciplines of planning and urban design the Randstad is considered a textbook example of a polycentric urban hierarchy. Yet, although quite a popular topic, very little is actually known about the driving forces that have given shape to existing urban hierarchies throughout the world. Moreover, the Randstad has also been dubbed ‘Holland’s paradox’ because of its assumed reversed evolution from a primate city hierarchy focused on Amsterdam in early modern times, to a polycentric hierarchy in the 19th century. Why do urban hierarchies change over time and which factors were decisive for the rise of the polycentric Randstad? Expansion of Haarlem, Amsterdam, Leiden, Den Haag, Gouda, Utrecht, Delft, Rotterdam en Dordrecht. This map was produced as a part of the Mapping the Randstad Holland-project and was published before in Borger, G.J., et al. (2011). Twaalf eeuwen ruimtelijke transformatie in het westen van Nederland in zes kaartbeelden. Overholland, (10/11). This study consists of two parts and six chapters. Part I explores the determining factors of change within urban hierarchies. The first chapter gives an assessment of the usefulness of existing theory and ends in confusion: firstly, historiography turns out to be a medley of explanations that are heterogeneous and sometimes even contradictive. Secondly, comparisons of the long-term development of multiple towns are lacking, which makes it difficult to come up with a theoretical approach. In order to make such comparisons and ascertain the impact of certain factors on urban hierarchies over time, it’s necessary to look at the development of a group of towns over a long time-span. Therefore, in the second chapter, simple statistics are compared with existing theory and literature. To do so, demographic data for the nine towns of Amsterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, Delft, The Hague, Rotterdam, Dordrecht, Gouda and Utrecht were compared from their first appearance in the 13th century until the end of the 20th century by projecting their demographic hierarchy in a graph and on a map. In this manner explanations were measured on their applicability for the case of the Randstad. This explorative exercise results in both a description of long-term change in hierarchy in the Randstad and a theoretical approach. Long-term change in the urban hierarchy of the Randstad roughly proceeded in three phases. In the Middle Ages there was a
Some statistical data on Indonesia
W. Brand
Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde , 1969,
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