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  • Author: A. A. Aguirre x
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This paper aims to draw a series of generalizable conclusions regarding the incident command system (ICS) as a management tool for structuring the activity of disaster response agencies at the site of disasters in the United States. It identifies the basic elements of the system and makes some observations regarding its range of applicability. The analysis is drawn from several sources of information regarding the use of ICS in nine different disasters in which Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Taskforces participated. Results suggest the applicability of ICS in a range of emergency response activities, but point to the importance of context as a largely un-examined precondition to effective ICS. Our findings indicate that ICS is a partial solution to the question of how to organize the societal response in the aftermath of disasters; the system is more or less effective depending on specific characteristics of the incident and the organizations in which it is used. It works best when those utilizing it are part of a community, when the demands being responded to are routine to them, and when social and cultural emergence is at a minimum. ICS does not create a universally applicable bureaucratic organization among responders but rather is a mechanism for inter-organizational coordination designed to impose order on certain dimensions of the chaotic organizational environments of disasters. We conclude by extending our observations from the USAR context to the reconstruction, recovery, and mitigation phases of disasters in order to illuminate the general limitations of the approach as an all-encompassing model for disaster-related organizational and inter-organizational functioning and coordination. Our final conclusions suggest that the present-day efforts in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) to use ICS as a comprehensive principle of disaster management probably will not succeed as intended.


The present study is the first description of the egg morphology, embryonic development, and time required for hatching, and longevity of the oncomiracidium of Heterobothrium ecuadori (Meserve, 1938) Sproston, 1946. Experiments found that hatching time fluctuated between 7 and 10 days with a mean of 7.5 ± 1 days at 23 ± 1° C and 35 ‰. Eggs were provided with a polar filamentous appendage. The body of the oncomiracidium was flattened dorso-ventrally, 156 ± 9 μm long and 65 ± 8 μm wide. A full description of the egg development and morphology of the oncomiracidium is provided. The longevity of the oncomiracidia was 4–7 days at 21 ± 1°C, with a mean survival time of 121.8h. The ability to rear diclidophorids like H. ecuadori and to record precise information on their development provides valuable data for further studies.



Heterophile antibody (HAb) interferences in immunoassays can cause falsely elevated hCG concentrations leading to incorrect diagnosis and treatments options. When results are not consistent with the clinical findings, hCG HAb interference investigation may be requested by the physician. A retrospective evaluation of the frequency of HAb interference was performed among cases of physician-requested investigations and the effectiveness of commercially available blocking reagents to detect HAb interference in two immunoassay systems was evaluated.


One hundred and thirteen physician requests for hCG HAb investigation from 2008 to 2017 were reviewed. The primary method used to measure hCG was the Beckman Coulter Access Total βhCG (2008–2010) and the Roche Elecsys HCG+β (2014–2017). HAb investigation included measurement by two immunoassays before and after treatment of samples with heterophile blocking reagents and serial dilution studies.


Five cases of HAb and HAb-like interference were identified. The interference frequency was 6.7% for the Beckman assay and 2.9% for the Roche assay. The presence of HAb was detected using heterophile blocking reagents and an alternative method in three cases. The other two cases were detected due to discrepant results with an alternative method and non-linear serial dilutions (HAb-like).


HAb interference was observed in the Beckman and the Roche assays. The heterophile blocking reagents failed to detect 40% of interference cases. Blocking reagents should not solely be used for these investigations. Multiple strategies including the use of serial dilutions and using an alternative platform are critical when troubleshooting interferences in hCG immunoassays.


In this note, the effects of the non-Fickian diffusion on the prediction of effectiveness factor in non-isothermal porous catalytic slab considering external transport resistances are studied. A Green’s function formulation is used to solve the fractional diffusion-reaction model assuming non-Fickian diffusion to describe the internal mass transport in the porous catalytic particle. Evaluation of the effectiveness factor considering linear and nonlinear reaction rates was developed under isothermal and non-isothermal conditions. In both cases, numerical simulations show the relation existent between the anomalous diffusion with the performance of the catalytic slabs.


Two 2,6-pyridinedicarboxamide derivatives containing arylboronic acid fragments were prepared and fully characterized including X-ray crystal diffraction analysis of a pinacol ester. These compounds are potential bifunctional receptors for sugars and anions. Acid dissociation and stability constants for complexation of both receptors with glucose and fructose were determined by potentiometric titrations in aqueous DMSO. Also, binding of alizarin red S indicator was studied spectrophotometrically and a highly sensitive detection of fructose by an indicator displacement assay was proposed. Complexation with anions was studied by 1H NMR titrations in DMSO-d 6. Binding of acetate anion occurs only via hydrogen bonding to OH groups of boronic acid fragments and does not affect signals of NH protons but chloride anion induces large shift of the signals of NH protons and small shifts of the signals of OH groups. This behavior makes possible anion discrimination based on preference in the type of binding site rather than simply on anion basicity as is typical for majority of neutral hydrogen bonding anion receptors.