JBPC Reports

JBPC Reports are issued as supplements to the Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry. They can be ordered using the button below each abstract, or via e-mail request to jbpc@colbas.org. Reports can be delivered via e-mail in PDF or as a printed copy by post. Note that supplements are not included in the regular journal subscription, but subscribers to JBPC are entitled to a 20% discount on any report. They should send an e-mail to jbpc@colbas.org to order a copy and to receive payment instructions.

An appraisal, with recommendations, regarding the installation of domestic smart energy meters in the UK

Applied Complexity Team
Collegium Basilea (Institute of Advanced Study), Basel, Switzerland

Supplement to vol. 18 (2018). Citation: J. Biol. Phys. Chem. (Suppl.) 18 (2018) S1–S56.
DOI: 10.4024/01RP18A.jbpc.rpt.01
Publication date: 1 December 2018
Copyright © 2018 Collegium Basilea and AMSI

ABSTRACT. In recent years, the installation of so-called "smart" meters for gas and electricity has been strongly encouraged by the UK government. Compared with traditional meters, which simply record consumption, which can be read from dials or a digital display, the smart meters are able to communicate consumption essentially continuously to the supplier, and give real-time cost feedback to the consumer. They facilitate the application of variable tariffs (e.g., cheaper electricity at night, when demand is low), and avoid the trouble and expense of manually reading the meters every few months. There have been technical problems associated with changing suppliers (which is also strongly encouraged by the UK government), as well as issues of data security and privacy. This report comprehensively assesses smart meters, reviewing the technology itself (with international comparisons), the history of the UK programme, and the ethical issues associated with the generation and use of consumption data.

A general appraisal of influenza vaccines for young children and the elderly

Clinical Reviews Team
Collegium Basilea (Institute of Advanced Study), Basel, Switzerland

Supplement to vol. 17 (2017). Citation: J. Biol. Phys. Chem. (Suppl.) 17 (2017) S1–S52.
DOI: 10.4024/01RP17A.jbpc.rpt.01
Publication date: 17 September 2017
Copyright © 2017 Collegium Basilea and AMSI

ABSTRACT. There is a trend to promote population-wide vaccination of defined sections of the population (e.g., children up to a certain age; elderly citizens) against fairly common, but nevertheless dangerous, diseases, most notably influenza ('flu). This report examines the nature of the disease, its medical consequences (which are dependent, inter alia, on the immune status of the infected person) and the vaccination process. These aspects can be quantified in terms of cost and life-expectancy, and the corresponding Judgment (J)-value computed. Subsidiary issues are also discussed, such as the influence of moral hazard and placebo/nocebo effects, whether vaccination campaigns rank as mass medication, and how citizens are persuaded to consider undergoing vaccination. The focus of the report is the UK NHS, but with relevant international comparisons.

Justifying large infrastructure projects through balancing quality of life considerations

Built Environment Team
Applied Complexity Research Centre, Collegium Basilea (Institute of Advanced Study), Basel, Switzerland

Supplement to vol. 16 (2016). Citation: J. Biol. Phys. Chem. (Suppl.) 16 (2016) S1–S48.
DOI: 10.4024/01RP16A.jbpc.rpt.01
Publication date: 6 June 2016
Copyright © 2016 Collegium Basilea and AMSI

ABSTRACT. The building of Britain's railways represented the first large infrastructure projects to be constructed in modern times. They were authorized by Act of Parliament, which granted far-reaching powers. Although the railways were generally welcomed, support was by no means unanimous and there was often strenuous local opposition. In our own time, this scenario can be observed when nuclear power stations, waste incinerators and the like are proposed. While the need for them has often been clear in a general sense, the ever-proliferating range of viable alternative technologies (VATs) makes it vital to quantitatively appraise the balance of merit for any particular proposed scheme. A methodology for accomplishing this is described in detail, based on work originally developed within the nuclear safety industry, and successfully extended to the appraisal of medicinal drugs. A key concept, allowing seemingly disparate quantities to be placed on a common scale using readily available data, is the quality of life index. When the balance of merit is negative, then obviously a scheme should not be allowed to proceed. Otherwise, if several schemes fulfil the same goal, the one with the most positive value should be selected.

Enhancing the performance of tall residential buildings using advanced technologies for cladding

Built Environment Team
Applied Complexity Research Centre, Collegium Basilea (Institute of Advanced Study), Basel, Switzerland

Supplement to vol. 15 (2015). Citation: J. Biol. Phys. Chem. (Suppl.) 15 (2015) S1–S44.
DOI: 10.4024/01RP15A.jbpc.rpt.01
Publication date: 6 July 2015
Copyright © 2017 Collegium Basilea and AMSI

ABSTRACT. Purely structural considerations may not result in optimal overall performance of a building. Other aspects include thermal insulation, weatherproofing, fire retardancy and purely aesthetic considerations. Traditionally these aspects have been dealt with by applying some kind of external cladding to the building, but usually any particular cladding is designed to improve one aspect; others may even be degraded. The advent of multifunctional coatings based on advanced micro- and nano-technologies allows multiple aspects to be optimized, including difficult to address at all with conventional cladding, such as self-cleaning. These coatings can often be applied by simple spraying, which is highly cost-effective. This report describes advanced multifunctional coatings for their buildings and appraises their performance and cost.