Sample records for assessing organ specific

  1. Establishment and use of surgical rat models for assessment of organ specific in vivo clearance. (United States)

    Vestergaard, Bill


    Knowledge of clearance plays a key role in the development of new drug entities, especially in the development of improved analogues for treatment of chronic conditions. Improved pharmacokinetic properties can be used to increase dosing interval and thereby improve patient compliance. This will lead to improved treatment outcome or decreased risk of treatment failure when treating chronic conditions. Therefore, animal models for assessment of organ-specific clearance are of great value in preclinical drug development. These models can be used to obtain insights into the relative importance of a clearance organ and thereby guide drug design of new analogues in early drug discovery. The current PhD project was undertaken to explore surgical in vivo models, which could be used in the assessment of the relative importance of major clearance organs. It was the aim of the PhD project to establish and validate both a nephrectomy model and a hepatectomy model as tools to investigate relative importance of renal and hepatic clearance. Furthermore, the project aim was to investigate renal clearance of rFVIIa and rhGH using a nephrectomy model in rats. The thesis is composed of a short theoretical background, a literature review, two papers based on experimental work as well as experimental work not included in the papers. Chapter one is an introduction with the specific aims and hypotheses. The chapters from two to five contain theoretical background of the clearance concept, anatomical and physiological description of clearance organs and a brief overview of potential clearance models including in vivo models. Chapters six through nine highlight the experimental work with the results obtained during the PhD project. Lastly, the chapters from ten to twelve contain a general discussion, conclusion and perspectives of the current thesis. Paper I "Nephrectomized and hepatectomized animal models as tools in preclinical pharmacokinetics" provides a literature review of animal

  2. Contributions of root and shoot derived-C to soil organic matter throughout an agricultural soil profile assessed by compound-specific 13C analysis (United States)

    Mendez-Millan, Mercedes; Dignac, Marie-France; Rumpel, Cornelia; Rasse, Daniel P.; Derenne, Sylvie


    The turnover of soil organic matter (SOM) is generally studied in the topsoil horizons, where the highest concentrations of organic carbon (OC) are found. Subsoils, although containing lower amounts of organic carbon compared to topsoils, greatly contribute to the total carbon stocks within a soil profile. An increase in SOM aliphaticity was observed during SOM degradation, and also down the soil profile, suggesting that the stable pool of SOM is enriched in aliphatic structures. These alkyl-C structures might mainly derive from cutins and suberins, two biomacromolecules, which contain biomarkers specific for shoot and root plant biomass. The aim of this study was to use cutin and suberin structural units to follow the incorporation of plant biomass originating from roots and shoots throughout an agricultural soil profile. We measured the 13C natural abundance of root and shoot biomarkers in samples taken from 15 to 105 cm depth in a C3/C4 chronosequence. After 9 years of maize (C4) cropping, the distribution of root biomarkers (diacids) significantly changed and their concentration increased compared to the wheat (CC3) soil. The largest increase was observed at 60-75 cm where diacids reached up to 134 ?g/gOC compared to 23 ?g/gOC in the wheat soil. Higher inputs from maize root biomass are also suggested by an average 13C enrichment of the root markers in the maize compared to the wheat soil.

  3. Adaptive Assessments Using Open Specifications (United States)

    Leon, Hector Barbosa; Garcia-Penalvo, Francisco J.; Rodriguez-Conde, Maria Jose; Morales, Erla M.; de Pablos, Patricia Ordonez


    Evaluation is a key element in formal education processes; it must be constructed in a way that the item questions within help students understand by adapting them to the learning style as well. The focus of the present research work specifically in the convenience to adapt an associated multimedia material in each single question besides the…

  4. Specialization-Specific Course Assessments Integrated for Program Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qurban A. Memon


    Full Text Available The program assessment process combines assessments from individual courses to generate final program assessment to match accreditation benchmarks. In developing countries, industrial environment is not diversified to allow graduating engineers to seek jobs in all disciplines or specializations of an engineering program. Hence, it seems necessary to seek evolution of an engineering program assessment for specialized requirements of the industry. This paper describes how specialization-specific courses’ assessments are grouped per requirements and then integrated towards overall program assessment. A software program application is developed to automate this development to reduce assessment work and show equivalently as integration of specialization-specific assessments per outcome per term. The implementation also shows how outcomes are integrated per specialization-specific courses in order to judge the implementation of the program assessment. This effort is expected to help stake holders of the program to judge evolution and quality of specialization tracks vis-à-vis expectations of the local industry.

  5. Assessing the performance of health technology assessment organizations: a framework. (United States)

    Lafortune, Louise; Farand, Lambert; Mondou, Isabelle; Sicotte, Claude; Battista, Renaldo


    In light of growing demands for public accountability, the broadening scope of health technology assessment organizations (HTAOs) activities and their increasing role in decision-making underscore the importance for them to demonstrate their performance. Based on Parson's social action theory, we propose a conceptual model that includes four functions an organization needs to balance to perform well: (i) goal attainment, (ii) production, (iii) adaptation to the environment, and (iv) culture and values maintenance. From a review of the HTA literature, we identify specific dimensions pertaining to the four functions and show how they relate to performance. We compare our model with evaluations reported in the scientific and gray literature to confirm its capacity to accommodate various evaluation designs, contexts of evaluation, and organizational models and perspectives. Our findings reveal the dimensions of performance most often assessed and other important ones that, hitherto, remain unexplored. The model provides a flexible and theoretically grounded tool to assess the performance of HTAOs.

  6. The Constitutional Influence on Organ Transplants with Specific Reference to Organ Procurement

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    Debbie Labuschagne


    Full Text Available This article assesses the influence of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 on the law pertaining to organ transplants with specific reference to methods of organ procurement. These methods include a system of opting-in, presumed consent, required request, required response, the sale of organs, and organ procurement from prisoners. It is argued, in view of the acute shortage of organs, that the various organ procurement methods are in need of review in the context of the question of whether they are acceptable and sustainable within the constitutional framework. To this end, the article deals with the application, limitation and interpretation of the rights in the Bill of Rights and its interface with the various organ procurement methods in the context of a discussion of applicable legislation and relevant case law. It is argued that a constitutional analysis of the topic is indicative that the State has indeed failed to provide a proper or satisfactory legislative and regulatory framework to relieve the critical shortage of human organs available for transplantation, by ultimately failing to uphold the applicable constitutional rights and values as discussed.

  7. Site-Specific ecological risk assessment. Case-study 2

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, John

    “Development of a decision support system for sustainable management of contaminated land by linking bioavailability, ecological risk and ground water pollution of organic pollutants”or in short “LIBERATION”. The presentation includes examples on how to scale and integrate the results from various scientific......The decision supporting and integrating assessment tool, TRIAD, is used site-specific on PAH- and heavy metal contaminated sites in Denmark. The various aspects of the TRIAD approach are used on a set of chemistry-, ecotoxicology- and ecology related data collected among others in the EU project...

  8. Organ-specific chemotactic factors present in lung extracellular matrix. (United States)

    Cerra, R F; Nathanson, S D


    The preferential colonization of a distant organ by a circulating tumor cell (organ specific metastasis) may be regulated by chemotactic factors present within the extracellular matrix of the host organ. Organ-specific extracellular matrix was prepared from murine kidney and lung by high salt extraction and DNAase/RNAase digestion. A soluble protein fraction (S2) from each of the matricies was obtained by 4 M guanidine extraction and was tested for organ-specific chemotactic activity in a modified Boyden chamber. The lung colonizing B16-F10 and B16-BL6 tumor cell lines demonstrated organ-specific motility only toward the lung extract. The low metastasizing B16 parental line and liver colonizing B16-L4b line showed no preference for either lung or kidney. The lung activity resolves into five fractions by gel filtration chromatography, with the highest activity eluting at Mr approximately 71,000. Chemotactic factors present in lung extracellular matrix may regulate the preferential colonization of an organ by stimulating the migration of tumor cells in a specific manner. These factors may be released during the degradation of the extracellular matrix.

  9. The Education Policies of International Organizations: Specific Differences and Convergences (United States)

    Akkari, Abdeljalil; Lauwerier, Thibaut


    This article analyzes the role that international organizations play in orienting education reforms and changes, based on an examination of key texts these organizations produced in the 1990s. The analysis shows that some specific trends persist: UNESCO and UNICEF centre their philosophy on a humanistic and child-centered vision of education,…

  10. Security Issues Specific to e-Assessments



    E-learning systems play a primary and/or supportive role in modern education. With e-learning systems e-assessments are an integral part of a course be it to do formative or summative assessments. This paper identifies security vulnerabilities unique to e-assessment that are not addressed in commercial products and web security research. The reason for the additional requirements is that e-assessments are being used more and more to replace paper based tests. The e-assessments need to be in a...

  11. Specific organization of Golgi apparatus in plant cells. (United States)

    Vildanova, M S; Wang, W; Smirnova, E A


    Microtubules, actin filaments, and Golgi apparatus are connected both directly and indirectly, but it is manifested differently depending on the cell organization and specialization, and these connections are considered in many original studies and reviews. In this review we would like to discuss what underlies differences in the structural organization of the Golgi apparatus in animal and plant cells: specific features of the microtubule cytoskeleton organization, the use of different cytoskeleton components for Golgi apparatus movement and maintenance of its integrity, or specific features of synthetic and secretory processes. We suppose that a dispersed state of the Golgi apparatus in higher plant cells cannot be explained only by specific features of the microtubule system organization and by the absence of centrosome as an active center of their organization because the Golgi apparatus is organized similarly in the cells of other organisms that possess the centrosome and centrosomal microtubules. One of the key factors determining the Golgi apparatus state in plant cells is the functional uniformity or functional specialization of stacks. The functional specialization does not suggest the joining of the stacks to form a ribbon; therefore, the disperse state of the Golgi apparatus needs to be supported, but it also can exist "by default". We believe that the dispersed state of the Golgi apparatus in plants is supported, on one hand, by dynamic connections of the Golgi apparatus stacks with the actin filament system and, on the other hand, with the endoplasmic reticulum exit sites distributed throughout the endoplasmic reticulum.

  12. Assessment of allergen specific response in humans


    Archila Diaz, Luis Diego


    [eng] Allergies are emerging as a major public health concern in the westernized world as they are increasing for reasons that remain poorly understood. Allergies involving polysensitization and multiple organ involvement result in decreased quality of life, increased morbidity and mortality. Allergic subjects can be poly-sensitized to different allergens due to phylogenetic relatedness; several species contain shared allergenic epitopes. This phenomenon occurs both at the IgE as the T cell ...


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Kharchenko


    Full Text Available The article is dedicated to the development of new and improvement of existing theoretical and methodological basis of forming and developing the market of organic products, its correspondence to the present-day situation, determination of problems and ways of their solving, introduction in practical activity of Ukrainian enterprises. The main objective of the article is to determine the specific features of forming and developing organic products market in Ukraine, and the perspective directions of its development based on analysis and practice of functioning of such markets in the world. The environmentally sound products market in the world is being analyzed, some information on the countries with the most commodity turnover of organic products, structure of international market of organic products, volumes of sales of organic products in the European countries is provided. As a result of studying the modern trends of economic development the authors reach a conclusion on problems of standard introduction, investigate the European norms and requirements for organic products. The conducted research allows distinguishing the basic features of Ukrainian market of organic products: it quickly grows, which makes it especially appealing for the participants of market relations, however entry into this market requires considerable capital investments and is characterized by high risk; criteria for qualifying products as environmentally sound products are unstructured and unclear. The potential for growth of organic products market in Ukraine is examined.

  14. Assessing and Improving Student Organizations: Student Workbook. The Assessing and Improving Student Organization (AISO) Program (United States)

    Nolfi, Tricia; Ruben, Brent D.


    This "Workbook" is intended for student participants during the AISO (Assessing and Improving Student Organization) assessment and planning sessions, and to be used in tandem with the "Guide for Students". Each page presents an action or reflection slide from the "Guide" with a space below for participants to note their own ideas, outcomes of…

  15. [Risk assessment of genetically modified organisms]. (United States)

    Costa, Thadeu Estevam Moreira Maramaldo; Dias, Aline Peçanha Muzy; Scheidegger, Erica Miranda Damasio; Marin, Victor Augustus


    Since the commercial approve in 1996, the global area of transgenic crops has raised more than 50 times. In the last two decades, governments have been planning strategies and protocols for safety assessment of food and feed genetically modified (GM). Evaluation of food safety should be taken on a case-by-case analysis depending on the specific traits of the modified crops and the changes introduced by the genetic modification, using for this the concept of substantial equivalence. This work presents approaches for the risk assessment of GM food, as well as some problems related with the genetic construction or even with the expression of the inserted gene.

  16. Circulating Organ-Specific MicroRNAs Serve as Biomarkers in Organ-Specific Diseases: Implications for Organ Allo- and Xeno-Transplantation (United States)

    Zhou, Ming; Hara, Hidetaka; Dai, Yifan; Mou, Lisha; Cooper, David K. C.; Wu, Changyou; Cai, Zhiming


    Different cell types possess different miRNA expression profiles, and cell/tissue/organ-specific miRNAs (or profiles) indicate different diseases. Circulating miRNA is either actively secreted by living cells or passively released during cell death. Circulating cell/tissue/organ-specific miRNA may serve as a non-invasive biomarker for allo- or xeno-transplantation to monitor organ survival and immune rejection. In this review, we summarize the proof of concept that circulating organ-specific miRNAs serve as non-invasive biomarkers for a wide spectrum of clinical organ-specific manifestations such as liver-related disease, heart-related disease, kidney-related disease, and lung-related disease. Furthermore, we summarize how circulating organ-specific miRNAs may have advantages over conventional methods for monitoring immune rejection in organ transplantation. Finally, we discuss the implications and challenges of applying miRNA to monitor organ survival and immune rejection in allo- or xeno-transplantation. PMID:27490531

  17. Risk assessment of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waigmann E


    Full Text Available

    EFSA’s remit in the risk assessment of GMOs is very broad encompassing genetically modified plants, microorganisms and animals and assessing their safety for humans, animals and the environment. The legal frame for GMOs is set by Directive 2001/18/EC on their release into the environment, and Regulation (EC No 1829/2003 on GM food and feed. The main focus of EFSA’s GMO Panel and GMO Unit lies in the evaluation of the scientific risk assessment of new applications for market authorisation of GMOs, and in the development of corresponding guidelines for the applicants. The EFSA GMO Panel has elaborated comprehensive guidance documents on GM plants, GM microorganisms and GM animals, as well as on specific aspects of risk assessment such as the selection of comparators. EFSA also provides special scientific advice upon request of the European Commission; examples are post-market environmental monitoring of GMOs, and consideration of potential risks of new plant breeding techniques. The GMO Panel regularly reviews its guidance documents in the light of experience gained with the evaluation of applications, technological progress in breeding technologies and scientific developments in the diverse areas of risk assessment.

  18. Quantification of organic pollutant degradation in contaminated aquifers using compound specific stable isotope analysis – Review of recent developments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thullner, M.; Centler, F.; Richnow, H.-H.; Fischer, A.


    Compound specific stable isotope analysis (CSIA) has been established as a viable tool for proving, characterizing and assessing degradation of organic pollutants within contaminated aquifers. The fractionation of stable isotopes during contaminant degradation leads to observable shifts in stable is

  19. Lineage-specific laminar organization of cortical GABAergic interneurons. (United States)

    Ciceri, Gabriele; Dehorter, Nathalie; Sols, Ignasi; Huang, Z Josh; Maravall, Miguel; Marín, Oscar


    In the cerebral cortex, pyramidal cells and interneurons are generated in distant germinal zones, and so the mechanisms that control their precise assembly into specific microcircuits remain an enigma. Here we report that cortical interneurons labeled at the clonal level do not distribute randomly but rather have a strong tendency to cluster in the mouse neocortex. This behavior is common to different classes of interneurons, independently of their origin. Interneuron clusters are typically contained within one or two adjacent cortical layers, are largely formed by isochronically generated neurons and populate specific layers, as revealed by unbiased hierarchical clustering methods. Our results suggest that different progenitor cells give rise to interneurons populating infra- and supragranular cortical layers, which challenges current views of cortical neurogenesis. Thus, specific lineages of cortical interneurons seem to be produced to primarily mirror the laminar structure of the cerebral cortex, rather than its columnar organization.

  20. The specificity of training prescription and physiological assessment: a review. (United States)

    Reilly, Thomas; Morris, Tessa; Whyte, Greg


    The aims in this review are: (1) to identify physiological determinants of performance; (2) to consider training specificity by examining aerobic, team and racket sports, strength and power activities, and cross-training and concurrent training methods; and (3) to evaluate the role of specificity in the physiological assessment of performance determinants. Assessment of the physiological determinants of performance is an integral part of sports science support for elite athletes. Laboratory and field-based physiological assessments are fundamental elements in profiling athletes, assessing training adaptations, and interrogating programme efficacy. The relatively small and highly specific adaptations associated with high-performance training call for valid, reliable, and sensitive methods of assessment. Recent advances in the physiological assessment of athletes have led to the development of a plethora of laboratory and field-based procedures. In the assessment of the athlete, there is a tension between the high reliability and low ecological validity of laboratory assessments and the low reliability and high validity of field-based methods. In an attempt to enhance ecological validity of training and physiological assessment, various sports-specific ergometers have been designed. This development has helped to match fitness assessment procedures to the demands of the sport concerned.

  1. Estimation of Specific Effective Energy of Surrounding Organs with Prostate as the Source Organ

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Jung Hoon; Lim, Chang Seon; Whang, Joo Ho [Kyunghee Univ., Konyang (Korea, Republic of)


    The incidence of prostate cancer has increased rapidly due to such as aging population and western dietary habits and it is the fifth most common cancer among male cancers and the most common cancer in urinary system. Prostate cancer is treated in various ways, but suitable treatments are selected case by case instead of particularly superior treatments chosen. One of them is cancer treatment via irradiation and it is widely available because of its simplicity and outstanding effectiveness; however compromised local selectivity inevitably results in side effects in surrounding tissues like bladder, urethra and rectum. These tough problems have been able to be solved since mid-1980s when radioisotope seeds such as {sup 1}'2{sup 5}I or {sup 103}Pd which could be implanted in the body were produced, and now much less invasive brachytherapy is widely used in the US and Europe. But there is a lack of investigations related to this therapy in Korea. In the present study, we intend to estimate specific effective energy of prostate and surrounding organs using {sup 125}I and {sup 103}Pd and thus provide basic data of radiation exposure assessments during prostate brachytherapy.

  2. Animating Domain-Specific Complex Knowledge : An Analysis of Organic Food Communication

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kastberg, Peter


    The pivotal point of this paper is an analysis and a discussion of the animated film “MultiTrust”. The film is a result a research project dealing with the “Multicriteria assessment and communication of effects of organic food systems”. A primary intention of this project was to help consumers make...... informed choices when it comes to purchasing organic foods. The animation presents a novel way of communicating domain-specific knowledge of organic food products to consumers. In order to analyze “MultiTrust”, a model of analysis is presented, which is framed by the research field communication...... to communicate domain-specific knowledge of organic foods to a lay audience....

  3. Context specificity in the assessment of psychosocial risk at work

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Camerino, Donatella; Conway, Paul Maurice; Fattori, Alice


    Background: Following EU requirements, in recent years standard procedures for the assessment of work-related stress have been developed in Italy. However, while such standardization has facilitated the spread and use of these procedures, it has brought a lack of specificity in risk assessment. O...

  4. Measuring and Assessing Application-Specific Technology Readiness

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    Antonino Ardilio


    Full Text Available Technology readiness is a crucial issue for decision-makers in technology-driven enterprises, determining whether the technology will or won’t be adopted for use in products or as a process technology. We know that, in some cases, lower technology readiness will be accepted by the users; these could be end-users, but, more often, it will be used in companies. The impact of a too early or too late adopted technology can be huge for companies and can even threaten market position or the existence of the company itself. Research institutes and technology developers, in particular application-oriented research organizations, might be also interested in which parameters or technology attributes should be improved or extended, according to the addressed application field, so that the technology fulfils the market-requested functions and a fast diffusion in the market can be achieved. Existing technology readiness models cover the various usages of the technology. In many cases, they assess the technology’s use in across different industries and application fields. However, the requirements in many fields are mostly different and very specific; thus, evaluation at such a high level can’t conclude whether the technology should be considered and adopted in the applications involved. This paper introduces an approach on how to determine and map the application-specific readiness of technology by decomposing both the application and the technology into its requested functions, as well as dynamically mapping the individual technology performance criteria. The applicability of this model will be demonstrated and discussed by a use case in the area of OLED-technology.

  5. Vitamin D in systemic and organ-specific autoimmune diseases. (United States)

    Agmon-Levin, Nancy; Theodor, Emanuel; Segal, Ramit Maoz; Shoenfeld, Yehuda


    Lately, vitamin D has been linked with metabolic and immunological processes, which established its role as an essential component of human health preservation. Vitamin D has been defined as natural immune modulators, and upon activation of its receptors (VDRs), it regulates calcium metabolism, cellular growth, proliferation and apoptosis, and other immunological functions. Epidemiological data underline a strong correlation between poor vitamin D status and higher risk for chronic inflammatory illnesses of various etiologies, including autoimmune diseases. Epidemiological, genetic, and basic studies indicated a potential role of vitamin D in the pathogenesis of certain systemic and organ-specific autoimmune diseases. These studies demonstrate correlation between low vitamin D and prevalence of diseases. In addition, VDRs' polymorphisms observed in some of these autoimmune diseases may further support a plausible pathogenic link. Notably, for some autoimmune disease, no correlation with vitamin D levels could be confirmed. Thus, in the current review we present the body of evidence regarding the plausible roles of vitamin D and VDR's polymorphism in the pathogenesis of autoimmunity. We summarize the data regarding systemic (i.e., systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.) and organ-specific (i.e., multiple sclerosis, diabetes mellitus, primary biliary cirrhosis, etc.) autoimmune diseases, in which low level of vitamin D was found comparing to healthy subjects. In addition, we discuss the correlations between vitamin D levels and clinical manifestations and/or activity of diseases. In this context, we address the rational for vitamin D supplementation in patients suffering from autoimmune diseases. Further studies addressing the mechanisms by which vitamin D affects autoimmunity and the proper supplementation required are needed.

  6. Experimental Assessment of Specific Absorption Rate Using Room Electromagnetics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bamba, Aliou; Joseph, Wout; Andersen, Jørgen Bach;


    to measurement systems, antennas characteristics, diffuse energy properties, and human exposure are investigated. The goal of this paper aims first towards validation of the assessment of the reverberation time in an environment using a virtual MIMO channel system. Secondly, the reverberation time in an adjacent...... room is investigated and hence a measurement based method is readily developed to assess the absorption cross section and the whole-body specific absorption rate of humans at 2.3 GHz in a realistic closed environment....

  7. The assessment and treatment of specific phobias: a review. (United States)

    Grös, Daniel F; Antony, Martin M


    Specific phobia is one of the most common and easily treated mental disorders. In this review, empirically supported assessment and treatment procedures for specific phobia are discussed. Exposure-based treatments in particular are highlighted given their demonstrated effectiveness for this condition. The format and characteristics of exposure-based treatment and predictors of treatment response are outlined to provide recommendations for maximizing outcome. In addition, several other treatments for specific phobia are reviewed and critiqued, including cognitive therapy, virtual reality, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, applied tension, and pharmacologic treatments. The review concludes with a discussion of future directions for research.

  8. Assessing the Learning Path Specification: a Pragmatic Quality Approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssen, José; Berlanga, Adriana; Heyenrath, Stef; Martens, Harrie; Vogten, Hubert; Finders, Anton; Herder, Eelco; Hermans, Henry; Melero, Javier; Schaeps, Leon; Koper, Rob


    Janssen, J., Berlanga, A. J., Heyenrath, S., Martens, H., Vogten, H., Finders, A., Herder, E., Hermans, H., Melero Gallardo, J., Schaeps, L., & Koper, R. (2010). Assessing the Learning Path Specification: a Pragmatic Quality Approach. Journal of Universal Computer Science, 16(21), 3191-3209.

  9. Assessing Specific Sexual Behavior: Instrument Development and Validation Techniques. (United States)

    Webb, Monica C; Chaney, J Don; Chen, W William; Dodd, Virginia J; Huang, I-Chan; Sanders, Sadie


    Through the use of multi-modal methods, the purpose of this study was to develop and assess measurement properties of an instrument evaluating specific sexual behaviors of college students and the role alcohol intoxication plays in one's intention to participate in these behaviors. A modified version of N. Krause's instrument development process was applied to create a behavior-specific instrument assessing oral, vaginal, and anal sex behaviors. The process included a review by expert scholars in relevant fields, cognitive interviews with the target population using screen-capture program Camtasia, piloting to assess measurement scales, and a formal investigation. The applied instrument development process employed screen capture software and web-based surveying in a cost-effective format suitable for mixed-method measurement development. The development and application of the instrument provides a clearer understanding of the relationship between alcohol use and sexual activity and aids in the development of effective public health interventions and policies.

  10. High Performance Organ-Specific Nuclear Medicine Imagers. (United States)

    Majewski, Stan


    One of the exciting applications of nuclear science is nuclear medicine. Well-known diagnostic imaging tools such as PET and SPECT (as well as MRI) were developed as spin-offs of basic scientific research in atomic and nuclear physics. Development of modern instrumentation for applications in particle physics experiments offers an opportunity to contribute to development of improved nuclear medicine (gamma and positron) imagers, complementing the present set of standard imaging tools (PET, SPECT, MRI, ultrasound, fMRI, MEG, etc). Several examples of new high performance imagers developed in national laboratories in collaboration with academia will be given to demonstrate this spin-off activity. These imagers are designed to specifically image organs such as breast, heart, head (brain), or prostate. The remaining and potentially most important challenging application field for dedicated nuclear medicine imagers is to assist with cancer radiation treatments. Better control of radiation dose delivery requires development of new compact in-situ imagers becoming integral parts of the radiation delivery systems using either external beams or based on radiation delivery by inserting or injecting radioactive sources (gamma, beta or alpha emitters) into tumors.

  11. Organ- and species-specific accumulation of metals in two land snail species (Gastropoda, Pulmonata)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boshoff, Magdalena, E-mail: [University of Antwerp, Systemic Physiological and Ecotoxicological Research, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp (Belgium); Jordaens, Kurt [Royal Museum for Central Africa (JEMU), Leuvensesteenweg 13, B-3080 Tervuren (Belgium); University of Antwerp, Evolutionary Ecology Group, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp (Belgium); Backeljau, Thierry [University of Antwerp, Evolutionary Ecology Group, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp (Belgium); Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (JEMU), Vautierstraat 29, B-1000 Brussels (Belgium); Lettens, Suzanna [Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO), Kliniekstraat 25, B-1070 Brussels (Belgium); Tack, Filip [Ghent University, Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry and Applied Ecochemistry, Coupure Links 265, B-9000 Ghent (Belgium); Vandecasteele, Bart [Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Burg van Gansberghelaan 109, B-9820 Merelbeke (Belgium); De Jonge, Maarten; Bervoets, Lieven [University of Antwerp, Systemic Physiological and Ecotoxicological Research, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp (Belgium)


    In order to evaluate the usefulness of terrestrial gastropods as bioindicators there is a need for studies that simultaneously compare (1) concentrations of metals in reference and polluted plots, (2) species within the same polluted habitat, (3) metal accumulation patterns in different organs and (4) metal accumulation patterns in relation to soil physicochemical properties. This study aims to assess metal accumulation patterns in two land snail species. Instead of analyzing an organism as a whole, investigating the partitioning of metals in different organs can provide information on the actual toxicological relevant fractions. Therefore, concentrations of Ag, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni and Zn were examined in five different organs of Cepaea nemoralis, as well as in the foot and the body of Succinea putris. Snails were sampled at four polluted dredged sediment disposal localities and three adjacent less polluted reference plots situated along waterways in Flanders, Belgium. Due to the small size and problematic dissection of S. putris only the concentrations in the foot of both species could be compared. For this reason only, C. nemoralis can be described as a better bioindicator species that allows a far more detailed analysis of organ metal accumulation. This study showed that organs other than the digestive gland may be involved in the immobilization and detoxification of metals. Furthermore, pH, soil fractionation (clay %, silt %, sand %) and organic matter, correlate with metal accumulation in organs. However, most often the soil metal concentrations did not correlate with the concentrations found in snail organs. Metal concentrations in organs of both species (1) differed among polluted plots but rarely between polluted and reference plots within a locality, (2) were organ-specific (digestive gland > foot > albumen gland = spermoviduct = ovotestis), (3) were species-specific and (4) depended on the metal type (high Cd and Cu concentrations were observed in the

  12. Reflective practice: assessment of assignments in English for Specific Purposes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Galina Kavaliauskiené


    Full Text Available The construct alternative assessment has been widely used in higher education. It is often defined as any type of assessment of learners who provide a response to an assignment. The key features of alternative assessment are active participation of learners in self-evaluation of their performance, and the development of reflective thinking through reflective thinking (Schön, 1983. The success of alternative assessment in language teaching is predetermined by student’s performance and demonstrates learner’s language proficiency in contemporary communicative classrooms. This paper aims at researching the influence of students’ evaluations of various assignments for their linguistic development in English for Specific Purposes (ESP. The study uses learners’ assessment of different assignments and learners’ in-course and post-course written reflections on benefits to language mastery. Learners’ assignments included were contributions to portfolios (dossiers, such as essays and summaries, oral presentations, short impromptu talks, creative tasks, tests, and self-assessment notes (reflections on activities in learning ESP. Findings were obtained for two streams of the project participants. Results showed that self-assessment was beneficial for learners’ linguistic development. The context of learners’ reflections reveals that the attitudes to various assignments are affected by success or failure in students’ performance. Reflective practice might help teachers develop ways of dealing with previously identified difficulties and improve the quality of teaching.

  13. Assessing equivalence of two assays using sensitivity and specificity. (United States)

    Quiroz, Jorge; Burdick, Richard K


    The equivalence of two assays is determined using the sensitivity and specificity relative to a gold standard. The equivalence-testing criterion is based on a misclassification rate proposed by Burdick et al. (2005) and the intersection-union test (IUT) method proposed by Berger (1982). Using a variance components model and IUT methods, we construct bounds for the sensitivity and specificity relative to the gold standard assay based on generalized confidence intervals. We conduct a simulation study to assess whether the bounds maintain the stated test size. We present a computational example to demonstrate the method described in the paper.

  14. Environmental risk assessment for medicinal products containing genetically modified organisms. (United States)

    Anliker, B; Longhurst, S; Buchholz, C J


    Many gene therapy medicinal products and also some vaccines consist of, or contain, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which require specific consideration in the environmental risk assessment (ERA) before marketing authorisation or clinical trial applications. The ERA is performed in order to identify the potential risks for public health and the environment, which may arise due to the clinical use of these medicinal products. If such environmental risks are identified and considered as not acceptable, the ERA should go on to propose appropriate risk management strategies capable to reduce these risks. This article will provide an overview of the legal basis and requirements for the ERA of GMO-containing medicinal products in the context of marketing authorisation in the EU and clinical trials in Germany. Furthermore, the scientific principles and methodology that generally need to be followed when preparing an ERA for GMOs are discussed.


    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Xi-lin


    Techniques of gully-specific debris flow hazard assessment developed in four periods since the end of the1980s have been discussed in the present paper. The improvement for the empirical assessment method is the sectional-ized function transformation for the factor value, rather than the classified logical transformation. The theoretical equationof the gully-specific debris flow hazard is expressed as the definite integral of an exponential function and its numericalsolution is expressed by the Poisson Limit Equation. Current methods for assessment of debris flow hazard in China arestill valid and practical. The further work should be put on the study of the reliability (or unc ertainty) of the techniques.For the future, we should give a high priority to the relationship between debris flow magnitude and its frequency of occur-rence, make more developments of prediction model on debris flow magnitude, so as to finally reach the goal of assessingthe hazard of debris flow by theoretical model, and realize both actuality assessment and prediction appraisal of debris flow.

  16. Evaluation of the impact of organ-specific dose reduction on image quality in pediatric chest computed tomography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boos, Johannes; Kroepil, Patric; Klee, Dirk; Heusch, Philipp; Schimmoeller, Lars; Schaper, Joerg; Antoch, Gerald; Lanzman, Rotem S. [University Dusseldorf, Medical Faculty, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Dusseldorf (Germany)


    Organ-specific dose reduction significantly reduces the radiation exposure of radiosensitive organs. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of a novel organ-specific dose reduction algorithm on image quality of pediatric chest CT. We included 28 children (mean age 10.9 ± 4.8 years, range 3-18 years) who had contrast-enhanced chest CT on a 128-row scanner. CT was performed at 100 kV using automated tube current modulation and a novel organ-specific dose-reduction algorithm (XCare trademark; Siemens, Forchheim, Germany). Seven children had a previous chest CT performed on a 64-row scanner at 100 kV without organ-specific dose reduction. Subjective image quality was assessed using a five-point scale (1-not diagnostic; 5-excellent). Contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) were assessed in the descending aorta. Overall mean subjective image quality was 4.1 ± 0.6. In the subgroup of the seven children examined both with and without organ-specific dose reduction, subjective image quality was comparable (score 4.4 ± 0.5 with organ-specific dose reduction vs. 4.4 ± 0.7 without it; P > 0.05). There was no significant difference in mean signal-to-noise ratio and contrast-to-noise ratio with organ-specific dose reduction (38.3 ± 10.1 and 28.5 ± 8.7, respectively) and without the reduction (35.5 ± 8.5 and 26.5 ± 7.8, respectively) (P > 0.05). Volume computed tomography dose index (CTDI{sub vol}) and size-specific dose estimates did not differ significantly between acquisitions with the organ-specific dose reduction (1.7 ± 0.8 mGy) and without the reduction (1.7 ± 0.8 mGy) (P > 0.05). Organ-specific dose reduction does not have an impact on image quality of pediatric chest CT and can therefore be used in clinical practice to reduce radiation dose of radiosensitive organs such as breast and thyroid gland. (orig.)

  17. Pu-239 organ specific dosimetric model applied to non-human biota (United States)

    Kaspar, Matthew Jason

    There are few locations throughout the world, like the Maralinga nuclear test site located in south western Australia, where sufficient plutonium contaminate concentration levels exist that they can be utilized for studies of the long-term radionuclide accumulation in non-human biota. The information obtained will be useful for the potential human users of the site while also keeping with international efforts to better understand doses to non-human biota. In particular, this study focuses primarily on a rabbit sample set collected from the population located within the site. Our approach is intended to employ the same dose and dose rate methods selected by the International Commission on Radiological Protection and adapted by the scientific community for similar research questions. These models rely on a series of simplifying assumptions on biota and their geometry; in particular; organisms are treated as spherical and ellipsoidal representations displaying the animal mass and volume. These simplifications assume homogeneity of all animal tissues. In collaborative efforts between Colorado State University and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), we are expanding current knowledge on radionuclide accumulation in specific organs causing organ-specific dose rates, such as Pu-239 accumulating in bone, liver, and lungs. Organ-specific dose models have been developed for humans; however, little has been developed for the dose assessment to biota, in particular rabbits. This study will determine if it is scientifically valid to use standard software, in particular ERICA Tool, as a means to determine organ-specific dosimetry due to Pu-239 accumulation in organs. ERICA Tool is normally applied to whole organisms as a means to determine radiological risk to whole ecosystems. We will focus on the aquatic model within ERICA Tool, as animal organs, like aquatic organisms, can be assumed to lie within an infinite uniform medium. This model would

  18. Can multicriteria assessment tools help build trust into organic products?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernhard Freyer


    Full Text Available In a continuously expanding, globalizing, and industrializing organic market, organic consumers confront increasing complexity in organic product representation, labeling, and information that challenges how they build trust in organic products. We present a conceptual framework to analyze how consumers might build and practice trust in the organic agrifood chain. We asked specifically about the role of multicriteria assessment tools (MCATs for trust building. We identified three consumer trust types: uninformed trust in labels (type 1; informed trust in extensive information, control, and certification (type 2; and informed and engaged trust in forms of close farmer-consumer relationships (type 3. Three concepts of "reflexivity" - unreflective, reflective, self-reflective - are used to explain how these three consumer trust types are operating. We see MCATs as tools accepted and applied mainly by the informed and reflective type. We further examined how reflexivity about two aspects - ethics and systems thinking - in the context of the organic agrifood chain can affect how people trust. Hedonistic, materialistic-oriented consumers might not care about MCATs to deepen their trust in organic, while anthropocentric-oriented consumers were identified as those applying MCATs; eco-centric and holistic-oriented consumers perceive MCATs more as a confinement that limits their self-reflexive and holistic understanding of organic. Awareness of, and interest in, systems thinking by unreflective and uninformed consumer trust types is rather limited; any MCAT is therefore without relevance. The reflective and informed consumer trust type uses a bundle of systems thinking methodologies, and in this context, MCATs would serve as an orientation. The self-reflective, informed, and engaged consumer trust type applies systems theory to learn how to become independent and to better learn how to protect against power interventions; e.g., from industries into the

  19. Environmental assessment and specification of green building materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Froeschle, L. M.


    The central thesis of this paper is that building with environmentally friendly and `green` materials can lead to significant benefits in terms of improved indoor air quality and a healthy and more productive indoor environment. Recycled content and recyclable products can also help minimize the negative impact on the natural environment by keeping construction materials out of the waste stream, not to mention the cost savings that can be generated when specifying materials with recycled content. Savings in embodied energy is generally less when using recycled content as opposed to raw materials in the manufacture of building materials. The gradual depletion of raw materials will generate increased demand for `greener` products and may, in due course, replace traditional building products. Criteria for the assessment of environmental materials, the `greening` of project specifications, and a process for the environmental specification of building products is also described. 8 refs.

  20. Methodological Consequences of Situation Specificity: Biases in Assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Luc Patry


    Full Text Available Social research is plagued by many biases. Most of them are due to situation specificity of social behavior and can be explained using a theory of situation specificity. The historical background of situation specificity in personality social psychology research is briefly sketched, then a theory of situation specificity is presented in detail, with as centerpiece the relationship between the behavior and its outcome which can be described as either the more, the better or not too much and not too little. This theory is applied to reliability and validity of assessments in social research. The distinction between maximum performance and typical performance is shown to correspond to the two behavior-outcome relations. For maximum performance, issues of reliability and validity are much easier to be solved, whereas typical performance is sensitive to biases, as predicted by the theory. Finally, it is suggested that biases in social research are not just systematic error, but represent relevant features to be explained just as other behavior, and that the respective theories should be integrated into a theory system.



    Ionescu Florin Tudor; Barbu Andreea Mihaela


    In public services, the political component of the marketing environment has a major importance, as all decisions adopted within central administration influence both the objectives and measures implemented by units of local government and other public service providers. Any discontinuity in the activity of such entities might result in neglecting the real needs of citizens and slowing the reform process in the public sector. Therefore, all initiatives of public organizations must have a unit...

  2. Environmental assessment of low-organic waste landfill scenarios by means of life-cycle assessment modelling (EASEWASTE)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manfredi, Simone; Christensen, Thomas Højlund; Scharff, H.


    The environmental performance of two low-organic waste landfill scenarios ('low-organic-energy' and 'low-organic-flare') was developed and compared with two household waste landfill scenarios ('household-energy' and 'household-flare') by means of LCA-modelling. The LCA-modelling was made for 1...... tonne of wet waste landfilled and the environmental aspects were evaluated for a 100-year period after disposal. The data utilized in the LCA-calculations to model the first 10-20 years of landfilling of the two low-organic waste scenarios make extensive use of site-specific data from the Nauerna...... assessments show that the low-organic waste scenarios achieved better environmental performance than the household waste scenarios with regard to both ordinary and toxicity-related environmental impact categories. This indicates that the reduction of organic matter accepted at landfills (as prescribed...

  3. 77 FR 33227 - Assessment Questionnaire-IP Sector Specific Agency Risk Self Assessment Tool (IP-SSARSAT) (United States)


    ... SECURITY Assessment Questionnaire--IP Sector Specific Agency Risk Self Assessment Tool (IP-SSARSAT) AGENCY...--Assessment Questionnaire--IP Sector Specific Agency Risk Self Assessment Tool (IP-SSARSAT). DHS previously...-operators and/or security managers often volunteer to conduct an automated self risk assessment....

  4. 76 FR 81955 - Assessment Questionnaire-IP Sector Specific Agency Risk Self Assessment Tool (IP-SSARSAT) (United States)


    ... SECURITY Assessment Questionnaire--IP Sector Specific Agency Risk Self Assessment Tool (IP-SSARSAT) AGENCY... managers often volunteer to conduct an automated self risk assessment. The requested questionnaire...: Assessment Questionnaire--IP Sector Specific Agency Risk Self Assessment Tool (IP-SSARSAT). OMB Number:...


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ionescu Florin Tudor


    Full Text Available In public services, the political component of the marketing environment has a major importance, as all decisions adopted within central administration influence both the objectives and measures implemented by units of local government and other public service providers. Any discontinuity in the activity of such entities might result in neglecting the real needs of citizens and slowing the reform process in the public sector. Therefore, all initiatives of public organizations must have a unitary goal and integrate harmoniously within a single process. A tool from the management-marketing literature that both contributes to this purpose and leads to an increased customer satisfaction and organizational performance is strategic marketing planning. This paper presents, firstly, requirements and particularities of this process in the public sector, focusing on the need for bottom-up planning, meaning from the functional levels of public service organizations, to the corporate level, where strategic decisions are taken. To achieve this goal, there should be included in the planning process the clients and other audiences, which can provide useful information about the services they want, the quality or the accessibility thereof, and news about the services they need in the future. There are also mentioned the factors that can influence the quality of strategic marketing planning in public services domain: the importance of marketing within the organization, marketing knowledge of employees in marketing departments and/or of management personnel, the efficiency of activities within the organization, and the manager’s marketing vision. In the final part of the paper there are presented the stages of the conceptual model of strategic marketing planning in public services field: (1 accepting the idea of bottom-up planning, (2 avoid or eliminate discrepancies between measures taken at high levels and executions carried out at operational

  6. Assessing and Improving Student Organizations: Resources for Facilitators CD-ROM. The Assessing and Improving Student Organization (AISO) Program (United States)

    Nolfi, Tricia; Ruben, Brent D.


    This companion to the "Guide for Students" and "Student Workbook" includes the complete set of PowerPoint slides, a PDF of the Facilitator's Guide in PPT (PowerPoint) slide show format, and PDFs of all scoring sheets, handouts and project planning guides needed for the AISO (Assessing and Improving Student Organization) process. The Assessing and…

  7. Using Web-Based Video as an Assessment Tool for Student Performance in Organic Chemistry (United States)

    Tierney, John; Bodek, Matthew; Fredricks, Susan; Dudkin, Elizabeth; Kistler, Kurt


    This article shows the potential for using video responses to specific questions as part of the assessment process in an organic chemistry class. These exercises have been used with a postbaccalaureate cohort of 40 students, learning in an online environment, over a period of four years. A second cohort of 25 second-year students taking the…

  8. Insights into Mechanistic Models for Evaporation of Organic Liquids in the Environment Obtained by Position-Specific Carbon Isotope Analysis. (United States)

    Julien, Maxime; Nun, Pierrick; Robins, Richard J; Remaud, Gérald S; Parinet, Julien; Höhener, Patrick


    Position-specific isotope effects (PSIEs) have been measured by isotope ratio monitoring (13)C nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry during the evaporation of 10 liquids of different polarities under 4 evaporation modes (passive evaporation, air-vented evaporation, low pressure evaporation, distillation). The observed effects are used to assess the validity of the Craig-Gordon isotope model for organic liquids. For seven liquids the overall isotope effect (IE) includes a vapor-liquid contribution that is strongly position-specific in polar compounds but less so in apolar compounds and a diffusive IE that is not position-specific, except in the alcohols, ethanol and propan-1-ol. The diffusive IE is diminished under forced evaporation. The position-specific isotope pattern created by liquid-vapor IEs is manifest in five liquids, which have an air-side limitation for volatilization. For the alcohols, undefined processes in the liquid phase create additional PSIEs. Three other liquids with limitations on the liquid side have a lower, highly position-specific, bulk diffusive IE. It is concluded that evaporation of organic pollutants creates unique position-specific isotope patterns that may be used to assess the progress of remediation or natural attenuation of pollution and that the Craig-Gordon isotope model is valid for the volatilization of nonpolar organic liquids with air-side limitation of the volatilization rate.

  9. Regional Persistent Organic Pollutants' Environmental Impact Assessment and Control Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jurgis Staniskis


    Full Text Available The sources of formation, environmental distribution and fate of persistent organic pollutants (POPs are increasingly seen as topics to be addressed and solved at the global scale. Therefore, there are already two international agreements concerning persistent organic pollutants: the Protocol of 1998 to the 1979 Convention on the Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution on Persistent Organic Pollutants (Aarhus Protocol; and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. For the assessment of environmental pollution of POPs, for the risk assessment, for the evaluation of new pollutants as potential candidates to be included in the POPs list of the Stokholmo or/and Aarhus Protocol, a set of different models are developed or under development. Multimedia models help describe and understand environmental processes leading to global contamination through POPs and actual risk to the environment and human health. However, there is a lack of the tools based on a systematic and integrated approach to POPs management difficulties in the region.

  10. Brine Organisms and the Question of Habitat Specific Adaptation (United States)

    Siegel, B. Z.; Siegel, S. M.; Speitel, Thomas; Waber, Jack; Stoecker, Roy


    Among the well-known ultrasaline terrestrial habitats, the Dead Sea in the Jordan Rift Valley and Don Juan Pond in the Upper Wright Valley represent two of the most extreme. The former is a saturated sodium chloride-magnesium sulfate brine in a hot desert, the latter a saturated calcium chloride brine in an Antarctic desert. Both Dead Sea and Don Juan water bodies themselves are limited in microflora, but the saline Don Juan algal mat and muds contain abundant nutrients and a rich and varied microbiota, including Oscillatoria, Gleocapsa, Chlorella, diatoms, Penicillium and bacteria. In such environments, the existence of an array of specific adaptations is a common, and highly reasonable, presumption, at least with respect to habitat-obligate forms. Nevertheless, many years of ongoing study in our laboratory have demonstrated that lichens (e.g. Cladonia), algae (e.g. Nostoc) and fungi (e.g. Penicillium, Aspergillus) from the humid tropics can sustain metabolism down to -40°C and growth down to -10°C in simulated Dead Sea or Don Juan (or similar) media without benefit of selection or gradual acclimation. Non-selection is suggested in fungi by higher growth rates from vegetative inocula than spores. The importance of nutrient parameters was also evident in responses to potassium and reduced nitrogen compounds. In view of the saline performance of tropical Nostoc, and its presence in the Antarctic dry valley soils, its complete absence in our Don Juan mat samples was and remains a puzzle. We suggest that adaptive capability is already resident in many terrestrial life forms not currently in extreme habitats, a possible reflection of evolutionary selection for wide spectrum environmental adaptability.

  11. Specificity of islet cell autoantibodies and coexistence with other organ specific autoantibodies in type 1 diabetes mellitus. (United States)

    Tsirogianni, Alexandra; Pipi, Elena; Soufleros, Konstantinos


    Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) has been shown to be a disease characterized by immune-mediated destruction of the insulin-producing islet beta-cells (beta-cells) in the pancreas. Intensive studies, in both patients and animal models are trying to elucidate the specific antigenic targets that are responsible for islet cell autoimmunity. So far, the most important molecules that have been recognized are the native insulin, the 65-kDa form of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD(65)) and the insulinoma-antigen 2 (IA-2). Identification of those specific autoantibodies that are involved in the primary immunological events of the autoimmune disease process will allow the development of novel diagnostic procedures for early detection and initiation of potential therapy prior to irreversible loss of beta-cells. Within the framework of polyglandular disorders, T1DM may coexist with other organ specific autoimmune diseases such as autoimmune thyroid disease (ATD), autoimmune gastritis (AG), celiac disease (CD) and Addison's disease (AD), which are associated with the production of organ-specific autoantibodies. So, as a subset of patients with those autoantibodies will develop clinical disease, screening T1DM patients could prognosticate morbidity relative to unrecognised clinical entities. The close follow-up of patients with organ-specific autoantibodies could lead to seasonable identification of those requiring therapy.

  12. Data Center Energy Efficiency Measurement Assessment Kit Guide and Specification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    A portable and temporary wireless mesh assessment kit can be used to speed up and reduce the costs of a data center energy use assessment and overcome the issues with respect to shutdowns. The assessment kit is comprised of temperature, relative humidity, and pressure sensors. Also included are power meters that can be installed on computer room air conditioners (CRACs) without intrusive interruption of data center operations. The assessment kit produces data required for a detailed energy assessment of the data center.

  13. Assessing UAV platform types and optical sensor specifications (United States)

    Altena, B.; Goedemé, T.


    Photogrammetric acquisition with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) has grown extensively over the last couple of years. Such mobile platforms and their processing software have matured, resulting in a market which offers off-the-shelf mapping solutions to surveying companies and geospatial enterprises. Different approaches in platform type and optical instruments exist, though its resulting products have similar specifications. To demonstrate differences in acquisitioning practice, a case study over an open mine was flown with two different off-the-shelf UAVs (a fixed-wing and a multi-rotor). The resulting imagery is analyzed to clarify the differences in collection quality. We look at image settings, and stress the fact of photographic experience if manual setting are applied. For mapping production it might be safest to set the camera on automatic. Furthermore, we try to estimate if blur is present due to image motion. A subtle trend seems to be present, for the fast flying platform though its extent is of similar order to the slow moving one. It shows both systems operate at their limits. Finally, the lens distortion is assessed with special attention to chromatic aberration. Here we see that through calibration such aberrations could be present, however detecting this phenomena directly on imagery is not straightforward. For such effects a normal lens is sufficient, though a better lens and collimator does give significant improvement.

  14. Safety assessment and detection methods of genetically modified organisms. (United States)

    Xu, Rong; Zheng, Zhe; Jiao, Guanglian


    Genetically modified organisms (GMOs), are gaining importance in agriculture as well as the production of food and feed. Along with the development of GMOs, health and food safety concerns have been raised. These concerns for these new GMOs make it necessary to set up strict system on food safety assessment of GMOs. The food safety assessment of GMOs, current development status of safety and precise transgenic technologies and GMOs detection have been discussed in this review. The recent patents about GMOs and their detection methods are also reviewed. This review can provide elementary introduction on how to assess and detect GMOs.

  15. Assessing environmental effects on organic materials in cultural heritage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boyatzis, Stamatis; Ioakimoglou, Eleni; Facorellis, Yorgos


    Under the auspices of INVENVORG (Thales Research Funding Program – NRSF), and within a holistic approach for assessing environmental effects on organic materials in cultural heritage (CH) artefacts, the effect of artificial ageing on elemental and molecular damage and their effects on the structu...

  16. Quality assessment of strategic management in organizations - ma maturity model


    Balta Corneliu; Rosioru Nicoleta Diana


    The paper presents the actual main concepts related to assessment of quality management in organizations. Strategic management is analyzed taking into consideration the most important dimensions including leadership, culture and values, process improvement, etc. The five levels of maturity model of strategic management are described showing the connection with organizational development

  17. Organ localization: Toward prospective patient-specific organ dosimetry in computed tomography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Segars, W. P., E-mail:; Rybicki, K.; Norris, Hannah; Samei, E. [Carl E. Ravin Advanced Imaging Laboratories, Department of Radiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27705 (United States); Frush, D. [Department of Radiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27705 (United States)


    Purpose: With increased focus on radiation dose from medical imaging, prospective radiation dose estimates are becoming increasingly desired. Using available populations of adult and pediatric patient phantoms, radiation dose calculations can be catalogued and prospectively applied to individual patients that best match certain anatomical characteristics. In doing so, the knowledge of organ size and location is a required element. Here, the authors develop a predictive model of organ locations and volumes based on an analysis of adult and pediatric computed tomography (CT) data. Methods: Fifty eight adult and 69 pediatric CT datasets were segmented and utilized in the study. The maximum and minimum points of the organs were recorded with respect to the axial distance from the tip of the sacrum. The axial width, midpoint, and volume of each organ were calculated. Linear correlations between these three organ parameters and patient age, BMI, weight, and height were determined. Results: No statistically significant correlations were found in adult patients between the axial width, midpoint, and volume of the organs versus the patient age or BMI. Slight, positive linear trends were found for organ midpoint versus patient weight (max r{sup 2} = 0.382, mean r{sup 2} = 0.236). Similar trends were found for organ midpoint versus height (max r{sup 2} = 0.439, mean r{sup 2} = 0.200) and for organ volume versus height (max r{sup 2} = 0.410, mean r{sup 2} = 0.153). Gaussian fits performed on probability density functions of the adult organs resulted in r{sup 2}-values ranging from 0.96 to 0.996. The pediatric patients showed much stronger correlations overall. Strong correlations were observed between organ axial midpoint versus age, height, and weight (max r{sup 2} = 0.842, mean r{sup 2} = 0.790; max r{sup 2} = 0.949, mean r{sup 2} = 0.894; and max r{sup 2} = 0.870, mean r{sup 2} = 0.847, respectively). Moderate linear correlations were also observed for organ axial width


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vesna Čančer


    Full Text Available The assessment of social responsibility (SR in organizations requires a hierarchy of requisitely holistic factors and indicators. This paper introduces the development of measuring instrument for this multidimensional problem. Differently from using factor analysis based on principal component analysis extraction method, it presents the use of exploratory factor analysis (EFA to develop the multiple criteria model for the assessment of SR. It also discusses several approaches for the weights determination: because considering factor loadings of the indicators obtained via EFA does not tend to differentiate between the levels of importance, the SMARTER method based on ordinal scale was used in criteria weighting. It proposes the solutions for measuring local alternatives’ values with respect to indicators by using value functions. Application possibilities of the results of the multiple criteria assessment of SR are illustrated and discussed via a real-life case of organizations in Slovenia.

  19. Assessment of business activity of the organizations wholesale trade

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svetlana Alekseevna Soroka


    Full Text Available This paper is devoted to the issues related to the assessment of business activity of the enterprises in public service sphere. The importance of this problem is in the fact that an assessment of business activity is the basis for optimal management decisions to improve the efficiency of economic activities, sustainable development both of businesses in general and wholesale trade enterprises in particular. Wholesale trade enterprises fulfill a function of sales divisions and departments for the purchase of resources. An assessment of business activity of wholesale trade organizations, circumspected fulfillment of its functions by an organization, formation of complex long-term competitive advantages lead to increased production, restoration of economic connections and inter-regional integration of the consumer market, improve the efficiency of the trading process and sustainable development of the region as a whole

  20. Soil Organic Carbon Erosion Assessment by Cesium-137

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hao, Yueli; Lal, Rattan; Owens, Lloyd; Izaurralde, Roberto C.


    Soil organic carbon (SOC) is a major pool that impacts the global carbon cycle (Lal,1999). Increasing SOC pool is desirable because of its favorable effects on improving soil fertility, decreasing water and air pollution, and mitigating the greenhouse effect caused by various energy utilization activities such as fossil fuel combustion. The amount of SOC depends on kinetic competition between various input and output processes. The input processes include plant growth (plant residue, root excretion, and organic matter through-fall), addition of organic material (manure, sewage sludge, and other organic wastes) through soil management, and deposition through soil erosion. The output processes comprise decomposition into gases, leaching into groundwater, and removal through soil erosion. Assessment of these processes is one of the steps toward adopting the strategy of increasing SOC content.

  1. Microarray analysis reveals the actual specificity of enrichment media used for food safety assessment. (United States)

    Kostić, Tanja; Stessl, Beatrix; Wagner, Martin; Sessitsch, Angela


    Microbial diagnostic microarrays are tools for simultaneous detection and identification of microorganisms in food, clinical, and environmental samples. In comparison to classic methods, microarray-based systems have the potential for high throughput, parallelism, and miniaturization. High specificity and high sensitivity of detection have been demonstrated. A microbial diagnostic microarray for the detection of the most relevant bacterial food- and waterborne pathogens and indicator organisms was developed and thoroughly validated. The microarray platform based on sequence-specific end labeling of oligonucleotides and the phylogenetically robust gyrB marker gene allowed a highly specific (resolution on genus and/or species level) and sensitive (0.1% relative and 10(4) CFU absolute sensitivity) detection of the target pathogens. In initial challenge studies of the applicability of microarray-based food analysis, we obtained results demonstrating the questionable specificity of standardized culture-dependent microbiological detection methods. Taking into consideration the importance of reliable food safety assessment methods, comprehensive performance assessment is essential. Results demonstrate the potential of this new pathogen diagnostic microarray to evaluate culture-based standard methods in microbiological food analysis.

  2. Position-specific isotope modeling of organic micropollutants transformation through different reaction pathways

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jin, Biao; Rolle, Massimo


    description of isotope fractionation occurring at different molecular positions. To demonstrate specific features of the modeling approach, we simulated the degradation of three selected organic micropollutants: dichlorobenzamide (BAM), isoproturon (IPU) and diclofenac (DCF). The model accurately reproduces...

  3. Coastal Water Quality Assessment by Self-Organizing Map

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    NIU Zhiguang; ZHANG Hongwei; ZHANG Ying


    A new approach to coastal water quality assessment was put forward through study on self-organizing map (SOM). Firstly, the water quality data of Bohai Bay from 1999 to 2002 were prepared. Then, a set of software for coastal water quality assessment was developed based on the batch version algorithm of SOM and SOM toolbox in MATLAB environment. Furthermore, the training results of SOM could be analyzed with single water quality indexes, the value of N: P( atomic ratio) and the eutrophication index E so that the data were clustered into five different pollution types using k-means clustering method. Finally, it was realized that the monitoring data serial trajectory could be tracked and the new data be classified and assessed automatically. Through application it is found that this study helps to analyze and assess the coastal water quality by several kinds of graphics, which offers an easy decision support for recognizing pollution status and taking corresponding measures.

  4. [Regularities of organ-specific expression of enzyme systems in cattle]. (United States)

    Tatarenko, O F; Glazko, V I


    The organ specificity of creatine kinase, esterase, isocitrate dehydrogenase lactate dehydrogenase, nucleoside phosphorylase, adenylate kinase, hexokinase, malate dehydrogenase, malic enzyme, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase of black-white cattle has been studied. Esterases, creatine kinase, adenylate kinase, hexokinase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase have a very wide spectrum of the organ variabilities. Liver and heart have the largest specificity of enzymes activity. Some peculiarities of isozyme spectrum are found in ovaries and spleen.

  5. Organ-specific gene expression: the bHLH protein Sage provides tissue specificity to Drosophila FoxA. (United States)

    Fox, Rebecca M; Vaishnavi, Aria; Maruyama, Rika; Andrew, Deborah J


    FoxA transcription factors play major roles in organ-specific gene expression, regulating, for example, glucagon expression in the pancreas, GLUT2 expression in the liver, and tyrosine hydroxylase expression in dopaminergic neurons. Organ-specific gene regulation by FoxA proteins is achieved through cooperative regulation with a broad array of transcription factors with more limited expression domains. Fork head (Fkh), the sole Drosophila FoxA family member, is required for the development of multiple distinct organs, yet little is known regarding how Fkh regulates tissue-specific gene expression. Here, we characterize Sage, a bHLH transcription factor expressed exclusively in the Drosophila salivary gland (SG). We show that Sage is required for late SG survival and normal tube morphology. We find that many Sage targets, identified by microarray analysis, encode SG-specific secreted cargo, transmembrane proteins, and the enzymes that modify these proteins. We show that both Sage and Fkh are required for the expression of Sage target genes, and that co-expression of Sage and Fkh is sufficient to drive target gene expression in multiple cell types. Sage and Fkh drive expression of the bZip transcription factor Senseless (Sens), which boosts expression of Sage-Fkh targets, and Sage, Fkh and Sens colocalize on SG chromosomes. Importantly, expression of Sage-Fkh target genes appears to simply add to the tissue-specific gene expression programs already established in other cell types, and Sage and Fkh cannot alter the fate of most embryonic cell types even when expressed early and continuously.

  6. 75 FR 61694 - Notice of Request for Extension of the Organic Assessment Exemption (United States)


    ... exemption from market promotion assessments under 26 marketing order programs. DATES: Comments on this... matter of public record. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Organic Handler Market Promotion Assessment... ``Certified Organic Handler Application for Exemption from Market Promotion Assessments Paid Under...

  7. Ambulatory Assessment in Panic Disorder and Specific Phobia (United States)

    Alpers, Georg W.


    Anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent mental disorders. In panic disorder, panic attacks often occur at unpredictable times, making it difficult to study these episodes in the laboratory. In specific phobias, symptoms occur in very circumscribed situations and specific triggers are sometimes difficult to reproduce in the laboratory.…

  8. Fabrication and life cycle assessment of organic photovoltaics (United States)

    Anctil, Annick


    Increasing demand for renewable energy has resulted in a new interest for alternative technologies such as organic photovoltaics. With efficiencies exceeding 8% for both polymer and small molecule photovoltaics, organic photovoltaics are now being commercialized due to their flexibility and low weight which allow for their adoption in new applications such as portable electronics, smart fabrics, and building-integrated photovoltaics. To date, most research efforts have been focused on increasing power efficiency with little assessment of potential negative impacts associated with their large scale production. It is generally assumed that organic photovoltaics have low environmental impacts and are by nature inexpensive to produce since they are often solution processed. In the present work, a comprehensive analysis of the life cycle embodied energy for C60 and C70 fullerenes which are the most common acceptor molecules in organic photovoltaics, has been performed from cradle-to-gate, including the relative contributions from synthesis, separation, purification, and functionalization processes. The embodied energy of all fullerenes was calculated to be an order of magnitude higher than most bulk chemicals. These results have enabled the life cycle impact associated with the production of various types of organic photovoltaics to be calculated, including polymer, small molecule and multi-junction devices. An outcome of the life cycle assessment for organic photovoltaics shows that small molecule devices require significant fabrication energy from high vacuum processing and their efficiency is limited by poor absorption in the near-infrared (NIR). Therefore, a solution processing approach with novel NIR absorbing molecules in multi-junction devices has been developed in order to minimize the total cumulative energy. The combined efforts have led to the first demonstration of a spray-coated small molecule photovoltaic NIR device, using a combination of ZnPc and Al

  9. Virulence of the maize smut Ustilago maydis is shaped by organ-specific effectors. (United States)

    Schilling, Lena; Matei, Alexandra; Redkar, Amey; Walbot, Virginia; Doehlemann, Gunther


    With the exception of Ustilago maydis, smut fungi infecting monocotyledonous hosts systemically colonize infected plants and cause symptoms exclusively in the inflorescences. Ustilago may disinfects primordia of all aerial organs of maize (Zea mays L.) and results in the formation of large plant tumours. Previously, we have found that U. maydis infection of seedling leaves, adult leaves and tassels causes organ-specific transcriptional changes in both the pathogen and the host. Of particular interest, U. may disgenes encoding secreted proteins are differentially expressed depending on the colonized maize organ. Therefore, we hypothesized that the fungus secretes virulence-related proteins (effectors)that act in an organ-specific manner. Here, we present the identification and functional characterization of 20 presumptive organ-specific U. maydis effector genes. Ustilago maydis deletion strains for these genes were generated and tested for infectivity of maize seedling leaves and tassels. This approach identified 11 effector genes required for the full virulence of U. maydis. In nine cases, virulence was only affected in one of the tested plant organs. These results demonstrate that individual fungal effector proteins contribute to fungal virulence in an organ-specific manner.

  10. Value of serum TORCH-specific antibody detection in assessment of neonatal jaundice

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guang-Hua Dai


    Objective:To study the value of serum TORCH-specific antibody detection in assessment of neonatal jaundice.Methods:A total of 70 cases of children with neonatal jaundice were selected as jaundice group, 70 cases of healthy newborn were the control group, and serum serum TORCH-specific antibody content as well as heart function, liver function, kidney function and nerve function indicators were detected.Results: Serum TOX-IgM, RV-IgM, CMV-IgM and HSV-IgM positive rate and content of jaundice group were significantly higher than those of control group; serum CK-MB, cTnI, AST, ALT, Cys-C, RBP, MBP, S100β and NSE content of TORCH-positive children were significantly higher than those of TORCH-negative children, and BDNF, NT-3, NT-4 and NGF content were significantly lower than those of TORCH-negative children; T1WI signal of pallidum MRI of TORCH-positive children was significantly higher than that of TORCH-negative children.Conclusions:Serum TORCH-specific antibodies significantly increase in children with neonatal jaundice and can assess the degree of bilirubin metabolism disorder and the degree of target organ damage.

  11. Molecularly imprinted polymers for the pre-concentration of polar organic micropollutants for compound-specific isotope analysis (United States)

    Bakkour, Rani; Hofstetter, Thomas B.


    Compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA) is a promising tool for assessing transformations of polar organic micropollutants such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals and consumer chemicals in aquatic systems. There are, however, two major challenges: (1) Polar organic micropollutants occur at very low levels and, as a consequence, large amounts of water are required to achieve analyte enrichment with factors of 50'000 and more, inevitably leading to large interferences from the aqueous matrix. (2) The polarity of these micropollutants impedes the use of typical non-polar sorbates for solid-phase enrichment. In view of these challenges, the use of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIP) is a promising approach to produce tailor-made materials for highly selective enrichment of polar organic micropollutants with reduced matrix interferences. In this work, we explore the use of MIP to selectively enrich benzotriazoles, an important class of polar aquatic micropollutants. Polymers were synthesized in the presence of 5,6-dimethyl-1H-benzotriazole as a template, which leaves cavities in the polymer matrix with a very high affinity to the template and closely related structures including our main target analyte, 1H-benzotrizole. After extraction of the template, specific recognition of substituted benzotriazoles is expected by the synthesized MIPs. As the MIP has no specific affinity to the matrix, there is also expected to be negligible enrichment of the matrix. Retention factors of the MIP are compared for different synthetic procedures and to non-imprinted polymers where no specific intermolecular interactions with benzotriazoles are expected. Optimum performance of the MIP is demonstrated in this study in terms of the selectivity of enrichment, recoveries of analytes and the goodness of carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios measured by gas chromatography isotopic ratio mass spectrometry (GC/IRMS). This approach will enable us to enrich large amounts of aqueous samples while

  12. Assessment of bioavailable organic phosphorus in tropical forest soils by organic acid extraction and phosphatase hydrolysis. (United States)

    Darch, Tegan; Blackwell, Martin S A; Chadwick, David; Haygarth, Philip M; Hawkins, Jane M B; Turner, Benjamin L


    Soil organic phosphorus contributes to the nutrition of tropical trees, but is not accounted for in standard soil phosphorus tests. Plants and microbes can release organic anions to solubilize organic phosphorus from soil surfaces, and synthesize phosphatases to release inorganic phosphate from the solubilized compounds. We developed a procedure to estimate bioavailable organic phosphorus in tropical forest soils by simulating the secretion processes of organic acids and phosphatases. Five lowland tropical forest soils with contrasting properties (pH 4.4-6.1, total P 86-429 mg P kg(- 1)) were extracted with 2 mM citric acid (i.e., 10 μmol g(- 1), approximating rhizosphere concentrations) adjusted to soil pH in a 4:1 solution to soil ratio for 1 h. Three phosphatase enzymes were then added to the soil extract to determine the forms of hydrolysable organic phosphorus. Total phosphorus extracted by the procedure ranged between 3.22 and 8.06 mg P kg(- 1) (mean 5.55 ± 0.42 mg P kg(- 1)), of which on average three quarters was unreactive phosphorus (i.e., organic phosphorus plus inorganic polyphosphate). Of the enzyme-hydrolysable unreactive phosphorus, 28% was simple phosphomonoesters hydrolyzed by phosphomonoesterase from bovine intestinal mucosa, a further 18% was phosphodiesters hydrolyzed by a combination of nuclease from Penicillium citrinum and phosphomonoesterase, and the remaining 51% was hydrolyzed by a broad-spectrum phytase from wheat. We conclude that soil organic phosphorus can be solubilized and hydrolyzed by a combination of organic acids and phosphatase enzymes in lowland tropical forest soils, indicating that this pathway could make a significant contribution to biological phosphorus acquisition in tropical forests. Furthermore, we have developed a method that can be used to assess the bioavailability of this soil organic phosphorus.

  13. Strategically Assessing International Business Course-Specific Learning Aims (United States)

    Kashlak, Roger; Lorenzi, Peter; Cummings, Jeffrey


    During the past 30 years, there have been calls for universities and business schools to internationalize curriculum, students and faculty. As most U.S. business schools have added international components to their respective programs, the assessment of these programs was subsequently recommended from accreditation and competitive perspectives. To…

  14. Specificity, contexts, and reference groups matter when assessing autistic traits (United States)

    Stevenson, Jennifer L.; Dern, Sebastian


    Many of the personality and behavioral traits (e.g., social imperviousness, directness in conversation, lack of imagination, affinity for solitude, difficulty displaying emotions) that are known to be sensitive to context (with whom?) and reference group (according to whom?) also appear in questionnaire-based assessments of autistic traits. Therefore, two experiments investigated the effects of specifying contexts and reference groups when assessing autistic traits in autistic and non-autistic participants. Experiment 1 (124 autistic and 124 non-autistic participants) demonstrated that context matters when assessing autistic traits (F(1,244) = 267.5, p < .001, η2p = .523). When the context of the Broad Autism Phenotype Questionnaire was specified as the participants’ out-group (e.g., “I like being around non-autistic people” or “I like being around autistic people”), both autistic and non-autistic participants self-reported having more autistic traits; when the context was specified as the participants’ in-group, participants reported having fewer autistic traits. Experiment 2 (82 autistic and 82 non-autistic participants) demonstrated that reference group matters when assessing autistic traits (F(2,160) = 94.38, p < .001, η2p = .541). When the reference group on the Social Responsiveness Scale was specified as the participants’ out-group (e.g., “According to non-autistic people, I have unusual eye contact”), autistic participants reported having more autistic traits; when the reference group was their in-group, autistic participants reported having fewer autistic traits. Non-autistic participants appeared insensitive to reference group on the Social Responsiveness Scale. Exploratory analyses suggested that when neither the context nor the reference group is specified (for assessing autistic traits on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient), both autistic and non-autistic participants use the majority (“non-autistic people”) as the implied context and

  15. Converging hazard assessment of gold nanoparticles to aquatic organisms. (United States)

    García-Cambero, Jesús Pablo; Núñez García, Mercedes; López, Gema Díaz; Herranz, Ana López; Cuevas, Laureano; Pérez-Pastrana, Esperanza; Cuadal, Judith Sendra; Castelltort, Marc Ramis; Calvo, Argelia Castaño


    The gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs) are being increasingly used because of their huge diversity of applications, and consequently, elevated levels in the environment are expected. However, due to their physico-chemical properties and functionalization a high variety of Au-NPs can be found, and complete toxicological information for each type of Au-NPs still lacks, and even, the toxicological information for the same species is sometimes contradictory. Therefore, hazard assessment should be done case by case. Hence, the objective of this study was to obtain ecotoxicological information of the same Au-NPs in aquatic organisms and to find a rationale for Au-NPs toxicity. For such a purpose, bare and hyaluronic acid capped Au-NPs (12.5 nm) along with Au-NPs bulk material were tested on freshwater algae, Daphnia and zebrafish. Results showed that while gold nanoparticles were found to be harmless to the tested organisms, the soluble gold showed to be toxic to algae and Daphnia, with an LC50 between 1 and 2 mg L(-1). Comparing our results with those gathered in the literature, it appears that a common hazard assessment of Au-NPs on the studied organisms can be elucidated.

  16. Dendritic Cells Coordinate the Development and Homeostasis of Organ-Specific Regulatory T Cells. (United States)

    Leventhal, Daniel S; Gilmore, Dana C; Berger, Julian M; Nishi, Saki; Lee, Victoria; Malchow, Sven; Kline, Douglas E; Kline, Justin; Vander Griend, Donald J; Huang, Haochu; Socci, Nicholas D; Savage, Peter A


    Although antigen recognition mediated by the T cell receptor (TCR) influences many facets of Foxp3(+) regulatory T (Treg) cell biology, including development and function, the cell types that present antigen to Treg cells in vivo remain largely undefined. By tracking a clonal population of Aire-dependent, prostate-specific Treg cells in mice, we demonstrated an essential role for dendritic cells (DCs) in regulating organ-specific Treg cell biology. We have shown that the thymic development of prostate-specific Treg cells required antigen presentation by DCs. Moreover, Batf3-dependent CD8α(+) DCs were dispensable for the development of this clonotype and had negligible impact on the polyclonal Treg cell repertoire. In the periphery, CCR7-dependent migratory DCs coordinated the activation of organ-specific Treg cells in the prostate-draining lymph nodes. Our results demonstrate that the development and peripheral regulation of organ-specific Treg cells are dependent on antigen presentation by DCs, implicating DCs as key mediators of organ-specific immune tolerance.

  17. Momentary patterns of covariation between specific affects and interpersonal behavior: Linking relationship science and personality assessment. (United States)

    Ross, Jaclyn M; Girard, Jeffrey M; Wright, Aidan G C; Beeney, Joseph E; Scott, Lori N; Hallquist, Michael N; Lazarus, Sophie A; Stepp, Stephanie D; Pilkonis, Paul A


    Relationships are among the most salient factors affecting happiness and wellbeing for individuals and families. Relationship science has identified the study of dyadic behavioral patterns between couple members during conflict as an important window in to relational functioning with both short-term and long-term consequences. Several methods have been developed for the momentary assessment of behavior during interpersonal transactions. Among these, the most popular is the Specific Affect Coding System (SPAFF), which organizes social behavior into a set of discrete behavioral constructs. This study examines the interpersonal meaning of the SPAFF codes through the lens of interpersonal theory, which uses the fundamental dimensions of Dominance and Affiliation to organize interpersonal behavior. A sample of 67 couples completed a conflict task, which was video recorded and coded using SPAFF and a method for rating momentary interpersonal behavior, the Continuous Assessment of Interpersonal Dynamics (CAID). Actor partner interdependence models in a multilevel structural equation modeling framework were used to study the covariation of SPAFF codes and CAID ratings. Results showed that a number of SPAFF codes had clear interpersonal signatures, but many did not. Additionally, actor and partner effects for the same codes were strongly consistent with interpersonal theory's principle of complementarity. Thus, findings reveal points of convergence and divergence in the 2 systems and provide support for central tenets of interpersonal theory. Future directions based on these initial findings are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record

  18. Self-Organizing Maps for Fingerprint Image Quality Assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Martin Aastrup; Tabassi, Elham; Makarov, Anton


    Fingerprint quality assessment is a crucial task which needs to be conducted accurately in various phases in the biometric enrolment and recognition processes. Neglecting quality measurement will adversely impact accuracy and efficiency of biometric recognition systems (e.g. verification and iden......Fingerprint quality assessment is a crucial task which needs to be conducted accurately in various phases in the biometric enrolment and recognition processes. Neglecting quality measurement will adversely impact accuracy and efficiency of biometric recognition systems (e.g. verification...... machine learning techniques. We train a self-organizing map (SOM) to cluster blocks of fingerprint images based on their spatial information content. The output of the SOM is a high-level representation of the finger image, which forms the input to a Random Forest trained to learn the relationship between...

  19. Monitoring of Transplanted Liver Health by Quantification of Organ-Specific Genomic Marker in Circulating DNA from Receptor (United States)

    Macher, Hada C.; Suárez-Artacho, Gonzalo; Guerrero, Juan M.; Gómez-Bravo, Miguel A.; Álvarez-Gómez, Sara; Bernal-Bellido, Carmen; Dominguez-Pascual, Inmaculada; Rubio, Amalia


    Background Health assessment of the transplanted organ is very important due to the relationship of long-term survival of organ transplant recipients and health organ maintenance. Nowadays, the measurement of cell-free DNA from grafts in the circulation of transplant recipients has been considered a potential biomarker of organ rejection or transplant associated complications in an attempt to replace or reduce liver biopsy. However, methods developed to date are expensive and extremely time-consuming. Our approach was to measure the SRY gene, as a male organ biomarker, in a setting of sex-mismatched female recipients of male donor organs. Methods Cell-free DNA quantization of the SRY gene was performed by real-time quantitative PCR beforehand, at the moment of transplantation during reperfusion (day 0) and during the stay at the intensive care unit. Beta-globin cell-free DNA levels, a general cellular damage marker, were also quantified. Results Beta-globin mean values of patients, who accepted the graft without any complications during the first week after surgery, diminished from day 0 until patient stabilization. This decrease was not so evident in patients who suffered some kind of post-transplantation complications. All patients showed an increase in SRY levels at day 0, which decreased during hospitalization. Different complications that did not compromise donated organs showed increased beta-globin levels but no SRY gene levels. However, when a donated organ was damaged the patients exhibited high levels of both genes. Conclusion Determination of a SRY gene in a female recipient's serum is a clear and specific biomarker of donated organs and may give us important information about graft health in a short period of time by a non-expensive technique. This approach may permit clinicians to maintain a close follow up of the transplanted patient. PMID:25489845

  20. Monitoring of transplanted liver health by quantification of organ-specific genomic marker in circulating DNA from receptor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hada C Macher

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Health assessment of the transplanted organ is very important due to the relationship of long-term survival of organ transplant recipients and health organ maintenance. Nowadays, the measurement of cell-free DNA from grafts in the circulation of transplant recipients has been considered a potential biomarker of organ rejection or transplant associated complications in an attempt to replace or reduce liver biopsy. However, methods developed to date are expensive and extremely time-consuming. Our approach was to measure the SRY gene, as a male organ biomarker, in a setting of sex-mismatched female recipients of male donor organs. METHODS: Cell-free DNA quantization of the SRY gene was performed by real-time quantitative PCR beforehand, at the moment of transplantation during reperfusion (day 0 and during the stay at the intensive care unit. Beta-globin cell-free DNA levels, a general cellular damage marker, were also quantified. RESULTS: Beta-globin mean values of patients, who accepted the graft without any complications during the first week after surgery, diminished from day 0 until patient stabilization. This decrease was not so evident in patients who suffered some kind of post-transplantation complications. All patients showed an increase in SRY levels at day 0, which decreased during hospitalization. Different complications that did not compromise donated organs showed increased beta-globin levels but no SRY gene levels. However, when a donated organ was damaged the patients exhibited high levels of both genes. CONCLUSION: Determination of a SRY gene in a female recipient's serum is a clear and specific biomarker of donated organs and may give us important information about graft health in a short period of time by a non-expensive technique. This approach may permit clinicians to maintain a close follow up of the transplanted patient.

  1. Development and testing of biosensors that quantitatively and specifically detect organic contaminants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jackson, P.; Keim, P. [Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States); Kuske, C.; Willardson, B. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)


    This is the final report of a two-year Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The project sought to develop a more sensitive and less expensive method of detecting organic contaminants. Assaying complex environmental samples for organic contaminant content is costly and labor intensive. This often limits extensive testing. Sensitive microbial biosensors that detect specific organic contaminants in complex waste mixtures without prior separation from other waste components have been developed. Some soil microbes degrade organic compounds that contaminate the environment. These bacteria sense minute quantities of particular organic compounds then respond by activating genes encoding enzymes that degrade these molecules. Genetic manipulation of these gene regulatory processes has been employed to develop unique biosensors that detect specific organic compounds using standard biochemical assays. Such biosensors allow rapid, sensitive testing of environmental samples for selected organic contaminants. The cost of biosensor assays is at least 100-fold less than present methods, allowing more rapid and extensive testing and site characterization.

  2. Position-specific isotope modeling of organic micropollutants transformation through different reaction pathways. (United States)

    Jin, Biao; Rolle, Massimo


    The degradation of organic micropollutants occurs via different reaction pathways. Compound specific isotope analysis is a valuable tool to identify such degradation pathways in different environmental systems. We propose a mechanism-based modeling approach that provides a quantitative framework to simultaneously evaluate concentration as well as bulk and position-specific multi-element isotope evolution during the transformation of organic micropollutants. The model explicitly simulates position-specific isotopologues for those atoms that experience isotope effects and, thereby, provides a mechanistic description of isotope fractionation occurring at different molecular positions. To demonstrate specific features of the modeling approach, we simulated the degradation of three selected organic micropollutants: dichlorobenzamide (BAM), isoproturon (IPU) and diclofenac (DCF). The model accurately reproduces the multi-element isotope data observed in previous experimental studies. Furthermore, it precisely captures the dual element isotope trends characteristic of different reaction pathways as well as their range of variation consistent with observed bulk isotope fractionation. It was also possible to directly validate the model capability to predict the evolution of position-specific isotope ratios with available experimental data. Therefore, the approach is useful both for a mechanism-based evaluation of experimental results and as a tool to explore transformation pathways in scenarios for which position-specific isotope data are not yet available.

  3. Stochastic sensors designed for assessment of biomarkers specific to obesity. (United States)

    Cioates Negut, Catalina; Stefan-van Staden, Raluca-Ioana; Ungureanu, Eleonora-Mihaela; Udeanu, Denisa Ioana


    Two stochastic sensors based on the following oleamides: 1-adamantyloleamide and N,N-dimethyl-N-(2-oleylamidoethyl)amine physically immobilized on graphite paste were designed. The sensors were able to determine simultaneously from the whole blood of Wistar rats three biomarkers specific to obesity: leptin, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1). The whole blood samples were obtained from Wistar rats treated with oleoylethanolamide (OEA), (Z)-N-[(1S)-2-hidroxy-1-(phenylmethyl) ethyl]-9octadecenamide (OLA), and with the aqueous solution of 1% Tween 80 used as solvent for oleamides formulations (control samples). The proposed sensors were very sensitive and reliable for the assay of obesity biomarkers in whole blood of rats.

  4. Functional rather than effector-specific organization of human posterior parietal cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heed, T.; Beurze, S.M.; Toni, I.; Roder, B.; Medendorp, Pieter


    Neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies have shown that the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) distinguishes between the planning of eye and hand movements. This distinction has usually been interpreted as evidence for a modular, effector-specific organization of this cerebral region. However, the

  5. Determining Role of Temperature Chart while Evaluating Specific Expenses of Organic Fuel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. P. Nesenchouk


    Full Text Available The paper considers designing principles of operational space continuous heating and heat-treating furnaces at mechanical engineering, automotive and tractor enterprises in theRepublicofBelarus. A role of temperature chart on heating metallic charge while evaluating specific expenses of organic fuel in heating and heat-treating furnaces of mechanical engineering, automotive and tractor industries. 

  6. Comparative toxicology of laboratory organisms for assessing hazardous waste sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, W.E.; Peterson, S.A.; Greene, J.C.; Callahan, C.A.


    Multi-media/multi-trophic level bioassays have been proposed to determine the extent and severity of environmental contamination at hazardous waste sites. Comparative toxicological profiles for algae (Selenastrum capricornutum), daphnia (Daphnia magna), earthworms (Eisenia foetida), microbes (Photobacterium fisherii, mixed sewage microorganisms) and plants; wheat Stephens, (Triticum aestivum), lettuce, butter crunch, (Lactuca sativa L.) radish, Cherry Belle, (Raphanus sativa L.), red clover, Kenland, (Trifolium pratense L.) and cucumber, Spartan Valor, (Cucumis sativa L.) are presented for selected heavy metals, herbicides and insecticides. Specific chemical EC/sub 50/ values are presented for each test organism. Differences in standard deviations were compared between each individual test organism, as well as for the chemical subgroup assayed. Algae and daphnia are the most sensitive test organisms to heavy metals and insecticides followed in order of decreasing sensitivity by Microtox (Photobacterium fisherii), DO depletion rate, seed germination and earthworms. Higher plants were most sensitive to 2,4-D, (2,4-Dichlorophenoxy acetic acid) followed by algae, Microtox, daphnia and earthworms. Differences in toxicity of 2,4-D chemical formulations and commercial sources of insecticides were observed with algae and daphia tests.

  7. The differential effects of task complexity on domain-specific and peer assessment skills

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sluijsmans, Dominique; Zundert, Marjo van; Könings, K.; Merriënboer, J.J.G. van


    In this study the relationship between domain-specific skills and peer assessment skills as a function of task complexity is investigated. We hypothesised that peer assessment skills were superposed on domain-specific skills and will therefore suffer more when higher cognitive load is induced by inc

  8. Specificity and combinatorial effects of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins in the context of GMO environmental risk assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelika eHilbeck


    Full Text Available Stacked GM crops expressing up to six Cry toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis are today replacing the formerly grown single- transgene GM crop varieties. Stacking of multiple Cry toxins not only increase the environmental load of toxins but also raise the question on how possible interactions of the toxins can be assessed for risk assessment, which is mandatory for GM crops. However, no operational guidelines for a testing strategy or testing procedures exist. From the developers point of view, little data testing for combinatorial effects of Cry toxins is necessary as the range of affected organisms is focused on pest species and no evidence is claimed to exists pointing to combinatorial effects on nontarget organisms. We have examined this rationale critically using information reported in the scientific literature. To do so we address the hypothesis of narrow specificity of Cry toxins subdivided into three underlying different conceptual conditions i 'efficacy' in target pests as indicator for 'narrow specificity', ii lack of reported adverse effects of Cry toxins on nontarget organisms, and iii proposed modes of action of Cry toxins (or the lack thereof as mechanisms underlying the reported activity/efficacy/specificity of Cry toxins. Complementary to this information we evaluate reports about outcomes of combinatorial effect testing of Cry toxins in the scientific literature and relate those findings to the practice of the environmental risk assessment of Bt-corps in general and of stacked Bt-events in particular.

  9. Organism-specific rRNA capture system for application in next-generation sequencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sai-Kam Li

    Full Text Available RNA-sequencing is a powerful tool in studying RNomics. However, the highly abundance of ribosomal RNAs (rRNA and transfer RNA (tRNA have predominated in the sequencing reads, thereby hindering the study of lowly expressed genes. Therefore, rRNA depletion prior to sequencing is often performed in order to preserve the subtle alteration in gene expression especially those at relatively low expression levels. One of the commercially available methods is to use DNA or RNA probes to hybridize to the target RNAs. However, there is always a concern with the non-specific binding and unintended removal of messenger RNA (mRNA when the same set of probes is applied to different organisms. The degree of such unintended mRNA removal varies among organisms due to organism-specific genomic variation. We developed a computer-based method to design probes to deplete rRNA in an organism-specific manner. Based on the computation results, biotinylated-RNA-probes were produced by in vitro transcription and were used to perform rRNA depletion with subtractive hybridization. We demonstrated that the designed probes of 16S rRNAs and 23S rRNAs can efficiently remove rRNAs from Mycobacterium smegmatis. In comparison with a commercial subtractive hybridization-based rRNA removal kit, using organism-specific probes is better in preserving the RNA integrity and abundance. We believe the computer-based design approach can be used as a generic method in preparing RNA of any organisms for next-generation sequencing, particularly for the transcriptome analysis of microbes.

  10. Assessment of construction workers’ hydration status using urine specific gravity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saideh Montazer


    Full Text Available Objectives: The study objective was to assess hydration status by measuring USG among construction workers in Iran. Materials and Methods: The study design was comparative and experimental. Sixty participants were randomly selected from the construction workers from a construction campus with a similar type of work, climate and diet and formed 2 groups (individuals exposed to the sun and non-exposed individuals. TWL and USG were measured in both groups on 2 consequent days, at the beginning, mid and end of the work shift. Results: USG test showed that mean USG was 1.0213±0.0054 in the control group and in the exposed group, where it was significantly higher, it amounted to 1.026±0.005. In the exposed group, 38% of workers had a USG level between 1.026-1.030, representing a higher risk of heat illness and impaired performance and 12.72% had a USG level above 1.030 representing a clinically dehydrated status, while this proportion in the control group was 15.2% and 0.58%, respectively. The mean TWL index measure was 215.8±5.2 W/m2 for the control group and 144±9.8 W/m2 for the exposed group, where, again, it was significantly higher. The Pearson correlation measure showed a significant correlation between USG and TWL. Conclusions: Strong correlation between TWL, as an indicator of thermal stress and USG shows that USG can be considered as a predictor of thermal stress. The difference between USG among the exposed and non-exposed workers and the increase in USG during midday work show the sensitivity of this measure in different thermal and climatic conditions, whereas, the high level of dehydration among workers despite acceptable TWL level, shows that heat stress management without considering the real hydration status of workers, is insufficient.

  11. Reporting intellectual capital in health care organizations: specifics, lessons learned, and future research perspectives. (United States)

    Veltri, Stefania; Bronzetti, Giovanni; Sicoli, Graziella


    This article analyzes the concept of intellectual capital (IC) in the health sector sphere by studying the case of a major nonprofit research organization in this sector, which has for some time been publishing IC reports. In the last few years, health care organizations have been the object of great attention in the implementation and transfer of managerial models and tools; however, there is still a lack of attention paid to the strategic management of IC as a fundamental resource for supporting and enhancing performance improvement dynamics. The main aim of this article is to examine the IC reporting model used by the Center of Molecular Medicine (CMM), a Swedish health organization which is an outstanding benchmark in reporting its IC. We also consider the specifics of IC reporting for health organizations, the lessons learned by analyzing CMM's IC reporting, and future perspectives for research.

  12. Responses of absolute and specific soil enzyme activities to long term additions of organic and mineral fertilizer. (United States)

    Zhang, Xinyu; Dong, Wenyi; Dai, Xiaoqin; Schaeffer, Sean; Yang, Fengting; Radosevich, Mark; Xu, Lili; Liu, Xiyu; Sun, Xiaomin


    Long-term phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) applications may seriously affect soil microbial activity. A long-term field fertilizer application trial was established on reddish paddy soils in the subtropical region of southern China in 1998. We assessed the effects of swine manure and seven different rates or ratios of NPK fertilizer treatments on (1) the absolute and specific enzyme activities per unit of soil organic carbon (SOC) or microbial biomass carbon (MBC) involved in C, N, and P transformations and (2) their relationships with soil environmental factors and soil microbial community structures. The results showed that manure applications led to increases in the absolute and specific activities of soil β-1,4-glucosidase(βG), β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG), and leucine aminopeptidase (LAP). The absolute and specific acid phosphatase (AP) activities decreased as mineral P fertilizer application rates and ratios increased. Redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that there were negative correlations between absolute and specific AP activities, pH, and total P contents, while there were positive correlations between soil absolute and specific βG, NAG, and LAP enzyme activities, and SOC and total N contents. RDA showed that the contents of actinomycete and Gram-positive bacterium PLFA biomarkers are more closely related to the absolute and specific enzyme activities than the other PLFA biomarkers (Pfertilizer application rates to subtropical paddy soils should not exceed 44 kg P ha(-1) year(-1).

  13. Of plasticity and specificity: dialectics of the micro- and macro-environment and the organ phenotype. (United States)

    Bhat, Ramray; Bissell, Mina J


    The study of biological form and how it arises is the domain of the developmental biologists; but once the form is achieved, the organ poses a fascinating conundrum for all the life scientists: how are form and function maintained in adult organs throughout most of the life of the organism? That they do appears to contradict the inherently plastic nature of organogenesis during development. How do cells with the same genetic information arrive at, and maintain such different architectures and functions, and how do they keep remembering that they are different from each other? It is now clear that narratives based solely on genes and an irreversible regulatory dynamics cannot answer these questions satisfactorily, and the concept of microenvironmental signaling needs to be added to the equation. During development, cells rearrange and differentiate in response to diffusive morphogens, juxtacrine signals and the extracellular matrix (ECM). These components, which constitute the modular microenvironment, are sensitive to cues from other tissues and organs of the developing embryo as well as from the external macroenvironment. On the other hand, once the organ is formed, these modular constituents integrate and constrain the organ architecture, which ensures structural and functional homeostasis and therefore, organ specificity. We argue here that a corollary of the above is that once the organ architecture is compromised in adults by mutations or by changes in the microenvironment such as aging or inflammation, that organ becomes subjected to the developmental and embryonic circuits in search of a new identity. But since the microenvironment is no longer embryonic, the confusion leads to cancer: hence as we have argued, tumors become new evolutionary organs perhaps in search of an elusive homeostasis.

  14. Environmental assessment of low-organic waste landfill scenarios by means of life-cycle assessment modelling (EASEWASTE). (United States)

    Manfredi, Simone; Christensen, Thomas H; Scharff, Heijo; Jacobs, Joeri


    The environmental performance of two low-organic waste landfill scenarios ('low-organic-energy' and 'low-organic-flare') was developed and compared with two household waste landfill scenarios ('household-energy' and 'household-flare') by means of LCA-modelling. The LCA-modelling was made for 1 tonne of wet waste landfilled and the environmental aspects were evaluated for a 100-year period after disposal. The data utilized in the LCA-calculations to model the first 10-20 years of landfilling of the two low-organic waste scenarios make extensive use of site-specific data from the Nauerna Landfill (The Netherlands), but average data from other comparable, existing landfills were used too. As data from full-scale landfills do not cover more than 30-40 years of landfilling, data from laboratory simulations and accelerated tests of limited scale were also utilized. The life-cycle impact assessments show that the low-organic waste scenarios achieved better environmental performance than the household waste scenarios with regard to both ordinary and toxicity-related environmental impact categories. This indicates that the reduction of organic matter accepted at landfills (as prescribed by the European Union Landfill Directive: Council Directive 1999/31/EC, EU, Brussels, 1999) can be a successful approach to decrease the environmental loads in several impact categories in comparison with landfilling of waste with significant organic content. However, when utilization of landfill gas is accounted for in the life-cycle impact assessment calculation, the small gas generation in low-organic waste landfills reduced the actual potential for energy generation and therefore the environmental savings obtained were reduced proportionally. Groundwater pollution from input of leachate was also evaluated and the WHO (Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality; WHO, Geneva, 2006) guideline for drinking water quality was assumed as reference. The results show that low-organic waste landfills

  15. Microbial utilization of sugars in soil assessed by position-specific labeling and compound-specific 13C-PLFA-analysis (United States)

    Apostel, Carolin; Dippold, Michaela; Glaser, Bruno; Kuzyakov, Yakov


    For the transformation of low molecular weight organic substances (LMWOS) in soil, which is an important process in the turnover of organic matter, microbial utilization is one of the most important processes. Position-specific labeling combined with compound-specific 13C-PLFA-analysis allows a closer look on the mechanisms of LMWOS transformation in soil. We assessed short- (3 and 10 days) and long-term (half year) transformations of monosaccharides by adding position-specifically 13C labeled glucose and ribose to soil in a field experiment conducted on an agriculturally used luvisol located in north-western Bavaria. We quantified the microbial utilization of the different functional groups by 13C-analysis of microbial biomass with the chloroform-fumigation-extraction method (CFE). 13C-PLFA analysis enabled us to distinguish individual microbial groups and compare their C-utilization. Preferential degradation of glucoses C-3 and C-4 respectively C-1 position enabled differentiation between the two main hexose metabolic pathways - glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway. Microbial groups revealed different incorporation of specific C positions into their PLFA. The highest incorporation was reached by the prokaryotic gram- negative groups. The application of position-specifically labeled substances, coupled with compound-specific 13C-PLFA analysis opens a new way to investigate the microbial transformations of LMWOS in soil. Observing single C atoms and their utilization by specific microbial groups allow conclusions about the mechanisms and kinetics of microbial utilization and interaction between these groups and therefore will improve our understanding of soil carbon fluxes.

  16. Small organic probes as amyloid specific ligands--past and recent molecular scaffolds. (United States)

    Nilsson, K Peter R


    Molecular probes for selective staining and imaging of protein aggregates, such as amyloid, are important to advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying protein misfolding diseases and also for obtaining an early and accurate clinical diagnosis of these disorders. Since normal immunohistochemical reagents, such as antibodies have shown limitation for identifying protein aggregates both in vitro and in vivo, small organic probes have been utilized as amyloid specific markers. In this review, past and recent molecular scaffolds that have been utilized for the development of small organic amyloid imaging agents are discussed.

  17. Systemic assessment framework of a learning organization's competitive positioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wissam EL Hachem


    Full Text Available Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to devise an innovative feasible, replicable and comprehensive assessment framework of a learning organization's competitive positioning. Design/methodology/approach: The three characteristics listed above are approached as follows. Feasible refers to being easy and not in need of much resources (time, personnel,.... This is done through early elimination of non-important variables. Replicable is having a well structured methodology based on scientific proven methods. Following this methodology would result in good results that can be explained if needed and replicated if deemed necessary. Comprehensive translates into a holistic set of indices that measure performance as well as organizational learning. Findings and Originality/value: The three attributes (feasible, replicable and comprehensive have become crucial for ensuring any kind of added value for such a methodology that hopes to tackle the modern dynamic business environment and gaining a sustainable competitive advantage. Research limitations/implications: Such a methodology would require several full contextual applications to be able to set its final design. It entails thorough internal revision of a company's structure. Therefore a great deal of transparency and self-transcendence from the individual involved is a pre-requisite for any chance of success. Originality/value: It offers a systematic way to assess a company's performance/competitive positioning while accounting for the crucial attribute of organizational learning in its makeup.

  18. Symptomatic and quality of life outcomes after site-specific fascial reattachment for pelvic organ prolapse repair. (United States)

    Fayyad, Abdalla M; Redhead, Emma; Awan, Noveen; Kyrgiou, Maria; Prashar, Sanjeev; Hill, Simon R


    The aim of this study was to assess symptomatic and quality of life outcome scores following site specific fascial reattachment surgery for pelvic organ prolapse using the validated Prolapse Quality of Life (P-QOL) questionnaires. One hundred and ninety two women underwent surgery for pelvic organ prolapse; ninety four underwent anterior repair (thirty four of them had vaginal hysterectomy), and ninety eight had posterior repair. Patients filled P-QOL questionnaires 24 hours prior to surgery and a postal P-QOL questionnaire six months post operatively. Pre and post operative questionnaires were paired. Quality of life and symptoms scores were calculated using Wilcoxon signed rank test. One hundred and one women returned their questionnaires and were suitable to include in the study. Forty nine underwent anterior repair (fifteen had vaginal hysterectomy) and 52 underwent posterior repair. Quality of life scores showed significant improvement in the anterior and posterior repair groups with the exception of general health in the anterior repair group and general health and prolapse impact in the posterior repair group. Anterior repair significantly improved urinary voiding and storage symptoms. Posterior repair group showed significant improvement in defecatory symptoms. Both groups showed improvement in sexual function and general prolapse symptoms. Prolapse repair with site specific fascial reattachment results in significant improvement in quality of life scores six months after surgery. Anterior repair improves urinary voiding and storage symptoms and posterior repair improves defecatory dysfunction and urinary voiding. Sexual function improves following prolapse repair with site specific fascial reattachment.

  19. Functional rather than effector-specific organization of human posterior parietal cortex


    Heed, T.; Beurze, S.M.; Toni, I; Roder, B.; Medendorp, Pieter


    Neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies have shown that the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) distinguishes between the planning of eye and hand movements. This distinction has usually been interpreted as evidence for a modular, effector-specific organization of this cerebral region. However, the eyes differ markedly from other body parts both in terms of their functional purpose and with regard to the spatial transformations required to plan goal-directed movements. PPC may therefore provi...

  20. Performance specifications for technology development: Application for characterization of volatile organic compounds in the environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carpenter, S.E.; Doskey, P.V.; Erickson, M.D.; Lindahl, P.C.


    This report contains information about technology development for the monitoring and remediation of environmental pollution caused by the release of volatile organic compounds. Topics discussed include: performance specification processes, gas chromatography, mass spectrometer, fiber-optic chemical sensors, infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, piezoelectric sensors and electrochemical sensors. These methods are analyzed for their cost efficiency, accuracy, and the ability to meet the needs of the customer.

  1. Clinical effectiveness of modified sequential organ failure assessment scoring system for predicting ICU indexing scores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hassan Babamohamadi


    Full Text Available Background: The ability to recognize the severity of the disease in those who their survival depend entirely on admission to the intensive care unit, is very valuable clinically. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of modified sequential organ failure assessment (MSOFA scale to predict mortality and length of stay in intensive care unit patients respectively. Methods: This was a retrospective cross-sectional study conducted on hospital records of patients admitted to the intensive care unit. All patients’ records who admitted to the intensive care unit of Kowsar Hospital, Semnan city (the capital of the province, Iran, in 2015 considered as the sample. Collecting data were done during 4 weeks in April and May 2016. The data collection tool was a demographic questionnaire and modified sequential organ failure assessment scale. Exclusion criteria included discharge in the first 24 hours after admission, the patient died a few hours after admission and incomplete information to complete the modified sequential organ failure assessment form. Results: The study of 105 patients' records of the intensive care unit showed that 45.7% of patients were died, 15.2% and 39% were discharged and moved to other wards respectively. The results of logistic regression analysis and receiver operating characteristic (ROC curve showed that this criterion had moderate sensitivity and specificity for prediction of mortality and length of stay in ICU patients (Area=0.635, CI= 0.527-0.743 and each unit increase in modified sequential organ failure assessment score is accompanied by increasing 32 percent chance of death (OR=1.325; 95% CI:1.129,1.555; P= 0.001(. Also each unit increase in modified sequential organ failure assessment (MSOFA score accompanied by increasing 19% length of stay in ICU (OR=1.191; 95% CI: 1.034, 1.371; P= 0.015(. Conclusion: The results of this study showed that the modified sequential organ failure assessment scale is not

  2. Drugs, non-drugs, and disease category specificity: organ effects by ligand pharmacology. (United States)

    García-Sosa, A T; Maran, U


    Important understanding can be gained from using molecular biology-based and chemistry-based techniques together. Bayesian classifiers have thus been developed in the present work using several statistically significant molecular properties of compiled datasets of drugs and non-drugs, including their disease category or organ. The results show they provide a useful classification and simplicity of several different ligand efficiencies and molecular properties. Early recall of drugs among non-drugs using the classifiers as a ranking tool is also provided. As the chemical space of compounds is addressed together with their anatomical characterization, chemical libraries can be improved to select for specific organ or disease. Eventually, by including even finer detail, the method may help in designing libraries with specific pharmacological or toxicological target chemical space. Alternatively, a lack of statistically significant differences in property density distributions may help in further describing compounds with possibility of activity on several organs or disease groups, and given their very similar or considerably overlapping chemical space, therefore wanted or unwanted side-effects. The overlaps between densities for several properties of organs or disease categories were calculated by integrating the area under the curves where they intersect. The naïve Bayesian classifiers are readily built, fast to score, and easily interpretable.

  3. Controlled synthesis of organic nanophotonic materials with specific structures and compositions. (United States)

    Cui, Qiu Hong; Zhao, Yong Sheng; Yao, Jiannian


    Organic nanomaterials have drawn great interest for their potential applications in high-speed miniaturized photonic integration due to their high photoluminescence quantum efficiency, structural processability, ultrafast photoresponse, and excellent property engineering. Based on the rational design on morphological and componential levels, a series of organic nanomaterials have been controllably synthesized in recent years, and their excitonic/photonic behaviors has been fine-tuned to steer the light flow for specific optical applications. This review presents a comprehensive summary of recent breakthroughs in the controlled synthesis of organic nanomaterials with specific structures and compositions, whose tunable photonic properties would provide a novel platform for multifunctional applications. First, we give a general overview of the tailored construction of novel nanostructures with various photonic properties. Then, we summarize the design and controllable synthesis of composite materials for the modulation of their functionalities. Subsequently, special emphasis is put on the fabrication of complex nanostructures towards wide applications in isolated photonic devices. We conclude with our personal viewpoints on the development directions in the novel design and controllable construction of organic nanomaterials for future applications in highly integrated photonic devices and chips.

  4. How to assess exposure of aquatic organisms to manufactured nanoparticles?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Quik, Joris T.K.; Vonk, Jan Arie; Hansen, Steffen Foss;


    Ecological risk of chemicals is measured by the quotient of predicted no-effect concentrations and predicted exposure concentrations, which are hard to assess for manufactured nanomaterials (NMs). This paper proposes modifications to currently used models, in order to make them suitable for estim......Ecological risk of chemicals is measured by the quotient of predicted no-effect concentrations and predicted exposure concentrations, which are hard to assess for manufactured nanomaterials (NMs). This paper proposes modifications to currently used models, in order to make them suitable...... for estimating exposure concentrations of NMs in the aquatic environment. We have evaluated the adequacy of the current guidance documents for use with NMs and conclude that nano-specific fate processes, such as sedimentation and dissolution need to be incorporated. We have reviewed the literature...... on sedimentation and dissolution of NMs in environmentally relevant systems. We deduce that the overall kinetics of water–sediment transport of NMs should be close to first order. The lack of data on dissolution of NMs under environmentally realistic conditions calls for a pragmatic decision on which rates...

  5. Specificity assessment from fractionation experiments (SAFE): a novel method to evaluate microarray probe specificity based on hybridisation stringencies. (United States)

    Drobyshev, Alexei L; Machka, Christine; Horsch, Marion; Seltmann, Matthias; Liebscher, Volkmar; Hrabé de Angelis, Martin; Beckers, Johannes


    The cDNA-chip technology is a highly versatile tool for the comprehensive analysis of gene expression at the transcript level. Although it has been applied successfully in expression profiling projects, there is an ongoing dispute concerning the quality of such expression data. The latter critically depends on the specificity of hybridisation. SAFE (specificity assessment from fractionation experiments) is a novel method to discriminate between non- specific cross-hybridisation and specific signals. We applied in situ fractionation of hybridised target on DNA-chips by means of repeated washes with increasing stringencies. Different fractions of hybridised target are washed off at defined stringencies and the collected fluorescence intensity data at each step comprise the fractionation curve. Based on characteristic features of the fractionation curve, unreliable data can be filtered and eliminated from subsequent analyses. The approach described here provides a novel experimental tool to identify probes that produce specific hybridisation signals in DNA-chip expression profiling approaches. The iterative use of the SAFE procedure will result in increasingly reliable sets of probes for microarray experiments and significantly improve the overall efficiency and reliability of RNA expression profiling data from DNA-chip experiments.

  6. Guidelines for assessing the knowledge management maturity of organizations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. J. Kruger


    Full Text Available In a recent article Kruger and Snyman hypothesized that progressions in knowledge management maturity (from a strategic perspective are directly related to an increased ability to speed up the strategic cycle of imitation, consolidation and innovation. The arguments proposed, however, neglected to supply the reader with a practical toolkit or even a roadmap (a time-related matrix, or questionnaire to successfully measure succession in knowledge management maturity. This article builds on the previous one and proposes a questionnaire consisting of six sections, containing 101 descriptive questions, to enable organizations to test and assess their knowledge management maturity empirically. The development of an instrument to measure knowledge management maturity required adhering to a research design that combined theoretical propositions with practical experimentation. As a point of departure, a knowledge management maturity matrix consisting of seven maturity levels was formulated. All questions contained within the matrix were benchmarked against a survey questionnaire developed by the public management service of the OECD (PUMA and were also pre-tested and validated. This process of refinement led to the formulation of the Knowledge Management Maturity Questionnaire. To avoid any taint of this research being based only on theoretical propositions, the questionnaire was tested by 178 master students of the University of Pretoria, South Africa, in nine different industries. The proposed questionnaire provides a bridge between theoretical propositions and practical usability, not only enabling knowledge management practitioners to assess the level of knowledge management maturity reached successfully but, more importantly, also serving as a guideline to institutionalize further and future knowledge management endeavours.

  7. Assessing the Ability of Disability Organizations: An interprovincial comparative perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario Levesque


    Full Text Available Despite much effort put toward Canadian social policy renewal in the past decade, innovations in programming have been stifled due in large part to a lack of funding and accountability issues. This is clearly evident in the disability policy field related to labour market programming for persons with disabilities where the packaging of programs has continually changed; however, the actual contents have largely remained the same. The focus on federal-provincial dimensions has come to marginalize the role of disability organizations in the process, yet it is these organizations that governments may enter into partnership with in new governance arrangements to foster new programming. This article reviews data from charitable tax returns for the time period 2005–2010 to assess the human, financial, and technological capacity of Canadian disability organizations in five Canadian provinces, in order to implement innovative programming.RÉSUMÉMalgré beaucoup d'efforts au renouvellement de la politique sociale canadienne dans la dernière décennie, les innovations dans la programmation ont été étouffées en grande partie à l'absence de questions de financement et de responsabilité. Cela est très évidente dans le domaine de la politique handicap lié à la programmation du marché du travail pour les personnes handicapées où l'emballage des programmes a constamment changé mais le contenu réel est restés largement pareilles. L'accent sur les dimensions provinciales fédérales est venu à marginaliser le rôle des organisations de personnes handicapées dans le processus, mais ce sont ces organismes que les gouvernements peuvent entrer en partenariat avec de nouveaux modes de gouvernance pour favoriser la nouvelle programmation. Cet article examine les données de bienfaisance des déclarations de revenus pour la période 2005–2010 pour évaluer les capacités humaines, financières et technologiques des organisations de personnes

  8. Toxicity of five antibiotics and their mixtures towards photosynthetic aquatic organisms: implications for environmental risk assessment. (United States)

    González-Pleiter, Miguel; Gonzalo, Soledad; Rodea-Palomares, Ismael; Leganés, Francisco; Rosal, Roberto; Boltes, Karina; Marco, Eduardo; Fernández-Piñas, Francisca


    The individual and combined toxicities of amoxicillin, erythromycin, levofloxacin, norfloxacin and tetracycline have been examined in two organisms representative of the aquatic environment, the cyanobacterium Anabaena CPB4337 as a target organism and the green alga Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata as a non-target organism. The cyanobacterium was more sensitive than the green alga to the toxic effect of antibiotics. Erythromycin was highly toxic for both organisms; tetracycline was more toxic to the green algae whereas the quinolones levofloxacin and norfloxacin were more toxic to the cyanobacterium than to the green alga. Amoxicillin also displayed toxicity to the cyanobacterium but showed no toxicity to the green alga. The toxicological interactions of antibiotics in the whole range of effect levels either in binary or multicomponent mixtures were analyzed using the Combination Index (CI) method. In most cases, synergism clearly predominated both for the green alga and the cyanobacterium. The CI method was compared with the classical models of additivity Concentration Addition (CA) and Independent Action (IA) finding that CI could accurately predict deviations from additivity. Risk assessment was performed by calculating the ratio between Measured Environmental Concentration (MEC) and the Predicted No Effect Concentration (PNEC). A MEC/PNEC ratio higher than 1 was found for the binary erythromycin and tetracycline mixture in wastewater effluents, a combination which showed a strong synergism at low effect levels in both organisms. From the tested antibiotic mixtures, it can be concluded that certain specific combinations may pose a potential ecological risk for aquatic ecosystems with the present environmentally measured concentrations.

  9. Assessment of riverbank filtration using selected organic micropollutants (United States)

    Bichler, Andrea; Bruenjes, Robert; Lange, Frank Thomas; Brauch, Heinz-Juergen; Hofmann, Thilo


    Managed riverbank filtration (MRBF) is frequently used as a (pre)treatment step to improve surface water quality for drinking water use. In a managed RBF systems the understanding of flow patterns, mixing processes and groundwater residence times is a key factor to assess the effectiveness of the natural attenuation processes and to secure a good water quality. This study evaluates a suite of organic micropollutants (selected artificial sweeteners, pharmaceuticals and the MRI contrast agent gadolinium) as tracers for river water infiltration into a glaciofluvial aquifer. In particular, the transport behaviour of the selected micropollutants and their suitability to estimate groundwater residence times at a small scale (< 100 m) are assessed. The investigated MRBF system is located in a sub-alpine river valley in a rural catchment and the river permanently infiltrates into the aquifer. The aquifer consists of coarse carbonaceous gravel and is characterized by high permeabilities and groundwater flow velocities. The aquifer thickness reaches values of 16m with a saturated thickness of approximately 6m. The field site was instrumented with ten rhizons (Rhizosphere® microfiltration membrane pore water samplers) along a transect in groundwater flow direction to allow for a high spatial and temporal monitoring resolution. The rhizons were installed beneath the river bed and in the aquifer at different depths (7-13 m) and at different distances (20-60 m) to the river. The selected micropollutants were monitored over a period of ten days, water samples were collected as 12h composite samples. In addition to the selected micropollutants also conventional hydrochemical data and stable water isotopes were analyzed. Radon (²²²Rn) was used as a natural occurring tracer to determine groundwater ages. Based on ²²²Rn measurement the residence times were estimated to be below seven days in the transect. Hydrochemical data indicates that groundwater is recharged exclusively

  10. Objective, comparative assessment of the penetration depth of temporal-focusing microscopy for imaging various organs (United States)

    Rowlands, Christopher J.; Bruns, Oliver T.; Bawendi, Moungi G.; So, Peter T. C.


    Temporal focusing is a technique for performing axially resolved widefield multiphoton microscopy with a large field of view. Despite significant advantages over conventional point-scanning multiphoton microscopy in terms of imaging speed, the need to collect the whole image simultaneously means that it is expected to achieve a lower penetration depth in common biological samples compared to point-scanning. We assess the penetration depth using a rigorous objective criterion based on the modulation transfer function, comparing it to point-scanning multiphoton microscopy. Measurements are performed in a variety of mouse organs in order to provide practical guidance as to the achievable penetration depth for both imaging techniques. It is found that two-photon scanning microscopy has approximately twice the penetration depth of temporal-focusing microscopy, and that penetration depth is organ-specific; the heart has the lowest penetration depth, followed by the liver, lungs, and kidneys, then the spleen, and finally white adipose tissue.

  11. Applying Dynamic Assessment Principles to Online Peer Revisions in Written English for Specific Purposes (United States)

    Thouësny, Sylvie; Bradley, Linda


    The aim of this paper is to explore the extent of the applicability of dynamic assessment with respect to peer written student online revisions. More specifically, it observes how groups of Swedish computer engineering students learning English for Specific Purposes engage in cooperative interactions and negotiations with their peers as they work…

  12. Sex-specific antennal sensory system in the ant Camponotus japonicus: glomerular organizations of antennal lobes. (United States)

    Nakanishi, Aki; Nishino, Hiroshi; Watanabe, Hidehiro; Yokohari, Fumio; Nishikawa, Michiko


    Ants have well-developed chemosensory systems for social lives. The goal of our study is to understand the functional organization of the ant chemosensory system based on caste- and sex-specific differences. Here we describe the common and sex-specific glomerular organizations in the primary olfactory center, the antennal lobe of the carpenter ant Camponotus japonicus. Differential labeling of the two antennal nerves revealed distinct glomerular clusters innervated by seven sensory tracts (T1-T7 from ventral to dorsal) in the antennal lobe. T7 innervated 10 glomeruli, nine of which received thick axon terminals almost exclusively from the ventral antennal nerve. Coelocapitular (hygro-/thermoreceptive), coeloconic (thermoreceptive), and ampullaceal (CO2-receptive) sensilla, closely appositioned in the flagellum, housed one or three large sensory neurons supplying thick axons exclusively to the ventral antennal nerve. These axons, therefore, were thought to project into T7 glomeruli in all three castes. Workers and virgin females had about 140 T6 glomeruli, whereas males completely lacked these glomeruli. Female-specific basiconic sensilla (cuticular hydrocarbon-receptive) contained over 130 sensory neurons and were completely lacking in males' antennae. These sensory neurons may project into T6 glomeruli in the antennal lobe of workers and virgin females. Serotonin-immunopositive neurons innervated T1-T5 and T7 glomeruli but not T6 glomeruli in workers and virgin females. Because males had no equivalents to T6 glomeruli, serotonin-immunopositive neurons appeared to innervate all glomeruli in the male's antennal lobe. T6 glomeruli in workers and virgin females are therefore female-specific and may have functions related to female-specific tasks in the colony rather than sexual behaviors.

  13. Differential effect of plant lipids on membrane organization: specificities of phytosphingolipids and phytosterols. (United States)

    Grosjean, Kevin; Mongrand, Sébastien; Beney, Laurent; Simon-Plas, Françoise; Gerbeau-Pissot, Patricia


    The high diversity of the plant lipid mixture raises the question of their respective involvement in the definition of membrane organization. This is particularly the case for plant plasma membrane, which is enriched in specific lipids, such as free and conjugated forms of phytosterols and typical phytosphingolipids, such as glycosylinositolphosphoceramides. This question was here addressed extensively by characterizing the order level of membrane from vesicles prepared using various plant lipid mixtures and labeled with an environment-sensitive probe. Fluorescence spectroscopy experiments showed that among major phytosterols, campesterol exhibits a stronger ability than β-sitosterol and stigmasterol to order model membranes. Multispectral confocal microscopy, allowing spatial analysis of membrane organization, demonstrated accordingly the strong ability of campesterol to promote ordered domain formation and to organize their spatial distribution at the membrane surface. Conjugated sterol forms, alone and in synergy with free sterols, exhibit a striking ability to order membrane. Plant sphingolipids, particularly glycosylinositolphosphoceramides, enhanced the sterol-induced ordering effect, emphasizing the formation and increasing the size of sterol-dependent ordered domains. Altogether, our results support a differential involvement of free and conjugated phytosterols in the formation of ordered domains and suggest that the diversity of plant lipids, allowing various local combinations of lipid species, could be a major contributor to membrane organization in particular through the formation of sphingolipid-sterol interacting domains.

  14. Environmental assessment of organic juice imported to Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, Marie Trydeman; Almeida, Gustavo Fonseca; Langer, Vibeke;


    Growing global trade with organic products has given rise to a debate on the environmental impacts during both production and transport. Environmental hotspots of organic orange juice produced by smallholders in Brazil, processed and imported to Denmark, were identified in a case study using a life...... cycle approach. Furthermore, small-scale organic orange production was compared with small-scale conventional and large-scale organic orange production in the case study area in Brazil. Transport was the main contributor (58%) to the global warming potential of organic orange juice from small...... pattern for global warming potential and eutrophication. Including soil carbon sequestration in organic plantations widened the difference in global warming potential between organic and conventional. Organic small-scale farms had a higher crop diversity than conventional, which may have a positive effect...

  15. Specific absorbed fraction of X-ray in tissues from human organs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Manjunatha, H.C. [Department of Physics, Government College for Women, Karnalaka (India)


    Full text: X- rays are widely used in medical imaging and radiation therapy. The user of radioisotopes must have knowledge about how radiation interacts with matter, especially with the human body, because when photons enter the medium/body, they degrade their energy and build up in the medium, giving rise to secondary radiation. Calculations of the energy absorbed in a medium include not only the contribution of the uncollided photons from the source, but must also include the contributions from collided and secondary photons. In practice, this is done by multiplying the contribution of the uncollided photons by the energy absorption buildup factor. An accurate absorbed dose calculation needs specific absorbed fraction of energy. Geometric progression (GP) fitting method has been used to compute energy absorption build-up factor of Human organs such as brain, breast, eye lens, GI track, heart, kidney, liver, lung, lymph, ovary, pancreas, testis and skeleton-femur. The computed absorption build-up factor is used to estimate specific absorbed fraction of energy. The thickness of the medium up to 10mm and with penetration depth up to 40 mean free paths considered. The dependence of specific absorbed fraction of energy on incident photon energy, penetration and the thickness of the medium have also been studied. The specific absorbed fraction of energy increases up to the E{sub pe} and then decreases. Here E{sub pe} is the energy value at which the photo electric interaction coefficients matches with Compton interaction coefficients for a given value of effective atomic number (Z{sub eff}). The variation of specific absorbed fractions with energy is due to dominance of photoelectric absorption in the lower end and dominance of pair production in the higher photon energy region. In the lower energy end photoelectric absorption is dominant photon interaction process; hence specific absorbed fractions values minimum. As the energy of incident photon increases, Compton

  16. Hydrothermal carbonization of off-specification compost: a byproduct of the organic municipal solid waste treatment. (United States)

    Basso, Daniele; Weiss-Hortala, Elsa; Patuzzi, Francesco; Castello, Daniele; Baratieri, Marco; Fiori, Luca


    The possibility to apply the hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) process to off-specification compost (EWC 19.05.03) at present landfilled was investigated in this work. The aim was to produce a carbonaceous solid fuel for energy valorization, with the perspective of using HTC as a complementary technology to common organic waste treatments. Thus, samples of EWC 19.05.03 produced by a composting plant were processed through HTC in a batch reactor. Analytical activities allowed to characterize the HTC products and their yields. The hydrochar was characterized in terms of heating value, thermal stability and C, H, O, N, S and ash content. The liquid phase was characterized in terms of total organic carbon and mineral content. The composition of the gas phase was measured. Results show that the produced hydrochar has a great potentiality for use as solid fuel.

  17. Compound-specific {sup 13}C analysis for tracking organic pollutants through the environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spangerberg, J.E. [Lausanne Univ., Lausanne (Switzerland). Institut de Mineralogie et Petrographie


    The application of compound specific carbon isotope analyses has led to major advances in the elucidation of the origin and alteration of complex organic chemicals and priority pollutants (e.g., aliphatic hydrocarbons, PAHs, PCBs) in environmental materials. This method will provide unique information on the source and impact of pollutants of most environmental concern (e.g., organochlorines, organometals, organophosphates, polychlorinated dibenzofuranes), allowing conclusive forensic studies. Further developments of GC-C-IRMS attempt the multiple isotopic analyses of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen at molecular level. This approach will give unique information on the extremely complicate processes linking the biogeochemical reservoirs of the elements essential for life.

  18. What Risk Assessments of Genetically Modified Organisms Can Learn from Institutional Analyses of Public Health Risks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Ravi Rajan


    Full Text Available The risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs are evaluated traditionally by combining hazard identification and exposure estimates to provide decision support for regulatory agencies. We question the utility of the classical risk paradigm and discuss its evolution in GMO risk assessment. First, we consider the problem of uncertainty, by comparing risk assessment for environmental toxins in the public health domain with genetically modified organisms in the environment; we use the specific comparison of an insecticide to a transgenic, insecticidal food crop. Next, we examine normal accident theory (NAT as a heuristic to consider runaway effects of GMOs, such as negative community level consequences of gene flow from transgenic, insecticidal crops. These examples illustrate how risk assessments are made more complex and contentious by both their inherent uncertainty and the inevitability of failure beyond expectation in complex systems. We emphasize the value of conducting decision-support research, embracing uncertainty, increasing transparency, and building interdisciplinary institutions that can address the complex interactions between ecosystems and society. In particular, we argue against black boxing risk analysis, and for a program to educate policy makers about uncertainty and complexity, so that eventually, decision making is not the burden that falls upon scientists but is assumed by the public at large.

  19. What risk assessments of genetically modified organisms can learn from institutional analyses of public health risks. (United States)

    Rajan, S Ravi; Letourneau, Deborah K


    The risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are evaluated traditionally by combining hazard identification and exposure estimates to provide decision support for regulatory agencies. We question the utility of the classical risk paradigm and discuss its evolution in GMO risk assessment. First, we consider the problem of uncertainty, by comparing risk assessment for environmental toxins in the public health domain with genetically modified organisms in the environment; we use the specific comparison of an insecticide to a transgenic, insecticidal food crop. Next, we examine normal accident theory (NAT) as a heuristic to consider runaway effects of GMOs, such as negative community level consequences of gene flow from transgenic, insecticidal crops. These examples illustrate how risk assessments are made more complex and contentious by both their inherent uncertainty and the inevitability of failure beyond expectation in complex systems. We emphasize the value of conducting decision-support research, embracing uncertainty, increasing transparency, and building interdisciplinary institutions that can address the complex interactions between ecosystems and society. In particular, we argue against black boxing risk analysis, and for a program to educate policy makers about uncertainty and complexity, so that eventually, decision making is not the burden that falls upon scientists but is assumed by the public at large.

  20. The association between hypertension-specific care management processes and blood pressure outcomes in US-based physician organizations. (United States)

    Wong, Ken; Smalarz, Amy; Wu, Ning; Boulanger, Luke; Wogen, Jenifer


    Care management processes (CMP) may be implemented in health systems to improve chronic disease quality of care. The objective of this study was to assess the relationship between the presence of hypertension-specific CMP and blood pressure (BP) control among hypertensive patients within selected physician organizations in the USA-modified version of the Physician Practice Connection Readiness Survey (PPC-RS), developed by The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), was administered to chief medical officers at 28 US-based physician organizations in 2010. Hypertension-specific survey items were added to the PPC-RS and focused on medication fill compliance, chronic disease management, and patient self-management. Demographic and clinical cross-sectional data from a random sample of 300 hypertensive patients age 18 years or older were collected at each site. Physician site and patient characteristics were reported. Regression models were used to assess the relationship between hypertension-specific physician practices and patient BP control. Eligible patients had at least a 1-year history of care with the physician organization and had an encounter within the past year of data collection. Of the 28 participating sites, most had electronic medical records that handle total functionality (71.4%) and had more than 50 staff members (78.6%). Across all sites, approximately 61% of patients had controlled BP. Regression analyses found that practices that used physician education as an effort to improve medication fill compliance demonstrated improvement in BP control (changes in systolic BP: beta coefficient = -1.366, P = .034; changes in diastolic BP: beta coefficient = -0.859, P = .056). The use of a systematic process to screen or assess patients for hypertension as a risk factor was also found to be associated with improvements in BP control (changes in diastolic BP: beta coefficient = -0.860, P = .006). In addition, physician practices that maintained a list

  1. Genetically modified organisms in food-screening and specific detection by polymerase chain reaction. (United States)

    Vollenhofer, S; Burg, K; Schmidt, J; Kroath, H


    PCR methods for the detection of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were developed that can be used for screening purposes and for specific detection of glyphosate-tolerant soybean and insect-resistant maize in food. Primers were designed to amplify parts of the 35S promoter derived from Cauliflower Mosaic Virus, the NOS terminator derived from Agrobacterium tumefaciens and the antibiotic marker gene NPTII (neomycin-phosphotransferase II), to allow for general screening of foods. PCR/hybridization protocols were established for the detection of glyphosate-tolerant RoundUp Ready soybean and insect-resistant Bt-maize. Besides hybridization, confirmation of the results using restriction analysis was also possible. The described methods enabled a highly sensitive and specific detection of GMOs and thus provide a useful tool for routine analysis of raw and processed food products.

  2. Development of specific radiopharmaceuticals for infection imaging by targeting infectious micro-organisms. (United States)

    Ferro-Flores, Guillermina; Ocampo-Garcia, Blanca E; Melendez-Alafort, Laura


    Infectious diseases remain a major health problem and cause of death worldwide. A variety of radiopharmaceuticals are used for the imaging of infections and inflammation in the practice of nuclear medicine. Long-term clinical use has shown that the majority of radiolabeled probes cannot distinguish between inflammation and infection. Gallium-67-citrate binds to bacteria, but also to proteins accumulating at both sterile inflammation and bacterial infection sites. Other agents are used to interact with receptors or domains on circulating and infiltrating leukocytes or to label them directly. However, these probes cannot distinguish between infection and inflammation because they are not specific to infectious micro-organisms. This review examines the recent developments and applications of radiolabeled specific agents, such as antiviral drugs, antifungal, antibiotics and antimicrobial peptides, to visualize infectious foci by targeting viruses, fungi or bacteria.

  3. A 3-D mathematical model to identify organ-specific risks in rats during thermal stress. (United States)

    Rakesh, Vineet; Stallings, Jonathan D; Helwig, Bryan G; Leon, Lisa R; Jackson, David A; Reifman, Jaques


    Early prediction of the adverse outcomes associated with heat stress is critical for effective management and mitigation of injury, which may sometimes lead to extreme undesirable clinical conditions, such as multiorgan dysfunction syndrome and death. Here, we developed a computational model to predict the spatiotemporal temperature distribution in a rat exposed to heat stress in an attempt to understand the correlation between heat load and differential organ dysfunction. The model includes a three-dimensional representation of the rat anatomy obtained from medical imaging and incorporates the key mechanisms of heat transfer during thermoregulation. We formulated a novel approach to estimate blood temperature by accounting for blood mixing from the different organs and to estimate the effects of the circadian rhythm in body temperature by considering day-night variations in metabolic heat generation and blood perfusion. We validated the model using in vivo core temperature measurements in control and heat-stressed rats and other published experimental data. The model predictions were within 1 SD of the measured data. The liver demonstrated the greatest susceptibility to heat stress, with the maximum temperature reaching 2°C higher than the measured core temperature and 95% of its volume exceeding the targeted experimental core temperature. Other organs also attained temperatures greater than the core temperature, illustrating the need to monitor multiple organs during heat stress. The model facilitates the identification of organ-specific risks during heat stress and has the potential to aid in the development of improved clinical strategies for thermal-injury prevention and management.

  4. Human uroporphyrinogen-III synthase: genomic organization, alternative promoters, and erythroid-specific expression. (United States)

    Aizencang, G; Solis, C; Bishop, D F; Warner, C; Desnick, R J


    Uroporphyrinogen-III (URO) synthase is the heme biosynthetic enzyme defective in congenital erythropoietic porphyria. The approximately 34-kb human URO-synthase gene (UROS) was isolated, and its organization and tissue-specific expression were determined. The gene had two promoters that generated housekeeping and erythroid-specific transcripts with unique 5'-untranslated sequences (exons 1 and 2A) followed by nine common coding exons (2B to 10). Expression arrays revealed that the housekeeping transcript was present in all tissues, while the erythroid transcript was only in erythropoietic tissues. The housekeeping promoter lacked TATA and SP1 sites, consistent with the observed low level expression in most cells, whereas the erythroid promoter contained GATA1 and NF-E2 sites for erythroid specificity. Luciferase reporter assays demonstrated that the housekeeping promoter was active in both erythroid K562 and HeLa cells, while the erythroid promoter was active only in erythroid cells and its activity was increased during hemin-induced erythroid differentiation. Thus, human URO-synthase expression is regulated during erythropoiesis by an erythroid-specific alternative promoter.

  5. A highly sensitive and specific method for the screening detection of genetically modified organisms based on digital PCR without pretreatment. (United States)

    Fu, Wei; Zhu, Pengyu; Wang, Chenguang; Huang, Kunlun; Du, Zhixin; Tian, Wenying; Wang, Qin; Wang, Huiyu; Xu, Wentao; Zhu, Shuifang


    Digital PCR has developed rapidly since it was first reported in the 1990 s. It was recently reported that an improved method facilitated the detection of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). However, to use this improved method, the samples must be pretreated, which could introduce inaccuracy into the results. In our study, we explored a pretreatment-free digital PCR detection method for the screening for GMOs. We chose the CaMV35s promoter and the NOS terminator as the templates in our assay. To determine the specificity of our method, 9 events of GMOs were collected, including MON810, MON863, TC1507, MIR604, MIR162, GA21, T25, NK603 and Bt176. Moreover, the sensitivity, intra-laboratory and inter-laboratory reproducibility of our detection method were assessed. The results showed that the limit of detection of our method was 0.1%, which was lower than the labeling threshold level of the EU. The specificity and stability among the 9 events were consistent, respectively. The intra-laboratory and inter-laboratory reproducibility were both good. Finally, the perfect fitness for the detection of eight double-blind samples indicated the good practicability of our method. In conclusion, the method in our study would allow more sensitive, specific and stable screening detection of the GMO content of international trading products.

  6. Activation-induced cytidine deaminase deficiency causes organ-specific autoimmune disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koji Hase

    Full Text Available Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID expressed by germinal center B cells is a central regulator of somatic hypermutation (SHM and class switch recombination (CSR. Humans with AID mutations develop not only the autosomal recessive form of hyper-IgM syndrome (HIGM2 associated with B cell hyperplasia, but also autoimmune disorders by unknown mechanisms. We report here that AID-/- mice spontaneously develop tertiary lymphoid organs (TLOs in non-lymphoid tissues including the stomach at around 6 months of age. At a later stage, AID-/- mice develop a severe gastritis characterized by loss of gastric glands and epithelial hyperplasia. The disease development was not attenuated even under germ-free (GF conditions. Gastric autoantigen -specific serum IgM was elevated in AID-/- mice, and the serum levels correlated with the gastritis pathological score. Adoptive transfer experiments suggest that autoimmune CD4+ T cells mediate gastritis development as terminal effector cells. These results suggest that abnormal B-cell expansion due to AID deficiency can drive B-cell autoimmunity, and in turn promote TLO formation, which ultimately leads to the propagation of organ-specific autoimmune effector CD4+ T cells. Thus, AID plays an important role in the containment of autoimmune diseases by negative regulation of autoreactive B cells.

  7. Organ, cellular, and subcellular localization of brain-specific anion transporter BSAT1. (United States)

    Baklaushev, V P; Kardashova, K Sh; Gurina, O I; Yusubaliyeva, G M; Zorkina, Ya A; Chekhonin, V P


    Organ, cellular, and subcellular localization of brain-specific anion transporter BSAT1 was studied in rats using antibodies to the extracellular fragment (451-557 a.a). The antibodies were shown to recognize the antigen predominantly localized in the nervous tissue, tumors of glial origin, and primordial ovarian follicles. The absence of BSAT1 immunofluorescence signal in kidney and liver sections and accumulation of (125)I labeled antibodies to BSAT1 in these organs indicate that these antibodies do not cross-react with the most common isoforms of OATP expressed in these organs. Analysis of the cellular localization suggests that in the brain, BSAT1 is localized predominantly in astrocytes, but not in endothelial cells, as was previously reported. Laser scanning confocal microscopy with a set of relevant trackers revealed membrane localization of BSAT1. Taking into account the data on the of localization, we can conclude that antibodies to BSAT1 451-557 can be used for basic research of the transport of thyroxin and prostaglandins across the blood brain barrier and for testing the systems for targeted transport of diagnostic preparations and drugs across the blood brain barrier, e.g. to astroglial tumors.

  8. Methods for isolation and viability assessment of biological organisms (United States)

    Letant, Sonia Edith; Baker, Sarah Elyse; Bond, Tiziana; Chang, Allan Shih-Ping


    Isolation of biological or chemical organisms can be accomplished using a surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) system. The SERS system can be a single or a stacked plurality of photonic crystal membranes with noble-metal lined through pores for flowing analyte potentially containing the biological or chemical organisms. The through pores can be adapted to trap individual biological or chemical organisms and emit SERS spectra, which can then be detected by a detector and further analyzed for viability of the biological or chemical organism.

  9. Development of Monte Carlo simulations to provide scanner-specific organ dose coefficients for contemporary CT (United States)

    Jansen, Jan T. M.; Shrimpton, Paul C.


    The ImPACT (imaging performance assessment of CT scanners) CT patient dosimetry calculator is still used world-wide to estimate organ and effective doses (E) for computed tomography (CT) examinations, although the tool is based on Monte Carlo calculations reflecting practice in the early 1990’s. Subsequent developments in CT scanners, definitions of E, anthropomorphic phantoms, computers and radiation transport codes, have all fuelled an urgent need for updated organ dose conversion factors for contemporary CT. A new system for such simulations has been developed and satisfactorily tested. Benchmark comparisons of normalised organ doses presently derived for three old scanners (General Electric 9800, Philips Tomoscan LX and Siemens Somatom DRH) are within 5% of published values. Moreover, calculated normalised values of CT Dose Index for these scanners are in reasonable agreement (within measurement and computational uncertainties of  ±6% and  ±1%, respectively) with reported standard measurements. Organ dose coefficients calculated for a contemporary CT scanner (Siemens Somatom Sensation 16) demonstrate potential deviations by up to around 30% from the surrogate values presently assumed (through a scanner matching process) when using the ImPACT CT Dosimetry tool for newer scanners. Also, illustrative estimates of E for some typical examinations and a range of anthropomorphic phantoms demonstrate the significant differences (by some 10’s of percent) that can arise when changing from the previously adopted stylised mathematical phantom to the voxel phantoms presently recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), and when following the 2007 ICRP recommendations (updated from 1990) concerning tissue weighting factors. Further simulations with the validated dosimetry system will provide updated series of dose coefficients for a wide range of contemporary scanners.

  10. Development of Monte Carlo simulations to provide scanner-specific organ dose coefficients for contemporary CT. (United States)

    Jansen, Jan T M; Shrimpton, Paul C


    The ImPACT (imaging performance assessment of CT scanners) CT patient dosimetry calculator is still used world-wide to estimate organ and effective doses (E) for computed tomography (CT) examinations, although the tool is based on Monte Carlo calculations reflecting practice in the early 1990's. Subsequent developments in CT scanners, definitions of E, anthropomorphic phantoms, computers and radiation transport codes, have all fuelled an urgent need for updated organ dose conversion factors for contemporary CT. A new system for such simulations has been developed and satisfactorily tested. Benchmark comparisons of normalised organ doses presently derived for three old scanners (General Electric 9800, Philips Tomoscan LX and Siemens Somatom DRH) are within 5% of published values. Moreover, calculated normalised values of CT Dose Index for these scanners are in reasonable agreement (within measurement and computational uncertainties of  ±6% and  ±1%, respectively) with reported standard measurements. Organ dose coefficients calculated for a contemporary CT scanner (Siemens Somatom Sensation 16) demonstrate potential deviations by up to around 30% from the surrogate values presently assumed (through a scanner matching process) when using the ImPACT CT Dosimetry tool for newer scanners. Also, illustrative estimates of E for some typical examinations and a range of anthropomorphic phantoms demonstrate the significant differences (by some 10's of percent) that can arise when changing from the previously adopted stylised mathematical phantom to the voxel phantoms presently recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), and when following the 2007 ICRP recommendations (updated from 1990) concerning tissue weighting factors. Further simulations with the validated dosimetry system will provide updated series of dose coefficients for a wide range of contemporary scanners.

  11. Category-specific organization of prefrontal response-facilitation during priming. (United States)

    Bunzeck, Nico; Schütze, Hartmut; Düzel, Emrah


    in their relationship to reaction time improvement: in the left inferior frontal cortex the correlations were specific for scenes whereas and in left middle frontal gyrus they were specific for faces. There were no correlations between behavior and repetition suppression for both LOC regions, FFA and PPA. These data reveal that response-facilitation in prefrontal cortex is organized according to stimulus-properties, compatible with learning of stimulus-response mapping rather than response learning in general.

  12. Study of non-organ-specific antibodies in children with Genotype 4 chronic Hepatitis C

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed E Hamed


    Full Text Available Background/Aim: Adult studies established a relationship between hepatitis C virus (HCV infection and the presence of non-organ-specific antibodies (NOSAs. Most studies were carried out on genotypes 1 and 2. Only a few studies addressed that issue in pediatrics. No studies have been carried out on autoimmunity and genotype 4 in children. We aim to investigate NOSAs in 80 Egyptian children with chronic HCV infection along with studying the underlying genotype of HCV, and correlating autoimmunity with the epidemiological, clinical, biochemical, and virological features. Materials and Methods: HCV-RNA was assayed by the polymerase chain reaction and viral genotypes were determined. NOSAs were measured and liver biopsies were taken for histopathological examination. Results:Genotype 4 was the only detected genotype in the included 80 patients. Anti-smooth muscle antibodies (ASMA were the only detected antibodies in 32 (40% patients, always with V specificity (vessels only at titers ranging from 1:20 and 1:160. Anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA and liver-kidney microsomal antibodies-1 (LKMA-1 were not detected in any of our patients. Epidemiologic and clinical features did not significantly differ between autoantibody-positive and -negative patients. Among biochemical features, significantly high levels of total bilirubin, albumin, immunoglobulins, alkaline phosphatase, and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase were found in the antibody-positive group. Conclusion: Genotype 4 HCV is the prevailing genotype in Egyptian children with chronic HCV infection. A consistent proportion of these children with chronic HCV infection circulate non-organ-specific autoantibodies. The prevalence of ASMA and the absence of ANA and LKMA-1 might be related to the unique situation in Egypt with unique prevalence of genotype 4. More studies are warranted on larger pediatric population to validate these findings.

  13. Organism-adapted specificity of the allosteric regulation of pyruvate kinase in lactic acid bacteria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadine Veith

    Full Text Available Pyruvate kinase (PYK is a critical allosterically regulated enzyme that links glycolysis, the primary energy metabolism, to cellular metabolism. Lactic acid bacteria rely almost exclusively on glycolysis for their energy production under anaerobic conditions, which reinforces the key role of PYK in their metabolism. These organisms are closely related, but have adapted to a huge variety of native environments. They include food-fermenting organisms, important symbionts in the human gut, and antibiotic-resistant pathogens. In contrast to the rather conserved inhibition of PYK by inorganic phosphate, the activation of PYK shows high variability in the type of activating compound between different lactic acid bacteria. System-wide comparative studies of the metabolism of lactic acid bacteria are required to understand the reasons for the diversity of these closely related microorganisms. These require knowledge of the identities of the enzyme modifiers. Here, we predict potential allosteric activators of PYKs from three lactic acid bacteria which are adapted to different native environments. We used protein structure-based molecular modeling and enzyme kinetic modeling to predict and validate potential activators of PYK. Specifically, we compared the electrostatic potential and the binding of phosphate moieties at the allosteric binding sites, and predicted potential allosteric activators by docking. We then made a kinetic model of Lactococcus lactis PYK to relate the activator predictions to the intracellular sugar-phosphate conditions in lactic acid bacteria. This strategy enabled us to predict fructose 1,6-bisphosphate as the sole activator of the Enterococcus faecalis PYK, and to predict that the PYKs from Streptococcus pyogenes and Lactobacillus plantarum show weaker specificity for their allosteric activators, while still having fructose 1,6-bisphosphate play the main activator role in vivo. These differences in the specificity of allosteric

  14. Organ-specific transcriptome response of the small brown planthopper toward rice stripe virus. (United States)

    Zhao, Wan; Lu, Lixia; Yang, Pengcheng; Cui, Na; Kang, Le; Cui, Feng


    Rice stripe virus (RSV) causes rice stripe disease and is transmitted by the small brown planthopper (Laodelphax striatellus, SBPH) in a persistent, circulative, and propagative manner. The alimentary canal and salivary gland of SBPH play important roles in viral replication and transmission. However, little is known about the underlying molecular functions of these two organs in the interaction between RSV and SBPH. In this study, organ-specific transcriptomes of the alimentary canal and salivary gland were analyzed in viruliferous and naïve SBPH. The number of differentially expressed unigenes in the alimentary canal was considerably greater than that in the salivary gland after RSV infection, and only 23 unigenes were co-regulated in the two organs. In the alimentary canal, genes involved in lysosome, digestion and detoxification were activated upon RSV infection, whereas the genes related to DNA replication and repair were suppressed. RSV activated RNA transport and repressed the MAPK, mTOR, Wnt, and TGF-beta signaling pathways in the salivary gland. The overall immune reaction toward RSV was much stronger in the salivary gland than in the alimentary canal. RSV activated the pattern recognition molecules and Toll pathway in the salivary gland but inhibited these two reactions in the alimentary canal. The responses from reactive oxygen and the immune-responsive effectors were stronger in the salivary gland than in the alimentary canal after RSV infection. These findings provide clues on the roles of the two organs in confronting RSV infection and aid in the understanding of the interaction between RSV and SBPHs.

  15. Estimation methods for bioaccumulation in risk assessment of organic chemicals.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jager, D.T.; Hamers, T.


    The methodology for estimating bioaccumulation of organic chemicals is evaluated. This study is limited to three types of organisms: fish, earthworms and plants (leaf crops, root crops and grass). We propose a simple mechanistic model for estimating BCFs which performs well against measured data. To

  16. Estimation methods for bioaccumulation in risk assessment of organic chemicals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jager DT; Hamers T; ECO


    The methodology for estimating bioaccumulation of organic chemicals is evaluated. This study is limited to three types of organisms: fish, earthworms and plants (leaf crops, root crops and grass). We propose a simple mechanistic model for estimating BCFs which performs well against measured data. To

  17. Drug and herb induced liver injury: Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences scale for causality assessment

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Rolf; Teschke; Albrecht; Wolff; Christian; Frenzel; Alexander; Schwarzenboeck; Johannes; Schulze; Axel; Eickhoff


    Causality assessment of suspected drug induced liver injury(DILI) and herb induced liver injury(HILI) is hampered by the lack of a standardized approach to be used by attending physicians and at various subsequent evaluating levels. The aim of this review was to analyze the suitability of the liver specific Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences(CIOMS) scale as a standard tool for causality assessment in DILI and HILI cases. PubMed database was searched for the following terms: drug induced liver injury; herb induced liver injury; DILI causality assessment; and HILI causality assessment. The strength of the CIOMS lies in its potential as a standardized scale for DILI and HILI causality assessment. Other advantages include its liver specificity and its validation for hepatotoxicity with excellent sensitivity, specificity and predictive validity, based on cases with a positive reexposure test. This scale allows prospective collection of all relevant data required for a valid causality assessment. It does not require expert knowledge in hepatotoxicity and its results may subsequently be refined. Weaknesses of the CIOMS scale include the limited exclusion of alternative causes and qualitatively graded risk factors. In conclusion, CIOMS appears to be suitable as a standard scale for attending physicians, regulatory agencies, expert panels and other scientists to provide a standardized, reproducible causality assessment in suspected DILI and HILI cases, applicable primarily at all assessing levels involved. 2014 Baishideng Publishing Group Co., Limited. All rights

  18. Organ-specific radiation-induced cancer risk estimates due to radiotherapy for benign pigmented villonodular synovitis (United States)

    Mazonakis, Michalis; Tzedakis, Antonis; Lyraraki, Efrossyni; Damilakis, John


    Pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS) is a benign disease affecting synovial membranes of young and middle-aged adults. The aggressive treatment of this disorder often involves external-beam irradiation. This study was motivated by the lack of data relating to the radiation exposure of healthy tissues and radiotherapy-induced cancer risk. Monte Carlo methodology was employed to simulate a patient’s irradiation for PVNS in the knee and hip joints with a 6 MV photon beam. The average radiation dose received by twenty-two out-of-field critical organs of the human body was calculated. These calculations were combined with the appropriate organ-, age- and gender-specific risk coefficients of the BEIR-VII model to estimate the lifetime probability of cancer development. The risk for carcinogenesis to colon, which was partly included in the treatment fields used for hip irradiation, was determined with a non-linear mechanistic model and differential dose-volume histograms obtained by CT-based 3D radiotherapy planning. Risk assessments were compared with the nominal lifetime intrinsic risk (LIR) values. Knee irradiation to 36 Gy resulted in out-of-field organ doses of 0.2-24.6 mGy. The corresponding range from hip radiotherapy was 1.2-455.1 mGy whereas the organ equivalent dose for the colon was up to 654.9 mGy. The organ-specific cancer risks from knee irradiation for PVNS were found to be inconsequential since they were at least 161.5 times lower than the LIRs irrespective of the patient’s age and gender. The bladder and colon cancer risk from radiotherapy in the hip joint was up to 3.2 and 6.6 times smaller than the LIR, respectively. These cancer risks may slightly elevate the nominal incidence rates and they should not be ignored during the patient’s treatment planning and follow-up. The probabilities for developing any other solid tumor were more than 20 times lower than the LIRs and, therefore, they may be considered as small.

  19. Characterization of fluorescent-dissolved organic matter and identification of specific fluorophores in textile effluents. (United States)

    Li, Wentao; Xu, Zixiao; Wu, Qian; Li, Yan; Shuang, Chendong; Li, Aimin


    This study focused on the characterization of fluorescent-dissolved organic matter and identification of specific fluorophores in textile effluents. Samples from different textile wastewater treatment plants were characterized by high-performance liquid chromatography and size exclusion chromatography as well as fluorescence excitation-emission matrix spectra. Despite the highly heterogeneous textile effluents, the fluorescent components and their physicochemical properties were found relatively invariable, which is beneficial for the combination of biological and physicochemical treatment processes. The humic-like substance with triple-excitation peaks (excitation (Ex) 250, 310, 365/emission (Em) 460 nm) presented as the specific fluorescence indicator in textile effluents. It was also the major contributor to UV absorbance at 254 nm and resulted in the brown color of biologically treated textile effluents. By spectral comparison, the specific fluorophore in textile effluents could be attributed to the intermediate structure of azo dyes 1-amino-2-naphthol, which was transferred into the special humic-like substances during biological treatment.

  20. An event-specific DNA microarray to identify genetically modified organisms in processed foods. (United States)

    Kim, Jae-Hwan; Kim, Su-Youn; Lee, Hyungjae; Kim, Young-Rok; Kim, Hae-Yeong


    We developed an event-specific DNA microarray system to identify 19 genetically modified organisms (GMOs), including two GM soybeans (GTS-40-3-2 and A2704-12), thirteen GM maizes (Bt176, Bt11, MON810, MON863, NK603, GA21, T25, TC1507, Bt10, DAS59122-7, TC6275, MIR604, and LY038), three GM canolas (GT73, MS8xRF3, and T45), and one GM cotton (LLcotton25). The microarray included 27 oligonucleotide probes optimized to identify endogenous reference targets, event-specific targets, screening targets (35S promoter and nos terminator), and an internal target (18S rRNA gene). Thirty-seven maize-containing food products purchased from South Korean and US markets were tested for the presence of GM maize using this microarray system. Thirteen GM maize events were simultaneously detected using multiplex PCR coupled with microarray on a single chip, at a limit of detection of approximately 0.5%. Using the system described here, we detected GM maize in 11 of the 37 food samples tested. These results suggest that an event-specific DNA microarray system can reliably detect GMOs in processed foods.

  1. A framework for organizing and selecting quantitative approaches for benefit-harm assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Puhan Milo A


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Several quantitative approaches for benefit-harm assessment of health care interventions exist but it is unclear how the approaches differ. Our aim was to review existing quantitative approaches for benefit-harm assessment and to develop an organizing framework that clarifies differences and aids selection of quantitative approaches for a particular benefit-harm assessment. Methods We performed a review of the literature to identify quantitative approaches for benefit-harm assessment. Our team, consisting of clinicians, epidemiologists, and statisticians, discussed the approaches and identified their key characteristics. We developed a framework that helps investigators select quantitative approaches for benefit-harm assessment that are appropriate for a particular decisionmaking context. Results Our framework for selecting quantitative approaches requires a concise definition of the treatment comparison and population of interest, identification of key benefit and harm outcomes, and determination of the need for a measure that puts all outcomes on a single scale (which we call a benefit and harm comparison metric. We identified 16 quantitative approaches for benefit-harm assessment. These approaches can be categorized into those that consider single or multiple key benefit and harm outcomes, and those that use a benefit-harm comparison metric or not. Most approaches use aggregate data and can be used in the context of single studies or systematic reviews. Although the majority of approaches provides a benefit and harm comparison metric, only four approaches provide measures of uncertainty around the benefit and harm comparison metric (such as a 95 percent confidence interval. None of the approaches considers the actual joint distribution of benefit and harm outcomes, but one approach considers competing risks when calculating profile-specific event rates. Nine approaches explicitly allow incorporating patient preferences

  2. Nuclide documentation. Element specific parameter values used in the biospheric models of the safety assessments SR 97 and SAFE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karlsson, Sara; Bergstroem, Ulla [Studsvik Eco and Safety AB, Nykoeping (Sweden)


    In this report the element and nuclide specific parameter values used in the biospheric models of the safety assessments SR 97 and SAFE are presented. The references used are presented and where necessary the process of estimation of data is described. The parameters treated in this report are distribution coefficients in soil, organic soil and suspended matter in freshwater and brackish water, root uptake factors for pasturage, cereals, root crops and vegetables, bioaccumulation factors for freshwater fish, brackish water fish, freshwater invertebrates and marine water plants, transfer coefficients for transfer to milk and meat, translocation factors and dose coefficients for external exposure, ingestion (age-dependent values) and inhalation (age-dependent values). The radionuclides treated are those which could be of interest in the two safety assessments. Physical data such as half-lives and type of decay are also presented.

  3. Environmental Risk Assessment of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strandberg, B.; Kjær, C.; Hindar, K.

    It was the aim of this NordTest project to propose improvements that prepare us to assess ecological risks to the environment associated with releases of existing and coming GMO cases. The report is separated into three sections. The first describes the frames of ecological risk assessment...

  4. The retrieval of thoracic organs: donor assessment and management. (United States)

    MacLean, A; Dunning, J


    The optimal management of the multi-organ donor is critical to the successful outcome of transplantation. It is a complex challenge demanding careful attention to detail, and requiring a shift in emphasis, since the pathophysiological processes have far reaching effects which many clinicians do not see on a day-to-day basis. The optimal management of haemodynamic and respiratory status is essential in order to maximise the yield of suitable thoracic donor organs, yet this process will also improve the condition of other organs at the time of procurement and thus enable prompt recovery of function following hepatic and renal transplantation. The process commences when a potential donor is identified, and is only complete after successful transplantation of all possible organs. In order to achieve this end, a dedicated, multi-disciplinary team is necessary, consisting not only of medical staff, but also support workers who organise logistics, and who play their own part in vital areas, such as transport of the donor team and organs. The co-ordinator's role is pivotal in bringing together, in harmony, teams from different centres. It is important to remember that the effort of every person involved in the management and procurement of donor organs is primarily directed towards maximisation of the donor pool, and that our main responsibility is to the recipients on our waiting lists.

  5. The reaction of the organism judoka 12-13 years of specific training load

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romanenko V.A.


    Full Text Available Information is presented about a spectrum and level of violation of homoeostatic constants of organism of judoists in reply to the specific loadings of training and competition character. Judoists are inspected 12-13 years (n = 44. Before and after training employment registered the indexes of the functional state of neuromuscular vehicle, to oxygen-transport system, neurodynamics, sensory systems and mental capacity. Training employment in the aerobic (57,1%, mixed (20,0% and glicolic (22,9% modes of энергообеспечения results in the different degree of fatigue in the executive and regulator links of the functional system of activity of young judoists.

  6. Tertiary lymphoid organ development coincides with determinant spreading of the myelin-specific T cell response. (United States)

    Kuerten, Stefanie; Schickel, Achim; Kerkloh, Christian; Recks, Mascha S; Addicks, Klaus; Ruddle, Nancy H; Lehmann, Paul V


    While the role of T cells has been studied extensively in multiple sclerosis (MS), the pathogenic contribution of B cells has only recently attracted major attention, when it was shown that B cell aggregates can develop in the meninges of a subset of MS patients and were suggested to be correlates of late-stage and more aggressive disease in this patient population. However, whether these aggregates actually exist has subsequently been questioned and their functional significance has remained unclear. Here, we studied myelin basic protein (MBP)-proteolipid protein (PLP)-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), which is one of the few animal models for MS that is dependent on B cells. We provide evidence that B cell aggregation is reflective of lymphoid neogenesis in the central nervous system (CNS) in MBP-PLP-elicited EAE. B cell aggregation was present already few days after disease onset. With disease progression CNS B cell aggregates increasingly displayed the phenotype of tertiary lymphoid organs (TLOs). Our results further imply that these TLOs were not merely epiphenomena of the disease, but functionally active, supporting intrathecal determinant spreading of the myelin-specific T cell response. Our data suggest that the CNS is not a passive "immune-privileged" target organ, but rather a compartment, in which highly active immune responses can perpetuate and amplify the autoimmune pathology and thereby autonomously contribute to disease progression.

  7. Effects of specific organs on seed oil accumulation in Brassica napus L. (United States)

    Liu, Jing; Hua, Wei; Yang, Hongli; Guo, Tingting; Sun, Xingchao; Wang, Xinfa; Liu, Guihua; Wang, Hanzhong


    Seed oil content is an important agricultural characteristic in rapeseed breeding. Genetic analysis shows that the mother plant and the embryo play critical roles in regulating seed oil accumulation. However, the overwhelming majority of previous studies have focused on oil synthesis in the developing seed of rapeseed. In this study, to elucidate the roles of reproductive organs on oil accumulation, silique, ovule, and embryo from three rapeseed lines with high oil content (zy036, 6F313, and 61616) were cultured in vitro. The results suggest that zy036 silique wall, 6F313 seed coat, and 61616 embryo have positive impacts on the seed oil accumulation. In zy036, our previous studies show that high photosynthetic activity of the silique wall contributes to seed oil accumulation (Hua et al., 2012). Herein, by transcriptome sequencing and sucrose detection, we found that sugar transport in 6F313 seed coat might regulate the efficiency of oil synthesis by controlling sugar concentration in ovules. In 61616 embryos, high oil accumulation efficiency was partly induced by the elevated expression of fatty-acid biosynthesis-related genes. Our investigations show three organ-specific mechanisms regulating oil synthesis in rapeseed. This study provides new insights into the factors affecting seed oil accumulation in rapeseed and other oil crops.

  8. Localization of organ-specific antigens in the nervous system of the rat. (United States)

    Weinrauder, H; Lach, B


    Localization of organ-specific brain antigens in the central nervous system of the rat has been studied by means of indirect immunofluorescence. Rabbit antiserum against homogenate of rat brain, previously absorbed with normal serum and homogenates of rat organs (kidney, liver, spleen), reacted with the water-soluble antigens of rat brain prepared by extraction with phosphate buffer (pH 7.3) and ultracentrifugation at 50 000 X g to give one band in the immunodiffusion test and 2--3 precipitation arcs in immunoelectrophoresis. There was also a positive reaction with peripheral nerve. The antigen was detectable in all regions of the CNS. Cells with distinct cytoplasmic immunofluorescence were most frequently observed in cerebellar white matter, pons, cerebellar pedunculi, longitudinal tracts of the brain stem. Positive immunofluorecence reaction has appeared in the outer plexiform layer and granular layer of the retina, satelite cells of the spinal root ganglia and Schwann cells. A similar reaction was observed in human, mouse and guinea pig brain slices. Both the morphological and immunochemical reactions are indicative of glial localization of this antigen.

  9. Sensitivity and Specificity of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Modified for Individuals Who Are Visually Impaired (United States)

    Wittich, Walter; Phillips, Natalie; Nasreddine, Ziad S.; Chertkow, Howard


    Evaluating the cognitive status of individuals who are visually impaired is limited by the design of the test that is used. This article presents data on the sensitivity and specificity of the version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment for people who are visually impaired. The original validation data were reanalyzed, excluding the five visual…

  10. Specific gamma-ray dose constants for nuclides important to dosimetry and radiological assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Unger, L.M.; Trubey, D.K.


    Tables of specific gamma-ray dose constants (the unshielded gamma-ray dose equivalent rate at 1 m from a point source) have been computed for approximately 500 nuclides important to dosimetry and radiological assessment. The half life, the mean attenuation coefficient, and thickness for a lead shield providing 95% dose equivalent attenuation are also listed.

  11. Specific gamma-ray dose constants for nuclides important to dosimetry and radiological assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Unger, L.M.; Trubey, D.K.


    Tables of specific gamma-ray dose constants (the unshielded gamma-ray dose equivalent rate at 1 m from a point source) have been computed for approximately 500 nuclides important to dosimetry and radiological assessment. The half life, the mean attenuation coefficient, and thickness for a lead shield providing 95% dose equivalent attenuation are also listed.

  12. The Development of a Visual-Perceptual Chemistry Specific (VPCS) Assessment Tool (United States)

    Oliver-Hoyo, Maria; Sloan, Caroline


    The development of the Visual-Perceptual Chemistry Specific (VPCS) assessment tool is based on items that align to eight visual-perceptual skills considered as needed by chemistry students. This tool includes a comprehensive range of visual operations and presents items within a chemistry context without requiring content knowledge to solve…

  13. A Domain-specific Modeling Approach to the Development of Online Peer Assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Miao, Yongwu; Koper, Rob


    Miao, Y., & Koper, R. (2007). A Domain-specific Modeling Approach to the Development of Online Peer Assessment. In T. Navarette, J. Blat & R. Koper (Eds.). Proceedings of the 3rd TENCompetence Open Workshop 'Current Research on IMS Learning Design and Lifelong Competence Development Infrastructures'

  14. Proteomic Analysis of Lysine Acetylation Sites in Rat Tissues Reveals Organ Specificity and Subcellular Patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alicia Lundby


    Full Text Available Lysine acetylation is a major posttranslational modification involved in a broad array of physiological functions. Here, we provide an organ-wide map of lysine acetylation sites from 16 rat tissues analyzed by high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry. We quantify 15,474 modification sites on 4,541 proteins and provide the data set as a web-based database. We demonstrate that lysine acetylation displays site-specific sequence motifs that diverge between cellular compartments, with a significant fraction of nuclear sites conforming to the consensus motifs G-AcK and AcK-P. Our data set reveals that the subcellular acetylation distribution is tissue-type dependent and that acetylation targets tissue-specific pathways involved in fundamental physiological processes. We compare lysine acetylation patterns for rat as well as human skeletal muscle biopsies and demonstrate its general involvement in muscle contraction. Furthermore, we illustrate that acetylation of fructose-bisphosphate aldolase and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase serves as a cellular mechanism to switch off enzymatic activity.

  15. Specific Stimulated Uptake of Acetylcholine by Torpedo Electric Organ Synaptic Vesicles (United States)

    Parsons, Stanley M.; Koenigsberger, Robert


    The specificity of acetylcholine uptake by synaptic vesicles isolated from the electric organ of Torpedo californica was studied. In the absence of cofactors, [3H]acetylcholine was taken up identically to [14C]choline in the same solution (passive uptake), and the equilibrium concentration achieved inside the vesicles was equal to the concentration outside. In the presence of MgATP, [3H]acetylcholine and [14C]choline in the same solution were taken up identically, except only about half as much of each was taken up (suppressed uptake). [3H]Acetylcholine uptake was stimulated by MgATP and HCO3 about 4-fold relative to suppressed uptake, for a net concentrative uptake of about 2:1 (stimulated uptake). Uptake of [14C]choline in the same solution remained at the suppressed level. [3H]Acetylcholine taken up under stimulated conditions migrated with vesicles containing [14C]mannitol on analytical glycerol density gradients during centrifugation. Vesicles were treated with nine protein modification reagents under mild conditions. Two reagents had no effect on, dithiothreitol potentiated, and six reagents strongly inhibited subsequent stimulated uptake of [3H]acetylcholine. The results indicate that uptake of acetylcholine is conditionally specific for the transported substrate, is carried out by the synaptic vesicles rather than a contaminant of the preparation, and requires a functional protein system containing a critical sulfhydryl group.

  16. Ecological risk assessment for aquatic organisms from over-water uses of glyphosate. (United States)

    Solomon, Keith R; Thompson, Dean G


    Although the herbicide glyphosate is most widely used in agriculture, some is used for the control of emergent aquatic weeds in ditches, wetlands, and margins of water bodies, largely as the formulation Rodeo. This article presents an ecological risk assessment (ERA) of glyphosate and some of the recommended surfactants as used in or near aquatic systems. Glyphosate does not bioaccumulate, biomagnify, or persist in a biologically available form in the environment. Its mechanism of action is specific to plants and it is relatively nontoxic to animals. As a commercial product, glyphosate may be formulated with surfactants that increased efficacy but, in some cases, are more toxic to aquatic organisms than the parent material. For this risk assessment, three model exposure scenarios--static or low-flow systems such as ponds, flowing waters such as streams, and systems subjected to tidal flows such as estuaries--were chosen and application rates from 1 to 8 kg glyphosate/ha were modeled. Additional measured exposure data from several field studies were also used. As acute exposures are most likely to occur, acute toxicity data were used as effect measures for the purposes of risk assessment. Toxicity data were obtained from the literature and characterized using probabilistic techniques. Risk assessments based on estimated and measured concentrations of glyphosate that would result from its use for the control of undesirable plants in wetlands and over-water situations showed that the risk to aquatic organisms is negligible or small at application rates less than 4 kg/ha and only slightly greater at application rates of 8 kg/ha. Less is known about the environmental fate and toxicology of the surfactants commonly used in combination with the Rodeo formulation of glyphosate. The surfactants used for this purpose were judged not to be persistent nor bioaccumulative in the environment. Distributional analysis of measured deposition concentrations of LI 700, suggest that

  17. Allergy assessment of foods or ingredients derived from biotechnology, gene-modified organisms, or novel foods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Lars K.


    E (IgE) cross-reactions to known allergens, digestability studies of the proteins in simulated gastric and/or intestinal fluids, and animal studies. These steps are discussed and five examples of risk evaluation of GMOs or novel foods are presented. These include ice-structuring protein derived from......The introduction of novel proteins into foods carries a risk of eliciting allergic reactions in individuals sensitive to the introduced protein and a risk of sensitizing susceptible individuals. No single predictive test exists to perform a hazard assessment in relation to allergenic properties...... of newly expressed proteins in gene-modified organisms (GMOs). Instead, performance of a weighted risk analysis based on the decision tree approach has been suggested. The individual steps of this analysis comprise sequence homology to known allergens, specific or targeted serum screens for immunoglobulin...


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. N. Luchverchyk


    Full Text Available Abstract. The work deals with quantitative methods developed for estimation of nuclease and proteolytic activities  of  autoantibodies.  By  means  of  these  techniques,  appropriate  catalytic  activities  of  abzyme-type antibodies were studied in patients with diabetes mellitus type 1, and in subjects with autoimmune thyroiditis. Oppositely directed changes of the mentioned catalytic activities have been found for autoantibodies of different specificity.  Autoantibodies  occurring  in  autoimmune  thyroiditis  showed  an  increase  of  both  nuclease  and proteolytic activities. Meanwhile, the autoantibodies in diabetes mellitus had increased nuclease activity, along with decreased proteolytic activity. These findings are suggestive for existence of two pathogenetic mechanisms in organ-specific autoimmune pathology that are associated either with direct involvement of Fab fragments of auto-antibodies in autoimmune destruction, or with complement-dependent lysis mediated by Fc-fragments and  cytotoxic  destruction  of  target  cells  by  cytotoxic T-lymphocytes.  The  unique  site-specific  catalytic autoantibodies  were  established  to  exert  a  selective destructive effect upon target cells, thus making a major contribution to the antibody-dependent mechanisms of cytotoxicity in autoimmune diseases. (Med. Immunol., 2011, vol. 13, N 2-3, pp 145-150

  19. Site specific X-ray induced changes in organic and metal organic compounds and their influence on global radiation damage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heintz, Desiree Ellen


    The aim of this work was to systematically investigate the effects of specific and global X-ray radiation damage to biological samples and obtain a conclusive model to describe the underlying principles. Based on the systematic studies performed in this work, it was possible to propose two conclusive mechanisms to describe X-ray induced photoreduction and global radiation damage. The influence of chemical composition, temperature and solvent on X-ray induced photoreduction was investigated by X-ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy and single crystal X-ray diffraction of two B12 cofactors - cyano- and methylcobalamin - as well as iron(II) and iron(III) complexes. The obtained results revealed that X-ray induced photoreduction is a ligand dependent process, with a redox reaction taking place within the complex. It could further be shown that selective hydrogen abstraction plays an important role in the process of X-ray induced photoreduction. Based on the experimental results of this work, a model to describe X-ray induced photoreduction of metal organic complexes could be proposed. The process of X-ray induced hydrogen abstraction was further investigated in a combined X-ray and neutron diffraction study on the amino acids L-serine and L-alanine, which were used as model compounds for proteins, and the nucleoside deoxythymidine (thymidine) as a model for DNA. A damage mechanism for L-serine could be found. It involves the abstraction of two hydrogen atoms, one from the hydroxyl group and one from the adjacent methylene group. Such a hydrogen abstraction results in the formation of a carbonyl group. X-ray diffraction measurements on cyano- and methylcobalamin as well as on three metal amino acid complexes, containing nickel(II) and copper(II), respectively, were conducted to investigate the contribution of X-ray induced photoreduction to global radiation damage. Results from these measurements combined with the results from L-serine, L-alanine and thymidine allowed

  20. Fungicides for organic cantaloupe production in Oklahoma: An initial assessment (United States)

    Fungicides that are potentially useful in organic production were evaluated for foliar disease control in cantaloupe (Cucumis melo L. var. reticulates ’Israeli’) during 2009 at Lane, Oklahoma. Milstop (85% potassium bicarbonate), Neem oil, Bonide liquid copper (10% copper octanoate), Serenade (QST ...

  1. An Information Security Control Assessment Methodology for Organizations (United States)

    Otero, Angel R.


    In an era where use and dependence of information systems is significantly high, the threat of incidents related to information security that could jeopardize the information held by organizations is more and more serious. Alarming facts within the literature point to inadequacies in information security practices, particularly the evaluation of…

  2. Composting Assessment for Organic Solid Waste at Fort Polk, Louisiana (United States)


    carbon and buffer amendment on ammonia volatilization in composting. Bioresource Technology 97:748-761. Mamo, M., T. R. Halbach, and C. J. Rosen. 1998...hydroxyoctonoate , PHBOd polyhydroxybutyrate co-hydroxyoctadecanoate Synthesized by bacteria (carbohydrates, alkanes, organic acids, etc.) Biopol®, Kaneka

  3. Assessing Self Organization and Emergence in C2 Processes (United States)


    organization, and connectivity before emergent behaviour appears. Systems with emergent properties or emergent structures may appear to defy entropic ...Multi- agent System Design Paradigm ” (GI agent) 8. Holland, John, H., conclusion in “Emergence – From Chaos to Order”: 9. Kim, Jaegwon “Making

  4. Assessing business-IT alignment in networked organizations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Santana Tapia, Roberto Guadalupe


    Concerns such as identifying ways to control costs, improve quality, increase effectiveness, and manage risk have become increasingly important for organizations as they face more and more pressure to gain and maintain their competitive edge. Business-IT alignment (B-ITa) is recognized as a solution

  5. Assessment of Wind Turbine for Site-Specific Conditions using Probabilistic Methods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heras, Enrique Gómez de las; Gutiérrez, Roberto; Azagra, Elena


    turbines, helping to the decision making during the site assessment phase of wind farm designs. First, the design equation for the failure mode of interest is defined, where the loads associated to the site-specific wind conditions are compared with the design limits of the structural component. A limit......This paper describes a new approach to assess the structural integrity of wind turbines for sitespecific conditions using probabilistic methods, taking into account the particular uncertainties associated to each site. This new approach intends to improve the site suitability analysis of wind...... state equation is defined making the loads and resistance depending on a set of stochastic variables representing the uncertainties. In this paper, special focus is put on the uncertainties related to the assessment of wind data, which is the main input for the sitespecific load assessment, and can...

  6. Assessing Summit Engagement with Other International Organizations in Global Governance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Larionova


    Full Text Available Recent decades have witnessed dramatic changes all over the world. One major trend is the proliferation and diversification of actors, forums and their arrangements to address global governance challenges, which has led to fragmentation in global governance. However, such contested multilateralism has a positive dimension, as the emergence of informal multilateral institutions claiming a major role in defining the global governance agenda creates alternatives for providing common goods. New arrangements acquire their own actorness and place in the system of global governance. In certain policy areas, there is a clear trend for the new summit institutions’ leadership. The most visible recent cases include the Group of 20 (G20, the BRICS group of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC forum, with APEC gaining importance regionally and globally. These new informal groupings work on their own agenda. They also engage with established international organizations to steer global governance processes. Taken together, the transformative trends in international relations, the emergence of new actors, tensions between exclusive and inclusive clubs, and demands for the legitimacy and effectiveness of the international institutions define the relevance of the study, systematization and comparative analysis of the effectiveness of this model of cooperation among international institutions. This article builds an analytical framework by undertaking three tasks. It first reviews the key concepts. Second, it argues for a rational choice institutionalist approach. Third, it puts forward a hypothesis for research: to compensate for their inefficiencies, summit institutions engage with other international organizations in a mode they regard most efficient for attainment of their goals. The modes of those institutions’ engagement with other international organizations as reflected in the leaders

  7. Future of liver transplantation: non-human primates for patient-specific organs from induced pluripotent stem cells. (United States)

    Sanal, Madhusudana Girija


    Strategies to fill the huge gap in supply versus demand of human organs include bioartificial organs, growing humanized organs in animals, cell therapy, and implantable bioengineered constructs. Reproducing the complex relations between different cell types, generation of adequate vasculature, and immunological complications are road blocks in generation of bioengineered organs, while immunological complications limit the use of humanized organs produced in animals. Recent developments in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) biology offer a possibility of generating human, patient-specific organs in non-human primates (NHP) using patient-derived iPSC and NHP-derived iPSC lacking the critical developmental genes for the organ of interest complementing a NHP tetraploid embryo. The organ derived in this way will have the same human leukocyte antigen (HLA) profile as the patient. This approach can be curative in genetic disorders as this offers the possibility of gene manipulation and correction of the patient's genome at the iPSC stage before tetraploid complementation. The process of generation of patient-specific organs such as the liver in this way has the great advantage of making use of the natural signaling cascades in the natural milieu probably resulting in organs of great quality for transplantation. However, the inexorable scientific developments in this direction involve several social issues and hence we need to educate and prepare society in advance to accept the revolutionary consequences, good, bad and ugly.

  8. Future of liver transplantation: Non-human primates for patient-specific organs from induced pluripotent stem cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Madhusudana Girija Sanal


    Strategies to fill the huge gap in supply versus demand of human organs include bioartificial organs, growing humanized organs in animals, cell therapy, and im-plantable bioengineered constructs. Reproducing the complex relations between different cell types, gen-eration of adequate vasculature, and immunological complications are road blocks in generation of bioengi-neered organs, while immunological complications limit the use of humanized organs produced in animals. Recent developments in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) biology offer a possibility of generating human, patient-specific organs in non-human primates (NHP) using patient-derived iPSC and NHP-derived iPSC lack-ing the critical developmental genes for the organ of interest complementing a NHP tetraploid embryo. The organ derived in this way will have the same human leukocyte antigen (HLA) profile as the patient. This ap-proach can be curative in genetic disorders as this of-fers the possibility of gene manipulation and correction of the patient's genome at the iPSC stage before tet-raploid complementation. The process of generation of patient-specific organs such as the liver in this way has the great advantage of making use of the natural sig-naling cascades in the natural milieu probably resulting in organs of great quality for transplantation. However, the inexorable scientific developments in this direction involve several social issues and hence we need to educate and prepare society in advance to accept the revolutionary consequences, good, bad and ugly.

  9. Site-specific immobilization of enzymes on magnetic nanoparticles and their use in organic synthesis. (United States)

    Yu, Ching-Ching; Kuo, Yu-Ying; Liang, Chien-Fu; Chien, Wei-Ting; Wu, Huan-Ting; Chang, Tsung-Che; Jan, Fan-Dan; Lin, Chun-Cheng


    Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are attractive materials that serve as a support for enzyme immobilization and facilitate separations by applying an external magnetic field; this could facilitate the recycling of enzymes and broaden their applications in organic synthesis. Herein, we report the methods for the immobilization of water-soluble and membrane-bound enzymes, and the activity difference between free and immobilized enzymes is discussed. Sialyltransferase (PmST1, from Pasteurella multocida ) and cytidine monophosphate (CMP)-sialic acid synthetase (CSS, from Neisseria meningitides ) were chosen as water-soluble enzymes and expressed using an intein expression system. The enzymes were site-specifically and covalently immobilized on PEGylated-N-terminal cysteine MNPs through native chemical ligation (NCL). Increasing the length of the PEG linker between the enzyme and the MNP surface increased the activity of the immobilized enzymes relative to the free parent enzymes. In addition, the use of a fluorescent acceptor tag for PmST1 affected enzyme kinetics. In contrast, sialyltransferase from Neisseria gonorrheae (NgST, a membrane-bound enzyme) was modified with a biotin-labeled cysteine at the C-terminus using NCL, and the enzyme was then assembled on streptavidin-functionalized MNPs. Using a streptavidin-biotin interaction, it was possible to immobilize NgST on a solid support under mild ligation conditions, which prevented the enzyme from high-temperature decomposition and provided an approximately 2-fold increase in activity compared to other immobilization methods on MNPs. Finally, the ganglioside GM3-derivative (sialyl-lactose derivative) was synthesized in a one-pot system by combining the use of immobilized PmST1 and CSS. The enzymes retained 50% activity after being reused ten times. Furthermore, the results obtained using the one-pot two-immobilized-enzyme system demonstrated that it can be applied to large-scale reactions with acceptable yields and

  10. Hamster exhibits major differences in organ-specific metabolism of the esophageal carcinogen N-nitrosodiethylamine. (United States)

    Visoni, Sílvia; Lang, Matti; Ribeiro Pinto, Luis Felipe


    Nitrosamines are carcinogens that require metabolic activation by CYP enzymes in order to exert their carcinogenic effect. Species differences exist in their esophageal carcinogenic potency, with the rat being the most sensitive and the Syrian hamster a resistant species. In the latter, the liver is the main target organ. This difference does not apply to directly acting N-nitroso compounds, suggesting that tissue-specific metabolic activation is involved in hamster esophageal resistance to nitrosamines. We have previously shown that Cytochrome P450 2A3 (CYP2A3) is responsible for N-nitrosodiethylamine activation in the rat esophagus. In order to find a mechanistic explanation for the resistance of hamster esophagus for nitrosamines, we have compared the metabolism of NDEA between esophagus and liver of the hamster. Hamster esophagus is capable of activating NDEA (K(m)=1.02+/-0.44microM and V(max)=1.96+/-0.26nmol acetaldehyde/min/mg microsomal protein). However, the hamster liver showed a 40-fold higher catalytic efficiency (V(max)/K(m)) towards NDEA metabolism compared with its esophagus. Hamster esophagus expresses CYP2A8, CYP2A9 and CYP2A16, but not CYP2E1. An antibody against human CYP2A6 was able to inhibit NDEA metabolism in hamster esophageal, but not liver microsomes. Our results suggest that in the hamster esophagus, but not in the liver, most of the NDEA is metabolized by CYP2A enzymes, but with a rather poor efficiency when compared to the liver. This is in accordance with previous results showing that for the hamster, the main target organ of NDEA is the liver.

  11. Gene-Specific Assessment of Guanine Oxidation as an Epigenetic Modulator for Cardiac Specification of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joonghoon Park

    Full Text Available Epigenetics have essential roles in development and human diseases. Compared to the complex histone modifications, epigenetic changes on mammalian DNA are as simple as methylation on cytosine. Guanine, however, can be oxidized as an epigenetic change which can undergo base-pair transversion, causing a genetic difference. Accumulating evidence indicates that reactive oxygen species (ROS are important signaling molecules for embryonic stem cell (ESC differentiation, possibly through transient changes on genomic DNA such as 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG. Technical limitations on detecting such DNA modifications, however, restrict the investigation of the role of 8-oxoG in ESC differentiation. Here, we developed a Hoogsteen base pairing-mediated PCR-sequencing assay to detect 8-oxoG lesions that can subsequently cause G to T transversions during PCR. We then used this assay to assess the epigenetic and transient 8-oxoG formation in the Tbx5 gene of R1 mouse ESCs subjected to oxidative stress by removing 2-mercaptoethanol (2ME from the culture media. To our surprise, significantly higher numbers of 8-oxoG-mediated G∙C to C∙G transversion, not G∙C to T∙A, were detected at 7th and 9th base position from the transcription start site of exon 1 of Tbx5 in ESCs in the (-2ME than (+2ME group (p < 0.05. This was consistent with the decrease in the amount of amplifiable of DNA harboring the 8-oxoG lesions at the Tbx5 promoter region in the oxidative stressed ESCs. The ESCs responded to oxidative stress, possibly through the epigenetic effects of guanine oxidation with decreased proliferation (p < 0.05 and increased formation of beating embryoid bodies (EBs; p < 0.001. Additionally, the epigenetic changes of guanine induced up-regulation of Ogg1 and PolB, two base excision repairing genes for 8-oxoG, in ESCs treated with (-2ME (p < 0.01. Together, we developed a gene-specific and direct quantification assay for guanine oxidation. Using oxidative

  12. DSM-5 and the assessment of functioning: the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0). (United States)

    Gold, Liza H


    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) has dropped the multiaxial diagnostic system and moved to a dimensional system of diagnostic classification. This change means that there is no longer a separate Axis V or specific diagnostic category for assessment of functioning. In addition, the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale (GAF), the previously endorsed numerical rating scale used for assessment of functioning and reported on Axis V, has been eliminated. In its place, DSM-5 offers psychiatrists a new tool for assessment of global functioning and impairment, the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2 (WHODAS 2.0). Any single global assessment of functioning rating scale inevitably has limitations. Nevertheless, the GAF has been widely used in clinical and research settings and has been adopted as meaningful by psychiatric, legal, administrative, and insurance systems and institutions. The changes in DSM-5 in regard to the conceptual and practical assessment of functioning and impairment raise many questions. In this article, I review the implications for forensic psychiatric evaluations of the changes in the recommended assessment of functioning in DSM-5.

  13. Use of in vivo/in vitro unscheduled DNA synthesis for identification of organ-specific carcinogens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Furihata, C.; Matsushima, T.


    There are still only a few in vivo short-term assay methods for predicting potential organ-specific carcinogens and mutagens in mammals, although such methods are required for evaluating the in vivo effects of in vitro mutagens. In the in vivo/in vitro UDS assay methods described here, chemicals are given to experimental animals and induction of UDS in target organs is determined by in vitro organ culture or primary cell culture in the presence of (/sup 3/H)dThd. Incorporation of (/sup 3/H)dThd into DNA is measured with a liquid scintillation counter or by autoradiography. These methods have now been applied to the glandular stomach, forestomach, colon, liver, kidney, pancreas, tracheal epithelium, nasal epithelium, and spermatocytes. With minor modifications, they may also be applied to other organs. The present review shows that induction of UDS in various organs correlated well with the induction of cancer in these organs. The present authors have used the present methods to identify some potential organ-specific mutagens and carcinogens in mammals. The present authors found that three dicarbonyl compounds, glyoxal, methylglyoxal, and diacetyl, induced apparent UDS and TDS in the glandular stomach, and other groups found that 2-NT, MA6BT, and CNEt6BT induced UDS in the liver. These in vivo/in vitro UDS assays are better than in vitro UDS assay for identification of potential organ-specific mutagens and carcinogens in mammals and are especially useful for identifying potential mutagens and carcinogens that are specific for certain organs, such as the stomach, liver, and kidney. They are also useful for examining the potential mutagenicities and carcinogenicities of carcinogen analogs. However, these methods are not suitable for general in vivo screening because they are not yet available for all organs. 113 references.

  14. Site-specific probabilistic ecological risk assessment of a volatile chlorinated hydrocarbon-contaminated tidal estuary. (United States)

    Hunt, James; Birch, Gavin; Warne, Michael St J


    Groundwater contaminated with volatile chlorinated hydrocarbons (VCHs) was identified as discharging to Penrhyn Estuary, an intertidal embayment of Botany Bay, New South Wales, Australia. A screening-level hazard assessment of surface water in Penrhyn Estuary identified an unacceptable hazard to marine organisms posed by VCHs. Given the limitations of hazard assessments, the present study conducted a higher-tier, quantitative probabilistic risk assessment using the joint probability curve (JPC) method that accounted for variability in exposure and toxicity profiles to quantify risk (delta). Risk was assessed for 24 scenarios, including four areas of the estuary based on three exposure scenarios (low tide, high tide, and both low and high tides) and two toxicity scenarios (chronic no-observed-effect concentrations [NOEC] and 50% effect concentrations [EC50]). Risk (delta) was greater at low tide than at high tide and varied throughout the tidal cycle. Spatial distributions of risk in the estuary were similar using both NOEC and EC50 data. The exposure scenario including data combined from both tides was considered the most accurate representation of the ecological risk in the estuary. When assessing risk using data across both tides, the greatest risk was identified in the Springvale tributary (delta=25%)-closest to the source area-followed by the inner estuary (delta=4%) and the Floodvale tributary (delta=2%), with the lowest risk in the outer estuary (delta=0.1%), farthest from the source area. Going from the screening level ecological risk assessment (ERA) to the probabilistic ERA changed the risk from unacceptable to acceptable in 50% of exposure scenarios in two of the four areas within the estuary. The probabilistic ERA provided a more realistic assessment of risk than the screening-level hazard assessment.

  15. Plant-specific volatile organic compound emission rates from young and mature leaves of Mediterranean vegetation (United States)

    Bracho-Nunez, Araceli; Welter, Saskia; Staudt, Michael; Kesselmeier, Jürgen


    The seasonality of vegetation, i.e., developmental stages and phenological processes, affects the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Despite the potential significance, the contributions of seasonality to VOC emission quality and quantity are not well understood and are therefore often ignored in emission simulations. We investigated the VOC emission patterns of young and mature leaves of several Mediterranean plant species in relation to their physiological and developmental changes during the growing period and estimated Es. Foliar emissions of isoprenoids and oxygenated VOCs like methanol and acetone were measured online by means of a proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer (PTR-MS) and offline with gas chromatography coupled with a mass spectrometer and flame ionization detector. The results suggest that VOC emission is a developmentally regulated process and that quantitative and qualitative variability is plant species specific. Leaf ontogeny clearly influenced both the VOC Es and the relative importance of different VOCs. Methanol was the major compound contributing to the sum of target VOC emissions in young leaves (11.8 ± 10.4 μg g-1 h-1), while its contribution was minor in mature leaves (4.1 ± 4.1 μg g-1 h-1). Several plant species showed a decrease or complete subsidence of monoterpene, sesquiterpene, and acetone emissions upon maturity, perhaps indicating a potential response to the higher defense demands of young emerging leaves.

  16. In-phase oscillation of global regulons is orchestrated by a pole-specific organizer. (United States)

    Janakiraman, Balaganesh; Mignolet, Johann; Narayanan, Sharath; Viollier, Patrick H; Radhakrishnan, Sunish Kumar


    Cell fate determination in the asymmetric bacterium Caulobacter crescentus (Caulobacter) is triggered by the localization of the developmental regulator SpmX to the old (stalked) cell pole during the G1→S transition. Although SpmX is required to localize and activate the cell fate-determining kinase DivJ at the stalked pole in Caulobacter, in cousins such as Asticcacaulis, SpmX directs organelle (stalk) positioning and possibly other functions. We define the conserved σ(54)-dependent transcriptional activator TacA as a global regulator in Caulobacter whose activation by phosphorylation is indirectly down-regulated by SpmX. Using a combination of forward genetics and cytological screening, we uncover a previously uncharacterized and polarized component (SpmY) of the TacA phosphorylation control system, and we show that SpmY function and localization are conserved. Thus, SpmX organizes a site-specific, ancestral, and multifunctional regulatory hub integrating the in-phase oscillation of two global transcriptional regulators, CtrA (the master cell cycle transcriptional regulator A) and TacA, that perform important cell cycle functions.

  17. Mechanisms regulating nutrition-dependent developmental plasticity through organ-specific effects in insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi eKoyama


    Full Text Available Nutrition, via the insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IIS/Target of Rapamycin (TOR signaling pathway, can provide a strong molding force for determining animal size and shape. For instance, nutrition induces a disproportionate increase in the size of male horns in dung and rhinoceros beetles, or mandibles in staghorn or horned flour beetles, relative to body size. In these species, well-fed male larvae produce adults with greatly enlarged horns or mandibles, whereas males that are starved or poorly fed as larvae bear much more modest appendages. Changes in IIS/TOR signaling plays a key role in appendage development by regulating growth in the horn and mandible primordia. In contrast, changes the IIS/TOR pathway produces minimal effects on the size of other adult structures, such as the male genitalia in fruit flies and dung beetles. The horn, mandible and genitalia illustrate that although all tissues are exposed to the same hormonal environment within the larval body, the extent to which insulin can induce growth is organ specific. In addition, the IIS/TOR pathway affects body size and shape by controlling production of metamorphic hormones important for regulating developmental timing, like the steroid molting hormone ecdysone and sesquiterpenoid hormone juvenile hormone. In this review, we discuss recent results from Drosophila and other insects that highlight mechanisms allowing tissues to differ in their sensitivity to IIS/TOR and the potential consequences of these differences on body size and shape.

  18. Assessment of the impact of xenobiotic pollutants on the marine organisms: Molecular biomarker approach

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sarkar, A.

    triggering the occurrence of DNA strand breaks. The biological responses of the marine organisms exposed to enhanced concentration of various types of xenobiotic contaminants are very useful indicator for assessment of the contamination of the marine...

  19. Comprehensive Population-Specific Marker Panel for Early Prostate Cancer Diagnostics and Risk Assessment (United States)


    classes, and wrote manuscripts and grants. For the research part, we hypothesized that a combination panel (DETECT) of genetic biomechanical, socio...cultural and lifestyle population specific biomarkers and factors will provided a valuable PCa screening and risk assessment tool. The PI genotyped 528...significantly associated with prostate cancer risk associated with one of the SNPs in African American men was found in obese men only; if was not

  20. Organ specific antioxidant responses in golden grey mullet (Liza aurata) following a short-term exposure to phenanthrene. (United States)

    Oliveira, M; Pacheco, M; Santos, M A


    Phenanthrene (Phe) is among the most abundant and ubiquitous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the aquatic environment as a result of human activities. Even so, the knowledge about its impact on fish health is still limited. In this study, the teleost Liza aurata was exposed to 0.1, 0.3, 0.9 and 2.7 microM Phe concentrations during 16 h. Enzymatic antioxidants such as selenium dependent glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione S-transferase (GST), glutathione reductase (GR) and catalase (CAT), as well as a non-enzymatic antioxidant (glutathione - GSH) were quantified in three target organs - gill, kidney and liver. The lipid peroxidation (LPO) was also assessed as a marker of oxidative damage. GPx activity was decreased in gill (0.1 and 0.9 microM), whereas in the liver it was increased (0.3-2.7 microM). GST activity was decreased in kidney (0.3-2.7 microM) and CAT activity was increased in gill after 0.9 microM exposure. GSH content was significantly increased in gill by the lowest concentration and in liver by all Phe concentrations. Despite the antioxidant defense responses, LPO increased in gill (0.3-2.7 microM), kidney (0.1 microM) and liver (0.1 and 2.7 microM). These results revealed organ specific antioxidant defenses depending on the Phe concentration. Liver demonstrated a higher adaptive competence expressed as antioxidant defenses activation, namely GSH and GPX. The lower vulnerability of the kidney to oxidative damage (compared to gill and liver) seems to be related to its higher antioxidant basal levels. Globally, current data highlight the Phe potential to induce oxidative stress and, consequently, to affect the well-being of fish.

  1. Investigating organic multilayers by spectroscopic ellipsometry: specific and non-specific interactions of polyhistidine with NTA self-assembled monolayers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilaria Solano


    Full Text Available Background: A versatile strategy for protein–surface coupling in biochips exploits the affinity for polyhistidine of the nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA group loaded with Ni(II. Methods based on optical reflectivity measurements such as spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE allow for label-free, non-invasive monitoring of molecule adsorption/desorption at surfaces.Results: This paper describes a SE study about the interaction of hexahistidine (His6 on gold substrates functionalized with a thiolate self-assembled monolayer bearing the NTA end group. By systematically applying the difference spectra method, which emphasizes the small changes of the ellipsometry spectral response upon the nanoscale thickening/thinning of the molecular film, we characterized different steps of the process such as the NTA-functionalization of Au, the adsorption of the His6 layer and its eventual displacement after reaction with competitive ligands. The films were investigated in liquid, and ex situ in ambient air. The SE investigation has been complemented by AFM measurements based on nanolithography methods (nanografting mode.Conclusion: Our approach to the SE data, exploiting the full spectroscopic potential of the method and basic optical models, was able to provide a picture of the variation of the film thickness along the process. The combination of δΔi+1,i(λ, δΨi+1,i(λ (layer-addition mode and δΔ†i',i+1(λ, δΨ†i',i+1(λ (layer-removal mode difference spectra allowed us to clearly disentangle the adsorption of His6 on the Ni-free NTA layer, due to non specific interactions, from the formation of a neatly thicker His6 film induced by the Ni(II-loading of the NTA SAM.

  2. Organ-specific gene expression in maize: The P-wr allele. Final report, August 15, 1993--August 14, 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peterson, T.A.


    The ultimate aim of our work is to understand how a regulatory gene produces a specific pattern of gene expression during plant development. Our model is the P-wr gene of maize, which produces a distinctive pattern of pigmentation of maize floral organs. We are investigating this system using a combination of classical genetic and molecular approaches. Mechanisms of organ-specific gene expression are a subject of intense research interest, as it is the operation of these mechanisms during eukaryotic development which determine the characteristics of each organism Allele-specific expression has been characterized in only a few other plant genes. In maize, organ-specific pigmentation regulated by the R, B, and Pl genes is achieved by differential transcription of functionally conserved protein coding sequences. Our studies point to a strikingly different mechanism of organ-specific gene expression, involving post-transcriptional regulation of the regulatory P gene. The novel pigmentation pattern of the P-wr allele is associated with differences in the encoded protein. Furthermore, the P-wr gene itself is present as a unique tandemly amplified structure, which may affect its transcriptional regulation.

  3. Accuracy of Specific BIVA for the Assessment of Body Composition in the United States Population (United States)

    Buffa, Roberto; Saragat, Bruno; Cabras, Stefano; Rinaldi, Andrea C.; Marini, Elisabetta


    Background Bioelectrical impedance vector analysis (BIVA) is a technique for the assessment of hydration and nutritional status, used in the clinical practice. Specific BIVA is an analytical variant, recently proposed for the Italian elderly population, that adjusts bioelectrical values for body geometry. Objective Evaluating the accuracy of specific BIVA in the adult U.S. population, compared to the ‘classic’ BIVA procedure, using DXA as the reference technique, in order to obtain an interpretative model of body composition. Design A cross-sectional sample of 1590 adult individuals (836 men and 754 women, 21–49 years old) derived from the NHANES 2003–2004 was considered. Classic and specific BIVA were applied. The sensitivity and specificity in recognizing individuals below the 5th and above the 95th percentiles of percent fat (FMDXA%) and extracellular/intracellular water (ECW/ICW) ratio were evaluated by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. Classic and specific BIVA results were compared by a probit multiple-regression. Results Specific BIVA was significantly more accurate than classic BIVA in evaluating FMDXA% (ROC areas: 0.84–0.92 and 0.49–0.61 respectively; p = 0.002). The evaluation of ECW/ICW was accurate (ROC areas between 0.83 and 0.96) and similarly performed by the two procedures (p = 0.829). The accuracy of specific BIVA was similar in the two sexes (p = 0.144) and in FMDXA% and ECW/ICW (p = 0.869). Conclusions Specific BIVA showed to be an accurate technique. The tolerance ellipses of specific BIVA can be used for evaluating FM% and ECW/ICW in the U.S. adult population. PMID:23484033

  4. Observing the observers - uncovering the role of values in research assessments of organic food systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thorsøe, Martin Hermansen; Alrøe, Hugo Fjelsted; Noe, Egon


    Assessing the overall effects of organic food systems is important, but also a challenge because organic food systems cannot be fully assessed from one single research perspective. The aim of our research was to determine the role of values in assessments of organic food systems as a basis...... for discussing the implications of combining multiple perspectives in overall sustainability assessments of the food system. We explored how values were embedded in five research perspectives: (1) food science, (2) discourse analysis, (3) phenomenology, (4) neoclassical welfare economics, and (5) actor......-network theory. Value has various meanings according to different scientific perspectives. A strategy for including and balancing different forms of knowledge in overall assessments of the effects of food systems is needed. Based on the analysis, we recommend four courses of action: (1) elucidate values...

  5. Environmental assessment of organic soybean (Glycine max.) imported from China to Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, Marie Trydeman; Yu-Hui, Qiao; Van, Luo


    Growing global trade with organic products has increased the demand for environmental impact assessments during both production and transport. Environmental hotspots of organic soybeans produced in China and imported to Denmark were identified in a case study using a life cycle assessment approach....... Furthermore, environmental impacts of organic and conventional soybeans at farm gate were compared in the case study. The total global warming potential (GWP) per ton organic soybeans imported to Denmark revealed that 51% came from transportation and 35% from the farm level. Comparing organic and conventional...... soybean at farm gate showed that GWP, non-renewable energy use, acidification and eutrophication was lower per ton organic soybeans, whereas land use was slightly higher....

  6. Soil organic carbon assessments in cropping systems using isotopic techniques (United States)

    Martín De Dios Herrero, Juan; Cruz Colazo, Juan; Guzman, María Laura; Saenz, Claudio; Sager, Ricardo; Sakadevan, Karuppan


    Introduction of improved farming practices are important to address the challenges of agricultural production, food security, climate change and resource use efficiency. The integration of livestock with crops provides many benefits including: (1) resource conservation, (2) ecosystem services, (3) soil quality improvements, and (4) risk reduction through diversification of enterprises. Integrated crop livestock systems (ICLS) with the combination of no-tillage and pastures are useful practices to enhance soil organic carbon (SOC) compared with continuous cropping systems (CCS). In this study, the SOC and its fractions in two cropping systems namely (1) ICLS, and (2) CCS were evaluated in Southern Santa Fe Province in Argentina, and the use of delta carbon-13 technique and soil physical fractionation were evaluated to identify sources of SOC in these systems. Two farms inside the same soil cartographic unit and landscape position in the region were compared. The ICLS farm produces lucerne (Medicago sativa Merrill) and oat (Avena sativa L.) grazed by cattle alternatively with grain summer crops sequence of soybean (Glicine max L.) and corn (Zea mays L.), and the farm under continuous cropping system (CCS) produces soybean and corn in a continuous sequence. The soil in the area is predominantly a Typic Hapludoll. Soil samples from 0-5 and 0-20 cm depths (n=4) after the harvest of grain crops were collected in each system and analyzed for total organic carbon (SOC, 0-2000 μm), particulate organic carbon (POC, 50-100 μm) and mineral organic carbon (MOC, <50 μm). Delta carbon-13 was determined by isotopic ratio mass spectrometry. In addition, a site with natural vegetation (reference site, REF) was also sampled for delta carbon-13 determination. ANOVA and Tukey statistical analysis were carried out for all data. The SOC was higher in ICLS than in CCS at both depths (20.8 vs 17.7 g kg-1 for 0-5 cm and 16.1 vs 12.7 g kg-1 at 0-20 cm, respectively, P<0.05). MOC was

  7. Assessing the financial characteristics of multi-institutional organizations. (United States)

    Coyne, J S


    The prospective pricing of health services is precipitating greater attention to financial characteristics and greater development of multi-institutional organizations (MIOs). This study compares the financial characteristics of 1,590 MIO hospitals with 2,819 freestanding hospitals by ownership type: church-operated, other not-for-profit, and investor-owned. Using 1981 data from the American Hospital Association, the hospitals' capital structure and profitability are measured using three financial ratios: total assets-to-equity, return on equity, and operating margin. The results indicate both greater leverage and greater profitability among MIO hospitals, particularly in the investor-owned sector. The implications of these findings are discussed relative to financial performance by hospital ownership type in the future.

  8. Identification of specific organic contaminants in different units of a chemical production site. (United States)

    Dsikowitzky, L; Botalova, O; al Sandouk-Lincke, N A; Schwarzbauer, J


    Due to the very limited number of studies dealing with the chemical composition of industrial wastewaters, many industrial organic contaminants still escape our view and consequently also our control. We present here the chemical characterization of wastewaters from different units of a chemical complex, thereby contributing to the characterization of industrial pollution sources. The chemicals produced in the investigated complex are widely and intensively used and the synthesis processes are common and applied worldwide. The chemical composition of untreated and treated wastewaters from the chemical complex was investigated by applying a non-target screening which allowed for the identification of 39 organic contaminants. According to their application most of them belonged to four groups: (i) unspecific educts or intermediates of industrial syntheses, (ii) chemicals for the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, (iii) educts for the synthesis of polymers and resins, and (iv) compounds known as typical constituents of municipal sewage. A number of halogenated compounds with unknown toxicity and with very high molecular diversity belonged to the second group. Although these compounds were completely removed or degraded during wastewater treatment, they could be useful as "alarm indicators" for industrial accidents in pharmaceutical manufacturing units or for malfunctions of wastewater treatment plants. Three potential branch-specific indicators for polymer manufacturing were found in the outflow of the complex. Among all compounds, bisphenol A, which was present in the leachate water of the on-site waste deposit, occurred in the highest concentrations of up to 20 000 μg L(-1). The comparison of contaminant loads in the inflow and outflow of the on-site wastewater treatment facility showed that most contaminants were completely or at least significantly removed or degraded during the treatment, except two alkylthiols, which were enriched during the treatment process

  9. Assessing Emissions of Volatile Organic Componds from Landfills Gas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fahime Khademi


    Full Text Available Background: Biogas is obtained by anaerobic decomposition of organic wastes buried materials used to produce electricity, heat and biofuels. Biogas is at the second place for power generation after hydropower and in 2000 about 6% of the world power generation was allocated to biogas. Biogas is composed of 40–45 vol% CO2, 55–65 vol% CH4, and about 1% non-methaneVOCs, and non-methane volatile organic compounds. Emission rates are used to evaluate the compliance with landfill gas emission regulations by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA. BTEX comounds affect the air quality and may be harmful to human health. Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene isomers that are generally called BTEX compounds are the most abundant VOCs in biogas. Methods: Sampling of VOCs in biogas vents was operated passively or with Tedlar bags. 20 samples were collected from 40 wells of old and new biogas sites of Shiraz’ landfill. Immediately after sampling, the samples were transferred to the laboratory. Analysis of the samples was performed with GC-MS. Results: The results showed that in the collection of the old and new biogas sites, the highest concentration of VOCs was observed in toluene (0.85ppm followed by benzene (0.81ppm, ethylbenzene (0.13ppm and xylene (0.08ppm. Conclusion: The results of the study showed that in all samples, most available compounds in biogas vents were aromatic hydrocarbon compounds.These compounds’ constituents originate from household hazardous waste materials deposited in the landfill or from biological/chemical decomposition processes within the landfill.

  10. A quantitative method for the specific assessment of caspase-6 activity in cell culture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ehrnhoefer, Dagmar E; Skotte, Niels H; Savill, Jane;


    are not well suited to specifically assess caspase-6 activity in the presence of other, confounding protease activities, as often encountered in cell and tissue samples. Here we report the development of a method that overcomes this limitation by using a protein substrate, lamin A, which is highly specific...... for caspase-6 cleavage at amino acid 230. Using a neo-epitope antibody against cleaved lamin A, we developed an electrochemiluminescence-based ELISA assay that is suitable to specifically detect and quantify caspase-6 activity in highly apoptotic cell extracts. The method is more sensitive than VEID......Aberrant activation of caspase-6 has recently emerged as a major contributor to the pathogeneses of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Huntington disease. Commercially available assays to measure caspase-6 activity commonly use the VEID peptide as a substrate. However these methods...

  11. Student Perceptions of Online Homework Use for Formative Assessment of Learning in Organic Chemistry (United States)

    Richards-Babb, Michelle; Curtis, Reagan; Georgieva, Zornitsa; Penn, John H.


    Use of online homework as a formative assessment tool for organic chemistry coursework was examined. Student perceptions of online homework in terms of (i) its ranking relative to other course aspects, (ii) their learning of organic chemistry, and (iii) whether it improved their study habits and how students used it as a learning tool were…

  12. Problem formulation and option assessment (PFOA) linking governance and environmental risk assessment for technologies: a methodology for problem analysis of nanotechnologies and genetically engineered organisms. (United States)

    Nelson, Kristen C; Andow, David A; Banker, Michael J


    Societal evaluation of new technologies, specifically nanotechnology and genetically engineered organisms (GEOs), challenges current practices of governance and science. Employing environmental risk assessment (ERA) for governance and oversight assumes we have a reasonable ability to understand consequences and predict adverse effects. However, traditional ERA has come under considerable criticism for its many shortcomings and current governance institutions have demonstrated limitations in transparency, public input, and capacity. Problem Formulation and Options Assessment (PFOA) is a methodology founded on three key concepts in risk assessment (science-based consideration, deliberation, and multi-criteria analysis) and three in governance (participation, transparency, and accountability). Developed through a series of international workshops, the PFOA process emphasizes engagement with stakeholders in iterative stages, from identification of the problem(s) through comparison of multiple technology solutions that could be used in the future with their relative benefits, harms, and risk. It provides "upstream public engagement" in a deliberation informed by science that identifies values for improved decision making.

  13. Target organ specific activity of drosophila MRP (ABCC1) moderates developmental toxicity of methylmercury. (United States)

    Prince, Lisa; Korbas, Malgorzata; Davidson, Philip; Broberg, Karin; Rand, Matthew Dearborn


    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a ubiquitous and persistent neurotoxin that poses a risk to human health. Although the mechanisms of MeHg toxicity are not fully understood, factors that contribute to susceptibility are even less well known. Studies of human gene polymorphisms have identified a potential role for the multidrug resistance-like protein (MRP/ABCC) family, ATP-dependent transporters, in MeHg susceptibility. MRP transporters have been shown to be important for MeHg excretion in adult mouse models, but their role in moderating MeHg toxicity during development has not been explored. We therefore investigated effects of manipulating expression levels of MRP using a Drosophila development assay. Drosophila MRP (dMRP) is homologous to human MRP1-4 (ABCC1-4), sharing 50% identity and 67% similarity with MRP1. A greater susceptibility to MeHg is seen in dMRP mutant flies, demonstrated by reduced rates of eclosion on MeHg-containing food. Furthermore, targeted knockdown of dMRP expression using GAL4>UAS RNAi methods demonstrates a tissue-specific function for dMRP in gut, Malpighian tubules, and the nervous system in moderating developmental susceptibility to MeHg. Using X-ray synchrotron fluorescence imaging, these same tissues were also identified as the highest Hg-accumulating tissues in fly larvae. Moreover, higher levels of Hg are seen in dMRP mutant larvae compared with a control strain fed an equivalent dose of MeHg. In sum, these data demonstrate that dMRP expression, both globally and within Hg-targeted organs, has a profound effect on susceptibility to MeHg in developing flies. Our findings point to a potentially novel and specific role for dMRP in neurons in the protection against MeHg. Finally, this experimental system provides a tractable model to evaluate human polymorphic variants of MRP and other gene variants relevant to genetic studies of mercury-exposed populations.

  14. Immune responses to Epstein-Barr virus in individuals with systemic and organ specific autoimmune disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kannangai R


    Full Text Available Purpose: Autoimmune diseases usually manifest in genetically predisposed individuals following an environmental trigger. There are several viral infections including Epstein-Barr virus (EBV implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disorders. The aim of this study was to look at the antibody pattern to EBV proteins in the plasma of both systemic and organ specific autoimmune disorders, estimate pro-inflammatory plasma cytokines (IL-8 and TNF-α among these autoimmune patients and compare the observations with those in normal healthy controls. Materials and Methods: Samples from 44 rheumatoid arthritis patients, 25 Hashimoto′s thyroiditis patients, appropriately age and sex matched healthy controls were tested for EBV IgM antibodies by an immunoblot assay and two cytokines (IL-8 and TNF-α by commercial assays. Results: Among the rheumatoid arthritis patients, 23 (52% were positive for EBNA1 antibody, while 13 (52% of the Hashimoto′s thyroiditis patients and 12 (30% of the healthy controls showed similar bands. The intensity of the bands was high in the autoimmune patients when compared to the bands seen in control samples. The difference in the EBNA1 reactivity between rheumatoid arthritis patients and controls were significant (P = 0.038. There was a significant difference in the IgM reactivity to VCAp19 protein between patients and controls (P = 0.011. Conclusion: Our study showed an increased EBV activation among the autoimmune patient groups compared to the normal healthy controls. Further studies are required to delineate the association between the aetiology of autoimmune disorders and EBV.

  15. Fabrication of 14 different RNA nanoparticles for specific tumor targeting without accumulation in normal organs. (United States)

    Shu, Yi; Haque, Farzin; Shu, Dan; Li, Wei; Zhu, Zhenqi; Kotb, Malak; Lyubchenko, Yuri; Guo, Peixuan


    Due to structural flexibility, RNase sensitivity, and serum instability, RNA nanoparticles with concrete shapes for in vivo application remain challenging to construct. Here we report the construction of 14 RNA nanoparticles with solid shapes for targeting cancers specifically. These RNA nanoparticles were resistant to RNase degradation, stable in serum for >36 h, and stable in vivo after systemic injection. By applying RNA nanotechnology and exemplifying with these 14 RNA nanoparticles, we have established the technology and developed "toolkits" utilizing a variety of principles to construct RNA architectures with diverse shapes and angles. The structure elements of phi29 motor pRNA were utilized for fabrication of dimers, twins, trimers, triplets, tetramers, quadruplets, pentamers, hexamers, heptamers, and other higher-order oligomers, as well as branched diverse architectures via hand-in-hand, foot-to-foot, and arm-on-arm interactions. These novel RNA nanostructures harbor resourceful functionalities for numerous applications in nanotechnology and medicine. It was found that all incorporated functional modules, such as siRNA, ribozymes, aptamers, and other functionalities, folded correctly and functioned independently within the nanoparticles. The incorporation of all functionalities was achieved prior, but not subsequent, to the assembly of the RNA nanoparticles, thus ensuring the production of homogeneous therapeutic nanoparticles. More importantly, upon systemic injection, these RNA nanoparticles targeted cancer exclusively in vivo without accumulation in normal organs and tissues. These findings open a new territory for cancer targeting and treatment. The versatility and diversity in structure and function derived from one biological RNA molecule implies immense potential concealed within the RNA nanotechnology field.

  16. Attentional modulation and domain-specificity underlying the neural organization of auditory categorical perception. (United States)

    Bidelman, Gavin M; Walker, Breya S


    Categorical perception (CP) is highly evident in audition when listeners' perception of speech sounds abruptly shifts identity despite equidistant changes in stimulus acoustics. While CP is an inherent property of speech perception, how (if) it is expressed in other auditory modalities (e.g., music) is less clear. Moreover, prior neuroimaging studies have been equivocal on whether attentional engagement is necessary for the brain to categorically organize sound. To address these questions, we recorded neuroelectric brain responses [event-related potentials (ERPs)] from listeners as they rapidly categorized sounds along a speech and music continuum (active task) or during passive listening. Behaviorally, listeners' achieved sharper psychometric functions and faster identification for speech than musical stimuli, which was perceived in a continuous mode. Behavioral results coincided with stronger ERP differentiation between prototypical and ambiguous tokens (i.e., categorical processing) for speech but not for music. Neural correlates of CP were only observed when listeners actively attended to the auditory signal. These findings were corroborated by brain-behavior associations; changes in neural activity predicted more successful CP (psychometric slopes) for active but not passively evoked ERPs. Our results demonstrate auditory categorization is influenced by attention (active > passive) and is stronger for more familiar/overlearned stimulus domains (speech > music). In contrast to previous studies examining highly trained listeners (i.e., musicians), we infer that (i) CP skills are largely domain-specific and do not generalize to stimuli for which a listener has no immediate experience and (ii) categorical neural processing requires active engagement with the auditory stimulus.

  17. SepG coordinates sporulation-specific cell division and nucleoid organization in Streptomyces coelicolor. (United States)

    Zhang, Le; Willemse, Joost; Claessen, Dennis; van Wezel, Gilles P


    Bacterial cell division is a highly complex process that requires tight coordination between septum formation and chromosome replication and segregation. In bacteria that divide by binary fission a single septum is formed at mid-cell, a process that is coordinated by the conserved cell division scaffold protein FtsZ. In contrast, during sporulation-specific cell division in streptomycetes, up to a hundred rings of FtsZ (Z rings) are produced almost simultaneously, dividing the multinucleoid aerial hyphae into long chains of unigenomic spores. This involves the active recruitment of FtsZ by the SsgB protein, and at the same time requires sophisticated systems to regulate chromosome dynamics. Here, we show that SepG is required for the onset of sporulation and acts by ensuring that SsgB is localized to future septum sites. Förster resonance energy transfer imaging suggests direct interaction between SepG and SsgB. The beta-lactamase reporter system showed that SepG is a transmembrane protein with its central domain oriented towards the cytoplasm. Without SepG, SsgB fails to localize properly, consistent with a crucial role for SepG in the membrane localization of the SsgB-FtsZ complex. While SsgB remains associated with FtsZ, SepG re-localizes to the (pre)spore periphery. Expanded doughnut-shaped nucleoids are formed in sepG null mutants, suggesting that SepG is required for nucleoid compaction. Taken together, our work shows that SepG, encoded by one of the last genes in the conserved dcw cluster of cell division and cell-wall-related genes in Gram-positive bacteria whose function was still largely unresolved,coordinates septum synthesis and chromosome organization in Streptomyces.

  18. Specific circular organization of the neurons of human interthalamic adhesion and of periventricular thalamic region. (United States)

    Laslo, Puskas; Slobodan, Malobabić; Nela, Puskas; Milos, Malis; Rade, Popović; Tatjana, Ille


    Interthalamic adhesion between the medial surfaces of the left and right thalamus is a variable structure and contains the midline thalamic nuclei, which are not much developed in humans. The research has been done on 6 human brains obtained during routine autopsy (age 45 to 65; 4 male and 2 female). Every tenth 10 microm thick frontal section was stained according to Klüver-Barrera method. In all cases the authors found a specific organization of certain groups of neurons within the interthalamic adhesion (IA) in form of circles on frontal sections. These circular groups were present on all sections but only 1-2 in each. The larger mean diameter of these circular arrangements was R = 229.4 microm, and smaller was r = 203.1 microm. These circular groups within the human IA were formed in average by 7.29 neurons. In periventricular region (PVR) of thalamus similar circular groups of neurons also were present in all cases as in IA. These neuronal groups in PVR were of smaller size than in the IA, with larger mean diameter R = 201.4, smaller mean diameter r = 181.2 microm and they contained fewer neurons, 6.69 on average. All three values (both diameters of circular arrangements, and number of neurons forming them) were significantly smaller in PVR (p < .01). Morphological types and sizes of neurons in both investigated structures (IA and PV) were not different. The circular neuronal groups in IA were formed in 61% of fusiform neurons and in PVR in 48% of fusiform neurons. According to their subependymal localization, size and form, these circular groups can represent in vivo correlates of neurospheres.

  19. World Health Organization Guidelines for Containment of Poliovirus Following Type-Specific Polio Eradication - Worldwide, 2015. (United States)

    Previsani, Nicoletta; Tangermann, Rudolph H; Tallis, Graham; Jafari, Hamid S


    In 1988, the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) resolved to eradicate polio worldwide. Among the three wild poliovirus (WPV) types (type 1, type 2, and type 3), WPV type 2 (WPV2) has been eliminated in the wild since 1999, and WPV type 3 (WPV3) has not been reported since 2012. In 2015, only Afghanistan and Pakistan have reported WPV transmission. On May 25, 2015, all WHO Member States endorsed World Health Assembly resolution 68.3 on full implementation of the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 (the Endgame Plan), and with it, the third Global Action Plan to minimize poliovirus facility-associated risk (GAPIII). All WHO Member States have committed to implementing appropriate containment of WPV2 in essential laboratory and vaccine production facilities* by the end of 2015 and of type 2 oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV2) within 3 months of global withdrawal of OPV2, which is planned for April 2016. This report summarizes critical steps for essential laboratory and vaccine production facilities that intend to retain materials confirmed to contain or potentially containing type-specific WPV, vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV), or OPV/Sabin viruses, and steps for nonessential facilities† that process specimens that contain or might contain polioviruses. National authorities will need to certify that the essential facilities they host meet the containment requirements described in GAPIII. After certification of WPV eradication, the use of all OPV will cease; final containment of all polioviruses after polio eradication and OPV cessation will minimize the risk for reintroduction of poliovirus into a polio-free world.

  20. Screening and Establishment of Human Lung Cancer Cell Lines 
with Organ-specific Metastasis Potential

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    Qinghua ZHOU


    Full Text Available Background and objective Cancer metastasis is not only the malignant marker and characteristics, but also the main cause of failure to cure and lose their life in the patients with lung cancer. Lung cancer metastasis has organ-specific characteristics. The most common sites of lung cancer metastasis are mediastinal lymph node, brain, bone, liver and adrenal gland. The aim of this study is to screen and establish lung cancer cell model with organ-specific metastasis potential with human high-metastatic large cell lung cancer cell line L9981 established by our laboratory previously, and to provide cell models for studying the mechanisms and signal regulation of organ-specific metastasis of lung cancer. Materials and methods The parent lung cancer cell line, L9981-Luc, was inoculated in the armpit of nude mice. The live animal imaging system, IVIS-200, was used to detect the lung cancer organ-specific metastasis every week. When the organ-specific metastasis were established, the nude mices bearing the lung cancer were sacrificed when they became moribund. Under sterile conditions, the organs (mediastinal lymph nodes, lung, spinal column and brain with lung cancer organ-specific metastasis were removed and the metastasized nodules were dissected free of connective tissue and blood clots, and rinsed twice with medium. The metastasized nodules were finely minced using sterile scalpel blades in medium, and the cells were seeded in tissue culture dishes. Then, the cells with organ-specific metastasis potential were reinoculated into the armpit of nude mice, respectively. This processes were repeated to establish the organ-specific metastatic sublines of L9981-Luc cell line more than 10 times. Finally, the organ-specific metastasis sublines of L9981-Luc were screened and established, which the four cell lines have the characteristics only metastasized to brian, lung, bone and mediastinal lymph node. Results A group of organ-specific metastasis cell


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available The purpose of this research which is aimed to increase the service quality in public organization by extending the quality management applications is to; put forward the effect of European Union Common Assessment Framework which is one of the implementation and organizational self-assessment model in public administration of total quality management (which is one of the theory of modern management on public organization according to the employee perception by carrying out organizational self-assessment. The research group consists of; 379 employeeS surveyed at the central organization of Ministryr of Labor and Social Security in which the Common Assessment Framework is applied and 247 employees surveyed at the Sports General Directorate Central Organization of the Ministry of Youth and Sport in which the Common Assessment Framework is not applied. This research consists of a descriptive (descriptive- quantification study in which the scanning model was used. In this research; as a data collection tool a Likert type Common Assessment Framework Organizational Quality Scale (CAF-OQS which is developed by us was used. In order for the content validity of the scale, we benefitted From expert opinion composed of 11 people and pilot scheme and also for the construct validation Exploratory Factor Analysis iwas carried out. In order to determine the scale reliability the Cronbach alpha coefficient was calculated. Item-total correlation is approximately between .70 and .90 and cronbach alpha value is .98. The eigenvalue graph of the scale showed that the scale has an integrated structure with a single factor. The explained variance was calculated as 69.53% and this showed that the scale has presented the single factor variable which is called “Organizational Quality” as approximately 70%. As the value of the factor loading which shows whether the item belongs to a factor or not is approximately between .80 and .90, and it presented that the items

  2. Developmental and organ-specific changes in promoter DNA-protein interactions in the tomato rbcS gene family. (United States)

    Manzara, T; Carrasco, P; Gruissem, W


    The five genes encoding ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (rbcS) from tomato are differentially expressed. Transcription of the genes is organ specific and developmentally regulated in fruit and light regulated in cotyledons and leaves. DNase I footprinting assays were used to map multiple sites of DNA-protein interaction in the promoter regions of all five genes and to determine whether the differential transcriptional activity of each gene correlated with developmental or organ-specific changes in DNA-protein interactions. We show organ-specific differences in DNase I protection patterns, suggesting that differential transcription of rbcS genes is controlled at least in part at the level of DNA-protein interactions. In contrast, no changes were detected in the DNase I footprint pattern generated with nuclear extracts from dark-grown cotyledons versus cotyledons exposed to light, implying that light-dependent regulation of rbcS transcription is controlled by protein-protein interactions or modification of DNA binding proteins. During development of tomato fruit, most DNA-protein interactions in the rbcS promoter regions disappear, coincident with the transcriptional inactivation of the rbcS genes. In nuclear extracts from nonphotosynthetic roots and red fruit, the only detectable DNase I protection corresponds to a G-box binding activity. Detection of other DNA binding proteins in extracts from these organs and expression of nonphotosynthetic genes exclude the possibility that roots and red fruit are transcriptionally inactive. The absence of complex promoter protection patterns in these organs suggests either that cooperative interactions between different DNA binding proteins are necessary to form functional transcription complexes or that there is developmental and organ-specific regulation of several rbcS-specific transcription factors in these organs. The DNase I-protected DNA sequences defined in this study are discussed in the context of conserved DNA

  3. Analysis of criteria for performance assessment of hospitals organizations manage

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    Fabricio Henrique dos Santos Simões


    The hospital as a service provider is undergoing rapid technological change and a society where quality and efficiency are evaluated through quality indicators are inevitable in a highly competitive healthcare market. This research seeks to compare performance indicators between hospitals managed under the model of social health organizations with the indicators of public hospitals directly managed in the State of São Paulo. The research is a literature review of qualitative method, where we seek to synthesize the knowledge produced through the analysis of the results shown in some studies of expert authors. The quality of care is a major concern of health institutions. From the literature review conducted it was found that the results point to the fact that the excellent quality of care requires the evaluation of the results of the services offered to the user through the use of indicators as generators of information that support the development of guidelines for policies health. This study shows that monitoring of indicators by measuring the same health professionals enables the process of decision making based on their results, the use of indicators still allows them to modify and improve their practice for the quality and efficiency of assistance.

  4. International Literature Review on WHODAS II (World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule II

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    Federici, Stefano


    Full Text Available This review is a critical analysis regarding the study and utilization of the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule II (WHODAS II as a basis for establishing specific criteria for evaluating relevant international scientific literature.The WHODAS II is an instrument developed by the World Health Organisation in order to assess behavioural limitations and restrictions related to an individual’s participation, independent from a medical diagnosis. This instrument was developed by the WHO’s Assessment, Classification and Epidemiology Group within the framework of the WHO/NIH Joint Project on Assessment and Classification of Disablements. To ascertain the international dissemination level of for WHODAS II’s utilization and, at the same time, analyse the studies regarding the psychometric validation of the WHODAS II translation and adaptation in other languages and geographical contests. Particularly, our goal is to highlight which psychometric features have been investigated, focusing on the factorial structure, the reliability, and the validity of this instrument. International literature was researched through the main data bases of indexed scientific production: the Cambridge Scientific Abstracts – CSA, PubMed, and Google Scholar, from 1990 through to December 2008.The following search terms were used:“whodas”, in the field query, plus “title” and “abstract”.The WHODAS II has been used in 54 studies, of which 51 articles are published in international journals, 2 conference abstracts, and one dissertation abstract. Nevertheless, only 7 articles are published in journals and conference proceedings regarding disability and rehabilitation. Others have been published in medical and psychiatric journals, with the aim of indentifying comorbidity correlations in clinical diagnosis concerning patients with mental illness. Just 8 out of 51 articles have studied the psychometric properties of the WHODAS II. The

  5. Assessment of volatile organic compound emissions from ecosystems of China (United States)

    Klinger, L. F.; Li, Q.-J.; Guenther, A. B.; Greenberg, J. P.; Baker, B.; Bai, J.-H.


    Isoprene, monoterpene, and other volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from grasslands, shrublands, forests, and peatlands in China were characterized to estimate their regional magnitudes and to compare these emissions with those from landscapes of North America, Europe, and Africa. Ecological and VOC emission sampling was conducted at 52 sites centered in and around major research stations located in seven different regions of China: Inner Mongolia (temperate), Changbai Mountain (boreal-temperate), Beijing Mountain (temperate), Dinghu Mountain (subtropical), Ailao Mountain (subtropical), Kunming (subtropical), and Xishuangbanna (tropical). Transects were used to sample plant species and growth form composition, leafy (green) biomass, and leaf area in forests representing nearly all the major forest types of China. Leafy biomass was determined using generic algorithms based on tree diameter, canopy structure, and absolute cover. Measurements of VOC emissions were made on 386 of the 541 recorded species using a portable photo-ionization detector method. For 105 species, VOC emissions were also measured using a flow-through leaf cuvette sampling/gas chromatography analysis method. Results indicate that isoprene and monoterpene emissions, as well as leafy biomass, vary systematically along gradients of ecological succession in the same manner found in previous studies in the United States, Canada, and Africa. Applying these results to a regional VOC emissions model, we arrive at a value of 21 Tg C for total annual biogenic VOC emissions from China, compared to 5 Tg C of VOCs released annually from anthropogenic sources there. The isoprene and monoterpene emissions are nearly the same as those reported for Europe, which is comparable in size to China.

  6. Three Decades of Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment: Evidence Coming From Different Healthcare Settings and Specific Clinical Conditions. (United States)

    Pilotto, Alberto; Cella, Alberto; Pilotto, Andrea; Daragjati, Julia; Veronese, Nicola; Musacchio, Clarissa; Mello, Anna Maria; Logroscino, Giancarlo; Padovani, Alessandro; Prete, Camilla; Panza, Francesco


    Comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) is a multidisciplinary diagnostic and treatment process that identifies medical, psychosocial, and functional capabilities of older adults to develop a coordinated plan to maximize overall health with aging. Specific criteria used by CGA programs to evaluate patients include age, medical comorbidities, psychosocial problems, previous or predicted high healthcare utilization, change in living situation, and specific geriatric conditions. However, no universal criteria have been agreed upon to readily identify patients who are likely to benefit from CGA. Evidence from randomized controlled trials and large systematic reviews and meta-analyses suggested that the healthcare setting may modify the effectiveness of CGA programs. Home CGA programs and CGA performed in the hospital were shown to be consistently beneficial for several health outcomes. In contrast, the data are conflicting for posthospital discharge CGA programs, outpatient CGA consultation, and CGA-based inpatient geriatric consultation services. The effectiveness of CGA programs may be modified also by particular settings or specific clinical conditions, with tailored CGA programs in older frail patients evaluated for preoperative assessment, admitted or discharged from emergency departments and orthogeriatric units or with cancer and cognitive impairment. CGA is capable of effectively exploring multiple domains in older age, being the multidimensional and multidisciplinary tool of choice to determine the clinical profile, the pathologic risk and the residual skills as well as the short- and long-term prognosis to facilitate the clinical decision making on the personalized care plan of older persons.

  7. Remodelers organize cellular chromatin by counteracting intrinsic histone-DNA sequence preferences in a class-specific manner

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Y.M. Moshkin (Yuri); G.E. Chalkley (Gillian); T.W. Kan (Tsung Wai); B.A. Reddy (Ashok); Z. Özgür (Zeliha); W.F.J. van IJcken (Wilfred); D.H. Dekkers (Dick); J.A.A. Demmers (Jeroen); A.A. Travers (Andrew); C.P. Verrijzer (Peter)


    textabstractThe nucleosome is the fundamental repeating unit of eukaryotic chromatin. Here, we assessed the interplay between DNA sequence and ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling factors (remodelers) in the nucleosomal organization of a eukaryotic genome. We compared the genome-wide distribution of D

  8. Guidelines for the assessment and acceptance of potential brain-dead organ donors (United States)

    Westphal, Glauco Adrieno; Garcia, Valter Duro; de Souza, Rafael Lisboa; Franke, Cristiano Augusto; Vieira, Kalinca Daberkow; Birckholz, Viviane Renata Zaclikevis; Machado, Miriam Cristine; de Almeida, Eliana Régia Barbosa; Machado, Fernando Osni; Sardinha, Luiz Antônio da Costa; Wanzuita, Raquel; Silvado, Carlos Eduardo Soares; Costa, Gerson; Braatz, Vera; Caldeira Filho, Milton; Furtado, Rodrigo; Tannous, Luana Alves; de Albuquerque, André Gustavo Neves; Abdala, Edson; Gonçalves, Anderson Ricardo Roman; Pacheco-Moreira, Lúcio Filgueiras; Dias, Fernando Suparregui; Fernandes, Rogério; Giovanni, Frederico Di; de Carvalho, Frederico Bruzzi; Fiorelli, Alfredo; Teixeira, Cassiano; Feijó, Cristiano; Camargo, Spencer Marcantonio; de Oliveira, Neymar Elias; David, André Ibrahim; Prinz, Rafael Augusto Dantas; Herranz, Laura Brasil; de Andrade, Joel


    Organ transplantation is the only alternative for many patients with terminal diseases. The increasing disproportion between the high demand for organ transplants and the low rate of transplants actually performed is worrisome. Some of the causes of this disproportion are errors in the identification of potential organ donors and in the determination of contraindications by the attending staff. Therefore, the aim of the present document is to provide guidelines for intensive care multi-professional staffs for the recognition, assessment and acceptance of potential organ donors. PMID:27737418

  9. Disorder-specific emotional imagery for differential and quantitative assessment of agoraphobia. (United States)

    Engel, Kirsten-Rita; Bandelow, Borwin; Neumann, Charlott; Obst, Katrin; Wedekind, Dirk


    Visual emotional stimulation is supposed to elicit psycho-vegetative reactions, which are similar to as the ones elicited by exposure to actual experience. Visual stimulation paradigms have been widely used in studies on agoraphobia with and without panic disorder. However, the applied imagery has hardly ever been disorder- and subject- specific. 51 patients with an ICD-10 and DSM-IV diagnosis of agoraphobia with or without panic disorder (PDA) and matching healthy controls have been examined. Subjects were confronted with 146 picture showing characteristic agoraphobic situations (high places, narrow places, crowds, public transport facilities, or wide places) or pictures associated with acute physical emergency (panic) situations, which had been pre-selected by anxiety experts. Participants were asked to rate emotional arousal induced by the respective images on the Self- Assessment Manikin scale (SAM). Data on PDA severity (PAS) depressive symptoms (MADRS) and sociodemographic data were recorded. Saliva cortisol levels were measured before and after exposure in a second test applying the individually mostly feared stimuli combined with emotionally neutral pictures for every single patient. 117 of the PDA-specific images were rated significantly more fear-eliciting by patients than by healthy individuals. Sub-categorization into agoraphobia clusters showed differential effects of clusters with regard to gender distribution, severity of PDA and cortisol secretion during exposure. In this study disorder specific and individual characteristics of agoraphobia were assessed for use in future trials applying emotional imagery. It could be used for the differential assessment of PDA and associated neurobiological and psychological phenomena and in neuroimaging paradigms.

  10. Site-specific Vulnerability Assessment for Debris Flows: Two Case Studies

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Here the vulnerability is defined as the potential total maximum losses due to a debris flow damaging event for a specific debris flow fan. The vulnerability is classified into property vulnerability and population vulnerability. Assessment indexes include the assets of buildings, traffic facilities, lifeline works, personal properties, and land resources for property vulnerability; age, education, and wealth of the inhabitants, natural population growth rate, and population density for population vulnerability. The vulnerability is expressed as the sum of the transformed values of the losses of property and population. Two study cases with post-fact damages by historic debris flow events in Sichuan of SW China are presented.

  11. Development of a site specific environmental radiation assessment model for Youngkwang NPPs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chung, Yang Geun; Song, Myung Jae; Shon, Soon Hwan; Shin, Sang Woon; Lee, Gap Bock; Yang, Kyung Hwa [Korea Electric Power Research Institute, Taejon (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Seong Pyung; Kim, Jeong Kyu; Shin, Dae Yoon; Kim, Hyun Ku; Lee, Kyung Jin [Chosun University, Kwangju (Korea, Republic of)


    During the normal operation of nuclear power plants, a very small amount of radionuclide materials is released to the environment. The radionuclide releases to the environment may give rise to some additional radiation dose through a number of pathways. With a few exception, radionuclide transports are highly dependent on the environmental conditions such as topological features, atmospheric and oceanic conditions and socio-environmental characteristics, etc. The dose calculation in Korea are presently being performed using the models in US NRC Reg. Guide. However, these models which were originally released by the US NRC in 1977 are inadequate to deal with environmental movement of radionuclides in consideration of complex terrain, tidal condition of the Yellow Sea, and Youngkwang site specific conditions. KEPRI has developed the models to consider the site specific characteristics around Youngkwang NPPs, to give the realistic dose assessment, and to improve assurance and reliability in public dose calculation. (author). 41 figs., 70 refs.

  12. Field Assessment and Specification Review for Roller-Integrated Compaction Monitoring Technologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J. White


    Full Text Available Roller-integrated compaction monitoring (RICM technologies provide virtually 100-percent coverage of compacted areas with real-time display of the compaction measurement values. Although a few countries have developed quality control (QC and quality assurance (QA specifications, broader implementation of these technologies into earthwork construction operations still requires a thorough understanding of relationships between RICM values and traditional in situ point test measurements. The purpose of this paper is to provide: (a an overview of two technologies, namely, compaction meter value (CMV and machine drive power (MDP; (b a comprehensive review of field assessment studies, (c an overview of factors influencing statistical correlations, (d modeling for visualization and characterization of spatial nonuniformity; and (e a brief review of the current specifications.

  13. Development of Specific Rules for the Application of Life Cycle Assessment to Carbon Capture and Storage

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    Michela Gallo


    Full Text Available Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS is a very innovative and promising solution for greenhouse gases (GHG reduction, i.e., capturing carbon dioxide (CO2 at its source and storing it indefinitely to avoid its release to the atmosphere. This paper investigates a set of key issues in the development of specific rules for the application of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA to CCS. The following LCA-based information are addressed in this work: definition of service type, definition of functional unit, definition of system boundaries, choice of allocation rules, choice of selected Life Cycle Inventory (LCI results or other selected parameters for description of environmental performance. From a communication perspective, the specific rules defined in this study have been developed coherently with the requirements of a type III environment label scheme, the International EPD® System, according to the ISO 14025 standard.

  14. Comparison of specific versus literature species sensitivity distributions for herbicides risk assessment. (United States)

    Larras, Floriane; Gregorio, Vincent; Bouchez, Agnès; Montuelle, Bernard; Chèvre, Nathalie


    Species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) are an important predictive tool in risk assessment. Usually, literature data are used to build SSDs that are mostly based on planktonic species. But, to get adequate protective thresholds for environmental communities, one could argue that SSD should be built on ecotoxicological data obtained from species found in the ecosystem that should be protected. This is particularly true when benthic algae are of concern. Due to the lack of literature data, building SSD on benthic microalgae is difficult. This paper aims in comparing SSDs, and thus protective thresholds (hazardous concentration that affects 5% of the species of a community, HC5), built on ecotoxicological data obtained (1) from literature and (2) with specific bioassays on benthic diatoms from a lake. Thresholds were derived for protection against four herbicides separately and for a mixture of them. Sensitivity data obtained from literature were statistically lower than the specific data for all herbicides: Species tested in the literature were usually more sensitive (mainly chlorophytes), leading to more protective lower HC5. The HC5 thresholds (literature or specific) derived for protection against the mixture were also compared to the observed sensitivity of an assemblage of benthic diatom species exposed to an increasing range of herbicide mixture concentrations. We observed that one species within the assemblage (Fragilaria rumpens) was affected at a concentration below both the literature and the specific HC5 thresholds.

  15. Specific and Quantitative Assessment of Naphthalene and Salicylate Bioavailability by Using a Bioluminescent Catabolic Reporter Bacterium (United States)

    Heitzer, Armin; Webb, Oren F.; Thonnard, Janeen E.; Sayler, Gary S.


    A bioassay was developed and standardized for the rapid, specific, and quantitative assessment of naphthalene and salicylate bioavailability by use of bioluminescence monitoring of catabolic gene expression. The bioluminescent reporter strain Pseudomonas fluorescens HK44, which carries a transcriptional nahG-luxCDABE fusion for naphthalene and salicylate catabolism, was used. The physiological state of the reporter cultures as well as the intrinsic regulatory properties of the naphthalene degradation operon must be taken into account to obtain a high specificity at low target substrate concentrations. Experiments have shown that the use of exponentially growing reporter cultures has advantages over the use of carbon-starved, resting cultures. In aqueous solutions for both substrates, naphthalene and salicylate, linear relationships between initial substrate concentration and bioluminescence response were found over concentration ranges of 1 to 2 orders of magnitude. Naphthalene could be detected at a concentration of 45 ppb. Studies conducted under defined conditions with extracts and slurries of experimentally contaminated sterile soils and identical uncontaminated soil controls demonstrated that this method can be used for specific and quantitative estimations of target pollutant presence and bioavailability in soil extracts and for specific and qualitative estimations of napthalene in soil slurries. PMID:16348717

  16. Sequential Organ Failure Assessment Score for Evaluating Organ Failure and Outcome of Severe Maternal Morbidity in Obstetric Intensive Care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Oliveira-Neto


    Full Text Available Objective. To evaluate the performance of Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA score in cases of severe maternal morbidity (SMM. Design. Retrospective study of diagnostic validation. Setting. An obstetric intensive care unit (ICU in Brazil. Population. 673 women with SMM. Main Outcome Measures. mortality and SOFA score. Methods. Organ failure was evaluated according to maximum score for each one of its six components. The total maximum SOFA score was calculated using the poorest result of each component, reflecting the maximum degree of alteration in systemic organ function. Results. highest total maximum SOFA score was associated with mortality, 12.06 ± 5.47 for women who died and 1.87 ± 2.56 for survivors. There was also a significant correlation between the number of failing organs and maternal mortality, ranging from 0.2% (no failure to 85.7% (≥3 organs. Analysis of the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC curve (AUC confirmed the excellent performance of total maximum SOFA score for cases of SMM (AUC = 0.958. Conclusions. Total maximum SOFA score proved to be an effective tool for evaluating severity and estimating prognosis in cases of SMM. Maximum SOFA score may be used to conceptually define and stratify the degree of severity in cases of SMM.

  17. The fasted/fed mouse metabolic acetylome: N6-acetylation differences suggest acetylation coordinates organ-specific fuel switching. (United States)

    Yang, Li; Vaitheesvaran, Bhavapriya; Hartil, Kirsten; Robinson, Alan J; Hoopmann, Michael R; Eng, Jimmy K; Kurland, Irwin J; Bruce, James E


    The elucidation of extra-nuclear lysine acetylation has been of growing interest, as the cosubstrate for acetylation, acetyl CoA, is at a key metabolic intersection. Our hypothesis was that mitochondrial and cytoplasmic protein acetylation may be part of a fasted/re-fed feedback control system for the regulation of the metabolic network in fuel switching, where acetyl CoA would be provided by fatty acid oxidation, or glycolysis, respectively. To test this, we characterized the mitochondrial and cytoplasmic acetylome in various organs that have a high metabolic rate relative to their mass, and/or switch fuels, under fasted and re-fed conditions (brain, kidney, liver, skeletal muscle, heart muscle, white and brown adipose tissues). Using immunoprecipitation, coupled with LC-MS/MS label free quantification, we show there is a dramatic variation in global quantitative profiles of acetylated proteins from different organs. In total, 733 acetylated peptides from 337 proteins were identified and quantified, out of which 31 acetylated peptides from the metabolic proteins that may play organ-specific roles were analyzed in detail. Results suggest that fasted/re-fed acetylation changes coordinated by organ-specific (de)acetylases in insulin-sensitive versus -insensitive organs may underlie fuel use and switching. Characterization of the tissue-specific acetylome should increase understanding of metabolic conditions wherein normal fuel switching is disrupted, such as in Type II diabetes.

  18. Public management and network specificity: Effects of colleges’ ties with professional organizations on graduates’ labour market success and satisfaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akkerman, Agnes; Torenvlied, Rene


    Research on managerial networking in the public sector reports positive effects of network activity on performance. However, little is known about which network relations influence different aspects of performance. We argue that for specific organizational goals, organizations should direct their ne

  19. Public Management and Network Specificity. Effects of colleges’ ties with professional organizations on graduates’ labour market success and satisfaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akkerman, A.; Torenvlied, R.


    Research on managerial networking in the public sector reports positive effects of network activity on performance. However, little is known about which network relations influence different aspects of performance. We argue that for specific organizational goals, organizations should direct their ne

  20. The Effects of Computer Graphic Organizers on the Persuasive Writing of Hispanic Middle School Students with Specific Learning Disabilities (United States)

    Unzueta, Caridad H.; Barbetta, Patricia M.


    A multiple baseline design investigated the effects of computer graphic organizers on the persuasive composition writing skills of four Hispanic students with specific learning disabilities. Participants reviewed the elements of persuasive writing and then developed compositions using a word processing program. Baseline planning was done with a…

  1. Quantifying immediate radiative forcing by black carbon and organic matter with the Specific Forcing Pulse

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    T. C. Bond


    Full Text Available Climatic effects of short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs differ from those of long-lived greenhouse gases, because they occur rapidly after emission and because they depend upon the region of emission. The distinctive temporal and spatial nature of these impacts is not captured by measures that rely on global averages or long time integrations. Here, we propose a simple measure, the Specific Forcing Pulse (SFP, to quantify climate warming or cooling by these pollutants, where we define "immediate" as occurring primarily within the first year after emission. SFP is the amount of energy added to or removed from a receptor region in the Earth-atmosphere system by a chemical species, per mass of emission in a source region. We limit the application of SFP to species that remain in the atmosphere for less than one year. Metrics used in policy discussions, such as total forcing or global warming potential, are easily derived from SFP. However, SFP conveys purely physical information without incurring the policy implications of choosing a time horizon for the global warming potential.

    Using one model (Community Atmosphere Model, or CAM, we calculate values of SFP for black carbon (BC and organic matter (OM emitted from 23 source-region combinations. Global SFP for both atmosphere and cryosphere impacts is divided among receptor latitudes. SFP is usually greater for open-burning emissions than for energy-related (fossil-fuel and biofuel emissions because of the timing of emission. Global SFP for BC varies by about 45% for energy-related emissions from different regions. This variation would be larger except for compensating effects. When emitted aerosol has larger cryosphere forcing, it often has lower atmosphere forcing because of less deep convection and a shorter atmospheric lifetime.

    A single model result is insufficient to capture uncertainty. We develop a best estimate and uncertainties for SFP by combining forcing results from

  2. Exploring General versus Task-Specific Assessments of Metacognition in University Chemistry Students: A Multitrait-Multimethod Analysis (United States)

    Wang, Chia-Yu


    The purpose of this study was to use multiple assessments to investigate the general versus task-specific characteristics of metacognition in dissimilar chemistry topics. This mixed-method approach investigated the nature of undergraduate general chemistry students' metacognition using four assessments: a self-report questionnaire, assessment of…

  3. Drawing on Indigenous Criteria for More Authentic Assessment in a Specific-Purpose Language Test: Health Professionals Interacting with Patients (United States)

    Pill, John


    The "indigenous assessment practices" (Jacoby & McNamara, 1999) in selected health professions were investigated to inform a review of the scope of assessment in the speaking sub-test of a specific-purpose English language test for health professionals, the Occupational English Test (OET). The assessment criteria in current use on…

  4. Sequestration and histopathology in Plasmodium chabaudi malaria are influenced by the immune response in an organ-specific manner. (United States)

    Brugat, Thibaut; Cunningham, Deirdre; Sodenkamp, Jan; Coomes, Stephanie; Wilson, Mark; Spence, Philip J; Jarra, William; Thompson, Joanne; Scudamore, Cheryl; Langhorne, Jean


    Infection with the malaria parasite, Plasmodium, is associated with a strong inflammatory response and parasite cytoadhesion (sequestration) in several organs. Here, we have carried out a systematic study of sequestration and histopathology during infection of C57Bl/6 mice with Plasmodium chabaudi AS and determined the influence of the immune response. This parasite sequesters predominantly in liver and lung, but not in the brain, kidney or gut. Histopathological changes occur in multiple organs during the acute infection, but are not restricted to the organs where sequestration takes place. Adaptive immunity, and signalling through the IFNγ receptor increased sequestration and histopathology in the liver, but not in the lung, suggesting that there are differences in the adhesion molecules and/or parasite ligands utilized and mechanisms of pathogenesis in these two organs. Exacerbation of pro-inflammatory responses during infection by deletion of the il10 gene resultsin the aggravation of damage to lung and kidney irrespective of the degree of sequestration. The immune response therefore affected both sequestration and histopathology in an organ-specific manner. P.  chabaudi AS provides a good model to investigate the influence of the host response on the sequestration and specific organ pathology, which is applicable to human malaria.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sidorova V. N.


    Full Text Available Nymphaea alba L. belongs to aerohydrophytes and has all typical features of such ecological group. We found out the followings anatomic and functional features which are adaptation to the surplus of water: 1 formation of astrosklereid, which are the mechanical fabrics; 2 presence of large intercells which serve as plant fixation; 3 absence of stomas on the lower side of leaf and submarine organs that alterate the interchange of gases. The mycrochemical ash analysis of plant vegetative organs showed the presence of crystals of strontium, sulfur, potassium, ferrum, calcium, sodium, nitrogen, which vary by accumulation, form, and sizes, in vegetative organs (leaf, root and stem. We proved that quantitative, anatomical, and physiological peculiarities of Nymphaea alba L. vegetative organs uncover the mechanism of adaptation of aerohydrophytes to environment factors. The adaptative mechanisms of plant and their functioning are changed under influence of surplus of water.

  6. A pragmatic assessment of government support for organic agriculture in Ireland. (United States)

    Duram, Leslie A


    Drawing on a pragmatic approach, this paper provides an analysis of government support for organic farming in Ireland. Varying levels of encouragement and programmes are provided to farmers in their conversion from conventional to organic production, and in their maintenance of organic production. As support policies vary across regions and are linked to European Union legislation, it is challenging to document the many types of support in place. This paper investigates relevant technical, financial, and policy support available to organic farmers in Ireland. As an exploratory study, it develops an assessment of Ireland within eight key categories of organic agricultural support: policy, leadership, technical support, financial support, research, education and information, marketing and promotion, and future outlook. Information and data from the Irish Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF), the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority (Teagasc), and other government and semi-governmental agencies were utilized to assess the level of support in each category. This assessment provides key findings which will allow policymakers, organizations and citizens to better understand the current situation and set a path for the future development of organic farming in Ireland.

  7. Assessing specific deterrence effects of increased speeding penalties using four measures of recidivism. (United States)

    Watson, B; Siskind, V; Fleiter, J J; Watson, A; Soole, D


    Traffic law enforcement sanctions can impact on road user behaviour through general and specific deterrence mechanisms. The manner in which specific deterrence can influence recidivist behaviour can be conceptualised in different ways. While any reduction in speeding will have road safety benefits, the ways in which a 'reduction' is determined deserves greater methodological attention and has implications for countermeasure evaluation more generally. The primary aim of this research was to assess the specific deterrent impact of penalty increases for speeding offences in Queensland, Australia, in 2003 on two cohorts of drivers detected for speeding prior to and after the penalty changes were investigated. Since the literature is relatively silent on how to assess recidivism in the speeding context, the secondary research aim was to contribute to the literature regarding ways to conceptualise and measure specific deterrence in the speeding context. We propose a novel way of operationalising four measures which reflect different ways in which a specific deterrence effect could be conceptualised: (1) the proportion of offenders who re-offended in the follow up period; (2) the overall frequency of re-offending in the follow up period; (3) the length of delay to re-offence among those who re-offended; and (4) the average number of re-offences during the follow up period among those who re-offended. Consistent with expectations, results suggested an absolute deterrent effect of penalty changes, as evidenced by significant reductions in the proportion of drivers who re-offended and the overall frequency of re-offending, although effect sizes were small. Contrary to expectations, however, there was no evidence of a marginal specific deterrent effect among those who re-offended, with a significant reduction in the length of time to re-offence and no significant change in the average number of offences committed. Additional exploratory analyses investigating potential

  8. Fast molecular beacon hybridization in organic solvents with improved target specificity. (United States)

    Dave, Neeshma; Liu, Juewen


    DNA hybridization is of tremendous importance in biology, bionanotechnology, and biophysics. Molecular beacons are engineered DNA hairpins with a fluorophore and a quencher labeled on each of the two ends. A target DNA can open the hairpin to give an increased fluorescence signal. To date, the majority of molecular beacon detections have been performed only in aqueous buffers. We describe herein DNA detection in nine different organic solvents, methanol, ethanol, isopropanol, acetonitrile, formamide, dimethylformamide (DMF), dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), ethylene glycol, and glycerol, varying each up to 75% (v/v). In comparison with detection in water, the detection in organic solvents showed several important features. First, the molecular beacon hybridizes to its target DNA in the presence of all nine solvents up to a certain percentage. Second, the rate of this hybridization was significantly faster in most organic solvents compared with water. For example, in 56% ethanol, the beacon showed a 70-fold rate enhancement. Third, the ability of the molecular beacon to discriminate single-base mismatch is still maintained. Lastly, the DNA melting temperature in the organic solvents showed a solvent concentration-dependent decrease. This study suggests that molecular beacons can be used for applications where organic solvents must be involved or organic solvents can be intentionally added to improve the molecular beacon performance.

  9. Pollution prevention opportunity assessment for building 878, manufacturing science and technology, organization 14100.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klossner, Kristin Ann


    This report describes the methodology, analysis and conclusions of a preliminary assessment carried out for activities and operations at Sandia National Laboratories Building 878, Manufacturing Science and Technology, Organization 14100. The goal of this assessment is to evaluate processes being carried out within the building to determine ways to reduce waste generation and resource use. The ultimate purpose of this assessment is to analyze and prioritize processes within Building 878 for more in-depth assessments and to identify projects that can be implemented immediately.

  10. Sensitivity and specificity of WAIS-III/WMS-III demographically corrected factor scores in neuropsychological assessment. (United States)

    Taylor, M J; Heaton, R K


    This study explored the neurodiagnostic utility of 6 factor scores identified by recent exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of the WAIS-III and WMS-III: Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Organization, Processing Speed, Working Memory, Auditory Memory and Visual Memory. Factor scores were corrected for age. education, sex and ethnicity to minimize their influences on diagnostic accuracy. Cut-offs at 1, 1.5 and 2 standard deviations (SDs) below the standardization sample mean were applied to data from the overlapping test normative samples (N = 1073) and 6 clinical samples described in the WAIS-III/WMS-III Technical Manual (N = 126). The analyses suggest that a I SD cut-off yields the most balanced levels of sensitivity and specificity; more strict (1.5 or 2 SD) cut-offs generally result in trading modest gains in specificity for larger losses in sensitivity. Finally, using combinations of WAIS-III/WMS-III factors together as test batteries, we explored the sensitivity and specificity implications of varying diagnostic decision rules (e.g.,1 vs. 2 impaired factors = "impairment"). For most of the disorders considered here, even a small (e.g., 3 factor) WAIS-III/WMS-III battery provides quite good overall diagnostic accuracy.

  11. Optimization of interferon gamma ELISPOT assay to detect human cytomegalovirus specific T-cell responses in solid organ transplants. (United States)

    Abate, Davide; Saldan, Alda; Forner, Gabriella; Tinto, Daniel; Bianchin, Alice; Palù, Giorgio


    Assessing the CMV specific CMI in transplant subjects represents a promising strategy to determine the risk of infection on individual basis. In this study 61 adult CMV IgG seropositive solid organ transplant recipients were examined in order to improve the efficacy of CMI detection. For this purpose, pair-wise comparisons were conducted comparing positive control stimuli PWM and PMA/iono and CMV stimuli, pp65 peptide pool and whole CMV particle. Rosette pre-depletion of blood was also investigated for detecting CD4+ or CD8+ T-cell responses using the IFN-g ELISPOT assay. In the time-points 30-180 days after transplantation, PMA/iono produced statistically significant higher responses compared to PWM, probably because PMA/iono activation pathway is independent from the effect of immunosuppressive drugs. The data showed that 11% of transplant patients displayed very low or undetectable responses to pp65 peptide pool antigen while having sustained high responses to whole CMV particle. In addition, in all the subjects analyzed, CMI responses to CMV particle produced a statistically significant higher number of spots compared to pp65 peptide pool antigen. Rosette pre-depletion of whole blood proved to be effective in detecting CD4+ or CD8+ T-cell responses similarly to flow cytometry. Taken together, the following recommendations are suggested to optimize the CMV-ELISPOT for transplantation settings: (1) use PMA/iono as positive control; (2) whole virus particle should be used to avoid peptide-related false negative responses; (3) a rosette pre-depletion step may be useful to detect CD4+ or CD8+ T-cell responses.

  12. Occurrence of fumonisins in Catalonia (Spain) and an exposure assessment of specific population groups. (United States)

    Cano-Sancho, G; Ramos, A J; Marín, S; Sanchis, V


    Fumonisin B₁ (FB₁) and B₂ (FB₂) are mycotoxins produced by Fusarium verticillioides and F. proliferatum and common contaminants of cereal crops. The objectives of this study were to (1) study the occurrence of fumonisins in Catalonia (north-eastern region of Spain) and (2) assess the exposure of the Catalonian population to these mycotoxins. Contamination data was provided by a wide survey where 928 individual samples were pooled to analyse 370 composite samples. Fumonisins were extracted and purified using immunoaffinity columns and determined by HPLC with fluorescence detection. The raw consumption data came from a nutritional study specifically designed to assess the dietary intake of the main foodstuffs related to fumonisin contamination for all population age groups. In addition, two specific groups were selected with respect to maize consumption: immigrants and celiac sufferers. Contamination and consumption data were combined by simulation using an essentially parametric-parametric (P-P) method. The P-P method draws sampling values from distribution functions fitted to consumption and contamination datasets. Moreover, to quantify the accuracy and reliability of the statistical estimates, we built related confidence intervals using a Pseudo-Parametric bootstrap method. The results of this study show that fumonisins are commonly found in some commodities on the Catalonian market, such as beer, corn snacks and ethnic foods; however, the values were well below the permitted maximum EU levels. The most exposed group were infants followed by immigrants but, in all cases, they were below the TDI of 2 µg/kg bw/day.

  13. Assessing Transformations of Algal Organic Matter in the Long-Term: Impacts of Humification-Like Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maud Leloup


    Full Text Available Algae and cyanobacteria are important contributors to the natural organic matter (NOM of eutrophic water resources. The objective of this work is to increase knowledge on the modifications of algal organic matter (AOM properties in the long term to anticipate blooms footprint in such aquatic environments. The production of AOM from an alga (Euglena gracilis and a cyanobacteria (Microcystis aeruginosa was followed up and characterized during the stationary phase and after one year and four months of cultivation, in batch experiments. Specific UV absorbance (SUVA index, organic matter fractionation according to hydrophobicity and apparent molecular weight were combined to assess the evolution of AOM. A comparison between humic substances (HS mainly derived from allochthonous origins and AOM characteristics was performed to hypothesize impacts of AOM transformation processes on the water quality of eutrophic water resources. Each AOM fraction underwent a specific evolution pattern, depending on its composition. Impacts of humification-like processes were predominant over release of biopolymers due to cells decay and led to an increase in the hydrophobic compounds part and molecular weights over time. However, the hydrophilic fraction remained the major fraction whatever the growth stage. Organic compounds generated by maturation of these precursors corresponded to large and aliphatic structures.

  14. Pharmacokinetic and Biodistribution Assessment of a Near Infrared-Labeled PSMA-Specific Small Molecule in Tumor-Bearing Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joy L. Kovar


    Full Text Available Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and often requires surgery. Use of near infrared (NIR technologies to perform image-guided surgery may improve accurate delineation of tumor margins. To facilitate preclinical testing of such outcomes, here we developed and characterized a PSMA-targeted small molecule, YC-27. IRDye 800CW was conjugated to YC-27 or an anti-PSMA antibody used for reference. Human 22Rv1, PC3M-LN4, and/or LNCaP prostate tumor cells were exposed to the labeled compounds. In vivo targeting and clearance properties were determined in tumor-bearing mice. Organs and tumors were excised and imaged to assess probe localization. YC-27 exhibited a dose dependent increase in signal upon binding. Binding specificity and internalization were visualized by microscopy. In vitro and in vivo blocking studies confirmed YC-27 specificity. In vivo, YC-27 showed good tumor delineation and tissue contrast at doses as low as 0.25 nmole. YC-27 was cleared via the kidneys but bound the proximal tubules of the renal cortex and epididymis. Since PSMA is also broadly expressed on the neovasculature of most tumors, we expect YC-27 will have clinical utility for image-guided surgery and tumor resections.

  15. Edible safety requirements and assessment standards for agricultural genetically modified organisms. (United States)

    Deng, Pingjian; Zhou, Xiangyang; Zhou, Peng; Du, Zhong; Hou, Hongli; Yang, Dongyan; Tan, Jianjun; Wu, Xiaojin; Zhang, Jinzhou; Yang, Yongcun; Liu, Jin; Liu, Guihua; Li, Yonghong; Liu, Jianjun; Yu, Lei; Fang, Shisong; Yang, Xiaoke


    This paper describes the background, principles, concepts and methods of framing the technical regulation for edible safety requirement and assessment of agricultural genetically modified organisms (agri-GMOs) for Shenzhen Special Economic Zone in the People's Republic of China. It provides a set of systematic criteria for edible safety requirements and the assessment process for agri-GMOs. First, focusing on the degree of risk and impact of different agri-GMOs, we developed hazard grades for toxicity, allergenicity, anti-nutrition effects, and unintended effects and standards for the impact type of genetic manipulation. Second, for assessing edible safety, we developed indexes and standards for different hazard grades of recipient organisms, for the influence of types of genetic manipulation and hazard grades of agri-GMOs. To evaluate the applicability of these criteria and their congruency with other safety assessment systems for GMOs applied by related organizations all over the world, we selected some agri-GMOs (soybean, maize, potato, capsicum and yeast) as cases to put through our new assessment system, and compared our results with the previous assessments. It turned out that the result of each of the cases was congruent with the original assessment.

  16. Volume estimation using food specific shape templates in mobile image-based dietary assessment (United States)

    Chae, Junghoon; Woo, Insoo; Kim, SungYe; Maciejewski, Ross; Zhu, Fengqing; Delp, Edward J.; Boushey, Carol J.; Ebert, David S.


    As obesity concerns mount, dietary assessment methods for prevention and intervention are being developed. These methods include recording, cataloging and analyzing daily dietary records to monitor energy and nutrient intakes. Given the ubiquity of mobile devices with built-in cameras, one possible means of improving dietary assessment is through photographing foods and inputting these images into a system that can determine the nutrient content of foods in the images. One of the critical issues in such the image-based dietary assessment tool is the accurate and consistent estimation of food portion sizes. The objective of our study is to automatically estimate food volumes through the use of food specific shape templates. In our system, users capture food images using a mobile phone camera. Based on information (i.e., food name and code) determined through food segmentation and classification of the food images, our system choose a particular food template shape corresponding to each segmented food. Finally, our system reconstructs the three-dimensional properties of the food shape from a single image by extracting feature points in order to size the food shape template. By employing this template-based approach, our system automatically estimates food portion size, providing a consistent method for estimation food volume.

  17. Risk Assessment and Ecological Effects of Transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis Crops on Non-Target Organisms

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hui-Lin Yu; Yun-He Li; Kong-Ming Wu


    The application of recombinant DNA technology has resulted in many insect-resistant varieties by genetic engineering (GE). Crops expressing Cry toxins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have been planted worldwide, and are an effective tool for pest control. However, one ecological concern regarding the potential effects of insect-resistant GE plants on non-target organisms (NTOs) has been continually debated.In the present study, we briefly summarize the data regarding the development and commercial use of transgenic Bt varieties, elaborate on the procedure and methods for assessing the non-target effects of insect-resistant GE plants, and synthetically analyze the related research results, mostly those published between 2005 and 2010. A mass of laboratory and field studies have shown that the currently available Bt crops have no direct detrimental effects on NTOs due to their narrow spectrum of activity, and Bt crops are increasing the abundance of some beneficial insects and improving the natural control of specific pests. The use of Bt crops, such as Bt maize and Bt cotton, results in significant reductions of insecticide application and clear benefits on the environment and farmer health. Consequently, Bt crops can be a useful component of integrated pest management systems to protect the crop from targeted pests.

  18. Risk assessment and ecological effects of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis crops on non-target organisms. (United States)

    Yu, Hui-Lin; Li, Yun-He; Wu, Kong-Ming


    The application of recombinant DNA technology has resulted in many insect-resistant varieties by genetic engineering (GE). Crops expressing Cry toxins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have been planted worldwide, and are an effective tool for pest control. However, one ecological concern regarding the potential effects of insect-resistant GE plants on non-target organisms (NTOs) has been continually debated. In the present study, we briefly summarize the data regarding the development and commercial use of transgenic Bt varieties, elaborate on the procedure and methods for assessing the non-target effects of insect-resistant GE plants, and synthetically analyze the related research results, mostly those published between 2005 and 2010. A mass of laboratory and field studies have shown that the currently available Bt crops have no direct detrimental effects on NTOs due to their narrow spectrum of activity, and Bt crops are increasing the abundance of some beneficial insects and improving the natural control of specific pests. The use of Bt crops, such as Bt maize and Bt cotton, results in significant reductions of insecticide application and clear benefits on the environment and farmer health. Consequently, Bt crops can be a useful component of integrated pest management systems to protect the crop from targeted pests.

  19. An assessment of air quality reflecting the chemosensory irritation impact of mixtures of volatile organic compounds. (United States)

    Abraham, Michael H; Gola, Joelle M R; Cometto-Muñiz, J Enrique


    We present a method to assess the air quality of an environment based on the chemosensory irritation impact of mixtures of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in such environment. We begin by approximating the sigmoid function that characterizes psychometric plots of probability of irritation detection (Q) versus VOC vapor concentration to a linear function. First, we apply an established equation that correlates and predicts human sensory irritation thresholds (SIT) (i.e., nasal and eye irritation) based on the transfer of the VOC from the gas phase to biophases, e.g., nasal mucus and tear film. Second, we expand the equation to include other biological data (e.g., odor detection thresholds) and to include further VOCs that act mainly by "specific" effects rather than by transfer (i.e., "physical") effects as defined in the article. Then we show that, for 72 VOCs in common, Q values based on our calculated SITs are consistent with the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) listed for those same VOCs on the basis of sensory irritation by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). Third, we set two equations to calculate the probability (Qmix) that a given air sample containing a number of VOCs could elicit chemosensory irritation: one equation based on response addition (Qmix scale: 0.00 to 1.00) and the other based on dose addition (1000*Qmix scale: 0 to 2000). We further validate the applicability of our air quality assessment method by showing that both Qmix scales provide values consistent with the expected sensory irritation burden from VOC mixtures present in a wide variety of indoor and outdoor environments as reported on field studies in the literature. These scales take into account both the concentration of VOCs at a particular site and the propensity of the VOCs to evoke sensory irritation.

  20. Responsiveness of five condition-specific and generic outcome assessment instruments for chronic pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verra Martin L


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Changes of health and quality-of-life in chronic conditions are mostly small and require specific and sensitive instruments. The aim of this study was to determine and compare responsiveness, i.e. the sensitivity to change of five outcome instruments for effect measurement in chronic pain. Methods In a prospective cohort study, 273 chronic pain patients were assessed on the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS for pain, the Short Form 36 (SF-36, the Multidimensional Pain Inventory (MPI, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS, and the Coping Strategies Questionnaire (CSQ. Responsiveness was quantified by effect size (ES and standardized response mean (SRM before and after a four week in-patient interdisciplinary pain program and compared by the modified Jacknife test. Results The MPI measured pain more responsively than the SF-36 (ES: 0.85 vs 0.72, p = 0.053; SRM: 0.72 vs 0.60, p = 0.027 and the pain NRS (ES: 0.85 vs 0.62, p Conclusion The MPI was most responsive in all comparable domains followed by the SF-36. The pain-specific MPI and the generic SF-36 can be recommended for comprehensive and specific bio-psycho-social effect measurement of health and quality-of-life in chronic pain.

  1. Assessment of Digoxin-Specific Fab Fragment Dosages in Digoxin Poisoning. (United States)

    Nordt, Sean Patrick; Clark, Richard F; Machado, Carol; Cantrell, F Lee


    Digoxin poisoning still remains a common cause of morbidity and mortality. Fortunately, digoxin-specific Fab fragments are commercially available as an antidote. However, these Fab fragments are several thousand dollars per vial. There is a standardized formula to calculate appropriate Fab fragment dosage based on the serum digoxin concentration. This can greatly reduce the amount of Fab fragment administered. There is also an empiric dosing guideline recommending 6-10 vials be given; however, this may result in higher amounts of Fab fragments being administered than required. We performed this study to assess the amounts of digoxin-specific Fab fragments administered in the treatment of digoxin poisonings recorded in a poison control system database from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2009, in which digoxin serum concentrations were available. This was a retrospective study of 278 patients, 107 with acute poisonings (group A) and 171 following chronic poisoning (group B). In group A, the calculated Fab dose was higher than the calculated dose based on available concentrations in 39 (36%) of group A and 15 (9%) of group B patients. The average wholesale price cost of the excessive dosages ranged from $4818 to as high as $50,589 per patient. Our data suggests that clinician education on digoxin poisoning and the use of the standardized formula to calculate the Fab dose may decrease over utilization and decrease costs associated with the administration of digoxin-specific Fab fragments in the treatment of digoxin poisonings.

  2. Life cycle toxicity assessment of pesticides used in integrated and organic production of oranges in the Comunidad Valenciana, Spain. (United States)

    Juraske, Ronnie; Sanjuán, Neus


    The relative impacts of 25 pesticides including acaricides, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, and post-harvest fungicides, used in the production of oranges in Spain were assessed with current life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) tools. Chemical specific concentrations were combined with pesticide emission data and information on chemical toxicity to assess human toxicity and freshwater ecotoxicity impacts. As a case study, the relative impacts of two orange production systems in the region of Valencia, integrated pest management (IP) and organic production (OP), were assessed. The evaluation of active ingredients showed that on average acaricides have the highest human toxicity impact scores, while for freshwater ecotoxicity insecticides show the highest impact. In both impact categories the lowest impact scores were calculated for herbicides. In the production of 1 kg of orange fruits, where several kinds of pesticides are combined, results show that post-harvest fungicides can contribute more than 95% to the aggregate human toxicity impacts. More than 85% of aquatic ecotoxicity is generated by fungicides applied before harvest. The potential to reduce impacts on freshwater ecosystems is seven orders of magnitude, while impacts on human health can be reduced by two orders of magnitude. Hence, this stresses the importance of a careful pre-selection of active ingredients. In both impact categories, organic production represents the least toxic pest-control method.

  3. Identification, characterization and metagenome analysis of oocyte-specific genes organized in clusters in the mouse genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vaiman Daniel


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genes specifically expressed in the oocyte play key roles in oogenesis, ovarian folliculogenesis, fertilization and/or early embryonic development. In an attempt to identify novel oocyte-specific genes in the mouse, we have used an in silico subtraction methodology, and we have focused our attention on genes that are organized in genomic clusters. Results In the present work, five clusters have been studied: a cluster of thirteen genes characterized by an F-box domain localized on chromosome 9, a cluster of six genes related to T-cell leukaemia/lymphoma protein 1 (Tcl1 on chromosome 12, a cluster composed of a SPErm-associated glutamate (E-Rich (Speer protein expressed in the oocyte in the vicinity of four unknown genes specifically expressed in the testis on chromosome 14, a cluster composed of the oocyte secreted protein-1 (Oosp-1 gene and two Oosp-related genes on chromosome 19, all three being characterized by a partial N-terminal zona pellucida-like domain, and another small cluster of two genes on chromosome 19 as well, composed of a TWIK-Related spinal cord K+ channel encoding-gene, and an unknown gene predicted in silico to be testis-specific. The specificity of expression was confirmed by RT-PCR and in situ hybridization for eight and five of them, respectively. Finally, we showed by comparing all of the isolated and clustered oocyte-specific genes identified so far in the mouse genome, that the oocyte-specific clusters are significantly closer to telomeres than isolated oocyte-specific genes are. Conclusion We have studied five clusters of genes specifically expressed in female, some of them being also expressed in male germ-cells. Moreover, contrarily to non-clustered oocyte-specific genes, those that are organized in clusters tend to map near chromosome ends, suggesting that this specific near-telomere position of oocyte-clusters in rodents could constitute an evolutionary advantage. Understanding the biological

  4. Technological and life cycle assessment of organics processing odour control technologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bindra, Navin [School of Engineering, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario N1G2W1 (Canada); Dubey, Brajesh, E-mail: [School of Engineering, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario N1G2W1 (Canada); Environmental Engineering Division, Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, West Bengal 721302 (India); Dutta, Animesh [School of Engineering, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario N1G2W1 (Canada)


    As more municipalities and communities across developed world look towards implementing organic waste management programmes or upgrading existing ones, composting facilities are emerging as a popular choice. However, odour from these facilities continues to be one of the most important concerns in terms of cost & effective mitigation. This paper provides a technological and life cycle assessment of some of the different odour control technologies and treatment methods that can be implemented in organics processing facilities. The technological assessment compared biofilters, packed tower wet scrubbers, fine mist wet scrubbers, activated carbon adsorption, thermal oxidization, oxidization chemicals and masking agents. The technologies/treatment methods were evaluated and compared based on a variety of operational, usage and cost parameters. Based on the technological assessment it was found that, biofilters and packed bed wet scrubbers are the most applicable odour control technologies for use in organics processing faculties. A life cycle assessment was then done to compare the environmental impacts of the packed-bed wet scrubber system, organic (wood-chip media) bio-filter and inorganic (synthetic media) bio-filter systems. Twelve impact categories were assessed; cumulative energy demand (CED), climate change, human toxicity, photochemical oxidant formation, metal depletion, fossil depletion, terrestrial acidification, freshwater eutrophication, marine eutrophication, terrestrial eco-toxicity, freshwater eco-toxicity and marine eco-toxicity. The results showed that for all impact categories the synthetic media biofilter had the highest environmental impact, followed by the wood chip media bio-filter system. The packed-bed system had the lowest environmental impact for all categories. - Highlights: • Assessment of odour control technologies for organics processing facilities. • Comparative life cycle assessment of three odour control technologies was conducted

  5. Sustainability assessment through analogical models: The approach of aerobic living-organism (United States)

    Dassisti, Michele


    The most part of scientific discoveries of human being borrow ideas and inspiration from nature. This point gives the rationale of the sustainability assessment approach presented here and based on the aerobic living organism (ALO) already developed by the author, which funds on the basic assumption that it is reasonable and effective to refer to the analogy between an system organized by human (say, manufacturing system, enterprise, etc.) for several decision-making scopes. The critical review of the ALO conceptual model already developed is here discussed through an example of an Italian small enterprise manufacturing metal components for civil furniture to assess its feasibility for sustainability appraisal.

  6. Genetically modified crops and aquatic ecosystems: considerations for environmental risk assessment and non-target organism testing. (United States)

    Carstens, Keri; Anderson, Jennifer; Bachman, Pamela; De Schrijver, Adinda; Dively, Galen; Federici, Brian; Hamer, Mick; Gielkens, Marco; Jensen, Peter; Lamp, William; Rauschen, Stefan; Ridley, Geoff; Romeis, Jörg; Waggoner, Annabel


    Environmental risk assessments (ERA) support regulatory decisions for the commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops. The ERA for terrestrial agroecosystems is well-developed, whereas guidance for ERA of GM crops in aquatic ecosystems is not as well-defined. The purpose of this document is to demonstrate how comprehensive problem formulation can be used to develop a conceptual model and to identify potential exposure pathways, using Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize as a case study. Within problem formulation, the insecticidal trait, the crop, the receiving environment, and protection goals were characterized, and a conceptual model was developed to identify routes through which aquatic organisms may be exposed to insecticidal proteins in maize tissue. Following a tiered approach for exposure assessment, worst-case exposures were estimated using standardized models, and factors mitigating exposure were described. Based on exposure estimates, shredders were identified as the functional group most likely to be exposed to insecticidal proteins. However, even using worst-case assumptions, the exposure of shredders to Bt maize was low and studies supporting the current risk assessments were deemed adequate. Determining if early tier toxicity studies are necessary to inform the risk assessment for a specific GM crop should be done on a case by case basis, and should be guided by thorough problem formulation and exposure assessment. The processes used to develop the Bt maize case study are intended to serve as a model for performing risk assessments on future traits and crops.

  7. Experience of using a technique for assessing innovational maturity of the organizations in Perm territory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svetlana Yur'evna Tyul'kina


    Full Text Available This paperreviews the possibilities of adaptation of the assessment procedure of innovational maturity of business that includes self-assessment procedure, assessment of perception and external expert diagnostics, its adaptation on the example of organizations of Perm region. The results of measurement procedure are diagnostics of areas for innovation maturity of business and optimal management decision making for strategy evolution of organization under constraints such as saving of resource and time. The author emphasizes main advantagesof using the suggested method, these are self-assessment procedure, benchmarking, getting the place in the innovation rating and chance of taking part in different competition for definition leader in innovation maturity. The basic result of practical adaptation the measurement procedure of innovation maturity of business is the list of core competencies and direction for improvements

  8. Flow cytometric assessment of specific leucine incorporation in the open Mediterranean (United States)

    Talarmin, A.; van Wambeke, F.; Catala, P.; Courties, C.; Lebaron, P.


    The surface of the Mediterranean Sea is a low-phosphate-low-chlorophyll marine area where marine heterotrophic prokaryotes significantly contribute to the biogeochemical cycles of all biogenic elements such as carbon, notably through the mineralization of dissolved organic compounds. Cell-specific leucine incorporation rates were determined in early summer in the open stratified Mediterranean Sea. The bulk leucine incorporation rate was on average 5 ± 4 pmol leu l-1 h-1 (n=30). Cell-specific 3H-leucine incorporation rates were assayed using flow cytometry coupled to cell sorting. Heterotrophic prokaryotes (Hprok) were divided into cytometric groups according to their side scatter and green fluorescence properties: high nucleic acid containing cells (HNA) with high scatter (HNA-hs) and low scatter (HNA-ls) and low nucleic acid containing cells (LNA). Cell-specific leucine incorporation rates of these cytometric groups ranged from 2 to 54, 0.9 to 11, and 1 to 12 × 10-21 mol cell-1 h-1, respectively. LNA cells represented 45 to 63% of the Hprok abundance, and significantly contributed to the bulk leucine incorporation rates, from 12 to 43%. HNA/LNA ratios of cell-specific leucine incorporation were on average 2.0 ± 0.7 (n=30). In surface layers (from 0 m down to the deep chlorophyll depth, DCM), cell-specific rates of HNA-hs were elevated (7 and 13 times greater than LNA and HNA-ls, respectively). Nevertheless, on average HNA-hs (26%) and LNA (27%) equally contributed to the bulk leucine incorporation in these layers. Prochlorococcus cells were easily sorted near the DCM and displayed cell-specific leucine incorporation rates ranging from 3 to 55 × 10-21 mol leu cell-1 h-1, i.e. as high as HNA-hs'. These sorted groups could therefore be defined as key-players in the process of leucine incorporation into proteins. The mixotrophic features of certain photosynthetic prokaryotes and the high contribution of LNA cells to leucine incorporation within the microbial

  9. Flow cytometric assessment of specific leucine incorporation in the open Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Talarmin


    Full Text Available The surface of the Mediterranean Sea is a low-phosphate-low-chlorophyll marine area where marine heterotrophic prokaryotes significantly contribute to the biogeochemical cycles of all biogenic elements such as carbon, notably through the mineralization of dissolved organic compounds. Cell-specific leucine incorporation rates were determined in early summer in the open stratified Mediterranean Sea. The bulk leucine incorporation rate was on average 5 ± 4 pmol leu l−1 h−1 (n=30. Cell-specific 3H-leucine incorporation rates were assayed using flow cytometry coupled to cell sorting. Heterotrophic prokaryotes (Hprok were divided into cytometric groups according to their side scatter and green fluorescence properties: high nucleic acid containing cells (HNA with high scatter (HNA-hs and low scatter (HNA-ls and low nucleic acid containing cells (LNA. Cell-specific leucine incorporation rates of these cytometric groups ranged from 2 to 54, 0.9 to 11, and 1 to 12 × 10-21 mol cell−1 h−1, respectively. LNA cells represented 45 to 63% of the Hprok abundance, and significantly contributed to the bulk leucine incorporation rates, from 12 to 43%. HNA/LNA ratios of cell-specific leucine incorporation were on average 2.0 ± 0.7 (n=30. In surface layers (from 0 m down to the deep chlorophyll depth, DCM, cell-specific rates of HNA-hs were elevated (7 and 13 times greater than LNA and HNA-ls, respectively. Nevertheless, on average HNA-hs (26% and LNA (27% equally contributed to the bulk leucine incorporation in these layers. Prochlorococcus cells were easily sorted near the DCM and displayed cell-specific leucine incorporation rates ranging from 3 to 55 × 10-21 mol leu cell−1 h−1, i.e. as high as HNA-hs'. These sorted groups could therefore be defined as key-players in the process of leucine incorporation into proteins. The

  10. Specifications in the application form for environmental assessment of wood preservatives

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lucks, U.J. [ed.


    In 1990 the former Federal Health Office (Bundesgesundheitsamt) and the Federal Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt) jointly elaborated a catalogue of test requirements necessary for assessing the impact of wood preservatives on man and environment. Based on several years of experience, a revision was deemed necessary. Complying with the provisions of the Directive 98/8/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 16 February 1998 concerning the placing of biocidal products on the market, which have to be transposed into national laws, the regulatory bodies BAM, BgVV and UBA, in cooperation with industry and academia (IUCT), developed an amended application form for wood preservatives. The provisions laid down there include different sets of data for wood preservatives, depending on the intended uses/hazard classes, e.g. physico-chemical and ecotoxicological properties, data on exposure, fate and behaviour in the environment and on waste management. The tests should be conducted according to standardized test protocols. Next to the list of data requirements explanations and justifications are given on why the data are needed and how they contribute to the risk assessment. Furthermore, recommendations are given on which test guidelines should preferably be followed to generate the data. In addition, annex I includes a proposal for a test guideline on how to screen leachates from preservative-treated wood surfaces for their ecotoxic potential to aquatic organisms. (orig.)

  11. Cell-specific STORM super-resolution imaging reveals nanoscale organization of cannabinoid signaling



    A major challenge in neuroscience is to determine the nanoscale position and quantity of signaling molecules in a cell-type-, and subcellular compartment-specific manner. We therefore developed a novel approach combining cell-specific physiological and anatomical characterization with superresolution imaging, and studied the molecular and structural parameters shaping the physiological properties of synaptic endocannabinoid signaling in the mouse hippocampus. We found that axon terminals of p...

  12. Technical Assessment of Organic Liquid Carrier Hydrogen Storage Systems for Automotive Applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ahluwalia, R. K. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Hua, T. Q. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Peng, J. -K [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Kromer, M. [TIAX LLC, Lexington, MA (United States); Lasher, S. [TIAX LLC, Lexington, MA (United States); McKenney, K. [TIAX LLC, Lexington, MA (United States); Law, K. [TIAX LLC, Lexington, MA (United States); Sinha, J. [TIAX LLC, Lexington, MA (United States)


    In 2007-2009, the DOE Hydrogen Program conducted a technical assessment of organic liquid carrier based hydrogen storage systems for automotive applications, consistent with the Program’s Multiyear Research, Development, and Demonstration Plan. This joint performance (ANL) and cost analysis (TIAX) report summarizes the results of this assessment. These results should be considered only in conjunction with the assumptions used in selecting, evaluating, and costing the systems discussed here and in the Appendices.

  13. Regulating specific organic substances and heavy metals in industrial wastewater discharged to municipal wastewater treatment plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grüttner, Henrik; Munk, L.; Pedersen, F.;


    degradability, defined by the OECD-test, bio-sorption and bio-accumulation, defined by the octanol/water distribution coefficient and toxic effects on water organisms. Several potential effects of seven heavy metals have been evaluated, and the most critical effects were found to be the quality criteria...

  14. Early organ-specific endothelial activation during hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Meurs, Matijs; Wulfert, Francis M.; Knol, Ageeth J.; De Haes, Ann; Houwertjes, Martin; Aarts, Leon P. H. J.; Molema, Grietje


    Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) is a complication of hemorrhagic shock (HS) and related to high morbidity and mortality. Interaction of activated neutrophils and endothelial cells is considered to play a prominent role in the pathophysiology of MODS. Insight in the nature and molecular ba

  15. Substantial differences between organ and muscle specific tracer incorporation rates in a lactating dairy cow

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burd, N.A.; Hamer, H.M.; Pennings, B.; Pellikaan, W.F.; Senden, J.M.G.; Gijsen, A.; Loon, van L.J.C.


    We aimed to produce intrinsically L-[1-13C]phenylalanine labeled milk and beef for subsequent use in human nutrition research. The collection of the various organ tissues after slaughter allowed for us to gain insight into the dynamics of tissue protein turnover in vivo in a lactating dairy cow. One

  16. Simultaneous Assessment of Acidogenesis-Mitigation and Specific Bacterial Growth-Inhibition by Dentifrices.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Forbes

    Full Text Available Dentifrices can augment oral hygiene by inactivating bacteria and at sub-lethal concentrations may affect bacterial metabolism, potentially inhibiting acidogenesis, the main cause of caries. Reported herein is the development of a rapid method to simultaneously measure group-specific bactericidal and acidogenesis-mitigation effects of dentifrices on oral bacteria. Saliva was incubated aerobically and anaerobically in Tryptone Soya Broth, Wilkins-Chalgren Broth with mucin, or artificial saliva and was exposed to dentifrices containing triclosan/copolymer (TD; sodium fluoride (FD; stannous fluoride and zinc lactate (SFD1; or stannous fluoride, zinc lactate and stannous chloride (SFD2. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC were determined turbidometrically whilst group-specific minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBC were assessed using growth media and conditions selective for total aerobes, total anaerobes, streptococci and Gram-negative anaerobes. Minimum acid neutralization concentration (MNC was defined as the lowest concentration of dentifrice at which acidification was inhibited. Differences between MIC and MNC were calculated and normalized with respect to MIC to derive the combined inhibitory and neutralizing capacity (CINC, a cumulative measure of acidogenesis-mitigation and growth inhibition. The overall rank order for growth inhibition potency (MIC under aerobic and anaerobic conditions was: TD> SFD2> SFD1> FD. Acidogenesis-mitigation (MNC was ordered; TD> FD> SFD2> SFD1. CINC was ordered TD> FD> SFD2> SFD1 aerobically and TD> FD> SFD1> SFD2 anaerobically. With respect to group-specific bactericidal activity, TD generally exhibited the greatest potency, particularly against total aerobes, total anaerobes and streptococci. This approach enables the rapid simultaneous evaluation of acidity mitigation, growth inhibition and specific antimicrobial activity by dentifrices.

  17. Assessment of Anopheles salivary antigens as individual exposure biomarkers to species-specific malaria vector bites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Zakia M I


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria transmission occurs during the blood feeding of infected anopheline mosquitoes concomitant with a saliva injection into the vertebrate host. In sub-Saharan Africa, most malaria transmission is due to Anopheles funestus s.s and to Anopheles gambiae s.l. (mainly Anopheles gambiae s.s. and Anopheles arabiensis. Several studies have demonstrated that the immune response against salivary antigens could be used to evaluate individual exposure to mosquito bites. The aim of this study was to assess the use of secreted salivary proteins as specific biomarkers of exposure to An. gambiae and/or An. funestus bites. Methods For this purpose, salivary gland proteins 6 (SG6 and 5′nucleotidases (5′nuc from An. gambiae (gSG6 and g-5′nuc and An. funestus (fSG6 and f-5′nuc were selected and produced in recombinant form. The specificity of the IgG response against these salivary proteins was tested using an ELISA with sera from individuals living in three Senegalese villages (NDiop, n = 50; Dielmo, n = 38; and Diama, n = 46 that had been exposed to distinct densities and proportions of the Anopheles species. Individuals who had not been exposed to these tropical mosquitoes were used as controls (Marseille, n = 45. Results The IgG responses against SG6 recombinant proteins from these two Anopheles species and against g-5′nucleotidase from An. gambiae, were significantly higher in Senegalese individuals compared with controls who were not exposed to specific Anopheles species. Conversely, an association was observed between the level of An. funestus exposure and the serological immune response levels against the f-5′nucleotidase protein. Conclusion This study revealed an Anopheles salivary antigenic protein that could be considered to be a promising antigenic marker to distinguish malaria vector exposure at the species level. The epidemiological interest of such species-specific antigenic markers is discussed.

  18. Environmental risk assessment of the use of different organic wastes as soil amendments (United States)

    Alvarenga, Paula; Palma, Patrícia; Mourinha, Clarisse; Farto, Márcia; Cunha-Queda, Ana Cristina; Natal-da-Luz, Tiago; Sousa, José Paulo


    The use of organic wastes in agriculture is considered a way of maintaining or restoring the quality of soils, enlarging the slow cycling soil organic carbon pool. However, a wide variety of undesired substances, such as potentially trace elements and organic contaminants, can have adverse effects on the environment. That fact was highlighted by the Proposal for a Soil Framework Directive, which recognized that "soil degradation or soil improvements have a major impact on other areas, (…) such as surface waters and groundwater, human health, climate change, protection of nature and biodiversity, and food safety". Taking that into account, the research project "ResOrgRisk" aims to assess the environmental risk involved in the use of different organic wastes as soil amendments, evidencing their benefits and constraints, and defining the most suitable tests to reach such assessment. The organic wastes selected for this purpose were: sewage sludge, limed, not limed, and co-composted with agricultural wastes, agro-industrial sludge, mixed municipal solid waste compost, compost produced from organic farming residues, and pig slurry digestate. Whereas threshold values for heavy metals in sludge used for agriculture have been set by the European Commission, actually there is no definitive European legislation for organic contaminants. Guide values for some organic contaminants (e.g. polychlorinated biphenyls - PCBs, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons - PAHs) have been adopted at national level by many European countries, such as Portugal. These values should be taken into account when assessing the risk involved in the use of organic wastes as soil amendments. However, chemical analysis of organic waste often gives scarce information because it does not include possible interactions between chemicals. Furthermore, an exhaustive identification and quantification of all substances is impractical. In this study, ecotoxicological tests (comprising solid and aquatic phases

  19. Assessing the origin of unusual organic formations in lava caves from Canary Islands (Spain) (United States)

    Miller, Ana Z.; de la Rosa, Jose M.; Garcia-Sanchez, Angela M.; Pereira, Manuel F. C.; Jurado, Valme; Fernández, Octavio; Knicker, Heike; Saiz-Jimenez, Cesareo


    Lava tubes, like other caves, contain a variety of speleothems formed in the initial stage of a lava tube formation or due to leaching and subsequent precipitation of secondary minerals. Primary and secondary mineral formations in lava caves are mainly composed of silicate minerals, although secondary minerals common in limestone caves have been also reported in this type of caves. In addition, unusual colored deposits have been found on the walls and ceilings of lava tubes, some of them of unknown origin and composition. A brown to black-colored mud-like deposits was observed in "Llano de los Caños" Cave, La Palma Island, Canary Islands, Spain. These black deposits coat the wall and ceiling of the lava tube where sub-horizontal fractures occur. FESEM-EDS, X-ray micro-computed tomography and mineralogical analyses were conducted for morphological, 3D microstructural and compositional characterization of these unusual speleothem samples. These techniques revealed that they are mainly composed of amorphous materials, suggesting an organic carbon composition. Hence, analytical pyrolysis (Py-GC/MS), solid-state 13C Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and stable isotope analysis were applied to assess the nature and origin of the black deposits. The combination of these analytical tools permits the identification of specific biomarkers (di- and triterpenoids) for tracing the potential sources of the organic compounds in the speleothems. For comparison purposes, samples from the topsoil and overlaying vegetation were also analyzed. Chromatograms resulting from the Py-GC/MS showed an abundance of polysaccharides, lipids and terpenoids typically derived from the vegetation of the area (Erica arborea). In addition, levoglucosan, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and N-containing heterocyclic compounds were detected. They probably derived from the leaching of charred vegetation resulting from a wildfire occurred in the area in 2012. The lack of the typical pattern of odd

  20. Rapid assessment of malaria transmission using age-specific sero-conversion rates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laveta Stewart

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Malaria transmission intensity is a crucial determinant of malarial disease burden and its measurement can help to define health priorities. Rapid, local estimates of transmission are required to focus resources better but current entomological and parasitological methods for estimating transmission intensity are limited in this respect. An alternative is determination of antimalarial antibody age-specific sero-prevalence to estimate sero-conversion rates (SCR, which have been shown to correlate with transmission intensity. This study evaluated SCR generated from samples collected from health facility attendees as a tool for a rapid assessment of malaria transmission intensity. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The study was conducted in north east Tanzania. Antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum merozoite antigens MSP-1(19 and AMA-1 were measured by indirect ELISA. Age-specific antibody prevalence was analysed using a catalytic conversion model based on maximum likelihood to generate SCR. A pilot study, conducted near Moshi, found SCRs for AMA-1 were highly comparable between samples collected from individuals in a conventional cross-sectional survey and those collected from attendees at a local health facility. For the main study, 3885 individuals attending village health facilities in Korogwe and Same districts were recruited. Both malaria parasite prevalence and sero-positivity were higher in Korogwe than in Same. MSP-1(19 and AMA-1 SCR rates for Korogwe villages ranged from 0.03 to 0.06 and 0.07 to 0.21 respectively. In Same district there was evidence of a recent reduction in transmission, with SCR among those born since 1998 [MSP-1(19 0.002 to 0.008 and AMA-1 0.005 to 0.014 ] being 5 to 10 fold lower than among individuals born prior to 1998 [MSP-1(19 0.02 to 0.04 and AMA-1 0.04 to 0.13]. Current health facility specific estimates of SCR showed good correlations with malaria incidence rates in infants in a contemporaneous

  1. Diversity, abundance, and sex-specific expression of chemosensory proteins in the reproductive organs of the locust Locusta migratoria manilensis. (United States)

    Zhou, Xian-Hong; Ban, Li-Ping; Iovinella, Immacolata; Zhao, Li-Jing; Gao, Qian; Felicioli, Antonio; Sagona, Simona; Pieraccini, Giuseppe; Pelosi, Paolo; Zhang, Long; Dani, Francesca Romana


    Chemosensory proteins (CSPs) are small soluble proteins often associated with chemosensory organs in insects but include members involved in other functions, such as pheromone delivery and development. Although the CSPs of the sensory organs have been extensively studied, little is known on their functions in other parts of the body. A first screening of the available databases has identified 70 sequences encoding CSPs in the oriental locust Locusta migratoria manilensis. Applying proteomic analysis, we have identified 17 of them abundantly expressed in the female reproductive organs, but only one (CSP91) in male organs. Bacterially expressed CSP91 binds fatty acids with a specificity for oleic and linoleic acid, as well as medium-length alcohols and esters. The same acids have been detected as the main gas chromatographic peaks in the dichloromethane extracts of reproductive organs of both sexes. The abundance and the number of CSPs in female reproductive organs indicates important roles for these proteins. We cannot exclude that different functions can be associated with each of the 17 CSPs, including delivery of semiochemicals, solubilization of hormones, direct control of development, or other unknown tasks.

  2. LCA of contaminated site remediation - integration of site-specific impact assessment of local toxic impacts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lemming, Gitte; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky; Chambon, Julie Claire Claudia;


    . Although two different remediation methods reach the same remedial target with time, their timeframes can be substantially different and lead to a difference in the local toxic impacts over time. By including primary impacts in the LCA of remediation this quality difference is accounted for. Primary...... of metabolites during biodegradation of chlorinated ethenes, of which particularly vinyl chloride is problematic due to its toxic and carcinogenic effects. In this study, the assessment of local toxic impacts with the USEtox model was therefore combined with site-specific reactive transport modeling...... with chlorinated solvents. Secondary and primary impacts of a number of remediation options for the two sites are evaluated and compared. The results show that especially vinyl chloride, which is an intermediate product during biodegradation of trichloroethene, contributes significantly to the human toxicity...

  3. Quality of life assessment in cosmetics: specificity and interest of the international BeautyQol instrument. (United States)

    Beresniak, Ariel; Auray, Jean-Paul; Duru, Gérard; Aractingi, Selim; Krueger, Gerald G; Talarico, Sergio; Tsutani, Kiichiro; Dupont, Danielle; de Linares, Yolaine


    The wide use of cosmetics and their perceived benefits upon well-being imply objective descriptions of their effects upon the different dimensions contributing to the quality of life (QoL). Such a goal pleas for using relevant and validated scientific instruments with robust measurement methods. This paper discusses the interest of the new validated questionnaire BeautyQoL specifically designed to assess the effect of cosmetic products on physical appearance and QoL. After conducting a review of skin appearance and QoL, three phases of the international codevelopment have been carried out in the following sequence: semi-directed interviews (Phase 1), acceptability study (Phase 2), and validation study (Phase 3). Data collection and validation process have been carried out in 16 languages. This review confirms that QoL instruments developed in dermatology are not suitable to assess cosmetic products, mainly because of their lack of sensitivity. General acceptability of BeautyQol was very good. Forty-two questions have been structured in five dimensions that explained 76.7% of the total variance: Social Life, Self-confidence, Mood, Vitality, and Attractiveness. Cronbach's alpha coefficients are between 0.932 and 0.978, confirming the good internal consistency of the results. The BeautyQol questionnaire is the first international instrument specific to cosmetic products and physical appearance that has been validated in 16 languages and could be used in a number of clinical trials and descriptive studies to demonstrate the added value of these products on the QoL.

  4. Assessing responsiveness of generic and specific health related quality of life measures in heart failure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johnson Jeffrey A


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Responsiveness, or sensitivity to clinical change, is an important consideration in selection of a health-related quality of life (HRQL measure for trials or clinical applications. Many approaches can be used to assess responsiveness, which may affect the interpretation of study results. We compared the relative responsiveness of generic and heart failure specific HRQL instruments, as measured both by common psychometric indices and by external clinical criteria. Methods We analyzed data collected at baseline and 6-weeks in 298 subjects with heart failure on the following HRQL measures: EQ-5D (US, UK, and VAS Scoring, Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ (Clinical and Overall Summary Score, and RAND12 (Physical and Mental Component Summaries. Three external indicators of clinical change were used to classify subjects as improved, deteriorated, or unchanged: 6-minute walk test, New York Heart Association (NYHA class, and physician global rating of change. Four responsiveness statistics (T-test, effect size, Guyatt's responsiveness statistic, and standardized response mean were used to evaluate the responsiveness of the select measures. The median rank of each HRQL measure across responsiveness indices and clinical criteria was then determined. Results Average age of subjects was 60 years, 75 percent were male, and had moderate to severe heart failure symptoms. Overall, the KCCQ Summary Scores had the highest relative ranking, irrespective of the responsiveness index or external criterion used. Importantly, we observed that the relative ranking of responsiveness of the generic measures (i.e. EQ-5D, RAND12 was influenced by both the responsive indices and external criterion used. Conclusion The disease specific KCCQ was the most responsive HRQL measure assessing change over a 6-week period, although generic measures provide information for which the KCCQ is not suitable. The responsiveness of generic HRQL measures may

  5. Contribution of species-specific chemical signatures to soil organic matter in Kohala, HI. (United States)

    Stewart, C. E.; Amatangelo, K.; Neff, J. C.


    Soil organic matter (SOM) inherits much of its chemical structure from the dominant vegetation, including phenolic (lignin-derived), aromatic, and aliphatic (cutin and wax-derived) compounds. The Hawaiian fern species Dicranopteris decomposes more slowly than the angiosperm, Cheirodendron due to high concentrations of recalcitrant C compounds. These aliphatic fern leaf waxes are well-preserved and may comprise a large portion of the recalcitrant organic matter in these soils. Our objective was to determine the chemical signature of fern and angiosperm vegetation types and trace the preservation or loss of those compounds into the soil. We collected live tissue, litter, roots, and soil (cutin and leaf waxes (alkene and alkanes structures) were evident in the soils, but clear species differences were not observed. Although ferns contain distinct lipid and wax-derived compounds, soils developed under fern do not appear to accumulate these compounds in SOM.

  6. Specific analysis of trace organics in water using gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy. (United States)

    Reinhard, M; Schreiner, J E; Everhart, T; Graydon, J


    For the characterization of a broad range of compounds in water, various methods have been combined into a procedure. The reliability and limitations of this approach have been discussed in this paper. This combined procedure represents only a preliminary solution to the problem of organic materials in water. Future improvements will be possible as new columns, instruments, and software become available. Physico-chemical constants of trace organic compounds have been used to predict and interpret their extraction and pre-separation in an analytical scheme where purge/trap and solvent extraction methods are combined to measure a broad range of organic materials. This approach is limited by the scarcity of thermodynamic data; such data must be generated if predictive models of pollutant behavior in analytical as well as environmental systems are to be developed. In summary, the basic requirements for analyzing trace organic compounds in tertiary effluents and drinking waters include: The analysis must be based on a small sample size (up to 1 liter). Samples of one gallon or more are costly to ship and difficult to process and store. Samples of one liter or less can be shipped at moderate cost and stored in medium-sized refrigerators. The detection limit for most trace contaminants must be in the lower nanogram per liter range. At detection limits of 1 microgram/l and above, the removal (or formation) of many contaminants cannot be determined precisely. For conclusive results, variabilities of the procedure, the compound, and concentration at a sampling point have to be considered and investigated. Generally, approximately 30 samples are needed to establish a concentration distribution (1).

  7. Proteomic analysis of lysine acetylation sites in rat tissues reveals organ specificity and subcellular patterns

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lundby, Alicia; Hansen, Kasper Lage; Weinert, Brian Tate;


    ,541 proteins and provide the data set as a web-based database. We demonstrate that lysine acetylation displays site-specific sequence motifs that diverge between cellular compartments, with a significant fraction of nuclear sites conforming to the consensus motifs G-AcK and AcK-P. Our data set reveals...... that the subcellular acetylation distribution is tissue-type dependent and that acetylation targets tissue-specific pathways involved in fundamental physiological processes. We compare lysine acetylation patterns for rat as well as human skeletal muscle biopsies and demonstrate its general involvement in muscle...

  8. Organ Procurement in Forensic Deaths: Specific Features of Nonheart-Beating Donors. (United States)

    Delannoy, Yann; Jousset, Nathalie; Averland, Benoit; Hedouin, Valéry; Rougé-Maillart, Clotilde; Gosset, Didier


    The need for organs has increased in the recent years, and this shortage will only worsen. In addition to the organs procured from brain-dead donors, a procedure for non-heart-beating donors was therefore developed. When deaths involve legal proceedings, the medical examiner makes the decision of whether or not to remove organs. To assist medical examiner in their decision-making, a number of forensic scientific societies aimed to develop recommendations, and legal adjustments were adopted. Nevertheless, these do present certain limits in special cases of procurement: Maastricht class I and II non-heart-beating donors. The peculiarity of this procedure stems from the urgency of the process. Compliance with temporal criteria would require that the deceased subject be removed from the crime scene even before the arrival of the authorities. This is extremely problematic legally and technically because forensic teams must collect evidence at crime scenes. Developments will have to be made to further minimize the restrictions on donations in forensic deaths.

  9. Improvement of an invA-based PCR for the specific detection of Salmonella typhimurium in organs of pigs. (United States)

    Scholz, H C; Arnold, T; Marg, H; Rösler, U; Hensel, A


    The aim of this study was to investigate the suitability of the invA-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for the specific detection of Salmonella in organs of experimentally infected pigs and to compare these results to classical bacterial culture. While the PCR conditions specified in the "Deutsche Industrie Norm", DIN 10135 (section 35 LMBG, 1999), cutle based on the publication of Rahn et al. 1992, revealed various unspecific amplification products, modifications of the PCR conditions allowed the specific amplification of the invA fragment from inner organs. The modified PCR assay correlates exactly with cultivation results (as required by DIN Norm 6579) and enables the detection of Salmonella within 48 hours with equal sensitivity compared to routine cultivation.

  10. Charge-specific size-dependent separation of water-soluble organic molecules by fluorinated nanoporous networks (United States)

    Byun, Jeehye; Patel, Hasmukh A.; Thirion, Damien; Yavuz, Cafer T.


    Molecular architecture in nanoscale spaces can lead to selective chemical interactions and separation of species with similar sizes and functionality. Substrate specific sorbent chemistry is well known through highly crystalline ordered structures such as zeolites, metal organic frameworks and widely available nanoporous carbons. Size and charge-dependent separation of aqueous molecular contaminants, on the contrary, have not been adequately developed. Here we report a charge-specific size-dependent separation of water-soluble molecules through an ultra-microporous polymeric network that features fluorines as the predominant surface functional groups. Treatment of similarly sized organic molecules with and without charges shows that fluorine interacts with charges favourably. Control experiments using similarly constructed frameworks with or without fluorines verify the fluorine-cation interactions. Lack of a σ-hole for fluorine atoms is suggested to be responsible for this distinct property, and future applications of this discovery, such as desalination and mixed matrix membranes, may be expected to follow.

  11. Multi-item direct behavior ratings: Dependability of two levels of assessment specificity. (United States)

    Volpe, Robert J; Briesch, Amy M


    Direct Behavior Rating-Multi-Item Scales (DBR-MIS) have been developed as formative measures of behavioral assessment for use in school-based problem-solving models. Initial research has examined the dependability of composite scores generated by summing all items comprising the scales. However, it has been argued that DBR-MIS may offer assessment of 2 levels of behavioral specificity (i.e., item-level, global composite-level). Further, it has been argued that scales can be individualized for each student to improve efficiency without sacrificing technical characteristics. The current study examines the dependability of 5 items comprising a DBR-MIS designed to measure classroom disruptive behavior. A series of generalizability theory and decision studies were conducted to examine the dependability of each item (calls out, noisy, clowns around, talks to classmates and out of seat), as well as a 3-item composite that was individualized for each student. Seven graduate students rated the behavior of 9 middle-school students on each item over 3 occasions. Ratings were based on 10-min video clips of students during mathematics instruction. Separate generalizability and decision studies were conducted for each item and for a 3-item composite that was individualized for each student based on the highest rated items on the first rating occasion. Findings indicate favorable dependability estimates for 3 of the 5 items and exceptional dependability estimates for the individualized composite.


    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Jia-liang; WANG Sheng-zhang; DING Guang-hong; YANG Xin-jian; LI Hai-yun


    According to recent studies, there are various potential predictors for surgical outcome for cerebral aneurysms. An accurate surgical outcome assessment would help make better-informed decisions and avoid the risk of rebleeding. It is well known that hemodynamic factors play an important role in the pathogenesis and treatment of intracranial aneurysms. In this article, a computational fluid dynamic analysis is applied to one patient-specific model of the cerebral aneurysm located at the tip of basilar artery, by which the differences of hemodynamic parameters before and after endovascular treatment may be evaluated. Based on the model, we show that the flow behavior near the neck of the aneurysm sees great differences after endovascular treatment as compared with that before treatment, which also affects the wall shear stress and the displacement distribution. In addition, our whole simulation process is based on a series of CFD commercial software packages, which are easily available for doctors to implement such a method in their daily practice. These results would be used to assess the outcome of endovascular treatment for the aneurysm occlusion.

  13. Revised Hammersmith Scale for spinal muscular atrophy: A SMA specific clinical outcome assessment tool (United States)

    Scoto, Mariacristina; Mayhew, Anna; Main, Marion; Mazzone, Elena S.; Montes, Jacqueline; de Sanctis, Roberto; Dunaway Young, Sally; Salazar, Rachel; Glanzman, Allan M.; Pasternak, Amy; Quigley, Janet; Mirek, Elizabeth; Duong, Tina; Gee, Richard; Civitello, Matthew; Tennekoon, Gihan; Pane, Marika; Pera, Maria Carmela; Bushby, Kate; Day, John; Darras, Basil T.; De Vivo, Darryl; Finkel, Richard; Mercuri, Eugenio; Muntoni, Francesco


    Recent translational research developments in Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), outcome measure design and demands from regulatory authorities require that clinical outcome assessments are ‘fit for purpose’. An international collaboration (SMA REACH UK, Italian SMA Network and PNCRN USA) undertook an iterative process to address discontinuity in the recorded performance of the Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale Expanded and developed a revised functional scale using Rasch analysis, traditional psychometric techniques and the application of clinical sensibility via expert panels. Specifically, we intended to develop a psychometrically and clinically robust functional clinician rated outcome measure to assess physical abilities in weak SMA type 2 through to strong ambulant SMA type 3 patients. The final scale, the Revised Hammersmith Scale (RHS) for SMA, consisting of 36 items and two timed tests, was piloted in 138 patients with type 2 and 3 SMA in an observational cross-sectional multi-centre study across the three national networks. Rasch analysis demonstrated very good fit of all 36 items to the construct of motor performance, good reliability with a high Person Separation Index PSI 0.98, logical and hierarchical scoring in 27/36 items and excellent targeting with minimal ceiling. The RHS differentiated between clinically different groups: SMA type, World Health Organisation (WHO) categories, ambulatory status, and SMA type combined with ambulatory status (all p < 0.001). Construct and concurrent validity was also confirmed with a strong significant positive correlation with the WHO motor milestones rs = 0.860, p < 0.001. We conclude that the RHS is a psychometrically sound and versatile clinical outcome assessment to test the broad range of physical abilities of patients with type 2 and 3 SMA. Further longitudinal testing of the scale with regards change in scores over 6 and 12 months are required prior to its adoption in clinical trials. PMID:28222119

  14. 77 FR 33607 - Horse Protection Act; Requiring Horse Industry Organizations To Assess and Enforce Minimum... (United States)


    ... determine whether a horse's bones show signs of stress indicative of soring. ] Several commenters opposed... Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 9 CFR Part 11 RIN 0579-AD43 Horse Protection Act; Requiring Horse Industry Organizations To Assess and Enforce Minimum Penalties for Violations AGENCY: Animal...

  15. Assessment of Stress Risks and Learning Opportunities in the Work Organization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pot, F.D.; Peeters, M.H.H.; Vaas, F.; Dhondt, S.


    Organizational innovation and recent European legislation on work organization require instruments, to be used by practitioners, for the assessment of jobs and the redesign of the structure of the division of labour. In The Netherlands the so-called WEBA-instrument (conditions for well-being at work

  16. Assessing methods to estimate emissions of non-methane organic compounds from landfills

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saquing, Jovita M.; Chanton, Jeffrey P.; Yazdani, Ramin;


    The non-methane organic compound (NMOC) emission rate is used to assess compliance with landfill gas emission regulations by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). A recent USEPA Report (EPA/600/R-11/033) employed a ratio method to estimate speciated NMOC emissions (i...

  17. Historic Assessment of Agricultural Impacts on Soil and Soil Organic Carbon Erosion in an Ohio Watershed

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hao, Yueli (Other); Lal, Rattan (Other); Izaurralde, R Cesar C.(BATTELLE (PACIFIC NW LAB)); Ritchie, Jerry (Other); Owens, Lloyd (Other); Hothem, Daniel (Other)


    Agricultural management affects soil and soil organic carbon (SOC) erosion. The effect was assessed for a watershed (o.79 ha, 10% slope steepness, 132 m slope length) at the North Appalachian Experimental Watershed research station near Coshocton, Ohio, from 1951 to 1998

  18. Spatial Organization of the Cytoskeleton enhances Cargo Delivery to Specific Target Areas on the Plasma Membrane of Spherical Cells

    CERN Document Server

    Hafner, Anne E


    Intracellular transport is vital for the proper functioning and survival of a cell. Cargo (proteins, vesicles, organelles, etc.) is transferred from its place of creation to its target locations via molecular motor assisted transport along cytoskeletal filaments. The transport efficiency is strongly affected by the spatial organization of the cytoskeleton, which constitutes an inhomogeneous, complex network. In cells with a centrosome microtubules grow radially from the central microtubule organizing center towards the cell periphery whereas actin filaments form a dense meshwork, the actin cortex, underneath the cell membrane with a broad range of orientations. The emerging ballistic motion along filaments is frequently interrupted due to constricting intersection nodes or cycles of detachment and reattachment processes in the crowded cytoplasm. In order to investigate the efficiency of search strategies established by the cell's specific spatial organization of the cytoskeleton we formulate a random velocity...

  19. Design a Model to Assess CRM Maturity in the Organization Using AHP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamideh Soltani


    Full Text Available According to different nature of work in various companies, the essential step in implementation of optimal customer relationship management is identifying factors affecting CRM performance and indicators related to each factor. Therefore in this study, in order to assess the maturity of organization in the implementation of CRM, the main factors affecting CRM performance in the baby accessories industry were identified. Then the indicators explaining each factor were extracted and using Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP factors and identified indicators were ranked, and then the maturity status of the studied organization were analyzed in relation to CRM implementation. According to new and valid ideas, the main factors affecting the assessment of organizational maturity in CRM implementation are defined by three factors of processes, human resources and technology. The main factors affecting the CRM implementation were prioritized and also indicators related to the three main factors in line with the successful implementation of CRM were ranked. In order to assess the maturity of organization in CRM implementation, the binominal test was used. Except for the indicator of information technology and knowledge management which is lower than the given value for maturity level of the organization (12.5, other indicators such as strategy, organizational processes, organizational culture, human resources and change management, the studied organization in baby accessories industry has matured in CRM implementation.

  20. Specific developed phantoms and software to assess radiological equipment image quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Verdu, G., E-mail: [Universidad Politecnica de Valencia (Spain). Dept. de Ingenieria Quimica y Nuclear; Mayo, P., E-mail: [TITANIA Servicios Teconologicos, Valencia (Spain); Rodenas, F., E-mail: [Universidad Politecnica de Valencia (Spain). Dept. de Matematica Aplicada; Campayo, J.M., E-mail: [Logistica y Acondicionamientos Industriales S.A.U (LAINSA), Valencia (Spain)


    The use of radiographic phantoms specifically designed to evaluate the operation of the radiographic equipment lets the study of the image quality obtained by this equipment in an objective way. In digital radiographic equipment, the analysis of the image quality can be automatized because the acquisition of the image is possible in different technologies that are, computerized radiography or phosphor plate and direct radiography or detector. In this work we have shown an application to assess automatically the constancy quality image in the image chain of the radiographic equipment. This application is integrated by designed radiographic phantoms which are adapted to conventional, dental equipment and specific developed software for the automatic evaluation of the phantom image quality. The software is based on digital image processing techniques that let the automatic detection of the different phantom tests by edge detector, morphological operators, threshold histogram techniques, etc. The utility developed is enough sensitive to the radiographic equipment of operating conditions of voltage (kV) and charge (mAs). It is a friendly user programme connected with a data base of the hospital or clinic where it has been used. After the phantom image processing the user can obtain an inform with a resume of the imaging system state with accepting and constancy results. (author)

  1. Organization of projection-specific interneurons in the spinal cord of the red-eared turtle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nissen, Ulla Vig; Moldovan, Mihai; Hounsgaard, Jørn;


    Using differential retrograde axonal tracing, we identified motoneurons (MNs) and projection-specific interneuron (IN) classes in lumbar segment D9 of the adult red-eared turtle spinal cord. We characterized the distribution of these neurons in the transverse plane, and estimated their numbers...

  2. Micro-organism for the production of stereo-specific s, s-2,3-butanediol

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)


    The invention relates to a genetically modified lactic acid bacterium capable of producing (S,S)-2,3-butanediol stereo specifically from glucose under aerobic conditions. Additionally the invention relates to a method for producing (S,S)-2,3-butanediol and L-acetoin using the genetically modified...

  3. A Zebrafish Loss-of-Function Model for Human CFAP53 Mutations Reveals Its Specific Role in Laterality Organ Function. (United States)

    Noël, Emily S; Momenah, Tarek S; Al-Dagriri, Khalid; Al-Suwaid, Abdulrahman; Al-Shahrani, Safar; Jiang, Hui; Willekers, Sven; Oostveen, Yara Y; Chocron, Sonja; Postma, Alex V; Bhuiyan, Zahurul A; Bakkers, Jeroen


    Establishing correct left-right asymmetry during embryonic development is crucial for proper asymmetric positioning of the organs. Congenital heart defects, such as dextrocardia, transposition of the arteries, and inflow or outflow tract malformations, comprise some of the most common birth defects and may be attributed to incorrect establishment of body laterality. Here, we identify new patients with dextrocardia who have mutations in CFAP53, a coiled-coil domain containing protein. To elucidate the mechanism by which CFAP53 regulates embryonic asymmetry, we used genome editing to generate cfap53 zebrafish mutants. Zebrafish cfap53 mutants have specific defects in organ laterality and randomization of asymmetric gene expression. We show that cfap53 is required for cilia rotation specifically in Kupffer's vesicle, the zebrafish laterality organ, providing a mechanism by which patients with CFAP53 mutations develop dextrocardia and heterotaxy, and confirming previous evidence that left-right asymmetry in humans is regulated through cilia-driven fluid flow in a laterality organ.

  4. Assessment of Relationship between Spontaneous Abortion and Occupational Exposure to Organic Solvents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Mohammadi


    Full Text Available Introduction & Objective: Nowadays, some studies indicate the adverse effects of exposure to chemicals, especially organic solvents on the reproductive system of females. This study aimed to assess the relationship between spontaneous abortion with occupational exposure to organic solvents in pharmaceutical industry. Materials & Methods: This is a cross-sectional and descriptive-analytical study which was carried out in 2010 in one of the pharmaceutical factories located in the suburbs of Tehran. During the study, married women who were working in the factory laboratory units and were exposed to mixed organic solvents were compared with married women who were working in the packing units of the factory without occupational exposure to organic solvents. Frequency of spontaneous abortion and duration of pregnancy were assessed in both two groups. Collected data were analyzed with the SPSS software using t-test, logistic regression, and chi-square test. Results: In the present study, the frequency of spontaneous abortion in employees with exposure to organic solvents mixture was 10.7%. This study showed that even after adjustment for confounding factors, there was a significant correlation between spontaneous abortion and occupational exposure to organic solvents mixture and this correlation increased with increasing levels of exposure to organic solvents. Moreover, a significant correlation was observed between occupational exposure to mixed organic solvents and waiting time to become pregnant (TTP. Furthermore, this study showed that even after adjustment for confounding variables, shift workers were significantly more affected by spontaneous abortion compared to daytime workers (P < 0.001. Conclusion: According to the results of this study, since there is probability of spontaneous abortion resulting from occupational exposure to various chemicals including organic solvents, review of the status of occupational exposure of workers can be helpful

  5. Use of AN Eosinophil Specific Monoclonal Antibody in Assessing Eosinophil Function. (United States)

    Minkoff, Marjorie Sue

    A monoclonal antibody to an eosinophil specific determinant is very important in assessing eosinophil function during helminthic infection. Eosinophils induced by Schistosoma mansoni infection in BALB/c mice were used to induce C57B1/6 immunocytes for production of hybridomas secreting eosinophil monoclonal antibodies. These antibodies were shown to react with an eosinophil surface epitope but not with neutrophils or macrophages as determined by ELISA, immunodiffusion, immunofluorescence, and immunoblot assay. Affinity chromatography with eosinophil chemotactic factor-sepharose consistently selected out a { rm M_ R} 67,000 protein from solubilized eosinophil membrane antigens but not from neutrophil and macrophage antigens. In vitro studies showed that the eosinophil-specific monoclonal antibodies abrogated antibody-dependent eosinophil -mediated killing of S. mansoni schistosomula using mouse, rat or human eosinophils. Neutrophil and macrophage killing activities were unaffected. The monoclonal antibodies effected complement-dependent lysis of mouse and rat eosinophils but not of human eosinophils. ECF-treated eosinophils showed enhanced killing of schistosomula which was blocked by the monoclonal antibody. Murine and human eosinophils preincubated with monoclonal antibody exhibited decreased chemotaxis to ECF at optimal chemotactic concentrations. The monoclonal antibody also blocked eosinophil binding to ECF- sepharose beads. In vivo induction of peripheral blood eosinophilia by injection of S. mansoni eggs was suppressed by injections of monoclonal antibodies 2CD13 and 2QD45 in mouse and rat experimental models. Eosinophilia induced by keyhole limpet hemocyanin- cyclophosphamide treatment was also suppressed by monoclonal antibody in both murine and rat systems. Pulmonary granulomas in mice given egg injection and monoclonal antibody were smaller and contained fewer eosinophils than those granulomas from mice given eggs only. In immuno-biochemical studies, the

  6. Organic chloramines in drinking water: An assessment of formation, stability, reactivity and risk. (United States)

    How, Zuo Tong; Linge, Kathryn L; Busetti, Francesco; Joll, Cynthia A


    Although organic chloramines are known to form during the disinfection of drinking water with chlorine, little information is currently available on their occurrence or toxicity. In a recent in vitro study, some organic chloramines (e.g. N-chloroglycine) were found to be cytotoxic and genotoxic even at micromolar concentrations. In this paper, the formation and stability of 21 different organic chloramines, from chlorination of simple amines and amino acids, were studied, and the competition between 20 amino acids during chlorination was also investigated. For comparison, chlorination of two amides was also conducted. The formation and degradation of selected organic chloramines were measured using either direct UV spectroscopic or colorimetric detection. Although cysteine, methionine and tryptophan were the most reactive amino acids towards chlorination, they did not form organic chloramines at the chlorine to precursor molar ratios that were tested. Only 6 out of the 21 organic chloramines formed had a half-life of more than 3 h, although this group included all organic chloramines formed from amines. A health risk assessment relating stability and reactivity data from this study to toxicity and precursor abundance data from the literature indicated that only N-chloroglycine is likely to be of concern due to its stability, toxicity and abundance in water. However, given the stability of organic chloramines formed from amines, more information about the toxicity and precursor abundance for these chloramines is desirable.

  7. Organ-specific expression of glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) subunits in yellow lupine. (United States)

    Lehmann, Teresa; Dabert, Mirosława; Nowak, Witold


    Glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH, EC 1.4.2-4) is present in yellow lupine (Lupinus luteus cv. Juno) in many isoforms. The number and banding pattern of isoenzymes varies with respect to plant organ and developmental stage. To better understand the complex nature of GDH regulation in plants, the levels of GDH transcripts, enzyme activity and isoenzyme patterns in germinating seeds and roots of yellow lupine were examined. The analysis of GDH cDNA sequences in lupine revealed three mRNA types, of which two encoded the β-GDH subunit and one encoded the α-GDH subunit (corresponding to the GDH1(GDH3) and GDH2 genes, respectively). The relative expression of GDH1 and GDH2 genes was analyzed in various lupine organs by using quantitative real-time PCR. Our results indicate that different mRNA types were differently regulated depending on organ type. Although both genes appeared to be ubiquitously expressed in all lupine tissues, the GDH1 transcripts evidently predominated over those of GDH2. Immunochemical analyses confirmed that, during embryo development, varied expression of two GDH subunits takes place. The α-GDH subunit (43kDa) predominated in the early stages of germinating seeds, while the β-GDH subunit (44kDa) was the only GDH polypeptide present in lupine roots. These results firmly support the hypothesis that isoenzyme variability of GDH in yellow lupine is associated with the varied expression of α and β subunits into the complexes of hexameric GDH forms. The presence of several isogenes of GDH in yellow lupine may explain the high number (over 20) of its molecular forms in germinating lupine.

  8. Cell-specific STORM super-resolution imaging reveals nanoscale organization of cannabinoid signaling. (United States)

    Dudok, Barna; Barna, László; Ledri, Marco; Szabó, Szilárd I; Szabadits, Eszter; Pintér, Balázs; Woodhams, Stephen G; Henstridge, Christopher M; Balla, Gyula Y; Nyilas, Rita; Varga, Csaba; Lee, Sang-Hun; Matolcsi, Máté; Cervenak, Judit; Kacskovics, Imre; Watanabe, Masahiko; Sagheddu, Claudia; Melis, Miriam; Pistis, Marco; Soltesz, Ivan; Katona, István


    A major challenge in neuroscience is to determine the nanoscale position and quantity of signaling molecules in a cell type- and subcellular compartment-specific manner. We developed a new approach to this problem by combining cell-specific physiological and anatomical characterization with super-resolution imaging and studied the molecular and structural parameters shaping the physiological properties of synaptic endocannabinoid signaling in the mouse hippocampus. We found that axon terminals of perisomatically projecting GABAergic interneurons possessed increased CB1 receptor number, active-zone complexity and receptor/effector ratio compared with dendritically projecting interneurons, consistent with higher efficiency of cannabinoid signaling at somatic versus dendritic synapses. Furthermore, chronic Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol administration, which reduces cannabinoid efficacy on GABA release, evoked marked CB1 downregulation in a dose-dependent manner. Full receptor recovery required several weeks after the cessation of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol treatment. These findings indicate that cell type-specific nanoscale analysis of endogenous protein distribution is possible in brain circuits and identify previously unknown molecular properties controlling endocannabinoid signaling and cannabis-induced cognitive dysfunction.

  9. PR gene families of citrus: their organ specific-biotic and abiotic inducible expression profiles based on ESTs approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magnólia A. Campos


    Full Text Available In silico expression profiles, of the discovered 3,103 citrus ESTs putatively encoding for PR protein families (PR-1 to PR-17, were evaluated using the Brazil citrus genome EST CitEST/database. Hierarchical clustering was displayed to identify similarities in expression patterns among citrus PR-like gene families (PRlgf in 33 selected cDNA libraries. In this way, PRlgf preferentially expressed by organ and citrus species, and library conditions were highlighted. Changes in expression profiles of clusters for each of the 17 PRlgf expressed in organs infected by pathogens or drought-stressed citrus species were displayed for relative suppression or induction gene expression in relation to the counterpart control. Overall, few PRlgf showed expression 2-fold higher in pathogen-infected than in uninfected organs, even though the differential expression profiles displayed have been quite diverse among studied species and organs. Furthermore, an insight into some contigs from four PRlgf pointed out putative members of multigene families. They appear to be evolutionarily conserved within citrus species and/or organ- or stress-specifically expressed. Our results represent a starting point regarding the extent of expression pattern differences underlying PRlgf expression and reveal genes that may prove to be useful in studies regarding biotechnological approaches or citrus resistance markers.

  10. Autism risk assessment in siblings of affected children using sex-specific genetic scores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carayol Jerome


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The inheritance pattern in most cases of autism is complex. The risk of autism is increased in siblings of children with autism and previous studies have indicated that the level of risk can be further identified by the accumulation of multiple susceptibility single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs allowing for the identification of a higher-risk subgroup among siblings. As a result of the sex difference in the prevalence of autism, we explored the potential for identifying sex-specific autism susceptibility SNPs in siblings of children with autism and the ability to develop a sex-specific risk assessment genetic scoring system. Methods SNPs were chosen from genes known to be associated with autism. These markers were evaluated using an exploratory sample of 480 families from the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE repository. A reproducibility index (RI was proposed and calculated in all children with autism and in males and females separately. Differing genetic scoring models were then constructed to develop a sex-specific genetic score model designed to identify individuals with a higher risk of autism. The ability of the genetic scores to identify high-risk children was then evaluated and replicated in an independent sample of 351 affected and 90 unaffected siblings from families with at least 1 child with autism. Results We identified three risk SNPs that had a high RI in males, two SNPs with a high RI in females, and three SNPs with a high RI in both sexes. Using these results, genetic scoring models for males and females were developed which demonstrated a significant association with autism (P = 2.2 × 10-6 and 1.9 × 10-5, respectively. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that individual susceptibility associated SNPs for autism may have important differential sex effects. We also show that a sex-specific risk score based on the presence of multiple susceptibility associated SNPs allow for the identification of

  11. Assessment of genotoxic effects of flumorph by the comet assay in mice organs. (United States)

    Zhang, T; Zhao, Q; Zhang, Y; Ning, J


    The present study investigated the genotoxic effects of flumorph in various organs (brain, liver, spleen, kidney and sperm) of mice. The DNA damage, measured as comet tail length (µm), was determined using the alkaline comet assay. The comet assay is a sensitive assay for the detection of genotoxicity caused by flumorph using mice as a model. Statistically significant increases in comet assay for both dose-dependent and duration-dependent DNA damage were observed in all the organs assessed. The organs exhibited the maximum DNA damage in 96 h at 54 mg/kg body weight. Brain showed maximum DNA damage followed by spleen > kidney > liver > sperm. Our data demonstrated that flumorph had induced systemic genotoxicity in mammals as it caused DNA damage in all tested vital organs, especially in brain and spleen.

  12. Exploring Domain-General and Domain-Specific Linguistic Knowledge in the Assessment of Academic English Language Proficiency (United States)

    Romhild, Anja; Kenyon, Dorry; MacGregor, David


    This study examined the role of domain-general and domain-specific linguistic knowledge in the assessment of academic English language proficiency using a latent variable modeling approach. The goal of the study was to examine if modeling of domain-specific variance results in improved model fit and well-defined latent factors. Analyses were…

  13. Structure and organ specificity of an anionic peroxidase from Arabidopsis thaliana cell suspension culture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ostergaard, L; Abelskov, A K; Mattsson, O


    The predominant peroxidase (pI 3.5) (E.C. of an Arabidopsis thaliana cell suspension culture was purified and partially sequenced. Oligonucleotides were designed and a specific probe was obtained. A cDNA clone was isolated from an Arabidopsis cell suspension cDNA library and completely...... sequenced. The cDNA clone comprised 1194 bp and encodes a 30 residue signal peptide and a 305 residue mature protein (Mr 31,966). The sequence of the mature protein is 95% identical to the well-characterized horseradish peroxidase HRP A2 and has therefore been designated ATP A2. Three introns at positions...

  14. Evaluation of organ doses and specific k effective dose of 64-slice CT thorax examination using an adult anthropomorphic phantom (United States)

    Hashim, S.; Karim, M. K. A.; Bakar, K. A.; Sabarudin, A.; Chin, A. W.; Saripan, M. I.; Bradley, D. A.


    The magnitude of radiation dose in computed tomography (CT) depends on the scan acquisition parameters, investigated herein using an anthropomorphic phantom (RANDO®) and thermoluminescence dosimeters (TLD). Specific interest was in the organ doses resulting from CT thorax examination, the specific k coefficient for effective dose estimation for particular protocols also being determined. For measurement of doses representing five main organs (thyroid, lung, liver, esophagus and skin), TLD-100 (LiF:Mg, Ti) were inserted into selected holes in a phantom slab. Five CT thorax protocols were investigated, one routine (R1) and four that were modified protocols (R2 to R5). Organ doses were ranked from greatest to least, found to lie in the order: thyroid>skin>lung>liver>breast. The greatest dose, for thyroid at 25 mGy, was that in use of R1 while the lowest, at 8.8 mGy, was in breast tissue using R3. Effective dose (E) was estimated using three standard methods: the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP)-103 recommendation (E103), the computational phantom CT-EXPO (E(CTEXPO)) method, and the dose-length product (DLP) based approach. E103 k factors were constant for all protocols, ~8% less than that of the universal k factor. Due to inconsistency in tube potential and pitch factor the k factors from CTEXPO were found to vary between 0.015 and 0.010 for protocols R3 and R5. With considerable variation between scan acquisition parameters and organ doses, optimization of practice is necessary in order to reduce patient organ dose.

  15. Organ-specific rates of cellular respiration in developing sunflower seedlings and their bearing on metabolic scaling theory. (United States)

    Kutschera, Ulrich; Niklas, Karl J


    Fifty years ago Max Kleiber described what has become known as the "mouse-to-elephant" curve, i.e., a log-log plot of basal metabolic rate versus body mass. From these data, "Kleiber's 3/4 law" was deduced, which states that metabolic activity scales as the three fourths-power of body mass. However, for reasons unknown so far, no such "universal scaling law" has been discovered for land plants (embryophytes). Here, we report that the metabolic rates of four different organs (cotyledons, cotyledonary hook, hypocotyl, and roots) of developing sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) seedlings grown in darkness (skotomorphogenesis) and in white light (photomorphogenesis) differ by a factor of 2 to 5 and are largely independent of light treatment. The organ-specific respiration rate (oxygen uptake per minute per gram of fresh mass) of the apical hook, which is composed of cells with densely packaged cytoplasm, is much higher than that of the hypocotyl, an organ that contains vacuolated cells. Data for cell length, cell density, and DNA content reveal that (1) hook opening in white light is caused by a stimulation of cell elongation on the inside of the curved organ, (2) respiration, cell density and DNA content are much higher in the hook than in the stem, and (3) organ-specific respiration rates and the DNA contents of tissues are statistically correlated. We conclude that, due to the heterogeneity of the plant body caused by the vacuolization of the cells, Kleiber's law, which was deduced using mammals as a model system, cannot be applied to embryophytes. In plants, this rule may reflect scaling phenomena at the level of the metabolically active protoplasmic contents of the cells.

  16. Transcriptomes of Eight Arabidopsis thaliana Accessions Reveal Core Conserved, Genotype- and Organ-Specific Responses to Flooding Stress1[OPEN (United States)

    van Veen, Hans; Vashisht, Divya; Akman, Melis; Girke, Thomas; Mustroph, Angelika; Reinen, Emilie; Kooiker, Maarten; van Tienderen, Peter; Voesenek, Laurentius A.C.J.


    Climate change has increased the frequency and severity of flooding events, with significant negative impact on agricultural productivity. These events often submerge plant aerial organs and roots, limiting growth and survival due to a severe reduction in light reactions and gas exchange necessary for photosynthesis and respiration, respectively. To distinguish molecular responses to the compound stress imposed by submergence, we investigated transcriptomic adjustments to darkness in air and under submerged conditions using eight Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) accessions differing significantly in sensitivity to submergence. Evaluation of root and rosette transcriptomes revealed an early transcriptional and posttranscriptional response signature that was conserved primarily across genotypes, although flooding susceptibility-associated and genotype-specific responses also were uncovered. Posttranscriptional regulation encompassed darkness- and submergence-induced alternative splicing of transcripts from pathways involved in the alternative mobilization of energy reserves. The organ-specific transcriptome adjustments reflected the distinct physiological status of roots and shoots. Root-specific transcriptome changes included marked up-regulation of chloroplast-encoded photosynthesis and redox-related genes, whereas those of the rosette were related to the regulation of development and growth processes. We identified a novel set of tolerance genes, recognized mainly by quantitative differences. These included a transcriptome signature of more pronounced gluconeogenesis in tolerant accessions, a response that included stress-induced alternative splicing. This study provides organ-specific molecular resolution of genetic variation in submergence responses involving interactions between darkness and low-oxygen constraints of flooding stress and demonstrates that early transcriptome plasticity, including alternative splicing, is associated with the ability to cope

  17. Early assessment of feasibility and technical specificities of transoral robotic surgery using the da Vinci Xi. (United States)

    Gorphe, Philippe; Von Tan, Jean; El Bedoui, Sophie; Hartl, Dana M; Auperin, Anne; Qassemyar, Quentin; Moya-Plana, Antoine; Janot, François; Julieron, Morbize; Temam, Stephane


    The latest generation Da Vinci(®) Xi™ Surgical System Robot released has not been evaluated to date in transoral surgery for head and neck cancers. We report here the 1-year results of a non-randomized phase II multicentric prospective trial aimed at assessing its feasibility and technical specificities. Our primary objective was to evaluate the feasibility of transoral robotic surgery using the da Vinci(®) Xi™ Surgical System Robot. The secondary objective was to assess peroperative outcomes. Twenty-seven patients, mean age 62.7 years, were included between May 2015 and June 2016 with tumors affecting the following sites: oropharynx (n = 21), larynx (n = 4), hypopharynx (n = 1), parapharyngeal space (n = 1). Eighteen patients were included for primary treatment, three for a local recurrence, and six for cancer in a previously irradiated field. Three were reconstructed with a FAMM flap and 6 with a free ALT flap. The mean docking time was 12 min. "Chopsticking" of surgical instruments was very rare. During hospitalization following surgery, 3 patients experienced significant bleeding between day 8 and 9 that required surgical transoral hemostasis (n = 1) or endovascular embolization (n = 2). Transoral robotic surgery using the da Vinci(®) Xi™ Surgical System Robot proved feasible with technological improvements compared to previous generation surgical system robots and with a similar postoperative course. Further technological progress is expected to be of significant benefit to the patients.

  18. Possibilities of implementation of bioavailability methods for organic contaminants in the Dutch Soil Quality Assessment Framework. (United States)

    Brand, Ellen; Lijzen, Johannes; Peijnenburg, Willie; Swartjes, Frank


    In the Netherlands, risk assessment of contaminated soils is based on determining the total contaminant concentration. If this measured soil concentration exceeds the Soil Quality Standards (SQS) a higher tier risk evaluation must be performed. Experiences from the field have given rise to the perception that performing risk evaluations based on (measured) total concentrations may lead to an inaccurate assessment of the actual risks. Assuming that only the bioavailable fraction is capable of exerting adverse effects in the soil ecosystem, it is suggested, that by taking bioavailability into account in a (higher tier) risk evaluation, a more effect-based risk assessment can be performed. Bioavailability has been a subject of research for several decades. However up to now bioavailability has not been implemented in the Dutch Soil Quality Assessment Framework. First actions were taken in the Netherlands to determine whether the concept of bioavailability could be implemented in the risk assessment of contaminated soils and to find out how bioavailability can become part of the Dutch Soil Quality Assessment Framework. These actions have led to a concrete proposal for implementation of bioavailability methods in the risk assessment of organic contaminants in soils. This paper focuses on the chemical prediction of bioavailability for ecological risk assessment of contaminated soils.

  19. Technological and life cycle assessment of organics processing odour control technologies. (United States)

    Bindra, Navin; Dubey, Brajesh; Dutta, Animesh


    As more municipalities and communities across developed world look towards implementing organic waste management programmes or upgrading existing ones, composting facilities are emerging as a popular choice. However, odour from these facilities continues to be one of the most important concerns in terms of cost & effective mitigation. This paper provides a technological and life cycle assessment of some of the different odour control technologies and treatment methods that can be implemented in organics processing facilities. The technological assessment compared biofilters, packed tower wet scrubbers, fine mist wet scrubbers, activated carbon adsorption, thermal oxidization, oxidization chemicals and masking agents. The technologies/treatment methods were evaluated and compared based on a variety of operational, usage and cost parameters. Based on the technological assessment it was found that, biofilters and packed bed wet scrubbers are the most applicable odour control technologies for use in organics processing faculties. A life cycle assessment was then done to compare the environmental impacts of the packed-bed wet scrubber system, organic (wood-chip media) bio-filter and inorganic (synthetic media) bio-filter systems. Twelve impact categories were assessed; cumulative energy demand (CED), climate change, human toxicity, photochemical oxidant formation, metal depletion, fossil depletion, terrestrial acidification, freshwater eutrophication, marine eutrophication, terrestrial eco-toxicity, freshwater eco-toxicity and marine eco-toxicity. The results showed that for all impact categories the synthetic media biofilter had the highest environmental impact, followed by the wood chip media bio-filter system. The packed-bed system had the lowest environmental impact for all categories.

  20. Organ-Specific Gene Expression Changes in the Fetal Liver and Placenta in Response to Maternal Folate Depletion (United States)

    McKay, Jill A.; Xie, Long; Adriaens, Michiel; Evelo, Chris T.; Ford, Dianne; Mathers, John C.


    Growing evidence supports the hypothesis that the in utero environment can have profound implications for fetal development and later life offspring health. Current theory suggests conditions experienced in utero prepare, or “programme”, the fetus for its anticipated post-natal environment. The mechanisms responsible for these programming events are poorly understood but are likely to involve gene expression changes. Folate is essential for normal fetal development and inadequate maternal folate supply during pregnancy has long term adverse effects for offspring. We tested the hypothesis that folate depletion during pregnancy alters offspring programming through altered gene expression. Female C57BL/6J mice were fed diets containing 2 mg or 0.4 mg folic acid/kg for 4 weeks before mating and throughout pregnancy. At 17.5 day gestation, genome-wide gene expression was measured in male fetal livers and placentas. In the fetal liver, 989 genes were expressed differentially (555 up-regulated, 434 down-regulated) in response to maternal folate depletion, with 460 genes expressed differentially (250 up-regulated, 255 down-regulated) in the placenta. Only 25 differentially expressed genes were common between organs. Maternal folate intake during pregnancy influences fetal gene expression in a highly organ specific manner which may reflect organ-specific functions. PMID:27782079

  1. Specific biomolecule corona is associated with ring-shaped organization of silver nanoparticles in cells (United States)

    Drescher, Daniela; Guttmann, Peter; Büchner, Tina; Werner, Stephan; Laube, Gregor; Hornemann, Andrea; Tarek, Basel; Schneider, Gerd; Kneipp, Janina


    We correlate the localization of silver nanoparticles inside cells with respect to the cellular architecture with the molecular information in the vicinity of the particle surface by combining nanoscale 3D cryo-soft X-ray tomography (cryo-SXT) with surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). The interaction of the silver nanoparticle surface with small molecules and biopolymers was monitored by SERS in vitro over time in living cells. The spectra indicate a stable, time-independent surface composition of silver nanoparticles, despite the changing environment in the endosomal structure. Cryo-SXT reveals a characteristic ring-shaped organization of the silver nanoparticles in endosomes of different cell types. The ring-like structures inside the endosomes suggest a strong association among silver particles and with membrane structures. The comparison of the data with those obtained with gold nanoparticles suggests that the interactions between the nanoparticles and with the endosomal component are influenced by the molecular composition of the corona.We correlate the localization of silver nanoparticles inside cells with respect to the cellular architecture with the molecular information in the vicinity of the particle surface by combining nanoscale 3D cryo-soft X-ray tomography (cryo-SXT) with surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). The interaction of the silver nanoparticle surface with small molecules and biopolymers was monitored by SERS in vitro over time in living cells. The spectra indicate a stable, time-independent surface composition of silver nanoparticles, despite the changing environment in the endosomal structure. Cryo-SXT reveals a characteristic ring-shaped organization of the silver nanoparticles in endosomes of different cell types. The ring-like structures inside the endosomes suggest a strong association among silver particles and with membrane structures. The comparison of the data with those obtained with gold nanoparticles suggests that the

  2. Scientific Opinion on outline proposals for assessment of exposure of organisms to substances in soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Annette


    for the assessment of exposure of soil organisms. Based on a previous opinion of the Panel, the methodology is developed both for the concentration in total soil and the concentration in the soil pore water. The aim of the exposure assessment is the spatial 90th percentile of the exposure concentration (maximum......The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) asked the Panel to prepare a revision of the Guidance Document on persistence in soil (SANCO/9188VI/1997 of 12 July 2000) as scientific knowledge in this field has evolved in recent years. Therefore the Panel started the development of a revised methodology...... in time) in the intended area of use in each of the three regulatory zones. The assessment of this percentile will include the uncertainty of substance and soil properties. The exposure assessment methodology is a function of (i) the type of crop (annual, pasture, permanent or rice), (ii) the tillage...

  3. Assessment and control of chemical risk from organic vapors for attendants in a gas station

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Ehmig Santillán


    Full Text Available This research comprises monitoring, assessment and recommendations for chemical risk originating from organic vapors (benzene, toluene and xylene of fuel (super and extra gasoline to which attendants at a gas station are exposed. Given the concentration measured of organic vapors (benzene, toluene and xylene the chemical risk to which attendants are exposed in the supply area is acceptable. Control measures are recommended to ensure healthy working conditions for gas station attendants and also to avoid occurrence of occupational diseases in the medium or long term

  4. Site-specific distribution and competitive ability of indigenous bean-nodulating rhizobia isolated from organic fields in Minnesota. (United States)

    Wongphatcharachai, Manoosak; Wang, Ping; Staley, Christopher; Chun, Chan Lan; Ferguson, John A; Moncada, Kristine M; Sheaffer, Craig C; Sadowsky, Michael J


    Organic dry bean production systems have received increasing interest in many regions of the US, including Minnesota. Thus, improving biological N2 fixation would be highly beneficial for organic crop production. To date, only limited work has been done to select efficient N2-fixing rhizobia for organic dry bean production. In this study, soil samples from 25 organic fields in Minnesota, with a previous cropping history of dry beans, soybeans or both, were collected during May to July 2012. Genetic diversity of indigenous dry bean-rhizobia (511 isolates) was determined by using horizontal, fluorophore-enhanced, repetitive, extragenic, and palindromic-PCR (HFERP) DNA fingerprinting and isolates were classified as belonging to 58 different genotypes. The more abundant rhizobia isolated from bean nodules comprised 35.6% of the population. None of the isolates were identical to commonly-used commercial strains used in the U.S., including Rhizobium tropici CIAT899. Seventeen predominant genotypes were shown to represent two main species, Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. phaseoli (67.1%) and Rhizobium etli (30.2%). One of the indigenous strains, orgK9, displayed efficient N2-fixation and competitive ability relative to the commercial strains tested. The lack of large numbers of indigenous dry bean-rhizobia at most study sites will be useful to avoid competition problems between inoculant strains and indigenous rhizobia. This will allow inoculation with highly effective N2-fixing rhizobia, thus resulting in improved crop productivity. Our results highlight the existence of site-specific rhizobial genotypes in different organic fields and identify strains that may prove useful as novel inoculants for organic dry bean production systems.

  5. High-Density Real-Time PCR-Based in Vivo Toxicogenomic Screen to Predict Organ-Specific Toxicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laszlo G. Puskas


    Full Text Available Toxicogenomics, based on the temporal effects of drugs on gene expression, is able to predict toxic effects earlier than traditional technologies by analyzing changes in genomic biomarkers that could precede subsequent protein translation and initiation of histological organ damage. In the present study our objective was to extend in vivo toxicogenomic screening from analyzing one or a few tissues to multiple organs, including heart, kidney, brain, liver and spleen. Nanocapillary quantitative real-time PCR (QRT-PCR was used in the study, due to its higher throughput, sensitivity and reproducibility, and larger dynamic range compared to DNA microarray technologies. Based on previous data, 56 gene markers were selected coding for proteins with different functions, such as proteins for acute phase response, inflammation, oxidative stress, metabolic processes, heat-shock response, cell cycle/apoptosis regulation and enzymes which are involved in detoxification. Some of the marker genes are specific to certain organs, and some of them are general indicators of toxicity in multiple organs. Utility of the nanocapillary QRT-PCR platform was demonstrated by screening different references, as well as discovery of drug-like compounds for their gene expression profiles in different organs of treated mice in an acute experiment. For each compound, 896 QRT-PCR were done: four organs were used from each of the treated four animals to monitor the relative expression of 56 genes. Based on expression data of the discovery gene set of toxicology biomarkers the cardio- and nephrotoxicity of doxorubicin and sulfasalazin, the hepato- and nephrotoxicity of rotenone, dihydrocoumarin and aniline, and the liver toxicity of 2,4-diaminotoluene could be confirmed. The acute heart and kidney toxicity of the active metabolite SN-38 from its less toxic prodrug, irinotecan could be differentiated, and two novel gene markers for hormone replacement therapy were identified

  6. Specific Myosins Control Actin Organization, Cell Morphology, and Migration in Prostate Cancer Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katarzyna A. Makowska


    Full Text Available We investigated the myosin expression profile in prostate cancer cell lines and found that Myo1b, Myo9b, Myo10, and Myo18a were expressed at higher levels in cells with high metastatic potential. Moreover, Myo1b and Myo10 were expressed at higher levels in metastatic tumors. Using an siRNA-based approach, we found that knockdown of each myosin resulted in distinct phenotypes. Myo10 knockdown ablated filopodia and decreased 2D migration speed. Myo18a knockdown increased circumferential non-muscle myosin 2A-associated actin filament arrays in the lamella and reduced directional persistence of 2D migration. Myo9b knockdown increased stress fiber formation, decreased 2D migration speed, and increased directional persistence. Conversely, Myo1b knockdown increased numbers of stress fibers but did not affect 2D migration. In all cases, the cell spread area was increased and 3D migration potential was decreased. Therefore, myosins not only act as molecular motors but also directly influence actin organization and cell morphology, which can contribute to the metastatic phenotype.

  7. Programming Pluripotent Precursor Cells Derived from Xenopus Embryos to Generate Specific Tissues and Organs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annette Borchers


    Full Text Available Xenopus embryos provide a rich source of pluripotent cells that can be differentiated into functional organs. Since the molecular principles of vertebrate organogenesis appear to be conserved between Xenopus and mammals, this system can provide useful guidelines for the directional manipulation of human embryonic stem cells. Pluripotent Xenopus cells can be easily isolated from the animal pole of blastula stage Xenopus embryos. These so called “animal cap” cells represent prospective ectodermal cells, but give rise to endodermal, mesodermal and neuro-ectodermal derivatives if treated with the appropriate factors. These factors include evolutionary conserved modulators of the key developmental signal transduction pathways that can be supplied either by mRNA microinjection or direct application of recombinant proteins. This relatively simple system has added to our understanding of pancreas, liver, kidney, eye and heart development. In particular, recent studies have used animal cap cells to generate ectopic eyes and hearts, setting the stage for future work aimed at programming pluripotent cells for regenerative medicine.

  8. Immunochemical Detection of Metallothionein in Specific Epithelial Cells of Rat Organs (United States)

    Danielson, Keith G.; Ohi, Seigo; Huang, P. C.


    The distribution of a heavy metal binding protein, metallothionein, was studied immunocytochemically by using antimetallothionein antibody and the immunoperoxidase staining technique on histological sections of liver, kidney, intestine, lung, and testis from cadmium-treated rats. These tissues either accumulate heavy metals (e.g., liver, kidney, and testis) or are exposed to metal by ingestion or inhalation (intestine and lung). Staining for metallothionein was observed intracellularly in epithelial parenchymal cells of the liver and kidney; all hepatocytes and most renal tubular cells stained for the protein. Accumulation of metallothionein was not seen in connective tissue cells surrounding either blood vessels or renal tubules. Extracellular localization of metallothionein was also observed in the liver sinusoids and within the lumina of the renal tubules, suggesting a metal transport or excretory function for this protein. Surface columnar epithelial cells of the intestinal villi indicated the presence of metallothionein but connective tissue cells of the lamina propria were negative for the protein. The granular secretory Paneth cells of the small intestine also stained strongly for metallothionein as did respiratory epithelial cells of the lung. In the testis, metallothionein was detected in the Sertoli cells and interstitial cells but not within the spermatogonia. Sertoli cells are closely associated with the developing spermatogonia and appear to serve a nutritive role in spermatogenesis. Because of the secretory, absorptive, or nutritive function of the metallothionein-localizing cells in the organs studied, we suggest that metallothionein may be involved in metal storage or transport in addition to its commonly proposed detoxification role.

  9. Quantitation of fibroblast activation protein (FAP-specific protease activity in mouse, baboon and human fluids and organs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fiona M. Keane


    Full Text Available The protease fibroblast activation protein (FAP is a specific marker of activated mesenchymal cells in tumour stroma and fibrotic liver. A specific, reliable FAP enzyme assay has been lacking. FAP's unique and restricted cleavage of the post proline bond was exploited to generate a new specific substrate to quantify FAP enzyme activity. This sensitive assay detected no FAP activity in any tissue or fluid of FAP gene knockout mice, thus confirming assay specificity. Circulating FAP activity was ∼20- and 1.3-fold less in baboon than in mouse and human plasma, respectively. Serum and plasma contained comparable FAP activity. In mice, the highest levels of FAP activity were in uterus, pancreas, submaxillary gland and skin, whereas the lowest levels were in brain, prostate, leukocytes and testis. Baboon organs high in FAP activity included skin, epididymis, bladder, colon, adipose tissue, nerve and tongue. FAP activity was greatly elevated in tumours and associated lymph nodes and in fungal-infected skin of unhealthy baboons. FAP activity was 14- to 18-fold greater in cirrhotic than in non-diseased human liver, and circulating FAP activity was almost doubled in alcoholic cirrhosis. Parallel DPP4 measurements concorded with the literature, except for the novel finding of high DPP4 activity in bile. The new FAP enzyme assay is the first to be thoroughly characterised and shows that FAP activity is measurable in most organs and at high levels in some. This new assay is a robust tool for specific quantitation of FAP enzyme activity in both preclinical and clinical samples, particularly liver fibrosis.

  10. Systematic comprehensive techno-economic assessment of solar cooling technologies using location-specific climate data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mokhtar, Marwan; Ali, Muhammad Tauha; Sgouridis, Sgouris; Armstrong, Peter; Chiesa, Matteo [Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates); Braeuniger, Simon; Afshari, Afshin [Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)


    A methodology for assessing solar cooling technologies is proposed. The method takes into account location specific boundary conditions such as the cooling demand time series, solar resource availability, climatic conditions, component cost and component performance characteristics. This methodology evaluates the techno-economic performance of the solar collector/chiller system. We demonstrate the method by systematic evaluation of 25 feasible combinations of solar energy collection and cooling technologies. The comparison includes solar thermal and solar electric cooling options and is extended to solar cooling through concentrated solar power plants. Solar cooling technologies are compared on an economic and overall system efficiency perspective. This analysis has implication for the importance of solar load fraction and storage size in the design of solar cooling systems. We also stress the importance of studying the relation between cooling demand and solar resource availability, it was found that overlooking this relation might lead to overestimations of the potential of a solar cooling system in the range of 22% to over 100% of the actual potential. (author)

  11. Thrombotic risk assessment in antiphospholipid syndrome: the role of new antibody specificities and thrombin generation assay. (United States)

    Sciascia, Savino; Baldovino, Simone; Schreiber, Karen; Solfietti, Laura; Radin, Massimo; Cuadrado, Maria J; Menegatti, Elisa; Erkan, Doruk; Roccatello, Dario


    Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is an autoimmune condition characterized by the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) in subjects presenting with thrombosis and/or pregnancy loss. The currently used classification criteria were updated in the international consensus held in Sidney in 2005. Vascular events seem to result of local procoagulative alterations upon triggers influence (the so called "second-hit theory"), while placental thrombosis and complement activation seem to lead to pregnancy morbidity. The laboratory tests suggested by the current classification criteria include lupus anticoagulant, a functional coagulation assay, and anticardiolipin and anti-β2-glycoprotein-I antibodies, generally detected by solid phase enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The real challenge for treating physicians is understanding what is the actual weight of aPL in provoking clinical manifestations in each case. As thrombosis has a multi-factorial cause, each patient needs a risk-stratified approach. In this review we discuss the role of thrombotic risk assessment in primary and secondary prevention of venous and arterial thromboembolic disease in patients with APS, focusing on new antibody specificities, available risk scoring models and new coagulation assays.

  12. Image Quality Assessment Based on Local Linear Information and Distortion-Specific Compensation. (United States)

    Wang, Hanli; Fu, Jie; Lin, Weisi; Hu, Sudeng; Kuo, C-C Jay; Zuo, Lingxuan


    Image Quality Assessment (IQA) is a fundamental yet constantly developing task for computer vision and image processing. Most IQA evaluation mechanisms are based on the pertinence of subjective and objective estimation. Each image distortion type has its own property correlated with human perception. However, this intrinsic property may not be fully exploited by existing IQA methods. In this paper, we make two main contributions to the IQA field. First, a novel IQA method is developed based on a local linear model that examines the distortion between the reference and the distorted images for better alignment with human visual experience. Second, a distortion-specific compensation strategy is proposed to offset the negative effect on IQA modeling caused by different image distortion types. These score offsets are learned from several known distortion types. Furthermore, for an image with an unknown distortion type, a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) based method is proposed to compute the score offset automatically. Finally, an integrated IQA metric is proposed by combining the aforementioned two ideas. Extensive experiments are performed to verify the proposed IQA metric, which demonstrate that the local linear model is useful in human perception modeling, especially for individual image distortion, and the overall IQA method outperforms several state-of-the-art IQA approaches.

  13. Assessing allele-specific expression across multiple tissues from RNA-seq read data (United States)

    Pirinen, Matti; Lappalainen, Tuuli; Zaitlen, Noah A.; Dermitzakis, Emmanouil T.; Donnelly, Peter; McCarthy, Mark I.; Rivas, Manuel A.


    Motivation: RNA sequencing enables allele-specific expression (ASE) studies that complement standard genotype expression studies for common variants and, importantly, also allow measuring the regulatory impact of rare variants. The Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project is collecting RNA-seq data on multiple tissues of a same set of individuals and novel methods are required for the analysis of these data. Results: We present a statistical method to compare different patterns of ASE across tissues and to classify genetic variants according to their impact on the tissue-wide expression profile. We focus on strong ASE effects that we are expecting to see for protein-truncating variants, but our method can also be adjusted for other types of ASE effects. We illustrate the method with a real data example on a tissue-wide expression profile of a variant causal for lipoid proteinosis, and with a simulation study to assess our method more generally. Availability and implementation: R-sources and data examples Contact: or Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:25819081

  14. "Viral déjà vu" elicits organ-specific immune disease independent of reactivity to self. (United States)

    Merkler, Doron; Horvath, Edit; Bruck, Wolfgang; Zinkernagel, Rolf M; Del la Torre, Juan Carlos; Pinschewer, Daniel D


    Autoimmune diseases are often precipitated by viral infections. Yet our current understanding fails to explain how viruses trigger organ-specific autoimmunity despite thymic tolerance extending to many non-lymphohematopoietic self antigens. Additionally, a key epidemiological finding needs to be explained: In genetically susceptible individuals, early childhood infections seem to predispose them to multiple sclerosis (MS) or type 1 diabetes years or even decades before clinical onset. In the present work, we show that the innate immune system of neonatal mice was sufficient to eliminate an attenuated lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) from most tissues except for the CNS, where the virus persisted in neurons (predisposing virus). Virus-specific cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) were neither deleted nor sufficiently primed to cause disease, but they were efficiently triggered in adulthood upon WT LCMV infection (precipitating virus). This defined sequence of viral infections caused severe CNS inflammation that was histomorphologically reminiscent of rasmussen encephalitis, a fatal human autoimmune disease. Yet disease in mice was mediated by antiviral CTLs targeting an epitope shared by the precipitating virus and the predisposing virus persisting in neurons (déjà vu). Thus the concept of "viral déjà vu" demonstrates how 2 related but independently encountered viral infections can cause organ-specific immune disease without molecular mimicry of self and without breaking self tolerance.

  15. Diverse and Tissue Specific Mitochondrial Respiratory Response in A Mouse Model of Sepsis-Induced Multiple Organ Failure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karlsson, Michael; Hara, Naomi; Morata, Saori;


    Mitochondrial function is thought to play a role in sepsis-induced multiple organ failure. However, the temporal and organ specific alterations in mitochondrial function has yet to be fully elucidated. Many studies show reduced phosphorylating capacity while others have indicated that mitochondrial...... respiration is enhanced. The objective of the study was to evaluate the temporal dynamics of brain and liver mitochondrial function in a mouse model of sepsis.Sepsis was induced by cecal ligation and puncture. Controls were sham operated. Using high-resolution respirometry, brain and liver homogenates from 31......-production was detected.Liver homogenate from the septic mice displayed a significant increase of the respiratory control ratio at 6 hours. In the 24-hour group, the rate of maximal oxidative phosphorylation, as well as LEAK respiration, was significantly increased compared to controls and the resultant respiratory...

  16. Organ-specific quality control of plant peroxisomes is mediated by autophagy. (United States)

    Yoshimoto, Kohki; Shibata, Michitaro; Kondo, Maki; Oikawa, Kazusato; Sato, Mayuko; Toyooka, Kiminori; Shirasu, Ken; Nishimura, Mikio; Ohsumi, Yoshinori


    Peroxisomes are essential organelles that are characterized by the possession of enzymes that produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as part of their normal catalytic cycle. During the metabolic process, peroxisomal proteins are inevitably damaged by H2O2 and the integrity of the peroxisomes is impaired. Here, we show that autophagy, an intracellular process for vacuolar degradation, selectively degrades dysfunctional peroxisomes. Marked accumulation of peroxisomes was observed in the leaves but not roots of autophagy-related (ATG)-knockout Arabidopsis thaliana mutants. The peroxisomes in leaf cells contained markedly increased levels of catalase in an insoluble and inactive aggregate form. The chemically inducible complementation system in ATG5-knockout Arabidopsis provided the evidence that these accumulated peroxisomes were delivered to vacuoles for degradation by autophagy. Interestingly, autophagosomal membrane structures specifically recognized the abnormal peroxisomes at the site of the aggregates. Thus, autophagy is essential for the quality control of peroxisomes in leaves and for proper plant development under natural growth conditions.

  17. Circadian organization of the rodent retina involves strongly coupled, layer-specific oscillators. (United States)

    Jaeger, Catherine; Sandu, Cristina; Malan, André; Mellac, Katell; Hicks, David; Felder-Schmittbuhl, Marie-Paule


    Rhythmic physiology is central to retinal function and survival and adapts vision to daily light intensity changes. Mammalian retina rhythmically releases melatonin when cultured under constant conditions, and the occurrence of clock gene [e.g., Period (Per)] expression has been shown for most cellular layers. However, contribution of the distinct layers to genesis of circadian rhythms within the retina is still debated. To characterize their endogenous oscillatory capacity and their communication at the whole-tissue level, we used a vibratome-based method to isolate individual or paired retina cellular layers from the mPer2(Luc) mouse and Per1-luciferase (Per1-Luc) rat, and real-time recorded bioluminescence. We report that each layer of the mouse retina harbors a self-sustained oscillator whose period is significantly longer (∼ 26 hours) than in whole-retina explants (∼ 22.9 hours), indicating that the period is correlated with the degree of coupling. Accordingly, the maximal period (∼ 29 hours) is reached upon complete enzymatic dissociation of the retina. By using pharmacological approaches, we demonstrate that connection between retina oscillators involves gap junctions but only minor contribution from the main retina neurochemicals. Taken together with results from Per1-Luc rats, these data show that mammalian retina consists of a network of layer-specific oscillators whose period is determined by their connectivity.

  18. Organ-specific dosimetry in spinal radiography: an analysis of genetic and somatic effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fickel, T.E.


    Radiation doses absorbed by the uterus, ovary, testicle and active bone marrow are computed for cervical, thoracic, lumbar, full spine and chest series performed under typical office conditions. Assuming a nonthreshold, linear relationship between dose and radiogenic effect, the computed tissue-specific doses are used to estimate the probability that each X-ray series might enhance the statistical probability of occurrence of an adult leukemia fatality of the irradiated patient; a childhood leukemia, mental retardation or cancer fatality as a result of fetal irradiation; or a variety of sex cell chromosomal aberrations in irradiated patients. It is concluded that the greatest hazard to active bone marrow, the uterus and the gonads is posed by lumbar and full spine radiography and that the need to adequately justify such exposure is mandatory; furthermore, in these series, irradiation of the ovary is 10 times as great as that of the testicle. Lumbar radiographic examinations can be made significantly safer by the elimination of the lumbosacral spot view.

  19. Renal and hepatotoxic alterations in adult mice on inhalation of specific mixture of organic solvents. (United States)

    Ketan, Vaghasia K; Bhavyata, Kalariya; Linzbuoy, George; Hyacinth, Highland N


    This study was aimed at investigating alterations in renal and hepatic toxicity induced by exposing to a combination of three solvents, namely, benzene, toluene and xylene in adult mice. The mice were divided into three groups (control, low-dose-treated (450 ppm) and high-dose (675 ppm) groups) using randomization methods. The treated groups were exposed to vapours of a mixture of benzene, toluene and xylene at doses of 450 and 675 ppm, for 6 h day(-1) for a short-term of 7-day exposure period. The study revealed that the solvent exposure resulted in an increase in the weight of liver and kidney as compared to the control. Biochemical analyses indicated a significant decline in the activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase in both the treated groups, with concomitant increase in lipid peroxidation. Liver aminotransferases (alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase) were elevated with significant alterations in the levels of protein, creatinine and cholesterol in these tissues upon solvent exposure. Correlated with these changes, serum thyroid hormones T3 and T4 were also significantly altered. This study, therefore, demonstrates that inhalation of vapours from the solvent mixture resulted in significant dose-dependent biochemical and functional changes in the vital tissues (liver and kidney) studied. The study has specific relevance since humans are increasingly being exposed to such solvents due to increased industrial use in such combinations.

  20. Etiology of Organ-Specific Autoimmunity: Basic Research and Clinical Implications in IBD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George S Eisenbarth


    Full Text Available Autoimmunity develops in the setting of genetic susceptibility and can be monogenic (eg, autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type I with Addison’s disease, mucocutaneous candidiasis and hypoparathyroidism, which is autosomal recessive with the causative gene on the tip of chromosome 21 or polygenic (usually with important alleles within the major histocompatibility complex [eg, type I diabetes]. In addition to genetic susceptibility, many autoimmune disorders can be classified into etiological categories (oncogenic, drug-induced, diet-induced, infectious or idiopathic. For most autoimmune disorders there are multiple target autoantigens and, for type I diabetes, a combinatorial approach (eg, expression of at least two autoantibodies of insulin, glutamic acid decarboxylase and/or ICA512/IA-2 is the best predictor of diabetes risk. Finally, antigen-specific therapies hold promise for the prevention and therapy of autoimmunity, eg, parenteral or oral therapy with insulin delays or prevents type I diabetes in animal models, and a small pilot trial of parenteral insulin in humans suggests that such therapy may similarly prevent diabetes in humans.

  1. The organ-specific expression of terpene synthase genes contributes to the terpene hydrocarbon composition of chamomile essential oils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irmisch Sandra


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The essential oil of chamomile, one of the oldest and agronomically most important medicinal plant species in Europe, has significant antiphlogistic, spasmolytic and antimicrobial activities. It is rich in chamazulene, a pharmaceutically active compound spontaneously formed during steam distillation from the sesquiterpene lactone matricine. Chamomile oil also contains sesquiterpene alcohols and hydrocarbons which are produced by the action of terpene synthases (TPS, the key enzymes in constructing terpene carbon skeletons. Results Here, we present the identification and characterization of five TPS enzymes contributing to terpene biosynthesis in chamomile (Matricaria recutita. Four of these enzymes were exclusively expressed in above-ground organs and produced the common terpene hydrocarbons (−-(E-β-caryophyllene (MrTPS1, (+-germacrene A (MrTPS3, (E-β-ocimene (MrTPS4 and (−-germacrene D (MrTPS5. A fifth TPS, the multiproduct enzyme MrTPS2, was mainly expressed in roots and formed several Asteraceae-specific tricyclic sesquiterpenes with (−-α-isocomene being the major product. The TPS transcript accumulation patterns in different organs of chamomile were consistent with the abundance of the corresponding TPS products isolated from these organs suggesting that the spatial regulation of TPS gene expression qualitatively contribute to terpene composition. Conclusions The terpene synthases characterized in this study are involved in the organ-specific formation of essential oils in chamomile. While the products of MrTPS1, MrTPS2, MrTPS4 and MrTPS5 accumulate in the oils without further chemical alterations, (+-germacrene A produced by MrTPS3 accumulates only in trace amounts, indicating that it is converted into another compound like matricine. Thus, MrTPS3, but also the other TPS genes, are good markers for further breeding of chamomile cultivars rich in pharmaceutically active essential oils.

  2. Different low-molecular-mass organic acids specifically control leaching of arsenic and lead from contaminated soil (United States)

    Ash, Christopher; Tejnecký, Václav; Borůvka, Luboš; Drábek, Ondřej


    Low-molecular-mass organic acids (LMMOA) are of key importance for mobilisation and fate of metals in soil, by functioning as ligands that increase the amount of dissolved metal in solution or by dissociation of metal binding minerals. Column leaching experiments were performed on soil polluted with As and Pb, in order to determine the specificity of LMMOA related release for individual elements, at varying organic acid concentrations. Acetic, citric and oxalic acids were applied in 12 h leaching experiments over a concentration range (0.5-25 mM) to soil samples that represent organic and mineral horizons. The leaching of As followed the order: oxalic > citric > acetic acid in both soils. Arsenic leaching was attributed primarily to ligand-enhanced dissolution of mineral oxides followed by As released into solution, as shown by significant correlation between oxalic and citric acids and content of Al and Fe in leaching solutions. Results suggest that subsurface mineral soil layers are more vulnerable to As toxicity. Leaching of Pb from both soils followed the order: citric > oxalic > acetic acid. Mineral soil samples were shown to be more susceptible to leaching of Pb than samples characterised by a high content of organic matter. The leaching efficiency of citric acid was attributed to formation of stable complexes with Pb ions, which other acids are not capable of. Results obtained in the study are evidence that the extent of As and Pb leaching in contaminated surface and subsurface soil depends significantly on the types of carboxylic acid involved. The implications of the type of acid and the specific element that can be mobilised become increasingly significant where LMMOA concentrations are highest, such as in rhizosphere soil.

  3. Genome-scale analysis of metazoan replication origins reveals their organization in specific but flexible sites defined by conserved features (United States)

    Cayrou, Christelle; Coulombe, Philippe; Vigneron, Alice; Stanojcic, Slavica; Ganier, Olivier; Peiffer, Isabelle; Rivals, Eric; Puy, Aurore; Laurent-Chabalier, Sabine; Desprat, Romain; Méchali, Marcel


    In metazoans, thousands of DNA replication origins (Oris) are activated at each cell cycle. Their genomic organization and their genetic nature remain elusive. Here, we characterized Oris by nascent strand (NS) purification and a genome-wide analysis in Drosophila and mouse cells. We show that in both species most CpG islands (CGI) contain Oris, although methylation is nearly absent in Drosophila, indicating that this epigenetic mark is not crucial for defining the activated origin. Initiation of DNA synthesis starts at the borders of CGI, resulting in a striking bimodal distribution of NS, suggestive of a dual initiation event. Oris contain a unique nucleotide skew around NS peaks, characterized by G/T and C/A overrepresentation at the 5′ and 3′ of Ori sites, respectively. Repeated GC-rich elements were detected, which are good predictors of Oris, suggesting that common sequence features are part of metazoan Oris. In the heterochromatic chromosome 4 of Drosophila, Oris correlated with HP1 binding sites. At the chromosome level, regions rich in Oris are early replicating, whereas Ori-poor regions are late replicating. The genome-wide analysis was coupled with a DNA combing analysis to unravel the organization of Oris. The results indicate that Oris are in a large excess, but their activation does not occur at random. They are organized in groups of site-specific but flexible origins that define replicons, where a single origin is activated in each replicon. This organization provides both site specificity and Ori firing flexibility in each replicon, allowing possible adaptation to environmental cues and cell fates. PMID:21750104

  4. New insights into the organ-specific adverse effects of fumonisin B1: comparison between lung and liver. (United States)

    Loiseau, Nicolas; Polizzi, Arnaud; Dupuy, Aude; Therville, Nicole; Rakotonirainy, Mirindra; Loy, Jennifer; Viadere, Jean-Luc; Cossalter, Anne-Marie; Bailly, Jean-Denis; Puel, Olivier; Kolf-Clauw, Martine; Bertrand-Michel, Justine; Levade, Thierry; Guillou, Hervé; Oswald, Isabelle P


    Fumonisin B1 (FB1) is a well-known inhibitor of de novo sphingolipid biosynthesis, due to its ability to inhibit ceramide synthases (CerS) activity. In mammals, this toxin triggers broad clinical symptoms with multi-organ dysfunction such as hepatotoxicity or pulmonary edema. The molecular mechanism of CerS inhibition by FB1 remains unknown. Due to the existence of six mammalian CerS isoforms with a tissue-specific expression pattern, we postulated that the organ-specific adverse effects of FB1 might be due to different CerS isoforms. The sphingolipid contents of lung and liver were compared in normal and FB1-exposed piglets (gavage with 1.5 mg FB1/kg body weight daily for 9 days). The effect of the toxin on each CerS was deduced from the analysis of its effects on individual ceramide (Cer) and sphingomyelin (SM) species. As expected, the total Cer content decreased by half in the lungs of FB1-exposed piglets, while in contrast, total Cer increased 3.5-fold in the livers of FB1-exposed animals. Our data also indicated that FB1 is more prone to bind to CerS4 and CerS2 to deplete lung and to enrich liver in d18:1/C20:0 and d18:1/C22:0 ceramides. It also interact with CerS1 to enrich liver in d18:1/C18:0 ceramides. Cer levels were counterbalanced by those of SM. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that the specificity of the effects of FB1 on tissues and organs is due to the effects of the toxin on CerS4, CerS2, and CerS1.

  5. Assessing the radiation-induced second cancer risk in proton therapy for pediatric brain tumors: the impact of employing a patient-specific aperture in pencil beam scanning (United States)

    Geng, Changran; Moteabbed, Maryam; Xie, Yunhe; Schuemann, Jan; Yock, Torunn; Paganetti, Harald


    The purpose of this study was to compare the radiation-induced second cancer risks for in-field and out-of-field organs and tissues for pencil beam scanning (PBS) and passive scattering proton therapy (PPT) and assess the impact of adding patient-specific apertures to sharpen the penumbra in pencil beam scanning for pediatric brain tumor patients. Five proton therapy plans were created for each of three pediatric patients using PPT as well as PBS with two spot sizes (average sigma of ~17 mm and ~8 mm at isocenter) and choice of patient-specific apertures. The lifetime attributable second malignancy risks for both in-field and out-of-field tissues and organs were compared among five delivery techniques. The risk for in-field tissues was calculated using the organ equivalent dose, which is determined by the dose volume histogram. For out-of-field organs, the organ-specific dose equivalent from secondary neutrons was calculated using Monte Carlo and anthropomorphic pediatric phantoms. We find that either for small spot size PBS or for large spot size PBS, a patient-specific aperture reduces the in-field cancer risk to values lower than that for PPT. The reduction for large spot sizes (on average 43%) is larger than for small spot sizes (on average 21%). For out-of-field organs, the risk varies only marginally by employing a patient-specific aperture (on average from  -2% to 16% with increasing distance from the tumor), but is still one to two orders of magnitude lower than that for PPT. In conclusion, when pencil beam spot sizes are large, the addition of apertures to sharpen the penumbra decreases the in-field radiation-induced secondary cancer risk. There is a slight increase in out-of-field cancer risk as a result of neutron scatter from the aperture, but this risk is by far outweighed by the in-field risk benefit from using an aperture with a large PBS spot size. In general, the risk for developing a second malignancy in out-of-field organs for PBS remains

  6. Assessing the removal potential of soil-aquifer treatment systems for bulk organic matter. (United States)

    Rauch, T; Drewes, J E


    The fate of effluent organic matter (EfOM) during groundwater recharge was investigated by studying the removal behavior of four bulk organic carbon fractions isolated from a secondary effluent: Hydrophilic organic matter (HPI), hydrophobic acids (HPO-A), colloidal organic matter (OM), and soluble microbial products (SMPs). Short-term removal of the bulk organic fractions during soil infiltration was simulated in biologically active soil columns. Results revealed that the four organic fractions showed a significantly different behavior with respect to biological removal. HPI and colloidal OM were prone to biological removal during initial soil infiltration (0-30 cm) and supported soil microbial biomass growth in the infiltrative surface. Additionally, colloidal OM was partly removed by physical adsorption or filtration. HPO-A and SMPs reacted recalcitrant towards biological degradation as indicated by low soil biomass activity responses. Adsorbability assessment of the biologically refractory portions of the fractions onto powered activated carbon (PAC) indicated that physical removal is not likely to play a significantly role in further diminishing recalcitrant HPO-A, HPI and SMPs during longer travel times in the subsurface.

  7. [Emission characteristics and hazard assessment analysis of volatile organic compounds from chemical synthesis pharmaceutical industry]. (United States)

    Li, Yan; Wang, Zhe-Ming; Song, Shuang; Xu, Zhi-Rong; Xu, Ming-Zhu; Xu, Wei-Li


    In this study, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from chemical synthesis pharmaceutical industry in Taizhou, Zhejiang province were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. The total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) was in the range of 14.9-308.6 mg · m(-3). Evaluation models of ozone formation potentials (OFP) and health risk assessment were adopted to preliminarily assess the environmental impact and health risk of VOCs. The results showed that the values of OFP of VOCs were in the range of 3.1-315.1 mg · m(-3), based on the maximum incremental reactivity, the main principal contribution was toluene, tetrahydrofuran (THF), acetic ether etc. The non-carcinogenic risk and the carcinogen risk fell in the ranges of 9.48 x 10(-7)-4.98 x 10(-4) a(-1) and 3.17 x 10(-5)- 6.33 x 10(-3). The principal contribution of VOCs was benzene, formaldehyde and methylene chloride.

  8. Life Cycle Assessment of pretreatment technologies for anaerobic digestion of source-separated organic household waste

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naroznova, Irina; Møller, Jacob; Scheutz, Charlotte


    The environmental performance of two pretreatment technologies for source-separated organic waste was compared using life cycle assessment (LCA). An innovative pulping process where source-separated organic waste is pulped with cold water forming a volatile solid rich biopulp was compared to a more...... traditional pretreatment method using a screw press. The inventory of the technologies was constructed including the mass balance, amount of biogas produced, nutrient recovery rates, and produced biomass quality. The technologies were modelled in the LCA-model EASETECH and the potential environmental impacts...... including a number of non-toxic and toxic impact categories were assessed. No big difference in the overall performance of the two technologies was observed. The difference for the separate life cycle steps was, however, more pronounced. More efficient material transfer in the scenario with waste pulping...

  9. Assessing the functional diversity of herbivorous reef fishes using a compound-specific stable isotope approach

    KAUST Repository

    Tietbohl, Matthew


    Herbivorous coral reef fishes play an important role in helping to structure their environment directly by consuming algae and indirectly by promoting coral health and growth. These fishes are generally separated into three broad groups: browsers, grazers, and excavators/scrapers, with these groupings often thought to have a fixed general function and all fishes within a group thought to have similar ecological roles. This categorization assumes a high level of functional redundancy within herbivorous fishes. However, recent evidence questions the use of this broad classification scheme, and posits that there may actually be more resource partitioning within these functional groupings. Here, I use a compound-specific stable isotope approach (CSIA) to show there appears to be a greater diversity of functional roles than previously assumed within braod functional groups. The δ13C signatures from essential amino acids of reef end-members (coral, macroalgae, detritus, and phytoplankton) and fish muscle were analyzed to investigate differences in resource use between fishes. Most end-members displayed clear isotopic differences, and most fishes within functional groups were dissimilar in their isotopic signature, implying differences in the resources they target. No grazers closely resembled each other isotopically, implying a much lower level of functional redundancy within this group; scraping parrotfish were also distinct from excavating parrotfish and to a lesser degree distinct between scrapers. This study highlights the potential of CSIA to help distinguish fine-scale ecological differences within other groups of reef organisms as well. These results question the utility of lumping nominally herbivorous fishes into broad groups with assumed similar roles. Given the apparent functional differences between nominally herbivorous reef fishes, it is important for managers to incorporate the diversity of functional roles these fish play.

  10. Histopathological assessment of C57Bl/J mice organs exposed to tannery effluents


    Joyce Moreira de Souza; Abraão Tiago Batista Guimarães; Wellington Alves Mizael da Silva; Bruna de Oliveira Mendes; Dieferson da Costa Estrela; Aline Sueli de Lima Rodrigues; Adriana da Silva Santos; Guilherme Malafaia


    The effluent produced in tanneries can cause environmental damage and public health problems when disposed of improperly. However, few toxicological studies have evaluated the effects of the intake of tannery wastewater by mammals. The objective of this study is the histological assessment of organs of C57Bl/J mice exposed to the intake of different concentrations of raw tannery effluents, beginning with the hypothesis that these effluents can cause damage to the histological structure of the...

  11. Species-specific production of microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC) by airborne fungi from a compost facility. (United States)

    Fischer, G; Schwalbe, R; Möller, M; Ostrowski, R; Dott, W


    Thirteen airborne fungal species frequently isolated in composting plants were screened for microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC), i.e., Aspergillus candidus, A. fumigatus, A. versicolor, Emericella nidulans, Paecilomyces variotii, Penicillium brevicompactum, Penicillium clavigerum, Penicillium crustosum, Penicillium cyclopium, Penicillium expansum, Penicillium glabrum, Penicillium verruculosum, and Tritirachium oryzae. Air samples from pure cultures were sorbed on Tenax GR and analyzed by thermal desorption in combination with GC/MS. Various hydrocarbons of different chemical groups and a large number of terpenes were identified. Some compounds such as 3-methyl-1-butanol and 1-octen-3-ol were produced by a number of species, whereas some volatiles were specific for single species. An inventory of microbial metabolites will allow identification of potential health hazards due to an exposure to fungal propagules and metabolites in the workplace. Moreover, species-specific volatiles may serve as marker compounds for the selective detection of fungal species in indoor domestic and working environments.

  12. Assessment of concentration mechanisms for organic wastes in underground storage tanks at Hanford

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gerber, M.A.; Burger, L.L.; Nelson, D.A.; Ryan, J.L. (Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States)); Zollars, R.L. (Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA (United States))


    Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) has conducted an initial conservative evaluation of physical and chemical processes that could lead to significant localized concentrations of organic waste constituents in the Hanford underground storage tanks (USTs). This evaluation was part of ongoing studies at Hanford to assess potential safety risks associated with USTs containing organics. Organics in the tanks could pose a potential problem if localized concentrations are high enough to propagate combustion and are in sufficient quantity to produce a large heat and/or gas release if in contact with a suitable oxidant. The major sources of oxidants are oxygen in the overhead gas space of the tanks and sodium nitrate and nitrite either as salt cake solids or dissolved in the supernatant and interstitial liquids.

  13. Framework for assessment of organic Micropollutant removals during managed Aquifer recharge and recovery

    KAUST Repository

    Maeng, Sungkyu


    Managed aquifer recharge and recovery (MAR) is a reliable and proven process, in which water quality can be improved by different physical, biological, and chemical reactions during soil passage. MAR can potentially be included in a multi-barrier treatment system for organic micropollutant (OMP) removal in drinking water treatment and wastewater reuse schemes. However, there is a need to develop assessment tools to help implement MAR as an effective barrier in attenuating different OMPs including pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors. In this study, guidelines were developed for different classes of organic micropollutants, in which removal efficiencies of these compounds are determined as a function of travel times and distances. Moreover, a quantitative structure activity relationship (QSAR) based model was proposed to predict the removals of organic micropollutants by MAR. The QSAR approach is especially useful for compounds with little information about their fate during soil passage. Such an assessment framework for organic micropollutant removal is useful for adapting MAR as a multi-objective (-contaminant) barrier and understanding different classes of compounds during soil passage and the determination of post treatment requirements for MAR. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011.

  14. Development and assessment of quantitative structureactivity relationship models for bioconcentration factors of organic pollutants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    QIN Hong; CHEN JingWen; WANG Ying; WANG Bin; LI XueHua; LI Fei; WANG YaNan


    Bioconcentration factors (BCFs) are of great importance for ecological risk assessment of organic chemicals. In this study, a quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) model for fish BCFs of 8 groups of compounds was developed employing partial least squares (PLS) regression, based on lin-ear solvation energy relationship (LSER) theory and theoretical molecular structural descriptors. The guidelines for development and validation of QSAR models proposed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) were followed. The model results show that the main factors governing IogBCF are Connolly molecular area (CMA), average molecular polarizability (α) and mo-lecular weight (Mw). Thus molecular size plays a critical role in affecting the bioconcentration of organic pollutants in fish. For the established model, the multiple correlation coefficient square (R2Y)2=0.868, the root mean square error (RMSE)=0.553 log units, and the leave-many-out cross-validated Q2CUM=0.860, indicating its good goodness-of-fit and robustness. The model predictivity was evaluated by external validation, with the external explained variance (Q2EXT)=0.755 and RMSE=0.647 log units. Moreover, the applicability domain of the developed model was assessed and visualized by the Williams plot. The developed QSAR model can be used to predict fish logBCF for organic chemicals within the application domain.

  15. Assessment of Site Specific Mutational Effect on Transcription Initiation at Escherichia coli Promoter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Kannan


    Full Text Available Problem statement: It is widely accepted thought that the weak promoters control the RNA synthesis and play regulatory role in complex genetic networks in bacterial system. An experiment had been designed to address whether mutations in the -16/-17 region affect the rate of transcription at an activator-independent promoter in E. coli or not? Approach: The aim of this study was to determine whether mutations in the -16/-17 region affect the rate of expression at an activator-dependent promoter in JM109 strain of E. coli. Primers were constructed to amplify the mutant promoter genes through PCR. The amplified PCR product was checked and then inserted into the MCS region of pAA128 plasmid. Further the plasmid vector was transformed into JM109 strain of E. coli and then cloned the selected transformats. Finally, the plasmid from each mutant colony was then sequenced using the protocol supplied with the Amersham Pharmacia Biotech T7 sequencing Kit. The JM109 cultures for which the sequences were determined, then assayed for ß-galactosidase activity to assess the rate of gene expression from the altered promoters. Results: The present investigation revealed that the extended-10 promoter region has a substantial effect on the rate of transcription at weak promoter sequence and also bearing little resemblance to the consensus sequence recognized by RNA. The expression of the genetically engineered plasmid proved that the 2 bps (-16 and -17 base pair found adjacently upstream of the extended-10 promoter have an effect on the level of transcription. This was achieved by site specific base substitutions into the weak promoter of a modified lac operon lacking any activator or repressor binding sites. The results from gene expression assays of several mutants showed a distinct preference for either GG or TT located adjacently upstream of the extended promoter element. Thus the present study emphasized that

  16. Formative Assessment as a Vehicle for Changing Classroom Practice in a Specific Cultural Context (United States)

    Chen, Jingping


    In this commentary, I interpret Xinying Yin and Gayle Ann Buck's collaborative action research from a social-cultural perspective. Classroom implementation of formative assessment is viewed as interaction between this assessment method and the local learning culture. I first identify Yin and Buck's definition of the formative assessment, and then…

  17. A site-specific ecological risk assessment for corn-associated insecticides. (United States)

    Whiting, Sara A; Lydy, Michael J


    A site-specific ecological risk assessment (ERA) was conducted to examine the simultaneous use of genetically modified corn (Bt corn) with a neonicotinoid seed coating, clothianidin, and use of a granular insecticide, tefluthrin, to protect crops from pest damage. A field study was conducted on site, and exposure data from the literature were summarized to determine the matrices and exposure concentrations that nontarget species could typically experience within an agricultural ecosystem. To determine ecological effects on nontarget species, acute toxicity bioassays were conducted on earthworms (Eisenia fetida), amphipods (Hyalella azteca), and Elmid riffle beetle larvae (Ancyronyx spp.) in which the test species were exposed to single insecticides as well as the mixture of the 3 insecticides. In the risk characterization section of the ERA, stressor-response profiles for each species tested were compared with field distributions of the insecticides, and a margin of safety at the 10th percentile (MOS10) was calculated to estimate risk. No acute toxicity was observed in any of the 3 nontarget species after exposure to senescent Bt corn leaf tissue. Large MOS10 values were calculated for clothianidin to the nontarget species. When bioassays were compared with tefluthrin field distributions, very low MOS10 values were calculated for earthworms (0.06) and H. azteca (0.08) because the environmental concentrations often exceeded the stressor-response profile. No increased toxicity was observed when nontarget species were exposed to a mixture of the 3 insecticides. In summary, the genetically modified corn insecticidal proteins and clothianidin were not found at environmental concentrations exceeding benchmark values for ecological effects, but tefluthrin was consistently detected in the environment at levels that could be causing toxicity to nontarget species, especially if this pyrethroid is able to travel off site.

  18. Comparative toxicology of laboratory organisms for assessing hazardous-waste sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, W.E.; Peterson, S.A.; Greene, J.C.; Callahan, C.A.


    Multi-media/multi-trophic level bioassays have been proposed to determine the extent and severity of environmental contamination at hazardous waste sites. Comparative toxicological profiles for algae, daphnia, earthworms, microbes, mixed sewage and plants; wheat Stephens, lettuce, butter crunch, radish, Cherry Belle, red clover, Kenland, and cucumber, Spartan Valor are presented for selected heavy metals, herbicides and insecticides. Specific chemical EC50 values are presented for each test organism. Differences in standard deviations were compared between each individual test organism, as well as for the chemical subgroup assayed. Algae and daphnia are the most sensitive test organisms to heavy metals and insecticides followed in order of decreasing sensitivity by Microtox, DO depletion rate, seed germination and earthworms. Differences in toxicity of 2,4-D chemical formulations and commercial sources of insecticides were observed with algae and daphnia tests.

  19. Assessing Impacts of 20 yr Old Miscanthus on Soil Organic Carbon Quality (United States)

    Hu, Yaxian; Schäfer, Gerhard; Kuhn, Nikolaus


    The use of biomass as a renewable energy source has become increasingly popular in Upper Rhine Region to meet the demand for renewable energy. Miscanthus is one of the most favorite biofuel crops, due to its long life and large yields, as well as low energy and fertilizer inputs. However, current research on Miscanthus is mostly focused on the techniques and economics to produce biofuel or the impacts of side products such as ash and sulfur emissions to human health. Research on the potential impacts of Miscanthus onto soil quality, especially carbon quality after long-term adoption, is very limited. Some positive benefits, such as sequestrating organic carbon, have been repeatedly reported in previous research. Yet the quality of newly sequestrated organic carbon and its potential impacts onto global carbon cycling remain unclear. To fully account for the risks and benefits of Miscanthus, it is required to investigate the quality as well as the potential CO2 emissions of soil organic carbon on Miscanthus fields. As a part of the Interreg Project to assess the environmental impacts of biomass production in the Upper Rhine Region, this study aims to evaluate the carbon quality and the potential CO2 emissions after long-term Miscanthus adoption. Soils were sampled at 0-10, 10-40, 40-70, and 70-100 cm depths on three Miscanthus fields with up to 20 years of cultivation in Ammerzwiller France, Münchenstein Switzerland, and Farnsburg Switzerland. Soil texture, pH, organic carbon and nitrogen content were measured for each sampled layer. Topsoils of 0-10 cm and subsoils of 10-40 cm were also incubated for 40 days to determine the mineralization potential of the soil organic matter. Our results show that: 1) only in top soils of 0-10 cm, the 20 year old Miscanthus field has significantly higher soil organic carbon concentrations, than the control site. No significant differences were observed in deeper soil layers. Similar tendencies were also observed for organic

  20. Risk management & organizational uncertainty implications for the assessment of high consequence organizations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bennett, C.T.


    Post hoc analyses have demonstrated clearly that macro-system, organizational processes have played important roles in such major catastrophes as Three Mile Island, Bhopal, Exxon Valdez, Chernobyl, and Piper Alpha. How can managers of such high-consequence organizations as nuclear power plants and nuclear explosives handling facilities be sure that similar macro-system processes are not operating in their plants? To date, macro-system effects have not been integrated into risk assessments. Part of the reason for not using macro-system analyses to assess risk may be the impression that standard organizational measurement tools do not provide hard data that can be managed effectively. In this paper, I argue that organizational dimensions, like those in ISO 9000, can be quantified and integrated into standard risk assessments.

  1. Assessment of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and Conventional Practices under Organic and Inorganic Management in Japan

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tejendra CHAPAGAIN; Andrew RISEMAN; Eiii YAMAJI


    The system of rice intensification (SRI) is a production system that involves the adoption of certain changes in management practices for rice cultivation that create a better growing environment for the crop.This system was compared with conventional practices and assessed under organic and inorganic management.SRI practices showed significant response in root number,number of effective tillers per hill,days to flowering and harvest index.In addition,SRI was found effective in minimizing pest and disease incidence,shortening the crop cycle,and improving plant stand.Grain yield was not different from conventional method.Except for harvest index and plant lodging percentage,there were no significant effects from management treatments.Synergistic responses were noted when SRI practices were combined with organic management for plant height,number of effective tillers per hill,days to flowering and to maturity.The improved panicle characteristics,lower plant lodging percentage and higher harvest index that ultimately led to comparable grain yields.Net returns increased approximately 1.5 times for SRI-organic management regardless of the added labor requirements for weed control.However,comparatively higher grain yield from conventional-inorganic methods underscore the need for further investigations in defining what constitutes an optimum set of practices for an SRIorganic system specifically addressing grain yield and weed management.

  2. Bio-luminescent imaging and characterization of organ-specific metastasis of human cancer in NOD/SCID mice (United States)

    Chun, Nicole A. L.; Murakami, Takashi


    Many clinical evidences demonstrate that the sites of distant metastasis are not random and certain malignant tumors show a tendency to develop metastases in specific organs (e.g., brain, liver, and lungs). However, an appropriate animal model to characterize the metastatic nature of transplantable human cancer cell lines has not been reported well. Recent advances in bio-luminescent imaging (BLI) technologies have facilitated the quantitative analysis of various cellular processes in vivo. To visualize the fate of tumor progression in the living mice, we are constructing a luciferaseexpressing human cancer cell library (including melanoma, colon, breast, and prostate cancer). Herein we demonstrate that the BLI technology in couple with a fine ultrasonic guidance realizes cancer cell-type dependent metastasis to the specific organs. For example, some melanoma cell lines showed frequent metastasis to brain, lungs, and lymph nodes in the mouse model. Notably, reflecting the clinical features of melanoma, breast, and prostate cancer, some of the cell lines showed preferential metastasis to the brain. Moreover, these cellular resources for BLI allow a high throughput screening for potential anti-cancer drugs. Thus, this BLI-mediated additional strategy with the luciferase-expressing cancer cell resources should promote many translational studies for human cancer therapy.

  3. Adsorption onto Activated Carbon Fiber Cloth and Electrothermal Desorption of Volatile Organic Compound (VOCs): A Specific Review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Pierre Le Cloirec


    A general research program, focusing on activated carbon fiber cloths (ACFC) and felt for environmental protection was performed. The objectives were multiple: (i) a better understanding of the adsorption mecha- nisms of these kinds of materials; (ii) the specification and optimization of new processes using these adsorbents; (iii) the modeling of the adsorption of organic pollutants using both the usual and original approaches; (iv) applications of ACFC in industrial processes. The general question was: how can activated carbon fiber cloths and felts be used in air treatment processes for the protection of environment. In order to provide an answer, different approaches were adopted. The materials (ACFC) were characterized in terms of macro structure and internal porosity. Specific studies were performed to get the air flow pattern through the fabrics. Head loss data were generated and modeled as a fi.mction of air velocity. The performances of ACF to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were approached with the adsorption isotherms and breakthrough curves in various operating conditions. Regenera- tion by Joule effect shows a homogenous heating of adsorber modules with rolled or pleated layers. Examples of industrial developments were presented showing an interesting technology for the removal of VOCs, such as dichloromethane, benzene, isopropyl alcohol and toluene, alone or in a complex mixture.

  4. Transport of Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Source-specific Indicator Organisms, and Standard Water Quality Constituents During Storm Events (United States)

    Sturdevant-Rees, P. L.; Bourdeau, D.; Baker, R.; Long, S. C.; Barten, P. K.


    Microbial and water-quality measurements are collected during storm events under a variety of meteorological and land-use conditions in order to 1) identify risk of Cryptosporidium oocysts, Giardia cysts and other constituents, including microbial indicator organisms, entering surface waters from various land uses during periods of surface runoff; 2) optimize storm sampling procedures for these parameters; and 3) optimize strategies for accurate determination of constituent loads. The investigation is focused on four isolated land uses: forested with free ranging wildlife, beaver influenced forested with free ranging wildlife, residential/commercial, and dairy farm grazing/pastureland using an upstream and downstream sampling strategy. Traditional water-quality analyses include pH, temperature, turbidity, conductivity, total suspended solids, total phosphorus, total Kjeldahl-nitrogen, and ammonia nitrogen, Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts. Total coliforms and fecal coliforms are measured as industry standard microbial analyses. Sorbitol-fermenting Bifidobacteria, Rhodococcus coprophilus, Clostridium perfringens spores, and Somatic and F-specific coliphages are measured at select sites as potential alternative source-specific indicator organisms. Upon completion of the project, the final database will consist of wet weather transport data for a set of parameters during twenty-four distinct storm-events in addition to monthly baseline data. A subset of the results to date will be presented, with focus placed on demonstrating the impact of beaver on constituent loadings over a variety of hydrologic and meteorological conditions.

  5. Comparative genomic organization and tissue-specific transcription of the duplicated fabp7 and fabp10 genes in teleost fishes. (United States)

    Parmar, Manoj B; Wright, Jonathan M


    A whole-genome duplication (WGD) early in the teleost fish lineage makes fish ideal organisms to study the fate of duplicated genes and underlying evolutionary trajectories that have led to the retention of ohnologous gene duplicates in fish genomes. Here, we compare the genomic organization and tissue-specific transcription of the ohnologous fabp7 and fabp10 genes in medaka, three-spined stickleback, and spotted green pufferfish to the well-studied duplicated fabp7 and fabp10 genes of zebrafish. Teleost fabp7 and fabp10 genes contain four exons interrupted by three introns. Polypeptide sequences of Fabp7 and Fabp10 show the highest sequence identity and similarity with their orthologs from vertebrates. Orthology was evident as the ohnologous Fabp7 and Fabp10 polypeptides of teleost fishes each formed distinct clades and clustered together with their orthologs from other vertebrates in a phylogenetic tree. Furthermore, ohnologous teleost fabp7 and fabp10 genes exhibit conserved gene synteny with human FABP7 and chicken FABP10, respectively, which provides compelling evidence that the duplicated fabp7 and fabp10 genes of teleost fishes most likely arose from the well-documented WGD. The tissue-specific distribution of fabp7a, fabp7b, fabp10a, and fabp10b transcripts provides evidence of diverged spatial transcriptional regulation between ohnologous gene duplicates of fabp7 and fabp10 in teleost fishes.

  6. Bioanalytical and chemical assessment of the disinfection by-product formation potential: role of organic matter. (United States)

    Farré, Maria José; Day, Sophie; Neale, Peta A; Stalter, Daniel; Tang, Janet Y M; Escher, Beate I


    Disinfection by-products (DBP) formed from natural organic matter and disinfectants like chlorine and chloramine may cause adverse health effects. Here, we evaluate how the quantity and quality of natural organic matter and other precursors influence the formation of DBPs during chlorination and chloramination using a comprehensive approach including chemical analysis of regulated and emerging DBPs, total organic halogen quantification, organic matter characterisation and bioanalytical tools. In vitro bioassays allow us to assess the hazard potential of DBPs early in the chain of cellular events, when the DBPs react with their molecular target(s) and activate stress response and defence mechanisms. Given the reactive properties of known DBPs, a suite of bioassays targeting reactive modes of toxic action including genotoxicity and sensitive early warning endpoints such as protein damage and oxidative stress were evaluated in addition to cytotoxicity. Coagulated surface water was collected from three different drinking water treatment plants, along with reverse osmosis permeate from a desalination plant, and DBP formation potential was assessed after chlorination and chloramination. While effects were low or below the limit of detection before disinfection, the observed effects and DBP levels increased after disinfection and were generally higher after chlorination than after chloramination, indicating that chlorination forms higher concentrations of DBPs or more potent DBPs in the studied waters. Bacterial cytotoxicity, assessed using the bioluminescence inhibition assay, and induction of the oxidative stress response were the most sensitive endpoints, followed by genotoxicity. Source waters with higher dissolved organic carbon levels induced increased DBP formation and caused greater effects in the endpoints related to DNA damage repair, glutathione conjugation/protein damage and the Nrf2 oxidative stress response pathway after disinfection. Fractionation studies

  7. Organ-specific phosphorus-allocation patterns and transcript profiles linked to phosphorus efficiency in two contrasting wheat genotypes. (United States)

    Aziz, Tariq; Finnegan, Patrick M; Lambers, Hans; Jost, Ricarda


    Recent studies have identified genotypic variation in phosphorus (P) efficiency, but rarely have the underlying mechanisms been described at the molecular level. We demonstrate that the highly P-efficient wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivar Chinese 80-55 maintains higher inorganic phosphate (Pi ) concentrations in all organs upon Pi withdrawal in combination with higher Pi acquisition in the presence of Pi when compared with the less-efficient cultivar Machete. These findings correlated with differential organ-specific expression of Pi transporters TaPHT1;2, TaPHT1;5, TaPHT1;8, TaPHT2;1 and H(+) -ATPase TaHa1. Observed transcript level differences between the cultivars suggest that higher de novo phospholipid biosynthetic activities in Pi -limited elongating basal leaf sections are another crucial adaptation in Chinese 80-55 for sustaining growth upon Pi withdrawal. These activities may be supported through enhanced breakdown of starch in Chinese 80-55 stems as suggested by higher TaGPho1 transcript levels. Chinese 80-55 fine roots on the other hand show strong suppression of transcripts involved in glycolysis, transcriptional regulation and ribosomal activities. Our work reveals major differences in the way the two contrasting cultivars allocate Pi and organic P compounds between source and sink tissues and in the acclimation of their metabolism to changes in Pi availability.

  8. Spatial organization of the cytoskeleton enhances cargo delivery to specific target areas on the plasma membrane of spherical cells (United States)

    Hafner, Anne E.; Rieger, Heiko


    Intracellular transport is vital for the proper functioning and survival of a cell. Cargo (proteins, vesicles, organelles, etc) is transferred from its place of creation to its target locations via molecular motor assisted transport along cytoskeletal filaments. The transport efficiency is strongly affected by the spatial organization of the cytoskeleton, which constitutes an inhomogeneous, complex network. In cells with a centrosome microtubules grow radially from the central microtubule organizing center towards the cell periphery whereas actin filaments form a dense meshwork, the actin cortex, underneath the cell membrane with a broad range of orientations. The emerging ballistic motion along filaments is frequently interrupted due to constricting intersection nodes or cycles of detachment and reattachment processes in the crowded cytoplasm. In order to investigate the efficiency of search strategies established by the cell’s specific spatial organization of the cytoskeleton we formulate a random velocity model with intermittent arrest states. With extensive computer simulations we analyze the dependence of the mean first passage times for narrow escape problems on the structural characteristics of the cytoskeleton, the motor properties and the fraction of time spent in each state. We find that an inhomogeneous architecture with a small width of the actin cortex constitutes an efficient intracellular search strategy.

  9. Assessment of the direct effects of biogenic and petrogenic activated carbon on benthic organisms. (United States)

    Lillicrap, Adam; Schaanning, Morten; Macken, Ailbhe


    Activated carbon (AC) has long been associated with the capacity to effectively remove organic substances from aquatic and sediment matrices; however, its use in remediation purposes has drawn some concern due to possible impacts on benthic communities. Within the inner Oslofjord, the use of AC has been well documented for reducing the risks associated with dioxins or dioxin-like compounds from contaminated areas. However, benthic surveys performed on areas treated with AC have revealed that the abundance of organisms inhabiting these areas can be reduced significantly in the subsequent years following treatment. The reason for the reduction in the benthic communities is currently unknown, and therefore, an integrated approach to assess the effects of 2 different forms of AC (biogenic and petrogenic) on benthic organisms has been performed. A battery of 3 different benthic organisms with different feeding and life-cycle processes has been used encompassing sediment surface feeders, sediment ingestors, and sediment reworkers. Results of the tests indicated that although AC is not acutely toxic at concentrations up to 1000 mg/L, there may be physical effects of the substance on benthic dwelling organisms at environmentally relevant concentrations of AC at remediated sites.

  10. Organic dust exposures from compost handling: case presentation and respiratory exposure assessment. (United States)

    Weber, S; Kullman, G; Petsonk, E; Jones, W G; Olenchock, S; Sorenson, W; Parker, J; Marcelo-Baciu, R; Frazer, D; Castranova, V


    Inhalation of dust from contaminated organic materials may result in acute respiratory tract illness. Possible mechanisms include toxic and cellular reactions to microbial and other organic products or immunologic responses after prior sensitization to an antigen. A case is presented of a 52 year old male who developed fever, myalgia, and marked dyspnea 12 hr after shoveling composted wood chips and leaves. Inspiratory crackles, hypoxemia, and bilateral patchy pulmonary infiltrates were seen. Precipitating antibody tests for the usual antigens were inconclusive. He improved over 3 days. In order to assess the environmental conditions the patient had experienced, we returned to the site to reproduce and measure respiratory exposures during hand loading of the compost. Visible clouds of fine particulate were easily generated during handling activities. Microscopic examination of these dusts indicated a predominance of spores. Endotoxin concentrations from inspirable and respirable dust samples ranged from 636 to 16,300 endotoxin units/m3. Levels of contaminants found were consistent with those associated with respiratory illness in other agricultural settings. Two respiratory disorders, hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) and organic dust toxic syndrome (ODTS), may occur after exposure to organic dusts containing fungal spores and endotoxins. Despite extensive clinical and environmental investigations, we were unable to differentiate these two disorders, and suggest they may represent parts of a spectrum of responses to complex organic dusts, rather than completely distinct clinical entities.

  11. [Organizational well-being and work-related stress in health care organizations: validation of the Work-related Stress Assessment Scale]. (United States)

    Coluccia, Anna; Lorini, Francesca; Ferretti, Fabio; Pozza, Andrea; Gaetani, Marco


    The issue of the assessment of work-related stress has stimulated in recent years, the production of several theoretical paradigms and assessment tools. In this paper we present a new scale for the assessment of organizational well-being and work-related stress specific for healthcare organizations (Work-related Stress Assessment Scale - WSAS). The goal of the authors is to examine the psychometric properties of the scale, so that it can be used in the healthcare setting as a work-related stress assessment tool. The answers of 230 healthcare professionals belonging to different roles have been analyzed. The study was realized in 16 Units of the University Hospital "S. Maria alle Scotte "of Siena. The exploratory factor analysis (EFA) revealed the presence of five factors with good internal consistency and reliability, "relationship to the structure of proximity" (α = 0.93) "change" (α = 0.92), "organization of work "(α = 0.81)," relationship with the company / Governance "(α = 0.87)" working environment "(α = 0.83). The analysis of SEM (Structural Equation Models) has confirmed the goodness of the factor solution (NNFI = 0.835, CFI = 0.921, RMSEA = 0.060). The good psychometric qualities, the shortness and simplicity of the scale WSAS makes it a useful aid in the assessment of work-related stress in health care organizations.

  12. Assessment of soil organic carbon stocks under future climate and land cover changes in Europe. (United States)

    Yigini, Yusuf; Panagos, Panos


    Soil organic carbon plays an important role in the carbon cycling of terrestrial ecosystems, variations in soil organic carbon stocks are very important for the ecosystem. In this study, a geostatistical model was used for predicting current and future soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks in Europe. The first phase of the study predicts current soil organic carbon content by using stepwise multiple linear regression and ordinary kriging and the second phase of the study projects the soil organic carbon to the near future (2050) by using a set of environmental predictors. We demonstrate here an approach to predict present and future soil organic carbon stocks by using climate, land cover, terrain and soil data and their projections. The covariates were selected for their role in the carbon cycle and their availability for the future model. The regression-kriging as a base model is predicting current SOC stocks in Europe by using a set of covariates and dense SOC measurements coming from LUCAS Soil Database. The base model delivers coefficients for each of the covariates to the future model. The overall model produced soil organic carbon maps which reflect the present and the future predictions (2050) based on climate and land cover projections. The data of the present climate conditions (long-term average (1950-2000)) and the future projections for 2050 were obtained from WorldClim data portal. The future climate projections are the recent climate projections mentioned in the Fifth Assessment IPCC report. These projections were extracted from the global climate models (GCMs) for four representative concentration pathways (RCPs). The results suggest an overall increase in SOC stocks by 2050 in Europe (EU26) under all climate and land cover scenarios, but the extent of the increase varies between the climate model and emissions scenarios.

  13. Evaluation of military field-water quality: Volume 6, Infectious organisms of military concern associated with nonconsumptive exposure: Assessment of health risks and recommendations for establishing related standards

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cooper, R.C.; Olivieri, A.W.; Danielson, R.E.; Badger, P.G.


    This study is an assessment of the risk of illness due to exposure to water-related (i.e., water-based, water-washed) infectious organisms. The organisms under consideration are Aeromonas spp., Leptospira spp., Pseudomonas spp., Staphylococcus spp., non-cholerae Vibrio spp., Acanthamoeba spp., Balantidium coli, Naegleria spp., Ascaris lumbricoides, Dracunculus medinesis, Schistosoma spp., and the agents responsible for cercarial dermatitis (i.e., Trichobilharzia, Gigantobilharzia, and Austrobilharzia). Evaluation of the risk to disease associated with the above pathogens requires information in specific areas such as dose response, concentration of agents in the environment, and environmental persistence. The existing body of knowledge concerning these agents ranges from speculation to established fact. Unfortunately, areas of information critical to risk assessment are frequently unavailable. Because of this lack of data, the risk assessment presented is semiquantitative and limited to the presentation of an environmental classification scheme. 14 refs., 2 figs., 57 tabs.

  14. Organ-specific external dose coefficients and protective apron transmission factors for historical dose reconstruction for medical personnel. (United States)

    Simon, Steven L


    While radiation absorbed dose (Gy) to the skin or other organs is sometimes estimated for patients from diagnostic radiologic examinations or therapeutic procedures, rarely is occupationally-received radiation absorbed dose to individual organs/tissues estimated for medical personnel; e.g., radiologic technologists or radiologists. Generally, for medical personnel, equivalent or effective radiation doses are estimated for compliance purposes. In the very few cases when organ doses to medical personnel are reconstructed, the data is usually for the purpose of epidemiologic studies; e.g., a study of historical doses and risks to a cohort of about 110,000 radiologic technologists presently underway at the U.S. National Cancer Institute. While ICRP and ICRU have published organ-specific external dose conversion coefficients (DCCs) (i.e., absorbed dose to organs and tissues per unit air kerma and dose equivalent per unit air kerma), those factors have been published primarily for mono-energetic photons at selected energies. This presents two related problems for historical dose reconstruction, both of which are addressed here. It is necessary to derive conversion factor values for (1) continuous distributions of energy typical of diagnostic medical x-rays (bremsstrahlung radiation), and (2) energies of particular radioisotopes used in medical procedures, neither of which are presented in published tables. For derivation of DCCs for bremsstrahlung radiation, combinations of x-ray tube potentials and filtrations were derived for different time periods based on a review of relevant literature. Three peak tube potentials (70 kV, 80 kV, and 90 kV) with four different amounts of beam filtration were determined to be applicable for historic dose reconstruction. The probabilities of these machine settings were assigned to each of the four time periods (earlier than 1949, 1949-1954, 1955-1968, and after 1968). Continuous functions were fit to each set of discrete values of the

  15. WAG 2 remedial investigation and site investigation site-specific work plan/health and safety checklist for the ecological assessment task, Kingfisher Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holt, V.L.; Baron, L.A.


    This report provides specific details and requirements for the WAG 2 remedial investigation and site investigation Ecological Assessment Task, Kingfisher Study, including information that will contribute to safe completion of the project. The report includes historical background; a site map; project organization; task descriptions and hazard evaluations; controls; and monitoring, personal protective equipment, decontamination, and medical surveillance program requirements. The report also includes descriptions of site personnel and their certifications as well as suspected WAG 2 contaminants and their characteristics. The primary objective of the WAG 2 Kingfisher Study is to assess the feasibility of using kingfishers as biological monitors of contaminants on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). Kingfisher sample collection will be used to determine the levels of contaminants and degree of bioaccumulation within a common piscivorous bird feeding on contaminated fish from streams on the ORR.

  16. Assessing cost-effectiveness of specific LID practice designs in response to large storm events (United States)

    Chui, Ting Fong May; Liu, Xin; Zhan, Wenting


    Low impact development (LID) practices have become more important in urban stormwater management worldwide. However, most research on design optimization focuses on relatively large scale, and there is very limited information or guideline regarding individual LID practice designs (i.e., optimal depth, width and length). The objective of this study is to identify the optimal design by assessing the hydrological performance and the cost-effectiveness of different designs of LID practices at a household or business scale, and to analyze the sensitivity of the hydrological performance and the cost of the optimal design to different model and design parameters. First, EPA SWMM, automatically controlled by MATLAB, is used to obtain the peak runoff of different designs of three specific LID practices (i.e., green roof, bioretention and porous pavement) under different design storms (i.e., 2 yr and 50 yr design storms of Hong Kong, China and Seattle, U.S.). Then, life cycle cost is estimated for the different designs, and the optimal design, defined as the design with the lowest cost and at least 20% peak runoff reduction, is identified. Finally, sensitivity of the optimal design to the different design parameters is examined. The optimal design of green roof tends to be larger in area but thinner, while the optimal designs of bioretention and porous pavement tend to be smaller in area. To handle larger storms, however, it is more effective to increase the green roof depth, and to increase the area of the bioretention and porous pavement. Porous pavement is the most cost-effective for peak flow reduction, followed by bioretention and then green roof. The cost-effectiveness, measured as the peak runoff reduction/thousand Dollars of LID practices in Hong Kong (e.g., 0.02 L/103 US s, 0.15 L/103 US s and 0.93 L/103 US s for green roof, bioretention and porous pavement for 2 yr storm) is lower than that in Seattle (e.g., 0.03 L/103 US s, 0.29 L/103 US s and 1.58 L/103 US s for

  17. A probabilistic seismic hazard assessment for Greece and the surrounding region including site-specific considerations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Mäntyniemi


    Full Text Available A probabilistic approach was applied to map the seismic hazard in Greece and the surrounding region. The procedure does not require any specification of seismic sources or/and seismic zones and allows for the use of the whole seismological record, comprising both historical and instrumental data, available for the region of interest. The new seismic hazard map prepared for Greece and its vicinity specifies a 10% probability of exceedance of the given Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA values for shallow seismicity and intermediate soil conditions for an exposure time of 50 years. When preparing the map, the new PGA attenuation relation given by Margaris et al. (2001 was employed. The new map shows a spatial distribution of the seismic hazard that corresponds well with the features of shallow seismicity within the examined region. It depicts the level of seismic hazard in which the exceedance of the PGA value of 0.25 g may be expected to occur within limited areas. The highest estimated levels of seismic hazard inside the territory of Greece are found in the Northern Sporades Islands, where PGA values in excess of 0.50 g are reached at individual sites, and in the Zante Island in Western Greece, where PGA values in the range of 0.35 g to 0.40 g are obtained at more numerous localities. High values are also observed in the sea between the Karpathos and Rhodes islands, near the Island of Amorgos (Cyclades Archipelago and in the Southwestern Peloponnesus. The levels of seismic hazard at the sites of seven Greek cities (Athens, Jannena, Kalamata, Kozani, Larisa, Rhodes and Thessaloniki were also estimated in terms of probabilities that a given PGA value will be exceeded at least once during a time interval of 1, 50 and 100 years at those sites. These probabilities were based on the maximum horizontal PGA values obtained by applying the design earthquake procedure, and the respective median values obtained were 0.24 g for Athens, 0.28 g

  18. Chemical and toxicologic assessment of organic contaminants in surface water using passive samplers (United States)

    Alvarez, D.A.; Cranor, W.L.; Perkins, S.D.; Clark, R.C.; Smith, S.B.


    Passive sampling methodologies were used to conduct a chemical and toxicologic assessment of organic contaminants in the surface waters of three geographically distinct agricultural watersheds. A selection of current-use agrochemicals and persistent organic pollutants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, and organochlorine pesticides, were targeted using the polar organic chemical integrative sampler (POCIS) and the semipermeable membrane device passive samplers. In addition to the chemical analysis, the Microtox assay for acute toxicity and the yeast estrogen screen (YES) were conducted as potential assessment tools in combination with the passive samplers. During the spring of 2004, the passive samplers were deployed for 29 to 65 d at Leary Weber Ditch, IN; Morgan Creek, MD; and DR2 Drain, WA. Chemical analysis of the sampler extracts identified the agrochemicals predominantly used in those areas, including atrazine, simazine, acetochlor, and metolachlor. Other chemicals identified included deethylatrazine and deisopropylatrazine, trifluralin, fluoranthene, pyrene, cis- and trans-nonachlor, and pentachloroanisole. Screening using Microtox resulted in no acutely toxic samples. POCIS samples screened by the YES assay failed to elicit a positive estrogenic response. Copyright ?? 2008 by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. All rights reserved.

  19. Evaluating the Use of Criteria for Assessing Profession-Specific Communication Skills in Pharmacy (United States)

    Hyvarinen, Marja-Leena; Tanskanen, Paavo; Katajavuori, Nina; Isotalus, Pekka


    One central task in higher education is to provide students with interpersonal communication competence in their profession. To achieve this, specialised training, based on an understanding of disciplinary communication practices and appropriate assessment methods, is needed. However, there is a lack of reliable assessment instruments which are…

  20. A Classroom-Based Assessment Method to Test Speaking Skills in English for Specific Purposes (United States)

    Alberola Colomar, María Pilar


    This article presents and analyses a classroom-based assessment method to test students' speaking skills in a variety of professional settings in tourism. The assessment system has been implemented in the Communication in English for Tourism course, as part of the Tourism Management degree programme, at Florida Universitaria (affiliated to the…

  1. 40 CFR 79.62 - Subchronic toxicity study with specific health effect assessments. (United States)


    ... will provide screening information on target organ toxicities and on concentration levels useful for... through concentration range-finding trials prior to starting this study. This health effects screening... (if present); esophagus; stomach; duodenum; jejunum; ileum; cecum; colon; rectum; urinary...

  2. Value Assessment Frameworks for HTA Agencies: The Organization of Evidence-Informed Deliberative Processes. (United States)

    Baltussen, Rob; Paul Maria Jansen, Maarten; Bijlmakers, Leon; Grutters, Janneke; Kluytmans, Anouck; Reuzel, Rob P; Tummers, Marcia; der Wilt, Gert Jan van


    Priority setting in health care has been long recognized as an intrinsically complex and value-laden process. Yet, health technology assessment agencies (HTAs) presently employ value assessment frameworks that are ill fitted to capture the range and diversity of stakeholder values and thereby risk compromising the legitimacy of their recommendations. We propose "evidence-informed deliberative processes" as an alternative framework with the aim to enhance this legitimacy. This framework integrates two increasingly popular and complementary frameworks for priority setting: multicriteria decision analysis and accountability for reasonableness. Evidence-informed deliberative processes are, on one hand, based on early, continued stakeholder deliberation to learn about the importance of relevant social values. On the other hand, they are based on rational decision-making through evidence-informed evaluation of the identified values. The framework has important implications for how HTA agencies should ideally organize their processes. First, HTA agencies should take the responsibility of organizing stakeholder involvement. Second, agencies are advised to integrate their assessment and appraisal phases, allowing for the timely collection of evidence on values that are considered relevant. Third, HTA agencies should subject their decision-making criteria to public scrutiny. Fourth, agencies are advised to use a checklist of potentially relevant criteria and to provide argumentation for how each criterion affected the recommendation. Fifth, HTA agencies must publish their argumentation and install options for appeal. The framework should not be considered a blueprint for HTA agencies but rather an aspirational goal-agencies can take incremental steps toward achieving this goal.

  3. Can a 15m-overground wheelchair sprint be used to assess wheelchair-specific anaerobic work capacity?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Scheer, Jan W.; de Groot, Sonja; Vegter, Riemer J. K.; Veeger, DirkJan (H. E. J. ); van der Woude, Lucas H. V.


    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether outcomes based on stopwatch time and power output (PO) over a 15m-overground wheelchair sprint test can be used to assess wheelchair-specific anaerobic work capacity, by studying their relationship with outcomes on a Wingate-based 30s-wheelchair ergometer sprint (WAnT)

  4. Assessment of the strategies of organic fruit production and fruit drying in Uganda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Didier Pillot


    Full Text Available Organic agriculture in Uganda is developing at a fast pace and despite this trend Uganda is still unable to produce enough fresh and dry organic fruits mainly pineapple to meet the exporters demand. This current research investigated the strategies of farmers at production level by assessing the pros and cons of fruit growing, organic agriculture and fruit drying in order to understand the underlying causal factor for the low production of organic dry fruits in a major fruit producing district of Uganda.The study was carried out in two separate and distinctive areas; one which only produces and export fresh organic pineapple and the other which exports dried fruits (mainly pineapple and papaya. About 10% of the farmers in the two study areas were surveyed using questionnaires which were further followed by semi-structured interviews and participatory rural appraisals activities with various types of farmers in order to understand the different decisions and strategies of farmers.82% and 74% of farmers in the two study areas grew fruits as it gave better economic returns and for 77% and 90% respectively in the two study areas, the reasons for growing fruit was the ease of selling compared to other crops. All the farmers were relying on coffee husk for growing organic pineapples. However, 50% of the farmers want to grow pineapples (either organic or conventional but couldn't afford to buy coffee husk. Fruit drying was mainly a strategy to utilize cheap fruits during harvesting seasons for value addition. 71% and 42% of farmers in the two study areas wanted to dry fruits but it was beyond their economic capacity to buy the driers.Decision of the farmers whether to grow fruits or cereals, organic or conventional agriculture and selling the fruits as fresh or dry were dependent mainly on the economic, knowledge and resource availability of each type of practices. It is concluded that the main barrier for an increase in the production of organic dried

  5. Potential of the microbial assay for risk assessment (MARA) for assessing ecotoxicological effects of herbicides to non-target organisms. (United States)

    Fai, Patricia Bi Asanga; Mbida, Mpoame; Demefack, Jean Marc; Yamssi, Cedric


    Many microbiotests that have been proposed for use in the risk assessment of environmental pollutants have the drawback of lacking relevant published data on various aspects of their test application possibilities and therefore do not receive the regulatory recognition which they may deserve. The MARA bioassay lacks published data for many relevant environmental pollutants, particularly pesticides and this may limit its use in regulatory framework. The present study has assessed the sensitivity of the MARA bioassay relative to other established bioassays (Daphnia magna and Oreochromis niloticus) to two widely used herbicide formulations: Roundup (having glyphosate as active ingredient) and Herbextra (with the active ingredient being 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid-2,4-D). Roundup was found to be more toxic than Herbextra in all three bioassays. The D. magna EC50 s obtained for Roundup and Herbextra were respectively 5.55 and 356.61 mg/l while the LC50 s for O. niloticus were 11.30 and 222,28 mg/l respectively. In the case of the MARA bioassay microbial toxic concentrations (MTCs) for individual species ranged from 6.85 to 468 mg/l with an overall mean MTC of 101.82 mg/l for glyphosate and from 74.67 to 13,333 mg/l for 2,4-D giving an overall mean MTC of 2855.88 mg/l. Although the overall MTCs from the MARA bioassay were much higher than the LC50 s and EC50 s from the fish and daphnia bioassays respectively, the most sensitive MARA organism for each of the herbicides had MTCs that were comparable to or lower than the corresponding endpoints from the other bioassays implying that the MARA assay is a potentially useful bioassay for risk assessment of pesticides.

  6. A new European plant-specific emission inventory of biogenic volatile organic compounds for use in atmospheric transport models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Karl


    Full Text Available We present a new European plant-specific emission inventory for isoprene, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and oxygenated VOC (OVOC, on a spatial resolution of 0.089×0.089 degrees, for implementation in atmospheric transport models. The inventory incorporates more accurate data on foliar biomass densities from several litterfall databases that became available in the last years for the main tree species in Europe. A bioclimatic correction factor was introduced to correct the foliar biomass densities of trees and crops for the different plant growth conditions that can be found in Pan-Europe. Long-term seasonal variability of agriculture and forest emissions was taken into account by implementing a new growing season concept. The 2004–2005 averaged annual total biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC emissions for the Pan-European domain are estimated to be about 12 Tg with a large contribution from the OVOC class of about 4.5 Tg and from monoterpenes of about 4 Tg. Annual isoprene emissions are found to be about 3.5 Tg, insensitive to the chosen emission algorithm. Emissions of OVOC were found to originate to a large extent from agriculture. Further experiments on crop emissions should be carried out to check the validity of the applied standard emission factors. The new inventory aims at a fully transparent and verifiable aggregation of detailed land use information and at the inclusion of plant-specific emission data. Though plant-specific land use data is available with relatively high accuracy, a lack of experimental biomass densities and emission data on terpenes, sesquiterpenes and oxygenated VOC, in particular for agricultural plants, currently limits the setup of a highly accurate plant-specific emission inventory.

  7. Assessment of Tetracyclines Residues and Tetracycline Resistant Bacteria in Conventional and Organic Baby Foods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mónica Guarddon


    Full Text Available Children are very vulnerable to bacterial infections and they are sometimes subject to antimicrobials for healing. The presence of resistance genes may counteract effects of antimicrobials. This work has thereby compared the amount of tetracycline resistance genes, tet(A and tet(B, between conventional and organic meat-based or vegetable-based baby foods and used the quantification of these genes to assess the presence of tetracycline residues in these samples. Counts of bacteria harboring the tet(A gene were higher than those containing tet(B, and there was no difference between the organic and the conventional samples. Samples with detectable amounts of tetracycline residues were also positive for the presence of tet genes, and when the presence of the genes was not detected, the samples were also negative for the presence of residues. The percentages of tetracycline residues were higher in organic samples than in conventional ones. It cannot be concluded that organic formulas are safer than conventional ones for the studied parameters.

  8. Assessment of secondary sources of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Arctic (United States)

    Pisso, Ignacio; Eckhardt, Sabine; Breivik, Knut


    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including highly toxic pesticides and other chemicals accumulate in living tissues and magnify in food chains. POPs are subject to long-range transport and hence represent a serious public health issue even in regions where their production is regulated. Rational control strategies require an understanding of the overall relationship between environmental emissions of contaminants and environmental / human exposure. In this study, we assess the relationships between environmental emissions and potential human exposure of organic contaminants with emphasis on long-range atmospheric transport. We investigate whether atmospheric levels of POPs measured at Zeppelin observatory in Svalbard since the early '90s are controlled by primary or secondary emissions. We present statistical indications that the measurements are affected by secondary ocean emissions and discuss the applicability of different inverse modeling approaches.

  9. Specific migration of IRGASTAB 17 MOK and DBP from rigid and plasticized poly(vinyl chloride into organic liquids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amara A.


    Full Text Available The aim of this paper is the determination of the specific migration of an plasticizer and an organotin heat stabilizer (IRGASTAB 17 MOK from plasticized and rigid (PVC into organic liquids hexane and ethanol simulating fatty food. The migration test conditions were 10 days at 40°C and 2 hours at 70°C. FTIR and UV-Visible at 490 nm spectroscopy and gas chromatography were used to investigate the migration phenomena. The influence of various parameters such as temperature, time of contact and the nature of food simulant were considered. The results show that plasticizer accelerates the heat stabilizer migration. On the other hand that gas chromatography could be substituted by FTIR spectroscopy to investigate the DBP migration phenomena. It is a simple, low cost and rapid method which can be used.

  10. Specific interaction between negative atmospheric ions and organic compounds in atmospheric pressure corona discharge ionization mass spectrometry. (United States)

    Sekimoto, Kanako; Sakai, Mami; Takayama, Mitsuo


    The interaction between negative atmospheric ions and various types of organic compounds were investigated using atmospheric pressure corona discharge ionization (APCDI) mass spectrometry. Atmospheric negative ions such as O(2)(-), HCO(3)(-), COO(-)(COOH), NO(2)(-), NO(3)(-), and NO(3)(-)(HNO(3)) having different proton affinities served as the reactant ions for analyte ionization in APCDI in negative-ion mode. The individual atmospheric ions specifically ionized aliphatic and aromatic compounds with various functional groups as atmospheric ion adducts and deprotonated analytes. The formation of the atmospheric ion adducts under certain discharge conditions is most likely attributable to the affinity between the analyte and atmospheric ion and the concentration of the atmospheric ion produced under these conditions. The deprotonated analytes, in contrast, were generated from the adducts of the atmospheric ions with higher proton affinity attributable to efficient proton abstraction from the analyte by the atmospheric ion.

  11. Sequence-specific flexibility organization of splicing flanking sequence and prediction of splice sites in the human genome. (United States)

    Zuo, Yongchun; Zhang, Pengfei; Liu, Li; Li, Tao; Peng, Yong; Li, Guangpeng; Li, Qianzhong


    More and more reported results of nucleosome positioning and histone modifications showed that DNA structure play a well-established role in splicing. In this study, a set of DNA geometric flexibility parameters originated from molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were introduced to discuss the structure organization around splice sites at the DNA level. The obtained profiles of specific flexibility/stiffness around splice sites indicated that the DNA physical-geometry deformation could be used as an alternative way to describe the splicing junction region. In combination with structural flexibility as discriminatory parameter, we developed a hybrid computational model for predicting potential splicing sites. And the better prediction performance was achieved when the benchmark dataset evaluated. Our results showed that the mechanical deformability character of a splice junction is closely correlated with both the splice site strength and structural information in its flanking sequences.

  12. Tumor-Specific Expression of Organic Anion-Transporting Polypeptides: Transporters as Novel Targets for Cancer Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronika Buxhofer-Ausch


    Full Text Available Members of the organic anion transporter family (OATP mediate the transmembrane uptake of clinical important drugs and hormones thereby affecting drug disposition and tissue penetration. Particularly OATP subfamily 1 is known to mediate the cellular uptake of anticancer drugs (e.g., methotrexate, derivatives of taxol and camptothecin, flavopiridol, and imatinib. Tissue-specific expression was shown for OATP1B1/OATP1B3 in liver, OATP4C1 in kidney, and OATP6A1 in testis, while other OATPs, for example, OATP4A1, are expressed in multiple cells and organs. Many different tumor entities show an altered expression of OATPs. OATP1B1/OATP1B3 are downregulated in liver tumors, but highly expressed in cancers in the gastrointestinal tract, breast, prostate, and lung. Similarly, testis-specific OATP6A1 is expressed in cancers in the lung, brain, and bladder. Due to their presence in various cancer tissues and their limited expression in normal tissues, OATP1B1, OATP1B3, and OATP6A1 could be a target for tumor immunotherapy. Otherwise, high levels of ubiquitous expressed OATP4A1 are found in colorectal cancers and their metastases. Therefore, this OATP might serve as biomarkers for these tumors. Expression of OATP is regulated by nuclear receptors, inflammatory cytokines, tissue factors, and also posttranslational modifications of the proteins. Through these processes, the distribution of the transporter in the tissue will be altered, and a shift from the plasma membrane to cytoplasmic compartments is possible. It will modify OATP uptake properties and, subsequently, change intracellular concentrations of drugs, hormones, and various other OATP substrates. Therefore, screening tumors for OATP expression before therapy should lead to an OATP-targeted therapy with higher efficacy and decreased side effects.

  13. Volatile compounds emission and health risk assessment during composting of organic fraction of municipal solid waste

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mustafa, Muhammad Farooq; Liu, Yanjun; Duan, Zhenhan;


    Degradation of mechanically sorted organic fraction (MSOF) of municipal solid waste in composting facilities is among the major contributors of volatile compounds (VCs) generation and emission, causes nuisance problems and health risks on site as well as in the vicinages. The aim of current study...... was to determine the seasonal (summer and winter) variation and human health risk assessment of VCs in the ambient air of different processing units in MSOF at composting plant in China. Average concentration of VCs was 58.50 and 138.03 mg/m3 in summer and winter respectively. Oxygenated compounds were found...

  14. Assessment of Human Organism's Intake of Trace Elements from Staple Foodstuffs in Central Region of Russia

    CERN Document Server

    Gorbunov, A V; Okina, O I; Frontasyeva, M A; Gundorina, S F


    The trace element content of raw materials and foodstuffs produced from them, typical for basket of goods of residents of Central Russia, was examined. An excess of permissible levels of some trace elements was observed. This phenomenon is explained in terms of different factors such as pollution of the environment, industrial technologies, biological peculiarities of raw materials of animal and vegetable origin. An assessment of human organism's trace element intake of different food allowances is given. This study was undertaken in the framework of IAEA CRP (Contract No. 11927/R2).

  15. Formative assessment as a vehicle for changing classroom practice in a specific cultural context (United States)

    Chen, Jingping


    In this commentary, I interpret Xinying Yin and Gayle Ann Buck's collaborative action research from a social-cultural perspective. Classroom implementation of formative assessment is viewed as interaction between this assessment method and the local learning culture. I first identify Yin and Buck's definition of the formative assessment, and then analyze the role of formative assessment in the change of local learning culture. Based on the practice of Yin and Buck I emphasize the significance of their "bottom up" strategy to the teachers' epistemological change. I believe that this strategy may provide practicable solutions to current Chinese educational problems as well as a means for science educators to shift toward systematic professional development.

  16. The safety assessment of food ingredients derived from plant cell, tissue and organ cultures: a review. (United States)

    Murthy, Hosakatte Niranjana; Georgiev, Milen I; Park, So-Young; Dandin, Vijayalaxmi S; Paek, Kee-Yoeup


    Plant cell, tissue and organ cultures (PCTOC) have become an increasingly attractive alternative for the production of various high molecular weight molecules which are used as flavourings, fragrances, colouring agents and food additives. Although PCTOC products are cultivated in vitro in a contamination free environment, the raw material produced from PCTOC may contain many components apart from the target compound. In some cases, PCTOC raw materials may also carry toxins, which may be naturally occurring or accumulated during the culture process. Assessment of the safety of PCTOC products is, therefore, a priority of the biotech industries involved in their production. The safety assessment involves the evaluation of starting material, production process and the end product. Before commercialisation, PCTOC products should be evaluated for their chemical and biological properties, as well as for their toxicity. In this review, measures and general criteria for biosafety evaluation of PCTOC products are addressed and thoroughly discussed.

  17. Biosafety research for non-target organism risk assessment of RNAi-based GE plants. (United States)

    Roberts, Andrew F; Devos, Yann; Lemgo, Godwin N Y; Zhou, Xuguo


    RNA interference, or RNAi, refers to a set of biological processes that make use of conserved cellular machinery to silence genes. Although there are several variations in the source and mechanism, they are all triggered by double stranded RNA (dsRNA) which is processed by a protein complex into small, single stranded RNA, referred to as small interfering RNAs (siRNA) with complementarity to sequences in genes targeted for silencing. The use of the RNAi mechanism to develop new traits in plants has fueled a discussion about the environmental safety of the technology for these applications, and this was the subject of a symposium session at the 13th ISBGMO in Cape Town, South Africa. This paper continues that discussion by proposing research areas that may be beneficial for future environmental risk assessments of RNAi-based genetically modified plants, with a particular focus on non-target organism assessment.

  18. Solvent-based dissolution method to sample gas-phase volatile organic compounds for compound-specific isotope analysis. (United States)

    Bouchard, Daniel; Hunkeler, Daniel


    An investigation was carried out to develop a simple and efficient method to collect vapour samples for compound specific isotope analysis (CSIA) by bubbling vapours through an organic solvent (methanol or ethanol). The compounds tested were benzene and trichloroethylene (TCE). The dissolution efficiency was tested for different air volume injections, using flow rates ranging from 25ml/min to 150ml/min and injection periods varying between 10 and 40min. Based on the results, complete mass recovery for benzene and TCE in both solvents was observed for the flow rates of 25 and 50ml/min. However, small mass loss was observed at increased flow rate. At 150ml/min, recovery was on average 80±17% for benzene and 84±10% for TCE, respectively in methanol and ethanol. The δ(13)C data measured for benzene and TCE dissolved in both solvents were reproducible and were stable independently of the volume of air injected (up to 6L) or the flow rate used. The stability of δ(13)C values hence underlines no isotopic fractionation due to compound-solvent interaction or mass loss. The development of a novel and simple field sampling technique undertaken in this study will facilitate the application of CSIA to diverse gas-phase volatile organic compound studies, such as atmospheric emissions, soil gas or vapour intrusion.

  19. The Renin-Angiotensin System: From the Renal Basis to an Organ-Specific Subsystem in the Pancreas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nobiling R


    Full Text Available Not only is the renin angiotensin system or its components found morphologically in many organs, it also exerts many different regulatory functions such as contributing to systemic homeostasis as well as to organ-specific regulation. The presence of the components of the renin angiotensin system in the pancreas was discovered only a few years ago. Physiological and pathophysiological stimuli were able to modify, in part, the gene expression and the occurrence of some of these components. Because of the important clinical significance of pancreatic diseases such as pancreatitis, research should follow every traces of the renin angiotensin system in the pancreas: impairment of microcirculation via hypoxia mediated up-regulation with the subsequent further deterioration of the oxygen supply seems to be the most obvious mechanism. There are many possible approaches to a better understanding of problems that are associated with diseases such as different kinds of pancreatitis; basic studies in animal models are oriented toward microcirculation, cellular function and the time course of modified gene expression after stimuli such as hypoxia; a clinical approach must reevaluate different correlations between clinical parameters of hypertension and those of pancreatic diseases.

  20. Specification of indoor climate design parameters at the assessment of moisture protective properties of enclosing structures


    Kornienko Sergey Valer’evich


    Due to wide implementation of enveloping structures with increased heat-insulation properties in modern construction here appeared a necessity to assess their moisture conditions. Assessment of moisture conditions of enveloping structures is carried out according to maximum allowable moisture state basing on determining the surface of maximum damping. In relation to it the necessity of additional vapour barrier is checked using moisture balance equation. Though the change of indoor climate pa...

  1. Home composting as an alternative treatment option for organic household waste in Denmark: An environmental assessment using life cycle assessment-modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, J.K.; Boldrin, Alessio; Christensen, Thomas Højlund


    An environmental assessment of the management of organic household waste (OHW) was performed from a life cycle perspective by means of the waste-life cycle assessment (LCA) model EASEWASTE. The focus was on home composting of OHW in Denmark and six different home composting units (with different ...

  2. Toward the definition of specific protection goals for the environmental risk assessment of chemicals: A perspective on environmental regulation in Europe. (United States)

    Brown, A Ross; Whale, Graham; Jackson, Mathew; Marshall, Stuart; Hamer, Mick; Solga, Andreas; Kabouw, Patrick; Galay-Burgos, Malyka; Woods, Richard; Nadzialek, Stephanie; Maltby, Lorraine


    This critical review examines the definition and implementation of environmental protection goals for chemicals in current European Union (EU) legislation, guidelines, and international agreements to which EU countries are party. The European chemical industry is highly regulated, and prospective environmental risk assessments (ERAs) are tailored for different classes of chemical, according to their specific hazards, uses, and environmental exposure profiles. However, environmental protection goals are often highly generic, requiring the prevention of "unacceptable" or "adverse" impacts on "biodiversity" and "ecosystems" or the "environment as a whole." This review aims to highlight working examples, challenges, solutions, and best practices for defining specific protection goals (SPGs), which are seen to be essential for refining and improving ERA. Specific protection goals hinge on discerning acceptable versus unacceptable adverse effects on the key attributes of relevant, sensitive ecological entities (ranging from organisms to ecosystems). Some isolated examples of SPGs for terrestrial and aquatic biota can be found in prospective ERA guidance for plant protection products (PPPs). However, SPGs are generally limited to environmental or nature legislation that requires environmental monitoring and retrospective ERA. This limitation is due mainly to the availability of baselines, which define acceptable versus unacceptable environmental effects on the key attributes of sentinel species, populations and/or communities, such as reproductive status, abundance, or diversity. Nevertheless, very few regulatory case examples exist in which SPGs incorporate effect magnitude, spatial extent, and temporal duration. We conclude that more holistic approaches are needed for defining SPGs, particularly with respect to protecting population sustainability, ecosystem function, and integrity, which are implicit in generic protection goals and explicit in the International

  3. Organic Inclusions as an Indicator of Oil/Gas Potential Assessment of Carbonate Reservoir Beds

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    施继锡; 兰文波


    Organic inclusions could be formed at the stages of either primary or secondary migration of hydrocarbons so long as mineral crystallization or recrystallization takes place in the sediments, presenting a direct indicator of oil/gas evolution, migration and abundance.Based on the strdy of organic inclusions in carbonate-type reser voir beds of commercial importance from North China ,Xingjing ,North Jiangsu, Sichuan and Guizhou in China ,many inclusion parameters for oil/gas potential assessment of carbonate reservoir beds are summarized in this paper, including;1) Types of organic inclusion; Ccmmercially important oil beds are characterized by inclusions consisting of either pure liquid hydrocarbons or liquid plus minor gaseous hydrocarbons, while commercially important gas reservoirs are characterized by inclusions consisting of either pure gaseous hydrocarbons or gas plus minor liquid hydrocarbons.2)Quantity of organic inclusions:The num-ber of organic inclusions in commercially important oil/gas reservoirs is over 60% of the total inclusion percent-tage.3)Temperature of saline inclusions .The homogenization temperatures of contemporaneous saline inclu-sions in oil reservoirs range from 91-161℃, while in gas reservoirs from 150-250℃).4) Inclusion composition: In commercially important oil reservoirs, C1/C2=2-10,C1/C3=2-4,C1/C4=2-21,(C2-C4)/(C1-C4)(%)>20,(CH4+CO+H2)/CO2(molecules/g)=0.5-1.0,and in C2-C3-nC4 triangle diagram there should be an upside-down triangle with the apex within the ellipse, while in commercial gas reservoirs, C1/C2=10-35,C1/C3=14-82,C1/C4=21-200,(C2-C4)/(C1-C4)(%)1,and there would be an upright triangle with the apex within the ellipse.The abovementioned parameters have been used to evaluate a number of other unknown wells or regions and the results are very satisfactory.It is valid to use organic inclusions as an indicator to assess the oil/gas potential during oil/gas exploration and prospecting,This approach is effective

  4. Modeling the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule II using non-parametric item response models. (United States)

    Galindo-Garre, Francisca; Hidalgo, María Dolores; Guilera, Georgina; Pino, Oscar; Rojo, J Emilio; Gómez-Benito, Juana


    The World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule II (WHO-DAS II) is a multidimensional instrument developed for measuring disability. It comprises six domains (getting around, self-care, getting along with others, life activities and participation in society). The main purpose of this paper is the evaluation of the psychometric properties for each domain of the WHO-DAS II with parametric and non-parametric Item Response Theory (IRT) models. A secondary objective is to assess whether the WHO-DAS II items within each domain form a hierarchy of invariantly ordered severity indicators of disability. A sample of 352 patients with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder is used in this study. The 36 items WHO-DAS II was administered during the consultation. Partial Credit and Mokken scale models are used to study the psychometric properties of the questionnaire. The psychometric properties of the WHO-DAS II scale are satisfactory for all the domains. However, we identify a few items that do not discriminate satisfactorily between different levels of disability and cannot be invariantly ordered in the scale. In conclusion the WHO-DAS II can be used to assess overall disability in patients with schizophrenia, but some domains are too general to assess functionality in these patients because they contain items that are not applicable to this pathology.

  5. Greenhouse and field assessment of different organic compounds against guava-parasitic Meloidogyne enterolobii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Macedo Almeida


    Full Text Available Guava decline is a complex disease involving Meloidogyne enterolobii and Fusarium solani and it has caused major direct losses to Brazilian growers. Although several strategies have been sought to control the nematode, the use of organic soil amendments is currently the best approach to manage this disease. To assess the best amount of meat and bone meal (MBM to be incorporated into the soil, guava seedlings inoculated with M. enterolobii were treated with 1-5% v/v of the MBM. Ninety days later variables related to nematode reproduction and plant development were evaluated, which indicated a potential nematicidal effect of the MBM at 3%. Another experiment assessed nematode- and plant-related variables 90 days after treatment of the seedlings with MBM, chitosan, shrimp shell or neem cake at 3%, 0.05%, 2% and 0.1% v/v, respectively. The MBM ranked first, reducing nematode reproduction. This MBM rate was converted to 25 kg/tree and assessed in three application regimes (monthly, bimonthly or trimonthly, for six months, in an orchard affected by guava decline. The variables assessed were soil density of colony forming units (CFU of bacteria and fungus, and soil and/or root density of M. enterolobii, Helicotylenchus sp., and of different nematode trophic groups. In all three application regimes the MBM reduced all plant-parasitic nematodes in the soil and the fungus CFUs. It also promoted an increase in bacterial CFU and bacterivorous nematodes.

  6. Assessing the congruence between perceived connectivity and network centrality measures specific to pandemic influenza preparedness in Alberta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiell Alan


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent research has suggested that perceived organizational connectivity may serve as an important measure of public health preparedness. Presumably, organizations with higher perceived connectivity also have a greater number of actual organizational ties. Using network analysis, we evaluate this presumption by assessing the correlation between perceived organizational connectivity and reported inter-organizational connections. Methods During late 2007-early 2008, representatives from organizations involved in the delivery of public health systems in Alberta were asked to complete an online questionnaire on public health preparedness. Organizational jurisdictional information was collected. Items from Dorn and colleagues connectivity scale (2007 were used to measure perceived organizational connectivity. Inter-organizational network data on formal connections in the area of pandemic influenza preparedness were collected using a roster approach. These data were imported into UCINET to calculate in- and out-degree centrality scores for each organization. One-way ANOVA tests assessed if perceived connectivity and in- and out-degree centrality varied among jurisdictions. Pearson correlation coefficients were used to assess the correlation of perceived connectivity and in- and out-degree centrality. Results Significant mean differences among jurisdictions were observed for in-degree (F(3,116 = 26.60, p F(3,116 = 5.24, p r(123 = 0.22, p r(123 = -0.07, p > 0.05. Conclusions The results suggest in terms of pandemic preparedness that perceived connectivity may serve as a partial proxy measure of formal out-degree network connectivity.

  7. Assessing species-specific contributions to craniofacial development using quail-duck chimeras. (United States)

    Fish, Jennifer L; Schneider, Richard A


    The generation of chimeric embryos is a widespread and powerful approach to study cell fates, tissue interactions, and species-specific contributions to the histological and morphological development of vertebrate embryos. In particular, the use of chimeric embryos has established the importance of neural crest in directing the species-specific morphology of the craniofacial complex. The method described herein utilizes two avian species, duck and quail, with remarkably different craniofacial morphology. This method greatly facilitates the investigation of molecular and cellular regulation of species-specific pattern in the craniofacial complex. Experiments in quail and duck chimeric embryos have already revealed neural crest-mediated tissue interactions and cell-autonomous behaviors that regulate species-specific pattern in the craniofacial skeleton, musculature, and integument. The great diversity of neural crest derivatives suggests significant potential for future applications of the quail-duck chimeric system to understanding vertebrate development, disease, and evolution.

  8. Zebra fish Dnmt1 and Suv39h1 regulate organ-specific terminal differentiation during development. (United States)

    Rai, Kunal; Nadauld, Lincoln D; Chidester, Stephanie; Manos, Elizabeth J; James, Smitha R; Karpf, Adam R; Cairns, Bradley R; Jones, David A


    DNA methylation and histone methylation are two key epigenetic modifications that help govern heterochromatin dynamics. The roles for these chromatin-modifying activities in directing tissue-specific development remain largely unknown. To address this issue, we examined the roles of DNA methyltransferase 1 (Dnmt1) and the H3K9 histone methyltransferase Suv39h1 in zebra fish development. Knockdown of Dnmt1 in zebra fish embryos caused defects in terminal differentiation of the intestine, exocrine pancreas, and retina. Interestingly, not all tissues required Dnmt1, as differentiation of the liver and endocrine pancreas appeared normal. Proper differentiation depended on Dnmt1 catalytic activity, as Dnmt1 morphants could be rescued by active zebra fish or human DNMT1 but not by catalytically inactive derivatives. Dnmt1 morphants exhibited dramatic reductions of both genomic cytosine methylation and genome-wide H3K9 trimethyl levels, leading us to investigate the overlap of in vivo functions of Dnmt1 and Suv39h1. Embryos lacking Suv39h1 had organ-specific terminal differentiation defects that produced largely phenocopies of Dnmt1 morphants but retained wild-type levels of DNA methylation. Remarkably, suv39h1 overexpression rescued markers of terminal differentiation in Dnmt1 morphants. Our results suggest that Dnmt1 activity helps direct histone methylation by Suv39h1 and that, together, Dnmt1 and Suv39h1 help guide the terminal differentiation of particular tissues.

  9. Treatment of solid organ transplant recipients with autologous Epstein Barr virus–specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) (United States)

    Savoldo, Barbara; Goss, John A.; Hammer, Markus M.; Zhang, Lan; Lopez, Teresita; Gee, Adrian P.; Lin, Yu-Feng; Quiros-Tejeira, Ruben E.; Reinke, Petra; Schubert, Stephan; Gottschalk, Stephen; Finegold, Milton J.; Brenner, Malcolm K.; Rooney, Cliona M.; Heslop, Helen E.


    We have investigated the in vivo safety, efficacy, and persistence of autologous Epstein Barr virus (EBV)–specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) for the treatment of solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients at high risk for EBV-associated posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD). EBV-CTLs generated from 35 patients expanded with normal kinetics contained both CD8 and CD4 lymphocytes and produced significant specific killing of autologous EBV-transformed B lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs). Twelve SOT recipients at high risk for PTLD, or with active disease, received autologous CTL infusions without toxicity. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) monitoring of EBV-DNA showed a transient increase in plasma EBV-DNA suggestive of lysis of EBV-infected cells, although there was no consistent decrease in virus load in peripheral-blood mononuclear cells. Interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay and tetramer analysis showed an increase in the frequency of EBV-responsive T cells, which returned to preinfusion levels after 2 to 6 months. None of the treated patients developed PTLD. One patient with liver PTLD showed a complete response, and one with ocular disease has had a partial response stable for over one year. These data are consistent with an expansion and persistence of adoptively transferred EBV-CTLs that is limited in the presence of continued immunosuppression but that nonetheless produces clinically useful antiviral activity. PMID:16835376

  10. Using Market Segmentation to Assess Consumers' Acceptance of Organic Eggs in Taiwan


    Huang, Wan-Tran; Chien, Chun-Yu


    The needs of the organic eggs are increasing; therefore, the farmers of chicken-egg (FCE) provide the best eggs to their consumers to satisfy their needs and wants. Because the FCE cannot satisfy every consumer needs, FCE has to focus on some specific groups to satisfy their needs and wants. This paper is to clarify the segmentation of the customers in middle Taiwan and build the empirical model via Cluster Analysis. The 460 samples are taken randomly without some adjustment, but only 341 sam...


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. V. Gautier


    Full Text Available Aim. To estimate the requirement of the population of the Russian Federation for an organ transplantation and donor resource, to offer approach to planning of an effective network of the medical organizations (the centers of transplantation. Materials and methods. The analysis and comparison of statistical data on population, number of the patients receiving a dialysis, data about medical care on an organ transplantation in Russia and foreign countries is made. Results. On the basis of what the assessment of requirement of the population of the Russian Federation in an organ transplantation and donor resource is carried out, approach to planning of an effective network of the medical organizations (the centers of transplantation and scenarios of development of organ do- nation and transplantation in Russia is offered. Conclusion. To provide the population of the Russian Federation with medical care on an organ transplantation according to real requirement and donor resource, in each region of the Russian Federation have to be organized deceased organ donation and transplantation of a cadaveric kidney. But the transplantation of extrarenal organs is better to develop in the federal centers of hi-tech medical care with donor providing from territories of adjacent regions. 

  12. Global gene expression profiling of endothelium exposed to heme reveals an organ-specific induction of cytoprotective enzymes in sickle cell disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samit Ghosh

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Sickle cell disease (SCD is characterized by hemolysis, vaso-occlusion and ischemia reperfusion injury. These events cause endothelial dysfunction and vasculopathies in multiple systems. However, the lack of atherosclerotic lesions has led to the idea that there are adaptive mechanisms that protect the endothelium from major vascular insults in SCD patients. The molecular bases for this phenomenon are poorly defined. This study was designed to identify the global profile of genes induced by heme in the endothelium, and assess expression of the heme-inducible cytoprotective enzymes in major organs impacted by SCD. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Total RNA isolated from heme-treated endothelial monolayers was screened with the Affymetrix U133 Plus 2.0 chip, and the microarray data analyzed using multiple bioinformatics software. Hierarchical cluster analysis of significantly differentially expressed genes successfully segregated heme and vehicle-treated endothelium. Validation studies showed that the induction of cytoprotective enzymes by heme was influenced by the origin of endothelial cells, the duration of treatment, as well as the magnitude of induction of individual enzymes. In agreement with these heterogeneities, we found that induction of two major Nrf2-regulated cytoprotective enzymes, heme oxygenase-1 and NAD(PH:quinone oxidoreductase-1 is organ-specific in two transgenic mouse models of SCD. This data was confirmed in the endothelium of post-mortem lung tissues of SCD patients. CONCLUSIONS: Individual organ systems induce unique profiles of cytoprotective enzymes to neutralize heme in SCD. Understanding this heterogeneity may help to develop effective therapies to manage vasculopathies of individual systems.

  13. 75 FR 51467 - ASK (Assess Specific Kinds of CHILDREN Challenges for Neurologic Devices) Study Children Workshop... (United States)


    ... efficient strategies in evaluating pediatric neuroprostheses regulated by the Agency. Dates and Time: The... to speak. Individuals and organizations with common interests are urged to consolidate or coordinate... requests to speak. If you need special accommodations due to a disability (such as wheelchair access or...

  14. Reproductive organ and vascular specific promoter of the rice plasma membrane Ca2+ATPase mediates environmental stress responses in plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazi Md Kamrul Huda

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Plasma membrane Ca(2+ATPase is a transport protein in the plasma membrane of cells and helps in removal of calcium (Ca(2+ from the cell, hence regulating Ca(2+ level within cells. Though plant Ca(2+ATPases have been shown to be involved in plant stress responses but their promoter regions have not been well studied. RESULTS: The 1478 bp promoter sequence of rice plasma membrane Ca(2+ATPase contains cis-acting elements responsive to stresses and plant hormones. To identify the functional region, serial deletions of the promoter were fused with the GUS sequence and four constructs were obtained. These were differentially activated under NaCl, PEG cold, methyl viologen, abscisic acid and methyl jasmonate treatments. We demonstrated that the rice plasma membrane Ca(2+ATPase promoter is responsible for vascular-specific and multiple stress-inducible gene expression. Only full-length promoter showed specific GUS expression under stress conditions in floral parts. High GUS activity was observed in roots with all the promoter constructs. The -1478 to -886 bp flanking region responded well upon treatment with salt and drought. Only the full-length promoter presented cold-induced GUS expression in leaves, while in shoots slight expression was observed for -1210 and -886 bp flanking region. The -1210 bp deletion significantly responded to exogenous methyl viologen and abscisic acid induction. The -1210 and -886 bp flanking region resulted in increased GUS activity in leaves under methyl jasmonate treatments, whereas in shoots the -886 bp and -519 bp deletion gave higher expression. Salicylic acid failed to induce GUS activities in leaves for all the constructs. CONCLUSIONS: The rice plasma membrane Ca(2+ATPase promoter is a reproductive organ-specific as well as vascular-specific. This promoter contains drought, salt, cold, methyl viologen, abscisic acid and methyl jasmonate related cis-elements, which regulated gene expression. Overall, the

  15. Apportioning sources of organic matter in streambed sediments: An integrated molecular and compound-specific stable isotope approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cooper, Richard J., E-mail: [School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7TJ (United Kingdom); Pedentchouk, Nikolai; Hiscock, Kevin M.; Disdle, Paul [School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7TJ (United Kingdom); Krueger, Tobias [IRI THESys, Humboldt University, 10099 Berlin (Germany); Rawlins, Barry G. [British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG (United Kingdom)


    We present a novel application for quantitatively apportioning sources of organic matter in streambed sediments via a coupled molecular and compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA) of long-chain leaf wax n-alkane biomarkers using a Bayesian mixing model. Leaf wax extracts of 13 plant species were collected from across two environments (aquatic and terrestrial) and four plant functional types (trees, herbaceous perennials, and C{sub 3} and C{sub 4} graminoids) from the agricultural River Wensum catchment, UK. Seven isotopic (δ{sup 13}C{sub 27}, δ{sup 13}C{sub 29}, δ{sup 13}C{sub 31}, δ{sup 13}C{sub 27–31}, δ{sup 2}H{sub 27}, δ{sup 2}H{sub 29}, and δ{sup 2}H{sub 27–29}) and two n-alkane ratio (average chain length (ACL), carbon preference index (CPI)) fingerprints were derived, which successfully differentiated 93% of individual plant specimens by plant functional type. The δ{sup 2}H values were the strongest discriminators of plants originating from different functional groups, with trees (δ{sup 2}H{sub 27–29} = − 208‰ to − 164‰) and C{sub 3} graminoids (δ{sup 2}H{sub 27–29} = − 259‰ to − 221‰) providing the largest contrasts. The δ{sup 13}C values provided strong discrimination between C{sub 3} (δ{sup 13}C{sub 27–31} = − 37.5‰ to − 33.8‰) and C{sub 4} (δ{sup 13}C{sub 27–31} = − 23.5‰ to − 23.1‰) plants, but neither δ{sup 13}C nor δ{sup 2}H values could uniquely differentiate aquatic and terrestrial species, emphasizing a stronger plant physiological/biochemical rather than environmental control over isotopic differences. ACL and CPI complemented isotopic discrimination, with significantly longer chain lengths recorded for trees and terrestrial plants compared with herbaceous perennials and aquatic species, respectively. Application of a comprehensive Bayesian mixing model for 18 streambed sediments collected between September 2013 and March 2014 revealed considerable temporal variability in the

  16. Compartmentalization of Total and Virus-Specific Tissue-Resident Memory CD8+ T Cells in Human Lymphoid Organs. (United States)

    Woon, Heng Giap; Braun, Asolina; Li, Jane; Smith, Corey; Edwards, Jarem; Sierro, Frederic; Feng, Carl G; Khanna, Rajiv; Elliot, Michael; Bell, Andrew; Hislop, Andrew D; Tangye, Stuart G; Rickinson, Alan B; Gebhardt, Thomas; Britton, Warwick J; Palendira, Umaimainthan


    Disruption of T cell memory during severe immune suppression results in reactivation of chronic viral infections, such as Epstein Barr virus (EBV) and Cytomegalovirus (CMV). How different subsets of memory T cells contribute to the protective immunity against these viruses remains poorly defined. In this study we examined the compartmentalization of virus-specific, tissue resident memory CD8+ T cells in human lymphoid organs. This revealed two distinct populations of memory CD8+ T cells, that were CD69+CD103+ and CD69+CD103-, and were retained within the spleen and tonsils in the absence of recent T cell stimulation. These two types of memory cells were distinct not only in their phenotype and transcriptional profile, but also in their anatomical localization within tonsils and spleen. The EBV-specific, but not CMV-specific, CD8+ memory T cells preferentially accumulated in the tonsils and acquired a phenotype that ensured their retention at the epithelial sites where EBV replicates. In vitro studies revealed that the cytokine IL-15 can potentiate the retention of circulating effector memory CD8+ T cells by down-regulating the expression of sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor, required for T cell exit from tissues, and its transcriptional activator, Kruppel-like factor 2 (KLF2). Within the tonsils the expression of IL-15 was detected in regions where CD8+ T cells localized, further supporting a role for this cytokine in T cell retention. Together this study provides evidence for the compartmentalization of distinct types of resident memory T cells that could contribute to the long-term protection against persisting viral infections.

  17. Life cycle assessment. Specific indicators for Italy in impact evaluation; Life cycle assessment: sviluppo di indicatori specific per l'Italia per la fase di valutazione d'impatto

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Masoni, P. [ENEA, Centro Ricerche Casaccia, S. Maria di Galeria, RM (Italy). Dipt. Energia; Scimia, E. [Bologna Univ., Bologna (Italy)


    After a brief recall and a short description of the LCA (life cycle assessment) methodology, the work is focused on the impact assessment step, discussing the state of the art and a critical identification of environmental indicators, of normalization and weighting principles for the different environmental categories specific for Italy. The application methodology to a case study concerning the production of butter by the Consorzio Granterre of Modena (Italy) is also described. [Italian] Il lavoro analizza la fase centrale della metodologia denominata valutazione d'impatto, resentando una rassegna dello stato dell'arte e un'individuazione critica dei possibili indicatori ambientali, di criteri di normalizzazione e di attribuzione di pesi ai diversi temi ambientali specific per l'Italia. Viene descritta l'applicazione ad un caso concreto relativo alla produzione del burro nel consorzio Granterre di Modena.

  18. Application of the Activity Framework for Assessing Aquatic Ecotoxicology Data for Organic Chemicals. (United States)

    Thomas, Paul; Dawick, James; Lampi, Mark; Lemaire, Philippe; Presow, Shaun; van Egmond, Roger; Arnot, Jon A; Mackay, Donald; Mayer, Philipp; Galay Burgos, Malyka


    Toxicological research in the 1930s gave the first indications of the link between narcotic toxicity and the chemical activity of organic chemicals. More recently, chemical activity has been proposed as a novel exposure parameter that describes the fraction of saturation and that quantifies the potential for partitioning and diffusive uptake. In the present study, more than 2000 acute and chronic algal, aquatic invertebrates and fish toxicity data, as well as water solubility and melting point values, were collected from a series of sources. The data were critically reviewed and grouped by mode of action (MoA). We considered 660 toxicity data to be of acceptable quality. The 328 data which applied to the 72 substances identified as MoA 1 were then evaluated within the activity-toxicity framework: EC50 and LC50 values for all three taxa correlated generally well with (subcooled) liquid solubilities. Acute toxicity was typically exerted within the chemical activity range of 0.01-0.1, whereas chronic toxicity was exerted in the range of 0.001-0.01. These results confirm that chemical activity has the potential to contribute to the determination, interpretation and prediction of toxicity to aquatic organisms. It also has the potential to enhance regulation of organic chemicals by linking results from laboratory tests, monitoring and modeling programs. The framework can provide an additional line of evidence for assessing aquatic toxicity, for improving the design of toxicity tests, reducing animal usage and addressing chemical mixtures.

  19. Identification of organic compounds and ecotoxicological assessment of sewage treatment plants (STP) effluents. (United States)

    Aguayo, Sonia; Muñoz, M Jesús; de la Torre, Ana; Roset, Jaime; de la Peña, Eduardo; Carballo, Matilde


    An integrated approach combining chemistry and biological methods was conducted to assess the toxicity of seven sewage treatment plant effluents. Solid phase concentration procedures were applied to facilitate the study of organic micro pollutants. A chemical analysis was performed by GC/MS. Organic fraction toxicity was determined by using bioassays such as Daphnia magna and Chlorella vulgaris tests and sub-lethal effects were also evaluated by using Salmonella typhimurium Test (mutagenicity), recombinant yeast screen (estrogenicity), and Oryzias latipes embryo-larval test. More than 49 compounds were detected in the organic fraction due to the various inputs of each effluents. The most frequently detected compounds in the effluents were bisphenol A (BPA), octylphenol (OP), 1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid, bis(2-ethylhexyl) ester (DEHP) and 1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid, bis(methylpropyl) ester (DBP). Biological assays showed toxicity effects on D. magna tests in all samples, whereas toxicity on C. vulgaris or S. typhimurium tests were not observed. Estrogenicity and teratogenicity were observed in several samples. The cause-effect relationship could not be established given the high chemical complexity of the effluents and the lack of information available on 70% of the detected compounds subsequent to reviewing various data bases. Nevertheless, due to the high chemical variability revealed by STP effluents, bioassay sets may provide a very useful amount of information for detecting potential toxicity risks.

  20. Critical assessment of anaerobic processes for continuous biohydrogen production from organic wastewater

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Show, Kuan-Yeow [Faculty of Engineering and Green Technology, University Tunku Abdul Rahman, Jalan University, Bandar Barat, 31900 Kampar, Perak (Malaysia); Zhang, Zhen-Peng [Beijing Enterprises Water Group Limited, BLK 25, No. 3 Minzhuang Road, Beijing 100195 (China); Tay, Joo-Hwa [School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Nanyang Avenue (Singapore); Liang, David Tee [Institute of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore); Lee, Duu-Jong [Department of Chemical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei (China); Ren, Nanqi; Wang, Aijie [State Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resource and Environment, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090 (China)


    Production of biohydrogen using dark fermentation has received much attention owing to the fact that hydrogen can be generated from renewable organics including waste materials. The key to successful application of anaerobic fermentation is to uncouple the liquid retention time and the biomass retention time in the reactor system. Various reactor designs based on biomass retention within the reactor system have been developed. This paper presents our research work on bioreactor designs and operation for biohydrogen production. Comparisons between immobilized-cell systems and suspended-cell systems based on biomass growth in the forms of granule, biofilm and flocs were made. Reactor configurations including column- and tank-based reactors were also assessed. Experimental results indicated that formation of granules or biofilms substantially enhanced biomass retention which was found to be proportional to the hydrogen production rate. Rapid hydrogen-producing culture growth and high organic loading rate might limit the application of biofilm biohydrogen production, since excessive growth of fermentative biomass would result in washout of support carrier. It follows that column-based granular sludge process is a preferred choice of process for continuous biohydrogen production from organic wastewater, indicating maximum hydrogen yield of 1.7 mol-H{sub 2}/mol-glucose and hydrogen production rate of 6.8 L-H{sub 2}/L-reactor h. (author)

  1. Assessing the responsiveness of chronic disease care - is the World Health Organization's concept of health system responsiveness applicable? (United States)

    Röttger, Julia; Blümel, Miriam; Fuchs, Sabine; Busse, Reinhard


    The concept of health system responsiveness is an important dimension of health system performance assessment. Further efforts have been made in recent years to improve the analysis of responsiveness measurements, yet few studies have applied the responsiveness concept to the evaluation of specific health care delivery structures. The objective of this study was to test the World Health Organization's (WHO's) responsiveness concept for an application in the evaluation of chronic disease care. In September and October 2012 we conducted four focus groups of chronically ill people (n = 38) in Germany, in which participants discussed their experiences and expectations regarding health care. The data was analyzed deductively (on the basis of the WHO responsiveness concept) and inductively using directed content analysis. Ten themes related to health system responsiveness and one theme (finances) not directly related to health system responsiveness, but of high importance to the focus group participants, could be identified. Eight of the ten responsiveness themes are consistent with the WHO concept. Additionally, two new themes were identified: trust (consultation and treatment are not led by any motive other than the patients' wellbeing) and coordination (treatment involving different providers is coordinated and different actors communicate with each other). These findings indicate the suitability of the WHO responsiveness concept for the evaluation of chronic disease care. However, some amendments, in particular an extension of the concept to include the two domains trust and coordination, are necessary for a thorough assessment of the responsiveness of chronic disease care.

  2. Drosophila embryos as model to assess cellular and developmental toxicity of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT in living organisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boyin Liu

    Full Text Available Different toxicity tests for carbon nanotubes (CNT have been developed to assess their impact on human health and on aquatic and terrestrial animal and plant life. We present a new model, the fruit fly Drosophila embryo offering the opportunity for rapid, inexpensive and detailed analysis of CNTs toxicity during embryonic development. We show that injected DiI labelled multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs become incorporated into cells in early Drosophila embryos, allowing the study of the consequences of cellular uptake of CNTs on cell communication, tissue and organ formation in living embryos. Fluorescently labelled subcellular structures showed that MWCNTs remained cytoplasmic and were excluded from the nucleus. Analysis of developing ectodermal and neural stem cells in MWCNTs injected embryos revealed normal division patterns and differentiation capacity. However, an increase in cell death of ectodermal but not of neural stem cells was observed, indicating stem cell-specific vulnerability to MWCNT exposure. The ease of CNT embryo injections, the possibility of detailed morphological and genomic analysis and the low costs make Drosophila embryos a system of choice to assess potential developmental and cellular effects of CNTs and test their use in future CNT based new therapies including drug delivery.

  3. Assessment of transmission in specific descending pathways in relation to gait and balance following spinal cord injury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barthélemy, Dorothy; Willerslev-Olsen, Maria; Lundell, Henrik


    in descending pathways using imaging and electrophysiological techniques and correlated them with clinical measures of impaired gait in persons with SCI. Twenty-five persons with SCI participated in the study. Functional assessment of gait included the Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury (WISCI), the Timed......Human bipedal gait requires supraspinal control and gait is consequently severely impaired in most persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). Little is known of the contribution of lesion of specific descending pathways to the clinical manifestations of gait deficits. Here, we assessed transmission...

  4. Policy relevance of three integrated assessment tools - A comparison with specific reference to agricultural policies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uthes, S.; Fricke, K.; Konig, H.; Zander, P.; Ittersum, van M.K.; Sieber, S.; Helming, K.; Piorr, A.; Muller, K.


    The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), a system of market support instruments, direct income transfers, and rural development measures, has been put through an ongoing reform process in recent decades. This paper introduces three policy impact assessment tools (SIAT, SEAMLESS-IF, MEA-Scope tool) and

  5. Specific antibiotics and nematode trophic groups agree in assessing fungal:bacterial activity in agricultural soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, S; Dam, M; Vestergaard, M;


    There are no methods at hand with a long and proven record for assessing the relative contribution of fungi and bacteria to decomposer activity in soil. Whereas a multitude of methods to determine fungal and bacterial biomass are available, activity assays traditionally relied on the substrate...

  6. Teaching domain-specific skills before peer assessment skills is superior to teaching them simultaneously

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zundert, Marjo van; Könings, K.; Sluijsmans, Dominique; Merriënboer, J.J.G. van


    Instruction in peer assessment of complex task performance may cause high cognitive load, impairing learning. A stepwise instructional strategy aimed at reducing cognitive load was investigated by comparing it with a combined instructional strategy in an experiment with 128 secondary school students

  7. Congener specific distribution and health risk assessment of polychlorinated biphenyls in urban soils


    Bhupander Kumar; Sanjay Kumar; Chandra Shekhar Sharma


    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were primarily used in transformers and capacitors, lubricants, flame retardants, plasticizers, paint, carbonless papers, etc. These are capable of long-range atmospheric transport and have been designated as persistent organic pollutants by the Stockholm Convention. Due to their characteristic properties, PCBs are found worldwide in all environmental matrices (including human) and biota. Soils are usually considered to be the source as well as sink for enviro...

  8. Organic molecules as sorbing tracers for the assessment of surface areas in consolidated aquifer systems (United States)

    Schaffer, Mario; Warner, Wiebke; Kutzner, Susann; Börnick, Hilmar; Worch, Eckhard; Licha, Tobias


    Based on the assumption that the specific surface area to volume ratio Asurf/V of consolidated rock materials is proportional to the surface area available for sorption, several inorganic cations were recently proposed as sorbing (cation exchanging) tracers for estimating these ratios in aquifers (e.g., for deriving the efficient heat exchange area of geothermal reservoirs). The main disadvantages of inorganic ions, however, are the limited number of suitable ions, their potential geogenic background, and their challenging online detection at trace concentrations. In this work, the spectrum of chemical substances used as sorbing tracers expands by considering fluorescent organic compounds that are cationic. They have the advantage of being highly water soluble and easy to measure online at very low concentrations. Results from systematic lab column experiments with seven selected organic cations under various conditions (different salinities and temperatures) are presented, emphasizing the potential of organic molecules as alternative sorbing tracers especially in consolidated aquifer systems. This work is a first stepping stone in identifying suitable molecular structures that can be selected or even individually adapted to the requirements of the tracer tests and prevailing aquifer conditions.

  9. 40 CFR Table 1 to Subpart Wwww of... - Equations To Calculate Organic HAP Emissions Factors for Specific Open Molding and Centrifugal... (United States)


    ... 40 Protection of Environment 12 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 true Equations To Calculate Organic HAP Emissions Factors for Specific Open Molding and Centrifugal Casting Process Streams 1 Table 1 to Subpart... Specific Open Molding and Centrifugal Casting Process Streams ER25AU05.020 ER25AU05.021...

  10. Consequences of intra-specific metabolic diversity in plants for soil organisms : a baseline approach for evaluating ecological effects of genetic modifications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kabouw, P.


    Plant intra-specific variation, i.e. variation within a plant species, is known to affect organisms that are directly associated to plants. These effects may be due to for example differences in nutritional quality or defensive metabolites. Plant intra-specific variation can also affect higher troph

  11. The BSID-II-NL for assessing children with specific impairments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruiter, Selma Anne José


    Abstract In this doctoral thesis the Dutch standardization and validation of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development – Second Edition (BSID-II-NL) and its adapted versions for use with children with specific impairmens are presented. The BSID-II-NL is a standardized and norm-referenced instrument to

  12. Assessment of Newcastle Disease specific T cell proliferation in different inbred MHC chicken lines

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Norup, Liselotte Rothmann; Dalgaard, Tina Sørensen; Pedersen, Asger Roer;


    In this study we have described the establishment of an antigen-specific T cell proliferation assay based on recall stimulation with Newcastle disease (ND) antigen; further, we have described the results obtained after recall stimulation of animals containing different Major Histocompatibility...

  13. Integrating place-specific livelihood and equity outcomes into global assessments of bioenergy deployment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Creutzig, Felix; Corbera, Esteve; Bolwig, Simon


    -study research focused on first-generation biofuel crops to demonstrate that food, income, land and other assets such as health are key livelihood dimensions that can be impacted by such crops and we highlight how place-specific and global dynamics influence both aggregate and distributional outcomes across...

  14. Etiology-specific assessment of predictors of long-term survival in chronic systolic heart failure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Franke


    Conclusion: This study demonstrates the disparity of prognostic value of clinically derived risk factors between the two main causes of CHF. The effects of covariables in DCM-patients were lower, suggesting a less modifiable disease through risk factors considering mortality risk. An etiology-specific prognostic model may improve accuracy of survival estimations in CHF.

  15. Assessment of specific characteristics of abnormal general movements : does it enhance the prediction of cerebral palsy?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hamer, Elisa G.; Bos, Arend F.; Hadders-Algra, Mijna


    AIM Abnormal general movements at around 3 months corrected age indicate a high risk of cerebral palsy (CP). We aimed to determine whether specific movement characteristics can improve the predictive power of definitely abnormal general movements. METHOD Video recordings of 46 infants with definitel

  16. Assessing the specificity of posttraumatic stress disorder's dysphoric items within the dysphoria model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Armour, C.; Shevlin, M.


    hailed as a nonspecific factor of PTSD. The present study investigated the specificity of the dysphoria factor within the dysphoria model by conducting a confirmatory factor analysis while statistically controlling for the variance attributable to depression. The sample consisted of 429 individuals who...

  17. Impact of organ-specific dose reduction on the image quality of head and neck CT angiography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schimmoeller, L.; Lanzman, R.S.; Heusch, P.; Dietrich, S.; Miese, F.; Aissa, J.; Heusner, T.A.; Antoch, G.; Kroepil, P. [University Dusseldorf, Medical Faculty, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Dusseldorf (Germany)


    Organ-specific dose reduction (OSDR) algorithms can reduce radiation on radiosensitive organs up to 59 %. This study evaluates the influence of a new OSDR algorithm on image quality of head and neck computed tomographic angiography (CTA) in clinical routine. Sixty-two consecutive patients (68 {+-} 13 years) were randomised into two groups and imaged using 128-row multidetector CT. Group A (n = 31) underwent conventional CTA and group B (n = 31) CTA with a novel OSDR algorithm. Subjective and objective image quality were statistically compared. Subjective image quality was rated on a five-point scale. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were calculated with region-of-interest measurements. The SNR of the common carotid artery and middle cerebral artery was 53.6 {+-} 22.7 and 43.3 {+-} 15.3 (group A) versus 54.1 {+-} 20.5 and 46.2 {+-} 14.6 (group B). The CNR was 40.0 {+-} 19.3 and 29.7 {+-} 12.0 (group A) compared with 40.7 {+-} 16.8 and 32.9 {+-} 10.9 (group B), respectively. Subjective image quality was excellent in both groups (mean score 4.4 {+-} 0.7 versus 4.4 {+-} 0.6). Differences between the two groups were not significant. The novel OSDR algorithm does not compromise image quality of head and neck CTA. Its application can be recommended for CTA in clinical routine to protect the thyroid gland and ocular lenses from unnecessary high radiation. (orig.)

  18. Are there advantages in the use of specific pathogen-free baboons in pig organ xenotransplantation models? (United States)

    Zhou, Huidong; Iwase, Hayato; Wolf, Roman F; Ekser, Burcin; Ezzelarab, Mohamed; Hara, Hidetaka; White, Gary; Cooper, David K C


    Baboons have natural antibodies against pig antigens. We have investigated whether there are differences in anti-non-Gal pig antibody levels between baboons maintained under specific pathogen-free (SPF) conditions and those housed under conventional conditions (non-SPF) that might be associated with improved outcome after pig-to-baboon organ transplantation. Baboons (n = 40) were housed indoors (SPF n = 8) or in indoor/outdoor pens (non-SPF n = 32) in colonies of similar size and structure. Non-SPF colonies harbor a number of pathogens common to non-human primate species, whereas many of these pathogens have been eliminated from the SPF colony. Complete blood cell counts (CBC), blood chemistry, and anti-non-Gal IgM and IgG levels were monitored. There were no significant differences in CBC or blood chemistry between SPF and non-SPF baboons. Anti-non-Gal IgM levels were significantly lower in the SPF baboons than in the non-SPF baboons (MFI 7.1 vs. 8.8, P 20; if these three baboons are omitted, the mean MFIs were 4.8 (SPF) vs. 7.5 (non-SPF) (P xenotransplantation studies as the initial binding of anti-pig IgM to an α1,3-galactosyltransferase gene-knockout pig organ may be less, thus resulting in less complement and/or endothelial cell activation. However, even under identical SPF conditions, an occasional baboon will express a high level of anti-non-Gal IgM, the reason for which remains uncertain.

  19. Relationship between Usefulness Assessments and Perceptions of Work Task Complexity and Search Topic Specificity: An Exploratory Study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ingwersen, Peter; Wang, Peiling


    This research investigates the relations between the usefulness assessments of retrieved documents and the perceptions of task complexity and search topic specificity. Twenty-three academic researchers submitted 65 real task-based information search topics. These task topics were searched...... in an integrated document collection consisting of full text research articles in PDFs, abstracts, and bibliographic records (the iSearch Test Collection in Physics). The search results were provided to the researchers who, as task performers, made assessments of usefulness using a four-point sale (highly, fairly...... highly complex tasks tend to associate with search topics of high specificity. Although bibliographic records show better precisions than full text PDF documents, the latter contributed more useful documents. Suggestions are made for further studies in naturalist IR experiments....

  20. Simultaneous SNP identification and assessment of allele-specific bias from ChIP-seq data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ni Yunyun


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs have been associated with many aspects of human development and disease, and many non-coding SNPs associated with disease risk are presumed to affect gene regulation. We have previously shown that SNPs within transcription factor binding sites can affect transcription factor binding in an allele-specific and heritable manner. However, such analysis has relied on prior whole-genome genotypes provided by large external projects such as HapMap and the 1000 Genomes Project. This requirement limits the study of allele-specific effects of SNPs in primary patient samples from diseases of interest, where complete genotypes are not readily available. Results In this study, we show that we are able to identify SNPs de novo and accurately from ChIP-seq data generated in the ENCODE Project. Our de novo identified SNPs from ChIP-seq data are highly concordant with published genotypes. Independent experimental verification of more than 100 sites estimates our false discovery rate at less than 5%. Analysis of transcription factor binding at de novo identified SNPs revealed widespread heritable allele-specific binding, confirming previous observations. SNPs identified from ChIP-seq datasets were significantly enriched for disease-associated variants, and we identified dozens of allele-specific binding events in non-coding regions that could distinguish between disease and normal haplotypes. Conclusions Our approach combines SNP discovery, genotyping and allele-specific analysis, but is selectively focused on functional regulatory elements occupied by transcription factors or epigenetic marks, and will therefore be valuable for identifying the functional regulatory consequences of non-coding SNPs in primary disease samples.

  1. Experimental and epidemiological evidence on non-organ specific cancer preventive effect of Korean ginseng and identification of active compounds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yun, T.-K


    Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer has been the most highly recognized medicinal herb in the Orient. The prolonged administration of red ginseng extract significantly inhibits the incidence of hepatoma and also proliferation of pulmonary tumors induced by aflatoxin B{sub 1} and urethane. Statistically significant anticarcinogenic effects were in aged or heat treated extracts of ginseng and red ginseng made by steaming in a 9 weeks medium-term anticarcinogenicity test using benzo[a]pyrene. In case-control studies, odds ratios (OR) of the cancer of lip, oral cavity and pharynx, larynx, lung, esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, ovary, and colorectum were significantly reduced. As to the type of ginseng, the ORs for cancer were reduced in user of fresh ginseng extract intakers, white ginseng extract, white ginseng powder, and red ginseng. In a cohort study with 5 years follow-up conducted in a ginseng cultivation area, ginseng users had a decreased relative risk (RR) compared with non-users. The relative risks (RRs) of ginseng users were decreased in gastric cancer and lung cancer. These findings strongly suggest that Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer cultivated in Korea has non-organ specific cancer preventive effects against various cancers. To investigate the active components for cancer prevention, several fractions of fresh and red ginseng and four semi-synthetic ginsenoside Rh{sub 1}, Rh{sub 2}, Rg{sub 3} and Rg{sub 5}, the major saponin components in red ginseng, were prepared among the ginsenosides. By using Yun's model, Rg{sub 3} and Rg{sub 5} showed statistically significant reduction of lung tumor incidence and Rh{sub 2} had a tendency to decrease the incidence. In conclusion, these results strongly suggested that Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer cultivated in Korea is a non-organ specific cancer preventive against human cancers and also indicated that the anticarcinogenicity or human cancer preventive effect of Panax ginseng is due to ginsenoside Rg{sub 3}, Rg{sub 5} and Rh

  2. A study on an assessment method for improving technical specifications using system dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Kyung Min; Jae, Moo Sung [Hanyang University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)


    Limiting Conditions for Operations (LCOs) are evaluated dynamically using the tool of system dynamics. The LCOs define the Allowed Outage Times (AOTs) and the actions to be taken if the repair cannot be completed within the AOT. System dynamics has been developed to analyze the dynamic reliability of a complicated system. System dynamics using Vensim software have been applied to LCOs assessment for an example system, the auxiliary feed water system of a reference nuclear power plant. Analysis results of both full power operation and shutdown operation have been compared for a measure of core damage frequency. The framework developed in this study has been shown to be very flexible in that it can be applied to assess LCOs quantitatively under any operational context of the TS in FSAR.

  3. A method for the assessment of specific energy distribution in a model tumor system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Noska, M.A.


    Due to the short range of alpha particles in tissue, the calculation of dose from internally deposited alpha emitters requires a detailed analysis of the microscopic distribution of the radionuclide in order to determine the spatial distribution of energy emission events and, from this, the spatial distribution of dose. In the present study, the authors used quantitative autoradiography (QAR) to assess the microdistribution of a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody (MAb) fragment in human glioma xenografts in mice.

  4. Inter- and Intra-specific Variation among Five Erythroxylum Taxa Assessed by AFLP



    • Background and Aims The four cultivated Erythroxylum taxa (E. coca var. coca, E. novogranatense var. novogranatense, E. coca var. ipadu and E. novogranatense var. truxillense) are indigenous to the Andean region of South America and have been cultivated for folk-medicine and, within the last century, for illicit cocaine production. The objective of this research was to assess the structure of genetic diversity within and among the four cultivated alkaloid-bearing taxa of Erythroxylum in the...

  5. A simple method for assessing available weather data quality for site specific nutrient management (United States)

    Fuka, D. R.; Collick, A.; Kleinman, P. J. A.; Sommerlot, A.; Easton, Z. M.


    Phosphorous (P) Indices are an assessment tool used to identifying agricultural fields most vulnerable to P losses. In the two decades since its introduction, the P Indexing concept has evolved, and there are now P Indices that serve as Best Management Practice (BMP) selection and targeting. While the use of observed P loss data under various management scenarios is the ideal way to assess the accuracy of the P Indices, water quality data, particularly at the field scale, are not widely available and can require years of costly field research to generate. In place of in-situ water quality measurements, the use of locally relevant and corroborated water quality models is a more expedient option to conduct index assessments in the short time required for new standards. The input forcing data required by these models include precipitation and temperature. Unfortunately obtaining representative meteorological data for watershed-scale hydrological modelling can be difficult and time consuming. Land-based weather stations do not always adequately represent the weather occurring over a watershed because they can be far from the watershed of interest and can have gaps in their data series, or recent data are not available. Fuka et al. (2013) has shown that readily available short term forecasting data can match the accuracy of using traditional weather gauging stations, especially when the closest stations are more than 10km from the watershed. In this study we demonstrate a methodology to ascertain the most representative openly accessible weather forcing data for running water quality models in any location in the US. For this P-Index assessment, nine representative project watersheds from the three regional consortiums--Heartland, Chesapeake Bay, and Southern Regions--are used to demonstrate this method of determining what is the most representative weather forcing data for any location within the regions.

  6. Development of a framework based on an ecosystem services approach for deriving specific protection goals for environmental risk assessment of pesticides

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forbes, Valery E.; Nienstedt, Karin M.; Brock, T. C. M.;


    General protection goals for the environmental risk assessment (ERA) of plant protection products are stated in European legislation but specific protection goals (SPGs) are often not precisely defined. These are however crucial for designing appropriate risk assessment schemes. The process...

  7. Organizations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hatch, Mary Jo

    Most of us recognize that organizations are everywhere. You meet them on every street corner in the form of families and shops, study in them, work for them, buy from them, pay taxes to them. But have you given much thought to where they came from, what they are today, and what they might become...... and considers many more. Mary Jo Hatch introduces the concept of organizations by presenting definitions and ideas drawn from the a variety of subject areas including the physical sciences, economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology, literature, and the visual and performing arts. Drawing on examples from...... prehistory and everyday life, from the animal kingdom as well as from business, government, and other formal organizations, Hatch provides a lively and thought provoking introduction to the process of organization....

  8. EO-199, a specific antagonist of antiarrhythmic drugs: Assessment by binding experiments and in vivo studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oppenheimer, E.; Harel, G.; Lipinsky, D.; Sarne, Y. (Tel-Aviv Univ. (Israel))


    EO-199, a demethylated analog of the novel class I antiarrhythmic drug EO-122 was found to antagonize the antiarrhythmic activity of EO-122 and that of procainamide (Class I{sub A}). EO-199 did not block significantly the activity of a class I{sub B} antiarrhythmic agent, lidocaine. EO-199 also displaced the specific binding of ({sup 3}H)EO-122 to rate heart membranes similarly to procainamide whereas lidocaine did not. The correlation between binding experiments and pharmacological effects points to a possible subclassification of these drugs; the two chemical analogs EO-199 and EO-122, as well as procainamide (I{sub A}) but not lidocaine (I{sub B}), compete at the same site or the same state of the sodium channel. The availability of a specific antagonist might be useful for studying the mechanism of action of antiarrhythmic drugs as well as an antidote in cases of antiarrhythmics overdose intoxication.

  9. Using the Monte Carlo method for assessing the tissue and organ doses of patients in dental radiography (United States)

    Makarevich, K. O.; Minenko, V. F.; Verenich, K. A.; Kuten, S. A.


    This work is dedicated to modeling dental radiographic examinations to assess the absorbed doses of patients and effective doses. For simulating X-ray spectra, the TASMIP empirical model is used. Doses are assessed on the basis of the Monte Carlo method by using MCNP code for voxel phantoms of ICRP. The results of the assessment of doses to individual organs and effective doses for different types of dental examinations and features of X-ray tube are presented.

  10. Assessing probe-specific dye and slide biases in two-color microarray data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goldberg Zelanna


    Full Text Available Abstract Background A primary reason for using two-color microarrays is that the use of two samples labeled with different dyes on the same slide, that bind to probes on the same spot, is supposed to adjust for many factors that introduce noise and errors into the analysis. Most users assume that any differences between the dyes can be adjusted out by standard methods of normalization, so that measures such as log ratios on the same slide are reliable measures of comparative expression. However, even after the normalization, there are still probe specific dye and slide variation among the data. We define a method to quantify the amount of the dye-by-probe and slide-by-probe interaction. This serves as a diagnostic, both visual and numeric, of the existence of probe-specific dye bias. We show how this improved the performance of two-color array analysis for arrays for genomic analysis of biological samples ranging from rice to human tissue. Results We develop a procedure for quantifying the extent of probe-specific dye and slide bias in two-color microarrays. The primary output is a graphical diagnostic of the extent of the bias which called ECDF (Empirical Cumulative Distribution Function, though numerical results are also obtained. Conclusion We show that the dye and slide biases were high for human and rice genomic arrays in two gene expression facilities, even after the standard intensity-based normalization, and describe how this diagnostic allowed the problems causing the probe-specific bias to be addressed, and resulted in important improvements in performance. The R package LMGene which contains the method described in this paper has been available to download from Bioconductor.

  11. Assessment of Isomalt for Colon-Specific Delivery and Its Comparison with Lactulose



    Lactulose is used as a triggering substance in a unique colon-specific delivery technology called CODESTM. Colonic microflora degrades lactulose and forms short-chain fatty acids to activate the CODESTM system. However, lactulose has been reported to cause a Maillard-type reaction with substances containing primary or secondary amino groups that may produce carcinogenic compounds. Thus, the aim of this study was to look into the possibility to substitute lactulose with isomalt for fabrication...

  12. Scientific Opinion addressing the state of the science on risk assessment of plant protection products for in-soil organisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    EFSA PPR Panel (EFSA Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues); Ockleford, Colin; Adriaanse, Paulien


    Following a request from EFSA, the Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues developed an opinion on the science behind the risk assessment of plant protection products for in-soil organisms. The current risk assessment scheme is reviewed, taking into account new regulatory frameworks...... to the dispersal of the majority of in-soil organisms compared to terrestrial non-target arthropods living above soil, the Panel proposes that in-soil environmental risk assessments are made at in- and off-field scale considering field boundary levels. A new testing strategy which takes into account the relevant...

  13. Assessment of volatile organic compounds and particulate matter in a dental clinic and health risks to clinic personnel. (United States)

    Hong, Yu-Jue; Huang, Yen-Ching; Lee, I-Long; Chiang, Che-Ming; Lin, Chitsan; Jeng, Hueiwang Anna


    This study was conducted to assess (1) levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter (PM) in a dental clinic in southern Taiwan and (2) dental care personnel's health risks associated with due to chronic exposure to VOCs. An automatic, continuous sampling system and a multi-gas monitor were employed to quantify the air pollutants, along with environmental comfort factors, including temperature, CO2, and relative humidity at six sampling sites in the clinic over eight days. Specific VOC compounds were identified and their concentrations were quantified. Both non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic VOC compounds were assessed based on the US Environmental Protection Agency's Principles of Health Risk Assessment in terms of whether those indoor air pollutants increased health risks for the full-time dental care professionals at the clinic. Increased levels of VOCs were recorded during business hours and exceeded limits recommended by the Taiwan Environmental Protection Agency. A total of 68 VOC compounds were identified in the study area. Methylene methacrylate (2.8 ppm) and acetone (0.176 ppm) were the only two non-carcinogenic compounds that posed increased risks for human health, yielding hazard indexes of 16.4 and 4.1, respectively. None of the carcinogenic compounds increased cancer risk. All detected PM10 levels ranged from 20 to 150 μg/m(3), which met the Taiwan EPA and international limits. The average PM10 level during business hours was significantly higher than that during non-business hours (P = 0.04). Improved ventilation capacity in the air conditioning system was recommended to reduce VOCs and PM levels.

  14. Coupling ex vivo electroporation of mouse retinas and luciferase reporter assays to assess rod-specific promoter activity. (United States)

    Boulling, Arnaud; Escher, Pascal


    Ex vivo electroporation of mouse retinas is an established tool to modulate gene expression and to study cell type-specific gene expression. Here we coupled ex vivo electroporation to luciferase reporter assays to facilitate the study of rod-photoreceptor-specific gene promoters. The activity of the rod-specific proximal bovine rhodopsin promoter was significantly increased in C57BL/6J wild-type retinas at postnatal days 1 and 7 by 3.4-fold and 8.7-fold respectively. In C57BL/6J Nr2e3(rd7/rd7) retinas, where the rod photoreceptor-specific nuclear receptor Nr2e3 is not expressed, a significant increase by 2.5-fold was only observed at postnatal day 7. Cone-specific S-opsin promoter activity was not modulated in C57BL/6J wild-type and Nr2e3(rd7/rd7) retinas. Taken together, we describe an easily implementable protocol to assess rod-specific promoter activity in a physiological context resembling that of the developing postnatal mouse retina.

  15. Metal-organic frameworks-based biosensor for sequence-specific recognition of double-stranded DNA. (United States)

    Chen, Lifen; Zheng, Hanye; Zhu, Xi; Lin, Zhenyu; Guo, Longhua; Qiu, Bin; Chen, Guonan; Chen, Zhong-Ning


    A simple, cost-efficient, sensitive and selective fluorescence sensor is developed for sequence-specific recognition of duplex DNA (ds-DNA) in vitro using metal-organic framework (MOF) as the sensing platform. N,N-Bis(2-hydroxy-ethyl)dithiooxamidatocopper(II) (H(2)dtoaCu) was chosen as the example MOF, because it strongly chemisorbs the dye-labeled probe TFO (triplex-forming oligonucleotide), and quenches fluorescence from the dye. In the presence of target ds-DNA (the PPT of HIV RNA, a 16-bp ds-DNA sequence), the TFO could interact with the major groove in ds-DNA (via Hoogsteen hydrogen bonding) to form a rigid triplex structure, resulting in fluorescence recovery. The enhanced fluorescence signal has a relationship with the ds-DNA concentration, the detection limit is as low as 1.3 nmol L(-1) (S/N = 3) with good selectivity, which is lower than that based on a graphene oxide platform and electrochemical-DNA sensor.

  16. Organ-specific activation of the gastric branch of the efferent vagus nerve by ghrelin in urethane-anesthetized rats. (United States)

    Habara, Hiromi; Hayashi, Yujiro; Inomata, Norio; Niijima, Akira; Kangawa, Kenji


    Ghrelin plays multiple physiological roles such as growth hormone secretion and exerting orexigenic actions; however, its physiological roles in the electrical activity of autonomic nerves remain unclear. Here, we investigated the effects of human ghrelin on several autonomic nerve activities in urethane-anesthetized rats using an electrophysiological method. Intravenous injection of ghrelin at 3 μg/kg significantly and transiently potentiated the efferent activity of the gastric vagus nerve; however, it did not affect the efferent activity of the hepatic vagus nerve. The activated response to ghrelin in the gastric efferent vagus nerve was not affected by the gastric afferent vagotomy, suggesting that this effect was not induced via the gastric afferent vagus nerve. Ghrelin did not affect the efferent activity of the brown adipose tissue, adrenal gland sympathetic nerve, and the renal sympathetic nerve. In addition, rectal temperature and the plasma concentrations of norepinephrine, corticosterone, and renin were also not changed by ghrelin. These findings demonstrate that ghrelin stimulates the gastric efferent vagus nerve in an organ-specific manner without affecting the gastric afferent vagus nerve and that ghrelin does not acutely affect the efferent basal activity of the sympathetic nerve in rats.

  17. Formation of nickel-doped magnetite hollow nanospheres with high specific surface area and superior removal capability for organic molecules (United States)

    Li, Zhenhu; Ma, Yurong; Qi, Limin


    A strategy for the formation of magnetic Ni x Fe3-x O4 hollow nanospheres with very high specific surface areas was designed through a facile solvothermal method in mixed solvents of ethylene glycol and water in this work. The Ni/Fe ratios and the crystal phases of the Ni x Fe3-x O4 hollow nanocrystals can be readily tuned by changing the molar ratios of Ni to Fe in the precursors. An inside-out Ostwald ripening mechanism was proposed for the formation of uniform Ni x Fe3-x O4 hollow nanospheres. Moreover, the obtained Ni x Fe3-x O4 hollow nanospheres exhibited excellent adsorption capacity towards organic molecules such as Congo red in water. The maximum adsorption capacities of Ni x Fe3-x O4 hollow nanospheres for Congo red increase dramatically from 263 to 500 mg g-1 with the increase of the Ni contents (x) in Ni x Fe3-x O4 hollow nanospheres from 0.2 to 0.85. The synthesized Ni x Fe3-x O4 nanoparticles can be potentially applied for waste water treatment.

  18. Comparison of the organic waste management systems in the Danish-German border region using life cycle assessment (LCA)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Morten Bang; Møller, Jacob; Scheutz, Charlotte


    This study assessed the management of the organic household waste in the Danish-German border region and points out major differences between the systems and their potential effects on the environment using life cycle assessment (LCA). The treatment of organic waste from households in the Danish...... of the organic waste treatment was collected including waste composition data and data from treatment facilities and their respective energy systems. Based on that the organic waste management systems in the border region were modelled using the EASETECH waste management LCA-model. The main output is a life......-German border region is very different on each side of the border; the Danish region only uses incineration for the treatment of organic household waste while the German region includes combined biogas production and composting, mechanical and biological treatment (MBT) and incineration. Data on all parts...

  19. Three perspectives on motivation and multicriteria assessment of organic food systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Læssøe, Jeppe; Ljungdalh, Anders Kruse; Alrøe, Hugo Fjelsted


    . The question is how an MCA tool should be designed to facilitate reflections, communication, and decision making in relation to organic food systems. A key issue is motivation. There are several divergent theories of motivation, and the question cannot be adequately answered by using any single theory. We...... discuss an economic, a psychosocial, and a relational perspective on motivation and MCA. Using the example of a consumer assessing and choosing products in the supermarket, the economic conception of motivation offers a focus on decision-making processes. The psychosocial approach to motivation draws...... attention to the influence of cognitive structures and experience-based emotional drivers. Finally, the relational approach stresses that motivation is situated in the relations between agents. We discuss how the three perspectives converge and diverge regarding the purpose of using an MCA tool, the scope...

  20. Assessing communications effectiveness in meeting corporate goals of public health organizations. (United States)

    Brown, Gordon D; Bopp, Kenneth D; Boren, Suzanne Austin


    Much evaluation of health communications in public health is considered from a program perspective of smoking cessation, weight reduction, education on sexually transmitted diseases, etc. These studies have advanced the knowledge base of communications theory and evaluation and have contributed to program effectiveness. In program-based evaluation the communications process is structured as part of the program itself. This article extends program-based communications evaluation to view communications from the perspective of the consumer and how effectively public health departments respond to consumer expectations. It develops a conceptual model for evaluating elements of communications such as its importance in defining mission and goals within the community, managing strategic constituencies, and enlisting individuals and groups as customers and co-producers of health. It gives a broader perspective on how communications in public heath organizations are managed and a basis for assessing whether they are being managed effectively.

  1. Region-Specific Indicators for Assessing the Sustainability of Biomass Utilisation in East Asia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuki Kudoh


    Full Text Available This paper presents the findings of an expert working group of researchers from East Asian countries. The group was tasked with developing a theoretically sound and practically implementable methodology for assessing the sustainability of biomass utilisation in East Asian countries based on the needs and potential of biomass resources in this region. Building on six years of research conducted between 2007 and 2013, the working group formulated a set of main and secondary indicators for biomass utilisation under three pillars of sustainability. For the environmental pillar, the main indicator was life cycle greenhouse gas emissions and secondary indicators were water consumption and soil quality. For the economic pillar, the main indicator was total value added and secondary indicators were net profit, productivity, and net energy balance. For the social pillar, the main indicators were employment generation and access to modern energy, and the secondary indicator was the human development index. The application of the working group methodology and indicators in sustainability assessments of biomass utilisation will enable decision makers in East Asian countries to compare the sustainability of biomass utilisation options and to make decisions on whether or not to launch or sustain biomass utilisation initiatives.

  2. Drosophotoxicology: An Emerging Research Area for Assessing Nanoparticles Interaction with Living Organisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Carmen Chifiriuc


    Full Text Available The rapid development of nanotechnology allowed the fabrication of a wide range of different nanomaterials, raising many questions about their safety and potential risks for the human health and environment. Most of the current nanotoxicology research is not standardized, hampering any comparison or reproducibility of the obtained results. Drosophotoxicology encompasses the plethora of methodological approaches addressing the use of Drosophila melanogaster as a choice organism in toxicology studies. Drosophila melanogaster model offers several important advantages, such as a relatively simple genome structure, short lifespan, low maintenance cost, readiness of experimental manipulation comparative to vertebrate models from both ethical and technical points of view, relevant gene homology with higher organisms, and ease of obtaining mutant phenotypes. The molecular pathways, as well as multiple behavioral and developmental parameters, can be evaluated using this model in lower, medium or high throughput type assays, allowing a systematic classification of the toxicity levels of different nanomaterials. The purpose of this paper is to review the current research on the applications of Drosophila melanogaster model for the in vivo assessment of nanoparticles toxicity and to reveal the huge potential of this model system to provide results that could enable a proper selection of different nanostructures for a certain biomedical application.

  3. Health risk assessment of organic micropollutants in greywater for potable reuse. (United States)

    Etchepare, Ramiro; van der Hoek, Jan Peter


    In light of the increasing interest in development of sustainable potable reuse systems, additional research is needed to elucidate the risks of producing drinking water from new raw water sources. This article investigates the presence and potential health risks of organic micropollutants in greywater, a potential new source for potable water production introduced in this work. An extensive literature survey reveals that almost 280 organic micropollutants have been detected in greywater. A three-tiered approach is applied for the preliminary health risk assessment of these chemicals. Benchmark values are derived from established drinking water standards for compounds grouped in Tier 1, from literature toxicological data for compounds in Tier 2, and from a Threshold of Toxicological Concern approach for compounds in Tier 3. A risk quotient is estimated by comparing the maximum concentration levels reported in greywater to the benchmark values. The results show that for the majority of compounds, risk quotient values were below 0.2, which suggests they would not pose appreciable concern to human health over a lifetime exposure to potable water. Fourteen compounds were identified with risk quotients above 0.2 which may warrant further investigation if greywater is used as a source for potable reuse. The present findings are helpful in prioritizing upcoming greywater quality monitoring and defining the goals of multiple barriers treatment in future water reclamation plants for potable water production.

  4. Dose assessment in accordance with the measured position of size specific dose estimates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Jung Su [Dept. of Radio-technology, Health Welfare, Wonkwang Health Science University, Iksan (Korea, Republic of); Hong, Sung Wan [Dept. of Radiology, Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Iksan (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Jung Min [Dept. of Radiological Science, Korea University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)


    This study investigated the size specific dose estimates of difference localizer on pediatric CT image. Seventy one cases of pediatric abdomen-pelvic CT (M:F=36:35) were included in this study. Anterior-posterior and lateral diameters were measured in axial CT images. Conversion factors from American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) report 204 were obtained for effective diameter to determine size specific dose estimate (SSDE) from the CT dose index volume (CTDIvol) recorded from the dose reports. For the localizer of mid-slice SSDE was 107.63% higher than CTDIvol and that of xiphoid-process slices SSDE was higher than 92.91%. The maximum error of iliac crest slices, xiphoid process slices and femur head slices between mid-slices were 7.48%, 17.81% and 14.04%. In conclusion, despite the SSDE of difference localizer has large number of errors, SSDE should be regarded as the primary evaluation tool of the patient radiation in pediatric CT for evaluation.

  5. Simplified assays of lipolysis enzymes for drug discovery and specificity assessment of known inhibitors. (United States)

    Iglesias, Jose; Lamontagne, Julien; Erb, Heidi; Gezzar, Sari; Zhao, Shangang; Joly, Erik; Truong, Vouy Linh; Skorey, Kathryn; Crane, Sheldon; Madiraju, S R Murthy; Prentki, Marc


    Lipids are used as cellular building blocks and condensed energy stores and also act as signaling molecules. The glycerolipid/ fatty acid cycle, encompassing lipolysis and lipogenesis, generates many lipid signals. Reliable procedures are not available for measuring activities of several lipolytic enzymes for the purposes of drug screening, and this resulted in questionable selectivity of various known lipase inhibitors. We now describe simple assays for lipolytic enzymes, including adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), hormone sensitive lipase (HSL), sn-1-diacylglycerol lipase (DAGL), monoacylglycerol lipase, α/β-hydrolase domain 6, and carboxylesterase 1 (CES1) using recombinant human and mouse enzymes either in cell extracts or using purified enzymes. We observed that many of the reported inhibitors lack specificity. Thus, Cay10499 (HSL inhibitor) and RHC20867 (DAGL inhibitor) also inhibit other lipases. Marked differences in the inhibitor sensitivities of human ATGL and HSL compared with the corresponding mouse enzymes was noticed. Thus, ATGListatin inhibited mouse ATGL but not human ATGL, and the HSL inhibitors WWL11 and Compound 13f were effective against mouse enzyme but much less potent against human enzyme. Many of these lipase inhibitors also inhibited human CES1. Results describe reliable assays for measuring lipase activities that are amenable for drug screening and also caution about the specificity of the many earlier described lipase inhibitors.

  6. Modified inoculation and disease assessment methods reveal host specificity in Erwinia tracheiphila-Cucurbitaceae interactions. (United States)

    Nazareno, Eric S; Dumenyo, C Korsi


    We conducted a greenhouse trial to determine specific compatible interactions between Erwinia tracheiphila strains and cucurbit host species. Using a modified inoculation system, E. tracheiphila strains HCa1-5N, UnisCu1-1N, and MISpSq-N were inoculated to cucumber (Cucumis sativus) cv. 'Sweet Burpless', melon (Cucumis melo) cv. 'Athena Hybrid', and squash (Cucubita pepo) cv. 'Early Summer Crookneck'. We observed symptoms and disease progression for 30 days; recorded the number of days to wilting of the inoculated leaf (DWIL), days to wilting of the whole plant (DWWP), and days to death of the plant (DDP). We found significant interactions between host cultivar and pathogen strains, which imply host specificity. Pathogen strains HCa1-5N and UnisCu1-1N isolated from Cucumis species exhibited more virulence in cucumber and melon than in squash, while the reverse was true for strain MISpSq-N, an isolate from Cucurbita spp. Our observations confirm a previous finding that E. tracheiphila strains isolated from Cucumis species were more virulent on Cucumis hosts and those from Cucubita were more virulent on Cucubita hosts. This confirmation helps in better understanding the pathosystem and provides baseline information for the subsequent development of new disease management strategies for bacterial wilt. We also demonstrated the efficiency of our modified inoculation and disease scoring methods.

  7. Physiological assessment of isolated running does not directly replicate running capacity after triathlon-specific cycling. (United States)

    Etxebarria, Naroa; Hunt, Julie; Ingham, Steve; Ferguson, Richard


    Triathlon running is affected by prior cycling and power output during triathlon cycling is variable in nature. We compared constant and triathlon-specific variable power cycling and their effect on subsequent submaximal running physiology. Nine well-trained male triathletes (age 24.6 ± 4.6 years, [Formula: see text] 4.5 ± 0.4 L · min(-1); mean ± SD) performed a submaximal incremental run test, under three conditions: no prior exercise and after a 1 h cycling trial at 65% of maximal aerobic power with either a constant or a variable power profile. The variable power protocol involved multiple 10-90 s intermittent efforts at 40-140% maximal aerobic power. During cycling, pulmonary ventilation (22%, ± 14%; mean; ± 90% confidence limits), blood lactate (179%, ± 48%) and rating of perceived exertion (7.3%, ± 10.2%) were all substantially higher during variable than during constant power cycling. At the start of the run, blood lactate was 64%, ± 61% higher after variable compared to constant power cycling, which decreased running velocity at 4 mM lactate threshold by 0.6, ± 0.9 km · h(-1). Physiological responses to incremental running are negatively affected by prior cycling and, to a greater extent, by variable compared to even-paced cycling. Testing and training of triathletes should account foe higher physiological cost of triathlon-specific cycling and its effect on subsequent running.

  8. Assessment of potable water quality including organic, inorganic, and trace metal concentrations. (United States)

    Nahar, Mst Shamsun; Zhang, Jing


    The quality of drinking water (tap, ground, and spring) in Toyama Prefecture, Japan was assessed by studying quality indicators including major ions, total carbon, and trace metal levels. The physicochemical properties of the water tested were different depending on the water source. Major ion concentrations (Ca(2+), K(+), Si(4+), Mg(2+), Na(+), SO(4)(2-), HCO(3)(-), NO(3)(-), and Cl(-)) were determined by ion chromatography, and the results were used to generate Stiff diagrams in order to visually identify different water masses. Major ion concentrations were higher in ground water than in spring and tap water. The relationship between alkaline metals (Na(+) and K(+)), alkaline-earth metals (Ca(2+) and Mg(2+)), and HCO(3)(-) showed little difference between deep and shallow ground water. Toyama ground, spring, and tap water were all the same type of water mass, called Ca-HCO(3). The calculated total dissolved solid values were below 300 mg/L for all water sources and met World Health Organization (WHO) water quality guidelines. Trace levels of As, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Fe, Pb, Mn, Mo, Ni, V, Zn, Sr, and Hg were detected in ground, spring, and tap water sources using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry, and their levels were below WHO and Japanese water quality standard limits. Volatile organic carbon compounds were quantified by headspace gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and the measured concentrations met WHO and Japanese water quality guidelines. Total trihalomethanes (THMs) were the major contaminant detected in all natural drinking water sources, but the concentration was highest in tap water (37.27 ± 0.05 μg/L). Notably, THMs concentrations reached up to 1.1 ± 0.05 μg/L in deep ground water. The proposed model gives an accurate description of the organic, inorganic, and trace heavy metal indicators studied here and may be used in natural clean water quality management.

  9. Assessing the oxidative potential of isoprene-derived epoxides and secondary organic aerosol (United States)

    Kramer, Amanda J.; Rattanavaraha, Weruka; Zhang, Zhenfa; Gold, Avram; Surratt, Jason D.; Lin, Ying-Hsuan


    Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is known to contribute to adverse health effects, such as asthma, cardiopulmonary disease, and lung cancer. Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is a major component of PM2.5 and can be enhanced by atmospheric oxidation of biogenic volatile organic compounds in the presence of anthropogenic pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide. However, whether biogenic SOA contributes to adverse health effects remains unclear. The objective of this study was to assess the potential of isoprene-derived epoxides and SOA for generating reactive oxygen species (ROS) in light of the recent recognition that atmospheric oxidation of isoprene in the presence of acidic sulfate aerosol is a major contributor to the global SOA burden. The dithiothreitol (DTT) assay was used to characterize the ROS generation by the isoprene-derived epoxides, trans-β-isoprene epoxydiol (trans-β-IEPOX) and methacrylic acid epoxide (MAE), and their hydrolysis products, the 2-methyltetrol diastereomers (2-MT), 2-methylglyceric acid (2-MG), their organosulfate derivatives, as well as an isoprene-derived hydroxyhydroperoxide (ISOPOOH). In addition, ROS generation potential was evaluated for total SOA produced from photooxidation of isoprene and methacrolein (MACR) as well as from the reactive uptake of trans-β-IEPOX and MAE onto acidified sulfate aerosol. The high-NOx regime, which yields 2-MG-, MAE- and MACR-derived SOA has a higher ROS generation potential than the low-NOx regime, which yields 2-MT, IEPOX- and isoprene-derived SOA. ISOPOOH has an ROS generation potential similar to 1,4-naphthoquinone (1,4-NQ), suggesting a significant contribution of aerosol-phase organic peroxides to PM oxidative potential. MAE- and MACR-derived SOA show equal or greater ROS generation potential than reported in studies on diesel exhaust PM, highlighting the importance of a comprehensive investigation of the toxicity of isoprene-derived SOA.

  10. Assessing the accuracy of an inter-institutional automated patient-specific health problem list

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taylor Laurel


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Health problem lists are a key component of electronic health records and are instrumental in the development of decision-support systems that encourage best practices and optimal patient safety. Most health problem lists require initial clinical information to be entered manually and few integrate information across care providers and institutions. This study assesses the accuracy of a novel approach to create an inter-institutional automated health problem list in a computerized medical record (MOXXI that integrates three sources of information for an individual patient: diagnostic codes from medical services claims from all treating physicians, therapeutic indications from electronic prescriptions, and single-indication drugs. Methods Data for this study were obtained from 121 general practitioners and all medical services provided for 22,248 of their patients. At the opening of a patient's file, all health problems detected through medical service utilization or single-indication drug use were flagged to the physician in the MOXXI system. Each new arising health problem were presented as 'potential' and physicians were prompted to specify if the health problem was valid (Y or not (N or if they preferred to reassess its validity at a later time. Results A total of 263,527 health problems, representing 891 unique problems, were identified for the group of 22,248 patients. Medical services claims contributed to the majority of problems identified (77%, followed by therapeutic indications from electronic prescriptions (14%, and single-indication drugs (9%. Physicians actively chose to assess 41.7% (n = 106,950 of health problems. Overall, 73% of the problems assessed were considered valid; 42% originated from medical service diagnostic codes, 11% from single indication drugs, and 47% from prescription indications. Twelve percent of problems identified through other treating physicians were considered valid compared to 28

  11. Physiological assessment of military professional adaptation and organism functional status of higher military schools resident students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kondrashov V.V.


    Full Text Available The results of the study of organism functional status of resident students of military medical higher schools in different situations and modes of professional education (during their study day, round-the clock shifts in a clinic, duties, and an examination period in the process of military professional adaptation have been analyzed. The technique of functional body status optimization which takes into account both psycho-physiological specificity of military professional training as well as the regularities of psycho-physiologic reserve-capacity changes and military professional adaptation has been worked out. It constitutes the sum total of physiologically proved structural and functional components such as adaptation improvements, correction and recreation of functional body status

  12. Plasmodium chabaudi-Infected Erythrocytes Adhere to CD36 and Bind to Microvascular Endothelial Cells in an Organ-Specific Way (United States)

    Mota, Maria M.; Jarra, William; Hirst, Elizabeth; Patnaik, Pradeep K.; Holder, Anthony A.


    Adherence of erythrocytes infected with Plasmodium falciparum to microvascular endothelial cells (sequestration) is considered to play an important role in parasite virulence and pathogenesis. However, the real importance of sequestration for infection and disease has never been fully assessed. The absence of an appropriate in vivo model for sequestration has been a major barrier. We have examined the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi AS in mice as a potential model. Erythrocytes infected with this parasite adhere in vitro to purified CD36, a critical endothelium receptor for binding P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes. P. c. chabaudi-infected erythrocytes adhere in vitro to endothelial cells in a gamma interferon-dependent manner, suggesting the involvement of additional adhesion molecules in the binding process, as is also the case with P. falciparum-infected cells. Furthermore, plasma or sera from infected and hyperimmune mice, respectively, have the ability to block binding of infected erythrocytes to endothelial cells. In vivo, erythrocytes containing mature P. c. chabaudi parasites are sequestered from the peripheral circulation. Sequestration is organ specific, occurring primarily in the liver, although intimate contact between infected erythrocytes and endothelial cells is also observed in the spleen and brain. The results are discussed in the context of the use of this model to study (i) the relationship between endothelial cell activation and the level of sequestration and (ii) the primary function of sequestration in malaria infection. PMID:10858230

  13. The application of an innovative continuous multiple tube reactor as a strategy to control the specific organic loading rate for biohydrogen production by dark fermentation. (United States)

    Gomes, Simone D; Fuess, Lucas T; Penteado, Eduardo D; Lucas, Shaiane D M; Gotardo, Jackeline T; Zaiat, Marcelo


    Biohydrogen production in fixed-bed reactors often leads to unstable and decreasing patterns because the excessive accumulation of biomass in the bed negatively affects the specific organic loading rate (SOLR) applied to the reactor. In this context, an innovative reactor configuration, i.e., the continuous multiple tube reactor (CMTR), was assessed in an attempt to better control the SOLR for biohydrogen production. The CMTR provides a continuous discharge of biomass, preventing the accumulation of solids in the long-term. Sucrose was used as the carbon source and mesophilic temperature conditions (25°C) were applied in three continuous assays. The reactor showed better performance when support material was placed in the outlet chamber to enhance biomass retention within the reactor. Although the SOLR could not be effectively controlled, reaching values usually higher than 10gsucroseg(-1)VSSd(-1), the volumetric hydrogen production and molar hydrogen production rates peaked, respectively, at 1470mLH2L(-1)d(-1) and 45mmolH2d(-1), indicating that the CMTR was a suitable configuration for biohydrogen production.

  14. The use of the carbon/nitrogen ratio and specific organic loading rate as tools for improving biohydrogen production in fixed-bed reactors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mélida del Pilar Anzola-Rojas


    Full Text Available This study assessed the effect of the carbon/nitrogen (C/N ratio on the hydrogen production from sucrose-based synthetic wastewater in upflow fixed-bed anaerobic reactors. C/N ratios of 40, 90, 140, and 190 (g C/g N were studied using sucrose and urea as the carbon and nitrogen sources, respectively. An optimum hydrogen yield of 3.5 mol H2 mol−1 sucrose was obtained for a C/N ratio of 137 by means of mathematical adjustment. For all C/N ratios, the sucrose removal efficiency reached values greater than 80% and was stable after the transient stage. However, biogas production was not stable at all C/N ratios as a consequence of the continuous decreasing of the specific organic loading rate (SOLR when the biomass accumulated in the fixed-bed, causing the proliferation of H2-consuming microorganisms. It was found that the application of a constant SOLR of 6.0 g sucrose g−1 VSS d−1 stabilized the system.

  15. Assessment of volatile organic compound removal by indoor plants--a novel experimental setup. (United States)

    Dela Cruz, Majbrit; Müller, Renate; Svensmark, Bo; Pedersen, Jakob Skov; Christensen, Jan H


    Indoor plants can remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. The majority of knowledge comes from laboratory studies where results cannot directly be transferred to real-life settings. The aim of this study was to develop an experimental test system to assess VOC removal by indoor plants which allows for an improved real-life simulation. Parameters such as relative humidity, air exchange rate and VOC concentration are controlled and can be varied to simulate different real-life settings. For example, toluene diffusion through a needle gave concentrations in the range of 0.10-2.35 μg/L with deviations from theoretical values of 3.2-10.5%. Overall, the system proved to be functional for the assessment of VOC removal by indoor plants with Hedera helix reaching a toluene removal rate of up to 66.5 μg/m(2)/h. The mode of toluene exposure (semi-dynamic or dynamic) had a significant influence on the removal rate obtained by H. helix.

  16. Assessment of volatile organic compound removal by indoor plants-a novel experimental setup

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dela Cruz, Majbrit; Müller, Renate; Svensmark, Bo;


    Indoor plants can remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. The majority of knowledge comes from laboratory studies where results cannot directly be transferred to real-life settings. The aim of this study was to develop an experimental test system to assess VOC removal by indoor.......10-2.35 μg/L with deviations from theoretical values of 3.2-10.5 %. Overall, the system proved to be functional for the assessment of VOC removal by indoor plants with Hedera helix reaching a toluene removal rate of up to 66.5 μg/m2/h. The mode of toluene exposure (semi-dynamic or dynamic) had a significant...... plants which allows for an improved real-life simulation. Parameters such as relative humidity, air exchange rate and VOC concentration are controlled and can be varied to simulate different real-life settings. For example, toluene diffusion through a needle gave concentrations in the range of 0...

  17. Engineered nanomaterials in soil: Problems in assessing their effect on living organisms (United States)

    Terekhova, V. A.; Gladkova, M. M.


    Studies on the occurrence and potential effects of nanomaterials (NMs) in the environment are analyzed. Mechanisms of action of some of the well-known nanotechnological products on test cultures are discussed. Attention is focused on the problems of determination of the ecotoxicity of NMs in soils in relation to their instability and variability in the environmental conditions. Our data indicate that the effect of the interactions between the nanoparticles should be taken into consideration in econanotoxicological studies. The formation of aggregates at high concentrations of nanoparticles and an increase in the content of free nanoparticles upon dilution largely explain the inverted dose-response ratio, or the U-shaped curve describing this relationship in the analysis of dispersed systems. Problems in the development of an assessment system for the effect of NMs on environments, including soils, are also discussed. Presently, there are no standards for assessing NMs, and approved Russian and international procedures for checking the sensitivity of standardized test organisms are used. However, the imperfection of the approaches to the analysis of NMs toxicity gives no ground for hampering the development of nanotechnologies for nature conservation purposes.

  18. [Exposure assessment to metals in an armament repair shop of a military organization]. (United States)

    Neves, Eduardo Borba; Mendonça Junior, Nelson; Moreira, Maria de Fátima Ramos


    The aim of this study was the occupational exposure assessment to lead and manganese of workers in an armament repair shop of a military organization. The air of the working environment was assessed in the environmental monitoring while the internal dose biological indicators for lead and manganese, in blood and urine, were used in biological monitoring. Metals concentration in filters and biological fluids were determined by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry. The results of the environmental monitoring showed lead and manganese levels above the TLV-TWA during the process of painting (313.33 g m-3) and solder (951 microg m-3). The biological indicators revealed that five of the nine employees presented Pb-S levels that suggested an environmental exposure to lead (values between 5 and 10 microg dL-1). It can be concluded that there is a small occupational exposure to lead and manganese in the superficial treatment repair shop. This exposure is influenced by weather conditions and the variable demand of work.

  19. EST analysis in Ginkgo biloba: an assessment of conserved developmental regulators and gymnosperm specific genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Runko Suzan J


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ginkgo biloba L. is the only surviving member of one of the oldest living seed plant groups with medicinal, spiritual and horticultural importance worldwide. As an evolutionary relic, it displays many characters found in the early, extinct seed plants and extant cycads. To establish a molecular base to understand the evolution of seeds and pollen, we created a cDNA library and EST dataset from the reproductive structures of male (microsporangiate, female (megasporangiate, and vegetative organs (leaves of Ginkgo biloba. Results RNA from newly emerged male and female reproductive organs and immature leaves was used to create three distinct cDNA libraries from which 6,434 ESTs were generated. These 6,434 ESTs from Ginkgo biloba were clustered into 3,830 unigenes. A comparison of our Ginkgo unigene set against the fully annotated genomes of rice and Arabidopsis, and all available ESTs in Genbank revealed that 256 Ginkgo unigenes match only genes among the gymnosperms and non-seed plants – many with multiple matches to genes in non-angiosperm plants. Conversely, another group of unigenes in Gingko had highly significant homology to transcription factors in angiosperms involved in development, including MADS box genes as well as post-transcriptional regulators. Several of the conserved developmental genes found in Ginkgo had top BLAST homology to cycad genes. We also note here the presence of ESTs in G. biloba similar to genes that to date have only been found in gymnosperms and an additional 22 Ginkgo genes common only to genes from cycads. Conclusion Our analysis of an EST dataset from G. biloba revealed genes potentially unique to gymnosperms. Many of these genes showed homology to fully sequenced clones from our cycad EST dataset found in common only with gymnosperms. Other Ginkgo ESTs are similar to developmental regulators in higher plants. This work sets the stage for future studies on Ginkgo to better understand seed and

  20. Tissue-specific direct microtransfer of nanomaterials into Drosophila embryos as a versatile in vivo test bed for nanomaterial toxicity assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vega-Alvarez S


    Full Text Available Sasha Vega-Alvarez,1 Adriana Herrera,2 Carlos Rinaldi,2–4 Franklin A Carrero-Martínez1,5 1Department of Biology, 2Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico; 3J Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, 4Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; 5Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico Abstract: Nanomaterials are the subject of intense research, focused on their synthesis, modification, and biomedical applications. Increased nanomaterial production and their wide range of applications imply a higher risk of human and environmental exposure. Unfortunately, neither environmental effects nor toxicity of nanomaterials to organisms are fully understood. Cost-effective, rapid toxicity assays requiring minimal amounts of materials are needed to establish both their biomedical potential and environmental safety standards. Drosophila exemplifies an efficient and cost-effective model organism with a vast repertoire of in vivo tools and techniques, all with high-throughput scalability and screening feasibility throughout its life cycle. Here we report tissue specific nanomaterial assessment through direct microtransfer into target tissues. We tested several nanomaterials with potential biomedical applications such as single-wall carbon nanotubes, multiwall carbon nanotubes, silver, gold, titanium dioxide, and iron oxide nanoparticles. Assessment of nanomaterial toxicity was conducted by evaluating progression through developmental morphological milestones in Drosophila. This cost-effective assessment method is amenable to high-throughput screening. Keywords: nanotoxicity, Drosophila, microtransfer, nanoparticle, iron oxide, silver, gold, titanium dioxide, carbon nanotube

  1. Disposition and transportation of surplus radioactive low specific activity nitric acid. Volume 1, Environmental Assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    DOE is deactivating the PUREX plant at Hanford; this will involve the disposition of about 692,000 liters (183,000 gallons) of surplus nitric acid contaminated with low levels of U and other radionuclides. The nitric acid, designated as low specific activity, is stored in 4 storage tanks at PUREX. Five principal alternatives were evaluated: transfer for reuse (sale to BNF plc), no action, continued storage in Hanford upgraded or new facility, consolidation of DOE surplus acid, and processing the LSA nitric acid as waste. The transfer to BNF plc is the preferred alternative. From the analysis, it is concluded that the proposed disposition and transportation of the acid does not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment within the meaning of NEPA; therefore an environmental impact statement is not required.

  2. Precision farming - Technology assessment of site-specific input application in cereals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Søren Marcus

    About 400 Danish farmers have within the large 10 years adopted some precision farming technologies on their farms. Precision farming is a management system, in which the use of variable inputs (fertilisers, lime and pesticides) is applied according to the spatial soil and crop variation at a sub...... but it seems possible to obtain a socio-economic benefits from lime, variable rate herbicide and possibly nitrogen application • The technology may improve farm logistics, planning and crop quality (e.g. protein content) - but • The costs of implementing PF-practices are high and • Technical functionality...... and hardware-compatibility is a concern among farmers Precisions farming is primarily economic viable on relative large farm holdings and site-specific application is only economic attractive if some degree of soil texture variation is present on the field. There is a need for additional information about...

  3. Nationwide Assessment of Cause-Specific Mortality in Patients with Rosacea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Egeberg, Alexander; Fowler, Joseph F; Gislason, Gunnar H


    BACKGROUND: Emerging data suggest that rosacea is associated with several comorbidities; however, the causes of mortality in patients with rosacea have not yet been investigated. OBJECTIVE: We evaluated all-cause and cause-specific death rates in patients with rosacea in a population-based Danish...... cohort study. METHODS: All Danish individuals aged ≥18 years between 1 January 1997 and 31 December 2012 with rosacea diagnosed by hospital dermatologists were linked in nationwide registers and compared with age- and sex-matched general-population subjects (1:5 ratio). Death rates were calculated per...... 1000 person-years, and hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated using Cox regression models. RESULTS: The total cohort (n = 35,958) included 5993 patients with rosacea and 29,965 age- and sex-matched individuals from the general population. During the maximum 15 years of follow-up, 664 (11.1 %) patients...


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. A. Chumakov


    Full Text Available Abstract. In glioblastoma (GB, it is necessary to take into consideration GB-associated secondary immunodeficiency (SID, so-called syndrome of tumor-associated SID (STASID. Cell subsets having effector and regulatory functions, play an important role in developing STASID, and their proportions in patients with different forms of GB can be of pathogenetic importance and have clinical value for treatment and rehabilitation scheduling as well. The most pathogenically and clinically important features of cell subsets profile of peripheral blood were analyzed in patients with different clinical and morphological types of GB. The patients were divided into three groups, i.e., groups I and II were formed by patients with STASID (marked and slightly marked SID, accordingly; group III – patients with SIDTAS (tumor-associated autoimmune syndrome, associated with SID. Marked suppression of cell immunity is typical of group I - imbalance in T-lymphocytes, in a number of specific subsets, and in subsets clusters, as well as disproportions in the immunoregulatory indexes. In group II, the subset profiles of blood were slightly different from the norm. In patients with SIDTAS, activation of cell immunity was evident, forming SID with signs of autoimmune syndrome, affecting effector and regulatory chains of immunity, and influencing the severity and forecast of the disease. Specific features of the immune status in patients with GB identified can be resulted from different clinicalmorphological types of the tumor; the latter are to be considered in differential diagnostics of clinical course of GB and in scheduling of clinical-immunological efficient anti-tumor pharmacotherapy in pre- and postoperative periods.

  5. Recovery Assessment Scale: Testing validity with Portuguese community-based mental health organization users. (United States)

    Jorge-Monteiro, Maria F; Ornelas, José H


    The aim of the present study was to develop the Portuguese version of the Recovery Assessment Scale (RAS-P), and to assess the validity of the findings using the revised test, with 213 users from 5 nonprofit community-based mental health organizations. Participants in the assessment completed a self-reported survey investigating their sense of personal recovery, personal empowerment, capabilities achievement, psychiatric symptoms' frequency, and demographic data. Evidence from exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses using the 24-item version of the test, validated a 4-factor structure for the RAS-P model based on the dimensions of Personal Goals and Hope, Managing Help Needs, Supportive Interpersonal Relationships, and Life Beyond Symptoms, consistent with components of the recovery process. Convergent and discriminant validity was also achieved using bivariate correlation coefficients among the 4 subscales' scores, between the overall scale and the subscales, and in relation to external variables. Findings allowed for the interpretation that the RAS-P is measuring a particular psychological construct, which is different from symptoms of the mental illness. A hypothesized significant association with personal empowerment and with capabilities achievement was demonstrated. Positive association was also found between participants' use of recovery-oriented services such as independent housing or supported employment programs. The RAS-P scores also revealed excellent internal consistency for the overall scale (α = .90), and good consistency for the subscales (>.75), which attest to its precision in measurement. In conclusion, the study proved the RAS-P a reliable and useful tool in the context of the community mental health practice.

  6. Specific food intake, fat and fiber intake, and behavioral correlates of BMI among overweight and obese members of a managed care organization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sherwood Nancy E


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The study examined correlates of body mass index (BMI in overweight and obese members of a managed care organization seeking treatment for obesity. It assessed intake of specific foods, dietary fat or fiber, and behaviors attempted to control weight. Methods Participants were 508 men and 1293 women who were > 18 years and had a self-reported BMI > 27.0. This paper reports analyses of baseline and 24-month follow-up data from a randomized weight-loss trial. Cross-sectional and prospective relationships between BMI and behaviors were examined with regression analyses controlling for age and education. Results At baseline, hamburger and beef consumption were associated with higher BMI for men; for women, hamburger, fried chicken, hot dog, bacon or sausage, egg, French fry, and overall fat consumption were associated with higher BMI, while eating high fiber cereal, fruit, and overall fiber intake were associated with lower BMI. Virtually all forms of weight control behavior were reported more often in heavier people. Subscribing to exercise magazines, however, was associated with lower BMI. Decreased fat intake and increased fruit/vegetable/fiber intake over the course of the study were associated with reductions in BMI at 24 months. Conclusion The same behaviors that differentiate individuals with different body weight in the general population also differentiate between individuals of different body weights at the high end of the weight distribution. Educational efforts aimed at preventing weight gain and reducing obesity might benefit from focusing on specific foods known to be associated empirically with body weight and weight change over time.

  7. Localization of heavy metals immobilized on specific organic and mineral parts of a wood-derived biochar (United States)

    Rees, Frédéric; Watteau, Françoise; Morel, Jean-Louis


    Biochar has been intensively investigated over recent years, not only as a promising carbon sequestration or fertilizing agent in soils but also as a possible new sorbent to remediate contaminated soils. A few studies have revealed its high potential for heavy metals immobilization depending on the nature of biochar and trace elements. The mechanisms behind this immobilization remain however unclear: some authors have hypothesized a high sorption capacity due to biochar large surface area while others have suggested that this immobilization is mainly due to soil pH increase. In particular, the distinction between heavy metals specific sorption in biochar pores and heavy metals precipitation in or outside biochar particles is often impossible to make while it is of primary importance to evaluate biochar ability to retain these pollutants on a long-time scale. In order to evaluate the main heavy metal immobilization effects on a standard biochar and to identify the most successful biochar parts of the sample, we examined biochar particles after heavy metals immobilization in batch experiments designed to mimic real chemical processes in soils. A biochar derived from hard and soft wood and pyrolyzed at about 450°C was put in contact with relatively low concentrations of heavy metals (Pb, Cu, Cd, Zn, Ni) in an initially acidic Ca(NO3)2 solution. Following a one-week adsorption and a one-week desorption step, we recovered the biochar particles and observed them using scanning electron microscopy coupled to energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, focusing especially on the changes in mineral phases and the location of each of the retained heavy metals on biochar particles. We were able to distinguish different structures in the biochar samples which were linked to the degree of pyrolysis and the exact nature of the raw wood biomass. We detected the presence of concentrated metals zones (e.g. lead) in specific locations of the organic particles depending on the original

  8. The Engineering and Science Issues Test (ESIT): a discipline-specific approach to assessing moral judgment. (United States)

    Borenstein, Jason; Drake, Matthew J; Kirkman, Robert; Swann, Julie L


    To assess ethics pedagogy in science and engineering, we developed a new tool called the Engineering and Science Issues Test (ESIT). ESIT measures moral judgment in a manner similar to the Defining Issues Test, second edition, but is built around technical dilemmas in science and engineering. We used a quasi-experimental approach with pre- and post-tests, and we compared the results to those of a control group with no overt ethics instruction. Our findings are that several (but not all) stand-alone classes showed a significant improvement compared to the control group when the metric includes multiple stages of moral development. We also found that the written test had a higher response rate and sensitivity to pedagogy than the electronic version. We do not find significant differences on pre-test scores with respect to age, education level, gender or political leanings, but we do on whether subjects were native English speakers. We did not find significant differences on pre-test scores based on whether subjects had previous ethics instruction; this could suggest a lack of a long-term effect from the instruction.

  9. Congener specific distribution and health risk assessment of polychlorinated biphenyls in urban soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhupander Kumar


    Full Text Available Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs were primarily used in transformers and capacitors, lubricants, flame retardants, plasticizers, paint, carbonless papers, etc. These are capable of long-range atmospheric transport and have been designated as persistent organic pollutants by the Stockholm Convention. Due to their characteristic properties, PCBs are found worldwide in all environmental matrices (including human and biota. Soils are usually considered to be the source as well as sink for environmental pollutants, with cumulative effects of long-range atmospheric transport and local sources. Around the world, comparatively higher concentrations of PCBs have been reported in urban soils than suburban or rural soils. Higher amount of PCBs in urban soils may cause toxicological health risks to urban residents through ingestion, inhalation and skin contact. This paper presents the PCB distribution in soils from Delhi, India, and exposure risk estimates for human health through soil ingestion. The concentration of ΣPCBs ranged between 1.08-100.67 ng g–1 (mean 21.16 ng g–1±5.24 ng g–1, which was much lower than the Canadian soil quality guideline value of 1.3 mg/kg or 1300 ng g–1. Human health risk estimates through the soil ingestion pathway were made in terms of lifetime average daily dose (LADD, incremental lifetime cancer risks and non-carcinogenic hazard quotient (HQ. The LADD for Delhi adults and children was 3.02x10–8 mg kg–1 d–1 and 1.57x10–7 mg kg–1 d–1, respectively, which corresponds to toxic equivalent quotients (TEQ intake of 0.105 pg TEQ kg–1 d–1 (0.735 pg TEQ kg–1 week–1 and 0.543 pg TEQ kg–1 d–1 (3.801 pg TEQ kg–1 week–1, respectively. The estimated LADD for Delhi residents was lower than the acceptable

  10. Assessing somatic hypermutation in Ramos B cells after overexpression or knockdown of specific genes. (United States)

    Upton, Dana C; Unniraman, Shyam


    B cells start their life with low affinity antibodies generated by V(D)J recombination. However, upon detecting a pathogen, the variable (V) region of an immunoglobulin (Ig) gene is mutated approximately 100,000-fold more than the rest of the genome through somatic hypermutation (SHM), resulting in high affinity antibodies. In addition, class switch recombination (CSR) produces antibodies with different effector functions depending on the kind of immune response that is needed for a particular pathogen. Both CSR and SHM are initiated by activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), which deaminates cytosine residues in DNA to produce uracils. These uracils are processed by error-prone forms of repair pathways, eventually leading to mutations and recombination. Our current understanding of the molecular details of SHM and CSR come from a combination of studies in mice, primary cells, cell lines, and cell-free experiments. Mouse models remain the gold standard with genetic knockouts showing critical roles for many repair factors (e.g. Ung, Msh2, Msh6, Exo1, and polymerase η). However, not all genes are amenable for knockout studies. For example, knockouts of several double-strand break repair proteins are embryonically lethal or impair B-cell development. Moreover, sometimes the specific function of a protein in SHM or CSR may be masked by more global defects caused by the knockout. In addition, since experiments in mice can be lengthy, altering expression of individual genes in cell lines has become an increasingly popular first step to identifying and characterizing candidate genes. Ramos - a Burkitt lymphoma cell line that constitutively undergoes SHM - has been a popular cell-line model to study SHM. One advantage of Ramos cells is that they have a built-in convenient semi-quantitative measure of SHM. Wild type cells express IgM and, as they pick up mutations, some of the mutations knock out IgM expression. Therefore, assaying IgM loss by fluorescence

  11. Characterization of the Tomato Prosystemin Promoter: Organ-specific Expression, Hormone Specificity and Methyl Jasmonate Responsiveness by Deletion Analysis in Transgenic Tobacco Plants(F)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hamlet Avilés-Arnaut; John Paul Délano-Frier


    Tomato systemin is a bioactive peptide that regulates the systemic activation of wound-responsive genes.It is released from its 200 amino acid precursor called prosystemin.Initial tissue-localization and hormone-induced expression assays indicated that the tomato prosystemin gene (SIPS) accumulates mainly in floral tissues and in response to exogenous abscisic acid and methyl jasmonate (MeJA)treatments,respectively.Later,the promoter regions of the PS gene in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum,pepper (Capsicum annuum) and potato (Solanum tuberosum) were isolated and an in silico analysis of the SIPS promoter revealed an over-representation of stress- and MeJA-responsive motifs.A subsequent 5' deletion analysis of the SIPS promoter fused to theβ-glucuronidase reporter (GUS) gene showed that the -221 to +40 bp proximal SIPS promoter region was sufficient to direct the stigma,vascular bundle-specific and MeJA-responsive expression of GUS in transgenic tobacco plants.Important vascular-tissue-specific,light- and MeJA-responsive cis-elements were also present in this region.These findings provide relevant information regarding the transcriptional regulation mechanisms of the SIPS promoter operating in transgenic tobacco plants.They also suggest that its tissue-specificity and inducible nature could have wide applicability in plant biotechnology.

  12. Assessment of isomalt for colon-specific delivery and its comparison with lactulose. (United States)

    Dehghan, Mohamed Hassan G; Gupta, V Rama Mohan; Asif, Shaikh Mohammed; Darwis, Yusrida; Rizwan, Mohammad; Mundada, Veenu Piyush


    Lactulose is used as a triggering substance in a unique colon-specific delivery technology called CODESTM. Colonic microflora degrades lactulose and forms short-chain fatty acids to activate the CODESTM system. However, lactulose has been reported to cause a Maillard-type reaction with substances containing primary or secondary amino groups that may produce carcinogenic compounds. Thus, the aim of this study was to look into the possibility to substitute lactulose with isomalt for fabrication of CODESTM. The in vitro degradation of both sugars before incorporating them into the CODESTM system was evaluated with the help of rat caecal microflora. The results showed that isomalt was less efficient with regard to its rate and extent of degradation into short-chain fatty acids by the microflora compared to lactulose. However, the in vitro dissolution study did not show a significant difference in the performance between lactulose and isomalt when they were incorporated separately in CODESTM. A similar result was also obtained in the in vivo study. Based on the above results, isomalt could be used as an alternative to lactulose for colonic delivery system utilizing the principles of CODESTM.

  13. Assessment of specific energy absorption rate (SAR) in the head from a TETRA handset (United States)

    Dimbylow, Peter; Khalid, Mohammed; Mann, Simon


    Finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) calculations of the specific energy absorption rate (SAR) from a representative TETRA handset have been performed in an anatomically realistic model of the head. TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) is a modern digital private mobile radio system designed to meet the requirements of professional users, such as the police and fire brigade. The current frequency allocations in the UK are 380-385 MHz and 390-395 MHz for the public sector network. A comprehensive set of calculations of SAR in the head was performed for positions of the handset in front of the face and at both sides of the head. The representative TETRA handset considered, operating at 1 W in normal use, will show compliance with both the ICNIRP occupational and public exposure restrictions. The handset with a monopole antenna operating at 3 W in normal use will show compliance with both the ICNIRP occupational and public exposure restrictions. The handset with a helical antenna operating at 3 W in normal use will show compliance with the ICNIRP occupational exposure restriction but will be over the public exposure restriction by up to ~50% if kept in the position of maximum SAR for 6 min continuously.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil Fleming


    Full Text Available The current study compared EMG, stroke force and 2D kinematics during on-ergometer and on-water kayaking. Male elite flatwater kayakers (n = 10 performed matched exercise protocols consisting of 3 min bouts at heart and stroke rates equivalent to 85% of VO2peak (assessed by prior graded incremental test. EMG data were recorded from Anterior Deltoid (AD, Triceps Brachii (TB, Latissimus Dorsi (LD and Vastus Lateralis (VL via wireless telemetry. Video data recorded at 50 Hz with audio triggers pre- and post-exercise facilitated synchronisation of EMG and kinematic variables. Force data were recorded via strain gauge arrays on paddle and ergometer shafts. EMG data were root mean squared (20ms window, temporally and amplitude normalised, and averaged over 10 consecutive cycles. In addition, overall muscle activity was quantified via iEMG and discrete stroke force and kinematic variables computed. Significantly greater TB and LD mean iEMG activity were recorded on-water (239 ± 15 vs. 179 ± 10 µV. s, p < 0.01 and 158 ± 12 vs. 137 ± 14 µV.s, p < 0.05, respectively, while significantly greater AD activity was recorded on-ergometer (494 ± 66 vs. 340 ± 35 µV.s, p < 0.01. Time to vertical shaft position occurred significantly earlier on-ergometer (p < 0.05. Analysis of stroke force data and EMG revealed that increased AD activity was concurrent with increased external forces applied to the paddle shaft at discrete phases of the on-ergometer stroke cycle. These external forces were associated with the ergometer loading mechanism and were not observed on- water. The current results contradict a previous published hypothesis on shoulder muscle recruitment during on-water kayaking.

  15. Mercury contamination in human hair and fish from Cambodia: levels, specific accumulation and risk assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Agusa, Tetsuro [Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8577 (Japan); Kunito, Takashi [Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Shinshu University, 3-1-1 Asahi, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-8621 (Japan); Iwata, Hisato [Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8577 (Japan); Monirith, In [Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8577 (Japan); Tana, Touch Seang [Social and Cultural Observation Unit (OBSES) of the Cabinet of the Council of Ministers, Phnom Penh (Cambodia); Subramanian, Annamalai [Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8577 (Japan); Tanabe, Shinsuke [Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8577 (Japan)]. E-mail:


    Mercury (Hg) concentrations in human hair and fish samples from Phnom Penh, Kien Svay, Tomnup Rolork and Batrong, Cambodia, collected in November 1999 and December 2000 were determined to understand the status of contamination, and age- and sex-dependent accumulation in humans and to assess the intake of mercury via fish consumption. Mercury concentrations in human hair ranged from 0.54 to 190 {mu}g/g dry wt. About 3% of the samples contained Hg levels exceeding the no observed adverse effects level (NOAEL) of WHO (50 {mu}g/g) and the levels in some hair samples of women also exceeded the NOAEL (10 {mu}g/g) associated with fetus neurotoxicity. A weak but significant positive correlation was observed between age and Hg levels in hair of residents. Mercury concentrations in muscle of marine and freshwater fish from Cambodia ranged from <0.01 to 0.96 {mu}g/g wet wt. Mercury intake rates were estimated on the basis of the Hg content in fish and daily fish consumption. Three samples of marine fish including sharp-tooth snapper and obtuse barracuda, and one sample of sharp-tooth snapper exceeded the guidelines by US EPA and by Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), respectively, which indicates that some fish specimens examined (9% and 3% for US EPA and JECFA guidelines, respectively) were hazardous for consumption at the ingestion rate of Cambodian people (32.6 g/day). It is suggested that fish is probably the main source of Hg for Cambodian people. However, extremely high Hg concentrations were observed in some individuals and could not be explained by Hg intake from fish consumption, indicating some other contamination sources of Hg in Cambodia. - A source other than fish may be responsible for high Hg in some Cambodians.

  16. Towards sustainable fisheries of the Öresund cod (Gadus morhua) through sub-stock-specific assessment and management recommendations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindegren, Martin; Waldo, Staffan; Nilsson, P. Anders;


    Fisheries management traditionally relies on stock assessments assuming discrete populations within large administrational areas. However, failing to account for sub-stock structuring may result in overestimation of the stocks' true harvest potential and unsustainable exploitation of small stock...... elements. Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) frequently occurs in spatially segregated populations, some of which exhibit fine-scaled stock structuring within current management boundaries. Here we use the locally spawning cod stock in the Sound (“Öresund”) as a case study, and perform a sub-stock......-specific assessment to evaluate biological and economic effects of managing the Sound cod as a separate stock. Our results indicate that reducing exploitation pressure, particularly through technical regulations i.e. increasing gill-net mesh sizes, would not only enhance the stock age distribution, but yield long...

  17. Comparative risk assessment for new cow-level Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis infections between 3 dairy production types: Organic, conventional, and conventional-grazing systems. (United States)

    Beaver, A; Ruegg, P L; Gröhn, Y T; Schukken, Y H


    Johne's disease, a granulomatous enteritis of ruminant animals, is a hidden threat on dairy farms, adversely affecting animal welfare as well as herd productivity. Control programs in the United States advocate for specific management practices to temper the spread of the causal organism (Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis, MAP), such as improving calving area hygiene and limiting introduction of replacement stock with unknown infection status. A need remains for direct exploration of Johne's disease prevention strategies in the United States with respect to production type. Alongside the growing demand for organic products, the safety of organic dairy practices with respect to MAP control is warranted. Further, conventional herds for which organic practices such as pasture grazing are used should be situated within the risk spectrum. We developed a risk assessment model using the US Voluntary Bovine Johne's Disease Control Program as a framework, with the goal of evaluating the risk of new cow-level MAP infections. A total of 292 organic and conventional farms in 3 states were surveyed on management practices, and an overall analysis was conducted in which each farm was first scored on individual practices using a range of "no risk" to "high risk," according to the literature. The sum of all risk factors was then analyzed to quantify and compare the risk burden for each production type. Organic herds received higher overall risk scores compared with both conventional grazing and nongrazing subtypes. To identify which factors contributed to the overall increased risk for organic herds, the management practices were categorized and evaluated by logistic regression. We determined that the increased risk incurred by organic herds was predominantly due to decisions made in the calving area and preweaned calf group. However, although certain individual risk factors related to calf management are commonly involved in prevention strategies (e.g., cow

  18. Assessment of altered binding specificity of bacteriophage for ciprofloxacin-induced antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Typhimurium. (United States)

    Kim, Jeongjin; Jo, Ara; Ding, Tian; Lee, Hyeon-Yong; Ahn, Juhee


    This study describes a new effort toward understanding the interaction mechanisms between antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Typhimurium and phages. The antibiotic susceptibility, β-lactamase activity, bacterial motility, gene expression, and lytic activity were evaluated in ciprofloxacin-induced antibiotic-sensitive Salmonella Typhimurium (ASST(CIP)) and ciprofloxacin-induced antibiotic-resistant S. Typhimurium (ARST(CIP)), which were compared to the wild-type strains (ASST(WT) and ARST(WT)). The MIC values of ampicillin, norfloxacin, chloramphenicol, and tetracycline were significantly increased to > 512, 16, 16, and 256 μg/ml, respectively, in the ARST(CIP). The lowest and highest extracellular lactamase activities were observed in ASST(WT) (6.85 μmol/min/ml) and ARST(CIP) (48.83 μmol/min/ml), respectively. The acrA, lpfE, and hilA genes were significantly upregulated by more than tenfold in both ASST(CIP) and ARST(CIP). The induction of multiple antibiotic resistance resulted from the increased efflux pump activity (AcrAB-TolC). The highest phage adsorption rates were more than 95 % for ASST(WT), ASST(CIP), and ARST(WT), while the lowest adsorption rate was 52 % for ARST(CIP) at 15 min of infection. The least lytic activity of phage was 20 % against the ARST(CIP), followed by ASST(CIP) (30 %). The adsorption rate of phage against ARST(CIP) was 52 % at 15 min of infection, which resulted in the decrease in lytic activity (12 %). Understanding the interaction of phage and bacteria is essential for the practical application of phage to control and detect antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The results provide useful information for understanding the binding specificity of phages for multiple antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

  19. MGMT promoter methylation in gliomas-assessment by pyrosequencing and quantitative methylation-specific PCR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Håvik Annette


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Methylation of the O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT gene promoter is a favorable prognostic factor in glioblastoma patients. However, reported methylation frequencies vary significantly partly due to lack of consensus in the choice of analytical method. Method We examined 35 low- and 99 high-grade gliomas using quantitative methylation specific PCR (qMSP and pyrosequencing. Gene expression level of MGMT was analyzed by RT-PCR. Results When examined by qMSP, 26% of low-grade and 37% of high-grade gliomas were found to be methylated, whereas 97% of low-grade and 55% of high-grade gliomas were found methylated by pyrosequencing. The average MGMT gene expression level was significantly lower in the group of patients with a methylated promoter independent of method used for methylation detection. Primary glioblastoma patients with a methylated MGMT promoter (as evaluated by both methylation detection methods had approximately 5 months longer median survival compared to patients with an unmethylated promoter (log-rank test; pyrosequencing P = .02, qMSP P = .06. One third of the analyzed samples had conflicting methylation results when comparing the data from the qMSP and pyrosequencing. The overall survival analysis shows that these patients have an intermediate prognosis between the groups with concordant MGMT promoter methylation results when comparing the two methods. Conclusion In our opinion, MGMT promoter methylation analysis gives sufficient prognostic information to merit its inclusion in the standard management of patients with high-grade gliomas, and in this study pyrosequencing came across as the better analytical method.

  20. A gene to organism approach--assessing the impact of environmental pollution in eelpout (Zoarces viviparus) females and larvae. (United States)

    Asker, Noomi; Carney Almroth, Bethanie; Albertsson, Eva; Coltellaro, Mariateresa; Bignell, John Paul; Hanson, Niklas; Scarcelli, Vittoria; Fagerholm, Björn; Parkkonen, Jari; Wijkmark, Emma; Frenzilli, Giada; Förlin, Lars; Sturve, Joachim


    A broad biomarker approach was applied to study the effects of marine pollution along the Swedish west coast using the teleost eelpout (Zoarces viviparus) as the sentinel species. Measurements were performed on different biological levels, from the molecular to the organismal, including measurements of messenger RNA (mRNA), proteins, cellular and tissue changes, and reproductive success. Results revealed that eelpout captured in Stenungsund had significantly higher hepatic ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase activity, high levels of both cytochrome P4501A and diablo homolog mRNA, and high prevalence of dead larvae and nuclear damage in erythrocytes. Eelpout collected in Göteborg harbor displayed extensive macrovesicular steatosis, whereby the majority of hepatocytes were affected throughout the liver, which could indicate an effect on lipid metabolism. Results also indicate that eelpouts collected at polluted sites might have an affected immune system, with lower mRNA expression of genes involved in the innate immune system and a higher number of lymphocytes. Biomarker assessment also was performed on livers dissected from unborn eelpout larvae collected from the ovary of the females. No significant differences were noted, which might indicate that the larvae to some extent are protected from effects of environmental pollutants. In conclusion, usage of the selected set of biological markers, covering responses from gene to organism, has demonstrated site-specific biomarker patterns that provided a broad and comprehensive picture of the impact of environmental stressors.

  1. Flow cytometric assessment of antigen-specific proliferation in peripheral chicken T cells by CFSE dilution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalgaard, Tina; Norup, Liselotte Rothmann; Rubbenstroth, Dennis;


    peripheral mononuclear blood cells (PBMC) and to evaluate and optimize its performance in relation to detection of vaccine-induced chicken T cells specific for Newcastle disease virus (NDV). The method was based on analysis of CFSE dilution upon ex vivo recall stimulation with whole vaccine antigen. Analysis...... of proliferation was combined with the use of monoclonal antibodies directed against the lymphocyte surface markers CD4 and CD8 in order to phenotype the responding cells. Problems with nonspecific background proliferation especially in the CD8 compartment were significantly reduced by replacing medium containing...... fetal calf serum with serum-free medium. It was rendered probable that antigen-specific cellular immunity can be assessed by this method as NDV-vaccinated chickens showed a significantly higher proliferative capacity than age-matched naïve controls. Furthermore it was shown that the recall stimulation...

  2. Site-specific assessments of the abundance of three inshore dolphin species to inform conservation and management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Mark Brown


    Full Text Available Assessing the abundance of wildlife populations is essential to their effective conservation and management. Concerns have been raised over the vulnerability of tropical inshore dolphins in waters off northern Australia to anthropogenic impacts on local populations, yet a lack of abundance data precludes assessment of their conservation status and the management of threats. Using small vessels as cost-effective research platforms, photo-identification surveys and capture-recapture models were applied to provide the first quantitative abundance data for Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni, Australian humpback (Sousa sahulensis, and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus at five sites in the Kimberley region of north-western Australia. The abundance of each species was highly variable between different sites, likely reflecting species-specific habitat preferences. Within the c. 130 km2 study sites, the estimated abundance of most species was ≤ 60 individuals (excluding calves, and fewer than 20 humpback dolphins were identified at each site in any one 3-5 week sampling period. However, larger estimates of c. 130 snubfin and c. 160 bottlenose dolphins were obtained at two different sites. Several local populations showed evidence of site fidelity, particularly snubfin dolphins. By implementing a standardized, multi-site approach, data on local populations were provided within a broader, regional context, and indicated that each species is patchily distributed in the region. This highlights the need for site-specific baseline data collection using appropriate survey techniques to quantitatively assess the potential impacts of threatening activities to local populations. These findings further illustrate the need to gain a greater understanding of known and potential threats to inshore dolphin populations, their relative impacts, and to mitigate where necessary. In particular, the level of interactions with inshore gillnet fisheries

  3. Assessing element-specific patterns of bioaccumulation across New England lakes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ward, Darren M.; Mayes, Brandon; Sturup, Stefan; Folt, Carol L.; Chen, Celia Y., E-mail:


    improve our capacity to identify consistent patterns of bioaccumulation and drivers of elevated trace element concentrations under naturally high levels of variability. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We assessed bioaccumulation of MeHg and 5 trace elements across trophic levels Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Patterns were compared across multiple sample dates in 7 New England lakes Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Each element had a unique pattern of bioaccumulation, consistent across lakes Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Characterizing such patterns requires spatial and temporal replication in sampling.

  4. Utility of specific biomarkers to assess safety of sw