Sample records for assessment ppa technique

  1. Pulsed Photonuclear Assessment (PPA) Technique: CY 04 Year-end Progress Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J.L. Jones; W.Y. Yoon; K.J. Haskell; D.R. Norman; J.M. Zabriskie; J.W. Sterbentz; S.M. Watson; J.T. Johnson; B.D. Bennett; R.W. Watson; K. L. Folkman


    Idaho National Laboratory (INL), along with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Idaho State University’s Idaho Accelerator Center (IAC), are developing an electron accelerator-based, photonuclear inspection technology for the detection of smuggled nuclear material within air-, rail-, and especially, maritime-cargo transportation containers. This CY04 report describes the latest developments and progress with the development of the Pulsed, Photonuclear Assessment (PPA) nuclear material inspection ystem, such as: (1) the identification of an optimal range of electron beam energies for interrogation applications, (2) the development of a new “cabinet safe” electron accelerator (i.e., Varitron II) to assess “cabinet safe-type” operations, (3) the numerical and experimental validation responses of nuclear materials placed within selected cargo configurations, 4) the fabrication and utilization of Calibration Pallets for inspection technology performance verification, 5) the initial technology integration of basic radiographic “imaging/mapping” with induced neutron and gamma-ray detection, 6) the characterization of electron beam-generated photon sources for optimal performance, 7) the development of experimentallydetermined Receiver-Operator-Characterization curves, and 8) several other system component assessments. This project is supported by the Department of Homeland Security and is a technology component of the Science & Technology Active Interrogation Portfolio entitled “Photofission-based Nuclear Material Detection and Characterization.”

  2. Identifying Organizational Inefficiencies with Pictorial Process Analysis (PPA

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    David John Patrishkoff


    Full Text Available Pictorial Process Analysis (PPA was created by the author in 2004. PPA is a unique methodology which offers ten layers of additional analysis when compared to standard process mapping techniques.  The goal of PPA is to identify and eliminate waste, inefficiencies and risk in manufacturing or transactional business processes at 5 levels in an organization. The highest level being assessed is the process management, followed by the process work environment, detailed work habits, process performance metrics and general attitudes towards the process. This detailed process assessment and analysis is carried out during process improvement brainstorming efforts and Kaizen events. PPA creates a detailed visual efficiency rating for each step of the process under review.  A selection of 54 pictorial Inefficiency Icons (cards are available for use to highlight major inefficiencies and risks that are present in the business process under review. These inefficiency icons were identified during the author's independent research on the topic of why things go wrong in business. This paper will highlight how PPA was developed and show the steps required to conduct Pictorial Process Analysis on a sample manufacturing process. The author has successfully used PPA to dramatically improve business processes in over 55 different industries since 2004.  

  3. Remediation of Anomia in lvPPA and svPPA

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    Aaron Meyer


    Full Text Available Anomia treatment efficacy has been examined in cases with different subtypes of primary progressive aphasia (PPA, and it has been evaluated in groups of participants with the semantic variant (svPPA, but efficacy has not been examined in groups with different subtypes of PPA. Method Participants. Four individuals with the logopenic variant (lvPPA and four individuals with svPPA participated. Procedure. At baseline, participants attempted to name two sets of pictured nouns. One set (Exemplar 1 was utilized during treatment. The second set (Exemplar 2 was never trained and was used to assess stimulus generalization. For each participant, nouns that were consistently named incorrectly were divided among three conditions: Orthographic treatment (OTC, Phonological treatment (PTC, and Untrained (UC. The nouns were matched across conditions for frequency, semantic category, and number of syllables, phonemes, and letters. In the OTC, participants viewed a picture and the corresponding word, read the word out loud, and transcribed the word. In the PTC, participants viewed the picture and a string of symbols. The auditory word was then presented, and participants repeated it. There were two treatment sessions per week during the first month. During the subsequent five months, subjects participated in monthly treatment sessions, in addition to thrice-weekly practice sessions. A post-treatment evaluation began one month after treatment ended. Results lvPPA. From baseline to post-treatment, there was a significant or marginally significant increase in naming accuracy for both exemplars, within every condition [Exemplar 1: UC: t(3 = 2.78, p = .07; PTC: t(3 = 5.75, p = .01; OTC: t(3 = 3.62, p = .04; Exemplar 2: UC: t(3 = 7.82, p = .004; PTC: t(3 = 3.59, p = .04; OTC: t(3 = 3.78, p = .03]. Compared to UC, accuracy at post-treatment was marginally greater for Exemplar 1 in the PTC, t(3 = 3.03, p = .06. There were no other significant or marginally significant

  4. Effects of phenylpropanolamine (PPA) on in vitro human erythrocyte membranes and molecular models

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    Suwalsky, Mario, E-mail: [Faculty of Chemical Sciences, University of Concepcion, Concepcion (Chile); Zambrano, Pablo; Mennickent, Sigrid [Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Concepcion, Concepcion (Chile); Villena, Fernando [Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Concepcion, Concepcion (Chile); Sotomayor, Carlos P.; Aguilar, Luis F. [Instituto de Quimica, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso, Valparaiso (Chile); Bolognin, Silvia [CNR-Institute for Biomedical Technologies, University of Padova, Padova (Italy)


    Research highlights: {yields} PPA is a common ingredient in cough-cold medication and appetite suppressants. {yields} Reports on its effects on human erythrocytes are very scarce. {yields} We found that PPA induced in vitro morphological changes to human erythrocytes. {yields} PPA interacted with isolated unsealed human erythrocyte membranes. {yields} PPA interacted with class of lipid present in the erythrocyte membrane outer monolayer. -- Abstract: Norephedrine, also called phenylpropanolamine (PPA), is a synthetic form of the ephedrine alkaloid. After reports of the occurrence of intracranial hemorrhage and other adverse effects, including several deaths, PPA is no longer sold in USA and Canada. Despite the extensive information about PPA toxicity, reports on its effects on cell membranes are scarce. With the aim to better understand the molecular mechanisms of the interaction of PPA with cell membranes, ranges of concentrations were incubated with intact human erythrocytes, isolated unsealed human erythrocyte membranes (IUM), and molecular models of cell membranes. The latter consisted in bilayers built-up of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE), phospholipid classes present in the outer and inner monolayers of most plasmatic cell membranes, respectively. The capacity of PPA to perturb the bilayer structures of DMPC and DMPE was assessed by X-ray diffraction, DMPC large unilamellar vesicles (LUV) and IUM were studied by fluorescence spectroscopy, and intact human erythrocytes were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). This study presents evidence that PPA affects human red cell membranes as follows: (a) in SEM studies on human erythrocytes it was observed that 0.5 mM PPA induced shape changes; (b) in IUM PPA induced a sharp decrease in the fluorescence anisotropy in the lipid bilayer acyl chains in a concentration range lower than 100 {mu}M; (c) X-ray diffraction studies showed that PPA in the 0.1-0.5 m

  5. Parapapillary atrophy and optic disc region assessment (PANDORA): retinal imaging tool for assessment of the optic disc and parapapillary atrophy (United States)

    Lu, Cheng-Kai; Tang, Tong Boon; Laude, Augustinus; Dhillon, Baljean; Murray, Alan F.


    We describe a computer-aided measuring tool, named parapapillary atrophy and optic disc region assessment (PANDORA), for automated detection and quantification of both the parapapillary atrophy (PPA) and the optic disc (OD) regions in two-dimensional color retinal fundus images. The OD region is segmented using a combination of edge detection and ellipse fitting methods. The PPA region is identified by the presence of bright pixels in the temporal zone of the OD, and it is segmented using a sequence of techniques, including a modified Chan-Vese approach, thresholding, scanning filter, and multiseed region growing. PANDORA has been tested with 133 color retinal images (82 with PPA; 51 without PPA) drawn randomly from the Lothian Birth Cohort (LBC) database, together with a "ground truth" estimate from an ophthalmologist. The PPA detection rate is 89.47% with a sensitivity of 0.83 and a specificity of 1. The mean accuracy in defining the OD region is 81.31% (SD=10.45) when PPA is present and 95.32% (SD=4.36) when PPA is absent. The mean accuracy in defining the PPA region is 73.57% (SD=11.62). PANDORA demonstrates for the first time how to quantify the OD and PPA regions using two-dimensional fundus images, enabling ophthalmologists to study ocular diseases related to PPA using a standard fundus camera.

  6. Classroom Assessment Techniques (United States)

    Narayanan, M.


    and the learner should be carefully observed and monitored. Forrest says that Student Portfolios, which document learning in more detail, seldom reveal how teaching contributes to students' progress. Cerbin further indicates that a course portfolio is essentially, a like a manuscript of scholarly work in progress. In this example, it is a work that explains what, how, and why students learn or do not learn in a course. In this paper, the author reports on a dozen techniques that could perhaps be used to document assessment of student learning. References : Cerbin, W. (1993). Fostering a culture of teaching as scholarship. The Teaching Professor, 7(3), 1-2. Edgerton, R., Hutchings, P., & Quinlan, P. (1991). The teaching portfolio: Capturing the scholarship in teaching. Washington, DC: American Association for Higher Education. Forrest, A. (1990). Time will tell: Portfolio-assisted assessment of general education. Washington, DC: American Association for Higher Education. Linn, R., Baker, E., & Dunbar, S. (1991). Complex, Performance-based Assessment: Expectations and Validation Criteria. Educational Researcher, 20 (8), 15-21. Narayanan, M. (2003). Assessment in Higher Education: Partnerships in Learning. Paper presented at the 23rd Annual Lilly Conference on College Teaching, Miami University, Oxford, OH. Seldin, P. (1991). The teaching portfolio. Bolton, MA: Anker. Young, C. O., Sr., & Young, L. H. (1999). Assessing Learning in Interactive Courses. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 10 (1), 63-76.


    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    He Bingsheng; Jiang Jianlin; Qian Maijian; Xu Ya


    In this paper we study the proximal point algorithm (PPA) based predictioncorrection (PC) methods for monotone variational inequalities. Each iteration of these methods consists of a prediction and a correction. The predictors are produced by inexact PPA steps. The new iterates are then updated by a correction using the PPA formula. We present two profit functions which serve two purposes: First we show that the profit functions are tight lower bounds of the improvements obtained in each iteration. Based on this conclusion we obtain the convergence inexactness restrictions for the prediction step. Second we show that the profit functions are quadratically dependent upon the step lengths, thus the optimal step lengths are obtained in the correction step. In the last part of the paper we compare the strengths of different methods based on their inexactness restrictions.

  8. Semantic Interference during Object Naming in Agrammatic and Logopenic Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) (United States)

    Thompson, Cynthia K.; Cho, Soojin; Price, Charis; Wieneke, Christina; Bonakdarpour, Borna; Rogalski, Emily; Weintraub, Sandra; Mesulam, M-Marsel


    This study examined the time course of object naming in 21 individuals with primary progressive aphasia (PPA) (8 agrammatic (PPA-G); 13 logopenic (PPA-L)) and healthy age-matched speakers (n=17) using a semantic interference paradigm with related and unrelated interfering stimuli presented at stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) of -1000, -500, -100…

  9. Combination of phenylpyruvic acid (PPA) pathway engineering and molecular engineering of L-amino acid deaminase improves PPA production with an Escherichia coli whole-cell biocatalyst. (United States)

    Hou, Ying; Hossain, Gazi Sakir; Li, Jianghua; Shin, Hyun-Dong; Du, Guocheng; Liu, Long


    In our previous study, we produced phenylpyruvic acid (PPA) in one step from L-phenylalanine by using an Escherichia coli whole-cell biocatalyst expressing an L-amino acid deaminase (L-AAD) from Proteus mirabilis KCTC2566. However, the PPA titer was low due to the degradation of PPA and low substrate specificity of L-AAD. In this study, metabolic engineering of the L-phenylalanine degradation pathway in E. coli and protein engineering of L-AAD from P. mirabilis were performed to improve the PPA titer. First, three aminotransferase genes were knocked out to block PPA degradation, which increased the PPA titer from 3.3 ± 0.2 to 3.9 ± 0.1 g/L and the substrate conversion ratio to 97.5 %. Next, L-AAD was engineered via error-prone polymerase chain reaction, followed by site-saturation mutation to improve its catalytic performance. The triple mutant D165K/F263M/L336M produced the highest PPA titer of 10.0 ± 0.4 g/L, with a substrate conversion ratio of 100 %, which was 3.0 times that of wild-type L-AAD. Comparative kinetics analysis showed that compared with wild-type L-AAD, the triple mutant had higher substrate-binding affinity and catalytic efficiency. Finally, an optimal fed-batch biotransformation process was developed to achieve a maximal PPA titer of 21 ± 1.8 g/L within 8 h. This study developed a robust whole-cell E. coli biocatalyst for PPA production by integrating metabolic and protein engineering, strategies that may be useful for the construction of other biotransformation biocatalysts.

  10. Grammatical production deficits in PPA: Relating narrative and structured task performance

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    Elena Barbieri


    Full Text Available Introduction Grammatical production impairments in primary progressive aphasia (PPA have been investigated using structured language tasks and analysis of narrative language samples (for review see Thompson & Mack, 2014; Wilson et al., 2012. However, little research has examined the relationship between them in PPA. Whereas structured tasks often assess production accuracy at different levels of syntactic complexity (e.g., Thompson et al., 2013, narrative measures typically assess overall lexical and grammatical usage (e.g., % grammatical sentences; noun-to-verb ratio, with lesser emphasis on complexity. The present study investigated the relationship between narrative measures of grammatical production and performance on structured language tests in the domains of syntax, verb morphology, and verb-argument structure (VAS. Materials and methods Data from 101 individuals with PPA were included. Participants completed a test battery including the Northwestern Assessment of Verbs and Sentences (NAVS, Thompson, 2011, the Northwestern Assessment of Verb Inflection (NAVI, Lee & Thompson, experimental version and the Northwestern Anagram Test (NAT, Thompson, Weintraub, & Mesulam, 2012. Grammatical production deficits were quantified as follows: for syntax, accuracy of non-canonical sentence production on the NAVS Sentence Production Priming Test (SPPT and the NAT; for morphology, the accuracy on finite verbs on the NAVI; for VAS, the accuracy of sentences produced with 2- and 3-argument verbs on the NAVS Argument Structure Production Test (ASPT. Cinderella narrative samples were analyzed using the Northwestern Narrative Language Analysis system (e.g., Thompson et al., 2012. For syntax, complexity was measured by the ratio of syntactically complex to simple sentences produced, whereas accuracy was indexed by computing the proportion of words with a locally grammatical lexical category. Morphological complexity was measured by mean number of verb

  11. Mannose-exposing myeloid leukemia cells detected by the sCAR-PPA fusion protein. (United States)

    Li, Gong Chu; Li, Na; Zhang, Yan Hong; Li, Xin; Wang, Yi Gang; Liu, Xin Yuan; Qian, Wen Bin; Liu, Xiao Chuan


    Altered glycosylation may be a hallmark of malignant transformation and cancer progression. In the work described, a specific mannose-binding lectin, Pinellia pedatisecta agglutinin (PPA), was genetically fused with the extracellular domain of coxsackie-adenovirus receptor (CAR) to generate the soluble CAR (sCAR)-PPA fusion protein. The adenoviral transduction of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cell lines Kasumi-1 and HL-60 was increased by sCAR-PPA, indicating that a fraction of AML cells exposing mannose residues was detected by PPA. However, sCAR-PPA did not increase the adenoviral infection of KG-1 cells, suggesting the mannose exposure of AML cells may be cell type specific. Furthermore, the infectious efficiency of Ad-EGFP in chronic myeloid leukemia cell line K562 was significantly increased by sCAR-PPA as well. We, herein, report that PPA recognized a fraction of myeloid leukemia cells showing mannose-exposing phenotype. The sCAR-PPA fusion protein combined with the adenoviral vector system may provide a useful tool for investigating myeloid leukemia cells exposing mannose residues and further elucidating the role of these cells in the leukemia development.

  12. Online Sentence Comprehension in PPA: Verb-Based Integration and Prediction

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    Jennifer E Mack


    Full Text Available Introduction. Impaired language comprehension is frequently observed in primary progressive aphasia (PPA. Word comprehension deficits are characteristic of the semantic variant (PPA-S whereas sentence comprehension deficits are more prevalent in the agrammatic (PPA-G and logopenic (PPA-L variants (Amici et al., 2007; Gorno-Tempini et al., 2011; Thompson et al., 2013. Word and sentence comprehension deficits have also been shown to have distinct neural substrates in PPA (Mesulam, Thompson, Weintraub, & Rogalski, in press. However, little is known about the relationship between word and sentence comprehension processes in PPA, specifically how words are accessed, combined, and used to predict upcoming elements within a sentence. A previous study demonstrated that listeners with stroke-induced agrammatic aphasia rapidly access verb meanings and use them to semantically integrate verb-arguments; however, they show deficits in using verb meanings predictively (Mack, Ji, & Thompson, 2013. The present study tested whether listeners with PPA are able to access verb meanings and to use this information to integrate and predict verb-arguments. Methods. Fifteen adults with PPA (8 with PPA-G, 3 with PPA-L, and 4 with PPA-S and ten age-matched controls participated in two eyetracking experiments. In both experiments, participants heard sentences with restrictive verbs that were semantically compatible with only one object in a four-picture visual array (e.g., eat when the array included a cake and three non-edible objects and unrestrictive verbs (e.g., move that were compatible with all four objects. The verb-based integration experiment tested access to verb meaning and its effects on integration of the direct object (e.g., Susan will eat/move the cake; the verb-based prediction experiment examined prediction of the direct object (e.g., Susan will eat/move the …. The dependent variable was the rate of fixations on the target picture (e.g., the cake in the

  13. Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Literature Review (United States)

    DiCarlo, Kristen; Cooper, Lori


    Effective classroom assessment techniques are directly linked to course objectives and proposed outcomes. Results within formative and summative assessments have been studied in the online learning environment as educators seek to meet objectives with respect to student success in the non-traditional setting. Online classroom assessment techniques…

  14. Classroom assessment techniques to assess Chinese students’ sense of division

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    Zhao, X.; Van den Heuvel-Panhuizen, M.; Veldhuis, M.


    This paper is about an explorative study of the use of classroom assessment techniques (CATs) by primary school mathematics teachers in China. Six female teachers and 216 third-grade students from two schools in Nanjing were involved. The focus was on assessing whole number arithmetic. Teachers’ use

  15. Methods and Strategies: The Reflective Assessment Technique (United States)

    Kennedy, Cathleen; Long, Kathy; Camins, Arthur


    Teachers often rely on student questions, their observations of students at work, and their own intuition to monitor how well students are learning. However, the authors found that teachers learn more about their students when they use the four-step Reflective Assessment Technique that draws on guided teacher reflections to inform classroom…

  16. Identification of Critical Elements for Regulation of Inorganic Pyrophosphatase (PPA1 in MCF7 Breast Cancer Cells.

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    Dipti Ranjan Mishra

    Full Text Available Cytosolic inorganic pyrophosphatase plays an important role in the cellular metabolism by hydrolyzing inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi formed as a by-product of various metabolic reactions. Inorganic pyrophosphatases are known to be associated with important functions related to the growth and development of various organisms. In humans, the expression of inorganic pyrophosphatase (PPA1 is deregulated in different types of cancer and is involved in the migration and invasion of gastric cancer cells and proliferation of ovarian cancer cells. However, the transcriptional regulation of the gene encoding PPA1 is poorly understood. To gain insights into PPA1 gene regulation, a 1217 bp of its 5'-flanking region was cloned and analyzed. The 5'-deletion analysis of the promoter revealed a 266 bp proximal promoter region exhibit most of the transcriptional activity and upon sequence analysis, three putative Sp1 binding sites were found to be present in this region. Binding of Sp1 to the PPA1 promoter was confirmed by Electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA and Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP assay. Importance of these binding sites was verified by site-directed mutagenesis and overexpression of Sp1 transactivates PPA1 promoter activity, upregulates protein expression and increases chromatin accessibility. p300 binds to the PPA1 promoter and stimulates Sp1 induced promoter activity. Trichostatin A (TSA, a histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitor induces PPA1 promoter activity and protein expression and HAT activity of p300 was important in regulation of PPA1 expression. These results demonstrated that PPA1 is positively regulated by Sp1 and p300 coactivates Sp1 induced PPA1 promoter activity and histone acetylation/deacetylation may contribute to a local chromatin remodeling across the PPA1 promoter. Further, knockdown of PPA1 decreased colony formation and viability of MCF7 cells.

  17. Two insular regions are differentially involved in behavioral variant FTD and nonfluent/agrammatic variant PPA. (United States)

    Mandelli, Maria Luisa; Vitali, Paolo; Santos, Miguel; Henry, Maya; Gola, Kelly; Rosenberg, Lynne; Dronkers, Nina; Miller, Bruce; Seeley, William W; Gorno-Tempini, Maria Luisa


    The non-fluent/agrammatic variant of primary progressive aphasia (nfvPPA) and the behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) are focal neurodegenerative disorders belonging to the FTD-spectrum clinical syndromes. NfvPPA is characterized by effortful speech and/or agrammatism and left frontal atrophy, while bvFTD is characterized by social-emotional dysfunction often accompanied by right-lateralized frontal damage. Despite their contrasting clinical presentations, both disorders show prominent left anterior insula atrophy. We investigated differential patterns of insular sub-region atrophy in nfvPPA and bvFTD. Based on knowledge of insular connectivity and physiology, we hypothesized that the left superior precentral region of the dorsal anterior insula (SPGI) would be more atrophic in nvfPPA due to its critical role in motor speech, whereas the ventral anterior region would be more atrophied in bvFTD reflecting its known role in social-emotional-autonomic functions. Early stage nfvPPA and bvFTD patients matched for disease severity, age, gender and education and healthy controls participated in the study. Detailed clinical history, neurological examination, neuropsychological screening evaluation, and high-resolution T1-weighted brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were collected. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was applied to perform group comparisons across the whole brain and in bilateral insula region of interest (ROI). Correlation analyses between insular sub-region atrophy and relevant clinical features were performed. Whole brain group comparisons between nfvPPA and bvFTD showed the expected predominantly left or right anterior insular atrophy pattern. ROI analysis of bilateral insula showed that the left SPGI was significantly more atrophied in nfvPPA compared to bvFTD, while the bilateral ventral anterior and right dorsal anterior insula sub-regions were more atrophied in bvFTD than nfvPPA. Only left SPGI volume correlated with speech production

  18. Implementasi Algoritma K-Nearest Neighbor Sebagai Pendukung Keputusan Klasifikasi Penerima Beasiswa PPA dan BBM

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    Sumarlin Sumarlin


    Full Text Available In line with the growth in the academic field especially college, scholarship is a problem that is interesting to study. Several studies in the field of computers for the screening or classification scholarships have been carried out in the academic authorities to minimize the error in awarding scholarships. This study discusses the classification of PPA and BBM scholarships based on variables that have been determined by applying the k-nearest neighbor algorithm. The process of selecting awardees PPA and BBM requires a decision support system (DSS to help provide alternative solutions. The results of the classification system will be used as a decision in awarding scholarships to students who submit. Results of testing to measure the performance of k - nearest neighbor algorithm using cross validation method, Confusion Matrix and the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC curve, the accuracy obtained for PPA scholarships reached 88.33% with a value of 0.925 area under curve (AUC  dataset of 227 records, while accuracy is obtained for fuel BBM scholarships reached 90% with a value of  0.937% AUC dataset of 183 records​​, accuracy for PPA and BBM scholarships reached 85,56% and AUC value 0,958. Because AUC values ​​were in the range of 0.9 to 1.0  the method falls within the category of very good (excellent. Keywords: Decision Support System; K-nearest neighbor; Classification; Scholarship

  19. Sammenhænge mellem Produktivitet og Psykosocialt Arbejdsmiljø, SaPPA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edwards, Kasper; Møller, Niels; Kristensen, Tage Søndergård;

    Nykredit har i perioden 2008 til 2012 deltaget i et forskningsprojekt i samarbejde med DTU, CBS og NFA. Projektets formål har været at undersøge sammenhænge mellem produktivitet og psykisk arbejdsmiljø i Nykredits privatkundecentre (i daglig tale SaPPA-projektet). Projektet har benyttet et...

  20. Classification and clinicoradiologic features of primary progressive aphasia (PPA) and apraxia of speech. (United States)

    Botha, Hugo; Duffy, Joseph R; Whitwell, Jennifer L; Strand, Edythe A; Machulda, Mary M; Schwarz, Christopher G; Reid, Robert I; Spychalla, Anthony J; Senjem, Matthew L; Jones, David T; Lowe, Val; Jack, Clifford R; Josephs, Keith A


    The consensus criteria for the diagnosis and classification of primary progressive aphasia (PPA) have served as an important tool in studying this group of disorders. However, a large proportion of patients remain unclassifiable whilst others simultaneously meet criteria for multiple subtypes. We prospectively evaluated a large cohort of patients with degenerative aphasia and/or apraxia of speech using multidisciplinary clinical assessments and multimodal imaging. Blinded diagnoses were made using operational definitions with important differences compared to the consensus criteria. Of the 130 included patients, 40 were diagnosed with progressive apraxia of speech (PAOS), 12 with progressive agrammatic aphasia, 9 with semantic dementia, 52 with logopenic progressive aphasia, and 4 with progressive fluent aphasia, while 13 were unclassified. The PAOS and progressive fluent aphasia groups were least impaired. Performance on repetition and sentence comprehension was especially poor in the logopenic group. The semantic and progressive fluent aphasia groups had prominent anomia, but only semantic subjects had loss of word meaning and object knowledge. Distinct patterns of grey matter loss and white matter changes were found in all groups compared to controls. PAOS subjects had bilateral frontal grey matter loss, including the premotor and supplementary motor areas, and bilateral frontal white matter involvement. The agrammatic group had more widespread, predominantly left sided grey matter loss and white matter abnormalities. Semantic subjects had bitemporal grey matter loss and white matter changes, including the uncinate and inferior occipitofrontal fasciculi, whereas progressive fluent subjects only had left sided temporal involvement. Logopenic subjects had diffuse and bilateral grey matter loss and diffusion tensor abnormalities, maximal in the posterior temporal region. A diagnosis of logopenic aphasia was strongly associated with being amyloid positive (46

  1. Landslide hazard assessment: recent trends and techniques. (United States)

    Pardeshi, Sudhakar D; Autade, Sumant E; Pardeshi, Suchitra S


    Landslide hazard assessment is an important step towards landslide hazard and risk management. There are several methods of Landslide Hazard Zonation (LHZ) viz. heuristic, semi quantitative, quantitative, probabilistic and multi-criteria decision making process. However, no one method is accepted universally for effective assessment of landslide hazards. In recent years, several attempts have been made to apply different methods of LHZ and to compare results in order to find the best suited model. This paper presents the review of researches on landslide hazard mapping published in recent years. The advanced multivariate techniques are proved to be effective in spatial prediction of landslides with high degree of accuracy. Physical process based models also perform well in LHZ mapping even in the areas with poor database. Multi-criteria decision making approach also play significant role in determining relative importance of landslide causative factors in slope instability process. Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS) are powerful tools to assess landslide hazards and are being used extensively in landslide researches since last decade. Aerial photographs and high resolution satellite data are useful in detection, mapping and monitoring landslide processes. GIS based LHZ models helps not only to map and monitor landslides but also to predict future slope failures. The advancements in Geo-spatial technologies have opened the doors for detailed and accurate assessment of landslide hazards.

  2. Investigating the possibility of a syntactic impairment in the semantic variant of PPA using a constrained production task: Preliminary findings

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    Jennifer Cupit


    Full Text Available In the semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia (svPPA, syntactic skills are generally thought to be preserved, while in the non-fluent variant (nfvPPA syntactic impairment is a core diagnostic feature (Gorno-Tempini et al., 2011. There are, however, some indications in the literature that syntactic processing may not be entirely normal in svPPA. Most studies of syntactic production in svPPA have used unconstrained tasks and have found no syntactic impairment (e.g., Bird et al., 2000; Kave et al., 2007. In the two published studies that have found a syntactic impairment in svPPA, one used a constrained task (Benedet et al., 2006, and the other (Meteyard & Patterson, 2009 did not. However, the authors of the latter article suggested that the observed syntactic errors were subtle. They also suggested that a syntactic impairment in svPPA might not be observed in spontaneous language samples due to an overreliance on simpler structures. In the current study, we used a constrained sentence production task to compare the syntactic abilities of individuals with nfvPPA, svPPA and healthy controls longitudinally, to investigate the existence of a syntactic impairment in the different PPA variants. We predicted that by using a constrained task we would observe a syntactic impairment in both variants of PPA. We tested 18 participants with nfvPPA, 13 with svPPA and 23 control participants. They were tested up to three separate times, with approximately one year between sessions. Groups were matched on age and years of education. The patient groups were matched on Mini Mental State Examination score (Folstein, Folstein & McHugh, 1975 and estimated time post onset of initial symptoms, but the nfvPPA group scored higher than the svPPA group on the Boston Naming Test (Kaplan, Goodglass, & Weintraub, 2001. We used the sentence production task from Caplan and Hanna (1998 to elicit active, passive, dative and dative-passive sentences. A mixed ANOVA (Group X

  3. Enhanced photovoltaic performance of QDSSCs via modifying ZnO photoanode with a 3-PPA self-assembled monolayer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Lili, E-mail: [Department of Physics, Jilin Normal University, Siping 136000 (China); Key Laboratory of Functional Materials Physics and Chemistry of the Ministry of Education, Jilin Normal University, Siping 136000, Jilin (China); Chen, Gang; Sun, Yunfei [Department of Physics, Jilin Normal University, Siping 136000 (China); Key Laboratory of Functional Materials Physics and Chemistry of the Ministry of Education, Jilin Normal University, Siping 136000, Jilin (China); Han, Donglai; Yang, Shuo [State Key Laboratory of Luminescence and Applications, Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130033 (China); University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China); Gao, Ming; Wang, Zhe; Zou, Ping; Luan, Hongmei; Kong, Xiangwang; Yang, Jinghai [Department of Physics, Jilin Normal University, Siping 136000 (China); Key Laboratory of Functional Materials Physics and Chemistry of the Ministry of Education, Jilin Normal University, Siping 136000, Jilin (China)


    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • The CdS/3-PPA/ZnO QDSSCs were construct in our experiment. • The power conversion efficiency was strongly enhanced after depositing 3-PPA layer. • The 3-PPA layer serves as a recombination barrier and passivates surface defects. - Abstract: A SAMs layer of 3-PPA with a phosphonic acid headgroup and carboxylic acid tailgroups has been used to modify the surface of ZnO nanorods photoanode in CdS quantum dots sensitized solar cells. Its effects on the photovoltic performance have been investigated in detail by adjusting the concentration and deposition time of 3-PPA. Especially, we utilize ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy to characterize the variation of band alignment after introducing 3-PPA layer in the solar cells. The results reveal that the 3-PPA not only suppress the electron-hole recombination process due to its passivation on the surface defects, but forms an energy barrier to efficiently retard the back transfer of electrons, which finally results in the enhancement of conversion efficiency of solar cells.

  4. Air Quality Assessment Using Interpolation Technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Awkash Kumar


    Full Text Available Air pollution is increasing rapidly in almost all cities around the world due to increase in population. Mumbai city in India is one of the mega cities where air quality is deteriorating at a very rapid rate. Air quality monitoring stations have been installed in the city to regulate air pollution control strategies to reduce the air pollution level. In this paper, air quality assessment has been carried out over the sample region using interpolation techniques. The technique Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW of Geographical Information System (GIS has been used to perform interpolation with the help of concentration data on air quality at three locations of Mumbai for the year 2008. The classification was done for the spatial and temporal variation in air quality levels for Mumbai region. The seasonal and annual variations of air quality levels for SO2, NOx and SPM (Suspended Particulate Matter have been focused in this study. Results show that SPM concentration always exceeded the permissible limit of National Ambient Air Quality Standard. Also, seasonal trends of pollutant SPM was low in monsoon due rain fall. The finding of this study will help to formulate control strategies for rational management of air pollution and can be used for many other regions.

  5. Characterization of Carbon Particulates in the Exit Flow of a Plasma Pyrolysis Assembly (PPA) Reactor (United States)

    Green, Robert D.; Meyer, Marit E.; Agui, Juan H.; Berger, Gordon M.; Vijayakumar, R.; Abney, Morgan B.; Greenwood, Zachary


    The ISS presently recovers oxygen from crew respiration via a Carbon Dioxide Reduction Assembly (CRA) that utilizes the Sabatier chemical process to reduce captured carbon dioxide to methane (CH4) and water. In order to recover more of the hydrogen from the methane and increase oxygen recovery, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is investigating a technology, plasma pyrolysis, to convert the methane to acetylene. The Plasma Pyrolysis Assembly (or PPA), achieves 90% or greater conversion efficiency, but a small amount of solid carbon particulates are generated as a side product and must be filtered before the acetylene is removed and the hydrogen-rich gas stream is recycled back to the CRA. In this work, we present the experimental results of an initial characterization of the carbon particulates in the PPA exit gas stream. We also present several potential options to remove these carbon particulates via carbon traps and filters to minimize resupply mass and required downtime for regeneration.

  6. Systemic hypertension and hypertensive retinopathy following PPA overdose in a dog. (United States)

    Ginn, Jennifer A; Bentley, Ellison; Stepien, Rebecca L


    A 4 yr old spayed female Labrador retriever was examined 4 hr after ingesting an overdose of phenylpropanolamine (PPA). Clinical signs included anxiety, piloerection, mucosal ulceration, cardiac arrhythmia, mydriasis, and hyphema. Clinicopathologic abnormalities included elevated creatine kinase (CK) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), proteinuria, and pigmenturia. Ventricular tachycardia and severe systemic hypertension were documented. Hyphema and retinal detachment were documented oculus uterque (OU). Phenoxybenzamine, sotalol, and esmolol resolved the ventricular tachycardia, and blood pressure was controlled with nitroprusside. All clinicopathologic and cardiac abnormalities resolved within 7 days, and ocular changes resolved within 1 mo. Monitoring of blood pressure and rapid pharmacologic intervention were successful in controlling hypertension secondary to PPA overdose and minimizing retinal damage.

  7. Non-Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) Options for Financing Solar Deployment at Universities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)


    Financing solar using power purchase agreements (PPAs) has facilitated solar deployment of more than 100 megawatts (MW) at universities--as compared to 50 MW facilitated by financing models not using PPAs. This brochure, which overviews existing financing models and funding mechanisms available for solar procurement, focuses on non-PPA financing models. For more information on solar deployment at universities using PPAs, refer to Using Power Purchase Agreements for Solar Deployment at Universities.

  8. Assessment Techniques To Enhance Organizational Learning. (United States)

    Lyons, Paul

    This paper addresses the need for group-based or team-based techniques to facilitate organizational learning. It identifies two process-oriented strategies: the role analysis technique (RAT) and the diagnostic window technique. These techniques can be used in meetings to model the intellectual tasks that need to occur in today's learning…

  9. 青杄中sPPa1的cDNA序列克隆及其生物信息学分析%cDNA Cloning and Bioinformatic Analysis of the sPPa1 Gene from Picea wilsonii

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    曹一博; 刘亚静; 张凌云


    以青杄(Picea wilsonii)均一化cDNA文库为模板,通过RACE方法克隆得到青杄PPa1基因cDNA全长,对该cDNA序列、核苷酸序列的相似性、理化性质、疏水性、二级结构、三级结构及是否跨膜进行了分析预测;进行了多序列比对并构建了系统树,同时对PPa1在青杄各组织中的表达量进行了检测.结果表明:青杄PPa1基因共由216个氨基酸组成,分子量为24.55 kD,理论PI为5.83,属可溶性蛋白;二级结构主要由α-螺旋、不规则卷曲和β-折叠构成;PPa1在青杄花粉中表达量最高.研究为进一步研究青杄PPa1的功能奠定了基础.%The full-length cDNA sequence of the PPa1 gene was obtained by the RACE method based on the cDNA library of Picea wilsonii. Bioinformatic analysis was used to predict the physicochemical properties,hydrophobicity,secondary structure,and tertiary structure of PwP-Pa1. Multiple sequences alignment and phylogenetic trees were also constructed to predict the conserved domain and genetic relationship with other species. The RT-qPCR assays were used to identify the tissue expression level of PPa1 in Picea wilsonii. The results showed that PwPPal consisted of 216 amino acids. The molecular weight was 24. 55 kD and theoretical PI was 5. 83. The PPa1 was a hydrophilic protein and the secondary structure of PPa1 was mainly composed of alpha helix,random coil,and extended strand.The expression level of PPa1 was highest in the pollen. This research provides the foundation for further studies on the functions of PwPPa1.

  10. Detection of Bovine IgG Isotypes in a PPA-ELISA for Johne's Disease Diagnosis in Infected Herds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bárbara Fernández


    Full Text Available Johne's Disease or Paratuberculosis is a chronic granulomatous enteritis disease affecting ruminants. Detection of subclinically infected animals is difficult, hampering the control of this disease. The aim of this work was to evaluate the performance of detection of IgG isotypes in a PPA-ELISA to improve the recognition of cattle naturally infected with Map in different stages. A total of 108 animals from Tuberculosis-free herds were grouped as follows: exposed (n=30, subclinically infected (n=26, clinically infected (n=14, and healthy controls (n=38. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC curves of isotypes/PPA-ELISAs were constructed and areas under the curves were compared to evaluate the performance of each test. Our study demonstrated that the conventional PPA-ELISA (detecting IgG is the best to identify clinically infected animals with high sensitivity (92.9% and specificity (100%. Meanwhile, IgG2/PPA-ELISA improved the number of subclinically infected cattle detected as compared with conventional IgG/PPA-ELISA (53.8 versus 23.1%. In addition, it had the maximum sensitivity (65.0%, taking into account all Map-infected cattle. In conclusion, the combination of IgG and IgG2/PPA-ELISAs may improve the identification of Map-infected cattle in different stages of disease. The usefulness of IgG2 detection in serological tests for Johne's Disease diagnosis should be further evaluated.

  11. Reliability and Assessment Techniques on Ground Excavation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanga Tangchawal


    Full Text Available Planning and assessment on the excavation of the brittle materials (soil or rock can be done by using the machinery and/or explosives. The reliability assessment has been proposed to predict the failure of ground during excavation process. The stability planning on cutting soil (rock face by machinery can be compared between the deterministic and the statistical method. The risk of using explosives for rock excavation has to concern on the damage and environmental impacts after blasting events.

  12. Gravity field determination and error assessment techniques (United States)

    Yuan, D. N.; Shum, C. K.; Tapley, B. D.


    Linear estimation theory, along with a new technique to compute relative data weights, was applied to the determination of the Earth's geopotential field and other geophysical model parameters using a combination of satellite ground-based tracking data, satellite altimetry data, and the surface gravimetry data. The relative data weights for the inhomogeneous data sets are estimated simultaneously with the gravity field and other geophysical and orbit parameters in a least squares approach to produce the University of Texas gravity field models. New techniques to perform calibration of the formal covariance matrix for the geopotential solution were developed to obtain a reliable gravity field error estimate. Different techniques, which include orbit residual analysis, surface gravity anomaly residual analysis, subset gravity solution comparisons and consider covariance analysis, were applied to investigate the reliability of the calibration.

  13. Solar PV Project Financing: Regulatory and Legislative Challenges for Third-Party PPA System Owners

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kollins, K.; Speer, B.; Cory, K.


    Residential and commercial end users of electricity who want to generate electricity using on-site solar photovoltaic (PV) systems face challenging initial and O&M costs. The third-party ownership power purchase agreement (PPA) finance model addresses these and other challenges. It allows developers to build and own PV systems on customers? properties and sell power back to customers. However, third-party electricity sales commonly face five regulatory challenges. The first three challenges involve legislative or regulatory definitions of electric utilities, power generation equipment, and providers of electric services. These definitions may compel third-party owners of solar PV systems to comply with regulations that may be cost prohibitive. Third-party owners face an additional challenge if they may not net meter, a practice that provides significant financial incentive to owning solar PV systems. Finally, municipalities and cooperatives worry about the regulatory implications of allowing an entity to sell electricity within their service territories. This paper summarizes these challenges, when they occur, and how they have been addressed in five states. This paper also presents alternative to the third-party ownership PPA finance model, including solar leases, contractual intermediaries, standardized contract language, federal investment tax credits, clean renewable energy bonds, and waived monopoly powers.

  14. Hysteroscopic myomectomy: techniques and preoperative assessment. (United States)

    Casadio, Paolo; Guasina, Francesca; Morra, Ciro; Talamo, Maria T; Leggieri, Concetta; Frisoni, Jessica; Seracchioli, Renato


    Even if usually asymptomatic, uterine myomas have been associated with a number of clinical issues such as abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB), heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB), infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss, especially when these masses are submucous. Golden standard treatment for symptomatic submucous fibroids has long been considered their laparotomic removal or a total hysterectomy. The development of endoscopy has made these fibroids accessible and removable from the inner surface of uterus. Hysteroscopy arose as a diagnostic technique, but then it also became an alternative surgical technique for many diseases, offering therapeutic and irreplaceable possibilities of treatment, avoiding major surgery on the one hand, and allowing the correction of pathologies specifically related to female fertility, on the other hand. Excision by slicing has been described as traditional resectoscopic submucosal myomectomy, but today there are new procedures among which the operator can choose, that allow overcoming the initial limitations of the traditional resectoscopic myomectomy in clinical practice.

  15. Comparison of Vibration-Based Damage Assessment Techniques

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirkegaard, Poul Henning; Rytter, A.


    Three different vibration-based damage assessment techniques have been compared. One of the techniques uses the ratios between changes in experimentally and theoretically estimated natural frequencies, respectively, to locate a damage. The second technique relies on updating of a finite element m...

  16. A Comparative Study of Three Vibration Based Damage Assessment Techniques

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirkegaard, Poul Henning; Rytter, A.

    Three different vibration based damage assessment techniques have been compared. One of the techniques uses the ratios between changes in experimentally and theoretically estimated natural frequencies, respectively, to locate a damage. The second technique relies on updating of an FEM based...

  17. Nondestructive Technique To Assess Embrittlement In Steels (United States)

    Allison, Sidney G.; Yost, William T.; Cantrell, John H.


    Recent research at NASA Langley Research Center led to identification of nondestructive technique for detection of temper embrittlement in HY80 steel. Measures magnetoacoustic emission associated with reversible motion of domain walls at low magnetic fields. Of interest to engineers responsible for reliability and safety of various dynamically loaded and/or thermally cycled steel parts. Applications include testing of landing gears, naval vessels, and parts subjected to heat, such as those found in steam-pipe fittings, boilers, turbine rotors, and nuclear pressure vessels.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. C. Moshobane


    Full Text Available Morphometrics (the measurement of morphological features has been revolutionized by the creation of new techniques to study how organismal shape co-varies with several factors such as ecophenotypy. Ecophenotypy refers to the divergence of phenotypes due to developmental changes induced by local environmental conditions, producing distinct ecophenotypes. None of the techniques hitherto utilized could explicitly address organismal shape in a complete biological form, i.e. three-dimensionally. This study investigates the use of the commercial software, Photomodeler Scanner® (PMSc® three-dimensional (3D modelling software to produce accurate and high-resolution 3D models. Henceforth, the modelling of Subantarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus tropicalis and Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella skulls which could allow for 3D measurements. Using this method, sixteen accurate 3D skull models were produced and five metrics were determined. The 3D linear measurements were compared to measurements taken manually with a digital caliper. In addition, repetitive measurements were recorded by varying researchers to determine repeatability. To allow for comparison straight line measurements were taken with the software, assuming that close accord with all manually measured features would illustrate the model’s accurate replication of reality. Measurements were not significantly different demonstrating that realistic 3D skull models can be successfully produced to provide a consistent basis for craniometrics, with the additional benefit of allowing non-linear measurements if required.

  19. Assessing 3d Photogrammetry Techniques in Craniometrics (United States)

    Moshobane, M. C.; de Bruyn, P. J. N.; Bester, M. N.


    Morphometrics (the measurement of morphological features) has been revolutionized by the creation of new techniques to study how organismal shape co-varies with several factors such as ecophenotypy. Ecophenotypy refers to the divergence of phenotypes due to developmental changes induced by local environmental conditions, producing distinct ecophenotypes. None of the techniques hitherto utilized could explicitly address organismal shape in a complete biological form, i.e. three-dimensionally. This study investigates the use of the commercial software, Photomodeler Scanner® (PMSc®) three-dimensional (3D) modelling software to produce accurate and high-resolution 3D models. Henceforth, the modelling of Subantarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus tropicalis) and Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella) skulls which could allow for 3D measurements. Using this method, sixteen accurate 3D skull models were produced and five metrics were determined. The 3D linear measurements were compared to measurements taken manually with a digital caliper. In addition, repetitive measurements were recorded by varying researchers to determine repeatability. To allow for comparison straight line measurements were taken with the software, assuming that close accord with all manually measured features would illustrate the model's accurate replication of reality. Measurements were not significantly different demonstrating that realistic 3D skull models can be successfully produced to provide a consistent basis for craniometrics, with the additional benefit of allowing non-linear measurements if required.

  20. Assessment of the rapid pullthrough technique in oesophageal manometry.


    Goodall, R J; Hay, D. J.; Temple, J. G.


    The lower oesophageal sphincter pressure was measured by infusion manometry using the rapid pullthrough technique in two studies designed to evaluate this technique. The first study performed was an assessment of its reproducibility in individual subjects on separate occasions. We conclude that the rapid pullthrough technique does not give reproducible results. The second study compared the lower oesophageal sphincter pressure obtained by this technique with that by the standard station pullt...

  1. The internal anticipation of sensory action effects: when action induces FFA and PPA activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Kühn


    Full Text Available Voluntary action – in particular the ability to produce desired effects in the environment – is fundamental to human existence. According to ideomotor theory we can achieve goals in the environment by means of anticipating their outcomes. We aimed at providing neurophysiological evidence for the assumption that performing actions calls for the activation of brain areas associated with the sensory effects usually evoked by the actions. We conducted an fMRI study in which right and left button presses lead to the presentation of face and house pictures. We compared a baseline phase with the same phase after participants experienced the association between button presses and pictures. We found an increase in the parahippocampal place area (PPA for the response that has been associated with house pictures and fusiform face area (FFA for the response that has been coupled with face pictures. This observation constitutes support for ideomotor theory.

  2. An update on the assessment of osteoporosis using radiologic techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Damilakis, John; Maris, Thomas G. [University of Crete, Department of Medical Physics, Faculty of Medicine, P.O. Box 2208, Iraklion, Crete (Greece); Karantanas, Apostolos H. [University of Crete, Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, P.O. Box 2208, Iraklion, Crete (Greece)


    In this article, the currently available radiologic techniques for assessing osteoporosis are reviewed. Density measurements of the skeleton using dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) are clinically indicated for the assessment of osteoporosis and for the evaluation of therapies. DXA is the most widely used technique for identifying patients with osteoporosis. Quantitative computed tomography (QCT) is the only method, which provides a volumetric density. Unlike DXA, QCT allows for selective trabecular measurement and is less sensitive to degenerative diseases of the spine. The analysis of bone structure in conjunction with bone density is an exciting new field in the assessment of osteoporosis. High-resolution multi-slice CT and micro-CT are useful tools for the assessment of bone microarchitecture. A growing literature indicates that quantitative ultrasound (QUS) techniques are capable of assessing fracture risk. Although the ease of use and the absence of ionizing radiation make QUS attractive, the specific role of QUS techniques in clinical practice needs further determination. Considerable progress has been made in the development of MR techniques for assessing osteoporosis during the last few years. In addition to relaxometry techniques, high-resolution MR imaging, diffusion MR imaging and in-vivo MR spectroscopy may be used to quantify trabecular bone architecture and mineral composition. (orig.)

  3. Semester-Long Assessment of Aseptic Technique in Microbiology Labs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Aruscavage


    Full Text Available Biology educators emphasize aseptic technique when teaching lab courses. Aseptic technique is very important in microbiology to ensure safety and prevent cross-contamination. Although it can be assessed throughout the semester by examining the students’ technique and observation of contamination, this tool offers a simple semester-long graded assessment of each student’s technique. The procedures allow the students to perform a quick exercise that can determine if cross-contamination occurs, thus determining if aseptic technique was observed. Instructors can quickly check for the presence of cross-contamination. After implementing this procedure, a quantifiable improvement in my students’ aseptic technique throughout the semester was observed. It was noted that between the middle and end of the semester there was a slight increase in the amount of cross-contamination but still well below the contamination observed at the beginning of the semester. This procedure was a valuable way to assess aseptic technique during the course of a semester. A search for “aseptic technique” on the American Society of Microbiology website reveals that several lab experiments and job opportunities mention the importance of aseptic technique. It is a skill that must be used for all laboratory procedures when working with microorganisms. It is important for both the safety of the students and for the proper handling of microorganisms. There are several good explanations of aseptic technique on the Internet, and the Nuffield Foundation provides a very good description of techniques (1. The goal of this project is to provide instructors with a tool to assess the aseptic technique of their students by using simple transfers of bacteria to fresh media to identify cross-contamination. When class experiments do not work students may not understand how poor aseptic technique impacted the project. This tool would work best for undergraduate students in an

  4. Transient Stability Assessment using Decision Trees and Fuzzy Logic Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Y. Abdelaziz


    Full Text Available Many techniques are used for Transient Stability assessment (TSA of synchronous generators encompassing traditional time domain state numerical integration, Lyapunov based methods, probabilistic approaches and Artificial Intelligence (AI techniques like pattern recognition and artificial neural networks.This paper examines another two proposed artificial intelligence techniques to tackle the transient stability problem. The first technique is based on the Inductive Inference Reasoning (IIR approach which belongs to a particular family of machine learning from examples. The second presents a simple fuzzy logic classifier system for TSA. Not only steady state but transient attributes are used for transient stability estimation so as to reflect machine dynamics and network changes due to faults.The two techniques are tested on a standard test power system. The performance evaluation demonstrated satisfactory results in early detection of machine instability. The advantage of the two techniques is that they are straightforward and simple for on-line implementation.

  5. Assessment technique for computer-aided manufactured sockets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joan E. Sanders, PhD


    Full Text Available This article presents an assessment technique for testing the quality of prosthetic socket fabrication processes at computer-aided manufacturing facilities. The assessment technique is potentially useful to both facilities making sockets and companies marketing manufacturing equipment seeking to assess and improve product quality. To execute the assessment technique, an evaluator fabricates a collection of test models and sockets using the manufacturing suite under evaluation, then measures their shapes using scanning equipment. Overall socket quality is assessed by comparing socket shapes with electronic file (e-file shapes. To characterize carving performance, model shapes are compared with e-file shapes. To characterize forming performance, socket shapes are compared with model shapes. The mean radial error (MRE, which is the average difference in radii between the two compared shapes, provides insight into sizing quality. Interquartile range (IQR, the range of radial error for the best-matched half of the points on the compared socket surfaces, provides insight into regional shape quality. The source(s of socket shape error may be pinpointed by separately determining MRE and IQR for carving and forming. The developed assessment technique may provide a useful tool to the prosthetics community and industry to help identify problems and limitations in computer-aided manufacturing and give insight into appropriate modifications to overcome them.

  6. Quality-of-life assessment techniques for veterinarians. (United States)

    Villalobos, Alice E


    The revised veterinary oath commits the profession to the prevention and relief of animal suffering. There is a professional obligation to properly assess quality of life (QoL) and confront the issues that ruin it, such as undiagnosed suffering. There are no clinical studies in the arena of QoL assessment at the end of life for pets. This author developed a user-friendly QoL scale to help make proper assessments and decisions along the way to the conclusion of a terminal patient's life. This article discusses decision aids and establishes commonsense techniques to assess a pet's QoL.

  7. Current techniques for assessing developmental neurotoxicity of pesticides

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yu GAO; Ying TIAN; Xiaoming SHEN


    Organophosphates (OPs) and Pyrethroids (PRY) have been widely used in agriculture and in the home as broad spectrum insecticides, but may produce considerable risk to human health, especially to children. Children are more susceptible to environmental exposure, and concern about the neurotoxic effects of pesticide exposure on children is increasing. There is a need for better understanding of the potential developmental neu-rotoxicity of pesticides. Techniques for assessing devel-opmental neurotoxicity of pesticides will continue to be developed, rendering a need for flexibility of testing para-digms. Current techniques used in evaluating the devel-opmental neurotoxicity of OPs and PRY are presented in this review. These include: (1) In vitro techniques (PC12 cells, C6 cells and other cell models); (2) Non-mammalian models (sea urchins, zebrafish and other non-mammalian models); and (3) In vivo mammalian models (morpho-logical techniques, neurobehavioral assessments and biomarkers).

  8. Nonfluent/Agrammatic PPA with In-Vivo Cortical Amyloidosis and Pick’s Disease Pathology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Caso


    Full Text Available The role of biomarkers in predicting pathological findings in the frontotemporal dementia (FTD clinical spectrum disorders is still being explored. We present comprehensive, prospective longitudinal data for a 66 year old, right-handed female who met current criteria for the nonfluent/agrammatic variant of primary progressive aphasia (nfvPPA. She first presented with a 3-year history of progressive speech and language impairment mainly characterized by severe apraxia of speech. Neuropsychological and general motor functions remained relatively spared throughout the clinical course. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM showed selective cortical atrophy of the left posterior inferior frontal gyrus (IFG and underlying insula that worsened over time, extending along the left premotor strip. Five years after her first evaluation, she developed mild memory impairment and underwent PET-FDG and PiB scans that showed left frontal hypometabolism and cortical amyloidosis. Three years later (11 years from first symptom, post-mortem histopathological evaluation revealed Pick's disease, with severe degeneration of left IFG, mid-insula, and precentral gyrus. Alzheimer’s disease (AD (CERAD frequent/Braak Stage V was also detected. This patient demonstrates that biomarkers indicating brain amyloidosis should not be considered conclusive evidence that AD pathology accounts for a typical FTD clinical/anatomical syndrome.

  9. Refinement of the Nanoparticle Emission Assessment Technique into the Nanomaterial Exposure Assessment Technique (NEAT 2.0). (United States)

    Eastlake, Adrienne C; Beaucham, Catherine; Martinez, Kenneth F; Dahm, Matthew M; Sparks, Christopher; Hodson, Laura L; Geraci, Charles L


    Engineered nanomaterial emission and exposure characterization studies have been completed at more than 60 different facilities by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). These experiences have provided NIOSH the opportunity to refine an earlier published technique, the Nanoparticle Emission Assessment Technique (NEAT 1.0), into a more comprehensive technique for assessing worker and workplace exposures to engineered nanomaterials. This change is reflected in the new name Nanomaterial Exposure Assessment Technique (NEAT 2.0) which distinguishes it from NEAT 1.0. NEAT 2.0 places a stronger emphasis on time-integrated, filter-based sampling (i.e., elemental mass analysis and particle morphology) in the worker's breathing zone (full shift and task specific) and area samples to develop job exposure matrices. NEAT 2.0 includes a comprehensive assessment of emissions at processes and job tasks, using direct-reading instruments (i.e., particle counters) in data-logging mode to better understand peak emission periods. Evaluation of worker practices, ventilation efficacy, and other engineering exposure control systems and risk management strategies serve to allow for a comprehensive exposure assessment.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available El trabajo evalúa la proyección de la tasa de cambio (peso colombiano/dólar con datos de 1995 a 2005 de Colombia a través del modelo de Tasa de Cambio de Paridad de Poder Adquisitivo (TCPPA. Se realizó una comparación del desempeño en la muestra (reservando los datos históricos de 2001 a 2005 de las proyecciones de modelos que utilizan la PPA, con las de un modelo de Vectores Autorregresivos (VAR. El método VAR tiene mejor desempeño para predecir la tasa de cambio nominal, de acuerdo con los indicadores RMSE, MAE y U-Theil, mientras que de acuerdo con el MAPE en el primer y segundo mes pronosticado, el VAR tiene peor desempeño que los modelos que utilizan PPA.

  11. PPA-SiO2 catalyzed efficient synthesis of polyhydroquinoline derivatives through Hantzsch multicomponent condensation under solvent-free conditions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Amir Khojastehnezhad; Farid Moeinpour; Abolghasem Davoodnia


    Silica gel-supported polyphosphoric acid (PPA-SiO2) was found to be an efficient catalyst for the one-pot four-component Hantzsch condensation reaction of aryl aldehydes, dimedone, ethyl acetoacetate and ammonium acetate to afford the corresponding polyhydroquinoline derivatives in high yields. The main advantages of the present approach are short reaction times, clean reaction profiles, simple experimental and workup procedures.

  12. Efficient PPA-SiO2-catalyzed Synthesis of β-enaminones Under Solvent-Free Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Nisar


    Full Text Available An efficient method has been developed for the synthesis of β-enaminones under solvent-free reaction conditions using PPA-SiO2 as catalyst. The reaction yields were good to excellent (up to 90%. This methodology affords high selectivity and good tolerance of a variety of different functional groups present on both aromatic and aliphatic amines. In addition, the methodology is environmentally benign and cost-effective due to absence of solvent and easy work-up.

  13. ODI - Portal, Pipeline, and Archive (ODI-PPA): a web-based astronomical compute archive, visualization, and analysis service (United States)

    Gopu, Arvind; Hayashi, Soichi; Young, Michael D.; Harbeck, Daniel R.; Boroson, Todd; Liu, Wilson; Kotulla, Ralf; Shaw, Richard; Henschel, Robert; Rajagopal, Jayadev; Stobie, Elizabeth; Knezek, Patricia; Martin, R. Pierre; Archbold, Kevin


    The One Degree Imager-Portal, Pipeline, and Archive (ODI-PPA) is a web science gateway that provides astronomers a modern web interface that acts as a single point of access to their data, and rich computational and visualization capabilities. Its goal is to support scientists in handling complex data sets, and to enhance WIYN Observatory's scientific productivity beyond data acquisition on its 3.5m telescope. ODI-PPA is designed, with periodic user feedback, to be a compute archive that has built-in frameworks including: (1) Collections that allow an astronomer to create logical collations of data products intended for publication, further research, instructional purposes, or to execute data processing tasks (2) Image Explorer and Source Explorer, which together enable real-time interactive visual analysis of massive astronomical data products within an HTML5 capable web browser, and overlaid standard catalog and Source Extractor-generated source markers (3) Workflow framework which enables rapid integration of data processing pipelines on an associated compute cluster and users to request such pipelines to be executed on their data via custom user interfaces. ODI-PPA is made up of several light-weight services connected by a message bus; the web portal built using Twitter/Bootstrap, AngularJS and jQuery JavaScript libraries, and backend services written in PHP (using the Zend framework) and Python; it leverages supercomputing and storage resources at Indiana University. ODI-PPA is designed to be reconfigurable for use in other science domains with large and complex datasets, including an ongoing offshoot project for electron microscopy data.

  14. GR@PPA_4b A Four Bottom Quark Production Event Generator for PP\\/PPbar Collisions

    CERN Document Server

    Tsuno, S; Fujimoto, J; Ishikawa, T; Kurihara, Y; Odaka, S; Abe, T


    We have developed an event generator, named GR@PPA_4b, for the four bottom quark (b bbar b bbar) production processes at PP and PPbar collisions. The program implements all of the possible processes at the tree level within the framework of the Standard Model. Users can generate events from the Higgs boson and photon/Z mediated processes, as well as those from pure QCD interactions. The integration and the event generation are performed within the newly developed GR@PPA framework, an extension of the GRACE automatic event-generator generation system to hadron collisions. This program is so designed that it can be embedded in a general-purpose event generator PYTHIA version 6.1. PYTHIA adds the initial- and final-state parton showers and simulates the hadronization and decays to make generated events realistic. It should be emphasized that a huge number of diagrams and complicated four-body kinematics are dealt with strictly in GR@PPA_4b. This program will be useful for studies of Higgs boson productions, espe...

  15. Performance assessment techniques for groundwater recovery and treatment systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kirkpatrick, G.L. [Environmental Resources Management, Inc., Exton, PA (United States)


    Groundwater recovery and treatment (pump and treat systems) continue to be the most commonly selected remedial technology for groundwater restoration and protection programs at hazardous waste sites and RCRA facilities nationwide. Implementing a typical groundwater recovery and treatment system includes the initial assessment of groundwater quality, characterizing aquifer hydrodynamics, recovery system design, system installation, testing, permitting, and operation and maintenance. This paper focuses on methods used to assess the long-term efficiency of a pump and treat system. Regulatory agencies and industry alike are sensitive to the need for accurate assessment of the performance and success of groundwater recovery systems for contaminant plume abatement and aquifer restoration. Several assessment methods are available to measure the long-term performance of a groundwater recovery system. This paper presents six assessment techniques: degree of compliance with regulatory agency agreement (Consent Order of Record of Decision), hydraulic demonstration of system performance, contaminant mass recovery calculation, system design and performance comparison, statistical evaluation of groundwater quality and preferably, integration of the assessment methods. Applying specific recovery system assessment methods depends upon the type, amount, and quality of data available. Use of an integrated approach is encouraged to evaluate the success of a groundwater recovery and treatment system. The methods presented in this paper are for engineers and corporate management to use when discussing the effectiveness of groundwater remediation systems with their environmental consultant. In addition, an independent (third party) system evaluation is recommended to be sure that a recovery system operates efficiently and with minimum expense.

  16. Combining heuristic and statistical techniques in landslide hazard assessments (United States)

    Cepeda, Jose; Schwendtner, Barbara; Quan, Byron; Nadim, Farrokh; Diaz, Manuel; Molina, Giovanni


    As a contribution to the Global Assessment Report 2013 - GAR2013, coordinated by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction - UNISDR, a drill-down exercise for landslide hazard assessment was carried out by entering the results of both heuristic and statistical techniques into a new but simple combination rule. The data available for this evaluation included landslide inventories, both historical and event-based. In addition to the application of a heuristic method used in the previous editions of GAR, the availability of inventories motivated the use of statistical methods. The heuristic technique is largely based on the Mora & Vahrson method, which estimates hazard as the product of susceptibility and triggering factors, where classes are weighted based on expert judgment and experience. Two statistical methods were also applied: the landslide index method, which estimates weights of the classes for the susceptibility and triggering factors based on the evidence provided by the density of landslides in each class of the factors; and the weights of evidence method, which extends the previous technique to include both positive and negative evidence of landslide occurrence in the estimation of weights for the classes. One key aspect during the hazard evaluation was the decision on the methodology to be chosen for the final assessment. Instead of opting for a single methodology, it was decided to combine the results of the three implemented techniques using a combination rule based on a normalization of the results of each method. The hazard evaluation was performed for both earthquake- and rainfall-induced landslides. The country chosen for the drill-down exercise was El Salvador. The results indicate that highest hazard levels are concentrated along the central volcanic chain and at the centre of the northern mountains.

  17. Risk assessment techniques with applicability in marine engineering (United States)

    Rudenko, E.; Panaitescu, F. V.; Panaitescu, M.


    Nowadays risk management is a carefully planned process. The task of risk management is organically woven into the general problem of increasing the efficiency of business. Passive attitude to risk and awareness of its existence are replaced by active management techniques. Risk assessment is one of the most important stages of risk management, since for risk management it is necessary first to analyze and evaluate risk. There are many definitions of this notion but in general case risk assessment refers to the systematic process of identifying the factors and types of risk and their quantitative assessment, i.e. risk analysis methodology combines mutually complementary quantitative and qualitative approaches. Purpose of the work: In this paper we will consider as risk assessment technique Fault Tree analysis (FTA). The objectives are: understand purpose of FTA, understand and apply rules of Boolean algebra, analyse a simple system using FTA, FTA advantages and disadvantages. Research and methodology: The main purpose is to help identify potential causes of system failures before the failures actually occur. We can evaluate the probability of the Top event.The steps of this analize are: the system's examination from Top to Down, the use of symbols to represent events, the use of mathematical tools for critical areas, the use of Fault tree logic diagrams to identify the cause of the Top event. Results: In the finally of study it will be obtained: critical areas, Fault tree logical diagrams and the probability of the Top event. These results can be used for the risk assessment analyses.

  18. Integrating the ODI-PPA scientific gateway with the QuickReduce pipeline for on-demand processing (United States)

    Young, Michael D.; Kotulla, Ralf; Gopu, Arvind; Liu, Wilson


    As imaging systems improve, the size of astronomical data has continued to grow, making the transfer and processing of data a significant burden. To solve this problem for the WIYN Observatory One Degree Imager (ODI), we developed the ODI-Portal, Pipeline, and Archive (ODI-PPA) science gateway, integrating the data archive, data reduction pipelines, and a user portal. In this paper, we discuss the integration of the QuickReduce (QR) pipeline into PPA's Tier 2 processing framework. QR is a set of parallelized, stand-alone Python routines accessible to all users, and operators who can create master calibration products and produce standardized calibrated data, with a short turn-around time. Upon completion, the data are ingested into the archive and portal, and made available to authorized users. Quality metrics and diagnostic plots are generated and presented via the portal for operator approval and user perusal. Additionally, users can tailor the calibration process to their specific science objective(s) by selecting custom datasets, applying preferred master calibrations or generating their own, and selecting pipeline options. Submission of a QuickReduce job initiates data staging, pipeline execution, and ingestion of output data products all while allowing the user to monitor the process status, and to download or further process/analyze the output within the portal. User-generated data products are placed into a private user-space within the portal. ODI-PPA leverages cyberinfrastructure at Indiana University including the Big Red II supercomputer, the Scholarly Data Archive tape system and the Data Capacitor shared file system.

  19. The assessment of social adjustment. A review of techniques. (United States)

    Weissman, M M


    Interest in the community adjustment of psychiatric patients has led to the development of rating techniques for its evaluation. Selection of an appropriate scale for the task should include a review of its item content, anchor points, coverage, method of obtaining information, informant, psychometric properties, precision, cost, scoring, and instructional material. While no scale is without limitations, this report describes 15 currently available scales that meet many of the important criteria for assessing social adjustment and are sufficiently developed to be useful in evaluative research. This review also contains a list of pertinent references to the scales and guide to the literature on behavioral rating scales.

  20. Life-assessment technique for nuclear power plant cables (United States)

    Bartoníček, B.; Hnát, V.; Plaček, V.


    The condition of polymer-based cable material can be best characterized by measuring elongation at break of its insulating materials. However, it is not often possible to take sufficiently large samples for measurement with the tensile testing machine. The problem has been conveniently solved by utilizing differential scanning calorimetry technique. From the tested cable, several microsamples are taken and the oxidation induction time (OIT) is determined. For each cable which is subject to the assessment of the lifetime, the correlation of OIT with elongation at break and the correlation of elongation at break with the cable service time has to be performed. A reliable assessment of the cable lifetime depends on accuracy of these correlations. Consequently, synergistic effects well known at this time - dose rate effects and effects resulting from the different sequence of applying radiation and elevated temperature must be taken into account.

  1. Laser ultrasonic techniques for assessment of tooth structure (United States)

    Blodgett, David W.; Baldwin, Kevin C.


    Dental health care and research workers require a means of imaging the structures within teeth in vivo. For example, there is a need to image the margins of a restoration for the detection of poor bonding or voids between the restorative material and the dentin. With conventional x-ray techniques, it is difficult to detect cracks and to visualize interfaces between hard media. This due to the x-ray providing only a 2 dimensional projection of the internal structure (i.e. a silhouette). In addition, a high resolution imaging modality is needed to detect tooth decay in its early stages. If decay can be detected early enough, the process can be monitored and interventional procedures, such as fluoride washes and controlled diet, can be initiated which can help the tooth to re-mineralize itself. Currently employed x-ray imaging is incapable of detecting decay at a stage early enough to avoid invasive cavity preparation followed by a restoration with a synthetic material. Other clinical applications include the visualization of periodontal defects, the localization of intraosseous lesions, and determining the degree of osseointegration between a dental implant and the surrounding bone. A means of assessing the internal structure of the tooth based upon use of high frequency, highly localized ultrasound (acoustic waves) generated by a laser pulse is discussed. Optical interferometric detection of ultrasound provides a complementary technique with a very small detection footprint. Initial results using laser-based ultrasound for assessment of dental structures are presented. Discussion will center on the adaptability of this technique to clinical applications.

  2. Advances in techniques for assessment of microalgal lipids. (United States)

    Challagulla, Vineela; Nayar, Sasi; Walsh, Kerry; Fabbro, Larelle


    Microalgae are a varied group of organisms with considerable commercial potential as sources of various biochemicals, storage molecules and metabolites such as lipids, sugars, amino acids, pigments and toxins. Algal lipids can be processed to bio-oils and biodiesel. The conventional method to estimate algal lipids is based on extraction using solvents and quantification by gravimetry or chromatography. Such methods are time consuming, use hazardous chemicals and are labor intensive. For rapid screening of prospective algae or for management decisions (e.g. decision on timing of harvest), a rapid, high throughput, reliable, accurate, cost effective and preferably nondestructive analytical technique is desirable. This manuscript reviews the application of fluorescent lipid soluble dyes (Nile Red and BODIPY 505/515), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), Raman, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy for the assessment of lipids in microalgae.

  3. A Bio-Inspired Herbal Tea Flavour Assessment Technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nur Zawatil Isqi Zakaria


    Full Text Available Herbal-based products are becoming a widespread production trend among manufacturers for the domestic and international markets. As the production increases to meet the market demand, it is very crucial for the manufacturer to ensure that their products have met specific criteria and fulfil the intended quality determined by the quality controller. One famous herbal-based product is herbal tea. This paper investigates bio-inspired flavour assessments in a data fusion framework involving an e-nose and e-tongue. The objectives are to attain good classification of different types and brands of herbal tea, classification of different flavour masking effects and finally classification of different concentrations of herbal tea. Two data fusion levels were employed in this research, low level data fusion and intermediate level data fusion. Four classification approaches; LDA, SVM, KNN and PNN were examined in search of the best classifier to achieve the research objectives. In order to evaluate the classifiers’ performance, an error estimator based on k-fold cross validation and leave-one-out were applied. Classification based on GC-MS TIC data was also included as a comparison to the classification performance using fusion approaches. Generally, KNN outperformed the other classification techniques for the three flavour assessments in the low level data fusion and intermediate level data fusion. However, the classification results based on GC-MS TIC data are varied.

  4. Assessing voluntary muscle activation with the twitch interpolation technique. (United States)

    Shield, Anthony; Zhou, Shi


    The twitch interpolation technique is commonly employed to assess the completeness of skeletal muscle activation during voluntary contractions. Early applications of twitch interpolation suggested that healthy human subjects could fully activate most of the skeletal muscles to which the technique had been applied. More recently, however, highly sensitive twitch interpolation has revealed that even healthy adults routinely fail to fully activate a number of skeletal muscles despite apparently maximal effort. Unfortunately, some disagreement exists as to how the results of twitch interpolation should be employed to quantify voluntary activation. The negative linear relationship between evoked twitch force and voluntary force that has been observed by some researchers implies that voluntary activation can be quantified by scaling a single interpolated twitch to a control twitch evoked in relaxed muscle. Observations of non-linear evoked-voluntary force relationships have lead to the suggestion that the single interpolated twitch ratio can not accurately estimate voluntary activation. Instead, it has been proposed that muscle activation is better determined by extrapolating the relationship between evoked and voluntary force to provide an estimate of true maximum force. However, criticism of the single interpolated twitch ratio typically fails to take into account the reasons for the non-linearity of the evoked-voluntary force relationship. When these reasons are examined, it appears that most are even more challenging to the validity of extrapolation than they are to the linear equation. Furthermore, several factors that contribute to the observed non-linearity can be minimised or even eliminated with appropriate experimental technique. The detection of small activation deficits requires high resolution measurement of force and careful consideration of numerous experimental details such as the site of stimulation, stimulation intensity and the number of interpolated

  5. Assessing the Accuracy of the Precise Point Positioning Technique (United States)

    Bisnath, S. B.; Collins, P.; Seepersad, G.


    The Precise Point Positioning (PPP) GPS data processing technique has developed over the past 15 years to become a standard method for growing categories of positioning and navigation applications. The technique relies on single receiver point positioning combined with the use of precise satellite orbit and clock information and high-fidelity error modelling. The research presented here uniquely addresses the current accuracy of the technique, explains the limits of performance, and defines paths to improvements. For geodetic purposes, performance refers to daily static position accuracy. PPP processing of over 80 IGS stations over one week results in few millimetre positioning rms error in the north and east components and few centimetres in the vertical (all one sigma values). Larger error statistics for real-time and kinematic processing are also given. GPS PPP with ambiguity resolution processing is also carried out, producing slight improvements over the float solution results. These results are categorised into quality classes in order to analyse the root error causes of the resultant accuracies: "best", "worst", multipath, site displacement effects, satellite availability and geometry, etc. Also of interest in PPP performance is solution convergence period. Static, conventional solutions are slow to converge, with approximately 35 minutes required for 95% of solutions to reach the 20 cm or better horizontal accuracy. Ambiguity resolution can significantly reduce this period without biasing solutions. The definition of a PPP error budget is a complex task even with the resulting numerical assessment, as unlike the epoch-by-epoch processing in the Standard Position Service, PPP processing involving filtering. An attempt is made here to 1) define the magnitude of each error source in terms of range, 2) transform ranging error to position error via Dilution Of Precision (DOP), and 3) scale the DOP through the filtering process. The result is a deeper

  6. Integrated testlets and the immediate feedback assessment technique (United States)

    Slepkov, Aaron D.


    We describe how an answer-until-correct multiple-choice (MC) response format allows for the construction of fully multiple-choice examinations designed to operate much as a hybrid between standard MC and constructed-response (CR) testing. With this tool—the immediate feedback assessment technique (IF-AT)—students gain complete knowledge of the correct answer for each question during the examination and can use such information for solving subsequent test items. This feature allows for the creation of a new type of context-dependent item set: the "integrated testlet." In an integrated testlet, certain items are purposefully inter-dependent and are thus presented in a particular order. Such integrated testlets represent a proxy of typical CR questions, but with a straightforward and uniform marking scheme that also allows for granting partial credit for proximal knowledge. As proof-of-principle, we present a case study of an IF-AT-scored midterm and final examination for an introductory physics course and discuss specific testlets possessing varying degrees of integration. In total, the polychotomously scored items are found to allow for excellent discrimination, with a mean item-total correlation measure for the combined 45 items of the two examinations of r¯'=0.41±0.13 (mean ± standard deviation) and a final examination test reliability of α = 0.82 (n = 25 items). Furthermore, partial credit is shown to be allocated in a discriminating and valid manner in these examinations. As has been found in other disciplines, the reaction of undergraduate physics students to the IF-AT is highly positive, further motivating its expanded use in formal classroom assessments.

  7. Remote sensing techniques applied to seismic vulnerability assessment (United States)

    Juan Arranz, Jose; Torres, Yolanda; Hahgi, Azade; Gaspar-Escribano, Jorge


    Advances in remote sensing and photogrammetry techniques have increased the degree of accuracy and resolution in the record of the earth's surface. This has expanded the range of possible applications of these data. In this research, we have used these data to document the construction characteristics of the urban environment of Lorca, Spain. An exposure database has been created with the gathered information to be used in seismic vulnerability assessment. To this end, we have used data from photogrammetric flights at different periods, using both orthorectified images in the visible and infrared spectrum. Furthermore, the analysis is completed using LiDAR data. From the combination of these data, it has been possible to delineate the building footprints and characterize the constructions with attributes such as the approximate date of construction, area, type of roof and even building materials. To carry out the calculation, we have developed different algorithms to compare images from different times, segment images, classify LiDAR data, and use the infrared data in order to remove vegetation or to compute roof surfaces with height value, tilt and spectral fingerprint. In addition, the accuracy of our results has been validated with ground truth data. Keywords: LiDAR, remote sensing, seismic vulnerability, Lorca

  8. Damage assessment of the equine sperm membranes by fluorimetric technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eneiva Carla Carvalho Celeghini


    Full Text Available To validate a practical technique of simultaneous evaluation of the plasma, acrosomal and mitochondrial membranes in equine spermatozoa three fluorescent probes (PI, FITC-PSA and MITO were associated. Four ejaculates from three stallions (n=12 were diluted in TALP medium and split into 2 aliquots, 1 aliquot was flash frozen in liquid nitrogen to induce damage in cellular membranes. Three treatments were prepared with the following fixed ratios of fresh semen: flash frozen semen: 100:0 (T100, 50:50 (T50, and 0:100 (T0. A 150-µL aliquot of diluted semen of each treatment was added of 2 µL of PI, 2 µL of MITO and 80 µL of FITC-PSA; incubated at 38.5ºC/8 min, and sperm cells were evaluated by epifluorescent microscopy. Based in regression analysis, this could be an efficient and practical technique to assess damage in equine spermatozoa, as it was able to determine the sperm percentage more representative of the potential to fertilize the oocyte.Para validar uma técnica prática de avaliação simultânea das membranas plasmática, acrossomal e mitocondrial em espermatozóides eqüinos três sondas fluorescentes (PI, FITC-PSA e MITO foram associadas. Quatro ejaculados de três garanhões (n=12 foram diluídos em meio TALP e divididos em duas alíquotas, uma alíquota foi submetida a flash frozen em nitrogênio líquido para induzir danos nas membranas celulares. Três tratamentos foram preparados com as seguintes proporções de sêmen fresco: sêmen flash frozen: 100:0 (T100, 50:50 (T50, e 0:100 (T0. Uma amostra de 150 µL de sêmen diluído de cada tratamento foi adicionada de 2 µL de PI, 2 µL de MITO e 80 µL de FITC-PSA; incubadas à 38,5ºC/8 min, e as células espermáticas foram avaliadas por microscopia de epifluorescência. Baseados na análise de regressão esta é uma técnica eficiente e prática para determinar danos em espermatozóides eqüinos, capaz de determinar a porcentagem de espermatozóides mais representativa do

  9. Landslide Probability Assessment by the Derived Distributions Technique (United States)

    Muñoz, E.; Ochoa, A.; Martínez, H.


    Landslides are potentially disastrous events that bring along human and economic losses; especially in cities where an accelerated and unorganized growth leads to settlements on steep and potentially unstable areas. Among the main causes of landslides are geological, geomorphological, geotechnical, climatological, hydrological conditions and anthropic intervention. This paper studies landslides detonated by rain, commonly known as "soil-slip", which characterize by having a superficial failure surface (Typically between 1 and 1.5 m deep) parallel to the slope face and being triggered by intense and/or sustained periods of rain. This type of landslides is caused by changes on the pore pressure produced by a decrease in the suction when a humid front enters, as a consequence of the infiltration initiated by rain and ruled by the hydraulic characteristics of the soil. Failure occurs when this front reaches a critical depth and the shear strength of the soil in not enough to guarantee the stability of the mass. Critical rainfall thresholds in combination with a slope stability model are widely used for assessing landslide probability. In this paper we present a model for the estimation of the occurrence of landslides based on the derived distributions technique. Since the works of Eagleson in the 1970s the derived distributions technique has been widely used in hydrology to estimate the probability of occurrence of extreme flows. The model estimates the probability density function (pdf) of the Factor of Safety (FOS) from the statistical behavior of the rainfall process and some slope parameters. The stochastic character of the rainfall is transformed by means of a deterministic failure model into FOS pdf. Exceedance probability and return period estimation is then straightforward. The rainfall process is modeled as a Rectangular Pulses Poisson Process (RPPP) with independent exponential pdf for mean intensity and duration of the storms. The Philip infiltration model

  10. 印度尼西亚BOT火电项目PPA风险浅析%Risks Analysis of PPA for Indonesian BOT Thermal Power Projects

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    The power purchase agreement (PPA) is the core of the package documents for BOT power projects. Based on the understanding of electricity pricing mechanism in PPA for Indonesian BOT thermal power projects, this paper analyzes all kinds of risks on PPA articles, such as PLN and Sellers defaults, financing, construction, coal supply, as well as technical. Based on the practical projects. the risk management and avoidance method are put forward, which provides references for similar overseas BOT projects.%购电协议(PPA)是build-operate-transfer(BOT)电源项目一揽子协议的关键.基于对印度尼西亚BOT火电项目PPA中电价机制的分析,对PPA中存在的印度尼西亚国家电力公司(PLN)和独立发电商的违约风险、融资风险、完工风险、煤炭供应风险、技术风险等进行了解析,并结合项目实践提出了相应的风险管理和规避措施,以期为类似海外项目提供借鉴和参考.

  11. Assessing Students in the Margin: Challenges, Strategies, and Techniques (United States)

    Russell, Michael; Kavanaugh, Maureen


    The importance of student assessment, particularly for summative purposes, has increased greatly over the past thirty years. At the same time, emphasis on including all students in assessment programs has also increased. Assessment programs, whether they are large-scale, district-based, or teacher developed, have traditionally attempted to assess…

  12. Nondestructive Technique Survey for Assessing Integrity of Composite Firing Vessel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tran, A.


    The repeated use and limited lifetime of a composite tiring vessel compel a need to survey techniques for monitoring the structural integrity of the vessel in order to determine when it should be retired. Various nondestructive techniques were researched and evaluated based on their applicability to the vessel. The methods were visual inspection, liquid penetrant testing, magnetic particle testing, surface mounted strain gauges, thermal inspection, acoustic emission, ultrasonic testing, radiography, eddy current testing, and embedded fiber optic sensors. It was determined that embedded fiber optic sensor is the most promising technique due to their ability to be embedded within layers of composites and their immunity to electromagnetic interference.

  13. Quantitative assessments of distributed systems methodologies and techniques

    CERN Document Server

    Bruneo, Dario


    Distributed systems employed in critical infrastructures must fulfill dependability, timeliness, and performance specifications. Since these systems most often operate in an unpredictable environment, their design and maintenance require quantitative evaluation of deterministic and probabilistic timed models. This need gave birth to an abundant literature devoted to formal modeling languages combined with analytical and simulative solution techniques The aim of the book is to provide an overview of techniques and methodologies dealing with such specific issues in the context of distributed

  14. Objective Assessments of Temperature Maintenance Using In Vitro Culture Techniques


    Cooke, Simon; Tyler, John P. P.; Driscoll, Geoff


    Purpose: To assess the ability of various facets of embryo culture (microscope stage warmers, volumes of culture media, culture vessel lids, and type of culture incubator) to maintain a constant temperature in vitro.

  15. Molecular cytogenetics of pituitary adenomas, assessed by FISH technique. (United States)

    Kontogeorgos, George


    Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) represents a moden molecular pathology technique, alternative to conventional cytogenetics (karyotyping). In addition to metaphase spreads, it can be applied directly to interphase nuclei. The latter makes the FISH technique powerful for pathologists for it integrates molecular genetics and classic cytogenetics and brings them together to a single framework for morphologic evaluation. Interphase FISH can be applied to imprints from fresh tissue or to paraffin sections after proteinase K digestion. Centromeric, telomeric and locus DNA-sequence specific probes can be used to identify aneuploidy or gene mutations. Several protocols combine molecular cytogenetics with classic karyotyping. Other sophisticated, FISH-based protocols have been introduced. Among them, comparative genomic hybridization is very important for it can detect non-balanced chromosomal aberrations of uncultured tumor cells and provide overall genomic information in a single experiment. This review presents the principles and applications of FISH technique for the investigation of the cytogenetic background of pituitary adenomas.

  16. Formative Assessment Probes: Using the P-E-O Technique (United States)

    Keeley, Page


    This article describes how observing whether objects sink or float in water using the P-E-O (Predict, Explain, and Observe) technique is an elementary precursor to developing explanations in later grades that involve an understanding of density and buoyancy. Beginning as early as preschool, elementary students engage in activities that encourage…

  17. 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.

  18. Assessment of Heart Disease using Fuzzy Classification Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Horia F. Pop


    Full Text Available In this paper we discuss the classification results of cardiac patients of ischemical cardiopathy, valvular heart disease, and arterial hypertension, based on 19 characteristics (descriptors including ECHO data, effort testings, and age and weight. In this order we have used different fuzzy clustering algorithms, namely hierarchical fuzzy clustering, hierarchical and horizontal fuzzy characteristics clustering, and a new clustering technique, fuzzy hierarchical cross-classification. The characteristics clustering techniques produce fuzzy partitions of the characteristics involved and, thus, are useful tools for studying the similarities between different characteristics and for essential characteristics selection. The cross-classification algorithm produces not only a fuzzy partition of the cardiac patients analyzed, but also a fuzzy partition of their considered characteristics. In this way it is possible to identify which characteristics are responsible for the similarities or dissimilarities observed between different groups of patients.

  19. Some Viable Techniques for Assessing and Counselling Cognitive Processing Weakness (United States)

    Haruna, Abubakar Sadiq


    Cognitive Processing weakness (CPW) is a psychological problem that impedes students' ability to learn effectively in a normal school setting. Such weakness may include; auditory, visual, conceptual, sequential, speed and attention processing. This paper therefore examines the basic assessment or diagnostic approaches such as Diagnosis by…

  20. An observational model for biomechanical assessment of sprint kayaking technique. (United States)

    McDonnell, Lisa K; Hume, Patria A; Nolte, Volker


    Sprint kayaking stroke phase descriptions for biomechanical analysis of technique vary among kayaking literature, with inconsistencies not conducive for the advancement of biomechanics applied service or research. We aimed to provide a consistent basis for the categorisation and analysis of sprint kayak technique by proposing a clear observational model. Electronic databases were searched using key words kayak, sprint, technique, and biomechanics, with 20 sources reviewed. Nine phase-defining positions were identified within the kayak literature and were divided into three distinct types based on how positions were defined: water-contact-defined positions, paddle-shaft-defined positions, and body-defined positions. Videos of elite paddlers from multiple camera views were reviewed to determine the visibility of positions used to define phases. The water-contact-defined positions of catch, immersion, extraction, and release were visible from multiple camera views, therefore were suitable for practical use by coaches and researchers. Using these positions, phases and sub-phases were created for a new observational model. We recommend that kayaking data should be reported using single strokes and described using two phases: water and aerial. For more detailed analysis without disrupting the basic two-phase model, a four-sub-phase model consisting of entry, pull, exit, and aerial sub-phases should be used.

  1. PPA-SiO2 Catalyzed Multi-component Synthesis of N-[α-(β-Hydroxy-α-naphthyl)(benzyl)]O-Alkyl Carbamate Derivatives

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    Silica-supported polyphosphoric acid (PPA-SiO2) was found to be an efficient catalyst for the multi-component condensation reaction of benzaldehydes,2-naphthol,and methyl/benzyl carbamate to afford the corresponding N-[α-(β-hydroxy-α-naphthyl)(benzyl)]O-alkyl carbamate derivatives in good to excellent yields.This new approach consistently has the advantage of short reaction time,high conversions,clean reaction profiles,and simple experimental and work-up procedures.

  2. CyPPA, a positive SK3/SK2 modulator, reduces activity of dopaminergic neurons, inhibits dopamine release, and counteracts hyperdopaminergic behaviors induced by methylphenidate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kjartan F. Herrik


    Full Text Available Dopamine (DA containing midbrain neurons play critical roles in several psychiatric and neurological diseases, including schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, and the substantia nigra pars compacta neurons selectively degenerate in Parkinson’s disease. Pharmacological modulation of DA receptors and transporters are well established approaches for treatment of DA-related disorders. Direct modulation of the DA system by influencing the discharge pattern of these autonomously firing neurons has yet to be exploited as a potential therapeutic strategy. Small conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels (SK channels, in particular the SK3 subtype, are important in the physiology of DA neurons, and agents modifying SK channel activity could potentially affect DA-signaling and DA-related behaviors. Here we show that CyPPA (cyclohexyl-[2-(3,5-dimethyl-pyrazol-1-yl-6-methyl-pyrimidin-4-yl]-amine, a subtype-selective positive modulator of SK channels (SK3 > SK2 >>> SK1, IK, decreased spontaneous firing rate, increased the duration of the apamin-sensitive, medium duration afterhyperpolarization (mAHP, and caused an activity-dependent inhibition of current-evoked action potentials in DA neurons from both mouse and rat midbrain slices. Using a immunohistochemically and pharmacologically validated DA release assay employing cultured DA neurons from rats, we show that CyPPA repressed DA release in a concentration-dependent manner with a maximal effect equal to the D2 receptor agonist quinpirole. In vivo studies revealed that systemic administration of CyPPA attenuated methylphenidate-induced hyperactivity and stereotypic behaviors in mice. Taken together, the data accentuate the important role played by SK3 channels in the physiology of DA neurons, and indicate that their facilitation by CyPPA profoundly influences physiological as well as pharmacologically induced hyperdopaminergic behavior.

  3. Tools and Techniques for Basin-Scale Climate Change Assessment (United States)

    Zagona, E.; Rajagopalan, B.; Oakley, W.; Wilson, N.; Weinstein, P.; Verdin, A.; Jerla, C.; Prairie, J. R.


    The Department of Interior's WaterSMART Program seeks to secure and stretch water supplies to benefit future generations and identify adaptive measures to address climate change. Under WaterSMART, Basin Studies are comprehensive water studies to explore options for meeting projected imbalances in water supply and demand in specific basins. Such studies could be most beneficial with application of recent scientific advances in climate projections, stochastic simulation, operational modeling and robust decision-making, as well as computational techniques to organize and analyze many alternatives. A new integrated set of tools and techniques to facilitate these studies includes the following components: Future supply scenarios are produced by the Hydrology Simulator, which uses non-parametric K-nearest neighbor resampling techniques to generate ensembles of hydrologic traces based on historical data, optionally conditioned on long paleo reconstructed data using various Markov Chain techniuqes. Resampling can also be conditioned on climate change projections from e.g., downscaled GCM projections to capture increased variability; spatial and temporal disaggregation is also provided. The simulations produced are ensembles of hydrologic inputs to the RiverWare operations/infrastucture decision modeling software. Alternative demand scenarios can be produced with the Demand Input Tool (DIT), an Excel-based tool that allows modifying future demands by groups such as states; sectors, e.g., agriculture, municipal, energy; and hydrologic basins. The demands can be scaled at future dates or changes ramped over specified time periods. Resulting data is imported directly into the decision model. Different model files can represent infrastructure alternatives and different Policy Sets represent alternative operating policies, including options for noticing when conditions point to unacceptable vulnerabilities, which trigger dynamically executing changes in operations or other

  4. MATILDA: A Military Laser Range Safety Tool Based on Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) Techniques (United States)


    AFRL-RH-FS-TR-2014-0035 MATILDA: A Military Laser Range Safety Tool Based on Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) Techniques Paul...the Government’s approval or disapproval of its ideas or findings. MATILDA: A Military Laser Range Safety Tool Based on Probabilistic Risk Assessment... Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) techniques to perform laser safety and hazard analysis for high output lasers in outdoor environments has become

  5. Techniques and strategies for data integration in mineral resource assessment (United States)

    Trautwein, Charles M.; Dwyer, John L.


    The Geologic and the National Mapping divisions of the U.S. Geological Survey have been involved formally in cooperative research and development of computer-based geographic information systems (GISs) applied to mineral-resource assessment objectives since 1982. Experience in the Conterminous United States Mineral Assessment Program (CUSMAP) projects including the Rolla, Missouri; Dillon, Montana; Butte, Montana; and Tonopah, Nevada 1?? ?? 2?? quadrangles, has resulted in the definition of processing requirements for geographically and mineral-resource data that are common to these studies. The diverse formats of data sets collected and compiled for regional mineral-resource assessments necessitate capabilities for digitally encoding and entering data into appropriate tabular, vector, and raster subsystems of the GIS. Although many of the required data sets are either available or can be provided in a digital format suitable for direct entry, their utility is largely dependent on the original intent and consequent preprocessing of the data. In this respect, special care must be taken to ensure the digital data type, encoding, and format will meet assessment objectives. Data processing within the GIS is directed primarily toward the development and application of models that can be used to describe spatially geological, geophysical, and geochemical environments either known or inferred to be associated with specific types of mineral deposits. Consequently, capabilities to analyze spatially, aggregate, and display relations between data sets are principal processing requirements. To facilitate the development of these models within the GIS, interfaces must be developed among vector-, raster-, and tabular-based processing subsystems to reformat resident data sets for comparative analyses and multivariate display of relations.

  6. Quality of Bone Healing: Perspectives and Assessment Techniques (United States)


    uniquely restricted to appositional growth; therefore, all activities occur on bone surfaces, either the outer periosteal or marrow- oriented...Standardized scoring systems such as the radio- graphic union score for tibial fractures39 allow for a reduction in the variability of assessing fracture...O’Connor B, Kenwright J. Measuring stiffness can define healing of tibial fractures. J Bone Joint Surg 1994; 76-B: 389–94. Guda et al. Bone healing

  7. Solute effects on ice recrystallization: an assessment technique. (United States)

    Knight, C A; Hallett, J; DeVries, A L


    Reliable assessment of the effect of a solute upon ice recrystallization is accomplished with "splat cooling," the impaction of a small solution droplet onto a very cold metal plate. The ice disc has extremely small crystals, and recrystallization can be followed without confusing effects caused by grain nucleation. This method confirms the exceptionally strong recrystallization inhibition effect of antifreeze protein from Antarctic fish and shows that grain growth rate is a sensitive function of both grain size and solute concentration.

  8. Development of Improved Caprock Integrity and Risk Assessment Techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bruno, Michael [Geomechanics Technologies, Incorporated, Monrovia, CA (United States)


    GeoMechanics Technologies has completed a geomechanical caprock integrity analysis and risk assessment study funded through the US Department of Energy. The project included: a detailed review of historical caprock integrity problems experienced in the natural gas storage industry; a theoretical description and documentation of caprock integrity issues; advanced coupled transport flow modelling and geomechanical simulation of three large-scale potential geologic sequestration sites to estimate geomechanical effects from CO₂ injection; development of a quantitative risk and decision analysis tool to assess caprock integrity risks; and, ultimately the development of recommendations and guidelines for caprock characterization and CO₂ injection operating practices. Historical data from gas storage operations and CO₂ sequestration projects suggest that leakage and containment incident risks are on the order of 10-1 to 10-2, which is higher risk than some previous studies have suggested for CO₂. Geomechanical analysis, as described herein, can be applied to quantify risks and to provide operating guidelines to reduce risks. The risk assessment tool developed for this project has been applied to five areas: The Wilmington Graben offshore Southern California, Kevin Dome in Montana, the Louden Field in Illinois, the Sleipner CO₂ sequestration operation in the North Sea, and the In Salah CO₂ sequestration operation in North Africa. Of these five, the Wilmington Graben area represents the highest relative risk while the Kevin Dome area represents the lowest relative risk.

  9. Wetland assessment, monitoring and management in India using geospatial techniques. (United States)

    Garg, J K


    Satellite remote sensing and GIS have emerged as the most powerful tools for inventorying, monitoring and management of natural resources and environment. In the special context of wetland ecosystems, remotely sensed data from orbital platforms have been extensively used in India for the inventory, monitoring and preparation of action plans for conservation and management. First scientific inventory of wetlands in India was carried out in 1998 by Space Applications Centre (ISRO), Ahmedabad using indigenous IRS (Indian Remote Sensing Satellite) data of 1992-93 timeframe, which stimulated extensive use of geospatial techniques for wetland conservation and management. Subsequently, with advances in GIS, studies were carried out for development of Wetland Information System for a state (West Bengal) and for Loktak lake wetland (a Ramsar site) as a prelude to National Wetland Information System. Research has also been carried out for preparation of action plans especially for Ramsar sites in the country. In a novel research, use of the geospatial technology has also been demonstrated for biodiversity conservation using landscape ecological metrics. A country-wide estimate of emission of methane, a Green House Gas, from wetlands has also been made using MODIS data. Present article critically reviews the work carried out in India for wetland conservation and management using geospatial techniques.

  10. Technology assessment of applied techniques for exploitation of geothermal energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)


    Studies were made to elucidate the effects of technological development of natural steam and hot water on the general social and industrial environments. These were followed by studies of enhanced methods for the forecasting of these impacts. The studies included assessments of actual conditions and the preparation of regional models, ranging from rural to urban-fringe situations. The economic implications of geothermal development in various regional situations are discussed, and the models developed provide for the integration of new data and their extrapolation to as yet uncertain situations.

  11. Diagnostic Emergency Ultrasound: Assessment Techniques In The Pediatric Patient. (United States)

    Guttman, Joshua; Nelson, Bret P


    Emergency ultrasound is performed at the point of care to answer focused clinical questions in a rapid manner. Over the last 20 years, the use of this technique has grown rapidly, and it has become a core requirement in many emergency medicine residencies and in some pediatric emergency medicine fellowships. The use of emergency ultrasound in the pediatric setting is increasing due to the lack of ionizing radiation with these studies, as compared to computed tomography. Utilizing diagnostic ultrasound in the emergency department can allow clinicians to arrive at a diagnosis at the bedside rather than sending the patient out of the department for another study. This issue focuses on common indications for diagnostic ultrasound, as found in the pediatric literature or extrapolated from adult literature where pediatric evidence is scarce. Limitations, current trends, controversies, and future directions of diagnostic ultrasound in the emergency department are also discussed.

  12. Assessment of Fevicol (adhesive Drying Process through Dynamic Speckle Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Z. Ansari


    Full Text Available Dynamic laser speckle (or biospeckle analysis is a useful measurement tool to analyze micro-motion on a sample surface via temporal statistics based on a sequence of speckle images. The aim of this work was to evaluate the use of dynamic speckles as an alternative tool to monitoring Fevicol drying process. Experimental demonstration of intensity-based algorithm to monitor Fevicol drying process is reported. The experiment was explored with the technique called Inertia Moment of co-occurrence matrix. The results allowed verifying the drying process and it was possible to observe different activity stages during the drying process. Statistical Tukey test at 5% significance level allowed differentiating different stages of drying. In conclusion, speckle activity, measured by the Inertia Moment, can be used to monitor drying processes of the Fevicol.

  13. Assess Sleep Stage by Modern Signal Processing Techniques

    CERN Document Server

    Wu, Hau-tieng; Lo, Yu-Lun


    In this paper, two modern adaptive signal processing techniques, Empirical Intrinsic Geometry and Synchrosqueezing transform, are applied to quantify different dynamical features of the respiratory and electroencephalographic signals. We show that the proposed features are theoretically rigorously supported, as well as capture the sleep information hidden inside the signals. The features are used as input to multiclass support vector machines with the radial basis function to automatically classify sleep stages. The effectiveness of the classification based on the proposed features is shown to be comparable to human expert classification -- the proposed classification of awake, REM, N1, N2 and N3 sleeping stages based on the respiratory signal (resp. respiratory and EEG signals) has the overall accuracy $81.7\\%$ (resp. $89.3\\%$) in the relatively normal subject group. In addition, by examining the combination of the respiratory signal with the electroencephalographic signal, we conclude that the respiratory s...

  14. CyPPA, a positive modulator of small-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels, inhibits phasic uterine contractions and delays preterm birth in mice. (United States)

    Skarra, Dana V; Cornwell, Trudy; Solodushko, Viktoriya; Brown, Amber; Taylor, Mark S


    Organized uterine contractions, including those necessary for parturition, are dependent on calcium entry through voltage-gated calcium channels in myometrial smooth muscle cells. Recent evidence suggests that small-conductance Ca(2+)-activated potassium channels (K(Ca)2), specifically isoforms K(Ca)2.2 and 2.3, may control these contractions through negative feedback regulation of Ca(2+) entry. We tested whether selective pharmacologic activation of K(Ca)2.2/2.3 channels might depress uterine contractions, providing a new strategy for preterm labor intervention. Western blot analysis and immunofluorescence microscopy revealed expression of both K(Ca)2.2 and K(Ca)2.3 in the myometrium of nonpregnant (NP) and pregnant (gestation day 10 and 16; D10 and D16, respectively) mice. Spontaneous phasic contractions of isolated NP, D10, and D16 uterine strips were all suppressed by the K(Ca)2.2/2.3-selective activator CyPPA in a concentration-dependent manner. This effect was antagonized by the selective K(Ca)2 inhibitor apamin. Whereas CyPPA sensitivity was reduced in D10 and D16 versus NP strips (pIC(50) 5.33 ± 0.09, 4.64 ± 0.03, 4.72 ± 0.10, respectively), all contractions were abolished between 30 and 60 μM. Blunted contractions were associated with CyPPA depression of spontaneous Ca(2+) events in myometrial smooth muscle bundles. Augmentation of uterine contractions with oxytocin or prostaglandin F(2α) did not reduce CyPPA sensitivity or efficacy. Finally, in an RU486-induced preterm labor model, CyPPA significantly delayed time to delivery by 3.4 h and caused a 2.5-fold increase in pup retention. These data indicate that pharmacologic stimulation of myometrial K(Ca)2.2/2.3 channels effectively suppresses Ca(2+)-mediated uterine contractions and delays preterm birth in mice, supporting the potential utility of this approach in tocolytic therapies.

  15. Stability assessment for underground excavations and key construction techniques

    CERN Document Server

    Zhu, Hanhua; Zhao, Yu; Niu, Fusheng


    This book examines how the state of underground structures can be determined with the assistance of force, deformation and energy. It then analyzes mechanized shield methods, the New Austrian tunneling method (NATM) and conventional methods from this new perspective. The book gathers a wealth of cases reflecting the experiences of practitioners and administrators alike. Based on statistical and engineering studies of these cases, as well as lab and field experiments, it develops a stability assessment approach incorporating a stable equilibrium, which enables engineers to keep the structure and surrounding rocks safe as long as the stable equilibrium and deformation compliance are maintained. The book illustrates the implementation of the method in various tunneling contexts, including soil-rock mixed strata, tunneling beneath operating roads, underwater tunnels, and tunnel pit excavation. It offers a valuable guide for researchers, designers and engineers, especially those who are seeking to understand the u...

  16. Risk Assessment Techniques and Survey Method for COTS Components

    CERN Document Server

    Gupta, Rashmi


    The Rational Unified Process a software engineering process is gaining popularity nowadays. RUP delivers best software practices for component software Development life cycle It supports component based software development. Risk is involved in every component development phase .neglecting those risks sometimes hampers the software growth and leads to negative outcome. In Order to provide appropriate security and protection levels, identifying various risks is very vital. Therefore Risk identification plays a very crucial role in the component based software development This report addresses incorporation of component based software development cycle into RUP phases, assess several category of risk encountered in the component based software. It also entails a survey method to identify the risk factor and evaluating the overall severity of the component software development in terms of the risk. Formula for determining risk prevention cost and finding the risk probability is also been included. The overall go...

  17. Assess sleep stage by modern signal processing techniques. (United States)

    Wu, Hau-tieng; Talmon, Ronen; Lo, Yu-Lun


    In this paper, two modern adaptive signal processing techniques, empirical intrinsic geometry and synchrosqueezing transform, are applied to quantify different dynamical features of the respiratory and electroencephalographic signals. We show that the proposed features are theoretically rigorously supported, as well as capture the sleep information hidden inside the signals. The features are used as input to multiclass support vector machines with the radial basis function to automatically classify sleep stages. The effectiveness of the classification based on the proposed features is shown to be comparable to human expert classification-the proposed classification of awake, REM, N1, N2, and N3 sleeping stages based on the respiratory signal (resp. respiratory and EEG signals) has the overall accuracy 81.7% (resp. 89.3%) in the relatively normal subject group. In addition, by examining the combination of the respiratory signal with the electroencephalographic signal, we conclude that the respiratory signal consists of ample sleep information, which supplements to the information stored in the electroencephalographic signal.

  18. Particle Physics & Astrophysics (PPA) (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — Scientists at SLAC's Particle Physics and Astrophysics develop and utilize unique instruments from underground to outer space to explore the ultimate laws of nature...

  19. High-resolution Imaging Techniques for the Assessment of Osteoporosis (United States)

    Krug, Roland; Burghardt, Andrew J.; Majumdar, Sharmila; Link, Thomas M.


    Synopsis The importance of assessing the bone’s microarchitectural make-up in addition to its mineral density in the context of osteoporosis has been emphasized in a number of publications. The high spatial resolution required to resolve the bone’s microstructure in a clinically feasible scan time is challenging. Currently, the best suited modalities meeting these requirements in vivo are high-resolution peripheral quantitative imaging (HR-pQCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Whereas HR-pQCT is limited to peripheral skeleton regions like the wrist and ankle, MRI can also image other sites like the proximal femur but usually with lower spatial resolution. In addition Multidetector-CT has been used for high-resolution imaging of trabecular bone structure, however, the radiation dose is a limiting factor. This article provides an overview of the different modalities, technical requirements and recent developments in this emerging field. Details regarding imaging protocols as well as image post-processing methods for bone structure quantification are discussed. PMID:20609895

  20. Evaluation of techniques for assessing neonatal caribou calf mortality in the Porcupine Caribou Herd (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report discusses the evaluation of techniques for assessing neonatal caribou calf mortality in the Porcupine caribou herd in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge....

  1. 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

  2. Review of Physical Based Monitoring Techniques for Condition Assessment of Corrosion in Reinforced Concrete

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Lei


    Full Text Available Monitoring the condition of steel corrosion in reinforced concrete (RC is imperative for structural durability. In the past decades, many electrochemistry based techniques have been developed for monitoring steel corrosion. However, these electrochemistry techniques can only assess steel corrosion through monitoring the surrounding concrete medium. As alternative tools, some physical based techniques have been proposed for accurate condition assessment of steel corrosion through direct measurements on embedded steels. In this paper, some physical based monitoring techniques developed in the last decade for condition assessment of steel corrosion in RC are reviewed. In particular, techniques based on ultrasonic guided wave (UGW and Fiber Bragg grating (FBG are emphasized. UGW based technique is first reviewed, including important characters of UGW, corrosion monitoring mechanism and feature extraction, monitoring corrosion induced deboning, pitting, interface roughness, and influence factors. Subsequently, FBG for monitoring corrosion in RC is reviewed. The studies and application of the FBG based corrosion sensor developed by the authors are presented. Other physical techniques for monitoring corrosion in RC are also introduced. Finally, the challenges and future trends in the development of physical based monitoring techniques for condition assessment of steel corrosion in RC are put forward.

  3. The Effectiveness of Active and Traditional Teaching Techniques in the Orthopedic Assessment Laboratory (United States)

    Nottingham, Sara; Verscheure, Susan


    Active learning is a teaching methodology with a focus on student-centered learning that engages students in the educational process. This study implemented active learning techniques in an orthopedic assessment laboratory, and the effects of these teaching techniques. Mean scores from written exams, practical exams, and final course evaluations…

  4. Reliability and criterion validity of an observation protocol for working technique assessments in cash register work. (United States)

    Palm, Peter; Josephson, Malin; Mathiassen, Svend Erik; Kjellberg, Katarina


    We evaluated the intra- and inter-observer reliability and criterion validity of an observation protocol, developed in an iterative process involving practicing ergonomists, for assessment of working technique during cash register work for the purpose of preventing upper extremity symptoms. Two ergonomists independently assessed 17 15-min videos of cash register work on two occasions each, as a basis for examining reliability. Criterion validity was assessed by comparing these assessments with meticulous video-based analyses by researchers. Intra-observer reliability was acceptable (i.e. proportional agreement >0.7 and kappa >0.4) for 10/10 questions. Inter-observer reliability was acceptable for only 3/10 questions. An acceptable inter-observer reliability combined with an acceptable criterion validity was obtained only for one working technique aspect, 'Quality of movements'. Thus, major elements of the cashiers' working technique could not be assessed with an acceptable accuracy from short periods of observations by one observer, such as often desired by practitioners. Practitioner Summary: We examined an observation protocol for assessing working technique in cash register work. It was feasible in use, but inter-observer reliability and criterion validity were generally not acceptable when working technique aspects were assessed from short periods of work. We recommend the protocol to be used for educational purposes only.

  5. Use of Formative Classroom Assessment Techniques in a Project Management Course (United States)

    Purcell, Bernice M.


    Formative assessment is considered to be an evaluation technique that informs the instructor of the level of student learning, giving evidence when it may be necessary for the instructor to make a change in delivery based upon the results. Several theories of formative assessment exist, all which propound the importance of feedback to the student.…

  6. Mixed Methods: Using a Combination of Techniques to Assess Writing Ability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Feenstra, Hiske; Eggen, Theo J.H.M.; Veldkamp, Bernard P.


    A productive ability such as writing can be assessed only through a candidate‘s performance on a task, giving rise to concerns about the reliability and validity of writing assessments. In this chapter, it is argued that a combination of different techniques can help improve the quality of an evalua

  7. Effect of recording/playback technique and experimental method on assessments of noise

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Celik, Emine; Persson-Waye, Kerstin; Møller, Henrik


    The study investigated possible effects of recording/playback technique and experimental method on assessments of annoyance, loudness and unpleasantness. A possible effect of exposure duration was also studied. Sounds were recorded with two different techniques: monophonic and binaural (dummy......-head technique). In addition, they were reproduced with three different techniques: monophonic recordings presented through a loudspeaker system, binaural recordings presented through closed (circum-aural) and completely open (free-of-the-ear headphones. The study adopted three psychometric methods...... main effect of recording and playback technique for any of the three perceptual attributes; however, significant interactions between techniques and sounds were found. Since the effect of recording and playback technique differs depending on sound, this finding is of importance for future design...

  8. Green and efficient synthesis of aryl/alkylbis(indolyl)methanes using Expanded Perlite-PPA as a heterogeneous solid acid catalyst in aqueous media

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)



    Expanded Perlite-Polyphosphoric acid (EP-PPA) as a novel, efficient, recyclable and eco-benign heterogeneous catalyst has been applied for the green and rapid synthesis of aryl/alkylbis(indolyl)methanes, in water, in good to excellent yields. The catalyst was characterized by XRF, FT-IR, TGA/DTG, ICP-OES, SEMEDX and pH analysis. Importantly, the newly synthesized heterogeneous solid acid catalyst can be recovered and reused six times without any significant loss in its catalytic potential. The remarkable features of thepresent methodology are high conversions, shorter reaction times, cleaner reaction profiles and simple work-up procedures.

  9. An image processing technique for the radiographic assessment of vertebral derangements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Breen, A.C. (Anglo-European Coll. of Chiropractic, Bournemouth (UK)); Allen, R. (Southampton Univ. (UK). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering); Morris, A. (Odstock Hospital, Salisbury (UK). Dept. of Radiology)


    A technique for measuring inter-vertebral motion by the digitization and processing of intensifier images is described. The technique reduces the time and X-ray dosage currently required to make such assessments. The errors associated with computing kinematic indices at increments of coronal plane rotations in the lumbar spine have been calculated using a calibration model designed to produce a facsimile of in vivo conditions in terms of image quality and geometric distortion. (author).

  10. Reliability and normative values of the foot line test: a technique to assess foot posture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brushøj, C; Larsen, Klaus; Nielsen, MB;


    STUDY DESIGN: Test-retest reliability. OBJECTIVE: To examine the reliability and report normative values of a novel test, the foot line test (FLT), to describe foot morphology. BACKGROUND: Numerous foot examinations are performed each day, but most existing examination techniques have considerable......). There was no significant association between foot size and FLT values. CONCLUSION: The FLT is a reproducible technique to assess foot posture....

  11. Closed vessel technique for assessment of ballistic characteristics in quality control of propellant manufacture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Siva Ramakrishnan


    Full Text Available "In order to assess the ballistic performance of a propellant it is necessary to measure its following characteristics: (aForce constant, (bvivacity, and (cshape. It is possible to determine (aand (bby the closed vessel technique which enables ballistic performance of the propellant in the gun to be estimated. It can be very usefully employed for quality control of propellant manufacture. As more and more experience is gained in the closed vessel technique these tests have several other possible practical applications such as those: (afor inspection of propellants, (bfor assessment of quality, (c to reduce proof in guns, and (dto check ballistics of a lot after long storage."

  12. Comparing and assessing different measurement techniques for mercury in coal systhesis gas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maxwell, D.P.; Richardson, C.F. [Radian Corporation, Austin, TX (United States)


    Three mercury measurement techniques were performed on synthesis gas streams before and after an amine-based sulfur removal system. The syngas was sampled using (1) gas impingers containing a nitric acid-hydrogen peroxide solution, (2) coconut-based charcoal sorbent, and (3) an on-line atomic absorption spectrophotometer equipped with a gold amalgamation trap and cold vapor cell. Various impinger solutions were applied upstream of the gold amalgamation trap to remove hydrogen sulfide and isolate oxidized and elemental species of mercury. The results from these three techniques are compared to provide an assessment of these measurement techniques in reducing gas atmospheres.

  13. Assessment of the sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) tracer technique for measuring enteric methane emissions from cattle. (United States)

    McGinn, S M; Beauchemin, K A; Iwaasa, A D; McAllister, T A


    A commonly used method of measuring enteric methane (CH4) emissions from ruminants is the SF6 tracer technique that measures respired and eructated CH4. However, within the animal, a small proportion of CH4 is produced post-ruminally and some of this may escape through the rectum. The comparison of emissions using a chamber technique that measures all enteric CH4 losses, and the SF6 tracer technique, could give some insight into the magnitude of post-ruminal emission. The objective of our study was to assess the precision and accuracy of the SF6 tracer technique against a chamber technique for cattle fed a range of diets. Using a repeated-measures design, eight beef heifers were offered a high grain or high forage diet for ad libitum or restricted (65% of ad libitum) feed intake to vary the site of digestion within the gastrointestinal tract (n = 24). The SF6 tracer technique underestimated CH4 emissions on average by 4% relative to the chamber technique. This difference was not significant (P > 0.05) and suggests low post-ruminal CH4 emissions. There was a trend for greater accuracy and precision of the SF6 tracer technique when used with cattle fed a high forage diet at a restricted level of intake. The high forage diet corresponds to the conditions of cattle grazing pasture, suggesting the SF6 tracer technique is most reliable for the grazing system.

  14. Russian Language Development Assessment as a Standardized Technique for Assessing Communicative Function in Children Aged 3–9 Years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prikhoda N.A.,


    Full Text Available The article describes the Russian Language Development Assessment, a standardized individual diagnostic tool for children aged from 3 to 9 that helps to assess the following components of a child’s communicative function: passive vocabulary, expressive vocabulary, knowledge of semantic constructs with logical, temporal and spatial relations, passive perception and active use of syntactic and morphological features of words in a sentence, active and passive phonological awareness, active and passive knowledge of syntactic structures and categories. The article provides descriptions of content and diagnostic procedures for all 7 subtests included in the assessment (Passive Vocabulary, Active Vocabulary, Linguistic Operators, Sentence structure, Word Structure, Phonology, Sentence Repetition. Basing on the data collected in the study that involved 86 first- graders of a Moscow school, the article analyzes the internal consistency and construct validity of each subtest of the technique. It concludes that the Russian Language Development Assessment technique can be of much use both in terms of diagnostic purposes and in supporting children with ASD taking into account the lack of standardized tools for language and speech development assessment in Russian and the importance of this measure in general.

  15. A Systematic Review of the Evolution of Laser Doppler Techniques in Burn Depth Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manaf Khatib


    Full Text Available Aims. The introduction of laser Doppler (LD techniques to assess burn depth has revolutionized the treatment of burns of indeterminate depth. This paper will systematically review studies related to these two techniques and trace their evolution. At the same time we hope to highlight current controversies and areas where further research is necessary with regard to LD imaging (LDI techniques. Methods. A systematic search for relevant literature was carried out on PubMed, Medline, EMBASE, and Google Scholar. Key search terms included the following: “Laser Doppler imaging,” “laser Doppler flow,” and “burn depth.” Results. A total of 53 studies were identified. Twenty-six studies which met the inclusion/exclusion criteria were included in the review. Conclusions. The numerous advantages of LDI over those of LD flowmetry have resulted in the former technique superseding the latter one. Despite the presence of alternative burn depth assessment techniques, LDI remains the most favoured. Various newer LDI machines with increasingly sophisticated methods of assessing burn depth have been introduced throughout the years. However, factors such as cost effectiveness, scanning of topographically inconsistent areas of the body, and skewing of results due to tattoos, peripheral vascular disease, and anaemia continue to be sighted as obstacles to LDI which require further research.

  16. Research and Teaching: Assessment of Graduate Teaching Assistants Enrolled in a Teaching Techniques Course (United States)

    Zehnder, Caralyn


    At the authors' public liberal arts institution, biology masters students are required to enroll in BIOL 5050: Teaching Techniques. Course topics include designing effective lectures, assessment, classroom management, diversity in the classroom, and active learning strategies. The impact of this type of training on graduate students' attitudes and…

  17. Exploring the feasibility and effectiveness of assessment techniques to improve student learning in primary mathematics education

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldhuis, Michiel; van den Heuvel - Panhuizen, Marja


    In the present study we investigated to what extent workshops aimed at improving teachers’ use of classroom assessment techniques had an effect on students’ achievement in mathematics. Ten primary school teachers participated in two consecutive small-scale studies, aimed at using and improving diffe

  18. Cardiac abnormalities assessed by non-invasive techniques in patients with newly diagnosed idiopathic inflammatory myopathies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Diederichsen, Louise Pyndt; Simonsen, Jane Angel; Diederichsen, Axel Cosmus Pyndt


    inflammatory myopathies (IIM) by means of non-invasive techniques. METHODS: Fourteen patients with IIM (8 polymyositis, 4 dermatomyositis, 2 cancer-associated dermatomyositis) and 14 gender- and age- matched healthy control subjects were investigated. Participant assessments included a cardiac questionnaire...

  19. Formative Assessment and the Intuitive Incorporation of Research-Based Instruction Techniques (United States)

    Kuiper, Paula; VanOeffelen, Rachel; Veldkamp, Simon; Bokma, Isaac; Breems, Luke; Fynewever, Herb


    Using Max Weber's theory of ideal types, the authors classify the formative assessment techniques used by 12 college instructors. Their data reveal two pairs of opposing preferences: (1) highly preplanned vs. highly emergent and (2) focused on individual students vs. focused on the class as a whole. Using interview data, they illustrate how each…

  20. Mode of Delivery: A Classroom Assessment Technique Comparison between Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication (United States)

    Hogan, Andrea; Daw, Jolene


    This study explores how using Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) in phone conversations with students may help to clarify learning objectives and encourage active learning in distance education. For this study, research was collected from introductory undergraduate online courses at a university in the Southwest. Data was collected from three…

  1. Diagnostic performance of MRI measurements to assess hindfoot malalignment. An assessment of four measurement techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buck, Florian M.; Hoffmann, Adrienne; Mamisch-Saupe, Nadja; Hodler, Juerg [University Hospital Balgrist and University of Zurich, Radiology, Zuerich (Switzerland); Farshad, Mazda; Espinosa, Norman [University Hospital Balgrist and University of Zurich, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Zuerich (Switzerland); Resnick, Donald [University of California San Diego, Department of Radiology, San Diego, CA (United States)


    To investigate the ability of coronal non-weight-bearing MR images to discriminate between normal and abnormal hindfoot alignment. Three different measurement techniques (calcaneal axis, medial/lateral calcaneal contour) based on weight-bearing hindfoot alignment radiographs were applied in 49 patients (mean, 48 years; range 21-76 years). Three groups of subjects were enrolled: (1) normal hindfoot alignment (0 -10 valgus); (2) abnormal valgus (>10 ); (3) any degree of varus hindfoot alignment. Hindfoot alignment was then measured on coronal MR images using four different measurement techniques (calcaneal axis, medial/lateral calcaneal contour, sustentaculum tangent). ROC analysis was performed to find the MR measurement with the greatest sensitivity and specificity for discrimination between normal and abnormal hindfoot alignment. The most accurate measurement on MR images to detect abnormal hindfoot valgus was the one using the medial calcaneal contour, reaching a sensitivity/specificity of 86 %/75 % using a cutoff value of >11 valgus. The most accurate measurement on MR images to detect abnormal hindfoot varus was the sustentaculum tangent, reaching a sensitivity/specificity of 91 %/71 % using a cutoff value of <12 valgus. It is possible to suspect abnormal hindfoot alignment on coronal non-weight-bearing MR images. (orig.)

  2. Awareness and Utilization of Classroom Assessment Techniques in Higher Education: The Case of a State College in Bicol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth B. Barandon


    Full Text Available Assessment plays a crucial role in the delivery of quality education. In the triad of education, assessment is considered one of the key areas aside from curriculum and instruction; thus, educators need to give premium to classroom assessment techniques. This descriptive study determined the level of awareness and extent of utilization of classroom assessment techniques by faculty of a state college in Bicol. Respondents were seventy-six (76 randomly chosen permanent and Contract of Service faculty provided the data by answering a questionnaire. Findings show that the faculties were moderately aware of formative assessment technique and summative assessment technique. Likewise, the faculty moderately utilized both the formative assessment and summative assessment techniques. Pearson product-moment correlation test results show that there is a significant relationship between the level of awareness and the extent of utilization of assessment techniques. Over-all, it is concluded that the higher the level of awareness of the faculty, the higher is their extent of utilization of classroom assessment techniques. Among the proposed measures to enhance utilization of classroom assessment technique are training in classroom assessment by external experts, intensive follow-up activity after the training, and classroom observation.

  3. A contemporary perspective on techniques for the clinical assessment of alveolar bone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hausmann, E. (State Univ. of New York, Buffalo (USA))


    Radiographic techniques, traditional ones as well as newer ones under development, for clinically assessing alveolar bone are critically assessed. Traditional intraoral radiography is reexamined, in particular with regard to the accuracy with which the alveolar crest is seen. Evidence is presented for a more accurate representation of the alveolar crest on bitewings rather than periapical films. Application in periodontics of newer radiographic techniques, subtraction radiography, and single and dual photon aborptiometry presently under clinical development are discussed in regard to their potential and limitations. Similarly, radiopharmaceuticals to evaluate the metabolic status of alveolar bone are discussed as well as the potential for using analyses of gingival crevice fluid as a window for assessment of alveolar crest metabolism. 46 references.

  4. A relative quantitative assessment of myocardial perfusion by first-pass technique: animal study (United States)

    Chen, Jun; Zhang, Zhang; Yu, Xuefang; Zhou, Kenneth J.


    The purpose of this study is to quantitatively assess the myocardial perfusion by first-pass technique in swine model. Numerous techniques based on the analysis of Computed Tomography (CT) Hounsfield Unit (HU) density have emerged. Although these methods proposed to be able to assess haemodynamically significant coronary artery stenosis, their limitations are noticed. There are still needs to develop some new techniques. Experiments were performed upon five (5) closed-chest swine. Balloon catheters were placed into the coronary artery to simulate different degrees of luminal stenosis. Myocardial Blood Flow (MBF) was measured using color microsphere technique. Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) was measured using pressure wire. CT examinations were performed twice during First-pass phase under adenosine-stress condition. CT HU Density (HUDCT) and CT HU Density Ratio (HUDRCT) were calculated using the acquired CT images. Our study presents that HUDRCT shows a good (y=0.07245+0.09963x, r2=0.898) correlation with MBF and FFR. In receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses, HUDRCT provides excellent diagnostic performance for the detection of significant ischemia during adenosine-stress as defined by FFR indicated by the value of Area Under the Curve (AUC) of 0.927. HUDRCT has the potential to be developed as a useful indicator of quantitative assessment of myocardial perfusion.

  5. CyPPA, a Positive SK3/SK2 Modulator, Reduces Activity of Dopaminergic Neurons, Inhibits Dopamine Release, and Counteracts Hyperdopaminergic Behaviors Induced by Methylphenidate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herrik, Kjartan F; Redrobe, John P; Holst, Dorte


    Dopamine (DA) containing midbrain neurons play critical roles in several psychiatric and neurological diseases, including schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and the substantia nigra pars compacta neurons selectively degenerate in Parkinson's disease. Pharmacological...... modulation of DA receptors and transporters are well established approaches for treatment of DA-related disorders. Direct modulation of the DA system by influencing the discharge pattern of these autonomously firing neurons has yet to be exploited as a potential therapeutic strategy. Small conductance Ca(2...... mouse and rat midbrain slices. Using an immunocytochemically and pharmacologically validated DA release assay employing cultured DA neurons from rats, we show that CyPPA repressed DA release in a concentration-dependent manner with a maximal effect equal to the D2 receptor agonist quinpirole. In vivo...

  6. Development and Application of PPA-ELISA for Detecting Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus Antibody Using E2 Recombinant Protein%牛病毒性腹泻病毒重组E2蛋白PPA-ELISA方法的建立及临床应用

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    柴顺秀; 马花; 韩英; 赵隆寿


    用牛病毒性腹泻病毒(BVDV)重组E2蛋白为包被抗原,辣根过氧化物酶标记葡萄球菌A蛋白(PPA)为二抗,建立了检测BVDV血清抗体的E2-PPA-ELISA方法.研究选取特异性良好的E2抗原,确定了最佳工作条件为:E2蛋白抗原的最适包被质量浓度为16.0 μg/mL,酶标二抗的工作浓度为1∶2 000,血清稀释度为1∶40时效果最佳.通过重复性试验、特异性试验和敏感性试验证明,与用BVDV全病毒为抗原的IDEXX ELISA试剂盒相比,建立的E2-PPA-ELISA抗体检测方法具有较好的重复性、敏感性和特异性.对285份不同地区采集的血清样本进行检测,阳性检出率为33.4%,与IDEXX ELISA试剂盒的检出率无明显差异.表明该方法为BVDV的快速诊断和流行病学调查提供一种快速、简便的血清学诊断方法,适合规模化养牛场BVDV的抗体监测以及流行病学调查.

  7. High-throughput tri-colour flow cytometry technique to assess Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia in bioassays

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tiendrebeogo, Regis W; Adu, Bright; Singh, Susheel K


    BACKGROUND: Unbiased flow cytometry-based methods have become the technique of choice in many laboratories for high-throughput, accurate assessments of malaria parasites in bioassays. A method to quantify live parasites based on mitotracker red CMXRos was recently described but consistent...... distinction of early ring stages of Plasmodium falciparum from uninfected red blood cells (uRBC) remains a challenge. METHODS: Here, a high-throughput, three-parameter (tri-colour) flow cytometry technique based on mitotracker red dye, the nucleic acid dye coriphosphine O (CPO) and the leucocyte marker CD45...

  8. Instrumentation for in situ coal gasification: an assessment of techniques evaluated on the Hanna II experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Northrop, D.A.; Beard, S.G.; Bartel, L.C.; Beckham, L.W.; Hommert, P.J.


    The Hanna II in-situ coal gasification experiment was conducted by the Laramie Energy Research Center during 1975 to 76. Sandia Laboratories designed, fielded, and evaluated variations of seven instrumentation techniques belonging to two general classes: (a) diagnostic techniques (thermal, in-seam gas sampling and pressure, and overburden tilt and displacement) to obtain data for process characterization and (b) remote monitoring techniques (electrical, passive acoustic, and induced seismic) being developed to provide a continuous, real-time map of the in-situ process for application in a process control system. Assessments of these techniques have been made with respect to feasibility, information obtainable, and possible future development and applications. In general, very positive assessments were obtained. Extensive thermocouple arrays, which incorporated special branched circuitry for data validation, provided the most detailed characterization of in-situ coal gasification yet obtained. The feasibility of in-seam gas sampling and pressure measurements was demonstrated and composition changes due to the advancing reaction front were detailed. The thermocouple circuits and gas sampling and pressure canisters are part of a diagnostic well specification now under development for general in-situ applications. Promising results were obtained for two remote monitoring techniques. Direct excitation electrical potential and a modified Schlumberger technique. Contour maps of potential data from a surface array showed the location and movement of the reaction at 300 ft depth. Mapping the source of process-related acoustic signals was shown to be feasible. Borehole-to-borehole induced seismic techniques were able to delineate the advance of the gasification process.

  9. Awareness and Utilization of Classroom Assessment Techniques in Higher Education: The Case of a State College in Bicol


    Seth B. Barandon; Dulce F. Atian


    Assessment plays a crucial role in the delivery of quality education. In the triad of education, assessment is considered one of the key areas aside from curriculum and instruction; thus, educators need to give premium to classroom assessment techniques. This descriptive study determined the level of awareness and extent of utilization of classroom assessment techniques by faculty of a state college in Bicol. Respondents were seventy-six (76) randomly chosen permanent and Contract...

  10. Life Cycle Assessments of Manure Management Techniques for the Baltic Sea Regions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hamelin, Lorie; Baky, A; Cano-Bernal, J

    , fattening pig slurry, horse manure and solid manure from fattening pigs) and five BSR countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Poland and Sweden). Three main categories of techniques were investigated: i) separation technologies; ii) technologies involving energy production; and iii) other technologies......-substrates to manure were investigated). In-house slurry cooling as well as the possibility to produce highly available phosphorus mineral fertilizers from manure ashes (obtained from manure thermo-gasification) were also assessed. This report was prepared as part of Baltic Manure Work Package 5 - Assessing...

  11. Assessment and evaluation of ceramic filter cleaning techniques: Task Order 19

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, H.; Zaharchuk, R.; Harbaugh, L.B.; Klett, M.


    The objective of this study was to assess and evaluate the effectiveness, appropriateness and economics of ceramic barrier filter cleaning techniques used for high-temperature and high-pressure particulate filtration. Three potential filter cleaning techniques were evaluated. These techniques include, conventional on-line pulse driven reverse gas filter cleaning, off-line reverse gas filter cleaning and a novel rapid pulse driven filter cleaning. These three ceramic filter cleaning techniques are either presently employed, or being considered for use, in the filtration of coal derived gas streams (combustion or gasification) under high-temperature high-pressure conditions. This study was divided into six subtasks: first principle analysis of ceramic barrier filter cleaning mechanisms; operational values for parameters identified with the filter cleaning mechanisms; evaluation and identification of potential ceramic filter cleaning techniques; development of conceptual designs for ceramic barrier filter systems and ceramic barrier filter cleaning systems for two DOE specified power plants; evaluation of ceramic barrier filter system cleaning techniques; and final report and presentation. Within individual sections of this report critical design and operational issues were evaluated and key findings were identified.

  12. Assessment techniques for a learning-centered curriculum: evaluation design for adventures in supercomputing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Helland, B. [Ames Lab., IA (United States); Summers, B.G. [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States)


    As the classroom paradigm shifts from being teacher-centered to being learner-centered, student assessments are evolving from typical paper and pencil testing to other methods of evaluation. Students should be probed for understanding, reasoning, and critical thinking abilities rather than their ability to return memorized facts. The assessment of the Department of Energy`s pilot program, Adventures in Supercomputing (AiS), offers one example of assessment techniques developed for learner-centered curricula. This assessment has employed a variety of methods to collect student data. Methods of assessment used were traditional testing, performance testing, interviews, short questionnaires via email, and student presentations of projects. The data obtained from these sources have been analyzed by a professional assessment team at the Center for Children and Technology. The results have been used to improve the AiS curriculum and establish the quality of the overall AiS program. This paper will discuss the various methods of assessment used and the results.

  13. Infrared thermographic assessment of materials and techniques for the protection of cultural heritage (United States)

    Moropoulou, Antonia; Avdelidis, Nicolas P.; Koui, Maria; Delegou, Ekaterini T.; Tsiourva, Theodora


    In this work, infrared thermography was applied and investigated as a non-destructive tool in the assessment of materials and techniques for the protection of cultural heritage. Diagnostic studies on monuments and historic buildings, situated in Greece, were performed. Long wave infrared thermography was used on restoration and traditional - historic materials concerning architectural surfaces and historic structures for research purposes such as: the assessment of moisture impact to porous stone masonries and the evaluation of conservation interventions (materials and techniques) regarding, consolidation interventions on porous stone masonries, restoration of masonries by repair mortars, and cleaning of facades. The results of this work indicate that thermography can be considered as a powerful diagnostic nondestructive tool for the preservation and protection of cultural heritage.

  14. Techniques of structural family assessment: a qualitative analysis of how experts promote a systemic perspective. (United States)

    Nichols, Michael; Tafuri, Sydney


    The trajectory of assessment in structural family therapy moves from a linear perspective, in which problems are located in the identified patient, to an interactional perspective, in which problems are seen as involving other members of the family. Minuchin, Nichols, & Lee (2007) developed a 4-step model for assessing couples and families consisting of: (1) broadening the definition of the presenting complaint to include its context, (2) identifying problem-maintaining interactions, (3) a structurally focused exploration of the past, and (4) developing a shared vision of pathways to change. To study how experts actually implement this model, judges coded video recordings of 10 initial consultations conducted by three widely recognized structural family therapists. Qualitative analyses identified 25 distinct techniques that these clinicians used to challenge linear thinking and move families toward a systemic understanding of their problems. We discuss and locate these techniques in the framework of the 4-step model.

  15. Assessing a new gene expression analysis technique for radiation biodosimetry applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Manning, Grainne; Kabacik, Sylwia; Finnon, Paul; Paillier, Francois; Bouffler, Simon [Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics, Biological Effects Department, Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, Health Protection Agency, Chilton, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 ORQ (United Kingdom); Badie, Christophe, E-mail: [Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics, Biological Effects Department, Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, Health Protection Agency, Chilton, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 ORQ (United Kingdom)


    The response to any radiation accident or incident involving actual or potential ionising radiation exposure requires accurate and rapid assessment of the doses received by individuals. The techniques available today for biodosimetry purposes are not fully adapted to rapid high-throughput measurements of exposures in large numbers of individuals. A recently emerging technique is based on gene expression analysis, as there are a number of genes which are radiation responsive in a dose-dependent manner. The present work aimed to assess a new technique which allows the detection of the level of expression of up to 800 genes without need of enzymatic reactions. In order to do so, human peripheral blood was exposed ex vivo to a range of x-ray doses from 5 mGy to 4 Gy of x-rays and the transcriptional expression of five radiation-responsive genes PHPT1, PUMA, CCNG1, DDB2 and MDM2 was studied by both the nCounter Digital Analyzer and Multiplex Quantitative Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (MQRT-PCR) as the benchmark technology. Results from both techniques showed good correlation for all genes with R{sup 2} values ranging between 0.8160 and 0.9754. The reproducibility of the nCounter Digital Analyzer was also assessed in independent biological replicates and proved to be good. Although the slopes of the correlation of results obtained by the techniques suggest that MQRT-PCR is more sensitive than the nCounter Digital Analyzer, the nCounter Digital Analyzer provides sensitive and reliable data on modifications in gene expression in human blood exposed to radiation without enzymatic amplification of RNA prior to analysis.

  16. Plant-Damage Assessment Technique for Evaluating Military Vehicular Impacts to Vegetation in the Mojave Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D. J. Hansen; W. K. Ostler


    A new plant damage assessment technique was developed by plant ecologists from Bechtel Nevada at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Security Administration Nevada Operations Office and funded by the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program Project CS-1131 in cooperation with the U.S. Army's National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California. The technique establishes linear transects the width of vehicle tracts from evidence of vehicle tracks in the soil (usually during a prior training rotation period of 30 days or since the last rain or wind storm), and measures vegetation within the tracks to determine the area of plant parts being run over, the percent of the impacted parts damaged, and the percent of impacted parts expected to recover. It documents prior-damage classes based on estimated of damage that plants have apparently experienced previously (as assessed from field indicators of damage such as plant shape and height). The technique was used to evaluate different vehicle types (rubber-tire wheels vs. tracks) in six area at the NTC with different soils and training intensity levels. The technique provides tabular data that can be sorted and queried to show a variety of trends related to military vehicular impacts. The technique also appears suitable for assessing other non-military off-road traffic impacts. Findings report: (1) differences in plant sensitivity of different vehicular impacts, (2) plant cover and density by species and training area, (3) the degree to which wheels have less impact than tracks, and (4) the mean percent survival is inversely proportional to the degree of prior damage received by the vegetation (i.e., plants previously impacted have lower survival than plants not previously impacted).

  17. Assessing Land Suitability for Rainwater Harvesting Using Geospatial Techniques: A Case Study of Njoro Catchment, Kenya


    Maina, C. W.; J. M. Raude


    Water demand increases as population increases leading to overexploitation of water resource. Consequently, there is need for improved water resources management complemented with rain water harvesting within the catchments. This study sought to assess land suitability for surface runoff harvesting using geospatial techniques. Land use/land cover maps of the area were derived from Landsat image. Land use and soils data were used in generating curve number map of the catchment. Lineaments grea...

  18. Reliability of System Identification Techniques to Assess Standing Balance in Healthy Elderly.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jantsje H Pasma

    Full Text Available System identification techniques have the potential to assess the contribution of the underlying systems involved in standing balance by applying well-known disturbances. We investigated the reliability of standing balance parameters obtained with multivariate closed loop system identification techniques.In twelve healthy elderly balance tests were performed twice a day during three days. Body sway was measured during two minutes of standing with eyes closed and the Balance test Room (BalRoom was used to apply four disturbances simultaneously: two sensory disturbances, to the proprioceptive and the visual system, and two mechanical disturbances applied at the leg and trunk segment. Using system identification techniques, sensitivity functions of the sensory disturbances and the neuromuscular controller were estimated. Based on the generalizability theory (G theory, systematic errors and sources of variability were assessed using linear mixed models and reliability was assessed by computing indexes of dependability (ID, standard error of measurement (SEM and minimal detectable change (MDC.A systematic error was found between the first and second trial in the sensitivity functions. No systematic error was found in the neuromuscular controller and body sway. The reliability of 15 of 25 parameters and body sway were moderate to excellent when the results of two trials on three days were averaged. To reach an excellent reliability on one day in 7 out of 25 parameters, it was predicted that at least seven trials must be averaged.This study shows that system identification techniques are a promising method to assess the underlying systems involved in standing balance in elderly. However, most of the parameters do not appear to be reliable unless a large number of trials are collected across multiple days. To reach an excellent reliability in one third of the parameters, a training session for participants is needed and at least seven trials of two

  19. Assessment of diesel contamination in groundwater using electromagnetic induction geophysical techniques. (United States)

    Jin, Song; Fallgren, Paul; Cooper, Jeffrey; Morris, Jeffrey; Urynowicz, Michael


    Determining hydrocarbon plumes in groundwater is typically accomplished through the installation of extensive monitoring wells. Issues of scale and site heterogeneities tend to introduce errors in delineating the extent of contamination and environmental impact. In this study, electromagnetic induction survey was investigated as an alternative technique for mapping petroleum contaminants in the subsurface. The surveys were conducted at a coal mining site near Gillette, Wyoming, using the EM34-XL ground conductivity meter. Data from this survey were validated with known concentrations of diesel compounds detected in groundwater from the study site. Groundwater data correlated well with the electromagnetic survey data, which was used to generate a site model to identify subsurface diesel plumes. To our knowledge, this is one of the first studies to use electromagnetic survey techniques for mapping hydrocarbon contamination in groundwater. Results from this study indicate that this geophysical technique can be an effective tool for assessing subsurface petroleum hydrocarbon sources and plumes at contaminated sites.

  20. A Methodology to Assess and Evaluate Rainwater Harvesting Techniques in (Semi- Arid Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ammar Adham


    Full Text Available Arid and semi-arid regions around the world face water scarcity problems due to lack of precipitation and unpredictable rainfall patterns. For thousands of years, rainwater harvesting (RWH techniques have been applied to cope with water scarcity. Researchers have used many different methodologies for determining suitable sites and techniques for RWH. However, limited attention has been given to the evaluation of RWH structure performance. The aim of this research was to design a scientifically-based, generally applicable methodology to better evaluate the performance of existing RWH techniques in (semi- arid regions. The methodology integrates engineering, biophysical and socio-economic criteria using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP supported by the Geographic Information System (GIS. Jessour/Tabias are the most traditional RWH techniques in the Oum Zessar watershed in south-eastern Tunisia, which were used to test this evaluation tool. Fifty-eight RWH locations (14 jessr and 44 tabia in three main sub-catchments of the watershed were assessed and evaluated. Based on the criteria selected, more than 95% of the assessed sites received low or moderate suitability scores, with only two sites receiving high suitability scores. This integrated methodology, which is highly flexible, saves time and costs, is easy to adapt to different regions and can support designers and decision makers aiming to improve the performance of existing and new RWH sites.

  1. Assessing atrophy measurement techniques in dementia: Results from the MIRIAD atrophy challenge. (United States)

    Cash, David M; Frost, Chris; Iheme, Leonardo O; Ünay, Devrim; Kandemir, Melek; Fripp, Jurgen; Salvado, Olivier; Bourgeat, Pierrick; Reuter, Martin; Fischl, Bruce; Lorenzi, Marco; Frisoni, Giovanni B; Pennec, Xavier; Pierson, Ronald K; Gunter, Jeffrey L; Senjem, Matthew L; Jack, Clifford R; Guizard, Nicolas; Fonov, Vladimir S; Collins, D Louis; Modat, Marc; Cardoso, M Jorge; Leung, Kelvin K; Wang, Hongzhi; Das, Sandhitsu R; Yushkevich, Paul A; Malone, Ian B; Fox, Nick C; Schott, Jonathan M; Ourselin, Sebastien


    Structural MRI is widely used for investigating brain atrophy in many neurodegenerative disorders, with several research groups developing and publishing techniques to provide quantitative assessments of this longitudinal change. Often techniques are compared through computation of required sample size estimates for future clinical trials. However interpretation of such comparisons is rendered complex because, despite using the same publicly available cohorts, the various techniques have been assessed with different data exclusions and different statistical analysis models. We created the MIRIAD atrophy challenge in order to test various capabilities of atrophy measurement techniques. The data consisted of 69 subjects (46 Alzheimer's disease, 23 control) who were scanned multiple (up to twelve) times at nine visits over a follow-up period of one to two years, resulting in 708 total image sets. Nine participating groups from 6 countries completed the challenge by providing volumetric measurements of key structures (whole brain, lateral ventricle, left and right hippocampi) for each dataset and atrophy measurements of these structures for each time point pair (both forward and backward) of a given subject. From these results, we formally compared techniques using exactly the same dataset. First, we assessed the repeatability of each technique using rates obtained from short intervals where no measurable atrophy is expected. For those measures that provided direct measures of atrophy between pairs of images, we also assessed symmetry and transitivity. Then, we performed a statistical analysis in a consistent manner using linear mixed effect models. The models, one for repeated measures of volume made at multiple time-points and a second for repeated "direct" measures of change in brain volume, appropriately allowed for the correlation between measures made on the same subject and were shown to fit the data well. From these models, we obtained estimates of the

  2. Assessment of dye distribution in sensitized solar cells by microprobe techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barreiros, M.A., E-mail: [Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia, LEN/UES, Estrada do Paço do Lumiar, 22, 1649-038 Lisboa (Portugal); Corregidor, V. [IPFN, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, E.N. 10, 2686-953 Sacavém (Portugal); Alves, L.C. [C2TN, Campus Tecnológico e Nuclear, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, E.N. 10, 2686-953 Sacavém (Portugal); Guimarães, F. [Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia, LGM/UCTM, Rua da Amieira, Apartado 1089, 4466-901 S. Mamede de Infesta (Portugal); Mascarenhas, J.; Torres, E.; Brites, M.J. [Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia, LEN/UES, Estrada do Paço do Lumiar, 22, 1649-038 Lisboa (Portugal)


    Dye sensitized solar cells (DSCs) have received considerable attention once this technology offers economic and environmental advantages over conventional photovoltaic (PV) devices. The PV performance of a DSC relies on the characteristics of its photoanode, which typically consists of a nanocrystalline porous TiO{sub 2} film, enabled with a large adsorptive surface area. Dye molecules that capture photons from light during device operation are attached to the film nanoparticles. The effective loading of the dye in the TiO{sub 2} electrode is of paramount relevance for controlling and optimizing solar cell parameters. Relatively few methods are known today for quantitative evaluation of the total dye adsorbed on the film. In this context, microprobe techniques come out as suitable tools to evaluate the dye surface distribution and depth profile in sensitized films. Electron Probe Microanalysis (EPMA) and Ion Beam Analytical (IBA) techniques using a micro-ion beam were used to quantify and to study the distribution of the Ru organometallic dye in TiO{sub 2} films, making use of the different penetration depth and beam sizes of each technique. Different 1D nanostructured TiO{sub 2} films were prepared, morphologically characterized by SEM, sensitized and analyzed by the referred techniques. Dye load evaluation in different TiO{sub 2} films by three different techniques (PIXE, RBS and EPMA/WDS) provided similar results of Ru/Ti mass fraction ratio. Moreover, it was possible to assess dye surface distribution and its depth profile, by means of Ru signal, and to visualize the dye distribution in sample cross-section through X-ray mapping by EPMA/EDS. PIXE maps of Ru and Ti indicated an homogeneous surface distribution. The assessment of Ru depth profile by RBS showed that some films have homogeneous Ru depth distribution while others present different Ru concentration in the top layer (2 μm thickness). These results are consistent with the EPMA/EDS maps obtained.

  3. Assessment of dye distribution in sensitized solar cells by microprobe techniques (United States)

    Barreiros, M. A.; Corregidor, V.; Alves, L. C.; Guimarães, F.; Mascarenhas, J.; Torres, E.; Brites, M. J.


    Dye sensitized solar cells (DSCs) have received considerable attention once this technology offers economic and environmental advantages over conventional photovoltaic (PV) devices. The PV performance of a DSC relies on the characteristics of its photoanode, which typically consists of a nanocrystalline porous TiO2 film, enabled with a large adsorptive surface area. Dye molecules that capture photons from light during device operation are attached to the film nanoparticles. The effective loading of the dye in the TiO2 electrode is of paramount relevance for controlling and optimizing solar cell parameters. Relatively few methods are known today for quantitative evaluation of the total dye adsorbed on the film. In this context, microprobe techniques come out as suitable tools to evaluate the dye surface distribution and depth profile in sensitized films. Electron Probe Microanalysis (EPMA) and Ion Beam Analytical (IBA) techniques using a micro-ion beam were used to quantify and to study the distribution of the Ru organometallic dye in TiO2 films, making use of the different penetration depth and beam sizes of each technique. Different 1D nanostructured TiO2 films were prepared, morphologically characterized by SEM, sensitized and analyzed by the referred techniques. Dye load evaluation in different TiO2 films by three different techniques (PIXE, RBS and EPMA/WDS) provided similar results of Ru/Ti mass fraction ratio. Moreover, it was possible to assess dye surface distribution and its depth profile, by means of Ru signal, and to visualize the dye distribution in sample cross-section through X-ray mapping by EPMA/EDS. PIXE maps of Ru and Ti indicated an homogeneous surface distribution. The assessment of Ru depth profile by RBS showed that some films have homogeneous Ru depth distribution while others present different Ru concentration in the top layer (2 μm thickness). These results are consistent with the EPMA/EDS maps obtained.

  4. Tracking Epidermal Nerve Fiber Changes in Asian Macaques: Tools and Techniques for Quantitative Assessment. (United States)

    Mangus, Lisa M; Dorsey, Jamie L; Weinberg, Rachel L; Ebenezer, Gigi J; Hauer, Peter; Laast, Victoria A; Mankowski, Joseph L


    Quantitative assessment of epidermal nerve fibers (ENFs) has become a widely used clinical tool for the diagnosis of small fiber neuropathies such as diabetic neuropathy and human immunodeficiency virus-associated sensory neuropathy (HIV-SN). To model and investigate the pathogenesis of HIV-SN using simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected Asian macaques, we adapted the skin biopsy and immunostaining techniques currently employed in human patients and then developed two unbiased image analysis techniques for quantifying ENF in macaque footpad skin. This report provides detailed descriptions of these tools and techniques for ENF assessment in macaques and outlines important experimental considerations that we have identified in the course of our long-term studies. Although initially developed for studies of HIV-SN in the SIV-infected macaque model, these methods could be readily translated to a range of studies involving peripheral nerve degeneration and neurotoxicity in nonhuman primates as well as preclinical investigations of agents aimed at neuroprotection and regeneration.

  5. Non invasive blood flow assessment in diabetic foot ulcer using laser speckle contrast imaging technique (United States)

    Jayanthy, A. K.; Sujatha, N.; Reddy, M. Ramasubba; Narayanamoorthy, V. B.


    Measuring microcirculatory tissue blood perfusion is of interest for both clinicians and researchers in a wide range of applications and can provide essential information of the progress of treatment of certain diseases which causes either an increased or decreased blood flow. Diabetic ulcer associated with alterations in tissue blood flow is the most common cause of non-traumatic lower extremity amputations. A technique which can detect the onset of ulcer and provide essential information on the progress of the treatment of ulcer would be of great help to the clinicians. A noninvasive, noncontact and whole field laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) technique has been described in this paper which is used to assess the changes in blood flow in diabetic ulcer affected areas of the foot. The blood flow assessment at the wound site can provide critical information on the efficiency and progress of the treatment given to the diabetic ulcer subjects. The technique may also potentially fulfill a significant need in diabetic foot ulcer screening and management.

  6. Cerebral blood flow assessment of preterm infants during respiratory therapy with the expiratory flow increase technique

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    Mariana Almada Bassani


    Full Text Available Abstract Objective: To assess the impact of respiratory therapy with the expiratory flow increase technique on cerebral hemodynamics of premature newborns. Methods: This is an intervention study, which included 40 preterm infants (≤34 weeks aged 8-15 days of life, clinically stable in ambient air or oxygen catheter use. Children with heart defects, diagnosis of brain lesion and/or those using vasoactive drugs were excluded. Ultrasonographic assessments with transcranial Doppler flowmetry were performed before, during and after the increase in expiratory flow session, which lasted 5min. Cerebral blood flow velocity and resistance and pulsatility indices in the pericallosal artery were assessed. Results: Respiratory physical therapy did not significantly alter flow velocity at the systolic peak (p=0.50, the end diastolic flow velocity (p=0.17, the mean flow velocity (p=0.07, the resistance index (p=0.41 and the pulsatility index (p=0.67 over time. Conclusions: The expiratory flow increase technique did not affect cerebral blood flow in clinically-stable preterm infants.

  7. Digital imaging: a valuable technique for the postoperative assessment of cochlear implantation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lawson, J.T. [Department of Radiology, Belfast City Hospital Trust, Belfast (United Kingdom); Cranley, K. [Northern Ireland Regional Medical Physics Agency, Forster Green Hospital, Belfast (United Kingdom); Toner, J.G. [Regional Cochlear Implant Centre, Belfast City Hospital Trust, Belfast (United Kingdom)


    Cochlear implantation with a multi-channel electrode array which provides stimulation via the auditory nerve has become a standard treatment for profound deafness. Postoperative radiography demonstrates electrode position and enables confirmation of satisfactory intra-cochlear electrode placement. The number of active electrodes which have been inserted can be determined and possible complications such as electrode kinking or slippage can be assessed. We evaluated digital radiography with confirmation of electrode position by intermittent fluoroscopy and assessed the relative radiation dose of the digital technique, conventional radiography and CT scanning. Radiation dose for this method usually ranges between 40 {mu}Gy and 440 {mu}Gy compared with a single exposure on the skull stand which produces a dose to the region of the cochlea of 470 {mu}Gy and a CT exposure of 950 {mu}Gy. The digital technique is comfortable for the patient, easily reproducible and provides images of high diagnostic quality enabling each electrode to be identified, which is especially valuable in association with postoperative electrode mapping. It also involves a lower radiation dose than conventional radiography. We now use digital radiography for all postoperative cochlear implant assessment. (orig.) With 4 figs., 13 refs.

  8. Computed tomography assessment of the efficiency of different techniques for removal of root canal filling material

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dall' agnol, Cristina; Barletta, Fernando Branco [Lutheran University of Brazil, Canoas, RS (Brazil). Dental School. Dept. of Dentistry and Endodontics]. E-mail:; Hartmann, Mateus Silveira Martins [Uninga Dental School, Passo Fundo, RS (Brazil). Postgraduate Program in Dentistry


    This study evaluated the efficiency of different techniques for removal of filling material from root canals, using computed tomography (CT). Sixty mesial roots from extracted human mandibular molars were used. Root canals were filled and, after 6 months, the teeth were randomly assigned to 3 groups, according to the root-filling removal technique: Group A - hand instrumentation with K-type files; Group B - reciprocating instrumentation with engine-driven K-type files; and Group C rotary instrumentation with engine-driven ProTaper system. CT scans were used to assess the volume of filling material inside the root canals before and after the removal procedure. In both moments, the area of filling material was outlined by an experienced radiologist and the volume of filling material was automatically calculated by the CT software program. Based on the volume of initial and residual filling material of each specimen, the percentage of filling material removed from the root canals by the different techniques was calculated. Data were analyzed statistically by ANOVA and chi-square test for linear trend ({alpha}=0.05). No statistically significant difference (p=0.36) was found among the groups regarding the percent means of removed filling material. The analysis of the association between the percentage of filling material removal (high or low) and the proposed techniques by chi-square test showed statistically significant difference (p=0.015), as most cases in group B (reciprocating technique) presented less than 50% of filling material removed (low percent removal). In conclusion, none of the techniques evaluated in this study was effective in providing complete removal of filling material from the root canals. (author)

  9. A comparison of three observational techniques for assessing postural loads in industry. (United States)

    Kee, Dohyung; Karwowski, Waldemar


    This study aims to compare 3 observational techniques for assessing postural load, namely, OWAS, RULA, and REBA. The comparison was based on the evaluation results generated by the classification techniques using 301 working postures. All postures were sampled from the iron and steel, electronics, automotive, and chemical industries, and a general hospital. While only about 21% of the 301 postures were classified at the action category/level 3 or 4 by both OWAS and REBA, about 56% of the postures were classified into action level 3 or 4 by RULA. The inter-method reliability for postural load category between OWAS and RULA was just 29.2%, and the reliability between RULA and REBA was 48.2%. These results showed that compared to RULA, OWAS, and REBA generally underestimated postural loads for the analyzed postures, irrespective of industry, work type, and whether or not the body postures were in a balanced state.

  10. Assessing concrete and abstract thinking with the Draw-a-Person technique. (United States)

    Gustafson, J L; Waehler, C A


    In this study, we examined the Draw-a-Person (DAP) technique as an indicator of concrete/literal and abstract thinking, Subjects (N = 50) included schizophrenic inpatients (n = 25) and college students (n = 25). Fourteen possible indicators of concrete/literal or abstract thinking on the DAP were generated based on theoretical considerations and prior research. Five indicators were eliminated because of their low interrater reliability. The Proverbs Test (Gotham, 1956) was used to establish evidence of concrete/literal and abstract thinking. Scores from the DAP and the Proverbs Test were correlated. Composite scores on the DAP were highly correlated (r = .52, p .05) with concrete/literal Proverb Test scores. Results indicate the potential for using the DAP technique to assess concrete/literal and abstract thinking when a nonverbal test is needed.

  11. Review of Physicochemical-Based Diagnostic Techniques for Assessing Insulation Condition in Aged Transformers

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    Janvier Sylvestre N’cho


    Full Text Available A power transformer outage has a dramatic financial consequence not only for electric power systems utilities but also for interconnected customers. The service reliability of this important asset largely depends upon the condition of the oil-paper insulation. Therefore, by keeping the qualities of oil-paper insulation system in pristine condition, the maintenance planners can reduce the decline rate of internal faults. Accurate diagnostic methods for analyzing the condition of transformers are therefore essential. Currently, there are various electrical and physicochemical diagnostic techniques available for insulation condition monitoring of power transformers. This paper is aimed at the description, analysis and interpretation of modern physicochemical diagnostics techniques for assessing insulation condition in aged transformers. Since fields and laboratory experiences have shown that transformer oil contains about 70% of diagnostic information, the physicochemical analyses of oil samples can therefore be extremely useful in monitoring the condition of power transformers.

  12. Assessment of analytical techniques for characterization of crystalline clopidogrel forms in patent applications

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    Luiz Marcelo Lira


    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to evaluate two important aspects of patent applications of crystalline forms of drugs: (i the physicochemical characterization of the crystalline forms; and (ii the procedure for preparing crystals of the blockbuster drug clopidogrel. To this end, searches were conducted using online patent databases. The results showed that: (i the majority of patent applications for clopidogrel crystalline forms failed to comply with proposed Brazilian Patent Office guidelines. This was primarily due to insufficient number of analytical techniques evaluating the crystalline phase. In addition, some patent applications lacked assessment of chemical/crystallography purity; (ii use of more than two analytical techniques is important; and (iii the crystallization procedure for clopidogrel bisulfate form II were irreproducible based on the procedure given in the patent application.

  13. Electrical-Based Diagnostic Techniques for Assessing Insulation Condition in Aged Transformers

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    Issouf Fofana


    Full Text Available The condition of the internal cellulosic paper and oil insulation are of concern for the performance of power transformers. Over the years, a number of methods have been developed to diagnose and monitor the degradation/aging of the transformer internal insulation system. Some of this degradation/aging can be assessed from electrical responses. Currently there are a variety of electrical-based diagnostic techniques available for insulation condition monitoring of power transformers. In most cases, the electrical signals being monitored are due to mechanical or electric changes caused by physical changes in resistivity, inductance or capacitance, moisture, contamination or aging by-products in the insulation. This paper presents a description of commonly used and modern electrical-based diagnostic techniques along with their interpretation schemes.

  14. Noninvasive Techniques for Intracranial Pressure Assessment: A Review from Aerospace Medicine Perspective (United States)

    Hamilton, Douglas R.; Sargsyan, Ashot E.; Fogarty, Jennifer; Ebert, Douglas J. W.; Polk, J. D.


    Microgravity-induced changes in fluid distribution and other physiological factors due to space flight have been implicated as the cause of increased intracranial pressure (ICP) in a number of space crewmembers. The modest levels of ICP elevation and absence of severe symptoms in this group do not warrant invasive diagnostic interventions. However, the long-term trends and residual or consequential changes secondary to the observed ICP elevation in this group are not yet known. Therefore, close attention is needed to evaluate the potential techniques of noninvasively assessing ICP, including those feasible for in-flight use. Of particular interest is continuity between ground and in-flight testing, whereby data from the same or different techniques allow reasonably dependable estimation of ICP trends and responses. Methods: A thorough review of current literature, analysis of NASA data, and interviews with subject matter experts were conducted to construct a presentation that reflects the state of the art for noninvasive ICP measurement and monitoring. Results: Multiple imaging and non-imaging modalities are available to assess ICP in terrestrial clinical and experimental environments. Imaging alternatives include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and high-resolution sonography. Non-imaging techniques include transcranial Doppler, certain audiological methods, and venous ophthalmodynamometry, among others. Special functional techniques have been proposed recently that allow the use of advanced MRI methods to calculate ICP in addition to the acquisition of high-resolution images. Our data include many of these applications, with several cases of correlation with lumbar puncture, the invasive "gold standard" measurement of ICP.

  15. Comprehensive Assessment of New Modulation Techniques in 40 Gb/s Optical Communication Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bing Linlin; Lei Jianming; Lu Li; Zou Xuecheng, E-mail: [Research Center for VLSI and Systems, Department of Electronic Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074 (China)


    In this paper, comprehensive assessments are proposed for intensity modulations and phase modulations respectively. Several key performance features, like receiver sensitivity, chromatic dispersion tolerance, nonlinearity tolerance, and noise sensitivity were compared among these modulation techniques. Results show that 66% duty cycle RZ signal so-called the carrier-suppressed return-to-zero (CSRZ) format has the best performance in the intensity modulations. In phase modulations, the most outstanding modulation is DPSK. DQPSK modulation is also a very promising choice if the effect of noise could be resolved. The combination of intensity modulation and phase modulation will compromise the performance advantages of both.

  16. Research on the development of green chemistry technology assessment techniques: a material reutilization case (United States)

    Hong, Seokpyo; Ahn, Kilsoo; Kim, Sungjune; Gong, Sungyong


    Objectives This study presents a methodology that enables a quantitative assessment of green chemistry technologies. Methods The study carries out a quantitative evaluation of a particular case of material reutilization by calculating the level of “greenness” i.e., the level of compliance with the principles of green chemistry that was achieved by implementing a green chemistry technology. Results The results indicate that the greenness level was enhanced by 42% compared to the pre-improvement level, thus demonstrating the economic feasibility of green chemistry. Conclusions The assessment technique established in this study will serve as a useful reference for setting the direction of industry-level and government-level technological R&D and for evaluating newly developed technologies, which can greatly contribute toward gaining a competitive advantage in the global market. PMID:26206363

  17. Assessment of small hydropower potential for the Olanesti River using advanced software techniques (United States)

    Moldoveanu, A.; Galie, A.; Moldoveanu, M.; Popa, F.; Tica, E.; Popa, B.


    The assessment of small hydropower potential for rivers is essential for the Renewable Energy Sources Directive implementation, in order to identify and analyze opportunities for new small hydropower developments. As the Water Framework Directive requirement is the non-deterioration of the status of the river water bodies, the aspects regarding the consistency of a flow regime downstream hydropower plant and the environmental objectives are important. The paper presents a case study, the Olanesti River (Romania), using software techniques dedicated to the assessment of small hydropower potential. The hydropower potential of the river was assessed considering the heads based on the Digital Terrain Model and the mean flow. In addition, the environmental flow was considered for the installed capacity assessment, in order to cope with the Water Framework Directive requirements. The harnessed hydropower potential, the optimal distance between the water intake and power plant location, their optimum positions along the river sector, installed capacity and electricity production, calculated at an average lifetime, are the outcomes of the software. The applicability of the tool might be extended on a regional scale in order to support the decision making authorities, taking into account the increasing demand for energy as well as the environmental issues.

  18. A further study of the (CR LR) difference technique for retrospective radon exposure assessment (United States)

    Nikezic, D.; Yip, C. W. Y.; Leung, S. Y. Y.; Leung, J. K. C.; Yu, K. N.


    The (CR-LR) difference technique, based on the CR-39 and LR 115 detectors, for the determination of implanted 210Po in glass after deposition of short-lived radon progeny, was analyzed in details in this paper. The sensitivities of both detectors were calculated using the Monte Carlo method with V functions particularly derived in our previous works for the detectors used in the present experiments. The dependency of the sensitivity ratio on the removed layer of both detectors was determined and verified experimentally. The simulated sensitivity ratios correlate well with the experimental ones. A major finding of the present work is that the sensitivity ratio between the CR-39 and LR 115 detectors depends only weakly on the ratio between the 238U and 232Th concentrations in the glass samples. This is crucial for the application of the (CR-LR) difference technique for retrospective radon exposure assessments, since measurements of the 238U and 232Th concentrations in the relatively small real-life glass samples will make the retrospective radon exposure assessments impractical.

  19. Multi-center transferability of a breath-hold T2 technique for myocardial iron assessment

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    Chan Godfrey CF


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cardiac iron overload is the leading cause of death in thalassemia major and is usually assessed using myocardial T2* measurements. Recently a cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR breath-hold T2 sequence has been developed as a possible alternative. This cardiac T2 technique has good interstudy reproducibility, but its transferability to different centres has not yet been investigated. Methods and Results The breath-hold black blood spin echo T2 sequence was installed and validated on 1.5T Siemens MR scanners at 4 different centres across the world. Using this sequence, 5–10 thalassemia patients from each centre were scanned twice locally within a week for local interstudy reproducibility (n = 34 and all were rescanned within one month at the standardization centre in London (intersite reproducibility. The local interstudy reproducibility (coefficient of variance and mean difference were 4.4% and -0.06 ms. The intersite reproducibility and mean difference between scanners were 5.2% and -0.07 ms. Conclusion The breath-hold myocardial T2 technique is transferable between Siemens scanners with good intersite and local interstudy reproducibility. This technique may have value in the diagnosis and management of patients with iron overload conditions such as thalassemia.

  20. Multivariate statistical techniques for the assessment of seasonal variations in surface water quality of pasture ecosystems. (United States)

    Ajorlo, Majid; Abdullah, Ramdzani B; Yusoff, Mohd Kamil; Halim, Ridzwan Abd; Hanif, Ahmad Husni Mohd; Willms, Walter D; Ebrahimian, Mahboubeh


    This study investigates the applicability of multivariate statistical techniques including cluster analysis (CA), discriminant analysis (DA), and factor analysis (FA) for the assessment of seasonal variations in the surface water quality of tropical pastures. The study was carried out in the TPU catchment, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The dataset consisted of 1-year monitoring of 14 parameters at six sampling sites. The CA yielded two groups of similarity between the sampling sites, i.e., less polluted (LP) and moderately polluted (MP) at temporal scale. Fecal coliform (FC), NO3, DO, and pH were significantly related to the stream grouping in the dry season, whereas NH3, BOD, Escherichia coli, and FC were significantly related to the stream grouping in the rainy season. The best predictors for distinguishing clusters in temporal scale were FC, NH3, and E. coli, respectively. FC, E. coli, and BOD with strong positive loadings were introduced as the first varifactors in the dry season which indicates the biological source of variability. EC with a strong positive loading and DO with a strong negative loading were introduced as the first varifactors in the rainy season, which represents the physiochemical source of variability. Multivariate statistical techniques were effective analytical techniques for classification and processing of large datasets of water quality and the identification of major sources of water pollution in tropical pastures.

  1. Positive reinforcement training as a technique to alter nonhuman primate behavior: quantitative assessments of effectiveness. (United States)

    Schapiro, Steven J; Bloomsmith, Mollie A; Laule, Gail E


    Many suggest that operant conditioning techniques can be applied successfully to improve the behavioral management of nonhuman primates in research settings. However, relatively little empirical data exist to support this claim. This article is a review of several studies that discussed applied positive reinforcement training techniques (PRT) on breeding/research colonies of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and measured their effectiveness. Empirical analyses quantified the amount of time required to train rhesus monkeys to come up, station, target, and stay. Additionally, a study found that time spent affiliating by female rhesus was changed as a function of training low affiliators to affiliate more and high affiliators to affiliate less. Another study successfully trained chimpanzees to feed without fighting and to come inside on command. PRT is an important behavioral management tool that can improve the care and welfare of primates in captivity. Published empirical findings are essential for managers to assess objectively the utility of positive reinforcement training techniques in enhancing captive management and research procedures.

  2. Effects of fishing technique on assessing species composition in aquatic systems in semi-arid Brazil

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    ESF Medeiros

    Full Text Available In most ecological field research, appropriate sampling is critical for the understanding of processes underlying fish populations and communities, and is even more important in heterogeneous environments such as the aquatic systems of the semi-arid region of Brazil. This study intends to make a contribution to the development of sampling programs and gear selection in aquatic systems of semi-arid Brazil by evaluating the effects of different fishing techniques on the assessment of richness and composition of the fish fauna in selected aquatic environments. Six sites were selected to represent typical artificial (reservoirs and natural (intermittent streams environments and four different types of sampling gear were applied to each site during four occasions. The present study shows that when selecting sampling techniques to be used in aquatic systems in semi-arid Brazil, one must consider the objectives of the study, e.g. ecological or taxonomic, in order to decide on inclusion of rare species in the sampling population. Also, the effect of the sampling gear on natural abundances of fish must be considered given that some sampling techniques are highly detrimental to fish population numbers.

  3. Comparison global sensitivity analysis techniques and importance measures in probabilistic safety assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borgonovo, E.; Apostalakis, G. E.; Tarantola, S.; Saltelli, A.


    Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA) computes the risk of complex technological systems. The core damage frequency (CDF) and the large early release frequency (LERF) are usually the risk metrics of interest in nuclear power plants (NPP). Epistemic uncertainty affects the use of PSA model results. In fact, because of the lack of knowledge in the parameters values, the risk metrics become uncertain and described by epistemic distributions (Apostokalis, 1995). In this paper, we discuss the use of Global Sensitivity Analysis (GSA) techniques for the determination of the parameters that contribute to the uncertainty in R and most. This information cannot be gained through the use of traditional importance measures (IMs), since: (1) IMs are defined for components and basic events and not for parameters, (2) IMs assume the parameters at their nominal values, and are therefore Local Methods. In Section 2 we discuss that, because of epistemic uncertainty, GSA must be performed through the PSA model parameters, and not at the basic event level. in Section 3 we present the definition of the PSA IMs and GSA techniques used in this work. In Section 4 we present the approach to compare PSA IMs results to GSA results, to understand whether uncertainty drivers are also important risk contributors. Results will be discussed for the application of these techniques and the proposed approach to the PSA large loss of coolant accident (LOCA) sequence of a research reactor. (Author) 7 refs.

  4. Comparison of pulse wave velocity assessed by three different techniques: Arteriograph, Complior, and Echo-tracking. (United States)

    Mihalcea, Diana J; Florescu, Maria; Suran, Berenice M C; Enescu, Oana A; Mincu, Raluca I; Magda, Stefania; Patrascu, Natalia; Vinereanu, Dragos


    Arterial stiffness estimated by pulse wave velocity (PWV) is an independent predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Although recommended by the current guidelines, clinical applicability of this parameter is difficult, due to differences between the various techniques used to measure it and to biological variability. Our aim was to compare PWV assessed by 3 different commercially available systems. 100 subjects (51 ± 16 years, 45 men) were evaluated using the 3 methods: an oscillometric technique (Arteriograph, PWV-A); a piezo-electric method (Complior, PWV-C); and an high-resolution ultrasound technique implemented with an Echo-tracking system (Aloka, PWV-E). Conventional biological markers were measured. Correlations of PWV measured by the 3 methods were poor (r = 0.39, r = 0.39, and r = 0.31 for PWV-A vs. PWV-C, PWV-A vs. PWV-E, and PWV-C vs. PWV-E, respectively, all p < 0.05). By Bland-Altman analysis, mean difference (±SD) of PWV-A vs. PWV-C was -1.9 ± 2.0 m/s, of PWV-A vs. PWV-E -3.6 ± 1.9 m/s, and of PWV-C vs. PWV-E -2.7 ± 1.9 m/s, with a wide coefficient of variation (22.3, 25.7, and 25.7 %, respectively). As expected, PWV-A, PWV-C, and PWV-E correlated with other arterial stiffness parameters, such as intima-media thickness (r = 0.22, r = 0.22, and r = 0.36, respectively), E p (r = 0.37, r = 0.26, and r = 0.94, respectively), and augmentation index measured by Arteriograph method (r = 0.66, r = 0.35, and r = 0.26, respectively); all p < 0.05. Assessment of PWV is markedly dependent on the technique used to measure it, related to various methods for measuring traveled distance of the arterial wave. Our results suggest the urgent need to establish reference values of PWV for each of these techniques, separately, to be used in routine clinical practice.

  5. Assessing uncertainties in superficial water provision by different bootstrap-based techniques (United States)

    Rodrigues, Dulce B. B.; Gupta, Hoshin V.; Mendiondo, Eduardo Mario


    An assessment of water security can incorporate several water-related concepts, characterizing the interactions between societal needs, ecosystem functioning, and hydro-climatic conditions. The superficial freshwater provision level depends on the methods chosen for 'Environmental Flow Requirement' estimations, which integrate the sources of uncertainty in the understanding of how water-related threats to aquatic ecosystem security arise. Here, we develop an uncertainty assessment of superficial freshwater provision based on different bootstrap techniques (non-parametric resampling with replacement). To illustrate this approach, we use an agricultural basin (291 km2) within the Cantareira water supply system in Brazil monitored by one daily streamflow gage (24-year period). The original streamflow time series has been randomly resampled for different times or sample sizes (N = 500; ...; 1000), then applied to the conventional bootstrap approach and variations of this method, such as: 'nearest neighbor bootstrap'; and 'moving blocks bootstrap'. We have analyzed the impact of the sampling uncertainty on five Environmental Flow Requirement methods, based on: flow duration curves or probability of exceedance (Q90%, Q75% and Q50%); 7-day 10-year low-flow statistic (Q7,10); and presumptive standard (80% of the natural monthly mean ?ow). The bootstrap technique has been also used to compare those 'Environmental Flow Requirement' (EFR) methods among themselves, considering the difference between the bootstrap estimates and the "true" EFR characteristic, which has been computed averaging the EFR values of the five methods and using the entire streamflow record at monitoring station. This study evaluates the bootstrapping strategies, the representativeness of streamflow series for EFR estimates and their confidence intervals, in addition to overview of the performance differences between the EFR methods. The uncertainties arisen during EFR methods assessment will be

  6. Complex Technique of Multifactorial Assessment of Scientific Potential in the Regions of the Southern Federal District

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Aleksandrovna Trukhlyaeva


    Full Text Available The article is devoted to methodological issues of the research of the scientific potential of regional economic systems. The authors studied the existing domestic and foreign methodology adapted to Russian conditions for assessing the potential of science and technology area, analyzed their advantages and disadvantages, and as a result they developed and tested a system of quantitative and qualitative indicators of evaluation of the scientific potential of the regional economic system (consisting of 22 relative indicators, grouped into six main units – the human, scientific and innovative, financial, logistical, informational and institutional components and offered to use their own technique of complex multifactorial assessment of the overall state of the scientific potential of the region (on the example of regions of the Southern Federal District. The complex comparative rating assessment was used in the region for a particular method of synthesis of private (basic region. Positioning (with the release of groups of regions with high, medium and low levels of scientific potential development and zoning of macroregion by meaning of rating of scientific potential deviation was carried out to develop guidelines for the management of research activities in the regions of the Southern Federal District. To be able to visualize the distribution of the data on the territory of the macroregion, a thematic map of the zoning of the Southern Federal District was also presented.

  7. Coronary stent on coronary CT angiography: Assessment with model-based iterative reconstruction technique

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Eun Chae; Kim, Yeo Koon; Chun, Eun Ju; Choi, Sang IL [Dept. of of Radiology, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam (Korea, Republic of)


    To assess the performance of model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) technique for evaluation of coronary artery stents on coronary CT angiography (CCTA). Twenty-two patients with coronary stent implantation who underwent CCTA were retrospectively enrolled for comparison of image quality between filtered back projection (FBP), adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) and MBIR. In each data set, image noise was measured as the standard deviation of the measured attenuation units within circular regions of interest in the ascending aorta (AA) and left main coronary artery (LM). To objectively assess the noise and blooming artifacts in coronary stent, we additionally measured the standard deviation of the measured attenuation and intra-luminal stent diameters of total 35 stents with dedicated software. All image noise measured in the AA (all p < 0.001), LM (p < 0.001, p = 0.001) and coronary stent (all p < 0.001) were significantly lower with MBIR in comparison to those with FBP or ASIR. Intraluminal stent diameter was significantly higher with MBIR, as compared with ASIR or FBP (p < 0.001, p = 0.001). MBIR can reduce image noise and blooming artifact from the stent, leading to better in-stent assessment in patients with coronary artery stent.

  8. Landscape Metric Modeling - a Technique for Forest Disturbance Assessment in Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subin Jose


    Full Text Available Deforestation and forest degradation are associated and progressive processes result in the anthropogenic stress, climate change, and conversion of the forest area into a mosaic of mature forest fragments, pasture, and degraded habitat. The present study addresses forest degradation assessment of landscape using landscape metrics. Geospatial techniques including GIS, remote sensing and fragstat methods are powerful tools in the assessment of forest degradation. The present study is carried out in Shendurney wildlife sanctuary located in the mega biodiversity hot spot of Western ghats, Kerala. A large extent of forest is affected by degradation in this region leading to depletion of forest biodiversity. For conservation of forest biodiversity and implementation of conservation strategies, forest degradation assessment of habitat destruction area is important. Two types of data are used in the study i.e. spatial and non-spatial data. Non-spatial data include both anthropogenic stress and climate data. The study shows that the disturbance index value ranges from 2.5 to 7.5 which has been reclassified into four disturbance zones as low disturbed, medium disturbed, high disturbed and very high disturbed. The analysis would play a key role in the formulation and implementation of forest conservation and management strategies.

  9. A Centroid Model for the Depth Assessment of Images using Rough Fuzzy Set Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Swarnalatha


    Full Text Available Detection of affected areas in images is a crucial step in assessing the depth of the affected area for municipal operators. These affected areas in the underground images, which are line images are indicative of the condition of buried infrastructures like sewers and water mains. These images identify affected areas and extract their properties like structures from the images, whose contrast has been enhanced... A Centroid Model for the Depth Assessment of Images using Rough Fuzzy Set Techniques presents a three step method which is a simple, robust and efficient one to detect affected areas in the underground concrete images. The proposed methodology is to use segmentation and feature extraction using structural elements. The main objective for using this model is to find the dimensions of the affected areas such as the length, width, depth and the type of the defects/affected areas. Although human eye is extremely effective at recognition and classification, it is not suitable for assessing defects in images, which might have spread over thousands of miles of image lines. The reasons are mainly fatigue, subjectivity and cost. Our objective is to reduce the effort and the labour of a person in detecting the affected areas in underground images. A proposal to apply rough fuzzy set theory to compute the lower and upper approximations of the affected area of the image is made in this paper. In this connection we propose to use some concepts and technology developed by Pal and Maji.

  10. Influence of anesthesia technique at cesarean section on newborn state assessment and on uterus contraction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Олексій Олегович Волков


    Full Text Available Anesthetics and anesthesia in whole have an influence on intrauterine state of fetus. All substances that are injected to a pregnant for anesthesia penetrate in organism of fetus in some quantity. It is considered that halogened inhalation anesthetics can moderate the birth activity of uterus and its tonus in quiescence depending on concentration.Aim of research: to study the techniques of anesthesia (inhalation, total intravenous, spinal of cesarean section for assess the state of newborn and uterus contraction.Materials and methods. There were examined 95 women on term of pregnancy 37–42 weeks in 2013–2014 years who underwent cesarean section. They were divided into 3 groups depending on technique of anesthesia. I group (n=30 included women who underwent inhalation anesthesia. The second one (n=34 included women who underwent the total intravenous anesthesia. The third group – the random women (n=31 who underwent the spinal anesthesia. The state of newborns was detected on Apgar score on 1 and 5 minutes after birth. The quality of postnatal uterus contraction was assessed depending on the need of an amount of injected oxytocin and necessity to add another uterotonic preparation after fetus extraction.Results and discussion. At analysis of the state of newborn on Apgar score on 1 minute in 1 group were received 7,73±0,09 point, in 2 group this indicator was 7,4±0,14 point without statistic difference with 1 group (р=0,06. In 3 group points reached 7,55±0,17, without statistic difference with both (р=0,36, and 2 groups (р=0,50. At analysis of the state of newborn on Apgar on 5 minute statistic difference between the groups also was not established. In the 1 group this indicator reached 8,69±0,9 point, in 2 group – 8,47±0,12point, the difference with the first group was unreliable (р=0,16. In 3 group an assessment on Apgar on 5 minute was 8,64±0,12, without statistic difference with 1 and 2 groups (р=0,76 and р=0

  11. Sex education in schools in Denmark. Does Foreningen for Familieplanlaegning (the Danish PPA) have a role to play? (United States)

    Risor, H


    The Danish Foreningen for Familieplanlaegning (FF), planned parenthood, has a role to play as a watchdog for human sexuality education in schools and teacher training and development of educational material. Sex education has been in the school system since the 1900's, but in 1970 it was made compulsory. Sex education must be integrated in all subjects, and teacher or student may introduce a sex topic/question at any time. Minimum requirements are information on contraceptives and STD's. In 1970, the Curriculum Committee provided Guidelines for Sex Education in Public Schools which stated the following limitations for teachers: no vulgar terminology, no pupil counseling, no information on sexual intercourse techniques, and no erotic photographic material. In 1986, the Committee on Health and Sex Education was formed to work out subject and guide materials; these curriculum guidelines will be available in August 1991. FF was invited only to address the committee, at which time it was advised that teachers not lump health and sex together, and that specific issues such as sex anatomy, contraception, STD's, AIDs, and abortion be addressed as well as the rights of saying no, first sexual experiences, emotions and feelings, and being in love. After some insistence and negotiation, the final draft included more on sex education. The FF Education Committee plans to hold a 3-day training course for teachers at teacher training colleges in the Fall, 1991. One of the first tasks of the Sex Education Committee was to form a workshop with representatives from 10 schools. Their conclusions were that 1) the class teacher be responsible for sex education, 2) cross professional collaboration needs to be implemented with, for example, guest speakers who are homosexuals, prostitutes, AID's related persons. 3) Parents must be given information and sought out for advice. 4) The limitations in the 1970 Guidelines need to be cancelled. 5) Teacher training must be expanded and improved.

  12. Dynamic distance direct ophthalmoscopy, a novel technique to assess accommodation in children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihir Kothari


    Full Text Available Aim: To describe and compare dynamic distance direct ophthalmoscopy (DDDO with dynamic retinoscopy (DR in assessment of accommodation in children. Materials and Methods: This prospective observational study had four components. Component 1: to understand the characteristic digital images of DDDO. Component 2: to compare DDDO with DR for detection of accommodative defects in children (1-16 years. Component 3: to compare DDDO with DR for the detection of completeness of pharmacologically induced cycloplegia in children (5-16 years and Component 4: to assess which one of the two techniques was more sensitive to detect onset of cycloplegia after instillation of 1% cyclopentolate eye drops. Results: Component 1: image analysis of DDDO on two subjects (7 years and 35 years demonstrated superior pupillary crescent that progressively disappeared with increasing accommodation. Concurrently an inferior crescent appeared that became bigger in size with increasing accommodation. Component 2: the prevalence of defects in accommodation was 3.3% (33/1000 children. Three had unilateral accommodation failure. Sensitivity of DDDO was 94%, specificity 100%, positive predictive value 100%, negative predictive value 99%, and clinical agreement (kappa 0.97. Component 3: in the detection of completeness of pharmacologically induced cycloplegia (n=30, the sensitivity of DDDO was 94%, specificity 96%, positive predictive value 97%, negative predictive value 93% and kappa 0.9. DR had two false positives. DDDO had one false negative. Component 4: DDDO detected onset of pharmacologically induced cycloplegia 5 min earlier than DR (n=5. Conclusion: DDDO is a novel, simple, clinical and reliable method to assess accommodation in young children. This test can assess the accommodative response of both eyes simultaneously.

  13. Categorizing natural disaster damage assessment using satellite-based geospatial techniques (United States)

    Myint, S.W.; Yuan, M.; Cerveny, R.S.; Giri, C.


    Remote sensing of a natural disaster's damage offers an exciting backup and/or alternative to traditional means of on-site damage assessment. Although necessary for complete assessment of damage areas, ground-based damage surveys conducted in the aftermath of natural hazard passage can sometimes be potentially complicated due to on-site difficulties (e.g., interaction with various authorities and emergency services) and hazards (e.g., downed power lines, gas lines, etc.), the need for rapid mobilization (particularly for remote locations), and the increasing cost of rapid physical transportation of manpower and equipment. Satellite image analysis, because of its global ubiquity, its ability for repeated independent analysis, and, as we demonstrate here, its ability to verify on-site damage assessment provides an interesting new perspective and investigative aide to researchers. Using one of the strongest tornado events in US history, the 3 May 1999 Oklahoma City Tornado, as a case example, we digitized the tornado damage path and co-registered the damage path using pre- and post-Landsat Thematic Mapper image data to perform a damage assessment. We employed several geospatial approaches, specifically the Getis index, Geary's C, and two lacunarity approaches to categorize damage characteristics according to the original Fujita tornado damage scale (F-scale). Our results indicate strong relationships between spatial indices computed within a local window and tornado F-scale damage categories identified through the ground survey. Consequently, linear regression models, even incorporating just a single band, appear effective in identifying F-scale damage categories using satellite imagery. This study demonstrates that satellite-based geospatial techniques can effectively add spatial perspectives to natural disaster damages, and in particular for this case study, tornado damages.

  14. Assessment of the Safety of the Supraumbilical Compression Technique in Closed Laparoscopic Entry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bulent Kostu


    Full Text Available Aim: It was aimed to assess the safety of the external supraumbilical compression technique in closed entry in laparoscopy. Material and Method: In this prospective study, a total of 65 patients were randomised into 3 groups; Group 1 (n=22 with closed laparoscopic entry with an intraabdominal pressure (IAP of 15 mmHg obtained by CO2 insufflation, Group 2 (n=22 with an IAP of 25 mmHg obtained by combined usage of supraumbilical compression and CO2 insufflation and Group 3 (n=21 with an IAP of 25 mmHg achieved by CO2 insufflation alone. Groups were compared in respect of the insufflated volume of CO2, pneumoperitoneum distances, operation onset-to-trocar entry interval, and surgical complications. Results: The pneumoperitoneum distance was determined as 8.4, 7, 11.2 cm in Groups 1, 2 and 3 respectively (p

  15. Human Error Assessment and Reduction Technique (HEART) and Human Factor Analysis and Classification System (HFACS) (United States)

    Alexander, Tiffaney Miller


    Research results have shown that more than half of aviation, aerospace and aeronautics mishaps incidents are attributed to human error. As a part of Quality within space exploration ground processing operations, the identification and or classification of underlying contributors and causes of human error must be identified, in order to manage human error.This presentation will provide a framework and methodology using the Human Error Assessment and Reduction Technique (HEART) and Human Factor Analysis and Classification System (HFACS), as an analysis tool to identify contributing factors, their impact on human error events, and predict the Human Error probabilities (HEPs) of future occurrences. This research methodology was applied (retrospectively) to six (6) NASA ground processing operations scenarios and thirty (30) years of Launch Vehicle related mishap data. This modifiable framework can be used and followed by other space and similar complex operations.

  16. Exploratory assessment of groundwater vulnerability to pollution in Abi, southeastern Nigeria, using geophysical and geological techniques. (United States)

    Akpan, Anthony E; Ebong, Ebong D; Emeka, Chimezie N


    The geophysical-based integrated electrical conductivity (IEC) and the groundwater hydraulic confinement-overlying strata-depth to water table (GOD) techniques were used to assess vulnerability levels of aquifers and the extent of aquifer protection in Abi, Nigeria. The IEC indices was generated from constrained one dimensional (1D) inversion of vertical electrical sounding (VES) and two dimensional (2D) electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) data, acquired randomly in the area. The GOD indices were sourced from existing geologic data within the area. Results showed that IEC values vary from 2.0 S in the strongly protected areas. The GOD indices vary from groundwater resources in the area need to be properly managed for sustainability and such management practices have been suggested.

  17. Assessment of Impact Detection Techniques for Aeronautical Application: ANN vs. LSSVM (United States)

    Yue, N.; Sharif Khodaei, Z.


    The impact localization in composite panels is assessed using two machine learning techniques: least square support vector machines (LSSVM) and artificial neural networks (ANN) with local strain signals from piezoelectric sensors. Sensor signals from impact experiments on a composite plate as well as signals simulated by a finite element model are used to train and test models. A comparative study shows that LSSVM achieves better accuracy than ANN on identifying location of impacts for a combination of large mass impact and small mass impact, in particular when less data is available for training which is more appropriate for real aeronautical application. Additionally, LSSVM is more capable of identifying new impact events which have not been considered in the training process.

  18. Advanced bioimaging technologies in assessment of the quality of bone and scaffold materials. Techniques and applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qin Ling; Leung, Kwok Sui (eds.) [Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong (China). Dept. of Orthopaedics and Traumatology; Genant, H.K. [California Univ., San Francisco, CA (United States); Griffith, J.F. [Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong (China). Dept. of Radiology and Organ Imaging


    This book provides a perspective on the current status of bioimaging technologies developed to assess the quality of musculoskeletal tissue with an emphasis on bone and cartilage. It offers evaluations of scaffold biomaterials developed for enhancing the repair of musculoskeletal tissues. These bioimaging techniques include micro-CT, nano-CT, pQCT/QCT, MRI, and ultrasound, which provide not only 2-D and 3-D images of the related organs or tissues, but also quantifications of the relevant parameters. The advance bioimaging technologies developed for the above applications are also extended by incorporating imaging contrast-enhancement materials. Thus, this book will provide a unique platform for multidisciplinary collaborations in education and joint R and D among various professions, including biomedical engineering, biomaterials, and basic and clinical medicine. (orig.)

  19. Imaging techniques used for the real-time assessment of angiogenesis in digestive cancers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Adrian S(a)ftoiu; Peter Vilmann


    Angiogenesis has a critical role in primary tumor growth and the development of metastases.Several angiogenesis inhibitors were recently developed,being a very attractive target for digestive tumor therapy.However,individualized therapy should not only be based on the pre-treatment imaging evaluation,but also on sensitive monitoring of microvascular changes during treatment.State-of-theart imaging techniques have the potential to visualize and characterize angiogenesis,although the technology and methodologies employed are recent and need further validation.The aim of this series of reviews was to analyze and enhance current knowledge and future perspectives about the real-time assessment of angiogenesis in digestive cancers,used for the longitudinal monitoring of the effects of chemo-radiotherapy(including anti-angiogenic therapies),as well as for the precise targeting of drugs through molecular-based drug-delivery systems.

  20. Cardiac CT for the assessment of chest pain: Imaging techniques and clinical results

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Becker, Hans-Christoph, E-mail: [Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Grosshadern Clinic, Department of Clinical Radiology, Marchioninistr. 15, 81377 Munich (Germany); Johnson, Thorsten [Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Grosshadern Clinic, Department of Clinical Radiology, Marchioninistr. 15, 81377 Munich (Germany)


    Immediate and efficient risk stratification and management of patients with acute chest pain in the emergency department is challenging. Traditional management of these patients includes serial ECG, laboratory tests and further on radionuclide perfusion imaging or ECG treadmill testing. Due to the advances of multi-detector CT technology, dedicated coronary CT angiography provides the potential to rapidly and reliably diagnose or exclude acute coronary artery disease. Life-threatening causes of chest pain, such as aortic dissection and pulmonary embolism can simultaneously be assessed with a single scan, sometimes referred to as “triple rule out” scan. With appropriate patient selection, cardiac CT can accurately diagnose heart disease or other sources of chest pain, markedly decrease health care costs, and reliably predict clinical outcomes. This article reviews imaging techniques and clinical results for CT been used to evaluate patients with chest pain entering the emergency department.

  1. Assessment of the effectiveness of glove use as a barrier technique in the dental operatory. (United States)

    Gonzalez, E; Naleway, C


    To assess the effectiveness of routine glove use as a barrier technique in the dental operatory, the relationship between frequency of glove use and hepatitis B infection was examined. Hepatitis B screening results and information on infection control practices of 1,109 dentists who attended the 1985 annual session were compiled and statistically analyzed. The results showed that 18% of the dentists wore gloves routinely, 65% wore gloves intermittently, and 17% never wore gloves. Frequency of glove use was related to hepatitis B infection (P less than .01), with dentists who never wore gloves being infected more than twice as often as dentists who wore gloves routinely. Dentists with less frequent glove use and more years in practice had a higher incidence of hepatitis B infection (P less than .0001).

  2. Gelatin porous scaffolds fabricated using a modified gas foaming technique: characterisation and cytotoxicity assessment. (United States)

    Poursamar, S Ali; Hatami, Javad; Lehner, Alexander N; da Silva, Cláudia L; Ferreira, Frederico Castelo; Antunes, A P M


    The current study presents an effective and simple strategy to obtain stable porous scaffolds from gelatin via a gas foaming method. The technique exploits the intrinsic foaming ability of gelatin in the presence of CO2 to obtain a porous structure stabilised with glutaraldehyde. The produced scaffolds were characterised using physical and mechanical characterisation methods. The results showed that gas foaming may allow the tailoring of the 3-dimensional structure of the scaffolds with an interconnected porous structure. To assess the effectiveness of the preparation method in mitigating the potential cytotoxicity risk of using glutaraldehyde as a crosslinker, direct and in-direct cytotoxicity assays were performed at different concentrations of glutaraldehyde. The results indicate the potential of the gas foaming method, in the preparation of viable tissue engineering scaffolds.

  3. Optimum cooling of data centers application of risk assessment and mitigation techniques

    CERN Document Server

    Dai, Jun; Das, Diganta; Pecht, Michael G


    This book provides data center designers and operators with methods by which to assess and mitigate the risks associated with utilization of optimum cooling solutions. The goal is to provide readers with sufficient knowledge to implement measures such as free air cooling or direct liquid immersion cooling properly, or combination of existing and emerging cooling technologies in data centers, base stations, and server farms. This book also: Discusses various telecommunication infrastructures, with an emphasis on data centers and base stations Covers the most commonly known energy and power management techniques, as well as emerging cooling solutions for data centers Describes the risks to the electronic equipment fitted in these installations and the methods of risk mitigation Devotes  a particular focus to an up-to-date review of the emerging cooling methods (such as free air cooling and direct liquid immersion cooling) and tools and best practices for designers, technology developers, installation operators...

  4. Assessment of ground-based monitoring techniques applied to landslide investigations (United States)

    Uhlemann, S.; Smith, A.; Chambers, J.; Dixon, N.; Dijkstra, T.; Haslam, E.; Meldrum, P.; Merritt, A.; Gunn, D.; Mackay, J.


    A landslide complex in the Whitby Mudstone Formation at Hollin Hill, North Yorkshire, UK is periodically re-activated in response to rainfall-induced pore-water pressure fluctuations. This paper compares long-term measurements (i.e., 2009-2014) obtained from a combination of monitoring techniques that have been employed together for the first time on an active landslide. The results highlight the relative performance of the different techniques, and can provide guidance for researchers and practitioners for selecting and installing appropriate monitoring techniques to assess unstable slopes. Particular attention is given to the spatial and temporal resolutions offered by the different approaches that include: Real Time Kinematic-GPS (RTK-GPS) monitoring of a ground surface marker array, conventional inclinometers, Shape Acceleration Arrays (SAA), tilt meters, active waveguides with Acoustic Emission (AE) monitoring, and piezometers. High spatial resolution information has allowed locating areas of stability and instability across a large slope. This has enabled identification of areas where further monitoring efforts should be focused. High temporal resolution information allowed the capture of 'S'-shaped slope displacement-time behaviour (i.e. phases of slope acceleration, deceleration and stability) in response to elevations in pore-water pressures. This study shows that a well-balanced suite of monitoring techniques that provides high temporal and spatial resolutions on both measurement and slope scale is necessary to fully understand failure and movement mechanisms of slopes. In the case of the Hollin Hill landslide it enabled detailed interpretation of the geomorphological processes governing landslide activity. It highlights the benefit of regularly surveying a network of GPS markers to determine areas for installation of movement monitoring techniques that offer higher resolution both temporally and spatially. The small sensitivity of tilt meter measurements

  5. Assessment of ultrasonic techniques for characterization of stress corrosion cracks in SG partition stubs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sartre, B.; Banchet, J. [AREVA NP, Saint-Marcel (France); Moras, D.; Bastin, P. [Intercontrole, Rungis (France); Beroni, C. [EDF/CEIDRE, Saint-Denis (France)


    Studies by EDF and AREVA NP on Inconel zones have identified the Inconel 600 partition stubs of steam generators as potential areas of SCC, on the hot leg side. Decision was made to perform an expert assessment using ultrasonic testing (UT) techniques to be applied on the whole area of the stub showing penetrant testing (PT) techniques indications. UT techniques, probes and tools were then developed for that purpose. The aim is to size shallow defects, sizing capacity being maintained for defects propagated to a half-thickness. Although no formal qualification was required, the development was performed in view of a performance demonstration. Three mock-ups were manufactured by AREVA NP: two welded mock-ups with machined defects, surface condition and geometry representative of the ''envelope'' of situations likely to be found on the SG; one mock-up, with representative corrosion cracks Development was carried out in two phases: development of techniques and specification of probes and tooling, then development of tools, industrialization of probes, development of procedures, personnel training and performance demonstration. The basic inspection relied on TOFDT, with a contact probe; frequencies, PCS and dimensions were optimised using the results from the mock-ups. Three sets of transducers were defined: a HF transducer for flaw sizes close to the critical size, another HF transducer, with lower PCS for smaller defects, both transducers for material whose permeability was equivalent to that of the mock-ups; anticipating less permeable materials, a MF probe was added. Tests having shown that these transducers did not cover the whole plate thickness, a back-up phased-array probe was selected to scan the plate beyond halfthickness. For a better access under the TSP, a focused transducer was also added to complete the previous set. All of these transducers were operated in immersion, with the same tool: a COBRA type arm which positioned the probes

  6. Variability of vascular CT measurement techniques used in the assessment abdominal aortic aneurysms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    England, Andrew, E-mail: [Directorate of Medical Imaging and Radiotherapy, University of Liverpool, Johnston Building, Quadrangle, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool, L69 3GB (United Kingdom); Niker, Amanda; Redmond, Claire [Directorate of Medical Imaging and Radiotherapy, University of Liverpool, Johnston Building, Quadrangle, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool, L69 3GB (United Kingdom)


    Purpose: The aim of this project is to assess the variability of six CT measurement techniques for sizing abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs). Method: 37 CT scans with known AAAs were loaded on to a departmental picture archiving and communication system (PACS). A team of three observers, with experience in aortic CT measurements and the PACS performed a series of 2D and 3D measurements on the abdominal aorta. Each observer was asked to measure 3 quantities; anterior-posterior AAA diameter, maximum oblique AAA diameter, maximum aneurysm area using both 2D and 3D techniques. In order to test intra-observer variability each observer was asked to repeat their measurements. All measurements were taken using electronic callipers, under standardised viewing conditions using previously calibrated equipment. 3D measurements were conducted using a computer generated central luminal line (CLL). All measurements for this group were taken perpendicular to the CLL. Results: A total of 972 independent measurements were recorded by three observers. Mean intra-observer variability was lower for 2D diameter measurements (AP 1.3 {+-} 1.6 mm; 2D Oblique 1.2 {+-} 1.3 mm) and 2D areas (0.7 {+-} 1.3 cm{sup 2}) when compared to inter-observer variability (AP 1.7 {+-} 1.9 mm; Oblique 1.6 {+-} 1.7 mm; area 1.1 {+-} 1.5 cm{sup 2}). When comparing 2D with 3D measurements, differences were comparable except for 3D AP diameter and area which had lower inter-observer variability than their 2D counterparts (AP 2D 1.7 {+-} 1.9 mm, 3D 1.3 {+-} 1.3 mm; area 2D 1.1 {+-} 1.5 cm{sup 2}, 3D 0.7 {+-} 0.7 cm{sup 2}). 3D area measurement was the only technique which had equal variability for intra- and inter-observer measurements. Overall observer variability for the study was good with 94-100% of all paired measurements within 5.00 mm/cm{sup 2} or less. Using Pitman's test it can be confirmed that area measurements in the 3D plane have the least variability (r = 0.031) and 3D oblique measurements have

  7. Dental anatomy grading: comparison between conventional visual and a novel digital assessment technique. (United States)

    Kwon, So Ran; Restrepo-Kennedy, Natalia; Dawson, Deborah V; Hernandez, Marcela; Denehy, Gerald; Blanchette, Derek; Gratton, David G; Aquilino, Steven A; Armstrong, Steven R


    Conventional grading of dental students' projects in preclinical courses has mainly relied on visual evaluation by experienced instructors. The purpose of this study was to compare conventional visual grading in a dental anatomy course at one U.S. dental school to a novel digital assessment technique. A total of sixty samples comprised of two sets of faculty wax-ups (n=30), student wax-ups (n=15), and dentoform teeth of tooth #14 (n=15) were used for this study. Two additional faculty members visually graded the samples according to a checklist and then repeated the grading after one week. The sample wax-up with the highest score based on the visual grading was selected as the master model for the digital grading, which was also performed twice with an interim period of one week. Descriptive statistics and signed rank tests for systematic bias were used for intra- and interrater comparisons. The intraclass correlation (ICC) was used as a measure of intra- and interrater reliability. None of the faculty members achieved the minimum acceptable intrarater agreement of 0.8. Interrater agreement was substantially less than intrarater agreement for the visual grading, whereas all measures of intrarater agreement were greater than 0.9 and considered excellent for the digital assessment technique. These results suggest that visual grading is limited by modest intrarater reliability and low interrater agreement. Digital grading is a promising evaluation method showing excellent intrarater reliability and correlation. Correlation for visual and digital grading was consistently modest, partly supporting the potential use of digital technology in dental anatomy grading.

  8. The assessment of General Movements is a valuable technique for the detection of brain dysfunction in young infants. A review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    HaddersAlgra, M


    Recently, a new assessment technique by which to evaluate brain function in the fetus and newborn infant has been developed. The method is based on the assessment of the quality of General Movements (GMs). GMs are complex movements involving all parts of the body. They are present throughout fetal l

  9. Teachers’ use of classroom assessment techniques in primary mathematics education - An explorative study with six Chinese teachers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhao, X.; Van den Heuvel-Panhuizen, M.; Veldhuis, M.


    Background This paper reports on the use of classroom assessment techniques (CATs) by primary school mathematics teachers in China. CATs are short, focused assessment activities that can reveal students’ understanding of specific mathematical subjects. The study involved six female third-grade mathe

  10. Assessing the Performance of the Laser Fluorescence Technique in Detecting Proximal Caries Cavities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Majid Akbari

    Full Text Available Introduction: Diagnosing the necessity of cavity preparation and restoration in demineralized proximal areas is always considered as a challenge in restorative treatment planning. The purpose of this study was to assess the performance of the laser fluorescence (LF technique in detection of proximal cavities.Materials & Methods: In this clinical trial, 44 proximal surfaces in 38 dental students were evaluated. The selected patients had radiolucent proximal lesions restricted to inner half of enamel or outer third of dentine in bitewing radiographs (BW. DIAGNOdent pen (LF pen device was used to determine the presence or absence of caries cavities in suspected proximal surfaces. Orthodontic elastic separators were then placed in the contact areas to provide enough space for direct visual and tactile examination. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of the laser fluorescence technique were calculated versus the reference standard. The ROC curve was drawn and the best cut-off to determine the presence or absence of proximal cavities was determined.Results: Using DIAGNOdent pen, the optimal cut-off for detecting proximal cavities was 18. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of DIAGNOdent pen for diagnosing proximal caries cavities were 100 per cent, 97.3 per cent and 97.7 per cent, respectively. Conclusion: Due to the high diagnostic accuracy of DIAGNOdent pen in detecting proximal caries cavities, it can be used as a valuable supplement in restorative treatment planning.

  11. Accuracy of qualitative analysis for assessment of skilled baseball pitching technique. (United States)

    Nicholls, Rochelle; Fleisig, Glenn; Elliott, Bruce; Lyman, Stephen; Osinski, Edmund


    Baseball pitching must be performed with correct technique if injuries are to be avoided and performance maximized. High-speed video analysis is accepted as the most accurate and objective method for evaluation of baseball pitching mechanics. The aim of this research was to develop an equivalent qualitative analysis method for use with standard video equipment. A qualitative analysis protocol (QAP) was developed for 24 kinematic variables identified as important to pitching performance. Twenty male baseball pitchers were videotaped using 60 Hz camcorders, and their technique evaluated using the QAP, by two independent raters. Each pitcher was also assessed using a 6-camera 200 Hz Motion Analysis system (MAS). Four QAP variables (22%) showed significant similarity with MAS results. Inter-rater reliability showed agreement on 33% of QAP variables. It was concluded that a complete and accurate profile of an athlete's pitching mechanics cannot be made using the QAP in its current form, but it is possible such simple forms of biomechanical analysis could yield accurate results before 3-D methods become obligatory.

  12. Assessment of lung function using a non-invasive oscillating gas-forcing technique. (United States)

    Clifton, Lei; Clifton, David A; Hahn, Clive E W; Farmery, Andrew D


    Conventional methods for monitoring lung function can require complex, or special, gas analysers, and may therefore not be practical in clinical areas such as the intensive care unit (ICU) or operating theatre. The system proposed in this article is a compact and non-invasive system for the measurement and monitoring of lung variables, such as alveolar volume, airway dead space, and pulmonary blood flow. In contrast with conventional methods, the compact apparatus and non-invasive nature of the proposed method could eventually allow it to be used in the ICU, as well as in general clinical settings. We also propose a novel tidal ventilation model using a non-invasive oscillating gas-forcing technique, where both nitrous oxide and oxygen are used as indicator gases. Experimental results are obtained from healthy volunteers, and are compared with those obtained using a conventional continuous ventilation model. Our findings show that the proposed technique can be used to assess lung function, and has several advantages over conventional methods such as compact and portable apparatus, easy usage, and quick estimation of cardiopulmonary variables.

  13. Noninvasive Qualitative and Quantitative Assessment of Spoilage Attributes of Chilled Pork Using Hyperspectral Scattering Technique. (United States)

    Zhang, Leilei; Peng, Yankun


    The objective of this research was to develop a rapid noninvasive method for quantitative and qualitative determination of chilled pork spoilage. Microbiological, physicochemical, and organoleptic characteristics such as the total viable count (TVC), Pseudomonas spp., total volatile basic-nitrogen (TVB-N), pH value, and color parameter L* were determined to appraise pork quality. The hyperspectral scattering characteristics from 54 meat samples were fitted by four-parameter modified Gompertz function accurately. Support vector machines (SVM) was applied to establish quantitative prediction model between scattering fitting parameters and reference values. In addition, partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) and Bayesian analysis were utilized as supervised and unsupervised techniques for the qualitative identification of meat spoilage. All stored chilled meat samples were classified into three grades: "fresh," "semi-fresh," and "spoiled." Bayesian classification model was superior to PLS-DA with overall classification accuracy of 92.86%. The results demonstrated that hyperspectral scattering technique combined with SVM and Bayesian possessed a powerful capability for meat spoilage assessment rapidly and noninvasively.

  14. IWQ index: a GIS-integrated technique to assess irrigation water quality. (United States)

    Simsek, Celalettin; Gunduz, Orhan


    The irrigation water quality and the associated hazards to soil characteristics and crop yield is often a complex phenomenon that involves the combined effect of many parameters. From a management point of view, it is sometimes necessary to analyze all related parameters as a combination rather than focusing on a single isolated parameter. With this objective in mind, a new GIS-integrated tool is proposed in this study to evaluate the quality of irrigation waters with regards to potential soil and crop problems. The proposed procedure is mainly an index method that utilizes five hazard groups: (a) salinity hazard, (b) infiltration and permeability hazard, (c) specific ion toxicity, (d) trace element toxicity; and, (e) miscellaneous impacts on sensitive crops. A linear combination of these groups is formulated to form the so-called IWQ index, which is a technique that could be used to classify irrigation waters with respect to three suitability classes. The proposed technique is applied to assess the irrigation water quality of the Simav Plain located in western Anatolia, Turkey. The Simav application is implemented by using a GIS database developed for the plain. Based on the results of this application, the general groundwater quality in the surfacial aquifer is found to be fairly good and the aquifer waters are mostly suitable for irrigation purposes.

  15. Assessment of trabecular bone changes around endosseous implants using image analysis techniques: A preliminary study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zuki, Mervet El [Dept. of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Benghazi University College of Dentistry, Benghazi (Libya); Omami, Galal [Oral Diagnosis and Polyclinics, Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong); Horner, Keith [Dept. of Oral Radiology, University Dental Hospital of Manchester, Manchester (United Kingdom)


    The objective of this study was to assess the trabecular bone changes that occurred around functional endosseous dental implants by means of radiographic image analysis techniques. Immediate preoperative and postoperative periapical radiographs of de-identified implant patients at the University Dental Hospital of Manchester were retrieved, screened for specific inclusion criteria, digitized, and quantified for structural elements of the trabecular bone around the endosseous implants, by using image analysis techniques. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 11.5. P values of less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant. A total of 12 implants from 11 patients were selected for the study, and 26 regions of interest were obtained. There was a significant increase in the bone area in terms of the mean distance between nodes (p=0.006) and a significant decrease in the marrow area in terms of the bone area (p=0.006) and the length of marrow spaces (p=0.032). It appeared that the bone around the implant underwent remodeling that resulted in a net increase in bone after implant placement.

  16. Assessment of Breastfeeding practices in Ethiopia using different data mining techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abebe Alemu


    Full Text Available Breastfeeding is one of the critical issues in Ethiopia because researches show that 24.0% - 27.0% of infant death in Ethiopia is due to poor breastfeeding practices. UNICEF has been reported that a good promotion of breastfeeding practices is a most important strategic plan to reduce child mortality in developed and developing countries. Hence, it is important to identifying the determinate factors of poor breastfeeding practice, especially poor countries like Ethiopia. Poor Breastfeeding is a reasonable well-defined problem caused by many factors that are related to motherhood, environment, community and child. Therefore, it is very important to predict the determinate factors of poor breastfeeding practice in various communities in the country in order to come up with feasible intervention strategies to minimize the problem. This research intends to provide a survey of current techniques of knowledge discovery in large databases using data mining techniques which will be useful for medical practitioner to improve the breast feeding practices. The assessment was carried out with cross validation and percentage split of different data mining algorithms such as decision tree, Naive Bayes , Artificial Neural Network and Bagging.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available This study describes the use of classroom assessment techniques and diaries as a reflection technique in the 3rd class students of English Language Teaching Department in Buca Faculty of Education. The outcome of this study suggests that the inclusion of learners in the learning-teaching process through the use of CATs(classroom asssessment techniques provides teachers-in-preparation with access to important information about the learning process,their own teaching styles,teaching materials and activities they use and the importance of affective factors in teaching a foreign language.There were 33 3rd class students,each tutoring a learner they themselves chose.During the five-week period ,each practiced teaching one hour a week and each week they applied a different CAT to their learners to get feedback on their own teaching and learners’ learning.Totally 11 different CATs were used and learners’ ages were beetween 10 to 41.After each lesson and after getting CAT results they kept diaries as a self-reflection and evaluated themselves, their teaching and their drawbacks during the lessons.All of their reflections were collected under18 main headings.After their reports on CAT results and their diary entries were collected ,they informed that they found their learners’ CAT results very valuable to develop their way of teaching, and keeping diaries was invaluable for them to have a cool and objective look at their own teaching practice. It was hoped that trainee teachers would apply the information they get from CATs and their diaries to their lesson planning to reflect on their teaching and students’ learning and to make necessary changes in their teaching styles and in this way to develop their teaching to bring about more effective student learning.

  18. A comparison of techniques to assess skin blanching following the topical application of glucocorticoids. (United States)

    Noon, J P; Evans, C E; Haynes, W G; Webb, D J; Walker, B R


    Glucocorticoid-induced dermal blanching provides a useful research tool to study steroid potency and sensitivity. Conventional measurement of the intensity of blanching relies on subjective assessment by a trained observer using a visual score. Several objective techniques have recently been reported to detect skin blanching, but their sensitivity has not been compared previously with subjective visual recordings. In this report we aimed to establish whether objective methods offer sufficient sensitivity to be employed in epidemiological studies of glucocorticoid responsiveness. In healthy subjects we applied beclomethasone dipropionate at three concentrations (1, 10 and 100 micrograms/ml) under an occluded dressing overnight. The following morning we measured blanching using a visual score, laser Doppler velocimetry with the MBF 3D monitor (Moor Instruments Ltd, U.K.) and a perfusion imager (Lisca, Sweden), and reflectance spectrophotometry with the Dia-Stron 'erythemameter'. Using the visual score, blanching was detected at all concentrations of steroid. Neither laser Doppler instrument detected vasoconstriction at any concentration. By contrast, the reflectance spectrophotometer successfully recorded blanching at 10 and 100 micrograms/ml, but not at 1 microgram/ml. We conclude that laser Doppler instruments, including the novel scanning perfusion imager, do not detect glucocorticoid-induced skin blanching, perhaps because it reflects venular rather than arteriolar vasoconstriction. By contrast, the Dia-Stron reflectance spectrophotometer has sufficient sensitivity to be used as an alternative to visual assessment in epidemiological studies of human glucocorticoid-induced dermal blanching.

  19. Assessment of left ventricular regional wall motion by color kinesis technique: comparison with angiographic findings. (United States)

    Vermes, E; Guyon, P; Weingrod, M; Otmani, A; Soussana, C; Halphen, C; Leroy, G; Haïat, R


    The analysis of segmental wall motion using two-dimensional (2-D) echocardiography is subjective with high interobserver variability. Color kinesis is a new technique providing a color-encoded map of endocardial motion. We evaluated the accuracy of color kinesis and 2-D for assessment of regional asynergy compared with left ventricular angiography as a reference method. Fifteen patients admitted for myocardial infarction were studied by echocardiography the day before left ventricular angiography. The left ventricle was divided into seven segments. Each segment was classified by two independent observers as normal or abnormal in 2-D and color kinesis. Accuracy of color kinesis and 2-D was evaluated and compared to left ventricular angiography. Color kinesis is significantly superior to 2-D for all seven segments (mean 0.80/0.68, P = 0.05), except for the septum (0.67/0.60, P = NS). Interobserver variability studied by chi-square statistic is lower with color kinesis (0.70) than with 2-D (0.57). We conclude that these data suggest that color kinesis is a useful method for assessing systolic wall motion in all segments, except the septum and for improving the accuracy of segmental ventricular function and interobserver variability.

  20. Assessment of the reliability of reproducing two-dimensional resistivity models using an image processing technique. (United States)

    Ishola, Kehinde S; Nawawi, Mohd Nm; Abdullah, Khiruddin; Sabri, Ali Idriss Aboubakar; Adiat, Kola Abdulnafiu


    This study attempts to combine the results of geophysical images obtained from three commonly used electrode configurations using an image processing technique in order to assess their capabilities to reproduce two-dimensional (2-D) resistivity models. All the inverse resistivity models were processed using the PCI Geomatica software package commonly used for remote sensing data sets. Preprocessing of the 2-D inverse models was carried out to facilitate further processing and statistical analyses. Four Raster layers were created, three of these layers were used for the input images and the fourth layer was used as the output of the combined images. The data sets were merged using basic statistical approach. Interpreted results show that all images resolved and reconstructed the essential features of the models. An assessment of the accuracy of the images for the four geologic models was performed using four criteria: the mean absolute error and mean percentage absolute error, resistivity values of the reconstructed blocks and their displacements from the true models. Generally, the blocks of the images of maximum approach give the least estimated errors. Also, the displacement of the reconstructed blocks from the true blocks is the least and the reconstructed resistivities of the blocks are closer to the true blocks than any other combined used. Thus, it is corroborated that when inverse resistivity models are combined, most reliable and detailed information about the geologic models is obtained than using individual data sets.

  1. Application of molecular techniques for the assessment of microorganism diversity on cultural heritage objects. (United States)

    Otlewska, Anna; Adamiak, Justyna; Gutarowska, Beata


    As a result of their unpredictable ability to adapt to varying environmental conditions, microorganisms inhabit different types of biological niches on Earth. Owing to the key role of microorganisms in many biogeochemical processes, trends in modern microbiology emphasize the need to know and understand the structure and function of complex microbial communities. This is particularly important if the strategy relates to microbial communities that cause biodeterioration of materials that constitute our cultural heritage. Until recently, the detection and identification of microorganisms inhabiting objects of cultural value was based only on cultivation-dependent methods. In spite of many advantages, these methods provide limited information because they identify only viable organisms capable of growth under standard laboratory conditions. However, in order to carry out proper conservation and renovation, it is necessary to know the complete composition of microbial communities and their activity. This paper presents and characterizes modern techniques such as genetic fingerprinting and clone library construction for the assessment of microbial diversity based on molecular biology. Molecular methods represent a favourable alternative to culture-dependent methods and make it possible to assess the biodiversity of microorganisms inhabiting technical materials and cultural heritage objects.

  2. Assessment of Alkali-Silica Reaction Damage in Mortars with Nonlinear Ultrasonic Techniques (United States)

    Chen, J.; Jayapalan, A. R.; Kurtis, K. E.; Kim, J.-Y.; Jacobs, L. J.


    In this work, a nonlinear ultrasonic modulation technique is employed to assess the damage state of portland cement mortar samples induced by alkali-silica reaction (ASR). Due to the nonlinear interaction of propagating waves caused by distributed microcracks that are agitated from its equilibrium state, the ultrasonic responses of samples produce sideband frequencies around the frequency of propagating waves. The amplitude of the sidebands depends on the amplitude of the input signals and is particularly sensitive to the state of damage evolved in the sample. Therefore, the development of internal microcracks with increasing duration of exposure to aggressive conditions can be quantitatively related to the variation of external ultrasonic measurements. The ultrasonic results are compared with results from standard ASR expansion measurements (ASTM C 1260), and a proportionally increasing relation was found in the early stages. In addition, aggregates with different alkali-reactivity (i.e., low reactivity or high reactivity) were examined in a similar manner. The results indicate that the nonlinear parameter obtained from ultrasonic tests directly reflects the difference of aggregate reactivity. This clearly indicates that the developed nonlinear ultrasonic method is potentially a good alternative for a more rapid and still reliable assessment of aggregate alkali-reactivity.

  3. A probabilistic technique for the assessment of complex dynamic system resilience (United States)

    Balchanos, Michael Gregory

    techniques for total system resilience evaluation, based on scenario-based, dynamic system simulations. Physics-based Modeling and Simulation (M&S) is applied for dynamical system behavior analysis, which includes system performance, health monitoring, damage propagation and overall mission capability. For the development of the assessment framework and testing of a resilience assessment technique, a small-scale canonical problem has been formulated, involving a computational model of a degradable and reconfigurable spring-mass-damper SDOF system, in a multiple main and redundant spring configuration. A rule-based feedback controller is responsible for system performance recovery, through the application of different reconfiguration strategies and strategic activation of the necessary main or redundant springs. Uncertainty effects on system operation are introduced through disturbance factors, such as external forces with varying magnitude, input frequency, event duration and occurrence time. Such factors are the basis for scenario formulation, in support of a Monte Carlo simulation analysis. Case studies with varying levels of damping and different reconfiguration strategies, involve the investigation of operational uncertainty effects on system performance, mission capability, and system survivability. These studies furthermore explore uncertainty effects on resilience functions that describe the system's capacities on "restoring" mission capability, on "absorbing" the effects of changing conditions, and on "adapting" to the occurring change. The proposed resilience assessment technique or the Topological Investigation for Resilient and Effective Systems, through Increased Architecture Survivability (TIRESIAS) is then applied and demonstrated for a naval system application, in the form of a reduced scale, reconfigurable cooling network of a naval combatant. Uncertainty effects are modeled through combinations of different number of network fluid leaks. The TIRESIAS

  4. Surgery for left ventricular aneurysm after myocardial infarction:techniques selection and results assessment

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Xin; QIU Zhi-bing; XU Ming; LIU Le-le; JIANG Ying-shuo; WANG Li-ming


    Background The most appropriate surgical approach for patients with post-infarction left ventricular (LV) aneurysm remains undetermined.We compared the efficacy of the linear versus patch repair techniques,and investigated the mid-term changes of LV geometry and cardiac function,for repair of LV aneurysms.Methods We reviewed the records of 194 patients who had surgery for a post-infarction LV aneurysm between 1998 and 2010.Short-term and mid-term outcomes,including complications,cardiac function and mortality,were assessed.LV end-diastolic and systolic dimensions (LVEDD and LVESD),LV end-diastolic and end-systolic volume indexes (LVEDVI and LVESVI) and LV ejection fraction (LVEF) were measured on pre-operative and follow-up echocardiography.Results Overall in-hospital mortality was 4.12%,and major morbidity showed no significant differences between the two groups.Multivariate analysis identified preoperative left ventricular end diastolic pressure >20 mmHg,low cardiac output and aortic clamping time >2 hours as risk factors for early mortality.Follow-up revealed that LVEF improved from 37% pre-operation to 45% 12 months post-operation in the patch group (P=0.008),and from 44% pre-operation to 40% 12 months postoperation in the linear group (P=0.032).In contrast,the LVEDVI and LVESVI in the linear group were significantly reduced immediately after the operation,and increased again at follow-up.However,in the patch group,the LVEDVI and LVESVI were significantly reduced at follow-up.And there were significant differences in the correct value changes of LVEF and left ventricular remodeling between linear repair and patch groups.Conclusions Persistent reduction of LV dimensions after the patch repair procedure seems to be a procedure-related problem.The choice of the technique should be tailored on an individual basis and surgeon's preference.The patch remodeling technique results in a better LVEF improvement,further significant reductions in LV dimensions

  5. Detecting river sediments to assess hazardous materials at volcanic lake using advanced remote sensing techniques (United States)

    Saepuloh, Asep; Fitrianingtyas, Chintya


    The Toba Caldera formed from large depression of Quaternary volcanism is a remarkable feature at the Earth surface. The last Toba super eruptions were recorded around 73 ka and produced the Youngest Toba Tuff about 2,800 km3. Since then, there is no record of significant volcanic seismicity at Toba Volcanic Complex (TVC). However, the hydrothermal activities are still on going as presented by the existence of hot springs and alteration zones at the northwest caldera. The hydrothermal fluids probably containing some chemical compositions mixed with surficial water pollutant and contaminated the Toba Lake. Therefore, an environmental issues related to the existence of chemical composition and degradation of water clearness in the lake had been raised in the local community. The pollutant sources are debatable between natural and anthropogenic influences because some human activities grow rapidly at and around the lake such as hotels, tourisms, husbandry, aquaculture, as well as urbanization. Therefore, obtaining correct information about the source materials floating at the surface of the Toba Lake is crucial for environmental and hazard mitigation purposes. Overcoming the problem, we presented this paper to assess the source possibility of floating materials at Toba Lake, especially from natural sources such as hydrothermal activities of TVC and river stream sediments. The Spectral Angle Mapper (SAM) techniques using atmospherically corrected of Landsat-8 and colour composite of Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (PolSAR) were used to map the distribution of floating materials. The seven ground truth points were used to confirm the correctness of proposed method. Based on the SAM and PolSAR techniques, we could detect the interface of hydrothermal fluid at the lake surfaces. Various distributions of stream sediment were also detected from the river mouth to the lake. The influence possibilities of the upwelling process from the bottom floor of Toba Lake were also

  6. Clinical assessment of awake endotracheal intubation using the lightwand technique alone in patients with difficult airways

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XUE Fu-shan; HE Nong; LIAO Xu; XU Xiu-Zheng; XU Yachao; YANG Quan-yong; LUO Mao-ping; ZHANG Yan-ming


    Background There is few study to determine whether the use of the lightwand technique alone could achieve effective, safe and successful awake endotracheal intubation (ETI), therefore we designed a prospective clinical study to systematically evaluate the feasibility, safety and efficacy of awake ETI using the lightwand alone in patients with difficult airways.Methods Seventy adult patients with difficult airways were enrolled in this study. After the desired sedation with fentanyl and midazolam, airway topical anesthesia was performed with 9 ml of 2% lidocaine, which were in order sprayed in three aliquots at 5 minutes intervals into the supraglottic (two doses) and laryngotracheal areas (one dose) using a combined unit of the lightwand and MADgic atomizer. After airway topical anesthesia, awake ETI was performed using a Lightwand. Subjective assessments by patients and operators using the visual analogue scores (VAS), and objective assessments by an independent investigator using patients' tolerance and reaction scores, coughing severity, intubating conditions and cardiovascular variables were taken as the observed parameters.Results Of 210 airway sprays, 197 (93.8%) were successfully completed on the first attempt. The total time for airway spray was (14.6±1.5) minutes. During airway topical anesthesia, the average patients' tolerance scores were 1.7-2.3. After airway topical anesthesia, the mean VAS for discomfort levels that the patients reported was 6.5. Also airway topical anesthesia procedure was rated as acceptable and no discomfort by 94.3% of patients. The lightwand-guided awake ETI was successfully completed on first attempt within 29 seconds in all patients. During awake ETI, patients' reaction and coughing scores were 1.9 and 1.6, respectively. All patients exhibited excellent or acceptable intubating conditions. Cardiovascular monitoring revealed that changes of systolic blood pressure and heart rate at each stage of airway manipulations were less

  7. Application of multivariate statistical technique for hydrogeochemical assessment of groundwater within the Lower Pra Basin, Ghana (United States)

    Tay, C. K.; Hayford, E. K.; Hodgson, I. O. A.


    Multivariate statistical technique and hydrogeochemical approach were employed for groundwater assessment within the Lower Pra Basin. The main objective was to delineate the main processes that are responsible for the water chemistry and pollution of groundwater within the basin. Fifty-four (54) (No) boreholes were sampled in January 2012 for quality assessment. PCA using Varimax with Kaiser Normalization method of extraction for both rotated space and component matrix have been applied to the data. Results show that Spearman's correlation matrix of major ions revealed expected process-based relationships derived mainly from the geochemical processes, such as ion-exchange and silicate/aluminosilicate weathering within the aquifer. Three main principal components influence the water chemistry and pollution of groundwater within the basin. The three principal components have accounted for approximately 79% of the total variance in the hydrochemical data. Component 1 delineates the main natural processes (water-soil-rock interactions) through which groundwater within the basin acquires its chemical characteristics, Component 2 delineates the incongruent dissolution of silicate/aluminosilicates, while Component 3 delineates the prevalence of pollution principally from agricultural input as well as trace metal mobilization in groundwater within the basin. The loadings and score plots of the first two PCs show grouping pattern which indicates the strength of the mutual relation among the hydrochemical variables. In terms of proper management and development of groundwater within the basin, communities, where intense agriculture is taking place, should be monitored and protected from agricultural activities. especially where inorganic fertilizers are used by creating buffer zones. Monitoring of the water quality especially the water pH is recommended to ensure the acid neutralizing potential of groundwater within the basin thereby, curtailing further trace metal

  8. Assessment of alternative management techniques of tank bottom petroleum sludge in Oman

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Al-Futaisi, Ahmed [Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 33, Al-Khoud 123 (Oman)]. E-mail:; Jamrah, Ahmad [Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 33, Al-Khoud 123 (Oman); Yaghi, Basma [Department of Petroleum and Chemical Engineering, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 33, Al-Khoud 123 (Oman); Taha, Ramzi [Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 33, Al-Khoud 123 (Oman)


    This paper investigated several options for environmentally acceptable management techniques of tank bottom oily sludge. In particular, we tested the applicability of managing the sludge by three options: (1) as a fuel supplement; (2) in solidification; (3) as a road material. Environmental testing included determination of heavy metals concentration; toxic organics concentration and radiological properties. The assessment of tank bottom sludge as a fuel supplement included various properties such as proximate analysis, ultimate analysis and energy content. Solidified sludge mixtures and road application sludge mixtures were subjected to leaching using the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP). Tank bottom sludge was characterized as having higher concentrations of lead, zinc, and mercury, but lower concentrations of nickel, copper and chromium in comparison with values reported in the literature. Natural occurring radioactive minerals (NORM) activity values obtained on different sludge samples were very low or negligible compared to a NORM standard value of 100 Bq/g. The fuel assessment results indicate that the heating values, the carbon content and the ash content of the sludge samples are comparable with bituminous coal, sewage sludge, meat and bone meal and petroleum coke/coal mixture, but lower than those in car tyres and petroleum coke. The nitrogen content is lower than those fuels mentioned above, while the sulfur content seems comparable with bituminous coal, petroleum coke and a petroleum coke/coal mixture. The apparent lack of leachability of metals from solidification and road material sludge applications suggests that toxic metals and organics introduced to these applications are not readily attacked by weak acid solutions and would not be expected to migrate or dissolved into the water. Thus, in-terms of trace metals and organics, the suggested sludge applications would not be considered hazardous as defined by the TCLP leaching procedure.

  9. Assessing the Effectiveness of Inquiry-based Learning Techniques Implemented in Large Classroom Settings (United States)

    Steer, D. N.; McConnell, D. A.; Owens, K.


    assessments of knowledge-level learning included evaluations of student responses to pre- and post-instruction conceptual test questions, short group exercises and content-oriented exam questions. Higher level thinking skills were assessed when students completed exercises that required the completion of Venn diagrams, concept maps and/or evaluation rubrics both during class periods and on exams. Initial results indicate that these techniques improved student attendance significantly and improved overall retention in the course by 8-14% over traditional lecture formats. Student scores on multiple choice exam questions were slightly higher (1-3%) for students taught in the active learning environment and short answer questions showed larger gains (7%) over students' scores in a more traditional class structure.

  10. Application of fisheries management techniques to assessing impacts: task I report. [Assessment of chemical, radiological, and thermal impacts of nuclear power plants on fish populations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McKenzie, D.H.; Baker, K.S.; Fickeisen, D.H.; Metzger, R.M.; Skalski, J.R.


    Task I efforts examined the available fisheries management techniques and assessed their potential application in a confirmatory monitoring program. The objective of such monitoring programs is to confirm that the prediction of an insignificant impact (usually made in the FES) was correct. Fisheries resource managers have developed several tools for assessing the fish population response to stress (exploitation) and they were thought potentially useful for detecting nuclear power plant impacts. Techniques in three categories were examined; catch removal, population dynamics, and nondestructive censuses, and the report contains their description, examples of application, advantages, and disadvantages. The techniques applied at nuclear power plant sites were examined in detail to provide information on implementation and variability of specific approaches. The most suitable techniques to incorporate into a monitoring program confirming no impact appear to be those based on Catch Per Unity Effort (CPUE) and hydroacoustic data. In some specific cases, age and growth studies and indirect census techniques may be beneficial. Recommendations for task II efforts to incorporate these techniques into monitoring program designs are presented. These include development of guidelines for; (1) designing and implementing a data collection program; (2) interpreting these data and assessing the occurrence of impact, and (3) establishment of the monitoring program's ability to detect changes in the affected populations.

  11. Assessment of improved organ at risk sparing for advanced cervix carcinoma utilizing precision radiotherapy techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Georg, D.; Georg, P.; Hillbrand, M.; Poetter, R.; Mock, U. [Dept. of Radiotherapy, Medical Univ. AKH, Vienna (Austria)


    Purpose: to evaluate the potential benefit of proton therapy and photon based intensity-modulated radiotherapy in comparison to 3-D conformal photon radiotherapy (3D-CRT) in locally advanced cervix cancer. Patients and methods: in five patients with advanced cervix cancer 3D-CRT (four-field box) was compared with intensity modulated photon (IMXT) and proton therapy (IMPT) as well as proton beam therapy (PT) based on passive scattering. Planning target volumes (PTVs) included primary tumor and pelvic and para-aortic lymph nodes. Dose-volume histograms (DVHs) were analyzed for the PTV and various organs at risk (OARs) (rectal wall, bladder, small bowel, colon, femoral heads, and kidneys). In addition dose conformity, dose inhomogeneity and overall volumes of 50% isodoses were assessed. Results: all plans were comparable concerning PTV parameters. Large differences between photon and proton techniques were seen in volumes of the 50% isodoses and conformity indices. DVH for colon and small bowel were significantly improved with PT and IMPT compared to IMXT, with D{sub mean} reductions of 50-80%. Doses to kidneys and femoral heads could also be substantially reduced with PT and IMPT. Sparing of rectum and bladder was superior with protons as well but less pronounced. Conclusion: proton beam RT has significant potential to improve treatment related side effects in the bowel compared to photon beam RT in patients with advanced cervix carcinoma. (orig.)

  12. Cocoa bean quality assessment by using hyperspectral images and fuzzy logic techniques (United States)

    Soto, Juan; Granda, Guillermo; Prieto, Flavio; Ipanaque, William; Machacuay, Jorge


    Nowadays, cocoa bean exportation from Piura-Peru is having a positive international market response due to their inherent high quality. Nevertheless, when using subjective techniques for quality assessment, such as the cut test, a wastefulness of grains is generated, additional to a restriction in the selection as well as improvement approaches in earlier stages for optimizing the quality. Thus, in an attempt to standardize the internal features analyzed by the cut test, for instance, crack formation and internal color changes during the fermentation, this research is submitted as an approach which aims to make use of hyperspectral images, with the purpose of having a quick and accurate analysis. Hyperspectral cube size was reduced by using Principal Component Analysis (PCA). The image generated by principal component PC1 provides enough information to clearly distinguish the internal cracks of the cocoa bean, since the zones where these cracks are, have a negative correlation with PC1. The features taken were processed through a fuzzy block, which is able to describe the cocoa bean quality. Three membership functions were defined in the output: unfermented, partly fermented and well fermented, by using trapezoidal-shaped and triangular-shaped functions. A total of twelve rules were propounded. Furthermore, the bisector method was chosen for the defuzzification. Begin the abstract two lines below author names and addresses.

  13. An evaluation of in vitro protein-protein interaction techniques: assessing contaminating background proteins. (United States)

    Howell, Jenika M; Winstone, Tara L; Coorssen, Jens R; Turner, Raymond J


    Determination of protein-protein interactions is an important component in assigning function and discerning the biological relevance of proteins within a broader cellular context. In vitro protein-protein interaction methodologies, including affinity chromatography, coimmunoprecipitation, and newer approaches such as protein chip arrays, hold much promise in the detection of protein interactions, particularly in well-characterized organisms with sequenced genomes. However, each of these approaches attracts certain background proteins that can thwart detection and identification of true interactors. In addition, recombinant proteins expressed in Escherichia coli are also extensively used to assess protein-protein interactions, and background proteins in these isolates can thus contaminate interaction studies. Rigorous validation of a true interaction thus requires not only that an interaction be found by alternate techniques, but more importantly that researchers be aware of and control for matrix/support dependence. Here, we evaluate these methods for proteins interacting with DmsD (an E. coli redox enzyme maturation protein chaperone), in vitro, using E. coli subcellular fractions as prey sources. We compare and contrast the various in vitro interaction methods to identify some of the background proteins and protein profiles that are inherent to each of the methods in an E. coli system.

  14. Post-Heat Treatment and Mechanical Assessment of Polyvinyl Alcohol Nanofiber Sheet Fabricated by Electrospinning Technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahir Es-saheb


    Full Text Available Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA sheets based nanofibers were produced by electrospinning technique. Postheat treatment of the produced PVA sheets with temperatures both below and above Tg to improve the mechanical properties of this material is conducted. The morphology, microstructures, and thermal degradation of the nanofibers sheets produced were investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM, transmission electron microscope (TEM, and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA. Produced nanofibers are compact, and entangled with each other, with diameters from around 150 to 210. Some mechanical characteristics of the successfully produced PVA sheets, and heat-treated, are then conducted and assessed employing uniaxial tensile tests at different speeds ranging from 1 mm/min to 100 mm/min. The tensile test results obtained show that the PVA sheets are strain rate sensitive with increasing strength as the speed (i.e., strain rate increases. The yield tensile stress ranges from 2.411 to 6.981 MPa, the ductility (i.e., elongation percent from ∼21 to 60%, and Young modulus ranges from 103 to 0.137 KPa. However, for heat-treated samples, it is found that the yield strength increases almost by ∼35–40% more than the values of untreated cases with values reaching up to about 3.627–9.63 MPa.

  15. Assessing Land Suitability for Rainwater Harvesting Using Geospatial Techniques: A Case Study of Njoro Catchment, Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. W. Maina


    Full Text Available Water demand increases as population increases leading to overexploitation of water resource. Consequently, there is need for improved water resources management complemented with rain water harvesting within the catchments. This study sought to assess land suitability for surface runoff harvesting using geospatial techniques. Land use/land cover maps of the area were derived from Landsat image. Land use and soils data were used in generating curve number map of the catchment. Lineaments greatly affect the storage depending on whether runoff is for surface storage or ground water recharge purposes. As a result, ArcGIS was used in delineating the lineaments from Digital Elevation Model (DEM of the catchment. Further, using weighted overlay the catchment was grouped into categories of restricted, not suitable, moderately suitable, suitable, or highly suitable. The study found that forest, agriculture, and built-up areas occupied about 39.42%, 36.32%, and 1.35% of catchment area, respectively. A large part of catchment was found to have curve number range of 82–89. About 50% of the catchment was found to fall within suitable and highly suitable categories. This implied that a great potential exists for rain water harvesting within the catchment.

  16. An assessment technique for children with auditory-language processing problems. (United States)

    Sanger, D D; Keith, R W; Maher, B A


    The purpose of this study was to develop a new multilayer clinical assessment technique to evaluate auditory-language processing abilities in children. Following a 90-min in-service workshop on auditory-language processing problems, 46 nonhandicapped first-, second-, and third-grade students were referred by their classroom teachers for an evaluation of auditory-language processing abilities. Twelve "normally" achieving first-, second-, and third-grade students were randomly selected as controls. Standardized and nonstandardized measures included a pure tone and impedance test, selected subtests of the Clinical Evaluation of Language Functions (Linguistic Concepts, Relationships and Ambiguities, Oral Directions, Spoken Paragraphs, Word Associations, and Model Sentences), the Goldman-Fristoe-Woodcock (GFW) Memory for Sequence Test, Sound Mimicry Test, Sound-Symbol Association Test, and the GFW Test of Auditory Discrimination. Nonstandardized measures included an Observational Profile of Classroom Communication and an informal language sample. Results indicated 87% of 46 (n = 40) children were identified as having auditory-language processing problems. In-service training was an effective means to heighten teachers' awareness for referring subjects. Additionally, the Observational Profile of Classroom Communication was an effective procedure for teachers to systematically observe and document communication behaviors in the context of the classroom.

  17. Objective assessment of surgical technique in rotation and nasal projection variation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Serrato Coelho Fagundes


    Full Text Available ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: In rhinoplasty, facial esthetic analysis is critical for proper surgical planning. Parameters such as rotation and nasal projection should be routinely evaluated. Few studies have objectively assessed changes in facial angles postoperatively. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of medial intercrural sutures and of rotation of the nasal tip on the increase of rotation and nasal projection in Caucasian patients undergoing primary rhinoplasty. METHODS: A prospective study carried out between 2011 and 2013, with 27 patients treated with primary rhinoplasty with a basic technique by the same surgeon, with medial intercrural sutures and rotation of the nasal tip. Rotation and nasal projection were measured from photographs obtained preoperatively and after 12 months. RESULTS: All 27 patients completed the study. The mean age was 27.1 years. There was a mean increase of 8.4° in the rotation - a statistically significant value. There was no significant change in the projection. CONCLUSION: The medial intercrural and nasal tip rotation sutures are effective in increasing nasal rotation in Caucasian patients undergoing rhinoplasty.

  18. PAHs in baby food: assessment of three different processing techniques for the preparation of reference materials. (United States)

    Huertas-Pérez, José Fernando; Bordajandi, Luisa R; Sejerøe-Olsen, Berit; Emteborg, Håkan; Baù, Andrea; Schimmel, Heinz; Dabrio, Marta


    A feasibility study for producing a matrix reference material for selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in baby food is reported. A commercially available baby food, containing carrots, potatoes, tomato, white beans and meat, was spiked with the so-called 15 + 1 PAHs included in the PAHs priority list for food of the EU, at a mass fraction level of 1 μg/kg. The contaminated baby food was further processed by autoclaving, freezing or freeze drying. The homogeneity of the three materials (bottle-to-bottle variation) and their short-term (4 weeks) and long-term (18 months) stability at different temperatures were assessed. To this end, an analytical method based on a solid-liquid extraction followed by cleaning up with gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and solid phase extraction (SPE) and GC-IDMS determination, was validated in-house. It could be demonstrated that the procedure fulfilled the demands for application to the homogeneity and isochronous stability studies for the candidate reference materials targeted here. All three materials proved to be sufficiently homogeneous for the intended use. Measurements on the autoclaved material provided the most promising results in terms of envisaged shelf life, although freeze drying was also found to be a suitable processing technique for most of the investigated PAHs. These results are an important step towards the development of a matrix reference material for PAHs in a processed food matrix in a presentation very similar to routine samples.

  19. Technique for Assessing Reliability of Insurance Companies Draudimo kompanijų patikimumo įvertinimo metodika

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    Irina Voronova


    Full Text Available The purpose of this study is to improve the research technique for as­sessing the reliability of non-life insurance companies’ position. In this study, the author considers problems of assessment of reliability of insurance companies’ position. The author analyses indicators enabling to make complex assessment of insurance companies’ reliability. A technique of creating an integral indicator by using different methods of determining weighting rates of ratios validity is offered. Practical example of using an integral indicator of reliability of Latvian non-life insurance companies on the basis of public information is introduced. Rating is a risk indicator for potential consumers of insurance services. The offered technique may serve as an instrument for analysis of the reserves for enhancing reliability and competitiveness of insurance companies.

    Šio tyrimo tikslas yra pagerinti ne gyvybės draudimo kompanijų pozicijos patikimumo vertinimo tyrimų metodiką. Nagrinėjamos šių kompanijų pozicijos patikimumo vertinimo problemos, analizuo­jami rodikliai, sudarantys prielaidas atlikti kompleksinį draudimo kompanijų patikimumo vertinimą. Straipsnyje si

  20. Development of a New Technique to Assess Susceptibility to Predation Resulting from Sublethal Stresses (Indirect Mortality)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cada, G.F.


    Fish that pass through a hydroelectric turbine may not be killed directly, but may nonetheless experience sublethal stresses that will increase their susceptibility to predators (indirect mortality). There is a need to develop reliable tests for indirect mortality so that the full consequences of passage through turbines (and other routes around a hydroelectric dam) can be assessed. We evaluated a new technique for assessing indirect mortality, based on a behavioral response to a startling stimulus (akin to perceiving an approaching predator). We compare this technique to the standard predator preference test. The behavioral response is a rapid movement commonly referred to as a startle response, escape response, or C-shape, based on the characteristic body position assumed by the fish. When viewed from above, a startled fish bends into a C-shape, then springs back and swims away in a direction different from its original orientation. This predator avoidance (escape) behavior can be compromised by sublethal stresses that temporarily stun or disorient the fish. We subjected striped shiners and fathead minnows to varying intensities of either turbulence (10-, 20- or 30-min) or 2-min exposures to a fish anesthetic (100 or 200 mg/L of tricaine methanesulfonate), and evaluated their subsequent behavior. Individual fish were given a startle stimulus and filmed with a high-speed video camera. Each fish was startled and filmed twice before being stressed, and then at 1-, 5-, 15-, and 30-min post-exposure. The resulting image files were analyzed for a variety of behavioral measures including: presence of a response, time to first reaction, duration of reaction, time to formation of maximum C-shape, time to completion of C-shape, and completeness of C-shape. The most immediate measure of potential changes in fish behavior was whether stressed fish exhibited a startle response. For striped shiners, the number of fish not responding to the stimulus was significantly different

  1. An assessment of swinger techniques for the playground swing oscillatory motion


    Linge, Svein


    Much attention has been devoted to how playground swing amplitudes are built up by swinger techniques, i.e. body actions. However, very little attention has been given to the requirements that such swinger techniques place on the swinger himself. The purpose of this study was to find out whether different swinger techniques yield significantly different maximum torques, endurance and coordinative skills, and also to identify preferable techniques. We modeled the seated swinger as ...

  2. Investigating the effects of teaching with Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs on the success of teacher candidates

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    Zekeriya Nartgün


    Full Text Available Classroom Assessment Techniques (CAT’s provide substantial benefits for students and instructors in the process of teaching and learning. This study investigates the contribution of these techniques on the success of teacher candidates in the context of test and item statistics in measurement and evaluation courses. The study, utilized pretest-posttests control group experimental design, showed that the success levels of the teacher candidates in the experimental group who experienced CAT’s in classroom use were higher than those of the control group who had no experience of CAT’s. Extended SummaryThe study aims to investigate the effects of teaching with Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs on the success of teacher candidates regarding the test and item statistics of measurement and assessment courses. In context with this purpose the questions below were examined:1.    Regarding the test and item statistics, is there a statistically significant  difference between pre-test and post-test means of success of the experimental  group of candidate teachers who were subjected to classes utilizing CATs and the control group of candidate teachers who did not experience CATs in the classroom?. 2.    Is there a statistically significant  difference between the post test success means related to competence in problem solving regarding the test and item statistics for the experimental  group of candidate teachers who were subjected to classes utilizing CATs and the control group of candidate teachers who did not experience CATs in the classroom?.3.    Is there a statistically significant  difference between the post test success means related to interpretation of results of different problems regarding the test and item statistics for the experimental  group of candidate teachers who were subjected to classes utilizing CATs and the control group of candidate teachers who did not experience CATs in the classroom?. CATs provide

  3. Ranking of ecotoxisity tests for underground water assessment using the Hasse diagram technique. (United States)

    Kudłak, Błażej; Tsakovski, Stefan; Simeonov, Vasil; Sagajdakow, Agnieszka; Wolska, Lidia; Namieśnik, Jacek


    The present study deals with the novel application of the Hasse diagram technique (HDT) for the specific ranking of ecotoxicity tests capable of assessment of underground water quality. The area studied is a multi-municipal landfill in the northern Poland. The monitoring network of the landfill constitutes of 27 piezometers for underground water monitoring and two observation points at surface water courses. After sampling, chemical analysis of various water parameters was performed (pH, conductivity, temperature, turbidity (TURB), color, taste, smell and atmospheric conditions: temperature, precipitation and cloud cover, heavy metals content (Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, Cr(6+), Hg), total organic carbon (TOC), sum of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Na, Mg, K, Ca, Mn, Fe, Ni, alkalinity (Alkal), general hardness, total suspended matter (SUSP), Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), chlorides, fluorides, sulphides, sulphates, ammonium nitrogen, total nitrogen, nitrate and nitrite nitrogen, volatile phenols, ether extracts (ETHER), dry residues (DRY_RES), dissolved compounds). Parallel to the chemical parameters assessment six different ecotoxicity tests were applied (% root length(PG)/germination(PR) inhibition of Sorghum saccharatum (respectively PGSS/PRSS), Sinapis alba (respectively PGSA/PRSA), Lepidium sativum (respectively PGLS/PRLS), % bioluminescence inhibition of Vibrio fischeri (MT), % mortality of Daphnia magna (DM), % mortality of Thamnocephalus platyrus (TN)). In order to determine the applicability of the various ecotoxicity tests, a ranking of samples from different monitoring levels according to the test used (attributes) is done by using HDT. Further, the sensitivity of the biotests was determined and compared. From the sensitivity analysis of the both monitoring levels was evident that the choice of ecotoxicity tests could be optimized by the use of HDT strategy. Most reliable results could be expected by the application of root

  4. Peach maturity/quality assessment using hyperspectral imaging-based spatially resolved technique (United States)

    Cen, Haiyan; Lu, Renfu; Mendoza, Fernando A.; Ariana, Diwan P.


    The objective of this research was to measure the absorption (μa) and reduced scattering coefficients (μs') of peaches, using a hyperspectral imaging-based spatially-resolved method, for their maturity/quality assessment. A newly developed optical property measuring instrument was used for acquiring hyperspectral reflectance images of 500 'Redstar' peaches. μa and μs' spectra for 515-1,000 nm were extracted from the spatially-resolved reflectance profiles using a diffusion model coupled with an inverse algorithm. The absorption spectra of peach fruit presented several absorption peaks around 525 nm for anthocyanin, 620 nm for chlorophyll-b, 675 nm for chlorophyll-a, and 970 nm for water, while μs' decreased consistently with the increase of wavelength for most of the tested samples. Both μa and μs' were correlated with peach firmness, soluble solids content (SSC), and skin and flesh color parameters. Better prediction results for partial least squares models were obtained using the combined values of μa and μs' (i.e., μa × μs' and μeff) than using μa or μs', where μeff = [3 μa (μa + μs')]1/2 is the effective attenuation coefficient. The results were further improved using least squares support vector machine models with values of the best correlation coefficient for firmness, SSC, skin lightness and flesh lightness being 0.749 (standard error of prediction or SEP = 17.39 N), 0.504 (SEP = 0.92 °Brix), 0.898 (SEP = 3.45), and 0.741 (SEP = 3.27), respectively. These results compared favorably to acoustic and impact firmness measurements with the correlation coefficient of 0.639 and 0.631, respectively. Hyperspectral imaging-based spatially-resolved technique is useful for measuring the optical properties of peach fruit, and it also has good potential for assessing fruit maturity/quality attributes.

  5. Multiple MR Imaging Techniques in the Diagnosis and Assessment of Resectability in Pancreatic Carcinoma

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LONGYu; KONGXiangquan; XUHaibo; LIUDingxi; YANGFan; XIONGYin; YUQun; FENGZhenjun


    Objective: To study the value of multiple MR imaging techniques in the diagnosis of pancreatic carcinoma and the assessment of resectbility of the lesion. Methods: MR imaging was performed in 18 pa-tients with surgically and/or pathologically proven pancreatic carcinoma. GRE T1WI, TSE T2WI, GRE T1WI with fat suppression, delayed enhancement GRE T1WI, MRCP and 3D DCE MRA were used in MR scanning. Tumor involvement of the celiac trunk and its main branches, superior mesenteric artery,the portal, splenic and superior mesenteric veins were prospectively graded on a 0-4 scale based on cir-cumferential contiguity of tumor to vessel. Results: On GRE T1WI and TSE T2WI all the lesions showed slightly hypointense and hyperintense, respectively; On GRE T1WI with fat suppression, all the tumors obviously appeared hypointense; On delayed enhancement GRE T1WI, the lesions displayed irregularly circular enhancement in 14 patients and well-distributed enhancement in 4 patients. MRCP showed exten-sive bile and main pancreatic duct dilatation with typical "double-duct" sign in 8 patients. On 3D DCE MRA, we thought it was unresectable with more than half circumferential involvement of tumor to vessel,so that the portal, splenic and superior mesenteric veins were involved with 56% (10/18), 39% (7/18)and 67% (12/18), respectively. The celiac trunk and its main branches and superior mesenteric arteries were involved with 22% (4/18) and 17% (3/18), respectively. The pancreatic lesions in 2 cases could be completely resected in the evaluation of MR imaging, which was fitted to the findings of operation by pan-creatoduodenectomy. The pancreatic lesions in other 2 cases were partly, resected because there was tumor extension to superior mesenteric vein and/or artery. The tumors in the remaining 14 patients were too large and involved peripancreatic vessels or there were stomach or liver metastases, so these patients were only treated by choledochojejunostomy and gastrojejunstomy. Conclusion

  6. Measuring children's diets: evaluation of dietary assessment techniques in infancy and childhood. (United States)

    Persson, L A; Carlgren, G


    Epidemiological studies of dietary habits in infancy and childhood face a number of difficulties, which are more or less specific for these ages. In connection with studies on dietary habits of Swedish infants and children an evaluation of different dietary assessment techniques was performed. Breastfeeding data obtained in retrospective interviews at six months had good validity. The reliability of breastfeeding and weaning data decreased over time. Short questions on food frequencies, often used in research and clinical practice, were shown to be a poor screening instrument and suffered from biases when used in groups of four- and eight-year-old children. Group mean estimations of dietary intake of four- and eight-year-old children obtained by 24-hour recalls were close to those of seven-day records from the same individuals. Dietary intake in a 13-year-old group according to 24-hour recall and dietary history differed significantly; the dietary history gave much higher estimations. The reliability of dietary history in a small group of 13-year-old boarding school children was fairly good. The internal validity of food recording was examined by use of chemical analysis of duplicate portions. Generally, there was good agreement between the records and the analysed duplicates. The intake of a number of nutrients varied during the week, often showing a maximum towards the weekend. The intake of vitamin C was higher in winter time, otherwise no seasonal variation was found. The intra-individual variation in dietary intake is illustrated and its consequences for dietary studies are discussed.

  7. Condition assessment of concrete pavements using both ground penetrating radar and stress-wave based techniques (United States)

    Li, Mengxing; Anderson, Neil; Sneed, Lesley; Torgashov, Evgeniy


    Two stress-wave based techniques, ultrasonic surface wave (USW) and impact echo (IE), as well as ground penetrating radar (GPR) were used to assess the condition of a segment of concrete pavement that includes a layer of concrete, a granular base and their interface. Core specimens retrieved at multiple locations were used to confirm the accuracy and reliability of each non-destructive testing (NDT) result. Results from this study demonstrate that the GPR method is accurate for estimating the pavement thickness and locating separations (air voids) between the concrete and granular base layers. The USW method is a rapid way to estimate the in-situ elastic modulus (dynamic elastic modulus) of the concrete, however, the existence of air voids at the interface could potentially affect the accuracy and reliability of the USW test results. The estimation of the dynamic modulus and the P-wave velocity of concrete was improved when a shorter wavelength range (3 in. to 8.5 in.) corresponding to the concrete layer thickness was applied instead of the full wavelength rage (3 in. to 11 in.) based on the standard spacing of the receiver transducers. The IE method is proved to be fairly accurate in estimating the thickness of concrete pavements. However, the flexural mode vibration could affect the accuracy and reliability of the test results. Furthermore, the existence of air voids between the concrete and granular base layers could affect the estimation of the compression wave velocity of concrete when the full wavelength range was applied (3 in. to 11 in.). Future work is needed in order to improve the accuracy and reliability of both USW and IE test results.

  8. A simple and inexpensive technique for assessing microbial contamination during drilling operations (United States)

    Friese, André; Vuillemin, Aurèle; Kallmeyer, Jens; Wagner, Dirk


    , the core was cut and the liner fluid collected. From each whole round core (WRC) that was taken for microbiological and biogeochemical analyses, small samples of 1 cc were retrieved with sterile cutoff syringes from the rim, the center and an intermediate position. After dilution and homogenization in 9 mL MilliQ water, 10 μL of the sediment slurry was transferred onto a filter membrane and particles counted via fluorescence microscopy. Additionally, particles in the liner fluid were also quantified. This allows the quantification of the amount of drilling fluid that has entered the sediment sample during drilling. The minimum detectable volume of drilling fluid was in the order of single nanoliters per cc of sediment, which is in the range of established techniques. The presented method requires only a minimum of equipment and allows rapid determination of contamination in the sediment core and an easy to handle on-site analysis at low costs. The sensitivity is in the same range as perfluorocarbon and microsphere tracer applications. Thus, it offers an inexpensive but powerful technique for contamination assessment for future drilling campaigns.

  9. Deformation analysis through the SBAS-DInSAR technique and geotechnical methods for structural damage assessment (United States)

    Bonano, M.; Arangio, S.; Calò, F.; Di Mauro, M.; Manunta, M.; Marsella, M.; Sansosti, E.; Sonnessa, A.; Tagliafierro, V.; Lanari, R.


    Monitoring of displacements affecting single buildings or human-made infrastructures is of key importance for their diagnostic and damage assessment. The evaluation of the structural damage in urban areas is a critical problem related to the complexity of soil-structure interaction. Indeed, the structural damage is influenced by several factors, such as the uniformity of the settlements, the variability on the soil property, the type of foundations, the rigidity and type of the considered structure, as well as the rate at which the settlements occur. Concerning this latter issue, settlements occurring very slowly over periods of decades or more may be tolerable by masonry or reinforced concrete structures; on the other hand, the same settlements related to a few months or a few years would result in severe structural damage. In this context, remote sensing techniques allow non-invasive and non-destructive deformation analyses over large areas by properly exploiting a large number of space-borne radar data. Within this framework, Differential SAR Interferometry (DInSAR) has emerged as a valuable microwave methodology to detect and monitor ground displacements, with centimeter to millimeter accuracy, by exploiting the phase difference (interferogram) between two SAR images relevant to the same area. Recent developments of advanced DInSAR techniques are aimed at investigating not only single event deformation phenomena, but also the temporal evolution of the detected displacements through the generation of deformation time-series. These approaches benefit of the availability of huge archives of SAR data, including the ones acquired over the last 20 years by the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensors on-board the ERS-1/2 and ENVISAT satellites of the European Space Agency (ESA). Among these advanced DInSAR approaches, we focus on the Small BAseline Subset (SBAS) algorithm (Berardino et al., 2002) that implements an easy combination of DInSAR data pairs characterized by

  10. Phase-ratio technique as applied to the assessment of lunar surface roughness (United States)

    Kaydash, Vadym; Videen, Gorden; Shkuratov, Yuriy

    crater wall terraces and floors. With phase-ratio imagery we suggested that in many cases the flows seen on the inner walls of the lunar craters can be regolith/debris taluses, and not impact melt flows [3,9]. Thus phase-ratio imagery allows for the identification of both natural surface structure anomalies and artificially altered regolith. We recommend the use of the phase-ratio technique to discriminate between the composition and structure factors only with lunar images acquired in a wide range of phase angles. Phase-ratio imaging of dark halos and rays seen near young natural and anthropogenic craters suggests that these features result from higher surface roughness [10]. Finally we conclude that phase-ratio imagery of the Moon is a very useful photometric tool, as it suggests an assessment of surface roughness. This tool can be used for identification of lunar areas with very recent alterations in their surface structure. This new approach also can be applied to any planetary surface, for which suitable photometric data are available. References: [1] Hapke B. Theory of reflectance and emittance spectroscopy. Cambridge Univ. Press; 1993, 450 p. [2] Shkuratov Y. et al. Planet. Space Sci. 2011; 59, 1326-71. [3] Kaydash V. et al. J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Trans. 2012, 113, 2601-2607. [4] Shkuratov Y. et al. Icarus, 2010, 208, 20-30. [5] Kaydash V. et al. Icarus, 2011, 211, 89-96. [6] Kaydash V., Shkuratov Y. Solar Syst. Res., 2012, 46, 108-118. [7] Shkuratov Y. et al. Planet. Space Sci., 2013, 75, 28-36. [8] Kaydash V. et al. Planet. Space Sci., 2013, 89, 172-182. [9] Shkuratov Y. et al. Icarus, 2012, 218, 525-533. [10] Kaydash V. et al. Icarus, 2014, 231, 22-33.

  11. Dietary Assessment on a Mobile Phone Using Image Processing and Pattern Recognition Techniques: Algorithm Design and System Prototyping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasmine Probst


    Full Text Available Dietary assessment, while traditionally based on pen-and-paper, is rapidly moving towards automatic approaches. This study describes an Australian automatic food record method and its prototype for dietary assessment via the use of a mobile phone and techniques of image processing and pattern recognition. Common visual features including scale invariant feature transformation (SIFT, local binary patterns (LBP, and colour are used for describing food images. The popular bag-of-words (BoW model is employed for recognizing the images taken by a mobile phone for dietary assessment. Technical details are provided together with discussions on the issues and future work.

  12. Dietary Assessment on a Mobile Phone Using Image Processing and Pattern Recognition Techniques: Algorithm Design and System Prototyping. (United States)

    Probst, Yasmine; Nguyen, Duc Thanh; Tran, Minh Khoi; Li, Wanqing


    Dietary assessment, while traditionally based on pen-and-paper, is rapidly moving towards automatic approaches. This study describes an Australian automatic food record method and its prototype for dietary assessment via the use of a mobile phone and techniques of image processing and pattern recognition. Common visual features including scale invariant feature transformation (SIFT), local binary patterns (LBP), and colour are used for describing food images. The popular bag-of-words (BoW) model is employed for recognizing the images taken by a mobile phone for dietary assessment. Technical details are provided together with discussions on the issues and future work.

  13. Aggregate stratification assessment of soil bacterial communities and organic matter composition: Coupling pyrosequencing and mid-infrared spectroscopy techniques (United States)

    This study integrated physical, chemical, and molecular techniques to assess relationships between soil bacterial communities and the quantity and quality of soil organic carbon (SOC) at the soil microenvironment scale (e.g., within different aggregate size-fractions). To accomplish this goal soil ...

  14. Use of Portfolio Assessment Technique in Teaching Map Sketching and Location in Secondary School Geography in Jos, Nigeria (United States)

    Ugodulunwa, Christiana; Wakjissa, Sayita


    This study investigated the use of portfolio assessment technique in teaching map sketching and location in geography in Jos, Nigeria. It adopted a quasi-experimental design. Two schools were selected using a table of random numbers from a population of 51 schools in Jos South and assigned to each of experimental and control group. The…


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gorpinchenko K. N.


    Full Text Available We have presented a technique of evaluation of in-vestment appeal of innovative projects in grain pro-duction in a way of innovative development of the meso-level, on the basis of the calculation of the inte-gral and the reference levels, and the assessment of innovation and investment projects, using a multicrite-rion approach

  16. Quantitative assessment of scatter correction techniques incorporated in next generation dual-source computed tomography (United States)

    Mobberley, Sean David

    Accurate, cross-scanner assessment of in-vivo air density used to quantitatively assess amount and distribution of emphysema in COPD subjects has remained elusive. Hounsfield units (HU) within tracheal air can be considerably more positive than -1000 HU. With the advent of new dual-source scanners which employ dedicated scatter correction techniques, it is of interest to evaluate how the quantitative measures of lung density compare between dual-source and single-source scan modes. This study has sought to characterize in-vivo and phantom-based air metrics using dual-energy computed tomography technology where the nature of the technology has required adjustments to scatter correction. Anesthetized ovine (N=6), swine (N=13: more human-like rib cage shape), lung phantom and a thoracic phantom were studied using a dual-source MDCT scanner (Siemens Definition Flash. Multiple dual-source dual-energy (DSDE) and single-source (SS) scans taken at different energy levels and scan settings were acquired for direct quantitative comparison. Density histograms were evaluated for the lung, tracheal, water and blood segments. Image data were obtained at 80, 100, 120, and 140 kVp in the SS mode (B35f kernel) and at 80, 100, 140, and 140-Sn (tin filtered) kVp in the DSDE mode (B35f and D30f kernels), in addition to variations in dose, rotation time, and pitch. To minimize the effect of cross-scatter, the phantom scans in the DSDE mode was obtained by reducing the tube current of one of the tubes to its minimum (near zero) value. When using image data obtained in the DSDE mode, the median HU values in the tracheal regions of all animals and the phantom were consistently closer to -1000 HU regardless of reconstruction kernel (chapters 3 and 4). Similarly, HU values of water and blood were consistently closer to their nominal values of 0 HU and 55 HU respectively. When using image data obtained in the SS mode the air CT numbers demonstrated a consistent positive shift of up to 35 HU

  17. Adapting developing country epidemiological assessment techniques to improve the quality of health needs assessments in developed countries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Handy Deirdre


    Full Text Available Abstract Background We were commissioned to carry out three health assessments in urban areas of Dublin in Ireland. We required an epidemiologically robust method that could collect data rapidly and inexpensively. We were dealing with inadequate health information systems, weak planning data and a history of inadequate recipient involvement in health service planning. These problems had also been identified by researchers carrying out health assessments in developing countries. This paper reports our experience of adapting a cluster survey model originally developed by international organisations to assess community health needs and service coverage in developing countries and applying our adapted model to three urban areas in Dublin, Ireland Methods We adapted the model to control for socio-economic heterogeneity, to take account of the inadequate population list, to ensure a representative sample and to account for a higher prevalence of degenerative and chronic diseases. We employed formal as well as informal communication methods and adjusted data collection times to maximise participation. Results The model we adapted had the capacity to ascertain both health needs and health care delivery needs. The community participated throughout the process and members were trained and employed as data collectors. The assessments have been used by local health boards and non-governmental agencies to plan and deliver better or additional services. Conclusion We were able to carry out high quality health needs assessments in urban areas by adapting and applying a developing country health assessment method. Issues arose relating to health needs assessment as part of the planning cycle and the role of participants in the process.

  18. Environmental Assessment of Zanjan city from the perspective of sustainable development based on SWOT technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Rabieifar


    Full Text Available Extended abstract1-IntroductionEnvironmental problems are one of the most fundamental problems in modern city and the result of conflict and confrontation with the natural environment. Recently, cities are confronted with numerous environmental problems and the incidence of environmental pollution, resource degradation and loss of natural spaces. Zanjan as one of the most important cities in the North West has many environmental issues such as incomplete sewage disposal system, physical development of the City and the degradation and loss of agricultural lands and gardens and etc. The dominant approaches in current attempt are qualitative and quantitative and the type of research is applied. The research methodology is descriptive analysis. In this article, the environmental structure of Zanjan is evaluated and analyzed using the SWOT technique in four stages. And in the end to resolve the existing problems, strategies are prioritized and suggested based on QSPM matrix.2- Theoretical basesTheory of sustainable urban development is the result of discussions of environmental advocates regarding environmental issues especially the urban environment which were presented following the concept of sustainable development to protect environmental resources.- General environmental considerations in planning for sustainable urban development are as following:- Linear flow of material (data input to the urban system should be as close as possible to a cyclic process (recycling materials. - Serious and careful study and assessment of environmental impact of urban development plans. - Defining thresholds and ecological capacity of the environment.- Reduction of air pollution, noise, solid waste and wastewater. Maintaining healthy urban environment3– DiscussionAnalysis and evaluation of environmental features of Zanjan have been carried out based on the quality and quantity of their techniques using SWOT strategic planning in the context of internal

  19. An assessment of swinger techniques for the playground swing oscillatory motion. (United States)

    Linge, Svein O


    Much attention has been devoted to how playground swing amplitudes are built up by swinger techniques, i.e. body actions. However, very little attention has been given to the requirements that such swinger techniques place on the swinger himself. The purpose of this study was to find out whether different swinger techniques yield significantly different maximum torques, endurance and coordinative skills, and also to identify preferable techniques. We modelled the seated swinger as a rigid dumbbell and compared three different techniques. A series of computer simulations were run with each technique, testing the performance with different body rotational speeds, delayed onset of body rotation and different body mass distributions, as swing amplitudes were brought up towards 90°. One technique was found to be extremely sensitive to the timing of body actions, limiting swing amplitudes to 50° and 8° when body action was delayed by 0.03 and 0.3 s, respectively. Two other more robust techniques reached 90° even with the largest of these delays, although more time (and endurance) was needed. However, these two methods also differed with respect to maximum torque and endurance, and none was preferable in both these aspects, being dependent on the swinger goals and abilities.

  20. Accuracy assessment of GPS and surveying technique in forest road mapping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ehsan Abdi


    Full Text Available Forest road networks provide access to the forest as a source of timber production and tourism services. Moreover, it is considered the main tool to protect forests from fire and smuggling. The prerequisite of road management and maintenance planning is to have spatial distribution and map of the roads. But newly constructed or some other forest road segments are not available in national maps. Therefore, mapping these networks is raised as a priority for a forest manager. The aim of this study was to assess accuracy of routine methods in road mapping. For this purpose, Patom district forest road was selected and road network map was extracted from the National Cartographic Center maps as the ground truth or base map. The map of the network was acquired using two methods, a GPS receiver and survey technique. Selecting 70 sample points on the network and considering the National Cartographic Center map as base map, accuracy was determined for two methods. The results showed that while the survey method was more accurate at the beginning of the path (first 500 meters, accumulation of errors resulted in higher rates of error in this method (up to 263 meters compared to GPS. Mann-Whitney test revealed significant differences in accuracy of two methods and mean accuracies were 38.86 and 147.90 for GPS and surveying respectively. The results showed that for samples 1-15 there was no significant difference between the survey and GPS data but for samples 28-42 and 56-70 statistically significant difference were existed between the survey and GPS data. Regression analysis showed that the relation between GPS and surveying accuracies and distance were best defined by cubic (R2 adj = 0.65 and linear (R2 adj = 0.83 regression models respectively. Applying 10 and 5 meters buffers around base map, 68 and 41% of GPS and 44 and 21% of surveying derived road were overlapped with buffer zones. The time required to complete the survey was found to increase the

  1. Assessment of Haar Wavelet-Quasilinearization Technique in Heat Convection-Radiation Equations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Umer Saeed


    Full Text Available We showed that solutions by the Haar wavelet-quasilinearization technique for the two problems, namely, (i temperature distribution equation in lumped system of combined convection-radiation in a slab made of materials with variable thermal conductivity and (ii cooling of a lumped system by combined convection and radiation are strongly reliable and also more accurate than the other numerical methods and are in good agreement with exact solution. According to the Haar wavelet-quasilinearization technique, we convert the nonlinear heat transfer equation to linear discretized equation with the help of quasilinearization technique and apply the Haar wavelet method at each iteration of quasilinearization technique to get the solution. The main aim of present work is to show the reliability of the Haar wavelet-quasilinearization technique for heat transfer equations.

  2. Advanced imaging techniques for assessment of structure, composition and function in biofilm systems. (United States)

    Neu, Thomas R; Manz, Bertram; Volke, Frank; Dynes, James J; Hitchcock, Adam P; Lawrence, John R


    Scientific imaging represents an important and accepted research tool for the analysis and understanding of complex natural systems. Apart from traditional microscopic techniques such as light and electron microscopy, new advanced techniques have been established including laser scanning microscopy (LSM), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM). These new techniques allow in situ analysis of the structure, composition, processes and dynamics of microbial communities. The three techniques open up quantitative analytical imaging possibilities that were, until a few years ago, impossible. The microscopic techniques represent powerful tools for examination of mixed environmental microbial communities usually encountered in the form of aggregates and films. As a consequence, LSM, MRI and STXM are being used in order to study complex microbial biofilm systems. This mini review provides a short outline of the more recent applications with the intention to stimulate new research and imaging approaches in microbiology.

  3. Different injection techniques in the assessment of central haemodynamics in patients with cirrhosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Tine N; Mortensen, Christian; Henriksen, Jens H;


    was significantly shorter, and CO and CBV were significantly lower when determined by the alternative catheter deposit injection technique compared to determination by the traditional syringe deposit injection technique. The mean difference (bias) between CCT measured with the two methods was 0.38 s with limits...... of the present study was to compare an alternative injection technique by injecting technetium-labelled human serum albumin ((99m)Tc-HSA) from a deposit within the catheter lumen with the conventional injection technique by injecting iodine-labelled human serum albumin ((125)I-HSA) directly from a syringe...... of agreement ranging from - 0.83 s to 1.59 s. Conclusion. This study demonstrates that different injection techniques result in a minor but significant difference of the measured haemodynamics. When highly accurate measurements of the central haemodynamics are needed, we recommend using the alternative...

  4. Investigating the effects of teaching with Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs on the success of teacher candidates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zekeriya Nartgün


    Full Text Available The study aims to investigate the effects of teaching with Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs on the success of teacher candidates regarding the test and item statistics of measurement and assessment courses. In context with this purpose the questions below were examined:1.Regarding the test and item statistics, is there a statistically significant difference between pre-test and post-test means of success of the experimental group of candidate teachers who were subjected to classes utilizing CATs and the control group of candidate teachers who did not experience CATs in the classroom?. 2.Is there a statistically significant difference between the post test success means related to competence in problem solving regarding the test and item statistics for the experimental group of candidate teachers who were subjected to classes utilizing CATs and the control group of candidate teachers who did not experience CATs in the classroom?.3.Is there a statistically significant difference between the post test success means related to interpretation of results of different problems regarding the test and item statistics for the experimental group of candidate teachers who were subjected to classes utilizing CATs and the control group of candidate teachers who did not experience CATs in the classroom?. CATs provide various important benefits in the teaching-learning process for both teachers and students. Some of these benefits are providing the competence to plan changes and make decisions that can develop the teachers and the students; achieving student participation in classes to motivate them for learning (Harwood, 1998; providing the students with useful feedback related to their learning (Soetaert, 1998; Steadman 1998 and ensuring that students express themselves more easily (Cuttic, 1999.This study is considered important in identifying the contribution of CATs to the success of learning and in teaching specific subjects that are regarded

  5. Knee kinematics and kinetics during shuttle run cutting: comparison of the assessments performed with and without the point cluster technique. (United States)

    Ishii, Hideyuki; Nagano, Yasuharu; Ida, Hirofumi; Fukubayashi, Toru; Maruyama, Takeo


    The differences between the assessments performed with and without the point cluster technique (PCT) for knee joint motions during the high-risk movements associated with non-contact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries have not been reported. This study aims to examine the differences between PCT and non-PCT assessments for knee joint angles and moments during shuttle run cutting. Fourteen high school athletes performed a maximal effort shuttle run cutting task. Motion data were collected by an 8-camera motion analysis system at 200 Hz, and ground reaction force data were recorded using a force plate at 1000 Hz. In both PCT and non-PCT approaches, the knee joint angles were calculated using Euler angle rotations, and the knee joint moments were obtained by solving the Newton-Euler equations using an inverse dynamics technique. For the extension/flexion angle, good agreement was measured between PCT and non-PCT assessments. The abduction angle obtained in the non-PCT assessment was smaller than that obtained with the PCT. An internal rotation angle was obtained in the PCT assessment, whereas a small external rotation angle was obtained in the non-PCT assessment. For the knee joint moments, good agreement between PCT and non-PCT assessments was observed for all the components. The differences in the knee joint angles were attributed in part to the differences in the position of the medial femoral epicondyle. The results suggest that the ACL injury risk during shuttle run cutting is estimated lower in the non-PCT assessment than in the PCT assessment.

  6. The Clinical Utility of Two Reinforcement Preference Assessment Techniques: A Comparison of Duration of Assessment and Identification of Functional Reinforcers (United States)

    Lanner, Traci; Nichols, Brandon; Field, Sean; Hanson, Jennifer; Zane, Thomas


    In order to maximize the learning of skills, it is crucial that the most powerful reinforcement be used. Research describes several different methods of reinforcement preference assessments, including forced choice, free-operant, and multiple stimulus array procedures. Researchers have also tested many variables to determine their potential impact…

  7. A comparative assessment of efficient uncertainty analysis techniques for environmental fate and transport models: application to the FACT model (United States)

    Balakrishnan, Suhrid; Roy, Amit; Ierapetritou, Marianthi G.; Flach, Gregory P.; Georgopoulos, Panos G.


    This work presents a comparative assessment of efficient uncertainty modeling techniques, including Stochastic Response Surface Method (SRSM) and High Dimensional Model Representation (HDMR). This assessment considers improvement achieved with respect to conventional techniques of modeling uncertainty (Monte Carlo). Given that traditional methods for characterizing uncertainty are very computationally demanding, when they are applied in conjunction with complex environmental fate and transport models, this study aims to assess how accurately these efficient (and hence viable) techniques for uncertainty propagation can capture complex model output uncertainty. As a part of this effort, the efficacy of HDMR, which has primarily been used in the past as a model reduction tool, is also demonstrated for uncertainty analysis. The application chosen to highlight the accuracy of these new techniques is the steady state analysis of the groundwater flow in the Savannah River Site General Separations Area (GSA) using the subsurface Flow And Contaminant Transport (FACT) code. Uncertain inputs included three-dimensional hydraulic conductivity fields, and a two-dimensional recharge rate field. The output variables under consideration were the simulated stream baseflows and hydraulic head values. Results show that the uncertainty analysis outcomes obtained using SRSM and HDMR are practically indistinguishable from those obtained using the conventional Monte Carlo method, while requiring orders of magnitude fewer model simulations.

  8. Assessment of Liver Remnant Using ICG Clearance Intraoperatively during Vascular Exclusion: Early Experience with the ALIIVE Technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lawrence Lau


    Full Text Available Background. The most significant risk following major hepatectomy is postoperative liver insufficiency. Current preoperative assessment of the future liver remnant relies upon assumptions which may not be valid in the setting of advanced resection strategies. This paper reports the feasibility of the ALIIVE technique which assesses the liver remnant with ICG clearance intraoperatively during vascular exclusion. Methods. 10 patients undergoing planned major liver resection (hemihepatectomy or greater were recruited. Routine preoperative assessment included CT and standardized volumetry. ICG clearance was measured noninvasively using a finger spectrophotometer at various time points including following parenchymal transection during inflow and outflow occlusion before vascular division, the ALIIVE step. Results. There were one case of mortality and three cases of posthepatectomy liver failure. The patient who died had the lowest ALIIVE ICG clearance (7.1%/min versus 14.4 ± 4.9. Routine preoperative CT and standardized volumetry did not predict outcome. Discussion/Conclusion. The novel ALIIVE technique is feasible and assesses actual future liver remnant function before the point of no return during major hepatectomy. This technique may be useful as a check step to offer a margin of safety to prevent posthepatectomy liver failure and death. Further confirmatory studies are required to determine a safety cutoff level.

  9. Comparison of Risk Assessment Using HAZOP and ETBA Techniques: Case Study of a Gasoline Refinery Unit in Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shirazeh Arghami


    Full Text Available Background: Prevention of accidents—a crucial requirement in oil industries—involves hazard recognition, risk assessment, and corrective actions. The purpose of this study was to compare the ETBA and HAZOP techniques for risk assessment in a gasoline refinery unit. Methods: In this case study, data were collected using process flow diagram, walking–talking through method, piping and instrumentation diagram, and direct observations. Worksheets for both techniques were filled on the basis of the risk assessment matrix MIL-STD-882E. Results: The HAZOP method identified 44 deviations attributable to 118 causes. In addition, 11.37% of the identified hazards were associated with unacceptable risk, and 36.36%, with unfavorable risk. The ETBA method detected 10 groups of energy (24 subgroups; 33 hazards were detected, 10.62% of which were associated with unacceptable risk. Conclusion: HAZOP proved to be the more powerful technique for the prediction and identification of hazards. However, ETBA detected certain hazards that were not identifiable using HAZOP. Therefore, a combination of these two methods is desirable for the assessment of hazard risk in process industries.

  10. Foliar symptoms recovery: developing scoring technique for assessment of soybean resistance to CPMMV (Cowpea Mild Mottle Virus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siti Zubaidah


    Full Text Available Soybean is a commodity that has an important role as the source of protein, but its production is affected by various factors including disease. CpMMV (Cowpea mild mottle virus is one of the most damaging viruses that cause soybean disease. CpMMVs belong to the group of Carlavirus that are transmitted by whitefly (Bemisia tabaci. The use of CpMMV resistant plants as biological control can prevent viral diseases. Indonesia has many soybean germplasm from many regions and introduction from other countries that need to be evaluated for CpMMV. The assessment technique for soybean resistance to CpMMV is not available yet, but it is still based on other virus diseases. The specific assessment of plant resistance is important because some diseases can cause certain symptoms, depends on the resistance and the kinds of plants that are infected. This paper presents the assessment technique for soybean resistance to CpMMV infection, which can be used for various purposes and studies. One of the benefits is to find out soybean resistance to CpMMV or other objectives. This resistance assessment is not only based on leaves symptoms, but also based on the phenomenon of foliar symptoms recovery. Keywords: CpMMV, foliar symptoms recovery, scoring technique, soybean resistance.

  11. Neuroendoscopic assessment of choroid plexus coagulation to release ventricular catheter: note on the seldinger technique. (United States)

    Nishikuni, Koshiro; Freitas, Luiz R M; Oliveira, Matheus F; Leme, Ricardo J A


    Shunting is fundamental in neurosurgical practice and a large number of patients experience shunt dysfunction throughout life. The Seldinger technique seems to be a valuable tool in the management of dysfunctions and consists of coagulating the choroid plexus before shunt removal. We report the unique case of a neuroendoscopic view of choroid plexus coagulation by the Seldinger technique in a 7-year-old child with shunt dysfunction submitted to endoscopic third ventriculostomy and previous shunt removal. We reinforce the security and efficacy of the Seldinger technique with a direct neuroendoscopic view of the coagulation process.

  12. Assessment of the effectiveness of two heat removal techniques for permafrost protection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Anders Stuhr; Doré, Guy; Voyer, Érika;


    Two mitigation techniques, an air convection embankment and an embankment of a granular material with an integrated heat drain, have been tested for the implementation in the shoulders of road and airfield embankments in permafrost regions. Both techniques will allow cold air to penetrate...... that the effectiveness of the air convection embankment technique can be increased during winter conditions by ventilating the top and the bottom of the embankment shoulders. Installation of air intakes along the shoulders will facilitate air flow info the system during winter and will trap the cold air in the bottom...

  13. Low-dose phase-based X-ray imaging techniques for in situ soft tissue engineering assessments. (United States)

    Izadifar, Zohreh; Honaramooz, Ali; Wiebe, Sheldon; Belev, George; Chen, Xiongbiao; Chapman, Dean


    In tissue engineering, non-invasive imaging of biomaterial scaffolds and tissues in living systems is essential to longitudinal animal studies for assessments without interrupting the repair process. Conventional X-ray imaging is inadequate for use in soft tissue engineering due to the limited absorption difference between the soft tissue and biomaterial scaffolds. X-ray phase-based imaging techniques that derive contrast from refraction or phase effects rather than absorption can provide the necessary contrast to see low-density biomaterial scaffolds and tissues in large living systems. This paper explores and compares three synchrotron phase-based X-ray imaging techniques-computed tomography (CT)-diffraction enhanced imaging (DEI), -analyzer based imaging (ABI), and -phase contrast imaging (PCI)-for visualization and characterization of low-density biomaterial scaffolds and tissues in situ for non-invasive soft tissue engineering assessments. Intact pig joints implanted with polycaprolactone scaffolds were used as the model to assess and compare the imaging techniques in terms of different qualitative and quantitative criteria. For long-term in vivo live animal imaging, different strategies for reducing the imaging radiation dose and scan time-reduced number of CT projections, region of interest, and low resolution imaging-were examined with the presented phase-based imaging techniques. The results demonstrated promising capabilities of the phase-based techniques for visualization of biomaterial scaffolds and soft tissues in situ. The low-dose imaging strategies were illustrated effective for reducing the radiation dose to levels appropriate for live animal imaging. The comparison among the imaging techniques suggested that CT-DEI has the highest efficiency in retaining image contrast at considerably low radiation doses.

  14. As escolhas públicas orçamentárias federais no PPA 2008-2011: uma análise da perspectiva do modelo principal-agente

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanni Pacelli Carvalho Lustosa da Costa


    Full Text Available O objetivo deste estudo é analisar o comportamento assumido pelo Executivo e pelo Legislativo durante a gestão do PPA 2008-2011 da perspectiva do modelo principal-agente. Por meio da aplicação dos testes de Friedman, Kendall e Spearman e tendo como objeto empírico todos os programas constantes no PPA 2008-2011, observou-se que entre 2008 e 2011: as etapas de Elaboração e de Execução Orçamentária e Financeira da Lei Orçamentária Anual, cujo ator principal é o Poder Executivo, apresentaram concordância muito forte; enquanto a etapa de Discussão, Votação e Aprovação, cujo ator principal é o Poder Legislativo, apresentou concordância moderada. Quando se considerou a interação no mesmo ciclo entre todas as etapas, a concordância foi menor. Além disso, como resultado mais expressivo do estudo, identificou-se que a relação externa (entre governo e cidadãos possui concordância maior que a relação interna (entre políticos e burocratas.

  15. Non-Destructive Assessment of Concrete Structures Reliability and Limits of Single and Combined Techniques State-of-the-Art Report of the RILEM Technical Committee 207-INR

    CERN Document Server


    This book gives information on non destructive techniques for assessment of concrete structures. It synthesizes the best of international knowledge about what techniques can be used for assessing material properties (strength) and structural properties (geometry, defects...). It describes how the techniques can be used so as to answer a series of usual questions, highlighting their capabilities and limits, and providing advices for a better use of techniques. It also focuses on possible combinations of techniques so as to improve the assessment. It is based on many illustrative examples and give in each case references to standards and guidelines.

  16. Technique to assess the alveolar bone width for immediate implant placement in fresh extraction sockets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neeraj Kumar Chandraker


    Conclusion: This technique will help the surgeon understand the thickness of labial plate especially the apical region without reflecting the flap, also aid in selection of proper dimension of dental implant, and if bone graft is needed.

  17. Mobile Formative Assessment Tool Based on Data Mining Techniques for Supporting Web-Based Learning (United States)

    Chen, Chih-Ming; Chen, Ming-Chuan


    Current trends clearly indicate that online learning has become an important learning mode. However, no effective assessment mechanism for learning performance yet exists for e-learning systems. Learning performance assessment aims to evaluate what learners learned during the learning process. Traditional summative evaluation only considers final…

  18. Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Conceptual Model for CATs in the Online Classroom (United States)

    Bergquist, Emily; Holbeck, Rick


    Formative assessments are an important part of the teaching and learning cycle. Instructors need to monitor student learning and check for understanding throughout the instructional phase of teaching to confirm that students understand the objective before embarking on the summative assessment. Typically, online classrooms are developed with…

  19. Industrial fouling: problem characterization, economic assessment, and review of prevention, mitigation, and accommodation techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garrett-Price, B.A.; Smith, S.A.; Watts, R.L.


    A comprehensive overview of heat exchanger fouling in the manufacturing industries is provided. Specifically, this overview addresses: the characteristics of industrial fouling problems; the mitigation and accommodation techniques currently used by industry; and the types and magnitude of costs associated with industrial fouling. A detailed review of the fouling problems, costs and mitigation techniques is provided for the food, textile, pulp and paper, chemical, petroleum, cement, glass and primary metals industries.



    Georgantas, A.; M. Brédif; Pierrot-Desseilligny, M.


    This paper presents a comparison of automatic photogrammetric techniques to terrestrial laser scanning for 3D modelling of complex interior spaces. We try to evaluate the automated photogrammetric techniques not only in terms of their geometric quality compared to laser scanning but also in terms of cost in money, acquisition and computational time. To this purpose we chose as test site a modern building’s stairway. APERO/MICMAC ( ©IGN )which is an Open Source photogrammetric softwar...

  1. Assessing the reliability of the modified three-component spatial autocorrelation technique


    Kohler, A.; M. Ohrnberger; Scherbaum, F.; Wathelet, M.; Cornou, Cécile


    Analysis of seismic ambient vibrations is becoming a widespread approach to estimate subsurface shear wave velocity profiles. However, the common restriction to vertical component wavefield data does not allow investigations of Love wave dispersion and the partitioning between Rayleigh and Love waves. In this study we extend the modified spatial autocorrelation technique (MSPAC) to three-component analysis (3c-MSPAC). By determination of Love wave dispersion curves, this technique provides ad...

  2. Assessment of recent advances in measurement techniques for atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane observations (United States)

    Zellweger, Christoph; Emmenegger, Lukas; Firdaus, Mohd; Hatakka, Juha; Heimann, Martin; Kozlova, Elena; Spain, T. Gerard; Steinbacher, Martin; van der Schoot, Marcel V.; Buchmann, Brigitte


    Until recently, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) measurements were made almost exclusively using nondispersive infrared (NDIR) absorption and gas chromatography with flame ionisation detection (GC/FID) techniques, respectively. Recently, commercially available instruments based on spectroscopic techniques such as cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS), off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscopy (OA-ICOS) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy have become more widely available and affordable. This resulted in a widespread use of these techniques at many measurement stations. This paper is focused on the comparison between a CRDS "travelling instrument" that has been used during performance audits within the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) programme of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) with instruments incorporating other, more traditional techniques for measuring CO2 and CH4 (NDIR and GC/FID). We demonstrate that CRDS instruments and likely other spectroscopic techniques are suitable for WMO/GAW stations and allow a smooth continuation of historic CO2 and CH4 time series. Moreover, the analysis of the audit results indicates that the spectroscopic techniques have a number of advantages over the traditional methods which will lead to the improved accuracy of atmospheric CO2 and CH4 measurements.

  3. Assessment of strain measurement techniques to characterise mechanical properties of structural steel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.B. Motra


    Full Text Available Strain measurement is important in mechanical testing. A wide variety of techniques exists for measuring strain in the tensile test; namely the strain gauge, extensometer, stress and strain determined by machine crosshead motion, Geometric Moire technique, optical strain measurement techniques and others. Each technique has its own advantages and disadvantages. The purpose of this study is to quantitatively compare the strain measurement techniques. To carry out the tensile test experiments for S 235, sixty samples were cut from the web of the I-profile in longitudinal and transverse directions in four different dimensions. The geometry of samples are analysed by 3D scanner and vernier caliper. In addition, the strain values were determined by using strain gauge, extensometer and machine crosshead motion. Three techniques of strain measurement are compared in quantitative manner based on the calculation of mechanical properties (modulus of elasticity, yield strength, tensile strength, percentage elongation at maximum force of structural steel. A statistical information was used for evaluating the results. It is seen that the extensometer and strain gauge provided reliable data, however the extensometer offers several advantages over the strain gauge and crosshead motion for testing structural steel in tension. Furthermore, estimation of measurement uncertainty is presented for the basic material parameters extracted through strain measurement.

  4. A 3D quantitative evaluation for assessing the changes of treatment planning system and irradiation techniques in radiotherapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdulhamid Chaikh


    Full Text Available Purpose: This work proposes and compares two 3D global evaluation methods for assessing the alteration of calculated dose distributions when treatment planning system algorithms or irradiation techniques is modified in radiation therapy. Methods: The global analysis is based on gamma index (γ proposed by Low et al.1 and Chi (χ index proposed by Bakai et al.2. The γ and χ values are signed in order to identify the over and under estimating dosage. The 3D maps, the cumulative Gamma Voxels Histograms (GVHs and Chi Voxels Histograms (CVHs were generated using two software. The γ and χ criteria were set to 3 mm for the distance to agreement and 3% for dose. Pearson's Chi-squared test was applied to assess the statistically significance between GVHs and CVHs. We illustrated this method for the change of dose calculation algorithms for lung cancer, and the change of irradiation techniques for breast cancer. For each patient, 2 treatment plans were generated. For the example of change of dose calculation algorithms, a plan 1 was calculated using Pencil Beam Convolution (PBC algorithm and a plan 2 was calculated using Modified Batho method (PBC-MB. For the example of change of irradiation technique, a plan 1 was calculated using Source Skin Distance SSD technique and a plan 2 was calculated using a single isocenter technique. Results: The 3D analysis based on γ and χ indexes showed a significant effect on the dosimetric representation in the lung cancer when we change the PBC algorithm to PBC-MB method. The comparison between the two irradiation techniques showed that the single isocenter technique produces a better dose distribution for the treatment of breast cancer. Pearson's Chi-squared test showed that there was no statistically significance between GVHs and CVHs generated by γ and χ indexes, (p > 0.05. The global analysis using 3D for γ and χ indexes confirmed the results obtained from dosimetric analysis. Conclusion: The methods

  5. A no-gold-standard technique for objective assessment of quantitative nuclear-medicine imaging methods. (United States)

    Jha, Abhinav K; Caffo, Brian; Frey, Eric C


    The objective optimization and evaluation of nuclear-medicine quantitative imaging methods using patient data is highly desirable but often hindered by the lack of a gold standard. Previously, a regression-without-truth (RWT) approach has been proposed for evaluating quantitative imaging methods in the absence of a gold standard, but this approach implicitly assumes that bounds on the distribution of true values are known. Several quantitative imaging methods in nuclear-medicine imaging measure parameters where these bounds are not known, such as the activity concentration in an organ or the volume of a tumor. We extended upon the RWT approach to develop a no-gold-standard (NGS) technique for objectively evaluating such quantitative nuclear-medicine imaging methods with patient data in the absence of any ground truth. Using the parameters estimated with the NGS technique, a figure of merit, the noise-to-slope ratio (NSR), can be computed, which can rank the methods on the basis of precision. An issue with NGS evaluation techniques is the requirement of a large number of patient studies. To reduce this requirement, the proposed method explored the use of multiple quantitative measurements from the same patient, such as the activity concentration values from different organs in the same patient. The proposed technique was evaluated using rigorous numerical experiments and using data from realistic simulation studies. The numerical experiments demonstrated that the NSR was estimated accurately using the proposed NGS technique when the bounds on the distribution of true values were not precisely known, thus serving as a very reliable metric for ranking the methods on the basis of precision. In the realistic simulation study, the NGS technique was used to rank reconstruction methods for quantitative single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) based on their performance on the task of estimating the mean activity concentration within a known volume of interest

  6. A no-gold-standard technique for objective assessment of quantitative nuclear-medicine imaging methods (United States)

    Jha, Abhinav K.; Caffo, Brian; Frey, Eric C.


    The objective optimization and evaluation of nuclear-medicine quantitative imaging methods using patient data is highly desirable but often hindered by the lack of a gold standard. Previously, a regression-without-truth (RWT) approach has been proposed for evaluating quantitative imaging methods in the absence of a gold standard, but this approach implicitly assumes that bounds on the distribution of true values are known. Several quantitative imaging methods in nuclear-medicine imaging measure parameters where these bounds are not known, such as the activity concentration in an organ or the volume of a tumor. We extended upon the RWT approach to develop a no-gold-standard (NGS) technique for objectively evaluating such quantitative nuclear-medicine imaging methods with patient data in the absence of any ground truth. Using the parameters estimated with the NGS technique, a figure of merit, the noise-to-slope ratio (NSR), can be computed, which can rank the methods on the basis of precision. An issue with NGS evaluation techniques is the requirement of a large number of patient studies. To reduce this requirement, the proposed method explored the use of multiple quantitative measurements from the same patient, such as the activity concentration values from different organs in the same patient. The proposed technique was evaluated using rigorous numerical experiments and using data from realistic simulation studies. The numerical experiments demonstrated that the NSR was estimated accurately using the proposed NGS technique when the bounds on the distribution of true values were not precisely known, thus serving as a very reliable metric for ranking the methods on the basis of precision. In the realistic simulation study, the NGS technique was used to rank reconstruction methods for quantitative single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) based on their performance on the task of estimating the mean activity concentration within a known volume of interest

  7. CARDIOVASCULAR RISK ASSESSMENT AND SUPPORT TECHNIQUES Whole blood viscosity assessment issues I: Extrapolation chart and reference values

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ezekiel Uba Nwose


    Full Text Available Background: There are many different methods for the assessment of whole blood viscosity, but not every pathology unit has equipment for any of the methods. However, a validated arithmetic method exists whereby whole blood viscosity can be extrapolated from haematocrit and total serum proteins. Aims: The objective of this work is to develop an algorithm in the form of a chart by which clinicians can easily extrapolate whole blood viscosity values in their consulting rooms or on the ward. Another objective is to suggest normal, subnormal and critical reference ranges applicable to this method. Materials and Methods: Whole blood viscosity at high shear stress was determined, from various possible pairs of haematocrit and total proteins. A chart was formulated so that whole blood viscosity can be extrapolated. After determination of two standard deviations from the mean and ascertainment of symmetric distribution, normal and abnormal reference ranges were defined. Results: The clinicians’ user-friendly chart is presented. Considering presumptive lower and upper limits, the continuum of ≤14.28, 14.29 – 15.00, 15.01 – 19.01, 19.02 – 19.39 and ≥19.40 (208 Sec-1 is obtained as reference ranges for critically low, subnormal low, normal, subnormal high and critically high whole blood viscosity levels respectively. Conclusion: This article advances a validated method to provide a user-friendly chart that would enable clinicians to assess whole blood viscosity for any patients who has results for full blood count and total proteins. It would make the assessment of whole blood viscosity costless and the neglect of a known cardiovascular risk factor less excusable.

  8. Assessment of β-zone peripapillary atrophy by optical coherence tomography and scanning laser ophthalmoscopy imaging in glaucoma patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seidensticker F


    Full Text Available Florian Seidensticker,1,* Lukas Reznicek,2,* Thomas Mann,2 Irene Hübert,2 Anselm Kampik,2 Michael Ulbig,2 Christoph Hirneiss,2 Aljoscha S Neubauer,2 Marcus Kernt2 1Department of Ophthalmology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany; 2Department of Ophthalmology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany  *These authors have contributed equally to this work Purpose: To assess β-zone peripapillary atrophy (β-PPA using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT, scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (SLO, and fundus autofluorescence (FAF imaging in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma with advanced glaucomatous visual field defects. Methods: A consecutive, prospective series of 82 study eyes with primary open-angle glaucoma were included in this study. All study participants underwent a full ophthalmic examination followed by SD-OCT, wide-field SLO, and FAF imaging of the optic nerve head and the peripapillary region. Results: Eighty-four glaucomatous eyes were included in our prospective study. Correlation analyses for horizontally and vertically obtained β-PPA for all three imaging modalities (color SLO, FAF, and SD-OCT revealed highest correlations between FAF and color SLO (Pearson correlation coefficient: 0.904 [P<0.001] for horizontal β-PPA and 0.786 [P<0.001] for vertical β-PPA. Bland–Altman plotting revealed highest agreements between color SLO and FAF, with −2.1 pixels ±1.96 standard deviation (SD for horizontal β-PPA, SD: 10.5 pixels and 2.4 pixels ±1.96 SD for vertical β-PPA. Conclusion: β-PPA can be assessed using en-face SLO and cross-sectional SD-OCT imaging. Correlation analyses revealed highest correlations between color SLO and FAF imaging, while correlations between SLO and SD-OCT were weak. A more precise structural definition of β-PPA is needed. Keywords: fundus autofluorescence, FAF, OCT, SD-OCT, SLO, glaucomatous optic neuropathy

  9. Assessment of airway function in young children with asthma: comparison of spirometry, interrupter technique, and tidal flow by inductance plethsmography. (United States)

    Black, J; Baxter-Jones, A D G; Gordon, J; Findlay, A L; Helms, P J


    The assessment of airway function in young children requires adaptation of techniques designed for adults and/or application of techniques that do not require complex respiratory maneuvers. We sought to assess two methods of measuring airway function: time to peak expiratory flows as a ratio of expiratory time (T(PTEF)/T(E)), derived from respiratory inductance plethysmography, and total respiratory resistance by the interrupter technique (Rint), both obtained during quiet tidal breathing. Both techniques were referenced to FEV1 and flow at 50% expired volume (FEF50) from conventional spirometry in 30 children aged 4-8 years (median age, 6.9; range, 4.5-8.5 years) with a physician diagnosis of asthma and who were able to perform FEV1 with a repeatability of at least 8%. T(PTEF)/T(E) and Rint were performed in random order followed by spirometry, in order to reduce the possible effects of pulmonary stretch on tidal breathing measures. Coefficients of variation (CV) and mean absolute change/baseline standard deviation were derived for each measurement. Baseline FEV1 did not correlate significantly with T(PTEF)/T(E) (r = 0.025), but did correlate with Rint (r = 0.737, P inductance plethysmography does not detect mild airway obstruction or modest changes in airway caliber following bronchodilator in young children with asthma. The interrupter technique may have a role in assessing baseline airway function and response to therapy in children unable to perform reliable spirometry, and/or when the investigator wishes to avoid the possible influence of forced maneuvers on airway tone.

  10. The continuous excavating technique system parameters optimization and economic assessment simulation model in open-pit mine

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO Bao-fu


    Based on the fundamental simulation theories and methods, this paper studies such questions as truck dispatching, discrete processing of belt system continuous haulage, belt system interlock, and economic assessment methods. On the basis of above studies, the paper establishes a simulation model for open-p i t mine semi-continuous production technique system. The paper applies GPSS lang u age to construct a simulation program, and the program has been successfully app lied in a certain coalmine.

  11. 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

  12. The importance of recording and playback technique for assessment of annoyance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Celik, Emine; Persson Waye, Kerstin; Møller, Henrik


    and response to sounds, several methods have been adopted both with regard to recording techniques (monophonic or binaural recordings), playback techniques (through headphones or loudspeakers) and subjective evaluation techniques. The present study was carried out to investigate if there is a difference...... in perception related to annoyance, loudness and unpleasantness between monophonic recordings played back through a loudspeaker and binaural recordings played back via headphones and to evaluate whether a possible difference depends on temporal and frequency characteristics as well as spatial characteristics...... of the sound. The experiment also investigates various psychometric methods for achieving responses from subjects, and different durations of the exposure were used. Fifty-four young students participated and three types of stimuli were used in the experiments: road traffic sound, everyday “restaurant” sounds...

  13. Assessment of annoyance, loudness and unpleasantness with different recording and playback techniques

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Celik, Emine; Persson Waye, Kerstin; Møller, Henrik


    of perception and response to sounds, several methods have been adopted both with regard to recording techniques (monophonic or binaural recordings), playback techniques (through headphones or loudspeakers) and subjective evaluation techniques. The present study was carried out to investigate...... if there is a difference in perception related to annoyance, loudness and unpleasantness between monophonic recordings played back through a loudspeaker and binaural recordings played back via headphones and to evaluate whether a possible difference depends on temporal and frequency characteristics as well as spatial...... characteristics of the sound. The experiment also investigates various psychometric methods for achieving responses from subjects, and different durations of the exposure were used. Fifty-four young students participated and three types of stimuli were used in the experiments: road traffic sound, everyday...

  14. Comparison of advanced optical imaging techniques with current otolaryngology diagnostics for improved middle ear assessment (Conference Presentation) (United States)

    Nolan, Ryan M.; Shelton, Ryan L.; Monroy, Guillermo L.; Spillman, Darold R.; Novak, Michael A.; Boppart, Stephen A.


    Otolaryngologists utilize a variety of diagnostic techniques to assess middle ear health. Tympanometry, audiometry, and otoacoustic emissions examine the mobility of the tympanic membrane (eardrum) and ossicles using ear canal pressure and auditory tone delivery and detection. Laser Doppler vibrometry provides non-contact vibrational measurement, and acoustic reflectometry is used to assess middle ear effusion using sonar. These technologies and techniques have advanced the field beyond the use of the standard otoscope, a simple tissue magnifier, yet the need for direct visualization of middle ear disease for superior detection, assessment, and management remains. In this study, we evaluated the use of portable optical coherence tomography (OCT) and pneumatic low-coherence interferometry (LCI) systems with handheld probe delivery to standard tympanometry, audiometry, otoacoustic emissions, laser Doppler vibrometry, and acoustic reflectometry. Comparison of these advanced optical imaging techniques and current diagnostics was conducted with a case study subject with a history of unilateral eardrum trauma. OCT and pneumatic LCI provide novel dynamic spatiotemporal structural data of the middle ear, such as the thickness of the eardrum and quantitative detection of underlying disease pathology, which could allow for more accurate diagnosis and more appropriate management than currently possible.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bamadio B.


    Full Text Available In this article we propose a method of determining the share or the significance (weight of indicators of Beaver and risks R in the portfolio formed by these parameters allowing us to minimize the mean square error evaluating the effectiveness of the portfolio (risk in the assessment of the financial condition of the companies investigated. The proposed method is the minimization of a quadratic form in variables satisfying lengthy conditions, i.e. the quadratic programming. This technique is implemented using four methods of optimization: analytical method, using built-in function minimization block given, the penalty function method and the gradient method. More so, this technique allows, as shown by the results of the computational experiments, the expert without routine statistical data processing to obtain additional information on the credit worthiness of the investigated enterprise and make a more informed conclusion about its financial condition, which speeds up the decision on granting a loan required by a company. Based on the techniques proposed in this paper, other techniques of assessing the creditworthiness of businesses may be constructed using the results of optimization theory based on well-established applied research methods: Method of evaluating the creditworthiness of Russia, Credit scoring method, the American method, method of Altman and others

  16. Gastrointestinal parasites of cats in Denmark assessed by necropsy and concentration McMaster technique

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Takeuchi-Storm, Nao; Mejer, H.; Al-Sabi, Mohammad Nafi Solaiman


    was the second most common gastrointestinal nematode of cats but had the highest intensity of infection. For T. cati, prevalence and worm burden were significantly higher in feral than household cats. No juvenile cats were infected with H. taeniaeformis, and age thus had a significant effect on prevalence......, Denmark. The sedimentation and counting technique (SCT) was used to isolate helminths and coproscopy was done by concentration McMaster technique (c-McMaster). Overall, 90.1% of the cats were infected and a total of 10 species were recorded by SCT: 5 nematode species: Toxocara cati (84.8%). , Ollulanus...

  17. A methodology to assess and evaluate rainwater harvesting techniques in (semi-) arid regions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Adham, Ammar; Riksen, Michel; Ouessar, Mohamed; Ritsema, Coen J.


    Arid and semi-arid regions around the world face water scarcity problems due to lack of precipitation and unpredictable rainfall patterns. For thousands of years, rainwater harvesting (RWH) techniques have been applied to cope with water scarcity. Researchers have used many different methodologie

  18. Assessment and Comparison of Electrokinetic and Electrokinetic-bioremediation Techniques for Mercury Contaminated Soil (United States)

    Azhar, A. T. S.; Nabila, A. T. A.; Nurshuhaila, M. S.; Zaidi, E.; Azim, M. A. M.; Farhana, S. M. S.


    Landfills are major sources of contamination due to the presence of harmful bacteria and heavy metals. Electrokinetic-Bioremediation (Ek-Bio) is one of the techniques that can be conducted to remediate contaminated soil. Therefore, the most prominent bacteria from landfill soil will be isolated to determine their optimal conditions for culture and growth. The degradation rate and the effectiveness of selected local bacteria were used to reduce soil contamination. Hence, this enhances microbiological activities to degrade contaminants in soil and reduce the content of heavy metals. The aim of this study is to investigate the ability of isolated bacteria (Lysinibacillus fusiformis) to remove mercury in landfill soil. 5 kg of landfill soil was mixed with deionized water to make it into slurry condition for the purpose of electrokinetic and bioremediation. This remediation technique was conducted for 7 days by using 50 V/m of electrical gradient and Lysinibacillus fusiformis bacteria was applied at the anode reservoir. The slurry landfill soil was located at the middle of the reservoir while distilled water was placed at the cathode of reservoir. After undergoing treatment for 7 days, the mercury analyzer showed that there was a significant reduction of approximately up to 78 % of mercury concentration for the landfill soil. From the results, it is proven that electrokinetic bioremediation technique is able to remove mercury within in a short period of time. Thus, a combination of Lysinibacillus fusiformis and electrokinetic technique has the potential to remove mercury from contaminated soil in Malaysia.

  19. Assessment of the impact strength of the denture base resin polymerized by various processing techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajashree Jadhav


    Full Text Available Aim : To measure the impact strength of denture base resins polymerized using short and long curing cycles by water bath, pressure cooker and microwave techniques. Materials and Methods: For impact strength testing, 60 samples were made. The sample dimensions were 60 mm × 12 mm × 3 mm, as standardized by the American Standards for Testing and Materials (ASTM. A digital caliper was used to locate the midpoint of sample. The impact strength was measured in IZOD type of impact tester using CEAST Impact tester. The pendulum struck the sample and it broke. The energy required to break the sample was measured in Joules. Data were analyzed using Student′s " t" test. Results: There was statistically significant difference in the impact strength of denture base resins polymerized by long curing cycle and short curing cycle in each technique, with the long curing processing being the best. Conclusion: The polymerization technique plays an important role in the influence of impact strength in the denture base resin. This research demonstrates that the denture base resin polymerized by microwave processing technique possessed the highest impact strength.

  20. Available techniques for objective assessment of upper airway narrowing in snoring and sleep apnea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Faber, Christian; Grymer, Luisa


    A number of techniques are available to determine the level of obstructive predominance in snoring and in the obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS): lateral cephalography, awake endoscopy, awake endoscopy with the Müller maneuver, endoscopy during sleep, endoscopy with nasal continuous...

  1. A new coordination pattern classification to assess gait kinematics when utilising a modified vector coding technique. (United States)

    Needham, Robert A; Naemi, Roozbeh; Chockalingam, Nachiappan


    A modified vector coding (VC) technique was used to quantify lumbar-pelvic coordination during gait. The outcome measure from the modified VC technique is known as the coupling angle (CA) which can be classified into one of four coordination patterns. This study introduces a new classification for this coordination pattern that expands on a current data analysis technique by introducing the terms in-phase with proximal dominancy, in-phase with distal dominancy, anti-phase with proximal dominancy and anti-phase with distal dominancy. This proposed coordination pattern classification can offer an interpretation of the CA that provides either in-phase or anti-phase coordination information, along with an understanding of the direction of segmental rotations and the segment that is the dominant mover at each point in time. Classifying the CA against the new defined coordination patterns and presenting this information in a traditional time-series format in this study has offered an insight into segmental range of motion. A new illustration is also presented which details the distribution of the CA within each of the coordination patterns and allows for the quantification of segmental dominancy. The proposed illustration technique can have important implications in demonstrating gait coordination data in an easily comprehensible fashion by clinicians and scientists alike.

  2. Teaching and Assessment of High-Velocity, Low-Amplitude Techniques for the Spine in Predoctoral Medical Education. (United States)

    Channell, Millicent King


    Although national didactic criteria have been set for predoctoral education and assessment in osteopathic manipulative treatment, there is no criterion standard for teaching methods and assessments of osteopathic manipulative treatment competence in colleges of osteopathic medicine. This issue is more pressing with the creation of the single graduate medical education accreditation system by the American Osteopathic Association and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, which introduced the creation of "osteopathic recognition" for residencies that want to incorporate osteopathic principles and practice into their programs. Residencies with osteopathic recognition may include both osteopathic and allopathic graduates. Increased standardization at the predoctoral level, however, is recommended as osteopathic principles and practice training applications are expanded. The objectives of this article are to review the standards for teaching osteopathic medical students high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) techniques for the spine; to review and discuss the methods used to assess medical students' proficiency in using HVLA; and to propose baseline standards for teaching and assessing HVLA techniques among medical students.

  3. Therapeutic efficacy of a hybrid mandibular advancement device in the management of obstructive sleep apnea assessed with acoustic reflection technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S S Agarwal


    Full Text Available Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA is one of the most common forms of sleep-disordered breathing. Various treatment modalities include behavior modification therapy, nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP, oral appliance therapy, and various surgical modalities. Oral appliances are noninvasive and recommended treatment modality for snoring, mild to moderate OSA cases and severe OSA cases when patient is not compliant to CPAP therapy and unwilling for surgery. Acoustic reflection technique (ART is a relatively new modality for three-dimensional assessment of airway caliber in various clinical situations. The accuracy and reproducibility of acoustic rhinometry and acoustic pharyngometry assessment are comparable to computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. This case report highlights the therapeutic efficacy of an innovative customized acrylic hybrid mandibular advancement device in the management of polysomnography diagnosed OSA cases, and the treatment results were assessed by ART.

  4. 关于完型填空在语言测试与评估中的研究%Review of Cloze Technique in Language Testing and Assessment

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    The cloze technique in language testing and assessment is one of the most popular testing techniques for assessing general language proficieney of EFL/ESL learners,This thesis analyses it based on comprehensive materials in terms of its underlying principles,strengths and weaknesses,reliability,validity and practicality.

  5. Cold neutron prompt gamma activation analysis, a non-destructive technique for hydrogen level assessment in zirconium alloys (United States)

    Couet, Adrien; Motta, Arthur T.; Comstock, Robert J.; Paul, Rick L.


    We propose a novel use of a non-destructive technique to quantitatively assess hydrogen concentration in zirconium alloys. The technique, called Cold Neutron Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis (CNPGAA), is based on measuring prompt gamma rays following the absorption of cold neutrons, and comparing the rate of detection of characteristic hydrogen gamma rays to that of gamma rays from matrix atoms. Because the emission is prompt, this method has to be performed in close proximity to a neutron source such as the one at the National Institute of Technology (NIST) Center for Neutron Research. Determination shown here to be simple and accurate, matching the results given by usual destructive techniques such as Vacuum Hot Extraction (VHE), with a precision of ±2 mg kg-1 (or wt ppm). Very low levels of hydrogen (as low as 5 mg kg-1 (wt ppm)) can be detected. Also, it is demonstrated that CNPGAA can be applied sequentially on an individual corrosion coupon during autoclave testing, to measure a gradually increasing hydrogen concentration. Thus, this technique can replace destructive techniques performed on "sister" samples thereby reducing experimental uncertainties.

  6. Effect of fluorinated elastomer plastic processing additive(PPA) on properties of LLDPE films%氟弹性体加工助剂对LLDPE薄膜性能的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



      要: 在线型低密度聚乙烯(LLDPE)树脂中添加一定量的氟弹性体加工助剂(PPA)进行造粒、吹膜,考察薄膜的力学性能和光学性能等.结果发现:添加少量PPA后,薄膜的光学性能得到改善,雾度由不添加PPA时的14.0% 降低至11.3%,加工能耗也有所降低,但是力学性能受到影响,薄膜的拉伸屈服强度(纵向/横向)由13.4/11.6 MPa 降至12.5/10.7 MPa,拉伸断裂强度(纵向/横向)由45.1/40.0 MPa 降至40.0/37.6 MPa,落镖冲击破损质量由75.0 g降至59.5 g.%A certain amount of polymer processing additive (PPA), fluorinated elastomer, was added into linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) resin, and then the LLDPE film was produced by pelleting and film-blown process. The mechanical properties and optical properties of the film were investigated. The results show that adding a small amount of PPA improves the film’s optical properties and decreases the energy consumption while influences its mechanical properties. The haze of the film decreases to 11.3% from 14.0% without PPA. The film has tensile strength at yield (vertical or horizontal) reduced from 13.4/11.6 MPa to 12.5/10.7 MPa, tensile strength at break(vertical or horizontal) reduced from 45.1/40.0 MPa to 40.0/37.6 MPa, and falling dart impact failure mass reduced from 75.0 g to 59.5 g.

  7. Experimental Technique and Assessment for Measuring the Convective Heat Transfer Coefficient from Natural Ice Accretions (United States)

    Masiulaniec, K. Cyril; Vanfossen, G. James, Jr.; Dewitt, Kenneth J.; Dukhan, Nihad


    A technique was developed to cast frozen ice shapes that had been grown on a metal surface. This technique was applied to a series of ice shapes that were grown in the NASA Lewis Icing Research Tunnel on flat plates. Nine flat plates, 18 inches square, were obtained from which aluminum castings were made that gave good ice shape characterizations. Test strips taken from these plates were outfitted with heat flux gages, such that when placed in a dry wind tunnel, can be used to experimentally map out the convective heat transfer coefficient in the direction of flow from the roughened surfaces. The effects on the heat transfer coefficient for both parallel and accelerating flow will be studied. The smooth plate model verification baseline data as well as one ice roughened test case are presented.

  8. Analyzing the relative efficacy of student assessment techniques using Conditional Probability

    CERN Document Server

    Mujtaba, Abid H


    Academics often attempt to analyze problems in pedagogy on the basis of anecdotes when they should be using an evidence based, data driven approach. This paper presents a relatively simple technique for analyzing the relative efficacy of different types of questions when it comes to judging the conceptual understanding of students. The technique is illustrated using a case-study in which a carefully constructed multi-part question (with binary, descriptive, and computational parts) was given to a group of students. The responses were graded and assigned a boolean value to denote success or failure. The boolean values were counted to calculate the empirical probability of success in each type of question and correlations between the different types was analyzed by calculating conditional probabilities. The analysis revealed that while success in answering the descriptive question guaranteed success in the other two types the converse was far from true. Binary and computational questions were revealed to be poo...

  9. An Accuracy Assessment of Automated Photogrammetric Techniques for 3d Modeling of Complex Interiors (United States)

    Georgantas, A.; Brédif, M.; Pierrot-Desseilligny, M.


    This paper presents a comparison of automatic photogrammetric techniques to terrestrial laser scanning for 3D modelling of complex interior spaces. We try to evaluate the automated photogrammetric techniques not only in terms of their geometric quality compared to laser scanning but also in terms of cost in money, acquisition and computational time. To this purpose we chose as test site a modern building's stairway. APERO/MICMAC ( ©IGN )which is an Open Source photogrammetric software was used for the production of the 3D photogrammetric point cloud which was compared to the one acquired by a Leica Scanstation 2 laser scanner. After performing various qualitative and quantitative controls we present the advantages and disadvantages of each 3D modelling method applied in a complex interior of a modern building.

  10. Assessment of the "long sheath" technique for percutaneous aortic balloon valvuloplasty

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Plante (Sylvain); K.J. Beatt (Kevin); M.J.B.M. van den Brand (Marcel); C. di Mario (Carlo); B. Meier (Bernard); P.W.J.C. Serruys (Patrick)


    textabstractA 100 cm-long 16.5 F valvuloplasty catheter introducer was assessed as an adjunct for percutaneous transluminal aortic valvuloplasty (PTAV) via the femoral artery in 31 patients with severe aortic stenosis. Observed improvements in peak systolic gradient (81.6 +/- 29.9 mm Hg vs. 35.5 +/-

  11. COSVAM : A technique for assessing software variability in software product families

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deelstra, S; Sinnema, M; Nijhuis, J; Bosch, J


    Evolution of variability is a key factor in the successful exploitation of commonalities in software product families. Assessment of variability can be used to determine how the variability provided by a product family should evolve. In this paper, we present COSVAM (COVAMOF Software Variability Ass

  12. Application of the Fuzzy Comprehensive Assessment Technique to Optimal Selection of Pipeline Design Alternative

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ChuFeixue; ChuYanfan; LiuXiumin


    Regarding the influencing factors in an optimal selection of pipeline design alternative as fuzzy variables with different weights, a fuzzy comprehensive assessment was applied to an optimal selection of the design alternative. Giving the Lanzhou-Chengdu pipeline as an example to explain the process, the result shows that this method is acceptable.

  13. The Effect of Portfolio Assessment Technique on Writing Performance of EFL Learners (United States)

    Tabatabaei, Omid; Assefi, Farzaneh


    Nowadays, writing has received a great degree of attention not only because it plays a significant role in transforming knowledge and learning but also in fostering creativity and when acquiring of a special language skill is seen as important, its assessment becomes important as well and writing is no exception. This study intended to investigate…

  14. Assessment of dermal exposure during airless spray painting using a quantitative visualisation technique

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brouwer, D.H.; Lansink, C.M.; Cherrie, J.W.; Hemmen, J.J. van


    The range of dermal exposure to non-volatile compounds during spray painting was studied in a semi-experimental study involving three enterprises and 12 painters. A fluorescent tracer was added to the paint and deposition of the tracer on clothing and uncovered parts of the skin was assessed using v

  15. Airflow limitation in asthmatic children assessed with a non-invasive EMG technique

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maarsingh, EJW; van Eykern, LA; de Haan, RJ; Griffioen, RW; Hoekstra, MO; van Aalderen, WMC


    The aim of the study was to investigate the association between electromyography (EMG) of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles and the forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) at different levels of histamine-induced airflow limitation, and the response to salbutamol. Moreover, we assessed the reprod

  16. Fluorescence techniques to detect and to assess viability of plant pathogenic bacteria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chitarra, L.G.


    Plant pathogenic bacteria cause major economic losses in commercial crop production worldwide every year. The current methods used to detect and to assess the viability of bacterial pathogens and to test seed lots or plants for contamination are usually based on plate assays or on serological techni

  17. A Simple Close Range Photogrammetry Technique to Assess Soil Erosion in the Field (United States)

    Evaluating the performance of a soil erosion prediction model depends on the ability to accurately measure the gain or loss of sediment in an area. Recent development in acquiring detailed surface elevation data (DEM) makes it feasible to assess soil erosion and deposition spatially. Digital photogr...

  18. Assessment of analytical techniques for predicting solid propellant exhaust plumes and plume impingement environments (United States)

    Tevepaugh, J. A.; Smith, S. D.; Penny, M. M.


    An analysis of experimental nozzle, exhaust plume, and exhaust plume impingement data is presented. The data were obtained for subscale solid propellant motors with propellant Al loadings of 2, 10 and 15% exhausting to simulated altitudes of 50,000, 100,000 and 112,000 ft. Analytical predictions were made using a fully coupled two-phase method of characteristics numerical solution and a technique for defining thermal and pressure environments experienced by bodies immersed in two-phase exhaust plumes.

  19. Tracer techniques for the assessment of material migration and surface modification of plasma-facing components

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rubel, M., E-mail: [Department of Fusion Plasma Physics, Royal Institute of Technology, 100 44 Stockholm (Sweden); Weckmann, A.; Ström, P.; Petersson, P.; Garcia-Carrasco, A. [Department of Fusion Plasma Physics, Royal Institute of Technology, 100 44 Stockholm (Sweden); Brezinsek, S.; Coenen, J.; Kreter, A.; Möller, S.; Wienhold, P. [Institute of Energy and Climate Research, Forschungszentrum Jülich, 52425 Jülich (Germany); Wauters, T. [LPP-ERM/KMS, Association EURATOM-Belgian State, 1000 Brussels (Belgium); Fortuna-Zaleśna, E. [Faculty of Materials Science, Warsaw University of Technology, 02-507 Warsaw (Poland)


    Highlights: • Tracer techniques were used in the TEXTOR tokamak to determine high-Z metal migration and the retention of species used for plasma edge cooling or wall cleaning under different operation conditions. • Volatile molybdenum hexa-fluoride, nitrogen-15 and oxygen-18 were used as markers in tokamak or ion cyclotron wall conditioning discharges (ICWC). • The objective was to obtain qualitative and quantitative of a global and local deposition pattern and material mixing effects. • The deposition and retention was studied on plasma-facing components, collector probes and test limiters. • Optical spectroscopy and ex-situ analysis techniques were used to determine the plasma response to tracer injection and surface composition modification. - Abstract: Tracer techniques were used in the TEXTOR tokamak to determine high-Z metal migration and the deposition of species used for plasma edge cooling or wall conditioning under different types of operation conditions. Volatile molybdenum hexa-fluoride, nitrogen-15 and oxygen-18 were used as markers in tokamak or ion cyclotron wall conditioning discharges (ICWC). The objective was to obtain qualitative and quantitative of a global and local deposition pattern and material mixing effects. The deposition and retention was studied on plasma-facing components, collector probes and test limiters. Optical spectroscopy and ex-situ analysis techniques were used to determine the plasma response to tracer injection and the modification of surface composition. Molybdenum and light isotopes were detected on all types of limiters and short-term probes retrieved from the vessel showing that both helium and nitrogen are trapped following wall conditioning and edge cooling. Only small amounts below 1 × 10{sup 19} m{sup −2} of {sup 18}O were detected on surfaces treated by oxygen-assisted ICWC.

  20. Skill Assessment of An Hybrid Technique To Estimate Quantitative Precipitation Forecast For Galicia (nw Spain) (United States)

    Lage, A.; Taboada, J. J.

    Precipitation is the most obvious of the weather elements in its effects on normal life. Numerical weather prediction (NWP) is generally used to produce quantitative precip- itation forecast (QPF) beyond the 1-3 h time frame. These models often fail to predict small-scale variations of rain because of spin-up problems and their coarse spatial and temporal resolution (Antolik, 2000). Moreover, there are some uncertainties about the behaviour of the NWP models in extreme situations (de Bruijn and Brandsma, 2000). Hybrid techniques, combining the benefits of NWP and statistical approaches in a flexible way, are very useful to achieve a good QPF. In this work, a new technique of QPF for Galicia (NW of Spain) is presented. This region has a percentage of rainy days per year greater than 50% with quantities that may cause floods, with human and economical damages. The technique is composed of a NWP model (ARPS) and a statistical downscaling process based on an automated classification scheme of at- mospheric circulation patterns for the Iberian Peninsula (J. Ribalaygua and R. Boren, 1995). Results show that QPF for Galicia is improved using this hybrid technique. [1] Antolik, M.S. 2000 "An Overview of the National Weather Service's centralized statistical quantitative precipitation forecasts". Journal of Hydrology, 239, pp:306- 337. [2] de Bruijn, E.I.F and T. Brandsma "Rainfall prediction for a flooding event in Ireland caused by the remnants of Hurricane Charley". Journal of Hydrology, 239, pp:148-161. [3] Ribalaygua, J. and Boren R. "Clasificación de patrones espaciales de precipitación diaria sobre la España Peninsular". Informes N 3 y 4 del Servicio de Análisis e Investigación del Clima. Instituto Nacional de Meteorología. Madrid. 53 pp.

  1. Application of dotmocracy technique in assessment and management of unsafe behaviors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)


    Full Text Available Introduction: Industrial accident is one of the most minatory elements for worker’s health, productivity and organizational performance. Unsafe behavior is the main reason associated with occurrence of accidents. The main goal of this study was application of participatory techniques to achieve control measures of these behaviors. .Material and Method: Using safety behavior sampling technique in this study, behaviors of staffs were evaluated and then the most risky behaviors were determined by paired comparison method. By application of participatory approach of dotmocracy in six steps, controlling ideas were derived by participation of operators, supervisors, engineers, HSE team and managers. .Result: 48.8% of the behaviors were unsafe. Misuse or notusing of the personal protective equipments with 63.4% was the most frequent unsafe behavior. Awkward postures, aggregation or passing under suspended loads were also followed by the unsafe behaviors. By application of participatory approach of dotmocracy, several applicable ideas in personal protective equipment, education, reinforcementand punishment, aggregation or passing under suspended loads and other ideas were achieved. . Conclusion: Dotmocracy participatory technique is an effective way to achieve various practical solutions in control of worker’s unsafe behaviors.

  2. Transplant center quality assessment using a continuously updatable, risk-adjusted technique (CUSUM). (United States)

    Axelrod, D A; Guidinger, M K; Metzger, R A; Wiesner, R H; Webb, R L; Merion, R M


    Access to timely, risk-adjusted measures of transplant center outcomes is crucial for program quality improvement. The cumulative summation technique (CUSUM) has been proposed as a sensitive tool to detect persistent, clinically relevant changes in transplant center performance over time. Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients data for adult kidney and liver transplants (1/97 to 12/01) were examined using logistic regression models to predict risk of graft failure (kidney) and death (liver) at 1 year. Risk-adjusted CUSUM charts were constructed for each center and compared with results from the semi-annual method of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Transplant centers (N = 258) performed 59 650 kidney transplants, with a 9.2% 1-year graft failure rate. The CUSUM method identified centers with a period of significantly improving (N = 92) or declining (N = 52) performance. Transplant centers (N = 114) performed 18 277 liver transplants, with a 13.9% 1-year mortality rate. The CUSUM method demonstrated improving performance at 48 centers and declining performance at 24 centers. The CUSUM technique also identified the majority of centers flagged by the current OPTN method (20/22 kidney and 8/11 liver). CUSUM monitoring may be a useful technique for quality improvement, allowing center directors to identify clinically important, risk-adjusted changes in transplant center outcome.

  3. Assessment of organ volume with different techniques using a living liver model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luccichenti, Giacomo; Cobelli, Rocco; Pavone, Paolo [Department of Radiology, University of Parma, Via A. Gramsci, 14, 43100 Parma (Italy); Cademartiri, Filippo [Department of Radiology, University of Parma, Via A. Gramsci, 14, 43100 Parma (Italy); Department of Radiology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam (Netherlands)


    The purpose of this study was to compare different techniques for the estimation of liver volume, and to evaluate errors associated with volume estimation techniques based on linear measurements. Fifteen patients with focal liver lesion underwent spiral CTA for preoperative evaluation. The scan protocol was: collimation 3 mm; rotation time 0.75 s; pitch 2; and reconstruction index 1 mm. Reconstructed images were sent to a workstation running on a NT platform equipped with post-processing software allowing 3D reconstructions. Linear measurements and volume estimation through manual segmentation were obtained with preset window and magnification. Volume was calculated from linear measures using different equations. With equations based on linear measurements the right lobe was overestimated (mean=+53%; mean error=14.7%), the second and third segments were underestimated (mean=-47%; mean error=43.3%) and the total volume was underestimated (mean=-86%; mean error=36%). The volume calculated by summing the areas of all the sections and multiplying the result by the increment was not significantly different from the volume estimated using the manual volumetric segmentation technique. Volume estimation obtained through linear measurements is not reliable to appraise the volume of irregular-shaped solids, even assuming the prevalence of a particular morphology. (orig.)

  4. Three measuring techniques for assessing the mean wall skin friction in wall-bounded flows (United States)

    Zanoun, E.-S.; Jehring, L.; Egbers, C.


    The present paper aims at evaluating the mean wall skin friction data in laminar and turbulent boundary layer flows obtained from two optical and one thermal measuring techniques, namely, laser-Doppler anemometry (LDA), oil-film interferometry (OFI), and surface hot-film anemometry (SHFA), respectively. A comparison among the three techniques is presented, indicating close agreement in the mean wall skin friction data obtained, directly, from both the OFI and the LDA near-wall mean velocity profiles. On the other hand, the SHFA, markedly, over estimates the mean wall skin friction by 3.5-11.7% when compared with both the LDA and the OFI data, depending on the thermal conductivity of the substrate and glue material, probe calibration, probe contamination, temperature drift and Reynolds number. Satisfactory agreement, however, is observed among all three measuring techniques at higher Reynolds numbers, Re x >106, and within ±5% with empirical relations extracted from the literature. In addition, accurate velocity data within the inertial sublayer obtained using the LDA supports the applicability of the Clauser method to evaluate the wall skin friction when appropriate values for the constants of the logarithmic line are utilized.

  5. An Investigation of GIS Overlay and PCA Techniques for Urban Environmental Quality Assessment: A Case Study in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamil Faisal


    Full Text Available The United Nations estimates that the global population is going to be double in the coming 40 years, which may cause a negative impact on the environment and human life. Such an impact may instigate increased water demand, overuse of power, anthropogenic noise, etc. Thus, modelling the Urban Environmental Quality (UEQ becomes indispensable for a better city planning and an efficient urban sprawl control. This study aims to investigate the ability of using remote sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS techniques to model the UEQ with a case study in the city of Toronto via deriving different environmental, urban and socio-economic parameters. Remote sensing, GIS and census data were first obtained to derive environmental, urban and socio-economic parameters. Two techniques, GIS overlay and Principal Component Analysis (PCA, were used to integrate all of these environmental, urban and socio-economic parameters. Socio-economic parameters including family income, higher education and land value were used as a reference to assess the outcomes derived from the two integration methods. The outcomes were assessed through evaluating the relationship between the extracted UEQ results and the reference layers. Preliminary findings showed that the GIS overlay represents a better precision and accuracy (71% and 65%, respectively, comparing to the PCA technique. The outcomes of the research can serve as a generic indicator to help the authority for better city planning with consideration of all possible social, environmental and urban requirements or constraints.

  6. Assessment of Nutrient Limitation in Floodplain Forests with Two Different Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew A. Neatrour


    Full Text Available We assessed nitrogen and phosphorus limitation in a floodplain forest in southern Georgia in USA using two commonly used methods: nitrogen to phosphorus (N:P ratios in litterfall and fertilized ingrowth cores. We measured nitrogen (N and phosphorus (P concentrations in litterfall to determine N:P mass ratios. We also installed ingrowth cores within each site containing native soil amended with nitrogen (N, phosphorus (P, or nitrogen and phosphorus (N + P fertilizers or without added fertilizer (C. Litter N:P ratios ranged from 16 to 22, suggesting P limitation. However, fertilized ingrowth cores indicated N limitation because fine-root length density was greater in cores fertilized with N or N + P than in those fertilized with P or without added fertilizer. We feel that these two methods of assessing nutrient limitation should be corroborated with fertilization trials prior to use on a wider basis.

  7. Improving the clinical assessment of consciousness with advances in electrophysiological and neuroimaging techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D'Arcy Ryan CN


    Full Text Available Abstract In clinical neurology, a comprehensive understanding of consciousness has been regarded as an abstract concept - best left to philosophers. However, times are changing and the need to clinically assess consciousness is increasingly becoming a real-world, practical challenge. Current methods for evaluating altered levels of consciousness are highly reliant on either behavioural measures or anatomical imaging. While these methods have some utility, estimates of misdiagnosis are worrisome (as high as 43% - clearly this is a major clinical problem. The solution must involve objective, physiologically based measures that do not rely on behaviour. This paper reviews recent advances in physiologically based measures that enable better evaluation of consciousness states (coma, vegetative state, minimally conscious state, and locked in syndrome. Based on the evidence to-date, electroencephalographic and neuroimaging based assessments of consciousness provide valuable information for evaluation of residual function, formation of differential diagnoses, and estimation of prognosis.

  8. Modern analytical techniques in the assessment of the authenticity of Serbian honey. (United States)

    Milojković Opsenica, Dušanka; Lušić, Dražen; Tešić, Živoslav


    Food authenticity in a broader sense means fulfilling chemical and physical criteria prescribed by the proposed legislation. In the case of honey authenticity, two aspects are of major concern: the manufacturing process and the labelling of final products in terms of their geographical and botanical origin. A reliable assessment of honey authenticity has been a longterm preoccupation of chemists-analysts and it usually involves the use of several criteria and chemical markers, as well as a combination of analytical and statistical (chemometric) methods. This paper provides an overview of different criteria and modern methods for the assessment of honey authenticity in the case of a statistically significant number of authentic honey samples of several botanical types from various regions of Serbia.

  9. Improving the clinical assessment of consciousness with advances in electrophysiological and neuroimaging techniques. (United States)

    Gawryluk, Jodie R; D'Arcy, Ryan C N; Connolly, John F; Weaver, Donald F


    In clinical neurology, a comprehensive understanding of consciousness has been regarded as an abstract concept--best left to philosophers. However, times are changing and the need to clinically assess consciousness is increasingly becoming a real-world, practical challenge. Current methods for evaluating altered levels of consciousness are highly reliant on either behavioural measures or anatomical imaging. While these methods have some utility, estimates of misdiagnosis are worrisome (as high as 43%)--clearly this is a major clinical problem. The solution must involve objective, physiologically based measures that do not rely on behaviour. This paper reviews recent advances in physiologically based measures that enable better evaluation of consciousness states (coma, vegetative state, minimally conscious state, and locked in syndrome). Based on the evidence to-date, electroencephalographic and neuroimaging based assessments of consciousness provide valuable information for evaluation of residual function, formation of differential diagnoses, and estimation of prognosis.

  10. First Responder Readiness: A Systems Approach to Readiness Assessment Using Model Based Vulnerability Analysis Techniques (United States)


    xi LIST OF TABLES Table 1. Tangible Asset Quantitative Assessment Benchmarks....................................38 Table 2. Intangible Asset Qualitative...Tangible Asset—An asset that can be associated with a cost. Intangible Asset —An asset that cannot be associated with a cost with but brings value to an...organization or a response. An example of an intangible asset is the experience of an incident commander. STEP—STEP is an acronym that represents

  11. Evaluation of different magnetic resonance imaging techniques for the assessment of active left atrial emptying

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muellerleile, Kai; Steven, Daniel; Sultan, Arian; Drewitz, Imke; Hoffmann, Boris; Lueker, Jakob; Willems, Stephan; Rostock, Thomas [University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Department of Cardiology, Electrophysiology, Center for Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery, Hamburg (Germany); Groth, Michael; Adam, Gerhard; Lund, Gunnar K. [University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Hamburg (Germany); Saring, Dennis [University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Department of Medical Informatics, Hamburg (Germany)


    There is currently no agreement on the best method of assessing active left atrial (LA) emptying. This study evaluated the relative merits of cine- and velocity encoded (VENC) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the assessment of active LA emptying. Total LA emptying volume (TLAEV) and active LA stroke volume (ALASV) were assessed in 107 consecutive patients using cine-MRI and transmitral flow measurements by VENC-MRI. The fraction of active LA emptying (ALAEF) was calculated as the ratio of ALASV to TLAEV. LA and left ventricular (LV) output were calculated by multiplying TLAEV and LV stroke volume by heart rate, respectively. Intra- and inter-observer variances were significantly larger for cine-MRI than for VENC-MRI measurements of ALASV (24.7 mL{sup 2} vs. 3.7 mL{sup 2} and 57.7 mL{sup 2} vs. 4.2 mL{sup 2}; P < 0.0001). Biplane cine-MRI underestimated TLAEV (mean difference -57 {+-} 32 %; P < 0.0001) and ALASV (mean difference -24 {+-} 51 %; P < 0.0001) but overestimated ALAEF (mean difference 31 {+-} 54 %, P < 0.0001) compared with VENC-MRI. There was significantly better agreement between LV output and LA output measured by VENC-MRI compared with LA output measured by cine-MRI (mean difference 0.30 {+-} 1.12 L/min vs. -2.05 {+-} 1.44 L/min; P < 0.0001). VENC-MRI is the more appropriate method of assessing active LA emptying and its use should be favoured. (orig.)

  12. Contractors’ Strategic Approaches to Risk Assessment Techniques at Project Planning Stage


    Ahmad Zaini, Afzan; Endut, Intan Rohani; Takim, Roshana


    Abstract — The construction industry is still plagued by poor quality, poor workmanship, poor safety and health environment, and poor practices. The current main problem in the Malaysian Construction Industry is delayed projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. The idea of introducing formal risk assessment among Malaysian contractors during the project planning stage is a proactive approach to achieve project objectives. Therefore, this research intends to achieve the following objectives: (1)...

  13. Bond strength of composite resin to enamel: assessment of two ethanol wet-bonding techniques.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maryam Khoroushi


    Full Text Available Ethanol wet-bonding (EWB technique has been stated to decrease degradation of resin-dentin bond. This study evaluated the effect of two EWB techniques on composite resin-to-enamel bond strength.Silicon carbide papers were used to produce flat enamel surfaces on the buccal faces of forty-five molars. OptiBond FL (OFL adhesive was applied on enamel surfaces in three groups of 15 namely: Enamel surface and OFL (control;Protocol 1 of the EWB technique: absolute ethanol was applied to water-saturated acid-etched enamel surfaces for 1 minute before the application of ethanol-solvated hydrophobic adhesive resin of OFL 3 times;Protocol 2: progressive ethanol replacement; water was gradually removed from the enamel matrix using ascending ethanol concentrations before OFL application. Composite build-ups were made and the specimens were stored for 24 hours at 37°C and 100% relative humidity. Shear bond strength test was performed using a universal testing machine at 1 mm/min crosshead speed. Fracture patterns were evaluated microscopically. Data were analyzed with one-way ANOVA and Fisher's exact test (α=0.05.There were no significant differences in bond strength between the groups (P=0.73. However, regarding failure patterns, the highest cohesive enamel fractures were recorded in groups 2 and 3.In this study, although both methods of EWB did not influence immediate bond strength of composite resin to enamel, the majority of failure patterns occurred cohesively in enamel.

  14. Bond Strength of Composite Resin to Enamel: Assessment of Two Ethanol Wet-Bonding Techniques (United States)

    Khoroushi, Maryam; Rafizadeh, Mojgan; Samimi, Pouran


    Objective Ethanol wet-bonding (EWB) technique has been stated to decrease degradation of resin-dentin bond. This study evaluated the effect of two EWB techniques on composite resin-to-enamel bond strength. Materials and Methods: Silicon carbide papers were used to produce flat enamel surfaces on the buccal faces of forty-five molars. OptiBond FL (OFL) adhesive was applied on enamel surfaces in three groups of 15 namely: Enamel surface and OFL (control);Protocol 1 of the EWB technique: absolute ethanol was applied to water-saturated acid-etched enamel surfaces for 1 minute before the application of ethanol-solvated hydrophobic adhesive resin of OFL 3 times;Protocol 2: progressive ethanol replacement; water was gradually removed from the enamel matrix using ascending ethanol concentrations before OFL application. Composite build-ups were made and the specimens were stored for 24 hours at 37°C and 100% relative humidity. Shear bond strength test was performed using a universal testing machine at 1 mm/min crosshead speed. Fracture patterns were evaluated microscopically. Data were analyzed with one-way ANOVA and Fisher’s exact test (α=0.05). Results: There were no significant differences in bond strength between the groups (P=0.73). However, regarding failure patterns, the highest cohesive enamel fractures were recorded in groups 2 and 3. Conclusion: In this study, although both methods of EWB did not influence immediate bond strength of composite resin to enamel, the majority of failure patterns occurred cohesively in enamel. PMID:24910690

  15. Imaging techniques used for the real-time assessment of angiogenesis in digestive cancers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saftoiu, Adrian; Vilmann, Peter; Săftoiu, Adrian


    evaluation, but also on sensitive monitoring of microvascular changes during treatment. State-of-the-art imaging techniques have the potential to visualize and characterize angiogenesis, although the technology and methodologies employed are recent and need further validation. The aim of this series......Angiogenesis has a critical role in primary tumor growth and the development of metastases. Several angiogenesis inhibitors were recently developed, being a very attractive target for digestive tumor therapy. However, individualized therapy should not only be based on the pre-treatment imaging...

  16. Wall relaxation in growing stems: comparison of four species and assessment of measurement techniques (United States)

    Cosgrove, D. J.


    This study was carried out to develop improved methods for measuring in-vivo stress relaxation of growing tissues and to compare relaxation in the stems of four different species. When water uptake by growing tissue is prevented, in-vivo stress relaxation occurs because continued wall loosening reduces wall stress and cell turgor pressure. With this procedure one may measure the yield threshold for growth (Y), the turgor pressure in excess of the yield threshold (P-Y), and the physiological wall extensibility (phi). Three relaxation techniques proved useful: "turgor-relaxation", "balance-pressure" and "pressure-block". In the turgor-relaxation method, water is withheld from growing tissue and the reduction in turgor is measured directly with the pressure probe. This technique gives absolute values for P and Y, but requires tissue excision. In the balance-pressure technique, the excised growing region is sealed in a pressure chamber, and the subsequent reduction in water potential is measured as the applied pressure needed to return xylem sap to the cut surface. This method is simple, but only measures (P-Y), not the individual values of P and Y. In the pressure-block technique, the growing tissue is sealed into a pressure chamber, growth is monitored continuously, and just sufficient pressure is applied to the chamber to block growth. The method gives high-resolution kinetics of relaxation and does not require tissue excision, but only measures (P-Y). The three methods gave similar results when applied to the growing stems of pea (Pisum sativum L.), cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) and zucchini (Curcubita pepo L.) seedlings. Values for (P-Y) averaged between 1.4 and 2.7 bar, depending on species. Yield thresholds averaged between 1.3 and 3.0 bar. Compared with the other methods, relaxation by pressure-block was faster and exhibited dynamic changes in wall-yielding properties. The two pressure-chamber methods were also used to measure

  17. Mechanical state assessment using lamb wave technique in static tensile tests (United States)

    Burkov, M. V.; Shah, R. T.; Eremin, A. V.; Byakov, A. V.; Panin, S. V.


    The paper deals with the investigation of Lamb wave ultrasonic technique for damage (or mechanical state) evaluation of AA7068T3 specimens in the course of tensile testing. Two piezoelectric transducers (PZT), one of which is used as an actuator and the other as sensor, were adhesively bonded on the specimen surface using epoxy. Two frequencies of testing signals (60 kHz and 350 kHz) were used. The set of static tensile tests were performed. The recorded signals were processed to calculate the informative parameters in order to evaluate the changes in stress-strain state of the specimens and their microstructure.

  18. Assessment of Heart Rate Variability Thresholds from Incremental Treadmill Tests in Five Cross-Country Skiing Techniques.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibai Mendia-Iztueta

    Full Text Available The assessment of heart rate variability (HRV thresholds (HRVTs as an alternative of Ventilatory thresholds (VTs is a relatively new approach with increasing popularity which has not been conducted in cross-country (XC skiing yet. The main purpose of the present study was to assess HRVTs in the five main XC skiing-related techniques, double poling (DP, diagonal striding (DS, Nordic walking (NW, V1 skating (V1, and V2 skating (V2.Ten competitive skiers completed these incremental treadmill tests until exhaustion with a minimum of one to two recovery days in between each test. Ventilatory gases, HRV and poling frequencies were measured. The first HRV threshold (HRVT1 was assessed using two time-domain analysis methods, and the second HRV threshold (HRVT2 was assessed using two non-time varying frequency-domain analysis methods. HRVT1 was assessed by plotting the mean successive difference (MSD and standard deviation (SD of normalized R-R intervals to workload. HRVT1 was assessed by plotting high frequency power (HFP and the HFP relative to respiratory sinus arrhythmia (HFPRSA with workload. HRVTs were named after their methods (HRVT1-SD; HRVT1-MSD; HRVT2-HFP; HRVT2-HFP-RSA. The results showed that the only cases where the proposed HRVTs were good assessors of VTs were the HRVT1-SD of the DS test, the HRVT1-MSD of the DS and V2 tests, and the HRVT2-HFP-RSA of the NW test. The lack of a wider success of the assessment of HRVTs was reasoned to be mostly due to the high entrainment between the breathing and poling frequencies. As secondary finding, a novel Cardiolocomotor coupling mode was observed in the NW test. This new Cardiolocoomtor coupling mode corresponded to the whole bilateral poling cycle instead of corresponding to each poling action as it was reported to the date by the existing literature.

  19. Assessment of Heart Rate Variability Thresholds from Incremental Treadmill Tests in Five Cross-Country Skiing Techniques. (United States)

    Mendia-Iztueta, Ibai; Monahan, Kristen; Kyröläinen, Heikki; Hynynen, Esa


    The assessment of heart rate variability (HRV) thresholds (HRVTs) as an alternative of Ventilatory thresholds (VTs) is a relatively new approach with increasing popularity which has not been conducted in cross-country (XC) skiing yet. The main purpose of the present study was to assess HRVTs in the five main XC skiing-related techniques, double poling (DP), diagonal striding (DS), Nordic walking (NW), V1 skating (V1), and V2 skating (V2).Ten competitive skiers completed these incremental treadmill tests until exhaustion with a minimum of one to two recovery days in between each test. Ventilatory gases, HRV and poling frequencies were measured. The first HRV threshold (HRVT1) was assessed using two time-domain analysis methods, and the second HRV threshold (HRVT2) was assessed using two non-time varying frequency-domain analysis methods. HRVT1 was assessed by plotting the mean successive difference (MSD) and standard deviation (SD) of normalized R-R intervals to workload. HRVT1 was assessed by plotting high frequency power (HFP) and the HFP relative to respiratory sinus arrhythmia (HFPRSA) with workload. HRVTs were named after their methods (HRVT1-SD; HRVT1-MSD; HRVT2-HFP; HRVT2-HFP-RSA). The results showed that the only cases where the proposed HRVTs were good assessors of VTs were the HRVT1-SD of the DS test, the HRVT1-MSD of the DS and V2 tests, and the HRVT2-HFP-RSA of the NW test. The lack of a wider success of the assessment of HRVTs was reasoned to be mostly due to the high entrainment between the breathing and poling frequencies. As secondary finding, a novel Cardiolocomotor coupling mode was observed in the NW test. This new Cardiolocoomtor coupling mode corresponded to the whole bilateral poling cycle instead of corresponding to each poling action as it was reported to the date by the existing literature.

  20. Post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage: assessment of risk factors with special attention to introduction of coblation technique. (United States)

    Heidemann, Christian H; Wallén, Mia; Aakesson, Marie; Skov, Peter; Kjeldsen, Anette D; Godballe, Christian


    Post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage (PTH) is a relatively common and potentially life-threatening complication. The objective of this study was to examine the rate of PTH and identify risk factors. A retrospective cohort study was carried out including all tonsillectomies (430 patients) performed at Odense University Hospital (OUH) or Svendborg Hospital (SH), Denmark. PTH occurred in 52 patients (12.1%). Of the 180 patients treated with coblation technique, 41 (22.7%) had PTH. There were no fatal bleeding episodes. Multiple regression analysis resulted in three significant covariates: "Coblation as surgical technique" [relative risk (RR) = 5.3], "peritonsillar abscess as indication for surgery" (RR = 0.3) and "age equal to or above 15 years at the time of surgery" (RR = 5.4). It is concluded that patient age, PTA as indication for surgery and the use of coblation significantly affect the occurrence of PTH when coblation procedures are performed by non-experienced surgeons. We advise that implementation of coblation tonsillectomy is thoroughly planned with sufficient training of surgeons and continuous surveillance of results. If PTH rates comparable to "cold dissections tonsillectomy" cannot be reached intervention (learning or closing down of coblation tonsillectomy) has to be done.

  1. A comparative assessment of information-exploitation techniques for GPR data inversion (United States)

    Salucci, M.; Tenuti, L.; Poli, L.; Oliveri, G.; Massa, A.


    The inversion of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) data requires the development of suitable information-exploitation techniques that are able to extract as much as possible information on the unknown targets from the available measurements. An innovative singlefrequency (SF) inversion technique based on a deterministic conjugate-gradient (CG) minimization and the iterative multi-scaling approach (IMSA) is described. It is then shown how to improve the performances of the SF-IMSA-CG method by the introduction of an external frequency hopping (FH) iterative loop. On the one hand, the proposed FH-IMSA-CG method allows to exploit the intrinsic frequency diversity of wideband GPR measurements thanks to the FH strategy. On the other hand, the IMSA approach guarantees a significant reduction of the problem unknowns, providing an increased resolution within the identified regions of interest (RoIs). A numerical comparison shows the advantages of the FH-IMSA-CG over its single-frequency version. Moreover, the benefits of integrating the IMSA within the FH are verified by directly comparing the FH-IMSA-CG with its single-resolution (BARE) version (FH-BARE-CG).

  2. Theoretical assessment of electro-thermal imaging: A new technique for medical diagnosis (United States)

    Carlak, H. Feza; Gencer, Nevzat G.; Besikci, Cengiz


    Breast cancer is one of the most crucial cancer types. To improve the diagnosis performance, a hybrid system is proposed through simultaneous utilization of thermal and electrical impedance imaging methods. The innovation of the approach relies on the frequency dependence of the tissue's electrical impedance which facilitates the acquisition of multiple thermal images with currents at different frequencies injected to the region of the body under inspection. The applied current and the resulting heating at the body surface are distributed based on the frequency dependent conductivity distribution. The electrical currents increase the thermal contrast on the body surface depending on the electrical properties of the tissues at the operation frequency. The technique also provides frequency dependent conductivity distribution data through thermal imaging which can be used as a basis for the detection of the breast carcinoma. Based on our findings, the contrast resolution between the healthy and cancerous tissue is increased, improving the depth-dependent imaging performance from 3 mm to 9 mm for a 1.5 mm tumor. The sensitivity of the technique can be further increased by an infrared camera with dual band imaging capability. Consequently, the proposed approach has a potential to improve the sensitivity and accuracy of medical imaging over the standard thermography.

  3. Integration of datasets from different analytical techniques to assess the impact of nutrition on human metabolome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pamela eVernocchi


    Full Text Available Bacteria colonizing the human intestinal tract exhibit a high phylogenetic diversity that reflects their immense metabolic potentials. The catalytic activity of gut microbes has an important impact on gastrointestinal (GI functions and host health. The microbial conversion of carbohydrates and other food components leads to the formation of a large number of compounds that affect the host metabolome and have beneficial or adverse effects on human health. Meabolomics is a metabolic-biology system approach focused on the metabolic responses understanding of living systems to physio-pathological stimuli by using multivariate statistical data on human body fluids obtained by different instrumental techniques. A metabolomic approach based on an analytical platform could be able to separate, detect, characterize and quantify a wide range of metabolites and its metabolic pathways. This approach has been recently applied to study the metabolic changes triggered in the gut microbiota by specific diet components and diet variations, specific diseases, probiotic and synbiotic food intake.This review describes the metabolomic data obtained by analyzing human fluids by using different techniques and particularly Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry Solid-phase Micro Extraction (GC-MS/SPME, Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (1H-NMR Spectroscopy and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR Spectroscopy. This instrumental approach have a good potential in the identification and detection of specific food intake and diseases biomarkers.

  4. Assessing and mitigating risks of engineering programs with lean management techniques

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fritz, A.; Oehmen, Josef; Rebentisch, E.


    This paper investigates the use of lean management techniques as a risk mitigation approach for large-scale engineering programs. The key research questions are how lean best practices with the highest risk mitigation potential are identified, how the most relevant lean best practices for a speci......This paper investigates the use of lean management techniques as a risk mitigation approach for large-scale engineering programs. The key research questions are how lean best practices with the highest risk mitigation potential are identified, how the most relevant lean best practices...... for a specific program are identified and how the effort for implementation of these lean best practices is estimated. Large-scale engineering programs have as results usually complex technical products or systems such as airplanes, satellites (GPS) or software programs, immense infrastructure efforts like...... [Shao and Müller 2011, Shao et al. 2012]. To incorporate these capabilities and to manage the obviously difficult entity of a program, a variety of standards and guidance books have been published. The two most prominent ones are Managing Successful Programs (MSP) and The Standard for Program Management...

  5. Comparative Evaluation of Two Venous Sampling Techniques for the Assessment of Pancreatic Insulin and Zinc Release upon Glucose Challenge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anil Kumar Pillai


    Full Text Available Advances in noninvasive imaging modalities have provided opportunities to study β cell function through imaging zinc release from insulin secreting β cells. Understanding the temporal secretory pattern of insulin and zinc corelease after a glucose challenge is essential for proper timing of administration of zinc sensing probes. Portal venous sampling is an essential part of pharmacological and nutritional studies in animal models. The purpose of this study was to compare two different percutaneous image-guided techniques: transhepatic ultrasound guided portal vein access and transsplenic fluoroscopy guided splenic vein access for ease of access, safety, and evaluation of temporal kinetics of insulin and zinc release into the venous effluent from the pancreas. Both techniques were safe, reproducible, and easy to perform. The mean time required to obtain desired catheter position for venous sampling was 15 minutes shorter using the transsplenic technique. A clear biphasic insulin release profile was observed in both techniques. Statistically higher insulin concentration but similar zinc release after a glucose challenge was observed from splenic vein samples, as compared to the ones from the portal vein. To our knowledge, this is the first report of percutaneous methods to assess zinc release kinetics from the porcine pancreas.

  6. Objective Assessment of Sunburn and Minimal Erythema Doses: Comparison of Noninvasive In Vivo Measuring Techniques after UVB Irradiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lo Pei-Yu


    Full Text Available Military personnel movement is exposed to solar radiation and sunburn is a major problem which can cause lost workdays and lead to disciplinary action. This study was designed to identify correlation parameters in evaluating in vivo doses and epidermis changes following sunburn inflammation. Several noninvasive bioengineering techniques have made objective evaluations possible. The volar forearms of healthy volunteers ( , 2 areas, 20 mm in diameter, were irradiated with UVB 100 mj/ and 200 mj/ , respectively. The skin changes were recorded by several monitored techniques before and 24 hours after UV exposures. Our results showed that chromameter value provides more reliable information and can be adopted with mathematical model in predicting the minimal erythema dose (MED which showed lower than visual assessment by 10 mj/ (Pearson correlation coefficient . A more objective measure for evaluation of MED was established for photosensitive subjects' prediction and sunburn risks prevention.

  7. Cardiac abnormalities assessed by non-invasive techniques in patients with newly diagnosed idiopathic inflammatory myopathies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Diederichsen, Louise Pyndt; Simonsen, Jane Angel; Diederichsen, Axel Cosmus Pyndt;


    , cardiac troponin-I (TnI), electrocardiogram (standard 12-lead and 48-h Holter monitoring), echocardiography with tissue Doppler measures, cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging with T2 mapping and semi-quantitative (99m)technetium pyrophosphate ((99m)Tc-PYP) scintigraphy. RESULTS: Dyspnoea was present....... The myocardial (99m)Tc-PYP uptake and CMR results differed between patients and controls, albeit not with statistical significance. Overall, cardiac abnormalities were demonstrated in 9 (64%) of the patients versus 2 (14%) of the controls (p=0.02). CONCLUSIONS: Cardiac abnormalities assessed by TnI, ECG...

  8. Assessment of Concrete Repair Techniques for Radiologically Contaminated Tank Farm Pump and Valve Pits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    As part of the scope of Project W-314, ''Tank Farm Restoration and Safe Operations,'' the condition of pump and valve pit walls and floors is being assessed, and repairs made as needed, to support upgrading the infrastructure necessary to safely transfer tank waste for treatment. Flaws in the surfaces of the pits (e.g., concrete crack/faults, protective coating deterioration) must be repaired to ensure containment integrity and to facilitate future decontamination of the pits. This engineering study presents a cost/risk/benefit evaluation of concrete and protective coating repair methods in pump and valve pits using various manual and remote tool systems.

  9. Statistical assessment of soil surface roughness for environmental applications using photogrammetric imaging techniques (United States)

    Marzahn, Philip; Rieke-Zapp, Dirk; Ludwig, Ralf


    Micro scale soil surface roughness is a crucial parameter in many environmental applications. Recent soil erosion studies have shown the impact of micro topography on soil erosion rates as well as overland flow generation due to soil crusting effects. Besides the above mentioned, it is widely recognized that the backscattered signal in SAR remote sensing is strongly influenced by soil surface roughness and by regular higher order tillage patterns. However, there is an ambiguity in the appropriate measurement technique and scale for roughness studies and SAR backscatter model parametrization. While different roughness indices depend on their measurement length, no satisfying roughness parametrization and measurement technique has been found yet, introducing large uncertainty in the interpretation of the radar backscatter. In the presented study, we computed high resolution digital elevation models (DEM) using a consumer grade digital camera in the frame of photogrammetric imaging techniques to represent soil micro topography from different soil surfaces (ploughed, harrowed, seedbed and crusted) . The retrieved DEMs showed sufficient accuracy, with an RMSE of a 1.64 mm compared to high accurate reference points,. For roughness characterization, we calculated different roughness indices (RMS height (s), autocorrelation length (l), tortuosity index (TB)). In an extensive statistical investigation we show the behaviour of the roughness indices for different acquisition sizes. Compared to results from profile measurements taken from literature and profiles generated out of the dataset, results indicate,that by using a three dimensional measuring device, the calculated roughness indices are more robust against outliers and even saturate faster with increasing acquisition size. Dependent on the roughness condition, the calculated values for the RMS-height saturate for ploughed fields at 2.3 m, for harrowed fields at 2.0 m and for crusted fields at 1.2 m. Results also

  10. Non-invasive assessment of static scatterer concentration in phantom body fluids using laser speckle contrast analysis technique (United States)

    Jayanthy, A. K.; Sujatha, N.; Ramasubba Reddy, M.


    An adequate amount of supply of blood to the body organs is essential for the optimum survival and function of the cells. The Red Blood Cells (RBC) which are the most abundant cells of the blood transports hemoglobin which in turn carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. And hence its concentration in blood is an important factor. In this paper, we are presenting LAser Speckle Contrast Analysis (LASCA) as a tool for analyzing RBC concentration. Preliminary results obtained using body fluid such as blood mimicking phantoms are presented here. The technique described provides a non-contact, non-scanning and whole field method for assessing RBC concentration non-invasively.

  11. Proboscidean DNA from museum and fossil specimens: an assessment of ancient DNA extraction and amplification techniques. (United States)

    Yang, H; Golenberg, E M; Shoshani, J


    Applications of reliable DNA extraction and amplification techniques to postmortem samples are critical to ancient DNA research. Commonly used methods for isolating DNA from ancient material were tested and compared using both soft tissue and bones from fossil and contemporary museum proboscideans. DNAs isolated using three principal methods served as templates in subsequent PCR amplifications, and the PCR products were directly sequenced. Authentication of the ancient origin of obtained nucleotide sequences was established by demonstrating reproducibility under a blind testing system and by phylogenetic analysis. Our results indicate that ancient samples may respond differently to extraction buffers or purification procedures, and no single method was universally successful. A CTAB buffer method, modified from plant DNA extraction protocols, was found to have the highest success rate. Nested PCR was shown to be a reliable approach to amplify ancient DNA templates that failed in primary amplification.

  12. Novel echocardiographic techniques to assess left atrial size, anatomy and function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cameli Matteo


    Full Text Available Abstract Three-dimensional echocardiography (3DE and speckle tracking echocardiography (STE have recently applied as imaging techniques to accurately evaluate left atrial (LA size, anatomy and function. 3DE and off-line quantification softwares, have allowed, in comparison to magnetic resonance imaging, the most time-efficient and accurate method of LA volume quantification. STE provides a non-Doppler, angle-independent and objective quantification of LA myocardial deformation. Data regarding feasibility, accuracy and clinical applications of LA analysis by 3DE and STE are rapidly gathering. This review describes the fundamental concepts of LA 3DE and STE, illustrates how to obtain respective measurements and discuss their recognized and emerging clinical applications.

  13. Classroom assessment of the use of compact language drills: a technique borrowed from foreign language teaching. (United States)

    White, A H; Tripoli, L J


    Many deaf children have great difficulty learning how to use irregular English verbs. This research study seeks to exemplify how a single-case, ABA design can be used by classroom teachers in making a determination about the usefulness of classroom teaching strategies, and in the case of this study, to explore the use of compact language drills (CLDs) as a technique for helping a deaf child improve his ability to use 4 irregular verbs. The CLDs were conducted 5-10 minutes each day for five weeks at the close of school. The drills engaged the child in immediate recall of simple sentences loaded with semantic/syntactic clues which signalled the need for a past, present or future irregular verb within the target sentence. The results suggest that CLDs, when used systematically, can significantly improve a child's ability to use irregular verbs correctly, both immediately following treatment, and across time.

  14. Irradiation of dates: insect disinfestation, microbial and chemical assessments, and use of thermoluminescence technique

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Al-Kahtani, Hassan A.; Abu-Tarboush, Hamza M.; Ahmed, Mohamed A.; Bajaber, Adnan S. [Food Science and Nutrition Department, College of Agriculture, King Saud University, Riyadh (Saudi Arabia); Al-Dryhim, Yousif N.; Adam, El-Shami E. [Plant Protection Department, College of Agriculture, King Saud University, Riyadh (Saudi Arabia); El-Mojaddidi, Mohamed A. [King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)


    Irradiation of dates (Khalas variety) at 0.9 kGy was sufficient to eliminate single insect infestation (Oryzaephilus surinamensis) and mixed infestation (O. surinamensis and Tribolium castaneum), whereas 0.3 kGy was effective only in controlling single infestation. Sensory properties were not affected but irradiation contributed to some reduction in microbial counts immediately after irradiation and counts remained low till the end of 6 months storage period. All sugars were significantly reduced immediately after irradiation but they increased gradually with increasing storage time. Thermoluminescence (TL) technique was useful in discriminating between irradiated and unirradiated dates during the entire storage period but was less sensitive as far as the dose estimation is concerned.

  15. Assessment of an alanine EPR dosimetry technique with enhanced precision and accuracy

    CERN Document Server

    Hayes, R B; Wieser, A; Romanyukha, A A; Hardy, B L; Barrus, J K


    Dose reconstruction in the course of a series of blind tests demonstrated that an accuracy of 10 mGy for low doses and 1% for high doses can be achieved using EPR spectroscopy. This was accomplished using a combination of methodologies including polynomial filtration of the EPR spectrum, dosimeter rotation during scanning, use of an EPR standard fixed into the resonator and subtraction of all nonradiogenic signals. Doses were reconstructed over the range of 0.01-1000 Gy using this compound spectral EPR analysis. This EPR technique, being equally applicable to fractionated doses (such as those delivered during multiple radiotherapy treatments), was verified to exhibit dose reciprocity. Irradiated alanine dosimeters which were stored exhibited compound spectral EPR signal fading of ca 3% over 9 months. All error estimates given in this paper are given at the 1 standard deviation level and unless otherwise specified do not account for uncertainties in source calibration.

  16. Microbial assessment of an upward and downward dehiding technique in a commercial beef processing plant. (United States)

    Kennedy, Thomas G; Giotis, Efstathios S; McKevitt, Aideen I


    Preventing microbial contamination during dehiding is challenging, and skinning methods are of critical importance for the hygienic status of beef carcasses. Two skinning methods are usually employed: upward hide pulling (UHP) and downward hide pulling (DHP). This study has compared the microbiological contamination of carcasses using both systems in a beef processing plant in the process of changing its dehiding method from UHP to DHP. 100 cm(2) areas from eight carcass sites (ham, chuck, rump, bung, flank, brisket, shin and neck) were sampled on 36 skinned carcasses dehided by each technique. Total viable counts (TVCs) and Enterobacteriaceae counts for each site were determined. No significant differences were observed in total (pooled-samples) carcass contamination regardless of the method used. However, significant differences (pHACCP pre-requisite programmes, and are not necessarily associated with the skinning method per se.

  17. Mechanical, dielectric and optical assessment of glass composites prepared using milling technique

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Gurbinder Kaur; G Pickrell; V Kumar; O P Pandey; K Singh; S K Arya


    In the present investigation, mechanical and spectroscopic properties of glass composites have been investigated. The glass composites have been prepared by the milling technique instead of using any filler particle. Due to the presence of different alkaline earth modifiers in composites, marked difference in their strength and optical properties is observed. The band gap, Urbach energy and the extinction coefficient of the glass composites have been calculated using UV–visible spectroscopy. Moreover, the real and imaginary dielectric constants have also been calculated for all the composites in addition to the Weibull statistics and cumulative probability of failure. The results have been discussed in light of comparison between the glass composites and the individual glasses. The mechanical and optical properties indicate marked effect on the mechanical strength, band gap and Urbach energy for glass composites as compared with the individual glasses.

  18. A comparative assessment of texture analysis techniques applied to bone tool use-wear (United States)

    Watson, Adam S.; Gleason, Matthew A.


    The study of bone tools, a specific class of artifacts often essential to perishable craft production, provides insight into industries otherwise largely invisible archaeologically. Building on recent breakthroughs in the analysis of microwear, this research applies confocal laser scanning microscopy and texture analysis techniques drawn from the field of surface metrology to identify use-wear patterns on experimental and archaeological bone artifacts. Our approach utilizes both conventional parameters and multi-scale geometric characterizations of the areas of worn surfaces to identify statistical similarities as a function of scale. The introduction of this quantitative approach to the study of microtopography holds significant potential for advancement in use-wear studies by reducing inter-observer variability and identifying new parameters useful in the detection of differential wear-patterns.

  19. Current Methods to Assess Human Cutaneous Blood Flow: An Updated Focus on Laser-Based-Techniques. (United States)

    Cracowski, Jean-Luc; Roustit, Matthieu


    Several noninvasive techniques have been developed using laser light interaction in the skin to explore the skin's microcirculation. Combined with laser Doppler or LSCI, reactivity tests are used to explore skin endothelial and neurovascular function in humans, including PORH, LTH, PIV, and iontophoresis of vasodilators. Recent advances in our comprehension of the physiological pathways underlying these reactivity tests have been possible through topical or intradermal delivery of drugs that produce elevated local concentrations. Skin microvascular function has also been proposed as a prognostic biomarker or for evaluating the effect of drugs. Comprehension of the physiological pathways, together with recent technological improvements in microcirculation imaging, has provided reliable and reproducible tools to study skin microcirculation.

  20. Assessment of tumor development and wound healing using endoscopic techniques in mice. (United States)

    Neurath, Markus F; Wittkopf, Nadine; Wlodarski, Alexandra; Waldner, Maximilian; Neufert, Clemens; Wirtz, Stefan; Günther, Claudia; Becker, Christoph


    Mouse models of intestinal inflammation and colon cancer are valuable tools to gain insights into the pathogenesis of the corresponding human diseases. Recently, in vivo mouse endoscopy has been developed, allowing not only the high-resolution monitoring and scoring of experimental disease development, but also enables the investigator to perform manipulations, including local injection of reagents or the taking of biopsies for molecular and histopathologic analyses. Chromoendoscopic staining with methylene blue enables visualization of the crypt structure and allows discrimination between inflammatory and neoplastic changes. The development of endoscopic techniques in live mice opened new options for the investigation of disease mechanisms in the gut and for the preclinical testing of potential therapeutic effects of drug candidates. Finally, mouse endoscopy can help to reduce animal numbers needed to gain significant experimental data.

  1. Fire Risk Assessment of Some Indian Coals Using Radial Basis Function (RBF) Technique (United States)

    Nimaje, Devidas; Tripathy, Debi Prasad


    Fires, whether surface or underground, pose serious and environmental problems in the global coal mining industry. It is causing huge loss of coal due to burning and loss of lives, sterilization of coal reserves and environmental pollution. Most of the instances of coal mine fires happening worldwide are mainly due to the spontaneous combustion. Hence, attention must be paid to take appropriate measures to prevent occurrence and spread of fire. In this paper, to evaluate the different properties of coals for fire risk assessment, forty-nine in situ coal samples were collected from major coalfields of India. Intrinsic properties viz. proximate and ultimate analysis; and susceptibility indices like crossing point temperature, flammability temperature, Olpinski index and wet oxidation potential method of Indian coals were carried out to ascertain the liability of coal to spontaneous combustion. Statistical regression analysis showed that the parameters of ultimate analysis provide significant correlation with all investigated susceptibility indices as compared to the parameters of proximate analysis. Best correlated parameters (ultimate analysis) were used as inputs to the radial basis function network model. The model revealed that Olpinski index can be used as a reliable method to assess the liability of Indian coals to spontaneous combustion.

  2. Using the RBFN model and GIS technique to assess wind erosion hazards of Inner Mongolia, China (United States)

    Shi, Huading; Liu, Jiyuan; Zhuang, Dafang; Hu, Yunfeng


    Soil wind erosion is the primary process and the main driving force for land desertification and sand-dust storms in arid and semi-arid areas of Northern China. Many researchers have paid more attention to this issue. This paper select Inner Mongolia autonomous region as the research area, quantify the various indicators affecting the soil wind erosion, using the GIS technology to extract the spatial data, and construct the RBFN (Radial Basis Function Network) model for assessment of wind erosion hazard. After training the sample data of the different levels of wind erosion hazard, we get the parameters of the model, and then assess the wind erosion hazard. The result shows that in the Southern parts of Inner Mongolia wind erosion hazard are very severe, counties in the middle regions of Inner Mongolia vary from moderate to severe, and in eastern are slight. The comparison of the result with other researches shows that the result is in conformity with actual conditions, proving the reasonability and applicability of the RBFN model.

  3. Correlation of breast tissue histology and optical signatures to improve margin assessment techniques (United States)

    Kennedy, Stephanie; Caldwell, Matthew; Bydlon, Torre; Mulvey, Christine; Mueller, Jenna; Wilke, Lee; Barry, William; Ramanujam, Nimmi; Geradts, Joseph


    Optical spectroscopy is sensitive to morphological composition and has potential applications in intraoperative margin assessment. Here, we evaluate ex vivo breast tissue and corresponding quantified hematoxylin & eosin images to correlate optical scattering signatures to tissue composition stratified by patient characteristics. Adipose sites (213) were characterized by their cell area and density. All other benign and malignant sites (181) were quantified using a grid method to determine composition. The relationships between mean reduced scattering coefficient (), and % adipose, % collagen, % glands, adipocyte cell area, and adipocyte density were investigated. These relationships were further stratified by age, menopausal status, body mass index (BMI), and breast density. We identified a positive correlation between and % collagen and a negative correlation between and age and BMI. Increased collagen corresponded to increased variability. In postmenopausal women, was similar regardless of fibroglandular content. Contributions from collagen and glands to were independent and equivalent in benign sites; glands showed a stronger positive correlation than collagen to in malignant sites. Our data suggest that scattering could differentiate highly scattering malignant from benign tissues in postmenopausal women. The relationship between scattering and tissue composition will support improved scattering models and technologies to enhance intraoperative optical margin assessment.

  4. Assessment of static flood modeling techniques: application to contrasting marshes flooded during Xynthia (western France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. F. Breilh


    Full Text Available This study aims to assess the performance of raster-based flood modeling methods on a wide diversity of coastal marshes. These methods are applied to the flooding associated with the storm Xynthia, which severely hit the western coast of France in February 2010. Static and semi-dynamic methods are assessed using a combination of LiDAR data, post-storm delineation of flooded areas and sea levels originating from both tide gauge measurements and storm surge modeling. Static methods are applied to 27 marshes showing a wide geomorphological diversity. It appears that these methods are suitable for marshes with a small distance between the coastline and the landward boundary of the marsh, which causes these marshes to flood rapidly. On the contrary, these methods overpredict flooded areas for large marshes where the distance between the coastline and the landward boundary of the marsh is large, because the flooding cannot be considered as instantaneous. In this case, semi-dynamic methods based on surge overflowing volume calculations can improve the flooding prediction significantly. This study suggests that static and semi-dynamic flood modeling methods can be attractive and quickly deployed to rapidly produce predictive flood maps of vulnerable areas under certain conditions, particularly for small distances between the coastline and the landward boundary of the low-lying coastal area.

  5. Assessing soil quality indicator under different land use and soil erosion using multivariate statistical techniques. (United States)

    Nosrati, Kazem


    Soil degradation associated with soil erosion and land use is a critical problem in Iran and there is little or insufficient scientific information in assessing soil quality indicator. In this study, factor analysis (FA) and discriminant analysis (DA) were used to identify the most sensitive indicators of soil quality for evaluating land use and soil erosion within the Hiv catchment in Iran and subsequently compare soil quality assessment using expert opinion based on soil surface factors (SSF) form of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) method. Therefore, 19 soil physical, chemical, and biochemical properties were measured from 56 different sampling sites covering three land use/soil erosion categories (rangeland/surface erosion, orchard/surface erosion, and rangeland/stream bank erosion). FA identified four factors that explained for 82 % of the variation in soil properties. Three factors showed significant differences among the three land use/soil erosion categories. The results indicated that based upon backward-mode DA, dehydrogenase, silt, and manganese allowed more than 80 % of the samples to be correctly assigned to their land use and erosional status. Canonical scores of discriminant functions were significantly correlated to the six soil surface indices derived of BLM method. Stepwise linear regression revealed that soil surface indices: soil movement, surface litter, pedestalling, and sum of SSF were also positively related to the dehydrogenase and silt. This suggests that dehydrogenase and silt are most sensitive to land use and soil erosion.

  6. An Assessment of Software Testability using Fuzzy Logic Technique for Aspect-Oriented Software

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pradeep Kumar Singh


    Full Text Available Testability is a property of software which introduces with the purpose of forecasting efforts need to test the programs. Software quality is the most important factor in the development of software, which can be depend on many quality attributes. The absence of testability is responsible for higher maintenance and testing effort. In this paper Fuzzy Logic is used to ascertain the relationship between the factors that affects the software testability. This paper presents the application of fuzzy logic the assessment of software testability. A new model is proposed using fuzzy inference system for tuning the performance of software testability. Aspect-oriented metrics are taken i.e. Separation of Concern (SoC, cohesion, size and coupling. These metrics are closely related to the factors i.e. Controllability, Observability, Built in Test Capability, Understandability and Complexity. These factors are independent to each other and used for accessing software testability. A Triangular Membership Function (TriMF is applied on these factors which defined in Mamdani Fuzzy Inference System in MATLAB. In this paper, we have defined and evaluated factors combination which is used for the assessment of software testability for as well as aspect oriented software.

  7. Autonomic function assessment in Parkinson's disease patients using the kernel method and entrainment techniques. (United States)

    Kamal, Ahmed K


    The experimental procedure of lowering and raising a leg while the subject is in the supine position is considered to stimulate and entrain the autonomic nervous system of fifteen untreated patients with Parkinson's disease and fifteen age and sex matched control subjects. The assessment of autonomic function for each group is achieved using an algorithm based on Volterra kernel estimation. By applying this algorithm and considering the process of lowering and raising a leg as stimulus input and the Heart Rate Variability signal (HRV) as output for system identification, a mathematical model is expressed as integral equations. The integral equations are considered and fixed for control subjects and Parkinson's disease patients so that the identification method reduced to the determination of the values within the integral called kernels, resulting in an integral equations whose input-output behavior is nearly identical to that of the system in both healthy subjects and Parkinson's disease patients. The model for each group contains the linear part (first order kernel) and quadratic part (second order kernel). A difference equation model was employed to represent the system for both control subjects and patients with Parkinson's disease. The results show significant difference in first order kernel(impulse response) and second order kernel (mesh diagram) for each group. Using first order kernel and second order kernel, it is possible to assess autonomic function qualitatively and quantitatively in both groups.

  8. Fire Risk Assessment of Some Indian Coals Using Radial Basis Function (RBF) Technique (United States)

    Nimaje, Devidas; Tripathy, Debi Prasad


    Fires, whether surface or underground, pose serious and environmental problems in the global coal mining industry. It is causing huge loss of coal due to burning and loss of lives, sterilization of coal reserves and environmental pollution. Most of the instances of coal mine fires happening worldwide are mainly due to the spontaneous combustion. Hence, attention must be paid to take appropriate measures to prevent occurrence and spread of fire. In this paper, to evaluate the different properties of coals for fire risk assessment, forty-nine in situ coal samples were collected from major coalfields of India. Intrinsic properties viz. proximate and ultimate analysis; and susceptibility indices like crossing point temperature, flammability temperature, Olpinski index and wet oxidation potential method of Indian coals were carried out to ascertain the liability of coal to spontaneous combustion. Statistical regression analysis showed that the parameters of ultimate analysis provide significant correlation with all investigated susceptibility indices as compared to the parameters of proximate analysis. Best correlated parameters (ultimate analysis) were used as inputs to the radial basis function network model. The model revealed that Olpinski index can be used as a reliable method to assess the liability of Indian coals to spontaneous combustion.

  9. Novel Neuromodulation Techniques to Assess Interhemispheric Communication in Neural Injury and Neurodegenerative Diseases (United States)

    Shin, Samuel S.; Pelled, Galit


    Interhemispheric interaction has a major role in various neurobehavioral functions. Its disruption is a major contributor to the pathological changes in the setting of brain injury such as traumatic brain injury, peripheral nerve injury, and stroke, as well as neurodegenerative diseases. Because interhemispheric interaction has a crucial role in functional consequence in these neuropathological states, a review of noninvasive and state-of-the-art molecular based neuromodulation methods that focus on or have the potential to elucidate interhemispheric interaction have been performed. This yielded approximately 170 relevant articles on human subjects or animal models. There has been a recent surge of reports on noninvasive methods such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation. Since these are noninvasive techniques with little to no side effects, their widespread use in clinical studies can be easily justified. The overview of novel neuromodulation methods and how they can be applied to study the role of interhemispheric communication in neural injury and neurodegenerative disease is provided. Additionally, the potential of each method in therapeutic use as well as investigating the pathophysiology of interhemispheric interaction in neurodegenerative diseases and brain injury is discussed. New technologies such as transcranial magnetic stimulation or transcranial direct current stimulation could have a great impact in understanding interhemispheric pathophysiology associated with acquired injury and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as designing improved rehabilitation therapies. Also, advances in molecular based neuromodulation techniques such as optogenetics and other chemical, thermal, and magnetic based methods provide new capabilities to stimulate or inhibit a specific brain location and a specific neuronal population. PMID:28337129

  10. Assessing the extent of colon lengthening due to splenic flexure mobilization techniques: a cadaver study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Eduardo Alonso Araujo


    Full Text Available CONTEXT: Failure of a colorectal anastomosis represents a life-threatening complication of colorectal surgery. Splenic flexure mobilization may contribute to reduce the occurrence of anastomotic complications due to technical flaws. There are no published reports measuring the impact of splenic flexure mobilization on the length of mobilized colon viable to construct a safe colorectal anastomosis. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of two techniques for splenic flexure mobilization on colon lengthening during open left-sided colon surgery using a cadaver model. DESIGN: Anatomical dissections for left colectomy and colorectal anastomosis at the sacral promontory level were conducted in 20 fresh cadavers by the same team of four surgeons. The effect of partial and full splenic flexure mobilization on the extent of mobilized left colon segment was determined. SETTING: University of Sao Paulo Medical School, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil. Tertiary medical institution and university hospital. PARTICIPANTS: A team of four surgeons operated on 20 fresh cadavers. RESULTS: The length of resected left colon enabling a tension-free colorectal anastomosis at the level of sacral promontory achieved without mobilizing the splenic flexure was 46.3 (35-81 cm. After partial mobilization of the splenic flexure, an additionally mobilized colon segment measuring 10.7 (2-30 cm was obtained. After full mobilization of the distal transverse colon, a mean 28.3 (10-65 cm segment was achieved. CONCLUSION: Splenic flexure mobilization techniques are associated to effective left colon lengthening for colorectal anastomosis. This result may contribute to decision-making during rectal surgery and low colorectal and coloanal anastomosis.

  11. X-ray Constrained Extremely Localized Molecular Orbitals: Theory and Critical Assessment of the New Technique. (United States)

    Genoni, Alessandro


    Following the X-ray constrained wave function approach proposed by Jayatilaka, we have devised a new technique that allows to extract molecular orbitals strictly localized on small molecular fragments from sets of experimental X-ray structure factors amplitudes. Since the novel strategy enables to obtain electron distributions that have quantum mechanical features and that can be easily interpreted in terms of traditional chemical concepts, the method can be also considered as a new useful tool for the determination and the analysis of charge densities from high-resolution X-ray experiments. In this paper, we describe in detail the theory of the new technique, which, in comparison to our preliminary work, has been improved both treating the effects of isotropic secondary extinctions and introducing a new protocol to halt the fitting procedure against the experimental X-ray scattering data. The performances of the novel strategy have been studied both in function of the basis-sets flexibility and in function of the quality of the considered crystallographic data. The tests performed on four different systems (α-glycine, l-cysteine, (aminomethyl)phosphonic acid and N-(trifluoromethyl)formamide) have shown that the achievement of good statistical agreements with the experimental measures mainly depends on the quality of the crystal structures (i.e., geometry positions and thermal parameters) used in the X-ray constrained calculations. Finally, given the reliable transferability of the obtained Extremely Localized Molecular Orbitals (ELMOs), we envisage to exploit the novel approach to construct new ELMOs databases suited to the development of linear-scaling methods for the refinement of macromolecular crystal structures.

  12. The Application of Vibrational Spectroscopy Techniques in the Qualitative Assessment of Material Traded as Ginseng

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxleene Sandasi


    Full Text Available The name “ginseng” is collectively used to describe several plant species, including Panax ginseng (Asian/Oriental ginseng, P. quinquefolius (American ginseng, P. pseudoginseng (Pseudoginseng and Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng, each with different applications in traditional medicine practices. The use of a generic name may lead to the interchangeable use or substitution of raw materials which poses quality control challenges. Quality control methods such as vibrational spectroscopy-based techniques are here proposed as fast, non-destructive methods for the distinction of four ginseng species and the identification of raw materials in commercial ginseng products. Certified ginseng reference material and commercial products were analysed using hyperspectral imaging (HSI, mid-infrared (MIR and near-infrared (NIR spectroscopy. Principal component analysis (PCA and (orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis models (OPLS-DA were developed using multivariate analysis software. UHPLC-MS was used to analyse methanol extracts of the reference raw materials and commercial products. The holistic analysis of ginseng raw materials revealed distinct chemical differences using HSI, MIR and NIR. For all methods, Eleutherococcus senticosus displayed the greatest variation from the three Panax species that displayed closer chemical similarity. Good discrimination models with high R2X and Q2 cum vales were developed. These models predicted that the majority of products contained either /P. ginseng or P. quinquefolius. Vibrational spectroscopy and HSI techniques in tandem with multivariate data analysis tools provide useful alternative methods in the authentication of ginseng raw materials and commercial products in a fast, easy, cost-effective and non-destructive manner.

  13. Development of Tools and Techniques to Survey, Assess, Stabilise, Monitor and Preserve Underwater Archaeological Sites: SASMAP (United States)

    Gregory, D. J.


    SASMAP's purpose is to develop new technologies and best practices in order to locate, assess and manage Europe's underwater cultural heritage in a more effective way than is possible today. SASMAP has taken an holistic- and process- based approach to investigating underwater environments and the archaeological sites contained therein. End user of the results of SASMAP are severalfold; i) to benefiet the SMEs involved in the project and development of their products for the offshore industry (not just for archaeological purposes) ii) a better understanding of the marine environment and its effect on archaeological materials iii) the collation of the results from the project into guidelines that can be used by cultural resource managers to better administer and optimise developer lead underwater archaeological project within Europe in accordance with European legislation (Treaty of Valetta (1992). Summarily the project has utilised a down scaling approach to localise archaeological sites at a large scale regional level. This has involved using innovative satellite imagery to obtain seamless topography maps over coastal areas and the seabed (accurate to a depth of 6m) as well as the development of a 3D sub bottom profiler to look within the seabed. Results obtained from the downscaling approach at the study areas in the project (Greece and Denmark) have enabled geological models to be developed inorder to work towards predictive modelling of where submerged prehistoric sites may be encountered. Once sites have been located an upscaling approach has been taken to assessing an individual site and the materials on and within it in order to better understand the state of preservation and dynamic conditions of a site and how it can best be preserved through in situ preservation or excavation. This has involved the development of equipment to monitor the seabed environment (open water and in sediments), equipment for sampling sediments and assessing the state of

  14. Environmental impact assessment of structural flood mitigation measures by a rapid impact assessment matrix (RIAM) technique: a case study in Metro Manila, Philippines. (United States)

    Gilbuena, Romeo; Kawamura, Akira; Medina, Reynaldo; Amaguchi, Hideo; Nakagawa, Naoko; Bui, Duong Du


    In recent decades, the practice of environmental impact assessment (EIA) in the planning processes of infrastructure projects has created significant awareness on the benefits of environmentally sound and sustainable urban development around the world. In the highly urbanized megacities in the Philippines, like Metro Manila, high priority is given by the national government to structural flood mitigation measures (SFMM) due to the persistently high frequency of flood-related disasters, which are exacerbated by the on-going effects of climate change. EIA thus, should be carefully and effectively executed to maximize the potential benefits of the SFMM. The common practice of EIA in the Philippines is generally qualitative and lacks clear methodology in evaluating multi-criteria systems. Thus, this study proposes the use of the rapid impact assessment matrix (RIAM) technique to provide a method that would systematically and quantitatively evaluate the socio-economic and environmental impacts of planned SFMM in Metro Manila. The RIAM technique was slightly modified to fit the requirements of this study. The scale of impact was determined for each perceived impact, and based on the results, the planned SFMM for Metro Manila will likely bring significant benefits; however, significant negative impacts may also likely occur. The proposed modifications were found to be highly compatible with RIAM, and the results of the RIAM analysis provided a clear view of the impacts associated with the implementation of SFMM projects. This may prove to be valuable in the practice of EIA in the Philippines.

  15. Assessment of the Miocene aquifer in Wadi El Farigh area by using GIS techniques (United States)

    Gad, M.; El Hattab, M.; Galal, Sh.


    Land reclamation projects represent one of Egypt' strategic policies to meet the needs of over-increase in population. In this regard Wadi El-Farigh and surrounding areas are new promising reclaimed areas because it has reclaimable soils and adequate groundwater potentiality. Development of human activities especially agricultural and industrial activities has a negative impact on the groundwater quality. Geographic information systems (GISs) have become a useful and important tool in hydrology in the scientific study and assessment of water resources. Landsat satellite images dated 2005 and 2013 were used in this study to access the changes in date land use/land cover that influenced the groundwater aquifer. ERDAS IMAGIN 9.2 image processing system was used for processing satellite images (geometric correction, classification, and change detection). The integration of image processing and Geographic Information System (ArcGIS version 10) was employed to correlate the data and map the results.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Ranade


    Full Text Available Mining activities and the waste products produced can have significant impact on the surrounding environment - ranging from localized surface and ground water contamination to the damaging effects of airborne pollutants on the regional ecosystem. The long term monitoring of environmental impacts requires a cost effective method to characterize land cover and land cover changes over time. As per the guidelines of Ministry of Environment and Forest, Govt. of India, it is mandatory to study and analyze the impacts of mining on its surroundings. The use of remote sensing technology to generate reliable land cover maps is a valuable asset to completing environmental assessments over mining affected areas. In this paper, a case study has been discussed to study the land use – land cover status around 10 Km radius of open cast limestone mine area and the subsequent impacts on environmental as well as social surroundings.

  17. Development of a wireless bridge monitoring system for condition assessment using hybrid techniques (United States)

    Whelan, Matthew J.; Fuchs, Michael P.; Gangone, Michael V.; Janoyan, Kerop D.


    The introduction and development of wireless sensor network technology has resulted in rapid growth within the field of structural health monitoring (SHM), as the dramatic cable costs associated with instrumentation of large civil structures is potentially alleviated. Traditionally, condition assessment of bridge structures is accomplished through the use of either vibration measurements or strain sensing. One approach is through quantifying dynamic characteristics and mode shapes developed through the use of relatively dense arrays of accelerometers. Another widely utilized method of condition assessment is bridge load rating, which is enabled through the use of strain sensors. The Wireless Sensor Solution (WSS) developed specifically for diagnostic bridge monitoring provides a hybrid system that interfaces with both accelerometers and strain sensors to facilitate vibration-based bridge evaluation as well as load rating and static analysis on a universal platform. This paper presents the development and testing of a wireless bridge monitoring system designed within the Laboratory for Intelligent Infrastructure and Transportation Technologies (LIITT) at Clarkson University. The system interfaces with low-cost MEMS accelerometers using custom signal conditioning for amplification and filtering tailored to the spectrum of typical bridge vibrations, specifically from ambient excitation. Additionally, a signal conditioning and high resolution ADC interface is provided for strain gauge sensors. To permit compensation for the influence of temperature, thermistor-based temperature sensing is also enabled. In addition to the hardware description, this paper presents features of the software applications and host interface developed for flexible, user-friendly in-network control of and acquisition from the sensor nodes. The architecture of the software radio protocol is also discussed along with results of field deployments including relatively large-scale networks and

  18. Evaluation of several modifications of an ecometric technique for assessment of media performance. (United States)

    Kornacki, Jeffrey L; Gurtler, Joshua B; Yan, Zhinong; Cooper, Chad M


    Recovery of Listeria monocytogenes 101M, Jonesia denitrificans, salmonellae, and Pediococcus sp. NRRL B-2354 across nine media was evaluated with three modified versions of an ecometric method. Two approaches involved the use of broth cultures (10(8) to 10(9) CFU/ml) of individual strains and either large (10-microl) or small (1-microl) presterilized plastic loops. The third approach involved precultured slants and the inoculation of media with presterilized plastic inoculating needles (10(4) CFU per needle). Absolute growth indices (AGIs) were compared. No significant differences (P agar supplemented with 0.6% yeast extract (TSAYE) was used for the recovery of L. monocytogenes, J. denitrificans, Pediococcus sp. NRRL B-2354, and Salmonella spp. However, the small loop-broth technique recovered significantly fewer Salmonella enterica Typhimurium DT104 and Salmonella Senftenberg 775W cells than the other two techniques did. The performance of each individual bacterial strain on each of nine media was assayed. The recovery of L. monocytogenes was excellent (AGI > 4.8) with TSAYE, PALCAM, modified Oxford medium (MOX), and Baird-Parker agar and slight with modified PRAB (AGI = 0.4) and deMan Rogosa Sharpe (MRS) agar (lysine iron agar [MLIA], xylose lysine desoxycholate [XLD] agar, and xylose lysine tergitol 4 [XLT4] agar). The recovery of J. denitrificans with TSAYE and MOX was excellent, significantly better than that achieved with PALCAM (AGI = 3.0), but the organism was not recovered with Baird-Parker agar or with the other media tested. The recovery of Pediococcus sp. NRRL B-2354 was excellent with TSAYE and modified PRAB medium > Baird-Parker agar > acidified MRS agar, but the organism was not recovered with any of the other media tested. The best recovery of S. enterica Typhimurium DT104 was achieved with TSAYE > MLIA > or = XLD agar > or = XLT4 agar > Baird-Parker > PALCAM, MOX, acidified MRS agar, modified PRAB, and MRS agar. The best recovery of Salmonella

  19. Landscape level assessment of critically endangered vegetation of Lakshadweep islands using geo-spatial techniques

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    C Sudhakar Reddy; Bijan Debnath; P Hari Krishna; C S Jha


    The conservation of biodiversity is essential for human survival and quality of the environment. Lakshadweep islands are vulnerable to global change and the representing remnant natural vegetation. Landscape fragmentation, disturbance regimes and biological richness have been studied using geo-spatial techniques. Littoral vegetation is the only natural vegetation type of Lakshadweep islands. Altogether 59 patches of the littoral vegetation occupying an area of 137.2 ha were identified. 58.06% of the littoral vegetation patches belongs to the patch-size class of > 5 ha. The remnant natural vegetation surviving with patches of less than 20 ha size indicates severe anthropogenic pressure. The fragmentation of littoral vegetation habitat into smaller isolated patches poses one of the key threats to biodiversity and coastal environment. Phytosociological observations revealed distinct plant communities and presence of invasive species in littoral vegetation. The high disturbance areas accounted for 59.11% area of the total vegetation. The overall spatial distribution of biological richness (BR) in Lakshadweep shows maximum BR at low level (78%), followed by medium (19%), high (2%) and very high (1%). The study emphasizes the importance of conserving the remnant natural vegetation, which is critically endangered.

  20. Assessment of magnetic resonance techniques to measure muscle damage 24 h after eccentric exercise. (United States)

    Fulford, J; Eston, R G; Rowlands, A V; Davies, R C


    The study examined which of a number of different magnetic resonance (MR) methods were sensitive to detecting muscle damage induced by eccentric exercise. Seventeen healthy, physically active participants, with muscle damage confirmed by non-MR methods were tested 24 h after performing eccentric exercise. Techniques investigated whether damage could be detected within the quadriceps muscle as a whole, and individually within the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis (VL), vastus medialis (VM), and vastus intermedius (VI). Relative to baseline values, significant changes were seen in leg and muscle cross-sectional areas and volumes and the resting inorganic phosphate concentration. Significant time effects over all muscles were also seen in the transverse relaxation time (T2) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values, with individually significant changes seen in the VL, VM, and VI for T2 and in the VI for ADC. A significant correlation was found between muscle volume and the average T2 change (r = 0.59) but not between T2 and ADC or Pi alterations. There were no significant time effects over all muscles for magnetization transfer contrast images, for baseline pH, phosphocreatine (PCr), phosphodiester, or ATP metabolite concentrations or the time constant describing the rate of PCr recovery following exercise.

  1. New techniques of the mechanical properties assessment for Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) in automobile

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fang Jian [Baoshan Iron and Steel Co., Ltd., Shanghai (China)


    Based on the mathematical polynomial and differentiate processing onto tensile stress-strain curve, the experimental technique to monitor the trace of working hardening exponent against strain was established, with the hope of linking the characterization of the mechanical properties to the insight into the microstructure behavior of AHSS. The features of a significant strain hardening peak with slow decaying followed was obtained existing on the n value trace of strain during uniform deformation, which may be the predominant contribution to the outstanding combination of strength and plasticity of AHSS. In comparison, for conventional high strength steel as quench and temper prepared, the form of n value trace was changed into the monotonous decreasing tendency within overall uniform extension. As regards the dynamic loading response of AHSS, the recorded impact force-displacement curve by instrumented impact testing with characteristic force points subdivided the absorbed impact energy into distinct components, corresponding to the crack initiation and propagation. Combined with the quasi static tensile, the concept of toughness parameters including J{sub d}, J-{delta}a and so-called ''local strain toughness, LST'' were proposed, which implies that the stable plastic deformation and pronounced energy consumption may lead to the excellent material response against cracking and rupture under various loading conditions. (orig.)

  2. In vitro techniques to assess the proficiency of skin care cosmetic formulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amit Roy


    Full Text Available Cosmetics comprising either natural or synthetic components are used almost regularly and universally in different forms to enhance the beauty. The utmost disclosure of human membrane to sunlight and environmental pollution results in the exhibition of free radical, that react with deoxyribonucleic acid, proteins and fatty acids, causation oxidative destruction dysfunction of the antioxidant system. In skin, the formation of reactive oxygen species leads to skin diseases, predominantly cutaneous malignancies, immunosuppression, wrinkles, aging, etc., The human organism fosters a barrier practice against the destructive action of free radicals, comprising mostly of vitamins, carotenoids and enzymes. Cosmetic products are the best option to reduce skin disorders such as hyper pigmentation, skin aging, skin wrinkling and rough skin texture, etc., Hence in this review, we conferred various in vitro methods that are used for the development of novel cosmetic formulation. There is an expanding fascinate employing in vitro techniques because they are less time consuming, more cost-effective and lessen the participation of human volunteers.

  3. Assessing Adipogenic Potential of Mesenchymal Stem Cells: A Rapid Three-Dimensional Culture Screening Technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean F. Welter


    Full Text Available Bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs have the potential to differentiate into a number of phenotypes, including adipocytes. Adipogenic differentiation has traditionally been performed in monolayer culture, and, while the expression of a fat-cell phenotype can be achieved, this culture method is labor and material intensive and results in only small numbers of fragile adherent cells, which are not very useful for further applications. Aggregate culture is a cell-culture technique in which cells are induced to form three-dimensional aggregates; this method has previously been used successfully, among others, to induce and study chondrogenic differentiation of MSCs. We have previously published an adaptation of the chondrogenic aggregate culture method to a 96-well plate format. Based on the success of this method, we have used the same format for the preparation of three-dimensional adipogenic cultures. The MSCs differentiate rapidly, the aggregates can be handled and processed for histologic and biochemical assays with ease, and the format offers significant savings in supplies and labor. As a differentiation assay, this method can distinguish between degrees of senescence and appears suitable for testing medium or drug formulations in a high-volume, high-throughput fashion.

  4. Neonatal total liquid ventilation: is low-frequency forced oscillation technique suitable for respiratory mechanics assessment? (United States)

    Bossé, Dominick; Beaulieu, Alexandre; Avoine, Olivier; Micheau, Philippe; Praud, Jean-Paul; Walti, Hervé


    This study aimed to implement low-frequency forced oscillation technique (LFFOT) in neonatal total liquid ventilation (TLV) and to provide the first insight into respiratory impedance under this new modality of ventilation. Thirteen newborn lambs, weighing 2.5 + or - 0.4 kg (mean + or - SD), were premedicated, intubated, anesthetized, and then placed under TLV using a specially design liquid ventilator and a perfluorocarbon. The respiratory mechanics measurements protocol was started immediately after TLV initiation. Three blocks of measurements were first performed: one during initial respiratory system adaptation to TLV, followed by two other series during steady-state conditions. Lambs were then divided into two groups before undergoing another three blocks of measurements: the first group received a 10-min intravenous infusion of salbutamol (1.5 microg x kg(-1) x min(-1)) after continuous infusion of methacholine (9 microg x kg(-1) x min(-1)), while the second group of lambs was chest strapped. Respiratory impedance was measured using serial single-frequency tests at frequencies ranging between 0.05 and 2 Hz and then fitted with a constant-phase model. Harmonic test signals of 0.2 Hz were also launched every 10 min throughout the measurement protocol. Airway resistance and inertance were starkly increased in TLV compared with gas ventilation, with a resonant frequency ventilation. We show that LFFOT is an effective tool to track respiratory mechanics under TLV.

  5. Soil moisture assessed by digital mapping techniques and its field validation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Montoani Silva


    Full Text Available Digital techniques and tools can assist not only in the prediction of soil properties, such as soil moisture, but also in planning the use and management of areas for agriculture and, or, environmental purposes. In this sense, this work aimed to study wetness indexes methods, defining the spatial resolution and selecting the estimation method that best correlates with water content data measured in the field, evaluating even moisture at different soil depths and seasons. This study was developed in a landscape with strongly undulated relief and covered with Nitosols at the summit and upper middle third, and Argisols at the low middle third, ranging in altitude from 845 to 890 m, located in the southern state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. It were performed analyses of Pearson linear correlation between soil moisture determined in the field, at depths of 10, 20, 30, 40, 60 and 100 cm and the water storage in 0-100 cm depth, and the topographic and SAGA wetness indexes, TWI and SWI, respectively, obtained from digital elevation models at different spatial resolutions. In most studied conditions, the TWI with resolution of 10 m provided better results, particularly for the dry season. In this study, only the depth of 100 cm resulted in a significant and positive correlation, suggesting that the moisture levels are suitable for water dynamic studies in the subsurface, assisting in studies of hydrological dynamics and planning the soil use and management, especially for perennial plants with deeper root systems.

  6. Assessing the impact of background spectral graph construction techniques on the topological anomaly detection algorithm (United States)

    Ziemann, Amanda K.; Messinger, David W.; Albano, James A.; Basener, William F.


    Anomaly detection algorithms have historically been applied to hyperspectral imagery in order to identify pixels whose material content is incongruous with the background material in the scene. Typically, the application involves extracting man-made objects from natural and agricultural surroundings. A large challenge in designing these algorithms is determining which pixels initially constitute the background material within an image. The topological anomaly detection (TAD) algorithm constructs a graph theory-based, fully non-parametric topological model of the background in the image scene, and uses codensity to measure deviation from this background. In TAD, the initial graph theory structure of the image data is created by connecting an edge between any two pixel vertices x and y if the Euclidean distance between them is less than some resolution r. While this type of proximity graph is among the most well-known approaches to building a geometric graph based on a given set of data, there is a wide variety of dierent geometrically-based techniques. In this paper, we present a comparative test of the performance of TAD across four dierent constructs of the initial graph: mutual k-nearest neighbor graph, sigma-local graph for two different values of σ > 1, and the proximity graph originally implemented in TAD.

  7. In vitro techniques to assess the proficiency of skin care cosmetic formulations. (United States)

    Roy, Amit; Sahu, Ram Kumar; Matlam, Munglu; Deshmukh, Vinay Kumar; Dwivedi, Jaya; Jha, Arvind Kumar


    Cosmetics comprising either natural or synthetic components are used almost regularly and universally in different forms to enhance the beauty. The utmost disclosure of human membrane to sunlight and environmental pollution results in the exhibition of free radical, that react with deoxyribonucleic acid, proteins and fatty acids, causation oxidative destruction dysfunction of the antioxidant system. In skin, the formation of reactive oxygen species leads to skin diseases, predominantly cutaneous malignancies, immunosuppression, wrinkles, aging, etc., The human organism fosters a barrier practice against the destructive action of free radicals, comprising mostly of vitamins, carotenoids and enzymes. Cosmetic products are the best option to reduce skin disorders such as hyper pigmentation, skin aging, skin wrinkling and rough skin texture, etc., Hence in this review, we conferred various in vitro methods that are used for the development of novel cosmetic formulation. There is an expanding fascinate employing in vitro techniques because they are less time consuming, more cost-effective and lessen the participation of human volunteers.

  8. Assessment of cardiac function using myocardial perfusion imaging technique on SPECT with 99mTc sestamibi (United States)

    Gani, M. R. A.; Nazir, F.; Pawiro, S. A.; Soejoko, D. S.


    Suspicion on coronary heart disease can be confirmed by observing the function of left ventricle cardiac muscle with Myocardial Perfusion Imaging techniques. The function perfusion itself is indicated by the uptake of radiopharmaceutical tracer. The 31 patients were studied undergoing the MPI examination on Gatot Soebroto Hospital using 99mTc-sestamibi radiopharmaceutical with stress and rest conditions. Stress was stimulated by physical exercise or pharmacological agent. After two hours, the patient did rest condition on the same day. The difference of uptake percentage between stress and rest conditions will be used to determine the malfunction of perfusion due to ischemic or infarct. Degradation of cardiac function was determined based on the image-based assessment of five segments of left ventricle cardiac. As a result, 8 (25.8%) patients had normal myocardial perfusion and 11 (35.5%) patients suspected for having partial ischemia. Total ischemia occurred to 8 (25.8%) patients with reversible and irreversible ischemia and the remaining 4 (12.9%) patients for partial infarct with characteristic the percentage of perfusion ≤50%. It is concluded that MPI technique of image-based assessment on uptake percentage difference between stress and rest conditions can be employed to predict abnormal perfusion as complementary information to diagnose the cardiac function.

  9. Using multimodal imaging techniques to monitor limb ischemia: a rapid noninvasive method for assessing extremity wounds (United States)

    Luthra, Rajiv; Caruso, Joseph D.; Radowsky, Jason S.; Rodriguez, Maricela; Forsberg, Jonathan; Elster, Eric A.; Crane, Nicole J.


    Over 70% of military casualties resulting from the current conflicts sustain major extremity injuries. Of these the majority are caused by blasts from improvised explosive devices. The resulting injuries include traumatic amputations, open fractures, crush injuries, and acute vascular disruption. Critical tissue ischemia—the point at which ischemic tissues lose the capacity to recover—is therefore a major concern, as lack of blood flow to tissues rapidly leads to tissue deoxygenation and necrosis. If left undetected or unaddressed, a potentially salvageable limb may require more extensive debridement or, more commonly, amputation. Predicting wound outcome during the initial management of blast wounds remains a significant challenge, as wounds continue to "evolve" during the debridement process and our ability to assess wound viability remains subjectively based. Better means of identifying critical ischemia are needed. We developed a swine limb ischemia model in which two imaging modalities were combined to produce an objective and quantitative assessment of wound perfusion and tissue viability. By using 3 Charge-Coupled Device (3CCD) and Infrared (IR) cameras, both surface tissue oxygenation as well as overall limb perfusion could be depicted. We observed a change in mean 3CCD and IR values at peak ischemia and during reperfusion correlate well with clinically observed indicators for limb function and vitality. After correcting for baseline mean R-B values, the 3CCD values correlate with surface tissue oxygenation and the IR values with changes in perfusion. This study aims to not only increase fundamental understanding of the processes involved with limb ischemia and reperfusion, but also to develop tools to monitor overall limb perfusion and tissue oxygenation in a clinical setting. A rapid and objective diagnostic for extent of ischemic damage and overall limb viability could provide surgeons with a more accurate indication of tissue viability. This may

  10. Assessment of groundwater salinity in Nellore district using multi-electrode resistivity imaging technique

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    E Chandrasekhar; Deshmukh Ramesh; Trupti Gurav; T K Biswal


    Multi-electrode resistivity imaging survey with 48 electrodes was carried out to assess the extent of salinity inland, in the shallow subsurface in Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh, in the Eastern Ghats Mobile Belt (EGMB) region. Resistivity data were recorded using Wenner–Schlumberger configuration at nine sites along a profile of about 55 km in length, laid perpendicular to the coast. An average spacing of 6 km is maintained between each site. Assessment of groundwater salinity in the study area was made by joint interpretation of the two-dimensional (2D) geoelectrical models of all the sites together with the geochemical analysis results of water samples and geology. At sites closer to the coast, 2D geoelectrical models of the subsurface indicate low resistivities (2–50 m) in the depth range from surface up to 15 m. Such low resistivities are due to the high salinity of the groundwater. Geochemical analysis results of water samples at six locations close to the electrical resistivity survey sites also suggest high salinity and high concentrations of total dissolved solids and other chemicals at sites closer to the coast. Away from the coast, the resistivities in the depth range from surface up to 15 m vary in the range of 50–150 m. Accordingly, the chemical analysis of water samples collected at these sites also showed relatively low levels of salinity and salt concentrations in them. However, away from the coast, the resistivities vary in the range of 150–1500 m in the depth range from 20–40 m. While the aquaculture and agriculture activities may contribute to high salinity at the sites closer to the coast, the presence of deep-seated paleochannels aiding in transporting seawater inland, and water–rock interactions are suspected to be the chief causes for notable salinity at places away from the coast at shallow depths. We opine that the high salinity at shallow depths, coupled with the deep-seated paleochannels transporting seawater, could pose

  11. Assessment of phacoaspiration techniques in clear lens extraction for correction of high myopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mostafa A El-Helw


    Full Text Available Mostafa A El-Helw, Ahmed M EmarahDepartment of Ophthalmology, Cairo University, EgyptPurpose: To evaluate various phacoaspiration techniques in clear lens extraction for the incidence of intraoperative difficulties and complications.Patients and methods: This was a prospective study in which bilateral clear lens extraction was performed on 40 eyes of 20 patients, to correct high myopia. The patients were divided into 2 groups: group A underwent supracapsular phacoaspiration; group B were the contralateral eyes of the same patient. These patients were operated on with endocapsular phacoaspiration with the divide and conquer (D and C technique. Preoperative ocular examination data were recorded and tested for significance. Intraoperative difficulties and complications such as nucleus cracking, capsule rupture and vitreous loss, and repeated chamber collapse were recorded. Postoperative examination data were recorded.Results: Mean age was 35.65 ± 5.85 years. Mean follow-up time was 17.1 ± 8.56 months. In group A mean myopia was -17.3 ± 5.07 diopters; in group B myopia was -17.9 ± 4.20 diopters. Mean preoperative uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA was 0.04 ± 0.0167, while the mean postoperative UCVA was 0.435 ± 0.1442. There was a significant difference in pre and postoperative BCVA within both groups, but not between the two groups. In both groups endothelial cell count (ECC showed a significant difference between pre- and postoperative data; however, there was no statistically significant difference between both groups in postoperative ECC. The effective phacoaspiration time for group A was 4.6 ± 1.6 seconds, and for group B 9.90 ± 2.27 seconds (P < 0.005. No cases of capsule rupture occurred in group A, but 3 cases occurred in group B (15 % (not significant, P = 0.231. Nucleus cracking did not occur in group A, but in group B 13 cases occurred (65%. Chamber collapse occurred in 4 cases (20% in group A and 5 cases (25% in group B (not

  12. Sensitivity Detection Technique and Resistance Risk Assessment of Magnaporthe grisea to Tricyclazole

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    In vitro detection method for the sensitivity of Magnaporthe grisea to tricyclazole was studied, and the potential resistance risk of blast disease to tricyclazole was assessed. Both EC50 of hyphal melanization (EC50-H) and minimum inhibitive concentration of melanization in appressorial (MIC-A) by inhibitortricyclazole showed positive correlation to the EC50 of tricyclazole against blast disease tested in vivo, with relative co-efficiency (R2) of 0.8995 and 0.8244, respectively. However, stability and reproducibility of EC50-H were better than those of MIC-A, suggesting that it could be used to detect the sensitivity of M. grisea to tricyclazole in vitro. Tricyclazole sensitivity of the progenies derived from single spores of the most sensitive isolate DY2 and the least sensitive isolate GY6 detected in sensitivity monitoring in 2000 was not stable, with mean EC50 values of 4.4968 μg/mL and 5.4010 μg/mL, respectively, indicating that the difference in EC50 between DY2 and GY6 was not caused probably by resistance variation. EC50 of GY6 did not increase significantly when continuously selected for twenty generations under the selection pressure of tricyclazole in vivo. However, the sensitivity of DY2 was decreased by 10-fold after selected for twenty generations.The results suggested that tricyclazole was still low resistance risk for M. grisea in China.

  13. CT perfusion technique for assessment of early kidney allograft dysfunction: preliminary results

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Helck, A.; Notohamiprodjo, M.; Schoen, F.; Nikolaou, K.; Clevert, D.A.; Reiser, M.; Becker, C. [Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Department of Clinical Radiology, University Hospitals Grosshadern, Munich (Germany); Wessely, M.; Schoenermarck, U.; Fischereder, M. [Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Department of Internal Medicine IV, Nephrology, University Hospitals Grosshadern, Munich (Germany); Klotz, E. [Siemens Healthcare, Computed Tomography, Forchheim (Germany)


    To assess the benefit of quantitative computed tomography (CT) perfusion for differentiating acute tubular necrosis (ATN) and acute rejection (AR) in kidney allografts. Twenty-two patients with acute kidney allograft dysfunction caused by either AR (n = 6) or ATN (n = 16) were retrospectively included in the study. All patients initially underwent a multiphase CT angiography (CTA) protocol (12 phases, one phase every 3.5 s) covering the whole graft to exclude acute postoperative complications. Multiphase CT dataset and dedicated software were used to calculate renal blood flow. Renal biopsy or clinical course of disease served as the standard of reference. Mean effective radiation dose and mean amount of contrast media were calculated. Renal blood flow values were significantly lower (P = 0.001) in allografts undergoing AR (48.3 {+-} 21 ml/100 ml/min) compared with those with ATN (77.5 {+-} 21 ml/100 ml/min). No significant difference (P = 0.71) was observed regarding creatinine level with 5.65 {+-} 3.1 mg/dl in AR and 5.3 {+-} 1.9 mg/dl in ATN. The mean effective radiation dose of the CT perfusion protocol was 13.6 {+-} 5.2 mSv; the mean amount of contrast media applied was 34.5 {+-} 5.1 ml. All examinations were performed without complications. CT perfusion of kidney allografts may help to differentiate between ATN and rejection. (orig.)

  14. Gypsum plasterboards enhanced with phase change materials: A fire safety assessment using experimental and computational techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kolaitis Dionysios I.


    Full Text Available Phase Change Materials (PCM can be used for thermal energy storage, aiming to enhance building energy efficiency. Recently, gypsum plasterboards with incorporated paraffin-based PCM blends have become commercially available. In the high temperature environment developed during a fire, the paraffins, which exhibit relatively low boiling points, may evaporate and, escaping through the gypsum plasterboard's porous structure, emerge to the fire region, where they may ignite, thus adversely affecting the fire resistance characteristics of the building. Aiming to assess the fire safety behaviour of such building materials, an extensive experimental and computational analysis is performed. The fire behaviour and the main thermo-physical physical properties of PCM-enhanced gypsum plasterboards are investigated, using a variety of standard tests and devices (Scanning Electron Microscopy, Thermo Gravimetric Analysis, Cone Calorimeter. The obtained results are used to develop a dedicated numerical model, which is implemented in a CFD code. CFD simulations are validated using measurements obtained in a cone calorimeter. In addition, the CFD code is used to simulate an ISO 9705 room exposed to fire conditions, demonstrating that PCM addition may indeed adversely affect the fire safety of a gypsum plasterboard clad building.

  15. Particle quality assessment and sorting for automatic and semiautomatic particle-picking techniques. (United States)

    Vargas, J; Abrishami, V; Marabini, R; de la Rosa-Trevín, J M; Zaldivar, A; Carazo, J M; Sorzano, C O S


    Three-dimensional reconstruction of biological specimens using electron microscopy by single particle methodologies requires the identification and extraction of the imaged particles from the acquired micrographs. Automatic and semiautomatic particle selection approaches can localize these particles, minimizing the user interaction, but at the cost of selecting a non-negligible number of incorrect particles, which can corrupt the final three-dimensional reconstruction. In this work, we present a novel particle quality assessment and sorting method that can separate most erroneously picked particles from correct ones. The proposed method is based on multivariate statistical analysis of a particle set that has been picked previously using any automatic or manual approach. The new method uses different sets of particle descriptors, which are morphology-based, histogram-based and signal to noise analysis based. We have tested our proposed algorithm with experimental data obtaining very satisfactory results. The algorithm is freely available as a part of the Xmipp 3.0 package [].

  16. Assessment of Reservoir Water Quality Using Multivariate Statistical Techniques: A Case Study of Qiandao Lake, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing Gu


    Full Text Available Qiandao Lake (Xin’an Jiang reservoir plays a significant role in drinking water supply for eastern China, and it is an attractive tourist destination. Three multivariate statistical methods were comprehensively applied to assess the spatial and temporal variations in water quality as well as potential pollution sources in Qiandao Lake. Data sets of nine parameters from 12 monitoring sites during 2010–2013 were obtained for analysis. Cluster analysis (CA was applied to classify the 12 sampling sites into three groups (Groups A, B and C and the 12 monitoring months into two clusters (April-July, and the remaining months. Discriminant analysis (DA identified Secchi disc depth, dissolved oxygen, permanganate index and total phosphorus as the significant variables for distinguishing variations of different years, with 79.9% correct assignments. Dissolved oxygen, pH and chlorophyll-a were determined to discriminate between the two sampling periods classified by CA, with 87.8% correct assignments. For spatial variation, DA identified Secchi disc depth and ammonia nitrogen as the significant discriminating parameters, with 81.6% correct assignments. Principal component analysis (PCA identified organic pollution, nutrient pollution, domestic sewage, and agricultural and surface runoff as the primary pollution sources, explaining 84.58%, 81.61% and 78.68% of the total variance in Groups A, B and C, respectively. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of integrated use of CA, DA and PCA for reservoir water quality evaluation and could assist managers in improving water resources management.

  17. Phototoxicity of bergamot oil assessed by in vitro techniques in combination with human patch tests. (United States)

    Kejlová, K; Jírová, D; Bendová, H; Kandárová, H; Weidenhoffer, Z; Kolárová, H; Liebsch, M


    The aim of this study was to clarify the differences in the phototoxicity of bergamot oil obtained from four different suppliers. Spectral and chemical analyses were performed to identify presence of photoactive compounds in the test samples. The phototoxicity was assessed in vitro by the 3T3 NRU phototoxicity test (PT) and subsequently in a phototoxicity test on reconstructed human skin model (H3D PT). Confirmatory photopatch tests in a group of volunteers were performed using the first non-phototoxic concentration determined in the H3D PT. The spectral and chemical analyses revealed, that two samples of bergamot oil exhibited a potential for photoactivation. These oils were subsequently classified as phototoxic in the 3T3 NRU PT, however, only on the basis of borderline results and depending on the solvent used. H3D PT revealed clear classifications, correlating well with the findings of spectral and chemical analysis. The test was, however, not yet capable of precise prediction of safe, non-phototoxic concentrations. Additional endpoints, e.g. interleukin determination might be employed to increase the sensitivity of the test. Although the study showed the usefulness of the tiered testing strategy, currently, the extrapolation of in vitro results to human situation may be performed only to a limited extent.

  18. Axial T2* mapping in intervertebral discs: a new technique for assessment of intervertebral disc degeneration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoppe, Sven; Quirbach, Sebastian; Krause, Fabian G.; Benneker, Lorin M. [Inselspital, Berne University Hospital, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Berne (Switzerland); Mamisch, Tallal C. [Inselspital, Berne University Hospital, Department of Radiology, Berne (Switzerland); Werlen, Stefan [Clinic Sonnenhof, Department of Radiology, Berne (Switzerland)


    To demonstrate the potential benefits of biochemical axial T2* mapping of intervertebral discs (IVDs) regarding the detection and grading of early stages of degenerative disc disease using 1.5-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in a clinical setting. Ninety-three patients suffering from lumbar spine problems were examined using standard MRI protocols including an axial T2* mapping protocol. All discs were classified morphologically and grouped as ''healthy'' or ''abnormal''. Differences between groups were analysed regarding to the specific T2* pattern at different regions of interest (ROIs). Healthy intervertebral discs revealed a distinct cross-sectional T2* value profile: T2* values were significantly lower in the annulus fibrosus compared with the nucleus pulposus (P = 0.01). In abnormal IVDs, T2* values were significantly lower, especially towards the centre of the disc representing the expected decreased water content of the nucleus (P = 0.01). In herniated discs, ROIs within the nucleus pulposus and ROIs covering the annulus fibrosus showed decreased T2* values. Axial T2* mapping is effective to detect early stages of degenerative disc disease. There is a potential benefit of axial T2* mapping as a diagnostic tool, allowing the quantitative assessment of intervertebral disc degeneration. circle Axial T2* mapping effective in detecting early degenerative disc disease. (orig.)

  19. An experimental assessment on the performance of different lubrication techniques in grinding of Inconel 751

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.S.S. Balan


    Full Text Available The application of emulsion for combined heat extraction and lubrication requires continuous monitoring of the quality of emulsion to sustain a desired grinding environment; this is applicable to other grinding fluids as well. Thus to sustain a controlled grinding environment, it is necessary to adopt an effectively lubricated wheel-work interface. The current study was undertaken to assess experimentally the ​ effects of different grinding environments such as dry, minimum quantity lubrication (MQL and Cryo-MQL on performance, such as grinding force, temperature, surface roughness and chip morphology on Inconel 751, a higher heat resistance material posing thermal problems and wheel loading. The results show that grinding with the combination of both liquid nitrogen (LN2 and MQL lowers temperature, cutting forces, and surface roughness as compared with MQL and dry grinding. Specific cutting energy is widely used as an inverse measure of process efficiency in machining. It is found from the results that specific cutting energy of Cryo-MQL assisted grinding is 50–65% lower than conventional dry grinding. The grindability of Inconel 751 superalloy can be enhanced with Cryo-MQL condition.

  20. Assessment of body fatness in childhood obesity: evaluation of laboratory and anthropometric techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bandini, L.G.; Dietz, W.H. Jr.


    The identification of obesity as a pathological diagnosis depends on an accurate assessment of body fatness and a correlation of fatness with pathological consequences. Because total body fat varies with body weight, the proportion of body weight that is fat is probably a more reliable indicator of risk. Among obese children and adolescents, several problems have hindered the development of accurate clinical measures of percent body fat and total body fat. First, the use of direct methods to measure body composition is limited by expense and labor. Second, the relationship between anthropometric indexes and body composition in obese children and adolescents has not been intensively studied. Third, sample sizes of normal weight children have been too small to permit the development of diagnostic criteria. Fourth, the triceps skinfold is less reproducible in overweight subjects. Increases in lean body mass in obese adolescents may confound the use of the body mass index as a measure of adiposity. Current laboratory methods for the measurement of body composition include: (1) underwater weighing, (2) 40K counting, (3) isotopic dilution measures, (4) neutron activation, and (5) electrical impedance. This article examines relationships between those methods and anthropometry in the measurement of fatness in children and adolescents, as well as the difficulties in measuring body fatness and the importance of body fat distribution and its relationship to morbidity in children. Current evidence suggests an association of morbidity and upper segment obesity in adults. Corresponding studies in children and adolescents are yet to be carried out.

  1. Soil salinity mapping and hydrological drought indices assessment in arid environments based on remote sensing techniques (United States)

    Elhag, Mohamed; Bahrawi, Jarbou A.


    Vegetation indices are mostly described as crop water derivatives. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is one of the oldest remote sensing applications that is widely used to evaluate crop vigor directly and crop water relationships indirectly. Recently, several NDVI derivatives were exclusively used to assess crop water relationships. Four hydrological drought indices are examined in the current research study. The water supply vegetation index (WSVI), the soil-adjusted vegetation index (SAVI), the moisture stress index (MSI) and the normalized difference infrared index (NDII) are implemented in the current study as an indirect tool to map the effect of different soil salinity levels on crop water stress in arid environments. In arid environments, such as Saudi Arabia, water resources are under pressure, especially groundwater levels. Groundwater wells are rapidly depleted due to the heavy abstraction of the reserved water. Heavy abstractions of groundwater, which exceed crop water requirements in most of the cases, are powered by high evaporation rates in the designated study area because of the long days of extremely hot summer. Landsat 8 OLI data were extensively used in the current research to obtain several vegetation indices in response to soil salinity in Wadi ad-Dawasir. Principal component analyses (PCA) and artificial neural network (ANN) analyses are complementary tools used to understand the regression pattern of the hydrological drought indices in the designated study area.

  2. A new technique for assessing arterial pressure wave forms and central pressure with tissue Doppler (United States)

    Haluska, Brian A; Jeffriess, Leanne; Mottram, Phillip M; Carlier, Stephane G; Marwick, Thomas H


    Background Non-invasive assessment of arterial pressure wave forms using applanation tonometry of the radial or carotid arteries can be technically challenging and has not found wide clinical application. 2D imaging of the common carotid arteries is routinely used and we sought to determine whether arterial waveform measurements could be derived from tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) of the carotid artery. Methods We studied 91 subjects (52 men, age 52 ± 14 years) with and without cardiovascular disease. Tonometry was performed on the carotid artery simultaneously with pulsed wave Doppler of the LVOT and acquired digitally. Longitudinal 2D images of the common carotid artery with and without TDI were also acquired digitally and both TDI and tonometry were calibrated using mean and diastolic cuff pressure and analysed off line. Results Correlation between central pressure by TDI and tonometry was excellent for maximum pressure (r = 0.97, p < 0.0001). The mean differences between central pressures derived by TDI and tonometry were minimal (systolic 5.36 ± 5.5 mmHg; diastolic 1.2 ± 1.2 mmHg). Conclusion Imaging of the common carotid artery motion with tissue Doppler may permit acquisition of a waveform analogous to that from tonometry. This method may simplify estimation of central arterial pressure and calculation of total arterial compliance. PMID:17266772

  3. Assessing recent measurement techniques for quantifying black carbon concentration in snow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. P. Schwarz


    Full Text Available We evaluate the performance of the Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2 and the Integrating Sphere/Integrating Sandwich Spectrophotometer (ISSW in quantifying the concentration of refractory black carbon (BC in snow samples. We find that the SP2 can be used to measure BC mass concentration in snow with substantially larger uncertainty (60% than for atmospheric sampling (<30%. Achieving this level of accuracy requires careful assessment of nebulizer performance and SP2 calibration with consideration of the fact that BC in snow tends to larger sizes than typically observed in the atmosphere. Once these issues are addressed, the SP2 is able to measure the size distribution and mass concentration of BC in the snow. Laboratory comparison of the SP2 and the Integrating Sphere/Integrating Sandwich Spectrophotometer (ISSW revealed significant biases in the estimate of BC concentration from the ISSW when test samples contained dust or non-absorbing particulates. These results suggest that current estimates of BC mass concentration in snow and ice using either the SP2 or the ISSW may be associated with significant underestimates of uncertainty.

  4. New techniques for environmental monitoring and risk assessment in water surface systems (United States)

    Valyrakis, Manousos; Alexakis, Athanasios-Theodosios; Maniatis, Georgios; Hoey, Trevor; Escudero, Javier; Vagras, Patricia


    Our society is continuously impacted by significant weather events many times resulting in catastrophes that interrupt our normal way of life. In the context of climate change and increasing urbanisation these "extreme" hydrologic events are intensified both in magnitude and frequency, inducing costs of the order of billions of pounds. The vast majority of such costs and impacts (even more to developed societies) are due to water related catastrophes such as the geomorphic action of flowing water (including scouring of critical infrastructure, bed and bank destabilisation) and flooding. New tools and radically novel concepts are in need, to enable our society becoming more resilient. In this presentation, new research at the interface of sensors and water engineering is presented, focusing on addressing the above challenges in a holistic and comprehensive manner. In particular, the design, development, testing and calibration, as well as preliminary field implementation of a new tool for risk assessment and environmental monitoring in water surface systems, is explored in this work. It is demonstrated that novel advances in conceptual approaches in water engineering and specifically in the field of hydrodynamic transport of solids (such as the impulse and energy criteria) can be successfully combined with rapid advances in sensors to help monitor and increase the resilience of our society against catastrophic hydrologic events.

  5. Applications of Radar Interferometric Techniques to Assess Natural Hazards and their Controlling Factors (United States)

    Sultan, M.; Becker, R.; Gebremichael, E.; Othman, A.; Emil, M.; Ahmed, M.; Elkadiri, R.; Pankratz, H. G.; Chouinard, K.


    Radar interferometric techniques including Persistent Scatterer (PS), Small BAseline Subset (SBAS), and two and three pass (differential interferometry) methods were applied to Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) datasets. These include the European Space Agency (ESA) ERS-1, ERS-2, Environmental satellite (Envisat), and Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) to conduct the following: (1) map the spatial distribution of land deformation associated with a wide range of geologic settings, (2) quantify the rates of the observed land deformation, and (3) identify the factors controlling the observed deformation. The research topics/areas include: (1) subsidence associated with sediment compaction in a Delta setting (Nile Delta, Egypt), (2) deformation in a rifting setting (Red Sea rifting along the Red Sea coastal zone and proximal basement outcrops in Egypt and Saudi Arabia), (3) deformation associated with salt dome intrusion and the dissolution of sabkha deposits (Jazan area in Saudi Arabia), (4) mass transport associated with debris flows (Jazan area in Saudi Arabia), and (5) deformation preceding, contemporaneous with, or following large earthquakes (in Nepal; magnitude: 7.8; date: April, 25, 2015) and medium earthquakes (in Harrat Lunayyir volcanic field, central Saudi Arabia; magnitude: 5.7; date: May 19, 2009). The identification of the factor(s) controlling the observed deformation was attained through spatial correlation of extracted radar velocities with relevant temporal and static ground based and remotely sensed geological and cultural data sets (e.g., lithology, structure, precipitation, land use, and earthquake location, magnitude, and focal mechanism) in a Geographical Information System (GIS) environment.

  6. Assessment of arsenic and heavy metal contents in cockles (Anadara granosa) using multivariate statistical techniques. (United States)

    Abbas Alkarkhi, F M; Ismail, Norli; Easa, Azhar Mat


    Cockles (Anadara granosa) sample obtained from two rivers in the Penang State of Malaysia were analyzed for the content of arsenic (As) and heavy metals (Cr, Cd, Zn, Cu, Pb, and Hg) using a graphite flame atomic absorption spectrometer (GF-AAS) for Cr, Cd, Zn, Cu, Pb, As and cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometer (CV-AAS) for Hg. The two locations of interest with 20 sampling points of each location were Kuala Juru (Juru River) and Bukit Tambun (Jejawi River). Multivariate statistical techniques such as multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and discriminant analysis (DA) were applied for analyzing the data. MANOVA showed a strong significant difference between the two rivers in term of As and heavy metals contents in cockles. DA gave the best result to identify the relative contribution for all parameters in discriminating (distinguishing) the two rivers. It provided an important data reduction as it used only two parameters (Zn and Cd) affording more than 72% correct assignations. Results indicated that the two rivers were different in terms of As and heavy metal contents in cockle, and the major difference was due to the contribution of Zn and Cd. A positive correlation was found between discriminate functions (DF) and Zn, Cd and Cr, whereas negative correlation was exhibited with other heavy metals. Therefore, DA allowed a reduction in the dimensionality of the data set, delineating a few indicator parameters responsible for large variations in heavy metals and arsenic content. Taking into account of these results, it can be suggested that a continuous monitoring of As and heavy metals in cockles be performed in these two rivers.

  7. Assessment of flexural properties of different grade dimension lumber by ultrasonic technique

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JIANG Jing-hui; LU Jian-xiong; REN Hai-qing; LONG Chao; LUO Xiu-qin


    The dimension lumber (45mm×90mm×3700mm) of plantation Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook.) was graded to four different classes as SS, No.1, No.2 and No.3, according to national lumber grades authority (NLGA) for structure light framing and structure joists and planks. The properties of apparent density was determined at 15% moisture content, bending strength and stiffness were tested according to American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D 198-99, and dynamic modulus of elasticity (Eusw) was measured by ultrasonic technique, for predicting the flexural properties of different grade lumbers. The results showed that Eusw was larger than the static MOE. The relationship between Eusw and static MOE was significant at 0.01 level, and the determination coefficients (R2) of the four grade lumbers followed the sequence as R2No.2 (0.616)> R2ss (0.567)> R2No.1 (0.366)> R2No.3 (0.137). The R2 of Eusw and MOR were lower than that of the Etru and MOR for each grade. The Eusw of all the grade lumbers, except No.3-grade, had significant correlation with the static MOE and MOR, thus the bending strength of those grade lumbers can be estimated by the E The Etru values of four grade lumbers followed a sequence as No.2-grade (10.701 Gpa) > SS-grade (10.359 Gpa) > No.l-grade (9.840 Gpa) > No.3-grade (9.554 Gpa). For the same grade dimension lumber, its Eusw value was larger than static MOE. Mean values of MOR for four grade lumbers follow a sequence as No.2-grade (48.67 Mpa) > SS-grade (48.16 Mpa) > No.3-grade (46.55 Mpa) > No.1-grade (43.39MPa).

  8. Night Sky Brightness Assessment in Nigeria Using Environmetric and GIS Technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Musa Garba Abdullahi


    Full Text Available High anthropogenic activities are rapidly increasing phenomenon and it is assumed to have global implications. In Nigeria, high anthropogenic activities rapidly increase above the standard of the threshold values especially the lighting sources. This increase due to the vastly growing of industries, residential and commercial uses and other sources such as street lighting in urban and semi-urban areas, which can make the night sky brightness in the area above the threshold set for polluted status. The study measures the night sky brightness at the most densely populated urban centers of Nigeria; to estimate and quantify the level of the night sky brightness from the sites nearby the cities of the planned research study. The research monitored the zenith sky brightness from November 2015 to March 2016 using Sky Quality Meter (SQM. However, typical values ranging from 20.14 to 22.00Mag.sqm /arc sec.2 were measured at different sites of the study area. This data recorded in the field was analyzed using Agglomerative Hierarchical Method via Ward’s Methods to cluster our data according to the pollution status of the areas. Result showed three clusters in which class 1 has low pollution; class 2 is moderate while class 3 has the high pollution status. The sites classified in class 3 are more polluted due to the high use of artificial light. However, geographical information system (GIS software was employed to confirm the results obtained from environ-metric technique and concluded that this result is confirmed to be the same. Hence, it illustrated that sites in cluster 1 have an excellent dark location that can be used to build optical observatory stations and other astronomical observations due to their dark sky.

  9. Biomonitoring and assessment of monomethylmercury exposure in aqueous systems using the DGT technique

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clarisse, O., E-mail: [Trent University, Chemistry Department, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON K9J 7B8 (Canada); Universite de Moncton, Departement de Chimie et de Biochimie, Moncton, New Brunswick E1A 3E9 (Canada); Lotufo, G.R. [Environmental Laboratory, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS 39180-6199 (United States); Hintelmann, H. [Trent University, Chemistry Department, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON K9J 7B8 (Canada); Best, E.P.H. [Environmental Laboratory, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS 39180-6199 (United States); U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, 26 West Martin Luther King Boulevard, Cincinnati, OH 45268 (United States)


    A series of laboratory experiments was conducted under realistic environmental conditions to test the ability of the Diffusive Gradient in Thin film (DGT) technique to mimic monomethylmercury (MMHg) bioaccumulation by a clam (Macoma balthica, Baltic clam). Using isotope enriched MMHg as tracers, bioavailability was determined by comparing the rate of MMHg uptake by novel DGT devices and sentinel organism over time. Experiments were conducted under varying conditions of salinity and MMHg speciation. Depending on MMHg level and speciation in the dissolved phase, MMHg uptake rates by the sentinel organism varied greatly from 0.4 to 2.4 L g{sup -1} d{sup -1}. Reproducibilities of MMHg uptakes by DGT and clams were estimated at 7 and 38%, respectively. A significant linear relationship (log basis) between MMHg accumulation by DGT and clams was observed (r{sup 2} = 0.89). The study demonstrates that DGT results reasonably predict MMHg uptake by clams from the aqueous phase and provide the basis for application of the DGT device as a surrogate for sentinel organism for monitoring bioavailable MMHg. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We investigate the potential of DGT devices to act as surrogates for sentinel organism. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We compare monomethylmercury accumulation in DGT devices and in clams from the dissolved phase. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We examine the effects of salinity and MMHg speciation on MMHg accumulation by DGT and clams. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer For all laboratory experiments, a strong overall correlation between MMHg accumulations in clams and DGTs is observed.

  10. Reliability of the assessment of lower limb torsion using computed tomography: analysis of five different techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liodakis, Emmanouil; Doxastaki, Iosifina; Chu, Kongfai; Krettek, Christian; Gaulke, Ralph; Citak, Musa [Hannover Medical School, Trauma Department, Hannover (Germany); Kenawey, Mohamed [Sohag University Hospital, Orthopaedic Surgery Department, Sohag (Egypt)


    Various methods have been described to define the femoral neck and distal tibial axes based on a single CT image. The most popular are the Hernandez and Weiner methods for defining the femoral neck axis and the Jend, Ulm, and bimalleolar methods for defining the distal tibial axis. The purpose of this study was to calculate the intra- and interobserver reliability of the above methods and to determine intermethod differences. Three physicians separately measured the rotational profile of 44 patients using CT examinations on two different occasions. The average age of patients was 36.3 {+-} 14.4 years, and there were 25 male and 19 female patients. After completing the first two sessions of measurements, one observer chose certain cuts at the levels of the femoral neck, femoral condylar area, tibial plateau, and distal tibia. The three physicians then repeated all measurements using these CT cuts. The greatest interclass correlation coefficients were achieved with the Hernandez (0.99 intra- and 0.93 interobserver correlations) and bimalleolar methods (0.99 intra- and 0.92 interobserver correlations) for measuring the femoral neck and distal tibia axes, respectively. A statistically significant decrease in the interobserver median absolute differences could be achieved through the use of predefined CT scans only for measurements of the femoral condylar axis and the distal tibial axis using the Ulm method. The bimalleolar axis method underestimated the tibial torsion angle by an average of 4.8 and 13 compared to the Ulm and Jend techniques, respectively. The methods with the greatest inter- and intraobserver reliabilities were the Hernandez and bimalleolar methods for measuring femoral anteversion and tibial torsion, respectively. The high intermethod differences make it difficult to compare measurements made with different methods. (orig.)

  11. Application of decision-tree technique to assess herd specific risk factors for coliform mastitis in sows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Imke Gerjets


    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to investigate factors associated with coliform mastitis in sows, determined at herd level, by applying the decision-tree technique. Coliform mastitis represents an economically important disease in sows after farrowing that also affects the health, welfare and performance of the piglets. The decision-tree technique, a data mining method, may be an effective tool for making large datasets accessible and different sow herd information comparable. It is based on the C4.5-algorithm which generates trees in a top-down recursive strategy. The technique can be used to detect weak points in farm management. Two datasets of two farms in Germany, consisting of sow-related parameters, were analysed and compared by decision-tree algorithms. Data were collected over the period of April 2007 to August 2010 from 987 sows (499 CM-positive sows and 488 CM-negative sows and 596 sows (322 CM-positive sows and 274 CM-negative sows, respectively. Depending on the dataset, different graphical trees were built showing relevant factors at the herd level which may lead to coliform mastitis. To our understanding, this is the first time decision-tree modeling was used to assess risk factors for coliform mastitis. Herd specific risk factors for the disease were illustrated what could prove beneficial in disease and herd management.

  12. Assessing reconstruction techniques of the Atlantic Ocean circulation variability during the last millennium (United States)

    Moreno-Chamarro, Eduardo; Ortega, Pablo; González-Rouco, Fidel; Montoya, Marisa


    We assess the use of the meridional thermal-wind transport estimated from zonal density gradients to reconstruct the oceanic circulation variability during the last millennium in a forced simulation with the ECHO-G coupled climate model. Following a perfect-model approach, model-based pseudo-reconstructions of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) and the Florida Current volume transport (FCT) are evaluated against their true simulated variability. The pseudo-FCT is additionally verified as proxy for AMOC strength and compared with the available proxy-based reconstruction. The thermal-wind component reproduces most of the simulated AMOC variability, which is mostly driven by internal climate dynamics during the preindustrial period and by increasing greenhouse gases afterwards. The pseudo-reconstructed FCT reproduces well the simulated FCT and reasonably well the variability of the AMOC strength, including the response to external forcing. The pseudo-reconstructed FCT, however, underestimates/overestimates the simulated variability at deep/shallow levels. Density changes responsible for the pseudo-reconstructed FCT are mainly driven by zonal temperature differences; salinity differences oppose but play a minor role. These results thus support the use of the thermal-wind relationship to reconstruct the oceanic circulation past variability, in particular at multidecadal timescales. Yet model-data comparison highlights important differences between the simulated and the proxy-based FCT variability. ECHO-G simulates a prominent weakening in the North Atlantic circulation that contrasts with the reconstructed enhancement. Our model results thus do not support the reconstructed FC minimum during the Little Ice Age. This points to a failure in the reconstruction, misrepresented processes in the model, or an important role of internal ocean dynamics.

  13. Is there an immunohistochemical technique definitively valid in epidermal growth factor receptor assessment? (United States)

    Penault-Llorca, Frédérique; Cayre, Anne; Arnould, Laurent; Bibeau, Frédéric; Bralet, Marie-Pierre; Rochaix, Philippe; Savary, Jacqueline; Sabourin, Jean-Christophe


    Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is required for the selection of patients for a monoclonal antibody based targeted treatment with C225 (Erbitux). To validate the usefulness of IHC, the confirmation of assays and scoring systems are mandatory. In an attempt to standardize the immunohistochemical detection of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), we retrospectively evaluated three commercially available EGFR kits or antibodies and analyzed the discrepancies between the tests in terms of the percentage of positive cells, intensity, cut-off value and fixatives. We extracted 232 paraffin-embedded samples from a metastatic colorectal cancer clinical trial. For all the cases, EGFR expression was assessed with the FDA approved Dako EGFR pharmaDx kit, the Zymed EGFR kit and the Ventana EGFR 3C6 antibody. Different cut-off values were tested, and the intensity was scored 0, 1+, 2+, 3+ following Dako's recommendations. The percentage of positive cases varied from 93 to 75% with a cut-off of value 1% of positive cells, from 80 to 61% with a cut-off of 5% positive cells and from 72% to 48% with a cut-off value of 10%. Both Ventana and Zymed tests were more sensitive than the Dako test (Ventana >Dako; pDako; p=2.10(-6)). No difference was noted between Ventana and Zymed tests (p=0.75). A high concordance was observed for the 3 tests for the evaluation of high intensities. The use of a scoring system combining the percentage of positive cells and intensity was not useful for Zymed and Ventana as the intensity of staining is correlated to the percentage of positive cells: Ventana (pVentana and Zymed tests, whatever the cut-off value for positivity. No scoring system showed, to date, its accuracy, and more studies have to be conducted with an evaluation of the response to cetuximab, possibly with a correlation with FISH amplification in colorectal carcinoma.

  14. Non-invasive cardiac imaging techniques and vascular tools for the assessment of cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes mellitus. (United States)

    Djaberi, R; Beishuizen, E D; Pereira, A M; Rabelink, T J; Smit, J W; Tamsma, J T; Huisman, M V; Jukema, J W


    Cardiovascular disease is the major cause of mortality in type 2 diabetes mellitus. The criteria for the selection of those asymptomatic patients with type 2 diabetes who should undergo cardiac screening and the therapeutic consequences of screening remain controversial. Non-invasive techniques as markers of atherosclerosis and myocardial ischaemia may aid risk stratification and the implementation of tailored therapy for the patient with type 2 diabetes. In the present article we review the literature on the implementation of non-invasive vascular tools and cardiac imaging techniques in this patient group. The value of these techniques as endpoints in clinical trials and as risk estimators in asymptomatic diabetic patients is discussed. Carotid intima-media thickness, arterial stiffness and flow-mediated dilation are abnormal long before the onset of type 2 diabetes. These vascular tools are therefore most likely to be useful for the identification of 'at risk' patients during the early stages of atherosclerotic disease. The additional value of these tools in risk stratification and tailored therapy in type 2 diabetes remains to be proven. Cardiac imaging techniques are more justified in individuals with a strong clinical suspicion of advanced coronary heart disease (CHD). Asymptomatic myocardial ischaemia can be detected by stress echocardiography and myocardial perfusion imaging. The more recently developed non-invasive multi-slice computed tomography angiography is recommended for exclusion of CHD, and can therefore be used to screen asymptomatic patients with type 2 diabetes, but has the associated disadvantages of high radiation exposure and costs. Therefore, we propose an algorithm for the screening of asymptomatic diabetic patients, the first step of which consists of coronary artery calcium score assessment and exercise ECG.

  15. Sensitivity of different MRI-techniques to assess gray matter atrophy patterns in Alzheimer's disease is region-specific. (United States)

    Clerx, L; Jacobs, H I L; Burgmans, S; Gronenschild, E H B M; Uylings, H B M; Echávarri, C; Visser, P J; Verhey, F R J; Aalten, P


    The present study compares four different structural magnetic resonance imaging techniques used to measure gray matter (GM) atrophy in Alzheimer's disease (AD): manual and automated volumetry, cortical thickness (CT) and voxel-based morphometry (VBM). These techniques are used interchangeably in AD research and thus far it is unclear which technique is superior in detecting abnormalities early in the disease process. 18 healthy participants without any memory impairment, 18 patients with MCI, and 17 patients with mild AD were included and between-group differences were investigated in AD signature regions (areas in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), medial temporal lobe (MTL) and posterior parietal cortex (PPC)). Both manual volumetric measurements and VBM were able to detect GM atrophy in the early stages (differentiation controls and MCI), mainly in the MTL. In the early phase, automated volumetric measurements showed GM differences in the PPC but not in the MTL. In our sample, CT measurements were not sensitive for group differences in the early stages. PFC regions showed abnormalities in the later stages (controls vs AD) when manual volumetric measurements or VBM are employed. Manual volumetric measurements together with VBM are preferred techniques for assessing GM differences showing abnormalities in most of the investigated regions, with a predominance of the MTL in the early phase. Automated FreeSurfer volumetric measurements show similar performances in the early phase, displaying group differences in the PPC but not in MTL regions. Measurements of CT are less sensitive in the MCI stage and its sensitivity is restricted to the MTL and PPC regions in later stages of the disease (AD).

  16. Assessment of three root canal preparation techniques on root canal geometry using micro-computed tomography: In vitro study

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    Shaikha M Al-Ali


    Full Text Available Aim: To assess the effects of three root canal preparation techniques on canal volume and surface area using three-dimensionally reconstructed root canals in extracted human maxillary molars. Materials and Methods: Thirty extracted Human Maxillary Molars having three separate roots and similar root shape were randomly selected from a pool of extracted teeth for this study and stored in normal saline solution until used. A computed tomography scanner (Philips Brilliance CT 64-slice was used to analyze root canals in extracted maxillary molars. Specimens were scanned before and after canals were prepared using stainless steel K-Files, Ni-Ti rotary ProTaper and rotary SafeSiders instruments. Differences in dentin volume removed, the surface area, the proportion of unchanged area and canal transportation were calculated using specially developed software. Results: Instrumentation of canals increased volume and surface area. Statistical analysis found a statistically significant difference among the 3 groups in total change in volume (P = 0.001 and total change in surface area (P = 0.13. Significant differences were found when testing both groups with group III (SafeSiders. Significant differences in change of volume were noted when grouping was made with respect to canal type (in MB and DB (P < 0.05. Conclusion: The current study used computed tomography, an innovative and non destructive technique, to illustrate changes in canal geometry. Overall, there were few statistically significant differences between the three instrumentation techniques used. SafeSiders stainless steel 40/0.02 instruments exhibit a greater cutting efficiency on dentin than K-Files and ProTaper. CT is a new and valuable tool to study root canal geometry and changes after preparation in great details. Further studies with 3D-techniques are required to fully understand the biomechanical aspects of root canal preparation.

  17. Observational techniques for constraining hydraulic and hydrologic models for use in catchment scale flood impact assessment (United States)

    Owen, Gareth; Wilkinson, Mark; Nicholson, Alex; Quinn, Paul; O'Donnell, Greg


    river stem and principal tributaries, it is possible to understand in detail how floods develop and propagate, both temporally and spatially. Traditional rainfall-runoff modelling involves the calibration of model parameters to achieve a best fit against an observed flow series, typically at a single location. The modelling approach adopted here is novel in that it directly uses the nested observed information to disaggregate the outlet hydrograph in terms of the source locations. Using a combination of local evidence and expert opinion, the model can be used to assess the impacts of distributed land use management changes and NFM on floods. These studies demonstrate the power of networks of observational instrumentation for constraining hydraulic and hydrologic models for use in prediction.

  18. Chronic musculoskeletal pain: review of mechanisms and biochemical biomarkers as assessed by the microdialysis technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerdle B


    Full Text Available Björn Gerdle,1,2 Bijar Ghafouri,1,3 Malin Ernberg,4 Britt Larsson1,21Rehabilitation Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden; 2Pain and Rehabilitation Centre, County Council of Östergötland, Linköping, Sweden; 3Rehabilitation Medicine, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden; 4Department of Dental Medicine, Section of Orofacial Pain and Jaw Function, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, SwedenAbstract: Chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions are multifaceted, and approximately 20% of the adult population lives with severe chronic pain, with a higher prevalence in women and in lower income groups. Chronic pain is influenced by and interacts with physical, emotional, psychological, and social factors, and a biopsychosocial framework is increasingly applied in clinical practice. However, there is still a lack of assessment procedures based on the activated neurobiological pain mechanisms (ie, the biological part of the biopsychosocial model of pain, which may be a necessary step for further optimizing outcomes after treatments for patients with chronic pain. It has been suggested that chronic pain conditions are mainly driven by alterations in the central nervous system with little or no peripheral stimuli or nociception. In contrast, other authors argue that such central alterations are driven by peripheral alterations and nociceptive input. Microdialysis is an in vivo method for studying local tissue alterations and allows for sampling of substances in the interstitium of the muscle, where nociceptor free nerve endings are found close to the muscle fibers. The extracellular matrix plays a key role in physiologic functions of cells, including the primary afferent nociceptor. The present review mainly concerns the results of microdialysis studies and how they can contribute to the understanding of activated peripheral nociceptive and pain

  19. Quality assessment of Moringa concanensis seed oil extracted through solvent and aqueous-enzymatic techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anwar, Farooq


    Full Text Available The composition and quality of the M. concanensis seed oil extracted through an aqueous-enzyme-assisted technique, using three commercial enzyme-mixtures (Natuzyme, Kemzyme, and Feedzyme was compared to those of the control-, (without enzymes and solvent-extracted oils. Aqueous enzyme-extracted M.concanensis seed oil content ranged from 23.54 to 27.46% and was significantly (P 0.05 variation in the contents of fiber and ash within the three extraction methods. However, the protein content of the meal obtained through the aqueous-enzyme and control methods was significantly (P M. concanensis seed oils extracted using the three methods. The specific extinctions at 232 and 270 nm, peroxide value, p-anisidine, free fatty acid contents and color values of the aqueous-enzyme-extracted oil were found to be lower than that of solvent-extracted oil and thus revealed good quality. The oils extracted through the three methods exhibited no significant (P En este estudio se compara la composición y la calidad del aceite de semilla de M. concanensis extraído mediante enzimas, utilizando tres enzimas comerciales (Natuzyme, Kemzyme, y Feedzyme con las de un control extraído sin enzimas y con las del aceite extraído con disolvente. El contenido en aceites de las semilla extraídas con enzimas osciló entre 23,54 a 27,46% y fue significativamente más elevado (P 0,05 en el contenido de fibra y ceniza para los tres métodos de la extracción. Sin embargo, el contenido proteínico de la harina obtenido por métodos enzimáticos y el control sin enzimas fue significativamente menor (P < 0,05 que el de la harina obtenida después de la extracción por disolvente. Las diferencias en el índice de yodo (67.1-68.0 g /100 g of oil, densidad en 24 °C (0,865-0,866 g/mL, índice de refracción a 40 °C (1,4622-1,4627 y fracción insaponificable (0,69-0,76 % no fueron significativamente diferentes para ninguna de las técnicas de extracción. Las extinciones espec

  20. Assessment of Inhalation Technique in Clinical and Functional Control of Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. (United States)

    Maricoto, Tiago; Rodrigues, Luís Vaz; Teixeira, Gilberto; Valente, Carla; Andrade, Lília; Saraiva, Alcina


    Introdução: A doença pulmonar obstrutiva crónica e a asma afectam quase 300 milhões de indivíduos em todo o mundo. A terapêutica inalatória associa-se frequentemente a erros na técnica realizada reduzindo a eficácia e adesão.Objectivo: Avaliar a técnica inalatória e sua relação com o controlo clínico e funcional em asma e doença pulmonar obstrutiva crónica. Material e Métodos: Estudo transversal analítico incluindo doentes com asma e doença pulmonar obstrutiva crónica medicados com dispositivos inalatórios. Recolheram-se dados demográficos e existência de ensino prévio da técnica. Avaliou-se a técnica inalatória em: Passo 1 - expiração prévia; Passo 2 - activação do dispositivo; Passo 3 - inspiração; Passo 4 - apneia final. O controlo clínico avaliou-se com os questionários Asthma Control Test, Control of Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma Test, modified Medical Research Council e Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Assessment Test. Todos os participantes realizaram avaliação espirométrica. Resultados: Obtiveram-se 62 participantes, dos quais 74,19% cometeram pelo menos um erro na inalação, principalmente na expiração prévia (53,2%). A existência prévia de ensino da técnica associou-se a menor n'º de erros (p = 0,014). Não houve associação entre n'º de erros e idade (p = 0,321), n'º de anos de diagnóstico (p = 0,119) ou avaliação espirométrica (p > 0,05). Na asma encontrou-se associação entre menor número de erros e Asthma Control Test (p = 0,032) e Control of Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma Test (p = 0,008). Discussão e Conclusão: O ensino da técnica inalatória melhora o seu desempenho futuro. A maioria dos doentes comete erros afectando o controlo clínico na asma, apesar de na doença pulmonar obstrutiva crónica não se verificar nenhuma associação. Este trabalho encontra-se a decorrer procurando reavaliar os doentes após o ensino da técnica e verificar o seu impacto subsequente.

  1. Preload dependence of new Doppler techniques limits their utility for left ventricular diastolic function assessment in hemodialysis patients. (United States)

    Ie, Eric H Y; Vletter, Wim B; ten Cate, Folkert J; Nette, Robert W; Weimar, Willem; Roelandt, Jos R T C; Zietse, Robert


    Left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy leads to diastolic dysfunction. Standard Doppler transmitral and pulmonary vein (PV) flow velocity measurements are preload dependent. New techniques such as mitral annulus velocity by Doppler tissue imaging (DTI) and LV inflow propagation velocity measured from color M-mode have been proposed as relatively preload-independent measurements of diastolic function. These parameters were studied before and after hemodialysis (HD) with ultrafiltration to test their potential advantage for LV diastolic function assessment in HD patients. Ten patients (seven with LV hypertrophy) underwent Doppler echocardiography 1 h before, 1 h after, and 1 d after HD. Early (E) and atrial (A) peak transmitral flow velocities, peak PV systolic (s) and diastolic (d) flow velocities, peak e and a mitral annulus velocities in DTI, and early diastolic LV flow propagation velocity (V(p)) were measured. In all patients, the E/A ratio after HD (0.54; 0.37 to 1.02) was lower (P < 0.01) than before HD (0.77; 0.60 to 1.34). E decreased (P < 0.01), whereas A did not. PV s/d after HD (2.15; 1.08 to 3.90) was higher (P < 0.01) than before HD (1.80; 1.25 to 2.68). Tissue e/a after HD (0.40; 0.26 to 0.96) was lower (P < 0.01) than before HD (0.56; 0.40 to 1.05). Tissue e decreased (P < 0.02), whereas a did not. V(p) after HD (30 cm/s; 16 to 47 cm/s) was lower (P < 0.01) than before HD (45 cm/s; 32 to 60 cm/s). Twenty-four hours after the initial measurements values for E/A (0.59; 0.37 to 1.23), PV s/d (1.85; 1.07 to 3.38), e/a (0.41; 0.27 to 1.06), and V(p) (28 cm/s; 23 to 33 cm/s) were similar as those taken 1 h after HD. It is concluded that, even when using the newer Doppler techniques DTI and color M-mode, pseudonormalization, which was due to volume overload before HD, resulted in underestimation of the degree of diastolic dysfunction. Therefore, the advantage of these techniques over conventional parameters for the assessment of LV diastolic function in HD

  2. Spectral ratio techniques as a tool for soil-structure interaction assessment (United States)

    Ladina, C.; Lovati, S.; Marzorati, S.; Massa, M.


    structure, is built on lithological units characterized by alluvial deposits. All noise measurements, characterized by a minimum duration of 30 minutes (sampling rate 100 Hz), were performed using a Lennartz LE3D-5s seismometer (flat response 0.2 - 40 Hz) coupled with a 24 bits Reftek 130/01 digital recorder. To investigate the dynamic characterization of buildings both standard spectral ratio (SSR) and horizontal to vertical spectral ratio (HVNR) techniques were applied to the recorded data; in the first case two simultaneous measures, computed at the bottom and at the top of the structure were considered. For the stations where earthquakes recordings were available, the results from ambients noise were compared, to those obtained from earthquakes (HVSR). For all records the linear trend and the instrumental response were removed and a band-pass Butterworth 4 poles filter between 0.2 and 25 Hz was applied. Then each component of noise was windowed in time series of 120 s length (cosine taper 5%), the horizontal components were rotated between 0° and 175° with step of 5° and the power spectral density (PSD) were calculated using a Konno and Ohmachi (1998) window (b=20). Finally, for each considered azimuth average HVNRs were computed calculating for each time window the spectral ratio between the spectrum of the radial component over the spectrum of the vertical one. For earthquake the data processing were performed as described for noise but considering different portion of signal: 5 s and 15 s of S waves, starting 0.5 s before the S-waves picking, and 20 s of coda were selected. Also in this case for each selected window HVSR were calculated through a directional analysis as that described for HVNR. The results highlight the fundamental role of the installation. For BAG8 and AUL, where the sensors are directly installed on rock, the vibrations of the structure do not affect HVNR at the bottom, which show flat responses in the whole frequency range: in both cases the

  3. Propofol-controlled infusion technique in assessing the safe dosage for sedation during epidural anesthesia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yingmin Cai; Pengbin Liu; Jinxin Song; Rongliang Xue


    BACKGROUND:Epidural anesthesia requires a convenient and accurate method to determine the plasma concentration of the given subsidiary drug.The target-controlled infusion(TCI)technique,controlling infusion pump by computer,has been used.Intravenous jnjection of propofol was given for the purpose of measunng plasma concentrations and to observe the effects of different target concentrations on the memory,consciousness,hemodynamics and blood gases of patients,in order to find a safe dosage for sedation in epidural anesthesia.OBJECTIVE:To observe the influence of different target concentrations on the memory,consciousness,hemodynamics and blood gases of patients accepted epiduml anesthesia.DESIGN:A randomized and controlled study.SETTING:Department of Anesthesiology,the Second Affiliated Hospital,Medical College of Xi'an Jiao Tong University.PARTICIPANTS:The expenment was conducted in the Department of Anesthesiology,the Second Affiliated Hospital,Medical College of Xi'an Jiao Tong University from June 2005 to June 2006.Fifty patients underwent surgery for lower abdomen and lower limbs were selected,including 30 males and 20 females,30-60 years old with an average of(46±6)years,weighling(65.8±8.5)kg,and American Society of Anesthesiology(ASA)gradling of Ⅰ-Ⅱ.All the patients were informed and agreed with the items for detection.METHODS:All the patients were given diazepam(10 mg)and atropine(0.5 mg)intramusculady 30 minutes before surgery.They were placed supinely and given oxygen inhalation,their blood pressure,heart rate and blood oxygen saturation were determined,then an epidural puncture was made in the left lateral decubitus position with hands crossed over knees.The patients were in a horizontal position and a radial artery puncture was done,after the epidural cathetar was positioned into epidural space.Blood of radial artery was drawn to get a blood gas,a linked HP multi-functional monitor was used to monitor blood pressure(radial artery

  4. Determining the Suitability of Two Different Statistical Techniques in Shallow Landslide (Debris Flow Initiation Susceptibility Assessment in the Western Ghats

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    M. V. Ninu Krishnan


    Full Text Available In the present study, the Information Value (InfoVal and the Multiple Logistic Regression (MLR methods based on bivariate and multivariate statistical analysis have been applied for shallow landslide initiation susceptibility assessment in a selected subwatershed in the Western Ghats, Kerala, India, to determine the suitability of geographical information systems (GIS assisted statistical landslide susceptibility assessment methods in the data constrained regions. The different landslide conditioning terrain variables considered in the analysis are geomorphology, land use/land cover, soil thickness, slope, aspect, relative relief, plan curvature, profile curvature, drainage density, the distance from drainages, lineament density and distance from lineaments. Landslide Susceptibility Index (LSI maps were produced by integrating the weighted themes and divided into five landslide susceptibility zones (LSZ by correlating the LSI with general terrain conditions. The predictive performances of the models were evaluated through success and prediction rate curves. The area under success rate curves (AUC for InfoVal and MLR generated susceptibility maps shows 84.11% and 68.65%, respectively. The prediction rate curves show good to moderate correlation between the distribution of the validation group of landslides and LSZ maps with AUC values of 0.648 and 0.826 respectively for MLR and InfoVal produced LSZ maps. Considering the best fit and suitability of the models in the study area by quantitative prediction accuracy, LSZ map produced by the InfoVal technique shows higher accuracy, i.e. 82.60%, than the MLR model and is more realistic while compared in the field and is considered as the best suited model for the assessment of landslide susceptibility in areas similar to the study area. The LSZ map produced for the area can be utilised for regional planning and assessment process, by incorporating the generalised rainfall conditions in the area. DOI

  5. Flow cytometry of nucleated red blood cells used as monitoring technique for aquatic risk assessment. A review.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bratosin D.


    Full Text Available During the last decades anthropogenic factors led to a significant enhancement of pollutants in aquatic environment and for several years, chemicals analysis has been commonly employed. These techniques cannot detect and quantify many environmental phenomena such as bioavailability, bioaccumulation and synergistic effects. For these reasons, many investigations for evaluating the effects of xenobiotic on organisms use in vitro or in vivo bioassays. The bioassays give a global response for all chemicals present in the environment and these represent one of the best ways to estimate the risk assessment of pollutants in environment for monitoring. For assessing cytotoxicity or ecotoxicity of pollutants (heavy metals, nanoparticles, etc. and to assess aquatic pollution degree and biomonitoring of Danube River and Danube Delta, we developed a new experimental cell system based on the apoptosis of nucleated erythrocytes from fishes and batrachians which are directly exposed to pollutants absorbed by different ways. Despite their structural simplicity, the erythrocytes of lower vertebrates preserve nucleus and mitochondria, both the sensors of the programmed cell death (PCD machinery to develop an apoptosis phenomenon. Our proposed bioassays which are based on the apoptosis phenomenon as induced biomarker by pollutants on fish or amphibians erythrocytes, evidenced by flow cytometry (apoptosis/necrosis discriminated by FITC-annexin-V labeling/PI and cellular viability measured with calcein-AM method could be rapid and very sensitive tests for in laboratory aquatic risk assessment and biomonitoring. Standardization and application of these tests will surely provide the opportunity of their use easily in ecotoxicological laboratories, biomonitoring of large river basins such as the Danube River Basin and will be also able deliver information on fish as a food product.

  6. Root-cause analysis and health failure mode and effect analysis: two leading techniques in health care quality assessment. (United States)

    Shaqdan, Khalid; Aran, Shima; Daftari Besheli, Laleh; Abujudeh, Hani


    In this review article, the authors provide a detailed series of guidelines for effectively performing root-cause analysis (RCA) and health failure mode and effect analysis (HFMEA). RCA is a retrospective approach used to ascertain the "root cause" of a problem that has already occurred, whereas HFMEA is a prospective risk assessment tool whose aim is to recognize risks to patient safety. RCA and HFMEA are used for the prevention of errors or recurring errors to create a safer workplace, maintain high standards in health care quality, and incorporate time-saving and cost-saving modifications to favorably affect the patient care environment. The principles and techniques provided here should allow reviewers to better understand the features of RCA and HFMEA and how to apply these processes appropriately. These principles include how to organize a team, identify root causes, seed out proximate causes, graphically describe the process, conduct a hazard analysis, and develop and implement potential action plans.

  7. Non-target activity detection by post-radioembolization yttrium-90 PET/CT: Image assessment technique and case examples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yung Hsiang eKao


    Full Text Available High-resolution yttrium-90 (90Y imaging of post-radioembolization microsphere biodistribution may be achieved by conventional positron emission tomography with integrated computed tomography (PET/CT scanners that have time-of-flight capability. However, reconstructed 90Y PET/CT images have high background noise, making non-target activity detection technically challenging. This educational article describes our image assessment technique for non-target activity detection by 90Y PET/CT which qualitatively overcomes the problem of background noise. We present selected case examples of non-target activity in untargeted liver, stomach, gallbladder, chest wall and kidney, supported by angiography and 90Y bremsstrahlung single photon emission computed tomography with integrated computed tomography (SPECT/CT or technetium-99m macroaggregated albumin SPECT/CT.

  8. Diffusive gradient in thin films technique for assessment of cadmium and copper bioaccessibility to radish (Raphanus sativus). (United States)

    Dočekalová, Hana; Škarpa, Petr; Dočekal, Bohumil


    The aim of this study was to assess cadmium and copper uptake by radish (Raphanus sativus) and to test the capability of the diffusive gradient in thin films (DGT) technique to predict bioaccessibility of the metals for this plant. Radish plants were grown in pots filled with uncontaminated control and artificially contaminated soils differing in cadmium and copper contents. Metal concentrations in plants were compared with free ion metal concentrations in soil solution, and concentrations measured by DGT. Significant correlation was found between metal fluxes to plant and metal fluxes into DGT. Pearson correlation coefficient for cadmium was 0.994 and for copper 0.998. The obtained results showed that DGT offers the possibility of simple test procedure for soils and can be used as a physical surrogate for plant uptake.

  9. Non-Target Activity Detection by Post-Radioembolization Yttrium-90 PET/CT: Image Assessment Technique and Case Examples. (United States)

    Kao, Yung Hsiang; Tan, Andrew E H; Lo, Richard H G; Tay, Kiang Hiong; Tan, Bien Soo; Chow, Pierce K H; Ng, David C E; Goh, Anthony S W


    High resolution yttrium-90 ((90)Y) imaging of post-radioembolization microsphere biodistribution may be achieved by conventional positron emission tomography with integrated computed tomography (PET/CT) scanners that have time-of-flight capability. However, reconstructed (90)Y PET/CT images have high background noise, making non-target activity detection technically challenging. This educational article describes our image assessment technique for non-target activity detection by (90)Y PET/CT, which qualitatively overcomes the problem of background noise. We present selected case examples of non-target activity in untargeted liver, stomach, gallbladder, chest wall, and kidney, supported by angiography and (90)Y bremsstrahlung single-photon emission computed tomography with integrated computed tomography (SPECT/CT) or technetium-99m macroaggregated albumin SPECT/CT.

  10. Assessment of knowledge of participants on basic molecular biology techniques after 5-day intensive molecular biology training workshops in Nigeria. (United States)

    Yisau, J I; Adagbada, A O; Bamidele, T; Fowora, M; Brai, B I C; Adebesin, O; Bamidele, M; Fesobi, T; Nwaokorie, F O; Ajayi, A; Smith, S I


    The deployment of molecular biology techniques for diagnosis and research in Nigeria is faced with a number of challenges, including the cost of equipment and reagents coupled with the dearth of personnel skilled in the procedures and handling of equipment. Short molecular biology training workshops were conducted at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), to improve the knowledge and skills of laboratory personnel and academics in health, research, and educational facilities. Five-day molecular biology workshops were conducted annually between 2011 and 2014, with participants drawn from health, research facilities, and the academia. The courses consisted of theoretical and practical sessions. The impact of the workshops on knowledge and skill acquisition was evaluated by pre- and post-tests which consisted of 25 multiple choice and other questions. Sixty-five participants took part in the workshops. The mean knowledge of molecular biology as evaluated by the pre- and post-test assessments were 8.4 (95% CI 7.6-9.1) and 13.0 (95 CI 11.9-14.1), respectively. The mean post-test score was significantly greater than the mean pre-test score (p molecular biology workshop significantly increased the knowledge and skills of participants in molecular biology techniques. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2017.

  11. Seasonal differences in the subjective assessment of outdoor thermal conditions and the impact of analysis techniques on the obtained results (United States)

    Kántor, Noémi; Kovács, Attila; Takács, Ágnes


    Wide research attention has been paid in the last two decades to the thermal comfort conditions of different outdoor and semi-outdoor urban spaces. Field studies were conducted in a wide range of geographical regions in order to investigate the relationship between the thermal sensation of people and thermal comfort indices. Researchers found that the original threshold values of these indices did not describe precisely the actual thermal sensation patterns of subjects, and they reported neutral temperatures that vary among nations and with time of the year. For that reason, thresholds of some objective indices were rescaled and new thermal comfort categories were defined. This research investigates the outdoor thermal perception patterns of Hungarians regarding the Physiologically Equivalent Temperature (PET) index, based on more than 5800 questionnaires. The surveys were conducted in the city of Szeged on 78 days in spring, summer, and autumn. Various, frequently applied analysis approaches (simple descriptive technique, regression analysis, and probit models) were adopted to reveal seasonal differences in the thermal assessment of people. Thermal sensitivity and neutral temperatures were found to be significantly different, especially between summer and the two transient seasons. Challenges of international comparison are also emphasized, since the results prove that neutral temperatures obtained through different analysis techniques may be considerably different. The outcomes of this study underline the importance of the development of standard measurement and analysis methodologies in order to make future studies comprehensible, hereby facilitating the broadening of the common scientific knowledge about outdoor thermal comfort.

  12. Seasonal differences in the subjective assessment of outdoor thermal conditions and the impact of analysis techniques on the obtained results (United States)

    Kántor, Noémi; Kovács, Attila; Takács, Ágnes


    Wide research attention has been paid in the last two decades to the thermal comfort conditions of different outdoor and semi-outdoor urban spaces. Field studies were conducted in a wide range of geographical regions in order to investigate the relationship between the thermal sensation of people and thermal comfort indices. Researchers found that the original threshold values of these indices did not describe precisely the actual thermal sensation patterns of subjects, and they reported neutral temperatures that vary among nations and with time of the year. For that reason, thresholds of some objective indices were rescaled and new thermal comfort categories were defined. This research investigates the outdoor thermal perception patterns of Hungarians regarding the Physiologically Equivalent Temperature ( PET) index, based on more than 5800 questionnaires. The surveys were conducted in the city of Szeged on 78 days in spring, summer, and autumn. Various, frequently applied analysis approaches (simple descriptive technique, regression analysis, and probit models) were adopted to reveal seasonal differences in the thermal assessment of people. Thermal sensitivity and neutral temperatures were found to be significantly different, especially between summer and the two transient seasons. Challenges of international comparison are also emphasized, since the results prove that neutral temperatures obtained through different analysis techniques may be considerably different. The outcomes of this study underline the importance of the development of standard measurement and analysis methodologies in order to make future studies comprehensible, hereby facilitating the broadening of the common scientific knowledge about outdoor thermal comfort.

  13. Assessment of benthic flux of dissolved organic carbon in wetland and estuarine sediments using the eddy-correlation technique (United States)

    Swett, M. P.; Amirbahman, A.; Boss, E.


    Wetland and estuarine sediments release significant amounts of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) due to high levels of microbial activity, particularly sulfate reduction. Changes in climate and hydrologic conditions have a potential to alter DOC release from these systems as well. This is a concern, as high levels of DOC can lead to mobilization of toxic metals and organics in natural waters. In addition, source waters high in DOC produce undesirable disinfection byproducts in water treatment. Various in situ methods, such as peepers and sediment core centrifugation, exist to quantify vertical benthic fluxes of DOC and other dissolved species from the sediment-water interface (SWI). These techniques, however, are intrusive and involve disturbance of the sediment environment. Eddy-correlation allows for real-time, non-intrusive, in situ flux measurement of important analytes, such as O2 and DOC. An Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (ADV) is used to obtain three-dimensional fluid velocity measurements. The eddy-correlation technique employs the mathematical separation of fluid velocity into mean velocity and fluctuating velocity components, with the latter representing turbulent eddy velocity. DOC concentrations are measured using a colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) fluorometer, and instantaneous vertical flux is determined from the correlated data. This study assesses DOC flux at three project sites: a beaver pond in the Lower Penobscot Watershed, Maine; a mudflat in Penobscot River, Maine; and a mudflat in Great Bay, New Hampshire. Eddy flux values are compared with results obtained using peepers and centrifugation, as well as vertical profiling.

  14. Technique for the residual life assessment of high temperature components based on creep-rupture testing on welded miniature specimens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garzillo, A.; Guardamagna, C.; Moscotti, L.; Ranzani, L. [Ente Nazionale per l`Energia Elettrica, Milan (Italy)


    Following the present trend in the development of advanced methodologies for residual life assessment of high temperature components operating in power plants, particularly in non destructive methods, a testing technique has been set up at ENEL-CRAM based on creep-rupture testa in an argon on welded miniature specimens. Five experimental systems for creep-rupture tests in an argon atmosphere have been set up which include high accuracy systems, vacuum chambers and exrwnsometer devices. With the aim of establishing and validating the suitability of the experimental methodology, creep-rupture and interrupted creep testing programmes have been performed on miniature specimens (2 mm diameter and 10 mm gauge lenght). On the basis of experience gathered by various European research laboratories, a miniature specimen construction procedure has been developed using a laser welding technique for joining threaded heads to sample material. Low alloy ferritic steels, such as virgin 2.25CrlMo, 0.5Cr 0.5Mo 0.25V, and IN 738 superalloy miniature specimens have been investigated and the results, compared with those from standard specimens, show a regular trend in deformation vs time. Additional efforts to provide guidelines for material sampling from each plant component will be required in order to reduce uncertainties in residual life prediction.

  15. Objective Assessment of Sunburn and Minimal Erythema Doses: Comparison of Noninvasive In Vivo Measuring Techniques after UVB Irradiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuo-Sheng Cheng


    Full Text Available Military personnel movement is exposed to solar radiation and sunburn is a major problem which can cause lost workdays and lead to disciplinary action. This study was designed to identify correlation parameters in evaluating in vivo doses and epidermis changes following sunburn inflammation. Several noninvasive bioengineering techniques have made objective evaluations possible. The volar forearms of healthy volunteers (n=20, 2 areas, 20 mm in diameter, were irradiated with UVB 100 mj/cm2 and 200 mj/cm2, respectively. The skin changes were recorded by several monitored techniques before and 24 hours after UV exposures. Our results showed that chromameter a∗ value provides more reliable information and can be adopted with mathematical model in predicting the minimal erythema dose (MED which showed lower than visual assessment by 10 mj/cm2 (Pearson correlation coefficient ℑ=0.758. A more objective measure for evaluation of MED was established for photosensitive subjects' prediction and sunburn risks prevention.

  16. Restoring coastal wetlands that were ditched for mosquito control: a preliminary assessment of hydro-leveling as a restoration technique (United States)

    Smith, Thomas J.; Tiling, Ginger; Leasure, Pamela S.


    The wetlands surrounding Tampa Bay, Florida were extensively ditched for mosquito control in the 1950s. Spoil from ditch construction was placed adjacent to the wetlands ditches creating mound-like features (spoil-mounds). These mounds represent a loss of 14% of the wetland area in Tampa Bay. Spoil mounds interfere with tidal flow and are locations for non-native plants to colonize (e.g., Schinus terebinthifolius). Removal of the spoil mounds to eliminate exotic plants, restore native vegetation, and re-establish natural hydrology is a restoration priority for environmental managers. Hydro-leveling, a new technique, was tested in a mangrove forest restoration project in 2004. Hydro-leveling uses a high pressure stream of water to wash sediment from the spoil mound into the adjacent wetland and ditch. To assess the effectiveness of this technique, we conducted vegetation surveys in areas that were hydro-leveled and in non-hydro-leveled areas 3 years post-project. Adult Schinus were reduced but not eliminated from hydro-leveled mounds. Schinus seedlings however were absent from hydro-leveled sites. Colonization by native species was sparse. Mangrove seedlings were essentially absent (≈2 m−2) from the centers of hydro-leveled mounds and were in low density on their edges (17 m−2) in comparison to surrounding mangrove forests (105 m−2). Hydro-leveling resulted in mortality of mangroves adjacent to the mounds being leveled. This was probably caused by burial of pneumatophores during the hydro-leveling process. For hydro-leveling to be a useful and successful restoration technique several requirements must be met. Spoil mounds must be lowered to the level of the surrounding wetlands. Spoil must be distributed further into the adjacent wetland to prevent burial of nearby native vegetation. Finally, native species may need to be planted on hydro-leveled areas to speed up the re-vegetation process.

  17. Caspase-1-like regulation of the proPO-system and role of ppA and caspase-1-like cleaved peptides from proPO in innate immunity. (United States)

    Jearaphunt, Miti; Noonin, Chadanat; Jiravanichpaisal, Pikul; Nakamura, Seiko; Tassanakajon, Anchalee; Söderhäll, Irene; Söderhäll, Kenneth


    Invertebrates rely on innate immunity to respond to the entry of foreign microorganisms. One of the important innate immune responses in arthropods is the activation of prophenoloxidase (proPO) by a proteolytic cascade finalized by the proPO-activating enzyme (ppA), which leads to melanization and the elimination of pathogens. Proteolytic cascades play a crucial role in innate immune reactions because they can be triggered more quickly than immune responses that require altered gene expression. Caspases are intracellular proteases involved in tightly regulated limited proteolysis of downstream processes and are also involved in inflammatory responses to infections for example by activation of interleukin 1ß. Here we show for the first time a link between caspase cleavage of proPO and release of this protein and the biological function of these fragments in response to bacterial infection in crayfish. Different fragments from the cleavage of proPO were studied to determine their roles in bacterial clearance and antimicrobial activity. These fragments include proPO-ppA, the N-terminal part of proPO cleaved by ppA, and proPO-casp1 and proPO-casp2, the fragments from the N-terminus after cleavage by caspase-1. The recombinant proteins corresponding to all three of these peptide fragments exhibited bacterial clearance activity in vivo, and proPO-ppA had antimicrobial activity, as evidenced by a drastic decrease in the number of Escherichia coli in vitro. The bacteria incubated with the proPO-ppA fragment were agglutinated and their cell morphology was altered. Our findings show an evolutionary conserved role for caspase cleavage in inflammation, and for the first time show a link between caspase induced inflammation and melanization. Further we give a more detailed understanding of how the proPO system is regulated in time and place and a role for the peptide generated by activation of proPO as well as for the peptides resulting from Caspase 1 proteolysis.

  18. Caspase-1-like regulation of the proPO-system and role of ppA and caspase-1-like cleaved peptides from proPO in innate immunity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miti Jearaphunt


    Full Text Available Invertebrates rely on innate immunity to respond to the entry of foreign microorganisms. One of the important innate immune responses in arthropods is the activation of prophenoloxidase (proPO by a proteolytic cascade finalized by the proPO-activating enzyme (ppA, which leads to melanization and the elimination of pathogens. Proteolytic cascades play a crucial role in innate immune reactions because they can be triggered more quickly than immune responses that require altered gene expression. Caspases are intracellular proteases involved in tightly regulated limited proteolysis of downstream processes and are also involved in inflammatory responses to infections for example by activation of interleukin 1ß. Here we show for the first time a link between caspase cleavage of proPO and release of this protein and the biological function of these fragments in response to bacterial infection in crayfish. Different fragments from the cleavage of proPO were studied to determine their roles in bacterial clearance and antimicrobial activity. These fragments include proPO-ppA, the N-terminal part of proPO cleaved by ppA, and proPO-casp1 and proPO-casp2, the fragments from the N-terminus after cleavage by caspase-1. The recombinant proteins corresponding to all three of these peptide fragments exhibited bacterial clearance activity in vivo, and proPO-ppA had antimicrobial activity, as evidenced by a drastic decrease in the number of Escherichia coli in vitro. The bacteria incubated with the proPO-ppA fragment were agglutinated and their cell morphology was altered. Our findings show an evolutionary conserved role for caspase cleavage in inflammation, and for the first time show a link between caspase induced inflammation and melanization. Further we give a more detailed understanding of how the proPO system is regulated in time and place and a role for the peptide generated by activation of proPO as well as for the peptides resulting from Caspase 1

  19. Comparative proteomics evaluation of plasma exosome isolation techniques and assessment of the stability of exosomes in normal human blood plasma. (United States)

    Kalra, Hina; Adda, Christopher G; Liem, Michael; Ang, Ching-Seng; Mechler, Adam; Simpson, Richard J; Hulett, Mark D; Mathivanan, Suresh


    Exosomes are nanovesicles released by a variety of cells and are detected in body fluids including blood. Recent studies have highlighted the critical application of exosomes as personalized targeted drug delivery vehicles and as reservoirs of disease biomarkers. While these research applications have created significant interest and can be translated into practice, the stability of exosomes needs to be assessed and exosome isolation protocols from blood plasma need to be optimized. To optimize methods to isolate exosomes from blood plasma, we performed a comparative evaluation of three exosome isolation techniques (differential centrifugation coupled with ultracentrifugation, epithelial cell adhesion molecule immunoaffinity pull-down, and OptiPrep(TM) density gradient separation) using normal human plasma. Based on MS, Western blotting and microscopy results, we found that the OptiPrep(TM) density gradient method was superior in isolating pure exosomal populations, devoid of highly abundant plasma proteins. In addition, we assessed the stability of exosomes in plasma over 90 days under various storage conditions. Western blotting analysis using the exosomal marker, TSG101, revealed that exosomes are stable for 90 days. Interestingly, in the context of cellular uptake, the isolated exosomes were able to fuse with target cells revealing that they were indeed biologically active.

  20. Assessment of stone columns as a mitigation technique of liquefaction-induced effects during Italian earthquakes (May 2012). (United States)

    Forcellini, Davide; Tarantino, Angelo Marcello


    Soil liquefaction has been observed worldwide during recent major earthquakes with induced effects responsible for much of the damage, disruption of function, and considerable replacement expenses for structures. The phenomenon has not been documented in recent time with such damage in Italian context before the recent Emilia-Romagna Earthquake (May 2012). The main lateral spreading and vertical deformations affected the stability of many buildings and impacted social life inducing valuable lessons on liquefaction risk assessment and remediation. This paper aims first of all to reproduce soil response to liquefaction-induced lateral effects and thus to evaluate stone column mitigation technique effectiveness by gradually increasing the extension of remediation, in order to achieve a satisfactory lower level of permanent deformations. The study is based on the use of a FE computational interface able to analyse the earthquake-induced three-dimensional pore pressure generation adopting one of the most credited nonlinear theories in order to assess realistically the displacements connected to lateral spreading.

  1. Assessment of Multi-Joint Coordination and Adaptation in Standing Balance: A Novel Device and System Identification Technique. (United States)

    Engelhart, Denise; Schouten, Alfred C; Aarts, Ronald G K M; van der Kooij, Herman


    The ankles and hips play an important role in maintaining standing balance and the coordination between joints adapts with task and conditions, like the disturbance magnitude and type, and changes with age. Assessment of multi-joint coordination requires the application of multiple continuous and independent disturbances and closed loop system identification techniques (CLSIT). This paper presents a novel device, the double inverted pendulum perturbator (DIPP), which can apply disturbing forces at the hip level and between the shoulder blades. In addition to the disturbances, the device can provide force fields to study adaptation of multi-joint coordination. The performance of the DIPP and a novel CLSIT was assessed by identifying a system with known mechanical properties and model simulations. A double inverted pendulum was successfully identified, while force fields were able to keep the pendulum upright. The estimated dynamics were similar as the theoretical derived dynamics. The DIPP has a sufficient bandwidth of 7 Hz to identify multi-joint coordination dynamics. An experiment with human subjects where a stabilizing force field was rendered at the hip (1500 N/m), showed that subjects adapt by lowering their control actions around the ankles. The stiffness from upper and lower segment motion to ankle torque dropped with 30% and 48%, respectively. Our methods allow to study (pathological) changes in multi-joint coordination as well as adaptive capacity to maintain standing balance.

  2. Total Energy Expenditure in Obese Kuwaiti Primary School Children Assessed by the Doubly-Labeled Water Technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lena Davidsson


    Full Text Available The aim of this pilot study was to assess body composition and total energy expenditure (TEE in 35 obese 7–9 years old Kuwaiti children (18 girls and 17 boys. Total body water (TBW and TEE were assessed by doubly-labeled water technique. TBW was derived from the intercept of the elimination rate of deuterium and TEE from the difference in elimination rates of 18O and deuterium. TBW was used to estimate fat-free mass (FFM, using hydration factors for different ages and gender. Fat mass (FM was calculated as the difference between body weight and FFM. Body weight was not statistically different but TBW was significantly higher (p = 0.018 in boys (44.9% ± 3.3% than girls (42.4% ± 3.0%, while girls had significantly higher estimated FM (45.2 ± 3.9 weight % versus 41.6% ± 4.3%; p = 0.014. TEE was significantly higher in boys (2395 ± 349 kcal/day compared with girls (1978 ± 169 kcal/day; p = 0.001. Estimated physical activity level (PAL was significantly higher in boys; 1.61 ± 0.167 versus 1.51 ± 0.870; p = 0.034. Our results provide the first dataset of TEE in 7–9 years old obese Kuwaiti children and highlight important gender differences to be considered during the development of school based interventions targeted to combat childhood obesity.

  3. Testing an advanced satellite technique for dust detection as a decision support system for the air quality assessment (United States)

    Falconieri, Alfredo; Filizzola, Carolina; Femiano, Rossella; Marchese, Francesco; Sannazzaro, Filomena; Pergola, Nicola; Tramutoli, Valerio; Di Muro, Ersilia; Divietri, Mariella; Crisci, Anna Maria; Lovallo, Michele; Mangiamele, Lucia; Vaccaro, Maria Pia; Palma, Achille


    In order to correctly apply the European directive for air quality (2008/50/CE), local Authorities are often requested to discriminate the possible origin (natural/anthropic) of anomalous concentration of pollutants in the air (art.20 Directive 2008/50/CE). In this framework, it's been focused on PM10 and PM2,5 concentrations and sources. In fact, depending on their origin, appropriate counter-measures can be taken devoted to prevent their production (e.g. by traffic restriction) or simply to reduce their impact on citizen health (e.g. information campaigns). In this context suitable satellite techniques can be used in order to identify natural sources (particularly Saharan dust, but also volcanic ash or forest fire smoke) that can be responsible of over-threshold concentration of PM10/2,5 in populated areas. In the framework of the NIBS (Networking and Internationalization of Basilicata Space Technologies) project, funded by the Basilicata Region within the ERDF 2007-2013 program, the School of Engineering of University of Basilicata, the Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis of National Research Council (IMAA-CNR) and the Regional Agency for the Protection of the Environment of Basilicata Region (ARPAB) have started a collaboration devoted to assess the potential of the use of advanced satellite techniques for Saharan dust events identification to support ARPAB activities related to the application of the European directive for air quality (2008/50/CE) in Basilicata region. In such a joint activity, the Robust Satellite Technique (RST) approach has been assessed and tested as a decision support system for monitoring and evaluating air quality at local and regional level. In particular, RST-DUST products, derived by processing high temporal resolution data provided by SEVIRI (Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager) sensor on board Meteosat Second Generation platforms, have been analysed together with PM10 measurements performed by the ground

  4. Integration of geospatial techniques in the assessment of vulnerability of trees to ice storms in Norman, Oklahoma (United States)

    Rahman, Muhammad Tauhidur

    a change/no change basis, but also by quantifying the damage. Finally, the methods and techniques developed in this study can not only assess damage from future ice storms, but can also quantify damage from other natural disasters in other parts of the world as well.

  5. PE-g-MAH相容剂对HDPE/r-PPA复合材料性能的影响研究%Effects of PE-g-MAH on properties of HDPE/r-PPA composite

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李超; 杨娇娇; 李海燕; 陈慧芬; 梁聪立; 陈庆华; 钱庆荣



  6. A novel dynamic scintigraphic technique for assessing duodenal contractions during gastric emptying in humans: a feasibility study. (United States)

    Kubo, Tadeu T A; Moraes, Eder R; Secaf, Marie; Troncon, Luiz E A


    Duodenal contractions are thought to play a role in the control of gastric emptying. Although noninvasive techniques, such as ultrasonography and MRI, have been proposed for studying duodenal contractile activity in humans, there are no reports on the use of scintigraphy for this purpose. This work aimed to describe a novel scintigraphic technique for assessing duodenal contractility during gastric emptying in humans, and to present preliminary data on the frequency and amplitude of contractions detected in three different duodenal segments. Fasted young healthy volunteers (N=12) were given either a liquid or a solid test meal of similar calorie content (400 kcal) labeled with 99mTc-phytate. Static images were collected to determine gastric emptying. Dynamic images of the anterior aspect of the abdomen (1 frame/s) were also acquired periodically in a standard position for 256 s at 15-30 min intervals. 'Activity versus time' curves were generated for regions of interest corresponding to the proximal, middle, and distal duodenal segments. Curves were digitally filtered and processed to estimate both dominant frequency (fast Fourier transform) and amplitude (mean ejection fraction) of postprandial duodenal contractions. There were no significant differences regarding dominant frequency among proximal, middle, and distal duodenal regions of interest. In addition, there were no significant differences between the liquid and the solid meal in terms of either frequency or amplitude of duodenal contractions. Characterization of duodenal contractions in humans using scintigraphy is feasible and yields consistent data for both the frequency and the amplitude of postprandial contractions, which seems to be rather independent of meal consistency.

  7. Application of multivariate statistical techniques in assessment of surface water quality in Second Songhua River basin, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郑力燕; 于宏兵; 王启山


    Multivariate statistical techniques, such as cluster analysis (CA), discriminant analysis (DA), principal component analysis (PCA) and factor analysis (FA), were applied to evaluate and interpret the surface water quality data sets of the Second Songhua River (SSHR) basin in China, obtained during two years (2012−2013) of monitoring of 10 physicochemical parameters at 15 different sites. The results showed that most of physicochemical parameters varied significantly among the sampling sites. Three significant groups, highly polluted (HP), moderately polluted (MP) and less polluted (LP), of sampling sites were obtained through Hierarchical agglomerative CA on the basis of similarity of water quality characteristics. DA identified pH, F, DO, NH3-N, COD and VPhs were the most important parameters contributing to spatial variations of surface water quality. However, DA did not give a considerable data reduction (40%reduction). PCA/FA resulted in three, three and four latent factors explaining 70%, 62%and 71%of the total variance in water quality data sets of HP, MP and LP regions, respectively. FA revealed that the SSHR water chemistry was strongly affected by anthropogenic activities (point sources: industrial effluents and wastewater treatment plants; non-point sources:domestic sewage, livestock operations and agricultural activities) and natural processes (seasonal effect, and natural inputs). PCA/FA in the whole basin showed the best results for data reduction because it used only two parameters (about 80%reduction) as the most important parameters to explain 72%of the data variation. Thus, this work illustrated the utility of multivariate statistical techniques for analysis and interpretation of datasets and, in water quality assessment, identification of pollution sources/factors and understanding spatial variations in water quality for effective stream water quality management.

  8. Potential application of quantitative microbiological risk assessment techniques to an aseptic-UHT process in the food industry. (United States)

    Pujol, Laure; Albert, Isabelle; Johnson, Nicholas Brian; Membré, Jeanne-Marie


    Aseptic ultra-high-temperature (UHT)-type processed food products (e.g., milk or soup) are ready to eat products which are consumed extensively globally due to a combination of their comparative high quality and long shelf life, with no cold chain or other preservation requirements. Due to the inherent microbial vulnerability of aseptic-UHT product formulations, the safety and stability-related performance objectives (POs) required at the end of the manufacturing process are the most demanding found in the food industry. The key determinants to achieving sterility, and which also differentiates aseptic-UHT from in-pack sterilised products, are the challenges associated with the processes of aseptic filling and sealing. This is a complex process that has traditionally been run using deterministic or empirical process settings. Quantifying the risk of microbial contamination and recontamination along the aseptic-UHT process, using the scientifically based process quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA), offers the possibility to improve on the currently tolerable sterility failure rate (i.e., 1 defect per 10,000 units). In addition, benefits of applying QMRA are (i) to implement process settings in a transparent and scientific manner; (ii) to develop a uniform common structure whatever the production line, leading to a harmonisation of these process settings, and; (iii) to bring elements of a cost-benefit analysis of the management measures. The objective of this article is to explore how QMRA techniques and risk management metrics may be applied to aseptic-UHT-type processed food products. In particular, the aseptic-UHT process should benefit from a number of novel mathematical and statistical concepts that have been developed in the field of QMRA. Probabilistic techniques such as Monte Carlo simulation, Bayesian inference and sensitivity analysis, should help in assessing the compliance with safety and stability-related POs set at the end of the manufacturing

  9. Assessing stand water use in four coastal wetland forests using sapflow techniques: annual estimates, errors and associated uncertainties (United States)

    Krauss, Ken W.; Duberstein, Jamie A.; Conner, William H.


    Forests comprise approximately 37% of the terrestrial land surface and influence global water cycling. However, very little attention has been directed towards understanding environmental impacts on stand water use (S) or in identifying rates of S from specific forested wetlands. Here, we use sapflow techniques to address two separate but linked objectives: (1) determine S in four, hydrologically distinctive South Carolina (USA) wetland forests from 2009–2010 and (2) describe potential error, uncertainty and stand-level variation associated with these assessments. Sapflow measurements were made from a number of tree species for approximately 2–8 months over 2 years to initiate the model, which was applied to canopy trees (DBH > 10–20 cm). We determined that S in three healthy forested wetlands varied from 1.97–3.97 mm day−1 or 355–687 mm year−1 when scaled. In contrast, saltwater intrusion impacted individual tree physiology and size class distributions on a fourth site, which decreased S to 0.61–1.13 mm day−1 or 110–196 mm year−1. The primary sources of error in estimations using sapflow probes would relate to calibration of probes and standardization relative to no flow periods and accounting for accurate sapflow attenuation with radial depth into the sapwood by species and site. Such inherent variation in water use among wetland forest stands makes small differences in S (<200 mm year−1) difficult to detect statistically through modelling, even though small differences may be important to local water cycling. These data also represent some of the first assessments of S from temperate, coastal forested wetlands along the Atlantic coast of the USA.

  10. Analysis of indoor air pollutants checklist using environmetric technique for health risk assessment of sick building complaint in nonindustrial workplace (United States)

    Syazwan, AI; Rafee, B Mohd; Juahir, Hafizan; Azman, AZF; Nizar, AM; Izwyn, Z; Syahidatussyakirah, K; Muhaimin, AA; Yunos, MA Syafiq; Anita, AR; Hanafiah, J Muhamad; Shaharuddin, MS; Ibthisham, A Mohd; Hasmadi, I Mohd; Azhar, MN Mohamad; Azizan, HS; Zulfadhli, I; Othman, J; Rozalini, M; Kamarul, FT


    Purpose To analyze and characterize a multidisciplinary, integrated indoor air quality checklist for evaluating the health risk of building occupants in a nonindustrial workplace setting. Design A cross-sectional study based on a participatory occupational health program conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Malaysia) and Universiti Putra Malaysia. Method A modified version of the indoor environmental checklist published by the Department of Occupational Health and Safety, based on the literature and discussion with occupational health and safety professionals, was used in the evaluation process. Summated scores were given according to the cluster analysis and principal component analysis in the characterization of risk. Environmetric techniques was used to classify the risk of variables in the checklist. Identification of the possible source of item pollutants was also evaluated from a semiquantitative approach. Result Hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis resulted in the grouping of factorial components into three clusters (high complaint, moderate-high complaint, moderate complaint), which were further analyzed by discriminant analysis. From this, 15 major variables that influence indoor air quality were determined. Principal component analysis of each cluster revealed that the main factors influencing the high complaint group were fungal-related problems, chemical indoor dispersion, detergent, renovation, thermal comfort, and location of fresh air intake. The moderate-high complaint group showed significant high loading on ventilation, air filters, and smoking-related activities. The moderate complaint group showed high loading on dampness, odor, and thermal comfort. Conclusion This semiquantitative assessment, which graded risk from low to high based on the intensity of the problem, shows promising and reliable results. It should be used as an important tool in the preliminary assessment of indoor air quality and as a

  11. PET/CT colonography: a novel non-invasive technique for assessment of extent and activity of ulcerative colitis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Das, Chandan J.; Sharma, Raju [All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Department of Radiodiagnosis, New Delhi (India); Makharia, Govind K.; Tiwari, Rajeew P. [All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutrition, New Delhi (India); Kumar, Rakesh; Kumar, Rajender; Malhotra, Arun [All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Department of Nuclear Medicine, New Delhi (India)


    Extent of involvement and activity of ulcerative colitis (UC) is best evaluated by colonoscopy. Colonoscopy however carries risk during acute exacerbation. We investigated the utility of PET/CT colonography for assessment of extent and activity of UC. Within a 1-week window, 15 patients with mild to moderately active UC underwent colonoscopy and PET/CT colonography 60 min after injection of 10 mCi of {sup 18}F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). PET activity score based on the amount of FDG uptake and endoscopic mucosal activity in seven colonic segments of each patient was recorded. The mean maximum standardized uptake value (SUV{sub max}) of seven segments was compared with activity in liver. A PET activity grade of 0, 1, 2 or 3 was assigned to each region depending upon their SUV{sub max} ratio (colon segment to liver). The extent of disease was left-sided colitis in five and pancolitis in ten. The mean Ulcerative Colitis Disease Activity Index (UCDAI) was 7.6. The number of segments involved as per colonoscopic evaluation and PET/CT colonography was 67 and 66, respectively. There was a good correlation for extent evaluation between the two modalities (kappa 55.3%, p = 0.02). One patient had grade 0 PET activity, nine had grade 2 and five had grade 3 PET activity. In six patients, there was one to one correlation between PET activity grades with that of endoscopic grade. One patient showed activity in the sacroiliac joint suggesting active sacroiliitis. PET/CT colonography is a novel non-invasive technique for the assessment of extent and activity of the disease in patients with UC. (orig.)

  12. Techniques for assessing the performance of in situ bioreduction and immobilization of metals and radionuclides in contaminated subsurface environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jardine, P.M.; Watson, D.B.; Blake, D.A.; Beard, L.P.; Brooks, S.C.; Carley, J.M.; Criddle, C.S.; Doll, W.E.; Fields, M.W.; Fendorf, S.E.; Geesey, G.G.; Ginder-Vogel, M.; Hubbard, S.S.; Istok, J.D.; Kelly, S.; Kemner, K.M.; Peacock, A.D.; Spalding, B.P.; White, D.C.; Wolf, A.; Wu, W.; Zhou, J.


    monitoring of coupled hydrological, geochemical/geophysical, and microbial processes. In the following manuscript we will (1) discuss contaminant fate and transport problems in humid regimes, (2) efforts to immobilize metals and radionuclides in situ via bioremediation, and (3) state-of-the-art techniques for assessing the performance of in situ bioreduction and immobilization of metals and radionuclides. These included (a) in situ solution and solid phase monitoring, (b) in situ and laboratory microbial community analysis, (c) noninvasive geophysical methods, and (d) solid phase speciation via high resolution spectroscopy.

  13. Validation of a New Method for Stroke Volume Variation Assessment: a Comparaison with the PiCCO Technique

    CERN Document Server

    Laleg-Kirati, Taous-Meriem; Papelier, Yves; Cottin, François; Van De Louw, Andry


    This paper proposes a novel, simple and minimally invasive method for stroke volume variation assessment using arterial blood pressure measurements. The arterial blood pressure signal is reconstructed using a semi-classical signal analysis method allowing the computation of a parameter, called the first systolic invariant INVS1. We show that INVS1 is linearly related to stroke volume. To validate this approach, a statistical comparaison between INVS1 and stroke volume measured with the PiCCO technique was performed during a 15-mn recording in 21 mechanically ventilated patients in intensive care. In 94% of the whole recordings, a strong correlation was estimated by cross-correlation analysis (mean coefficient=0.9) and linear regression (mean coefficient=0.89). Once the linear relation had been verified, a Bland-Altman test showed the very good agreement between the two approaches and their interchangeability. For the remaining 6%, INVS1 and the PiCCO stroke volume were not correlated at all, and this discrepa...

  14. Flood evolution assessment and monitoring using hydrological modelling techniques: analysis of the inundation areas at a regional scale (United States)

    Podhoranyi, M.; Kuchar, S.; Portero, A.


    The primary objective of this study is to present techniques that cover usage of a hydrodynamic model as the main tool for monitoring and assessment of flood events while focusing on modelling of inundation areas. We analyzed the 2010 flood event (14th May - 20th May) that occurred in the Moravian-Silesian region (Czech Republic). Under investigation were four main catchments: Opava, Odra, Olše and Ostravice. Four hydrodynamic models were created and implemented into the Floreon+ platform in order to map inundation areas that arose during the flood event. In order to study the dynamics of the water, we applied an unsteady flow simulation for the entire area (HEC-RAS 4.1). The inundation areas were monitored, evaluated and recorded semi-automatically by means of the Floreon+ platform. We focused on information about the extent and presence of the flood areas. The modeled flooded areas were verified by comparing them with real data from different sources (official reports, aerial photos and hydrological networks). The study confirmed that hydrodynamic modeling is a very useful tool for mapping and monitoring of inundation areas. Overall, our models detected 48 inundation areas during the 2010 flood event.

  15. A Novel Technique for the Assessment of Preoperative Cardiovascular Risk: Reactive Hyperemic Response to Short-Term Exercise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Schier


    Full Text Available Background. Perioperative vascular function has been widely studied using noninvasive techniques that measure reactive hyperemia as a surrogate marker of vascular function. However, studies are limited to a static setting with patients tested at rest. We hypothesized that exercise would increase reactive hyperemia as measured by digital thermal monitoring (DTM in association to patients' cardiometabolic risk. Methods. Thirty patients (58 ± 9 years scheduled for noncardiac surgery were studied prospectively. Preoperatively, temperature rebound (TR following upper arm cuff occlusion was measured before and 10 minutes after exercise. Data are presented as means ± SD. Statistical analysis utilized ANOVA and Fisher’s exact test, with P values <0.05 regarded as significant. Results. Following exercise, TR-derived parameters increased significantly (absolute: 0.53 ± 0.95 versus 0.04 ± 0.42∘C, P=0.04, and % change: 1.78 ± 3.29 versus 0.14 ± 1.27 %, P=0.03. All patients with preoperative cardiac risk factors had a change in TR (after/before exercise, ΔTR with values falling in the lower two tertiles of the study population (ΔTR <1.1%. Conclusion. Exercise increased the reactive hyperemic response to ischemia. This dynamic response was blunted in patients with cardiac risk factors. The usability of this short-term effect for the preoperative assessment of endothelial function warrants further study.

  16. Genetic diversity of wheat grain quality and determination the best clustering technique and data type for diversity assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khodadadi Mostafa


    Full Text Available Wheat is an important staple in human nutrition and improvement of its grain quality characters will have high impact on population's health. The objectives of this study were assessing variation of some grain quality characteristics in the Iranian wheat genotypes and identify the best type of data and clustering method for grouping genotypes. In this study 30 spring wheat genotypes were cultivated through randomized complete block design with three replications in 2009 and 2010 years. High significant difference among genotypes for all traits except for Sulfate, K, Br and Cl content, also deference among two years mean for all traits were no significant. Meanwhile there were significant interaction between year and genotype for all traits except Sulfate and F content. Mean values for crude protein, Zn, Fe and Ca in Mahdavi, Falat, Star, Sistan genotypes were the highest. The Ca and Br content showed the highest and the lowest broadcast heritability respectively. In this study indicated that the Root Mean Square Standard Deviation is efficient than R Squared and R Squared efficient than Semi Partial R Squared criteria for determining the best clustering technique. Also Ward method and canonical scores identified as the best clustering method and data type for grouping genotypes, respectively. Genotypes were grouped into six completely separate clusters and Roshan, Niknejad and Star genotypes from the fourth, fifth and sixth clusters had high grain quality characters in overall.

  17. Assessment of inhalation and ingestion doses from exposure to radon gas using passive and active detecting techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ismail, A. H.; Jafaar, M. S. [Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM, Penang (Malaysia)


    The aim of this study was to assess an environmental hazard of radon exhalation rate from the samples of soil and drinking water in selected locations in Iraqi Kurdistan, passive (CR-39NTDs) and active (RAD7) detecting techniques has been employed. Long and short term measurements of emitted radon concentrations were estimated for 124 houses. High and lower radon concentration in soil samples was in the cities of Hajyawa and Er. Tyrawa, respectively. Moreover, for drinking water, high and low radon concentration was in the cities of Similan and Kelak, respectively. A comparison between our results with that mentioned in international reports had been done. Average annual dose equivalent to the bronchial epithelium, stomach and whole body in the cities of Kelak and Similan are estimated, and it was varied from 0.04{+-}0.01 mSv to 0.547{+-}0.018 mSv, (2.832{+-}0.22)x10{sup -5} to (11.972{+-}2.09)x10{sup -5} mSv, and (0.056 {+-}0.01) x10{sup -5} to (0.239{+-}0.01)x10{sup -5} mSv, respectively. This indicated that the effects of dissolved radon on the bronchial epithelium are much than on the stomach and whole body. (authors)

  18. Techniques and results of extremities dosimetric assessments among interventional imagery operators; Techniques et resultats d'evaluations dosimetriques des extremites chez les operateurs en imagerie interventionnelle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Donadille, L.; Tagnard-Merat, F.; Rehel, J.L. [Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire, 92 - Fontenay aux Roses (France); Gauron, C. [Institut national de recherche et de securite pour la prevention des accidents du travail et des maladies professionnelles (INRS), Centre de Paris, 30 rue Olivier Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 1 4 (France)


    The authors evoke different surveys made among interventional imagery operators to assess the doses received by their hands. The operators had a local dosimeter on their middle finger nail during a single procedure, and had then to fill in a questionnaire. At least ten measurements per operator are required for the survey. The survey started in 2008 and is planned to end in December 2009. Some results are already briefly discussed

  19. Analysis of indoor air pollutants checklist using environmetric technique for health risk assessment of sick building complaint in nonindustrial workplace

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syazwan AI


    workplace setting.Design: A cross-sectional study based on a participatory occupational health program conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia.Method: A modified version of the indoor environmental checklist published by the Department of Occupational Health and Safety, based on the literature and discussion with occupational health and safety professionals, was used in the evaluation process. Summated scores were given according to the cluster analysis and principal component analysis in the characterization of risk. Environmetric techniques was used to classify the risk of variables in the checklist. Identification of the possible source of item pollutants was also evaluated from a semiquantitative approach.Result: Hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis resulted in the grouping of factorial components into three clusters (high complaint, moderate-high complaint, moderate complaint, which were further analyzed by discriminant analysis. From this, 15 major variables that influence indoor air quality were determined. Principal component analysis of each cluster revealed that the main factors influencing the high complaint group were fungal-related problems, chemical indoor dispersion, detergent, renovation, thermal comfort, and location of fresh air intake. The moderate-high complaint group showed significant high loading on ventilation, air filters, and smoking-related activities. The moderate complaint group showed high loading on dampness, odor, and thermal comfort.Conclusion: This semiquantitative assessment, which graded risk from low to high based on the intensity of the problem, shows promising and reliable results. It should be used as an important tool in the preliminary assessment of indoor air quality and as a categorizing method for further IAQ investigations and complaints procedures.Keywords: office, indoor environment quality, indoor air quality assessor, Industry Code of Practice on

  20. CT and MRI assessment and characterization using segmentation and 3D modeling techniques: applications to muscle, bone and brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Gargiulo


    Full Text Available This paper reviews the novel use of CT and MRI data and image processing tools to segment and reconstruct tissue images in 3D to determine characteristics of muscle, bone and brain.This to study and simulate the structural changes occurring in healthy and pathological conditions as well as in response to clinical treatments. Here we report the application of this methodology to evaluate and quantify: 1. progression of atrophy in human muscle subsequent to permanent lower motor neuron (LMN denervation, 2. muscle recovery as induced by functional electrical stimulation (FES, 3. bone quality in patients undergoing total hip replacement and 4. to model the electrical activity of the brain. Study 1: CT data and segmentation techniques were used to quantify changes in muscle density and composition by associating the Hounsfield unit values of muscle, adipose and fibrous connective tissue with different colors. This method was employed to monitor patients who have permanent muscle LMN denervation in the lower extremities under two different conditions: permanent LMN denervated not electrically stimulated and stimulated. Study 2: CT data and segmentation techniques were employed, however, in this work we assessed bone and muscle conditions in the pre-operative CT scans of patients scheduled to undergo total hip replacement. In this work, the overall anatomical structure, the bone mineral density (BMD and compactness of quadriceps muscles and proximal femoral was computed to provide a more complete view for surgeons when deciding which implant technology to use. Further, a Finite element analysis provided a map of the strains around the proximal femur socket when solicited by typical stresses caused by an implant press fitting. Study 3 describes a method to model the electrical behavior of human brain using segmented MR images. The aim of the work is to use these models to predict the electrical activity of the human brain under normal and pathological

  1. Assessing Suitability of Rural Settlements Using an Improved Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Yanfang; CUI Jiaxing; KONG Xuesong; ZENG Chen


    Land suitability assessment is a prerequisite phase in land use planning;it guides toward optimal land use by providing information on the opportunities and constraints involved in the use of a given land area.A geographic information system-based procedure,known as rural settlement suitability evaluation (RSSE) using an improved technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS),was adopted to determine the most suitable area for constructing rural settlements in different geographical locations.Given the distribution and independence of rural settlements,a distinctive evaluation criteria system that differed from that of urban suitability was established by considering the level of rural infrastructure services as well as living and working conditions.The unpredictable mutual interference among evaluation factors has been found in practical works.An improved TOPSIS using Mahalanobis distance was applied to solve the unpredictable correlation among the criteria in a suitability evaluation.Uncertainty and sensitivity analyses obtained via Monte Carlo simulation were performed to examine the robustness of the model.Daye,a resource-based city with rapid economic development,unsatisfied rural development,and geological environmental problems caused by mining,was used as a case study.Results indicate the following findings:1) The RSSE model using the improved TOPSIS can assess the suitability of rural settlements,and the suitability maps generated using the improved TOPSIS have higher information density than those generated using traditional TOPSIS.The robustness of the model is improved,and the uncertainty is reduced in the suitability results.2) Highly suitable land is mainly distributed in the northeast of the study area,and the majority of which is cultivated land,thereby leading to tremendous pressure on the loss of cultivated land.3) Lastly,12.54% of the constructive expansion permitted zone and 8.36% of the constructive expansion

  2. Development and Testing of a Simple Calibration Technique for Long-Term Hydrological Impact Assessment (L-THIA) Model (United States)

    Muthukrishnan, S.; Harbor, J.


    Hydrological studies are significant part of every engineering, developmental project and geological studies done to assess and understand the interactions between the hydrology and the environment. Such studies are generally conducted before the beginning of the project as well as after the project is completed, such that a comprehensive analysis can be done on the impact of such projects on the local and regional hydrology of the area. A good understanding of the chain of relationships that form the hydro-eco-biological and environmental cycle can be of immense help in maintaining the natural balance as we work towards exploration and exploitation of the natural resources as well as urbanization of undeveloped land. Rainfall-Runoff modeling techniques have been of great use here for decades since they provide fast and efficient means of analyzing vast amount of data that is gathered. Though process based, detailed models are better than the simple models, the later ones are used more often due to their simplicity, ease of use, and easy availability of data needed to run them. The Curve Number (CN) method developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is one of the most widely used hydrologic modeling tools in the US, and has earned worldwide acceptance as a practical method for evaluating the effects of land use changes on the hydrology of an area. The Long-Term Hydrological Impact Assessment (L-THIA) model is a basic, CN-based, user-oriented model that has gained popularity amongst watershed planners because of its reliance on readily available data, and because the model is easy to use ( and produces results geared to the general information needs of planners. The L-THIA model was initially developed to study the relative long-term hydrologic impacts of different land use (past/current/future) scenarios, and it has been successful in meeting this goal. However, one of the weaknesses of L-THIA, as well as other

  3. Development of Quality Assessment Techniques for Large Eddy Simulation of Propulsion and Power Systems in Complex Geometries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lacaze, Guilhem [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Oefelein, Joseph [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)


    Large-eddy-simulation (LES) is quickly becoming a method of choice for studying complex thermo-physics in a wide range of propulsion and power systems. It provides a means to study coupled turbulent combustion and flow processes in parameter spaces that are unattainable using direct-numerical-simulation (DNS), with a degree of fidelity that can be far more accurate than conventional engineering methods such as the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) approx- imation. However, development of predictive LES is complicated by the complex interdependence of different type of errors coming from numerical methods, algorithms, models and boundary con- ditions. On the other hand, control of accuracy has become a critical aspect in the development of predictive LES for design. The objective of this project is to create a framework of metrics aimed at quantifying the quality and accuracy of state-of-the-art LES in a manner that addresses the myriad of competing interdependencies. In a typical simulation cycle, only 20% of the computational time is actually usable. The rest is spent in case preparation, assessment, and validation, because of the lack of guidelines. This work increases confidence in the accuracy of a given solution while min- imizing the time obtaining the solution. The approach facilitates control of the tradeoffs between cost, accuracy, and uncertainties as a function of fidelity and methods employed. The analysis is coupled with advanced Uncertainty Quantification techniques employed to estimate confidence in model predictions and calibrate model's parameters. This work has provided positive conse- quences on the accuracy of the results delivered by LES and will soon have a broad impact on research supported both by the DOE and elsewhere.

  4. A study to assess the immunization coverage in an urban slum of Mumbai by lot quality technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanket V Kulkarni


    Full Text Available Background: Immunization against childhood disease is one of the most cost effective public health interventions available and has saved the lives of millions of children in the past three decades. Immunization also prevents many more millions from suffering debilitating illness and lifelong disability. Achieving and maintaining high level of immunization among children is necessary for the control and elimination of the major preventable diseases of childhood. Objectives : A present study was conducted to assess the immunization coverage and the impact of socio-demographic profile on that in an urban slum area in Mumbai city. Material and Methods : A cross-sectional study was carried out in the field practice area (cheetah camp urban health centre of the T. N. Medical College, Mumbai during the period of January 2007 to October 2008. A total of 352 children from cheetah camp area in the age group of 12-23 months during the study period were selected by using lot quality technique. Results were analyzed using Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS version 13.0. Results: In the present study, out of the 352 children taken in to consideration, 55.40% were males and 44.60% were females. The overall coverage of immunization in the urban slum area was 88.07%. The most common reasons for not immunizing the child were: due to the visit to native place/village (14.00%, child was ill, hence not brought (8.20%, unaware of need to return for second and third dose (5.70%, and mother too busy (5.00%. Conclusion: In this study, as the overall coverage of immunization among the urban slum area is good but still it has pockets of non-immunization. Hence, more vigilant surveys should be conducted so that these pockets are identified properly and proper actions can be taken.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denisa Mariana DAN


    Full Text Available One of the three strategic objectives of the Europe 2020 Agenda is to ensure the sustainable management of the natural resources and to fight against climate changes. Considering water to be not only a valuable natural resource for any type of landscape, but also the vital environmental component that ensured a minimum of productivity for the people working the unproductive salinization and gleyzation affected soils in the Jiu-Corabia enclosure, using embankment dams to breake the link between the Danube and the flood organism it created over a timespan of millenia has proven in the last 50 years to be an economic and ecological failure. Since the December 1989 events in Romania, after most of the socialist institutions have proven to be too resource consuming, thus unprofitable or maladaptive, the Jiu-Corabia locals have individually experimented with various land cultivation patterns, all of them based on draught-resistant crops, such as peanuts. In spite of it being the original natural landuse, lake usage has only been scarcely mentioned as a project after the 2006 flood, but after being institutionally rejected, its benefits in terms of ecological restoration, financial productivity have not been further looked into. The current article aims to identify different height level scenarios of lake usage in the Jiu-Corabia enclosure, using GIS technique. Lake volumes are calculated for each scenario with the aim of assessing the volume of water this enclose can absorb during flooding periods, as well as of estimating fish production for when the waters are low and it is not needed as a controlled flood chamber. Other benefits, such as providing a source of humidity for precipitations which will aid the crops nearby, have not been monetized, but contribute to the regional development efforts.

  6. Comparison of pure and hybrid iterative reconstruction techniques with conventional filtered back projection: Image quality assessment in the cervicothoracic region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Katsura, Masaki, E-mail: [Department of Radiology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655 (Japan); Sato, Jiro; Akahane, Masaaki; Matsuda, Izuru; Ishida, Masanori; Yasaka, Koichiro; Kunimatsu, Akira; Ohtomo, Kuni [Department of Radiology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655 (Japan)


    Objectives: To evaluate the impact on image quality of three different image reconstruction techniques in the cervicothoracic region: model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR), adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR), and filtered back projection (FBP). Methods: Forty-four patients underwent unenhanced standard-of-care clinical computed tomography (CT) examinations which included the cervicothoracic region with a 64-row multidetector CT scanner. Images were reconstructed with FBP, 50% ASIR-FBP blending (ASIR50), and MBIR. Two radiologists assessed the cervicothoracic region in a blinded manner for streak artifacts, pixilated blotchy appearances, critical reproduction of visually sharp anatomical structures (thyroid gland, common carotid artery, and esophagus), and overall diagnostic acceptability. Objective image noise was measured in the internal jugular vein. Data were analyzed using the sign test and pair-wise Student's t-test. Results: MBIR images had significant lower quantitative image noise (8.88 ± 1.32) compared to ASIR images (18.63 ± 4.19, P < 0.01) and FBP images (26.52 ± 5.8, P < 0.01). Significant improvements in streak artifacts of the cervicothoracic region were observed with the use of MBIR (P < 0.001 each for MBIR vs. the other two image data sets for both readers), while no significant difference was observed between ASIR and FBP (P > 0.9 for ASIR vs. FBP for both readers). MBIR images were all diagnostically acceptable. Unique features of MBIR images included pixilated blotchy appearances, which did not adversely affect diagnostic acceptability. Conclusions: MBIR significantly improves image noise and streak artifacts of the cervicothoracic region over ASIR and FBP. MBIR is expected to enhance the value of CT examinations for areas where image noise and streak artifacts are problematic.

  7. A preliminary biomechanical assessment of a polymer composite hip implant using an infrared thermography technique validated by strain gage measurements. (United States)

    Bougherara, Habiba; Rahim, Ehsan; Shah, Suraj; Dubov, Anton; Schemitsch, Emil H; Zdero, Rad


    With the resurgence of composite materials in orthopaedic applications, a rigorous assessment of stress is needed to predict any failure of bone-implant systems. For current biomechanics research, strain gage measurements are employed to experimentally validate finite element models, which then characterize stress in the bone and implant. Our preliminary study experimentally validates a relatively new nondestructive testing technique for orthopaedic implants. Lock-in infrared (IR) thermography validated with strain gage measurements was used to investigate the stress and strain patterns in a novel composite hip implant made of carbon fiber reinforced polyamide 12 (CF/PA12). The hip implant was instrumented with strain gages and mechanically tested using average axial cyclic forces of 840 N, 1500 N, and 2100 N with the implant at an adduction angle of 15 deg to simulate the single-legged stance phase of walking gait. Three-dimensional surface stress maps were also obtained using an IR thermography camera. Results showed almost perfect agreement of IR thermography versus strain gage data with a Pearson correlation of R(2) = 0.96 and a slope = 1.01 for the line of best fit. IR thermography detected hip implant peak stresses on the inferior-medial side just distal to the neck region of 31.14 MPa (at 840 N), 72.16 MPa (at 1500 N), and 119.86 MPa (at 2100 N). There was strong correlation between IR thermography-measured stresses and force application level at key locations on the implant along the medial (R(2) = 0.99) and lateral (R(2) = 0.83 to 0.99) surface, as well as at the peak stress point (R(2) = 0.81 to 0.97). This is the first study to experimentally validate and demonstrate the use of lock-in IR thermography to obtain three-dimensional stress fields of an orthopaedic device manufactured from a composite material.

  8. Application of Multivariate Statistical Techniques to Assess Seasonal Variation in Water Quality Parameters in Gorganrood Watershed, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Pasandidehfard


    Full Text Available Nonpoint source (NPS pollution is a major surface water contaminant commonly caused by agricultural runoff. The purpose of this study was to assess seasonal variation in water quality parameters in Gorganrood watershed (Golestan Province, Iran. It also tried to clarify the effects of agricultural practices and NPS pollution on them. Water quality parameters including potassium, sodium, pH, water flow rate, total dissolved solids (TDS, electrical conductivity (EC, hardness, sulfate, bicarbonate, chlorine, magnesium, and calcium ions during 1966-2010 were evaluated using multivariate statistical techniques. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA was implemented to determine the significance of differences between mean seasonal values. Discriminant analysis (DA was also carried out to identify correlations between seasons and the water quality parameters. Parameters of water quality index were measured through principal component analysis (PCA and factor analysis (FA. Based on the results of statistical tests, climate (freezing, weathering and rainfall and human activities such as agriculture had crucial effects on water quality. The most important parameters in differentiation between seasons in descending order were potassium, pH, carbonic acid, calcium, and magnesium. According to load factor analysis, chlorine, calcium, and potassium were the most important parameters in spring and summer, indicating the application of fertilizers (especially potassium chloride fertilizer and existence of NPS pollution during these seasons. In the next stage, the months during which crops had excessive water requirements were detected using CROPWAT software. Almost all water requirements of the area’s major crops, i.e. cotton, rice, soya, wheat, and oat, happen in the late spring until mid/late summer. According to our findings, agricultural practices had a great impact on water pollution. Results of analysis with CROPWAT software also confirmed this

  9. Assessment of heavy metals pollution using AVS-SEM and fractionation techniques in Edku Lagoon sediments, Mediterranean Sea, Egypt. (United States)

    El Zokm, Gehan M; Okbah, Mohamed A; Younis, Alaa M


    A method is presented to evaluate the fractionation of metals (Fe, Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd and Ni), acid volatile sulfide (AVS) and simultaneously extracted metals (SEM) in Edku lagoon sediments. Thirteen sediment samples were collected from the study area in the period of 2010-2011 to assess the potential bioavailability and toxicity of the selected metals. According to classification of the Interim Sediment Quality Quidelines (ISQG), five stations near the drains exhibited 10% toxic probability. The high AVS and low ∑SEM ranges in Summer were identified as 6-138 and 0.86-3.3 µmol g(-1) dry wet, respectively which are referring to the low mobility of heavy metals in this season and vice versa for winter (2.5-23.9 and 1.16-3.82 µmol g(-1) dry wet, respectively). According to the evaluation of USEPA, all sediment samples showed ∑SEM/AVS < 1 and ΣSEM-AVS < 0 and this indicates that Edku lagoon sediments didn't cause any adverse effects. Meanwhile, the calculations of the global contamination factor (GCF) and the individual contamination factors (ICF) using fractionation technique gave values of 111.644 and 84.555 in El Bosily drain and station 1 near the cages of fish farm, respectively due to possible contamination. Interestingly, the collected data refer that the mobility and bioavailability of heavy metals in Edku lagoon sediments posed a low risk of adverse biological effects due to cadmium, copper, lead, nickel and zinc in all evaluated stations.

  10. An assessment of contemporary atomic spectroscopic techniques for the determination of lead in blood and urine matrices (United States)

    Parsons, Patrick J.; Geraghty, Ciaran; Verostek, Mary Frances


    The preparation and validation of a number of clinical reference materials for the determination of lead in blood and urine is described. Four candidate blood lead reference materials (Lots, 047-050), and four candidate urine lead reference materials (Lots, 034, 035, 037 and 038), containing physiologically-bound lead at clinically relevant concentrations, were circulated to up to 21 selected laboratories specializing in this analysis. Results from two interlaboratory studies were used to establish certified values and uncertainty estimates for these reference materials. These data also provided an assessment of current laboratory techniques for the measurement of lead in blood and urine. For the blood lead measurements, four laboratories used electrothermal atomization AAS, three used anodic stripping voltammetry and one used both ETAAS and ICP-MS. For the urine lead measurements, 11 laboratories used ETAAS (most with Zeeman background correction) and 10 used ICP-MS. Certified blood lead concentrations, ±S.D., ranged from 5.9±0.4 μg/dl (0.28±0.02 μmol/l) to 76.0±2.2 μg/dl (3.67±0.11 μmol/l) and urine lead concentrations ranged from 98±5 μg/l (0.47±0.02 μmol/l) to 641±36 μg/l (3.09±0.17 μmol/l). The highest concentration blood lead material was subjected to multiple analyses using ETAAS over an extended time period. The data indicate that more stringent internal quality control practices are necessary to improve long-term precision. While the certification of blood lead materials was accomplished in a manner consistent with established practices, the urine lead materials proved more troublesome, particularly at concentrations above 600 μg/l (2.90 μmol/l).

  11. Wind energy prospecting: socio-economic value of a new wind resource assessment technique based on a NASA Earth science dataset (United States)

    Vanvyve, E.; Magontier, P.; Vandenberghe, F. C.; Delle Monache, L.; Dickinson, K.


    Wind energy is amongst the fastest growing sources of renewable energy in the U.S. and could supply up to 20 % of the U.S power production by 2030. An accurate and reliable wind resource assessment for prospective wind farm sites is a challenging task, yet is crucial for evaluating the long-term profitability and feasibility of a potential development. We have developed an accurate and computationally efficient wind resource assessment technique for prospective wind farm sites, which incorporates innovative statistical techniques and the new NASA Earth science dataset MERRA. This technique produces a wind resource estimate that is more accurate than that obtained by the wind energy industry's standard technique, while providing a reliable quantification of its uncertainty. The focus now is on evaluating the socio-economic value of this new technique upon using the industry's standard technique. Would it yield lower financing costs? Could it result in lower electricity prices? Are there further down-the-line positive consequences, e.g. job creation, time saved, greenhouse gas decrease? Ultimately, we expect our results will inform efforts to refine and disseminate the new technique to support the development of the U.S. renewable energy infrastructure. In order to address the above questions, we are carrying out a cost-benefit analysis based on the net present worth of the technique. We will describe this approach, including the cash-flow process of wind farm financing, how the wind resource assessment factors in, and will present current results for various hypothetical candidate wind farm sites.

  12. 磷酸化EVOH/DGEBA/PPA交联质子交换膜的研究%Research on Phosphorylated EVOH/DGEBA/PPA Cross-linked Proton Exchange Membranes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王姝珊; 翟良芳; 刘剑洪; 李翠华; 管蓉



  13. 一类新的PPA型三连杆欠驱动机器人的控制策略%Control strategy for a novel class of three-link underactuated manipulators named PPA robot

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    赖旭芝; 潘昌忠; 吴敏


    A PPA robot,which has 3 degrees of freedom(DOF)but only has one actuator,is a novel class of underactuated mechanical systems.For the motion control of this robot,a zoning control strategy is presented to drive it away from the straight-down position and balance it at the straight-up position.Firstly,the motion space is divided into swing-up area and attractive area.Then a swing-up control law based on the Lyapunov function is employed to increase the system energy and control the posture.A balancing control law adopting optimal control is designed for a stable control in the attractive area. Finally,simulation results show the effectiveness of the proposed method.%PPA型机器人是一类新型的三连杆欠驱动机械系统,具有3个自由度,但只有1个驱动装置.针对这类欠驱动机器人的运动控制,提出一种分区的控制策略,使之从垂直向下的位置摇起到垂直向上的位置,并实现稳定控制.首先,将系统的运动空间划分为摇起区和吸引区;其次,应用一种基于Lyapunov函数的控制方法来增加系统能量和控制驱动杆姿态,实现摇起操作;再次,采用最优控制方法设计平衡控制,实现稳定的平衡控制;最后,通过仿真实验验证了所提出控制方法的有效性.

  14. Assessing treatment-as-usual provided to control groups in adherence trials: Exploring the use of an open-ended questionnaire for identifying behaviour change techniques

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oberjé, E.J.M.; Dima, A.L.; Pijnappel, F.J.; Prins, J.M.; Bruin, M. de


    OBJECTIVE: Reporting guidelines call for descriptions of control group support in equal detail as for interventions. However, how to assess the active content (behaviour change techniques (BCTs)) of treatment-as-usual (TAU) delivered to control groups in trials remains unclear. The objective of this

  15. An integrated approach for impact assessement of water harvesting techniques in dry areas: the case of oued Oum Zessar watershed (Tunisia)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ouessar, M.; Sghaier, M.; Mahdhi, F.; Abdeli, F.; Graaff, de J.; Chaieb, H.; Yahyaoui, H.; Gabriels, D.


    In the arid regions of Tunisia, considerable investments are being made to maintain the old water harvesting techniques and introduce new ones to capture the scarce amount of rainwater (100 mm to 230 mm annually) for agricultural and domestic purposes. However, no detailed assessment of the multiple

  16. Techniques to Assess and Mitigate the Environmental Risk Posed by use of Airguns: Recent Advances from Academic Research Programs (United States)

    Miller, P. J.; Tyack, P. L.; Johnson, M. P.; Madsen, P. T.; King, R.


    There is considerable uncertainty about the ways in which marine mammals might react to noise, the biological significance of reactions, and the effectiveness of planning and real-time mitigation techniques. A planning tool commonly used to assess environmental risk of acoustic activities uses simulations to predict acoustic exposures received by animals, and translates exposure to response using a dose-response function to yield an estimate of the undesired impact on a population. Recent advances show promise to convert this planning tool into a real-time mitigation tool, using Bayesian statistical methods. In this approach, being developed for use by the British Navy, the environmental risk simulation is updated continuously during field operations. The distribution of exposure, set initially based on animal density, is updated in real-time using animal sensing data or environmental data known to correlate with the absence or presence of marine mammals. This conditional probability of animal presence should therefore be more accurate than prior probabilities used during planning, which enables a more accurate and quantitative assessment of both the impact of activities and reduction of impact via mitigation decisions. Two key areas of uncertainty in addition to animal presence/absence are 1.) how biologically-relevant behaviours are affected by exposure to noise, and 2.) whether animals avoid loud noise sources, which is the basis of ramp-up as a mitigation tool. With support from MMS and industry partners, we assessed foraging behaviour and avoidance movements of 8 tagged sperm whales in the Gulf of Mexico during experimental exposure to airguns. The whale that was approached most closely prolonged a surface resting bout hours longer than typical, but resumed foraging immediately after the airguns ceased, suggesting avoidance of deep diving necessary for foraging near active airguns. Behavioral indices of foraging rate (echolocation buzzes produced during prey

  17. Substituição de materiais poliméricos através de seletores de materiais e fornecedores: um estudo de caso na indústria automobilística Substitution of polyphthalamide (PPA used in the fuel tank cap lid of a car by other polymers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isaias Bissoto


    Full Text Available Neste trabalho foi avaliada a substituição de poliftalamida (PPA da portinhola do tanque de combustível de um automóvel por outros polímeros. Foram utilizados e avaliados vários seletores de materiais disponíveis na Internet para a identificação de possíveis materiais substitutos à PPA. A PPA é um polímero de alto desempenho não produzido no Brasil, de custo elevado e de difícil processamento. Apesar de sua indicação de uso em peças da indústria automotiva devido às suas excelentes propriedades, sua substituição por outros plásticos implicaria em uma série de vantagens no processo produtivo. Após o resultado desta busca em sites, foram sugeridas melhorias para a elaboração de um novo seletor de materiais poliméricos. A avaliação final deste estudo de caso compara os resultados obtidos através da pesquisa nos seletores de materiais com aqueles obtidos através da consulta direta aos fornecedores locais de polímeros.In this study, we evaluated the possible replacement of polyphthalamide (PPA at the fuel tank cap lid of a car by other polymers. Various materials selectors available in the Internet were used to identify possible substitute materials to PPA. This material is a high-performance, high-cost, difficult-to-process polymer, which is not produced in Brazil. Despite its applicability to automotive parts due to its outstanding properties, its substitution by other polymers would imply in a series of advantages for the process of parts production. After the selectors' usage, a series of enhancements to these sites were suggested in order to make it possible to create a better layout of a materials selector for a future implementation. This study's final evaluation compares the final results obtained from the selectors with those from the local polymer suppliers.

  18. Concurrent validity of the BOD POD and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry techniques for assessing body composition in young women. (United States)

    Maddalozzo, Gianni F; Cardinal, Bradley J; Snow, Christine A


    The purpose of this study was to determine the concurrent validity of the BOD POD (BP) (Life Measurement Instruments) and Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) Elite 4500A (Hologic, Inc.) techniques for assessing the body fat percentage of young women. The participants were forty-three white college-aged women (19.4 +/- 1.4 years) with a BMI of 23.4 +/- 2.3. Both body composition analyses were completed on the same day and were taken within 10 minutes of each other. Body fat percentage was estimated to be 24.3 (SE = 1.1) and 23.8 (SE = 0.8) using the BP and DXA techniques, respectively. Exact matches, in terms of body fat percentage, were obtained for 10 of the 43 participants (23.3%). In conclusion, our data supports the concurrent validity of the BP and DXA techniques for assessing body fat in young women.

  19. Self-Assessment of the Use of Plagiarism Avoiding Techniques to Create Ethical Scholarship Among Research Students


    Saeed Ahmad; Ahsan Ullah


    The use of plagiarism avoiding techniques can be helpful to maintain academic integrity, a better learning environment and intellectual honesty. This explored the use of plagiarism avoiding techniques for creating ethical scholarship among research students. It also measured the association between the frequency of using plagiarism avoiding techniques and the satisfaction about knowledge of plagiarism. Data were collected from seven universities through an online self-struct...

  20. A Facile Solvent Free Synthesis of 3-arylidenechroman-4-ones Using Grinding Technique

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    Suresh Kumar


    Full Text Available An efficient method for the synthesis of 3-arylidenechroman-4-ones has been developed under solvent free conditions using grinding technique. Grinding of variously substituted chroman-4-ones with aromatic aldehydes in presence of anhydrous barium hydroxide at room temperature give 3-arylidenechroman-4-ones in high yield (75-92%. Products are obtained by just acidification of the reaction mixture in ice cold water. Reaction in solid state, with enhanced rate, high selectivity and manipulative simplicity are the attractive features of this environmentally benign protocol. The chroman-4-one derivatives required for the reaction have been obtained by polyphosphoric acid (PPA catalysed cyclisation of phenoxypropanoic acids under microwave irradiations.

  1. A novel approach to assess temporal sensory perception of muscle foods: application of a time-intensity technique to diverse Iberian meat products. (United States)

    Lorido, Laura; Estévez, Mario; Ventanas, Sonia


    Although dynamic sensory techniques such as time-intensity (TI) have been applied to certain meat products, existing knowledge regarding the temporal sensory perception of muscle foods is still limited. The objective of the present study was to apply TI to the flavour and texture perception of three different Iberian meat products: liver pâté, dry-cured sausages ("salchichon") and dry-cured loin. Moreover, the advantages of using dynamic versus static sensory techniques were explored by subjecting the same products to a quantitative descriptive analysis (QDA). TI was a suitable technique to assess the impact of composition and structure of the three meat products on flavour and texture perception from a dynamic perspective. TI parameters extracted from the TI-curves and related to temporal perception enabled the detection of clear differences in sensory temporal perception between the meat products and provided additional insight on sensory perception compared to the conventional static sensory technique (QDA).

  2. POD generator project, development of numerical modeling tools for quantitative assessment of the performance of non-destructive inspection techniques

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bloom, J.G.P.; Stelwagen, U.; Mast, A.; Volker, A.W.F.; Krom, A.H.M.; Mohamoud, A.A.; Gils, G.P. van


    Risk based inspection strategies rely on detailed knowledge of the performance of inspection techniques. It is well known that every inspection technique has limitations in terms of reliability and effectiveness. Moreover, these are influenced by many factors. E.g. it depends on operator skills, ins

  3. A minimally invasive technique to assess several life-history characteristics of the endangered great hammerhead shark Sphyrna mokarran

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    O'Connell, C.P.; Leurs, G.


    A dorsal-fin photo-identification technique paired with a non-invasive parallel laser photogrammetry technique was used to non-invasively identify individual Sphyrna mokarran over time. Based on the data collected over a duration of 59 days, 16 different S. mokarran (mean ± s.d. pre-caudal length

  4. Quality and impact assessment in new geoscience communication : future perspectives through digital communication and Big Data exploration techniques (United States)

    Vicari, Rosa; Schertzer, Daniel; Deutsch, Jean-Claude; Moilleron, Regis


    Since 1990s up to now, climate and environmental science communication has gradually become a priority of policy programmes, a consolidated subject of training and education, a developed and greatly expanded field of professional practices. However, in contrast to this very fast evolution there is presumably a deficit in terms of research and reflection on objective tools to assess the quality and impact of communication activities. The quality of communication in the field of science has become more and more challenging due to the fact that the role of traditional mediators (e.g. well reputed newspapers or broadcasters, science museums), that used to be considered quality guarantors, has now become marginal. Today, a new generation of communication professionals tend to be employed by research institutes to respond to a stronger request to develop accountable research projects, to increase transparency and trust and to disseminate and implementation of research findings. This research aims to understand how communication strategies, addressed to the general public, can optimise the impact of research findings in hydrology for resilient cities. The research will greatly benefit from the development of automated analysis of unstructured Big Data that allows the exploration of huge amounts of digital communication data: blogs, social networks postings, public speeches, press releases, publications, articles... Furthermore, these techniques facilitate the crossing of socio-economic and physical-environmental data and possibly lead to the identification of existing correlations. Case studies correspond to those of several research projects under the umbrella of the Chair "Hydrology for resilient cities" aimed to develop and test new solutions in urban hydrology that will contribute to the resilience of our cities to extreme weather. This research was initiated in the framework of the Interreg IVB project RAINGAIN and pursued in the project Blue Green Dream of the EU

  5. Accuracy assessment of water vapour measurements from in situ and remote sensing techniques during the DEMEVAP 2011 campaign at OHP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Bock


    Full Text Available The Development of Methodologies for Water Vapour Measurement (DEMEVAP project aims at assessing and improving humidity sounding techniques and establishing a reference system based on the combination of Raman lidars, ground-based sensors and GPS. Such a system may be used for climate monitoring, radiosonde bias detection and correction, satellite measurement calibration/validation, and mm-level geodetic positioning with Global Navigation Satellite Systems. A field experiment was conducted in September–October 2011 at Observatoire de Haute-Provence (OHP. Two Raman lidars (IGN mobile lidar and OHP NDACC lidar, a stellar spectrometer (SOPHIE, a differential absorption spectrometer (SAOZ, a sun photometer (AERONET, 5 GPS receivers and 4 types of radiosondes (Vaisala RS92, MODEM M2K2-DC and M10, and Meteolabor Snow White participated in the campaign. A total of 26 balloons with multiple radiosondes were flown during 16 clear nights. This paper presents preliminary findings from the analysis of all these data sets. Several classical Raman lidar calibration methods are evaluated which use either Vaisala RS92 measurements, point capacitive humidity measurements, or GPS integrated water vapour (IWV measurements. A novel method proposed by Bosser et al. (2010 is also tested. It consists in calibrating the lidar measurements during the GPS data processing. The methods achieve a repeatability of 4–5%. Changes in the calibration factor of IGN Raman lidar are evidenced which are attributed to frequent optical re-alignments. When modelling and correcting the changes as a linear function of time, the precision of the calibration factors improves to 2–3%. However, the variations in the calibration factor, and hence the absolute accuracy, between methods and types of reference data remain at the level of 7%. The intercomparison of radiosonde measurements shows good agreement between RS92 and Snow White measurements up to 12 km. An overall dry bias is found

  6. A quantitative method to implement and to assess the single isocenter technique for breast cancer radiation therapy

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    Abdulhamid Chaikh


    Full Text Available Purpose: We propose a process of quality assurance to validate and implement the single isocenter technique for breast cancer radiotherapy. We evaluated the dosimetric and temporal gains using the single isocenter technique compared to classic source to skin distance (SSD technique. Methods: 6 patients of breast cancer localization were studied. For each patient 2 treatment plans were generated. In plan 1 the dose was calculated using SSD technique. In plan 2 the dose was calculated using single isocenter technique. To implement the plan 2 a dosimetric analysis including monitor units (MU, isodose curves, cumulative and differential dose volume histograms cDVH, dDVH respectively, coverage index, conformity index for planning target volume were used. The measurements using a PMMA phantom consist of measuring point dose by an ionization chamber and 2D dose distributions using 2D diodes arrays. Wilcoxon signed rank and Spearman’s tests were used to calculate p-value and correlation coefficient, respectively.Results: The single isocenter technique reduced the MU by average on -30.1 ± 13.6%, (p = 0.03. We observed an improvement with statistical significance between the two techniques for the mean dose, minimum dose and volume receiving 95% of the prescribed dose without over-dosage. The analysis for dDVH showed that the dose distribution in the target volume calculated in the single isocenter technique is more homogeneous than the SSD technique. Wilcoxon test showed that the two treatment plans had the same quality (p > 0.05. The difference between calculated and measured dose was within 2.4 ± 3.3% for absolute point dose and the percentage of points passing gamma criteria was on average 99.8 ± 0.2%. Conclusion: This method provides a quantitative evaluation and comparison of the two irradiation techniques for breast cancer and the consequences of the technical change on dose calculation.

  7. Overview of the program to assess the reliability of emerging nondestructive techniques open testing and study of flaw type effect on NDE response (United States)

    Meyer, Ryan M.; Komura, Ichiro; Kim, Kyung-cho; Zetterwall, Tommy; Cumblidge, Stephen E.; Prokofiev, Iouri


    In February 2012, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) executed agreements with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Nuclear Regulatory Authority of Japan (NRA, former JNES), Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS), Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM), and Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI) to establish the Program to Assess the Reliability of Emerging Nondestructive Techniques (PARENT). The goal of PARENT is to investigate the effectiveness of current emerging and perspective novel nondestructive examination procedures and techniques to find flaws in nickel-alloy welds and base materials. This is done by conducting a series of open and blind international round-robin tests on a set of large-bore dissimilar metal welds (LBDMW), small-bore dissimilar metal welds (SBDMW), and bottom-mounted instrumentation (BMI) penetration weld test blocks. The purpose of blind testing is to study the reliability of more established techniques and included only qualified teams and procedures. The purpose of open testing is aimed at a more basic capability assessment of emerging and novel technologies. The range of techniques applied in open testing varied with respect to maturity and performance uncertainty and were applied to a variety of simulated flaws. This paper will include a brief overview of the PARENT blind and open testing techniques and test blocks and present some of the blind testing results.

  8. Risk of falls in Brazilian elders with and without low back pain assessed using the Physiological Profile Assessment: BACE study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nayza M. B. Rosa

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Background Low back pain (LBP is a common musculoskeletal condition among elders and is associated with falls. However, the underlying biological risk factors for falling among elders with LBP has been poorly investigated. The Physiological Profile Assessment (PPA is a validated fall-risk assessment tool that involves the direct assessment of sensorimotor abilities and may contribute to the understanding of risk factors for falls among elders with LBP. Objective To assess fall risk using the PPA in elders with and without LBP. Method This is an observational, comparative, cross-sectional study with elders aged ≥65 years. The present study was conducted with a subsample of participants from the Back Complaints in the Elders (BACE - Brazil study. Fall risk was assessed using the PPA, which contains five tests: visual contrast sensitivity, hand reaction time, quadriceps strength, lower limb proprioception, and postural sway. Results Study participants included 104 individuals with average age of 72.3 (SD=4.0 years, divided into two groups: GI 52 participants with LBP; GII 52 participants without LBP. The participants with LBP had a significantly higher fall risk (1.10 95% CI 0.72 to 1.48, greater postural sway (49.78 95% CI 13.54 to 86.01, longer reaction time (58.95 95% CI 33.24 to 84.65, and lower quadriceps strength (–4.42 95% CI –8.24 to –0.59 compared to asymptomatic participants. There was no significant difference for vision and proprioception tests between LBP and non-LBP participants. Conclusion Elders with LBP have greater risk for falls than those without LBP. Our results suggest fall-risk screening may be sensible in elders with LBP.

  9. Analysis and Assessment of Neutron Backscattering Technique for Landmine Detection%中子背散射探雷技术的分析与评估

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    曹琳; 储诚胜; 滕君锐; 胡广春; 熊宗华; 郝樊华; 雷家荣; 陈涵德


    The analysis of physics principles of neutron backscattering technique and Monte Carlo simulation were presented for assessment of landmine detection by neutron backscattering technique. The results are greatly valuable for future research and engineering.%本文分析了中子背散射探雷技术的原理,通过数值模拟对中子背散射探雷技术进行研究,并对该技术进行分析评估,为进一步开展中子背散射探雷技术的工程研究提供理论基础.

  10. Self-Assessment of the Use of Plagiarism Avoiding Techniques to Create Ethical Scholarship Among Research Students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saeed Ahmad


    Full Text Available The use of plagiarism avoiding techniques can be helpful to maintain academic integrity, a better learning environment and intellectual honesty. This explored the use of plagiarism avoiding techniques for creating ethical scholarship among research students. It also measured the association between the frequency of using plagiarism avoiding techniques and the satisfaction about knowledge of plagiarism. Data were collected from seven universities through an online self-structured questionnaire. Ordinal logistic regression analysis was used to explore the variance. The association between the frequency of using plagiarism avoiding techniques and satisfaction about knowledge of plagiarism was indicated. Differences were also found on the basis of gender, discipline, level and stage of study.

  11. Assessment of inhalation technique and predictors of incorrect performance among patients of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tulika Jha


    Conclusions: Inhaler techniques improved with systematic training and there was a trend towards improvement in lung function, hence the clinical condition. [Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol 2016; 5(4.000: 1598-1605

  12. Assessment of the stress transmitted to dental implants connected to screw-retained bars using different casting techniques. (United States)

    Haselhuhn, Klaus; Marotti, Juliana; Tortamano, Pedro; Weiss, Claudia; Suleiman, Lubna; Wolfart, Stefan


    Passive fit of the prosthetic superstructure is important to avoid complications; however, evaluation of passive fit is not possible using conventional procedures. Thus, the aim of this study was to check and locate mechanical stress in bar restorations fabricated using two casting techniques. Fifteen patients received four implants in the interforaminal region of the mandible, and a bar was fabricated using either the cast-on abutment or lost-wax casting technique. The fit accuracy was checked according to the Sheffield's test criteria. Measurements were recorded on the master model with a gap-free, passive fit using foil strain gauges both before and after tightening the prosthetic screws. Data acquisition and processing was analyzed with computer software and submitted to statistical analysis (ANOVA). The greatest axial distortion was at position 42 with the cast-on abutment technique, with a mean distortion of 450 μm/m. The lowest axial distortion occurred at position 44 with the lost-wax casting technique, with a mean distortion of 100 μm/m. The minimal differences between the means of axial distortion do not indicate any significant differences between the techniques (P = 0.2076). Analysis of the sensor axial distortion in relation to the implant position produced a significant difference (P < 0.0001). Significantly higher measurements were recorded in the axial distortion analysis of the distal sensors of implants at the 34 and 44 regions than on the mesial positions at the 32 and 42 regions (P = 0.0481). The measuring technique recorded axial distortion in the implant-supported superstructures. Distortions were present at both casting techniques, with no significant difference between the sides.

  13. Technical assessment of air quality measuring analyzers; Evaluation technique des analyseurs de mesure de la qualite de l`air

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tatry, V. [Laboratoire de mesures a l`air ambiant, Dept. Mesures et Analyses, INERIS, (France)


    Air quality measuring analyzers are assessed in order to verify their measuring performance and to examine their aptitude to field measurements. For ensuring such assessment, the INERIS institute (France) disposes of three climatic enclosures, gas mixture emission systems and data acquisition systems. The assessment methodology is presented together with the various possible results: response time, linearity and limits determination, calibration studies, thresholds, drifts, hysteresis, physical detrimental effects, etc. Applications such as analyzers for one or more pollutants in ambient air and at the emission source (portable multi-gas analyzers) are presented, together with their results

  14. An assessment of the efficacy and safety of cross technique with 100% TCA in the management of ice pick acne scars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deepali Bhardwaj


    Full Text Available Background : Chemical reconstruction of skin scars (CROSS is a technique using high concentrations of trichloroacetic acid (TCA focally on atrophic acne scars to induce inflammation followed by collagenisation. This can lead to reduction in the appearance of scars and cosmetic improvement. Aims : The aim of this pilot study is to investigate the safety of the CROSS technique, using 100% TCA, for atrophic ice pick acne scars. Settings and Design : Open prospective study. Materials and Methods : Twelve patients with predominant atrophic ice pick post acne scars were treated with the CROSS technique, using 100% TCA, applied with a wooden toothpick, at two weekly intervals for four sittings. Efficacy was assessed on the basis of the physician′s clinical assessment, photographic evaluation at each sitting and patient′s feedback after the fourth treatment, and at the three-month and six-month follow-up period, after the last treatment. Results : More than 70% improvement was seen in eight out of ten patients evaluated and good results (50 - 70% improvement were observed in the remaining two patients. No significant side effects were noted. Transient hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation was observed in one patient each. Physician′s findings were in conformity with the patient′s assessment. Three months after the last treatment, one patient noted a decrease in improvement with no further improvement even at the six-month follow-up period. Conclusion : The CROSS technique with 100% TCA is a safe, efficacious, cost-effective and minimally invasive technique for the management of ice pick acne scars that are otherwise generally difficult to treat. In few patients the improvement may not be sustained, probably due to inadequate or delayed collagenisation.

  15. Assessing household wealth in health studies in developing countries: a comparison of participatory wealth ranking and survey techniques from rural South Africa

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    Hargreaves James R


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Accurate tools for assessing household wealth are essential for many health studies in developing countries. Household survey and participatory wealth ranking (PWR are two approaches to generate data for this purpose. Methods A household survey and PWR were conducted among eight villages in rural South Africa. We developed three indicators of household wealth using the data. One indicator used PWR data only, one used principal components analysis to combine data from the survey, while the final indicator used survey data combined in a manner informed by the PWR. We assessed internal consistency of the indices and assessed their level of agreement in ranking household wealth. Results Food security, asset ownership, housing quality and employment were important indicators of household wealth. PWR, consisting of three independent rankings of 9671 households, showed a high level of internal consistency (intraclass correlation coefficient 0.81, 95% CI 0.79–0.82. Data on 1429 households were available from all three techniques. There was moderate agreement in ranking households into wealth tertiles between the two indicators based on survey data (spearman rho = 0.69, kappa = 0.43, but only limited agreement between these techniques and the PWR data (spearman rho = 0.38 and 0.31, kappa = 0.20 and 0.17. Conclusion Both PWR and household survey can provide a rapid assessment of household wealth. Each technique had strengths and weaknesses. Reasons for differences might include data inaccuracies or limitations in the methods by which information was weighted. Alternatively, the techniques may measure different things. More research is needed to increase the validity of measures of socioeconomic position used in health studies in developing countries.

  16. Flood Stress as a Technique to Assess Preventive Insecticide and Fungicide Treatments for Protecting Trees against Ambrosia Beetles


    Ranger, Christopher M.; Peter B Schultz; Reding, Michael E.; Frank, Steven D.; Debra E. Palmquist


    Ambrosia beetles tunnel into the heartwood of trees where they cultivate and feed upon a symbiotic fungus. We assessed the effectiveness of flood stress for making Cercis canadensis L. and Cornus florida L. trees attractive to attack as part of insecticide and fungicide efficacy trials conducted in Ohio and Virginia. Since female ambrosia beetles will not begin ovipositing until their symbiotic fungus is established within the host, we also assessed pre-treatment of trees with permethrin, azo...




    Traditionally, mammographic density (MD) of the breast has been assessed by a radiologist visually. This subjective evaluation requires significant experience to distinguish the relative proportions of the fibrous connective tissue and adipose tissue in the mammary gland correctly. The aim of this study is to compare the capabilities of the different methods (visual and computer-assisted) for assessing mammographic density. Our sample in this study consists of 66 patients with digital m...

  18. Spiral CT arthrography of the knee: technique and value in the assessment of internal derangement of the knee

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berg, Vande B.C.; Lecouvet, F.E.; Maldague, B.; Malghem, J. [Department of Radiology, Cliniques Universitaires St. Luc, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Brussels (Belgium); Poilvache, P. [Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Cliniques Universitaires St. Luc, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Brussels (Belgium)


    Computed tomography imaging has achieved excellent multiplanar capability and submillimeter spatial resolution due to the development of the spiral acquisition mode and multidetector row technology. Multidetector spiral CT arthrography (CTA) yields valuable information for the assessment of internal derangement of the joints. This article focuses on the value of spiral CTA of the knee in the assessment of the meniscus, anterior cruciate ligament, and hyaline cartilage lesions. Advantages and disadvantages of spiral CTA with respect to MR imaging are presented. (orig.)

  19. Reflection of an In-service Education Course Programme for Science and Technology Teachers about Alternative Measurement and Assessment Techniques: Trabzon Sample

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    Sibel Er Nas


    Full Text Available Abstract- The aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of an in-service education course program including alternative measurement and assessment techniques on participant teachers skills and perspectives. Case study was used in this study. The sample of the study consisted of six voluntary science and technology teachers working in Trabzon. Researchers diary, document analysis and semi-structured interviews were used for data collection. Qualitative data analysis was used in this study. Holistic rubric prepared by researcher was used for document analysis. Matris forms including codes were used for interviews analysis. At the end of the study, it was concluded that in-service education course program had positive effects on teachers skills and their perspectives of using alternative assessment techniques in their lessons. In addition, teachers had difficulty in preparing analytic rubrics during the in-service education course period. Recommendations were presented on the arrangement of in-service education course program which include lots of activities and may contribute teachers skills using alternative assessment techniques.

  20. Acute effects of intrapulmonary percussive ventilation in COPD patients assessed by using conventional outcome parameters and a novel computational fluid dynamics technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ides K


    Full Text Available Kris Ides,1–3 Wim Vos,3,4 Lieve De Backer,2,3 Dirk Vissers,1,2 Rita Claes,2,3 Glenn Leemans,1,2 Kevin Ongena,1 Oswald Peters,5 Wilfried De Backer1–31Department of Health Science, Artesis University College of Antwerp, Merksem, 2Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, 3Department of Respiratory Medicine, Antwerp University Hospital, Edegem, 4FluidDa.nv, Groeningerlei, Kontich, Belgium, 5AZ Monica, Antwerp, BelgiumObjective: Chest physiotherapy enhances sputum evacuation in COPD patients. It can be applied as a single technique or as a combination of techniques including intrapulmonary percussive ventilation (IPV. Recently developed assessment techniques may provide new insights into the effect of airway clearance techniques.Participants: Five moderate to severe COPD patients (three females and two males; mean forced expiratory volume in 1 second of 39.49% predicted who were admitted in the hospital for an acute exacerbation were included in this study.Methods: A novel imaging technique was used, together with other conventional techniques, to visualize the short-term effects of a single IPV treatment in COPD patients.Results: No significant changes were noted in the lung function parameters or arterial blood gases measured within 1 hour after the end of the IPV session. Computed tomography images detected changes in the airway patency after the IPV treatment compared with before treatment. Local resistances, calculated for the three-dimensional models, showed local changes in airway resistance.Conclusion: The effects of a single IPV session can be visualized by functional imaging. This functional imaging allows a calculation of changes in local airway resistance and local changes in airway volume in COPD patients without affecting conventional lung function parameters.Keywords: IPV, lung function, forced oscillation technique, physical therapy, airway clearance technique