WorldWideScience

Sample records for automated sampling assessment

  1. Manual versus automated blood sampling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Teilmann, A C; Kalliokoski, Otto; Sørensen, Dorte B

    2014-01-01

    Facial vein (cheek blood) and caudal vein (tail blood) phlebotomy are two commonly used techniques for obtaining blood samples from laboratory mice, while automated blood sampling through a permanent catheter is a relatively new technique in mice. The present study compared physiological parameters......, glucocorticoid dynamics as well as the behavior of mice sampled repeatedly for 24 h by cheek blood, tail blood or automated blood sampling from the carotid artery. Mice subjected to cheek blood sampling lost significantly more body weight, had elevated levels of plasma corticosterone, excreted more fecal...... corticosterone metabolites, and expressed more anxious behavior than did the mice of the other groups. Plasma corticosterone levels of mice subjected to tail blood sampling were also elevated, although less significantly. Mice subjected to automated blood sampling were less affected with regard to the parameters...

  2. Possibilities for automating coal sampling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Helekal, J; Vankova, J

    1987-11-01

    Outlines sampling equipment in use (AVR-, AVP-, AVN- and AVK-series samplers and RDK- and RDH-series separators produced by the Coal Research Institute, Ostrava; extractors, crushers and separators produced by ORGREZ). The Ostrava equipment covers bituminous coal needs while ORGREZ provides equipment for energy coal requirements. This equipment is designed to handle coal up to 200 mm in size at a throughput of up to 1200 t/h. Automation of sampling equipment is foreseen.

  3. AUTOMATED GEOSPATIAL WATERSHED ASSESSMENT ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment tool (AGWA) is a GIS interface jointly developed by the USDA Agricultural Research Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the University of Arizona, and the University of Wyoming to automate the parameterization and execution of the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and KINEmatic Runoff and EROSion (KINEROS2) hydrologic models. The application of these two models allows AGWA to conduct hydrologic modeling and watershed assessments at multiple temporal and spatial scales. AGWA’s current outputs are runoff (volumes and peaks) and sediment yield, plus nitrogen and phosphorus with the SWAT model. AGWA uses commonly available GIS data layers to fully parameterize, execute, and visualize results from both models. Through an intuitive interface the user selects an outlet from which AGWA delineates and discretizes the watershed using a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) based on the individual model requirements. The watershed model elements are then intersected with soils and land cover data layers to derive the requisite model input parameters. The chosen model is then executed, and the results are imported back into AGWA for visualization. This allows managers to identify potential problem areas where additional monitoring can be undertaken or mitigation activities can be focused. AGWA also has tools to apply an array of best management practices. There are currently two versions of AGWA available; AGWA 1.5 for

  4. Automated sample analysis and remediation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hollen, R.; Settle, F.

    1995-01-01

    The Contaminant Analysis Automation Project is developing an automated chemical analysis system to address the current needs of the US Department of Energy (DOE). These needs focus on the remediation of large amounts of radioactive and chemically hazardous wastes stored, buried and still being processed at numerous DOE sites. This paper outlines the advantages of the system under development, and details the hardware and software design. A prototype system for characterizing polychlorinated biphenyls in soils is also described

  5. Water-quality assessment of south-central Texas : comparison of water quality in surface-water samples collected manually and by automated samplers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ging, Patricia B.

    1999-01-01

    Surface-water sampling protocols of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program specify samples for most properties and constituents to be collected manually in equal-width increments across a stream channel and composited for analysis. Single-point sampling with an automated sampler (autosampler) during storms was proposed in the upper part of the South-Central Texas NAWQA study unit, raising the question of whether property and constituent concentrations from automatically collected samples differ significantly from those in samples collected manually. Statistical (Wilcoxon signed-rank test) analyses of 3 to 16 paired concentrations for each of 26 properties and constituents from water samples collected using both methods at eight sites in the upper part of the study unit indicated that there were no significant differences in concentrations for dissolved constituents, other than calcium and organic carbon.

  6. Automated sampling and control of gaseous simulations

    KAUST Repository

    Huang, Ruoguan; Keyser, John

    2013-01-01

    In this work, we describe a method that automates the sampling and control of gaseous fluid simulations. Several recent approaches have provided techniques for artists to generate high-resolution simulations based on a low-resolution simulation

  7. High throughput sample processing and automated scoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gunnar eBrunborg

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The comet assay is a sensitive and versatile method for assessing DNA damage in cells. In the traditional version of the assay, there are many manual steps involved and few samples can be treated in one experiment. High throughput modifications have been developed during recent years, and they are reviewed and discussed. These modifications include accelerated scoring of comets; other important elements that have been studied and adapted to high throughput are cultivation and manipulation of cells or tissues before and after exposure, and freezing of treated samples until comet analysis and scoring. High throughput methods save time and money but they are useful also for other reasons: large-scale experiments may be performed which are otherwise not practicable (e.g., analysis of many organs from exposed animals, and human biomonitoring studies, and automation gives more uniform sample treatment and less dependence on operator performance. The high throughput modifications now available vary largely in their versatility, capacity, complexity and costs. The bottleneck for further increase of throughput appears to be the scoring.

  8. Automated Assessment in Massive Open Online Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivaniushin, Dmitrii A.; Shtennikov, Dmitrii G.; Efimchick, Eugene A.; Lyamin, Andrey V.

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes an approach to use automated assessments in online courses. Open edX platform is used as the online courses platform. The new assessment type uses Scilab as learning and solution validation tool. This approach allows to use automated individual variant generation and automated solution checks without involving the course…

  9. Automated sampling and control of gaseous simulations

    KAUST Repository

    Huang, Ruoguan

    2013-05-04

    In this work, we describe a method that automates the sampling and control of gaseous fluid simulations. Several recent approaches have provided techniques for artists to generate high-resolution simulations based on a low-resolution simulation. However, often in applications the overall flow in the low-resolution simulation that an animator observes and intends to preserve is composed of even lower frequencies than the low resolution itself. In such cases, attempting to match the low-resolution simulation precisely is unnecessarily restrictive. We propose a new sampling technique to efficiently capture the overall flow of a fluid simulation, at the scale of user\\'s choice, in such a way that the sampled information is sufficient to represent what is virtually perceived and no more. Thus, by applying control based on the sampled data, we ensure that in the resulting high-resolution simulation, the overall flow is matched to the low-resolution simulation and the fine details on the high resolution are preserved. The samples we obtain have both spatial and temporal continuity that allows smooth keyframe matching and direct manipulation of visible elements such as smoke density through temporal blending of samples. We demonstrate that a user can easily configure a simulation with our system to achieve desired results. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

  10. How to assess sustainability in automated manufacturing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dijkman, Teunis Johannes; Rödger, Jan-Markus; Bey, Niki

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to describe how sustainability in automation can be assessed. The assessment method is illustrated using a case study of a robot. Three aspects of sustainability assessment in automation are identified. Firstly, we consider automation as part of a larger system...... that fulfills the market demand for a given functionality. Secondly, three aspects of sustainability have to be assessed: environment, economy, and society. Thirdly, automation is part of a system with many levels, with different actors on each level, resulting in meeting the market demand. In this system......, (sustainability) specifications move top-down, which helps avoiding sub-optimization and problem shifting. From these three aspects, sustainable automation is defined as automation that contributes to products that fulfill a market demand in a more sustainable way. The case study presents the carbon footprints...

  11. Automated bar coding of air samples at Hanford (ABCASH)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Troyer, G.L.; Brayton, D.D.; McNeece, S.G.

    1992-10-01

    This article describes the basis, main features and benefits of an automated system for tracking and reporting radioactive air particulate samples. The system was developed due to recognized need for improving the quality and integrity of air sample data related to personnel and environmental protection. The data capture, storage, and retrieval of air sample data are described. The automation aspect of the associated and data input eliminates a large potential for human error. The system utilizes personal computers, handheld computers, a commercial personal computer database package, commercial programming languages, and complete documentation to satisfy the system's automation objective

  12. Sample handling and transport for the Secure Automated Fabrication line

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sherrell, D.L.; Jensen, J.D.; Genoway, G.G.; Togesen, H.J.

    1983-06-01

    A totally automated system is described which packages, transports, receives, and unpackages sintered plutonium/uranium oxide fuel pellet samples to support automated chemical analysis equipment for the Secure Automated Fabrication (SAF) line. Samples are transferred 100 meters from the fuel production line to a different floor of the facility where automatic determinations are made for purposes of process control and fuel quality certification. The system automatically records identification numbers, net weights sent and received, and all other pertinent information such as fuel lot number, sample point, date, and time of day

  13. Optimized Heart Sampling and Systematic Evaluation of Cardiac Therapies in Mouse Models of Ischemic Injury: Assessment of Cardiac Remodeling and Semi-Automated Quantification of Myocardial Infarct Size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valente, Mariana; Araújo, Ana; Esteves, Tiago; Laundos, Tiago L; Freire, Ana G; Quelhas, Pedro; Pinto-do-Ó, Perpétua; Nascimento, Diana S

    2015-12-02

    Cardiac therapies are commonly tested preclinically in small-animal models of myocardial infarction. Following functional evaluation, post-mortem histological analysis is essential to assess morphological and molecular alterations underlying the effectiveness of treatment. However, non-methodical and inadequate sampling of the left ventricle often leads to misinterpretations and variability, making direct study comparisons unreliable. Protocols are provided for representative sampling of the ischemic mouse heart followed by morphometric analysis of the left ventricle. Extending the use of this sampling to other types of in situ analysis is also illustrated through the assessment of neovascularization and cellular engraftment in a cell-based therapy setting. This is of interest to the general cardiovascular research community as it details methods for standardization and simplification of histo-morphometric evaluation of emergent heart therapies. © 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  14. Computer automated mass spectrometer for isotope analysis on gas samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pamula, A.; Kaucsar, M.; Fatu, C.; Ursu, D.; Vonica, D.; Bendea, D.; Muntean, F.

    1998-01-01

    A low resolution, high precision instrument was designed and realized in the mass spectrometry laboratory of the Institute of Isotopic and Molecular Technology, Cluj-Napoca. The paper presents the vacuum system, the sample inlet system, the ion source, the magnetic analyzer and the ion collector. The instrument is almost completely automated. There are described the analog-to-digital conversion circuits, the local control microcomputer, the automation systems and the performance checking. (authors)

  15. On-line Automated Sample Preparation-Capillary Gas Chromatography for the Analysis of Plasma Samples.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Louter, A.J.H.; van der Wagt, R.A.C.A.; Brinkman, U.A.T.

    1995-01-01

    An automated sample preparation module, (the automated sample preparation with extraction columns, ASPEC), was interfaced with a capillary gas chromatograph (GC) by means of an on-column interface. The system was optimised for the determination of the antidepressant trazodone in plasma. The clean-up

  16. Automated Assessment in a Programming Tools Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez Aleman, J. L.

    2011-01-01

    Automated assessment systems can be useful for both students and instructors. Ranking and immediate feedback can have a strongly positive effect on student learning. This paper presents an experience using automatic assessment in a programming tools course. The proposal aims at extending the traditional use of an online judging system with a…

  17. Testing an Automated Accuracy Assessment Method on Bibliographic Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marlies Olensky

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates automated data accuracy assessment as described in data quality literature for its suitability to assess bibliographic data. The data samples comprise the publications of two Nobel Prize winners in the field of Chemistry for a 10-year-publication period retrieved from the two bibliometric data sources, Web of Science and Scopus. The bibliographic records are assessed against the original publication (gold standard and an automatic assessment method is compared to a manual one. The results show that the manual assessment method reflects truer accuracy scores. The automated assessment method would need to be extended by additional rules that reflect specific characteristics of bibliographic data. Both data sources had higher accuracy scores per field than accumulated per record. This study contributes to the research on finding a standardized assessment method of bibliographic data accuracy as well as defining the impact of data accuracy on the citation matching process.

  18. AGWA: The Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment Tool (AGWA, see: www.tucson.ars.ag.gov/agwa or http://www.epa.gov/esd/land-sci/agwa/) is a GIS interface jointly developed by the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the University of Arizona...

  19. Automated Assessment of Postural Stability (AAPS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    performed a battery of standard clinical tests of dynamic posture, whereas the fourth subject performed the stereotyped postures (e.g. movements restricted...Processing & Control [2] Napoli A, Ward C, Glass S, Tucker C, Obeid I (2016) “Automated Assessment of Postural Stability System,” IEEE Engineering in

  20. Constructing Aligned Assessments Using Automated Test Construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, Andrew; Polikoff, Morgan S.; Barghaus, Katherine M.; Yang, Rui

    2013-01-01

    We describe an innovative automated test construction algorithm for building aligned achievement tests. By incorporating the algorithm into the test construction process, along with other test construction procedures for building reliable and unbiased assessments, the result is much more valid tests than result from current test construction…

  1. Non-Contact Conductivity Measurement for Automated Sample Processing Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beegle, Luther W.; Kirby, James P.

    2012-01-01

    A new method has been developed for monitoring and control of automated sample processing and preparation especially focusing on desalting of samples before analytical analysis (described in more detail in Automated Desalting Apparatus, (NPO-45428), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 34, No. 8 (August 2010), page 44). The use of non-contact conductivity probes, one at the inlet and one at the outlet of the solid phase sample preparation media, allows monitoring of the process, and acts as a trigger for the start of the next step in the sequence (see figure). At each step of the muti-step process, the system is flushed with low-conductivity water, which sets the system back to an overall low-conductivity state. This measurement then triggers the next stage of sample processing protocols, and greatly minimizes use of consumables. In the case of amino acid sample preparation for desalting, the conductivity measurement will define three key conditions for the sample preparation process. First, when the system is neutralized (low conductivity, by washing with excess de-ionized water); second, when the system is acidified, by washing with a strong acid (high conductivity); and third, when the system is at a basic condition of high pH (high conductivity). Taken together, this non-contact conductivity measurement for monitoring sample preparation will not only facilitate automation of the sample preparation and processing, but will also act as a way to optimize the operational time and use of consumables

  2. An Automated Sample Processing System for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, Juancarlos; Lasnik, James; Roark, Shane; Beegle, Luther

    2012-01-01

    An Automated Sample Processing System (ASPS) for wet chemistry processing of organic materials on the surface of Mars has been jointly developed by Ball Aerospace and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The mechanism has been built and tested to demonstrate TRL level 4. This paper describes the function of the system, mechanism design, lessons learned, and several challenges that were overcome.

  3. Automation of motor dexterity assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyer, Patrick; Castrejon, Luis R; Orihuela-Espina, Felipe; Sucar, Luis Enrique

    2017-07-01

    Motor dexterity assessment is regularly performed in rehabilitation wards to establish patient status and automatization for such routinary task is sought. A system for automatizing the assessment of motor dexterity based on the Fugl-Meyer scale and with loose restrictions on sensing technologies is presented. The system consists of two main elements: 1) A data representation that abstracts the low level information obtained from a variety of sensors, into a highly separable low dimensionality encoding employing t-distributed Stochastic Neighbourhood Embedding, and, 2) central to this communication, a multi-label classifier that boosts classification rates by exploiting the fact that the classes corresponding to the individual exercises are naturally organized as a network. Depending on the targeted therapeutic movement class labels i.e. exercises scores, are highly correlated-patients who perform well in one, tends to perform well in related exercises-; and critically no node can be used as proxy of others - an exercise does not encode the information of other exercises. Over data from a cohort of 20 patients, the novel classifier outperforms classical Naive Bayes, random forest and variants of support vector machines (ANOVA: p home-based virtual rehabilitation and telerehabilitation alternatives.

  4. An automated blood sampling system used in positron emission tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eriksson, L.; Bohm, C.; Kesselberg, M.

    1988-01-01

    Fast dynamic function studies with positron emission tomography (PET), has the potential to give accurate information of physiological functions of the brain. This capability can be realised if the positron camera system accurately quantitates the tracer uptake in the brain with sufficiently high efficiency and in sufficiently short time intervals. However, in addition, the tracer concentration in blood, as a function of time, must be accurately determined. This paper describes and evaluates an automated blood sampling system. Two different detector units are compared. The use of the automated blood sampling system is demonstrated in studies of cerebral blood flow, in studies of the blood-brain barrier transfer of amino acids and of the cerebral oxygen consumption. 5 refs.; 7 figs

  5. Automated blood-sample handling in the clinical laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godolphin, W; Bodtker, K; Uyeno, D; Goh, L O

    1990-09-01

    The only significant advances in blood-taking in 25 years have been the disposable needle and evacuated blood-drawing tube. With the exception of a few isolated barcode experiments, most sample-tracking is performed through handwritten or computer-printed labels. Attempts to reduce the hazards of centrifugation have resulted in air-tight lids or chambers, the use of which is time-consuming and cumbersome. Most commonly used clinical analyzers require serum or plasma, distributed into specialized containers, unique to that analyzer. Aliquots for different tests are prepared by handpouring or pipetting. Moderate to large clinical laboratories perform so many different tests that even multi-analyzers performing multiple analyses on a single sample may account for only a portion of all tests ordered for a patient. Thus several aliquots of each specimen are usually required. We have developed a proprietary serial centrifuge and blood-collection tube suitable for incorporation into an automated or robotic sample-handling system. The system we propose is (a) safe--avoids or prevents biological danger to the many "handlers" of blood; (b) small--minimizes the amount of sample taken and space required to adapt to the needs of satellite and mobile testing, and direct interfacing with analyzers; (c) serial--permits each sample to be treated according to its own "merits," optimizes throughput, and facilitates flexible automation; and (d) smart--ensures quality results through monitoring and intelligent control of patient identification, sample characteristics, and separation process.

  6. Microcomputer automation of the sample probe of an ESCA spectrometer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fischer, J W; Downey, R M; Schrawyer, L R; Meisenheimer, R G [California Univ., Livermore (USA). Lawrence Livermore Lab.

    1979-06-01

    Many of the currently available ESCA spectrometers can be obtained with fully automated control and data acquisition systems as well as a variety of algorithms for data processing. The majority of these computer-controlled functions, however, are directed toward the analysis of a single physical sample. Since many analyses require the collection of data for several hours for the purpose of ensemble averaging to enhance the signal-to-noise ratio, overnight operation is a common practice. It is during these periods that a capability for multiple sample analyses would be most useful. The subject instrument for the automation was a Hewlett-Packard Model 5950A ESCA spectrometer which was supplied with a Hewlett-Packard 5952A Data System consisting of a Hewlett-Packard 2100A small computer and a Hewlett-Packard 85001A Magnetic Tape Cassett I/O unit. A microprocessor based system was used to implement this automation. The system uses the high-level language BASIC for virtually all control functions, thus providing the obvious advantages of rapid programming and ease of software modification over an assembly language although more ROM is required.

  7. Automated reliability assessment for spectroscopic redshift measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamal, S.; Le Brun, V.; Le Fèvre, O.; Vibert, D.; Schmitt, A.; Surace, C.; Copin, Y.; Garilli, B.; Moresco, M.; Pozzetti, L.

    2018-03-01

    Context. Future large-scale surveys, such as the ESA Euclid mission, will produce a large set of galaxy redshifts (≥106) that will require fully automated data-processing pipelines to analyze the data, extract crucial information and ensure that all requirements are met. A fundamental element in these pipelines is to associate to each galaxy redshift measurement a quality, or reliability, estimate. Aim. In this work, we introduce a new approach to automate the spectroscopic redshift reliability assessment based on machine learning (ML) and characteristics of the redshift probability density function. Methods: We propose to rephrase the spectroscopic redshift estimation into a Bayesian framework, in order to incorporate all sources of information and uncertainties related to the redshift estimation process and produce a redshift posterior probability density function (PDF). To automate the assessment of a reliability flag, we exploit key features in the redshift posterior PDF and machine learning algorithms. Results: As a working example, public data from the VIMOS VLT Deep Survey is exploited to present and test this new methodology. We first tried to reproduce the existing reliability flags using supervised classification in order to describe different types of redshift PDFs, but due to the subjective definition of these flags (classification accuracy 58%), we soon opted for a new homogeneous partitioning of the data into distinct clusters via unsupervised classification. After assessing the accuracy of the new clusters via resubstitution and test predictions (classification accuracy 98%), we projected unlabeled data from preliminary mock simulations for the Euclid space mission into this mapping to predict their redshift reliability labels. Conclusions: Through the development of a methodology in which a system can build its own experience to assess the quality of a parameter, we are able to set a preliminary basis of an automated reliability assessment for

  8. Automating Groundwater Sampling At Hanford, The Next Step

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Connell, C.W.; Conley, S.F.; Hildebrand, R.D.; Cunningham, D.E.

    2010-01-01

    Historically, the groundwater monitoring activities at the Department of Energy's Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State have been very 'people intensive.' Approximately 1500 wells are sampled each year by field personnel or 'samplers.' These individuals have been issued pre-printed forms showing information about the well(s) for a particular sampling evolution. This information is taken from 2 official electronic databases: the Hanford Well information System (HWIS) and the Hanford Environmental Information System (HEIS). The samplers used these hardcopy forms to document the groundwater samples and well water-levels. After recording the entries in the field, the samplers turned the forms in at the end of the day and other personnel posted the collected information onto a spreadsheet that was then printed and included in a log book. The log book was then used to make manual entries of the new information into the software application(s) for the HEIS and HWIS databases. A pilot project for automating this extremely tedious process was lauched in 2008. Initially, the automation was focused on water-level measurements. Now, the effort is being extended to automate the meta-data associated with collecting groundwater samples. The project allowed electronic forms produced in the field by samplers to be used in a work flow process where the data is transferred to the database and electronic form is filed in managed records - thus eliminating manually completed forms. Elimating the manual forms and streamlining the data entry not only improved the accuracy of the information recorded, but also enhanced the efficiency and sampling capacity of field office personnel.

  9. Indigenous development of automated metallographic sample preparation system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kulkarni, A.P.; Pandit, K.M.; Deshmukh, A.G.; Sahoo, K.C.

    2005-01-01

    Surface preparation of specimens for Metallographic studies on irradiated material involves a lot of remote handling of radioactive material by skilled manpower. These are laborious and man-rem intensive activities and put limitations on number of samples that can be prepared for the metallographic studies. To overcome these limitations, automated systems have been developed for surface preparation of specimens in PIE division. The system includes (i) Grinding and polishing stations (ii) Water jet cleaning station (iii) Ultrasonic cleaning stations (iv) Drying station (v) Sample loading and unloading station (vi) Dispenser for slurries and diluents and (vii) Automated head for movement of the sample holder disc from one station to other. System facilities the operator for programming/changing sequence of the sample preparations including remote changing of grinding/polishing discs from the stations. Two such systems have been installed and commissioned in Hot Cell for PIE Division. These are being used for preparation of irradiated samples from nuclear fuels and structural components. This development has increased the throughput of metallography work and savings in terms of (man-severts) radiation exposure to operators. This presentation will provide details of the challenges in undertaking this developmental work. (author)

  10. Automated facial acne assessment from smartphone images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amini, Mohammad; Vasefi, Fartash; Valdebran, Manuel; Huang, Kevin; Zhang, Haomiao; Kemp, William; MacKinnon, Nicholas

    2018-02-01

    A smartphone mobile medical application is presented, that provides analysis of the health of skin on the face using a smartphone image and cloud-based image processing techniques. The mobile application employs the use of the camera to capture a front face image of a subject, after which the captured image is spatially calibrated based on fiducial points such as position of the iris of the eye. A facial recognition algorithm is used to identify features of the human face image, to normalize the image, and to define facial regions of interest (ROI) for acne assessment. We identify acne lesions and classify them into two categories: those that are papules and those that are pustules. Automated facial acne assessment was validated by performing tests on images of 60 digital human models and 10 real human face images. The application was able to identify 92% of acne lesions within five facial ROIs. The classification accuracy for separating papules from pustules was 98%. Combined with in-app documentation of treatment, lifestyle factors, and automated facial acne assessment, the app can be used in both cosmetic and clinical dermatology. It allows users to quantitatively self-measure acne severity and treatment efficacy on an ongoing basis to help them manage their chronic facial acne.

  11. Automated Ecological Assessment of Physical Activity: Advancing Direct Observation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Jordan A; Liu, Bo; Sallis, James F; Kerr, Jacqueline; Hipp, J Aaron; Staggs, Vincent S; Papa, Amy; Dean, Kelsey; Vasconcelos, Nuno M

    2017-12-01

    Technological advances provide opportunities for automating direct observations of physical activity, which allow for continuous monitoring and feedback. This pilot study evaluated the initial validity of computer vision algorithms for ecological assessment of physical activity. The sample comprised 6630 seconds per camera (three cameras in total) of video capturing up to nine participants engaged in sitting, standing, walking, and jogging in an open outdoor space while wearing accelerometers. Computer vision algorithms were developed to assess the number and proportion of people in sedentary, light, moderate, and vigorous activity, and group-based metabolic equivalents of tasks (MET)-minutes. Means and standard deviations (SD) of bias/difference values, and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) assessed the criterion validity compared to accelerometry separately for each camera. The number and proportion of participants sedentary and in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) had small biases (within 20% of the criterion mean) and the ICCs were excellent (0.82-0.98). Total MET-minutes were slightly underestimated by 9.3-17.1% and the ICCs were good (0.68-0.79). The standard deviations of the bias estimates were moderate-to-large relative to the means. The computer vision algorithms appeared to have acceptable sample-level validity (i.e., across a sample of time intervals) and are promising for automated ecological assessment of activity in open outdoor settings, but further development and testing is needed before such tools can be used in a diverse range of settings.

  12. Sample tracking in an automated cytogenetic biodosimetry laboratory for radiation mass casualties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, P.R.; Berdychevski, R.E.; Subramanian, U.; Blakely, W.F.; Prasanna, P.G.S.

    2007-01-01

    Chromosome-aberration-based dicentric assay is expected to be used after mass-casualty life-threatening radiation exposures to assess radiation dose to individuals. This will require processing of a large number of samples for individual dose assessment and clinical triage to aid treatment decisions. We have established an automated, high-throughput, cytogenetic biodosimetry laboratory to process a large number of samples for conducting the dicentric assay using peripheral blood from exposed individuals according to internationally accepted laboratory protocols (i.e., within days following radiation exposures). The components of an automated cytogenetic biodosimetry laboratory include blood collection kits for sample shipment, a cell viability analyzer, a robotic liquid handler, an automated metaphase harvester, a metaphase spreader, high-throughput slide stainer and coverslipper, a high-throughput metaphase finder, multiple satellite chromosome-aberration analysis systems, and a computerized sample-tracking system. Laboratory automation using commercially available, off-the-shelf technologies, customized technology integration, and implementation of a laboratory information management system (LIMS) for cytogenetic analysis will significantly increase throughput. This paper focuses on our efforts to eliminate data-transcription errors, increase efficiency, and maintain samples' positive chain-of-custody by sample tracking during sample processing and data analysis. This sample-tracking system represents a 'beta' version, which can be modeled elsewhere in a cytogenetic biodosimetry laboratory, and includes a customized LIMS with a central server, personal computer workstations, barcode printers, fixed station and wireless hand-held devices to scan barcodes at various critical steps, and data transmission over a private intra-laboratory computer network. Our studies will improve diagnostic biodosimetry response, aid confirmation of clinical triage, and medical

  13. Sample tracking in an automated cytogenetic biodosimetry laboratory for radiation mass casualties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, P.R.; Berdychevski, R.E.; Subramanian, U.; Blakely, W.F. [Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, 8901 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20889-5603 (United States); Prasanna, P.G.S. [Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, 8901 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20889-5603 (United States)], E-mail: prasanna@afrri.usuhs.mil

    2007-07-15

    Chromosome-aberration-based dicentric assay is expected to be used after mass-casualty life-threatening radiation exposures to assess radiation dose to individuals. This will require processing of a large number of samples for individual dose assessment and clinical triage to aid treatment decisions. We have established an automated, high-throughput, cytogenetic biodosimetry laboratory to process a large number of samples for conducting the dicentric assay using peripheral blood from exposed individuals according to internationally accepted laboratory protocols (i.e., within days following radiation exposures). The components of an automated cytogenetic biodosimetry laboratory include blood collection kits for sample shipment, a cell viability analyzer, a robotic liquid handler, an automated metaphase harvester, a metaphase spreader, high-throughput slide stainer and coverslipper, a high-throughput metaphase finder, multiple satellite chromosome-aberration analysis systems, and a computerized sample-tracking system. Laboratory automation using commercially available, off-the-shelf technologies, customized technology integration, and implementation of a laboratory information management system (LIMS) for cytogenetic analysis will significantly increase throughput. This paper focuses on our efforts to eliminate data-transcription errors, increase efficiency, and maintain samples' positive chain-of-custody by sample tracking during sample processing and data analysis. This sample-tracking system represents a 'beta' version, which can be modeled elsewhere in a cytogenetic biodosimetry laboratory, and includes a customized LIMS with a central server, personal computer workstations, barcode printers, fixed station and wireless hand-held devices to scan barcodes at various critical steps, and data transmission over a private intra-laboratory computer network. Our studies will improve diagnostic biodosimetry response, aid confirmation of clinical triage, and

  14. Automated high-resolution NMR with a sample changer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wade, C.G.; Johnson, R.D.; Philson, S.B.; Strouse, J.; McEnroe, F.J.

    1989-01-01

    Within the past two years, it has become possible to obtain high-resolution NMR spectra using automated commercial instrumentation. Software control of all spectrometer functions has reduced most of the tedious manual operations to typing a few computer commands or even making selections from a menu. Addition of an automatic sample changer is the next natural step in improving efficiency and sample throughput; it has a significant (and even unexpected) impact on how NMR laboratories are run and how it is taught. Such an instrument makes even sophisticated experiments routine, so that people with no previous exposure to NMR can run these experiments after a training session of an hour or less. This A/C Interface examines the impact of such instrumentation on both the academic and the industrial laboratory

  15. Operational Based Vision Assessment Automated Vision Test Collection User Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-05-15

    AFRL-SA-WP-SR-2017-0012 Operational Based Vision Assessment Automated Vision Test Collection User Guide Elizabeth Shoda, Alex...June 2015 – May 2017 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Operational Based Vision Assessment Automated Vision Test Collection User Guide 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER... automated vision tests , or AVT. Development of the AVT was required to support threshold-level vision testing capability needed to investigate the

  16. Automated assessment of mobility in bedridden patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Stephanie; Goubran, Rafik; Rockwood, Kenneth; Knoefel, Frank

    2013-01-01

    Immobility in older patients is a costly problem for both patients and healthcare workers. The Hierarchical Assessment of Balance and Mobility (HABAM) is a clinical tool able to assess immobile patients and predict morbidity, yet could become more reliable and informative through automation. This paper proposes an algorithm to automatically determine which of three enacted HABAM scores (associated with bedridden patients) had been performed by volunteers. A laptop was used to gather pressure data from three mats placed on a standard hospital bed frame while five volunteers performed three enactments each. A system of algorithms was created, consisting of three subsystems. The first subsystem used mattress data to calculate individual sensor sums and eliminate the weight of the mattress. The second subsystem established a baseline pressure reading for each volunteer and used percentage change to identify and distinguish between two enactments. The third subsystem used calculated weight distribution ratios to determine if the data represented the remaining enactment. The system was tested for accuracy by inputting the volunteer data and recording the assessment output (a score per data set). The system identified 13 of 15 sets of volunteer data as expected. Examination of these results indicated that the two sets of data were not misidentified; rather, the volunteers had made mistakes in performance. These results suggest that this system of algorithms is effective in distinguishing between the three HABAM score enactments examined here, and emphasizes the potential for pervasive computing to improve traditional healthcare.

  17. Validation of Automated Scoring of Science Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ou Lydia; Rios, Joseph A.; Heilman, Michael; Gerard, Libby; Linn, Marcia C.

    2016-01-01

    Constructed response items can both measure the coherence of student ideas and serve as reflective experiences to strengthen instruction. We report on new automated scoring technologies that can reduce the cost and complexity of scoring constructed-response items. This study explored the accuracy of c-rater-ML, an automated scoring engine…

  18. Current advances and strategies towards fully automated sample preparation for regulated LC-MS/MS bioanalysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Naiyu; Jiang, Hao; Zeng, Jianing

    2014-09-01

    Robotic liquid handlers (RLHs) have been widely used in automated sample preparation for liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) bioanalysis. Automated sample preparation for regulated bioanalysis offers significantly higher assay efficiency, better data quality and potential bioanalytical cost-savings. For RLHs that are used for regulated bioanalysis, there are additional requirements, including 21 CFR Part 11 compliance, software validation, system qualification, calibration verification and proper maintenance. This article reviews recent advances in automated sample preparation for regulated bioanalysis in the last 5 years. Specifically, it covers the following aspects: regulated bioanalysis requirements, recent advances in automation hardware and software development, sample extraction workflow simplification, strategies towards fully automated sample extraction, and best practices in automated sample preparation for regulated bioanalysis.

  19. Automated image quality assessment for chest CT scans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, Anthony P; Xie, Yiting; Liu, Shuang

    2018-02-01

    Medical image quality needs to be maintained at standards sufficient for effective clinical reading. Automated computer analytic methods may be applied to medical images for quality assessment. For chest CT scans in a lung cancer screening context, an automated quality assessment method is presented that characterizes image noise and image intensity calibration. This is achieved by image measurements in three automatically segmented homogeneous regions of the scan: external air, trachea lumen air, and descending aorta blood. Profiles of CT scanner behavior are also computed. The method has been evaluated on both phantom and real low-dose chest CT scans and results show that repeatable noise and calibration measures may be realized by automated computer algorithms. Noise and calibration profiles show relevant differences between different scanners and protocols. Automated image quality assessment may be useful for quality control for lung cancer screening and may enable performance improvements to automated computer analysis methods. © 2017 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.

  20. Automated Ecological Assessment of Physical Activity: Advancing Direct Observation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan A. Carlson

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Technological advances provide opportunities for automating direct observations of physical activity, which allow for continuous monitoring and feedback. This pilot study evaluated the initial validity of computer vision algorithms for ecological assessment of physical activity. The sample comprised 6630 seconds per camera (three cameras in total of video capturing up to nine participants engaged in sitting, standing, walking, and jogging in an open outdoor space while wearing accelerometers. Computer vision algorithms were developed to assess the number and proportion of people in sedentary, light, moderate, and vigorous activity, and group-based metabolic equivalents of tasks (MET-minutes. Means and standard deviations (SD of bias/difference values, and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC assessed the criterion validity compared to accelerometry separately for each camera. The number and proportion of participants sedentary and in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA had small biases (within 20% of the criterion mean and the ICCs were excellent (0.82–0.98. Total MET-minutes were slightly underestimated by 9.3–17.1% and the ICCs were good (0.68–0.79. The standard deviations of the bias estimates were moderate-to-large relative to the means. The computer vision algorithms appeared to have acceptable sample-level validity (i.e., across a sample of time intervals and are promising for automated ecological assessment of activity in open outdoor settings, but further development and testing is needed before such tools can be used in a diverse range of settings.

  1. The ECLSS Advanced Automation Project Evolution and Technology Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewberry, Brandon S.; Carnes, James R.; Lukefahr, Brenda D.; Rogers, John S.; Rochowiak, Daniel M.; Mckee, James W.; Benson, Brian L.

    1990-01-01

    Viewgraphs on Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) advanced automation project evolution and technology assessment are presented. Topics covered include: the ECLSS advanced automation project; automatic fault diagnosis of ECLSS subsystems descriptions; in-line, real-time chemical and microbial fluid analysis; and object-oriented, distributed chemical and microbial modeling of regenerative environmental control systems description.

  2. Automated surgical skill assessment in RMIS training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zia, Aneeq; Essa, Irfan

    2018-05-01

    Manual feedback in basic robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery (RMIS) training can consume a significant amount of time from expert surgeons' schedule and is prone to subjectivity. In this paper, we explore the usage of different holistic features for automated skill assessment using only robot kinematic data and propose a weighted feature fusion technique for improving score prediction performance. Moreover, we also propose a method for generating 'task highlights' which can give surgeons a more directed feedback regarding which segments had the most effect on the final skill score. We perform our experiments on the publicly available JHU-ISI Gesture and Skill Assessment Working Set (JIGSAWS) and evaluate four different types of holistic features from robot kinematic data-sequential motion texture (SMT), discrete Fourier transform (DFT), discrete cosine transform (DCT) and approximate entropy (ApEn). The features are then used for skill classification and exact skill score prediction. Along with using these features individually, we also evaluate the performance using our proposed weighted combination technique. The task highlights are produced using DCT features. Our results demonstrate that these holistic features outperform all previous Hidden Markov Model (HMM)-based state-of-the-art methods for skill classification on the JIGSAWS dataset. Also, our proposed feature fusion strategy significantly improves performance for skill score predictions achieving up to 0.61 average spearman correlation coefficient. Moreover, we provide an analysis on how the proposed task highlights can relate to different surgical gestures within a task. Holistic features capturing global information from robot kinematic data can successfully be used for evaluating surgeon skill in basic surgical tasks on the da Vinci robot. Using the framework presented can potentially allow for real-time score feedback in RMIS training and help surgical trainees have more focused training.

  3. The Automation of Nowcast Model Assessment Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-01

    secondly, provide modelers with the information needed to understand the model errors and how their algorithm changes might mitigate these errors. In...by ARL modelers. 2. Development Environment The automation of Point-Stat processes (i.e., PSA) was developed using Python 3.5.* Python was selected...because it is easy to use, widely used for scripting, and satisfies all the requirements to automate the implementation of the Point-Stat tool. In

  4. Automated Intelligibility Assessment of Pathological Speech Using Phonological Features

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Middag

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available It is commonly acknowledged that word or phoneme intelligibility is an important criterion in the assessment of the communication efficiency of a pathological speaker. People have therefore put a lot of effort in the design of perceptual intelligibility rating tests. These tests usually have the drawback that they employ unnatural speech material (e.g., nonsense words and that they cannot fully exclude errors due to listener bias. Therefore, there is a growing interest in the application of objective automatic speech recognition technology to automate the intelligibility assessment. Current research is headed towards the design of automated methods which can be shown to produce ratings that correspond well with those emerging from a well-designed and well-performed perceptual test. In this paper, a novel methodology that is built on previous work (Middag et al., 2008 is presented. It utilizes phonological features, automatic speech alignment based on acoustic models that were trained on normal speech, context-dependent speaker feature extraction, and intelligibility prediction based on a small model that can be trained on pathological speech samples. The experimental evaluation of the new system reveals that the root mean squared error of the discrepancies between perceived and computed intelligibilities can be as low as 8 on a scale of 0 to 100.

  5. Energy Assessment of Automated Mobility Districts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Yuche [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)

    2017-08-03

    Automated vehicles (AVs) are increasingly being discussed as the basis for on-demand mobility services, introducing a new paradigm in which a fleet of AVs displace private automobiles for day-to-day travel in dense activity districts. This project examines such a concept to displace privately owned automobiles within a region containing dense activity generators (jobs, retail, entertainment, etc.), referred to as an automated mobility district (AMDs). The project reviews several such districts including airport, college campuses, business parks, downtown urban cores, and military bases, with examples of previous attempts to meet the mobility needs apart from private automobiles, some with automated technology and others with more traditional transit based solutions. The issues and benefits of AMDs are framed within the perspective of intra-district, inter-district, and border issues, and the requirements for a modeling framework are identified to adequately reflect the breadth of mobility, energy, and emissions impact anticipated with AMDs.

  6. Automated sampling and data processing derived from biomimetic membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perry, Mark; Vissing, Thomas; Boesen, P.

    2009-01-01

    data processing software to analyze and organize the large amounts of data generated. In this work, we developed an automated instrumental voltage clamp solution based on a custom-designed software controller application (the WaveManager), which enables automated on-line voltage clamp data acquisition...... applicable to long-time series experiments. We designed another software program for off-line data processing. The automation of the on-line voltage clamp data acquisition and off-line processing was furthermore integrated with a searchable database (DiscoverySheet (TM)) for efficient data management......Recent advances in biomimetic membrane systems have resulted in an increase in membrane lifetimes from hours to days and months. Long-lived membrane systems demand the development of both new automated monitoring equipment capable of measuring electrophysiological membrane characteristics and new...

  7. Automated remedial assessment methodology software system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whiting, M.; Wilkins, M.; Stiles, D.

    1994-11-01

    The Automated Remedial Analysis Methodology (ARAM) software system has been developed by the Pacific Northwest Laboratory to assist the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in evaluating cleanup options for over 10,000 contaminated sites across the DOE complex. The automated methodology comprises modules for decision logic diagrams, technology applicability and effectiveness rules, mass balance equations, cost and labor estimating factors and equations, and contaminant stream routing. ARAM is used to select technologies for meeting cleanup targets; determine the effectiveness of the technologies in destroying, removing, or immobilizing contaminants; decide the nature and amount of secondary waste requiring further treatment; and estimate the cost and labor involved when applying technologies

  8. Automated force volume image processing for biological samples.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel Polyakov

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Atomic force microscopy (AFM has now become a powerful technique for investigating on a molecular level, surface forces, nanomechanical properties of deformable particles, biomolecular interactions, kinetics, and dynamic processes. This paper specifically focuses on the analysis of AFM force curves collected on biological systems, in particular, bacteria. The goal is to provide fully automated tools to achieve theoretical interpretation of force curves on the basis of adequate, available physical models. In this respect, we propose two algorithms, one for the processing of approach force curves and another for the quantitative analysis of retraction force curves. In the former, electrostatic interactions prior to contact between AFM probe and bacterium are accounted for and mechanical interactions operating after contact are described in terms of Hertz-Hooke formalism. Retraction force curves are analyzed on the basis of the Freely Jointed Chain model. For both algorithms, the quantitative reconstruction of force curves is based on the robust detection of critical points (jumps, changes of slope or changes of curvature which mark the transitions between the various relevant interactions taking place between the AFM tip and the studied sample during approach and retraction. Once the key regions of separation distance and indentation are detected, the physical parameters describing the relevant interactions operating in these regions are extracted making use of regression procedure for fitting experiments to theory. The flexibility, accuracy and strength of the algorithms are illustrated with the processing of two force-volume images, which collect a large set of approach and retraction curves measured on a single biological surface. For each force-volume image, several maps are generated, representing the spatial distribution of the searched physical parameters as estimated for each pixel of the force-volume image.

  9. Automation bias: empirical results assessing influencing factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goddard, Kate; Roudsari, Abdul; Wyatt, Jeremy C

    2014-05-01

    To investigate the rate of automation bias - the propensity of people to over rely on automated advice and the factors associated with it. Tested factors were attitudinal - trust and confidence, non-attitudinal - decision support experience and clinical experience, and environmental - task difficulty. The paradigm of simulated decision support advice within a prescribing context was used. The study employed within participant before-after design, whereby 26 UK NHS General Practitioners were shown 20 hypothetical prescribing scenarios with prevalidated correct and incorrect answers - advice was incorrect in 6 scenarios. They were asked to prescribe for each case, followed by being shown simulated advice. Participants were then asked whether they wished to change their prescription, and the post-advice prescription was recorded. Rate of overall decision switching was captured. Automation bias was measured by negative consultations - correct to incorrect prescription switching. Participants changed prescriptions in 22.5% of scenarios. The pre-advice accuracy rate of the clinicians was 50.38%, which improved to 58.27% post-advice. The CDSS improved the decision accuracy in 13.1% of prescribing cases. The rate of automation bias, as measured by decision switches from correct pre-advice, to incorrect post-advice was 5.2% of all cases - a net improvement of 8%. More immediate factors such as trust in the specific CDSS, decision confidence, and task difficulty influenced rate of decision switching. Lower clinical experience was associated with more decision switching. Age, DSS experience and trust in CDSS generally were not significantly associated with decision switching. This study adds to the literature surrounding automation bias in terms of its potential frequency and influencing factors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. On the automated assessment of nuclear reactor systems code accuracy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kunz, Robert F.; Kasmala, Gerald F.; Mahaffy, John H.; Murray, Christopher J.

    2002-01-01

    An automated code assessment program (ACAP) has been developed to provide quantitative comparisons between nuclear reactor systems (NRS) code results and experimental measurements. The tool provides a suite of metrics for quality of fit to specific data sets, and the means to produce one or more figures of merit (FOM) for a code, based on weighted averages of results from the batch execution of a large number of code-experiment and code-code data comparisons. Accordingly, this tool has the potential to significantly streamline the verification and validation (V and V) processes in NRS code development environments which are characterized by rapidly evolving software, many contributing developers and a large and growing body of validation data. In this paper, a survey of data conditioning and analysis techniques is summarized which focuses on their relevance to NRS code accuracy assessment. A number of methods are considered for their applicability to the automated assessment of the accuracy of NRS code simulations. A variety of data types and computational modeling methods are considered from a spectrum of mathematical and engineering disciplines. The goal of the survey was to identify needs, issues and techniques to be considered in the development of an automated code assessment procedure, to be used in United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) advanced thermal-hydraulic T/H code consolidation efforts. The ACAP software was designed based in large measure on the findings of this survey. An overview of this tool is summarized and several NRS data applications are provided. The paper is organized as follows: The motivation for this work is first provided by background discussion that summarizes the relevance of this subject matter to the nuclear reactor industry. Next, the spectrum of NRS data types are classified into categories, in order to provide a basis for assessing individual comparison methods. Then, a summary of the survey is provided, where each

  11. Automated assessment of cognitive health using smart home technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawadi, Prafulla N; Cook, Diane J; Schmitter-Edgecombe, Maureen; Parsey, Carolyn

    2013-01-01

    The goal of this work is to develop intelligent systems to monitor the wellbeing of individuals in their home environments. This paper introduces a machine learning-based method to automatically predict activity quality in smart homes and automatically assess cognitive health based on activity quality. This paper describes an automated framework to extract set of features from smart home sensors data that reflects the activity performance or ability of an individual to complete an activity which can be input to machine learning algorithms. Output from learning algorithms including principal component analysis, support vector machine, and logistic regression algorithms are used to quantify activity quality for a complex set of smart home activities and predict cognitive health of participants. Smart home activity data was gathered from volunteer participants (n=263) who performed a complex set of activities in our smart home testbed. We compare our automated activity quality prediction and cognitive health prediction with direct observation scores and health assessment obtained from neuropsychologists. With all samples included, we obtained statistically significant correlation (r=0.54) between direct observation scores and predicted activity quality. Similarly, using a support vector machine classifier, we obtained reasonable classification accuracy (area under the ROC curve=0.80, g-mean=0.73) in classifying participants into two different cognitive classes, dementia and cognitive healthy. The results suggest that it is possible to automatically quantify the task quality of smart home activities and perform limited assessment of the cognitive health of individual if smart home activities are properly chosen and learning algorithms are appropriately trained.

  12. Automated sampling and data processing derived from biomimetic membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perry, M; Vissing, T; Hansen, J S; Nielsen, C H; Boesen, T P; Emneus, J

    2009-01-01

    Recent advances in biomimetic membrane systems have resulted in an increase in membrane lifetimes from hours to days and months. Long-lived membrane systems demand the development of both new automated monitoring equipment capable of measuring electrophysiological membrane characteristics and new data processing software to analyze and organize the large amounts of data generated. In this work, we developed an automated instrumental voltage clamp solution based on a custom-designed software controller application (the WaveManager), which enables automated on-line voltage clamp data acquisition applicable to long-time series experiments. We designed another software program for off-line data processing. The automation of the on-line voltage clamp data acquisition and off-line processing was furthermore integrated with a searchable database (DiscoverySheet(TM)) for efficient data management. The combined solution provides a cost efficient and fast way to acquire, process and administrate large amounts of voltage clamp data that may be too laborious and time consuming to handle manually. (communication)

  13. Automated sampling and data processing derived from biomimetic membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perry, M; Vissing, T; Hansen, J S; Nielsen, C H [Aquaporin A/S, Diplomvej 377, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby (Denmark); Boesen, T P [Xefion ApS, Kildegaardsvej 8C, DK-2900 Hellerup (Denmark); Emneus, J, E-mail: Claus.Nielsen@fysik.dtu.d [DTU Nanotech, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby (Denmark)

    2009-12-15

    Recent advances in biomimetic membrane systems have resulted in an increase in membrane lifetimes from hours to days and months. Long-lived membrane systems demand the development of both new automated monitoring equipment capable of measuring electrophysiological membrane characteristics and new data processing software to analyze and organize the large amounts of data generated. In this work, we developed an automated instrumental voltage clamp solution based on a custom-designed software controller application (the WaveManager), which enables automated on-line voltage clamp data acquisition applicable to long-time series experiments. We designed another software program for off-line data processing. The automation of the on-line voltage clamp data acquisition and off-line processing was furthermore integrated with a searchable database (DiscoverySheet(TM)) for efficient data management. The combined solution provides a cost efficient and fast way to acquire, process and administrate large amounts of voltage clamp data that may be too laborious and time consuming to handle manually. (communication)

  14. A continuous flow from sample collection to data acceptability determination using an automated system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fisk, J.F.; Leasure, C.; Sauter, A.D.

    1993-01-01

    In its role as regulator, EPA is the recipient of enormous reams of analytical data, especially within the Superfund Program. In order to better manage the volume of paper that comes in daily, Superfund has required its laboratories to provide data that is contained on reporting forms to be delivered also on a diskette for uploading into data bases for various purposes, such as checking for contractual compliance, tracking quality assurance parameters, and, ultimately, for reviewing the data by computer. This last area, automated review of the data, has generated programs that are not necessarily appropriate for use by clients other than Superfund. Such is the case with Los Alamos National Laboratory's Environmental Chemistry Group and its emerging subcontractor community, designed to meet the needs of the remedial action program at LANL. LANL is in the process of implementing an automated system that will be used from the planning stage of sample collection to the production of a project-specific report on analytical data quality. Included are electronic scheduling and tracking of samples, data entry, checking and transmission, data assessment and qualification for use, and report generation that will tie the analytical data quality back to the performance criteria defined prior to sample collection. Industry standard products will be used (e.g., ORACLE, Microsoft Excel) to ensure support for users, prevent dependence on proprietary software, and to protect LANL's investment for the future

  15. Automated PCR setup for forensic casework samples using the Normalization Wizard and PCR Setup robotic methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenspoon, S A; Sykes, K L V; Ban, J D; Pollard, A; Baisden, M; Farr, M; Graham, N; Collins, B L; Green, M M; Christenson, C C

    2006-12-20

    Human genome, pharmaceutical and research laboratories have long enjoyed the application of robotics to performing repetitive laboratory tasks. However, the utilization of robotics in forensic laboratories for processing casework samples is relatively new and poses particular challenges. Since the quantity and quality (a mixture versus a single source sample, the level of degradation, the presence of PCR inhibitors) of the DNA contained within a casework sample is unknown, particular attention must be paid to procedural susceptibility to contamination, as well as DNA yield, especially as it pertains to samples with little biological material. The Virginia Department of Forensic Science (VDFS) has successfully automated forensic casework DNA extraction utilizing the DNA IQ(trade mark) System in conjunction with the Biomek 2000 Automation Workstation. Human DNA quantitation is also performed in a near complete automated fashion utilizing the AluQuant Human DNA Quantitation System and the Biomek 2000 Automation Workstation. Recently, the PCR setup for casework samples has been automated, employing the Biomek 2000 Automation Workstation and Normalization Wizard, Genetic Identity version, which utilizes the quantitation data, imported into the software, to create a customized automated method for DNA dilution, unique to that plate of DNA samples. The PCR Setup software method, used in conjunction with the Normalization Wizard method and written for the Biomek 2000, functions to mix the diluted DNA samples, transfer the PCR master mix, and transfer the diluted DNA samples to PCR amplification tubes. Once the process is complete, the DNA extracts, still on the deck of the robot in PCR amplification strip tubes, are transferred to pre-labeled 1.5 mL tubes for long-term storage using an automated method. The automation of these steps in the process of forensic DNA casework analysis has been accomplished by performing extensive optimization, validation and testing of the

  16. Sample preparation automation for dosing plutonium in urine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeanmaire, Lucien; Ballada, Jean; Ridelle Berger, Ariane

    1969-06-01

    After having indicated that dosing urinary plutonium by using the Henry technique can be divided into three stages (plutonium concentration by precipitation, passing the solution on an anionic resin column and plutonium elution, and eluate evaporation to obtain a source of which the radioactivity is measured), and recalled that the automation of the second stage has been reported in another document, this document describes the automation of the first stage, i.e. obtaining from urine a residue containing the plutonium, and sufficiently mineralized to be analyzed by means of ion exchanging resins. Two techniques are proposed, leading to slightly different devices. The different operations to be performed are indicated. The different components of the apparatus are described: beakers, hot plate stirrers, reagent circuits, a system for supernatant suction, and a control-command circuit. The operation and use are then described, and results are given

  17. Estimates of Radionuclide Loading to Cochiti Lake from Los Alamos Canyon Using Manual and Automated Sampling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McLean, Christopher T. [Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2000-07-01

    Los Alamos National Laboratory has a long-standing program of sampling storm water runoff inside the Laboratory boundaries. In 1995, the Laboratory started collecting the samples using automated storm water sampling stations; prior to this time the samples were collected manually. The Laboratory has also been periodically collecting sediment samples from Cochiti Lake. This paper presents the data for Pu-238 and Pu-239 bound to the sediments for Los Alamos Canyon storm water runoff and compares the sampling types by mass loading and as a percentage of the sediment deposition to Cochiti Lake. The data for both manual and automated sampling are used to calculate mass loads from Los Alamos Canyon on a yearly basis. The automated samples show mass loading 200- 500 percent greater for Pu-238 and 300-700 percent greater for Pu-239 than the manual samples. Using the mean manual flow volume for mass loading calculations, the automated samples are over 900 percent greater for Pu-238 and over 1800 percent greater for Pu-239. Evaluating the Pu-238 and Pu-239 activities as a percentage of deposition to Cochiti Lake indicates that the automated samples are 700-1300 percent greater for Pu- 238 and 200-500 percent greater for Pu-239. The variance was calculated by two methods. The first method calculates the variance for each sample event. The second method calculates the variances by the total volume of water discharged in Los Alamos Canyon for the year.

  18. Automated washing of FTA Card punches and PCR setup for reference samples using a LIMS-controlled Sias Xantus automated liquid handler

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stangegaard, Michael; Olsen, Addie Nina; Frøslev, Tobias G.

    2009-01-01

    We have implemented and validated automated methods for washing FTA Card punches containing buccal samples and subsequent PCR setup using a Sias Xantus automated liquid handler. The automated methods were controlled by worklists generated by our LabWare Laboratory Information Management System...

  19. Flexible automated approach for quantitative liquid handling of complex biological samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palandra, Joe; Weller, David; Hudson, Gary; Li, Jeff; Osgood, Sarah; Hudson, Emily; Zhong, Min; Buchholz, Lisa; Cohen, Lucinda H

    2007-11-01

    A fully automated protein precipitation technique for biological sample preparation has been developed for the quantitation of drugs in various biological matrixes. All liquid handling during sample preparation was automated using a Hamilton MicroLab Star Robotic workstation, which included the preparation of standards and controls from a Watson laboratory information management system generated work list, shaking of 96-well plates, and vacuum application. Processing time is less than 30 s per sample or approximately 45 min per 96-well plate, which is then immediately ready for injection onto an LC-MS/MS system. An overview of the process workflow is discussed, including the software development. Validation data are also provided, including specific liquid class data as well as comparative data of automated vs manual preparation using both quality controls and actual sample data. The efficiencies gained from this automated approach are described.

  20. Automated dried blood spots standard and QC sample preparation using a robotic liquid handler.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Long; Zhang, Duxi; Aubry, Anne-Francoise; Arnold, Mark E

    2012-12-01

    A dried blood spot (DBS) bioanalysis assay involves many steps, such as the preparation of standard (STD) and QC samples in blood, the spotting onto DBS cards, and the cutting-out of the spots. These steps are labor intensive and time consuming if done manually, which, therefore, makes automation very desirable in DBS bioanalysis. A robotic liquid handler was successfully applied to the preparation of STD and QC samples in blood and to spot the blood samples onto DBS cards using buspirone as the model compound. This automated preparation was demonstrated to be accurate and consistent. However the accuracy and precision of automated preparation were similar to those from manual preparation. The effect of spotting volume on accuracy was evaluated and a trend of increasing concentrations of buspirone with increasing spotting volumes was observed. The automated STD and QC sample preparation process significantly improved the efficiency, robustness and safety of DBS bioanalysis.

  1. Carotid Catheterization and Automated Blood Sampling Induce Systemic IL-6 Secretion and Local Tissue Damage and Inflammation in the Heart, Kidneys, Liver and Salivary Glands in NMRI Mice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Teilmann, Anne Charlotte; Rozell, Björn; Kalliokoski, Otto

    2016-01-01

    Automated blood sampling through a vascular catheter is a frequently utilized technique in laboratory mice. The potential immunological and physiological implications associated with this technique have, however, not been investigated in detail. The present study compared plasma levels of the cyt...... and embolized to distant sites. Thus, catheterization and subsequent automated blood sampling may have physiological impact. Possible confounding effects of visceral damage should be assessed and considered, when using catheterized mouse models....

  2. Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment Tool (AGWA) Poster Presentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment tool (AGWA, see: www.tucson.ars.ag.gov/agwa or http://www.epa.gov/esd/land-sci/agwa/) is a GIS interface jointly developed by the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the University of Arizona...

  3. Technology assessment of automation trends in the modular home industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phil Mitchell; Robert Russell Hurst

    2009-01-01

    This report provides an assessment of technology used in manufacturing modular homes in the United States, and that used in the German prefabricated wooden home industry. It is the first step toward identifying the research needs in automation and manufacturing methods that will facilitate mass customization in the home manufacturing industry. Within the United States...

  4. A New Automated Method and Sample Data Flow for Analysis of Volatile Nitrosamines in Human Urine*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgson, James A.; Seyler, Tiffany H.; McGahee, Ernest; Arnstein, Stephen; Wang, Lanqing

    2016-01-01

    Volatile nitrosamines (VNAs) are a group of compounds classified as probable (group 2A) and possible (group 2B) carcinogens in humans. Along with certain foods and contaminated drinking water, VNAs are detected at high levels in tobacco products and in both mainstream and sidestream smoke. Our laboratory monitors six urinary VNAs—N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), N-nitrosomethylethylamine (NMEA), N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA), N-nitrosopiperidine (NPIP), N-nitrosopyrrolidine (NPYR), and N-nitrosomorpholine (NMOR)—using isotope dilution GC-MS/MS (QQQ) for large population studies such as the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). In this paper, we report for the first time a new automated sample preparation method to more efficiently quantitate these VNAs. Automation is done using Hamilton STAR™ and Caliper Staccato™ workstations. This new automated method reduces sample preparation time from 4 hours to 2.5 hours while maintaining precision (inter-run CV < 10%) and accuracy (85% - 111%). More importantly this method increases sample throughput while maintaining a low limit of detection (<10 pg/mL) for all analytes. A streamlined sample data flow was created in parallel to the automated method, in which samples can be tracked from receiving to final LIMs output with minimal human intervention, further minimizing human error in the sample preparation process. This new automated method and the sample data flow are currently applied in bio-monitoring of VNAs in the US non-institutionalized population NHANES 2013-2014 cycle. PMID:26949569

  5. Operator-based metric for nuclear operations automation assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zacharias, G.L.; Miao, A.X.; Kalkan, A. [Charles River Analytics Inc., Cambridge, MA (United States)] [and others

    1995-04-01

    Continuing advances in real-time computational capabilities will support enhanced levels of smart automation and AI-based decision-aiding systems in the nuclear power plant (NPP) control room of the future. To support development of these aids, we describe in this paper a research tool, and more specifically, a quantitative metric, to assess the impact of proposed automation/aiding concepts in a manner that can account for a number of interlinked factors in the control room environment. In particular, we describe a cognitive operator/plant model that serves as a framework for integrating the operator`s information-processing capabilities with his procedural knowledge, to provide insight as to how situations are assessed by the operator, decisions made, procedures executed, and communications conducted. Our focus is on the situation assessment (SA) behavior of the operator, the development of a quantitative metric reflecting overall operator awareness, and the use of this metric in evaluating automation/aiding options. We describe the results of a model-based simulation of a selected emergency scenario, and metric-based evaluation of a range of contemplated NPP control room automation/aiding options. The results demonstrate the feasibility of model-based analysis of contemplated control room enhancements, and highlight the need for empirical validation.

  6. Automated Sampling and Extraction of Krypton from Small Air Samples for Kr-85 Measurement Using Atom Trap Trace Analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hebel, S.; Hands, J.; Goering, F.; Kirchner, G.; Purtschert, R.

    2015-01-01

    Atom-Trap-Trace-Analysis (ATTA) provides the capability of measuring the Krypton-85 concentration in microlitre amounts of krypton extracted from air samples of about 1 litre. This sample size is sufficiently small to allow for a range of applications, including on-site spot sampling and continuous sampling over periods of several hours. All samples can be easily handled and transported to an off-site laboratory for ATTA measurement, or stored and analyzed on demand. Bayesian sampling methodologies can be applied by blending samples for bulk measurement and performing in-depth analysis as required. Prerequisite for measurement is the extraction of a pure krypton fraction from the sample. This paper introduces an extraction unit able to isolate the krypton in small ambient air samples with high speed, high efficiency and in a fully automated manner using a combination of cryogenic distillation and gas chromatography. Air samples are collected using an automated smart sampler developed in-house to achieve a constant sampling rate over adjustable time periods ranging from 5 minutes to 3 hours per sample. The smart sampler can be deployed in the field and operate on battery for one week to take up to 60 air samples. This high flexibility of sampling and the fast, robust sample preparation are a valuable tool for research and the application of Kr-85 measurements to novel Safeguards procedures. (author)

  7. Automated volumetric breast density estimation: A comparison with visual assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seo, J.M.; Ko, E.S.; Han, B.-K.; Ko, E.Y.; Shin, J.H.; Hahn, S.Y.

    2013-01-01

    Aim: To compare automated volumetric breast density (VBD) measurement with visual assessment according to Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS), and to determine the factors influencing the agreement between them. Materials and methods: One hundred and ninety-three consecutive screening mammograms reported as negative were included in the study. Three radiologists assigned qualitative BI-RADS density categories to the mammograms. An automated volumetric breast-density method was used to measure VBD (% breast density) and density grade (VDG). Each case was classified into an agreement or disagreement group according to the comparison between visual assessment and VDG. The correlation between visual assessment and VDG was obtained. Various physical factors were compared between the two groups. Results: Agreement between visual assessment by the radiologists and VDG was good (ICC value = 0.757). VBD showed a highly significant positive correlation with visual assessment (Spearman's ρ = 0.754, p < 0.001). VBD and the x-ray tube target was significantly different between the agreement group and the disagreement groups (p = 0.02 and 0.04, respectively). Conclusion: Automated VBD is a reliable objective method to measure breast density. The agreement between VDG and visual assessment by radiologist might be influenced by physical factors

  8. Flightdeck Automation Problems (FLAP) Model for Safety Technology Portfolio Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ancel, Ersin; Shih, Ann T.

    2014-01-01

    NASA's Aviation Safety Program (AvSP) develops and advances methodologies and technologies to improve air transportation safety. The Safety Analysis and Integration Team (SAIT) conducts a safety technology portfolio assessment (PA) to analyze the program content, to examine the benefits and risks of products with respect to program goals, and to support programmatic decision making. The PA process includes systematic identification of current and future safety risks as well as tracking several quantitative and qualitative metrics to ensure the program goals are addressing prominent safety risks accurately and effectively. One of the metrics within the PA process involves using quantitative aviation safety models to gauge the impact of the safety products. This paper demonstrates the role of aviation safety modeling by providing model outputs and evaluating a sample of portfolio elements using the Flightdeck Automation Problems (FLAP) model. The model enables not only ranking of the quantitative relative risk reduction impact of all portfolio elements, but also highlighting the areas with high potential impact via sensitivity and gap analyses in support of the program office. Although the model outputs are preliminary and products are notional, the process shown in this paper is essential to a comprehensive PA of NASA's safety products in the current program and future programs/projects.

  9. Automated Sample Exchange Robots for the Structural Biology Beam Lines at the Photon Factory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hiraki, Masahiko; Watanabe, Shokei; Yamada, Yusuke; Matsugaki, Naohiro; Igarashi, Noriyuki; Gaponov, Yurii; Wakatsuki, Soichi

    2007-01-01

    We are now developing automated sample exchange robots for high-throughput protein crystallographic experiments for onsite use at synchrotron beam lines. It is part of the fully automated robotics systems being developed at the Photon Factory, for the purposes of protein crystallization, monitoring crystal growth, harvesting and freezing crystals, mounting the crystals inside a hutch and for data collection. We have already installed the sample exchange robots based on the SSRL automated mounting system at our insertion device beam lines BL-5A and AR-NW12A at the Photon Factory. In order to reduce the time required for sample exchange further, a prototype of a double-tonged system was developed. As a result of preliminary experiments with double-tonged robots, the sample exchange time was successfully reduced from 70 seconds to 10 seconds with the exception of the time required for pre-cooling and warming up the tongs

  10. SASSI: Subsystems for Automated Subsurface Sampling Instruments, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Future robotic planetary exploration missions will benefit greatly from the ability to capture rock and/or regolith core samples that deliver the stratigraphy of the...

  11. Rapid and automated determination of plutonium and neptunium in environmental samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qiao, J.

    2011-03-01

    This thesis presents improved analytical methods for rapid and automated determination of plutonium and neptunium in environmental samples using sequential injection (SI) based chromatography and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The progress of methodology development in this work consists of 5 subjects stated as follows: 1) Development and optimization of an SI-anion exchange chromatographic method for rapid determination of plutonium in environmental samples in combination of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry detection (Paper II); (2) Methodology development and optimization for rapid determination of plutonium in environmental samples using SI-extraction chromatography prior to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (Paper III); (3) Development of an SI-chromatographic method for simultaneous determination of plutonium and neptunium in environmental samples (Paper IV); (4) Investigation of the suitability and applicability of 242 Pu as a tracer for rapid neptunium determination using anion exchange chromatography in an SI-network coupled with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (Paper V); (5) Exploration of macro-porous anion exchange chromatography for rapid and simultaneous determination of plutonium and neptunium within an SI system (Paper VI). The results demonstrate that the developed methods in this study are reliable and efficient for accurate assays of trace levels of plutonium and neptunium as demanded in different situations including environmental risk monitoring and assessment, emergency preparedness and surveillance of contaminated areas. (Author)

  12. Rapid and automated determination of plutonium and neptunium in environmental samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qiao, J.

    2011-03-15

    This thesis presents improved analytical methods for rapid and automated determination of plutonium and neptunium in environmental samples using sequential injection (SI) based chromatography and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The progress of methodology development in this work consists of 5 subjects stated as follows: 1) Development and optimization of an SI-anion exchange chromatographic method for rapid determination of plutonium in environmental samples in combination of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry detection (Paper II); (2) Methodology development and optimization for rapid determination of plutonium in environmental samples using SI-extraction chromatography prior to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (Paper III); (3) Development of an SI-chromatographic method for simultaneous determination of plutonium and neptunium in environmental samples (Paper IV); (4) Investigation of the suitability and applicability of 242Pu as a tracer for rapid neptunium determination using anion exchange chromatography in an SI-network coupled with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (Paper V); (5) Exploration of macro-porous anion exchange chromatography for rapid and simultaneous determination of plutonium and neptunium within an SI system (Paper VI). The results demonstrate that the developed methods in this study are reliable and efficient for accurate assays of trace levels of plutonium and neptunium as demanded in different situations including environmental risk monitoring and assessment, emergency preparedness and surveillance of contaminated areas. (Author)

  13. Thermophilic Campylobacter spp. in turkey samples: evaluation of two automated enzyme immunoassays and conventional microbiological techniques

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borck, Birgitte; Stryhn, H.; Ersboll, A.K.

    2002-01-01

    Aims: To determine the sensitivity and specificity of two automated enzyme immunoassays (EIA), EiaFoss and Minividas, and a conventional microbiological culture technique for detecting thermophilic Campylobacter spp. in turkey samples. Methods and Results: A total of 286 samples (faecal, meat...

  14. Development and Evaluation of a Pilot Prototype Automated Online Sampling System

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whitaker, M.J.

    2000-01-01

    An automated online sampling system has been developed for the BNFL-Hanford Technetium Monitoring Program. The system was designed to be flexible and allows for the collection and delivery of samples to a variety of detection devices that may be used

  15. Automated modal parameter estimation using correlation analysis and bootstrap sampling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaghoubi, Vahid; Vakilzadeh, Majid K.; Abrahamsson, Thomas J. S.

    2018-02-01

    The estimation of modal parameters from a set of noisy measured data is a highly judgmental task, with user expertise playing a significant role in distinguishing between estimated physical and noise modes of a test-piece. Various methods have been developed to automate this procedure. The common approach is to identify models with different orders and cluster similar modes together. However, most proposed methods based on this approach suffer from high-dimensional optimization problems in either the estimation or clustering step. To overcome this problem, this study presents an algorithm for autonomous modal parameter estimation in which the only required optimization is performed in a three-dimensional space. To this end, a subspace-based identification method is employed for the estimation and a non-iterative correlation-based method is used for the clustering. This clustering is at the heart of the paper. The keys to success are correlation metrics that are able to treat the problems of spatial eigenvector aliasing and nonunique eigenvectors of coalescent modes simultaneously. The algorithm commences by the identification of an excessively high-order model from frequency response function test data. The high number of modes of this model provides bases for two subspaces: one for likely physical modes of the tested system and one for its complement dubbed the subspace of noise modes. By employing the bootstrap resampling technique, several subsets are generated from the same basic dataset and for each of them a model is identified to form a set of models. Then, by correlation analysis with the two aforementioned subspaces, highly correlated modes of these models which appear repeatedly are clustered together and the noise modes are collected in a so-called Trashbox cluster. Stray noise modes attracted to the mode clusters are trimmed away in a second step by correlation analysis. The final step of the algorithm is a fuzzy c-means clustering procedure applied to

  16. Automated injection of slurry samples in flow-injection analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hulsman, M.H.F.M.; Hulsman, M.; Bos, M.; van der Linden, W.E.

    1996-01-01

    Two types of injectors are described for introducing solid samples as slurries in flow analysis systems. A time-based and a volume-based injector based on multitube solenoid pinch valves were built, both can be characterized as hydrodynamic injectors. Reproducibility of the injections of dispersed

  17. Automated Blood Sample Preparation Unit (ABSPU) for Portable Microfluidic Flow Cytometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaturvedi, Akhil; Gorthi, Sai Siva

    2017-02-01

    Portable microfluidic diagnostic devices, including flow cytometers, are being developed for point-of-care settings, especially in conjunction with inexpensive imaging devices such as mobile phone cameras. However, two pervasive drawbacks of these have been the lack of automated sample preparation processes and cells settling out of sample suspensions, leading to inaccurate results. We report an automated blood sample preparation unit (ABSPU) to prevent blood samples from settling in a reservoir during loading of samples in flow cytometers. This apparatus automates the preanalytical steps of dilution and staining of blood cells prior to microfluidic loading. It employs an assembly with a miniature vibration motor to drive turbulence in a sample reservoir. To validate performance of this system, we present experimental evidence demonstrating prevention of blood cell settling, cell integrity, and staining of cells prior to flow cytometric analysis. This setup is further integrated with a microfluidic imaging flow cytometer to investigate cell count variability. With no need for prior sample preparation, a drop of whole blood can be directly introduced to the setup without premixing with buffers manually. Our results show that integration of this assembly with microfluidic analysis provides a competent automation tool for low-cost point-of-care blood-based diagnostics.

  18. Integrated Automation of High-Throughput Screening and Reverse Phase Protein Array Sample Preparation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Marlene Lemvig; Block, Ines; List, Markus

    into automated robotic high-throughput screens, which allows subsequent protein quantification. In this integrated solution, samples are directly forwarded to automated cell lysate preparation and preparation of dilution series, including reformatting to a protein spotter-compatible format after the high......-throughput screening. Tracking of huge sample numbers and data analysis from a high-content screen to RPPAs is accomplished via MIRACLE, a custom made software suite developed by us. To this end, we demonstrate that the RPPAs generated in this manner deliver reliable protein readouts and that GAPDH and TFR levels can...

  19. Automated Sample Preparation for Radiogenic and Non-Traditional Metal Isotopes: Removing an Analytical Barrier for High Sample Throughput

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, M. Paul; Romaniello, Stephen; Gordon, Gwyneth W.; Anbar, Ariel D.; Herrmann, Achim; Martinez-Boti, Miguel A.; Anagnostou, Eleni; Foster, Gavin L.

    2014-05-01

    MC-ICP-MS has dramatically improved the analytical throughput for high-precision radiogenic and non-traditional isotope ratio measurements, compared to TIMS. The generation of large data sets, however, remains hampered by tedious manual drip chromatography required for sample purification. A new, automated chromatography system reduces the laboratory bottle neck and expands the utility of high-precision isotope analyses in applications where large data sets are required: geochemistry, forensic anthropology, nuclear forensics, medical research and food authentication. We have developed protocols to automate ion exchange purification for several isotopic systems (B, Ca, Fe, Cu, Zn, Sr, Cd, Pb and U) using the new prepFAST-MC™ (ESI, Nebraska, Omaha). The system is not only inert (all-flouropolymer flow paths), but is also very flexible and can easily facilitate different resins, samples, and reagent types. When programmed, precise and accurate user defined volumes and flow rates are implemented to automatically load samples, wash the column, condition the column and elute fractions. Unattended, the automated, low-pressure ion exchange chromatography system can process up to 60 samples overnight. Excellent reproducibility, reliability, recovery, with low blank and carry over for samples in a variety of different matrices, have been demonstrated to give accurate and precise isotopic ratios within analytical error for several isotopic systems (B, Ca, Fe, Cu, Zn, Sr, Cd, Pb and U). This illustrates the potential of the new prepFAST-MC™ (ESI, Nebraska, Omaha) as a powerful tool in radiogenic and non-traditional isotope research.

  20. Automated sample mounting and technical advance alignment system for biological crystallography at a synchrotron source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Snell, Gyorgy; Cork, Carl; Nordmeyer, Robert; Cornell, Earl; Meigs, George; Yegian, Derek; Jaklevic, Joseph; Jin, Jian; Stevens, Raymond C.; Earnest, Thomas

    2004-01-01

    High-throughput data collection for macromolecular crystallography requires an automated sample mounting system for cryo-protected crystals that functions reliably when integrated into protein-crystallography beamlines at synchrotrons. Rapid mounting and dismounting of the samples increases the efficiency of the crystal screening and data collection processes, where many crystals can be tested for the quality of diffraction. The sample-mounting subsystem has random access to 112 samples, stored under liquid nitrogen. Results of extensive tests regarding the performance and reliability of the system are presented. To further increase throughput, we have also developed a sample transport/storage system based on 'puck-shaped' cassettes, which can hold sixteen samples each. Seven cassettes fit into a standard dry shipping Dewar. The capabilities of a robotic crystal mounting and alignment system with instrumentation control software and a relational database allows for automated screening and data collection to be developed

  1. An Automated Algorithm to Screen Massive Training Samples for a Global Impervious Surface Classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Bin; Brown de Colstoun, Eric; Wolfe, Robert E.; Tilton, James C.; Huang, Chengquan; Smith, Sarah E.

    2012-01-01

    An algorithm is developed to automatically screen the outliers from massive training samples for Global Land Survey - Imperviousness Mapping Project (GLS-IMP). GLS-IMP is to produce a global 30 m spatial resolution impervious cover data set for years 2000 and 2010 based on the Landsat Global Land Survey (GLS) data set. This unprecedented high resolution impervious cover data set is not only significant to the urbanization studies but also desired by the global carbon, hydrology, and energy balance researches. A supervised classification method, regression tree, is applied in this project. A set of accurate training samples is the key to the supervised classifications. Here we developed the global scale training samples from 1 m or so resolution fine resolution satellite data (Quickbird and Worldview2), and then aggregate the fine resolution impervious cover map to 30 m resolution. In order to improve the classification accuracy, the training samples should be screened before used to train the regression tree. It is impossible to manually screen 30 m resolution training samples collected globally. For example, in Europe only, there are 174 training sites. The size of the sites ranges from 4.5 km by 4.5 km to 8.1 km by 3.6 km. The amount training samples are over six millions. Therefore, we develop this automated statistic based algorithm to screen the training samples in two levels: site and scene level. At the site level, all the training samples are divided to 10 groups according to the percentage of the impervious surface within a sample pixel. The samples following in each 10% forms one group. For each group, both univariate and multivariate outliers are detected and removed. Then the screen process escalates to the scene level. A similar screen process but with a looser threshold is applied on the scene level considering the possible variance due to the site difference. We do not perform the screen process across the scenes because the scenes might vary due to

  2. Automated injection of a radioactive sample for preparative HPLC with feedback control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iwata, Ren; Yamazaki, Shigeki

    1990-01-01

    The injection of a radioactive reaction mixture into a preparative HPLC column has been automated with computer control for rapid purification of routinely prepared positron emitting radiopharmaceuticals. Using pneumatic valves, a motor-driven pump and a liquid level sensor, two intelligent injection methods for the automation were compared with regard to efficient and rapid sample loading into a 2 mL loop of the 6-way valve. One, a precise but rather slow method, was demonstrated to be suitable for purification of 18 F-radiopharmaceuticals, while the other, due to its rapid operation, was more suitable for 11 C-radiopharmaceuticals. A sample volume of approx 0.5 mL can be injected onto a preparative HPLC column with over 90% efficiency with the present automated system. (author)

  3. Automated respiratory sinus arrhythmia measurement: Demonstration using executive function assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegarty-Craver, Meghan; Gilchrist, Kristin H; Propper, Cathi B; Lewis, Gregory F; DeFilipp, Samuel J; Coffman, Jennifer L; Willoughby, Michael T

    2017-08-08

    Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) is a quantitative metric that reflects autonomic nervous system regulation and provides a physiological marker of attentional engagement that supports cognitive and affective regulatory processes. RSA can be added to executive function (EF) assessments with minimal participant burden because of the commercial availability of lightweight, wearable electrocardiogram (ECG) sensors. However, the inclusion of RSA data in large data collection efforts has been hindered by the time-intensive processing of RSA. In this study we evaluated the performance of an automated RSA-scoring method in the context of an EF study in preschool-aged children. The absolute differences in RSA across both scoring methods were small (mean RSA differences = -0.02-0.10), with little to no evidence of bias for the automated relative to the hand-scoring approach. Moreover, the relative rank-ordering of RSA across both scoring methods was strong (rs = .96-.99). Reliable changes in RSA from baseline to the EF task were highly similar across both scoring methods (96%-100% absolute agreement; Kappa = .83-1.0). On the basis of these findings, the automated RSA algorithm appears to be a suitable substitute for hand-scoring in the context of EF assessment.

  4. Novel Automated Morphometric and Kinematic Handwriting Assessment: A Validity Study in Children with ASD and ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirlikov, Benjamin; Younes, Laurent; Nebel, Mary Beth; Martinelli, Mary Katherine; Tiedemann, Alyssa Nicole; Koch, Carolyn A.; Fiorilli, Diana; Bastian, Amy J.; Denckla, Martha Bridge; Miller, Michael I.; Mostofsky, Stewart H.

    2017-01-01

    This study presents construct validity for a novel automated morphometric and kinematic handwriting assessment, including (1) convergent validity, establishing reliability of automated measures with traditional manual-derived Minnesota Handwriting Assessment (MHA), and (2) discriminant validity, establishing that the automated methods distinguish…

  5. A bench-top automated workstation for nucleic acid isolation from clinical sample types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakore, Nitu; Garber, Steve; Bueno, Arial; Qu, Peter; Norville, Ryan; Villanueva, Michael; Chandler, Darrell P; Holmberg, Rebecca; Cooney, Christopher G

    2018-04-18

    Systems that automate extraction of nucleic acid from cells or viruses in complex clinical matrices have tremendous value even in the absence of an integrated downstream detector. We describe our bench-top automated workstation that integrates our previously-reported extraction method - TruTip - with our newly-developed mechanical lysis method. This is the first report of this method for homogenizing viscous and heterogeneous samples and lysing difficult-to-disrupt cells using "MagVor": a rotating magnet that rotates a miniature stir disk amidst glass beads confined inside of a disposable tube. Using this system, we demonstrate automated nucleic acid extraction from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in nasopharyngeal aspirate (NPA), influenza A in nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS), human genomic DNA from whole blood, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis in NPA. The automated workstation yields nucleic acid with comparable extraction efficiency to manual protocols, which include commercially-available Qiagen spin column kits, across each of these sample types. This work expands the scope of applications beyond previous reports of TruTip to include difficult-to-disrupt cell types and automates the process, including a method for removal of organics, inside a compact bench-top workstation. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Core sampling system spare parts assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walter, E.J.

    1995-01-01

    Soon, there will be 4 independent core sampling systems obtaining samples from the underground tanks. It is desirable that these systems be available for sampling during the next 2 years. This assessment was prepared to evaluate the adequacy of the spare parts identified for the core sampling system and to provide recommendations that may remediate overages or inadequacies of spare parts

  7. Feasibility of surface sampling in automated inspection of concrete aggregates during bulk transport on a conveyor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, M.C.M.; Di Maio, F.; Lotfi, S.; Bakker, M.; Hu, M.; Vahidi, A.

    2017-01-01

    Automated optic inspection of concrete aggregates for pollutants (e.g. wood, plastics, gypsum and brick) is required to establish the suitability for reuse in new concrete products. Inspection is more efficient when directly sampling the materials on the conveyor belt instead of feeding them in a

  8. Novel diffusion cell for in vitro transdermal permeation, compatible with automated dynamic sampling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosman, I.J; Lawant, A.L; Avegaart, S.R.; Ensing, K; de Zeeuw, R.A

    The development of a new diffusion cell for in vitro transdermal permeation is described. The so-called Kelder cells were used in combination with the ASPEC system (Automatic Sample Preparation with Extraction Columns), which is designed for the automation of solid-phase extractions (SPE). Instead

  9. Automated processing of whole blood samples for the determination of immunosuppressants by liquid chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogeser, Michael; Spöhrer, Ute

    2006-01-01

    Liquid chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) is an efficient technology for routine determination of immunosuppressants in whole blood; however, time-consuming manual sample preparation remains a significant limitation of this technique. Using a commercially available robotic pipetting system (Tecan Freedom EVO), we developed an automated sample-preparation protocol for quantification of tacrolimus in whole blood by LC-MS/MS. Barcode reading, sample resuspension, transfer of whole blood aliquots into a deep-well plate, addition of internal standard solution, mixing, and protein precipitation by addition of an organic solvent is performed by the robotic system. After centrifugation of the plate, the deproteinized supernatants are submitted to on-line solid phase extraction, using column switching prior to LC-MS/MS analysis. The only manual actions within the entire process are decapping of the tubes, and transfer of the deep-well plate from the robotic system to a centrifuge and finally to the HPLC autosampler. Whole blood pools were used to assess the reproducibility of the entire analytical system for measuring tacrolimus concentrations. A total coefficient of variation of 1.7% was found for the entire automated analytical process (n=40; mean tacrolimus concentration, 5.3 microg/L). Close agreement between tacrolimus results obtained after manual and automated sample preparation was observed. The analytical system described here, comprising automated protein precipitation, on-line solid phase extraction and LC-MS/MS analysis, is convenient and precise, and minimizes hands-on time and the risk of mistakes in the quantification of whole blood immunosuppressant concentrations compared to conventional methods.

  10. Application of bar codes to the automation of analytical sample data collection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jurgensen, H.A.

    1986-01-01

    The Health Protection Department at the Savannah River Plant collects 500 urine samples per day for tritium analyses. Prior to automation, all sample information was compiled manually. Bar code technology was chosen for automating this program because it provides a more accurate, efficient, and inexpensive method for data entry. The system has three major functions: sample labeling is accomplished at remote bar code label stations composed of an Intermec 8220 (Intermec Corp.) interfaced to an IBM-PC, data collection is done on a central VAX 11/730 (Digital Equipment Corp.). Bar code readers are used to log-in samples to be analyzed on liquid scintillation counters. The VAX 11/730 processes the data and generates reports, data storage is on the VAX 11/730 and backed up on the plant's central computer. A brief description of several other bar code applications at the Savannah River Plant is also presented

  11. Experiences of Using Automated Assessment in Computer Science Courses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John English

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we discuss the use of automated assessment in a variety of computer science courses that have been taught at Israel Academic College by the authors. The course assignments were assessed entirely automatically using Checkpoint, a web-based automated assessment framework. The assignments all used free-text questions (where the students type in their own answers. Students were allowed to correct errors based on feedback provided by the system and resubmit their answers. A total of 141 students were surveyed to assess their opinions of this approach, and we analysed their responses. Analysis of the questionnaire showed a low correlation between questions, indicating the statistical independence of the individual questions. As a whole, student feedback on using Checkpoint was very positive, emphasizing the benefits of multiple attempts, impartial marking, and a quick turnaround time for submissions. Many students said that Checkpoint gave them confidence in learning and motivation to practise. Students also said that the detailed feedback that Checkpoint generated when their programs failed helped them understand their mistakes and how to correct them.

  12. Automated assessment of the quality of depression websites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Kathleen M; Tang, Thanh Tin; Hawking, David; Christensen, Helen

    2005-12-30

    Since health information on the World Wide Web is of variable quality, methods are needed to assist consumers to identify health websites containing evidence-based information. Manual assessment tools may assist consumers to evaluate the quality of sites. However, these tools are poorly validated and often impractical. There is a need to develop better consumer tools, and in particular to explore the potential of automated procedures for evaluating the quality of health information on the web. This study (1) describes the development of an automated quality assessment procedure (AQA) designed to automatically rank depression websites according to their evidence-based quality; (2) evaluates the validity of the AQA relative to human rated evidence-based quality scores; and (3) compares the validity of Google PageRank and the AQA as indicators of evidence-based quality. The AQA was developed using a quality feedback technique and a set of training websites previously rated manually according to their concordance with statements in the Oxford University Centre for Evidence-Based Mental Health's guidelines for treating depression. The validation phase involved 30 websites compiled from the DMOZ, Yahoo! and LookSmart Depression Directories by randomly selecting six sites from each of the Google PageRank bands of 0, 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8. Evidence-based ratings from two independent raters (based on concordance with the Oxford guidelines) were then compared with scores derived from the automated AQA and Google algorithms. There was no overlap in the websites used in the training and validation phases of the study. The correlation between the AQA score and the evidence-based ratings was high and significant (r=0.85, Psites with zero PageRanks were included the association was weak and non-significant (r=0.23, P=.22). When sites with zero PageRanks were excluded, the correlation was moderate (r=.61, P=.002). Depression websites of different evidence-based quality can be

  13. Feasibility of automated speech sample collection with stuttering children using interactive voice response (IVR) technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Adam P; Block, Susan; Kefalianos, Elaina; Onslow, Mark; Eadie, Patricia; Barth, Ben; Conway, Laura; Mundt, James C; Reilly, Sheena

    2015-04-01

    To investigate the feasibility of adopting automated interactive voice response (IVR) technology for remotely capturing standardized speech samples from stuttering children. Participants were 10 6-year-old stuttering children. Their parents called a toll-free number from their homes and were prompted to elicit speech from their children using a standard protocol involving conversation, picture description and games. The automated IVR system was implemented using an off-the-shelf telephony software program and delivered by a standard desktop computer. The software infrastructure utilizes voice over internet protocol. Speech samples were automatically recorded during the calls. Video recordings were simultaneously acquired in the home at the time of the call to evaluate the fidelity of the telephone collected samples. Key outcome measures included syllables spoken, percentage of syllables stuttered and an overall rating of stuttering severity using a 10-point scale. Data revealed a high level of relative reliability in terms of intra-class correlation between the video and telephone acquired samples on all outcome measures during the conversation task. Findings were less consistent for speech samples during picture description and games. Results suggest that IVR technology can be used successfully to automate remote capture of child speech samples.

  14. Assessment of an automated capillary system for Plasmodium vivax microsatellite genotyping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manrique, Paulo; Hoshi, Mari; Fasabi, Manuel; Nolasco, Oscar; Yori, Pablo; Calderón, Martiza; Gilman, Robert H; Kosek, Margaret N; Vinetz, Joseph M; Gamboa, Dionicia

    2015-08-21

    Several platforms have been used to generate the primary data for microsatellite analysis of malaria parasite genotypes. Each has relative advantages but share a limitation of being time- and cost-intensive. A commercially available automated capillary gel cartridge system was assessed in the microsatellite analysis of Plasmodium vivax diversity in the Peruvian Amazon. The reproducibility and accuracy of a commercially-available automated capillary system, QIAxcel, was assessed using a sequenced PCR product of 227 base pairs. This product was measured 42 times, then 27 P. vivax samples from Peruvian Amazon subjects were analyzed with this instrument using five informative microsatellites. Results from the QIAxcel system were compared with a Sanger-type sequencing machine, the ABI PRISM(®) 3100 Genetic Analyzer. Significant differences were seen between the sequenced amplicons and the results from the QIAxcel instrument. Different runs, plates and cartridges yielded significantly different results. Additionally, allele size decreased with each run by 0.045, or 1 bp, every three plates. QIAxcel and ABI PRISM systems differed in giving different values than those obtained by ABI PRISM, and too many (i.e. inaccurate) alleles per locus were also seen with the automated instrument. While P. vivax diversity could generally be estimated using an automated capillary gel cartridge system, the data demonstrate that this system is not sufficiently precise for reliably identifying parasite strains via microsatellite analysis. This conclusion reached after systematic analysis was due both to inadequate precision and poor reproducibility in measuring PCR product size.

  15. Trends and applications of integrated automated ultra-trace sample handling and analysis (T9)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kingston, H.M.S.; Ye Han; Stewart, L.; Link, D.

    2002-01-01

    Full text: Automated analysis, sub-ppt detection limits, and the trend toward speciated analysis (rather than just elemental analysis) force the innovation of sophisticated and integrated sample preparation and analysis techniques. Traditionally, the ability to handle samples at ppt and sub-ppt levels has been limited to clean laboratories and special sample handling techniques and equipment. The world of sample handling has passed a threshold where older or 'old fashioned' traditional techniques no longer provide the ability to see the sample due to the influence of the analytical blank and the fragile nature of the analyte. When samples require decomposition, extraction, separation and manipulation, application of newer more sophisticated sample handling systems are emerging that enable ultra-trace analysis and species manipulation. In addition, new instrumentation has emerged which integrate sample preparation and analysis to enable on-line near real-time analysis. Examples of those newer sample-handling methods will be discussed and current examples provided as alternatives to traditional sample handling. Two new techniques applying ultra-trace microwave energy enhanced sample handling have been developed that permit sample separation and refinement while performing species manipulation during decomposition. A demonstration, that applies to semiconductor materials, will be presented. Next, a new approach to the old problem of sample evaporation without losses will be demonstrated that is capable of retaining all elements and species tested. Both of those methods require microwave energy manipulation in specialized systems and are not accessible through convection, conduction, or other traditional energy applications. A new automated integrated method for handling samples for ultra-trace analysis has been developed. An on-line near real-time measurement system will be described that enables many new automated sample handling and measurement capabilities. This

  16. Automated cellular sample preparation using a Centrifuge-on-a-Chip.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mach, Albert J; Kim, Jae Hyun; Arshi, Armin; Hur, Soojung Claire; Di Carlo, Dino

    2011-09-07

    The standard centrifuge is a laboratory instrument widely used by biologists and medical technicians for preparing cell samples. Efforts to automate the operations of concentration, cell separation, and solution exchange that a centrifuge performs in a simpler and smaller platform have had limited success. Here, we present a microfluidic chip that replicates the functions of a centrifuge without moving parts or external forces. The device operates using a purely fluid dynamic phenomenon in which cells selectively enter and are maintained in microscale vortices. Continuous and sequential operation allows enrichment of cancer cells from spiked blood samples at the mL min(-1) scale, followed by fluorescent labeling of intra- and extra-cellular antigens on the cells without the need for manual pipetting and washing steps. A versatile centrifuge-analogue may open opportunities in automated, low-cost and high-throughput sample preparation as an alternative to the standard benchtop centrifuge in standardized clinical diagnostics or resource poor settings.

  17. Automated SEM and TEM sample preparation applied to copper/low k materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, R.; Shaapur, F.; Griffiths, D.; Diebold, A. C.; Foran, B.; Raz, E.

    2001-01-01

    We describe the use of automated microcleaving for preparation of both SEM and TEM samples as done by SELA's new MC500 and TEMstation tools. The MC500 is an automated microcleaving tool that is capable of producing cleaves with 0.25 μm accuracy resulting in SEM-ready samples. The TEMstation is capable of taking a sample output from the MC500 (or from SELA's earlier MC200 tool) and producing a FIB ready slice of 25±5 μm, mounted on a TEM-washer and ready for FIB thinning to electron transparency for TEM analysis. The materials selected for the tool set evaluation mainly included the Cu/TaN/HOSP low-k system. The paper is divided into three sections, experimental approach, SEM preparation and analysis of HOSP low-k, and TEM preparation and analysis of Cu/TaN/HOSP low-k samples. For the samples discussed, data is presented to show the quality of preparation provided by these new automated tools.

  18. Current status and future prospects of an automated sample exchange system PAM for protein crystallography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiraki, M.; Yamada, Y.; Chavas, L. M. G.; Matsugaki, N.; Igarashi, N.; Wakatsuki, S.

    2013-03-01

    To achieve fully-automated and/or remote data collection in high-throughput X-ray experiments, the Structural Biology Research Centre at the Photon Factory (PF) has installed PF automated mounting system (PAM) for sample exchange robots at PF macromolecular crystallography beamlines BL-1A, BL-5A, BL-17A, AR-NW12A and AR-NE3A. We are upgrading the experimental systems, including the PAM for stable and efficient operation. To prevent human error in automated data collection, we installed a two-dimensional barcode reader for identification of the cassettes and sample pins. Because no liquid nitrogen pipeline in the PF experimental hutch is installed, the users commonly add liquid nitrogen using a small Dewar. To address this issue, an automated liquid nitrogen filling system that links a 100-liter tank to the robot Dewar has been installed on the PF macromolecular beamline. Here we describe this new implementation, as well as future prospects.

  19. Automated LSA Assessment of Summaries in Distance Education: Some Variables to Be Considered

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorge-Botana, Guillermo; Luzón, José M.; Gómez-Veiga, Isabel; Martín-Cordero, Jesús I.

    2015-01-01

    A latent semantic analysis-based automated summary assessment is described; this automated system is applied to a real learning from text task in a Distance Education context. We comment on the use of automated content, plagiarism, text coherence measures, and word weights average and their impact on predicting human judges summary scoring. A…

  20. Assessing Working Memory in Spanish-Speaking Children: Automated Working Memory Assessment Battery Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Injoque-Ricle, Irene; Calero, Alejandra D.; Alloway, Tracy P.; Burin, Debora I.

    2011-01-01

    The Automated Working Memory Assessment battery was designed to assess verbal and visuospatial passive and active working memory processing in children and adolescents. The aim of this paper is to present the adaptation and validation of the AWMA battery to Argentinean Spanish-speaking children aged 6 to 11 years. Verbal subtests were adapted and…

  1. Design aspects of automation system for initial processing of fecal samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sawant, Pramilla D.; Prabhu, Supreetha P.; Suja, A.; Wankhede, Sonal; Chaudhary, Seema; Rao, D.D.; Pradeepkumar, K.S.; Das, A.P.; Badodkar, B.D.

    2014-01-01

    The procedure for initial handling of the fecal samples at Bioassay Lab., Trombay is as follows: overnight fecal samples are collected from the worker in a kit consisting of a polythene bag placed in a wide mouth polythene container closed with an inner lid and a screw cap. Occupational worker collects the sample in the polythene bag. On receiving the sample, the polythene container along with the sample is weighed, polythene bag containing fecal sample is lifted out of the container using a pair of tongs placed inside a crucible and ashed inside a muffle furnace at 450℃. After complete ashing, the crucible containing white ash is taken-up for further radiochemical processing. This paper describes the various steps in developing a prototype automated system for initial handling of fecal samples. The proposed system for handling and processing of fecal samples is proposed to automate the above. The system once developed will help eliminate manual intervention till the ashing stage and reduce the biological hazard involved in handling such samples mentioned procedure

  2. Security Measures in Automated Assessment System for Programming Courses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Šťastná

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available A desirable characteristic of programming code assessment is to provide the learner the most appropriate information regarding the code functionality as well as a chance to improve. This can be hardly achieved in case the number of learners is high (500 or more. In this paper we address the problem of risky code testing and availability of an assessment platform Arena, dealing with potential security risks when providing an automated assessment for a large set of source code. Looking at students’ programs as if they were potentially malicious inspired us to investigate separated execution environments, used by security experts for secure software analysis. The results also show that availability issues of our assessment platform can be conveniently resolved with task queues. A special attention is paid to Docker, a virtual container ensuring no risky code can affect the assessment system security. The assessment platform Arena enables to regularly, effectively and securely assess students' source code in various programming courses. In addition to that it is a motivating factor and helps students to engage in the educational process.

  3. Automated Clinical Assessment from Smart home-based Behavior Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawadi, Prafulla Nath; Cook, Diane Joyce; Schmitter-Edgecombe, Maureen

    2016-01-01

    Smart home technologies offer potential benefits for assisting clinicians by automating health monitoring and well-being assessment. In this paper, we examine the actual benefits of smart home-based analysis by monitoring daily behaviour in the home and predicting standard clinical assessment scores of the residents. To accomplish this goal, we propose a Clinical Assessment using Activity Behavior (CAAB) approach to model a smart home resident’s daily behavior and predict the corresponding standard clinical assessment scores. CAAB uses statistical features that describe characteristics of a resident’s daily activity performance to train machine learning algorithms that predict the clinical assessment scores. We evaluate the performance of CAAB utilizing smart home sensor data collected from 18 smart homes over two years using prediction and classification-based experiments. In the prediction-based experiments, we obtain a statistically significant correlation (r = 0.72) between CAAB-predicted and clinician-provided cognitive assessment scores and a statistically significant correlation (r = 0.45) between CAAB-predicted and clinician-provided mobility scores. Similarly, for the classification-based experiments, we find CAAB has a classification accuracy of 72% while classifying cognitive assessment scores and 76% while classifying mobility scores. These prediction and classification results suggest that it is feasible to predict standard clinical scores using smart home sensor data and learning-based data analysis. PMID:26292348

  4. Automatic sample changer control software for automation of neutron activation analysis process in Malaysian Nuclear Agency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yussup, N.; Ibrahim, M. M.; Rahman, N. A. A.; Mokhtar, M.; Salim, N. A. A.; Soh@Shaari, S. C.; Azman, A.; Lombigit, L.; Azman, A.; Omar, S. A.

    2018-01-01

    Most of the procedures in neutron activation analysis (NAA) process that has been established in Malaysian Nuclear Agency (Nuclear Malaysia) since 1980s were performed manually. These manual procedures carried out by the NAA laboratory personnel are time consuming and inefficient especially for sample counting and measurement process. The sample needs to be changed and the measurement software needs to be setup for every one hour counting time. Both of these procedures are performed manually for every sample. Hence, an automatic sample changer system (ASC) that consists of hardware and software is developed to automate sample counting process for up to 30 samples consecutively. This paper describes the ASC control software for NAA process which is designed and developed to control the ASC hardware and call GammaVision software for sample measurement. The software is developed by using National Instrument LabVIEW development package.

  5. Quantitative Vulnerability Assessment of Cyber Security for Distribution Automation Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaming Ye

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The distribution automation system (DAS is vulnerable to cyber-attacks due to the widespread use of terminal devices and standard communication protocols. On account of the cost of defense, it is impossible to ensure the security of every device in the DAS. Given this background, a novel quantitative vulnerability assessment model of cyber security for DAS is developed in this paper. In the assessment model, the potential physical consequences of cyber-attacks are analyzed from two levels: terminal device level and control center server level. Then, the attack process is modeled based on game theory and the relationships among different vulnerabilities are analyzed by introducing a vulnerability adjacency matrix. Finally, the application process of the proposed methodology is illustrated through a case study based on bus 2 of the Roy Billinton Test System (RBTS. The results demonstrate the reasonability and effectiveness of the proposed methodology.

  6. Non-Uniform Sampling and J-UNIO Automation for Efficient Protein NMR Structure Determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Didenko, Tatiana; Proudfoot, Andrew; Dutta, Samit Kumar; Serrano, Pedro; Wüthrich, Kurt

    2015-08-24

    High-resolution structure determination of small proteins in solution is one of the big assets of NMR spectroscopy in structural biology. Improvements in the efficiency of NMR structure determination by advances in NMR experiments and automation of data handling therefore attracts continued interest. Here, non-uniform sampling (NUS) of 3D heteronuclear-resolved [(1)H,(1)H]-NOESY data yielded two- to three-fold savings of instrument time for structure determinations of soluble proteins. With the 152-residue protein NP_372339.1 from Staphylococcus aureus and the 71-residue protein NP_346341.1 from Streptococcus pneumonia we show that high-quality structures can be obtained with NUS NMR data, which are equally well amenable to robust automated analysis as the corresponding uniformly sampled data. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  7. Automated image analysis for quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization with environmental samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Zhi; Pons, Marie Noëlle; Raskin, Lutgarde; Zilles, Julie L

    2007-05-01

    When fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analyses are performed with complex environmental samples, difficulties related to the presence of microbial cell aggregates and nonuniform background fluorescence are often encountered. The objective of this study was to develop a robust and automated quantitative FISH method for complex environmental samples, such as manure and soil. The method and duration of sample dispersion were optimized to reduce the interference of cell aggregates. An automated image analysis program that detects cells from 4',6'-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) micrographs and extracts the maximum and mean fluorescence intensities for each cell from corresponding FISH images was developed with the software Visilog. Intensity thresholds were not consistent even for duplicate analyses, so alternative ways of classifying signals were investigated. In the resulting method, the intensity data were divided into clusters using fuzzy c-means clustering, and the resulting clusters were classified as target (positive) or nontarget (negative). A manual quality control confirmed this classification. With this method, 50.4, 72.1, and 64.9% of the cells in two swine manure samples and one soil sample, respectively, were positive as determined with a 16S rRNA-targeted bacterial probe (S-D-Bact-0338-a-A-18). Manual counting resulted in corresponding values of 52.3, 70.6, and 61.5%, respectively. In two swine manure samples and one soil sample 21.6, 12.3, and 2.5% of the cells were positive with an archaeal probe (S-D-Arch-0915-a-A-20), respectively. Manual counting resulted in corresponding values of 22.4, 14.0, and 2.9%, respectively. This automated method should facilitate quantitative analysis of FISH images for a variety of complex environmental samples.

  8. Portable Automation of Static Chamber Sample Collection for Quantifying Soil Gas Flux

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davis, Morgan P.; Groh, Tyler A.; Parkin, Timothy B.; Williams, Ryan J.; Isenhart, Thomas M.; Hofmockel, Kirsten S.

    2018-01-01

    Quantification of soil gas flux using the static chamber method is labor intensive. The number of chambers that can be sampled is limited by the spacing between chambers and the availability of trained research technicians. An automated system for collecting gas samples from chambers in the field would eliminate the need for personnel to return to the chamber during a flux measurement period and would allow a single technician to sample multiple chambers simultaneously. This study describes Chamber Automated Sampling Equipment (FluxCASE) to collect and store chamber headspace gas samples at assigned time points for the measurement of soil gas flux. The FluxCASE design and operation is described, and the accuracy and precision of the FluxCASE system is evaluated. In laboratory measurements of nitrous oxide (N2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4) concentrations of a standardized gas mixture, coefficients of variation associated with automated and manual sample collection were comparable, indicating no loss of precision. In the field, soil gas fluxes measured from FluxCASEs were in agreement with manual sampling for both N2O and CO2. Slopes of regression equations were 1.01 for CO2 and 0.97 for N2O. The 95% confidence limits of the slopes of the regression lines included the value of one, indicating no bias. Additionally, an expense analysis found a cost recovery ranging from 0.6 to 2.2 yr. Implementing the FluxCASE system is an alternative to improve the efficiency of the static chamber method for measuring soil gas flux while maintaining the accuracy and precision of manual sampling.

  9. Automated aerosol sampling and analysis for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miley, H.S.; Bowyer, S.M.; Hubbard, C.W.; McKinnon, A.D.; Perkins, R.W.; Thompson, R.C.; Warner, R.A.

    1998-01-01

    Detecting nuclear debris from a nuclear weapon exploded in or substantially vented to the Earth's atmosphere constitutes the most certain indication that a violation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty has occurred. For this reason, a radionuclide portion of the International Monitoring System is being designed and implemented. The IMS will monitor aerosols and gaseous xenon isotopes to detect atmospheric and underground tests, respectively. An automated system, the Radionuclide Aerosol Sampler/Analyzer (RASA), has been developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to meet CTBT aerosol measurement requirements. This is achieved by the use of a novel sampling apparatus, a high-resolution germanium detector, and very sophisticated software. This system draws a large volume of air (∼ 20,000 m 3 /day), performs automated gamma-ray spectral measurements (MDC( 140 Ba) 3 ), and communicates this and other data to a central data facility. Automated systems offer the added benefit of rigid controls, easily implemented QA/QC procedures, and centralized depot maintenance and operation. Other types of automated communication include pull or push transmission of State-Of-Health data, commands, and configuration data. In addition, a graphical user interface, Telnet, and other interactive communications are supported over ordinary phone or network lines. This system has been the subject of a USAF commercialization effort to meet US CTBT monitoring commitments. It will also be available to other CTBT signatories and the monitoring community for various governmental, environmental, or commercial needs. The current status of the commercialization is discussed

  10. Mars Sample Return Architecture Assessment Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Centuori, S.; Hermosín, P.; Martín, J.; De Zaiacomo, G.; Colin, S.; Godfrey, A.; Myles, J.; Johnson, H.; Sachdev, T.; Ahmed, R.

    2018-04-01

    Current paper presents the results of ESA funded activity "Mars Sample Return Architecture Assessment Study" carried-out by DEIMOS Space, Lockheed Martin UK Ampthill, and MDA Corporation, where more than 500 mission design options have been studied.

  11. Highly Reproducible Automated Proteomics Sample Preparation Workflow for Quantitative Mass Spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Qin; Kowalski, Michael P; Mastali, Mitra; Parker, Sarah J; Sobhani, Kimia; van den Broek, Irene; Hunter, Christie L; Van Eyk, Jennifer E

    2018-01-05

    Sample preparation for protein quantification by mass spectrometry requires multiple processing steps including denaturation, reduction, alkylation, protease digestion, and peptide cleanup. Scaling these procedures for the analysis of numerous complex biological samples can be tedious and time-consuming, as there are many liquid transfer steps and timed reactions where technical variations can be introduced and propagated. We established an automated sample preparation workflow with a total processing time for 96 samples of 5 h, including a 2 h incubation with trypsin. Peptide cleanup is accomplished by online diversion during the LC/MS/MS analysis. In a selected reaction monitoring (SRM) assay targeting 6 plasma biomarkers and spiked β-galactosidase, mean intraday and interday cyclic voltammograms (CVs) for 5 serum and 5 plasma samples over 5 days were samples repeated on 3 separate days had total CVs below 20%. Similar results were obtained when the workflow was transferred to a second site: 93% of peptides had CVs below 20%. An automated trypsin digestion workflow yields uniformly processed samples in less than 5 h. Reproducible quantification of peptides was observed across replicates, days, instruments, and laboratory sites, demonstrating the broad applicability of this approach.

  12. Oak ridge national laboratory automated clean chemistry for bulk analysis of environmental swipe samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bostick, Debra A. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Hexel, Cole R. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Ticknor, Brian W. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Tevepaugh, Kayron N. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Metzger, Shalina C. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2016-11-01

    To shorten the lengthy and costly manual chemical purification procedures, sample preparation methods for mass spectrometry are being automated using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment. This addresses a serious need in the nuclear safeguards community to debottleneck the separation of U and Pu in environmental samples—currently performed by overburdened chemists—with a method that allows unattended, overnight operation. In collaboration with Elemental Scientific Inc., the prepFAST-MC2 was designed based on current COTS equipment that was modified for U/Pu separations utilizing Eichrom™ TEVA and UTEVA resins. Initial verification of individual columns yielded small elution volumes with consistent elution profiles and good recovery. Combined column calibration demonstrated ample separation without crosscontamination of the eluent. Automated packing and unpacking of the built-in columns initially showed >15% deviation in resin loading by weight, which can lead to inconsistent separations. Optimization of the packing and unpacking methods led to a reduction in the variability of the packed resin to less than 5% daily. The reproducibility of the automated system was tested with samples containing 30 ng U and 15 pg Pu, which were separated in a series with alternating reagent blanks. These experiments showed very good washout of both the resin and the sample from the columns as evidenced by low blank values. Analysis of the major and minor isotope ratios for U and Pu provided values well within data quality limits for the International Atomic Energy Agency. Additionally, system process blanks spiked with 233U and 244Pu tracers were separated using the automated system after it was moved outside of a clean room and yielded levels equivalent to clean room blanks, confirming that the system can produce high quality results without the need for expensive clean room infrastructure. Comparison of the amount of personnel time necessary for successful manual vs

  13. Fully Automated Deep Learning System for Bone Age Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hyunkwang; Tajmir, Shahein; Lee, Jenny; Zissen, Maurice; Yeshiwas, Bethel Ayele; Alkasab, Tarik K; Choy, Garry; Do, Synho

    2017-08-01

    Skeletal maturity progresses through discrete phases, a fact that is used routinely in pediatrics where bone age assessments (BAAs) are compared to chronological age in the evaluation of endocrine and metabolic disorders. While central to many disease evaluations, little has changed to improve the tedious process since its introduction in 1950. In this study, we propose a fully automated deep learning pipeline to segment a region of interest, standardize and preprocess input radiographs, and perform BAA. Our models use an ImageNet pretrained, fine-tuned convolutional neural network (CNN) to achieve 57.32 and 61.40% accuracies for the female and male cohorts on our held-out test images. Female test radiographs were assigned a BAA within 1 year 90.39% and within 2 years 98.11% of the time. Male test radiographs were assigned 94.18% within 1 year and 99.00% within 2 years. Using the input occlusion method, attention maps were created which reveal what features the trained model uses to perform BAA. These correspond to what human experts look at when manually performing BAA. Finally, the fully automated BAA system was deployed in the clinical environment as a decision supporting system for more accurate and efficient BAAs at much faster interpretation time (<2 s) than the conventional method.

  14. LAVA: a conceptual framework for automated risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, S.T.; Brown, D.C.; Erkkila, T.H.; FitzGerald, P.D.; Lim, J.J.; Massagli, L.; Phillips, J.R.; Tisinger, R.M.

    1986-01-01

    At the Los Alamos National Laboratory we are developing the framework for generating knowledge-based systems that perform automated risk analyses on an organization's assets. An organization's assets can be subdivided into tangible and intangible assets. Tangible assets include facilities, materiel, personnel, and time, while intangible assets include such factors as reputation, employee morale, and technical knowledge. The potential loss exposure of an asset is dependent upon the threats (both static and dynamic), the vulnerabilities in the mechanisms protecting the assets from the threats, and the consequences of the threats successfully exploiting the protective systems vulnerabilities. The methodology is based upon decision analysis, fuzzy set theory, natural-language processing, and event-tree structures. The Los Alamos Vulnerability and Risk Assessment (LAVA) methodology has been applied to computer security. LAVA is modeled using an interactive questionnaire in natural language and is fully automated on a personal computer. The program generates both summary reports for use by both management personnel and detailed reports for use by operations staff. LAVA has been in use by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the National Bureau of Standards for nearly two years and is presently under evaluation by other governmental agencies. 7 refs

  15. The Automated Assessment of Postural Stability: Balance Detection Algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Napoli, Alessandro; Glass, Stephen M; Tucker, Carole; Obeid, Iyad

    2017-12-01

    Impaired balance is a common indicator of mild traumatic brain injury, concussion and musculoskeletal injury. Given the clinical relevance of such injuries, especially in military settings, it is paramount to develop more accurate and reliable on-field evaluation tools. This work presents the design and implementation of the automated assessment of postural stability (AAPS) system, for on-field evaluations following concussion. The AAPS is a computer system, based on inexpensive off-the-shelf components and custom software, that aims to automatically and reliably evaluate balance deficits, by replicating a known on-field clinical test, namely, the Balance Error Scoring System (BESS). The AAPS main innovation is its balance error detection algorithm that has been designed to acquire data from a Microsoft Kinect ® sensor and convert them into clinically-relevant BESS scores, using the same detection criteria defined by the original BESS test. In order to assess the AAPS balance evaluation capability, a total of 15 healthy subjects (7 male, 8 female) were required to perform the BESS test, while simultaneously being tracked by a Kinect 2.0 sensor and a professional-grade motion capture system (Qualisys AB, Gothenburg, Sweden). High definition videos with BESS trials were scored off-line by three experienced observers for reference scores. AAPS performance was assessed by comparing the AAPS automated scores to those derived by three experienced observers. Our results show that the AAPS error detection algorithm presented here can accurately and precisely detect balance deficits with performance levels that are comparable to those of experienced medical personnel. Specifically, agreement levels between the AAPS algorithm and the human average BESS scores ranging between 87.9% (single-leg on foam) and 99.8% (double-leg on firm ground) were detected. Moreover, statistically significant differences in balance scores were not detected by an ANOVA test with alpha equal to 0

  16. Automated Prediction of Catalytic Mechanism and Rate Law Using Graph-Based Reaction Path Sampling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habershon, Scott

    2016-04-12

    In a recent article [ J. Chem. Phys. 2015 , 143 , 094106 ], we introduced a novel graph-based sampling scheme which can be used to generate chemical reaction paths in many-atom systems in an efficient and highly automated manner. The main goal of this work is to demonstrate how this approach, when combined with direct kinetic modeling, can be used to determine the mechanism and phenomenological rate law of a complex catalytic cycle, namely cobalt-catalyzed hydroformylation of ethene. Our graph-based sampling scheme generates 31 unique chemical products and 32 unique chemical reaction pathways; these sampled structures and reaction paths enable automated construction of a kinetic network model of the catalytic system when combined with density functional theory (DFT) calculations of free energies and resultant transition-state theory rate constants. Direct simulations of this kinetic network across a range of initial reactant concentrations enables determination of both the reaction mechanism and the associated rate law in an automated fashion, without the need for either presupposing a mechanism or making steady-state approximations in kinetic analysis. Most importantly, we find that the reaction mechanism which emerges from these simulations is exactly that originally proposed by Heck and Breslow; furthermore, the simulated rate law is also consistent with previous experimental and computational studies, exhibiting a complex dependence on carbon monoxide pressure. While the inherent errors of using DFT simulations to model chemical reactivity limit the quantitative accuracy of our calculated rates, this work confirms that our automated simulation strategy enables direct analysis of catalytic mechanisms from first principles.

  17. ALARA ASSESSMENT OF SETTLER SLUDGE SAMPLING METHODS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nelsen, L.A.

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this assessment is to compare underwater and above water settler sludge sampling methods to determine if the added cost for underwater sampling for the sole purpose of worker dose reductions is justified. Initial planning for sludge sampling included container, settler and knock-out-pot (KOP) sampling. Due to the significantly higher dose consequence of KOP sludge, a decision was made to sample KOP underwater to achieve worker dose reductions. Additionally, initial plans were to utilize the underwater sampling apparatus for settler sludge. Since there are no longer plans to sample KOP sludge, the decision for underwater sampling for settler sludge needs to be revisited. The present sampling plan calls for spending an estimated $2,500,000 to design and construct a new underwater sampling system (per A21 C-PL-001 RevOE). This evaluation will compare and contrast the present method of above water sampling to the underwater method that is planned by the Sludge Treatment Project (STP) and determine if settler samples can be taken using the existing sampling cart (with potentially minor modifications) while maintaining doses to workers As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) and eliminate the need for costly redesigns, testing and personnel retraining

  18. ALARA ASSESSMENT OF SETTLER SLUDGE SAMPLING METHODS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NELSEN LA

    2009-01-30

    The purpose of this assessment is to compare underwater and above water settler sludge sampling methods to determine if the added cost for underwater sampling for the sole purpose of worker dose reductions is justified. Initial planning for sludge sampling included container, settler and knock-out-pot (KOP) sampling. Due to the significantly higher dose consequence of KOP sludge, a decision was made to sample KOP underwater to achieve worker dose reductions. Additionally, initial plans were to utilize the underwater sampling apparatus for settler sludge. Since there are no longer plans to sample KOP sludge, the decision for underwater sampling for settler sludge needs to be revisited. The present sampling plan calls for spending an estimated $2,500,000 to design and construct a new underwater sampling system (per A21 C-PL-001 RevOE). This evaluation will compare and contrast the present method of above water sampling to the underwater method that is planned by the Sludge Treatment Project (STP) and determine if settler samples can be taken using the existing sampling cart (with potentially minor modifications) while maintaining doses to workers As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) and eliminate the need for costly redesigns, testing and personnel retraining.

  19. Automated combustion accelerator mass spectrometry for the analysis of biomedical samples in the low attomole range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Duijn, Esther; Sandman, Hugo; Grossouw, Dimitri; Mocking, Johannes A J; Coulier, Leon; Vaes, Wouter H J

    2014-08-05

    The increasing role of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) in biomedical research necessitates modernization of the traditional sample handling process. AMS was originally developed and used for carbon dating, therefore focusing on a very high precision but with a comparably low sample throughput. Here, we describe the combination of automated sample combustion with an elemental analyzer (EA) online coupled to an AMS via a dedicated interface. This setup allows direct radiocarbon measurements for over 70 samples daily by AMS. No sample processing is required apart from the pipetting of the sample into a tin foil cup, which is placed in the carousel of the EA. In our system, up to 200 AMS analyses are performed automatically without the need for manual interventions. We present results on the direct total (14)C count measurements in <2 μL human plasma samples. The method shows linearity over a range of 0.65-821 mBq/mL, with a lower limit of quantification of 0.65 mBq/mL (corresponding to 0.67 amol for acetaminophen). At these extremely low levels of activity, it becomes important to quantify plasma specific carbon percentages. This carbon percentage is automatically generated upon combustion of a sample on the EA. Apparent advantages of the present approach include complete omission of sample preparation (reduced hands-on time) and fully automated sample analysis. These improvements clearly stimulate the standard incorporation of microtracer research in the drug development process. In combination with the particularly low sample volumes required and extreme sensitivity, AMS strongly improves its position as a bioanalysis method.

  20. Automation of Sample Transfer and Counting on Fast Neutron ActivationSystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dewita; Budi-Santoso; Darsono

    2000-01-01

    The automation of sample transfer and counting were the transfer processof the sample to the activation and counting place which have been done byswitch (manually) previously, than being developed by automaticallyprogrammed logic instructions. The development was done by constructed theelectronics hardware and software for that communication. Transfer timemeasurement is on seconds and was done automatically with an error 1.6 ms.The counting and activation time were decided by the user on seconds andminutes, the execution error on minutes was 8.2 ms. This development systemwill be possible for measuring short half live elements and cyclic activationprocesses. (author)

  1. Human mixed lymphocyte cultures. Evaluation of microculture technique utilizing the multiple automated sample harvester (MASH)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurman, G. B.; Strong, D. M.; Ahmed, A.; Green, S. S.; Sell, K. W.; Hartzman, R. J.; Bach, F. H.

    1973-01-01

    Use of lymphocyte cultures for in vitro studies such as pretransplant histocompatibility testing has established the need for standardization of this technique. A microculture technique has been developed that has facilitated the culturing of lymphocytes and increased the quantity of cultures feasible, while lowering the variation between replicate samples. Cultures were prepared for determination of tritiated thymidine incorporation using a Multiple Automated Sample Harvester (MASH). Using this system, the parameters that influence the in vitro responsiveness of human lymphocytes to allogeneic lymphocytes have been investigated. PMID:4271568

  2. LAVA: A conceptual framework for automated risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, S.T.; Brown, D.C.; Erkkila, T.H.; FitzGerald, P.D.; Lim, J.J.; Massagli, L.; Phillips, J.R.; Tisinger, R.M.

    1986-01-01

    At the Los Alamos National Laboratory the authors are developing the framework for generating knowledge-based systems that perform automated risk analyses on an organizations's assets. An organization's assets can be subdivided into tangible and intangible assets. Tangible assets include facilities, material, personnel, and time, while intangible assets include such factors as reputation, employee morale, and technical knowledge. The potential loss exposure of an asset is dependent upon the threats (both static and dynamic), the vulnerabilities in the mechanisms protecting the assets from the threats, and the consequences of the threats successfully exploiting the protective systems vulnerabilities. The methodology is based upon decision analysis, fuzzy set theory, natural language processing, and event tree structures. The Los Alamos Vulnerability and Risk Assessment (LAVA) methodology has been applied to computer security. The program generates both summary reports for use by both management personnel and detailed reports for use by operations staff

  3. Automated facility for analysis of soil samples by neutron activation, counting, and data control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Voegele, A.L.; Jesse, R.H.; Russell, W.L.; Baker, J.

    1978-01-01

    An automated facility remotely and automatically analyzes soil, water, and sediment samples for uranium. The samples travel through pneumatic tubes and switches to be first irradiated by neutrons and then counted for resulting neutron and gamma emission. Samples are loaded into special carriers, or rabbits, which are then automatically loaded into the pneumatic transfer system. The sample carriers have been previously coded with an identification number, which can be automatically read in the system. This number is used for correlating and filing data about the samples. The transfer system, counters, and identification system are controlled by a network of microprocessors. A master microprocessor initiates routines in other microprocessors assigned to specific tasks. The software in the microprocessors is unique for this type of application and lends flexibility to the system

  4. Fully automated gamma spectrometry gauge observing possible radioactive contamination of melting-shop samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kroos, J.; Westkaemper, G.; Stein, J.

    1999-01-01

    At Salzgitter AG, several monitoring systems have been installed to check the scrap transport by rail and by car. At the moment, the scrap transport by ship is reloaded onto wagons for monitoring afterwards. In the future, a detection system will be mounted onto a crane for a direct check on scrap upon the departure of ship. Furthermore, at Salzgitter AG Central Chemical Laboratory, a fully automated gamma spectrometry gauge is installed in order to observe a possible radioactive contamination of the products. The gamma spectrometer is integrated into the automated OE spectrometry line for testing melting shop samples after performing the OE spectrometry. With this technique the specific activity of selected nuclides and dose rate will be determined. The activity observation is part of the release procedure. The corresponding measurement data are stored in a database for quality management reasons. (author)

  5. Automated, Ultra-Sterile Solid Sample Handling and Analysis on a Chip

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, Maria F.; Stockton, Amanda M.; Willis, Peter A.

    2013-01-01

    There are no existing ultra-sterile lab-on-a-chip systems that can accept solid samples and perform complete chemical analyses without human intervention. The proposed solution is to demonstrate completely automated lab-on-a-chip manipulation of powdered solid samples, followed by on-chip liquid extraction and chemical analysis. This technology utilizes a newly invented glass micro-device for solid manipulation, which mates with existing lab-on-a-chip instrumentation. Devices are fabricated in a Class 10 cleanroom at the JPL MicroDevices Lab, and are plasma-cleaned before and after assembly. Solid samples enter the device through a drilled hole in the top. Existing micro-pumping technology is used to transfer milligrams of powdered sample into an extraction chamber where it is mixed with liquids to extract organic material. Subsequent chemical analysis is performed using portable microchip capillary electrophoresis systems (CE). These instruments have been used for ultra-highly sensitive (parts-per-trillion, pptr) analysis of organic compounds including amines, amino acids, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, and thiols. Fully autonomous amino acid analyses in liquids were demonstrated; however, to date there have been no reports of completely automated analysis of solid samples on chip. This approach utilizes an existing portable instrument that houses optics, high-voltage power supplies, and solenoids for fully autonomous microfluidic sample processing and CE analysis with laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) detection. Furthermore, the entire system can be sterilized and placed in a cleanroom environment for analyzing samples returned from extraterrestrial targets, if desired. This is an entirely new capability never demonstrated before. The ability to manipulate solid samples, coupled with lab-on-a-chip analysis technology, will enable ultraclean and ultrasensitive end-to-end analysis of samples that is orders of magnitude more sensitive than the ppb goal given

  6. Development and evaluation of an automated fall risk assessment system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ju Young; Jin, Yinji; Piao, Jinshi; Lee, Sun-Mi

    2016-04-01

    Fall risk assessment is the first step toward prevention, and a risk assessment tool with high validity should be used. This study aimed to develop and validate an automated fall risk assessment system (Auto-FallRAS) to assess fall risks based on electronic medical records (EMRs) without additional data collected or entered by nurses. This study was conducted in a 1335-bed university hospital in Seoul, South Korea. The Auto-FallRAS was developed using 4211 fall-related clinical data extracted from EMRs. Participants included fall patients and non-fall patients (868 and 3472 for the development study; 752 and 3008 for the validation study; and 58 and 232 for validation after clinical application, respectively). The system was evaluated for predictive validity and concurrent validity. The final 10 predictors were included in the logistic regression model for the risk-scoring algorithm. The results of the Auto-FallRAS were shown as high/moderate/low risk on the EMR screen. The predictive validity analyzed after clinical application of the Auto-FallRAS was as follows: sensitivity = 0.95, NPV = 0.97 and Youden index = 0.44. The validity of the Morse Fall Scale assessed by nurses was as follows: sensitivity = 0.68, NPV = 0.88 and Youden index = 0.28. This study found that the Auto-FallRAS results were better than were the nurses' predictions. The advantage of the Auto-FallRAS is that it automatically analyzes information and shows patients' fall risk assessment results without requiring additional time from nurses. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press in association with the International Society for Quality in Health Care; all rights reserved.

  7. Automated CBED processing: Sample thickness estimation based on analysis of zone-axis CBED pattern

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klinger, M., E-mail: klinger@post.cz; Němec, M.; Polívka, L.; Gärtnerová, V.; Jäger, A.

    2015-03-15

    An automated processing of convergent beam electron diffraction (CBED) patterns is presented. The proposed methods are used in an automated tool for estimating the thickness of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) samples by matching an experimental zone-axis CBED pattern with a series of patterns simulated for known thicknesses. The proposed tool detects CBED disks, localizes a pattern in detected disks and unifies the coordinate system of the experimental pattern with the simulated one. The experimental pattern is then compared disk-by-disk with a series of simulated patterns each corresponding to different known thicknesses. The thickness of the most similar simulated pattern is then taken as the thickness estimate. The tool was tested on [0 1 1] Si, [0 1 0] α-Ti and [0 1 1] α-Ti samples prepared using different techniques. Results of the presented approach were compared with thickness estimates based on analysis of CBED patterns in two beam conditions. The mean difference between these two methods was 4.1% for the FIB-prepared silicon samples, 5.2% for the electro-chemically polished titanium and 7.9% for Ar{sup +} ion-polished titanium. The proposed techniques can also be employed in other established CBED analyses. Apart from the thickness estimation, it can potentially be used to quantify lattice deformation, structure factors, symmetry, defects or extinction distance. - Highlights: • Automated TEM sample thickness estimation using zone-axis CBED is presented. • Computer vision and artificial intelligence are employed in CBED processing. • This approach reduces operator effort, analysis time and increases repeatability. • Individual parts can be employed in other analyses of CBED/diffraction pattern.

  8. New automated procedure to assess context recognition memory in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiss, David; Walter, Ondine; Bourgoin, Lucie; Kieffer, Brigitte L; Ouagazzal, Abdel-Mouttalib

    2014-11-01

    Recognition memory is an important aspect of human declarative memory and is one of the routine memory abilities altered in patients with amnestic syndrome and Alzheimer's disease. In rodents, recognition memory has been most widely assessed using the novel object preference paradigm, which exploits the spontaneous preference that animals display for novel objects. Here, we used nose-poke units instead of objects to design a simple automated method for assessing context recognition memory in mice. In the acquisition trial, mice are exposed for the first time to an operant chamber with one blinking nose-poke unit. In the choice session, a novel nonblinking nose-poke unit is inserted into an empty spatial location and the number of nose poking dedicated to each set of nose-poke unit is used as an index of recognition memory. We report that recognition performance varies as a function of the length of the acquisition period and the retention delay and is sensitive to conventional amnestic treatments. By manipulating the features of the operant chamber during a brief retrieval episode (3-min long), we further demonstrate that reconsolidation of the original contextual memory depends on the magnitude and the type of environmental changes introduced into the familiar spatial environment. These results show that the nose-poke recognition task provides a rapid and reliable way for assessing context recognition memory in mice and offers new possibilities for the deciphering of the brain mechanisms governing the reconsolidation process.

  9. An automated system for assessing cognitive function in any environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wesnes, Keith A.

    2005-05-01

    The Cognitive Drug Research (CDR) computerized assessment system has been in use in worldwide clinical trials for over 20 years. It is a computer based system which assesses core aspects of human cognitive function including attention, information, working memory and long-term memory. It has been extensively validated and can be performed by a wide range of clinical populations including patients with various types of dementia. It is currently in worldwide use in clinical trials to evaluate new medicines, as well as a variety of programs involving the effects of age, stressors illnesses and trauma upon human cognitive function. Besides being highly sensitive to drugs which will impair or improve function, its utility has been maintained over the last two decades by constantly increasing the number of platforms upon which it can operate. Besides notebook versions, the system can be used on a wrist worn device, PDA, via tht telephone and over the internet. It is the most widely used automated cognitive function assessment system in worldwide clinical research. It has dozens of parallel forms and requires little training to use or administer. The basic development of the system wil be identified, and the huge databases (normative, patient population, drug effects) which have been built up from hundreds of clinical trials will be described. The system is available for use in virtually any environment or type of trial.

  10. An Automated Summarization Assessment Algorithm for Identifying Summarizing Strategies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asad Abdi

    Full Text Available Summarization is a process to select important information from a source text. Summarizing strategies are the core cognitive processes in summarization activity. Since summarization can be important as a tool to improve comprehension, it has attracted interest of teachers for teaching summary writing through direct instruction. To do this, they need to review and assess the students' summaries and these tasks are very time-consuming. Thus, a computer-assisted assessment can be used to help teachers to conduct this task more effectively.This paper aims to propose an algorithm based on the combination of semantic relations between words and their syntactic composition to identify summarizing strategies employed by students in summary writing. An innovative aspect of our algorithm lies in its ability to identify summarizing strategies at the syntactic and semantic levels. The efficiency of the algorithm is measured in terms of Precision, Recall and F-measure. We then implemented the algorithm for the automated summarization assessment system that can be used to identify the summarizing strategies used by students in summary writing.

  11. Construction and calibration of a low cost and fully automated vibrating sample magnetometer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Alaily, T.M.; El-Nimr, M.K.; Saafan, S.A.; Kamel, M.M.; Meaz, T.M.; Assar, S.T.

    2015-01-01

    A low cost vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) has been constructed by using an electromagnet and an audio loud speaker; where both are controlled by a data acquisition device. The constructed VSM records the magnetic hysteresis loop up to 8.3 KG at room temperature. The apparatus has been calibrated and tested by using magnetic hysteresis data of some ferrite samples measured by two scientifically calibrated magnetometers; model (Lake Shore 7410) and model (LDJ Electronics Inc. Troy, MI). Our VSM lab-built new design proved success and reliability. - Highlights: • A low cost automated vibrating sample magnetometer VSM has been constructed. • The VSM records the magnetic hysteresis loop up to 8.3 KG at room temperature. • The VSM has been calibrated and tested by using some measured ferrite samples. • Our VSM lab-built new design proved success and reliability

  12. Construction and calibration of a low cost and fully automated vibrating sample magnetometer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    El-Alaily, T.M., E-mail: toson_alaily@yahoo.com [Physics Department, Faculty of Science, Tanta University, Tanta (Egypt); El-Nimr, M.K.; Saafan, S.A.; Kamel, M.M.; Meaz, T.M. [Physics Department, Faculty of Science, Tanta University, Tanta (Egypt); Assar, S.T. [Engineering Physics and Mathematics Department, Faculty of Engineering, Tanta University, Tanta (Egypt)

    2015-07-15

    A low cost vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) has been constructed by using an electromagnet and an audio loud speaker; where both are controlled by a data acquisition device. The constructed VSM records the magnetic hysteresis loop up to 8.3 KG at room temperature. The apparatus has been calibrated and tested by using magnetic hysteresis data of some ferrite samples measured by two scientifically calibrated magnetometers; model (Lake Shore 7410) and model (LDJ Electronics Inc. Troy, MI). Our VSM lab-built new design proved success and reliability. - Highlights: • A low cost automated vibrating sample magnetometer VSM has been constructed. • The VSM records the magnetic hysteresis loop up to 8.3 KG at room temperature. • The VSM has been calibrated and tested by using some measured ferrite samples. • Our VSM lab-built new design proved success and reliability.

  13. Validation of a fully automated robotic setup for preparation of whole blood samples for LC-MS toxicology analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, David Wederkinck; Rasmussen, Brian; Linnet, Kristian

    2012-01-01

    A fully automated setup was developed for preparing whole blood samples using a Tecan Evo workstation. By integrating several add-ons to the robotic platform, the flexible setup was able to prepare samples from sample tubes to a 96-well sample plate ready for injection on liquid chromatography...

  14. Temporal subtraction in chest radiography: Automated assessment of registration accuracy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Armato, Samuel G. III; Doshi, Devang J.; Engelmann, Roger; Croteau, Charles L.; MacMahon, Heber

    2006-01-01

    Radiologists routinely compare multiple chest radiographs acquired from the same patient over time to more completely understand changes in anatomy and pathology. While such comparisons are achieved conventionally through a side-by-side display of images, image registration techniques have been developed to combine information from two separate radiographic images through construction of a 'temporal subtraction image'. Although temporal subtraction images provide a powerful mechanism for the enhanced visualization of subtle change, errors in the clinical evaluation of these images may arise from misregistration artifacts that can mimic or obscure pathologic change. We have developed a computerized method for the automated assessment of registration accuracy as demonstrated in temporal subtraction images created from radiographic chest image pairs. The registration accuracy of 150 temporal subtraction images constructed from the computed radiography images of 72 patients was rated manually using a five-point scale ranging from '5-excellent' to '1-poor'; ratings of 3, 4, or 5 reflected clinically acceptable subtraction images, and ratings of 1 or 2 reflected clinically unacceptable images. Gray-level histogram-based features and texture measures are computed at multiple spatial scales within a 'lung mask' region that encompasses both lungs in the temporal subtraction images. A subset of these features is merged through a linear discriminant classifier. With a leave-one-out-by-patient training/testing paradigm, the automated method attained an A z value of 0.92 in distinguishing between temporal subtraction images that demonstrated clinically acceptable and clinically unacceptable registration accuracy. A second linear discriminant classifier yielded an A z value of 0.82 based on a feature subset selected from an independent database of digitized film images. These methods are expected to advance the clinical utility of temporal subtraction images for chest

  15. Automated sample preparation using membrane microtiter extraction for bioanalytical mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janiszewski, J; Schneider, P; Hoffmaster, K; Swyden, M; Wells, D; Fouda, H

    1997-01-01

    The development and application of membrane solid phase extraction (SPE) in 96-well microtiter plate format is described for the automated analysis of drugs in biological fluids. The small bed volume of the membrane allows elution of the analyte in a very small solvent volume, permitting direct HPLC injection and negating the need for the time consuming solvent evaporation step. A programmable liquid handling station (Quadra 96) was modified to automate all SPE steps. To avoid drying of the SPE bed and to enhance the analytical precision a novel protocol for performing the condition, load and wash steps in rapid succession was utilized. A block of 96 samples can now be extracted in 10 min., about 30 times faster than manual solvent extraction or single cartridge SPE methods. This processing speed complements the high-throughput speed of contemporary high performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (HPLC/MS) analysis. The quantitative analysis of a test analyte (Ziprasidone) in plasma demonstrates the utility and throughput of membrane SPE in combination with HPLC/MS. The results obtained with the current automated procedure compare favorably with those obtained using solvent and traditional solid phase extraction methods. The method has been used for the analysis of numerous drug prototypes in biological fluids to support drug discovery efforts.

  16. A new and standardized method to sample and analyse vitreous samples by the Cellient automated cell block system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Ginderdeuren, Rita; Van Calster, Joachim; Stalmans, Peter; Van den Oord, Joost

    2014-08-01

    In this prospective study, a universal protocol for sampling and analysing vitreous material was investigated. Vitreous biopsies are difficult to handle because of the paucity of cells and the gelatinous structure of the vitreous. Histopathological analysis of the vitreous is useful in difficult uveitis cases to differentiate uveitis from lymphoma or infection and to define the type of cellular reaction. Hundred consecutive vitreous samples were analysed with the Cellient tissue processor (Hologic). This machine is a fully automated processor starting from a specified container with PreservCyt (fixative fluid) with cells to paraffin. Cytology was compared with fixatives Cytolyt (contains a mucolyticum) and PreservCyt. Routine histochemical and immunostainings were evaluated. In 92% of the cases, sufficient material was found for diagnosis. In 14%, a Cytolyt wash was necessary to prevent clotting of the tubes in the Cellient due to the viscosity of the sample. In 23%, the diagnosis was an acute inflammation (presence of granulocytes); in 33%, chronic active inflammation (presence of T lymphocytes); in 33%, low-grade inflammation (presence of CD68 cells, without T lymphocytes); and in 3%, a malignant process. A standardized protocol for sampling and handling vitreous biopsies, fixing in PreservCyt and processing by the Cellient gives a satisfactory result in morphology, number of cells and possibility of immuno-histochemical stainings. The diagnosis can be established or confirmed in more than 90% of cases. © 2014 Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica Foundation. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Automated mango fruit assessment using fuzzy logic approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasan, Suzanawati Abu; Kin, Teoh Yeong; Sauddin@Sa'duddin, Suraiya; Aziz, Azlan Abdul; Othman, Mahmod; Mansor, Ab Razak; Parnabas, Vincent

    2014-06-01

    In term of value and volume of production, mango is the third most important fruit product next to pineapple and banana. Accurate size assessment of mango fruits during harvesting is vital to ensure that they are classified to the grade accordingly. However, the current practice in mango industry is grading the mango fruit manually using human graders. This method is inconsistent, inefficient and labor intensive. In this project, a new method of automated mango size and grade assessment is developed using RGB fiber optic sensor and fuzzy logic approach. The calculation of maximum, minimum and mean values based on RGB fiber optic sensor and the decision making development using minimum entropy formulation to analyse the data and make the classification for the mango fruit. This proposed method is capable to differentiate three different grades of mango fruit automatically with 77.78% of overall accuracy compared to human graders sorting. This method was found to be helpful for the application in the current agricultural industry.

  18. Automated cell counts on CSF samples: A multicenter performance evaluation of the GloCyte system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hod, E A; Brugnara, C; Pilichowska, M; Sandhaus, L M; Luu, H S; Forest, S K; Netterwald, J C; Reynafarje, G M; Kratz, A

    2018-02-01

    Automated cell counters have replaced manual enumeration of cells in blood and most body fluids. However, due to the unreliability of automated methods at very low cell counts, most laboratories continue to perform labor-intensive manual counts on many or all cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples. This multicenter clinical trial investigated if the GloCyte System (Advanced Instruments, Norwood, MA), a recently FDA-approved automated cell counter, which concentrates and enumerates red blood cells (RBCs) and total nucleated cells (TNCs), is sufficiently accurate and precise at very low cell counts to replace all manual CSF counts. The GloCyte System concentrates CSF and stains RBCs with fluorochrome-labeled antibodies and TNCs with nucleic acid dyes. RBCs and TNCs are then counted by digital image analysis. Residual adult and pediatric CSF samples obtained for clinical analysis at five different medical centers were used for the study. Cell counts were performed by the manual hemocytometer method and with the GloCyte System following the same protocol at all sites. The limits of the blank, detection, and quantitation, as well as precision and accuracy of the GloCyte, were determined. The GloCyte detected as few as 1 TNC/μL and 1 RBC/μL, and reliably counted as low as 3 TNCs/μL and 2 RBCs/μL. The total coefficient of variation was less than 20%. Comparison with cell counts obtained with a hemocytometer showed good correlation (>97%) between the GloCyte and the hemocytometer, including at very low cell counts. The GloCyte instrument is a precise, accurate, and stable system to obtain red cell and nucleated cell counts in CSF samples. It allows for the automated enumeration of even very low cell numbers, which is crucial for CSF analysis. These results suggest that GloCyte is an acceptable alternative to the manual method for all CSF samples, including those with normal cell counts. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Automated processing of forensic casework samples using robotic workstations equipped with nondisposable tips: contamination prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frégeau, Chantal J; Lett, C Marc; Elliott, Jim; Yensen, Craig; Fourney, Ron M

    2008-05-01

    An automated process has been developed for the analysis of forensic casework samples using TECAN Genesis RSP 150/8 or Freedom EVO liquid handling workstations equipped exclusively with nondisposable tips. Robot tip cleaning routines have been incorporated strategically within the DNA extraction process as well as at the end of each session. Alternative options were examined for cleaning the tips and different strategies were employed to verify cross-contamination. A 2% sodium hypochlorite wash (1/5th dilution of the 10.8% commercial bleach stock) proved to be the best overall approach for preventing cross-contamination of samples processed using our automated protocol. The bleach wash steps do not adversely impact the short tandem repeat (STR) profiles developed from DNA extracted robotically and allow for major cost savings through the implementation of fixed tips. We have demonstrated that robotic workstations equipped with fixed pipette tips can be used with confidence with properly designed tip washing routines to process casework samples using an adapted magnetic bead extraction protocol.

  20. SAMPL4 & DOCK3.7: lessons for automated docking procedures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, Ryan G.; Sterling, Teague; Weiss, Dahlia R.

    2014-03-01

    The SAMPL4 challenges were used to test current automated methods for solvation energy, virtual screening, pose and affinity prediction of the molecular docking pipeline DOCK 3.7. Additionally, first-order models of binding affinity were proposed as milestones for any method predicting binding affinity. Several important discoveries about the molecular docking software were made during the challenge: (1) Solvation energies of ligands were five-fold worse than any other method used in SAMPL4, including methods that were similarly fast, (2) HIV Integrase is a challenging target, but automated docking on the correct allosteric site performed well in terms of virtual screening and pose prediction (compared to other methods) but affinity prediction, as expected, was very poor, (3) Molecular docking grid sizes can be very important, serious errors were discovered with default settings that have been adjusted for all future work. Overall, lessons from SAMPL4 suggest many changes to molecular docking tools, not just DOCK 3.7, that could improve the state of the art. Future difficulties and projects will be discussed.

  1. Rapid and Automated Determination of Plutonium and Neptunium in Environmental Samples

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Qiao, Jixin

    This thesis presents improved analytical methods for rapid and automated determination of plutonium and neptunium in environmental samples using sequential injection (SI) based chromatography and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The progress of methodology development...... and optimization for rapid determination of plutonium in environmental samples using SIextraction chromatography prior to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (Paper III); (3) Development of an SI-chromatographic method for simultaneous determination of plutonium and neptunium in environmental samples...... for rapid and simultaneous determination of plutonium and neptunium within an SI system (Paper VI). The results demonstrate that the developed methods in this study are reliable and efficient for accurate assays of trace levels of plutonium and neptunium as demanded in different situations including...

  2. Automation of workplace lifting hazard assessment for musculoskeletal injury prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spector, June T; Lieblich, Max; Bao, Stephen; McQuade, Kevin; Hughes, Margaret

    2014-01-01

    such as task frequency in an automated fashion, although these findings should be confirmed in a larger study. Further work is needed to incorporate force assessments and address workplace feasibility challenges. We anticipate that this approach could ultimately be used to perform large-scale musculoskeletal exposure assessment not only for research but also to provide real-time feedback to workers and employers during work method improvement activities and employee training.

  3. An Energy Efficient Adaptive Sampling Algorithm in a Sensor Network for Automated Water Quality Monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shu, Tongxin; Xia, Min; Chen, Jiahong; Silva, Clarence de

    2017-11-05

    Power management is crucial in the monitoring of a remote environment, especially when long-term monitoring is needed. Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind may be harvested to sustain a monitoring system. However, without proper power management, equipment within the monitoring system may become nonfunctional and, as a consequence, the data or events captured during the monitoring process will become inaccurate as well. This paper develops and applies a novel adaptive sampling algorithm for power management in the automated monitoring of the quality of water in an extensive and remote aquatic environment. Based on the data collected on line using sensor nodes, a data-driven adaptive sampling algorithm (DDASA) is developed for improving the power efficiency while ensuring the accuracy of sampled data. The developed algorithm is evaluated using two distinct key parameters, which are dissolved oxygen (DO) and turbidity. It is found that by dynamically changing the sampling frequency, the battery lifetime can be effectively prolonged while maintaining a required level of sampling accuracy. According to the simulation results, compared to a fixed sampling rate, approximately 30.66% of the battery energy can be saved for three months of continuous water quality monitoring. Using the same dataset to compare with a traditional adaptive sampling algorithm (ASA), while achieving around the same Normalized Mean Error (NME), DDASA is superior in saving 5.31% more battery energy.

  4. An Energy Efficient Adaptive Sampling Algorithm in a Sensor Network for Automated Water Quality Monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tongxin Shu

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Power management is crucial in the monitoring of a remote environment, especially when long-term monitoring is needed. Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind may be harvested to sustain a monitoring system. However, without proper power management, equipment within the monitoring system may become nonfunctional and, as a consequence, the data or events captured during the monitoring process will become inaccurate as well. This paper develops and applies a novel adaptive sampling algorithm for power management in the automated monitoring of the quality of water in an extensive and remote aquatic environment. Based on the data collected on line using sensor nodes, a data-driven adaptive sampling algorithm (DDASA is developed for improving the power efficiency while ensuring the accuracy of sampled data. The developed algorithm is evaluated using two distinct key parameters, which are dissolved oxygen (DO and turbidity. It is found that by dynamically changing the sampling frequency, the battery lifetime can be effectively prolonged while maintaining a required level of sampling accuracy. According to the simulation results, compared to a fixed sampling rate, approximately 30.66% of the battery energy can be saved for three months of continuous water quality monitoring. Using the same dataset to compare with a traditional adaptive sampling algorithm (ASA, while achieving around the same Normalized Mean Error (NME, DDASA is superior in saving 5.31% more battery energy.

  5. Robowell: An automated process for monitoring ground water quality using established sampling protocols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granato, G.E.; Smith, K.P.

    1999-01-01

    Robowell is an automated process for monitoring selected ground water quality properties and constituents by pumping a well or multilevel sampler. Robowell was developed and tested to provide a cost-effective monitoring system that meets protocols expected for manual sampling. The process uses commercially available electronics, instrumentation, and hardware, so it can be configured to monitor ground water quality using the equipment, purge protocol, and monitoring well design most appropriate for the monitoring site and the contaminants of interest. A Robowell prototype was installed on a sewage treatment plant infiltration bed that overlies a well-studied unconfined sand and gravel aquifer at the Massachusetts Military Reservation, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, during a time when two distinct plumes of constituents were released. The prototype was operated from May 10 to November 13, 1996, and quality-assurance/quality-control measurements demonstrated that the data obtained by the automated method was equivalent to data obtained by manual sampling methods using the same sampling protocols. Water level, specific conductance, pH, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, and dissolved ammonium were monitored by the prototype as the wells were purged according to U.S Geological Survey (USGS) ground water sampling protocols. Remote access to the data record, via phone modem communications, indicated the arrival of each plume over a few days and the subsequent geochemical reactions over the following weeks. Real-time availability of the monitoring record provided the information needed to initiate manual sampling efforts in response to changes in measured ground water quality, which proved the method and characterized the screened portion of the plume in detail through time. The methods and the case study described are presented to document the process for future use.

  6. A proposed protocol for remote control of automated assessment devices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kissock, P.S.; Pritchard, D.A.

    1996-01-01

    Systems and devices that are controlled remotely are becoming more common in security systems in the US Air Force and other government agencies to provide protection of valuable assets. These systems reduce the number of needed personnel while still providing a high level of protection. However, each remotely controlled device usually has its own communication protocol. This limits the ability to change devices without changing the system that provides the communications control to the device. Sandia is pursuing a standard protocol that can be used to communicate with the different devices currently in use, or may be used in the future, in the US Air Force and other government agencies throughout the security community. Devices to be controlled include intelligent pan/tilt mounts, day/night video cameras, thermal imaging cameras, and remote data processors. Important features of this protocol include the ability to send messages of varying length, identify the sender, and more importantly, control remote data processors. This paper describes the proposed public domain protocol, features, and examples of use. The authors hope to elicit comments from security technology developers regarding format and use of remotely controlled automated assessment devices

  7. Automated Clean Chemistry for Bulk Analysis of Environmental Swipe Samples - FY17 Year End Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ticknor, Brian W. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Metzger, Shalina C. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); McBay, Eddy H. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Hexel, Cole R. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Tevepaugh, Kayron N. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Bostick, Debra A. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2017-11-30

    Sample preparation methods for mass spectrometry are being automated using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment to shorten lengthy and costly manual chemical purification procedures. This development addresses a serious need in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Network of Analytical Laboratories (IAEA NWAL) to increase efficiency in the Bulk Analysis of Environmental Samples for Safeguards program with a method that allows unattended, overnight operation. In collaboration with Elemental Scientific Inc., the prepFAST-MC2 was designed based on COTS equipment. It was modified for uranium/plutonium separations using renewable columns packed with Eichrom TEVA and UTEVA resins, with a chemical separation method based on the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) NWAL chemical procedure. The newly designed prepFAST-SR has had several upgrades compared with the original prepFAST-MC2. Both systems are currently installed in the Ultra-Trace Forensics Science Center at ORNL.

  8. Automated high-volume aerosol sampling station for environmental radiation monitoring

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toivonen, H.; Honkamaa, T.; Ilander, T.; Leppaenen, A.; Nikkinen, M.; Poellaenen, R.; Ylaetalo, S.

    1998-07-01

    An automated high-volume aerosol sampling station, known as CINDERELLA.STUK, for environmental radiation monitoring has been developed by the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK), Finland. The sample is collected on a glass fibre filter (attached into a cassette), the airflow through the filter is 800 m 3 /h at maximum. During the sampling, the filter is continuously monitored with Na(I) scintillation detectors. After the sampling, the large filter is automatically cut into 15 pieces that form a small sample and after ageing, the pile of filter pieces is moved onto an HPGe detector. These actions are performed automatically by a robot. The system is operated at a duty cycle of 1 d sampling, 1 d decay and 1 d counting. Minimum detectable concentrations of radionuclides in air are typically 1Ae10 x 10 -6 Bq/m 3 . The station is equipped with various sensors to reveal unauthorized admittance. These sensors can be monitored remotely in real time via Internet or telephone lines. The processes and operation of the station are monitored and partly controlled by computer. The present approach fulfils the requirements of CTBTO for aerosol monitoring. The concept suits well for nuclear material safeguards, too

  9. Avaliação da sensibilidade dolorosa e fatores envolvidos na qualidade da amostra citológica do fluxo papilar: resultados preliminares da utilização de sistema automatizado de coleta Assessment of pain sensitivity and factors involved in the quality of the sample fluid cytologic papillary: preliminary results from the use of automated collection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Roberto Filassi

    2010-10-01

    production of papillary fluid patient age, smoking habit, previous breast surgery, parity, breastfeeding, menopausal status and age at menarche. All material collected was fixed in appropriate place, and sent separately for cytological analysis. The painful sensitivity of the collection procedure was assessed using the Borg Category-Ratio Scale (CR10 Scale. RESULTS: patient age ranged from 22 to 59 years, mean 41.6±8.6 years. Of the 50 patients, 20 (40% showed no papillary fluid suitable for analysis in the breasts. In those patients from whom appropriate fluid was obtained for analysis of papillary cytology, parity was inversely related to the ability to obtain suitable cell samples with a level of statistical significance of p=0.035, OR=0.0032 (95%CI=0.0001-0.1388. Regarding soreness, the exam was well tolerated. CONCLUSIONS: the automated method of fluid collection for analysis of papillary cytology was well tolerated by the women; thus producing analyzable material in 60% of cases, a rate was inversely related to parity.

  10. Fully Automated Laser Ablation Liquid Capture Sample Analysis using NanoElectrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lorenz, Matthias [ORNL; Ovchinnikova, Olga S [ORNL; Van Berkel, Gary J [ORNL

    2014-01-01

    RATIONALE: Laser ablation provides for the possibility of sampling a large variety of surfaces with high spatial resolution. This type of sampling when employed in conjunction with liquid capture followed by nanoelectrospray ionization provides the opportunity for sensitive and prolonged interrogation of samples by mass spectrometry as well as the ability to analyze surfaces not amenable to direct liquid extraction. METHODS: A fully automated, reflection geometry, laser ablation liquid capture spot sampling system was achieved by incorporating appropriate laser fiber optics and a focusing lens into a commercially available, liquid extraction surface analysis (LESA ) ready Advion TriVersa NanoMate system. RESULTS: Under optimized conditions about 10% of laser ablated material could be captured in a droplet positioned vertically over the ablation region using the NanoMate robot controlled pipette. The sampling spot size area with this laser ablation liquid capture surface analysis (LA/LCSA) mode of operation (typically about 120 m x 160 m) was approximately 50 times smaller than that achievable by direct liquid extraction using LESA (ca. 1 mm diameter liquid extraction spot). The set-up was successfully applied for the analysis of ink on glass and paper as well as the endogenous components in Alstroemeria Yellow King flower petals. In a second mode of operation with a comparable sampling spot size, termed laser ablation/LESA , the laser system was used to drill through, penetrate, or otherwise expose material beneath a solvent resistant surface. Once drilled, LESA was effective in sampling soluble material exposed at that location on the surface. CONCLUSIONS: Incorporating the capability for different laser ablation liquid capture spot sampling modes of operation into a LESA ready Advion TriVersa NanoMate enhanced the spot sampling spatial resolution of this device and broadened the surface types amenable to analysis to include absorbent and solvent resistant

  11. MICROBIOLOGICAL MONITORING AND AUTOMATED EVENT SAMPLING AT KARST SPRINGS USING LEO-SATELLITES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stadler, Hermann; Skritek, Paul; Sommer, Regina; Mach, Robert L.; Zerobin, Wolfgang; Farnleitner, Andreas H.

    2010-01-01

    Data communication via Low-Earth-Orbit Satellites between portable hydro-meteorological measuring stations is the backbone of our system. This networking allows automated event sampling with short time increments also for E.coli field analysis. All activities of the course of the event-sampling can be observed on an internet platform based on a Linux-Server. Conventionally taken samples by hand compared with the auto-sampling procedure revealed corresponding results and were in agreement to the ISO 9308-1 reference method. E.coli concentrations were individually corrected by event specific die-off rates (0.10–0.14 day−1) compensating losses due to sample storage at spring temperature in the auto sampler. Two large summer events 2005/2006 at a large alpine karst spring (LKAS2) were monitored including detailed analysis of E.coli dynamics (n = 271) together with comprehensive hydrological characterisations. High resolution time series demonstrated a sudden increase of E.coli concentrations in spring water (approx. 2 log10 units) with a specific time delay after the beginning of the event. Statistical analysis suggested the spectral absorbent coefficient measured at 254nm (SAC254) as an early warning surrogate for real time monitoring of faecal input. Together with the LEO-Satellite based system it is a helpful tool for Early-Warning-Systems in the field of drinking water protection. PMID:18776628

  12. Artificial Neural Network for Total Laboratory Automation to Improve the Management of Sample Dilution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ialongo, Cristiano; Pieri, Massimo; Bernardini, Sergio

    2017-02-01

    Diluting a sample to obtain a measure within the analytical range is a common task in clinical laboratories. However, for urgent samples, it can cause delays in test reporting, which can put patients' safety at risk. The aim of this work is to show a simple artificial neural network that can be used to make it unnecessary to predilute a sample using the information available through the laboratory information system. Particularly, the Multilayer Perceptron neural network built on a data set of 16,106 cardiac troponin I test records produced a correct inference rate of 100% for samples not requiring predilution and 86.2% for those requiring predilution. With respect to the inference reliability, the most relevant inputs were the presence of a cardiac event or surgery and the result of the previous assay. Therefore, such an artificial neural network can be easily implemented into a total automation framework to sensibly reduce the turnaround time of critical orders delayed by the operation required to retrieve, dilute, and retest the sample.

  13. Automated MALDI Matrix Coating System for Multiple Tissue Samples for Imaging Mass Spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mounfield, William P.; Garrett, Timothy J.

    2012-03-01

    Uniform matrix deposition on tissue samples for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) is key for reproducible analyte ion signals. Current methods often result in nonhomogenous matrix deposition, and take time and effort to produce acceptable ion signals. Here we describe a fully-automated method for matrix deposition using an enclosed spray chamber and spray nozzle for matrix solution delivery. A commercial air-atomizing spray nozzle was modified and combined with solenoid controlled valves and a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) to control and deliver the matrix solution. A spray chamber was employed to contain the nozzle, sample, and atomized matrix solution stream, and to prevent any interference from outside conditions as well as allow complete control of the sample environment. A gravity cup was filled with MALDI matrix solutions, including DHB in chloroform/methanol (50:50) at concentrations up to 60 mg/mL. Various samples (including rat brain tissue sections) were prepared using two deposition methods (spray chamber, inkjet). A linear ion trap equipped with an intermediate-pressure MALDI source was used for analyses. Optical microscopic examination showed a uniform coating of matrix crystals across the sample. Overall, the mass spectral images gathered from tissues coated using the spray chamber system were of better quality and more reproducible than from tissue specimens prepared by the inkjet deposition method.

  14. ASSESSING SMALL SAMPLE WAR-GAMING DATASETS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. J. HURLEY

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available One of the fundamental problems faced by military planners is the assessment of changes to force structure. An example is whether to replace an existing capability with an enhanced system. This can be done directly with a comparison of measures such as accuracy, lethality, survivability, etc. However this approach does not allow an assessment of the force multiplier effects of the proposed change. To gauge these effects, planners often turn to war-gaming. For many war-gaming experiments, it is expensive, both in terms of time and dollars, to generate a large number of sample observations. This puts a premium on the statistical methodology used to examine these small datasets. In this paper we compare the power of three tests to assess population differences: the Wald-Wolfowitz test, the Mann-Whitney U test, and re-sampling. We employ a series of Monte Carlo simulation experiments. Not unexpectedly, we find that the Mann-Whitney test performs better than the Wald-Wolfowitz test. Resampling is judged to perform slightly better than the Mann-Whitney test.

  15. Automated DNA extraction platforms offer solutions to challenges of assessing microbial biofouling in oil production facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldham, Athenia L; Drilling, Heather S; Stamps, Blake W; Stevenson, Bradley S; Duncan, Kathleen E

    2012-11-20

    The analysis of microbial assemblages in industrial, marine, and medical systems can inform decisions regarding quality control or mitigation. Modern molecular approaches to detect, characterize, and quantify microorganisms provide rapid and thorough measures unbiased by the need for cultivation. The requirement of timely extraction of high quality nucleic acids for molecular analysis is faced with specific challenges when used to study the influence of microorganisms on oil production. Production facilities are often ill equipped for nucleic acid extraction techniques, making the preservation and transportation of samples off-site a priority. As a potential solution, the possibility of extracting nucleic acids on-site using automated platforms was tested. The performance of two such platforms, the Fujifilm QuickGene-Mini80™ and Promega Maxwell®16 was compared to a widely used manual extraction kit, MOBIO PowerBiofilm™ DNA Isolation Kit, in terms of ease of operation, DNA quality, and microbial community composition. Three pipeline biofilm samples were chosen for these comparisons; two contained crude oil and corrosion products and the third transported seawater. Overall, the two more automated extraction platforms produced higher DNA yields than the manual approach. DNA quality was evaluated for amplification by quantitative PCR (qPCR) and end-point PCR to generate 454 pyrosequencing libraries for 16S rRNA microbial community analysis. Microbial community structure, as assessed by DGGE analysis and pyrosequencing, was comparable among the three extraction methods. Therefore, the use of automated extraction platforms should enhance the feasibility of rapidly evaluating microbial biofouling at remote locations or those with limited resources.

  16. Automated biphasic morphological assessment of hepatitis B-related liver fibrosis using second harmonic generation microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tong-Hong; Chen, Tse-Ching; Teng, Xiao; Liang, Kung-Hao; Yeh, Chau-Ting

    2015-08-01

    Liver fibrosis assessment by biopsy and conventional staining scores is based on histopathological criteria. Variations in sample preparation and the use of semi-quantitative histopathological methods commonly result in discrepancies between medical centers. Thus, minor changes in liver fibrosis might be overlooked in multi-center clinical trials, leading to statistically non-significant data. Here, we developed a computer-assisted, fully automated, staining-free method for hepatitis B-related liver fibrosis assessment. In total, 175 liver biopsies were divided into training (n = 105) and verification (n = 70) cohorts. Collagen was observed using second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy without prior staining, and hepatocyte morphology was recorded using two-photon excitation fluorescence (TPEF) microscopy. The training cohort was utilized to establish a quantification algorithm. Eleven of 19 computer-recognizable SHG/TPEF microscopic morphological features were significantly correlated with the ISHAK fibrosis stages (P 0.82 for liver cirrhosis detection. Since no subjective gradings are needed, interobserver discrepancies could be avoided using this fully automated method.

  17. Assessment of sampling mortality of larval fishes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cada, G.F.; Hergenrader, G.L.

    1978-01-01

    A study was initiated to assess the mortality of larval fishes that were entrained in the condenser cooling systems of two nuclear power plants on the Missouri River in Nebraska. High mortalities were observed not only in the discharge collections but also in control samples taken upriver from the plants where no entrainment effects were possible. As a result, entrainment mortality generally could not be demonstrated. A technique was developed which indicated that (1) a significant portion of the observed mortality above the power plants was the result of net-induced sampling mortality, and (2) a direct relationship existed between observed mortality and water velocity in the nets when sampling at the control sites, which was described by linear regression equations. When these equations were subsequently used to remove the effects of wide differences in sampling velocities between control and discharge collections, significant entrainment mortality was noted in all cases. The equations were also used to derive estimates of the natural mortality of ichthyoplankton in this portion of the Missouri River

  18. Automated, feature-based image alignment for high-resolution imaging mass spectrometry of large biological samples

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Broersen, A.; Liere, van R.; Altelaar, A.F.M.; Heeren, R.M.A.; McDonnell, L.A.

    2008-01-01

    High-resolution imaging mass spectrometry of large biological samples is the goal of several research groups. In mosaic imaging, the most common method, the large sample is divided into a mosaic of small areas that are then analyzed with high resolution. Here we present an automated alignment

  19. Subjective and objective assessment of manual, supported, and automated vehicle control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vos, A.P. de; Godthelp, J.; Käppler, W.D.

    1998-01-01

    In this paper subjective and objective assessments of vehicle control are illustrated by means of ex-periments concerning manipulation of vehicle dynamics, driver support, and automated driving. Subjective ratings are discussed in relation to objective performance measures.

  20. Evaluation of Sample Stability and Automated DNA Extraction for Fetal Sex Determination Using Cell-Free Fetal DNA in Maternal Plasma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Ordoñez

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. The detection of paternally inherited sequences in maternal plasma, such as the SRY gene for fetal sexing or RHD for fetal blood group genotyping, is becoming part of daily routine in diagnostic laboratories. Due to the low percentage of fetal DNA, it is crucial to ensure sample stability and the efficiency of DNA extraction. We evaluated blood stability at 4°C for at least 24 hours and automated DNA extraction, for fetal sex determination in maternal plasma. Methods. A total of 158 blood samples were collected, using EDTA-K tubes, from women in their 1st trimester of pregnancy. Samples were kept at 4°C for at least 24 hours before processing. An automated DNA extraction was evaluated, and its efficiency was compared with a standard manual procedure. The SRY marker was used to quantify cfDNA by real-time PCR. Results. Although lower cfDNA amounts were obtained by automated DNA extraction (mean 107,35 GE/mL versus 259,43 GE/mL, the SRY sequence was successfully detected in all 108 samples from pregnancies with male fetuses. Conclusion. We successfully evaluated the suitability of standard blood tubes for the collection of maternal blood and assessed samples to be suitable for analysis at least 24 hours later. This would allow shipping to a central reference laboratory almost from anywhere in Europe.

  1. HT-COMET: a novel automated approach for high throughput assessment of human sperm chromatin quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albert, Océane; Reintsch, Wolfgang E.; Chan, Peter; Robaire, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    -manual analysis software. Using this method, a cross-sectional study on 123 men showed no significant correlation between sperm concentration and sperm DNA damage, confirming the existence of hidden chromatin damage in men with apparently normal semen characteristics, and a significant correlation between percentage DNA in the tail and percentage of progressively motile spermatozoa. Finally, the use of DNA damage profiles helped to distinguish subjects between and within sperm concentration categories, and allowed a determination of the proportion of highly damaged cells. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION The main limitations of the HT-COMET are the high, yet indispensable, investment in an automated liquid handling system and heating block to ensure accuracy, and the availability of an automated plate reading microscope and analysis software. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS This standardized HT-COMET assay offers many advantages, including higher accuracy and evenness due to automation of sensitive steps, a 14.4-fold increase in sample analysis capacity, and an imaging and scoring time of 1 min/well. Overall, HT-COMET offers a decrease in total experimental time of more than 90%. Hence, this assay constitutes a more efficient option to assess sperm chromatin quality, paves the way to using this assay to screen large cohorts, and holds prognostic value for infertile patients. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S) Funded by the CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH; RHF 100625). O.A. is a fellow supported by the Fonds de la Recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS) and the CIHR Training Program in Reproduction, Early Development, and the Impact on Health (REDIH). B.R. is a James McGill Professor. The authors declare no conflicts of interest. PMID:26975326

  2. Design and Development of a Robot-Based Automation System for Cryogenic Crystal Sample Mounting at the Advanced Photon Source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shu, D.; Preissner, C.; Nocher, D.; Han, Y.; Barraza, J.; Lee, P.; Lee, W.-K.; Cai, Z.; Ginell, S.; Alkire, R.; Lazarski, K.; Schuessler, R.; Joachimiak, A.

    2004-01-01

    X-ray crystallography is the primary method to determine the 3D structures of complex macromolecules at high resolution. In the years to come, the Advanced Photon Source (APS) and similar 3rd-generation synchrotron sources elsewhere will become the most powerful tools for studying atomic structures of biological molecules. One of the major bottlenecks in the x-ray data collection process is the constant need to change and realign the crystal sample. This is a very time- and manpower-consuming task. An automated sample mounting system will help to solve this bottleneck problem. We have developed a novel robot-based automation system for cryogenic crystal sample mounting at the APS. Design of the robot-based automation system, as well as its on-line test results at the Argonne Structural Biology Center (SBC) 19-BM experimental station, are presented in this paper

  3. Establishing a novel automated magnetic bead-based method for the extraction of DNA from a variety of forensic samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witt, Sebastian; Neumann, Jan; Zierdt, Holger; Gébel, Gabriella; Röscheisen, Christiane

    2012-09-01

    Automated systems have been increasingly utilized for DNA extraction by many forensic laboratories to handle growing numbers of forensic casework samples while minimizing the risk of human errors and assuring high reproducibility. The step towards automation however is not easy: The automated extraction method has to be very versatile to reliably prepare high yields of pure genomic DNA from a broad variety of sample types on different carrier materials. To prevent possible cross-contamination of samples or the loss of DNA, the components of the kit have to be designed in a way that allows for the automated handling of the samples with no manual intervention necessary. DNA extraction using paramagnetic particles coated with a DNA-binding surface is predestined for an automated approach. For this study, we tested different DNA extraction kits using DNA-binding paramagnetic particles with regard to DNA yield and handling by a Freedom EVO(®)150 extraction robot (Tecan) equipped with a Te-MagS magnetic separator. Among others, the extraction kits tested were the ChargeSwitch(®)Forensic DNA Purification Kit (Invitrogen), the PrepFiler™Automated Forensic DNA Extraction Kit (Applied Biosystems) and NucleoMag™96 Trace (Macherey-Nagel). After an extensive test phase, we established a novel magnetic bead extraction method based upon the NucleoMag™ extraction kit (Macherey-Nagel). The new method is readily automatable and produces high yields of DNA from different sample types (blood, saliva, sperm, contact stains) on various substrates (filter paper, swabs, cigarette butts) with no evidence of a loss of magnetic beads or sample cross-contamination. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Automated negotiation in environmental resource management: Review and assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eshragh, Faezeh; Pooyandeh, Majeed; Marceau, Danielle J

    2015-10-01

    Negotiation is an integral part of our daily life and plays an important role in resolving conflicts and facilitating human interactions. Automated negotiation, which aims at capturing the human negotiation process using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, is well-established in e-commerce, but its application in environmental resource management remains limited. This is due to the inherent uncertainties and complexity of environmental issues, along with the diversity of stakeholders' perspectives when dealing with these issues. The objective of this paper is to describe the main components of automated negotiation, review and compare machine learning techniques in automated negotiation, and provide a guideline for the selection of suitable methods in the particular context of stakeholders' negotiation over environmental resource issues. We advocate that automated negotiation can facilitate the involvement of stakeholders in the exploration of a plurality of solutions in order to reach a mutually satisfying agreement and contribute to informed decisions in environmental management along with the need for further studies to consolidate the potential of this modeling approach. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Assessment of Automated Driving Systems using real-life scenarios

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gelder, E. de; Paardekooper, J.P.

    2017-01-01

    More and more Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are entering the market for improving both safety and comfort by assisting the driver with their driving task. An important aspect in developing future ADAS and Automated Driving Systems (ADS) is testing and validation. Validating the failure

  6. Automating the Fireshed Assessment Process with ArcGIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alan Ager; Klaus Barber

    2006-01-01

    A library of macros was developed to automate the Fireshed process within ArcGIS. The macros link a number of vegetation simulation and wildfire behavior models (FVS, SVS, FARSITE, and FlamMap) with ESRI geodatabases, desktop software (Access, Excel), and ArcGIS. The macros provide for (1) an interactive linkage between digital imagery, vegetation data, FVS-FFE, and...

  7. A simple and automated sample preparation system for subsequent halogens determination: Combustion followed by pyrohydrolysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, L S F; Pedrotti, M F; Vecchia, P Dalla; Pereira, J S F; Flores, E M M

    2018-06-20

    A simple and automated system based on combustion followed by a pyrohydrolysis reaction was proposed for further halogens determination. This system was applied for digestion of soils containing high (90%) and also low (10%) organic matter content for further halogens determination. The following parameters were evaluated: sample mass, use of microcrystalline cellulose and heating time. For analytes absorption, a diluted alkaline solution (6 mL of 25 mmol L -1  NH 4 OH) was used in all experiments. Up to 400 mg of soil with high organic matter content and 100 mg of soil with low organic matter content (mixed with 400 mg of cellulose) could be completely digested using the proposed system. Quantitative results for all halogens were obtained using less than 12 min of sample preparation step (about 1.8 min for sample combustion and 10 min for pyrohydrolysis). The accuracy was evaluated using a certified reference material of coal and spiked samples. No statistical difference was observed between the certified values and results obtained by the proposed method. Additionally, the recoveries obtained using spiked samples were in the range of 98-103% with relative standard deviation values lower than 5%. The limits of quantification obtained for F, Cl, Br and I for soil with high (400 mg of soil) and low (100 mg of soil) organic matter were in the range of 0.01-2 μg g -1 and 0.07-59 μg g -1 , respectively. The proposed system was considered as a simple and suitable alternative for soils digestion for further halogens determination by ion chromatography and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry techniques. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. A user-friendly robotic sample preparation program for fully automated biological sample pipetting and dilution to benefit the regulated bioanalysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Hao; Ouyang, Zheng; Zeng, Jianing; Yuan, Long; Zheng, Naiyu; Jemal, Mohammed; Arnold, Mark E

    2012-06-01

    Biological sample dilution is a rate-limiting step in bioanalytical sample preparation when the concentrations of samples are beyond standard curve ranges, especially when multiple dilution factors are needed in an analytical run. We have developed and validated a Microsoft Excel-based robotic sample preparation program (RSPP) that automatically transforms Watson worklist sample information (identification, sequence and dilution factor) to comma-separated value (CSV) files. The Freedom EVO liquid handler software imports and transforms the CSV files to executable worklists (.gwl files), allowing the robot to perform sample dilutions at variable dilution factors. The dynamic dilution range is 1- to 1000-fold and divided into three dilution steps: 1- to 10-, 11- to 100-, and 101- to 1000-fold. The whole process, including pipetting samples, diluting samples, and adding internal standard(s), is accomplished within 1 h for two racks of samples (96 samples/rack). This platform also supports online sample extraction (liquid-liquid extraction, solid-phase extraction, protein precipitation, etc.) using 96 multichannel arms. This fully automated and validated sample dilution and preparation process has been applied to several drug development programs. The results demonstrate that application of the RSPP for fully automated sample processing is efficient and rugged. The RSPP not only saved more than 50% of the time in sample pipetting and dilution but also reduced human errors. The generated bioanalytical data are accurate and precise; therefore, this application can be used in regulated bioanalysis.

  9. Invention and validation of an automated camera system that uses optical character recognition to identify patient name mislabeled samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawker, Charles D; McCarthy, William; Cleveland, David; Messinger, Bonnie L

    2014-03-01

    Mislabeled samples are a serious problem in most clinical laboratories. Published error rates range from 0.39/1000 to as high as 1.12%. Standardization of bar codes and label formats has not yet achieved the needed improvement. The mislabel rate in our laboratory, although low compared with published rates, prompted us to seek a solution to achieve zero errors. To reduce or eliminate our mislabeled samples, we invented an automated device using 4 cameras to photograph the outside of a sample tube. The system uses optical character recognition (OCR) to look for discrepancies between the patient name in our laboratory information system (LIS) vs the patient name on the customer label. All discrepancies detected by the system's software then require human inspection. The system was installed on our automated track and validated with production samples. We obtained 1 009 830 images during the validation period, and every image was reviewed. OCR passed approximately 75% of the samples, and no mislabeled samples were passed. The 25% failed by the system included 121 samples actually mislabeled by patient name and 148 samples with spelling discrepancies between the patient name on the customer label and the patient name in our LIS. Only 71 of the 121 mislabeled samples detected by OCR were found through our normal quality assurance process. We have invented an automated camera system that uses OCR technology to identify potential mislabeled samples. We have validated this system using samples transported on our automated track. Full implementation of this technology offers the possibility of zero mislabeled samples in the preanalytic stage.

  10. Retention model for sorptive extraction-thermal desorption of aqueous samples : application to the automated analysis of pesticides and polyaromatic hydrocarbons in water samples

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baltussen, H.A.; David, F.; Sandra, P.J.F.; Janssen, J.G.M.; Cramers, C.A.M.G.

    1998-01-01

    In this report, an automated method for sorptive enrichment of aqueous samples is presented. It is based on sorption of the analytes of interest into a packed bed containing 100% polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) particles followed by thermal desorption for complete transfer of the enriched solutes onto

  11. Plasma cortisol and noradrenalin concentrations in pigs: automated sampling of freely moving pigs housed in PigTurn versus manually sampled and restrained pigs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minimizing the effects of restraint and human interaction on the endocrine physiology of animals is essential for collection of accurate physiological measurements. Our objective was to compare stress-induced cortisol (CORT) and noradrenalin (NorA) responses in automated versus manual blood sampling...

  12. Microassay for interferon, using [3H]uridine, microculture plates, and a multiple automated sample harvester.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richmond, J Y; Polatnick, J; Knudsen, R C

    1980-01-01

    A microassay for interferon is described which uses target cells grown in microculture wells, [3H]uridine to measure vesicular stomatitis virus replication in target cells, and a multiple automated sample harvester to collect the radioactively labeled viral ribonucleic acid onto glass fiber filter disks. The disks were placed in minivials, and radioactivity was counted in a liquid scintillation spectrophotometer. Interferon activity was calculated as the reciprocal of the highest titer which inhibited the incorporation of [3H]uridine into viral ribonucleic acid by 50%. Interferon titers determined by the microassay were similar to the plaque reduction assay when 100 plaque-forming units of challenge vesicular stomatitis virus was used. However, it was found that the interferon titers decreased approximately 2-fold for each 10-fold increase in the concentration of challenge vesicular stomatitis virus when tested in the range of 10(2) to 10(5) plaque-forming units. Interferon titers determined by the microassay show a high degree of repeatability, and the assay can be used to measure small and large numbers of interferon samples. PMID:6155105

  13. Automation and integration of multiplexed on-line sample preparation with capillary electrophoresis for DNA sequencing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tan, H.

    1999-03-31

    The purpose of this research is to develop a multiplexed sample processing system in conjunction with multiplexed capillary electrophoresis for high-throughput DNA sequencing. The concept from DNA template to called bases was first demonstrated with a manually operated single capillary system. Later, an automated microfluidic system with 8 channels based on the same principle was successfully constructed. The instrument automatically processes 8 templates through reaction, purification, denaturation, pre-concentration, injection, separation and detection in a parallel fashion. A multiplexed freeze/thaw switching principle and a distribution network were implemented to manage flow direction and sample transportation. Dye-labeled terminator cycle-sequencing reactions are performed in an 8-capillary array in a hot air thermal cycler. Subsequently, the sequencing ladders are directly loaded into a corresponding size-exclusion chromatographic column operated at {approximately} 60 C for purification. On-line denaturation and stacking injection for capillary electrophoresis is simultaneously accomplished at a cross assembly set at {approximately} 70 C. Not only the separation capillary array but also the reaction capillary array and purification columns can be regenerated after every run. DNA sequencing data from this system allow base calling up to 460 bases with accuracy of 98%.

  14. The Upgrade Programme for the Structural Biology beamlines at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility - High throughput sample evaluation and automation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theveneau, P.; Baker, R.; Barrett, R.; Beteva, A.; Bowler, M. W.; Carpentier, P.; Caserotto, H.; de Sanctis, D.; Dobias, F.; Flot, D.; Guijarro, M.; Giraud, T.; Lentini, M.; Leonard, G. A.; Mattenet, M.; McCarthy, A. A.; McSweeney, S. M.; Morawe, C.; Nanao, M.; Nurizzo, D.; Ohlsson, S.; Pernot, P.; Popov, A. N.; Round, A.; Royant, A.; Schmid, W.; Snigirev, A.; Surr, J.; Mueller-Dieckmann, C.

    2013-03-01

    Automation and advances in technology are the key elements in addressing the steadily increasing complexity of Macromolecular Crystallography (MX) experiments. Much of this complexity is due to the inter-and intra-crystal heterogeneity in diffraction quality often observed for crystals of multi-component macromolecular assemblies or membrane proteins. Such heterogeneity makes high-throughput sample evaluation an important and necessary tool for increasing the chances of a successful structure determination. The introduction at the ESRF of automatic sample changers in 2005 dramatically increased the number of samples that were tested for diffraction quality. This "first generation" of automation, coupled with advances in software aimed at optimising data collection strategies in MX, resulted in a three-fold increase in the number of crystal structures elucidated per year using data collected at the ESRF. In addition, sample evaluation can be further complemented using small angle scattering experiments on the newly constructed bioSAXS facility on BM29 and the micro-spectroscopy facility (ID29S). The construction of a second generation of automated facilities on the MASSIF (Massively Automated Sample Screening Integrated Facility) beam lines will build on these advances and should provide a paradigm shift in how MX experiments are carried out which will benefit the entire Structural Biology community.

  15. Assessment selection in human-automation interaction studies: The Failure-GAM2E and review of assessment methods for highly automated driving.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grane, Camilla

    2018-01-01

    Highly automated driving will change driver's behavioural patterns. Traditional methods used for assessing manual driving will only be applicable for the parts of human-automation interaction where the driver intervenes such as in hand-over and take-over situations. Therefore, driver behaviour assessment will need to adapt to the new driving scenarios. This paper aims at simplifying the process of selecting appropriate assessment methods. Thirty-five papers were reviewed to examine potential and relevant methods. The review showed that many studies still relies on traditional driving assessment methods. A new method, the Failure-GAM 2 E model, with purpose to aid assessment selection when planning a study, is proposed and exemplified in the paper. Failure-GAM 2 E includes a systematic step-by-step procedure defining the situation, failures (Failure), goals (G), actions (A), subjective methods (M), objective methods (M) and equipment (E). The use of Failure-GAM 2 E in a study example resulted in a well-reasoned assessment plan, a new way of measuring trust through feet movements and a proposed Optimal Risk Management Model. Failure-GAM 2 E and the Optimal Risk Management Model are believed to support the planning process for research studies in the field of human-automation interaction. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Safety assessment of automated vehicle functions by simulation-based fault injection

    OpenAIRE

    Juez, Garazi; Amparan, Estibaliz; Lattarulo, Ray; Rastelli, Joshue Perez; Ruiz, Alejandra; Espinoza, Huascar

    2017-01-01

    As automated driving vehicles become more sophisticated and pervasive, it is increasingly important to assure its safety even in the presence of faults. This paper presents a simulation-based fault injection approach (Sabotage) aimed at assessing the safety of automated vehicle functions. In particular, we focus on a case study to forecast fault effects during the model-based design of a lateral control function. The goal is to determine the acceptable fault detection interval for pe...

  17. AST: an automated sequence-sampling method for improving the taxonomic diversity of gene phylogenetic trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Chan; Mao, Fenglou; Yin, Yanbin; Huang, Jinling; Gogarten, Johann Peter; Xu, Ying

    2014-01-01

    A challenge in phylogenetic inference of gene trees is how to properly sample a large pool of homologous sequences to derive a good representative subset of sequences. Such a need arises in various applications, e.g. when (1) accuracy-oriented phylogenetic reconstruction methods may not be able to deal with a large pool of sequences due to their high demand in computing resources; (2) applications analyzing a collection of gene trees may prefer to use trees with fewer operational taxonomic units (OTUs), for instance for the detection of horizontal gene transfer events by identifying phylogenetic conflicts; and (3) the pool of available sequences is biased towards extensively studied species. In the past, the creation of subsamples often relied on manual selection. Here we present an Automated sequence-Sampling method for improving the Taxonomic diversity of gene phylogenetic trees, AST, to obtain representative sequences that maximize the taxonomic diversity of the sampled sequences. To demonstrate the effectiveness of AST, we have tested it to solve four problems, namely, inference of the evolutionary histories of the small ribosomal subunit protein S5 of E. coli, 16 S ribosomal RNAs and glycosyl-transferase gene family 8, and a study of ancient horizontal gene transfers from bacteria to plants. Our results show that the resolution of our computational results is almost as good as that of manual inference by domain experts, hence making the tool generally useful to phylogenetic studies by non-phylogeny specialists. The program is available at http://csbl.bmb.uga.edu/~zhouchan/AST.php.

  18. Automated dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction coupled to high performance liquid chromatography - cold vapour atomic fluorescence spectroscopy for the determination of mercury species in natural water samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yao-Min; Zhang, Feng-Ping; Jiao, Bao-Yu; Rao, Jin-Yu; Leng, Geng

    2017-04-14

    An automated, home-constructed, and low cost dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction (DLLME) device that directly coupled to a high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) - cold vapour atomic fluorescence spectroscopy (CVAFS) system was designed and developed for the determination of trace concentrations of methylmercury (MeHg + ), ethylmercury (EtHg + ) and inorganic mercury (Hg 2+ ) in natural waters. With a simple, miniaturized and efficient automated DLLME system, nanogram amounts of these mercury species were extracted from natural water samples and injected into a hyphenated HPLC-CVAFS for quantification. The complete analytical procedure, including chelation, extraction, phase separation, collection and injection of the extracts, as well as HPLC-CVAFS quantification, was automated. Key parameters, such as the type and volume of the chelation, extraction and dispersive solvent, aspiration speed, sample pH, salt effect and matrix effect, were thoroughly investigated. Under the optimum conditions, linear range was 10-1200ngL -1 for EtHg + and 5-450ngL -1 for MeHg + and Hg 2+ . Limits of detection were 3.0ngL -1 for EtHg + and 1.5ngL -1 for MeHg + and Hg 2+ . Reproducibility and recoveries were assessed by spiking three natural water samples with different Hg concentrations, giving recoveries from 88.4-96.1%, and relative standard deviations <5.1%. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Computerized Analytical Data Management System and Automated Analytical Sample Transfer System at the COGEMA Reprocessing Plants in La Hague

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flament, T.; Goasmat, F.; Poilane, F.

    2002-01-01

    Managing the operation of large commercial spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plants, such as UP3 and UP2-800 in La Hague, France, requires an extensive analytical program and the shortest possible analysis response times. COGEMA, together with its engineering subsidiary SGN, decided to build high-performance laboratories to support operations in its plants. These laboratories feature automated equipment, safe environments for operators, and short response times, all in centralized installations. Implementation of a computerized analytical data management system and a fully automated pneumatic system for the transfer of radioactive samples was a key factor contributing to the successful operation of the laboratories and plants

  20. Development of an Automated Security Risk Assessment Methodology Tool for Critical Infrastructures.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaeger, Calvin Dell; Roehrig, Nathaniel S.; Torres, Teresa M.

    2008-12-01

    This document presents the security automated Risk Assessment Methodology (RAM) prototype tool developed by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). This work leverages SNL's capabilities and skills in security risk analysis and the development of vulnerability assessment/risk assessment methodologies to develop an automated prototype security RAM tool for critical infrastructures (RAM-CITM). The prototype automated RAM tool provides a user-friendly, systematic, and comprehensive risk-based tool to assist CI sector and security professionals in assessing and managing security risk from malevolent threats. The current tool is structured on the basic RAM framework developed by SNL. It is envisioned that this prototype tool will be adapted to meet the requirements of different CI sectors and thereby provide additional capabilities.

  1. A novel flow injection chemiluminescence method for automated and miniaturized determination of phenols in smoked food samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakh, Christina; Evdokimova, Ekaterina; Pochivalov, Aleksei; Moskvin, Leonid; Bulatov, Andrey

    2017-12-15

    An easily performed fully automated and miniaturized flow injection chemiluminescence (CL) method for determination of phenols in smoked food samples has been proposed. This method includes the ultrasound assisted solid-liquid extraction coupled with gas-diffusion separation of phenols from smoked food sample and analytes absorption into a NaOH solution in a specially designed gas-diffusion cell. The flow system was designed to focus on automation and miniaturization with minimal sample and reagent consumption by inexpensive instrumentation. The luminol - N-bromosuccinimide system in an alkaline medium was used for the CL determination of phenols. The limit of detection of the proposed procedure was 3·10 -8 ·molL -1 (0.01mgkg -1 ) in terms of phenol. The presented method demonstrated to be a good tool for easy, rapid and cost-effective point-of-need screening phenols in smoked food samples. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Designing an Automated Assessment of Public Speaking Skills Using Multimodal Cues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lei; Feng, Gary; Leong, Chee Wee; Joe, Jilliam; Kitchen, Christopher; Lee, Chong Min

    2016-01-01

    Traditional assessments of public speaking skills rely on human scoring. We report an initial study on the development of an automated scoring model for public speaking performances using multimodal technologies. Task design, rubric development, and human rating were conducted according to standards in educational assessment. An initial corpus of…

  3. Towards a fully automated lab-on-a-disc system integrating sample enrichment and detection of analytes from complex matrices

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andreasen, Sune Zoëga

    the technology on a large scale from fulfilling its potential for maturing into applied technologies and products. In this work, we have taken the first steps towards realizing a capable and truly automatedsample-to-answer” analysis system, aimed at small molecule detection and quantification from a complex...... sample matrix. The main result is a working prototype of a microfluidic system, integrating both centrifugal microfluidics for sample handling, supported liquid membrane extraction (SLM) for selective and effective sample treatment, as well as in-situ electrochemical detection. As a case study...

  4. Automated Performance Monitoring and Assessment for DCS Digital Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-07-01

    in an automated technical con-. trol environnrunt. j UNCLASSIFIED SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF I , PAGE(Wh n O tD . E e d) ACKNOWLEDGEMENT This program...5-2 Second Level MUX TD -1193 Alarms 5-3 5-3 First Level MUX TD -1192 Alarms 5-4 5.-4 Submultiplexer TDM-1251 Alarms 5-5 5 RF Distribution System...i 0 (0: I- O)’dU 04i (0) 0 0a 04 U) (04 04r 04 r- (O 0) 0) 41 ~ 0) 0H (z (0 0) Q) 4J a r- ) -4’ iHQ ) w .41 Q) > 4-4 !O ~ -4 ) > 114 > 44 >4 UU O4 u

  5. ASPIRE: An automated sample positioning and irradiation system for radiation biology experiments at Inter University Accelerator Centre, New Delhi

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kothari, Ashok; Barua, P.; Archunan, M.; Rani, Kusum; Subramanian, E.T.; Pujari, Geetanjali; Kaur, Harminder; Satyanarayanan, V.V.V.; Sarma, Asitikantha; Avasthi, D.K.

    2015-01-01

    An automated irradiation setup for biology samples has been built at Inter University Accelerator Centre (IUAC), New Delhi, India. It can automatically load and unload 20 biology samples in a run of experiment. It takes about 20 min [2% of the cell doubling time] to irradiate all the 20 samples. Cell doubling time is the time taken by the cells (kept in the medium) to grow double in numbers. The cells in the samples keep growing during entire of the experiment. The fluence irradiated to the samples is measured with two silicon surface barrier detectors. Tests show that the uniformity of fluence and dose of heavy ions reaches to 2% at the sample area in diameter of 40 mm. The accuracy of mean fluence at the center of the target area is within 1%. The irradiation setup can be used to the studies of radiation therapy, radiation dosimetry and molecular biology at the heavy ion accelerator. - Highlights: • Automated positioning and irradiation setup for biology samples at IUAC is built. • Loading and unloading of 20 biology samples can be automatically carried out. • Biologicals cells keep growing during entire experiment. • Fluence and dose of heavy ions are measured by two silicon barrier detectors. • Uniformity of fluence and dose of heavy ions at sample position reaches to 2%

  6. Assessment of automated disease detection in diabetic retinopathy screening using two-field photography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goatman, Keith; Charnley, Amanda; Webster, Laura; Nussey, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    To assess the performance of automated disease detection in diabetic retinopathy screening using two field mydriatic photography. Images from 8,271 sequential patient screening episodes from a South London diabetic retinopathy screening service were processed by the Medalytix iGrading™ automated grading system. For each screening episode macular-centred and disc-centred images of both eyes were acquired and independently graded according to the English national grading scheme. Where discrepancies were found between the automated result and original manual grade, internal and external arbitration was used to determine the final study grades. Two versions of the software were used: one that detected microaneurysms alone, and one that detected blot haemorrhages and exudates in addition to microaneurysms. Results for each version were calculated once using both fields and once using the macula-centred field alone. Of the 8,271 episodes, 346 (4.2%) were considered unassessable. Referable disease was detected in 587 episodes (7.1%). The sensitivity of the automated system for detecting unassessable images ranged from 97.4% to 99.1% depending on configuration. The sensitivity of the automated system for referable episodes ranged from 98.3% to 99.3%. All the episodes that included proliferative or pre-proliferative retinopathy were detected by the automated system regardless of configuration (192/192, 95% confidence interval 98.0% to 100%). If implemented as the first step in grading, the automated system would have reduced the manual grading effort by between 2,183 and 3,147 patient episodes (26.4% to 38.1%). Automated grading can safely reduce the workload of manual grading using two field, mydriatic photography in a routine screening service.

  7. Suitability of semi-automated tumor response assessment of liver metastases using a dedicated software package

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalkmann, Janine; Ladd, S.C.; Greiff, A. de; Forsting, M.; Stattaus, J.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: to evaluate the suitability of semi-automated compared to manual tumor response assessment (TRA) of liver metastases. Materials and methods: in total, 32 patients with colorectal cancer and liver metastases were followed by an average of 2.8 contrast-enhanced CT scans. Two observers (O1, O2) measured the longest diameter (LD) of 269 liver metastases manually and semi-automatically using software installed as thin-client on a PACS workstation (LMS-Liver, MEDIAN Technologies). LD and TRA (''progressive'', ''stable'', ''partial remission'') were performed according to RECIST (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors) and analyzed for between-method, interobserver and intraobserver variability. The time needed for evaluation was compared for both methods. Results: all measurements correlated excellently (r ≥ 0.96). Intraobserver (semi-automated), interobserver (manual) and between-method differences (by O1) in LD of 1.4 ± 2.6 mm, 1.9 ± 1.9 mm and 2.1 ± 2.0 mm, respectively, were not significant. Interobserver (semi-automated) and between-method (by O2) differences in LD of 3.0 ± 3.0 mm and 2.6 ± 2.0 mm, respectively, reflected a significant variability (p < 0.01). The interobserver agreement in manual and semi-automated TRA was 91.4%. The intraobserver agreement in semi-automated TRA was 84.5%. Between both methods a TRA agreement of 86.2% was obtained. Semi-automated evaluation (2.7 min) took slightly more time than manual evaluation (2.3 min). Conclusion: semi-automated and manual evaluation of liver metastases yield comparable results in response assessments and require comparable effort. (orig.)

  8. Automated peroperative assessment of stents apposition from OCT pullbacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubuisson, Florian; Péry, Emilie; Ouchchane, Lemlih; Combaret, Nicolas; Kauffmann, Claude; Souteyrand, Géraud; Motreff, Pascal; Sarry, Laurent

    2015-04-01

    This study's aim was to control the stents apposition by automatically analyzing endovascular optical coherence tomography (OCT) sequences. Lumen is detected using threshold, morphological and gradient operators to run a Dijkstra algorithm. Wrong detection tagged by the user and caused by bifurcation, struts'presence, thrombotic lesions or dissections can be corrected using a morphing algorithm. Struts are also segmented by computing symmetrical and morphological operators. Euclidian distance between detected struts and wall artery initializes a stent's complete distance map and missing data are interpolated with thin-plate spline functions. Rejection of detected outliers, regularization of parameters by generalized cross-validation and using the one-side cyclic property of the map also optimize accuracy. Several indices computed from the map provide quantitative values of malapposition. Algorithm was run on four in-vivo OCT sequences including different incomplete stent apposition's cases. Comparison with manual expert measurements validates the segmentation׳s accuracy and shows an almost perfect concordance of automated results. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Automated Tissue Classification Framework for Reproducible Chronic Wound Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rashmi Mukherjee

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this paper was to develop a computer assisted tissue classification (granulation, necrotic, and slough scheme for chronic wound (CW evaluation using medical image processing and statistical machine learning techniques. The red-green-blue (RGB wound images grabbed by normal digital camera were first transformed into HSI (hue, saturation, and intensity color space and subsequently the “S” component of HSI color channels was selected as it provided higher contrast. Wound areas from 6 different types of CW were segmented from whole images using fuzzy divergence based thresholding by minimizing edge ambiguity. A set of color and textural features describing granulation, necrotic, and slough tissues in the segmented wound area were extracted using various mathematical techniques. Finally, statistical learning algorithms, namely, Bayesian classification and support vector machine (SVM, were trained and tested for wound tissue classification in different CW images. The performance of the wound area segmentation protocol was further validated by ground truth images labeled by clinical experts. It was observed that SVM with 3rd order polynomial kernel provided the highest accuracies, that is, 86.94%, 90.47%, and 75.53%, for classifying granulation, slough, and necrotic tissues, respectively. The proposed automated tissue classification technique achieved the highest overall accuracy, that is, 87.61%, with highest kappa statistic value (0.793.

  10. [Automated Assessment for Bone Age of Left Wrist Joint in Uyghur Teenagers by Deep Learning].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, T H; Huo, Z; Liu, T A; Wang, F; Wan, L; Wang, M W; Chen, T; Wang, Y H

    2018-02-01

    To realize the automated bone age assessment by applying deep learning to digital radiography (DR) image recognition of left wrist joint in Uyghur teenagers, and explore its practical application value in forensic medicine bone age assessment. The X-ray films of left wrist joint after pretreatment, which were taken from 245 male and 227 female Uyghur nationality teenagers in Uygur Autonomous Region aged from 13.0 to 19.0 years old, were chosen as subjects. And AlexNet was as a regression model of image recognition. From the total samples above, 60% of male and female DR images of left wrist joint were selected as net train set, and 10% of samples were selected as validation set. As test set, the rest 30% were used to obtain the image recognition accuracy with an error range in ±1.0 and ±0.7 age respectively, compared to the real age. The modelling results of deep learning algorithm showed that when the error range was in ±1.0 and ±0.7 age respectively, the accuracy of the net train set was 81.4% and 75.6% in male, and 80.5% and 74.8% in female, respectively. When the error range was in ±1.0 and ±0.7 age respectively, the accuracy of the test set was 79.5% and 71.2% in male, and 79.4% and 66.2% in female, respectively. The combination of bone age research on teenagers' left wrist joint and deep learning, which has high accuracy and good feasibility, can be the research basis of bone age automatic assessment system for the rest joints of body. Copyright© by the Editorial Department of Journal of Forensic Medicine.

  11. Bayesian stratified sampling to assess corpus utility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hochberg, J.; Scovel, C.; Thomas, T.; Hall, S.

    1998-12-01

    This paper describes a method for asking statistical questions about a large text corpus. The authors exemplify the method by addressing the question, ``What percentage of Federal Register documents are real documents, of possible interest to a text researcher or analyst?`` They estimate an answer to this question by evaluating 200 documents selected from a corpus of 45,820 Federal Register documents. Bayesian analysis and stratified sampling are used to reduce the sampling uncertainty of the estimate from over 3,100 documents to fewer than 1,000. A possible application of the method is to establish baseline statistics used to estimate recall rates for information retrieval systems.

  12. Performance of optimized McRAPD in identification of 9 yeast species frequently isolated from patient samples: potential for automation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trtkova, Jitka; Pavlicek, Petr; Ruskova, Lenka; Hamal, Petr; Koukalova, Dagmar; Raclavsky, Vladislav

    2009-11-10

    Rapid, easy, economical and accurate species identification of yeasts isolated from clinical samples remains an important challenge for routine microbiological laboratories, because susceptibility to antifungal agents, probability to develop resistance and ability to cause disease vary in different species. To overcome the drawbacks of the currently available techniques we have recently proposed an innovative approach to yeast species identification based on RAPD genotyping and termed McRAPD (Melting curve of RAPD). Here we have evaluated its performance on a broader spectrum of clinically relevant yeast species and also examined the potential of automated and semi-automated interpretation of McRAPD data for yeast species identification. A simple fully automated algorithm based on normalized melting data identified 80% of the isolates correctly. When this algorithm was supplemented by semi-automated matching of decisive peaks in first derivative plots, 87% of the isolates were identified correctly. However, a computer-aided visual matching of derivative plots showed the best performance with average 98.3% of the accurately identified isolates, almost matching the 99.4% performance of traditional RAPD fingerprinting. Since McRAPD technique omits gel electrophoresis and can be performed in a rapid, economical and convenient way, we believe that it can find its place in routine identification of medically important yeasts in advanced diagnostic laboratories that are able to adopt this technique. It can also serve as a broad-range high-throughput technique for epidemiological surveillance.

  13. Personal gravimetric dust sampling and risk assessment.

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Unsted, AD

    1996-03-01

    Full Text Available The origin of the project SIMGAP project GAP046, were rooted in the industry’s need to establish the viability of such a simplification of sampling procedures. Extensive investigations were conducted at three underground sites and one surface...

  14. Automated Quality Assessment of Structural Magnetic Resonance Brain Images Based on a Supervised Machine Learning Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Andres Pizarro

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available High-resolution three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging (3D-MRI is being increasingly used to delineate morphological changes underlying neuropsychiatric disorders. Unfortunately, artifacts frequently compromise the utility of 3D-MRI yielding irreproducible results, from both type I and type II errors. It is therefore critical to screen 3D-MRIs for artifacts before use. Currently, quality assessment involves slice-wise visual inspection of 3D-MRI volumes, a procedure that is both subjective and time consuming. Automating the quality rating of 3D-MRI could improve the efficiency and reproducibility of the procedure. The present study is one of the first efforts to apply a support vector machine (SVM algorithm in the quality assessment of structural brain images, using global and region of interest (ROI automated image quality features developed in-house. SVM is a supervised machine-learning algorithm that can predict the category of test datasets based on the knowledge acquired from a learning dataset. The performance (accuracy of the automated SVM approach was assessed, by comparing the SVM-predicted quality labels to investigator-determined quality labels. The accuracy for classifying 1457 3D-MRI volumes from our database using the SVM approach is around 80%. These results are promising and illustrate the possibility of using SVM as an automated quality assessment tool for 3D-MRI.

  15. Automated Quality Assessment of Structural Magnetic Resonance Brain Images Based on a Supervised Machine Learning Algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pizarro, Ricardo A; Cheng, Xi; Barnett, Alan; Lemaitre, Herve; Verchinski, Beth A; Goldman, Aaron L; Xiao, Ena; Luo, Qian; Berman, Karen F; Callicott, Joseph H; Weinberger, Daniel R; Mattay, Venkata S

    2016-01-01

    High-resolution three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging (3D-MRI) is being increasingly used to delineate morphological changes underlying neuropsychiatric disorders. Unfortunately, artifacts frequently compromise the utility of 3D-MRI yielding irreproducible results, from both type I and type II errors. It is therefore critical to screen 3D-MRIs for artifacts before use. Currently, quality assessment involves slice-wise visual inspection of 3D-MRI volumes, a procedure that is both subjective and time consuming. Automating the quality rating of 3D-MRI could improve the efficiency and reproducibility of the procedure. The present study is one of the first efforts to apply a support vector machine (SVM) algorithm in the quality assessment of structural brain images, using global and region of interest (ROI) automated image quality features developed in-house. SVM is a supervised machine-learning algorithm that can predict the category of test datasets based on the knowledge acquired from a learning dataset. The performance (accuracy) of the automated SVM approach was assessed, by comparing the SVM-predicted quality labels to investigator-determined quality labels. The accuracy for classifying 1457 3D-MRI volumes from our database using the SVM approach is around 80%. These results are promising and illustrate the possibility of using SVM as an automated quality assessment tool for 3D-MRI.

  16. Automated system for noise-measurements on low-ohmic samples and magnetic sensors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jonker, R.J.W.; Briaire, J.; Vandamme, L.K.J.

    1999-01-01

    An automated system for electronic noise measurements on metal films is presented. This new system, controlled by a personal computer which utilizes National Instruments' LabVIEW software, is designed to measure low frequency noise as a function of an externally imposed magnetic field and as a

  17. Automated Spacecraft Conjunction Assessment at Mars and the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, David; Guinn, Joseph; Tarzi, Zahi; Demcak, Stuart

    2012-01-01

    Conjunction assessment and collision avoidance are areas of current high interest in space operations. Most current conjunction assessment activity focuses on the Earth orbital environment. Several of the world's space agencies have satellites in orbit at Mars and the Moon, and avoiding collisions there is important too. Smaller number of assets than Earth, and smaller number of organizations involved, but consequences similar to Earth scenarios.This presentation will examine conjunction assessment processes implemented at JPL for spacecraft in orbit at Mars and the Moon.

  18. Advances toward fully automated in vivo assessment of oral epithelial dysplasia by nuclear endomicroscopy-A pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liese, Jan; Winter, Karsten; Glass, Änne; Bertolini, Julia; Kämmerer, Peer Wolfgang; Frerich, Bernhard; Schiefke, Ingolf; Remmerbach, Torsten W

    2017-11-01

    Uncertainties in detection of oral epithelial dysplasia (OED) frequently result from sampling error especially in inflammatory oral lesions. Endomicroscopy allows non-invasive, "en face" imaging of upper oral epithelium, but parameters of OED are unknown. Mucosal nuclei were imaged in 34 toluidine blue-stained oral lesions with a commercial endomicroscopy. Histopathological diagnosis showed four biopsies in "dys-/neoplastic," 23 in "inflammatory," and seven in "others" disease groups. Strength of different assessment strategies of nuclear scoring, nuclear count, and automated nuclear analysis were measured by area under ROC curve (AUC) to identify histopathological "dys-/neoplastic" group. Nuclear objects from automated image analysis were visually corrected. Best-performing parameters of nuclear-to-image ratios were the count of large nuclei (AUC=0.986) and 6-nearest neighborhood relation (AUC=0.896), and best parameters of nuclear polymorphism were the count of atypical nuclei (AUC=0.996) and compactness of nuclei (AUC=0.922). Excluding low-grade OED, nuclear scoring and count reached 100% sensitivity and 98% specificity for detection of dys-/neoplastic lesions. In automated analysis, combination of parameters enhanced diagnostic strength. Sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 87% were seen for distances of 6-nearest neighbors and aspect ratios even in uncorrected objects. Correction improved measures of nuclear polymorphism only. The hue of background color was stronger than nuclear density (AUC=0.779 vs 0.687) to detect dys-/neoplastic group indicating that macroscopic aspect is biased. Nuclear-to-image ratios are applicable for automated optical in vivo diagnostics for oral potentially malignant disorders. Nuclear endomicroscopy may promote non-invasive, early detection of dys-/neoplastic lesions by reducing sampling error. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Assessment of Automated Measurement and Verification (M&V) Methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Granderson, Jessica [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Touzani, Samir [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Custodio, Claudine [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Sohn, Michael [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Fernandes, Samuel [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Jump, David [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2015-07-01

    This report documents the application of a general statistical methodology to assess the accuracy of baseline energy models, focusing on its application to Measurement and Verification (M&V) of whole-building energy savings.

  20. New frontiers in automated assessment: using latent semantic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    learning technique which has been developed for the computerised assessment of knowledge. LSA employs linear algebra techniques to induce and represent knowledge in high dimensional spaces, and can be used to compare documents in ...

  1. Diagnostic Hearing Assessment in Schools: Validity and Time Efficiency of Automated Audiometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahomed-Asmail, Faheema; Swanepoel, De Wet; Eikelboom, Robert H

    2016-01-01

    Poor follow-up compliance from school-based hearing screening typically undermines the efficacy of school-based hearing screening programs. Onsite diagnostic audiometry with automation may reduce false positives and ensure directed referrals. To investigate the validity and time efficiency of automated diagnostic air- and bone-conduction audiometry for children in a natural school environment following hearing screening. A within-subject repeated measures design was employed to compare air- and bone-conduction pure-tone thresholds (0.5-4 kHz), measured by manual and automated pure-tone audiometry. Sixty-two children, 25 males and 37 females, with an average age of 8 yr (standard deviation [SD] = 0.92; range = 6-10 yr) were recruited for this study. The participants included 30 children who failed on a hearing screening and 32 children who passed a hearing screening. Threshold comparisons were made for air- and bone-conduction thresholds across ears tested with manual and automated audiometry. To avoid a floor effect thresholds of 15 dB HL were excluded in analyses. The Wilcoxon signed ranked test was used to compare threshold correspondence for manual and automated thresholds and the paired samples t-test was used to compare test time. Statistical significance was set as p ≤ 0.05. 85.7% of air-conduction thresholds and 44.6% of bone-conduction thresholds corresponded within the normal range (15 dB HL) for manual and automated audiometry. Both manual and automated audiometry air- and bone-conduction thresholds exceeded 15 dB HL in 9.9% and 34.0% of thresholds, respectively. For these thresholds, average absolute differences for air- and bone-conduction thresholds were 6.3 (SD = 8.3) and 2.2 dB (SD = 3.6) and they corresponded within 10 dB across frequencies in 87.7% and 100.0%, respectively. There was no significant difference between manual and automated air- and bone-conduction across frequencies for these thresholds. Using onsite automated diagnostic audiometry

  2. Image cytometer method for automated assessment of human spermatozoa concentration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Egeberg, D L; Kjaerulff, S; Hansen, C

    2013-01-01

    In the basic clinical work-up of infertile couples, a semen analysis is mandatory and the sperm concentration is one of the most essential variables to be determined. Sperm concentration is usually assessed by manual counting using a haemocytometer and is hence labour intensive and may be subject...

  3. Analytical and between-subject variation of thrombin generation measured by calibrated automated thrombography on plasma samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristensen, Anne F; Kristensen, Søren R; Falkmer, Ursula; Münster, Anna-Marie B; Pedersen, Shona

    2018-05-01

    The Calibrated Automated Thrombography (CAT) is an in vitro thrombin generation (TG) assay that holds promise as a valuable tool within clinical diagnostics. However, the technique has a considerable analytical variation, and we therefore, investigated the analytical and between-subject variation of CAT systematically. Moreover, we assess the application of an internal standard for normalization to diminish variation. 20 healthy volunteers donated one blood sample which was subsequently centrifuged, aliquoted and stored at -80 °C prior to analysis. The analytical variation was determined on eight runs, where plasma from the same seven volunteers was processed in triplicates, and for the between-subject variation, TG analysis was performed on plasma from all 20 volunteers. The trigger reagents used for the TG assays included both PPP reagent containing 5 pM tissue factor (TF) and PPPlow with 1 pM TF. Plasma, drawn from a single donor, was applied to all plates as an internal standard for each TG analysis, which subsequently was used for normalization. The total analytical variation for TG analysis performed with PPPlow reagent is 3-14% and 9-13% for PPP reagent. This variation can be minimally reduced by using an internal standard but mainly for ETP (endogenous thrombin potential). The between-subject variation is higher when using PPPlow than PPP and this variation is considerable higher than the analytical variation. TG has a rather high inherent analytical variation but considerable lower than the between-subject variation when using PPPlow as reagent.

  4. Video and accelerometer-based motion analysis for automated surgical skills assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zia, Aneeq; Sharma, Yachna; Bettadapura, Vinay; Sarin, Eric L; Essa, Irfan

    2018-03-01

    Basic surgical skills of suturing and knot tying are an essential part of medical training. Having an automated system for surgical skills assessment could help save experts time and improve training efficiency. There have been some recent attempts at automated surgical skills assessment using either video analysis or acceleration data. In this paper, we present a novel approach for automated assessment of OSATS-like surgical skills and provide an analysis of different features on multi-modal data (video and accelerometer data). We conduct a large study for basic surgical skill assessment on a dataset that contained video and accelerometer data for suturing and knot-tying tasks. We introduce "entropy-based" features-approximate entropy and cross-approximate entropy, which quantify the amount of predictability and regularity of fluctuations in time series data. The proposed features are compared to existing methods of Sequential Motion Texture, Discrete Cosine Transform and Discrete Fourier Transform, for surgical skills assessment. We report average performance of different features across all applicable OSATS-like criteria for suturing and knot-tying tasks. Our analysis shows that the proposed entropy-based features outperform previous state-of-the-art methods using video data, achieving average classification accuracies of 95.1 and 92.2% for suturing and knot tying, respectively. For accelerometer data, our method performs better for suturing achieving 86.8% average accuracy. We also show that fusion of video and acceleration features can improve overall performance for skill assessment. Automated surgical skills assessment can be achieved with high accuracy using the proposed entropy features. Such a system can significantly improve the efficiency of surgical training in medical schools and teaching hospitals.

  5. Automated Processing of Plasma Samples for Lipoprotein Separation by Rate-Zonal Ultracentrifugation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Carl N; Evans, Iain E J

    2016-12-01

    Plasma lipoproteins are the primary means of lipid transport among tissues. Defining alterations in lipid metabolism is critical to our understanding of disease processes. However, lipoprotein measurement is limited to specialized centers. Preparation for ultracentrifugation involves the formation of complex density gradients that is both laborious and subject to handling errors. We created a fully automated device capable of forming the required gradient. The design has been made freely available for download by the authors. It is inexpensive relative to commercial density gradient formers, which generally create linear gradients unsuitable for rate-zonal ultracentrifugation. The design can easily be modified to suit user requirements and any potential future improvements. Evaluation of the device showed reliable peristaltic pump accuracy and precision for fluid delivery. We also demonstrate accurate fluid layering with reduced mixing at the gradient layers when compared to usual practice by experienced laboratory personnel. Reduction in layer mixing is of critical importance, as it is crucial for reliable lipoprotein separation. The automated device significantly reduces laboratory staff input and reduces the likelihood of error. Overall, this device creates a simple and effective solution to formation of complex density gradients. © 2015 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.

  6. Transitioning the Defense Automated Neurobehavioral Assessment (DANA) to Operational Use

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-01

    Shipboard (USS George Washington during high seas in the Western Pacific) TABLE I. DANA Test Batteries* DANA Rapid (5 Minutes) DANA Brief (15 Minutes) DANA...approximately 3,000 m) — Desert (U.S. Marine Corps Desert Warfare Training Center—Twentynine Palms, CA, in the summer) — Shipboard (USS George Washington...Halpern, E. L., Reeves, D., & Daniel, J. C. Future Directions of Neuropsychological Assessment in Sports Concussion. In, Bleiberg, J., Cantor , I. V

  7. Activity-based Sustainability Assessment of Highly Automated Manufacturing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rödger, Jan-Markus; Bey, Niki; Alting, Leo

    Sustainability of technology is a multifaceted endeavor and a main requirement from industry is to make it a profitable business case with clearly defined targets. To achieve that, a new assessment framework and applicable method [1] is presented which has been developed closely with industry. It.......g. “transportation”) down to smallest production units by using activity-based target setting in a consistent way to lowers risks in the planning phase of products and production....

  8. The automated sample preparation system MixMaster for investigation of volatile organic compounds with mid-infrared evanescent wave spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogt, F; Karlowatz, M; Jakusch, M; Mizaikoff, B

    2003-04-01

    For efficient development assessment, and calibration of new chemical analyzers a large number of independently prepared samples of target analytes is necessary. Whereas mixing units for gas analysis are readily available, there is a lack of instrumentation for accurate preparation of liquid samples containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Manual preparation of liquid samples containing VOCs at trace concentration levels is a particularly challenging and time consuming task. Furthermore, regularly scheduled calibration of sensors and analyzer systems demands for computer controlled automated sample preparation systems. In this paper we present a novel liquid mixing device enabling extensive measurement series with focus on volatile organic compounds, facilitating analysis of water polluted by traces of volatile hydrocarbons. After discussing the mixing system and control software, first results obtained by coupling with an FT-IR spectrometer are reported. Properties of the mixing system are assessed by mid-infrared attenuated total reflection (ATR) spectroscopy of methanol-acetone mixtures and by investigation of multicomponent samples containing volatile hydrocarbons such as 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene and tetrachloroethylene. Obtained ATR spectra are evaluated by principal component regression (PCR) algorithms. It is demonstrated that the presented sample mixing device provides reliable multicomponent mixtures with sufficient accuracy and reproducibility at trace concentration levels.

  9. Automated Cognitive Health Assessment Using Smart Home Monitoring of Complex Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawadi, Prafulla N; Cook, Diane J; Schmitter-Edgecombe, Maureen

    2013-11-01

    One of the many services that intelligent systems can provide is the automated assessment of resident well-being. We hypothesize that the functional health of individuals, or ability of individuals to perform activities independently without assistance, can be estimated by tracking their activities using smart home technologies. In this paper, we introduce a machine learning-based method for assessing activity quality in smart homes. To validate our approach we quantify activity quality for 179 volunteer participants who performed a complex, interweaved set of activities in our smart home apartment. We observed a statistically significant correlation (r=0.79) between automated assessment of task quality and direct observation scores. Using machine learning techniques to predict the cognitive health of the participants based on task quality is accomplished with an AUC value of 0.64. We believe that this capability is an important step in understanding everyday functional health of individuals in their home environments.

  10. Comparison between manual and automated techniques for assessment of data from dynamic antral scintigraphy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Misiara, Gustavo P.; Troncon, Luiz E.A.; Secaf, Marie; Moraes, Eder R.

    2008-01-01

    This work aimed at determining whether data from dynamic antral scintigraphy (DAS) yielded by a simple, manual technique are as accurate as those generated by a conventional automated technique (fast Fourier transform) for assessing gastric contractility. Seventy-one stretches (4 min) of 'activity versus time' curves obtained by DAS from 10 healthy volunteers and 11 functional dyspepsia patients, after ingesting a liquid meal (320 ml, 437 kcal) labeled with technetium-99m ( 99m Tc)-phytate, were independently analyzed by manual and automated techniques. Data obtained by both techniques for the frequency of antral contractions were similar. Contraction amplitude determined by the manual technique was significantly higher than that estimated by the automated method, in both patients and controls. The contraction frequency 30 min post-meal was significantly lower in patients than in controls, which was correctly shown by both techniques. A manual technique using ordinary resources of the gamma camera workstation, despite yielding higher figures for the amplitude of gastric contractions, is as accurate as the conventional automated technique of DAS analysis. These findings may favor a more intensive use of DAS coupled to gastric emptying studies, which would provide a more comprehensive assessment of gastric motor function in disease. (author)

  11. Automated Risk Assessment for School Violence: a Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barzman, Drew; Ni, Yizhao; Griffey, Marcus; Bachtel, Alycia; Lin, Kenneth; Jackson, Hannah; Sorter, Michael; DelBello, Melissa

    2018-05-01

    School violence has increased over the past ten years. This study evaluated students using a more standard and sensitive method to help identify students who are at high risk for school violence. 103 participants were recruited through Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) from psychiatry outpatient clinics, the inpatient units, and the emergency department. Participants (ages 12-18) were active students in 74 traditional schools (i.e. non-online education). Collateral information was gathered from guardians before participants were evaluated. School risk evaluations were performed with each participant, and audio recordings from the evaluations were later transcribed and manually annotated. The BRACHA (School Version) and the School Safety Scale (SSS), both 14-item scales, were used. A template of open-ended questions was also used. This analysis included 103 participants who were recruited from 74 different schools. Of the 103 students evaluated, 55 were found to be moderate to high risk and 48 were found to be low risk based on the paper risk assessments including the BRACHA and SSS. Both the BRACHA and the SSS were highly correlated with risk of violence to others (Pearson correlations>0.82). There were significant differences in BRACHA and SSS total scores between low risk and high risk to others groups (p-values machine learning algorithm achieved an AUC of 91.02% when using the interview content to predict risk of school violence, and the AUC increased to 91.45% when demographic and socioeconomic data were added. Our study indicates that the BRACHA and SSS are clinically useful for assessing risk for school violence. The machine learning algorithm was highly accurate in assessing school violence risk.

  12. Design and building of a homemade sample changer for automation of the irradiation in neutron activation analysis technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gago, Javier; Hernandez, Yuri; Baltuano, Oscar; Bedregal, Patricia; Lopez, Yon; Urquizo, Rafael

    2014-01-01

    Because the RP-10 research reactor operates during weekends, it was necessary to design and build a sample changer for irradiation as part of the automation process of neutron activation analysis technique. The device is formed by an aluminum turntable disk which can accommodate 19 polyethylene capsules, containing samples to be sent using the pneumatic transfer system from the laboratory to the irradiation position. The system is operate by a control switchboard to send and return capsules in a variable preset time and by two different ways, allowing the determination of short, medium and long lived radionuclides. Also another mechanism is designed called 'exchange valve' for changing travel paths (pipelines) allowing the irradiated samples to be stored for a longer time in the reactor hall. The system design has allowed complete automation of this technique, enabling the irradiation of samples without the presence of an analyst. The design, construction and operation of the device is described and presented in this article. (authors).

  13. Automated Image Sampling and Classification Can Be Used to Explore Perceived Naturalness of Urban Spaces.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger Hyam

    Full Text Available The psychological restorative effects of exposure to nature are well established and extend to just viewing of images of nature. A previous study has shown that Perceived Naturalness (PN of images correlates with their restorative value. This study tests whether it is possible to detect degree of PN of images using an image classifier. It takes images that have been scored by humans for PN (including a subset that have been assessed for restorative value and passes them through the Google Vision API image classification service. The resulting labels are assigned to broad semantic classes to create a Calculated Semantic Naturalness (CSN metric for each image. It was found that CSN correlates with PN. CSN was then calculated for a geospatial sampling of Google Street View images across the city of Edinburgh. CSN was found to correlate with PN in this sample also indicating the technique may be useful in large scale studies. Because CSN correlates with PN which correlates with restorativeness it is suggested that CSN or a similar measure may be useful in automatically detecting restorative images and locations. In an exploratory aside CSN was not found to correlate with an indicator of socioeconomic deprivation.

  14. Towards Automated and Objective Assessment of Fabric Pilling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rocco Furferi

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Pilling is a complex property of textile fabrics, representing, for the final user, a non-desired feature to be controlled and measured by companies working in the textile industry. Traditionally, pilling is assessed by visually comparing fabrics with reference to a set of standard images, thus often resulting in inconsistent quality control. A number of methods using machine vision have been proposed all over the world, with almost all sharing the idea that pilling can be assessed by determining the number of pills or the area occupied by the pills on the fabric surface. In the present work a different approach is proposed: instead of determining the number of pills, a machine vision-based procedure is devised with the aim of extracting a number of parameters characterizing the fabric. These are then used to train an artificial neural network to automatically grade the fabrics in terms of pilling. Tested against a set of differently pilled fabrics, the method shows its effectiveness.

  15. Automating data analysis for two-dimensional gas chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry non-targeted analysis of comparative samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titaley, Ivan A; Ogba, O Maduka; Chibwe, Leah; Hoh, Eunha; Cheong, Paul H-Y; Simonich, Staci L Massey

    2018-03-16

    Non-targeted analysis of environmental samples, using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC × GC/ToF-MS), poses significant data analysis challenges due to the large number of possible analytes. Non-targeted data analysis of complex mixtures is prone to human bias and is laborious, particularly for comparative environmental samples such as contaminated soil pre- and post-bioremediation. To address this research bottleneck, we developed OCTpy, a Python™ script that acts as a data reduction filter to automate GC × GC/ToF-MS data analysis from LECO ® ChromaTOF ® software and facilitates selection of analytes of interest based on peak area comparison between comparative samples. We used data from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contaminated soil, pre- and post-bioremediation, to assess the effectiveness of OCTpy in facilitating the selection of analytes that have formed or degraded following treatment. Using datasets from the soil extracts pre- and post-bioremediation, OCTpy selected, on average, 18% of the initial suggested analytes generated by the LECO ® ChromaTOF ® software Statistical Compare feature. Based on this list, 63-100% of the candidate analytes identified by a highly trained individual were also selected by OCTpy. This process was accomplished in several minutes per sample, whereas manual data analysis took several hours per sample. OCTpy automates the analysis of complex mixtures of comparative samples, reduces the potential for human error during heavy data handling and decreases data analysis time by at least tenfold. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Immunosuppressant therapeutic drug monitoring by LC-MS/MS: workflow optimization through automated processing of whole blood samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marinova, Mariela; Artusi, Carlo; Brugnolo, Laura; Antonelli, Giorgia; Zaninotto, Martina; Plebani, Mario

    2013-11-01

    Although, due to its high specificity and sensitivity, LC-MS/MS is an efficient technique for the routine determination of immunosuppressants in whole blood, it involves time-consuming manual sample preparation. The aim of the present study was therefore to develop an automated sample-preparation protocol for the quantification of sirolimus, everolimus and tacrolimus by LC-MS/MS using a liquid handling platform. Six-level commercially available blood calibrators were used for assay development, while four quality control materials and three blood samples from patients under immunosuppressant treatment were employed for the evaluation of imprecision. Barcode reading, sample re-suspension, transfer of whole blood samples into 96-well plates, addition of internal standard solution, mixing, and protein precipitation were performed with a liquid handling platform. After plate filtration, the deproteinised supernatants were submitted for SPE on-line. The only manual steps in the entire process were de-capping of the tubes, and transfer of the well plates to the HPLC autosampler. Calibration curves were linear throughout the selected ranges. The imprecision and accuracy data for all analytes were highly satisfactory. The agreement between the results obtained with manual and those obtained with automated sample preparation was optimal (n=390, r=0.96). In daily routine (100 patient samples) the typical overall total turnaround time was less than 6h. Our findings indicate that the proposed analytical system is suitable for routine analysis, since it is straightforward and precise. Furthermore, it incurs less manual workload and less risk of error in the quantification of whole blood immunosuppressant concentrations than conventional methods. © 2013.

  17. Automated retroillumination photography analysis for objective assessment of Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy severity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eghrari, Allen O.; Mumtaz, Aisha A.; Garrett, Brian; Rezaei, Mahsa; Akhavan, Mina S.; Riazuddin, S. Amer; Gottsch, John D.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Retroillumination photography analysis (RPA) is an objective tool for assessment of the number and distribution of guttae in eyes affected with Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy (FCD). Current protocols include manual processing of images; here we assess validity and interrater reliability of automated analysis across various levels of FCD severity. Methods Retroillumination photographs of 97 FCD-affected corneas were acquired and total counts of guttae previously summated manually. For each cornea, a single image was loaded into ImageJ software. We reduced color variability and subtracted background noise. Reflection of light from each gutta was identified as a local area of maximum intensity and counted automatically. Noise tolerance level was titrated for each cornea by examining a small region of each image with automated overlay to ensure appropriate coverage of individual guttae. We tested interrater reliability of automated counts of guttae across a spectrum of clinical and educational experience. Results A set of 97 retroillumination photographs were analyzed. Clinical severity as measured by a modified Krachmer scale ranged from a severity level of 1 to 5 in the set of analyzed corneas. Automated counts by an ophthalmologist correlated strongly with Krachmer grading (R2=0.79) and manual counts (R2=0.88). Intraclass correlation coefficient demonstrated strong correlation, at 0.924 (95% CI, 0.870- 0.958) among cases analyzed by three students, and 0.869 (95% CI, 0.797- 0.918) among cases for which images was analyzed by an ophthalmologist and two students. Conclusions Automated RPA allows for grading of FCD severity with high resolution across a spectrum of disease severity. PMID:27811565

  18. EXPERIMENTS TOWARDS DETERMINING BEST TRAINING SAMPLE SIZE FOR AUTOMATED EVALUATION OF DESCRIPTIVE ANSWERS THROUGH SEQUENTIAL MINIMAL OPTIMIZATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunil Kumar C

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available With number of students growing each year there is a strong need to automate systems capable of evaluating descriptive answers. Unfortunately, there aren’t many systems capable of performing this task. In this paper, we use a machine learning tool called LightSIDE to accomplish auto evaluation and scoring of descriptive answers. Our experiments are designed to cater to our primary goal of identifying the optimum training sample size so as to get optimum auto scoring. Besides the technical overview and the experiments design, the paper also covers challenges, benefits of the system. We also discussed interdisciplinary areas for future research on this topic.

  19. High-frequency, long-duration water sampling in acid mine drainage studies: a short review of current methods and recent advances in automated water samplers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapin, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Hand-collected grab samples are the most common water sampling method but using grab sampling to monitor temporally variable aquatic processes such as diel metal cycling or episodic events is rarely feasible or cost-effective. Currently available automated samplers are a proven, widely used technology and typically collect up to 24 samples during a deployment. However, these automated samplers are not well suited for long-term sampling in remote areas or in freezing conditions. There is a critical need for low-cost, long-duration, high-frequency water sampling technology to improve our understanding of the geochemical response to temporally variable processes. This review article will examine recent developments in automated water sampler technology and utilize selected field data from acid mine drainage studies to illustrate the utility of high-frequency, long-duration water sampling.

  20. Assessing human error during collecting a hydrocarbon sample of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper reports the assessment method of the hydrocarbon sample collection standard operation procedure (SOP) using THERP. The Performance Shaping Factors (PSF) from THERP analyzed and assessed the human errors during collecting a hydrocarbon sample of a petrochemical refinery plant. Twenty-two ...

  1. The role of optical flow in automated quality assessment of full-motion video

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harguess, Josh; Shafer, Scott; Marez, Diego

    2017-09-01

    In real-world video data, such as full-motion-video (FMV) taken from unmanned vehicles, surveillance systems, and other sources, various corruptions to the raw data is inevitable. This can be due to the image acquisition process, noise, distortion, and compression artifacts, among other sources of error. However, we desire methods to analyze the quality of the video to determine whether the underlying content of the corrupted video can be analyzed by humans or machines and to what extent. Previous approaches have shown that motion estimation, or optical flow, can be an important cue in automating this video quality assessment. However, there are many different optical flow algorithms in the literature, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. We examine the effect of the choice of optical flow algorithm (including baseline and state-of-the-art), on motionbased automated video quality assessment algorithms.

  2. Automated flow cytometric analysis across large numbers of samples and cell types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiaoyi; Hasan, Milena; Libri, Valentina; Urrutia, Alejandra; Beitz, Benoît; Rouilly, Vincent; Duffy, Darragh; Patin, Étienne; Chalmond, Bernard; Rogge, Lars; Quintana-Murci, Lluis; Albert, Matthew L; Schwikowski, Benno

    2015-04-01

    Multi-parametric flow cytometry is a key technology for characterization of immune cell phenotypes. However, robust high-dimensional post-analytic strategies for automated data analysis in large numbers of donors are still lacking. Here, we report a computational pipeline, called FlowGM, which minimizes operator input, is insensitive to compensation settings, and can be adapted to different analytic panels. A Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM)-based approach was utilized for initial clustering, with the number of clusters determined using Bayesian Information Criterion. Meta-clustering in a reference donor permitted automated identification of 24 cell types across four panels. Cluster labels were integrated into FCS files, thus permitting comparisons to manual gating. Cell numbers and coefficient of variation (CV) were similar between FlowGM and conventional gating for lymphocyte populations, but notably FlowGM provided improved discrimination of "hard-to-gate" monocyte and dendritic cell (DC) subsets. FlowGM thus provides rapid high-dimensional analysis of cell phenotypes and is amenable to cohort studies. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  3. Feasibility studies of safety assessment methods for programmable automation systems. Final report of the AVV project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haapanen, P.; Maskuniitty, M.; Pulkkinen, U.; Heikkinen, J.; Korhonen, J.; Tuulari, E.

    1995-10-01

    Feasibility studies of two different groups of methodologies for safety assessment of programmable automation systems has been executed at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). The studies concerned the dynamic testing methods and the fault tree (FT) and failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) methods. In order to get real experience in the application of these methods, an experimental testing of two realistic pilot systems were executed and a FT/FMEA analysis of a programmable safety function accomplished. The purpose of the studies was not to assess the object systems, but to get experience in the application of methods and assess their potentials and development needs. (46 refs., 21 figs.)

  4. Donor disc attachment assessment with intraoperative spectral optical coherence tomography during descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward Wylegala

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Optical coherence tomography has already been proven to be useful for pre- and post-surgical anterior eye segment assessment, especially in lamellar keratoplasty procedures. There is no evidence for intraoperative usefulness of optical coherence tomography (OCT. We present a case report of the intraoperative donor disc attachment assessment with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography in case of Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK surgery combined with corneal incisions. The effectiveness of the performed corneal stab incisions was visualized directly by OCT scan analysis. OCT assisted DSAEK allows the assessment of the accuracy of the Descemet stripping and donor disc attachment.

  5. Temporal Dynamics of Health and Well-Being: A Crowdsourcing Approach to Momentary Assessments and Automated Generation of Personalized Feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Krieke, Lian; Blaauw, Frank J; Emerencia, Ando C; Schenk, Hendrika M; Slaets, Joris P J; Bos, Elisabeth H; de Jonge, Peter; Jeronimus, Bertus F

    Recent developments in research and mobile health enable a quantitative idiographic approach in health research. The present study investigates the potential of an electronic diary crowdsourcing study in the Netherlands for (1) large-scale automated self-assessment for individual-based health promotion and (2) enabling research at both the between-persons and within-persons level. To illustrate the latter, we examined between-persons and within-persons associations between somatic symptoms and quality of life. A website provided the general Dutch population access to a 30-day (3 times a day) diary study assessing 43 items related to health and well-being, which gave participants personalized feedback. Associations between somatic symptoms and quality of life were examined with a linear mixed model. A total of 629 participants completed 28,430 assessments, with a mean (SD) of 45 (32) assessments per participant. Most participants (n = 517 [82%]) were women and 531 (84%) had high education. Almost 40% of the participants (n = 247) completed enough assessments (t = 68) to generate personalized feedback including temporal dynamics between well-being, health behavior, and emotions. Substantial between-person variability was found in the within-person association between somatic symptoms and quality of life. We successfully built an application for automated diary assessments and personalized feedback. The application was used by a sample of mainly highly educated women, which suggests that the potential of our intensive diary assessment method for large-scale health promotion is limited. However, a rich data set was collected that allows for group-level and idiographic analyses that can shed light on etiological processes and may contribute to the development of empirical-based health promotion solutions.

  6. A large-capacity sample-changer for automated gamma-ray spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andeweg, A.H.

    1980-01-01

    An automatic sample-changer has been developed at the National Institute for Metallurgy for use in gamma-ray spectroscopy with a lithium-drifted germanium detector. The sample-changer features remote storage, which prevents cross-talk and reduces background. It has a capacity for 200 samples and a sample container that takes liquid or solid samples. The rotation and vibration of samples during counting ensure that powdered samples are compacted, and improve the precision and reproducibility of the counting geometry [af

  7. Sample registration software for process automation in the Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) Facility in Malaysia nuclear agency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rahman, Nur Aira Abd, E-mail: nur-aira@nuclearmalaysia.gov.my; Yussup, Nolida; Ibrahim, Maslina Bt. Mohd; Mokhtar, Mukhlis B.; Soh Shaari, Syirrazie Bin Che; Azman, Azraf B. [Technical Support Division, Malaysian Nuclear Agency, 43000, Kajang, Selangor (Malaysia); Salim, Nazaratul Ashifa Bt. Abdullah [Division of Waste and Environmental Technology, Malaysian Nuclear Agency, 43000, Kajang, Selangor (Malaysia); Ismail, Nadiah Binti [Fakulti Kejuruteraan Elektrik, UiTM Pulau Pinang, 13500 Permatang Pauh, Pulau Pinang (Malaysia)

    2015-04-29

    Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) had been established in Nuclear Malaysia since 1980s. Most of the procedures established were done manually including sample registration. The samples were recorded manually in a logbook and given ID number. Then all samples, standards, SRM and blank were recorded on the irradiation vial and several forms prior to irradiation. These manual procedures carried out by the NAA laboratory personnel were time consuming and not efficient. Sample registration software is developed as part of IAEA/CRP project on ‘Development of Process Automation in the Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) Facility in Malaysia Nuclear Agency (RC17399)’. The objective of the project is to create a pc-based data entry software during sample preparation stage. This is an effective method to replace redundant manual data entries that needs to be completed by laboratory personnel. The software developed will automatically generate sample code for each sample in one batch, create printable registration forms for administration purpose, and store selected parameters that will be passed to sample analysis program. The software is developed by using National Instruments Labview 8.6.

  8. Sample registration software for process automation in the Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) Facility in Malaysia nuclear agency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Nur Aira Abd; Yussup, Nolida; Salim, Nazaratul Ashifa Bt. Abdullah; Ibrahim, Maslina Bt. Mohd; Mokhtar, Mukhlis B.; Soh@Shaari, Syirrazie Bin Che; Azman, Azraf B.; Ismail, Nadiah Binti

    2015-04-01

    Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) had been established in Nuclear Malaysia since 1980s. Most of the procedures established were done manually including sample registration. The samples were recorded manually in a logbook and given ID number. Then all samples, standards, SRM and blank were recorded on the irradiation vial and several forms prior to irradiation. These manual procedures carried out by the NAA laboratory personnel were time consuming and not efficient. Sample registration software is developed as part of IAEA/CRP project on `Development of Process Automation in the Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) Facility in Malaysia Nuclear Agency (RC17399)'. The objective of the project is to create a pc-based data entry software during sample preparation stage. This is an effective method to replace redundant manual data entries that needs to be completed by laboratory personnel. The software developed will automatically generate sample code for each sample in one batch, create printable registration forms for administration purpose, and store selected parameters that will be passed to sample analysis program. The software is developed by using National Instruments Labview 8.6.

  9. Sampling efficiency for species composition assessments using the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A pilot survey to determine the sampling efficiency of the wheel-point method, using the nearest plant method, to assess species composition (using replicate similarity related to sampling intensity, and total sampling time) was conducted on three plot sizes (20 x 20m, 30 x 30m, 40 x 40m) at two sites in a semi-arid savanna.

  10. A conceptual model of the automated credibility assessment of the volunteered geographic information

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Idris, N H; Jackson, M J; Ishak, M H I

    2014-01-01

    The use of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) in collecting, sharing and disseminating geospatially referenced information on the Web is increasingly common. The potentials of this localized and collective information have been seen to complement the maintenance process of authoritative mapping data sources and in realizing the development of Digital Earth. The main barrier to the use of this data in supporting this bottom up approach is the credibility (trust), completeness, accuracy, and quality of both the data input and outputs generated. The only feasible approach to assess these data is by relying on an automated process. This paper describes a conceptual model of indicators (parameters) and practical approaches to automated assess the credibility of information contributed through the VGI including map mashups, Geo Web and crowd – sourced based applications. There are two main components proposed to be assessed in the conceptual model – metadata and data. The metadata component comprises the indicator of the hosting (websites) and the sources of data / information. The data component comprises the indicators to assess absolute and relative data positioning, attribute, thematic, temporal and geometric correctness and consistency. This paper suggests approaches to assess the components. To assess the metadata component, automated text categorization using supervised machine learning is proposed. To assess the correctness and consistency in the data component, we suggest a matching validation approach using the current emerging technologies from Linked Data infrastructures and using third party reviews validation. This study contributes to the research domain that focuses on the credibility, trust and quality issues of data contributed by web citizen providers

  11. An Automation Planning Primer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paynter, Marion

    1988-01-01

    This brief planning guide for library automation incorporates needs assessment and evaluation of options to meet those needs. A bibliography of materials on automation planning and software reviews, library software directories, and library automation journals is included. (CLB)

  12. A fully automated Drosophila olfactory classical conditioning and testing system for behavioral learning and memory assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Hui; Hanna, Eriny; Gatto, Cheryl L; Page, Terry L; Bhuva, Bharat; Broadie, Kendal

    2016-03-01

    Aversive olfactory classical conditioning has been the standard method to assess Drosophila learning and memory behavior for decades, yet training and testing are conducted manually under exceedingly labor-intensive conditions. To overcome this severe limitation, a fully automated, inexpensive system has been developed, which allows accurate and efficient Pavlovian associative learning/memory analyses for high-throughput pharmacological and genetic studies. The automated system employs a linear actuator coupled to an odorant T-maze with airflow-mediated transfer of animals between training and testing stages. Odorant, airflow and electrical shock delivery are automatically administered and monitored during training trials. Control software allows operator-input variables to define parameters of Drosophila learning, short-term memory and long-term memory assays. The approach allows accurate learning/memory determinations with operational fail-safes. Automated learning indices (immediately post-training) and memory indices (after 24h) are comparable to traditional manual experiments, while minimizing experimenter involvement. The automated system provides vast improvements over labor-intensive manual approaches with no experimenter involvement required during either training or testing phases. It provides quality control tracking of airflow rates, odorant delivery and electrical shock treatments, and an expanded platform for high-throughput studies of combinational drug tests and genetic screens. The design uses inexpensive hardware and software for a total cost of ∼$500US, making it affordable to a wide range of investigators. This study demonstrates the design, construction and testing of a fully automated Drosophila olfactory classical association apparatus to provide low-labor, high-fidelity, quality-monitored, high-throughput and inexpensive learning and memory behavioral assays. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Automated method for simultaneous lead and strontium isotopic analysis applied to rainwater samples and airborne particulate filters (PM10).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beltrán, Blanca; Avivar, Jessica; Mola, Montserrat; Ferrer, Laura; Cerdà, Víctor; Leal, Luz O

    2013-09-03

    A new automated, sensitive, and fast system for the simultaneous online isolation and preconcentration of lead and strontium by sorption on a microcolumn packed with Sr-resin using an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) detector was developed, hyphenating lab-on-valve (LOV) and multisyringe flow injection analysis (MSFIA). Pb and Sr are directly retained on the sorbent column and eluted with a solution of 0.05 mol L(-1) ammonium oxalate. The detection limits achieved were 0.04 ng for lead and 0.03 ng for strontium. Mass calibration curves were used since the proposed system allows the use of different sample volumes for preconcentration. Mass linear working ranges were between 0.13 and 50 ng and 0.1 and 50 ng for lead and strontium, respectively. The repeatability of the method, expressed as RSD, was 2.1% and 2.7% for Pb and Sr, respectively. Environmental samples such as rainwater and airborne particulate (PM10) filters as well as a certified reference material SLRS-4 (river water) were satisfactorily analyzed obtaining recoveries between 90 and 110% for both elements. The main features of the LOV-MSFIA-ICP-MS system proposed are the capability to renew solid phase extraction at will in a fully automated way, the remarkable stability of the column which can be reused up to 160 times, and the potential to perform isotopic analysis.

  14. An automated sensitivity analysis procedure for the performance assessment of nuclear waste isolation systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pin, F.G.; Worley, B.A.; Oblow, E.M.; Wright, R.Q.; Harper, W.V.

    1986-01-01

    To support an effort in making large-scale sensitivity analyses feasible, cost efficient and quantitatively complete, the authors have developed an automated procedure making use of computer calculus. The procedure, called GRESS (GRadient Enhanced Software System), is embodied in a precompiler that can process Fortran computer codes and add derivative-taking capabilities to the normal calculation scheme. In this paper, the automated GRESS procedure is described and applied to the code UCB-NE-10.2, which simulates the migration through a sorption medium of the radionuclide members of a decay chain. The sensitivity calculations for a sample problem are verified using comparison with analytical and perturbation analysis results. Conclusions are drawn relative to the applicability of GRESS for more general large-scale sensitivity studies, and the role of such techniques in an overall sensitivity and uncertainty analysis program is discussed

  15. Feasibility of Commercially Available, Fully Automated Hepatic CT Volumetry for Assessing Both Total and Territorial Liver Volumes in Liver Transplantation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shin, Cheong Il; Kim, Se Hyung; Rhim, Jung Hyo; Yi, Nam Joon; Suh, Kyung Suk; Lee, Jeong Min; Han, Joon Koo; Choi, Byung Ihn [Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2013-02-15

    To assess the feasibility of commercially-available, fully automated hepatic CT volumetry for measuring both total and territorial liver volumes by comparing with interactive manual volumetry and measured ex-vivo liver volume. For the assessment of total and territorial liver volume, portal phase CT images of 77 recipients and 107 donors who donated right hemiliver were used. Liver volume was measured using both the fully automated and interactive manual methods with Advanced Liver Analysis software. The quality of the automated segmentation was graded on a 4-point scale. Grading was performed by two radiologists in consensus. For the cases with excellent-to-good quality, the accuracy of automated volumetry was compared with interactive manual volumetry and measured ex-vivo liver volume which was converted from weight using analysis of variance test and Pearson's or Spearman correlation test. Processing time for both automated and interactive manual methods was also compared. Excellent-to-good quality of automated segmentation for total liver and right hemiliver was achieved in 57.1% (44/77) and 17.8% (19/107), respectively. For both total and right hemiliver volumes, there were no significant differences among automated, manual, and ex-vivo volumes except between automate volume and manual volume of the total liver (p = 0.011). There were good correlations between automate volume and ex-vivo liver volume ({gamma}= 0.637 for total liver and {gamma}= 0.767 for right hemiliver). Both correlation coefficients were higher than those with manual method. Fully automated volumetry required significantly less time than interactive manual method (total liver: 48.6 sec vs. 53.2 sec, right hemiliver: 182 sec vs. 244.5 sec). Fully automated hepatic CT volumetry is feasible and time-efficient for total liver volume measurement. However, its usefulness for territorial liver volumetry needs to be improved.

  16. Feasibility of Commercially Available, Fully Automated Hepatic CT Volumetry for Assessing Both Total and Territorial Liver Volumes in Liver Transplantation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shin, Cheong Il; Kim, Se Hyung; Rhim, Jung Hyo; Yi, Nam Joon; Suh, Kyung Suk; Lee, Jeong Min; Han, Joon Koo; Choi, Byung Ihn

    2013-01-01

    To assess the feasibility of commercially-available, fully automated hepatic CT volumetry for measuring both total and territorial liver volumes by comparing with interactive manual volumetry and measured ex-vivo liver volume. For the assessment of total and territorial liver volume, portal phase CT images of 77 recipients and 107 donors who donated right hemiliver were used. Liver volume was measured using both the fully automated and interactive manual methods with Advanced Liver Analysis software. The quality of the automated segmentation was graded on a 4-point scale. Grading was performed by two radiologists in consensus. For the cases with excellent-to-good quality, the accuracy of automated volumetry was compared with interactive manual volumetry and measured ex-vivo liver volume which was converted from weight using analysis of variance test and Pearson's or Spearman correlation test. Processing time for both automated and interactive manual methods was also compared. Excellent-to-good quality of automated segmentation for total liver and right hemiliver was achieved in 57.1% (44/77) and 17.8% (19/107), respectively. For both total and right hemiliver volumes, there were no significant differences among automated, manual, and ex-vivo volumes except between automate volume and manual volume of the total liver (p = 0.011). There were good correlations between automate volume and ex-vivo liver volume (γ= 0.637 for total liver and γ= 0.767 for right hemiliver). Both correlation coefficients were higher than those with manual method. Fully automated volumetry required significantly less time than interactive manual method (total liver: 48.6 sec vs. 53.2 sec, right hemiliver: 182 sec vs. 244.5 sec). Fully automated hepatic CT volumetry is feasible and time-efficient for total liver volume measurement. However, its usefulness for territorial liver volumetry needs to be improved.

  17. Automated microfluidic sample-preparation platform for high-throughput structural investigation of proteins by small-angle X-ray scattering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lafleur, Josiane P.; Snakenborg, Detlef; Nielsen, Søren Skou

    2011-01-01

    A new microfluidic sample-preparation system is presented for the structural investigation of proteins using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) at synchrotrons. The system includes hardware and software features for precise fluidic control, sample mixing by diffusion, automated X-ray exposure...... control, UV absorbance measurements and automated data analysis. As little as 15 l of sample is required to perform a complete analysis cycle, including sample mixing, SAXS measurement, continuous UV absorbance measurements, and cleaning of the channels and X-ray cell with buffer. The complete analysis...

  18. Pharmacokinetic Studies of Chinese Medicinal Herbs Using an Automated Blood Sampling System and Liquid Chromatography-mass Spectrometry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Tse Wu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The safety of herbal products is one of the major concerns for the modernization of traditional Chinese medicine, and pharmacokinetic data of medicinal herbs guide us to design the rational use of the herbal formula. This article reviews the advantages of the automated blood sampling (ABS systems for pharmacokinetic studies. In addition, three commonly used sample preparative methods, protein precipitation, liquid-liquid extraction and solid-phase extraction, are introduced. Furthermore, the definition, causes and evaluation of matrix effects in liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS analysis are demonstrated. Finally, we present our previous works as practical examples of the application of ABS systems and LC/MS for the pharmacokinetic studies of Chinese medicinal herbs.

  19. A method to establish seismic noise baselines for automated station assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, D.E.; Hutt, C.R.; Gee, L.S.; Benz, H.M.; Buland, R.P.

    2009-01-01

    We present a method for quantifying station noise baselines and characterizing the spectral shape of out-of-nominal noise sources. Our intent is to automate this method in order to ensure that only the highest-quality data are used in rapid earthquake products at NEIC. In addition, the station noise baselines provide a valuable tool to support the quality control of GSN and ANSS backbone data and metadata. The procedures addressed here are currently in development at the NEIC, and work is underway to understand how quickly changes from nominal can be observed and used within the NEIC processing framework. The spectral methods and software used to compute station baselines and described herein (PQLX) can be useful to both permanent and portable seismic stations operators. Applications include: general seismic station and data quality control (QC), evaluation of instrument responses, assessment of near real-time communication system performance, characterization of site cultural noise conditions, and evaluation of sensor vault design, as well as assessment of gross network capabilities (McNamara et al. 2005). Future PQLX development plans include incorporating station baselines for automated QC methods and automating station status report generation and notification based on user-defined QC parameters. The PQLX software is available through the USGS (http://earthquake. usgs.gov/research/software/pqlx.php) and IRIS (http://www.iris.edu/software/ pqlx/).

  20. A semi-automated method for bone age assessment using cervical vertebral maturation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baptista, Roberto S; Quaglio, Camila L; Mourad, Laila M E H; Hummel, Anderson D; Caetano, Cesar Augusto C; Ortolani, Cristina Lúcia F; Pisa, Ivan T

    2012-07-01

    To propose a semi-automated method for pattern classification to predict individuals' stage of growth based on morphologic characteristics that are described in the modified cervical vertebral maturation (CVM) method of Baccetti et al. A total of 188 lateral cephalograms were collected, digitized, evaluated manually, and grouped into cervical stages by two expert examiners. Landmarks were located on each image and measured. Three pattern classifiers based on the Naïve Bayes algorithm were built and assessed using a software program. The classifier with the greatest accuracy according to the weighted kappa test was considered best. The classifier showed a weighted kappa coefficient of 0.861 ± 0.020. If an adjacent estimated pre-stage or poststage value was taken to be acceptable, the classifier would show a weighted kappa coefficient of 0.992 ± 0.019. Results from this study show that the proposed semi-automated pattern classification method can help orthodontists identify the stage of CVM. However, additional studies are needed before this semi-automated classification method for CVM assessment can be implemented in clinical practice.

  1. Sequential automated fusion/extraction chromatography methodology for the dissolution of uranium in environmental samples for mass spectrometric determination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Milliard, Alex; Durand-Jezequel, Myriam [Laboratoire de Radioecologie, Departement de chimie, Universite Laval, 1045 Avenue de la Medecine, Quebec, QC, G1V 0A6 (Canada); Lariviere, Dominic, E-mail: dominic.lariviere@chm.ulaval.ca [Laboratoire de Radioecologie, Departement de chimie, Universite Laval, 1045 Avenue de la Medecine, Quebec, QC, G1V 0A6 (Canada)

    2011-01-17

    An improved methodology has been developed, based on dissolution by automated fusion followed by extraction chromatography for the detection and quantification of uranium in environmental matrices by mass spectrometry. A rapid fusion protocol (<8 min) was investigated for the complete dissolution of various samples. It could be preceded, if required, by an effective ashing procedure using the M4 fluxer and a newly designed platinum lid. Complete dissolution of the sample was observed and measured using standard reference materials (SRMs) and experimental data show no evidence of cross-contamination of crucibles when LiBO{sub 2}/LiBr melts were used. The use of a M4 fusion unit also improved repeatability in sample preparation over muffle furnace fusion. Instrumental issues originating from the presence of high salt concentrations in the digestate after lithium metaborate fusion was also mitigated using an extraction chromatography (EXC) protocol aimed at removing lithium and interfering matrix constituants prior to the elution of uranium. The sequential methodology, which can be performed simultaneously on three samples, requires less than 20 min per sample for fusion and separation. It was successfully coupled to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) achieving detection limits below 100 pg kg{sup -1} for 5-300 mg of sample.

  2. Extending laboratory automation to the wards: effect of an innovative pneumatic tube system on diagnostic samples and transport time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suchsland, Juliane; Winter, Theresa; Greiser, Anne; Streichert, Thomas; Otto, Benjamin; Mayerle, Julia; Runge, Sören; Kallner, Anders; Nauck, Matthias; Petersmann, Astrid

    2017-02-01

    The innovative pneumatic tube system (iPTS) transports one sample at a time without the use of cartridges and allows rapid sending of samples directly into the bulk loader of a laboratory automation system (LAS). We investigated effects of the iPTS on samples and turn-around time (TAT). During transport, a mini data logger recorded the accelerations in three dimensions and reported them in arbitrary area under the curve (AUC) units. In addition representative quantities of clinical chemistry, hematology and coagulation were measured and compared in 20 blood sample pairs transported by iPTS and courier. Samples transported by iPTS were brought to the laboratory (300 m) within 30 s without adverse effects on the samples. The information retrieved from the data logger showed a median AUC of 7 and 310 arbitrary units for courier and iPTS transport, respectively. This is considerably below the reported limit for noticeable hemolysis of 500 arbitrary units. iPTS reduces TAT by reducing the hands-on time and a fast transport. No differences in the measurement results were found for any of the investigated 36 analytes between courier and iPTS transport. Based on these findings the iPTS was cleared for clinical use in our hospital.

  3. The development of an automated sentence generator for the assessment of reading speed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Legge Gordon E

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Reading speed is an important outcome measure for many studies in neuroscience and psychology. Conventional reading speed tests have a limited corpus of sentences and usually require observers to read sentences aloud. Here we describe an automated sentence generator which can create over 100,000 unique sentences, scored using a true/false response. We propose that an estimate of the minimum exposure time required for observers to categorise the truth of such sentences is a good alternative to reading speed measures that guarantees comprehension of the printed material. Removing one word from the sentence reduces performance to chance, indicating minimal redundancy. Reading speed assessed using rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP of these sentences is not statistically different from using MNREAD sentences. The automated sentence generator would be useful for measuring reading speed with button-press response (such as within MRI scanners and for studies requiring many repeated measures of reading speed.

  4. Automated Registration of Multimodal Optic Disc Images: Clinical Assessment of Alignment Accuracy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Wai Siene; Legg, Phil; Avadhanam, Venkat; Aye, Kyaw; Evans, Steffan H P; North, Rachel V; Marshall, Andrew D; Rosin, Paul; Morgan, James E

    2016-04-01

    To determine the accuracy of automated alignment algorithms for the registration of optic disc images obtained by 2 different modalities: fundus photography and scanning laser tomography. Images obtained with the Heidelberg Retina Tomograph II and paired photographic optic disc images of 135 eyes were analyzed. Three state-of-the-art automated registration techniques Regional Mutual Information, rigid Feature Neighbourhood Mutual Information (FNMI), and nonrigid FNMI (NRFNMI) were used to align these image pairs. Alignment of each composite picture was assessed on a 5-point grading scale: "Fail" (no alignment of vessels with no vessel contact), "Weak" (vessels have slight contact), "Good" (vessels with 50% contact), and "Excellent" (complete alignment). Custom software generated an image mosaic in which the modalities were interleaved as a series of alternate 5×5-pixel blocks. These were graded independently by 3 clinically experienced observers. A total of 810 image pairs were assessed. All 3 registration techniques achieved a score of "Good" or better in >95% of the image sets. NRFNMI had the highest percentage of "Excellent" (mean: 99.6%; range, 95.2% to 99.6%), followed by Regional Mutual Information (mean: 81.6%; range, 86.3% to 78.5%) and FNMI (mean: 73.1%; range, 85.2% to 54.4%). Automated registration of optic disc images by different modalities is a feasible option for clinical application. All 3 methods provided useful levels of alignment, but the NRFNMI technique consistently outperformed the others and is recommended as a practical approach to the automated registration of multimodal disc images.

  5. An automated synthesis-purification-sample-management platform for the accelerated generation of pharmaceutical candidates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutherland, J David; Tu, Noah P; Nemcek, Thomas A; Searle, Philip A; Hochlowski, Jill E; Djuric, Stevan W; Pan, Jeffrey Y

    2014-04-01

    A flexible and integrated flow-chemistry-synthesis-purification compound-generation and sample-management platform has been developed to accelerate the production of small-molecule organic-compound drug candidates in pharmaceutical research. Central to the integrated system is a Mitsubishi robot, which hands off samples throughout the process to the next station, including synthesis and purification, sample dispensing for purity and quantification analysis, dry-down, and aliquot generation.

  6. Boat sampling technique for assessment of ageing of components

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kumar, Kundan; Shyam, T.V.; Kayal, J.N.; Rupani, B.B.

    2006-01-01

    Boat sampling technique (BST) is a surface sampling technique, which has been developed for obtaining, in-situ, metal samples from the surface of an operating component without affecting its operating service life. The BST is non-destructive in nature and the sample is obtained without plastic deformation or without thermal degradation of the parent material. The shape and size of the sample depends upon the shape of the cutter and the surface geometry of the parent material. Miniature test specimens are generated from the sample and the specimens are subjected to various tests, viz. Metallurgical Evaluation, Metallographic Evaluation, Micro-hardness Evaluation, sensitisation test, small punch test etc. to confirm the integrity and assessment of safe operating life of the component. This paper highlights design objective of boat sampling technique, description of sampling module, sampling cutter and its performance evaluation, cutting process, boat samples, operational sequence of sampling module, qualification of sampling module, qualification of sampling technique, qualification of scooped region of the parent material, sample retrieval system, inspection, testing and examination to be carried out on the boat samples and scooped region. (author)

  7. An Automated System for Skeletal Maturity Assessment by Extreme Learning Machines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansourvar, Marjan; Shamshirband, Shahaboddin; Raj, Ram Gopal; Gunalan, Roshan; Mazinani, Iman

    2015-01-01

    Assessing skeletal age is a subjective and tedious examination process. Hence, automated assessment methods have been developed to replace manual evaluation in medical applications. In this study, a new fully automated method based on content-based image retrieval and using extreme learning machines (ELM) is designed and adapted to assess skeletal maturity. The main novelty of this approach is it overcomes the segmentation problem as suffered by existing systems. The estimation results of ELM models are compared with those of genetic programming (GP) and artificial neural networks (ANNs) models. The experimental results signify improvement in assessment accuracy over GP and ANN, while generalization capability is possible with the ELM approach. Moreover, the results are indicated that the ELM model developed can be used confidently in further work on formulating novel models of skeletal age assessment strategies. According to the experimental results, the new presented method has the capacity to learn many hundreds of times faster than traditional learning methods and it has sufficient overall performance in many aspects. It has conclusively been found that applying ELM is particularly promising as an alternative method for evaluating skeletal age. PMID:26402795

  8. An Automated System for Skeletal Maturity Assessment by Extreme Learning Machines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansourvar, Marjan; Shamshirband, Shahaboddin; Raj, Ram Gopal; Gunalan, Roshan; Mazinani, Iman

    2015-01-01

    Assessing skeletal age is a subjective and tedious examination process. Hence, automated assessment methods have been developed to replace manual evaluation in medical applications. In this study, a new fully automated method based on content-based image retrieval and using extreme learning machines (ELM) is designed and adapted to assess skeletal maturity. The main novelty of this approach is it overcomes the segmentation problem as suffered by existing systems. The estimation results of ELM models are compared with those of genetic programming (GP) and artificial neural networks (ANNs) models. The experimental results signify improvement in assessment accuracy over GP and ANN, while generalization capability is possible with the ELM approach. Moreover, the results are indicated that the ELM model developed can be used confidently in further work on formulating novel models of skeletal age assessment strategies. According to the experimental results, the new presented method has the capacity to learn many hundreds of times faster than traditional learning methods and it has sufficient overall performance in many aspects. It has conclusively been found that applying ELM is particularly promising as an alternative method for evaluating skeletal age.

  9. A Framework to Automate Assessment of Upper-Limb Motor Function Impairment: A Feasibility Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Otten

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Standard upper-limb motor function impairment assessments, such as the Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA, are a critical aspect of rehabilitation after neurological disorders. These assessments typically take a long time (about 30 min for the FMA for a clinician to perform on a patient, which is a severe burden in a clinical environment. In this paper, we propose a framework for automating upper-limb motor assessments that uses low-cost sensors to collect movement data. The sensor data is then processed through a machine learning algorithm to determine a score for a patient’s upper-limb functionality. To demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed approach, we implemented a system based on the proposed framework that can automate most of the FMA. Our experiment shows that the system provides similar FMA scores to clinician scores, and reduces the time spent evaluating each patient by 82%. Moreover, the proposed framework can be used to implement customized tests or tests specified in other existing standard assessment methods.

  10. Sequential sampling: a novel method in farm animal welfare assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heath, C A E; Main, D C J; Mullan, S; Haskell, M J; Browne, W J

    2016-02-01

    Lameness in dairy cows is an important welfare issue. As part of a welfare assessment, herd level lameness prevalence can be estimated from scoring a sample of animals, where higher levels of accuracy are associated with larger sample sizes. As the financial cost is related to the number of cows sampled, smaller samples are preferred. Sequential sampling schemes have been used for informing decision making in clinical trials. Sequential sampling involves taking samples in stages, where sampling can stop early depending on the estimated lameness prevalence. When welfare assessment is used for a pass/fail decision, a similar approach could be applied to reduce the overall sample size. The sampling schemes proposed here apply the principles of sequential sampling within a diagnostic testing framework. This study develops three sequential sampling schemes of increasing complexity to classify 80 fully assessed UK dairy farms, each with known lameness prevalence. Using the Welfare Quality herd-size-based sampling scheme, the first 'basic' scheme involves two sampling events. At the first sampling event half the Welfare Quality sample size is drawn, and then depending on the outcome, sampling either stops or is continued and the same number of animals is sampled again. In the second 'cautious' scheme, an adaptation is made to ensure that correctly classifying a farm as 'bad' is done with greater certainty. The third scheme is the only scheme to go beyond lameness as a binary measure and investigates the potential for increasing accuracy by incorporating the number of severely lame cows into the decision. The three schemes are evaluated with respect to accuracy and average sample size by running 100 000 simulations for each scheme, and a comparison is made with the fixed size Welfare Quality herd-size-based sampling scheme. All three schemes performed almost as well as the fixed size scheme but with much smaller average sample sizes. For the third scheme, an overall

  11. Automated Sample Preparation Platform for Mass Spectrometry-Based Plasma Proteomics and Biomarker Discovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vilém Guryča

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The identification of novel biomarkers from human plasma remains a critical need in order to develop and monitor drug therapies for nearly all disease areas. The discovery of novel plasma biomarkers is, however, significantly hampered by the complexity and dynamic range of proteins within plasma, as well as the inherent variability in composition from patient to patient. In addition, it is widely accepted that most soluble plasma biomarkers for diseases such as cancer will be represented by tissue leakage products, circulating in plasma at low levels. It is therefore necessary to find approaches with the prerequisite level of sensitivity in such a complex biological matrix. Strategies for fractionating the plasma proteome have been suggested, but improvements in sensitivity are often negated by the resultant process variability. Here we describe an approach using multidimensional chromatography and on-line protein derivatization, which allows for higher sensitivity, whilst minimizing the process variability. In order to evaluate this automated process fully, we demonstrate three levels of processing and compare sensitivity, throughput and reproducibility. We demonstrate that high sensitivity analysis of the human plasma proteome is possible down to the low ng/mL or even high pg/mL level with a high degree of technical reproducibility.

  12. An automated laboratory-scale methodology for the generation of sheared mammalian cell culture samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph, Adrian; Goldrick, Stephen; Mollet, Michael; Turner, Richard; Bender, Jean; Gruber, David; Farid, Suzanne S; Titchener-Hooker, Nigel

    2017-05-01

    Continuous disk-stack centrifugation is typically used for the removal of cells and cellular debris from mammalian cell culture broths at manufacturing-scale. The use of scale-down methods to characterise disk-stack centrifugation performance enables substantial reductions in material requirements and allows a much wider design space to be tested than is currently possible at pilot-scale. The process of scaling down centrifugation has historically been challenging due to the difficulties in mimicking the Energy Dissipation Rates (EDRs) in typical machines. This paper describes an alternative and easy-to-assemble automated capillary-based methodology to generate levels of EDRs consistent with those found in a continuous disk-stack centrifuge. Variations in EDR were achieved through changes in capillary internal diameter and the flow rate of operation through the capillary. The EDRs found to match the levels of shear in the feed zone of a pilot-scale centrifuge using the experimental method developed in this paper (2.4×10 5 W/Kg) are consistent with those obtained through previously published computational fluid dynamic (CFD) studies (2.0×10 5 W/Kg). Furthermore, this methodology can be incorporated into existing scale-down methods to model the process performance of continuous disk-stack centrifuges. This was demonstrated through the characterisation of culture hold time, culture temperature and EDRs on centrate quality. © 2017 The Authors. Biotechnology Journal published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  13. Automated spectrometer interface for measurement of short half-life samples for neutron activation analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lapolli, André L.; Secco, Marcello; Genezini, Frederico A.; Zahn, Guilherme S.; Moreira, Edson G., E-mail: alapolli@ipen.br [Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), São Paulo, SP (Brazil)

    2017-07-01

    In this paper a source positioning system was developed, based on a HPGe detector coupled to a Canberra DAS 1000 data acquisition system and Canberra's GENIE2K software and libraries. The system is composed of a step motor coupled to an Arduino Uno microcontroller, which is programmed using C language to allow for a source-detector distance between 0.3 and 20 cm - both components are coupled to a PC computer using the USB interface. In order to allow automated data acquisition, two additional pieces of software were developed. The first one, a Human-Machine Interface (HMI) programmed in Visual Basic 6, allows the programming and monitoring of the data acquisition process, and the other, in REXX language, controls the data acquisition process in the background. The HMI is user-friendly and versatile, so that the even rather complex data acquisition processes may be easily programmed. When the experiment scheme is saved, two files are created and used by the REXX code to control the acquisition process so that the data acquisition is automatically stopped and saved after a user-defined time, then the source is repositioned and data acquisition is cleared and restarted. While in the present stage the system only offers three distinct source positions, finer source-position adjusting is under development. In its present configuration the system has been tested for stability and repeatability in all three positions, with an an excellent performance (author)

  14. Automated spectrometer interface for measurement of short half-life samples for neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lapolli, André L.; Secco, Marcello; Genezini, Frederico A.; Zahn, Guilherme S.; Moreira, Edson G.

    2017-01-01

    In this paper a source positioning system was developed, based on a HPGe detector coupled to a Canberra DAS 1000 data acquisition system and Canberra's GENIE2K software and libraries. The system is composed of a step motor coupled to an Arduino Uno microcontroller, which is programmed using C language to allow for a source-detector distance between 0.3 and 20 cm - both components are coupled to a PC computer using the USB interface. In order to allow automated data acquisition, two additional pieces of software were developed. The first one, a Human-Machine Interface (HMI) programmed in Visual Basic 6, allows the programming and monitoring of the data acquisition process, and the other, in REXX language, controls the data acquisition process in the background. The HMI is user-friendly and versatile, so that the even rather complex data acquisition processes may be easily programmed. When the experiment scheme is saved, two files are created and used by the REXX code to control the acquisition process so that the data acquisition is automatically stopped and saved after a user-defined time, then the source is repositioned and data acquisition is cleared and restarted. While in the present stage the system only offers three distinct source positions, finer source-position adjusting is under development. In its present configuration the system has been tested for stability and repeatability in all three positions, with an an excellent performance (author)

  15. Solid recovered fuels in the cement industry--semi-automated sample preparation unit as a means for facilitated practical application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldrian, Alexia; Sarc, Renato; Pomberger, Roland; Lorber, Karl E; Sipple, Ernst-Michael

    2016-03-01

    One of the challenges for the cement industry is the quality assurance of alternative fuel (e.g., solid recovered fuel, SRF) in co-incineration plants--especially for inhomogeneous alternative fuels with large particle sizes (d95⩾100 mm), which will gain even more importance in the substitution of conventional fuels due to low production costs. Existing standards for sampling and sample preparation do not cover the challenges resulting from these kinds of materials. A possible approach to ensure quality monitoring is shown in the present contribution. For this, a specially manufactured, automated comminution and sample divider device was installed at a cement plant in Rohožnik. In order to prove its practical suitability with methods according to current standards, the sampling and sample preparation process were validated for alternative fuel with a grain size >30 mm (i.e., d95=approximately 100 mm), so-called 'Hotdisc SRF'. Therefore, series of samples were taken and analysed. A comparison of the analysis results with the yearly average values obtained through a reference investigation route showed good accordance. Further investigations during the validation process also showed that segregation or enrichment of material throughout the comminution plant does not occur. The results also demonstrate that compliance with legal standards regarding the minimum sample amount is not sufficient for inhomogeneous and coarse particle size alternative fuels. Instead, higher sample amounts after the first particle size reduction step are strongly recommended in order to gain a representative laboratory sample. © The Author(s) 2016.

  16. Automated multi-dimensional liquid chromatography : sample preparation and identification of peptides from human blood filtrate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Machtejevas, Egidijus; John, Harald; Wagner, Knut; Standker, Ludger; Marko-Varga, Gyorgy; Georg Forssmann, Wolf; Bischoff, Rainer; K. Unger, Klaus

    2004-01-01

    A comprehensive on-line sample clean-up with an integrated two-dimensional HPLC system was developed for the analysis of natural peptides. Samples comprised of endogenous peptides with molecular weights up to 20 kDa were generated from human hemofiltrate (HF) obtained from patients with chronic

  17. Influence of Sample Size on Automatic Positional Accuracy Assessment Methods for Urban Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco J. Ariza-López

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, new approaches aimed to increase the automation level of positional accuracy assessment processes for spatial data have been developed. However, in such cases, an aspect as significant as sample size has not yet been addressed. In this paper, we study the influence of sample size when estimating the planimetric positional accuracy of urban databases by means of an automatic assessment using polygon-based methodology. Our study is based on a simulation process, which extracts pairs of homologous polygons from the assessed and reference data sources and applies two buffer-based methods. The parameter used for determining the different sizes (which range from 5 km up to 100 km has been the length of the polygons’ perimeter, and for each sample size 1000 simulations were run. After completing the simulation process, the comparisons between the estimated distribution functions for each sample and population distribution function were carried out by means of the Kolmogorov–Smirnov test. Results show a significant reduction in the variability of estimations when sample size increased from 5 km to 100 km.

  18. SU-E-I-94: Automated Image Quality Assessment of Radiographic Systems Using An Anthropomorphic Phantom

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wells, J; Wilson, J; Zhang, Y; Samei, E; Ravin, Carl E.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: In a large, academic medical center, consistent radiographic imaging performance is difficult to routinely monitor and maintain, especially for a fleet consisting of multiple vendors, models, software versions, and numerous imaging protocols. Thus, an automated image quality control methodology has been implemented using routine image quality assessment with a physical, stylized anthropomorphic chest phantom. Methods: The “Duke” Phantom (Digital Phantom 07-646, Supertech, Elkhart, IN) was imaged twice on each of 13 radiographic units from a variety of vendors at 13 primary care clinics. The first acquisition used the clinical PA chest protocol to acquire the post-processed “FOR PRESENTATION” image. The second image was acquired without an antiscatter grid followed by collection of the “FOR PROCESSING” image. Manual CNR measurements were made from the largest and thickest contrast-detail inserts in the lung, heart, and abdominal regions of the phantom in each image. An automated image registration algorithm was used to estimate the CNR of the same insert using similar ROIs. Automated measurements were then compared to the manual measurements. Results: Automatic and manual CNR measurements obtained from “FOR PRESENTATION” images had average percent differences of 0.42%±5.18%, −3.44%±4.85%, and 1.04%±3.15% in the lung, heart, and abdominal regions, respectively; measurements obtained from “FOR PROCESSING” images had average percent differences of -0.63%±6.66%, −0.97%±3.92%, and −0.53%±4.18%, respectively. The maximum absolute difference in CNR was 15.78%, 10.89%, and 8.73% in the respective regions. In addition to CNR assessment of the largest and thickest contrast-detail inserts, the automated method also provided CNR estimates for all 75 contrast-detail inserts in each phantom image. Conclusion: Automated analysis of a radiographic phantom has been shown to be a fast, robust, and objective means for assessing radiographic

  19. Reliability Assessment of the Defense Automated Neurobehavioral Assessment (DANA) in Extreme Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-01

    multiple automated cognitive tests, data management and reporting capabilities, and executive menu. The DANA battery was given on a Trimble NOMAD ...handheld computing device using a stylus for consistency. The NOMAD runs a custom version of the Android Operating System and has a color 3.5 inch... digit pairs are shown below a key, & the participant indicates it matches the one in the key. PRO This test targets decision-making capabilities

  20. Evaluation of a software package for automated quality assessment of contrast detail images-comparison with subjective visual assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pascoal, A; Lawinski, C P; Honey, I; Blake, P

    2005-01-01

    Contrast detail analysis is commonly used to assess image quality (IQ) associated with diagnostic imaging systems. Applications include routine assessment of equipment performance and optimization studies. Most frequently, the evaluation of contrast detail images involves human observers visually detecting the threshold contrast detail combinations in the image. However, the subjective nature of human perception and the variations in the decision threshold pose limits to the minimum image quality variations detectable with reliability. Objective methods of assessment of image quality such as automated scoring have the potential to overcome the above limitations. A software package (CDRAD analyser) developed for automated scoring of images produced with the CDRAD test object was evaluated. Its performance to assess absolute and relative IQ was compared with that of an average observer. Results show that the software does not mimic the absolute performance of the average observer. The software proved more sensitive and was able to detect smaller low-contrast variations. The observer's performance was superior to the software's in the detection of smaller details. Both scoring methods showed frequent agreement in the detection of image quality variations resulting from changes in kVp and KERMA detector , which indicates the potential to use the software CDRAD analyser for assessment of relative IQ

  1. Automated radioanalytical system incorporating microwave-assisted sample preparation, chemical separation, and online radiometric detection for the monitoring of total 99Tc in nuclear waste processing streams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egorov, Oleg B; O'Hara, Matthew J; Grate, Jay W

    2012-04-03

    An automated fluidic instrument is described that rapidly determines the total (99)Tc content of aged nuclear waste samples, where the matrix is chemically and radiologically complex and the existing speciation of the (99)Tc is variable. The monitor links microwave-assisted sample preparation with an automated anion exchange column separation and detection using a flow-through solid scintillator detector. The sample preparation steps acidify the sample, decompose organics, and convert all Tc species to the pertechnetate anion. The column-based anion exchange procedure separates the pertechnetate from the complex sample matrix, so that radiometric detection can provide accurate measurement of (99)Tc. We developed a preprogrammed spike addition procedure to automatically determine matrix-matched calibration. The overall measurement efficiency that is determined simultaneously provides a self-diagnostic parameter for the radiochemical separation and overall instrument function. Continuous, automated operation was demonstrated over the course of 54 h, which resulted in the analysis of 215 samples plus 54 hly spike-addition samples, with consistent overall measurement efficiency for the operation of the monitor. A sample can be processed and measured automatically in just 12.5 min with a detection limit of 23.5 Bq/mL of (99)Tc in low activity waste (0.495 mL sample volume), with better than 10% RSD precision at concentrations above the quantification limit. This rapid automated analysis method was developed to support nuclear waste processing operations planned for the Hanford nuclear site.

  2. Assessing V and V Processes for Automation with Respect to Vulnerabilities to Loss of Airplane State Awareness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitlow, Stephen; Wilkinson, Chris; Hamblin, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Automation has contributed substantially to the sustained improvement of aviation safety by minimizing the physical workload of the pilot and increasing operational efficiency. Nevertheless, in complex and highly automated aircraft, automation also has unintended consequences. As systems become more complex and the authority and autonomy (A&A) of the automation increases, human operators become relegated to the role of a system supervisor or administrator, a passive role not conducive to maintaining engagement and airplane state awareness (ASA). The consequence is that flight crews can often come to over rely on the automation, become less engaged in the human-machine interaction, and lose awareness of the automation mode under which the aircraft is operating. Likewise, the complexity of the system and automation modes may lead to poor understanding of the interaction between a mode of automation and a particular system configuration or phase of flight. These and other examples of mode confusion often lead to mismanaging the aircraftâ€"TM"s energy state or the aircraft deviating from the intended flight path. This report examines methods for assessing whether, and how, operational constructs properly assign authority and autonomy in a safe and coordinated manner, with particular emphasis on assuring adequate airplane state awareness by the flight crew and air traffic controllers in off-nominal and/or complex situations.

  3. Accelerated Evaluation of Automated Vehicles Safety in Lane-Change Scenarios Based on Importance Sampling Techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Ding; Lam, Henry; Peng, Huei; Bao, Shan; LeBlanc, David J; Nobukawa, Kazutoshi; Pan, Christopher S

    2017-03-01

    Automated vehicles (AVs) must be thoroughly evaluated before their release and deployment. A widely used evaluation approach is the Naturalistic-Field Operational Test (N-FOT), which tests prototype vehicles directly on the public roads. Due to the low exposure to safety-critical scenarios, N-FOTs are time consuming and expensive to conduct. In this paper, we propose an accelerated evaluation approach for AVs. The results can be used to generate motions of the other primary vehicles to accelerate the verification of AVs in simulations and controlled experiments. Frontal collision due to unsafe cut-ins is the target crash type of this paper. Human-controlled vehicles making unsafe lane changes are modeled as the primary disturbance to AVs based on data collected by the University of Michigan Safety Pilot Model Deployment Program. The cut-in scenarios are generated based on skewed statistics of collected human driver behaviors, which generate risky testing scenarios while preserving the statistical information so that the safety benefits of AVs in nonaccelerated cases can be accurately estimated. The cross-entropy method is used to recursively search for the optimal skewing parameters. The frequencies of the occurrences of conflicts, crashes, and injuries are estimated for a modeled AV, and the achieved accelerated rate is around 2000 to 20 000. In other words, in the accelerated simulations, driving for 1000 miles will expose the AV with challenging scenarios that will take about 2 to 20 million miles of real-world driving to encounter. This technique thus has the potential to greatly reduce the development and validation time for AVs.

  4. Rapid DNA analysis for automated processing and interpretation of low DNA content samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turingan, Rosemary S; Vasantgadkar, Sameer; Palombo, Luke; Hogan, Catherine; Jiang, Hua; Tan, Eugene; Selden, Richard F

    2016-01-01

    Short tandem repeat (STR) analysis of casework samples with low DNA content include those resulting from the transfer of epithelial cells from the skin to an object (e.g., cells on a water bottle, or brim of a cap), blood spatter stains, and small bone and tissue fragments. Low DNA content (LDC) samples are important in a wide range of settings, including disaster response teams to assist in victim identification and family reunification, military operations to identify friend or foe, criminal forensics to identify suspects and exonerate the innocent, and medical examiner and coroner offices to identify missing persons. Processing LDC samples requires experienced laboratory personnel, isolated workstations, and sophisticated equipment, requires transport time, and involves complex procedures. We present a rapid DNA analysis system designed specifically to generate STR profiles from LDC samples in field-forward settings by non-technical operators. By performing STR in the field, close to the site of collection, rapid DNA analysis has the potential to increase throughput and to provide actionable information in real time. A Low DNA Content BioChipSet (LDC BCS) was developed and manufactured by injection molding. It was designed to function in the fully integrated Accelerated Nuclear DNA Equipment (ANDE) instrument previously designed for analysis of buccal swab and other high DNA content samples (Investigative Genet. 4(1):1-15, 2013). The LDC BCS performs efficient DNA purification followed by microfluidic ultrafiltration of the purified DNA, maximizing the quantity of DNA available for subsequent amplification and electrophoretic separation and detection of amplified fragments. The system demonstrates accuracy, precision, resolution, signal strength, and peak height ratios appropriate for casework analysis. The LDC rapid DNA analysis system is effective for the generation of STR profiles from a wide range of sample types. The technology broadens the range of sample

  5. High-throughput automated microfluidic sample preparation for accurate microbial genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Soohong; De Jonghe, Joachim; Kulesa, Anthony B; Feldman, David; Vatanen, Tommi; Bhattacharyya, Roby P; Berdy, Brittany; Gomez, James; Nolan, Jill; Epstein, Slava; Blainey, Paul C

    2017-01-27

    Low-cost shotgun DNA sequencing is transforming the microbial sciences. Sequencing instruments are so effective that sample preparation is now the key limiting factor. Here, we introduce a microfluidic sample preparation platform that integrates the key steps in cells to sequence library sample preparation for up to 96 samples and reduces DNA input requirements 100-fold while maintaining or improving data quality. The general-purpose microarchitecture we demonstrate supports workflows with arbitrary numbers of reaction and clean-up or capture steps. By reducing the sample quantity requirements, we enabled low-input (∼10,000 cells) whole-genome shotgun (WGS) sequencing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and soil micro-colonies with superior results. We also leveraged the enhanced throughput to sequence ∼400 clinical Pseudomonas aeruginosa libraries and demonstrate excellent single-nucleotide polymorphism detection performance that explained phenotypically observed antibiotic resistance. Fully-integrated lab-on-chip sample preparation overcomes technical barriers to enable broader deployment of genomics across many basic research and translational applications.

  6. Automated sample preparation station for studying self-diffusion in porous solids with NMR spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedin, Niklas; DeMartin, Gregory J.; Reyes, Sebastián C.

    2006-03-01

    In studies of gas diffusion in porous solids with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy the sample preparation procedure becomes very important. An apparatus is presented here that pretreats the sample ex situ and accurately sets the desired pressure and temperature within the NMR tube prior to its introduction in the spectrometer. The gas manifold that supplies the NMR tube is also connected to a microbalance containing another portion of the same sample, which is kept at the same temperature as the sample in the NMR tube. This arrangement permits the simultaneous measurement of the adsorption loading on the sample, which is required for the interpretation of the NMR diffusion experiments. Furthermore, to ensure a good seal of the NMR tube, a hybrid valve design composed of titanium, a Teflon® seat, and Kalrez® O-rings is utilized. A computer controlled algorithm ensures the accuracy and reproducibility of all the procedures, enabling the NMR diffusion experiments to be performed at well controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, and amount of gas adsorbed on the porous sample.

  7. Development of an automated method for determination of thorium in soil samples and aerosols

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stuart, J.E.; Robertson, R.

    1986-09-01

    Methodology for determining trace thorium levels in a variety of sample types was further developed. Thorium in filtered water samples is concentrated by ferric hydroxide precipitation followed by dissolution and co-precipitation with lanthanum fluoride. Aerosols on glass fibre, cellulose ester, or teflon filters and solid soil and sediment samples are acid digested. Subsequently thorium is concentrated by lanthanum fluoride co-precipitation. Chemical separation and measurement is then done on a Technicon AA11-C autoanalyzer, using solvent extraction into thenoyltrifuoroacetone in kerosene followed by back extraction into 2 N H NO 3 , and colourometric measurement of the thorium arsenazo III complex. Chemical yields are determined by the addition of thorium-234 tracer using gamma-ray spectrometry. The sensitivities of the methods for water, aerosol and solid samples are approximately 1.0 μg/L, 0.5 μg/g and 1.0 μg/g respectively. At thorium levels about ten times the detection limit, accuracy is estimated to be ± 10% for liquids and aerosols and ± 15% for solid samples, and precision ± 5% for all samples

  8. Iterative User Interface Design for Automated Sequential Organ Failure Assessment Score Calculator in Sepsis Detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aakre, Christopher Ansel; Kitson, Jaben E; Li, Man; Herasevich, Vitaly

    2017-05-18

    The new sepsis definition has increased the need for frequent sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score recalculation and the clerical burden of information retrieval makes this score ideal for automated calculation. The aim of this study was to (1) estimate the clerical workload of manual SOFA score calculation through a time-motion analysis and (2) describe a user-centered design process for an electronic medical record (EMR) integrated, automated SOFA score calculator with subsequent usability evaluation study. First, we performed a time-motion analysis by recording time-to-task-completion for the manual calculation of 35 baseline and 35 current SOFA scores by 14 internal medicine residents over a 2-month period. Next, we used an agile development process to create a user interface for a previously developed automated SOFA score calculator. The final user interface usability was evaluated by clinician end users with the Computer Systems Usability Questionnaire. The overall mean (standard deviation, SD) time-to-complete manual SOFA score calculation time was 61.6 s (33). Among the 24% (12/50) usability survey respondents, our user-centered user interface design process resulted in >75% favorability of survey items in the domains of system usability, information quality, and interface quality. Early stakeholder engagement in our agile design process resulted in a user interface for an automated SOFA score calculator that reduced clinician workload and met clinicians' needs at the point of care. Emerging interoperable platforms may facilitate dissemination of similarly useful clinical score calculators and decision support algorithms as "apps." A user-centered design process and usability evaluation should be considered during creation of these tools. ©Christopher Ansel Aakre, Jaben E Kitson, Man Li, Vitaly Herasevich. Originally published in JMIR Human Factors (http://humanfactors.jmir.org), 18.05.2017.

  9. Accuracy of liver lesion assessment using automated measurement and segmentation software in biphasic multislice CT (MSCT)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Puesken, M.; Juergens, K.U.; Edenfeld, A.; Buerke, B.; Seifarth, H.; Beyer, F.; Heindel, W.; Wessling, J.; Suehling, M.; Osada, N.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: To assess the accuracy of liver lesion measurement using automated measurement and segmentation software depending on the vascularization level. Materials and Methods: Arterial and portal venous phase multislice CT (MSCT) was performed for 58 patients. 94 liver lesions were evaluated and classified according to vascularity (hypervascular: 13 hepatocellular carcinomas, 20 hemangiomas; hypovascular: 31 metastases, 3 lymphomas, 4 abscesses; liquid: 23 cysts). The RECIST diameter and volume were obtained using automated measurement and segmentation software and compared to corresponding measurements derived visually by two experienced radiologists as a reference standard. Statistical analysis was performed using the Wilcoxon test and concordance correlation coefficients. Results: Automated measurements revealed no significant difference between the arterial and portal venous phase in hypovascular (mean RECIST diameter: 31.4 vs. 30.2 mm; p = 0.65; κ = 0.875) and liquid lesions (20.4 vs. 20.1 mm; p = 0.1; κ = 0.996). The RECIST diameter and volume of hypervascular lesions were significantly underestimated in the portal venous phase as compared to the arterial phase (30.3 vs. 26.9 mm, p = 0.007, κ 0.834; 10.7 vs. 7.9 ml, p = 0.0045, κ = 0.752). Automated measurements for hypovascular and liquid lesions in the arterial and portal venous phase were concordant to the reference standard. Hypervascular lesion measurements were in line with the reference standard for the arterial phase (30.3 vs. 32.2 mm, p 0.66, κ = 0.754), but revealed a significant difference for the portal venous phase (26.9 vs. 32.1 mm; p = 0.041; κ = 0.606). (orig.)

  10. Automated Assessment of Patients' Self-Narratives for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Screening Using Natural Language Processing and Text Mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Qiwei; Veldkamp, Bernard P; Glas, Cees A W; de Vries, Theo

    2017-03-01

    Patients' narratives about traumatic experiences and symptoms are useful in clinical screening and diagnostic procedures. In this study, we presented an automated assessment system to screen patients for posttraumatic stress disorder via a natural language processing and text-mining approach. Four machine-learning algorithms-including decision tree, naive Bayes, support vector machine, and an alternative classification approach called the product score model-were used in combination with n-gram representation models to identify patterns between verbal features in self-narratives and psychiatric diagnoses. With our sample, the product score model with unigrams attained the highest prediction accuracy when compared with practitioners' diagnoses. The addition of multigrams contributed most to balancing the metrics of sensitivity and specificity. This article also demonstrates that text mining is a promising approach for analyzing patients' self-expression behavior, thus helping clinicians identify potential patients from an early stage.

  11. The T-lock: automated compensation of radio-frequency induced sample heating

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hiller, Sebastian; Arthanari, Haribabu; Wagner, Gerhard

    2009-01-01

    Modern high-field NMR spectrometers can stabilize the nominal sample temperature at a precision of less than 0.1 K. However, the actual sample temperature may differ from the nominal value by several degrees because the sample heating caused by high-power radio frequency pulses is not readily detected by the temperature sensors. Without correction, transfer of chemical shifts between different experiments causes problems in the data analysis. In principle, the temperature differences can be corrected by manual procedures but this is cumbersome and not fully reliable. Here, we introduce the concept of a 'T-lock', which automatically maintains the sample at the same reference temperature over the course of different NMR experiments. The T-lock works by continuously measuring the resonance frequency of a suitable spin and simultaneously adjusting the temperature control, thus locking the sample temperature at the reference value. For three different nuclei, 13 C, 17 O and 31 P in the compounds alanine, water, and phosphate, respectively, the T-lock accuracy was found to be <0.1 K. The use of dummy scan periods with variable lengths allows a reliable establishment of the thermal equilibrium before the acquisition of an experiment starts

  12. Automated essay scoring and the future of educational assessment in medical education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gierl, Mark J; Latifi, Syed; Lai, Hollis; Boulais, André-Philippe; De Champlain, André

    2014-10-01

    Constructed-response tasks, which range from short-answer tests to essay questions, are included in assessments of medical knowledge because they allow educators to measure students' ability to think, reason, solve complex problems, communicate and collaborate through their use of writing. However, constructed-response tasks are also costly to administer and challenging to score because they rely on human raters. One alternative to the manual scoring process is to integrate computer technology with writing assessment. The process of scoring written responses using computer programs is known as 'automated essay scoring' (AES). An AES system uses a computer program that builds a scoring model by extracting linguistic features from a constructed-response prompt that has been pre-scored by human raters and then, using machine learning algorithms, maps the linguistic features to the human scores so that the computer can be used to classify (i.e. score or grade) the responses of a new group of students. The accuracy of the score classification can be evaluated using different measures of agreement. Automated essay scoring provides a method for scoring constructed-response tests that complements the current use of selected-response testing in medical education. The method can serve medical educators by providing the summative scores required for high-stakes testing. It can also serve medical students by providing them with detailed feedback as part of a formative assessment process. Automated essay scoring systems yield scores that consistently agree with those of human raters at a level as high, if not higher, as the level of agreement among human raters themselves. The system offers medical educators many benefits for scoring constructed-response tasks, such as improving the consistency of scoring, reducing the time required for scoring and reporting, minimising the costs of scoring, and providing students with immediate feedback on constructed-response tasks. © 2014

  13. Assessing Exhaustiveness of Stochastic Sampling for Integrative Modeling of Macromolecular Structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viswanath, Shruthi; Chemmama, Ilan E; Cimermancic, Peter; Sali, Andrej

    2017-12-05

    Modeling of macromolecular structures involves structural sampling guided by a scoring function, resulting in an ensemble of good-scoring models. By necessity, the sampling is often stochastic, and must be exhaustive at a precision sufficient for accurate modeling and assessment of model uncertainty. Therefore, the very first step in analyzing the ensemble is an estimation of the highest precision at which the sampling is exhaustive. Here, we present an objective and automated method for this task. As a proxy for sampling exhaustiveness, we evaluate whether two independently and stochastically generated sets of models are sufficiently similar. The protocol includes testing 1) convergence of the model score, 2) whether model scores for the two samples were drawn from the same parent distribution, 3) whether each structural cluster includes models from each sample proportionally to its size, and 4) whether there is sufficient structural similarity between the two model samples in each cluster. The evaluation also provides the sampling precision, defined as the smallest clustering threshold that satisfies the third, most stringent test. We validate the protocol with the aid of enumerated good-scoring models for five illustrative cases of binary protein complexes. Passing the proposed four tests is necessary, but not sufficient for thorough sampling. The protocol is general in nature and can be applied to the stochastic sampling of any set of models, not just structural models. In addition, the tests can be used to stop stochastic sampling as soon as exhaustiveness at desired precision is reached, thereby improving sampling efficiency; they may also help in selecting a model representation that is sufficiently detailed to be informative, yet also sufficiently coarse for sampling to be exhaustive. Copyright © 2017 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Automation of the radiation measuring facilities for samples in health physics - MA 9

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martini, M.

    1980-12-01

    Routine radation measurements of samples are performed by the HMI health physics department by means of test stations for individual samples and multiple samples (using a changing equipment). The basic device of these test stations is a SCALER/TIMER system (BF 22/25, BERTHOLD Corp.). This measuring facility has been extended by a CAMAC intrumentation which incorporates an autonomous CAMAC processor (CAPRO-1, INCAA B.V.) for monitoring an automatic control of the system. The programming language is BASIC. A DECwriter (LA 34) is used for user interaction and for printing the measurement results. This report describes the features of this system and present some examples of, the dialogue with the system and the printout of data. (orig.) [de

  15. Low-Cost 3D Printers Enable High-Quality and Automated Sample Preparation and Molecular Detection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamfai Chan

    Full Text Available Most molecular diagnostic assays require upfront sample preparation steps to isolate the target's nucleic acids, followed by its amplification and detection using various nucleic acid amplification techniques. Because molecular diagnostic methods are generally rather difficult to perform manually without highly trained users, automated and integrated systems are highly desirable but too costly for use at point-of-care or low-resource settings. Here, we showcase the development of a low-cost and rapid nucleic acid isolation and amplification platform by modifying entry-level 3D printers that cost between $400 and $750. Our modifications consisted of replacing the extruder with a tip-comb attachment that houses magnets to conduct magnetic particle-based nucleic acid extraction. We then programmed the 3D printer to conduct motions that can perform high-quality extraction protocols. Up to 12 samples can be processed simultaneously in under 13 minutes and the efficiency of nucleic acid isolation matches well against gold-standard spin-column-based extraction technology. Additionally, we used the 3D printer's heated bed to supply heat to perform water bath-based polymerase chain reactions (PCRs. Using another attachment to hold PCR tubes, the 3D printer was programmed to automate the process of shuttling PCR tubes between water baths. By eliminating the temperature ramping needed in most commercial thermal cyclers, the run time of a 35-cycle PCR protocol was shortened by 33%. This article demonstrates that for applications in resource-limited settings, expensive nucleic acid extraction devices and thermal cyclers that are used in many central laboratories can be potentially replaced by a device modified from inexpensive entry-level 3D printers.

  16. Low-Cost 3D Printers Enable High-Quality and Automated Sample Preparation and Molecular Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Kamfai; Coen, Mauricio; Hardick, Justin; Gaydos, Charlotte A.; Wong, Kah-Yat; Smith, Clayton; Wilson, Scott A.; Vayugundla, Siva Praneeth; Wong, Season

    2016-01-01

    Most molecular diagnostic assays require upfront sample preparation steps to isolate the target’s nucleic acids, followed by its amplification and detection using various nucleic acid amplification techniques. Because molecular diagnostic methods are generally rather difficult to perform manually without highly trained users, automated and integrated systems are highly desirable but too costly for use at point-of-care or low-resource settings. Here, we showcase the development of a low-cost and rapid nucleic acid isolation and amplification platform by modifying entry-level 3D printers that cost between $400 and $750. Our modifications consisted of replacing the extruder with a tip-comb attachment that houses magnets to conduct magnetic particle-based nucleic acid extraction. We then programmed the 3D printer to conduct motions that can perform high-quality extraction protocols. Up to 12 samples can be processed simultaneously in under 13 minutes and the efficiency of nucleic acid isolation matches well against gold-standard spin-column-based extraction technology. Additionally, we used the 3D printer’s heated bed to supply heat to perform water bath-based polymerase chain reactions (PCRs). Using another attachment to hold PCR tubes, the 3D printer was programmed to automate the process of shuttling PCR tubes between water baths. By eliminating the temperature ramping needed in most commercial thermal cyclers, the run time of a 35-cycle PCR protocol was shortened by 33%. This article demonstrates that for applications in resource-limited settings, expensive nucleic acid extraction devices and thermal cyclers that are used in many central laboratories can be potentially replaced by a device modified from inexpensive entry-level 3D printers. PMID:27362424

  17. Construction and calibration of a low cost and fully automated vibrating sample magnetometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Alaily, T. M.; El-Nimr, M. K.; Saafan, S. A.; Kamel, M. M.; Meaz, T. M.; Assar, S. T.

    2015-07-01

    A low cost vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) has been constructed by using an electromagnet and an audio loud speaker; where both are controlled by a data acquisition device. The constructed VSM records the magnetic hysteresis loop up to 8.3 KG at room temperature. The apparatus has been calibrated and tested by using magnetic hysteresis data of some ferrite samples measured by two scientifically calibrated magnetometers; model (Lake Shore 7410) and model (LDJ Electronics Inc. Troy, MI). Our VSM lab-built new design proved success and reliability.

  18. AUTOMATED ASSESSMENT OF EPIDERMAL THICKNESS AND VASCULAR DENSITY OF PORT WINE STAINS OCT IMAGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CHENGMING WANG

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Optical coherence tomography (OCT enables in vivo imaging of port wine stains (PWS lesions. The knowledge of vascular structure and epidermal thickness (ET of PWS may aid the objective diagnosis and optimal treatment. To obtain the structural parameters more rapidly and avoid user intervention, an automated algorithm of energy map is introduced based on intensity and edge information to extract the skin surface using dynamic programming method. Subsequently, an averaged A-scan analysis is performed to obtain the mean ET and the relative intensity of dermis indicating the corresponding vascular density. This approach is currently successfully applied in clinical diagnosis and shows promising guidance and assessment of PDT treatment.

  19. Rapid habitability assessment of Mars samples by pyrolysis-FTIR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Peter R.; Sephton, Mark A.

    2016-02-01

    Pyrolysis Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (pyrolysis FTIR) is a potential sample selection method for Mars Sample Return missions. FTIR spectroscopy can be performed on solid and liquid samples but also on gases following preliminary thermal extraction, pyrolysis or gasification steps. The detection of hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon gases can reveal information on sample mineralogy and past habitability of the environment in which the sample was created. The absorption of IR radiation at specific wavenumbers by organic functional groups can indicate the presence and type of any organic matter present. Here we assess the utility of pyrolysis-FTIR to release water, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and organic matter from Mars relevant materials to enable a rapid habitability assessment of target rocks for sample return. For our assessment a range of minerals were analyzed by attenuated total reflectance FTIR. Subsequently, the mineral samples were subjected to single step pyrolysis and multi step pyrolysis and the products characterised by gas phase FTIR. Data from both single step and multi step pyrolysis-FTIR provide the ability to identify minerals that reflect habitable environments through their water and carbon dioxide responses. Multi step pyrolysis-FTIR can be used to gain more detailed information on the sources of the liberated water and carbon dioxide owing to the characteristic decomposition temperatures of different mineral phases. Habitation can be suggested when pyrolysis-FTIR indicates the presence of organic matter within the sample. Pyrolysis-FTIR, therefore, represents an effective method to assess whether Mars Sample Return target rocks represent habitable conditions and potential records of habitation and can play an important role in sample triage operations.

  20. Assessing mouse behaviour throughout the light/dark cycle using automated in-cage analysis tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bains, Rasneer S; Wells, Sara; Sillito, Rowland R; Armstrong, J Douglas; Cater, Heather L; Banks, Gareth; Nolan, Patrick M

    2018-04-15

    An important factor in reducing variability in mouse test outcomes has been to develop assays that can be used for continuous automated home cage assessment. Our experience has shown that this has been most evidenced in long-term assessment of wheel-running activity in mice. Historically, wheel-running in mice and other rodents have been used as a robust assay to determine, with precision, the inherent period of circadian rhythms in mice. Furthermore, this assay has been instrumental in dissecting the molecular genetic basis of mammalian circadian rhythms. In teasing out the elements of this test that have determined its robustness - automated assessment of an unforced behaviour in the home cage over long time intervals - we and others have been investigating whether similar test apparatus could be used to accurately discriminate differences in distinct behavioural parameters in mice. Firstly, using these systems, we explored behaviours in a number of mouse inbred strains to determine whether we could extract biologically meaningful differences. Secondly, we tested a number of relevant mutant lines to determine how discriminative these parameters were. Our findings show that, when compared to conventional out-of-cage phenotyping, a far deeper understanding of mouse mutant phenotype can be established by monitoring behaviour in the home cage over one or more light:dark cycles. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Automated on-line liquid–liquid extraction system for temporal mass spectrometric analysis of dynamic samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hsieh, Kai-Ta; Liu, Pei-Han [Department of Applied Chemistry, National Chiao Tung University, 1001 University Rd, Hsinchu, 300, Taiwan (China); Urban, Pawel L. [Department of Applied Chemistry, National Chiao Tung University, 1001 University Rd, Hsinchu, 300, Taiwan (China); Institute of Molecular Science, National Chiao Tung University, 1001 University Rd, Hsinchu, 300, Taiwan (China)

    2015-09-24

    Most real samples cannot directly be infused to mass spectrometers because they could contaminate delicate parts of ion source and guides, or cause ion suppression. Conventional sample preparation procedures limit temporal resolution of analysis. We have developed an automated liquid–liquid extraction system that enables unsupervised repetitive treatment of dynamic samples and instantaneous analysis by mass spectrometry (MS). It incorporates inexpensive open-source microcontroller boards (Arduino and Netduino) to guide the extraction and analysis process. Duration of every extraction cycle is 17 min. The system enables monitoring of dynamic processes over many hours. The extracts are automatically transferred to the ion source incorporating a Venturi pump. Operation of the device has been characterized (repeatability, RSD = 15%, n = 20; concentration range for ibuprofen, 0.053–2.000 mM; LOD for ibuprofen, ∼0.005 mM; including extraction and detection). To exemplify its usefulness in real-world applications, we implemented this device in chemical profiling of pharmaceutical formulation dissolution process. Temporal dissolution profiles of commercial ibuprofen and acetaminophen tablets were recorded during 10 h. The extraction-MS datasets were fitted with exponential functions to characterize the rates of release of the main and auxiliary ingredients (e.g. ibuprofen, k = 0.43 ± 0.01 h{sup −1}). The electronic control unit of this system interacts with the operator via touch screen, internet, voice, and short text messages sent to the mobile phone, which is helpful when launching long-term (e.g. overnight) measurements. Due to these interactive features, the platform brings the concept of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) to the chemistry laboratory environment. - Highlights: • Mass spectrometric analysis normally requires sample preparation. • Liquid–liquid extraction can isolate analytes from complex matrices. • The proposed system automates

  2. Automated on-line liquid–liquid extraction system for temporal mass spectrometric analysis of dynamic samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hsieh, Kai-Ta; Liu, Pei-Han; Urban, Pawel L.

    2015-01-01

    Most real samples cannot directly be infused to mass spectrometers because they could contaminate delicate parts of ion source and guides, or cause ion suppression. Conventional sample preparation procedures limit temporal resolution of analysis. We have developed an automated liquid–liquid extraction system that enables unsupervised repetitive treatment of dynamic samples and instantaneous analysis by mass spectrometry (MS). It incorporates inexpensive open-source microcontroller boards (Arduino and Netduino) to guide the extraction and analysis process. Duration of every extraction cycle is 17 min. The system enables monitoring of dynamic processes over many hours. The extracts are automatically transferred to the ion source incorporating a Venturi pump. Operation of the device has been characterized (repeatability, RSD = 15%, n = 20; concentration range for ibuprofen, 0.053–2.000 mM; LOD for ibuprofen, ∼0.005 mM; including extraction and detection). To exemplify its usefulness in real-world applications, we implemented this device in chemical profiling of pharmaceutical formulation dissolution process. Temporal dissolution profiles of commercial ibuprofen and acetaminophen tablets were recorded during 10 h. The extraction-MS datasets were fitted with exponential functions to characterize the rates of release of the main and auxiliary ingredients (e.g. ibuprofen, k = 0.43 ± 0.01 h"−"1). The electronic control unit of this system interacts with the operator via touch screen, internet, voice, and short text messages sent to the mobile phone, which is helpful when launching long-term (e.g. overnight) measurements. Due to these interactive features, the platform brings the concept of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) to the chemistry laboratory environment. - Highlights: • Mass spectrometric analysis normally requires sample preparation. • Liquid–liquid extraction can isolate analytes from complex matrices. • The proposed system automates the

  3. Robust, Sensitive, and Automated Phosphopeptide Enrichment Optimized for Low Sample Amounts Applied to Primary Hippocampal Neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Post, Harm; Penning, Renske; Fitzpatrick, Martin; Garrigues, L.B.; Wu, W.; Mac Gillavry, H.D.; Hoogenraad, C.C.; Heck, A.J.R.; Altelaar, A.F.M.

    2017-01-01

    Because of the low stoichiometry of protein phosphorylation, targeted enrichment prior to LC–MS/MS analysis is still essential. The trend in phosphoproteome analysis is shifting toward an increasing number of biological replicates per experiment, ideally starting from very low sample amounts,

  4. Portable automation of static chamber sample collection for quantifying soil gas flux

    Science.gov (United States)

    The collection of soil gas flux using the static chamber method is labor intensive. The number of chambers that can be sampled in a given time period is limited by the spacing between chambers and the availability of trained research technicians. However, the static chamber method can limit spatial ...

  5. Automated sample-processing and titration system for determining uranium in nuclear materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harrar, J.E.; Boyle, W.G.; Breshears, J.D.; Pomernacki, C.L.; Brand, H.R.; Kray, A.M.; Sherry, R.J.; Pastrone, J.A.

    1977-01-01

    The system is designed for accurate, precise, and selective determination of from 10 to 180 mg of uranium in 2 to 12 cm 3 of solution. Samples, standards, and their solutions are handled on a weight basis. These weights, together with their appropriate identification numbers, are stored in computer memory and are used automatically in the assay calculations after each titration. The measurement technique (controlled-current coulometry) is based on the Davies-Gray and New Brunswick Laboratory method, in which U(VI) is reduced to U(IV) in strong H 3 PO 4 , followed by titration of the U(IV) with electrogenerated V(V). Solution pretreatment and titration are automatic. The analyzer is able to process 44 samples per loading of the sample changer, at a rate of 4 to 9 samples per hour. The system includes a comprehensive fault-monitoring system that detects analytical errors, guards against abnormal conditions which might cause errors, and prevents unsafe operation. A detailed description of the system, information on the reliability of the component subsystems, and a summary of its evaluation by the New Brunswick Laboratory are presented

  6. [Automated serial diagnosis of donor blood samples. Ergonomic and economic organization structure].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoll, T; Fischer-Fröhlich, C L; Mayer, G; Hanfland, P

    1990-01-01

    A comprehensive computer-aided administration-system for blood-donors is presented. Ciphered informations of barcode-labels allow the automatic and nevertheless selective pipetting of samples by pipetting-robots. Self-acting analysis-results are transferred to a host-computer in order to actualize a donor data-base.

  7. Standardizing measurement, sampling and reporting for public exposure assessments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rochedo, Elaine R.R. [Instituto de Radioprotecao e Dosimetria, Comissao Nacional de Energia Nuclear, Av. Salvador Allende s/No. CEP 22780-160 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)], E-mail: elaine@ird.gov.br

    2008-11-15

    UNSCEAR assesses worldwide public exposure from natural and man-made sources of ionizing radiation based on information submitted to UNSCEAR by United Nations Member States and from peer reviewed scientific literature. These assessments are used as a basis for radiation protection programs of international and national regulatory and research organizations. Although UNSCEAR describes its assessment methodologies, the data are based on various monitoring approaches. In order to reduce uncertainties and improve confidence in public exposure assessments, it would be necessary to harmonize the methodologies used for sampling, measuring and reporting of environmental results.

  8. A Simple Method for Automated Solid Phase Extraction of Water Samples for Immunological Analysis of Small Pollutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heub, Sarah; Tscharner, Noe; Kehl, Florian; Dittrich, Petra S; Follonier, Stéphane; Barbe, Laurent

    2016-01-01

    A new method for solid phase extraction (SPE) of environmental water samples is proposed. The developed prototype is cost-efficient and user friendly, and enables to perform rapid, automated and simple SPE. The pre-concentrated solution is compatible with analysis by immunoassay, with a low organic solvent content. A method is described for the extraction and pre-concentration of natural hormone 17β-estradiol in 100 ml water samples. Reverse phase SPE is performed with octadecyl-silica sorbent and elution is done with 200 µl of methanol 50% v/v. Eluent is diluted by adding di-water to lower the amount of methanol. After preparing manually the SPE column, the overall procedure is performed automatically within 1 hr. At the end of the process, estradiol concentration is measured by using a commercial enzyme-linked immune-sorbent assay (ELISA). 100-fold pre-concentration is achieved and the methanol content in only 10% v/v. Full recoveries of the molecule are achieved with 1 ng/L spiked de-ionized and synthetic sea water samples.

  9. Toward automated assessment of health Web page quality using the DISCERN instrument.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allam, Ahmed; Schulz, Peter J; Krauthammer, Michael

    2017-05-01

    As the Internet becomes the number one destination for obtaining health-related information, there is an increasing need to identify health Web pages that convey an accurate and current view of medical knowledge. In response, the research community has created multicriteria instruments for reliably assessing online medical information quality. One such instrument is DISCERN, which measures health Web page quality by assessing an array of features. In order to scale up use of the instrument, there is interest in automating the quality evaluation process by building machine learning (ML)-based DISCERN Web page classifiers. The paper addresses 2 key issues that are essential before constructing automated DISCERN classifiers: (1) generation of a robust DISCERN training corpus useful for training classification algorithms, and (2) assessment of the usefulness of the current DISCERN scoring schema as a metric for evaluating the performance of these algorithms. Using DISCERN, 272 Web pages discussing treatment options in breast cancer, arthritis, and depression were evaluated and rated by trained coders. First, different consensus models were compared to obtain a robust aggregated rating among the coders, suitable for a DISCERN ML training corpus. Second, a new DISCERN scoring criterion was proposed (features-based score) as an ML performance metric that is more reflective of the score distribution across different DISCERN quality criteria. First, we found that a probabilistic consensus model applied to the DISCERN instrument was robust against noise (random ratings) and superior to other approaches for building a training corpus. Second, we found that the established DISCERN scoring schema (overall score) is ill-suited to measure ML performance for automated classifiers. Use of a probabilistic consensus model is advantageous for building a training corpus for the DISCERN instrument, and use of a features-based score is an appropriate ML metric for automated DISCERN

  10. Assessment for Operator Confidence in Automated Space Situational Awareness and Satellite Control Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorman, J.; Voshell, M.; Sliva, A.

    2016-09-01

    The United States is highly dependent on space resources to support military, government, commercial, and research activities. Satellites operate at great distances, observation capacity is limited, and operator actions and observations can be significantly delayed. Safe operations require support systems that provide situational understanding, enhance decision making, and facilitate collaboration between human operators and system automation both in-the-loop, and on-the-loop. Joint cognitive systems engineering (JCSE) provides a rich set of methods for analyzing and informing the design of complex systems that include both human decision-makers and autonomous elements as coordinating teammates. While, JCSE-based systems can enhance a system analysts' understanding of both existing and new system processes, JCSE activities typically occur outside of traditional systems engineering (SE) methods, providing sparse guidance about how systems should be implemented. In contrast, the Joint Director's Laboratory (JDL) information fusion model and extensions, such as the Dual Node Network (DNN) technical architecture, provide the means to divide and conquer such engineering and implementation complexity, but are loosely coupled to specialized organizational contexts and needs. We previously describe how Dual Node Decision Wheels (DNDW) extend the DNN to integrate JCSE analysis and design with the practicalities of system engineering and implementation using the DNN. Insights from Rasmussen's JCSE Decision Ladders align system implementation with organizational structures and processes. In the current work, we present a novel approach to assessing system performance based on patterns occurring in operational decisions that are documented by JCSE processes as traces in a decision ladder. In this way, system assessment is closely tied not just to system design, but the design of the joint cognitive system that includes human operators, decision-makers, information systems, and

  11. Automating Flood Hazard Mapping Methods for Near Real-time Storm Surge Inundation and Vulnerability Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weigel, A. M.; Griffin, R.; Gallagher, D.

    2015-12-01

    Storm surge has enough destructive power to damage buildings and infrastructure, erode beaches, and threaten human life across large geographic areas, hence posing the greatest threat of all the hurricane hazards. The United States Gulf of Mexico has proven vulnerable to hurricanes as it has been hit by some of the most destructive hurricanes on record. With projected rises in sea level and increases in hurricane activity, there is a need to better understand the associated risks for disaster mitigation, preparedness, and response. GIS has become a critical tool in enhancing disaster planning, risk assessment, and emergency response by communicating spatial information through a multi-layer approach. However, there is a need for a near real-time method of identifying areas with a high risk of being impacted by storm surge. Research was conducted alongside Baron, a private industry weather enterprise, to facilitate automated modeling and visualization of storm surge inundation and vulnerability on a near real-time basis. This research successfully automated current flood hazard mapping techniques using a GIS framework written in a Python programming environment, and displayed resulting data through an Application Program Interface (API). Data used for this methodology included high resolution topography, NOAA Probabilistic Surge model outputs parsed from Rich Site Summary (RSS) feeds, and the NOAA Census tract level Social Vulnerability Index (SoVI). The development process required extensive data processing and management to provide high resolution visualizations of potential flooding and population vulnerability in a timely manner. The accuracy of the developed methodology was assessed using Hurricane Isaac as a case study, which through a USGS and NOAA partnership, contained ample data for statistical analysis. This research successfully created a fully automated, near real-time method for mapping high resolution storm surge inundation and vulnerability for the

  12. Automated synovium segmentation in doppler ultrasound images for rheumatoid arthritis assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeung, Pak-Hei; Tan, York-Kiat; Xu, Shuoyu

    2018-02-01

    We need better clinical tools to improve monitoring of synovitis, synovial inflammation in the joints, in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) assessment. Given its economical, safe and fast characteristics, ultrasound (US) especially Doppler ultrasound is frequently used. However, manual scoring of synovitis in US images is subjective and prone to observer variations. In this study, we propose a new and robust method for automated synovium segmentation in the commonly affected joints, i.e. metacarpophalangeal (MCP) and metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints, which would facilitate automation in quantitative RA assessment. The bone contour in the US image is firstly detected based on a modified dynamic programming method, incorporating angular information for detecting curved bone surface and using image fuzzification to identify missing bone structure. K-means clustering is then performed to initialize potential synovium areas by utilizing the identified bone contour as boundary reference. After excluding invalid candidate regions, the final segmented synovium is identified by reconnecting remaining candidate regions using level set evolution. 15 MCP and 15 MTP US images were analyzed in this study. For each image, segmentations by our proposed method as well as two sets of annotations performed by an experienced clinician at different time-points were acquired. Dice's coefficient is 0.77+/-0.12 between the two sets of annotations. Similar Dice's coefficients are achieved between automated segmentation and either the first set of annotations (0.76+/-0.12) or the second set of annotations (0.75+/-0.11), with no significant difference (P = 0.77). These results verify that the accuracy of segmentation by our proposed method and by clinician is comparable. Therefore, reliable synovium identification can be made by our proposed method.

  13. An Automated Quiet Sleep Detection Approach in Preterm Infants as a Gateway to Assess Brain Maturation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dereymaeker, Anneleen; Pillay, Kirubin; Vervisch, Jan; Van Huffel, Sabine; Naulaers, Gunnar; Jansen, Katrien; De Vos, Maarten

    2017-09-01

    Sleep state development in preterm neonates can provide crucial information regarding functional brain maturation and give insight into neurological well being. However, visual labeling of sleep stages from EEG requires expertise and is very time consuming, prompting the need for an automated procedure. We present a robust method for automated detection of preterm sleep from EEG, over a wide postmenstrual age ([Formula: see text] age) range, focusing first on Quiet Sleep (QS) as an initial marker for sleep assessment. Our algorithm, CLuster-based Adaptive Sleep Staging (CLASS), detects QS if it remains relatively more discontinuous than non-QS over PMA. CLASS was optimized on a training set of 34 recordings aged 27-42 weeks PMA, and performance then assessed on a distinct test set of 55 recordings of the same age range. Results were compared to visual QS labeling from two independent raters (with inter-rater agreement [Formula: see text]), using Sensitivity, Specificity, Detection Factor ([Formula: see text] of visual QS periods correctly detected by CLASS) and Misclassification Factor ([Formula: see text] of CLASS-detected QS periods that are misclassified). CLASS performance proved optimal across recordings at 31-38 weeks (median [Formula: see text], median MF 0-0.25, median Sensitivity 0.93-1.0, and median Specificity 0.80-0.91 across this age range), with minimal misclassifications at 35-36 weeks (median [Formula: see text]). To illustrate the potential of CLASS in facilitating clinical research, normal maturational trends over PMA were derived from CLASS-estimated QS periods, visual QS estimates, and nonstate specific periods (containing QS and non-QS) in the EEG recording. CLASS QS trends agreed with those from visual QS, with both showing stronger correlations than nonstate specific trends. This highlights the benefit of automated QS detection for exploring brain maturation.

  14. Advancing haemostasis automation--successful implementation of robotic centrifugation and sample processing in a tertiary service hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sédille-Mostafaie, Nazanin; Engler, Hanna; Lutz, Susanne; Korte, Wolfgang

    2013-06-01

    Laboratories today face increasing pressure to automate operations due to increasing workloads and the need to reduce expenditure. Few studies to date have focussed on the laboratory automation of preanalytical coagulation specimen processing. In the present study, we examined whether a clinical chemistry automation protocol meets the preanalytical requirements for the analyses of coagulation. During the implementation of laboratory automation, we began to operate a pre- and postanalytical automation system. The preanalytical unit processes blood specimens for chemistry, immunology and coagulation by automated specimen processing. As the production of platelet-poor plasma is highly dependent on optimal centrifugation, we examined specimen handling under different centrifugation conditions in order to produce optimal platelet deficient plasma specimens. To this end, manually processed models centrifuged at 1500 g for 5 and 20 min were compared to an automated centrifugation model at 3000 g for 7 min. For analytical assays that are performed frequently enough to be targets for full automation, Passing-Bablok regression analysis showed close agreement between different centrifugation methods, with a correlation coefficient between 0.98 and 0.99 and a bias between -5% and +6%. For seldom performed assays that do not mandate full automation, the Passing-Bablok regression analysis showed acceptable to poor agreement between different centrifugation methods. A full automation solution is suitable and can be recommended for frequent haemostasis testing.

  15. Reducing the cost of semi-automated in-gel tryptic digestion and GeLC sample preparation for high-throughput proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruelcke, Jayde E; Loo, Dorothy; Hill, Michelle M

    2016-10-21

    Peptide generation by trypsin digestion is typically the first step in mass spectrometry-based proteomics experiments, including 'bottom-up' discovery and targeted proteomics using multiple reaction monitoring. Manual tryptic digest and the subsequent clean-up steps can add variability even before the sample reaches the analytical platform. While specialized filter plates and tips have been designed for automated sample processing, the specialty reagents required may not be accessible or feasible due to their high cost. Here, we report a lower-cost semi-automated protocol for in-gel digestion and GeLC using standard 96-well microplates. Further cost savings were realized by re-using reagent tips with optimized sample ordering. To evaluate the methodology, we compared a simple mixture of 7 proteins and a complex cell-lysate sample. The results across three replicates showed that our semi-automated protocol had performance equal to or better than a manual in-gel digestion with respect to replicate variability and level of contamination. In this paper, we also provide the Agilent Bravo method file, which can be adapted to other liquid handlers. The simplicity, reproducibility, and cost-effectiveness of our semi-automated protocol make it ideal for routine in-gel and GeLC sample preparations, as well as high throughput processing of large clinical sample cohorts. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Development of a methodology for automated assessment of the quality of digitized images in mammography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santana, Priscila do Carmo

    2010-01-01

    The process of evaluating the quality of radiographic images in general, and mammography in particular, can be much more accurate, practical and fast with the help of computer analysis tools. The purpose of this study is to develop a computational methodology to automate the process of assessing the quality of mammography images through techniques of digital imaging processing (PDI), using an existing image processing environment (ImageJ). With the application of PDI techniques was possible to extract geometric and radiometric characteristics of the images evaluated. The evaluated parameters include spatial resolution, high-contrast detail, low contrast threshold, linear detail of low contrast, tumor masses, contrast ratio and background optical density. The results obtained by this method were compared with the results presented in the visual evaluations performed by the Health Surveillance of Minas Gerais. Through this comparison was possible to demonstrate that the automated methodology is presented as a promising alternative for the reduction or elimination of existing subjectivity in the visual assessment methodology currently in use. (author)

  17. Fully automated bone mineral density assessment from low-dose chest CT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shuang; Gonzalez, Jessica; Zulueta, Javier; de-Torres, Juan P.; Yankelevitz, David F.; Henschke, Claudia I.; Reeves, Anthony P.

    2018-02-01

    A fully automated system is presented for bone mineral density (BMD) assessment from low-dose chest CT (LDCT). BMD assessment is central in the diagnosis and follow-up therapy monitoring of osteoporosis, which is characterized by low bone density and is estimated to affect 12.3 million US population aged 50 years or older, creating tremendous social and economic burdens. BMD assessment from DXA scans (BMDDXA) is currently the most widely used and gold standard technique for the diagnosis of osteoporosis and bone fracture risk estimation. With the recent large-scale implementation of annual lung cancer screening using LDCT, great potential emerges for the concurrent opportunistic osteoporosis screening. In the presented BMDCT assessment system, each vertebral body is first segmented and labeled with its anatomical name. Various 3D region of interest (ROI) inside the vertebral body are then explored for BMDCT measurements at different vertebral levels. The system was validated using 76 pairs of DXA and LDCT scans of the same subject. Average BMDDXA of L1-L4 was used as the reference standard. Statistically significant (p-value correlation is obtained between BMDDXA and BMDCT at all vertebral levels (T1 - L2). A Pearson correlation of 0.857 was achieved between BMDDXA and average BMDCT of T9-T11 by using a 3D ROI taking into account of both trabecular and cortical bone tissue. These encouraging results demonstrate the feasibility of fully automated quantitative BMD assessment and the potential of opportunistic osteoporosis screening with concurrent lung cancer screening using LDCT.

  18. Food and feed safety assessment: the importance of proper sampling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuiper, Harry A; Paoletti, Claudia

    2015-01-01

    The general principles for safety and nutritional evaluation of foods and feed and the potential health risks associated with hazardous compounds are described as developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and further elaborated in the European Union-funded project Safe Foods. We underline the crucial role of sampling in foods/feed safety assessment. High quality sampling should always be applied to ensure the use of adequate and representative samples as test materials for hazard identification, toxicological and nutritional characterization of identified hazards, as well as for estimating quantitative and reliable exposure levels of foods/feed or related compounds of concern for humans and animals. The importance of representative sampling is emphasized through examples of risk analyses in different areas of foods/feed production. The Theory of Sampling (TOS) is recognized as the only framework within which to ensure accuracy and precision of all sampling steps involved in the field-to-fork continuum, which is crucial to monitor foods and feed safety. Therefore, TOS must be integrated in the well-established FAO/WHO risk assessment approach in order to guarantee a transparent and correct frame for the risk assessment and decision making process.

  19. A study of automated self-assessment in a primary care student health centre setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poote, Aimee E; French, David P; Dale, Jeremy; Powell, John

    2014-04-01

    We evaluated the advice given by a prototype self-assessment triage system in a university student health centre. Students attending the health centre with a new problem used the automated self-assessment system prior to a face-to-face consultation with the general practitioner (GP). The system's rating of urgency was available to the GP, and following the consultation, the GP recorded their own rating of the urgency of the patient's presentation. Full data were available for 154 of the 207 consultations. Perfect agreement, where both the GP and the self-assessment system selected the same category of advice, occurred in 39% of consultations. The association between the GP assessment and the self-assessment rankings of urgency was low but significant (rho = 0.19, P = 0.016). The self-assessment system tended to be risk averse compared to the GP assessments, with advice for more urgent level of care seeking being recommended in 86 consultations (56%) and less urgent advice in only 8 (5%). This difference in assessment of urgency was significant (P self-assessment system was more risk averse than the GPs, which resulted in a high proportion of patients being triaged as needing emergency or immediate care, the self-assessment system successfully identified a proportion of patients who were felt by the GP to have a self-limiting condition that did not need a consultation. In its prototype form, the self-assessment system was not a replacement for clinician assessment and further refinement is necessary.

  20. Are Flow Injection-based Approaches Suitable for Automated Handling of Solid Samples?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Miró, Manuel; Hansen, Elo Harald; Cerdà, Victor

    Flow-based approaches were originally conceived for liquid-phase analysis, implying that constituents in solid samples generally had to be transferred into the liquid state, via appropriate batch pretreatment procedures, prior to analysis. Yet, in recent years, much effort has been focused...... electrolytic or aqueous leaching, on-line dialysis/microdialysis, in-line filtration, and pervaporation-based procedures have been successfully implemented in continuous flow/flow injection systems. In this communication, the new generation of flow analysis, including sequential injection, multicommutated flow.......g., soils, sediments, sludges), and thus, ascertaining the potential mobility, bioavailability and eventual impact of anthropogenic elements on biota [2]. In this context, the principles of sequential injection-microcolumn extraction (SI-MCE) for dynamic fractionation are explained in detail along...

  1. Improved automation of dissolved organic carbon sampling for organic-rich surface waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grayson, Richard P; Holden, Joseph

    2016-02-01

    In-situ UV-Vis spectrophotometers offer the potential for improved estimates of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) fluxes for organic-rich systems such as peatlands because they are able to sample and log DOC proxies automatically through time at low cost. In turn, this could enable improved total carbon budget estimates for peatlands. The ability of such instruments to accurately measure DOC depends on a number of factors, not least of which is how absorbance measurements relate to DOC and the environmental conditions. Here we test the ability of a S::can Spectro::lyser™ for measuring DOC in peatland streams with routinely high DOC concentrations. Through analysis of the spectral response data collected by the instrument we have been able to accurately measure DOC up to 66 mg L(-1), which is more than double the original upper calibration limit for this particular instrument. A linear regression modelling approach resulted in an accuracy >95%. The greatest accuracy was achieved when absorbance values for several different wavelengths were used at the same time in the model. However, an accuracy >90% was achieved using absorbance values for a single wavelength to predict DOC concentration. Our calculations indicated that, for organic-rich systems, in-situ measurement with a scanning spectrophotometer can improve fluvial DOC flux estimates by 6 to 8% compared with traditional sampling methods. Thus, our techniques pave the way for improved long-term carbon budget calculations from organic-rich systems such as peatlands. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Dried Blood Spot Proteomics: Surface Extraction of Endogenous Proteins Coupled with Automated Sample Preparation and Mass Spectrometry Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Nicholas J.; Bunch, Josephine; Cooper, Helen J.

    2013-08-01

    Dried blood spots offer many advantages as a sample format including ease and safety of transport and handling. To date, the majority of mass spectrometry analyses of dried blood spots have focused on small molecules or hemoglobin. However, dried blood spots are a potentially rich source of protein biomarkers, an area that has been overlooked. To address this issue, we have applied an untargeted bottom-up proteomics approach to the analysis of dried blood spots. We present an automated and integrated method for extraction of endogenous proteins from the surface of dried blood spots and sample preparation via trypsin digestion by use of the Advion Biosciences Triversa Nanomate robotic platform. Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry of the resulting digests enabled identification of 120 proteins from a single dried blood spot. The proteins identified cross a concentration range of four orders of magnitude. The method is evaluated and the results discussed in terms of the proteins identified and their potential use as biomarkers in screening programs.

  3. The Upgrade Programme for the Structural Biology beamlines at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility – High throughput sample evaluation and automation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Theveneau, P; Baker, R; Barrett, R; Beteva, A; Bowler, M W; Carpentier, P; Caserotto, H; Sanctis, D de; Dobias, F; Flot, D; Guijarro, M; Giraud, T; Lentini, M; Leonard, G A; Mattenet, M; McSweeney, S M; Morawe, C; Nurizzo, D; McCarthy, A A; Nanao, M

    2013-01-01

    Automation and advances in technology are the key elements in addressing the steadily increasing complexity of Macromolecular Crystallography (MX) experiments. Much of this complexity is due to the inter-and intra-crystal heterogeneity in diffraction quality often observed for crystals of multi-component macromolecular assemblies or membrane proteins. Such heterogeneity makes high-throughput sample evaluation an important and necessary tool for increasing the chances of a successful structure determination. The introduction at the ESRF of automatic sample changers in 2005 dramatically increased the number of samples that were tested for diffraction quality. This 'first generation' of automation, coupled with advances in software aimed at optimising data collection strategies in MX, resulted in a three-fold increase in the number of crystal structures elucidated per year using data collected at the ESRF. In addition, sample evaluation can be further complemented using small angle scattering experiments on the newly constructed bioSAXS facility on BM29 and the micro-spectroscopy facility (ID29S). The construction of a second generation of automated facilities on the MASSIF (Massively Automated Sample Screening Integrated Facility) beam lines will build on these advances and should provide a paradigm shift in how MX experiments are carried out which will benefit the entire Structural Biology community.

  4. Campylobacter in Broiler Chicken and Broiler Meat in Sri Lanka: Influence of Semi-Automated vs. Wet Market Processing on Campylobacter Contamination of Broiler Neck Skin Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kottawattage S. A. Kottawatta

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Broiler meat can become contaminated with Campylobacter of intestinal origin during processing. The present study aimed to identify the prevalence of Campylobacter in broiler flocks and meat contamination at retail shops, and determine the influence of semi-automated and wet market processing on Campylobacter contamination of neck skin samples. Samples were collected from semi-automated plants (n = 102 and wet markets (n = 25. From each batch of broilers, pooled caecal samples and neck skin samples were tested for Campylobacter. Broiler meat purchased from retail outlets (n = 37 was also tested. The prevalence of Campylobacter colonized broiler flocks was 67%. The contamination of meat at retail was 59%. Both semi-automated and wet market processing resulted to contaminate the broiler neck skins to the levels of 27.4% and 48%, respectively. When Campylobacter-free broiler flocks were processed in semi-automated facilities 15% (5/33 of neck skin samples became contaminated by the end of processing whereas 25% (2/8 became contaminated after wet market processing. Characterization of isolates revealed a higher proportion of C. coli compared to C. jejuni. Higher proportions of isolates were resistant to important antimicrobials. This study shows the importance of Campylobacter in poultry industry in Sri Lanka and the need for controlling antimicrobial resistance.

  5. Campylobacter in Broiler Chicken and Broiler Meat in Sri Lanka: Influence of Semi-Automated vs. Wet Market Processing on Campylobacter Contamination of Broiler Neck Skin Samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kottawatta, Kottawattage S A; Van Bergen, Marcel A P; Abeynayake, Preeni; Wagenaar, Jaap A; Veldman, Kees T; Kalupahana, Ruwani S

    2017-11-29

    Broiler meat can become contaminated with Campylobacter of intestinal origin during processing. The present study aimed to identify the prevalence of Campylobacter in broiler flocks and meat contamination at retail shops, and determine the influence of semi-automated and wet market processing on Campylobacter contamination of neck skin samples. Samples were collected from semi-automated plants ( n = 102) and wet markets ( n = 25). From each batch of broilers, pooled caecal samples and neck skin samples were tested for Campylobacter . Broiler meat purchased from retail outlets ( n = 37) was also tested. The prevalence of Campylobacter colonized broiler flocks was 67%. The contamination of meat at retail was 59%. Both semi-automated and wet market processing resulted to contaminate the broiler neck skins to the levels of 27.4% and 48%, respectively. When Campylobacter -free broiler flocks were processed in semi-automated facilities 15% (5/33) of neck skin samples became contaminated by the end of processing whereas 25% (2/8) became contaminated after wet market processing. Characterization of isolates revealed a higher proportion of C. coli compared to C. jejuni . Higher proportions of isolates were resistant to important antimicrobials. This study shows the importance of Campylobacter in poultry industry in Sri Lanka and the need for controlling antimicrobial resistance.

  6. Automated processing of whole blood samples into microliter aliquots of plasma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burtis, C A; Johnson, W W; Walker, W A

    1988-01-01

    A rotor that accepts and automatically processes a bulk aliquot of a single blood sample into multiple aliquots of plasma has been designed and built. The rotor consists of a central processing unit, which includes a disk containing eight precision-bore capillaries. By varying the internal diameters of the capillaries, aliquot volumes ranging 1 to 10 mul can be prepared. In practice, an unmeasured volume of blood is placed in a centre well, and, as the rotor begins to spin, is moved radially into a central annular ring where it is distributed into a series of processing chambers. The rotor is then spun at 3000 rpm for 10 min. When the centrifugal field is removed by slowly decreasing the rotor speed, an aliquot of plasma is withdrawn by capillary action into each of the capillary tubes. The disk containing the eight measured aliquots of plasma is subsequently removed and placed in a modifed rotor for conventional centrifugal analysis. Initial evaluation of the new rotor indicates that it is capable of producing discrete, microliter volumes of plasma with a degree of accuracy and precision approaching that of mechanical pipettes.

  7. Research Note Pilot survey to assess sample size for herbaceous ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A pilot survey to determine sub-sample size (number of point observations per plot) for herbaceous species composition assessments, using a wheel-point apparatus applying the nearest-plant method, was conducted. Three plots differing in species composition on the Zululand coastal plain were selected, and on each plot ...

  8. A Preliminary Assessment of Groundwater Samples around a Filling ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper is a preliminary assessment of groundwater samples around a filling station in Diobu area of Port Harcourt for four years at intervals of two years with a view to determine the level of groundwater pollution. It examines the physiochemical, major ions and heavy metal aspect of groundwater quality around the study ...

  9. Toxicity assessment of ionic liquids with Vibrio fischeri: an alternative fully automated methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Susana P F; Pinto, Paula C A G; Lapa, Rui A S; Saraiva, M Lúcia M F S

    2015-03-02

    A fully automated Vibrio fischeri methodology based on sequential injection analysis (SIA) has been developed. The methodology was based on the aspiration of 75 μL of bacteria and 50 μL of inhibitor followed by measurement of the luminescence of bacteria. The assays were conducted for contact times of 5, 15, and 30 min, by means of three mixing chambers that ensured adequate mixing conditions. The optimized methodology provided a precise control of the reaction conditions which is an asset for the analysis of a large number of samples. The developed methodology was applied to the evaluation of the impact of a set of ionic liquids (ILs) on V. fischeri and the results were compared with those provided by a conventional assay kit (Biotox(®)). The collected data evidenced the influence of different cation head groups and anion moieties on the toxicity of ILs. Generally, aromatic cations and fluorine-containing anions displayed higher impact on V. fischeri, evidenced by lower EC50. The proposed methodology was validated through statistical analysis which demonstrated a strong positive correlation (P>0.98) between assays. It is expected that the automated methodology can be tested for more classes of compounds and used as alternative to microplate based V. fischeri assay kits. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Equilibrium sampling for a thermodynamic assessment of contaminated sediments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    ) govern diffusive uptake and partitioning. Equilibrium sampling of sediment was introduced 15 years ago to measure Cfree, and it has since developed into a straightforward, precise and sensitive approach for determining Cfree and other exposure parameters that allow for thermodynamic assessment...... of polluted sediments. Glass jars with µm-thin silicone coatings on the inner walls can be used for ex situ equilibration while a device housing several silicone-coated fibers can be used for in situ equilibration. In both cases, parallel sampling with varying silicone thicknesses can be applied to confirm...... will focus at the latest developments in equilibrium sampling concepts and methods. Further, we will explain how these approaches can provide a new basis for a thermodynamic assessment of polluted sediments....

  11. The use of automated assessments in internet-based CBT: The computer will be with you shortly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth C. Mason

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available There is evidence from randomized control trials that internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (iCBT is efficacious in the treatment of anxiety and depression, and recent research demonstrates the effectiveness of iCBT in routine clinical care. The aims of this study were to implement and evaluate a new pathway by which patients could access online treatment by completing an automated assessment, rather than seeing a specialist health professional. We compared iCBT treatment outcomes in patients who received an automated pre-treatment questionnaire assessment with patients who were assessed by a specialist psychiatrist prior to treatment. Participants were treated as part of routine clinical care and were therefore not randomized. The results showed that symptoms of anxiety and depression decreased significantly with iCBT, and that the mode of assessment did not affect outcome. That is, a pre-treatment assessment by a psychiatrist conferred no additional treatment benefits over an automated assessment. These findings suggest that iCBT is effective in routine care and may be implemented with an automated assessment. By providing wider access to evidence-based interventions and reducing waiting times, the use of iCBT within a stepped-care model is a cost-effective way to reduce the burden of disease caused by these common mental disorders.

  12. Development testing of the chemical analysis automation polychlorinated biphenyl standard analysis method during surface soils sampling at the David Witherspoon 1630 site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hunt, M.A.; Klatt, L.N.; Thompson, D.H.

    1998-02-01

    The Chemical Analysis Automation (CAA) project is developing standardized, software-driven, site-deployable robotic laboratory systems with the objective of lowering the per-sample analysis cost, decreasing sample turnaround time, and minimizing human exposure to hazardous and radioactive materials associated with DOE remediation projects. The first integrated system developed by the CAA project is designed to determine polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) content in soil matrices. A demonstration and development testing of this system was conducted in conjuction with surface soil characterization activities at the David Witherspoon 1630 Site in Knoxville, Tennessee. The PCB system consists of five hardware standard laboratory modules (SLMs), one software SLM, the task sequence controller (TSC), and the human-computer interface (HCI). Four of the hardware SLMs included a four-channel Soxhlet extractor, a high-volume concentrator, a column cleanup, and a gas chromatograph. These SLMs performed the sample preparation and measurement steps within the total analysis protocol. The fifth hardware module was a robot that transports samples between the SLMs and the required consumable supplies to the SLMs. The software SLM is an automated data interpretation module that receives raw data from the gas chromatograph SLM and analyzes the data to yield the analyte information. The TSC is a software system that provides the scheduling, management of system resources, and the coordination of all SLM activities. The HCI is a graphical user interface that presents the automated laboratory to the analyst in terms of the analytical procedures and methods. Human control of the automated laboratory is accomplished via the HCI. Sample information required for processing by the automated laboratory is entered through the HCI. Information related to the sample and the system status is presented to the analyst via graphical icons

  13. Miniaturized bead-beating device to automate full DNA sample preparation processes for gram-positive bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Kyu-Youn; Kwon, Sung Hong; Jung, Sun-Ok; Lim, Hee-Kyun; Jung, Won-Jong; Park, Chin-Sung; Kim, Joon-Ho; Suh, Kahp-Yang; Huh, Nam

    2011-11-07

    We have developed a miniaturized bead-beating device to automate nucleic acids extraction from Gram-positive bacteria for molecular diagnostics. The microfluidic device was fabricated by sandwiching a monolithic flexible polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) membrane between two glass wafers (i.e., glass-PDMS-glass), which acted as an actuator for bead collision via its pneumatic vibration without additional lysis equipment. The Gram-positive bacteria, S. aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus, were captured on surface-modified glass beads from 1 mL of initial sample solution and in situ lyzed by bead-beating operation. Then, 10 μL or 20 μL of bacterial DNA solution was eluted and amplified successfully by real-time PCR. It was found that liquid volume fraction played a crucial role in determining the cell lysis efficiency in a confined chamber by facilitating membrane deflection and bead motion. The miniaturized bead-beating operation disrupted most of S. aureus within 3 min, which turned out to be as efficient as the conventional benchtop vortexing machine or the enzyme-based lysis technique. The effective cell concentration was significantly enhanced with the reduction of initial sample volume by 50 or 100 times. Combination of such analyte enrichment and in situ bead-beating lysis provided an excellent PCR detection sensitivity amounting to ca. 46 CFU even for the Gram-positive bacteria. The proposed bead-beating microdevice is potentially useful as a nucleic acid extraction method toward a PCR-based sample-to-answer system. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2011

  14. Re-Emergence of Under-Selected Stimuli, after the Extinction of Over-Selected Stimuli in an Automated Match to Samples Procedure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broomfield, Laura; McHugh, Louise; Reed, Phil

    2008-01-01

    Stimulus over-selectivity occurs when one of potentially many aspects of the environment comes to control behaviour. In two experiments, adults with no developmental disabilities, were trained and tested in an automated match to samples (MTS) paradigm. In Experiment 1, participants completed two conditions, in one of which the over-selected…

  15. Sample size determination for equivalence assessment with multiple endpoints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Anna; Dong, Xiaoyu; Tsong, Yi

    2014-01-01

    Equivalence assessment between a reference and test treatment is often conducted by two one-sided tests (TOST). The corresponding power function and sample size determination can be derived from a joint distribution of the sample mean and sample variance. When an equivalence trial is designed with multiple endpoints, it often involves several sets of two one-sided tests. A naive approach for sample size determination in this case would select the largest sample size required for each endpoint. However, such a method ignores the correlation among endpoints. With the objective to reject all endpoints and when the endpoints are uncorrelated, the power function is the production of all power functions for individual endpoints. With correlated endpoints, the sample size and power should be adjusted for such a correlation. In this article, we propose the exact power function for the equivalence test with multiple endpoints adjusted for correlation under both crossover and parallel designs. We further discuss the differences in sample size for the naive method without and with correlation adjusted methods and illustrate with an in vivo bioequivalence crossover study with area under the curve (AUC) and maximum concentration (Cmax) as the two endpoints.

  16. Bias Assessment of General Chemistry Analytes using Commutable Samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koerbin, Gus; Tate, Jillian R; Ryan, Julie; Jones, Graham Rd; Sikaris, Ken A; Kanowski, David; Reed, Maxine; Gill, Janice; Koumantakis, George; Yen, Tina; St John, Andrew; Hickman, Peter E; Simpson, Aaron; Graham, Peter

    2014-11-01

    Harmonisation of reference intervals for routine general chemistry analytes has been a goal for many years. Analytical bias may prevent this harmonisation. To determine if analytical bias is present when comparing methods, the use of commutable samples, or samples that have the same properties as the clinical samples routinely analysed, should be used as reference samples to eliminate the possibility of matrix effect. The use of commutable samples has improved the identification of unacceptable analytical performance in the Netherlands and Spain. The International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) has undertaken a pilot study using commutable samples in an attempt to determine not only country specific reference intervals but to make them comparable between countries. Australia and New Zealand, through the Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists (AACB), have also undertaken an assessment of analytical bias using commutable samples and determined that of the 27 general chemistry analytes studied, 19 showed sufficiently small between method biases as to not prevent harmonisation of reference intervals. Application of evidence based approaches including the determination of analytical bias using commutable material is necessary when seeking to harmonise reference intervals.

  17. An Improved Nested Sampling Algorithm for Model Selection and Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, X.; Ye, M.; Wu, J.; WANG, D.

    2017-12-01

    Multimodel strategy is a general approach for treating model structure uncertainty in recent researches. The unknown groundwater system is represented by several plausible conceptual models. Each alternative conceptual model is attached with a weight which represents the possibility of this model. In Bayesian framework, the posterior model weight is computed as the product of model prior weight and marginal likelihood (or termed as model evidence). As a result, estimating marginal likelihoods is crucial for reliable model selection and assessment in multimodel analysis. Nested sampling estimator (NSE) is a new proposed algorithm for marginal likelihood estimation. The implementation of NSE comprises searching the parameters' space from low likelihood area to high likelihood area gradually, and this evolution is finished iteratively via local sampling procedure. Thus, the efficiency of NSE is dominated by the strength of local sampling procedure. Currently, Metropolis-Hasting (M-H) algorithm and its variants are often used for local sampling in NSE. However, M-H is not an efficient sampling algorithm for high-dimensional or complex likelihood function. For improving the performance of NSE, it could be feasible to integrate more efficient and elaborated sampling algorithm - DREAMzs into the local sampling. In addition, in order to overcome the computation burden problem of large quantity of repeating model executions in marginal likelihood estimation, an adaptive sparse grid stochastic collocation method is used to build the surrogates for original groundwater model.

  18. ASSESSMENT OF PERFORMANCES OF VARIOUS MACHINE LEARNING ALGORITHMS DURING AUTOMATED EVALUATION OF DESCRIPTIVE ANSWERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Sunil Kumar

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Automation of descriptive answers evaluation is the need of the hour because of the huge increase in the number of students enrolling each year in educational institutions and the limited staff available to spare their time for evaluations. In this paper, we use a machine learning workbench called LightSIDE to accomplish auto evaluation and scoring of descriptive answers. We attempted to identify the best supervised machine learning algorithm given a limited training set sample size scenario. We evaluated performances of Bayes, SVM, Logistic Regression, Random forests, Decision stump and Decision trees algorithms. We confirmed SVM as best performing algorithm based on quantitative measurements across accuracy, kappa, training speed and prediction accuracy with supplied test set.

  19. Clinical evaluation of 64-slice CT assessment of global left ventricular function using automated cardiac phase selection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Joemai, Raoul M.S.; Geleijns, Joemai; Veldkamp, Wouter J.H.; Kroft, Lucia J.M.

    2008-01-01

    Left ventricular (LV) function provides prognostic information regarding the morbidity and mortality of patients. An automated cardiac phase selection algorithm has the potential to support the assessment of LV function with computed tomography (CT). This algorithm is clinically evaluated for 64-slice cardiac CT. Examinations of twenty consecutive patients were selected. Electrocardiogram gated contrast-enhanced CT was performed. Reconstructions were performed using an automated and a manual method, followed by the determination of the global LV function. Significances were tested using 2-sided Student's t-tests. Reduction in post processing time and storage capacity were estimated. A slightly smaller mean end-systolic volume was found with the automated method (52±18 ml vs 54±17 ml, p=0.02, r=0.99). The mean LV ejection fraction was slightly larger with the automated method (65±8% vs 64±8%, p=0.004, r=0.99). The estimated reduction in post processing time was maximal 5 min per patient with a potential 80% data storage reduction. Results of the automated phase selection algorithm are similar to the manual method. The automated tool reduces post processing time, reconstruction time and transfer time. (author)

  20. Automated Fast Screening Method for Cocaine Identification in Seized Drug Samples Using a Portable Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) Instrument.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mainali, Dipak; Seelenbinder, John

    2016-05-01

    Quick and presumptive identification of seized drug samples without destroying evidence is necessary for law enforcement officials to control the trafficking and abuse of drugs. This work reports an automated screening method to detect the presence of cocaine in seized samples using portable Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrometers. The method is based on the identification of well-defined characteristic vibrational frequencies related to the functional group of the cocaine molecule and is fully automated through the use of an expert system. Traditionally, analysts look for key functional group bands in the infrared spectra and characterization of the molecules present is dependent on user interpretation. This implies the need for user expertise, especially in samples that likely are mixtures. As such, this approach is biased and also not suitable for non-experts. The method proposed in this work uses the well-established "center of gravity" peak picking mathematical algorithm and combines it with the conditional reporting feature in MicroLab software to provide an automated method that can be successfully employed by users with varied experience levels. The method reports the confidence level of cocaine present only when a certain number of cocaine related peaks are identified by the automated method. Unlike library search and chemometric methods that are dependent on the library database or the training set samples used to build the calibration model, the proposed method is relatively independent of adulterants and diluents present in the seized mixture. This automated method in combination with a portable FT-IR spectrometer provides law enforcement officials, criminal investigators, or forensic experts a quick field-based prescreening capability for the presence of cocaine in seized drug samples. © The Author(s) 2016.

  1. Control Performance Management in Industrial Automation Assessment, Diagnosis and Improvement of Control Loop Performance

    CERN Document Server

    Jelali, Mohieddine

    2013-01-01

    Control Performance Management in Industrial Automation provides a coherent and self-contained treatment of a group of methods and applications of burgeoning importance to the detection and solution of problems with control loops that are vital in maintaining product quality, operational safety, and efficiency of material and energy consumption in the process industries. The monograph deals with all aspects of control performance management (CPM), from controller assessment (minimum-variance-control-based and advanced methods), to detection and diagnosis of control loop problems (process non-linearities, oscillations, actuator faults), to the improvement of control performance (maintenance, re-design of loop components, automatic controller re-tuning). It provides a contribution towards the development and application of completely self-contained and automatic methodologies in the field. Moreover, within this work, many CPM tools have been developed that goes far beyond available CPM packages. Control Perform...

  2. Life Cycle Assessment of Connected and Automated Vehicles: Sensing and Computing Subsystem and Vehicle Level Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gawron, James H; Keoleian, Gregory A; De Kleine, Robert D; Wallington, Timothy J; Kim, Hyung Chul

    2018-03-06

    Although recent studies of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) have begun to explore the potential energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission impacts from an operational perspective, little is known about how the full life cycle of the vehicle will be impacted. We report the results of a life cycle assessment (LCA) of Level 4 CAV sensing and computing subsystems integrated into internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV) and battery electric vehicle (BEV) platforms. The results indicate that CAV subsystems could increase vehicle primary energy use and GHG emissions by 3-20% due to increases in power consumption, weight, drag, and data transmission. However, when potential operational effects of CAVs are included (e.g., eco-driving, platooning, and intersection connectivity), the net result is up to a 9% reduction in energy and GHG emissions in the base case. Overall, this study highlights opportunities where CAVs can improve net energy and environmental performance.

  3. Automated Assessment of Dynamic Knee Valgus and Risk of Knee Injury During the Single Leg Squat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Alexander; Raina, Sachin; Kulić, Dana

    2017-01-01

    Many clinical assessment protocols of the lower limb rely on the evaluation of functional movement tests such as the single leg squat (SLS), which are often assessed visually. Visual assessment is subjective and depends on the experience of the clinician. In this paper, an inertial measurement unit (IMU)-based method for automated assessment of squat quality is proposed to provide clinicians with a quantitative measure of SLS performance. A set of three IMUs was used to estimate the joint angles, velocities, and accelerations of the squatting leg. Statistical time domain features were generated from these measurements. The most informative features were used for classifier training. A data set of SLS performed by healthy participants was collected and labeled by three expert clinical raters using two different labeling criteria: “observed amount of knee valgus” and “overall risk of injury”. The results showed that both flexion at the hip and knee, as well as hip and ankle internal rotation are discriminative features, and that participants with “poor” squats bend the hip and knee less than those with better squat performance. Furthermore, improved classification performance is achieved for females by training separate classifiers stratified by gender. Classification results showed excellent accuracy, 95.7 % for classifying squat quality as “poor” or “good” and 94.6% for differentiating between high and no risk of injury. PMID:29204327

  4. Automated signal quality assessment of mobile phone-recorded heart sound signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springer, David B; Brennan, Thomas; Ntusi, Ntobeko; Abdelrahman, Hassan Y; Zühlke, Liesl J; Mayosi, Bongani M; Tarassenko, Lionel; Clifford, Gari D

    Mobile phones, due to their audio processing capabilities, have the potential to facilitate the diagnosis of heart disease through automated auscultation. However, such a platform is likely to be used by non-experts, and hence, it is essential that such a device is able to automatically differentiate poor quality from diagnostically useful recordings since non-experts are more likely to make poor-quality recordings. This paper investigates the automated signal quality assessment of heart sound recordings performed using both mobile phone-based and commercial medical-grade electronic stethoscopes. The recordings, each 60 s long, were taken from 151 random adult individuals with varying diagnoses referred to a cardiac clinic and were professionally annotated by five experts. A mean voting procedure was used to compute a final quality label for each recording. Nine signal quality indices were defined and calculated for each recording. A logistic regression model for classifying binary quality was then trained and tested. The inter-rater agreement level for the stethoscope and mobile phone recordings was measured using Conger's kappa for multiclass sets and found to be 0.24 and 0.54, respectively. One-third of all the mobile phone-recorded phonocardiogram (PCG) signals were found to be of sufficient quality for analysis. The classifier was able to distinguish good- and poor-quality mobile phone recordings with 82.2% accuracy, and those made with the electronic stethoscope with an accuracy of 86.5%. We conclude that our classification approach provides a mechanism for substantially improving auscultation recordings by non-experts. This work is the first systematic evaluation of a PCG signal quality classification algorithm (using a separate test dataset) and assessment of the quality of PCG recordings captured by non-experts, using both a medical-grade digital stethoscope and a mobile phone.

  5. Equilibrium sampling for a thermodynamic assessment of contaminated sediments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mayer, Philipp; Nørgaard Schmidt, Stine; Mäenpää, Kimmo

    Hydrophobic organic contaminants (HOCs) reaching the aquatic environment are largely stored in sediments. The risk of contaminated sediments is challenging to assess since traditional exhaustive extraction methods yield total HOC concentrations, whereas freely dissolved concentrations (Cfree......) govern diffusive uptake and partitioning. Equilibrium sampling of sediment was introduced 15 years ago to measure Cfree, and it has since developed into a straightforward, precise and sensitive approach for determining Cfree and other exposure parameters that allow for thermodynamic assessment...... of polluted sediments. Glass jars with µm-thin silicone coatings on the inner walls can be used for ex situ equilibration while a device housing several silicone-coated fibers can be used for in situ equilibration. In both cases, parallel sampling with varying silicone thicknesses can be applied to confirm...

  6. Microwave-Assisted Sample Treatment in a Fully Automated Flow-Based Instrument: Oxidation of Reduced Technetium Species in the Analysis of Total Technetium-99 in Caustic Aged Nuclear Waste Samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Egorov, Oleg B.; O'Hara, Matthew J.; Grate, Jay W.

    2004-01-01

    An automated flow-based instrument for microwave-assisted treatment of liquid samples has been developed and characterized. The instrument utilizes a flow-through reaction vessel design that facilitates the addition of multiple reagents during sample treatment, removal of the gaseous reaction products, and enables quantitative removal of liquids from the reaction vessel for carryover-free operations. Matrix modification and speciation control chemistries that are required for the radiochemical determination of total 99Tc in caustic aged nuclear waste samples have been investigated. A rapid and quantitative oxidation procedure using peroxydisulfate in acidic solution was developed to convert reduced technetium species to pertechnetate in samples with high content of reducing organics. The effectiveness of the automated sample treatment procedures has been validated in the radiochemical analysis of total 99Tc in caustic aged nuclear waste matrixes from the Hanford site

  7. Odor assessment for sewage sludge samples 300A01002

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cash, D.B.; Molton, P.M.

    1976-12-01

    The use of radiation as a means of detoxifying sewage sludge as an alternate to the more conventional biological digestion treatment method was studied. A combination of gamma irradiation and heat (thermoradiation) treatment is being considered. In support of this effort, Battelle's Pacific Northwest Laboratories (PNL) were requested to assess the odor change of the sewage sludge, if any, that occurs with time after the samples were subjected to the treatment conditions. The test methods and results are presented

  8. Sampling and Analysis for Assessment of Body Burdens

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harley, J.H.

    1964-01-01

    A review of sampling criteria and techniques and of sample processing methods for indirect assessment of body burdens is presented. The text is limited to the more recent developments in the field of bioassay and to the nuclides which cannot be readily determined in the body directly. A selected bibliography is included. The planning of a bioassay programme should emphasize the detection of high or unusual exposures and the concentrated study of these cases when detected. This procedure gives the maximum amount of data for the dosimetry of individuals at risk and also adds to our scientific background for an understanding of internal emitters. Only a minimum of effort should be spent on sampling individuals having had negligible exposure. The chemical separation procedures required for bioassay also fall into two categories. The first is the rapid method, possibly of low accuracy, used for detection. The second is the more accurate method required for study of the individual after detection of the exposure. Excretion, whether exponential or a power function, drops off rapidly. It is necessary to locate the exposure in time before any evaluation can be made, even before deciding if the exposure is significant. One approach is frequent sampling and analysis by a quick screening technique. More commonly, samples are collected at longer intervals and an arbitrary level of re-sampling is set to assist in the detection of real exposures. It is probable that too much bioassay effort has gone into measurements on individuals at low risk and not enough on those at higher risk. The development of bioassay procedures for overcoming this problem has begun, and this paper emphasizes this facet of sampling and sample processing. (author) [fr

  9. Toward standardized quantitative image quality (IQ) assessment in computed tomography (CT): A comprehensive framework for automated and comparative IQ analysis based on ICRU Report 87.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pahn, Gregor; Skornitzke, Stephan; Schlemmer, Hans-Peter; Kauczor, Hans-Ulrich; Stiller, Wolfram

    2016-01-01

    Based on the guidelines from "Report 87: Radiation Dose and Image-quality Assessment in Computed Tomography" of the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU), a software framework for automated quantitative image quality analysis was developed and its usability for a variety of scientific questions demonstrated. The extendable framework currently implements the calculation of the recommended Fourier image quality (IQ) metrics modulation transfer function (MTF) and noise-power spectrum (NPS), and additional IQ quantities such as noise magnitude, CT number accuracy, uniformity across the field-of-view, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of simulated lesions for a commercially available cone-beam phantom. Sample image data were acquired with different scan and reconstruction settings on CT systems from different manufacturers. Spatial resolution is analyzed in terms of edge-spread function, line-spread-function, and MTF. 3D NPS is calculated according to ICRU Report 87, and condensed to 2D and radially averaged 1D representations. Noise magnitude, CT numbers, and uniformity of these quantities are assessed on large samples of ROIs. Low-contrast resolution (CNR, SNR) is quantitatively evaluated as a function of lesion contrast and diameter. Simultaneous automated processing of several image datasets allows for straightforward comparative assessment. The presented framework enables systematic, reproducible, automated and time-efficient quantitative IQ analysis. Consistent application of the ICRU guidelines facilitates standardization of quantitative assessment not only for routine quality assurance, but for a number of research questions, e.g. the comparison of different scanner models or acquisition protocols, and the evaluation of new technology or reconstruction methods. Copyright © 2015 Associazione Italiana di Fisica Medica. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. ICSH recommendations for assessing automated high-performance liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis equipment for the quantitation of HbA2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, A D; Colah, R; Fucharoen, S; Hoyer, J; Keren, D; McFarlane, A; Perrett, D; Wild, B J

    2015-10-01

    Automated high performance liquid chromatography and Capillary electrophoresis are used to quantitate the proportion of Hemoglobin A2 (HbA2 ) in blood samples order to enable screening and diagnosis of carriers of β-thalassemia. Since there is only a very small difference in HbA2 levels between people who are carriers and people who are not carriers such analyses need to be both precise and accurate. This paper examines the different parameters of such equipment and discusses how they should be assessed. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Enabling Wide-Scale Computer Science Education through Improved Automated Assessment Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boe, Bryce A.

    There is a proliferating demand for newly trained computer scientists as the number of computer science related jobs continues to increase. University programs will only be able to train enough new computer scientists to meet this demand when two things happen: when there are more primary and secondary school students interested in computer science, and when university departments have the resources to handle the resulting increase in enrollment. To meet these goals, significant effort is being made to both incorporate computational thinking into existing primary school education, and to support larger university computer science class sizes. We contribute to this effort through the creation and use of improved automated assessment tools. To enable wide-scale computer science education we do two things. First, we create a framework called Hairball to support the static analysis of Scratch programs targeted for fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students. Scratch is a popular building-block language utilized to pique interest in and teach the basics of computer science. We observe that Hairball allows for rapid curriculum alterations and thus contributes to wide-scale deployment of computer science curriculum. Second, we create a real-time feedback and assessment system utilized in university computer science classes to provide better feedback to students while reducing assessment time. Insights from our analysis of student submission data show that modifications to the system configuration support the way students learn and progress through course material, making it possible for instructors to tailor assignments to optimize learning in growing computer science classes.

  12. Automated assessment of patients' self-narratives for posttraumatic stress disorder screening using natural language processing and text mining

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    He, Qiwei; Veldkamp, Bernard P.; Glas, Cornelis A.W.; de Vries, Theo

    2017-01-01

    Patients’ narratives about traumatic experiences and symptoms are useful in clinical screening and diagnostic procedures. In this study, we presented an automated assessment system to screen patients for posttraumatic stress disorder via a natural language processing and text-mining approach. Four

  13. Assessment of Automated Data Analysis Application on VVER Steam Generator Tubing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Picek, E.; Barilar, D.

    2006-01-01

    INETEC - Institute for Nuclear Technology has developed software package named EddyOne having an option of automated analysis of bobbin coil eddy current data. During its development and site use some features were noticed preventing the wide use automatic analysis on VVER SG data. This article discuss these specific problems as well evaluates possible solutions. With regards to current state of automated analysis technology an overview of advantaged and disadvantages of automated analysis on VVER SG is summarized as well.(author)

  14. Assessment of paclitaxel induced sensory polyneuropathy with "Catwalk" automated gait analysis in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petra Huehnchen

    Full Text Available Neuropathic pain as a symptom of sensory nerve damage is a frequent side effect of chemotherapy. The most common behavioral observation in animal models of chemotherapy induced polyneuropathy is the development of mechanical allodynia, which is quantified with von Frey filaments. The data from one study, however, cannot be easily compared with other studies owing to influences of environmental factors, inter-rater variability and differences in test paradigms. To overcome these limitations, automated quantitative gait analysis was proposed as an alternative, but its usefulness for assessing animals suffering from polyneuropathy has remained unclear. In the present study, we used a novel mouse model of paclitaxel induced polyneuropathy to compare results from electrophysiology and the von Frey method to gait alterations measured with the Catwalk test. To mimic recently improved clinical treatment strategies of gynecological malignancies, we established a mouse model of dose-dense paclitaxel therapy on the common C57Bl/6 background. In this model paclitaxel treated animals developed mechanical allodynia as well as reduced caudal sensory nerve action potential amplitudes indicative of a sensory polyneuropathy. Gait analysis with the Catwalk method detected distinct alterations of gait parameters in animals suffering from sensory neuropathy, revealing a minimized contact of the hind paws with the floor. Treatment of mechanical allodynia with gabapentin improved altered dynamic gait parameters. This study establishes a novel mouse model for investigating the side effects of dose-dense paclitaxel therapy and underlines the usefulness of automated gait analysis as an additional easy-to-use objective test for evaluating painful sensory polyneuropathy.

  15. Spiked natural matrix materials as quality assessment samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feiner, M.S.; Sanderson, C.G.

    1988-01-01

    The Environmental Measurements Laboratory has conducted the Quality Assessment Program since 1976 to evaluate the quality of the environmental radioactivity data, which is reported to the Department of Energy by as many as 42 commercial contractors involved in nuclear work. In this program, matrix materials of known radionuclide concentrations are distributed routinely to the contractors and the reported results are compared. The five matrices used are: soil, vegetation, animal tissue, water and filter paper. Environmental soil, vegetation and animal tissue are used, but the water and filter paper samples are prepared by spiking with known amounts of standard solutions traceable to the National Bureau of Standards. A summary of results is given to illustrate the successful operation of the program. Because of the difficulty and high cost of collecting large samples of natural matrix material and to increase the versatility of the program, an attempt was recently made to prepare the soil, vegetation and animal tissue samples with spiked solutions. A description of the preparation of these reference samples and the results of analyses are presented along with a discussion of the pitfalls and advantages of this approach. 19 refs.; 6 tabs

  16. Automated single-trial assessment of laser-evoked potentials as an objective functional diagnostic tool for the nociceptive system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatem, S M; Hu, L; Ragé, M; Gierasimowicz, A; Plaghki, L; Bouhassira, D; Attal, N; Iannetti, G D; Mouraux, A

    2012-12-01

    To assess the clinical usefulness of an automated analysis of event-related potentials (ERPs). Nociceptive laser-evoked potentials (LEPs) and non-nociceptive somatosensory electrically-evoked potentials (SEPs) were recorded in 37 patients with syringomyelia and 21 controls. LEP and SEP peak amplitudes and latencies were estimated using a single-trial automated approach based on time-frequency wavelet filtering and multiple linear regression, as well as a conventional approach based on visual inspection. The amplitudes and latencies of normal and abnormal LEP and SEP peaks were identified reliably using both approaches, with similar sensitivity and specificity. Because the automated approach provided an unbiased solution to account for average waveforms where no ERP could be identified visually, it revealed significant differences between patients and controls that were not revealed using the visual approach. The automated analysis of ERPs characterized reliably and objectively LEP and SEP waveforms in patients. The automated single-trial analysis can be used to characterize normal and abnormal ERPs with a similar sensitivity and specificity as visual inspection. While this does not justify its use in a routine clinical setting, the technique could be useful to avoid observer-dependent biases in clinical research. Copyright © 2012 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Mixed species radioiodine air sampling readout and dose assessment system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Distenfeld, C.H.; Klemish, J.R. Jr.

    1978-01-01

    This invention provides a simple, reliable, inexpensive and portable means and method for determining the thyroid dose rate of mixed airborne species of solid and gaseous radioiodine without requiring highly skilled personnel, such as health physicists or electronics technicians. To this end, this invention provides a means and method for sampling a gas from a source of a mixed species of solid and gaseous radioiodine for collection of the mixed species and readout and assessment of the emissions therefrom by cylindrically, concentrically and annularly molding the respective species around a cylindrical passage for receiving a conventional probe-type Geiger-Mueller radiation detector

  18. Automated Cognitive Health Assessment From Smart Home-Based Behavior Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawadi, Prafulla Nath; Cook, Diane Joyce; Schmitter-Edgecombe, Maureen

    2016-07-01

    Smart home technologies offer potential benefits for assisting clinicians by automating health monitoring and well-being assessment. In this paper, we examine the actual benefits of smart home-based analysis by monitoring daily behavior in the home and predicting clinical scores of the residents. To accomplish this goal, we propose a clinical assessment using activity behavior (CAAB) approach to model a smart home resident's daily behavior and predict the corresponding clinical scores. CAAB uses statistical features that describe characteristics of a resident's daily activity performance to train machine learning algorithms that predict the clinical scores. We evaluate the performance of CAAB utilizing smart home sensor data collected from 18 smart homes over two years. We obtain a statistically significant correlation ( r=0.72) between CAAB-predicted and clinician-provided cognitive scores and a statistically significant correlation ( r=0.45) between CAAB-predicted and clinician-provided mobility scores. These prediction results suggest that it is feasible to predict clinical scores using smart home sensor data and learning-based data analysis.

  19. A machine learning approach for automated assessment of retinal vasculature in the oxygen induced retinopathy model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzaferri, Javier; Larrivée, Bruno; Cakir, Bertan; Sapieha, Przemyslaw; Costantino, Santiago

    2018-03-02

    Preclinical studies of vascular retinal diseases rely on the assessment of developmental dystrophies in the oxygen induced retinopathy rodent model. The quantification of vessel tufts and avascular regions is typically computed manually from flat mounted retinas imaged using fluorescent probes that highlight the vascular network. Such manual measurements are time-consuming and hampered by user variability and bias, thus a rapid and objective method is needed. Here, we introduce a machine learning approach to segment and characterize vascular tufts, delineate the whole vasculature network, and identify and analyze avascular regions. Our quantitative retinal vascular assessment (QuRVA) technique uses a simple machine learning method and morphological analysis to provide reliable computations of vascular density and pathological vascular tuft regions, devoid of user intervention within seconds. We demonstrate the high degree of error and variability of manual segmentations, and designed, coded, and implemented a set of algorithms to perform this task in a fully automated manner. We benchmark and validate the results of our analysis pipeline using the consensus of several manually curated segmentations using commonly used computer tools. The source code of our implementation is released under version 3 of the GNU General Public License ( https://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/fileexchange/65699-javimazzaf-qurva ).

  20. Conformity Assessment in Nuclear Material and Environmental Sample Analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aregbe, Y.; Jakopic, R.; Richter, S.; Venchiarutti, C.

    2015-01-01

    Safeguards conclusions are based to a large extent on comparison of measurement results between operator and safeguards laboratories. Measurement results must state traceability and uncertainties to be comparable. Recent workshops held at the IAEA and in the frame of the European Safeguards Research and Development Association (ESARDA), reviewed different approaches for Nuclear Material Balance Evaluation (MBE). Among those, the ''bottom-up'' approach requires assessment of operators and safeguards laboratories measurement systems and capabilities. Therefore, inter-laboratory comparisons (ILCs) with independent reference values provided for decades by JRC-IRMM, CEA/CETAMA and US DOE are instrumental to shed light on the current state of practice in measurements of nuclear material and environmental swipe samples. Participating laboratories are requested to report the measurement results with associated uncertainties, and have the possibility to benchmark those results against independent and traceable reference values. The measurement capability of both the IAEA Network of Analytical Laboratories (NWAL) and the nuclear operator's analytical services participating in ILCs can be assessed against the independent reference values as well as against internationally agreed quality goals, in compliance with ISO 13528:2005. The quality goals for nuclear material analysis are the relative combined standard uncertainties listed in the ITV2010. Concerning environmental swipe sample analysis, the IAEA defined measurement quality goals applied in conformity assessment. The paper reports examples from relevant inter-laboratory comparisons, looking at laboratory performance according to the purpose of the measurement and the possible use of the result in line with the IUPAC International Harmonized Protocol. Tendencies of laboratories to either overestimate and/or underestimate uncertainties are discussed using straightforward graphical tools to evaluate

  1. Application of Automated Facial Expression Analysis and Qualitative Analysis to Assess Consumer Perception and Acceptability of Beverages and Water

    OpenAIRE

    Crist, Courtney Alissa

    2016-01-01

    Sensory and consumer sciences aim to understand the influences of product acceptability and purchase decisions. The food industry measures product acceptability through hedonic testing but often does not assess implicit or qualitative response. Incorporation of qualitative research and automated facial expression analysis (AFEA) may supplement hedonic acceptability testing to provide product insights. The purpose of this research was to assess the application of AFEA and qualitative analysis ...

  2. Virtual automation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casis, E; Garrido, A; Uranga, B; Vives, A; Zufiaurre, C

    2001-01-01

    Total laboratory automation (TLA) can be substituted in mid-size laboratories by a computer sample workflow control (virtual automation). Such a solution has been implemented in our laboratory using PSM, software developed in cooperation with Roche Diagnostics (Barcelona, Spain), to this purpose. This software is connected to the online analyzers and to the laboratory information system and is able to control and direct the samples working as an intermediate station. The only difference with TLA is the replacement of transport belts by personnel of the laboratory. The implementation of this virtual automation system has allowed us the achievement of the main advantages of TLA: workload increase (64%) with reduction in the cost per test (43%), significant reduction in the number of biochemistry primary tubes (from 8 to 2), less aliquoting (from 600 to 100 samples/day), automation of functional testing, drastic reduction of preanalytical errors (from 11.7 to 0.4% of the tubes) and better total response time for both inpatients (from up to 48 hours to up to 4 hours) and outpatients (from up to 10 days to up to 48 hours). As an additional advantage, virtual automation could be implemented without hardware investment and significant headcount reduction (15% in our lab).

  3. Assessing Library Automation and Virtual Library Development in Four Academic Libraries in Oyo, Oyo State, Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gbadamosi, Belau Olatunde

    2011-01-01

    The paper examines the level of library automation and virtual library development in four academic libraries. A validated questionnaire was used to capture the responses from academic librarians of the libraries under study. The paper discovers that none of the four academic libraries is fully automated. The libraries make use of librarians with…

  4. An open framework for automated chemical hazard assessment based on GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals: A proof of concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wehage, Kristopher; Chenhansa, Panan; Schoenung, Julie M

    2017-01-01

    GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals is a framework for comparative chemical hazard assessment. It is the first transparent, open and publicly accessible framework of its kind, allowing manufacturers and governmental agencies to make informed decisions about the chemicals and substances used in consumer products and buildings. In the GreenScreen® benchmarking process, chemical hazards are assessed and classified based on 18 hazard endpoints from up to 30 different sources. The result is a simple numerical benchmark score and accompanying assessment report that allows users to flag chemicals of concern and identify safer alternatives. Although the screening process is straightforward, aggregating and sorting hazard data is tedious, time-consuming, and prone to human error. In light of these challenges, the present work demonstrates the usage of automation to cull chemical hazard data from publicly available internet resources, assign metadata, and perform a GreenScreen® hazard assessment using the GreenScreen® "List Translator." The automated technique, written as a module in the Python programming language, generates GreenScreen® List Translation data for over 3000 chemicals in approximately 30 s. Discussion of the potential benefits and limitations of automated techniques is provided. By embedding the library into a web-based graphical user interface, the extensibility of the library is demonstrated. The accompanying source code is made available to the hazard assessment community. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;13:167-176. © 2016 SETAC. © 2016 SETAC.

  5. Automated gravimetric sample pretreatment using an industrial robot for the high-precision determination of plutonium by isotope dilution mass spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Surugaya, Naoki; Hiyama, Toshiaki; Watahiki, Masaru

    2008-01-01

    A robotized sample-preparation method for the determination of Pu, which is recovered by extraction reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, by isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS) is described. The automated system uses a six-axis industrial robot, whose motility is very fast, accurate, and flexible, installed in a glove box. The automation of the weighing and dilution steps enables operator-unattended sample pretreatment for the high-precision analysis of Pu in aqueous solutions. Using the developed system, the Pu concentration in a HNO 3 medium was successfully determined using a set of subsequent mass spectrometric measurements. The relative uncertainty in determining the Pu concentration by IDMS using this system was estimated to be less than 0.1% (k=2), which is equal to that expected of a talented analysis. The operation time required was the same as that for a skilled operator. (author)

  6. Assessing drivers' response during automated driver support system failures with non-driving tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Sijun; Neyens, David M

    2017-06-01

    With the increase in automated driver support systems, drivers are shifting from operating their vehicles to supervising their automation. As a result, it is important to understand how drivers interact with these automated systems and evaluate their effect on driver responses to safety critical events. This study aimed to identify how drivers responded when experiencing a safety critical event in automated vehicles while also engaged in non-driving tasks. In total 48 participants were included in this driving simulator study with two levels of automated driving: (a) driving with no automation and (b) driving with adaptive cruise control (ACC) and lane keeping (LK) systems engaged; and also two levels of a non-driving task (a) watching a movie or (b) no non-driving task. In addition to driving performance measures, non-driving task performance and the mean glance duration for the non-driving task were compared between the two levels of automated driving. Drivers using the automated systems responded worse than those manually driving in terms of reaction time, lane departure duration, and maximum steering wheel angle to an induced lane departure event. These results also found that non-driving tasks further impaired driver responses to a safety critical event in the automated system condition. In the automated driving condition, driver responses to the safety critical events were slower, especially when engaged in a non-driving task. Traditional driver performance variables may not necessarily effectively and accurately evaluate driver responses to events when supervising autonomous vehicle systems. Thus, it is important to develop and use appropriate variables to quantify drivers' performance under these conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd and National Safety Council. All rights reserved.

  7. Automation of registration of sample weights for high-volume neutron activation analysis at the IBR-2 reactor of FLNP, JINR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dmitriev, A.Yu.; Dmitriev, F.A.

    2015-01-01

    The 'Weight' software tool was created at FLNP JINR to automate the reading of analytical balance readouts and saving these values in the NAA database. The analytical balance connected to the personal computer is used to measure weight values. The 'Weight' software tool controls the reading of weight values and the exchange of information with the NAA database. The weighing process of a large amount of samples is reliably provided during high-volume neutron activation analysis. [ru

  8. Development of a fully automated open-column chemical-separation system—COLUMNSPIDER—and its application to Sr-Nd-Pb isotope analyses of igneous rock samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazaki, Takashi; Vaglarov, Bogdan Stefanov; Takei, Masakazu; Suzuki, Masahiro; Suzuki, Hiroaki; Ohsawa, Kouzou; Chang, Qing; Takahashi, Toshiro; Hirahara, Yuka; Hanyu, Takeshi; Kimura, Jun-Ichi; Tatsumi, Yoshiyuki

    A fully automated open-column resin-bed chemical-separation system, named COLUMNSPIDER, has been developed. The system consists of a programmable micropipetting robot that dispenses chemical reagents and sample solutions into an open-column resin bed for elemental separation. After the initial set up of resin columns, chemical reagents, and beakers for the separated chemical components, all separation procedures are automated. As many as ten samples can be eluted in parallel in a single automated run. Many separation procedures, such as radiogenic isotope ratio analyses for Sr and Nd, involve the use of multiple column separations with different resin columns, chemical reagents, and beakers of various volumes. COLUMNSPIDER completes these separations using multiple runs. Programmable functions, including the positioning of the micropipetter, reagent volume, and elution time, enable flexible operation. Optimized movements for solution take-up and high-efficiency column flushing allow the system to perform as precisely as when carried out manually by a skilled operator. Procedural blanks, examined for COLUMNSPIDER separations of Sr, Nd, and Pb, are low and negligible. The measured Sr, Nd, and Pb isotope ratios for JB-2 and Nd isotope ratios for JB-3 and BCR-2 rock standards all fall within the ranges reported previously in high-accuracy analyses. COLUMNSPIDER is a versatile tool for the efficient elemental separation of igneous rock samples, a process that is both labor intensive and time consuming.

  9. Automated Liquid Microjunction Surface Sampling-HPLC-MS/MS Analysis of Drugs and Metabolites in Whole-Body Thin Tissue Sections

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kertesz, Vilmos [ORNL; Van Berkel, Gary J [ORNL

    2013-01-01

    A fully automated liquid extraction-based surface sampling system utilizing a commercially available autosampler coupled to high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) detection is reported. Discrete spots selected for droplet-based sampling and automated sample queue generation for both the autosampler and MS were enabled by using in-house developed software. In addition, co-registration of spatially resolved sampling position and HPLC-MS information to generate heatmaps of compounds monitored for subsequent data analysis was also available in the software. The system was evaluated with whole-body thin tissue sections from propranolol dosed rat. The hands-free operation of the system was demonstrated by creating heatmaps of the parent drug and its hydroxypropranolol glucuronide metabolites with 1 mm resolution in the areas of interest. The sample throughput was approximately 5 min/sample defined by the time needed for chromatographic separation. The spatial distributions of both the drug and its metabolites were consistent with previous studies employing other liquid extraction-based surface sampling methodologies.

  10. Assessing user acceptance towards automated and conventional sink use for hand decontamination using the technology acceptance model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Carolyn H; Mackrill, Jamie B; Cain, Rebecca

    2017-12-01

    Hand hygiene (HH) prevents harmful contaminants spreading in settings including domestic, health care and food handling. Strategies to improve HH range from behavioural techniques through to automated sinks that ensure hand surface cleaning. This study aimed to assess user experience and acceptance towards a new automated sink, compared to a normal sink. An adapted version of the technology acceptance model (TAM) assessed each mode of handwashing. A within-subjects design enabled N = 46 participants to evaluate both sinks. Perceived Ease of Use and Satisfaction of Use were significantly lower for the automated sink, compared to the conventional sink (p technology. We provide recommendations for future HH technology development to contribute a positive user experience, relevant to technology developers, ergonomists and those involved in HH across all sectors. Practitioner Summary: The need to facilitate timely, effective hand hygiene to prevent illness has led to a rise in automated handwashing systems across different contexts. User acceptance is a key factor in system uptake. This paper applies the technology acceptance model as a means to explore and optimise the design of such systems.

  11. Assessment of tobacco smoke effects on neonatal cardiorespiratory control using a semi-automated processing approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Omar, Sally; Le Rolle, Virginie; Beuchée, Alain; Samson, Nathalie; Praud, Jean-Paul; Carrault, Guy

    2018-05-10

    A semi-automated processing approach was developed to assess the effects of early postnatal environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) on the cardiorespiratory control of newborn lambs. The system consists of several steps beginning with artifact rejection, followed by the selection of stationary segments, and ending with feature extraction. This approach was used in six lambs exposed to 20 cigarettes/day for the first 15 days of life, while another six control lambs were exposed to room air. On postnatal day 16, electrocardiograph and respiratory signals were obtained from a 6-h polysomnographic recording. The effects of postnatal ETS exposure on heart rate variability, respiratory rate variability, and cardiorespiratory interrelations were explored. The unique results suggest that early postnatal ETS exposure increases respiratory rate variability and decreases the coupling between cardiac and respiratory systems. Potentially harmful consequences in early life include unstable breathing and decreased adaptability of cardiorespiratory function, particularly during early life challenges, such as prematurity or viral infection. Graphical abstract ᅟ.

  12. Holistic approach for automated background EEG assessment in asphyxiated full-term infants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matic, Vladimir; Cherian, Perumpillichira J.; Koolen, Ninah; Naulaers, Gunnar; Swarte, Renate M.; Govaert, Paul; Van Huffel, Sabine; De Vos, Maarten

    2014-12-01

    Objective. To develop an automated algorithm to quantify background EEG abnormalities in full-term neonates with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Approach. The algorithm classifies 1 h of continuous neonatal EEG (cEEG) into a mild, moderate or severe background abnormality grade. These classes are well established in the literature and a clinical neurophysiologist labeled 272 1 h cEEG epochs selected from 34 neonates. The algorithm is based on adaptive EEG segmentation and mapping of the segments into the so-called segments’ feature space. Three features are suggested and further processing is obtained using a discretized three-dimensional distribution of the segments’ features represented as a 3-way data tensor. Further classification has been achieved using recently developed tensor decomposition/classification methods that reduce the size of the model and extract a significant and discriminative set of features. Main results. Effective parameterization of cEEG data has been achieved resulting in high classification accuracy (89%) to grade background EEG abnormalities. Significance. For the first time, the algorithm for the background EEG assessment has been validated on an extensive dataset which contained major artifacts and epileptic seizures. The demonstrated high robustness, while processing real-case EEGs, suggests that the algorithm can be used as an assistive tool to monitor the severity of hypoxic insults in newborns.

  13. Assessing the impact of automated coding & grouping technology at St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howes, M H

    1993-12-01

    In 1992 the Hospital recognised that the existing casemix data reporting systems were too removed from individual patients to have any meaning for clinicians, analysis of the data was difficult and the processes involved in the DRG assignment were subject to considerable error. Consequently, the Hospital approved the purchase of technology that would facilitate the coding and grouping process. The impact of automated coding and grouping technology is assessed by three methods. Firstly, by looking at by-product information systems, secondly, through subjective responses by coders to a satisfaction questionnaire and, thirdly, by objectively measuring hospital activity and identified coding elements before and after implementation of the 3M technology. It was concluded that while the 3M Coding and Grouping software should not be viewed as a panacea to all coding and documentation ills, objective evidence and subjective comment from the coders indicated an improvement in data quality and more accurate DRG assignment. Development of an in-house casemix information system and a feedback mechanism between coder and clinician had been effected. The product had been used as a training tool for coders and had also proven to be a useful auditing tool. Finally, linkage with other systems and the generation of timely reports had been realised.

  14. Automated size-specific CT dose monitoring program: Assessing variability in CT dose

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Christianson, Olav; Li Xiang; Frush, Donald; Samei, Ehsan

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The potential health risks associated with low levels of ionizing radiation have created a movement in the radiology community to optimize computed tomography (CT) imaging protocols to use the lowest radiation dose possible without compromising the diagnostic usefulness of the images. Despite efforts to use appropriate and consistent radiation doses, studies suggest that a great deal of variability in radiation dose exists both within and between institutions for CT imaging. In this context, the authors have developed an automated size-specific radiation dose monitoring program for CT and used this program to assess variability in size-adjusted effective dose from CT imaging. Methods: The authors radiation dose monitoring program operates on an independent health insurance portability and accountability act compliant dosimetry server. Digital imaging and communication in medicine routing software is used to isolate dose report screen captures and scout images for all incoming CT studies. Effective dose conversion factors (k-factors) are determined based on the protocol and optical character recognition is used to extract the CT dose index and dose-length product. The patient's thickness is obtained by applying an adaptive thresholding algorithm to the scout images and is used to calculate the size-adjusted effective dose (ED adj ). The radiation dose monitoring program was used to collect data on 6351 CT studies from three scanner models (GE Lightspeed Pro 16, GE Lightspeed VCT, and GE Definition CT750 HD) and two institutions over a one-month period and to analyze the variability in ED adj between scanner models and across institutions. Results: No significant difference was found between computer measurements of patient thickness and observer measurements (p= 0.17), and the average difference between the two methods was less than 4%. Applying the size correction resulted in ED adj that differed by up to 44% from effective dose estimates that were not

  15. Managing expectations: assessment of chemistry databases generated by automated extraction of chemical structures from patents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senger, Stefan; Bartek, Luca; Papadatos, George; Gaulton, Anna

    2015-12-01

    First public disclosure of new chemical entities often takes place in patents, which makes them an important source of information. However, with an ever increasing number of patent applications, manual processing and curation on such a large scale becomes even more challenging. An alternative approach better suited for this large corpus of documents is the automated extraction of chemical structures. A number of patent chemistry databases generated by using the latter approach are now available but little is known that can help to manage expectations when using them. This study aims to address this by comparing two such freely available sources, SureChEMBL and IBM SIIP (IBM Strategic Intellectual Property Insight Platform), with manually curated commercial databases. When looking at the percentage of chemical structures successfully extracted from a set of patents, using SciFinder as our reference, 59 and 51 % were also found in our comparison in SureChEMBL and IBM SIIP, respectively. When performing this comparison with compounds as starting point, i.e. establishing if for a list of compounds the databases provide the links between chemical structures and patents they appear in, we obtained similar results. SureChEMBL and IBM SIIP found 62 and 59 %, respectively, of the compound-patent pairs obtained from Reaxys. In our comparison of automatically generated vs. manually curated patent chemistry databases, the former successfully provided approximately 60 % of links between chemical structure and patents. It needs to be stressed that only a very limited number of patents and compound-patent pairs were used for our comparison. Nevertheless, our results will hopefully help to manage expectations of users of patent chemistry databases of this type and provide a useful framework for more studies like ours as well as guide future developments of the workflows used for the automated extraction of chemical structures from patents. The challenges we have encountered

  16. Automated size-specific CT dose monitoring program: Assessing variability in CT dose

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Christianson, Olav; Li Xiang; Frush, Donald; Samei, Ehsan [Clinical Imaging Physics Group, Department of Radiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27705 and Department of Radiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27705 (United States); Clinical Imaging Physics Group, Department of Radiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27705 (United States); Department of Radiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27705 (United States) and Carl E. Ravin Advanced Imaging Laboratories, Department of Radiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27705 (United States); Department of Radiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27705 (United States); Clinical Imaging Physics Group, Department of Radiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27705 (United States); Department of Radiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27705 (United States); Carl E. Ravin Advanced Imaging Laboratories, Department of Radiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27705 (United States); Medical Physics Graduate Program, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27705 (United States); Department of Physics, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27710 (United States); and Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708 (United States)

    2012-11-15

    Purpose: The potential health risks associated with low levels of ionizing radiation have created a movement in the radiology community to optimize computed tomography (CT) imaging protocols to use the lowest radiation dose possible without compromising the diagnostic usefulness of the images. Despite efforts to use appropriate and consistent radiation doses, studies suggest that a great deal of variability in radiation dose exists both within and between institutions for CT imaging. In this context, the authors have developed an automated size-specific radiation dose monitoring program for CT and used this program to assess variability in size-adjusted effective dose from CT imaging. Methods: The authors radiation dose monitoring program operates on an independent health insurance portability and accountability act compliant dosimetry server. Digital imaging and communication in medicine routing software is used to isolate dose report screen captures and scout images for all incoming CT studies. Effective dose conversion factors (k-factors) are determined based on the protocol and optical character recognition is used to extract the CT dose index and dose-length product. The patient's thickness is obtained by applying an adaptive thresholding algorithm to the scout images and is used to calculate the size-adjusted effective dose (ED{sub adj}). The radiation dose monitoring program was used to collect data on 6351 CT studies from three scanner models (GE Lightspeed Pro 16, GE Lightspeed VCT, and GE Definition CT750 HD) and two institutions over a one-month period and to analyze the variability in ED{sub adj} between scanner models and across institutions. Results: No significant difference was found between computer measurements of patient thickness and observer measurements (p= 0.17), and the average difference between the two methods was less than 4%. Applying the size correction resulted in ED{sub adj} that differed by up to 44% from effective dose

  17. Beyond crosswalks: reliability of exposure assessment following automated coding of free-text job descriptions for occupational epidemiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burstyn, Igor; Slutsky, Anton; Lee, Derrick G; Singer, Alison B; An, Yuan; Michael, Yvonne L

    2014-05-01

    Epidemiologists typically collect narrative descriptions of occupational histories because these are less prone than self-reported exposures to recall bias of exposure to a specific hazard. However, the task of coding these narratives can be daunting and prohibitively time-consuming in some settings. The aim of this manuscript is to evaluate the performance of a computer algorithm to translate the narrative description of occupational codes into standard classification of jobs (2010 Standard Occupational Classification) in an epidemiological context. The fundamental question we address is whether exposure assignment resulting from manual (presumed gold standard) coding of the narratives is materially different from that arising from the application of automated coding. We pursued our work through three motivating examples: assessment of physical demands in Women's Health Initiative observational study, evaluation of predictors of exposure to coal tar pitch volatiles in the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Integrated Management Information System, and assessment of exposure to agents known to cause occupational asthma in a pregnancy cohort. In these diverse settings, we demonstrate that automated coding of occupations results in assignment of exposures that are in reasonable agreement with results that can be obtained through manual coding. The correlation between physical demand scores based on manual and automated job classification schemes was reasonable (r = 0.5). The agreement between predictive probability of exceeding the OSHA's permissible exposure level for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, using coal tar pitch volatiles as a surrogate, based on manual and automated coding of jobs was modest (Kendall rank correlation = 0.29). In the case of binary assignment of exposure to asthmagens, we observed that fair to excellent agreement in classifications can be reached, depending on presence of ambiguity in assigned job classification (κ

  18. Continuous Automated Model EvaluatiOn (CAMEO) complementing the critical assessment of structure prediction in CASP12.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Jürgen; Barbato, Alessandro; Behringer, Dario; Studer, Gabriel; Roth, Steven; Bertoni, Martino; Mostaguir, Khaled; Gumienny, Rafal; Schwede, Torsten

    2018-03-01

    Every second year, the community experiment "Critical Assessment of Techniques for Structure Prediction" (CASP) is conducting an independent blind assessment of structure prediction methods, providing a framework for comparing the performance of different approaches and discussing the latest developments in the field. Yet, developers of automated computational modeling methods clearly benefit from more frequent evaluations based on larger sets of data. The "Continuous Automated Model EvaluatiOn (CAMEO)" platform complements the CASP experiment by conducting fully automated blind prediction assessments based on the weekly pre-release of sequences of those structures, which are going to be published in the next release of the PDB Protein Data Bank. CAMEO publishes weekly benchmarking results based on models collected during a 4-day prediction window, on average assessing ca. 100 targets during a time frame of 5 weeks. CAMEO benchmarking data is generated consistently for all participating methods at the same point in time, enabling developers to benchmark and cross-validate their method's performance, and directly refer to the benchmarking results in publications. In order to facilitate server development and promote shorter release cycles, CAMEO sends weekly email with submission statistics and low performance warnings. Many participants of CASP have successfully employed CAMEO when preparing their methods for upcoming community experiments. CAMEO offers a variety of scores to allow benchmarking diverse aspects of structure prediction methods. By introducing new scoring schemes, CAMEO facilitates new development in areas of active research, for example, modeling quaternary structure, complexes, or ligand binding sites. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Evaluation of analytical results on DOE Quality Assessment Program Samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaquish, R.E.; Kinnison, R.R.; Mathur, S.P.; Sastry, R.

    1985-01-01

    Criteria were developed for evaluating the participants analytical results in the DOE Quality Assessment Program (QAP). Historical data from previous QAP studies were analyzed using descriptive statistical methods to determine the interlaboratory precision that had been attained. Performance criteria used in other similar programs were also reviewed. Using these data, precision values and control limits were recommended for each type of analysis performed in the QA program. Results of the analysis performed by the QAP participants on the November 1983 samples were statistically analyzed and evaluated. The Environmental Measurements Laboratory (EML) values were used as the known values and 3-sigma precision values were used as control limits. Results were submitted by 26 participating laboratories for 49 different radionuclide media combinations. The participants reported 419 results and of these, 350 or 84% were within control limits. Special attention was given to the data from gamma spectral analysis of air filters and water samples. both normal probability and box plots were prepared for each nuclide to help evaluate the distribution of the data. Results that were outside the expected range were identified and suggestions made that laboratories check calculations, and procedures on these results

  20. Sampling for Soil Carbon Stock Assessment in Rocky Agricultural Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beem-Miller, Jeffrey P.; Kong, Angela Y. Y.; Ogle, Stephen; Wolfe, David

    2016-01-01

    Coring methods commonly employed in soil organic C (SOC) stock assessment may not accurately capture soil rock fragment (RF) content or soil bulk density (rho (sub b)) in rocky agricultural soils, potentially biasing SOC stock estimates. Quantitative pits are considered less biased than coring methods but are invasive and often cost-prohibitive. We compared fixed-depth and mass-based estimates of SOC stocks (0.3-meters depth) for hammer, hydraulic push, and rotary coring methods relative to quantitative pits at four agricultural sites ranging in RF content from less than 0.01 to 0.24 cubic meters per cubic meter. Sampling costs were also compared. Coring methods significantly underestimated RF content at all rocky sites, but significant differences (p is less than 0.05) in SOC stocks between pits and corers were only found with the hammer method using the fixed-depth approach at the less than 0.01 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site (pit, 5.80 kilograms C per square meter; hammer, 4.74 kilograms C per square meter) and at the 0.14 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site (pit, 8.81 kilograms C per square meter; hammer, 6.71 kilograms C per square meter). The hammer corer also underestimated rho (sub b) at all sites as did the hydraulic push corer at the 0.21 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site. No significant differences in mass-based SOC stock estimates were observed between pits and corers. Our results indicate that (i) calculating SOC stocks on a mass basis can overcome biases in RF and rho (sub b) estimates introduced by sampling equipment and (ii) a quantitative pit is the optimal sampling method for establishing reference soil masses, followed by rotary and then hydraulic push corers.

  1. Assessment of the application of an automated electronic milk analyzer for the enumeration of total bacteria in raw goat milk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsahoi, L; Gao, A; Fabri, M; Odumeru, J A

    2011-07-01

    Automated electronic milk analyzers for rapid enumeration of total bacteria counts (TBC) are widely used for raw milk testing by many analytical laboratories worldwide. In Ontario, Canada, Bactoscan flow cytometry (BsnFC; Foss Electric, Hillerød, Denmark) is the official anchor method for TBC in raw cow milk. Penalties are levied at the BsnFC equivalent level of 50,000 cfu/mL, the standard plate count (SPC) regulatory limit. This study was conducted to assess the BsnFC for TBC in raw goat milk, to determine the mathematical relationship between the SPC and BsnFC methods, and to identify probable reasons for the difference in the SPC:BsnFC equivalents for goat and cow milks. Test procedures were conducted according to International Dairy Federation Bulletin guidelines. Approximately 115 farm bulk tank milk samples per month were tested for inhibitor residues, SPC, BsnFC, psychrotrophic bacteria count, composition (fat, protein, lactose, lactose and other solids, and freezing point), and somatic cell count from March 2009 to February 2010. Data analysis of the results for the samples tested indicated that the BsnFC method would be a good alternative to the SPC method, providing accurate and more precise results with a faster turnaround time. Although a linear regression model showed good correlation and prediction, tests for linearity indicated that the relationship was linear only beyond log 4.1 SPC. The logistic growth curve best modeled the relationship between the SPC and BsnFC for the entire sample population. The BsnFC equivalent to the SPC 50,000 cfu/mL regulatory limit was estimated to be 321,000 individual bacteria count (ibc)/mL. This estimate differs considerably from the BsnFC equivalent for cow milk (121,000 ibc/mL). Because of the low frequency of bulk tank milk pickups at goat farms, 78.5% of the samples had their oldest milking in the tank to be 6.5 to 9.0 d old when tested, compared with the cow milk samples, which had their oldest milking at 4 d

  2. AUTOMATED ANALYSIS OF AQUEOUS SAMPLES CONTAINING PESTICIDES, ACIDIC/BASIC/NEUTRAL SEMIVOLATILES AND VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS BY SOLID PHASE EXTRACTION COUPLED IN-LINE TO LARGE VOLUME INJECTION GC/MS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Data is presented on the development of a new automated system combining solid phase extraction (SPE) with GC/MS spectrometry for the single-run analysis of water samples containing a broad range of organic compounds. The system uses commercially available automated in-line 10-m...

  3. Enviromental sampling at remote sites based on radiological screening assessments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ebinger, M.H.; Hansen, W.R.; Wenz, G.; Oxenberg, T.P.

    1996-01-01

    Environmental radiation monitoring (ERM) data from remote sites on the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, were used to estimate doses to humans and terrestrial mammals from residual radiation deposited during testing of components containing depleted uranium (DU) and thorium (Th). ERM data were used with the DOE code RESRAD and a simple steady-state pathway code to estimate the potential adverse effects from DU and Th to workers in the contaminated zones, to hunters consuming animals from the contaminated zones, and to terrestrial mammals that inhabit the contaminated zones. Assessments of zones contaminated with DU and Th and DU alone were conducted. Radiological doses from Th and DU in soils were largest with a maximum of about 3.5 mrem y -1 in humans and maximum of about 0.1 mrad d -1 in deer. Dose estimates from DU alone in soils were significantly less with a maximum of about 1 mrem y -1 in humans and about 0.04 mrad d -1 in deer. The results of the dose estimates suggest strongly that environmental sampling in these affected areas can be infrequent and still provide adequate assessments of radiological doses to workers, hunters, and terrestrial mammals

  4. Using Group Projects to Assess the Learning of Sampling Distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neidigh, Robert O.; Dunkelberger, Jake

    2012-01-01

    In an introductory business statistics course, student groups used sample data to compare a set of sample means to the theoretical sampling distribution. Each group was given a production measurement with a population mean and standard deviation. The groups were also provided an excel spreadsheet with 40 sample measurements per week for 52 weeks…

  5. Data Quality Verification at STScI - Automated Assessment and Your Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dempsey, R.; Swade, D.; Scott, J.; Hamilton, F.; Holm, A.

    1996-12-01

    As satellite based observatories improve their ability to deliver wider varieties and more complex types of scientific data, so to does the process of analyzing and reducing these data. It becomes correspondingly imperative that Guest Observers or Archival Researchers have access to an accurate, consistent, and easily understandable summary of the quality of their data. Previously, at the STScI, an astronomer would display and examine the quality and scientific usefulness of every single observation obtained with HST. Recently, this process has undergone a major reorganization at the Institute. A major part of the new process is that the majority of data are assessed automatically with little or no human intervention. As part of routine processing in the OSS--PODPS Unified System (OPUS), the Observatory Monitoring System (OMS) observation logs, the science processing trailer file (also known as the TRL file), and the science data headers are inspected by an automated tool, AUTO_DQ. AUTO_DQ then determines if any anomalous events occurred during the observation or through processing and calibration of the data that affects the procedural quality of the data. The results are placed directly into the Procedural Data Quality (PDQ) file as a string of predefined data quality keywords and comments. These in turn are used by the Contact Scientist (CS) to check the scientific usefulness of the observations. In this manner, the telemetry stream is checked for known problems such as losses of lock, re-centerings, or degraded guiding, for example, while missing data or calibration errors are also easily flagged. If the problem is serious, the data are then queued for manual inspection by an astronomer. The success of every target acquisition is verified manually. If serious failures are confirmed, the PI and the scheduling staff are notified so that options concerning rescheduling the observations can be explored.

  6. Meningiomas: Objective assessment of proliferative indices by immunohistochemistry and automated counting method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavali, Pooja; Uppin, Megha S; Uppin, Shantveer G; Challa, Sundaram

    2017-01-01

    The most reliable histological correlate of recurrence risk in meningiomas is increased mitotic activity. Proliferative index with Ki-67 immunostaining is a helpful adjunct to manual counting. However, both show considerable inter-observer variability. A new immunohistochemical method for counting mitotic figures, using antibody against the phosphohistone H3 (PHH3) protein was introduced. Similarly, a computer based automated counting for Ki-67 labelling index (LI) is available. To study the use of these new techniques in the objective assessment of proliferation indices in meningiomas. This was a retrospective study of intracranial meningiomas diagnosed during the year 2013.The hematoxylin and eosin (H and E) sections and immunohistochemistry (IHC) with Ki-67 were reviewed by two pathologists. Photomicrographs of the representative areas were subjected to Ki-67 analysis by Immunoratio (IR) software. Mean Ki-67 LI, both manual and by IR were calculated. IHC with PHH3 was performed. PHH3 positive nuclei were counted and mean values calculated. Data analysis was done using SPSS software. A total of 64 intracranial meningiomas were diagnosed. Evaluation on H and E, PHH3, Ki-67 LI (both manual and IR) were done in 32 cases (22 grade I and 10 grade II meningiomas). Statistically significant correlation was seen between the mitotic count in each grade and PHH3 values and also between the grade of the tumor and values of Ki-67 and PHH3. Both the techniques used in the study had advantage over, as well as, correlated well with the existing techniques and hence, can be applied to routine use.

  7. A fully automated effervescence assisted dispersive liquid–liquid microextraction based on a stepwise injection system. Determination of antipyrine in saliva samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Medinskaia, Kseniia; Vakh, Christina; Aseeva, Darina; Andruch, Vasil; Moskvin, Leonid; Bulatov, Andrey

    2016-01-01

    A first attempt to automate the effervescence assisted dispersive liquid–liquid microextraction (EA-DLLME) has been reported. The method is based on the aspiration of a sample and all required aqueous reagents into the stepwise injection analysis (SWIA) manifold, followed by simultaneous counterflow injection of the extraction solvent (dichloromethane), the mixture of the effervescence agent (0.5 mol L"−"1 Na_2CO_3) and the proton donor solution (1 mol L"−"1 CH_3COOH). Formation of carbon dioxide microbubbles generated in situ leads to the dispersion of the extraction solvent in the whole aqueous sample and extraction of the analyte into organic phase. Unlike the conventional DLLME, in the case of EA-DLLME, the addition of dispersive solvent, as well as, time consuming centrifugation step for disruption of the cloudy state is avoided. The phase separation was achieved by gentle bubbling of nitrogen stream (2 mL min"−"1 during 2 min). The performance of the suggested approach is demonstrated by determination of antipyrine in saliva samples. The procedure is based on the derivatization of antipyrine by nitrite-ion followed by EA-DLLME of 4-nitrosoantipyrine and subsequent UV–Vis detection using SWIA manifold. The absorbance of the yellow-colored extract at the wavelength of 345 nm obeys Beer's law in the range of 1.5–100 µmol L"−"1 of antipyrine in saliva. The LOD, calculated from a blank test based on 3σ, was 0.5 µmol L"−"1. - Highlights: • First attempt to automate the effervescence assisted dispersive liquid–liquid microextraction. • Automation based on Stepwise injection analysis manifold in flow batch system. • Counterflow injection of extraction solvent and the effervescence agent. • Phase separation performed by gentle bubbling of nitrogen. • Application for the determination of antipyrine in saliva samples.

  8. Automation in an Addiction Treatment Research Clinic: Computerized Contingency Management, Ecological Momentary Assessment, and a Protocol Workflow System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vahabzadeh, Massoud; Lin, Jia-Ling; Mezghanni, Mustapha; Epstein, David H.; Preston, Kenzie L.

    2009-01-01

    Issues A challenge in treatment research is the necessity of adhering to protocol and regulatory strictures while maintaining flexibility to meet patients’ treatment needs and accommodate variations among protocols. Another challenge is the acquisition of large amounts of data in an occasionally hectic environment, along with provision of seamless methods for exporting, mining, and querying the data. Approach We have automated several major functions of our outpatient treatment research clinic for studies in drug abuse and dependence. Here we describe three such specialized applications: the Automated Contingency Management (ACM) system for delivery of behavioral interventions, the Transactional Electronic Diary (TED) system for management of behavioral assessments, and the Protocol Workflow System (PWS) for computerized workflow automation and guidance of each participant’s daily clinic activities. These modules are integrated into our larger information system to enable data sharing in real time among authorized staff. Key Findings ACM and TED have each permitted us to conduct research that was not previously possible. In addition, the time to data analysis at the end of each study is substantially shorter. With the implementation of the PWS, we have been able to manage a research clinic with an 80-patient capacity having an annual average of 18,000 patient-visits and 7,300 urine collections with a research staff of five. Finally, automated data management has considerably enhanced our ability to monitor and summarize participant-safety data for research oversight. Implications and conclusion When developed in consultation with end users, automation in treatment-research clinics can enable more efficient operations, better communication among staff, and expansions in research methods. PMID:19320669

  9. Automation in an addiction treatment research clinic: computerised contingency management, ecological momentary assessment and a protocol workflow system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vahabzadeh, Massoud; Lin, Jia-Ling; Mezghanni, Mustapha; Epstein, David H; Preston, Kenzie L

    2009-01-01

    A challenge in treatment research is the necessity of adhering to protocol and regulatory strictures while maintaining flexibility to meet patients' treatment needs and to accommodate variations among protocols. Another challenge is the acquisition of large amounts of data in an occasionally hectic environment, along with the provision of seamless methods for exporting, mining and querying the data. We have automated several major functions of our outpatient treatment research clinic for studies in drug abuse and dependence. Here we describe three such specialised applications: the Automated Contingency Management (ACM) system for the delivery of behavioural interventions, the transactional electronic diary (TED) system for the management of behavioural assessments and the Protocol Workflow System (PWS) for computerised workflow automation and guidance of each participant's daily clinic activities. These modules are integrated into our larger information system to enable data sharing in real time among authorised staff. ACM and the TED have each permitted us to conduct research that was not previously possible. In addition, the time to data analysis at the end of each study is substantially shorter. With the implementation of the PWS, we have been able to manage a research clinic with an 80 patient capacity, having an annual average of 18,000 patient visits and 7300 urine collections with a research staff of five. Finally, automated data management has considerably enhanced our ability to monitor and summarise participant safety data for research oversight. When developed in consultation with end users, automation in treatment research clinics can enable more efficient operations, better communication among staff and expansions in research methods.

  10. Accelerated solvent extraction (ASE) - a fast and automated technique with low solvent consumption for the extraction of solid samples (T12)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoefler, F.

    2002-01-01

    Full text: Accelerated solvent extraction (ASE) is a modern extraction technique that significantly streamlines sample preparation. A common organic solvent as well as water is used as extraction solvent at elevated temperature and pressure to increase extraction speed and efficiency. The entire extraction process is fully automated and performed within 15 minutes with a solvent consumption of 18 ml for a 10 g sample. For many matrices and for a variety of solutes, ASE has proven to be equivalent or superior to sonication, Soxhlet, and reflux extraction techniques while requiring less time, solvent and labor. First ASE has been applied for the extraction of environmental hazards from solid matrices. Within a very short time ASE was approved by the U.S. EPA for the extraction of BNAs, PAHs, PCBs, pesticides, herbicides, TPH, and dioxins from solid samples in method 3545. Especially for the extraction of dioxins the extraction time with ASE is reduced to 20 minutes in comparison to 18 h using Soxhlet. In food analysis ASE is used for the extraction of pesticide and mycotoxin residues from fruits and vegetables, the fat determination and extraction of vitamins. Time consuming and solvent intensive methods for the extraction of additives from polymers as well as for the extraction of marker compounds from herbal supplements can be performed with higher efficiencies using ASE. For the analysis of chemical weapons the extraction process and sample clean-up including derivatization can be automated and combined with GC-MS using an online ASE-APEC-GC system. (author)

  11. Manual versus automated streaking system in clinical microbiology laboratory: Performance evaluation of Previ Isola for blood culture and body fluid samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Qute; Kim, Hyun Jin; Kim, Jong Wan; Kwon, Gye Cheol; Koo, Sun Hoe

    2018-01-04

    The process of plate streaking has been automated to improve routine workflow of clinical microbiology laboratories. Although there were many evaluation reports about the inoculation of various body fluid samples, few evaluations have been reported for blood. In this study, we evaluated the performance of automated inoculating system, Previ Isola for various routine clinical samples including blood. Blood culture, body fluid, and urine samples were collected. All samples were inoculated on both sheep blood agar plate (BAP) and MacConkey agar plate (MCK) using Previ Isola and manual method. We compared two methods in aspect of quality and quantity of cultures, and sample processing time. To ensure objective colony counting, an enumeration reading reference was made through a preliminary experiment. A total of 377 nonduplicate samples (102 blood culture, 203 urine, 72 body fluid) were collected and inoculated. The concordance rate of quality was 100%, 97.0%, and 98.6% in blood, urine, and other body fluids, respectively. In quantitative aspect, it was 98.0%, 97.0%, and 95.8%, respectively. The Previ Isola took a little longer to inoculate the specimen than manual method, but the hands-on time decreased dramatically. The shortened hands-on time using Previ Isola was about 6 minutes per 10 samples. We demonstrated that the Previ Isola showed high concordance with the manual method in the inoculation of various body fluids, especially in blood culture sample. The use of Previ Isola in clinical microbiology laboratories is expected to save considerable time and human resources. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Initial Assessment and Modeling Framework Development for Automated Mobility Districts: Preprint

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hou, Yi [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Young, Stanley E [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Garikapati, Venu [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Chen, Yuche [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Zhu, Lei [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)

    2018-02-07

    Automated vehicles (AVs) are increasingly being discussed as the basis for on-demand mobility services, introducing a new paradigm in which a fleet of AVs displaces private automobiles for day-to-day travel in dense activity districts. This paper examines a concept to displace privately owned automobiles within a region containing dense activity generators (jobs, retail, entertainment, etc.), referred to as an automated mobility district (AMD). This paper reviews several such districts, including airports, college campuses, business parks, downtown urban cores, and military bases, with examples of previous attempts to meet the mobility needs apart from private automobiles, some with automated technology and others with more traditional transit-based solutions. The issues and benefits of AMDs are framed within the perspective of intra-district, inter-district, and border issues, and the requirements for a modeling framework are identified to adequately reflect the breadth of mobility, energy, and emissions impact anticipated with AMDs

  13. chemical and microbiological assessment of surface water samples

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PROF EKWUEME

    were investigated in this study: Nine samples from different surface water bodies, two samples from two effluent sources ... Ezeagu, Udi, Nkanu, Oji River and some parts of Awgu and Aninri ..... Study of Stream Output from Small Catchments.

  14. Risk Assessment on the Transition Program for Air Traffic Control Automation System Upgrade

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Dong Bin

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available We analyzed the safety risks of the transition program for Air Traffic Control (ATC automation system upgrade by using the event tree analysis method in this paper. We decomposed the occurrence progress of the three transition phase and built the event trees corresponding to the three stages, and then we determined the probability of success of each factor and calculated probability of success of the air traffic control automation system upgrade transition. In the conclusion, we illustrate the transition program safety risk according to the results.

  15. Assessment of helminth load in faecal samples of free range ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Helminths load in faecal sample of free range indigenous chicken in Port Harcourt Metropolis was examined. Faecal samples were collected from 224 birds in 15 homesteads and 4 major markets - Mile 3, Mile 1, Borokiri and Eneka Village market where poultry birds are gathered for sale. 0.2-0.5g of feacal sample was ...

  16. Automated assessment of bone changes in cross-sectional micro-CT studies of murine experimental osteoarthritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das Neves Borges, Patricia; Vincent, Tonia L; Marenzana, Massimo

    2017-01-01

    The degradation of articular cartilage, which characterises osteoarthritis (OA), is usually paired with excessive bone remodelling, including subchondral bone sclerosis, cysts, and osteophyte formation. Experimental models of OA are widely used to investigate pathogenesis, yet few validated methodologies for assessing periarticular bone morphology exist and quantitative measurements are limited by manual segmentation of micro-CT scans. The aim of this work was to chart the temporal changes in periarticular bone in murine OA by novel, automated micro-CT methods. OA was induced by destabilisation of the medial meniscus (DMM) in 10-week old male mice and disease assessed cross-sectionally from 1- to 20-weeks post-surgery. A novel approach was developed to automatically segment subchondral bone compartments into plate and trabecular bone in micro-CT scans of tibial epiphyses. Osteophyte volume, as assessed by shape differences using 3D image registration, and by measuring total epiphyseal volume was performed. Significant linear and volumetric structural modifications in subchondral bone compartments and osteophytes were measured from 4-weeks post-surgery and showed progressive changes at all time points; by 20 weeks, medial subchondral bone plate thickness increased by 160±19.5 μm and the medial osteophyte grew by 0.124±0.028 μm3. Excellent agreement was found when automated measurements were compared with manual assessments. Our automated methods for assessing bone changes in murine periarticular bone are rapid, quantitative, and highly accurate, and promise to be a useful tool in future preclinical studies of OA progression and treatment. The current approaches were developed specifically for cross-sectional micro-CT studies but could be applied to longitudinal studies.

  17. Automated assessment of bone changes in cross-sectional micro-CT studies of murine experimental osteoarthritis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Das Neves Borges

    Full Text Available The degradation of articular cartilage, which characterises osteoarthritis (OA, is usually paired with excessive bone remodelling, including subchondral bone sclerosis, cysts, and osteophyte formation. Experimental models of OA are widely used to investigate pathogenesis, yet few validated methodologies for assessing periarticular bone morphology exist and quantitative measurements are limited by manual segmentation of micro-CT scans. The aim of this work was to chart the temporal changes in periarticular bone in murine OA by novel, automated micro-CT methods.OA was induced by destabilisation of the medial meniscus (DMM in 10-week old male mice and disease assessed cross-sectionally from 1- to 20-weeks post-surgery. A novel approach was developed to automatically segment subchondral bone compartments into plate and trabecular bone in micro-CT scans of tibial epiphyses. Osteophyte volume, as assessed by shape differences using 3D image registration, and by measuring total epiphyseal volume was performed.Significant linear and volumetric structural modifications in subchondral bone compartments and osteophytes were measured from 4-weeks post-surgery and showed progressive changes at all time points; by 20 weeks, medial subchondral bone plate thickness increased by 160±19.5 μm and the medial osteophyte grew by 0.124±0.028 μm3. Excellent agreement was found when automated measurements were compared with manual assessments.Our automated methods for assessing bone changes in murine periarticular bone are rapid, quantitative, and highly accurate, and promise to be a useful tool in future preclinical studies of OA progression and treatment. The current approaches were developed specifically for cross-sectional micro-CT studies but could be applied to longitudinal studies.

  18. Validated sampling strategy for assessing contaminants in soil stockpiles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lame, Frank; Honders, Ton; Derksen, Giljam; Gadella, Michiel

    2005-01-01

    Dutch legislation on the reuse of soil requires a sampling strategy to determine the degree of contamination. This sampling strategy was developed in three stages. Its main aim is to obtain a single analytical result, representative of the true mean concentration of the soil stockpile. The development process started with an investigation into how sample pre-treatment could be used to obtain representative results from composite samples of heterogeneous soil stockpiles. Combining a large number of random increments allows stockpile heterogeneity to be fully represented in the sample. The resulting pre-treatment method was then combined with a theoretical approach to determine the necessary number of increments per composite sample. At the second stage, the sampling strategy was evaluated using computerised models of contaminant heterogeneity in soil stockpiles. The now theoretically based sampling strategy was implemented by the Netherlands Centre for Soil Treatment in 1995. It was applied to all types of soil stockpiles, ranging from clean to heavily contaminated, over a period of four years. This resulted in a database containing the analytical results of 2570 soil stockpiles. At the final stage these results were used for a thorough validation of the sampling strategy. It was concluded that the model approach has indeed resulted in a sampling strategy that achieves analytical results representative of the mean concentration of soil stockpiles. - A sampling strategy that ensures analytical results representative of the mean concentration in soil stockpiles is presented and validated

  19. Method and apparatus for automated processing and aliquoting of whole blood samples for analysis in a centrifugal fast analyzer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burtis, C.A.; Johnson, W.F.; Walker, W.A.

    1985-08-05

    A rotor and disc assembly for use in a centrifugal fast analyzer. The assembly is designed to process multiple samples of whole blood followed by aliquoting of the resultant serum into precisely measured samples for subsequent chemical analysis. The assembly requires minimal operator involvement with no mechanical pipetting. The system comprises: (1) a whole blood sample disc; (2) a serum sample disc; (3) a sample preparation rotor; and (4) an analytical rotor. The blood sample disc and serum sample disc are designed with a plurality of precision bore capillary tubes arranged in a spoked array. Samples of blood are loaded into the blood sample disc by capillary action and centrifugally discharged into cavities of the sample preparation rotor where separation of serum and solids is accomplished. The serum is loaded into the capillaries of the serum sample disc by capillary action and subsequently centrifugally expelled into cuvettes of the analyticaly rotor for conventional methods. 5 figs.

  20. Method and apparatus for automated processing and aliquoting of whole blood samples for analysis in a centrifugal fast analyzer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burtis, Carl A.; Johnson, Wayne F.; Walker, William A.

    1988-01-01

    A rotor and disc assembly for use in a centrifugal fast analyzer. The assembly is designed to process multiple samples of whole blood followed by aliquoting of the resultant serum into precisely measured samples for subsequent chemical analysis. The assembly requires minimal operator involvement with no mechanical pipetting. The system comprises (1) a whole blood sample disc, (2) a serum sample disc, (3) a sample preparation rotor, and (4) an analytical rotor. The blood sample disc and serum sample disc are designed with a plurality of precision bore capillary tubes arranged in a spoked array. Samples of blood are loaded into the blood sample disc in capillary tubes filled by capillary action and centrifugally discharged into cavities of the sample preparation rotor where separation of serum and solids is accomplished. The serum is loaded into the capillaries of the serum sample disc by capillary action and subsequently centrifugally expelled into cuvettes of the analytical rotor for analysis by conventional methods.

  1. Preliminary biogeochemical assessment of EPICA LGM and Holocene ice samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulat, S.; Alekhina, I.; Marie, D.; Wagenbach, D.; Raynaud, D.; Petit, J. R.

    2009-04-01

    weak signals were possible to generate which are now under cloning. The signals were hard to reproduce because of rather low volume of samples. More ice volume is needed to get the biosignal stronger and reproducible. Meantime we are adjusting PCR and in addition testing DNA repair-enzyme cocktail in case of DNA damage. As a preliminary conclusion we would like to highlight the following. Both Holocene and LGM ice samples (EDC99 and EDML) are very clean in terms of Ultra low biomass and Ultra low DOC content. The most basal ice of EDC and EDML ice cores could help in assessing microbial biomass and diversity if present under the glacier at the ice-bedrock boundary. * The present-day consortium includes S. Bulat, I. Alekhina, P. Normand, D. Prieur, J-R. Petit and D. Raynaud (France) and E. Willerslev and J.P. Steffensen (Denmark)

  2. Automation systems for radioimmunoassay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamasaki, Paul

    1974-01-01

    The application of automation systems for radioimmunoassay (RIA) was discussed. Automated systems could be useful in the second step, of the four basic processes in the course of RIA, i.e., preparation of sample for reaction. There were two types of instrumentation, a semi-automatic pipete, and a fully automated pipete station, both providing for fast and accurate dispensing of the reagent or for the diluting of sample with reagent. Illustrations of the instruments were shown. (Mukohata, S.)

  3. Automated Diabetic Retinopathy Image Assessment Software: Diagnostic Accuracy and Cost-Effectiveness Compared with Human Graders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tufail, Adnan; Rudisill, Caroline; Egan, Catherine; Kapetanakis, Venediktos V; Salas-Vega, Sebastian; Owen, Christopher G; Lee, Aaron; Louw, Vern; Anderson, John; Liew, Gerald; Bolter, Louis; Srinivas, Sowmya; Nittala, Muneeswar; Sadda, SriniVas; Taylor, Paul; Rudnicka, Alicja R

    2017-03-01

    With the increasing prevalence of diabetes, annual screening for diabetic retinopathy (DR) by expert human grading of retinal images is challenging. Automated DR image assessment systems (ARIAS) may provide clinically effective and cost-effective detection of retinopathy. We aimed to determine whether ARIAS can be safely introduced into DR screening pathways to replace human graders. Observational measurement comparison study of human graders following a national screening program for DR versus ARIAS. Retinal images from 20 258 consecutive patients attending routine annual diabetic eye screening between June 1, 2012, and November 4, 2013. Retinal images were manually graded following a standard national protocol for DR screening and were processed by 3 ARIAS: iGradingM, Retmarker, and EyeArt. Discrepancies between manual grades and ARIAS results were sent to a reading center for arbitration. Screening performance (sensitivity, false-positive rate) and diagnostic accuracy (95% confidence intervals of screening-performance measures) were determined. Economic analysis estimated the cost per appropriate screening outcome. Sensitivity point estimates (95% confidence intervals) of the ARIAS were as follows: EyeArt 94.7% (94.2%-95.2%) for any retinopathy, 93.8% (92.9%-94.6%) for referable retinopathy (human graded as either ungradable, maculopathy, preproliferative, or proliferative), 99.6% (97.0%-99.9%) for proliferative retinopathy; Retmarker 73.0% (72.0 %-74.0%) for any retinopathy, 85.0% (83.6%-86.2%) for referable retinopathy, 97.9% (94.9%-99.1%) for proliferative retinopathy. iGradingM classified all images as either having disease or being ungradable. EyeArt and Retmarker saved costs compared with manual grading both as a replacement for initial human grading and as a filter prior to primary human grading, although the latter approach was less cost-effective. Retmarker and EyeArt systems achieved acceptable sensitivity for referable retinopathy when compared

  4. Assessment of Natural Radioactivity in TENORM Samples Using Different Techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salman, Kh.A.; Shahein, A.Y.

    2009-01-01

    In petroleum oil industries, technologically-enhanced, naturally occurring radioactive materials are produced. The presence of TENORM constitutes a significant radiological human health hazard. In the present work, liquid scintillation counting technique was used to determine both 222 Rn and 226 Ra concentrations in TENORM samples, by measuring 222 Rn concentrations in the sample at different intervals of time after preparation. The radiation doses from the TENORM samples were estimated using thermoluminenscent detector (TLD-4000). The estimated radiation doses were found to be proportional to both the measured radiation doses in site and natural activity concentration in the samples that measured with LSC

  5. Adaptive cluster sampling: An efficient method for assessing inconspicuous species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrea M. Silletti; Joan Walker

    2003-01-01

    Restorationistis typically evaluate the success of a project by estimating the population sizes of species that have been planted or seeded. Because total census is raely feasible, they must rely on sampling methods for population estimates. However, traditional random sampling designs may be inefficient for species that, for one reason or another, are challenging to...

  6. Automation in Clinical Microbiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledeboer, Nathan A.

    2013-01-01

    Historically, the trend toward automation in clinical pathology laboratories has largely bypassed the clinical microbiology laboratory. In this article, we review the historical impediments to automation in the microbiology laboratory and offer insight into the reasons why we believe that we are on the cusp of a dramatic change that will sweep a wave of automation into clinical microbiology laboratories. We review the currently available specimen-processing instruments as well as the total laboratory automation solutions. Lastly, we outline the types of studies that will need to be performed to fully assess the benefits of automation in microbiology laboratories. PMID:23515547

  7. Advantages of automation in plasma sample preparation prior to HPLC/MS/MS quantification: application to the determination of cilazapril and cilazaprilat in a bioequivalence study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolocouri, Filomila; Dotsikas, Yannis; Apostolou, Constantinos; Kousoulos, Constantinos; Soumelas, Georgios-Stefanos; Loukas, Yannis L

    2011-01-01

    An HPLC/MS/MS method characterized by complete automation and high throughput was developed for the determination of cilazapril and its active metabolite cilazaprilat in human plasma. All sample preparation and analysis steps were performed by using 2.2 mL 96 deep-well plates, while robotic liquid handling workstations were utilized for all liquid transfer steps, including liquid-liquid extraction. The whole procedure was very fast compared to a manual procedure with vials and no automation. The method also had a very short chromatographic run time of 1.5 min. Sample analysis was performed by RP-HPLC/MS/MS with positive electrospray ionization using multiple reaction monitoring. The calibration curve was linear in the range of 0.500-300 and 0.250-150 ng/mL for cilazapril and cilazaprilat, respectively. The proposed method was fully validated and proved to be selective, accurate, precise, reproducible, and suitable for the determination of cilazapril and cilazaprilat in human plasma. Therefore, it was applied to a bioequivalence study after per os administration of 2.5 mg tablet formulations of cilazapril.

  8. Automation of analytical systems in power cycles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Staub Lukas

    2008-01-01

    'Automation' is a widely used term in instrumentation and is often applied to signal exchange, PLC and SCADA systems. Common use, however, does not necessarily described autonomous operation of analytical devices. We define an automated analytical system as a black box with an input (sample) and an output (measured value). In addition we need dedicated status lines for assessing the validities of the input for our black box and the output for subsequent systems. We will discuss input parameters, automated analytical processes and output parameters. Further considerations will be given to signal exchange and integration into the operating routine of a power plant. Local control loops (chemical dosing) and the automation of sampling systems are not discussed here. (author)

  9. a preliminary assessment of groundwater samples around a filling

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Home

    considerably degraded by physical, chemical and bacterial ... chemical and bacterial constituents of groundwater is ... Samples were collected in clean 1 liter plastic bottle from each borehole. ... bottles were kept on ice pack and the unstable.

  10. Laboratory automation in clinical bacteriology: what system to choose?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croxatto, A; Prod'hom, G; Faverjon, F; Rochais, Y; Greub, G

    2016-03-01

    Automation was introduced many years ago in several diagnostic disciplines such as chemistry, haematology and molecular biology. The first laboratory automation system for clinical bacteriology was released in 2006, and it rapidly proved its value by increasing productivity, allowing a continuous increase in sample volumes despite limited budgets and personnel shortages. Today, two major manufacturers, BD Kiestra and Copan, are commercializing partial or complete laboratory automation systems for bacteriology. The laboratory automation systems are rapidly evolving to provide improved hardware and software solutions to optimize laboratory efficiency. However, the complex parameters of the laboratory and automation systems must be considered to determine the best system for each given laboratory. We address several topics on laboratory automation that may help clinical bacteriologists to understand the particularities and operative modalities of the different systems. We present (a) a comparison of the engineering and technical features of the various elements composing the two different automated systems currently available, (b) the system workflows of partial and complete laboratory automation, which define the basis for laboratory reorganization required to optimize system efficiency, (c) the concept of digital imaging and telebacteriology, (d) the connectivity of laboratory automation to the laboratory information system, (e) the general advantages and disadvantages as well as the expected impacts provided by laboratory automation and (f) the laboratory data required to conduct a workflow assessment to determine the best configuration of an automated system for the laboratory activities and specificities. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  11. Remote monitoring field trial. Application to automated air sampling. Report on Task FIN-E935 of the Finnish Support Programme to IAEA Safeguards

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poellaenen, R.; Ilander, T.; Lehtinen, J.; Leppaenen, A.; Nikkinen, M.; Toivonen, H.; Ylaetalo, S.; Smartt, H.; Garcia, R.; Martinez, R.; Glidewell, D.; Krantz, K.

    1999-01-01

    An automated air sampling station has recently been developed by Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK). The station is furnished with equipment that allows comprehensive remote monitoring of the station and the data. Under the Finnish Support Programme to IAEA Safeguards, STUK and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) established a field trial to demonstrate the use of remote monitoring technologies. STUK provided means for real-lime radiation monitoring and sample authentication whereas SNL delivered means for authenticated surveillance of the equipment and its location. The field trial showed that remote monitoring can be carried out using simple means although advanced facilities are needed for comprehensive surveillance. Authenticated measurement data could be reliably transferred from the monitoring site to the headquarters without the presence of authorized personnel in the monitoring site. The operation of the station and the remote monitoring system were reliable. (orig.)

  12. Assessment of Automated Analyses of Cell Migration on Flat and Nanostructured Surfaces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gradinaru, Cristian; Lopacinska, Joanna M.; Huth, Johannes

    2012-01-01

    Motility studies of cells often rely on computer software that analyzes time-lapse recorded movies and establishes cell trajectories fully automatically. This raises the question of reproducibility of results, since different programs could yield significantly different results of such automated ...... to different segmentation methods. Unfortunately, population averages based on such different cell populations, differ significantly in some cases. Thus, results obtained with one software package are not necessarily reproducible by other software....

  13. Machine-Learning Algorithms to Automate Morphological and Functional Assessments in 2D Echocardiography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narula, Sukrit; Shameer, Khader; Salem Omar, Alaa Mabrouk; Dudley, Joel T; Sengupta, Partho P

    2016-11-29

    Machine-learning models may aid cardiac phenotypic recognition by using features of cardiac tissue deformation. This study investigated the diagnostic value of a machine-learning framework that incorporates speckle-tracking echocardiographic data for automated discrimination of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) from physiological hypertrophy seen in athletes (ATH). Expert-annotated speckle-tracking echocardiographic datasets obtained from 77 ATH and 62 HCM patients were used for developing an automated system. An ensemble machine-learning model with 3 different machine-learning algorithms (support vector machines, random forests, and artificial neural networks) was developed and a majority voting method was used for conclusive predictions with further K-fold cross-validation. Feature selection using an information gain (IG) algorithm revealed that volume was the best predictor for differentiating between HCM ands. ATH (IG = 0.24) followed by mid-left ventricular segmental (IG = 0.134) and average longitudinal strain (IG = 0.131). The ensemble machine-learning model showed increased sensitivity and specificity compared with early-to-late diastolic transmitral velocity ratio (p 13 mm. In this subgroup analysis, the automated model continued to show equal sensitivity, but increased specificity relative to early-to-late diastolic transmitral velocity ratio, e', and strain. Our results suggested that machine-learning algorithms can assist in the discrimination of physiological versus pathological patterns of hypertrophic remodeling. This effort represents a step toward the development of a real-time, machine-learning-based system for automated interpretation of echocardiographic images, which may help novice readers with limited experience. Copyright © 2016 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Automated rapid method for the determination of Ni-63 in deconstruction of nuclear facilities- and environmental samples; Automatisiertes Schnellverfahren zur Bestimmung von Ni-63 in Rueckbau- und Umweltproben

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bach, M.; Flucht, R.; Burow, M.; Zoriy, M.V. [Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH, Juelich (Germany)

    2012-07-01

    Because of the increasing demand on the deconstruction of nuclear facilities in the last few years, a rapid method for the determination of Ni-63 in environmental samples is required. At Juelich, Division of Safety and Radiation Protection we have established a routine method, based on the determination of Ni-63 in the environmental samples using extraction chromatography separation from 2000[1] and optimize the sample preparation. Samples of different matrices were prepared by wet chemical methods for the extraction chromatography separation. For the separation the samples were introduced manually via a peristaltic pump or by using developed automated separation system equipped with the extraction chromatography column of Ni-Resin. Nickel[2] forms a Dimethylglyoximkomplex (DMG) and can be separated. The activity of the Ni-63 then were measured bei means of liquid scintillation counter (LSC), the recovery was determined using MC-ICP-MS. The yields of the Ni-carrier for the develped procure was higher than 90% with the accuracy below 10%. The developed method allows the relatively simple and fast determination of Ni-63 in environmental samples with a detection limit of 0.1 Bq/l. (orig.)

  15. Manual versus Automated Rodent Behavioral Assessment: Comparing Efficacy and Ease of Bederson and Garcia Neurological Deficit Scores to an Open Field Video-Tracking System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desland, Fiona A; Afzal, Aqeela; Warraich, Zuha; Mocco, J

    2014-01-01

    Animal models of stroke have been crucial in advancing our understanding of the pathophysiology of cerebral ischemia. Currently, the standards for determining neurological deficit in rodents are the Bederson and Garcia scales, manual assessments scoring animals based on parameters ranked on a narrow scale of severity. Automated open field analysis of a live-video tracking system that analyzes animal behavior may provide a more sensitive test. Results obtained from the manual Bederson and Garcia scales did not show significant differences between pre- and post-stroke animals in a small cohort. When using the same cohort, however, post-stroke data obtained from automated open field analysis showed significant differences in several parameters. Furthermore, large cohort analysis also demonstrated increased sensitivity with automated open field analysis versus the Bederson and Garcia scales. These early data indicate use of automated open field analysis software may provide a more sensitive assessment when compared to traditional Bederson and Garcia scales.

  16. Manual versus Automated Rodent Behavioral Assessment: Comparing Efficacy and Ease of Bederson and Garcia Neurological Deficit Scores to an Open Field Video-Tracking System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fiona A. Desland

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Animal models of stroke have been crucial in advancing our understanding of the pathophysiology of cerebral ischemia. Currently, the standards for determining neurological deficit in rodents are the Bederson and Garcia scales, manual assessments scoring animals based on parameters ranked on a narrow scale of severity. Automated open field analysis of a live-video tracking system that analyzes animal behavior may provide a more sensitive test. Results obtained from the manual Bederson and Garcia scales did not show significant differences between pre- and post-stroke animals in a small cohort. When using the same cohort, however, post-stroke data obtained from automated open field analysis showed significant differences in several parameters. Furthermore, large cohort analysis also demonstrated increased sensitivity with automated open field analysis versus the Bederson and Garcia scales. These early data indicate use of automated open field analysis software may provide a more sensitive assessment when compared to traditional Bederson and Garcia scales.

  17. Space Station Freedom automation and robotics: An assessment of the potential for increased productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, David J.; Zimmerman, Wayne F.; Swietek, Gregory E.; Reid, David H.; Hoffman, Ronald B.; Stammerjohn, Lambert W., Jr.; Stoney, William; Ghovanlou, Ali H.

    1990-01-01

    This report presents the results of a study performed in support of the Space Station Freedom Advanced Development Program, under the sponsorship of the Space Station Engineering (Code MT), Office of Space Flight. The study consisted of the collection, compilation, and analysis of lessons learned, crew time requirements, and other factors influencing the application of advanced automation and robotics, with emphasis on potential improvements in productivity. The lessons learned data collected were based primarily on Skylab, Spacelab, and other Space Shuttle experiences, consisting principally of interviews with current and former crew members and other NASA personnel with relevant experience. The objectives of this report are to present a summary of this data and its analysis, and to present conclusions regarding promising areas for the application of advanced automation and robotics technology to the Space Station Freedom and the potential benefits in terms of increased productivity. In this study, primary emphasis was placed on advanced automation technology because of its fairly extensive utilization within private industry including the aerospace sector. In contrast, other than the Remote Manipulator System (RMS), there has been relatively limited experience with advanced robotics technology applicable to the Space Station. This report should be used as a guide and is not intended to be used as a substitute for official Astronaut Office crew positions on specific issues.

  18. Needs Assessment Study in Science Education: Sample of Turkey

    OpenAIRE

    Z. Ozdilek; M. Ozkan

    2008-01-01

    A needs assessment process was conducted to determine the difficulties and requirements of a science unit as an example how needs assessment process can be used in science education in Turkey. A 40-item teacher questionnaire containing four dimensions related to a chemistry unit named “Travel to the Inner Structure of Matter” as presented in the current curriculum materials was administered. The questionnaire was completed by 130 elementary school science teachers in order to get their views ...

  19. A fully automated effervescence assisted dispersive liquid–liquid microextraction based on a stepwise injection system. Determination of antipyrine in saliva samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Medinskaia, Kseniia; Vakh, Christina; Aseeva, Darina [Department of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry, Saint Petersburg State University, RU-198504 Saint Petersburg (Russian Federation); Andruch, Vasil, E-mail: vasil.andruch@upjs.sk [Department of Analytical Chemistry, University of P.J. Šafárik, SK-04154 Košice (Slovakia); Moskvin, Leonid [Department of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry, Saint Petersburg State University, RU-198504 Saint Petersburg (Russian Federation); Bulatov, Andrey, E-mail: bulatov_andrey@mail.ru [Department of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry, Saint Petersburg State University, RU-198504 Saint Petersburg (Russian Federation)

    2016-01-01

    A first attempt to automate the effervescence assisted dispersive liquid–liquid microextraction (EA-DLLME) has been reported. The method is based on the aspiration of a sample and all required aqueous reagents into the stepwise injection analysis (SWIA) manifold, followed by simultaneous counterflow injection of the extraction solvent (dichloromethane), the mixture of the effervescence agent (0.5 mol L{sup −1} Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3}) and the proton donor solution (1 mol L{sup −1} CH{sub 3}COOH). Formation of carbon dioxide microbubbles generated in situ leads to the dispersion of the extraction solvent in the whole aqueous sample and extraction of the analyte into organic phase. Unlike the conventional DLLME, in the case of EA-DLLME, the addition of dispersive solvent, as well as, time consuming centrifugation step for disruption of the cloudy state is avoided. The phase separation was achieved by gentle bubbling of nitrogen stream (2 mL min{sup −1} during 2 min). The performance of the suggested approach is demonstrated by determination of antipyrine in saliva samples. The procedure is based on the derivatization of antipyrine by nitrite-ion followed by EA-DLLME of 4-nitrosoantipyrine and subsequent UV–Vis detection using SWIA manifold. The absorbance of the yellow-colored extract at the wavelength of 345 nm obeys Beer's law in the range of 1.5–100 µmol L{sup −1} of antipyrine in saliva. The LOD, calculated from a blank test based on 3σ, was 0.5 µmol L{sup −1}. - Highlights: • First attempt to automate the effervescence assisted dispersive liquid–liquid microextraction. • Automation based on Stepwise injection analysis manifold in flow batch system. • Counterflow injection of extraction solvent and the effervescence agent. • Phase separation performed by gentle bubbling of nitrogen. • Application for the determination of antipyrine in saliva samples.

  20. Rapid assessment of soil and groundwater tritium by vegetation sampling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murphy, C.E. Jr.

    1995-01-01

    A rapid and relatively inexpensive technique for defining the extent of groundwater contamination by tritium has been investigated. The technique uses existing vegetation to sample the groundwater. Water taken up by deep rooted trees is collected by enclosing tree branches in clear plastic bags. Water evaporated from the leaves condenses on the inner surface of the bag. The water is removed from the bag with a syringe. The bags can be sampled many times. Tritium in the water is detected by liquid scintillation counting. The water collected in the bags has no color and counts as well as distilled water reference samples. The technique was used in an area of known tritium contamination and proved to be useful in defining the extent of tritium contamination

  1. EPA Method 3135.2I: Cyanide, Total and Amenable in Aqueous and Solid Samples Automated Colorimetric With Manual Digestion

    Science.gov (United States)

    This method describes procedures for preparation and analysis of solid, water and wipe samples for detection and measurement of cyanide amendable to chlorination using acid digestion and spectrophotometry.

  2. Reliability assessment based on small samples of normal distribution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ma Zhibo; Zhu Jianshi; Xu Naixin

    2003-01-01

    When the pertinent parameter involved in reliability definition complies with normal distribution, the conjugate prior of its distributing parameters (μ, h) is of normal-gamma distribution. With the help of maximum entropy and the moments-equivalence principles, the subjective information of the parameter and the sampling data of its independent variables are transformed to a Bayesian prior of (μ,h). The desired estimates are obtained from either the prior or the posterior which is formed by combining the prior and sampling data. Computing methods are described and examples are presented to give demonstrations

  3. Technology assessment of automated atlas based segmentation in prostate bed contouring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sexton Tracy

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Prostate bed (PB contouring is time consuming and associated with inter-observer variability. We evaluated an automated atlas-based segmentation (AABS engine in its potential to reduce contouring time and inter-observer variability. Methods An atlas builder (AB manually contoured the prostate bed, rectum, left femoral head (LFH, right femoral head (RFH, bladder, and penile bulb of 75 post-prostatectomy cases to create an atlas according to the recent RTOG guidelines. 5 other Radiation Oncologists (RO and the AABS contoured 5 new cases. A STAPLE contour for each of the 5 patients was generated. All contours were anonymized and sent back to the 5 RO to be edited as clinically necessary. All contouring times were recorded. The dice similarity coefficient (DSC was used to evaluate the unedited- and edited- AABS and inter-observer variability among the RO. Descriptive statistics, paired t-tests and a Pearson correlation were performed. ANOVA analysis using logit transformations of DSC values was calculated to assess inter-observer variability. Results The mean time for manual contours and AABS was 17.5- and 14.1 minutes respectively (p = 0.003. The DSC results (mean, SD for the comparison of the unedited-AABS versus STAPLE contours for the PB (0.48, 0.17, bladder (0.67, 0.19, LFH (0.92, 0.01, RFH (0.92, 0.01, penile bulb (0.33, 0.25 and rectum (0.59, 0.11. The DSC results (mean, SD for the comparison of the edited-AABS versus STAPLE contours for the PB (0.67, 0.19, bladder (0.88, 0.13, LFH (0.93, 0.01, RFH (0.92, 0.01, penile bulb (0.54, 0.21 and rectum (0.78, 0.12. The DSC results (mean, SD for the comparison of the edited-AABS versus the expert panel for the PB (0.47, 0.16, bladder (0.67, 0.18, LFH (0.83, 0.18, RFH (0.83, 0.17, penile bulb (0.31, 0.23 and rectum (0.58, 0.09. The DSC results (mean, SD for the comparison of the STAPLE contours and the 5 RO are PB (0.78, 0.15, bladder (0.96, 0.02, left femoral head (0.87, 0

  4. Plasma metanephrine for assessing the selectivity of adrenal venous sampling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dekkers, T.; Deinum, J.; Schultze Kool, L.J.; Blondin, D.; Vonend, O.; Hermus, A.R.M.M.; Peitzsch, M.; Rump, L.C.; Antoch, G.; Sweep, F.C.; Bornstein, S.R.; Lenders, J.W.M.; Willenberg, H.S.; Eisenhofer, G.

    2013-01-01

    Adrenal vein sampling is used to establish the origins of excess production of adrenal hormones in primary aldosteronism. Correct catheter positioning is confirmed using adrenal vein measurements of cortisol, but this parameter is not always reliable. Plasma metanephrine represents an alternative

  5. an assessment of methods for sampling carabid beetles

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mgina

    collection of epigaeic (ground-dwelling) invertebrates (Southwood and Henderson,. 2000). It has been widely used for sampling carabid beetles in biodiversity inventories. (Niemela et al. 1994, Davies 2000, Nyundo. 2002), population and community ecology. (Greenslade 1968, Refseth, 1980,. Niemela1988, Niemela et al.

  6. Determining sample size for assessing species composition in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Species composition is measured in grasslands for a variety of reasons. Commonly, observations are made using the wheel-point apparatus, but the problem of determining optimum sample size has not yet been satisfactorily resolved. In this study the wheel-point apparatus was used to record 2 000 observations in each of ...

  7. Assessing rare earth elements in quartz rich geological samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santoro, A.; Thoss, V.; Ribeiro Guevara, S.; Urgast, D.; Raab, A.; Mastrolitti, S.; Feldmann, J.

    2016-01-01

    Sodium peroxide (Na_2O_2) fusion coupled to Inductively Coupled Plasma Tandem Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS/MS) measurements was used to rapidly screen quartz-rich geological samples for rare earth element (REE) content. The method accuracy was checked with a geological reference material and Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) measurements. The used mass-mode combinations presented accurate results (only exception being "1"5"7Gd in He gas mode) with recovery of the geological reference material QLO-1 between 80% and 98% (lower values for Lu, Nd and Sm) and in general comparable to INAA measurements. Low limits of detection for all elements were achieved, generally below 10 pg g"−"1, as well as measurement repeatability below 15%. Overall, the Na_2O_2/ICP-MS/MS method proved to be a suitable lab-based method to quickly and accurately screen rock samples originating from quartz-rich geological areas for rare earth element content; particularly useful if checking commercial viability. - Highlights: • Na_2O_2 fusion coupled to ICP-MS/MS was used to determine REE in quartz-rich samples. • The method accuracy was checked with a geological reference material and INAA. • Results were within 80–98% recovery of QLO-1 reference material, comparable to INAA. • Detection limits were generally below 10 pg g"−"1, and repeatability was below 15%. • Na_2O_2/ICP-MS/MS proved to be a suitable method for REE in quartz-rich samples.

  8. Assessing total and volatile solids in municipal solid waste samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peces, M; Astals, S; Mata-Alvarez, J

    2014-01-01

    Municipal solid waste is broadly generated in everyday activities and its treatment is a global challenge. Total solids (TS) and volatile solids (VS) are typical control parameters measured in biological treatments. In this study, the TS and VS were determined using the standard methods, as well as introducing some variants: (i) the drying temperature for the TS assays was 105°C, 70°C and 50°C and (ii) the VS were determined using different heating ramps from room tempature to 550°C. TS could be determined at either 105°C or 70°C, but oven residence time was tripled at 70°C, increasing from 48 to 144 h. The VS could be determined by smouldering the sample (where the sample is burnt without a flame), which avoids the release of fumes and odours in the laboratory. However, smouldering can generate undesired pyrolysis products as a consequence of carbonization, which leads to VS being underestimated. Carbonization can be avoided using slow heating ramps to prevent the oxygen limitation. Furthermore, crushing the sample cores decreased the time to reach constant weight and decreased the potential to underestimate VS.

  9. Standard Format for Chromatographic-polarimetric System small samples assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Naranjo, S.; Fajer, V.; Fonfria, C.; Patinno, R.

    2012-01-01

    The treatment of samples containing optically active substances to be evaluated as part of quality control of raw material entering industrial process, and also during the modifications exerted on it to obtain the desired final composition is still and unsolved problem for many industries. That is the case of sugarcane industry. Sometimes the troubles implied are enlarged because samples to be evaluated are not bigger than one milliliter. Reduction of gel beds in G-10 and G-50 chromatographic columns having an inner diameter of 16 mm, instead of 25, and bed heights adjustable to requirements by means of sliding stoppers to increase analytical power were evaluated with glucose and sucrose standards in concentrations from 1 to 10 g/dL, using aliquots of 1 ml without undesirable dilutions that could affect either detection or chromatographic profile. Assays with seaweed extracts gave good results that are shown. It is established the advantage to know concentration of a separated substance by the height of its peak and the savings in time and reagents resulting . Sample expanded uncertainty in both systems is compared. It is also presented several programs for data acquisition, storing and processing. (Author)

  10. Significant increase in cultivation of Gardnerella vaginalis, Alloscardovia omnicolens, Actinotignum schaalii, and Actinomyces spp. in urine samples with total laboratory automation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Sabrina; Nurjadi, Dennis; Horner, Susanne; Heeg, Klaus; Zimmermann, Stefan; Burckhardt, Irene

    2018-04-13

    While total laboratory automation (TLA) is well established in laboratory medicine, only a few microbiological laboratories are using TLA systems. Especially in terms of speed and accuracy, working with TLA is expected to be superior to conventional microbiology. We compared in total 35,564 microbiological urine cultures with and without incubation and processing with BD Kiestra TLA for a 6-month period each retrospectively. Sixteen thousand three hundred thirty-eight urine samples were analyzed in the pre-TLA period and 19,226 with TLA. Sixty-two percent (n = 10,101/16338) of the cultures processed without TLA and 68% (n = 13,102/19226) of the cultures processed with TLA showed growth. There were significantly more samples with two or more species per sample and with low numbers of colony forming units (CFU) after incubation with TLA. Regarding the type of bacteria, there were comparable amounts of Enterobacteriaceae in the samples, slightly less non-fermenting Gram-negative bacteria, but significantly more Gram-positive cocci, and Gram-positive rods. Especially Alloscardivia omnicolens, Gardnerella vaginalis, Actinomyces spp., and Actinotignum schaalii were significantly more abundant in the samples incubated and processed with TLA. The time to report was significantly lower in the TLA processed samples by 1.5 h. We provide the first report in Europe of a large number of urine samples processed with TLA. TLA showed enhanced growth of non-classical and rarely cultured bacteria from urine samples. Our findings suggest that previously underestimated bacteria may be relevant pathogens for urinary tract infections. Further studies are needed to confirm our findings.

  11. A New Capability for Automated Target Selection and Sampling for use with Remote Sensing Instruments on the MER Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castano, R.; Estlin, T.; Anderson, R. C.; Gaines, D.; Bornstein, B.; de Granville, C.; Tang, B.; Thompson, D.; Judd, M.

    2008-12-01

    The Onboard Autonomous Science Investigation System (OASIS) evaluates geologic data gathered by a planetary rover. The system is designed to operate onboard a rover identifying and reacting to serendipitous science opportunities, such as rocks with novel properties. OASIS operates by analyzing data the rover gathers, and then using machine learning techniques, prioritizing the data based on criteria set by the science team. This prioritization can be used to organize data for transmission back to Earth and it can be used to search for specific targets it has been told to find by the science team. If one of these targets is found, it is identified as a new science opportunity and a "science alert" is sent to a planning and scheduling system. After reviewing the rover's current operational status to ensure that it has enough resources to complete its traverse and act on the new science opportunity, OASIS can change the command sequence of the rover in order to obtain additional science measurements. Currently, OASIS is being applied on a new front. OASIS is providing a new rover mission technology that enables targeted remote-sensing science in an automated fashion during or after rover traverses. Currently, targets for remote sensing instruments, especially narrow field-of-view instruments (such as the MER Mini- TES spectrometer or the 2009 MSL ChemCam spectrometer) must be selected manually based on imagery already on the ground with the operations team. OASIS will enable the rover flight software to analyze imagery onboard in order to autonomously select and sequence targeted remote-sensing observations in an opportunistic fashion. We are in the process of scheduling an onboard MER experiment to demonstrate the OASIS capability in early 2009.

  12. The effect of clustering on lot quality assurance sampling: a probabilistic model to calculate sample sizes for quality assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedt-Gauthier, Bethany L; Mitsunaga, Tisha; Hund, Lauren; Olives, Casey; Pagano, Marcello

    2013-10-26

    Traditional Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) designs assume observations are collected using simple random sampling. Alternatively, randomly sampling clusters of observations and then individuals within clusters reduces costs but decreases the precision of the classifications. In this paper, we develop a general framework for designing the cluster(C)-LQAS system and illustrate the method with the design of data quality assessments for the community health worker program in Rwanda. To determine sample size and decision rules for C-LQAS, we use the beta-binomial distribution to account for inflated risk of errors introduced by sampling clusters at the first stage. We present general theory and code for sample size calculations.The C-LQAS sample sizes provided in this paper constrain misclassification risks below user-specified limits. Multiple C-LQAS systems meet the specified risk requirements, but numerous considerations, including per-cluster versus per-individual sampling costs, help identify optimal systems for distinct applications. We show the utility of C-LQAS for data quality assessments, but the method generalizes to numerous applications. This paper provides the necessary technical detail and supplemental code to support the design of C-LQAS for specific programs.

  13. Sampling

    CERN Document Server

    Thompson, Steven K

    2012-01-01

    Praise for the Second Edition "This book has never had a competitor. It is the only book that takes a broad approach to sampling . . . any good personal statistics library should include a copy of this book." —Technometrics "Well-written . . . an excellent book on an important subject. Highly recommended." —Choice "An ideal reference for scientific researchers and other professionals who use sampling." —Zentralblatt Math Features new developments in the field combined with all aspects of obtaining, interpreting, and using sample data Sampling provides an up-to-date treat

  14. Assessment of hearing threshold in adults with hearing loss using an automated system of cortical auditory evoked potential detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandra Spada Durante

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction: The use of hearing aids by individuals with hearing loss brings a better quality of life. Access to and benefit from these devices may be compromised in patients who present difficulties or limitations in traditional behavioral audiological evaluation, such as newborns and small children, individuals with auditory neuropathy spectrum, autism, and intellectual deficits, and in adults and the elderly with dementia. These populations (or individuals are unable to undergo a behavioral assessment, and generate a growing demand for objective methods to assess hearing. Cortical auditory evoked potentials have been used for decades to estimate hearing thresholds. Current technological advances have lead to the development of equipment that allows their clinical use, with features that enable greater accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity, and the possibility of automated detection, analysis, and recording of cortical responses. Objective: To determine and correlate behavioral auditory thresholds with cortical auditory thresholds obtained from an automated response analysis technique. Methods: The study included 52 adults, divided into two groups: 21 adults with moderate to severe hearing loss (study group; and 31 adults with normal hearing (control group. An automated system of detection, analysis, and recording of cortical responses (HEARLab® was used to record the behavioral and cortical thresholds. The subjects remained awake in an acoustically treated environment. Altogether, 150 tone bursts at 500, 1000, 2000, and 4000 Hz were presented through insert earphones in descending-ascending intensity. The lowest level at which the subject detected the sound stimulus was defined as the behavioral (hearing threshold (BT. The lowest level at which a cortical response was observed was defined as the cortical electrophysiological threshold. These two responses were correlated using linear regression. Results: The cortical

  15. Assessment of hearing threshold in adults with hearing loss using an automated system of cortical auditory evoked potential detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durante, Alessandra Spada; Wieselberg, Margarita Bernal; Roque, Nayara; Carvalho, Sheila; Pucci, Beatriz; Gudayol, Nicolly; de Almeida, Kátia

    The use of hearing aids by individuals with hearing loss brings a better quality of life. Access to and benefit from these devices may be compromised in patients who present difficulties or limitations in traditional behavioral audiological evaluation, such as newborns and small children, individuals with auditory neuropathy spectrum, autism, and intellectual deficits, and in adults and the elderly with dementia. These populations (or individuals) are unable to undergo a behavioral assessment, and generate a growing demand for objective methods to assess hearing. Cortical auditory evoked potentials have been used for decades to estimate hearing thresholds. Current technological advances have lead to the development of equipment that allows their clinical use, with features that enable greater accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity, and the possibility of automated detection, analysis, and recording of cortical responses. To determine and correlate behavioral auditory thresholds with cortical auditory thresholds obtained from an automated response analysis technique. The study included 52 adults, divided into two groups: 21 adults with moderate to severe hearing loss (study group); and 31 adults with normal hearing (control group). An automated system of detection, analysis, and recording of cortical responses (HEARLab ® ) was used to record the behavioral and cortical thresholds. The subjects remained awake in an acoustically treated environment. Altogether, 150 tone bursts at 500, 1000, 2000, and 4000Hz were presented through insert earphones in descending-ascending intensity. The lowest level at which the subject detected the sound stimulus was defined as the behavioral (hearing) threshold (BT). The lowest level at which a cortical response was observed was defined as the cortical electrophysiological threshold. These two responses were correlated using linear regression. The cortical electrophysiological threshold was, on average, 7.8dB higher than the

  16. Quantification of Parvovirus B19 DNA Using COBAS AmpliPrep Automated Sample Preparation and LightCycler Real-Time PCR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schorling, Stefan; Schalasta, Gunnar; Enders, Gisela; Zauke, Michael

    2004-01-01

    The COBAS AmpliPrep instrument (Roche Diagnostics GmbH, D-68305 Mannheim, Germany) automates the entire sample preparation process of nucleic acid isolation from serum or plasma for polymerase chain reaction analysis. We report the analytical performance of the LightCycler Parvovirus B19 Quantification Kit (Roche Diagnostics) using nucleic acids isolated with the COBAS AmpliPrep instrument. Nucleic acids were extracted using the Total Nucleic Acid Isolation Kit (Roche Diagnostics) and amplified with the LightCycler Parvovirus B19 Quantification Kit. The kit combination processes 72 samples per 8-hour shift. The lower detection limit is 234 IU/ml at a 95% hit-rate, linear range approximately 104-1010 IU/ml, and overall precision 16 to 40%. Relative sensitivity and specificity in routine samples from pregnant women are 100% and 93%, respectively. Identification of a persistent parvovirus B19-infected individual by the polymerase chain reaction among 51 anti-parvovirus B19 IgM-negative samples underlines the importance of additional nucleic acid testing in pregnancy and its superiority to serology in identifying the risk of parvovirus B19 transmission via blood or blood products. Combination of the Total Nucleic Acid Isolation Kit on the COBAS AmpliPrep instrument with the LightCycler Parvovirus B19 Quantification Kit provides a reliable and time-saving tool for sensitive and accurate detection of parvovirus B19 DNA. PMID:14736825

  17. Statistical analysis to assess automated level of suspicion scoring methods in breast ultrasound

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galperin, Michael

    2003-05-01

    A well-defined rule-based system has been developed for scoring 0-5 the Level of Suspicion (LOS) based on qualitative lexicon describing the ultrasound appearance of breast lesion. The purposes of the research are to asses and select one of the automated LOS scoring quantitative methods developed during preliminary studies in benign biopsies reduction. The study has used Computer Aided Imaging System (CAIS) to improve the uniformity and accuracy of applying the LOS scheme by automatically detecting, analyzing and comparing breast masses. The overall goal is to reduce biopsies on the masses with lower levels of suspicion, rather that increasing the accuracy of diagnosis of cancers (will require biopsy anyway). On complex cysts and fibroadenoma cases experienced radiologists were up to 50% less certain in true negatives than CAIS. Full correlation analysis was applied to determine which of the proposed LOS quantification methods serves CAIS accuracy the best. This paper presents current results of applying statistical analysis for automated LOS scoring quantification for breast masses with known biopsy results. It was found that First Order Ranking method yielded most the accurate results. The CAIS system (Image Companion, Data Companion software) is developed by Almen Laboratories and was used to achieve the results.

  18. Fully automated muscle quality assessment by Gabor filtering of second harmonic generation images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paesen, Rik; Smolders, Sophie; Vega, José Manolo de Hoyos; Eijnde, Bert O.; Hansen, Dominique; Ameloot, Marcel

    2016-02-01

    Although structural changes on the sarcomere level of skeletal muscle are known to occur due to various pathologies, rigorous studies of the reduced sarcomere quality remain scarce. This can possibly be explained by the lack of an objective tool for analyzing and comparing sarcomere images across biological conditions. Recent developments in second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy and increasing insight into the interpretation of sarcomere SHG intensity profiles have made SHG microscopy a valuable tool to study microstructural properties of sarcomeres. Typically, sarcomere integrity is analyzed by fitting a set of manually selected, one-dimensional SHG intensity profiles with a supramolecular SHG model. To circumvent this tedious manual selection step, we developed a fully automated image analysis procedure to map the sarcomere disorder for the entire image at once. The algorithm relies on a single-frequency wavelet-based Gabor approach and includes a newly developed normalization procedure allowing for unambiguous data interpretation. The method was validated by showing the correlation between the sarcomere disorder, quantified by the M-band size obtained from manually selected profiles, and the normalized Gabor value ranging from 0 to 1 for decreasing disorder. Finally, to elucidate the applicability of our newly developed protocol, Gabor analysis was used to study the effect of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis on the sarcomere regularity. We believe that the technique developed in this work holds great promise for high-throughput, unbiased, and automated image analysis to study sarcomere integrity by SHG microscopy.

  19. A new assay for cytotoxic lymphocytes, based on a radioautographic readout of 111In release, suitable for rapid, semi-automated assessment of limit-dilution cultures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shortman, K.; Wilson, A.

    1981-01-01

    A new assay for cytotoxic T lymphocytes is described, of general application, but particularly suitable for rapid, semi-automated assessment of multiple microculture tests. Target cells are labelled with high efficiency and to high specific activity with the oxine chelate of 111 indium. After a 3-4 h incubation of test cells with 5 X 10 3 labelled target cells in V wells of microtitre trays, samples of the supernatant are spotted on paper (5 μl) or transferred to soft-plastic U wells (25-50 μl) and the 111 In release assessed by radioautography. Overnight exposure of X-ray film with intensifying screens at -70 0 C gives an image which is an intense dark spot for maximum release, a barely visible darkening with the low spontaneous release, and a definite positive with 10% specific lysis. The degree of film darkening, which can be quantitated by microdensitometry, shows a linear relationship with cytotoxic T lymphocyte dose up to the 40% lysis level. The labelling intensity and sensitivity can be adjusted over a wide range, allowing a single batch of the short half-life isotope to serve for 2 weeks. The 96 assays from a single tray are developed simultaneously on a single small sheet of film. Many trays can be processed together, and handling is rapid if 96-channel automatic pipettors are used. The method allows rapid visual scanning for positive and negative limit dilution cultures in cytotoxic T cell precursor frequency and specificity studies. In addition, in conjunction with an automated densitometer designed to scan microtitre trays, the method provides an efficient alternative to isotope counting in routine cytotoxic assays. (Auth.)

  20. Assessing rare earth elements in quartz rich geological samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santoro, A; Thoss, V; Ribeiro Guevara, S; Urgast, D; Raab, A; Mastrolitti, S; Feldmann, J

    2016-01-01

    Sodium peroxide (Na2O2) fusion coupled to Inductively Coupled Plasma Tandem Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS/MS) measurements was used to rapidly screen quartz-rich geological samples for rare earth element (REE) content. The method accuracy was checked with a geological reference material and Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) measurements. The used mass-mode combinations presented accurate results (only exception being (157)Gd in He gas mode) with recovery of the geological reference material QLO-1 between 80% and 98% (lower values for Lu, Nd and Sm) and in general comparable to INAA measurements. Low limits of detection for all elements were achieved, generally below 10 pg g(-1), as well as measurement repeatability below 15%. Overall, the Na2O2/ICP-MS/MS method proved to be a suitable lab-based method to quickly and accurately screen rock samples originating from quartz-rich geological areas for rare earth element content; particularly useful if checking commercial viability. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. In planta passive sampling devices for assessing subsurface chlorinated solvents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shetty, Mikhil K; Limmer, Matt A; Waltermire, Kendra; Morrison, Glenn C; Burken, Joel G

    2014-06-01

    Contaminant concentrations in trees have been used to delineate groundwater contaminant plumes (i.e., phytoscreening); however, variability in tree composition hinders accurate measurement of contaminant concentrations in planta, particularly for long-term monitoring. This study investigated in planta passive sampling devices (PSDs), termed solid phase samplers (SPSs) to be used as a surrogate tree core. Characteristics studied for five materials included material-air partitioning coefficients (Kma) for chlorinated solvents, sampler equilibration time and field suitability. The materials investigated were polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), polyoxymethylene (POM) and plasticized polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Both PDMS and LLDPE samplers demonstrated high partitioning coefficients and diffusivities and were further tested in greenhouse experiments and field trials. While most of the materials could be used for passive sampling, the PDMS SPSs performed best as an in planta sampler. Such a sampler was able to accurately measure trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) concentrations while simultaneously incorporating simple operation and minimal impact to the surrounding property and environment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Assessment Study on Sensors and Automation in the Industries of the Future. Reports on Industrial Controls, Information Processing, Automation, and Robotics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bennett, Bonnie [Adventium Labs; Boddy, Mark [Adventium Labs; Doyle, Frank [Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, CA (United States); Jamshidi, Mo [Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Ogunnaike, Tunde [Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE (United States)

    2004-11-01

    This report presents the results of an expert study to identify research opportunities for Sensors & Automation, a sub-program of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Industrial Technologies Program (ITP). The research opportunities are prioritized by realizable energy savings. The study encompasses the technology areas of industrial controls, information processing, automation, and robotics. These areas have been central areas of focus of many Industries of the Future (IOF) technology roadmaps. This report identifies opportunities for energy savings as a direct result of advances in these areas and also recognizes indirect means of achieving energy savings, such as product quality improvement, productivity improvement, and reduction of recycle.

  3. Assessing the sampling strategy in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margirier, Félix; Testor, Pierre; Bosse, Anthony; Heslop, Emma; L'Hévéder, Blandine; Arsouze, Thomas; Houpert, Loic; Mortier, Laurent

    2017-04-01

    The deployment of numerous autonomous platforms (gliders, argo floats, moorings) added to the repeated ship cruises in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea account for a considerable data coverage of the area through the past 10 years. In this study, we analyse the in-situ observations' ability to assess for the changes in the Northwester Mediterranean basin water masses properties over time. Comparing the observed time series for the different regions and different water masses to that of a glider simulator in the NEMO-Med12 model, we estimate both the quality of the model and the skill of the in-situ observations in reproducing the evolution of the basin properties.

  4. Simultaneous analysis of organochlorinated pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from marine samples using automated pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) and Power Prep™ clean-up.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helaleh, Murad I H; Al-Rashdan, Amal; Ibtisam, A

    2012-05-30

    An automated pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) method followed by Power Prep™ clean-up was developed for organochlorinated pesticide (OCP) and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) analysis in environmental marine samples of fish, squid, bivalves, shells, octopus and shrimp. OCPs and PCBs were simultaneously determined in a single chromatographic run using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-negative chemical ionization (GC-MS-NCI). About 5 g of each biological marine sample was mixed with anhydrous sodium sulphate and placed in the extraction cell of the PLE system. PLE is controlled by means of a PC using DMS 6000 software. Purification of the extract was accomplished using automated Power Prep™ clean-up with a pre-packed disposable silica column (6 g) supplied by Fluid Management Systems (FMS). All OCPs and PCBs were eluted from the silica column using two types of solvent: 80 mL of hexane and a 50 mL mixture of hexane and dichloromethane (1:1). A wide variety of fish and shellfish were collected from the fish market and analyzed using this method. The total PCB concentrations were 2.53, 0.25, 0.24, 0.24, 0.17 and 1.38 ng g(-1) (w/w) for fish, squid, bivalves, shells, octopus and shrimp, respectively, and the corresponding total OCP concentrations were 30.47, 2.86, 0.92, 10.72, 5.13 and 18.39 ng g(-1) (w/w). Lipids were removed using an SX-3 Bio-Beads gel permeation chromatography (GPC) column. Analytical criteria such as recovery, reproducibility and repeatability were evaluated through a range of biological matrices. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Evaluating the potential of automated telephony systems in rural communities: Field assessment for project Lwazi of HLT Meraka

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Gumede, T

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available the potential role automated telephony services in the improving access to important government information and services. Our interviews, focus groups and surveys revealed that an automated telephony service could be greatly support current government efforts...

  6. Matrix Sampling of Items in Large-Scale Assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth A. Childs

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available Matrix sampling of items -' that is, division of a set of items into different versions of a test form..-' is used by several large-scale testing programs. Like other test designs, matrixed designs have..both advantages and disadvantages. For example, testing time per student is less than if each..student received all the items, but the comparability of student scores may decrease. Also,..curriculum coverage is maintained, but reporting of scores becomes more complex. In this paper,..matrixed designs are compared with more traditional designs in nine categories of costs:..development costs, materials costs, administration costs, educational costs, scoring costs,..reliability costs, comparability costs, validity costs, and reporting costs. In choosing among test..designs, a testing program should examine the costs in light of its mandate(s, the content of the..tests, and the financial resources available, among other considerations.

  7. Evaluation of two automated enzyme-immunoassays for detection of thermophilic campylobacters in faecal samples from cattle and swine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoorfar, Jeffrey; Nielsen, E.M.; Stryhn, H.

    1999-01-01

    We evaluated the performance of two enzyme-immunoassays (EIA) for the detection of naturally occurring, thermophilic Campylobacter spp. found in faecal samples from cattle (n = 21 and n = 26) and swine (n = 43) relative to the standard culture method, and also assuming that none of the tests...

  8. Isotope Enrichment Detection by Laser Ablation - Laser Absorption Spectrometry: Automated Environmental Sampling and Laser-Based Analysis for HEU Detection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anheier, Norman C.; Bushaw, Bruce A.

    2010-01-01

    The global expansion of nuclear power, and consequently the uranium enrichment industry, requires the development of new safeguards technology to mitigate proliferation risks. Current enrichment monitoring instruments exist that provide only yes/no detection of highly enriched uranium (HEU) production. More accurate accountancy measurements are typically restricted to gamma-ray and weight measurements taken in cylinder storage yards. Analysis of environmental and cylinder content samples have much higher effectiveness, but this approach requires onsite sampling, shipping, and time-consuming laboratory analysis and reporting. Given that large modern gaseous centrifuge enrichment plants (GCEPs) can quickly produce a significant quantity (SQ ) of HEU, these limitations in verification suggest the need for more timely detection of potential facility misuse. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is developing an unattended safeguards instrument concept, combining continuous aerosol particulate collection with uranium isotope assay, to provide timely analysis of enrichment levels within low enriched uranium facilities. This approach is based on laser vaporization of aerosol particulate samples, followed by wavelength tuned laser diode spectroscopy to characterize the uranium isotopic ratio through subtle differences in atomic absorption wavelengths. Environmental sampling (ES) media from an integrated aerosol collector is introduced into a small, reduced pressure chamber, where a focused pulsed laser vaporizes material from a 10 to 20-(micro)m diameter spot of the surface of the sampling media. The plume of ejected material begins as high-temperature plasma that yields ions and atoms, as well as molecules and molecular ions. We concentrate on the plume of atomic vapor that remains after the plasma has expanded and then cooled by the surrounding cover gas. Tunable diode lasers are directed through this plume and each isotope is detected by monitoring absorbance

  9. Automated system for generation of soil moisture products for agricultural drought assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raja Shekhar, S. S.; Chandrasekar, K.; Sesha Sai, M. V. R.; Diwakar, P. G.; Dadhwal, V. K.

    2014-11-01

    Drought is a frequently occurring disaster affecting lives of millions of people across the world every year. Several parameters, indices and models are being used globally to forecast / early warning of drought and monitoring drought for its prevalence, persistence and severity. Since drought is a complex phenomenon, large number of parameter/index need to be evaluated to sufficiently address the problem. It is a challenge to generate input parameters from different sources like space based data, ground data and collateral data in short intervals of time, where there may be limitation in terms of processing power, availability of domain expertise, specialized models & tools. In this study, effort has been made to automate the derivation of one of the important parameter in the drought studies viz Soil Moisture. Soil water balance bucket model is in vogue to arrive at soil moisture products, which is widely popular for its sensitivity to soil conditions and rainfall parameters. This model has been encoded into "Fish-Bone" architecture using COM technologies and Open Source libraries for best possible automation to fulfill the needs for a standard procedure of preparing input parameters and processing routines. The main aim of the system is to provide operational environment for generation of soil moisture products by facilitating users to concentrate on further enhancements and implementation of these parameters in related areas of research, without re-discovering the established models. Emphasis of the architecture is mainly based on available open source libraries for GIS and Raster IO operations for different file formats to ensure that the products can be widely distributed without the burden of any commercial dependencies. Further the system is automated to the extent of user free operations if required with inbuilt chain processing for every day generation of products at specified intervals. Operational software has inbuilt capabilities to automatically

  10. Automated 3D quantitative assessment and measurement of alpha angles from the femoral head-neck junction using MR imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Ying; Fripp, Jurgen; Chandra, Shekhar S.; Walker, Duncan; Crozier, Stuart; Engstrom, Craig

    2015-10-01

    To develop an automated approach for 3D quantitative assessment and measurement of alpha angles from the femoral head-neck (FHN) junction using bone models derived from magnetic resonance (MR) images of the hip joint. Bilateral MR images of the hip joints were acquired from 30 male volunteers (healthy active individuals and high-performance athletes, aged 18-49 years) using a water-excited 3D dual echo steady state (DESS) sequence. In a subset of these subjects (18 water-polo players), additional True Fast Imaging with Steady-state Precession (TrueFISP) images were acquired from the right hip joint. For both MR image sets, an active shape model based algorithm was used to generate automated 3D bone reconstructions of the proximal femur. Subsequently, a local coordinate system of the femur was constructed to compute a 2D shape map to project femoral head sphericity for calculation of alpha angles around the FHN junction. To evaluate automated alpha angle measures, manual analyses were performed on anterosuperior and anterior radial MR slices from the FHN junction that were automatically reformatted using the constructed coordinate system. High intra- and inter-rater reliability (intra-class correlation coefficients  >  0.95) was found for manual alpha angle measurements from the auto-extracted anterosuperior and anterior radial slices. Strong correlations were observed between manual and automatic measures of alpha angles for anterosuperior (r  =  0.84) and anterior (r  =  0.92) FHN positions. For matched DESS and TrueFISP images, there were no significant differences between automated alpha angle measures obtained from the upper anterior quadrant of the FHN junction (two-way repeated measures ANOVA, F  hip joints to generate alpha angle measures around the FHN junction circumference with very good reliability and reproducibility. This work has the potential to improve analyses of cam-type lesions of the FHN junction for large

  11. Automated 3D quantitative assessment and measurement of alpha angles from the femoral head-neck junction using MR imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xia, Ying; Chandra, Shekhar S; Crozier, Stuart; Fripp, Jurgen; Walker, Duncan; Engstrom, Craig

    2015-01-01

    To develop an automated approach for 3D quantitative assessment and measurement of alpha angles from the femoral head-neck (FHN) junction using bone models derived from magnetic resonance (MR) images of the hip joint.Bilateral MR images of the hip joints were acquired from 30 male volunteers (healthy active individuals and high-performance athletes, aged 18–49 years) using a water-excited 3D dual echo steady state (DESS) sequence. In a subset of these subjects (18 water-polo players), additional True Fast Imaging with Steady-state Precession (TrueFISP) images were acquired from the right hip joint. For both MR image sets, an active shape model based algorithm was used to generate automated 3D bone reconstructions of the proximal femur. Subsequently, a local coordinate system of the femur was constructed to compute a 2D shape map to project femoral head sphericity for calculation of alpha angles around the FHN junction. To evaluate automated alpha angle measures, manual analyses were performed on anterosuperior and anterior radial MR slices from the FHN junction that were automatically reformatted using the constructed coordinate system.High intra- and inter-rater reliability (intra-class correlation coefficients  >  0.95) was found for manual alpha angle measurements from the auto-extracted anterosuperior and anterior radial slices. Strong correlations were observed between manual and automatic measures of alpha angles for anterosuperior (r  =  0.84) and anterior (r  =  0.92) FHN positions. For matched DESS and TrueFISP images, there were no significant differences between automated alpha angle measures obtained from the upper anterior quadrant of the FHN junction (two-way repeated measures ANOVA, F  <  0.01, p  =  0.98).Our automatic 3D method analysed MR images of the hip joints to generate alpha angle measures around the FHN junction circumference with very good reliability and reproducibility. This work has the

  12. Neural network based automated algorithm to identify joint locations on hand/wrist radiographs for arthritis assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duryea, J.; Zaim, S.; Wolfe, F.

    2002-01-01

    Arthritis is a significant and costly healthcare problem that requires objective and quantifiable methods to evaluate its progression. Here we describe software that can automatically determine the locations of seven joints in the proximal hand and wrist that demonstrate arthritic changes. These are the five carpometacarpal (CMC1, CMC2, CMC3, CMC4, CMC5), radiocarpal (RC), and the scaphocapitate (SC) joints. The algorithm was based on an artificial neural network (ANN) that was trained using independent sets of digitized hand radiographs and manually identified joint locations. The algorithm used landmarks determined automatically by software developed in our previous work as starting points. Other than requiring user input of the location of nonanatomical structures and the orientation of the hand on the film, the procedure was fully automated. The software was tested on two datasets: 50 digitized hand radiographs from patients participating in a large clinical study, and 60 from subjects participating in arthritis research studies and who had mild to moderate rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It was evaluated by a comparison to joint locations determined by a trained radiologist using manual tracing. The success rate for determining the CMC, RC, and SC joints was 87%-99%, for normal hands and 81%-99% for RA hands. This is a first step in performing an automated computer-aided assessment of wrist joints for arthritis progression. The software provides landmarks that will be used by subsequent image processing routines to analyze each joint individually for structural changes such as erosions and joint space narrowing

  13. Assessment of Sr-90 in water samples: precision and accuracy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nisti, Marcelo B.; Saueia, Cátia H.R.; Castilho, Bruna; Mazzilli, Barbara P., E-mail: mbnisti@ipen.br, E-mail: chsaueia@ipen.br, E-mail: bcastilho@ipen.br, E-mail: mazzilli@ipen.br [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil)

    2017-11-01

    The study of artificial radionuclides dispersion into the environment is very important to control the nuclear waste discharges, nuclear accidents and nuclear weapons testing. The accidents in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, released several radionuclides in the environment by aerial deposition and liquid discharge, with various level of radioactivity. The {sup 90}Sr was one of the elements released into the environment. The {sup 90}Sr is produced by nuclear fission with a physical half-life of 28.79 years with decay energy of 0.546 MeV. The aims of this study are to evaluate the precision and accuracy of three methodologies for the determination of {sup 90}Sr in water samples: Cerenkov, LSC direct method and with radiochemical separation. The performance of the methodologies was evaluated by using two scintillation counters (Quantulus and Hidex). The parameters Minimum Detectable Activity (MDA) and Figure Of Merit (FOM) were determined for each method, the precision and accuracy were checked using {sup 90}Sr standard solutions. (author)

  14. Assessment of Sr-90 in water samples: precision and accuracy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nisti, Marcelo B.; Saueia, Cátia H.R.; Castilho, Bruna; Mazzilli, Barbara P.

    2017-01-01

    The study of artificial radionuclides dispersion into the environment is very important to control the nuclear waste discharges, nuclear accidents and nuclear weapons testing. The accidents in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, released several radionuclides in the environment by aerial deposition and liquid discharge, with various level of radioactivity. The 90 Sr was one of the elements released into the environment. The 90 Sr is produced by nuclear fission with a physical half-life of 28.79 years with decay energy of 0.546 MeV. The aims of this study are to evaluate the precision and accuracy of three methodologies for the determination of 90 Sr in water samples: Cerenkov, LSC direct method and with radiochemical separation. The performance of the methodologies was evaluated by using two scintillation counters (Quantulus and Hidex). The parameters Minimum Detectable Activity (MDA) and Figure Of Merit (FOM) were determined for each method, the precision and accuracy were checked using 90 Sr standard solutions. (author)

  15. Automated quantitative cytological analysis using portable microfluidic microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jagannadh, Veerendra Kalyan; Murthy, Rashmi Sreeramachandra; Srinivasan, Rajesh; Gorthi, Sai Siva

    2016-06-01

    In this article, a portable microfluidic microscopy based approach for automated cytological investigations is presented. Inexpensive optical and electronic components have been used to construct a simple microfluidic microscopy system. In contrast to the conventional slide-based methods, the presented method employs microfluidics to enable automated sample handling and image acquisition. The approach involves the use of simple in-suspension staining and automated image acquisition to enable quantitative cytological analysis of samples. The applicability of the presented approach to research in cellular biology is shown by performing an automated cell viability assessment on a given population of yeast cells. Further, the relevance of the presented approach to clinical diagnosis and prognosis has been demonstrated by performing detection and differential assessment of malaria infection in a given sample. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  16. Assessing the Validity of Automated Webcrawlers as Data Collection Tools to Investigate Online Child Sexual Exploitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westlake, Bryce; Bouchard, Martin; Frank, Richard

    2017-10-01

    The distribution of child sexual exploitation (CE) material has been aided by the growth of the Internet. The graphic nature and prevalence of the material has made researching and combating difficult. Although used to study online CE distribution, automated data collection tools (e.g., webcrawlers) have yet to be shown effective at targeting only relevant data. Using CE-related image and keyword criteria, we compare networks starting from CE websites to those from similar non-CE sexuality websites and dissimilar sports websites. Our results provide evidence that (a) webcrawlers have the potential to provide valid CE data, if the appropriate criterion is selected; (b) CE distribution is still heavily image-based suggesting images as an effective criterion; (c) CE-seeded networks are more hub-based and differ from non-CE-seeded networks on several website characteristics. Recommendations for improvements to reliable criteria selection are discussed.

  17. Automated finite element updating using strain data for the lifetime reliability assessment of bridges

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Okasha, Nader M.; Frangopol, Dan M.; Orcesi, André D.

    2012-01-01

    The importance of improving the understanding of the performance of structures over their lifetime under uncertainty with information obtained from structural health monitoring (SHM) has been widely recognized. However, frameworks that efficiently integrate monitoring data into the life-cycle management of structures are yet to be developed. The objective of this paper is to propose and illustrate an approach for updating the lifetime reliability of aging bridges using monitored strain data obtained from crawl tests. It is proposed to use automated finite element model updating techniques as a tool for updating the resistance parameters of the structure. In this paper, the results from crawl tests are used to update the finite element model and, in turn, update the lifetime reliability. The original and updated lifetime reliabilities are computed using advanced computational tools. The approach is illustrated on an existing bridge.

  18. Assessment of Different Sampling Methods for Measuring and Representing Macular Cone Density Using Flood-Illuminated Adaptive Optics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Shu; Gale, Michael J; Fay, Jonathan D; Faridi, Ambar; Titus, Hope E; Garg, Anupam K; Michaels, Keith V; Erker, Laura R; Peters, Dawn; Smith, Travis B; Pennesi, Mark E

    2015-09-01

    To describe a standardized flood-illuminated adaptive optics (AO) imaging protocol suitable for the clinical setting and to assess sampling methods for measuring cone density. Cone density was calculated following three measurement protocols: 50 × 50-μm sampling window values every 0.5° along the horizontal and vertical meridians (fixed-interval method), the mean density of expanding 0.5°-wide arcuate areas in the nasal, temporal, superior, and inferior quadrants (arcuate mean method), and the peak cone density of a 50 × 50-μm sampling window within expanding arcuate areas near the meridian (peak density method). Repeated imaging was performed in nine subjects to determine intersession repeatability of cone density. Cone density montages could be created for 67 of the 74 subjects. Image quality was determined to be adequate for automated cone counting for 35 (52%) of the 67 subjects. We found that cone density varied with different sampling methods and regions tested. In the nasal and temporal quadrants, peak density most closely resembled histological data, whereas the arcuate mean and fixed-interval methods tended to underestimate the density compared with histological data. However, in the inferior and superior quadrants, arcuate mean and fixed-interval methods most closely matched histological data, whereas the peak density method overestimated cone density compared with histological data. Intersession repeatability testing showed that repeatability was greatest when sampling by arcuate mean and lowest when sampling by fixed interval. We show that different methods of sampling can significantly affect cone density measurements. Therefore, care must be taken when interpreting cone density results, even in a normal population.

  19. Impact assessment of an automated drug-dispensing system in a tertiary hospital

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Débora de-Carvalho

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the costs and patient safety of a pilot implementation of an automated dispensing cabinet in a critical care unit of a private tertiary hospital in São Paulo/Brazil. METHODS: This study considered pre- (January-August 2013 and post- (October 2013-October 2014 intervention periods. We considered the time and cost of personnel, number of adverse events, audit adjustments to patient bills, and urgent requests and returns of medications to the central pharmacy. Costs were evaluated based on a 5-year analytical horizon and are reported in Brazilian Reals (R$ and US dollars (USD. RESULTS: The observed decrease in the mean number of events reported with regard to the automated drug-dispensing system between pre- and post-implementation periods was not significant. Importantly, the numbers are small, which limits the power of the mean comparative analysis between the two periods. A reduction in work time was observed among the nurses and administrative assistants, whereas pharmacist assistants showed an increased work load that resulted in an overall 6.5 hours of work saved/day and a reduction of R$ 33,598 (USD 14,444 during the first year. The initial investment (R$ 206,065; USD 88,592 would have been paid off in 5 years considering only personnel savings. Other findings included significant reductions of audit adjustments to patient hospital bills and urgent requests and returns of medications to the central pharmacy. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence of the positive impact of this technology on personnel time and costs and on other outcomes of interest is important for decision making by health managers.

  20. Rapid and automated on-line solid phase extraction HPLC-MS/MS with peak focusing for the determination of ochratoxin A in wine samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campone, Luca; Piccinelli, Anna Lisa; Celano, Rita; Pagano, Imma; Russo, Mariateresa; Rastrelli, Luca

    2018-04-01

    This study reports a fast and automated analytical procedure based on an on-line SPE-HPLC-MS/MS method for the automatic pre-concentration, clean up and sensitive determination of OTA in wine. The amount of OTA contained in 100μL of sample (pH≅5.5) was retained and concentrated on an Oasis MAX SPE cartridge. After a washing step to remove matrix interferents, the analyte was eluted in back-flush mode and the eluent from the SPE column was diluted through a mixing Tee, using an aqueous solution before the chromatographic separation achieved on a monolithic column. The developed method has been validated according to EU regulation N. 519/2014 and applied for the analysis of 41 red and 17 white wines. The developed method features minimal sample handling, low solvent consumption, high sample throughput, low analysis cost and provides an accurate and highly selective results. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. A Large-Sample Test of a Semi-Automated Clavicle Search Engine to Assist Skeletal Identification by Radiograph Comparison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Alonzo, Susan S; Guyomarc'h, Pierre; Byrd, John E; Stephan, Carl N

    2017-01-01

    In 2014, a morphometric capability to search chest radiograph databases by quantified clavicle shape was published to assist skeletal identification. Here, we extend the validation tests conducted by increasing the search universe 18-fold, from 409 to 7361 individuals to determine whether there is any associated decrease in performance under these more challenging circumstances. The number of trials and analysts were also increased, respectively, from 17 to 30 skeletons, and two to four examiners. Elliptical Fourier analysis was conducted on clavicles from each skeleton by each analyst (shadowgrams trimmed from scratch in every instance) and compared to the search universe. Correctly matching individuals were found in shortlists of 10% of the sample 70% of the time. This rate is similar to, although slightly lower than, rates previously found for much smaller samples (80%). Accuracy and reliability are thereby maintained, even when the comparison system is challenged by much larger search universes. © 2016 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  2. Independent assessment of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) sample preparation quality: Effect of sample preparation on MALDI-MS of synthetic polymers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kooijman, Pieter C; Kok, Sander; Honing, Maarten

    2017-02-28

    Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) provides detailed and in-depth information about the molecular characteristics of synthetic polymers. To obtain the most accurate results the sample preparation parameters should be chosen to suit the sample and the aim of the experiment. Because the underlying principles of MALDI are still not fully known, a priori determination of optimal sample preparation protocols is often not possible. Employing an automated sample preparation quality assessment method recently presented by us we quantified the sample preparation quality obtained using various sample preparation protocols. Six conventional matrices with and without added potassium as a cationization agent and six ionic liquid matrices (ILMs) were assessed using poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), polytetrahydrofuran (PTHF) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) as samples. All sample preparation protocols were scored and ranked based on predefined quality parameters and spot-to-spot repeatability. Clearly distinctive preferences were observed in matrix identity and cationization agent for PEG, PTHF and PMMA, as the addition of an excess of potassium cationization agent results in an increased score for PMMA and a contrasting matrix-dependent effect for PTHF and PEG. The addition of excess cationization agent to sample mixtures dissipates any overrepresentation of high molecular weight polymer species. Our results show reduced ionization efficiency and similar sample deposit homogeneity for all tested ILMs, compared with well-performing conventional MALDI matrices. The results published here represent a start in the unsupervised quantification of sample preparation quality for MALDI samples. This method can select the best sample preparation parameters for any synthetic polymer sample and the results can be used to formulate hypotheses on MALDI principles. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  3. National Coastal Condition Assessment (NCCA) Sampling Areas Map, Hawaiian Islands Shoreline, 2015, US EPA Region 9

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The National Coastal Condition Assessment (NCCA) is a national coastal monitoring program with rigorous quality assurance protocols and standardized sampling...

  4. AUTOMATED GEOSPATIAL WATERSHED ASSESSMENT: A GIS-BASED HYDROLOGIC MODELING TOOL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planning and assessment in land and water resource management are evolving toward complex, spatially explicit regional assessments. These problems have to be addressed with distributed models that can compute runoff and erosion at different spatial and temporal scales. The extens...

  5. Automation system risk assessment; Gestao de riscos de sistemas de automacao

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Almeida, Felipe; Furuta, Margarete [PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil)

    2008-07-01

    In spite of what was learnt with the history of several industrial accidents and the initiative in relation to the protection measures taken by several Organizations, even today extremely serious accidents keep happening in the automation environment. If on one hand, the growing competitive demands an increase in the productivity, which several times is only possible through more complex processes that make the facilities operate in their limits, on the other, it is noticeable that the control, automation and security related to these more complex processes are also more difficult to manage. The incessant investigation of past accidents resulted in the prevention of specific dangerous events in relation to industrial facilities but it also brought to light the importance of actions related to the Risk Management Process. Without doubt, the consequences resulting from the materialization of an event can reach disastrous and unrecoverable levels, taking into account the comprehensiveness of the potential risks. Studies carried out by international entities illustrate that the inadequate management of risks is the factor that contributes more for the occurrence of accidents. The initial phase of the risk management results from the analysis of the risks inherent to the process (e.g. to determine the probability of occurring each different potential failure), the study of the consequences if these failures occur, the definition of the risk considered acceptable according to the appetite for risks established by the Organization, and the identification of the action on the risk that can vary in a spectrum that can involve decreasing, transferring, avoiding or accepting the risk. This work has as objective to exploit the aspects for the implementation of Risk Management in the Oil and Gas segment. The study also seeks to explicit, based on the systematic registry of the measured items, how it is possible to evaluate the financial exposure of the risk to which a project

  6. A new approach to automated assessment of fractionation of endocardial electrograms during atrial fibrillation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Křemen, V; Lhotská, L; Macaš, M; Čihák, R; Vančura, V; Kautzner, J; Wichterle, D

    2008-01-01

    Complex fractionated atrial electrograms (CFAEs) may represent the electrophysiological substrate for atrial fibrillation (AF). Progress in signal processing algorithms to identify sites of CFAEs is crucial for the development of AF ablation strategies. A novel algorithm for automated description of fractionation of atrial electrograms (A-EGMs) based on the wavelet transform has been proposed. The algorithm was developed and validated using a representative set of 1.5 s A-EGM (n = 113) ranked by three experts into four categories: 1—organized atrial activity; 2—mild; 3—intermediate; 4—high degree of fractionation. A tight relationship between a fractionation index and expert classification of A-EGMs (Spearman correlation ρ = 0.87) was documented with a sensitivity of 82% and specificity of 90% for the identification of highly fractionated A-EGMs. This operator-independent description of A-EGM complexity may be easily incorporated into mapping systems to facilitate CFAE identification and to guide AF substrate ablation

  7. Automated assessment of thigh composition using machine learning for Dixon magnetic resonance images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yu Xin; Chong, Mei Sian; Tay, Laura; Yew, Suzanne; Yeo, Audrey; Tan, Cher Heng

    2016-10-01

    To develop and validate a machine learning based automated segmentation method that jointly analyzes the four contrasts provided by Dixon MRI technique for improved thigh composition segmentation accuracy. The automatic detection of body composition is formulized as a three-class classification issue. Each image voxel in the training dataset is assigned with a correct label. A voxel classifier is trained and subsequently used to predict unseen data. Morphological operations are finally applied to generate volumetric segmented images for different structures. We applied this algorithm on datasets of (1) four contrast images, (2) water and fat images, and (3) unsuppressed images acquired from 190 subjects. The proposed method using four contrasts achieved most accurate and robust segmentation compared to the use of combined fat and water images and the use of unsuppressed image, average Dice coefficients of 0.94 ± 0.03, 0.96 ± 0.03, 0.80 ± 0.03, and 0.97 ± 0.01 has been achieved to bone region, subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT), inter-muscular adipose tissue (IMAT), and muscle respectively. Our proposed method based on machine learning produces accurate tissue quantification and showed an effective use of large information provided by the four contrast images from Dixon MRI.

  8. Assessing the Alcohol-BMI Relationship in a US National Sample of College Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barry, Adam E.; Piazza-Gardner, Anna K.; Holton, M. Kim

    2015-01-01

    Objective: This study sought to assess the body mass index (BMI)-alcohol relationship among a US national sample of college students. Design: Secondary data analysis using the Fall 2011 National College Health Assessment (NCHA). Setting: A total of 44 US higher education institutions. Methods: Participants included a national sample of college…

  9. Automated on-line solid phase extraction coupled to HPLC-APCI-MS detection as a versatile tool for the analysis of phenols in water samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wissiack, R.

    2001-05-01

    determination of the entire US EPA phenol range within a single chromatographic run with only one MSD interface and could be easily adapted for the analysis of further phenolic compounds. This represents a significant improvement over methods reported for the analysis of phenolic compounds by on-line SPE HPLC-MS so far. For the on-line SPE of phenols from water samples the recently introduced Hysphere GP and the Waters Oasis adsorbent materials were found to be most satisfactory. Their application resulted in quantitative recoveries for sample volumes up to 100 ml, excellent elution behavior (enabling fast elution resulting in narrower peaks) and relative standard deviations for the overall analysis system below 8 percent for all phenols. Typical enrichment factors for automated on-line SPE were estimated to be about one thousand compared to autosampler-injections. Thus, LODs ranging between 40-280 ng/l in SCAN mode could be achieved even when only 10 ml of spiked distilled or river water sample were processed which attests to the excellent screening capabilities of the optimized method. When using the SIM mode the sensitivity could be further increased by about one order of magnitude. The applicability of the proposed method to environmental analysis was demonstrated by preconcentrating phenols from spiked river water samples or waster water treatment effluents via automated on-line SPE HPLC-MS. Due to the very high concentration of matrix in the case of waste water treatment effluents, the sample volume preconcentrated had to be decreased to only 1 ml. Still, the sensitivity is high enough to monitor phenols at levels relevant for waste water monitoring. As a further example for the general applicability of the HPLC-MS method for the tentative structural elucidation of phenolic compounds, it was also used for the analysis of diesel exhaust condensate samples where a number of phenolic compounds could be tentatively identified. (author)

  10. Automation of radioimmunoassay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamaguchi, Chisato; Yamada, Hideo; Iio, Masahiro

    1974-01-01

    Automation systems for measuring Australian antigen by radioimmunoassay under development were discussed. Samples were processed as follows: blood serum being dispensed by automated sampler to the test tube, and then incubated under controlled time and temperature; first counting being omitted; labelled antibody being dispensed to the serum after washing; samples being incubated and then centrifuged; radioactivities in the precipitate being counted by auto-well counter; measurements being tabulated by automated typewriter. Not only well-type counter but also position counter was studied. (Kanao, N.)

  11. AutoGNI, the Robot Under the Aircraft Floor: An Automated System for Sampling Giant Aerosol Particles by Impaction in the Free Airstream Outside a Research Aircraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, J. B.; Schwenz, K.; Aquino, J.; Carnes, J.; Webster, C.; Munnerlyn, J.; Wissman, T.; Lugger, T.

    2017-12-01

    Giant sea-salt aerosol particles, also called Giant Cloud Condensation Nuclei (GCCN), have been proposed as a means of rapidly forming precipitation sized drizzle drops in warm marine clouds (e.g., Jensen and Nugent, 2017). Such rare particles are best sampled from aircraft in air below cloud base, where normal laser optical instruments have too low sample volume to give statistically significant samples of the large particle tail. An automated sampling system (the AutoGNI) has been built to operate from inside a pressurized aircraft. Under the aircraft floor, a pressurized vessel contains 32 custom-built polycarbonate microscope slides. Using robotics with 5 motor drives and 18 positioning switches, the AutoGNI can take slides from their holding cassettes, pass them onto a caddy in an airfoil that extends 200 mm outside the aircraft, where they are exposed in the free airstream, thus avoiding the usual problems with large particle losses in air intakes. Slides are typically exposed for 10-30 s in the marine boundary layer, giving sample volumes of about 100-300 L or more. Subsequently the slides are retracted into the pressure vessel, stored and transported for laboratory microscope image analysis, in order to derive size-distribution histograms. While the aircraft is flying, the AutoGNI system is remotely controlled from a laptop on the ground, using an encrypted commercial satellite connection to the NSF/NCAR GV research aircraft's main server, and onto the AutoGNI microprocessor. The sampling of such GCCN is becoming increasingly important in order to provide complete input data for model calculations of aerosol-cloud interactions and their feedbacks in climate prediction. The AutoGNI has so far been sampling sea-salt GCCN in the Magellan Straight during the 2016 ORCAS project and over the NW Pacific during the 2017 ARISTO project, both from the NSF/NCAR GV research aircraft. Sea-salt particle sizes of 1.4 - 32 μm dry diameter have been observed.

  12. Calibration of a liquid scintillation counter to assess tritium levels in various samples

    CERN Document Server

    Al-Haddad, M N; Abu-Jarad, F A

    1999-01-01

    An LKB-Wallac 1217 Liquid Scintillation Counter (LSC) was calibrated with a newly adopted cocktail. The LSC was then used to measure tritium levels in various samples to assess the compliance of tritium levels with the recommended international levels. The counter was calibrated to measure both biological and operational samples for personnel and for an accelerator facility at KFUPM. The biological samples include the bioassay (urine), saliva, and nasal tests. The operational samples of the light ion linear accelerator include target cooling water, organic oil, fomblin oil, and smear samples. Sets of standards, which simulate various samples, were fabricated using traceable certified tritium standards. The efficiency of the counter was obtained for each sample. The typical range of the efficiencies varied from 33% for smear samples down to 1.5% for organic oil samples. A quenching curve for each sample is presented. The minimum detectable activity for each sample was established. Typical tritium levels in bio...

  13. Systematic adaptive cluster sampling for the assessment of rare tree species in Nepal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Acharya, B.; Bhattarai, G.; Gier, de A.; Stein, A.

    2000-01-01

    Sampling to assess rare tree species poses methodic problems, because they may cluster and many plots with no such trees are to be expected. We used systematic adaptive cluster sampling (SACS) to sample three rare tree species in a forest area of about 40 ha in Nepal. We checked its applicability

  14. A neural-symbolic system for automated assessment in training simulators - A position paper

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Penning, H.L.H. de; Kappé, B.; Bosch, K. van den

    2009-01-01

    Performance assessment in training simulators is a complex task. It requires monitoring and interpreting the student’s behaviour in the simulator using knowledge of the training task, the environment and a lot of experience. Assessment in simulators is therefore generally done by human observers. To

  15. Automated Assessment of the Quality of Peer Reviews Using Natural Language Processing Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramachandran, Lakshmi; Gehringer, Edward F.; Yadav, Ravi K.

    2017-01-01

    A "review" is textual feedback provided by a reviewer to the author of a submitted version. Peer reviews are used in academic publishing and in education to assess student work. While reviews are important to e-commerce sites like Amazon and e-bay, which use them to assess the quality of products and services, our work focuses on…

  16. Automated image segmentation and registration of vessel wall MRI for quantitative assessment of carotid artery vessel wall dimensions and plaque composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klooster, Ronald van 't

    2014-01-01

    The main goal of this thesis was to develop methods for automated segmentation, registration and classification of the carotid artery vessel wall and plaque components using multi-sequence MR vessel wall images to assess atherosclerosis. First, a general introduction into atherosclerosis and

  17. Comparing Visually Assessed BI-RADS Breast Density and Automated Volumetric Breast Density Software: A Cross-Sectional Study in a Breast Cancer Screening Setting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Waal, Daniëlle; den Heeten, Gerard J.; Pijnappel, Ruud M.; Schuur, Klaas H.; Timmers, Johanna M. H.; Verbeek, André L. M.; Broeders, Mireille J. M.

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study is to compare different methods for measuring breast density, both visual assessments and automated volumetric density, in a breast cancer screening setting. These measures could potentially be implemented in future screening programmes, in the context of personalised

  18. Comparing Visually Assessed BI-RADS Breast Density and Automated Volumetric Breast Density Software: A Cross-Sectional Study in a Breast Cancer Screening Setting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Waal, D. van der; Heeten, GJ. den; Pijnappel, R.M.; Schuur, K.H.; Timmers, J.M.; Verbeek, A.L.; Broeders, M.J.

    2015-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: The objective of this study is to compare different methods for measuring breast density, both visual assessments and automated volumetric density, in a breast cancer screening setting. These measures could potentially be implemented in future screening programmes, in the context of

  19. Comparing Visually Assessed BI-RADS Breast Density and Automated Volumetric Breast Density Software : A Cross-Sectional Study in a Breast Cancer Screening Setting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Waal, Danielle; den Heeten, Gerard J.; Pijnappel, Ruud M.; Schuur, Klaas H.; Timmers, Johanna M. H.; Verbeek, Andre L. M.; Broeders, Mireille J. M.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The objective of this study is to compare different methods for measuring breast density, both visual assessments and automated volumetric density, in a breast cancer screening setting. These measures could potentially be implemented in future screening programmes, in the context of

  20. Toward Automated Inventory Modeling in Life Cycle Assessment: The Utility of Semantic Data Modeling to Predict Real-WorldChemical Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    A set of coupled semantic data models, i.e., ontologies, are presented to advance a methodology towards automated inventory modeling of chemical manufacturing in life cycle assessment. The cradle-to-gate life cycle inventory for chemical manufacturing is a detailed collection of ...

  1. The second round of Critical Assessment of Automated Structure Determination of Proteins by NMR: CASD-NMR-2013

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosato, Antonio; Vranken, Wim; Fogh, Rasmus H.; Ragan, Timothy J.; Tejero, Roberto; Pederson, Kari; Lee, Hsiau-Wei; Prestegard, James H.; Yee, Adelinda; Wu, Bin; Lemak, Alexander; Houliston, Scott; Arrowsmith, Cheryl H.; Kennedy, Michael; Acton, Thomas B.; Xiao, Rong; Liu, Gaohua; Montelione, Gaetano T.; Vuister, Geerten W.

    2015-01-01

    The second round of the community-wide initiative Critical Assessment of automated Structure Determination of Proteins by NMR (CASD-NMR-2013) comprised ten blind target datasets, consisting of unprocessed spectral data, assigned chemical shift lists and unassigned NOESY peak and RDC lists, that were made available in both curated (i.e. manually refined) or un-curated (i.e. automatically generated) form. Ten structure calculation programs, using fully automated protocols only, generated a total of 164 three-dimensional structures (entries) for the ten targets, sometimes using both curated and un-curated lists to generate multiple entries for a single target. The accuracy of the entries could be established by comparing them to the corresponding manually solved structure of each target, which was not available at the time the data were provided. Across the entire data set, 71 % of all entries submitted achieved an accuracy relative to the reference NMR structure better than 1.5 Å. Methods based on NOESY peak lists achieved even better results with up to 100 % of the entries within the 1.5 Å threshold for some programs. However, some methods did not converge for some targets using un-curated NOESY peak lists. Over 90 % of the entries achieved an accuracy better than the more relaxed threshold of 2.5 Å that was used in the previous CASD-NMR-2010 round. Comparisons between entries generated with un-curated versus curated peaks show only marginal improvements for the latter in those cases where both calculations converged

  2. The second round of Critical Assessment of Automated Structure Determination of Proteins by NMR: CASD-NMR-2013

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rosato, Antonio [University of Florence, Department of Chemistry and Magnetic Resonance Center (Italy); Vranken, Wim [Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Structural Biology Brussels (Belgium); Fogh, Rasmus H.; Ragan, Timothy J. [University of Leicester, Department of Biochemistry, School of Biological Sciences (United Kingdom); Tejero, Roberto [Universidad de Valencia, Departamento de Química Física (Spain); Pederson, Kari; Lee, Hsiau-Wei; Prestegard, James H. [University of Georgia, Complex Carbohydrate Research Center and Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium (United States); Yee, Adelinda; Wu, Bin; Lemak, Alexander; Houliston, Scott; Arrowsmith, Cheryl H. [University of Toronto, Department of Medical Biophysics, Cancer Genomics and Proteomics, Ontario Cancer Institute, Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium (Canada); Kennedy, Michael [Miami University, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium (United States); Acton, Thomas B.; Xiao, Rong; Liu, Gaohua; Montelione, Gaetano T., E-mail: guy@cabm.rutgers.edu [The State University of New Jersey, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium, Rutgers (United States); Vuister, Geerten W., E-mail: gv29@le.ac.uk [University of Leicester, Department of Biochemistry, School of Biological Sciences (United Kingdom)

    2015-08-15

    The second round of the community-wide initiative Critical Assessment of automated Structure Determination of Proteins by NMR (CASD-NMR-2013) comprised ten blind target datasets, consisting of unprocessed spectral data, assigned chemical shift lists and unassigned NOESY peak and RDC lists, that were made available in both curated (i.e. manually refined) or un-curated (i.e. automatically generated) form. Ten structure calculation programs, using fully automated protocols only, generated a total of 164 three-dimensional structures (entries) for the ten targets, sometimes using both curated and un-curated lists to generate multiple entries for a single target. The accuracy of the entries could be established by comparing them to the corresponding manually solved structure of each target, which was not available at the time the data were provided. Across the entire data set, 71 % of all entries submitted achieved an accuracy relative to the reference NMR structure better than 1.5 Å. Methods based on NOESY peak lists achieved even better results with up to 100 % of the entries within the 1.5 Å threshold for some programs. However, some methods did not converge for some targets using un-curated NOESY peak lists. Over 90 % of the entries achieved an accuracy better than the more relaxed threshold of 2.5 Å that was used in the previous CASD-NMR-2010 round. Comparisons between entries generated with un-curated versus curated peaks show only marginal improvements for the latter in those cases where both calculations converged.

  3. Devices used by automated milking systems are similarly accurate in estimating milk yield and in collecting a representative milk sample compared with devices used by farms with conventional milk recording

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kamphuis, Claudia; Dela Rue, B.; Turner, S.A.; Petch, S.

    2015-01-01

    Information on accuracy of milk-sampling devices used on farms with automated milking systems (AMS) is essential for development of milk recording protocols. The hypotheses of this study were (1) devices used by AMS units are similarly accurate in estimating milk yield and in collecting

  4. Automated assessment of joint synovitis activity from medical ultrasound and power doppler examinations using image processing and machine learning methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafal Cupek

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Objectives : Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common rheumatic disease with arthritis, and causes substantial functional disability in approximately 50% patients after 10 years. Accurate measurement of the disease activity is crucial to provide an adequate treatment and care to the patients. The aim of this study is focused on a computer aided diagnostic system that supports an assessment of synovitis severity. Material and methods : This paper focus on a computer aided diagnostic system that was developed within joint Polish–Norwegian research project related to the automated assessment of the severity of synovitis. Semiquantitative ultrasound with power Doppler is a reliable and widely used method of assessing synovitis. Synovitis is estimated by ultrasound examiner using the scoring system graded from 0 to 3. Activity score is estimated on the basis of the examiner’s experience or standardized ultrasound atlases. The method needs trained medical personnel and the result can be affected by a human error. Results : The porotype of a computer-aided diagnostic system and algorithms essential for an analysis of ultrasonic images of finger joints are main scientific output of the MEDUSA project. Medusa Evaluation System prototype uses bone, skin, joint and synovitis area detectors for mutual structural model based evaluation of synovitis. Finally, several algorithms that support the semi-automatic or automatic detection of the bone region were prepared as well as a system that uses the statistical data processing approach in order to automatically localize the regions of interest. Conclusions : Semiquantitative ultrasound with power Doppler is a reliable and widely used method of assessing synovitis. Activity score is estimated on the basis of the examiner’s experience and the result can be affected by a human error. In this paper we presented the MEDUSA project which is focused on a computer aided diagnostic system that supports an

  5. Using integrated environmental modeling to automate a process-based Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Integrated Environmental Modeling (IEM) organizes multidisciplinary knowledge that explains and predicts environmental-system response to stressors. A Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) is an approach integrating a range of disparate data (fate/transport, exposure, an...

  6. Using Integrated Environmental Modeling to Automate a Process-Based Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Integrated Environmental Modeling (IEM) organizes multidisciplinary knowledge that explains and predicts environmental-system response to stressors. A Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) is an approach integrating a range of disparate data (fate/transport, exposure, and...

  7. Assessment of the reliability of standard automated perimetry in regions of glaucomatous damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardiner, Stuart K; Swanson, William H; Goren, Deborah; Mansberger, Steven L; Demirel, Shaban

    2014-07-01

    Visual field testing uses high-contrast stimuli in areas of severe visual field loss. However, retinal ganglion cells saturate with high-contrast stimuli, suggesting that the probability of detecting perimetric stimuli may not increase indefinitely as contrast increases. Driven by this concept, this study examines the lower limit of perimetric sensitivity for reliable testing by standard automated perimetry. Evaluation of a diagnostic test. A total of 34 participants with moderate to severe glaucoma; mean deviation at their last clinic visit averaged -10.90 dB (range, -20.94 to -3.38 dB). A total of 75 of the 136 locations tested had a perimetric sensitivity of ≤ 19 dB. Frequency-of-seeing curves were constructed at 4 nonadjacent visual field locations by the Method of Constant Stimuli (MOCS), using 35 stimulus presentations at each of 7 contrasts. Locations were chosen a priori and included at least 2 with glaucomatous damage but a sensitivity of ≥ 6 dB. Cumulative Gaussian curves were fit to the data, first assuming a 5% false-negative rate and subsequently allowing the asymptotic maximum response probability to be a free parameter. The strength of the relation (R(2)) between perimetric sensitivity (mean of last 2 clinic visits) and MOCS sensitivity (from the experiment) for all locations with perimetric sensitivity within ± 4 dB of each selected value, at 0.5 dB intervals. Bins centered at sensitivities ≥ 19 dB always had R(2) >0.1. All bins centered at sensitivities ≤ 15 dB had R(2) <0.1, an indication that sensitivities are unreliable. No consistent conclusions could be drawn between 15 and 19 dB. At 57 of the 81 locations with perimetric sensitivity <19 dB, including 49 of the 63 locations ≤ 15 dB, the fitted asymptotic maximum response probability was <80%, consistent with the hypothesis of response saturation. At 29 of these locations the asymptotic maximum was <50%, and so contrast sensitivity (50% response rate) is undefined. Clinical

  8. A column exchange chromatographic procedure for the automated purification of analytical samples in nuclear spent fuel reprocessing and plutonium fuel fabrication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zahradnik, P.; Swietly, H.; Doubek, N.; Bagliano, G.

    1992-11-01

    A Column Exchange Chromatographic procedure using Tri-n-Octyl-Phosphine-Oxide (TOPO) as stationary phase, is in routine use at SAL since 1984 on nuclear spent fuel reprocessing and on Pu product samples, prior to alpha and mass spectrometric analysis. This standard procedure was further on modified in view of its automation in a glove box; the resulting new procedure is described in this paper. Laboratory Robot Compatible (LRC) disposable columns were selected because their dimensions are particularly favorable and reproducible. A less corrosive HNO 3 -HI mixture substituted the former HC1-HI plutonium eluant. The inorganic support of the stationary phase used to test the above mentioned changes was unexpectedly withdrawn from the market so that another support had to be selected and the procedure reoptimized accordingly. The resulting procedure was tested with the robot and validated against the manual procedure taken as reference: the comparison showed that the modified procedure meets the analytical requirements and has the same performance than the original procedure. (author). Refs, figs and tabs

  9. Design and building of a homemade sample changer for automation of the irradiation in neutron activation analysis technique; Diseno y construccion de un prototipo de intercambiador para la automatizacion de la tecnica de analisis por activacion neutronica

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gago, Javier; Hernandez, Yuri; Baltuano, Oscar; Bedregal, Patricia [Direccion de Investigacion y Desarrollo, Instituto Peruano de Energia Nuclear, Lima (Peru); Lopez, Yon [Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria, Lima (Peru); Urquizo, Rafael [Universidad Tecnologica del Peru, Lima (Peru)

    2014-07-01

    Because the RP-10 research reactor operates during weekends, it was necessary to design and build a sample changer for irradiation as part of the automation process of neutron activation analysis technique. The device is formed by an aluminum turntable disk which can accommodate 19 polyethylene capsules, containing samples to be sent using the pneumatic transfer system from the laboratory to the irradiation position. The system is operate by a control switchboard to send and return capsules in a variable preset time and by two different ways, allowing the determination of short, medium and long lived radionuclides. Also another mechanism is designed called 'exchange valve' for changing travel paths (pipelines) allowing the irradiated samples to be stored for a longer time in the reactor hall. The system design has allowed complete automation of this technique, enabling the irradiation of samples without the presence of an analyst. The design, construction and operation of the device is described and presented in this article. (authors).

  10. The application of x-ray fluorescence and diffraction to the characterization of environmental assessment samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Censullo, A.C.; Briden, F.E.

    1982-01-01

    Some of the results of tests on environmental assessment samples are reported on. The utility of the J.W. Criss fundamental parameters computer program is evaluated for samples in which only one standard per element was used and where the standard matrix did not strictly resemble the unknown matrix. The environmental significance of a sample is dependent not only on its elemental composition, but also on the species or phases which the elements comprise. X-ray powder diffraction may be used to advantage for speciation. Multi-phase environmental assessment samples are amenable to XRD interpretation. Some results of the application of the Joint Committee on Power Diffraction Standards computer interpretatin of typical environmental samples are discussed. They were shown to contribute to the specification of the complex samples that are encountered in environmental assessments

  11. Multidisciplinary Energy Assessment of Tertiary Buildings: Automated Geomatic Inspection, Building Information Modeling Reconstruction and Building Performance Simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faustino Patiño-Cambeiro

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available There is an urgent need for energy efficiency in buildings within the European framework, considering its environmental implications, and Europe’s energy dependence. Furthermore, the need for enhancing and increasing productivity in the building industry turns new technologies and building energy performance simulation environments into extremely interesting solutions towards rigorous analysis and decision making in renovation within acceptable risk levels. The present work describes a multidisciplinary approach for the estimation of the energy performance of an educational building. The research involved data acquisition with advanced geomatic tools, the development of an optimized building information model, and energy assessment in Building Performance Simulation (BPS software. Interoperability issues were observed in the different steps of the process. The inspection and diagnostic phases were conducted in a timely, accurate manner thanks to automated data acquisition and subsequent analysis using Building Information Modeling based tools (BIM-based tools. Energy simulation was performed using Design Builder, and the results obtained were compared with those yielded by the official software tool established by Spanish regulations for energy certification. The discrepancies between the results of both programs have proven that the official software program is conservative in this sense. This may cause the depreciation of the assessed buildings.

  12. Automated breast volume scanner (ABVS) in assessing breast cancer size. A comparison with conventional ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Girometti, Rossano; Zanotel, Martina; Londero, Viviana; Linda, Anna; Lorenzon, Michele; Zuiani, Chiara [University of Udine, Azienda Sanitaria Universitaria Integrata di Udine, Institute of Radiology, Department of Medicine, Udine (Italy)

    2018-03-15

    To compare automated breast volume scanner (ABVS), ultrasound (US) and MRI in measuring breast cancer size, and evaluate the agreement between ABVS and US in assessing lesion location and sonographic features. We retrospectively included 98 women with 100 index cancers who had undergone US and ABVS followed by 1.5T MRI. Images were interpreted by a pool of readers reporting lesion size, location and breast imaging reporting and data system (BI-RADS) features. Bland-Altman analysis (with logarithmic data transformation), intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and Cohen's kappa statistic were used for statistical analysis. MRI showed the best absolute agreement with histology in measuring cancer size (ICC 0.93), with LOA comparable to those of ABVS (0.63-1.99 vs. 0.52-1.73, respectively). Though ABVS and US had highly concordant measurements (ICC 0.95), ABVS showed better agreement with histology (LOA 0.52-1.73 vs. 0.45-1.86, respectively), corresponding to a higher ICC (0.85 vs. 0.75, respectively). Except for posterior features (k=0.39), the agreement between US and ABVS in attributing site and BI-RADS features ranged from substantial to almost perfect (k=0.68-0.85). ABVS performs better than US and approaches MRI in predicting breast cancer size. ABVS performs comparably to US in sonographic assessment of lesions. (orig.)

  13. Evaluating hydrological response to forecasted land-use change—scenario testing with the automated geospatial watershed assessment (AGWA) tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kepner, William G.; Semmens, Darius J.; Hernandez, Mariano; Goodrich, David C.

    2009-01-01

    Envisioning and evaluating future scenarios has emerged as a critical component of both science and social decision-making. The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast the life support functions of ecosystems is absolutely critical to our capacity to make informed decisions to maintain the sustainable nature of our ecosystem services now and into the future. During the past two decades, important advances in the integration of remote imagery, computer processing, and spatial-analysis technologies have been used to develop landscape information that can be integrated with hydrologic models to determine long-term change and make predictive inferences about the future. Two diverse case studies in northwest Oregon (Willamette River basin) and southeastern Arizona (San Pedro River) were examined in regard to future land use scenarios relative to their impact on surface water conditions (e.g., sediment yield and surface runoff) using hydrologic models associated with the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) tool. The base reference grid for land cover was modified in both study locations to reflect stakeholder preferences 20 to 60 yrs into the future, and the consequences of landscape change were evaluated relative to the selected future scenarios. The two studies provide examples of integrating hydrologic modeling with a scenario analysis framework to evaluate plausible future forecasts and to understand the potential impact of landscape change on ecosystem services.

  14. Inadequacy of manual measurements compared to automated CT volumetry in assessment of treatment response of pulmonary metastases using RECIST criteria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marten, Katharina; Auer, Florian; Schmidt, Stefan; Rummeny, Ernst J.; Engelke, Christoph; Kohl, Gerhard

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare relative values of manual unidimensional measurements (MD) and automated volumetry (AV) for longitudinal treatment response assessment in patients with pulmonary metastases. Fifty consecutive patients with pulmonary metastases and repeat chest multidetector-row CT (median interval=2 months) were independently assessed by two radiologists for treatment response using Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumours (RECIST). Statistics included relative measurement errors (RME), intra-/interobserver correlations, limits of agreement (95% LoA), and kappa. A total of 202 metastases (median volume=182.22 mm 3 ; range=3.16-5,195.13 mm 3 ) were evaluated. RMEs were significantly higher for MD than for AV (intraobserver RME=2.34-3.73% and 0.15-0.22% for MD and AV respectively; P 3 for AV. The interobserver 95% LoA were -1.46 to 1.92 mm for MD and -11.17 to 9.33 mm 3 for AV. There was total intra-/interobserver agreement on response using AV (κ=1). MD intra- and interobserver agreements were 0.73-0.84 and 0.77-0.80 respectively. Of the 200 MD response ratings, 28 (14/50 patients) were discordant. Agreement using MD dropped significantly from total remission to progressive disease (P<0.05). We therefore conclude that AV allows for better reproducibility of response evaluation in pulmonary metastases and should be preferred to MD in these patients. (orig.)

  15. Usability of a virtual reality environment simulating an automated teller machine for assessing and training persons with acquired brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fong, Kenneth N K; Chow, Kathy Y Y; Chan, Bianca C H; Lam, Kino C K; Lee, Jeff C K; Li, Teresa H Y; Yan, Elaine W H; Wong, Asta T Y

    2010-04-30

    This study aimed to examine the usability of a newly designed virtual reality (VR) environment simulating the operation of an automated teller machine (ATM) for assessment and training. Part I involved evaluation of the sensitivity and specificity of a non-immersive VR program simulating an ATM (VR-ATM). Part II consisted of a clinical trial providing baseline and post-intervention outcome assessments. A rehabilitation hospital and university-based teaching facilities were used as the setting. A total of 24 persons in the community with acquired brain injury (ABI)--14 in Part I and 10 in Part II--made up the participants in the study. In Part I, participants were randomized to receive instruction in either an "early" or a "late" VR-ATM program and were assessed using both the VR program and a real ATM. In Part II, participants were assigned in matched pairs to either VR training or computer-assisted instruction (CAI) teaching programs for six 1-hour sessions over a three-week period. Two behavioral checklists based on activity analysis of cash withdrawals and money transfers using a real ATM were used to measure average reaction time, percentage of incorrect responses, level of cues required, and time spent as generated by the VR system; also used was the Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination. The sensitivity of the VR-ATM was 100% for cash withdrawals and 83.3% for money transfers, and the specificity was 83% and 75%, respectively. For cash withdrawals, the average reaction time of the VR group was significantly shorter than that of the CAI group (p = 0.021). We found no significant differences in average reaction time or accuracy between groups for money transfers, although we did note positive improvement for the VR-ATM group. We found the VR-ATM to be usable as a valid assessment and training tool for relearning the use of ATMs prior to real-life practice in persons with ABI.

  16. Home Automation

    OpenAIRE

    Ahmed, Zeeshan

    2010-01-01

    In this paper I briefly discuss the importance of home automation system. Going in to the details I briefly present a real time designed and implemented software and hardware oriented house automation research project, capable of automating house's electricity and providing a security system to detect the presence of unexpected behavior.

  17. Normalisation of spot urine samples to 24-h collection for assessment of exposure to uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marco, R.; Katorza, E.; Gonen, R.; German, U.; Tshuva, A.; Pelled, O.; Paz-tal, O.; Adout, A.; Karpas, Z.

    2008-01-01

    For dose assessment of workers at Nuclear Research Center Negev exposed to natural uranium, spot urine samples are analysed and the results are normalised to 24-h urine excretion based on 'standard' man urine volume of 1.6 l d -1 . In the present work, the urine volume, uranium level and creatinine concentration were determined in two or three 24-h urine collections from 133 male workers (319 samples) and 33 female workers (88 samples). Three volunteers provided urine spot samples from each voiding during a 24-h period and a good correlation was found between the relative level of creatinine and uranium in spot samples collected from the same individual. The results show that normalisation of uranium concentration to creatinine in a spot sample represents the 24-h content of uranium better than normalisation to the standard volume and may be used to reduce the uncertainty of dose assessment based on spot samples. (authors)

  18. Efficiency comparisons of fish sampling gears for a lentic ecosystem health assessments in Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeong-Ho Han

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The key objective of this study was to analyze the sampling efficiency of various fish sampling gears for a lentic ecosystem health assessment. A fish survey for the lentic ecosystem health assessment model was sampled twice from 30 reservoirs during 2008–2012. During the study, fishes of 81 species comprising 53,792 individuals were sampled from 30 reservoirs. A comparison of sampling gears showed that casting nets were the best sampling gear with high species richness (69 species, whereas minnow traps were the worst gear with low richness (16 species. Fish sampling efficiency, based on the number of individual catch per unit effort, was best in fyke nets (28,028 individuals and worst in minnow traps (352 individuals. When we compared trammel nets and kick nets versus fyke nets and casting nets, the former were useful in terms of the number of fish individuals but not in terms of the number of fish species.

  19. Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics Version 4 (ANAM4): Select Psychometric Properties and Administration Procedures

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-01

    disorders (including attention deficit hyperac- tivity disorder [ ADHD ]), and no gross visual (no worse than 20/30 corrected or uncorrected) or hearing...of conscious- ness, substance abuse problems/treatment, known neuro- logical disorders , major psychiatric disorders (including attention deficit ... hyperactivity disorder ), vision worse than 20/30 after correction, and hearing problems. Family his- tory of psychiatric disorders was not assessed.

  20. Design of a Screen Based Simulation for Training and Automated Assessment of Teamwork Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-08-01

    assessable teamwork skills and actions that were identified. Since the last quarterly report, a few modifications regarding the relationship ...and team’s) medical actions and decision-making. Like with the development of so many pedagogical games and simulations, educators can find...approach offers utility not only to team training simulation, but to any pedagogical simulation development. References Douglass, B. P. (2016

  1. TU-H-CAMPUS-JeP3-02: Automated Dose Accumulation and Dose Accuracy Assessment for Online Or Offline Adaptive Replanning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, G; Ahunbay, E; Li, X

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: With introduction of high-quality treatment imaging during radiation therapy (RT) delivery, e.g., MR-Linac, adaptive replanning of either online or offline becomes appealing. Dose accumulation of delivered fractions, a prerequisite for the adaptive replanning, can be cumbersome and inaccurate. The purpose of this work is to develop an automated process to accumulate daily doses and to assess the dose accumulation accuracy voxel-by-voxel for adaptive replanning. Methods: The process includes the following main steps: 1) reconstructing daily dose for each delivered fraction with a treatment planning system (Monaco, Elekta) based on the daily images using machine delivery log file and considering patient repositioning if applicable, 2) overlaying the daily dose to the planning image based on deformable image registering (DIR) (ADMIRE, Elekta), 3) assessing voxel dose deformation accuracy based on deformation field using predetermined criteria, and 4) outputting accumulated dose and dose-accuracy volume histograms and parameters. Daily CTs acquired using a CT-on-rails during routine CT-guided RT for sample patients with head and neck and prostate cancers were used to test the process. Results: Daily and accumulated doses (dose-volume histograms, etc) along with their accuracies (dose-accuracy volume histogram) can be robustly generated using the proposed process. The test data for a head and neck cancer case shows that the gross tumor volume decreased by 20% towards the end of treatment course, and the parotid gland mean dose increased by 10%. Such information would trigger adaptive replanning for the subsequent fractions. The voxel-based accuracy in the accumulated dose showed that errors in accumulated dose near rigid structures were small. Conclusion: A procedure as well as necessary tools to automatically accumulate daily dose and assess dose accumulation accuracy is developed and is useful for adaptive replanning. Partially supported by Elekta, Inc.

  2. First evaluation of automated specimen inoculation for wound swab samples by use of the Previ Isola system compared to manual inoculation in a routine laboratory: finding a cost-effective and accurate approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mischnik, Alexander; Mieth, Markus; Busch, Cornelius J; Hofer, Stefan; Zimmermann, Stefan

    2012-08-01

    Automation of plate streaking is ongoing in clinical microbiological laboratories, but evaluation for routine use is mostly open. In the present study, the recovery of microorganisms from the Previ Isola system plated polyurethane (PU) swab samples is compared to manually plated control viscose swab samples from wounds according to the CLSI procedure M40-A (quality control of microbiological transport systems). One hundred twelve paired samples (224 swabs) were analyzed. In 80/112 samples (71%), concordant culture results were obtained with the two methods. In 32/112 samples (29%), CFU recovery of microorganisms from the two methods was discordant. In 24 (75%) of the 32 paired samples with a discordant result, Previ Isola plated PU swabs were superior. In 8 (25%) of the 32 paired samples with a discordant result, control viscose swabs were superior. The quality of colony growth on culture media for further investigations was superior with Previ Isola inoculated plates compared to manual plating techniques. Gram stain results were concordant between the two methods in 62/112 samples (55%). In 50/112 samples (45%), the results of Gram staining were discordant between the two methods. In 34 (68%) of the 50 paired samples with discordant results, Gram staining of PU swabs was superior to that of control viscose swabs. In 16 (32%) of the 50 paired samples, Gram staining of control viscose swabs was superior to that of PU swabs. We report the first clinical evaluation of Previ Isola automated specimen inoculation for wound swab samples. This study suggests that use of an automated specimen inoculation system has good results with regard to CFU recovery, quality of Gram staining, and accuracy of diagnosis.

  3. Testing of an automated online EA-IRMS method for fast and simultaneous carbon content and stable isotope measurement of aerosol samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Major, István; Gyökös, Brigitta; Túri, Marianna; Futó, István; Filep, Ágnes; Hoffer, András; Molnár, Mihály

    2016-04-01

    Comprehensive atmospheric studies have demonstrated that carbonaceous aerosol is one of the main components of atmospheric particulate matter over Europe. Various methods, considering optical or thermal properties, have been developed for quantification of the accurate amount of both organic and elemental carbon constituents of atmospheric aerosol. The aim of our work was to develop an alternative fast and easy method for determination of the total carbon content of individual aerosol samples collected on prebaked quartz filters whereby the mass and surface concentration becomes simply computable. We applied the conventional "elemental analyzer (EA) coupled online with an isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS)" technique which is ubiquitously used in mass spectrometry. Using this technique we are able to measure simultaneously the carbon stable isotope ratio of the samples, as well. During the developing process, we compared the EA-IRMS technique with an off-line catalytic combustion method worked out previously at Hertelendi Laboratory of Environmental Studies (HEKAL). We tested the combined online total carbon content and stable isotope ratio measurement both on standard materials and real aerosol samples. Regarding the test results the novel method assures, on the one hand, at least 95% of carbon recovery yield in a broad total carbon mass range (between 100 and 3000 ug) and, on the other hand, a good reproducibility of stable isotope measurements with an uncertainty of ± 0.2 per mill. Comparing the total carbon results obtained by the EA-IRMS and the off-line catalytic combustion method we found a very good correlation (R2=0.94) that proves the applicability of both preparation method. Advantages of the novel method are the fast and simplified sample preparation steps and the fully automated, simultaneous carbon stable isotope ratio measurement processes. Furthermore stable isotope ratio results can effectively be applied in the source apportionment

  4. Assessing breast cancer masking risk with automated texture analysis in full field digital mammography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kallenberg, Michiel Gijsbertus J; Lillholm, Martin; Diao, Pengfei

    2015-01-01

    PURPOSE The goal of this work is to develop a method to assess the risk of breast cancer masking, based on image characteristics beyond breast density. METHOD AND MATERIALS From the Dutch breast cancer screening program we collected 285 screen detected cancers, and 109 cancers that were screen...... negative and subsequently appeared as interval cancers. To obtain mammograms without cancerous tissue, we took the contralateral mammograms. We developed a novel machine learning based method called convolutional sparse autoencoder to characterize mammographic texture. The reason for focusing...... status in a five-fold cross validation. To assess the interaction of the texture scores with breast density, Volpara Density Grade (VDG) was determined for each image using Volpara, Matakina Technology, New Zealand. RESULTS We grouped women into low (VDG 1/2) versus high (VDG 3/4) dense, and low...

  5. Assessing breast cancer masking risk in full field digital mammography with automated texture analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kallenberg, Michiel Gijsbertus J; Lillholm, Martin; Diao, Pengfei

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: The goal of this work is to develop a method to assess the risk of breast cancer masking, based on image characteristics beyond breast density. Method: From the Dutch breast cancer screening program we collected 285 screen detected cancers, and 109 cancers that were screen negative...... and subsequently appeared as interval cancers. To obtain mammograms without cancerous tissue, we took the contralateral mammograms. We developed a novel machine learning based method called convolutional sparse autoencoder to characterize mammographic texture. The method was trained and tested on raw mammograms...... to determine cancer detection status in a five-fold cross validation. To assess the interaction of the texture scores with breast density, Volpara Density Grade was determined for each image. Results: We grouped women into low (VDG 1/2) versus high (VDG 3/4) dense, and low (Quartile 1/2) versus high (Q 3...

  6. AUSERA: Large-Scale Automated Security Risk Assessment of Global Mobile Banking Apps

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Sen; Meng, Guozhu; Su, Ting; Fan, Lingling; Xue, Yinxing; Liu, Yang; Xu, Lihua; Xue, Minhui; Li, Bo; Hao, Shuang

    2018-01-01

    Contemporary financial technology (FinTech) that enables cashless mobile payment has been widely adopted by financial institutions, such as banks, due to its convenience and efficiency. However, FinTech has also made massive and dynamic transactions susceptible to security risks.