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Sample records for factor tsrf1 improves

  1. Slow-release fertilizer containing urease inhibitor and nitrification inhibitor improving nitrogen release characteristic and uptake and utilization of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in tomato%脲酶硝化双抑制剂缓释肥提高番茄产量及NPK养分吸收

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈序根; 熊治庭; 王正银; 徐卫红; 王崇力; 陈永勤; 迟荪琳; 熊仕娟; 谢文文; 陈蓉; 张进忠

    2015-01-01

    In order to provide theoretical basis for improving the utilization efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer, in this study, special slow-release fertilizers containing urease inhibitor (NBPT) and nitrification inhibitor (DCD) were produced according to the nutrient requirements of tomato. Nitrogen release characteristics of two vegetables special slow-release fertilizers were studied in the experiment of “soil incubating method”. In addition, pot experiments were conducted to study the effects of the slow-release fertilizers on yield, fertilizer use efficiency and NPK content of tomato. The results showed that in three different soil, cumulative nitrogen release in soil was in order of ordinary compound fertilizer (OCF)>commercial slow-release fertilizer (MSRF)>tomato special compound fertilizer NO.1 (TCF)>tomato special slow-release fertilizer NO.2 (TSRF1)>tomato special slow-release fertilizer (TSRF2), and nitrogen released in soil from the special slow release fertilizers (TSRF1 and TSRF2) were less than that of other fertilizers. The amount of nitrogen accumulated release of different fertilizer treatments in three different soil types showed alkaline soil > neutral soil > acid soil. In 14th day of incubation, the accumulation of ammonium nitrogen in the soil increased, and the accumulation of nitrate in soil increased significantly after 14 d. Nitrogen accumulation in soil were more in NH4+-N than in NO3—N due to the nitrification inhibitor (DCD) which can inhibit soil nitrification and The nitrification process was inhibited by nitrification inhibitors, and the nitrogen fertilizer remained in the soil for a long time in the form of NH4+-N. Nitrogen accumulation for NH4+-N and NO3--N was also as alkaline soil>neutral soil>acid soil. The release of different forms of nitrogen in the three soils was fitted with an equation of the first order kinetics (r ranged from 0.963 to 0.998). Using the first order kinetic equation, the N0 value of the maximum release rate

  2. Thyristor Controlled Reactor for Power Factor Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheila Mahapatra

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Power factor improvement is the essence of any power sector for reliable operation. This paper provides Thyristor Controlled Reactor regulated by programmed microcontroller which aids in improving power factor and retaining it close to unity under various loading conditions. The implementation is done on 8051 microcontrollerwhich isprogrammed using Keil software. To determine time lag between current and voltage PSpice softwareis used and to display power factor according tothe variation in loadProteus software is used. Whenever a capacitive load is connected to the transmission linea shunt reactor is connected which injects lagging reactive VARs to the power system. As a result the power factor is improved. The results given in this paper provides suitable microcontroller based reactive power compensation and power factor improvement technique using a Thyristor Controlled Reactor module.

  3. Case Study On Power Factor Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samarjit Bhattacharyya

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Electrical Power constitutes a major component of the manufacturing cost in industry. In an electrical installation, power factor may become poor because of induction motors, welding machines, powertransformers, voltage regulators, arc and induction furnaces, choke coils, neon signs etc. A poor power factor for the plant causes huge amount of losses, leading to thermal problem in switchgears. However power factor is controllable with a properly designed power factor improvement capacitors system. The power factor correction obtained by using capacitor banks to generate locally the reactive energy necessary for the transfer of electrical useful power, allows a better and more rational technical-economical management of the plants. This paper describes different aspects of power factor improvement in a typical industrial plant with the help of a casestudy.

  4. Consultative Report on NPP Improving Loading Factor

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2011-01-01

    Compared with other advanced nuclear power plants about operation performance, we analyze the critical factor that have the negative impact in improving the loading factor of the nuclear power plants that belong to China Nuclear Union Company and summary the experience.

  5. KEY FACTORS FOR A CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT PROCESS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hector Ricardo Formento

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The goal of this work was to examine the content of continuous improvement strategies, taking into account the important role they play in building competitiveness. This paper argues that several specific issues must be taken into account in order to reach successful outcomes. This work starts with a literature review on the matter. On this basis, we designed a survey administered to a group of 30 large companies, each of which is renowned leader in Argentina. Finally, we compared the development of continuous improvement process in companies with very effective results and with scarce results. Differences that emerged from this comparison enabled us to identify critical factors for achieving a successful improvement process. As there are no recent researches on continuous improvement programs in Argentina, this paper contributes to recognizing and systematizing what has been done, comparing it with theoretical framework and uncovering research gaps for future studies. However, further research must confirm these findings and move forward on the analysis of intangible factors, like: internal communications, climate, culture, self reflexion, consensus, etc.

  6. Nerve growth factor improves ligament healing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mammoto, Takeo; Seerattan, Ruth A; Paulson, Kent D; Leonard, Catherine A; Bray, Robert C; Salo, Paul T

    2008-07-01

    Previous work has shown that innervation participates in normal ligament healing. The present study was performed to determine if exogenous nerve growth factor (NGF) would improve the healing of injured ligament by promoting reinnervation, blood flow, and angiogenesis. Two groups of 30 Sprague-Dawley rats underwent unilateral medial collateral ligament transection (MCL). One group was given 10 microg NGF and the other was given PBS via osmotic pump over 7 days after injury. After 7, 14, and 42 days, in vivo blood flow was measured using laser speckle perfusion imaging (LSPI). Morphologic assessments of nerve density, vascularity, and angiogenesis inhibitor production were done in three animals at each time point by immunohistochemical staining for the pan-neuronal marker PGP9.5, the endothelial marker vWF, and the angiogenesis inhibitor thrombospondin-2 (TSP-2). Ligament scar material and structural mechanical properties were assessed in seven rats at each time point. Increased nerve density was promoted by NGF at both 14 and 42 days. Exposure to NGF also led to increased ligament vascularity, as measured by histologic assessment of vWF immunohistochemistry, although LSPI-measured blood flow was not significantly different from controls. NGF treatment also led to decreased expression of TSP-2 at 14 days. Mechanical testing revealed that exposure to NGF increased failure load by 40%, ultimate tensile strength by 55%, and stiffness by 30% at 42 days. There were no detectable differences between groups in creep properties. The results suggest that local application of NGF can improve ligament healing by promoting both reinnervation and angiogenesis, and results in scars with enhanced mechanical properties.

  7. Bicycling to school improves the cardiometabolic risk factor profile

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ostergaard, Lars; Børrestad, Line A B; Tarp, Jakob;

    2012-01-01

    To investigate whether bicycling to school improves cardiometabolic risk factor profile and cardiorespiratory fitness among children.......To investigate whether bicycling to school improves cardiometabolic risk factor profile and cardiorespiratory fitness among children....

  8. Improving the Factor Structure of Psychological Scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xijuan; Savalei, Victoria

    2015-01-01

    Many psychological scales written in the Likert format include reverse worded (RW) items in order to control acquiescence bias. However, studies have shown that RW items often contaminate the factor structure of the scale by creating one or more method factors. The present study examines an alternative scale format, called the Expanded format, which replaces each response option in the Likert scale with a full sentence. We hypothesized that this format would result in a cleaner factor structure as compared with the Likert format. We tested this hypothesis on three popular psychological scales: the Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale, the Conscientiousness subscale of the Big Five Inventory, and the Beck Depression Inventory II. Scales in both formats showed comparable reliabilities. However, scales in the Expanded format had better (i.e., lower and more theoretically defensible) dimensionalities than scales in the Likert format, as assessed by both exploratory factor analyses and confirmatory factor analyses. We encourage further study and wider use of the Expanded format, particularly when a scale’s dimensionality is of theoretical interest. PMID:27182074

  9. Ecological Factors Improving Efficiency of Business Activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kononova G. A.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The economic importance of optimizing the environmental situation from the perspective of an entrepreneur are assessed in the article. The classification of administrative decisions taken in the course of the business activities is proposed. The authors identified a group of solutions directly providing optimization of environment external to the enterprise, solutions that have an indirect positive impact on the environment and solutions that improve ecology of industrial premises. The nature of economic effect of resulting solutions of various types is taken into account. Vectors of influence of working conditions on the economic results of business activities are described. The nature and strength of the impact of model management decisions results of business activities are defined. Key performance indicators of entrepreneurial activity are identified: employee productivity, the amount of revenue and profitability, solvency, staff stability, the competitiveness of enterprises. Grouping the costs of ecological parameters optimization of the production environment is proposed. Relationship between level of working conditions and socio-psychological climate in the collective enterprise is disclosed. The methods of motivation of entrepreneurs in solving of environmental, production problems are considered. The role of training entrepreneurs engaged of medium and small businesses are underlined especially. Thus, in the article the relationship between environmental and economic problems of entrepreneurial activity is investigated. Role and opportunities of entrepreneurs in solving these problems are defined and structured.

  10. Stone Columns - Determination of the soil improvement factor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pivarč, J.

    2011-09-01

    A stone column is one of the soil stabilizing methods that is used to increase strength, decrease the compressibility of soft and loose fine graded soils, accelerate a consolidation effect and reduce the liquefaction potential of soils. The columns consist of compacted gravel or crushed stone arranged by a vibrator. This paper deals with Priebe's theory (1976) on the design of an improvement factor, which belongs among the most used analytical methods and also describes the numerical and laboratory models of stone columns. The improvement factors calculated from numerical and laboratory models are compared with the improvement factors resulting from Priebe's theory.

  11. Influence of Psychological Factors on the Improvement of Spoken English

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    董宁

    2013-01-01

      From learner's innermost feelings,the author attempts to elaborate the influences of psychological factors on improving the spoken language. The study of spoken English is a very complex process, which is affected easily by learner's linguistic environment and character. We can draw a conclusion that psychological factors are an important problem and cannot be neglected.

  12. [Factors influencing research activity of Andalusian nurses and improvement strategies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    López Alonso, Sergio R; Gálvez González, María; Amezcua, Manuel

    2013-04-01

    To identify factors influencing research activity of Andalusian nurses and to find improvement strategies. Qualitative research using SWOT analysis (weaknesses, threats, strengths, opportunities). Nurses were selected deliberately in eight groups according to predetermined criteria. Analysis included categorization and relationship of factors and strategies. 81 participants were included in groups of 7-12 range. 45 categories were identified with 212 factors: 12 weaknesses (50 factors), 10 strengths (44 factors), 12 threats (68 factors) and 11 opportunities (50 factors). In addition, 32 categories were identified with 53 strategies: 14 categories of W-T strategies (42 strategies), 3 categories of S-T strategies (11 strategies), 5 categories of W-O strategies (13 strategies) and 10 categories of S-O strategies (41 strategies). Nurses identified numerous factors, mainly threats. The strategies are focused on W-T but they also suggest many but weak 5-0 strategies due to the low potential of the opportunities and strengths perceived.

  13. Improved SIRT correction factors and redistribution in geotomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balanis, C. A.; Hill, H. W.; Freeland, K. A.

    In this paper revised correction factors are introduced which improve the profile of a geophysical environment reconstructed using the Simultaneous Iterative Reconstruction Technique (SIRT). These factors are based not only on the distances a given ray passes through the cells, as was assumed in the past, but also on the existing values (from a previous iteration) of the electrical properties of the cells through which a ray traverses. In addition, redistribution of the correction factors is utilized whenever the updated value of the electrical parameter of a given cell falls below a physically realizable or an a priori minimum value.

  14. Endurance Factors Improve Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Spatial Memory in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobilo, Tali; Yuan, Chunyan; van Praag, Henriette

    2011-01-01

    Physical activity improves learning and hippocampal neurogenesis. It is unknown whether compounds that increase endurance in muscle also enhance cognition. We investigated the effects of endurance factors, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor [delta] agonist GW501516 and AICAR, activator of AMP-activated protein kinase on memory and…

  15. Improvements on Cardiovascular Diseases Risk Factors in Obese Adolescents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gomes Silva, Humberto José; Andersen, Lars Bo; Lofrano-Prado, Mara Cristina

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: It is unclear how different exercise intensities affect cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in obese adolescents. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of high intensity (HIT) vs. low intensity (LIT) aerobic training on CVD risk factors in obese adolescents. METHODS......, psychological and clinical counseling. Subjects were assessed in fatness, fitness, lipid profile and glucose at baseline and after 12W. The CVD risk factors assessed were waist circumference (WC), total cholesterol (TC), HDL, glucose and fitness, which were single and clustered analyzed (Z-scores sum). RESULTS......= -.48; p=0.003). CONCLUSION: High intensity training does not promote any additional improvements in CVD risk factors than LIT in obese adolescents....

  16. Improvements on Cardiovascular Diseases Risk Factors in Obese Adolescents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gomes Silva, Humberto José; Andersen, Lars Bo; Lofrano-Prado, Mara Cristina

    2015-01-01

    , psychological and clinical counseling. Subjects were assessed in fatness, fitness, lipid profile and glucose at baseline and after 12W. The CVD risk factors assessed were waist circumference (WC), total cholesterol (TC), HDL, glucose and fitness, which were single and clustered analyzed (Z-scores sum). RESULTS......BACKGROUND: It is unclear how different exercise intensities affect cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in obese adolescents. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of high intensity (HIT) vs. low intensity (LIT) aerobic training on CVD risk factors in obese adolescents. METHODS......= -.48; p=0.003). CONCLUSION: High intensity training does not promote any additional improvements in CVD risk factors than LIT in obese adolescents....

  17. Nucleon form factors and O(a) Improvement

    CERN Document Server

    Capitani, S; Horsley, R; Klaus, B; Oelrich, H; Perlt, H; Petters, D; Pleiter, D; Rakow, P E L; Schierholz, G; Schiller, A; Stephenson, P W

    1999-01-01

    Nucleon form factors have been extensively studied both experimentally and theoretically for many years. We report here on new results of a high statistics quenched lattice QCD calculation of vector and axial-vector nucleon form factors at low momentum transfer within the Symanzik improvement programme. The simulations are performed at three kappa and three beta values allowing first an extrapolation to the chiral limit and then an extrapolation in the lattice spacing to the continuum limit. The computations are all fully non-perturbative. A comparison with experimental results is made.

  18. B ->PV Decays in QCD Improved Factorization Approach

    CERN Document Server

    Yang Mao Zhi; Yang, Mao-Zhi; Yang, Ya-Dong

    2000-01-01

    Motivated by recent CELO measurements and the progress of the theory of B decays, we investigate $B\\to P V(P=\\pi,K. V= K^{*},\\rho,\\omega)$ decay modes in the framework of QCD improved factorization. We find that all the measured branching ratios are well accommodated in the reasonable parameter space and predictions for the other decay modes are well below the experimental upper limits. We also have calculated CP asymmetries in these decay modes.

  19. Factor analysis improves the selection of prescribing indicators

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Hanne Marie Skyggedal; Søndergaard, Jens; Sokolowski, Ineta

    2006-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To test a method for improving the selection of indicators of general practitioners' prescribing. METHODS: We conducted a prescription database study including all 180 general practices in the County of Funen, Denmark, approximately 472,000 inhabitants. Principal factor analysis was used...... indicators directly quantifying choice of coxibs, indicators measuring expenditure per Defined Daily Dose, and indicators taking risk aspects into account, (2) "Frequent NSAID prescribing", comprising indicators quantifying prevalence or amount of NSAID prescribing, and (3) "Diverse NSAID choice", comprising...... appropriate and inappropriate prescribing, as revealed by the correlation of the indicators in the first factor. CONCLUSION: Correlation and factor analysis is a feasible method that assists the selection of indicators and gives better insight into prescribing patterns....

  20. Power Factor Improvement for Pumping Stations using Capacitor Banks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamad, M. M.; Abd El-gawad, Amal F.; Ramadan, H. S.

    2016-10-01

    One of the fundamental problems affects the performance of pumping stations is its relative high operational cost. As three-phase induction motors are the main prime mover of pumping stations and considered the most widely used electrical motors due to their reliability, ease of maintenance. However, its major problem is the low power factor which results in high electric energy consumption. Energy will be saved when power factor is improved. The main objective of this paper is studying the power factor improvement in El sadaa Pumping Station because of its low operating efficiency which goes from 20 % to 25 %and calculating penalty, ponus and savings in each cases. The correction is achieved by the addition of capacitor banks in parallel with the connected motor circuits and can be applied to the starter, applied at the switchboard or the distribution panel. A model of this station is created using MatlabTM Simulink. Then the determination of induction motor parameters is performed. The station model is discussed. From the simulation results, the power factor enhancement of the pumping station is highlighted.

  1. Improving fundamental factors among correlation matching algorithms in underwater TANS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yi; Yan, Lei; Tong, Qingxi

    2007-06-01

    TERCOM, ICP and TIEM algorithms, which mathematically all apply correlation matching mode, have been developed for positioning in underwater Terrain-aided Navigation System (TANS), but how to virtually improve their performance is still research puzzle now. Analyzing the characters of terrain reference data's distribution and vehicles prowling underwater, we find that grid spacing and accumulation sequence are two decisional elements of underwater TANS. Then the modified Maximum a Posteriori (MAP) estimation algorithm (M-MAP) from super-resolution images reconstruction is creatively explored for implementing interpolation to enhance the accuracy of non-surveyed points' deep-determination, and basic error mechanism model (EMM) based on Mean Absolute Difference (MAD) algorithm is deduced which can reflect the relationship of underwater TANS's inner factors. Simulation experiments indicate that adopting appropriate fundamental factors can effectively boost up underwater TANS's navigation competence based on the algorithms listed above.

  2. Improving human performance: Industry factors influencing the ability to perform

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Güera Massyn Romo

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Learning interventions and new technologies that aim to improve human performance must take cognisance of industry factors inhibiting human performance. The dynamic and fast pace nature of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT and the engineering industries do not lend themselves to proper skills planning and management. These industries experience real skills gaps, to some of which they contribute by themselves. This study reports on these performance-inhibiting factors such as the underutilisation of available skills, tolerance for individual preferences, and dynamically, and informally refining a role objective while an employee is occupying a certain role. The important professional skills required by individuals to cope with these real life factors are also explored in the skills gaps management context. Moreover, these industries need a profile they refer to as Special Forces, which denotes a high calibre of worker that possesses well-developed professional skills whilst having advanced technical expertise and sufficient experience. This resource profile is required largely due to the poor management of human resource processes in practice and the current reported lack of adequate skills. Furthermore, this study refers to the recent lack of a working definition for these Special Forces leading to the omitted active development of these profiles in industry today, which appears to become a key human performance inhibiting factor.

  3. [Human factors and crisis resource management: improving patient safety].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rall, M; Oberfrank, S

    2013-10-01

    A continuing high number of patients suffer harm from medical treatment. In 60-70% of the cases the sources of harm can be attributed to the field of human factors (HFs) and teamwork; nevertheless, those topics are still neither part of medical education nor of basic and advanced training even though it has been known for many years and it has meanwhile also been demonstrated for surgical specialties that training in human factors and teamwork considerably reduces surgical mortality.Besides the medical field, the concept of crisis resource management (CRM) has already proven its worth in many other industries by improving teamwork and reducing errors in the domain of human factors. One of the best ways to learn about CRM and HFs is realistic simulation team training with well-trained instructors in CRM and HF. The educational concept of the HOTT (hand over team training) courses for trauma room training offered by the DGU integrates these elements based on the current state of science. It is time to establish such training for all medical teams in emergency medicine and operative care. Accompanying safety measures, such as the development of a positive culture of safety in every department and the use of effective critical incident reporting systems (CIRs) should be pursued.

  4. An Improved Reinforcement Learning System Using Affective Factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi Kuremoto

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available As a powerful and intelligent machine learning method, reinforcement learning (RL has been widely used in many fields such as game theory, adaptive control, multi-agent system, nonlinear forecasting, and so on. The main contribution of this technique is its exploration and exploitation approaches to find the optimal solution or semi-optimal solution of goal-directed problems. However, when RL is applied to multi-agent systems (MASs, problems such as “curse of dimension”, “perceptual aliasing problem”, and uncertainty of the environment constitute high hurdles to RL. Meanwhile, although RL is inspired by behavioral psychology and reward/punishment from the environment is used, higher mental factors such as affects, emotions, and motivations are rarely adopted in the learning procedure of RL. In this paper, to challenge agents learning in MASs, we propose a computational motivation function, which adopts two principle affective factors “Arousal” and “Pleasure” of Russell’s circumplex model of affects, to improve the learning performance of a conventional RL algorithm named Q-learning (QL. Compared with the conventional QL, computer simulations of pursuit problems with static and dynamic preys were carried out, and the results showed that the proposed method results in agents having a faster and more stable learning performance.

  5. Improving Your Exploratory Factor Analysis for Ordinal Data: A Demonstration Using FACTOR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Baglin

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Exploratory factor analysis (EFA methods are used extensively in the field of assessment and evaluation. Due to EFA's widespread use, common methods and practices have come under close scrutiny. A substantial body of literature has been compiled highlighting problems with many of the methods and practices used in EFA, and, in response, many guidelines have been proposed with the aim to improve application. Unfortunately, implementing recommended EFA practices has been restricted by the range of options available in commercial statistical packages and, perhaps, due to an absence of clear, practical - how-to' demonstrations. Consequently, this article describes the application of methods recommended to get the most out of your EFA. The article focuses on dealing with the common situation of analysing ordinal data as derived from Likert-type scales. These methods are demonstrated using the free, stand-alone, easy-to-use and powerful EFA package FACTOR (http://psico.fcep.urv.es/utilitats/factor/, Lorenzo-Seva & Ferrando, 2006. The demonstration applies the recommended techniques using an accompanying dataset, based on the Big 5 personality test. The outcomes obtained by the EFA using the recommended procedures through FACTOR are compared to the default techniques currently available in SPSS.

  6. Are There Modifiable Risk Factors to Improve AKI?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sasa Nie

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Acute kidney injury (AKI is a common critical syndrome, with high morbidity and mortality. Patients with AKI typically have an adverse prognosis, from incident chronic kidney disease (CKD, progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD, subsequent cardiovascular disease, and ultimately death. However, there is currently no effective therapy for AKI. Early detection of risk factors for AKI may offer a good approach to prevention or early intervention. Traditional risk factors include extreme age, many common comorbid diseases, such as preexisting CKD, some specific exposures, such as sepsis, and exposure to some nephrotoxic agents. Recently, several novel risk factors for AKI, such as hyperuricemia, hypoalbuminemia, obesity, anemia, and hyperglycemia, have been identified. The underlying mechanisms between these nontraditional risk factors and AKI and whether their correction can reduce AKI occurrence remain to be clarified. This review describes the current epidemiology of AKI, summarizes its outcome, outlines the traditional risk profile, and finally highlights some recently identified novel risk factors.

  7. Directions of improvement of account of factoring operations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V.I. Kuz

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available With the height of competition on commodity markets the suppliers of commodities and services for bringing in of new and maintenance of present clients are forced to give certain privileges to them, including postponement or arranging on the installment system of payment. In these terms one of perspective instruments of financing of enterprises of the real sector is factoring. Factoring plays an important role in a market economy. He provides to the enterprises and organizations of height of volume of turnover means and acceleration of circulating of capital; assists more rapid redemption a debtor and creditor debts and as a result, height of rates of production and circulating of commodities, works or services; assists expansion of production. How a process of development of factoring operations is intensive enough, a necessity grows for the detailed consideration of methodology of record-keeping of factoring operations. Methodology of record-keeping of factoring operations offered in the article for a supplier, at a factor and debtor, on the basis of operating card of accounts can be used in practice of commercial organizations-participants of agreement of factoring.

  8. Factors Affecting the Adoption of Improved Rice Varieties in Borno ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    USER

    analysis. Comparison of the significance results between the individual locations was done to look ... Therefore, extension educators and technical assistants have to understand factors ..... Figure 4: Cluster result in bar chart. Figure 4 showed ...

  9. Directions of improvement of account of factoring operations

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    With the height of competition on commodity markets the suppliers of commodities and services for bringing in of new and maintenance of present clients are forced to give certain privileges to them, including postponement or arranging on the installment system of payment. In these terms one of perspective instruments of financing of enterprises of the real sector is factoring. Factoring  plays an important role in a market economy. He provides to the enterprises and organizations of height of...

  10. Diabetic Nephropathy: New Risk Factors and Improvements in Diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tziomalos, Konstantinos; Athyros, Vasilios G

    2015-01-01

    Diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease. Patients with diabetic nephropathy have a high cardiovascular risk, comparable to patients with coronary heart disease. Accordingly, identification and management of risk factors for diabetic nephropathy as well as timely diagnosis and prompt management of the condition are of paramount importance for effective treatment. A variety of risk factors promotes the development and progression of diabetic nephropathy, including elevated glucose levels, long duration of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and dyslipidemia. Most of these risk factors are modifiable by antidiabetic, antihypertensive, or lipid-lowering treatment and lifestyle changes. Others such as genetic factors or advanced age cannot be modified. Therefore, the rigorous management of the modifiable risk factors is essential for preventing and delaying the decline in renal function. Early diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy is another essential component in the management of diabetes and its complications such as nephropathy. New markers may allow earlier diagnosis of this common and serious complication, but further studies are needed to clarify their additive predictive value, and to define their cost-benefit ratio. This article reviews the most important risk factors in the development and progression of diabetic nephropathy and summarizes recent developments in the diagnosis of this disease.

  11. A Multivariate Analysis of Factors Affecting Adoption of Improved ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Despite all these efforts, however, crop productivities on farmers' fields still .... sampling units (PSUs) or clusters and then a simple random sampling ..... to 44%, 50% and 54% conditional on the adoption of improved varieties of wheat, faba.

  12. Cyclodissipativity and Power Factor Improvement for Full Nonlinear Loads

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Puerto-Flores, Dunstano del; Ortega, Romeo; Scherpen, Jacquelien M.A.; Edelmayer, András

    2010-01-01

    In recent research, a cyclodissipativity characterization of the problem of power factor compensation (PFC) for nonlinear loads with non-sinusoidal source voltage has been presented. Using this characterization the classical capacitor and inductor compensators can be interpreted in terms of energy e

  13. Improvement of Photon Buildup Factors for Radiological Assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schirmers, Fritz Gordon [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)

    2006-07-01

    Slant-path buildup factors for photons between 1 keV and 10 MeV for nine radiation shielding materials (air, aluminum, concrete, iron, lead, leaded glass, polyethylene, stainless steel, and water) are calculated with the most recent cross-section data available using Monte Carlo and discrete ordinates methods. Discrete ordinates calculations use a 244-group energy structure that is based on previous research at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), but extended with the results of this thesis, and its focused studies on low-energy photon transport and the effects of group widths in multigroup calculations. Buildup factor calculations in discrete ordinates benefit from coupled photon/electron cross sections to account for secondary photon effects. Also, ambient dose equivalent (herein referred to as dose) buildup factors were analyzed at lower energies where corresponding response functions do not exist in literature. The results of these studies are directly applicable to radiation safety at LANL, where the dose modeling tool Pandemonium is used to estimate worker dose in plutonium handling facilities. Buildup factors determined in this thesis will be used to enhance the code's modeling capabilities, but should be of interest to the radiation shielding community.

  14. Critical Factors for Improving Social Sustainability of Urban Renewal Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Edwin; Lee, Grace K. L.

    2008-01-01

    This study reviews the sustainable urban design concept and identifies critical factors for enhancing social sustainability of urban renewal projects. Through a questionnaire survey carried out in Hong Kong, the opinions of architects, planners, property development managers, and local citizens were sought and evaluated. The results derived from…

  15. Improving the Optical Quality Factor of the WGM Resonator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savchenkov, Anatoliy; Matsko, Andrey; Iltchenko, Vladimir

    2008-01-01

    Resonators usually are characterized with two partially dependent values: finesse (F) and quality factor (Q). The finesse of an empty Fabry-Perot (FP) resonator is defined solely by the quality of its mirrors and is calculated as F=piR(exp 1/2)/(1-R). The maximum up-to-date value of reflectivity R approximately equal to 1 - 1.6 x 10(exp -6) is achieved with dielectric mirrors. An FP resonator made with the mirrors has finesse F=1.9 x 10(exp 6). Further practical increase of the finesse of FP resonators is problematic because of the absorption and the scattering of light in the mirror material through fundamental limit on the reflection losses given by the internal material losses and by thermodynamic density fluctuations on the order of parts in 109. The quality factor of a resonator depends on both its finesse and its geometrical size. A one-dimensional FP resonator has Q=2 F L/lambda, where L is the distance between the mirrors and lambda is the wavelength. It is easy to see that the quality factor of the resonator is unlimited because L is unlimited. F and Q are equally important. In some cases, finesse is technically more valuable than the quality factor. For instance, buildup of the optical power inside the resonator, as well as the Purcell factor, is proportional to finesse. Sometimes, however, the quality factor is more valuable. For example, inverse threshold power of intracavity hyperparametric oscillation is proportional to Q(exp 2) and efficiency of parametric frequency mixing is proportional to Q(exp 3). Therefore, it is important to know both the maximally achievable finesse and quality factor values of a resonator. Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are capable of achieving larger finesse compared to FP resonators. For instance, fused silica resonators with finesse 2.3 x 10(exp 6) and 2.8 x 10(exp 6) have been demonstrated. Crystalline WGM resonators reveal even larger finesse values, F=6.3 x 10(exp 6), because of low attenuation of light in the

  16. Improving classroom practices: the impact of leadership, school organizational conditions, and teacher factors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thoonen, E.E.J.

    2012-01-01

    Schools are challenged to improve classroom practices as they are expected to enhance students’ motivation. While leadership, school organizational conditions and teacher factors are considered essential for improving classroom practices, more should be known about the interplay between school

  17. Improving classroom practices: the impact of leadership, school organizational conditions, and teacher factors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thoonen, E.E.J.

    2012-01-01

    Schools are challenged to improve classroom practices as they are expected to enhance students’ motivation. While leadership, school organizational conditions and teacher factors are considered essential for improving classroom practices, more should be known about the interplay between school inter

  18. Wetting the whistle: neurotropic factor improves salivary function

    OpenAIRE

    Swick, Adam; Kimple, Randall J.

    2014-01-01

    Xerostomia, or dry mouth, is a common side effect of head and neck radiotherapy, Sjögren syndrome, diabetes, old age, and numerous medications. In this issue of the JCI, Xiao and colleagues identified glial cell line–derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) as a potential stimulus for salivary stem cell growth. Due to its ability to promote neuronal growth, differentiation, and survival, GDNF is currently being used in clinical trials as a treatment for Parkinson disease; therefore, the findings of...

  19. Affecting Factors and Improving Measures for Converter Gas Recovery

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    To change the undesirable present situation of recovering and using converter gas in steel plants in China,the basic approaches to improving the converter gas recovery rate were analyzed theoretically along with the change curves of the converter gas component content, based on the converter gas recovery system of Baosteel No. 2 steelmaking plant. The effects of converter device, raw material, air imbibed quantity, recovery restricted condition, and intensity of oxygen blowing on the converter gas recovery rate were studied. Among these, the effects of the air imbibed quantity, recovery restricted condition, and intensity of oxygen blowing are remarkable. Comprehensive measures were put forward for improving the converter gas recovery from the point of devices, etc. , and good results were achieved.

  20. Eccentric endurance exercise economically improves metabolic and inflammatory risk factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeppetzauer, Markus; Drexel, Heinz; Vonbank, Alexander; Rein, Philipp; Aczel, Stefan; Saely, Christoph H

    2013-08-01

    Exercise is a cornerstone of cardiovascular prevention. Because many individuals are not willing or not able to perform regular exercise, new methods of exercise (like eccentric exercise) are necessary. Eccentric endurance exercise is supposed to be less strenuous than concentric exercise but its effects on glucose and lipid metabolism in relation to energy expenditure are unclear. We randomly allocated 45 healthy sedentary individuals to one of two groups, each hiking upwards or downwards for 2 months, with a crossover for a further 2 months; for the opposite way, a cable car was used. The difference in altitude was 540 metres; the distance was covered between three and five times a week. Energy expenditure was assessed for each hiking period. Both eccentric and concentric endurance exercise improved glucose tolerance vs. baseline (by 4.1%, p = 0.136; 6.2%, p = 0.023, respectively). Of note, adjustment for energy expenditure per exercise unit (127 ± 22 kcal/unit with eccentric and 442 ± 78 kcal/unit with concentric exercise) revealed a significantly greater improvement of glucose tolerance per kilocalorie spent by eccentric than by concentric exercise (4-times more economical; 0.1123 mg h/dl/kcal vs. 0.0245 mg h/dl/kcal; p = 0.038). Also the decrease of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol per kilocalorie spent was significantly stronger with eccentric exercise (0.0982 mg/dl/kcal vs. 0.0346 mg/dl/kcal, p = 0.014). Serum levels of C-reactive protein and creatine kinase activity were reduced in both groups. Eccentric endurance exercise economically improves glucose tolerance and LDL cholesterol. It therefore is a promising new exercise modality for individuals who are not able to participate in more strenuous exercise regimens.

  1. Space Dynamics and Improvement of the Total Factor Productivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lassaad Jebali

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The new analyses in economic sciences give a strong attention to the internal and external returns to scales of an industry. These economic theories envisage the existence of a competing sector, which produces a homogeneous good, another sector in onopolistic competition, which produces differentiated good with increasing return of scale, and another sector in imperfect competition profiting from external effects. These assumptions are the base of ‘New Theories of the International Trade’ analysis (NTIT. By adding the assumption of freedom movement of the factors of production and spatial analysis into the economic analysis, we can speak about the New Geographical Economy (NEG. In this paper, we propose to provide a model of the regional interaction by introducing the space variable as a factor, which directs effective choices of the economic policy. Therefore in the first section the geographical character of the labor productivity is introduced. The labor productivity spatialized as being the rise of the coordination mode is described in the second section, while empirical approach of space dynamics will be the subject of the last section.

  2. Improved solubility of replication factor C (RFC) Walker A mutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzahn, Melissa R; Bloom, Linda B

    2012-06-01

    Protein insolubility often poses a significant problem during purification protocols and in enzyme assays, especially for eukaryotic proteins expressed in a recombinant bacterial system. The limited solubility of replication factor C (RFC), the clamp loader complex from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been previously documented. We found that mutant forms of RFC harboring a single point mutation in the Walker A motif were even less soluble than the wild-type complex. The addition of maltose at 0.75 M to the storage and assay buffers greatly increases protein solubility and prevents the complex from falling apart. Our analysis of the clamp loading reaction is dependent on fluorescence-based assays, which are environmentally sensitive. Using wt RFC as a control, we show that the addition of maltose to the reaction buffers does not affect fluorophore responses in the assays or the enzyme activity, indicating that maltose can be used as a buffer additive for further downstream analysis of these mutants.

  3. An improvement of the applicability of human factors guidelines for coping with human factors issues in nuclear power plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Y. H.; Lee, J. Y. [KAERI, Taejon (Korea, Republic of)

    2003-07-01

    Human factors have been well known as one of the key factors to the system effectiveness as well as the efficiency and safety of nuclear power plants(NPPs). Human factors engineering(HFE) are included in periodic safety review(PSR) on the existing NPPs and the formal safety assessment for the new ones. However, HFE for NPPs is still neither popular in practice nor concrete in methodology. Especially, the human factors guidelines, which are the most frequent form of human factors engineering in practice, reveal the limitations in their applications. We discuss the limitations and their casual factors found in human factors guidelines in order to lesson the workload of HFE practitioners and to improve the applicability of human factors guidelines. According to the purposes and the phases of HFE for NPPs, more selective items and specified criteria should be prepared carefully in the human factors guidelines for the each HFE applications in practice. These finding on the human factors guidelines can be transferred to the other HFE application field, such as military, aviation, telecommunication, HCI, and product safety.

  4. The Impact of Soft Factors on Quality Improvement in Manufacturing Industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Shiau Wei; Fauzi Ahmad, Md; Kong, Mei Wan

    2017-08-01

    Nowadays, soft factors have become the key factors of success in quality improvement of an organisation. Many organisations have neglected the importance of soft factors, this may influence the organisational performance. Hence, the purpose of this research is to examine the impact of soft factors on quality improvement in manufacturing industries. Six hypotheses were examined while considering six dimensions of soft factors including management commitment, customer focus, supplier relationship, employee involvement, training and education, and reward and recognition that have a positive impact on quality improvement. In this study, eighty one managers from the quality department were randomly selected in the manufacturing industry in Batu Pahat, Johor. The questionnaires were distributed to them. The researcher analysed the quantitatively collected data using descriptive analysis and correlation analysis. The findings of this study revealed that all soft factors are correlated to the quality improvement in an organisation with a high significant value but the regression analysis shows that the supplier relationship and employee involvement has more significant impact on quality improvement as compared to other soft factors which contributes of this study.

  5. Improvements of Power Factor and Torque of a Synchronous Reluctance Motor with a Slit Rotor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nashiki, Masayuki; Inoue, Yoshimitu; Kawai, Youichi; Yokochi, Takanori; Satake, Akiyoshi; Okuma, Shigeru

    Power factor and torque of synchronous reluctance motors with a slit rotor are studied. In there stators, divided teeth made of powder magnetic core are adopted and windings are improved to get high space factor of stator windings and to shorten coil ends. In there rotors, stainless sheets are inserted among soft magnetic metal sheets with adhesive to strengthen the rotors and rotor structure is improved to enlarge the saliency ratio (Ld/Lq). As the result, the power factor 0.78 and 1.6 times torque at same motor size are attained.

  6. An improvement of window factor analysis for resolution of noisy HPLC-DAD data

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    邵学广; 林祥钦; 邵利民; 李梅青

    2002-01-01

    Window factor analysis (WFA) is a powerful tool in analyzing evolutionary process. However, it was found that window factor analysis is much sensitive to the noise involved in original data matrix. An error analysis was done with the fact that the concentration profiles resolved by the conventional window factor analysis are easily distorted by the noise reserved by the abstract factor analysis (AFA), and a modified algorithm for window factor analysis was proposed. Both simulated and experimental HPLC-DAD data were investigated by the conventional and the improved methods. Results show that the improved method can yield less noise-distorted concentration profiles than the conventional method, and the ability for resolution of noisy data sets can be greatly enhanced.

  7. Modeling and Simulation of a Novel Switched Reluctance Motor Drive System with Power Factor Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Venkatesan

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available This study presents a novel Switched Reluctance Motor (SRM drive system with power factor improvement. Recently, many of the converters with variable speed drives have no input power factor correction circuits. This results in harmonic pollution of the utility supply, which should be avoided. The effect of power factor variation in terms of harmonic content is also analyzed in this study. The different operations like single pulse, soft chopping and hard chopping modes are done with and without a power factor controller. This study describes the buck - boost converter topology with above said methods for SRM drive. The boost converter is used to improve the input sinusoidal current and the buck converter is used to regulate the dc source voltage. The proposed topologies were simulated using MATLAB / Simulink software package and the results were obtained. The computer simulation results support the proposed methods.

  8. Does ovarian hyperstimulation in intrauterine insemination for cervical factor subfertility improve pregnancy rates?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steures, P; van der Steeg, JW; Verhoeve, HR; van Dop, PA; Hompes, PGA; Bossuyt, PMM; van der Veen, F; Habbema, JDF; Eijkemans, MJC; Mol, BWJ

    2004-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Intrauterine insemination (IUI) can be performed with or without controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH). Studies in which the additional benefit of COH on IUI for cervical factor subfertility is assessed are lacking. We assessed whether COH in IUI improved pregnancy rates in cervical

  9. How to Improve Teaching Practices: The Role of Teacher Motivation, Organizational Factors, and Leadership Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thoonen, Erik E. J.; Sleegers, Peter J. C.; Oort, Frans J.; Peetsma, Thea T. D.; Geijsel, Femke P.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: Although it is expected that building schoolwide capacity for teacher learning will improve teaching practices, there is little systematic evidence to support this claim. This study aimed to examine the relative impact of transformational leadership practices, school organizational conditions, teacher motivational factors, and teacher…

  10. Improvement of best practice in early breast cancer : Actionable surgeon and hospital factors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gort, Marjan; Broekhuis, Manda; Otter, Rene; Klazinga, Niek S.

    To identify actionable elements for improving best practice, this study examined the relative effects of patient, surgeon and hospital factors on surgical treatment variation of 2,929 early breast cancer patients, diagnosed from January 1998 to January 2002 in the region of the Comprehensive Cancer

  11. Does ovarian hyperstimulation in intrauterine insemination for cervical factor subfertility improve pregnancy rates?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steures, P; van der Steeg, JW; Verhoeve, HR; van Dop, PA; Hompes, PGA; Bossuyt, PMM; van der Veen, F; Habbema, JDF; Eijkemans, MJC; Mol, BWJ

    2004-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Intrauterine insemination (IUI) can be performed with or without controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH). Studies in which the additional benefit of COH on IUI for cervical factor subfertility is assessed are lacking. We assessed whether COH in IUI improved pregnancy rates in cervical

  12. Antidotes to anthrax lethal factor intoxication. Part 2: structural modifications leading to improved in vivo efficacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Seongjin; Jiao, Guan-Sheng; Moayeri, Mahtab; Crown, Devorah; Cregar-Hernandez, Lynne; McKasson, Linda; Margosiak, Stephen A; Leppla, Stephen H; Johnson, Alan T

    2011-04-01

    New anthrax lethal factor inhibitors (LFIs) were designed based upon previously identified potent inhibitors 1a and 2. Combining the new core structures with modifications to the C2-side chain yielded analogs with improved efficacy in the rat lethal toxin model.

  13. Does ovarian hyperstimulation in intrauterine insemination for cervical factor subfertility improve pregnancy rates?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    P. Steures (Pieternel); J.W. van der Steeg (Jan Willem); H.R. Verhoeve (Harold); P.A. van Dop; P.G. Hompes (Peter); P.M.M. Bossuyt (Patrick); F. Veen (Fulco); J.D.F. Habbema (Dik); M.J.C. Eijkemans (René); B.W.J. Mol (Ben)

    2004-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Intrauterine insemination (IUI) can be performed with or without controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH). Studies in which the additional benefit of COH on IUI for cervical factor subfertility is assessed are lacking. We assessed whether COH in IUI improved pregnancy rates

  14. Improvement of Power Flow Calculation with Optimization Factor Based on Current Injection Method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lei Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents an improvement in power flow calculation based on current injection method by introducing optimization factor. In the method proposed by this paper, the PQ buses are represented by current mismatches while the PV buses are represented by power mismatches. It is different from the representations in conventional current injection power flow equations. By using the combined power and current injection mismatches method, the number of the equations required can be decreased to only one for each PV bus. The optimization factor is used to improve the iteration process and to ensure the effectiveness of the improved method proposed when the system is ill-conditioned. To verify the effectiveness of the method, the IEEE test systems are tested by conventional current injection method and the improved method proposed separately. Then the results are compared. The comparisons show that the optimization factor improves the convergence character effectively, especially that when the system is at high loading level and R/X ratio, the iteration number is one or two times less than the conventional current injection method. When the overloading condition of the system is serious, the iteration number in this paper appears 4 times less than the conventional current injection method.

  15. [Utilization of dental services for children: a review of the influencing factors and the possible improvements].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, M L; Si, Y

    2017-05-09

    It has been reported that children's oral health conditions are correlated with their attendance to dental health services. Evaluating the influencing factors of utilization of dental services for children may give ways to improve the services per se, and furtherly the children's oral health. The present review retrieved and summarized domestic and foreign studies on the utilization of oral health services for children based on the Andersen behavior model. It was concluded that the utilization of dental services for children was affected by demographic characteristics, social structure, health belief, family factors, community factors and perceived/evaluated needs. To improve the utilization of dental services for children, effort should be made by means of changing caregivers' health belief, developing oral health insurance system, setting up regular oral health resources and increasing the financial support for oral health services by government.

  16. Using human factors engineering to improve the effectiveness of infection prevention and control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Judith; Gosbee, Laura Lin; Bessesen, Mary; Williams, Linda

    2010-08-01

    Human factors engineering is a discipline that studies the capabilities and limitations of humans and the design of devices and systems for improved performance. The principles of human factors engineering can be applied to infection prevention and control to study the interaction between the healthcare worker and the system that he or she is working with, including the use of devices, the built environment, and the demands and complexities of patient care. Some key challenges in infection prevention, such as delayed feedback to healthcare workers, high cognitive workload, and poor ergonomic design, are explained, as is how human factors engineering can be used for improvement and increased compliance with practices to prevent hospital-acquired infections.

  17. Modelling agricultural suitability along soil transects under current conditions and improved scenario of soil factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abd-Elmabod, Sameh K.; Jordán, Antonio; Fleskens, Luuk; van der Ploeg, Martine; Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Anaya-Romero, María; van der Salm, Renée J.; De la Rosa, Diego

    2015-04-01

    Agricultural land suitability analysis and improvement of soils by addressing major limitations may be a strategy for climate change adaptation. This study aims to investigate the influence of topography and variability of soil factors on the suitability of 12 annual, semiannual and perennial Mediterranean crops in the province of Seville (southern Spain). In order to represent the variability in elevation, lithology and soil, two latitudinal and longitudinal (S-N and W-E) soil transects (TA and TB) were considered including 63 representative points at regular 4 km intervals. These points were represented by 41 soil profiles from the SDBm soil database -Seville. Almagra model, a component of the agro-ecological decision support system MicroLEIS, was used to assess soil suitability. Results were grouped into five soil suitability classes: S1-optimum, S2-high, S3-moderate, S4-marginal and S5-not suitable. Each class was divided in subclasses according to the main soil limiting factors: depth (p), texture (t), drainage (d), carbonate content (c), salinity (s), sodium saturation (a), and the degree of development of the soil profile (g). This research also aimed to maximize soil potential by improving limiting factors d, c, s and a after soil restoration. Therefore, management techniques were also considered as possible scenarios in this study. The results of the evaluation showed that soil suitability ranged between S1 and S5p - S5s along of the transects. In the northern extreme of transect TA, high content of gravels and coarse texture are limiting factors (soils are classified as S4t) In contrast, the limiting factor in the eastern extreme of transect TB is the shallow useful depth (S5p subclass). The absence of calcium carbonate becomes a limiting factor in some parts of TA. In contrast, the excessive content of calcium carbonate appeared to be a limiting factor for crops in some intermediate points of TB transect. For both transects, soil salinity is the main

  18. Improvement of the quality factor of single crystal diamond mechanical resonators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Meiyong; Toda, Masaya; Sang, Liwen; Teraji, Tokuyuki; Imura, Masataka; Koide, Yasuo

    2017-02-01

    Single-crystal diamond (SCD) has the potential to boost microelectromechanical system (MEMS) with unprecedented performance in terms of its intrinsic mechanical, chemical, and electronic properties, especially in the applications under extreme conditions. On the basis of the analysis of the energy dissipation in diamond mechanical resonators, the authors report on the marked improvement of the quality factor of SCD-MEMS resonators. Ion implantation assisted lift-off technique (IAL) is utilized to fabricate the SCD resonators. The quality factor of the resonator fabricated from the ion-damaged SCD layer alone is as low as 100-300 owing to the bulk or surface defects. The growth of homoepitaxial layers on the ion-implanted SCD substrates significantly improves the quality factor by more than 100 times. Cantilevers made of SCD epilayers of different thicknesses are examined. It is found that the quality factor increases with increasing the epilayer thickness. The maximum quality factor of the SCD cantilevers fabricated by the IAL technique reaches 3.9 × 104. A bilayer model is proposed to describe the variation of the quality factor.

  19. Does ovarian hyperstimulation in intrauterine insemination for cervical factor subfertility improve pregnancy rates?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steures, Pieternel; van der Steeg, Jan Willem; Verhoeve, Harold R; van Dop, Peter A; Hompes, Peter G A; Bossuyt, Patrick M M; van der Veen, Fulco; Habbema, J Dik F; Eijkemans, Marinus J C; Mol, Ben W J

    2004-10-01

    Intrauterine insemination (IUI) can be performed with or without controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH). Studies in which the additional benefit of COH on IUI for cervical factor subfertility is assessed are lacking. We assessed whether COH in IUI improved pregnancy rates in cervical factor subfertility. We performed a historical cohort study among couples with cervical factor subfertility, treated with IUI. A cervical factor was diagnosed by a well-timed, non-progressive post-coital test with normal semen parameters. We compared ongoing pregnancy rate per cycle in groups treated with IUI with or without COH. We tabulated ongoing pregnancy rates per cycle number and compared the effectiveness of COH by stratified univariable analysis. We included 181 couples who underwent 330 cycles without COH and 417 cycles with COH. Ongoing pregnancy rates in IUI cycles without and with COH were 9.7% and 12.7%, respectively (odds ratio 1.4; 95% confidence interval 0.85-2.2). The pregnancy rates in IUI without COH in cycles 1, 2, 3 and 4 were 14%, 11%, 6% and 15%, respectively. For IUI with COH, these rates were 17%, 15%, 14% and 16%, respectively. Although our data indicate that COH improves the pregnancy rate over IUI without COH, IUI without COH generates acceptable pregnancy rates in couples with cervical factor subfertility. Since IUI without COH bears no increased risk for multiple pregnancy, this treatment should be seriously considered in couples with cervical factor subfertility.

  20. Factors predicting visual improvement post pars plana vitrectomy for proliferative diabetic retinopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evelyn Tai Li Min

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available AIM: To identify factors predicting visual improvement post vitrectomy for sequelae of proliferative diabetic retinopathy(PDR.METHODS: This was a retrospective analysis of pars plana vitrectomy indicated for sequelae of PDR from Jan. to Dec. 2014 in Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah, Alor Star, Kedah, Malaysia. Data collected included patient demographics, baseline visual acuity(VAand post-operative logMAR best corrected VA at 1y. Data analysis was performed with IBM SPSS Statistics Version 22.0. RESULTS: A total of 103 patients were included. The mean age was 51.2y. On multivariable analysis, each pre-operative positive deviation of 1 logMAR from a baseline VA of 0 logMAR was associated with a post-operative improvement of 0.859 logMAR(P0.001. Likewise, an attached macula pre-operatively was associated with a 0.374(P=0.003logMAR improvement post vitrectomy. Absence of iris neovascularisation and absence of post-operative complications were associated with a post vitrectomy improvement in logMAR by 1.126(P=0.001and 0.377(P=0.005respectively. Absence of long-acting intraocular tamponade was associated with a 0.302(P=0.010improvement of logMAR post vitrectomy.CONCLUSION: Factors associated with visual improvement after vitrectomy are poor pre-operative VA, an attached macula, absence of iris neovascularisation, absence of post-operative complications and abstaining from use of long-acting intraocular tamponade. A thorough understanding of the factors predicting visual improvement will facilitate decision-making in vitreoretinal surgery.

  1. Improved survival and renal prognosis of patients with type 2 diabetes and nephropathy with improved control of risk factors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andrésdóttir, Gudbjörg; Jensen, Majken; Carstensen, Bendix

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate long-term survival, development of renal end points, and decline in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in patients with type 2 diabetes and diabetic nephropathy (DN) after renin-angiotensin system (RAS) inhibition and multifactorial treatment of cardiovascular risk factors have...... and lower GFR were predictors of mortality, whereas albuminuria, HbA1c, and low GFR predicted ESRD. CONCLUSIONS: Overall prognosis has improved considerably with current multifactorial treatment of DN in type 2 diabetes, including long-term RAS inhibition....... become standard of care. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: All patients with type 2 diabetes and DN (n = 543) at the Steno Diabetes Center were followed during 2000-2010. GFR was measured yearly with 51Cr-EDTA plasma clearance. Annual decline in GFR was determined in patients with at least three measurements...

  2. Optimization of factors to obtain cassava starch films with improved mechanical properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteiro, Mayra; Oliveira, Victor; Santos, Francisco; Barros Neto, Eduardo; Silva, Karyn; Silva, Rayane; Henrique, João; Chibério, Abimaelle

    2017-08-01

    In this study, was investigated the optimization of the factors that significantly influenced the mechanical property improvement of cassava starch films through complete factorial design 23. The factors to be analyzed were cassava starch, glycerol and modified clay contents. A regression model was proposed by the factorial analysis, aiming to estimate the condition of the individual factors investigated in the optimum state of the mechanical properties of the biofilm, using the following statistical tool: desirability function and response surface. The response variable that delimits the improvement of the mechanical property of the biofilm is the tensile strength, such improvement is obtained by maximizing the response variable. The factorial analysis showed that the best combination of factor configurations to reach the best response was found to be: with 5g of cassava starch, 10% of glycerol and 5% of modified clay, both percentages in relation to the dry mass of starch used. In addition, the starch biofilm showing the lowest response contained 2g of cassava starch, 0% of modified clay and 30% of glycerol, and was consequently considered the worst biofilm.

  3. Factors influencing success in quality-improvement collaboratives: development and psychometric testing of an instrument

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grol Richard PTM

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To increase the effectiveness of quality-improvement collaboratives (QICs, it is important to explore factors that potentially influence their outcomes. For this purpose, we have developed and tested the psychometric properties of an instrument that aims to identify the features that may enhance the quality and impact of collaborative quality-improvement approaches. The instrument can be used as a measurement instrument to retrospectively collect information about perceived determinants of success. In addition, it can be prospectively applied as a checklist to guide initiators, facilitators, and participants of QICs, with information about how to perform or participate in a collaborative with theoretically optimal chances of success. Such information can be used to improve collaboratives. Methods We developed an instrument with content validity based on literature and the opinions of QIC experts. We collected data from 144 healthcare professionals in 44 multidisciplinary improvement teams participating in two QICs and used exploratory factor analysis to assess the construct validity. We used Cronbach's alpha to ascertain the internal consistency. Results The 50-item instrument we developed reflected expert-opinion-based determinants of success in a QIC. We deleted nine items after item reduction. On the basis of the factor analysis results, one item was dropped, which resulted in a 40-item questionnaire. Exploratory factor analysis showed that a three-factor model provided the best fit. The components were labeled 'sufficient expert team support', 'effective multidisciplinary teamwork', and 'helpful collaborative processes'. Internal consistency reliability was excellent (alphas between .85 and .89. Conclusions This newly developed instrument seems a promising tool for providing healthcare workers and policy makers with useful information about determinants of success in QICs. The psychometric properties of the instrument are

  4. Risk Factors Leading to Free Flap Failure: Analysis From the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Database.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanati-Mehrizy, Paymon; Massenburg, Benjamin B; Rozehnal, John M; Ingargiola, Michael J; Hernandez Rosa, Jonatan; Taub, Peter J

    2016-11-01

    The objective of this study was to identify risk factors for free flap failure among various anatomically based free flap subgroups. The 2005 to 2012 American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database was queried for patients undergoing microvascular free tissue transfer based on current procedural terminology codes. Univariate analysis was performed to identify any association between flap failure and the following factors: age, gender, race, body mass index (BMI), diabetes, smoking, alcohol use, hypertension, intraoperative transfusion, functional health status, American Society of Anesthesiologists class, operative time, and flap location. Factors yielding a significance of P free flap reconstruction met inclusion criteria. Multivariate logistic regression identified BMI (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.07, P = 0.004) and male gender (AOR = 2.16, P = 0.033) as independent risk factors for flap failure. Among the "breast flaps" subgroup, BMI (AOR = 1.075, P = 0.012) and smoking (AOR = 3.35, P = 0.02) were independent variables associated with flap failure. In "head and neck flaps," operative time (AOR = 1.003, P = 0.018) was an independent risk factor for flap failure. No independent risk factors were identified for the "extremity flaps" or "trunk flaps" subtypes. BMI, smoking, and operative time were identified as independent risk factors for free flap failure among all flaps or within flap subsets.

  5. Critical success factors simplified implementing the powerful drivers of dramatic business improvement

    CERN Document Server

    Howell, Marvin T

    2010-01-01

    Critical-to-success factors (CSFs) have become essential elements to strategic planning and no business can achieve consistent success without effectively adopting them. To take full advantage of CSFs, however, an organization must first understand what they are and how they can be used to drive organizational initiatives and processes. Critical Success Factors Simplified: Implementing the Powerful Drivers of Dramatic Business Improvement provides a concise manual on CSFs that will teach you how to identify and select the right CSFs, measure their impact, and adjust them as needed to reach your goals.

  6. Factors of Quality Improvement of the Foreign Language Teaching in Technical University

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ira R. Agasieva

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available In the article the problem of quality of teaching and knowledge of the English language has been considered. The factors that influence the improvement of the quality of teaching and knowledge of the English language in a technical college, the use of various methods of enhancing the quality of teaching and knowledge of the English language has been analyzed. It has been distinguished the necessity of taking into account the factors such as emotional maturity of the student, the desire for success, student cognitive style, its consistency and independence.

  7. Baseline Examination Factors Associated With Clinical Improvement After Dry Needling in Individuals With Low Back Pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koppenhaver, Shane L; Walker, Michael J; Smith, Ryan W; Booker, Jacquelynn M; Walkup, Isaac D; Su, Jonathan; Hebert, Jeffrey J; Flynn, Timothy

    2015-08-01

    Quasi-experimental. To explore for associations between demographic, patient history, and physical examination variables and short-term improvement in self-reported disability following dry needling therapy performed on individuals with low back pain (LBP). Dry needling is an intervention used with increasing frequency in patients with LBP; however, the characteristics of patients who are most likely to respond are not known. Seventy-two volunteers with mechanical LBP participated in the study. Potential prognostic factors were collected from baseline questionnaires, patient history, and physical examination tests. Treatment consisted of dry needling to the lumbar multifidus muscles bilaterally, administered during a single treatment session. Improvement was based on percent change on the Oswestry Disability Index at 1 week. The univariate and multivariate associations between 33 potential prognostic factors and improved disability were assessed with correlation coefficients and multivariate linear regression. Increased LBP with the multifidus lift test (rpb = 0.31, P = .01) or during passive hip flexion performed with the patient supine (rpb = 0.23, P = .06), as well as positive beliefs about acupuncture/dry needling (rho = 0.22, P = .07), demonstrated univariate associations with Oswestry Disability Index improvement. Aggravation of LBP with standing (rpb = -0.27, P = .03), presence of leg pain (rpb = -0.29, P = .02), and any perception of hypermobility in the lumbar spine (rpb = -0.21, P = .09) were associated with less improvement. The multivariate model identified 2 predictors of improved disability with dry needling: pain with the multifidus lift test and no aggravation with standing (R(2) = 0.16, P = .01). Increased LBP with the multifidus lift test was the strongest predictor of improved disability after dry needling, suggesting that the finding of pain during muscle contraction should be studied in future dry needling studies. Prognosis, level 1b.

  8. Factors affecting the use of patient survey data for quality improvement in the Veterans Health Administration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davies Elizabeth A

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Little is known about how to use patient feedback to improve experiences of health care. The Veterans Health Administration (VA conducts regular patient surveys that have indicated improved care experiences over the past decade. The goal of this study was to assess factors that were barriers to, or promoters of, efforts to improve care experiences in VA facilities. Methods We conducted case studies at two VA facilities, one with stable high scores on inpatient reports of emotional support between 2002 and 2006, and one with stable low scores over the same period. A semi-structured interview was used to gather information from staff who worked with patient survey data at the study facilities. Data were analyzed using a previously developed qualitative framework describing organizational, professional and data-related barriers and promoters to data use. Results Respondents reported more promoters than barriers to using survey data, and particularly support for improvement efforts. Themes included developing patient-centered cultures, quality improvement structures such as regular data review, and training staff in patient-centered behaviors. The influence of incentives, the role of nursing leadership, and triangulating survey data with other data on patients' views also emerged as important. It was easier to collect data on current organization and practice than those in the past and this made it difficult to deduce which factors might influence differing facility performance. Conclusions Interviews with VA staff provided promising examples of how systematic processes for using survey data can be implemented as part of wider quality improvement efforts. However, prospective studies are needed to identify the most effective strategies for using patient feedback to improve specific aspects of patient-centered care.

  9. Auxins as one of the factors of plant growth improvement by plant growth promoting rhizobacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Ambreen; Hasnain, Shahida

    2014-01-01

    Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) promote plant growth by various mechanisms such as phytohormone production, enhanced water and nutrient uptake, improved nitrogen availability in the soil, production of ACC-deaminase for ethylene breakdown, phosphate solubilization, siderophore production etc. Microbial auxin production is the major factor not only responsible for strengthening the plant-microbe relationship but it also promotes plant growth and development in a positive manner. Thus, bacterial auxin production potential can be exploited for plant growth improvement that may be effective in reducing the hazardous effects of chemical fertilizers on the ecosystem used to obtain higher yields. The present review gives a better understanding of various factors and mechanisms involved in auxin production by PGPR that may be helpful in proper exploitation of these natural resources in a beneficial way.

  10. Improvement of the characterization factor for biotic-resource depletion of fisheries

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Langlois et al. (2012; 2014a) proposed characterization factors (CF) for fish biotic resource extraction impact assessment at the species level. This paper is an improvement of this approach. In the present work, the CF depends on the Maximum Sustainability Yield (MSY), weighted by the ratio of the current total fishing effort to the fishing effort at the MSY value. Because this ratio often cannot be computed from current databases, it is here obtained from the ratio of total catches to MSY a...

  11. Improving risk assessment in schizophrenia: epidemiological investigation of criminal history factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witt, Katrina; Lichtenstein, Paul; Fazel, Seena

    2015-05-01

    Violence risk assessment in schizophrenia relies heavily on criminal history factors. To investigate which criminal history factors are most strongly associated with violent crime in schizophrenia. A total of 13 806 individuals (8891 men and 4915 women) with two or more hospital admissions for schizophrenia were followed up for violent convictions. Multivariate hazard ratios for 15 criminal history factors included in different risk assessment tools were calculated. The incremental predictive validity of these factors was estimated using tests of discrimination, calibration and reclassification. Over a mean follow-up of 12.0 years, 17.3% of men (n = 1535) and 5.7% of women (n = 281) were convicted of a violent offence. Criminal history factors most strongly associated with subsequent violence for both men and women were a previous conviction for a violent offence; for assault, illegal threats and/or intimidation; and imprisonment. However, only a previous conviction for a violent offence was associated with incremental predictive validity in both genders following adjustment for young age and comorbid substance use disorder. Clinical and actuarial approaches to assess violence risk can be improved if included risk factors are tested using multiple measures of performance. © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2015.

  12. Changes in serum growth factors in stroke rehabilitation patients and their relation to hemiparesis improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okazaki, Hideto; Beppu, Hidehiko; Mizutani, Kenmei; Okamoto, Sayaka; Sonoda, Shigeru

    2014-07-01

    Predicting recovery from hemiparesis after stroke is important for rehabilitation. A few recent studies reported that the levels of some growth factors shortly after stroke were positively correlated with the clinical outcomes during the chronic phase. The aim of this study was to examine the relationships between the serum levels of growth factors (vascular endothelial growth factor [VEGF], insulin-like growth factor-I [IGF-I], and hepatocyte growth factor [HGF]) and improvement in hemiparesis in stroke patients who received rehabilitation in a postacute rehabilitation hospital. Subjects were 32 stroke patients (cerebral infarction: 21 and intracerebral hemorrhage [ICH]: 11). We measured serum levels of VEGF, IGF-I, and HGF and 5 items of the Stroke Impairment Assessment Set (SIAS) for hemiparesis on admission and at discharge. Age-matched healthy subjects (n=15) served as controls. Serum levels of VEGF and HGF in cerebral infarct patients on admission were higher than those in control subjects, and the serum levels of IGF-I in stroke patients were lower than those in controls. The level of HGF in ICH patients on admission was negatively correlated with gains in SIAS, and higher outliers in HGF concentration were correlated with lower gains in SIAS. Focusing on the extremely high levels of these factors may be a predictor of the low recovery from hemiparesis after stroke. Copyright © 2014 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. A New V2G Control Strategy for Load Factor Improvement Using Smoothing Technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CHANHOM, P.

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes a new vehicle-to-grid (V2G control strategy for improving the load factor in the power network. To operate the proposed strategy, the available storage capacity of the PEVs’ batteries is considered as a battery energy storage system (BESS for charging and discharging an amount of power corresponding to the V2G power command. Due to the remarkable advantages of the technique so-called simple moving average, it is selected for applying in the proposed V2G control strategy. In this research, for investigating the load factor improvement, the essential data including the daily-load profiles with 7-day and 14-day periods are used for the 3 studied cases. These 3 studied cases present the power network with variation of the PEVs locations for describing the PEVs usage and charging or discharging behavior. The performance of the proposed strategy is simulated and verified by the MATPOWER software. The simulation results show that the load factors of the 3 studied cases are improved. Moreover, the encouragement of energy arbitrage for the PEVs owners is also discussed in this paper.

  14. Predictive factors for functional improvement following intravitreal bevacizumab injections after central retinal vein occlusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Januschowski, Kai; Feltgen, Nicolas; Pielen, Amelie; Spitzer, Bernhard; Rehak, Matus; Spital, Georg; Dimopoulos, Spyridon; Meyer, Carsten H; Szurman, Gesine B

    2017-03-01

    Vision loss in central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) is mostly caused by macular edema (ME) and can be treated with intravitreal bevacizumab injections. The goal of this study was to identify predictive factors for improvement in visual acuity. Three hundred and sixteen eyes of six centres having received intravitreal bevacizumab for ME due to CRVO were enrolled in this multicentre, retrospective, interventional case series. The follow-up time was 24 to 48 weeks. Investigated patient characteristics were pretreatment, duration of CRVO prior to the first injection, initial best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), baseline central retinal thickness as measured by optical coherence tomography, gender, eye, age, comorbidity with glaucoma, systemic hypertension, or diabetes mellitus. Multiple regression analysis confirmed the following baseline predictive factors for an increase in visual acuity: low BCVA (p  0.1). Intravitreal injections of bevacizumab in a routine clinical setting effectively improved and stabilized BCVA in CRVO. Our large multicenter study identified initial BCVA, baseline CRT, and pre-treatment as prognostic factors for visual improvement.

  15. Improving poor fill factors for solar cells via light-induced plating

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xing Zhao; Jia Rui; Ding Wuchang; Meng Yanlong; Jin Zhi; Liu Xinyu

    2012-01-01

    Silicon solar cells are prepared following the conventional fabrication processes,except for the metallization firing process.The cells are divided into two groups with higher and lower fill factors,respectively.After light-induced plating (LIP),the fill factors of the solar cells in both groups with different initial values reach the same level.Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images are taken under the bulk silver electrodes,which prove that the improvement for cells with a poor factor after LIP should benefit from sufficient exploitation of the high density silver crystals formed during the firing process.Moreover,the application of LIP to cells with poor electrode contact performance,such as nanowire cells and radial junction solar cells,is proposed.

  16. Statistical analysis of the factors that influenced the mechanical properties improvement of cassava starch films

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteiro, Mayra; Oliveira, Victor; Santos, Francisco; Barros Neto, Eduardo; Silva, Karyn; Silva, Rayane; Henrique, João; Chibério, Abimaelle

    2017-08-01

    In order to obtain cassava starch films with improved mechanical properties in relation to the synthetic polymer in the packaging production, a complete factorial design 23 was carried out in order to investigate which factor significantly influences the tensile strength of the biofilm. The factors to be investigated were cassava starch, glycerol and modified clay contents. Modified bentonite clay was used as a filling material of the biofilm. Glycerol was the plasticizer used to thermoplastify cassava starch. The factorial analysis suggested a regression model capable of predicting the optimal mechanical property of the cassava starch film from the maximization of the tensile strength. The reliability of the regression model was tested by the correlation established with the experimental data through the following statistical analyse: Pareto graph. The modified clay was the factor of greater statistical significance on the observed response variable, being the factor that contributed most to the improvement of the mechanical property of the starch film. The factorial experiments showed that the interaction of glycerol with both modified clay and cassava starch was significant for the reduction of biofilm ductility. Modified clay and cassava starch contributed to the maximization of biofilm ductility, while glycerol contributed to the minimization.

  17. Resistance Factors in the Implementation of Software Process Improvement Project in Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohd H.N.M. Nasir

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available For the past two decades, improving the quality of software has become an important agenda in the software industries as they have been assessed according to standards such as the CMM, CMM-I, ISO 9000 SIX-SIGMA and etc. As the result, software process improvement project implementations have been the main targets by most software companies. However, many initiatives are facing variety of problems and difficulties due to lack of guidance and experience. Hence, this research attempted to identify and analyze main resistance factors which influenced the implementation of the software process improvement project specifically companies operated in Malaysia including local and multi-national companies. The findings helped other software companies to manage future projects through the use of preventive actions or proper planning which intended to lessen anticipated problems during software process improvement projects implementation. This research used a survey instrument to gather data from 29 companies operated across Malaysia with the total of 174 business and software professionals responded. Average of 4 to 8 questionnaires were distributed to each company with the objective of getting wider views on each SPI project. The questionnaires were mainly distributed to professionals who are directly involved in SPI projects. The results showed that the most critical resistance factor is lack of adhesion and participation of the entire individual involved in SPI projects. This result is similar with the result gained by Brietzke and Rabello which they have conducted it in Brazil and corroborated the research findings experience in SPI project.

  18. Adding multiple risk factors improves Framingham coronary heart disease risk scores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Guizhou; Root, Martin; Duncan, Ashlee W

    2014-01-01

    Since the introduction of the Framingham Risk Score (FRS), numerous versions of coronary heart disease (CHD) prediction models have claimed improvement over the FRS. Tzoulaki et al challenged the validity of these claims by illustrating methodology deficiencies among the studies. However, the question remains: Is it possible to create a new CHD model that is better than FRS while overcoming the noted deficiencies? To address this, a new CHD prediction model was developed by integrating additional risk factors, using a novel modeling process. Using the National Health Nutritional Examination Survey III data set with CHD-specific mortality outcomes and the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities data set with CHD incidence outcomes, two FRSs (FRSv1 from 1998 and FRSv2 from National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III), along with an additional risk score in which the high density lipoprotein (HDL) component of FRSv1 was ignored (FRSHDL), were compared with a new CHD model (NEW-CHD). This new model contains seven elements: the original Framingham equation, FRSv1, and six additional risk factors. Discrimination, calibration, and reclassification improvements all were assessed among models. Discrimination was improved for NEW-CHD in both cohorts when compared with FRSv1 and FRSv2 (Prisk assessment when compared with the FRSs, comparable to the improvement of adding HDL to the FRS.

  19. Adding multiple risk factors improves Framingham coronary heart disease risk scores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hu G

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Guizhou Hu,1 Martin Root,2 Ashlee W Duncan1 1BioSignia, Inc., Durham, NC, USA; 2Department of Nutrition and Health Care Management, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, USA Purpose: Since the introduction of the Framingham Risk Score (FRS, numerous versions of coronary heart disease (CHD prediction models have claimed improvement over the FRS. Tzoulaki et al challenged the validity of these claims by illustrating methodology deficiencies among the studies. However, the question remains: Is it possible to create a new CHD model that is better than FRS while overcoming the noted deficiencies? To address this, a new CHD prediction model was developed by integrating additional risk factors, using a novel modeling process. Methods: Using the National Health Nutritional Examination Survey III data set with CHD-specific mortality outcomes and the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities data set with CHD incidence outcomes, two FRSs (FRSv1 from 1998 and FRSv2 from National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III, along with an additional risk score in which the high density lipoprotein (HDL component of FRSv1 was ignored (FRSHDL, were compared with a new CHD model (NEW-CHD. This new model contains seven elements: the original Framingham equation, FRSv1, and six additional risk factors. Discrimination, calibration, and reclassification improvements all were assessed among models. Results: Discrimination was improved for NEW-CHD in both cohorts when compared with FRSv1 and FRSv2 (P<0.05 and was similar in magnitude to the improvement of FRSv1 over FRSHDL. NEW-CHD had a similar calibration to FRSv2 and was improved over FRSv1. Net reclassification for NEW-CHD was substantially improved over both FRSv1 and FRSv2, for both cohorts, and was similar in magnitude to the improvement of FRSv1 over FRSHDL. Conclusion: While overcoming several methodology deficiencies reported by earlier authors, the NEW-CHD model improved CHD risk assessment when

  20. Risk factors associated with recurrent hemorrhage after the initial improvement of colonic diverticular bleeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishikawa, Hiroki; Maruo, Takanori; Tsumura, Takehiko; Sekikawa, Akira; Kanesaka, Takashi; Osaki, Yukio

    2013-03-01

    We elucidated risk factors contributing to recurrent hemorrhage after initial improvement of colonic diverticular bleeding. 172 consecutive hospitalized patients diagnosed with colonic diverticular bleeding were analyzed. Recurrent hemorrhage after initial improvement of colonic diverticular bleeding is main outcome measure. We analyzed factors contributing to recurrent hemorrhage risk in univariate and multivariate analyses. The length of the observation period after improvement of colonic diverticular bleeding was 26.4 +/- 14.6 months (range, 1-79 months). The cumulative recurrent hemorrhage rate in all patients at 1 and 2 years was 34.8% and 41.8%, respectively. By univariate analysis, age > 70 years (P = 0.021), BMI > 25 kg/m2 (P = 0.013), the use of anticoagulant drugs (P = 0.034), the use of NSAIDs (P = 0.040), history of hypertension (P = 0.011), history of smoking (P = 0.030) and serum creatinine level > 1.5 mg/dL (P bleeding. By multivariate analysis, age > 70 years (Hazard ratio (HR), 1.905, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.067-3.403, P = 0.029), history of hypertension (HR, 0.493, 95% CI, 0.245-0.993, P = 0.048) and serum creatinine level > 1.5 mg/dL (HR, 95% CI, 0.288-0.964, P = 0.044) were shown to be significant independent risk factors. Close observation after the initial improvement of colonic diverticular bleeding is needed, especially in elderly patients or patients with history of hypertension or renal deficiency.

  1. POWER FACTOR IMPROVEMENT IN THREE PHASE AC-AC CONVERTER THROUGH MODIFIED SPWM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.VASUKI,

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Recently, a new generation of ac-ac single-phase and three-phase power converters with more commutations per half cycle has been proposed for ac power due to the increasing availability and power capability of high frequency controlled-on and off power emiconductor switching devices. This paper presents three phase ac-acconverter whose control strategy is based on modified sinusoidal ulse-width modulation switching technique. As majority of the industrial loads are being inductive, the power factor is less. To improve the power factor, the delayed current is shifted to the input voltage, through a modification of the classical sinusoidal pulse width modulation switching technique. In this way, the decrease in the phase angle between the input current and voltage is feasible, and consequently, high cost compensation capacitors can be avoided. The improvement of power factor through this switching technique on the proposed converter is investigated and verified via simulation using the software Matlab/Simulink.

  2. Improvement in skin wrinkles using a preparation containing human growth factors and hyaluronic acid serum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Do Hyun; Oh, In Young; Koo, Kyo Tan; Suk, Jang Mi; Jung, Sang Wook; Park, Jin Oh; Kim, Beom Joon; Choi, Yoo Mi

    2015-02-01

    Skin aging is accompanied by wrinkle formation. At some sites, such as the periorbital skin, this is a relatively early phenomenon. We evaluated the anti-wrinkle effect of a preparation containing human growth factor and hyaluronic acid serum on periorbital wrinkles (crow's feet). In total, 23 Korean women (age range: 39-59 years), who were not pregnant, nursing, or undergoing any concurrent therapy, were enrolled in this study. All the patients completed an 8-week trial of twice-daily application of human growth factor and hyaluronic acid serum on the entire face. Efficacy was based on a global photodamage score, photographs, and image analysis using replicas and visiometer analysis every 4 weeks. The standard wrinkle and roughness parameters used in assessing skin by visiometer were calculated and statistically analyzed. Periorbital wrinkles were significantly improved after treatment, with improvements noted both by physician's assessment and visiometer analysis. Topical application of human growth factor and hyaluronic acid was beneficial in reducing periorbital wrinkles.

  3. Improved localization accuracy in stochastic super-resolution fluorescence microscopy by K-factor image deshadowing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilovitsh, Tali; Meiri, Amihai; Ebeling, Carl G; Menon, Rajesh; Gerton, Jordan M; Jorgensen, Erik M; Zalevsky, Zeev

    2013-12-16

    Localization of a single fluorescent particle with sub-diffraction-limit accuracy is a key merit in localization microscopy. Existing methods such as photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM) and stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) achieve localization accuracies of single emitters that can reach an order of magnitude lower than the conventional resolving capabilities of optical microscopy. However, these techniques require a sparse distribution of simultaneously activated fluorophores in the field of view, resulting in larger time needed for the construction of the full image. In this paper we present the use of a nonlinear image decomposition algorithm termed K-factor, which reduces an image into a nonlinear set of contrast-ordered decompositions whose joint product reassembles the original image. The K-factor technique, when implemented on raw data prior to localization, can improve the localization accuracy of standard existing methods, and also enable the localization of overlapping particles, allowing the use of increased fluorophore activation density, and thereby increased data collection speed. Numerical simulations of fluorescence data with random probe positions, and especially at high densities of activated fluorophores, demonstrate an improvement of up to 85% in the localization precision compared to single fitting techniques. Implementing the proposed concept on experimental data of cellular structures yielded a 37% improvement in resolution for the same super-resolution image acquisition time, and a decrease of 42% in the collection time of super-resolution data with the same resolution.

  4. Enhancing effect of phase coherence factor for improvement of spatial resolution in ultrasonic imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasegawa, Hideyuki

    2016-01-01

    Spatial resolution is one of the important factors that determines ultrasound image quality. In the present study, methods using the phase variance of ultrasonic echoes received by individual transducer elements have been examined for improvement of spatial resolution. An imaging method, i.e., phase coherence imaging, which uses the phase coherence factor (PCF) obtained from the phase variance of received ultrasonic echoes, was recently proposed. Spatial resolution is improved by weighting ultrasonic RF signals obtained by delay-and-sum (DAS) beam forming using PCF. In the present study, alternative PCFs, i.e., exponential PCF, harmonic PCF, and Gaussian PCF, have been proposed and examined for further improvement of spatial resolution. Spatial resolutions realized by the proposed PCFs were evaluated by an experiment using a phantom. The full widths at half maxima of the lateral profiles of an echo from a string phantom were 2.61 mm (DAS only), 1.46 mm (conventional PCF), and 0.48-0.62 mm (proposed PCFs). The PCFs newly proposed in the present study showed better spatial resolutions than the conventional PCF. The proposed PCFs also realized better visualization of echoes from a diffuse scattering medium than the conventional PCF.

  5. What factors were important for dietary improvement in emergency shelters after the Great East Japan Earthquake?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuboyama-Kasaoka, Nobuyo; Hoshi, Yuko; Onodera, Kazue; Mizuno, Shoichi; Sako, Kazuko

    2014-01-01

    The Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 left many evacuees with insufficient food and emergency shelter. However, there is no evidence concerning the factors affecting dietary circumstances in emergency shelters after disasters. To clarify the factors that influenced the provision of meals, we reanalyzed a data set from a dietary survey conducted in emergency shelters one month after the Great East Japan Earthquake (2011). Among the 69 shelters in "city A," 53 (79.1%) had food shortages. The possibility of cooking in the emergency shelter improved the provision of meals to evacuees. When comparing emergency shelters with and without cooking equipment, the shelters with cooking equipment provided more meals, as well as more dishes containing grains and vegetables. When there was a gas supply, the twice per day provision of "balanced" meals (containing grains, vegetables, and meat/fish) was more frequent than when there was no gas supply. Interestingly, neither the water supply nor the electricity supply affected the provision of balanced meals. Further, emergency shelters with larger numbers of evacuees had a lower possibility of cooking and lower availability of gas supply. Our results demonstrate that early improvements to post-disaster meal provision may maintain the health of evacuees. Such improvements could be achieved by 1) the speedy restoration of the gas supply to enable cooking, and 2) limiting the number of evacuees per emergency shelter.

  6. Basic fibroblast growth factor improves learning and memory functions in chronic stress mice

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xian Qu; Chunying Li; Hongchang Liu; Chang Su

    2011-01-01

    Four weeks of uncertain stress was used to establish an animal model of chronic stress.Basic fibroblast growth factor was injected daily for 15 days following stress induction.Cell morphology in the hippocampal CA3 region of chronic stress mice revealed cell damage.Nitric oxide content and calcium concentration were significantly increased in the hippocampus,and learning and memory functions were significantly decreased.After basic fibroblast growth factor intervention,Ca2+ overload was decreased and neuronal damage was relieved in hippocampal neurons,which improved learning and memory functions in chronic stress mice.Latency was prolonged and the number of errors was decreased in a passive avoidance test.

  7. Improving the quality factor of microwave cavities for axion search experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Saebyeok; Jung, Junu; Youn, Sungwoo; Semertzidis, Yannis

    2017-01-01

    In cavity-based axion search experiments, the quality factor (Q) of microwave resonant cavities is an important parameter to be sensitive to faint signal from the axion-to-photon conversion. One of the R&D efforts conducted at the Center for Axion and Precision Physics Research (CAPP) of the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) is to improve the quality factor of resonant cavities by employing two approaches - pure material and heat treatment. Using a 4K cryocooler and liquid helium, we measure the temperature dependence of Q value to find the effect of material purity and an optimal condition of heat treatment. The measurements are performed on Cu and Al cavities and the results are shown in this presentation.

  8. Functions and Application of the AP2/ERF Transcription Factor Family in Crop Improvement

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhao-Shi Xu; Ming Chen; Lian-Cheng Li; You-Zhi Ma

    2011-01-01

    Plants have acquired sophisticated stress response systems to adapt to changing environments. It is important to understand plants' stress response mechanisms in the effort to improve crop productivity under stressful conditions. The AP2/ERF transcription factors are known to regulate diverse processes of plant development and stress responses.In this study, the molecular characteristics and biological functions of AP2/ERFs in a variety of plant species were analyzed. AP2/ERFs,especially those in DREB and ERF subfamilies, are ideal candidates for crop improvement because their overexpression enhances tolerances to drought, salt, freezing, as well as resistances to multiple diseases in the transgenic plants. The comprehensive analysis of physiological functions is useful in elucidating the biological roles of AP2/ERF family genes in gene interaction, pathway regulation, and defense response under stress environments, which should provide new opportunities for the crop tolerance engineering.

  9. Improved theory of generalized meteo-ballistic weighting factor functions and their use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir Cech

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available It follows from the analysis of artillery fire errors that approximately two-thirds of the inaccuracy of indirect artillery fire is caused by inaccuracies in the determination of the meteo parameters included in fire error budget model. Trajectories calculated under non-standard conditions are considered to be perturbed. The tools utilized for the analysis of perturbed trajectories are weighting factor functions (WFFs which are a special kind of sensitivity functions. WFFs are used for calculation of meteo ballistic elements µB (ballistic wind wB, density ρB, virtual temperature τB, pressure pB as well. We have found that the existing theory of WFF calculation has several significant shortcomings. The aim of the article is to present a new, improved theory of generalized WFFs that eliminates the deficiencies found. Using this theory will improve methods for designing firing tables, fire control systems algorithms, and meteo message generation algorithms.

  10. The factors affecting improvement sensitivity, CDU, and resolution in EUV resist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Joonhee; Lim, Hyun Soon; Kim, Jin Ho; Choi, Sumi; Shin, Jin Bong; Bae, Chang Wan; Yoo, In Young; Shin, Bong Ha; Lee, Eun Kyo; Joo, Hyun Sang; Seo, Dong Chul; Chun, Jun Sung

    2014-04-01

    The minimum target specificatons of EUV resist material are the resolution CDU CDU). Thus, we have studied that which factors such as acid diffusion, solvents, polymer platform and film density etc are affecting to improve CDU, sensitivity and resolution. Especially, CDU and sensitivity are the main issues among above these performances. With the results of these experiments, we could determine polymer blend PAG as polymer platform for EUV resist material. We have also researched polymer to improve the sensitivity and CDU with variation of molecular weight, poly dispersity and monomer feed ratio. Additionally, we have studied the effects of resist solvents and film density. And we have measured the outgas of our EUV resist. In this paper, we will discuss the results of these studies obtained by EUV tools of SEMATECH.

  11. Can Time Efficient Exercise Improve Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Type 2 Diabetes? A Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revdal, Anders; Hollekim-Strand, Siri M; Ingul, Charlotte B

    2016-06-01

    Exercise is considered a cornerstone in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes, but few individuals with type 2 diabetes exercise according to guidelines. We investigated the effect of two time efficient high intensity exercise interventions on exercise capacity, glycemic control and other cardiometabolic risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes. Twenty-one individuals with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to low volume high intensity interval exercise (HIIE; 27 minutes/bout; 10x1-minute at 90 % of HRmax; n = 10) or extremely low volume sprint interval exercise (SIE; 10 minutes/bout; 2x20 seconds at maximum achievable intensity; n = 11) 3 days/week for 12 weeks. Aerobic exercise capacity (VO2peak), glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), blood pressure and body composition were measured at baseline and post test. Both HIIE and SIE improved VO2peak (3.3 mL·min(-1)·kg(-1), 10.4 %), p heart rate recovery (11.0 bpm, p = 0.02). Neither HIIE nor SIE improved HbA1c. In conclusion, this study indicates that substantially lower exercise volumes than recommended in current guidelines can improve aerobic exercise capacity in individuals with type 2 diabetes. However, 12 weeks of time efficient high intensity exercise did not improve glycemic control, and interventions of longer duration should be investigated. Key pointsLow volume high-intensity interval exercise can improve peak oxygen uptake in previously sedentary individuals with type 2 diabetesThe weekly exercise volumes in the two intervention groups of 81 and 30 minutes respectively, is substantially lower than recommended in current exercise guidelines and could reduce the time-barrier associated with exercise among patients with type 2 diabetes.However, 12 weeks of structured, supervised low-volume exercise did not improve glycemic control, indicating a need for exercise volumes or longer intervention period.

  12. An improved method using factor division algorithm for reducing the order of linear dynamical system

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    SHARAD KUMAR TIWARI; GAGANDEEP KAUR

    2016-06-01

    An improved method is proposed to determine the reduced order model of large scale linear time invariant system. The dominant poles of the low order system are calculated by clustering method. The selection of pole to the cluster point is based on the contributions of each pole in redefining time moment and redefiningMarkov parameters. The coefficients of the numerator polynomial for reduced model are obtained using a factor division algorithm. This method is computationally efficient and keeps up the stability and input output characteristic of the original arrangement

  13. $B \\to \\pi\\pi, K \\pi$ Decays in QCD Improved Factorization Approach

    CERN Document Server

    Muta, T; Yang Mao Zhi; Yang, Y D; Muta, Taizo; Sugamoto, Akio; Yang, Mao-Zhi; Yang, Ya-Dong

    2000-01-01

    Motivated by recent measurements, we investigate $B\\to \\pi \\pi, K \\pi$ decay modes in the framework of QCD improved factorization, which was recently proposed by Beneke et. al. We find that all the measured branching ratios are well accommodated in the reasonable parameter space except for $B\\to K^0 \\pi^0 $. We also discuss in detail the strong penguin contributions and the ${\\cal O}(\\alpha_s)$ corrections to the chirally enhanced terms. We find that the weak phase $\\gamma$ lies in the region $120^{\\circ}<\\gamma<240^{\\circ}$, which is mainly constrained by $B\\to \\pi^- \\pi^+ $.

  14. Pycnogenol® supplementation improves health risk factors in subjects with metabolic syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belcaro, G; Cornelli, U; Luzzi, R; Cesarone, M R; Dugall, M; Feragalli, B; Errichi, S; Ippolito, E; Grossi, M G; Hosoi, M; Cornelli, M; Gizzi, G

    2013-10-01

    This open, controlled study evaluated the effects of 6 month supplementation with Pycnogenol® maritime pine bark extract on health risk factors in subjects with metabolic syndrome. Pycnogenol® was used with the aim of improving risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome, central obesity, elevated triglycerides (TG), low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure and fasting blood glucose. Sixty-four subjects (range 45-55 years) presenting with all five risk factors of metabolic syndrome were included, and Pycnogenol® was administered for 6 months. A group of 66 equivalent subjects were followed up as controls. In the 6-month study Pycnogenol® supplementation 150 mg/day decreased waist circumference, TG levels, blood pressure and increased the HDL cholesterol levels in subjects. Pycnogenol lowered fasting glucose from baseline 123 ± 8.6 mg/dl to 106.4 ± 5.3 after 3 months and to 105.3 ± 2.5 at the end of the study (p Pycnogenol from 106.2 ± 2.2 cm to 98.8 ± 2.3 cm and to 98.3 ± 2.1 after 3 and 6 months. Women's waist decreased from 90.9 ± 1.6 cm to 84.6 ± 2.1 cm and to 83.6 ± 2.2 cm after 3 and 6 months. Both genders waist circumference reduction was significant as compared to controls at both time points. In addition, plasma free radicals decrease in the Pycnogenol group was more effective than in the control group (-34.6%; p Pycnogenol® for improving health risk factors in subjects with metabolic syndrome.

  15. Pro-region engineering for improved yeast display and secretion of brain derived neurotrophic factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Michael L; Malott, Thomas M; Metcalf, Kevin J; Puguh, Arthya; Chan, Jonah R; Shusta, Eric V

    2016-03-01

    Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a promising therapeutic candidate for a variety of neurological diseases. However, it is difficult to produce as a recombinant protein. In its native mammalian context, BDNF is first produced as a pro-protein with subsequent proteolytic removal of the pro-region to yield mature BDNF protein. Therefore, in an attempt to improve yeast as a host for heterologous BDNF production, the BDNF pro-region was first evaluated for its effects on BDNF surface display and secretion. Addition of the wild-type pro-region to yeast BDNF production constructs improved BDNF folding both as a surface-displayed and secreted protein in terms of binding its natural receptors TrkB and p75, but titers remained low. Looking to further enhance the chaperone-like functions provided by the pro-region, two rounds of directed evolution were performed, yielding mutated pro-regions that further improved the display and secretion properties of BDNF. Subsequent optimization of the protease recognition site was used to control whether the produced protein was in pro- or mature BDNF forms. Taken together, we have demonstrated an effective strategy for improving BDNF compatibility with yeast protein engineering and secretion platforms.

  16. Multi-factor Analysis Model for Improving Profit Management Using Excel in Shellfish Farming Projects

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhuming; ZHAO; Changlin; LIU; Xiujuan; SHAN; Jin; YU

    2013-01-01

    By using a farm’s data in Yantai City and the theory of Cost-Volume-Profit analysis and the financial management methods,this paper construct a multi-factor analysis model for improving profit management using Excel 2007 in Shellfish farming projects and describes the procedures to construct a multi-factor analysis model.The model can quickly calculate the profit,improve the level of profit management,find out the breakeven point and enhance the decision-making efficiency of businesses etc.It is also a thought of the application to offer suggestions for government decisions and economic decisions for corporations as a simple analysis tool.While effort has been exerted to construct a four-variable model,some equally important variables may not be discussed sufficiently due to limitation of the paper’s space and the authors’knowledge.All variables can be listed in EXCEL 2007 and can be associated in a logical way to manage the profit of shellfish farming projects more efficiently and more practically.

  17. Cryptanalysis and Security Improvements of ‘Two-Factor User Authentication in Wireless Sensor Networks’

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Khurram Khan

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available User authentication in wireless sensor networks (WSN is a critical security issue due to their unattended and hostile deployment in the field. Since sensor nodes are equipped with limited computing power, storage, and communication modules; authenticating remote users in such resource-constrained environments is a paramount security concern. Recently, M.L. Das proposed a two-factor user authentication scheme in WSNs and claimed that his scheme is secure against different kinds of attack. However, in this paper, we show that the M.L. Das-scheme has some critical security pitfalls and cannot be recommended for real applications. We point out that in his scheme: users cannot change/update their passwords, it does not provide mutual authentication between gateway node and sensor node, and is vulnerable to gateway node bypassing attack and privileged-insider attack. To overcome the inherent security weaknesses of the M.L. Das-scheme, we propose improvements and security patches that attempt to fix the susceptibilities of his scheme. The proposed security improvements can be incorporated in the M.L. Das-scheme for achieving a more secure and robust two-factor user authentication in WSNs.

  18. Polymer-Free Carbon Nanotube Thermoelectrics with Improved Charge Carrier Transport and Power Factor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Norton-Baker, Brenna; Ihly, Rachelle; Gould, Isaac E.; Avery, Azure D.; Owczarczyk, Zbyslaw R.; Ferguson, Andrew J.; Blackburn, Jeffrey L.

    2016-12-09

    Semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (s-SWCNTs) have recently attracted attention for their promise as active components in a variety of optical and electronic applications, including thermoelectricity generation. Here we demonstrate that removing the wrapping polymer from the highly enriched s-SWCNT network leads to substantial improvements in charge carrier transport and thermoelectric power factor. These improvements arise primarily from an increase in charge carrier mobility within the s-SWCNT networks because of removal of the insulating polymer and control of the level of nanotube bundling in the network, which enables higher thin-film conductivity for a given carrier density. Ultimately, these studies demonstrate that highly enriched s-SWCNT thin films, in the complete absence of any accompanying semiconducting polymer, can attain thermoelectric power factors in the range of approximately 400 uW m-1K-2, which is on par with that of some of the best single-component organic thermoelectrics demonstrated to date.

  19. Investigating effective factors on improvement and development of medicinal Pants in Iran (case study Isfahan city

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed Fathollah Amiri Aghdaie

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Using plants has a long history in treatment. Herbal medicine has always been one of the main pillars of the famous medical school in ancient civilization. Nowadays also, a high Volume of trade in the world is belongs to medicinal because of its current importance. However a very few studies have been performed in the field of medicinal plants marketing In this study we have tried to determine the factors that can help to improve and develop The market of medicinal plants in Iran. The paper is descriptive-cognition and the related Information for this scope have been collected by using library resources such as books And scientific journals, moreover for collecting necessary data in order to confirm or reject Research hypothesis a questionnaire made by researchers have been used, data analyzed with SPSS software and presumption statistical methods. Sample 57 consists of medicinal plants sellers(druggist, pharmacists and doctors choose with random sampling. The result showed that all the variables factors of the study can help to improve and expand medicinal market.

  20. Modulating electronic transport properties of carbon nanotubes to improve the thermoelectric power factor via nanoparticle decoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Choongho; Ryu, Yeontack; Yin, Liang; Yang, Hongjoo

    2011-02-22

    Nanoparticle decoration on carbon nanotubes was employed to modulate their electrical conductance and thermopower and thereby improved the thermoelectric power factor. Nanotubes were made into films by spraying nanotube solutions on glass substrates, and then the films were immersed in different concentrations of CuSO(4) or HAuCl(4) solutions for various time periods. Copper ions in the solutions were reduced on nanotubes by obtaining electrons from zinc electrodes, whose reduction potential is lower than that of copper (galvanic displacement). Gold ions were reduced on nanotubes by both silver counter electrodes and spontaneous reaction due to larger reduction potentials than those of nanotubes. These reactions made electrons donated to (copper incorporation) or withdrawn from (gold incorporation) nanotubes depending on the difference in their work functions and reduction potentials, resulting in considerable changes in electron transport. In this paper, a series of experiments at different ion concentrations and reaction time periods were systematically performed in order to find optimum nanoparticle formation conditions and corresponding electronic transport changes for better thermoelectric power factor. Transport measurement results show that electronic properties can be considerably altered and modulated, resulting in 2-fold improvement in the thermoelectric power factor with 1 mM/30 min reaction. Reactions with solutions of a low metal ion concentration, such as 1 mM, yielded well-distributed small particles over large surface areas, which strongly affected electron transfer between nanoparticles and nanotubes. Successive copper and gold decorations on nanotubes made electrical conductance (or thermopower) serially decreased and increased (or increased and decreased) upon precipitating different metal particles. This transport behavior is believed to be from the changes in the Fermi level as a result of electron exchanges between reduced metals and nanotubes

  1. Factors associated with the impact of quality improvement collaboratives in mental healthcare: An exploratory study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Quality improvement collaboratives (QICs) bring together groups of healthcare professionals to work in a structured manner to improve the quality of healthcare delivery within particular domains. We explored which characteristics of the composition, participation, functioning, and organization of these collaboratives related to changes in the healthcare for patients with anxiety disorders, dual diagnosis, or schizophrenia. Methods We studied three QICs involving 29 quality improvement (QI) teams representing a number of mental healthcare organizations in the Netherlands. The aims of the three QICs were the implementation of multidisciplinary practice guidelines in the domains of anxiety disorders, dual diagnosis, and schizophrenia, respectively. We used eight performance indicators to assess the impact of the QI teams on self-reported patient outcomes and process of care outcomes for 1,346 patients. The QI team members completed a questionnaire on the characteristics of the composition, participation in a national program, functioning, and organizational context for their teams. It was expected that an association would be found between these team characteristics and the quality of care for patients with anxiety disorders, dual diagnosis, and schizophrenia. Results No consistent patterns of association emerged. Theory-based factors did not perform better than practice-based factors. However, QI teams that received support from their management and both active and inspirational team leadership showed better results. Rather surprisingly, a lower average level of education among the team members was associated with better results, although less consistently than the management and leadership characteristics. Team views with regard to the QI goals of the team and attitudes towards multidisciplinary practice guidelines did not correlate with team success. Conclusions No general conclusions about the impact of the characteristics of QI teams on the quality of

  2. Factors associated with the impact of quality improvement collaboratives in mental healthcare: An exploratory study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Versteeg Marleen H

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Quality improvement collaboratives (QICs bring together groups of healthcare professionals to work in a structured manner to improve the quality of healthcare delivery within particular domains. We explored which characteristics of the composition, participation, functioning, and organization of these collaboratives related to changes in the healthcare for patients with anxiety disorders, dual diagnosis, or schizophrenia. Methods We studied three QICs involving 29 quality improvement (QI teams representing a number of mental healthcare organizations in the Netherlands. The aims of the three QICs were the implementation of multidisciplinary practice guidelines in the domains of anxiety disorders, dual diagnosis, and schizophrenia, respectively. We used eight performance indicators to assess the impact of the QI teams on self-reported patient outcomes and process of care outcomes for 1,346 patients. The QI team members completed a questionnaire on the characteristics of the composition, participation in a national program, functioning, and organizational context for their teams. It was expected that an association would be found between these team characteristics and the quality of care for patients with anxiety disorders, dual diagnosis, and schizophrenia. Results No consistent patterns of association emerged. Theory-based factors did not perform better than practice-based factors. However, QI teams that received support from their management and both active and inspirational team leadership showed better results. Rather surprisingly, a lower average level of education among the team members was associated with better results, although less consistently than the management and leadership characteristics. Team views with regard to the QI goals of the team and attitudes towards multidisciplinary practice guidelines did not correlate with team success. Conclusions No general conclusions about the impact of the characteristics of

  3. Factors associated with the impact of quality improvement collaboratives in mental healthcare: an exploratory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Versteeg, Marleen H; Laurant, Miranda G H; Franx, Gerdien C; Jacobs, Annelies J; Wensing, Michel J P

    2012-01-09

    Quality improvement collaboratives (QICs) bring together groups of healthcare professionals to work in a structured manner to improve the quality of healthcare delivery within particular domains. We explored which characteristics of the composition, participation, functioning, and organization of these collaboratives related to changes in the healthcare for patients with anxiety disorders, dual diagnosis, or schizophrenia. We studied three QICs involving 29 quality improvement (QI) teams representing a number of mental healthcare organizations in the Netherlands. The aims of the three QICs were the implementation of multidisciplinary practice guidelines in the domains of anxiety disorders, dual diagnosis, and schizophrenia, respectively. We used eight performance indicators to assess the impact of the QI teams on self-reported patient outcomes and process of care outcomes for 1,346 patients. The QI team members completed a questionnaire on the characteristics of the composition, participation in a national program, functioning, and organizational context for their teams. It was expected that an association would be found between these team characteristics and the quality of care for patients with anxiety disorders, dual diagnosis, and schizophrenia. No consistent patterns of association emerged. Theory-based factors did not perform better than practice-based factors. However, QI teams that received support from their management and both active and inspirational team leadership showed better results. Rather surprisingly, a lower average level of education among the team members was associated with better results, although less consistently than the management and leadership characteristics. Team views with regard to the QI goals of the team and attitudes towards multidisciplinary practice guidelines did not correlate with team success. No general conclusions about the impact of the characteristics of QI teams on the quality of healthcare can be drawn, but support of

  4. Growth factor stimulation improves the structure and properties of scaffold-free engineered auricular cartilage constructs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renata G Rosa

    Full Text Available The reconstruction of the external ear to correct congenital deformities or repair following trauma remains a significant challenge in reconstructive surgery. Previously, we have developed a novel approach to create scaffold-free, tissue engineering elastic cartilage constructs directly from a small population of donor cells. Although the developed constructs appeared to adopt the structural appearance of native auricular cartilage, the constructs displayed limited expression and poor localization of elastin. In the present study, the effect of growth factor supplementation (insulin, IGF-1, or TGF-β1 was investigated to stimulate elastogenesis as well as to improve overall tissue formation. Using rabbit auricular chondrocytes, bioreactor-cultivated constructs supplemented with either insulin or IGF-1 displayed increased deposition of cartilaginous ECM, improved mechanical properties, and thicknesses comparable to native auricular cartilage after 4 weeks of growth. Similarly, growth factor supplementation resulted in increased expression and improved localization of elastin, primarily restricted within the cartilaginous region of the tissue construct. Additional studies were conducted to determine whether scaffold-free engineered auricular cartilage constructs could be developed in the 3D shape of the external ear. Isolated auricular chondrocytes were grown in rapid-prototyped tissue culture molds with additional insulin or IGF-1 supplementation during bioreactor cultivation. Using this approach, the developed tissue constructs were flexible and had a 3D shape in very good agreement to the culture mold (average error <400 µm. While scaffold-free, engineered auricular cartilage constructs can be created with both the appropriate tissue structure and 3D shape of the external ear, future studies will be aimed assessing potential changes in construct shape and properties after subcutaneous implantation.

  5. Stem cell factor improves lung recovery in rats following neonatal hyperoxia-induced lung injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, Luis F.; Rodrigues, Claudia O.; Ramachandran, Shalini; Torres, Eneida; Huang, Jian; Klim, Jammie; Hehre, Dorothy; McNiece, Ian; Hare, Joshua M.; Suguihara, Cleide Y.; Young, Karen C.

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND Stem cell factor (SCF) and its receptor, c-kit, are modulators of angiogenesis. Neonatal hyperoxia-induced lung injury (HILI) is characterized by disordered angiogenesis. The objective of this study was to determine whether exogenous SCF improves recovery from neonatal HILI by improving angiogenesis. METHODS Newborn rats assigned to normoxia (RA: 20.9% O2) or hyperoxia (90% O2) from postnatal day (P) 2 to 15, received daily injections of SCF 100 µg/kg or placebo (PL) from P15 to P21. Lung morphometry was performed at P28. Capillary tube formation in SCF-treated hyperoxia-exposed pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMECs) was determined by Matrigel assay. RESULTS As compared with RA, hyperoxic-PL pups had decrease in alveolarization and in lung vascular density, and this was associated with increased right ventricular systolic pressure (RVSP), right ventricular hypertrophy, and vascular remodeling. In contrast, SCF-treated hyperoxic pups had increased angiogenesis, improved alveolarization, and attenuation of pulmonary hypertension as evidenced by decreased RVSP, right ventricular hypertrophy, and vascular remodeling. Moreover, in an in vitro model, SCF increased capillary tube formation in hyperoxia-exposed HPMECs. CONCLUSION Exogenous SCF restores alveolar and vascular structure in neonatal rats with HILI by promoting neoangiogenesis. These findings suggest a new strategy to treat lung diseases characterized by dysangiogenesis. PMID:24153399

  6. Recent advances in utilizing transcription factors to improve plant abiotic stress tolerance by transgenic technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongyan eWang

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural production and quality are adversely affected by various abiotic stresses worldwide and this will be exacerbated by the deterioration of global climate. To feed a growing world population, it is very urgent to breed stress-tolerant crops with higher yields and improved qualities against multiple environmental stresses. Since conventional breeding approaches had marginal success due to the complexity of stress tolerance traits, the transgenic approach is now being popularly used to breed stress-tolerant crops. So identifying and characterizing the the critical genes involved in plant stress responses is an essential prerequisite for engineering stress-tolerant crops. Far beyond the manipulation of single functional gene, engineering certain regulatory genes has emerged as an effective strategy now for controlling the expression of many stress-responsive genes. Transcription factors (TFs are good candidates for genetic engineering to breed stress-tolerant crop because of their role as master regulators of many stress-responsive genes. Many TFs belonging to families AP2/EREBP, MYB, WRKY, NAC, bZIP have been found to be involved in various abiotic stresses and some TF genes have also been engineered to improve stress tolerance in model and crop plants. In this review, we take five large families of TFs as examples and review the recent progress of TFs involved in plant abiotic stress responses and their potential utilization to improve multiple stress tolerance of crops in the field conditions.

  7. Classification of features selected through Optimum Index Factor (OIF)for improving classification accuracy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Nilanchal Patel; Brijesh Kaushal

    2011-01-01

    The present investigation was performed to determine if the features selected through Optimum Index Factor (OIF) could provide improved classification accuracy of the various categories on the satellite images of the individual years as well as stacked images of two different years as compared to all the features considered together. Further, in order to determine if there occurs increase in the classification accuracy of the different categories with corresponding increase in the OIF values of the features extracted from both the individual years' and stacked images, we performed linear regression between the producer's accuracy (PA) of the various categories with the OIF values of the different combinations of the features. The investigations demonstrated that there occurs significant improvement in the PA of two impervious categories viz. moderate built-up and low density built-up determined from the classification of the bands and principal components associated with the highest OIF value as compared to all the bands and principal components for both the individual years' and stacked images respectively. Regression analyses exhibited positive trends between the regression coefficients and OIF values forthe various categories determined for the individual years' and stacked images respectively signifying the prevalence of direct relationship between the increase in the information content with corresponding increase in the OIF values. The research proved that features extracted through OIF from both the individual years' and stacked images are capable of providing significantly improved PA as compared to all the features pooled together.

  8. Can Time Efficient Exercise Improve Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Type 2 Diabetes? A Pilot Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anders Revdal, Siri M. Hollekim-Strand, Charlotte B. Ingul

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Exercise is considered a cornerstone in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes, but few individuals with type 2 diabetes exercise according to guidelines. We investigated the effect of two time efficient high intensity exercise interventions on exercise capacity, glycemic control and other cardiometabolic risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes. Twenty-one individuals with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to low volume high intensity interval exercise (HIIE; 27 minutes/bout; 10x1-minute at 90 % of HRmax; n = 10 or extremely low volume sprint interval exercise (SIE; 10 minutes/bout; 2x20 seconds at maximum achievable intensity; n = 11 3 days/week for 12 weeks. Aerobic exercise capacity (VO2peak, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c, blood pressure and body composition were measured at baseline and post test. Both HIIE and SIE improved VO2peak (3.3 mL·min-1·kg-1, 10.4 %, p < 0.01, and 1.4 mL·min-1·kg-1 (4.6 %, p = 0.03, respectively. Only HIIE reduced body fat percentage (4.5 %, p = 0.04 and two minute heart rate recovery (11.0 bpm, p = 0.02. Neither HIIE nor SIE improved HbA1c. In conclusion, this study indicates that substantially lower exercise volumes than recommended in current guidelines can improve aerobic exercise capacity in individuals with type 2 diabetes. However, 12 weeks of time efficient high intensity exercise did not improve glycemic control, and interventions of longer duration should be investigated.

  9. Education to a Healthy Lifestyle Improves Symptoms and Cardiovascular Risk Factors – AsuRiesgo Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graciela Chaves

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Cardiovascular diseases are the current leading causes of death and disability globally. Objective: To assess the effects of a basic educational program for cardiovascular prevention in an unselected outpatient population. Methods: All participants received an educational program to change to a healthy lifestyle. Assessments were conducted at study enrollment and during follow-up. Symptoms, habits, ATP III parameters for metabolic syndrome, and American Heart Association’s 2020 parameters of cardiovascular health were assessed. Results: A total of 15,073 participants aged ≥ 18 years entered the study. Data analysis was conducted in 3,009 patients who completed a second assessment. An improvement in weight (from 76.6 ± 15.3 to 76.4 ± 15.3 kg, p = 0.002, dyspnea on exertion NYHA grade II (from 23.4% to 21.0% and grade III (from 15.8% to 14.0% and a decrease in the proportion of current active smokers (from 3.6% to 2.9%, p = 0.002 could be documented. The proportion of patients with levels of triglycerides > 150 mg/dL (from 46.3% to 42.4%, p 100 mg/dL (from 69.3% to 65.5%, p < 0.001 improved. A ≥ 20% improvement of AHA 2020 metrics at the level graded as poor was found for smoking (-21.1%, diet (-29.8%, and cholesterol level (-23.6%. A large dropout as a surrogate indicator for low patient adherence was documented throughout the first 5 visits, 80% between the first and second assessments, 55.6% between the second and third assessments, 43.6% between the third and fourth assessments, and 38% between the fourth and fifth assessments. Conclusion: A simple, basic educational program may improve symptoms and modifiable cardiovascular risk factors, but shows low patient adherence.

  10. Improving Baculovirus Infectivity by Efficiently Embedding Enhancing Factors into Occlusion Bodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Shili; Zhao, Lijuan; Ma, Ruipeng; Fang, Wei; Hu, Jia; Lei, Chengfeng; Sun, Xiulian

    2017-07-15

    The relatively low infectivity of baculoviruses to their host larvae limits their use as insecticidal agents on a larger scale. In the present study, a novel strategy was developed to efficiently embed foreign proteins into Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) occlusion bodies (OBs) to achieve stable expression of foreign proteins and to improve viral infectivity. A recombinant AcMNPV bacmid was constructed by expressing the 150-amino-acid (aa) N-terminal segment of polyhedrin under the control of the p10 promoter and the remaining C-terminal 95-aa segment under the control of the polyhedrin promoter. The recombinant virus formed OBs in Spodoptera frugiperda 9 cells, in which the occlusion-derived viruses were embedded in a manner similar to that for wild-type AcMNPV. Next, the 95-aa polyhedrin C terminus was fused to enhanced green fluorescent protein, and the recombinant AcMNPV formed fluorescent green OBs and was stably passaged in vitro and in vivo The AcMNPV recombinants were further modified by fusing truncated Agrotis segetum granulovirus enhancin or truncated Cydia pomonella granulovirus ORF13 (GP37) to the C-terminal 95 aa of polyhedrin, and both recombinants were able to form normal OBs. Bioactivity assays indicated that the median lethal concentrations of these two AcMNPV recombinants were 3- to 5-fold lower than that of the control virus. These results suggest that embedding enhancing factors in baculovirus OBs by use of this novel technique may promote efficient and stable foreign protein expression and significantly improve baculovirus infectivity.IMPORTANCE Baculoviruses have been used as bioinsecticides for over 40 years, but their relatively low infectivity to their host larvae limits their use on a larger scale. It has been reported that it is possible to improve baculovirus infectivity by packaging enhancing factors within baculovirus occlusion bodies (OBs); however, so far, the packaging efficiency has been low. In this

  11. Lifestyle intervention reduces body weight and improves cardiometabolic risk factors in worksites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salinardi, Taylor C; Batra, Payal; Roberts, Susan B; Urban, Lorien E; Robinson, Lisa M; Pittas, Anastassios G; Lichtenstein, Alice H; Deckersbach, Thilo; Saltzman, Edward; Das, Sai Krupa

    2013-04-01

    Worksites are potentially effective locations for obesity control because they provide opportunities for group intervention and social support. Studies are needed to identify effective interventions in these settings. We examined the effects of a multicomponent lifestyle intervention on weight loss and prevention of regain in 4 worksites (2 intervention and 2 control sites). Overweight and obese employees (n = 133) enrolled in this pilot worksite-randomized controlled trial with a 0-6-mo weight-loss phase and a 6-12-mo structured weight-maintenance phase. The intervention combined recommendations to consume a reduced-energy, low-glycemic load, high-fiber diet with behavioral change education. Outcome measurements included changes in body weight and cardiometabolic risk factors. The mean ± SEM weight loss was substantial in intervention participants, whereas control subjects gained weight (-8.0 ± 0.7 compared with +0.9 ± 0.5 kg, respectively; P weight-loss phase. Intervention effects were not significant at the 0.05 level but would have been at the 0.10 level (P = 0.08) in a mixed model in which the worksite nested within group was a random factor. There were also significant improvements in cardiometabolic risk factors in intervention compared with control subjects regarding fasting total cholesterol, glucose, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure (P ≤ 0.02 for each). No significant weight regain was observed in participants who enrolled in the structured weight-maintenance program (0.5 ± 0.7 kg; P = 0.65), and overweight and obese employees in intervention worksites who were not enrolled in the weight-loss program lost weight compared with subjects in control worksites (-1.3 ± 0.5 compared with +0.7 ± 0.2 kg, respectively; P = 0.02). Worksites can be effective for achieving clinically important reductions in body weight and improved cardiometabolic risk factors. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01470222.

  12. Factors affecting the stability of drug-loaded polymeric micelles and strategies for improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Weisai; Li, Caibin; Wang, Zhiyu; Zhang, Wenli; Liu, Jianping

    2016-09-01

    Polymeric micelles (PMs) self-assembled by amphiphilic block copolymers have been used as promising nanocarriers for tumor-targeted delivery due to their favorable properties, such as excellent biocompatibility, prolonged circulation time, favorable particle sizes (10-100 nm) to utilize enhanced permeability and retention effect and the possibility for functionalization. However, PMs can be easily destroyed due to dilution of body fluid and the absorption of proteins in system circulation, which may induce drug leakage from these micelles before reaching the target sites and compromise the therapeutic effect. This paper reviewed the factors that influence stability of micelles in terms of thermodynamics and kinetics consist of the critical micelle concentration of block copolymers, glass transition temperature of hydrophobic segments and polymer-polymer and polymer-cargo interaction. In addition, some effective strategies to improve the stability of micelles were also summarized.

  13. Systematic comparison of beta spectra calculations using improved analytical screening correction with experimental shape factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mougeot, X

    2016-03-01

    From a review of the available literature, a database of experimental shape factors from measured beta spectra was created in previous work. Classical assumptions applied in beta spectra calculations which avoid the determination of the electron and nuclear wave functions were tested by comparison with each measured spectrum present in the database. From this systematic comparison, it was demonstrated that the typical assumption λk=1 is inappropriate for all forbidden unique transitions. Moreover, the equally common ξ-approximation was also proved to be incorrect for about half of the listed first forbidden non-unique transitions and for all second non-unique ones. In present work, this study has been performed once again using an improved analytical screening correction. General results from previous study still remain the same. Except for allowed transitions, the mean energies in current nuclear databases are expected to be erroneous. Some selected beta spectra are also given to illustrate these results.

  14. IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN CLIMAX WITH KINETOTHERAPY AND NATURAL FACTORS IN VATRA DORNEI RESORT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CRACIUN Maria Daniela

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Menopause is a physiological period of a woman's life accompanied by multiple symptoms that affect quality of life. Functional disorders caused by menopause may benefit from prophylactic treatment in Vatra Dornei resort to rebalance the body. Material and Methods The study was conducted between July10, 2014 – September 15, 2014 on a group of 15 women, who received specific kinetic and resort treatment for 18 days, being individualized based on personal history. Evaluation of patients was done at beginning of the treatment the day 10th of July, and the last day of treatment the day 15th of September, recording pain score on VAS scale, the score for quality of life WHQ, and 10 parameters characteristic of menopause. The treatment with natural factors applied in Vatra Dornei resort consisted of the following procedures: mountain landscaped climbing paths, massage, kinetotherapy, general warm baths with peat mud, plants, carbonated mineral spring waters, electrotherapy, crenotherapy. Results: Age patients monitored ranged between 40 and 63 years with an average 50.67 (± 8.07. At the onset of this treatment pain average value was 3.93 (± 1.48 and at the final the average value of only 1.13 (± 0.74. After applying balneo-physio-kinetic treatment it was observed an improvement of the average of the 10 tested parameters. At the beginning of the treatment WHQ index shows an impairment of quality of life on average 56%, after 10 days 31% and by the end of treatment only 14%. Conclusions: After the application of the treatment with natural balneo-kineto-therapeutical factors of Vatra-Dornei resort, there is a significant improvement in specific climax disorders.

  15. Identifying factors to improve oral cancer screening uptake: a qualitative study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatemeh Vida Zohoori

    Full Text Available AIMS: To engage with high risk groups to identify knowledge and awareness of oral cancer signs and symptoms and the factors likely to contribute to improved screening uptake. METHODS: Focus group discussions were undertaken with 18 males; 40+ years of age; smokers and/or drinkers (15+ cigarettes per day and/or 15+ units of alcohol per week, irregular dental attenders living in economically deprived areas of Teesside. RESULTS: There was a striking reported lack of knowledge and awareness of oral cancer and its signs and symptoms among the participants. When oral/mouth cancer leaflets produced by Cancer Research UK were presented to the participants, they claimed that they would seek help on noticing such a condition. There was a preference to seek help from their general practitioner rather than their dentist due to perceptions that a dentist is 'inaccessible' on a physical and psychological level, costly, a 'tooth specialist' not a 'mouth specialist', and also not able to prescribe medication and make referrals to specialists. Interestingly, none of the 18 participants who were offered a free oral cancer examination at a dental practice took up this offer. CONCLUSIONS: The uptake of oral cancer screening may be improved by increasing knowledge of the existence and signs and symptoms of oral cancer. Other factors that may increase uptake are increased awareness of the role of dentists in diagnosing oral cancer, promotion of oral cancer screening by health professionals during routine health checks, and the use of a "health" screening setting as opposed to a "dental" setting for such checks.

  16. Human hepatocyte growth factor (hHGF-modified hepatic oval cells improve liver transplant survival.

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    Zhu Li

    Full Text Available Despite progress in the field of immunosuppression, acute rejection is still a common postoperative complication following liver transplantation. This study aims to investigate the capacity of the human hepatocyte growth factor (hHGF in modifying hepatic oval cells (HOCs administered simultaneously with orthotopic liver transplantation as a means of improving graft survival. HOCs were activated and isolated using a modified 2-acetylaminofluorene/partial hepatectomy (2-AAF/PH model in male Lewis rats. A HOC line stably expressing the HGF gene was established following stable transfection of the pBLAST2-hHGF plasmid. Our results demonstrated that hHGF-modified HOCs could efficiently differentiate into hepatocytes and bile duct epithelial cells in vitro. Administration of HOCs at the time of liver transplantation induced a wider distribution of SRY-positive donor cells in liver tissues. Administration of hHGF-HOC at the time of transplantation remarkably prolonged the median survival time and improved liver function for recipients compared to these parameters in the other treatment groups (P<0.05. Moreover, hHGF-HOC administration at the time of liver transplantation significantly suppressed elevation of interleukin-2 (IL-2, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α and interferon-γ (IFN-γ levels while increasing the production of IL-10 and TGF-β1 (P<0.05. HOC or hHGF-HOC administration promoted cell proliferation, reduced cell apoptosis, and decreased liver allograft rejection rates. Furthermore, hHGF-modified HOCs more efficiently reduced acute allograft rejection (P<0.05 versus HOC transplantation only. Our results indicate that the combination of hHGF-modified HOCs with liver transplantation decreased host anti-graft immune responses resulting in a reduction of allograft rejection rates and prolonging graft survival in recipient rats. This suggests that HOC-based cell transplantation therapies can be developed as a means of treating severe liver

  17. Traffic safety as a factor of improving logistics in construction sector

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    Ognjenovic Slobodan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Security is a complex problem. It includes the driver’s behavior, the features of the vehicle, those of the road and the driving conditions. Security can be approached from the aspect of the vehicle and pavement design, of driving habits, traffic regulation and application of laws. The good coordination of the driver, the vehicle and the road enables for better estimation of the traffic safety relations and interrelations giving the possibilities of improvement of the situation at present and in future. The driver has the main role in the determination of the success or failure of the road system. Over 90% of the accidents are due to improper behavior of people in traffic. Understanding of the human factors is the key factor in the optimal road design and traffic flow. Nevertheless, engineers need more understanding about driving behavior, as they are responsible for road design, for the traffic flow, and for the regulations intended to avoid errors wherever possible. The purpose of this paper is to inform about the current situation both in practice and in the researches of traffic safety, as well as to yield a broader review of the actual traffic safety situation on the roads in Republic of Macedonia.

  18. Scientist impact factor (SIF): a new metric for improving scientists' evaluation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippi, Giuseppe; Mattiuzzi, Camilla

    2017-08-01

    The publication of scientific research is the mainstay for knowledge dissemination, but is also an essential criterion of scientists' evaluation for recruiting funds and career progression. Although the most widespread approach for evaluating scientists is currently based on the H-index, the total impact factor (IF) and the overall number of citations, these metrics are plagued by some well-known drawbacks. Therefore, with the aim to improve the process of scientists' evaluation, we developed a new and potentially useful indicator of recent scientific output. The new metric scientist impact factor (SIF) was calculated as all citations of articles published in the two years following the publication year of the articles, divided by the overall number of articles published in that year. The metrics was then tested by analyzing data of the 40 top scientists of the local University. No correlation was found between SIF and H-index (r=0.15; P=0.367) or 2 years H-index (r=-0.01; P=0.933), whereas the H-index and 2 years H-index values were found to be highly correlated (r=0.57; Particles published in one year and the total number of citations to these articles in the two following years (r=0.62; Pscientists, wherein the SIF reflects the scientific output over the past two years thus increasing their chances to apply to and obtain competitive funding.

  19. Scientist impact factor (SIF): a new metric for improving scientists’ evaluation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattiuzzi, Camilla

    2017-01-01

    Background The publication of scientific research is the mainstay for knowledge dissemination, but is also an essential criterion of scientists’ evaluation for recruiting funds and career progression. Although the most widespread approach for evaluating scientists is currently based on the H-index, the total impact factor (IF) and the overall number of citations, these metrics are plagued by some well-known drawbacks. Therefore, with the aim to improve the process of scientists’ evaluation, we developed a new and potentially useful indicator of recent scientific output. Methods The new metric scientist impact factor (SIF) was calculated as all citations of articles published in the two years following the publication year of the articles, divided by the overall number of articles published in that year. The metrics was then tested by analyzing data of the 40 top scientists of the local University. Results No correlation was found between SIF and H-index (r=0.15; P=0.367) or 2 years H-index (r=−0.01; P=0.933), whereas the H-index and 2 years H-index values were found to be highly correlated (r=0.57; Particles published in one year and the total number of citations to these articles in the two following years (r=0.62; Pscientists, wherein the SIF reflects the scientific output over the past two years thus increasing their chances to apply to and obtain competitive funding. PMID:28856143

  20. Directed evolution of brain-derived neurotrophic factor for improved folding and expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Michael L; Malott, Thomas M; Metcalf, Kevin J; Hackel, Benjamin J; Chan, Jonah R; Shusta, Eric V

    2014-09-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in nervous system function and has therapeutic potential. Microbial production of BDNF has resulted in a low-fidelity protein product, often in the form of large, insoluble aggregates incapable of binding to cognate TrkB or p75 receptors. In this study, employing Saccharomyces cerevisiae display and secretion systems, it was found that BDNF was poorly expressed and partially inactive on the yeast surface and that BDNF was secreted at low levels in the form of disulfide-bonded aggregates. Thus, for the purpose of increasing the compatibility of yeast as an expression host for BDNF, directed-evolution approaches were employed to improve BDNF folding and expression levels. Yeast surface display was combined with two rounds of directed evolution employing random mutagenesis and shuffling to identify BDNF mutants that had 5-fold improvements in expression, 4-fold increases in specific TrkB binding activity, and restored p75 binding activity, both as displayed proteins and as secreted proteins. Secreted BDNF mutants were found largely in the form of soluble homodimers that could stimulate TrkB phosphorylation in transfected PC12 cells. Site-directed mutagenesis studies indicated that a particularly important mutational class involved the introduction of cysteines proximal to the native cysteines that participate in the BDNF cysteine knot architecture. Taken together, these findings show that yeast is now a viable alternative for both the production and the engineering of BDNF.

  1. Long-Term Oxygen Therapy in COPD: Factors Affecting and Ways of Improving Patient Compliance

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    Stamatis Katsenos

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT is the cornerstone mode of treatment in patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD associated with resting hypoxaemia. When appropriately prescribed and correctly used, LTOT has clearly been shown to improve survival in hypoxemic COPD patients. Adherence to LTOT ranges from 45% to 70% and utilization for more than 15 hours per day is widely accepted as efficacious. Although several studies have addressed the level of patients' adherence to LTOT, few have suggested or evaluated interventions that conduce to compliance enhancement. The lack of sufficient data regarding COPD patients following oxygen prescription is an enormous void that must be duly confronted to augment clinical effectiveness and cost containment for the long term use. The present review article highlights factors influencing the compliance of patients using LTOT and emphasizes novel strategies and interventions that may prove to be of significant benefit given the remarkably little current research appraising this issue. Therefore, additional research should be promptly performed to verify the efficacy of newly designed approaches in improving the outcomes of patients receiving LTOT.

  2. Reformulating Tylocrebrine in Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Targeted Polymeric Nanoparticles Improves Its Therapeutic Index.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirtane, Ameya R; Wong, Henry L; Guru, Bharath Raja; Lis, Lev G; Georg, Gunda I; Gurvich, Vadim J; Panyam, Jayanth

    2015-08-03

    Several promising anticancer drug candidates have been sidelined owing to their poor physicochemical properties or unfavorable pharmacokinetics, resulting in high overall cost of drug discovery and development. Use of alternative formulation strategies that alleviate these issues can help advance new molecules to the clinic at a significantly lower cost. Tylocrebrine is a natural product with potent anticancer activity. Its clinical trial was discontinued following the discovery of severe central nervous system toxicities. To improve the safety and potency of tylocrebrine, we formulated the drug in polymeric nanoparticles targeted to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) overexpressed on several types of tumors. Through in vitro studies in different cancer cell lines, we found that EGFR targeted nanoparticles were significantly more effective in killing tumor cells than the free drug. In vivo pharmacokinetic studies revealed that encapsulation in nanoparticles resulted in lower brain penetration and enhanced tumor accumulation of the drug. Further, targeted nanoparticles were characterized by significantly enhanced tumor growth inhibitory activity in a mouse xenograft model of epidermoid cancer. These results suggest that the therapeutic index of drugs that were previously considered unusable could be significantly improved by reformulation. Application of novel formulation strategies to previously abandoned drugs provides an opportunity to advance new molecules to the clinic at a lower cost. This can significantly increase the repertoire of treatment options available to cancer patients.

  3. Improving furfural tolerance of Zymomonas mobilis by rewiring a sigma factor RpoD protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Fu-Rong; Dai, Li-Chun; Wu, Bo; Qin, Han; Shui, Zong-Xia; Wang, Jing-Li; Zhu, Qi-Li; Hu, Qi-Chun; Ruan, Zhi-Yong; He, Ming-Xiong

    2015-06-01

    Furfural from lignocellulosic hydrolysates is the key inhibitor for bio-ethanol fermentation. In this study, we report a strategy of improving the furfural tolerance in Zymomonas mobilis on the transcriptional level by engineering its global transcription sigma factor (σ(70), RpoD) protein. Three furfural tolerance RpoD mutants (ZM4-MF1, ZM4-MF2, and ZM4-MF3) were identified from error-prone PCR libraries. The best furfural-tolerance strain ZM4-MF2 reached to the maximal cell density (OD600) about 2.0 after approximately 30 h, while control strain ZM4-rpoD reached its highest cell density of about 1.3 under the same conditions. ZM4-MF2 also consumed glucose faster and yield higher ethanol; expression levels and key Entner-Doudoroff (ED) pathway enzymatic activities were also compared to control strain under furfural stress condition. Our results suggest that global transcription machinery engineering could potentially be used to improve stress tolerance and ethanol production in Z. mobilis.

  4. Once-weekly prophylactic dosing of recombinant factor IX improves adherence in hemophilia B

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djambas Khayat, Claudia

    2016-01-01

    Regular prophylactic treatment in severe hemophilia should be considered an optimal treatment. There is no general agreement on the optimal prophylaxis regimen, and adherence to prophylaxis is a main challenge due to medical, psychosocial, and cost controversies. Improved approaches in prophylaxis regimen of hemophilia B are needed to make patients’ lives easier. There is some evidence to support the efficacy of once-weekly prophylaxis. Longer sampling schedules are required for the determination of pharmacokinetic (PK) properties of factor IX (FIX). The half-life of FIX seems to be longer than previously described and is expected to be 34 hours. The clinical significance of maintaining a 1% trough level is widely debated in hemophilia B. The overall relationship between factor concentrate levels and incidence of joint bleeding was found to be very weak. Data also indicate that the distribution of FIX into an extravascular FIX compartment may contribute to hemostasis independently of circulating plasma FIX levels. Clinical assessment of the frequency and severity of bleeds remain an important measure of the efficacy of treatment. Role of PK-guided therapy remains to be established. Two prospective randomized studies had evaluated the efficacy and safety of 100 IU/kg once-weekly prophylaxis with nonacog alfa, and this prophylaxis regimen was found to be associated with lower annual bleeding rate compared with on-demand treatment in adolescents and adults with moderately severe-to-severe hemophilia B. Secondary prophylaxis therapy with 100 IU/kg nonacog alfa once weekly reduced annual bleeding rate by 89.4% relative to on-demand treatment. Residual FIX may be supportive of effectiveness. Once-weekly prophylaxis was well tolerated in the two studies, with a safety profile similar to that reported during the on-demand treatment period. To individually tailor treatment to clinical response and to minimize costs of factor concentrate, it would be of interest to

  5. Improvement of force factor of magnetostrictive vibration power generator for high efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kita, Shota, E-mail: happiest3.7@gmail.com; Ueno, Toshiyuki; Yamada, Sotoshi [Kanazawa University, Kakuma-machi, Kanazawa-city, Ishikawa 920-1164 (Japan)

    2015-05-07

    We develop high power magnetostrictive vibration power generator for battery-free wireless electronics. The generator is based on a cantilever of parallel beam structure consisting of coil-wound Galfenol and stainless plates with permanent magnet for bias. Oscillating force exerted on the tip bends the cantilever in vibration yields stress variation of Galfenol plate, which causes flux variation and generates voltage on coil due to the law of induction. This generator has advantages over conventional, such as piezoelectric or moving magnet types, in the point of high efficiency, highly robust, and low electrical impedance. Our concern is the improvement of energy conversion efficiency dependent on the dimension. Especially, force factor, the conversion ratio of the electromotive force (voltage) on the tip velocity in vibration, has an important role in energy conversion process. First, the theoretical value of the force factor is formulated and then the validity was verified by experiments, where we compare four types of prototype with parameters of the dimension using 7.0 × 1.5 × 50 mm beams of Galfenol with 1606-turn wound coil. In addition, the energy conversion efficiency of the prototypes depending on load resistance was measured. The most efficient prototype exhibits the maximum instantaneous power of 0.73 W and energy of 4.7 mJ at a free vibration of frequency of 202 Hz in the case of applied force is 25 N. Further, it was found that energy conversion efficiency depends not only on the force factor but also on the damping (mechanical loss) of the vibration.

  6. Trophic factors GDNF and BDNF improve function of retinal sheet transplants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Pamela B; Seiler, Magdalene J; Aramant, Robert B; Yan, Fengrong; Mahoney, Melissa J; Kitzes, Leonard M; Keirstead, Hans S

    2010-11-01

    The aim of this study was to compare glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) treatment with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) treatment of retinal transplants on restoration of visual responses in the superior colliculus (SC) of the S334ter line 3 rat model of rapid retinal degeneration (RD). RD rats (age 4-6 weeks) received subretinal transplants of intact sheets of fetal retina expressing the marker human placental alkaline phosphatase (hPAP). Experimental groups included: (1) untreated retinal sheet transplants, (2) GDNF-treated transplants, (3) BDNF-treated transplants, (4) none surgical, age-matched RD rats, (5) sham surgery RD controls, (6) progenitor cortex transplant RD controls, and (7) normal pigmented rat controls. At 2-8 months after transplantation, multi-unit visual responses were recorded from the SC using a 40 ms full-field stimulus (-5.9 to +1 log cd/m(2)) after overnight dark-adaptation. Responses were analyzed for light thresholds, spike counts, response latencies, and location within the SC. Transplants were grouped into laminated or rosetted (more disorganized) transplants based on histological analysis. Visual stimulation of control RD rats evoked no responses. In RD rats with retinal transplants, a small area of the SC corresponding to the position of the transplant in the host retina, responded to light stimulation between -4.5 and -0.08 log cd/m(2), whereas the light threshold of normal rats was at or below -5 log cd/m(2) all over the SC. Overall, responses in the SC in rats with laminated transplants had lower response thresholds and were distributed over a wider area than rats with rosetted transplants. BDNF treatment improved responses (spike counts, light thresholds and responsive areas) of rats with laminated transplants whereas GDNF treatment improved responses from rats with both laminated and rosetted (more disorganized) transplants. In conclusion, treatment of retinal transplants with GDNF and BDNF improved the restoration

  7. Opioid growth factor improves clinical benefit and survival in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer

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    Jill P Smith

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Jill P Smith1, Sandra I Bingaman1, David T Mauger2, Harold H Harvey1, Laurence M Demers3, Ian S Zagon41Departments of Medicine, 2Public Health Sciences, 3Pathology, and 4Neurosciences and Anatomy, Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine, Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA, USABackground: Advanced pancreatic cancer carries the poorest prognosis of all gastrointestinal malignancies. Once the tumor has spread beyond the margins of the pancreas, chemotherapy is the major treatment modality offered to patients; however, chemotherapy does not significantly improve survival.Objective: Opioid growth factor (OGF; [Met5]-enkephalin is a natural peptide that has been shown to inhibit growth of pancreatic cancer in cell culture and in nude mice. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of OGF biotherapy on subjects with advanced pancreatic cancer who failed chemotherapy.Methods: In a prospective phase II open-labeled clinical trial, 24 subjects who failed standard chemotherapy for advanced pancreatic cancer were treated weekly with OGF 250 μg/kg intravenously. Outcomes measured included clinical benefit, tumor response by radiographic imaging, quality of life, and survival.Results: Clinical benefit response was experienced by 53% of OGF-treated patients compared to historical controls of 23.8% and 4.8% for gemcitabine and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU, respectively. Of the subjects surviving more than eight weeks, 62% showed either a decrease or stabilization in tumor size by computed tomography. The median survival time for OGF-treated patients was three times that of untreated patients (65.5 versus 21 days, p < 0.001. No adverse effects on hematologic or chemistry parameters were noted, and quality of life surveys suggested improvement with OGF. Limitations: Measurements other than survival were not allowed in control patients, and clinical benefit comparisons were made to historical controls.Conclusion: OGF biotherapy improves the

  8. An Empirical Study of Critical Soft Factors for Quality Improvement in The Electrical and Electronics Firms in Malaysia

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    Muhammad Madi Abdullah

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Soft factors are important aspect that sustains the organizations in their efforts towards continuous quality improvement (QI and customer satisfaction. The conventional wisdom states that quality improvement in organizations increases profits and productivity. Therefore, the aim of the paper is to examine the influence of critical soft factors (CSF on quality improvement (QI. For that purpose, this study examine: (i the relationship between the CSF and QI and (ii to what extent the six CSF explain QI. The study used survey data from 255 electrical and electronics (E&E firms in Malaysia. The individual managers representing the each firm made the unit of analysis of the study. The finding reveals that QI was significantly influenced by the following soft factors: management commitment, customer focus, employee involvement, training & education, and reward & recognition. Supplier relationship was not a significant predictor of quality improvement. Finally, this study has empirically shown that quality improvement will increase when the organizations emphasize more on soft factors.Keywords: Critical soft factors, quality improvement, Electrical and Electronics firms

  9. Overexpression of AtDREB1D transcription factor improves drought tolerance in soybean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guttikonda, Satish K; Valliyodan, Babu; Neelakandan, Anjanasree K; Tran, Lam-Son Phan; Kumar, Rajesh; Quach, Truyen N; Voothuluru, Priyamvada; Gutierrez-Gonzalez, Juan J; Aldrich, Donavan L; Pallardy, Stephen G; Sharp, Robert E; Ho, Tuan-Hua David; Nguyen, Henry T

    2014-12-01

    Drought is one of the major abiotic stresses that affect productivity in soybean (Glycine max L.) Several genes induced by drought stress include functional genes and regulatory transcription factors. The Arabidopsis thaliana DREB1D transcription factor driven by the constitutive and ABA-inducible promoters was introduced into soybean through Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated gene transfer. Several transgenic lines were generated and molecular analysis was performed to confirm transgene integration. Transgenic plants with an ABA-inducible promoter showed a 1.5- to two-fold increase of transgene expression under severe stress conditions. Under well-watered conditions, transgenic plants with constitutive and ABA-inducible promoters showed reduced total leaf area and shoot biomass compared to non-transgenic plants. No significant differences in root length or root biomass were observed between transgenic and non-transgenic plants under non-stress conditions. When subjected to gradual water deficit, transgenic plants maintained higher relative water content because the transgenic lines used water more slowly as a result of reduced total leaf area. This caused them to wilt slower than non-transgenic plants. Transgenic plants showed differential drought tolerance responses with a significantly higher survival rate compared to non-transgenic plants when subjected to comparable severe water-deficit conditions. Moreover, the transgenic plants also showed improved drought tolerance by maintaining 17-24 % greater leaf cell membrane stability compared to non-transgenic plants. The results demonstrate the feasibility of engineering soybean for enhanced drought tolerance by expressing stress-responsive genes.

  10. Perioperative hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) infusions improve hepatic regeneration following portal branch ligation (PBL) in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangieri, Christopher W; McCartt, Jason C; Strode, Matthew A; Lowry, John E; Balakrishna, Prasad M

    2017-07-01

    As hepatic surgery has become safer and more commonly performed, the extent of hepatic resections has increased. When there is not enough expected hepatic reserve to facilitate primary resection of hepatic tumors, a clinical adjunct to facilitating primary resection is portal vein embolization (PVE). PVE allows the hepatic remnant to increase to an appropriate size prior to resection via hepatocyte regeneration; however, PVE is not always successful in facilitating adequate regeneration. One of the strongest trophic factors for hepatocyte regeneration is hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). The purpose of this study was to improve hepatic regeneration with perioperative HGF infusions in an animal model that mimics PVE. Portal branch ligation (PBL) in rodents is equivalent to PVE in humans. We performed left-sided PBL in Sprague-Dawley rodents with the experimental group receiving perioperative HGF infusions. Baseline and postoperative liver volumetrics were obtained with CT scanning methods as performed in clinical practice. Baseline and postoperative liver functions were assessed via indocyanine green (ICG) elimination testing. HGF infused rodents had statistically significant increase in all postoperative liver volumetrics. Most clinically relevant were increased right liver volumes (RLV), 14.10 versus 7.85 cm(3) (p value 0.0001), and increased degree of hypertrophy (DH %), 159.23 versus 47.11 % (p value 0.0079). HGF infused rodents also had a quick return to baseline liver function, 2.38 days compared to 6.13 days (p value 0.0001). Perioperative HGF infusions significantly increase hepatic regeneration following PBL in rodents. Perioperative HGF infusions following PVE are a possible adjunct to increase the amount of patients able to successfully undergo primary resection for hepatic tumors. Further basic science is warranted in examining the use of HGF infusions to increase hepatic regeneration and translating that basic science work to clinical practice.

  11. Aerobic exercise improves cognition for older adults with glucose intolerance, a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Laura D; Frank, Laura L; Foster-Schubert, Karen; Green, Pattie S; Wilkinson, Charles W; McTiernan, Anne; Cholerton, Brenna A; Plymate, Stephen R; Fishel, Mark A; Watson, G Stennis; Duncan, Glen E; Mehta, Pankaj D; Craft, Suzanne

    2010-01-01

    Impaired glucose regulation is a defining characteristic of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) pathology and has been linked to increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. Although the benefits of aerobic exercise for physical health are well-documented, exercise effects on cognition have not been examined for older adults with poor glucose regulation associated with prediabetes and early T2DM. Using a randomized controlled design, twenty-eight adults (57-83 y old) meeting 2-h tolerance test criteria for glucose intolerance completed 6 months of aerobic exercise or stretching, which served as the control. The primary cognitive outcomes included measures of executive function (Trails B, Task Switching, Stroop, Self-ordered Pointing Test, and Verbal Fluency). Other outcomes included memory performance (Story Recall, List Learning), measures of cardiorespiratory fitness obtained via maximal-graded exercise treadmill test, glucose disposal during hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp, body fat, and fasting plasma levels of insulin, cortisol, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, insulin-like growth factor-1, amyloid-β (Aβ40 and Aβ42). Six months of aerobic exercise improved executive function (MANCOVA, p=0.04), cardiorespiratory fitness (MANOVA, p=0.03), and insulin sensitivity (p=0.05). Across all subjects, 6-month changes in cardiorespiratory fitness and insulin sensitivity were positively correlated (p=0.01). For Aβ42, plasma levels tended to decrease for the aerobic group relative to controls (p=0.07). The results of our study using rigorous controlled methodology suggest a cognition-enhancing effect of aerobic exercise for older glucose intolerant adults. Although replication in a larger sample is needed, our findings potentially have important therapeutic implications for a growing number of adults at increased risk of cognitive decline.

  12. Factors contributing to improvement of syringomyelia after foramen magnum decompression for Chiari type I malformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagoshi, Narihito; Iwanami, Akio; Toyama, Yoshiaki; Nakamura, Masaya

    2014-05-01

    Although various surgical approaches have been proposed for treating syringomyelia associated with Chiari type I malformation, a standard method has yet to be established. we prospectively investigated the results of our surgical method: foramen magnum decompression combined with C1 laminectomy and excision of the outer layer of the dura mater. Twenty patients underwent surgery between 2000 and 2010 at our hospital. After surgery, the size of the syrinx decreased in 11 patients (decreased group) but remained unchanged in nine patients (unchanged group). The following parameters were compared: age at the time of surgery, duration of morbidity, improvement of preoperative symptoms, morphological type and length of the syrinx, presence or absence of scoliosis, cervical alignment, basal and clivo-axial angles, and postoperative subarachnoid space at the foramen magnum level. Preoperative symptoms improved in all patients in the decreased group but in only one patient in the unchanged group. The average duration of morbidity was significantly shorter in the decreased group. Morphological examination revealed that the size of all central-type syrinxes decreased after surgery, whereas in all cases of deviated-type syrinx, size was unchanged. The average length of preoperative syrinx was significantly shorter in the decreased group. The postoperative subarachnoid space at the foramen magnum was enlarged in the entire decreased group, whereas residual narrowing of the space was observed in 44 % of patients in the unchanged group. No significant intergroup differences were observed in the other factors. In patients with syringomyelia, a longer and deviated type of syrinx, a longer duration of morbidity, and postoperative residual narrowing of the subarachnoid space are associated with a poor prognosis after the surgical procedure. The pathogenesis of syringomyelia is inconsistent, and the choice of surgical technique for each pathological condition is important.

  13. Stem cell factor gene transfer improves cardiac function after myocardial infarction in swine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishikawa, Kiyotake; Fish, Kenneth; Aguero, Jaume; Yaniz-Galende, Elisa; Jeong, Dongtak; Kho, Changwon; Tilemann, Lisa; Fish, Lauren; Liang, Lifan; Eltoukhy, Ahmed A; Anderson, Daniel G; Zsebo, Krisztina; Costa, Kevin D; Hajjar, Roger J

    2015-01-01

    Stem cell factor (SCF), a ligand of the c-kit receptor, is a critical cytokine, which contributes to cell migration, proliferation, and survival. It has been shown that SCF expression increases after myocardial infarction (MI) and may be involved in cardiac repair. The aim of this study was to determine whether gene transfer of membrane-bound human SCF improves cardiac function in a large animal model of MI. A transmural MI was created by implanting an embolic coil in the left anterior descending artery in Yorkshire pigs. One week after the MI, the pigs received direct intramyocardial injections of either a recombinant adenovirus encoding for SCF (Ad.SCF, n=9) or β-gal (Ad.β-gal, n=6) into the infarct border area. At 3 months post-MI, ejection fraction increased by 12% relative to baseline after Ad.SCF therapy, whereas it decreased by 4.2% (P=0.004) in pigs treated with Ad.β-gal. Preload-recruitable stroke work was significantly higher in pigs after SCF treatment (Ad.SCF, 55.5±11.6 mm Hg versus Ad.β-gal, 31.6±12.6 mm Hg, P=0.005), indicating enhanced cardiac function. Histological analyses confirmed the recruitment of c-kit(+) cells as well as a reduced degree of apoptosis 1 week after Ad.SCF injection. In addition, increased capillary density compared with pigs treated with Ad.β-gal was found at 3 months and suggests an angiogenic role of SCF. Local overexpression of SCF post-MI induces the recruitment of c-kit(+) cells at the infarct border area acutely. In the chronic stages, SCF gene transfer was associated with improved cardiac function in a preclinical model of ischemic cardiomyopathy. © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.

  14. Factors influencing a patient's decision to choose the type of treatment to improve dental esthetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gržić Renata

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Backgroung/Aim. Interest in dental esthetics has increased rapidly during the last few decades among both patients and dentists, and the creation of a natural dental appearance has become an important task in all fields of dentistry, especially in prosthodontics and restorative dentistry. The aim of this research was to investigate factors influencing a patient's decision to choose the type of treatment to improve dental esthetics. Methods. A total of 700 Caucasian subjects participated in the crosssectional study (261 men, 439 women, aged 18-86 years, mean age 46.2 ± 18.6. The study included clinical examination and a self-administrated questionnaire based on self-perceived esthetics, satisfaction with the appearance of their maxillary anterior teeth and previous dental experience. Multiple logistic regression was used in statistical analysis. Results. Hiding teeth during smile was the most important predictor for choosing fixed prosthetic restorations (OR 9.1, followed by self-perceived bad fixed prosthesis, malpositioned teeth and female gender (OR 2.9, 2.4, and 1.5, respectively. The increase in satisfaction with dental appearance and previous orthodontic therapy reduced chances for seeking prosthetic therapy (each OR 0.4. The significant predictors for bleaching choosing were hiding teeth during smiling, already done bleaching, female gender, lower levels of satisfaction with dental appearance and the absence of the previous orthodontic therapy (OR 5.8, 2.4, 1.8, 0.5 and 0.4, respecitively. Hiding teeth during smile, self-perceived malposition and crowding, and lower levels of satisfaction, were significant predictors for choosing orthodontic treatment (OR 3.1, 2.4, 2.2 and 0.6, respectively. None of current dental statuses was statistically significant predictor for choosing prosthodontic, bleeching nor orthodontic therapy. Conclusion. The psychological elements and female gender are the main predictors of seeking dental therapy

  15. A survey of effective factors on improvement of environmental quality of Tehran book city-Iran

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    Hanieh Sadat Zendehbad

    2016-03-01

    . In addition to the presence of plants, fountains and the appropriate lighting for days and nights, the safety of pedestrians against vehicles in the edges design of a site which is on the corner of an intersection with a heavy traffic; other factors are also very effective such as different land uses in the central yard of a design and the accessibility to the assembling and attractive elements for creating a pleasant and safe situation as well as psychological features like calm and tranquility feelings which are necessary for reading books. This means that the research hypothesis titled “urban green spaces, improving the quality of reading books” is supported. It’s evident that using a gentle slope for the site is helpful in designing the landscape proportional to the construction form.

  16. Improved Dynamic Modeling of the Cascade Distillation Subsystem and Analysis of Factors Affecting Its Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Bruce A.; Anderson, Molly S.

    2015-01-01

    The Cascade Distillation Subsystem (CDS) is a rotary multistage distiller being developed to serve as the primary processor for wastewater recovery during long-duration space missions. The CDS could be integrated with a system similar to the International Space Station Water Processor Assembly to form a complete water recovery system for future missions. A preliminary chemical process simulation was previously developed using Aspen Custom Modeler® (ACM), but it could not simulate thermal startup and lacked detailed analysis of several key internal processes, including heat transfer between stages. This paper describes modifications to the ACM simulation of the CDS that improve its capabilities and the accuracy of its predictions. Notably, the modified version can be used to model thermal startup and predicts the total energy consumption of the CDS. The simulation has been validated for both NaC1 solution and pretreated urine feeds and no longer requires retuning when operating parameters change. The simulation was also used to predict how internal processes and operating conditions of the CDS affect its performance. In particular, it is shown that the coefficient of performance of the thermoelectric heat pump used to provide heating and cooling for the CDS is the largest factor in determining CDS efficiency. Intrastage heat transfer affects CDS performance indirectly through effects on the coefficient of performance.

  17. Design And Simulation Of Distributed Statcom Controller For Power Factor Improvement

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    Swagat Satapathy

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The STATCOM is a static reactive power compensator. It is connected to the grid through ac side reactors and has a capacitor on the DC-link side. This DC-link capacitor is maintained at a given voltage under closed-loop control while a set amount of reactive current is fed according to load requirements. The operating frequency of the VSC is also controlled in a PLL (phase locked loop manner. Hence, it is essential to have a closed-loop feedback control operation of the STATCOM. The state space model of the STATCOM is non-linear. The nonlinear model of the STATCOM is linearized. A linear model of the STACOM is proposed. In this model, the grid voltage and the fundamental component of the STATCOM VSC terminal voltage are assumed to be inphase and the modulation index is kept within unity. PI-controllers for the active and reactive currents as well as the DC-link voltage of the STATCOM have been designed. The model, with PI controllers has been simulated in MATLAB/SIMULINK environment with variation of the pre-charge voltage on the DC-link capacitor with linear loads (inductive. Improvement of the power factor of the grid current is achieved for linear loads

  18. Dark chocolate consumption improves leukocyte adhesion factors and vascular function in overweight men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esser, Diederik; Mars, Monica; Oosterink, Els; Stalmach, Angelique; Müller, Michael; Afman, Lydia A

    2014-03-01

    Flavanol-enriched chocolate consumption increases endothelium-dependent vasodilation. Most research so far has focused on flow-mediated dilation (FMD) only; the effects on other factors relevant to endothelial health, such as inflammation and leukocyte adhesion, have hardly been addressed. We investigated whether consumption of regular dark chocolate also affects other markers of endothelial health, and whether chocolate enrichment with flavanols has additional benefits. In a randomized double-blind crossover study, the effects of acute and of 4 wk daily consumption of high flavanol chocolate (HFC) and normal flavanol chocolate (NFC) on FMD, augmentation index (AIX), leukocyte count, plasma cytokines, and leukocyte cell surface molecules in overweight men (age 45-70 yr) were investigated. Sensory profiles and motivation scores to eat chocolate were also collected. Findings showed that a 4 wk chocolate intake increased FMD by 1%, which was paralleled by a decreased AIX of 1%, decreased leukocyte cell count, decreased plasma sICAM1 and sICAM3, and decreased leukocyte adhesion marker expression (Pchocolate. This study provides new insights on how chocolate affects endothelial health by demonstrating that chocolate consumption, besides improving vascular function, also lowers the adherence capacity of leukocytes in the circulation.

  19. Effect of chemical and physical factors to improve the germination rate of Echinacea angustifolia seeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuanren, Duan; Bochu, Wang; Wanqian, Liu; Jing, Chen; Jie, Lian; Huan, Zhao

    2004-09-01

    Seeds of Echinacea angustifolia are known for their deep dormancy. In this paper, we studied the responses of E. angustifolia seeds to some chemical and physical factors, such as scarification, chilling (5 degrees C) period, light and applied BA (6-benzylaminopurine), GA3 (gibberellic acid) and sound stimulation. When the seed coat layers were removed, the germination rate grew up from 6 to 20% (incubated in light) and the mean time germination (MTG) was reduced from 18 to 6.6 days. On the basis of layers-removed, chilling and continuous light gave significantly higher germination rate (up to 70%). Compare the data of seeds chilled by 0, 6, 12, 18 and 24 days, the maximum germination rate (up to 70%) achieved at 18-days chilling treatment. Further increases in the chilling period could slightly improve germination. Exogenous application of 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 mg/L GA3 or BA in the previous pretreatment increased germination to 78, 90 and 84% or 76, 86 and 84%, respectively. Obviously, the best concentration of GA or BA is 0.3 mg/L. And the GA3 or BA treatment shortened the MTG to about 4 days. The influence of sound stimulation was also tested in the experiment. The result showed that one 100 dB and 1000 Hz sound wave (sine-wave) was beneficial to the germination of E. angustifolia seeds.

  20. A combined continuous and interval aerobic training improves metabolic syndrome risk factors in men

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    Sari-Sarraf V

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Vahid Sari-Sarraf,1 Akbar Aliasgarzadeh,2 Mohammad-Mahdi Naderali,3 Hamid Esmaeili,1 Ebrahim K Naderali4 1Department of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Tabriz, 2Bone Research Centre, Endocrine Unit, Department of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran; 3The School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, 4Faculty of Science, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, UK Abstract: Individuals with metabolic syndrome have significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes leading to premature death mortality. Metabolic syndrome has a complex etiology; thus, it may require a combined and multi-targeted aerobic exercise regimen to improve risk factors associated with it. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of combined continuous and interval aerobic training on patients with metabolic syndrome. Thirty adult male with metabolic syndrome (54±8 years were randomly divided into two groups: test training group (TTG; n=15 and control group (CG; n=15. Subjects in TTG performed combined continuous and interval aerobic training using a motorized treadmill three times per week for 16 weeks. Subjects in CG were advised to continue with their normal activities of life. Twenty-two men completed the study (eleven men in each group. At the end of the study, in TTG, there were significant (for all, P<0.05 reductions in total body weight (-3.2%, waist circumference (-3.43 cm, blood pressure (up to -12.7 mmHg, and plasma insulin, glucose, and triacylglyceride levels. Moreover, there were significant (for all, P<0.05 increases VO2max (-15.3% and isometric strength of thigh muscle (28.1% and high-density lipoprotein in TTG. None of the above indices were changed in CG at the end of 16-week study period. Our study suggests that adoption of a 16-week combined continuous and interval aerobic training regimen in men

  1. Improving the convergence of closed and open path integral molecular dynamics via higher order Trotter factorization schemes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez, Alejandro; Tuckerman, Mark E.

    2011-08-01

    Higher order factorization schemes are developed for path integral molecular dynamics in order to improve the convergence of estimators for physical observables as a function of the Trotter number. The methods are based on the Takahashi-Imada and Susuki decompositions of the Boltzmann operator. The methods introduced improve the averages of the estimators by using the classical forces needed to carry out the dynamics to construct a posteriori weighting factors for standard path integral molecular dynamics. The new approaches are straightforward to implement in existing path integral codes and carry no significant overhead. The Suzuki higher order factorization was also used to improve the end-to-end distance estimator in open path integral molecular dynamics. The new schemes are tested in various model systems, including an ab initio path integral molecular dynamics calculation on the hydrogen molecule and a quantum water model. The proposed algorithms have potential utility for reducing the cost of path integral molecular dynamics calculations of bulk systems.

  2. Granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor improves cardiac function in rabbits following myocardial infarction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    董安平; 马爱群; 韩克; 杨春; 蔡平; 蒋文慧

    2003-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the therapeutic potency of recombinant human Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor (GM-CSF) in a rabbit myocardial infarction model. Methods: A myocardial infarction was created by the ligation of the major ventricular branch of the left coronary artery in rabbits. After myocardial infarction, the animals were randomly assigned to GM-CSF treatment group, untreated groups and sham-operated group. The rabbits of the treated group were injected into GM-CSF by subcutaneous administration, 10 μg/kg/day, once a day for 5 days. The untreated and sham-operated group received a equal saline in the same manner as treated group. Six weeks later echocardiography and haemodynamic assessment were undertaken to assesse cardiac function. The size of the infarct region of the heart were also studied. Results: The untreated group exhibited significant higher left ventricle end-diastolic pressure, higher central venous pressure, and with significant lower mean blood pressure, lower peak first derivative of left ventricle pressure (dP/dt) than the sham group. Also, Rabbits in untreated group display significant systolic dysfunction shown by the decreased ejection fraction, diastolic dysfunction shown by increasing in the ratio of E wave to A wave (E/A), and display left ventricle enlargement. However, GS-CSF singnificantly prevented heart dysfunction, left ventricle enlargement, and reduced infarct size in treatment group. Conclusion: Administration GM-CSF after cardiac infarction can improve heart function. These findings indicate the technique may be a novel and simple therapeutic method for ischemic myocardium.

  3. Factors influencing patient satisfaction with dental appearance and treatments they desire to improve aesthetics

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    Hassan Nurhidayati

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We assessed factors influencing patients' satisfaction with their dental appearance and the treatments they desired to improve dental aesthetics. Methods A cross-sectional study was performed out among 235 adult patients who visited the Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia dental clinic. A structured, interviewer-guided questionnaire was used to identify patient satisfaction with their general dental appearance, cosmetic elements and desired treatments. Results The 235 patients consisted of 70 males (29.8% and 165 females (70.2%, of mean age 31.5 years (SD 13.0. Of these patients, 124 (52.8% were not satisfied with their general dental appearance. In addition, 132 patients (56.2% were not happy with the color of their teeth, 76 (32.3%, regarded their teeth were poorly aligned, 62 (26.4%, as crowded and 56 (23.4% protruded. Dissatisfaction with tooth color was significantly higher in female than in male patients (odds ratio [OR] of 1.99 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.13-3.50. Tooth whitening was the treatment most desired by patients (48.1%. Results of multiple logistic regression analysis showed that patient dissatisfaction with general dental appearance was significantly associated with female gender (OR = 2.18; 95% CI: 1.18-4.03, unhappiness with tooth color (OR = 3.05; 95% CI: 1.74-5.34 and the opinion that their teeth protruded (OR = 2.91, 95% CI: 1.44-5.91. Conclusions Most patients in this study were not satisfied with their dental appearance with a greater percentage of females expressing dissatisfaction than males. An age was not associated with satisfaction. Unhappiness with tooth color and feelings of having protruding teeth also had a significant negative influence on patient satisfaction with general dental appearance.

  4. Decreased levels of Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 are correlated with improved hypoglycemia in patients with insulinoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xu; Yu, Haoyong; Yin, Jun; Li, Lianxi; Zhou, Jian; Li, Ming; Li, Qing; Chen, Haibing; Liu, Fang; Bao, Yuqian; Han, Junfeng; Jia, Weiping

    2017-01-01

    Fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF-21) improves insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism in obese or diabetic animal models and has been proposed as a potential therapeutic agent for treating T2DM, obesity, and their related complications. However, little is known about the changes of FGF21 levels in response to endogenous hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia. To explore its relationship with parameters of glucose metabolism in patients with insulinoma, eleven subjects with pathological insulinoma and twenty-two healthy subjects were recruited for this study. Interestingly, we found that the serum FGF21 levels increased significantly in patients with insulinoma at baseline compared with the control group (381.36 ± 107.12 vs. 62.59 ± 10.48 pg/mL; P = 0.001). Furthermore, FGF21 was positively correlated with insulin (r = 0.80, P = 0.003) and proinsulin (r = 0.72, P = 0.012) in subjects with insulinoma. Multiple stepwise regression analysis showed that FGF21 was independently associated with insulin (β = 0.80, P = 0.003). In addition, FGF21 decreased significantly after surgery, and its change was still correlated positively with the changes in insulin (r = 0.61, P = 0.048) and proinsulin (r = 0.84, P = 0.001). These findings suggested that the serum FGF21 levels could be involved in a complex adaptive response to insulin secretion and glucose metabolism in humans. PMID:28225059

  5. CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR IMPROVING BUSINESS PERFORMANCE WITH LEAN MANUFACTURING AND SUCCESSFUL HUMAN FACTORS INTERVENTIONS-A CASE STUD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajiv Sharm

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays organizations compete between themselves in various categories such as faster delivery, price tags, state of art - technology and higher quality dimensio ns. A Conceptual framework with lean manufacturing and hum an factors interventions for improving business performance in terms of improved quality, reduced cost and faster de livery is presented and example s from literature are given to illustrate the desir ed situation in which ergonomics is considered as an integrated part of performance strategy . A case from an industry engaged in manufacturing shafts using lean manufacturing practices with successful ergonomic or human factors interventions is also inves tigated.

  6. Kaon semileptonic decay form factors from N{sub f} = 2 non-perturbatively O(a)-improved Wilson fermions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Broemmel, D. [Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Hamburg (Germany)]|[Regensburg Univ. (Germany). Inst. fuer Physik 1 - Theoretische Physik; Horsley, R.; Zanotti, J. [Edinburgh Univ. (United Kingdom). School of Physics; Morozov, S.M. [Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics, Moscow (Russian Federation); Nakamura, Y.; Pleiter, D. [Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Zeuthen (Germany). John von Neumann-Inst. fuer Computing NIC; Schierholz, G. [Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Hamburg (Germany)]|[Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Zeuthen (Germany). John von Neumann-Inst. fuer Computing NIC; Stueben, H. [Konrad-Zuse-Zentrum fuer Informationstechnik Berlin (ZIB) (Germany)

    2007-10-15

    We present first results from the QCDSF collaboration for the kaon semileptonic decay form factors at zero momentum transfer, using two flavours of non-perturbatively O(a)-improved Wilson quarks. A lattice determination of these form factors is of particular interest to improve the accuracy on the CKM matrix element vertical stroke V{sub us} vertical stroke. Calculations are performed on lattices with lattice spacing of about 0.08 fm with different values of light and strange quark masses, which allows us to extrapolate to chiral limit. Employing double ratio techniques, we are able to get small statistical errors. (orig.)

  7. Factors associated with use of improved water sources and sanitation among rural primary schoolchildren in Pursat Province, Cambodia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    En, Wee Liang; Gan, Goh Lee

    2011-07-01

    Access to improved water supplies and sanitation generally reduces childhood diarrhea incidence. Using a cross-sectional stratified cluster sampling design, interviews were conducted among grade 4-6 primary schoolchildren from 10 primary schools in highland and lowland districts of Pursat Province, Cambodia, in both June (rainy season) and December (dry season) 2009 to determine the demographics and water sources/sanitation used. Parents also recorded any incidents of diarrhea in their children over those months. We explored the sociodemographic factors associated with use of improved water sources/sanitation, using mixed effect modelling. Participation was 84.7% (1,101/1,300). About half exclusively used improved water sources but less than 25% had access to improved sanitation during both seasons. Adjusting for clustering within households and within individuals over time, exclusive use of improved water sources and sanitation were associated with the following: dry season, more permanent housing type, family size improved sanitation was associated with good hygiene practices and exclusive use of improved water sources was associated with male gender. Access to improved water sources and sanitation among rural Cambodian primary schoolchildren can be improved, particularly in those with lower socio-economic status. Programs to promote use of improved water sources/sanitation need to target less educated parents.

  8. Factors that influence improvement in numeracy, reading and comprehension in the context of a numeracy intervention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann Dowker

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available In a randomized controlled trial 104 primary school children, who received an individualized numeracy intervention, Catch Up Numeracy, were compared with 100 children, who received matched-time teaching, and 107, who received business-as-usual teaching. They were assessed before and after intervention, on the Number Screening Test and on both the reading and comprehension components of the Salford Sentence Reading Test. Those who received the intervention improved significantly more than the controls in numeracy but not in reading or comprehension. Numeracy, reading and comprehension scores were significantly correlated. Both reading and numeracy predicted improvement in comprehension, but only comprehension predicted improvement in reading, and neither literacy measure predicted improvement in numeracy. Children eligible for free school meals scored lower than others on all pretests and post-tests, but did not differ in their levels of improvement. Age negatively predicted improvement in reading and comprehension, but not numeracy. Gender affected comprehension but not reading or numeracy.

  9. What factors predict improvements in outcomes scores and reoperations after the Bernese periacetabular osteotomy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaulé, Paul E; Dowding, Chris; Parker, Gillian; Ryu, Jae-Jin

    2015-02-01

    The Bernese periacetabular osteotomy (PAO) has entered its fourth decade and is frequently used for corrective osteotomy in patients with acetabular dysplasia. Although our capacity to preserve the joint after corrective osteotomy is excellent, gaining a better understanding on how well patients function after this surgery is important as well. (1) What changes in patient-reported outcomes scores occur in patients treated with PAO for hip dysplasia in the setting of a single-surgeon practice? (2) What are the predictors of clinical function and survivorship? All 67 patients presenting to a single surgeon's clinic with hip dysplasia treated with PAO between October 2005 and January 2013 were prospectively followed. Baseline demographic data as well as pre- and postoperative radiographic and functional measurements were obtained with a minimum of 1-year followup. Radiographic criteria included Tönnis grade, Tönnis angle, minimum joint space width, center-edge angle, presence of crossover sign, medial translation of the hip center, and alpha angle. We also used validated outcome measures including the WOMAC, the UCLA Activity Scale, and the SF-12. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine predictors of functional outcome scores. There were increases in WOMAC, UCLA, and SF-12 Physical scores. Higher preoperative alpha angle was associated with a lower postoperative WOMAC score (β=-0.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.92 to -0.02; R2=0.08; p=0.04). The 5-year Kaplan-Meier survivorship was 94.1% (95% CI, 90.7-97.5) with reoperation (ie, hip arthroscopy and/or total hip arthroplasty) used as the endpoint for failure. With the limited numbers available, we could not identify any demographic or radiographic factors associated with reoperation. Overall survivorship for the PAO at our center at 5 years is comparable to other clinical series with overall functional scores improving. A greater alpha angle preoperatively was associated with poorer patient

  10. Vascular endothelial growth factor is crucial for erythropoietin-induced improvement of cardiac function in heart failure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Westenbrink, B. Daan; Ruifrok, Willem-Peter T.; Voors, Adriaan A.; Tilton, Ronald G.; van Veldhuisen, Dirk J.; Schoemaker, Regien G.; van Gilst, Wiek H.; de Boer, Rudolf A.

    2010-01-01

    We intended to delineate the mechanisms of erythropoietin (EPO)-induced cardiac vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production and to establish if VEGF is crucial for EPO-induced improvement of cardiac performance. The effects of EPO on VEGF expression were studied in cultured cardiac cells an

  11. Pieces of the Puzzle: Factors in the Improvement of Urban School Districts on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Abstract

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casserly, Michael; Price-Baugh, Ricki; Corcoran, Amanda; Lewis, Sharon; Uzzell, Renata; Simon, Candace; Heppen, Jessica; Leinwand, Steve; Salinger, Terry; de Mello, Victor Bandeira; Dogan, Enis; Novotny, Laura

    2011-01-01

    This is an abridged, summary report of selected findings from "Pieces of the Puzzle: Factors in the Improvement of Urban School Districts on the National Assessment of Educational Progress"--a comprehensive study prepared by the Council of the Great City Schools in collaboration with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and with…

  12. Vascular endothelial growth factor is crucial for erythropoietin-induced improvement of cardiac function in heart failure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Westenbrink, B. Daan; Ruifrok, Willem-Peter T.; Voors, Adriaan A.; Tilton, Ronald G.; van Veldhuisen, Dirk J.; Schoemaker, Regien G.; van Gilst, Wiek H.; de Boer, Rudolf A.

    2010-01-01

    We intended to delineate the mechanisms of erythropoietin (EPO)-induced cardiac vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production and to establish if VEGF is crucial for EPO-induced improvement of cardiac performance. The effects of EPO on VEGF expression were studied in cultured cardiac cells an

  13. Iranian staff nurses' views of their productivity and human resource factors improving and impeding it: a qualitative study

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    Salsali Mahvash

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Nurses, as the largest human resource element of health care systems, have a major role in providing ongoing, high-quality care to patients. Productivity is a significant indicator of professional development within any professional group, including nurses. The human resource element has been identified as the most important factor affecting productivity. This research aimed to explore nurses' perceptions and experiences of productivity and human resource factors improving or impeding it. Method A qualitative approach was used to obtain rich data; open, semi-structured interviews were also conducted. The sampling was based on the maximum variant approach; data analysis was carried out by content analysis, with the constant comparative method. Results Participants indicated that human resources issues are the most important factor in promoting or impeding their productivity. They suggested that the factors influencing effectiveness of human resource elements include: systematic evaluation of staff numbers; a sound selection process based on verifiable criteria; provision of an adequate staffing level throughout the year; full involvement of the ward sister in the process of admitting patients; and sound communication within the care team. Paying attention to these factors creates a suitable background for improved productivity and decreases negative impacts of human resource shortages, whereas ignoring or interfering with them would result in lowering of nurses' productivity. Conclusion Participants maintained that satisfactory human resources can improve nurses' productivity and the quality of care they provide; thereby fulfilling the core objective of the health care system.

  14. Porcine Bone Scaffolds Adsorb Growth Factors Secreted by MSCs and Improve Bone Tissue Repair

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    Eitan Mijiritsky

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available An ideal tissue-engineered bone graft should have both excellent pro-osteogenesis and pro-angiogenesis properties to rapidly realize the bone regeneration in vivo. To meet this goal, in this work a porcine bone scaffold was successfully used as a Trojan horse to store growth factors produced by mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs. This new scaffold showed a time-dependent release of bioactive growth factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF, in vitro. The biological effect of the growth factors-adsorbed scaffold on the in vitro commitment of MSCs into osteogenic and endothelial cell phenotypes has been evaluated. In addition, we have investigated the activity of growth factor-impregnated granules in the repair of critical-size defects in rat calvaria by means of histological, immunohistochemical, and molecular biology analyses. Based on the results of our work bone tissue formation and markers for bone and vascularization were significantly increased by the growth factor-enriched bone granules after implantation. This suggests that the controlled release of active growth factors from porcine bone granules can enhance and promote bone regeneration.

  15. The Sustainable Office. An exploration of the potential for factor 20 environmental improvement of office accommodation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van den Dobbelsteen, A.A.J.F.

    2004-01-01

    Sustainable development is the goal of a balance between economy and the environment, whilst establishing a better spread prosperity across the world. In order to make this possible, the environmental load of our commodities needs to be reduced by a factor of 20. This factor 20 can also be translate

  16. Not So Fast: Inflation in Impact Factors Contributes to Apparent Improvements in Journal Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neff, Bryan D.; Olden, Julian D.

    2010-01-01

    The Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) impact factor has become an important standard for assessing journal quality. Here we propose that impact factors may be subject to inflation analogous to changes in monetary prices in economics. The possibility of inflation came to light as a result of the observation that papers published today tend…

  17. Improving post-transfer survival of bovine embryos produced in vitro: actions of insulin-like growth factor-1, colony stimulating factor-2 and hyaluronan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Block, J; Hansen, P J; Loureiro, B; Bonilla, L

    2011-12-01

    Technologies for in vitro embryo production have the potential to enhance the efficiency of cattle production systems. However, utilization of in vitro-produced embryos for transfer remains limited throughout much of the world. Despite improvements over the past two decades, problems associated with the production of bovine embryos in vitro still exist which limit the widespread commercial application of this technology. In particular, bovine embryos produced in vitro have a reduced capacity to establish and maintain pregnancy as compared with their in vivo-derived counterparts. Embryo competence for survival following transfer is improved by in vivo culture in the sheep oviduct, thus indicating that standard embryo culture conditions are sub-optimal. Therefore, one strategy to improve post-transfer survival is to modify embryo culture media to more closely mimic the in vivo microenvironment. The maternal environment in which the bovine embryo develops in vivo contains various growth factors, cytokines, hormones, and other regulatory molecules. In addition to affecting bovine embryo development in vitro, recent research indicates that embryo competence for survival following transfer can also be improved when such molecules are added to embryo culture medium. Among the specific molecules that can increase post-transfer embryo survival are insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), colony stimulating factor-2 (CSF-2) and hyaluronan. This paper will review the effects IGF-1, CSF-2 and hyaluronan on post-culture embryo viability and discuss the potential mechanisms through which each of these molecules improves post-transfer survival. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Factors for analysing and improving performance of R&D in Malaysian universities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramli, Mohammad Shakir; de Boer, S.J.; de Bruijn, E.J.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents a model for analysing and improving performance of R&D in Malaysian universities. There are various general models for R&D analysis, but none is specific for improving the performance of R&D in Malaysian universities. This research attempts to fill a gap in the body of knowledge

  19. Correction factors for the INER-improved free-air ionization chambers calculated with the Monte Carlo method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Uei-Tyng; Chu, Chien-Hau

    2006-05-01

    Monte Carlo method was used to simulate the correction factors for electron loss and scattered photons for two improved cylindrical free-air ionization chambers (FACs) constructed at the Institute of Nuclear Energy Research (INER, Taiwan). The method is based on weighting correction factors for mono-energetic photons with X-ray spectra. The newly obtained correction factors for the medium-energy free-air chamber were compared with the current values, which were based on a least-squares fit to experimental data published in the NBS Handbook 64 [Wyckoff, H.O., Attix, F.H., 1969. Design of free-air ionization chambers. National Bureau Standards Handbook, No. 64. US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, pp. 1-16; Chen, W.L., Su, S.H., Su, L.L., Hwang, W.S., 1999. Improved free-air ionization chamber for the measurement of X-rays. Metrologia 36, 19-24]. The comparison results showed the agreement between the Monte Carlo method and experimental data is within 0.22%. In addition, mono-energetic correction factors for the low-energy free-air chamber were calculated. Average correction factors were then derived for measured and theoretical X-ray spectra at 30-50 kVp. Although the measured and calculated spectra differ slightly, the resulting differences in the derived correction factors are less than 0.02%.

  20. Performance improvement through best practice team management: human factors in complex trauma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, Simon; Arul, G S; Pugh, H E J

    2014-06-01

    Human factors or non-technical skills are now commonplace in the medical literature, having taken the lead from the airline and nuclear industries and more recently Formula One motor racing. They have been suggested as playing a vital role in the success of the trauma teams in recent conflicts. This article outlines the background to human factors, referring to early papers and reports and also outlines high profile cases that highlight their importance. We then describe the importance of human factors in the deployed setting and some of the lessons that have been learnt from current conflicts.

  1. Improving Tax Administration's Services as a Factor of Tax Compilance: The Case of Tax Audit

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lidija Hauptman; Mirjana Horvat; Romana Korez-Vide

    2014-01-01

    .... In the theoretical part of this article the factors of tax compliance and the tax authorities' measures in combating tax evasion are examined, the levels of tax rates and the compliance burden...

  2. IMPROVEMENT OF NON-MATERIAL FACTORS – THE FORMULA OF SUCCESS IN SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evgeniy Stoyanov

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper discusses the development of a particular group of factors that enhance their impact on the success of more and more initiatives, regardless of the nature of the product they generate. This group affects the human factor, information capital and organizational capital. The dynamics of their development is an opportunity to discuss them as constantly perfecting systems actively both in the purposeful work itself and the subsequent development of society, interpreted as a adhocratic structured system. The purpose is to prove the thesis that these factors have priority in accelerated social evolution. The tasks, set for implementation, are committed to conducting a critical analysis on each factor as a formal presence, as an essential feature and functionality, and as effects that are reproduced in public space.

  3. How to improve teaching practices: the role of teacher motivation, organizational factors and leadership practices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thoonen, E.E.J.; Sleegers, P.J.C.; Oort, F.J.; Peetsma, T.T.D.; Geijsel, F.P.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: Although it is expected that building schoolwide capacity for teacher learning will improve teaching practices, there is little systematic evidence to support this claim. This study aimed to examine the relative impact of transformational leadership practices, school organizational conditio

  4. Pneumococcal meningitis and endocarditis in an infant: possible improved survival with factor V Leiden mutation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohapatra, Sitikant; Doulah, Assaf; Brown, Elspeth

    2017-08-12

    Streptococcus pneumoniae infections continue to remain associated with high morbidity and mortality. Although the incidence of invasive meningeal and/or lung disease are not uncommon, Streptococcus pneumoniae endocarditis is rare especially in healthy pediatric population. New studies have suggested a strong association between factor V leiden (FVL) mutation and favorable outcomes in critically ill children. A healthy 10 month old presented with sepsis and meningeal signs, was later confirmed to have Streptococcus pneumoniae meningitis and endocarditis. She was found to have factor V leiden mutation and made a complete recovery despite initial complications. Presence of factor V leiden mutation in critically ill children with severe septicaemia possibly contributes to better outcomes. What is known: • Mortality and morbidity remain high with invasive pneumococcal disease. • Pneumococcal endocarditis is rare in healthy pediatric population and results in significant morbidity and mortality What is new: • New studies have suggested a strong association between factor V leiden (FVL) mutation and favorable outcomes in critically ill children. • The presence of factor V mutation in children with extensive invasive pneumococcal disease possibly contributes to a better outcome.

  5. SPATIAL VARIETY AND DISTRIBUTION OF TRADITIONAL MARKETS IN SURAKARTA AS POTENTIAL FACTORS IN IMPROVING SPATIAL-BASED MANAGEMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Istijabatul Aliyah

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Traditional markets function as trading place, socio-culture interaction, and recreation facility either in regional or urban scope. Distribution and variety of spatial condition influence traditional markets’ planning both physically and non-physically. Therefore, this research aimed to conduct a mapping of traditional markets’ spatial distribution and variety as potential factors to improve spatial-based management. Analysis methods including: (1 Mapping by employing Geographic Information System, (2 Category Based Analysis (CBA, and (3 Interactive Analysis were applied in Surakarta City as the research location. The result of this research signifies that spatial variety and distribution of traditional markets in Surakarta had similar pattern between one market to others; overlapping service function; specific commodity types in accordance with the market’s characteristics; diverse operating hours. Spatial variety and distribution could be potential factors to improve traditional market management as shopping service. This result was contrasted with Central Place Theory by Christaller and NÆss & Jensen’s research finding stating that distance became a key factor influencing accessibility to a number of activity facilities. Therefore, distance toward the service center is not considered as the main factor in traditional market management. The main factor in managing and controlling traditional markets’ development includes service function, commodity specification, and operating hour’s flexibility.

  6. Phenomenological discussion of $B\\to P V$ decays in QCD improved factorization approach

    CERN Document Server

    Aleksan, Roy; Morénas, V; Pène, O; Safir, A S

    2003-01-01

    Trying a global fit of the experimental branching ratios and CP-asymmetries of the charmless $B\\to PV$ decays according to QCD factorization, we find it impossible to reach a satisfactory agreement, the confidence level (CL) of the best fit is smaller than .1 %. This failure reflects the difficulty to accommodate several large experimental branching ratios of the strange channels. Furthermore, experiment was not able to exclude a large direct CP asymmetry in $\\bar {B}^0\\to\\rho^+ \\pi^-$, which is predicted very small by QCD factorization. Proposing a fit with QCD factorization complemented by a charming-penguin inspired model we reach a best fit which is not excluded by experiment (CL of about 8 %) but is not fully convincing. These negative results must be tempered by the remark that some of the experimental data used are recent and might still evolve significantly.

  7. Inhibition of tubulointerstitial fibrosis by pentoxifylline is associated with improvement of vascular endothelial growth factor expression

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Qiu-gen ZHOU; Fa-lei ZHENG; Fan-fan HOU

    2009-01-01

    Aim: Recent information indicates that pentoxifylline (PTX) has the ability to suppress inflammation and profibrotic cell proliferation. In this study, we investigated the effect of PTX on tubulointerstitial fibrosis and the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in a rat model of obstructive nephropathy. Methods: Wistar rats with left ureteral ligation were divided into control and PTX-treated groups. The histopathologic degree of tubulointerstitial fibrosis was scored with PAS and Masson-stained sections. The protein and mRNA for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were semiquantitatively measured with immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR. The pro-tein for transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) and hypoxia-induced factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α) was determined by Western blot. Results: Compared with the control group, PTX treatment reduced fibrosis scores at d 7 and d 14 (P<0.05). The reduction was accompanied by inhibited expression of transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGFβ1), a key cytokine in tubulointerstitial fibrogenesis (P<0.01). Meanwhile, VEGF protein and mRNA in the kidney were increased in the PTX-treated group com-pared with the control group (P<0.01). PTX up-regulated expression of VEGF mRNA in a dose- and time-dependent man-ner in cultured HK-2 cells (P<0.01). However, expression of HIF-1α (a key transcription factor for VEGF gene expression) was unchanged by PTX treatment. PTX prolonged the half-life of VEGF mRNA by a 1.07-fold increase. Conclusions: PTX inhibited tubulointerstitial fibrosis in a rat model of obstructive nephropathy while preventing loss of VEGF. PTX up-regulated expression of VEGF mRNA through stabilization of its mRNA in cultured renal tubular epithelial cells.

  8. Does von Willebrand factor improve the predictive ability of current risk stratification scores in patients with atrial fibrillation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Fernández, Amaya; Roldán, Vanessa; Rivera-Caravaca, José Miguel; Hernández-Romero, Diana; Valdés, Mariano; Vicente, Vicente; Lip, Gregory Y. H.; Marín, Francisco

    2017-01-01

    Von Willebrand factor (vWF) is a biomarker of endothelial dysfunction. We investigated its role on prognosis in anticoagulated atrial fibrillation (AF) patients and determined whether its addition to clinical risk stratification schemes improved event-risk prediction. Consecutive outpatients with non-valvular AF were recruited and rates of thrombotic/cardiovascular events, major bleeding and mortality were recorded. The effect of vWF on prognosis was calculated using a Cox regression model. Improvements in predictive accuracy over current scores were determined by calculating the integrated discrimination improvement (IDI), net reclassification improvement (NRI), comparison of receiver-operator characteristic (ROC) curves and Decision Curve Analysis (DCA). 1215 patients (49% males, age 76 (71–81) years) were included. Follow-up was almost 7 years. Significant associations were found between vWF and cardiovascular events, stroke, mortality and bleeding. Based on IDI and NRI, addition of vWF to CHA2DS2-VASc statistically improved its predictive value, but c-indexes were not significantly different. For major bleeding, the addition of vWF to HAS-BLED improved the c-index but not IDI or NRI. DCA showed minimal net benefit. vWF acts as a simple prognostic biomarker in AF and, whilst its addition to current scores statistically improves prediction for some endpoints, absolute changes and impact on clinical decision-making are marginal. PMID:28134282

  9. Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF improves motor recovery in the rat impactor model for spinal cord injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanjew Dittgen

    Full Text Available Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF improves outcome after experimental SCI by counteracting apoptosis, and enhancing connectivity in the injured spinal cord. Previously we have employed the mouse hemisection SCI model and studied motor function after subcutaneous or transgenic delivery of the protein. To further broaden confidence in animal efficacy data we sought to determine efficacy in a different model and a different species. Here we investigated the effects of G-CSF in Wistar rats using the New York University Impactor. In this model, corroborating our previous data, rats treated subcutaneously with G-CSF over 2 weeks show significant improvement of motor function.

  10. A Factor of Four Increase in Attenuation Length of Dipped Lightguides for Liquid Argon TPCs Through Improved Coating

    CERN Document Server

    Moss, Z; Bugel, L; Conrad, J M; Sachdev, K; Toups, M; Wongjirad, T

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes new techniques for producing lightguides for detection of scintillation light in liquid argon time projection chambers. These can be used in future neutrino experiments such as SBND and DUNE. These new results build on a dipped-coating technique that was previously reported and is reviewed here. The improvements to the approach indicate a factor of four improvement in attenuation length of the lightguides compared to past studies. The measured attenuation lengths, which are >2 m, are consistent with the bulk attenuation length of the material. Schematics for a mechanical dipping system are provided in this paper. This system is shown to result in coatings with < 10% variations

  11. Recent improvements in efficiency, accuracy, and convergence for implicit approximate factorization algorithms. [computational fluid dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulliam, T. H.; Steger, J. L.

    1985-01-01

    In 1977 and 1978, general purpose centrally space differenced implicit finite difference codes in two and three dimensions have been introduced. These codes, now called ARC2D and ARC3D, can run either in inviscid or viscous mode for steady or unsteady flow. Since the introduction of the ARC2D and ARC3D codes, overall computational efficiency could be improved by making use of a number of algorithmic changes. These changes are related to the use of a spatially varying time step, the use of a sequence of mesh refinements to establish approximate solutions, implementation of various ways to reduce inversion work, improved numerical dissipation terms, and more implicit treatment of terms. The present investigation has the objective to describe the considered improvements and to quantify advantages and disadvantages. It is found that using established and simple procedures, a computer code can be maintained which is competitive with specialized codes.

  12. The Five-Factor Model Personality Assessment for Improved Student Design Team Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogot, Madara; Okudan, Gul E.

    2006-01-01

    Researchers have long noted the correlation of various personality traits and team performance. Studies relating aggregate team personality traits to team performance are scattered in the literature and may not always be relevant to engineering design teams. This paper synthesizes the results from applicable Five-Factor Model (FFM)-based…

  13. Improving Aspergillus niger as a production host through manipulation of pH responding transcription factors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Lars; Bruno, K.S.; Thykær, Jette

    ). In the present study the effect of modulation of transcription factors in Aspergillus niger, which is an industrially important micro-organism used in various processes including organic acid and enzyme production, was investigated. The strategy described in this work focuses on regulation connected to p...

  14. Transcription factors as targets for improving Aspergillus niger as cell factory

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Lars; Bruno, K.S.; Thykær, Jette

    Altering fluxes for overcoming metabolic bottlenecks have traditionally been approached by genetic engineering of a single or few metabolic genes. This strategy struggles to overcome the subjacent regulation thus the outcome has frequently shown to be of limited success. Transcription factors hav...

  15. A Cyclodissipativity Condition for Power Factor Improvement under Nonsinusoidal Source with Significant Impedance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Puerto-Flores, Dunstano del; Ortega, Romeo; Scherpen, Jacquelien M.A.

    2010-01-01

    The main contribution of this paper is an extension of a recent result that reformulates and solves the power factor compensation for nonlinear loads under nonsinusoidal regime in terms of cyclodissipativity. In the aforementioned result the generator was assumed to be ideal, that is, with negligibl

  16. On Power Factor Improvement by Lossless Linear Filters in the Nonlinear Nonsinusoidal Case

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Puerto-Flores, Dunstano del; Scherpen, Jacquelien M.A.; Ortega, Romeo

    2010-01-01

    Recently, it has been established that the problem of power factor compensation (PFC) for nonlinear loads with non-sinusoidal source voltage can be recast in terms of the property of cyclodissipativity. Using this framework we study the PFC for nonlinear loads containing a memoryless nonlinearity. W

  17. Three Phase Six-Switch PWM Buck Rectifier with Power Factor Improvement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zafar Ullah Khan, M; Mohsin Naveed, M.; Hussain, Dil Muhammad Akbar

    2013-01-01

    Conventional Phase Controlled Rectifier injects low order current harmonics into the AC mains. Large size filtering components are required to attenuate these harmonics. In this paper, Three Phase Six-Switch PWM Buck Rectifier[1] is presented which operates at nearly unity power factor and provides...

  18. Dark chocolate consumption improves leukocyte adhesion factors and vascular function in overweight men

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Esser, D.; Mars, M.; Oosterink, E.; Stalmach, A.; Müller, M.R.; Afman, L.A.

    2014-01-01

    Flavanol-enriched chocolate consumption increases endothelium-dependent vasodilation. Most research so far has focused on flow-mediated dilation (FMD) only; the effects on other factors relevant to endothelial health, such as inflammation and leukocyte adhesion, have hardly been addressed. We

  19. Three Phase Six-Switch PWM Buck Rectifier with Power Factor Improvement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zafar Ullah Khan, M; Mohsin Naveed, M.; Hussain, Dil Muhammad Akbar

    2013-01-01

    Conventional Phase Controlled Rectifier injects low order current harmonics into the AC mains. Large size filtering components are required to attenuate these harmonics. In this paper, Three Phase Six-Switch PWM Buck Rectifier[1] is presented which operates at nearly unity power factor and provid...

  20. On Power Factor Improvement by Lossless Linear Filters in the Nonlinear Nonsinusoidal Case

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Puerto-Flores, Dunstano del; Scherpen, Jacquelien M.A.; Ortega, Romeo

    2010-01-01

    Recently, it has been established that the problem of power factor compensation (PFC) for nonlinear loads with non-sinusoidal source voltage can be recast in terms of the property of cyclodissipativity. Using this framework we study the PFC for nonlinear loads containing a memoryless nonlinearity.

  1. On Power Factor Improvement by Lossless Linear Filters under Nonlinear Nonsinusoidal Conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Puerto-Flores, D. del; Ortega, R.; Scherpen, J.M.A.

    2011-01-01

    Recently, it has been established that the problem of power factor compensation for nonlinear loads with nonsinusoidal source voltage can be recast in terms of the property of cyclodissipativity. The purpose of this brief note is to review and to illustrate the application of this framework to the p

  2. Dark chocolate consumption improves leukocyte adhesion factors and vascular function in overweight men

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Esser, D.; Mars, M.; Oosterink, E.; Stalmach, A.; Müller, M.R.; Afman, L.A.

    2014-01-01

    Flavanol-enriched chocolate consumption increases endothelium-dependent vasodilation. Most research so far has focused on flow-mediated dilation (FMD) only; the effects on other factors relevant to endothelial health, such as inflammation and leukocyte adhesion, have hardly been addressed. We invest

  3. Analysis Supporting Factors and Constraints LPMP Performance in Improving the Quality of Education in Jambi Province

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosadi, Kemas Imron

    2015-01-01

    Development of education in Indonesia is based on three aspects, namely equity and expansion, quality and relevance, as well as good governance. Quality education is influenced by several factors related to quality education managerial leaders, limited funds, facilities, educational facilities, media, learning resources, tools and training…

  4. Human Factors Tools for Improving Simulation Activities in Continuing Medical Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seagull, F. Jacob

    2012-01-01

    Human factors (HF) is a discipline often drawn upon when there is a need to train people to perform complex, high-stakes tasks and effectively assess their performance. Complex tasks often present unique challenges for training and assessment. HF has developed specialized techniques that have been effective in overcoming several of these…

  5. On the economics of improved oil recovery. The optimal recovery factor from oil and gas reservoirs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nystad, A.N.

    1985-06-01

    We investigate an oil company's optimal depletion of oil and gas reservoirs, taking into account that the depletion policy itself influences the recoverable reserves (recovery factor) and that we have up-front capital costs. The depletion policy is defined by the amount of investment in production and in injection projects. 6 refs., 8 figs., 2 tabs.

  6. An Improvement of the Harman-Fukuda-Method for the Minres Solution in Factor Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hafner, Robert

    1981-01-01

    The method proposed by Harman and Fukuda to treat the so-called Heywood case in the minres method in factor analysis (i.e., the case where the resulting communalities are greater than one) involves the frequent solution of eigenvalue problems. A simple method to treat this problem is presented. (Author/JKS)

  7. Factors associated with duration of breastfeeding in ireland: potential areas for improvement.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Tarrant, R C

    2011-08-01

    There is a need to comprehensively examine why mothers in Ireland discontinue breastfeeding early and to explore the factors influencing duration of breastfeeding during the first 6 months postpartum. Findings from this study provide valuable direction for future strategies and interventions aimed at increasing breastfeeding duration rates in Ireland.

  8. The Five-Factor Model Personality Assessment for Improved Student Design Team Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogot, Madara; Okudan, Gul E.

    2006-01-01

    Researchers have long noted the correlation of various personality traits and team performance. Studies relating aggregate team personality traits to team performance are scattered in the literature and may not always be relevant to engineering design teams. This paper synthesizes the results from applicable Five-Factor Model (FFM)-based…

  9. Bilirubin modulated cytokines, growth factors and angiogenesis to improve cutaneous wound healing process in diabetic rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ram, Mahendra; Singh, Vishakha; Kumawat, Sanjay; Kant, Vinay; Tandan, Surendra Kumar; Kumar, Dinesh

    2016-01-01

    Bilirubin has shown cutaneous wound healing potential in some preliminary studies. Here we hypothesize that bilirubin facilitates wound healing in diabetic rats by modulating important healing factors/candidates and antioxidant parameters in a time-dependent manner. Diabetes was induced in male Wistar rats by streptozotocin. In all diabetic rats wounds were created under pentobarbitone anesthesia. All the rats were divided into two groups, of which one (control) was treated with ointment base and other with bilirubin ointment (0.3%). Wound closer measurement and tissue collection were done on days 3, 7, 14 and 19 post-wounding. The relative expressions of hypoxia inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), stromal cell-derived factor-1 alpha (SDF-1α), transforming growth factor- beta1 (TGF-β1()), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interlukin-10 (IL-10) mRNA and proteins and the mRNA of interlukin-1 beta (IL-1β) and matrix metalloprteinase-9 (MMP-9) were determined in the wound tissues. CD-31 staining and collagen content were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and picrosirius red staining, respectively. Histopathological changes were assessed by H&E staining. The per cent wound closer was significantly higher from day 7 onwards in bilirubin-treated rats. HIF-1α, VEGF, SDF-1α, TGF-β1, IL-10 mRNA and protein levels were significantly higher on days 3, 7 and 14 in bilirubin-treated rats. The mRNA expression and protein level of TNF-α and the mRNA of IL-1β and MMP-9 were progressively and markedly reduced in bilirubin-treated rats. The collagen deposition and formation of blood vessels were greater in bilirubin-treated rats. Bilirubin markedly facilitated cutaneous wound healing in diabetic rats by modulating growth factors, cytokines, neovasculogenesis and collagen contents to the wound site. Topical application of bilirubin ointment might be of great use in cutaneous wound healing in diabetic patients.

  10. Vascular endothelial growth factor improves recovery of sensorimotor and cognitive deficits after focal cerebral ischemia in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yaoming; Galvan, Veronica; Gorostiza, Olivia; Ataie, Marina; Jin, Kunlin; Greenberg, David A

    2006-10-18

    Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an angiogenesis factor with neurotrophic, neuroprotective and neuroproliferative effects. Depending on the dose, route and time of administration in relation to focal cerebral ischemia, VEGF can improve histological outcome and sensorimotor function in rodents. However, VEGF also increases vascular permeability, which can lead to brain edema and exacerbate ischemic brain injury. Thus, although VEGF is a candidate therapeutic for stroke and other ischemic disorders, its benefit relative to risk is uncertain. Considering that functional rather than histological measures of outcome are probably most relevant to therapeutic prospects for human stroke, we investigated the effects of VEGF after middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats using a series of behavioral tests. We report that VEGF improves functional outcome in ischemic rats, including both sensorimotor and cognitive deficiencies.

  11. Erythropoietin improves cardiac function through endothelial progenitor cell and vascular endothelial growth factor mediated neovascularization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Westenbrink, B. Daan; Lipsic, Erik; van der Meer, Peter; van der Harst, Pirn; Oeseburg, Hisko; Sarvaas, Gideon J. Du Marchie; Koster, Johan; Voors, Adriaan A.; van Veldhuisen, Dirk J.; van Gilst, Wiek H.; Schoemaker, Regien G.

    2007-01-01

    Aims Erythropoietin (EPO) improves cardiac function and induces neovascutarization in chronic heart failure (CHF), although the exact mechanism has not been elucidated. We studied the effects of EPO on homing and incorporation of endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) into the myocardial microvasculatur

  12. Factors Influencing Team Performance in a Continuous Quality Improvement Process in the Wisconsin Technical College System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietz, Victoria Lynn

    2014-01-01

    Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) programs are growing in popularity in higher education settings and a key component is the use of work groups, which require active employee involvement. The problem addressed in this research was the lack of employee engagement in the Quality Review Process (QRP), which is a statewide CQI model developed by…

  13. Designing and Implementing an Ergonomics Inventory to Improve Management of Human Factors Programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Kenneth A.

    Self-report ergometric inventories can provide valuable information to employers and can serve as a means of intervention to improve employee attributes. Based on the science of ergonomics (a science that studies the natural laws of work in order to maximize human efficiency in job performance), such an inventory focuses on the interaction of the…

  14. Factors Influencing Team Performance in a Continuous Quality Improvement Process in the Wisconsin Technical College System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietz, Victoria Lynn

    2014-01-01

    Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) programs are growing in popularity in higher education settings and a key component is the use of work groups, which require active employee involvement. The problem addressed in this research was the lack of employee engagement in the Quality Review Process (QRP), which is a statewide CQI model developed by…

  15. Factors associated with frequency of abortions recorded through Dairy Herd Improvement test plans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frequency of abortions recorded through Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI) testing was summarized for cows with lactations completed from 2001 through 2009. Reported abortions were 1.3% for 8.5 million DHI lactations of cows with recorded breeding dates and that were >151 d pregnant at lactation terminati...

  16. From In-Service Teacher Development to School Improvement: Factors of Learning Transfer in Teacher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreer, Benjamin; Dietrich, Julia; Kracke, Bärbel

    2017-01-01

    In-service teacher development programs are perceived as a common way to foster school improvement. Nevertheless, program evaluation to date ends with the assessment of acquired knowledge, skills, and motivation, frequently disregarding the actual learning transfer and its conditions. This study aimed to investigate how individual and situational…

  17. Improved quality of life among adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is mediated by protective factors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schei, Jorun; Nøvik, Torunn Stene; Thomsen, Per Hove;

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to assess the role of protective factors as mediators and/or moderators of the relationship between coexisting emotional and conduct problems and quality of life (QoL) among adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). METHODS: The sample......, and family cohesion may identify potential treatment goals for adolescents with ADHD and coexisting problems, and may contribute to improvements in QoL....

  18. Influence Factors and Improvement Recommendations for Core Competency of Township Enterprises

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Chengjun

    2014-01-01

    Core competency of township enterprises may be influenced from the property right, technology, scale operation, financial management and talent. In view of these influence factors, township enterprises should conduct technological innovation, bring into full play functions of talents, promote corporate culture of township enterprises, attach great importance to development of core products and innovation of relevant systems, and establish market information platform for township enterprises.

  19. Influence Factors and Improvement Recommendations for Core Competency of Township Enterprises

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chengjun; ZHANG

    2014-01-01

    Core competency of township enterprises may be influenced from the property right,technology,scale operation,financial management and talent. In view of these influence factors,township enterprises should conduct technological innovation,bring into full play functions of talents,promote corporate culture of township enterprises,attach great importance to development of core products and innovation of relevant systems,and establish market information platform for township enterprises.

  20. Improving the virtual communication efficiency as a fundamental factor of successful marketing strategy

    OpenAIRE

    Syerov, Yu.; Fedushko, S.; Trach, O.

    2016-01-01

    This article decided an important scientific task of developing methods for increasing the virtual communities? efficiency as a key factor of their marketing strategy. Different types of virtual communities were analyzed, and their place in WWW was defined. The analysis of virtual communities? efficiency criteria was carried out and complex of numerical indexes of effectiveness of the virtual communities was defined. Analyzing and defining characteristics and classification of virtual communi...

  1. Would Lipophilic Statin Therapy as a Prognostic Factor Improve Survival in Patients With Uterine Cervical Cancer?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Moo-Kon; Shin, Byoung-Sub; Ha, Chung-Sik; Park, Won-Young

    2017-09-01

    In vitro studies showed that lipophilic statins inhibit cell growth, adhesion, and invasion and induce apoptosis in cancer cell lines. In uterine cervical cancer, several important factors including age, stage, anemia, lymphovascular invasion, lymph node metastases, and parametrial spread were known to significantly predict survival. We investigated whether statin therapy as a prognostic factor would significantly predict survival in cervical cancer. Patients with stages IB to IV cervical cancer who received radical hysterectomy and/or para-aortic lymph node dissection were included. The statin-use group was identified as patients who were continuously prescribed with lipophilic statins from prediagnostic period of the cancer. The baseline characteristics of both statin-use group and control group were comparable. During a median follow-up of 36.6 months, progression-free survival and overall survival of the statin-use group were significantly higher than the control group (P < 0.001 and P = 0.004, respectively). In multivariate analysis, the statin-use group had an independent prognostic significance compared with other prognostic factors (progression-free survival: hazards ratio = 0.062, 95% confidence interval = 0.008-0.517, P = 0.010; overall survival: hazards ratio = 0.098, 95% confidence interval = 0.041-0.459, P = 0.032). In the present study, continuous lipophilic statin therapy from the prediagnostic period of uterine cervical cancer could reflect favorable outcome, independently.

  2. Air-to-Air Target Acquisition: Factors and Means of Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-03-01

    and an atmospheric modelo B t - Bb VISTARAQ C - b derived from input quantities and an B atmospheric model Bt Bb RAE/BAC C B derived from input...comparison of two display densities led to the sug- gestion that search time is a function of the square root of the number and density of nontargets...horizon- tal evasive maneuvers are possible. Vertical maneu- vers are treated concisely and some t,-ntative sug- gestions for the improvement of flight

  3. Prognostic factors for short-term improvement in acute and persistent musculoskeletal pain consulters in primary care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bolton Jennifer E

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Given the costs associated with the management of musculoskeletal pain in primary care, predicting the course of these conditions remains a research priority. Much of the research into prognostic indicators however considers musculoskeletal conditions in terms of single pain sites whereas in reality, many patients present with pain in more than one site. The aim of this study was to identify prognostic factors for early improvement in primary care consulters with acute and persistent musculoskeletal conditions across a range of pain sites. Methods Consecutive patients with a new episode of musculoskeletal pain completed self-report questionnaires at baseline, and then again at the 4/5th treatment visit, and if they were still consulting, at the 10th visit. The outcome was defined as patient self-report improvement sufficient to make a meaningful difference. Independent predictors of outcome were identified using multivariate regression analyses. Results Acute (th visit. Several variables at baseline were associated with improvement at the 4/5th visit, but the predictive models were weak and unable to discriminate between patients who were improved and those who were not. In contrast, it was possible to elicit a predictive model for improvement later on at the 10th visit, but only in patients with persistent pain. Being employed, reporting a decline in work fear-avoidance behaviour at the 4/5th visit, and being better by the 4/5th visit, were all independently associated with improvement. This model accounted for 34.3% (p Conclusions We were unable to identify baseline characteristics that predicted early outcome in musculoskeletal pain patients. However, early self-reported improvement and decline in work fear-avoidance behaviour as predictors of later improvement highlighted the importance of speedy recovery in persistent musculoskeletal pain consulters. Our findings reinforce the elusive nature of baseline predictors, and

  4. Incorporating Deeply Uncertain Factors into the Many Objective Search Process: Improving Adaptation to Environmental Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasprzyk, J. R.; Watson, A. A.

    2014-12-01

    Deep uncertainty refers to situations in which decision makers or stakeholders do not know, or cannot fully agree upon, the full suite of risk factors within a planning problem. This phenomenon is especially important when considering scenarios of future environmental change, since there exist multiple trajectories of environmental forcings (e.g., streamflow timing and magnitude) and socioeconomic factors (e.g., population growth). This presentation first briefly reviews robust optimization and scenario approaches that have been proposed to plan for systems under deep uncertainty. One recently introduced framework is Many Objective Robust Decision Making (MORDM). MORDM combines two techniques: evolutionary algorithm search is used to generate planning alternatives, and robust decision making methods are used to sample performance over a large range of plausible factors and, subsequently, choose a robust solution. Within MORDM, Pareto approximate tradeoff sets of solutions are used to balance objectives and examine alternatives. However, MORDM does not currently incorporate the deeply uncertain scenario information into the search process itself. In this presentation, we suggest several avenues for doing so, that are focused on modifying the suite of uncertain data that is selected within the search process. Visualizations that compare tradeoff sets across different sets of assumptions can be used to guide decision makers' learning and, ultimately, their selection of several candidate solutions for further planning. For example, the baseline assumptions about probability distributions can be compared to optimization results under severe events to determine adaptive management strategies. A case study of water planning in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) in Texas is used to demonstrate the approach. Our LRGV results compare baseline optimization with new solution sets that examine optimal management strategies under scenarios characterized by lower than average

  5. Capsaicinoids improve egg production by regulating ovary nuclear transcription factors against heat stress in quail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahin, N; Orhan, C; Tuzcu, M; Juturu, V; Sahin, K

    2016-12-12

    To examine the molecular mechanism of capsaicinoid supplementation from capsicum extract, laying Japanese quail (n = 180, 5 weeks old) were reared either at 22°C for 24 h/d (thermoneutral, TN) or at 34°C for 8 h/d (heat stress, HS) and fed on one of three diets containing 0, 25 or 50 mg of capsaicinoids per kilogram for 12 weeks (2 × 3 factorial arrangement). The results revealed that exposure to HS decreased feed consumption by 10.7% and egg production by 13.6%, increased serum and ovary malondialdehyde (MDA) levels by 66.9% and 88.1%, respectively, and reduced ovary superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities by 28.3%, 48.7% and 43.8%, respectively. There were magnifications in the ovary nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cell (NF-κB) levels by 42.4% and suppressions in nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2), protein kinase B (Akt) and haem-oxygenase 1 (HO-1) levels by 29.2%, 38.2% and 30.7%, respectively, in heat-stressed quail. With increasing supplemental capsaicinoids, there were linear increases in egg production, antioxidant enzyme activity, linear decreases in ovary MDA and NF-κB levels and linear increases in ovary Nrf2, Akt and HO-1 levels at a greater extent in quail reared under TN condition than those reared under HS condition. Two-way treatment interactions showed that the degree of restorations in all response variables was more notable under the HS environment than under the TN environment as supplemental capsaicinoid level was increased. In conclusion, capsaicinoid supplementation alleviates oxidative stress through regulating the ovary nuclear transcription factors in heat-stressed quail.

  6. Factors influencing improvement of visual field after trans-sphenoidal resection of pituitary macroadenomas: a retrospective cohort study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fen-Fen Yu

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available To investigate the influencing factors of visual field improvement after trans-sphenoidal resection of pituitary macroadenomas. This retrospective cohort study included 201 patients (366 eyes with visual field defect induced by pituitary macroadenomas. All of them were treated with trans-sphenoidal surgery. Ophthalmologic evaluation, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA, and visual field examination were performed before and 3mo after surgery. BCVA, visual field defect index mean deviation (MD, duration of symptoms, age, sex, and volume of tumors were compared. Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF and Ki-67 of tumor tissue were detected by immunohistochemical technique. The mean age of patients was 44.23±1.29y. Ninety-three patients were female and 108 were male. The mean tumor volume was 14.36±6.23 cm3. The mean duration of preoperative symptoms was 11.50±0.88mo. Mean preoperative MD was -17.50±0.82 dB. Mean Preoperative visual acuity was 0.64±0.04. Postoperative visual field improved in 270 (73.77% eyes, unchanged in 96 (26.23% eyes. Multivariate logistic regression displayed that the factors independently influencing visual field improvement were young age (OR=1.71, 95%CI: 1.325-2.387, P=0.013, low preoperative MD absolute value (OR=1.277, 95%CI: 1.205-1.355, P After pituitary macroadenomas trans-sphenoidal resection, the independent influencing factors of the visual fields recovery were low preoperative MD absolute value, young age, small volume of tumor, and expression levels of VEGF/ Ki-67.

  7. Two weeks of high-intensity interval training improves novel but not traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors in adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bond, Bert; Cockcroft, Emma J; Williams, Craig A; Harris, Sam; Gates, Phillip E; Jackman, Sarah R; Armstrong, Neil; Barker, Alan R

    2015-09-15

    High-intensity interval training (HIIT) improves traditional cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in adolescents, but no study has identified the influence of HIIT on endothelial and autonomic function in this group. Thirteen 13- to 14-yr-old adolescents (6 girls) completed six HIIT sessions over 2 wk. Each training session consisted of eight to ten 1-min repetitions of cycling at 90% peak power interspersed with 75 s of unloaded cycling. Traditional (triglycerides, cholesterol, glucose, insulin, and blood pressure) and novel [flow-mediated dilation (FMD), heart rate variability (HRV)] CVD risk factors were assessed in a fasted and postprandial state before (PRE), 1 day after (POST-1D), and 3 days after (POST-3D) training. Aerobic fitness was determined PRE and POST-3D. Two weeks of HIIT had no effect on aerobic fitness or traditional CVD risk factors determined in the fasted or postprandial state (P > 0.15). Compared with PRE, fasted FMD was improved POST-1D [P = 0.003, effect size (ES) = 0.70] but not POST-3D (P = 0.32, ES = 0.22). Fasted FMD was greater POST-1D compared with POST-3D (P = 0.04, ES = 0.48). Compared with PRE, postprandial FMD was greater POST-1D (P 0.32 for all). Two weeks of HIIT enhanced endothelial function and HRV without improvements in traditional CVD risk factors. However, most of this favorable adaptation was lost POST-3D, suggesting that regularly performing high-intensity exercise is needed to maintain these benefits. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  8. Keratinocyte growth factor improves alterations of lung permeability and bronchial epithelium in allergic rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tillie-Leblond, I; Gosset, P; Le Berre, R; Janin, A; Prangère, T; Tonnel, A B; Guery, B P H

    2007-07-01

    Chronic allergic asthma is associated with marked inflammatory reaction, microvascular leakage and epithelium injury. As previously shown in a rat model of chronic asthma, these alterations increase lung permeability and distal airway fluid clearance. Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) has been shown to induce epithelial cell proliferation and to protect from acute lung injuries. Therefore, the current authors evaluated the potential role of KGF treatment on lung permeability and airway inflammation in rats with chronic asthma. KGF (1 mg x kg(-1)) was administered intravenously before the last ovalbumin (OVA) challenge in sensitised rats. Permeability was assessed by the leak of radiolabelled albumin from the alveolar and systemic compartments. Histopathological analysis was also performed. Treatment with KGF decreased the leak of both markers and decreased the level of extravascular lung water in sensitised rats challenged with OVA. KGF treatment also reduced the inflammatory cell number in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid but not in bronchial mucosa. KGF markedly limited the allergen-induced alterations in epithelium integrity and the expression of the intercellular junction proteins beta-catenin and zonula occludens protein-1. In conclusion, keratinocyte growth factor administration markedly limits lung permeability and airway inflammation, an effect associated with a decrease in epithelium alterations during chronic allergic asthma. These data open new prospects in the therapeutic strategy of asthma.

  9. Planning to improve the mechanical quality factor in the transducer impedance matchers for Mario Schenberg detector

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frajuca, Carlos; Silva Bortoli, Fabio da [Centro Federal de Educacao Tecnologica de Sao Paulo, Rua Pedro Vicente 625, Sao Paulo, SP 01109-010 (Brazil)

    2006-03-02

    Mario Schenberg is a spherical resonant-mass gravitational wave (GW) detector that will be part of a GW detection array of two detectors. Another one is been built in The Netherlands. Their resonant frequencies will be around 3.2 kHz with a bandwidth of about 200 Hz. This range of frequencies is new in a field where the typical frequencies lay below 1 kHz, making the transducer development much more complex. Some studies indicated that using low mass mechanical resonators (used for impedance matching to the parametric transducer, in a cold damping regime) allow the detector to reach the standard quantum limit. In this work we describe the procedures that are being developed to quickly test the mechanical quality factor of a very small resonator in the quest to find the best machining method and thermal annealing for the impedance matching resonator, one key part that makes a good coupling between the sphere and the transducer. The main goal is to optimize the mechanical quality factor in a reasonable time.

  10. Planning to improve the mechanical quality factor in the transducer impedance matchers for Mario Schenberg detector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frajuca, Carlos; da Silva Bortoli, Fabio

    2006-03-01

    "Mario Schenberg" is a spherical resonant-mass gravitational wave (GW) detector that will be part of a GW detection array of two detectors. Another one is been built in The Netherlands. Their resonant frequencies will be around 3.2 kHz with a bandwidth of about 200 Hz. This range of frequencies is new in a field where the typical frequencies lay below 1 kHz, making the transducer development much more complex. Some studies indicated that using low mass mechanical resonators (used for impedance matching to the parametric transducer, in a cold damping regime) allow the detector to reach the standard quantum limit. In this work we describe the procedures that are being developed to quickly test the mechanical quality factor of a very small resonator in the quest to find the best machining method and thermal annealing for the impedance matching resonator, one key part that makes a good coupling between the sphere and the transducer. The main goal is to optimize the mechanical quality factor in a reasonable time.

  11. Hepatocyte growth factor improves direct reprogramming of fibroblasts towards endothelial progenitor cells via ETV2 transduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phuc Van Pham

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Human fibroblasts can be differentiated into endothelial progenitor cells by direct reprogramming via ETV-2 transfection. Previously, we have shown that the efficacy of direct reprogramming can be enhanced by hypoxia treatment. In this study, we aim to investigate whether the efficacy of direct reprogramming of fibroblasts into EPCs via Ets variant gene 2 (ETV2 transfection can be increased with hepatocyte growth factor (HGF treatment. Foreskin-derived fibroblasts were cultured in standard medium (DMEM/F12 supplemented with fetal bovine serum. They were then transduced with a viral vector expressing ETV2 in culture medium supplemented with HGF. The transduced fibroblasts were cultured in endothelial cell medium supplemented with HGF for 28 days. The efficacy of direct reprogramming was evaluated based on expression of CD31 and VEGFR2 markers by transduced cells. Phenotypic and functional characterization of induced EPCs were also confirmed by expression of particular genes and in vitro angiogenesis assays. Our results showed that HGF significantly increased the efficacy of direct reprogramming of fibroblasts towards EPCs via ETV2 transcription factors; efficiency increased from 5.41+/-1.51% for ETV2 transduction alone to 12.31+/-2.15% for ETV2 transduction combined with HGF treatment. These findings suggest the rationale for combined use of ETV2 and HGF in direct in vitro reprogramming of fibroblasts into EPCs. [Biomed Res Ther 2016; 3(9.000: 836-843

  12. Improving cluster-based methods for investigating potential for insect pest species establishment: region-specific risk factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J. Watts

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Existing cluster-based methods for investigating insect species assemblages or profiles of a region to indicate the risk of new insect pest invasion have a major limitation in that they assign the same species risk factors to each region in a cluster. Clearly regions assigned to the same cluster have different degrees of similarity with respect to their species profile or assemblage. This study addresses this concern by applying weighting factors to the cluster elements used to calculate regional risk factors, thereby producing region-specific risk factors. Using a database of the global distribution of crop insect pest species, we found that we were able to produce highly differentiated region-specific risk factors for insect pests. We did this by weighting cluster elements by their Euclidean distance from the target region. Using this approach meant that risk weightings were derived that were more realistic, as they were specific to the pest profile or species assemblage of each region. This weighting method provides an improved tool for estimating the potential invasion risk posed by exotic species given that they have an opportunity to establish in a target region.

  13. Modifications to the Method of Modal Strain Energy for Improved Estimates of Loss Factors for Damped Structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J. Torvik

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The method of Modal Strain Energy (MSE enables predictions of modal loss factors for vibrating systems from finite element analyses without evaluation of a complex-valued frequency response or a complex-valued frequency. While the method is simple, some error results; especially if the dissipative material has the high loss factor characteristic of materials added to increase system damping. Several methods for reducing this error through modifications to MSE have been suggested. In this work, the exact loss factor for a simple mechanical system is found. The method of Modal Strain Energy (MSE is then used to find the loss factor for that prototype system and errors are evaluated in terms of system parameters. Comparisons are also made to predictions with several modifications to MSE. A modification due to Rongong is found to provide significant improvement. The use of this modification together with MSE is shown to lead to lower and upper bounds for the system loss factor. As the prototype system is shown to be mechanically equivalent to constrained layer damping configurations, the findings are applicable to the analysis and design of optimized sandwich beams, plates, and damping tapes. Results are given for beams and plates with constrained layer treatments.

  14. An Improved Shock Factor to Evaluate the Shock Environment of Small-Sized Structures Subjected to Underwater Explosion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenzheng Zhang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Shock factor is conventionally used to assess the effect of an underwater explosion on a target. The dimensions of some structures are much smaller than the wavelength of incident wave induced by the underwater explosion. The conventional shock factor may be excessively severe for small-sized structures because it neglects the effect of scattering; so it is necessary to study the shock factor for small objects. The coupled mode method is applied to study the scattering field surrounding the cylindrical shells. A nonlinear relation differential is derived from the impact received by the cylindrical shells and the ratio between the diameters of the shells and the wavelength of the incident wave. An improved shock factor is developed based on the fitted curve, considering the scattering effect caused by the diameters of the submerged cylindrical shells. A set of numerical simulations are carried out to validate the accuracy of the proposed approach. The results show that the cylindrical shells and spherical shells under different conditions, but with the same shock factor, have almost the same shock responses.

  15. Sustainability Challenge: Social Networks as a Factor for Improvement of Organizations Today

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aida Akagic-Hodzic

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The development of Information Technology is present in different areas of business. Very popular forms of it are social networks. Social Network Manager or Social Network entrepreneur represents a new type of employee that is needed in both; small and large companies all over the world. The demand for human resources that are capable of adjusting to modern trends in the market is huge. There is no doubt that the number of these type of workforce is increasing that this kind of work helps organization to improve in many aspects. This is especially true for the area of marketing. Ability to survive in modern business is the key point of any organization. The purpose of this paper is to explain role and importance of social networks as they become very powerful tool of organizational improvement and sustainability in the business. In this paper, we are analyzing different social networks from different business perspectives and how does Bosnia and Herzegovina stand in this regard.

  16. Newborn calf vitality: risk factors, characteristics, assessment, resulting outcomes and strategies for improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Christine F; Leslie, Ken E

    2013-11-01

    Dystocia is a stressful and traumatic event for both the cow and calf. As the prevalence of dystocia has increased over time, attention has been focused on maintaining the health and longevity of the cow. Lack of vitality in the newborn calf may go unnoticed and result in short or long-term implications for calf health and performance. A prolonged or assisted delivery may increase birth stress in calves causing a variety of effects including injury, inflammation, hypoxia, acidosis, pain and an inability to maintain homeostasis. Each of these effects can further contribute to a reduced state of vitality in the newborn calf. Newborn vitality is essential to the health, survival and welfare of the calf. If the calf is not vital at birth, it may be unwilling or unable to get up and suckle colostrum in a timely manner. Early colostrum intake improves passive transfer of immunoglobulins, energy uptake and thermoregulation. Intervention may be required to assist these calves such as respiratory and thermal support, manual feeding of colostrum or the administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to aid health and long-term survival. However, more research is needed to determine ways in which newborn calf vitality can be assessed and improved in order to reduce the increased risk of morbidity and mortality and long-term effects on performance.

  17. msCentipede: Modeling Heterogeneity across Genomic Sites and Replicates Improves Accuracy in the Inference of Transcription Factor Binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raj, Anil; Shim, Heejung; Gilad, Yoav; Pritchard, Jonathan K; Stephens, Matthew

    2015-01-01

    Understanding global gene regulation depends critically on accurate annotation of regulatory elements that are functional in a given cell type. CENTIPEDE, a powerful, probabilistic framework for identifying transcription factor binding sites from tissue-specific DNase I cleavage patterns and genomic sequence content, leverages the hypersensitivity of factor-bound chromatin and the information in the DNase I spatial cleavage profile characteristic of each DNA binding protein to accurately infer functional factor binding sites. However, the model for the spatial profile in this framework fails to account for the substantial variation in the DNase I cleavage profiles across different binding sites. Neither does it account for variation in the profiles at the same binding site across multiple replicate DNase I experiments, which are increasingly available. In this work, we introduce new methods, based on multi-scale models for inhomogeneous Poisson processes, to account for such variation in DNase I cleavage patterns both within and across binding sites. These models account for the spatial structure in the heterogeneity in DNase I cleavage patterns for each factor. Using DNase-seq measurements assayed in a lymphoblastoid cell line, we demonstrate the improved performance of this model for several transcription factors by comparing against the Chip-seq peaks for those factors. Finally, we explore the effects of DNase I sequence bias on inference of factor binding using a simple extension to our framework that allows for a more flexible background model. The proposed model can also be easily applied to paired-end ATAC-seq and DNase-seq data. msCentipede, a Python implementation of our algorithm, is available at http://rajanil.github.io/msCentipede.

  18. msCentipede: Modeling Heterogeneity across Genomic Sites and Replicates Improves Accuracy in the Inference of Transcription Factor Binding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anil Raj

    Full Text Available Understanding global gene regulation depends critically on accurate annotation of regulatory elements that are functional in a given cell type. CENTIPEDE, a powerful, probabilistic framework for identifying transcription factor binding sites from tissue-specific DNase I cleavage patterns and genomic sequence content, leverages the hypersensitivity of factor-bound chromatin and the information in the DNase I spatial cleavage profile characteristic of each DNA binding protein to accurately infer functional factor binding sites. However, the model for the spatial profile in this framework fails to account for the substantial variation in the DNase I cleavage profiles across different binding sites. Neither does it account for variation in the profiles at the same binding site across multiple replicate DNase I experiments, which are increasingly available. In this work, we introduce new methods, based on multi-scale models for inhomogeneous Poisson processes, to account for such variation in DNase I cleavage patterns both within and across binding sites. These models account for the spatial structure in the heterogeneity in DNase I cleavage patterns for each factor. Using DNase-seq measurements assayed in a lymphoblastoid cell line, we demonstrate the improved performance of this model for several transcription factors by comparing against the Chip-seq peaks for those factors. Finally, we explore the effects of DNase I sequence bias on inference of factor binding using a simple extension to our framework that allows for a more flexible background model. The proposed model can also be easily applied to paired-end ATAC-seq and DNase-seq data. msCentipede, a Python implementation of our algorithm, is available at http://rajanil.github.io/msCentipede.

  19. Factors and values of willingness to pay for improved construction waste management--a perspective of Malaysian contractors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Begum, Rawshan Ara; Siwar, Chamhuri; Pereira, Joy Jacqueline; Jaafar, Abdul Hamid

    2007-01-01

    Malaysia is facing an increase in the generation of waste and of accompanying problems with the disposal of this waste. In the last two decades, extensive building and infrastructure development projects have led to an increase in the generation of construction waste material. The construction industry has a substantial impact on the environment, and its environmental effects are in direct relation to the quality and quantity of the waste it generates. This paper discusses general characteristics of the construction contractors, the contractors' willingness to pay (WTP) for improved construction waste management, determining factors which affect the amount of their willingness to pay, and suggestions and policy implications in the perspective of construction waste management in Malaysia. The data in this study is based on contractors registered with the construction industry development board (CIDB) of Malaysia. Employing the open ended contingent valuation method, the study assessed the contractors' average maximum WTP for improved construction waste management to be RM69.88 (1US$=3.6 RM) per tonne of waste. The result shows that the average maximum WTP is higher for large contractors than for medium and small contractors. The highest average maximum WTP value is RM88.00 for Group A (large contractors) RM78.25 for Group B (medium-size contractors) and RM55.80 for Group C (small contractors). One of the contributions of this study is to highlight the difference of CIDB registration grade in the WTP for improved construction waste management. It is found that contractors' WTP for improved waste collection and disposal services increases with the increase in contractors' current paid up capital. The identified factors and determinants of the WTP will assist the formulation of appropriate policies in addressing the construction waste problem in Malaysia and indirectly improve the quality of construction in the country.

  20. Hematologic improvement in dogs with parvovirus infection treated with recombinant canine granulocyte-colony stimulating factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, A; Dow, S; Ogilvie, G; Rao, S; Hackett, T

    2010-08-01

    Previously, dogs with canine parvovirus-induced neutropenia have not responded to treatment with recombinant human granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (rhG-CSF). However, recombinant canine G-CSF (rcG-CSF) has not been previously evaluated for treatment of parvovirus-induced neutropenia in dogs. We assessed the effectiveness of rcG-CSF in dogs with parvovirus-induced neutropenia with a prospective, open-label, nonrandomized clinical trial. Endpoints of our study were time to recovery of WBC and neutrophil counts, and duration of hospitalization. 28 dogs with parvovirus and neutropenia were treated with rcG-CSF and outcomes were compared to those of 34 dogs with parvovirus and neutropenia not treated with rcG-CSF. We found that mean WBC and neutrophil counts were significantly higher (P parvovirus infection, but indicate the need for additional studies to evaluate overall safety of the treatment.

  1. Level-3 Cholesky Factorization Routines Improve Performance of Many Cholesky Algorithms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustavson, Fred G.; Wasniewski, Jerzy; Dongarra, Jack J.

    2013-01-01

    Four routines called DPOTF3i, i = a,b,c,d, are presented. DPOTF3i are a novel type of level-3 BLAS for use by BPF (Blocked Packed Format) Cholesky factorization and LAPACK routine DPOTRF. Performance of routines DPOTF3i are still increasing when the performance of Level-2 routine DPOTF2 of LAPACK...... different register blocking sizes. BPF is introduced. LAPACK routines for POTRF and PPTRF using BPF instead of full and packed format are shown to be trivial modifications of LAPACK POTRF source codes. We call these codes BPTRF. There are two variants of BPF: lower and upper. Upper BPF is "identical......" to Square Block Packed Format (SBPF). "LAPACK" implementations on multicore processors use SBPF. Lower BPF is less efficient thanupper BPF. Vector inplace transposition converts lower BPF to upper BPF very efficiently. Corroborating performance results for DPOTF3i versus DPOTF2 on a variety of common...

  2. Modelling of safety barriers including human and organisational factors to improve process safety

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Markert, Frank; Duijm, Nijs Jan; Thommesen, Jacob

    2013-01-01

    explosion, and the Mont Blanc Tunnel Fire, such an approach may have helped to maintain the integrity of the designed provisions against major deviations resulting in these disasters. In order to make this paradigm operational, safety management and in particular risk assessment tools need to be refined....... A valuable approach is the inclusion of human and organisational factors into the simulation of the reliability of the technical system using event trees and fault trees and the concept of safety barriers. This has been demonstrated e.g. in the former European research project ARAMIS (Accidental Risk...... Assessment Methodology for IndustrieS, see Salvi et al 2006). ARAMIS employs the bow-tie approach to modelling hazardous scenarios, and it suggests the outcome of auditing safety management to be connected to a semi-quantitative assessment of the quality of safety barriers. ARAMIS discriminates a number...

  3. An improved algorithm for activated protein C resistance and factor V Leiden screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herskovits, Adrianna Z; Morgan, Elizabeth A; Lemire, Susan J; Lindeman, Neal I; Dorfman, David M

    2013-09-01

    To evaluate the performance of a Russell viper venom-based activated protein C resistance (APCR) screening test relative to DNA analysis for the factor V Leiden mutation. We evaluated the concordance between Pefakit APCR screening results and DNA analysis for 435 patients homozygous (n = 11), heterozygous (n = 310), or wild-type (n =114) for the G1691A allele. Using receiver operating characteristic analysis, we found that a cutoff of 1.89 for the APCR ratio yields a sensitivity and specificity of 99.1%. In patients with discrepant genotype-phenotype correlation, their APCR may provide a more clinically relevant result. We compared several strategies for employing reflex testing and found that performing initial APCR screening followed by confirmatory molecular analysis on a subset of cases in the borderline regions between the diagnostic groups can reduce unnecessary testing by approximately 80% without compromising diagnostic accuracy.

  4. Improving Predictions with Reliable Extrapolation Schemes and Better Understanding of Factorization

    CERN Document Server

    More, Sushant N

    2016-01-01

    We investigate two distinct sources of uncertainty in low-energy nuclear physics calculations and develop ways to account for them. Harmonic oscillator basis expansions are widely used in ab-initio nuclear structure calculations. Finite computational resources usually require that the basis be truncated before observables are fully converged, necessitating reliable extrapolation schemes. We show that a finite oscillator basis effectively imposes a hard-wall boundary condition. We accurately determine the position of the hard-wall as a function of oscillator space parameters, derive extrapolation formulas for the energy and other observables, and discuss the extension of this approach to higher angular momentum. Nucleon knockout reactions have been widely used to study and understand nuclear properties. Such an analysis implicitly assumes that the effects of the probe can be separated from the physics of the target nucleus. This factorization between nuclear structure and reaction components depends on the ren...

  5. Does work-site physical activity improve self-reported psychosocial workplace factors and job satisfaction?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roessler, K K; Rugulies, R; Bilberg, R

    2013-01-01

    , with 199 participants in the training group and 228 in the control group. Influence at work, sense of community, time pressure, and job satisfaction were measured with the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire at baseline and post-intervention after 20 weeks. RESULTS: There was no statistically significant...... change in any of the four variables in the training group from baseline to follow-up (all p ≥ 0.39). When we used MANOVA to test for between-group effects over time, we did not find any statistically significant result (all p > 0.14). CONCLUSIONS: This study does not provide evidence for an effect......PURPOSE: To investigate whether a work-site strength-training program has a positive effect on self-reported psychosocial workplace factors and job satisfaction. METHODS: We conducted a randomized controlled trial among laboratory technicians implementing neck and shoulder exercises for pain relief...

  6. Red-fleshed sweet orange juice improves the risk factors for metabolic syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silveira, Jacqueline Q; Dourado, Grace K Z S; Cesar, Thais B

    2015-01-01

    Orange juice consumption can promote lower levels of oxidative stress and inflammation due to the antioxidant activity of citrus flavonoids and carotenoids. In addition, red-fleshed sweet orange juice (red orange juice) also contains lycopene. This study investigated the effects of red orange juice consumption on risk factors for metabolic syndrome. Volunteers consumed red orange juice daily for 8 weeks, with clinical and biochemical assessments performed at baseline and on the final day. There was no change in the abdominal obesity, but low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, C-reactive protein decreased, while there was an increase of the antioxidant activity in serum after red orange juice consumption. Insulin resistance and systolic blood pressure were reduced in normal-weight volunteers, while diastolic blood pressure decreased in overweight volunteers after intervention. Red orange juice showed anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and lipid-lowering properties that may prevent the development of metabolic syndrome.

  7. Risk Factors and Options to Improve Engraftment in Unrelated Cord Blood Transplantation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna D. Petropoulou

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Use of umbilical unrelated cord-blood (UCB cells as an alternative source of hematopoietic cell transplantation has been widely used mainly for patients lacking an HLA-matched donor. UCB present many advantages over bone marrow or mobilized peripheral blood from volunteer donors, such as rapid availability, absence of risk for the donor, and decreased incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease. However, a significant clinical problem is delayed engraftment that is directly correlated with the number of hematopoietic stem cells in a cord-blood unit. The identification of prognostic factors associated with engraftment that can be easily modified (e.g., strategies for donor choice and the development of new approaches including use of multiple donors, intrabone injection of UCB, ex vivo expansion, and cotransplantation with accessory cells are of crucial importance in order to circumvent the problem of delayed engraftment after UCB transplantation. Those approaches may increase the quality and availability of UCB for transplantation.

  8. Improved dispersive analysis of the scalar form factor of the nucleon

    CERN Document Server

    Hoferichter, Martin; Kubis, Bastian; ner, Ulf-G Meiß

    2012-01-01

    We present a coupled system of integral equations for the pi pi --> Nbar N and Kbar K --> Nbar N S-waves derived from Roy-Steiner equations for pion-nucleon scattering. We discuss the solution of the corresponding two-channel Muskhelishvili-Omnes problem and apply the results to a dispersive analysis of the scalar form factor of the nucleon fully including Kbar K intermediate states. In particular, we determine the corrections Delta_sigma and Delta_D, which are needed for the extraction of the pion-nucleon sigma term from pi N scattering, and show that the difference Delta_D - Delta_sigma=(-1.8 +/- 0.2) MeV is insensitive to the input pi N parameters.

  9. Kale Juice Improves Coronary Artery Disease Risk Factors in Hypercjlolesterolemiic Men

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SOO YEON KIM; SUN YOON; SOO MI KWON; KYE SOOK PARK; YANG CHA LEE-KIM

    2008-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the effect of 3-month kale(Brassica oleracea acephala)iuice supplementation on coronary artery disease risk factors among hypercholesterolemic men.Methods Thkty-two men with hypercholesterolemia (>200 mg/dL)were recruited after annual health examinations among the faculty and staff at university.The subijects consumed 150 mL of kale iuice per day for a 12-week intervention period.Dietary and anthropomeu-ic assessments were performed and blood samples were collected to evaluate biochemical profdes before and after supplementation.Results Serum concentrations of HDL-cholesterol,and HDL-to LDL-cholesterol ratio were significantly increased by 27%(P<0.0001)and 52%(P<0.0001),respectively.The LDL-cholesterol concentration and the atherogenic index were significantly reduced by 1O%(P=0.O007)and 24.2%(P<0.0001),respectively without affecting body mass index,waist and hip circumferences,or nutrient intakes after three months of supplementation.While there was no difference in the concentration of malondialdehvde,significant increase in glutathione peroxidase activity(P=0.0005)were accompanied by a significant increase in the serom selenium level(P=0.0132).It was also foand that the responses of these risk factors to kale inice administration were dependent on smoking status.Conelusion Regular meals supplementation with kale juice can favorably influence serum lipid profiles and antioxidant systems.and hence contribute to reduce the risks of coronary artery disease in male subjects with hyperlipidemia.

  10. Understanding sleep habits and associated factors can help to improve sleep in high school adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yilmaz, Kutluhan; Kilinçaslan, Ayşe; Aydin, Neriman; Kul, Seval

    2011-01-01

    We aimed to describe the sleep profiles and associated factors of poor sleep in adolescents. We gave a sleep questionnaire and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire to 3,441 high school adolescents (15-18 years) in Gaziantep, Turkey. Adolescents reported a requirement of 10.4 hours of sleep on average to feel their best during the day. However, total night sleep time (TNST) was 7.42 +/- 1.48 hours on school nights and 9.40 +/- 1.37 on non-school nights. TNST of > or =9 hours on both school nights and non-school nights was detected in 8.2%. Average bedtime and wake-up time were 23:16 and 06:41 on school nights. Bedtime was approximately 30 minutes later on non-school nights. The shift in wake-up time was nearly 2.5 hours. Statistical analysis by logistic regression model showed that TNST was most significantly correlated with school start time (morning versus afternoon) irrespective of school or non-school nights. TNST on school nights was negatively correlated with age, passive smoking at home, drinking tea/coffee, and conduct problem, whereas TNST on non-school nights was negatively correlated with the mother's education, male gender, body mass index, number of household members, and having a television in the bedroom. Daytime napping (21.3%) was associated with morning start time, age, female gender, and mother's education. Sleep-onset insomnia with sleep latency >30 minutes (21%) was not related to age or gender; however, it was associated with abnormal breathing during sleep. The findings revealed that inadequate sleep is quite prevalent among high school adolescents. Given the fact that most of the associated factors are modifiable, inadequate sleep is not inevitable for adolescents.

  11. Factors affecting adoption of improved management practices in the pastoral industry in Great Barrier Reef catchments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolfe, John; Gregg, Daniel

    2015-07-01

    Substantial efforts are being made by industry and government in Australia to reduce adverse impacts of pastoral operations on water quality draining to the Great Barrier Reef. A key target is to achieve rapid adoption of better management practices by landholders, but current theoretical frameworks provide limited guidance about priorities for improving adoption. In this study information from direct surveys with landholders in the two largest catchments draining into the Great Barrier Reef has been collected and analysed. Study outcomes have important implications for policy settings, because they confirm that substantial variations in adoption drivers exist across landholders, enterprises and practices. The results confirm that the three broad barriers to adoption of information gaps, financial incentives and risk perceptions are relevant. This implies that different policy mechanisms, including extension and incentive programs, remain important, although financial incentives were only identified as important to meet capital and transformational costs rather than recurrent costs.

  12. Abnormal joint and bone wound healing in hemophilia mice is improved by extending factor IX activity after hemarthrosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Junjiang; Hua, Baolai; Livingston, Eric W; Taves, Sarah; Johansen, Peter B; Hoffman, Maureane; Ezban, Mirella; Monroe, Dougald M; Bateman, Ted A; Monahan, Paul E

    2016-12-30

    Wound healing requires interactions between coagulation, inflammation, angiogenesis, cellular migration, and proliferation. Healing in dermal wounds of hemophilia B mice is delayed when compared to hemostatically normal wild type (WT) mice, with abnormal persistence of iron deposition, inflammation, and neovascularity. We observed healing following induced joint hemorrhage in WT and factor IX (FIX) knockout (FIX(-/-)) mice, examining also parameters previously studied in an excisional skin wound model. Hemostatically normal mice tolerated this joint bleeding challenge, cleared blood from the joint, and healed with minimal pathology, even if additional autologous blood was injected intra-articularly at the time of wounding. Following hemarthrosis, joint wound healing in hemophilia B mice was impaired and demonstrated similar abnormal histologic features as previously described in hemophilic dermal wounds. Therefore, studies of pathophysiology and therapy of hemophilic joint bleeding performed in hemostatically normal animals are not likely to accurately reflect the healing defect of hemophilia. We additionally explored the hypothesis that the use of a FIX replacement protein with extended circulating FIX activity could improve synovial and osteochondral wound healing in hemophilic mice, when compared to treatment with unmodified recombinant FIX (rFIX) in the established joint bleeding model. Significantly improved synovial wound healing and preservation of normal osteochondral architecture are achieved by extending FIX activity after hemarthrosis using glycoPEGylated FIX when compared to an equivalent dose of rFIX. These results suggest that treating joint bleeding only until hemostasis is achieved may not result in optimal joint healing, which is improved by extending factor activity.

  13. NZ-GMP Approved Serum Improve hDPSC Osteogenic Commitment and Increase Angiogenic Factor Expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spina, Anna; Montella, Roberta; Liccardo, Davide; De Rosa, Alfredo; Laino, Luigi; Mitsiadis, Thimios A.; La Noce, Marcella

    2016-01-01

    Human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs), selected from the stromal-vascular fraction of dental pulp, are ecto-mesenchymal stem cells deriving from neural crests, successfully used in human bone tissue engineering. For their use in human therapy GMP procedures are required. For instance, the use of fetal bovine serum (FBS) is strongly discouraged in clinical practice due to its high risk of prions and other infections for human health. Alternatively, clinical grade sera have been suggested, including the New Zealand FBS (NZ-FBS). Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the behavior of hDPSCs expanded in culture medium containing NZ-FBS. Since it was widely demonstrated hDPSCs display relevant capabilities to differentiate into osteogenic and angiogenic lineages, we performed a comparative study to assess if these features are also retained by cultivating the cells with a safer serum never tested on this cell line. hDPSCs were grown using NZ-FBS and conventional (C-FBS) for 7, 14, and 21 days, in both 2D and 3D cultures. Growth curves, expression of bone-related markers, calcification and angiogenesis were evaluated. NZ-FBS induced significant cell growth with respect to C-FBS and promoted an earlier increase expression of osteogenic markers, in particular of those involved in the formation of mineralized matrix (BSP and OPN) within 14 days. In addition, hDPSCs cultured in presence of NZ-FBS were found to produce higher mRNA levels of the angiogenic factors, such as VEGF and PDGFA. Taken together, our results highlight that hDPSCs proliferate, enhance their osteogenic commitment and increase angiogenic factors in NZ-FBS containing medium. These features have also been found when hDPSC were seeded on the clinical-grade collagen I scaffold (Bio-Gide®), leading to the conclusion that for human therapy some procedures and above all the use of GMP-approved materials have no negative impact. PMID:27594842

  14. Improving Predictions with Reliable Extrapolation Schemes and Better Understanding of Factorization

    Science.gov (United States)

    More, Sushant N.

    New insights into the inter-nucleon interactions, developments in many-body technology, and the surge in computational capabilities has led to phenomenal progress in low-energy nuclear physics in the past few years. Nonetheless, many calculations still lack a robust uncertainty quantification which is essential for making reliable predictions. In this work we investigate two distinct sources of uncertainty and develop ways to account for them. Harmonic oscillator basis expansions are widely used in ab-initio nuclear structure calculations. Finite computational resources usually require that the basis be truncated before observables are fully converged, necessitating reliable extrapolation schemes. It has been demonstrated recently that errors introduced from basis truncation can be taken into account by focusing on the infrared and ultraviolet cutoffs induced by a truncated basis. We show that a finite oscillator basis effectively imposes a hard-wall boundary condition in coordinate space. We accurately determine the position of the hard-wall as a function of oscillator space parameters, derive infrared extrapolation formulas for the energy and other observables, and discuss the extension of this approach to higher angular momentum and to other localized bases. We exploit the duality of the harmonic oscillator to account for the errors introduced by a finite ultraviolet cutoff. Nucleon knockout reactions have been widely used to study and understand nuclear properties. Such an analysis implicitly assumes that the effects of the probe can be separated from the physics of the target nucleus. This factorization between nuclear structure and reaction components depends on the renormalization scale and scheme, and has not been well understood. But it is potentially critical for interpreting experiments and for extracting process-independent nuclear properties. We use a class of unitary transformations called the similarity renormalization group (SRG) transformations to

  15. Molecular Fluorescence Endoscopy Targeting Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A for Improved Colorectal Polyp Detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tjalma, Jolien J; Garcia-Allende, P Beatriz; Hartmans, Elmire; Terwisscha van Scheltinga, Anton G; Boersma-van Ek, Wytske; Glatz, Jürgen; Koch, Maximilian; van Herwaarden, Yasmijn J; Bisseling, Tanya M; Nagtegaal, Iris D; Timmer-Bosscha, Hetty; Koornstra, Jan Jacob; Karrenbeld, Arend; Kleibeuker, Jan H; van Dam, Gooitzen M; Ntziachristos, Vasilis; Nagengast, Wouter B

    2016-03-01

    Small and flat adenomas are known to carry a high miss-rate during standard white-light endoscopy. Increased detection rate may be achieved by molecular fluorescence endoscopy with targeted near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent tracers. The aim of this study was to validate vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted fluorescent tracers during ex vivo colonoscopy with an NIR endoscopy platform. VEGF-A and EGFR expression was determined by immunohistochemistry on a large subset of human colorectal tissue samples--48 sessile serrated adenomas/polyps, 70 sporadic high-grade dysplastic adenomas, and 19 hyperplastic polyps--and tissue derived from patients with Lynch syndrome--78 low-grade dysplastic adenomas, 57 high-grade dysplastic adenomas, and 31 colon cancer samples. To perform an ex vivo colonoscopy procedure, 14 mice with small intraperitoneal EGFR-positive HCT116(luc) tumors received intravenous bevacizumab-800CW (anti-VEGF-A), cetuximab-800CW (anti-EGFR), control tracer IgG-800CW, or sodium chloride. Three days later, 8 resected HCT116(luc) tumors (2-5 mm) were stitched into 1 freshly resected human colon specimen and followed by an ex vivo molecular fluorescence colonoscopy procedure. Immunohistochemistry showed high VEGF-A expression in 79%-96% and high EGFR expression in 51%-69% of the colorectal lesions. Both targets were significantly overexpressed in the colorectal lesions, compared with the adjacent normal colon crypts. During ex vivo molecular fluorescence endoscopy, all tumors could clearly be delineated for both bevacizumab-800CW and cetuximab-800CW tracers. Specific tumor uptake was confirmed with fluorescent microscopy showing, respectively, stromal and cell membrane fluorescence. VEGF-A is a promising target for molecular fluorescence endoscopy because it showed a high protein expression, especially in sessile serrated adenomas/polyps and Lynch syndrome. We demonstrated the feasibility to visualize

  16. SOCIAL AND HEALTH-IMPROVING SERVICES AS A FACTOR OF CULTURE HEALTH ORGANIZATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Alekseevna Zaplatina

    2015-02-01

    the ideas of sustainable development and improvement of «environment-person» system.As in conditions of rebuilding of various aspects of life the questions of preserving and improving health of people of different ages (constituting labor potential of the society are of special importance, special attention should be given to the production and processing of statistical information, allowing to trace trends of increase or decrease the level of health in any organization, a network of organizations within the city, region, country, etc.Purpose. The development of an ecological unit in the human health model; the development and programming of functional systems, that allow to improve diagnosis, prognosis, prevention processes and preventive health care of future specialists in higher education system.Methodology. Programming, modeling, the experiment.Results. 1 The analysis of human health models is done. 2 The environmental unit in the human health model is developed. 3 The system «Medsyst» is developed and proposed as an integrative environmental and health approach, it was successfully implemented in sanatorium «Youth» working in T.F. Gorbachev Kuzbass State Technical University. It allows on high level, quickly and effectively to monitor the health of future applicants, students, teachers and third parties, thereby analyzing the studied parameters in order to obtain an integrative health assessment, as a system component of anthropo-ecology in modernization of higher technical education.Practical implications. The research results can be used in clinics, dispensaries and other health institutions.

  17. Neoindustrialization as a factor in improving economic security of old-industrial regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ol’ga Aleksandrovna Romanova

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper proves that the paradigm of the world of the XXIcentury is neoindustrialization on the basis of alternativestrategic goals of the global economy associated with the formation of post-industrial society and financialization neoindustrialization. A systematic proposal for the driving forces and mechanisms for its implementation is suggested. It is shown that target-oriented approach can be successfully used at the regional level as a mechanism for economic neoindustrialization of an old-industrial region. Conceptual approach to developing comprehensive program of industrial development in the industrial region that implements the ideas of neoindustrialization in relation to industry of Sverdlovsk region is presented. It was found that the regional technology platform can be an effective tool for combining the interests of territorial and sectoral development. It is proved that the idea of neoindustrialization can be realized only as a result of wise industrial policy and road map formation for the movement to an entirely new high-tech based industrial development. In the process of forming, the problem of neoindustrialization of a «pure» market as a factor in increasing the economic security is actualized.

  18. Experimental design of a fuzzy controller for improving power factor of boost rectifier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessal, Abdelhalim; Rahmani, Lazhar; Gaubert, Jean-Paul; Mostefai, Mohammed

    2012-12-01

    This article presents the design and the implementation of dSPACE DS1104 controller board-based PI and fuzzy logic peak current-mode controllers in the voltage loop and two controllers in the current loop based first on a standard fixed hysteresis band control, followed by a variable hysteresis band control to achieve constant switching frequency for a single-phase active power factor corrector in the continuous conduction mode. All these controllers have been verified via simulation in Simulink and a real-time implementation is performed on an experimental test bench utilising a rapid prototyping tool. The controllers are experimentally compared for steady-state performance and transient response. It is shown that the PI and fuzzy logic controllers give a superior steady-state performance, whereas the fuzzy logic inference based controller can achieve better dynamic response than its PI counterpart under large load disturbance and plant uncertainties. Furthermore, the variable hysteresis band control in the current loop gives a low total harmonic distortion of the input current compared to a standard fixed hysteresis band control.

  19. Improvement of fibrin clot structure after factor VIII injection in haemophilia A patients treated on demand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antovic, Aleksandra; Mikovic, Danijela; Elezovic, Ivo; Zabczyk, Michael; Hutenby, Kjell; Antovic, Jovan P

    2014-04-01

    Patients with haemophilia A have seriously impaired thrombin generation due to an inherited deficiency of factor (F)VIII, making them form unstable fibrin clots that are unable to maintain haemostasis. Data on fibrin structure in haemophilia patients remain limited. Fibrin permeability, assessed by a flow measurement technique, was investigated in plasma from 20 patients with severe haemophilia A treated on demand, before and 30 minutes after FVIII injection. The results were correlated with concentrations of fibrinogen, FVIII and thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI), and global haemostatic markers: endogenous thrombin potential (ETP) and overall haemostatic potential (OHP). Fibrin structure was visualised using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The permeability coefficient Ks decreased significantly after FVIII treatment. Ks correlated significantly with FVIII levels and dosage, and with ETP, OHP and levels of TAFI. SEM images revealed irregular, porous fibrin clots composed of thick and short fibers before FVIII treatment. The clots had recovered after FVIII replacement almost to levels in control samples, revealing compact fibrin with smaller intrinsic pores. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first description of fibrin porosity and structure before and after FVIII treatment of selected haemophilia patients. It seems that thrombin generation is the main determinant of fibrin structure in haemophilic plasma.

  20. Improvements in body composition, cardiometabolic risk factors and insulin sensitivity with trenbolone in normogonadic rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donner, Daniel G; Beck, Belinda R; Bulmer, Andrew C; Lam, Alfred K; Du Toit, Eugene F

    2015-02-01

    Trenbolone (TREN) is used for anabolic growth-promotion in over 20 million cattle annually and continues to be misused for aesthetic purposes in humans. The current study investigated TREN's effects on body composition and cardiometabolic risk factors; and its tissue-selective effects on the cardiovascular system, liver and prostate. Male rats (n=12) were implanted with osmotic infusion pumps delivering either cyclodextrin vehicle (CTRL) or 2mg/kg/day TREN for 6 weeks. Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry assessment of body composition; organ wet weights and serum lipid profiles; and insulin sensitivity were assessed. Cardiac ultrasound examinations were performed before in vivo studies assessed myocardial susceptibility to ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury. Circulating sex hormones and liver enzyme activities; and prostate and liver histology were examined. In 6 weeks, fat mass increased by 34±7% in CTRLs (pTREN (pTREN rats. Histological examination of the prostates from TREN-treated rats indicated benign hyperplasia associated with an increased prostate mass (149% compared to CTRLs, pTREN treatment without evidence of adverse cardiovascular or hepatic effects that are commonly associated with traditional anabolic steroid misuse. Sex hormone suppression and benign prostate hyperplasia were confirmed as adverse effects of the treatment.

  1. Computer-aided human factors analysis of the industrial vehicle driver cabin to improve occupational health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koushik Balaji, K; Alphin, M S

    2016-09-01

    Industrial vehicle operator's solace and safety have gained significant consideration because of the increment in occupational health issues and accidents. The purpose of this work was to amend the design of the excavator driver cabin through human factor analysis. Thirty operators of excavators who were serving as subjects, were interviewed and identified that their wrist, upper arm and trunk were at a higher risk level while operating. Photograph of the operators was taken and the work environment was simulated. RULA (Rapid Upper Limb Assessment) and REBA (Rapid Entire Body Assessment) scoring was made on different simulated work posture of operators using CATIA V5 and UEAT1.8 softwares. Based on overall RULA and REBA scoring, it was found nearly 46% of the operators were operating at a high hazard level and needed investigation immediately, whereas 35% of operators were at a medium risk level and only 19% of operators were operating safely. The individual RULA and REBA scoring proved prevalence of discomfort in wrist, upper arm and trunk while operating. Identifying the optimized conditions to hold the control levers will help to reduce the operator strain. From the design optimization in excavators, the optimal conditions to hold the control lever is found to be 40cm for popliteal height, 60.51 cm for distance from elbow to ground and 15.07º for reach angle from the seat reference point.

  2. Factors Influencing Time Resolution of Scintillators and Ways to Improve Them

    CERN Document Server

    Lecoq, P; Brunner, S; Meyer, T; Auffray, E; Knapitsch, A; Jarron, P

    2010-01-01

    The renewal of interest in Time of Flight Positron Emission Tomography (TOF-PET), as well as the necessity to precisely tag events in high energy physics (HEP) experiments at future colliders are pushing for an optimization of all factors affecting the time resolution of the whole acquisition chain comprising the crystal, the photo detector, and the electronics. The time resolution of a scintillator-based detection system is determined by the rate of photo electrons at the detection threshold, which depends on the time distribution of photons being converted in the photo detector. The possibility to achieve time resolution of about 100 ps Full Width at Half Maximum (FWHM) requires an optimization of the light production in the scintillator, the light transport and its transfer from the scintillator to the photo detector. In order to maximize the light yield, and in particular the density of photons in the first nanosecond, while minimizing the rise time and decay time, particular attention must be paid to the...

  3. N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor siRNA improves cardiac function following myocardial infarction in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Y; Liu, Y; Yang, S X; Wang, Z

    2015-08-14

    This study examined the effects of N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor (NSF) small interfering RNA (siRNA) on cardiac function following myocardial infarction (MI) in rats. Thirty-six adult Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into three equivalent groups. An acute MI model was established by ligating the anterior descending branch of the left coronary artery and confirmed by electrocardiogram. Recombinant NSF-siRNA adenovirus (experimental), negative adenovirus (control), and normal saline were injected near the infarcted area of the left ventricle in each respective group. The left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was measured with a noninvasive ultrasonic cardiogram. Left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP) and the maximum rate of rise in left ventricular pressure (+dp/dt max) were measured using the BL-420 Biological Functional Experimental System. Hearts were sectioned and stained with 2,3,5,-triphenyl tetrazolium chloride (TTC) to observe the MI area. Two weeks after surgery, LVEF in the experimental group (46.0 ± 7.5%) was higher than control (34.0 ± 6.0%) and saline (37.5 ± 4.5%) group LVEFs (P function two weeks after MI, but had no impact on the MI area.

  4. Improved simulation design factors for unconventional crude vacuum units : cracked gas make and stripping section performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Remesat, D. [Koch-Glitsch Canada LP, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2008-10-15

    Operating data for unconventional heavy oil vacuum crude units were reviewed in order to optimize the design of vacuum columns. Operational data from heavy crude vacuum units operating with stripping and velocity were used to investigate the application of a proven vacuum distillation tower simulation topology designed for use with heavy oil and bitumen upgrader feeds. Design factors included a characterization of the crude oils or bitumens processed in the facility; the selection of thermodynamic models; and the non-equilibrium simulation topology. Amounts of generated cracked gas were calculated, and entrainment and stripping section performance was evaluated. Heater designs for ensuring the even distribution of heat flux were discussed. Data sets from vacuum units processing crude oils demonstrated that the amount of offgas flow increased as the transfer line temperature increased. The resulting instability caused increased coke generation and light hydrocarbon formation. Results also indicated that overhead vacuum ejector design and size as well as heat transfer capabilities of quench and pumparound zones must be considered when designing vacuum column units. Steam stripping lowered hydrocarbon partial pressure to allow materials to boil at lower temperatures. It was concluded that setting appropriate entrainment values will ensure the accuracy of sensitivity analyses for transfer line designs, inlet feed devices, and wash bed configurations. 9 refs., figs.

  5. Fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) deficiency improves insulin resistance and glucose metabolism under diet-induced obesity conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Hongfei; Zhang, Jun; Gong, Yan; Gupte, Jamila; Ye, Jay; Weiszmann, Jennifer; Samayoa, Kim; Coberly, Suzanne; Gardner, Jonitha; Wang, Huilan; Corbin, Tim; Chui, Danny; Baribault, Helene; Li, Yang

    2014-10-31

    The role of fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) in regulating bile acid synthesis has been well defined; however, its reported role on glucose and energy metabolism remains unresolved. Here, we show that FGFR4 deficiency in mice leads to improvement in glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and reduction in body weight under high fat conditions. Mechanism of action studies in FGFR4-deficient mice suggest that the effects are mediated in part by increased plasma levels of adiponectin and the endocrine FGF factors FGF21 and FGF15, the latter of which increase in response to an elevated bile acid pool. Direct actions of increased bile acids on bile acid receptors, and other potential indirect mechanisms, may also contribute to the observed metabolic changes. The results described herein suggest that FGFR4 antagonists alone, or in combination with other agents, could serve as a novel treatment for diabetes.

  6. A review of factors associated with the utilization of healthcare services and strategies for improving postpartum care in Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yugbare Belemsaga Danielle

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Reducing maternal mortality continues to be a major challenge for African countries. We conducted a literature review to identify the factors associated with the utilization of maternal and child healthcare services during the postpartum period and the strategies for strengthening postpartum healthcare in Africa. We carried out an electronic search in several databases of texts published between 1995 and 2012 related to maternal and child health. Seventy-five publications fitted the eligibility criteria. Our analysis shows that to a large extent the socio-economic context was dominant among the factors associated with the quality and utilization of postpartum services. The best interventions were those on immediate postpartum maternal care combining several intervention packages such as community mobilization and provision of services, community outreach services and health training. The integration within health facilities of mother and child clinics was shown to contribute significantly to improving the frequency of mothers’ postpartum visits.

  7. Form factors and charge radii in a quantum chromodynamics-inspired potential model using variationally improved perturbation theory

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Bhaskar Jyoti Hazarika; D K choudhury

    2015-01-01

    We use variationally improved perturbation theory (VIPT) for calculating the elastic form factors and charge radii of , $D_{s}$, $B$, $B_{s}$ and $B_{c}$ mesons in a quantum chromodynamics (QCD)-inspired potential model. For that, we use linear-cum-Coulombic potential and opt the Coulombic part first as parent and then the linear part as parent. The results show that charge radii and form factors are quite small for the Coulombic parent compared to the linear parent. Also, the analysis leads to a lower as well as upper bounds on the four-momentum transfer 2, hinting at a workable range of 2 within this approach, which may be useful in future experimental analyses. Comparison of both the options shows that the linear parent is the better option.

  8. Restraining Factors and Improving Paths for the Operation Mechanism of New Rural Cooperative Medical System in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2011-01-01

    The new rural cooperative medical system has achieved periodical achievements since its establishment.Nevertheless,there are many factors hampering the development of the new system,such as the high cost,the difficulties in fund procurement,the lack of management,the narrow coverage of benefit,the ineffective constraint to the designated medical institutions,the high fund balance rate,and the poor medical facilities and services in rural areas.Countermeasures are put forward to solve these problems,including improving the system design,expanding the coverage of the system,expanding the fund sources,reducing the financing costs,strengthening the fund supervision,enhancing the supervision of designated medical institutions,and improving the capacity of health services in rural areas.

  9. Improved Detection of Common Variants Associated with Schizophrenia by Leveraging Pleiotropy with Cardiovascular-Disease Risk Factors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andreassen, Ole A; Djurovic, Srdjan; Thompson, Wesley K;

    2013-01-01

    -pleiotropy-informed method for improving gene discovery with the use of GWAS summary-statistics data. We applied this methodology to identify additional loci associated with schizophrenia (SCZ), a highly heritable disorder with significant missing heritability. Epidemiological and clinical studies suggest comorbidity...... between SCZ and cardiovascular-disease (CVD) risk factors, including systolic blood pressure, triglycerides, low- and high-density lipoprotein, body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, and type 2 diabetes. Using stratified quantile-quantile plots, we show enrichment of SNPs associated with SCZ as a function...

  10. A new method to improve multiplication factor in micro-pixel avalanche photodiodes with high pixel density

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sadygov, Z. [National Nuclear Research Center, Baku (Azerbaijan); Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna (Russian Federation); Ahmadov, F. [National Nuclear Research Center, Baku (Azerbaijan); Khorev, S. [Zecotek Photonics Inc., Vancouver (Canada); Sadigov, A., E-mail: saazik@yandex.ru [National Nuclear Research Center, Baku (Azerbaijan); Suleymanov, S. [National Nuclear Research Center, Baku (Azerbaijan); Madatov, R.; Mehdiyeva, R. [Institute of Radiation Problems, Baku (Azerbaijan); Zerrouk, F. [Zecotek Photonics Inc., Vancouver (Canada)

    2016-07-11

    Presented is a new model describing development of the avalanche process in time, taking into account the dynamics of electric field within the depleted region of the diode and the effect of parasitic capacitance shunting individual quenching micro-resistors on device parameters. Simulations show that the effective capacitance of a single pixel, which defines the multiplication factor, is the sum of the pixel capacitance and a parasitic capacitance shunting its quenching micro-resistor. Conclusions obtained as a result of modeling open possibilities of improving the pixel gain in micropixel avalanche photodiodes with high pixel density (or low pixel capacitance).

  11. Comparison of factor VIII transgenes bioengineered for improved expression in gene therapy of hemophilia A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dooriss, Kerry L; Denning, Gabriela; Gangadharan, Bagirath; Javazon, Elisabeth H; McCarty, David A; Spencer, H Trent; Doering, Christopher B

    2009-05-01

    Successful gene therapy of hemophilia A depends on the sustained expression of therapeutic levels of factor VIII (fVIII). Because of mRNA instability, interactions with resident endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperones, and the requirement for carbohydrate-facilitated transport from the ER to the Golgi apparatus, fVIII is expressed at much lower levels from mammalian cells than other proteins of similar size and complexity. A number of bioengineered forms of B domain-deleted (BDD) human fVIII have been generated and shown to have enhanced expression. Previously, we demonstrated that recombinant BDD porcine fVIII exhibits high-level expression due to specific sequence elements that increase biosynthesis via enhanced posttranslational transit through the secretory pathway. In the current study, high-expression recombinant fVIII constructs were compared directly in order to determine the relative expression of the various bioengineered fVIII transgenes. The data demonstrate that BDD porcine fVIII expression is superior to that of any of the human fVIII variant constructs tested. Mean fVIII expression of 18 units/10(6) cells/24 hr was observed from HEK-293 cells expressing a single copy of the porcine fVIII transgene, which was 36- to 225-fold greater than that of any human fVIII transgene tested. Furthermore, greater than 10-fold higher expression was observed in human cells transduced with BDD porcine fVIII versus BDD human fVIII-encoding lentiviral vectors, even at low proviral copy numbers, supporting its use over other human fVIII variants in future hemophilia A gene therapy clinical trials.

  12. IMPROVED PARAMETERIZATION OF WATER CLOUD MODEL FOR HYBRID-POLARIZED BACKSCATTER SIMULATION USING INTERACTION FACTOR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Chauhan

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The prime aim of this study was to assess the potential of semi-empirical water cloud model (WCM in simulating hybrid-polarized SAR backscatter signatures (RH and RV retrieved from RISAT-1 data and integrate the results into a graphical user interface (GUI to facilitate easy comprehension and interpretation. A predominant agricultural wheat growing area was selected in Mathura and Bharatpur districts located in the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan respectively to carry out the study. The three-date datasets were acquired covering the crucial growth stages of the wheat crop. In synchrony, the fieldwork was organized to measure crop/soil parameters. The RH and RV backscattering coefficient images were extracted from the SAR data for all the three dates. The effect of four combinations of vegetation descriptors (V1 and V2 viz., LAI-LAI, LAI-Plant water content (PWC, Leaf water area index (LWAI-LWAI, and LAI-Interaction factor (IF on the total RH and RV backscatter was analyzed. The results revealed that WCM calibrated with LAI and IF as the two vegetation descriptors simulated the total RH and RV backscatter values with highest R2 of 0.90 and 0.85 while the RMSE was lowest among the other tested models (1.18 and 1.25 dB, respectively. The theoretical considerations and interpretations have been discussed and examined in the paper. The novelty of this work emanates from the fact that it is a first step towards the modeling of hybrid-polarized backscatter data using an accurately parameterized semi-empirical approach.

  13. Brazilian red propolis improves cutaneous wound healing suppressing inflammation-associated transcription factor NFκB.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corrêa, Flavia Regina Sobreira; Schanuel, Fernanda Seabra; Moura-Nunes, Nathalia; Monte-Alto-Costa, Andréa; Daleprane, Julio Beltrame

    2017-02-01

    The use of natural products in wound healing has been extensively studied in the context of complementary and alternative medicine. Propolis, a natural product, is a polyphenol-rich resin used for this purpose. This study aimed to investigate the effect of Brazilian Red Propolis Extract (BRPE) on inflammation and wound healing in mice, using a tissue repair model. The BRPE polyphenol content was analyzed by liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC/MS). A full-thickness excision lesion was created, and mice were treated orally with daily doses of vehicle solution (water-alcohol solution containing 2% of ethanol, control group) or 100mg/kg of BRPE (P100 group) during nine consecutive days. BRPE chemical composition analysis showed that this complex matrix contains several phenolic compounds such as phenolic acids, phenolic terpenes and flavonoids (especially catechins, flavonols, chalcones, isoflavones, isoflavans, pterocarpans and bioflavonoids). After BRPE administration, it was observed that, when compared to the control group, P100 group presented faster wound closure (p<0.001); less neutrophils per mm(2) (p<0.05) and macrophages (p<0.01) in tissue analyses, down regulation of the inflammatory transcription factor pNF-κB protein expression, and reduced production of inflammatory cytokine, such as TGF-β, TNF-α (p<0.0001), and IL-6 (p<0.001). These findings suggest a positive role of BRPE oral administration in the wound healing process via suppressing the inflammatory response during tissue repair. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  14. Improvement of enzymatic saccharification yield in Arabidopsis thaliana by ectopic expression of the rice SUB1A-1 transcription factor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lizeth Núñez-López

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Saccharification of polysaccharides releases monosaccharides that can be used by ethanol-producing microorganisms in biofuel production. To improve plant biomass as a raw material for saccharification, factors controlling the accumulation and structure of carbohydrates must be identified. Rice SUB1A-1 is a transcription factor that represses the turnover of starch and postpones energy-consuming growth processes under submergence stress. Arabidopsis was employed to test if heterologous expression of SUB1A-1 or SUB1C-1 (a related gene can be used to improve saccharification. Cellulolytic and amylolytic enzymatic treatments confirmed that SUB1A-1 transgenics had better saccharification yield than wild-type (Col-0, mainly from accumulated starch. This improved saccharification yield was developmentally controlled; when compared to Col-0, young transgenic vegetative plants yielded 200–300% more glucose, adult vegetative plants yielded 40–90% more glucose and plants in reproductive stage had no difference in yield. We measured photosynthetic parameters, starch granule microstructure, and transcript abundance of genes involved in starch degradation (SEX4, GWD1, juvenile transition (SPL3-5 and meristematic identity (FUL, SOC1 but found no differences to Col-0, indicating that starch accumulation may be controlled by down-regulation of CONSTANS and FLOWERING LOCUS T by SUB1A-1 as previously reported. SUB1A-1 transgenics also offered less resistance to deformation than wild-type concomitant to up-regulation of AtEXP2 expansin and BGL2 glucan-1,3,-beta-glucosidase. We conclude that heterologous SUB1A-1 expression can improve saccharification yield and softness, two traits needed in bioethanol production.

  15. Factors associated with frequency of abortions recorded through Dairy Herd Improvement test plans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, H D; Miller, R H; Wright, J R; Hutchison, J L; Olson, K M

    2012-07-01

    Frequency of abortions recorded through Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI) testing was summarized for cows with lactations completed from 2001 through 2009. For 8.5 million DHI lactations of cows that had recorded breeding dates and were >151 d pregnant at lactation termination, the frequency of recorded abortions was 1.31%. Effects of year, herd-year, month, and pregnancy stage at lactation termination; parity; breed; milk yield; herd size; geographic region; and state within region associated with DHI-recorded abortion were examined. Abortions recorded through DHI (minimum gestation of 152 d required) were more frequent during early gestation; least squares means (LSM) were 4.38, 3.27, 1.19, and 0.59% for 152 to 175, 176 to 200, 201 to 225, and 226 to 250 d pregnant, respectively. Frequency of DHI-recorded abortions was 1.40% for parity 1 and 1.01% for parity ≥ 8. Abortion frequency was highest from May through August (1.42 to 1.53%) and lowest from October through February (1.09 to 1.21%). Frequency of DHI-recorded abortions was higher for Holsteins (1.32%) than for Jerseys (1.10%) and other breeds (1.27%). Little relationship was found between DHI-recorded abortions and herd size. Abortion frequencies for effects should be considered to be underestimated because many abortions, especially those caused by genetic recessives, go undetected. Therefore, various nonreturn rates (NRR; 60, 80, …, 200 d) were calculated to document pregnancy loss confirmed by the absence of homozygotes in the population. Breeding records for April 2011 US Department of Agriculture sire conception rate evaluations were analyzed with the model used for official evaluations with the addition of an interaction between carrier status of the service sire (embryo's sire) and cow sire (embryo's maternal grandsire). Over 13 million matings were examined using various NRR for Holstein lethal recessive traits (brachyspina and complex vertebral malformation) and undesirable recessive haplotypes (HH1

  16. Measuring team factors thought to influence the success of quality improvement in primary care: a systematic review of instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Measuring team factors in evaluations of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) may provide important information for enhancing CQI processes and outcomes; however, the large number of potentially relevant factors and associated measurement instruments makes inclusion of such measures challenging. This review aims to provide guidance on the selection of instruments for measuring team-level factors by systematically collating, categorizing, and reviewing quantitative self-report instruments. Methods Data sources: We searched MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Health and Psychosocial Instruments; reference lists of systematic reviews; and citations and references of the main report of instruments. Study selection: To determine the scope of the review, we developed and used a conceptual framework designed to capture factors relevant to evaluating CQI in primary care (the InQuIRe framework). We included papers reporting development or use of an instrument measuring factors relevant to teamwork. Data extracted included instrument purpose; theoretical basis, constructs measured and definitions; development methods and assessment of measurement properties. Analysis and synthesis: We used qualitative analysis of instrument content and our initial framework to develop a taxonomy for summarizing and comparing instruments. Instrument content was categorized using the taxonomy, illustrating coverage of the InQuIRe framework. Methods of development and evidence of measurement properties were reviewed for instruments with potential for use in primary care. Results We identified 192 potentially relevant instruments, 170 of which were analyzed to develop the taxonomy. Eighty-one instruments measured constructs relevant to CQI teams in primary care, with content covering teamwork context (45 instruments measured enabling conditions or attitudes to teamwork), team process (57 instruments measured teamwork behaviors), and team outcomes (59 instruments measured perceptions of the team or

  17. Intestine-specific Disruption of Hypoxia-inducible Factor (HIF)-2α Improves Anemia in Sickle Cell Disease*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Nupur; Xie, Liwei; Ramakrishnan, Sadeesh K.; Campbell, Andrew; Rivella, Stefano; Shah, Yatrik M.

    2015-01-01

    Sickle cell disease (SCD) is caused by genetic defects in the β-globin chain. SCD is a frequently inherited blood disorder, and sickle cell anemia is a common type of hemoglobinopathy. During anemia, the hypoxic response via the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-2α is highly activated in the intestine and is essential in iron absorption. Intestinal disruption of HIF-2α protects against tissue iron accumulation in iron overload anemias. However, the role of intestinal HIF-2α in regulating anemia in SCD is currently not known. Here we show that in mouse models of SCD, disruption of intestinal HIF-2α significantly decreased tissue iron accumulation. This was attributed to a decrease in intestinal iron absorptive genes, which were highly induced in a mouse model of SCD. Interestingly, disruption of intestinal HIF-2α led to a robust improvement in anemia with an increase in RBC, hemoglobin, and hematocrit. This was attributed to improvement in RBC survival, hemolysis, and insufficient erythropoiesis, which is evident from a significant decrease in serum bilirubin, reticulocyte counts, and serum erythropoietin following intestinal HIF-2α disruption. These data suggest that targeting intestinal HIF-2α has a significant therapeutic potential in SCD pathophysiology. PMID:26296885

  18. Intestine-specific Disruption of Hypoxia-inducible Factor (HIF)-2α Improves Anemia in Sickle Cell Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Nupur; Xie, Liwei; Ramakrishnan, Sadeesh K; Campbell, Andrew; Rivella, Stefano; Shah, Yatrik M

    2015-09-25

    Sickle cell disease (SCD) is caused by genetic defects in the β-globin chain. SCD is a frequently inherited blood disorder, and sickle cell anemia is a common type of hemoglobinopathy. During anemia, the hypoxic response via the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-2α is highly activated in the intestine and is essential in iron absorption. Intestinal disruption of HIF-2α protects against tissue iron accumulation in iron overload anemias. However, the role of intestinal HIF-2α in regulating anemia in SCD is currently not known. Here we show that in mouse models of SCD, disruption of intestinal HIF-2α significantly decreased tissue iron accumulation. This was attributed to a decrease in intestinal iron absorptive genes, which were highly induced in a mouse model of SCD. Interestingly, disruption of intestinal HIF-2α led to a robust improvement in anemia with an increase in RBC, hemoglobin, and hematocrit. This was attributed to improvement in RBC survival, hemolysis, and insufficient erythropoiesis, which is evident from a significant decrease in serum bilirubin, reticulocyte counts, and serum erythropoietin following intestinal HIF-2α disruption. These data suggest that targeting intestinal HIF-2α has a significant therapeutic potential in SCD pathophysiology.

  19. Improvement of yeast tolerance to acetic acid through Haa1 transcription factor engineering: towards the underlying mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swinnen, Steve; Henriques, Sílvia F; Shrestha, Ranjan; Ho, Ping-Wei; Sá-Correia, Isabel; Nevoigt, Elke

    2017-01-09

    Besides being a major regulator of the response to acetic acid in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the transcription factor Haa1 is an important determinant of the tolerance to this acid. The engineering of Haa1 either by overexpression or mutagenesis has therefore been considered to be a promising avenue towards the construction of more robust strains with improved acetic acid tolerance. By applying the concept of global transcription machinery engineering to the regulon-specific transcription factor Haa1, a mutant allele containing two point mutations could be selected that resulted in a significantly higher acetic acid tolerance as compared to the wild-type allele. The level of improvement obtained was comparable to the level obtained by overexpression of HAA1, which was achieved by introduction of a second copy of the native HAA1 gene. Dissection of the contribution of the two point mutations to the phenotype showed that the major improvement was caused by an amino acid exchange at position 135 (serine to phenylalanine). In order to further study the mechanisms underlying the tolerance phenotype, Haa1 translocation and transcriptional activation of Haa1 target genes was compared between Haa1 mutant, overproduction and wild-type strains. While the rapid Haa1 translocation from the cytosol to the nucleus in response to acetic acid was not affected in the Haa1(S135F) mutant strain, the levels of transcriptional activation of four selected Haa1-target genes by acetic acid were significantly higher in cells of the mutant strain as compared to cells of the wild-type strain. Interestingly, the time-course of transcriptional activation in response to acetic acid was comparable for the mutant and wild-type strain whereas the maximum mRNA levels obtained correlate with each strain's tolerance level. Our data confirms that engineering of the regulon-specific transcription factor Haa1 allows the improvement of acetic acid tolerance in S. cerevisiae. It was also shown that the

  20. Continuous Improvement of Physical Functioning in Ankylosing Spondylitis Patients by Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors: Three-Year Followup and Predictors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Weely, Salima F E; Kneepkens, Eva L; Nurmohamed, Mike T; Dekker, Joost; van der Horst-Bruinsma, Irene E

    2016-10-01

    To establish the 3-year outcome and course of physical functioning and spinal mobility impairments in patients routinely treated with tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi) and to find predictors of physical functioning and spinal mobility impairments. Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients eligible for TNFi were followed in a 3-year prospective observational study. Prediction models were developed with linear mixed modeling. Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI) and Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Metrology Index (BASMI) were used as outcome measures for physical functioning and spinal mobility. A total of 257 patients were included and treated with etanercept (n = 174) or adalimumab (n = 83). Physical functioning improved significantly during the first 6 months after the start of TNFi. The BASFI score decreased from mean ± SD 5.4 ± 2.4 to 3.3 ± 2.6 at 6 months, and stabilized thereafter (BASFI third year score mean ± SD 3.6 ± 2.5). The BASMI showed no significant changes over time. Lower baseline BASFI and BASMI scores predicted a better level of physical functioning and spinal mobility after 3 years of TNFi therapy. Other predictors for a better 3-year outcome and course of physical functioning included absence of comorbidity, physical activity, younger age, and lower body mass index at baseline. Physical functioning in routinely TNFi-treated AS patients improved up to 6 months and stabilized thereafter. Therefore, it would be better to extend the period of evaluation of TNFi treatment to 6 months rather than the 3 months currently used. The risk factors of long-term physical functioning found in this study might help to identify patients at risk at an earlier stage and improve treatment strategy. © 2016, American College of Rheumatology.

  1. Factors influencing household uptake of improved solid fuel stoves in low- and middle-income countries: a qualitative systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debbi, Stanistreet; Elisa, Puzzolo; Nigel, Bruce; Dan, Pope; Eva, Rehfuess

    2014-08-13

    Household burning of solid fuels in traditional stoves is detrimental to health, the environment and development. A range of improved solid fuel stoves (IS) are available but little is known about successful approaches to dissemination. This qualitative systematic review aimed to identify factors that influence household uptake of IS in low- and middle-income countries. Extensive searches were carried out and studies were screened and extracted using established systematic review methods. Fourteen qualitative studies from Asia, Africa and Latin-America met the inclusion criteria. Thematic synthesis was used to synthesise data and findings are presented under seven framework domains. Findings relate to user and stakeholder perceptions and highlight the importance of cost, good stove design, fuel and time savings, health benefits, being able to cook traditional dishes and cleanliness in relation to uptake. Creating demand, appropriate approaches to business, and community involvement, are also discussed. Achieving and sustaining uptake is complex and requires consideration of a broad range of factors, which operate at household, community, regional and national levels. Initiatives aimed at IS scale up should include quantitative evaluations of effectiveness, supplemented with qualitative studies to assess factors affecting uptake, with an equity focus.

  2. ABI-like transcription factor gene TaABL1 from wheat improves multiple abiotic stress tolerances in transgenic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dong-Bei; Gao, Shi-Qing; Ma, You-Zhi; Xu, Zhao-Shi; Zhao, Chang-Ping; Tang, Yi-Miao; Li, Xue-Yin; Li, Lian-Cheng; Chen, Yao-Feng; Chen, Ming

    2014-12-01

    The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) plays crucial roles in adaptive responses of plants to abiotic stresses. ABA-responsive element binding proteins (AREBs) are basic leucine zipper transcription factors that regulate the expression of downstream genes containing ABA-responsive elements (ABREs) in promoter regions. A novel ABI-like (ABA-insensitive) transcription factor gene, named TaABL1, containing a conserved basic leucine zipper (bZIP) domain was cloned from wheat. Southern blotting showed that three copies were present in the wheat genome. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that TaABL1 belonged to the AREB subfamily of the bZIP transcription factor family and was most closely related to ZmABI5 in maize and OsAREB2 in rice. Expression of TaABL1 was highly induced in wheat roots, stems, and leaves by ABA, drought, high salt, and low temperature stresses. TaABL1 was localized inside the nuclei of transformed wheat mesophyll protoplast. Overexpression of TaABL1 enhanced responses of transgenic plants to ABA and hastened stomatal closure under stress, thereby improving tolerance to multiple abiotic stresses. Furthermore, overexpression of TaABL1 upregulated or downregulated the expression of some stress-related genes controlling stomatal closure in transgenic plants under ABA and drought stress conditions, suggesting that TaABL1 might be a valuable genetic resource for transgenic molecular breeding.

  3. Factors contributing to the poor bulk behavior of meat and bone meal and methods for improving these behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, R A; Flores, R A; Mazenko, C E

    2007-11-01

    Meat and bone meal (MBM), a product of the rendering industry, is a potential feedstock for numerous bio-based applications. Design of processing equipment for MBM is difficult due to MBM's bulk behaviors; it flows less easily than many other granular materials, and it tends to foul the surfaces of processing equipment. This study examines the major factors contributing to MBM's poor bulk behavior, including moisture content, fat content, particle size distribution and temperature, and the relative importance of these factors. Potential methods for improving MBM's bulk properties, including use of an anti-caking agent, dehydration, fat extraction, milling and refrigeration are also studied. The effects of these factors were determined by a standard laboratory measurement, the Hausner ratio, as well as by the rate of surface-fouling and dust generation using a pilot-scale aspirator. In contrast to past studies with other granular materials, moisture content was shown to have an insignificant effect on MBM's bulk behavior. The results, however, show that MBM fat content is a major determinant of the bulk behavior of the MBM. Reduction of fat content resulted in major changes in MBM's bulk behavior, by all measures used. Less dramatic changes were achieved through refrigeration to solidify the fat and/or treatment with an anti-caking agent.

  4. Serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels associate with cognitive improvement in patients with schizophrenia treated with electroacupuncture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Zuo-Li; Liu, Jie; Guo, Wei; Jiang, Tao; Ma, Chao; Li, Wen-Biao; Tang, Yi-Lang; Ling, Si-Hai

    2016-10-30

    Accumulating evidence supports that acupuncture has been successfully used for the treatment of neurological disorders to improve cognitive function. This study was set to evaluate the efficacy of electroacupuncture (EA, using two acupoints: Baihui and Shenting) on clinical symptoms, cognitive function and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in patients with schizophrenia. Sixty-one inpatients diagnosed schizophrenia with DSM-IV criteria were recruited. The participants were randomly divided into an experimental group (n=30) and a control group (n=31). The patients were evaluated using the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS), the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS) at baseline and after EA treatment. There were no significant differences in the PANSS scores and serum BDNF levels between the experimental group and the control group, either at baseline or at the end of the 4-week study period. However, the EA treatment appeared to have significant benefits on memory and moderate benefits on executive functions and problem solving. Significant positive correlation was observed between the increase of BDNF levels and memory improvement after EA treatment. Our results indicated that EA treatment could improve cognitive function, and the cognitive benefits positively associate with serum BDNF levels in patients with schizophrenia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Inactivation of a GAL4-Like Transcription Factor Improves Cell Fitness and Product Yield in Glycoengineered Pichia pastoris Strains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Argyros, Rebecca; Bukowski, John; Nelson, Stephanie; Sharkey, Nathan; Kim, Sehoon; Copeland, Victoria; Davidson, Robert C.; Chen, Ronghua; Zhuang, Jun; Sethuraman, Natarajan; Stadheim, Terrance A.

    2014-01-01

    With a completely reengineered and humanized glycosylation pathway, glycoengineered Pichia pastoris has emerged as a promising production host for the manufacture of therapeutic glycoproteins. However, the extensive genetic modifications have also negatively affected the overall fitness levels of the glycoengineered host cells. To make glycoengineered Pichia strains more compatible with a scalable industrial fermentation process, we sought to identify genetic solutions to broadly improve cell robustness during fermentation. In this study, we report that mutations within the Pichia pastoris ATT1 (PpATT1) gene (a homolog of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae GAL4 [ScGAL4] transcriptional activator) dramatically increased the cellular fitness levels of glycoengineered Pichia strains. We demonstrate that deletion of the PpATT1 gene enabled glycoengineered Pichia strains to improve their thermal tolerance levels, reduce their cell lysis defects, and greatly improve fermentation robustness. The extension of the duration of fermentation enabled the PpATT1-modified glycoengineered Pichia strains to increase their product yields significantly without any sacrifice in product quality. Because the ATT1 gene could be deleted from any Pichia strains, including empty hosts and protein-expressing production strains alike, we suggest that the findings described in this study are broadly applicable to any Pichia strains used for the production of therapeutic proteins, including monoclonal antibodies, Fc fusions, peptides, hormones, and growth factors. PMID:25344235

  6. Sarilumab improves patient-reported outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis patients with inadequate response/intolerance to tumour necrosis factor inhibitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strand, Vibeke; Reaney, Matthew; Chen, Chieh-I; Proudfoot, Clare W J; Guillonneau, Sophie; Bauer, Deborah; Mangan, Erin; Graham, Neil M H; van Hoogstraten, Hubert; Lin, Yong; Pacheco-Tena, César; Fleischmann, Roy

    2017-01-01

    Objective To evaluate effects of the anti-interleukin-6 receptor monoclonal antibody sarilumab administered with conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARDs) on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in the TARGET trial in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with inadequate response or intolerance to tumour necrosis factor inhibitors (TNF-IR). Methods 546 patients (81.9% female, mean age 52.9 years) were randomised to placebo, sarilumab 150 or 200 mg subcutaneously every 2 weeks + csDMARDs. PROs included patient global assessment (PtGA); pain and morning stiffness visual analogue scales; Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI); Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36); FACIT-Fatigue (FACIT-F); Work Productivity Survey-Rheumatoid Arthritis (WPS-RA) and Rheumatoid Arthritis Impact of Disease (RAID). Changes from baseline at weeks 12 and 24 were analysed using a mixed model for repeated measures; post hoc analyses included percentages of patients reporting improvements ≥ minimum clinically important differences (MCID) and scores ≥ normative values. Results Sarilumab + csDMARDs doses resulted in improvements from baseline at week 12 vs placebo + csDMARDs in PtGA, pain, HAQ-DI, SF-36 and FACIT-F that were maintained at week 24. Sarilumab improved morning stiffness and reduced the impact of RA on work, family, social/leisure activities participation (WPS-RA) and on patients' lives (RAID). Percentages of patients reporting improvements ≥MCID and ≥ normative scores were greater with sarilumab than placebo. Conclusions In patients with TNF-IR RA, 150 and 200 mg sarilumab + csDMARDs resulted in clinically meaningful patient-reported benefits on pain, fatigue, function, participation and health status at 12 and 24 weeks that exceeded placebo + csDMARDs, and were consistent with the clinical profile previously reported. Trial registration number NCT01709578; Results. PMID:28326189

  7. Factors associated with utilization of community health workers in improving access to malaria treatment among children in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kisia, James; Nelima, Florence; Otieno, David Odhiambo; Kiilu, Kioko; Emmanuel, Wamalwa; Sohani, Salim; Siekmans, Kendra; Nyandigisi, Andrew; Akhwale, Willis

    2012-07-30

    The success of community case management in improving access to effective malaria treatment for young children relies on broad utilization of community health workers (CHWs) to diagnose and treat fever cases. A better understanding of the factors associated with CHW utilization is crucial in informing national malaria control policy and strategy in Kenya. Specifically, little is known in Kenya on the extent to which CHWs are utilized, the characteristics of families who report utilizing CHWs and whether utilization is associated with improved access to prompt and effective malaria treatment. This paper examines factors associated with utilization of CHWs in improving access to malaria treatment among children under five years of age by women caregivers in two malaria endemic districts in Kenya. This study was conducted in 113 hard-to-reach and poor villages in Malindi and Lamu districts in the coastal region classified as having endemic transmission of malaria. A cross-sectional household survey was conducted using a standardized malaria indicator questionnaire at baseline (n=1,187) and one year later at endline assessment (n=1,374) using two-stage cluster sampling. There was an increase in reported utilization of CHWs as source of advice/treatment for child fevers from 2% at baseline to 35% at endline, accompanied by a decline in care-seeking from government facilities (from 67% to 48%) and other sources (26% to 2%) including shops. The most poor households and poor households reported higher utilization of CHWs at 39.4% and 37.9% respectively, compared to the least poor households (17.0%). Households in villages with less than 200 households reported higher CHWs utilization as compared to households in villages having >200 households. Prompt access to timely and effective treatment was 5.7 times higher (95% CI 3.4-9.7) when CHWs were the source of care sought. Adherence was high regardless of whether source was CHWs (73.1%) or public health facility (66.7%). The

  8. Basic fibroblast growth factor-loaded, mineralized biopolymer-nanofiber scaffold improves adhesion and proliferation of rat mesenchymal stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Tae-Hyun; Kim, Jung-Ju; Kim, Hae-Won

    2014-02-01

    Nanofibrous matrices are attractive scaffolding platforms for tissue regeneration. Modification of the nanofiber surface, particularly with biological proteins, improves cellular interactions. Here, we loaded basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) onto mineralized nanofibers and investigated the effect on adhesion and proliferation of rat mesenchymal stem cells. bFGF loading was significantly higher on the mineralized nanofiber than on the non-mineralized one. Release of bFGF from the mineralized nanofibers was continuous over 2 weeks. Cells cultured on the bFGF-loaded nanofiber attached and proliferated in significantly higher numbers than those on the bFGF-free nanofiber. bFGF-receptor inhibition study confirmed the biological role played by the loaded bFGF. This study details the advantages of the mineralized nanofiber surface for the loading and delivery bFGF, and thus the bFGF-loaded nanofiber scaffold may be useful for tissue repair and regeneration.

  9. The metrological approach: a major key factor for the accreditation and continuous improvement of the wood preservation laboratory of Cirad

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin L.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Since 2006, the wood preservation laboratory of Cirad is accredited by COFRAC (French accreditation committee – accreditation No. 1-1686 for tests on the durability of wood and wood-based products and on protective efficacy of wood preservatives and termite control products. The metrological approach adopted by the wood preservation laboratory is a key factor on the continuous improvement of practices. Tests to determine the resistance against wood-destroying biological agents are the most difficult of all wood analysis tests. They are aimed at assessing and quantifying the impact of living organism, such as fungi and termites, on a lignocellulosic material. The extent of variability of this impact, which in turn is linked with the diversity of these organisms and of the material, can be readily determined. The validity and reliability of the findings therefore depend directly on the quality of the metrological process, including the choice of measurement devices, their management and compliance with international standards.

  10. Nerve growth factor eye drops improve visual acuity and electrofunctional activity in age-related macular degeneration: a case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Lambiase

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD is a severe disease affecting visual function in the elderly. Currently available surgical and medical options do not guarantee a significant impact on the outcome of the disease. We describe the effects of nerve growth factor eye drop treatment in a 94 years old female with ARMD, whose visual acuity was progressively worsening in spite of previous surgical and medical treatments. NGF eye drops improved visual acuity and electrofunctional parameters as early as 3 months after initiation of treatment. These results are in line with previous reports on a neuroprotective effect of NGF on retinal cells and on NGF eye drops bioavailability in the retina and optic nerve. No side effects were observed after five years of follow-up, suggesting that topical NGF treatment may be a safe and effective therapy for ARMD.

  11. Improved efficacy of soluble human receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B (RANK) fusion protein by site-directed mutagenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Son, Young Jun; Han, Jihye; Lee, Jae Yeon; Kim, HaHyung; Chun, Taehoon

    2015-06-01

    Soluble human receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B fusion immunoglobulin (hRANK-Ig) has been considered as one of the therapeutic agents to treat osteoporosis or diseases associated with bone destruction by blocking the interaction between RANK and the receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand (RANKL). However, no scientific record showing critical amino acid residues within the structural interface between the human RANKL and RANK complex is yet available. In this study, we produced several mutants of hRANK-Ig by replacement of amino acid residue(s) and tested whether the mutants had increased binding affinity to human RANKL. Based on the results from flow cytometry and surface plasmon resonance analyses, the replacement of E(125) with D(125), or E(125) and C(127) with D(125) and F(127) within loop 3 of cysteine-rich domain 3 of hRANK-Ig increases binding affinity to human RANKL over the wild-type hRANK-Ig. This result may provide the first example of improvement in the efficacy of hRANK-Ig by protein engineering and may give additional information to understand a more defined structural interface between hRANK and RANKL.

  12. Strict vegetarian diet improves the risk factors associated with metabolic diseases by modulating gut microbiota and reducing intestinal inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Min-Soo; Hwang, Seong-Soo; Park, Eun-Jin; Bae, Jin-Woo

    2013-10-01

    Low-grade inflammation of the intestine results in metabolic dysfunction, in which dysbiosis of the gut microbiota is intimately involved. Dietary fibre induces prebiotic effects that may restore imbalances in the gut microbiota; however, no clinical trials have been reported in patients with metabolic diseases. Here, six obese subjects with type 2 diabetes and/or hypertension were assigned to a strict vegetarian diet (SVD) for 1 month, and blood biomarkers of glucose and lipid metabolisms, faecal microbiota using 454-pyrosequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA genes, faecal lipocalin-2 and short-chain fatty acids were monitored. An SVD reduced body weight and the concentrations of triglycerides, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and haemoglobin A1c, and improved fasting glucose and postprandial glucose levels. An SVD reduced the Firmicutes-to-Bacteroidetes ratio in the gut microbiota, but did not alter enterotypes. An SVD led to a decrease in the pathobionts such as the Enterobacteriaceae and an increase in commensal microbes such as Bacteroides fragilis and Clostridium species belonging to clusters XIVa and IV, resulting in reduced intestinal lipocalin-2 and short-chain fatty acids levels. This study underscores the benefits of dietary fibre for improving the risk factors of metabolic diseases and shows that increased fibre intake reduces gut inflammation by changing the gut microbiota.

  13. Dietary levels of pure flavonoids improve spatial memory performance and increase hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rendeiro, Catarina; Vauzour, David; Rattray, Marcus; Waffo-Téguo, Pierre; Mérillon, Jean Michel; Butler, Laurie T; Williams, Claire M; Spencer, Jeremy P E

    2013-01-01

    Evidence suggests that flavonoid-rich foods are capable of inducing improvements in memory and cognition in animals and humans. However, there is a lack of clarity concerning whether flavonoids are the causal agents in inducing such behavioral responses. Here we show that supplementation with pure anthocyanins or pure flavanols for 6 weeks, at levels similar to that found in blueberry (2% w/w), results in an enhancement of spatial memory in 18 month old rats. Pure flavanols and pure anthocyanins were observed to induce significant improvements in spatial working memory (p = 0.002 and p = 0.006 respectively), to a similar extent to that following blueberry supplementation (p = 0.002). These behavioral changes were paralleled by increases in hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (R = 0.46, pmemory. However, unlike protein levels of BDNF, the regional enhancement of BDNF mRNA expression in the hippocampus appeared to be predominantly enhanced by anthocyanins. Our data support the claim that flavonoids are likely causal agents in mediating the cognitive effects of flavonoid-rich foods.

  14. Improvement of cardiac function by hepatocyte growth factor via intracoronary transfection in the swine myocardial infarction model

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wei Wang; Wenzhu Ma; Zhijian Yang; Dongchao Ma; Shunlin Xu; Yourong Zhang; Yuqing Zhang; Liansheng Wang; Bo Chen; Kejiang Cao

    2006-01-01

    Objective: To study the amelioration effect of Adenovirus5-mediated human hepatocyte growth factor (Ad5-HGF) on postinfarction heart failure in the swine myocardial infarction model. Methods: Twelve SuZhong young swine were randomly divided into 2 groups with 6 swine in each group: Ad5-HGF-treated group and null-Ad5 group. Four weeks after ligation at left anterior descending coronary artery in swine hearts, Ad5-HGF was transferred to the swine myocardium. Simultaneously,Gated myocardial perfusion imaging was performed to evaluate cardiac perfusion and heart function. After three weeks, Gated myocardial perfusion imaging was performed again, then the hearts were harvested and sectioned to examine the expression of HGF through ELISA. Results: High expression of human HGF was observed in the myocardium of Ad5-HGF-treated group. From 4 weeks to 7 weeks after operation, Left ventricular ejection fraction was increased in Ad5-HGF-treated group. The improvement in LVEF was greater in Ad5-HGF-treated group than that in null-Ad5 group at 7 weeks after operation. Cardiac perfusion was significantly improved in the Ad5-HGF-treated group. Conclusion: High expression of human HGF was observed in the myocardium through intracoronary transfection, which suggests that HGF can ameliorate heart function in swine with postinfarction heart failure.

  15. Dietary levels of pure flavonoids improve spatial memory performance and increase hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catarina Rendeiro

    Full Text Available Evidence suggests that flavonoid-rich foods are capable of inducing improvements in memory and cognition in animals and humans. However, there is a lack of clarity concerning whether flavonoids are the causal agents in inducing such behavioral responses. Here we show that supplementation with pure anthocyanins or pure flavanols for 6 weeks, at levels similar to that found in blueberry (2% w/w, results in an enhancement of spatial memory in 18 month old rats. Pure flavanols and pure anthocyanins were observed to induce significant improvements in spatial working memory (p = 0.002 and p = 0.006 respectively, to a similar extent to that following blueberry supplementation (p = 0.002. These behavioral changes were paralleled by increases in hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (R = 0.46, p<0.01, suggesting a common mechanism for the enhancement of memory. However, unlike protein levels of BDNF, the regional enhancement of BDNF mRNA expression in the hippocampus appeared to be predominantly enhanced by anthocyanins. Our data support the claim that flavonoids are likely causal agents in mediating the cognitive effects of flavonoid-rich foods.

  16. Educational system factors that engage resident physicians in an integrated quality improvement curriculum at a VA hospital: a realist evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogrinc, Greg; Ercolano, Ellyn; Cohen, Emily S; Harwood, Beth; Baum, Karyn; van Aalst, Robertus; Jones, Anne C; Davies, Louise

    2014-10-01

    Learning about quality improvement (QI) in resident physician training is often relegated to elective or noncore clinical activities. The authors integrated teaching, learning, and doing QI into the routine clinical work of inpatient internal medicine teams at a Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital. This study describes the design factors that facilitated and inhibited the integration of a QI curriculum-including real QI work-into the routine work of inpatient internal medicine teams. A realist evaluation framework used three data sources: field notes from QI faculty; semistructured interviews with resident physicians; and a group interview with QI faculty and staff. From April 2011 to July 2012, resident physician teams at the White River Junction VA Medical Center used the Model for Improvement for their QI work and analyzed data using statistical process control charts. Three domains affected the delivery of the QI curriculum and engagement of residents in QI work: setting, learner, and teacher. The constant presence of the QI material on a public space in the team workroom was a facilitating mechanism in the setting. Explicit sign-out of QI work to the next resident team formalized the handoff in the learner domain. QI teachers who were respected clinical leaders with QI expertise provided role modeling and local system knowledge. Integrating QI teaching into the routine clinical and educational systems of an inpatient service is challenging. Identifiable, concrete strategies in the setting, learner, and teacher domains helped integrate QI into the clinical and educational systems.

  17. Study of Urban Energy Performance Assessment and Its Influencing Factors Based on Improved Stochastic Frontier Analysis: A Case Study of Provincial Capitals in China

    OpenAIRE

    Lei Wang; Ruyin Long; Hong Chen

    2017-01-01

    To improve energy-use sustainability in cities, we proposed a set of urban energy performance assessment indicators and influencing factors based on existing theory and literature. An urban energy performance assessment and influencing factor model was also constructed by the improved stochastic frontier analysis method, and panel data from provincial capitals in China from 2004 to 2013 were considered as an example to carry out an empirical study. Chosen from both endogenous and exogenous pe...

  18. Intravitreal Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor Transiently Improves Cone-Mediated Function in a CNGB3-/- Mouse Model of Achromatopsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marangoni, Dario; Vijayasarathy, Camasamudram; Bush, Ronald A; Wei, Lisa L; Wen, Rong; Sieving, Paul A

    2015-10-01

    Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) was recently shown to augment cone function in CNGB3 mutant achromat dogs. However, testing CNTF-releasing implant in human CNGB3 achromats failed to show benefit. We evaluated the effects of CNTF protein on the retinal function in an additional achromatopsia model, the CNGB3-/- mouse. Fifty-nine CNGB3-/- mice (postnatal day [PD] ± SD = 30 ± 7) received a unilateral intravitreal injection of 1 or 2 μg CNTF protein, and 15 wild-type (WT) mice (PD = 34 ± 3) received 1 μg CNTF. Retinal function was evaluated by flash ERG and photopic flicker ERG (fERG) at 7 and 14 days after treatment. Seven days post CNTF, the photopic b-wave Vmax was significantly increased in CNGB3-/- mice (P < 0.01), whereas it was reduced in WT mice (P < 0.05). Ciliary neurotrophic factor significantly increased the amplitude of photopic fERG and the photopic oscillatory potentials (OPs) in CNGB3-/- mice. Ciliary neurotrophic factor did not alter the scotopic a-wave in either CNGB3-/- or WT mice, but it increased the scotopic b-wave k (P < 0.01) in CNGB3-/- mice, indicating diminished scotopic sensitivity, and reduced the scotopic b-wave Vmax in WT mice (P < 0.05). No difference was found in ERG parameters between 1 or 2 μg CNTF. Fourteen days after CNTF injection the ERG changes in CNGB3-/- mice were lost. Intravitreal bolus CNTF protein caused a small and transient improvement of cone-mediated function in CNGB3-/- mice, whereas it reduced rod-mediated function. The increase in photopic OPs and the lack of changes in scotopic a-wave suggest a CNTF effect on the inner retina.

  19. Fibroblast growth factor 2 dimer with superagonist in vitro activity improves granulation tissue formation during wound healing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decker, Caitlin G; Wang, Yu; Paluck, Samantha J; Shen, Lu; Loo, Joseph A; Levine, Alex J; Miller, Lloyd S; Maynard, Heather D

    2016-03-01

    Site-specific chemical dimerization of fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) with the optimal linker length resulted in a FGF2 homodimer with improved granulation tissue formation and blood vessel formation at exceptionally low concentrations. Homodimers of FGF2 were synthesized through site-specific linkages to both ends of different molecular weight poly(ethylene glycols) (PEGs). The optimal linker length was determined by screening dimer-induced metabolic activity of human dermal fibroblasts and found to be that closest to the inter-cysteine distance, 70 Å, corresponding to 2 kDa PEG. A straightforward analysis of the kinetics of second ligand binding as a function of tether length showed that, as the polymerization index (the number of monomer repeat units in the polymer, N) of the tether decreases, the mean time for second ligand capture decreases as ∼N(3/2), leading to an enhancement of the number of doubly bound ligands in steady-state for a given (tethered) ligand concentration. FGF2-PEG2k-FGF2 induced greater fibroblast metabolic activity than FGF2 alone, all other dimers, and all monoconjugates, at each concentration tested, with the greatest difference observed at low (0.1 ng/mL) concentration. FGF2-PEG2k-FGF2 further exhibited superior activity compared to FGF2 for both metabolic activity and migration in human umbilical vein endothelial cells, as well as improved angiogenesis in a coculture model in vitro. Efficacy in an in vivo wound healing model was assessed in diabetic mice. FGF2-PEG2k-FGF2 increased granulation tissue and blood vessel density in the wound bed compared to FGF2. The results suggest that this rationally designed construct may be useful for improving the fibroblast matrix formation and angiogenesis in chronic wound healing.

  20. Region of Interest Correction Factors Improve Reliability of Diffusion Imaging Measures Within and Across Scanners and Field Strengths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatraman, Vijay K; Gonzalez, Christopher E.; Landman, Bennett; Goh, Joshua; Reiter, David A.; An, Yang; Resnick, Susan M.

    2017-01-01

    Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) measures are commonly used as imaging markers to investigate individual differences in relation to behavioral and health-related characteristics. However, the ability to detect reliable associations in cross-sectional or longitudinal studies is limited by the reliability of the diffusion measures. Several studies have examined reliability of diffusion measures within (i.e. intra-site) and across (i.e. inter-site) scanners with mixed results. Our study compares the test-retest reliability of diffusion measures within and across scanners and field strengths in cognitively normal older adults with a follow-up interval less than 2.25 years. Intra-class correlation (ICC) and coefficient of variation (CoV) of fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) were evaluated in sixteen white matter and twenty-six gray matter bilateral regions. The ICC for intra-site reliability (0.32 to 0.96 for FA and 0.18 to 0.95 for MD in white matter regions; 0.27 to 0.89 for MD and 0.03 to 0.79 for FA in gray matter regions) and inter-site reliability (0.28 to 0.95 for FA in white matter regions, 0.02 to 0.86 for MD in gray matter regions) with longer follow-up intervals were similar to earlier studies using shorter follow-up intervals. The reliability of across field strengths comparisons was lower than intra- and inter-site reliability. Within and across scanner comparisons showed that diffusion measures were more stable in larger white matter regions (> 1500 mm3). For gray matter regions, the MD measure showed stability in specific regions and was not dependent on region size. Linear correction factor estimated from cross-sectional or longitudinal data improved the reliability across field strengths. Our findings indicate that investigations relating diffusion measures to external variables must consider variable reliability across the distinct regions of interest and that correction factors can be used to improve consistency of measurement across

  1. Citation trend and suggestions for improvement of impact factor of Journal of Korean Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Seong Hwan; Hwang, Seong Su; Ahn, Myeong Im [College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Jeong, So Na [The Catholic University of Korea, Medical Library Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2006-12-15

    To analyze the recent citation trend and to find a way to improve impact factor (IF) of the Journal of Korean Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (JKSTRO) by analysis of Korean Medical Citation index (KoMCI) citation data of JKSTRO and comparison with that of mean citation data of all journals enlisted on KoMCI (KoMCI journals) during 2000-2005. All citation data of entire journals enlisted on KoMCI and JKSTRO from 2000 to 2005 were obtained from KoMCI. The trend of total and annual number of published articles and reference citations, total citations and self-citations per paper, IF and impact factor excluding self-citations (ZIF) were described and compared on both KoMCI journals an JKSTRO. Annual number of published articles was decreased for 6 years on both KoMCI journals and JKSTRO (32% and 38% reduction rate). The number of Korean journal references per article is 1.6 papers of JKSTRO comparing to 2.0 papers on KoMCI journals. The percentage of Korean references/total references increased from 5.0% in 2000 to 7.7% in 2005 on JKSTRO and from 8.5% in 2000 to 10.1% on KoMCI journals. The number of total citations received/paper on JKSTRO (average 1.333) is smaller than that of KoMCI journals (average 1.694), there was an increased rate of 67% in 2005 comparing to 2000. The percentage of self-citations/total citations (average 72%) on JKSTRO is slightly higher than that of KoMCI journals (average 61%)/ IF of JKSTRO was gradually improved and 0.144, 0.125, 0.088, 0.107, 0.187 and 0.203 in 2000-2005 respectively. However, ZIF of JKSTRO is steadily decreased from 0.038 in 2000 to 0.013 in 2005 except 0.044 in 2004. IF of JKSTRO was slightly improved but had some innate problem of smaller number of citations received . To make JKSTRO as a highly cited journal, the awareness of academic status of JKSTRO and active participation of every member of JKSTRO including encouraging self-citations of papers published recent 2 years and submission of English written papers, and

  2. Combined treatment with erythropoietin and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor enhances neovascularization and improves cardiac function after myocardial infarction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xue Jingyi; Du Guoqing; Shi Jing; Li Yue; Masahiro Yasutake; Liu Lei; Li Jianqiang

    2014-01-01

    Background Erythropoietin (EPO) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) are both potential novel therapeutics for use after myocardial infarction (MI).However,their underlying mechanisms remain unclear and the efficacy of monotherapy with EPO or G-CSF is also controversial.Therefore,we investigated the effects of combined treatment with EPO and G-CSF on neovascularization and cardiac function in post-infarction rats and explored the potential mechanisms.Methods Four groups of rats were used:control (saline injection after MI,i.h.),EPO (a single dose of 5 000 IU/kg after MI,i.h.),G-CSF (a dose of 50 μg· kg-1· d-1 for 5 days after MI,i.h.),and both EPO and G-CSF (EPO+G-CSF,using the same regiment as above).Cardiac function was assessed by echocardiography before and 1 day,7 days,14 days and 21 days after MI.CD34+/Flk-1+ cells in the peripheral blood were evaluated by flow cytometry before and 3 days,5 days and 7 days after MI.The infarct area and angiogenesis in the peri-infarct area were analyzed.The mRNA and protein expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and stromal-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α) in the peri-infarct area were detected by real-time quantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting.Results Compared with the control and monotherapy groups,the EPO+G-CSF group had significantly increased CD34+/ Flk-1+ endothelial progenitor calls (EPCs)in the peripheral blood (P <0.05),up-regulated VEGF and SDF-1α levels in the peri-infarct region (P <0.05),enhanced capillary density (P <0.05),reduced infarct size (P <0.05) and improved cardiac structure and function (P <0.05).G-CSF alone did not dramatically increase EPCs in the peripheral blood,enhance capillary density in the peri-infarct area or reduce infarct size compared with the control group.Conclusions Combined treatment with EPO and G-CSF increased EPCs mobilization,up-regulated VEGF and SDF-1α levels in the post-infarction microenvironment,subsequently enhanced

  3. Improving performance of high risk organizations Spanish nuclear sector from the analysis of organizational culture factors; Mejora del desempeno de las organizaciones de alto riesgo del sector nuclear espanol a partir del analisis de los factores de cultura organizativa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    La Salabarnada, E.; German, S.; Silla, I.; Navajas, J.

    2012-07-01

    This paper presents the research project funded by UNESA and conducted by the CISOT-CIEMAT that aims to contribute to improving the operating performance of the Spanish nuclear power plants. This paper aims to identify the factors and key organizational processes to improve efficiency, in order to advance knowledge about the influence of organizational culture on the safety of high reliability organizations.

  4. Induction of collateral artery growth and improvement of post-infarct heart function by hepatocyte growth factor gene transfer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wei WANG; Zhi-jian YANG; Dong-chao MA; Lian-sheng WANG; Shun-lin XU; You-rong ZHANG; Ke-jiang CAO; Fu-min ZHANG; Wen-zhu MA

    2006-01-01

    Aim: To study the effect of adenovirus5-mediated human hepatocyte growth factor (Ad5-HGF) transfer on post-infarct heart failure in a swine model. Methods: Twelve young Suzhong swine were randomly divided into 2 groups: the Ad5-HGF group (n=6) and the null-Ad5 group(n=6). Four weeks after left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) ligation, Ad5-HGF was transferred into the myocardium via the right coronary artery. Coronary angiography and gated cardiac perfusion imaging were performed at the end of4 and 7 weeks after LAD ligation, respectively, to evaluate collateral artery growth and cardiac perfusion. Then all animals were killed, the expression of HGF and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunohistochemistry. Results: Compared with the null-Ad5 group, higher expression of human HGF was observed in the myocardium in the Ad5-HGF group (109.3 ±7.8 vs 6.2±2.6, t=30.685, P<O.01). The left ventricular ejection fraction was higher in the Ads-HGF group than in the null-Ad5 group (43.9±4.3 vs 30.4±2.8, t=6.514, P<0.01). From the 4th week to the 7th week after operation, 1eft ventricular end systolic volume (42.1±3.0 vs31.0±4.9, t=12.800, P<0.01) and left ventricular end diastolic volume (62.2±4.2 vs 55.0±4.8 t=13.207, P<0.01) were improved in the Ad5-HGF group. Cardiac perfusion was significantly improved in the Ad5-HGF group. In the Ad5-HGF group, growth of collateral arteries was obviously greater (average rank sum 9.17 vs 3.83, n=6, u=-2.687, P<0.01), and the number of α-SMA+ vessels/mm2 was significantly greater (56.1±4.2 vs 16.4±3.5, t=17.731, P<0.01) than in the null-Ad5 group. Conclusion: High expression levels of human HGF were observed in the myocardium because of non-infarct-related vessel transfer. HGF can increase the number of functional arterioles and improve collateral artery growth. HGF can improve cardiac perfusion and heart function.

  5. Improving the quality factor of an RF spiral inductor with non-uniform metal width and non-uniform coil spacing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shen Pei; Zhang Wanrong; Huang Lu; Jin Dongyue; Xie Hongyun, E-mail: shenpei1@126.com [School of Electronic Information and Control Engineering, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 100024 (China)

    2011-06-15

    An improved inductor layout with non-uniform metal width and non-uniform spacing is proposed to increase the quality factor (Q factor). For this inductor layout, from outer coil to inner coil, the metal width is reduced by an arithmetic-progression step, while the metal spacing is increased by a geometric-progression step. An improved layout with variable width and changed spacing is of benefit to the Q factor of RF spiral inductor improvement (approximately 42.86%), mainly due to the suppression of eddy-current loss by weakening the current crowding effect in the center of the spiral inductor. In order to increase the Q factor further, for the novel inductor, a patterned ground shield is used with optimized layout together. The results indicate that, in the range of 0.5 to 16 GHz, the Q factor of the novel inductor is at an optimum, which improves by 67% more than conventional inductors with uniform geometry dimensions (equal width and equal spacing), is enhanced by nearly 23% more than a PGS inductor with uniform geometry dimensions, and improves by almost 20% more than an inductor with an improved layout. (semiconductor devices)

  6. Improving the quality factor of an RF spiral inductor with non-uniform metal width and non-uniform coil spacing*

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shen Pe; Zhang Wanrong; Huang Lu; Jin Dongyue; Xie Hongyun

    2011-01-01

    An improved inductor layout with non-uniform metal width and non-uniform spacing is proposed to increase the quality factor (Q factor). For this inductor layout, from outer coil to inner coil, the metal width is reduced by an arithmetic-progression step, while the metal spacing is increased by a geometric-progression step.An improved layout with variable width and changed spacing is of benefit to the Q factor of RF spiral inductor improvement (approximately 42.86%), mainly due to the suppression of eddy-current loss by weakening the current crowding effect in the center of the spiral inductor. In order to increase the Q factor further, for the novel inductor,a patterned ground shield is used with optimized layout together. The results indicate that, in the range of 0.5 to 16 GHz, the Q factor of the novel inductor is at an optimum, which improves by 67% more than conventional inductors with uniform geometry dimensions (equal width and equal spacing), is enhanced by nearly 23% more than a PGS inductor with uniform geometry dimensions, and improves by almost 20% more than an inductor with an improved layout.

  7. An improved, high-quality draft genome sequence of the Germination-Arrest Factor-producing Pseudomonas fluorescens WH6

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Creason Allison L

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pseudomonas fluorescens is a genetically and physiologically diverse species of bacteria present in many habitats and in association with plants. This species of bacteria produces a large array of secondary metabolites with potential as natural products. P. fluorescens isolate WH6 produces Germination-Arrest Factor (GAF, a predicted small peptide or amino acid analog with herbicidal activity that specifically inhibits germination of seeds of graminaceous species. Results We used a hybrid next-generation sequencing approach to develop a high-quality draft genome sequence for P. fluorescens WH6. We employed automated, manual, and experimental methods to further improve the draft genome sequence. From this assembly of 6.27 megabases, we predicted 5876 genes, of which 3115 were core to P. fluorescens and 1567 were unique to WH6. Comparative genomic studies of WH6 revealed high similarity in synteny and orthology of genes with P. fluorescens SBW25. A phylogenomic study also placed WH6 in the same lineage as SBW25. In a previous non-saturating mutagenesis screen we identified two genes necessary for GAF activity in WH6. Mapping of their flanking sequences revealed genes that encode a candidate anti-sigma factor and an aminotransferase. Finally, we discovered several candidate virulence and host-association mechanisms, one of which appears to be a complete type III secretion system. Conclusions The improved high-quality draft genome sequence of WH6 contributes towards resolving the P. fluorescens species, providing additional impetus for establishing two separate lineages in P. fluorescens. Despite the high levels of orthology and synteny to SBW25, WH6 still had a substantial number of unique genes and represents another source for the discovery of genes with implications in affecting plant growth and health. Two genes are demonstrably necessary for GAF and further characterization of their proteins is important for developing

  8. Improving the efficiency of isolated microspore culture in six-row spring barley: I-optimization of key physical factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteves, Patricio; Belzile, François

    2014-06-01

    An improved isolated microspore culture protocol alleviating the recalcitrance typically observed in six-row spring barley was developed by optimizing four key physical factors to increase embryogenesis and reduce albinism. Doubled haploid (DH) plants are completely homozygous individuals that can be generated in just a few months via androgenesis in vitro. DHs are useful tools in genetic research and in plant breeding. Isolated microspore culture (IMC) is the most efficient way to produce DHs, but a strong genotype dependency imposes limitations to its wide application. Six-row, spring barley genotypes are considered as particularly recalcitrant due to a low frequency of embryogenesis and a high rate of albinism. Seeking to develop an efficient IMC protocol for this type of barley, we explored four important factors: (1) the harvest stage of immature spikes, (2) the type of pretreatment applied, (3) the osmotic potential in the induction medium, and (4) the plating density of microspores. This work was first performed using four barley genotypes: two typical six-row spring cultivars (ACCA and Léger), a two-row spring (Gobernadora) and a two-row winter (Igri) cultivar. First, by optimizing the harvest stage for each genotype we obtained a twofold to fourfold increase in the yield of embryogenic microspores. Second, two pretreatments (0.3 M mannitol for 2 days, or a combination of cold and heat over 15 days) both performed significantly better than the commonly used cold pretreatment (28 days at 4 °C). Third, an induction medium-containing mannitol (32 g/l) doubled green plant regeneration. Fourth, a plating density of 10(6) microspores/ml yielded the highest number of green regenerated plants. Our most important findings were then confirmed using sets of F1s from a six-row, spring-type breeding program.

  9. Localized Delivery of Mechano-Growth Factor E-domain Peptide via Polymeric Microstructures Improves Cardiac Function following Myocardial Infarction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peña, James R.; Pinney, James; Ayala, Perla; Desai, Tejal; Goldspink, Paul H.

    2015-01-01

    The Insulin like growth factor-I isoform mechano-growth factor (MGF), is expressed in the heart following myocardial infarction and encodes a unique E-domain region. To examine E-domain function, we delivered a synthetic peptide corresponding to the unique E-domain region of the human MGF (IGF-1Ec) via peptide eluting polymeric microstructures to the heart. The microstructures were made of poly (ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate hydrogel and bioengineered to be the same size as an adult cardiac myocyte (100×15×15 μm) and with a stiffness of 20 kPa. Peptide eluting microrods and empty microrods were delivered via intramuscular injection following coronary artery ligation in mice. To examine the physiologic consequences, we assessed the impact of peptide delivery on cardiac function and cardiovascular hemodynamics using pressure-volume loops and gene expression by quantitative RT-PCR. A significant decline in both systolic and diastolic function accompanied by pathologic hypertrophy occurred by 2 weeks which decompensated further by 10 weeks post-infarct in the untreated groups. Delivery of the E-domain peptide eluting microrods decreased mortality, ameliorated the decline in hemodynamics, and delayed decompensation. This was associated with the inhibition of pathologic hypertrophy despite increasing vascular impedance. Delivery of the empty microrods had limited effects on hemodynamics and while pathologic hypertrophy persisted there was a decrease in ventricular stiffness. Our data show that cardiac restricted administration of the MGF E-domain peptide using polymeric microstructures may be used to prevent adverse remodeling of the heart and improve function following myocardial infarction. PMID:25678113

  10. The South Asian Heart Lifestyle Intervention (SAHELI) study to improve cardiovascular risk factors in a community setting: design and methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kandula, Namratha R; Patel, Yasin; Dave, Swapna; Seguil, Paola; Kumar, Santosh; Baker, David W; Spring, Bonnie; Siddique, Juned

    2013-11-01

    Disseminating and implementing evidence-based, cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention lifestyle interventions in community settings and in ethnic minority populations is a challenge. We describe the design and methods for the South Asian Heart Lifestyle Intervention (SAHELI) study, a pilot study designed to determine the feasibility and initial efficacy of a culturally-targeted, community-based lifestyle intervention to improve physical activity and diet behaviors among medically underserved South Asians (SAs). Participants with at least one CVD risk factor will be randomized to either a lifestyle intervention or a control group. Participants in both groups will be screened in a community setting and receive a primary care referral after randomization. Intervention participants will receive 6weeks of group classes, followed by 12weeks of individual telephone support where they will be encouraged to initiate and maintain a healthy lifestyle goal. Control participants will receive their screening results and monthly mailings on CVD prevention. Primary outcomes will be changes in moderate/vigorous physical activity and saturated fat intake between baseline, 3-, and 6-month follow-up. Secondary outcomes will be changes in weight, clinical risk factors, primary care visits, self-efficacy, and social support. This study will be one of the first to pilot-test a lifestyle intervention for SAs, one of the fastest growing racial/ethnic groups in the U.S. and one with disparate CVD risk. Results of this pilot study will provide preliminary data about the efficacy of a lifestyle intervention on CVD risk in SAs and inform community-engaged CVD prevention efforts in an increasingly diverse U.S. population.

  11. Etiologic factors related to unsatisfactory ThinPrep® cervical cytology: Evaluation and potential solutions to improve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatyana Kalinicheva

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: In cervical cytology, the unsatisfactory rates for ThinPrep (TP are slightly higher compared to SurePath. We examined various causes and explored potential for resolution of this discrepancy. Materials and Methods: Totally, 19,422 cases were reviewed and 1000 unsatisfactory specimens were selected and analyzed. 531 specimens were available for wash protocol. Out of 114 unsatisfactory specimens associated with atrophic cellular changes (ACC, 48 were resubmitted by provider and reevaluated. Results: Lubricant and lubricant-like debris/contamination (LUBE was the most common cause of unsatisfactory specimens (68%; 681/1000 followed by blood (7.5%; ACC only (without other interfering factors (2.4%; inflammation (3.0%; and combinations thereof (1.9%. 11.5% showed scant cellularity without an identifiable cause. 3.3% were virtually acellular. Wash protocol improved cellularity in 48% (256/531 of cases. However, only 29% (73/256 of those were satisfactory (with more than 5000 cells. Quantitative reduction in LUBE after wash protocol varied with different morphological subtypes. Interpretation patterns on satisfactory specimens after wash protocol were comparable to the results on selected cohort of specimens during the same study period. Out of 114 ACC, wash protocol was performed on 68 ACC specimens leading to satisfactory TP in 24% (16/68. Totally, 48 cases reported as unsatisfactory with ACC, were resubmitted by the providers between 2 weeks and 2 years. 44 (92% showed increased cellularity, out of which 52% (23/44 did not show ACC. Conclusion: LUBE was the most common cause of unsatisfactory TP in addition to interference by blood and association with atrophic changes. Knowing the morphological spectrum of LUBE would help to identify it as the cause of "unsatisfactory" TP. Communicating the cause of unsatisfactory TP such as LUBE, ACC, and blood would hint the provider to take appropriate precaution during submission of the repeat

  12. Smoking as a risk factor for thyroid volume progression and incident goiter in a region with improved iodine supply.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ittermann, Till; Schmidt, Carsten Oliver; Kramer, Axel; Below, Harald; John, Ulrich; Thamm, Michael; Wallaschofski, Henri; Völzke, Henry

    2008-12-01

    The role of smoking in the pathogenesis of thyroid enlargement is currently under debate. It has been hypothesized that the effect of smoking on increased thyroid volume is larger in regions with than in regions without iodine deficiency. The aim of this paper was to investigate the association of smoking with thyroid volume progression and incident goiter for different age-strata in a region with improved iodine supply. The population-based Study of Health in Pomerania compromised 3300 subjects with complete 5-year examination follow-up. Data from 2484 participants without known history of thyroid disorder or thyroid medication were analyzed. Thyroid size was evaluated by ultrasound. Determinants of thyroid volume progression and incident goiter, i.e., newly occurred goiter between baseline and follow-up, were analyzed by linear and logistic regression respectively. Participants aged 20-39 years who were current smokers at baseline and at follow-up had a lower risk of incident goiter (odds ratio: 0.33; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.15; 0.71; P=0.005). In this subpopulation, age was inversely related to thyroid volume progression. In subjects aged 60-79 years, smoking at baseline and follow-up was a risk factor for thyroid volume progression (beta: 3.37; 95% CI: 0.84; 5.89; P=0.009). After exclusion of individuals who had actual goiter in ultrasound at baseline, this association disappeared. We conclude that the inverse association between smoking and goiter in young adults and the lacking association of smoking with goiter and thyroid volume progression in adult non-goitrous subjects indicate that smoking has a declining impact on thyroid growth in the study region. Our findings mirror the improved iodine supply of Northeast Germany.

  13. Gene transfer of hepatocyte growth factor gene improves learning and memory in the chronic stage of cerebral infarction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimamura, Munehisa; Sato, Naoyuki; Waguri, Satoshi; Uchiyama, Yasuo; Hayashi, Takuya; Iida, Hidehiro; Nakamura, Toshikazu; Ogihara, Toshio; Kaneda, Yasufumi; Morishita, Ryuichi

    2006-04-01

    There is no specific treatment to improve the functional recovery in the chronic stage of ischemic stroke. To provide the new therapeutic options, we examined the effect of overexpression of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) in the chronic stage of cerebral infarction by transferring the HGF gene into the brain using hemagglutinating virus of Japan envelope vector. Sixty rats were exposed to permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (day 1). Based on the sensorimotor deficits at day 7, the rats were divided equally into control vector or HGF-treated rats. At day 56, rats transfected with the HGF gene showed a significant recovery of learning and memory in Morris water maze tests (control vector 50+/-4 s; HGF 33+/-5 s; P<0.05) and passive avoidance task (control vector 132.4+/-37.5 s; HGF 214.8+/-26.5 s; P<0.05). Although the total volume of cerebral infarction was not related to the outcome, immunohistochemical analysis for Cdc42 and synaptophysin in the peri-infarct region revealed that HGF enhanced the neurite extension and increased synapses. Immunohistochemistry for glial fibriary acidic protein revealed that the formation of glial scar was also prevented by HGF gene treatment. Additionally, the number of the arteries was increased in the HGF group at day 56. These data demonstrated that HGF has a pivotal role for the functional recovery after cerebral infarction through neuritogenesis, improved microcirculation, and the prevention of gliosis. Our results also provide evidence for the feasibility of gene therapy in the chronic stage of cerebral infarction.

  14. Novel factor VIII variants with a modified furin cleavage site improve the efficacy of gene therapy for hemophilia A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, G N; George, L A; Siner, J I; Davidson, R J; Zander, C B; Zheng, X L; Arruda, V R; Camire, R M; Sabatino, D E

    2017-01-01

    Essentials Factor (F) VIII is an inefficiently expressed protein. Furin deletion FVIII variants were purified and characterized using in vitro and in vivo assays. These minimally modified novel FVIII variants have enhanced function. These variants provide a strategy for increasing FVIII expression in hemophilia A gene therapy. Background The major challenge for developing gene-based therapies for hemophilia A is that human factor VIII (hFVIII) has intrinsic properties that result in inefficient biosynthesis. During intracellular processing, hFVIII is predominantly cleaved at a paired basic amino acid cleaving enzyme (PACE) or furin cleavage site to yield a heterodimer that is the major form of secreted protein. Previous studies with B-domain-deleted (BDD) canine FVIII and hFVIII-R1645H, both differing from hFVIII by a single amino acid at this site, suggested that these proteins are secreted mainly in a single polypeptide chain (SC) form and exhibit enhanced function. Objective We hypothesized that deletion(s) of the furin site modulates FVIII biology and may enhance its function. Methods A series of recombinant hFVIII-furin deletion variants were introduced into hFVIII-BDD [Δ1645, 1645-46(Δ2), 1645-47(Δ3), 1645-48(Δ4), or Δ1648] and characterized. Results In vitro, recombinant purified Δ3 and Δ4 were primarily SC and, interestingly, had 2-fold higher procoagulant activity compared with FVIII-BDD. In vivo, the variants also have improved hemostatic function. After adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector delivery, the expression of these variants is 2-4-fold higher than hFVIII-BDD. Protein challenges of each variant in mice tolerant to hFVIII-BDD showed no anti-FVIII immune response. Conclusions These data suggest that the furin deletion hFVIII variants are superior to hFVIII-BDD without increased immunogenicity. In the setting of gene-based therapeutics, these novel variants provide a unique strategy to increase FVIII expression, thus lowering the vector dose, a

  15. Canagliflozin improves risk factors of metabolic syndrome in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davies MJ

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Michael J Davies,1 Katherine W Merton,1 Ujjwala Vijapurkar,2 Dainius A Balis,2 Mehul Desai2 1Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC, Titusville, NJ, USA; 2Janssen Research & Development, LLC, Raritan, NJ, USA Objective: Metabolic syndrome refers to a collection of risk factors associated with the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM. Canagliflozin, a sodium glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitor, improves glycemic control and reduces body weight and blood pressure (BP in a broad range of patients with T2DM. This post hoc analysis assessed the effects of canagliflozin on the components of metabolic syndrome in patients with T2DM and metabolic syndrome.Methods: This analysis was based on data from 2 head-to-head studies of canagliflozin in patients with T2DM on background metformin versus glimepiride (study 1 and background metformin plus sulfonylurea versus sitagliptin 100 mg (study 2. Changes from baseline in glycemic efficacy, anthropometric measures, BP, and lipids were evaluated with canagliflozin versus glimepiride and sitagliptin at week 52 in patients who met ≥2 of the criteria for metabolic syndrome (in addition to T2DM: triglycerides ≥1.7 mmol/L; high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C <1.0 mmol/L (men or <1.3 mmol/L (women; waist circumference ≥102 cm (non-Asian men, ≥88 cm (non-Asian women, >90 cm (Asian men, or >80 cm (Asian women; diagnosis of hypertension or meeting BP-related criteria (systolic BP ≥130 mmHg or diastolic BP ≥85 mmHg. Safety was assessed based on adverse event reports.Results: In study 1, canagliflozin 100 and 300 mg provided similar and greater HbA1c reductions versus glimepiride, respectively. In study 2, canagliflozin 300 mg provided greater HbA1c lowering versus sitagliptin 100 mg. Canagliflozin also reduced fasting plasma glucose, body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, BP, and triglycerides, and increased HDL-C and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol versus

  16. Canagliflozin improves risk factors of metabolic syndrome in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Michael J; Merton, Katherine W; Vijapurkar, Ujjwala; Balis, Dainius A; Desai, Mehul

    2017-01-01

    Objective Metabolic syndrome refers to a collection of risk factors associated with the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Canagliflozin, a sodium glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitor, improves glycemic control and reduces body weight and blood pressure (BP) in a broad range of patients with T2DM. This post hoc analysis assessed the effects of canagliflozin on the components of metabolic syndrome in patients with T2DM and metabolic syndrome. Methods This analysis was based on data from 2 head-to-head studies of canagliflozin in patients with T2DM on background metformin versus glimepiride (study 1) and background metformin plus sulfonylurea versus sitagliptin 100 mg (study 2). Changes from baseline in glycemic efficacy, anthropometric measures, BP, and lipids were evaluated with canagliflozin versus glimepiride and sitagliptin at week 52 in patients who met ≥2 of the criteria for metabolic syndrome (in addition to T2DM): triglycerides ≥1.7 mmol/L; high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) women); waist circumference ≥102 cm (non-Asian men), ≥88 cm (non-Asian women), >90 cm (Asian men), or >80 cm (Asian women); diagnosis of hypertension or meeting BP-related criteria (systolic BP ≥130 mmHg or diastolic BP ≥85 mmHg). Safety was assessed based on adverse event reports. Results In study 1, canagliflozin 100 and 300 mg provided similar and greater HbA1c reductions versus glimepiride, respectively. In study 2, canagliflozin 300 mg provided greater HbA1c lowering versus sitagliptin 100 mg. Canagliflozin also reduced fasting plasma glucose, body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, BP, and triglycerides, and increased HDL-C and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol versus glimepiride and sitagliptin. Canagliflozin was generally well tolerated in each study. Conclusion Canagliflozin was associated with improvements in all components of metabolic syndrome in patients with T2DM and metabolic syndrome, whereas

  17. Calculation of gamma-ray buildup factors up to depths of 100 mfp by the method of invariant embedding. (2) Improved treatment of bremsstrahlung

    CERN Document Server

    Shimizu, A

    2003-01-01

    An improved method to calculate the gamma-ray buildup factors including bremsstrahlung has been developed. The exposure buildup factors with bremsstrahlung were computer by the present method for lead, iron and water at the source energy of 10.0 MeV up to depths of 100 mfp. The accuracy of the present method was checked by comparison with the calculations by use of EGS4. Excellent agreement was obtained between the calculations by both methods about the exposure buildup factors per energy (energy spectrum of transmitted photons) for lead up to depths of 10 mfp and the ratio of the exposure buildup factor with bremsstrahlung to that without bremsstrahlung for lead, iron and water up to depths of 40 mfp. It is confirmed that the present method has an accuracy sufficient to be used to the generation of an improved set of gamma-ray buildup factors including bremsstrahlung. (author)

  18. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α activation improves renal oxygenation and mitochondrial function in early chronic kidney disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Joanna L; Pham, Hai; Li, Ying; Hall, Elanore; Perkins, Guy A; Ali, Sameh S; Patel, Hemal H; Singh, Prabhleen

    2017-08-01

    The pathophysiology of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is driven by alterations in surviving nephrons to sustain renal function with ongoing nephron loss. Oxygen supply-demand mismatch, due to hemodynamic adaptations, with resultant hypoxia, plays an important role in the pathophysiology in early CKD. We sought to investigate the underlying mechanisms of this mismatch. We utilized the subtotal nephrectomy (STN) model of CKD to investigate the alterations in renal oxygenation linked to sodium (Na) transport and mitochondrial function in the surviving nephrons. Oxygen delivery was significantly reduced in STN kidneys because of lower renal blood flow. Fractional oxygen extraction was significantly higher in STN. Tubular Na reabsorption was significantly lower per mole of oxygen consumed in STN. We hypothesized that decreased mitochondrial bioenergetic capacity may account for this and uncovered significant mitochondrial dysfunction in the early STN kidney: higher oxidative metabolism without an attendant increase in ATP levels, elevated superoxide levels, and alterations in mitochondrial morphology. We further investigated the effect of activation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), a master regulator of cellular hypoxia response. We observed significant improvement in renal blood flow, glomerular filtration rate, and tubular Na reabsorption per mole of oxygen consumed with HIF-1α activation. Importantly, HIF-1α activation significantly lowered mitochondrial oxygen consumption and superoxide production and increased mitochondrial volume density. In conclusion, we report significant impairment of renal oxygenation and mitochondrial function at the early stages of CKD and demonstrate the beneficial role of HIF-1α activation on renal function and metabolism.

  19. Fibronectin-Alginate microcapsules improve cell viability and protein secretion of encapsulated Factor IX-engineered human mesenchymal stromal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayyar, Bahareh; Dodd, Megan; Marquez-Curtis, Leah; Janowska-Wieczorek, Anna; Hortelano, Gonzalo

    2015-01-01

    Continuous delivery of proteins by engineered cells encapsu-lated in biocompatible polymeric microcapsules is of considerable therapeutic potential. However, this technology has not lived up to expectations due to inadequate cell--matrix interactions and subsequent cell death. In this study we hypoth-esize that the presence of fibronectin in an alginate matrix may enhance the viability and functionality of encapsulated human cord blood-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) expressing the human Factor IX (FIX) gene. MSCs were encapsulated in alginate-PLL microcapsules containing 10, 100, or 500 μg/ml fibronectin to ameliorate cell survival. MSCs in microcapsules with 100 and 500 μg/ml fibronectin demonstrated improved cell viability and proliferation and higher FIX secretion compared to MSCs in non-supplemented microcapsules. In contrast, 10 μg/ml fibronectin did not significantly affect the viability and protein secretion from the encapsulated cells. Differentiation studies demonstrated osteogenic (but not chondrogenic or adipogenic) differentiation capability and efficient FIX secretion of the enclosed MSCs in the fibronectin-alginate suspension culture. Thus, the use of recombinant MSCs encapsulated in fibronectin-alginate microcapsules in basal or osteogenic cultures may be of practical use in the treatment of hemophilia B.

  20. Proliferative Activity of Liver Growth Factor is Associated with an Improvement of Cigarette Smoke-Induced Emphysema in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrón-Expósito, Raúl; Díaz-Gil, Juan José; González-Mangado, Nicolás; Peces-Barba, Germán

    2014-01-01

    Cigarette smoke (CS)-induced emphysema is a major component of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD treatment is based on the administration of bronchodilators and corticosteroids to control symptoms and exacerbations, however, to date, there are no effective therapies to reverse disease progression. Liver growth factor (LGF) is an albumin-bilirubin complex with mitogenic properties, whose therapeutic effects have previously been reported in a model of emphysema and several rodent models of human disease. To approach the therapeutic effect of LGF in a model of previously established emphysema, morphometric and lung function parameters, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity and the expression of several markers, such as VEGF, PCNA, 3NT and Nrf2, were assessed in air-exposed and CS-exposed C57BL/6J male mice with and without intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of LGF. CS-exposed mice presented a significant enlargement of alveolar spaces, higher alveolar internal area and loss of lung function that correlated with higher MMP activity, higher expression of 3NT and lower expression of VEGF. CS-exposed mice injected with LGF, showed an amelioration of emphysema and improved lung function, which correlated with lower MMP activity and 3NT expression and higher levels of VEGF, PCNA and Nrf2. Taken together, this study suggests that LGF administration ameliorates CS-induced emphysema, highlights the ability of LGF to promote alveolar cell proliferation and may be a promising strategy to revert COPD progression. PMID:25401951

  1. Overexpression of serum response factor in astrocytes improves neuronal plasticity in a model of early alcohol exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, A P; Medina, A E

    2012-09-27

    Neuronal plasticity deficits underlie many of the cognitive problems seen in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). We have developed a ferret model showing that early alcohol exposure leads to a persistent disruption in ocular dominance (OD) plasticity. Recently, we showed that this deficit could be reversed by overexpression of serum response factor (SRF) in the primary visual cortex during the period of monocular deprivation (MD). Surprisingly, this restoration was observed throughout the extent of visual cortex and most of the cells transfected by the virus were positive for the astrocytic marker GFAP rather than the neuronal marker NeuN. Here we test whether overexpression of SRF exclusively in astrocytes is sufficient to restore OD plasticity in alcohol-exposed ferrets. To accomplish that, first we exposed cultured astrocytes to Sindbis viruses carrying either a constitutively active form of SRF (SRF+), a dominant negative (SRF-) or control Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). After 24h, these astrocytes were implanted in the visual cortex of alcohol-exposed animals or saline controls one day before MD. Optical imaging of intrinsic signals showed that alcohol-exposed animals that were implanted with astrocytes expressing SRF, but not SRF- or GFP, showed robust restoration of OD plasticity in all visual cortex. These findings suggest that overexpression of SRF exclusively in astrocytes can improve neuronal plasticity in FASD. Copyright © 2012 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Forward di-jet production in p+Pb collisions in the small-x improved TMD factorization framework

    CERN Document Server

    van Hameren, A; Kutak, K; Marquet, C; Petreska, E; Sapeta, S

    2016-01-01

    We study the production of forward di-jets in proton-lead and proton-proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider. Such configurations, with both jets produced in the forward direction, impose a dilute-dense asymmetry which allows to probe the gluon density of the lead or proton target at small longitudinal momentum fractions. Even though the jet momenta are always much bigger than the saturation scale of the target, $Q_s$, the transverse momentum imbalance of the di-jet system may be either also much larger than $Q_s$, or of the order $Q_s$, implying that the small-$x$ QCD dynamics involved is either linear or non-linear, respectively. The small-$x$ improved TMD factorization framework deals with both situation in the same formalism. In the latter case, which corresponds to nearly back-to-back jets, we find that saturation effects induce a significant suppression of the forward di-jet azimuthal correlations in proton-lead versus proton-proton collisions.

  3. Forward di-jet production in p+Pb collisions in the small-x improved TMD factorization framework

    CERN Document Server

    van Hameren, A.; Kutak, K.; Marquet, C.; Petreska, E.; Sapeta, S.

    2016-01-01

    We study the production of forward di-jets in proton-lead and proton-proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider. Such configurations, with both jets produced in the forward direction, impose a dilute-dense asymmetry which allows to probe the gluon density of the lead or proton target at small longitudinal momentum fractions. Even though the jet momenta are always much bigger than the saturation scale of the target, $Q_s$, the transverse momentum imbalance of the di-jet system may be either also much larger than $Q_s$, or of the order $Q_s$, implying that the small-$x$ QCD dynamics involved is either linear or non-linear, respectively. The small-$x$ improved TMD factorization framework deals with both situation in the same formalism. In the latter case, which corresponds to nearly back-to-back jets, we find that saturation effects induce a significant suppression of the forward di-jet azimuthal correlations in proton-lead versus proton-proton collisions.

  4. Applying human factors to develop an improved package design for (Rx) medication drug labels in a pharmacy setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerhart, Julie M; Spriggs, Holly; Hampton, Tonja W; Hoy, Rose Mary B; Strochlic, Allison Y; Proulx, Susan; Goetchius, Debra B

    2015-12-01

    As many as 98,000 people die every year from preventable medical errors. Among pharmacists, the most common error reported is the selection of the wrong drug. Merck met with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss the optimization of the U.S. label for solid oral dosage forms of Merck medications. These discussions led to the development of revised label designs for six products that were then evaluated using failure modes and effects analysis and an expert review by human factors specialists. There were no errors among 425 filled prescriptions in the validation test of the final label. Key changes to the original labels include the use of a non-branded logo, high-contrast color bands for dosage strength, and an enhanced three-dimensional tablet image. The redesigned labels were approved by the US FDA in June 2011. The redesigned label should improve the accurate selection of medications from pharmacy shelves. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and National Safety Council. All rights reserved.

  5. Improving performance of long-term care networks at their initial stage: an empirical study of factors affecting results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angiola, Nunzio; Bianchi, Piervito

    2016-06-10

    Until now very little research has been carried out on the performance of health and human services networks in evolution. In particular, previous studies mainly referred to "centrally governed services networks" in the US context. According to Provan and Kenis (2008), these networks are "lead organization-governed", and are different from the "participant-governed" model or the "network administrative organization (NAO)" solution. We focused our attention on the Apulia region care services networks (Italy). In the last few years, the governance of these networks has passed from the "participant-governed" model to the NAO approach. We examined how the integration mechanisms work in this type of networks, and if there were challenges to tackle in order to improve their overall performance. These networks were examined at their initial stage, exactly when their governance model moved to a more integrated solution. We collected survey data from 17 health and human services networks out of 45 (38%). The research is carried out by means of statistical methods (OLS). The analysis is cross sectional. The implementation of "rational/technocratic" factors is important but not sufficient to enhance collaboration. The integration at the "professional level" should be kept in mind. In particular, the role of network (case) managers is paramount. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  6. Simultaneous improvement in short circuit current, open circuit voltage, and fill factor of polymer solar cells through ternary strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Qiaoshi; Zhang, Fujun; Li, Lingliang; Wang, Jian; Sun, Qianqian; Zhang, Jian; Tang, Weihua; Deng, Zhenbo

    2015-02-18

    We present a smart strategy to simultaneously increase the short circuit current (Jsc), the open circuit voltage (Voc), and the fill factor (FF) of polymer solar cells (PSCs). A two-dimensional conjugated small molecule photovoltaic material (SMPV1), as the second electron donor, was doped into the blend system of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and [6,6]-phenyl-C71-butyric acid methyl (PC71BM) to form ternary PSCs. The ternary PSCs with 5 wt % SMPV1 doping ratio in donors achieve 4.06% champion power conversion efficiency (PCE), corresponding to about 21.2% enhancement compared with the 3.35% PCE of P3HT:PC71BM-based PSCs. The underlying mechanism on performance improvement of ternary PSCs can be summarized as (i) harvesting more photons in the longer wavelength region to increase Jsc; (ii) obtaining the lower mixed highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) energy level by incorporating SMPV1 to increase Voc; (iii) forming the better charge carrier transport channels through the cascade energy level structure and optimizing phase separation of donor/acceptor materials to increase Jsc and FF.

  7. Development of Improved Graphical Displays for an Advanced Outage Control Center, Employing Human Factors Principles for Outage Schedule Management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    St Germain, Shawn Walter [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Farris, Ronald Keith [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Thomas, Kenneth David [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

    2015-09-01

    The long-term viability of existing nuclear power plants in the United States (U.S.) is dependent upon a number of factors, including maintaining high capacity factors, maintaining nuclear safety, and reducing operating costs, particularly those associated with refueling outages. Refueling outages typically take 20-30 days, and for existing light water NPPs in the U.S., the reactor cannot be in operation during the outage. Furthermore, given that many NPPs generate between $1-1.5 million/day in revenue when in operation, there is considerable interest in shortening the length of refueling outages. Yet refueling outages are highly complex operations, involving multiple concurrent and dependent activities that are somewhat challenging to coordinate; therefore, finding ways to improve refueling outage performance, while maintaining nuclear safety has proven to be difficult. The Advanced Outage Control Center (AOCC) project is a research and development (R&D) demonstration activity under the LWRS Program. LWRS is an R&D program that works closely with industry R&D programs to establish technical foundations for the licensing and managing of long-term, safe, and economical operation of current fleet of NPPs. As such, the LWRS Advanced Outage Control Center project has the goal of improving the management of commercial NPP refueling outages. To accomplish this goal, INL is developing an advanced outage control center (OCC) that is specifically designed to maximize the usefulness of communication and collaboration technologies for outage coordination and problem resolution activities. The overall focus is on developing an AOCC with the following capabilities that enables plant and OCC staff to; Collaborate in real-time to address emergent issues; Effectively communicate outage status to all workers involved in the outage; Effectively communicate discovered conditions in the field to the OCC; Provide real-time work status; Provide automatic pending support notifications

  8. A SCHOOL-BASED INTERVENTION PROGRAM FOR IMPROVING THE RISK FACTORS FOR CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE AT AGES 12 TO 16.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konstantinos Laparidis

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Background. Cardiovascular disease begins in childhood and this can be correlated with the presence of risk factors in adults. It is reasonable to initiate healthful lifestyle training in childhood to promote improved cardiovascular health in adult life. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a school-basedprogram designed to reduce specific modifiable risk factors for preventing cardiovascular diseases.Methods. The sample was 343 students (160 boys, 183 girls aged 12–16 years from the prefecture of Larissa, Greece. The duration of intervention was 1 school year. The practical part of intervention took place during the class of physical education, while the theoretical part took place in the classroom. Measurements weretaken at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the intervention. The following parameters were measured: weight, height, blood pressure, heart rate, components of the Healthy Eating Index, VO2max,Fitnessgram test battery (1 mile run-walk, trunk lift, push up, curl up, back saver sit and reach.Results. There were significant differences between the school-groups in the 1 mile run walk (p<0,001,90o push up test (p<0,001, Healthy Eating Index (p<0,001, fruit component (p<0,001, saturated fat intake(p<0,05 and variety component (p<0,001. In the intervention group there was significant increase in VO2max(p<0,05, in the weight (p<0,001, in the Healthy Eating Index (p<0,05, in the trunk lift test (p<0,001, in the push up test (p<0,05, in the sit and reach test (p<0,001 and in the component of fruits (p<0,001, while there was significant reduction in the 1 mile run walk test (p<0,001, in the body mass index (p<0,05 and in the component of saturated fat (p<0,05.Conclusion. The intervention program was successfully implemented in schools and there were many significant and positive effects. These results highlight the importance of multicomponent programs for theprevention of CVD in schools. Additional

  9. Inhibition of tumor necrosis factor improves sleep continuity in patients with treatment resistant depression and high inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinberger, Jeremy F; Raison, Charles L; Rye, David B; Montague, Amy R; Woolwine, Bobbi J; Felger, Jennifer C; Haroon, Ebrahim; Miller, Andrew H

    2015-07-01

    Blockade of the inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in depressed patients with increased inflammation has been associated with decreased depressive symptoms. Nevertheless, the impact of TNF blockade on sleep in depressed patients has not been examined. Accordingly, sleep parameters were measured using polysomnography in 36 patients with treatment resistant major depression at baseline and 2weeks after 3 infusions (week 8) of either the TNF antagonist infliximab (n=19) or placebo (n=17). Markers of inflammation including c-reactive protein (CRP) and TNF and its soluble receptors were also assessed along with depression measured by the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. No differences in sleep parameters were found as a function of infliximab treatment over time. Nevertheless, wake after sleep onset (WASO), the spontaneous arousal index and sleep period time significantly decreased, and sleep efficiency significantly increased, from baseline to week 8 in infliximab-treated patients with high (CRP>5mg/L) (n=9) versus low inflammation (CRP⩽5mg/L) (n=10), controlling for changes in scores of depression. Stage 2 sleep also significantly decreased in infliximab-treated patients with high versus low inflammation. Decreases in soluble TNF receptor 1 (sTNFR1) significantly correlated with decreases in WASO and increases in sleep efficiency in infliximab-treated subjects with high inflammation. Placebo-treated subjects exhibited no sleep changes as a function of inflammation, and no correlations between inflammatory markers and sleep parameters in placebo-treated patients were found. These data suggest that inhibition of inflammation may be a viable strategy to improve sleep alterations in patients with depression and other disorders associated with increased inflammation.

  10. Identification and overexpression of a Knotted1-like transcription factor in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L. for lignocellulosic feedstock improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wegi eWuddineh

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available High biomass production and wide adaptation has made switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L. an important candidate lignocellulosic bioenergy crop. One major limitation of this and other lignocellulosic feedstocks is the recalcitrance of complex carbohydrates to hydrolysis for conversion to biofuels. Lignin is the major contributor to recalcitrance as it limits the accessibility of cell wall carbohydrates to enzymatic breakdown into fermentable sugars. Therefore, genetic manipulation of the lignin biosynthesis pathway is one strategy to reduce recalcitrance. Here, we identified a switchgrass Knotted1 transcription factor, PvKN1, with the aim of genetically engineering switchgrass for reduced biomass recalcitrance for biofuel production. Gene expression of the endogenous PvKN1 gene was observed to be highest in young inflorescences and stems. Ectopic overexpression of PvKN1 in switchgrass altered growth, especially in early developmental stages. Transgenic lines had reduced expression of most lignin biosynthetic genes accompanied by a reduction in lignin content suggesting the involvement of PvKN1 in the broad regulation of the lignin biosynthesis pathway. Moreover, the reduced expression of the Gibberellin 20-oxidase (GA20ox gene in tandem with the increased expression of Gibberellin 2-oxidase (GA2ox genes in transgenic PvKN1 lines suggest that PvKN1 may exert regulatory effects via modulation of GA signalling. Furthermore, overexpression of PvKN1 altered the expression of cellulose and hemicellulose biosynthetic genes and increased sugar release efficiency in transgenic lines. Our results demonstrated that switchgrass PvKN1 is a putative ortholog of maize KN1 that is linked to plant lignification and cell wall and development traits as a major regulatory gene. Therefore, targeted overexpression of PvKN1 in bioenergy feedstocks may provide one feasible strategy for reducing biomass recalcitrance and simultaneously improving plant growth characteristics.

  11. Improving the osteogenic efficacy of BMP2 with mechano growth factor by regulating the signaling events in BMP pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Moyuan; Liu, Peng; Xiao, Hualiang; Zhang, Yuanyuan; Wang, Yuanliang; Zhao, Jianhua; Xu, Jianzhong

    2015-09-01

    Local application of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) is known to promote large bone defect healing and BMP2-initiated bone regeneration could be enhanced by an additional mechanical stimulation. The C-terminal 24-a.a. peptide of mechano growth factor (MGF24E), a mechanical-sensitive molecule, has been demonstrated to promote bone healing. Here, we propose a hypothesis that MGF24E could also improve the osteogenic efficacy of BMP2 by regulating the signaling events in the BMP pathway. To confirm the hypothesis, the potentials of MGF24E, BMP2 and BMP2/MGF24E combination treatments on the phosphorylation of Smad 1/5/8, the downstream osteogenesis-related gene expression and osteoblasts mineralization, are investigated with or without the blocking of Smad 5 siRNA. Furthermore, 15-mm rabbit radial bone defects were healed with the cytokine treatments and then evaluated by radiographic examination, histological assessment and immunohistochemical analysis. MGF24E could enhance the BMP2-induced Smad signaling pathway by upregulating the p-Smad protein expression and the downstream osteogenic gene expression. An amount of 5 nM BMP2 in a sub-25 nM concentration of MGF24E medium achieved a higher expression for ALP mRNA and a greater calcium mineral content compared with BMP2 alone. Nevertheless, the inhibition of the MGF24E-regulated BMP pathway could block osteogenesis induced by the dual treatment. In vivo, MGF24E treatment upregulated the endogenous BMP2 expression and the addition of MGF24E into the BMP2 treatment remarkably enhanced the bone mineral density (BMD), the radiographic scores and the histological restoration of the regenerated tissue against BMP2 treatment, suggesting a new strategy for BMP2 in bone defect healing.

  12. Freshwater clam extract supplementation improves wound healing by decreasing the tumor necrosis factor α level in blood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Yi-Chi; Fwu-LinYang; Subeq, Yi-Maun; Tien, Chin-Chieh; Lee, Ru-Ping

    2017-03-01

    The freshwater clam (Corbicula fluminea) is a widely consumed functional food in Asia and is traditionally used to improve health and either prevent or treat inflammation-related diseases. Numerous studies have proposed that freshwater clams act to prevent and attenuate inflammatory responses, and also serve as a possible inhibitor to systemic inflammation. However, there is limited information available about the effects of freshwater clams on wound healing. The present study investigated the influence of freshwater clam extract (FCE) on wound healing and inflammatory responses in a cutaneous incision model. Sixteen rats were used and divided into two groups: the FCE group and the normal saline (NS) group. The rats underwent dorsal full-thickness skin excisional wounds (diameter 20 × 10 mm). FCE or NS was administered for oral feeding twice daily for 14 days after wounding. Blood samples were taken and analyzed, and wound areas were measured at several time points during the 2 weeks after excision. On day 14 after wounding, skin biopsies from the wound sites were sent for histological examination. Treatment with FCE (71.63 ± 9.51 pg mL(-1) ) decreased tumor necrosis factor-α levels compared to the NS group (109.86 ± 12.55 pg mL(-1) ) after wounding at 3 h (P wound areas of the NS group (23.9%) were larger than those in the FCE group (8.26%) on day 14 (P wound healing process. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  13. Hypoxic preconditioning improves survival of cardiac progenitor cells: role of stromal cell derived factor-1α-CXCR4 axis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fengdi Yan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs have been shown to be suitable in stem cell therapy for resurrecting damaged myocardium, but poor retention of transplanted cells in the ischemic myocardium causes ineffective cell therapy. Hypoxic preconditioning of cells can increase the expression of CXCR4 and pro-survival genes to promote better cell survival; however, it is unknown whether hypoxia preconditioning will influence the survival and retention of CPCs via the SDF-1α/CXCR4 axis. METHODS AND RESULTS: CPCs were isolated from adult mouse hearts and purified by magnetic activated cell sorting using c-kit magnetic beads. These cells were cultured at various times in either normoxic or hypoxic conditions, and cell survival was analyzed using flow cytometry and the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α, CXCR4, phosphorylated Akt and Bcl-2 were measured by Western blot. Results showed that the expression of pro-survival genes significantly increased after hypoxia treatment, especially in cells cultured in hypoxic conditions for six hours. Upon completion of hypoxia preconditioning from c-kit+ CPCs for six hours, the anti-apoptosis, migration and cardiac repair potential were evaluated. Results showed a significant enhancement in anti-apoptosis and migration in vitro, and better survival and cardiac function after being transplanted into acute myocardial infarction (MI mice in vivo. The beneficial effects induced by hypoxia preconditioning of c-kit+ CPCs could largely be blocked by the addition of CXCR4 selective antagonist AMD3100. CONCLUSIONS: Hypoxic preconditioning may improve the survival and retention of c-kit+ CPCs in the ischemic heart tissue through activating the SDF-1α/CXCR4 axis and the downstream anti-apoptosis pathway. Strategies targeting this aspect may enhance the effectiveness of cell-based cardiac regenerative therapy.

  14. The use of efficiency improvement factor in regulation of income frame for electric grid companies; Bruk av effektiviseringsfaktor ved inntektsrammeregulering av nettselskap

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andersen, Christian; Singh, Balbir; Storeboe, Inger Oeydis

    2001-06-01

    An efficiency improvement parameter is an integrated part of a family of regulatory mechanisms often denoted as RPI-X. The present report examines what factors are to be included in the efficiency improvement factor. A theoretical derivation shows that the income growth in the regulated sector shall be limited to the price growth of the economy corrected for a factor-X that consists of four components: a productivity component, a price component, a component that accounts for differences in exogenic costs in the regulated sector and the rest of the economy, and a activity level component. The productivity component accounts for the differences in productivity changes between the two sectors, and the price component accounts for the differences in the prices of factor inputs.

  15. Improved characterization of nod factors and genetically based variation in LysM Receptor domains identify amino acids expendable for nod factor recognition in Lotus spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bek, Anita S; Sauer, Jørgen; Thygesen, Mikkel B; Duus, Jens Ø; Petersen, Bent O; Thirup, Søren; James, Euan; Jensen, Knud J; Stougaard, Jens; Radutoiu, Simona

    2010-01-01

    Formation of functional nodules is a complex process depending on host-microsymbiont compatibility in all developmental stages. This report uses the contrasting symbiotic phenotypes of Lotus japonicus and L. pedunculatus, inoculated with Mesorhizobium loti or the Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lotus), to investigate the role of Nod factor structure and Nod factor receptors (NFR) for rhizobial recognition, infection thread progression, and bacterial persistence within nodule cells. A key contribution was the use of 800 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry for Nod factor analysis. The Nod factor decorations at the nonreducing end differ between Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lotus) and M. loti, and the NFR1/NFR5 extracellular regions of L. pedunculatus and L. japonicus were found to vary in amino acid composition. Genetic transformation experiments using chimeric and wild-type receptors showed that both receptor variants recognize the structurally different Nod factors but the later symbiotic phenotype remained unchanged. These results highlight the importance of additional checkpoints during nitrogen-fixing symbiosis and define several amino acids in the LysM domains as expendable for perception of the two differentially carbamoylated Nod factors.

  16. Household trends in access to improved water sources and sanitation facilities in Vietnam and associated factors: findings from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, 2000–2011

    OpenAIRE

    Tuyet-Hanh, Tran Thi; Lee, Jong-Koo; Oh, Juhwan; Van Minh, Hoang; Lee, Chul Ou; Hoan, Le Thi; Nam, You-Seon; Long, Tran Khanh

    2016-01-01

    Background: Despite progress made by the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) number 7.C, Vietnam still faces challenges with regard to the provision of access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.Objective: This paper describes household trends in access to improved water sources and sanitation facilities separately, and analyses factors associated with access to improved water sources and sanitation facilities in combination.Design: Secondary data from the Vietnam Multiple Indicator Clu...

  17. Improvement in prediction of coronary heart disease risk over conventional risk factors using SNPs identified in genome-wide association studies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer L Bolton

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: We examined whether a panel of SNPs, systematically selected from genome-wide association studies (GWAS, could improve risk prediction of coronary heart disease (CHD, over-and-above conventional risk factors. These SNPs have already demonstrated reproducible associations with CHD; here we examined their use in long-term risk prediction. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: SNPs identified from meta-analyses of GWAS of CHD were tested in 840 men and women aged 55-75 from the Edinburgh Artery Study, a prospective, population-based study with 15 years of follow-up. Cox proportional hazards models were used to evaluate the addition of SNPs to conventional risk factors in prediction of CHD risk. CHD was classified as myocardial infarction (MI, coronary intervention (angioplasty, or coronary artery bypass surgery, angina and/or unspecified ischaemic heart disease as a cause of death; additional analyses were limited to MI or coronary intervention. Model performance was assessed by changes in discrimination and net reclassification improvement (NRI. RESULTS: There were significant improvements with addition of 27 SNPs to conventional risk factors for prediction of CHD (NRI of 54%, P<0.001; C-index 0.671 to 0.740, P = 0.001, as well as MI or coronary intervention, (NRI of 44%, P<0.001; C-index 0.717 to 0.750, P = 0.256. ROC curves showed that addition of SNPs better improved discrimination when the sensitivity of conventional risk factors was low for prediction of MI or coronary intervention. CONCLUSION: There was significant improvement in risk prediction of CHD over 15 years when SNPs identified from GWAS were added to conventional risk factors. This effect may be particularly useful for identifying individuals with a low prognostic index who are in fact at increased risk of disease than indicated by conventional risk factors alone.

  18. Radiation induced nuclear factor kappa-B signaling cascade study in mammalian cells by improved detection systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chishti, Arif Ali; Baumstark-Khan, Christa; Hellweg, Christine; Reitz, Guenther

    To enable long-term human space flight cellular radiation response to densely ionizing radiation needs to be better understood for developing appropriate countermeasures to mitigate acute effects and late radiation risks for the astronaut. The biological effectiveness of accelerated heavy ions with high linear energy transfer (LET) for effecting DNA damage response pathways as a gateway to cell death or survival is of major concern, not only for tumor radiotherapy but also for new regimes of space missions. Ionizing radiation modulates several signaling pathways resulting in transcription factor activation. NF-kappaB is one of the important transcription factors that respond to changes in the environment of a mammalian cell and plays a key role in many biological processes relevant to radiation response, such as apoptosis, inflammation and carcinogenesis. From medical and biological point of view it is important to understand radiation induced NF-kappaB signaling cascade. For studying NF-kappaB signaling, green fluorescent proteins EGFP and d2EGFP were used previously (Advances in Space Research, 36: 1673-1679, 2005). The current study aims to improve reporter assays by the use of a destabilized variant of red fluorescent protein tdTomato (DD-tdTomato) which gives high fluorescence signals and a better signal/noise ratio for NF-kappaB activation. The reporter system HEK-pNFkappaB-DD-tdTomato-C8 is a dual reporter system which can provide both discrete and cumulative signals after exposure to ionizing radiation (X-rays, heavy ions). In the presence of Shield-1, the fluorescent protein DD-tdTomato is not degraded but accumulated inside the cell which helps to quantify the fold induction of NF-kappaB-dependent gene expression. The minimum dose required to activate NF-kappaB is 6 Gy but accumulated signals data shows that NF-kappaB is activated after 3 Gy in the presence of Shield-1. Average dose and number of heavy ions’ hits per nucleus necessary to double the NF

  19. A systematic review of interventions in primary care to improve health literacy for chronic disease behavioral risk factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taggart Jane

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To evaluate the effectiveness of interventions used in primary care to improve health literacy for change in smoking, nutrition, alcohol, physical activity and weight (SNAPW. Methods A systematic review of intervention studies that included outcomes for health literacy and SNAPW behavioral risk behaviors implemented in primary care settings. We searched the Cochrane Library, Johanna Briggs Institute, Medline, Embase, CINAHL, Psychinfo, Web of Science, Scopus, APAIS, Australasian Medical Index, Google Scholar, Community of Science and four targeted journals (Patient Education and Counseling, Health Education and Behaviour, American Journal of Preventive Medicine and Preventive Medicine. Study inclusion criteria: Adults over 18 years; undertaken in a primary care setting within an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD country; interventions with at least one measure of health literacy and promoting positive change in smoking, nutrition, alcohol, physical activity and/or weight; measure at least one outcome associated with health literacy and report a SNAPW outcome; and experimental and quasi-experimental studies, cohort, observational and controlled and non-controlled before and after studies. Papers were assessed and screened by two researchers (JT, AW and uncertain or excluded studies were reviewed by a third researcher (MH. Data were extracted from the included studies by two researchers (JT, AW. Effectiveness studies were quality assessed. A typology of interventions was thematically derived from the studies by grouping the SNAPW interventions into six broad categories: individual motivational interviewing and counseling; group education; multiple interventions (combination of interventions; written materials; telephone coaching or counseling; and computer or web based interventions. Interventions were classified by intensity of contact with the subjects (High ≥ 8 points of contact

  20. Hypoxia-Inducible Factor Pathway Inhibition Resolves Tumor Hypoxia and Improves Local Tumor Control After Single-Dose Irradiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Helbig, Linda [OncoRay–National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden (Germany); Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden (Germany); Koi, Lydia [OncoRay–National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden (Germany); Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden (Germany); Deutsches Konsortium für Translationale Krebsforschung, Site Dresden, Dresden (Germany); Brüchner, Kerstin [Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden (Germany); Institute of Radiooncology Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Dresden (Germany); Gurtner, Kristin [Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden (Germany); Hess-Stumpp, Holger; Unterschemmann, Kerstin [Global Drug Discovery, Bayer Pharma, Berlin (Germany); Pruschy, Martin [Radiation Oncology, University of Zurich, Zurich (Switzerland); and others

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: To study the effects of BAY-84-7296, a novel orally bioavailable inhibitor of mitochondrial complex I and hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) activity, on hypoxia, microenvironment, and radiation response of tumors. Methods and Materials: UT-SCC-5 and UT-SCC-14 human squamous cell carcinomas were transplanted subcutaneously in nude mice. When tumors reached 4 mm in diameter BAY-84-7296 (Bayer Pharma AG) or carrier was daily administered to the animals. At 7 mm tumors were either excised for Western blot and immunohistologic investigations or were irradiated with single doses. After irradiation animals were randomized to receive BAY-84-7296 maintenance or carrier. Local tumor control was evaluated 150 days after irradiation, and the dose to control 50% of tumors (TCD{sub 50}) was calculated. Results: BAY-84-7296 decreased nuclear HIF-1α expression. Daily administration of inhibitor for approximately 2 weeks resulted in a marked decrease of pimonidazole hypoxic fraction in UT-SCC-5 (0.5% vs 21%, P<.0001) and in UT-SCC-14 (0.3% vs 19%, P<.0001). This decrease was accompanied by a significant increase in fraction of perfused vessels in UT-SCC-14 but not in UT-SCC-5. Bromodeoxyuridine and Ki67 labeling indices were significantly reduced only in UT-SCC-5. No significant changes were observed in vascular area or necrosis. BAY-84-7296 before single-dose irradiation significantly decreased TCD{sub 50}, with an enhancement ratio of 1.37 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.13-1.72) in UT-SCC-5 and of 1.55 (95% CI 1.26-1.94) in UT-SCC-14. BAY-84-7296 maintenance after irradiation did not further decrease TCD{sub 50}. Conclusions: BAY-84-7296 resulted in a marked decrease in tumor hypoxia and substantially reduced radioresistance of tumor cells with the capacity to cause a local recurrence after irradiation. The data suggest that reduction of cellular hypoxia tolerance by BAY-84-7296 may represent the primary biological mechanism underlying the observed enhancement of

  1. Vascular endothelial growth factor gene therapy improves nerve regeneration in a model of obstetric brachial plexus palsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillenbrand, Matthias; Holzbach, Thomas; Matiasek, Kaspar; Schlegel, Jürgen; Giunta, Riccardo E

    2015-03-01

    The treatment of obstetric brachial plexus palsy has been limited to conservative therapies and surgical reconstruction of peripheral nerves. In addition to the damage of the brachial plexus itself, it also leads to a loss of the corresponding motoneurons in the spinal cord, which raises the need for supportive strategies that take the participation of the central nervous system into account. Based on the protective and regenerative effects of VEGF on neural tissue, our aim was to analyse the effect on nerve regeneration by adenoviral gene transfer of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in postpartum nerve injury of the brachial plexus in rats. In the present study, we induced a selective crush injury to the left spinal roots C5 and C6 in 18 rats within 24 hours after birth and examined the effect of VEGF-gene therapy on nerve regeneration. For gene transduction an adenoviral vector encoding for VEGF165 (AdCMV.VEGF165) was used. In a period of 11 weeks, starting 3 weeks post-operatively, functional regeneration was assessed weekly by behavioural analysis and force measurement of the upper limb. Morphometric evaluation was carried out 8 months post-operatively and consisted of a histological examination of the deltoid muscle and the brachial plexus according to defined criteria of degeneration. In addition, atrophy of the deltoid muscle was evaluated by weight determination comparing the left with the right side. VEGF expression in the brachial plexus was quantified by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Furthermore the motoneurons of the spinal cord segment C5 were counted comparing the left with the right side. On the functional level, VEGF-treated animals showed faster nerve regeneration. It was found less degeneration and smaller mass reduction of the deltoid muscle in VEGF-treated animals. We observed significantly less degeneration of the brachial plexus and a greater number of surviving motoneurons (P regeneration and survival of nerve cells

  2. A Community-Based, Environmental Chronic Disease Prevention Intervention to Improve Healthy Eating Psychosocial Factors and Behaviors in Indigenous Populations in the Canadian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mead, Erin L.; Gittelsohn, Joel; Roache, Cindy; Corriveau, André; Sharma, Sangita

    2013-01-01

    Diet-related chronic diseases are highly prevalent among indigenous populations in the Canadian Arctic. A community-based, multi-institutional nutritional and lifestyle intervention--Healthy Foods North--was implemented to improve food-related psychosocial factors and behaviors among Inuit and Inuvialuit in four intervention communities (with two…

  3. Improvements in glucose metabolism early after gastric bypass surgery are not explained by increases in total bile acids and fibroblast growth factor 19 concentrations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Nils B; Dirksen, Carsten; Bojsen-Møller, Kirstine N;

    2015-01-01

    Context: Bile acids and fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19) have been suggested as key mediators of the improvements in glucose metabolism after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB). Objective: To describe fasting and postprandial state total bile acid (TBA) and FGF19 concentrations before and after...

  4. Impact of Contextual Factors on the Effect of Interventions to Improve Health Worker Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa: Review of Randomised Clinical Trials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Blacklock

    Full Text Available Africa bears 24% of the global burden of disease but has only 3% of the world's health workers. Substantial variation in health worker performance adds to the negative impact of this significant shortfall. We therefore sought to identify interventions implemented in sub-Saharan African aiming to improve health worker performance and the contextual factors likely to influence local effectiveness.A systematic search for randomised controlled trials of interventions to improve health worker performance undertaken in sub-Saharan Africa identified 41 eligible trials. Data were extracted to define the interventions' components, calculate the absolute improvement in performance achieved, and document the likelihood of bias. Within-study variability in effect was extracted where reported. Statements about contextual factors likely to have modified effect were subjected to thematic analysis. Interventions to improve health worker performance can be very effective. Two of the three trials assessing mortality impact showed significant reductions in death rates (age<5 case fatality 5% versus 10%, p<0.01; maternal in-hospital mortality 6.8/1000 versus 10.3/1000; p<0.05. Eight of twelve trials focusing on prescribing had a statistically significant positive effect, achieving an absolute improvement varying from 9% to 48%. However, reported range of improvement between centres within trials varied substantially, in many cases exceeding the mean effect. Nine contextual themes were identified as modifiers of intervention effect across studies; most frequently cited were supply-line failures, inadequate supervision or management, and failure to follow-up training interventions with ongoing support, in addition to staff turnover.Interventions to improve performance of existing staff and service quality have the potential to improve patient care in underserved settings. But in order to implement interventions effectively, policy makers need to understand and

  5. Improving the Factor Structure of Psychological Scales: The Expanded Format as an Alternative to the Likert Scale Format

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xijuan; Savalei, Victoria

    2016-01-01

    Many psychological scales written in the Likert format include reverse worded (RW) items in order to control acquiescence bias. However, studies have shown that RW items often contaminate the factor structure of the scale by creating one or more method factors. The present study examines an alternative scale format, called the Expanded format,…

  6. Prediction of response factors for gas chromatography with flame ionization detection: Algorithm improvement, extension to silylated compounds, and application to the quantification of metabolites

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Saint Laumer, Jean‐Yves; Leocata, Sabine; Tissot, Emeline; Baroux, Lucie; Kampf, David M.; Merle, Philippe; Boschung, Alain; Seyfried, Markus

    2015-01-01

    We previously showed that the relative response factors of volatile compounds were predictable from either combustion enthalpies or their molecular formulae only 1. We now extend this prediction to silylated derivatives by adding an increment in the ab initio calculation of combustion enthalpies. The accuracy of the experimental relative response factors database was also improved and its population increased to 490 values. In particular, more brominated compounds were measured, and their prediction accuracy was improved by adding a correction factor in the algorithm. The correlation coefficient between predicted and measured values increased from 0.936 to 0.972, leading to a mean prediction accuracy of ± 6%. Thus, 93% of the relative response factors values were predicted with an accuracy of better than ± 10%. The capabilities of the extended algorithm are exemplified by (i) the quick and accurate quantification of hydroxylated metabolites resulting from a biodegradation test after silylation and prediction of their relative response factors, without having the reference substances available; and (ii) the rapid purity determinations of volatile compounds. This study confirms that Gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector and using predicted relative response factors is one of the few techniques that enables quantification of volatile compounds without calibrating the instrument with the pure reference substance. PMID:26179324

  7. [Features of occupational health nurse support for the improvement of psychosocial working environments and related factors: Focusing on required knowledge and skills, and measures to develop them].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Tomoko; Nishikido, Noriko; Matsuki, Hideaki

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the support activities provided for occupational health nurses aimed at improving psychosocial working environments, related knowledge and skills, and learning environments as well as associations among these factors. In addition, we aimed to create correlated factor models to describe the support activities in order to identify ways to promote these activities among occupational health nurses. An anonymous mail-based questionnaire survey was conducted of occupational health nurses who were members of the Japan Society for Occupational Health and belonged to enterprises or independent health insurance societies. Among 356 returned questionnaires (response rate: 46.4%), all the main items were answered in 329 (valid response rate: 92.4%), and these questionnaires were analyzed. Factor analysis was performed for the seven items pertaining to support activities for the improvement of psychosocial working environments and models of each factor of the support activities were developed using covariance structure analysis. In the factor analysis, [Clarifying a stress-related situation and providing advice] and [Facilitating workplace involvement] were identified as support-related factors. The mean implementation rates for these approaches were approximately 50 to 80%, and less than 40%, respectively. [Clarifying a stress-related situation and providing advice] was associated with skills of "providing superiors with explanations to enhance their understanding" and "collecting and analyzing stress survey results by department", and knowledge of "personal stress questionnaires" and "common stress factors in working environments". The above-mentioned knowledge and skills were associated with self-learning of "examining and reporting daily activities for the improvement of working environments" and "reviewing related papers". [Facilitating workplace involvement] was associated with skills of "indirectly supporting discussions led by

  8. Renormalization group equation improved analysis of $B \\to \\pi$ form factors from Light-Cone Sum Rules

    CERN Document Server

    Shen, Yue-Long; Lü, Cai-Dian

    2016-01-01

    Within the framework of $B$-meson light-cone sum rules, we compute the one-loop level QCD corrections to $B\\to \\pi$ transition form factors at small $ q^{2}$ region, in implement of a complete renormalization group equation evolution. To solve the renormalization group equations, we work at the "dual" space where the anomalous dimensions of the jet function and the light-cone distribution amplitudes are diagonal. With the complete renormalization group equation evolution, the form factors are almost independent of the factorization scale, which is shown numerically. We also extrapolate the results of the form factors to the whole $q^2$ region, and compare their behavior with other studies.

  9. Modifications to the Method of Modal Strain Energy for Improved Estimates of Loss Factors for Damped Structures

    OpenAIRE

    Torvik, Peter J.; Brian Runyon

    2007-01-01

    The method of Modal Strain Energy (MSE) enables predictions of modal loss factors for vibrating systems from finite element analyses without evaluation of a complex-valued frequency response or a complex-valued frequency. While the method is simple, some error results; especially if the dissipative material has the high loss factor characteristic of materials added to increase system damping. Several methods for reducing this error through modifications to MSE have been suggested. In this wor...

  10. Household trends in access to improved water sources and sanitation facilities in Vietnam and associated factors: findings from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, 2000–2011

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tran Thi Tuyet-Hanh

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Background: Despite progress made by the Millennium Development Goal (MDG number 7.C, Vietnam still faces challenges with regard to the provision of access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. Objective: This paper describes household trends in access to improved water sources and sanitation facilities separately, and analyses factors associated with access to improved water sources and sanitation facilities in combination. Design: Secondary data from the Vietnam Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey in 2000, 2006, and 2011 were analyzed. Descriptive statistics and tests of significance describe trends over time in access to water and sanitation by location, demographic and socio-economic factors. Binary logistic regressions (2000, 2006, and 2011 describe associations between access to water and sanitation, and geographic, demographic, and socio-economic factors. Results: There have been some outstanding developments in access to improved water sources and sanitation facilities from 2000 to 2011. In 2011, the proportion of households with access to improved water sources and sanitation facilities reached 90% and 77%, respectively, meeting the 2015 MDG targets for safe drinking water and basic sanitation set at 88% and 75%, respectively. However, despite these achievements, in 2011, only 74% of households overall had access to combined improved drinking water and sanitation facilities. There were also stark differences between regions. In 2011, only 47% of households had access to both improved water and sanitation facilities in the Mekong River Delta compared with 94% in the Red River Delta. In 2011, households in urban compared to rural areas were more than twice as likely (odds ratio [OR]: 2.2; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.9–2.5 to have access to improved water and sanitation facilities in combination, and households in the highest compared with the lowest wealth quintile were over 40 times more likely (OR: 42.3; 95% CI: 29.8–60

  11. A risk-benefit analysis of factor V Leiden testing to improve pregnancy outcomes: a case study of the capabilities of decision modeling in genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajaj, Preeti S; Veenstra, David L

    2013-05-01

    We sought to assess the benefits, risks, and personal utility of factor V Leiden mutation testing to improve pregnancy outcomes and to assess the utility of decision-analytic modeling for complex outcomes in genomics. We developed a model to evaluate factor V Leiden testing among women with a history of recurrent pregnancy loss, including heparin therapy during pregnancy in mutation-positive women. Outcomes included venous thromboembolism, major bleeds, pregnancy loss, maternal mortality, and quality-adjusted life-years. Factor V Leiden testing in a hypothetical cohort of 10,000 women led to 7 fewer venous thromboembolic events, 90 fewer pregnancy losses, and an increase of 17 major bleeding events. Small improvements in quality-adjusted life-years were largely attributable to reduced mortality but also to improvements in health-related quality of life. However, sensitivity analyses indicate large variance in results due to data uncertainty. Furthermore, the complexity of outcomes limited our ability to fully capture the repercussions of testing in the quality-adjusted life-year measure. Factor V Leiden testing involves tradeoffs between clinical and personal utility, and additional effectiveness data are needed for heparin use to prevent pregnancy loss. Decision-analytic methods offer somewhat limited value in assessing these tradeoffs, suggesting that evaluation of complex outcomes will require novel approaches to appropriately capture patient-centered outcomes.Genet Med 2013:15(5):374-381.

  12. Incorporating Transmission Into Causal Models of Infectious Diseases for Improved Understanding of the Effect and Impact of Risk Factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paynter, Stuart

    2016-03-15

    Conventional measures of causality (which compare risks between exposed and unexposed individuals) do not factor in the population-scale dynamics of infectious disease transmission. We used mathematical models of 2 childhood infections (respiratory syncytial virus and rotavirus) to illustrate this problem. These models incorporated 3 causal pathways whereby malnutrition could act to increase the incidence of severe infection: increasing the proportion of infected children who develop severe infection, increasing the children's susceptibility to infection, and increasing infectiousness. For risk factors that increased the proportion of infected children who developed severe infection, the population attributable fraction (PAF) calculated conventionally was the same as the PAF calculated directly from the models. However, for risk factors that increased transmission (by either increasing susceptibility to infection or increasing infectiousness), the PAF calculated directly from the models was much larger than that predicted by the conventional PAF calculation. The models also showed that even when conventional studies find no association between a risk factor and an outcome, risk factors that increase transmission can still have a large impact on disease burden. For a complete picture of infectious disease causality, transmission effects must be incorporated into causal models.

  13. Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated protein 1 improves hypoxia-impaired energy production in cardiomyocytes through increasing activity of cytochrome c oxidase subunit II.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiang, Fei; Ma, Si-Yuan; Zhang, Dong-Xia; Zhang, Qiong; Huang, Yue-Sheng

    2016-10-01

    Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated protein 1 protects cardiomyocytes against hypoxia, but the underlying mechanisms are not completely understood. In the present study, we used gain- and loss-of-function approaches to explore the effects of tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated protein 1 and cytochrome c oxidase subunit II on energy production in hypoxic cardiomyocytes. Hypoxia repressed ATP production in cultured cardiomyocytes, whereas overexpression of tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated protein 1 significantly improved ATP production. Conversely, knockdown of tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated protein 1 facilitated the hypoxia-induced decrease in ATP synthesis. Further investigation revealed that tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated protein 1 induced the expression and activity of cytochrome c oxidase subunit II, a component of cytochrome c oxidase that is important in mitochondrial respiratory chain function. Moreover, lentiviral-mediated overexpression of cytochrome c oxidase subunit II antagonized the decrease in ATP synthesis caused by knockdown of tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated protein 1, whereas knockdown of cytochrome c oxidase subunit II attenuated the increase in ATP synthesis caused by overexpression of tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated protein 1. In addition, inhibition of cytochrome c oxidase subunit II by a specific inhibitor sodium azide suppressed the ATP sy nthesis induced by overexpressed tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated protein 1. Hence, tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated protein 1 protects cardiomyocytes from hypoxia at least partly via potentiation of energy generation, and cytochrome c oxidase subunit II is one of the downstream effectors that mediates the tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated protein 1-mediated energy generation program.

  14. Work improvement factors for the amelioration of work ability, with a focus on individual capacity to deal with stress in an IT company.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohta, Masanori; Higuchi, Yoshiyuki; Kumashiro, Masaharu; Yamato, Hiroshi; Sugimura, Hisamichi

    2015-03-01

    The aim of this study was to explore factors that ameliorate work ability by focusing on workers' capacity to deal with stress.The subjects were 1,330 workers from the Japanese information technology (IT) sector. Each subject completed questionnaires in 2011 and 2012 that consisted of the work ability index (WAI), the three-item sense of coherence (SOC), and the Mental Health Improvement and Reinforcement Research of Recognition (MIRROR). The results of the WAI were also obtained in 2013. The median SOC score in 2011 was used to divide the subjects into two groups, the Low SOC group and the High SOC group, then we verified the factors that contributed to improved work ability in both of these groups over a two-year period. Results indicate that an improvement in work ability in the Low SOC group could be predicted by giving workers opportunities for education or training, by making efforts to reduce the stress of commuting, by clarifying their assignments, and by establishing support systems when troubles occur. For the High SOC group, such improvements could be predicted by giving workers job control, by giving education or training for the promotion of their abilities, and by establishing a system for assuming responsibility. In conclusion, improvements in the work environment can increase the work ability of Japanese IT workers in conformity with their capacity to deal with stress.

  15. Factors affecting implementation of accreditation programmes and the impact of the accreditation process on quality improvement in hospitals: a SWOT analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, G K B; Leung, G K K; Johnston, J M; Cowling, B J

    2013-10-01

    The objectives of this review were to identify factors that influence implementation of hospital accreditation programmes and to assess the impact of the accreditation process on quality improvement in public hospitals. Two electronic databases, Medline (OvidSP) and PubMed, were systematically searched. "Public hospital", "hospital accreditation", and "quality improvement" were used as the search terms. A total of 348 citations were initially identified. After critical appraisal and study selection, 26 articles were included in the review. The data were extracted and analysed using a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis. Increased staff engagement and communication, multidisciplinary team building, positive changes in organisational culture, and enhanced leadership and staff awareness of continuous quality improvement were identified as strengths. Weaknesses included organisational resistance to change, increased staff workload, lack of awareness about continuous quality improvement, insufficient staff training and support for continuous quality improvement, lack of applicable accreditation standards for local use, and lack of performance outcome measures. Opportunities included identification of improvement areas, enhanced patient safety, additional funding, public recognition, and market advantage. Threats included opportunistic behaviours, funding cuts, lack of incentives for participation, and a regulatory approach to mandatory participation. By relating the findings to the operational issues of accreditation, this review discussed the implications for successful implementation and how accreditation may drive quality improvement. These findings have implications for various stakeholders (government, the public, patients and health care providers), when it comes to embarking on accreditation exercises.

  16. Identification of key factors in consumers' adoption behavior of intelligent medical terminals based on a hybrid modified MADM model for product improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yupeng; Chen, Yifei; Tzeng, Gwo-Hshiung

    2017-09-01

    As a new application technology of the Internet of Things (IoT), intelligent medical treatment has attracted the attention of both nations and industries through its promotion of medical informatisation, modernisation, and intelligentisation. Faced with a wide variety of intelligent medical terminals, consumers may be affected by various factors when making purchase decisions. To examine and evaluate the key influential factors (and their interrelationships) of consumer adoption behavior for improving and promoting intelligent medical terminals toward achieving set aspiration level in each dimension and criterion. A hybrid modified Multiple Attribute Decision-Making (MADM) model was used for this study, based on three components: (1) the Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) technique, to build an influential network relationship map (INRM) at both 'dimensions' and 'criteria' levels; (2) the DEMATEL-based analytic network process (DANP) method, to determine the interrelationships and influential weights among the criteria and identify the source-influential factors; and (3) the modified Vlse Kriterijumska Optimizacija I Kompromisno Resenje (VIKOR) method, to evaluate and improve for reducing the performance gaps to meet the consumers' needs for continuous improvement and sustainable products-development. First, a consensus on the influential factors affecting consumers' adoption of intelligent medical terminals was collected from experts' opinion in practical experience. Next, the interrelationships and influential weights of DANP among dimensions/criteria based on the DEMATEL technique were determined. Finally, two intelligent medicine bottles (AdhereTech, A1 alternative; and Audio/Visual Alerting Pillbox, A2 alternative) were reviewed as the terminal devices to verify the accuracy of the MADM model and evaluate its performance on each criterion for improving the total certification gaps by systematics according to the modified VIKOR method

  17. Stable high-level expression of factor VIII in Chinese hamster ovary cells in improved elongation factor-1 alpha-based system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlova, Nadezhda A; Kovnir, Sergey V; Gabibov, Alexandre G; Vorobiev, Ivan I

    2017-03-24

    Recombinant factor VIII (FVIII), used for haemophilia A therapy, is one of the most challenging among the therapeutic proteins produced in heterologous expression systems. Deletion variant of FVIII, in which the entire domain B is replaced by a short linker peptide, was approved for medical use. Efficacy and safety of this FVIII deletion variant are similar to full-length FVIII preparations while the level of production in CHO cells is substantially higher. Typical levels of productivity for CHO cell lines producing deletion variant FVIII-BDD SQ, described elsewhere, are 0.5-2 IU/ml, corresponding to the concentration of FVIII of about 0.2 μg/ml. Using standard vectors based on the cytomegalovirus promoter (CMV) and the dihydrofolate reductase cDNA we have previously obtained the cell line secreting 0.5 IU/ml of FVIII-BDD, which roughly corresponds to the previously published data. An expression system based on CHO genomic sequences including CHO-EEF1A promoter and Epstein-Barr virus terminal repeat fragment allowed us to achieve 80-fold increase in the production level as compared with the conventional expression system based on the CMV promoter. Immediately after the primary selection FVIII -producing cells secreted 5-10 IU/ml of FVIII-BDD, and after multi-stage methotrexate-driven amplification a stable clonal line 11A4H was selected, secreting 39 IU/ml of FVIII-BDD in the simple batch culturing conditions, which considerably exceeds known indicators for industrial producers of this protein. In contrast to other FVIII-BDD producing lines 11A4H accumulates low proportion of the secreted FVIII on the membrane. Its productivity may be further increased approximately two-fold by adding sodium butyrate and butylated hydroxyanisol to the culture medium. A five-stage purification process for the factor VIII was employed. It allowed isolation of the intact FVIII-BDD as was confirmed by mass spectrometry. Purified FVIII-BDD has a specific activity of 11,000

  18. Recombinant factor VIIa improves clot formation but not fibrolytic potential in patients with cirrhosis and during liver transplantation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lisman, T; Leebeek, FWG; Meijer, K; Van Der Meer, J; Nieuwenhuis, HK; De Groot, PG

    2002-01-01

    Cirrhosis is associated with a bleeding tendency, which is particularly pronounced during orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). A novel approach to treating the bleeding diathesis of patients with cirrhosis is administration of recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa). This study examined whether the effi

  19. Suboptimal identification of patient-specific risk factors for poor wound healing can be improved by simple interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Lauren S; Luck, Joshua E; Atherton, Rachel R

    2017-02-01

    Poor wound healing is an important surgical complication. At-risk wounds must be identified early and monitored appropriately. Wound surveillance is frequently inadequate, leading to increased rates of surgical site infections (SSIs). Although the literature demonstrates that risk factor identification reduces SSI rates, no studies have focused on wound management at a junior level. Our study assesses documentation rates of patient-specific risk factors for poor wound healing at a large district general hospital in the UK. It critically evaluates the efficacy of interventions designed to promote surveillance of high-risk wounds. We conducted a full-cycle clinical audit examining medical records of patients undergoing elective surgery over 5 days. Interventions included education of the multidisciplinary team and addition of a Wound Healing Risk Assessment (WHRA) checklist to surgical admissions booklets. This checklist provided a simple stratification tool for at-risk wounds and recommendations for escalation. Prior to interventions, the documentation of patient-specific risk factors ranged from 0·0% to 91·7% (mean 42·6%). Following interventions, this increased to 86·4-95·5% (mean 92·5%), a statistically significant increase of 117·1% (P wound healing is inadequate. We have shown the benefit of introducing interventions to increase risk factor awareness. © 2016 Medicalhelplines.com Inc and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. THE INFLUENCE OF AN IMPROVED PRESERVATION SOLUTION ON PROGNOSTIC FACTORS FOR GRAFT-SURVIVAL IN PEDIATRIC LIVER-TRANSPLANTATION

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    PEETERS, PMJG; TENVERGERT, EM; PISARSKI, S; BIJLEVELD, CMA; BLEICHRODT, RP; SLOOFF, MJH

    1992-01-01

    We investigated the influence of Eurocollins (EC) and University of Wisconson solution (UW) on prognostic factors for graft survival after pediatric liver transplantation. The 1-year graft survival was studied for 30 patients in which 38 transplantations were performed between 1982 and 1988. We pres

  1. Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor Cell-Based Delivery Prevents Synaptic Impairment and Improves Memory in Mouse Models of Alzheimer's Disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garcia, Pierre; Youssef, Ihsen; Utvik, Jo K.; Florent-Bechard, Sabrina; Barthelemy, Vanassa; Malaplate-Armand, Catherine; Kriem, Badreddine; Stenger, Christophe; Koziel, Violette; Olivier, Jean-Luc; Escanye, Marie-Christine; Hanse, Marine; Allouche, Ahmad; Desbene, Cedric; Yen, Frances T.; Bjerkvig, Rolf; Oster, Thierry; Niclou, Simone P.; Pillot, Thierry

    2010-01-01

    The development of novel therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer's disease (AD) represents one of the biggest unmet medical needs today. Application of neurotrophic factors able to modulate neuronal survival and synaptic connectivity is a promising therapeutic approach for AD. We aimed to determine whe

  2. Uncertainty evaluation of EnPIs in industrial applications as a key factor in setting improvement actions

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Emilia, G.; Di Gasbarro, D.; Gaspari, A.; Natale, E.

    2015-11-01

    A methodology is proposed assuming high-level Energy Performance Indicators (EnPIs) uncertainty as quantitative indicator of the evolution of an Energy Management System (EMS). Motivations leading to the selection of the EnPIs, uncertainty evaluation techniques and criteria supporting decision-making are discussed, in order to plan and pursue reliable measures for energy performance improvement. In this paper, problems, priorities, operative possibilities and reachable improvement limits are examined, starting from the measurement uncertainty assessment. Two different industrial cases are analysed with reference to the following aspects: absence/presence of energy management policy and action plans; responsibility level for the energy issues; employees’ training and motivation in respect of the energy problems; absence/presence of adequate infrastructures for monitoring and sharing of energy information; level of standardization and integration of methods and procedures linked to the energy activities; economic and financial resources for the improvement of energy efficiency. A critic and comparative analysis of the obtained results is realized. The methodology, experimentally validated, allows developing useful considerations for effective, realistic and economically feasible improvement plans, depending on the specific situation. Recursive application of the methodology allows getting reliable and resolved assessment of the EMS status, also in dynamic industrial contexts.

  3. Food Safety Instruction Improves Knowledge and Behavior Risk and Protection Factors for Foodborne Illnesses in Pregnant Populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendall, Patricia; Scharff, Robert; Baker, Susan; LeJeune, Jeffrey; Sofos, John; Medeiros, Lydia

    2017-08-01

    Objective This study compared knowledge and food-handling behavior after pathogen-specific (experimental treatment) versus basic food safety instruction (active control) presented during nutrition education classes for low-income English- and Spanish-language pregnant women. Methods Subjects (n = 550) were randomly assigned to treatment groups in two different locations in the United States. Food safety instruction was part of an 8-lesson curriculum. Food safety knowledge and behavior were measured pre/post intervention. Descriptive data were analyzed by Chi-Square or ANOVA; changes after intervention were analyzed by regression analysis. Results Knowledge improved after intervention in the pathogen-specific treatment group compared to active control, especially among Spanish-language women. Behavior change after intervention for the pathogen-specific treatment group improved for thermometer usage, refrigeration and consumption of foods at high risk for safety; however, all other improvements in behavior were accounted for by intervention regardless of treatment group. As expected, higher pre-instruction behavioral competency limited potential gain in behavior post-instruction due to a ceiling effect. This effect was more dominant among English-language women. Improvements were also linked to formal education completed, a partner at home, and other children in the home. Conclusions for Practice This study demonstrated that pathogen-specific food safety instruction leads to enhance knowledge and food handling behaviors that may improve the public health of pregnant women and their unborn children, especially among Spanish-language women. More importantly, food safety instruction, even at the most basic level, benefited pregnant women's food safety knowledge and food-handling behavior after intervention.

  4. Improvement and safety assessment of NNPPS on Human and organisational factors; Programas de evaluacion y mejora de la seguridad de las CC.NN. en organizacion y factores humanos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Almeida, P.; Barrientos, M.; Cal, C. de la; Fernandez, B.; Garcia, A.; Gil, B.; Gonzalez, F.; Gonzalez, J.; Ibanez, M.; Perez, O.

    2002-07-01

    The periodic Safety Review process, associated to the renewal of the Operating Permits, includes the design and implementation of a safety assessment and improvement programme on Human and Organisational Factors, in the Spanish Nuclear power plants. Nowadays, the plants have already completed the preliminary design of their programmes (procedures, responsibilities, resources, projects, etc.) and are working on them to become fully operational. A CSN-UNESA working group has been created to facilitate and make more efficient their design and implementation. (Author)

  5. Prevalence of self-reported diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and associated risk factors in a national survey in the US population: SHIELD (Study to Help Improve Early evaluation and management of risk factors Leading to Diabetes)

    OpenAIRE

    Reed Michael L; Lewis Sandra J; Green Andrew J; Gavin James R; Clark Nathaniel G; Bazata Debbra D; Bays Harold E; Stewart Walter; Chapman Richard H; Fox Kathleen M; Grandy Susan

    2007-01-01

    Abstract Background Studies derived from continuous national surveys have shown that the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes mellitus in the US is increasing. This study estimated the prevalence in 2004 of self-reported diagnosis of diabetes and other conditions in a community-based population, using data from the Study to Help Improve Early evaluation and management of risk factors Leading to Diabetes (SHIELD). Methods The initial screening questionnaire was mailed in 2004 to a stratified rando...

  6. Exercise-induced improvement in endothelial dysfunction is not mediated by changes in CV risk factors: pooled analysis of diverse patient populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Daniel J; Walsh, Jennifer H; Maiorana, Andrew; Best, Matthew J; Taylor, Roger R; O'Driscoll, J Gerard

    2003-12-01

    We have pooled data from a series of our exercise training studies undertaken in groups with a broad range of vascular (dys) function to the examine the hypothesis that exercise-induced improvements in the conduit and/or resistance vessel function are related to improvements in risk factors for cardiovascular (CV) disease. Endothelium-dependent and -independent conduit vessel function were assessed by using wall tracking of high-resolution ultrasound images of the brachial artery response to flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and glyceryl trinitrate. Resistance vessel function was assessed using intrabrachial administration of acetylcholine (ACh), sodium nitroprusside, and NG-monomethyl-l-arginine. Randomized cross-over studies of 8-wk exercise training were undertaken in untreated hypercholesterolemic (n = 11), treated hypercholesterolemic (n = 11), coronary artery disease (n = 10), chronic heart failure (n = 12), Type 2 diabetic (n = 15), and healthy control subjects (n = 16). Exercise training did not significantly alter plasma lipids, blood pressure, blood glucose, waist-to-hip ratio, or body mass index values, despite significant improvement in both FMD and ACh responses. There were no correlations between changes in any risk factor variables and indexes of either resistance or conduit vessel function. We conclude that, in these subjects with antecedent vascular dysfunction, the beneficial effects of relatively short-term exercise training on vascular function are not solely mediated by the effects of exercise on CV risk factors.

  7. Note: Measuring capacitance and inductance of a helical resonator and improving its quality factor by mutual inductance alteration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panja, S; De, S; Yadav, S; Sen Gupta, A

    2015-05-01

    Narrow bandwidth and high voltage radio frequency (RF) is an essential requirement for stable confinement of ions within a RF trap and helical resonators are commonly used for that purpose. Effective capacitance and inductance of a helical resonator are estimated by measuring resonant frequencies for different external loads. Load capacitance of an ion trap can be estimated from this method and a resonator can be constructed for desired resonant frequency. We demonstrate a very simple method to achieve higher Q-factor of a resonator by optimizing mutual separation between the primary antenna and helical coil. We also formulate a set of analytical equations for calculating overall inductance, resistance, and Q-factor of a loaded helical resonator.

  8. Improving nursing students research knowledge through participation in a study about nutrition, its associated factors and assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Westergren, Albert; Edfors, Ellinor; Hedin, Gita; Hagell, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Aims: The aims of this study were threefold: 1) to explore nursing students perceptions of knowledge development after participating in an actual research project; 2) to explore undernutrition and its relationship to other clinical factors; 3) to explore the user-friendliness of the Minimal Eating Observation and Nutrition Form (MEONF-II) in relation to dependency in Activities of Daily Living (ADL). Methods: A pilot study (Study 1, S1) was conducted in October 2010, including 281 patients. A...

  9. Factors associated with sustainability of 2 quality improvement programs after achieving early implementation success. A qualitative case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ament, Stephanie M C; Gillissen, Freek; Moser, Albine; Maessen, José M C; Dirksen, Carmen D; von Meyenfeldt, Maarten F; van der Weijden, Trudy

    2017-04-20

    Sustainability of innovations is a relatively new concept in health care research and has become an issue of growing interest. The current study explored factors related to the sustainability of 2 multidisciplinary hospital-based programs 3 to 6 years after achieving early implementation success. An exploratory qualitative study was conducted into 2 implementation cases, an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery program for colorectal surgery and a short-stay program for breast cancer surgery. Semistructured interviews were held with key persons involved in the care process in 14 hospitals from both cases minimally 3 years after the implementation, between March 2012 and May 2013. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research was used to direct the development of the interview guide, during data collection and during analysis. A directed content analysis was performed. A total of 21 interviews with 26 individuals were held, 18 regarding the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery case and 8 regarding the short-stay program case. Respondents mentioned the following factors associated with sustainability of the programs: modification and adaptability of the program, cost-effectiveness, institutionalization into existing systems, short communication lines within the multidisciplinary team, an innovative culture, benefits for patients, cosmopolitanism, the existence of external policies and incentives, trust and belief in the program, and spread of the program to other settings. Two factors are not covered by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, ie, modification of the program over the years and spread of the program to other contexts. The factors associated with sustainability put forward in both cases were largely the same. Leadership and the implementation project were not mentioned as having influenced the long-term sustainability of the benefits achieved. Sustainability of the innovations is influenced by determinants stemming from all ecological

  10. Analyzing Factors to Improve Service Quality of Local Specialties Restaurants: A Comparison with Fast Food Restaurants in Southern Vietnam

    OpenAIRE

    Lai Wang Wang; Thanh Tuyen Tran

    2014-01-01

    The top fast food restaurant brands like KFC and MacDonald?s have gone global and demonstrated their successful business strategies through providing quick-service and convenience for customers. Meanwhile, local specialty food has recently emerged as a phenomenon attracting customers? attention on traditional value of ethnic food culture. The purpose of this study is to conduct a regional survey in Vietnamese restaurant companies to identify some key factors that make customers interested in ...

  11. Plant nuclear factor Y (NF-Y) B subunits confer drought tolerance and lead to improved corn yields on water-limited acres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Donald E; Repetti, Peter P; Adams, Tom R; Creelman, Robert A; Wu, Jingrui; Warner, David C; Anstrom, Don C; Bensen, Robert J; Castiglioni, Paolo P; Donnarummo, Meghan G; Hinchey, Brendan S; Kumimoto, Roderick W; Maszle, Don R; Canales, Roger D; Krolikowski, Katherine A; Dotson, Stanton B; Gutterson, Neal; Ratcliffe, Oliver J; Heard, Jacqueline E

    2007-10-16

    Commercially improved crop performance under drought conditions has been challenging because of the complexity of the trait and the multitude of factors that influence yield. Here we report the results of a functional genomics approach that identified a transcription factor from the nuclear factor Y (NF-Y) family, AtNF-YB1, which acts through a previously undescribed mechanism to confer improved performance in Arabidopsis under drought conditions. An orthologous maize transcription factor, ZmNF-YB2, is shown to have an equivalent activity. Under water-limited conditions, transgenic maize plants with increased ZmNF-YB2 expression show tolerance to drought based on the responses of a number of stress-related parameters, including chlorophyll content, stomatal conductance, leaf temperature, reduced wilting, and maintenance of photosynthesis. These stress adaptations contribute to a grain yield advantage to maize under water-limited environments. The application of this technology has the potential to significantly impact maize production systems that experience drought.

  12. SEIPS 2.0: a human factors framework for studying and improving the work of healthcare professionals and patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holden, Richard J; Carayon, Pascale; Gurses, Ayse P; Hoonakker, Peter; Hundt, Ann Schoofs; Ozok, A Ant; Rivera-Rodriguez, A Joy

    2013-01-01

    Healthcare practitioners, patient safety leaders, educators and researchers increasingly recognise the value of human factors/ergonomics and make use of the discipline's person-centred models of sociotechnical systems. This paper first reviews one of the most widely used healthcare human factors systems models, the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) model, and then introduces an extended model, 'SEIPS 2.0'. SEIPS 2.0 incorporates three novel concepts into the original model: configuration, engagement and adaptation. The concept of configuration highlights the dynamic, hierarchical and interactive properties of sociotechnical systems, making it possible to depict how health-related performance is shaped at 'a moment in time'. Engagement conveys that various individuals and teams can perform health-related activities separately and collaboratively. Engaged individuals often include patients, family caregivers and other non-professionals. Adaptation is introduced as a feedback mechanism that explains how dynamic systems evolve in planned and unplanned ways. Key implications and future directions for human factors research in healthcare are discussed.

  13. Study on correlations of modal frequencies and environmental factors for a suspension bridge based on improved neural networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    By using of long-term monitoring data of Runyang Suspension Bridge,the improved back-propagation neural networks (BPNNs) are formulated for modeling the correlations between modal frequencies and environmental conditions including wind,temperature and vehicle load.Then,with the correlation models the environmental effects on modal frequencies are quantified and the abnormal changes of measured frequencies are detected by means of the hypothesis tests.Analysis results reveal that BPNN-based correlation models improved by both early stopping and Bayesian regularization techniques exhibit excellent generalization capability.And the developed correlation models can effectively reduce the environmental variability in modal frequencies.The t-test method provides a good capability to detect the damage-induced 0.16% and 0.12% abnormal changes of the 5th and 6th modal frequencies,respectively.Hence,the proposed method is suitable for real-time monitoring of suspension bridge conditions.

  14. Immunobiotic Lactobacillus jensenii as immune-health promoting factor to improve growth performance and productivity in post-weaning pigs

    OpenAIRE

    Suda, Yoshihito; Villena, Julio Cesar; Takahashi, Yu; Hosoya, Shoichi; Tomosada, Yohsuke; Tsukida, Kohichiro; Shimazu, Tomoyuki; Aso, Hisashi; Tohno, Masanori; Ishida, Mitsuharu; Makino, Seiya; Ikegami, Shuji; Kitazawa, Haruki

    2015-01-01

    Background: Immunoregulatory probiotics (immunobiotics) have been proposed to improve piglets? immune system to avoid intestinal infections and reduce unproductive inflammation after weaning. Previously, it was demonstrated that Lactobacillus jensenii TL2937 (LjTL2937) attenuated the inflammatory response triggered by activation of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) in porcine intestinal epithelial (PIE) cells and antigen presenting cells (APCs) from porcine Peyer?s patches (PP). Objectiv...

  15. Factors affecting domestic water consumption in rural households upon access to improved water supply: insights from the Wei River Basin, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Liangxin; Liu, Guobin; Wang, Fei; Geissen, Violette; Ritsema, Coen J

    2013-01-01

    Comprehensively understanding water consumption behavior is necessary to design efficient and effective water use strategies. Despite global efforts to identify the factors that affect domestic water consumption, those related to domestic water use in rural regions have not been sufficiently studied, particularly in villages that have gained access to improved water supply. To address this gap, we investigated 247 households in eight villages in the Wei River Basin where three types of improved water supply systems are implemented. Results show that domestic water consumption in liters per capita per day was significantly correlated with water supply pattern and vegetable garden area, and significantly negatively correlated with family size and age of household head. Traditional hygiene habits, use of water appliances, and preference for vegetable gardening remain dominant behaviors in the villages with access to improved water supply. Future studies on rural domestic water consumption should pay more attention to user lifestyles (water appliance usage habits, outdoor water use) and cultural backgrounds (age, education).

  16. Paracrine Factors from Irradiated Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Improve Skin Regeneration and Angiogenesis in a Porcine Burn Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hacker, Stefan; Mittermayr, Rainer; Nickl, Stefanie; Haider, Thomas; Lebherz-Eichinger, Diana; Beer, Lucian; Mitterbauer, Andreas; Leiss, Harald; Zimmermann, Matthias; Schweiger, Thomas; Keibl, Claudia; Hofbauer, Helmut; Gabriel, Christian; Pavone-Gyöngyösi, Mariann; Redl, Heinz; Tschachler, Erwin; Mildner, Michael; Ankersmit, Hendrik Jan

    2016-04-29

    Burn wounds pose a serious threat to patients and often require surgical treatment. Skin grafting aims to achieve wound closure but requires a well-vascularized wound bed. The secretome of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) has been shown to improve wound healing and angiogenesis. We hypothesized that topical application of the PBMC secretome would improve the quality of regenerating skin, increase angiogenesis, and reduce scar formation after burn injury and skin grafting in a porcine model. Full-thickness burn injuries were created on the back of female pigs. Necrotic areas were excised and the wounds were covered with split-thickness mesh skin grafts. Wounds were treated repeatedly with either the secretome of cultured PBMCs (Sec(PBMC)), apoptotic PBMCs (Apo-Sec(PBMC)), or controls. The wounds treated with Apo-Sec(PBMC) had an increased epidermal thickness, higher number of rete ridges, and more advanced epidermal differentiation than controls. The samples treated with Apo-Sec(PBMC) had a two-fold increase in CD31+ cells, indicating more angiogenesis. These data suggest that the repeated application of Apo-Sec(PBMC) significantly improves epidermal thickness, angiogenesis, and skin quality in a porcine model of burn injury and skin grafting.

  17. Study of Urban Energy Performance Assessment and Its Influencing Factors Based on Improved Stochastic Frontier Analysis: A Case Study of Provincial Capitals in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lei Wang

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available To improve energy-use sustainability in cities, we proposed a set of urban energy performance assessment indicators and influencing factors based on existing theory and literature. An urban energy performance assessment and influencing factor model was also constructed by the improved stochastic frontier analysis method, and panel data from provincial capitals in China from 2004 to 2013 were considered as an example to carry out an empirical study. Chosen from both endogenous and exogenous perspectives, the urban energy performance assessment indicators and influencing factors take into consideration the capital, labor, energy, urban economic output, urbanization level, population, area, urban climate, and travel selection. Because it considers both random errors and the inefficiency levels of urban productions, the urban energy performance assessment and influencing factor model could reduce the errors caused by two-stage performance assessment and factor analysis, quantify the effects of assessment indicators and influencing factors on urban energy performance, and reflect the actual performance of different cities. Empirical results show that the urban energy performance of provincial capitals in China has been increasing. Chinese provincial capitals also have great potential for energy saving. It was necessary to include energy input as an assessment indicator when evaluating urban energy performance. Population density and urban energy performance showed a negative correlation, but the urbanization rate, temperature index, and household car ownership were positively related to urban energy performance. The urban energy performance of Chinese provincial capitals gradually decreased from east to west. Based on these results, several policy suggestions on urban energy performance development are proposed.

  18. Improvement of acetic acid tolerance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae using a zinc-finger-based artificial transcription factor and identification of novel genes involved in acetic acid tolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Cui; Wei, Xiaowen; Sun, Cuihuan; Zhang, Fei; Xu, Jianren; Zhao, Xinqing; Bai, Fengwu

    2015-03-01

    Acetic acid is present in cellulosic hydrolysate as a potent inhibitor, and the superior acetic acid tolerance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae ensures good cell viability and efficient ethanol production when cellulosic raw materials are used as substrates. In this study, a mutant strain of S. cerevisiae ATCC4126 (Sc4126-M01) with improved acetic acid tolerance was obtained through screening strains transformed with an artificial zinc finger protein transcription factor (ZFP-TF) library. Further analysis indicated that improved acetic acid tolerance was associated with improved catalase (CAT) activity. The ZFP coding sequence associated with the improved phenotype was identified, and real-time RT-PCR analysis revealed that three of the possible genes involved in the enhanced acetic acid tolerance regulated by this ZFP-TF, namely YFL040W, QDR3, and IKS1, showed decreased transcription levels in Sc4126-M01 in the presence of acetic acid, compared to those in the control strain. Sc4126-M01 mutants having QDR3 and IKS1 deletion (ΔQDR3 and ΔIKS1) exhibited higher acetic acid tolerance than the wild-type strain under acetic acid treatment. Glucose consumption rate and ethanol productivity in the presence of 5 g/L acetic acid were improved in the ΔQDR3 mutant compared to the wild-type strain. Our studies demonstrated that the synthetic ZFP-TF library can be used to improve acetic acid tolerance of S. cerevisiae and that the employment of an artificial transcription factor can facilitate the exploration of novel functional genes involved in stress tolerance of S. cerevisiae.

  19. Increasing the industrial potential of a region as a factor of improving the region’s competitiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lidiya Viktorovna Shamray

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Objective to determine the factors of increasing the region competitiveness by defining the industrial potential of its enterprises. Methods in the research the systemic structural functional situational economic analysis was widely used as well as modelling of the economic entities functioning. The main modeling method used in this work is the model of breakeven point widely known and tested in many enterprises. The dependence proposed by the author is of analytical character. Results the article considers different approaches to the definition of competitiveness the effect of the factors is described. The industrial potential of the enterprises is presented as one of the factors of regional competitiveness. The difference is described between the competitive advantage in commercial and production activities. The author suggests a methodology allowing to evaluate the competitiveness of industrial enterprises through the performance of production capacity the possibility of making managerial decisions based on the results of its application the results of the model testing are present. The possibility of applying the model at the regional level is shown. Scientific novelty the article presents the authorrsquos method allowing to calculate the potential growth of the enterprises competitiveness using the output capacities as the difference between the maximum and actual values of capacity. Practical significance the use of models in the practice of the company allows to evaluate the enterprise competitiveness identifying the marginal productivity of the equipment. Once it has been reached the questions arise how long the company will remain competitive in achieving 100 capacity utilization selection of areas of extensive growth due to the fact that the limits of intensive growth have been achieved. Testing of the model was carried out at the Volgograd baking enterprises it showed a high accuracy of the calculation the deviation of calculated

  20. Human recombinant factor VIIa may improve heat intolerance in mice by attenuating hypothalamic neuronal apoptosis and damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Chuan-Chih; Chen, Sheng-Hsien; Lin, Cheng-Hsien; Yung, Ming-Chi

    2014-10-01

    Intolerance to heat exposure is believed to be associated with hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis impairment [reflected by decreases in blood concentrations of both adrenocorticotrophic-hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone]. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of human recombinant factor VIIa (rfVIIa) on heat intolerance, HPA axis impairment, and hypothalamic inflammation, ischemic and oxidative damage, and apoptosis in mice under heat stress. Immediately after heat stress (41.2 °C for 1 h), mice were treated with vehicle (1 mL/kg of body weight) or rfVIIa (65-270 µg/kg of body weight) and then returned to room temperature (26 °C). Mice still alive on day 4 of heat exposure were considered survivors. Cellular ischemia markers (e.g., glutamate, lactate-to-pyruvate ratio), oxidative damage markers (e.g., nitric oxide metabolite, hydroxyl radials), and pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g., interleukin-6, interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α) in hypothalamus were determined. In addition, blood concentrations of both ACTH and corticosterone were measured. Hypothalamic cell damage was assessed by determing the neuronal damage scores, whereas the hypothalamic cell apoptosis was determined by assessing the numbers of cells stained with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated αUTP nick-end labeling, caspase-3-positive cells, and platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecula-1-positive cells in hypothalamus. Compared with vehicle-treated heated mice, rfVIIa-treated heated mice had significantly higher fractional survival (8/10 vs 1/10), lesser thermoregulatory deficit (34.1 vs 24.8 °C), lesser extents of ischemic, oxidative, and inflammatory markers in hypothalamus, lesser neuronal damage scores and apoptosis in hypothalamus, and lesser HPA axis impairment. Human recombinant factor VIIa appears to exert a protective effect against heatstroke by attenuating hypothalamic cell apoptosis (due to ischemic, inflammatory, and oxidative damage

  1. Absence of glia maturation factor protects dopaminergic neurons and improves motor behavior in mouse model of Parkinsonism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Mohammad Moshahid; Zaheer, Smita; Ramasamy, Thangavel; Patel, Margi; Kempuraj, Duraisamy; Zaheer, Asgar

    2015-01-01

    Previously, we have shown that aberrant expression of glia maturation factor (GMF), a proinflammatory protein, is associated with the neuropathological conditions underlying diseases suggesting an important role for GMF in neurodegeneration. In the present study, we demonstrate that absence of GMF suppresses dopaminergic (DA) neuron loss, glial activation, and expression of proinflammatory mediators in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SN) and striatum (STR) of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) treated mice. Dopaminergic neuron numbers in the SN and fiber densities in the STR were reduced in wild type (Wt) mice when compared with GMF-deficient (GMF-KO) mice after MPTP treatment. We compared the motor abnormalities caused by MPTP treatment in Wt and GMF-KO mice as measured by Rota rod and grip strength test. Results show that the deficits in motor coordination and decrease in dopamine and its metabolite content were protected significantly in GMF-KO mice after MPTP treatment when compared with control Wt mice under identical experimental conditions. These findings were further supported by the immunohistochemical analysis that showed reduced glial activation in the SN of MPTP-treated GMF-KO mice. Similarly, in MPTP-treated GMF-KO mice, production of inflammatory tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukine-1 beta (IL-1β), granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and the chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) MCP-1 was suppressed, findings consistent with a role for GMF in MPTP neurotoxicity. In conclusion, present investigation provides the first evidence that deficiency of GMF protects the DA neuron loss and reduces the inflammatory load following MPTP administration in mice. Thus depletion of endogenous GMF represents an effective and selective strategy to slow down the MPTP-induced neurodegeneration. PMID:25754447

  2. Addition of Epidermal Growth Factor Improves the Rate of Sulfur Mustard Wound Healing in an In Vitro Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-03-26

    diabetic foot ulcers .41 A phase IV, postmarketing surveillance study of REGEN-D 150 confirmed faster healing of diabetic foot ulcers and an increase in...untreated control corneas . However, lower doses of KGF had no effect, nor did the 100 ng/mL of KGF dose, after the day 2 time point. This study also...recombinant human epidermal growth factor (REGEN-DTM 150) in healing diabetic foot ulcers . Wounds. 2006;18(7):186–96. 42. Mohan VK. Recombinant human

  3. Improving the robustness of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy based sensors by Bayesian Non-negative Matrix Factorization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2014-01-01

    Due to applications in areas such as diagnostics and environmental safety, detection of molecules at very low concentrations has attracted recent attention. A powerful tool for this is Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) where substrates form localized areas of electromagnetic “hot spots...... a Bayesian Non-negative Matrix Factorization (NMF) approach to identify locations of target molecules. The proposed method is able to successfully analyze the spectra and extract the target spectrum. A visualization of the loadings of the basis vector is created and the results show a clear SNR enhancement...

  4. The Improvement of HR-management as a Factor of Increasing of Companies’ Competitiveness in the Labour Market

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buyar Kateryna

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available In my article were researched market economy mechanisms for increasing the competitiveness of companies in the labour market. The paper target was to prove the need to use economic and administrative mechanisms to improve a level of competitiveness of the company in the labour market. Such researches become more important today, because after my empirical analyse of literature I can only conclude that not a lot of researchers studied in this field of science and the most theories suggest that only employees must be competitive on the labour market. But as a result of my research I can deny this one-sided view and can confirm that nowadays not just employees, but also employers compete with each other in the labour market. So, successful organizations must pay big attention to the processes of HR-management, which must be improved. But not enough attention is paid to the system of management and its impact on workers. It is important to form close links between existing system management with inherent for company effective economic management mechanisms in the companies with the level of competitiveness of the company in the labour market. So the results of my research showed that companies must develop economic and administrative mechanisms to improve their competitiveness in the labour market. These mechanisms are a set of applied styles and methods of management that have a direct impact on the loyalty of workers and consequently, enhance its competitiveness both inside the company and in external labour markets. So I can conclude that the paper target was achieved.

  5. Contributing factors in the improvement of cellulosic H2 production in Clostridium thermocellum/Thermoanaerobacterium co-cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Mingyu; Zhao, Qi; Li, Ling; Niu, Kangle; Li, Yi; Wang, Fangzhong; Jiang, Baojie; Liu, Kuimei; Jiang, Yi; Fang, Xu

    2016-10-01

    Lignocellulosic biohydrogen is a promising renewable energy source that could be a potential alternative to the unsustainable fossil fuel-based energy. Biohydrogen production could be performed by Clostridium thermocellum that is the fastest known cellulose-degrading bacterium. Previous investigations have shown that the co-culture of C. thermocellum JN4 and a non-cellulolytic bacterium Thermoanaerobacterium thermosaccharolyticum GD17 produces more hydrogen than the C. thermocellum JN4 mono-culture, but the mechanism of this improvement is unknown. In this work, we carried out genomic and evolutionary analysis of hydrogenase-coding genes in C. thermocellum and T. thermosaccharolyticum, identifying one Ech-type [NiFe] hydrogenase complex in each species, and, respectively, five and four monomeric or multimeric [FeFe] hydrogenases in the two species. Further transcriptional analysis showed hydrogenase-coding genes in C. thermocellum are regulated by carbon sources, while hydrogenase-coding genes in T. thermosaccharolyticum are not. However, comparison between transcriptional abundance of hydrogenase-coding genes in mono- and co-cultures showed the co-culturing condition leads to transcriptional changes of hydrogenase-coding genes in T. thermosaccharolyticum but not C. thermocellum. Further metabolic analysis showed T. thermosaccharolyticum produces H2 at a rate 4-12-fold higher than C. thermocellum. These findings lead to the suggestion that the improvement of H2 production in the co-culture over mono-culture should be attributed to changes in T. thermosaccharolyticum but not C. thermocellum. Further suggestions can be made that C. thermocellum and T. thermosaccharolyticum perform highly specialized tasks in the co-culture, and optimization of the co-culture for more lignocellulosic biohydrogen production should be focused on the improvement of the non-cellulolytic bacterium.

  6. Elevated plasma levels of vascular endothelial growth factor and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 decrease during improvement of psoriasis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Hans Jørgen; Christensen, Ib Jarle; Svendsen, M N;

    2002-01-01

    OBJECTIVE AND DESIGN: An evaluation of angiogenesis related molecules during open treatment of psoriasis. MATERIALS AND SUBJECTS: Plasma samples and skin biopsies from 16 patients with psoriasis and plasma samples from 13 healthy controls. TREATMENT: Ranitidine 300 mg orally twice daily for 6 mon...... improvement of the disease suggest that the two molecules may play a role in pathogenesis of psoriasis.......OBJECTIVE AND DESIGN: An evaluation of angiogenesis related molecules during open treatment of psoriasis. MATERIALS AND SUBJECTS: Plasma samples and skin biopsies from 16 patients with psoriasis and plasma samples from 13 healthy controls. TREATMENT: Ranitidine 300 mg orally twice daily for 6...

  7. Improving the System of Currency Regulation and Currency Control as a Factor of the Economy Stabilization and Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonina P. Manushina

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In this article author discusses various types of violations of currency legislation. Authors analyzed causes of their commission of the Customs Union. On the basis of the study authors pointed out the shortcomings of legislation, proposed some ways of improving the Russian legislation and measures to combat violations in the monetary sphere, but also suggested that the institution of currency regulation and currency control, must contain instruments to stimulate the state's economic interests and the interests of participants foreign economic activity.

  8. Health locus of control as a psychological factor in improving treatment results in adolescents with primary hypertension and diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Anna Biernacka

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Background The belief that an individual can influence and control the course of events is a factor which enables a person to overcome difficulties. Some studies, however, have questioned the universality of this statement. This study aims to investigate and explore the relationship between the self-health locus of control and the effectiveness of cooperation in the treatment process in adolescents with chronic diseases. Participants and procedure One hundred and sixty-four adolescent patients suffering from chronic diseases (61 girls and 103 boys ranging from 11 to 17 years old participated in the study. Eighty-seven had primary hypertension and 77 had type 1 diabetes. To investigate their sense of health control we used the Health Locus of Control Scale (HLC. Cooperation in the treatment process was assessed using a 4-item scale completed by a doctor. Results Better results in the treatment were positively correlated with a better internal health locus of control. A negative correlation between the chance health locus of control and results in the treatment was found. Differences in the health locus of control proved to be dependent on gender, age and different clinical groups. Conclusions Health locus of control in patients with chronic diseases seems to be a crucial factor in determining the results of the treatment process in such patients.

  9. Growth factor-enriched autologous plasma improves wound healing after surgical debridement in odontogenic necrotizing fasciitis: a case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martinez-Fong Daniel

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Odontogenic necrotizing fasciitis of the neck is a fulminant infection of odontogenic origin that quickly spreads along the fascial planes and results in necrosis of the affected tissues. It is usually polymicrobial, occurs frequently in immunocompromised patients, and has a high mortality rate. Case presentation A 69-year old Mexican male had a pain in the maxillar right-canine region and a swelling of the submental and submandibular regions. Our examination revealed local pain, tachycardia, hyperthermia (39°C, and the swelling of bilateral submental and submandibular regions, which also were erythematous, hyperthermic, crepitant, and with a positive Godet sign. Mobility and third-degree caries were seen in the right mandibular canine. Bacteriological cultures isolated streptococcus pyogenes and staphylococcus aureus. The histopathological diagnosis was odontogenic necrotizing fasciitis of the submental and submandibular regions. The initial treatment was surgical debridement and the administration of antibiotics. After cultures were negative, the surgical wound was treated with a growth factor-enriched autologous plasma eight times every third day until complete healing occurred. Conclusions The treatment with a growth factor-enriched autologous plasma caused a rapid healing of an extensive surgical wound in a patient with odontogenic necrotizing fasciitis. The benefits were rapid tissue regeneration, an aesthetic and a functional scar, and the avoidance of further surgery and possible complications.

  10. Critical Success Factors to Improve Perception of Information Technology Careers: A Specific Case in a Mexican Higher Education Institution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandra Aldrette-Malacara

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available It is a fact that fashion plays an important role to select a career, new options of careers from engineering are preferred by students instead of traditional options; for example, Mechatronics, Aeronautics, Automotive specializations, Bionics, Biomedical and others are so popular. Every day, new necessities are required in the world and it is necessary to find the way to solve them, for that reason these new majors are good options to students, however traditional areas are important too. Information Technology is not the exception because every enterprise, school, association and organization needs computers with systems that help to solve specific situations or to manage resources. In Mexico, Information Technology careers are been affected for low enrollment of students, of course private universities have suffered more this situation than public schools [1]. In this research work are shown the most important factors that have a real incidence to choose an Information Technology career. The methodology consisted in the design of a survey using seven points Likert´s scale where potential students could express more about their expectative, preferences and required abilities to study these majors. The mentioned survey had three versions and each one was validated through Cronbach’s Alpha. Data collected were analyzed using statistical software SPSS to obtain the critical success factors.

  11. Improved large $N_c$ parametrizations of the $\\gamma^\\ast N \\to \\Delta(1232)$ quadrupole form factors and the Siegert's theorem

    CERN Document Server

    Ramalho, G

    2016-01-01

    The large $N_c$ limit provides relations that can be used to calculate the $\\gamma^\\ast N \\to \\Delta(1232)$ quadrupole form factors at low and intermediate $Q^2$ under the assumption of the pion cloud dominance. There are two limitations in those parametrizations. First, the parametrization of the Coulomb quadrupole form factor underestimate the low $Q^2$ data. Second, when extrapolated for the timelike region, the form factors violate the Siegert's theorem by terms of the order $1/N_c^2$. We propose here corrections to the parametrization of the electric quadrupole form factor, which violate the Siegert's theorem only by terms of the order $1/N_c^4$. Combining the improved large $N_c$ pion cloud parametrizations with the valence quark contributions based on a covariant quark model for the quadrupole transition form factors, we obtain an extrapolation to the timelike region consistent with the Siegert's theorem, and accomplish also a very good description of the data.

  12. Do health checks improve risk factor detection in primary care? Matched cohort study using electronic health records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forster, Alice S.; Burgess, Caroline; Dodhia, Hiten; Fuller, Frances; Miller, Jane; McDermott, Lisa; Gulliford, Martin C.

    2016-01-01

    Background To evaluate the effect of NHS Health Checks on cardiovascular risk factor detection and inequalities. Methods Matched cohort study in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink, including participants who received a health check in England between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2013, together with matched control participants, with linked deprivation scores. Results There were 91 618 eligible participants who received a health check, of whom 75 123 (82%) were matched with 182 245 controls. After the health check, 90% of men and 92% of women had complete data for blood pressure, total cholesterol, smoking and body mass index; a net 51% increase (P hypertension in men only (+5%) (all P hypertension, but smokers may be under-represented. PMID:26350481

  13. Immunogenicity of anti-tumor necrosis factor antibodies-toward improved methods of anti-antibody measurement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aarden, Lucien; Ruuls, Sigrid R; Wolbink, Gertjan

    2008-08-01

    To date, millions of people have been treated with therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (TmAbs) for various indications. It is becoming increasingly clear that TmAbs can be immunogenic, which may reduce efficacy or induce adverse effects. Over the years, the importance of antibody formation has been questioned and sometimes minimized, as few antibody responses to TmAbs (HACA or HAHA) were reported. However, the methods to detect and quantify such antibodies used in the past have been problematic. Only recently, methods have been developed that have adequate sensitivity and are not seriously disturbed by false-positive reactions caused by rheumatoid factors, natural antibodies to Fab or F(ab')2 fragments, or Fc interactions of IgG4. The large number of treated patients, in combination with these new assays, presents a unique opportunity to study the anti-antibody immune response in man, possibly allowing us to manipulate immunogenicity in the future.

  14. Improving substance information in usetox®, part 2: Data for estimating fate and ecosystem exposure factors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saouter, Erwan; Aschberger, Karin; Fantke, Peter

    2017-01-01

    . These regulations require that a chemical risk assessment for humans and the environment is performed before a chemical is placed on the European market. Consequently, additional physicochemical property data and new toxicological end-points are now available for thousands of chemical substances. The aim.......01 and 2.0 is the Estimation Program Interface (EPI SuiteTM ) from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. However, since the development of the original USEtox® substance databases, new chemical regulations have been enforced in Europe such as the REACH and the Plant Protection Products regulations...... of the present study is to explore to which extent the new available data can be used as input for USEtox® - especially for application in Environmental Footprint studies - and to discuss how this would influence the quantification of fate and exposure factors. Initial results show that the choice of data source...

  15. The Improvement of the Accommodation Offer in Vojvodina (Serbia as a Factor of its Competitiveness on the Market

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svetlana Vukosav

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The accommodation offer, particularly hotel industry in Vojvodina is experiencing significant changes today both in quality and in quantity compared to the period 10 years ago. These positive changes and the improvement of the receptive base are a direct consequence of the transition process, ownership transformation and investment in accommodation facilities, which is reflected through the constant increase of foreign tourists, foreign exchange input, as well as market share and competitiveness of certain types of accommodation. Investments in the accommodation offer in Vojvodina are one of the priorities in the Strategy of Tourism Development of Serbia, where a significant increase in the number of accommodation units in the Province is expected.

  16. Under-expression of the Auxin Response Factor Sl-ARF4 improves postharvest behavior of tomato fruits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagar, Maha; Chervin, Christian; Roustant, Jean-Paul; Bouzayen, Mondher; Zouine, Mohamed

    2013-10-01

    Auxin is one of the most prominent phytohormones regulating many aspects of fleshy fruit development including fruit set, fruit size through the control of cell division and cell expansion, and fruit ripening. To shed light on the role of auxin fruit ripening, we have previously shown that Sl-ARF4 is a major player in mediating the auxin control of sugar metabolism in tomato fruit (cv MicroTom). Further extending this study, we show here that down-regulation of Sl-ARF4 in tomato alters some ripening-related fruit quality traits including enhanced fruit density at mature stage, increased firmness, prolonged shelf-life and reduced water (weight) loss at red ripe stage. These findings suggest that Sl-ARF4 plays a role in determining fruit cell wall architecture and thus providing a potential genetic marker for improving post-harvest handling and shelf life of tomato fruits.

  17. A degradable, bioactive, gelatinized alginate hydrogel to improve stem cell/growth factor delivery and facilitate healing after myocardial infarction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Della Rocca, Domenico G; Willenberg, Bradley J; Ferreira, Leonardo F; Wate, Prateek S; Petersen, John W; Handberg, Eileen M; Zheng, Tong; Steindler, Dennis A; Terada, Naohiro; Batich, Christopher D; Byrne, Barry J; Pepine, Carl J

    2012-11-01

    Despite remarkable effectiveness of reperfusion and drug therapies to reduce morbidity and mortality following myocardial infarction (MI), many patients have debilitating symptoms and impaired left ventricular (LV) function highlighting the need for improved post-MI therapies. A promising concept currently under investigation is intramyocardial injection of high-water content, polymeric biomaterial gels (e.g., hydrogels) to modulate myocardial scar formation and LV adverse remodeling. We propose a degradable, bioactive hydrogel that forms a unique microstructure of continuous, parallel capillary-like channels (Capgel). We hypothesize that the innovative architecture and composition of Capgel can serve as a platform for endogenous cell recruitment and drug/cell delivery, therefore facilitating myocardial repair after MI.

  18. 3D Spheroid Culture Enhances the Expression of Antifibrotic Factors in Human Adipose-Derived MSCs and Improves Their Therapeutic Effects on Hepatic Fibrosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuan Zhang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Three-dimensional (3D cell culture has been reported to increase the therapeutic potentials of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs. However, the action mechanisms of 3D MSCs vary greatly and are far from being thoroughly investigated. In this study, we aimed to investigate the therapeutic effects of 3D spheroids of human adipose-derived MSCs for hepatic fibrosis. Our results showed that 3D culture enhanced the expression of antifibrotic factors by MSCs, including insulin growth factor 1 (IGF-1, interleukin-6 (IL-6, and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF. In vitro studies indicated conditioned medium of 3D cultured MSCs protected hepatocytes from cell injury and apoptosis more effectively compared with 2D cultured cells. More importantly, when transplanted into model mice with hepatic fibrosis, 3D spheroids of MSCs were more beneficial in ameliorating hepatic fibrosis and improving liver function than 2D cultured cells. Therefore, the 3D culture strategy improved the therapeutic effects of MSCs and might be promising for treatment of hepatic fibrosis.

  19. Improved measurement of labile proton concentration-weighted chemical exchange rate (kws) with experimental factor-compensated and T1-normalized quantitative chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) MRI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Renhua; Liu, Charng-Ming; Liu, Philip K; Sun, Phillip Zhe

    2012-01-01

    Chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) MRI enables measurement of dilute CEST agents and microenvironment properties such as pH and temperature, holding great promise for in vivo applications. However, because of confounding concomitant RF irradiation and relaxation effects, the CEST-weighted MRI contrast may not fully characterize the underlying CEST phenomenon. We postulated that the accuracy of quantitative CEST MRI could be improved if the experimental factors (labeling efficiency and RF spillover effect) were estimated and taken into account. Specifically, the experimental factor was evaluated as a function of exchange rate and CEST agent concentration ratio, which remained relatively constant for intermediate RF irradiation power levels. Hence, the experimental factors can be calculated based on the reasonably estimated exchange rate and labile proton concentration ratio, which significantly improved quantification. The simulation was confirmed with Creatine phantoms of serially varied concentration titrated to the same pH, whose reverse exchange rate (kws) was found to be linearly correlated with the concentration. In summary, the proposed solution provides simplified yet reasonably accurate quantification of the underlying CEST system, which may help guide the ongoing development of quantitative CEST MRI. PMID:22649044

  20. Affecting Factors and Recent Improvements of the Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI for Remotely Sensing Foliar, Canopy and Ecosystemic Radiation-Use Efficiencies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chao Zhang

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Accurately assessing terrestrial gross primary productivity (GPP is crucial for characterizing the climate-carbon cycle. Remotely sensing the photochemical reflectance index (PRI across vegetation functional types and spatiotemporal scales has received increasing attention for monitoring photosynthetic performance and simulating GPP over the last two decades. The factors confounding PRI variation, especially on long timescales, however, require the improvement of PRI understanding to generalize its use for estimating carbon uptake. In this review, we summarize the most recent publications that have reported the factors affecting PRI variation across diurnal and seasonal scales at foliar, canopy and ecosystemic levels; synthesize the reported correlations between PRI and ecophysiological variables, particularly with radiation-use efficiency (RUE and net carbon uptake; and analyze the improvements in PRI implementation. Long-term variation of PRI could be attributed to changes in the size of constitutive pigment pools instead of xanthophyll de-epoxidation, which controls the facultative short-term changes in PRI. Structural changes at canopy and ecosystemic levels can also affect PRI variation. Our review of the scientific literature on PRI suggests that PRI is a good proxy of photosynthetic efficiency at different spatial and temporal scales. Correcting PRI by decreasing the influence of physical or physiological factors on PRI greatly strengthens the relationships between PRI and RUE and GPP. Combining PRI with solar-induced fluorescence (SIF and optical indices for green biomass offers additional prospects.

  1. An improved SELEX-Seq strategy for characterizing DNA-binding specificity of transcription factor: NF-κB as an example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Guangming; Wang, Tingting; Yang, Yang; Xu, Xinhui; Wang, Jinke

    2013-01-01

    SELEX-Seq is now the optimal high-throughput technique for characterizing DNA-binding specificities of transcription factors. In this study, we introduced an improved EMSA-based SELEX-Seq strategy with several advantages. The improvements of this strategy included: (1) using a FAM-labeled probe to track protein-DNA complex in polyacrylamide gel for rapidly recovering the protein-bound dsDNA without relying on traditional radioactive labeling or ethidium bromide staining; (2) monitoring the specificity of SELEX selection by detecting a positive and negative sequence doped into the input DNAs used in each round with PCR amplification; (3) using nested PCR to ensure the specificity of PCR amplification of the selected DNAs after each round; (4) using the nucleotides added at the 5' end of the nested PCR primers as the split barcode to code DNAs from various rounds for multiplexing sequencing samples. The split barcode minimized selection times and thus greatly simplified the current SELEX-Seq procedure. The reliability of the strategy was demonstrated by performing a successful SELEX-Seq of a well-known transcription factor, NF-κB. Therefore, this study provided a useful SELEX-Seq strategy for characterizing DNA-binding specificities of transcription factors.

  2. A New Approach of Improving Rain Erosion Resistance of Nanocomposite Sol-Gel Coatings by Optimization Process Factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hojjati Najafabadi, Akbar; Shoja Razavi, Reza; Mozaffarinia, Reza; Rahimi, Hamed

    2014-05-01

    Erosion protection nanocomposite sol-gel coatings based on tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) and 3-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxisilane (GPTMS) are prepared and characterized to protect marine structures susceptible to damage caused by liquid impact, e.g., the submarine body. This study focuses on the optimization of compositional and process parameters of transparent hybrid nanocomposite sol-gel coatings resistant to rain erosion by using statistical design of experimental methodology (DoE) based on Taguchi orthogonal design. The impact of compositional and process parameters of the coatings on the erosion protection performance is investigated by five-factor-four-level design methodology. Hybrid coatings were deposited on AA5083 by a dip coating technique. Optimization coatings are analyzed regarding their adhesion (pull-off), flexibility (impact and mandrel bending), hardness (pencil), wear (Taber wear index), and rain erosion resistance (stationary sample erosion test). The surface morphology and roughness were studied by field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The optimization coatings showed excellent flexibility and adhesion to the substrate with smooth nanostructure surface; the RMS surface roughness was 1.85 nm. The evaluation of the result obtained from abrasion shows cohesive and interfacial wear with abrasive and adhesive mechanisms, respectively. Liquid impact results show cohesive failure of the coatings without any sign of delamination.

  3. Vitamin A increases nerve growth factor and retinoic acid receptor beta and improves diabetic neuropathy in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Pedro, Norma; Granados-Soto, Vinicio; Ordoñez, Graciela; Pineda, Benjamin; Rangel-López, Edgar; Salazar-Ramiro, Aleli; Arrieta, Oscar; Sotelo, Julio

    2014-09-01

    All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) promotes the endogenous expression of both nerve growth factor (NGF) and retinoic acid receptor beta (RAR-β). We have previously shown that the administration of ATRA partly reverts the damage induced by diabetic neuropathy (DN). In this investigation, we evaluated the effects of vitamin A, a commercial, inexpensive compound of retinoic acid, on the therapy of DN. A total of 70 rats were randomized into 4 groups. Group A was the control, and groups B, C, and D received a total dose of 60 mg/kg streptozotocin intraperitoneally. When signs of DN developed, groups C and D were treated either with vitamin A (20,000 IU) or with ATRA 25 mg/kg for 60 days. Plasma glucose, contents of NGF, thermal and nociceptive tests, and RAR-β expression were evaluated. All diabetic rats developed neuropathy. The treatment with vitamin A and ATRA reverted similarly the sensorial disturbances, which was associated with increased contents of NGF and RAR-β expression. Our results indicate that the administration of vitamin A has the same therapeutic effect as ATRA on peripheral neuropathy and suggest its potential therapeutic use in patients with diabetes.

  4. Evaluating Internal and External Factors of Chain Store for Improvement in Iran: A Case Study (Etka Chain Stores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Aghaei

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study is to extract main indicators for review the internal and external dimensions of Etka chain stores and after the studying the organizational documentation and with using of the customer reviews, was determined the position of Etka chain stores in attractiveness and capabilities matrix. For any organization in any level, it is important to determine its position compared to competitors in terms of attractiveness and capabilities. Considering now that the "Etka chain stores" are the largest supplier of goods and services in Iran and in order to its mission tries to improve the processes of supply, storage, distribution, sales and after sales services company with an economic approach. According to peripheral changes in different dimensions of economic, political, social and also with the emergence fundamental paradigm in business such as service businesses, penetration of IT in business like E-commerce, the answer to this question is important “Where is the position of Etka chain stores in this industry?”. The data collection method is using the questionnaires. Finally the customer reviews have been analyzed.

  5. Perturbative renormalization factors and O(a^2) corrections for lattice 4-fermion operators with improved fermion/gluon actions

    CERN Document Server

    Constantinou, Martha; Frezzotti, Roberto; Lubicz, Vittorio; Panagopoulos, Haralambos; Skouroupathis, Apostolos; Stylianou, Fotos

    2010-01-01

    In this work we calculate the corrections to the amputated Green's functions of 4-fermion operators, in 1-loop Lattice Perturbation theory. One of the novel aspects of our calculations is that they are carried out to O(a^2) (a: lattice spacing). We employ the Wilson/clover action for massless fermions (also applicable for the twisted mass action in the chiral limit) and a family of Symanzik improved actions for gluons. Our calculations have been carried out in a general covariant gauge. Results have been obtained for several popular choices of values for the Symanzik coefficients. While our Green's function calculations regard any pointlike 4-fermion operators which do not mix with lower dimension ones, we pay particular attention to DF=2 operators, both Parity Conserving and Parity Violating (F: flavour). We compute the perturbative renormalization constants for a complete basis of 4-fermion operators and we study their mixing pattern. For some of the actions considered here, even O(a^0) results did not exis...

  6. Induced Mutations for Improved Lycopene, Total Antioxidant Properties and Other Quality Factors in Wild Tomato (Solanum pimpinellifolium L

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel K. Quartey

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the study was to determine biochemical changes in (5 gamma radiation induced variant lines of wild tomato after mutation induction. Five gamma radiation-induced variant lines of wild tomato (Solanum pimpinellifolium L., selected in the M3 generation following mutagenic treatment of seeds using three doses (150, 300 and 450 Gy, respectively of gamma radiation from a Co-60 gamma source, were analysed for their lycopene content, total antioxidant properties, total and soluble solids as well as pH. Fruits of variant line BV-21 (deep red fruits recorded higher lycopene contents of 146.1 mg/kg on fresh weight basis and 156.7 mg/kg on dry weight basis compared to 136 and 152 mg/kg, respectively for the control. They also recorded higher total antioxidant properties compared to the control. Fruits of variant line BV-40 (yellow fruits recorded higher total solids of 17.9% and the lowest pH value of 4.17 compared to 12.8% and 4.36 for fruits from unirradiated plants. The highest amounts of total soluble solids (7% were contained in fruits harvested from variant lines BV-27 (light red fruits and BV-23 (deep red fruits as against 5.6% for fruits from control plants. The study indicates that wild tomato has immense nutritional properties which can be further improved through mutation breeding.

  7. Overexpression of the poplar NF-YB7 transcription factor confers drought tolerance and improves water-use efficiency in Arabidopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Xiao; Tang, Sha; An, Yi; Zheng, Dong-Chao; Xia, Xin-Li; Yin, Wei-Lun

    2013-11-01

    Water deficit is a serious environmental factor limiting the growth and productivity of plants worldwide. Improvement of drought tolerance and efficient water use are significant strategies to overcome this dilemma. In this study, a drought-responsive transcription factor, nuclear factor Y subunit B 7 (PdNF-YB7), induced by osmotic stress (PEG6000) and abscisic acid, was isolated from fast-growing poplar clone NE-19 [Populus nigra × (Populus deltoides × Populus nigra)]. Ectopic overexpression of PdNF-YB7 (oxPdB7) in Arabidopsis enhanced drought tolerance and whole-plant and instantaneous leaf water-use efficiency (WUE, the ratio of biomass produced to water consumed). Overexpressing lines had an increase in germination rate and root length and decrease in water loss and displayed higher photosynthetic rate, instantaneous leaf WUE, and leaf water potential to exhibit enhanced drought tolerance under water scarcity. Additionally, overexpression of PdNF-YB7 in Arabidopsis improved whole-plant WUE by increasing carbon assimilation and reducing transpiration with water abundance. These drought-tolerant, higher WUE transgenic Arabidopsis had earlier seedling establishment and higher biomass than controls under normal and drought conditions. In contrast, Arabidopsis mutant nf-yb3 was more sensitive to drought stress with lower WUE. However, complementation analysis indicated that complementary lines (nf-yb3/PdB7) had almost the same drought response and WUE as wild-type Col-0. Taken together, these results suggest that PdNF-YB7 positively confers drought tolerance and improves WUE in Arabidopsis; thus it could potentially be used in breeding drought-tolerant plants with increased production even under water deficiency.

  8. Local administration of platelet-derived growth factor B (PDGFB) improves follicular development and ovarian angiogenesis in a rat model of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Pietro, Mariana; Scotti, Leopoldina; Irusta, Griselda; Tesone, Marta; Parborell, Fernanda; Abramovich, Dalhia

    2016-09-15

    Alterations in ovarian angiogenesis are common features in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) patients; the most studied of these alterations is the increase in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production by ovarian cells. Platelet-derived growth factor B (PDGFB) and D (PDGFD) are decreased in follicular fluid of PCOS patients and in the ovaries of a rat model of PCOS. In the present study, we aimed to analyze the effects of local administration of PDGFB on ovarian angiogenesis, follicular development and ovulation in a DHEA-induced PCOS rat model. Ovarian PDGFB administration to PCOS rats partially restored follicular development, decreased the percentage of cysts, increased the percentage of corpora lutea, and decreased the production of anti-Müllerian hormone. In addition, PDGFB administration improved ovarian angiogenesis by reversing the increase in periendothelial cell area and restoring VEGF levels. Our results shed light into the mechanisms that lead to altered ovarian function in PCOS and provide new data for potential therapeutic strategies.

  9. The Heart of New Ulm Project: using community-based cardiometabolic risk factor screenings in a rural population health improvement initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanWormer, Jeffrey J; Johnson, Pamela Jo; Pereira, Raquel F; Boucher, Jackie L; Britt, Heather R; Stephens, Charles W; Thygeson, N Marcus; Graham, Kevin J

    2012-06-01

    Awareness of cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk factors can improve the health of individuals and populations. Community-based risk factor screening programs may be particularly useful for quantifying the burden of cardiometabolic risk in a given population, particularly in underserved areas. This study provided a description of a screening platform and how it has been used to monitor the cardiometabolic risk profile within the broader Heart of New Ulm Project, which is based in a rural Minnesota community. A cross-sectional, descriptive examination of baseline screening data indicated that 45% of the target population participated in the program over 8 months. Overall, 13% of the sample reported a personal history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Among the subset without active cardiometabolic disease, 35% were found to be at high risk for developing cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes over the next 8-10 years. A high prevalence of metabolic syndrome, high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, obesity, and low fruit/vegetable consumption were of particular concern in this community. This article describes the use of screening results to inform the design of intervention programs that target these risk factors at both the community and individual levels. In addition, design considerations for future community-based cardiometabolic risk factor screening programs are discussed, with a focus on balancing program objectives related to health surveillance, research, and the delivery of preventive health care services.

  10. Improved Voltage and Fill Factor by Using Zinc Oxide Thin Film as a Barrier Layer in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Peng; WANG Li-Duo; LI Bin; QIU Yong

    2005-01-01

    @@ A series of dye-sensitized solar cells based on ZnO-modified TiO2 nano-porous films have been prepared. The current-voltage characteristics of the cells show that the ZnO-modification can improve the open-circuit voltage and the fill factor but can decrease the short-circuit current. Dark current and transient photovoltage measurements are used to study the back reaction. It is indicated that the recombination process is suppressed by blocking the hole transporting from the nano-porous TiO2 since the surface of the semiconductor is almost fully covered with ZnO as a barrier layer.

  11. Improving the Estimates of International Space Station (ISS) Induced K-Factor Failure Rates for On-Orbit Replacement Unit (ORU) Supportability Analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Leif F.; Harrington, Sean P.; Omeke, Ojei, II; Schwaab, Douglas G.

    2009-01-01

    This is a case study on revised estimates of induced failure for International Space Station (ISS) on-orbit replacement units (ORUs). We devise a heuristic to leverage operational experience data by aggregating ORU, associated function (vehicle sub -system), and vehicle effective' k-factors using actual failure experience. With this input, we determine a significant failure threshold and minimize the difference between the actual and predicted failure rates. We conclude with a discussion on both qualitative and quantitative improvements the heuristic methods and potential benefits to ISS supportability engineering analysis.

  12. ٍEvaluating Advertizing Effectiveness of Parsian Bank and Identifying the Factors with Most Influence on Its Improvement in the City of Tehran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Rabiee

    2011-09-01

    Nowadays, organizations on one hand try to send effective messages through different media to persuade audience for buying their products and services and informing people about their differences and on the other hand, people are surrounded by different advertising everywhere and every time while, the most important thing in advertising subject is evaluating its effectiveness. In this study an attempt has been made to evaluate Parsian Bank's advertising effectiveness in attracting customers in the city of Tehran on the basis of how its advertising passes AIDA model's steps and also to determine the factors with the most influence on effectiveness improvement. In this study an attempt has been made to evaluate Parsian Bank's advertising effectiveness in attracting customers in the city of Tehran on the basis of how its advertising passes AIDA model's steps and also to determine the factors with the most influence on effectiveness improvement. The study findings which are obtained through descriptive-survey research and by the use of questionnaire indicate that the television and newspaper advertising of Parsian bank has passed the steps of the AIDA model successfully and has been effective. The comparative study of media advertising effectiveness imply that from customers' point of view, television is the most effective media in attracting them and newspaper is the next. In addition, they address the existing honesty and reality of delivered bank messages as the most important factors influencing on advertising effectiveness. Also, they have addressed good and respectful behavior of personnel with customers as the factor with the most influence on their attraction and respectively, have underlined television and newspaper as the media through which, they have the most access to advertising and they spend most of their time for. They highlight television and then, radio as the best quality media and also recommend television and then, newspaper for future advertising

  13. ٍEvaluating Advertizing Effectiveness of Parsian Bank and Identifying the Factors with Most Influence on Its Improvement in the City of Tehran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Rabiee

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays, organizations on one hand try to send effective messages through different media to persuade audience for buying their products and services and informing people about their differences and on the other hand, people are surrounded by different advertising everywhere and every time; while, the most important thing in advertising subject is evaluating its effectiveness. In this study an attempt has been made to evaluate Parsian Bank's advertising effectiveness in attracting customers in the city of Tehran on the basis of how its advertising passes AIDA model's steps and also to determine the factors with the most influence on effectiveness improvement. In this study an attempt has been made to evaluate Parsian Bank's advertising effectiveness in attracting customers in the city of Tehran on the basis of how its advertising passes AIDA model's steps and also to determine the factors with the most influence on effectiveness improvement. The study findings which are obtained through descriptive-survey research and by the use of questionnaire indicate that the television and newspaper advertising of Parsian bank has passed the steps of the AIDA model successfully and has been effective. The comparative study of media advertising effectiveness imply that from customers' point of view, television is the most effective media in attracting them and newspaper is the next. In addition, they address the existing honesty and reality of delivered bank messages as the most important factors influencing on advertising effectiveness. Also, they have addressed good and respectful behavior of personnel with customers as the factor with the most influence on their attraction and respectively, have underlined television and newspaper as the media through which, they have the most access to advertising and they spend most of their time for. They highlight television and then, radio as the best quality media and also recommend television and then, newspaper

  14. Improved wound healing in pressure-induced decubitus ulcer with controlled release of basic fibroblast growth factor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jiang Wei [Department of Respiratory Diseases, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi' an 710038 (China); Wang Hailun [Department of Dermatology, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi' an 710038 (China); Jin Faguang [Department of Respiratory Diseases, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi' an 710038 (China)], E-mail: nidewenzhang@163.com; Yu Chunyan [Department of Dermatology, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi' an 710038 (China); Chu Dongling [Department of Respiratory Diseases, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi' an 710038 (China); Wang Lin [Department of Internal Medicine, 316 Hospital of PLA, Beijing 100093 (China); Lu Xian [93942 Unit Hospital of PLA, Xianyang 710012 (China)

    2008-07-14

    The purpose was to evaluate the efficacy of the wound dressing containing basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)-loaded microspheres on promoting healing in pressure-induced decubitus ulcer. In this study, the pressure-induced ulcer in swine was used as a model to demonstrate the hypothesis that controlled release of bFGF has the potential to provide optimal healing milieu for chronic wounds in the repair process. Average size of the microspheres was 14.36 {+-} 3.56 {mu}m and the network gelatin sponges were characterized with an average pore size of 80-160 {mu}m. Both the in vitro release efficiency and the protein bioactivity revealed that bFGF was released from the microspheres in a controlled manner and it was biologically active as assessed by its ability to induce the proliferation of fibroblasts. Pressure-induced ulcer was created at 500 g/cm{sup 2} pressure loaded on swine dorsal skin 12 h daily for 2 consecutive days. After removal of the pressure load, the gelatin sponge containing bFGF gelatin microspheres or bFGF in solution was implanted into the wound. Swine were sacrificed at 7, 14, and 21 days after implantation, and a full-thickness biopsy was taken and stained for histological analysis. It was observed that controlled release of bFGF provided an accelerated recovery in the wound areas. Histological investigations showed that the dressings were biocompatible and had capability of proliferating fibroblasts and inducing neovascularisation. The present study implied the clinical potential of gelatin sponge with bFGF microspheres to promote the healing in pressure-induced decubitus ulcer.

  15. Transient B cell depletion or improved transgene expression by codon optimization promote tolerance to factor VIII in gene therapy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon K Sack

    Full Text Available The major complication in the treatment of hemophilia A is the development of neutralizing antibodies (inhibitors against factor VIII (FVIII. The current method for eradicating inhibitors, termed immune tolerance induction (ITI, is costly and protracted. Clinical protocols that prevent rather than treat inhibitors are not yet established. Liver-directed gene therapy hopes to achieve long-term correction of the disease while also inducing immune tolerance. We sought to investigate the use of adeno-associated viral (serotype 8 gene transfer to induce tolerance to human B domain deleted FVIII in hemophilia A mice. We administered an AAV8 vector with either human B domain deleted FVIII or a codon-optimized transgene, both under a liver-specific promoter to two strains of hemophilia A mice. Protein therapy or gene therapy was given either alone or in conjunction with anti-CD20 antibody-mediated B cell depletion. Gene therapy with a low-expressing vector resulted in sustained near-therapeutic expression. However, supplementary protein therapy revealed that gene transfer had sensitized mice to hFVIII in a high-responder strain but not in mice of a low-responding strain. This heightened response was ameliorated when gene therapy was delivered with anti-murine CD20 treatment. Transient B cell depletion prevented inhibitor formation in protein therapy, but failed to achieve a sustained hypo-responsiveness. Importantly, use of a codon-optimized hFVIII transgene resulted in sustained therapeutic expression and tolerance without a need for B cell depletion. Therefore, anti-CD20 may be beneficial in preventing vector-induced immune priming to FVIII, but higher levels of liver-restricted expression are preferred for tolerance.

  16. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor improves proliferation of endometrial epithelial cells by inhibition of endoplasmic reticulum stress during early pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Whasun; Bae, Hyocheol; Bazer, Fuller W; Song, Gwonhwa

    2017-12-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a member of the neurotrophin family binds to two transmembrane receptors; neurotrophic receptor tyrosine kinase 2 (NTRK2) with high affinity and p75 with low affinity. Although BDNF-NTRK2 signaling in the central nervous system is known, signaling in the female reproductive system is unknown. Therefore, we determined effects of BDNF on porcine endometrial luminal epithelial (pLE) cells isolated from Day 12 of pregnancy, as well as expression of BDNF and NTRK2 in endometria of cyclic and pregnant pigs. BDNF-NTRK2 genes were expressed in uterine glandular (GE) and luminal (LE) epithelia during early pregnancy. In addition, their expression in uterine GE and LE decreased with increasing parity of sows. Recombinant BDNF increased proliferation in pLE cells in a dose-dependent, as well as expression of PCNA and Cyclin D1 in nuclei of pLE cells. BDNF also activated phosphorylation of AKT, P70S6K, S6, ERK1/2, JNK, P38 proteins in pLE cells. In addition, cell death resulting from tunicamycin-induced ER stress was prevented when pLE cells were treated with the combination of tunicamycin and BDNF which also decreased cells in the Sub-G1 phase of the cell cycle. Furthermore, tunicamycin-induced unfolded protein response genes were mostly down-regulated to the basal levels as compared to non-treated pLE cells. Our finding suggests that BDNF acts via NTRK2 to induce development of pLE cells for maintenance of implantation and pregnancy by activating cell signaling via the PI3K and MAPK pathways and by inhibiting ER stress. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Intravenous glial growth factor 2 (GGF2 isoform of neuregulin-1β improves left ventricular function, gene and protein expression in rats after myocardial infarction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael F Hill

    Full Text Available AIMS: Recombinant Neuregulin (NRG-1β has multiple beneficial effects on cardiac myocytes in culture, and has potential as a clinical therapy for heart failure (HF. A number of factors may influence the effect of NRG-1β on cardiac function via ErbB receptor coupling and expression. We examined the effect of the NRG-1β isoform, glial growth factor 2 (GGF2, in rats with myocardial infarction (MI and determined the impact of high-fat diet as well as chronicity of disease on GGF2 induced improvement in left ventricular systolic function. Potential mechanisms for GGF2 effects on the remote myocardium were explored using microarray and proteomic analysis. METHODS AND RESULTS: Rats with MI were randomized to receive vehicle, 0.625 mg/kg, or 3.25 mg/kg GGF2 in the presence and absence of high-fat feeding beginning at day 7 post-MI and continuing for 4 weeks. Residual left ventricular (LV function was improved in both of the GGF2 treatment groups compared with the vehicle treated MI group at 4 weeks of treatment as assessed by echocardiography. High-fat diet did not prevent the effects of high dose GGF2. In experiments where treatment was delayed until 8 weeks after MI, high but not low dose GGF2 treatment was associated with improved systolic function. mRNA and protein expression analysis of remote left ventricular tissue revealed a number of changes in myocardial gene and protein expression altered by MI that were normalized by GGF2 treatment, many of which are involved in energy production. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that in rats with MI induced systolic dysfunction, GGF2 treatment improves cardiac function. There are differences in sensitivity of the myocardium to GGF2 effects when administered early vs. late post-MI that may be important to consider in the development of GGF2 in humans.

  18. Intravenous Glial Growth Factor 2 (GGF2) Isoform of Neuregulin-1β Improves Left Ventricular Function, Gene and Protein Expression in Rats after Myocardial Infarction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Abigail; Smith, Holly M.; Galindo, Cristi L.; Pentassuglia, Laura; Peng, Xuyang; Lenneman, Carrie G.; Odiete, Oghenerukevwe; Friedman, David B.; Kronenberg, Marvin W.; Zheng, Siyuen; Zhao, Zhongming; Song, Yanna; Harrell, Frank E.; Srinivas, Maya; Ganguly, Anindita; Iaci, Jennifer; Parry, Tom J.; Caggiano, Anthony O.; Sawyer, Douglas B.

    2013-01-01

    Aims Recombinant Neuregulin (NRG)-1β has multiple beneficial effects on cardiac myocytes in culture, and has potential as a clinical therapy for heart failure (HF). A number of factors may influence the effect of NRG-1β on cardiac function via ErbB receptor coupling and expression. We examined the effect of the NRG-1β isoform, glial growth factor 2 (GGF2), in rats with myocardial infarction (MI) and determined the impact of high-fat diet as well as chronicity of disease on GGF2 induced improvement in left ventricular systolic function. Potential mechanisms for GGF2 effects on the remote myocardium were explored using microarray and proteomic analysis. Methods and Results Rats with MI were randomized to receive vehicle, 0.625 mg/kg, or 3.25 mg/kg GGF2 in the presence and absence of high-fat feeding beginning at day 7 post-MI and continuing for 4 weeks. Residual left ventricular (LV) function was improved in both of the GGF2 treatment groups compared with the vehicle treated MI group at 4 weeks of treatment as assessed by echocardiography. High-fat diet did not prevent the effects of high dose GGF2. In experiments where treatment was delayed until 8 weeks after MI, high but not low dose GGF2 treatment was associated with improved systolic function. mRNA and protein expression analysis of remote left ventricular tissue revealed a number of changes in myocardial gene and protein expression altered by MI that were normalized by GGF2 treatment, many of which are involved in energy production. Conclusions This study demonstrates that in rats with MI induced systolic dysfunction, GGF2 treatment improves cardiac function. There are differences in sensitivity of the myocardium to GGF2 effects when administered early vs. late post-MI that may be important to consider in the development of GGF2 in humans. PMID:23437060

  19. Improved scar in postburn patients following interferon-alpha2b treatment is associated with decreased angiogenesis mediated by vascular endothelial cell growth factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jianfei; Chen, Hong; Shankowsky, Heather A; Scott, Paul G; Tredget, Edward E

    2008-07-01

    Hypertrophic scar (HTS) after thermal injury is a dermal fibroproliferative disorder, which leads to considerable morbidity. Previous clinical studies from our laboratory have suggested that interferon-alpha2b (IFN-alpha2b) improves scar quality as a result of the suppression of fibroblast function. More recently, our work has demonstrated that the improvement of scar in patients with HTS after IFN-alpha2b treatment may be associated with a decreased number of fibrocytes and/or altered fibrocyte function. In this study, we report that the improvement of HTS after IFNalpha-2b treatment may be associated with a decrease in angiogenesis. Using immunohistochemistry, we demonstrate an increase in angiogenesis in HTS compared to normal skin, and also show an increase in the expression of vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF) in HTS. Subsequently, we demonstrate a significant reduction in angiogenesis in HTS tissue from patients after treatment with systemic IFN-alpha2b. By using a [3H] thymidine incorporation assay, we demonstrate that IFN-alpha2b suppresses the proliferation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, IFN-alpha2b inhibits VEGF-induced proliferation and tube formation by using HUVECs. All these effects may be a result of the blocking of VEGF receptor expression on endothelial cells by IFN-alpha2b. Taken together with previous results, the present study suggests that the improvement of scar quality in HTS patients after IFN-alpha2b treatment may also be associated with decreased angiogenesis in HTS. The current in vitro results may provide some insights into the scar improvement that is seen with systemic IFN-alpha2b treatment.

  20. Improved Variable Selection Algorithm Using a LASSO-Type Penalty, with an Application to Assessing Hepatitis B Infection Relevant Factors in Community Residents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pi Guo

    Full Text Available In epidemiological studies, it is important to identify independent associations between collective exposures and a health outcome. The current stepwise selection technique ignores stochastic errors and suffers from a lack of stability. The alternative LASSO-penalized regression model can be applied to detect significant predictors from a pool of candidate variables. However, this technique is prone to false positives and tends to create excessive biases. It remains challenging to develop robust variable selection methods and enhance predictability.Two improved algorithms denoted the two-stage hybrid and bootstrap ranking procedures, both using a LASSO-type penalty, were developed for epidemiological association analysis. The performance of the proposed procedures and other methods including conventional LASSO, Bolasso, stepwise and stability selection models were evaluated using intensive simulation. In addition, methods were compared by using an empirical analysis based on large-scale survey data of hepatitis B infection-relevant factors among Guangdong residents.The proposed procedures produced comparable or less biased selection results when compared to conventional variable selection models. In total, the two newly proposed procedures were stable with respect to various scenarios of simulation, demonstrating a higher power and a lower false positive rate during variable selection than the compared methods. In empirical analysis, the proposed procedures yielding a sparse set of hepatitis B infection-relevant factors gave the best predictive performance and showed that the procedures were able to select a more stringent set of factors. The individual history of hepatitis B vaccination, family and individual history of hepatitis B infection were associated with hepatitis B infection in the studied residents according to the proposed procedures.The newly proposed procedures improve the identification of significant variables and enable us to

  1. TJC: HCOs need to be on alert for HIT problems related to sociotechnical factors, take steps to improve safety culture, process, and leadership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-06-01

    Noting that too many errors related to health information technology (HIT) are resulting in adverse consequences, The Joint Commission (TJC) has issued a Sentinel Event Alert, urging health care providers to take steps to improve their safety culture, approach to process improvement, and leadership in this area. In this latest alert, the accrediting agency is taking particular aim at risks posed by sociotechnical factors--or the ways in which HIT is implemented and used. Experts say that many of these risks are, in fact, exemplified at a higher level in the emergency setting, where providers are under constant pressure to see more patients and move them though the system faster. In an analysis of 3,375 sentinel events that resulted in permanent patient harm or death between January 1, 2010, and June 20, 2013, The Joint Commission (TJC) found that 120 events included HIT-related contributing factors. Many of the problems cited by TJC relate to orders or medicines being prescribed for the wrong patients. These can result from toggling errors or pop-up screens where providers are asked to click on the appropriate patient or medicine, and they mistakenly click on the wrong selection. In the ED, experts recommend the creation of a multidisciplinary performance improvement group to continuously monitor the ED information system (EDIS), recognize problems, and work with the vendor to resolve them. Also important is a quick and easy way for providers to report HIT-related problems. Experts add that emergency providers need to be fully engaged in the process of selecting HIT that they will be using, and that health care organizations should arrange for usability assessments before purchasing HIT.

  2. Workplace Digital Health Is Associated with Improved Cardiovascular Risk Factors in a Frequency-Dependent Fashion: A Large Prospective Observational Cohort Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widmer, R Jay; Allison, Thomas G; Keane, Brendie; Dallas, Anthony; Bailey, Kent R; Lerman, Lilach O; Lerman, Amir

    2016-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the US. Emerging employer-sponsored work health programs (WHP) and Digital Health Intervention (DHI) provide monitoring and guidance based on participants' health risk assessments, but with uncertain success. DHI--mobile technology including online and smartphone interventions--has previously been found to be beneficial in reducing CVD outcomes and risk factors, however its use and efficacy in a large, multisite, primary prevention cohort has not been described to date. We analyzed usage of DHI and change in intermediate markers of CVD over the course of one year in 30,974 participants of a WHP across 81 organizations in 42 states between 2011 and 2014, stratified by participation log-ins categorized as no (n = 14,173), very low (DHI usage with the largest being in the semi-weekly group (-3.39±1.06 lbs; p = 0.0013 for difference from weekly). Regression analyses demonstrated that greater participation in the DHI (measured by log-ins) was significantly associated with older age (pDHI in a large, community cohort to modestly reduce CVD risk factors in individuals with high participation rate. Furthermore, participants previously underrepresented in WHPs (females and Hispanics) and those with an increased number of CVD risk factors including age and elevated BMI show increased adherence to DHI, supporting the use of this low-cost intervention to improve CVD health.

  3. Factors affecting domestic water consumption in rural households upon access to improved water supply: insights from the Wei River Basin, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liangxin Fan

    Full Text Available Comprehensively understanding water consumption behavior is necessary to design efficient and effective water use strategies. Despite global efforts to identify the factors that affect domestic water consumption, those related to domestic water use in rural regions have not been sufficiently studied, particularly in villages that have gained access to improved water supply. To address this gap, we investigated 247 households in eight villages in the Wei River Basin where three types of improved water supply systems are implemented. Results show that domestic water consumption in liters per capita per day was significantly correlated with water supply pattern and vegetable garden area, and significantly negatively correlated with family size and age of household head. Traditional hygiene habits, use of water appliances, and preference for vegetable gardening remain dominant behaviors in the villages with access to improved water supply. Future studies on rural domestic water consumption should pay more attention to user lifestyles (water appliance usage habits, outdoor water use and cultural backgrounds (age, education.

  4. Pretransplant mobilization with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor improves B-cell reconstitution by lentiviral vector gene therapy in SCID-X1 mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huston, Marshall W; Riegman, Adriaan R A; Yadak, Rana; van Helsdingen, Yvette; de Boer, Helen; van Til, Niek P; Wagemaker, Gerard

    2014-10-01

    Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) gene therapy is a demonstrated effective treatment for X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID-X1), but B-cell reconstitution and function has been deficient in many of the gene therapy treated patients. Cytoreductive preconditioning is known to improve HSC engraftment, but in general it is not considered for SCID-X1 since the poor health of most of these patients at diagnosis and the risk of toxicity preclude the conditioning used in standard bone marrow stem cell transplantation. We hypothesized that mobilization of HSC by granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) should create temporary space in bone marrow niches to improve engraftment and thereby B-cell reconstitution. In the present pilot study supplementing our earlier preclinical evaluation (Huston et al., 2011), Il2rg(-/-) mice pretreated with G-CSF were transplanted with wild-type lineage negative (Lin(-)) cells or Il2rg(-/-) Lin(-) cells transduced with therapeutic IL2RG lentiviral vectors. Mice were monitored for reconstitution of lymphocyte populations, level of donor cell chimerism, and antibody responses as compared to 2 Gy total body irradiation (TBI), previously found effective in promoting B-cell reconstitution. The results demonstrate that G-CSF promotes B-cell reconstitution similar to low-dose TBI and provides proof of principle for an alternative approach to improve efficacy of gene therapy in SCID patients without adverse effects associated with cytoreductive conditioning.

  5. Measures to Improve Power Factor of Distribution Network of Power Supply Enterprises%提高供电企业配电网功率因数的措施

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张雪芹; 李兆宇

    2012-01-01

    为减少广大供电企业配电网的线损,探讨功率因数对广大供电企业的影响,以及提高功率因数所产生的经济效益和社会效益,分析影响功率冈数的主要因素,提出提高配电系统自然功率因数的有效措施及人工补偿功率因数的方法。%This article expounds on the impact of power factor on power supply enterprises as well as the economic and social benefits brought about by improving power factor. The author makes analysis on the major factors influencing power factor and puts forward measures to improve the natural power factor of distribution system and ways to improve compensation power factor manually.

  6. Historical flood data series of Eastern Spanish Coast (14th-20th centuries). Improving identification of climatic patterns and human factors of flood events from primary documentary sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alberola, Armando; Barriendos, Mariano; Gil-Guirado, Salvador; Pérez-Morales, Alfredo; Balasch, Carles; Castelltort, Xavier; Mazón, Jordi; Pino, David; Lluís Ruiz-Bellet, Josep; Tuset, Jordi

    2016-04-01

    Historical flood data series of Eastern Spanish Coast (14th-20th centuries). Improving identification of climatic patterns and human factors of flood events from primary documentary sources Armando Alberola, Barriendos, M., Gil-Guirado, S., Pérez Morales, A., Balasch, C., Castelltort, X., Mazón, J., Pino, D., Ruiz-Bellet, J.L., Tuset, J. Historical flood events in eastern spanish coast have been studied by different research groups and projects. Complexity of flood processes, involving atmospheric, surface and human factors, is not easily understandable when long time series are required. Present analysis from PREDIFLOOD Project Consortium defines a new step of flood event databases: Improved access to primary (documentary) and secondary (bibliographical) sources, data collection for all possible locations where floods are detected, and improved system of classification (Barriendos et al., 2014). A first analysis is applied to 8 selected flood series. Long chronologies from PREDIFLOOD Project for Catalonia region (Girona, Barcelona, Tarragona, Lleida, Tortosa). In addition, to cover all sector of spanish mediterranean coast, we introduce Valencia city in Turia River basin. South Eastern sector is cover with Murcia and Caravaca cities, Segura River basin. Extension of area under study required contributions of research teams experienced in work of documentary primary sources (Alberola, 2006; Gil-Guirado, 2013). Flood frequency analysis for long scale periods show natural climatic oscillations into so-called Little Ice Age. There are general patterns, affecting most of basins, but also some local anomalies or singularities. To explain these differences and analogies it is not enough to use purely climatic factors. In this way, we analyze human factors that have been able to influence the variability of floods along last 6 centuries (demography, hydraulic infrastructures, urban development...). This approach improves strongly understanding of mechanisms producing

  7. Short-term weight loss in overweight/obese low-income women improves plasma zinc and metabolic syndrome risk factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voruganti, Venkata Saroja; Cai, Guowen; Klohe, Deborah M; Jordan, Kristine C; Lane, Michelle A; Freeland-Graves, Jeanne H

    2010-10-01

    Metabolic syndrome is a group of disorders involving obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and hypertension. Obesity is the most crucial risk factor of metabolic syndrome, because it is known to precede other risk factors. Obesity is also associated with disturbances in the metabolism of the trace mineral, zinc. The overall purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of short-term weight loss on plasma zinc and metabolic syndrome risk factors. An 8-week weight loss intervention study was conducted with 90 low-income overweight/obese mothers, whose youngest child was 1-3 years old. Plasma levels of zinc, glucose, insulin, leptin, triglycerides, total, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol were measured and compared at weeks 0 and 8 of the weight loss program. At pre-study, plasma zinc was low in 39% and, within normal values in 46%, of obese/overweight mothers. By the end of intervention, plasma zinc rose by 22% and only 5% of the mothers continued to exhibit low plasma zinc. At post-study, the metabolic syndrome risk factors of waist circumference, HDL cholesterol, and diastolic blood pressure (pzinc increased by a greater margin (67%) in women with low zinc, as compared to those with normal zinc (18%); weight reduction was similar in both the groups. Finally, changes in % body fat were related negatively with changes in plasma zinc (r=- 0.28, pzinc, as well as the metabolic syndrome components, showed significant improvements in overweight/obese low-income women after weight loss.

  8. Improved dual boost power factor correction converter%一种改进型双升压功率因数校正电路

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    胡玮; 康勇; 王学华; 周小宁

    2013-01-01

    针对双升压功率因数校正电路(dual boost power factor correction,DBPFC)输入电压采样和电感电流采样困难,控制电路复杂的问题,提出一种改进的DBPFC拓扑.该拓扑在MOS开关管的源极正串一个肖特基二极管以阻塞MOS开关管的体二极管,既可以采用电阻采样法来进行电感电流平均值取样,优化了控制电路设计.详细分析电路在一个开关周期内的工作模态和MOS开关管寄生电容对电路工作模态的影响,给出电路的重要仿真波形.对电路的功率损耗和效率进行了理论分析和对比.设计了基于该拓扑的实验样机,样机输出波形表明该电路抗扰动能力强,能够快速准确地实现功率因数校正.样机效率曲线验证了理论分析的正确性,表明电路在宽电压输入宽功率输出时均能取得良好的工作效率.%According to the voltage and current sensing difficulties and the complex control problems in dual boost power factor correction ( DBPFC) with two diodes, an improved DBPFC is proposed. Through connecting a schottky diode to the MOSFET' s source in series, the circuit can sense the boost inductor' s average current by using the sensing resistance, which optimized the control circuit. Operating modes of the improved DBPFC and the influence of the parasitic capacitances on MOSFET were discussed in detail and the key simulation waveforms were given. On the basis of it, the power dissipations and the efficiencies were theoretically analyzed and compared. The prototypes of the experimental circuit based on the improved DBPFC was built to provide waveforms which show that the circuit has better disturbance rejection ability, and achieves power factor correction quickly and accurately. The efficiency curves verify the correctness of theoretical analysis, and show that the circuit can achieve high efficiency in the wide input voltage range and wide power output.

  9. Research on Daylighting Factors of Cave Dwelling and Its Improvement Measurements%窑洞采光因素分析及改善研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    闫幼锋; 赵占雄; 赵世光

    2011-01-01

    本文通过对甘肃平凉地区窑洞采光的具体测量,分析了采光影响因素,提出了改善采光的设计方法和改造措施.首先,参考不同窑洞的照度,综合分析了光气候、窑洞朝向、口部构造、窑内空间设计、窑洞进深及窑内表面材料光反射等因素对采光量的制约.其次,完善适用于窑洞的天空照度模型,提出了窑内工作面综合照度公式,计算分析表明室外环境是影响采光的首要因素,采光口高度、透光材料及窑内表面反光材料对采光量的影响较大.最后,提出了窑洞在选址、设计、施工和室内装饰等方面的改善措施.%In this paper, based on the daylighting measurement of cave dwellings in Pingliang area of Gansu,the influence factors of daylighting were analyzed, and the related design and improvement measurements for enhancing the daylighting effect were provided. Firstly,the constraints of influence factors on cave illuminance were discussed,including light climate,cave orientation,hole structure,interior space design, indoor depth and internal surface material, etc. Secondly, with the improved sky illuminance model suitable to cave dwellings, the synthesized illuminance equation for working surface was presented. It was found out that the outdoor environment was the most important factor,and the height of daylighting openings,the transmission material and the reflecting material of internal surface had relatively larger influence on daylighting quality. Finally, improvement measurements of site selection, design, construction and interior decoration were pointed out.

  10. An Agonist of the Protective Factor SIRT1 Improves Functional Recovery and Promotes Neuronal Survival by Attenuating Inflammation after Spinal Cord Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Haihong; Ji, Hao; Zhang, Ming; Liu, Zude; Lao, Lifeng; Deng, Chao; Chen, Jianwei; Zhong, Guibin

    2017-03-15

    Targeting posttraumatic inflammation is crucial for improving locomotor function. SIRT1 has been shown to play a critical role in disease processes such as hepatic inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, and acute lung inflammation by regulating inflammation. However, the role of SIRT1 in spinal cord injury (SCI) is unknown. We hypothesized that SIRT1 plays an important role in improving locomotor function after SCI by regulating neuroinflammation. In this study, we investigate the effect of SIRT1 in SCI using pharmacological intervention (SRT1720) and the Mx1-Cre/loxP recombination system to knock out target genes. First, we found that SIRT1 expression at the injured lesion site of wild-type (WT) mice (C57BL/6) decreased 4 h after SCI and lasted for 3 d. Moreover, administration of SRT1720, an agonist of SIRT1, to WT mice significantly improved functional recovery for up to 28 d after injury by reducing the levels of proinflammatory cytokines, the number of M1 macrophages, the number of macrophages/microglia, and the accumulation of perivascular macrophages. In contrast, administration of SRT1720 to SIRT1 knock-out (KO) mice did not improve locomotor recovery or attenuate inflammation. Furthermore, SIRT1 KO mice exhibited worse locomotor recovery, increased levels of inflammatory cytokines, and more M1 macrophages and perivascular macrophages than those of WT mice after SCI. Together, these findings indicate that SRT1720, an SIRT1 agonist, can improve functional recovery by attenuating inflammation after SCI. Therefore, SIRT1 is not only a protective factor but also an anti-inflammatory molecule that exerts beneficial effects on locomotor function after SCI.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Posttraumatic inflammation plays a central role in regulating the pathogenesis of spinal cord injury (SCI). Here, new data show that administration of SRT1720, an SIRT1 agonist, to wild-type (WT) mice significantly improved outcomes after SCI, most likely by reducing the levels of

  11. Improving early detection of exotic or emergent oyster diseases in France: identifying factors associated with shellfish farmer reporting behaviour of oyster mortality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupo, C; Osta Amigo, A; Mandard, Y V; Peroz, C; Renault, T

    2014-09-01

    Farmers' vigilance is essential for the detection of epidemics, including potential emerging diseases, in marine shellfish. A field study was conducted to investigate oyster farmers' reporting practices and behaviour, and to identify factors influencing the reporting process of oyster mortality, with the ultimate aim of improving early detection of unexplained oyster mortality outbreaks. A retrospective case-control study of oyster farmers from Charente-Maritime (France) was designed, based on interviews with 27 non-reporting and 89 reporting farmers, further split into 40 formerly-reporting and 49 currently-reporting farmers. Information about farmer and farm characteristics, farming practices, farm health history and related financial compensation on the farm, knowledge of the mortality reporting system and reporting behaviour was collected. Sampling design was considered in the calculations and farmers' reporting behaviour was modelled using an ordinal logistic regression (continuation-ratio model). Notification procedures were fairly well known among farmers and the reporting system was well accepted overall. Nevertheless, a lack of awareness of the aims of the reporting system was revealed, which contributed to late reporting. Factors identified as driving a farmer's decision to report oyster mortality concerned their lack of awareness of mortality reporting (production type, farm size, location of the production cycle, accessibility of the leasing grounds) and willingness to report (possibility and extent of financial compensation, a feeling of not being involved, whether it was first year of reporting). Overall classification performance of the model built in this study was 64%. In particular, financial compensation for oyster production losses appeared to be a clear incentive for reporting, but was countered by a habituation effect combined with a lack of awareness of the aims of the reporting system: oyster farmers looking for benefits for themselves in

  12. Key Factors for a High-Quality Peritoneal Dialysis Program — The Role of the PD Team and Continuous Quality Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Wei; Ni, Zhaohui; Qian, Jiaqi

    2014-01-01

    The proportion of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients on peritoneal dialysis (PD) has increased very fast in China over the last decade. Renji Hospital, affiliated with Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, is a recognized high-quality PD unit with a high PD utilization rate, excellent patient and technique survival (1-year and 5-year patient survival rate of 93% and 71%, and 1-year and 5-year technique survival of 96% and 82%, respectively), low peritonitis rate and a well-documented good quality of life of the treated patients. We believe that a dedicated and experienced PD team, a structured patient training program, continuous patient support, establishing and utilizing standardized protocols, starting PD with low dialysis dose, monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs), and continuous quality improvement (CQI) are the key factors underlying this successful PD program. PMID:24962961

  13. Key factors for a high-quality peritoneal dialysis program--the role of the PD team and continuous quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Wei; Ni, Zhaohui; Qian, Jiaqi

    2014-06-01

    The proportion of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients on peritoneal dialysis (PD) has increased very fast in China over the last decade. Renji Hospital, affiliated with Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, is a recognized high-quality PD unit with a high PD utilization rate, excellent patient and technique survival (1-year and 5-year patient survival rate of 93% and 71%, and 1-year and 5-year technique survival of 96% and 82%, respectively), low peritonitis rate and a well-documented good quality of life of the treated patients. We believe that a dedicated and experienced PD team, a structured patient training program, continuous patient support, establishing and utilizing standardized protocols, starting PD with low dialysis dose, monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs), and continuous quality improvement (CQI) are the key factors underlying this successful PD program.

  14. Delivery of plasmid DNA expression vector for keratinocyte growth factor-1 using electroporation to improve cutaneous wound healing in a septic rat model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Michael P; Marti, Guy P; Dieb, Rami; Wang, Jiaai; Ferguson, Mark; Qaiser, Rabia; Bonde, Pramod; Duncan, Mark D; Harmon, John W

    2006-01-01

    We have previously shown that wound healing was improved in a diabetic mouse model of impaired wound healing following transfection with keratinocyte growth factor-1 (KGF-1) cDNA. We now extend these findings to the characterization of the effects of DNA plasmid vectors delivered to rats using electroporation (EP) in vivo in a sepsis-based model of impaired wound healing. To assess plasmid transfection and wound healing, gWIZ luciferase and PCDNA3.1/KGF-1 expression vectors were used, respectively. Cutaneous wounds were produced using an 8 mm-punch biopsy in Sprague-Dawley rats in which healing was impaired by cecal ligation-induced sepsis. We used National Institutes of Health image analysis software and histologic assessment to analyze wound closure and found that EP increased expression of gWIZ luciferase vector up to 53-fold compared with transfection without EP (p < 0.001). EP-assisted plasmid transfection was found to be localized to skin. Septic rats had a 4.7 times larger average wound area on day 9 compared with control (p < 0.001). Rats that underwent PCDNA3.1/KGF-1 transfection with EP had 60% smaller wounds on day 12 compared with vector without EP (p < 0.009). Quality of healing with KGF-1 vector plus EP scored 3.0 +/- 0.3 and was significantly better than that of 1.8 +/- 0.3 for treatment with vector alone (p < 0.05). We conclude that both the rate and quality of healing were improved with DNA plasmid expression vector for growth factor delivered with EP to septic rats.

  15. Improvement of wheat drought and salt tolerance by expression of a stress-inducible transcription factor GmDREB of soybean (Glycine max)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GAO Shiqing; MA Youzhi; XU Huijun; CHENG Xianguo; CHEN Ming; XU Zhaoshi; LI Liancheng; YE Xingguo; DU Lipu; HAO Xiaoyan

    2005-01-01

    Under stress conditions such as drought,high-salinity and low-temperature, the transcription factor of DREB (dehydration responsive element binding proteins)improved efficiently stress resistance by regulating the expression of its downstream genes with various environmental stress resistance in plants. GmDREB gene (GenBank Accession No. AF514908) encoding a stress-inducible transcription factor was cloned by screening a cDNA library of Glycine max cv. Jinong 27 with yeast one-hybrid method. GmDREB gene was 910 bp in length and encoded 174 amino acids containing a conserved AP2/EREBP DNA-binding domain of 58amino acids. Two conserved functional amino acids, valine and glutamic acid, were located on the 14th and the 19th amino acid residues in the conserved structural domain. An alkaline amino acid region (KKR) related to a nuclear localization signal was at the N-terminal, while an acidic amino acid region (DDD) related to trans-activation was at the C-terminal. Plant expression vectors were constructed and transformed into wheat by bombardment. In total, 13 transgenic plants with Ubi::GmDREB and 11 transgenic plants with rd29A::GmDREB were identified from 103 regeneration plants by molecular analysis. The drought and salt tolerances of T1 transgenic lines with Ubi::GmDREB or rd29A::GmDREB were demonstrated to be improved as compared to wild type. The result also suggested that both Ubiquitin and rd29A promoters could effectively drive the expression of the GmDREB gene and enhance drought and salt tolerance of T1 plants.

  16. THD Reduction of Distribution System Based on ASRFC and HVC Method for SVC under EV Charger Condition for Power Factor Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saeid Gholami Farkoush

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Electric vehicles (EVs have been gaining popularity in recent years due to growing concerns about fuel depletion and increasing petrol prices. Random uncoordinated charging of multiple EVs at residential distribution feeders with moderate penetration levels is expected in the near future. This paper describes a high performance voltage controller for the EVs charging system, and proposes a scheme of asymmetric synchronous reference frame controller (ASRFC in order to compensate for the voltage distortions and unbalance distribution system due to EVs charger. This paper explores the power factor of distribution and residential network under random EVs charger on the bus load. ASRFC and harmonic voltage compensator (HVC are employed for static VAR compensator (SVC in this paper. The proposed scheme can improve the power factor and total harmonic distortion (THD of the smart grid due to the EVs charger in grid. The effectiveness of the scheme was investigated and verified through computer simulations of a 22.9-kV grid.

  17. Integrating Limiting-Factors Analysis with Process-Based Restoration to Improve Recovery of Endangered Salmonids in the Pacific Northwest, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek B. Booth

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Two approaches to ecological restoration planning, limiting-factors analysis and process-based restoration, are employed in efforts to recover endangered salmonid species throughout the Pacific Northwest of North America. Limiting-factors analysis seeks to identify physical limitations to fish production that may be addressed by habitat restoration; it is known as the “Field of Dreams” hypothesis (i.e., if you build it, they will come. Process-based restoration, in contrast, assumes that protection and/or restoration of watershed-scale processes will best achieve self-sustaining habitat features that support salmon populations. Two case studies from the Columbia River basin (northwestern USA display current efforts to integrate these two restoration approaches to improve salmonid populations. Although these examples both identify site-specific habitat features to construct, they also recognize the importance of supporting key watershed processes to achieve restoration goals. The challenge in advancing the practice of restoration planning is not in simply acknowledging the conceptual benefits of process-based restoration while maintaining a traditional focus on enumerating site-specific conditions and identifying habitat-construction projects, but rather in following process-based guidance during recovery planning and, ultimately, through implementation of on-the-ground actions. We encourage a realignment of the restoration community to truly embrace a process-based, multi-scalar view of the riverine landscape.

  18. Speech intelligibility index predictions for young and old listeners in automobile noise: Can the index be improved by incorporating factors other than absolute threshold?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saweikis, Meghan; Surprenant, Aimée M.; Davies, Patricia; Gallant, Don

    2003-10-01

    While young and old subjects with comparable audiograms tend to perform comparably on speech recognition tasks in quiet environments, the older subjects have more difficulty than the younger subjects with recognition tasks in degraded listening conditions. This suggests that factors other than an absolute threshold may account for some of the difficulty older listeners have on recognition tasks in noisy environments. Many metrics, including the Speech Intelligibility Index (SII), used to measure speech intelligibility, only consider an absolute threshold when accounting for age related hearing loss. Therefore these metrics tend to overestimate the performance for elderly listeners in noisy environments [Tobias et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 83, 859-895 (1988)]. The present studies examine the predictive capabilities of the SII in an environment with automobile noise present. This is of interest because people's evaluation of the automobile interior sound is closely linked to their ability to carry on conversations with their fellow passengers. The four studies examine whether, for subjects with age related hearing loss, the accuracy of the SII can be improved by incorporating factors other than an absolute threshold into the model. [Work supported by Ford Motor Company.

  19. Layer-by-Layer Thin Films for Co-Delivery of TGF-β siRNA and Epidermal Growth Factor to Improve Excisional Wound Healing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandapalli, Praveen Kumar; Labala, Suman; Jose, Anup; Bhatnagar, Shubhmita; Janupally, Renuka; Sriram, Dharmarajan; Venuganti, Venkata Vamsi Krishna

    2016-06-27

    The major challenge with treatment of dermal wounds is accelerating healing process, while preventing the scar formation. Herein, we have fabricated layer-by-layer (LbL) polyelectrolyte multilayer films containing epidermal growth factor (EGF) and TGF-β siRNA to improve excisional wound healing and decrease scar formation. The chitosan and sodium alginate LbL thin films showed 13.0 MPa tensile strength and 2.22 N/cm(2) skin adhesion strength. The LbL thin films were found to be cytocompatible, where A431 epidermal keratinocytes adhered to the film and showed 86.2 ± 0.8% cell growth compared with cells cultured in the absence of LbL thin film. In contrast, LbL thin film did not promote the Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacterial colony formation. In a C57BL/6 mouse excisional wound model, application of LbL thin films containing TGF-β siRNA significantly (p thin films containing EGF showed improved wound contraction (thin films resulted in accelerated wound healing and decreased collagen deposition. Furthermore, the LbL thin films with TGF-β siRNA and EGF combination showed greater reepithelialization. Taken together, we have successfully demonstrated the co-delivery of TGF-β siRNA and EGF peptide using LbL thin films to promote wound healing and decrease scar formation.

  20. The infiuence factors of nickel corrosion and the improving method%镍腐蚀的影响因素与改善方法探讨

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孟昭光

    2014-01-01

    镍腐蚀是指发生在化学镍金的化镍、沉金过程中发生的金对镍的攻击过度造成局部位置或整体位置镍腐蚀的现象,严重者则导致“黑盘”的出现,严重影响PCB的可靠性。报告通过评估分析镍腐蚀影响的因素,提出相应的改善方法,改善流程的稳定性。%Nickel corrosion is occurring in the chemical nickel gold ofen in the process of nickel, heavy gold to nickel against excessive partial or whole location nickel corrosion phenomenon. In serious conditions, it will lead to the emergence of the "black PAD", the serious infiuence on the reliability of the PCB. This report assessed through the analysis of the influence of nickel corrosion factors, put forward the corresponding improvement method, and improved the stability of the process.

  1. Stress-inducible expression of AtDREB1A transcription factor greatly improves drought stress tolerance in transgenic indica rice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravikumar, G; Manimaran, P; Voleti, S R; Subrahmanyam, D; Sundaram, R M; Bansal, K C; Viraktamath, B C; Balachandran, S M

    2014-06-01

    The cultivation of rice (Oryza sativa L.), a major food crop, requires ample water (30 % of the fresh water available worldwide), and its productivity is greatly affected by drought, the most significant environmental factor. Much research has focussed on identifying quantitative trait loci, stress-regulated genes and transcription factors that will contribute towards the development of climate-resilient/tolerant crop plants in general and rice in particular. The transcription factor DREB1A, identified from the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, has been reported to enhance stress tolerance against drought stress. We developed transgenic rice plants with AtDREB1A in the background of indica rice cultivar Samba Mahsuri through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The AtDREB1A gene was stably inherited and expressed in T1 and T2 plants and in subsequent generations, as indicated by the results of PCR, Southern blot and RT-PCR analyses. Expression of AtDREB1A was induced by drought stress in transgenic rice lines, which were highly tolerant to severe water deficit stress in both the vegetative and reproductive stages without affecting their morphological or agronomic traits. The physiological studies revealed that the expression of AtDREB1A was associated with an increased accumulation of the osmotic substance proline, maintenance of chlorophyll, increased relative water content and decreased ion leakage under drought stress. Most of the homozygous lines were highly tolerant to drought stress and showed significantly a higher grain yield and spikelet fertility relative to the nontransgenic control plants under both stressed and unstressed conditions. The improvement in drought stress tolerance in combination with agronomic traits is very essential in high premium indica rice cultivars, such as Samba Mahsuri, so that farmers can benefit in times of seasonal droughts and water scarcity.

  2. Factors influencing adherence in CML and ways to improvement: Results of a patient-driven survey of 2546 patients in 63 countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geissler, Jan; Sharf, Giora; Bombaci, Felice; Daban, Mina; De Jong, Jan; Gavin, Tony; Pelouchova, Jana; Dziwinski, Euzebiusz; Hasford, Joerg; Hoffmann, Verena Sophia

    2017-07-01

    Optimal adherence to CML therapy is of key importance to maximize treatment effectiveness. Two clinical studies (ADAGIO and Hammersmith) have proven a clear correlation between adherence and achieving optimal treatment response and have revealed that non-adherence is common in CML patients (Marin et al. in J Clin Oncol 28(24):2381-2388, 2010, Noens et al. in Haematologica 99(33):437-447, 2014). The aim of this study is to assess the extent of suboptimal adherence and to investigate motivations and behavioural patterns of adherence in a worldwide patient sample. Questionnaires were provided by the CML Advocates Network and were filled in by patients online and offline. Patient characteristics, treatment and motivations were collected. Adherence was assessed by the 8-item Morisky Medication Adherence scale. Logistic regression models were fitted to investigate the influence of different factors on adherence. Overall, 2 546 questionnaires from 63 countries and 79 CML patient organisations were evaluable. 32.7% of participants were highly adherent, 46.5% were in the medium and 20.7% in the low adherence group. Factors increasing the probability of being in the high adherence group are older age, male sex, management of side effects, only one tablet per day and feeling well informed about CML by the doctor. More than 2 years since diagnosis were significantly lowering the chance as was the use of reminding tools. Living arrangements, multiple medication and personal payment obligations increased the probability to be at least in the medium adherent group. This is the most comprehensive study conducted to date to gain knowledge about factors causing non-adherence in CML. Better information on the disease, medication and management of side effects, supported by haematologists, is key to improve adherence.

  3. Is exercise a therapeutic tool for improvement of cardiovascular risk factors in adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus? A randomised controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salem Mona A

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM is associated with a high risk for early atherosclerotic complications especially risk of coronary heart disease. Objective To evaluate the impact of six months exercise prgram on glycemic control, plasma lipids values, blood pressure, severity and frequency of hypoglycemia, anthropometric measurements and insulin dose in a sample of adolescents with T1DM. Research design and methods A total of 196 type 1 diabetic patients participated in the study. They were classified into three groups: Group (A did not join the exercise program(n = 48, group (B attended the exercise sessions once/week (n = 75, group (C attended the exercise sessions three times/week (n = 73. Studied parameters were evaluated before and six months after exercise programe. Results Exercise improved glycemic control by reducing HbA1c values in exercise groups (P = 0.03, P = 0.01 respectively and no change in those who were not physically active (P = 0.2. Higher levels of HbA1c were associated with higher levels of cholesterol, LDL-c, and triglycerides (P = 0.000 each. In both groups, B and C, frequent exercise improved dyslipidemia and reduced insulin requirements significantly (P = 0.00 both, as well as a reduction in BMI (P = 0.05, P = 0.00 respectively and waist circumference(P = 0.02, P = 0.00 respectively. The frequency of hypoglycemic attacks were not statistically different between the control group and both intervention groups (4.7 ± 3.56 and 4.82 ± 4.23, P = 0.888 respectively. Reduction of blood pressure was statistically insignificant apart from the diastolic blood presure in group C (P = 0.04. Conclusion Exercise is an indispensable component in the medical treatment of patients with T1DM as it improves glycemic control and decreases cardiovascular risk factors among them.

  4. A low-fat vegan diet improves glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in a randomized clinical trial in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnard, Neal D; Cohen, Joshua; Jenkins, David J A; Turner-McGrievy, Gabrielle; Gloede, Lise; Jaster, Brent; Seidl, Kim; Green, Amber A; Talpers, Stanley

    2006-08-01

    We sought to investigate whether a low-fat vegan diet improves glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Individuals with type 2 diabetes (n = 99) were randomly assigned to a low-fat vegan diet (n = 49) or a diet following the American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines (n = 50). Participants were evaluated at baseline and 22 weeks. Forty-three percent (21 of 49) of the vegan group and 26% (13 of 50) of the ADA group participants reduced diabetes medications. Including all participants, HbA(1c) (A1C) decreased 0.96 percentage points in the vegan group and 0.56 points in the ADA group (P = 0.089). Excluding those who changed medications, A1C fell 1.23 points in the vegan group compared with 0.38 points in the ADA group (P = 0.01). Body weight decreased 6.5 kg in the vegan group and 3.1 kg in the ADA group (P vegan group and 10.7% in the ADA group (P = 0.02). After adjustment for baseline values, urinary albumin reductions were greater in the vegan group (15.9 mg/24 h) than in the ADA group (10.9 mg/24 h) (P = 0.013). Both a low-fat vegan diet and a diet based on ADA guidelines improved glycemic and lipid control in type 2 diabetic patients. These improvements were greater with a low-fat vegan diet.

  5. BAY 81-8973, a full-length recombinant factor VIII: Human heat shock protein 70 improves the manufacturing process without affecting clinical safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maas Enriquez, Monika; Thrift, John; Garger, Stephen; Katterle, Yvonne

    2016-11-01

    BAY 81-8973 is a full-length, unmodified recombinant human factor VIII (FVIII) approved for the treatment of hemophilia A. BAY 81-8973 has the same amino acid sequence as the currently marketed sucrose-formulated recombinant FVIII (rFVIII-FS) product and is produced using additional advanced manufacturing technologies. One of the key manufacturing advances for BAY 81-8973 is introduction of the gene for human heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) into the rFVIII-FS cell line. HSP70 facilitates proper folding of proteins, enhances cell survival by inhibiting apoptosis, and potentially impacts rFVIII glycosylation. HSP70 expression in the BAY 81-8973 cell line along with other manufacturing advances resulted in a higher-producing cell line and improvements in the pharmacokinetics of the final product as determined in clinical studies. HSP70 protein is not detected in the harvest or in the final BAY 81-8973 product. However, because this is a new process, clinical trial safety assessments included monitoring for anti-HSP70 antibodies. Most patients, across all age groups, had low levels of anti-HSP70 antibodies before exposure to the investigational product. During BAY 81-8973 treatment, 5% of patients had sporadic increases in anti-HSP70 antibody levels above a predefined threshold (cutoff value, 239 ng/mL). No clinical symptoms related to anti-HSP70 antibody development occurred. In conclusion, addition of HSP70 to the BAY 81-8973 cell line is an innovative technology for manufacturing rFVIII aimed at improving protein folding and expression. Improved pharmacokinetics and no effect on safety of BAY 81-8973 were observed in clinical trials in patients with hemophilia A. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Workplace Digital Health Is Associated with Improved Cardiovascular Risk Factors in a Frequency-Dependent Fashion: A Large Prospective Observational Cohort Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R Jay Widmer

    Full Text Available Cardiovascular disease (CVD is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the US. Emerging employer-sponsored work health programs (WHP and Digital Health Intervention (DHI provide monitoring and guidance based on participants' health risk assessments, but with uncertain success. DHI-mobile technology including online and smartphone interventions-has previously been found to be beneficial in reducing CVD outcomes and risk factors, however its use and efficacy in a large, multisite, primary prevention cohort has not been described to date. We analyzed usage of DHI and change in intermediate markers of CVD over the course of one year in 30,974 participants of a WHP across 81 organizations in 42 states between 2011 and 2014, stratified by participation log-ins categorized as no (n = 14,173, very low (<12/yr, n = 12,260, monthly (n = 3,360, weekly (n = 651, or semi-weekly (at least twice per week. We assessed changes in weight, waist circumference, body mass index (BMI, blood pressure, lipids, and glucose at one year, as a function of participation level. We utilized a Poisson regression model to analyze variables associated with increased participation. Those with the highest level of participation were slightly, but significantly (p<0.0001, older (48.3±11.2 yrs than non-participants (47.7±12.2 yr and more likely to be females (63.7% vs 37.3% p<0.0001. Significant improvements in weight loss were demonstrated with every increasing level of DHI usage with the largest being in the semi-weekly group (-3.39±1.06 lbs; p = 0.0013 for difference from weekly. Regression analyses demonstrated that greater participation in the DHI (measured by log-ins was significantly associated with older age (p<0.001, female sex (p<0.001, and Hispanic ethnicity (p<0.001. The current study demonstrates the success of DHI in a large, community cohort to modestly reduce CVD risk factors in individuals with high participation rate. Furthermore, participants previously

  7. Exercise-induced motor improvement after complete spinal cord transection and its relation to expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and presynaptic markers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sulejczak Dorota

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It has been postulated that exercise-induced activation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF may account for improvement of stepping ability in animals after complete spinal cord transection. As we have shown previously, treadmill locomotor exercise leads to up-regulation of BDNF protein and mRNA in the entire neuronal network of intact spinal cord. The questions arise: (i how the treadmill locomotor training, supplemented with tail stimulation, affects the expression of molecular correlates of synaptic plasticity in spinal rats, and (ii if a response is related to BDNF protein level and distribution. We investigated the effect of training in rats spinalized at low thoracic segments on the level and distribution of BDNF immunoreactivity (IR in ventral quadrants of the lumbar segments, in conjunction with markers of presynaptic terminals, synaptophysin and synaptic zinc. Results Training improved hindlimb stepping in spinal animals evaluated with modified Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan scale. Grades of spinal trained animals ranged between 5 and 11, whereas those of spinal were between 2 and 4. Functional improvement was associated with changes in presynaptic markers and BDNF distribution. Six weeks after transection, synaptophysin IR was reduced by 18% around the large neurons of lamina IX and training elevated its expression by over 30%. The level of synaptic zinc staining in the ventral horn was unaltered, whereas in ventral funiculi it was decreased by 26% postlesion and tended to normalize after the training. Overall BDNF IR levels in the ventral horn, which were higher by 22% postlesion, were unchanged after the training. However, training modified distribution of BDNF in the processes with its predominance in the longer and thicker ones. It also caused selective up-regulation of BDNF in two classes of cells (soma ranging between 100-400 μm2 and over 1000 μm2 of the ventrolateral and laterodorsal motor nuclei

  8. Prevalence of self-reported diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and associated risk factors in a national survey in the US population: SHIELD (Study to Help Improve Early evaluation and management of risk factors Leading to Diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reed Michael L

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Studies derived from continuous national surveys have shown that the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes mellitus in the US is increasing. This study estimated the prevalence in 2004 of self-reported diagnosis of diabetes and other conditions in a community-based population, using data from the Study to Help Improve Early evaluation and management of risk factors Leading to Diabetes (SHIELD. Methods The initial screening questionnaire was mailed in 2004 to a stratified random sample of 200,000 households in the US, to identify individuals, age ≥ 18 years of age, with diabetes or risk factors associated with diabetes. Follow-up disease impact questionnaires were then mailed to a representative, stratified random sample of individuals (n = 22,001 in each subgroup of interest (those with diabetes or different numbers of risk factors for diabetes. Estimated national prevalence of diabetes and other conditions was calculated, and compared to prevalence estimates from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 1999–2002. Results Response rates were 63.7% for the screening, and 71.8% for the follow-up baseline survey. The SHIELD screening survey found overall prevalence of self-reported diagnosis of diabetes (either type 1 or type 2 was 8.2%, with increased prevalence with increasing age and decreasing income. In logistic regression modeling, individuals were more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes if they had abdominal obesity (odds ratio [OR] = 3.50; p 2 (OR = 4.04; p Conclusion The SHIELD design allowed for a very large, community-based sample with broad demographic representation of the population of interest. When comparing results from the SHIELD screening survey (self-report only to those from NHANES 1999–2002 (self-report, clinical and laboratory evaluations, the prevalence of diabetes was similar. SHIELD allows the identification of respondents with and without a current diagnosis of the

  9. Lipid Replacement Therapy Functional Food Formulation with NT Factor for Reducing Weight, Girth, Body Mass, Appetite and Fatigue While Improving Blood Lipid Profiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rita R. Ellithorpe

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Lipid Replacement Therapy using NT Factor® plus kidney bean alpha-amylase inhibitor (Healthy Curb® was used in a two month weight loss clinical trial to reduce weight and improve fatigue without changing easting or exercise patterns and without use of drugs, stimulants or herbs. Objectives: To determine the effects of an all-natural functional food, NT Factor® plus alpha-amylase inhibitor (Healthy Curb®, on weight loss, body girth, body mass and index, basal metabolic rate, appetite, carvings for sweets and fatigue as well as blood lipid profiles during a 2-month open label clinical trial without food restrictions or increases in physical activity.Methods: Thirty subjects (Mean Age = 56.8 ± 1.8; 24 females and 6 males used the functional food containing NT Factor® (500 mg and alpha-amylase inhibitor (500 mg 30 min before each meal in tablet form. Participants were told to eat and exercise normally. Weight, waist and hip measurements were taken weekly. Appetite and sweet cravings were assessed weekly by standard methods. Fatigue was determined using the Piper Fatigue Scale. Blood samples were taken prior to and at the end of the trial for lipid and chemical analyses. Results: Sixty-three percent of the participants lost an average of 6.11 ± 0.28 pounds (2.77 ± 0.12 Kg (p<0.001 along with average reductions of 2.51 ± 0.05 inches (6.4 ± 0.13 cm (p<0.0001 and 1.5 ± 0.04 inches (3.8 ± 0.10 cm (p<0.0001 from waist and hip circumferences, respectively. The entire Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2012, 2(1:11-24 group lost an average of 3.63 ± 0.13 pounds (1.65 ± 0.11 Kg (p<0.001 with average reductions of 1.59 ± 0.03 inches (4.04 ± 0.06 cm (p<0.0001 and 1.13 ± 0.02 inch (2.87 ± 0.05 cm (p<0.0001 from waist and hip circumferences, respectively. Weight loss and body measurement decreases were gradual, consistent and significant, along with reductions in body mass index (BMI and basal metabolic rate (BMR measurements

  10. Development of an improved urban emissivity model based on sky view factor for retrieving effective emissivity and surface temperature over urban areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jinxin; Wong, Man Sing; Menenti, Massimo; Nichol, Janet; Voogt, James; Krayenhoff, E. Scott; Chan, P. W.

    2016-12-01

    This study aims to evaluate the effects of urban geometry on retrieval of emissivity and surface temperature in urban areas. An improved urban emissivity model based on sky view factor (IUEM-SVF) was further enhanced to consider all radiance contributions leaving the urban canopy, including (i) emission by all facets within an instantaneous field of view (IFOV); (ii) reflection by all facets of emission from surrounding facets; and (iii) propagation of emitted and reflected radiation with multiple reflections (scattering) within a complex 3D array of urban objects. The effective emissivity derived from IUEM-SVF was evaluated with a microscale radiative transfer and energy balance model: Temperatures of Urban Facets in 3-D (TUF-3D). IUEM-SVF performs well when urban facets have uniform emissivity and temperature; e.g., root mean square deviations (RMSD) are less than 0.005 when material emissivity is larger than 0.80 (ɛ ⩾ 0.80). However, when material emissivities are variable within the observed target, differences of effective emissivity between IUEM-SVF and TUF-3D become larger, e.g., RMSD of 0.010. When the effect of geometry is not considered and a mixed pixel emissivity is defined, the difference is even much larger (i.e. 0.02) and this difference increases with the decrease of sky view factor. Thus, the geometry effect should be considered in the determination of effective emissivity. Effective emissivity derived from IUEM-SVF was used to retrieve urban surface temperature from a nighttime ASTER thermal infrared image. Promising results were achieved in comparison with standard LST products retrieved with the Temperature and Emissivity Separation (TES) algorithm. IUEM-SVF shows promise as a means to improve the accuracy of urban surface temperature retrieval. The effect of thermal heterogeneity on the effective emissivity was also evaluated by TUF-3D, and results show that the thermal heterogeneity cannot be neglected since the RMSD between the effective

  11. Dietary supplementation of soy germ phytoestrogens or estradiol improves spatial memory performance and increases gene expression of BDNF, TrkB receptor and synaptic factors in ovariectomized rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Zhuoneng

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Estrogen or phytoestrogens treatment has been suggested to improve cognitive function of the brain in postmenopausal women. However, there is lack of information on the mechanism of such treatment on the central nervous system. The present study aimed to determine the effects of estradiol and soy germ phytoestrogens on spatial memory performance in ovariectomized rats and to explore the underlying mechanisms affecting the central nervous system. Methods Ovariectomized Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a basic diet supplemented with soy germ phytoestrogens (0.4 g/kg or 1.6 g/kg or 17β-estradiol (0.15 g/kg for 12 weeks. At the end of the experiment, animals were evaluated for their spatial learning and memory performance by the Morris Water Maze task. The expressions of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF and synaptic formation proteins in the hippocampal tissue were estimated using RT-PCR and ELISA. Results It was found that rats supplemented with soy germ phytoestrogens or estradiol performed significantly better in spatial memory acquisition and retention when compared to the rats fed on the control diet. Estradiol or the high dose of phytoestrogens treatment significantly increased BDNF concentration and the mRNA levels for BDNF and its TrkB receptors as well as the synaptic formation proteins, synaptophysin, spinophilin, synapsin 1 and PSD-95, in the hippocampal tissue of the experimental animals. It was also found that phytoestrogens, in contrast to estradiol, did not show any significant effect on the vaginal and uteri. Conclusion Soy germ phytoestrogens, which may be a substitute of estradiol, improved spatial memory performance in ovariectomized rats without significant side-effects on the vaginal and uteri. The memory enhancement effect may relate to the increase in BDNF and the synaptic formation proteins expression in the hippocampus of the brain.

  12. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor delivered to the brain using poly (lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles improves neurological and cognitive outcome in mice with traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalin, Igor; Alyautdin, Renad; Wong, Tin Wui; Gnanou, Justin; Kocherga, Ganna; Kreuter, Jörg

    2016-11-01

    Currently, traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death or disabilities in young individuals worldwide. The multi-complexity of its pathogenesis as well as impermeability of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) makes the drug choice and delivery very challenging. The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) regulates neuronal plasticity, neuronal cell growth, proliferation, cell survival and long-term memory. However, its short half-life and low BBB permeability are the main hurdles to be an effective therapeutic for TBI. Poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles coated by surfactant can enable the delivery of a variety of molecules across the BBB by receptor-mediated transcytosis. This study examines the ability of PLGA nanoparticles coated with poloxamer 188 (PX) to deliver BDNF into the brain and neuroprotective effects of BNDF in mice with TBI. C57bl/6 mice were subjected to weight-drop closed head injuries under anesthesia. Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, we demonstrated that the intravenous (IV) injection of nanoparticle-bound BDNF coated by PX (NP-BDNF-PX) significantly increased BDNF levels in the brain of sham-operated mice (p brain in TBI mice compared to controls. This study also showed using the passive avoidance (PA) test, that IV injection of NP-BDNF-PX 3 h post-injury prolonged the latent time in mice with TBI thereby reversing cognitive deficits caused by brain trauma. Finally, neurological severity score test demonstrated that our compound efficiently reduced the scores at day 7 after the injury indicating the improvement of neurological deficit in animals with TBI. This study shows that PLGA nanoparticles coated with PX effectively delivered BDNF into the brain, and improved neurological and cognitive deficits in TBI mice, thereby providing a neuroprotective effect.

  13. Control Factors of Improving the Accuracy of Food Inspection%提高食品检验准确性的控制因素

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    强克娟; 张哲

    2015-01-01

    Food quality and safety has an important relationship with people's life and health, and food inspection as the main method of food quality and safety control, its accuracy and reliability has become the focus of attention. In order to improve the accuracy of food inspection, food inspection staff should be prepared from the sample preparation, the choice of reagents, the preparation of the instrument, the use of test methods, laboratory environment, clean and the ability of the test personnel to do a good job, to reduce food safety risks, to ensure food safety. This paper analyzed the control factors of improving the accuracy of food inspection, and putted forward some reasonable suggestions.%食品的质量安全与人们群众的生命健康有着重要的关系,而食品检验作为食品质量安全控制的主要方法,其准确性、可靠性也随之成为关注的焦点。为提高食品检验的准确性,食品检验工作人员应该从样品的采集制备、试剂的选择、仪器的准备、检验方法的采用、实验室环境的整洁及检验人员的能力等方面做好相应工作,降低食品安全风险,确保食品安全。本文就食品检验准确性提高的控制因素进行分析,并提出几点合理的建议。

  14. Systemically administered interleukin-10 reduces tumor necrosis factor-alpha production and significantly improves functional recovery following traumatic spinal cord injury in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bethea, J R; Nagashima, H; Acosta, M C; Briceno, C; Gomez, F; Marcillo, A E; Loor, K; Green, J; Dietrich, W D

    1999-10-01

    In these studies, we examined the neuroprotective effects of the potent antiinflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10) following spinal cord injury (SCI). Neuroprotection was assessed by using behavioral and morphological end points. We hypothesized that injury-induced inflammation contributes to the resulting neuropathology and subsequent loss of function. Therefore, by attenuating injury-induced inflammation, we should promote functional recovery. The New York University device was used to induce moderate SCI and study the resulting inflammatory response and functional consequences of inhibiting this response in rats. We determined that SCI induces the expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) in the spinal cord and by SCI-activated monocytes isolated from the peripheral circulation. IL-10 (5.0 microg) administered 30 minutes after-injury significantly reduced the expression of TNF-alpha protein in the spinal cord and in vitro by SCI-activated monocytes. Next, we investigated whether IL-10 would improve functional recovery after SCI. Randomized, double-blinded studies demonstrated that a single injection of IL-10 significantly improves hind limb motor function 2 months after injury, as determined by the Basso, Beattie and Bresnahan (BBB) open-field behavioral test. IL-10-treated animals had a mean BBB score of 18.0+/-0.5 (SEM, n = 9) compared with a score of 12.9+/-0.6 (SEM, n = 9) for the saline-treated controls. Morphological analysis demonstrated that IL-10 reduces lesion volume by approximately 49% 2 months after injury. These data suggest that acute administration of IL-10 reduces TNF-alpha synthesis in the spinal cord and by activated macrophages, is neuroprotective, and promotes functional recovery following SCI.

  15. Using a combination of weighting factor method and imperialist competitive algorithm to improve speed and enhance process of reloading pattern optimization of VVER-1000 reactors in transient cycles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rahmani, Yashar, E-mail: yashar.rahmani@gmail.com [Department of Physics, Faculty of Engineering, Islamic Azad University, Sari Branch, Sari (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Shahvari, Yaser [Department of Computer Engineering, Payame Noor University (PNU), P.O. Box 19395-3697, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Kia, Faezeh [Golestan Institute of Higher Education, Gorgan 49139-83635 (Iran, Islamic Republic of)

    2017-03-15

    Highlights: • This article was an attempt to optimize reloading pattern of Bushehr VVER-1000 reactor. • A combination of weighting factor method and the imperialist competitive algorithm was used. • The speed of optimization and desirability of the proposed pattern increased considerably. • To evaluate arrangements, a coupling of WIMSD5-B, CITATION-LDI2 and WERL codes was used. • Results reflected the considerable superiority of the proposed method over direct optimization. - Abstract: In this research, an innovative solution is described which can be used with a combination of the new imperialist competitive algorithm and the weighting factor method to improve speed and increase globality of search in reloading pattern optimization of VVER-1000 reactors in transient cycles and even obtain more desirable results than conventional direct method. In this regard, to reduce the scope of the assumed searchable arrangements, first using the weighting factor method and based on values of these coefficients in each of the 16 types of loadable fuel assemblies in the second cycle, the fuel assemblies were classified in more limited groups. In consequence, the types of fuel assemblies were reduced from 16 to 6 and consequently the number of possible arrangements was reduced considerably. Afterwards, in the first phase of optimization the imperialist competitive algorithm was used to propose an optimum reloading pattern with 6 groups. In the second phase, the algorithm was reused for finding desirable placement of the subset assemblies of each group in the optimum arrangement obtained from the previous phase, and thus the retransformation of the optimum arrangement takes place from the virtual 6-group mode to the real mode with 16 fuel types. In this research, the optimization process was conducted in two states. In the first state, it was tried to obtain an arrangement with the maximum effective multiplication factor and the smallest maximum power peaking factor. In

  16. Improvement in thermoelectric power factor of mechanically alloyed p-type SiGe by incorporation of TiB2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Sajid; Dubey, K.; Bhattacharya, Shovit; Basu, Ranita; Bhatt, Ranu; Bohra, A. K.; Singh, Ajay; Aswal, D. K.; Gupta, S. K.

    2016-05-01

    Nearly 60% of the world's useful energy is wasted as heat and recovering a fraction of this waste heat by converting it as useful electrical power is an important area of research[1]. Thermoelectric power generators (TEG) are solid state devices which converts heat into electricity. TEG consists of n and p-type thermoelements connected electrically in series and thermally in parallel[2]. Silicon germanium (SiGe) alloy is one of the conventional high temperature thermoelectric materials and is being used in radio-isotopes based thermoelectric power generators for deep space exploration programs.Temperature (T) dependence of thermoelectric (TE) properties of p-type SiGe and p-type SiGe-x wt.%TiB2 (x=6,8,10%) nanocomposite materials has been studied with in the temperature range of 300 K to 1100 K. It is observed that there is an improvement in the power factor (α2/ρ) of SiGe alloy on addition of TiB2 upto 8 wt.% that is mainly due to increase in the Seebeck coefficient (α) and electrical conductivity (σ) of the alloy.

  17. Nerve growth factor injected systemically improves the recovery of the inferior alveolar nerve in a rabbit model of mandibular distraction osteogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Zhao-jie; Wang, Lei; Lei, De-lin; Liu, Bao-lin; Cao, Jian; Zhang, Pu; Ma, Qin

    2011-10-01

    Our aim was to find out if nerve growth factor (NGF) injected systemically could improve the recovery of the inferior alveolar nerve in a rabbit model of mandibular distraction osteogenesis. We used 48 New Zealand white rabbits that were treated with bilateral distraction osteogenesis at a rate of 0.5mm/12h for 10 days. Immediately postoperatively, NGF or sodium chloride 0.6 μg/day was injected intramuscularly for 20 days. At the end of distraction and after consolidation times of 1, 2, and 4 weeks, the inferior alveolar nerves were evaluated histologically and histomorphometrically. Histologically, at 2 and 4 weeks there was less myelin debris, and more regenerating axons were present, in the NGF than the control groups. The density of myelinated axons was significantly greater in groups with NGF than controls at 2 and 4 weeks (pNGF given systemically can accelerate the recovery of the inferior alveolar nerve in rabbits after mandibular distraction osteogenesis, and is a promising treatment option for neurological complications of mandibular distraction osteogenesis.

  18. Identification of Risk Factors for Poor Feeding in Infants with Congenital Heart Disease and a Novel Approach to Improve Oral Feeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Indramohan, Gitanjali; Pedigo, Tiffany P; Rostoker, Nicole; Cambare, Mae; Grogan, Tristan; Federman, Myke D

    2017-02-03

    Many infants with complex congenital heart disease (CHD) do not develop the skills to feed orally and are discharged home on gastrostomy tube or nasogastric feeds. We aimed to identify risk factors for failure to achieve full oral feeding and evaluate the efficacy of oral motor intervention for increasing the rate of discharge on full oral feeds by performing a prospective study in the neonatal and cardiac intensive care units of a tertiary children's hospital. 23 neonates born at ≥37weeks gestation and diagnosed with single-ventricle physiology requiring a surgical shunt were prospectively enrolled and received oral motor intervention therapy. 40 historical controls were identified. Mean length of stay was 53.7days for the control group and 40.9days for the study group (p=0.668). 13/23 patients who received oral motor intervention therapy (56.5%) and 18/40 (45.0%) controls were on full oral feeds at discharge, a difference of 11.5% (95% CI -13.9% to 37.0%, p=0.378). Diagnosis of hypoplastic left heart syndrome, longer intubation and duration of withholding enteral feeds, and presence of gastroesophageal reflux disease were predictors of poor oral feeding on univariate analysis. Although we did not detect a statistically significant impact of oral motor intervention, we found clinically meaningful differences in hospital length of stay and feeding tube requirement. Further research should be undertaken to evaluate methods for improving oral feeding in these at-risk infants.

  19. Key Factors for Improving the Fuel System Cleaning Effect%提高油系统清洁效果的关键因素分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    贾英权

    2013-01-01

    In the operation of the electric plant, the cleanliness of turbine oil system is an important indispensable part to ensure the normal operation of turbo, but because of the manufacturing process as well as transportation storage, or not in place control and supervision of the construction process and other issues, the cleaning results of turbine oil system are unsatisfactory. The author, based on years of experience and the actual situation of the plant, summed up some of the key factors which has a significant effect for improving the cleaning effect of the oil system.%  在电厂运行中,汽轮机油系统的清洁程度是保证汽轮发电机组正常运行不可缺少的一个重要组成部分,但是,由于制造工艺以及运输保管,或者施工过程的控制监督不到位等问题,导致汽轮机油系统的清洁效果并不理想。本文作者根据多年经验,以及电厂的实际情况,总结出了一些关键因素,对于提高油系统的清洁效果具有明显的效果。

  20. Sustained release of insulin-like growth factor-1 from poly(lactide-co-glycolide) microspheres improves osseointegration of dental implants in type 2 diabetic rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Feng; Song, Ying-liang; Li, Cui-xia; Li, De-hua; Zhang, He-peng; Ma, Ai-jie; Xi, Xiao-qing; Zhang, Ning; Wang, Bao-gang; Wang, Yao; Zhou, Wei

    2010-08-25

    Dental implantation is an effective and predictable treatment modality for replacing missing teeth and repairing maxillofacial defects. However, implants in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus are likely to have a high failure rate and poor initial osseointegration. In the current study, we established an effective drug delivery system designed to improve osseointegration of dental implants in an animal model of type 2 diabetes. Twenty type 2 diabetic rats were divided into two groups: a group receiving recombinant rat Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (rrIGF-1) Microsphere Therapy (MST) (10 rats) and a control group (10 rats). The rrIGF-1 was encapsulated into poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) microspheres to produce a sustained-release effect around titanium (Ti) dental implants in the rrIGF-1 MST group. Scanning electron microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and cumulative-release studies were conducted to verify the release effect of the microspheres as well as rrIGF-1 bioactivity. Five rats from each group were sacrificed at weeks 4 and 8 post surgery, and a histological analysis was performed on the rats from both groups. Compared to the control group, rats that received rrIGF-1 by PLGA microsphere treatment were observed to have a higher bone-implant contact percentage around the Ti implants at week 4 or week 8 post surgery (Pdental implants in type 2 diabetic rats.

  1. Clinical feasibility of cervical exercise to improve neck pain, body function, and psychosocial factors in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Seong Doo; Kim, Suhn Yeop

    2015-05-01

    [Purpose] To investigate the effect of cervical exercise on neck pain, disability, and psychosocial factors in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. [Subjects] Thirty patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, who also complained of neck pain. [Methods] The cervical exercise group (n = 15) participated in cervical exercises for 30 min, 3 times/week for 6 weeks, and the control group (n = 16) underwent conventional physical therapy alone, without exercise. The exercises were performed in the following order: cervical relaxation, local muscle stabilization, and global muscle stabilization using a sling system. [Results] Compared to the control group, the cervical exercise group demonstrated significant decreases as follows: Visual analogue scale score, 4.2 vs. 1.0; Neck disability index, 3.9 vs. 1.9; and depression on the Symptom checklist-90-revised, 9.4 vs. 4.3 and on the Hopkins symptom checklist-25, 6.3 vs. 2.8. However, anxiety on the Symptom checklist-90-revised (3.1 vs. 1.3) was not significantly different. Effect sizes were as follows: Visual analogue scale score, 1.8; Neck disability index, 0.9; depression, 1.0; and anxiety on Symptom checklist-90-revised and Hopkins symptom checklist-25, 0.6 and 0.8, respectively. [Conclusion] Cervical exercise is effective in improving neck pain, disability, and efficacy of psychological treatment for depression in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.

  2. Improvement in thermoelectric power factor of mechanically alloyed p-type SiGe by incorporation of TiB{sub 2}

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ahmad, Sajid, E-mail: sajidahmadiitkgp@gmail.com [Nuclear Research Laboratory, Astrophysical Sciences Division, B.A.R.C., Zakura, Srinagar, Kashmir-190024 (India); Dubey, K. [Barkatullah University, Bhopal–462026 (India); Bhattacharya, Shovit; Basu, Ranita; Bhatt, Ranu; Bohra, A. K.; Singh, Ajay; Aswal, D. K.; Gupta, S. K. [Technical Physics Division, B.A.R.C., Trombay, Mumbai – 400085 (India)

    2016-05-23

    Nearly 60% of the world’s useful energy is wasted as heat and recovering a fraction of this waste heat by converting it as useful electrical power is an important area of research{sup [1]}. Thermoelectric power generators (TEG) are solid state devices which converts heat into electricity. TEG consists of n and p-type thermoelements connected electrically in series and thermally in parallel{sup [2]}. Silicon germanium (SiGe) alloy is one of the conventional high temperature thermoelectric materials and is being used in radio-isotopes based thermoelectric power generators for deep space exploration programs.Temperature (T) dependence of thermoelectric (TE) properties of p-type SiGe and p-type SiGe-x wt.%TiB{sub 2} (x=6,8,10%) nanocomposite materials has been studied with in the temperature range of 300 K to 1100 K. It is observed that there is an improvement in the power factor (α{sup 2}/ρ) of SiGe alloy on addition of TiB{sub 2} upto 8 wt.% that is mainly due to increase in the Seebeck coefficient (α) and electrical conductivity (σ) of the alloy.

  3. Functional improvement in mouse models of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by PEGylated insulin-like growth factor I treatment depends on disease severity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saenger, Stefanie; Holtmann, Bettina; Nilges, Mark R; Schroeder, Susanne; Hoeflich, Andreas; Kletzl, Heidemarie; Spooren, Will; Ostrowitzki, Susanne; Hanania, Taleen; Sendtner, Michael; Metzger, Friedrich

    2012-09-01

    Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) has been successfully tested in the SOD1-G93A mouse model of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and proposed for clinical treatment. However, beneficial effects required gene therapy or intrathecal application. Circumventing the dosing issues we recently found that polyethylene glycol (PEG) modified IGF-I (PEG-IGF-I) modulated neuromuscular function after systemic application, and protected against disease progression in a motor neuron disease model. Here we investigated its effects in two SOD1-G93A mouse lines, the G1L with a milder and the G1H with a more severe phenotype. Results showed that in G1L mice, PEG-IGF-I treatment significantly improved muscle force, motor coordination and animal survival. In contrast, treatment of G1H mice with PEG-IGF-I or IGF-I even at high doses did not beneficially affect survival or functional outcomes despite increased signalling in brain and spinal cord by both agents. In conclusion, the data point towards further investigation of the therapeutic potential of PEG-IGF-I in ALS patients with less severe clinical phenotypes.

  4. Exercise, but not environmental enrichment, improves learning after kainic acid-induced hippocampal neurodegeneration in association with an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gobbo, O L; O'Mara, S M

    2005-04-15

    Previous studies have suggested that exercise in a running wheel can be neuroprotective, perhaps due to, among others, gene-expression changes after exercise, increases in trophic proteins and/or enhanced cardiovascular responsivity. Here we ask whether physical exercise or environmental enrichment provide protection after brain damage, especially in terms of recovery of cognitive function. To evaluate the neuroprotective effect of these conditions, we used the kainic acid (KA) model of neuronal injury. Systemically-administered KA induces excitotoxicity by overstimulation of glutamate receptors, resulting in neuronal death by necrosis and apoptosis. Our results show that exercise, but not enriched environment, prior to KA-induced brain damage, improved behavioural performance in both Morris watermaze and object exploration tasks. However, prior exercise did not decrease to control levels the hyperactivity normally seen in KA-treated animals, as measured by ambulation in the open field. Furthermore, both exercise and enriched environment did not protect against neuron loss in CA1, CA2 and CA3 areas of the hippocampus, despite a substantial increase in brain-derived neutrophic factor (BDNF) levels in dentate gyrus of the exercise and KA-treated animals.

  5. Low-energy extracorporeal shock wave therapy for promotion of vascular endothelial growth factor expression and angiogenesis and improvement of locomotor and sensory functions after spinal cord injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yahata, Kenichiro; Kanno, Haruo; Ozawa, Hiroshi; Yamaya, Seiji; Tateda, Satoshi; Ito, Kenta; Shimokawa, Hiroaki; Itoi, Eiji

    2016-12-01

    OBJECTIVE Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is widely used to treat various human diseases. Low-energy ESWT increases expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in cultured endothelial cells. The VEGF stimulates not only endothelial cells to promote angiogenesis but also neural cells to induce neuroprotective effects. A previous study by these authors demonstrated that low-energy ESWT promoted expression of VEGF in damaged neural tissue and improved locomotor function after spinal cord injury (SCI). However, the neuroprotective mechanisms in the injured spinal cord produced by low-energy ESWT are still unknown. In the present study, the authors investigated the cell specificity of VEGF expression in injured spinal cords and angiogenesis induced by low-energy ESWT. They also examined the neuroprotective effects of low-energy ESWT on cell death, axonal damage, and white matter sparing as well as the therapeutic effect for improvement of sensory function following SCI. METHODS Adult female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into the SCI group (SCI only) and SCI-SW group (low-energy ESWT applied after SCI). Thoracic SCI was produced using a New York University Impactor. Low-energy ESWT was applied to the injured spinal cord 3 times a week for 3 weeks after SCI. Locomotor function was evaluated using the Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan open-field locomotor score for 42 days after SCI. Mechanical and thermal allodynia in the hindpaw were evaluated for 42 days. Double staining for VEGF and various cell-type markers (NeuN, GFAP, and Olig2) was performed at Day 7; TUNEL staining was also performed at Day 7. Immunohistochemical staining for CD31, α-SMA, and 5-HT was performed on spinal cord sections taken 42 days after SCI. Luxol fast blue staining was performed at Day 42. RESULTS Low-energy ESWT significantly improved not only locomotion but also mechanical and thermal allodynia following SCI. In the double staining, expression of VEGF was observed in Neu

  6. Late-Life Environmental Enrichment Induces Acetylation Events and Nuclear Factor κB-Dependent Regulations in the Hippocampus of Aged Rats Showing Improved Plasticity and Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neidl, Romain; Schneider, Anne; Bousiges, Olivier; Majchrzak, Monique; Barbelivien, Alexandra; de Vasconcelos, Anne Pereira; Dorgans, Kevin; Doussau, Frédéric; Loeffler, Jean-Philippe; Cassel, Jean-Christophe; Boutillier, Anne-Laurence

    2016-04-13

    Aging weakens memory functions. Exposing healthy rodents or pathological rodent models to environmental enrichment (EE) housing improves their cognitive functions by changing neuronal levels of excitation, cellular signaling, and plasticity, notably in the hippocampus. At the molecular level, brain derived-neurotrophic factor (BDNF) represents an important player that supports EE-associated changes. EE facilitation of learning was also shown to correlate with chromatin acetylation in the hippocampus. It is not known, however, whether such mechanisms are still into play during aging. In this study, we exposed a cohort of aged rats (18-month-old) to either a 6 month period of EE or standard housing conditions and investigated chromatin acetylation-associated events [histone acetyltranferase activity, gene expression, and histone 3 (H3) acetylation] and epigenetic modulation of the Bdnf gene under rest conditions and during learning. We show that EE leads to upregulation of acetylation-dependent mechanisms in aged rats, whether at rest or following a learning challenge. We found an increased expression of Bdnf through Exon-I-dependent transcription, associated with an enrichment of acetylated H3 at several sites of Bdnf promoter I, more particularly on a proximal nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) site under learning conditions. We further evidenced p65/NF-κB binding to chromatin at promoters of genes important for plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning (e.g., Bdnf, CamK2D). Altogether, our findings demonstrate that aged rats respond to a belated period of EE by increasing hippocampal plasticity, together with activating sustained acetylation-associated mechanisms recruiting NF-κB and promoting related gene transcription. These responses are likely to trigger beneficial effects associated with EE during aging. Aging weakens memory functions. Optimizing the neuronal circuitry required for normal brain function can be achieved by increasing sensory, motor, and

  7. Anxiety and depression factors mining based on improved BUS algorithm%基于改进BUS算法的焦虑抑郁障碍因素挖掘

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘峰斌; 袁志勇; 肖玲; 王惠玲; 王高华

    2015-01-01

    For early prevention and diagnosis of patients with anxiety and depression, this paper applies association rule mining and summarization methods to medical records to discover sets of risk factors associated with anxiety and depression. Separate use of frequent itemsets mining algorithm would produce too many frequent itemsets and association rules, causing its practicability greatly reduced. It preprocesses the medical records. Then it uses the FP-growth algorithm to find frequent itemsets in the data after pretreatment. At last, it uses the latest improvement Bottom-Up Summarization(BUS)algorithm to summarize the discovered frequent itemsets. At the same time, it compares the association rules obtained at last with the association rules uncompressed and the association rules obtained by the original BUS algorithm and Top-K. Experi-mental results show that the rules obtained by improved BUS algorithm have moderate number, less redundant information and the people covered by these rules are at high risk of anxiety or depression.%针对焦虑抑郁患者的早期预防和诊断需求,将关联规则挖掘和压缩方法应用于焦虑抑郁障碍因素的研究,在病人数据中挖掘出与焦虑抑郁障碍相关性较高的因素集合。单独使用频繁项集挖掘算法会产生过多的频繁项集和关联规则,导致其实用性大为降低。对收集的病人数据进行预处理,采用FP-growth算法,挖掘出预处理后数据中的频繁项集,采用最新改进Bottom-Up Summarization(BUS)算法,对挖掘出的频繁项集进行压缩。同时将最后得到的关联规则与未压缩得到的关联规则、原始BUS算法及Top-K算法压缩后得到的关联规则进行对比。实验结果表明,使用改进BUS算法得到的规则数量适中、信息冗余较少而且覆盖的人群具有更高的患病风险。

  8. Minocycline upregulates cyclic AMP response element binding protein and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the hippocampus of cerebral ischemia rats and improves behavioral deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yu; Xiao, Ming; He, Wenbo; Cai, Zhiyou

    2015-01-01

    The cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) plays an important role in the mechanism of cognitive impairment and is also pivotal in the switch from short-term to long-term memory. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) seems a promising avenue in the treatment of cerebral ischemia injury since this neurotrophin could stimulate structural plasticity and repair cognitive impairment. Several findings have displayed that the dysregulation of the CREB-BDNF cascade has been involved in cognitive impairment. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of cerebral ischemia on learning and memory as well as on the levels of CREB, phosphorylated CREB (pCREB), and BDNF, and to determine the effect of minocycline on CREB, pCREB, BDNF, and behavioral functional recovery after cerebral ischemia. The animal model was established by permanent bilateral occlusion of both common carotid arteries. Behavior was evaluated 5 days before decapitation with Morris water maze and open-field task. Four days after permanent bilateral occlusion of both common carotid arteries, minocycline was administered by douche via the stomach for 4 weeks. CREB and pCREB were examined by Western blotting, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, and immunohistochemistry. BDNF was measured by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. The model rats after minocycline treatment swam shorter distances than control rats before finding the platform (P=0.0007). The number of times the platform position was crossed for sham-operation rats was more than that of the model groups in the corresponding platform location (P=0.0021). The number of times the platform position was crossed for minocycline treatment animals was significantly increased compared to the model groups in the corresponding platform position (P=0.0016). CREB, pCREB, and BDNF were downregulated after permanent bilateral occlusion of both common carotid arteries in the model group. Minocycline increased the expression of CREB

  9. In vivo transfection of manganese superoxide dismutase gene or nuclear factor κB shRNA in nodose ganglia improves aortic baroreceptor function in heart failure rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dongze; Liu, Jinxu; Tu, Huiyin; Muelleman, Robert L; Cornish, Kurtis G; Li, Yu-Long

    2014-01-01

    Arterial baroreflex sensitivity is attenuated in chronic heart failure (CHF) state, which is associated with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in patients with CHF. Our previous study showed that CHF-induced sodium channel dysfunction in the baroreceptor neurons was involved in the blunted baroreflex sensitivity in CHF rats. Mitochondria-derived superoxide overproduction decreased expression and activation of the sodium channels in the baroreceptor neurons from CHF rats. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for the sodium channel dysfunction in the baroreceptor neurons from CHF rats remain unknown. We tested the involvement of nuclear factor κB (NFκB) in the sodium channel dysfunction and evaluated the effects of in vivo transfection of manganese superoxide dismutase gene and NFκB shRNA on the baroreflex function in CHF rats. CHF was developed at 6 to 8 weeks after left coronary artery ligation in adult rats. Western blot and chromatin immunoprecipitation data showed that phosphorylated NFκB p65 and ability of NFκB p65 binding to the sodium channel promoter were increased in the nodose ganglia from CHF rats. In vivo transfection of adenoviral manganese superoxide dismutase gene or lentiviral NFκB p65 shRNA into the nodose ganglia partially reversed CHF-reduced sodium channel expression and cell excitability in the baroreceptor neurons and improved CHF-blunted arterial baroreflex sensitivity. Additionally, transfection of adenoviral manganese superoxide dismutase also inhibited the augmentation of phosphorylated NFκB p65 in the nodose neurons from CHF rats. The present study suggests that superoxide-NFκB signaling contributes to CHF-induced baroreceptor dysfunction and resultant impairment of baroreflex function.

  10. Uridine prodrug improves memory in Tg2576 and TAPP mice and reduces pathological factors associated with Alzheimer's disease in related models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saydoff, Joel A; Olariu, Ana; Sheng, Jin; Hu, Zhongyi; Li, Qin; Garcia, Rolando; Pei, Jiong; Sun, Grace Y; von Borstel, Reid

    2013-01-01

    Uridine prodrug PN401 has been shown to have neuroprotective effects in models of Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. These age-related neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD) are associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and inflammation. Attenuation of these pathological factors in AD, in addition to amyloid fibrils and neurofibrillary tangles, is critical to prevent cognitive impairment. The effects of PN401 treatment were tested in the Tg2576 and Tg2576 X P301L (TAPP) mouse models of AD. Treatment with PN401 reduced impairments in the Tg2576 mice in contextual fear conditioning and novel object recognition. In the TAPP mice, PN401 reduced the impairments in novel object recognition and social transmission of food preference. PN401 also improved motor behavior and reduced anxiety-like behavior in the TAPP mice. TAPP mouse hippocampal tau phosphorylation and lipid peroxidation were reduced by PN401 treatment. Increased tau phosphorylation was significantly correlated with worsening novel object recognition memory. PN401 did not affect amyloid plaque area in the AD mice. In other AD-related animal studies, PN401 treatment reduced blood-brain barrier damage due to intracortical LPS, elevation of serum TNFα due to systemic LPS, and hippocampal CA1 neuronal loss in the gerbil stroke model. Uridine dose-dependently protected cells from chemical hypoxia and ceramide, and decreased formation of reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial DNA damage due to hydrogen peroxide. These protective effects were achieved by raising uridine levels to at least 25-50 μM and serum uridine levels in this range in humans were obtained with oral PN401.

  11. Zeta Sperm Selection Improves Pregnancy Rate and Alters Sex Ratio in Male Factor Infertility Patients: A Double-Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nasr Esfahani Mohammad Hossein

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background Selection of sperm for intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI is usually considered as the ultimate technique to alleviate male-factor infertility. In routine ICSI, selection is based on morphology and viability which does not necessarily preclude the chance injection of DNA-damaged or apoptotic sperm into the oocyte. Sperm with high negative surface electrical charge, named “Zeta potential”, are mature and more likely to have intact chromatin. In addition, X-bearing spermatozoa carry more negative charge. Therefore, we aimed to compare the clinical outcomes of Zeta procedure with routine sperm selection in infertile men candidate for ICSI. Materials and Methods From a total of 203 ICSI cycles studied, 101 cycles were allocated to density gradient centrifugation (DGC/Zeta group and the remaining 102 were included in the DGC group in this prospective study. Clinical outcomes were com- pared between the two groups. The ratios of Xand Y bearing sperm were assessed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR methods in 17 independent semen samples. Results In the present double-blind randomized clinical trial, a significant increase in top quality embryos and pregnancy rate were observed in DGC/Zeta group compared to DGC group. Moreover, sex ratio (XY/XX at birth significantly was lower in the DGC/Zeta group compared to DGC group despite similar ratio of X/Y bearings sper- matozoa following Zeta selection. Conclusion Zeta method not only improves the percentage of top embryo quality and pregnancy outcome but also alters the sex ratio compared to the conventional DGC method, despite no significant change in the ratio of Xand Ybearing sperm population (Registration number: IRCT201108047223N1.

  12. Improving the soluble expression and purification of recombinant human stem cell factor (SCF) in endotoxin-free Escherichia coli by disulfide shuffling with persulfide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueda, Takafumi; Akuta, Teruo; Kikuchi-Ueda, Takane; Imaizumi, Keitaro; Ono, Yasuo

    2016-04-01

    We here present a new method for the expression and purification of recombinant human stem cell factor (rhSCF(164)) in endotoxin-free ClearColi(®) BL21(DE3) cells harboring codon-optimized Profinity eXact™-tagged hSCF cDNA. Previously, we demonstrated that co-expression with thioredoxin increased the solubility of rhSCF in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3), and addition of l-arginine enhanced chromatography performance by removing the endotoxin-masked surface of rhSCF. Initially, we tried to express rhSCF in an endotoxin-free strain using a thioredoxin co-expression system, which resulted in significantly lower expression, possibly due to the stress imposed by overexpressed thioredoxin or antibiotics susceptibility. Therefore, we developed a new expression system without thioredoxin. External redox coupling was tested using persulfides such as glutathione persulfide or cysteine persulfide for the in vivo-folding of hSCF in the cytoplasm. Persulfides improved the protein solubility by accelerating disulfide-exchange reactions for incorrectdisulfides during folding in E. coli. Furthermore, the persulfides enhanced the expression level, likely due to upregulation of the enzymatic activity of T7 RNA polymerase. The recombinant protein was purified via affinity chromatography followed by cleavage with sodium fluoride, resulting in complete proteolytic removal of the N-terminal tag. The endotoxin-free fusion protein from ClearColi(®) BL21(DE3) could bind to the resin in the standard protocol using sodium phosphate (pH 7.2). Furthermore, purified rhSCF enhanced the proliferation and maturation of the human mast cell line LAD2. Thus, we conclude that use of the protein expression system employing E. coli by disulfide shuffling with persulfide addition could be a very useful method for efficient protein production.

  13. Canine Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 Ameliorates Hyperglycemia Associated with Inhibiting Hepatic Gluconeogenesis and Improving Pancreatic Beta-Cell Survival in Diabetic Mice and Dogs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pengfei Xu

    Full Text Available Diabetes mellitus is a common endocrinopathy in dog. Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF-21 is a secreted protein, which is involved in glucose homeostasis. We speculate that the recombinant canine FGF-21 (cFGF-21 has the potential to become a powerful therapeutics to treat canine diabetes. The cFGF-21 gene was cloned and expressed in E. coli Rosetta (DE3. After purification, a cFGF-21 protein with the purity exceeding 95% was obtained. Mouse 3T3-L1 adipocytes and type 1 diabetic mice/dogs induced by STZ were used to examine the biological activity of cFGF-21 in vitro and in vivo, respectively. Results showed that cFGF-21 stimulated glucose uptake in adipocytes significantly in a dose-dependent manner, and reduced plasma glucose significantly in diabetic mice/dogs. After treatment with cFGF-21, the serum insulin level, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c level and the expressions of the hepatic gluconeogenesis genes (glucose-6-phosphatase, G6Pase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, PCK of the diabetic mice/dogs were attenuated significantly. In the mouse experiment, we also found that the phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3 and the expression of suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3 were up-regulated significantly in the livers after treatment. Histopathological and immunohistochemical results showed that treatment with cFGF-21 promoted recovery of pancreatic islets from STZ-induced apoptosis. Besides, we also found that treatment with cFGF-21 protected liver against STZ or hyperglycemia induced damage and the mechanism of this action associated with inhibiting oxidative stress. In conclusion, cFGF-21 represents a promising candidate for canine diabetes therapeutics. The mechanism of cFGF-21 ameliorates hyperglycemia associated with inhibiting hepatic gluconeogenesis by regulation of STAT3 signal pathway and improving pancreatic beta-cell survival.

  14. Enhanced neuroprotection and improved motor function in traumatized rat spinal cords by rAAV2-mediated Glial-derived neurotrophic factor combined with early rehabilitation training

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Han Qingquan; Xiang Jingjing; Zhang Yun; Qiao Hujun; Shen Yongwei; Zhang Chun

    2014-01-01

    Background Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a serious neurological injury that often leads to permanent disabilities for the victims.The aim of this study was to determine the effects of glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) mediated by recombinant adeno-associated virus type 2 (rAAV2) alone or in combination with early rehabilitation training on SCI.Methods SCI was induced on the T8-9 segments of the spinal cord by laminectomy in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats.Then besides the sham operation group,the SCI rats were randomly divided into four groups:natural healing group,gene therapy group,rehabilitation training group,and combination therapy group (gene therapy in combination with rehabilitation training).Motor dysfunction,protein expression of GDNF,edema formation,and cell injury were examined 7,14,and 21 days after trauma.Results The topical application of rAAV-GDNF-GFP resulted in strong expression of GDNF,especially after the 14th day,and could protect the motor neuron ceils.Early rehabilitative treatment resulted in significantly improved motor function,reduced edema formation,and protected the cells from injury,especially after the 7th and 14th days,and increased the GDNF expression in the damaged area,which was most evident after Day 14.The combined application of GDNF and early rehabilitative treatment after SCI resulted in a significant reduction in spinal cord pathology and motor dysfunction after the 7th and 14th days.Conclusion These observations suggest that rAAV2 gene therapy in combination with rehabilitation therapy has potential clinical value for the treatment of SCI.

  15. Jejunal microvilli atrophy and reduced nutrient transport in rats with advanced liver cirrhosis: improvement by Insulin-like Growth Factor I

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Castilla-Cortázar Inma

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous results have shown that in rats with non-ascitic cirrhosis there is an altered transport of sugars and amino acids associated with elongated microvilli. These alterations returned to normal with the administration of Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I (IGF-I. The aims of this study were to explore the evolution of these alterations and analyse the effect of IGF-I in rats with advanced cirrhosis and ascites. Thus, jejunal structure and nutrient transport (D-galactose, L-leucine, L-proline, L-glutamic acid and L-cystine were studied in rats with ascitic cirrhosis. Methods Advanced cirrhosis was induced by CCl4 inhalation and Phenobarbital administration for 30 weeks. Cirrhotic animals were divided into two groups which received IGF-I or saline during two weeks. Control group was studied in parallel. Jejunal microvilli were studied by electron microscopy. Nutrient transport was assessed in brush border membrane vesicles using 14C or 35S-labelled subtracts in the three experimental groups. Results Intestinal active Na+-dependent transport was significantly reduced in untreated cirrhotic rats. Kinetic studies showed a decreased Vmax and a reduced affinity for sugar and four amino acids transporters (expressed as an increased Kt in the brush border membrane vesicles from untreated cirrhotic rats as compared with controls. Both parameters were normalised in the IGF-I-treated cirrhotic group. Electron microscopy showed elongation and fusion of microvilli with degenerative membrane lesions and/or notable atrophy. Conclusions The initial microvilli elongation reported in non ascitic cirrhosis develops into atrophy in rats with advanced cirrhosis and nutrient transports (monosaccharides and amino acids are progressively reduced. Both morphological and functional alterations improved significantly with low doses of IGF-I.

  16. Fibroblast growth factor 21 improves insulin sensitivity and synergizes with insulin in human adipose stem cell-derived (hASC adipocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darwin V Lee

    Full Text Available Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21 has evolved as a major metabolic regulator, the pharmacological administration of which causes weight loss, insulin sensitivity and glucose control in rodents and humans. To understand the molecular mechanisms by which FGF21 exerts its metabolic effects, we developed a human in vitro model of adipocytes to examine crosstalk between FGF21 and insulin signaling. Human adipose stem cell-derived (hASC adipocytes were acutely treated with FGF21 alone, insulin alone, or in combination. Insulin signaling under these conditions was assessed by measuring tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor (InsR, insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1, and serine 473 phosphorylation of Akt, followed by a functional assay using 14C-2-deoxyglucose [14C]-2DG to measure glucose uptake in these cells. FGF21 alone caused a modest increase of glucose uptake, but treatment with FGF21 in combination with insulin had a synergistic effect on glucose uptake in these cells. The presence of FGF21 also effectively lowered the insulin concentration required to achieve the same level of glucose uptake compared to the absence of FGF21 by 10-fold. This acute effect of FGF21 on insulin signaling was not due to IR, IGF-1R, or IRS-1 activation. Moreover, we observed a substantial increase in basal S473-Akt phosphorylation by FGF21 alone, in contrast to the minimal shift in basal glucose uptake. Taken together, our data demonstrate that acute co-treatment of hASC-adipocytes with FGF21 and insulin can result in a synergistic improvement in glucose uptake. These effects were shown to occur at or downstream of Akt, or separate from the canonical insulin signaling pathway.

  17. Honokiol improved chondrogenesis and suppressed inflammation in human umbilical cord derived mesenchymal stem cells via blocking nuclear factor-κB pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Hao; Yin, Zhanhai; Wang, Ling; Li, Feng; Qiu, Yusheng

    2017-08-29

    Cartilage degradation is the significant pathological process in osteoarthritis (OA). Inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-1β (IL-1β), activate various downstream mediators contributing to OA pathology. Recently, stem cell-based cartilage repair emerges as a potential therapeutic strategy that being widely studied, whereas, the outcome is still far from clinical application. In this study, we focused on an anti-inflammatory agent, honokiol, which is isolated from an herb, investigated the potential effects on human umbilical cord derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSCs) in IL-1β stimulation. Second passage hUC-MSCs were cultured for multi-differentiation. Flow cytometry, qRT-PCR, von Kossa stain, alcian blue stain and oil red O stain were used for characterization and multi-differentiation determination. Honokiol (5, 10, 25, 50 μM) and IL-1β (10 ng/ml) were applied in hUC-MSCs during chondrogenesis. Analysis was performed by MTT, cell apoptosis evaluation, ELISA assay, qRT-PCR and western blot. hUC-MSC was positive for CD73, CD90 and CD105, but lack of CD34 and CD45. Remarkable osteogenesis, chondrogenesis and adipogenesis were detected in hUC-MSCs. IL-1β enhanced cell apoptosis and necrosis and activated the expression of caspase-3, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, -9, 13 in hUC-MSCs. Moreover, the expression of SRY-related high-mobility group box 9 (SOX-9), aggrecan and col2α1 was suppressed. Honokiol relieved these negative impacts induced by IL-1β and suppressed Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) pathway by downregulating expression of p-IKKα/β, p-IκBα and p-p65 in dose-dependent and time-dependent manner. Honokiol improved cell survival and chondrogenesis of hUC-MSCs and inhibited IL-1β-induced inflammatory response, which suggested that combination of anti-inflammation and stem cell can be a novel strategy for better cartilage repair.

  18. Risk factors for unplanned readmission within 30 days after pediatric neurosurgery: a nationwide analysis of 9799 procedures from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherrod, Brandon A; Johnston, James M; Rocque, Brandon G

    2016-09-01

    OBJECTIVE Hospital readmission rate is increasingly used as a quality outcome measure after surgery. The purpose of this study was to establish, using a national database, the baseline readmission rates and risk factors for patient readmission after pediatric neurosurgical procedures. METHODS The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program-Pediatric database was queried for pediatric patients treated by a neurosurgeon between 2012 and 2013. Procedures were categorized by current procedural terminology (CPT) code. Patient demographics, comorbidities, preoperative laboratory values, operative variables, and postoperative complications were analyzed via univariate and multivariate techniques to find associations with unplanned readmissions within 30 days of the primary procedure. RESULTS A total of 9799 cases met the inclusion criteria, 1098 (11.2%) of which had an unplanned readmission within 30 days. Readmission occurred 14.0 ± 7.7 days postoperatively (mean ± standard deviation). The 4 procedures with the highest unplanned readmission rates were CSF shunt revision (17.3%; CPT codes 62225 and 62230), repair of myelomeningocele > 5 cm in diameter (15.4%), CSF shunt creation (14.1%), and craniectomy for infratentorial tumor excision (13.9%). The lowest unplanned readmission rates were for spine (6.5%), craniotomy for craniosynostosis (2.1%), and skin lesion (1.0%) procedures. On multivariate regression analysis, the odds of readmission were greatest in patients experiencing postoperative surgical site infection (SSI; deep, organ/space, superficial SSI, and wound disruption: OR > 12 and p 10 days (OR 1.411, p = 0.010), oxygen supplementation (OR 1.645, p = 0.010), nutritional support (OR 1.403, p = 0.009), seizure disorder (OR 1.250, p = 0.021), and longer operative time (per hour increase, OR 1.059, p = 0.029). CONCLUSIONS This study may aid in identifying patients at risk for unplanned readmission following pediatric neurosurgery

  19. Stem cell mobilization induced by subcutaneous granulocyte-colony stimulating factor to improve cardiac regeneration after acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction: result of the double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled stem cells in myocardial infarction (STEMMI) trial

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ripa, Rasmus Sejersten; Jørgensen, Erik; Wang, Yongzhong;

    2006-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Phase 1 clinical trials of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) treatment after myocardial infarction have indicated that G-CSF treatment is safe and may improve left ventricular function. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial aimed to assess the efficacy...

  20. Improvement of livestock breeding strategies using physiologic and functional genomic information of the muscle regulatory factors gene family for skeletal muscle development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pas, te M.F.W.; Soumillon, A.

    2001-01-01

    A defined number of skeletal muscle fibers are formed in two separate waves during prenatal development, while postnatal growth is restricted to hypertrophic muscle fiber growth. The genes of the MRF (muscle regulatory factors) gene family, consisting of 4 structurally related transcription factors

  1. Improving Writing Skills of Thai EFL Students by Recognition of and Compensation for Factors of L1 to L2 Negative Transfer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sersen, William J.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this research is to utilize an experimental-education technique for improving the writing skills of Thai EFL (English as a Foreign Language) students. This improvement of skills is sought by making the student-participants in this study consciously aware of those specific aspects of L1 (Language 1, meaning the mother tongue) to L2…

  2. Factors affecting domestic water consumption in rural households upon access to improved water supply: insights from the Wei River Basin, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fan, L.; Liu, G.; Wang, F.; Geissen, V.; Ritsema, C.J.

    2013-01-01

    Comprehensively understanding water consumption behavior is necessary to design efficient and effective water use strategies. Despite global efforts to identify the factors that affect domestic water consumption, those related to domestic water use in rural regions have not been sufficiently

  3. Postoperative adjuvant arterial chemoembolization improves survival of hepatocellular carcinoma patients with risk factors for residual tumor:A retrospective control study

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zheng-Gang Ren; Zhao-You Tang; Zhi-Ying Lin; Jing-Lin Xia; Sheng-Long Ye; Zeng-Chen Ma; Qing-Hai Ye; Lun-Xiu Qin; Zhi-Quan Wu; Jia Fan

    2004-01-01

    AIM: To evaluate the effect of postoperative adjuvant transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) on the prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients with or without risk factors for the residual tumor.METHODS: From January 1995 to December 1998, 549consecutive HCC patients undergoing surgical resection were included in this research. There were 185 patients who underwent surgical resection with adjuvant TACE and 364 patients who underwent surgical resection only. Tumors with a diameter more than 5 cm, multiple nodules, and vascular invasion were defined as risk factors for residual tumor and used for patient stratification. Kaplan-Meier method was used to analyze survival curve and Cox proportional hazard model was used to evaluate the prognostic significance of adjuvant TACE.RESULTS: In the patients without any risk factors for the residual tumor, the 1-, 3-, 5-year survival rates were 93.48%,75.85%, 62.39% in the control group and 97.39%, 70.37%,50.85% in the adjuvant TACE group, respectively. There was no significant difference in the survival between two groups (P = 0.3956). However, in the patients with risk factors for residual tumor, postoperative adjuvant TACE significantly prolonged the patients' survival. There was a statistically significant difference in survival between two groups (P = 0.0216). The 1-, 3-, 5-year survival rates were 69.95%, 49.86%, 37.40% in the control group and 89.67%,61.28%, 44.36% in the adjuvant TACE group, respectively.Cox proportional hazard model showed that tumor diameter and cirrhosis, but not the adjuvant TACE, were the significantly independent prognostic factors in the patients without risk factors for residual tumor. However, in the patients with risk factors for residual tumor adjuvant TACE, and also tumor diameter, AFP level, vascular invasion, were the significantly independent factors associated with the decreasing risk for patients' death from HCC.CONCLUSION: Postoperative adjuvant TACE can prolong the

  4. Human factors evaluation of remote afterloading brachytherapy: Human error and critical tasks in remote afterloading brachytherapy and approaches for improved system performance. Volume 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Callan, J.R.; Kelly, R.T.; Quinn, M.L. [Pacific Science and Engineering Group, San Diego, CA (United States)] [and others

    1995-05-01

    Remote Afterloading Brachytherapy (RAB) is a medical process used in the treatment of cancer. RAB uses a computer-controlled device to remotely insert and remove radioactive sources close to a target (or tumor) in the body. Some RAB problems affecting the radiation dose to the patient have been reported and attributed to human error. To determine the root cause of human error in the RAB system, a human factors team visited 23 RAB treatment sites in the US The team observed RAB treatment planning and delivery, interviewed RAB personnel, and performed walk-throughs, during which staff demonstrated the procedures and practices used in performing RAB tasks. Factors leading to human error in the RAB system were identified. The impact of those factors on the performance of RAB was then evaluated and prioritized in terms of safety significance. Finally, the project identified and evaluated alternative approaches for resolving the safety significant problems related to human error.

  5. Weighted difference of g-factors of light Li-like and H-like ions for an improved determination of the fine-structure constant

    CERN Document Server

    Yerokhin, V A; Harman, Z; Tupitsyn, I I; Keitel, C H

    2016-01-01

    A weighted difference of the $g$-factors of the Li- and H-like ion of the same element is studied and optimized in order to maximize the cancellation of nuclear effects. To this end, a detailed theoretical investigation is performed for the finite nuclear size correction to the one-electron $g$-factor, the one- and two-photon exchange effects, and the QED effects. The coefficients of the $Z\\alpha$ expansion of these corrections are determined, which allows us to set up the optimal definition of the weighted difference. It is demonstrated that, for moderately light elements, such weighted difference is nearly free from uncertainties associated with nuclear effects and can be utilized to extract the fine-structure constant from bound-electron $g$-factor experiments with an accuracy competitive with or better than its current literature value.

  6. Combining psychosocial data to improve prediction of cardiovascular disease risk factors and events:: The NHLBI-Sponsored Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittaker, Kerry S.; Krantz, David S.; Rutledge, Thomas; Johnson, B. Delia; Wawrzyniak, Andrew J.; Bittner, Vera; Eastwood, Jo-Ann; Eteiba, Wafia; Cornell, Carol E.; Pepine, Carl J.; Vido, Diane A.; Handberg, Eileen; Merz, C. Noel Bairey

    2012-01-01

    Background There is overlap among psychosocial variables associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD), and utility of combining psychosocial variables as risk markers for understanding CVD is largely unknown. Methods Women (n=493) in the NHLBI Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) Study were evaluated. The predictive value for CVD events was determined for multivariate combination of Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Social Network Index (SNI), and Cook-Medley hostility (Ho) scales. Principal components analysis of psychosocial scales revealed composite psychosocial risk markers, and their relationships to CVD events and risk factors were assessed. Results In a multivariate model, the block of SNI, Hostile Affect, STAI and BDI predicted CVD events (χ2[6]=27.8, p<0.001). Scale-wise factor analysis revealed two factors: Negative Affectivity (NA) and Hostility(explained variance 45.6% and 17.1%, respectively). SNI didn't load on either factor. NA was associated with BMI (β [SE] = 0.18[0.09], p=0.04), Hostility with metabolic syndrome (Exp(β)= 0.60[0.28], p=0.04), both factors with blood pressure (BP). NA with SBP β=2.53[1.04], p=0.02, DBP β=1.66[0.60], p=0.02; Hostility with SBP β=2.72[1.13], p=0.02, DBP β =1.83[0.65], p=0.005). Neither factor predicted CVD events. In multivariable analyses, original scales were associated with CVD events (lower SNI HR=0.74, CI=0.57–0.96), low Hostile Affect (HR=0.80, CI=0.56–1.03), and higher BDI(HR=1.33, CI=1.08–1.74). Conclusion In women with suspected ischemia, there is shared variance among psychosocial variables. Multivariate combination of psychosocial risk markers predicts CVD events; derived psychosocial factors were associated with CVD risk factors but not events. Measuring common and unique variance among psychosocial variables may be useful for understanding and predicting CVD. PMID:22434916

  7. Factors Influencing the Improved Academic Success in Literacy at the Knowledge Is Power Program School in the Delta Region According to Administrator, Teacher, and Student Perceptions: Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Kimberly Jonetta

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the factors that have influenced the literacy success of the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) students in the low-income, poverty stricken Delta Region of a mid-south state. The study examined the progress made since the implementation of the KIPP Program and the influence the program has made upon student…

  8. Using a correction factor to correct for overreporting in a food-frequency questionnaire does not improve biomarker-assessed validity of estimates for fruit and vegetable consumption

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bogers, R.P.; Dagnelie, P.C.; Westerterp, K.R.; Kester, A.D.M.; Klaveren, van J.D.; Bast, A.; Brandt, van den P.A.

    2003-01-01

    To correct for overreporting of fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption in a food-frequency questionnaire, summary questions about consumption of main FV groups are often used to calculate correction factors. This study compared the ability to rank people according to their FV intake of those summary q

  9. Protein synthesis alongation factors EF-Tu and eEF1A: biosynthesis, functions and application in the improvement of heat tolerance in plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Protein synthesis elongation factors EF-Tu and eEF1A (EFs) represent a group of highly conserved and abundant GTPases with an important role in transporting the aminoacyl-tRNA complex to the A site of the ribosome during elongation phase of translation. EF-Tu proteins are located in bacteria and, du...

  10. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor induces neurogenesis and improves cognition in amyloid precursor protein transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    朱正禹

    2012-01-01

    Objective To investigate the effect of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and its effect on the cognation in the PDGF-hAPPV717I transgenic mice of Alzheimer’s disease model. Methods Totally 36 PDGF-hAPPV717I transgenic mice were randomly divided into two groups:

  11. Factors Influencing the Improved Academic Success in Literacy at the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) Schools in the Delta Region According to Adult Perceptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Kimberly J.; Holt, Carleton R.

    2014-01-01

    This qualitative case study explored factors that have influenced literacy success of Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) students in the low-income, poverty stricken Delta Region of Arkansas. The study examined progress made since implementation of the KIPP Program and the influence the program had made upon student achievement in literacy at the…

  12. Improved antitumor response to isolated limb perfusion with tumor necrosis factor after upregulation of endothelial monocyte-activating polypeptide II in soft tissue sarcoma

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    T.E. Lans; T.L.M. ten Hagen (Timo); R. van Horssen (Remco); P.C. Wu; S.T. van Tiel (Sandra); S.K. Libutti; H.R. Alexander; A.M.M. Eggermont (Alexander)

    2002-01-01

    textabstractBACKGROUND: Experiments with tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF) in rodents have shown that a high dose can lead to hemorrhagic necrosis in tumors. Endothelial monocyte-activating polypeptide II (EMAP-II) is a novel tumor-derived cytokine, and its expression increases the

  13. Intermittent Vagal Nerve Block for Improvements in Obesity, Cardiovascular Risk Factors, and Glycemic Control in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: 2-Year Results of the VBLOC DM2 Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shikora, Scott A; Toouli, James; Herrera, Miguel F; Kulseng, Bård; Brancatisano, Roy; Kow, Lilian; Pantoja, Juan P; Johnsen, Gjermund; Brancatisano, Anthony; Tweden, Katherine S; Knudson, Mark B; Billington, Charles J; Billingto, Charles J

    2016-05-01

    One-year results of the VBLOC DM2 study found that intermittent vagal blocking (VBLOC therapy) was safe among subjects with obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and led to significant weight loss and improvements in glycemic parameters and cardiovascular risk factors. Longer-term data are needed to determine whether the results are sustained. VBLOC DM2 is a prospective, observational study of 28 subjects with T2DM and body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 40 kg/m(2) to assess mid-term safety and weight loss and improvements in glycemic parameters, and other cardiovascular risk factors with VBLOC therapy. Continuous outcome variables are reported using mixed models. At 24 months, the mean percentage of excess weight loss was 22% (95% CI, 15 to 28, p obesity and glycemic control were largely sustained after 2 years of treatment with VBLOC therapy with a well-tolerated risk profile.

  14. Does Tai Chi improve psychological well-being and quality of life in patients with cardiovascular disease and/or cardiovascular risk factors? A systematic review protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Guoyan; Li, Wenyuan; Cao, Huijuan; Klupp, Nerida; Liu, Jianping; Bensoussan, Alan; Kiat, Hosen; Chang, Dennis

    2017-08-18

    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Psychological risk factors such as stress, anxiety and depression are known to play a significant and independent role in the development and progression of CVD and its risk factors. Tai Chi has been reported to be potentially effective for health and well-being. It is of value to assess the effectiveness and safety of Tai Chi on psychological well-being and quality of life in people with CVD and/or cardiovascular risk factors. We will include all relevant randomised controlled trials on Tai Chi for stress, anxiety, depression, psychological well-being and quality of life in people with CVD and cardiovascular risk factors. Literature searching will be conducted until 31 December 2016 from major English and Chinese databases. Two authors will conduct data selection and extraction independently. Quality assessment will be conducted using the risk of bias tool recommended by the Cochrane Collaboration. We will conduct data analysis using Cochrane's RevMan software. Forest plots and summary of findings tables will illustrate the results from a meta-analysis if sufficient studies are identified. Ethics approval is not required as this study will not involve patients. The results of this study will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication, to inform both clinical practice and further research on Tai Chi and CVDs. This review will summarise the evidence on Tai Chi for psychological well-being and quality of life in people with CVD and their risk factors. We anticipate that the results of this review would be useful for healthcare professionals and researchers on Tai Chi and CVDs. International Prospective Register for Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) number CRD42016042905. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  15. Improving risk factor management for patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes: a systematic review of healthcare interventions in primary care and community settings.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Murphy, Mark E

    2017-08-04

    Poorly controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a major international health problem. Our aim was to assess the effectiveness of healthcare interventions, specifically targeting patients with poorly controlled T2DM, which seek to improve glycaemic control and cardiovascular risk in primary care settings.

  16. Robust factorization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aanæs, Henrik; Fisker, Rune; Åström, Kalle;

    2002-01-01

    Factorization algorithms for recovering structure and motion from an image stream have many advantages, but they usually require a set of well-tracked features. Such a set is in generally not available in practical applications. There is thus a need for making factorization algorithms deal...... effectively with errors in the tracked features. We propose a new and computationally efficient algorithm for applying an arbitrary error function in the factorization scheme. This algorithm enables the use of robust statistical techniques and arbitrary noise models for the individual features....... These techniques and models enable the factorization scheme to deal effectively with mismatched features, missing features, and noise on the individual features. The proposed approach further includes a new method for Euclidean reconstruction that significantly improves convergence of the factorization algorithms...

  17. Impact of a nurse-led intervention to improve screening for cardiovascular risk factors in people with severe mental illnesses. Phase-two cluster randomised feasibility trial of community mental health teams

    OpenAIRE

    Nazareth Irwin; Osborn David PJ; Wright Christine A; King Michael B

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Background People with severe mental illnesses (SMI) are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Clinical guidelines recommend regular screening for CVD risk factors. We evaluated a nurse led intervention to improve screening rates across the primary-secondary care interface. Methods Six community mental health teams (CMHTs) were randomised to receive either the nurse led intervention plus education pack (n = 3) or education pack only (n = 3). Intervention (6 months): The ...

  18. 客车车下部件腐蚀影响因素及改进措施%The Influence Factors to Corrosive of Parts Under Passenger Car and Improvement Measurement

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    眭军燕; 何伯庆; 屠文霞

    2011-01-01

    The influence factors to parts under the passenger car were analyzed and the measurements to improve the anticorrosion from metals material selection,structure design,painting protection were proposed.%分析了客车车下部件腐蚀的影响因素,从金属材料的选择、结构设计、涂装保护等方面提出了改进措施。

  19. Human insulin-like growth factor 1-transfected umbilical cord blood neural stem cell transplantation improves hypoxic-ischemic brain injury

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Dengna Zhu; Yanjie Jia; Jun Wang; Boai Zhang; Guohui Niu; Yazhen Fan

    2011-01-01

    Human insulin-like growth factor 1-transfected umbilical cord blood neural stem cells were transplanted into a hypoxic-ischemic neonatal rat model via the tail vein.BrdU-positive cells at day 7post-transplantation,as well as nestin-and neuron specific enolase-positive cells at day 14 wereincreased compared with those of the single neural stem cell transplantation group.In addition,theproportion of neuronal differentiation was enhanced.The genetically modified cell-transplanted ratsexhibited enhanced performance in correctly crossing a Y-maze and climbing an angled slope compared with those of the single neural stem cell transplantation group.These results showed that human insulin-like growth factor 1