WorldWideScience

Sample records for human agent performing

  1. A human capital predictive model for agent performance in contact centres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris Jacobs

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Orientation: Currently no integrative model exists that can explain the phenomena contributing to agent performance in the South African contact centre industry.Research purpose: The primary focus of this article was to develop a theoretically derived human capital predictive model for agent performance in contact centres and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO based on a review of current empirical research literature.Motivation for the study: The study was motivated by the need for a human capital predictive model that can predict agent and overall business performance.Research design: A nonempirical (theoretical research paradigm was adopted for this study and more specifically a theory or model-building approach was followed. A systematic review of published empirical research articles (for the period 2000–2009 in scholarly search portals was performed.Main findings: Eight building blocks of the human capital predictive model for agent performance in contact centres were identified. Forty-two of the human capital contact centre related articles are detailed in this study. Key empirical findings suggest that person– environment fit, job demands-resources, human resources management practices, engagement, agent well-being, agent competence; turnover intention; and agent performance are related to contact centre performance.Practical/managerial implications: The human capital predictive model serves as an operational management model that has performance implications for agents and ultimately influences the contact centre’s overall business performance.Contribution/value-add: This research can contribute to the fields of human resource management (HRM, human capital and performance management within the contact centre and BPO environment.

  2. An Effective Division of Labor Between Human and Robotic Agents Performing a Cooperative Assembly Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehnmark, Fredrik; Bluethmann, William; Rochlis, Jennifer; Huber, Eric; Ambrose, Robert

    2003-01-01

    NASA's Human Space Flight program depends heavily on spacewalks performed by human astronauts. These so-called extra-vehicular activities (EVAs) are risky, expensive and complex. Work is underway to develop a robotic astronaut's assistant that can help reduce human EVA time and workload by delivering human-like dexterous manipulation capabilities to any EVA worksite. An experiment is conducted to evaluate human-robot teaming strategies in the context of a simplified EVA assembly task in which Robonaut, a collaborative effort with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an anthropomorphic robot works side-by-side with a human subject. Team performance is studied in an effort to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each teaming configuration and to recommend an appropriate division of labor. A shared control approach is developed to take advantage of the complementary strengths of the human teleoperator and robot, even in the presence of significant time delay.

  3. A Multiple Agent Model of Human Performance in Automated Air Traffic Control and Flight Management Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corker, Kevin; Pisanich, Gregory; Condon, Gregory W. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    A predictive model of human operator performance (flight crew and air traffic control (ATC)) has been developed and applied in order to evaluate the impact of automation developments in flight management and air traffic control. The model is used to predict the performance of a two person flight crew and the ATC operators generating and responding to clearances aided by the Center TRACON Automation System (CTAS). The purpose of the modeling is to support evaluation and design of automated aids for flight management and airspace management and to predict required changes in procedure both air and ground in response to advancing automation in both domains. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  4. Deactivation in the Sensorimotor Area during Observation of a Human Agent Performing Robotic Actions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimada, Sotaro

    2010-01-01

    It is well established that several motor areas, called the mirror-neuron system (MNS), are activated when an individual observes other's actions. However, whether the MNS responds similarly to robotic actions compared with human actions is still controversial. The present study investigated whether and how the motor area activity is influenced by…

  5. High-performance liquid chromatographic method for sensitive determination of the alkylating agent CB1954 in human plasma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D; Ferry, D R; Knox, R J; Andrews, S J; Downes, A J; Kerr, D J; Seymour, L W

    1999-08-20

    A high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method is described for the measurement of the weak alkylating agent CB1954 in human plasma. CB1954 can be used as an innocuous prodrug designed for activation by bacterial nitroreductases in strategies of gene-directed enzyme-prodrug therapy, and becomes activated to a potent bifunctional alkylating agent. The HPLC method involves precipitation and solvent extraction and uses Mitomycin C (MMC) as an internal standard, with a retention time for MMC of 5.85 +/- 0.015 min, and for CB1954 of 10.72 +/- 0.063 min. The limit of detection for CB1954 is 2.9 ng/ml, and this compares favourably with systems involving direct analysis of plasma (limit of detection 600 ng/ml, approximately). The method is now being used for pharmacokinetic measurements in plasma samples from cancer patients entering phase I clinical trials of CB1954. Results using serial plasma samples from one patient are presented. The patient was treated intravenously with CB1954 (6 mg/m2), and plasma clearance of the drug showed biphasic kinetics with alpha half-life 14.6 min, and beta half-life 170.5 min.

  6. Leveraging Social Networks to Motivate Humans to Train Agents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    G. Li; H. Hung; S. Whiteson; W.B. Knox

    2014-01-01

    Learning from rewards generated by a human trainer observing the agent in action has been demonstrated to be an effective method for humans to teach an agent to perform challenging tasks. However, how to make the agent learn most efficiently from these kinds of human reward is still under-addressed.

  7. Embedded Automation in Human-Agent Environment

    CERN Document Server

    Tweedale, Jeffrey W

    2012-01-01

    This research book proposes a general conceptual framework for the development of automation in human-agents environments that will allow human- agent teams to work effectively and efficiently. We examine various schemes to implement artificial intelligence techniques in agents.  The text is directed to the scientists, application engineers, professors and students of all disciplines, interested in the agency methodology and applications.

  8. Social Psychology Of Persuasion Applied To Human-agent Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shenghua Liu

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper discusses and evaluates the application of a social psychologically enriched, user-centered approach to agent architecture design. The major aim is to facilitate human-agent interaction (HAI by making agents not only algorithmically more intelligent but also socially more skillful in communicating with the user. A decision-making model and communicative argumentation strategies have been incorporated into the agent architecture. In the presented content resource management experiments, enhancement of human task performance is demonstrated for users that are supported by a persuasive agent. This superior performance seems to be rooted in a more trusting collaborative relationship between the user and the agent, rather than in the appropriateness of the agent's decision-making suggestions alone. In particular, the second experiment demonstrated that interface interaction design should follow the principles of task-orientation and implicitness. Making the influence of the agent too salient can trigger counterintentional effects, such as users' discomfort and psychological reactance.

  9. Tennessee Extension Agents' Perceptions of Performance Appraisal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donaldson, Joseph L.; French, Russell L.

    2013-01-01

    Performance appraisal is necessary for summative decisions about employees, such as merit pay and promotion. The research reported here describes Extension agent perceptions of their performance appraisal system. The population studied consisted of all Tennessee Extension agents (N = 312). Surveys were completed by 218 respondents, for a completed…

  10. Incorporating BDI Agents into Human-Agent Decision Making Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamphorst, Bart; van Wissen, Arlette; Dignum, Virginia

    Artificial agents, people, institutes and societies all have the ability to make decisions. Decision making as a research area therefore involves a broad spectrum of sciences, ranging from Artificial Intelligence to economics to psychology. The Colored Trails (CT) framework is designed to aid researchers in all fields in examining decision making processes. It is developed both to study interaction between multiple actors (humans or software agents) in a dynamic environment, and to study and model the decision making of these actors. However, agents in the current implementation of CT lack the explanatory power to help understand the reasoning processes involved in decision making. The BDI paradigm that has been proposed in the agent research area to describe rational agents, enables the specification of agents that reason in abstract concepts such as beliefs, goals, plans and events. In this paper, we present CTAPL: an extension to CT that allows BDI software agents that are written in the practical agent programming language 2APL to reason about and interact with a CT environment.

  11. Leveraging Social Networks to Motivate Humans to Train Agents (Extended Abstract)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, G.; Hung, H.; Bradley Knox, W.; Whiteson, S.A.

    2014-01-01

    Learning from rewards generated by a human trainer ob- serving the agent in action has been demonstrated to be an effective method for humans to teach an agent to perform challenging tasks. However, how to make the agent learn most efficiently from these kinds of human reward is still under-addresse

  12. Enhancing Multi-Agent Based Simulation with Human-Agents Interactive Spatial Behaviour

    CERN Document Server

    Chen, Yee Ming; Shiu, Hung-Ming

    2009-01-01

    We are exploring the enhancement of models of agent behaviour with more "human-like" decision making strategies than are presently available. Our motivation is to developed with a view to as the decision analysis and support for electric taxi company under the mission of energy saving and reduction of CO2, in particular car-pool and car-sharing management policies. In order to achieve the object of decision analysis for user, we provide a human-agents interactive spatial behaviour to support user making decision real time. We adopt passenger average waiting time and electric taxi average idle time as the performance measures and decision support fro electric taxi company. Finally, according to the analysis result, we demonstrate that our multi-agent simulation and GUI can help users or companies quickly make a quality and accurate decision to reduce the decision-making cost and time.

  13. Human Performance in Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Patricia M.; Fiedler, Edna

    2010-01-01

    Human factors is a critical discipline for human spaceflight. Nearly every human factors research area is relevant to space exploration -- from the ergonomics of hand tools used by astronauts, to the displays and controls of a spacecraft cockpit or mission control workstation, to levels of automation designed into rovers on Mars, to organizational issues of communication between crew and ground. This chapter focuses more on the ways in which the space environment (especially altered gravity and the isolated and confined nature of long-duration spaceflight) affects crew performance, and thus has specific novel implications for human factors research and practice. We focus on four aspects of human performance: neurovestibular integration, motor control and musculo-skeletal effects, cognitive effects, and behavioral health. We also provide a sampler of recent human factors studies from NASA.

  14. Novel agents inhibit human leukemic cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wei-ping YU; Juan LI

    2012-01-01

    Ouabain (OUA) and pyrithione zinc (PZ) have been proved as the potential drugs for treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML).Selected from a screening among 1040 Food and Drug Administration-approved pharmacological agents,both drugs showability to induce apoptosis of the culturing AML cells,exhibiting the poisoning effect on the cells.Studies also reveal the efficiency of the drugs in inhibiting the growth of human AML cells injected into the mice lacking of immunity and killing primary AML cells from the peripheral blood of AML patients[1].

  15. Sensitive analysis of blonanserin, a novel antipsychotic agent, in human plasma by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogawa, Tadashi; Hattori, Hideki; Kaneko, Rina; Ito, Kenjiro; Iwai, Masayo; Mizutani, Yoko; Arinobu, Tetsuya; Ishii, Akira; Suzuki, Osamu; Seno, Hiroshi

    2010-01-01

    A rapid and sensitive method for analysis of blonanserin in human plasma by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry is presented. After pretreatment of a plasma sample by solid-phase extraction, blonanserin was analyzed by the system with a C(18) column. This method gave satisfactory recovery rates, reproducibility, and good linearity of calibration curve in the range of 0.01-10.0 ng/mL for quality control samples spiked with blonanserin. The detection limit was as low as 1 pg/mL. This method seems very useful in forensic and clinical toxicology and pharmacokinetic studies.

  16. Performance of some surfactants as wetting agents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shalaby, M.N.; El-Shanny, O.A.A. [Egyptian Petroleum Research Institute (EPRI), Cairo (Egypt). Evaluation and Analysis Dept.

    2005-12-01

    The wetting power of anionic surfactant: sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), and nonionic surfactants: polyoxyethelene(14)monolaurate [La(EO){sub 14}] and polyoxyethelene(14)monoeleate [OI(EO){sub 14}] has been studied to determine their performance as wetting agents. The study reveals that the nonionic compound with a long hydrophobic chain exhibits higher wettability than the shorter one when used at very low cocentrations (below CMC) and the reverse is shown with high concentrations (above CMC). the wetting power of the investigated surfactants increases as the CMC values increases. In case of the nonionic compounds and at surfactant concentrations equal their CMC values, OI(EO){sub 14} shows a higher wetting power than La(EO){sub 14} while is possesses a lower HLB value. The anionic surfactant shows an optimum wetting in comparison with the tested nonionic one. The wettability of all the investigated samples increases as the surface tension of their solutions increases to the allowed limit that can be reached in the presence of surfactant. (orig.)

  17. MODEL-BASED PERFORMANCE EVALUATION APPROACH FOR MOBILE AGENT SYSTEMS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li Xin; Mi Zhengkun; Meng Xudong

    2004-01-01

    Claimed as the next generation programming paradigm, mobile agent technology has attracted extensive interests in recent years. However, up to now, limited research efforts have been devoted to the performance study of mobile agent system and most of these researches focus on agent behavior analysis resulting in that models are hard to apply to mobile agent systems. To bridge the gap, a new performance evaluation model derived from operation mechanisms of mobile agent platforms is proposed. Details are discussed for the design of companion simulation software, which can provide the system performance such as response time of platform to mobile agent. Further investigation is followed on the determination of model parameters. Finally comparison is made between the model-based simulation results and measurement-based real performance of mobile agent systems. The results show that the proposed model and designed software are effective in evaluating performance characteristics of mobile agent systems. The proposed approach can also be considered as the basis of performance analysis for large systems composed of multiple mobile agent platforms.

  18. Mentoring Human Performance - 12480

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Geis, John A.; Haugen, Christian N. [CALIBRE Systems, Inc., Alexandria, Virginia (United States)

    2012-07-01

    Although the positive effects of implementing a human performance approach to operations can be hard to quantify, many organizations and industry areas are finding tangible benefits to such a program. Recently, a unique mentoring program was established and implemented focusing on improving the performance of managers, supervisors, and work crews, using the principles of Human Performance Improvement (HPI). The goal of this mentoring was to affect behaviors and habits that reliably implement the principles of HPI to ensure continuous improvement in implementation of an Integrated Safety Management System (ISMS) within a Conduct of Operations framework. Mentors engaged with personnel in a one-on-one, or one-on-many dialogue, which focused on what behaviors were observed, what factors underlie the behaviors, and what changes in behavior could prevent errors or events, and improve performance. A senior management sponsor was essential to gain broad management support. A clear charter and management plan describing the goals, objectives, methodology, and expected outcomes was established. Mentors were carefully selected with senior management endorsement. Mentors were assigned to projects and work teams based on the following three criteria: 1) knowledge of the work scope; 2) experience in similar project areas; and 3) perceived level of trust they would have with project management, supervision, and work teams. This program was restructured significantly when the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) and the associated funding came to an end. The program was restructured based on an understanding of the observations, attributed successes and identified shortfalls, and the consolidation of those lessons. Mentoring the application of proven methods for improving human performance was shown effective at increasing success in day-to-day activities and increasing confidence and level of skill of supervisors. While mentoring program effectiveness is difficult to

  19. Ketones and Human Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Jonathan M; Deuster, Patricia A

    Everyone is seeking nutritional strategies that might benefit performance. One approach receiving much attention is ketones, or ketosis. Ketones are very simple compounds made of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen, and ketosis is a metabolic state whereby the body uses predominantly ketones. Ketosis can be achieved by fasting for longer than 72 hours or by following a very lowcarbohydrate, high-fat diet (ketogenic diet) for several days to weeks. Alternatively, ketone supplements purportedly induce ketosis rapidly and do not require strict adherence to any specific type of diet; however, much of the touted benefits are anecdotal. A potential role for ketosis as a performance enhancer was first introduced in 1983 with the idea that chronic ketosis without caloric restriction could preserve submaximal exercise capability by sparing glycogen or conserving the limited carbohydrate stores. Few human studies on the effects of a ketogenic diet on performance have yielded positive results, and most studies have yielded equivocal or null results, and a few negative results. Many questions about ketones relevant to Special Operations Forces (SOF) remain unanswered. At present, a ketogenic diet and/or a ketone supplement do not appear confer performance benefits for SOF. Instead, Operators should engage with their unit dietitian to develop individualized nutritional strategies based on unique mission requirements. The authors review the concept of a ketogenic diet, describe some potential benefits and risks of ketosis, review the performance literature and how to measure ketone status, and then summarize the landscape in 2017. 2017.

  20. A Taxonomy of Human-Agent Team Collaborations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Neef, R.M.

    2006-01-01

    Future command teams will be heavily supported by artificial actors. This paper introduces a taxonomy of collaboration types in humanagent teams. Using two classifying dimensions, coordination type and collaboration type, eight different classes of humanagent collaborations transpire. These cl

  1. Embodied artificial agents for understanding human social cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wykowska, Agnieszka; Chaminade, Thierry; Cheng, Gordon

    2016-05-05

    In this paper, we propose that experimental protocols involving artificial agents, in particular the embodied humanoid robots, provide insightful information regarding social cognitive mechanisms in the human brain. Using artificial agents allows for manipulation and control of various parameters of behaviour, appearance and expressiveness in one of the interaction partners (the artificial agent), and for examining effect of these parameters on the other interaction partner (the human). At the same time, using artificial agents means introducing the presence of artificial, yet human-like, systems into the human social sphere. This allows for testing in a controlled, but ecologically valid, manner human fundamental mechanisms of social cognition both at the behavioural and at the neural level. This paper will review existing literature that reports studies in which artificial embodied agents have been used to study social cognition and will address the question of whether various mechanisms of social cognition (ranging from lower- to higher-order cognitive processes) are evoked by artificial agents to the same extent as by natural agents, humans in particular. Increasing the understanding of how behavioural and neural mechanisms of social cognition respond to artificial anthropomorphic agents provides empirical answers to the conundrum 'What is a social agent?'

  2. Subjective performance evaluations and reciprocity in principal-agent relations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sebald, Alexander Christopher; Walzl, Markus

    2014-01-01

    . In contrast to existing models of reciprocity, we find that agents tend to sanction whenever the feedback of principals is below their subjective self-evaluations even if agents' pay-offs are independent of it. In turn, principals provide more positive feedback (relative to their actual performance assessment...

  3. Seeing Minds in Others - Can Agents with Robotic Appearance Have Human-Like Preferences?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Molly C Martini

    Full Text Available Ascribing mental states to non-human agents has been shown to increase their likeability and lead to better joint-task performance in human-robot interaction (HRI. However, it is currently unclear what physical features non-human agents need to possess in order to trigger mind attribution and whether different aspects of having a mind (e.g., feeling pain, being able to move need different levels of human-likeness before they are readily ascribed to non-human agents. The current study addresses this issue by modeling how increasing the degree of human-like appearance (on a spectrum from mechanistic to humanoid to human changes the likelihood by which mind is attributed towards non-human agents. We also test whether different internal states (e.g., being hungry, being alive need different degrees of humanness before they are ascribed to non-human agents. The results suggest that the relationship between physical appearance and the degree to which mind is attributed to non-human agents is best described as a two-linear model with no change in mind attribution on the spectrum from mechanistic to humanoid robot, but a significant increase in mind attribution as soon as human features are included in the image. There seems to be a qualitative difference in the perception of mindful versus mindless agents given that increasing human-like appearance alone does not increase mind attribution until a certain threshold is reached, that is: agents need to be classified as having a mind first before the addition of more human-like features significantly increases the degree to which mind is attributed to that agent.

  4. Seeing Minds in Others - Can Agents with Robotic Appearance Have Human-Like Preferences?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martini, Molly C; Gonzalez, Christian A; Wiese, Eva

    2016-01-01

    Ascribing mental states to non-human agents has been shown to increase their likeability and lead to better joint-task performance in human-robot interaction (HRI). However, it is currently unclear what physical features non-human agents need to possess in order to trigger mind attribution and whether different aspects of having a mind (e.g., feeling pain, being able to move) need different levels of human-likeness before they are readily ascribed to non-human agents. The current study addresses this issue by modeling how increasing the degree of human-like appearance (on a spectrum from mechanistic to humanoid to human) changes the likelihood by which mind is attributed towards non-human agents. We also test whether different internal states (e.g., being hungry, being alive) need different degrees of humanness before they are ascribed to non-human agents. The results suggest that the relationship between physical appearance and the degree to which mind is attributed to non-human agents is best described as a two-linear model with no change in mind attribution on the spectrum from mechanistic to humanoid robot, but a significant increase in mind attribution as soon as human features are included in the image. There seems to be a qualitative difference in the perception of mindful versus mindless agents given that increasing human-like appearance alone does not increase mind attribution until a certain threshold is reached, that is: agents need to be classified as having a mind first before the addition of more human-like features significantly increases the degree to which mind is attributed to that agent.

  5. Seeing Minds in Others – Can Agents with Robotic Appearance Have Human-Like Preferences?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martini, Molly C.; Gonzalez, Christian A.; Wiese, Eva

    2016-01-01

    Ascribing mental states to non-human agents has been shown to increase their likeability and lead to better joint-task performance in human-robot interaction (HRI). However, it is currently unclear what physical features non-human agents need to possess in order to trigger mind attribution and whether different aspects of having a mind (e.g., feeling pain, being able to move) need different levels of human-likeness before they are readily ascribed to non-human agents. The current study addresses this issue by modeling how increasing the degree of human-like appearance (on a spectrum from mechanistic to humanoid to human) changes the likelihood by which mind is attributed towards non-human agents. We also test whether different internal states (e.g., being hungry, being alive) need different degrees of humanness before they are ascribed to non-human agents. The results suggest that the relationship between physical appearance and the degree to which mind is attributed to non-human agents is best described as a two-linear model with no change in mind attribution on the spectrum from mechanistic to humanoid robot, but a significant increase in mind attribution as soon as human features are included in the image. There seems to be a qualitative difference in the perception of mindful versus mindless agents given that increasing human-like appearance alone does not increase mind attribution until a certain threshold is reached, that is: agents need to be classified as having a mind first before the addition of more human-like features significantly increases the degree to which mind is attributed to that agent. PMID:26745500

  6. Raising agents: sources of human social intelligence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofstede, G.J.

    2014-01-01

    This paper urges that if we wish to give social intelligence to our agents, it pays to look at how we acquired our social intelligence ourselves. Our drives and motives are innate and deeply social. Next, as children we are social-ized to acquire norms and values. This motivational and group-based l

  7. Using emotions for the development of human-agent societies

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    J A RINCON; J BAJO; A FERNANDEZ; V JULIAN; C CARRASCOSA

    2016-01-01

    Human-agent societies refer to applications where virtual agents and humans coexist and interact transparently into a fully integrated environment. One of the most important aspects in this kind of applications is including emotional states of the agents (humans or not) in the decision-making process. In this sense, this paper presents the applicability of the JaCalIVE (Jason Cartago implemented intelligent virtual environment) framework for developing this kind of society. Specifically, the paper presents an ambient intelligence application where humans are immersed into a system that extracts and analyzes the emotional state of a human group. A social emotional model is employed to try to maximize the welfare of those humans by playing the most appropriate music in every moment.

  8. Human Performance Research Center

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — Biochemistry:Improvements in energy metabolism, muscular strength and endurance capacity have a basis in biochemical and molecular adaptations within the human body....

  9. Formalizing Theatrical Performances Using Multi-Agent Organizations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Andreas Schmidt; Spurkeland, Johannes Svante; Villadsen, Jørgen

    2013-01-01

    Theatrical performances usually follow strict scripts and actors are not allowed to deviate. A Danish theatrical group, Theater 770◦ Celsius, has invented a new method called In Real Life, in which only certain events in the storyline are specified and the actors are supposed to improvise to reac...... these events. The method bears a resemblance to multi-agent systems and we show how it can be formalized using the multi-agent organizational model OperA....

  10. Theories about architecture and performance of multi-agent systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gazendam, Henk W.M.; Jorna, René J.

    1998-01-01

    Multi-agent systems are promising as models of organization because they are based on the idea that most work in human organizations is done based on intelligence, communication, cooperation, and massive parallel processing. They offer an alternative for system theories of organization, which are ra

  11. You Look Human, But Act Like a Machine: Agent Appearance and Behavior Modulate Different Aspects of Human-Robot Interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abubshait, Abdulaziz; Wiese, Eva

    2017-01-01

    Gaze following occurs automatically in social interactions, but the degree to which gaze is followed depends on whether an agent is perceived to have a mind, making its behavior socially more relevant for the interaction. Mind perception also modulates the attitudes we have toward others, and determines the degree of empathy, prosociality, and morality invested in social interactions. Seeing mind in others is not exclusive to human agents, but mind can also be ascribed to non-human agents like robots, as long as their appearance and/or behavior allows them to be perceived as intentional beings. Previous studies have shown that human appearance and reliable behavior induce mind perception to robot agents, and positively affect attitudes and performance in human-robot interaction. What has not been investigated so far is whether different triggers of mind perception have an independent or interactive effect on attitudes and performance in human-robot interaction. We examine this question by manipulating agent appearance (human vs. robot) and behavior (reliable vs. random) within the same paradigm and examine how congruent (human/reliable vs. robot/random) versus incongruent (human/random vs. robot/reliable) combinations of these triggers affect performance (i.e., gaze following) and attitudes (i.e., agent ratings) in human-robot interaction. The results show that both appearance and behavior affect human-robot interaction but that the two triggers seem to operate in isolation, with appearance more strongly impacting attitudes, and behavior more strongly affecting performance. The implications of these findings for human-robot interaction are discussed.

  12. Modeling and simulating human teamwork behaviors using intelligent agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Xiaocong; Yen, John

    2004-12-01

    Among researchers in multi-agent systems there has been growing interest in using intelligent agents to model and simulate human teamwork behaviors. Teamwork modeling is important for training humans in gaining collaborative skills, for supporting humans in making critical decisions by proactively gathering, fusing, and sharing information, and for building coherent teams with both humans and agents working effectively on intelligence-intensive problems. Teamwork modeling is also challenging because the research has spanned diverse disciplines from business management to cognitive science, human discourse, and distributed artificial intelligence. This article presents an extensive, but not exhaustive, list of work in the field, where the taxonomy is organized along two main dimensions: team social structure and social behaviors. Along the dimension of social structure, we consider agent-only teams and mixed human-agent teams. Along the dimension of social behaviors, we consider collaborative behaviors, communicative behaviors, helping behaviors, and the underpinning of effective teamwork-shared mental models. The contribution of this article is that it presents an organizational framework for analyzing a variety of teamwork simulation systems and for further studying simulated teamwork behaviors.

  13. Human-Robot Teaming in a Multi-Agent Space Assembly Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehnmark, Fredrik; Currie, Nancy; Ambrose, Robert O.; Culbert, Christopher

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Human Space Flight program depends heavily on spacewalks performed by pairs of suited human astronauts. These Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs) are severely restricted in both duration and scope by consumables and available manpower. An expanded multi-agent EVA team combining the information-gathering and problem-solving skills of humans with the survivability and physical capabilities of robots is proposed and illustrated by example. Such teams are useful for large-scale, complex missions requiring dispersed manipulation, locomotion and sensing capabilities. To study collaboration modalities within a multi-agent EVA team, a 1-g test is conducted with humans and robots working together in various supporting roles.

  14. Multi-agent Model of Trust in a Human Game

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jonker, C.M.; Meijer, S.A.; Tykhonov, D.; Verwaart, D.

    2006-01-01

    Individual-level trust is formalized within the context of a multi-agent system that models human behaviour with respect to trust in the Trust and Tracing Game. This is a trade game on commodity supply chains and networks, designed as a reserach tool and to be played by human players. The model of t

  15. Human Health Consequences of Use of Antimicrobial Agents in Aquaculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heuer, Ole Eske; Kruse, H.; Grave, K.

    2009-01-01

    industry in many regions of the world and the widespread, intensive, and often unregulated use of antimicrobial agents in this area of animal production, efforts are needed to prevent development and spread of antimicrobial resistance in aquaculture to reduce the risk to human health.......Intensive use of antimicrobial agents in aquaculture provides a selective pressure creating reservoirs of drug-resistant bacteria and transferable resistance genes in fish pathogens and other bacteria in the aquatic environment. From these reservoirs, resistance genes may disseminate by horizontal...... gene transfer and reach human pathogens, or drug-resistant pathogens from the aquatic environment may reach humans directly. Horizontal gene transfer may occur in the aquaculture environment, in the food chain, or in the human intestinal tract. Among the antimicrobial agents commonly used...

  16. Comparative genomics of emerging human ehrlichiosis agents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie C Dunning Hotopp

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Anaplasma (formerly Ehrlichia phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, and Neorickettsia (formerly Ehrlichia sennetsu are intracellular vector-borne pathogens that cause human ehrlichiosis, an emerging infectious disease. We present the complete genome sequences of these organisms along with comparisons to other organisms in the Rickettsiales order. Ehrlichia spp. and Anaplasma spp. display a unique large expansion of immunodominant outer membrane proteins facilitating antigenic variation. All Rickettsiales have a diminished ability to synthesize amino acids compared to their closest free-living relatives. Unlike members of the Rickettsiaceae family, these pathogenic Anaplasmataceae are capable of making all major vitamins, cofactors, and nucleotides, which could confer a beneficial role in the invertebrate vector or the vertebrate host. Further analysis identified proteins potentially involved in vacuole confinement of the Anaplasmataceae, a life cycle involving a hematophagous vector, vertebrate pathogenesis, human pathogenesis, and lack of transovarial transmission. These discoveries provide significant insights into the biology of these obligate intracellular pathogens.

  17. Distributed Human Resource Redistribution System Based on Agent and Ontology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li Xiangquan; Wang Ningsheng; Long Wen

    2006-01-01

    A computer system for human resource (HR) redistribution system is presented to solve the balance problem of the "surplus resources" and "surplus tasks" among a group of project units. The system architecture is designed in a compositional manner using the elements of agent technology and knowledge technology. A combination of generic agent models, ontology and knowledge provides an effective approach to address the dynamic, distributed and knowledge-intensive characters of the HR management. In the system, the broker agent acting as intermediary provides matchmaking services to the domain agents, and the individual domain agents communicate directly with each other. The HR ontology provides the semantic match of the surplus task and the surplus resource. Finally, an application example is presented to illustrate the achieved solution for a concrete scenario. This novel way offers a comprehensive HR exchange solution and is suitable for both intra-organizational and inter-organizational HR management.

  18. Errors in Human Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-08-15

    activities. Internatin , f - Studie, 1979, _ 5-24. Collins, A. h., & Loftus, E. F. A spreading activation theory of seman- tic processing. k fl _j-ej w...rea-daAm i_=E1jJh. Providence, R.I.: Brown University Press, 1967. LaBerge, D., & Samuels, S. J. Toward a theory of automatic information processing...Report, November, 1979. Norman, D. A. Er n human pefg ce (Tech. Rep. 8004). University of California, San Diego, July 1980. Norman, D. A. Post Freudian

  19. In vitro sensitivity of human ovarian tumours to chemotherapeutic agents.

    OpenAIRE

    1981-01-01

    The in vitro chemosensitivity of primary monolayer cultures of human ovarian tumours to a wide range of chemotherapeutic agents has been determined using 3H-leucine incorporation as an index of cytotoxicity. Of 67 specimens received, 35 have been successfully cultured and tested for chemosensitivity. Drugs tested included alkylating agents, antibiotics, antimitotics, antimetabolites and progestogens. The overall incidence of efficacy of the drugs corresponded with the incidence which might be...

  20. Human Performance Assessment Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-05-01

    Roth, Tinklenberg, and Kopell (1977) studied ethanol and marihuana , and reported that the amplitude of the P300 component of the evoked cortical...potential showed a drug effect and a set size effect. Both drugs differed significantly from placebo but not from each other, and marihuana increased the...slope. Crosby and Parkinson (1979) reported that performance of a ground-controlled approach by pilots affected the intercept but not the slope

  1. Synthesis and Performance Evaluation of a Synthetic Based Foaming Agent

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Barugahare J avilla; SHUI Zhong-he; CHEN Wei

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to create a foaming agent and then evaluate its performance.This foaming agent is made up of Sodium lauryl sulfate,Ethanol,Lauryl alcohol and Water.On aeration,the diluted foaming solution produces a stable foam whose properties,density,capacity and drainage were studied.The compressive strength,water absorption and density of foamed concrete were also studied.Test results show that the initial foam density is 104 kg/m3 at an optimum dilu-tion ratio of 1:40.Foamed concrete’s density can vary from 450 kg/m3 to 1 950 bkg/m3 and its compressive strength is in 0.5~23 MPa.Compressive strength test results of this foaming agent are higher than those produced with EABASSOC foa-ming agent.According to ASTM 869-91,this chemical composition qualifies to be used as a foaming agent.

  2. The perception of humanness from the movements of synthetic agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, James C; Trafton, J Gregory; McKnight, Patrick

    2011-01-01

    As technology develops, social robots and synthetic avatars might begin to play more of a role in our lives. An influential theory of the perception of synthetic agents states that as they begin to look and move in a more human-like way, they elicit profound discomfort in the observer--an effect known as the Uncanny Valley. Previous attempts to examine the existence of the Uncanny Valley have not adequately manipulated movement parameters that contribute to perceptions of the humanness or eeriness. Here we parametrically manipulated three different kinematic features of two walking avatars and found that, contrary to the Uncanny Valley hypothesis, ratings of the humanness, familiarity, and eeriness of these avatars changed monotonically. Our results indicate that, when a full gradient of motion parameter changes is examined, ratings of synthetic agents by human observers do not show an Uncanny Valley.

  3. Recognizing filamentous basidiomycetes as agents of human disease: A review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chowdhary, A.; Kathuria, S.; Agarwal, K.; Meis, J.F.G.M.

    2014-01-01

    Filamentous basidiomycetes (BM) are common environmental fungi that have recently emerged as important human pathogens, inciting a wide array of clinical manifestations that include allergic and invasive diseases. We reviewed 218 reported global cases of BM fungi. The most common etiologic agent was

  4. Learning to Manipulate and Categorize in Human and Artificial Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morlino, Giuseppe; Gianelli, Claudia; Borghi, Anna M.; Nolfi, Stefano

    2015-01-01

    This study investigates the acquisition of integrated object manipulation and categorization abilities through a series of experiments in which human adults and artificial agents were asked to learn to manipulate two-dimensional objects that varied in shape, color, weight, and color intensity. The analysis of the obtained results and the…

  5. Chemerin is an antimicrobial agent in human epidermis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magdalena Banas

    Full Text Available Chemerin, a chemoattractant ligand for chemokine-like receptor 1 (CMKLR1 is predicted to share similar tertiary structure with antibacterial cathelicidins. Recombinant chemerin has antimicrobial activity. Here we show that endogenous chemerin is abundant in human epidermis, and that inhibition of bacteria growth by exudates from organ cultures of primary human skin keratinocytes is largely chemerin-dependent. Using a panel of overlapping chemerin-derived synthetic peptides, we demonstrate that the antibacterial activity of chemerin is primarily mediated by Val(66-Pro(85, which causes direct bacterial lysis. Therefore, chemerin is an antimicrobial agent in human skin.

  6. An ambient agent model for analyzing managers' performance during stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    ChePa, Noraziah; Aziz, Azizi Ab; Gratim, Haned

    2016-08-01

    Stress at work have been reported everywhere. Work related performance during stress is a pattern of reactions that occurs when managers are presented with work demands that are not matched with their knowledge, skills, or abilities, and which challenge their ability to cope. Although there are many prior findings pertaining to explain the development of manager performance during stress, less attention has been given to explain the same concept through computational models. In such, a descriptive nature in psychological theories about managers' performance during stress can be transformed into a causal-mechanistic stage that explains the relationship between a series of observed phenomena. This paper proposed an ambient agent model for analyzing managers' performance during stress. Set of properties and variables are identified through past literatures to construct the model. Differential equations have been used in formalizing the model. Set of equations reflecting relations involved in the proposed model are presented. The proposed model is essential and can be encapsulated within an intelligent agent or robots that can be used to support managers during stress.

  7. Human Resources Key Performance Indicators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabčanová Iveta

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The article brings out a proposed strategy map and respective key performance indicators (KPIs in human resources (HR. The article provides an overview of how HR activities are supported in order to reach the partial goals of HR as defined in the strategic map. Overall the aim of the paper is to show the possibilities of using the modern Balanced Scorecard method in human capital.

  8. Do robots have goals? How agent cues influence action understanding in non-human primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kupferberg, Aleksandra; Glasauer, Stefan; Burkart, Judith M

    2013-06-01

    The capacity to understand goals and intentions emerges early and universally in humans and is a basic precondition for the interpretation and prediction of others' actions, be it other humans, animals, or even robots. It is unclear, however, how this goal attribution system is acquired, in particular with regard to the role of prior experience with the actor and visual characteristics that are necessary. In four preferential looking time experiments we examined how familiarity, appearance, and movement of different agents influence the capability of marmosets to perceive the behavior of these agents as goal directed. To this end we compared the monkeys' reactions to the same goal-directed actions performed by four different agents: a human actor, a conspecific, a monkey-like small robot, and a black box. The results showed that monkeys attributed goals to the human actor, the conspecific, and the robot, but not the box. Thus, the monkeys extended their capacity for goal attribution not only to familiar agents, but also to agents not previously encountered, provided that they had some conspecific-like features. Our results suggest that in non-human primates, the system for goal attribution does not require previous experience with a specific agent or agent-category, as long as it exhibits certain visual characteristics like face, body or legs. Furthermore, the results suggest that the capacity to attribute goals emerged very early during evolution and, at least in marmoset monkeys, does not necessarily require pre-learned associations in order to fulfill its function when dealing with unfamiliar agents.

  9. Information processing. [in human performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickens, Christopher D.; Flach, John M.

    1988-01-01

    Theoretical models of sensory-information processing by the human brain are reviewed from a human-factors perspective, with a focus on their implications for aircraft and avionics design. The topics addressed include perception (signal detection and selection), linguistic factors in perception (context provision, logical reversals, absence of cues, and order reversals), mental models, and working and long-term memory. Particular attention is given to decision-making problems such as situation assessment, decision formulation, decision quality, selection of action, the speed-accuracy tradeoff, stimulus-response compatibility, stimulus sequencing, dual-task performance, task difficulty and structure, and factors affecting multiple task performance (processing modalities, codes, and stages).

  10. A Framework for Agent-based Human Interaction Support

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Axel Bürkle

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we describe an agent-based infrastructure for multimodal perceptual systems which aims at developing and realizing computer services that are delivered to humans in an implicit and unobtrusive way. The framework presented here supports the implementation of human-centric context-aware applications providing non-obtrusive assistance to participants in events such as meetings, lectures, conferences and presentations taking place in indoor "smart spaces". We emphasize on the design and implementation of an agent-based framework that supports "pluggable" service logic in the sense that the service developer can concentrate on coding the service logic independently of the underlying middleware. Furthermore, we give an example of the architecture's ability to support the cooperation of multiple services in a meeting scenario using an intelligent connector service and a semantic web oriented travel service.

  11. Barriers to Robust and Effective Human-Agent Teamwork

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Barriers to Robust and Effective Human-Agent Teamwork Fei Gao, M. L. Cummings Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 02139, USA...done by an individual. Although teamwork may im- pose extra workload related to coordination and communi- cation, teams have the potential of offering...greater adapta- bility, productivity, and creativity than any one individual can offer (Gladstein, 1984). However, the benefits of teamwork do not

  12. Thermal stress and human performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enander, A E; Hygge, S

    1990-01-01

    There is evidence that the thermal stress encountered in many work environments may negatively affect various aspects of human performance and behavior. Evaluation of the empirical research is, however, complicated by differences in both the methodology and the definition of the basic stimulus. Effects of heat and cold stress are briefly reviewed, with particular regard to theoretical considerations.

  13. Modulation of Human Immune Response by Fungal Biocontrol Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konstantinovas, Cibele; de Oliveira Mendes, Tiago A.; Vannier-Santos, Marcos A.; Lima-Santos, Jane

    2017-01-01

    Although the vast majority of biological control agents is generally regarded as safe for humans and environment, the increased exposure of agriculture workers, and consumer population to fungal substances may affect the immune system. Those compounds may be associated with both intense stimulation, resulting in IgE-mediated allergy and immune downmodulation induced by molecules such as cyclosporin A and mycotoxins. This review discusses the potential effects of biocontrol fungal components on human immune responses, possibly associated to infectious, inflammatory diseases, and defective defenses. PMID:28217107

  14. Subjective Performance Evaluations, Self-esteem, and Ego-threats in Principal-agent Relations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sebald, Alexander Christopher; Walzl, Markus

    We conduct a laboratory experiment with agents working on and principals benefiting from a real effort task in which the agents' effort/performance can only be evaluated subjectively. Principals give subjective performance feedback to agents and agents have an opportunity to sanction principals. ...

  15. Subjective Performance Evaluations, Self-esteem, and Ego-threats in Principal-agent Relations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sebald, Alexander Christopher; Walzl, Markus

    We conduct a laboratory experiment with agents working on and principals benefiting from a real effort task in which the agents' effort/performance can only be evaluated subjectively. Principals give subjective performance feedback to agents and agents have an opportunity to sanction principals. We...

  16. The limits of human performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beneke, Ralph; Böning, Dieter

    2008-01-01

    Human performance, defined by mechanical resistance and distance per time, includes human, task and environmental factors, all interrelated. It requires metabolic energy provided by anaerobic and aerobic metabolic energy sources. These sources have specific limitations in the capacity and rate to provide re-phosphorylation energy, which determines individual ratios of aerobic and anaerobic metabolic power and their sustainability. In healthy athletes, limits to provide and utilize metabolic energy are multifactorial, carefully matched and include a safety margin imposed in order to protect the integrity of the human organism under maximal effort. Perception of afferent input associated with effort leads to conscious or unconscious decisions to modulate or terminate performance; however, the underlying mechanisms of cerebral control are not fully understood. The idea to move borders of performance with the help of biochemicals is two millennia old. Biochemical findings resulted in highly effective substances widely used to increase performance in daily life, during preparation for sport events and during competition, but many of them must be considered as doping and therefore illegal. Supplements and food have ergogenic potential; however, numerous concepts are controversially discussed with respect to legality and particularly evidence in terms of usefulness and risks. The effect of evidence-based nutritional strategies on adaptations in terms of gene and protein expression that occur in skeletal muscle during and after exercise training sessions is widely unknown. Biochemical research is essential for better understanding of the basic mechanisms causing fatigue and the regulation of the dynamic adaptation to physical and mental training.

  17. Human scalp permeability to the chemical warfare agent VX.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolland, P; Bolzinger, M-A; Cruz, C; Briançon, S; Josse, D

    2011-12-01

    The use of chemical warfare agents such as VX in terrorism act might lead to contamination of the civilian population. Human scalp decontamination may require appropriate products and procedures. Due to ethical reasons, skin decontamination studies usually involve in vitro skin models, but human scalp skin samples are uncommon and expensive. The purpose of this study was to characterize the in vitro permeability to VX of human scalp, and to compare it with (a) human abdominal skin, and (b) pig skin from two different anatomic sites: ear and skull roof, in order to design a relevant model. Based on the VX skin permeation kinetics and distribution, we demonstrated that (a) human scalp was significantly more permeable to VX than abdominal skin and (b) pig-ear skin was the most relevant model to predict the in vitro human scalp permeability. Our results indicated that the follicular pathway significantly contributed to the skin absorption of VX through human scalp. In addition, the hair follicles and the stratum corneum significantly contributed to the formation of a skin reservoir for VX.

  18. Students Performance Prediction System Using Multi Agent Data Mining Technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdullah AL-Malaise

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available A high prediction accuracy of the students’ performance is more helpful to identify the low performance students at the beginning of the learning process. Data mining is used to attain this objective. Data mining techniques are used to discover models or patterns of data, and it is much helpful in the decision-making. Boosting technique is the most popular techniques for constructing ensembles of classifier to improve the classification accuracy. Adaptive Boosting (AdaBoost is a generation of boosting algorithm. It is used for the binary classification and not applicable to multiclass classification directly. SAMME boosting technique extends AdaBoost to a multiclass classification without reduce it to a set of sub-binary classification. In this paper, students’ performance prediction system using Multi Agent Data Mining is proposed to predict the performance of the students based on their data with high prediction accuracy and provide help to the low students by optimization rules. The proposed system has been implemented and evaluated by investigate the prediction accuracy of Adaboost.M1 and LogitBoost ensemble classifiers methods and with C4.5 single classifier method. The results show that using SAMME Boosting technique improves the prediction accuracy and outperformed C4.5 single classifier and LogitBoost.

  19. Integrating Human Performance and Technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ronald K. Farris; Heather Medema

    2012-05-01

    Human error is a significant factor in the cause and/or complication of events that occur in the commercial nuclear industry. In recent years, great gains have been made using Human Performance (HU) tools focused on targeting individual behaviors. However, the cost of improving HU is growing and resistance to add yet another HU tool certainly exists, particularly for those tools that increase the paperwork for operations. Improvements in HU that are the result of leveraging existing technology, such as hand-held mobile technologies, have the potential to reduce human error in controlling system configurations, safety tag-outs, and other verifications. Operator rounds, valve line-up verifications, containment closure verifications, safety & equipment protection, and system tagging can be supported by field-deployable wireless technologies. These devices can also support the availability of critical component data in the main control room and other locations. This research pilot project reviewing wireless hand-held technology is part of the Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program (LWRSP), a research and development (R&D) program sponsored by the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE). The project is being performed in close collaboration with industry R&D programs to provide the technical foundations for licensing, and managing the long-term, safe, and economical operation of current nuclear power plants. The LWRSP vision is to develop technologies and other solutions that can improve the reliability, sustain the safety, and extend the life of the current nuclear reactor fleet.

  20. Modeling cognitive loads for evolving shared mental models in human-agent collaboration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Xiaocong; Yen, John

    2011-04-01

    Recent research on human-centered teamwork highly demands the design of cognitive agents that can model and exploit human partners' cognitive load to enhance team performance. In this paper, we focus on teams composed of human-agent pairs and develop a system called Shared Mental Models for all--SMMall. SMMall implements a hidden Markov model (HMM)-based cognitive load model for an agent to predict its human partner's instantaneous cognitive load status. It also implements a user interface (UI) concept called shared belief map, which offers a synergic representation of team members' information space and allows them to share beliefs. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the HMM-based load models. The results indicate that the HMM-based load models are effective in helping team members develop a shared mental model (SMM), and the benefit of load-based information sharing becomes more significant as communication capacity increases. It also suggests that multiparty communication plays an important role in forming/evolving team SMMs, and when a group of agents can be partitioned into subteams, splitting messages by their load status can be more effective for developing subteam SMMs.

  1. Agent-based cognitive model for human resources competence management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Stefan; Gluz, João Carlos

    2010-01-01

    This chapter presents an agent-based cognitive model aimed to represent human competency concepts and competence management processes of psychological nature. This model is implemented by a multiagent system application intended to help managers of software development projects to select, based on the competence management model, the right professionals to integrate a development team. There are several software engineering methodologies that can be used to design and develop multiagent systems. However, due to the necessity to handle human competency concepts of cognitive nature, like aptitudes, interests, abilities and knowledge, we were driven to choose methodologies that can handle these concepts since the inception of the system. To do so, we integrated the TROPOS methodology, and a set of software engineering methods derived from intelligent tutoring systems research to successfully analyze and design the proposed system. At the end of the paper we present a study case, showing how the proposed system should be applied to the domain of website development.

  2. Gadolinium-based magnetic resonance contrast agents at 7 Tesla: in vitro T1 relaxivities in human blood plasma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noebauer-Huhmann, Iris M; Szomolanyi, Pavol; Juras, Vladimír; Kraff, Oliver; Ladd, Mark E; Trattnig, Siegfried

    2010-09-01

    PURPOSE/INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to determine the T1 relaxivities (r1) of 8 gadolinium (Gd)-based MR contrast agents in human blood plasma at 7 Tesla, compared with 3 Tesla. Eight commercially available Gd-based MR contrast agents were diluted in human blood plasma to concentrations of 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, and 2 mmol/L. In vitro measurements were performed at 37 degrees C, on a 7 Tesla and on a 3 Tesla whole-body magnetic resonance imaging scanner. For the determination of T1 relaxation times, Inversion Recovery Sequences with inversion times from 0 to 3500 ms were used. The relaxivities were calculated. The r1 relaxivities of all agents, diluted in human blood plasma at body temperature, were lower at 7 Tesla than at 3 Tesla. The values at 3 Tesla were comparable to those published earlier. Notably, in some agents, a minor negative correlation of r1 with a concentration of up to 2 mmol/L could be observed. This was most pronounced in the agents with the highest protein-binding capacity. At 7 Tesla, the in vitro r1 relaxivities of Gd-based contrast agents in human blood plasma are lower than those at 3 Tesla. This work may serve as a basis for the application of Gd-based MR contrast agents at 7 Tesla. Further studies are required to optimize the contrast agent dose in vivo.

  3. Human-Centric Teaming in a Multi-Agent EVA Assembly Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehnmark, Fredrik; Currie, Nancy; Ambrose, Robert O.; Culbert, Christopher

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Human Space Flight program depends heavily on spacewalks performed by pairs of suited human astronauts. These Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs) are severely restricted in both duration and scope by consumables and available manpower.An expanded multi-agent EVA team combining the information-gathering and problem-solving skills of human astronauts with the survivability and physical capabilities of highly dexterous space robots is proposed. A 1-g test featuring two NASA/DARPA Robonaut systems working side-by-side with a suited human subject is conducted to evaluate human-robot teaming strategies in the context of a simulated EVA assembly task based on the STS-61B ACCESS flight experiment.

  4. High Performance Computing for Agent-Based Cognitive Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-25

    2.2.2.2 EX2 and EX3 Agents - ACT-R A simple agent was developed by Jaehyon Paik using the LISP -based ACT-R cognitive framework. Unlike the EX1...current user, and connecting the new one to the same account. 5 Both of these issues were overcome by generating pieces of the agent LISP code during...on a single local machine. The Fenrir VM was used to host the environment. Versions of MPI (MPICH2), and LISP (Clozure LISP ) that are available on

  5. Human-agent experience sharing : Creating social agents for elderly people with dementia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peeters, M.M.M.; Neerincx, M.A.

    2016-01-01

    As intelligent technology steadily becomes a part of modern societies, people collaborate with agents more frequently, and so agents need to be socially intelligent, i.e. personalised and context-sensitive. This paper introduces a context-sensitive personalisation framework for social agents that

  6. Human-agent experience sharing : Creating social agents for elderly people with dementia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peeters, M.M.M.; Neerincx, M.A.

    2016-01-01

    As intelligent technology steadily becomes a part of modern societies, people collaborate with agents more frequently, and so agents need to be socially intelligent, i.e. personalised and context-sensitive. This paper introduces a context-sensitive personalisation framework for social agents that fa

  7. Acanthamoeba spp. as agents of disease in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marciano-Cabral, Francine; Cabral, Guy

    2003-04-01

    Acanthamoeba spp. are free-living amebae that inhabit a variety of air, soil, and water environments. However, these amebae can also act as opportunistic as well as nonopportunistic pathogens. They are the causative agents of granulomatous amebic encephalitis and amebic keratitis and have been associated with cutaneous lesions and sinusitis. Immuno compromised individuals, including AIDS patients, are particularly susceptible to infections with Acanthamoeba. The immune defense mechanisms that operate against Acanthamoeba have not been well characterized, but it has been proposed that both innate and acquired immunity play a role. The ameba's life cycle includes an active feeding trophozoite stage and a dormant cyst stage. Trophozoites feed on bacteria, yeast, and algae. However, both trophozoites and cysts can retain viable bacteria and may serve as reservoirs for bacteria with human pathogenic potential. Diagnosis of infection includes direct microscopy of wet mounts of cerebrospinal fluid or stained smears of cerebrospinal fluid sediment, light or electron microscopy of tissues, in vitro cultivation of Acanthamoeba, and histological assessment of frozen or paraffin-embedded sections of brain or cutaneous lesion biopsy material. Immunocytochemistry, chemifluorescent dye staining, PCR, and analysis of DNA sequence variation also have been employed for laboratory diagnosis. Treatment of Acanthamoeba infections has met with mixed results. However, chlorhexidine gluconate, alone or in combination with propamidene isethionate, is effective in some patients. Furthermore, effective treatment is complicated since patients may present with underlying disease and Acanthamoeba infection may not be recognized. Since an increase in the number of cases of Acanthamoeba infections has occurred worldwide, these protozoa have become increasingly important as agents of human disease.

  8. Importance of Program Development Competencies for Agricultural Extension Agents' Performance in Process of Technology Transfer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neda Tiraieyari

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: The movement of technology from lab to the field has been a challenge for agricultural extension agents. In this study researchers focused on program development competencies for agricultural extension agents in process of technology transfer and discuss the importance of these competencies by determining the relationship between these competencies and performance of extension agents. Approach: The study employed stratified random sampling technique. The sample consisted of 210 extension agents in four states of Malaysia. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation and multiple regression analysis. Results: Extension agents perceived themselves competent in developing program planning, program implementation and program evaluation. The findings supported the positive relationship between competencies and extension agents’ performance. Therefore hypothesis of the study was supported. The results of multiple regressions showed program development competencies explained 0.448 of variance of extension agents’ performance. Conclusion/Recommendations: It can be concluded that performance of extension agents is expected to increase if they have program development competencies. Results supported the importance of these competencies for performance of extension agents in process of technology transfer. Hence to keep extension agents competent and to further improve their performance, these competencies must be considered and upgraded. Continuous assessment of extension agents’ competencies and performance is recommended.

  9. Synthesis and Performance of a Biomimetic Indicator for Alkylating Agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Provencher, Philip A; Love, Jennifer A

    2015-10-02

    4-(4-Nitrobenzyl)pyridine (NBP) is a colorimetric indicator compound for many types of carcinogenic alkylating agents. Because of the similar reactivity of NBP and guanine in DNA, NBP serves as a DNA model. NBP assays are used in the toxicological screening of pharmaceutical compounds, detection of chemical warfare agents, environmental hygiene technology, preliminary toxicology tests, mutagenicity of medicinal compounds, and other chemical analyses. Nevertheless, the use of NBP as a DNA model suffers from the compound's low water solubility, its lack of reactive oxygen sites, and dissimilar steric encumbrance compared to DNA. We report herein the design and synthesis of NBP derivatives that address some of these issues. These derivatives have been tested in solution and found to be superior in the colorimetric assay of the alkylating anticancer drug cyclophosphamide. The derivatives have also been integrated into a polymeric silica material which changes color upon the exposure to dangerous alkylating agents, such as iodomethane vapor, without the need for an exogenous base. This material modernizes the NBP assay from a time-consuming laboratory analysis to a real-time solid state sensor, which requires neither solvent nor additional reagents and can detect both gas- and solution-phase alkylating agents.

  10. MODEM: a multi-agent hierarchical structure to model the human motor control system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emadi Andani, Mehran; Bahrami, Fariba; Jabehdar Maralani, Parviz; Ijspeert, Auke Jan

    2009-12-01

    In this study, based on behavioral and neurophysiological facts, a new hierarchical multi-agent architecture is proposed to model the human motor control system. Performance of the proposed structure is investigated by simulating the control of sit to stand movement. To develop the model, concepts of mixture of experts, modular structure, and some aspects of equilibrium point hypothesis were brought together. We have called this architecture MODularized Experts Model (MODEM). Human motor system is modeled at the joint torque level and the role of the muscles has been embedded in the function of the joint compliance characteristics. The input to the motor system, i.e., the central command, is the reciprocal command. At the lower level, there are several experts to generate the central command to control the task according to the details of the movement. The number of experts depends on the task to be performed. At the higher level, a "gate selector" block selects the suitable subordinate expert considering the context of the task. Each expert consists of a main controller and a predictor as well as several auxiliary modules. The main controller of an expert learns to control the performance of a given task by generating appropriate central commands under given conditions and/or constraints. The auxiliary modules of this expert learn to scrutinize the generated central command by the main controller. Auxiliary modules increase their intervention to correct the central command if the movement error is increased due to an external disturbance. Each auxiliary module acts autonomously and can be interpreted as an agent. Each agent is responsible for one joint and, therefore, the number of the agents of each expert is equal to the number of joints. Our results indicate that this architecture is robust against external disturbances, signal-dependent noise in sensory information, and changes in the environment. We also discuss the neurophysiological and behavioral basis of

  11. You Look Human, But Act Like a Machine: Agent Appearance and Behavior Modulate Different Aspects of Human–Robot Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdulaziz Abubshait

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Gaze following occurs automatically in social interactions, but the degree to which gaze is followed depends on whether an agent is perceived to have a mind, making its behavior socially more relevant for the interaction. Mind perception also modulates the attitudes we have toward others, and determines the degree of empathy, prosociality, and morality invested in social interactions. Seeing mind in others is not exclusive to human agents, but mind can also be ascribed to non-human agents like robots, as long as their appearance and/or behavior allows them to be perceived as intentional beings. Previous studies have shown that human appearance and reliable behavior induce mind perception to robot agents, and positively affect attitudes and performance in human–robot interaction. What has not been investigated so far is whether different triggers of mind perception have an independent or interactive effect on attitudes and performance in human–robot interaction. We examine this question by manipulating agent appearance (human vs. robot and behavior (reliable vs. random within the same paradigm and examine how congruent (human/reliable vs. robot/random versus incongruent (human/random vs. robot/reliable combinations of these triggers affect performance (i.e., gaze following and attitudes (i.e., agent ratings in human–robot interaction. The results show that both appearance and behavior affect human–robot interaction but that the two triggers seem to operate in isolation, with appearance more strongly impacting attitudes, and behavior more strongly affecting performance. The implications of these findings for human–robot interaction are discussed.

  12. Social effects of an anthropomorphic help agent: humans versus computers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Prabu; Lu, Tingting; Kline, Susan; Cai, Li

    2007-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine perceptions of fairness of a computer-administered quiz as a function of the anthropomorphic features of the help agent offered within the quiz environment. The addition of simple anthropomorphic cues to a computer help agent reduced the perceived friendliness of the agent, perceived intelligence of the agent, and the perceived fairness of the quiz. These differences were observed only for male anthropomorphic cues, but not for female anthropomorphic cues. The results were not explained by the social attraction of the anthropomorphic agents used in the quiz or by gender identification with the agents. Priming of visual cues provides the best account of the data. Practical implications of the study are discussed.

  13. Human body communication performance simulations

    OpenAIRE

    Mufti, H. (Haseeb)

    2016-01-01

    Human Body Communication (HBC) is a novel communication method between devices which use human body as a transmission medium. This idea is mostly based on the concept of wireless biomedical monitoring system. The on-body sensor nodes can monitor vital signs of a human body and use the body as a transmission medium. This technology is convenient for long durations of clinical monitoring with the option of more mobility and freedom for the user. In this thesis, IEEE 802.15.6-2012 phy...

  14. Evolvable Work-Practice Interfaces Between Humans and Agents Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA science researchers and payload specialists will be supported in their tasks by increasingly complex computational components. Whether these are agents...

  15. Human Performance Technology and HRD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carliner, Saul

    2014-01-01

    Performance--the achievement of results--is central to definitions of HRD. Performance Technology (HPT) refers to a systematic methodology for developing performance in individuals and organizations. Through a systematic process, HPT explores issues at the organizational, unit, and individual level, and with skills and knowledge, resources, and…

  16. Smart swarms of bacteria-inspired agents with performance adaptable interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adi Shklarsh

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Collective navigation and swarming have been studied in animal groups, such as fish schools, bird flocks, bacteria, and slime molds. Computer modeling has shown that collective behavior of simple agents can result from simple interactions between the agents, which include short range repulsion, intermediate range alignment, and long range attraction. Here we study collective navigation of bacteria-inspired smart agents in complex terrains, with adaptive interactions that depend on performance. More specifically, each agent adjusts its interactions with the other agents according to its local environment--by decreasing the peers' influence while navigating in a beneficial direction, and increasing it otherwise. We show that inclusion of such performance dependent adaptable interactions significantly improves the collective swarming performance, leading to highly efficient navigation, especially in complex terrains. Notably, to afford such adaptable interactions, each modeled agent requires only simple computational capabilities with short-term memory, which can easily be implemented in simple swarming robots.

  17. ModelforAnalyzing Human Communication Network Based onAgent-Based Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuyama, Shinako; Terano, Takao

    This paper discusses dynamic properties of human communications networks, which appears as a result of informationexchanges among people. We propose agent-based simulation (ABS) to examine implicit mechanisms behind the dynamics. The ABS enables us to reveal the characteristics and the differences of the networks regarding the specific communicationgroups. We perform experiments on the ABS with activity data from questionnaires survey and with virtual data which isdifferent from the activity data. We compare the difference between them and show the effectiveness of the ABS through theexperiments.

  18. Agent Based Modeling of Human Gut Microbiome Interactions and Perturbations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana Shashkova

    Full Text Available Intestinal microbiota plays an important role in the human health. It is involved in the digestion and protects the host against external pathogens. Examination of the intestinal microbiome interactions is required for understanding of the community influence on host health. Studies of the microbiome can provide insight on methods of improving health, including specific clinical procedures for individual microbial community composition modification and microbiota correction by colonizing with new bacterial species or dietary changes.In this work we report an agent-based model of interactions between two bacterial species and between species and the gut. The model is based on reactions describing bacterial fermentation of polysaccharides to acetate and propionate and fermentation of acetate to butyrate. Antibiotic treatment was chosen as disturbance factor and used to investigate stability of the system. System recovery after antibiotic treatment was analyzed as dependence on quantity of feedback interactions inside the community, therapy duration and amount of antibiotics. Bacterial species are known to mutate and acquire resistance to the antibiotics. The ability to mutate was considered to be a stochastic process, under this suggestion ratio of sensitive to resistant bacteria was calculated during antibiotic therapy and recovery.The model confirms a hypothesis of feedbacks mechanisms necessity for providing functionality and stability of the system after disturbance. High fraction of bacterial community was shown to mutate during antibiotic treatment, though sensitive strains could become dominating after recovery. The recovery of sensitive strains is explained by fitness cost of the resistance. The model demonstrates not only quantitative dynamics of bacterial species, but also gives an ability to observe the emergent spatial structure and its alteration, depending on various feedback mechanisms. Visual version of the model shows that spatial

  19. Atropine, Stress and Human Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-08-01

    substance use and abuse and for fitness (exercise stress test) exactly as in the first-year studies. b.2 Research design The research design was A1...Physiological Correlates. New York: Plenum Press, 705-718. 20. Callaway, E. (1984). Human information-processing: Some effects of methylphenidate , age and

  20. Performance Consensus Problem of Multi-Agent Systems with Multiple State Variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Naoki; Ushio, Toshimitsu

    A consensus problem has been studied in many fundamental and application fields to analyze coordinated behavior in multiagent systems. In a consensus problem, it is usually assumed that a state of each agent is scalar and all agents have an identical linear consensus protocol. We present a consensus problem of multi-agent systems where each agent has multiple state variables and a performance value evaluated by a nonlinear performance function according to its current state. We derive sufficient conditions for agents to achieve consensus on the performance value using an algebraic graph theory and the mean value theorem. We also consider an application of a performance consensus problem to resource allocation in soft real-time systems so as to achieve a fair QoS (Quality of Service) level.

  1. Mechanical performance of acrylic bone cements containing different radiopacifying agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginebra, M P; Albuixech, L; Fernández-Barragán, E; Aparicio, C; Gil, F J; San, Román J; Vázquez, B; Planell, J A

    2002-04-01

    The effect that three different radiopacifying agents, two of them inorganic (BaSO4, ZrO2) and one organic (an iodine containing monomer, IHQM) have on the static and dynamic mechanical properties of acrylic bone cements was studied. Compressive and tensile strength, fracture toughness and fatigue crack propagation were evaluated. The effect of the inorganic fillers depends on their size and morphology. In relation to the radiolucent cement, the addition of zirconium dioxide improved significantly the tensile strength, the fracture toughness and the fatigue crack propagation resistance. In contrast, the addition of barium sulphate produced a decrease of the tensile strength, but did not affect the fracture toughness and improved the crack propagation resistance. When the iodine containing monomer was used, although the tensile strength and the fracture toughness increased, the fatigue crack propagation resistance remained as low as it was for the radiolucent cement.

  2. Linking enhanced deposition agent functionality with aesthetic performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erazo-Majewicz, Paquita; Roberts-Howard, Cathleen; Oldham, Eugene; Lynch, Craig; Graham, John; Usher, Courtney R; Joneja, Surendra

    2011-01-01

    This study examines the cationic polymers 1) guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride polymers (GHPTC), 2) acrylamidopropyltrimonium chloride/acrylamide copolymer (APTAC/Acm), 3) polyquaternium polymers (PQ-10, PQ-7, PQ-67), and 4) a new polymer system approach for their a) deposition efficiency (as measured by quantifying oils deposited on virgin hair) and b) ability to deliver good wet and dry lubricity to the hair from a cleansing formulation as measured by comb energy and friction characteristics of the hair samples. Conditioning polymer technology approaches 1) acrylamidopropyltrimonium chloride/acrylamide copolymer, 2) a guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride polymer, and 3) the new polymer system approach deliver superior deposition of natural conditioning oils and dimethicone materials from anionic/amphoteric surfactant cleansing formulations. These new polymer technologies offer formulators the ability to improve uniformity of deposition as well as deposition efficiency of conditioning agents onto hair, and target the desired hair lubricity.

  3. Designing Realistic Human Behavior into Multi-Agent Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-09-01

    Michigan, 1998. 7. Deitel , H.M. and Deital, P.J., Java How To Program, 3rd ed., Prentice-Hall, 1999. 8. Dreyfus, H.L., What Computers Can’t Do...created the agents themselves. By doing this they allow the casual user who may not be familiar with programming languages such as C++ or Java to get...the various Reactive Agents that the Agent contains. The RCA Manager is a base class written in the Java programming language and is contained

  4. Human Performance Resource Center (HPRC)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — HPRC is aligned under Force Health Protection and Readiness and is the educational arm of the Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP) at the Uniformed...

  5. Cyclic Variations in Sustained Human Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aue, William R.; Arruda, James E.; Kass, Steven J.; Stanny, Claudia J.

    2009-01-01

    Biological rhythms play a prominent role in the modulation of human physiology and behavior. [Smith, K., Valentino, D., & Arruda, J. (2003). "Rhythmic oscillations in the performance of a sustained attention task." "Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology," 25, 561-570] suggested that sustained human performance may systematically…

  6. Mycoviruses : future therapeutic agents of invasive fungal infections in humans?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Sande, W. W. J.; Lo-Ten-Foe, J. R.; van Belkum, A.; Netea, M. G.; Kullberg, B. J.; Vonk, A. G.

    Invasive fungal infections are relatively common opportunistic infections in immunocompromised patients and are still associated with a high mortality rate. Furthermore, these infections are often complicated by resistance or refractoriness to current antimicrobial agents. Therefore, an urgent need

  7. Simultaneous Quantification of Antidiabetic Agents in Human Plasma by a UPLC–QToF-MS Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fachi, Mariana Millan; Cerqueira, Letícia Bonancio; Leonart, Letícia Paula; de Francisco, Thais Martins Guimarães

    2016-01-01

    An ultra-performance liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry method for the simultaneous quantification of chlorpropamide, glibenclamide, gliclazide, glimepiride, metformin, nateglinide, pioglitazone, rosiglitazone, and vildagliptin in human plasma was developed and validated, using isoniazid and sulfaquinoxaline as internal standards. Following plasma protein precipitation using acetonitrile with 1% formic acid, chromatographic separation was performed on a cyano column using gradient elution with water and acetonitrile, both containing 0.1% formic acid. Detection was performed in a quadrupole time-of-flight analyzer, using electrospray ionization operated in the positive mode. Data from validation studies demonstrated that the new method is highly sensitive, selective, precise (RSD 0.99), free of matrix and has no residual effects. The developed method was successfully applied to volunteers’ plasma samples. Hence, this method was demonstrated to be appropriate for clinical monitoring of antidiabetic agents. PMID:27930700

  8. Human-Agent Decision-making: Combining Theory and Practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarit Kraus

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Extensive work has been conducted both in game theory and logic to model strategic interaction. An important question is whether we can use these theories to design agents for interacting with people? On the one hand, they provide a formal design specification for agent strategies. On the other hand, people do not necessarily adhere to playing in accordance with these strategies, and their behavior is affected by a multitude of social and psychological factors. In this paper we will consider the question of whether strategies implied by theories of strategic behavior can be used by automated agents that interact proficiently with people. We will focus on automated agents that we built that need to interact with people in two negotiation settings: bargaining and deliberation. For bargaining we will study game-theory based equilibrium agents and for argumentation we will discuss logic-based argumentation theory. We will also consider security games and persuasion games and will discuss the benefits of using equilibrium based agents.

  9. Users matter : multi-agent systems model of high performance computing cluster users.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    North, M. J.; Hood, C. S.; Decision and Information Sciences; IIT

    2005-01-01

    High performance computing clusters have been a critical resource for computational science for over a decade and have more recently become integral to large-scale industrial analysis. Despite their well-specified components, the aggregate behavior of clusters is poorly understood. The difficulties arise from complicated interactions between cluster components during operation. These interactions have been studied by many researchers, some of whom have identified the need for holistic multi-scale modeling that simultaneously includes network level, operating system level, process level, and user level behaviors. Each of these levels presents its own modeling challenges, but the user level is the most complex due to the adaptability of human beings. In this vein, there are several major user modeling goals, namely descriptive modeling, predictive modeling and automated weakness discovery. This study shows how multi-agent techniques were used to simulate a large-scale computing cluster at each of these levels.

  10. Human localization and performance measures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hammershøi, Dorte

    2009-01-01

    Localization is for some scenarios and situations vital for the success of hearing, e. g. when listening out single sources in multi-source environments, or when navigating primarily by audible information. It is therefore of interest to know the limits of the human localization capacity, and its...... dependence on e.g. direction and distance. When addressed in laboratory experiments, the significance of other modalities are controlled in different ways, yet figures will inherently reflect properties of the test situation as well. The present paper will discuss the methodologies of localization...... experiments, generally and by examples....

  11. Dose-dependent cytotoxic and mutagenic effects of antineoplastic alkylating agents on human lymphoblastoid cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanderson, B.J.S.; Johnson, K.J.; Henner, W.D. (Oregon Health Sciences Univ., Portland (United States))

    1991-01-01

    The alkylating agents in clinical use as antineoplastics are strongly implicated as human carcinogens on the basis of animal studies and human epidemiologic studies. However, there is little quantitative information on the extent to which exposure to these drugs is mutagenic for normal (non-malignant) cells and the extent to which such mutagenicity correlates with cytotoxicity of these agents. Human lymphoblastoid cells (WIL2-NS) were exposed to graded doses of eight antineoplastic alkylating agents. Dose-dependent decreases in survival were used to calculate IC{sub 50}s for each of the drugs tested. The mutagenicity of these agents is correlated strongly with cytotoxicity. These results quantitate the dose-dependent cytotoxic and mutagenic effects of these bifunctional alkylating agents on human cells. All are cytotoxic and mutagenic, although their mutagenic efficiency varies.

  12. Access Agent Improving The Performance Of Access Control Lists

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thelis R. S.

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The main focus of the proposed research is maintaining the security of a network. Extranet is a popular network among most of the organizations where network access is provided to a selected group of outliers. Limiting access to an extranet can be carried out using Access Control Lists ACLs method. However handling the workload of ACLs is an onerous task for the router. The purpose of the proposed research is to improve the performance and to solidify the security of the ACLs used in a small organization. Using a high performance computer as a dedicated device to share and handle the router workload is suggested in order to increase the performance of the router when handling ACLs. Methods of detecting and directing sensitive data is also discussed in this paper. A framework is provided to help increase the efficiency of the ACLs in an organization network using the above mentioned procedures thus helping the organizations ACLs performance to be improved to be more secure and the system to perform faster. Inbuilt methods of Windows platform or Software for open source platforms can be used to make a computer function as a router. Extended ACL features allow the determining of the type of packets flowing through the router. Combining these mechanisms allows the ACLs to be improved and perform in a more efficient manner.

  13. 49 CFR 40.343 - What tasks may a service agent perform for an employer?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false What tasks may a service agent perform for an employer? 40.343 Section 40.343 Transportation Office of the Secretary of Transportation PROCEDURES FOR TRANSPORTATION WORKPLACE DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING PROGRAMS Roles and Responsibilities of Service Agents § 40.343...

  14. The Cost of Performance? Students' Learning about Acting as Change Agents in Their Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kehoe, Ian

    2015-01-01

    This paper explores how performance culture could affect students' learning about, and disposition towards, acting as organisational change agents in schools. This is based on findings from an initiative aimed to enable students to experience acting as change agents on an aspect of the school's culture that concerned them. The initiative was…

  15. The Cost of Performance? Students' Learning about Acting as Change Agents in Their Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kehoe, Ian

    2015-01-01

    This paper explores how performance culture could affect students' learning about, and disposition towards, acting as organisational change agents in schools. This is based on findings from an initiative aimed to enable students to experience acting as change agents on an aspect of the school's culture that concerned them. The initiative…

  16. HURON (HUman and Robotic Optimization Network) Multi-Agent Temporal Activity Planner/Scheduler

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua, Hook; Mrozinski, Joseph J.; Elfes, Alberto; Adumitroaie, Virgil; Shelton, Kacie E.; Smith, Jeffrey H.; Lincoln, William P.; Weisbin, Charles R.

    2012-01-01

    HURON solves the problem of how to optimize a plan and schedule for assigning multiple agents to a temporal sequence of actions (e.g., science tasks). Developed as a generic planning and scheduling tool, HURON has been used to optimize space mission surface operations. The tool has also been used to analyze lunar architectures for a variety of surface operational scenarios in order to maximize return on investment and productivity. These scenarios include numerous science activities performed by a diverse set of agents: humans, teleoperated rovers, and autonomous rovers. Once given a set of agents, activities, resources, resource constraints, temporal constraints, and de pendencies, HURON computes an optimal schedule that meets a specified goal (e.g., maximum productivity or minimum time), subject to the constraints. HURON performs planning and scheduling optimization as a graph search in state-space with forward progression. Each node in the graph contains a state instance. Starting with the initial node, a graph is automatically constructed with new successive nodes of each new state to explore. The optimization uses a set of pre-conditions and post-conditions to create the children states. The Python language was adopted to not only enable more agile development, but to also allow the domain experts to easily define their optimization models. A graphical user interface was also developed to facilitate real-time search information feedback and interaction by the operator in the search optimization process. The HURON package has many potential uses in the fields of Operations Research and Management Science where this technology applies to many commercial domains requiring optimization to reduce costs. For example, optimizing a fleet of transportation truck routes, aircraft flight scheduling, and other route-planning scenarios involving multiple agent task optimization would all benefit by using HURON.

  17. RSDL decontamination of human skin contaminated with the nerve agent VX.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thors, L; Lindberg, S; Johansson, S; Koch, B; Koch, M; Hägglund, L; Bucht, A

    2017-03-05

    also influenced the degradation rate since the degradation of VX was significantly faster when the NMR analysis was performed in the organic solvent acetonitrile compared to water. In conclusion, we have applied the in vitro flow-through diffusion cell for evaluation of skin decontamination procedures of human epidermis exposed to OPCs. It was demonstrated that early decontamination is crucial for efficient mitigation of epidermal penetration of VX and that almost complete removal of the nerve agent from the skin surface is possible. Our data also indicate that the pH of RSDL together with the solubility of OPC in RSDL are of primary importance for the decontamination efficacy.

  18. Proton and photon beams interaction with radiosensitizing agents in human glioblastoma cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafiandra, M.

    2016-03-01

    In oncological field, chemoradiotherapy treatments that combine radiations to radiosensitizing chemical agents are spreading out. The aim of this kind of treatment is to obtain a better tumor local control and at the same time to reduce the distant failure. The combination of radiation with microtubule-stabilizing agents is very promising in cancer therapy. In the present study, the combination of clinical proton beams and the microtubule-stabilizing agent Epothilone B has been investigated in human glioblastoma cells cultured in vitro. Photon beams have been used for comparison. Cell survival has been evaluated by colony forming assay and the interaction mechanism between radiation and Epothilone B has been investigated: survival curves relative to the combined treatment (protons or photons with Epothilone B) showed a linear trend, different from the linear quadratic behavior found with radiation alone. The analysis performed showed a synergism in the radiation-drug interaction. Thus, Epothilone B in conjunction with radiation acts as a radiosensitizer. Finally proton Relative Biological Effectiveness has been determined and results are reported in this paper.

  19. Can Human-Like Bots Control Collective Mood: Agent-Based Simulations of Online Chats

    CERN Document Server

    Tadic, Bosiljka

    2013-01-01

    Using agent-based modeling approach, in this paper, we study self-organized dynamics of interacting agents in the presence of chat Bots. Different Bots with tunable ``human-like'' attributes, which exchange emotional messages with agents, are considered, and collective emotional behavior of agents is quantitatively analysed. In particular, using detrended fractal analysis we determine persistent fluctuations and temporal correlations in time series of agent's activity and statistics of avalanches carrying emotional messages of agents when Bots favoring positive/negative affects are active. We determine the impact of Bots and identify parameters that can modulate it. Our analysis suggests that, by these measures, the emotional Bots induce collective emotion among interacting agents by suitably altering the fractal characteristics of the underlying stochastic process.Positive-emotion Bots are slightly more effective than the negative ones. Moreover, the Bots which are periodically alternating between positive a...

  20. Balancing Human and Inter-Agent Influences for Shared Control of Bio-Inspired Collectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-10-01

    multiple uavs ,” IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, 2009. [4] Z. Kira and M. A. Potter, “Exerting human control over decentral- ized robot swarms ,” in...how influence is shared between the human and the swarm and (2) the resulting success of the human- swarm interaction. Note that related literature...control is shared: persistence and span. We define per- sistence as how long the human signals the swarm and span as how many agents the human

  1. Zoonoses and zoonotic agents in humans, food, animals and feed in the Netherlands 2003-2006

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Valkenburgh S; Oosterom R van; Stenvers O; Aalten M; Braks M; Schimmer B; Giessen A van de; Pelt W van; Langelaar M; Voedsel en Waren Autoriteit VWS; LZO; EPI

    2007-01-01

    The report 'Zoonoses and Zoonotic Agents in Humans, Food, Animals and Feed in The Netherlands 2003 - 2006' is based on data that is reported annually to the European Commission, in accordance with the Directive 2003/99/EC on the monitoring of zoonoses and zoonotic agents. They are supplemented with

  2. High performance computing for three-dimensional agent-based molecular models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Rodríguez, G; Pérez-Pérez, M; Fdez-Riverola, F; Lourenço, A

    2016-07-01

    Agent-based simulations are increasingly popular in exploring and understanding cellular systems, but the natural complexity of these systems and the desire to grasp different modelling levels demand cost-effective simulation strategies and tools. In this context, the present paper introduces novel sequential and distributed approaches for the three-dimensional agent-based simulation of individual molecules in cellular events. These approaches are able to describe the dimensions and position of the molecules with high accuracy and thus, study the critical effect of spatial distribution on cellular events. Moreover, two of the approaches allow multi-thread high performance simulations, distributing the three-dimensional model in a platform independent and computationally efficient way. Evaluation addressed the reproduction of molecular scenarios and different scalability aspects of agent creation and agent interaction. The three approaches simulate common biophysical and biochemical laws faithfully. The distributed approaches show improved performance when dealing with large agent populations while the sequential approach is better suited for small to medium size agent populations. Overall, the main new contribution of the approaches is the ability to simulate three-dimensional agent-based models at the molecular level with reduced implementation effort and moderate-level computational capacity. Since these approaches have a generic design, they have the major potential of being used in any event-driven agent-based tool. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. NASA Human Health and Performance Strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Jeffrey R.

    2012-01-01

    In May 2007, what was then the Space Life Sciences Directorate, issued the 2007 Space Life Sciences Strategy for Human Space Exploration. In January 2012, leadership and key directorate personnel were once again brought together to assess the current and expected future environment against its 2007 Strategy and the Agency and Johnson Space Center goals and strategies. The result was a refined vision and mission, and revised goals, objectives, and strategies. One of the first changes implemented was to rename the directorate from Space Life Sciences to Human Health and Performance to better reflect our vision and mission. The most significant change in the directorate from 2007 to the present is the integration of the Human Research Program and Crew Health and Safety activities. Subsequently, the Human Health and Performance Directorate underwent a reorganization to achieve enhanced integration of research and development with operations to better support human spaceflight and International Space Station utilization. These changes also enable a more effective and efficient approach to human system risk mitigation. Since 2007, we have also made significant advances in external collaboration and implementation of new business models within the directorate and the Agency, and through two newly established virtual centers, the NASA Human Health and Performance Center and the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation. Our 2012 Strategy builds upon these successes to address the Agency's increased emphasis on societal relevance and being a leader in research and development and innovative business and communications practices. The 2012 Human Health and Performance Vision is to lead the world in human health and performance innovations for life in space and on Earth. Our mission is to enable optimization of human health and performance throughout all phases of spaceflight. All HH&P functions are ultimately aimed at achieving this mission. Our activities enable

  4. A Conceptual Framework for Representing Human Behavior Characteristics in a System of Systems Agent-Based Survivability Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-22

    distribution is unlimited. A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR REPRESENTING HUMAN BEHAVIOR CHARACTERISTICS IN A SYSTEM OF SYSTEMS AGENT-BASED SURVIVABILITY...27411 -0001 ABSTRACT A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR REPRESENTING HUMAN BEHAVIOR CHARACTERISTICS IN A SYSTEM OF SYSTEMS AGENT-BASED SURVIVABILITY SIMULATION...TITLE AND SUBTITLE A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR REPRESENTING HUMAN BEHAVIOR CHARACTERISTICS IN A SYSTEM OF SYSTEMS AGENT-BASED SURVIVABILITY

  5. Non-covalent carriage of anticancer agents by humanized antibody trastuzumab.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, Arpita; Sharma, Sweta; Yadav, Veejendra Kumar

    2016-05-01

    This article explores the internalization and non-covalent carriage of small molecule anticancer agents like vinca alkaloids by humanized monoclonal antibody trastuzumab. Such carriage is marked by significant reduction in side effects and increased therapeutic value of these anticancer agents. This study is coherent with few clinical observations of enhanced efficiency of these anticancer agents when co-administered with therapeutic antibodies. This study will also serve as the foundation for screening a database of anticancer agents for possible compounds that may be co-delivered alongwith the antibody. Based on this study vincristine conformation inside antibody and its charge environment may be used as descriptors for screening purposes.

  6. PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF CLUSTERING IN WEB-LOG ANALYSIS BASED ON AGENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Himani

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Web mining is the use of data mining Technique toautomatically discover & extract information from webdocuments. When user searches for goods the managementagent receives order from graphical user interface.Management agent receives information, update agentinformation store house and feedback the mining result touser. Intelligent agent can help making computer systemeasier to use, enable finding & filtering information. Themining agent is the analytical center of whole agentsystem.It mainly adopts two kind of analytical method:related rule mining and cluster analysis. Cluster of objectsare formed so that objects with in a cluster have highsimilarity. The aim of this paper is to analyze the web logdata .To achieve this clustering tool is used. It performs intwo phases. First it captures the web-log data. Then itanalyzes the data& discovers the hidden pattern. Agentrequires an agent communication language to describe &process agent request. The future internet will use PERL toencode information with meaningful structure & semantics.

  7. EVA Health and Human Performance Benchmarking Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abercromby, A. F.; Norcross, J.; Jarvis, S. L.

    2016-01-01

    Multiple HRP Risks and Gaps require detailed characterization of human health and performance during exploration extravehicular activity (EVA) tasks; however, a rigorous and comprehensive methodology for characterizing and comparing the health and human performance implications of current and future EVA spacesuit designs does not exist. This study will identify and implement functional tasks and metrics, both objective and subjective, that are relevant to health and human performance, such as metabolic expenditure, suit fit, discomfort, suited postural stability, cognitive performance, and potentially biochemical responses for humans working inside different EVA suits doing functional tasks under the appropriate simulated reduced gravity environments. This study will provide health and human performance benchmark data for humans working in current EVA suits (EMU, Mark III, and Z2) as well as shirtsleeves using a standard set of tasks and metrics with quantified reliability. Results and methodologies developed during this test will provide benchmark data against which future EVA suits, and different suit configurations (eg, varied pressure, mass, CG) may be reliably compared in subsequent tests. Results will also inform fitness for duty standards as well as design requirements and operations concepts for future EVA suits and other exploration systems.

  8. New Metacognitive Model for Human Performance Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, John R.

    2011-01-01

    Addressing metacognitive functions has been shown to improve performance at the individual, team, group, and organizational levels. Metacognition is beginning to surface as an added cognate discipline for the field of human performance technology (HPT). Advances from research in the fields of cognition and metacognition offer a place for HPT to…

  9. New Metacognitive Model for Human Performance Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, John R.

    2011-01-01

    Addressing metacognitive functions has been shown to improve performance at the individual, team, group, and organizational levels. Metacognition is beginning to surface as an added cognate discipline for the field of human performance technology (HPT). Advances from research in the fields of cognition and metacognition offer a place for HPT to…

  10. Experimental study on low temperature performance of polymer drilling mud agents

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAN Jiajia; XU Huiwen; CAI Hongliang

    2009-01-01

    Drilling fluid additives has a major impact on rheology behavior and other performances of the drilling fluid. The key to low temperature drilling fluids is choosing antifreeze and polymer agent which have a strong ability in resisting low temperature. On the basis of determining glycol as antifreeze agent, the low-temperature-performance and capacities of anti-collapse of regular validity mud agents have been studied, the mechanism of anti-caving of the partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (PHPA), polypropylene potassium (KPA) and PAC-141 polymer additives have been also analyzed. A pilot study of compatibility between ethylene glycol and the polymers has educed that the polymers, ethylene glycol and inorganic salt are compatible, and they can significantly reduce the freezing point of drilling fluid. Anti-collapse ability of the drilling mud is the results of synergistic action among the agents.

  11. Evolvable Work-practice Interfaces Between Humans and Agents Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Safe and effective interactions between humans and complex systems represent a requirement for practically all of NASA's missions. The first-of-a-kind nature of such...

  12. A comparison of human dental pulp response to calcium hydroxide and Biodentine as direct pulp-capping agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jalan, Anushka Lalit; Warhadpande, Manjusha M; Dakshindas, Darshan M

    2017-01-01

    Direct pulp capping involves the placement of a biocompatible agent on pulp tissue that has been inadvertently exposed from traumatic injury or by iatrogenic means. To compare the human pulp response to calcium hydroxide and Biodentine as direct pulp-capping agents. Pulp exposures were performed on the pulpal floor of forty human permanent premolars. The exposure sites were dressed with either Dycal or Biodentine as pulp-capping materials. After 45 days, teeth were extracted and processed for histological examination. The histological data were subjected to Wilcoxon rank-sum test. The dentinal bridges in teeth that were capped with Biodentine were significantly thicker (P Biodentine can be suggested as the material of choice for direct pulp capping procedure instead of Dycal. However, further long-term follow-up in vivo human studies using Biodentine on cariously exposed pulpal teeth are warranted to derive a definite conclusion.

  13. An Agent Driven Human-centric Interface for Autonomous Mobile Robots

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    An Agent Driven Human-centric Interface for Autonomous Mobile Robots Donald Sofge, Dennis Perzanowski, Magdalena Bugajska, William Adams...Human-centric, Multimodal, Dynamic Autonomy, CoABS Grid, Mobile Robots 1. INTRODUCTION One of the challenges in implementing dynamically...autonomous behaviors in mobile robots is achieving a truly human-centric interface so that human operators can interact with the robots as naturally as they

  14. 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.

  15. The SACADA database for human reliability and human performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Y. James Chang; Dennis Bley; Lawrence Criscione; Barry Kirwan; Ali Mosleh; Todd Madary; Rodney Nowell; Robert Richards; Emilie M. Roth; Scott Sieben; Antonios Zoulis

    2014-05-01

    Lack of appropriate and sufficient human performance data has been identified as a key factor affecting human reliability analysis (HRA) quality especially in the estimation of human error probability (HEP). The Scenario Authoring, Characterization, and Debriefing Application (SACADA) database was developed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to address this data need. An agreement between NRC and the South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company (STPNOC) was established to support the SACADA development with aims to make the SACADA tool suitable for implementation in the nuclear power plants' operator training program to collect operator performance information. The collected data would support the STPNOC's operator training program and be shared with the NRC for improving HRA quality. This paper discusses the SACADA data taxonomy, the theoretical foundation, the prospective data to be generated from the SACADA raw data to inform human reliability and human performance, and the considerations on the use of simulator data for HRA. Each SACADA data point consists of two information segments: context and performance results. Context is a characterization of the performance challenges to task success. The performance results are the results of performing the task. The data taxonomy uses a macrocognitive functions model for the framework. At a high level, information is classified according to the macrocognitive functions of detecting the plant abnormality, understanding the abnormality, deciding the response plan, executing the response plan, and team related aspects (i.e., communication, teamwork, and supervision). The data are expected to be useful for analyzing the relations between context, error modes and error causes in human performance.

  16. Benzamide Derivatives as Protective Agents against the Action of Xenotoxic Agents on Human Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-05-31

    developed a procedure for detecting the presence of a malignant pheno- type in sarcoma tumor tissue. Monoclonal antibodies, (McAb) were developed against the... MAMA was obtained from Sigma Chemical Cotp. St. Louis, MO, and 1-nitropyrene was supplied by Dr. Fred Beland, NCTR, Jefferson, ARK) in CM...14C)- MAMA 7 HUMAN CELL TRANSFORMATION (2.5 uCi/ml) at 0.03 mM or (1 4 C)- MAMA , 0.03 mM and benzamide, - - 1.0 mM. At the end of treatment, after washing

  17. Ectoine as a promising protective agent in humans and animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bownik, Adam; Stępniewska, Zofia

    2016-12-01

    Ectoine is a compatible water molecule-binding solute (osmoprotectant) produced by several bacterial species in response to osmotic stress and unfavourable environmental conditions. This amino acid derivative can accumulate inside cells at high concentrations without interfering with natural processes and can protect the cell against radiation or osmotic stress. This brief review presents the current state of knowledge about the effects of ectoine on animals and focuses on its practical use for enzyme stabilisation, human skin protection, anti-inflammatory treatment, inhibitory effects in neurodegenerative diseases, and other therapeutic potential in human or veterinary medicine.

  18. Understanding the relationship between safety investment and safety performance of construction projects through agent-based modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Miaojia; Cheung, Clara Man; Li, Heng; Hsu, Shu-Chien

    2016-09-01

    The construction industry in Hong Kong increased its safety investment by 300% in the past two decades; however, its accident rate has plateaued to around 50% for one decade. Against this backdrop, researchers have found inconclusive results on the causal relationship between safety investment and safety performance. Using agent-based modeling, this study takes an unconventional bottom-up approach to study safety performance on a construction site as an outcome of a complex system defined by interactions among a worksite, individual construction workers, and different safety investments. Instead of focusing on finding the absolute relationship between safety investment and safety performance, this study contributes to providing a practical framework to investigate how different safety investments interacting with different parameters such as human and environmental factors could affect safety performance. As a result, we could identify cost-effective safety investments under different construction scenarios for delivering optimal safety performance. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Shear bond strength of two resin cements to human root dentin using three dentin bonding agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gogos, C; Stavrianos, C; Kolokouris, I; Economides, N; Papadoyannis, I

    2007-01-01

    This study compared the bond strength of two resin cements to human root dentin when used with three bonding agents. The materials used were Rely X ARC and Perma Cem, two one-bottle bonding agents (Single Bond, Bond-1) and one self-etching bonding agent (Clearfil SE Bond). The dentin was obtained from single rooted human teeth, and the specimens were treated with either 15% EDTA or 37% phosphoric acid to remove the smear layer, except in groups where the self-etching bonding agent was used. The resin cements were placed on dentin surfaces with the use of bonding agents. Shear bond strength (SBS) was tested using a single plane shear test assembly. The dentin specimens were divided into 10 groups. Eight groups were pre-treated with EDTA or phosphoric acid to remove the smear layer, followed by a bonding agent (Bond-1 or Single Bond) and resin cement (Rely X or Perma Cem). In the two remaining groups, the smear layer was left intact, and the two resins cements were used in combination with the self-etching bonding agent (Clearfil SE Bond). No statistically significant differences were observed among the eight groups treated with one-bottle bonding agents. The mean bond strengths of the two groups treated with the self-etching bonding agent did not differ significantly from each other but were both significantly greater than the bond strengths of all the other groups. The results of this study also showed that EDTA can be used as an alternative to phosphoric acid in bonding procedures for resin cements. However, the bond strengths of resin cements, in combination with a self-etching bonding agent, were significantly greater than those of the same cements when used with one-bottle bonding agents.

  20. Adjustable Autonomy and Human-Agent Teamwork in Practice: An Interim Report on Space Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradshaw, Jeffrey M.; Feltovich, Paul; Hoffman, Robert; Jeffers, Renia; Suri, Niranhan; Uszok, Andrzej; VanHoof, Ron; Acquisti, Alessandro; Prescott, Debbie

    2003-01-01

    We give a preliminary perspective on the basic principles and pitfalls of adjustable autonomy and human-centered teamwork. We then summarize the interim results of our study on the problem of work practice modeling and human-agent collaboration in space applications, the development of a broad model of human-agent teamwork grounded in practice, and the integration of the Brahms, KAoS, and NOMADS agent frameworks. We hope our work will benefit those who plan and participate in work activities in a wide variety of space applications, as well as those who are interested in design and execution tools for teams of robots that can function as effective assistants to humans.

  1. Human performance in radiological survey scanning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, W.S. [Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (United States); Abelquist, E.W. [Oak Ridge Inst. for Science and Education, TN (United States)

    1998-03-01

    The probability of detecting residual contamination in the field using portable radiological survey instruments depends not only on the sensitivity of the instrumentation used in scanning, but also on the surveyor`s performance. This report provides a basis for taking human performance into account in determining the minimum level of activity detectable by scanning. A theoretical framework was developed (based on signal detection theory) which allows influences on surveyors to be anticipated and understood, and supports a quantitative assessment of performance. The performance of surveyors under controlled yet realistic field conditions was examined to gain insight into the task and to develop means of quantifying performance. Then, their performance was assessed under laboratory conditions to quantify more precisely their ability to make the required discriminations. The information was used to characterize surveyors` performance in the scanning task and to provide a basis for predicting levels of radioactivity that are likely to be detectable under various conditions by surveyors using portable survey instruments.

  2. PERFORMANCE EVALUATION FOR DAMPING CONTROLLERS OF POWER SYSTEMS BASED ON MULTI-AGENT MODELS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ancheng XUE; Yiguang HONG

    2009-01-01

    This paper proposes a multi-layer multi-agent model for the performance evaluation of power systems, which is different from the existing multi-agent ones. To describe the impact of the structure of the networked power system, .the proposed model consists of three kinds of agents that form three layers: control agents such as the generators and associated controllers, information agents to exchange the information based on the wide area measurement system (WAMS) or transmit control signals to the power system stabilizers (PSSs), and network-node agents such as the generation nodes and load nodes connected with transmission lines. An optimal index is presented to evaluate the performance of damping controllers to the system's inter-area oscillation with respect to the information-layer topology.Then, the authors show that the inter-area information exchange is more powerful than the exchange within a given area to control the inter-area low frequency oscillation based on simulation analysis.

  3. Infectious Agents As Markers of Human Migration toward the Amazon Region of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Ishak

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Infectious agents are common companions of humans and since ancient times they follow human migration on their search for a better place to live. The study of paleomicrobiology was significantly improved in its accuracy of measurement with the constant development of better methods to detect and analyze nucleic acids. Human tissues are constantly used to trace ancient infections and the association of anthropological evidences are important to confirm the microbiological information. Infectious agents which establish human persistent infections are particularly useful to trace human migrations. In the present article, the evidence of infection by viral agents such as human T-lymphotropic virus 1, human T-lymphotropic virus 2, human herpes virus-8, JC virus, and a bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, was described using different methodologies for their detection. Their presence was further used as biomarkers associated with anthropological and other relevant information to trace human migration into the Amazon region of Brazil. The approach also evidenced their microbiological origin, emergence, evolution, and spreading. The information obtained confirms much of the archeological information available tracing ancient and more recent human migration into this particular geographical region. In this article, the paleomicrobiological information on the subject was summarized and reviewed.

  4. The human rhinovirus: human-pathological impact, mechanisms of antirhinoviral agents, and strategies for their discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rollinger, Judith M; Schmidtke, Michaela

    2011-01-01

    As the major etiological agent of the common cold, human rhinoviruses (HRV) cause millions of lost working and school days annually. Moreover, clinical studies proved an association between harmless upper respiratory tract infections and more severe diseases e.g. sinusitis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Both the medicinal and socio-economic impact of HRV infections and the lack of antiviral drugs substantiate the need for intensive antiviral research. A common structural feature of the approximately 100 HRV serotypes is the icosahedrally shaped capsid formed by 60 identical copies of viral capsid proteins VP1-4. The capsid protects the single-stranded, positive sense RNA genome of about 7,400 bases in length. Both structural as well as nonstructural proteins produced during the viral life cycle have been identified as potential targets for blocking viral replication at the step of attachment, entry, uncoating, RNA and protein synthesis by synthetic or natural compounds. Moreover, interferon and phytoceuticals were shown to protect host cells. Most of the known inhibitors of HRV replication were discovered as a result of empirical or semi-empirical screening in cell culture. Structure-activity relationship studies are used for hit optimization and lead structure discovery. The increasing structural insight and molecular understanding of viral proteins on the one hand and the advent of innovative computer-assisted technologies on the other hand have facilitated a rationalized access for the discovery of small chemical entities with antirhinoviral (anti-HRV) activity. This review will (i) summarize existing structural knowledge about HRV, (ii) focus on mechanisms of anti-HRV agents from synthetic and natural origin, and (iii) demonstrate strategies for efficient lead structure discovery.

  5. Shifting Human Performance Technology to Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Stephen B.

    1998-01-01

    Describes the benefits and potential drawbacks of transferring HPT (human performance technology) skills from outside consultants to managers within organizations. Discusses HPT competence and control over work environment, the role of traditional HPT experts after the shift, and three approaches to implementing the change. (PEN)

  6. Human Resource management, Institutionalisation and Organisational Performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.P.P.E.F. Boselie (Paul); J. Paauwe (Jaap); R. Richardson

    2002-01-01

    textabstractThe relationship between Human Resource Management (HRM) and firm performance has been a hotly debated topic over the last decade, especially in the United States (e.g. Osterman, 1994; Huselid, 1995; MacDuffie, 1995). The question arises whether the domination of USA oriented models, how

  7. Human Resource management, Institutionalisation and Organisational Performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.P.P.E.F. Boselie (Paul); J. Paauwe (Jaap); R. Richardson

    2002-01-01

    textabstractThe relationship between Human Resource Management (HRM) and firm performance has been a hotly debated topic over the last decade, especially in the United States (e.g. Osterman, 1994; Huselid, 1995; MacDuffie, 1995). The question arises whether the domination of USA oriented models,

  8. Human Paraoxonase 1 as a Pharmacologic Agent: Limitations and Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priyanka Bajaj

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Human PON1 (h-PON1 is a multifaceted enzyme and can hydrolyze (and inactivate a wide range of substrates. The enzyme shows anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiatherogenic, ant-diabetic, antimicrobial, and organophosphate (OP-detoxifying properties. However, there are certain limitations regarding large-scale production and use of h-PON1 as a therapeutic candidate. These include difficulties in producing recombinant h-PON1 (rh-PON1 using microbial expression system, low hydrolytic activity of wild-type h-PON1 towards certain substrates, and low storage stability of the purified enzyme. This review summarizes the work done in our laboratory to address these limitations. Our results show that (a optimized polynucleotide sequence encoding rh-PON1 can express the protein in an active form in E. coli and can be used to generate variant of the enzyme having enhanced hydrolytic activity, (b in vitro refolding of rh-PON1 enzyme can dramatically increase the yield of an active enzyme, (c common excipients can be used to stabilize purified rh-PON1 enzyme when stored under different storage conditions, and (d variants of rh-PON1 enzyme impart significant protection against OP-poisoning in human blood (ex vivo and mouse (in vivo model of OP-poisoning. The rh-PON1 variants and their process of production discussed here will help to develop h-PON1 as a therapeutic candidate.

  9. Can human-like Bots control collective mood: agent-based simulations of online chats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tadić, Bosiljka; Šuvakov, Milovan

    2013-10-01

    Using an agent-based modeling approach, in this paper, we study self-organized dynamics of interacting agents in the presence of chat Bots. Different Bots with tunable ‘human-like’ attributes, which exchange emotional messages with agents, are considered, and the collective emotional behavior of agents is quantitatively analyzed. In particular, using detrended fractal analysis we determine persistent fluctuations and temporal correlations in time series of agent activity and statistics of avalanches carrying emotional messages of agents when Bots favoring positive/negative affects are active. We determine the impact of Bots and identify parameters that can modulate that impact. Our analysis suggests that, by these measures, the emotional Bots induce collective emotion among interacting agents by suitably altering the fractal characteristics of the underlying stochastic process. Positive emotion Bots are slightly more effective than negative emotion Bots. Moreover, Bots which periodically alternate between positive and negative emotion can enhance fluctuations in the system, leading to avalanches of agent messages that are reminiscent of self-organized critical states.

  10. Performance Evaluation of Bidding-Based Multi-Agent Scheduling Algorithms for Manufacturing Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Gordillo

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Artificial Intelligence techniques have being applied to many problems in manufacturing systems in recent years. In the specific field of manufacturing scheduling many studies have been published trying to cope with the complexity of the manufacturing environment. One of the most utilized approaches is (multi agent-based scheduling. Nevertheless, despite the large list of studies reported in this field, there is no resource or scientific study on the performance measure of this type of approach under very common and critical execution situations. This paper focuses on multi-agent systems (MAS based algorithms for task allocation, particularly in manufacturing applications. The goal is to provide a mechanism to measure the performance of agent-based scheduling approaches for manufacturing systems under key critical situations such as: dynamic environment, rescheduling, and priority change. With this mechanism it will be possible to simulate critical situations and to stress the system in order to measure the performance of a given agent-based scheduling method. The proposed mechanism is a pioneering approach for performance evaluation of bidding-based MAS approaches for manufacturing scheduling. The proposed method and evaluation methodology can be used to run tests in different manufacturing floors since it is independent of the workshop configuration. Moreover, the evaluation results presented in this paper show the key factors and scenarios that most affect the market-like MAS approaches for manufacturing scheduling.

  11. A Robust controller for micro-sized agents: The prescribed performance approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Denasi, Alper; Misra, Sarthak; Haliyo, S.; Sill, A.; Regnier, S.; Fatikow, S.

    2016-01-01

    Applications such as micromanipulation and minimally invasive surgery can be performed using micro-sized agents. For instance, drug-loaded magnetic micro-/nano- particles can enable targeted drug delivery. Their precise manipulation can be assured using a robust motion controller. In this paper, we

  12. Development of standard method performance requirements for biological threat agent detection methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Scott G; Brunelle, Sharon L; Davenport, Matthew G

    2011-01-01

    Standards and third-party testing are necessary to demonstrate the performance and limitations of biological threat agent (biothreat) detection technologies to allow appropriate response actions by end-users and responders. In order to address this need, the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate has funded AOAC INTERNATIONAL to develop standards and perform conformity assessment. AOAC formed the Stakeholder Panel on Agent Detection Assays to develop consensus performance criteria (standard method performance requirements; SMPRs) for methods that detect biothreats. This paper documents the development of the first five biothreat SMPRs, including the voluntary consensus process, the components of an SMPR, the use of SMPRs in developing validation protocols, and a description of the development efforts and considerations for each of the current SMPRs.

  13. Comparison of oxime reactivation and aging of nerve agent-inhibited monkey and human acetylcholinesterases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Chunyuan; Tong, Min; Maxwell, Donald M; Saxena, Ashima

    2008-09-25

    Non-human primates are valuable animal models that are used for the evaluation of nerve agent toxicity as well as antidotes and results from animal experiments are extrapolated to humans. It has been demonstrated that the efficacy of an oxime primarily depends on its ability to reactivate nerve agent-inhibited acetylcholinesterase (AChE). If the in vitro oxime reactivation of nerve agent-inhibited animal AChE is similar to that of human AChE, it is likely that the results of an in vivo animal study will reliably extrapolate to humans. Therefore, the goal of this study was to compare the aging and reactivation of human and different monkey (Rhesus, Cynomolgus, and African Green) AChEs inhibited by GF, GD, and VR. The oximes examined include the traditional oxime 2-PAM, two H-oximes HI-6 and HLo-7, and the new candidate oxime MMB4. Results indicate that oxime reactivation of all three monkey AChEs was very similar to human AChE. The maximum difference in the second-order reactivation rate constant between human and three monkey AChEs or between AChEs from different monkey species was 5-fold. Aging rate constants of GF-, GD-, and VR-inhibited monkey AChEs were very similar to human AChE except for GF-inhibited monkey AChEs, which aged 2-3 times faster than the human enzyme. The results of this study suggest that all three monkey species are suitable animal models for nerve agent antidote evaluation since monkey AChEs possess similar biochemical/pharmacological properties to human AChE.

  14. Common occurrence of antibacterial agents in human intestinal microbiota

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatima eDrissi

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Laboratory experiments have revealed many active mechanisms by which bacteria can inhibit the growth of other organisms. Bacteriocins are a diverse group of natural ribosomally-synthesized antimicrobial peptides produced by a wide range of bacteria and which seem to play an important role in mediating competition within bacterial communities. In this study, we have identified and established the structural classification of putative bacteriocins encoded by 317 microbial genomes in the human intestine. On the basis of homologies to available bacteriocin sequences, mainly from lactic acid bacteria, we report the widespread occurrence of bacteriocins across the gut microbiota: 175 bacteriocins were found to be encoded in Firmicutes, 79 in Proteobacteria, 34 in Bacteroidetes and 25 in Actinobacteria. Bacteriocins from gut bacteria displayed wide differences among phyla with regard to class distribution, net positive charge, hydrophobicity and secondary structure, but the α-helix was the most abundant structure. The peptide structures and physiochemical properties of bacteriocins produced by the most abundant bacteria in the gut, the Firmicutes and the Bacteroidetes, seem to ensure low antibiotic activity and participate in permanent intestinal host defence against the proliferation of harmful bacteria. Meanwhile, the potentially harmful bacteria, including the Proteobacteria, displayed highly effective bacteriocins, probably supporting the virulent character of diseases. These findings highlight the eventual role played by bacteriocins in gut microbial competition and their potential place in antibiotic therapy.

  15. Bacterial agents as a cause of infertility in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruggeri, Melania; Cannas, Sara; Cubeddu, Marina; Molicotti, Paola; Piras, Gennarina Laura; Dessole, Salvatore; Zanetti, Stefania

    2016-07-01

    Infertility is a problem affecting almost 15% of couples. There are many causes for this condition, among which urogenital bacterial infections seem to play an important role. Many studies have explained the mechanisms by which bacteria cause infertility both in men and women. Therefore we undertook this study to evaluate the presence of genito-urinary infections in infertile couples who sought counselling to investigate their condition. Microbiological analysis was performed on semen and vaginal/cervical samples of both partners of each couple. The percentage of individuals affected by a urogenital bacterial infection was between 14 and 20%. More significantly, most of the species isolated both in men and women have been described in the literature as potential causes of infertility.

  16. Personality as predictor of customer service centre agent performance in the banking industry: An exploratory study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda Blignaut

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Orientation: Since service quality is an important differentiator in the banking industry, it is essential to select suitable customer service centre staff, particularly those who are responsible for handling queries from clients who hold significant lifetime value in this industry.Research purpose: The aim of the study was to identify personality traits, as measured by the Occupational Personality Questionnaire 32r (item response theory scored version, including the more parsimonious Big Five personality traits, that may act as job performance predictors for customer service centre (CSC agents in the banking industry.Motivation for the study: This study provides an exploratory investigation of whether specific personality traits differ amongst CSC agents in the banking industry, based on their job performance. No published research in this field could be identified.Research design, approach and method: Purposive sampling was used to collect data from the entire CSC agent base of a particular banking group (N = 89. Responses were analysed by means of quantitative techniques.Main findings and practical/managerial implications: Results indicate that parsimonious traits of personality, expressed as the Big Five personality traits, predict job performance. The importance of carefully selecting suitable job performance criteria for a specific environment, however, emerged as a critical issue in performance prediction.Contribution: The study focuses attention on the importance of CSC agents’ performance as frontline staff in the banking industry and identifying valid criteria for selecting the most suitable agents. Providing a one-contact point of service such as a CSC is a fairly new approach in the South African banking industry and this study provides an initial investigation of personality traits that may serve as job performance predictors in this environment.

  17. CHARACTERIZATION AND PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF REUSED WABE AS FLOCCULANTS AGENT TO TREAT INDUSTRIAL PAPER MILL WASTEWATER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MUHAMMAD H. J. KHADIDI

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The present research mainly to explore the performance of customize flocculants agent made by reusable waste (WABE to treat actual wastewater from different industry. The effect of mixing rate (10, 20, 30, 150, 175 and 200 rpm, sedimentation time (5, 15 and 30 min, initial pH (5, 6, 7 and original pH of initial wastewater and flocculation dosage (2, 5 and 10% v/v were investigated based on turbidity removal. WABE characterized by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR. The result shows flocculants agents have high turbidity removal up to 90% at optimum condition. This study also provides strong evident WABE can be developed as flocculants agent at low cost and low maintenance.

  18. Molecular Epidemiology of Agents of Human Chromoblastomycosis in Brazil with the Description of Two Novel Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renata R Gomes

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The human mutilating disease chromoblastomycosis is caused by melanized members of the order Chaetothyriales. To assess population diversity among 123 clinical strains of agents of the disease in Brazil we applied sequencing of the rDNA internal transcribed spacer region, and partial cell division cycle and β-tubulin genes. Strains studied were limited to three clusters divided over the single family Herpotrichiellaceae known to comprise agents of the disease. A Fonsecaea cluster contained the most important agents, among which F. pedrosoi was prevalent with 80% of the total set of strains, followed by 13% for F. monophora, 3% for F. nubica, and a single isolate of F. pugnacius. Additional agents, among which two novel species, were located among members of the genus Rhinocladiella and Cyphellophora, with frequencies of 3% and 1%, respectively.

  19. Molecular Epidemiology of Agents of Human Chromoblastomycosis in Brazil with the Description of Two Novel Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, Renata R.; Vicente, Vania A.; de Azevedo, Conceição M. P. S.; Salgado, Claudio G.; da Silva, Moises B.; Queiroz-Telles, Flávio; Marques, Sirlei G.; Santos, Daniel W. C. L.; de Andrade, Tania S.; Takagi, Elizabeth H.; Cruz, Katia S.; Fornari, Gheniffer; Hahn, Rosane C.; Scroferneker, Maria L.; Caligine, Rachel B.; Ramirez-Castrillon, Mauricio; de Araújo, Daniella P.; Heidrich, Daiane; Colombo, Arnaldo L.; de Hoog, G. S.

    2016-01-01

    The human mutilating disease chromoblastomycosis is caused by melanized members of the order Chaetothyriales. To assess population diversity among 123 clinical strains of agents of the disease in Brazil we applied sequencing of the rDNA internal transcribed spacer region, and partial cell division cycle and β-tubulin genes. Strains studied were limited to three clusters divided over the single family Herpotrichiellaceae known to comprise agents of the disease. A Fonsecaea cluster contained the most important agents, among which F. pedrosoi was prevalent with 80% of the total set of strains, followed by 13% for F. monophora, 3% for F. nubica, and a single isolate of F. pugnacius. Additional agents, among which two novel species, were located among members of the genus Rhinocladiella and Cyphellophora, with frequencies of 3% and 1%, respectively. PMID:27893750

  20. Factors affecting in vitro bond strength of bonding agents to human dentin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powers, John M; O'Keefe, Kathy L; Pinzon, Lilliam M

    2003-09-01

    Four generations of total-etch (fourth, fifth) and self-etching (sixth, seventh) bonding agents for use with resin composites are commercially available in the United States. Innovations in bonding agents include: filled systems, release of fluoride and other agents, unit dose, self-cured catalyst, option of etching with either phosphoric acid or self-etching primer, and pH indicators. Factors that can affect in vitro bond strength to human dentin include substrate (superficial dentin, deep dentin; permanent versus primary teeth; artificial carious dentin), phosphoric acid versus acidic primers, preparation by air abrasion and laser, moisture, contaminants, desensitizing agents, astringents, and self-cured restorative materials. This article reviews studies conducted at the Houston Biomaterials Research Center from 1993 to 2003. Results show that in vitro bond strengths can be reduced by more than 50% when bonding conditions are not ideal.

  1. Distributed Model Predictive Control of the Multi-Agent Systems with Improving Control Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Shanbi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper addresses a distributed model predictive control (DMPC scheme for multiagent systems with improving control performance. In order to penalize the deviation of the computed state trajectory from the assumed state trajectory, the deviation punishment is involved in the local cost function of each agent. The closed-loop stability is guaranteed with a large weight for deviation punishment. However, this large weight leads to much loss of control performance. Hence, the time-varying compatibility constraints of each agent are designed to balance the closed-loop stability and the control performance, so that the closed-loop stability is achieved with a small weight for the deviation punishment. A numerical example is given to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed scheme.

  2. Study of the Improvement on Network Management Performance with Mobile Agent

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Jie; WANG Ru-chuan

    2003-01-01

    Owing to the increasing great complexity, computer network systems require more sophisticated management strategies to be adopted so as to guarantee adequate levels of performance. The classic centralized paradigm, adopted by SNMP, which was once appropriate in the prevenient phrase, has posed problems with the explosive expansion of networks, as well as other centralized models. Mobile Agent (MA), owing to its capability of implementing a distributed system, represents a challenging approach to provide network management with high performance. In this paper we analyze the network management structure model based on MA at first, and then we put forward a reference scenario based on MA and compare it with the traditional model. We also describe a prototype implementation based on our mobile agent system named MAS. Finally, we do some experiments to verify the performance of our framework prototype.

  3. Circadian Rhythms, Sleep Deprivation, and Human Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goel, Namni; Basner, Mathias; Rao, Hengyi; Dinges, David F.

    2014-01-01

    Much of the current science on, and mathematical modeling of, dynamic changes in human performance within and between days is dominated by the two-process model of sleep–wake regulation, which posits a neurobiological drive for sleep that varies homeostatically (increasing as a saturating exponential during wakefulness and decreasing in a like manner during sleep), and a circadian process that neurobiologically modulates both the homeostatic drive for sleep and waking alertness and performance. Endogenous circadian rhythms in neurobehavioral functions, including physiological alertness and cognitive performance, have been demonstrated using special laboratory protocols that reveal the interaction of the biological clock with the sleep homeostatic drive. Individual differences in circadian rhythms and genetic and other components underlying such differences also influence waking neurobehavioral functions. Both acute total sleep deprivation and chronic sleep restriction increase homeostatic sleep drive and degrade waking neurobehavioral functions as reflected in sleepiness, attention, cognitive speed, and memory. Recent evidence indicating a high degree of stability in neurobehavioral responses to sleep loss suggests that these trait-like individual differences are phenotypic and likely involve genetic components, including circadian genes. Recent experiments have revealed both sleep homeostatic and circadian effects on brain metabolism and neural activation. Investigation of the neural and genetic mechanisms underlying the dynamically complex interaction between sleep homeostasis and circadian systems is beginning. A key goal of this work is to identify biomarkers that accurately predict human performance in situations in which the circadian and sleep homeostatic systems are perturbed. PMID:23899598

  4. Draft Genome Sequence of Fonsecaea nubica Strain CBS 269.64, Causative Agent of Human Chromoblastomycosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Flávia F; de Hoog, Sybren; Raittz, Roberto T; Weiss, Vinicius A; Leão, Aniele C R; Bombassaro, Amanda; Sun, Jiufeng; Moreno, Leandro F; Souza, Emanuel M; Pedrosa, Fabio O; Steffens, Maria Berenice R; Baura, Valter; Tadra-Sfeir, Michele Z; Balsanelli, Eduardo; Najafzadeh, M Javad; Gomes, Renata R; Felipe, Maria S; Teixeira, Marcus; Santos, Germana D; Xi, Liyan; Alves de Castro, Mauro Antônio; Vicente, Vânia A

    2016-08-04

    On the basis of multilocus phylogenetic data, Fonsecaea nubica was described in 2010 as a molecular sibling of F. monophora, an established agent of the human skin disease chomoblastomycosis in tropical zones. Genome analysis of these pathogens is mandatory to identify genes involved in the interaction with host and virulence. Copyright © 2016 Costa et al.

  5. Comparative genomics of the major agents of human and animal Sporotrichosis: Sporothrix schenckii and Sporothrix brasiliensis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.M. Teixeira; L.G.P. de Almeida; P. Kubitschek-Barreira; F.L. Alves; E.S. Kioshima; A.K.R. Abadio; L. Fernandes; L.S. Derengowski; K.S. Ferreira; R.C. Souza; J.C. Ruiz; N.C. de Andrade; H.C. Paes; A.M. Nicola; P. Albuquerque; A.L. Gerber; V.P. Martins; L.D.F. Peconick; A.V. Neto; C.B. Chaucanez; P.A. Silva; O.L. cunha; F.F.M. de Oliveira; T.C. dos Santos; A.L.N. Barros; M.A. Soares; L.M. de Oliveira; M.M. Marini; H. Villalobos-Duno; M.M.L. Cunha; S. de Hoog; J.F. da Silveira; B. Henrissat; G.A. Niño-Vega; P.S. Cisalpino; H.M. Mora-Montes; S.R. Almeida; J.E. Stajich; L.M. Lopes-Bezerra; A.T.R. Vasconcelos; M.S.S. Felipe

    2014-01-01

    Background: The fungal genus Sporothrix includes at least four human pathogenic species. One of these species, S. brasiliensis, is the causal agent of a major ongoing zoonotic outbreak of sporotrichosis in Brazil. Elsewhere, sapronoses are caused by S. schenckii and S. globosa. The major aims on thi

  6. Immunomagnetic separation and quantification of butyrylcholinesterase nerve agent adducts in human serum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sporty, J.L.S.; Lemire, S.W.; Jakubowski, E.M.; Renner, J.A.; Evans, R.A.; Williams, R.F.; Schmidt, J.G.; Schans, M.J. van der; Noort, D.; Johnson, R.C.

    2010-01-01

    A novel method for extracting butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) from serum as a means of identifying and measuring nerve agent adducts to human BuChE is presented here. Antibutyrylcholinesterase monoclonal antibodies were conjugated to protein-G ferromagnetic particles and mixed with 500 μL serum sample

  7. Forward osmosis desalination using polymer hydrogels as a draw agent: influence of draw agent, feed solution and membrane on process performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dan; Zhang, Xinyi; Simon, George P; Wang, Huanting

    2013-01-01

    We have previously reported the use of hydrogel particles as the draw agent for forward osmosis desalination. In the present work, the effects of draw agent, feed concentration and membrane on the process performance were systematically examined. Our results showed that the incorporation of carbon filler particles in polymer hydrogels led to enhanced swelling ratios of the draw agents and thus higher water fluxes in the FO process. The composite polymer hydrogel particles of sizes ranging from 100 μm to 200 μm as draw agents induced greater water fluxes in FO desalination as compared with those with larger particle sizes (500-700 μm). Similar to other types of draw solutes, as the salt concentration in the feed increased, the water flux created by the polymer hydrogel draw agent decreased; the use of a cellulose triacetate forward osmosis membrane resulted in higher water flux compared with the use of a polyamide composite reverse osmosis membrane.

  8. Human performance modeling for system of systems analytics: combat performance-shaping factors.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lawton, Craig R.; Miller, Dwight Peter

    2006-01-01

    The US military has identified Human Performance Modeling (HPM) as a significant requirement and challenge of future systems modeling and analysis initiatives. To support this goal, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) has undertaken a program of HPM as an integral augmentation to its system-of-system (SoS) analytics capabilities. The previous effort, reported in SAND2005-6569, evaluated the effects of soldier cognitive fatigue on SoS performance. The current effort began with a very broad survey of any performance-shaping factors (PSFs) that also might affect soldiers performance in combat situations. The work included consideration of three different approaches to cognition modeling and how appropriate they would be for application to SoS analytics. This bulk of this report categorizes 47 PSFs into three groups (internal, external, and task-related) and provides brief descriptions of how each affects combat performance, according to the literature. The PSFs were then assembled into a matrix with 22 representative military tasks and assigned one of four levels of estimated negative impact on task performance, based on the literature. Blank versions of the matrix were then sent to two ex-military subject-matter experts to be filled out based on their personal experiences. Data analysis was performed to identify the consensus most influential PSFs. Results indicate that combat-related injury, cognitive fatigue, inadequate training, physical fatigue, thirst, stress, poor perceptual processing, and presence of chemical agents are among the PSFs with the most negative impact on combat performance.

  9. INVESTIGATION OF SOFTENING AGENT PREPARATION AND PERFORMANCE OF HANDMADE ECOCOMPOSITES WITH CONIFEROUS WOOD AND BASALT FIBERS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GuangjianWang; DekuShang; KailiangZhang; LinnaHu; ZhenhuaGuo

    2004-01-01

    In this investigation, basalt mineral fiber softening agent was prepared in order to obtain desirable flexible performance. Stability and physical chemistry natures of softening agent were evaluated by particle size distribution, dilution, storage and folding endurance etc. Constitutes of basalt and wood fibers were determined by energy dispersion analysis X-ray which served as an accessory of scanning electron microscopy (SEM-EDAX). Naturally degradable ecocomposite was prepared by basalt and wood fibers. The results of SEM observation illustrated that the wood and basalt fibers were blended uniformly. The impact factors of beating degree, content of wood fibers and adhesive etc. were discussed. The structure of the naturally degradable ecocomposite was contrasted with that of pure wood fibers and the cause of excellent filtration performance was analyzed. Compared with traditional methods, it was of saving wood resource, a large amount of water and reducing second pollution. As a consequence, the ecocomposite harmonized with environment and accorded with requirement of benignly friendly environment.

  10. Study for the design method of multi-agent diagnostic system to improve diagnostic performance for similar abnormality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Minowa, Hirotsugu; Gofuku, Akio [Okayama University, Okayama (Japan)

    2014-08-15

    Accidents on industrial plants cause large loss on human, economic, social credibility. In recent, studies of diagnostic methods using techniques of machine learning such as support vector machine is expected to detect the occurrence of abnormality in a plant early and correctly. There were reported that these diagnostic machines has high accuracy to diagnose the operating state of industrial plant under mono abnormality occurrence. But the each diagnostic machine on the multi-agent diagnostic system may misdiagnose similar abnormalities as a same abnormality if abnormalities to diagnose increases. That causes that a single diagnostic machine may show higher diagnostic performance than one of multi-agent diagnostic system because decision-making considering with misdiagnosis is difficult. Therefore, we study the design method for multi-agent diagnostic system to diagnose similar abnormality correctly. This method aimed to realize automatic generation of diagnostic system where the generation process and location of diagnostic machines are optimized to diagnose correctly the similar abnormalities which are evaluated from the similarity of process signals by statistical method. This paper explains our design method and reports the result evaluated our method applied to the process data of the fast-breeder reactor Monju.

  11. Distal sensory polyneuropathy in human immunodeficiency virus patients and nucleoside analogue antiretroviral agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Jimmy

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Distal sensory polyneuropathy, which occur commonly in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV patients can occur as a consequence of the disease itself or the antiretroviral treatment the patient is receiving. Among the antiretroviral agents, nucleoside analogues are commonly associated with neuropathy and the main underlying mechanism is thought to be the mitochondrial toxicity exhibited by these agents. Clinical presentation of antiretroviral induced neuropathy is similar to that associated with the HIV infection and in many patients they may overlap. Treatment is primarily symptomatic and certain pathogenesis-based approaches have shown promising results.

  12. A conceptual and computational model of moral decision making in human and artificial agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallach, Wendell; Franklin, Stan; Allen, Colin

    2010-07-01

    Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in general, comprehensive models of human cognition. Such models aim to explain higher-order cognitive faculties, such as deliberation and planning. Given a computational representation, the validity of these models can be tested in computer simulations such as software agents or embodied robots. The push to implement computational models of this kind has created the field of artificial general intelligence (AGI). Moral decision making is arguably one of the most challenging tasks for computational approaches to higher-order cognition. The need for increasingly autonomous artificial agents to factor moral considerations into their choices and actions has given rise to another new field of inquiry variously known as Machine Morality, Machine Ethics, Roboethics, or Friendly AI. In this study, we discuss how LIDA, an AGI model of human cognition, can be adapted to model both affective and rational features of moral decision making. Using the LIDA model, we will demonstrate how moral decisions can be made in many domains using the same mechanisms that enable general decision making. Comprehensive models of human cognition typically aim for compatibility with recent research in the cognitive and neural sciences. Global workspace theory, proposed by the neuropsychologist Bernard Baars (1988), is a highly regarded model of human cognition that is currently being computationally instantiated in several software implementations. LIDA (Franklin, Baars, Ramamurthy, & Ventura, 2005) is one such computational implementation. LIDA is both a set of computational tools and an underlying model of human cognition, which provides mechanisms that are capable of explaining how an agent's selection of its next action arises from bottom-up collection of sensory data and top-down processes for making sense of its current situation. We will describe how the LIDA model helps integrate emotions into the human decision-making process, and we

  13. Environmental Occurrence of Madurella mycetomatis, the Major Agent of Human Eumycetoma in Sudan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Abdalla; Adelmann, Daniel; Fahal, Ahmed; Verbrugh, Henri; Belkum, Alex van; Hoog, Sybren de

    2002-01-01

    Madurella mycetomatis is the main causative agent of human eumycetoma, a severe debilitating disease endemic in Sudan. It has been suggested that eumycetoma has a soil-borne or thorn prick-mediated origin. For this reason, efforts were undertaken to culture M. mycetomatis from soil samples (n = 43) and thorn collections (n = 35) derived from areas in which it is endemic. However, ribosomal sequencing data revealed that the black fungi obtained all belonged to other fungal species. In addition, we performed PCR-mediated detection followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis for the identification of M. mycetomatis DNA from the environmental samples as well as biopsies from patients with mycetoma. In the case of the Sudanese soil samples, 17 out of 74 (23%) samples were positive for M. mycetomatis DNA. Among the thorn collections, 1 out of 22 (5%) was positive in the PCR. All PCR RFLP patterns clearly indicated the presence of M. mycetomatis. In contrast, 15 Dutch and English control soil samples were all negative. Clinically and environmentally obtained fungal PCR products share the same PCR RFLP patterns, suggesting identity, at least at the species level. These observations support the hypothesis that eumycetoma is primarily environmentally acquired and suggest that M. mycetomatis needs special conditions for growth, as direct isolation from the environment seems to be impossible. PMID:11880433

  14. Toxicogenomic studies of human neural cells following exposure to organophosphorus chemical warfare nerve agent VX.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Xiugong; Lin, Hsiuling; Ray, Radharaman; Ray, Prabhati

    2013-05-01

    Organophosphorus (OP) compounds represent an important group of chemical warfare nerve agents that remains a significant and constant military and civilian threat. OP compounds are considered acting primarily via cholinergic pathways by binding irreversibly to acetylcholinesterase, an important regulator of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Many studies over the past years have suggested that other mechanisms of OP toxicity exist, which need to be unraveled by a comprehensive and systematic approach such as genome-wide gene expression analysis. Here we performed a microarray study in which cultured human neural cells were exposed to 0.1 or 10 μM of VX for 1 h. Global gene expression changes were analyzed 6, 24, and 72 h post exposure. Functional annotation and pathway analysis of the differentially expressed genes has revealed many genes, networks and canonical pathways that are related to nervous system development and function, or to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, and Parkinson's disease. In particular, the neuregulin pathway impacted by VX exposure has important implications in many nervous system diseases including schizophrenia. These results provide useful information valuable in developing suitable antidotes for more effective prevention and treatment of, as well as in developing biomarkers for, VX-induced chronic neurotoxicity.

  15. Meta-analysis of Factors Affecting Occupational and Professional Performance of Agricultural Extension Agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahshid Bahadori

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this research is to do a meta-analysis of studies about the results of researches conducted related to the factors affecting the occupational and professionalism performance in the field of agricultural extension agents, in order to integrate the results of research independently carried out to obtain more accurate and more cohesive results. In order to achieve the goal, 177 researches made on the occupational and professional performance (occupational performance, professional performance, professional competence, professional developmentwere collected from sites magiran & sid, and among them, 10 research were selected utilizing tools "check list of technical and methodological research" (including appropriate reliability and validity statistical and sampling correct methodto review and metaanalysis. The results showed that professional features have the greatest impact on the professional and occupational performance of agricultural extension agents. As well, skills and technical competence, the number of field visits, membership of organizations, participation in in-service training courses and access to educational facilities have a high impact on occupational and professional performance. The researchers confirmed these results.

  16. Influence of coupling agent's self-assembly upon performance of polymer coated FBG pressure sensors

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHOU Hong; QIAO Xue-guang; SHAO-Jun; WANG Hong-liang; FENG De-quan

    2006-01-01

    @@ Based on super-molecule self-assembly and entropy-driven self-assembly mechanisms,the coupling agent was evolved into colloid spheres with average diameter of 2-2.3 μm on the fiber Bragg grating (FBG) with silicon substrate,and the coupling mechanism among polymer,coupling agent and FBG was analyzed.The polymer coated FBG pressure sensors was capsulated by uniform coupling mode and self-assembly coupling mode of the coupling agent respectively,and their performance parameters were tested.It was shown,adopting the self-assembly coating of coupling agent and with the same other capsulated technologies,that the measuring range of the sensor expanded from 0.6 MPa to 1.6 MPa,the repeated times for coupling failure increased from 54 to 125 times and the pressure sensitivity coefficient enhanced from 1.09 to 2.98.By controlling the diameter of the spheres and the line density,the measuring range and the sensitivity of the FBG pressure sensors can be obviously improved.

  17. Haptic interfaces: Hardware, software and human performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasan, Mandayam A.

    1995-01-01

    Virtual environments are computer-generated synthetic environments with which a human user can interact to perform a wide variety of perceptual and motor tasks. At present, most of the virtual environment systems engage only the visual and auditory senses, and not the haptic sensorimotor system that conveys the sense of touch and feel of objects in the environment. Computer keyboards, mice, and trackballs constitute relatively simple haptic interfaces. Gloves and exoskeletons that track hand postures have more interaction capabilities and are available in the market. Although desktop and wearable force-reflecting devices have been built and implemented in research laboratories, the current capabilities of such devices are quite limited. To realize the full promise of virtual environments and teleoperation of remote systems, further developments of haptic interfaces are critical. In this paper, the status and research needs in human haptics, technology development and interactions between the two are described. In particular, the excellent performance characteristics of Phantom, a haptic interface recently developed at MIT, are highlighted. Realistic sensations of single point of contact interactions with objects of variable geometry (e.g., smooth, textured, polyhedral) and material properties (e.g., friction, impedance) in the context of a variety of tasks (e.g., needle biopsy, switch panels) achieved through this device are described and the associated issues in haptic rendering are discussed.

  18. Mutagens in human breast lipid and milk: the search for environmental agents that initiate breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, David H; Martin, Francis L; Williams, J Andrew; Wheat, Luise M C; Nolan, Lisa; Cole, Kathleen J; Grover, Philip L

    2002-01-01

    Epidemiological studies indicate the involvement of environmental factors in the etiology of breast cancer, but have not provided clear indications of the nature of the agents responsible. Several environmental carcinogens are known to induce mammary tumors in rodents, and the abundance of adipose tissue in the human breast suggests that the epithelial cells, from which breast tumors commonly arise, could be exposed to lipid-soluble carcinogens sequestered by the adipose tissue. In this report we review our studies in which we have examined human mammary lipid, obtained from elective reduction mammoplasties from healthy donors, and human milk from healthy mothers, for the presence of components with genotoxic activity in several in vitro assays. A significant proportion of lipid extracts induced mutations in bacteria and micronuclei in mammalian cells. They also caused DNA damage, detected as single-strand breaks in the alkaline single-cell gel electrophoresis (comet) assay, in both the MCL-5 cell line and in primary cultures of human mammary epithelial cells. Genotoxic activity was also found in a significant proportion of extracts of human breast milk. Viable cells recovered from milk samples showed evidence of DNA damage and were susceptible to comet formation by genotoxic agents in vitro. Genotoxic activity was found to be less prevalent in milk samples from countries of lower breast cancer incidence (the Far East) compared with that in samples from the UK. The agents responsible for the activity in milk appear to be moderately polar lipophilic compounds and of low molecular weight. Identification of these agents and their sources may hold clues to the origins of breast cancer.

  19. Tissue concentration of systemically administered antineoplastic agents in human brain tumors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desai, Arati; Grossman, Stuart A.; Blakeley, Jaishri O.

    2014-01-01

    The blood–brain-barrier (BBB) limits the penetration of many systemic antineoplastic therapies. Consequently, many agents may be used in clinical studies and clinical practice though they may not achieve therapeutic levels within the tumor. We sought to compile the currently available human data on antineoplastic drug concentrations in brain and tumor tissue according to BBB status. A review of the literature was conducted for human studies providing concentrations of antineoplastic agents in blood and metastatic brain tumors or high-grade gliomas. Studies were considered optimal if they reported simultaneous tissue and blood concentration, multiple sampling times and locations, MRI localization, BBB status at sampling site, tumor histology, and individual subject data. Twenty-Four studies of 19 compounds were included. These examined 18 agents in contrast-enhancing regions of high-grade gliomas, with optimal data for 2. For metastatic brain tumors, adequate data was found for 9 agents. Considerable heterogeneity was found in the measurement value, tumor type, measurement timing, and sampling location within and among studies, limiting the applicability of the results. Tissue to blood ratios ranged from 0.054 for carboplatin to 34 for mitoxantrone in high-grade gliomas, and were lowest for temozolomide (0.118) and etoposide (0.116), and highest for mitoxantrone (32.02) in metastatic tumors. The available data examining the concentration of antineoplastic agents in brain and tumor tissue is sparse and limited by considerable heterogeneity. More studies with careful quantification of antineoplastic agents in brain and tumor tissue is required for the rational development of therapeutic regimens. PMID:21400119

  20. Enhancing alkylating agent resistance through ERCC2 gene transfection in human glioma cell line

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Zhongping 陈忠平; ZHANG Junying 张俊英; Gérard MOHR

    2003-01-01

    Objective To confirm the enhancing effect of excision repair cross complementing rodent repair deficiency gene 2 (ERCC2) on alkylating agents resistance. Methods The authors constructed a pcDNA3-ERCC2 plasmid. The pcDNA3-ERCC2 was transfected into a selected ERCC2 negative human glioma cell line, SKMG-4, using liposome-mediated transfection. After G418 selection, a stable transfected cell line was obtained and tested for cytotoxicity of several alkylating agents. Results The stable transfectant was obtained and confirmed by RT-PCR as well as Western blot analysis to be strongly expressing ERCC2 at both mRNA and protein levels. The IC90 (μmol/L) of two alkylating agents, cisplatin and melphalan, increased from 1.0 to 1.75 (75%) and 5.6 to 9.0 (61%), respectively, compared with control cell line. Conclusion The present data provided evidences and confirmed the authors' previous results that ERCC2 contributes, at least partially, to alkylating agent resistance in human glioma cell line.

  1. A versatile simulation software for performance analysis of DIAL system for the detection of toxic agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jindal, Mukesh K.; Veerabuthiran, S.; Dudeja, Jai Paul; Dubey, Deepak K.

    2006-12-01

    Simulation studies have been carried out to analyze the performance of a Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) system for the remote detection of a large variety of toxic agents in the 2-5 μm and 9-11 μm spectral bands. Stand-alone Graphical User Interface (GUI) software has been developed in the MATLAB platform to perform the simulation operations. It takes various system inputs from the user and computes the required laser energy to be transmitted, backscattered signal strengths, signal-to-noise ratio and minimum detectable concentrations for various agents from different ranges for the given system parameters. It has the flexibility of varying any of the system parameters for computation in order to provide inputs for the required design of proposed DIAL system. This software has the advantage of optimizing system parameters in the design of Lidar system. As a case study, the DIAL system with specified pulse energy of OPO based laser transmitter (2-5 μm) and a TEA CO II laser transmitter (9-11μm) has been considered. The proposed system further consists of a 500-mm diameter Newtonian telescope, 0.5-mm diameter detector and 10-MHz digitizer. A toxic agent cloud with given thickness and concentration has been assumed to be detected in the ambient atmospheric conditions at various ranges between 0.2 and 5 km. For a given set of system parameters, the required energy of laser transmitter, power levels of the return signals, signal-to-noise ratio and minimum detectable concentrations from different ranges have been calculated for each of these toxic agents.

  2. Zoledronic acid inhibits proliferation of human fibrosarcoma cells with induction of apoptosis, and shows combined effects with other anticancer agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koto, Kazutaka; Murata, Hiroaki; Kimura, Shinya; Horie, Naoyuki; Matsui, Takaaki; Nishigaki, Yasunori; Ryu, Kazuteru; Sakabe, Tomoya; Itoi, Megumi; Ashihara, Eishi; Maekawa, Taira; Fushiki, Shinji; Kubo, Toshikazu

    2010-07-01

    Third-generation bisphosphonates are known to inhibit bone resorption and also appear to exhibit direct anti-tumour activity. We previously reported that third-generation bisphosphonates such as zoledronic acid (ZOL) have a direct antitumour effect, and synergistically augment the effects of antitumor agents in osteosarcoma cells. There has been no report on the antitumor effect of ZOL against soft tissue sarcoma. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antitumor effect of this drug on a human fibrosarcoma cell line, in terms of proliferation and apoptosis, and, moreover, to evaluate the combined effects of ZOL with other antitumor drugs against the human fibrosarcoma cell line. HT1080 cells were treated with ZOL at various concentrations up to 10 microM, and then cell proliferation, cell cycle, nuclear morphology, and Western blot analyses were performed to study the antitumor effects of ZOL alone, and, moreover, HT1080 cells were treated with ZOL and other anticancer drugs such as paclitaxel, docetaxel, doxorubicin, etoposide, 5-fluorouracil, gemcitabine, cisplatin, or methotrexate to investigate the combined effects using proliferation and cell cycle analyses. We found that ZOL strongly inhibited in vitro proliferation, arrested the cell cycle between S and G2/M phases, and induced the apoptosis of human fibrosarcoma cells. Moreover, ZOL augmented the effect of antitumor agents when administered concurrently with paclitaxel, docetaxel, doxorubicin, etoposide, 5-fluorouracil, gemcitabine, and cisplatin in human fibrosarcoma cells. The treatment of fibrosarcoma with ordinary antitumor drugs is not fully effective. These findings suggest that ZOL directly affects the proliferation and survival of fibrosarcoma cells, and that the combined administration of ZOL with other antitumor agents may improve the efficacy of fibrosarcoma treatment. These results support the possibility that their combined use could be beneficial in the treatment of patients not only with

  3. An Integrated Human System Interaction (HSI) Framework for Human-Agent Team Collaboration Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The NASA commitment to a human presence in space exploration results in the interaction of humans with challenging environments in space, on lunar, and on planetary...

  4. Three-Way Complementarities: Performance Pay, Human Resource Analytics, and Information Technology

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    We test for three-way complementarities among information technology (IT), performance pay, and human resource (HR) analytics practices. We develop a principal-agent model examining how these practices work together as an incentive system that produces a larger productivity premium when the practices are implemented in concert rather than separately. We assess our model by combining fine-grained data on human capital management (HCM) software adoption over 11 years with detailed survey data o...

  5. Multi-Agent System for Managing Human Activities in Space Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrenkenghost, Debra; Bonasso, R. Peter

    2006-01-01

    In manned space operations today, the astronauts' activity schedules are preplanned and adjusted daily on Earth. We have developed the Distributed Collaboration and Interaction (DCI) multi-agent system to investigate automating aspects of human activity management. The DCI System assists (1) plan generation, (2) human activity tracking, (3) plan revision, and (4) mixed initiative interaction with the plan. We have deployed and evaluated the DCI system at JSC to assist control engineers in managing anomaly handling activities for automated life support systems. DCI operated round the clock for 20 months in the Water Research Facility at JSC. Using this software, we reduced anomaly response time by engineers from up to 10 hours in previous tests to under an hour. Based on this evaluation, we conclude that agent assistance for schedule management has potential to improve astronaut activity awareness and reduce response time in situations where crew are interrupted to handle anomalies.

  6. Human-in-the-loop Control of Multi-agent Aerial Systems Under Intermittent Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-06-08

    is decentralized, scenarios with unequal trusts values toward an agent need to be handled with caution in order not to compromise the collective...arm are consistent in size, mass and shape (i.e. their mass mL, kinematic parameter a and tensor of inertia JL are identical). Valve, knob, and handle ...station operations,” in Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 2003. [33] W. Ren and R. Beard, Distributed consensus in multi

  7. Structural analysis of a series of antiviral agents complexed with human rhinovirus 14.

    OpenAIRE

    1988-01-01

    The binding to human rhinovirus 14 of a series of eight antiviral agents that inhibit picornaviral uncoating after entry into host cells has been characterized crystallographically. All of these bind into the same hydrophobic pocket within the viral protein VP1 beta-barrel structure, although the orientation and position of each compound within the pocket was found to differ. The compounds cause the protein shell to be less flexible, thereby inhibiting disassembly. Although the antiviral pote...

  8. Modeling and simulation of virtual human's coordination based on multi-agent systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Mei; Wen, Jing-Hua; Zhang, Zu-Xuan; Zhang, Jian-Qing

    2006-10-01

    The difficulties and hotspots researched in current virtual geographic environment (VGE) are sharing space and multiusers operation, distributed coordination and group decision-making. The theories and technologies of MAS provide a brand-new environment for analysis, design and realization of distributed opening system. This paper takes cooperation among virtual human in VGE which multi-user participate in as main researched object. First we describe theory foundation truss of VGE, and present the formalization description of Multi-Agent System (MAS). Then we detailed analyze and research arithmetic of collectivity operating behavior learning of virtual human based on best held Genetic Algorithm(GA), and establish dynamics action model which Multi-Agents and object interact dynamically and colony movement strategy. Finally we design a example which shows how 3 evolutional Agents cooperate to complete the task of colony pushing column box, and design a virtual world prototype of virtual human pushing box collectively based on V-Realm Builder 2.0, moreover we make modeling and dynamic simulation with Simulink 6.

  9. Esters of Bendamustine Are by Far More Potent Cytotoxic Agents than the Parent Compound against Human Sarcoma and Carcinoma Cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Huber

    Full Text Available The alkylating agent bendamustine is approved for the treatment of hematopoietic malignancies such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and multiple myeloma. As preliminary data on recently disclosed bendamustine esters suggested increased cytotoxicity, we investigated representative derivatives in more detail. Especially basic esters, which are positively charged under physiological conditions, were in the crystal violet and the MTT assay up to approximately 100 times more effective than bendamustine, paralleled by a higher fraction of early apoptotic cancer cells and increased expression of p53. Analytical studies performed with bendamustine and representative esters revealed pronounced cellular accumulation of the derivatives compared to the parent compound. In particular, the pyrrolidinoethyl ester showed a high enrichment in tumor cells and inhibition of OCT1- and OCT3-mediated transport processes, suggesting organic cation transporters to be involved. However, this hypothesis was not supported by the differential expression of OCT1 (SLC22A1 and OCT3 (SLC22A3, comparing a panel of human cancer cells. Bendamustine esters proved to be considerably more potent cytotoxic agents than the parent compound against a broad panel of human cancer cell types, including hematologic and solid malignancies (e.g. malignant melanoma, colorectal carcinoma and lung cancer, which are resistant to bendamustine. Interestingly, spontaneously immortalized human keratinocytes, as a model of "normal" cells, were by far less sensitive than tumor cells against the most potent bendamustine esters.

  10. Computational characterization of how the VX nerve agent binds human serum paraoxonase 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairchild, Steven Z; Peterson, Matthew W; Hamza, Adel; Zhan, Chang-Guo; Cerasoli, Douglas M; Chang, Wenling E

    2011-01-01

    Human serum paraoxonase 1 (HuPON1) is an enzyme that can hydrolyze various chemical warfare nerve agents including VX. A previous study has suggested that increasing HuPON1's VX hydrolysis activity one to two orders of magnitude would make the enzyme an effective countermeasure for in vivo use against VX. This study helps facilitate further engineering of HuPON1 for enhanced VX-hydrolase activity by computationally characterizing HuPON1's tertiary structure and how HuPON1 binds VX. HuPON1's structure is first predicted through two homology modeling procedures. Docking is then performed using four separate methods, and the stability of each bound conformation is analyzed through molecular dynamics and solvated interaction energy calculations. The results show that VX's lone oxygen atom has a strong preference for forming a direct electrostatic interaction with HuPON1's active site calcium ion. Various HuPON1 residues are also detected that are in close proximity to VX and are therefore potential targets for future mutagenesis studies. These include E53, H115, N168, F222, N224, L240, D269, I291, F292, and V346. Additionally, D183 was found to have a predicted pKa near physiological pH. Given D183's location in HuPON1's active site, this residue could potentially act as a proton donor or accepter during hydrolysis. The results from the binding simulations also indicate that steered molecular dynamics can potentially be used to obtain accurate binding predictions even when starting with a closed conformation of a protein's binding or active site.

  11. Nerve agent analogues that produce authentic soman, sarin, tabun, and cyclohexyl methylphosphonate-modified human butyrylcholinesterase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilley, Cynthia; MacDonald, Mary; Nachon, Florian; Schopfer, Lawrence M; Zhang, Jun; Cashman, John R; Lockridge, Oksana

    2009-10-01

    The goal was to test 14 nerve agent model compounds of soman, sarin, tabun, and cyclohexyl methylphosphonofluoridate (GF) for their suitability as substitutes for true nerve agents. We wanted to know whether the model compounds would form the identical covalent adduct with human butyrylcholinesterase that is produced by reaction with true nerve agents. Nerve agent model compounds containing thiocholine or thiomethyl in place of fluorine or cyanide were synthesized as Sp and Rp stereoisomers. Purified human butyrylcholinesterase was treated with a 45-fold molar excess of nerve agent analogue at pH 7.4 for 17 h at 21 degrees C. The protein was denatured by boiling and was digested with trypsin. Aged and nonaged active site peptide adducts were quantified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry of the tryptic digest mixture. The active site peptides were isolated by HPLC and analyzed by MALDI-TOF-TOF mass spectrometry. Serine 198 of butyrylcholinesterase was covalently modified by all 14 compounds. Thiocholine was the leaving group in all compounds that had thiocholine in place of fluorine or cyanide. Thiomethyl was the leaving group in the GF thiomethyl compounds. However, sarin thiomethyl compounds released either thiomethyl or isopropyl, while soman thiomethyl compounds released either thiomethyl or pinacolyl. Thiocholine compounds reacted more rapidly with butyrylcholinesterase than thiomethyl compounds. Labeling with the model compounds resulted in aged adducts that had lost the O-alkyl group (O-ethyl for tabun, O-cyclohexyl for GF, isopropyl for sarin, and pinacolyl for soman) in addition to the thiocholine or thiomethyl group. The nerve agent model compounds containing thiocholine and the GF thiomethyl analogue were found to be suitable substitutes for true soman, sarin, tabun, and GF in terms of the adduct that they produced with human butyrylcholinesterase. However, the soman and sarin thiomethyl compounds

  12. Replica of human dentin treated with different desensitizing agents: a methodological SEM study in vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pereira Jose Carlos

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available This is a preliminary study to determine a methodological sequence in vitro which may allow the reproduction of dentin for SEM analysis, after the use of different desensitizing agents. Dentin discs obtained from extracted human third molars were etched with 6% citric acid, an artificial smear layer was created and the surface dentin discs were divided into four quadrants. Quadrants 2, 3 and 4 of each disc were conditioned with 6% citric acid. The desensitizing agents (Oxa-Gel®, Gluma Desensitizer and an experimental agent were applied to quadrants 3 and 4. To evaluate the acid resistance of the treatment, quadrant 4 was etched again with 6% citric acid. An impression was then taken with Aquasil ULV. After a setting period of 6 min, each disc was removed from the impression and stored in a moist-free environment for 24 h at 37ºC. After that time, a low-viscosity epoxy resin (Araltec GY 1109 BR was poured into the impression and cured for 24 h. All specimens were metal-coated for SEM analysis. Comparison of the photomicrographs of dentin discs with their respective impressions and resin replicas showed that this technique can reproduce the characteristics of the dentin surface treated with desensitizing agents.

  13. Human Performance in Simulated Reduced Gravity Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowley, Matthew; Harvill, Lauren; Rajulu, Sudhakar

    2014-01-01

    NASA is currently designing a new space suit capable of working in deep space and on Mars. Designing a suit is very difficult and often requires trade-offs between performance, cost, mass, and system complexity. Our current understanding of human performance in reduced gravity in a planetary environment (the moon or Mars) is limited to lunar observations, studies from the Apollo program, and recent suit tests conducted at JSC using reduced gravity simulators. This study will look at our most recent reduced gravity simulations performed on the new Active Response Gravity Offload System (ARGOS) compared to the C-9 reduced gravity plane. Methods: Subjects ambulated in reduced gravity analogs to obtain a baseline for human performance. Subjects were tested in lunar gravity (1.6 m/sq s) and Earth gravity (9.8 m/sq s) in shirt-sleeves. Subjects ambulated over ground at prescribed speeds on the ARGOS, but ambulated at a self-selected speed on the C-9 due to time limitations. Subjects on the ARGOS were given over 3 minutes to acclimate to the different conditions before data was collected. Nine healthy subjects were tested in the ARGOS (6 males, 3 females, 79.5 +/- 15.7 kg), while six subjects were tested on the C-9 (6 males, 78.8 +/- 11.2 kg). Data was collected with an optical motion capture system (Vicon, Oxford, UK) and was analyzed using customized analysis scripts in BodyBuilder (Vicon, Oxford, UK) and MATLAB (MathWorks, Natick, MA, USA). Results: In all offloaded conditions, variation between subjects increased compared to 1-g. Kinematics in the ARGOS at lunar gravity resembled earth gravity ambulation more closely than the C-9 ambulation. Toe-off occurred 10% earlier in both reduced gravity environments compared to earth gravity, shortening the stance phase. Likewise, ankle, knee, and hip angles remained consistently flexed and had reduced peaks compared to earth gravity. Ground reaction forces in lunar gravity (normalized to Earth body weight) were 0.4 +/- 0.2 on

  14. Effects of antineoplastic agents and ionizing irradiation on a human testicular cancer xenograft

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Osieka, R.; Pfeiffer, R.; Glatte, P.; Schmidt, C.G.; Bamberg, M.; Scherer, E.

    1985-01-01

    Chemotherapy has afforded a high percentage of definitive cures in advanced testicular cancer. Nevertheless some patients with large tumor burden still succumb to chemorefractory disease. Therefore preclinical and clinical evaluation of new drugs and agents not primarily used against this type of disease are still mandatory. For preclinical drug screening purposes heterotransplantation of specific human tumors yields a model with high validity for tumor markers and drug response. Heterotransplantation of a human embryonal testicular cancer was used for simultaneous testing of established agents such as cisplatin, melphalan, bleomycin, vinblastine, etoposide and adriamycin and some newer derivatives such as PHM or mafosfamide. Furthermore agents such as procarbazine, dacarbazine and methyl-CCNU that cross the blood-brain-barrier displayed some interesting activity. The results hint at a unique chemosensitivity pattern of the xenograft line, with some accordance between clinical response to vinblastine and bleomycin and good response of the xenografts to bleomycin but not to vinblastine. Radiotherapy was also effective against this tumor line, but there was not much difference in response when the schedule of fractionation was changed. It is concluded that a combined modality approach might salvage patients with residual, chemorefractory disease.

  15. Carnosine and neocuproine as neutralizing agents for copper overload-induced damages in cultured human cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnal, Nathalie; de Alaniz, María J T; Marra, Carlos A

    2011-07-15

    Copper is dangerous when it is present in excess, mainly because it can participate in the Fenton reaction, which produces radical species. As a consequence of copper pollution, people are involuntarily exposed to a copper overload under sub-clinical and sub-symptomatological conditions, which may be very difficult to detect. Thus, we investigated (i) the possible use of the chelator molecules carnosine and neocuproine to prevent the Cu overload-induced damage on cellular lipids and proteins, as tested in human cell culture systems, and (ii) the differential response of these two chelating agents in relation to their protective action, and the type of copper ion involved in the process, by using two types of human cultured cells (HepG2 and A-549). Cu treatment clearly enhanced (pcomplexing agent for Cu(II), but also an effective antioxidant that can dismutate superoxide radicals, scavenge hydroxyl radicals and neutralize TBARS formation. Carnosine should be investigated in more detail in order to establish its putative utility as an agent to prevent copper-associated damages in biological systems.

  16. A human cell model for dynamic testing of MR contrast agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aulanier, Anne-Lise; Doiron, Amber L; Shepherd, Robert D; Rinker, Kristina D; Frayne, Richard; Andersen, Linda B

    2011-02-01

    To determine the initial feasibility of using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging to detect early atherosclerosis, we investigated inflammatory cells labeled with a positive contrast agent in an endothelial cell-based testing system. The human monocytic cell line THP-1 was labeled by overnight incubation with a gadolinium colloid (Gado CELLTrack) prior to determination of the in vitro release profile from T1-weighted MR images. Next, MR signals arising from both a synthetic model of THP-1/human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) accumulation and the dynamic adhesion of THP-1 cells to activated HUVECs under flow were obtained. THP-1 cells were found to be successfully--but not optimally--labeled with gadolinium colloid, and MR images demonstrated increased signal from labeled cells in both the synthetic and dynamic THP-1/HUVEC models. The observed THP-1 contrast release profile was rapid, suggesting the need for an agent that is optimized for retention in the target cells for use in further studies. Detection of labeled THP-1 cells was accomplished with no signal enhancement from unlabeled cells. These achievements demonstrate the feasibility of targeting early atherosclerosis with MR imaging, and suggest that using an in vitro system like the one described provides a rapid, efficient, and cost-effective way to support the development and evaluation of novel MR contrast agents.

  17. INVESTIGATION OF SOFTENING AGENT PREPARATION AND PERFORMANCE OF HANDMADE ECOCOMPOSITES WITH CONIFEROUS WOOD AND BASALT FIBERS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guangjian Wang; Deku Shang; Kailiang Zhang; Linna Hu; Zhenhua Guo

    2004-01-01

    In this investigation, basalt mineral fiber softening agent was prepared in order to obtain desirable flexible performance. Stability and physical chemistry natures of softening agent were evaluated by particle size distribution, dilution, storage and folding endurance etc. Constitutes of basalt and wood fibers were determined by energy dispersion analysis X-ray which served as an accessory of scanning electron microscopy (SEM-EDAX). Naturally degradable ecocomposite was prepared by basalt and wood fibers. The results of SEM observation illustrated that the wood and basalt fibers were blended uniformly. The impact factors of beating degree, content of wood fibers and adhesive etc. were discussed. The structure of the naturally degradable ecocomposite was contrasted with that of pure wood fibers and the cause of excellent filtration performance was analyzed. Compared with traditional methods, it was of saving wood resource,a large amount of water and reducing second pollution. As a consequence, the ecocomposite harmonized with environment and accorded with requirement of benignly friendly environment.

  18. Optimized dispersion of conductive agents for enhanced Li-storage performance of TiO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Moyan; Chen, Ge

    2016-12-01

    Novel TiO2/carbon (TiO2/C) composites have been synthesized by a layer-by-layer deposition method, with electrostatic interaction. The addition of carbon conductive agents enhances the electrochemical performance of TiO2. Carbon for these has been sourced 0D nitrogen-doped carbon, 1D carbon nanotubes and 2D graphene. The as-obtained TiO2/C composites show carbon nanotubes and titanium dioxide coaxial nanocables anchored on the graphene. The nitrogen-doped carbon is uniformly dispersed on the nanocables. As anode materials for Li-ion batteries, the TiO2/C composites exhibit excellent rate capability and cycling stability. A capacity of 150 mAh/g is retained at a current density of 4 A/g. The enhanced electrochemical performance may be attributed to the well-dispersed carbon conductive framework, which facilitates charge transfer during the lithium insertion/extraction process.

  19. An Integrated Human System Interaction (HSI) Framework for Human-Agent Team Collaboration Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — As space missions become more complex and as mission demands increase, robots, human-robot mixed initiative teams and software autonomy applications are needed to...

  20. Human-Robot Teams Informed by Human Performance Moderator Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-29

    42]). Multiagent concepts [14] are well-suited for developing adaptive systems. Russell and Norvig [62] define agents as able to perceive and act...62. Russell, S.J., and Norvig , P. Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, 2nd ed. Prentice Hall (2002) 63. Salvucci, D.D. Predicting the

  1. Molecular Evolution of Human PON to Design Enhanced Catalytic Efficiency for Hydrolysis of Nerve Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-01

    Sussman, J.L., Tawfik, D.S. The use of recombinant paraoxonases as bioscavengers for the pretreatment/treatment of organophosphate poisoning , 13th...2006). 10. Bird, S.B., Dawson, A. & Ollis, D. Enzymes and bioscavengers for prophylaxis and treatment of organophosphate poisoning . Front. Biosci...intercepting both existing and emerging organophosphate -based chemical warfare nerve agents (CWNA). The 5 years of performance under this project

  2. The human immune system's response to carcinogenic and other infectious agents transmitted by mosquito vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansson, Olle; Ward, Martin

    2017-01-01

    It has been hypothesised that mosquitoes [Diptera: Culicidae] may play more of a role in certain cancers than is currently appreciated. Research links 33 infectious agents to cancer, 27 of which have a presence in mosquitoes, and that, in addition, mosquito saliva downregulates the immune system. The objective of this paper is to review the literature on the immune system and cancer-causing infectious agents, particularly those present in mosquitoes, with a view to establishing whether such infectious agents can, in the long run, defeat the immune system or be defeated by it. Many of the viruses, bacteria and parasites recognised by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as carcinogenic and suspected by others as being involved in cancer have evolved numerous complex ways of avoiding, suppressing or altering the immune system's responses. These features, coupled with the multiplicity and variety of serious infectious agents carried by some species of mosquitoes and the adverse effects on the immune system of mosquito saliva, suggest that post-mosquito bite the immune system is likely to be overwhelmed. In such a situation, immunisation strategies offer little chance of cancer prevention, unless a single or limited number of critical infectious agents can be isolated from the 'mosquito' cocktail. If that proves to be impossible cancer prevention will, therefore, if the hypothesis proves to be correct, rest on the twin strategies of environmentally controlling the mosquito population and humans avoiding being bitten. The latter strategy will involve determining the factors that demark those being bitten from those that are not.

  3. Effect of pretreatment with human butyrylcholinesterase scavengers on the toxicokinetics and binding of nerve agents in guinea pigs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schans, M.J. van der; Pleijsier, K.; Wiel, H.J. van der; Boone, C.M.; Langenberg, J.P.

    2004-01-01

    Human butyrylcholinesterase (HuBuChE) is the most promising scavenger for use as a pretreatment drug against nerve agents. Although in animal studies pretreatment with HuBuChE appeared to improve the survival rate following nerve agent challenges and to alleviate post-exposure incapacitation, the in

  4. Natural and genetically engineered viral agents for oncolysis and gene therapy of human cancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinkovics, Joseph G; Horvath, Joseph C

    2008-12-01

    combination of naturally oncolytic viruses and wild-type viruses rendered oncolytic and harmless by genetic engineering, that will induce complete remissions of human tumors. It may be necessary to co-administer certain chemotherapeutic agents, advanced cancer vaccines, or even immune lymphocytes, and targeted therapeuticals, to ascertain, that remissions induced by the viral agents will remain complete and durable; will co-operate with anti-tumor host immune reactions, and eventually will result in cures of advanced metastatic human cancers.

  5. BrahmVE platform for design and test of Large Scale Multi-agent Human-centric Mission Concepts Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This Phase I proposal seeks support to extend the BrahmsVE architecture to support a multi-agent human-centric simulation of a hypothetical future ISS which is...

  6. Recognition of human emotion using sensor agent robot for interactive and adaptive living spaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murata, Sozo; Mita, Akira

    2011-04-01

    Safer, more comfortable and energy-efficient living spaces are always demanded. However, most buildings are designed based on prescribed scenarios so that they do not act on abrupt changes of environments. We propose "Biofication of Living Spaces" that has functions of learning occupants' lifestyles and taking actions based on collected information. By doing so, we can incorporate the high adaptability to the building. Our goal is to make living spaces more "comfortable". However, human beings have emotion that implies the meaning of "comfortable" depends on each individual. Therefore our study focuses on recognition of human emotion. We suggest using robots as sensor agents. By using robots equipped with various sensors, they can interact with occupants and environment. We use a sensor agent robot called "e-bio". In this research, we construct a human tracking system and identified emotions of residents using their walking information. We focus on the influences of illuminance and sound. We classified emotions by calculating the distance of the mapped points in comfortable and uncomfortable spaces with parametric eigen space method, in which parameters are determined by a mapping of tracks in the space. As a method of pattern recognition, a weighted k-nearest neighbor is used. Experiments considering illuminance and sound environments, illustrates good correlation between emotion and environments.

  7. CRESST Human Performance Knowledge Mapping System

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-12-01

    team processes and team outcomes. Computers in Human Behavior , 15, 463-494. 0 Herl, H. E. (1995). Construct validation of an approach to modeling...system to measure content understanding. Computers in Human Behavior , 15, 315-334. Johnson, R.F. (2001). Statistical measures of marksmanship (ARI...problem-solving. Computers in Human Behavior , 15, 403-418. West, C. D., Pomeroy, J. R., Park, J. K., Gerstenberger, E. A., & Sandoval, J. (2000

  8. Performing injustice: human rights and verbatim theatre

    OpenAIRE

    Derbyshire, Harry; Hodson, Loveday

    2008-01-01

    Discusses the theatrical treatment of human rights, by reference to three British productions: Guantanamo: "Honor Bound to Defend Freedom" (2004), My Name is Rachel Corrie (2005) and Called to Account (2007), noting the use of verbatim testimony in such plays. Reviews legal scholarship highlighting the limitations of human rights laws. Considers the theatrical context of each of the plays and the ways in which they represent the status of human rights laws. Comments on the extent of theatre's...

  9. Chemomodulation of human dendritic cell function by antineoplastic agents in low noncytotoxic concentrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneno, Ramon; Shurin, Galina V; Tourkova, Irina L; Shurin, Michael R

    2009-01-01

    The dose-delivery schedule of conventional chemotherapy, which determines its efficacy and toxicity, is based on the maximum tolerated dose. This strategy has lead to cure and disease control in a significant number of patients but is associated with significant short-term and long-term toxicity. Recent data demonstrate that moderately low-dose chemotherapy may be efficiently combined with immunotherapy, particularly with dendritic cell (DC) vaccines, to improve the overall therapeutic efficacy. However, the direct effects of low and ultra-low concentrations on DCs are still unknown. Here we characterized the effects of low noncytotoxic concentrations of different classes of chemotherapeutic agents on human DCs in vitro. DCs treated with antimicrotubule agents vincristine, vinblastine, and paclitaxel or with antimetabolites 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine and methotrexate, showed increased expression of CD83 and CD40 molecules. Expression of CD80 on DCs was also stimulated by vinblastine, paclitaxel, azacytidine, methotrexate, and mitomycin C used in low nontoxic concentrations. Furthermore, 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine, methotrexate, and mitomycin C increased the ability of human DCs to stimulate proliferation of allogeneic T lymphocytes. Thus, our data demonstrate for the first time that in low noncytotoxic concentrations chemotherapeutic agents do not induce apoptosis of DCs, but directly enhance DC maturation and function. This suggests that modulation of human DCs by noncytotoxic concentrations of antineoplastic drugs, i.e. chemomodulation, might represent a novel approach for up-regulation of functional activity of resident DCs in the tumor microenvironment or improving the efficacy of DCs prepared ex vivo for subsequent vaccinations. PMID:19591684

  10. Chemomodulation of human dendritic cell function by antineoplastic agents in low noncytotoxic concentrations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tourkova Irina L

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The dose-delivery schedule of conventional chemotherapy, which determines its efficacy and toxicity, is based on the maximum tolerated dose. This strategy has lead to cure and disease control in a significant number of patients but is associated with significant short-term and long-term toxicity. Recent data demonstrate that moderately low-dose chemotherapy may be efficiently combined with immunotherapy, particularly with dendritic cell (DC vaccines, to improve the overall therapeutic efficacy. However, the direct effects of low and ultra-low concentrations on DCs are still unknown. Here we characterized the effects of low noncytotoxic concentrations of different classes of chemotherapeutic agents on human DCs in vitro. DCs treated with antimicrotubule agents vincristine, vinblastine, and paclitaxel or with antimetabolites 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine and methotrexate, showed increased expression of CD83 and CD40 molecules. Expression of CD80 on DCs was also stimulated by vinblastine, paclitaxel, azacytidine, methotrexate, and mitomycin C used in low nontoxic concentrations. Furthermore, 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine, methotrexate, and mitomycin C increased the ability of human DCs to stimulate proliferation of allogeneic T lymphocytes. Thus, our data demonstrate for the first time that in low noncytotoxic concentrations chemotherapeutic agents do not induce apoptosis of DCs, but directly enhance DC maturation and function. This suggests that modulation of human DCs by noncytotoxic concentrations of antineoplastic drugs, i.e. chemomodulation, might represent a novel approach for up-regulation of functional activity of resident DCs in the tumor microenvironment or improving the efficacy of DCs prepared ex vivo for subsequent vaccinations.

  11. Surveillance and control of zoonotic agents prior to disease detection in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Childs, James E; Gordon, Elizabeth R

    2009-10-01

    The majority of newly emerging diseases are zoonoses caused by pathogens transmitted directly or indirectly through arthropod vectors to humans. Transmission chains leading to human infection frequently involve intermediate vertebrate hosts, including wildlife and domestic animals. Animal-based surveillance of domestic and wild animals for zoonotic pathogens is a global challenge. Until recently, there has been no scientific, social, or political consensus that animal-based surveillance for zoonotic pathogens merits significant infrastructural investment, other than the fledgling efforts with avian influenza. National institutions charged with strategic planning for emerging diseases or intentional releases of zoonotic agents emphasize improving diagnostic capabilities for detecting human infections, modifying the immune status of human or domestic animals through vaccines, producing better antiviral or antibacterial drugs, and enhancing human-based surveillance as an early warning system. With the exception of human vaccination, these anthropocentric approaches target post-spillover events, and none of these avenues of research will reduce the risk of additional emergences of pathogens from wildlife. Novel schemes for preventing spillover of human pathogens from animal reservoir hosts can spring only from an understanding of the ecological context and biological interactions that result in zoonotic disease emergence. Although the benefits derived from investments to improve surveillance and knowledge of zoonotic pathogens circulating among wildlife reservoir populations are uncertain, our experience with human immunodeficiency virus and the pandemic influenza inform us of the outcomes that we can expect by relying on detection of post-spillover events among sentinel humans. Mt Sinai J Med 76:421-428, 2009. (c) 2009 Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

  12. The Role of Foaming Agent and Processing Route in Mechanical Performance of Fabricated Aluminum Foams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Byakova

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The results of this study highlight the role of foaming agent and processing route in influencing the contamination of cell wall material by side products, which, in turn, affects the macroscopic mechanical response of closed-cell Al-foams. Several kinds of Al-foams have been produced with pure Al/Al-alloys by the Alporas like melt process, all performed with and without Ca additive and processed either with conventional TiH2 foaming agent or CaCO3 as an alternative one. Damage behavior of contaminations was believed to affect the micromechanism of foam deformation, favoring either plastic buckling or brittle failure of cell walls. No discrepancy between experimental values of compressive strengths for Al-foams comprising ductile cell wall constituents and those prescribed by theoretical models for closed-cell structure was found while the presence of low ductile and/or brittle eutectic domains and contaminations including particles/layers of Al3Ti, residues of partially reacted TiH2, and Ca bearing compounds, results in reducing the compressive strength to values close to or even below those of open-cell foams of the same relative density.

  13. The Role of Foaming Agent and Processing Route in the Mechanical Performance of Fabricated Aluminum Foams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi Nakamura

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The results of the present study highlight the role of foaming agent and processing route in influencing the contamination of cell wall material by side products, which, in turn, affect the macroscopic mechanical response of closed-cell Al-foams. Several kinds of Al-foams have been produced with pure Al by the Alporas melt process and powder metallurgical technique, all performed either with conventional TiH2 foaming agent or CaCO3 as an alternative. Mechanical characteristics of contaminating products induced by processing additives, all of which were presented in one or another kind of Al-foam, have been determined in indentation experiments. Damage behavior of these contaminations affects the micro-mechanism of deformation and favors either plastic buckling or brittle failure of the cell walls. It is justified that there is no discrepancy between experimental values of compressive strengths for Al-foams comprising ductile Al + Al4Ca eutectic domains and those prescribed by theoretical models for closed-cell structure. However, the presence of low ductile Al + Al3Ti + Al4Ca eutectic domains and brittle particles/layers of Al3Ti, fine CaCO3/CaO particles, Al2O3 oxide network, and, especially, residues of partially reacted TiH2, results in reducing the compressive strength to values close to or even below those of open-cell foams of the same relative density.

  14. Human pulp response to a new composite system. Vytol composite restorative and bonding agent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalleske, R L; Stanley, H R; Heyde, J B

    1978-09-01

    A new two-paste composite system (Vytol and Vytol Bonding Agent) was evaluated to establish its level of pulpal response in human teeth and to determine whether a calcium hydroxide base is required. Class V cavity preparations were cut in seventy-two teeth of ten male patients whose ages averaged 52.5 years. The teeth were restored and extracted at 1 to 7 days, 12 to 14 days, and 47 to 56 days. Histologic evaluation indicated that the unlined Vytol System reacted very similarly to other commercially available composite restorative materials and that a calcium hydroxide base is effective in reducing or eliminating adverse pulp responses.

  15. Applications of agent-based simulation for human socio-cultural behavior modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Hong; Karwowski, Waldemar; Ahram, Tareq Z

    2012-01-01

    Agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS) has gained wide attention over the past few years. ABMS is a powerful simulation modeling technique that has a number of applications, including applications to real-world business problems [1]. This modeling technique has been used by scientists to analyze complex system-level behavior by simulating the system from the bottom up. The major application of ABMS includes social, political, biology, and economic sciences. This paper provides an overview of ABMS applications with the emphasis on modeling human socio-cultural behavior (HSCB).

  16. Human Performance Modeling for Dynamic Human Reliability Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boring, Ronald Laurids [Idaho National Laboratory; Joe, Jeffrey Clark [Idaho National Laboratory; Mandelli, Diego [Idaho National Laboratory

    2015-08-01

    Part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Light Water Reac- tor Sustainability (LWRS) Program, the Risk-Informed Safety Margin Charac- terization (RISMC) Pathway develops approaches to estimating and managing safety margins. RISMC simulations pair deterministic plant physics models with probabilistic risk models. As human interactions are an essential element of plant risk, it is necessary to integrate human actions into the RISMC risk framework. In this paper, we review simulation based and non simulation based human reliability analysis (HRA) methods. This paper summarizes the founda- tional information needed to develop a feasible approach to modeling human in- teractions in RISMC simulations.

  17. Cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of bortezomib and gefitinib compared to alkylating agents on human glioblastoma cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pédeboscq, Stéphane; L'Azou, Béatrice; Passagne, Isabelle; De Giorgi, Francesca; Ichas, François; Pometan, Jean-Paul; Cambar, Jean

    2008-01-01

    Glioblastoma is a malignant astrocytic tumor with a median survival of about 12 months for which new therapeutic strategies are required. We therefore examined the cytotoxicity of anticancer drugs with different mechanisms of action on two human glioblastoma cell lines expressing various levels of EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor). Apoptosis induced by these anticancer agents was evaluated by flow cytometry. The cytotoxicity of alkylating drugs followed a dose-effect curve and cytotoxicity index values were lower with carboplatin than with BCNU and temozolomide. Anti-EGFR gefitinib (10 microM) cytotoxicity on DBTRG.05-MG expressing high levels of EGFR was significantly higher than on U87-MG expressing low levels of EGFR. Carboplatin and temozolomide cytotoxicity was potentiated with the addition of gefitinib on DBTRG.05-MG. Among the anticancer agents tested, the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib was the most cytotoxic with very low IC50 on the two cell lines. Moreover, all anticancer drugs tested induced apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner. Bortezomib proved to be a more potent inductor of apoptosis than gefitinib and alkylating agents. These results show the efficacy of bortezomib and of the association between conventional chemotherapy and gefitinib on glioblastoma cells and therefore suggest the interest of these molecules in the treatment of glioblastoma.

  18. Multidrug Delivery Systems Based on Human Serum Albumin for Combination Therapy with Three Anticancer Agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Jinxu; Zhang, Yao; Gou, Yi; Lee, Philbert; Wang, Jun; Chen, Shifang; Zhou, Zuping; Wu, Xiaoyang; Yang, Feng; Liang, Hong

    2016-09-06

    When administering several anticancer drugs within a single carrier, it is important to regulate their spatial distribution so as to avoid possible mutual interference and to thus enhance the drugs' selectivity and efficiency. To achieve this, we proposed to develop human serum albumin (HSA)-based multidrug delivery systems for combination anticancer therapy. We used three anticancer agents (an organic drug [5-fluorouracil, or 5FU], a metallic agent [2-benzoylpyridine thiosemicarbazide copper II, or BpT], and a gene agent [AS1411]) to treat liver cancer and confirm our hypothesis. The structure of the HSA-palmitic acid (PA)-5FU-BpT complex revealed that 5FU and BpT, respectively, bind to the IB and IIA subdomains of HSA. Our MALDI-TOF-MS spectral data show that one AS1411 molecule is conjugated to Cys-34 of the HSA-5FU-BpT complex via a linker. Compared with unregulated three-drug combination therapy, the HSA-5FU-BpT-AS1411 complex enhances cytotoxicity in Bel-7402 cells approximately 7-fold in vitro; however, in normal cells it does not raise cytotoxicity levels. Importantly, our in vivo results demonstrate that the HSA-5FU-BpT-AS1411 complex is superior to the unregulated three-drug combination in enhancing targeting ability, inhibiting liver tumor growth, and causing fewer side effects.

  19. Eradication of intracellular Francisella tularensis in THP-1 human macrophages with a novel autophagy inducing agent

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gunn John S

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Autophagy has been shown recently to play an important role in the intracellular survival of several pathogenic bacteria. In this study, we investigated the effect of a novel small-molecule autophagy-inducing agent, AR-12, on the survival of Francisella tularensis, the causative bacterium of tularemia in humans and a potential bioterrorism agent, in macrophages. Methods and results Our results show that AR-12 induces autophagy in THP-1 macrophages, as indicated by increased autophagosome formation, and potently inhibits the intracellular survival of F. tularensis (type A strain, Schu S4 and F. novicida in macrophages in association with increased bacterial co-localization with autophagosomes. The effect of AR-12 on intracellular F. novicida was fully reversed in the presence of the autophagy inhibitor, 3-methyl adenine or the lysosome inhibitor, chloroquine. Intracellular F. novicida were not susceptible to the inhibitory activity of AR-12 added at 12 h post-infection in THP-1 macrophages, and this lack of susceptibility was independent of the intracellular location of bacteria. Conclusion Together, AR-12 represents a proof-of-principle that intracellular F. tularensis can be eradicated by small-molecule agents that target innate immunity.

  20. The effects of desensitizing agents on the hydraulic conductance of human dentin in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenhill, J D; Pashley, D H

    1981-03-01

    The hydrodynamic theory of dentin sensitivity states that a stimulus applied at the orifice of exposed dentinal tubules causes movement of tubular fluid which stimulates nerve receptors. The fluid should obey principles of fluid movement through capillary tubes. Any decrease in the functional radius of the dentinal tubules should greatly reduce the rate of fluid flow, thus reducing dentinal sensitivity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of agents that have been used previously for clinical dentin desensitization to reduce the rate of fluid flow through dentin in vitro. Dentin discs prepared from extracted human third molars were treated with 50% citric acid to remove debris from tubular orifices. After placing the discs in a split chamber device, the rate at which buffer solution could filter across the dentin under 240 cm of water pressure was measured. The occlusal side of the disc was then treated with an agent thought to desensitize dentin to determine if it reduced fluid flow rate. Discs that had more than a 50% reduction in flow rate were examined by scanning electron microscopy to determine if those agents that decreased fluid flow also partially occluded tubular orifices. This in vitro model provided a useful quantitative method for screening a host of preparations that have been used in the past to decrease dentin sensitivity.

  1. Performance of Traditional and Molecular Methods for Detecting Biological Agents in Drinking Water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francy, Donna S.; Bushon, Rebecca N.; Brady, Amie M.G.; Bertke, Erin E.; Kephart, Christopher M.; Likirdopulos, Christina A.; Mailot, Brian E.; Schaefer, Frank W.; Lindquist, H.D. Alan

    2009-01-01

    To reduce the impact from a possible bioterrorist attack on drinking-water supplies, analytical methods are needed to rapidly detect the presence of biological agents in water. To this end, 13 drinking-water samples were collected at 9 water-treatment plants in Ohio to assess the performance of a molecular method in comparison to traditional analytical methods that take longer to perform. Two 100-liter samples were collected at each site during each sampling event; one was seeded in the laboratory with six biological agents - Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis), Burkholderia cepacia (as a surrogate for Bu. pseudomallei), Francisella tularensis (F. tularensis), Salmonella Typhi (S. Typhi), Vibrio cholerae (V. cholerae), and Cryptospordium parvum (C. parvum). The seeded and unseeded samples were processed by ultrafiltration and analyzed by use of quantiative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), a molecular method, and culture methods for bacterial agents or the immunomagnetic separation/fluorescent antibody (IMS/FA) method for C. parvum as traditional methods. Six replicate seeded samples were also processed and analyzed. For traditional methods, recoveries were highly variable between samples and even between some replicate samples, ranging from below detection to greater than 100 percent. Recoveries were significantly related to water pH, specific conductance, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) for all bacteria combined by culture methods, but none of the water-quality characteristics tested were related to recoveries of C. parvum by IMS/FA. Recoveries were not determined by qPCR because of problems in quantifying organisms by qPCR in the composite seed. Instead, qPCR results were reported as detected, not detected (no qPCR signal), or +/- detected (Cycle Threshold or 'Ct' values were greater than 40). Several sample results by qPCR were omitted from the dataset because of possible problems with qPCR reagents, primers, and probes. For the remaining 14 qPCR results

  2. Human factors quantification via boundary identification of flight performance margin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Changpeng

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available A systematic methodology including a computational pilot model and a pattern recognition method is presented to identify the boundary of the flight performance margin for quantifying the human factors. The pilot model is proposed to correlate a set of quantitative human factors which represent the attributes and characteristics of a group of pilots. Three information processing components which are influenced by human factors are modeled: information perception, decision making, and action execution. By treating the human factors as stochastic variables that follow appropriate probability density functions, the effects of human factors on flight performance can be investigated through Monte Carlo (MC simulation. Kernel density estimation algorithm is selected to find and rank the influential human factors. Subsequently, human factors are quantified through identifying the boundary of the flight performance margin by the k-nearest neighbor (k-NN classifier. Simulation-based analysis shows that flight performance can be dramatically improved with the quantitative human factors.

  3. Effects of Process and Human Performance Improvement Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasson, Joseph R.; Alvero, Alicia M.; Austin, John

    2006-01-01

    Organizational performance is a function of many variables, two of which are work process factors and human performance factors. Our study compared the effects of changing a work process versus human performance improvement techniques and the combined effects of combing both techniques. A 2 (manual vs electronic process) x 2 (with vs without…

  4. Utilization of animal studies to determine the effects and human risks of environmental toxicants (drugs, chemicals, and physical agents).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brent, Robert L

    2004-04-01

    Toxicology studies using animals and in vitro cellular or tissue preparations have been used to study the toxic effects and mechanism of action of drugs and chemicals and to determine the effective and safe dose of drugs in humans and the risk of toxicity from chemical exposures. Studies in pregnant animals are used to determine the risk of birth defects and other reproductive effects. There is no question that whole animal teratology studies are helpful in raising concerns about the reproductive effects of drugs and chemicals, but negative animal studies do not guarantee that these agents are free from reproductive effects. There are examples in which drug testing was negative in animals (rat and mouse) but was teratogenic in the human (thalidomide), and there are examples in which a drug was teratogenic in an animal model but not in the human (diflunisal). Testing in animals could be improved if animal dosing using the mg/kg basis were abandoned and drugs and chemicals were administered to achieve pharmacokinetically equivalent serum levels in the animal and the human. Because most human teratogens have been discovered by alert physicians or epidemiology studies, not animal studies, animal studies play a minor role in discovering teratogens. In vitro studies play an even less important role, although they are helpful in describing the cellular or tissue effects of the drugs or chemicals. One cannot determine the magnitude of human risks from these in vitro studies. Performing toxicology studies on adult animals is performed by pharmaceutical companies, chemical companies, the Food and Drug Administration, many laboratories at the National Institutes of Health, and scientific investigators in laboratories throughout the world. Although a vast amount of animal toxicology studies are performed on pregnant animals and numerous toxicology studies are performed on adult animals, there is a paucity of animal studies using newborn, infant, and juvenile animals. This

  5. Investigation of Vision and Performance After Administration of Cholinergic Blocking Agents. III. Atropine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-05-01

    P., Kemp, K. & Wetherell, A. Some effects of 2mg i.m. atropine and 5mg i.m. diazepam , separately and combined, on human performance. Proc. Brit...Impaired coordination 0 1 2 3 4 Tense 0 1 2 3 4 Restless 0 1 2 3 4 Depressed 0 1 2 3 4 Anxious 0 1 2 3 4 Fatigued 0 1 2 3 4 Unable to concentrate 0 1 2 3 4

  6. PERFORMANCE OF REGULATORY AGENCIES IN ROAD CONCESSIONS IN BRAZIL: IMPLICATIONS OF THE AGENT-PRINCIPAL PROBLEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graciela Aparecida Profeta

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Public infrastructure services have been offered by private companies with state participation through sectoral regulatory agencies. However, due the existence of typical problems of Agent-Principal relationship that sign these arrangements, there are questions related to efficient performance of these agencies. In this sense, the objective was to present and discuss the intrinsic characteristics of the performance of the regulatory agencies, and how they are susceptible to political influence and capture problems. It was concluded that despite authorities with financial and administrative independence, there are important points of laxity in the agencies acting regime, especially those ones linked to the nomination / appointment of certain directors from their government and to budget subordination. These aspects indicate the possibility of capture and political influence, which can affect the efficiency in the sector. However, despite lack of reformulation and law enforcement, the performance of the agencies is important for ensuring efficiency because the highway concessions sector in Brazil is concentrated and this may allow the opportunistic behavior of firms and governments at the time of bidding.

  7. Lipid-lowering agents in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and steatohepatitis: human studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nseir, William; Mograbi, Julnar; Ghali, Murad

    2012-07-01

    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a chronic liver disease which refers to the presence of hepatic steatosis without significant intake of alcohol. NAFLD is an asymptomatic disease that can progress to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. NAFLD is currently the most common cause of incidental abnormal liver tests and elevated serum liver enzyme activities in the developed world. Obesity, diabetes, and other components of the metabolic syndrome are frequently associated with the NAFLD. The treatment of NAFLD focuses on life-style modifications. Statins, fibrates, and other lipid-lowering agents have been proposed as effective lipid-lowering treatments in patients with NAFLD/NASH. However, clinicians are concerned that hyperlipidemic patients with NAFLD/NASH who are treated with statins could develop transaminitis. We assessed the efficacy and safety of lipid-lowering agents for NAFLD/NASH by reviewing reports of human studies including pilot, prospective, preliminary, and post hoc analysis studies on online databases during the period of 1980 to December 2012. The results of studies provide compelling evidence that lipid-lowering agents are safe and efficacious in patients with NAFLD/NASH and that some of these agents can induce a reduction in the extent of the hepatic steatosis. Well-designed randomized controlled studies of adequate size and duration with histological endpoints are needed in order to establish a suitable lipid-lowering treatment for hyperlipidemic patients with NAFLD/NASH, and for nonhyperlipidemic patients with NAFLD/NASH with a high risk for cardiovascular disease.

  8. IT Performance Dashboard: Human Resources Dashboard

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The IT Performance Dashboard is a trusted source for IT performance information across VA. This is available only on the VA intranet. The dashboard is a collection...

  9. [Pertinence of animal and human models in the evaluation of ventricular anti-arrhythmia agents].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funck-Brentano, C; Le Heuzey, J Y

    1991-02-01

    The development of antiarrhythmic agents for the treatment of ventricular arrhythmias depends to a large extent on their effects in different animal and human models. The clinical relevance of the data so obtained is debatable. Firstly, in vitro animal models of arrhythmias are not very predictive of the multiple clinical forms of ventricular arrhythmias. Secondly, the intermediary criteria of evaluation of the effects of antiarrhythmic drugs in humans are generally not valid in terms of criteria of substitution for the evaluation of therapeutic effects. Nevertheless, cellular and hemodynamic studies of the electrophysiological properties of drugs are essential for correct clinical usage of antiarrhythmics. They help predict the principal clinical electrocardiographic changes and their modulation with respect to parameters such as ischemia or heart rate, their hemodynamic tolerance and certain undesirable, especially proarrhythmic, effects. However, the clinical pertinence of these studies remains limited for a number of reasons. In particular, most antiarrhythmic agents have multiple electrophysiological effects, the resultant of which is difficult to predict in the clinical situation. In addition, many of these drugs have active metabolites, the formation of which varies from person to person, which also reduces the clinical relevance of studies of the parent molecule alone. Clinical trials in appropriate patient populations should therefore be preferred to the multiplication of studies on experimental models of uncertain relevance.

  10. Hydration Effects on Human Physiology and Exercise-Heat Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-11-01

    AD REPORT NO T7-90 HYDRATION EFFECTS :N HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY AND EXERCISE-HEA PERFORMANCE Co U S ARMY RESEARCH INSTITUTE N OF I ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE...effects on human physiology and exercise.-heat performance 12 PERSONAL AUTHOR(S) Michael N. Sawka, Andrew J. Young. William A. Latzka, P. Darrell...acknowledge Ms. Patricia DeMusis for preparing the manuscript. AD Report No. HYDRATION EFFECTS ON HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY AND EXERCISE-HEAT PERFORMANCE by Michael N

  11. Effect of activation agents on the surface chemical properties and desulphurization performance of activated carbon

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Flue gas pollution is a serious environmental problem that needs to be solved for the sustainable development of China.The surface chemical properties of carbon have great influence on its desulphurization performance.A series of activated carbons (ACs) were prepared using HNO3,H2O2,NH3·H2O and steam as activation agents with the aim to introduce functional groups to carbon surface in the ACs preparation process.The ACs were physically and chemically characterized by iodine and SO2 adsorption,ultimate analysis,Boehm titration,and temperature-programmed reduction (TPR).Results showed that the iodine number and desulphurization capacity of NH3·H2O activated carbon (AC-NH3) increase with both activation time,and its desulphurization capacity also increases with the concentration of activation agent.However,HNO3 activated carbon (AC-HNO3) and H2O2 activated carbon (AC-H2O2) exhibit more complex behavior.Only their iodine numbers increase monotonously with activation time.Compared with steam activated AC (AC-H2O),the nitrogen content increases 0.232% in AC-NH3 and 0.077% in AC-HNO3.The amount of total basic site on AC-HNO3 is 0.19 mmol·g-1 higher than that on AC-H2O.H2O2 activation introduces an additional 0.08 mmol·g-1 carboxyl groups to AC surface than that introduced by steam activation.The desulphurization capacity of ACs in simulate flue gas desulphurization decreases as follows: AC-NH3 > AC-HNO3 > AC-H2O2 > AC-H2O.This sequence is in accord with the SO2 catalytic oxidation/oxidation ratio in the absence of oxygen and the oxidation property reflected by TPR.In the presence of oxygen,all adsorbed SO2 on ACs can be oxidized into SO3.The desulphurization capacity increases differently according to the activation agents;the desulphurization capacity of AC-NH3 and AC-HNO3 improves by 4.8 times,yet AC-H2O increases only by 2.62 as compared with the desulphurization of corresponding ACs in absence of oxygen.

  12. Improving performance of distributed data mining (DDM with multi-agent system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trilok Nath Pandey

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Autonomous agents and multi-agent systems (or agents and knowledge discovery (or data mining are two of the most active areas in information technology. Ongoing research has revealed a number of intrinsic challenges and problems facing each area, which can't be addressed solely within the confines of the respective discipline. A profound insight of bringing these two communities together has unveiled a tremendous potential for new opportunities and wider applications through the synergy of agents and data mining. With increasing interest in this synergy, agent mining is emerging as a new research field studying the interaction and integration of agents and data mining. In this paper, we give an overall perspective of the driving forces, theoretical underpinnings, main research issues, and application domains of this field, while addressing the state-of-the-art of agent mining research and development. Our review is divided into three key research topics: agent-driven data mining, data mining-driven agents, and joint issues in the synergy of agents and data mining. This new and promising field exhibits a great potential for groundbreaking work from foundational, technological and practical perspectives.

  13. Performance-Based Design for Large Crowd Venue Control Using a Multi-Agent Model

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Qingsong; ZHAO Guomin; LIU Jinlan

    2009-01-01

    Performance-based design is more holistic and flexible than prescriptive design for providing safety in large complex buildings. Here, a multi-agent method to model the egress pattems of evacuees is combined with a microscopic pedestrian simulation model used to analyze the forces between individuals in a densely populated enclosed space in a crowd crushing and trampling analysis (CroC&Ts). The system is used to model egress pattems in a typical crowd evacuation simulation. The simulations indicate that some individuals will die from crushing in 2 m and 4 m wide exits in emergencies. The simulations also show that the fatality probability increases when barriers obstacled the path and when the egress distances were lar-ger. The simulations validate the conclusions of the stranded crowd model (SCM) and provide quantitative predictions of the crowd crushing and trampling risk. Therefore, the CroC&Ts can provide performance-based egress designs for large pubic buildings and improve crowd safety management and emergency planning.

  14. Using PPT to analyze suboptimal human-automation performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Stephen; Trafimow, David; Hunt, Gayle

    2010-01-01

    Diagnostic automation aids are designed to improve human performance by increasing accuracy in event detection tasks. However, human-automation performance has frequently fallen short of expectations, particularly when the aid is highly reliable. In those cases, human-automation performance is often suboptimal, in that a human being augmented with a diagnostic aid does more poorly than the automation itself. Previously, there have been only ambiguous explanations for why this occurs, with few suggestions on how to effectively eliminate suboptimal performance. Fortunately, with the advent of a new general theory of task performance, termed Potential Performance Theory (PPT) by D. Trafimow and S. Rice (2008; 2009), one can now determine exactly why suboptimal performance occurs. Results from the present study reveal that inconsistency is the culprit, rather than just poor strategy selection. Furthermore, PPT allows one to determine exactly how much of the performance decrement is because of inconsistency.

  15. Dentin bonding agents induce c-fos and c-jun protooncogenes expression in human gingival fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Fu-Mei; Chou, Ming-Yung; Chang, Yu-Chao

    2003-01-01

    An important requirement for a dentin bonding agent is biologic compatibility; the bonding agent usually remains in close contact with living dental tissues over a long period of time. Information on the genotoxicity/mutagenicity and cacinogenicity potentials of dentin bonding agents is rare. It has been shown that c-fos and c-jun are induced rapidly by a variety of chemical and physical stimuli. Little is known about the induction of cellular signaling events and specific gene expression after cell exposure to dentin bonding agents. Therefore, we used primary human gingival fibroblasts to examine the effect of six dentin bonding agents on the expression of c-fos and c-jun protooncogenes to evaluate the genotoxicity/mutagenicity and cacinogenicity potential of the dentin bonding agents. The levels of mRNA were measured by the quantitative RT-PCR analysis. c-fos and c-jun mRNA expression in dentin bonding agents-treated cells revealed a rapid accumulation of the transcript, a significant signal first was detectable after 1h of exposure. Persistent induction of c-jun and c-fos protooncogenes by dentine bonding agents may distribute systemically to cause some unexpected adverse effects on human beings. It would be necessary to identify the severely toxic compounds and replace these substances by better biocompatible components. Otherwise, leaching of those genotoxicity/mutagenicity and cacinogenicity components must be minimized or prevented.

  16. An Outline Course on Human Performance Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    complementary or competing tasks: Dario SaIvucci, ??? 46. Bonnie Johns, David Kieras 47. ecological interface design 48. More into modeling human... alarcon 70. Ben Knott 71. Evelyn Rozanski 7.Pete Khooshabeh Optional: If ou would like to be on a mailin list for further seminars lease enter our email

  17. Complex Systems and Human Performance Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-01

    constitute a cognitive architecture or decomposing the work flows and resource constraints that characterize human-system interactions, the modeler...also explored the generation of so-called “ fractal ” series from simple task network models where task times are the calculated by way of a moving

  18. Enzyme kinetic study of a new cardioprotective agent, KR-32570 using human liver microsomes and recombinant CYP isoforms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyojin; Seo, Kyung-Ah; Kim, Hyunmi; Lee, Hye Suk; Lee, Choong-Hwan; Shin, Jae-Gook; Liu, Kwang-Hyeon

    2007-04-01

    KR-32570 (5-(2-Methoxy-5-chlorophenyl)furan-2-ylcarbonyl)guanidine) is a new cardioprotective agent for preventing ischemia-reperfusion injury. Human liver microsomal incubation of KR-32570 in the presence of NADPH resulted in the formation of two metabolites, hydroxy-KR-32570 and O-desmethyl-KR-32570. In this study, a kinetic analysis of the metabolism of two metabolites from KR-32570 was performed in human liver microsomes, and recombinant CYP1A2, and CYP3A4. The metabolism for hydroxy- and O-desmethyl-KR-32570 formation from KR-32570 by human liver microsomes was best described by a Michaelis-Menten equation and a Hill equation, respectively. The Cl(int) values of hydroxy- and O-desmethyl-KR-32570 formation were similar to each other (0.03 vs 0.04 microL/min/pmol CYP, respectively). CYP3A4 mediated the formation of hydroxy-KR-32570 from KR-32570 with Cl(int) = 0.24 microL/min/pmol CYP3A4. The intrinsic clearance for O-desmethyl-KR-32570 formation by CYP1A2 was 0.83 AL/min/pmol CYP1A2. These findings suggest that CYP3A4 and CYP1A2 enzymes are major enzymes contributing to the metabolism of KR-32570.

  19. The potent microtubule-stabilizing agent (+)-discodermolide induces apoptosis in human breast carcinoma cells--preliminary comparisons to paclitaxel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balachandran, R; ter Haar, E; Welsh, M J; Grant, S G; Day, B W

    1998-01-01

    (+)-Discodermolide, a sponge-derived natural product, stabilizes microtubules more potently than paclitaxel despite the lack of any obvious structural similarities between the drugs. It competitively inhibits the binding of paclitaxel to tubulin polymers, hypernucleates microtubule assembly more potently than paclitaxel, and inhibits the growth of paclitaxel-resistant ovarian and colon carcinoma cells. Because paclitaxel shows clinical promise for breast cancer treatment, its effects in a series of human breast cancer cells were compared to those of (+)-discodermolide. Growth inhibition, cell and nuclear morphological, and electrophoretic and flow cytometric analyses were performed on (+)-discodermolide-treated MCF-7 and MDA-MB231 cells. (+)-Discodermolide potently inhibited the growth of both cell types (IC50 Discodermolide-treated cells exhibited condensed and highly fragmented nuclei. Flow cytometric comparison of cells treated with either drug at 10 nM, a concentration well below that achieved clinically with paclitaxel, showed both caused cell cycle perturbation and induction of a hypodiploid cell population. (+)-Discodermolide caused these effects more extensively and at earlier time points. The timing and type of high molecular weight DNA fragmentation induced by the two agents was consistent with induction of apoptosis. The results suggest that (+)-discodermolide has promise as a new chemotherapeutic agent against breast and other cancers.

  20. Using Intelligent Simulation to Enhance Human Performance in Aircraft Maintenance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, William B.; Norton, Jeffrey E.

    1992-01-01

    Human factors research and development investigates the capabilities and limitations of the human within a system. Of the many variables affecting human performance in the aviation maintenance system, training is among the most important. The advent of advanced technology hardware and software has created intelligent training simulations. This paper describes one advanced technology training system under development for the Federal Aviation Administration.

  1. How Live Performance Moves the Human Heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoda, Haruka; Adachi, Mayumi; Umeda, Tomohiro

    2016-01-01

    We investigated how the audience member's physiological reactions differ as a function of listening context (i.e., live versus recorded music contexts). Thirty-seven audience members were assigned to one of seven pianists' performances and listened to his/her live performances of six pieces (fast and slow pieces by Bach, Schumann, and Debussy). Approximately 10 weeks after the live performance, each of the audience members returned to the same room and listened to the recorded performances of the same pianists' via speakers. We recorded the audience members' electrocardiograms in listening to the performances in both conditions, and analyzed their heart rates and the spectral features of the heart-rate variability (i.e., HF/TF, LF/HF). Results showed that the audience's heart rate was higher for the faster than the slower piece only in the live condition. As compared with the recorded condition, the audience's sympathovagal balance (LF/HF) was less while their vagal nervous system (HF/TF) was activated more in the live condition, which appears to suggest that sharing the ongoing musical moments with the pianist reduces the audience's physiological stress. The results are discussed in terms of the audience's superior attention and temporal entrainment to live performance.

  2. An agent-based model of exposure to human toxocariasis: a multi-country validation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanobana, K; Devleesschauwer, B; Polman, K; Speybroeck, N

    2013-07-01

    Seroprevalence data illustrate that human exposure to Toxocara is frequent. Environmental contamination with Toxocara spp. eggs is assumed to be the best indicator of human exposure, but increased risk of exposure has also been associated with many other factors. Reported associations are inconsistent, however, and there is still ambiguity regarding the factors driving the onset of Toxocara antibody positivity. The objective of this work was to assess the validity of our current conceptual understanding of the key processes driving human exposure to Toxocara. We constructed an agent-based model predicting Toxocara antibody positivity (as a measure of exposure) in children. Exposure was assumed to depend on the joint probability of 3 parameters: (1) environmental contamination with Toxocara spp. eggs, (2) larvation of these eggs and (3) the age-related contact with these eggs. This joint probability was linked to processes of acquired humoral immunity, influencing the rate of antibody seroreversion. The results of the simulation were validated against published data from 5 different geographical settings. Using simple rules and a stochastic approach with parameter estimates derived from the respective contexts, plausible serological patterns emerged from the model in nearly all settings. Our approach leads to novel insights in the transmission dynamics of Toxocara.

  3. Human recombinant truncated RNASET2, devoid of RNase activity; A potential cancer therapeutic agent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesiel-Nuttman, Liron; Schwartz, Betty; Shoseyov, Oded

    2014-01-01

    Human RNASET2 has been implicated in antitumorigenic and antiangiogenic activities, independent of its ribonuclease capacities. We constructed a truncated version of human RNASET2, starting at E50 (trT2-50) and devoid of ribonuclease activity. trT2-50 maintained its ability to bind actin and to inhibit angiogenesis and tumorigenesis. trT2-50 binds to cell surface actin and formed a complex with actin in vitro. The antiangiogenic effect of this protein was demonstrated in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) by its ability to arrest tube formation on Matrigel, induced by angiogenic factors. Immunofluorescence staining of HUVECs showed nuclear and cytosolic RNASET2 protein that was no longer detectable inside the cell following trT2-50 treatment. This effect was associated with disruption of the intracellular actin network. trT2-50 co-localized with angiogenin, suggesting that both molecules bind (or compete) for similar cellular epitopes. Moreover, trT2-50 led to a significant inhibition of tumor development. Histological analysis demonstrated abundant necrotic tissue and a substantial loss of endothelial structure in trT2-50-treated tumors. Collectively, the present results indicate that trT2-50, a molecule engineered to be deficient of its catalytic activity, still maintained its actin binding and anticancer-related biological activities. We therefore suggest that trT2-50 may serve as a potential cancer therapeutic agent. PMID:25426551

  4. Human predators outpace other agents of trait change in the wild.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darimont, Chris T; Carlson, Stephanie M; Kinnison, Michael T; Paquet, Paul C; Reimchen, Thomas E; Wilmers, Christopher C

    2009-01-20

    The observable traits of wild populations are continually shaped and reshaped by the environment and numerous agents of natural selection, including predators. In stark contrast with most predators, humans now typically exploit high proportions of prey populations and target large, reproductive-aged adults. Consequently, organisms subject to consistent and strong 'harvest selection' by fishers, hunters, and plant harvesters may be expected to show particularly rapid and dramatic changes in phenotype. However, a comparison of the rate at which phenotypic changes in exploited taxa occurs relative to other systems has never been undertaken. Here, we show that average phenotypic changes in 40 human-harvested systems are much more rapid than changes reported in studies examining not only natural (n = 20 systems) but also other human-driven (n = 25 systems) perturbations in the wild, outpacing them by >300% and 50%, respectively. Accordingly, harvested organisms show some of the most abrupt trait changes ever observed in wild populations, providing a new appreciation for how fast phenotypes are capable of changing. These changes, which include average declines of almost 20% in size-related traits and shifts in life history traits of nearly 25%, are most rapid in commercially exploited systems and, thus, have profound conservation and economic implications. Specifically, the widespread potential for transitively rapid and large effects on size- or life history-mediated ecological dynamics might imperil populations, industries, and ecosystems.

  5. Coevolutionary networks: a novel approach to understanding the relationships of humans with the infectious agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Eduardo Tosta

    2001-04-01

    Full Text Available Human organism is interpenetrated by the world of microorganisms, from the conception until the death. This interpenetration involves different levels of interactions between the partners including trophic exchanges, bi-directional cell signaling and gene activation, besides genetic and epigenetic phenomena, and tends towards mutual adaptation and coevolution. Since these processes are critical for the survival of individuals and species, they rely on the existence of a complex organization of adaptive systems aiming at two apparently conflicting purposes: the maintenance of the internal coherence of each partner, and a mutually advantageous coexistence and progressive adaptation between them. Humans possess three adaptive systems: the nervous, the endocrine and the immune system, each internally organized into subsystems functionally connected by intraconnections, to maintain the internal coherence of the system. The three adaptive systems aim at the maintenance of the internal coherence of the organism and are functionally linked by interconnections, in such way that what happens to one is immediately sensed by the others. The different communities of infectious agents that live within the organism are also organized into functional networks. The members of each community are linked by intraconnections, represented by the mutual trophic, metabolic and other influences, while the different infectious communities affect each other through interconnections. Furthermore, by means of its adaptive systems, the organism influences and is influenced by the microbial communities through the existence of transconnections. It is proposed that these highly complex and dynamic networks, involving gene exchange and epigenetic phenomena, represent major coevolutionary forces for humans and microorganisms.

  6. In vitro efficiency and mechanistic role of indocyanine green as photodynamic therapy agent for human melanoma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mamoon, A.M.; Miller, L.; Gamal-Eldeen, A. M.; Ruppel, M. E.; Smith, R. J.; Tsang, T.; Miller, L. M.

    2009-05-02

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a promising treatment for superficial cancer. However, poor therapeutic results have been reported for melanoma, due to the high melanin content. Indocyanine green (ICG) has near infrared absorption (700-800 nm) and melanins do not absorb strongly in this area. This study explores the efficiency of ICG as a PDT agent for human melanoma, and its mechanistic role in the cell death pathway. Human skin melanoma cells (Sk-Mel-28) were incubated with ICG and exposed to a low power Ti:Sapphire laser. Synchrotron-assisted Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy and hierarchical cluster analysis were used to assess the cell damage and changes in lipid, protein, and nucleic acids. The cell death pathway was determined by analysis of cell viability and apoptosis and necrosis markers. In the cell death pathway, {sup 1}O{sub 2} generation evoked rapid multiple consequences that trigger apoptosis after laser exposure for only 15min including the release of cytochrome c, the activation of total caspases, caspase-3, and caspase-9, the inhibition of NF-{Kappa}B P65, and the enhancement of DNA fragmentation, and histone acetylation. ICG/PDT can efficiently and rapidly induce apoptosis in human melanoma cells and it can be considered as a new therapeutic approach for topical treatment of melanoma.

  7. Telomerase activity and telomere length in human tumor cells with acquired resistance to anticancer agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, V; Dai, F; Spitz, M; Peters, G J; Fiebig, H H; Hussain, A; Burger, A M

    2009-11-01

    Telomeres and telomerase are targets for anticancer drug development and specific inhibitors are currently under clinical investigation. However, it has been reported that standard cytotoxic agents can affect telomere length and telomerase activity suggesting that they also have of a role in drug resistance. in this study, telomere lengths and telomerase activity as well as drug efflux pump expression, glutathione (GSH) levels and polyadenosine-ribose polymerase (PARP) cleavage were assessed in a panel of human tumor cell lines made resistant to vindesine, gemcitabine and cisplatin. these included two lung cancer cell lines resistant to vindesine (LXFL 529L/Vind, LXFA 526L/Vind), a renal cancer cell line (RXF944L/Gem) and an ovarian cancer cell line (AG6000) resistant to gemcitabine, and one resistant to cisplatin (ADDP). The resistant clones were compared to their parental lines and evaluated for cross resistance to other cytotoxic agents. Several drug specific resistance patterns were found, and various complex patterns of cross resistance emerged from some cell lines, but these mechanisms of resistance could not be related to drug efflux pump expression, GSH levels or pARp cleavage. However, all displayed changes in telomerase activity and/or telomere length. Our studies present evidence that telomere maintenance should be taken into consideration in efforts not only to overcome drug resistance, but also to optimize the use of telomere-based therapeutics.

  8. Stimulation of differentiated functions in human melanoma cells by tumor-promoting agents and dimethyl sulfoxide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huberman, E.; Heckman, C.; Langenbach, R.

    1979-07-01

    Treatment of cultured human HO melanoma cells with the mouse skin tumor promoter phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA) at 5 x 10/sup -10/ to 5 x 10/sup -7/ M resulted in a dose-related inhibition of growth and a stimulation of differentiated functions. These included melanin synthesis and formation of dendrite-like structues. Higher doses of phorbol dibutyrate, a less potent tumor promoter, were required to produce an effect comparable to that of PMA for dendrite induction. Phorbol and two other phorbal esters, which lack tumor-promoting activity, were either inactive or elicited a poor response. In addition to morphological changes, treatment with PMA altered glucosamine incorporation into membrane gangliosides. After PMA treatment, glucosamine incorporation increased 8- to 10 fold in the G/sub m3/ ganglioside and decreased 2-fold in the G/sub m1/ ganglioside, as compared to phorbol or untreated control. Inhibition of cell growth and stimulation of melanin synthesis were also observed after treatment of the HO cells with dimethyl sulfoxide. Unlike the tumor-promoting agents, dimethyl sulfoxide did not induce the formation of dendrite-like structures in the cells. These findings indicate that HO melanoma cells can be stimulated into terminally differentiated cells after treatment with tumor-promoting agents such as phorbol diesters.

  9. Screening of reducing agents for the PEGylation of recombinant human IL-10.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambrogelly, Alexandre; Cutler, Collette; Paporello, Brittany

    2013-06-01

    PEGylation is a technology commonly used to enhance the bioavailability of therapeutic proteins in patients. Reductive alkylation of a protein amino terminal alpha amine in the presence of a polyethylene glycol (PEG) chain derivatized with propionaldehyde and a reducing agent, typically sodium cyanoborohydride, is one of the technologies available to achieve quantitative and site specific PEGylation. While cyanoborohydride has proven to be a robust and efficient reagent for this type of reaction, it generates aqueous cyanide as a reaction by-product (and its corollary, the very volatile hydrogen cyanide). We report here the screening of reducing agents such as dimethylamine borane, trimethylamine borane, triethylamine borane, tert-butylamine borane, morpholine borane, pyridine borane, 2-picoline borane, and 5-ethyl-2-methyl-pyridine borane as alternatives to cyanoborohydride for the PEGylation of recombinant human IL-10. The results of our study show that pyridine borane and 2-picoline borane promote rhIL-10 PEGylation at levels comparable to those observed with cyanoborohydride.

  10. Selected herbals and human exercise performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucci, L R

    2000-08-01

    Herbs have been used throughout history to enhance physical performance, but scientific scrutiny with controlled clinical trials has only recently been used to study such effects. The following herbs are currently used to enhance physical performance regardless of scientific evidence of effect: Chinese, Korean, and American ginsengs; Siberian ginseng, mahuang or Chinese ephedra; ashwagandha; rhodiola; yohimbe; CORDYCEPS: fungus, shilajit or mummio; smilax; wild oats; Muira puama; suma (ecdysterone); Tribulus terrestris; saw palmetto berries; beta-sitosterol and other related sterols; and wild yams (diosgenin). Controlled studies of Asian ginsengs found improvements in exercise performance when most of the following conditions were true: use of standardized root extracts, study duration (>8 wk, daily dose >1 g dried root or equivalent, large number of subjects, and older subjects. Improvements in muscular strength, maximal oxygen uptake, work capacity, fuel homeostasis, serum lactate, heart rate, visual and auditory reaction times, alertness, and psychomotor skills have also been repeatedly documented. Siberian ginseng has shown mixed results. Mahuang, ephedrine, and related alkaloids have not benefited physical performance except when combined with caffeine. Other herbs remain virtually untested. Future research on ergogenic effects of herbs should consider identity and amount of substance or presumed active ingredients administered, dose response, duration of test period, proper experimental controls, measurement of psychological and physiologic parameters (including antioxidant actions), and measurements of performance pertinent to intended uses.

  11. Elimination of bioweapons agents from forensic samples during extraction of human DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timbers, Jason; Wilkinson, Della; Hause, Christine C; Smith, Myron L; Zaidi, Mohsin A; Laframboise, Denis; Wright, Kathryn E

    2014-11-01

    Collection of DNA for genetic profiling is a powerful means for the identification of individuals responsible for crimes and terrorist acts. Biologic hazards, such as bacteria, endospores, toxins, and viruses, could contaminate sites of terrorist activities and thus could be present in samples collected for profiling. The fate of these hazards during DNA isolation has not been thoroughly examined. Our goals were to determine whether the DNA extraction process used by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police eliminates or neutralizes these agents and if not, to establish methods that render samples safe without compromising the human DNA. Our results show that bacteria, viruses, and toxins were reduced to undetectable levels during DNA extraction, but endospores remained viable. Filtration of samples after DNA isolation eliminated viable spores from the samples but left DNA intact. We also demonstrated that contamination of samples with some bacteria, endospores, and toxins for longer than 1 h compromised the ability to complete genetic profiling.

  12. Nitrites and nitrates in the human diet: Carcinogens or beneficial hypotensive agents?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Anthony

    2015-06-05

    The presence of nitrite in the human diet was thought to constitute a hazard as secondary nitrosamines are known to cause gastric cancers. Recent publications on the physiology of serum nitrite have been consulted. Nitrite is added to some foodstuffs as an antibotulinum agent. The epidemiological evidence that nitrite causes gastric ulcers is weak. On the other hand, evidence that the presence of nitrite in serum lowers blood pressure is strong. This allows us to explain why a Tang dynasty treatment for angina, given in a Dunhuang medical manuscript, can be successful. The presence of nitrite in food is free of danger and a diet high in nitrate is beneficial to the health. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Discerning in situ performance of an eor agent in the midst of geological uncertainty

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fatemi, S.A.; Jansen, J.D.; Rossen, W.R.

    2015-01-01

    An enhanced-oil-recovery pilot test has multiple goals, among them to verify the properties of the EOR agent in situ. Given the complexity of EOR processes and the inherent uncertainty in the reservoir description, it is a challenge to discern the properties of the EOR agent in situ. We present a

  14. Comparison of major antigenic proteins of six strains of the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis agent by Western immunoblot analysis.

    OpenAIRE

    1997-01-01

    The etiologic agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) is an obligate intracellular bacterium. In 1996, blood specimens from 53 patients suspected of having HGE were examined by indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) testing with the HGE agent no. 13 isolate as the antigen, by nested PCR, and by culture. All patients resided in Westchester County, N.Y. Twelve patient specimens were positive for IFA (titer > or = 1:40). Seven of these were also positive by PCR. Of the seven specimens positi...

  15. A Unified Multiscale Field/Network/Agent Based Modeling Framework for Human and Ecological Health Risk Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    A conceptual framework is presented for multiscale field/network/agent-based modeling to support human and ecological health risk assessments. This framework is based on the representation of environmental dynamics in terms of interacting networks, agents that move across different networks, fields representing spatiotemporal distributions of physical properties, rules governing constraints and interactions, and actors that make decisions affecting the state of the system. Different determini...

  16. Nanoplugging Performance of Hyperbranched Polyamine as Nanoplugging Agent in Oil-Based Drilling Fluid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang Xie

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available A hyperbranched polyamine was synthesized by self-condensing vinyl polymerization with divinyl sulfone, N-phenyl-p-phenylenediamine, by A2 + BB2' approach. The hyperbranched polyamine was characterized by FT-IR, TGA, and phase analysis light scanning. Average grain diameter of hyperbranched polyamine was 36.7 nm. Hyperbranched polyamine has good thermal stability. Hyperbranched polyamine (HBPA was employed successfully as nanoplugging agent in oil-based drilling fluid system, which could plug nanopore formation in shale formation. HBPA has a little effect on rheological properties of oil-based drilling fluid and the FLAPI and FLHTHP decreased dramatically with an increase of hyperbranched polyamine. Emulsion-breaking voltage has a slight increase, which is beneficial to maintain stability of oil-based drilling fluid. When the HBPA concentration is greater than 1 wt%, plugging rate of oil-based drilling fluid for artificial core is close to 100% and the permeability recovery value can reach 99.7% after adding 1 wt% HBPA, which prove that HBPA has an excellent plugging performance.

  17. Antipseudomonal agents exhibit differential pharmacodynamic interactions with human polymorphonuclear leukocytes against established biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatzimoschou, Athanasios; Simitsopoulou, Maria; Antachopoulos, Charalampos; Walsh, Thomas J; Roilides, Emmanuel

    2015-04-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the most common pathogen infecting the lower respiratory tract of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, where it forms tracheobronchial biofilms. Pseudomonas biofilms are refractory to antibacterials and to phagocytic cells with innate immunity, leading to refractory infection. Little is known about the interaction between antipseudomonal agents and phagocytic cells in eradication of P. aeruginosa biofilms. Herein, we investigated the capacity of three antipseudomonal agents, amikacin (AMK), ceftazidime (CAZ), and ciprofloxacin (CIP), to interact with human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) against biofilms and planktonic cells of P. aeruginosa isolates recovered from sputa of CF patients. Three of the isolates were resistant and three were susceptible to each of these antibiotics. The concentrations studied (2, 8, and 32 mg/liter) were subinhibitory for biofilms of resistant isolates, whereas for biofilms of susceptible isolates, they ranged between sub-MIC and 2 × MIC values. The activity of each antibiotic alone or in combination with human PMNs against 48-h mature biofilms or planktonic cells was determined by XTT [2,3-bis(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide] assay. All combinations of AMK with PMNs resulted in synergistic or additive effects against planktonic cells and biofilms of P. aeruginosa isolates compared to each component alone. More than 75% of CAZ combinations exhibited additive interactions against biofilms of P. aeruginosa isolates, whereas CIP had mostly antagonistic interaction or no interaction with PMNs against biofilms of P. aeruginosa. Our findings demonstrate a greater positive interaction between AMK with PMNs than that observed for CAZ and especially CIP against isolates of P. aeruginosa from the respiratory tract of CF patients.

  18. Improving human performance in maintenance personnel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gonzalez Anez, Francisco [Maintenance Training Centre, TECNATOM, S.A, Avd. Montes de Oca, 1. 28709-San Sebastian de los Reyes, Madrid (Spain); Agueero Agueero, Jorge [Technologic Institute, TECNATOM, S.A, Avd. Montes de Oca, 1. 28709-San Sebastian de los Reyes, Madrid (Spain)

    2010-07-01

    The continuous evolution and improvement of safety-related processes has included the analysis, design and development of training plans for the qualification of maintenance nuclear power plant personnel. In this respect, the international references in this area recommend the establishment of systematic qualification programmes for personnel performing functions or carrying out safety related tasks. Maintenance personnel qualification processes have improved significantly, and training plans have been designed and developed based on Systematic Approach to Training methodology to each job position. These improvements have been clearly reflected in recent training programmes with new training material and training facilities focused not only on developing technical knowledge and skills but also on improving attitudes and safety culture. The objectives of maintenance training facilities such as laboratories, mock-ups real an virtual, hydraulic loops, field simulators and other training material to be used in the maintenance training centre are to cover training necessities for initial and continuous qualification. Evidently, all these improvements made in the qualification of plant personnel should be extended to include supplemental personnel (external or contracted) performing safety-related tasks. The supplemental personnel constitute a very spread group, covering the performance of multiple activities entailing different levels of responsibility. Some of these activities are performed permanently at the plant, while others are occasional or sporadic. In order to establish qualification requirements for these supplemental workers, it is recommended to establish a rigorous analysis of job positions and tasks. The objective will be to identify the qualification requirements to assure competence and safety. (authors)

  19. Effect of capping agents on the cytotoxicity of silver nanoparticles in human normal and cancer skin cell lines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Netchareonsirisuk, Ponsawan; Puthong, Songchan; Dubas, Stephan; Palaga, Tanapat; Komolpis, Kittinan

    2016-11-01

    Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are among the most widely used nanomaterials in medical and consumer products. However, safety in the uses of AgNPs is still controversial. The toxicity of AgNPs toward various cell types has been reported to depend on the surface properties of the nanoparticles. In this study, the effect of AgNPs with the average size of 5-15 nm on the viability of the CCD-986SK human normal skin fibroblast cell line and A375 human malignant melanoma cell line was evaluated. Comparative toxicity studies, based on MTT assay, were performed by using either sodium alginate or poly (4-styrenesulfonic acid-co-maleic acid) sodium salt (PSSMA) as capping agent in the nanoparticle preparation. The cytotoxicity tests revealed that AgNO3 alone was highly toxic to both cell types while both alginate and PSSMA alone were not toxic. AgNPs capped with alginate were selectively toxic to the cancer cell line but not to the normal cell line while AgNPs capped with PSSMA were toxic to both cancer and normal cell lines. Judging from the 50 % inhibition concentration (IC50), it was found that the cancer cell line was more sensitive to AgNPs than the normal cell line. Study on the mode of cell death by annexin V and propidium iodide staining revealed that AgNPs induced more apoptotic cell death (84-90 %) than necrosis (8-12 %) in the skin cancer cell line. These results suggest that the toxicity of AgNPs depended on the type of capping agent and the type of cell line.

  20. Terpinen-4-ol: A Novel and Promising Therapeutic Agent for Human Gastrointestinal Cancers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiran Shapira

    Full Text Available Terpinen-4-ol, a naturally occurring monoterpene is the main bioactive component of tea-tree oil and has been shown to have many biological activities.To study the antitumor effects of terpinen-4-ol and its mechanism of action in prostate and GI malignancies, alone and in combination with chemotherapeutic and biological agents.Terpinen-4-ol was administrated alone or combined with standard chemotherapy (Oxaliplatin, Fluorouracil, Gemcitabine, Tarceva and biological agent (Cetuximab. It was also combined with humanized anti-CD24 mAbs (was developed by us. Killing effects were measured qualitatively by light microscopy and quantitatively using the MTT and FACS analysis, following treatment of colorectal, pancreatic, gastric and prostate cancer cells. Terpinen-4-ol effect on tumor development was evaluated in xenograft model.Terpinen-4-ol induces a significant growth inhibition of colorectal, pancreatic, prostate and gastric cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner (10-90% in 0.005-0.1%. Terpinen-4-ol and various anti-cancer agents (0.2μM oxaliplatin and 0.5μM fluorouracil demonstrated a synergistic inhibitory effect (83% and 91%, respectively on cancer cell proliferation. In KRAS mutated colorectal cancer cells, which are resistant to anti-EGFR therapy, combining of terpinen-4-ol with cetuximab (1 μM resulted in impressive efficacy of 80-90% growth inhibition. Sub-toxic concentrations of terpinen-4-ol potentiate anti-CD24 mAb (150μg/ml-induced growth inhibition (90%. Considerable reduction in tumor volume was seen following terpinen-4-ol (0.2% treatment alone and with cetuximab (10mg/kg (40% and 63%, respectively as compare to the control group.Terpinen-4-ol significantly enhances the effect of several chemotherapeutic and biological agents. The possible molecular mechanism for its activity involves induction of cell-death rendering this compound as a potential anti-cancer drug alone and in combination in the treatment of numerous malignancies

  1. The Impact of Strategic Human Resource Management on Organizational Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luftim CANIA

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Organizational performance is getting more and more important, especially in a market with greater competition and dynamic. Organizational performance is measured through different indicators. It guarantees the continuity of the organization to be competitive in a global marketplace. Normally, the implementation of performance indicators achieved through human resources. Human resources are the key for keeping the organization in the market so competitive. These human resources need to be managed effectively to achieve the required performance of the organization. It is necessary to manage strategically the human resources and to adapt at its strategy with organizational strategy. The aim of this study is focused on the impact of the strategic management of human resource in achieving organizational performance. This study was conducted based on primary and secondary sources. How much organizations appear competitive in the market through achieving the performance indicators? How important is the management of human resources in achieving organizational performance? So, through the skills, behaviors and attitudes would be expected by human resources to achieve the required performance in the organization.

  2. The limits of human athletic performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maughan, R J

    2005-01-01

    For each individual, there is a limit to the capacity to perform exercise. The limitation, however, depends on the nature of the task and is also influenced by a number of other factors. Muscle strength is determined largely by muscle mass, specifically muscle cross-sectional area, but is also influenced by neural drive and biomechanical factors. Endurance performance depends on both cardiovascular capacity and the metabolic characteristics of the skeletal muscles. These factors are determined in part by genetic endowment: the elite sprinter has a high proportion of Type 2 muscle fibres while the leg muscles of the successful marathon runner are composes mainly of Type 1 fibres. Whatever the genetic potential, expression of this depends on the intensity, duration and frequency of the applied training stimulus, diet and other factors. The limitation may also depend on environmental factors, such as altitude and temperature.

  3. Sedative-Hypnotics and Human Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-06-01

    clobazam , diazepam , and lorazepam (drugs not marketed as sedative- hypnotics), the overall percent decrement is 30.9% and the order of sensitivity remains...medicine. Because of the widespread use of the benzodiazepines as anti-anxiety drugs, Kleinknecht & Donaldson (1975) reviewed the effects of diazepam on...cognitive and psychomotor performance, while, in an earlier review, McNalr (1973) included meprobamate in addition to the benzodiazepines, diazepam and

  4. Barnase as a new therapeutic agent triggering apoptosis in human cancer cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evelina Edelweiss

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: RNases are currently studied as non-mutagenic alternatives to the harmful DNA-damaging anticancer drugs commonly used in clinical practice. Many mammalian RNases are not potent toxins due to the strong inhibition by ribonuclease inhibitor (RI presented in the cytoplasm of mammalian cells. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In search of new effective anticancer RNases we studied the effects of barnase, a ribonuclease from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, on human cancer cells. We found that barnase is resistant to RI. In MTT cell viability assay, barnase was cytotoxic to human carcinoma cell lines with half-inhibitory concentrations (IC(50 ranging from 0.2 to 13 microM and to leukemia cell lines with IC(50 values ranging from 2.4 to 82 microM. Also, we characterized the cytotoxic effects of barnase-based immunoRNase scFv 4D5-dibarnase, which consists of two barnase molecules serially fused to the single-chain variable fragment (scFv of humanized antibody 4D5 that recognizes the extracellular domain of cancer marker HER2. The scFv 4D5-dibarnase specifically bound to HER2-positive cells and was internalized via receptor-mediated endocytosis. The intracellular localization of internalized scFv 4D5-dibarnase was determined by electronic microscopy. The cytotoxic effect of scFv 4D5-dibarnase on HER2-positive human ovarian carcinoma SKOV-3 cells (IC(50 = 1.8 nM was three orders of magnitude greater than that of barnase alone. Both barnase and scFv 4D5-dibarnase induced apoptosis in SKOV-3 cells accompanied by internucleosomal chromatin fragmentation, membrane blebbing, the appearance of phosphatidylserine on the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane, and the activation of caspase-3. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results demonstrate that barnase is a potent toxic agent for targeting to cancer cells.

  5. Human visual performance model for crewstation design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larimer, James; Prevost, Michael; Arditi, Aries; Azueta, Steven; Bergen, James; Lubin, Jeffrey

    1991-01-01

    An account is given of a Visibility Modeling Tool (VMT) which furnishes a crew-station designer with the means to assess configurational tradeoffs, with a view to the impact of various options on the unambiguous access of information to the pilot. The interactive interface of the VMT allows the manipulation of cockpit geometry, ambient lighting, pilot ergonomics, and the displayed symbology. Performance data can be displayed in the form of 3D contours into the crewstation graphic model, thereby yielding an indication of the operator's visual capabilities.

  6. Antimicrobial resistance in veterinary medicine: mechanisms and bacterial agents with the greatest impact on human health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ketrin Cristina da Silva

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Many retrospective and prospective studies have been performed to understand the emergence and dissemination of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms. The rates of antimicrobial drug resistance among bacterial pathogens are high and now represent a worldwide concern, both in human medicine and veterinary practices. The aim of this review is to describe the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and the risks associated with antimicrobial use in animal production. Pathogens with major impacts on human and animal health are discussed, including multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria

  7. Optimization of Azoles as Anti-Human Immunodeficiency Virus Agents Guided by Free-Energy Calculations

    OpenAIRE

    Zeevaart, Jacob G.; Wang, Ligong; Thakur, Vinay V.; Leung, Cheryl S.; Tirado-Rives, Julian; Bailey, Christopher M.; Domaoal, Robert A.; Anderson, Karen S.; Jorgensen, William L.

    2008-01-01

    Efficient optimization of an inactive 2-anilinyl-5-benzyloxadiazole core has been guided by free energy perturbation (FEP) calculations to provide potent non-nucleoside inhibitors of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) reverse transcriptase (NNRTIs). An FEP “chlorine scan” was performed to identify the most promising sites for substitution of aryl hydrogens. This yielded NNRTIs 8 and 10 with activities (EC50) of 820 and 310 nM for protection of human T-cells from infection by wild-type HIV-1. ...

  8. Mass Spectrometry Applications for the Identification and Quantitation of Biomarkers Resulting from Human Exposure to Chemical Warfare Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, J. Richard; Capacio, Benedict R.

    In recent years, a number of analytical methods using biomedical samples such as blood and urine have been developed for the verification of exposure to chemical warfare agents. The majority of methods utilize gas or liquid chromatography in conjunction with mass spectrometry. In a small number of cases of suspected human exposure to chemical warfare agents, biomedical specimens have been made available for testing. This chapter provides an overview of biomarkers that have been verified in human biomedical samples, details of the exposure incidents, the methods utilized for analysis, and the biomarker concentration levels determined in the blood and/or urine.

  9. Human DDX3 protein is a valuable target to develop broad spectrum antiviral agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brai, Annalaura; Fazi, Roberta; Tintori, Cristina; Zamperini, Claudio; Bugli, Francesca; Sanguinetti, Maurizio; Stigliano, Egidio; Esté, José; Badia, Roger; Franco, Sandra; Martinez, Miguel A; Martinez, Javier P; Meyerhans, Andreas; Saladini, Francesco; Zazzi, Maurizio; Garbelli, Anna; Maga, Giovanni; Botta, Maurizio

    2016-05-10

    Targeting a host factor essential for the replication of different viruses but not for the cells offers a higher genetic barrier to the development of resistance, may simplify therapy regimens for coinfections, and facilitates management of emerging viral diseases. DEAD-box polypeptide 3 (DDX3) is a human host factor required for the replication of several DNA and RNA viruses, including some of the most challenging human pathogens currently circulating, such as HIV-1, Hepatitis C virus, Dengue virus, and West Nile virus. Herein, we showed for the first time, to our knowledge, that the inhibition of DDX3 by a small molecule could be successfully exploited for the development of a broad spectrum antiviral agent. In addition to the multiple antiviral activities, hit compound 16d retained full activity against drug-resistant HIV-1 strains in the absence of cellular toxicity. Pharmacokinetics and toxicity studies in rats confirmed a good safety profile and bioavailability of 16d. Thus, DDX3 is here validated as a valuable therapeutic target.

  10. The Anti-tumour Agent, Cisplatin, and its Clinically Ineffective Isomer, Transplatin, Produce Unique Gene Expression Profiles in Human Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne M. Galea

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Cisplatin is a DNA-damaging anti-cancer agent that is widely used to treat a range of tumour types. Despite its clinical success, cisplatin treatment is still associated with a number of dose-limiting toxic side effects. The purpose of this study was to clarify the molecular events that are important in the anti-tumour activity of cisplatin, using gene expression profi ling techniques. Currently, our incomplete understanding of this drug’s mechanism of action hinders the development of more efficient and less harmful cisplatin-based chemotherapeutics. In this study the effect of cisplatin on gene expression in human foreskin fibroblasts has been investigated using human 19K oligonucleotide microarrays. In addition its clinically inactive isomer, transplatin, was also tested. Dual-fluor microarray experiments comparing treated and untreated cells were performed in quadruplicate. Cisplatin treatment was shown to significantly up- or down-regulate a consistent subset of genes. Many of these genes responded similarly to treatment with transplatin, the therapeutically inactive isomer of cisplatin. However, a smaller proportion of these transcripts underwent differential expression changes in response to the two isomers. Some of these genes may constitute part of the DNA damage response induced by cisplatin that is critical for its anti-tumour activity. Ultimately, the identification of gene expression responses unique to clinically active compounds, like cisplatin, could thus greatly benefit the design and development of improved chemotherapeutics.

  11. Wonder world of phages: potential biocontrol agents safeguarding biosphere and health of animals and humans- current scenario and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiwari, Ruchi; Chakraborty, Sandip; Dhama, Kuldeep; Wani, Mohd Yaqoob; Kumar, Amit; Kapoor, Sanjay

    2014-02-01

    Darwin's theory of natural selection and concept of survival of fittest of Wallace is a universal truth which derives the force of life among all live entities on this biosphere. Issues regarding food safety along with increased drug resistance and emerging zoonotic infections have proved that multidisciplinary efforts are in demand for human and animal welfare. This has led to development of various novel therapies the list of which remains incomplete without mentioning about phages. Homologous and non-homologous recombination along with point mutation and addition of new genes play role in their evolution. The rapid emergence of the antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria have created keen interest in finding necessary alternatives to check microbial infections and there comes the importance of phages. Phages kill the bacteria either by lysis or by releasing holins. Bacteriophages; the viruses that live on bacteria are nowadays considered as the best biocontrol agents. They are used as replacers of antibiotics; food industry promoter; guard of aquatic life as well as of plants; pre-slaughter treatment agents; Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) food additives; Typing agent of bacteria; active tool of super bug therapy; in post harvest crops and food and during post infection and also to combat intracellular pathogens viz. Mycobacteria and Mycoplasma. Cyanophages/phycophages are particularly useful in controlling blooms produced by various genera of algae and cyanobacteria. By performing centrifugation studies and based on electron microscopy certain virus like particles containing ds RNA have been confirmed as mycophages. They are well proven as threat to pathogenic fungi (both fungal hyphae and yeast). Those that infect yeasts are called zymophages. Virophages have exquisite specificity for their viral host, hence can extensively be used for genetic studies and can also act as evolutionary link. After the discovery of very first virophage till now, a total of 3

  12. Study of the Preparation, Characterization, and Sizing Performance of Modified Collagen Surface Sizing Agent

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuechuan Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In this work, a surface sizing agent for paper was prepared by the emulsion polymerization method, in which the collagen extracted from leather shavings was modified. The product was characterized using Fourier Transform-Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM, X-ray Diffraction (XRD, Energy Dispersive X-ray detector (EDX, and atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Corrugated papers were used as models. The synergy between modified collagen sizing emulsion and two commercial synthetic sizing agents was studied. Finally, the morphology of the papers before and after being treated was observed by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM. The results indicated that the sizing agent could be prepared using collagen as a raw material, which not only can alleviate a pollution problem in the leather industry, but also provide a novel alternative sizing agent for the paper industry, providing considerable economic, social, and environmental benefits to both industries.

  13. Status of Job Motivation and Job Performance of Field Level Extension Agents in Ogun State: Implications for Agricultural Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabusoro, E.; Awotunde, J. A.; Sodiya, C. I.; Alarima, C. I.

    2008-01-01

    The field level extension agents (FLEAs) are the lifeline of the agricultural extension system in Nigeria. Their motivation and job performance are therefore important to achieving faster agricultural development in Nigeria. The study identified the factors motivating the FLEAs working with Ogun State Agricultural development programme (OGADEP)…

  14. Showering effectiveness for human hair decontamination of the nerve agent VX.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josse, Denis; Wartelle, Julien; Cruz, Catherine

    2015-05-05

    In this work, our goals were to establish whether hair decontamination by showering one hour post-exposure to the highly toxic organophosphate nerve agent VX was effective, whether it required the addition of a detergent to water and, if it could be improved by using the adsorbent Fuller's Earth (FE) or the Reactive Skin Decontamination Lotion (RSDL) 30 min prior to showering. Hair exposure to VX and decontamination was performed by using an in vitro model. Hair showering led to 72% reduction of contamination. Addition of detergent to water slightly increased the decontamination effectiveness. Hair treatment with FE or RSDL improved the decontamination rate. Combination of FE use and showering, which yielded a decontamination factor of 41, was demonstrated to be the most effective hair decontamination procedure. Hair wiping after showering was shown to contribute to hair decontamination. Altogether, our results highlighted the importance of considering hair decontamination as an important part of body surface decontamination protocols.

  15. Load carriage, human performance, and employment standards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Nigel A S; Peoples, Gregory E; Petersen, Stewart R

    2016-06-01

    The focus of this review is on the physiological considerations necessary for developing employment standards within occupations that have a heavy reliance on load carriage. Employees within military, fire fighting, law enforcement, and search and rescue occupations regularly work with heavy loads. For example, soldiers often carry loads >50 kg, whilst structural firefighters wear 20-25 kg of protective clothing and equipment, in addition to carrying external loads. It has long been known that heavy loads modify gait, mobility, metabolic rate, and efficiency, while concurrently elevating the risk of muscle fatigue and injury. In addition, load carriage often occurs within environmentally stressful conditions, with protective ensembles adding to the thermal burden of the workplace. Indeed, physiological strain relates not just to the mass and dimensions of carried objects, but to how those loads are positioned on and around the body. Yet heavy loads must be borne by men and women of varying body size, and with the expectation that operational capability will not be impinged. This presents a recruitment conundrum. How do employers identify capable and injury-resistant individuals while simultaneously avoiding discriminatory selection practices? In this communication, the relevant metabolic, cardiopulmonary, and thermoregulatory consequences of loaded work are reviewed, along with concomitant impediments to physical endurance and mobility. Also emphasised is the importance of including occupation-specific clothing, protective equipment, and loads during work-performance testing. Finally, recommendations are presented for how to address these issues when evaluating readiness for duty.

  16. Human Navigational Performance in a Complex Network with Progressive Disruptions

    CERN Document Server

    Ramesh, Amitash; Iyengar, Sudarshan; Sekhar, Vinod

    2012-01-01

    The current paper is an investigation towards understanding the navigational performance of humans on a network when the "landmark" nodes are blocked. We observe that humans learn to cope up, despite the continued introduction of blockages in the network. The experiment proposed involves the task of navigating on a word network based on a puzzle called the wordmorph. We introduce blockages in the network and report an incremental improvement in performance with respect to time. We explain this phenomenon by analyzing the evolution of the knowledge in the human participants of the underlying network as more and more landmarks are removed. We hypothesize that humans learn the bare essentials to navigate unless we introduce blockages in the network which would whence enforce upon them the need to explore newer ways of navigating. We draw a parallel to human problem solving and postulate that obstacles are catalysts for humans to innovate techniques to solve a restricted variant of a familiar problem.

  17. Human Engineering Modeling and Performance Lab Study Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliva-Buisson, Yvette J.

    2014-01-01

    The HEMAP (Human Engineering Modeling and Performance) Lab is a joint effort between the Industrial and Human Engineering group and the KAVE (Kennedy Advanced Visualiations Environment) group. The lab consists of sixteen camera system that is used to capture human motions and operational tasks, through te use of a Velcro suit equipped with sensors, and then simulate these tasks in an ergonomic software package know as Jac, The Jack software is able to identify the potential risk hazards.

  18. Foaming in wet flue gas desulfurization plants: Laboratory‐scale investigation of long‐term performance of antifoaming agents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Qin, Siqiang; Hansen, Brian Brun; Kiil, Søren

    2013-01-01

    Spontaneous foaming can cause a range of operational problems in industrial processes such as wet flue gas desulfurization (FGD). This work investigates the performance of selected antifoaming agents (Nalco FM‐37, Foamtrol 2290, and rapeseed oil) on foams generated by egg white albumin (protein......), sodium dodecyl sulfate, and adipic acid at conditions of relevance for wet FGD plants. The addition of antifoaming agents breaks any existing foam and causes an induction period without foaming, after which the foam gradually will begin to reappear. Foaming by egg white albumin (2 g/L) at 0.014 m/s could...

  19. Human Resource Practices and Firm Performance in Chinese Enterprises

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    This study uses data from 201 Chinese firms to test two competing theories concerning human resource practices and firm performance. "Best practice theory" is supported for many of the human resource practices examined in the study. Contingency theory is generally not supported for three contingencies: business strategy, ownership and industry.

  20. A Cross-Cultural Investigation of Human Performance Technology Interventions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vadivelu, Ramaswamy N.

    2010-01-01

    Human Performance Technology (HPT) is a field of practice that has evolved from advancements in organizational development, instructional design, strategic human resource management and cognitive psychology. As globalization and trends like outsourcing and off-shoring start to dominate the way organizations grow, HPT practitioners are managing the…

  1. Steroid use and human performance: Lessons for integrative biologists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husak, Jerry F; Irschick, Duncan J

    2009-10-01

    While recent studies have begun to address how hormones mediate whole-animal performance traits, the field conspicuously lags behind research conducted on humans. Recent studies of human steroid use have revealed that steroid use increases muscle cross-sectional area and mass, largely due to increases in protein synthesis, and muscle fiber hypertrophy attributable to an increased number of satellite cells and myonuclei per unit area. These biochemical and cellular effects on skeletal muscle morphology translate into increased power and work during weight-lifting and enhanced performance in burst, sprinting activities. However, there are no unequivocal data that human steroid use enhances endurance performance or muscle fatigability or recovery. The effects of steroids on human morphology and performance are in general consistent with results found for nonhuman animals, though there are notable discrepancies. However, some of the discrepancies may be due to a paucity of comparative data on how testosterone affects muscle physiology and subsequent performance across different regions of the body and across vertebrate taxa. Therefore, we advocate more research on the basic relationships among hormones, morphology, and performance. Based on results from human studies, we recommend that integrative biologists interested in studying hormone regulation of performance should take into account training, timing of administration, and dosage administered when designing experiments or field studies. We also argue that more information is needed on the long-term effects of hormone manipulation on performance and fitness.

  2. Naval Special Warfare Injury Prevention and Human Performance Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-30

    3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 01 JUL 10-30 JUN 12 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Naval Special Warfare Group 4 Injury Prevention and Human Performance...from suboptimal biomechanical, musculoskeletal, and physiological characteristics and is further compounded with poor or inadequate nutrition . The...Prescribed by ANSI Std. Z39.18 OFFICE OF NAVAL RESEARCH FINAL TECHNICAL REPORT Naval Special Warfare Injury Prevention and Human Performance

  3. Goal-based communication using BDI agents as virtual humans in training: An ontology driven dialogue system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oijen, J. van; Doesburg, W. van; Dignum, F.

    2011-01-01

    Simulations for training can greatly benefit from BDI agents as virtual humans playing the role of key players. Learning to communicate effectively is a key aspect of training to command a team that is managing a crisis. In this paper, we present a goal-based dialogue system which has been applied

  4. Goal-based communication using BDI agents as virtual humans in training: An ontology driven dialogue system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oijen, J. van; Doesburg, W. van; Dignum, F.

    2011-01-01

    Simulations for training can greatly benefit from BDI agents as virtual humans playing the role of key players. Learning to communicate effectively is a key aspect of training to command a team that is managing a crisis. In this paper, we present a goal-based dialogue system which has been applied t

  5. Goal-based communication using BDI agents as virtual humans in training: An ontology driven dialogue system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oijen, J. van; Doesburg, W. van; Dignum, F.

    2011-01-01

    Simulations for training can greatly benefit from BDI agents as virtual humans playing the role of key players. Learning to communicate effectively is a key aspect of training to command a team that is managing a crisis. In this paper, we present a goal-based dialogue system which has been applied t

  6. Different impressions of other agents obtained through social interaction uniquely modulate dorsal and ventral pathway activities in the social human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Hideyuki; Terada, Kazunori; Morita, Tomoyo; Suzuki, Shinsuke; Haji, Tomoki; Kozima, Hideki; Yoshikawa, Masahiro; Matsumoto, Yoshio; Omori, Takashi; Asada, Minoru; Naito, Eiichi

    2014-09-01

    Internal (neuronal) representations in the brain are modified by our experiences, and this phenomenon is not unique to sensory and motor systems. Here, we show that different impressions obtained through social interaction with a variety of agents uniquely modulate activity of dorsal and ventral pathways of the brain network that mediates human social behavior. We scanned brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 16 healthy volunteers when they performed a simple matching-pennies game with a human, human-like android, mechanical robot, interactive robot, and a computer. Before playing this game in the scanner, participants experienced social interactions with each opponent separately and scored their initial impressions using two questionnaires. We found that the participants perceived opponents in two mental dimensions: one represented "mind-holderness" in which participants attributed anthropomorphic impressions to some of the opponents that had mental functions, while the other dimension represented "mind-readerness" in which participants characterized opponents as intelligent. Interestingly, this "mind-readerness" dimension correlated to participants frequently changing their game tactic to prevent opponents from envisioning their strategy, and this was corroborated by increased entropy during the game. We also found that the two factors separately modulated activity in distinct social brain regions. Specifically, mind-holderness modulated activity in the dorsal aspect of the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and medial prefrontal and posterior paracingulate cortices, while mind-readerness modulated activity in the ventral aspect of TPJ and the temporal pole. These results clearly demonstrate that activity in social brain networks is modulated through pre-scanning experiences of social interaction with a variety of agents. Furthermore, our findings elucidated the existence of two distinct functional networks in the social human brain

  7. Socio-Ecohydrologic Agents And Services: Integrating Human And Natural Components To Address Coupled System Resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavao-zuckerman, M.; Pope, A.; Chan, D.; Curl, K.; Gimblett, H. R.; Hough, M.; House-Peters, L.; Lee, R.; Scott, C. A.

    2012-12-01

    Riparian corridors in arid regions are highly valued for their relative scarcity, and because healthy riparian systems support high levels of biodiversity, can meet human demand for water and water-related resources and functions. Our team is taking a transdiciplinary social-ecological systems approach to assessing riparian corridor resilience in two watersheds (the San Pedro River in USA and Mexico, and the Rio San Miguel in Mexico) through a project funded by the NSF CNH program ("Strengthening Resilience of Arid Region Riparian Corridors"). Multiple perspectives are integrated in the project, including hydrology, ecology, institutional dynamics, and decision making (at the level of both policy and individual choice), as well as the perspectives of various stakeholder groups and individuals in the watersheds. Here we discuss initial findings that center around linking changes in ecohydrology and livelihoods related to decisions in response to climatic, ecological, and social change. The research team is implementing two approaches to integrate the disparate disciplines participating in the research (and the varied perspectives among the stakeholders in this binational riparian context): (1) ecosystem service assessment, and (2) agent based model simulation. We are developing an ecosystem service perspective that provides a bridge between ecological dynamics in the landscape and varied stakeholder perspectives on the implications of ecohydrology for well-being (economic, cultural, ecological). Services are linked on one hand to the spatial patterns of traits of individuals within species (allowing a more predictive application of ecosystem services as they vary with community change in time), and to stakeholder perspectives (facilitating integration of ecosystem services into our understanding of decision making processes) in a case study in the San Pedro River National Conservation Area. The agent- based model (ABM) approach incorporates the influence of human

  8. An agent-based model of cellular dynamics and circadian variability in human endotoxemia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tung T Nguyen

    Full Text Available As cellular variability and circadian rhythmicity play critical roles in immune and inflammatory responses, we present in this study an agent-based model of human endotoxemia to examine the interplay between circadian controls, cellular variability and stochastic dynamics of inflammatory cytokines. The model is qualitatively validated by its ability to reproduce circadian dynamics of inflammatory mediators and critical inflammatory responses after endotoxin administration in vivo. Novel computational concepts are proposed to characterize the cellular variability and synchronization of inflammatory cytokines in a population of heterogeneous leukocytes. Our results suggest that there is a decrease in cell-to-cell variability of inflammatory cytokines while their synchronization is increased after endotoxin challenge. Model parameters that are responsible for IκB production stimulated by NFκB activation and for the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines have large impacts on system behaviors. Additionally, examining time-dependent systemic responses revealed that the system is least vulnerable to endotoxin in the early morning and most vulnerable around midnight. Although much remains to be explored, proposed computational concepts and the model we have pioneered will provide important insights for future investigations and extensions, especially for single-cell studies to discover how cellular variability contributes to clinical implications.

  9. Agent-based modeling approach of immune defense against spores of opportunistic human pathogenic fungi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian eTokarski

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Opportunistic human pathogenic fungi like the ubiquitous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus are a majorthreat to immunocompromised patients. An impaired immune system renders the body vulnerable to inva-sive mycoses that often lead to the death of the patient. While the number of immunocompromised patientsis rising with medical progress, the process and dynamics of defence against invaded and ready to germinatefungal conidia are still insufficiently understood.Besides macrophages, neutrophil granulocytes form an important line of defence in that they clear conidia.Live imaging shows the interaction of those phagocytes and conidia as a dynamic process of touching, drag-ging and phagocytosis. To unravel strategies of phagocytes on the hunt for conidia an agent-based modelingapproach is used, implemented in NetLogo. Different modes of movement of phagocytes are tested regard-ing their clearing efficiency: random walk, short term persistence in their recent direction, chemotaxis ofchemokines excreted by conidia and communication between phagocytes.

  10. Coordination of platinum therapeutic agents to met-rich motifs of human copper transport protein1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crider, Sarah E; Holbrook, Robert J; Franz, Katherine J

    2010-01-01

    Platinum therapeutic agents are widely used in the treatment of several forms of cancer. Various mechanisms for the transport of the drugs have been proposed including passive diffusion across the cellular membrane and active transport via proteins. The copper transport protein Ctr1 is responsible for high affinity copper uptake but has also been implicated in the transport of cisplatin into cells. Human hCtr1 contains two methionine-rich Mets motifs on its extracellular N-terminus that are potential platinum-binding sites: the first one encompasses residues 7-14 with amino acid sequence Met-Gly-Met-Ser-Tyr-Met-Asp-Ser and the second one spans residues 39-46 with sequence Met-Met-Met-Met-Pro-Met-Thr-Phe. In these studies, we use liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to compare the binding interactions between cisplatin, carboplatin and oxaliplatin with synthetic peptides corresponding to hCtr1 Mets motifs. The interactions of cisplatin and carboplatin with Met-rich motifs that contain three or more methionines result in removal of the carrier ligands of both platinum complexes. In contrast, oxaliplatin retains its cyclohexyldiamine ligand upon platinum coordination to the peptide.

  11. Induction of a type I interferon signature in normal human monocytes by gadolinium-based contrast agents: comparison of linear and macrocyclic agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wermuth, P J; Jimenez, S A

    2014-01-01

    The gadolinium-based contrast agent (GdBCA) Omniscan activates human macrophages through Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4 and TLR-7 signalling. To explore the mechanisms responsible we compared the ability of linear and macrocyclic GdBCA to induce a type I interferon signature and a proinflammatory/profibrotic phenotype in normal human monocytes in vitro. Expression of genes associated with type I interferon signalling and inflammation and production of their corresponding proteins were determined. Both linear and macrocyclic GdBCA stimulated expression of multiple type I interferon-regulated genes and the expression of numerous chemokines, cytokines and growth factors in normal human peripheral blood monocytes. There was no correlation between the magnitude of the measured response and the Gd chelate used. To explore the mechanisms responsible for GdBCA induction of fibrosis in nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) in vitro, normal human dermal fibroblasts were incubated with GdBCA-treated monocyte culture supernatants and the effects on profibrotic gene expression were examined. Supernatants from monocytes exposed to all GdBCA stimulated types I and III collagen, fibronectin and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expression in normal dermal fibroblasts. The results indicate that the monocyte activation induced by GdBCA may be the initial step in the development of GdBCA associated fibrosis in NSF.

  12. Evaluation of human operator visual performance capability for teleoperator missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huggins, C. T.; Malone, T. B.; Shields, N. L., Jr.

    1973-01-01

    Investigation of the human operator visual performance demands of teleoperator system applications to earth-orbital missions involving visual system requirements for satellite retrieval and satellite servicing functions. The first phase of an experimental program implementing this investigation is described in terms of the overall test apparatus and procedures used, the specific tests performed, and the test results obtained.

  13. Synthesis and Performance Evaluation of a New Deoiling Agent for Treatment of Waste Oil-Based Drilling Fluids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pingting Liu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Oil-based drilling fluid is used more and more in the field of oil and gas exploration. However, because of unrecyclable treating agent and hard treatment conditions, the traditional treating technologies of waste oil-based drilling fluid have some defects, such as waste of resource, bulky equipment, complex treatment processes, and low oil recovery rate. In this work, switchable deoiling agent (SDA, as a novel surfactant for treatment of waste oil-based drilling fluid, was synthesized by amine, formic acid, and formaldehyde solution. With this agent, the waste oil-based drilling fluid can be treated without complex process and expensive equipment. Furthermore, the agent used in the treatment can be recycled, which reduces waste of resource and energy. The switch performance, deoiling performance, structural characterization, and mechanisms of action are studied. The experimental results show that the oil content of the recycled oil is higher than 96% and more than 93% oil in waste oil-based drilling fluid can be recycled. The oil content of the solid residues of deoiling is less than 3%.

  14. Agent Orange Exposure and 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-Dioxin (TCDD) in Human Milk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scialli, Anthony R; Watkins, Deborah K; Ginevan, Michael E

    2015-06-01

    Agent Orange was sprayed in parts of southern Vietnam during the U.S.-Vietnam war and was a mixture of two chlorophenoxy herbicides. The mixture was contaminated with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). TCDD and other dioxins and furans are measurable in the milk of Vietnamese women. We explored whether the TCDD in milk from these women was from Agent Orange and whether lactational exposure can be a mode of transgenerational effects of TCDD from Agent Orange. A review of the world's literature on milk concentrations of polychlorinated compounds showed the presence of TCDD and other dioxins and furans in all countries that have been assessed. The congener profile of these chemicals, that is, the proportion of different congeners in the sample, can be used to assess the source of milk contamination. Measurements in most countries, including contemporary measurements in Vietnam, are consistent with non-Agent Orange exposure sources, including industrial activities and incineration of waste. Models and supporting human data suggest that TCDD from breastfeeding does not persist in a child past adolescence and that the adult body burden of TCDD is independent of whether the individual was breast- or bottle-fed as a child. These findings suggest that exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam did not result in persistent transgenerational exposure through human milk.

  15. Towards a multimedia knowledge-based agent with social competence and human interaction capabilities

    OpenAIRE

    Wanner, Leo; Blat, Josep; Dasiopoulou, Stamatia; Domínguez Bajo, Mónica; Llorach, Gerard; Mille, Simon; Sukno, Federico M.; Kamateri, Eleni; Kompatsiaris, Ioannis; Vrochidis, Stefanos; André, Elisabeth; Lingenfelser, Florian; Mehlmann, Gregor; Stam, Andries; Stellingwerff, Ludo

    2016-01-01

    We present work in progress on an intelligent embodied conversation agent in the basic care and healthcare domain. In contrast to most of the existing agents, the presented agent is aimed to have linguistic cultural, social and emotional competence needed to interact with elderly and migrants. It is composed of an ontology-based and reasoning-driven dialogue manager, multimodal communication analysis and generation modules and a search engine for the retrieval of multimedia background content...

  16. Theory Development and Convergence of Human Resource Fields: Implications for Human Performance Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Yonjoo; Yoon, Seung Won

    2010-01-01

    This study examines major theory developments in human resource (HR) fields and discusses implications for human performance technology (HPT). Differentiated HR fields are converging to improve organizational performance through knowledge-based innovations. Ruona and Gibson (2004) made a similar observation and analyzed the historical evolution…

  17. Theory Development and Convergence of Human Resource Fields: Implications for Human Performance Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Yonjoo; Yoon, Seung Won

    2010-01-01

    This study examines major theory developments in human resource (HR) fields and discusses implications for human performance technology (HPT). Differentiated HR fields are converging to improve organizational performance through knowledge-based innovations. Ruona and Gibson (2004) made a similar observation and analyzed the historical evolution…

  18. A new method to evaluate human-robot system performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, G.; Weisbin, C. R.

    2003-01-01

    One of the key issues in space exploration is that of deciding what space tasks are best done with humans, with robots, or a suitable combination of each. In general, human and robot skills are complementary. Humans provide as yet unmatched capabilities to perceive, think, and act when faced with anomalies and unforeseen events, but there can be huge potential risks to human safety in getting these benefits. Robots provide complementary skills in being able to work in extremely risky environments, but their ability to perceive, think, and act by themselves is currently not error-free, although these capabilities are continually improving with the emergence of new technologies. Substantial past experience validates these generally qualitative notions. However, there is a need for more rigorously systematic evaluation of human and robot roles, in order to optimize the design and performance of human-robot system architectures using well-defined performance evaluation metrics. This article summarizes a new analytical method to conduct such quantitative evaluations. While the article focuses on evaluating human-robot systems, the method is generally applicable to a much broader class of systems whose performance needs to be evaluated.

  19. Economics of human performance and systems total ownership cost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onkham, Wilawan; Karwowski, Waldemar; Ahram, Tareq Z

    2012-01-01

    Financial costs of investing in people is associated with training, acquisition, recruiting, and resolving human errors have a significant impact on increased total ownership costs. These costs can also affect the exaggerate budgets and delayed schedules. The study of human performance economical assessment in the system acquisition process enhances the visibility of hidden cost drivers which support program management informed decisions. This paper presents the literature review of human total ownership cost (HTOC) and cost impacts on overall system performance. Economic value assessment models such as cost benefit analysis, risk-cost tradeoff analysis, expected value of utility function analysis (EV), growth readiness matrix, multi-attribute utility technique, and multi-regressions model were introduced to reflect the HTOC and human performance-technology tradeoffs in terms of the dollar value. The human total ownership regression model introduces to address the influencing human performance cost component measurement. Results from this study will increase understanding of relevant cost drivers in the system acquisition process over the long term.

  20. Aversive Pavlovian Responses Affect Human Instrumental Motor Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigoli, Francesco; Pavone, Enea Francesco; Pezzulo, Giovanni

    2012-01-01

    In neuroscience and psychology, an influential perspective distinguishes between two kinds of behavioral control: instrumental (habitual and goal-directed) and Pavlovian. Understanding the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction is fundamental for the comprehension of decision-making. Animal studies (as those using the negative auto-maintenance paradigm), have demonstrated that Pavlovian mechanisms can have maladaptive effects on instrumental performance. However, evidence for a similar effect in humans is scarce. In addition, the mechanisms modulating the impact of Pavlovian responses on instrumental performance are largely unknown, both in human and non-human animals. The present paper describes a behavioral experiment investigating the effects of Pavlovian conditioned responses on performance in humans, focusing on the aversive domain. Results showed that Pavlovian responses influenced human performance, and, similar to animal studies, could have maladaptive effects. In particular, Pavlovian responses either impaired or increased performance depending on modulator variables such as threat distance, task controllability, punishment history, amount of training, and explicit punishment expectancy. Overall, these findings help elucidating the computational mechanisms underlying the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction, which might be at the base of apparently irrational phenomena in economics, social behavior, and psychopathology. PMID:23060738

  1. Aversive Pavlovian responses affect human instrumental motor performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco eRigoli

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available In neuroscience and psychology, an influential perspective distinguishes between two kinds of behavioural control: instrumental (habitual and goal-directed and Pavlovian. Understanding the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction is fundamental for the comprehension of decision-making. Animal studies (as those using the negative auto-maintenance paradigm, have demonstrated that Pavlovian mechanisms can have maladaptive effects on instrumental performance. However, evidence for a similar effect in humans is scarce. In addition, the mechanisms modulating the impact of Pavlovian responses on instrumental performance are largely unknown, both in human and non-human animals. The present paper describes a behavioural experiment investigating the effects of Pavlovian conditioned responses on performance in humans, focusing on the aversive domain. Results showed that Pavlovian responses influenced human performance, and, similar to animal studies, could have maladaptive effects. In particular, Pavlovian responses either impaired or increased performance depending on modulator variables such as threat distance, task controllability, punishment history, amount of training, and explicit punishment expectancy. Overall, these findings help elucidating the computational mechanisms underlying the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction, which might be at the base of apparently irrational phenomena in economics, social behaviour, and psychopathology.

  2. Preparation and Performance of an Adsorption Type Gel Plugging Agent as Enhanced Oil Recovery Chemical

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoping Qin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available A novel adsorption type gel plugging agent (ATGPA was prepared using acrylamide (AM, acrylic acid (AA, diallyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (DMDAAC, 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropanesulfonate (AMPS, formaldehyde (HCHO, resorcinol (C6H6O2, and thiocarbamide (CH4N2S as raw materials under mild conditions. ATGPA was characterized by infrared (IR spectroscopy, elemental analysis, and scanning electron microscope (SEM. It was found that ATGPA exhibited higher elastic modulus (G′ and viscous modulus (G′′ than AM/AA gel plugging agent (AAGPA under the same scanning frequency. It was also found that ATGPA had moderate temperature resistance and salt tolerance. Core plugging tests results indicated that ATGPA could achieve up to higher plugging rate (PR than AAGPA (97.2% versus 95.7% at 65°C. In addition, ATGPA possessed stronger antiscouring ability by core plugging experiments at 65°C.

  3. Human-agent service matching using natural language queries: system test and training

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pasman, W.; Lindenberg, J.

    2006-01-01

    Smart environments, ambient intelligence and intelligent agents leave the user lost between large amounts of services. Ad-hoc networks, mobile agents and mobile devices make the set of available services dynamic over time and space, increasing the user’s problems to find the service he needs. Earlie

  4. Research on the Preparation and Performance of Binary Modified Maltodextrin Water-Reducing Agent

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingzhi Wu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Using maltodextrin (MD of different dextrose equivalent (DE values, 1,3-propanesultone, and maleic anhydride as raw materials, a novel binary modified maltodextrin (BMMD was synthesized and further applied as a water-reducing agent. Its structure was characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR and UV. The rheological behavior of the sample solution and strengths for concrete were also determined and the adsorption was tested by TOC. The influence of the process parameters to degree of substitution (DS and the dosage on the fluidity of cement paste were investigated. The results show that the optimal conditions of sulfonation were the MD of DE 15, m (sulfonated agent/m (MD of 1.4, the catalyst amount of 1% by mass MD, and the reaction time of 12 h; the optimal conditions of esterification were m (esterified agent/m (SMD of 0.6, the reaction temperature of 90°C, and the reaction time of 4 h. The optimal dosages of sulfonated maltodextrin (SMD and BMMD were 0.475% and 0.45%, respectively. In this dosage, the main dispersion capacity of BMMD attributes to two kinds of anchoring groups (SO3-  &  COO- and the appropriate molecular weight of MD.

  5. Performance Analysis of a Highly Available Home Agent in Mobile Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdelgadir T. Abdelgadir

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: Network Mobility as a service is provided by the NEMO protocol in IPv6 environments. NEMO is an extension to MIPv6 and thus inherits the same reliability problems of MIPv6. MIPv6 is not reliable because the Home Agent (HA is a single point of failure. In order to provide real-time services for MIPv6 networks, reliability should be considered as part of any high availability solution used to deploy Mobile IPv6 networks. Approach: Many approaches have been taken to solve the problem of HA as a single point of failure. In our proposed solution, failure detection and recovery is handled by the home agent. Therefore, recovery is transparent to the mobile network. Results: In this study we opted for using HA redundancy to provide a highly available home agent solution which achieves recovery times suitable for real-time applications. Conclusion: The results show that achieving high availability in IPv6 based mobile networks which support NEMO is possible.

  6. Application of Isothermal Amplification Techniques for Identification of Madurella mycetomatis, the Prevalent Agent of Human Mycetoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Sarah A; van de Sande, Wendy W J; Desnos-Ollivier, Marie; Fahal, Ahmed H; Mhmoud, Najwa A; de Hoog, G S

    2015-10-01

    Appropriate diagnosis and treatment of eumycetoma may vary significantly depending on the causative agent. To date, the most common fungus causing mycetoma worldwide is Madurella mycetomatis. This species fails to express any recognizable morphological characteristics, and reliable identification can therefore only be achieved with the application of molecular techniques. Recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) are proposed as alternatives to phenotypic methods. Species-specific primers were developed to target the ribosomal DNA (rDNA) internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of M. mycetomatis. Both isothermal amplification techniques showed high specificity and sufficient sensitivity to amplify fungal DNA and proved to be appropriate for detection of M. mycetomatis. Diagnostic performance of the techniques was assessed in comparison to conventional PCR using biopsy specimens from eumycetoma patients. RPA is reliable and easy to operate and has the potential to be implemented in areas where mycetoma is endemic. The techniques may be expanded to detect fungal DNA from environmental samples. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  7. HUMAN TOXOPLASMOSIS OUTBREAKS AND THE AGENT INFECTING FORM. FINDINGS FROM A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW

    Science.gov (United States)

    MEIRELES, Luciana Regina; EKMAN, Claudio Cesar Jaguaribe; de ANDRADE, Heitor Franco; LUNA, Expedito José de Albuquerque

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Toxoplasmosis, a worldwide highly prevalent zoonotic infection, is transmitted either by the oocysts, from water and soil, or the tissue cysts, in raw or undercooked infected meat, of Toxoplasma gondii. An ongoing debate is whether there are differences between the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of the outbreaks due to one or the other infective form of the agent. We performed a systematic review, recovering 437 reported outbreaks of which 38 were selected. They were complete reports containing ascribedToxoplasma infecting form, and clinical and demographic data. There was no gender or age group selection in the outbreaks, which were described more often in the Americas. A large number of individuals were affected when oocysts, associated with soil and water contaminated with cat feces, were considered the transmission source. Onset of symptoms occurred early when the infection was ascribed to meat tissue cysts (11.4 ± 6.7 days) with sharpened temporal distribution of cases, while a broader and prolonged appearance of new cases was observed when oocysts in water were the source of the infection (20 ± 7 days, p < 0.001). Such information may be useful in the design and implementation of control strategies. PMID:26603222

  8. Using the spectral induced polarization method to assess biochar performance as a remediation agent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ntarlagiannis, D.; Kirmizakis, P.; Kalderis, D.; Soupios, P. M.

    2016-12-01

    Olive mill waste-water (OMW), the waste product of olive oil production, typically holds a high concentration of hazardous substances (e.g. phenols) to humans and the environment. OMW is usually disposed of into unregulated, not properly constructed, evaporation ponds in the close vicinity of the olive mil. Efficient, easy to apply, remediation methods are sought to address the impact of uncontrolled OMW in the Mediterranean region. Biochar amended soils could be used to reduce the detrimental effects of OMW since it has been shown to reduce the organic load of impacted soils. We present results from a laboratory experiment designed [a] to treat OMW using biochar, and [b] utilize the spectral induced polarization (SIP) method to monitor the remediation process. Three biochar amended columns (5%, 10%, 25%) and one control were saturated with OMW from the Alikianos waste pond. After 10 day treatment the organic load was reduced on all biochar amended columns, with the 10% showing the highest reduction. Early results indicate aerobic degradation at the initial treatment stages, followed by anaerobic conditions later. SIP monitoring provides some very interesting results, with the real and imaginary components behaving differently. The real conductivity appears to increase significantly only for the 10% biochar column, the one with highest organic load removal. Imaginary conductivity appears to increase with time in all biochar amended columns, and it seems to be affected by the amount of biochar present. Finally, scaning electron microscopy (SEM) showed no alterations on the physical structure of the biochar, potentially allowing for multiple treatments and/or re-using. These early results suggest that biochar is suitable for OMW treatment, and SIP is sensitive to the remediation processes. Overall, the method is simple to set-up, run and monitor and does not require any safety precautions. Further geochemical analysis is performed to provide additional insight on OMW

  9. Acquisition of anoikis resistance in human osteosarcoma cells does not alter sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McIntyre Bradley W

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Chemotherapy-induced cell death can involve the induction of apoptosis. Thus, aberrant function of the pathways involved might result in chemoresistance. Since cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix acts as a survival factor that homeostatically maintains normal tissue architecture, it was tested whether acquisition of resistance to deadhesion-induced apoptosis (anoikis in human osteosarcoma would result in resistance to chemotherapy. Methods Osteosarcoma cell lines (SAOS-2 and TE-85 obtained from ATCC and were maintained in complete Eagle's MEM medium. Suspension culture was established by placing cells in tissue culture wells coated with poly-HEMA. Cell cytotoxicity was determined using a live/dead cytotoxicity assay. Cell cycle/apoptosis analyses were performed using propidium iodide (PI staining with subsequent FACS analysis. Apoptosis was also assayed by Annexin-FITC/PI staining. Results Etoposide, adriamycin, vinblastine, cisplatin and paclitaxel were able to induce apoptosis in human osteosarcoma cells SAOS-2 regardless of their anoikis resistance phenotype or the culture conditions (adhered vs. suspended. Moreover, suspended anoikis resistant TE-85 cells (TE-85ar retained their sensitivity to chemotherapy as well. Conclusion Acquisition of anoikis resistance in human osteosarcoma cells does not result in a generalized resistance to all apoptotic stimuli, including chemotherapy. Moreover, our results suggest that the pathways regulating anoikis resistance and chemotherapy resistance might involve the action of different mediators.

  10. Classification of alarm processing techniques and human performance issues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, I.S.; O' Hara, J.M.

    1993-01-01

    Human factors reviews indicate that conventional alarm systems based on the one sensor, one alarm approach, have many human engineering deficiencies, a paramount example being too many alarms during major disturbances. As an effort to resolve these deficiencies, various alarm processing systems have been developed using different techniques. To ensure their contribution to operational safety, the impacts of those systems on operating crew performance should be carefully evaluated. This paper briefly reviews some of the human factors research issues associated with alarm processing techniques and then discusses a framework with which to classify the techniques. The dimensions of this framework can be used to explore the effects of alarm processing systems on human performance.

  11. Classification of alarm processing techniques and human performance issues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, I.S.; O`Hara, J.M.

    1993-05-01

    Human factors reviews indicate that conventional alarm systems based on the one sensor, one alarm approach, have many human engineering deficiencies, a paramount example being too many alarms during major disturbances. As an effort to resolve these deficiencies, various alarm processing systems have been developed using different techniques. To ensure their contribution to operational safety, the impacts of those systems on operating crew performance should be carefully evaluated. This paper briefly reviews some of the human factors research issues associated with alarm processing techniques and then discusses a framework with which to classify the techniques. The dimensions of this framework can be used to explore the effects of alarm processing systems on human performance.

  12. Hybrid membrane using polyethersulfone-modification of multiwalled carbon nanotubes with silane agent to enhance high performance oxygen separation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tutuk Djoko Kusworo

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Mixed matrix membrane comprising carbon nanotubes embedded in polymer matrix have become one of the emerging technologies. This study was investigated in order to study the effect of silane agent modification towards carbon nanotubes (CNT surface at different concentration on oxygen enrichment performances of asymmetric mixed matrix membrane. The modified carbon nanotubes were prepared by treating the carbon nanotubes with chemical modification using Dynasylan Ameo (DA silane agent to allow PES chains to be grafted on carbon nanotubes surface. The results from the FESEM, DSC and FTIR analysis confirmed that chemical modification on carbon nanotubes surface had taken place. Sieve-in-a-cage’ morphology observed shows the poor adhesion between polymer and unmodified CNT. The gas separation performance of the asymmetric flat sheet mixed matrix membranes with modified CNT were relatively higher compared to the unmodified CNT. Hence, coated hollow fiber mixed matrix membrane with chemical modification on CNT surface using (3-aminopropyl-triethoxy methyl silane agent can potentially enhance the gas separation performance of O2 and N2.

  13. Human capital measures, strategy and performance: HR managers' perceptions

    OpenAIRE

    Gates, Stephen; Langevin, Pascal

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to report the results of a survey and interviews with human resource (HR) professionals to identify and better understand their perceptions and expectations of human capital measures' (HCM) content, links to strategy, and impact on performance. This paper relies on a quantitative analysis of survey questionnaires collected from 104 HR executives, as well as on a qualitative investigation using six interviews. Two types of HCM are derived using principal component ...

  14. DMSO inhibits human platelet activation through cyclooxygenase-1 inhibition. A novel agent for drug eluting stents?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asmis, Lars [Institute for Clinical Hematology, University Hospital Zuerich, Zuerich (Switzerland); Tanner, Felix C. [Cardiovascular Research, Physiology Institute, University of Zuerich, Zuerich (Switzerland); Center for Integrative Human Physiology, University of Zuerich, Zuerich (Switzerland); Cardiology, Cardiovascular Center, University Hospital Zuerich, Zuerich (Switzerland); Sudano, Isabella [Cardiology, Cardiovascular Center, University Hospital Zuerich, Zuerich (Switzerland); Luescher, Thomas F. [Cardiovascular Research, Physiology Institute, University of Zuerich, Zuerich (Switzerland); Center for Integrative Human Physiology, University of Zuerich, Zuerich (Switzerland); Cardiology, Cardiovascular Center, University Hospital Zuerich, Zuerich (Switzerland); Camici, Giovanni G., E-mail: giovannic@access.uzh.ch [Cardiovascular Research, Physiology Institute, University of Zuerich, Zuerich (Switzerland); Center for Integrative Human Physiology, University of Zuerich, Zuerich (Switzerland)

    2010-01-22

    Background: DMSO is routinely infused together with hematopoietic cells in patients undergoing myeloablative therapy and was recently found to inhibit smooth muscle cells proliferation and arterial thrombus formation in the mouse by preventing tissue factor (TF), a key activator of the coagulation cascade. This study was designed to investigate whether DMSO prevents platelet activation and thus, whether it may represent an interesting agent to be used on drug eluting stents. Methods and results: Human venous blood from healthy volunteers was collected in citrated tubes and platelet activation was studied by cone and platelet analyzer (CPA) and rapid-platelet-function-assay (RPFA). CPA analysis showed that DMSO-treated platelets exhibit a lower adherence in response to shear stress (-15.54 {+-} 0.9427%, n = 5, P < 0.0001 versus control). Additionally, aggregometry studies revealed that DMSO-treated, arachidonate-stimulated platelets had an increased lag phase (18.0% {+-} 4.031, n = 9, P = 0.0004 versus control) as well as a decreased maximal aggregation (-6.388 {+-} 2.212%, n = 6, P = 0.0162 versus control). Inhibitory action of DMSO could be rescued by exogenous thromboxane A2 and was mediated, at least in part, by COX-1 inhibition. Conclusions: Clinically relevant concentrations of DMSO impair platelet activation by a thromboxane A2-dependent, COX-1-mediated effect. This finding may be crucial for the previously reported anti-thrombotic property displayed by DMSO. Our findings support a role for DMSO as a novel drug to prevent not only proliferation, but also thrombotic complications of drug eluting stents.

  15. The human milk protein-lipid complex HAMLET sensitizes bacterial pathogens to traditional antimicrobial agents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura R Marks

    Full Text Available The fight against antibiotic resistance is one of the most significant challenges to public health of our time. The inevitable development of resistance following the introduction of novel antibiotics has led to an urgent need for the development of new antibacterial drugs with new mechanisms of action that are not susceptible to existing resistance mechanisms. One such compound is HAMLET, a natural complex from human milk that kills Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus using a mechanism different from common antibiotics and is immune to resistance-development. In this study we show that sublethal concentrations of HAMLET potentiate the effect of common antibiotics (penicillins, macrolides, and aminoglycosides against pneumococci. Using MIC assays and short-time killing assays we dramatically reduced the concentrations of antibiotics needed to kill pneumococci, especially for antibiotic-resistant strains that in the presence of HAMLET fell into the clinically sensitive range. Using a biofilm model in vitro and nasopharyngeal colonization in vivo, a combination of HAMLET and antibiotics completely eradicated both biofilms and colonization in mice of both antibiotic-sensitive and resistant strains, something each agent alone was unable to do. HAMLET-potentiation of antibiotics was partially due to increased accessibility of antibiotics to the bacteria, but relied more on calcium import and kinase activation, the same activation pathway HAMLET uses when killing pneumococci by itself. Finally, the sensitizing effect was not confined to species sensitive to HAMLET. The HAMLET-resistant respiratory species Acinetobacter baumanii and Moraxella catarrhalis were all sensitized to various classes of antibiotics in the presence of HAMLET, activating the same mechanism as in pneumococci. Combined these results suggest the presence of a conserved HAMLET-activated pathway that circumvents antibiotic resistance in bacteria. The ability to activate this

  16. The Human Milk Protein-Lipid Complex HAMLET Sensitizes Bacterial Pathogens to Traditional Antimicrobial Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marks, Laura R.; Clementi, Emily A.; Hakansson, Anders P.

    2012-01-01

    The fight against antibiotic resistance is one of the most significant challenges to public health of our time. The inevitable development of resistance following the introduction of novel antibiotics has led to an urgent need for the development of new antibacterial drugs with new mechanisms of action that are not susceptible to existing resistance mechanisms. One such compound is HAMLET, a natural complex from human milk that kills Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus) using a mechanism different from common antibiotics and is immune to resistance-development. In this study we show that sublethal concentrations of HAMLET potentiate the effect of common antibiotics (penicillins, macrolides, and aminoglycosides) against pneumococci. Using MIC assays and short-time killing assays we dramatically reduced the concentrations of antibiotics needed to kill pneumococci, especially for antibiotic-resistant strains that in the presence of HAMLET fell into the clinically sensitive range. Using a biofilm model in vitro and nasopharyngeal colonization in vivo, a combination of HAMLET and antibiotics completely eradicated both biofilms and colonization in mice of both antibiotic-sensitive and resistant strains, something each agent alone was unable to do. HAMLET-potentiation of antibiotics was partially due to increased accessibility of antibiotics to the bacteria, but relied more on calcium import and kinase activation, the same activation pathway HAMLET uses when killing pneumococci by itself. Finally, the sensitizing effect was not confined to species sensitive to HAMLET. The HAMLET-resistant respiratory species Acinetobacter baumanii and Moraxella catarrhalis were all sensitized to various classes of antibiotics in the presence of HAMLET, activating the same mechanism as in pneumococci. Combined these results suggest the presence of a conserved HAMLET-activated pathway that circumvents antibiotic resistance in bacteria. The ability to activate this pathway may extend

  17. The human milk protein-lipid complex HAMLET sensitizes bacterial pathogens to traditional antimicrobial agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marks, Laura R; Clementi, Emily A; Hakansson, Anders P

    2012-01-01

    The fight against antibiotic resistance is one of the most significant challenges to public health of our time. The inevitable development of resistance following the introduction of novel antibiotics has led to an urgent need for the development of new antibacterial drugs with new mechanisms of action that are not susceptible to existing resistance mechanisms. One such compound is HAMLET, a natural complex from human milk that kills Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus) using a mechanism different from common antibiotics and is immune to resistance-development. In this study we show that sublethal concentrations of HAMLET potentiate the effect of common antibiotics (penicillins, macrolides, and aminoglycosides) against pneumococci. Using MIC assays and short-time killing assays we dramatically reduced the concentrations of antibiotics needed to kill pneumococci, especially for antibiotic-resistant strains that in the presence of HAMLET fell into the clinically sensitive range. Using a biofilm model in vitro and nasopharyngeal colonization in vivo, a combination of HAMLET and antibiotics completely eradicated both biofilms and colonization in mice of both antibiotic-sensitive and resistant strains, something each agent alone was unable to do. HAMLET-potentiation of antibiotics was partially due to increased accessibility of antibiotics to the bacteria, but relied more on calcium import and kinase activation, the same activation pathway HAMLET uses when killing pneumococci by itself. Finally, the sensitizing effect was not confined to species sensitive to HAMLET. The HAMLET-resistant respiratory species Acinetobacter baumanii and Moraxella catarrhalis were all sensitized to various classes of antibiotics in the presence of HAMLET, activating the same mechanism as in pneumococci. Combined these results suggest the presence of a conserved HAMLET-activated pathway that circumvents antibiotic resistance in bacteria. The ability to activate this pathway may extend

  18. Human task animation from performance models and natural language input

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esakov, Jeffrey; Badler, Norman I.; Jung, Moon

    1989-01-01

    Graphical manipulation of human figures is essential for certain types of human factors analyses such as reach, clearance, fit, and view. In many situations, however, the animation of simulated people performing various tasks may be based on more complicated functions involving multiple simultaneous reaches, critical timing, resource availability, and human performance capabilities. One rather effective means for creating such a simulation is through a natural language description of the tasks to be carried out. Given an anthropometrically-sized figure and a geometric workplace environment, various simple actions such as reach, turn, and view can be effectively controlled from language commands or standard NASA checklist procedures. The commands may also be generated by external simulation tools. Task timing is determined from actual performance models, if available, such as strength models or Fitts' Law. The resulting action specification are animated on a Silicon Graphics Iris workstation in real-time.

  19. Applying lessons learned to enhance human performance and reduce human error for ISS operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nelson, W.R.

    1998-09-01

    A major component of reliability, safety, and mission success for space missions is ensuring that the humans involved (flight crew, ground crew, mission control, etc.) perform their tasks and functions as required. This includes compliance with training and procedures during normal conditions, and successful compensation when malfunctions or unexpected conditions occur. A very significant issue that affects human performance in space flight is human error. Human errors can invalidate carefully designed equipment and procedures. If certain errors combine with equipment failures or design flaws, mission failure or loss of life can occur. The control of human error during operation of the International Space Station (ISS) will be critical to the overall success of the program. As experience from Mir operations has shown, human performance plays a vital role in the success or failure of long duration space missions. The Department of Energy`s Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) is developed a systematic approach to enhance human performance and reduce human errors for ISS operations. This approach is based on the systematic identification and evaluation of lessons learned from past space missions such as Mir to enhance the design and operation of ISS. This paper describes previous INEEL research on human error sponsored by NASA and how it can be applied to enhance human reliability for ISS.

  20. Effect of peritoneal dialysis fluid containing osmo-metabolic agents on human endothelial cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonomini, Mario; Di Silvestre, Sara; Di Tomo, Pamela; Di Pietro, Natalia; Mandatori, Domitilla; Di Liberato, Lorenzo; Sirolli, Vittorio; Chiarelli, Francesco; Indiveri, Cesare; Pandolfi, Assunta; Arduini, Arduino

    2016-01-01

    Background The use of glucose as the only osmotic agent in peritoneal dialysis (PD) solutions (PDSs) is believed to exert local (peritoneal) and systemic detrimental actions, particularly in diabetic PD patients. To improve peritoneal biocompatibility, we have developed more biocompatible PDSs containing xylitol and carnitine along with significantly less amounts of glucose and have tested them in cultured Human Vein Endothelial Cells (HUVECs) obtained from the umbilical cords of healthy (C) and gestational diabetic (GD) mothers. Methods Primary C- and GD-HUVECs were treated for 72 hours with our PDSs (xylitol 0.7% and 1.5%, whereas carnitine and glucose were fixed at 0.02% and 0.5%, respectively) and two glucose-based PDSs (glucose 1.36% or 2.27%). We examined their effects on endothelial cell proliferation (cell count), viability (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazolyl-2)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay), intracellular nitro-oxidative stress (peroxynitrite levels), Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 and Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 membrane exposure (flow cytometry), and HUVEC-monocyte interactions (U937 adhesion assay). Results Compared to glucose-based PDSs, our in vitro studies demonstrated that the tested PDSs did not change the proliferative potential both in C- and GD-HUVECs. Moreover, our PDSs significantly improved endothelial cell viability, compared to glucose-based PDSs and basal condition. Notably, glucose-based PDSs significantly increased the intracellular peroxynitrite levels, Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 and Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 membrane exposure, and endothelial cell–monocyte interactions in both C- and GD-HUVECs, as compared with our experimental PDSs. Conclusion Present results show that in control and diabetic human endothelial cell models, xylitol–carnitine-based PDSs do not cause cytotoxicity, nitro-oxidative stress, and inflammation as caused by hypertonic glucose-based PDSs. Since xylitol and carnitine are also known to

  1. Human performance modeling for system of systems analytics.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dixon, Kevin R.; Lawton, Craig R.; Basilico, Justin Derrick; Longsine, Dennis E. (INTERA, Inc., Austin, TX); Forsythe, James Chris; Gauthier, John Henry; Le, Hai D.

    2008-10-01

    A Laboratory-Directed Research and Development project was initiated in 2005 to investigate Human Performance Modeling in a System of Systems analytic environment. SAND2006-6569 and SAND2006-7911 document interim results from this effort; this report documents the final results. The problem is difficult because of the number of humans involved in a System of Systems environment and the generally poorly defined nature of the tasks that each human must perform. A two-pronged strategy was followed: one prong was to develop human models using a probability-based method similar to that first developed for relatively well-understood probability based performance modeling; another prong was to investigate more state-of-art human cognition models. The probability-based modeling resulted in a comprehensive addition of human-modeling capability to the existing SoSAT computer program. The cognitive modeling resulted in an increased understanding of what is necessary to incorporate cognition-based models to a System of Systems analytic environment.

  2. Orientation toward humans predicts cognitive performance in orang-utans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damerius, Laura A.; Forss, Sofia I. F.; Kosonen, Zaida K.; Willems, Erik P.; Burkart, Judith M.; Call, Josep; Galdikas, Birute M. F.; Liebal, Katja; Haun, Daniel B. M.; van Schaik, Carel P.

    2017-01-01

    Non-human animals sometimes show marked intraspecific variation in their cognitive abilities that may reflect variation in external inputs and experience during the developmental period. We examined variation in exploration and cognitive performance on a problem-solving task in a large sample of captive orang-utans (Pongo abelii & P. pygmaeus, N = 103) that had experienced different rearing and housing conditions during ontogeny, including human exposure. In addition to measuring exploration and cognitive performance, we also conducted a set of assays of the subjects’ psychological orientation, including reactions towards an unfamiliar human, summarized in the human orientation index (HOI), and towards novel food and objects. Using generalized linear mixed models we found that the HOI, rather than rearing background, best predicted both exploration and problem-solving success. Our results suggest a cascade of processes: human orientation was accompanied by a change in motivation towards problem-solving, expressed in reduced neophobia and increased exploration variety, which led to greater experience, and thus eventually to higher performance in the task. We propose that different experiences with humans caused individuals to vary in curiosity and understanding of the physical problem-solving task. We discuss the implications of these findings for comparative studies of cognitive ability. PMID:28067260

  3. Common Kibra alleles are associated with human memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papassotiropoulos, Andreas; Stephan, Dietrich A; Huentelman, Matthew J; Hoerndli, Frederic J; Craig, David W; Pearson, John V; Huynh, Kim-Dung; Brunner, Fabienne; Corneveaux, Jason; Osborne, David; Wollmer, M Axel; Aerni, Amanda; Coluccia, Daniel; Hänggi, Jürgen; Mondadori, Christian R A; Buchmann, Andreas; Reiman, Eric M; Caselli, Richard J; Henke, Katharina; de Quervain, Dominique J-F

    2006-10-20

    Human memory is a polygenic trait. We performed a genome-wide screen to identify memory-related gene variants. A genomic locus encoding the brain protein KIBRA was significantly associated with memory performance in three independent, cognitively normal cohorts from Switzerland and the United States. Gene expression studies showed that KIBRA was expressed in memory-related brain structures. Functional magnetic resonance imaging detected KIBRA allele-dependent differences in hippocampal activations during memory retrieval. Evidence from these experiments suggests a role for KIBRA in human memory.

  4. Minimizing Human Risk: Human Performance Models in the Space Human Factors and Habitability and Behavioral Health and Performance Elements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gore, Brian F.

    2016-01-01

    Human space exploration has never been more exciting than it is today. Human presence to outer worlds is becoming a reality as humans are leveraging much of our prior knowledge to the new mission of going to Mars. Exploring the solar system at greater distances from Earth than ever before will possess some unique challenges, which can be overcome thanks to the advances in modeling and simulation technologies. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is at the forefront of exploring our solar system. NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) focuses on discovering the best methods and technologies that support safe and productive human space travel in the extreme and harsh space environment. HRP uses various methods and approaches to answer questions about the impact of long duration missions on the human in space including: gravity's impact on the human body, isolation and confinement on the human, hostile environments impact on the human, space radiation, and how the distance is likely to impact the human. Predictive models are included in the HRP research portfolio as these models provide valuable insights into human-system operations. This paper will provide an overview of NASA's HRP and will present a number of projects that have used modeling and simulation to provide insights into human-system issues (e.g. automation, habitat design, schedules) in anticipation of space exploration.

  5. A Multi-Agent System for Exon Prediction in Human Sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vignal; Lisacek

    1997-01-01

    Given the problem of identifying exons in new genomic DNA, the sketch of a resolution process was drawn using sequence data and models of site/signal recognition. A multi-agent architecture is used to validate these models and test hypotheses on the chronology of events involved in gene splicing. Information is channelled through a hierarchy of agents. Each type of agent is the result of a successful step in the resolution process. The system does not rely on the compositional bias of coding sequences which is a key feature of current computer methods.

  6. Metabolism of the new nonbenzodiazepine anxiolytic agent, RWJ-51204, in mouse, rat, dog, monkey and human hepatic S9 fractions, and in rats, dogs and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, W N; McKown, L A; Reitz, A B

    2004-01-01

    The in vitro and in vivo metabolism of the nonbenzodiazepine anxiolytic agent, RWJ-51204 was investigated after incubation with mice, rat, dog, monkey, and human hepatic S9 fractions in the presence of NADPH-generating system, and a single oral dose administration to rats (100 mg/kg), dogs (5 mg/kg), and humans (2.5 mg/subject). Plasma and red blood cells (2 h, rat) and urine samples (0-24 h, rat, dog and human) were obtained postdose. Unchanged RWJ-51204 (39-93% of the sample in vitro; dog; 17% in human), M2 glucuronide (16% in human). Pathways 2-4 formed minor/trace oxidized, and dehydrated metabolites. RWJ-51204 is extensively metabolized in vitro (except dog) and in vivo in rats, dogs and humans.

  7. "Dust Devils": Gardening Agents on the Surface of Mars, and Hidden Hazards to Human Exploration?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, J.; Smith, P.; White, B.; Farrell, W.

    1999-01-01

    Dust devils are familiar sites in the and regions of the world: they can produce quite spectacular displays of dust lofting when the vortices scavenge very loose dust from a dry lake bed or from recently disturbed agricultural fields. If one were to arrive at the center of an arid region, take one photograph, or even a series of photographs over a period of several days, then return the images for laboratory analysis, it would be most likely concluded that the region was inactive from an aeolian perspective. No images of general dust movement were obtained, nor were any dust devils "caught on camera" owing to their ephemeral and unpredictable appearance, and the fact that there was deceptively little residue of their actions. If, however, a camera were to take a 360 degree continuous recording over a period of a year, and the film were then to be shown at high speed over a period a several minutes, the impression might be that of a region ravaged by air vorticity and dust movement. Extrapolate this over geological time, and it is possible to visualize dust devils as prime aeolian agents, rather than insignificant vagaries of nature, On Mars, the thin atmosphere permits the surface of the planet to be heated but it does not itself retain heat with the capacity of the earth's atmosphere. This gives rise to greater thermal instability near the surface of Mars as "warm" air pockets diapiritically inject themselves into higher atmospheric layers. Resulting boundary-layer vorticity on Mars might therefore be expected to produce dust devils in abundance, if only seasonally. The spectacular images of dust devils obtained by Pathfinder within its brief functional period on the planet testify to the probability of highly frequent surface vorticity in light of the above reasoning about observational probability. Notably, the Pathfinder devils appeared to be at least a kilometer in height. There are several consequences for the geology of Mars, and for human exploration, if

  8. "Dust Devils": Gardening Agents on the Surface of Mars, and Hidden Hazards to Human Exploration?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, J.; Smith, P.; White, B.; Farrell, W.

    1999-09-01

    Dust devils are familiar sites in the and regions of the world: they can produce quite spectacular displays of dust lofting when the vortices scavenge very loose dust from a dry lake bed or from recently disturbed agricultural fields. If one were to arrive at the center of an arid region, take one photograph, or even a series of photographs over a period of several days, then return the images for laboratory analysis, it would be most likely concluded that the region was inactive from an aeolian perspective. No images of general dust movement were obtained, nor were any dust devils "caught on camera" owing to their ephemeral and unpredictable appearance, and the fact that there was deceptively little residue of their actions. If, however, a camera were to take a 360 degree continuous recording over a period of a year, and the film were then to be shown at high speed over a period a several minutes, the impression might be that of a region ravaged by air vorticity and dust movement. Extrapolate this over geological time, and it is possible to visualize dust devils as prime aeolian agents, rather than insignificant vagaries of nature, On Mars, the thin atmosphere permits the surface of the planet to be heated but it does not itself retain heat with the capacity of the earth's atmosphere. This gives rise to greater thermal instability near the surface of Mars as "warm" air pockets diapiritically inject themselves into higher atmospheric layers. Resulting boundary-layer vorticity on Mars might therefore be expected to produce dust devils in abundance, if only seasonally. The spectacular images of dust devils obtained by Pathfinder within its brief functional period on the planet testify to the probability of highly frequent surface vorticity in light of the above reasoning about observational probability. Notably, the Pathfinder devils appeared to be at least a kilometer in height. There are several consequences for the geology of Mars, and for human exploration, if

  9. "Dust Devils": Gardening Agents on the Surface of Mars, and Hidden Hazards to Human Exploration?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, J.; Smith, P.; White, B.; Farrell, W.

    1999-01-01

    Dust devils are familiar sites in the and regions of the world: they can produce quite spectacular displays of dust lofting when the vortices scavenge very loose dust from a dry lake bed or from recently disturbed agricultural fields. If one were to arrive at the center of an arid region, take one photograph, or even a series of photographs over a period of several days, then return the images for laboratory analysis, it would be most likely concluded that the region was inactive from an aeolian perspective. No images of general dust movement were obtained, nor were any dust devils "caught on camera" owing to their ephemeral and unpredictable appearance, and the fact that there was deceptively little residue of their actions. If, however, a camera were to take a 360 degree continuous recording over a period of a year, and the film were then to be shown at high speed over a period a several minutes, the impression might be that of a region ravaged by air vorticity and dust movement. Extrapolate this over geological time, and it is possible to visualize dust devils as prime aeolian agents, rather than insignificant vagaries of nature, On Mars, the thin atmosphere permits the surface of the planet to be heated but it does not itself retain heat with the capacity of the earth's atmosphere. This gives rise to greater thermal instability near the surface of Mars as "warm" air pockets diapiritically inject themselves into higher atmospheric layers. Resulting boundary-layer vorticity on Mars might therefore be expected to produce dust devils in abundance, if only seasonally. The spectacular images of dust devils obtained by Pathfinder within its brief functional period on the planet testify to the probability of highly frequent surface vorticity in light of the above reasoning about observational probability. Notably, the Pathfinder devils appeared to be at least a kilometer in height. There are several consequences for the geology of Mars, and for human exploration, if

  10. Cooperative Strategies for Enhancing Performance of Photothermal Therapy (PTT) Agent: Optimizing Its Photothermal Conversion and Cell Internalization Ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Baoji; Ma, Chongbo; Ding, Guanyu; Han, Xu; Li, Dan; Wang, Erkang; Wang, Jin

    2017-01-23

    Photothermal conversion ability (PCA) and cell internalization ability (CIA) are two key factors for determining the performance of photothermal agents. The previous studies mostly focus on improving the PCA by exploring new photothermal nanomaterials. Herein, the authors take the hybrids of graphene and gold nanostar (GGN) as an example to investigate the gradually enhanced phototherapy effect by changing the PCA and CIA of photothermal therapy (PTT) agent simultaneously. Based on the GGN, the GGN and the reduced GGN protected by bovine serum albumin (BSA) or BSA-FA (folic acid) are prepared, which are named as GGNB, rGGNB, and rGGNB-FA, respectively. The rGGNB showed an enhanced PCA compared to GGNB, leading to strong cell ablation. On the other hand, the 1,2-dioleoyl-3-trimethylammoniumpropan (DOTAP) can activate the endocytosis and promote the CIA of rGGNB, further help rGGNB to be more internalized into the cells. Finally, rGGNB-FA with the target ability can make itself further internalized into the cells with the aid of DOTAP, which can significantly destroy the cancer cells even at the low laser density of 0.3 W cm(-2) . Therefore, a new angle of view is brought out for researching the PTT agents of high performance.

  11. Correlation between human observer performance and model observer performance in differential phase contrast CT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Ke; Garrett, John [Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1111 Highland Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53705 (United States); Chen, Guang-Hong [Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1111 Highland Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53705 and Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53792 (United States)

    2013-11-15

    Purpose: With the recently expanding interest and developments in x-ray differential phase contrast CT (DPC-CT), the evaluation of its task-specific detection performance and comparison with the corresponding absorption CT under a given radiation dose constraint become increasingly important. Mathematical model observers are often used to quantify the performance of imaging systems, but their correlations with actual human observers need to be confirmed for each new imaging method. This work is an investigation of the effects of stochastic DPC-CT noise on the correlation of detection performance between model and human observers with signal-known-exactly (SKE) detection tasks.Methods: The detectabilities of different objects (five disks with different diameters and two breast lesion masses) embedded in an experimental DPC-CT noise background were assessed using both model and human observers. The detectability of the disk and lesion signals was then measured using five types of model observers including the prewhitening ideal observer, the nonprewhitening (NPW) observer, the nonprewhitening observer with eye filter and internal noise (NPWEi), the prewhitening observer with eye filter and internal noise (PWEi), and the channelized Hotelling observer (CHO). The same objects were also evaluated by four human observers using the two-alternative forced choice method. The results from the model observer experiment were quantitatively compared to the human observer results to assess the correlation between the two techniques.Results: The contrast-to-detail (CD) curve generated by the human observers for the disk-detection experiments shows that the required contrast to detect a disk is inversely proportional to the square root of the disk size. Based on the CD curves, the ideal and NPW observers tend to systematically overestimate the performance of the human observers. The NPWEi and PWEi observers did not predict human performance well either, as the slopes of their CD

  12. Influence of Polyplex Formation on the Performance of Star-Shaped Polycationic Transfection Agents for Mammalian Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Raup

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Genetic modification (“transfection” of mammalian cells using non-viral, synthetic agents such as polycations, is still a challenge. Polyplex formation between the DNA and the polycation is a decisive step in such experiments. Star-shaped polycations have been proposed as superior transfection agents, yet have never before been compared side-by-side, e.g., in view of structural effects. Herein four star-shaped polycationic structures, all based on (2-dimethylamino ethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA building blocks, were investigated for their potential to deliver DNA to adherent (CHO, L929, HEK-293 and non-adherent (Jurkat, primary human T lymphocytes mammalian cells. The investigated vectors included three structures where the PDMAEMA arms (different arm length and grafting densities had been grown from a center silsesquioxane or silica-coated γ-Fe2O3-core and one micellar structure self-assembled from poly(1,2-butadiene-block PDMAEMA polymers. All nano-stars combined high transfection potential with excellent biocompatibility. The micelles slightly outperformed the covalently linked agents. For method development and optimization, the absolute amount of polycation added to the cells was more important than the N/P-ratio (ratio between polycation nitrogen and DNA phosphate, provided a lower limit was passed and enough polycation was present to overcompensate the negative charge of the plasmid DNA. Finally, the matrix (NaCl vs. HEPES-buffered glucose solution, but also the concentrations adjusted during polyplex formation, affected the results.

  13. Performance of humans in concurrent avoidance/positive-reinforcement schedules

    OpenAIRE

    Ruddle, H. V.; Bradshaw, C M; Szabadi, E; Foster, T M

    1982-01-01

    Performance maintained under concurrent schedules consisting of a variable-interval avoidance component and a variable-interval positive-reinforcement component was studied in three human subjects using points exchangeable for money as the reinforcer. The rate of responding in the avoidance component increased, and the rate of responding in the positive-reinforcement component declined, as a function of the frequency of point-losses avoided in the avoidance component. The performance of all t...

  14. The role of multi-agent systems in improving performance of manufacturing robotized cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sękala, A.; Ćwikła, G.; Kost, G.

    2015-11-01

    Present market conditions causes that modern control systems of robotized manufacturing cells should be characterized by the much greater degree of flexibility, selforganization and, above all, adaptability to emerging outer excitations. The phenomenon of information distribution is one of the most important features of modern control systems. In the paper is presented the approach, based on application of multi-agent systems, for supporting the operation of robotized manufacturing cells. The aim of this approach is to obtain the flexible response to outer excitations and preventing situations that might cause the delay of the production process. The presented paper includes description of the concept of an informatics system designed for controlling the work of production systems, including work cells. Such systems could operate independently if it would be equipped with the selforganization mechanism. It is possible in the case of the proposed multi-agent system. The implementation of the presented concept will follow the present analysis of the described concept. The advantage of the proposed concept is its hierarchical depiction that allows integrating different utilized informatics tools in one complex system. It allows preparing the final computer program.

  15. Application of Isothermal Amplification Techniques for Identification of Madurella mycetomatis, the Prevalent Agent of Human Mycetoma

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ahmed, Sarah A; van de Sande, Wendy W J; Desnos-Ollivier, Marie; Fahal, Ahmed H; Mhmoud, Najwa A; de Hoog, G S

    2015-01-01

    Appropriate diagnosis and treatment of eumycetoma may vary significantly depending on the causative agent. To date, the most common fungus causing mycetoma worldwide is Madurella mycetomatis. This species fails to express any recognizable morphological characteristics, and reliable identification ca

  16. An Intelligent Multi-Agent Recommender System for Human Capacity Building

    CERN Document Server

    Marivate, Vukosi N; Marwala, Tshilidzi

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents a Multi-Agent approach to the problem of recommending training courses to engineering professionals. The recommendation system is built as a proof of concept and limited to the electrical and mechanical engineering disciplines. Through user modelling and data collection from a survey, collaborative filtering recommendation is implemented using intelligent agents. The agents work together in recommending meaningful training courses and updating the course information. The system uses a users profile and keywords from courses to rank courses. A ranking accuracy for courses of 90% is achieved while flexibility is achieved using an agent that retrieves information autonomously using data mining techniques from websites. This manner of recommendation is scalable and adaptable. Further improvements can be made using clustering and recording user feedback.

  17. Copper as an antibacterial agent for human pathogenic multidrug resistant Burkholderia cepacia complex bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Muhammad; Wang, Fang; Lou, Miao-miao; Xie, Guan-lin; Li, Bin; Bo, Zhu; Zhang, Gou-qing; Liu, He; Wareth, Abdul

    2011-12-01

    The Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) consists of 17 closely related multidrug resistant bacterial species that are difficult to eradicate. Copper has recently gained attention as an antimicrobial agent because of its inhibitory effects on bacteria, yeast, and viruses. The objective of this study was to evaluate the antibacterial activity of copper surfaces and copper powder against members of the B. cepacia complex. The antibacterial activity of different copper surfaces was evaluated by incubating them with Bcc strain suspensions (5×10(7)cfu/ml). The bacterial survival counts were calculated and the data for various copper surfaces were compared to the data for stainless steel and polyvinylchloride, which were used as control surfaces. The antibacterial activity of copper powder was determined with the diffusimetrical technique and the zone of inhibition was evaluated with paper disks. A single cell gel electrophoresis assay, staining assays, and inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy were performed to determine the mechanism responsible for the bactericidal activity. The results showed a significant decrease in the viable bacterial count after exposure to copper surfaces. Moreover, the copper powder produced a large zone of inhibition and there was a significantly higher influx of copper ions into the bacterial cells that were exposed to copper surfaces compared to the controls. The present study demonstrates that metallic copper has an antibacterial effect against Bcc bacteria and that copper adversely affects the bacterial cellular structure, thus resulting in cell death. These findings suggest that copper could be utilized in health care facilities to reduce the bioburden of Bcc species, which may protect susceptible members of the community from bacterial infection.

  18. In Vitro Efficacy and Mechanistic Role of Indocyanine Green as a Photodynamic Therapy Agent for Human Melanoma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mamoon, A.; Gamal-Eldeen, A; Ruppel, M; Smith, R; Tsang, T; Miller, L

    2009-01-01

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a promising treatment for superficial cancer. However, poor therapeutic results have been reported for melanoma, due to the high melanin content. Indocyanine green (ICG) has near infrared absorption (700-800nm) and melanins do not absorb strongly in this area. This study explores the efficiency of ICG as a PDT agent for human melanoma, and its mechanistic role in the cell death pathway.

  19. Final report for the endowment of simulator agents with human-like episodic memory LDRD.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Speed, Ann Elizabeth; Lippitt, Carl Edward; Thomas, Edward Victor; Xavier, Patrick Gordon; Forsythe, Christi A.; Schaller, Mark J.; Schoenwald, David Alan

    2003-12-01

    This report documents work undertaken to endow the cognitive framework currently under development at Sandia National Laboratories with a human-like memory for specific life episodes. Capabilities have been demonstrated within the context of three separate problem areas. The first year of the project developed a capability whereby simulated robots were able to utilize a record of shared experience to perform surveillance of a building to detect a source of smoke. The second year focused on simulations of social interactions providing a queriable record of interactions such that a time series of events could be constructed and reconstructed. The third year addressed tools to promote desktop productivity, creating a capability to query episodic logs in real time allowing the model of a user to build on itself based on observations of the user's behavior.

  20. Improving public administration performance demands investment in human resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maja Klun

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The paper emphasizes that investments in human resources are one of the important factors for improving public sector performance. In strategic papers of Slovenian government and during the reform process of public administration, government stressed out that human resources are one of the most important factors for improving performance. This is originating point of research. The main hypothesis of presented research is that investments in human resources improve efficiency and effectiveness of public sector. For several reasons explained in the paper, tax administration was chosen to test the hypothesis. We used a number of training participations per employee as an indicator of investments in human resources. For determination of effi ciency and effectiveness, we used selected performance indicators and survey among taxpayers about their satisfaction. The main obstacle of the research is that not long-time series are used for better test of hypothesis since surveys among taxpayers are not regular. The results indicate a positive correlation between training and performance indicators and training and taxpayers’ satisfaction.

  1. Warning signals for poor performance improve human-robot interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brule, R. van den; Bijlstra, G.; Dotsch, R.; Haselager, W.F.G.; Wigboldus, D.H.J.

    2016-01-01

    The present research was aimed at investigating whether human-robot interaction (HRI) can be improved by a robot's nonverbal warning signals. Ideally, when a robot signals that it cannot guarantee good performance, people could take preventive actions to ensure the successful completion of the robot

  2. Warning signals for poor performance improve human-robot interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brule, R. van den; Bijlstra, G.; Dotsch, R.; Haselager, W.F.G.; Wigboldus, D.H.J.

    2016-01-01

    The present research was aimed at investigating whether human-robot interaction (HRI) can be improved by a robot's nonverbal warning signals. Ideally, when a robot signals that it cannot guarantee good performance, people could take preventive actions to ensure the successful completion of the robot

  3. Warning Signals for Poor Performance Improve Human-Robot Interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Brule, Rik; Bijlstra, Gijsbert; Dotsch, Ron; Haselager, Pim; Wigboldus, Daniel HJ

    2016-01-01

    The present research was aimed at investigating whether human-robot interaction (HRI) can be improved by a robot’s nonverbal warning signals. Ideally, when a robot signals that it cannot guarantee good performance, people could take preventive actions to ensure the successful completion of the robot

  4. Warning Signals for Poor Performance Improve Human-Robot Interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Brule, Rik; Bijlstra, Gijsbert; Dotsch, Ron; Haselager, Pim; Wigboldus, Daniel HJ

    2016-01-01

    The present research was aimed at investigating whether human-robot interaction (HRI) can be improved by a robot’s nonverbal warning signals. Ideally, when a robot signals that it cannot guarantee good performance, people could take preventive actions to ensure the successful completion of the robot

  5. The E-business Revolution and Human Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmon, Paul

    2001-01-01

    Provides an overview of the electronic business (e-business) revolution and suggests ways it will affect human performance improvement professionals. Highlights include customer reliance on the Web; use of the Internet and associated software to link employees, applications, and companies; information access and sharing; business-to-consumer and…

  6. Warning signals for poor performance improve human-robot interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brule, R. van den; Bijlstra, G.; Dotsch, R.; Haselager, W.F.G.; Wigboldus, D.H.J.

    2016-01-01

    The present research was aimed at investigating whether human-robot interaction (HRI) can be improved by a robot's nonverbal warning signals. Ideally, when a robot signals that it cannot guarantee good performance, people could take preventive actions to ensure the successful completion of the

  7. Human performance modeling for system of systems analytics :soldier fatigue.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lawton, Craig R.; Campbell, James E.; Miller, Dwight Peter

    2005-10-01

    The military has identified Human Performance Modeling (HPM) as a significant requirement and challenge of future systems modeling and analysis initiatives as can be seen in the Department of Defense's (DoD) Defense Modeling and Simulation Office's (DMSO) Master Plan (DoD 5000.59-P 1995). To this goal, the military is currently spending millions of dollars on programs devoted to HPM in various military contexts. Examples include the Human Performance Modeling Integration (HPMI) program within the Air Force Research Laboratory, which focuses on integrating HPMs with constructive models of systems (e.g. cockpit simulations) and the Navy's Human Performance Center (HPC) established in September 2003. Nearly all of these initiatives focus on the interface between humans and a single system. This is insufficient in the era of highly complex network centric SoS. This report presents research and development in the area of HPM in a system-of-systems (SoS). Specifically, this report addresses modeling soldier fatigue and the potential impacts soldier fatigue can have on SoS performance.

  8. Driving Performance Improvements by Integrating Competencies with Human Resource Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jin Gu; Park, Yongho; Yang, Gi Hun

    2010-01-01

    This study explores the issues in the development and application of a competency model and provides implications for more precise integration of competencies into human resource (HR) functions driving performance improvement. This research is based on a case study from a Korean consumer corporation. This study employed document reviews,…

  9. Contextual Control of Extinguished Conditioned Performance in Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havermans, Remco C.; Keuker, Jantien; Lataster, Timeke; Jansen, Anita

    2005-01-01

    Animal research has shown that extinguished conditioned performance is modulated by the environmental context in which extinction treatment has occurred. When the conditioned stimulus is presented outside the extinction context, conditioned responding is renewed. In two experiments, whether a renewal effect can also be found in humans was…

  10. Synthesizing Soft Systems Methodology and Human Performance Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Glen; Winiecki, Donald J.

    2012-01-01

    Human performance technology (HPT), like other concepts, models, and frameworks that we use to describe the world in which we live and the way we organize ourselves to accomplish valuable activities, is built from paradigms that were fresh and relevant at the time it was conceived and from the fields of study from which it grew. However, when the…

  11. Alignment of Human Resource Practices and Teacher Performance Competency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heneman III, Herbert G.; Milanowski, Anthony T.

    2004-01-01

    In this article, we argue that human resource (HR) management practices are important components of strategies for improving student achievement in an accountability environment. We present a framework illustrating the alignment of educational HR management practices to a teacher performance competency model, which in turn is aligned with student…

  12. Driving Performance Improvements by Integrating Competencies with Human Resource Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jin Gu; Park, Yongho; Yang, Gi Hun

    2010-01-01

    This study explores the issues in the development and application of a competency model and provides implications for more precise integration of competencies into human resource (HR) functions driving performance improvement. This research is based on a case study from a Korean consumer corporation. This study employed document reviews,…

  13. Human Governance: A Neglected Mantra for Continuous Performance Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salleh, Arfah; Ahmad, Aziuddin; Kumar, Naresh

    2009-01-01

    Every individual should be entrusted with an internal driver to strive their best towards achieving their potential and to manifest their performance through innovative means. This can be reached only under circumstances where the abstract human values and principles are recognized and indoctrinated in the culture. The strategies discussed in this…

  14. Application of Data Collection Techniques by Human Performance Technology Practitioners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Minjing

    2011-01-01

    By content-analyzing 22 published cases from a variety of professional and academic books and journals, this study examines the status quo of human performance technology (HPT) practitioners' application of five major data collection techniques in their everyday work: questionnaire, interview, focus group, observation, and document collection. The…

  15. THERMOREGULATION AND HUMAN PERFORMANCE: PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BIOLOGICAL ASPECTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank E Marino

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Vol 53 (Medicine & Sport Science This collection on the latest interpretation of research data about the relationship between thermoregulation, exercise performance and fatigue is published as the 53rd volume of Medicine and Sport Science Journal. PURPOSE The book aims to explain how the advances in technology and methodology allowed studying the affects of the changing body temperature on metabolism and the role played by the nervous system in shaping human performance under challenging thermal situations. FEATURES This publication provides different interpretations of recent research for a better understanding of the limitations of thermoregulation in nine titles. The presented titles are: The Evolutionary Basis of Thermoregulation and Exercise Performance; Comparative Thermoregulation and the Quest for Athletic Supremacy; Thermoregulation, Fatigue and Exercise Modality; Neuromuscular Response to Exercise Heat Stress; Intestinal Barrier Dysfunction, Endotoxemia and Gastrointestinal Symptoms: The 'Canary in the Coal Mine' during Exercise-Heat Stress?; Effects of Peripheral Cooling on Characteristics of Local Muscle; Cooling Interventions for the Protection and Recovery of Exercise Performance from Exercise-Induced Heat Stress; Ethnicity and Temperature Regulation; Exercise Heat Stress and Metabolism. The evidence for the human's ability to adjust their performance according to the thermal limits in order to preserve cellular homeostasis is particularly noteworthy. AUDIENCE This is a fundamental book for any students and/or researchers involved in the fields of medicine, exercise physiology and human performance with special reference to thermal regulation. ASSESSMENT This publication is a must-read text for all those working in thermal medicine, exercise physiology and human performance fields

  16. [Reflections around the performance of community health agents in oral health strategies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Holanda, Ana Larissa Fernandes; Barbosa, Aldenísia Alves de Albuquerque; Brito, Ewerton William Gomes

    2009-10-01

    The Community Health Agent (CHA) has traditionally been linked to doctors and nurses, being considered exclusive 'property' of these professionals. Historically, oral health tended to operate isolated, disconnecting the mouth from the rest of the body and the individual from his environment. The Family Health Program (FHP) points to important changes in the organization of services as well as in the work process. One of the differences is the teamwork joining different professionals, including oral health which was previously excluded. The objective of the study is to show the experience of the CHA qualifying course, which allowed the entrance of different professional categories into teaching. The course included three odontologists as lecturers, and CHA recognized other individuals as health team members, as well as expand the view of its role within oral health. The professors also had their practices modified, given that they could understand the often ignored suffering and limitations of the CHAs.

  17. Relationship between alertness, performance, and body temperature in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Kenneth P Jr; Hull, Joseph T.; Czeisler, Charles A.

    2002-01-01

    Body temperature has been reported to influence human performance. Performance is reported to be better when body temperature is high/near its circadian peak and worse when body temperature is low/near its circadian minimum. We assessed whether this relationship between performance and body temperature reflects the regulation of both the internal biological timekeeping system and/or the influence of body temperature on performance independent of circadian phase. Fourteen subjects participated in a forced desynchrony protocol allowing assessment of the relationship between body temperature and performance while controlling for circadian phase and hours awake. Most neurobehavioral measures varied as a function of internal biological time and duration of wakefulness. A number of performance measures were better when body temperature was elevated, including working memory, subjective alertness, visual attention, and the slowest 10% of reaction times. These findings demonstrate that an increased body temperature, associated with and independent of internal biological time, is correlated with improved performance and alertness. These results support the hypothesis that body temperature modulates neurobehavioral function in humans.

  18. Social performance cues induce behavioral flexibility in humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulf eToelch

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Behavioral flexibility allows individuals to react to environmental changes, but changing established behavior carries costs, with unknown benefits. Individuals may thus modify their behavioral flexibility according to the prevailing circumstances. Social information provided by the performance level of others provides one possible cue to assess the potential benefits of changing behavior, since out-performance in similar circumstances indicates that novel behaviors (innovations are potentially useful. We demonstrate that social performance cues, in the form of previous players’ scores in a problem-solving computer game, influence behavioral flexibility. Participants viewed only performance indicators, not the innovative behavior of others. While performance cues (high, low, or no scores had little effect on innovation discovery rates, participants that viewed high scores increased their utilization of innovations, allowing them to exploit the virtual environment more effectively than players viewing low or no scores. Perceived conspecific performance can thus shape human decisions to adopt novel traits, even when the traits employed cannot be copied. This simple mechanism, social performance feedback, could be a driver of both the facultative adoption of innovations and cumulative cultural evolution, processes critical to human success.

  19. Designing The Human Resource Scorecard as a Performance Measurement of Human Resource

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erlinda Muslim

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract. This study discusses the importance of performance measurement in a company because it can be used to assess the success of the company. The purpose of this study is to design and measure the performance of a MIGAS company using the Human Resource Scorecard approach by establishing the priority weight of strategic objectives and Key Performance Indicators on the Strategy Map through the Analytical Network Process. Results of this study are acquiring 16 strategic objectives, and 20 leading indicators and 17 lag ging indicators. Results of the priority weight show that the company is more focused on the operational perspective, then the financial perspective, strategic perspective, and the last is the customer perspective. From the design and measurement results obtained from this study, a plan of the Human Resource Scorecard design was created that can be used by the company. Keywords: performance measurement, human resource scorecard, strategy map, key performance indicator, analytical network process

  20. Perceiving the Social: A Multi-Agent System to Support Human Navigation in Foreign Communities

    CERN Document Server

    Kryssanov, Victor V; Goncharenko, Igor; Ogawa, Hitoshi; 10.4018/jssci.2010101902

    2010-01-01

    This paper describes a system developed to help people explore local communities by providing navigation services in social spaces created by the community members via communication and knowledge sharing. The proposed system utilizes data of a community's social network to reconstruct the social space, which is otherwise not physically perceptible but imaginary, experiential, yet learnable. The social space is modeled with an agent network, where each agent stands for a member of the community and has knowledge about expertise and personal characteristics of some other members. An agent can gather information, using its social "connections", to find community members most suitable to communicate to in a specific situation defined by the system's user. The system then deploys its multimodal interface, which "maps" the social space onto a representation of the relevant physical space, to locate the potential interlocutors and advise the user on an efficient communication strategy for the given community.

  1. Iron oxide nanorods as high-performance magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohapatra, Jeotikanta; Mitra, Arijit; Tyagi, Himanshu; Bahadur, D.; Aslam, M.

    2015-05-01

    An efficient magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent with a high R2 relaxivity value is achieved by controlling the shape of iron oxide to rod like morphology with a length of 30-70 nm and diameter of 4-12 nm. Fe3O4 nanorods of 70 nm length, encapsulated with polyethyleneimine show a very high R2 relaxivity value of 608 mM-1 s-1. The enhanced MRI contrast of nanorods is attributed to their higher surface area and anisotropic morphology. The higher surface area induces a stronger magnetic field perturbation over a larger volume more effectively for the outer sphere protons. The shape anisotropy contribution is understood by calculating the local magnetic field of nanorods and spherical nanoparticles under an applied magnetic field (3 Tesla). As compared to spherical geometry, the induced magnetic field of a rod is stronger and hence the stronger magnetic field over a large volume leads to a higher R2 relaxivity of nanorods.An efficient magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent with a high R2 relaxivity value is achieved by controlling the shape of iron oxide to rod like morphology with a length of 30-70 nm and diameter of 4-12 nm. Fe3O4 nanorods of 70 nm length, encapsulated with polyethyleneimine show a very high R2 relaxivity value of 608 mM-1 s-1. The enhanced MRI contrast of nanorods is attributed to their higher surface area and anisotropic morphology. The higher surface area induces a stronger magnetic field perturbation over a larger volume more effectively for the outer sphere protons. The shape anisotropy contribution is understood by calculating the local magnetic field of nanorods and spherical nanoparticles under an applied magnetic field (3 Tesla). As compared to spherical geometry, the induced magnetic field of a rod is stronger and hence the stronger magnetic field over a large volume leads to a higher R2 relaxivity of nanorods. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr00055f

  2. Anti-tumor effect of a novel soluble recombinant human endostatin: administered as a single agent or in combination with chemotherapy agents in mouse tumor models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhihua Ren

    Full Text Available Angiogenesis has become an attractive target in cancer treatment. Endostatin is one of the potent anti-angiogenesis agents. Its recombinant form expressed in the yeast system is currently under clinical trials. Endostatin suppresses tumor formation through the inhibition of blood vessel growth. It is anticipated that combined therapy using endostatin and cytotoxic compounds may exert an additive effect. In the present study, we expressed and purified recombinant human endostatin (rhEndostatin that contained 3 additional amino acid residues (arginine, glycine, and serine at the amino-terminus and 6 histidine residues in its carboxyl terminus. The recombinant protein was expressed in E. Coli and refolded into a soluble form in a large scale purification process. The protein exhibited a potent anti-tumor activity in bioassays. Furthermore, rhEndostatin showed an additive effect with chemotherapy agents including cyclophosphamide (CTX and cisplatin (DDP.rhEndostatin cDNA was cloned into PQE vector and expressed in E. Coli. The protein was refolded through dialysis with an optimized protocol. To establish tumor models, nude mice were subcutaneously injected with human cancer cells (lung carcinoma A549, hepatocellular carcinoma QGY-7703, or breast cancer Bcap37. rhEndostatin and/or DDP was administered peritumorally to evaluate the rate of growth inhibition of A549 tumors. For the tumor metastasis model, mice were injected intravenously with mouse melanoma B16 cells. One day after tumor cell injection, a single dose of rhEndostatin, or in combination with CTX, was administered intravenously or at a site close to the tumor.rhEndostatin reduced the growth of A549, QGY-7703, and Bcap37 xenograft tumors in a dose dependent manner. When it was administered peritumorally, rhEndostatin exhibited a more potent inhibitory activity. Furthermore, rhEndostatin displayed an additive effect with CTX or DDP on the inhibition of metastasis of B16 tumors or growth of

  3. Direct synthesis of magnetite nanoparticles from iron(II) carboxymethylcellulose and their performance as NMR contrast agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Delmarcio Gomes; Hiroshi Toma, Sergio; de Melo, Fernando Menegatti; Carvalho, Larissa Vieira C.; Magalhães, Alvicler; Sabadini, Edvaldo; dos Santos, Antônio Domingues; Araki, Koiti; Toma, e. Henrique E.

    2016-01-01

    Iron(II) carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) has been successfully employed in the synthesis of hydrophylic magnetite nanoparticles stabilized with a biopolymer coating, aiming applications in NMR imaging. The new method encompasses a convenient one-step synthetic procedure, allowing a good size control and yielding particles of about 10 nm (core size). In addition to the biocompatibility, the nanoparticles have promoted a drastic reduction in the transverse relaxation time (T2) of the water protons. The relaxivity rates have been investigated as a function of the nanoparticles concentration, showing a better performance in relation to the common NMR contrast agents available in the market.

  4. Impact of human resource management practices on nursing home performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rondeau, K V; Wagar, T H

    2001-08-01

    Management scholars and practitioners alike have become increasingly interested in learning more about the ability of certain 'progressive' or 'high-performance' human resource management (HRM) practices to enhance organizational effectiveness. There is growing evidence to suggest that the contribution of various HRM practices to impact firm performance may be synergistic in effect yet contingent on a number of contextual factors, including workplace climate. A contingency theory perspective suggests that in order to be effective, HMR policies and practices must be consistent with other aspects of the organization, including its environment. This paper reports on empirical findings from research that examines the relationship between HRM practices, workplace climate and perceptions of organizational performance, in a large sample of Canadian nursing homes. Data from 283 nursing homes were collected by means of a mail survey that included questions on HRM practices, programmes, and policies, on human resource aspects of workplace climate, as well as a variety of indicators that include employee, customer/resident and facility measures of organizational performance. Results derived from ordered probit analysis suggest that nursing homes in our sample which had implemented more 'progressive' HRM practices and which reported a workplace climate that strongly values employee participation, empowerment and accountability tended to be perceived to generally perform better on a number of valued organizational outcomes. Nursing homes in our sample that performed best overall were found to be more likely to not only have implemented more of these HRM practices, but also to report having a workplace climate that reflects the seminal value that it places on its human resources. This finding is consistent with the conclusion that simply introducing HRM practices or programmes, in the absence of an appropriately supportive workplace climate, will be insufficient to attain

  5. Investigation of human-robot interface performance in household environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cremer, Sven; Mirza, Fahad; Tuladhar, Yathartha; Alonzo, Rommel; Hingeley, Anthony; Popa, Dan O.

    2016-05-01

    Today, assistive robots are being introduced into human environments at an increasing rate. Human environments are highly cluttered and dynamic, making it difficult to foresee all necessary capabilities and pre-program all desirable future skills of the robot. One approach to increase robot performance is semi-autonomous operation, allowing users to intervene and guide the robot through difficult tasks. To this end, robots need intuitive Human-Machine Interfaces (HMIs) that support fine motion control without overwhelming the operator. In this study we evaluate the performance of several interfaces that balance autonomy and teleoperation of a mobile manipulator for accomplishing several household tasks. Our proposed HMI framework includes teleoperation devices such as a tablet, as well as physical interfaces in the form of piezoresistive pressure sensor arrays. Mobile manipulation experiments were performed with a sensorized KUKA youBot, an omnidirectional platform with a 5 degrees of freedom (DOF) arm. The pick and place tasks involved navigation and manipulation of objects in household environments. Performance metrics included time for task completion and position accuracy.

  6. Modulation of phenotype and function of human CD4+CD25+ T regulatory lymphocytes mediated by cAMP elevating agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonella Riccomi

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available We have shown that Cholera Toxin (CT and other cyclic AMP (cAMP elevating agents induce up-regulation of the inhibitory molecule CTLA-4 in human resting CD4+ T lymphocytes, which following the treatment acquired suppressive functions. In this study, we evaluated the effect of cAMP elevating agents on human CD4+CD25+ T cells, which include the T regulatory (Treg cells that play a pivotal role in the maintenance of immunological tolerance. We found that cAMP elevating agents induce up-regulation of CTLA-4 in CD4+CD25- and further enhance its expression in CD4+CD25+ T cells. We observed an increase of two isoforms of mRNA coding for the membrane and the soluble CTLA-4 molecules, suggesting that the regulation of CTLA-4 expression by cAMP is at the transcriptional level. In addition, we found that the increase of cAMP in CD4+CD25+ T cells converts the CD4+CD25+Foxp3- T cells in CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cells, whereas the increase of cAMP in CD4+CD25- T cells did not up-regulate Foxp3 in the absence of activation stimuli. To investigate the function of these cells, we performed an in vitro suppression assay by culturing CD4+CD25+ T cells untreated or pre-treated with CT with anti-CD3 mAbs-stimulated autologous PBMC. We found that CT enhances the inhibitory function of CD4+CD25+ T cells, CD4+ and CD8+ T cell proliferation and IFNγ production are strongly inhibited by CD4+CD25+ T cells pre-treated with cAMP elevating agents. Furthermore, we found that CD4+CD25+ T lymphocytes pre-treated with cAMP elevating agents induce the up-regulation of CD80 and CD86 co-stimulatory molecules on immature dendritic cells (DCs in the absence of antigenic stimulation, however without leading to full DC maturation. These data show that the increase of intracellular cAMP modulates the phenotype and function of human CD4+CD25+ T cells.

  7. Comparison of major antigenic proteins of six strains of the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis agent by Western immunoblot analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhi, N; Rikihisa, Y; Kim, H Y; Wormser, G P; Horowitz, H W

    1997-10-01

    The etiologic agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) is an obligate intracellular bacterium. In 1996, blood specimens from 53 patients suspected of having HGE were examined by indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) testing with the HGE agent no. 13 isolate as the antigen, by nested PCR, and by culture. All patients resided in Westchester County, N.Y. Twelve patient specimens were positive for IFA (titer > or = 1:40). Seven of these were also positive by PCR. Of the seven specimens positive by both IFA testing and PCR, the HGE agent was isolated from four (no. 2, 3, 6, and 11) and continuously cultured in HL-60 cells. These were confirmed as the HGE agent by sequencing of 16S rDNA. Both purified whole-cell organisms and the outer membrane fractions of the new isolates were compared with no. 13 isolate and a tick (USG) isolate by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and Western immunoblot analysis. No. 11 and 13 isolates had identical SDS-PAGE patterns with respect to 49- and 47-kDa proteins. No. 3 and USG isolates lacked the 47-kDa protein, and no. 6 isolate lacked the 49-kDa protein. Both 49- and 47-kDa bands were absent in no. 2 isolate. Western blot results with seven different sera, including five convalescent-phase sera from these patients, one dog anti-USG isolate, and one horse anti-BDS isolate, showed that all major antigens in six isolates were recognized by all sera. However, the molecular sizes and the numbers of major antigens recognized varied among the six isolates. Overall, HGE agent no. 3, 6, 11, and 13, and USG isolates had similar patterns, with 1 or 2 major antigens with molecular masses of around 49 and 47 kDa. No. 2 isolate was quite distinct in having a major antigen of 43 kDa. This indicates that although these antigenic epitopes are all cross-reactive among strains, the HGE agent has a strain pleomorphism in its major antigenic proteins. The major antigen profiles of the outer membrane protein fractions

  8. Efficient hydrolysis of the chemical warfare nerve agent tabun by recombinant and purified human and rabbit serum paraoxonase 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valiyaveettil, Manojkumar; Alamneh, Yonas; Biggemann, Lionel; Soojhawon, Iswarduth; Doctor, Bhupendra P; Nambiar, Madhusoodana P

    2010-12-03

    Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) has been described as an efficient catalytic bioscavenger due to its ability to hydrolyze organophosphates (OPs) and chemical warfare nerve agents (CWNAs). It is the future most promising candidate as prophylactic medical countermeasure against highly toxic OPs and CWNAs. Most of the studies conducted so far have been focused on the hydrolyzing potential of PON1 against nerve agents, sarin, soman, and VX. Here, we investigated the hydrolysis of tabun by PON1 with the objective of comparing the hydrolysis potential of human and rabbit serum purified and recombinant human PON1. The hydrolysis potential of PON1 against tabun, sarin, and soman was evaluated by using an acetylcholinesterase (AChE) back-titration Ellman method. Efficient hydrolysis of tabun (100 nM) was observed with ∼25-40 mU of PON1, while higher concentration (80-250 mU) of the enzyme was required for the complete hydrolysis of sarin (11 nM) and soman (3 nM). Our data indicate that tabun hydrolysis with PON1 was ∼30-60 times and ∼200-260 times more efficient than that with sarin and soman, respectively. Moreover, the catalytic activity of PON1 varies from source to source, which also reflects their efficiency of hydrolyzing different types of nerve agents. Thus, efficient hydrolysis of tabun by PON1 suggests its promising potential as a prophylactic treatment against tabun exposure.

  9. Gold nanoparticles synthesized by Brassica oleracea (Broccoli) acting as antimicrobial agents against human pathogenic bacteria and fungi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piruthiviraj, Prakash; Margret, Anita; Krishnamurthy, Poornima Priyadharsani

    2016-04-01

    Production of antimicrobial agents through the synthesis of gold nanoparticles using green technology has been extensively made consistent by various researchers; yet, this study uses the flower bud's aqueous extracts of Brassica oleracea (Broccoli) as a reducing agent for chloroauric acid (1 mM). After 30 min of incubation, synthesis of gold nanoparticles (AuNps) was observed by a change in extract color from pale yellow to purple color. Synthesis of AuNps was confirmed in UV-visible spectroscopy at the range of approximately 560 nm. The SEM analysis showed the average nanoparticles size of 12-22 nm. The antimicrobial activity of AuNps was analyzed by subjecting it to human pathogenic bacteria (Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus and Gram-negative Klebsiella pneumonia) and fungi (Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans) using disc diffusion method. The broccoli-synthesized AuNps showed the efficient antibacterial and antifungal activity of above-mentioned microbes. It was confirmed that AuNps have the best antimicrobial agent compared to the standard antibiotics (Gentamicin and Fluconazole). When the concentrations of AuNps were increased (10, 25, and 50 µg/ml), the sensitivity zone also increased for all the tested microbes. The synthesized AuNps are capable of rendering high antimicrobial efficacy and, hence, have a great potential in the preparation of drugs used against major bacterial and fungal diseases in humans.

  10. How to Touch Humans : Guidelines for Social Agents and Robots that can Touch

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Erp, J.B.F. van; Toet, A.

    2013-01-01

    Touch is an essential channel in interpersonal and affective communication, yet most social agents currently lack the capability to touch the user. In this paper we show the credibility of three premises that make the case that providing touch capability to social robots will increase their

  11. How to Touch Humans : Guidelines for Social Agents and Robots that can Touch

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Erp, J.B.F. van; Toet, A.

    2013-01-01

    Touch is an essential channel in interpersonal and affective communication, yet most social agents currently lack the capability to touch the user. In this paper we show the credibility of three premises that make the case that providing touch capability to social robots will increase their effectiv

  12. Structural study of the complex stereoselectivity of human butyrylcholinesterase for the neurotoxic V-agents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wandhammer, M.; Carletti, E.; Schans, M.J. van der; Gillon, E.; Nicolet, Y.; Masson, P.; Goeldner, M.; Noort, D.; Nachon, F.

    2011-01-01

    Nerve agents are chiral organophosphate compounds (OPs) that exert their acute toxicity by phosphorylating the catalytic serine of acetylcholinesterase (AChE). The inhibited cholinesterases can be reactivated using oximes, but a spontaneous time-dependent process called aging alters the adduct, lead

  13. Human performance analysis of industrial radiography radiation exposure events

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reece, W.J.; Hill, S.G.

    1995-12-01

    A set of radiation overexposure event reports were reviewed as part of a program to examine human performance in industrial radiography for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Incident records for a seven year period were retrieved from an event database. Ninety-five exposure events were initially categorized and sorted for further analysis. Descriptive models were applied to a subset of severe overexposure events. Modeling included: (1) operational sequence tables to outline the key human actions and interactions with equipment, (2) human reliability event trees, (3) an application of an information processing failures model, and (4) an extrapolated use of the error influences and effects diagram. Results of the modeling analyses provided insights into the industrial radiography task and suggested areas for further action and study to decrease overexposures.

  14. Human resource management and performance in healthcare organisations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Claire; Cortvriend, Penny; Hyde, Paula

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to compare the evidence from a range of reviews concerned with the links between human resource management (HRM) and performance. The aim of the paper is to review this diverse literature, and to derive human resource (HR) implications for healthcare researchers, policy makers and managers. Recent reviews of the human resource management and performance literature are examined, in addition to the inclusion of a previously unpublished review. Their methods, HRM focus, findings and recommendations are contrasted in order to produce this review. The paper finds that relationships have been found between a range of HRM practices, policies systems and performance. Despite being an important concern for HR professionals, there is little research exploring the link between HRM and performance in the health sector. The paper sees that recent studies have found HRM practices to be associated with patient outcomes such as mortality, yet they yield little information regarding the processes through which HRM affects individual performance and its consequent impact on patient care. The use of approaches that seek to gain an understanding of workers' interpretations of their experience, i.e. the psychological process through which HRM can affect individual performance, may shed some light on how these processes work in practice. The paper shows that increasing autonomy for healthcare organisations in the UK, i.e. Foundation Trusts, may offer increased opportunity for locally tailored HR systems and practices. The paper presents findings drawn from a review of previous research on a subject of increasing relevance to HR researchers and practitioners in healthcare organisations. The paper indicates alternative approaches to research and practice in light of extant research.

  15. Designing The Human Resource Scorecard as a Performance Measurement of Human Resource

    OpenAIRE

    Erlinda Muslim; Frinda Firania

    2016-01-01

    Abstract. This study discusses the importance of performance measurement in a company because it can be used to assess the success of the company. The purpose of this study is to design and measure the performance of a MIGAS company using the Human Resource Scorecard approach by establishing the priority weight of strategic objectives and Key Performance Indicators on the Strategy Map through the Analytical Network Process. Results of this study are acquiring 16 strategic objectives, and 20 l...

  16. Measuring Human Performance within Computer Security Incident Response Teams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McClain, Jonathan T. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Silva, Austin Ray [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Avina, Glory Emmanuel [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Forsythe, James C. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2015-09-01

    Human performance has become a pertinen t issue within cyber security. However, this research has been stymied by the limited availability of expert cyber security professionals. This is partly attributable to the ongoing workload faced by cyber security professionals, which is compound ed by the limited number of qualified personnel and turnover of p ersonnel across organizations. Additionally, it is difficult to conduct research, and particularly, openly published research, due to the sensitivity inherent to cyber ope rations at most orga nizations. As an alternative, the current research has focused on data collection during cyb er security training exercises. These events draw individuals with a range of knowledge and experience extending from seasoned professionals to recent college gradu ates to college students. The current paper describes research involving data collection at two separate cyber security exercises. This data collection involved multiple measures which included behavioral performance based on human - machine transactions and questionnaire - based assessments of cyber security experience.

  17. Mechanisms for training security inspectors to enhance human performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burkhalter, H.E.; Sessions, J.C.

    1988-01-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) has established qualification standards for protective force personnel employed at nuclear facilities (10 CFR Part 1046 (Federal Register)). Training mechanisms used at Los Alamos to enhance human performance in meeting DOE standards include, but are not limited to, the following: for cardio-respiratory training, they utilize distance running, interval training, sprint training, pacing, indoor aerobics and circuit training; for muscular strength, free weights, weight machines, light hand weights, grip strength conditioners, and calistenics are employed; for muscular endurance, participants do high repetitions (15 - 40) using dumbbells, flex weights, resistive rubber bands, benches, and calisthenics; for flexibility, each training session devotes specific times to stretch the muscles involved for a particular activity. These training mechanisms with specific protocols can enhance human performance.

  18. Human and team performance in extreme environments: Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuster, J.

    1998-01-01

    Analogous experience is often instructive when attempting to understand human behavior in extreme environments. The current paper refers to the experiences of polar explorers and remote duty personnel to help identify the factors that influence individual and team performance when small groups are isolated and confined for long durations. The principal factors discussed include organizational structure, intracrew communications, interpersonal relations, leadership style, personnel selection, and training. Behavioral implications also are addressed for the design of procedures and equipment to facilitate sustained individual and group performance under conditions of isolation and confinement. To be consistent with the theme of the symposium, this paper emphasizes the crew requirements for an international expedition to Mars.

  19. Human Performance Optimization: Culture Change and Paradigm Shift.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deuster, Patricia A; OʼConnor, Francis G

    2015-11-01

    The term "Human Performance Optimization" (HPO) emerged across the Department of Defense (DoD) around 2006 when the importance of human performance for military success on the battlefield was acknowledged. Likewise, the term Total Force Fitness (TFF) arose as a conceptual framework within DoD in response to the need for a more holistic approach to the unparalleled operational demands with multiple deployments and strains on the United States Armed Forces. Both HPO and TFF are frameworks for enhancing and sustaining the health, well-being, and performance among our warriors and their families; they are fundamental to accomplishing our nation's mission. A demands-resources model for HPO is presented within the context of TFF to assist in operationalizing actions to enhance performance. In addition, the role leaders can serve is discussed; leaders are uniquely postured in the military chain of command to directly influence a culture of fitness for a ready force, and promote the concept that service members are ultimately responsible for their fitness and performance.

  20. How Internet of Things Influences Human Behavior Building Social Web of Services via Agent-Based Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Komarov Mikhail

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper discovers potential human interactions with growing amount of internet of things (IoT via proposed concept of Social Web of Services (classical social web with smart things - daily life objects connected to the internet. To investigate the impact of IoT on user behaviour patterns we modelled human-thing interactions using agent-based simulation (ABM. We have proved that under certain conditions SmartThings, connected to the IoT, are able to change patterns of Human behaviour. Results of this work predict our way of living in the era of caused by viral effects of IoT application (HCI and M2M connections, and could be used to foster business process management in the IoT era.

  1. Derivatives of human complement component C3 for therapeutic complement depletion: a novel class of therapeutic agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritzinger, David C; Hew, Brian E; Lee, June Q; Newhouse, James; Alam, Maqsudul; Ciallella, John R; Bowers, Mallory; Gorsuch, William B; Guikema, Benjamin J; Stahl, Gregory L; Vogel, Carl-Wilhelm

    2008-01-01

    To obtain proteins with the complement-depleting activity of Cobra Venom Factor (CVF), but with less immunogenicity, we have prepared human C3/CVF hybrid proteins, in which the C-terminus of the alpha-chain of human C3 is exchanged with homologous regions of the C-terminus of the beta-chain of CVF. We show that these hybrid proteins are able to deplete complement, both in vitro and in vivo. One hybrid protein, HC3-1496, is shown to be effective in reducing complement-mediated damage in two disease models in mice, collagen-induced arthritis and myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury. Human C3/CVF hybrid proteins represent a novel class ofbiologicals as potential therapeutic agents in many diseases where complement is involved in the pathogenesis.

  2. Approaching human performance the functionality-driven Awiwi robot hand

    CERN Document Server

    Grebenstein, Markus

    2014-01-01

    Humanoid robotics have made remarkable progress since the dawn of robotics. So why don't we have humanoid robot assistants in day-to-day life yet? This book analyzes the keys to building a successful humanoid robot for field robotics, where collisions become an unavoidable part of the game. The author argues that the design goal should be real anthropomorphism, as opposed to mere human-like appearance. He deduces three major characteristics to aim for when designing a humanoid robot, particularly robot hands: _ Robustness against impacts _ Fast dynamics _ Human-like grasping and manipulation performance   Instead of blindly copying human anatomy, this book opts for a holistic design me-tho-do-lo-gy. It analyzes human hands and existing robot hands to elucidate the important functionalities that are the building blocks toward these necessary characteristics.They are the keys to designing an anthropomorphic robot hand, as illustrated in the high performance anthropomorphic Awiwi Hand presented in this book.  ...

  3. Human resource management and organizational performance: Evidence from retail banking.

    OpenAIRE

    Ann P. Bartel

    2004-01-01

    Studies of the relationship between human resource management and establishment performance have heretofore focused on the manufacturing sector. Using a unique longitudinal dataset collected through site visits to branch operations of a large bank, the author extends that research to the service sector. Because branch managers had considerable discretion in managing their operations and employees, the HRM environment could vary greatly across branches and over time. Site visits provided speci...

  4. The in vivo performance of plasmonic nanobubbles as cell theranostic agents in zebrafish hosting prostate cancer xenografts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Daniel S; Delk, Nikki A; Lukianova-Hleb, Ekaterina Y; Hafner, Jason H; Farach-Carson, Mary C; Lapotko, Dmitri O

    2010-10-01

    Cell theranostics is a new approach that unites diagnosis, therapy and confirmation (guidance) of the results of therapy in one single process at cell level, thus principally improving both the rapidity and precision of treatment. The ideal theranostic agent will support all three of the above functions in vivo with cellular resolution, allowing individual assessment of disease state and the elimination of diseased cells while leaving healthy cells intact. We have developed and evaluated plasmonic nanobubbles (PNBs) as an in vivo tunable theranostic cellular agent in zebrafish hosting prostate cancer xenografts. PNBs were selectively generated around gold nanoparticles in cancer cells in the zebrafish with short single laser pulses. By varying the energy of the laser pulse, we dynamically tuned the PNB size in a theranostic sequence of two PNBs: an initial small PNB detected a cancer cell through optical scattering, followed by a second bigger PNB, which mechanically ablated this cell without damage to surrounding tissue, while its optical scattering confirmed the destruction of the cell. Thus PNBs supported the diagnosis and guided ablation of individual human cancer cells in a living organism without damage to the host.

  5. Crystal structures of human group-VIIA phospholipase A2 inhibited by organophosphorus nerve agents exhibit non-aged complexes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Samanta, Uttamkumar; Kirby, Stephen D.; Srinivasan, Prabhavathi; Cerasoli, Douglas M.; Bahnson, Brian J.; (Delaware); (USAMRIID)

    2009-09-02

    The enzyme group-VIIA phospholipase A2 (gVIIA-PLA2) is bound to lipoproteins in human blood and hydrolyzes the ester bond at the sn-2 position of phospholipid substrates with a short sn-2 chain. The enzyme belongs to a serine hydrolase superfamily of enzymes, which react with organophosphorus (OP) nerve agents. OPs ultimately exert their toxicity by inhibiting human acetycholinesterase at nerve synapses, but may additionally have detrimental effects through inhibition of other serine hydrolases. We have solved the crystal structures of gVIIA-PLA2 following inhibition with the OPs diisopropylfluorophosphate, sarin, soman and tabun. The sarin and soman complexes displayed a racemic mix of P{sub R} and P{sub S} stereoisomers at the P-chiral center. The tabun complex displayed only the P{sub R} stereoisomer in the crystal. In all cases, the crystal structures contained intact OP adducts that had not aged. Aging refers to a secondary process OP complexes can go through, which dealkylates the nerve agent adduct and results in a form that is highly resistant to either spontaneous or oxime-mediated reactivation. Non-aged OP complexes of the enzyme were corroborated by trypsin digest and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry of OP-enzyme complexes. The lack of stereoselectivity of sarin reaction was confirmed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry using a chiral column to separate and quantitate the unbound stereoisomers of sarin following incubation with enzyme. The structural details and characterization of nascent reactivity of several toxic nerve agents is discussed with a long-term goal of developing gVIIA-PLA2 as a catalytic bioscavenger of OP nerve agents.

  6. Effect of Surface Modification by Chelating Agents on Fischer- Tropsch Performance of Co/SiO{sub 2} Catalysts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bambal, Ashish S.; Kugler, Edwin L.; Gardner, Todd H.; Dadyburjor, Dady B.

    2013-11-14

    The silica support of a Co-based catalyst for Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis was modified by the chelating agents (CAs) nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). After the modification, characterization of the fresh and spent catalysts show reduced crystallite sizes, a better-dispersed Co₃O₄ phase on the calcined samples, and increased metal dispersions for the reduced samples. The CA-modified catalysts display higher CO conversions, product yields, reaction rates and rate constants. The improved FT performance of CA-modified catalysts is attributed to the formation of stable complexes with Co. The superior performance of the EDTA-modified catalyst in comparison to the NTA-modified catalyst is due to the higher affinity of the former for complex formation with Co ions.

  7. Computational model of sustained acceleration effects on human cognitive performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinlly, Richard A; Gallimore, Jennie J

    2013-08-01

    Extreme acceleration maneuvers encountered in modern agile fighter aircraft can wreak havoc on human physiology, thereby significantly influencing cognitive task performance. As oxygen content declines under acceleration stress, the activity of high order cortical tissue reduces to ensure sufficient metabolic resources are available for critical life-sustaining autonomic functions. Consequently, cognitive abilities reliant on these affected areas suffer significant performance degradations. The goal was to develop and validate a model capable of predicting human cognitive performance under acceleration stress. Development began with creation of a proportional control cardiovascular model that produced predictions of several hemodynamic parameters, including eye-level blood pressure and regional cerebral oxygen saturation (rSo2). An algorithm was derived to relate changes in rSo2 within specific brain structures to performance on cognitive tasks that require engagement of different brain areas. Data from the "precision timing" experiment were then used to validate the model predicting cognitive performance as a function of G(z) profile. The following are value ranges. Results showed high agreement between the measured and predicted values for the rSo2 (correlation coefficient: 0.7483-0.8687; linear best-fit slope: 0.5760-0.9484; mean percent error: 0.75-3.33) and cognitive performance models (motion inference task--correlation coefficient: 0.7103-0.9451; linear best-fit slope: 0.7416-0.9144; mean percent error: 6.35-38.21; precision timing task--correlation coefficient: 0.6856-0.9726; linear best-fit slope: 0.5795-1.027; mean percent error: 6.30-17.28). The evidence suggests that the model is capable of accurately predicting cognitive performance of simplistic tasks under high acceleration stress.

  8. [Uricosuric agent].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohno, Iwao

    2008-04-01

    Urate lowering treatment is indicated in patients with recurrent acute attacks, tophi, gouty arthropathy, radiographic changes of gout, multiple joint involvement, or associated uric acid nephrolithiasis. Uricosuric agents like benzbromarone and probenecid are very useful to treat hyperuricemia as well as allopurinol (xanthine oxidase inhibitor). Uricosuric agents act the urate lowering effect through blocking the URAT1, an urate transporter, in brush border of renal proximal tubular cells. In order to avoid the nephrotoxicity and urolithiasis due to increasing of urinary urate excretion by using uricosuric agents, the proper urinary tract management (enough urine volume and correction of aciduria) should be performed.

  9. Sleep deprivation impairs performance in the 5-choice continuous performance test: similarities between humans and mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Enkhuizen, Jordy; Acheson, Dean; Risbrough, Victoria; Drummond, Sean; Geyer, Mark A; Young, Jared W

    2014-03-15

    Several groups undergo extended periods without sleep due to working conditions or mental illness. Such sleep deprivation (SD) can deleteriously affect attentional processes and disrupt work and family functioning. Understanding the biological underpinnings of SD effects may assist in developing sleep therapies and cognitive enhancers. Utilizing cross-species tests of attentional processing in humans and rodents would aid in mechanistic studies examining SD-induced inattention. We assessed the effects of 36h of: (1) Total SD (TSD) in healthy male and female humans (n=50); and (2) REM SD (RSD) in male C57BL/6 mice (n=26) on performance in the cross-species 5-choice continuous performance test (5C-CPT). The 5C-CPT includes target trials on which subjects were required to respond and non-target trials on which subjects were required to inhibit from responding. TSD-induced effects on human psychomotor vigilance test (PVT) were also examined. Effects of SD were also examined on mice split into good and poor performance groups based on pre-deprivation scores. In the human 5C-CPT, TSD decreased hit rate and vigilance with trend-level effects on accuracy. In the PVT, TSD slowed response times and increased lapses. In the mouse 5C-CPT, RSD reduced accuracy and hit rate with trend-level effects on vigilance, primarily in good performers. In conclusion, SD induced impaired 5C-CPT performance in both humans and mice and validates the 5C-CPT as a cross-species translational task. The 5C-CPT can be used to examine mechanisms underlying SD-induced deficits in vigilance and assist in testing putative cognitive enhancers.

  10. Serological studies confirm the novel astrovirus HMOAstV-C as a highly prevalent human infectious agent.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter D Burbelo

    Full Text Available Molecular identification of a microbe is the first step in determining its prevalence of infection and pathogenic potential. Detection of specific adaptive immune responses can provide insights into whether a microbe is a human infectious agent and its epidemiology. Here we characterized human anti-IgG antibody responses by luciferase immunoprecipitation systems (LIPS against two protein fragments derived from the capsid protein of the novel HMOAstV-C astrovirus. While antibodies to the N-terminal fragment were not informative, the C-terminal capsid fragment of HMOAstV-C showed a high frequency of immunoreactivity with serum from healthy blood donors. In contrast, a similar C-terminal capsid fragment from the related HMOAstV-A astrovirus failed to show immunoreactivity. Detailed analysis of adult serum from the United Sates using a standardized threshold demonstrated HMOAstV-C seropositivity in approximately 65% of the samples. Evaluation of serum samples from different pediatric age groups revealed that the prevalence of antibodies in 6-12 month, 1-2 year, 2-5 year and 5-10 year olds was 20%, 23%, 32% and 36%, respectively, indicating rising seroprevalence with age. Additionally, 50% (11/22 of the 0-6 month old children showed anti-HMOAstV-C antibody responses, likely reflecting maternal antibodies. Together these results document human humoral responses to HMOAstV-C and validate LIPS as a facile and effective approach for identifying humoral responses to novel infectious agents.

  11. Agent based simulation on the process of human flesh search-From perspective of knowledge and emotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Hou; Hu, Bin

    2017-03-01

    Human flesh search as a new net crowed behavior, on the one hand can help us to find some special information, on the other hand may lead to privacy leaking and offending human right. In order to study the mechanism of human flesh search, this paper proposes a simulation model based on agent-based model and complex networks. The computational experiments show some useful results. Discovered information quantity and involved personal ratio are highly correlated, and most of net citizens will take part in the human flesh search or will not take part in the human flesh search. Knowledge quantity does not influence involved personal ratio, but influences whether HFS can find out the target human. When the knowledge concentrates on hub nodes, the discovered information quantity is either perfect or almost zero. Emotion of net citizens influences both discovered information quantity and involved personal ratio. Concretely, when net citizens are calm to face the search topic, it will be hardly to find out the target; But when net citizens are agitated, the target will be found out easily.

  12. The Effect of Information Level on Human-Agent Interaction for Route Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

    operator received to base decisions in a route- planning task. Participants were assigned 1 of 3 LOIs: Low LOI provided the operator with a map showing...levels and presentations of information affected their perception of usability and trust in the route- planning agent. Participants were categorized based...min. During the scenario, participants guided a dismounted Soldier through an urban environment through 10 DPs. The objective was to arrive at the

  13. Molecular Evolution of Human PON to Design Enhanced Catalytic Efficiency for Hydrolysis of Nerve Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-01

    biomolecules that can intercept both existing and emerging organo - phosphate-based chemical warfare nerve agents (CWNA). All 5th year milestones have been met...w e have demonstrated the potential of direct ed evolution, combining random and designed mutations based on 3D struct ures, to generate m utants of...I., Harel, M., Rosenberry, T.L. & Sussman, J.L. (2010). “Acetylcholinesterase: From 3D structure to function ” Chem Biol Interact, 187, 10-22

  14. Human health and performance considerations for near earth asteroids (NEA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinberg, Susan; Kundrot, Craig; Charles, John

    2013-11-01

    Humans are considered as a system in the design of any deep space exploration mission. The addition of many potential near asteroid (NEA) destinations to the existing multiple mission architecture for Lunar and Mars missions increases the complexity of human health and performance issues that are anticipated for exploration of space. We suggest that risks to human health and performance be analyzed in terms of the 4 major parameters related to multiple mission architecture: destination, duration, distance and vehicle design. Geological properties of the NEA will influence design of exploration tasks related to sample handling and containment, and extravehicular activity (EVA) capabilities including suit ports and tools. A robotic precursor mission that collects basic information on NEA surface properties would reduce uncertainty about these aspects of the mission as well as aid in mission architecture and exploration task design. Key mission parameters are strongly impacted by duration and distance. The most critical of these is deep-space radiation exposure without even the temporary shielding of a nearby large planetary body. The current space radiation permissible exposure limits (PEL) limits mission duration to 3-10 months depending on age, gender and stage of the solar cycle. Duration also impacts mission architectures including countermeasures for bone, muscle, and cardiovascular atrophy during continuous weightlessness; and behavioral and psychological issues resulting from isolation and confinement. Distance affects communications and limits abort and return options for a NEA mission. These factors are anticipated to have important effects on crew function and autonomous operations, as well as influence medical capability, supplies and training requirements of the crew. The design of a habitat volume that can maintain the physical and psychological health of the crew and support mission operations with limited intervention from earth will require an

  15. Methanolic Extract of Plumbago Zeylanica - A Remarkable Antibacterial Agent Against Many Human and Agricultural Pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mukesh Kumar Singh

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: The current investigation was carried out to determine the cytotoxic and the antimicrobial activities of methanolic extracts of Plumbago zeylanica. Methods: The stems, leaves, and whole plants were air dried and extracted with methanol by using a Soxhlet extractor for 72 hours at 55 - 60°C. The antimicrobial activities were determined from the zones of inhibition, which were measured by using the agar well diffusion method, and the cytotoxicity assays were performed using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT assay method. Results: The methanolic extracts of the stem and the leaves of Plumbago zeylanica were tested against six bacterial species and nine fungal species, and both extracts showed antimicrobial activity in a dose-dependent manner. The leaf extract of Plumbago zeylanica showed maximum antimicrobial activity against both Staphylococcus aureus sub sp aureus and Fusarium oxysporum. The stem extract was found to be more antimicrobial against the Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the Penicillium expansum species. MTT assays were used to test the cytotoxicity of the whole plant extract in the HCT-116 and the K-562 cell lines, and that extract was shown to have weak cytotoxicity in both cell lines. Conclusion: In the present study, the methanolic stem extracts of Plumbago zeylanica were found to possess remarkable antibacterial activities against many human and agricultural pathogens. The extracts were also found to possess significant antifungal activities, but the antifungal activities were less than the antibacterial activities. Finally, the extracts were found to have weak cytotoxicities in the HCT-116 and the K-562 cell lines.

  16. Methanolic Extract of Plumbago Zeylanica - A Remarkable Antibacterial Agent Against Many Human and Agricultural Pathogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Ajit; Sawarkar, Hemant; Gupta, Anshita; Gidwani, Bina; Dhongade, Hemant; Tripathi, Dulal Krishna

    2017-01-01

    Objectives: The current investigation was carried out to determine the cytotoxic and the antimicrobial activities of methanolic extracts of Plumbago zeylanica. Methods: The stems, leaves, and whole plants were air dried and extracted with methanol by using a Soxhlet extractor for 72 hours at 55 - 60°C. The antimicrobial activities were determined from the zones of inhibition, which were measured by using the agar well diffusion method, and the cytotoxicity assays were performed using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay method. Results: The methanolic extracts of the stem and the leaves of Plumbago zeylanica were tested against six bacterial species and nine fungal species, and both extracts showed antimicrobial activity in a dose-dependent manner. The leaf extract of Plumbago zeylanica showed maximum antimicrobial activity against both Staphylococcus aureus sub sp aureus and Fusarium oxysporum. The stem extract was found to be more antimicrobial against the Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the Penicillium expansum species. MTT assays were used to test the cytotoxicity of the whole plant extract in the HCT-116 and the K-562 cell lines, and that extract was shown to have weak cytotoxicity in both cell lines. Conclusion: In the present study, the methanolic stem extracts of Plumbago zeylanica were found to possess remarkable antibacterial activities against many human and agricultural pathogens. The extracts were also found to possess significant antifungal activities, but the antifungal activities were less than the antibacterial activities. Finally, the extracts were found to have weak cytotoxicities in the HCT-116 and the K-562 cell lines.

  17. Processes, Performance Drivers and ICT Tools in Human Resources Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oškrdal Václav

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available This article presents an insight to processes, performance drivers and ICT tools in human resources (HR management area. On the basis of a modern approach to HR management, a set of business processes that are handled by today’s HR managers is defined. Consequently, the concept of ICT-supported performance drivers and their relevance in the area of HR management as well as the relationship between HR business processes, performance drivers and ICT tools are defined. The theoretical outcomes are further enhanced with results obtained from a survey among Czech companies. This article was written with kind courtesy of finances provided by VŠE IGA grant „IGA – 32/2010“.

  18. Computer simulation study of the binding of an antiviral agent to a sensitive and a resistant human rhinovirus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lybrand, Terry P.; McCammon, J. Andrew

    1989-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations have been used to study the free energy of binding of an antiviral agent to the human rhinovirus HRV-14 and to a mutant in which a valine residue in the antiviral binding pocket is replaced by leucine. The simulations predict that the antiviral should bind to the two viruses with similar affinity, in apparent disagreement with experimental results. Possible origins of this discrepancy are outlined. Of particular importance is the apparent need for methods to systematically sample all significant conformations of the leucine side chain.

  19. Frequency of resistance to methicillin and other antimicrobial agents among Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from pigs and their human handlers in Trinidad

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annika Gordon

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA has emerged recently worldwide in production animals, particularly pigs and veal calves, which act as reservoirs for MRSA strains for human infection. The study determined the prevalence of MRSA and other resistant strains of S. aureus isolated from the anterior nares of pigs and human handlers on pig farms in Trinidad. Methods: Isolation of S. aureus was done by concurrently inoculating Baird-Parker agar (BPA and Chromagar MRSA (CHROM with swab samples and isolates were identified using standard methods. Suspect MRSA isolates from Chromagar and BPA were subjected to confirmatory test using Oxoid PBP2 latex agglutination test. The disc diffusion method was used to determine resistance to antimicrobial agents. Results: The frequency of isolation of MRSA was 2.1% (15 of 723 for pigs but 0.0% (0 of 72 for humans. Generally, for isolates of S. aureus from humans there was a high frequency of resistance compared with those from pigs, which had moderate resistance to the following antimicrobials: penicillin G (54.5%, 51.5%, ampicillin (59.1%, 49.5%, and streptomycin (59.1%, 37.1%, respectively. There was moderate resistance to tetracycline (36.4%, 41.2% and gentamycin (27.2%, 23.7% for human and pig S. aureus isolates, respectively, and low resistance to sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (4.5%, 6.2% and norfloxacin (9.1%, 12.4%, respectively. The frequency of resistance to oxacillin by the disc method was 36.4 and 34.0% from S. aureus isolates from humans and pigs, respectively. Out of a total of 78 isolates of S. aureus from both human and pig sources that were resistant to oxacillin by the disc diffusion method, only 15 (19.2% were confirmed as MRSA by the PBP'2 latex test kit. Conclusions: The detection of MRSA strains in pigs, albeit at a low frequency, coupled with a high frequency of resistance to commonly used antimicrobial agents in pig and humans could have zoonotic and therapeutic

  20. Performance Test of Openflow Agent on Openflow Software-Based Mikrotik RB750 Switch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rikie Kartadie

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available A network is usually developed by several devices such as router, switch etc. Every device forwards data package manipulation with complicated protocol planted in its hardware. An operator is responsible for running configuration either to manage rules or application applied in the network. Human error may occur when device configuration run manually by operator. Some famous vendors, one of them is MikroTik, has also been implementing this OpenFlow on its operation. It provides the implementation of SDN/OpenFlow architecture with affordable cost. The second phase research result showed that switch OF software-based MikroTik resulted higher latency value than both mininet and switch OF software-based OpenWRT. The average gap value of switch OF software-based MikroTik is 2012 kbps lower than the value of switch OF software-based OpenWRT. The average gap value of throughput bandwidth protocol UDP switch OF software-based MikroTik is 3.6176 kBps lower than switch OF software-based OpenWRT and it is 8.68 kBps lower than mininet. The average gap throughput jitter protokol UDP of switch OF software-based MiktoTik is 0.0103ms lower than switch OF software-based OpenWRT and 0.0093ms lower than mininet. 

  1. Performance Test of Openflow Agent on Openflow Software-Based Mikrotik RB750 Switch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rikie Kartadie

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available A network is usually developed by several devices such as router, switch etc. Every device forwards data package manipulation with complicated protocol planted in its hardware. An operator is responsible for running configuration either to manage rules or application applied in the network. Human error may occur when device configuration run manually by operator. Some famous vendors, one of them is MikroTik, has also been implementing this OpenFlow on its operation. It provides the implementation of SDN/OpenFlow architecture with affordable cost. The second phase research result showed that switch OF software-based MikroTik resulted higher latency value than both mininet and switch OF software-based OpenWRT. The average gap value of switch OF software-based MikroTik is 2012 kbps lower than the value of switch OF software-based OpenWRT. The average gap value of throughput bandwidth protocol UDP switch OF software-based MikroTik is 3.6176 kBps lower than switch OF software-based OpenWRT and it is 8.68 kBps lower than mininet. The average gap throughput jitter protokol UDP of switch OF software-based MiktoTik is 0.0103ms lower than switch OF software-based OpenWRT and 0.0093ms lower than mininet. 

  2. A novel human body exergy consumption formula to determine indoor thermal conditions for optimal human performance in office buildings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wu, Xiaozhou; Zhao, Jianing; Olesen, Bjarne W.

    2013-01-01

    to optimal human performance, as has so often been assumed. According to the second law of thermodynamics, it makes sense that optimal human performance coincides with minimum human body exergy consumption and that this should occur under thermal conditions in which human thermal sensation is close...

  3. Physiological and Biomechanical Mechanisms of Distance Specific Human Running Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, M A

    2017-08-01

    Running events range from 60-m sprints to ultra-marathons covering 100 miles or more, which presents an interesting diversity in terms of the parameters for successful performance. Here, we review the physiological and biomechanical variations underlying elite human running performance in sprint to ultramarathon distances. Maximal running speeds observed in sprint disciplines are achieved by high vertical ground reaction forces applied over short contact times. To create this high force output, sprint events rely heavily on anaerobic metabolism, as well as a high number and large cross-sectional area of type II fibers in the leg muscles. Middle distance running performance is characterized by intermediates of biomechanical and physiological parameters, with the possibility of unique combinations of each leading to high-level performance. The relatively fast velocities in mid-distance events require a high mechanical power output, though ground reaction forces are less than in sprinting. Elite mid-distance runners exhibit local muscle adaptations that, along with a large anaerobic capacity, provide the ability to generate a high power output. Aerobic capacity starts to become an important aspect of performance in middle distance events, especially as distance increases. In distance running events, V˙O2max is an important determinant of performance, but is relatively homogeneous in elite runners. V˙O2 and velocity at lactate threshold have been shown to be superior predictors of elite distance running performance. Ultramarathons are relatively new running events, as such, less is known about physiological and biomechanical parameters that underlie ultra-marathon performance. However, it is clear that performance in these events is related to aerobic capacity, fuel utilization, and fatigue resistance. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology 2017. This work is written by US Government employees and is in

  4. 基于多智能体的人机协作智能信息系统%Human-Computer-Cooperated Intelligent Information System Based on Multi-Agents

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    操龙兵; 戴汝为

    2003-01-01

    综合集成研讨厅理论体系是作为处理开放的复杂巨系统的有关问题而提出的,其实质是一个人机协作的智能信息系统.本文主要探索研讨厅的实现途径,给出了基于网络的研讨厅的层次模型与系统结构,提出了基于内嵌客户/Agent/服务器的请求器-中介器-供应器模型的多智能体研讨厅的多层分布计算模型,并基于Java的智能信息Agent技术探讨了支持宏观经济决策的多智能体研讨厅的构架及工作机制.研究表明,基于Internet有关技术与Agent计算技术有可能实现研讨厅,并由于Agent技术的优势而可能得到较好的系统性能.%The Hall for Workshop of Metasynthetic Engineering(HWME) is an engeering technology proposed for coping with open complex giant systems. In this paper we describe the implementation of a human-computer-cooperated intelligent information system with HWME and multi-agents. We propose a layered model, a system structure over the network, and a distributed computing model-an n-tier client/agent/server-nested Requester-Mediator-Provider-for building the system. Furthermore, we discuss the framework and working mechanisms of an agent-based system of HWME, which is designed for macroeconomic decision-support based on intelligent information agents in Java. Our system implementation shows that an agent-oriented HWME system over the Internet may exhibit better performance in terms of handling open complex problems.

  5. Dynamic Task Performance, Cohesion, and Communications in Human Groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giraldo, Luis Felipe; Passino, Kevin M

    2016-10-01

    In the study of the behavior of human groups, it has been observed that there is a strong interaction between the cohesiveness of the group, its performance when the group has to solve a task, and the patterns of communication between the members of the group. Developing mathematical and computational tools for the analysis and design of task-solving groups that are not only cohesive but also perform well is of importance in social sciences, organizational management, and engineering. In this paper, we model a human group as a dynamical system whose behavior is driven by a task optimization process and the interaction between subsystems that represent the members of the group interconnected according to a given communication network. These interactions are described as attractions and repulsions among members. We show that the dynamics characterized by the proposed mathematical model are qualitatively consistent with those observed in real-human groups, where the key aspect is that the attraction patterns in the group and the commitment to solve the task are not static but change over time. Through a theoretical analysis of the system we provide conditions on the parameters that allow the group to have cohesive behaviors, and Monte Carlo simulations are used to study group dynamics for different sets of parameters, communication topologies, and tasks to solve.

  6. Born to run. Studying the limits of human performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murray Andrew

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract It is recognised that regular physical activity and a high level of fitness are powerful predictors of positive health outcomes. There is a long and rich history of significant feats of human endurance with some, for example, the death of the first marathon runner, Pheidippides, associated with negative health outcomes. Early studies on endurance running used X-ray and interview techniques to evaluate competitors and comment on performance. Since then, comparatively few studies have looked at runners competing in distances longer than a marathon. Those that have, tend to show significant musculoskeletal injuries and a remarkable level of adaptation to this endurance load. The TransEurope Footrace Project followed ultra-endurance runners aiming to complete 4,500 Km of running in 64 days across Europe. This pioneering study will assess the impact of extreme endurance on human physiology; analysing musculoskeletal and other tissue/organ injuries, and the body's potential ability to adapt to extreme physiological stress. The results will be of interest not only to endurance runners, but to anyone interested in the limits of human performance. Please see related article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/78

  7. Human Computer Interactions in Next-Generation of Aircraft Smart Navigation Management Systems: Task Analysis and Architecture under an Agent-Oriented Methodological Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José M. Canino-Rodríguez

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The limited efficiency of current air traffic systems will require a next-generation of Smart Air Traffic System (SATS that relies on current technological advances. This challenge means a transition toward a new navigation and air-traffic procedures paradigm, where pilots and air traffic controllers perform and coordinate their activities according to new roles and technological supports. The design of new Human-Computer Interactions (HCI for performing these activities is a key element of SATS. However efforts for developing such tools need to be inspired on a parallel characterization of hypothetical air traffic scenarios compatible with current ones. This paper is focused on airborne HCI into SATS where cockpit inputs came from aircraft navigation systems, surrounding traffic situation, controllers’ indications, etc. So the HCI is intended to enhance situation awareness and decision-making through pilot cockpit. This work approach considers SATS as a system distributed on a large-scale with uncertainty in a dynamic environment. Therefore, a multi-agent systems based approach is well suited for modeling such an environment. We demonstrate that current methodologies for designing multi-agent systems are a useful tool to characterize HCI. We specifically illustrate how the selected methodological approach provides enough guidelines to obtain a cockpit HCI design that complies with future SATS specifications.

  8. Human computer interactions in next-generation of aircraft smart navigation management systems: task analysis and architecture under an agent-oriented methodological approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canino-Rodríguez, José M; García-Herrero, Jesús; Besada-Portas, Juan; Ravelo-García, Antonio G; Travieso-González, Carlos; Alonso-Hernández, Jesús B

    2015-03-04

    The limited efficiency of current air traffic systems will require a next-generation of Smart Air Traffic System (SATS) that relies on current technological advances. This challenge means a transition toward a new navigation and air-traffic procedures paradigm, where pilots and air traffic controllers perform and coordinate their activities according to new roles and technological supports. The design of new Human-Computer Interactions (HCI) for performing these activities is a key element of SATS. However efforts for developing such tools need to be inspired on a parallel characterization of hypothetical air traffic scenarios compatible with current ones. This paper is focused on airborne HCI into SATS where cockpit inputs came from aircraft navigation systems, surrounding traffic situation, controllers' indications, etc. So the HCI is intended to enhance situation awareness and decision-making through pilot cockpit. This work approach considers SATS as a system distributed on a large-scale with uncertainty in a dynamic environment. Therefore, a multi-agent systems based approach is well suited for modeling such an environment. We demonstrate that current methodologies for designing multi-agent systems are a useful tool to characterize HCI. We specifically illustrate how the selected methodological approach provides enough guidelines to obtain a cockpit HCI design that complies with future SATS specifications.

  9. Efficacy of anti-microbial agents on vaginal microorganisms and reproductive performance of synchronized estrus ewes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K.M. Mohammed

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To isolate and identify microflora and fungal species at different phases during estrus synchronization of ewes and estimate their prevalence; compare the effectiveness of antimicrobial administration to intravaginal sponge on the changes in the vaginal microorganisms and reproductive performance. Methods: Sixty Egyptian ewes were allocated into three equal groups (G: 1, 2 and 3. G1 was inserted with vaginal sponge containing medroxyprogesterone acetate and served as control; without antimicrobial additive. The other two groups were treated as G1, but sponges were previously injected with ciprofloxacin (G2, while sponges of G3 were injected with ciprofloxacin and clotrimazole. Vaginal swabs were collected from each treated ewe, prior sponge insertion, at sponge withdrawal and 48 h later for microbiological investigation and bacterial count. On the day of sponge removal, 300 IU/eCG was administered for each treated ewe. The identified bacterial strains before sponge insertion were tested for sensitivity with antimicrobial disks. Results: Bacterial isolates before sponge insertion were more sensitive to ciprofloxacin. Frequencies of ewes in estrus; the interval from sponge withdrawal to onset estrus and the duration of estrus were statistically similar among treated groups. The pregnancy rate in G2 (100% was higher than G1 (66.7% and G3 (82.4%. The total bacterial count before sponge insertion was similar between all treatments and increased significantly in all groups on the day of sponge withdraw. The prevailing bacteria on D0, D14 and 48 h after sponge removal for all treated groups were Staphylococcus spp. followed by Escherichia coli. Regarding to fungus species, percentages of isolation increased from 5% (before sponge insertion to 100.00% and 88.89% at sponge withdraw for G1 and G2, respectively. In G3, the fungus was declined from 10% (before sponge insertion to 5% (at sponge removal. Conclusions: The concomitant treatments by

  10. Users, Bystanders and Agents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krummheuer, Antonia Lina

    2015-01-01

    Human-agent interaction (HAI), especially in the field of embodied conversational agents (ECA), is mainly construed as dyadic communication between a human user and a virtual agent. This is despite the fact that many application scenarios for future ECAs involve the presence of others. This paper...

  11. Investigating the impact of performance management on human resource performance across head offices of Agricultural bank branches in Tehran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mir Hamid Reza Torabi Shahidi

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Human resource is one of the most precious assets across contemporary organizations and companies. For this reason, enterprises have to invest on them to promote and improve their employees’ performance. An effective mechanism to develop corporate and human performance is to design and establish a system of performance management so that it improves employees’ performance by determining explicit organizational objectives and coordinating them with individual goals.Current work aims to determine the impact of performance management on human resource performance across head offices of Agricultural Bank branches in Tehran (the main goal and prioritize among performance management components and human resource performance components and also present some procedures to improve human performance using performance management components (sub-goals.

  12. Pseudocatalytic scavenging of the nerve agent VX with human blood components and the oximes obidoxime and HI-6.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wille, Timo; von der Wellen, Jens; Thiermann, Horst; Worek, Franz

    2017-03-01

    Despite six decades of extensive research in medical countermeasures against nerve agent poisoning, a broad spectrum acetylcholinesterase (AChE) reactivator is not yet available. One current approach is directed toward synthesizing oximes with high affinity and reactivatability toward butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) in plasma to generate an effective pseudocatalytic scavenger. An interim solution could be the administration of external AChE or BChE from blood products to augment pseudocatalytic scavenging with slower but clinically approved oximes to decrease nerve agent concentrations in the body. We here semiquantitatively investigate the ability of obidoxime and HI-6 to decrease the inhibitory activity of VX with human AChE and BChE from whole blood, erythrocyte membranes, erythrocytes, plasma, clinically available fresh frozen plasma and packed red blood cells. The main findings are that whole blood showed a VX concentration-dependent decrease in inhibitory activity with HI-6 being more potent than obidoxime. Using erythrocytes and erythrocyte membranes again, HI-6 was more potent compared to obidoxime. With freshly prepared plasma, obidoxime and HI-6 showed comparable results for the decrease in VX. The use of the clinically available blood products revealed that packed red blood cells showed similar kinetics as fresh erythrocytes. Fresh frozen plasma resulted in a slower and incomplete decrease in inhibitory plasma compared to freshly prepared plasma. In conclusion, the administration of blood products in combination with available oximes augments pseudocatalytic scavenging and might be useful to decrease the body load of persistent, highly toxic nerve agents.

  13. Cavitation thresholds of contrast agents in an in vitro human clot model exposed to 120-kHz ultrasound.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruber, Matthew J; Bader, Kenneth B; Holland, Christy K

    2014-02-01

    Ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) can be employed to nucleate cavitation to achieve desired bioeffects, such as thrombolysis, in therapeutic ultrasound applications. Effective methods of enhancing thrombolysis with ultrasound have been examined at low frequencies (cavitation thresholds for two UCAs exposed to 120-kHz ultrasound. A commercial ultrasound contrast agent (Definity(®)) and echogenic liposomes were investigated to determine the acoustic pressure threshold for ultraharmonic (UH) and broadband (BB) generation using an in vitro flow model perfused with human plasma. Cavitation emissions were detected using two passive receivers over a narrow frequency bandwidth (540-900 kHz) and a broad frequency bandwidth (0.54-1.74 MHz). UH and BB cavitation thresholds occurred at the same acoustic pressure (0.3 ± 0.1 MPa, peak to peak) and were found to depend on the sensitivity of the cavitation detector but not on the nucleating contrast agent or ultrasound duty cycle.

  14. Applying GIS and high performance agent-based simulation for managing an Old World Screwworm fly invasion of Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welch, M C; Kwan, P W; Sajeev, A S M

    2014-10-01

    Agent-based modelling has proven to be a promising approach for developing rich simulations for complex phenomena that provide decision support functions across a broad range of areas including biological, social and agricultural sciences. This paper demonstrates how high performance computing technologies, namely General-Purpose Computing on Graphics Processing Units (GPGPU), and commercial Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be applied to develop a national scale, agent-based simulation of an incursion of Old World Screwworm fly (OWS fly) into the Australian mainland. The development of this simulation model leverages the combination of massively data-parallel processing capabilities supported by NVidia's Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) and the advanced spatial visualisation capabilities of GIS. These technologies have enabled the implementation of an individual-based, stochastic lifecycle and dispersal algorithm for the OWS fly invasion. The simulation model draws upon a wide range of biological data as input to stochastically determine the reproduction and survival of the OWS fly through the different stages of its lifecycle and dispersal of gravid females. Through this model, a highly efficient computational platform has been developed for studying the effectiveness of control and mitigation strategies and their associated economic impact on livestock industries can be materialised.

  15. Editorial: Technology for higher education, adult learning and human performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minhong Wang

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This special issue is dedicated to technology-enabled approaches for improving higher education, adult learning, and human performance. Improvement of learning and human development for sustainable development has been recognized as a key strategy for individuals, institutions, and organizations to strengthen their competitive advantages. It becomes crucial to help adult learners and knowledge workers to improve their self-directed and life-long learning capabilities. Meanwhile, advances in technology have been increasingly enabling and facilitating learning and knowledge-related initiatives.. They have largely extended learning opportunities through the provision of resource-rich and learner-centered environment, computer-based learning support, and expanded social interactions and networks. Papers in this special issue are representative of ongoing research on integration of technology with learning for innovation and sustainable development in higher education institutions and organizational and community environments.

  16. Cognitive model of trust dynamics predicts human behavior within and between two games of strategic interaction with computerized confederate agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Gordon Collins

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available When playing games of strategic interaction, such as iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma and iterated Chicken Game, people exhibit specific within-game learning (e.g., learning a game’s optimal outcome as well as transfer of learning between games (e.g., a game’s optimal outcome occurring at a higher proportion when played after another game. The reciprocal trust players develop during the first game is thought to mediate transfer of learning effects. Recently, a computational cognitive model using a novel trust mechanism has been shown to account for human behavior in both games, including the transfer between games. We present the results of a study in which we evaluate the model’s a priori predictions of human learning and transfer in 16 different conditions. The model’s predictive validity is compared against five model variants that lacked a trust mechanism. The results suggest that a trust mechanism is necessary to explain human behavior across multiple conditions, even when a human plays against a non-human agent. The addition of a trust mechanism to the other learning mechanisms within the cognitive architecture, such as sequence learning, instance-based learning, and utility learning, leads to better prediction of the empirical data. It is argued that computational cognitive modeling is a useful tool for studying trust development, calibration, and repair.

  17. Cognitive Model of Trust Dynamics Predicts Human Behavior within and between Two Games of Strategic Interaction with Computerized Confederate Agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Michael G; Juvina, Ion; Gluck, Kevin A

    2016-01-01

    When playing games of strategic interaction, such as iterated Prisoner's Dilemma and iterated Chicken Game, people exhibit specific within-game learning (e.g., learning a game's optimal outcome) as well as transfer of learning between games (e.g., a game's optimal outcome occurring at a higher proportion when played after another game). The reciprocal trust players develop during the first game is thought to mediate transfer of learning effects. Recently, a computational cognitive model using a novel trust mechanism has been shown to account for human behavior in both games, including the transfer between games. We present the results of a study in which we evaluate the model's a priori predictions of human learning and transfer in 16 different conditions. The model's predictive validity is compared against five model variants that lacked a trust mechanism. The results suggest that a trust mechanism is necessary to explain human behavior across multiple conditions, even when a human plays against a non-human agent. The addition of a trust mechanism to the other learning mechanisms within the cognitive architecture, such as sequence learning, instance-based learning, and utility learning, leads to better prediction of the empirical data. It is argued that computational cognitive modeling is a useful tool for studying trust development, calibration, and repair.

  18. Identifying candidate agents for lung adenocarcinoma by walking the human interactome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sun Y

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Yajiao Sun,1 Ranran Zhang,2 Zhe Jiang,1 Rongyao Xia,1 Jingwen Zhang,1 Jing Liu,1 Fuhui Chen1 1Department of Respiratory, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, 2Department of Respiratory, Harbin First Hospital, Harbin, People’s Republic of China Abstract: Despite recent advances in therapeutic strategies for lung cancer, mortality is still increasing. Therefore, there is an urgent need to identify effective novel drugs. In the present study, we implement drug repositioning for lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD by a bioinformatics method followed by experimental validation. We first identified differentially expressed genes between LUAD tissues and nontumor tissues from RNA sequencing data obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas database. Then, candidate small molecular drugs were ranked according to the effect of their targets on differentially expressed genes of LUAD by a random walk with restart algorithm in protein–protein interaction networks. Our method identified some potentially novel agents for LUAD besides those that had been previously reported (eg, hesperidin. Finally, we experimentally verified that atracurium, one of the potential agents, could induce A549 cells death in non-small-cell lung cancer-derived A549 cells by an MTT assay, acridine orange and ethidium bromide staining, and electron microscopy. Furthermore, Western blot assays demonstrated that atracurium upregulated the proapoptotic Bad and Bax proteins, downregulated the antiapoptotic p-Bad and Bcl-2 proteins, and enhanced caspase-3 activity. It could also reduce the expression of p53 and p21Cip1/Waf1 in A549 cells. In brief, the candidate agents identified by our approach may provide greater insights into improving the therapeutic status of LUAD. Keywords: lung adenocarcinoma, drug repositioning, bioinformatics, protein–protein interaction network, atracurium

  19. Computational Human Performance Modeling For Alarm System Design

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jacques Hugo

    2012-07-01

    The introduction of new technologies like adaptive automation systems and advanced alarms processing and presentation techniques in nuclear power plants is already having an impact on the safety and effectiveness of plant operations and also the role of the control room operator. This impact is expected to escalate dramatically as more and more nuclear power utilities embark on upgrade projects in order to extend the lifetime of their plants. One of the most visible impacts in control rooms will be the need to replace aging alarm systems. Because most of these alarm systems use obsolete technologies, the methods, techniques and tools that were used to design the previous generation of alarm system designs are no longer effective and need to be updated. The same applies to the need to analyze and redefine operators’ alarm handling tasks. In the past, methods for analyzing human tasks and workload have relied on crude, paper-based methods that often lacked traceability. New approaches are needed to allow analysts to model and represent the new concepts of alarm operation and human-system interaction. State-of-the-art task simulation tools are now available that offer a cost-effective and efficient method for examining the effect of operator performance in different conditions and operational scenarios. A discrete event simulation system was used by human factors researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory to develop a generic alarm handling model to examine the effect of operator performance with simulated modern alarm system. It allowed analysts to evaluate alarm generation patterns as well as critical task times and human workload predicted by the system.

  20. Spectra from 2.5-15 {mu}m of tissue phantom materials, optical clearing agents and ex vivo human skin: implications for depth profiling of human skin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Viator, John A [Beckman Laser Institute, University of California, 1002 Health Sciences Road East, Irvine, CA (United States); Choi, Bernard [Beckman Laser Institute, University of California, 1002 Health Sciences Road East, Irvine, CA (United States); Peavy, George M [Beckman Laser Institute, University of California, 1002 Health Sciences Road East, Irvine, CA (United States); Kimel, Sol [Beckman Laser Institute, University of California, 1002 Health Sciences Road East, Irvine, CA (United States); Nelson, J Stuart [Beckman Laser Institute, University of California, 1002 Health Sciences Road East, Irvine, CA (United States)

    2003-01-21

    Infrared measurements have been used to profile or image biological tissue, including human skin. Usually, analysis of such measurements has assumed that infrared absorption is due to water and collagen. Such an assumption may be reasonable for soft tissue, but introduction of exogenous agents into skin or the measurement of tissue phantoms has raised the question of their infrared absorption spectrum. We used Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy in attenuated total reflection mode to measure the infrared absorption spectra, in the range of 2-15 {mu}m, of water, polyacrylamide, Intralipid, collagen gels, four hyperosmotic clearing agents (glycerol, 1,3-butylene glycol, trimethylolpropane, Topicare{sup TM}), and ex vivo human stratum corneum and dermis. The absorption spectra of the phantom materials were similar to that of water, although additional structure was noted in the range of 6-10 {mu}m. The absorption spectra of the clearing agents were more complex, with molecular absorption bands dominating between 6 and 12 {mu}m. Dermis was similar to water, with collagen structure evident in the 6-10 {mu}m range. Stratum corneum had a significantly lower absorption than dermis due to a lower content of water. These results suggest that the assumption of water-dominated absorption in the 2.5-6 {mu}m range is valid. At longer wavelengths, clearing agent absorption spectra differ significantly from the water spectrum. This spectral information can be used in pulsed photothermal radiometry or utilized in the interpretation of reconstructions in which a constant {mu}{sub ir} is used. In such cases, overestimating {mu}{sub ir} will underestimate chromophore depth and vice versa, although the effect is dependent on actual chromophore depth. (note)

  1. Nerve Agent Hydrolysis Activity Designed into a Human Drug Metabolism Enzyme

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-18

    inhibition, Michaelis - Menten constants, and rates of reactivation for wild-type and V146H/ L363E hCE1 against racemic cyclosarin and stereoisomers of...0017441.t002 Table 3. Inhibition and Michaelis - Menten constants for wild-type and V146H/L363E hCE1 against stereoisomers of sarin and soman model...6 | Issue 3 | e17441 where Km was the nerve agent model Michaelis - Menten constant, k2 the unimolecular phosphonylation rate constant, v the remaining

  2. Engineered collagen hydrogels for the sustained release of biomolecules and imaging agents: promoting the growth of human gingival cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jonghoon; Park, Hoyoung; Kim, Taeho; Jeong, Yoon; Oh, Myoung Hwan; Hyeon, Taeghwan; Gilad, Assaf A; Lee, Kwan Hyi

    2014-01-01

    We present here the in vitro release profiles of either fluorescently labeled biomolecules or computed tomography contrast nanoagents from engineered collagen hydrogels under physiological conditions. The collagen constructs were designed as potential biocompatible inserts into wounded human gingiva. The collagen hydrogels were fabricated under a variety of conditions in order to optimize the release profile of biomolecules and nanoparticles for the desired duration and amount. The collagen constructs containing biomolecules/nanoconstructs were incubated under physiological conditions (ie, 37°C and 5% CO2) for 24 hours, and the release profile was tuned from 20% to 70% of initially loaded materials by varying the gelation conditions of the collagen constructs. The amounts of released biomolecules and nanoparticles were quantified respectively by measuring the intensity of fluorescence and X-ray scattering. The collagen hydrogel we fabricated may serve as an efficient platform for the controlled release of biomolecules and imaging agents in human gingiva to facilitate the regeneration of oral tissues.

  3. Helminth parasites of cats from the Vientiane Province, Laos, as indicators of the occurrence of causative agents of human parasitoses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scholz T.

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available A total of 55 domestic cats (Felis calus f. domestico and one wild (Bengal cat (Prionailurus bengalensis from the Vientiane Province, central Laos, were examined for helminth parasites with emphasis given to potential human parasites. The following species were found (parasites infective to man marked with an asterisk: Opisthorchis viverrini*, Haplorchis pumilio*,H. laichui*,H. yokogawai*, Stellantchasmus falcatus* (Digenea; Spirometra sp.*, Dipylidium caninum*, Taenia taeniaeformis (Cestoda; Capillariidae gen. sp., Toxocara canis*, T. cati*, Ancylostoma ceylanicum*, A. tubaeforme, Gnathostoma spinigerum*, Physaloptera preputials (Nematoda; and Oncicola sp. (Acanthocephala. This study demonstrated that examination of cats may provide useful data on the occurrence of helminths which are potential causative agents of human diseases.

  4. Marketed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, antihypertensives, and human immunodeficiency virus protease inhibitors: as-yet-unused weapons of the oncologists' arsenal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papanagnou, Panagiota; Baltopoulos, Panagiotis; Tsironi, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Experimental data indicate that several pharmacological agents that have long been used for the management of various diseases unrelated to cancer exhibit profound in vitro and in vivo anticancer activity. This is of major clinical importance, since it would possibly aid in reassessing the therapeutic use of currently used agents for which clinicians already have experience. Further, this would obviate the time-consuming process required for the development and the approval of novel antineoplastic drugs. Herein, both pre-clinical and clinical data concerning the antineoplastic function of distinct commercially available pharmacological agents that are not currently used in the field of oncology, ie, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antihypertensive agents, and anti-human immunodeficiency virus agents inhibiting viral protease, are reviewed. The aim is to provide integrated information regarding not only the molecular basis of the antitumor function of these agents but also the applicability of the reevaluation of their therapeutic range in the clinical setting.

  5. Cognition and procedure representational requirements for predictive human performance models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corker, K.

    1992-01-01

    Models and modeling environments for human performance are becoming significant contributors to early system design and analysis procedures. Issues of levels of automation, physical environment, informational environment, and manning requirements are being addressed by such man/machine analysis systems. The research reported here investigates the close interaction between models of human cognition and models that described procedural performance. We describe a methodology for the decomposition of aircrew procedures that supports interaction with models of cognition on the basis of procedures observed; that serves to identify cockpit/avionics information sources and crew information requirements; and that provides the structure to support methods for function allocation among crew and aiding systems. Our approach is to develop an object-oriented, modular, executable software representation of the aircrew, the aircraft, and the procedures necessary to satisfy flight-phase goals. We then encode in a time-based language, taxonomies of the conceptual, relational, and procedural constraints among the cockpit avionics and control system and the aircrew. We have designed and implemented a goals/procedures hierarchic representation sufficient to describe procedural flow in the cockpit. We then execute the procedural representation in simulation software and calculate the values of the flight instruments, aircraft state variables and crew resources using the constraints available from the relationship taxonomies. The system provides a flexible, extensible, manipulative and executable representation of aircrew and procedures that is generally applicable to crew/procedure task-analysis. The representation supports developed methods of intent inference, and is extensible to include issues of information requirements and functional allocation. We are attempting to link the procedural representation to models of cognitive functions to establish several intent inference methods

  6. Human plasma-derived BuChE as a stoichiometric bioscavenger for treatment of nerve agent poisoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumford, Helen; Docx, Cerys J; Price, Matthew E; Green, A Christopher; Tattersall, John E H; Armstrong, Stuart J

    2013-03-25

    Potent organophosphorous (OP) agents, such as VX, are hazardous by absorption through the skin and are resistant to conventional pharmacological antidotal treatments. The residence time of a stoichiometric bioscavenger, human butyrylcholinesterase (huBuChE), in the plasma more closely matches that of VX than do the residence times of conventional therapy drugs (oxime, anti-muscarinic, anticonvulsant). Intramuscular (i.m.) huBuChE afforded almost complete protection when administered prior to the onset of observable cholinergic signs of VX poisoning, but once signs of poisoning became evident the efficacy of i.m. huBuChE decreased. A combination of nerve agent therapy drugs (oxime, anti-muscarinic, anticonvulsant) with huBuChE (i.m.) protected 100% (8/8) of guinea-pigs from a lethal dose of VX (0.74 mg/kg) to 48 h, even when administered on signs of poisoning. Survival was presumed to be due to immediate alleviation of the cholinergic crisis by the conventional pharmacological treatment drugs, in conjunction with bioscavenger that prevented further absorbed agent reaching the AChE targets. Evidence to support this proposed mechanism of action was obtained from PKPD experiments in which multiple blood samples and microdialysate samples were collected from individual conscious ambulatory animals. Plasma concentrations of intramuscularly-administered atropine, diazepam and HI-6 reached a peak within 15 min and were eliminated rapidly within 4h. Plasma concentrations of huBuChE administered by the i.m. route took approximately 24h to reach a peak, but were well-maintained over the subsequent 7days. Thus, the pharmacological therapy rapidly treated the initial signs of poisoning, whilst the bioscavenger provided prolonged protection by neutralising further nerve agent entering the bloodstream and preventing it from reaching the target organs.

  7. Development of a comparative risk ranking system for agents posing a bioterrorism threat to human or animal populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomuzia, Katharina; Menrath, Andrea; Frentzel, Hendrik; Filter, Matthias; Weiser, Armin A; Bräunig, Juliane; Buschulte, Anja; Appel, Bernd

    2013-09-01

    Various systems for prioritizing biological agents with respect to their applicability as biological weapons are available, ranging from qualitative to (semi)quantitative approaches. This research aimed at generating a generic risk ranking system applicable to human and animal pathogenic agents based on scientific information. Criteria were evaluated and clustered to create a criteria list. Considering availability of data, a number of 28 criteria separated by content were identified that can be classified in 11 thematic areas or categories. Relevant categories contributing to probability were historical aspects, accessibility, production efforts, and possible paths for dispersion. Categories associated with impact are dealing with containment measures, availability of diagnostics, preventive and treatment measures in human and animal populations, impact on society, human and veterinary public health, and economic and ecological consequences. To allow data-based scoring, each criterion was described by at least 1 measure that allows the assignment of values. These values constitute quantities, ranges, or facts that are as explicit and precise as possible. The consideration of minimum and maximum values that can occur due to natural variations and that are often described in the literature led to the development of minimum and maximum criteria and consequently category scores. Missing or incomplete data, and uncertainty resulting therefrom, were integrated into the scheme via a cautious (but not overcautious) approach. The visualization technique that was used allows the description and illustration of uncertainty on the level of probability and impact. The developed risk ranking system was evaluated by assessing the risk originating from the bioterrorism threat of the animal pathogen bluetongue virus, the human pathogen Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7, the zoonotic Bacillus anthracis, and Botulinum neurotoxin.

  8. On the use, characterization and performance of silane coupling agents between organic coatings and metallic or ceramic substrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Ooij, W. J.; Zhang, B. C.; Conners, K. D.; Hörnström, S.-E.

    1996-01-01

    Examples are given of the use of organofunctional silane coupling agents for promoting bonding between organic coatings and metallic or ceramic (i.e. oxide) substrates. The orientation of the silane molecules and the type of bonding with the metal oxide can be determined successfully by Time-of-Flight SIMS. Oriented films of aminosilanes are demonstrated to be unstable in air. A prerinse with an inorganic silicate is introduced as a suitable method for masking the ubiquitous carbonaceous contamination at the metal surface, thus promoting the proper orientation and covalent bonding. Some practical applications are described, such as the pretreatment of Galvalume■ surfaces as a replacement of existing chromate treatments in coil coating applications. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) is shown to be a powerful tool for studying the performance of the silane treatment under a paint.

  9. [Determination of antidangdruff agent salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione, octopirox, climbazole and ketoconazole in shampoo by high performance liquid chromatography].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yan-Wei; Zhu, Ying; Su, Xiao-Qing

    2005-09-01

    A high performance liquid chromatography method was established for determination of antidangdruff agent salicylic acid,zinc pyrithione, octopirox, climbazole and ketoconazole in shampoo on a C18 column using acetonitrile-metholaqueous solution (10 mmol/L KH2 PO4 and 5 mmol/L EDTANa2, pH is adjusted to 4.0 with H3 PO4) (50:10:40) as mobile phase at a flow rate of 1.0 ml/min, with the column temperature 25 degrees C and detection wave 230nm. The precision was less than 3.8% and recovery varied from 92.7% to 104.9%. The experimental results showed that the method was simple, precise and accurate.

  10. 63 Film as an Agent of Human Rights Advancement in Nigeria: A ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Tracie1

    vibrant and popular film culture in Nigeria, this study has investigated the role ... led by Civil Liberties. Organization, Human Right Defence Group, and Women in .... latter), the film is a metaphorical representation of the nature of leadership in.

  11. Human-Agent Teaming for Multi-Robot Control: A Literature Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-01

    lower-reliability system (i.e., system-wide trust calibration versus. component-specific calibration). Roth et al., (2004) also reported that, in...Frontiers in Human- Robot Interaction. Edinburgh, Scotland , 6–9 April 2009. Dong, X.; Hayes, C. Uncertainty Visualization: Helping Decision...Information Visualization. Reviews of Human Factors and Ergonomics 2009, 5, 41–81. Roth , E.; Hanson, M.; Hopkins, C.; Mancuso, V.; Zacharias, G

  12. Pleurostomophora ochracea, a Novel Agent of Human Eumycetoma with Yellow Grains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mhmoud, Najwa A.; Ahmed, Sarah Abdalla; Fahal, Ahmed H.; de Hoog, G. Sybren; Gerrits van den Ende, A. H. G.

    2012-01-01

    The first yellow-grain fungal mycetoma, in a 60-year-old man from Central Sudan, is reported. Morphological and phylogenetic analysis of the ribosomal small subunit (SSU), large subunit (LSU), internal transcribed spacer (ITS), β-tubulin (BT2), actin (ACT1), and elongation factor (TEF1) genes revealed that the isolate deviated from any known agent of mycetoma; it clustered in the genus Pleurostoma (anamorph genus, Pleurostomophora) in the order Calosphaeriales. The novel species, here named Pleurostomophora ochracea, is characterized by phenotypic features. The species proved to be highly susceptible to itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, and voriconazole, but not to fluconazole. The fungus was inhibited by caspofungin at 8 μg/ml, while no inhibition was found with 5-flucytosine (MIC > 64 μg/ml). Compared to other members of the genus Pleurostomophora, P. ochracea is slow growing, with a relatively high optimum growth temperature (36 to 37°C). This is the first case of a yellow-grain fungal mycetoma; yellow grains are otherwise of bacterial nature. Our case emphasizes that identification of mycetoma agents by the color of the grain only is not sufficient and may lead to inappropriate therapy. PMID:22760037

  13. Pleurostomophora ochracea, a novel agent of human eumycetoma with yellow grains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mhmoud, Najwa A; Ahmed, Sarah Abdalla; Fahal, Ahmed H; de Hoog, G Sybren; Gerrits van den Ende, A H G; van de Sande, Wendy W J

    2012-09-01

    The first yellow-grain fungal mycetoma, in a 60-year-old man from Central Sudan, is reported. Morphological and phylogenetic analysis of the ribosomal small subunit (SSU), large subunit (LSU), internal transcribed spacer (ITS), β-tubulin (BT2), actin (ACT1), and elongation factor (TEF1) genes revealed that the isolate deviated from any known agent of mycetoma; it clustered in the genus Pleurostoma (anamorph genus, Pleurostomophora) in the order Calosphaeriales. The novel species, here named Pleurostomophora ochracea, is characterized by phenotypic features. The species proved to be highly susceptible to itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, and voriconazole, but not to fluconazole. The fungus was inhibited by caspofungin at 8 μg/ml, while no inhibition was found with 5-flucytosine (MIC > 64 μg/ml). Compared to other members of the genus Pleurostomophora, P. ochracea is slow growing, with a relatively high optimum growth temperature (36 to 37°C). This is the first case of a yellow-grain fungal mycetoma; yellow grains are otherwise of bacterial nature. Our case emphasizes that identification of mycetoma agents by the color of the grain only is not sufficient and may lead to inappropriate therapy.

  14. Activation of p53 in Human and Murine Cells by DNA-Damaging Agents Differentially Regulates Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panchanathan, Ravichandran; Liu, Hongzhu; Choubey, Divaker

    2015-01-01

    Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that regulates multiple cellular processes. The anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) can activate AhR-mediated transcription of target genes. Because DOX in cells activates a DNA damage response involving ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (ATM)-mediated activation of p53, we investigated whether the activation of the p53 in cells by DNA-damaging agents such as DOX or bleomycin could regulate the AhR levels. Here we report that activation of p53 by DNA-damaging agents in human cells increased levels of AhR through a posttranscriptional mechanism. Accordingly, fibroblasts from ATM patients, which are defective in p53 activation, expressed reduced constitutive levels of AhR and treatment of cells with bleomycin did not appreciably increase the AhR levels. Further, activation of p53 in cells stimulated the expression of AhR target genes. In murine cells, activation of p53 reduced the levels of AhR messenger RNA and protein and reduced the expression of AhR target genes. Our observations revealed that activation of p53 in human and murine cells differentially regulates AhR levels.

  15. Cunninghamella bertholletiae exhibits increased resistance to human neutrophils with or without antifungal agents as compared to Rhizopus spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simitsopoulou, Maria; Georgiadou, Elpiniki; Walsh, Thomas J; Roilides, Emmanuel

    2010-08-01

    Among Zygomycetes, Cunninghamella bertholletiae occurs less frequently as the etiologic agent of human disease but causes more aggressive, refractory, and fatal infections despite antifungal therapy. Little is known about the differential innate host response against Cunninghamella and other Zygomycetes in the presence of antifungal agents. We therefore studied the activity of human neutrophils (PMNs) alone or in combination with caspofungin, posaconazole (PSC), and voriconazole (VRC) against hyphae of Rhizopus oryzae, Rhizopus microsporus and C. bertholletiae. Hyphal damage was measured by XTT metabolic assay and release of IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-alpha from PMNs by ELISA. Cunninghamella bertholletiae was more resistant to PMN-induced hyphal damage than either Rhizopus spp. at effector:target (E:T) ratios of 1:1, 5:1 and 10:1 (P Rhizopus spp. (P < 0.01). No IL-6 was released from PMNs exposed to the three Zygomycetes. In comparison to R. oryzae and R. microsporus, C. bertholletiae is more resistant to PMN-induced hyphal damage with or without antifungal therapy and is more capable of suppressing release of IL-8.

  16. Social Dynamics in Web Page through Inter-Agent Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeuchi, Yugo; Katagiri, Yasuhiro

    Social persuasion abounds in human-human interactions. Attitudes and behaviors of people are invariably influenced by the attitudes and behaviors of other people as well as our social roles/relationships toward them. In the pedagogic scene, the relationship between teacher and learner produces one of the most typical interactions, in which the teacher makes the learner spontaneously study what he/she teaches. This study is an attempt to elucidate the nature and effectiveness of social persuasion in human-computer interaction environments. We focus on the social dynamics of multi-party interactions that involve both human-agent and inter-agent interactions. An experiment is conducted in a virtual web-instruction setting employing two types of agents: conductor agents who accompany and guide each learner throughout his/her learning sessions, and domain-expert agents who provide explanations and instructions for each stage of the instructional materials. In this experiment, subjects are assigned two experimental conditions: the authorized condition, in which an agent respectfully interacts with another agent, and the non-authorized condition, in which an agent carelessly interacts with another agent. The results indicate performance improvements in the authorized condition of inter-agent interactions. An analysis is given from the perspective of the transfer of authority from inter-agent to human-agent interactions based on social conformity. We argue for pedagogic advantages of social dynamics created by multiple animated character agents.

  17. Human System Simulation in Support of Human Performance Technical Basis at NPPs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    David Gertman; Katya Le Blanc; alan mecham; william phoenix; Magdy Tawfik; Jeffrey Joe

    2010-06-01

    This paper focuses on strategies and progress toward establishing the Idaho National Laboratory’s (INL’s) Human Systems Simulator Laboratory at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), a consortium of Idaho State Universities. The INL is one of the National Laboratories of the US Department of Energy. One of the first planned applications for the Human Systems Simulator Laboratory is implementation of a dynamic nuclear power plant simulation (NPP) where studies of operator workload, situation awareness, performance and preference will be carried out in simulated control rooms including nuclear power plant control rooms. Simulation offers a means by which to review operational concepts, improve design practices and provide a technical basis for licensing decisions. In preparation for the next generation power plant and current government and industry efforts in support of light water reactor sustainability, human operators will be attached to a suite of physiological measurement instruments and, in combination with traditional Human Factors Measurement techniques, carry out control room tasks in simulated advanced digital and hybrid analog/digital control rooms. The current focus of the Human Systems Simulator Laboratory is building core competence in quantitative and qualitative measurements of situation awareness and workload. Of particular interest is whether introduction of digital systems including automated procedures has the potential to reduce workload and enhance safety while improving situation awareness or whether workload is merely shifted and situation awareness is modified in yet to be determined ways. Data analysis is carried out by engineers and scientists and includes measures of the physical and neurological correlates of human performance. The current approach supports a user-centered design philosophy (see ISO 13407 “Human Centered Design Process for Interactive Systems, 1999) wherein the context for task performance along with the

  18. Performance Evaluation of Wavelet Based on Human Visual System

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    胡海平; 莫玉龙

    2002-01-01

    We have constructed a compactly supported biorthogonal wavelet that approximates the modulation transfer function(MTF) of human visual system in the frequency domain.In this paper,we evaluate performance of the constructed wavelet,and compare it with the widely used Daubechies9-7,Daubechies 9-3 and GBCW-9-7 wavelets.The result shows that coding performance of the constructed wavelet is better than Daubechies9-3,and is competitive with Daubechies 9-7 and GBCW-9-7 wavelets.Like Dauechies 9-3 wavelet,the filter coefficients of the constructed waveklet are all dyadic fractions,and the tap is less than Daubechies 9-7 and GBOW 9-7,It has an attractive feature in the realization of discrete wavelet transform.

  19. Towards thresholds of disaster management performance under demographic change: exploring functional relationships using agent-based modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dressler, Gunnar; Müller, Birgit; Frank, Karin; Kuhlicke, Christian

    2016-10-01

    Effective disaster management is a core feature for the protection of communities against natural disasters such as floods. Disaster management organizations (DMOs) are expected to contribute to ensuring this protection. However, what happens when their resources to cope with a flood are at stake or the intensity and frequency of the event exceeds their capacities? Many cities in the Free State of Saxony, Germany, were strongly hit by several floods in the last years and are additionally challenged by demographic change, with an ageing society and out-migration leading to population shrinkage in many parts of Saxony. Disaster management, which is mostly volunteer-based in Germany, is particularly affected by this change, leading to a loss of members. We propose an agent-based simulation model that acts as a "virtual lab" to explore the impact of various changes on disaster management performance. Using different scenarios we examine the impact of changes in personal resources of DMOs, their access to operation relevant information, flood characteristics as well as differences between geographic regions. A loss of DMOs and associated manpower caused by demographic change has the most profound impact on the performance. Especially in rural, upstream regions population decline in combination with very short lead times can put disaster management performance at risk.

  20. Improving Emergency Response and Human-Robotic Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    David I. Gertman; David J. Bruemmer; R. Scott Hartley

    2007-08-01

    Preparedness for chemical, biological, and radiological/nuclear incidents at nuclear power plants (NPPs) includes the deployment of well trained emergency response teams. While teams are expected to do well, data from other domains suggests that the timeliness and accuracy associated with incident response can be improved through collaborative human-robotic interaction. Many incident response scenarios call for multiple, complex procedure-based activities performed by personnel wearing cumbersome personal protective equipment (PPE) and operating under high levels of stress and workload. While robotic assistance is postulated to reduce workload and exposure, limitations associated with communications and the robot’s ability to act independently have served to limit reliability and reduce our potential to exploit human –robotic interaction and efficacy of response. Recent work at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) on expanding robot capability has the potential to improve human-system response during disaster management and recovery. Specifically, increasing the range of higher level robot behaviors such as autonomous navigation and mapping, evolving new abstractions for sensor and control data, and developing metaphors for operator control have the potential to improve state-of-the-art in incident response. This paper discusses these issues and reports on experiments underway intelligence residing on the robot to enhance emergency response.

  1. Enhancement of human cognitive performance using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luber, Bruce; Lisanby, Sarah H

    2014-01-15

    Here we review the usefulness of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in modulating cortical networks in ways that might produce performance enhancements in healthy human subjects. To date over sixty studies have reported significant improvements in speed and accuracy in a variety of tasks involving perceptual, motor, and executive processing. Two basic categories of enhancement mechanisms are suggested by this literature: direct modulation of a cortical region or network that leads to more efficient processing, and addition-by-subtraction, which is disruption of processing which competes or distracts from task performance. Potential applications of TMS cognitive enhancement, including research into cortical function, rehabilitation therapy in neurological and psychiatric illness, and accelerated skill acquisition in healthy individuals are discussed, as are methods of optimizing the magnitude and duration of TMS-induced performance enhancement, such as improvement of targeting through further integration of brain imaging with TMS. One technique, combining multiple sessions of TMS with concurrent TMS/task performance to induce Hebbian-like learning, appears to be promising for prolonging enhancement effects. While further refinements in the application of TMS to cognitive enhancement can still be made, and questions remain regarding the mechanisms underlying the observed effects, this appears to be a fruitful area of investigation that may shed light on the basic mechanisms of cognitive function and their therapeutic modulation.

  2. Alpharetroviral Vectors: From a Cancer-Causing Agent to a Useful Tool for Human Gene Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia D. Suerth

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Gene therapy using integrating retroviral vectors has proven its effectiveness in several clinical trials for the treatment of inherited diseases and cancer. However, vector-mediated adverse events related to insertional mutagenesis were also observed, emphasizing the need for safer therapeutic vectors. Paradoxically, alpharetroviruses, originally discovered as cancer-causing agents, have a more random and potentially safer integration pattern compared to gammaretro- and lentiviruses. In this review, we provide a short overview of the history of alpharetroviruses and explain how they can be converted into state-of-the-art gene delivery tools with improved safety features. We discuss development of alpharetroviral vectors in compliance with regulatory requirements for clinical translation, and provide an outlook on possible future gene therapy applications. Taken together, this review is a broad overview of alpharetroviral vectors spanning the bridge from their parental virus discovery to their potential applicability in clinical settings.

  3. A Comparative Toxidrome Analysis of Human Organophosphate and Nerve Agent Poisonings Using Social Media.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, D S; Colman, E

    2017-02-26

    Here we utilized social media to compare the toxidrome of three lethal chemical exposures worldwide. YouTube videos were the main source from which the data were collected, but published reports and news were also utilized to fill in some gaps. All videos were organized in a database detailing symptoms and severity of each victim, along with demographics such as approximate age and gender. Each symptom was rated as mild, moderate, or severe and corresponding pie graphs for each incident were compared. The videos displayed symptoms ranging from mild to severe cholinergic toxicity and life-threatening convulsions. Social media may represent an important resource in developing a viable approach to the early detection and identification of chemical exposure, reinforce our preparedness for better antidotes, long-term follow up, and training about deadly chemical nerve agent attacks.

  4. When a Talking-Face Computer Agent Is Half-Human and Half-Humanoid: Human Identity and Consistency Preference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Li; Nass, Clifford

    2007-01-01

    Computer-generated anthropomorphic characters are a growing type of communicator that is deployed in digital communication environments. An essential theoretical question is how people identify humanlike but clearly artificial, hence humanoid, entities in comparison to natural human ones. This identity categorization inquiry was approached under…

  5. Human performance tools in nuclear power plants. Introduction, implementation and experiences; Human Performance Tools in Kernkraftwerken. Einfuehrung, Umsetzung und Erfahrungen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dexheimer, Kai; Bassing, Gerd [Dexcon Consulting GmbH, Neuhausen (Switzerland); Kreuzer, Peter [E.ON Kernkraft GmbH, Essenbach (Germany). Kernkraftwerk Isar

    2015-06-01

    The basis of safe nuclear power plant operation (NPP) and a strong safety culture is the professional application of Human Performance Optimisation Tools (HPO). HPO trainings have been carried out by German NPPs for a number of years and recently also by Swiss NPPs. This article describes the origination, the bases, experiences and thereby the special features of the HPO training programme applied by German NPP operators. Moreover, this article provides an outlook on future developments - in particular when considering the requirements of the ongoing phase out of nuclear energy in Germany.

  6. The politics of death in Mexico: dislocating human rights and asylum law through hybrid agents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariadna Estévez

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In 2006 Mexico’s then-president Felipe Calderón declared war on drug trafficking. The human toll was devastating with the loss of over 95,000 lives and the forced disappearance of more than 27,000 people. In addition, two percent of the Mexican population was displaced with families forced to flee their homes in the face of criminal violence. This article offers an explanation of how death, forced disappearances, persecution and exile are in essence the specific effects of governmentalization of the Mexican state. This govern­mentalization includes the shared use, by criminals and authorities, of techniques for dominating the population and controlling the conduct of citizens through the practices of death, that is, by employing the politics of death (necropolitics. The article goes on to discuss how the objectives, rationality and governmentalization of the State serve to dislocate human rights discourse in such a way that its truth politics excludes people suffering serious human rights violations, such as Mexican asylum seekers. This is accompanied by a new mode of subjectivity produced by Mexico's politics of death – the Endriago subject – which operates as a hybrid perpetrator of human rights violations.

  7. Complex stereoselectivity of human butyrylcholinesterase for the neurotoxic V-agents (Poster)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wandhammer, M.; Pattou, C.; Schans, M.J. van der; Daveloose, D.; Noort, D.; Nachon, F.

    2012-01-01

    Human butyrylcholinesterase (BChE ; 3.1.1.8) functions as a bioscavenger, protecting the cholinergic system against organophosphate compounds (OPs). The stereoselectivity of BChE is an important parameter for its efficiency at scavenging the most toxic OPs enantiomer for AChE. Crystals of BChE inhib

  8. Making Sense of Women as Career Self-Agents: Implications for Human Resource Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro, Mary; Ingols, Cynthia; O'Neill, Regina; Blake-Beard, Stacy

    2009-01-01

    In this article, we explore the shifting career paradigm of managerial women in the United States, what it may indicate for the broader professional workforce, and human resource development's (HRD's) role in supporting that change. We examine the literature on evolving career definitions, women's place in that evolution, the rising use of…

  9. Adaptive work-centered and human-aware support agents for augmented cognition in tactical environments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Neef, R.M.; Maanen, P.P. van; Petiet, P.; Spoelstra, M.

    2009-01-01

    We introduce a support system concept that offers both work-centered and human-aware support for operators in tactical command and control environments. The support system augments the cognitive capabilities of the operator by offering instant, personalized task and work support. The operator obtain

  10. Determination of multiple human arsenic metabolites employing high performance liquid chromatography inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stice, Szabina; Liu, Guangliang; Matulis, Shannon; Boise, Lawrence H.; Cai, Yong

    2016-01-01

    During the metabolism of different arsenic-containing compounds in human, a variety of metabolites are produced with significantly varying toxicities. Currently available analytical methods can only detect a limited number of human metabolites in biological samples during one run due to their diverse characteristics. In addition, co-elution of species is often unnoticeable with most detection techniques leading to inaccurate metabolic profiles and assessment of toxicity. A high performance liquid chromatography inductively coupled mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS) method was developed that can identify thirteen common arsenic metabolites possibly present in human with special attention dedicated to thiolated or thiol conjugated arsenicals. The thirteen species included in this study are arsenite (AsIII), arsino-glutathione (As(GS)3), arsenate (AsV), monomethylarsonous acid (MMAIII), monomethylarsino-glutathione (MMAIII(GS)2), monomethylarsonic acid (MMAV), dimethylarsinous acid (DMAIII (from DMAIIII)), S-(dimethylarsinic)cysteine (DMAIII(Cys)), dimethylarsino-glutathione (DMAIII(GS)), dimethylarsinic acid (DMAV), dimethylmonothioarsinic acid (DMMTAV), dimethyldithioarsinic acid (DMDTAV), dimethylarsinothioyl glutathione (DMMTAV(GS)). The developed method was applied for the analysis of cancer cells that were incubated with Darinaparsin (DMAIII(GS)), a novel chemotherapeutic agent for refractory malignancies, and the arsenic metabolic profile obtained was compared to results using a previously developed method. This method provides a useful analytical tool which is much needed in unequivocally identifying the arsenicals formed during the metabolism of environmental arsenic exposure or therapeutic arsenic administration. PMID:26708625

  11. Increased susceptibility of transgenic mice expressing human PrP to experimental sheep bovine spongiform encephalopathy is not due to increased agent titre in sheep brain tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plinston, Chris; Hart, Patricia; Hunter, Nora; Manson, Jean C; Barron, Rona M

    2014-08-01

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans have previously been shown to be caused by the same strain of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy agent. It is hypothesized that the agent spread to humans following consumption of food products prepared from infected cattle. Despite evidence supporting zoonotic transmission, mouse models expressing human prion protein (HuTg) have consistently shown poor transmission rates when inoculated with cattle BSE. Higher rates of transmission have however been observed when these mice are exposed to BSE that has been experimentally transmitted through sheep or goats, indicating that humans may potentially be more susceptible to BSE from small ruminants. Here we demonstrate that increased transmissibility of small ruminant BSE to HuTg mice was not due to replication of higher levels of infectivity in sheep brain tissue, and is instead due to other specific changes in the infectious agent.

  12. Effect of Human WEE1 and Stem Cell Factor on Human CD34+ Umbilical Cord Blood Cell Damage Induced by Chemotherapeutic Agents

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ping LEI; Yong HE; Wenfang SHI; Jilin PENG; Sha WU; Huifen ZHU; Jianguo CHEN; Guanxin SHEN

    2007-01-01

    Myelosuppression is one of the major side-effects of most anticancer drugs. To achieve myeloprotection, one bicistronic vector encoding anti-apoptotic protein human WEE1 (WEE1Hu) and proliferation-stimulating stem cell factor (SCF) was generated. In this study, we selected human umbilical cord blood CD34+ cells as the in vitro model in an attempt to investigate whether WEE1Hu, rather than conventional drug-resistant genes, can be introduced to rescue cells from the damage by chemotherapeutic agents such as cisplatin, adriamycin, mitomycin-c and 5-fluorouracil. Cell viability and cytotoxicity assay,colony-forming units in culture assay and externalization of phospholipid phosphatidylserine analysis showed that the expression of WEE1Hu and SCF in CD34+ cells provided the cells with some protection. These findings suggest that the expression of WEE1Hu and SCF might rescue CD34+ cells from chemotherapyinduced myelosuppression.

  13. Etiologic Agents of Bacterial Sepsis and Their Antibiotic Susceptibility Patterns among Patients Living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus at Gondar University Teaching Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gelila Alebachew

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Bacterial sepsis is a major cause of illness in human immunodeficiency virus infected patients. There is scarce evidence about sepsis among HIV patients in Ethiopia. This study aimed to determine the etiologic agents of bacterial sepsis and their antibiotic susceptibility patterns among HIV infected patients. Methods. A cross-sectional study was carried out from March 1 to May 2, 2013. One hundred patients infected with HIV and suspected of having sepsis were included. Sociodemographic data were collected by interview and blood sample was aseptically collected from study participants. All blood cultures were incubated aerobically at 35°C and inspected daily for 7 days. The positive blood cultures were identified following the standard procedures and antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed using disk diffusion technique. Data was entered by Epi-info version 3.5.1 and analysis was done using SPSS version 20. Results. Of the study participants, 31 (31% confirmed bacterial sepsis. The major isolates were 13 (13% Staphylococcus aureus, 8 (8% coagulates negative staphylococci, and 3 (3% viridans streptococci. Majority of the isolates, 25 (80.6%, were multidrug resistant to two or more antimicrobial agents. Conclusions. Bacterial sepsis was a major cause of admission for HIV infected patients predominated by Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase negative staphylococci species and most of the isolates were multidrug resistant.

  14. Facet-Controlling Agents Free Synthesis of Hematite Crystals with High-Index Planes: Excellent Photodegradation Performance and Mechanism Insight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Dahu; Huang, Yang; Zhou, Cuifeng; Liu, Zongwen; Ren, Jichang; Zhang, Ruiqin; Wang, Jianhai; Zhang, Yuanjian; Lei, Zhongfang; Zhang, Zhenya; Zhi, Chunyi

    2016-01-13

    Hematite (α-Fe2O3) crystals with uniform size and structure are synthesized through very facile one-pot hydrothermal methods without any additive. The as-synthesized sub-micrometer-sized α-Fe2O3 crystals with small surface areas perform superb visible light photodegradation activities, even much better than most other α-Fe2O3 nanostructures with large surface areas. Profound mechanism analyses reveal that the microwave-assisted hydrothermal (Mic-H) synthesized α-Fe2O3 is enclosed by 12 high-index {2-15} facets. The structure and the low unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) of the high-index planes result in the excellent photocatalytic activity. This is the first report on the formation of {2-15} plane group of hematite, and the synthesis of the hematite particles with the {2-15} planes is very simple and no any facet-controlling agent is used. This study may pave the way to further performance enhancement and practical applications of the cheap hematite materials.

  15. Human performance measures for interactive haptic-audio-visual interfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Dawei; Bhatti, Asim; Nahavandi, Saeid; Horan, Ben

    2013-01-01

    Virtual reality and simulation are becoming increasingly important in modern society and it is essential to improve our understanding of system usability and efficacy from the users' perspective. This paper introduces a novel evaluation method designed to assess human user capability when undertaking technical and procedural training using virtual training systems. The evaluation method falls under the user-centered design and evaluation paradigm and draws on theories of cognitive, skill-based and affective learning outcomes. The method focuses on user interaction with haptic-audio-visual interfaces and the complexities related to variability in users' performance, and the adoption and acceptance of the technologies. A large scale user study focusing on object assembly training tasks involving selecting, rotating, releasing, inserting, and manipulating three-dimensional objects was performed. The study demonstrated the advantages of the method in obtaining valuable multimodal information for accurate and comprehensive evaluation of virtual training system efficacy. The study investigated how well users learn, perform, adapt to, and perceive the virtual training. The results of the study revealed valuable aspects of the design and evaluation of virtual training systems contributing to an improved understanding of more usable virtual training systems.

  16. Reactivation of nerve agent-inhibited human acetylcholinesterase by obidoxime, HI-6 and obidoxime+HI-6: Kinetic in vitro study with simulated nerve agent toxicokinetics and oxime pharmacokinetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worek, Franz; Koller, Marianne; Thiermann, Horst; Wille, Timo

    2016-03-28

    Despite extensive research for decades no effective broad-spectrum oxime for the treatment of poisoning by a broad range of nerve agents is available. Previous in vitro and in vivo data indicate that the combination of in service oximes could be beneficial. To investigate the ability of obidoxime, HI-6 and the combination of both oximes to reactivate inhibited human AChE in the presence of sarin, cyclosarin or tabun we adopted a dynamic in vitro model with real-time and continuous determination of AChE activity to simulate inhalation nerve agent exposure and intramuscular oxime administration. The major findings of this kinetic study are that the extent and velocity of reactivation is dependent on the nerve agent and the oxime-specific reactivating potency. The oxime-induced reactivation of inhibited human AChE in the presence of nerve agents is markedly impaired and the combination of obidoxime and HI-6 had no additive effect but could broaden the spectrum. In conclusion, these data indicate that a combination of obidoxime and HI-6 would be beneficial for the treatment of poisoning by a broad spectrum of nerve agents and could present an interim solution until more effective and broad-spectrum reactivators are available.

  17. Distinct human antibody response to the biological warfare agent Burkholderia mallei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varga, John J; Vigil, Adam; DeShazer, David; Waag, David M; Felgner, Philip; Goldberg, Joanna B

    2012-10-01

    The genetic similarity between Burkholderia mallei (glanders) and Burkholderia pseudomallei (melioidosis) had led to the general assumption that pathogenesis of each bacterium would be similar. In 2000, the first human case of glanders in North America since 1945 was reported in a microbiology laboratory worker. Leveraging the availability of pre-exposure sera for this individual and employing the same well-characterized protein array platform that has been previously used to study a large cohort of melioidosis patients in southeast Asia, we describe the antibody response in a human with glanders. Analysis of 156 peptides present on the array revealed antibodies against 17 peptides with a > 2-fold increase in this infection. Unexpectedly, when the glanders data were compared with a previous data set from B. pseudomallei infections, there were only two highly increased antibodies shared between these two infections. These findings have implications in the diagnosis and treatment of B. mallei and B. pseudomallei infections.

  18. Modified clay minerals efficiency against chemical and biological warfare agents for civil human protection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plachá, Daniela; Rosenbergová, Kateřina; Slabotínský, Jiří; Kutláková, Kateřina Mamulová; Studentová, Soňa; Martynková, Gražyna Simha

    2014-04-30

    Sorption efficiencies of modified montmorillonite and vermiculite of their mono ionic Na and organic HDTMA and HDP forms were studied against chemical and biological warfare agents such as yperite and selected bacterial strains. Yperite interactions with modified clay minerals were observed through its capture in low-density polyethylene foil-modified clay composites by measuring yperite gas permeation with using chemical indication and gas chromatography methods. The antibacterial activities of synthetized organoclays were tested against selected Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial species in minimum inhibitory concentration tests. The obtained results showed a positive influence of modified clay minerals on the significant yperite breakthrough-time increase. The most effective material was the polyethylene-Na form montmorillonite, while the polyethylene-Na form vermiculite showed the lowest efficiency. With increasing organic cations loading in the interlayer space the montmorillonite efficiency decreased, and in the case of vermiculite an opposite effect was observed. Generally the modified montmorillonites were more effective than modified vermiculites. The HDP cations seem to be more effective compare to the HDTMA. The antibacterial activity tests confirmed efficiency of all organically modified clay minerals against Gram-positive bacteria. The confirmation of antibacterial activity against Y. pestis, plague bacteria, is the most interesting result of this part of the study.

  19. Use of Aptamers as Diagnostics Tools and Antiviral Agents for Human Viruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Víctor M. González

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Appropriate diagnosis is the key factor for treatment of viral diseases. Time is the most important factor in rapidly developing and epidemiologically dangerous diseases, such as influenza, Ebola and SARS. Chronic viral diseases such as HIV-1 or HCV are asymptomatic or oligosymptomatic and the therapeutic success mainly depends on early detection of the infective agent. Over the last years, aptamer technology has been used in a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic applications and, concretely, several strategies are currently being explored using aptamers against virus proteins. From a diagnostics point of view, aptamers are being designed as a bio-recognition element in diagnostic systems to detect viral proteins either in the blood (serum or plasma or into infected cells. Another potential use of aptamers is for therapeutics of viral infections, interfering in the interaction between the virus and the host using aptamers targeting host-cell matrix receptors, or attacking the virus intracellularly, targeting proteins implicated in the viral replication cycle. In this paper, we review how aptamers working against viral proteins are discovered, with a focus on recent advances that improve the aptamers’ properties as a real tool for viral infection detection and treatment.

  20. In vivo efficacy of human simulated regimens of carbapenems and comparator agents against NDM-1-producing Enterobacteriaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiskirchen, Dora E; Nordmann, Patrice; Crandon, Jared L; Nicolau, David P

    2014-01-01

    Doripenem and ertapenem have demonstrated efficacy against several NDM-1-producing isolates in vivo, despite having high MICs. In this study, we sought to further characterize the efficacy profiles of humanized regimens of standard (500 mg given every 8 h) and high-dose, prolonged infusion of doripenem (2 g given every 8 h, 4-h infusion) and 1 g of ertapenem given intravenously every 24 h and the comparator regimens of ceftazidime at 2 g given every 8 h (2-h infusion), levofloxacin at 500 mg every 24 h, and aztreonam at 2 g every 6 h (1-h infusion) against a wider range of isolates in a murine thigh infection model. An isogenic wild-type strain and NDM-1-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae and eight clinical NDM-1-producing members of the family Enterobacteriaceae were tested in immunocompetent- and neutropenic-mouse models. The wild-type strain was susceptible to all of the agents, while the isogenic NDM-1-producing strain was resistant to ceftazidime, doripenem, and ertapenem. Clinical NDM-1-producing strains were resistant to nearly all five of the agents (two were susceptible to levofloxacin). In immunocompetent mice, all of the agents produced ≥1-log10 CFU reductions of the isogenic wild-type and NDM-1-producing strains after 24 h. Minimal efficacy of ceftazidime, aztreonam, and levofloxacin against the clinical NDM-1-producing strains was observed. However, despite in vitro resistance, ≥1-log10 CFU reductions of six of eight clinical strains were achieved with high-dose, prolonged infusion of doripenem and ertapenem. Slight enhancements of doripenem activity over the standard doses were obtained with high-dose, prolonged infusion for three of the four isolates tested. Similar efficacy observations were noted in neutropenic mice. These data suggest that carbapenems are a viable treatment option for infections caused by NDM-1-producing Enterobacteriaceae.

  1. Zinc is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent: Its role in human health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ananda S Prasad

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Zinc supplementation trials in the elderly showed that the incidence of infections was decreased by approximately 66% in the zinc group. Zinc supplementation also decreased oxidative stress biomarkers and decreased inflammatory cytokines in the elderly. In our studies in the experimental model of zinc deficiency in humans, we showed that zinc deficiency per se increased the generation of IL-1β and its mRNA in human mononuclear cells following LPS stimulation. Zinc supplementation upregulated A20, a zinc transcription factor, which inhibited the activation of NF-κB, resulting in decreased generation of inflammatory cytokines. Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are important contributing factors for several chronic diseases attributed to aging, such as atherosclerosis and related cardiac disorders, cancer, neurodegeneration, immunologic disorders and the aging process itself. Zinc is very effective in decreasing reactive oxygen species (ROS. In this review, the mechanism of zinc actions on oxidative stress and generation of inflammatory cytokines and its impact on health in humans will be presented.

  2. Dynamic Human Reliability Analysis: Benefits and Challenges of Simulating Human Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    R. L. Boring

    2007-06-01

    To date, there has been considerable work on dynamic event trees and other areas related to dynamic probabilistic safety assessment (PSA). The counterpart to these efforts in human reliability analysis (HRA) has centered on the development of specific methods to account for the dynamic nature of human performance. In this paper, the author posits that the key to dynamic HRA is not in the development of specific methods but in the utilization of cognitive modeling and simulation to produce a framework of data that may be used in quantifying the likelihood of human error. This paper provides an overview of simulation approaches to HRA; reviews differences between first, second, and dynamic generation HRA; and outlines potential benefits and challenges of this approach.

  3. The Human Factor in Dissemination: Field Agent Roles in Their Organizational Context. Linking R&D with Schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis, Karen Seashore; Kell, Diane

    Linking agents, called "field agents," coordinated and provided educational improvement services to schools participating in the National Institute of Education's Research and Development Utilization (RDU) program. To assess the field agents' roles, attitudes, behaviors, and client relations, researchers surveyed and interviewed agents,…

  4. Determination of pyrazinamide in human by high performance liquid chromatography.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Revankar S

    1994-01-01

    Full Text Available A facile and sensitive high performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC technique has been developed for the determination pyrazinamide (PZA in human plasma. Nicotinamide(NIA is used as internal standard(IS. Plasma is deproteinized with 0.7 M perchloric acid; clear supernatant is neutralized with 1M NaOH and injected onto HPLC. The separation of pyrazinamide and the internal standard is carried out on a Supelco LC-18 (DB column with a basic mobile phase. Pyrazinoic acid, the major metabolite, other anti-tuberculous drugs and endogenous components do not interfere with measurement of pyrazinamide. The limit of detection of pyrazinamide with this method is 0.2 mg/0.2 ml plasma (CV 8.2%.

  5. Effects of Extreme Sleep Deprivation on Human Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tuan Tran; Kimberly R. Raddatz; Elizabeth T. Cady; Bradford Amstutz; Pete D. Elgin; Christopher Vowels; Gerald Deehan

    2007-04-01

    Sleep is a fundamental recuperative process for the nervous system. Disruption of this homeostatic drive can lead to severe impairments of the operator’s ability to perceive, recognize, and respond to emergencies and/or unanticipated events, putting the operator at risk. Therefore, establishing a comprehensive understanding of how sleep deprivation influences human performance is essential in order to counter fatigue or to develop mitigation strategies. The goal of the present study was to examine the psychological effects of prolonged sleep deprivation (approx. 75 hrs) over a four-day span on a general aviation pilot flying a fixed-based flight simulator. During the study, a series of tasks were employed every four hours in order to examine the pilot’s perceptual and higher level cognitive abilities. Overall, results suggest that the majority of cognitive and perceptual degradation occurs between 30-40 hours into the flight. Limitations and future research directions are also discussed.

  6. Synthesis of novel bis(perfluorophenyl azides) coupling agents: Evaluation of their performance by crosslinking of poly(ethylene oxide)

    KAUST Repository

    Mehenni, Hakim

    2011-11-01

    Novel bis(perfluorophenyl azides) coupling agents, containing spacer arms from ethylene or ethylene glycol subunits, were successfully synthesized. Nitrenes photogenerated from these novel bis(PFPA) coupling agents were applied successfully to the cross-linking of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO10,000) in either aqueous medium or at the solid state, thus, we demonstrated the potential of these bis(PFPA) molecules as promising coupling agents in surface engineering. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. An interspecies conserved motif of the mouse immune system-released activating agent (ISRAA) induces proliferative effects on human cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taha, Safa; Fathallah, Mohamed Dahmani; Bakhiet, Moiz

    2014-07-01

    We have recently described an immune system-released activating agent (ISRAA) as a nervous system-induced factor that stimulates immune responses in the mouse spleen. However, the human ISRAA has not yet been identified. In this study, we examined the effects of the mouse ISRAA protein on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), to observe if the biological activity of this molecule is consistent between the two different species. Mouse ISRAA demonstrated dose-dependent dualistic effects on human cells, as 5 µg exhibited positive apoptosis and 50 pg exhibited significant proliferation (P<0.05). Furthermore, immunosuppressed cells from patients undergoing immunosuppressive therapy demonstrated significant proliferation to 50 pg ISRAA (P<0.05). Studies to compare sequences in different species revealed a preserved motif, exhibiting 72% similarity with the interspecies conserved signal peptide motif of tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR1). A mutant ISRAA lacking this motif was produced and tested for its biological effects. The mutant ISRAA demonstrated neither apoptotic nor proliferative effects compared with wild type. Therefore, an interspecies conserved domain of ISRAA constitutes the active site of the molecule, and its effects on immunocompromised cells should be investigated for future therapies in the treatment of immunosuppressive disorders.

  8. Biodegradable human serum albumin nanoparticles as contrast agents for the detection of hepatocellular carcinoma by magnetic resonance imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watcharin, Waralee; Schmithals, Christian; Pleli, Thomas; Köberle, Verena; Korkusuz, Hüdayi; Huebner, Frank; Zeuzem, Stefan; Korf, Hans W; Vogl, Thomas J; Rittmeyer, Claudia; Terfort, Andreas; Piiper, Albrecht; Gelperina, Svetlana; Kreuter, Jörg

    2014-05-01

    Tumor visualization by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nanoparticle-based contrast agents may improve the imaging of solid tumors such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In particular, human serum albumin (HSA) nanoparticles appear to be a suitable carrier due to their safety and feasibility of functionalization. In the present study HSA nanoparticles were conjugated with gadolinium diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (Gd-DTPA) using carbodiimide chemistry. The nanoparticles had a uniform spherical shape and a diameter of 235±19nm. For better optical visualization in vitro and in vivo, the HSA-Gd nanoparticles were additionally labeled with rhodamine 123. As shown by confocal microscopy and flow cytometry analysis, the fluorescent nanoparticles were readily taken up by Huh-7 hepatocellular carcinoma cells. After 24h incubation in blood serum, less than 5% of the Gd(III) was released from the particles, which suggests that this nanoparticulate system may be stable in vivo and, therefore, may serve as potentially safe T1 MRI contrast agent for MRI of hepatocellular carcinoma.

  9. A robust and rapid xenograft model to assess efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents for human acute myeloid leukemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saland, E; Boutzen, H; Castellano, R; Pouyet, L; Griessinger, E; Larrue, C; de Toni, F; Scotland, S; David, M; Danet-Desnoyers, G; Vergez, F; Barreira, Y; Collette, Y; Récher, C; Sarry, J-E

    2015-03-20

    Relevant preclinical mouse models are crucial to screen new therapeutic agents for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Current in vivo models based on the use of patient samples are not easy to establish and manipulate in the laboratory. Our objective was to develop robust xenograft models of human AML using well-characterized cell lines as a more accessible and faster alternative to those incorporating the use of patient-derived AML cells. Five widely used AML cell lines representing various AML subtypes were transplanted and expanded into highly immunodeficient non-obese diabetic/LtSz-severe combined immunodeficiency IL2Rγc(null) mice (for example, cell line-derived xenografts). We show here that bone marrow sublethal conditioning with busulfan or irradiation has equal efficiency for the xenotransplantation of AML cell lines. Although higher number of injected AML cells did not change tumor engraftment in bone marrow and spleen, it significantly reduced the overall survival in mice for all tested AML cell lines. On the basis of AML cell characteristics, these models also exhibited a broad range of overall mouse survival, engraftment, tissue infiltration and aggressiveness. Thus, we have established a robust, rapid and straightforward in vivo model based on engraftment behavior of AML cell lines, all vital prerequisites for testing new therapeutic agents in preclinical studies.

  10. Bridging the gap between sample collection and laboratory analysis: using dried blood spots to identify human exposure to chemical agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamelin, Elizabeth I.; Blake, Thomas A.; Perez, Jonas W.; Crow, Brian S.; Shaner, Rebecca L.; Coleman, Rebecca M.; Johnson, Rudolph C.

    2016-05-01

    Public health response to large scale chemical emergencies presents logistical challenges for sample collection, transport, and analysis. Diagnostic methods used to identify and determine exposure to chemical warfare agents, toxins, and poisons traditionally involve blood collection by phlebotomists, cold transport of biomedical samples, and costly sample preparation techniques. Use of dried blood spots, which consist of dried blood on an FDA-approved substrate, can increase analyte stability, decrease infection hazard for those handling samples, greatly reduce the cost of shipping/storing samples by removing the need for refrigeration and cold chain transportation, and be self-prepared by potentially exposed individuals using a simple finger prick and blood spot compatible paper. Our laboratory has developed clinical assays to detect human exposures to nerve agents through the analysis of specific protein adducts and metabolites, for which a simple extraction from a dried blood spot is sufficient for removing matrix interferents and attaining sensitivities on par with traditional sampling methods. The use of dried blood spots can bridge the gap between the laboratory and the field allowing for large scale sample collection with minimal impact on hospital resources while maintaining sensitivity, specificity, traceability, and quality requirements for both clinical and forensic applications.

  11. Pulp tissue response to Portland cement associated with different radio pacifying agents on pulpotomy of human primary molars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, N; Lourenço Neto, N; Fernandes, A P; Rodini, C; Hungaro Duarte, M; Rios, D; Machado, M A; Oliveira, T

    2015-12-01

    The objective of this research was to evaluate the response of Portland cement associated with different radio pacifying agents on pulp treatment of human primary teeth by clinical and radiographic exams and microscopic analysis. Thirty mandibular primary molars were randomly divided into the following groups: Group I - Portland cement; Group II - Portland cement with iodoform (Portland cement + CHI3 ); Group III - Portland cement with zirconium oxide (Portland cement + ZrO2 ); and treated by pulpotomy technique (removal of a portion of the pulp aiming to maintain the vitally of the remaining radicular pulp tissue using a therapeutic dressing). Clinical and radiographic evaluations were recorded at 6, 12 and 24 months follow-up. The teeth at the regular exfoliation period were extracted and processed for histological analysis. Data were tested using statistical analysis with a significance level of 5%. The microscopic findings were descriptively analysed. All treated teeth were clinically and radiographically successful at follow-up appointments. The microscopic analysis revealed positive response to pulp repair with hard tissue barrier formation and pulp calcification in the remaining roots of all available teeth. The findings of this study suggest that primary teeth pulp tissue exhibited satisfactory biological response to Portland cement associated with radio pacifying agents. However, further studies with long-term follow-up are needed to determine the safe clinical indication of this alternative material for pulp therapy of primary teeth.

  12. Improving human object recognition performance using video enhancement techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitman, Lucy S.; Lewis, Colin; Oakley, John P.

    2004-12-01

    Atmospheric scattering causes significant degradation in the quality of video images, particularly when imaging over long distances. The principle problem is the reduction in contrast due to scattered light. It is known that when the scattering particles are not too large compared with the imaging wavelength (i.e. Mie scattering) then high spatial resolution information may be contained within a low-contrast image. Unfortunately this information is not easily perceived by a human observer, particularly when using a standard video monitor. A secondary problem is the difficulty of achieving a sharp focus since automatic focus techniques tend to fail in such conditions. Recently several commercial colour video processing systems have become available. These systems use various techniques to improve image quality in low contrast conditions whilst retaining colour content. These systems produce improvements in subjective image quality in some situations, particularly in conditions of haze and light fog. There is also some evidence that video enhancement leads to improved ATR performance when used as a pre-processing stage. Psychological literature indicates that low contrast levels generally lead to a reduction in the performance of human observers in carrying out simple visual tasks. The aim of this paper is to present the results of an empirical study on object recognition in adverse viewing conditions. The chosen visual task was vehicle number plate recognition at long ranges (500 m and beyond). Two different commercial video enhancement systems are evaluated using the same protocol. The results show an increase in effective range with some differences between the different enhancement systems.

  13. The reducing agent Dithiothreitol (DTT) increases expression of c-myc and c- fos protooncogenes in human cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skouv, J.; Sørensen, Ilona Kryspin; Frandsen, H.

    1995-01-01

    . The genes were two proto-oncogenes, c-fos and c-myc, and the tumour suppressor gene, p53. We observed that the expression of the c-fos and c-myc genes was induced when human bladder epithelial cells were treated with a standard solution of N-OH-PhIP and dithiothreitol (DTT), previously shown to be genotoxic....... However, when cells were treated with DTT alone, the expression of c-fos and c-myc was also transiently induced. We therefore conclude that DTT, and not N-OH-PhIP, induced oncogene expression. Induction of both c-fos and c-mye expression by a reducing agent, DTT, which is frequently used in in vitro...

  14. The Effects of Level of Autonomy on Human-Agent Teaming for Multi-Robot Control and Local Security Maintenance

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-01

    Zelinsky, G. J.; Sheinberg, D. L. Eye Movements During Parallel– Serial Visual Search. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance...usa savatal softo..,.’S!a pad:ag: s 7 . Ata you in your good! comfortab le stat: of health physically? Y’ES NO If NO, p lease briefly exp lain: S

  15. Inhibition of human telomerase enhances the effect of chemotherapeutic agents in lung cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misawa, Masafumi; Tauchi, Tetsuzo; Sashida, Goro; Nakajima, Akihiro; Abe, Kenji; Ohyashiki, Junko H; Ohyashiki, Kazuma

    2002-11-01

    Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein enzyme that maintains protective structures at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Earlier studies have reported that the presence of telomerase activity in tumors of patients with non-small cell lung cancer patients correlates with a high proliferation rate and advanced pathological stage. Thus, the modification of telomerase activity may be a potential therapeutic modality for the treatment of lung and other cancers. We introduced vectors encoding dominant negative (DN)-hTERT, or wild-type (WT)-hTERT, or a control vector expressing only a drug-resistance marker, into the A549 lung cancer cell line, and assessed the biological effect of telomerase inhibition on cellular immortality. Ectopic expression of DN-hTERT resulted in complete inhibition of telomerase activity and reduction of telomere length. The entire population of telomerase-inhibited A549 cells exhibited cytoplasmic blebbling and chromatin condensation, which are features of apoptosis. In contrast, A549 cells expressing wild-type hTERT, which differs from the mutants by only two amino acids, exhibited normal morphology. Evidence for apoptosis in the telomerase-inhibited cells was provided by flow cytometric analysis with APO2.7 monoclonal antibody. We also observed enhanced induction of apoptosis by chemotherapeutic reagents, including cisplatin, docetaxel and etoposide, in DN-hTERT-expressing A549 cells, as compared with WT-hTERT-expressing cells. These results demonstrate that disruption of telomere maintenance limits the cellular lifespan of lung cancer cells, and show that the combined use of chemotherapeutic agents and telomere maintenance inhibition may be effective in the treatment of patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

  16. The human component of sustainability: a study for assessing "human performances" of energy efficient construction blocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attaianese, Erminia; Duca, Gabriella

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents an applied research aimed at understanding the relevance and the applicability of human related criteria in sustainability assessment of construction materials. Under a theoretical perspective, human factors consideration is strongly encouraged by building sustainability assessment methods, but the practice demonstrates that current models for building sustainability assessment neglect ergonomic issues, especially those ones concerning the construction phase. The study starts from the observation that new construction techniques for high energy efficient external walls are characterized by elements generally heavier and bigger than traditional materials. In this case, high sustainability performances connected with energy saving could be reached only consuming high, and then not very much sustainable, human efforts during setting-up operations. The paper illustrates a practical approach for encompassing human factors in sustainability assessment of four block types for energy efficient external walls. Research steps, from block selections to bricklaying task analysis, human factors indicators and metrics formulation, data gathering and final assessment are going to be presented. Finally, open issues and further possible generalizations from the particular case study will be discussed.

  17. Cryptolepine Derivatives:Quadruplex-Interactive Agents as Inhibitors of Human Telomerase

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUANG,Zhi-Shu; ZHOU,Jin-Lin; LU,Yu-Jing; GU,Lian-Quan

    2004-01-01

    @@ Alkaloids are very important natural products. Most of them have biologic activity. Many novel drugs have been developed based on alkaloids, such as camptothecin, taxol, vinblastine. A series of novel cryptolepine derivatives were synthesized (Figure 1). The interaction of cryptolepine derivatives with G-quadruplex (Figure 2) was studied by CD and UV spectra.[1] Most of these compounds can induce the formation of G-quadruplex and stabilize the formed G-quadruplex, resulting in the inhibitory effect on telomerase. Most of these cryptolepine derivatives have potent cytotoxicity in vitro against human tumor cell line.

  18. Mitochondrial structure alteration in human prostate cancer cells upon initial interaction with a chemopreventive agent phenethyl isothiocyanate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Chengsen; Pasolli, Hilda A; Piscopo, Irene; Gros, Daniel J; Liu, Christina; Chen, Yamei; Chiao, Jen Wei

    2014-03-31

    Phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), present naturally in cruciferous vegetables, is a chemopreventive agent. It blocks initiation and post-initiation progression of carcinogenesis. Mechanism study in human prostate cancer cells revealed that PEITC is a dual inhibitor of aberrant DNA hypermethylation and histone deacetylases, reactivating silenced genes and regulating the androgen-mediated growth of tumor cells. The identity of the cellular organelle that initially interacts with PEITC has not been fully described. Human prostate cancer LNCaP cells were exposed to PEITC and the effects on cellular fine structure examined by transmission electron microscopic studies. Alteration of mitochondrial membrane potential and cytochrome c release were evaluated as early events of apoptosis, and the TUNEL method for quantifying apoptotic cells. Mitochondria were isolated for determining their protein expression. Ultrastructural analyses have revealed condensed mitochondria and a perturbed mitochondrial cristae structure, which assumed a rounded and dilated shape within 4-hours of PEITC contact, and became more pronounced with longer PEITC exposure. They presented as the most prominent intracellular alterations in the early hours. Mitochondria structure alterations were demonstrated, for the first time, with the isothiocyanates. An increase in the number of smooth endoplasmic reticulum and vacuoles were also noted that is consistent with the presence of autophagy. Early events of apoptosis were detected, with cytochrome c released along with the appearance of mitochondrial alteration. Mitochondrial membrane potential was disrupted within 18 hours of PEITC exposure, preceding the appearance of apoptotic cells with DNA strand breaks. In parallel, the expression of the mitochondrial class III ß-tubulin in the outer membrane, which associates with the permeability transition pore, was significantly reduced as examined with isolated mitochondria. Mitochondria may represent the

  19. Methods and models for the design and study of dynamic agent organizations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ghijsen, M.

    2014-01-01

    Agents are so called intelligent computer programs that are able to function autonomously and act pro-actively to perform tasks. A group of agents that is cooperating to perform a large task is called a Multi-Agent System (MAS). Similar to human organizations, a MAS also requires a form of

  20. Methods and models for the design and study of dynamic agent organizations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ghijsen, M.

    2014-01-01

    Agents are so called intelligent computer programs that are able to function autonomously and act pro-actively to perform tasks. A group of agents that is cooperating to perform a large task is called a Multi-Agent System (MAS). Similar to human organizations, a MAS also requires a form of organizat

  1. Absorption of the nerve agent VX (O-ethyl-S-[2(di-isopropylamino)ethyl] methyl phosphonothioate) through pig, human and guinea pig skin in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, Christopher H; Hattersley, Ian J; Rutter, Stephen J; Chilcott, Robert P

    2006-12-01

    The physico-chemical properties of VX make the skin the most likely route of absorption into the human body. The development of effective medical countermeasures against such percutaneous threat agents relies on the use of appropriate animal models, as the inherent toxicity of nerve agents precludes the use of human volunteers. Previous studies have characterised the mechanism of nerve agent toxicity in rodent models, however, it is generally accepted that one of the most appropriate animal models for human skin absorption is the domestic pig. The purpose of the present study was to measure and compare the skin absorption kinetics of VX in vitro using pig, human and guinea pig skin to highlight any potential species differences in skin permeability. When undiluted VX was applied directly to the skin, the permeability of guinea pig skin was approximately 7-fold greater than human skin. There was no significant difference in the permeability of pig and human skin. When VX diluted with isopropyl alcohol was applied to the skin, the permeability of guinea pig skin was approximately 4-fold greater than human skin. There was no significant difference in the permeability of pig and human skin. From this data it may be inferred that dermatomed, abdominal pig skin is an appropriate model for the human skin absorption of VX.

  2. Aspergillus felis sp. nov., an emerging agent of invasive aspergillosis in humans, cats, and dogs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa R Barrs

    Full Text Available We describe a novel heterothallic species in Aspergillus section Fumigati, namely A. felis (neosartorya-morph isolated from three host species with invasive aspergillosis including a human patient with chronic invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, domestic cats with invasive fungal rhinosinusitis and a dog with disseminated invasive aspergillosis. Disease in all host species was often refractory to aggressive antifungal therapeutic regimens. Four other human isolates previously reported as A. viridinutans were identified as A. felis on comparative sequence analysis of the partial β-tubulin and/or calmodulin genes. A. felis is a heterothallic mold with a fully functioning reproductive cycle, as confirmed by mating-type analysis, induction of teleomorphs within 7 to 10 days in vitro and ascospore germination. Phenotypic analyses show that A. felis can be distinguished from the related species A. viridinutans by its ability to grow at 45°C and from A. fumigatus by its inability to grow at 50°C. Itraconazole and voriconazole cross-resistance was common in vitro.

  3. Determination of Fluorescent Whitening Agents in Paper Materials by Ion-Pair Reversed-Phase High-Performance Liquid Chromatography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Jeong Soo; Kim, Keon [Korea Univ., Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Do Hwan [Daegu Univ., Gyeongsan (Korea, Republic of)

    2012-12-15

    A simple method was developed for the analysis of seven stilbene-type fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs) in paper materials by ion-pair reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. These stilbene-type FWAs included two disulfonate, two tetrasulfonate, and three hexasulfonate compounds. After optimization of chromatographic conditions, the FWAs were satisfactorily separated using a reversed-phase column (RP-18) with the following isocratic mobile phase: methanol-water (60:40) containing 17.5 mM TBABr and 10 mM citrate buffer (pH = 7.0). The calibration plot was linear in the range from 5 to 500 ng/mL for two disulfo-FWAs and from 1 to 500 ng/mL for the other five FWAs. Precision levels of the calibration curve as indicated by RSD of response factors were 1.2 and 8.1%. Limits of quantitation (LOQ) ranged from 1.2 to 11 ng/mL.

  4. Improved Cycling Performance of a Si Nanoparticle Anode Utilizing Citric Acid as a Surface-Modifying Agent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Cao Cuong; Seo, Daniel M; Chandrasiri, K W D K; Lucht, Brett L

    2017-09-19

    Citric acid and its analogues have been investigated as surface-modifying agents for Si nanoparticle anodes using electrochemical cycling, attenuated total reflectance infrared (ATR IR), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). A Si nanoparticle anode prepared with citric acid (CA) has better capacity retention than one containing 1,2,3,4-butanetetracarboxylic acid (BA), but both electrodes outperform Si-PVDF. The Si-CA anode has an initial specific capacity of 3530 mA h/g and a first cycle efficiency of 82%. Surprisingly, the Si-CA electrode maintains a high specific capacity of ∼2200 mA h/g after 250 cycles, corresponding to 64% capacity retention, which is similar to the Si prepared with long-chain poly(acrylic acid) (PAA). On the contrary, the silicon electrode prepared with PVDF has a fast capacity fade and retains only 980 mA h/g after 50 cycles. The IR and XPS data show that the Si-CA electrode has an SEI composed primarily of lithium citrate during the first 50 cycles, resulting from the electrochemical reduction of citric acid. Only low concentrations of electrolyte reduction products are observed. The lithium citrate layer derived from CA stabilizes the silicon surface and suppresses electrolyte reduction, which likely contributes to the enhanced cycling performance of the Si nanoparticle anode.

  5. Rumpelstiltskin: The Pains of Early Retirement in "The Human Stain," "The Station Agent," and "Bad Santa"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Bernard

    2004-01-01

    Far too many Americans and people in other societies face the pain of losing work, so that deprivation is not a rare event. But sometimes, and especially in a popular culture, it is not the job that is lost, but the promise that the job and the one who performed it would be valued. The calamity is to be good at one's trade and to find that it…

  6. [Mutagenesis of the human histamine H1 receptor and design of new antihistamine agents].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Differding, E; Gillard, M; Moguilevsky, N; Varsalona, F; Noyer, M; Daliers, J; Goldstein, S; Neuwels, M; Lassoie, M A; Guillaume, J P; Bascour, M; Bollen, A; Hénichart, J P

    1996-01-01

    The binding cavity of histamine and histamine antagonists is explored using site directed mutagenesis of the human histamine H1 receptor and the amino acids involved in ligand binding are identified. Whereas Asp107 and Phe199 are important for both agonists and antagonists, two additional amino acids (Asn198 and Trp103) are required for efficient histamine binding. The binding site of antagonists is best defined as resulting from a strong ionic bond to Asp107, an orthogonal interaction between one of the aromatic rings with Phe199, and probably a hydrophobic interaction between the second aromatic ring and the lipophilic amino acids of the upper part of TMIV and TMV. This is consistent with structure-activity data of most described antagonists.

  7. 3-Bromopyruvate: a novel antifungal agent against the human pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyląg, Mariusz; Lis, Paweł; Niedźwiecka, Katarzyna; Ko, Young H; Pedersen, Peter L; Goffeau, Andre; Ułaszewski, Stanisław

    2013-05-03

    We have investigated the antifungal activity of the pyruvic acid analogue: 3-bromopyruvate (3-BP). Growth inhibition by 3-BP of 110 strains of yeast-like and filamentous fungi was tested by standard spot tests or microdilution method. The human pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans exhibited a low Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of 0.12-0.15 mM 3-BP. The high toxicity of 3-BP toward C. neoformans correlated with high intracellular accumulation of 3-BP and also with low levels of intracellular ATP and glutathione. Weak cytotoxicity towards mammalian cells and lack of resistance conferred by the PDR (Pleiotropic Drug Resistance) network in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, are other properties of 3-BP that makes it a novel promising anticryptococcal drug.

  8. First case report of a human sepsis involving a recently identified anaerobic agent: Bacteroides faecis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, M; Bouvet, P; Petitpas, F; Jayle, C; Legeay, C; Sautereau, J; Michaud, A; Burucoa, C; Plouzeau, C

    2016-12-01

    Up until now, Bacteroides faecis, a Gram-negative, anaerobic, non-motile, nonsporeforming rod has been principally described as a commensal microbe isolated from the feces of healthy adults. We report the first case of human Bacteroides faecis sepsis after removal of suspected post-colonic ischemia colonized epicardic electrodes. Electrodes and blood cultures both grew Gram-negative anaerobic rods but usual phenotypic methods and 16S rARN gene sequencing failed to ensure its species identification. B. faecis was finally identified using hsp60 gene sequencing. Because this species is not well-known and is difficult to identify, it may have been overlooked or misidentified in previous studies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Molecular Identification and Polymorphism Determination of Cutaneous and Visceral Leishmaniasis Agents Isolated from Human and Animal Hosts in Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Homa Hajjaran

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Amplification of internal transcript spacer 1 of ribosomal RNA (ITS1-RNA gene followed by RFLP analysis and sequencing was used to identify the causing agents of cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis (CL and VL in humans and animal reservoir hosts from various geographical areas in Iran. We also used random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD-PCR to obtain polymorphisms among isolates of Leishmania spp. Totally, 362 suspected human and animal cases including 173 CL, 49 VL, 60 rodents, and 80 domestic dogs were examined for Leishmania infection. From 112 culture-positive samples prepared from CL cases, 75 (67% were infected with L. major and 37 (33% with L. tropica. Of the 60 rodents examined, 25 (41.6% harbored the Leishmania infection; 21 were infected with L. major and 4 with L. turanica. From 49 suspected VL, 29 were positive by direct agglutination test (DAT, whereas microscopy detected parasite in bone marrow of 25 and culture in 28 of the patients. Two VL patients were infected with L. tropica and 26 with L. infantum. Of the 80 domestic dogs, 56 showed anti-Leishmania antibodies with DAT. Of these, 55 were positive by both microscopy and culture. Molecular identity, obtained only for 47 samples, revealed L. infantum in 43 and L. tropica in 4 dogs. The polymorphisms among L. tropica and L. major isolates were 3.6% and 7.3%; the rate among human and canine VL isolates was 2.8% and 9.8%, respectively. Our results showed that at least four different Leishmania species with various polymorphisms circulate among humans and animal hosts in Iran.

  10. Cabazitaxel-loaded human serum albumin nanoparticles as a therapeutic agent against prostate cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qu N

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Na Qu,1 Robert J Lee,1,2 Yating Sun,1 Guangsheng Cai,1 Junyang Wang,1 Mengqiao Wang,1 Jiahui Lu,1 Qingfan Meng,1 Lirong Teng,1 Di Wang,1 Lesheng Teng1,3 1School of Life Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun, People’s Republic of China; 2Division of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA; 3State Key Laboratory of Long-acting and Targeting Drug Delivery System, Yantai, People’s Republic of China Abstract: Cabazitaxel-loaded human serum albumin nanoparticles (Cbz-NPs were synthesized to overcome vehicle-related toxicity of current clinical formulation of the drug based on Tween-80 (Cbz-Tween. A salting-out method was used for NP synthesis that avoids the use of chlorinated organic solvent and is simpler compared to the methods based on emulsion-solvent evaporation. Cbz-NPs had a narrow particle size distribution, suitable drug loading content (4.9%, and superior blood biocompatibility based on in vitro hemolysis assay. Blood circulation, tumor uptake, and antitumor activity of Cbz-NPs were assessed in prostatic cancer xenograft-bearing nude mice. Cbz-NPs exhibited prolonged blood circulation and greater accumulation of Cbz in tumors along with reduced toxicity compared to Cbz-Tween. Moreover, hematoxylin and eosin histopathological staining of organs revealed consistent results. The levels of blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine in drug-treated mice showed that Cbz-NPs were less toxic than Cbz-Tween to the kidneys. In conclusion, Cbz-NPs provide a promising therapeutic for prostate cancer. Keywords: cabazitaxel, human serum albumin, nanoparticle, drug delivery, toxicity, pros­tate cancer

  11. Timing and modality of the sclerosing agents binding to the human proteins: laboratory analysis and clinical evidences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorenzo Tessari

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Sclerosing agents (SA are blood inactivated. Nevertheless, investigations concerning the interaction among SA and blood components have never been deeply investigated. Aim of the study is to precisely identify SA blood ligands, to determine their binding time and to highlight the clinical consequences. Thirty-one blood samples were collected from chronic venous disease patients and tested by capillary and agarose gel (AGE electrophoresis before and after adding polidocanol (POL and sodiumtetradecylsulphate (STS. The two different types of electrophoresis allowed an evaluation of the blood proteins binding with the sclerosing agents, with a reaction time lower than 8 seconds for the AGE. Subsequently six patients underwent foam sclerotherapy and then were subdivided in group A (4 patients and B (2 patients. In group A blood sample was obtained from the ipsilateral brachial vein immediately before (T0 and repeated 1, 3, 5, and 10 minutes after injection of STS 3% injection into the GSV. In group B, the same procedure was performed with the same timing from the ipsilateral femoral vein. Free STS (fSTS and total proteinbound STS (bSTS were measured. POL mainly binds to β-globulins (11%, while STS to albumin and α-globulins (62.6% and 30.7% on the protidogram, respectively. Both in the brachial and in the femoral vein, the average fSTS was always 0. STS binds to albumin (62.6% and α-globulins (30.7%, while POL is bound mainly by the b-globulins (11%. The present paper demonstrates how the vast majority of the sclerosing agent is bound to the blood proteins, suggesting the need to look for possible sclerotherapy complications factors also in the used gas and/or in the subsequent cathabolites release.

  12. Observation and imitation of actions performed by humans, androids, and robots: an EMG study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofree, Galit; Urgen, Burcu A; Winkielman, Piotr; Saygin, Ayse P

    2015-01-01

    Understanding others' actions is essential for functioning in the physical and social world. In the past two decades research has shown that action perception involves the motor system, supporting theories that we understand others' behavior via embodied motor simulation. Recently, empirical approach to action perception has been facilitated by using well-controlled artificial stimuli, such as robots. One broad question this approach can address is what aspects of similarity between the observer and the observed agent facilitate motor simulation. Since humans have evolved among other humans and animals, using artificial stimuli such as robots allows us to probe whether our social perceptual systems are specifically tuned to process other biological entities. In this study, we used humanoid robots with different degrees of human-likeness in appearance and motion along with electromyography (EMG) to measure muscle activity in participants' arms while they either observed or imitated videos of three agents produce actions with their right arm. The agents were a Human (biological appearance and motion), a Robot (mechanical appearance and motion), and an Android (biological appearance and mechanical motion). Right arm muscle activity increased when participants imitated all agents. Increased muscle activation was found also in the stationary arm both during imitation and observation. Furthermore, muscle activity was sensitive to motion dynamics: activity was significantly stronger for imitation of the human than both mechanical agents. There was also a relationship between the dynamics of the muscle activity and motion dynamics in stimuli. Overall our data indicate that motor simulation is not limited to observation and imitation of agents with a biological appearance, but is also found for robots. However we also found sensitivity to human motion in the EMG responses. Combining data from multiple methods allows us to obtain a more complete picture of action

  13. The Many Riches of Human Flourishing: On the Veiled Agent in Veil Narratives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muneer Aram Kuzhiyan

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper critiques what it calls the parochial conception of agency animating the narrative of the Malayalam writer Khadija Mumthas' novel Barsa (2007 that is anchored in the notion that acts of resistance to relations of domination exhaust the field of human action. Following contemporary cultural anthropologists Talal Asad (1993, Saba Mahmood (2005 and Charles Hirschkind (2006, I argue that if unveiling of a Muslim woman in the spirit of liberatory endeavour constitutes one modality of action, the religiously-inspired programme of moral formation, including adopting the veil, practiced by many Muslim women in Kerala, as elsewhere, often decried for their patriarchal proclivities is also a speech act that makes up agency, no less. I find particularly useful here the idea of 'docility' that Mahmood (2005 develops out of Foucault (1990: rather than being a synonym for passivity, 'docility' in this line of thought takes on a meaning of 'teachability' that demands will, effort and perseverance. This understanding brings to sharp relief the Foucauldian insight that specific relations of subordination enable and enact modes of human agency. Lost in Khadija Mumthas' monologue of agency is the fact that divergent conceptual understandings of a practice create divergent subjectivities and social and political life worlds and it would be a mistake to privilege one over the other. The novel, I argue, betrays the author's dis-ease with the modalities of agency other than subverting norms and belies the burden of proving Islam's compatibility with the ideals of liberalism-a burden she shares with many contemporary Muslim reformers who fit the bill 'liberal Islam.' Finally, by way of comparison and contrast, I call attention to the anglophone Sudanese writer Leila Aboulela's two novels The Translator (1999 and Minaret (2005 which, even as they exploit as one of their key thematic concerns the role of religion in the protagonists' identity formation and

  14. The determination of organophosphonate nerve agent metabolites in human urine by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mawhinney, Douglas B; Hamelin, Elizabeth I; Fraser, Rheaclare; Silva, Sathya S; Pavlopoulos, Antonis J; Kobelski, Robert J

    2007-06-01

    A sensitive, robust isotope dilution LC/MS/MS method is presented for the quantitative analysis of human urine for the alkyl methylphosphonic acid metabolites of five organophosphorus nerve agents (VX, rVX or VR, GB or Sarin, GD or Soman, and GF or Cyclosarin). The selective sample preparation method employs non-bonded silica solid-phase extraction and is partially automated. While working with a mobile phase composition that enhances the electrospray ionization process, the hydrophilic interaction chromatography method results in a 5-min injection-to-injection cycle time, excellent peak shapes and adequate retention (k'=3.1). These factors lead to limits of detection for these metabolites as low as 30 pg/mL in a 1-mL sample of human urine. The quality control data (15 and 75 ng/mL) demonstrate accurate (-0.5 to +3.4%) and precise (coefficients of variation of 2.1-3.6%) quantitative results over the clinically relevant urine concentration range of 1-200 ng/mL for a validation set of 20 standard and quality control sets prepared by five analysts over 54 days. The selectivity of the method is demonstrated for a 100-individual reference range study, as well as the analysis of relevant biological samples. The combined sample preparation and analysis portions of this method have a throughput of 288 samples per day.

  15. Hypoxia-mimetic agents inhibit proliferation and alter the morphology of human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeng Hui-Lan

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The therapeutic efficacy of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs for the treatment of hypoxic-ischemic diseases is closely related to level of hypoxia in the damaged tissues. To elucidate the potential therapeutic applications and limitations of hMSCs derived from human umbilical cords, the effects of hypoxia on the morphology and proliferation of hMSCs were analyzed. Results After treatment with DFO and CoCl2, hMSCs were elongated, and adjacent cells were no longer in close contact. In addition, vacuole-like structures were observed within the cytoplasm; the rough endoplasmic reticulum expanded, and expanded ridges were observed in mitochondria. In addition, DFO and CoCl2 treatments for 48 h significantly inhibited hMSCs proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner (P Conclusions The hypoxia-mimetic agents, DFO and CoCl2, alter umbilical cord-derived hMSCs morphology and inhibit their proliferation through influencing the cell cycle.

  16. Is DTPA a good competing chelating agent for Th(IV) in human serum and suitable in targeted alpha therapy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Du, Alicia; Sabatié-Gogova, Andrea; Morgenstern, Alfred; Montavon, Gilles

    2012-04-01

    The interaction between thorium and human serum components was studied using difference ultraviolet spectroscopy (DUS), ultrafiltration and high-pressure-anion exchange chromatography (HPAEC) with external inductively conducted plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis. Experimental data are compared with modelling results based on the law of mass action. Human serum transferrin (HSTF) interacts strongly with Th(IV), forming a ternary complex including two synergistic carbonate anions. This complex governs Th(IV) speciation under blood serum conditions. Considering the generally used Langmuir-type model, values of 10(33.5) and 10(32.5) were obtained for strong and weak sites, respectively. We showed that trace amounts of diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA) cannot complex Th(IV) in the blood serum at equilibrium. Unexpectedly this effect is not related to the competition with HSTF but is due to the strong competition with major divalent metal ions for DTPA. However, Th-DTPA complex was shown to be stable for a few hours when it is formed before addition in the biological medium; this is related to the high kinetic stability of the complex. This makes DTPA a potential chelating agent for synthesis of (226)Th-labelled biomolecules for application in targeted alpha therapy. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Human liver enzymes responsible for metabolic elimination of tyramine; a vasopressor agent from daily food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niwa, Toshiro; Murayama, Norie; Umeyama, Hiromi; Shimizu, Makiko; Yamazaki, Hiroshi

    2011-08-01

    Dietary tyramine is associated with hypertensive crises because of its ability to induce the release of catecholamines. The roles of monoamine oxidase (MAO); flavin-containing monooxygenase (FMO); and cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) were studied in terms of the enzymatic elimination of tyramine in vitro at a substrate concentration of 1.0 µM; which is relevant to in vivo serum concentrations. Tyramine elimination by human liver supernatant fractions was decreased by ˜70% in the absence of NADPH. Pargyline; an MAO inhibitor; decreased tyramine elimination rates by ˜30%. Among recombinant P450 and FMO enzymes; CYP2D6 had a high activity in terms of tyramine elimination. Tyramine elimination rates were inhibited by quinidine and significantly correlated with bufuralol 1'-hydroxylation activities (a CYP2D6 marker). Liver microsomes genotyped for CYP2D6*10/*10 and CYP2D6*4/*4 showed low and undetectable activities; respectively; compared with the wild-type CYP2D6*1/*1. The present results suggest that tyramine is eliminated mainly by polymorphic CYP2D6. Tyramine toxicity resulting from differences in individual metabolic elimination is thus genetically determined.

  18. Betulinyl Sulfamates as Anticancer Agents and Radiosensitizers in Human Breast Cancer Cells

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    Matthias Bache

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Betulinic acid (BA, a natural compound of birch bark, is cytotoxic for many tumors. Recently, a betulinyl sulfamate was described that inhibits carbonic anhydrases (CA, such as CAIX, an attractive target for tumor-selective therapy strategies in hypoxic cancer cells. Data on combined CAIX inhibition with radiotherapy are rare. In the human breast cancer cell lines MDA-MB231 and MCF7, the effects of BA and betulinyl sulfamates on cellular and radiobiological behavior under normoxia and hypoxia were evaluated. The two most effective betulinyl sulfamates CAI 1 and CAI 3 demonstrated a 1.8–2.8-fold higher cytotoxicity than BA under normoxia in breast cancer cells, with IC50 values between 11.1 and 18.1 µM. BA exhibits its strongest cytotoxicity with IC50 values of 8.2 and 16.4 µM under hypoxia. All three substances show a dose-dependent increase in apoptosis, inhibition of migration, and inhibition of hypoxia-induced gene expression. In combination with irradiation, betulinyl sulfamates act as radiosensitizers, with DMF10 values of 1.47 (CAI 1 and 1.75 (CAI 3 under hypoxia in MDA-MB231 cells. BA showed additive effects in combination with irradiation. Taken together; our results suggest that BA and betulinyl sulfamates seem to be attractive substances to combine with radiotherapy; particularly for hypoxic breast cancer.

  19. Human RNASET2 derivatives as potential anti-angiogenic agents: actin binding sequence identification and characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesiel-Nuttman, Liron; Doron, Shani; Schwartz, Betty; Shoseyov, Oded

    2015-01-01

    Human RNASET2 (hRNASET2) has been demonstrated to exert antiangiogenic and antitumorigenic effects independent of its ribonuclease capacity. We suggested that RNASET2 exerts its antiangiogenic and antitumorigenic activities via binding to actin and consequently inhibits cell motility. We focused herein on the identification of the actin binding site of hRNASET2 using defined sequences encountered within the whole hRNASET2 protein. For that purpose we designed 29 different hRNASET2-derived peptides. The 29 peptides were examined for their ability to bind immobilized actin. Two selected peptides-A103-Q159 consisting of 57 amino acids and peptide K108-K133 consisting of 26 amino acids were demonstrated to have the highest actin binding ability and concomitantly the most potent anti-angiogenic activity. Further analyses on the putative mechanisms associated with angiogenesis inhibition exerted by peptide K108-K133 involved its location during treatment within the HUVE cells. Peptide K108-K133 readily penetrates the cell membrane within 10 min of incubation. In addition, supplementation with angiogenin delays the entrance of peptide K108-K133 to the cell suggesting competition on the same cell internalization route. The peptide was demonstrated to co-localize with angiogenin, suggesting that both molecules bind analogous cellular epitopes, similar to our previously reported data for ACTIBIND and trT2-50. PMID:25815360

  20. Functional alterations of human platelets following indium-111 labelling using different incubation media and labelling agents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Isaka, Yoshinari; Imaizumi, Masatoshi (Osaka National Hospital (Japan). Dept. of Cardiovascular Medicine and Radiological Science); Kimura, Kazufumi (Osaka Univ. (Japan). Dept. of Nuclear Medicine); Matsumoto, Masayasu; Kamada, Takenobu (Osaka Univ. (Japan). 1. Dept. of Internal Medicine)

    1991-05-01

    Human platelets were labelled in the absence of presence of plasma using {sup 111}In-labelled oxine sulphate, tropolone or 2-mercaptopyridine-N-oxide (MPO). Under in vitro and in vivo conditions, platelet functions were evaluated by measuring their aggregability, survival, recovery and early distribution. High labelling efficiency was achieved in saline labelling, whereas with plasma labelling, it was necessary to concentrate the platelet-rich plasma to 4.8x10{sup 6} platelets/{mu}l. The aggregation of platelets labelled in plasma or saline was compared with that of controls; platelets labelled in saline showed lower aggregability in 2 {mu}M ADP but not in 5 {mu}M ADP nor with collagen. No significant differences in platelet survival and recovery were noted between platelets labelled in plasma and those labelled in saline. Our results indicate that partial loss of ADP aggregability in vitro does not influence the in vivo viability of platelets labelled in saline. Scintigraphic studies showed that platelets labelled in a saline medium were temporarily sequestrated in the liver but not in the spleen or heart. Thus, platelet labelling in saline does not affect platelet function adversely, but platelets labelled in plasma are more desirable for assessing the early distribution of platelets in the reticuloendothelial system. (orig.).

  1. Human rhinovirus 3C protease as a potential target for the development of antiviral agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wanga, Q May; Chen, Shu-Hui

    2007-02-01

    As the major cause of the common cold in children and adults, human rhinoviruses (HRVs) are a group of small single-stranded positive-sense RNA viruses. HRVs translate their genetic information into a polyprotein precursor that is mainly processed by a virally encoded 3C protease (3Cpro) to generate functional viral proteins and enzymes. It has been shown that the enzymatic activity of HRV 3Cpro is essential to viral replication. The 3Cpro is distinguished from most other proteases by the fact that it has a cysteine nucleophile but with a chymotrypsin-like serine protease folding. This unique protein structure together with its essential role in viral replication made the 3Cpro an excellent target for antiviral intervention. In recent years, considerable efforts have been made in the development of antiviral compounds targeting this enzyme. To further facilitate the design of potent 3C protease inhibitors for therapeutic use, this review summarizes the biochemical and structural characterization conducted on HRV 3C protease along with the recent progress on the development of 3C protease inhibitors.

  2. The iron-chelating agent picolinic acid enhances transferrin receptors expression in human erythroleukaemic cell lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Testa, U; Louache, F; Titeux, M; Thomopoulos, P; Rochant, H

    1985-07-01

    Picolinic acid, a metal chelating molecule, was administered to human erythroleukaemic cell lines (K 562 and HEL) that were grown in serum-containing media. Picolinic acid inhibited both iron uptake and cell growth. Furthermore, picolinic acid was shown to markedly decrease the level of ferritin in the cells. In spite of the inhibition of cell growth, picolinic acid induced a marked increase in the transferrin-binding capacity of the cells. This phenomenon was due to a two-five-fold enhancement of the rate of transferrin receptor biosynthesis. Other iron-chelating compounds, capable of reducing the level of intracellular iron, also elicited a marked enhancement of the transferrin-binding capacity of the cells. However, the addition of iron, as ferric ammonium citrate, in the culture medium elicited a marked increase in the level of ferritin and a strong decrease in the transferrin-binding capacity of the cells. On the basis of these data we propose that a feed-back mechanism is involved in the regulation of transferrin receptors: when the cells accumulate iron they decrease the number of transferrin receptors in order to prevent further accumulation of iron; when no or low iron is available to the cells, the number of transferrin receptors markedly increases as a compensatory mechanism.

  3. Prevalence and first molecular characterization of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis, in Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks attached to dogs from Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed W. Ghafar

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available PCR targeting 16S rRNA gene integrated with sequence analysis were performed to investigate the prevalence and the molecular identity of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Egyptian Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks attached to dogs. A total of 413 adult and nymphal R. sanguineus ticks were collected while attached to 72 free-roaming dogs from four locations (Imbaba, Boulaq, Haram, Monib in Giza Governorate, Egypt. DNA was successfully extracted from 401 specimens (133 nymphs and 268 adults. The overall prevalence rate was 13.7% and adult ticks showed a significantly higher infection rate (16.4% compared to nymphs (8.3%. Sequence comparisons of 218-bp showed that detected organism belongs to A. phagocytophilum. The sequence showed 99.1% similarity (2 nucleotide differences with some strains described as human pathogens and with that detected in the established tick vectors. Phylogenetic analysis placed the bacteria on a separate branch with that found in R. annulatus from Egypt (DQ379972 (99.5% similarity. Our variant strain was designated as A. phagocytophilum-Ghafar-EGY (AB608266. This report is the first molecular characterization of A. phagocytophilum in R. sanguineus in Egypt, suggesting that this tick species may act as a competent vector for a variant strain of human granulocytic anaplasmosis agent.

  4. Observation and Imitation of Actions Performed by Humans, Androids and Robots: An EMG study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Galit eHofree

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Understanding others’ actions is essential for functioning in the physical and social world. In the past two decades research has shown that action perception involves the motor system, supporting theories that we understand others’ behavior via embodied motor simulation. Recently, action perception has been facilitated by using well-controlled artificial stimuli, such as robots. One key question this approach enables is what aspects of similarity between the observer and the observed agent facilitate motor simulation? Since humans have evolved among other humans and animals, using artificial stimuli such as robots allows us to probe whether our social perceptual systems are tuned to process other biological entities. In this study, we used humanoid robots with different degrees of humanlikeness in appearance and motion along with electromyography (EMG to measure muscle activity in participants’ arms while they either observed or imitated videos of three agents produce actions with their right arm. The agents were a Human (biological appearance and motion, a Robot (mechanical appearance and motion and an Android (biological appearance, mechanical motion. Right arm muscle activity increased when participants imitated all agents. Increased muscle activation was found also in the stationary arm both during imitation and observation. Furthermore, muscle activity was sensitive to motion dynamics: activity was significantly stronger for imitation of the human than both mechanical agents. There was also a relationship between the dynamics of the muscle activity and motion dynamics in stimuli. Overall our data indicate that motor simulation is not limited to observation and imitation of agents with a biological appearance, but is also found for robots. However we also found sensitivity to human motion in the EMG responses. Combining data from multiple methods allows us to obtain a more complete picture of action understanding and the underlying

  5. Demographic Estimation from Face Images: Human vs. Machine Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Hu; Otto, Charles; Liu, Xiaoming; Jain, Anil K

    2015-06-01

    Demographic estimation entails automatic estimation of age, gender and race of a person from his face image, which has many potential applications ranging from forensics to social media. Automatic demographic estimation, particularly age estimation, remains a challenging problem because persons belonging to the same demographic group can be vastly different in their facial appearances due to intrinsic and extrinsic factors. In this paper, we present a generic framework for automatic demographic (age, gender and race) estimation. Given a face image, we first extract demographic informative features via a boosting algorithm, and then employ a hierarchical approach consisting of between-group classification, and within-group regression. Quality assessment is also developed to identify low-quality face images that are difficult to obtain reliable demographic estimates. Experimental results on a diverse set of face image databases, FG-NET (1K images), FERET (3K images), MORPH II (75K images), PCSO (100K images), and a subset of LFW (4K images), show that the proposed approach has superior performance compared to the state of the art. Finally, we use crowdsourcing to study the human perception ability of estimating demographics from face images. A side-by-side comparison of the demographic estimates from crowdsourced data and the proposed algorithm provides a number of insights into this challenging problem.

  6. Analysis of the scattering performance of human retinal tissue layers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Dan; Gao, Zhisan; Ye, Haishui; Yuan, Qun

    2017-02-01

    Human retina is different from other ocular tissues, such as cornea, crystalline lens and vitreous because of high scattering performance. As an anisotropic tissue, we cannot neglect its impact on the polarization state of the scattered light. In this paper, Mie scattering and radiative transfer theory are applied to analyze the polarization state of backscattered light from four types of retinal tissues, including neural retina, retinal pigment epithelial (RPE), choroid and sclera. The results show that the most backscattered zones in different depths have almost the same electrical fields of Jones vector, which represents the polarization state of light, whether neural retina layer is under normal incidence or oblique incidence. Very little change occurs in the polarization of backscattered light compared to that of the incident light. Polarization distribution of backward scattered light from neural retina layer doesn't make apparent effects on polarization phase shifting in spectral domain OCT because its thickness is far less than photon mean free path, while other retinal tissues do not meet this rule.

  7. Human Performance Modeling and Simulation for Launch Team Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peaden, Cary J.; Payne, Stephen J.; Hoblitzell, Richard M., Jr.; Chandler, Faith T.; LaVine, Nils D.; Bagnall, Timothy M.

    2006-01-01

    This paper describes ongoing research into modeling and simulation of humans for launch team analysis, training, and evaluation. The initial research is sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA)'s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (OSMA) and NASA's Exploration Program and is focused on current and future launch team operations at Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The paper begins with a description of existing KSC launch team environments and procedures. It then describes the goals of new Simulation and Analysis of Launch Teams (SALT) research. The majority of this paper describes products from the SALT team's initial proof-of-concept effort. These products include a nominal case task analysis and a discrete event model and simulation of launch team performance during the final phase of a shuttle countdown; and a first proof-of-concept training demonstration of launch team communications in which the computer plays most roles, and the trainee plays a role of the trainee's choice. This paper then describes possible next steps for the research team and provides conclusions. This research is expected to have significant value to NASA's Exploration Program.

  8. Marketed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, antihypertensives, and human immunodeficiency virus protease inhibitors: as-yet-unused weapons of the oncologists’ arsenal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Papanagnou P

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Panagiota Papanagnou,1 Panagiotis Baltopoulos,2 Maria Tsironi1 1Department of Nursing, Faculty of Human Movement and Quality of Life Sciences, University of Peloponnese, Sparta, 2Department of Sports Medicine and Biology of Physical Activity, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece Abstract: Experimental data indicate that several pharmacological agents that have long been used for the management of various diseases unrelated to cancer exhibit profound in vitro and in vivo anticancer activity. This is of major clinical importance, since it would possibly aid in reassessing the therapeutic use of currently used agents for which clinicians already have experience. Further, this would obviate the time-consuming process required for the development and the approval of novel antineoplastic drugs. Herein, both pre-clinical and clinical data concerning the antineoplastic function of distinct commercially available pharmacological agents that are not currently used in the field of oncology, ie, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antihypertensive agents, and anti-human immunodeficiency virus agents inhibiting viral protease, are reviewed. The aim is to provide integrated information regarding not only the molecular basis of the antitumor function of these agents but also the applicability of the reevaluation of their therapeutic range in the clinical setting. Keywords: repositioning, tumorigenesis, pleiotropy, exploitation

  9. Non-digestible oligosaccharides used as prebiotic agents: mode of production and beneficial effects on animal and human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grizard, D; Barthomeuf, C

    1999-01-01

    Prebiotic agents are food ingredients that are potentially beneficial to the health of consumers. The main commercial prebiotic agents consist of oligosaccharides and dietary fibres (mainly inulin). They are essentially obtained by one of three processes: 1) the direct extraction of natural polysaccharides from plants; 2) the controlled hydrolysis of such natural polysaccharides; 3) enzymatic synthesis, using hydrolases and/or glycosyl transferases. Both of these enzyme types catalyse transglycosylation reactions, allowing synthesis of small molecular weight synthetic oligosaccharides from mono- and disaccharides. Presently, in Europe, inulin-type fructans, characterised by the presence of fructosyl units bound to the beta-2,1 position of sucrose, are considered as one of the carbohydrate prebiotic references. Prebiotics escape enzymatic digestion in the upper gastrointestinal tract and enter the caecum without change to their structure. None are excreted in the stools, indicating that they are fermented by colonic flora so as to give a mixture of short-chain fatty acids (acetate, propionate and butyrate), L-lactate, carbon dioxide and hydrogen. By stimulating bifidobacteria, they may have the following implications for health: 1) potential protective effects against colorectal cancer and infectious bowel diseases by inhibiting putrefactive bacteria (Clostridium perfringens ) and pathogen bacteria (Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Listeria and Shigella ), respectively; 2) improvement of glucid and lipid metabolisms; 3) fibre-like properties by decreasing the renal nitrogen excretion; 4) improvement in the bioavailability of essential minerals; and 5) low cariogenic factor. These potential beneficial effects have been largely studied in animals but have not really been proven in humans. The development of a second generation of oligosaccharides and the putative implication of a complex bacterial trophic chain in the intestinal prebiotic fermentation process are also

  10. Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas' disease agent reduces HIV-1 replication in human placenta

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    Cappa Stella

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Several factors determine the risk of HIV mother-to-child transmission (MTCT, such as coinfections in placentas from HIV-1 positive mothers with other pathogens. Chagas' disease is one of the most endemic zoonoses in Latin America, caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. The purpose of the study was to determine whether T. cruzi modifies HIV infection of the placenta at the tissue or cellular level. Results Simple and double infections were carried out on a placental histoculture system (chorionic villi isolated from term placentas from HIV and Chagas negative mothers and on the choriocarcinoma BeWo cell line. Trypomastigotes of T. cruzi (VD lethal strain, either purified from mouse blood or from Vero cell cultures, 24 h-supernatants of blood and cellular trypomastigotes, and the VSV-G pseudotyped HIV-1 reporter virus were used for the coinfections. Viral transduction was evaluated by quantification of luciferase activity. Coinfection with whole trypomastigotes, either from mouse blood or from cell cultures, decreased viral pseudotype luciferase activity in placental histocultures. Similar results were obtained from BeWo cells. Supernatants of stimulated histocultures were used for the simultaneous determination of 29 cytokines and chemokines with the Luminex technology. In histocultures infected with trypomastigotes, as well as in coinfected tissues, IL-6, IL-8, IP-10 and MCP-1 production was significantly lower than in controls or HIV-1 transducted tissue. A similar decrease was observed in histocultures treated with 24 h-supernatants of blood trypomastigotes, but not in coinfected tissues. Conclusion Our results demonstrated that the presence of an intracellular pathogen, such as T. cruzi, is able to impair HIV-1 transduction in an in vitro system of human placental histoculture. Direct effects of the parasite on cellular structures as well as on cellular/viral proteins essential for HIV-1 replication might influence

  11. Human Computer Confluence in Rehabilitation: Digital Media Plasticity and Human Performance Plasticity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brooks, Anthony Lewis

    2013-01-01

    approaches promoting mindsets and activities commonly considered enduring, mundane and boring. The concept focuses on sensor-based interfaces mapped to control tailored-content that acts as direct and immediate feedbacks mirroring input. These flexible, adaptive, and ‘plastic’ options offer facilitators new......Digital media plasticity evocative to embodied interaction is presented as a utilitarian tool when mixed and matched to target human performance potentials specific to nuance of development for those with impairment. A distinct intervention strategy trains via alternative channeling of external...

  12. Understanding coupled natural and human systems on fire prone landscapes: integrating wildfire simulation into an agent based planning system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros, Ana; Ager, Alan; Preisler, Haiganoush; Day, Michelle; Spies, Tom; Bolte, John

    2015-04-01

    Agent-based models (ABM) allow users to examine the long-term effects of agent decisions in complex systems where multiple agents and processes interact. This framework has potential application to study the dynamics of coupled natural and human systems where multiple stimuli determine trajectories over both space and time. We used Envision, a landscape based ABM, to analyze long-term wildfire dynamics in a heterogeneous, multi-owner landscape in Oregon, USA. Landscape dynamics are affected by land management policies, actors decisions, and autonomous processes such as vegetation succession, wildfire, or at a broader scale, climate change. Key questions include: 1) How are landscape dynamics influenced by policies and institutions, and 2) How do land management policies and actor decisions interact to produce intended and unintended consequences with respect to wildfire on fire-prone landscapes. Applying Envision to address these questions required the development of a wildfire module that could accurately simulate wildfires on the heterogeneous landscapes within the study area in terms of replicating historical fire size distribution, spatial distribution and fire intensity. In this paper we describe the development and testing of a mechanistic fire simulation system within Envision and application of the model on a 3.2 million fire prone landscape in central Oregon USA. The core fire spread equations use the Minimum Travel Time algorithm developed by M Finney. The model operates on a daily time step and uses a fire prediction system based on the relationship between energy release component and historical fires. Specifically, daily wildfire probabilities and sizes are generated from statistical analyses of historical fires in relation to daily ERC values. The MTT was coupled with the vegetation dynamics module in Envision to allow communication between the respective subsystem and effectively model fire effects and vegetation dynamics after a wildfire. Canopy and

  13. Preparation of Nano-Scale Biopolymer Extracted from Coconut Residue and Its Performance as Drag Reducing Agent (DRA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hasan Muhammad Luqman Bin

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Drag or frictional force is defined as force that acts opposite to the object’s relative motion through a fluid which then will cause frictional pressure loss in the pipeline. Drag Reducing Agent (DRA is used to solve this issue and most of the DRAs are synthetic polymers but has some environmental issues. Therefore for this study, biopolymer known as Coconut Residue (CR is selected as the candidate to replace synthetic polymers DRA. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of Nano-scale biopolymer DRA on the application of water injection system. Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC is extracted by synthesizing the cellulose extracted from CR under the alkali-catalyzed reaction using monochloroacetic acid. The synthesize process is held in controlled condition whereby the concentration of NaOH is kept at 60%wt, 60 °C temperature and the reaction time is 4 hours. For every 25 g of dried CR used, the mass of synthesized CMC yield is at an average of 23.8 g. The synthesized CMC is then grinded in controlled parameters using the ball milling machine to get the Nano-scale size. The particle size obtained from this is 43.32 Nm which is in range of Nano size. This study proved that Nano-size CMC has higher percentage of drag reduction (%DR and flow increase (%FI if compared to normal-size CMC when tested in high and low flow rate; 44% to 48% increase in %DR and %FI when tested in low flow rate, and 16% to 18% increase in %DR and %FI when tested in high flow rate. The success of this research shows that Nano-scale DRA can be considered to be used to have better performance in reducing drag.

  14. Automated direct assay system for RU38486, an antiprogesterone-antiglucocorticoid agent, and its metabolites using high performance liquid chromatography.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagoshi,Kazusuke

    1991-04-01

    Full Text Available An automated direct assay system using high performance liquid chromatography was developed for the measurement of RU38486 and its three metabolites (RU42698, RU42848, RU42633 in human serum. Serum concentrations of these compounds were measured up to 144 h following single oral administration of 200 (200 mg group, n = 3 or 400 mg (400 mg group, n = 3 of RU38486 to healthy female volunteers. The serum half-lives (200 mg group-400 mg group of RU38486, RU42698, RU42848 and RU42633 were 31.8-33.1 h, 41.2-39.3 h, 33.9-36.6 h and 29.2-36.6 h, respectively. Our system could quantify them easily and simultaneously, and was considered to be valuable in studies on the relationship between the pharmacokinetics and the clinical effects of RU38486.

  15. Speed and Vibration Performance as well as Obstacle Avoidance Performance of Electric Wheel Chair Controlled by Human Eyes Only

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kohei Arai

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Speed and vibration performance as well as obstacle avoidance performance of the previously proposed Electric Wheel Chair: EWC controlled by human eyes only is conducted. Experimental results show acceptable performances of speed vibration performance as well as obstacle avoidance performance for disabled persons. More importantly, disabled persons are satisfied with the proposed EWC because it works by their eyes only. Without hands and finger, they can control EWC freely.

  16. 99mTc-PR81 as a Potential Agent for Imaging Human Breast Cancer; Radiolabeling, Quality Control & Radioimmunoscintigraphic Studies in Mouse Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    "M. Salouti

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available Introduction & Background: Breast cancer is the sec-ond leading cause of cancer death in women. More than 180,000 women are diagnosed with breast can-cer each year in the United States. Radioimmunoscin-tigraphy is a technique which uses radiolabeled anti-bodies to visualize tumors, taking advantage of anti-gens preferentially expressed by malignant tissues. The PR81 is a new murine anti-MUC1 monoclonal antibody that was found to react with the membrane extracts of several human breast cancerous tissues. In this study we have developed a method for direct la-beling of this MAb with 99mTc which is very simple, rapid and efficient. The quality control of the new agent and imaging studies in BALB/c mice bearing breast tumor xenografts were performed. Materials & Methods: The Ab reduction was per-formed with 2-mercaptoethanol (2-ME at a molar ratio of 2000:1 (2-ME:MAb and reduced Ab was la-beled with 99mTc via methylene diphosphonate (MDP as a transchelator. The labeling efficiency was determined by ITLC. The amount of radiocolloids was measured by cellulose nitrate electrophoresis. Stability of labeled product was checked in fresh hu-man serum by gel filtration chromatography (FPLC over 24 hrs. The integrity of labeled MAb was checked by means of SDS-PAGE. Cell-binding assay was used to test binding ability of 99mTc-PR81 to MCF 7 cells. Biodistribution was studied in normal BALB/c mice at 4 and 24 hr post-injection. The tumor imag-ing was performed in female BALB/c mice with breast tumor xenografts at 24 hr after the new com-plex injection. Results: The labeling efficiency was 94.2%±2.3 and radiocolloids were 2.5%±1.7. In vitro stability was 70%±5.7 in fresh human serum over 24 hrs. There was no significant Ab fragmentation due to labeling procedure. Both labeled and unlabeled PR81 were able to compete for binding to MCF 7 cells. Biodis-tribution studies in normal BALB/c mice showed that there was no important accumulation in any organ. The

  17. Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whooping cough, evolved from a distinct, human-associated lineage of B. bronchiseptica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitri A Diavatopoulos

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Bordetella pertussis, B. bronchiseptica, B. parapertussis(hu, and B. parapertussis(ov are closely related respiratory pathogens that infect mammalian species. B. pertussis and B. parapertussis(hu are exclusively human pathogens and cause whooping cough, or pertussis, a disease that has resurged despite vaccination. Although it most often infects animals, infrequently B. bronchiseptica is isolated from humans, and these infections are thought to be zoonotic. B. pertussis and B. parapertussis(hu are assumed to have evolved from a B. bronchiseptica-like ancestor independently. To determine the phylogenetic relationships among these species, housekeeping and virulence genes were sequenced, comparative genomic hybridizations were performed using DNA microarrays, and the distribution of insertion sequence elements was determined, using a collection of 132 strains. This multifaceted approach distinguished four complexes, representing B. pertussis, B. parapertussis(hu, and two distinct B. bronchiseptica subpopulations, designated complexes I and IV. Of the two B. bronchiseptica complexes, complex IV was more closely related to B. pertussis. Of interest, while only 32% of the complex I strains were isolated from humans, 80% of the complex IV strains were human isolates. Comparative genomic hybridization analysis identified the absence of the pertussis toxin locus and dermonecrotic toxin gene, as well as a polymorphic lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis locus, as associated with adaptation of complex IV strains to the human host. Lipopolysaccharide structural diversity among these strains was confirmed by gel electrophoresis. Thus, complex IV strains may comprise a human-associated lineage of B. bronchiseptica from which B. pertussis evolved. These findings will facilitate the study of pathogen host-adaptation. Our results shed light on the origins of the disease pertussis and suggest that the association of B. pertussis with humans may be more ancient than

  18. Does human capital matter? A meta-analysis of the relationship between human capital and firm performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crook, T Russell; Todd, Samuel Y; Combs, James G; Woehr, David J; Ketchen, David J

    2011-05-01

    Theory at both the micro and macro level predicts that investments in superior human capital generate better firm-level performance. However, human capital takes time and money to develop or acquire, which potentially offsets its positive benefits. Indeed, extant tests appear equivocal regarding its impact. To clarify what is known, we meta-analyzed effects drawn from 66 studies of the human capital-firm performance relationship and investigated 3 moderators suggested by resource-based theory. We found that human capital relates strongly to performance, especially when the human capital in question is not readily tradable in labor markets and when researchers use operational performance measures that are not subject to profit appropriation. Our results suggest that managers should invest in programs that increase and retain firm-specific human capital.

  19. 防冻剂对混凝土引气剂气泡稳定性能影响研究∗%Impact study of anti-freezing agent on bubble stability performance of concrete air-entraining agent

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张向东; 李庆文; 李广华; 李桂秀

    2015-01-01

    为探究防冻剂对混凝土引气剂气泡稳定性能的影响,考虑4种防冻剂及不同掺量等敏感性因素进行水泥稀浆摇泡实验,分析其对引气剂起泡与稳泡能力影响及作用机理。结果表明,建立摇泡实验的气泡体积衰减指数模型,其参数能表征不同引气剂起泡与稳泡能力;硝酸钙对皂苷类引气剂稳泡能力有正作用,防冻剂对其起泡能力均有负作用;乙二醇对苯磺酸盐类引气剂起泡能力有正作用,对其稳泡能力有正作用,表现为亚硝酸钙>硝酸钙>乙二醇;4种防冻剂对掺皂苷类引气剂的新拌混凝土含气量均有负影响,其显著性为乙二醇最强,亚硝酸钙最弱,钙盐类防冻剂对掺苯磺酸盐类引气剂均有负作用,乙二醇对其有正作用。%In order to explore the influence of anti-freezing agent on bubble stability performance of concrete air-entraining agent,the cement slurry bubble test was carried out considering sensitivity factors which was four kinds of anti-freezing agents and different dosages,and analyzed its effects on foaming ability,stabilizing foam ability and mechanism.The results revealed that bubble volume attenuation index model of shake bubble test was set up,which parameters characterized the foaming ability and stabilizing foam ability of different air-en-training agents.Calcium nitrate had a positive effect on stabilizing foam ability of the saponins air-entraining agent,and anti-freezing agents had a negative effect on it.Ethylene glycol had a positive effect on foaming abili-ty of the benzene sulfonate air-entraining agent,the significance of improving the stabilizing foam ability was calcium nitrite>calcium nitrate>ethylene glycol.Four kinds of anti-freezing agents all had a negative impact on the air content of fresh concrete mixed with the saponins air-entraining agent,the most significant of it was ethylene glycol,and the least significant was calcium nitrite

  20. Richard Bradley: a unified, living agent theory of the cause of infectious diseases of plants, animals, and humans in the first decades of the 18th century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santer, Melvin

    2009-01-01

    During the years 1714 to 1721, Richard Bradley, who was later to become the first Professor of Botany at Cambridge University, proposed a unified, unique, living agent theory of the cause of infectious diseases of plants and animals and the plague of humans. Bradley's agents included microscopic organisms, revealed by the studies of Robert Hooke and Antony van Leeuwenhoek. His theory derived from his experimental studies of plants and their diseases and from microscopic observation of animalcules in different naturally occurring and artificial environments. He concluded that there was a microscopic world of "insects" that lived and reproduced under the appropriate conditions, and that infectious diseases of plants were caused by such "insects." Since there are structural and functional similarities between plants and animals, Bradley concluded that microscopic organisms caused human and animal infectious diseases as well. However, his living agent cause of infectious diseases was not accepted by the contemporary scientific society.