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Sample records for identify significant improvement

  1. A matter of timing: identifying significant multi-dose radiotherapy improvements by numerical simulation and genetic algorithm search.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon D Angus

    Full Text Available Multi-dose radiotherapy protocols (fraction dose and timing currently used in the clinic are the product of human selection based on habit, received wisdom, physician experience and intra-day patient timetabling. However, due to combinatorial considerations, the potential treatment protocol space for a given total dose or treatment length is enormous, even for relatively coarse search; well beyond the capacity of traditional in-vitro methods. In constrast, high fidelity numerical simulation of tumor development is well suited to the challenge. Building on our previous single-dose numerical simulation model of EMT6/Ro spheroids, a multi-dose irradiation response module is added and calibrated to the effective dose arising from 18 independent multi-dose treatment programs available in the experimental literature. With the developed model a constrained, non-linear, search for better performing cadidate protocols is conducted within the vicinity of two benchmarks by genetic algorithm (GA techniques. After evaluating less than 0.01% of the potential benchmark protocol space, candidate protocols were identified by the GA which conferred an average of 9.4% (max benefit 16.5% and 7.1% (13.3% improvement (reduction on tumour cell count compared to the two benchmarks, respectively. Noticing that a convergent phenomenon of the top performing protocols was their temporal synchronicity, a further series of numerical experiments was conducted with periodic time-gap protocols (10 h to 23 h, leading to the discovery that the performance of the GA search candidates could be replicated by 17-18 h periodic candidates. Further dynamic irradiation-response cell-phase analysis revealed that such periodicity cohered with latent EMT6/Ro cell-phase temporal patterning. Taken together, this study provides powerful evidence towards the hypothesis that even simple inter-fraction timing variations for a given fractional dose program may present a facile, and highly cost

  2. A matter of timing: identifying significant multi-dose radiotherapy improvements by numerical simulation and genetic algorithm search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angus, Simon D; Piotrowska, Monika Joanna

    2014-01-01

    Multi-dose radiotherapy protocols (fraction dose and timing) currently used in the clinic are the product of human selection based on habit, received wisdom, physician experience and intra-day patient timetabling. However, due to combinatorial considerations, the potential treatment protocol space for a given total dose or treatment length is enormous, even for relatively coarse search; well beyond the capacity of traditional in-vitro methods. In constrast, high fidelity numerical simulation of tumor development is well suited to the challenge. Building on our previous single-dose numerical simulation model of EMT6/Ro spheroids, a multi-dose irradiation response module is added and calibrated to the effective dose arising from 18 independent multi-dose treatment programs available in the experimental literature. With the developed model a constrained, non-linear, search for better performing cadidate protocols is conducted within the vicinity of two benchmarks by genetic algorithm (GA) techniques. After evaluating less than 0.01% of the potential benchmark protocol space, candidate protocols were identified by the GA which conferred an average of 9.4% (max benefit 16.5%) and 7.1% (13.3%) improvement (reduction) on tumour cell count compared to the two benchmarks, respectively. Noticing that a convergent phenomenon of the top performing protocols was their temporal synchronicity, a further series of numerical experiments was conducted with periodic time-gap protocols (10 h to 23 h), leading to the discovery that the performance of the GA search candidates could be replicated by 17-18 h periodic candidates. Further dynamic irradiation-response cell-phase analysis revealed that such periodicity cohered with latent EMT6/Ro cell-phase temporal patterning. Taken together, this study provides powerful evidence towards the hypothesis that even simple inter-fraction timing variations for a given fractional dose program may present a facile, and highly cost-effecitive means

  3. Identifying significant environmental features using feature recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    The Department of Environmental Analysis at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has expressed an interest in feature-recognition capability because it may help analysts identify environmentally sensitive features in the landscape, : including those r...

  4. Anesthesiology leadership rounding: identifying opportunities for improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravenstein, Dietrich; Ford, Susan; Enneking, F Kayser

    2012-01-01

    Rounding that includes participation of individuals with authority to implement changes has been advocated as important to the transformation of an institution into a high-quality and safe organization. We describe a Department of Anesthesiology's experience with leadership rounding. The Department Chair or other senior faculty designate, a quality coordinator, up to four residents, the ward charge nurse, and patient nurses participated in rounds at bedsides. During a 23-month period, 14 significant opportunities to improve care were identified. Nurses identified 5 of these opportunities, primary team physicians 2, the rounding team 4, and patients or their family members another 3. The anesthesiology service had sole or shared responsibility for 10 improvements. A variety of organizations track specific measures across all phases of the patient experience to gauge quality of care. Chart auditing tools for detecting threats to safety are often used. These measures and tools missed opportunities for improvement that were discovered only through rounding. We conclude that the introduction of leadership rounding by an anesthesiology service can identify opportunities for improving quality that are not captured by conventional efforts.

  5. Carotid endarterectomy significantly improves postoperative laryngeal sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammer, Georg Philipp; Tomazic, Peter Valentin; Vasicek, Sarah; Graupp, Matthias; Gugatschka, Markus; Baumann, Anneliese; Konstantiniuk, Peter; Koter, Stephan Herwig

    2016-11-01

    sensory threshold on the operated-on side (6.08 ± 2.02 mm Hg) decreased significantly at the 6-week follow-up, even in relation to the preoperative measure (P = .022). With the exception of one patient with permanent unilateral vocal fold immobility, no signs of nerve injury were detected. In accordance with previous reports, injuries to the recurrent laryngeal nerve during CEA seem to be rare. In most patients, postoperative symptoms (globus, dysphagia, dysphonia) and signs fade within a few weeks without any specific therapeutic intervention. This study shows an improved long-term postoperative superior laryngeal nerve function with regard to laryngopharyngeal sensitivity. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. The prostate health index selectively identifies clinically significant prostate cancer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Loeb (Stacy); M.G. Sanda (Martin G.); D.L. Broyles (Dennis L.); S.S. Shin (Sanghyuk S.); C.H. Bangma (Chris); J.T. Wei (John T.); A.W. Partin (Alan W.); G.G. Klee (George); K.M. Slawin (Kevin M.); L.S. Marks (Leonard S.); R.H.N. van Schaik (Ron); D.W. Chan (Daniel); L. Sokoll (Lori); A.B. Cruz (Amabelle B.); I.A. Mizrahi (Isaac A.); W.J. Catalona (William)

    2015-01-01

    textabstractPurpose The Prostate Health Index (phi) is a new test combining total, free and [-2]proPSA into a single score. It was recently approved by the FDA and is now commercially available in the U.S., Europe and Australia. We investigate whether phi improves specificity for detecting

  7. Interchange. Program Improvement Products Identified through Networking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohio State Univ., Columbus. National Center for Research in Vocational Education.

    This catalog lists exemplary field-based program improvement products identified by the Dissemination and Utilization Products and Services Program (D&U) at the National Center for Research in Vocational Education. It is designed to increase awareness of these products among vocational educators and to provide information about them that…

  8. Active Learning with Rationales for Identifying Operationally Significant Anomalies in Aviation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Manali; Das, Kamalika; Bilgic, Mustafa; Matthews, Bryan; Nielsen, David Lynn; Oza, Nikunj C.

    2016-01-01

    A major focus of the commercial aviation community is discovery of unknown safety events in flight operations data. Data-driven unsupervised anomaly detection methods are better at capturing unknown safety events compared to rule-based methods which only look for known violations. However, not all statistical anomalies that are discovered by these unsupervised anomaly detection methods are operationally significant (e.g., represent a safety concern). Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) have to spend significant time reviewing these statistical anomalies individually to identify a few operationally significant ones. In this paper we propose an active learning algorithm that incorporates SME feedback in the form of rationales to build a classifier that can distinguish between uninteresting and operationally significant anomalies. Experimental evaluation on real aviation data shows that our approach improves detection of operationally significant events by as much as 75% compared to the state-of-the-art. The learnt classifier also generalizes well to additional validation data sets.

  9. Inhaler Reminders Significantly Improve Asthma Patients' Use of Controller Medications

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... controller medications Share | Inhaler reminders significantly improve asthma patients’ use of controller medications Published Online: July 22, ... the burden and risk of asthma, but many patients do not use them regularly. This poor adherence ...

  10. Significant improvement in the thermal annealing process of optical resonators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salzenstein, Patrice; Zarubin, Mikhail

    2017-05-01

    Thermal annealing performed during process improves the quality of the roughness of optical resonators reducing stresses at the periphery of their surface thus allowing higher Q-factors. After a preliminary realization, the design of the oven and the electronic method were significantly improved thanks to nichrome resistant alloy wires and chopped basalt fibers for thermal isolation during the annealing process. Q-factors can then be improved.

  11. 42 CFR 137.22 - May the Secretary consider uncorrected significant and material audit exceptions identified...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... and material audit exceptions identified regarding centralized financial and administrative functions... Tribes for Participation in Self-Governance Planning Phase § 137.22 May the Secretary consider uncorrected significant and material audit exceptions identified regarding centralized financial and...

  12. Training directionally selective motion pathways can significantly improve reading efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawton, Teri

    2004-06-01

    This study examined whether perceptual learning at early levels of visual processing would facilitate learning at higher levels of processing. This was examined by determining whether training the motion pathways by practicing leftright movement discrimination, as found previously, would improve the reading skills of inefficient readers significantly more than another computer game, a word discrimination game, or the reading program offered by the school. This controlled validation study found that practicing left-right movement discrimination 5-10 minutes twice a week (rapidly) for 15 weeks doubled reading fluency, and significantly improved all reading skills by more than one grade level, whereas inefficient readers in the control groups barely improved on these reading skills. In contrast to previous studies of perceptual learning, these experiments show that perceptual learning of direction discrimination significantly improved reading skills determined at higher levels of cognitive processing, thereby being generalized to a new task. The deficits in reading performance and attentional focus experienced by the person who struggles when reading are suggested to result from an information overload, resulting from timing deficits in the direction-selectivity network proposed by Russell De Valois et al. (2000), that following practice on direction discrimination goes away. This study found that practicing direction discrimination rapidly transitions the inefficient 7-year-old reader to an efficient reader.

  13. Significant Improvement of Catalytic Efficiencies in Ionic Liquids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Song, Choong Eui; Yoon, Mi Young; Choi, Doo Seong

    2005-01-01

    The use of ionic liquids as reaction media can confer many advantages upon catalytic reactions over reactions in organic solvents. In ionic liquids, catalysts having polar or ionic character can easily be immobilized without additional structural modification and thus the ionic solutions containing the catalyst can easily be separated from the reagents and reaction products, and then, be reused. More interestingly, switching from an organic solvent to an ionic liquid often results in a significant improvement in catalytic performance (e.g., rate acceleration, (enantio)selectivity improvement and an increase in catalyst stability). In this review, some recent interesting results which can nicely demonstrate these positive 'ionic liquid effect' on catalysis are discussed

  14. Bedtime Blood Pressure Chronotherapy Significantly Improves Hypertension Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermida, Ramón C; Ayala, Diana E; Fernández, José R; Mojón, Artemio; Crespo, Juan J; Ríos, María T; Smolensky, Michael H

    2017-10-01

    Consistent evidence of numerous studies substantiates the asleep blood pressure (BP) mean derived from ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) is both an independent and a stronger predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk than are daytime clinic BP measurements or the ABPM-determined awake or 24-hour BP means. Hence, cost-effective adequate control of sleep-time BP is of marked clinical relevance. Ingestion time, according to circadian rhythms, of hypertension medications of 6 different classes and their combinations significantly improves BP control, particularly sleep-time BP, and reduces adverse effects. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. [Improvement of Phi bodies stain and its clinical significance].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Xu-Bo; Lu, Xing-Guo; Yan, Li-Juan; Xiao, Xi-Bin; Wu, Dong; Xu, Gen-Bo; Zhang, Xiao-Hong; Zhao, Xiao-Ying

    2009-02-01

    The aim of this study was to improve the dyeing method of hydroperoxidase (HPO), to analyze the morphologic features of Phi bodies and to evaluate the clinical application of this method. 128 bone marrow or peripheral blood smears from patients with myeloid and lymphoid malignancies were stained by improved HPO staining. The Phi bodies were observed with detection rate of Phi bodies in different leukemias. 69 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) specimens were chosen randomly, the positive rate and the number of Phi bodies between the improved HPO and POX stain based on the same substrate of 3, 3'diaminobenzidine were compared. The results showed that the shape of bundle-like Phi bodies was variable, long or short. while the nubbly Phi bodies often presented oval and smooth. Club-like Phi bodies were found in M(3). The detection rates of bundle-like Phi bodies in AML M(1)-M(5) were 42.9% (6/14), 83.3% (15/18), 92.0% (23/25), 52.3% (11/21), 33.3% (5/15) respectively, and those of nubbly Phi bodies were 28.6% (4/14), 66.7% (12/18), 11.1% (3/25), 33.3% (7/21), 20.0% (3/15) respectively. The detection rate of bundle-like Phi bodies in M(3) was significantly higher than that in (M(1) + M(2)) or (M(4) + M(5)) groups. The detection rate of nubbly Phi bodies in (M(1) + M(2)) group was higher than that in M(3) group. In conclusion, after improvement of staining method, the HPO stain becomes simple, the detection rate of Phi bodies is higher than that by the previous method, the positive granules are more obvious, and the results become stable. This improved method plays an important role in differentiating AML from ALL, subtyping AML, and evaluating the therapeutic results.

  16. Ceramic Composite Intermediate Temperature Stress-Rupture Properties Improved Significantly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morscher, Gregory N.; Hurst, Janet B.

    2002-01-01

    Silicon carbide (SiC) composites are considered to be potential materials for future aircraft engine parts such as combustor liners. It is envisioned that on the hot side (inner surface) of the combustor liner, composites will have to withstand temperatures in excess of 1200 C for thousands of hours in oxidizing environments. This is a severe condition; however, an equally severe, if not more detrimental, condition exists on the cold side (outer surface) of the combustor liner. Here, the temperatures are expected to be on the order of 800 to 1000 C under high tensile stress because of thermal gradients and attachment of the combustor liner to the engine frame (the hot side will be under compressive stress, a less severe stress-state for ceramics). Since these composites are not oxides, they oxidize. The worst form of oxidation for strength reduction occurs at these intermediate temperatures, where the boron nitride (BN) interphase oxidizes first, which causes the formation of a glass layer that strongly bonds the fibers to the matrix. When the fibers strongly bond to the matrix or to one another, the composite loses toughness and strength and becomes brittle. To increase the intermediate temperature stress-rupture properties, researchers must modify the BN interphase. With the support of the Ultra-Efficient Engine Technology (UEET) Program, significant improvements were made as state-of-the-art SiC/SiC composites were developed during the Enabling Propulsion Materials (EPM) program. Three approaches were found to improve the intermediate-temperature stress-rupture properties: fiber-spreading, high-temperature silicon- (Si) doped boron nitride (BN), and outside-debonding BN.

  17. Identifying Adult Dengue Patients at Low Risk for Clinically Significant Bleeding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua G X Wong

    Full Text Available Clinically significant bleeding is important for subsequent optimal case management in dengue patients, but most studies have focused on dengue severity as an outcome. Our study objective was to identify differences in admission parameters between patients who developed clinically significant bleeding and those that did not. We sought to develop a model for discriminating between these patients.We conducted a retrospective study of 4,383 adults aged >18 years who were hospitalized with dengue infection at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore from 2005 to 2008. Patients were divided into those with clinically significant bleeding (n = 188, and those without (n = 4,195. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory variables on admission were compared between groups to determine factors associated with clinically significant bleeding during hospitalization.On admission, female gender (p38°C (p38°C (aOR 1.81; 95% CI: 1.27-2.61, nausea/vomiting (aOR 1.39; 95% CI: 0.94-2.12, ANC (aOR 1.3; 95% CI: 1.15-1.46, ALC (aOR 0.4; 95% CI: 0.25-0.64, hematocrit percentage (aOR 0.96; 95% CI: 0.92-1.002 and platelet count (aOR 0.993; 95% CI: 0.988-0.998. At the cutoff of -3.919, the model achieved an AUC of 0.758 (sensitivity:0.87, specificity: 0.38, PPV: 0.06, NPV: 0.98.Clinical risk factors associated with clinically significant bleeding were identified. This model may be useful to complement clinical judgement in triaging adult dengue patients given the dynamic nature of acute dengue, particularly in pre-identifying those less likely to develop clinically significant bleeding.

  18. Identifying significant temporal variation in time course microarray data without replicates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Porter Weston

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An important component of time course microarray studies is the identification of genes that demonstrate significant time-dependent variation in their expression levels. Until recently, available methods for performing such significance tests required replicates of individual time points. This paper describes a replicate-free method that was developed as part of a study of the estrous cycle in the rat mammary gland in which no replicate data was collected. Results A temporal test statistic is proposed that is based on the degree to which data are smoothed when fit by a spline function. An algorithm is presented that uses this test statistic together with a false discovery rate method to identify genes whose expression profiles exhibit significant temporal variation. The algorithm is tested on simulated data, and is compared with another recently published replicate-free method. The simulated data consists both of genes with known temporal dependencies, and genes from a null distribution. The proposed algorithm identifies a larger percentage of the time-dependent genes for a given false discovery rate. Use of the algorithm in a study of the estrous cycle in the rat mammary gland resulted in the identification of genes exhibiting distinct circadian variation. These results were confirmed in follow-up laboratory experiments. Conclusion The proposed algorithm provides a new approach for identifying expression profiles with significant temporal variation without relying on replicates. When compared with a recently published algorithm on simulated data, the proposed algorithm appears to identify a larger percentage of time-dependent genes for a given false discovery rate. The development of the algorithm was instrumental in revealing the presence of circadian variation in the virgin rat mammary gland during the estrous cycle.

  19. Quality Improvement in Hospitals: Identifying and Understanding Behaviors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukasz M. Mazur

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Improving operational performance in hospitals is complicated, particularly if process improvement requires complex behavioral changes. Using single-loop and double-loop learning theory as a foundation, the purpose of this research is to empirically uncover key improvement behaviors and the factors that may be associated with such behaviors in hospitals. A two-phased approach was taken to collect data regarding improvement behaviors and associated factors, and data analysis was conducted using methods proposed by grounded theorists. The contributions of this research are twofold. First, five key behaviors related to process improvement are identified, namely Quick Fixing, Initiating, Conforming, Expediting, and Enhancing. Second, based on these observed behaviors, a set of force field diagrams is developed to structure and organize possible factors that are important to consider when attempting to change improvement behaviors. This begins to fill the gap in the knowledge about what factors drive effective improvement efforts in hospital settings.

  20. Determining coding CpG islands by identifying regions significant for pattern statistics on Markov chains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, Meromit; Engström, Alexander; Schönhuth, Alexander; Pachter, Lior

    2011-09-23

    Recent experimental and computational work confirms that CpGs can be unmethylated inside coding exons, thereby showing that codons may be subjected to both genomic and epigenomic constraint. It is therefore of interest to identify coding CpG islands (CCGIs) that are regions inside exons enriched for CpGs. The difficulty in identifying such islands is that coding exons exhibit sequence biases determined by codon usage and constraints that must be taken into account. We present a method for finding CCGIs that showcases a novel approach we have developed for identifying regions of interest that are significant (with respect to a Markov chain) for the counts of any pattern. Our method begins with the exact computation of tail probabilities for the number of CpGs in all regions contained in coding exons, and then applies a greedy algorithm for selecting islands from among the regions. We show that the greedy algorithm provably optimizes a biologically motivated criterion for selecting islands while controlling the false discovery rate. We applied this approach to the human genome (hg18) and annotated CpG islands in coding exons. The statistical criterion we apply to evaluating islands reduces the number of false positives in existing annotations, while our approach to defining islands reveals significant numbers of undiscovered CCGIs in coding exons. Many of these appear to be examples of functional epigenetic specialization in coding exons.

  1. Kernel density surface modelling as a means to identify significant concentrations of vulnerable marine ecosystem indicators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellen Kenchington

    Full Text Available The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 61/105, concerning sustainable fisheries in the marine ecosystem, calls for the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VME from destructive fishing practices. Subsequently, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO produced guidelines for identification of VME indicator species/taxa to assist in the implementation of the resolution, but recommended the development of case-specific operational definitions for their application. We applied kernel density estimation (KDE to research vessel trawl survey data from inside the fishing footprint of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO Regulatory Area in the high seas of the northwest Atlantic to create biomass density surfaces for four VME indicator taxa: large-sized sponges, sea pens, small and large gorgonian corals. These VME indicator taxa were identified previously by NAFO using the fragility, life history characteristics and structural complexity criteria presented by FAO, along with an evaluation of their recovery trajectories. KDE, a non-parametric neighbour-based smoothing function, has been used previously in ecology to identify hotspots, that is, areas of relatively high biomass/abundance. We present a novel approach of examining relative changes in area under polygons created from encircling successive biomass categories on the KDE surface to identify "significant concentrations" of biomass, which we equate to VMEs. This allows identification of the VMEs from the broader distribution of the species in the study area. We provide independent assessments of the VMEs so identified using underwater images, benthic sampling with other gear types (dredges, cores, and/or published species distribution models of probability of occurrence, as available. For each VME indicator taxon we provide a brief review of their ecological function which will be important in future assessments of significant adverse impact on these habitats here

  2. Significance of left ventricular apical-basal muscle bundle identified by cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

    OpenAIRE

    Gruner, Christiane; Chan, Raymond H.; Crean, Andrew; Rakowski, Harry; Rowin, Ethan J.; Care, Melanie; Deva, Djeven; Williams, Lynne; Appelbaum, Evan; Gibson, C. Michael; Lesser, John R.; Haas, Tammy S.; Udelson, James E.; Manning, Warren J.; Siminovitch, Katherine

    2017-01-01

    Aims Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) has improved diagnostic and management strategies in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) by expanding our appreciation for the diverse phenotypic expression. We sought to characterize the prevalence and clinical significance of a recently identified accessory left ventricular (LV) muscle bundle extending from the apex to the basal septum or anterior wall (i.e. apical-basal). Methods and results CMR was performed in 230 genotyped HCM patients (48 ± 15...

  3. An improved anti-leech mechanism based on session identifier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jianbiao; Zhu, Tong; Zhang, Han; Lin, Li

    2012-01-01

    With the rapid development of information technology and extensive requirement of network resource sharing, plenty of resource hotlinking phenomenons appear on the internet. The hotlinking problem not only harms the interests of legal websites but also leads to a great affection to fair internet environment. The anti-leech technique based on session identifier is highly secure, but the transmission of session identifier in plaintext form causes some security flaws. In this paper, a proxy hotlinking technique based on session identifier is introduced firstly to illustrate these security flaws; next, this paper proposes an improved anti-leech mechanism based on session identifier, the mechanism takes the random factor as the core and detects hotlinking request using a map table that contains random factor, user's information and time stamp; at last the paper analyzes the security of mechanism in theory. The result reveals that the improved mechanism has the merits of simple realization, high security and great flexibility.

  4. BLAT2DOLite: An Online System for Identifying Significant Relationships between Genetic Sequences and Diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang Cheng

    Full Text Available The significantly related diseases of sequences could play an important role in understanding the functions of these sequences. In this paper, we introduced BLAT2DOLite, an online system for annotating human genes and diseases and identifying the significant relationships between sequences and diseases. Currently, BLAT2DOLite integrates Entrez Gene database and Disease Ontology Lite (DOLite, which contain loci of gene and relationships between genes and diseases. It utilizes hypergeometric test to calculate P-values between genes and diseases of DOLite. The system can be accessed from: http://123.59.132.21:8080/BLAT2DOLite. The corresponding web service is described in: http://123.59.132.21:8080/BLAT2DOLite/BLAT2DOLiteIDMappingPort?wsdl.

  5. Identifying strategies to improve the effectiveness of booster seat laws

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-05-01

    The objective of this project was to identify strategies to improve the effectiveness of booster seat laws. The project explored the possible factors that relate to the use and nonuse of booster seats, and examined the attitudes of law enforcement of...

  6. Methylphenidate significantly improves declarative memory functioning of adults with ADHD.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verster, J.C.; Bekker, E.M.; Kooij, J.J.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Verbaten, M.N.; Volkerts, E.R.; Olivier, B.

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Declarative memory deficits are common in untreated adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but limited evidence exists to support improvement after treatment with methylphenidate. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of methylphenidate on memory

  7. Cloud-based solution to identify statistically significant MS peaks differentiating sample categories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Jun; Ling, Jeffrey; Jiang, Helen; Wen, Qiaojun; Whitin, John C; Tian, Lu; Cohen, Harvey J; Ling, Xuefeng B

    2013-03-23

    Mass spectrometry (MS) has evolved to become the primary high throughput tool for proteomics based biomarker discovery. Until now, multiple challenges in protein MS data analysis remain: large-scale and complex data set management; MS peak identification, indexing; and high dimensional peak differential analysis with the concurrent statistical tests based false discovery rate (FDR). "Turnkey" solutions are needed for biomarker investigations to rapidly process MS data sets to identify statistically significant peaks for subsequent validation. Here we present an efficient and effective solution, which provides experimental biologists easy access to "cloud" computing capabilities to analyze MS data. The web portal can be accessed at http://transmed.stanford.edu/ssa/. Presented web application supplies large scale MS data online uploading and analysis with a simple user interface. This bioinformatic tool will facilitate the discovery of the potential protein biomarkers using MS.

  8. Creating a Middle Grades Environment that Significantly Improves Student Achievement

    Science.gov (United States)

    L'Esperance, Mark E.; Lenker, Ethan; Bullock, Ann; Lockamy, Becky; Mason, Cathy

    2013-01-01

    This article offers an overview of the framework that Sampson County Public Schools (North Carolina) used to critically reflect on the current state of their middle grades schools. The article also highlights the changes that resulted from the district-wide analysis and the ways in which these changes led to a significant increase in the academic…

  9. Clinical Significance of Focal Breast Lesions Incidentally Identified by 18F-FDG PET/CT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cho, Young Seok; Choi, Joon Young; Lee, Su Jin; Hyun, Seung Hyup; Lee, Ji Young; Choi, Yong; Choe, Yearn Seong; Lee, Kyung Han; Kim, Byung Tae

    2008-01-01

    We evaluated the incidence and malignant risk of focal breast lesions incidentally detected by 18 F-FDG PET/CT. Various PET/CT findings of the breast lesions were also analyzed to improve the differentiation between benign from malignant focal breast lesions. The subjects were 3,768 consecutive 18 F-FDG PET/CT exams performed in adult females without a history of breast cancer. A focal breast lesion was defined as a focal 18 F-FDG uptake or a focal nodular lesion on CT image irrespective of 18 F-FDG uptake in the breasts. The maximum SUV and CT pattern of focal breast lesions were evaluated, and were compared with final diagnosis. The incidence of focal breast lesions on PET/CT in adult female subjects was 1.4% (58 lesions in 53 subjects). In finally confirmed 53 lesions of 48 subjects, 11 lesions of 8 subjects (20.8%) were proven to be malignant. When the PET/CT patterns suggesting benignancy (maximum attenuation value > 75 HU or 20) were added as diagnostic criteria of PET/CT to differentiate benign from malignant breast lesions along with maximum SUV, the area under ROC curve of PET/CT was significantly increased compared with maximum SUV alone (0.680±0.093 vs. 0.786±0.076, p 18 F-FDG PET/CT is not low, deserving further diagnostic confirmation. Image interpretation considering both 18 F-FDG uptake and PET/CT pattern may be helpful to improve the differentiation from malignant and benign focal breast lesion

  10. Improving applicant selection: identifying qualities of the unsuccessful otolaryngology resident.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badran, Karam W; Kelley, Kanwar; Conderman, Christian; Mahboubi, Hossein; Armstrong, William B; Bhandarkar, Naveen D

    2015-04-01

    To identify the prevalence and management of problematic residents. Additionally, we hope to identify the factors associated with successful remediation of unsuccessful otolaryngology residents. Self-reported Internet and paper-based survey. An anonymous survey was distributed to 152 current and former program directors (PDs) in 2012. The factors associated with unsuccessful otolaryngology residents and those associated with the successful remediation of problematic residents were investigated. An unsuccessful resident is defined as one who quit or was removed from the program for any reason, or one whose actions resulted in criminal action or citation against their medical license after graduation from residency. Remediation is defined as an individualized program implemented to correct documented weaknesses. The overall response rate was 26% (40 PDs). Seventy-three unsuccessful or problematic residents were identified. Sixty-six problematic or unsuccessful residents were identified during residency, with 58 of 66 (88%) undergoing remediation. Thirty-one (47%) residents did not graduate. The most commonly identified factors of an unsuccessful resident were: change in specialty (21.5%), interpersonal and communication skills with health professionals (13.9%), and clinical judgment (10.1%). Characteristics of those residents who underwent successful remediation include: poor performance on in-training examination (17%, P otolaryngology PDs in this sample identified at least one unsuccessful resident. Improved methods of applicant screening may assist in optimizing otolaryngology resident selection. © 2014 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

  11. Low-dose vaporized cannabis significantly improves neuropathic pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilsey, Barth; Marcotte, Thomas; Deutsch, Reena; Gouaux, Ben; Sakai, Staci; Donaghe, Haylee

    2013-02-01

    We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study evaluating the analgesic efficacy of vaporized cannabis in subjects, the majority of whom were experiencing neuropathic pain despite traditional treatment. Thirty-nine patients with central and peripheral neuropathic pain underwent a standardized procedure for inhaling medium-dose (3.53%), low-dose (1.29%), or placebo cannabis with the primary outcome being visual analog scale pain intensity. Psychoactive side effects and neuropsychological performance were also evaluated. Mixed-effects regression models demonstrated an analgesic response to vaporized cannabis. There was no significant difference between the 2 active dose groups' results (P > .7). The number needed to treat (NNT) to achieve 30% pain reduction was 3.2 for placebo versus low-dose, 2.9 for placebo versus medium-dose, and 25 for medium- versus low-dose. As these NNTs are comparable to those of traditional neuropathic pain medications, cannabis has analgesic efficacy with the low dose being as effective a pain reliever as the medium dose. Psychoactive effects were minimal and well tolerated, and neuropsychological effects were of limited duration and readily reversible within 1 to 2 hours. Vaporized cannabis, even at low doses, may present an effective option for patients with treatment-resistant neuropathic pain. The analgesia obtained from a low dose of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (1.29%) in patients, most of whom were experiencing neuropathic pain despite conventional treatments, is a clinically significant outcome. In general, the effect sizes on cognitive testing were consistent with this minimal dose. As a result, one might not anticipate a significant impact on daily functioning. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  12. Scoping review identifies significant number of knowledge translation theories, models and frameworks with limited use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strifler, Lisa; Cardoso, Roberta; McGowan, Jessie; Cogo, Elise; Nincic, Vera; Khan, Paul A; Scott, Alistair; Ghassemi, Marco; MacDonald, Heather; Lai, Yonda; Treister, Victoria; Tricco, Andrea C; Straus, Sharon E

    2018-04-13

    To conduct a scoping review of knowledge translation (KT) theories, models and frameworks that have been used to guide dissemination or implementation of evidence-based interventions targeted to prevention and/or management of cancer or other chronic diseases. We used a comprehensive multistage search process from 2000-2016, which included traditional bibliographic database searching, searching using names of theories, models and frameworks, and cited reference searching. Two reviewers independently screened the literature and abstracted data. We found 596 studies reporting on the use of 159 KT theories, models or frameworks. A majority (87%) of the identified theories, models or frameworks were used in five or fewer studies, with 60% used once. The theories, models and frameworks were most commonly used to inform planning/design, implementation and evaluation activities, and least commonly used to inform dissemination and sustainability/scalability activities. Twenty-six were used across the full implementation spectrum (from planning/design to sustainability/scalability) either within or across studies. All were used for at least individual-level behavior change, while 48% were used for organization-level, 33% for community-level and 17% for system-level change. We found a significant number of KT theories, models and frameworks with a limited evidence base describing their use. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  13. Low Dose Vaporized Cannabis Significantly Improves Neuropathic Pain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilsey, Barth; Marcotte, Thomas D.; Deutsch, Reena; Gouaux, Ben; Sakai, Staci; Donaghe, Haylee

    2013-01-01

    We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study evaluating the analgesic efficacy of vaporized cannabis in subjects, the majority of whom were experiencing neuropathic pain despite traditional treatment. Thirty-nine patients with central and peripheral neuropathic pain underwent a standardized procedure for inhaling either medium dose (3.53%), low dose (1.29%), or placebo cannabis with the primary outcome being VAS pain intensity. Psychoactive side-effects, and neuropsychological performance were also evaluated. Mixed effects regression models demonstrated an analgesic response to vaporized cannabis. There was no significant difference between the two active dose groups’ results (p>0.7). The number needed to treat (NNT) to achieve 30% pain reduction was 3.2 for placebo vs. low dose, 2.9 for placebo vs. medium dose, and 25 for medium vs. low dose. As these NNT are comparable to those of traditional neuropathic pain medications, cannabis has analgesic efficacy with the low dose being, for all intents and purposes, as effective a pain reliever as the medium dose. Psychoactive effects were minimal and well-tolerated, and neuropsychological effects were of limited duration and readily reversible within 1–2 hours. Vaporized cannabis, even at low doses, may present an effective option for patients with treatment-resistant neuropathic pain. PMID:23237736

  14. A High-Throughput Computational Framework for Identifying Significant Copy Number Aberrations from Array Comparative Genomic Hybridisation Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian Roberts

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Reliable identification of copy number aberrations (CNA from comparative genomic hybridization data would be improved by the availability of a generalised method for processing large datasets. To this end, we developed swatCGH, a data analysis framework and region detection heuristic for computational grids. swatCGH analyses sequentially displaced (sliding windows of neighbouring probes and applies adaptive thresholds of varying stringency to identify the 10% of each chromosome that contains the most frequently occurring CNAs. We used the method to analyse a published dataset, comparing data preprocessed using four different DNA segmentation algorithms, and two methods for prioritising the detected CNAs. The consolidated list of the most commonly detected aberrations confirmed the value of swatCGH as a simplified high-throughput method for identifying biologically significant CNA regions of interest.

  15. Identifying the most significant indicators of the total road safety performance index.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tešić, Milan; Hermans, Elke; Lipovac, Krsto; Pešić, Dalibor

    2018-04-01

    The review of the national and international literature dealing with the assessment of the road safety level has shown great efforts of the authors who tried to define the methodology for calculating the composite road safety index on a territory (region, state, etc.). The procedure for obtaining a road safety composite index of an area has been largely harmonized. The question that has not been fully resolved yet concerns the selection of indicators. There is a wide range of road safety indicators used to show a road safety situation on a territory. Road safety performance index (RSPI) obtained on the basis of a larger number of safety performance indicators (SPIs) enable decision makers to more precisely define the earlier goal- oriented actions. However, recording a broader comprehensive set of SPIs helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of a country's road safety system. Providing high quality national and international databases that would include comparable SPIs seems to be difficult since a larger number of countries dispose of a small number of identical indicators available for use. Therefore, there is a need for calculating a road safety performance index with a limited number of indicators (RSPI ln n ) which will provide a comparison of a sufficient quality, of as many countries as possible. The application of the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) method and correlative analysis has helped to check if the RSPI ln n is likely to be of sufficient quality. A strong correlation between the RSPI ln n and the RSPI has been identified using the proposed methodology. Based on this, the most contributing indicators and methodologies for gradual monitoring of SPIs, have been defined for each country analyzed. The indicator monitoring phases in the analyzed countries have been defined in the following way: Phase 1- the indicators relating to alcohol, speed and protective systems; Phase 2- the indicators relating to roads and Phase 3- the indicators relating to

  16. 49 CFR 520.5 - Guidelines for identifying major actions significantly affecting the environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... significantly affecting the environment. 520.5 Section 520.5 Transportation Other Regulations Relating to... significantly affecting the environment. (a) General guidelines. The phrase, “major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment,” as used in this part, shall be construed with a...

  17. A Modified Delphi to Identify the Significant Works Pertaining to the Understanding of Reading Comprehension and Content Analysis of the Identified Works

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zunker, Norma D.; Pearce, Daniel L.

    2012-01-01

    The first part of this study explored the significant works pertaining to the understanding of reading comprehension using a Modified Delphi Method. A panel of reading comprehension experts identified 19 works they considered to be significant to the understanding of reading comprehension. The panel of experts identified the reasons they…

  18. Identify: Improving industrial energy efficiency and mitigating global climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lazarus, M.; Hill, D.; Cornland, D.W.; Heaps, C.; Hippel, D. von; Williams, R.

    1997-07-01

    The use of energy in the industrial sectors of nations with both industrialized and developing economies will continue to be, a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, particularly carbon dioxide. The patterns of industrial-sector energy use--energy provided primarily by the combustion of fossil fuels-have shifted both within the between countries in recent decades. Projections of future energy use and carbon-dioxide (CO{sub 2}) emissions suggest continued shifts in these patterns, as industrial production in developed countries stabilizes and declines, while industrial output in the developing world continues to expand. This expansion of industrial-sector activity and CO{sub 2} emissions in developing countries presents both a challenge and an opportunity. To seize this opportunity and contribute to international efforts to mitigate global climate change, the United National Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) recently initiated a two-phase effort to help improve the efficiency of energy-intensive industries (iron and steel, chemicals, refining, paper and pulp, and cement) in developing countries. As part of the Phase I, the authors reviewed industrial sector scenarios and to initiated development of a software-based toolkit for identifying and assessing GHG mitigating technologies. This toolkit, called IDENTIFY, is comprised of a technology inventory and a companion economic analysis tool. In addition, UNIDO commissioned institutions in India, South Africa, and Argentina to review energy use patterns and savings opportunities in selected industries across nine developing countries, and contribute to the development of the IDENTIFY toolkit. UNIDO is now preparing to launch Phase 2, which will focus on full development and dissemination of the IDENTIFY toolkit through seminars and case studies around the world. This paper describes Phase 1 of the UNIDO project.

  19. Identify: Improving industrial energy efficiency and mitigating global climate change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lazarus, M.; Hill, D.; Cornland, D.W.; Heaps, C.; Hippel, D. von; Williams, R.

    1997-01-01

    The use of energy in the industrial sectors of nations with both industrialized and developing economies will continue to be, a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, particularly carbon dioxide. The patterns of industrial-sector energy use--energy provided primarily by the combustion of fossil fuels-have shifted both within the between countries in recent decades. Projections of future energy use and carbon-dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions suggest continued shifts in these patterns, as industrial production in developed countries stabilizes and declines, while industrial output in the developing world continues to expand. This expansion of industrial-sector activity and CO 2 emissions in developing countries presents both a challenge and an opportunity. To seize this opportunity and contribute to international efforts to mitigate global climate change, the United National Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) recently initiated a two-phase effort to help improve the efficiency of energy-intensive industries (iron and steel, chemicals, refining, paper and pulp, and cement) in developing countries. As part of the Phase I, the authors reviewed industrial sector scenarios and to initiated development of a software-based toolkit for identifying and assessing GHG mitigating technologies. This toolkit, called IDENTIFY, is comprised of a technology inventory and a companion economic analysis tool. In addition, UNIDO commissioned institutions in India, South Africa, and Argentina to review energy use patterns and savings opportunities in selected industries across nine developing countries, and contribute to the development of the IDENTIFY toolkit. UNIDO is now preparing to launch Phase 2, which will focus on full development and dissemination of the IDENTIFY toolkit through seminars and case studies around the world. This paper describes Phase 1 of the UNIDO project

  20. Selective imaging modalities after first pyelonephritis failed to identify significant urological anomalies, despite normal antenatal ultrasounds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mola, Gylli; Wenger, Therese Ramstad; Salomonsson, Petra

    2017-01-01

    AIM: We investigated the consequences of applying different imaging guidelines for urological anomalies after first pyelonephritis in children with normal routine antenatal ultrasounds. METHODS: The cohort comprised 472 children treated for their first culture-positive pyelonephritis and investig......AIM: We investigated the consequences of applying different imaging guidelines for urological anomalies after first pyelonephritis in children with normal routine antenatal ultrasounds. METHODS: The cohort comprised 472 children treated for their first culture-positive pyelonephritis...... identified all patients initially treated with surgery and avoided 65 scintigraphies. CONCLUSION: Dilated VUR was the dominant anomaly in a cohort with first time pyelonephritis and normal antenatal ultrasound. The optimal imaging strategy after pyelonephritis must be identified....

  1. Methodology to identify risk-significant components for inservice inspection and testing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, M.T.; Hartley, R.S.; Jones, J.L. Jr.; Kido, C.; Phillips, J.H.

    1992-08-01

    Periodic inspection and testing of vital system components should be performed to ensure the safe and reliable operation of Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear processing facilities. Probabilistic techniques may be used to help identify and rank components by their relative risk. A risk-based ranking would allow varied DOE sites to implement inspection and testing programs in an effective and cost-efficient manner. This report describes a methodology that can be used to rank components, while addressing multiple risk issues

  2. 40 CFR 141.723 - Requirements to respond to significant deficiencies identified in sanitary surveys performed by EPA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... deficiencies identified in sanitary surveys performed by EPA. 141.723 Section 141.723 Protection of Environment... performed by EPA, systems must respond in writing to significant deficiencies identified in sanitary survey... will address significant deficiencies noted in the survey. (d) Systems must correct significant...

  3. Improved prediction of breast cancer outcome by identifying heterogeneous biomarkers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jonghwan; Park, Sanghyun; Yoon, Youngmi; Ahn, Jaegyoon

    2017-11-15

    Identification of genes that can be used to predict prognosis in patients with cancer is important in that it can lead to improved therapy, and can also promote our understanding of tumor progression on the molecular level. One of the common but fundamental problems that render identification of prognostic genes and prediction of cancer outcomes difficult is the heterogeneity of patient samples. To reduce the effect of sample heterogeneity, we clustered data samples using K-means algorithm and applied modified PageRank to functional interaction (FI) networks weighted using gene expression values of samples in each cluster. Hub genes among resulting prioritized genes were selected as biomarkers to predict the prognosis of samples. This process outperformed traditional feature selection methods as well as several network-based prognostic gene selection methods when applied to Random Forest. We were able to find many cluster-specific prognostic genes for each dataset. Functional study showed that distinct biological processes were enriched in each cluster, which seems to reflect different aspect of tumor progression or oncogenesis among distinct patient groups. Taken together, these results provide support for the hypothesis that our approach can effectively identify heterogeneous prognostic genes, and these are complementary to each other, improving prediction accuracy. https://github.com/mathcom/CPR. jgahn@inu.ac.kr. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com

  4. Significant Deregulated Pathways in Diabetes Type II Complications Identified through Expression Based Network Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ukil, Sanchaita; Sinha, Meenakshee; Varshney, Lavneesh; Agrawal, Shipra

    Type 2 Diabetes is a complex multifactorial disease, which alters several signaling cascades giving rise to serious complications. It is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. The present research work describes an integrated functional network biology approach to identify pathways that get transcriptionally altered and lead to complex complications thereby amplifying the phenotypic effect of the impaired disease state. We have identified two sub-network modules, which could be activated under abnormal circumstances in diabetes. Present work describes key proteins such as P85A and SRC serving as important nodes to mediate alternate signaling routes during diseased condition. P85A has been shown to be an important link between stress responsive MAPK and CVD markers involved in fibrosis. MAPK8 has been shown to interact with P85A and further activate CTGF through VEGF signaling. We have traced a novel and unique route correlating inflammation and fibrosis by considering P85A as a key mediator of signals. The next sub-network module shows SRC as a junction for various signaling processes, which results in interaction between NF-kB and beta catenin to cause cell death. The powerful interaction between these important genes in response to transcriptionally altered lipid metabolism and impaired inflammatory response via SRC causes apoptosis of cells. The crosstalk between inflammation, lipid homeostasis and stress, and their serious effects downstream have been explained in the present analyses.

  5. Children with hemodynamically significant congenital heart disease can be identified through population-based registers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergman, Gunnar; Hærskjold, Ann; Stensballe, Lone Graff

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Epidemiological research is facilitated in Sweden by a history of national health care registers, making large unselected national cohort studies possible. However, for complex clinical populations, such as children with congenital heart disease (CHD), register-based studies...... are challenged by registration limitations. For example, the diagnostic code system International Classification of Diseases, 10th version (ICD-10) does not indicate the clinical significance of abnormalities, therefore may be of limited use if used as the sole parameter in epidemiological research. Palivizumab...

  6. Post discharge issues identified by a call-back program: identifying improvement opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojeda, Patricia I; Kara, Areeba

    2017-12-01

    The period following discharge from the hospital is one of heightened vulnerability. Discharge instructions serve as a guide during this transition. Yet, clinicians receive little feedback on the quality of this document that ties into the patients' experience. We reviewed the issues voiced by discharged patients via a call-back program and compared them to the discharge instructions they had received. At our institution, patients receive an automated call forty-eight hours following discharge inquiring about progress. If indicated by the response to the call, they are directed to a nurse who assists with problem solving. We reviewed the nursing documentation of these encounters for a period of nine months. The issues voiced were grouped into five categories: communication, medications, durable medical equipment/therapies, follow up and new or ongoing symptoms. The discharge instructions given to each patient were reviewed. We retrieved data on the number of discharges from each specialty from the hospital over the same period. A total of 592 patients voiced 685 issues. The numbers of patients discharged from medical or surgical services identified as having issues via the call-back line paralleled the proportions discharged from medical and surgical services from the hospital during the same period. Nearly a quarter of the issues discussed had been addressed in the discharge instructions. The most common category of issues was related to communication deficits including missing or incomplete information which made it difficult for the patient to enact or understand the plan of care. Medication prescription related issues were the next most common. Resource barriers and questions surrounding medications were often unaddressed. Post discharge issues affect patients discharged from all services equally. Data from call back programs may provide actionable targets for improvement, identify the inpatient team's 'blind spots' and be used to provide feedback to clinicians.

  7. Shear-wave elastography of the liver and spleen identifies clinically significant portal hypertension

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Christian; Bogs, Christopher; Verlinden, Wim

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND & AIMS: Clinically significant portal hypertension (CSPH) is associated with severe complications and decompensation of cirrhosis. Liver stiffness measured either by transient elastography (TE) or Shear-wave elastography (SWE) and spleen stiffness by TE might be helpful in the diagnosis...... correlate with portal pressure and can both be used as a non-invasive method to investigate CSPH. Even though external validation is still missing, these algorithms to rule-out and rule-in CSPH using sequential SWE of liver and spleen might change the clinical practice....

  8. Identifying and characterizing the most significant β-glucosidase of the novel species Aspergillus saccharolyticus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sorensen, Anette; Ahring, Birgitte K.; Lubeck, Mette; Ubhayasekera, Wimal; Bruno, Kenneth S.; Culley, David E.; Lubeck, Peter S.

    2012-08-20

    A newly discovered fungal species, Aspergillus saccharolyticus, was found to produce a culture broth rich in beta-glucosidase activity. In this present work, the main beta-glucosidase of A. saccharolyticus responsible for the efficient hydrolytic activity was identified, isolated, and characterized. Ion exchange chromatography was used to fractionate the culture broth, yielding fractions with high beta-glucosidase activity and only one visible band on an SDS-PAGE gel. Mass spectrometry analysis of this band gave peptide matches to beta-glucosidases from aspergilli. Through a PCR approach using degenerate primers and genome walking, a 2919 base pair sequence encoding the 860 amino acid BGL1 polypeptide was determined. BGL1 of A. saccharolyticus has 91% and 82% identity with BGL1 from Aspergillus aculeatus and BGL1 from Aspergillus niger, respectively, both belonging to Glycoside hydrolase family 3. Homology modeling studies suggested beta-glucosidase activity with preserved retaining mechanism and a wider catalytic pocket compared to other beta-glucosidases. The bgl1 gene was heterologously expressed in Trichoderma reesei QM6a, purified, and characterized by enzyme kinetics studies. The enzyme can hydrolyze cellobiose, pNPG, and cellodextrins. The enzyme showed good thermostability, was stable at 50°C, and at 60°C it had a half-life of approximately 6 hours.

  9. Network Diffusion-Based Prioritization of Autism Risk Genes Identifies Significantly Connected Gene Modules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ettore Mosca

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD is marked by a strong genetic heterogeneity, which is underlined by the low overlap between ASD risk gene lists proposed in different studies. In this context, molecular networks can be used to analyze the results of several genome-wide studies in order to underline those network regions harboring genetic variations associated with ASD, the so-called “disease modules.” In this work, we used a recent network diffusion-based approach to jointly analyze multiple ASD risk gene lists. We defined genome-scale prioritizations of human genes in relation to ASD genes from multiple studies, found significantly connected gene modules associated with ASD and predicted genes functionally related to ASD risk genes. Most of them play a role in synapsis and neuronal development and function; many are related to syndromes that can be in comorbidity with ASD and the remaining are involved in epigenetics, cell cycle, cell adhesion and cancer.

  10. Persistent Identifiers for Improved Accessibility for Linked Data Querying

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, A.; Chandler, C. L.; Arko, R. A.; Fils, D.; Jones, M. B.; Krisnadhi, A.; Mecum, B.

    2016-12-01

    The adoption of linked open data principles within the geosciences has increased the amount of accessible information available on the Web. However, this data is difficult to consume for those who are unfamiliar with Semantic Web technologies such as Web Ontology Language (OWL), Resource Description Framework (RDF) and SPARQL - the RDF query language. Consumers would need to understand the structure of the data and how to efficiently query it. Furthermore, understanding how to query doesn't solve problems of poor precision and recall in search results. For consumers unfamiliar with the data, full-text searches are most accessible, but not ideal as they arrest the advantages of data disambiguation and co-reference resolution efforts. Conversely, URI searches across linked data can deliver improved search results, but knowledge of these exact URIs may remain difficult to obtain. The increased adoption of Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) can lead to improved linked data querying by a wide variety of consumers. Because PIDs resolve to a single entity, they are an excellent data point for disambiguating content. At the same time, PIDs are more accessible and prominent than a single data provider's linked data URI. When present in linked open datasets, PIDs provide balance between the technical and social hurdles of linked data querying as evidenced by the NSF EarthCube GeoLink project. The GeoLink project, funded by NSF's EarthCube initiative, have brought together data repositories include content from field expeditions, laboratory analyses, journal publications, conference presentations, theses/reports, and funding awards that span scientific studies from marine geology to marine ecosystems and biogeochemistry to paleoclimatology.

  11. Clinical significance of pontine high signals identified on magnetic resonance imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watanabe, Masaki; Takahashi, Akira; Arahata, Yutaka; Motegi, Yoshimasa; Furuse, Masahiro.

    1993-01-01

    Spin-echo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was evaluated to 530 cases in order to investigate the clinical significance of pontine high signals. The subjects comprised 109 cases of pontine infarction with high signal on T 2 -weighted image and low signal on T 1 -weighted image (PI group), 145 of pontine high signal with high signal on T 2 -weighted image but normal signal on T 1 -weighted image (PH group) and 276 of age-matched control without abnormality either on T 1 or T 2 -weighted images (AC group). Subjective complaints such as vertigo-dizziness were more frequent in the PH group than in the PI group. In both PI and groups, periventricular hyperintensity as well as subcortical high signals in the supratentorium were more severe than in the AC group. These degrees were higher in the PI group than in the PH group. In conclusion, PH as well as PI may result from diffuse arteriosclerosis and PH is considered to be an early finding of pontine ischemia. (author)

  12. Clinical significance of pontine high signals identified on magnetic resonance imaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Watanabe, Masaki; Takahashi, Akira (Nagoya Univ. (Japan). Faculty of Medicine); Arahata, Yutaka; Motegi, Yoshimasa; Furuse, Masahiro

    1993-07-01

    Spin-echo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was evaluated to 530 cases in order to investigate the clinical significance of pontine high signals. The subjects comprised 109 cases of pontine infarction with high signal on T[sub 2]-weighted image and low signal on T[sub 1]-weighted image (PI group), 145 of pontine high signal with high signal on T[sub 2]-weighted image but normal signal on T[sub 1]-weighted image (PH group) and 276 of age-matched control without abnormality either on T[sub 1] or T[sub 2]-weighted images (AC group). Subjective complaints such as vertigo-dizziness were more frequent in the PH group than in the PI group. In both PI and groups, periventricular hyperintensity as well as subcortical high signals in the supratentorium were more severe than in the AC group. These degrees were higher in the PI group than in the PH group. In conclusion, PH as well as PI may result from diffuse arteriosclerosis and PH is considered to be an early finding of pontine ischemia. (author).

  13. An improved model for identifying influential bloggers on the web ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The benefits of achieving competitive advantages in a blog community by identify influential blogger have created several research gaps and the popularity of these services has make the problem of identifying the most influential bloggers noteworthy, since its solution can lead to major benefits for the users of this services ...

  14. Identifying continuous quality improvement publications: what makes an improvement intervention ‘CQI’?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hempel, Susanne; Lim, Yee-Wei; Danz, Marjorie S; Foy, Robbie; Suttorp, Marika J; Shekelle, Paul G; Rubenstein, Lisa V

    2011-01-01

    Background The term continuous quality improvement (CQI) is often used to refer to a method for improving care, but no consensus statement exists on the definition of CQI. Evidence reviews are critical for advancing science, and depend on reliable definitions for article selection. Methods As a preliminary step towards improving CQI evidence reviews, this study aimed to use expert panel methods to identify key CQI definitional features and develop and test a screening instrument for reliably identifying articles with the key features. We used a previously published method to identify 106 articles meeting the general definition of a quality improvement intervention (QII) from 9427 electronically identified articles from PubMed. Two raters then applied a six-item CQI screen to the 106 articles. Results Per cent agreement ranged from 55.7% to 75.5% for the six items, and reviewer-adjusted intra-class correlation ranged from 0.43 to 0.62. ‘Feedback of systematically collected data’ was the most common feature (64%), followed by being at least ‘somewhat’ adapted to local conditions (61%), feedback at meetings involving participant leaders (46%), using an iterative development process (40%), being at least ‘somewhat’ data driven (34%), and using a recognised change method (28%). All six features were present in 14.2% of QII articles. Conclusions We conclude that CQI features can be extracted from QII articles with reasonable reliability, but only a small proportion of QII articles include all features. Further consensus development is needed to support meaningful use of the term CQI for scientific communication. PMID:21727199

  15. Identifying continuous quality improvement publications: what makes an improvement intervention 'CQI'?

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, Sean M; Hempel, Susanne; Lim, Yee-Wei; Danz, Marjorie S; Foy, Robbie; Suttorp, Marika J; Shekelle, Paul G; Rubenstein, Lisa V

    2011-12-01

    The term continuous quality improvement (CQI) is often used to refer to a method for improving care, but no consensus statement exists on the definition of CQI. Evidence reviews are critical for advancing science, and depend on reliable definitions for article selection. As a preliminary step towards improving CQI evidence reviews, this study aimed to use expert panel methods to identify key CQI definitional features and develop and test a screening instrument for reliably identifying articles with the key features. We used a previously published method to identify 106 articles meeting the general definition of a quality improvement intervention (QII) from 9427 electronically identified articles from PubMed. Two raters then applied a six-item CQI screen to the 106 articles. Per cent agreement ranged from 55.7% to 75.5% for the six items, and reviewer-adjusted intra-class correlation ranged from 0.43 to 0.62. 'Feedback of systematically collected data' was the most common feature (64%), followed by being at least 'somewhat' adapted to local conditions (61%), feedback at meetings involving participant leaders (46%), using an iterative development process (40%), being at least 'somewhat' data driven (34%), and using a recognised change method (28%). All six features were present in 14.2% of QII articles. We conclude that CQI features can be extracted from QII articles with reasonable reliability, but only a small proportion of QII articles include all features. Further consensus development is needed to support meaningful use of the term CQI for scientific communication.

  16. Survival prediction algorithms miss significant opportunities for improvement if used for case selection in trauma quality improvement programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heim, Catherine; Cole, Elaine; West, Anita; Tai, Nigel; Brohi, Karim

    2016-09-01

    Quality improvement (QI) programs have shown to reduce preventable mortality in trauma care. Detailed review of all trauma deaths is a time and resource consuming process and calculated probability of survival (Ps) has been proposed as audit filter. Review is limited on deaths that were 'expected to survive'. However no Ps-based algorithm has been validated and no study has examined elements of preventability associated with deaths classified as 'expected'. The objective of this study was to examine whether trauma performance review can be streamlined using existing mortality prediction tools without missing important areas for improvement. We conducted a retrospective study of all trauma deaths reviewed by our trauma QI program. Deaths were classified into non-preventable, possibly preventable, probably preventable or preventable. Opportunities for improvement (OPIs) involve failure in the process of care and were classified into clinical and system deviations from standards of care. TRISS and PS were used for calculation of probability of survival. Peer-review charts were reviewed by a single investigator. Over 8 years, 626 patients were included. One third showed elements of preventability and 4% were preventable. Preventability occurred across the entire range of the calculated Ps band. Limiting review to unexpected deaths would have missed over 50% of all preventability issues and a third of preventable deaths. 37% of patients showed opportunities for improvement (OPIs). Neither TRISS nor PS allowed for reliable identification of OPIs and limiting peer-review to patients with unexpected deaths would have missed close to 60% of all issues in care. TRISS and PS fail to identify a significant proportion of avoidable deaths and miss important opportunities for process and system improvement. Based on this, all trauma deaths should be subjected to expert panel review in order to aim at a maximal output of performance improvement programs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier

  17. Improvements in the Protein Identifier Cross-Reference service.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wein, Samuel P; Côté, Richard G; Dumousseau, Marine; Reisinger, Florian; Hermjakob, Henning; Vizcaíno, Juan A

    2012-07-01

    The Protein Identifier Cross-Reference (PICR) service is a tool that allows users to map protein identifiers, protein sequences and gene identifiers across over 100 different source databases. PICR takes input through an interactive website as well as Representational State Transfer (REST) and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) services. It returns the results as HTML pages, XLS and CSV files. It has been in production since 2007 and has been recently enhanced to add new functionality and increase the number of databases it covers. Protein subsequences can be Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) against the UniProt Knowledgebase (UniProtKB) to provide an entry point to the standard PICR mapping algorithm. In addition, gene identifiers from UniProtKB and Ensembl can now be submitted as input or mapped to as output from PICR. We have also implemented a 'best-guess' mapping algorithm for UniProt. In this article, we describe the usefulness of PICR, how these changes have been implemented, and the corresponding additions to the web services. Finally, we explain that the number of source databases covered by PICR has increased from the initial 73 to the current 102. New resources include several new species-specific Ensembl databases as well as the Ensembl Genome ones. PICR can be accessed at http://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/picr/.

  18. National Emergency Preparedness and Response: Improving for Incidents of National Significance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Clayton, Christopher M

    2006-01-01

    The national emergency management system has need of significant improvement in its contingency planning and early consolidation of effort and coordination between federal, state, and local agencies...

  19. Identifying improvement potentials in cement production with life cycle assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boesch, Michael Elias; Hellweg, Stefanie

    2010-12-01

    Cement production is an environmentally relevant process responsible for 5% of total anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and 7% of industrial fuel use. In this study, life cycle assessment is used to evaluate improvement potentials in the cement production process in Europe and the USA. With a current fuel substitution rate of 18% in Europe and 11% in the USA, both regions have a substantial potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save virgin resources by further increasing the coprocessing of waste fuels. Upgrading production technology would be particularly effective in the USA where many kiln systems with very low energy efficiency are still in operation. Using best available technology and a thermal substitution rate of 50% for fuels, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 9% for Europe and 18% for the USA per tonne of cement. Since clinker production is the dominant pollution producing step in cement production, the substitution of clinker with mineral components such as ground granulated blast furnace slag or fly ash is an efficient measure to reduce the environmental impact. Blended cements exhibit substantially lower environmental footprints than Portland cement, even if the substitutes feature lower grindability and require additional drying and large transport distances. The highest savings in CO(2) emissions and resource consumption are achieved with a combination of measures in clinker production and cement blending.

  20. Diagnostic value of Doppler echocardiography for identifying hemodynamic significant pulmonary valve regurgitation in tetralogy of Fallot: comparison with cardiac MRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beurskens, Niek E G; Gorter, Thomas M; Pieper, Petronella G; Hoendermis, Elke S; Bartelds, Beatrijs; Ebels, Tjark; Berger, Rolf M F; Willems, Tineke P; van Melle, Joost P

    2017-11-01

    Quantification of pulmonary regurgitation (PR) is essential in the management of patients with repaired tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). We sought to evaluate the accuracy of first-line Doppler echocardiography in comparison with cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify hemodynamic significant PR. Paired cardiac MRI and echocardiographic studies (n = 97) in patients with repaired TOF were retrospectively analyzed. Pressure half time (PHT) and pulmonary regurgitation index (PRi) were measured using continuous wave Doppler. The ratio of the color flow Doppler regurgitation jet width to pulmonary valve (PV) annulus (jet/annulus ratio) and diastolic to systolic time velocity integral (DSTVI; pulsed wave Doppler) were assessed. Accuracy of echocardiographic measurements was tested to identify significant PR as determined by phase-contrast MRI (PR fraction [PRF] ≥ 20%). Mean PRF was 29.4 ± 15.7%. PHT < 100 ms had a sensitivity of 93%, specificity 75%, positive predictive value (PPV) 92% and negative predictive value (NPV) 78% for identifying significant PR (C-statistic 0.82). PRi < 0.77 had sensitivity and specificity of 66% and 54%, respectively (C-statistic 0.63). Jet/annulus ratio ≥1/3 had sensitivity 96%, specificity 75%, PPV 92% and NPV 82% (C-statistic 0.87). DSTVI had sensitivity 84%, specificity 33%, PPV 84% and NPV 40%, (C-statistic 0.56). Combined jet/annulus ratio ≥1/3 and PHT < 100 ms was highly accurate in identifying PRF ≥ 20%, with sensitivity 97% and specificity 100%. PHT and jet/annulus ratio on Doppler echocardiography, especially when combined, are highly accurate in identifying significant PR and therefore seem useful in the follow-up of patients with repaired TOF.

  1. Frameworks for improvement: clinical audit, the plan-do-study-act cycle and significant event audit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillam, Steve; Siriwardena, A Niroshan

    2013-01-01

    This is the first in a series of articles about quality improvement tools and techniques. We explore common frameworks for improvement, including the model for improvement and its application to clinical audit, plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles and significant event analysis (SEA), examining the similarities and differences between these and providing examples of each.

  2. Prioritize Improvement Opportunities Identified In Self-Assessment Using Multi-Criteria Fuzzy Group Decision

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dr.Ghassem Faraj Pour

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Efforts to improve the quality are one of the prerequisites for the success of individual companies and for the competitiveness of all whole companies. In the field of improvement and excellence business excellence models answer to the question that what the better organization is what goals and concepts they follow and according to what standards they behave. The EFQM excellence model can be transition from multiplicity to unity of different existing models. The most important approaches of these models are self-assessment and identifying improvement areas in an organization. On the other side organizations which are at lower level of total quality management will encounter so many areas to improve when using this model and implementing of self-improvement. Choosing the most important key problems are always the main challenges and because of resource constraints and strategic goals organizations have to prioritize identified improvement opportunities. This paper introduces a model for prioritizing and choosing the most significant improvement opportunities using the organization Business Excellence team members and because the analysis and decision making atmosphere for excellence team members is not generally complete with accurate information it seems using of fuzzy decision can be very helpful.

  3. Relating genes to function: identifying enriched transcription factors using the ENCODE ChIP-Seq significance tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auerbach, Raymond K; Chen, Bin; Butte, Atul J

    2013-08-01

    Biological analysis has shifted from identifying genes and transcripts to mapping these genes and transcripts to biological functions. The ENCODE Project has generated hundreds of ChIP-Seq experiments spanning multiple transcription factors and cell lines for public use, but tools for a biomedical scientist to analyze these data are either non-existent or tailored to narrow biological questions. We present the ENCODE ChIP-Seq Significance Tool, a flexible web application leveraging public ENCODE data to identify enriched transcription factors in a gene or transcript list for comparative analyses. The ENCODE ChIP-Seq Significance Tool is written in JavaScript on the client side and has been tested on Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox browsers. Server-side scripts are written in PHP and leverage R and a MySQL database. The tool is available at http://encodeqt.stanford.edu. abutte@stanford.edu Supplementary material is available at Bioinformatics online.

  4. E2F5 status significantly improves malignancy diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer

    KAUST Repository

    Kothandaraman, Narasimhan

    2010-02-24

    Background: Ovarian epithelial cancer (OEC) usually presents in the later stages of the disease. Factors, especially those associated with cell-cycle genes, affecting the genesis and tumour progression for ovarian cancer are largely unknown. We hypothesized that over-expressed transcription factors (TFs), as well as those that are driving the expression of the OEC over-expressed genes, could be the key for OEC genesis and potentially useful tissue and serum markers for malignancy associated with OEC.Methods: Using a combination of computational (selection of candidate TF markers and malignancy prediction) and experimental approaches (tissue microarray and western blotting on patient samples) we identified and evaluated E2F5 transcription factor involved in cell proliferation, as a promising candidate regulatory target in early stage disease. Our hypothesis was supported by our tissue array experiments that showed E2F5 expression only in OEC samples but not in normal and benign tissues, and by significantly positively biased expression in serum samples done using western blotting studies.Results: Analysis of clinical cases shows that of the E2F5 status is characteristic for a different population group than one covered by CA125, a conventional OEC biomarker. E2F5 used in different combinations with CA125 for distinguishing malignant cyst from benign cyst shows that the presence of CA125 or E2F5 increases sensitivity of OEC detection to 97.9% (an increase from 87.5% if only CA125 is used) and, more importantly, the presence of both CA125 and E2F5 increases specificity of OEC to 72.5% (an increase from 55% if only CA125 is used). This significantly improved accuracy suggests possibility of an improved diagnostics of OEC. Furthermore, detection of malignancy status in 86 cases (38 benign, 48 early and late OEC) shows that the use of E2F5 status in combination with other clinical characteristics allows for an improved detection of malignant cases with sensitivity

  5. Bone Mass and Strength are Significantly Improved in Mice Overexpressing Human WNT16 in Osteocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alam, Imranul; Reilly, Austin M; Alkhouli, Mohammed; Gerard-O'Riley, Rita L; Kasipathi, Charishma; Oakes, Dana K; Wright, Weston B; Acton, Dena; McQueen, Amie K; Patel, Bhavmik; Lim, Kyung-Eun; Robling, Alexander G; Econs, Michael J

    2017-04-01

    Recently, we demonstrated that osteoblast-specific overexpression of human WNT16 increased both cortical and trabecular bone mass and structure in mice. To further identify the cell-specific role of Wnt16 in bone homeostasis, we created transgenic (TG) mice overexpressing human WNT16 in osteocytes using Dmp1 promoter (Dmp1-hWNT16 TG) on C57BL/6 (B6) background. We analyzed bone phenotypes and serum bone biomarkers, performed gene expression analysis and measured dynamic bone histomorphometry in Dmp1-hWNT16 TG and wild-type (WT) mice. Compared to WT mice, Dmp1-hWNT16 TG mice exhibited significantly higher whole-body, spine and femoral aBMD, BMC and trabecular (BV/TV, Tb.N, and Tb.Th) and cortical (bone area and thickness) parameters in both male and female at 12 weeks of age. Femur stiffness and ultimate force were also significantly improved in the Dmp1-hWNT16 TG female mice, compared to sex-matched WT littermates. In addition, female Dmp1-hWNT16 TG mice displayed significantly higher MS/BS, MAR and BFR/BS compared to the WT mice. Gene expression analysis demonstrated significantly higher mRNA level of Alp in both male and female Dmp1-hWNT16 TG mice and significantly higher levels of Osteocalcin, Opg and Rankl in the male Dmp1-hWNT16 TG mice in bone tissue compared to sex-matched WT mice. These results indicate that WNT16 plays a critical role for acquisition of both cortical and trabecular bone mass and strength. Strategies designed to use WNT16 as a target for therapeutic interventions will be valuable to treat osteoporosis and other low bone mass conditions.

  6. A Noise Trimming and Positional Significance of Transposon Insertion System to Identify Essential Genes in Yersinia pestis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Zheng Rong; Bullifent, Helen L.; Moore, Karen; Paszkiewicz, Konrad; Saint, Richard J.; Southern, Stephanie J.; Champion, Olivia L.; Senior, Nicola J.; Sarkar-Tyson, Mitali; Oyston, Petra C. F.; Atkins, Timothy P.; Titball, Richard W.

    2017-02-01

    Massively parallel sequencing technology coupled with saturation mutagenesis has provided new and global insights into gene functions and roles. At a simplistic level, the frequency of mutations within genes can indicate the degree of essentiality. However, this approach neglects to take account of the positional significance of mutations - the function of a gene is less likely to be disrupted by a mutation close to the distal ends. Therefore, a systematic bioinformatics approach to improve the reliability of essential gene identification is desirable. We report here a parametric model which introduces a novel mutation feature together with a noise trimming approach to predict the biological significance of Tn5 mutations. We show improved performance of essential gene prediction in the bacterium Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague. This method would have broad applicability to other organisms and to the identification of genes which are essential for competitiveness or survival under a broad range of stresses.

  7. 25 CFR 170.501 - What happens when the review process identifies areas for improvement?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... identifies areas for improvement? When the review process identifies areas for improvement: (a) The regional... 25 Indians 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false What happens when the review process identifies areas for improvement? 170.501 Section 170.501 Indians BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR LAND AND...

  8. Cut points for identifying clinically significant diabetes distress in adolescents with type 1 diabetes using the PAID-T

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hagger, Virginia; Hendrieckx, Christel; Cameron, Fergus

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To establish cut point(s) for the Problem Areas in Diabetes-teen version (PAID-T) scale to identify adolescents with clinically meaningful, elevated diabetes distress. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Data were available from the Diabetes Management and Impact for Long-term Empowerment...... variables were examined to identify a clinically meaningful threshold for elevated diabetes distress. ANOVA was used to test whether these variables differed by levels of distress. RESULTS Two cut points distinguished none-to-mild (90) diabetes distress.......Moderate distresswas experienced by 18%of adolescents and high distress by 36%. Mean depressive symptoms, self-reported HbA1c, and SMBG differed significantly across the three levels of diabetes distress (all P defined two...

  9. Genome-wide significant localization for working and spatial memory: Identifying genes for psychosis using models of cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowles, Emma E M; Carless, Melanie A; de Almeida, Marcio A A; Curran, Joanne E; McKay, D Reese; Sprooten, Emma; Dyer, Thomas D; Göring, Harald H; Olvera, Rene; Fox, Peter; Almasy, Laura; Duggirala, Ravi; Kent, Jack W; Blangero, John; Glahn, David C

    2014-01-01

    It is well established that risk for developing psychosis is largely mediated by the influence of genes, but identifying precisely which genes underlie that risk has been problematic. Focusing on endophenotypes, rather than illness risk, is one solution to this problem. Impaired cognition is a well-established endophenotype of psychosis. Here we aimed to characterize the genetic architecture of cognition using phenotypically detailed models as opposed to relying on general IQ or individual neuropsychological measures. In so doing we hoped to identify genes that mediate cognitive ability, which might also contribute to psychosis risk. Hierarchical factor models of genetically clustered cognitive traits were subjected to linkage analysis followed by QTL region-specific association analyses in a sample of 1,269 Mexican American individuals from extended pedigrees. We identified four genome wide significant QTLs, two for working and two for spatial memory, and a number of plausible and interesting candidate genes. The creation of detailed models of cognition seemingly enhanced the power to detect genetic effects on cognition and provided a number of possible candidate genes for psychosis. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Identifying treatment responders and predictors of improvement after cognitive-behavioral therapy for juvenile fibromyalgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sil, Soumitri; Arnold, Lesley M; Lynch-Jordan, Anne; Ting, Tracy V; Peugh, James; Cunningham, Natoshia; Powers, Scott W; Lovell, Daniel J; Hashkes, Philip J; Passo, Murray; Schikler, Kenneth N; Kashikar-Zuck, Susmita

    2014-07-01

    The primary objective of this study was to estimate a clinically significant and quantifiable change in functional disability to identify treatment responders in a clinical trial of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for youth with juvenile fibromyalgia (JFM). The second objective was to examine whether baseline functional disability (Functional Disability Inventory), pain intensity, depressive symptoms (Children's Depression Inventory), coping self-efficacy (Pain Coping Questionnaire), and parental pain history predicted treatment response in disability at 6-month follow-up. Participants were 100 adolescents (11-18 years of age) with JFM enrolled in a recently published clinical trial comparing CBT to a fibromyalgia education (FE) intervention. Patients were identified as achieving a clinically significant change in disability (i.e., were considered treatment responders) if they achieved both a reliable magnitude of change (estimated as a > or = 7.8-point reduction on the FDI) using the Reliable Change Index, and a reduction in FDI disability grade based on established clinical reference points. Using this rigorous standard, 40% of patients who received CBT (20 of 50) were identified as treatment responders, compared to 28% who received FE (14 of 50). For CBT, patients with greater initial disability and higher coping efficacy were significantly more likely to achieve a clinically significant improvement in functioning. Pain intensity, depressive symptoms, and parent pain history did not significantly predict treatment response. Estimating clinically significant change for outcome measures in behavioral trials sets a high bar but is a potentially valuable approach to improve the quality of clinical trials, to enhance interpretability of treatment effects, and to challenge researchers to develop more potent and tailored interventions. Copyright © 2014 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Microfluidic screening and whole-genome sequencing identifies mutations associated with improved protein secretion by yeast

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huang, Mingtao; Bai, Yunpeng; Sjostrom, Staffan L.

    2015-01-01

    There is an increasing demand for biotech-based production of recombinant proteins for use as pharmaceuticals in the food and feed industry and in industrial applications. Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is among preferred cell factories for recombinant protein production, and there is increasing...... interest in improving its protein secretion capacity. Due to the complexity of the secretory machinery in eukaryotic cells, it is difficult to apply rational engineering for construction of improved strains. Here we used high-throughput microfluidics for the screening of yeast libraries, generated by UV...... mutagenesis. Several screening and sorting rounds resulted in the selection of eight yeast clones with significantly improved secretion of recombinant a-amylase. Efficient secretion was genetically stable in the selected clones. We performed whole-genome sequencing of the eight clones and identified 330...

  12. Genome-wide association study identifies TF as a significant modifier gene of iron metabolism in HFE hemochromatosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Tayrac, Marie; Roth, Marie-Paule; Jouanolle, Anne-Marie; Coppin, Hélène; le Gac, Gérald; Piperno, Alberto; Férec, Claude; Pelucchi, Sara; Scotet, Virginie; Bardou-Jacquet, Edouard; Ropert, Martine; Bouvet, Régis; Génin, Emmanuelle; Mosser, Jean; Deugnier, Yves

    2015-03-01

    Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is the most common form of genetic iron loading disease. It is mainly related to the homozygous C282Y/C282Y mutation in the HFE gene that is, however, a necessary but not a sufficient condition to develop clinical and even biochemical HH. This suggests that modifier genes are likely involved in the expressivity of the disease. Our aim was to identify such modifier genes. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using DNA collected from 474 unrelated C282Y homozygotes. Associations were examined for both quantitative iron burden indices and clinical outcomes with 534,213 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) genotypes, with replication analyses in an independent sample of 748 C282Y homozygotes from four different European centres. One SNP met genome-wide statistical significance for association with transferrin concentration (rs3811647, GWAS p value of 7×10(-9) and replication p value of 5×10(-13)). This SNP, located within intron 11 of the TF gene, had a pleiotropic effect on serum iron (GWAS p value of 4.9×10(-6) and replication p value of 3.2×10(-6)). Both serum transferrin and iron levels were associated with serum ferritin levels, amount of iron removed and global clinical stage (pHFE-associated HH (HFE-HH) patients, identified the rs3811647 polymorphism in the TF gene as the only SNP significantly associated with iron metabolism through serum transferrin and iron levels. Because these two outcomes were clearly associated with the biochemical and clinical expression of the disease, an indirect link between the rs3811647 polymorphism and the phenotypic presentation of HFE-HH is likely. Copyright © 2014 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Identifying significant predictors of head-on conflicts on two-lane rural roads using inductive loop detectors data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shariat-Mohaymany, Afshin; Tavakoli-Kashani, Ali; Nosrati, Hadi; Ranjbari, Andisheh

    2011-12-01

    To identify the significant factors that influence head-on conflicts resulting from dangerous overtaking maneuvers on 2-lane rural roads in Iran. A traffic conflict technique was applied to 12 two-lane rural roads in order to investigate the potential situations for accidents to occur and thus to identify the geometric and traffic factors affecting traffic conflicts. Traffic data were collected via the inductive loop detectors installed on these roads, and geometric characteristics were obtained through field observations. Two groups of data were then analyzed independently by Pearson's chi-square test to evaluate their relationship to traffic conflicts. The independent variables were percentage of time spent following (PTSF), percentage of heavy vehicles, directional distribution of traffic (DDT), mean speed, speed standard deviation, section type, road width, longitudinal slope, holiday or workday, and lighting condition. It was indicated that increasing the PTSF, decreasing the percentage of heavy vehicles, increasing the mean speed (up to 75 km/h), increasing DDT in the range of 0 to 60 percent, and decreasing the standard deviation of speed significantly increased the occurrence of traffic conflicts. It was also revealed that traffic conflicts occur more frequently on curve sections and on workdays. The variables road width, slope, and lighting condition were found to have a minor effect on conflict occurrence. To reduce the number of head-on conflicts on the aforementioned roads, some remedial measures are suggested, such as not constructing long "No Passing" zones and constructing passing lanes where necessary; keeping road width at the standard value; constructing roads with horizontal curves and a high radius and using appropriate road markings and overtaking-forbidden signs where it is impossible to modify the radius; providing enough light and installing caution signs/devices on the roads; and intensifying police control and supervision on workdays

  14. Factors Related to Significant Improvement of Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rates in Chronic Hepatitis B Patients Receiving Telbivudine Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Te-Fu Lin

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aim. The improvement of estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFRs in chronic hepatitis B (CHB patients receiving telbivudine therapy is well known. The aim of this study was to clarify the kinetics of eGFRs and to identify the significant factors related to the improvement of eGFRs in telbivudine-treated CHB patients in a real-world setting. Methods. Serial eGFRs were calculated every 3 months using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI equation. The patients were classified as CKD-1, -2, or -3 according to a baseline eGFR of ≥90, 60–89, or <60 mL/min/1.73 m2, respectively. A significant improvement of eGFR was defined as a more than 10% increase from the baseline. Results. A total of 129 patients were enrolled, of whom 36% had significantly improved eGFRs. According to a multivariate analysis, diabetes mellitus (DM (p=0.028 and CKD-3 (p=0.043 were both significantly related to such improvement. The rates of significant improvement of eGFR were about 73% and 77% in patients with DM and CKD-3, respectively. Conclusions. Telbivudine is an alternative drug of choice for the treatment of hepatitis B patients for whom renal safety is a concern, especially patients with DM and CKD-3.

  15. APPLICATION OF MULTIPLE LOGISTIC REGRESSION, BAYESIAN LOGISTIC AND CLASSIFICATION TREE TO IDENTIFY THE SIGNIFICANT FACTORS INFLUENCING CRASH SEVERITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MILAD TAZIK

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Identifying cases in which road crashes result in fatality or injury of drivers may help improve their safety. In this study, datasets of crashes happened in TehranQom freeway, Iran, were examined by three models (multiple logistic regression, Bayesian logistic and classification tree to analyse the contribution of several variables to fatal accidents. For multiple logistic regression and Bayesian logistic models, the odds ratio was calculated for each variable. The model which best suited the identification of accident severity was determined based on AIC and DIC criteria. Based on the results of these two models, rollover crashes (OR = 14.58, %95 CI: 6.8-28.6, not using of seat belt (OR = 5.79, %95 CI: 3.1-9.9, exceeding speed limits (OR = 4.02, %95 CI: 1.8-7.9 and being female (OR = 2.91, %95 CI: 1.1-6.1 were the most important factors in fatalities of drivers. In addition, the results of the classification tree model have verified the findings of the other models.

  16. Identifying significant genetic regulatory networks in the prostate cancer from microarray data based on transcription factor analysis and conditional independency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yeh Cheng-Yu

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Prostate cancer is a world wide leading cancer and it is characterized by its aggressive metastasis. According to the clinical heterogeneity, prostate cancer displays different stages and grades related to the aggressive metastasis disease. Although numerous studies used microarray analysis and traditional clustering method to identify the individual genes during the disease processes, the important gene regulations remain unclear. We present a computational method for inferring genetic regulatory networks from micorarray data automatically with transcription factor analysis and conditional independence testing to explore the potential significant gene regulatory networks that are correlated with cancer, tumor grade and stage in the prostate cancer. Results To deal with missing values in microarray data, we used a K-nearest-neighbors (KNN algorithm to determine the precise expression values. We applied web services technology to wrap the bioinformatics toolkits and databases to automatically extract the promoter regions of DNA sequences and predicted the transcription factors that regulate the gene expressions. We adopt the microarray datasets consists of 62 primary tumors, 41 normal prostate tissues from Stanford Microarray Database (SMD as a target dataset to evaluate our method. The predicted results showed that the possible biomarker genes related to cancer and denoted the androgen functions and processes may be in the development of the prostate cancer and promote the cell death in cell cycle. Our predicted results showed that sub-networks of genes SREBF1, STAT6 and PBX1 are strongly related to a high extent while ETS transcription factors ELK1, JUN and EGR2 are related to a low extent. Gene SLC22A3 may explain clinically the differentiation associated with the high grade cancer compared with low grade cancer. Enhancer of Zeste Homolg 2 (EZH2 regulated by RUNX1 and STAT3 is correlated to the pathological stage

  17. Identifying significant genetic regulatory networks in the prostate cancer from microarray data based on transcription factor analysis and conditional independency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeh, Hsiang-Yuan; Cheng, Shih-Wu; Lin, Yu-Chun; Yeh, Cheng-Yu; Lin, Shih-Fang; Soo, Von-Wun

    2009-12-21

    Prostate cancer is a world wide leading cancer and it is characterized by its aggressive metastasis. According to the clinical heterogeneity, prostate cancer displays different stages and grades related to the aggressive metastasis disease. Although numerous studies used microarray analysis and traditional clustering method to identify the individual genes during the disease processes, the important gene regulations remain unclear. We present a computational method for inferring genetic regulatory networks from micorarray data automatically with transcription factor analysis and conditional independence testing to explore the potential significant gene regulatory networks that are correlated with cancer, tumor grade and stage in the prostate cancer. To deal with missing values in microarray data, we used a K-nearest-neighbors (KNN) algorithm to determine the precise expression values. We applied web services technology to wrap the bioinformatics toolkits and databases to automatically extract the promoter regions of DNA sequences and predicted the transcription factors that regulate the gene expressions. We adopt the microarray datasets consists of 62 primary tumors, 41 normal prostate tissues from Stanford Microarray Database (SMD) as a target dataset to evaluate our method. The predicted results showed that the possible biomarker genes related to cancer and denoted the androgen functions and processes may be in the development of the prostate cancer and promote the cell death in cell cycle. Our predicted results showed that sub-networks of genes SREBF1, STAT6 and PBX1 are strongly related to a high extent while ETS transcription factors ELK1, JUN and EGR2 are related to a low extent. Gene SLC22A3 may explain clinically the differentiation associated with the high grade cancer compared with low grade cancer. Enhancer of Zeste Homolg 2 (EZH2) regulated by RUNX1 and STAT3 is correlated to the pathological stage. We provide a computational framework to reconstruct

  18. Neuro-Linguistic Programming: Improving Rapport between Track/Cross Country Coaches and Significant Others

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helm, David Jay

    2017-01-01

    This study examines the background information and the components of N.L.P., being eye movements, use of predicates, and posturing, as they apply to improving rapport and empathy between track/cross country coaches and their significant others in the arena of competition to help alleviate the inherent stressors.

  19. Parameter definition using vibration prediction software leads to significant drilling performance improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amorim, Dalmo; Hanley, Chris Hanley; Fonseca, Isaac; Santos, Juliana [National Oilwell Varco, Houston TX (United States); Leite, Daltro J.; Borella, Augusto; Gozzi, Danilo [Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (PETROBRAS), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2012-07-01

    The understanding and mitigation of downhole vibration has been a heavily researched subject in the oil industry as it results in more expensive drilling operations, as vibrations significantly diminish the amount of effective drilling energy available to the bit and generate forces that can push the bit or the Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA) off its concentric axis of rotation, producing high magnitude impacts with the borehole wall. In order to drill ahead, a sufficient amount of energy must be supplied by the rig to overcome the resistance of the drilling system, including the reactive torque of the system, drag forces, fluid pressure losses and energy dissipated by downhole vibrations, then providing the bit with the energy required to fail the rock. If the drill string enters resonant modes of vibration, not only does it decreases the amount of available energy to drill, but increases the potential for catastrophic downhole equipment and drilling bit failures. In this sense, the mitigation of downhole vibrations will result in faster, smoother, and cheaper drilling operations. A software tool using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) has been developed to provide better understanding of downhole vibration phenomena in drilling environments. The software tool calculates the response of the drilling system at various input conditions, based on the design of the wellbore along with the geometry of the Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA) and the drill string. It identifies where undesired levels of resonant vibration will be driven by certain combinations of specific drilling parameters, and also which combinations of drilling parameters will result in lower levels of vibration, so the least shocks, the highest penetration rate and the lowest cost per foot can be achieved. With the growing performance of personal computers, complex software systems modeling the drilling vibrations using FEA has been accessible to a wider audience of field users, further complimenting with real time

  20. Rehearsal significantly improves immediate and delayed recall on the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hessen, Erik

    2011-10-01

    A repeated observation during memory assessment with the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) is that patients who spontaneously employ a memory rehearsal strategy by repeating the word list more than once achieve better scores than patients who only repeat the word list once. This observation led to concern about the ability of the standard test procedure of RAVLT and similar tests in eliciting the best possible recall scores. The purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that a rehearsal recall strategy of repeating the word list more than once would result in improved scores of recall on the RAVLT. We report on differences in outcome after standard administration and after experimental administration on Immediate and Delayed Recall measures from the RAVLT of 50 patients. The experimental administration resulted in significantly improved scores for all the variables employed. Additionally, it was found that patients who failed effort screening showed significantly poorer improvement on Delayed Recall compared with those who passed the effort screening. The general clear improvement both in raw scores and T-scores demonstrates that recall performance can be significantly influenced by the strategy of the patient or by small variations in instructions by the examiner.

  1. Costello Syndrome with Severe Nodulocystic Acne: Unexpected Significant Improvement of Acanthosis Nigricans after Oral Isotretinoin Treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leelawadee Sriboonnark

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We report the case of 17-year-old female diagnosed with Costello syndrome. Genetic testing provided a proof with G12S mutation in the HRAS gene since 3 years of age with a presentation of severe nodulocystic acne on her face. After 2 months of oral isotretinoin treatment, improvement in her acne was observed. Interestingly, an unexpected significant improvement of acanthosis nigricans on her neck and dorsum of her hands was found as well. We present this case as a successful treatment option by using oral isotretinoin for the treatment of acanthosis nigricans in Costello syndrome patients.

  2. Determination of significance in Ecological Impact Assessment: Past change, current practice and future improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Briggs, Sam; Hudson, Malcolm D., E-mail: mdh@soton.ac.uk

    2013-01-15

    Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) is an important tool for conservation and achieving sustainable development. 'Significant' impacts are those which disturb or alter the environment to a measurable degree. Significance is a crucial part of EcIA, our understanding of the concept in practice is vital if it is to be effective as a tool. This study employed three methods to assess how the determination of significance has changed through time, what current practice is, and what would lead to future improvements. Three data streams were collected: interviews with expert stakeholders, a review of 30 Environmental Statements and a broad-scale survey of the United Kingdom Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM) members. The approach taken in the determination of significance has become more standardised and subjectivity has become constrained through a transparent framework. This has largely been driven by a set of guidelines produced by IEEM in 2006. The significance of impacts is now more clearly justified and the accuracy with which it is determined has improved. However, there are limitations to accuracy and effectiveness of the determination of significance. These are the quality of baseline survey data, our scientific understanding of ecological processes and the lack of monitoring and feedback of results. These in turn are restricted by the limited resources available in consultancies. The most notable recommendations for future practice are the implementation of monitoring and the publication of feedback, the creation of a central database for baseline survey data and the streamlining of guidance. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The assessment of significance has changed markedly through time. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The IEEM guidelines have driven a standardisation of practice. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Currently limited by quality of baseline data and scientific understanding. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Monitoring

  3. Histone deacetylase inhibitor significantly improved the cloning efficiency of porcine somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yongye; Tang, Xiaochun; Xie, Wanhua; Zhou, Yan; Li, Dong; Yao, Chaogang; Zhou, Yang; Zhu, Jianguo; Lai, Liangxue; Ouyang, Hongsheng; Pang, Daxin

    2011-12-01

    Valproic acid (VPA), a histone deacetylase inbibitor, has been shown to generate inducible pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from mouse and human fibroblasts with a significant higher efficiency. Because successful cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) undergoes a full reprogramming process in which the epigenetic state of a differentiated donor nuclear is converted into an embryonic totipotent state, we speculated that VPA would be useful in promoting cloning efficiency. Therefore, in the present study, we examined whether VPA can promote the developmental competence of SCNT embryos by improving the reprogramming state of donor nucleus. Here we report that 1 mM VPA for 14 to 16 h following activation significantly increased the rate of blastocyst formation of porcine SCNT embryos constructed from Landrace fetal fibroblast cells compared to the control (31.8 vs. 11.4%). However, we found that the acetylation level of Histone H3 lysine 14 and Histone H4 lysine 5 and expression level of Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4 was not significantly changed between VPA-treated and -untreated groups at the blastocyst stage. The SCNT embryos were transferred to 38 surrogates, and the cloning efficiency in the treated group was significantly improved compared with the control group. Taken together, we have demonstrated that VPA can improve both in vitro and in vivo development competence of porcine SCNT embryos.

  4. Communication: Proper treatment of classically forbidden electronic transitions significantly improves detailed balance in surface hopping

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sifain, Andrew E. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-0485 (United States); Wang, Linjun [Department of Chemistry, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027 (China); Prezhdo, Oleg V. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-0485 (United States); Department of Chemistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-1062 (United States)

    2016-06-07

    Surface hopping is the most popular method for nonadiabatic molecular dynamics. Many have reported that it does not rigorously attain detailed balance at thermal equilibrium, but does so approximately. We show that convergence to the Boltzmann populations is significantly improved when the nuclear velocity is reversed after a classically forbidden hop. The proposed prescription significantly reduces the total number of classically forbidden hops encountered along a trajectory, suggesting that some randomization in nuclear velocity is needed when classically forbidden hops constitute a large fraction of attempted hops. Our results are verified computationally using two- and three-level quantum subsystems, coupled to a classical bath undergoing Langevin dynamics.

  5. The challenges of ESRD care in developing economies: sub-Saharan African opportunities for significant improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamgboye, Ebun Ladipo

    Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. This, along with other noncommunicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and heart diseases, poses a double burden on a region that is still struggling to cope with the scourge of communicable diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, HIV, and more recently Ebola. Causes of CKD in the region are predominantly glomerulonephritis and hypertension, although type 2 diabetes is also becoming a significant cause as is the retroviral disease. Patients are generally younger than in the developed world, and there is a significant male preponderance. Most patients are managed by hemodialysis, with peritoneal dialysis and kidney transplantation being available in only few countries in the region. Government funding and support for dialysis is often unavailable, and when available, often with restrictions. There is a dearth of trained manpower to treat the disease, and many countries have a limited number of units, which are often ill-equipped to deal adequately with the number of patients who require end-stage renal disease (ESRD) care in the region. Although there has been a significant improvement when compared with the situation, even as recently as 10 years ago, there is also the potential for further improvement, which would significantly improve the outcomes in patients with ESRD in the region. The information in this review was obtained from a combination of renal registry reports (published and unpublished), published articles, responses to a questionnaire sent to nephrologists prior to the World Congress of Nephrology (WCN) in Cape Town, and from nephrologists attending the WCN in Cape Town (March 13 - 17, 2015).

  6. Improving the precision of lake ecosystem metabolism estimates by identifying predictors of model uncertainty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Kevin C.; Winslow, Luke A.; Read, Jordan S.; Read, Emily K.; Solomon, Christopher T.; Adrian, Rita; Hanson, Paul C.

    2014-01-01

    Diel changes in dissolved oxygen are often used to estimate gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) in aquatic ecosystems. Despite the widespread use of this approach to understand ecosystem metabolism, we are only beginning to understand the degree and underlying causes of uncertainty for metabolism model parameter estimates. Here, we present a novel approach to improve the precision and accuracy of ecosystem metabolism estimates by identifying physical metrics that indicate when metabolism estimates are highly uncertain. Using datasets from seventeen instrumented GLEON (Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network) lakes, we discovered that many physical characteristics correlated with uncertainty, including PAR (photosynthetically active radiation, 400-700 nm), daily variance in Schmidt stability, and wind speed. Low PAR was a consistent predictor of high variance in GPP model parameters, but also corresponded with low ER model parameter variance. We identified a threshold (30% of clear sky PAR) below which GPP parameter variance increased rapidly and was significantly greater in nearly all lakes compared with variance on days with PAR levels above this threshold. The relationship between daily variance in Schmidt stability and GPP model parameter variance depended on trophic status, whereas daily variance in Schmidt stability was consistently positively related to ER model parameter variance. Wind speeds in the range of ~0.8-3 m s–1 were consistent predictors of high variance for both GPP and ER model parameters, with greater uncertainty in eutrophic lakes. Our findings can be used to reduce ecosystem metabolism model parameter uncertainty and identify potential sources of that uncertainty.

  7. Contemporary Management of Acute Aortic Occlusion Has Evolved but Outcomes Have Not Significantly Improved.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, William P; Patel, Rupal K; Columbo, Jesse A; Flahive, Julie; Aiello, Francesco A; Baril, Donald T; Schanzer, Andres; Messina, Louis M

    2016-07-01

    hospitalization. AAO is now more commonly caused by in situ thrombosis rather than embolism. A high index of suspicion for AAO is required for prompt diagnosis and treatment, particularly when patients present with profound lower extremity neurologic deficit. In comparison with previous reports, the contemporary management of AAO includes increased use of axillobifemoral bypass and now involves endovascular revascularization, although a variety of open surgical procedures are utilized. However, the in-hospital mortality and morbidity of AAO has not decreased significantly over the last 2 decades and mid-term survival remains limited. Further study is required to identify strategies that improve outcomes after AAO. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. PXD101 significantly improves nuclear reprogramming and the in vitro developmental competence of porcine SCNT embryos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jin, Jun-Xue; Kang, Jin-Dan; Li, Suo; Jin, Long; Zhu, Hai-Ying; Guo, Qing; Gao, Qing-Shan; Yan, Chang-Guo; Yin, Xi-Jun, E-mail: yinxj33@msn.com

    2015-01-02

    Highlights: • First explored that the effects of PXD101 on the development of SCNT embryos in vitro. • 0.5 μM PXD101 treated for 24 h improved the development of porcine SCNT embryos. • Level of AcH3K9 was significantly higher than control group at early stages. - Abstract: In this study, we investigated the effects of the histone deacetylase inhibitor PXD101 (belinostat) on the preimplantation development of porcine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos and their expression of the epigenetic markers histone H3 acetylated at lysine 9 (AcH3K9). We compared the in vitro developmental competence of SCNT embryos treated with various concentrations of PXD101 for 24 h. Treatment with 0.5 μM PXD101 significantly increased the proportion of SCNT embryos that reached the blastocyst stage, in comparison to the control group (23.3% vs. 11.5%, P < 0.05). We tested the in vitro developmental competence of SCNT embryos treated with 0.5 μM PXD101 for various amounts of times following activation. Treatment for 24 h significantly improved the development of porcine SCNT embryos, with a significantly higher proportion of embryos reaching the blastocyst stage in comparison to the control group (25.7% vs. 10.6%, P < 0.05). PXD101-treated SCNT embryos were transferred into two surrogate sows, one of whom became pregnant and four fetuses developed. PXD101 treatment significantly increased the fluorescence intensity of immunostaining for AcH3K9 in embryos at the pseudo-pronuclear and 2-cell stages. At these stages, the fluorescence intensities of immunostaining for AcH3K9 were significantly higher in PXD101-treated embryos than in control untreated embryos. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that PXD101 can significantly improve the in vitro and in vivo developmental competence of porcine SCNT embryos and can enhance their nuclear reprogramming.

  9. Unified Health Gamification can significantly improve well-being in corporate environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahrestani, Arash; Van Gorp, Pieter; Le Blanc, Pascale; Greidanus, Fabrizio; de Groot, Kristel; Leermakers, Jelle

    2017-07-01

    There is a multitude of mHealth applications that aim to solve societal health problems by stimulating specific types of physical activities via gamification. However, physical health activities cover just one of the three World Health Organization (WHO) dimensions of health. This paper introduces the novel notion of Unified Health Gamification (UHG), which covers besides physical health also social and cognitive health and well-being. Instead of rewarding activities in the three WHO dimensions using different mHealth competitions, UHG combines the scores for such activities on unified leaderboards and lets people interact in social circles beyond personal interests. This approach is promising in corporate environments since UHG can connect the employees with intrinsic motivation for physical health with those who have quite different interests. In order to evaluate this approach, we realized an app prototype and we evaluated it in two corporate pilot studies. In total, eighteen pilot users participated voluntarily for six weeks. Half of the participants were recruited from an occupational health setting and the other half from a treatment setting. Our results suggest that the UHG principles are worth more investigation: various positive health effects were found based on a validated survey. The mean mental health improved significantly at one pilot location and at the level of individual pilot participants, multiple other effects were found to be significant: among others, significant mental health improvements were found for 28% of the participants. Most participants intended to use the app beyond the pilot, especially if it would be further developed.

  10. SigTree: A Microbial Community Analysis Tool to Identify and Visualize Significantly Responsive Branches in a Phylogenetic Tree

    OpenAIRE

    Stevens, John R.; Jones, Todd R.; Lefevre, Michael; Ganesan, Balasubramanian; Weimer, Bart C.

    2017-01-01

    Microbial community analysis experiments to assess the effect of a treatment intervention (or environmental change) on the relative abundance levels of multiple related microbial species (or operational taxonomic units) simultaneously using high throughput genomics are becoming increasingly common. Within the framework of the evolutionary phylogeny of all species considered in the experiment, this translates to a statistical need to identify the phylogenetic branches that exhibit a significan...

  11. The RISE Framework: Using Learning Analytics to Automatically Identify Open Educational Resources for Continuous Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodily, Robert; Nyland, Rob; Wiley, David

    2017-01-01

    The RISE (Resource Inspection, Selection, and Enhancement) Framework is a framework supporting the continuous improvement of open educational resources (OER). The framework is an automated process that identifies learning resources that should be evaluated and either eliminated or improved. This is particularly useful in OER contexts where the…

  12. Thermosensitive Hydrogel Mask Significantly Improves Skin Moisture and Skin Tone; Bilateral Clinical Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Quattrone

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: A temperature-sensitive state-changing hydrogel mask was used in this study. Once it comes into contact with the skin and reaches the body temperature, it uniformly and quickly releases the active compounds, which possess moisturizing, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties. Methods: An open label clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of the test product on skin hydration, skin tone and skin ageing. Subjects applied the product to one side of their face and underwent Corneometer® and Chromameter measurements, Visual assessment of facial skin ageing and facial photography. All assessments and Self-Perception Questionnaires (SPQ were performed at baseline, after the first application of the test product and after four applications. Results: After a single treatment we observed an increase in skin moisturisation, an improvement of skin tone/luminosity and a reduction in signs of ageing, all statistically significant. After four applications a further improvement in all measured parameters was recorded. These results were confirmed by the subjects’ own perceptions, as reported in the SPQ both after one and four applications. Conclusion: The hydrogel mask tested in this study is very effective in improving skin hydration, skin radiance and luminosity, in encouraging an even skin tone and in reducing skin pigmentation.

  13. Can positron emission mammography help to identify clinically significant breast cancer in women with suspicious calcifications on mammography?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bitencourt, Almir G.V.; Lima, Eduardo N.P.; Macedo, Bruna R.C.; Conrado, Jorge L.F.A.; Marques, Elvira F.; Chojniak, Rubens [A C Camargo Cancer Center-Department of Imaging, Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil)

    2017-05-15

    To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of positron emission mammography (PEM) for identifying malignant lesions in patients with suspicious microcalcifications detected on mammography. A prospective, single-centre study that evaluated 40 patients with suspicious calcifications at mammography and indication for percutaneous or surgical biopsy, with mean age of 56.4 years (range: 28-81 years). Patients who agreed to participate in the study underwent PEM with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose before the final histological evaluation. PEM findings were compared with mammography and histological findings. Most calcifications (n = 34; 85.0 %) were classified as BIRADS 4. On histology, there were 25 (62.5 %) benign and 15 (37.5 %) malignant lesions, including 11 (27.5 %) ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and 4 (10 %) invasive carcinomas. On subjective analysis, PEM was positive in 15 cases (37.5 %) and most of these cases (n = 14; 93.3 %) were confirmed as malignant on histology. There was one false-positive result, which corresponded to a fibroadenoma, and one false negative, which corresponded to an intermediate-grade DCIS. PEM had a sensitivity of 93.3 %, specificity of 96.0 % and accuracy of 95 %. PEM was able to identify all invasive carcinomas and high-grade DCIS (nuclear grade 3) in the presented sample, suggesting that this method may be useful for further evaluation of patients with suspected microcalcifications. (orig.)

  14. Mutation screening of the HGD gene identifies a novel alkaptonuria mutation with significant founder effect and high prevalence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakthivel, Srinivasan; Zatkova, Andrea; Nemethova, Martina; Surovy, Milan; Kadasi, Ludevit; Saravanan, Madurai P

    2014-05-01

    Alkaptonuria (AKU) is an autosomal recessive disorder; caused by the mutations in the homogentisate 1, 2-dioxygenase (HGD) gene located on Chromosome 3q13.33. AKU is a rare disorder with an incidence of 1: 250,000 to 1: 1,000,000, but Slovakia and the Dominican Republic have a relatively higher incidence of 1: 19,000. Our study focused on studying the frequency of AKU and identification of HGD gene mutations in nomads. HGD gene sequencing was used to identify the mutations in alkaptonurics. For the past four years, from subjects suspected to be clinically affected, we found 16 positive cases among a randomly selected cohort of 41 Indian nomads (Narikuravar) settled in the specific area of Tamil Nadu, India. HGD gene mutation analysis showed that 11 of these patients carry the same homozygous splicing mutation c.87 + 1G > A; in five cases, this mutation was found to be heterozygous, while the second AKU-causing mutation was not identified in these patients. This result indicates that the founder effect and high degree of consanguineous marriages have contributed to AKU among nomads. Eleven positive samples were homozygous for a novel mutation c.87 + 1G > A, that abolishes an intron 2 donor splice site and most likely causes skipping of exon 2. The prevalence of AKU observed earlier seems to be highly increased in people of nomadic origin. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/University College London.

  15. Significance of MPEG-7 textural features for improved mass detection in mammography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eltonsy, Nevine H; Tourassi, Georgia D; Fadeev, Aleksey; Elmaghraby, Adel S

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of the study is to investigate the significance of MPEG-7 textural features for improving the detection of masses in screening mammograms. The detection scheme was originally based on morphological directional neighborhood features extracted from mammographic regions of interest (ROIs). Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) was performed to evaluate the performance of each set of features independently and merged into a back-propagation artificial neural network (BPANN) using the leave-one-out sampling scheme (LOOSS). The study was based on a database of 668 mammographic ROIs (340 depicting cancer regions and 328 depicting normal parenchyma). Overall, the ROC area index of the BPANN using the directional morphological features was Az=0.85+/-0.01. The MPEG-7 edge histogram descriptor-based BPNN showed an ROC area index of Az=0.71+/-0.01 while homogeneous textural descriptors using 30 and 120 channels helped the BPNN achieve similar ROC area indexes of Az=0.882+/-0.02 and Az=0.877+/-0.01 respectively. After merging the MPEG-7 homogeneous textural features with the directional neighborhood features the performance of the BPANN increased providing an ROC area index of Az=0.91+/-0.01. MPEG-7 homogeneous textural descriptor significantly improved the morphology-based detection scheme.

  16. Carfilzomib significantly improves the progression-free survival of high-risk patients in multiple myeloma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avet-Loiseau, Hervé; Fonseca, Rafael; Siegel, David; Dimopoulos, Meletios A; Špička, Ivan; Masszi, Tamás; Hájek, Roman; Rosiñol, Laura; Goranova-Marinova, Vesselina; Mihaylov, Georgi; Maisnar, Vladimír; Mateos, Maria-Victoria; Wang, Michael; Niesvizky, Ruben; Oriol, Albert; Jakubowiak, Andrzej; Minarik, Jiri; Palumbo, Antonio; Bensinger, William; Kukreti, Vishal; Ben-Yehuda, Dina; Stewart, A Keith; Obreja, Mihaela; Moreau, Philippe

    2016-09-01

    The presence of certain high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities, such as translocations (4;14) and (14;16) and deletion (17p), are known to have a negative impact on survival in multiple myeloma (MM). The phase 3 study ASPIRE (N = 792) demonstrated that progression-free survival (PFS) was significantly improved with carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (KRd), compared with lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Rd) in relapsed MM. This preplanned subgroup analysis of ASPIRE was conducted to evaluate KRd vs Rd by baseline cytogenetics according to fluorescence in situ hybridization. Of 417 patients with known cytogenetic risk status, 100 patients (24%) were categorized with high-risk cytogenetics (KRd, n = 48; Rd, n = 52) and 317 (76%) were categorized with standard-risk cytogenetics (KRd, n = 147; Rd, n = 170). For patients with high-risk cytogenetics, treatment with KRd resulted in a median PFS of 23.1 months, a 9-month improvement relative to treatment with Rd. For patients with standard-risk cytogenetics, treatment with KRd led to a 10-month improvement in median PFS vs Rd. The overall response rates for KRd vs Rd were 79.2% vs 59.6% (high-risk cytogenetics) and 91.2% vs 73.5% (standard-risk cytogenetics); approximately fivefold as many patients with high- or standard-risk cytogenetics achieved a complete response or better with KRd vs Rd (29.2% vs 5.8% and 38.1% vs 6.5%, respectively). KRd improved but did not abrogate the poor prognosis associated with high-risk cytogenetics. This regimen had a favorable benefit-risk profile in patients with relapsed MM, irrespective of cytogenetic risk status, and should be considered a standard of care in these patients. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01080391. © 2016 by The American Society of Hematology.

  17. Radiotherapy is associated with significant improvement in local and regional control in Merkel cell carcinoma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kang, Susan H; Haydu, Lauren E; Goh, Robin Yeong Hong; Fogarty, Gerald B

    2012-01-01

    Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare tumour of skin. This study is a retrospective audit of patients with MCC from St Vincent’s and Mater Hospital, Sydney, Australia. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of radiotherapy (RT) on the local and regional control of MCC lesions and survival of patients with MCC. The data bases in anatomical pathology, RT and surgery. We searched for patients having a diagnosis of MCC between 1996 and 2007. Patient, tumour and treatment characteristics were collected and analysed. Univariate survival analysis of categorical variables was conducted with the Kaplan-Meier method together with the Log-Rank test for statistical significance. Continuous variables were assessed using the Cox regression method. Multivariate analysis was performed for significant univariate results. Sixty seven patients were found. Sixty two who were stage I-III and were treated with radical intent were analysed. 68% were male. The median age was 74 years. Forty-two cases (68%) were stage I or II, and 20 cases (32%) were stage III. For the subset of 42 stage I and II patients, those that had RT to their primary site had a 2-year local recurrence free survival of 89% compared with 36% for patients not receiving RT (p<0.001). The cumulative 2-year regional recurrence free survival for patients having adjuvant regional RT was 84% compared with 43% for patients not receiving this treatment (p<0.001). Immune status at initial surgery was a significant predictor for OS and MCCSS. In a multivariate analysis combining macroscopic size (mm) and immune status at initial surgery, only immune status remained a significant predictor of overall survival (HR=2.096, 95% CI: 1.002-4.385, p=0.049). RT is associated with significant improvement in local and regional control in Merkel cell carcinoma. Immunosuppression is an important factor in overall survival

  18. Integration of biomimicry and nanotechnology for significantly improved detection of circulating tumor cells (CTCs).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myung, Ja Hye; Park, Sin-Jung; Wang, Andrew Z; Hong, Seungpyo

    2017-12-13

    Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have received a great deal of scientific and clinical attention as a biomarker for diagnosis and prognosis of many types of cancer. Given their potential significance in clinics, a variety of detection methods, utilizing the recent advances in nanotechnology and microfluidics, have been introduced in an effort of achieving clinically significant detection of CTCs. However, effective detection and isolation of CTCs still remain a tremendous challenge due to their extreme rarity and phenotypic heterogeneity. Among many approaches that are currently under development, this review paper focuses on a unique, promising approach that takes advantages of naturally occurring processes achievable through application of nanotechnology to realize significant improvement in sensitivity and specificity of CTC capture. We provide an overview of successful outcome of this biomimetic CTC capture system in detection of tumor cells from in vitro, in vivo, and clinical pilot studies. We also emphasize the clinical impact of CTCs as biomarkers in cancer diagnosis and predictive prognosis, which provides a cost-effective, minimally invasive method that potentially replaces or supplements existing methods such as imaging technologies and solid tissue biopsy. In addition, their potential prognostic values as treatment guidelines and that ultimately help to realize personalized therapy are discussed. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  19. Significant Improvement of Organic Thin-Film Transistor Mobility Utilizing an Organic Heterojunction Buffer Layer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pan Feng; Qian Xian-Rui; Huang Li-Zhen; Wang Hai-Bo; Yan Dong-Hang

    2011-01-01

    High-mobility vanadyl phthalocyanine (VOPc)/5,5‴-bis(4-fluorophenyl)-2,2':5',2″:5″,2‴-quaterthiophene (F2-P4T) thin-film transistors are demonstrated by employing a copper hexadecafluorophthalocyanine (F 16 CuPc)/copper phthalocyanine (CuPc) heterojunction unit, which are fabricated at different substrate temperatures, as a buffer layer. The highest mobility of 4.08cm 2 /Vs is achieved using a F 16 CuPc/CuPc organic heterojunction buffer layer fabricated at high substrate temperature. Compared with the random small grain-like morphology of the room-temperature buffer layer, the high-temperature organic heterojunction presents a large-sized fiber-like film morphology, resulting in an enhanced conductivity. Thus the contact resistance of the transistor is significantly reduced and an obvious improvement in device mobility is obtained. (cross-disciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

  20. Significant improvement of optical traps by tuning standard water immersion objectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reihani, S Nader S; Mir, Shahid A; Richardson, Andrew C; Oddershede, Lene B

    2011-01-01

    Focused infrared lasers are widely used for micromanipulation and visualization of biological specimens. An inherent practical problem is that off-the-shelf commercial microscope objectives are designed for use with visible and not infrared wavelengths. Less aberration is introduced by water immersion objectives than by oil immersion ones, however, even water immersion objectives induce significant aberration. We present a simple method to reduce the spherical aberration induced by water immersion objectives, namely by tuning the correction collar of the objective to a value that is ∼ 10% lower than the physical thickness of the coverslip. This results in marked improvements in optical trapping strengths of up to 100% laterally and 600% axially from a standard microscope objective designed for use in the visible range. The results are generally valid for any water immersion objective with any numerical aperture

  1. Significant improvement in the electrical characteristics of Schottky barrier diodes on molecularly modified Gallium Nitride surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Manjari; Naik, Tejas R.; Pathak, C. S.; Nagarajan, S.; Rao, V. Ramgopal; Singh, R.

    2018-04-01

    III-Nitride semiconductors face the issue of localized surface states, which causes fermi level pinning and large leakage current at the metal semiconductor interface, thereby degrading the device performance. In this work, we have demonstrated the use of a Self-Assembled Monolayer (SAM) of organic molecules to improve the electrical characteristics of Schottky barrier diodes (SBDs) on n-type Gallium Nitride (n-GaN) epitaxial films. The electrical characteristics of diodes were improved by adsorption of SAM of hydroxyl-phenyl metallated porphyrin organic molecules (Zn-TPPOH) onto the surface of n-GaN. SAM-semiconductor bonding via native oxide on the n-GaN surface was confirmed using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements. Surface morphology and surface electronic properties were characterized using atomic force microscopy and Kelvin probe force microscopy. Current-voltage characteristics of different metal (Cu, Ni) SBDs on bare n-GaN were compared with those of Cu/Zn-TPPOH/n-GaN and Ni/Zn-TPPOH/n-GaN SBDs. It was found that due to the molecular monolayer, the surface potential of n-GaN was decreased by ˜350 mV. This caused an increase in the Schottky barrier height of Cu and Ni SBDs from 1.13 eV to 1.38 eV and 1.07 eV to 1.22 eV, respectively. In addition to this, the reverse bias leakage current was reduced by 3-4 orders of magnitude for both Cu and Ni SBDs. Such a significant improvement in the electrical performance of the diodes can be very useful for better device functioning.

  2. pEPito: a significantly improved non-viral episomal expression vector for mammalian cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ogris Manfred

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The episomal replication of the prototype vector pEPI-1 depends on a transcription unit starting from the constitutively expressed Cytomegalovirus immediate early promoter (CMV-IEP and directed into a 2000 bp long matrix attachment region sequence (MARS derived from the human β-interferon gene. The original pEPI-1 vector contains two mammalian transcription units and a total of 305 CpG islands, which are located predominantly within the vector elements necessary for bacterial propagation and known to be counterproductive for persistent long-term transgene expression. Results Here, we report the development of a novel vector pEPito, which is derived from the pEPI-1 plasmid replicon but has considerably improved efficacy both in vitro and in vivo. The pEPito vector is significantly reduced in size, contains only one transcription unit and 60% less CpG motives in comparison to pEPI-1. It exhibits major advantages compared to the original pEPI-1 plasmid, including higher transgene expression levels and increased colony-forming efficiencies in vitro, as well as more persistent transgene expression profiles in vivo. The performance of pEPito-based vectors was further improved by replacing the CMV-IEP with the human CMV enhancer/human elongation factor 1 alpha promoter (hCMV/EF1P element that is known to be less affected by epigenetic silencing events. Conclusions The novel vector pEPito can be considered suitable as an improved vector for biotechnological applications in vitro and for non-viral gene delivery in vivo.

  3. Electronic monitoring in combination with direct observation as a means to significantly improve hand hygiene compliance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyce, John M

    2017-05-01

    Monitoring hand hygiene compliance among health care personnel (HCP) is an essential element of hand hygiene promotion programs. Observation by trained auditors is considered the gold standard method for establishing hand hygiene compliance rates. Advantages of observational surveys include the unique ability to establish compliance with all of the World Health Organization "My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene" initiative Moments and to provide just-in-time coaching. Disadvantages include the resources required for observational surveys, insufficient sample sizes, and nonstandardized methods of conducting observations. Electronic and camera-based systems can monitor hand hygiene performance on all work shifts without a Hawthorne effect and provide significantly more data regarding hand hygiene performance. Disadvantages include the cost of installation, variable accuracy in estimating compliance rates, issues related to acceptance by HCP, insufficient data regarding their cost-effectiveness and influence on health care-related infection rates, and the ability of most systems to monitor only surrogates for Moments 1, 4, and 5. Increasing evidence suggests that monitoring only Moments 1, 4, and 5 provides reasonable estimates of compliance with all 5 Moments. With continued improvement of electronic monitoring systems, combining electronic monitoring with observational methods may provide the best information as part of a multimodal strategy to improve and sustain hand hygiene compliance rates among HCP. Copyright © 2017 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. An On-Chip RBC Deformability Checker Significantly Improves Velocity-Deformation Correlation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Hung Dylan Tsai

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available An on-chip deformability checker is proposed to improve the velocity–deformation correlation for red blood cell (RBC evaluation. RBC deformability has been found related to human diseases, and can be evaluated based on RBC velocity through a microfluidic constriction as in conventional approaches. The correlation between transit velocity and amount of deformation provides statistical information of RBC deformability. However, such correlations are usually only moderate, or even weak, in practical evaluations due to limited range of RBC deformation. To solve this issue, we implemented three constrictions of different width in the proposed checker, so that three different deformation regions can be applied to RBCs. By considering cell responses from the three regions as a whole, we practically extend the range of cell deformation in the evaluation, and could resolve the issue about the limited range of RBC deformation. RBCs from five volunteer subjects were tested using the proposed checker. The results show that the correlation between cell deformation and transit velocity is significantly improved by the proposed deformability checker. The absolute values of the correlation coefficients are increased from an average of 0.54 to 0.92. The effects of cell size, shape and orientation to the evaluation are discussed according to the experimental results. The proposed checker is expected to be useful for RBC evaluation in medical practices.

  5. Fabrication of CoZn alloy nanowire arrays: Significant improvement in magnetic properties by annealing process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koohbor, M.; Soltanian, S.; Najafi, M.; Servati, P.

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Increasing the Zn concentration changes the structure of NWs from hcp to amorphous. ► Increasing the Zn concentration significantly reduces the Hc value of NWs. ► Magnetic properties of CoZn NWs can be significantly enhanced by appropriate annealing. ► The pH of electrolyte has no significant effect on the properties of the NW arrays. ► Deposition frequency has considerable effects on the magnetic properties of NWs. - Abstract: Highly ordered arrays of Co 1−x Zn x (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.74) nanowires (NWs) with diameters of ∼35 nm and high length-to-diameter ratios (up to 150) were fabricated by co-electrodeposition of Co and Zn into pores of anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) templates. The Co and Zn contents of the NWs were adjusted by varying the ratio of Zn and Co ion concentrations in the electrolyte. The effect of the Zn content, electrodeposition conditions (frequency and pH) and annealing on the structural and magnetic properties (e.g., coercivity (Hc) and squareness (Sq)) of NW arrays were investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy, electron diffraction, and alternating gradient force magnetometer (AGFM). XRD patterns reveal that an increase in the concentration of Zn ions of the electrolyte forces the hcp crystal structure of Co NWs to change into an amorphous phase, resulting in a significant reduction in Hc. It was found that the magnetic properties of NWs can be significantly improved by appropriate annealing process. The highest values for Hc (2050 Oe) and Sq (0.98) were obtained for NWs electrodeposited using 0.95/0.05 Co:Zn concentrations at 200 Hz and annealed at 575 °C. While the pH of electrolyte is found to have no significant effect on the structural and magnetic properties of the NW arrays, the electrodeposition frequency has considerable effects on the magnetic properties of the NW arrays. The changes in magnetic property of NWs are rooted in a competition between shape anisotropy and

  6. Fabrication of CoZn alloy nanowire arrays: Significant improvement in magnetic properties by annealing process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koohbor, M. [Department of Physics, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Soltanian, S., E-mail: s.soltanian@gmail.com [Department of Physics, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada); Najafi, M. [Department of Physics, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Department of Physics, Hamadan University of Technology, Hamadan (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Servati, P. [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada)

    2012-01-05

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Increasing the Zn concentration changes the structure of NWs from hcp to amorphous. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Increasing the Zn concentration significantly reduces the Hc value of NWs. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Magnetic properties of CoZn NWs can be significantly enhanced by appropriate annealing. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The pH of electrolyte has no significant effect on the properties of the NW arrays. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Deposition frequency has considerable effects on the magnetic properties of NWs. - Abstract: Highly ordered arrays of Co{sub 1-x}Zn{sub x} (0 {<=} x {<=} 0.74) nanowires (NWs) with diameters of {approx}35 nm and high length-to-diameter ratios (up to 150) were fabricated by co-electrodeposition of Co and Zn into pores of anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) templates. The Co and Zn contents of the NWs were adjusted by varying the ratio of Zn and Co ion concentrations in the electrolyte. The effect of the Zn content, electrodeposition conditions (frequency and pH) and annealing on the structural and magnetic properties (e.g., coercivity (Hc) and squareness (Sq)) of NW arrays were investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy, electron diffraction, and alternating gradient force magnetometer (AGFM). XRD patterns reveal that an increase in the concentration of Zn ions of the electrolyte forces the hcp crystal structure of Co NWs to change into an amorphous phase, resulting in a significant reduction in Hc. It was found that the magnetic properties of NWs can be significantly improved by appropriate annealing process. The highest values for Hc (2050 Oe) and Sq (0.98) were obtained for NWs electrodeposited using 0.95/0.05 Co:Zn concentrations at 200 Hz and annealed at 575 Degree-Sign C. While the pH of electrolyte is found to have no significant effect on the structural and magnetic properties of the NW arrays, the electrodeposition frequency has considerable effects on

  7. Coronary heart disease is not significantly linked to acute kidney injury identified using Acute Kidney Injury Group criteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yayan, Josef

    2012-01-01

    Patients with unstable angina or myocardial infarction are at risk of acute kidney injury, which may be aggravated by the iodine-containing contrast agent used during coronary angiography; however, the relationship between these two conditions remains unclear. The current study investigated the relationship between acute kidney injury and coronary heart disease prior to coronary angiography. All patients were evaluated after undergoing coronary angiography in the cardiac catheterization laboratory of the Vinzentius Hospital in Landau, Germany, in 2011. The study group included patients with both acute coronary heart disease and acute kidney injury (as defined according to the classification of the Acute Kidney Injury Group); the control group included patients without acute coronary heart disease. Serum creatinine profiles were evaluated in all patients, as were a variety of demographic and health characteristics. Of the 303 patients examined, 201 (66.34%) had coronary artery disease. Of these, 38 (18.91%) also had both acute kidney injury and acute coronary heart disease prior to and after coronary angiography, and of which in turn 34 (16.91%) had both acute kidney injury and acute coronary heart disease only prior to the coronary angiography. However, the occurrence of acute kidney injury was not significantly related to the presence of coronary heart disease (P = 0.95, Chi-square test). The results of this study indicate that acute kidney injury is not linked to acute coronary heart disease. However, physicians should be aware that many coronary heart patients may develop kidney injury while hospitalized for angiography.

  8. Interactive cervical motion kinematics: sensitivity, specificity and clinically significant values for identifying kinematic impairments in patients with chronic neck pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarig Bahat, Hilla; Chen, Xiaoqi; Reznik, David; Kodesh, Einat; Treleaven, Julia

    2015-04-01

    Chronic neck pain has been consistently shown to be associated with impaired kinematic control including reduced range, velocity and smoothness of cervical motion, that seem relevant to daily function as in quick neck motion in response to surrounding stimuli. The objectives of this study were: to compare interactive cervical kinematics in patients with neck pain and controls; to explore the new measures of cervical motion accuracy; and to find the sensitivity, specificity, and optimal cutoff values for defining impaired kinematics in those with neck pain. In this cross-section study, 33 patients with chronic neck pain and 22 asymptomatic controls were assessed for their cervical kinematic control using interactive virtual reality hardware and customized software utilizing a head mounted display with built-in head tracking. Outcome measures included peak and mean velocity, smoothness (represented by number of velocity peaks (NVP)), symmetry (represented by time to peak velocity percentage (TTPP)), and accuracy of cervical motion. Results demonstrated significant and strong effect-size differences in peak and mean velocities, NVP and TTPP in all directions excluding TTPP in left rotation, and good effect-size group differences in 5/8 accuracy measures. Regression results emphasized the high clinical value of neck motion velocity, with very high sensitivity and specificity (85%-100%), followed by motion smoothness, symmetry and accuracy. These finding suggest cervical kinematics should be evaluated clinically, and screened by the provided cut off values for identification of relevant impairments in those with neck pain. Such identification of presence or absence of kinematic impairments may direct treatment strategies and additional evaluation when needed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Compression stockings significantly improve hemodynamic performance in post-thrombotic syndrome irrespective of class or length.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lattimer, Christopher R; Azzam, Mustapha; Kalodiki, Evi; Makris, Gregory C; Geroulakos, George

    2013-07-01

    Graduated elastic compression (GEC) stockings have been demonstrated to reduce the morbidity associated with post-thrombotic syndrome. The ideal length or compression strength required to achieve this is speculative and related to physician preference and patient compliance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the hemodynamic performance of four different stockings and determine the patient's preference. Thirty-four consecutive patients (40 legs, 34 male) with post-thrombotic syndrome were tested with four different stockings (Mediven plus open toe, Bayreuth, Germany) of their size in random order: class 1 (18-21 mm Hg) and class II (23-32 mm Hg), below-knee (BK) and above-knee thigh-length (AK). The median age, Venous Clinical Severity Score, Venous Segmental Disease Score, and Villalta scale were 62 years (range, 31-81 years), 8 (range, 1-21), 5 (range, 2-10), and 10 (range, 2-22), respectively. The C of C0-6EsAs,d,pPr,o was C0 = 2, C2 = 1, C3 = 3, C4a = 12, C4b = 7, C5 = 12, C6 = 3. Obstruction and reflux was observed on duplex in 47.5% legs, with deep venous reflux alone in 45%. Air plethysmography was used to measure the venous filling index (VFI), venous volume, and time to fill 90% of the venous volume. Direct pressure measurements were obtained while lying and standing using the PicoPress device (Microlab Elettronica, Nicolò, Italy). The pressure sensor was placed underneath the test stocking 5 cm above and 2 cm posterior to the medial malleolus. At the end of the study session, patients stated their preferred stocking based on comfort. The VFI, venous volume, and time to fill 90% of the venous volume improved significantly with all types of stocking versus no compression. In class I, the VFI (mL/s) improved from a median of 4.9 (range, 1.7-16.3) without compression to 3.7 (range, 0-14) BK (24.5%) and 3.6 (range, 0.6-14.5) AK (26.5%). With class II, the corresponding improvement was to 4.0 (range, 0.3-16.2) BK (18.8%) and 3.7 (range, 0.5-14.2) AK (24

  10. Significant improvement of intestinal microbiota of gibel carp (Carassius auratus gibelio) after traditional Chinese medicine feeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Z B; Gatesoupe, F-J; Li, T T; Wang, X H; Zhang, Q Q; Feng, D Y; Feng, Y Q; Chen, H; Li, A H

    2018-03-01

    Increasing attention has been attracted to intestinal microbiota, due to interactions with nutrition, metabolism and immune defence of the host. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) feed additives have been applied in aquaculture to improve fish health, but the interaction with fish gut microbiota is still poorly understood. This study aimed to explore the effect of adding TCM in feed on the intestinal microbiota of gibel carp (Carassius auratus gibelio). Bacterial communities of 16 fish intestinal contents and one water sample were characterized by high-throughput sequencing and analysis of the V4-V5 region of the 16S rRNA gene. The results showed that the composition and structure of the bacterial community were significantly altered by the TCM feeding. Some phyla increased markedly (Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Acidobacteria, etc.), while Fusobacteria were significantly reduced. Concurrently, the richness and diversity of the taxonomic units increased, and the microbiota composition of TCM-treated fish was more homogeneous among individuals. At the genus level, the addition of TCM tended to reduce the incidence of potential pathogens (Aeromonas, Acinetobacter and Shewanella), while stimulating the emergence of some potential probiotics (Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Bacillus and Pseudomonas). These data suggested that the feed additive could regulate the fish intestinal microbiota by reinforcing the microbial balance. This study may provide useful information for further application of TCM for diseases prevention and stress management in aquaculture. © 2017 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  11. Significant improvement in one-dimensional cursor control using Laplacian electroencephalography over electroencephalography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boudria, Yacine; Feltane, Amal; Besio, Walter

    2014-06-01

    Objective. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) based on electroencephalography (EEG) have been shown to accurately detect mental activities, but the acquisition of high levels of control require extensive user training. Furthermore, EEG has low signal-to-noise ratio and low spatial resolution. The objective of the present study was to compare the accuracy between two types of BCIs during the first recording session. EEG and tripolar concentric ring electrode (TCRE) EEG (tEEG) brain signals were recorded and used to control one-dimensional cursor movements. Approach. Eight human subjects were asked to imagine either ‘left’ or ‘right’ hand movement during one recording session to control the computer cursor using TCRE and disc electrodes. Main results. The obtained results show a significant improvement in accuracies using TCREs (44%-100%) compared to disc electrodes (30%-86%). Significance. This study developed the first tEEG-based BCI system for real-time one-dimensional cursor movements and showed high accuracies with little training.

  12. Induction-heating MOCVD reactor with significantly improved heating efficiency and reduced harmful magnetic coupling

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Kuang-Hui; Alotaibi, Hamad S.; Sun, Haiding; Lin, Ronghui; Guo, Wenzhe; Torres-Castanedo, Carlos G.; Liu, Kaikai; Galan, Sergio V.; Li, Xiaohang

    2018-01-01

    In a conventional induction-heating III-nitride metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactor, the induction coil is outside the chamber. Therefore, the magnetic field does not couple with the susceptor well, leading to compromised heating efficiency and harmful coupling with the gas inlet and thus possible overheating. Hence, the gas inlet has to be at a minimum distance away from the susceptor. Because of the elongated flow path, premature reactions can be more severe, particularly between Al- and B-containing precursors and NH3. Here, we propose a structure that can significantly improve the heating efficiency and allow the gas inlet to be closer to the susceptor. Specifically, the induction coil is designed to surround the vertical cylinder of a T-shaped susceptor comprising the cylinder and a top horizontal plate holding the wafer substrate within the reactor. Therefore, the cylinder coupled most magnetic field to serve as the thermal source for the plate. Furthermore, the plate can block and thus significantly reduce the uncoupled magnetic field above the susceptor, thereby allowing the gas inlet to be closer. The results show approximately 140% and 2.6 times increase in the heating and susceptor coupling efficiencies, respectively, as well as a 90% reduction in the harmful magnetic flux on the gas inlet.

  13. Induction-heating MOCVD reactor with significantly improved heating efficiency and reduced harmful magnetic coupling

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Kuang-Hui

    2018-02-23

    In a conventional induction-heating III-nitride metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactor, the induction coil is outside the chamber. Therefore, the magnetic field does not couple with the susceptor well, leading to compromised heating efficiency and harmful coupling with the gas inlet and thus possible overheating. Hence, the gas inlet has to be at a minimum distance away from the susceptor. Because of the elongated flow path, premature reactions can be more severe, particularly between Al- and B-containing precursors and NH3. Here, we propose a structure that can significantly improve the heating efficiency and allow the gas inlet to be closer to the susceptor. Specifically, the induction coil is designed to surround the vertical cylinder of a T-shaped susceptor comprising the cylinder and a top horizontal plate holding the wafer substrate within the reactor. Therefore, the cylinder coupled most magnetic field to serve as the thermal source for the plate. Furthermore, the plate can block and thus significantly reduce the uncoupled magnetic field above the susceptor, thereby allowing the gas inlet to be closer. The results show approximately 140% and 2.6 times increase in the heating and susceptor coupling efficiencies, respectively, as well as a 90% reduction in the harmful magnetic flux on the gas inlet.

  14. Nicotine Significantly Improves Chronic Stress-Induced Impairments of Cognition and Synaptic Plasticity in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Xueliang; Shang, Yingchun; Fu, Jingxuan; Zhang, Tao

    2017-08-01

    The aim of this study was to examine if nicotine was able to improve cognition deficits in a mouse model of chronic mild stress. Twenty-four male C57BL/6 mice were divided into three groups: control, stress, and stress with nicotine treatment. The animal model was established by combining chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) and isolated feeding. Mice were exposed to CUMS continued for 28 days, while nicotine (0.2 mg/kg) was also administrated for 28 days. Weight and sucrose consumption were measured during model establishing period. The anxiety and behavioral despair were analyzed using the forced swim test (FST) and open-field test (OFT). Spatial cognition was evaluated using Morris water maze (MWM) test. Following behavioral assessment, both long-term potentiation (LTP) and depotentiation (DEP) were recorded in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) region. Both synaptic and Notch1 proteins were measured by Western. Nicotine increased stressed mouse's sucrose consumption. The MWM test showed that spatial learning and reversal learning in stressed animals were remarkably affected relative to controls, whereas nicotine partially rescued cognitive functions. Additionally, nicotine considerably alleviated the level of anxiety and the degree of behavioral despair in stressed mice. It effectively mitigated the depression-induced impairment of hippocampal synaptic plasticity, in which both the LTP and DEP were significantly inhibited in stressed mice. Moreover, nicotine enhanced the expression of synaptic and Notch1 proteins in stressed animals. The results suggest that nicotine ameliorates the depression-like symptoms and improves the hippocampal synaptic plasticity closely associated with activating transmembrane ion channel receptors and Notch signaling components. Graphical Abstract ᅟ.

  15. Significant improvements in stability and reproducibility of atomic-scale atomic force microscopy in liquid

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akrami, S M R; Nakayachi, H; Fukuma, T; Watanabe-Nakayama, T; Asakawa, H

    2014-01-01

    Recent advancement of dynamic-mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) for liquid-environment applications enabled atomic-scale studies on various interfacial phenomena. However, instabilities and poor reproducibility of the measurements often prevent systematic studies. To solve this problem, we have investigated the effect of various tip treatment methods for atomic-scale imaging and force measurements in liquid. The tested methods include Si coating, Ar plasma, Ar sputtering and UV/O 3 cleaning. We found that all the methods provide significant improvements in both the imaging and force measurements in spite of the tip transfer through the air. Among the methods, we found that the Si coating provides the best stability and reproducibility in the measurements. To understand the origin of the fouling resistance of the cleaned tip surface and the difference between the cleaning methods, we have investigated the tip surface properties by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and contact angle measurements. The results show that the contaminations adsorbed on the tip during the tip transfer through the air should desorb from the surface when it is immersed in aqueous solution due to the enhanced hydrophilicity by the tip treatments. The tip surface prepared by the Si coating is oxidized when it is immersed in aqueous solution. This creates local spots where stable hydration structures are formed. For the other methods, there is no active mechanism to create such local hydration sites. Thus, the hydration structure formed under the tip apex is not necessarily stable. These results reveal the desirable tip properties for atomic-scale AFM measurements in liquid, which should serve as a guideline for further improvements of the tip treatment methods. (paper)

  16. Significant improvement of accuracy and precision in the determination of trace rare earths by fluorescence analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ozawa, L.; Hersh, H.N.

    1976-01-01

    Most of the rare earths in yttrium, gadolinium and lanthanum oxides emit characteristic fluorescent line spectra under irradiation with photons, electrons and x rays. The sensitivity and selectivity of the rare earth fluorescences are high enough to determine the trace amounts (0.01 to 100 ppM) of rare earths. The absolute fluorescent intensities of solids, however, are markedly affected by the synthesis procedure, level of contamination and crystal perfection, resulting in poor accuracy and low precision for the method (larger than 50 percent error). Special care in preparation of the samples is required to obtain good accuracy and precision. It is found that the accuracy and precision for the determination of trace (less than 10 ppM) rare earths by fluorescence analysis improved significantly, while still maintaining the sensitivity, when the determination is made by comparing the ratio of the fluorescent intensities of the trace rare earths to that of a deliberately added rare earth as reference. The variation in the absolute fluorescent intensity remains, but is compensated for by measuring the fluorescent line intensity ratio. Consequently, the determination of trace rare earths (with less than 3 percent error) is easily made by a photoluminescence technique in which the rare earths are excited directly by photons. Accuracy is still maintained when the absolute fluorescent intensity is reduced by 50 percent through contamination by Ni, Fe, Mn or Pb (about 100 ppM). Determination accuracy is also improved for fluorescence analysis by electron excitation and x-ray excitation. For some rare earths, however, accuracy by these techniques is reduced because indirect excitation mechanisms are involved. The excitation mechanisms and the interferences between rare earths are also reported

  17. An initiative to improve the management of clinically significant test results in a large health care network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Christopher L; Rothschild, Jeffrey M; Dighe, Anand S; Schiff, Gordon D; Graydon-Baker, Erin; Lenoci-Edwards, Jennifer; Dwyer, Cheryl; Khorasani, Ramin; Gandhi, Tejal K

    2013-11-01

    The failure of providers to communicate and follow up clinically significant test results (CSTR) is an important threat to patient safety. The Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors has endorsed the creation of systems to ensure that results can be received and acknowledged. In 2008 a task force was convened that represented clinicians, laboratories, radiology, patient safety, risk management, and information systems in a large health care network with the goals of providing recommendations and a road map for improvement in the management of CSTR and of implementing this improvement plan during the sub-force sequent five years. In drafting its charter, the task broadened the scope from "critical" results to "clinically significant" ones; clinically significant was defined as any result that requires further clinical action to avoid morbidity or mortality, regardless of the urgency of that action. The task force recommended four key areas for improvement--(1) standardization of policies and definitions, (2) robust identification of the patient's care team, (3) enhanced results management/tracking systems, and (4) centralized quality reporting and metrics. The task force faced many challenges in implementing these recommendations, including disagreements on definitions of CSTR and on who should have responsibility for CSTR, changes to established work flows, limitations of resources and of existing information systems, and definition of metrics. This large-scale effort to improve the communication and follow-up of CSTR in a health care network continues with ongoing work to address implementation challenges, refine policies, prepare for a new clinical information system platform, and identify new ways to measure the extent of this important safety problem.

  18. Improving healthcare practice behaviors: an exploratory study identifying effective and ineffective behaviors in healthcare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Fleet, David D; Peterson, Tim O

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to present the results of exploratory research designed to develop an awareness of healthcare behaviors, with a view toward improving the customer satisfaction with healthcare services. It examines the relationship between healthcare providers and their consumers/patients/clients. The study uses a critical incident methodology, with both effective and ineffective behavioral specimens examined across different provider groups. The effects of these different behaviors on what Berry (1999) identified as the common core values of service organizations are examined, as those values are required to build a lasting service relationship. Also examined are categories of healthcare practice based on the National Quality Strategy priorities. The most obvious is the retrospective nature of the method used. How accurate are patient or consumer memories? Are they capable of making valid judgments of healthcare experiences (Berry and Bendapudi, 2003)? While an obvious limitation, such recollections are clearly important as they may be paramount in following the healthcare practitioners' instructions, loyalty for repeat business, making recommendations to others and the like. Further, studies have shown retrospective reports to be accurate and useful (Miller et al., 1997). With this information, healthcare educators should be in a better position to improve the training offered in their programs and practitioners to better serve their customers. The findings would indicate that the human values of excellence, innovation, joy, respect and integrity play a significant role in building a strong service relationship between consumer and healthcare provider. Berry (1999) has argued that the overriding importance in building a lasting service business is human values. This exploratory study has shown how critical incident analysis can be used to determine both effective and ineffective practices of different medical providers. It also provides guidelines as

  19. Flavonol-rich dark cocoa significantly decreases plasma endothelin-1 and improves cognition in urban children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón-Garcidueñas, Lilian; Mora-Tiscareño, Antonieta; Franco-Lira, Maricela; Cross, Janet V; Engle, Randall; Aragón-Flores, Mariana; Gómez-Garza, Gilberto; Jewells, Valerie; Medina-Cortina, Humberto; Solorio, Edelmira; Chao, Chih-Kai; Zhu, Hongtu; Mukherjee, Partha S; Ferreira-Azevedo, Lara; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; D'Angiulli, Amedeo

    2013-01-01

    Air pollution exposures are linked to systemic inflammation, cardiovascular and respiratory morbidity and mortality, neuroinflammation and neuropathology in young urbanites. In particular, most Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) children exhibit subtle cognitive deficits, and neuropathology studies show 40% of them exhibiting frontal tau hyperphosphorylation and 51% amyloid-β diffuse plaques (compared to 0% in low pollution control children). We assessed whether a short cocoa intervention can be effective in decreasing plasma endothelin 1 (ET-1) and/or inflammatory mediators in MCMA children. Thirty gram of dark cocoa with 680 mg of total flavonols were given daily for 10.11 ± 3.4 days (range 9-24 days) to 18 children (10.55 years, SD = 1.45; 11F/7M). Key metabolite ratios in frontal white matter and in hippocampus pre and during cocoa intervention were quantified by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. ET-1 significantly decreased after cocoa treatment (p = 0.0002). Fifteen children (83%) showed a marginally significant individual improvement in one or both of the applied simple short memory tasks. Endothelial dysfunction is a key feature of exposure to particulate matter (PM) and decreased endothelin-1 bioavailability is likely useful for brain function in the context of air pollution. Our findings suggest that cocoa interventions may be critical for early implementation of neuroprotection of highly exposed urban children. Multi-domain nutraceutical interventions could limit the risk for endothelial dysfunction, cerebral hypoperfusion, neuroinflammation, cognitive deficits, structural volumetric detrimental brain effects, and the early development of the neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

  20. Model training across multiple breeding cycles significantly improves genomic prediction accuracy in rye (Secale cereale L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auinger, Hans-Jürgen; Schönleben, Manfred; Lehermeier, Christina; Schmidt, Malthe; Korzun, Viktor; Geiger, Hartwig H; Piepho, Hans-Peter; Gordillo, Andres; Wilde, Peer; Bauer, Eva; Schön, Chris-Carolin

    2016-11-01

    Genomic prediction accuracy can be significantly increased by model calibration across multiple breeding cycles as long as selection cycles are connected by common ancestors. In hybrid rye breeding, application of genome-based prediction is expected to increase selection gain because of long selection cycles in population improvement and development of hybrid components. Essentially two prediction scenarios arise: (1) prediction of the genetic value of lines from the same breeding cycle in which model training is performed and (2) prediction of lines from subsequent cycles. It is the latter from which a reduction in cycle length and consequently the strongest impact on selection gain is expected. We empirically investigated genome-based prediction of grain yield, plant height and thousand kernel weight within and across four selection cycles of a hybrid rye breeding program. Prediction performance was assessed using genomic and pedigree-based best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP and PBLUP). A total of 1040 S 2 lines were genotyped with 16 k SNPs and each year testcrosses of 260 S 2 lines were phenotyped in seven or eight locations. The performance gap between GBLUP and PBLUP increased significantly for all traits when model calibration was performed on aggregated data from several cycles. Prediction accuracies obtained from cross-validation were in the order of 0.70 for all traits when data from all cycles (N CS  = 832) were used for model training and exceeded within-cycle accuracies in all cases. As long as selection cycles are connected by a sufficient number of common ancestors and prediction accuracy has not reached a plateau when increasing sample size, aggregating data from several preceding cycles is recommended for predicting genetic values in subsequent cycles despite decreasing relatedness over time.

  1. Significantly improving trace thallium removal from surface waters during coagulation enhanced by nanosized manganese dioxide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huangfu, Xiaoliu; Ma, Chengxue; Ma, Jun; He, Qiang; Yang, Chun; Jiang, Jin; Wang, Yaan; Wu, Zhengsong

    2017-02-01

    Thallium (Tl) is an element of high toxicity and significant accumulation in human body. There is an urgent need for the development of appropriate strategies for trace Tl removal in drinking water treatment plants. In this study, the efficiency and mechanism of trace Tl (0.5 μg/L) removal by conventional coagulation enhanced by nanosized manganese dioxide (nMnO 2 ) were explored in simulated water and two representative surface waters (a river water and a reservoir water obtained from Northeast China). Experimental results showed that nMnO 2 significantly improve Tl(I) removal from selected waters. The removal efficiency was dramatically higher in the simulated water, demonstrating by less than 0.1 μg/L Tl residual. The enhancement of trace Tl removal in the surface waters decreased to a certain extent. Both adjusting water pH to alkaline condition and preoxidation of Tl(I) to Tl(III) benefit trace Tl removal from surface waters. Data also indicated that competitive cation of Ca 2+ decreased the efficiency of trace Tl removal, resulting from the reduction of Tl adsorption on nMnO 2 . Humic acid could largely low Tl removal efficiency during nMnO 2 enhanced coagulation processes. Trace elemental Tl firstly adsorbed on nMnO 2 and then removed accompanying with nMnO 2 settling. The information obtained in the present study may provide a potential strategy for drinking water treatment plants threatened by trace Tl. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Significant effect of Ca2+ on improving the heat resistance of lactic acid bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Song; Chen, Xiao Dong

    2013-07-01

    The heat resistance of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) has been extensively investigated due to its highly practical significance. Reconstituted skim milk (RSM) has been found to be one of the most effective protectant wall materials for microencapsulating microorganisms during convective drying, such as spray drying. In addition to proteins and carbohydrate, RSM is rich in calcium. It is not clear which component is critical in the RSM protection mechanism. This study investigated the independent effect of calcium. Ca(2+) was added to lactose solution to examine its influence on the heat resistance of Lactobacillus rhamnosus ZY, Lactobacillus casei Zhang, Lactobacillus plantarum P8 and Streptococcus thermophilus ND03. The results showed that certain Ca(2+) concentrations enhanced the heat resistance of the LAB strains to different extents, that is produced higher survival and shorter regrowth lag times of the bacterial cells. In some cases, the improvements were dramatic. More scientifically insightful and more intensive instrumental study of the Ca(2+) behavior around and in the cells should be carried out in the near future. In the meantime, this work may lead to the development of more cost-effective wall materials with Ca(2+) added as a prime factor. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Targeting Heparin to Collagen within Extracellular Matrix Significantly Reduces Thrombogenicity and Improves Endothelialization of Decellularized Tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Bin; Suen, Rachel; Wertheim, Jason A; Ameer, Guillermo A

    2016-12-12

    Thrombosis within small-diameter vascular grafts limits the development of bioartificial, engineered vascular conduits, especially those derived from extracellular matrix (ECM). Here we describe an easy-to-implement strategy to chemically modify vascular ECM by covalently linking a collagen binding peptide (CBP) to heparin to form a heparin derivative (CBP-heparin) that selectively binds a subset of collagens. Modification of ECM with CBP-heparin leads to increased deposition of functional heparin (by ∼7.2-fold measured by glycosaminoglycan composition) and a corresponding reduction in platelet binding (>70%) and whole blood clotting (>80%) onto the ECM. Furthermore, addition of CBP-heparin to the ECM stabilizes long-term endothelial cell attachment to the lumen of ECM-derived vascular conduits, potentially through recruitment of heparin-binding growth factors that ultimately improve the durability of endothelialization in vitro. Overall, our findings provide a simple yet effective method to increase deposition of functional heparin on the surface of ECM-based vascular grafts and thereby minimize thrombogenicity of decellularized tissue, overcoming a significant challenge in tissue engineering of bioartificial vessels and vascularized organs.

  4. Significant Improvement in Chronic Persistent Headaches Caused by Small Rathke Cleft Cysts After Transsphenoidal Surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukui, Issei; Hayashi, Yasuhiko; Kita, Daisuke; Sasagawa, Yasuo; Oishi, Masahiro; Tachibana, Osamu; Nakada, Mitsutoshi

    2017-03-01

    Rathke cleft cysts (RCC) usually are asymptomatic and can be observed via the use of conservative methods. Some patients with RCCs, however, have severe headaches even if they are small enough to be confined to the sella, and these small RCCs seldom have been discussed. This study presents an investigation into clinical characteristics of small RCCs associated with severe headaches, demonstrating efficacy and safety of endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery (ETSS) to relieve headaches. In this study, 13 patients with small RCCs (maximum diameter HIT-6) score was calculated both pre- and postoperatively to evaluate headache severity. All patients complained of severe headaches, which disturbed their daily life. Most headaches were nonpulsating and localized in the frontal area. Characteristically, 6 patients (46%) experienced severe headaches with sudden onset that continued chronically. HIT-6 score was 64 on average, meaning headaches affected daily life severely. After surgical decompression of the cyst, headache in all of the patients improved dramatically and HIT-6 score decreased significantly to 37, suggesting that headaches were diminished. No newly developed deficiencies of the anterior pituitary lobe function were detected. Postoperative occurrence of diabetes insipidus was found in 2 patients, both of which were transient. No recurring cysts were found. Severe headaches can develop from small RCCs. In the present study, ETSS was performed on such patients effectively and safely to relieve their headaches. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Successful percutaneous coronary intervention significantly improves coronary sinus blood flow as assessed by transthoracic echocardiography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyubarova, Radmila; Boden, William E; Fein, Steven A; Schulman-Marcus, Joshua; Torosoff, Mikhail

    2018-06-01

    Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) has been used to assess coronary sinus blood flow (CSBF), which reflects total coronary arterial blood flow. Successful angioplasty is expected to improve coronary arterial blood flow. Changes in CSBF after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), as assessed by TTE, have not been systematically evaluated. TTE can be utilized to reflect increased CSBF after a successful, clinically indicated PCI. The study cohort included 31 patients (18 females, 62 ± 11 years old) referred for diagnostic cardiac catheterization for suspected coronary artery disease and possible PCI, when clinically indicated. All performed PCIs were successful, with good angiographic outcome. CSBF per cardiac cycle (mL/beat) was measured using transthoracic two-dimensional and Doppler flow imaging as the product of coronary sinus (CS) area and CS flow time-velocity integral. CSBF per minute (mL/min) was calculated as the product of heart rate and CSBF per cardiac cycle. In each patient, CSBF was assessed prospectively, before and after cardiac catheterization with and without clinically indicated PCI. Within- and between-group differences in CSBF before and after PCI were assessed using repeated measures analysis of variance. Technically adequate CSBF measurements were obtained in 24 patients (77%). In patients who did not undergo PCI, there was no significant change in CSBF (278.1 ± 344.1 versus 342.7 ± 248.5, p = 0.36). By contrast, among patients who underwent PCI, CSBF increased significantly (254.3 ± 194.7 versus 618.3 ± 358.5 mL/min, p < 0.01, p-interaction = 0.03). Other hemodynamic and echocardiographic parameters did not change significantly before and after cardiac catheterization in either treatment group. Transthoracic echocardiographic assessment can be employed to document CSBF changes after angioplasty. Future studies are needed to explore the clinical utility of this noninvasive metric.

  6. Identifying entry points to improve fertilizer use efficiency in Taihu Basin, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ma, Li; Feng, S.; Reidsma, P.; Qu, F.; Heerink, N.

    2014-01-01

    Overuse of fertilizers in China causes environmental problems and high costs for farmers. In this paper we aim to identify entry points to improve fertilizer use efficiency in Taihu Basin, China. We use stochastic frontier analysis to estimate the technical and fertilizer use efficiency of rice

  7. Single-atom catalysts for CO2 electroreduction with significant activity and selectivity improvements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Back, Seoin; Lim, Juhyung; Kim, Na-Young; Kim, Yong-Hyun; Jung, Yousung

    2017-02-01

    A single-atom catalyst (SAC) has an electronic structure that is very different from its bulk counterparts, and has shown an unexpectedly high specific activity with a significant reduction in noble metal usage for CO oxidation, fuel cell and hydrogen evolution applications, although physical origins of such performance enhancements are still poorly understood. Herein, by means of density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we for the first time investigate the great potential of single atom catalysts for CO 2 electroreduction applications. In particular, we study a single transition metal atom anchored on defective graphene with single or double vacancies, denoted M@sv-Gr or M@dv-Gr, where M = Ag, Au, Co, Cu, Fe, Ir, Ni, Os, Pd, Pt, Rh or Ru, as a CO 2 reduction catalyst. Many SACs are indeed shown to be highly selective for the CO 2 reduction reaction over a competitive H 2 evolution reaction due to favorable adsorption of carboxyl (*COOH) or formate (*OCHO) over hydrogen (*H) on the catalysts. On the basis of free energy profiles, we identified several promising candidate materials for different products; Ni@dv-Gr (limiting potential U L = -0.41 V) and Pt@dv-Gr (-0.27 V) for CH 3 OH production, and Os@dv-Gr (-0.52 V) and Ru@dv-Gr (-0.52 V) for CH 4 production. In particular, the Pt@dv-Gr catalyst shows remarkable reduction in the limiting potential for CH 3 OH production compared to any existing catalysts, synthesized or predicted. To understand the origin of the activity enhancement of SACs, we find that the lack of an atomic ensemble for adsorbate binding and the unique electronic structure of the single atom catalysts as well as orbital interaction play an important role, contributing to binding energies of SACs that deviate considerably from the conventional scaling relation of bulk transition metals.

  8. Heat storage in forest biomass significantly improves energy balance closure particularly during stable conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindroth, A.; Mölder, M.; Lagergren, F.

    2009-08-01

    Temperature measurements in trunks and branches in a mature ca. 100 years-old mixed pine and spruce forest in central Sweden were used to estimate the heat storage in the tree biomass. The estimated heat flux in the sample trees and data on biomass distributions were used to scale up to stand level biomass heat fluxes. The rate of change of sensible and latent heat storage in the air layer below the level of the flux measurements was estimated from air temperature and humidity profile measurements and soil heat flux was estimated from heat flux plates and soil temperature measurements. The fluxes of sensible and latent heat from the forest were measured with an eddy covariance system in a tower. The analysis was made for a two-month period in summer of 1995. The tree biomass heat flux was the largest of the estimated storage components and varied between 40 and -35 W m-2 on summer days with nice weather. Averaged over two months the diurnal maximum of total heat storage was 45 W m-2 and the minimum was -35 W m-2. The soil heat flux and the sensible heat storage in air were out of phase with the biomass flux and they reached maximum values that were about 75% of the maximum of the tree biomass heat storage. The energy balance closure improved significantly when the total heat storage was added to the turbulent fluxes. The slope of a regression line with sum of fluxes and storage as independent and net radiation as dependent variable, increased from 0.86 to 0.95 for half-hourly data and the scatter was also reduced. The most significant finding was, however, that during nights with strongly stable conditions when the sensible heat flux dropped to nearly zero, the total storage matched the net radiation nearly perfectly. Another interesting result was that the mean energy imbalance started to increase when the Richardson number became more negative than ca. -0.1. In fact, the largest energy deficit occurred at maximum instability. Our conclusion is that eddy

  9. Eco-Efficient Process Improvement at the Early Development Stage: Identifying Environmental and Economic Process Hotspots for Synergetic Improvement Potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccinno, Fabiano; Hischier, Roland; Seeger, Stefan; Som, Claudia

    2018-05-15

    We present here a new eco-efficiency process-improvement method to highlight combined environmental and costs hotspots of the production process of new material at a very early development stage. Production-specific and scaled-up results for life cycle assessment (LCA) and production costs are combined in a new analysis to identify synergetic improvement potentials and trade-offs, setting goals for the eco-design of new processes. The identified hotspots and bottlenecks will help users to focus on the relevant steps for improvements from an eco-efficiency perspective and potentially reduce their associated environmental impacts and production costs. Our method is illustrated with a case study of nanocellulose. The results indicate that the production route should start with carrot pomace, use heat and solvent recovery, and deactivate the enzymes with bleach instead of heat. To further improve the process, the results show that focus should be laid on the carrier polymer, sodium alginate, and the production of the GripX coating. Overall, the method shows that the underlying LCA scale-up framework is valuable for purposes beyond conventional LCA studies and is applicable at a very early stage to provide researchers with a better understanding of their production process.

  10. Significant improvement of eczema with skin care and food elimination in small children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norrman, Gunilla; Tomicić, Sara; Böttcher, Malin Fagerås; Oldaeus, Göran; Strömberg, Leif; Fälth-magnusson, Karin

    2005-10-01

    To evaluate common methods of investigation and treatment in children younger than 2 y of age with eczema, with or without sensitization to food allergens. One hundred and twenty-three children younger than 2 y of age with eczema and suspected food allergy were included in this prospective study. The children underwent skin-prick test with cow's milk, fresh hen's egg white and wheat. Specific IgE to milk and egg white was analysed. The eczema extent and severity was estimated with SCORAD before and after treatment. Children with a positive skin-prick test were instructed to exclude that food item from their diet. All children were treated with emollients and topical steroids when needed. Sixty-two of the children were skin-prick positive to at least one of the allergens; 62% had mild, 30% moderate and 8% severe eczema at their first visit. After treatment, 90% had mild, 10% moderate and 0% severe eczema. Forty-six per cent of the children had circulating IgE antibodies to milk or egg white. Ten per cent had specific IgE but negative skin-prick test to the same allergen. This subgroup improved their eczema significantly without elimination diet. The conventional treatments for children with eczema, i.e. skin care and food elimination, are effective. The beneficial effect of skin care as the first step should not be neglected, and it may not be necessary to eliminate food allergens to relieve skin symptoms in all food-sensitized children with eczema.

  11. Introduction of e-learning in dental radiology reveals significantly improved results in final examination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meckfessel, Sandra; Stühmer, Constantin; Bormann, Kai-Hendrik; Kupka, Thomas; Behrends, Marianne; Matthies, Herbert; Vaske, Bernhard; Stiesch, Meike; Gellrich, Nils-Claudius; Rücker, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Because a traditionally instructed dental radiology lecture course is very time-consuming and labour-intensive, online courseware, including an interactive-learning module, was implemented to support the lectures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the perceptions of students who have worked with web-based courseware as well as the effect on their results in final examinations. Users (n(3+4)=138) had access to the e-program from any networked computer at any time. Two groups (n(3)=71, n(4)=67) had to pass a final exam after using the e-course. Results were compared with two groups (n(1)=42, n(2)=48) who had studied the same content by attending traditional lectures. In addition a survey of the students was statistically evaluated. Most of the respondents reported a positive attitude towards e-learning and would have appreciated more access to computer-assisted instruction. Two years after initiating the e-course the failure rate in the final examination dropped significantly, from 40% to less than 2%. The very positive response to the e-program and improved test scores demonstrated the effectiveness of our e-course as a learning aid. Interactive modules in step with clinical practice provided learning that is not achieved by traditional teaching methods alone. To what extent staff savings are possible is part of a further study. Copyright © 2010 European Association for Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Mapping Soil Properties of Africa at 250 m Resolution: Random Forests Significantly Improve Current Predictions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomislav Hengl

    Full Text Available 80% of arable land in Africa has low soil fertility and suffers from physical soil problems. Additionally, significant amounts of nutrients are lost every year due to unsustainable soil management practices. This is partially the result of insufficient use of soil management knowledge. To help bridge the soil information gap in Africa, the Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS project was established in 2008. Over the period 2008-2014, the AfSIS project compiled two point data sets: the Africa Soil Profiles (legacy database and the AfSIS Sentinel Site database. These data sets contain over 28 thousand sampling locations and represent the most comprehensive soil sample data sets of the African continent to date. Utilizing these point data sets in combination with a large number of covariates, we have generated a series of spatial predictions of soil properties relevant to the agricultural management--organic carbon, pH, sand, silt and clay fractions, bulk density, cation-exchange capacity, total nitrogen, exchangeable acidity, Al content and exchangeable bases (Ca, K, Mg, Na. We specifically investigate differences between two predictive approaches: random forests and linear regression. Results of 5-fold cross-validation demonstrate that the random forests algorithm consistently outperforms the linear regression algorithm, with average decreases of 15-75% in Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE across soil properties and depths. Fitting and running random forests models takes an order of magnitude more time and the modelling success is sensitive to artifacts in the input data, but as long as quality-controlled point data are provided, an increase in soil mapping accuracy can be expected. Results also indicate that globally predicted soil classes (USDA Soil Taxonomy, especially Alfisols and Mollisols help improve continental scale soil property mapping, and are among the most important predictors. This indicates a promising potential for transferring

  13. Optimized distributed systems achieve significant performance improvement on sorted merging of massive VCF files.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xiaobo; Gao, Jingjing; Jin, Peng; Eng, Celeste; Burchard, Esteban G; Beaty, Terri H; Ruczinski, Ingo; Mathias, Rasika A; Barnes, Kathleen; Wang, Fusheng; Qin, Zhaohui S

    2018-06-01

    Sorted merging of genomic data is a common data operation necessary in many sequencing-based studies. It involves sorting and merging genomic data from different subjects by their genomic locations. In particular, merging a large number of variant call format (VCF) files is frequently required in large-scale whole-genome sequencing or whole-exome sequencing projects. Traditional single-machine based methods become increasingly inefficient when processing large numbers of files due to the excessive computation time and Input/Output bottleneck. Distributed systems and more recent cloud-based systems offer an attractive solution. However, carefully designed and optimized workflow patterns and execution plans (schemas) are required to take full advantage of the increased computing power while overcoming bottlenecks to achieve high performance. In this study, we custom-design optimized schemas for three Apache big data platforms, Hadoop (MapReduce), HBase, and Spark, to perform sorted merging of a large number of VCF files. These schemas all adopt the divide-and-conquer strategy to split the merging job into sequential phases/stages consisting of subtasks that are conquered in an ordered, parallel, and bottleneck-free way. In two illustrating examples, we test the performance of our schemas on merging multiple VCF files into either a single TPED or a single VCF file, which are benchmarked with the traditional single/parallel multiway-merge methods, message passing interface (MPI)-based high-performance computing (HPC) implementation, and the popular VCFTools. Our experiments suggest all three schemas either deliver a significant improvement in efficiency or render much better strong and weak scalabilities over traditional methods. Our findings provide generalized scalable schemas for performing sorted merging on genetics and genomics data using these Apache distributed systems.

  14. Cyclosporin A significantly improves preeclampsia signs and suppresses inflammation in a rat model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Bihui; Yang, Jinying; Huang, Qian; Bao, Junjie; Brennecke, Shaun Patrick; Liu, Huishu

    2016-05-01

    Preeclampsia is associated with an increased inflammatory response. Immune suppression might be an effective treatment. The aim of this study was to examine whether Cyclosporin A (CsA), an immunosuppressant, improves clinical characteristics of preeclampsia and suppresses inflammation in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced preeclampsia rat model. Pregnant rats were randomly divided into 4 groups: group 1 (PE) rats each received LPS via tail vein on gestational day (GD) 14; group 2 (PE+CsA5) rats were pretreated with LPS (1.0 μg/kg) on GD 14 and were then treated with CsA (5mg/kg, ip) on GDs 16, 17 and 18; group 3 (PE+CsA10) rats were pretreated with LPS (1.0 μg/kg) on GD 14 and were then treated with CsA (10mg/kg, ip) on GDs 16, 17 and 18; group 4 (pregnant control, PC) rats were treated with the vehicle (saline) used for groups 1, 2 and 3. Systolic blood pressure, urinary albumin, biometric parameters and the levels of serum cytokines were measured on day 20. CsA treatment significantly reduced LPS-induced systolic blood pressure and the mean 24-h urinary albumin excretion. Pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-17, IFN-γ and TNF-α were increased in the LPS treatment group but were reduced in (LPS+CsA) group (Ppreeclampsia signs and attenuated inflammatory responses in the LPS induced preeclampsia rat model which suggests that immunosuppressant might be an alternative management option for preeclampsia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Combination of blood tests for significant fibrosis and cirrhosis improves the assessment of liver-prognosis in chronic hepatitis C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boursier, J; Brochard, C; Bertrais, S; Michalak, S; Gallois, Y; Fouchard-Hubert, I; Oberti, F; Rousselet, M-C; Calès, P

    2014-07-01

    Recent longitudinal studies have emphasised the prognostic value of noninvasive tests of liver fibrosis and cross-sectional studies have shown their combination significantly improves diagnostic accuracy. To compare the prognostic accuracy of six blood fibrosis tests and liver biopsy, and evaluate if test combination improves the liver-prognosis assessment in chronic hepatitis C (CHC). A total of 373 patients with compensated CHC, liver biopsy (Metavir F) and blood tests targeting fibrosis (APRI, FIB4, Fibrotest, Hepascore, FibroMeter) or cirrhosis (CirrhoMeter) were included. Significant liver-related events (SLRE) and liver-related deaths were recorded during follow-up (started the day of biopsy). During the median follow-up of 9.5 years (3508 person-years), 47 patients had a SLRE and 23 patients died from liver-related causes. For the prediction of first SLRE, most blood tests allowed higher prognostication than Metavir F [Harrell C-index: 0.811 (95% CI: 0.751-0.868)] with a significant increase for FIB4: 0.879 [0.832-0.919] (P = 0.002), FibroMeter: 0.870 [0.812-0.922] (P = 0.005) and APRI: 0.861 [0.813-0.902] (P = 0.039). Multivariate analysis identified FibroMeter, CirrhoMeter and sustained viral response as independent predictors of first SLRE. CirrhoMeter was the only independent predictor of liver-related death. The combination of FibroMeter and CirrhoMeter classifications into a new FM/CM classification improved the liver-prognosis assessment compared to Metavir F staging or single tests by identifying five subgroups of patients with significantly different prognoses. Some blood fibrosis tests are more accurate than liver biopsy for determining liver prognosis in CHC. A new combination of two complementary blood tests, one targeted for fibrosis and the other for cirrhosis, optimises assessment of liver-prognosis. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Waste Minimization Improvements Achieved Through Six Sigma Analysis Result In Significant Cost Savings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mousseau, Jeffrey D.; Jansen, John R.; Janke, David H.; Plowman, Catherine M.

    2003-01-01

    Improved waste minimization practices at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) are leading to a 15% reduction in the generation of hazardous and radioactive waste. Bechtel, BWXT Idaho, LLC (BBWI), the prime management and operations contractor at the INEEL, applied the Six Sigma improvement process to the INEEL Waste Minimization Program to review existing processes and define opportunities for improvement. Our Six Sigma analysis team: composed of an executive champion, process owner, a black belt and yellow belt, and technical and business team members used this statistical based process approach to analyze work processes and produced ten recommendations for improvement. Recommendations ranged from waste generator financial accountability for newly generated waste to enhanced employee recognition programs for waste minimization efforts. These improvements have now been implemented to reduce waste generation rates and are producing positive results

  17. Efficiency improvement of nuclear power plant operation: the significant role of advanced nuclear fuel technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Velde, AA. de; Burtak, F.

    2000-01-01

    In this paper authors deals with nuclear fuel cycle and their economic aspects. At Siemens, the developments focusing on the reduction of fuel cycle costs are currently directed on .further batch average burnup increase, .improvement of fuel reliability, .enlargement of fuel operation margins, .improvement of methods for fuel design and core analysis. These items will be presented in detail in the full paper and illustrated by the global operating experience of Siemens fuel for both PWRs and BWRs. (authors)

  18. Child Support; Need to Improve Efforts to Identify Fathers and Obtain Support Orders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-04-01

    34 Reduces the stigma of illegitimacy and helps give the child a sense of identity. • Increases the child’s opportunity to develop a close parental...A179 979 CHILD SUPPORT; NEED TO IMPROVE EFFORTS TO IDENTIFY 1/1 FATHERS AND OBTAIN SUPPORT ORDERS(U) GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC HUNAN...April 30, 1987 The Honorable Otis R. Bowen, M.D. The Secretary of Health and Human Services Dear Mr. Secretary: This report discusses child support

  19. Identifying and Improving the image of Vietnam Tourism as a Tourism destination among Finnish tourist

    OpenAIRE

    Pham, Anh

    2012-01-01

    This writing attempts to identify the images of Vietnam as a tourism destination for Finnish tourists and suggests marketing solution for Vietnamese traveling company to improve the images of Vietnam by enhancing marketing activities in the Finnish market. Saigontourist Transportation Corporation (STC), Vietnam which is a commissioner of this thesis project, has provided updated information about the current situation of tourism in Vietnam as well as marketing activities of company durin...

  20. Nominal group technique: a brainstorming tool for identifying areas to improve pain management in hospitalized patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peña, Adolfo; Estrada, Carlos A; Soniat, Debbie; Taylor, Benjamin; Burton, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Pain management in hospitalized patients remains a priority area for improvement; effective strategies for consensus development are needed to prioritize interventions. To identify challenges, barriers, and perspectives of healthcare providers in managing pain among hospitalized patients. Qualitative and quantitative group consensus using a brainstorming technique for quality improvement-the nominal group technique (NGT). One medical, 1 medical-surgical, and 1 surgical hospital unit at a large academic medical center. Nurses, resident physicians, patient care technicians, and unit clerks. Responses and ranking to the NGT question: "What causes uncontrolled pain in your unit?" Twenty-seven health workers generated a total of 94 ideas. The ideas perceived contributing to a suboptimal pain control were grouped as system factors (timeliness, n = 18 ideas; communication, n = 11; pain assessment, n = 8), human factors (knowledge and experience, n = 16; provider bias, n = 8; patient factors, n = 19), and interface of system and human factors (standardization, n = 14). Knowledge, timeliness, provider bias, and patient factors were the top ranked themes. Knowledge and timeliness are considered main priorities to improve pain control. NGT is an efficient tool for identifying general and context-specific priority areas for quality improvement; teams of healthcare providers should consider using NGT to address their own challenges and barriers. Copyright © 2011 Society of Hospital Medicine.

  1. Millisecond photo-thermal process on significant improvement of supercapacitor’s performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Kui; Wang, Jixiao; Wu, Ying; Zhao, Song; Wang, Zhi; Wang, Shichang

    2016-01-01

    Graphical abstract: A high way for charge transfer is created by a millisecond photo-thermal process which could decrease contact resistance among nanomaterials and improve the electrochemical performances. - Highlights: • Improve conductivity among nanomaterials with a millisecond photo-thermal process. • The specific capacitance can increase about 25% with an photo-thermal process. • The circle stability and rate capability can be improved above 10% with photo-thermal process. • Provide a new way that create electron path to improve electrochemical performance. - Abstract: Supercapacitors fabricated with nanomaterials usually have high specific capacitance and excellent performance. However, the small size of nanomaterials renders a considerable limitation of the contact area among nanomaterials, which is harmful to charge carrier transfer. This fact may hinder the development and application of nanomaterials in electrochemical storage systems. Here, a millisecond photo-thermal process was introduced to create a charge carries transfer path to decrease the contact resistance among nanomaterials, and enhance the electrochemical performance of supercapacitors. Polyaniline (PANI) nanowire, as a model nanomaterial, was used to modify electrodes under different photo-thermal process conditions. The modified electrodes were characterized by scanning electronic microscopy (SEM), cyclic voltammetry (CV), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and the results were analysed by equivalent circuit simulation. These results demonstrate that the photo-thermal process can alter the morphology of PANI nanowires, lower the charge transfer resistances and thus improve the performance of electrodes. The specific capacitance increase of the modified electrodes is about 25%. The improvement of the circle stability and rate capability are above 10%. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt on research the effect of photo-thermal process on the conductivity

  2. A Review of New and Developing Technology to Significantly Improve Mars Sample-Return Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carsey, F.; Brophy, J.; Gilmore, M.; Rodgers, D.; Wilcox, B.

    2000-07-01

    A JPL development activity was initiated in FY 1999 for the purpose of examining and evaluating technologies that could materially improve future (i.e., beyond the 2005 launch) Mars sample return missions. The scope of the technology review was comprehensive and end-to-end; the goal was to improve mass, cost, risk, and scientific return. A specific objective was to assess approaches to sample return with only one Earth launch. While the objective of the study was specifically for sample-return, in-situ missions can also benefit from using many of the technologies examined.

  3. Stakeholder Engagement to Identify Priorities for Improving the Quality and Value of Critical Care.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henry T Stelfox

    Full Text Available Large amounts of scientific evidence are generated, but not implemented into patient care (the 'knowledge-to-care' gap. We identified and prioritized knowledge-to-care gaps in critical care as opportunities to improve the quality and value of healthcare.We used a multi-method community-based participatory research approach to engage a Network of all adult (n = 14 and pediatric (n = 2 medical-surgical intensive care units (ICUs in a fully integrated geographically defined healthcare system serving 4 million residents. Participants included Network oversight committee members (n = 38 and frontline providers (n = 1,790. Network committee members used a modified RAND/University of California Appropriateness Methodology, to serially propose, rate (validated 9 point scale and revise potential knowledge-to-care gaps as priorities for improvement. The priorities were sent to frontline providers for evaluation. Results were relayed back to all frontline providers for feedback.Initially, 68 knowledge-to-care gaps were proposed, rated and revised by the committee (n = 32 participants over 3 rounds of review and resulted in 13 proposed priorities for improvement. Then, 1,103 providers (62% response rate evaluated the priorities, and rated 9 as 'necessary' (median score 7-9. Several factors were associated with rating priorities as necessary in multivariable logistic regression, related to the provider (experience, teaching status of ICU and topic (strength of supporting evidence, potential to benefit the patient, potential to improve patient/family experience, potential to decrease costs.A community-based participatory research approach engaged a diverse group of stakeholders to identify 9 priorities for improving the quality and value of critical care. The approach was time and cost efficient and could serve as a model to prioritize areas for research quality improvement across other settings.

  4. Stakeholder Engagement to Identify Priorities for Improving the Quality and Value of Critical Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stelfox, Henry T; Niven, Daniel J; Clement, Fiona M; Bagshaw, Sean M; Cook, Deborah J; McKenzie, Emily; Potestio, Melissa L; Doig, Christopher J; O'Neill, Barbara; Zygun, David

    2015-01-01

    Large amounts of scientific evidence are generated, but not implemented into patient care (the 'knowledge-to-care' gap). We identified and prioritized knowledge-to-care gaps in critical care as opportunities to improve the quality and value of healthcare. We used a multi-method community-based participatory research approach to engage a Network of all adult (n = 14) and pediatric (n = 2) medical-surgical intensive care units (ICUs) in a fully integrated geographically defined healthcare system serving 4 million residents. Participants included Network oversight committee members (n = 38) and frontline providers (n = 1,790). Network committee members used a modified RAND/University of California Appropriateness Methodology, to serially propose, rate (validated 9 point scale) and revise potential knowledge-to-care gaps as priorities for improvement. The priorities were sent to frontline providers for evaluation. Results were relayed back to all frontline providers for feedback. Initially, 68 knowledge-to-care gaps were proposed, rated and revised by the committee (n = 32 participants) over 3 rounds of review and resulted in 13 proposed priorities for improvement. Then, 1,103 providers (62% response rate) evaluated the priorities, and rated 9 as 'necessary' (median score 7-9). Several factors were associated with rating priorities as necessary in multivariable logistic regression, related to the provider (experience, teaching status of ICU) and topic (strength of supporting evidence, potential to benefit the patient, potential to improve patient/family experience, potential to decrease costs). A community-based participatory research approach engaged a diverse group of stakeholders to identify 9 priorities for improving the quality and value of critical care. The approach was time and cost efficient and could serve as a model to prioritize areas for research quality improvement across other settings.

  5. Critical differences between elective and emergency surgery: identifying domains for quality improvement in emergency general surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Columbus, Alexandra B; Morris, Megan A; Lilley, Elizabeth J; Harlow, Alyssa F; Haider, Adil H; Salim, Ali; Havens, Joaquim M

    2018-04-01

    The objective of our study was to characterize providers' impressions of factors contributing to disproportionate rates of morbidity and mortality in emergency general surgery to identify targets for care quality improvement. Emergency general surgery is characterized by a high-cost burden and disproportionate morbidity and mortality. Factors contributing to these observed disparities are not comprehensively understood and targets for quality improvement have not been formally developed. Using a grounded theory approach, emergency general surgery providers were recruited through purposive-criterion-based sampling to participate in semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Participants were asked to identify contributors to emergency general surgery outcomes, to define effective care for EGS patients, and to describe operating room team structure. Interviews were performed to thematic saturation. Transcripts were iteratively coded and analyzed within and across cases to identify emergent themes. Member checking was performed to establish credibility of the findings. A total of 40 participants from 5 academic hospitals participated in either individual interviews (n = 25 [9 anesthesia, 12 surgery, 4 nursing]) or focus groups (n = 2 [15 nursing]). Emergency general surgery was characterized by an exceptionally high level of variability, which can be subcategorized as patient-variability (acute physiology and comorbidities) and system-variability (operating room resources and workforce). Multidisciplinary communication is identified as a modifier to variability in emergency general surgery; however, nursing is often left out of early communication exchanges. Critical variability in emergency general surgery may impact outcomes. Patient-variability and system-variability, with focus on multidisciplinary communication, represent potential domains for quality improvement in this field. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Reducing dysfunctional beliefs about sleep does not significantly improve insomnia in cognitive behavioral therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okajima, Isa; Nakajima, Shun; Ochi, Moeko; Inoue, Yuichi

    2014-01-01

    The present study examined to examine whether improvement of insomnia is mediated by a reduction in sleep-related dysfunctional beliefs through cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. In total, 64 patients with chronic insomnia received cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia consisting of 6 biweekly individual treatment sessions of 50 minutes in length. Participants were asked to complete the Athens Insomnia Scale and the Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep scale both at the baseline and at the end of treatment. The results showed that although cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia greatly reduced individuals' scores on both scales, the decrease in dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes about sleep with treatment did not seem to mediate improvement in insomnia. The findings suggest that sleep-related dysfunctional beliefs endorsed by patients with chronic insomnia may be attenuated by cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, but changes in such beliefs are not likely to play a crucial role in reducing the severity of insomnia.

  7. Reducing Dysfunctional Beliefs about Sleep Does Not Significantly Improve Insomnia in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    OpenAIRE

    Okajima, Isa; Nakajima, Shun; Ochi, Moeko; Inoue, Yuichi

    2014-01-01

    The present study examined to examine whether improvement of insomnia is mediated by a reduction in sleep-related dysfunctional beliefs through cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. In total, 64 patients with chronic insomnia received cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia consisting of 6 biweekly individual treatment sessions of 50 minutes in length. Participants were asked to complete the Athens Insomnia Scale and the Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep scale both at the...

  8. Significant performance improvement obtained in a wireless mesh network using a beamswitching antenna

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Lysko, AA

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available mesh network operated in a fixed 11 Mbps mode. The throughput improvement in multi-hop communication obtained in the presence of an interferer is tenfold, from 0.2 Mbps to 2 Mbps. Index Terms?antenna, smart antenna, wireless mesh network, WMN... efficiency in the communications, and active research and development of new methods and technologies enabling this at the physical layer, including multiple antenna techniques, such as multiple input multiple output (MIMO) and smart antennas...

  9. Intraoperative Sensorcaine significantly improves postoperative pain management in outpatient reduction mammaplasty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culliford, Alfred T; Spector, Jason A; Flores, Roberto L; Louie, Otway; Choi, Mihye; Karp, Nolan S

    2007-09-15

    Breast reduction is one of the most frequently performed plastic surgical procedures in the United States; more than 160,500 patients underwent the procedure in 2005. Many outpatient reduction mammaplasty patients report the greatest postoperative discomfort in the first 48 hours. The authors' investigated the effect of intraoperative topical application of the long-acting local anesthetic agent bupivacaine (Sensorcaine or Marcaine) on postoperative pain, time to postanesthesia care unit discharge, and postoperative use of narcotic medication. In a prospective, randomized, single-blind trial, intraoperative use of Sensorcaine versus placebo (normal saline) was compared. Postoperative pain was quantified using the visual analogue scale, and time to discharge from the postanesthesia care unit was recorded. Patients documented their outpatient pain medication usage. Of the 37 patients enrolled in the study, 20 were treated with intraoperative topical Sensorcaine and 17 received placebo. Patients treated with Sensorcaine were discharged home significantly faster (2.9 hours versus 3.8 hours, p = 0.002). The control arm consistently had higher pain scores in the postanesthesia care unit (although not statistically significant) than the Sensorcaine group using the visual analogue scale system. Furthermore, patients receiving Sensorcaine required significantly less narcotic medication while recovering at home (mean, 3.5 tablets of Vicodin) than the control group (mean, 6.4 tablets; p = 0.001). There were no complications resulting from Sensorcaine usage. This prospective, randomized, single-blind study demonstrates that a single dose of intraoperative Sensorcaine provides a safe, inexpensive, and efficacious way to significantly shorten the length of postanesthesia care unit stay and significantly decrease postoperative opioid analgesic use in patients undergoing ambulatory reduction mammaplasty.

  10. Resident Workflow and Psychiatric Emergency Consultation: Identifying Factors for Quality Improvement in a Training Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Thomas; Wiener, Zev; Seroussi, Ariel; Tang, Lingqi; O'Hora, Jennifer; Cheung, Erick

    2017-06-01

    Quality improvement to optimize workflow has the potential to mitigate resident burnout and enhance patient care. This study applied mixed methods to identify factors that enhance or impede workflow for residents performing emergency psychiatric consultations. The study population consisted of all psychiatry program residents (55 eligible, 42 participating) at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles. The authors developed a survey through iterative piloting, surveyed all residents, and then conducted a focus group. The survey included elements hypothesized to enhance or impede workflow, and measures pertaining to self-rated efficiency and stress. Distributional and bivariate analyses were performed. Survey findings were clarified in focus group discussion. This study identified several factors subjectively associated with enhanced or impeded workflow, including difficulty with documentation, the value of personal organization systems, and struggles to communicate with patients' families. Implications for resident education are discussed.

  11. Significant Improvements in Pyranometer Nighttime Offsets Using High-Flow DC Ventilation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kutchenreiter, Mark; Michalski, J.J.; Long, C.N.; Habte, Aron

    2017-05-22

    Accurate solar radiation measurements using pyranometers are required to understand radiative impacts on the Earth's energy budget, solar energy production, and to validate radiative transfer models. Ventilators of pyranometers, which are used to keep the domes clean and dry, also affect instrument thermal offset accuracy. This poster presents a high-level overview of the ventilators for single-black-detector pyranometers and black-and-white pyranometers. For single-black-detector pyranometers with ventilators, high-flow-rate (50-CFM and higher), 12-V DC fans lower the offsets, lower the scatter, and improve the predictability of nighttime offsets compared to lower-flow-rate (35-CFM), 120-V AC fans operated in the same type of environmental setup. Black-and-white pyranometers, which are used to measure diffuse horizontal irradiance, sometimes show minor improvement with DC fan ventilation, but their offsets are always small, usually no more than 1 W/m2, whether AC- or DC-ventilated.

  12. Nitrite addition to acidified sludge significantly improves digestibility, toxic metal removal, dewaterability and pathogen reduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Fangzhou; Keller, Jürg; Yuan, Zhiguo; Batstone, Damien J.; Freguia, Stefano; Pikaar, Ilje

    2016-12-01

    Sludge management is a major issue for water utilities globally. Poor digestibility and dewaterability are the main factors determining the cost for sludge management, whereas pathogen and toxic metal concentrations limit beneficial reuse. In this study, the effects of low level nitrite addition to acidified sludge to simultaneously enhance digestibility, toxic metal removal, dewaterability and pathogen reduction were investigated. Waste activated sludge (WAS) from a full-scale waste water treatment plant was treated at pH 2 with 10 mg NO2--N/L for 5 h. Biochemical methane potential tests showed an increase in the methane production of 28%, corresponding to an improvement from 247 ± 8 L CH4/kg VS to 317 ± 1 L CH4/kg VS. The enhanced removal of toxic metals further increased the methane production by another 18% to 360 ± 6 L CH4/kg VS (a total increase of 46%). The solids content of dewatered sludge increased from 14.6 ± 1.4% in the control to 18.2 ± 0.8%. A 4-log reduction for both total coliforms and E. coli was achieved. Overall, this study highlights the potential of acidification with low level nitrite addition as an effective and simple method achieving multiple improvements in terms of sludge management.

  13. Efficiency improvement of nuclear power plant operation: the significant role of advanced nuclear fuel technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Velde Van de, A.; Burtak, F.

    2001-01-01

    Due to the increased liberalisation of the power markets, nuclear power generation is being exposed to high cost reduction pressure. In this paper we highlight the role of advanced nuclear fuel technologies to reduce the fuel cycle costs and therefore increase the efficiency of nuclear power plant operation. The key factor is a more efficient utilisation of the fuel and present developments at Siemens are consequently directed at (i) further increase of batch average burnup, (ii) improvement of fuel reliability, (iii) enlargement of fuel operation margins and (iv) improvement of methods for fuel design and core analysis. As a result, the nuclear fuel cycle costs for a typical LWR have been reduced during the past decades by about US$ 35 million per year. The estimated impact of further burnup increases on the fuel cycle costs is expected to be an additional saving of US$10 - 15 million per year. Due to the fact that the fuel will operate closer to design limits, a careful approach is required when introducing advanced fuel features in reload quantities. Trust and co-operation between the fuel vendors and the utilities is a prerequisite for the common success. (authors)

  14. Significant improvement of mouse cloning technique by treatment with trichostatin A after somatic nuclear transfer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kishigami, Satoshi; Mizutani, Eiji; Ohta, Hiroshi; Hikichi, Takafusa; Thuan, Nguyen Van; Wakayama, Sayaka; Bui, Hong-Thuy; Wakayama, Teruhiko

    2006-01-01

    The low success rate of animal cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is believed to be associated with epigenetic errors including abnormal DNA hypermethylation. Recently, we elucidated by using round spermatids that, after nuclear transfer, treatment of zygotes with trichostatin A (TSA), an inhibitor of histone deacetylase, can remarkably reduce abnormal DNA hypermethylation depending on the origins of transferred nuclei and their genomic regions [S. Kishigami, N. Van Thuan, T. Hikichi, H. Ohta, S. Wakayama. E. Mizutani, T. Wakayama, Epigenetic abnormalities of the mouse paternal zygotic genome associated with microinsemination of round spermatids, Dev. Biol. (2005) in press]. Here, we found that 5-50 nM TSA-treatment for 10 h following oocyte activation resulted in more efficient in vitro development of somatic cloned embryos to the blastocyst stage from 2- to 5-fold depending on the donor cells including tail tip cells, spleen cells, neural stem cells, and cumulus cells. This TSA-treatment also led to more than 5-fold increase in success rate of mouse cloning from cumulus cells without obvious abnormality but failed to improve ES cloning success. Further, we succeeded in establishment of nuclear transfer-embryonic stem (NT-ES) cells from TSA-treated cloned blastocyst at a rate three times higher than those from untreated cloned blastocysts. Thus, our data indicate that TSA-treatment after SCNT in mice can dramatically improve the practical application of current cloning techniques

  15. Using time-driven activity-based costing to identify value improvement opportunities in healthcare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Robert S; Witkowski, Mary; Abbott, Megan; Guzman, Alexis Barboza; Higgins, Laurence D; Meara, John G; Padden, Erin; Shah, Apurva S; Waters, Peter; Weidemeier, Marco; Wertheimer, Sam; Feeley, Thomas W

    2014-01-01

    As healthcare providers cope with pricing pressures and increased accountability for performance, they should be rededicating themselves to improving the value they deliver to their patients: better outcomes and lower costs. Time-driven activity-based costing offers the potential for clinicians to redesign their care processes toward that end. This costing approach, however, is new to healthcare and has not yet been systematically implemented and evaluated. This article describes early time-driven activity-based costing work at several leading healthcare organizations in the United States and Europe. It identifies the opportunities they found to improve value for patients and demonstrates how this costing method can serve as the foundation for new bundled payment reimbursement approaches.

  16. Identifying non-technical skills and barriers for improvement of teamwork in cardiac arrest teams

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, P.O.; Jensen, Michael Kammer; Lippert, A.

    2010-01-01

    Background: The application of non-technical skills (NTSs) in health care has previously been described in other health-care educational programmes. NTSs are behavioural principles such as leadership, task distribution and communication. The aim of this study was to identify NTSs suitable...... for improving team performance in multi-professional cardiac arrest teams, and to describe barriers to the use and implementation of such NTSs by using a qualitative method. Methods: Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 Danish Advanced Life Support instructors during the period April...... 2006 to November 2006. Interviews were focussed on barriers and recommendations for teamwork in the cardiac arrest team, optimal policy for improvement of resuscitation training and clinical practice, use of cognitive aids and adoption of European Resuscitation Council (ERC) Guidelines 2005. Interviews...

  17. Identifying effective pathways in a successful continuous quality improvement programme: the GEDAPS study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodicoat, Danielle H; Mundet, Xavier; Gray, Laura J; Cos, Xavier; Davies, Melanie J; Khunti, Kamlesh; Cano, Juan-Franciso

    2014-12-01

    Continuous quality improvement programmes often target several aspects of care, some of which may be more effective meaning that resources could be focussed on these. The objective was to identify the effective and ineffective aspects of a successful continuous quality improvement programme for individuals with type 2 diabetes in primary care. Data were from a series of cross-sectional studies (GEDAPS) in primary care, Catalonia, Spain, in 55 centres (2239 participants) in 1993, and 92 centres (5819 participants) in 2002. A structural equation modelling approach was used. The intervention was associated with improved microvascular outcomes through microalbuminuria and funduscopy screening, which had a direct effect on microvascular outcomes, and through attending 2-4 nurse visits and having ≥1 blood pressure measurement, which acted through reducing systolic blood pressure. The intervention was associated with improved macrovascular outcomes through blood pressure measurement and attending 2-4 nurse visits (through systolic blood pressure) and having ≥3 education topics, ≥1 HbA1c measurement and adequate medication (through HbA1c). Cholesterol measurement, weight measurement and foot examination did not contribute towards the effectiveness of the intervention. The pathways through which a continuous quality improvement programme appeared to act to reduce microvascular and macrovascular complications were driven by reductions in systolic blood pressure and HbA1c, which were attained through changes in nurse and education visits, measurement and medication. This suggests that these factors are potential areas on which future quality improvement programmes should focus. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  18. The Improvement of Screening the Significant Factors of Oil Blends as Bio lubricant Base Stock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noor Hajarul Ashikin Shamsuddin; Rozaini Abdullah; Zainab Hamzah; Siti Jamilah Hanim Mohd Yusof

    2015-01-01

    A new formulation bio lubricant base stock was developed by blending of waste cooking oil (WCO) with Jatropha curcas oil (JCO). The objective of this research is to evaluate significant factors contributing to the production of oil blends for bio lubricant application. The significant factors used in this study were oil ratio (WCO:JCO), agitation times (min) and agitation speed (rpm). The blended oil bio based lubricant was used to determine the saponification, acid, peroxide and iodine values. The experimental design used in this study was the 2 level-factorial design. In this experiment, it was found that the effect of oil ratio and interaction of oil ratio and agitation speed gave the most significant effect in oil blends as bio lubricant base stock. The highest ratio of oil blend 80 %:20 % WCO:JCO, with low agitation speed of 300 rpm and low agitation time of 30 minutes gave the optimum results. The acid, saponification, peroxide and iodine values obtained were 0.517±0.08 mg KOH/ g, 126.23±1.62 mg/ g, 7.5±2.0 m eq/ kg and 50.42±2.85 mg/ g respectively. A higher ratio of waste cooking oil blends was found to be favourable as bio lubricant base stock. (author)

  19. EASE-Grid 2.0: Incremental but Significant Improvements for Earth-Gridded Data Sets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew H. Savoie

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Defined in the early 1990s for use with gridded satellite passive microwave data, the Equal-Area Scalable Earth Grid (EASE-Grid was quickly adopted and used for distribution of a variety of satellite and in situ data sets. Conceptually easy to understand, EASE-Grid suffers from limitations that make it impossible to format in the widely popular GeoTIFF convention without reprojection. Importing EASE-Grid data into standard mapping software packages is nontrivial and error-prone. This article defines a standard for an improved EASE-Grid 2.0 definition, addressing how the changes rectify issues with the original grid definition. Data distributed using the EASE-Grid 2.0 standard will be easier for users to import into standard software packages and will minimize common reprojection errors that users had encountered with the original EASE-Grid definition.

  20. A patient/family-centered strategic plan can drive significant improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brilli, Richard J; Crandall, Wallace V; Berry, Janet C; Stoverock, Linda; Rosen, Kerry; Budin, Lee; Kelleher, Kelly J; Gleeson, Sean P; Davis, J Terrance

    2014-08-01

    The use of a PFCSP, as a road map to operationalize the hospital's vision, has been a compelling paradigm to achieve significant QI results. The framework is simple yet directly aligns with the IOM domains of quality. It has inspired and helped actively engage hospital personnel in the work required to achieve the goals and vision of the hospital system. Five years after initiating this type of plan, activity is flourishing in each of the domains and midterm results are substantial. We think that the nature of this strategic plan has been an important aspect of our success to date.

  1. Improved mortality searches for Ontario miners using social insurance index identifiers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fair, M.E.; Newcombe, H.B.; Lalonde, P.

    1988-02-01

    The immediate purpose of the present use of the Social Insurance Number (SIN) index file is to facilitate the death searches pertaining to Ontario miners, including uranium miners. The SIN records contain accurate versions of the personal identifiers such as names and birth dates, whereas these are often incompletely or incorrectly recorded on the available work records such as those of the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB). The results show that use of the SIN identifiers considerably increases the accuracy of the death searches. Both the false positive and the false negative outcomes from these searches are reduced in number. This is true when the SIN identifiers are employed alone, and even more so when they are used in combination with the WCB identifiers. Moreover, the manual resolutions of the remaining difficult or ambiguous matches are greatly facilitated, in part because of the lessened resemblance between competing death links. The results are applicable to future studies of the mortality experience of occupational cohorts, including the Newfoundland fluorspar miners and persons enrolled in the National Dose Registry. The improvement will be most marked where SIN registrations for recent years are employed, i.e. following introduction of a requirement to provide birth certificate with the SIN application forms. As a by-product of the study it has been possible to investigate quantitatively, for the first time, the effect on accuracy of the death searches when various components of the full names, birth dates and such are deleted from the search records. These effects are substantial, and they emphasize further the value of having identifiers of high quality available for any mortality follow-up

  2. An integrated PRA module for fast determination of risk significance and improvement effectiveness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chao, Chun-Chang; Lin, Jyh-Der

    2004-01-01

    With the widely use of PRA technology in risk-informed applications, to predict the changes of CDF and LERF becomes a standard process for risk-informed applications. This paper describes an integrated PRA module prepared for risk-informed applications. The module contains a super risk engine, a super fault tree engine, an advanced PRA model and a tool for data base maintenance. The individual element of the module also works well for purpose other than risk-informed applications. The module has been verified and validated through a series of scrupulous benchmark tests with similar software. The results of the benchmark tests showed that the module has remarkable accuracy and speed even for an extremely large-size top-logic fault tree as well as for the case in which large amount of MCSs may be generated. The risk monitor for nuclear power plants in Taiwan is the first application to adopt the module. The results predicted by the risk monitor are now accepted by the regulatory agency. A tool to determine the risk significance according to the inspection findings will be the next application to adopt the module in the near future. This tool classified the risk significance into four different color codes according to the level of increase on CDF. Experience of application showed that the flexibility, the accuracy and speed of the module make it useful in any risk-informed applications when risk indexes must be determined by resolving a PRA model. (author)

  3. Inulin significantly improves serum magnesium levels in proton pump inhibitor-induced hypomagnesaemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hess, M W; de Baaij, J H F; Broekman, M; Bisseling, T M; Haarhuis, B; Tan, A; Te Morsche, R; Hoenderop, J G J; Bindels, R J M; Drenth, J P H

    2016-06-01

    Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) are among the most widely prescribed drugs to treat gastric acid-related disorders. PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia, a defect in intestinal absorption of Mg(2+) , can be a severe side effect of chronic PPI use. To restore serum Mg(2+) concentrations in PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia patients by dietary supplementation with inulin fibres. Eleven patients with PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia and 10 controls were treated with inulin (20 g/day). Each trial consisted of two cycles of 14-day inulin treatment followed by a washout period of 14 days. Patients continued to use their PPI. Serum Mg(2+) levels served as the primary endpoint. Inulin significantly enhanced serum Mg(2+) levels from 0.60 to 0.68 mmol/L in PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia patients, and from 0.84 to 0.93 mmol/L in controls. As a consequence 24 h urinary Mg(2+) excretion was significantly increased in patients with PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia (0.3-2.2 mmol/day). Symptoms related to hypomagnesaemia, including muscle cramps and paraesthesia, were reduced during intervention with inulin. Inulin increases serum Mg(2+) concentrations under PPI maintenance in patients with PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Progressive degradation of alloy 690 and the development of a significant improvement in alloy 800CR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Staehle, Roger W.; Arioka, Koji; Tapping, Robert

    2015-01-01

    The present most widely used alloys for tubing in steam generators and structural materials in water cooled reactors are Alloy 690 and Alloy 800. However, both alloys, while improved over Alloy 600 may not meet the needs of longer range applications in the range of 80-100 years. Alloy 690 sustains damage resulting from the formation of cavities at grain boundaries which eventually cover about 50% of the area of the grain boundaries with the remainder covering being covered with carbides. The cavities seem to nucleate on the carbides leaving the grain boundaries a structure of cavities and carbides. Such a structure will lead the Alloy 690 to fail completely. Normal Alloy 800 does not produce such cavities and probably retains a large amount of its corrosion resistance but does sustain progressive SCC at low rate. A new alloy, 800CR, has been developed in a collaboration among Arioka, Tapping, and Staehle. This alloy is based on a Cr composition of 23.5-27% with the remainder retaining the previous Alloy 800 composition. 800CR sustains a crack velocity about 100 times less than Alloy 690 and a negligible rate of initiation. The 800CR, alloy is now seeking a patent. (authors)

  5. Significant improvements of electrical discharge machining performance by step-by-step updated adaptive control laws

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Ming; Wu, Jianyang; Xu, Xiaoyi; Mu, Xin; Dou, Yunping

    2018-02-01

    In order to obtain improved electrical discharge machining (EDM) performance, we have dedicated more than a decade to correcting one essential EDM defect, the weak stability of the machining, by developing adaptive control systems. The instabilities of machining are mainly caused by complicated disturbances in discharging. To counteract the effects from the disturbances on machining, we theoretically developed three control laws from minimum variance (MV) control law to minimum variance and pole placements coupled (MVPPC) control law and then to a two-step-ahead prediction (TP) control law. Based on real-time estimation of EDM process model parameters and measured ratio of arcing pulses which is also called gap state, electrode discharging cycle was directly and adaptively tuned so that a stable machining could be achieved. To this end, we not only theoretically provide three proved control laws for a developed EDM adaptive control system, but also practically proved the TP control law to be the best in dealing with machining instability and machining efficiency though the MVPPC control law provided much better EDM performance than the MV control law. It was also shown that the TP control law also provided a burn free machining.

  6. Significant improvement of pig cloning efficiency by treatment with LBH589 after somatic cell nuclear transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Jun-Xue; Li, Suo; Gao, Qing-Shan; Hong, Yu; Jin, Long; Zhu, Hai-Ying; Yan, Chang-Guo; Kang, Jin-Dan; Yin, Xi-Jun

    2013-10-01

    The low success rate of animal cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) associates with epigenetic aberrancy, including the abnormal acetylation of histones. Altering the epigenetic status by histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) enhances the developmental potential of SCNT embryos. In the current study, we examined the effects of LBH589 (panobinostat), a novel broad-spectrum HDACi, on the nuclear reprogramming and development of pig SCNT embryos in vitro. In experiment 1, we compared the in vitro developmental competence of nuclear transfer embryos treated with different concentrations of LBH589. Embryos treated with 50 nM LBH589 for 24 hours showed a significant increase in the rate of blastocyst formation compared with the control or embryos treated with 5 or 500 nM LBH589 (32.4% vs. 11.8%, 12.1%, and 10.0%, respectively, P < 0.05). In experiment 2, we examined the in vitro developmental competence of nuclear transfer embryos treated with 50 nM LBH589 for various intervals after activation and 6-dimethylaminopurine. Embryos treated for 24 hours had higher rates of blastocyst formation than the other groups. In experiment 3, when the acetylation of H4K12 was examined in SCNT embryos treated for 6 hours with 50 nM LBH589 by immunohistochemistry, the staining intensities of these proteins in LBH589-treated SCNT embryos were significantly higher than in the control. In experiment 4, LBH589-treated nuclear transfer and control embryos were transferred into surrogate mothers, resulting in three (100%) and two (66.7%) pregnancies, respectively. In conclusion, LBH589 enhances the nuclear reprogramming and developmental potential of SCNT embryos by altering the epigenetic status and expression, and increasing blastocyst quality. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Networking for ovarian rare tumors: a significant breakthrough improving disease management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiannilkulchai, N; Pautier, P; Genestie, C; Bats, A S; Vacher-Lavenu, M C; Devouassoux-Shisheboran, M; Treilleux, I; Floquet, A; Croce, S; Ferron, G; Mery, E; Pomel, C; Penault-Llorca, F; Lefeuvre-Plesse, C; Henno, S; Leblanc, E; Lemaire, A S; Averous, G; Kurtz, J E; Ray-Coquard, I

    2017-06-01

    Rare ovarian tumors represent >20% of all ovarian cancers. Given the rarity of these tumors, natural history, prognostic factors are not clearly identified. The extreme variability of patients (age, histological subtypes, stage) induces multiple and complex therapeutic strategies. Since 2011, a national network with a dedicated system for referral, up to 22 regional and three national reference centers (RC) has been supported by the French National Cancer Institute (INCa). The network aims to prospectively monitor the management of rare ovarian tumors and provide an equal access to medical expertise and innovative treatments to all French patients through a dedicated website, www.ovaire-rare.org. Over a 5-year activity, 4612 patients have been included. Patients' inclusions increased from 553 in 2011 to 1202 in 2015. Expert pathology review and patients' files discussion in dedicated multidisciplinary tumor boards increased from 166 cases in 2011 (25%) to 538 (45%) in 2015. Pathology review consistently modified the medical strategy in 5-9% every year. The rate of patients' files discussed in RC similarly increased from 294 (53%) to 789 (66%). An increasing number (357 in 5 years) of gynecologic (non-ovarian) rare tumors were also registered by physicians seeking for pathological or medical advice from expert tumor boards. Such a nation-wide organization for rare gynecological tumors has invaluable benefits, not only for patients, but also for epidemiological, clinical and biological research. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Silver chlorobromide nanocubes with significantly improved uniformity: synthesis and assembly into photonic crystals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Zheng; Okasinski, John S.; Gosztola, David J.; Ren, Yang; Sun, Yugang

    2015-01-01

    Silver chlorobromide (AgClxBr1-x, 0 < x < 1) nanocubes with a highly uniform size, morphology, and crystallinity have been successfully synthesized through a co-precipitation of Ag+ ions with both Cl- and Br- ions in ethylene glycol containing polyvinyl pyrrolidone at mild temperatures. Compositions of the synthesized nanocubes can be easily tuned by controlling the molar ratio of Cl- to Br- ions in the reaction solutions. The size of the nanocubes is determined by varying a number of parameters including the molar ratio of Cl- to Br- ions, injection rate of Ag+ ions, and reaction temperature. The real-time formation of colloidal AgClxBr1-x nanocubes has been monitored, for the first time, by in situ highenergy synchrotron X-ray diffraction. The time-resolved results reveal that a fast injection rate of Ag+ ions is critical for the formation of AgClxBr1-x nanocubes with a highly pure face-centered cubic crystalline phase. The improved uniformity of the AgClxBr1-x nanocubes is beneficial for assembling them into order superlattices (e.g., photonic crystals) even by simply applying centrifugation forces. The stop band of the resulting photonic crystals can be easily tuned from the ultraviolet to the infrared region by using AgClxBr1-x nanocubes with different sizes. The variation of the dielectric constant of AgClxBr1-x associated with the change of the relative concentration of halide ions provides an additional knob to tune the optical properties of photonic crystals.

  9. The hepatitis C cascade of care: identifying priorities to improve clinical outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linas, Benjamin P; Barter, Devra M; Leff, Jared A; Assoumou, Sabrina A; Salomon, Joshua A; Weinstein, Milton C; Kim, Arthur Y; Schackman, Bruce R

    2014-01-01

    As highly effective hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapies emerge, data are needed to inform the development of interventions to improve HCV treatment rates. We used simulation modeling to estimate the impact of loss to follow-up on HCV treatment outcomes and to identify intervention strategies likely to provide good value for the resources invested in them. We used a Monte Carlo state-transition model to simulate a hypothetical cohort of chronically HCV-infected individuals recently screened positive for serum HCV antibody. We simulated four hypothetical intervention strategies (linkage to care; treatment initiation; integrated case management; peer navigator) to improve HCV treatment rates, varying efficacies and costs, and identified strategies that would most likely result in the best value for the resources required for implementation. Sustained virologic responses (SVRs), life expectancy, quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE), costs from health system and program implementation perspectives, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs). We estimate that imperfect follow-up reduces the real-world effectiveness of HCV therapies by approximately 75%. In the base case, a modestly effective hypothetical peer navigator program maximized the number of SVRs and QALE, with an ICER compared to the next best intervention of $48,700/quality-adjusted life year. Hypothetical interventions that simultaneously addressed multiple points along the cascade provided better outcomes and more value for money than less costly interventions targeting single steps. The 5-year program cost of the hypothetical peer navigator intervention was $14.5 million per 10,000 newly diagnosed individuals. We estimate that imperfect follow-up during the HCV cascade of care greatly reduces the real-world effectiveness of HCV therapy. Our mathematical model shows that modestly effective interventions to improve follow-up would likely be cost-effective. Priority should be given to developing and

  10. The hepatitis C cascade of care: identifying priorities to improve clinical outcomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin P Linas

    Full Text Available As highly effective hepatitis C virus (HCV therapies emerge, data are needed to inform the development of interventions to improve HCV treatment rates. We used simulation modeling to estimate the impact of loss to follow-up on HCV treatment outcomes and to identify intervention strategies likely to provide good value for the resources invested in them.We used a Monte Carlo state-transition model to simulate a hypothetical cohort of chronically HCV-infected individuals recently screened positive for serum HCV antibody. We simulated four hypothetical intervention strategies (linkage to care; treatment initiation; integrated case management; peer navigator to improve HCV treatment rates, varying efficacies and costs, and identified strategies that would most likely result in the best value for the resources required for implementation.Sustained virologic responses (SVRs, life expectancy, quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE, costs from health system and program implementation perspectives, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs.We estimate that imperfect follow-up reduces the real-world effectiveness of HCV therapies by approximately 75%. In the base case, a modestly effective hypothetical peer navigator program maximized the number of SVRs and QALE, with an ICER compared to the next best intervention of $48,700/quality-adjusted life year. Hypothetical interventions that simultaneously addressed multiple points along the cascade provided better outcomes and more value for money than less costly interventions targeting single steps. The 5-year program cost of the hypothetical peer navigator intervention was $14.5 million per 10,000 newly diagnosed individuals.We estimate that imperfect follow-up during the HCV cascade of care greatly reduces the real-world effectiveness of HCV therapy. Our mathematical model shows that modestly effective interventions to improve follow-up would likely be cost-effective. Priority should be given to

  11. The Strasbourg Large Refractor and Dome: Significant Improvements and Failed Attempts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heck, Andre

    2009-01-01

    Founded by the German Empire in the late 19th century, Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory featured several novelties from the start. According to Mueller (1978), the separation of observing buildings from the study area and from the astronomers' residence was a revolution in observatory construction. The instruments were, as much as possible, isolated from the vibrations of the buildings themselves. "Gas flames" and water were used to reduce temperature effects. Thus the Large Dome (ca 11m diameter), housing the Large Refractor (ca 49cm, then the largest in Germany) and covered by zinc over wood, could be cooled down by water running from the top. Reports (including by the French who took over the observatory after World War I) are however somehow nonexistent on the effective usage and actual efficiency of such a system (which must have generated locally a significant amount of humidity). The paper will detail these technical attempts as well as the specificities of the instruments installed in that new observatory intended as a showcase of German astronomy.

  12. Omega-3 fatty acid therapy dose-dependently and significantly decreased triglycerides and improved flow-mediated dilation, however, did not significantly improve insulin sensitivity in patients with hypertriglyceridemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Pyung Chun; Koh, Kwang Kon; Sakuma, Ichiro; Lim, Soo; Lee, Yonghee; Lee, Seungik; Lee, Kyounghoon; Han, Seung Hwan; Shin, Eak Kyun

    2014-10-20

    Experimental studies demonstrate that higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 FA) improves insulin sensitivity, however, we reported that n-3 FA 2g therapy, most commonly used dosage did not significantly improve insulin sensitivity despite reducing triglycerides by 21% in patients. Therefore, we investigated the effects of different dosages of n-3 FA in patients with hypertriglyceridemia. This was a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel study. Age, sex, and body mass index were matched among groups. All patients were recommended to maintain a low fat diet. Forty-four patients (about 18 had metabolic syndrome/type 2 diabetes mellitus) in each group were given placebo, n-3 FA 1 (O1), 2 (O2), or 4 g (O4), respectively daily for 2 months. n-3 FA therapy dose-dependently and significantly decreased triglycerides and triglycerides/HDL cholesterol and improved flow-mediated dilation, compared with placebo (by ANOVA). However, each n-3 FA therapy did not significantly decrease high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and fibrinogen, compared with placebo. O1 significantly increased insulin levels and decreased insulin sensitivity (determined by QUICKI) and O2 significantly decreased plasma adiponectin levels relative to baseline measurements. Of note, when compared with placebo, each n-3 FA therapy did not significantly change insulin, glucose, adiponectin, glycated hemoglobin levels and insulin sensitivity (by ANOVA). We observed similar results in a subgroup of patients with the metabolic syndrome. n-3 FA therapy dose-dependently and significantly decreased triglycerides and improved flow-mediated dilation. Nonetheless, n-3 FA therapy did not significantly improve acute-phase reactants and insulin sensitivity in patients with hypertriglyceridemia, regardless of dosages. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  13. Identifying significant factors which can contribute to successful transitions from school to lasting employment affiliation for pupils in vocational training programs

    OpenAIRE

    Nils Breilid; Eva Dyrnes

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: This study deals with young people receiving special needs education in schools and their transition to lasting employment in private or public sector. Through a qualitative approach, the article aims at “identifying significant factors which can, contribute to successful transitions from school to lasting employment affiliation for pupils in vocational training programs”Theoretical approach: The theoretical approach of this article is descriptions and interpretation of the Norw...

  14. Using an International Clinical Registry of Regional Anesthesia to Identify Targets for Quality Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sites, Brian D.; Barrington, Michael J.; Davis, Matthew

    2014-01-01

    Background Despite the widespread use of regional anesthesia, limited information on clinical performance exists. Institutions, therefore, have little knowledge of how they are performing in regards to both safety and effectiveness. In this study, we demonstrate how a medical institution (or physician/physician group) may use data from a multi-center clinical registry of regional anesthesia to inform quality improvement strategies. Methods We analyzed data from the International Registry of Regional Anesthesia that includes prospective data on peripheral regional anesthesia procedures from 19 centers located around the world. Using data from the clinical registry, we present summary statistics of the overall safety and effectiveness of regional anesthesia. Furthermore, we demonstrate, using a variety of performance measures, how these data can be used by hospitals to identify areas for quality improvement. To do so, we compare the performance of one member institution (a United States medical center in New Hampshire) to that of the other 18 member institutions of the clinical registry. Results The clinical registry contained information on 23,271 blocks that were performed between June 1, 2011, and May 1, 2014, on 16,725 patients. The overall success rate was 96.7%, immediate complication rate was 2.2%, and the all-cause 60-day rate of neurological sequelae was 8.3 (95% CI, 7.2–9.7) per 10,000. Registry wide major hospital events included 7 wrong site blocks, 3 seizures, 1 complete heart block, 1 retroperitoneal hematoma, and 3 pneumothoraces. For our reference medical center, we identified areas meriting quality improvement. Specifically, after accounting for differences in the age, sex, and health status of patient populations, the reference medical center appeared to rely more heavily on opioids for post procedure management, had higher patient pain scores, and experienced delayed discharge when compared with other member institutions. Conclusions To our

  15. Identifying quality improvement intervention publications - A comparison of electronic search strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubenstein Lisa V

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The evidence base for quality improvement (QI interventions is expanding rapidly. The diversity of the initiatives and the inconsistency in labeling these as QI interventions makes it challenging for researchers, policymakers, and QI practitioners to access the literature systematically and to identify relevant publications. Methods We evaluated search strategies developed for MEDLINE (Ovid and PubMed based on free text words, Medical subject headings (MeSH, QI intervention components, continuous quality improvement (CQI methods, and combinations of the strategies. Three sets of pertinent QI intervention publications were used for validation. Two independent expert reviewers screened publications for relevance. We compared the yield, recall rate, and precision of the search strategies for the identification of QI publications and for a subset of empirical studies on effects of QI interventions. Results The search yields ranged from 2,221 to 216,167 publications. Mean recall rates for reference publications ranged from 5% to 53% for strategies with yields of 50,000 publications or fewer. The 'best case' strategy, a simple text word search with high face validity ('quality' AND 'improv*' AND 'intervention*' identified 44%, 24%, and 62% of influential intervention articles selected by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ experts, a set of exemplar articles provided by members of the Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence (SQUIRE group, and a sample from the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organization of Care Group (EPOC register of studies, respectively. We applied the search strategy to a PubMed search for articles published in 10 pertinent journals in a three-year period which retrieved 183 publications. Among these, 67% were deemed relevant to QI by at least one of two independent raters. Forty percent were classified as empirical studies reporting on a QI intervention. Conclusions The presented

  16. Failure mode effects and criticality analysis: innovative risk assessment to identify critical areas for improvement in emergency department sepsis resuscitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Emilie S; O'Connor, Lanty M; Nannicelli, Anna P; Barker, Lisa T; Khare, Rahul K; Seivert, Nicholas P; Holl, Jane L; Vozenilek, John A

    2014-06-01

    Sepsis is an increasing problem in the practice of emergency medicine as the prevalence is increasing and optimal care to reduce mortality requires significant resources and time. Evidence-based septic shock resuscitation strategies exist, and rely on appropriate recognition and diagnosis, but variation in adherence to the recommendations and therefore outcomes remains. Our objective was to perform a multi-institutional prospective risk-assessment, using failure mode effects and criticality analysis (FMECA), to identify high-risk failures in ED sepsis resuscitation. We conducted a FMECA, which prospectively identifies critical areas for improvement in systems and processes of care, across three diverse hospitals. A multidisciplinary group of participants described the process of emergency department (ED) sepsis resuscitation to then create a comprehensive map and table listing all process steps and identified process failures. High-risk failures in sepsis resuscitation from each of the institutions were compiled to identify common high-risk failures. Common high-risk failures included limited availability of equipment to place the central venous catheter and conduct invasive monitoring, and cognitive overload leading to errors in decision-making. Additionally, we identified great variability in care processes across institutions. Several common high-risk failures in sepsis care exist: a disparity in resources available across hospitals, a lack of adherence to the invasive components of care, and cognitive barriers that affect expert clinicians' decision-making capabilities. Future work may concentrate on dissemination of non-invasive alternatives and overcoming cognitive barriers in diagnosis and knowledge translation.

  17. Identifying psychological contract breaches to guide improvements in faculty recruitment, retention, and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peirce, Gretchen L; Desselle, Shane P; Draugalis, JoLaine R; Spies, Alan R; Davis, Tamra S; Bolino, Mark

    2012-08-10

    To identify pharmacy faculty members' perceptions of psychological contract breaches that can be used to guide improvements in faculty recruitment, retention, and development. A list of psychological contract breaches was developed using a Delphi procedure involving a panel of experts assembled through purposive sampling. The Delphi consisted of 4 rounds, the first of which elicited examples of psychological contract breaches in an open-ended format. The ensuing 3 rounds consisting of a survey and anonymous feedback on aggregated group responses. Usable responses were obtained from 11 of 12 faculty members who completed the Delphi procedure. The final list of psychological contract breaches included 27 items, after modifications based on participant feedback in subsequent rounds. The psychological contract breach items generated in this study provide guidance for colleges and schools of pharmacy regarding important aspects of faculty recruitment, retention, and development.

  18. Identifying a practice-based implementation framework for sustainable interventions for improving the evolving working environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Højberg, Helene; Nørregaard Rasmussen, Charlotte Diana; Osborne, Richard H.

    2018-01-01

    Our aim was to identify implementation components for sustainable working environment interventions in the nursing assistant sector to generate a framework to optimize the implementation of workplace improvement initiatives. The implementation framework was informed by: 1) an industry advisory...... group, 2) interviews with key stakeholder, 3) concept mapping workshops, and 4) an e-mail survey. Thirty five stakeholders were interviewed and contributed in the concept mapping workshops. Eleven implementation components were derived across four domains: 1) A supportive organizational platform, 2......) An engaged workplace with mutual goals, 3) The intervention is sustainably fitted to the workplace, and 4) the intervention is an attractive choice. The highest rated component was “Engaged and Active Management” (mean 4.1) and the lowest rated was “Delivered in an Attractive Form” (mean 2.8). The framework...

  19. Identifying Eating Occasion-Based Opportunities to Improve the Overall Diets of Australian Adolescents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia Fayet-Moore

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Adolescents in Australia have a poor dietary intake, leading to large numbers of them being at risk for inadequate intake of micronutrients, and excessive intake of less healthful dietary components. This study examined dietary intakes at multiple eating occasions to identify opportunities for more targeted recommendations and strategies to improve dietary intakes among adolescents. Data from the first 24-h recall of 14–18 years old in the 2011–2012 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey were analysed (n = 772. Participant-defined eating occasions were classified as breakfast, lunch, dinner or other eating occasions combined. The mean percent contribution to the total day intake of top shortfall nutrients (calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, iron, discretionary calories, saturated fat, free sugars and sodium, as well as nutrient density, the foods consumed and the percent of consumers at each eating occasion, were calculated. Breakfast had the lowest prevalence of consumers (81%, contributed the least to total daily energy (14.6% and almost a quarter of daily calcium and iron. Other eating occasions combined contributed 47.5% of free sugars and were top contributors of daily calcium (34.6% and magnesium (31.7%. Discretionary foods contributed 32.4% of the energy at lunch, and the sodium content at lunch was 415 mg/1000 kJ. Key opportunities identified for adolescents were to increase breakfast consumption, given the high nutrient densities of breakfasts consumed; improve overall lunch quality, particularly the sodium content; promote the intake of milk, fruit and a variety of vegetables at both lunch and dinner; maintain healthful choices at in-between meal eating occasions while focusing on decreasing the intake of discretionary foods.

  20. Improving the time efficiency of identifying dairy herds with poorer welfare in a population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, M; Bokkers, E A M; van Schaik, G; Engel, B; Dijkstra, T; de Boer, I J M

    2016-10-01

    Animal-based welfare assessment is time consuming and expensive. A promising strategy for improving the efficiency of identifying dairy herds with poorer welfare is to first estimate levels of welfare in herds based on data that are more easily obtained. Our aims were to evaluate the potential of herd housing and management data for estimating the level of welfare in dairy herds, and to estimate the associated reduction in the number of farm visits required for identification of herds with poorer welfare in a population. Seven trained observers collected data on 6 animal-based welfare indicators in a selected sample of 181 loose-housed Dutch dairy herds (herd size: 22 to 211 cows). Severely lame cows, cows with lesions or swellings, cows with a dirty hindquarter, and very lean cows were counted, and avoidance distance was assessed for a sample of cows. Occurrence of displacements (social behavior) was recorded in the whole barn during 120 min of observation. For the same herds, data regarding cattle housing and management were collected on farms, and data relating to demography, management, milk production and composition, and fertility were extracted from national databases. A herd was classified as having poorer welfare when it belonged to the 25% worst-scoring herds. We used variables of herd housing and management data as potential predictors for individual animal-based welfare indicators in logistic regressions at the herd level. Prediction was less accurate for the avoidance distance index [area under the curve (AUC)=0.69], and moderately accurate for prevalence of severely lame cows (AUC=0.83), prevalence of cows with lesions or swellings (AUC=0.81), prevalence of cows with a dirty hindquarter (AUC=0.74), prevalence of very lean cows (AUC=0.83), and frequency of displacements (AUC=0.72). We compared the number of farm visits required for identifying herds with poorer welfare in a population for a risk-based screening with predictions based on herd housing

  1. Incorporation of unique molecular identifiers in TruSeq adapters improves the accuracy of quantitative sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Jungeui; Gresham, David

    2017-11-01

    Quantitative analysis of next-generation sequencing (NGS) data requires discriminating duplicate reads generated by PCR from identical molecules that are of unique origin. Typically, PCR duplicates are identified as sequence reads that align to the same genomic coordinates using reference-based alignment. However, identical molecules can be independently generated during library preparation. Misidentification of these molecules as PCR duplicates can introduce unforeseen biases during analyses. Here, we developed a cost-effective sequencing adapter design by modifying Illumina TruSeq adapters to incorporate a unique molecular identifier (UMI) while maintaining the capacity to undertake multiplexed, single-index sequencing. Incorporation of UMIs into TruSeq adapters (TrUMIseq adapters) enables identification of bona fide PCR duplicates as identically mapped reads with identical UMIs. Using TrUMIseq adapters, we show that accurate removal of PCR duplicates results in improved accuracy of both allele frequency (AF) estimation in heterogeneous populations using DNA sequencing and gene expression quantification using RNA-Seq.

  2. Identifying improvements to complex pathways: evidence synthesis and stakeholder engagement in infant congenital heart disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowe, Sonya; Knowles, Rachel; Wray, Jo; Tregay, Jenifer; Ridout, Deborah A; Utley, Martin; Franklin, Rodney; Bull, Catherine L; Brown, Katherine L

    2016-06-06

    Many infants die in the year following discharge from hospital after surgical or catheter intervention for congenital heart disease (3-5% of discharged infants). There is considerable variability in the provision of care and support in this period, and some families experience barriers to care. We aimed to identify ways to improve discharge and postdischarge care for this patient group. A systematic evidence synthesis aligned with a process of eliciting the perspectives of families and professionals from community, primary, secondary and tertiary care. UK. A set of evidence-informed recommendations for improving the discharge and postdischarge care of infants following intervention for congenital heart disease was produced. These address known challenges with current care processes and, recognising current resource constraints, are targeted at patient groups based on the number of patients affected and the level and nature of their risk of adverse 1-year outcome. The recommendations include: structured discharge documentation, discharging certain high-risk patients via their local hospital, enhanced surveillance for patients with certain (high-risk) cardiac diagnoses and an early warning tool for parents and community health professionals. Our recommendations set out a comprehensive, system-wide approach for improving discharge and postdischarge services. This approach could be used to address challenges in delivering care for other patient populations that can fall through gaps between sectors and organisations. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

  3. Enhancing regulatory effectiveness by improving the process for identifying and resolving generic issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vander Molen, Harold J.

    2001-01-01

    The Generic Issues Program first began formally in response to a Commission directive in October of 1976. In 1983, it became one of the first programs to make successful use of probabilistic risk information to aid in regulatory decision-making. In the 16 years since the program became quantitative, 836 issues have been processed. Of these, 106 reactor safety issues were prioritized as requiring further evaluation to determine the final resolution. Approximately a dozen generic issues remain unresolved. Although there is far less reactor licensing activity than in the 1970s, new issues continue to be identified from research and operational experience. These issues often involve complex and controversial questions of safety and regulation, and an efficient and effective means of addressing these issues is essential for regulatory effectiveness. Issues that involve a significant safety question require swift, effective, enforceable, and cost-effective regulatory actions. Issues that are of little safety significance must be quickly shown to be so and dismissed in an expeditious manner so as to avoid unnecessary expenditure of limited resources and to reduce regulatory uncertainty. Additionally, in the time since the generic issue program began, probabilistic risk assessment techniques have advanced significantly while agency resources have continued to diminish. Accordingly, the paper discusses the steps that have been taken to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the generic issue resolution process. Additionally, four resolved issues are discussed, along with key elements of a proposed new procedure for resolving potential generic issues

  4. Identifying competitive strategies to improve the performance of hospitals in a competitive environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Chuan-Hui; Chiao, Yu-Ching; Tsai, Yafang

    2017-11-21

    This study is based on competitive dynamics theory, and discusses competitive actions (including their implementation requirements, strategic orientation, and action complexity) that influence hospitals' performance, while also meeting the requirements of Taiwan's "global budget" insurance payment policy. In order to investigate the possible actions of hospitals, the study was conducted in two stages. The first stage investigated the actions of hospitals from March 1 to May 31, 2009. Semi-structured questionnaires were used, which included in-depth interviews with senior supervisors of 10 medium- and large-scale hospitals in central Taiwan. This stage collected data related to the types of actions adopted by the hospitals in previous years. The second stage was based on the data collected from the first stage and on developed questionnaires, which were distributed from June 29 to November 1, 2009. The questionnaires were given to 20 superintendents, deputy superintendents, and supervisors responsible for the management of a hospital, and focused on medical centers and regional hospitals in central Taiwan in order to determine the types and number of competitive actions. First, the strategic orientation of an action has a significantly positive influence on subjective performance. Second, action complexity has a significantly positive influence on the subjective and the objective performance of a hospital. Third, the implementation requirements of actions do not have a significantly positive impact on the subjective or the objective performance of a hospital. Managers facing a competitive healthcare environment should adopt competitive strategies to improve the performance of the hospital.

  5. Targeted Resequencing and Functional Testing Identifies Low-Frequency Missense Variants in the Gene Encoding GARP as Significant Contributors to Atopic Dermatitis Risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manz, Judith; Rodríguez, Elke; ElSharawy, Abdou; Oesau, Eva-Maria; Petersen, Britt-Sabina; Baurecht, Hansjörg; Mayr, Gabriele; Weber, Susanne; Harder, Jürgen; Reischl, Eva; Schwarz, Agatha; Novak, Natalija; Franke, Andre; Weidinger, Stephan

    2016-12-01

    Gene-mapping studies have consistently identified a susceptibility locus for atopic dermatitis and other inflammatory diseases on chromosome band 11q13.5, with the strongest association observed for a common variant located in an intergenic region between the two annotated genes C11orf30 and LRRC32. Using a targeted resequencing approach we identified low-frequency and rare missense mutations within the LRRC32 gene encoding the protein GARP, a receptor on activated regulatory T cells that binds latent transforming growth factor-β. Subsequent association testing in more than 2,000 atopic dermatitis patients and 2,000 control subjects showed a significant excess of these LRRC32 variants in individuals with atopic dermatitis. Structural protein modeling and bioinformatic analysis predicted a disruption of protein transport upon these variants, and overexpression assays in CD4 + CD25 - T cells showed a significant reduction in surface expression of the mutated protein. Consistently, flow cytometric (FACS) analyses of different T-cell subtypes obtained from atopic dermatitis patients showed a significantly reduced surface expression of GARP and a reduced conversion of CD4 + CD25 - T cells into regulatory T cells, along with lower expression of latency-associated protein upon stimulation in carriers of the LRRC32 A407T variant. These results link inherited disturbances of transforming growth factor-β signaling with atopic dermatitis risk. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Pediatric crisis resource management training improves emergency medicine trainees' perceived ability to manage emergencies and ability to identify teamwork errors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bank, Ilana; Snell, Linda; Bhanji, Farhan

    2014-12-01

    Improved pediatric crisis resource management (CRM) training is needed in emergency medicine residencies because of the variable nature of exposure to critically ill pediatric patients during training. We created a short, needs-based pediatric CRM simulation workshop with postactivity follow-up to determine retention of CRM knowledge. Our aims were to provide a realistic learning experience for residents and to help the learners recognize common errors in teamwork and improve their perceived abilities to manage ill pediatric patients. Residents participated in a 4-hour objectives-based workshop derived from a formal needs assessment. To quantify their subjective abilities to manage pediatric cases, the residents completed a postworkshop survey (with a retrospective precomponent to assess perceived change). Ability to identify CRM errors was determined via a written assessment of scripted errors in a prerecorded video observed before and 1 month after completion of the workshop. Fifteen of the 16 eligible emergency medicine residents (postgraduate year 1-5) attended the workshop and completed the surveys. There were significant differences in 15 of 16 retrospective pre to post survey items using the Wilcoxon rank sum test for non-parametric data. These included ability to be an effective team leader in general (P < 0.008), delegating tasks appropriately (P < 0.009), and ability to ensure closed-loop communication (P < 0.008). There was a significant improvement in identification of CRM errors through the use of the video assessment from 3 of the 12 CRM errors to 7 of the 12 CRM errors (P < 0.006). The pediatric CRM simulation-based workshop improved the residents' self-perceptions of their pediatric CRM abilities and improved their performance on a video assessment task.

  7. Interventions that effectively target Anopheles funestus mosquitoes could significantly improve control of persistent malaria transmission in south-eastern Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaindoa, Emmanuel W; Matowo, Nancy S; Ngowo, Halfan S; Mkandawile, Gustav; Mmbando, Arnold; Finda, Marcelina; Okumu, Fredros O

    2017-01-01

    An. arabiensis (44.1%). Though An. arabiensis is still the most abundant vector species here, the remaining malaria transmission is predominantly mediated by An. funestus, possibly due to high insecticide resistance and high survival probabilities. Interventions that effectively target An. funestus mosquitoes could therefore significantly improve control of persistent malaria transmission in south-eastern Tanzania.

  8. Interventions that effectively target Anopheles funestus mosquitoes could significantly improve control of persistent malaria transmission in south–eastern Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matowo, Nancy S.; Ngowo, Halfan S.; Mkandawile, Gustav; Mmbando, Arnold; Finda, Marcelina; Okumu, Fredros O.

    2017-01-01

    An. arabiensis (44.1%). Though An. arabiensis is still the most abundant vector species here, the remaining malaria transmission is predominantly mediated by An. funestus, possibly due to high insecticide resistance and high survival probabilities. Interventions that effectively target An. funestus mosquitoes could therefore significantly improve control of persistent malaria transmission in south–eastern Tanzania. PMID:28542335

  9. Hospital to Post-Acute Care Facility Transfers: Identifying Targets for Information Exchange Quality Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Christine D; Cumbler, Ethan; Honigman, Benjamin; Burke, Robert E; Boxer, Rebecca S; Levy, Cari; Coleman, Eric A; Wald, Heidi L

    2017-01-01

    Information exchange is critical to high-quality care transitions from hospitals to post-acute care (PAC) facilities. We conducted a survey to evaluate the completeness and timeliness of information transfer and communication between a tertiary-care academic hospital and its related PAC facilities. This was a cross-sectional Web-based 36-question survey of 110 PAC clinicians and staff representing 31 PAC facilities conducted between October and December 2013. We received responses from 71 of 110 individuals representing 29 of 31 facilities (65% and 94% response rates). We collapsed 4-point Likert responses into dichotomous variables to reflect completeness (sufficient vs insufficient) and timeliness (timely vs not timely) for information transfer and communication. Among respondents, 32% reported insufficient information about discharge medical conditions and management plan, and 83% reported at least occasionally encountering problems directly related to inadequate information from the hospital. Hospital clinician contact information was the most common insufficient domain. With respect to timeliness, 86% of respondents desired receipt of a discharge summary on or before the day of discharge, but only 58% reported receiving the summary within this time frame. Through free-text responses, several participants expressed the need for paper prescriptions for controlled pain medications to be sent with patients at the time of transfer. Staff and clinicians at PAC facilities perceive substantial deficits in content and timeliness of information exchange between the hospital and facilities. Such deficits are particularly relevant in the context of the increasing prevalence of bundled payments for care across settings as well as forthcoming readmissions penalties for PAC facilities. Targets identified for quality improvement include structuring discharge summary information to include information identified as deficient by respondents, completion of discharge summaries

  10. Registrar wellness in Botswana: Measuring burnout and identifying ways to improve wellness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K D Westmoreland

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Background. Burnout during registrar training is high, especially in resource-limited settings where stressors are intensified. Burnout leads to decreased quality of life for doctors, poor job and patient satisfaction, and difficulty retaining doctors. Objectives. Primary: to measure burnout among registrars working at Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone, Botswana. Secondary: to determine factors contributing to burnout and identify potential wellness interventions. Methods. The validated Maslach Burnout Inventory was used to measure the degree of emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and personal accomplishment. Work-related difficulties and potential wellness interventions were explored through multiple-choice and open-ended questions. Results. Of 40 eligible registrars, 20 (50% completed the survey. High levels of burnout were reported for emotional exhaustion in 65% (13/20, depersonalisation in 45% (9/20, and personal accomplishment in 35% (7/20 of registrars. A high degree of burnout was reported by 75% (15/20 of registrars in one or more domains. In the previous 7 days, registrars worked an average of 77 hours, took 1.5 overnight calls, slept 5.7 hours per night, and 53% (10/19 had ≥1 of their patients die. Five (25% registrars considered leaving Botswana to work in another country, which correlated with those with the highest degree of burnout. The most common frustrations included insufficient salary and limited medical resources. Suggested interventions included improved mentorship and wellness lectures. Conclusions. There is a high degree of burnout, especially emotional exhaustion, among registrars. Encouragingly, most registrars have a desire to work in Botswana after training. Future research on improving registrar wellness in low-resource settings is urgently needed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatemeh Vida Zohoori

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

  12. Improving Adsorption Deinking by Identifying the Optimum Balance between Polymer Beads and Deinking Chemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krithika Ravi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Ink removal from recovered paper is a very important process in paper and board recycling. The current deinking processes have made obvious contributions to the use of raw materials for the paper and board industries. In contrast to the flotation deinking process, in which small air bubbles are used to remove ink from the pulp, the novel and more energy-efficient method of adsorption deinking technique depends on the attachment and adsorption of ink particles on small polymer beads. The energy savings of adsorption deinking results from the fact that the process is efficient at greater stock consistencies, thus providing water conservation and savings. The present study was carried out to improve the adsorption deinking method by identifying the optimum balance between the deinking chemistry and the polymer beads. Different types of deinking solutions and polymer beads were used for this study with newsprints and mixture of newsprints and magazines. It was found that EGA 3000 solution and polyethylene terephthalate beads worked well with newspaper pulp.

  13. Uses of tuberculosis mortality surveillance to identify programme errors and improve database reporting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selig, L; Guedes, R; Kritski, A; Spector, N; Lapa E Silva, J R; Braga, J U; Trajman, A

    2009-08-01

    In 2006, 848 persons died from tuberculosis (TB) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, corresponding to a mortality rate of 5.4 per 100 000 population. No specific TB death surveillance actions are currently in place in Brazil. Two public general hospitals with large open emergency rooms in Rio de Janeiro City. To evaluate the contribution of TB death surveillance in detecting gaps in TB control. We conducted a survey of TB deaths from September 2005 to August 2006. Records of TB-related deaths and deaths due to undefined causes were investigated. Complementary data were gathered from the mortality and TB notification databases. Seventy-three TB-related deaths were investigated. Transmission hazards were identified among firefighters, health care workers and in-patients. Management errors included failure to isolate suspected cases, to confirm TB, to correct drug doses in underweight patients and to trace contacts. Following the survey, 36 cases that had not previously been notified were included in the national TB notification database and the outcome of 29 notified cases was corrected. TB mortality surveillance can contribute to TB monitoring and evaluation by detecting correctable and specific programme- and hospital-based care errors, and by improving the accuracy of TB database reporting. Specific local and programmatic interventions can be proposed as a result.

  14. Flash visual evoked potentials are not specific enough to identify parieto-occipital lobe involvement in term neonates after significant hypoglycaemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Liyuan; Gu, Qiufang; Zhu, Zhen; Yang, Chenhao; Chen, Chao; Cao, Yun; Zhou, Wenhao

    2014-08-01

    Hypoglycaemia is a significant problem in high-risk neonates and predominant parieto-occipital lobe involvement has been observed after severe hypoglycaemic insult. We explored the use of flash visual evoked potentials (FVEP) in detecting parieto-occipital lobe involvement after significant hypoglycaemia. Full-term neonates (n = 15) who underwent FVEP from January 2008 to May 2013 were compared with infants (n = 11) without hypoglycaemia or parietal-occipital lobe injury. Significant hypoglycaemia was defined as being symptomatic or needing steroids, glucagon or a glucose infusion rate of ≥12 mg/kg/min. The hypoglycaemia group exhibited delayed latency of the first positive waveform on FVEP. The initial detected time for hypoglycaemia was later in the eight subjects with seizures (median 51-h-old) than those without (median 22-h-old) (P = 0.003). Magnetic resonance imaging showed that 80% of the hypoglycaemia group exhibited occipital-lobe injuries, and they were more likely to exhibit abnormal FVEP morphology (P = 0.007) than the controls. FVEP exhibited 100% sensitivity, but only 25% specificity, for detecting injuries to the parieto-occipital lobes. Flash visual evoked potential (FVEP) was sensitive, but not sufficiently specific, in identifying parieto-occipital lobe injuries among term neonates exposed to significant hypoglycaemia. Larger studies exploring the potential role of FVEP in neonatal hypoglycaemia are required. ©2014 Foundation Acta Paediatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Significance of fragmented QRS complexes for identifying culprit lesions in patients with non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction: a single-center, retrospective analysis of 183 cases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guo Rong

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Fragmented QRS (fQRS complexes are novel electrocardiographic signals, which reflect myocardial conduction delays in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD. The importance of fQRS complexes in identifying culprit vessels was evaluated in this retrospective study. Methods A 12-lead surface electrocardiogram was obtained in 183 patients who had non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI and subsequently underwent coronary angiography (CAG. On the basis of the frequency of fQRS complexes, indices such as sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and likelihood ratio were evaluated to determine the ability of fQRS complexes to identify the culprit vessels. Results Among the patients studied, elderly patients (age ≥ 65 years and those with diabetes had a significantly higher frequency of fQRS complexes (p = 0.005, p = 0.003, respectively. The fQRS complexes recorded in the 4 precordial leads had the highest specificity (81.8% for indentifying the culprit vessel (left anterior descending artery. However, the specificity of fQRS complexes to identify lesions in the left circumflex and right coronary arteries was lower for the inferior and lateral leads than for the limb leads (65.5% versus 71.7%; however, the limb leads had higher sensitivity (92.3% versus 89.4%. And the total sensitivity and specificity of fQRS (77.1% and 71.5% were higher than those values for ischemic T-waves. Conclusions The frequency of fQRS complexes was higher in elderly and diabetic patients with NSTEMI. The frequency of fQRS complexes recorded in each of the ECG leads can be used to identify culprit vessels in patients with NSTEMI.

  16. Natalizumab Significantly Improves Cognitive Impairment over Three Years in MS: Pattern of Disability Progression and Preliminary MRI Findings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia Mattioli

    Full Text Available Previous studies reported that Multiple Sclerosis (MS patients treated with natalizumab for one or two years exhibit a significant reduction in relapse rate and in cognitive impairment, but the long term effects on cognitive performance are unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of natalizumab on cognitive impairment in a cohort of 24 consecutive patients with relapsing remitting MS treated for 3 years. The neuropsychological tests, as well as relapse number and EDSS, were assessed at baseline and yearly for three years. The impact on cortical atrophy was also considered in a subgroup of them, and are thus to be considered as preliminary. Results showed a significant reduction in the number of impaired neuropsychological tests after three years, a significant decrease in annualized relapse rate at each time points compared to baseline and a stable EDSS. In the neuropsychological assessment, a significant improvement in memory, attention and executive function test scores was detected. Preliminary MRI data show that, while GM volume did not change at 3 years, a significantly greater parahippocampal and prefrontal gray matter density was noticed, the former correlating with neuropsychological improvement in a memory test. This study showed that therapy with Natalizumab is helpful in improving cognitive performance, and is likely to have a protective role on grey matter, over a three years follow-up.

  17. Effect modification of air pollution on Urinary 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine by genotypes: an application of the multiple testing procedure to identify significant SNP interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christiani David C

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Air pollution is associated with adverse human health, but mechanisms through which pollution exerts effects remain to be clarified. One suggested pathway is that pollution causes oxidative stress. If so, oxidative stress-related genotypes may modify the oxidative response defenses to pollution exposure. Methods We explored the potential pathway by examining whether an array of oxidative stress-related genes (twenty single nucleotide polymorphisms, SNPs in nine genes modified associations of pollutants (organic carbon (OC, ozone and sulfate with urinary 8-hydroxy-2-deoxygunosine (8-OHdG, a biomarker of oxidative stress among the 320 aging men. We used a Multiple Testing Procedure in R modified by our team to identify the significance of the candidate genes adjusting for a priori covariates. Results We found that glutathione S-tranferase P1 (GSTP1, rs1799811, M1 and catalase (rs2284367 and group-specific component (GC, rs2282679, rs1155563 significantly or marginally significantly modified effects of OC and/or sulfate with larger effects among those carrying the wild type of GSTP1, catalase, non-wild type of GC and the non-null of GSTM1. Conclusions Polymorphisms of oxidative stress-related genes modified effects of OC and/or sulfate on 8-OHdG, suggesting that effects of OC or sulfate on 8-OHdG and other endpoints may be through the oxidative stress pathway.

  18. Identifying significant factors which can contribute to successful transitions from school to lasting employment affiliation for pupils in vocational training programs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nils Breilid

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: This study deals with young people receiving special needs education in schools and their transition to lasting employment in private or public sector. Through a qualitative approach, the article aims at “identifying significant factors which can, contribute to successful transitions from school to lasting employment affiliation for pupils in vocational training programs”Theoretical approach: The theoretical approach of this article is descriptions and interpretation of the Norwegian educational legislation and the theory of «empowerment». These theoretical perspectives will be included in the empirical discussion. Method: The methodological approach is qualitative. Through four semi-structured interviews of young informants who have completed upper secondary school in a vocational education program, and have had a minimum of one-year training in an enterprise. Thematic analysis of the data is conducted with the application of NVivo 11, a computer program that is suitable for qualitative data-analysis and mixed research methods.Results and discussion: Through thematic analysis of the data, we found three significant factors contributing to successful transitions from school to lasting employment:      a Application and development of the pupil’s competence - mastery and meaning      b The significance of relations, communication and well-functioning socio-ecological          networks      c The importance of pupil participation and involvement in decision making

  19. Improving accuracy for identifying related PubMed queries by an integrated approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Zhiyong; Wilbur, W John

    2009-10-01

    PubMed is the most widely used tool for searching biomedical literature online. As with many other online search tools, a user often types a series of multiple related queries before retrieving satisfactory results to fulfill a single information need. Meanwhile, it is also a common phenomenon to see a user type queries on unrelated topics in a single session. In order to study PubMed users' search strategies, it is necessary to be able to automatically separate unrelated queries and group together related queries. Here, we report a novel approach combining both lexical and contextual analyses for segmenting PubMed query sessions and identifying related queries and compare its performance with the previous approach based solely on concept mapping. We experimented with our integrated approach on sample data consisting of 1539 pairs of consecutive user queries in 351 user sessions. The prediction results of 1396 pairs agreed with the gold-standard annotations, achieving an overall accuracy of 90.7%. This demonstrates that our approach is significantly better than the previously published method. By applying this approach to a one day query log of PubMed, we found that a significant proportion of information needs involved more than one PubMed query, and that most of the consecutive queries for the same information need are lexically related. Finally, the proposed PubMed distance is shown to be an accurate and meaningful measure for determining the contextual similarity between biological terms. The integrated approach can play a critical role in handling real-world PubMed query log data as is demonstrated in our experiments.

  20. Good practice or positive action? Using Q methodology to identify competing views on improving gender equality in academic medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryant, Louise D; Burkinshaw, Paula; House, Allan O; West, Robert M; Ward, Vicky

    2017-08-22

    The number of women entering medicine has increased significantly, yet women are still under-represented at senior levels in academic medicine. To support the gender equality action plan at one School of Medicine, this study sought to (1) identify the range of viewpoints held by staff on how to address gender inequality and (2) identify attitudinal barriers to change. Q methodology. 50 potential interventions representing good practice or positive action, and addressing cultural, organisational and individual barriers to gender equality, were ranked by participants according to their perception of priority. The School of Medicine at the University of Leeds, UK. Fifty-five staff members were purposively sampled to represent gender and academic pay grade. Principal components analysis identified six competing viewpoints on how to address gender inequality. Four viewpoints favoured positive action interventions: (1) support careers of women with childcare commitments, (2) support progression of women into leadership roles rather than focus on women with children, (3) support careers of all women rather than just those aiming for leadership, and (4) drive change via high-level financial and strategic initiatives. Two viewpoints favoured good practice with no specific focus on women by (5) recognising merit irrespective of gender and (6) improving existing career development practice. No viewpoint was strongly associated with gender, pay grade or role; however, latent class analysis identified that female staff were more likely than male to prioritise the setting of equality targets. Attitudinal barriers to the setting of targets and other positive action initiatives were identified, and it was clear that not all staff supported positive action approaches. The findings and the approach have utility for those involved in gender equality work in other medical and academic institutions. However, the impact of such initiatives needs to be evaluated in the longer term.

  1. Spinal Cord Injury Clinical Registries: Improving Care across the SCI Care Continuum by Identifying Knowledge Gaps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvorak, Marcel F; Cheng, Christiana L; Fallah, Nader; Santos, Argelio; Atkins, Derek; Humphreys, Suzanne; Rivers, Carly S; White, Barry A B; Ho, Chester; Ahn, Henry; Kwon, Brian K; Christie, Sean; Noonan, Vanessa K

    2017-10-15

    Timely access and ongoing delivery of care and therapeutic interventions is needed to maximize recovery and function after traumatic spinal cord injury (tSCI). To ensure these decisions are evidence-based, access to consistent, reliable, and valid sources of clinical data is required. The Access to Care and Timing Model used data from the Rick Hansen SCI Registry (RHSCIR) to generate a simulation of healthcare delivery for persons after tSCI and to test scenarios aimed at improving outcomes and reducing the economic burden of SCI. Through model development, we identified knowledge gaps and challenges in the literature and current health outcomes data collection throughout the continuum of SCI care. The objectives of this article were to describe these gaps and to provide recommendations for bridging them. Accurate information on injury severity after tSCI was hindered by difficulties in conducting neurological assessments and classifications of SCI (e.g., timing), variations in reporting, and the lack of a validated SCI-specific measure of associated injuries. There was also limited availability of reliable data on patient factors such as multi-morbidity and patient-reported measures. Knowledge gaps related to structures (e.g., protocols) and processes (e.g., costs) at each phase of care have prevented comprehensive evaluation of system performance. Addressing these knowledge gaps will enhance comparative and cost-effectiveness evaluations to inform decision-making and standards of care. Recommendations to do so were: standardize data element collection and facilitate database linkages, validate and adopt more outcome measures for SCI, and increase opportunities for collaborations with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds.

  2. Identifying elements of job satisfaction to improve retention rates in healthcare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamberth, Becky; Comello, Robert J

    2005-01-01

    According to the American Hospital Association, by the year 2010, the United States will need 1,000,000 qualified nurses to care for patients, an additional 75,000 licensed radiologic technologists, and several other ancillary medical staff employees. A number of health professionals question why there is such a significant shortage--especially considering that many facilities; are implementing cost initiatives and insurance companies are decreasing the length of patient hospital stays. One specific factor may not be fully appreciated: Although the length of stay is decreasing,the acuity level of the patient is increasing. The number and types of available opportunities also contribute to the staffing shortage. Hospitals and healthcare facilities are now working diligently to address the crisis and answer that one very important question: How can they keep employees satisfied and willing commit long-term to the organization? This review focuses on identifying those key variables of job satisfaction that will lead to long-term retention of healthcare workers, including money, work environment, performance feedback, advancement opportunities, group cohesion, and relationships with management. It also discusses the effects of demographic characteristics such as age and gender on job satisfaction.

  3. Determination of the substrate repertoire of ADAMTS2, 3, and 14 significantly broadens their functions and identifies extracellular matrix organization and TGF-β signaling as primary targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bekhouche, Mourad; Leduc, Cedric; Dupont, Laura; Janssen, Lauriane; Delolme, Frederic; Vadon-Le Goff, Sandrine; Smargiasso, Nicolas; Baiwir, Dominique; Mazzucchelli, Gabriel; Zanella-Cleon, Isabelle; Dubail, Johanne; De Pauw, Edwin; Nusgens, Betty; Hulmes, David J S; Moali, Catherine; Colige, Alain

    2016-05-01

    A disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin type I motif (ADAMTS)2, 3, and 14 are collectively named procollagen N-proteinases (pNPs) because of their specific ability to cleave the aminopropeptide of fibrillar procollagens. Several reports also indicate that they could be involved in other biological processes, such as blood coagulation, development, and male fertility, but the potential substrates associated with these activities remain unknown. Using the recently described N-terminal amine isotopic labeling of substrate approach, we analyzed the secretomes of human fibroblasts and identified 8, 17, and 22 candidate substrates for ADAMTS2, 3, and 14, respectively. Among these newly identified substrates, many are components of the extracellular matrix and/or proteins related to cell signaling such as latent TGF-β binding protein 1, TGF-β RIII, and dickkopf-related protein 3. Candidate substrates for the 3 ADAMTS have been biochemically validated in different contexts, and the implication of ADAMTS2 in the control of TGF-β activity has been further demonstrated in human fibroblasts. Finally, the cleavage site specificity was assessed showing a clear and unique preference for nonpolar or slightly hydrophobic amino acids. This work shows that the activities of the pNPs extend far beyond the classically reported processing of the aminopropeptide of fibrillar collagens and that they should now be considered as multilevel regulators of matrix deposition and remodeling.-Bekhouche, M., Leduc, C., Dupont, L., Janssen, L., Delolme, F., Vadon-Le Goff, S., Smargiasso, N., Baiwir, D., Mazzucchelli, G., Zanella-Cleon, I., Dubail, J., De Pauw, E., Nusgens, B., Hulmes, D. J. S., Moali, C., Colige, A. Determination of the substrate repertoire of ADAMTS2, 3, and 14 significantly broadens their functions and identifies extracellular matrix organization and TGF-β signaling as primary targets. © FASEB.

  4. The significance of socially-assigned ethnicity for self-identified Māori accessing and engaging with primary healthcare in New Zealand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Jennifer; Cormack, Donna; Crowe, Marie

    2016-03-01

    Despite increased focus in New Zealand on reducing health inequities between Māori and New Zealand European ethnic groups, research on barriers and facilitators to primary healthcare access for Māori remains limited. In particular, there has been little interrogation of the significance of social-assignment of ethnicity for Māori in relation to engagement with predominantly non-Māori primary healthcare services and providers. A qualitative study was undertaken with a subsample (n = 40) of the broader Hauora Manawa Study to examine experiences of accessing and engaging with primary healthcare among adult urban Māori. Thematic analysis of in-depth interviews identified that participants perceived social-assignment as New Zealand European as an efficacious form of capital when interacting with predominantly non-Māori health professionals. Skin colour that was 'white' or was perceived to identify Māori as belonging to the 'dominant' New Zealand European ethnic group was reported as broadly advantageous and protective. In contrast, social-assignment as Māori was seen to be associated with risk of exposure to differential and discriminatory healthcare. Reducing the negative impacts of racialisation in a (neo)colonial society where 'White' cultural capital dominates requires increased recognition of the health-protective advantages of 'White' privilege and concomitant risks associated with socially-assigned categorisation of ethnicity as non-'White'. © The Author(s) 2015.

  5. Identified best environmental management practices to improve the energy performance of the retail trade sector in Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Galvez-Martos, Jose-Luis; Styles, David; Schoenberger, Harald

    2013-01-01

    The retail trade sector has been identified as a target sector for the development of sectoral reference documents on best environmental management practices under the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme. This paper focuses on the important energy-related needs in retailers' stores such as for food refrigeration and lighting, as well as heating, ventilation and air conditioning of the building. For the definition of best environmental management practices in the European framework, frontrunner retailers have been identified as those retailers integrating energy minimization and saving measures as standard practice systematically across stores. These best performers also integrate a comprehensive monitoring system in the energy management of every store or building belonging to the company, enabling the rapid identification of energy saving opportunities. An integrative approach is needed to define how best practices should be implemented in combination to optimize energy management within stores: building aspects such as insulation of the building envelope or the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, should be optimized in combination with best options for refrigeration in food retailers. Refrigeration systems are responsible for half of the final energy use in stores and of their carbon footprint. Natural refrigerants, heat recovery from the condensation stage and covering of display cases are measures with high environmental benefits to reduce the impact of refrigeration. Finally, practices for lighting, as optimal lighting strategies, and the integration of renewable energy sources in overall zero energy building concepts can save considerable amounts of fossil energy, reduce the carbon footprint and produce significant cost-savings in the long term. - highlights: • There is a high energy performance improvement potential of the retail trade sector. • We propose techniques with a high performance level and applied by frontrunners. • We identified

  6. Significant clinical improvement in radiation-induced lumbosacral poly-radiculopathy by a treatment combining pentoxifylline, tocopherol, and clodronate (Pentoclo)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Delanian, S. [Hop St Louis, Serv Oncol Radiotherapie, APHP, F-75010 Paris, (France); Lefaix, J.L. [CEA-LARIA, CIRIL-GANIL, Caen, (France); Maisonobe, T. [Hop La Pitie Salpetriere, Federat Neurophysiol Clin, APHP, Paris, (France)

    2008-07-01

    Radiation-induced (RI) peripheral neuropathy is a rare and severe delayed complication of radiotherapy that is spontaneously irreversible, with no standard of treatment. We previously developed a successful antioxidant treatment in RI fibrosis and necrosis. Two patients with progressive worsening RI lumbosacral poly-radiculopathy experienced over several years a significant clinical improvement in their neurological sensorimotor symptoms with long-term pentoxifylline-tocopherol-clodronate treatment, and good safety. (authors)

  7. The cumulative effect of small dietary changes may significantly improve nutritional intakes in free-living children and adults

    OpenAIRE

    Bornet , Francis; Paineau , Damien; Beaufils , François; Boulier , Alain; Cassuto , Dominique-Adèle; Chwalow , Judith; Combris , Pierre; Couet , Charles; Jouret , Béatrice; Lafay , Lionel; Laville , Martine; Mahé , Sylvain; Ricour , Claude; Romon , Monique; Simon , Chantal

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Background/Objectives: The ELPAS study was an 8-month randomized controlled dietary modification trial designed to test the hypothesis that family dietary coaching would improve nutritional intakes and weight control in 2026 free-living children and parents (Paineau et al., 2008). It resulted in significant nutritional changes, with beneficial effects on body mass index in adults. In these ancillary analyses, we investigated dietary changes throughout the intervention. ...

  8. Acid or erythromycin stress significantly improves transformation efficiency through regulating expression of DNA binding proteins in Lactococcus lactis F44.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Binbin; Zhang, Huawei; Liang, Dongmei; Hao, Panlong; Li, Yanni; Qiao, Jianjun

    2017-12-01

    Lactococcus lactis is a gram-positive bacterium used extensively in the dairy industry and food fermentation, and its biological characteristics are usually improved through genetic manipulation. However, poor transformation efficiency was the main restriction factor for the construction of engineered strains. In this study, the transformation efficiency of L. lactis F44 showed a 56.1-fold increase in acid condition (pH 5.0); meanwhile, erythromycin stress (0.04 μg/mL) promoted the transformation efficiency more significantly (76.9-fold). Notably, the transformation efficiency of F44e (L. lactis F44 harboring empty pLEB124) increased up to 149.1-fold under the synergistic stresses of acid and erythromycin. In addition, the gene expression of some DNA binding proteins (DprA, RadA, RadC, RecA, RecQ, and SsbA) changed correspondingly. Especially for radA, 25.1-fold improvement was detected when F44e was exposed to pH 5.0. Overexpression of some DNA binding proteins could improve the transformation efficiency. The results suggested that acid or erythromycin stress could improve the transformation efficiency of L. lactis through regulating gene expression of DNA binding proteins. We have proposed a simple but promising strategy for improving the transformation efficiency of L. lactis and other hard-transformed microorganisms. Copyright © 2017 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Association analysis of bitter receptor genes in five isolated populations identifies a significant correlation between TAS2R43 variants and coffee liking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirastu, Nicola; Kooyman, Maarten; Traglia, Michela; Robino, Antonietta; Willems, Sara M; Pistis, Giorgio; d'Adamo, Pio; Amin, Najaf; d'Eustacchio, Angela; Navarini, Luciano; Sala, Cinzia; Karssen, Lennart C; van Duijn, Cornelia; Toniolo, Daniela; Gasparini, Paolo

    2014-01-01

    Coffee, one of the most popular beverages in the world, contains many different physiologically active compounds with a potential impact on people's health. Despite the recent attention given to the genetic basis of its consumption, very little has been done in understanding genes influencing coffee preference among different individuals. Given its markedly bitter taste, we decided to verify if bitter receptor genes (TAS2Rs) variants affect coffee liking. In this light, 4066 people from different parts of Europe and Central Asia filled in a field questionnaire on coffee liking. They have been consequently recruited and included in the study. Eighty-eight SNPs covering the 25 TAS2R genes were selected from the available imputed ones and used to run association analysis for coffee liking. A significant association was detected with three SNP: one synonymous and two functional variants (W35S and H212R) on the TAS2R43 gene. Both variants have been shown to greatly reduce in vitro protein activity. Surprisingly the wild type allele, which corresponds to the functional form of the protein, is associated to higher liking of coffee. Since the hTAS2R43 receptor is sensible to caffeine, we verified if the detected variants produced differences in caffeine bitter perception on a subsample of people coming from the FVG cohort. We found a significant association between differences in caffeine perception and the H212R variant but not with the W35S, which suggests that the effect of the TAS2R43 gene on coffee liking is mediated by caffeine and in particular by the H212R variant. No other significant association was found with other TAS2R genes. In conclusion, the present study opens new perspectives in the understanding of coffee liking. Further studies are needed to clarify the role of the TAS2R43 gene in coffee hedonics and to identify which other genes and pathways are involved in its genetics.

  10. Association analysis of bitter receptor genes in five isolated populations identifies a significant correlation between TAS2R43 variants and coffee liking.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Pirastu

    Full Text Available Coffee, one of the most popular beverages in the world, contains many different physiologically active compounds with a potential impact on people's health. Despite the recent attention given to the genetic basis of its consumption, very little has been done in understanding genes influencing coffee preference among different individuals. Given its markedly bitter taste, we decided to verify if bitter receptor genes (TAS2Rs variants affect coffee liking. In this light, 4066 people from different parts of Europe and Central Asia filled in a field questionnaire on coffee liking. They have been consequently recruited and included in the study. Eighty-eight SNPs covering the 25 TAS2R genes were selected from the available imputed ones and used to run association analysis for coffee liking. A significant association was detected with three SNP: one synonymous and two functional variants (W35S and H212R on the TAS2R43 gene. Both variants have been shown to greatly reduce in vitro protein activity. Surprisingly the wild type allele, which corresponds to the functional form of the protein, is associated to higher liking of coffee. Since the hTAS2R43 receptor is sensible to caffeine, we verified if the detected variants produced differences in caffeine bitter perception on a subsample of people coming from the FVG cohort. We found a significant association between differences in caffeine perception and the H212R variant but not with the W35S, which suggests that the effect of the TAS2R43 gene on coffee liking is mediated by caffeine and in particular by the H212R variant. No other significant association was found with other TAS2R genes. In conclusion, the present study opens new perspectives in the understanding of coffee liking. Further studies are needed to clarify the role of the TAS2R43 gene in coffee hedonics and to identify which other genes and pathways are involved in its genetics.

  11. The SGLT2 Inhibitor Dapagliflozin Significantly Improves the Peripheral Microvascular Endothelial Function in Patients with Uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugiyama, Seigo; Jinnouchi, Hideaki; Kurinami, Noboru; Hieshima, Kunio; Yoshida, Akira; Jinnouchi, Katsunori; Nishimura, Hiroyuki; Suzuki, Tomoko; Miyamoto, Fumio; Kajiwara, Keizo; Jinnouchi, Tomio

    2018-03-30

    Objective Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors reduce cardiovascular events and decrease the body fat mass in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We examined whether or not the SGLT2-inhibitor dapagliflozin can improve the endothelial function associated with a reduction in abdominal fat mass. Methods We prospectively recruited patients with uncontrolled (hemoglobin A1c [HbA1c] >7.0%) T2DM who were not being treated by SGLT2 inhibitors. Patients were treated with add-on dapagliflozin (5 mg/day) or non-SGLT2 inhibitor medicines for 6 months to improve their HbA1c. We measured the peripheral microvascular endothelial function as assessed by reactive hyperemia peripheral arterial tonometry (RH-PAT) and calculated the natural logarithmic transformed value of the RH-PAT index (LnRHI). We then investigated changes in the LnRHI and abdominal fat area using computed tomography (CT). Results The subjects were 54 patients with uncontrolled T2DM (72.2% men) with a mean HbA1c of 8.1%. The HbA1c was significantly decreased in both groups, with no significant difference between the groups. Dapagliflozin treatment, but not non-SGLT2 inhibitor treatment, significantly increased the LnRHI. The changes in the LnRHI were significantly greater in the dapagliflozin group than in the non-SGLT2 inhibitor group. Dapagliflozin treatment, but not non-SGLT2 inhibitor treatment, significantly decreased the abdominal visceral fat area, subcutaneous fat area (SFA), and total fat area (TFA) as assessed by CT and significantly increased the plasma adiponectin levels. The percentage changes in the LnRHI were significantly correlated with changes in the SFA, TFA, systolic blood pressure, and adiponectin. Conclusion Add-on treatment with dapagliflozin significantly improves the glycemic control and endothelial function associated with a reduction in the abdominal fat mass in patients with uncontrolled T2DM.

  12. Identifying criteria for multimodel software process improvement solutions : based on a review of current problems and initiatives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kelemen, Z.D.; Kusters, R.J.; Trienekens, J.J.M.

    2012-01-01

    In this article, we analyze current initiatives in multimodel software process improvement and identify criteria for multimodel solutions. With multimodel, we mean the simultaneous usage of more than one quality approach (e.g. standards, methods, techniques to improve software processes). This paper

  13. Clinical significance of coryneform Gram-positive rods from blood identified by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and their susceptibility profiles - a retrospective chart review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushtaq, Ammara; Chen, Derrick J; Strand, Gregory J; Dylla, Brenda L; Cole, Nicolynn C; Mandrekar, Jayawant; Patel, Robin

    2016-07-01

    With the advent of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), most Gram-positive rods (GPRs) are readily identified; however, their clinical relevance in blood cultures remains unclear. Herein, we assessed the clinical significance of GPRs isolated from blood and identified in the era of MALDI-TOF MS. A retrospective chart review of patients presenting to the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, from January 1, 2013, to October 13, 2015, was performed. Any episode of a positive blood culture for a GPR was included. We assessed the number of bottles positive for a given isolate, time to positivity of blood cultures, patient age, medical history, interpretation of culture results by the healthcare team and whether infectious diseases consultation was obtained. We also evaluated the susceptibility profiles of a larger collection of GPRs tested in the clinical microbiology laboratory of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN from January 1, 2013, to October 31, 2015. There were a total of 246 GPRs isolated from the blood of 181 patients during the study period. 56% (n = 101) were deemed contaminants by the healthcare team and were not treated; 33% (n = 59) were clinically determined to represent true bacteremia and were treated; and 8% (n = 14) were considered of uncertain significance, with patients prescribed treatment regardless. Patient characteristics associated with an isolate being treated on univariate analysis included younger age (P = 0.02), identification to the species level (P = 0.02), higher number of positive blood culture sets (P < 0.0001), lower time to positivity (P < 0.0001), immunosuppression (P = 0.03), and recommendation made by an infectious disease consultant (P = 0.0005). On multivariable analysis, infectious diseases consultation (P = 0.03), higher number of positive blood culture sets (P = 0.0005) and lower time to positivity (P = 0.03) were associated with an isolate being treated. 100, 83, 48 and 34% of GPRs

  14. Spontaneous Resolution of Long-Standing Macular Detachment due to Optic Disc Pit with Significant Visual Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parikakis, Efstratios A; Chatziralli, Irini P; Peponis, Vasileios G; Karagiannis, Dimitrios; Stratos, Aimilianos; Tsiotra, Vasileia A; Mitropoulos, Panagiotis G

    2014-01-01

    To report a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing serous macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit, leading to significant visual improvement. A 63-year-old female presented with a 6-month history of blurred vision and micropsia in her left eye. Her best-corrected visual acuity was 6/24 in the left eye, and fundoscopy revealed serous macular detachment associated with optic disc pit, which was confirmed by optical coherence tomography (OCT). The patient was offered vitrectomy as a treatment alternative, but she preferred to be reviewed conservatively. Three years after initial presentation, neither macular detachment nor subretinal fluid was evident in OCT, while the inner segment/outer segment (IS/OS) junction line was intact. Her visual acuity was improved from 6/24 to 6/12 in her left eye, remaining stable at the 6-month follow-up after resolution. We present a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit with significant visual improvement, postulating that the integrity of the IS/OS junction line may be a prognostic factor for final visual acuity and suggesting OCT as an indicator of visual prognosis and the probable necessity of a surgical management.

  15. Spontaneous Resolution ofLong-Standing Macular Detachment due to Optic Disc Pit with Significant Visual Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Efstratios A. Parikakis

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: To report a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing serous macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit, leading to significant visual improvement. Case Presentation: A 63-year-old female presented with a 6-month history of blurred vision and micropsia in her left eye. Her best-corrected visual acuity was 6/24 in the left eye, and fundoscopy revealed serous macular detachment associated with optic disc pit, which was confirmed by optical coherence tomography (OCT. The patient was offered vitrectomy as a treatment alternative, but she preferred to be reviewed conservatively. Three years after initial presentation, neither macular detachment nor subretinal fluid was evident in OCT, while the inner segment/outer segment (IS/OS junction line was intact. Her visual acuity was improved from 6/24 to 6/12 in her left eye, remaining stable at the 6-month follow-up after resolution. Conclusion: We present a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit with significant visual improvement, postulating that the integrity of the IS/OS junction line may be a prognostic factor for final visual acuity and suggesting OCT as an indicator of visual prognosis and the probable necessity of a surgical management.

  16. Prioritize Improvement Opportunities Identified In Self-Assessment Using Multi-Criteria Fuzzy Group Decision

    OpenAIRE

    Dr.Ghassem Faraj Pour; Ali Mazloum Ali Abadi; Mehdi Alijani; Reza Amiri

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Efforts to improve the quality are one of the prerequisites for the success of individual companies and for the competitiveness of all whole companies. In the field of improvement and excellence business excellence models answer to the question that what the better organization is what goals and concepts they follow and according to what standards they behave. The EFQM excellence model can be transition from multiplicity to unity of different existing models. The most important appro...

  17. IDENTIFY: opportunities for improving industrial energy efficiency and mitigating global climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cornland, Deborah Wilson; Lazarus, Michael; Heaps, Charles; Hippel, David von; Hill, David [Stockholm Environment Inst., Stockholm (Sweden); Williams, Robert [United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Vienna (Austria)

    1998-09-01

    In response to a formal request by the Group of 77 and China, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) initiated a study to identify opportunities to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from energy-intensive industries in developing countries. The study resulted in the development of the IDENTIFY software tool which can be useful for evaluating projects under consideration for investment through Activities Implemented Jointly (AIJ). IDENTIFY consists of an Analysis tool which enables the user to evaluate and compare the costs, energy requirements, and greenhouse-gas emissions associated with scenarios of specific technology, and process options and a Technology Inventory which provides information describing energy-efficient, best-available technologies and processes that can be used to abate greenhouse-gas emissions in the most energy-intensive industrial sub-sectors as well as cross-cutting measures applicable in a range of sub-sectors. (author)

  18. Supporting Concept Extraction and Identifier Quality Improvement through Programmers' Lexicon Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Abebe, Surafel Lemma

    2013-01-01

    Identifiers play an important role in communicating the intentions associated with the program entities they represent. The information captured in identifiers support programmers to (re-)build the “mental model” of the software and facilitates understanding. (Re-)building the “mental model” and understanding large software, however, is difficult and expensive. Besides, the effort involved in the process heavily depends on the quality of the programmers’ lexicon used to construct th...

  19. Assessment of genetic diversity in the critically endangered Australian corroboree frogs, Pseudophryne corroboree and Pseudophryne pengilleyi, identifies four evolutionarily significant units for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Matthew J; Hunter, David; Pietsch, Rod; Osborne, William; Keogh, J Scott

    2008-08-01

    The iconic and brightly coloured Australian northern corroboree frog, Pseudophryne pengilleyi, and the southern corroboree frog, Pseudophryne corroboree are critically endangered and may be extinct in the wild within 3 years. We have assembled samples that cover the current range of both species and applied hypervariable microsatellite markers and mitochondrial DNA sequences to assess the levels and patterns of genetic variation. The four loci used in the study were highly variable, the total number of alleles observed ranged from 13 to 30 and the average number of alleles per locus was 19. Expected heterozygosity of the four microsatellite loci across all populations was high and varied between 0.830 and 0.935. Bayesian clustering analyses in STRUCTURE strongly supported four genetically distinct populations, which correspond exactly to the four main allopatric geographical regions in which the frogs are currently found. Individual analyses performed on the separate regions showed that breeding sites within these four regions could not be separated into distinct populations. Twelve mtND2 haplotypes were identified from 66 individuals from throughout the four geographical regions. A statistical parsimony network of mtDNA haplotypes shows two distinct groups, which correspond to the two species of corroboree frog, but with most of the haplotype diversity distributed in P. pengilleyi. These results demonstrate an unexpectedly high level of genetic diversity in both species. Our data have important implications for how the genetic diversity is managed in the future. The four evolutionarily significant units must be protected and maintained in captive breeding programmes for as long as it is possible to do.

  20. Identifying Ant-Mirid Spatial Interactions to Improve Biological Control in Cacao-Based Agroforestry System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagny Beilhe, Leïla; Piou, Cyril; Tadu, Zéphirin; Babin, Régis

    2018-06-06

    The use of ants for biological control of insect pests was the first reported case of conservation biological control. Direct and indirect community interactions between ants and pests lead to differential spatial pattern. We investigated spatial interactions between mirids, the major cocoa pest in West Africa and numerically dominant ant species, using bivariate point pattern analysis to identify potential biological control agents. We assume that potential biological control agents should display negative spatial interactions with mirids considering their niche overlap. The mirid/ant data were collected in complex cacao-based agroforestry systems sampled in three agroecological areas over a forest-savannah gradient in Cameroon. Three species, Crematogaster striatula Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Crematogaster clariventris Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), and Oecophylla longinoda Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) with high predator and aggressive behaviors were identified as dominant and showed negative spatial relationships with mirids. The weaver ant, O. longinoda was identified as the only potential biological control agent, considering its ubiquity in the plots, the similarity in niche requirements, and the spatial segregation with mirids resulting probably from exclusion mechanisms. Combining bivariate point pattern analysis to good knowledge of insect ecology was an effective method to identify a potentially good biological control agent.

  1. Identifying critical issues in recreation planning and management: improving the management-research partnership

    Science.gov (United States)

    John H. Schomaker; David W. Lime

    1988-01-01

    The "nominal group" process is a proven technique to systematically arrive at a consensus about critical information needs in recreation planning and management. Using this process, 41 managers who attended a 1983 conference on river management identified 114 specific information needs grouped under 11 general questions. Clearly, some concerns of...

  2. Performance of the Sellick maneuver significantly improves when residents and trained nurses use a visually interactive guidance device in simulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Connor, Christopher W; Saffary, Roya; Feliz, Eddy

    2013-01-01

    We examined the proper performance of the Sellick maneuver, a maneuver used to reduce the risk of aspiration of stomach contents during induction of general anesthesia, using a novel device that measures and visualizes the force applied to the cricoid cartilage using thin-film force sensitive resistors in a form suitable for in vivo use. Performance was tested in three stages with twenty anaesthesiology residents and twenty trained operating room nurses. Firstly, subjects applied force to the cricoid cartilage as was customary to them. Secondly, subjects used the device to guide the application of that force. Thirdly, subjects were again asked to perform the manoeuvre without visual guidance. Each test lasted 1 min and the amount of force applied was measured throughout. Overall, the Sellick maneuver was often not applied properly, with large variance between individual subjects. Performance and inter-subject consistency improved to a very highly significant degree when subjects were able to use the device as a visual guide (p < 0.001). Subsequent significant improvements in performances during the last, unguided test demonstrated that the device initiated learning. (paper)

  3. Performance of the Sellick maneuver significantly improves when residents and trained nurses use a visually interactive guidance device in simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Connor, Christopher W; Saffary, Roya; Feliz, Eddy [Department of Anesthesiology Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA (United States)

    2013-12-15

    We examined the proper performance of the Sellick maneuver, a maneuver used to reduce the risk of aspiration of stomach contents during induction of general anesthesia, using a novel device that measures and visualizes the force applied to the cricoid cartilage using thin-film force sensitive resistors in a form suitable for in vivo use. Performance was tested in three stages with twenty anaesthesiology residents and twenty trained operating room nurses. Firstly, subjects applied force to the cricoid cartilage as was customary to them. Secondly, subjects used the device to guide the application of that force. Thirdly, subjects were again asked to perform the manoeuvre without visual guidance. Each test lasted 1 min and the amount of force applied was measured throughout. Overall, the Sellick maneuver was often not applied properly, with large variance between individual subjects. Performance and inter-subject consistency improved to a very highly significant degree when subjects were able to use the device as a visual guide (p < 0.001). Subsequent significant improvements in performances during the last, unguided test demonstrated that the device initiated learning. (paper)

  4. Identifying an Inciting Antigen Is Associated With Improved Survival in Patients With Chronic Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swigris, Jeffrey J.; Forssén, Anna V.; Tourin, Olga; Solomon, Joshua J.; Huie, Tristan J.; Olson, Amy L.; Brown, Kevin K.

    2013-01-01

    Background: The cornerstone of hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) management is having patients avoid the inciting antigen (IA). Often, despite an exhaustive search, an IA cannot be found. The objective of this study was to examine whether identifying the IA impacts survival in patients with chronic HP. Methods: We used the Kaplan-Meier method to display, and the log-rank test to compare, survival curves of patients with well-characterized chronic HP stratified on identification of an IA exposure. A Cox proportional hazards (PH) model was used to identify independent predictors in time-to-death analysis. Results: Of 142 patients, 67 (47%) had an identified IA, and 75 (53%) had an unidentified IA. Compared with survivors, patients who died (n = 80, 56%) were older, more likely to have smoked, had lower total lung capacity % predicted and FVC % predicted, had higher severity of dyspnea, were more likely to have pulmonary fibrosis, and were less likely to have an identifiable IA. In a Cox PH model, the inability to identify an IA (hazard ratio [HR], 1.76; 95% CI, 1.01-3.07), older age (HR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.01-1.07), the presences of pulmonary fibrosis (HR, 2.43; 95% CI, 1.36-4.35), a lower FVC% (HR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.10-1.68), and a history of smoking (HR, 2.01; 95% C1, 1.15-3.50) were independent predictors of shorter survival. After adjusting for mean age, presence of fibrosis, mean FVC%, mean diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (%), and history of smoking, survival was longer for patients with an identified IA exposure than those with an unidentified IA exposure (median, 8.75 years vs 4.88 years; P = .047). Conclusions: Among patients with chronic HP, when adjusting for a number of potentially influential predictors, including the presence of fibrosis, the inability to identify an IA was independently associated with shortened survival. PMID:23828161

  5. A Practical Approach To Identify and Solve Problems: Continuous Improvement Strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Michael; And Others

    The current pressures of reduced government funding, lower enrollments, and greater scrutiny by governing boards require institutions of higher education to redesign processes and systems to survive. Despite resistance to Total Quality Management (TQM) in academia, it can provide the tools to implement systemic change and quality improvement.…

  6. Bob Bear: A Strategy for Improving Behaviors of Preschoolers Identified as At Risk or Developmentally Delayed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael, Meredith; Meese, Ruth L.; Keith, Stephen; Mathews, Rachel

    2009-01-01

    Social learning theory, sociodramatic play, and the use of puppets and stuffed animals may be beneficial for improving social behaviors of preschoolers with and without disabilities. Therefore, this action research study is developed on the belief that a stuffed animal (Bob Bear) will enhance appropriate behaviors for preschool children when used…

  7. Using operating experience and a cause coding tree to identify improvements for nuclear process control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paradies, M.W.; Busch, D.A.

    1987-01-01

    This paper outlines a systematic approach to identification of the root causes of incidents and the use of that information to improve nuclear plant process control. The paper describes how the system was developed, how the system is used, and how the system has been accepted

  8. An improved method to identify grain boundary creep cavitation in 316H austenitic stainless steel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, B., E-mail: b.chen@bristol.ac.uk [Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TR (United Kingdom); Flewitt, P.E.J. [Interface Analysis Centre, University of Bristol, 121 St. Michael' s Hill, Bristol BS2 8BS (United Kingdom); H.H. Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TL (United Kingdom); Smith, D.J. [Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TR (United Kingdom); Jones, C.P. [Interface Analysis Centre, University of Bristol, 121 St. Michael' s Hill, Bristol BS2 8BS (United Kingdom)

    2011-04-15

    Inter-granular creep cavitation damage has been observed in an ex-service 316H austenitic stainless steel thick section weldment. Focused ion beam cross-section milling combined with ion channelling contrast imaging is used to identify the cavitation damage, which is usually associated with the grain boundary carbide precipitates in this material. The results demonstrate that this technique can identify, in particular, the early stage of grain boundary creep cavitation unambiguously in materials with complex phase constituents. -- Research highlights: {yields} FIB milling plus ion channelling contrast optimise the observation of cavity. {yields} Identification of the creep cavities unambiguously, using an FIB technique. {yields} The FIB technique can retain the polyhedral shape of cavity. {yields} Various stages of creep cavitation can be observed, using the FIB technique.

  9. Use of a quality improvement tool, the prioritization matrix, to identify and prioritize triage software algorithm enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    North, Frederick; Varkey, Prathiba; Caraballo, Pedro; Vsetecka, Darlene; Bartel, Greg

    2007-10-11

    Complex decision support software can require significant effort in maintenance and enhancement. A quality improvement tool, the prioritization matrix, was successfully used to guide software enhancement of algorithms in a symptom assessment call center.

  10. Induction Based Training leads to Highly Significant Improvements of Objective and Subjective Suturing Ability in Junior Doctors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin Garry

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Simulation based training has shown to be of benefit in the education of medical students. However, the impact of induction based clinical simulation on surgical ability of qualified doctors remains unclear.The aim of this study was to establish if a 60 minute teaching session integrated into an Emergency Medicine speciality induction program produces statistically significant improvements in objective and subjective suturing abilities of junior doctors commencing an Emergency Medicine rotation.Methods: The objective suturing abilities of 16 Foundation Year Two doctors were analysed using a validated OSATs scale prior to a novel teaching intervention. The doctors then undertook an intensive hour long workshop receiving one to one feedback before undergoing repeat OSATs assessment.Subjective ability was measured using a 5 point likert scale and self-assessed competency reporting interrupted suturing before and after the intervention. Photographs of wound closure before and after the intervention were recorded for further blinded assessment of impact of intervention. A survey regarding continued ability was repeated at four months following the intervention. The study took place on 7/12/16 during the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust Emergency Medicine induction in the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast. The hospital is a regional level 1 trauma centre that has annual departmental attendances in excess of 200,000.All new junior doctors commencing the Emergency Medicine rotation were invited to partake in the study. All 16 agreed. The group consisted of a mixture of undergraduate and postgraduate medicaldoctors who all had 16 months experience working in a variety of medical or surgical jobs previously.Results: Following the teaching intervention objective and subjective abilities in interrupted suturing showed statistically significant improvement (P>0.005. Self-reporting of competency of independently suturingwounds improved from 50

  11. Study protocol: identifying and delivering point-of-care information to improve care coordination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hysong, Sylvia J; Che, Xinxuan; Weaver, Sallie J; Petersen, Laura A

    2015-10-19

    The need for deliberately coordinated care is noted by many national-level organizations. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently transitioned primary care clinics nationwide into Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACTs) to provide more accessible, coordinated, comprehensive, and patient-centered care. To better serve this purpose, PACTs must be able to successfully sequence and route interdependent tasks to appropriate team members while also maintaining collective situational awareness (coordination). Although conceptual frameworks of care coordination exist, few explicitly articulate core behavioral markers of coordination or the related information needs of team members attempting to synchronize complex care processes across time for a shared patient population. Given this gap, we partnered with a group of frontline primary care personnel at ambulatory care sites to identify the specific information needs of PACT members that will enable them to coordinate their efforts to provide effective, coordinated care. The study has three objectives: (1) development of measurable, prioritized point-of-care criteria for effective PACT coordination; (2) identifying the specific information needed at the point of care to optimize coordination; and (3) assessing the effect of adopting the aforementioned coordination standards on PACT clinicians' coordination behaviors. The study consists of three phases. In phase 1, we will employ the Productivity Measurement and Enhancement System (ProMES), a structured approach to performance measure creation from industrial/organizational psychology, to develop coordination measures with a design team of 6-10 primary care personnel; in phase 2, we will conduct focus groups with the phase 1 design team to identify point-of-care information needs. Phase 3 is a two-arm field experiment (n PACT = 28/arm); intervention arm PACTs will receive monthly feedback reports using the measures developed in phase 1 and attend brief monthly

  12. The European Academy laparoscopic “Suturing Training and Testing’’ (SUTT) significantly improves surgeons’ performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleiman, Z.; Tanos, V.; Van Belle, Y.; Carvalho, J.L.; Campo, R.

    2015-01-01

    The efficiency of suturing training and testing (SUTT) model by laparoscopy was evaluated, measuring the suturingskill acquisition of trainee gynecologists at the beginning and at the end of a teaching course. During a workshop organized by the European Academy of Gynecological Surgery (EAGS), 25 participants with three different experience levels in laparoscopy (minor, intermediate and major) performed the 4 exercises of the SUTT model (Ex 1: both hands stitching and continuous suturing, Ex 2: right hand stitching and intracorporeal knotting, Ex 3: left hand stitching and intracorporeal knotting, Ex 4: dominant hand stitching, tissue approximation and intracorporeal knotting). The time needed to perform the exercises is recorded for each trainee and group and statistical analysis used to note the differences. Overall, all trainees achieved significant improvement in suturing time (p psychomotor skills, surgery, teaching, training suturing model. PMID:26977264

  13. High-intensity interval training (swimming) significantly improves the adverse metabolism and comorbidities in diet-induced obese mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motta, Victor F; Aguila, Marcia B; Mandarim-DE-Lacerda, Carlos A

    2016-05-01

    Controlling obesity and other comorbidities in the population is a challenge in modern society. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) combines short periods of high-intensity exercise with long recovery periods or a low-intensity exercise. The aim was to assess the impact of HIIT in the context of diet-induced obesity in the animal model. C57BL/6 mice were fed one of the two diets: standard chow (lean group [LE]) or a high-fat diet (obese group [OB]). After twelve weeks, the animals were divided into non-trained groups (LE-NT and OB-NT) and trained groups (LE-T and OB-T), and began an exercise protocol. For biochemical analysis of inflammatory and lipid profile, we used a colorimetric enzymatic method and an automatic spectrophotometer. One-way ANOVA was used for statistical analysis of the experimental groups with Holm-Sidak post-hoc Test. Two-way ANOVA analyzed the interactions between diet and HIIT protocol. HIIT leads to significant reductions in body mass, blood glucose, glucose tolerance and hepatic lipid profile in T-groups compared to NT-groups. HIIT was able to reduce plasma levels of inflammatory cytokines. Additionally, HIIT improves the insulin immunodensity in the islets, reduces the adiposity and the hepatic steatosis in the T-groups. HIIT improves beta-oxidation and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-alpha and reduces lipogenesis and PPAR-gamma levels in the liver. In skeletal muscle, HIIT improves PPAR-alpha and glucose transporter-4 and reduces PPAR-gamma levels. HIIT leads to attenuate the adverse effects caused by a chronic ingestion of a high-fat diet.

  14. Identifying Motivation of the Local Governments to Improve the Sustainability Transparency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrés NAVARRO GALERA

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the sustainability tran-sparency of governments, i.e., the disclosure of information on the sustainability of their ac-tions. To do so, we identify contributory factors to the online disclosure of environmental, social, economic and general information by local gov-ernments in Nordic countries. Linear regression analysis was used to identify factors inf uencing the online dissemination of government infor-mation on sustainability; a factor analysis, as a precursor to linear regression, led us to reduce 14 explanatory variables to four factors: f nancial risk, demography, professional qualif cations and local government resources. The results obtained show that local f -nancial priorities have a greater impact on the sustainability-related content of governmental websites than does concern for the needs of the population. Furthermore, an organization’s dis-closure of its f nancial risks, together with greater awareness of stakeholders’ demands, could pro-mote transparency in the f eld of environmental, social and economic sustainability, while local demographic characteristics could foster the publication of information on environmental sus-tainability.

  15. Codon Optimization Significantly Improves the Expression Level of α-Amylase Gene from Bacillus licheniformis in Pichia pastoris

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian-Rong Wang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available α-Amylase as an important industrial enzyme has been widely used in starch processing, detergent, and paper industries. To improve expression efficiency of recombinant α-amylase from Bacillus licheniformis (B. licheniformis, the α-amylase gene from B. licheniformis was optimized according to the codon usage of Pichia pastoris (P. pastoris and expressed in P. pastoris. Totally, the codons encoding 305 amino acids were optimized in which a total of 328 nucleotides were changed and the G+C content was increased from 47.6 to 49.2%. The recombinants were cultured in 96-deep-well microplates and screened by a new plate assay method. Compared with the wild-type gene, the optimized gene is expressed at a significantly higher level in P. pastoris after methanol induction for 168 h in 5- and 50-L bioreactor with the maximum activity of 8100 and 11000 U/mL, which was 2.31- and 2.62-fold higher than that by wild-type gene. The improved expression level makes the enzyme a good candidate for α-amylase production in industrial use.

  16. Regression Trees Identify Relevant Interactions: Can This Improve the Predictive Performance of Risk Adjustment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchner, Florian; Wasem, Jürgen; Schillo, Sonja

    2017-01-01

    Risk equalization formulas have been refined since their introduction about two decades ago. Because of the complexity and the abundance of possible interactions between the variables used, hardly any interactions are considered. A regression tree is used to systematically search for interactions, a methodologically new approach in risk equalization. Analyses are based on a data set of nearly 2.9 million individuals from a major German social health insurer. A two-step approach is applied: In the first step a regression tree is built on the basis of the learning data set. Terminal nodes characterized by more than one morbidity-group-split represent interaction effects of different morbidity groups. In the second step the 'traditional' weighted least squares regression equation is expanded by adding interaction terms for all interactions detected by the tree, and regression coefficients are recalculated. The resulting risk adjustment formula shows an improvement in the adjusted R 2 from 25.43% to 25.81% on the evaluation data set. Predictive ratios are calculated for subgroups affected by the interactions. The R 2 improvement detected is only marginal. According to the sample level performance measures used, not involving a considerable number of morbidity interactions forms no relevant loss in accuracy. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  17. How to improve healthcare? Identify, nurture and embed individuals and teams with "deep smarts".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eljiz, Kathy; Greenfield, David; Molineux, John; Sloan, Terry

    2018-03-19

    Purpose Unlocking and transferring skills and capabilities in individuals to the teams they work within, and across, is the key to positive organisational development and improved patient care. Using the "deep smarts" model, the purpose of this paper is to examine these issues. Design/methodology/approach The "deep smarts" model is described, reviewed and proposed as a way of transferring knowledge and capabilities within healthcare organisations. Findings Effective healthcare delivery is achieved through, and continues to require, integrative care involving numerous, dispersed service providers. In the space of overlapping organisational boundaries, there is a need for "deep smarts" people who act as "boundary spanners". These are critical integrative, networking roles employing clinical, organisational and people skills across multiple settings. Research limitations/implications Studies evaluating the barriers and enablers to the application of the deep smarts model and 13 knowledge development strategies proposed are required. Such future research will empirically and contemporary ground our understanding of organisational development in modern complex healthcare settings. Practical implications An organisation with "deep smarts" people - in managerial, auxiliary and clinical positions - has a greater capacity for integration and achieving improved patient-centred care. Originality/value In total, 13 developmental strategies, to transfer individual capabilities into organisational capability, are proposed. These strategies are applicable to different contexts and challenges faced by individuals and teams in complex healthcare organisations.

  18. Marrying Step Feed with Secondary Clarifier Improvements to Significantly Increase Peak Wet Weather Treatment Capacity: An Integrated Methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daigger, Glen T; Siczka, John S; Smith, Thomas F; Frank, David A; McCorquodale, J A

    2017-08-01

      The need to increase the peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity of the City of Akron, Ohio, Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) provided the opportunity to test an integrated methodology for maximizing the peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity of activated sludge systems. An initial investigation, consisting of process modeling of the secondary treatment system and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis of the existing relatively shallow secondary clarifiers (3.3 and 3.7 m sidewater depth in 30.5 m diameter units), indicated that a significant increase in capacity from 416 000 to 684 000 m3/d or more was possible by adding step feed capabilities to the existing bioreactors and upgrading the existing secondary clarifiers. One of the six treatment units at the WRF was modified, and an extensive 2-year testing program was conducted to determine the total peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity achievable. The results demonstrated that a peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity approaching 974 000 m3/d is possible as long as secondary clarifier solids and hydraulic loadings could be separately controlled using the step feed capability provided. Excellent sludge settling characteristics are routinely experienced at the City of Akron WRF, raising concerns that the identified peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity could not be maintained should sludge settling characteristics deteriorate for some reason. Computational fluid dynamics analysis indicated that the impact of the deterioration of sludge settling characteristics could be mitigated and the identified peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity maintained by further use of the step feed capability provided to further reduce secondary clarifier solids loading rates at the identified high surface overflow rates. The results also demonstrated that effluent limits not only for total suspended solids (TSS) and five-day carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (cBOD5) could be

  19. Using a service sector segmented approach to identify community stakeholders who can improve access to suicide prevention services for veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthieu, Monica M; Gardiner, Giovanina; Ziegemeier, Ellen; Buxton, Miranda

    2014-04-01

    Veterans in need of social services may access many different community agencies within the public and private sectors. Each of these settings has the potential to be a pipeline for attaining needed health, mental health, and benefits services; however, many service providers lack information on how to conceptualize where Veterans go for services within their local community. This article describes a conceptual framework for outreach that uses a service sector segmented approach. This framework was developed to aid recruitment of a provider-based sample of stakeholders (N = 70) for a study on improving access to the Department of Veterans Affairs and community-based suicide prevention services. Results indicate that although there are statistically significant differences in the percent of Veterans served by the different service sectors (F(9, 55) = 2.71, p = 0.04), exposure to suicidal Veterans and providers' referral behavior is consistent across the sectors. Challenges to using this framework include isolating the appropriate sectors for targeted outreach efforts. The service sector segmented approach holds promise for identifying and referring at-risk Veterans in need of services. Reprint & Copyright © 2014 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

  20. An improved approach to identify irradiated dog feed by electron paramagnetic resonance study and thermoluminescence measurements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanyal, Bhaskar, E-mail: bhaskar_sanyal@rediffmail.co [Food Technology Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai-400 085 (India); Chawla, S.P.; Sharma, Arun [Food Technology Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai-400 085 (India)

    2011-05-15

    In the present study, probably for the first time, a detailed analysis of the radiation induced radical species and thermoluminescence measurements of irradiated dog feed are reported. The EPR spectrum of non-irradiated ready-to-eat dog feed was characterized by singlet g=2.0047{+-}0.0003. Irradiated samples exhibited a complex EPR spectrum. During high power (50.0 mW) EPR spectroscopy, a visible change in the shape of the EPR spectrum was observed and characterized by EPR spectrum simulation technique. An axially symmetric anisotropic signal with g{sub ||}=2.0028 and g{sub perpendicular}=1.9976 was identified. However, a negligible change in the matrix of irradiated edible dog chew was observed using EPR spectroscopy. Therefore, thermoluminescence study of the isolated minerals from dog chew was carried out. The composition of the poly-minerals was studied using SEM and EDX analysis and a complete verdict on identification of irradiation is proposed.

  1. An improved approach to identify irradiated dog feed by electron paramagnetic resonance study and thermoluminescence measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanyal, Bhaskar; Chawla, S.P.; Sharma, Arun

    2011-01-01

    In the present study, probably for the first time, a detailed analysis of the radiation induced radical species and thermoluminescence measurements of irradiated dog feed are reported. The EPR spectrum of non-irradiated ready-to-eat dog feed was characterized by singlet g=2.0047±0.0003. Irradiated samples exhibited a complex EPR spectrum. During high power (50.0 mW) EPR spectroscopy, a visible change in the shape of the EPR spectrum was observed and characterized by EPR spectrum simulation technique. An axially symmetric anisotropic signal with g || =2.0028 and g perpendicular =1.9976 was identified. However, a negligible change in the matrix of irradiated edible dog chew was observed using EPR spectroscopy. Therefore, thermoluminescence study of the isolated minerals from dog chew was carried out. The composition of the poly-minerals was studied using SEM and EDX analysis and a complete verdict on identification of irradiation is proposed.

  2. Trauma patient discharge and care transition experiences: Identifying opportunities for quality improvement in trauma centres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotlib Conn, Lesley; Zwaiman, Ashley; DasGupta, Tracey; Hales, Brigette; Watamaniuk, Aaron; Nathens, Avery B

    2018-01-01

    Challenges delivering quality care are especially salient during hospital discharge and care transitions. Severely injured patients discharged from a trauma centre will go either home, to rehabilitation or another acute care hospital with complex management needs. This purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of trauma patients and families treated in a regional academic trauma centre to better understand and improve their discharge and care transition experiences. A qualitative study using inductive thematic analysis was conducted between March and October 2016. Telephone interviews were conducted with trauma patients and/or a family member after discharge from the trauma centre. Data collection and analysis were completed inductively and iteratively consistent with a qualitative approach. Twenty-four interviews included 19 patients and 7 family members. Participants' experiences drew attention to discharge and transfer processes that either (1) Fostered quality discharge or (2) Impeded quality discharge. Fostering quality discharge was ward staff preparation efforts; establishing effective care continuity; and, adequate emotional support. Impeding discharge quality was perceived pressure to leave the hospital; imposed transfer decisions; and, sub-optimal communication and coordination around discharge. Patient-provider communication was viewed to be driven by system, rather than patient need. Inter-facility information gaps raised concern about receiving facilities' ability to care for injured patients. The quality of trauma patient discharge and transition experiences is undermined by system- and ward-level processes that compete, rather than align, in producing high quality patient-centred discharge. Local improvement solutions focused on modifiable factors within the trauma centre include patient-oriented discharge education and patient navigation; however, these approaches alone may be insufficient to enhance patient experiences. Trauma patients

  3. Complete Au@ZnO core-shell nanoparticles with enhanced plasmonic absorption enabling significantly improved photocatalysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yiqiang; Sun, Yugang; Zhang, Tao; Chen, Guozhu; Zhang, Fengshou; Liu, Dilong; Cai, Weiping; Li, Yue; Yang, Xianfeng; Li, Cuncheng

    2016-05-01

    Nanostructured ZnO exhibits high chemical stability and unique optical properties, representing a promising candidate among photocatalysts in the field of environmental remediation and solar energy conversion. However, ZnO only absorbs the UV light, which accounts for less than 5% of total solar irradiation, significantly limiting its applications. In this article, we report a facile and efficient approach to overcome the poor wettability between ZnO and Au by carefully modulating the surface charge density on Au nanoparticles (NPs), enabling rapid synthesis of Au@ZnO core-shell NPs at room temperature. The resulting Au@ZnO core-shell NPs exhibit a significantly enhanced plasmonic absorption in the visible range due to the Au NP cores. They also show a significantly improved photocatalytic performance in comparison with their single-component counterparts, i.e., the Au NPs and ZnO NPs. Moreover, the high catalytic activity of the as-synthesized Au@ZnO core-shell NPs can be maintained even after many cycles of photocatalytic reaction. Our results shed light on the fact that the Au@ZnO core-shell NPs represent a promising class of candidates for applications in plasmonics, surface-enhanced spectroscopy, light harvest devices, solar energy conversion, and degradation of organic pollutants.Nanostructured ZnO exhibits high chemical stability and unique optical properties, representing a promising candidate among photocatalysts in the field of environmental remediation and solar energy conversion. However, ZnO only absorbs the UV light, which accounts for less than 5% of total solar irradiation, significantly limiting its applications. In this article, we report a facile and efficient approach to overcome the poor wettability between ZnO and Au by carefully modulating the surface charge density on Au nanoparticles (NPs), enabling rapid synthesis of Au@ZnO core-shell NPs at room temperature. The resulting Au@ZnO core-shell NPs exhibit a significantly enhanced plasmonic

  4. Combat-related intradural gunshot wound to the thoracic spine: significant improvement and neurologic recovery following bullet removal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louwes, Thijs M; Ward, William H; Lee, Kendall H; Freedman, Brett A

    2015-02-01

    The vast majority of combat-related penetrating spinal injuries from gunshot wounds result in severe or complete neurological deficit. Treatment is based on neurological status, the presence of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fistulas, and local effects of any retained fragment(s). We present a case of a 46-year-old male who sustained a spinal gunshot injury from a 7.62-mm AK-47 round that became lodged within the subarachnoid space at T9-T10. He immediately suffered complete motor and sensory loss. By 24-48 hours post-injury, he had recovered lower extremity motor function fully but continued to have severe sensory loss (posterior cord syndrome). On post-injury day 2, he was evacuated from the combat theater and underwent a T9 laminectomy, extraction of the bullet, and dural laceration repair. At surgery, the traumatic durotomy was widened and the bullet, which was laying on the dorsal surface of the spinal cord, was removed. The dura was closed in a water-tight fashion and fibrin glue was applied. Postoperatively, the patient made a significant but incomplete neurological recovery. His stocking-pattern numbness and sub-umbilical searing dysthesia improved. The spinal canal was clear of the foreign body and he had no persistent CSF leak. Postoperative magnetic resonance imaging of the spine revealed contusion of the spinal cord at the T9 level. Early removal of an intra-canicular bullet in the setting of an incomplete spinal cord injury can lead to significant neurological recovery following even high-velocity and/or high-caliber gunshot wounds. However, this case does not speak to, and prior experience does not demonstrate, significant neurological benefit in the setting of a complete injury.

  5. Prostate health index (phi) and prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) significantly improve diagnostic accuracy in patients undergoing prostate biopsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perdonà, Sisto; Bruzzese, Dario; Ferro, Matteo; Autorino, Riccardo; Marino, Ada; Mazzarella, Claudia; Perruolo, Giuseppe; Longo, Michele; Spinelli, Rosa; Di Lorenzo, Giuseppe; Oliva, Andrea; De Sio, Marco; Damiano, Rocco; Altieri, Vincenzo; Terracciano, Daniela

    2013-02-15

    Prostate health index (phi) and prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) have been recently proposed as novel biomarkers for prostate cancer (PCa). We assessed the diagnostic performance of these biomarkers, alone or in combination, in men undergoing first prostate biopsy for suspicion of PCa. One hundred sixty male subjects were enrolled in this prospective observational study. PSA molecular forms, phi index (Beckman coulter immunoassay), PCA3 score (Progensa PCA3 assay), and other established biomarkers (tPSA, fPSA, and %fPSA) were assessed before patients underwent a 18-core first prostate biopsy. The discriminating ability between PCa-negative and PCa-positive biopsies of Beckman coulter phi and PCA3 score and other used biomarkers were determined. One hundred sixty patients met inclusion criteria. %p2PSA (p2PSA/fPSA × 100), phi and PCA3 were significantly higher in patients with PCa compared to PCa-negative group (median values: 1.92 vs. 1.55, 49.97 vs. 36.84, and 50 vs. 32, respectively, P ≤ 0.001). ROC curve analysis showed that %p2PSA, phi, and PCA3 are good indicator of malignancy (AUCs = 0.68, 0.71, and 0.66, respectively). A multivariable logistic regression model consisting of both the phi index and PCA3 score allowed to reach an overall diagnostic accuracy of 0.77. Decision curve analysis revealed that this "combined" marker achieved the highest net benefit over the examined range of the threshold probability. phi and PCA3 showed no significant difference in the ability to predict PCa diagnosis in men undergoing first prostate biopsy. However, diagnostic performance is significantly improved by combining phi and PCA3. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. A Large-Scale Multi-ancestry Genome-wide Study Accounting for Smoking Behavior Identifies Multiple Significant Loci for Blood Pressure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sung, Yun J; Winkler, Thomas W; de Las Fuentes, Lisa

    2018-01-01

    Genome-wide association analysis advanced understanding of blood pressure (BP), a major risk factor for vascular conditions such as coronary heart disease and stroke. Accounting for smoking behavior may help identify BP loci and extend our knowledge of its genetic architecture. We performed genom...

  7. A Large-Scale Multi-ancestry Genome-wide Study Accounting for Smoking Behavior Identifies Multiple Significant Loci for Blood Pressure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sung, Yun J.; Winkler, Thomas W.; de las Fuentes, Lisa; Bentley, Amy R.; Brown, Michael R.; Kraja, Aldi T.; Schwander, Karen; Ntalla, Ioanna; Guo, Xiuqing; Franceschini, Nora; Lu, Yingchang; Cheng, Ching-Yu; Sim, Xueling; Vojinovic, Dina; Marten, Jonathan; Musani, Solomon K.; Li, Changwei; Feitosa, Mary F.; Kilpelainen, Tuomas O.; Richard, Melissa A.; Noordam, Raymond; Aslibekyan, Stella; Aschard, Hugues; Bartz, Traci M.; Dorajoo, Rajkumar; Liu, Yongmei; Manning, Alisa K.; Rankinen, Tuomo; Smith, Albert Vernon; Tajuddin, Salman M.; Tayo, Bamidele O.; Warren, Helen R.; Zhao, Wei; Zhou, Yanhua; Matoba, Nana; Sofer, Tamar; Alver, Maris; Amini, Marzyeh; Boissel, Mathilde; Chai, Jin Fang; Chen, Xu; Divers, Jasmin; Gandin, Ilaria; Gao, Chuan; Giulianini, Franco; Goel, Anuj; Harris, Sarah E.; Hartwig, Fernando Pires; Horimoto, Andrea R. V. R.; Hsu, Fang-Chi; Jackson, Anne U.; Kahonen, Mika; Kasturiratne, Anuradhani; Kuhnel, Brigitte; Leander, Karin; Lee, Wen-Jane; Lin, Keng-Hung; Luan, Jian' an; McKenzie, Colin A.; He Meian,; Nelson, Christopher P.; Rauramaa, Rainer; Schupf, Nicole; Scott, Robert A.; Sheu, Wayne H. H.; Stancakova, Alena; Takeuchi, Fumihiko; van der Most, Peter J.; Varga, Tibor V.; Wang, Heming; Wang, Yajuan; Ware, Erin B.; Weiss, Stefan; Wen, Wanqing; Yanek, Lisa R.; Zhang, Weihua; Zhao, Jing Hua; Afaq, Saima; Alfred, Tamuno; Amin, Najaf; Arking, Dan; Aung, Tin; Barr, R. Graham; Bielak, Lawrence F.; Boerwinkle, Eric; Bottinger, Erwin P.; Braund, Peter S.; Brody, Jennifer A.; Broeckel, Ulrich; Cabrera, Claudia P.; Cade, Brian; Yu Caizheng,; Campbell, Archie; Canouil, Mickael; Chakravarti, Aravinda; Chauhan, Ganesh; Christensen, Kaare; Cocca, Massimiliano; Collins, Francis S.; Connell, John M.; de Mutsert, Renee; de Silva, H. Janaka; Debette, Stephanie; Dorr, Marcus; Duan, Qing; Eaton, Charles B.; Ehret, Georg; Evangelou, Evangelos; Faul, Jessica D.; Fisher, Virginia A.; Forouhi, Nita G.; Franco, Oscar H.; Friedlander, Yechiel; Gao, He; Gigante, Bruna; Graff, Misa; Gu, C. Charles; Gu, Dongfeng; Gupta, Preeti; Hagenaars, Saskia P.; Harris, Tamara B.; He, Jiang; Heikkinen, Sami; Heng, Chew-Kiat; Hirata, Makoto; Hofman, Albert; Howard, Barbara V.; Hunt, Steven; Irvin, Marguerite R.; Jia, Yucheng; Joehanes, Roby; Justice, Anne E.; Katsuya, Tomohiro; Kaufman, Joel; Kerrison, Nicola D.; Khor, Chiea Chuen; Koh, Woon-Puay; Koistinen, Heikki A.; Komulainen, Pirjo; Kooperberg, Charles; Krieger, Jose E.; Kubo, Michiaki; Kuusisto, Johanna; Langefeld, Carl D.; Langenberg, Claudia; Launer, Lenore J.; Lehne, Benjamin; Lewis, Cora E.; Li, Yize; Lim, Sing Hui; Lin, Shiow; Liu, Ching-Ti; Liu, Jianjun; Liu, Jingmin; Liu, Kiang; Liu, Yeheng; Loh, Marie; Lohman, Kurt K.; Long, Jirong; Louie, Tin; Magi, Reedik; Mahajan, Anubha; Meitinger, Thomas; Metspalu, Andres; Milani, Lili; Momozawa, Yukihide; Morris, Andrew P.; Mosley, Thomas H.; Munson, Peter; Murray, Alison D.; Nalls, Mike A.; Nasri, Ubaydah; Norris, Jill M.; North, Kari; Ogunniyi, Adesola; Padmanabhan, Sandosh; Palmas, Walter R.; Palmer, Nicholette D.; Pankow, James S.; Pedersen, Nancy L.; Peters, Annette; Peyser, Patricia A.; Polasek, Ozren; Raitakari, Olli T.; Renstrom, Frida; Rice, Treva K.; Ridker, Paul M.; Robino, Antonietta; Robinson, Jennifer G.; Rose, Lynda M.; Rudan, Igor; Sabanayagam, Charumathi; Salako, Babatunde L.; Sandow, Kevin; Schmidt, Carsten O.; Schreiner, Pamela J.; Scott, William R.; Seshadri, Sudha; Sever, Peter; Sitlani, Colleen M.; Smith, Jennifer A.; Snieder, Harold; Starr, John M.; Strauch, Konstantin; Tang, Hua; Taylor, Kent D.; Teo, Yik Ying; Tham, Yih Chung; Ultterlinden, Andre G.; Waldenberger, Melanie; Wang, Lihua; Wang, Ya X.; Bin Wei, Wen; Williams, Christine; Wilson, Gregory; Wojczynski, Mary K.; Yao, Jie; Yuan, Jian-Min; Zonderman, Alan B.; Becker, Diane M.; Boehnke, Michael; Bowden, Donald W.; Chambers, John C.; Chen, Yii-Der Ida; de Faire, Ulf; Deary, Ian J.; Esko, Tonu; Farrall, Martin; Forrester, Terrence; Franks, Paul W.; Freedman, Barry I.; Froguel, Philippe; Gasparini, Paolo; Gieger, Christian; Horta, Bernardo Lessa; Hung, Yi-Jen; Jonas, Jost B.; Kato, Norihiro; Kooner, Jaspal S.; Laakso, Markku; Lehtimaki, Terho; Liang, Kae-Woei; Magnusson, Patrik K. E.; Newman, Anne B.; Oldehinkel, Albertine J.; Pereira, Alexandre C.; Redline, Susan; Rettig, Rainer; Samani, Nilesh J.; Scott, James; Shu, Xiao-Ou; van der Harst, Pim; Wagenknecht, Lynne E.; Wareham, Nicholas J.; Watkins, Hugh; Weir, David R.; Wickremasinghe, Ananda R.; Wu, Tangchun; Zheng, Wei; Kamatani, Yoichiro; Laurie, Cathy C.; Bouchard, Claude; Cooper, Richard S.; Evans, Michele K.; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Kardia, Sharon L. R.; Kritchevsky, Stephen B.; Levy, Daniel; O'Connell, Jeff R.; Psaty, Bruce M.; van Dam, Rob M.; Sims, Mario; Arnett, Donna K.; Mook-Kanamori, Dennis O.; Kelly, Tanika N.; Fox, Ervin R.; Hayward, Caroline; Fornage, Myriam; Rotimi, Charles N.; Province, Michael A.; van Duijn, Cornelia M.; Tai, E. Shyong; Wong, Tien Yin; Loos, Ruth J. F.; Reiner, Alex P.; Rotter, Jerome I.; Zhu, Xiaofeng; Bierut, Laura J.; Gauderman, W. James; Caulfield, Mark J.; Elliott, Paul; Rice, Kenneth; Munroe, Patricia B.; Morrison, Alanna C.; Cupples, L. Adrienne; Rao, Dabeeru C.; Chasman, Daniel I.; Study, Lifelines Cohort

    2018-01-01

    Genome-wide association analysis advanced understanding of blood pressure (BP), a major risk factor for vascular conditions such as coronary heart disease and stroke. Accounting for smoking behavior may help identify BP loci and extend our knowledge of its genetic architecture. We performed

  8. An improved approach to identify irradiated spices using electronic nose, FTIR, and EPR spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanyal, Bhaskar; Ahn, Jae-Jun; Maeng, Jeong-Hwan; Kyung, Hyun-Kyu; Lim, Ha-Kyeong; Sharma, Arun; Kwon, Joong-Ho

    2014-09-01

    Changes in cumin and chili powder from India resulting from electron-beam irradiation were investigated using 3 analytical methods: electronic nose (E-nose), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. The spices had been exposed to 6 to 14 kGy doses recommended for microbial decontamination. E-nose measured a clear difference in flavor patterns of the irradiated spices in comparison with the nonirradiated samples. Principal component analysis further showed a dose-dependent variation. FTIR spectra of the samples showed strong absorption bands at 3425, 3007 to 2854, and 1746 cm(-1). However, both nonirradiated and irradiated spice samples had comparable patterns without any noteworthy changes in functional groups. EPR spectroscopy of the irradiated samples showed a radiation-specific triplet signal at g = 2.006 with a hyper-fine coupling constant of 3 mT confirming the results obtained with the E-nose technique. Thus, E-nose was found to be a potential tool to identify irradiated spices. © 2014 Institute of Food Technologists®

  9. Identifying lipidic emulsomes for improved oxcarbazepine brain targeting: In vitro and rat in vivo studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Zaafarany, Ghada M; Soliman, Mahmoud E; Mansour, Samar; Awad, Gehanne A S

    2016-04-30

    Lipid-based nanovectors offer effective carriers for brain delivery by improving drug potency and reducing off-target effects. Emulsomes are nano-triglyceride (TG) carriers formed of lipid cores supported by at least one phospholipid (PC) sheath. Due to their surface active properties, PC forms bilayers at the aqueous interface, thereby enabling encapsulated drug to benefit from better bioavailability and stability. Emulsomes of oxcarbazepine (OX) were prepared, aimed to offer nanocarriers for nasal delivery for brain targeting. Different TG cores (Compritol(®), tripalmitin, tristearin and triolein) and soya phosphatidylcholine in different amounts and ratios were used for emulsomal preparation. Particles were modulated to generate nanocarriers with suitable size, charge, encapsulation efficiency and prolonged release. Cytotoxicity and pharmacokinetic studies were also implemented. Nano-spherical OX-emulsomes with maximal encapsulation of 96.75% were generated. Stability studies showed changes within 30.6% and 11.2% in the size and EE% after 3 months. MTT assay proved a decrease in drug toxicity by its encapsulation in emulsomes. Incorporation of OX into emulsomes resulted in stable nanoformulations. Tailoring emulsomes properties by modulating the surface charge and particle size produced a stable system for the lipophilic drug with a prolonged release profile and mean residence time and proved direct nose-to-brain transport in rats. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Improving probabilistic prediction of daily streamflow by identifying Pareto optimal approaches for modeling heteroscedastic residual errors

    Science.gov (United States)

    McInerney, David; Thyer, Mark; Kavetski, Dmitri; Lerat, Julien; Kuczera, George

    2017-03-01

    Reliable and precise probabilistic prediction of daily catchment-scale streamflow requires statistical characterization of residual errors of hydrological models. This study focuses on approaches for representing error heteroscedasticity with respect to simulated streamflow, i.e., the pattern of larger errors in higher streamflow predictions. We evaluate eight common residual error schemes, including standard and weighted least squares, the Box-Cox transformation (with fixed and calibrated power parameter λ) and the log-sinh transformation. Case studies include 17 perennial and 6 ephemeral catchments in Australia and the United States, and two lumped hydrological models. Performance is quantified using predictive reliability, precision, and volumetric bias metrics. We find the choice of heteroscedastic error modeling approach significantly impacts on predictive performance, though no single scheme simultaneously optimizes all performance metrics. The set of Pareto optimal schemes, reflecting performance trade-offs, comprises Box-Cox schemes with λ of 0.2 and 0.5, and the log scheme (λ = 0, perennial catchments only). These schemes significantly outperform even the average-performing remaining schemes (e.g., across ephemeral catchments, median precision tightens from 105% to 40% of observed streamflow, and median biases decrease from 25% to 4%). Theoretical interpretations of empirical results highlight the importance of capturing the skew/kurtosis of raw residuals and reproducing zero flows. Paradoxically, calibration of λ is often counterproductive: in perennial catchments, it tends to overfit low flows at the expense of abysmal precision in high flows. The log-sinh transformation is dominated by the simpler Pareto optimal schemes listed above. Recommendations for researchers and practitioners seeking robust residual error schemes for practical work are provided.

  11. Improving probabilistic prediction of daily streamflow by identifying Pareto optimal approaches for modelling heteroscedastic residual errors

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, McInerney; Mark, Thyer; Dmitri, Kavetski; George, Kuczera

    2017-04-01

    This study provides guidance to hydrological researchers which enables them to provide probabilistic predictions of daily streamflow with the best reliability and precision for different catchment types (e.g. high/low degree of ephemerality). Reliable and precise probabilistic prediction of daily catchment-scale streamflow requires statistical characterization of residual errors of hydrological models. It is commonly known that hydrological model residual errors are heteroscedastic, i.e. there is a pattern of larger errors in higher streamflow predictions. Although multiple approaches exist for representing this heteroscedasticity, few studies have undertaken a comprehensive evaluation and comparison of these approaches. This study fills this research gap by evaluating 8 common residual error schemes, including standard and weighted least squares, the Box-Cox transformation (with fixed and calibrated power parameter, lambda) and the log-sinh transformation. Case studies include 17 perennial and 6 ephemeral catchments in Australia and USA, and two lumped hydrological models. We find the choice of heteroscedastic error modelling approach significantly impacts on predictive performance, though no single scheme simultaneously optimizes all performance metrics. The set of Pareto optimal schemes, reflecting performance trade-offs, comprises Box-Cox schemes with lambda of 0.2 and 0.5, and the log scheme (lambda=0, perennial catchments only). These schemes significantly outperform even the average-performing remaining schemes (e.g., across ephemeral catchments, median precision tightens from 105% to 40% of observed streamflow, and median biases decrease from 25% to 4%). Theoretical interpretations of empirical results highlight the importance of capturing the skew/kurtosis of raw residuals and reproducing zero flows. Recommendations for researchers and practitioners seeking robust residual error schemes for practical work are provided.

  12. Lipid Replacement Therapy Drink Containing a Glycophospholipid Formulation Rapidly and Significantly Reduces Fatigue While Improving Energy and Mental Clarity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Settineri

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Fatigue is the most common complaint of patients seeking general medical care and is often treated with stimulants. It is also important in various physical activities of relatively healthy men and women, such as sports performance. Recent clinical trials using patients with chronic fatigue have shown the benefit of Lipid Replacement Therapy in restoring mitochondrial electron transport function and reducing moderate to severe chronic fatigue. Methods: Lipid Replacement Therapy was administered for the first time as an all-natural functional food drink (60 ml containing polyunsaturated glycophospholipids but devoid of stimulants or herbs to reduce fatigue. This preliminary study used the Piper Fatigue Survey instrument as well as a supplemental questionnaire to assess the effects of the glycophospholipid drink on fatigue and the acceptability of the test drink in adult men and women. A volunteer group of 29 subjects of mean age 56.2±4.5 years with various fatigue levels were randomly recruited in a clinical health fair setting to participate in an afternoon open label trial on the effects of the test drink. Results: Using the Piper Fatigue instrument overall fatigue among participants was reduced within the 3-hour seminar by a mean of 39.6% (p<0.0001. All of the subcategories of fatigue showed significant reductions. Some subjects responded within 15 minutes, and the majority responded within one hour with increased energy and activity and perceived improvements in cognitive function, mental clarity and focus. The test drink was determined to be quite acceptable in terms of taste and appearance. There were no adverse events from the energy drink during the study.Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2011; 8:245-254Conclusions: The Lipid Replacement Therapy functional food drink appeared to be a safe, acceptable and potentially useful new method to reduce fatigue, sustain energy and improve perceptions of mental function.

  13. The role of the PIRT process in identifying code improvements and executing code development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, G.E.; Boyack, B.E.

    1997-01-01

    In September 1988, the USNRC issued a revised ECCS rule for light water reactors that allows, as an option, the use of best estimate (BE) plus uncertainty methods in safety analysis. The key feature of this licensing option relates to quantification of the uncertainty in the determination that an NPP has a low probability of violating the safety criteria specified in 10 CFR 50. To support the 1988 licensing revision, the USNRC and its contractors developed the CSAU evaluation methodology to demonstrate the feasibility of the BE plus uncertainty approach. The PIRT process, Step 3 in the CSAU methodology, was originally formulated to support the BE plus uncertainty licensing option as executed in the CSAU approach to safety analysis. Subsequent work has shown the PIRT process to be a much more powerful tool than conceived in its original form. Through further development and application, the PIRT process has shown itself to be a robust means to establish safety analysis computer code phenomenological requirements in their order of importance to such analyses. Used early in research directed toward these objectives, PIRT results also provide the technical basis and cost effective organization for new experimental programs needed to improve the safety analysis codes for new applications. The primary purpose of this paper is to describe the generic PIRT process, including typical and common illustrations from prior applications. The secondary objective is to provide guidance to future applications of the process to help them focus, in a graded approach, on systems, components, processes and phenomena that have been common in several prior applications

  14. The role of the PIRT process in identifying code improvements and executing code development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, G.E. [Idaho National Engineering Lab., Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Boyack, B.E. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)

    1997-07-01

    In September 1988, the USNRC issued a revised ECCS rule for light water reactors that allows, as an option, the use of best estimate (BE) plus uncertainty methods in safety analysis. The key feature of this licensing option relates to quantification of the uncertainty in the determination that an NPP has a {open_quotes}low{close_quotes} probability of violating the safety criteria specified in 10 CFR 50. To support the 1988 licensing revision, the USNRC and its contractors developed the CSAU evaluation methodology to demonstrate the feasibility of the BE plus uncertainty approach. The PIRT process, Step 3 in the CSAU methodology, was originally formulated to support the BE plus uncertainty licensing option as executed in the CSAU approach to safety analysis. Subsequent work has shown the PIRT process to be a much more powerful tool than conceived in its original form. Through further development and application, the PIRT process has shown itself to be a robust means to establish safety analysis computer code phenomenological requirements in their order of importance to such analyses. Used early in research directed toward these objectives, PIRT results also provide the technical basis and cost effective organization for new experimental programs needed to improve the safety analysis codes for new applications. The primary purpose of this paper is to describe the generic PIRT process, including typical and common illustrations from prior applications. The secondary objective is to provide guidance to future applications of the process to help them focus, in a graded approach, on systems, components, processes and phenomena that have been common in several prior applications.

  15. Mobile physician reporting of clinically significant events-a novel way to improve handoff communication and supervision of resident on call activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabors, Christopher; Peterson, Stephen J; Aronow, Wilbert S; Sule, Sachin; Mumtaz, Arif; Shah, Tushar; Eskridge, Etta; Wold, Eric; Stallings, Gary W; Burak, Kathleen Kelly; Goldberg, Randy; Guo, Gary; Sekhri, Arunabh; Mathew, George; Khera, Sahil; Montoya, Jessica; Sharma, Mala; Paudel, Rajiv; Frishman, William H

    2014-12-01

    Reporting of clinically significant events represents an important mechanism by which patient safety problems may be identified and corrected. However, time pressure and cumbersome report entry procedures have discouraged the full participation of physicians. To improve the process, our internal medicine training program developed an easy-to-use mobile platform that combines the reporting process with patient sign-out. Between August 25, 2011, and January 25, 2012, our trainees entered clinically significant events into i-touch/i-phone/i-pad based devices functioning in wireless-synchrony with our desktop application. Events were collected into daily reports that were sent from the handoff system to program leaders and attending physicians to plan for rounds and to correct safety problems. Using the mobile module, residents entered 31 reportable events per month versus the 12 events per month that were reported via desktop during a previous 6-month study period. Advances in information technology now permit clinically significant events that take place during "off hours" to be identified and reported (via handoff) to next providers and to supervisors via collated reports. This information permits hospital leaders to correct safety issues quickly and effectively, while attending physicians are able to use information gleaned from the reports to optimize rounding plans and to provide additional oversight of trainee on call patient management decisions.

  16. Flavonol-rich dark cocoa significantly decreases plasma endothelin-1 and improves cognitive responses in urban children.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilian eCalderon-Garciduenas

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Air pollution exposures are linked to systemic inflammation, cardiovascular and respiratory morbidity and mortality, neuroinflammation and neuropathology in young urbanites. In particular, most Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA children exhibit subtle cognitive deficits, and neuropathology studies show 40% of them exhibiting frontal tau hyperphosphorylation and 51% amyloid-β diffuse plaques (compared to 0% in low pollution control children. We assessed whether a short cocoa intervention can be effective in decreasing plasma endothelin 1 (ET-1 and/or inflammatory mediators in MCMA children. Thirty g of dark cocoa with 680 mg of total flavonols were given daily for 10.11± 3.4 days (range 9 to 24 days to 18 children (10.55yrs, SD =1.45; 11F/7M. Key metabolite ratios in frontal white matter and in hippocampus pre and during cocoa intervention were quantified by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. ET-1 significantly decreased after cocoa treatment (p=0.0002. Fifteen children (83% showed a marginally significant individual improvement in one or both of the applied simple short memory tasks. Endothelial dysfunction is a key feature of exposure to particulate matter and decreased endothelin-1 bioavailability is likely useful for brain function in the context of air pollution. Our findings suggest that cocoa interventions may be critical for early implementation of neuroprotection of highly exposed urban children. Multi-domain nutraceutical interventions could limit the risk for endothelial dysfunction, cerebral hypoperfusion, neuroinflammation, cognitive deficits, structural volumetric detrimental brain effects, and the early development of the neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

  17. Effects of a community scorecard on improving the local health system in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo: qualitative evidence using the most significant change technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Lara S; Labrecque, Guillaume; Batonon, Isatou; Salsi, Viviana; Ratnayake, Ruwan

    2015-01-01

    More than a decade of conflict has weakened the health system in the Democratic Republic of Congo and decreased its ability to respond to the needs of the population. Community scorecards have been conceived as a way to increase accountability and responsiveness of service providers, but there is limited evidence of their effects, particularly in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. This paper describes the implementation of community scorecards within a community-driven reconstruction project in two provinces of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Between June 2012 and November 2013, 45 stories of change in the health system were collected from village development committee, health committee, community members (20 men and 18 women) and healthcare providers (n = 7) in 25 sites using the Most Significant Change technique. Stories were analyzed qualitatively for content related to the types and mechanisms of change observed. The most salient changes were related to increased transparency and community participation in health facility management, and improved quality of care. Quality of care included increased access to services, improved patient-provider relationships, improved performance of service providers, and improved maintenance of physical infrastructure. Changes occurred through many different mechanisms including provider actions in response to information, pressure from community representatives, or supervisors; and joint action and improved collaboration by health facility committees and providers. Although it is often assumed that confrontation is a primary mechanism for citizens to change state-provided services, this study demonstrates that healthcare providers may also be motivated to change through other means. Positive experiences of community scorecards can provide a structured space for interface between community members and the health system, allowing users to voice their opinions and preferences and bridge information gaps for both

  18. Flexible deep-ultraviolet light-emitting diodes for significant improvement of quantum efficiencies by external bending

    KAUST Repository

    Shervin, Shahab; Oh, Seung Kyu; Park, Hyun Jung; Lee, Keon Hwa; Asadirad, Mojtaba; Kim, Seung Hwan; Kim, Jeomoh; Pouladi, Sara; Lee, Sung-Nam; Li, Xiaohang; Kwak, Joon-Seop; Ryou, Jae-Hyun

    2018-01-01

    Deep ultraviolet (DUV) light at the wavelength range of 250‒280 nm (UVC spectrum) is essential for numerous applications such as sterilization, purification, sensing, and communication. III-nitride-based DUV light-emitting diodes (DUV LEDs), like other solid-state lighting sources, offer a great potential to replace the conventional gas-discharged lamps with short lifetimes and toxic-element-bearing nature. However, unlike visible LEDs, the DUV LEDs are still suffering from low quantum efficiencies (QEs) and low optical output powers. In this work, reported is a new route to improve QEs of AlGaN-based DUV LEDs using mechanical flexibility of recently developed bendable thin-film structures. Numerical studies show that electronic band structures of AlGaN heterostructures and resulting optical and electrical characteristics of the devices can be significantly modified by external bending through active control of piezoelectric polarization. Internal quantum efficiency (IQE) is enhanced higher than three times, when the DUV LEDs are moderately bent to induce in-plane compressive strain in the heterostructure. Furthermore, efficiency droop at high injection currents is mitigated and turn-on voltage of diodes decreases with the same bending condition. The concept of bendable DUV LEDs with a controlled external strain can provide a new path for high-output-power and high-efficiency devices.

  19. Flexible deep-ultraviolet light-emitting diodes for significant improvement of quantum efficiencies by external bending

    KAUST Repository

    Shervin, Shahab

    2018-01-26

    Deep ultraviolet (DUV) light at the wavelength range of 250‒280 nm (UVC spectrum) is essential for numerous applications such as sterilization, purification, sensing, and communication. III-nitride-based DUV light-emitting diodes (DUV LEDs), like other solid-state lighting sources, offer a great potential to replace the conventional gas-discharged lamps with short lifetimes and toxic-element-bearing nature. However, unlike visible LEDs, the DUV LEDs are still suffering from low quantum efficiencies (QEs) and low optical output powers. In this work, reported is a new route to improve QEs of AlGaN-based DUV LEDs using mechanical flexibility of recently developed bendable thin-film structures. Numerical studies show that electronic band structures of AlGaN heterostructures and resulting optical and electrical characteristics of the devices can be significantly modified by external bending through active control of piezoelectric polarization. Internal quantum efficiency (IQE) is enhanced higher than three times, when the DUV LEDs are moderately bent to induce in-plane compressive strain in the heterostructure. Furthermore, efficiency droop at high injection currents is mitigated and turn-on voltage of diodes decreases with the same bending condition. The concept of bendable DUV LEDs with a controlled external strain can provide a new path for high-output-power and high-efficiency devices.

  20. Novel ventilation design of combining spacer and mesh structure in sports T-shirt significantly improves thermal comfort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Chao; Au, Joe Sau-chuen; Fan, Jintu; Zheng, Rong

    2015-05-01

    This paper reports on novel ventilation design in sports T-shirt, which combines spacer and mesh structure, and experimental evidence on the advantages of design in improving thermal comfort. Evaporative resistance (Re) and thermal insulation (Rc) of T-shirts were measured using a sweating thermal manikin under three different air velocities. Moisture permeability index (i(m)) was calculated to compare the different designed T-shirts. The T-shirts of new and conventional designs were also compared by wearer trials, which were comprised of 30 min treadmill running followed by 10 min rest. Skin temperature, skin relative humidity, heart rate, oxygen inhalation and energy expenditure were monitored, and subjective sensations were asked. Results demonstrated that novel T-shirt has 11.1% significant lower im than control sample under windy condition. The novel T-shirt contributes to reduce the variation of skin temperature and relative humidity up to 37% and 32%, as well as decrease 3.3% energy consumption during exercise. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  1. Significant improvement of thermal stability of glucose 1-dehydrogenase by introducing disulfide bonds at the tetramer interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Haitao; Gao, Fen; Liu, Danfeng; Li, Zeli; Xu, Xiaohong; Wu, Min; Zhao, Yuhua

    2013-12-10

    Rational design was applied to glucose 1-dehydrogenase (LsGDH) from Lysinibacillus sphaericus G10 to improve its thermal stability by introduction of disulfide bridges between subunits. One out of the eleven mutants, designated as DS255, displayed significantly enhanced thermal stability with considerable soluble expression and high specific activity. It was extremely stable at pH ranging from 4.5 to 10.5, as it retained nearly 100% activity after incubating at different buffers for 1h. Mutant DS255 also exhibited high thermostability, having a half-life of 9900min at 50°C, which was 1868-fold as that of its wild type. Moreover, both of the increased free energy of denaturation and decreased entropy of denaturation of DS255 suggested that the enzyme structure was stabilized by the engineered disulfide bonds. On account of its robust stability, mutant DS255 would be a competitive candidate in practical applications of chiral chemicals synthesis, biofuel cells and glucose biosensors. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Imparting improvements in electrochemical sensors: evaluation of different carbon blacks that give rise to significant improvement in the performance of electroanalytical sensing platforms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vicentini, Fernando Campanhã; Ravanini, Amanda E.; Figueiredo-Filho, Luiz C.S.; Iniesta, Jesús; Banks, Craig E.; Fatibello-Filho, Orlando

    2015-01-01

    Three different carbon black materials have been evaluated as a potential modifier, however, only one demonstrated an improvement in the electrochemical properties. The carbon black structures were characterised with SEM, XPS and Raman spectroscopy and found to be very similar to that of amorphous graphitic materials. The modifications utilised were constructed by three different strategies (using ultrapure water, chitosan and dihexadecylphosphate). The fabricated sensors are electrochemically characterised using N,N,N',N'-tetramethyl-para-phenylenediamine and both inner-sphere and outer-sphere redox probes, namely potassium ferrocyanide(II) and hexaammineruthenium(III) chloride, in addition to the biologically relevant and electroactive analytes, dopamine (DA) and acetaminophen (AP). Comparisons are made with an edge-plane pyrolytic graphite and glassy-carbon electrode and the benefits of carbon black implemented as a modifier for sensors within electrochemistry are explored, as well as the characterisation of their electroanalytical performances. We reveal significant improvements in the electrochemical performance (excellent sensitivity, faster heterogeneous electron transfer rate (HET)) over that of a bare glassy-carbon and edge-plane pyrolytic graphite electrode and thus suggest that there are substantial advantages of using carbon black as modifier in the fabrication of electrochemical based sensors. Such work is highly important and informative for those working in the field of electroanalysis where electrochemistry can provide portable, rapid, reliable and accurate sensing protocols (bringing the laboratory into the field), with particular relevance to those searching for new electrode materials

  3. The hierarchy-by-interval approach to identifying important models that need improvement in severe-accident simulation codes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heames, T.J.; Khatib-Rahbar, M.; Kelly, J.E.

    1995-01-01

    The hierarchy-by-interval (HBI) methodology was developed to determine an appropriate phenomena identification and ranking table for an independent peer review of severe-accident computer codes. The methodology is described, and the results of a specific code review are presented. Use of this systematic and structured approach ensures that important code models that need improvement are identified and prioritized, which allows code sponsors to more effectively direct limited resources in future code development. In addition, critical phenomenological areas that need more fundamental work, such as experimentation, are identified

  4. Cryptosporidium and other intestinal parasitic infections among HIV patients in southern Ethiopia: significance of improved HIV-related care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimelis, Techalew; Tassachew, Yayehyirad; Lambiyo, Tariku

    2016-05-10

    Intestinal parasitic infections are known to cause gastroenteritis, leading to higher morbidity and mortality, particularly in people living with HIV/AIDS. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of Cryptosporidium and other intestinal parasitic infections among HIV patients receiving care at a hospital in Ethiopia where previous available baseline data helps assess if improved HIV-related care has reduced infection rates. A cross-sectional study was conducted at Hawassa University Hospital in southern Ethiopia from May, 2013 to March, 2014. A consecutive sample of 491 HIV- infected patients with diarrhea or a CD4 T cell count intestinal parasites. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Hawassa University. Physicians managed participants found to be infected with any pathogenic intestinal parasite. The overall prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among the study population was 35.8 %. The most prevalent parasites were Cryptosporidium (13.2 %), followed by Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (10.2 %), and Giardia lamblia (7.9 %). The rate of single and multiple infections were 25.5 and 10.3 %, respectively. Patients with a CD4 T cell count intestinal parasitic infection or cryptosporidiosis compared to those with counts ≥ 200 cells/μl, but with some type of diarrhea. The study shows high prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections in the study population. However, the results in the current report are significantly lower compared to previous findings in the same hospital. The observed lower infection rate is encouraging and supports the need to strengthen and sustain the existing intervention measures in order to further reduce intestinal parasitic infections in people living with HIV/AIDS.

  5. Extended-release niacin/laropiprant significantly improves lipid levels in type 2 diabetes mellitus irrespective of baseline glycemic control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bays HE

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Harold E Bays,1 Eliot A Brinton,2 Joseph Triscari,3 Erluo Chen,3 Darbie Maccubbin,3 Alexandra A MacLean,3 Kendra L Gibson,3 Rae Ann Ruck,3 Amy O Johnson-Levonas,3 Edward A O’Neill,3 Yale B Mitchel3 1Louisville Metabolic & Atherosclerosis Research Center (L-MARC, Louisville, KY, USA; 2Utah Foundation for Biomedical Research, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; 3Merck & Co, Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA Background: The degree of glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM may alter lipid levels and may alter the efficacy of lipid-modifying agents. Objective: Evaluate the lipid-modifying efficacy of extended-release niacin/laropiprant (ERN/LRPT in subgroups of patients with T2DM with better or poorer glycemic control. Methods: Post hoc analysis of clinical trial data from patients with T2DM who were randomized 4:3 to double-blind ERN/LRPT or placebo (n=796, examining the lipid-modifying effects of ERN/LRPT in patients with glycosylated hemoglobin or fasting plasma glucose levels above and below median baseline levels. Results: At Week 12 of treatment, ERN/LRPT significantly improved low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoprotein (a, compared with placebo, with equal efficacy in patients above or below median baseline glycemic control. Compared with placebo, over 36 weeks of treatment more patients treated with ERN/LRPT had worsening of their diabetes and required intensification of antihyperglycemic medication, irrespective of baseline glycemic control. Incidences of other adverse experiences were generally low in all treatment groups. Conclusion: The lipid-modifying effects of ERN/LRPT are independent of the degree of baseline glycemic control in patients with T2DM (NCT00485758. Keywords: lipid-modifying agents, hyperglycemia, LDL, HDL, triglycerides

  6. Using Workflow Modeling to Identify Areas to Improve Genetic Test Processes in the University of Maryland Translational Pharmacogenomics Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutting, Elizabeth M; Overby, Casey L; Banchero, Meghan; Pollin, Toni; Kelemen, Mark; Shuldiner, Alan R; Beitelshees, Amber L

    Delivering genetic test results to clinicians is a complex process. It involves many actors and multiple steps, requiring all of these to work together in order to create an optimal course of treatment for the patient. We used information gained from focus groups in order to illustrate the current process of delivering genetic test results to clinicians. We propose a business process model and notation (BPMN) representation of this process for a Translational Pharmacogenomics Project being implemented at the University of Maryland Medical Center, so that personalized medicine program implementers can identify areas to improve genetic testing processes. We found that the current process could be improved to reduce input errors, better inform and notify clinicians about the implications of certain genetic tests, and make results more easily understood. We demonstrate our use of BPMN to improve this important clinical process for CYP2C19 genetic testing in patients undergoing invasive treatment of coronary heart disease.

  7. Formosa Plastics Corporation: Plant-Wide Assessment of Texas Plant Identifies Opportunities for Improving Process Efficiency and Reducing Energy Costs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2005-01-01

    At Formosa Plastics Corporation's plant in Point Comfort, Texas, a plant-wide assessment team analyzed process energy requirements, reviewed new technologies for applicability, and found ways to improve the plant's energy efficiency. The assessment team identified the energy requirements of each process and compared actual energy consumption with theoretical process requirements. The team estimated that total annual energy savings would be about 115,000 MBtu for natural gas and nearly 14 million kWh for electricity if the plant makes several improvements, which include upgrading the gas compressor impeller, improving the vent blower system, and recovering steam condensate for reuse. Total annual cost savings could be $1.5 million. The U.S. Department of Energy's Industrial Technologies Program cosponsored this assessment.

  8. Constitutive overexpression of the TaNF-YB4 gene in transgenic wheat significantly improves grain yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, Dinesh; Shavrukov, Yuri; Bazanova, Natalia; Chirkova, Larissa; Borisjuk, Nikolai; Kovalchuk, Nataliya; Ismagul, Ainur; Parent, Boris; Langridge, Peter; Hrmova, Maria; Lopato, Sergiy

    2015-11-01

    Heterotrimeric nuclear factors Y (NF-Ys) are involved in regulation of various vital functions in all eukaryotic organisms. Although a number of NF-Y subunits have been characterized in model plants, only a few have been functionally evaluated in crops. In this work, a number of genes encoding NF-YB and NF-YC subunits were isolated from drought-tolerant wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. RAC875), and the impact of the overexpression of TaNF-YB4 in the Australian wheat cultivar Gladius was investigated. TaNF-YB4 was isolated as a result of two consecutive yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) screens, where ZmNF-YB2a was used as a starting bait. A new NF-YC subunit, designated TaNF-YC15, was isolated in the first Y2H screen and used as bait in a second screen, which identified two wheat NF-YB subunits, TaNF-YB2 and TaNF-YB4. Three-dimensional modelling of a TaNF-YB2/TaNF-YC15 dimer revealed structural determinants that may underlie interaction selectivity. The TaNF-YB4 gene was placed under the control of the strong constitutive polyubiquitin promoter from maize and introduced into wheat by biolistic bombardment. The growth and yield components of several independent transgenic lines with up-regulated levels of TaNF-YB4 were evaluated under well-watered conditions (T1-T3 generations) and under mild drought (T2 generation). Analysis of T2 plants was performed in large deep containers in conditions close to field trials. Under optimal watering conditions, transgenic wheat plants produced significantly more spikes but other yield components did not change. This resulted in a 20-30% increased grain yield compared with untransformed control plants. Under water-limited conditions transgenic lines maintained parity in yield performance. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  9. SU-E-T-452: Identifying Inefficiencies in Radiation Oncology Workflow and Prioritizing Solutions for Process Improvement and Patient Safety

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bennion, N; Driewer, J; Denniston, K; Zhen, W; Enke, C [University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE (United States); Jacobs, K; Poole, M; McMahon, R; Wilson, K; Yager, A [Nebraska Medicine, Omaha, NE (United States)

    2015-06-15

    Purpose: Successful radiation therapy requires multi-step processes susceptible to unnecessary delays that can negatively impact clinic workflow, patient satisfaction, and safety. This project applied process improvement tools to assess workflow bottlenecks and identify solutions to barriers for effective implementation. Methods: We utilized the DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) methodology, limiting our scope to the treatment planning process. From May through December of 2014, times and dates of each step from simulation to treatment were recorded for 507 cases. A value-stream map created from this dataset directed our selection of outcome measures (Y metrics). Critical goals (X metrics) that would accomplish the Y metrics were identified. Barriers to actions were binned into control-impact matrices, in order to stratify them into four groups: in/out of control and high/low impact. Solutions to each barrier were then categorized into benefit-effort matries to identify those of high benefit and low effort. Results: For 507 cases, the mean time from simulation to treatment was 235 total hours. The mean process and wait time were 60 and 132 hours, respectively. The Y metric was to increase the ratio of all non-emergent plans completed the business day prior to treatment from 47% to 75%. Project X metrics included increasing the number of IMRT QAs completed at least 24 hours prior to treatment from 19% to 80% and the number of non-IMRT plans approved at least 24 hours prior to treatment from 33% to 80%. Intervals from simulation to target contour and from initial plan completion to plan approval were identified as periods that could benefit from intervention. Barriers to actions were binned into control-impact matrices and solutions by benefit-effort matrices. Conclusion: The DMAIC method can be successfully applied in radiation therapy clinics to identify inefficiencies and prioritize solutions for the highest impact.

  10. Significant survival improvement of patients with recurrent breast cancer in the periods 2001-2008 vs. 1992-2000

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nishimura Sumiko

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It is unclear whether individualized treatments based on biological factors have improved the prognosis of recurrent breast cancer. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the survival improvement of patients with recurrent breast cancer after the introduction of third generation aromatase inhibitors (AIs and trastuzumab. Methods A total of 407 patients who received first diagnosis of recurrent breast cancer and treatment at National Kyushu Cancer Center between 1992 and 2008 were retrospectively evaluated. As AIs and trastuzumab were approved for clinical use in Japan in 2001, the patients were divided into two time cohorts depending on whether the cancer recurred before or after 2001. Cohort A: 170 patients who were diagnosed between 1992 and 2000. Cohort B: 237 patients who were diagnosed between 2001 and 2008. Tumor characteristics, treatments, and outcome were compared. Results Fourteen percent of cohort A and 76% of cohort B received AIs and/or trastuzumab (P Conclusions The prognosis of patients with recurrent breast cancer was improved over time following the introduction of AIs and trastuzumab and the survival improvement was apparent in HR- and/or HER-2-positive tumors.

  11. Significant Improvement in Sleep in People with Intellectual Disabilities Living in Residential Settings by Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hylkema, T.; Vlaskamp, C.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Although about 15 to 50 percent of people with intellectual disabilities (ID) living in residential settings suffer from sleep problems, scant attention is paid to these problems. Most available studies focus on pharmaceutical solutions. In this study we focus on improving sleep in people with intellectual disabilities living in…

  12. Identifying conservation priorities and management strategies based on ecosystem services to improve urban sustainability in Harbin, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Yi; Lu, Ming

    2018-01-01

    Rapid urbanization and agricultural development has resulted in the degradation of ecosystems, while also negatively impacting ecosystem services (ES) and urban sustainability. Identifying conservation priorities for ES and applying reasonable management strategies have been found to be effective methods for mitigating this phenomenon. The purpose of this study is to propose a comprehensive framework for identifying ES conservation priorities and associated management strategies for these planning areas. First, we incorporated 10 ES indicators within a systematic conservation planning (SCP) methodology in order to identify ES conservation priorities with high irreplaceability values based on conservation target goals associated with the potential distribution of ES indicators. Next, we assessed the efficiency of the ES conservation priorities for meeting the designated conservation target goals. Finally, ES conservation priorities were clustered into groups using a K-means clustering analysis in an effort to identify the dominant ES per location before formulating management strategies. We effectively identified 12 ES priorities to best represent conservation target goals for the ES indicators. These 12 priorities had a total areal coverage of 13,364 km 2 representing 25.16% of the study area. The 12 priorities were further clustered into five significantly different groups ( p -values between groups urban and agricultural areas, thereby preventing urban and agriculture sprawl and guiding sustainable urban development.

  13. Innovating for quality and value: Utilizing national quality improvement programs to identify opportunities for responsible surgical innovation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woo, Russell K; Skarsgard, Erik D

    2015-06-01

    Innovation in surgical techniques, technology, and care processes are essential for improving the care and outcomes of surgical patients, including children. The time and cost associated with surgical innovation can be significant, and unless it leads to improvements in outcome at equivalent or lower costs, it adds little or no value from the perspective of the patients, and decreases the overall resources available to our already financially constrained healthcare system. The emergence of a safety and quality mandate in surgery, and the development of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) allow needs-based surgical care innovation which leads to value-based improvement in care. In addition to general and procedure-specific clinical outcomes, surgeons should consider the measurement of quality from the patients' perspective. To this end, the integration of validated Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) into actionable, benchmarked institutional outcomes reporting has the potential to facilitate quality improvement in process, treatment and technology that optimizes value for our patients and health system. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Brief Communication: Upper Air Relaxation in RACMO2 Significantly Improves Modelled Interannual Surface Mass Balance Variability in Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Berg, W. J.; Medley, B.

    2016-01-01

    The Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO2) has been a powerful tool for improving surface mass balance (SMB) estimates from GCMs or reanalyses. However, new yearly SMB observations for West Antarctica show that the modelled interannual variability in SMB is poorly simulated by RACMO2, in contrast to ERA-Interim, which resolves this variability well. In an attempt to remedy RACMO2 performance, we included additional upper-air relaxation (UAR) in RACMO2. With UAR, the correlation to observations is similar for RACMO2 and ERA-Interim. The spatial SMB patterns and ice-sheet-integrated SMB modelled using UAR remain very similar to the estimates of RACMO2 without UAR. We only observe an upstream smoothing of precipitation in regions with very steep topography like the Antarctic Peninsula. We conclude that UAR is a useful improvement for regional climate model simulations, although results in regions with steep topography should be treated with care.

  15. Improving winter leaf area index estimation in evergreen coniferous forests and its significance in carbon and water fluxes modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, R.; Chen, J. M.; Luo, X.

    2016-12-01

    Modeling of carbon and water fluxes at the continental and global scales requires remotely sensed LAI as inputs. For evergreen coniferous forests (ENF), severely underestimated winter LAI has been one of the issues for mostly available remote sensing products, which could cause negative bias in the modeling of Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) and evapotranspiration (ET). Unlike deciduous trees which shed all the leaves in winter, conifers retains part of their needles and the proportion of the retained needles depends on the needle longevity. In this work, the Boreal Ecosystem Productivity Simulator (BEPS) was used to model GPP and ET at eight FLUXNET Canada ENF sites. Two sets of LAI were used as the model inputs: the 250m 10-day University of Toronto (U of T) LAI product Version 2 and the corrected LAI based on the U of T LAI product and the needle longevity of the corresponding tree species at individual sites. Validating model daily GPP (gC/m2) against site measurements, the mean RMSE over eight sites decreases from 1.85 to 1.15, and the bias changes from -0.99 to -0.19. For daily ET (mm), mean RMSE decreases from 0.63 to 0.33, and the bias changes from -0.31 to -0.16. Most of the improvements occur in the beginning and at the end of the growing season when there is large correction of LAI and meanwhile temperature is still suitable for photosynthesis and transpiration. For the dormant season, the improvement in ET simulation mostly comes from the increased interception of precipitation brought by the elevated LAI during that time. The results indicate that model performance can be improved by the application the corrected LAI. Improving the winter RS LAI can make a large impact on land surface carbon and energy budget.

  16. A Cost Benefit Analysis Approach to Identify Improvements in Merchant Navy Deck Officers’ HELM (Human Element Leadership and Management Training

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farhan Saeed

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available A review of maritime accidents conducted over the last decade confirms that human error is the main contributing factor in these incidents. Well-developed Non-Technical Skills (NTS can reduce the effects of human error. NTS include both interpersonal and cognitive skills such as situation awareness, teamwork, decision-making, leadership, managerial skills, communication and language skills. In a crisis situation good NTS allow a deck officer to recognise the problem quickly, take action to manage the situation, and utilise the available team members safely and effectively. This paper identifies the importance of NTS training for merchant navy deck officers. It also highlights room for improvement in the existing HELM training. Research has shown that at present the structure of HELM training is not very effective. The other safety critical domains’ efforts into NTS developments are investigated and examples of best practice are adapted into the maritime domain’s NTS training. Suggestions are given for improvements to the HELM course based on proven successful methods in other safety critical domains (aviation and anaesthesia. A subsequent Cost Benefit Analysis for improving deck officers’ NTS is also carried out through the use of Bayesian Networks and Decision Tree Modelling.

  17. Migration ability and Toll-like receptor expression of human mesenchymal stem cells improves significantly after three-dimensional culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Panpan; Liu, Zilin; Li, Xue; Zhang, Bing; Wang, Xiaoyuan; Lan, Jing; Shi, Qing; Li, Dong; Ju, Xiuli

    2017-09-16

    While the conventional two-dimensional (2D) culture protocol is well accepted for the culture of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), this method fails to recapitulate the in vivo native three-dimensional (3D) cellular microenvironment, and may result in phenotypic changes, and homing and migration capacity impairments. MSC preparation in 3D culture systems has been considered an attractive preparatory and delivery method recently. We seeded human umbilical cord-derived MSCs (hUCMSCs) in a 3D culture system with porcine acellular dermal matrix (PADM), and investigated the phenotypic changes, the expression changes of some important receptors, including Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) when hUCMSCs were transferred from 2D to 3D systems, as well as the alterations in in vivo homing and migration potential. It was found that the percentage of CD105-positive cells decreased significantly, whereas that of CD34- and CD271-positive cells increased significantly in 3D culture, compared to that in 2D culture. The mRNA and protein expression levels of TLR2, TLR3, TLR4, TLR6, and CXCR4 in hUCMSCs were increased significantly upon culturing with PADM for 3 days, compared to the levels in 2D culture. The numbers of migratory 3D hUCMSCs in the heart, liver, spleen, and bone marrow were significantly greater than the numbers of 2D hUCMSCs, and the worst migration occurred in 3D + AMD3100 (CXCR4 antagonist) hUCMSCs. These results suggested that 3D culture of hUCMSCs with PADM could alter the phenotypic characteristics of hUCMSCs, increase their TLR and CXCR4 expression levels, and promote their migratory and homing capacity in which CXCR4 plays an important role. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Minimotif Miner 3.0: database expansion and significantly improved reduction of false-positive predictions from consensus sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mi, Tian; Merlin, Jerlin Camilus; Deverasetty, Sandeep; Gryk, Michael R; Bill, Travis J; Brooks, Andrew W; Lee, Logan Y; Rathnayake, Viraj; Ross, Christian A; Sargeant, David P; Strong, Christy L; Watts, Paula; Rajasekaran, Sanguthevar; Schiller, Martin R

    2012-01-01

    Minimotif Miner (MnM available at http://minimotifminer.org or http://mnm.engr.uconn.edu) is an online database for identifying new minimotifs in protein queries. Minimotifs are short contiguous peptide sequences that have a known function in at least one protein. Here we report the third release of the MnM database which has now grown 60-fold to approximately 300,000 minimotifs. Since short minimotifs are by their nature not very complex we also summarize a new set of false-positive filters and linear regression scoring that vastly enhance minimotif prediction accuracy on a test data set. This online database can be used to predict new functions in proteins and causes of disease.

  19. The patient's safety - For a dynamics of improvement. Nr 3. How to analyze your significant radiation protection events?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2012-07-01

    The objective of this publication is to present event analysis methods which are the most frequently used by radiotherapy departments. After an indication of key figures concerning radiotherapy patients, sessions and events, the document indicates the objectives and steps of an event analysis. It presents various analysis methods: Ishikawa diagram (or 5M method or causes-effects diagram), the cause tree, the ALARM method (association of litigation and risk management), the ORION method. It proposes a comparison between these five methods, their possibilities, their limits. Good practices are outlined in terms of data acquisition, method choice, event analysis, and improvement actions. The use of the cause tree analysis is commented by members of the Limoges hospital radiotherapy department, and that of the Ishikawa method by a member of the Beauvais hospital

  20. Different surgical strategies for chronic pancreatitis significantly improve long-term outcome: a comparative single center study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hildebrand P

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Objective In general, chronic pancreatitis (CP primarily requires conservative treatment. The chronic pain syndrome and complications make patients seek surgical advice, frequently after years of progression. In the past, surgical procedures involving drainage as well as resection have been employed successfully. The present study compared the different surgical strategies. Patients and Methods From March 2000 until April 2005, a total of 51 patients underwent surgical treatment for CP at the Department of surgery, University of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck. Out of those 51 patients, 39 (76.5% were operated according to the Frey procedure, and in 12 cases (23.5% the Whipple procedure was performed. Patient data were documented prospectively throughout the duration of the hospital stay. The evaluation of the postoperative pain score was carried out retrospectively with a validated questionnaire. Results Average operating time was 240 minutes for the Frey group and 411 minutes for the Whipple group. The medium number of blood transfusions was 1 in the Frey group and 4.5 in the Whipple group. Overall morbidity was 21% in the Frey group and 42% in the Whipple group. 30-day mortality was zero for all patients. During the median follow-up period of 50 months, an improvement in pain score was observed in 93% of the patients of the Frey group and 67% of the patients treated according to the Whipple procedure. Conclusion The results show that both the Frey procedure as well as partial pancreaticoduodenectomy are capable of improving chronic pain symptoms in CP. As far as later endocrine and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is concerned, however, the extended drainage operation according to Frey proves to be advantageous compared to the traditional resection procedure by Whipple. Accordingly, the Frey procedure provides us with an organ-preserving surgical procedure which treats the complications of CP sufficiently, thus being an

  1. Significant improvement of bone mineral density by denosumab treatment in Japanese osteoporotic patients following breast cancer treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nakamura Y

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Yukio Nakamura,1,2 Mikio Kamimura,3 Akio Morikawa,4 Akira Taguchi,5 Takako Suzuki,1 Hiroyuki Kato1 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Showa-Inan General Hospital, Komagane, 3Center for Osteoporosis and Spinal Disorders, Kamimura Orthopaedic Clinic, Matsumoto, 4Department of Surgery, Showa-Inan General Hospital, Komagane, 5Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, School of Dentistry, Matsumoto Dental University, Shiojiri, Japan Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of denosumab in patients with osteoporosis (OP and non-metastatic breast cancer following treatment of 1 surgery, 2 surgery and aromatase inhibitors, and 3 surgery, aromatase inhibitors, and anti-cancer agents, compared with those in primary OP patients. Patients and methods: In this retrospective 24-month study, patients were divided into the primary OP group (34 cases or OP receiving breast cancer treatment group (breast cancer group; 17 cases. We measured serum calcium, whole parathyroid hormone (PTH, 1,25OH2D3, bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase-5b (TRACP-5b, and bone mineral density (BMD of the lumbar 1–4 vertebrae (L-BMD and bilateral total hips (H-BMD for 24 months. Results: The percent changes of serum calcium in the breast cancer group were significantly lower than those in the primary OP group at 1 week, 1 and 12 months. The percent changes of whole PTH in the primary OP group were significantly lower than those in the breast cancer group at 2 and 4 months. Significant differences were found between the groups at 18 months (-34.5% in the primary OP group and -52.6% in the breast cancer group, respectively for the percent changes of BAP. Significant differences were found between the groups at 12, 18, and 24 months (-39.7% in the primary OP group and -64.0% in the breast cancer group at 24 months, respectively for the percent

  2. Identifying conservation priorities and management strategies based on ecosystem services to improve urban sustainability in Harbin, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Qu

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Rapid urbanization and agricultural development has resulted in the degradation of ecosystems, while also negatively impacting ecosystem services (ES and urban sustainability. Identifying conservation priorities for ES and applying reasonable management strategies have been found to be effective methods for mitigating this phenomenon. The purpose of this study is to propose a comprehensive framework for identifying ES conservation priorities and associated management strategies for these planning areas. First, we incorporated 10 ES indicators within a systematic conservation planning (SCP methodology in order to identify ES conservation priorities with high irreplaceability values based on conservation target goals associated with the potential distribution of ES indicators. Next, we assessed the efficiency of the ES conservation priorities for meeting the designated conservation target goals. Finally, ES conservation priorities were clustered into groups using a K-means clustering analysis in an effort to identify the dominant ES per location before formulating management strategies. We effectively identified 12 ES priorities to best represent conservation target goals for the ES indicators. These 12 priorities had a total areal coverage of 13,364 km2 representing 25.16% of the study area. The 12 priorities were further clustered into five significantly different groups (p-values between groups < 0.05, which helped to refine management strategies formulated to best enhance ES across the study area. The proposed method allows conservation and management plans to easily adapt to a wide variety of quantitative ES target goals within urban and agricultural areas, thereby preventing urban and agriculture sprawl and guiding sustainable urban development.

  3. Significant Improvement Selected Mediators of Inflammation in Phenotypes of Women with PCOS after Reduction and Low GI Diet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Małgorzata Szczuko

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Many researchers suggest an increased risk of atherosclerosis in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. In the available literature, there are no studies on the mediators of inflammation in women with PCOS, especially after dietary intervention. Eicosanoids (HETE and HODE were compared between the biochemical phenotypes of women with PCOS (normal and high androgens and after the 3-month reduction diet. Eicosanoid profiles (9(S-HODE, 13(S-HODE, 5(S-HETE, 12(S-HETE, 15(S-HETE, 5(S-oxoETE, 16(R-HETE, 16(S-HETE and 5(S, 6(R-lipoxin A4, 5(S, 6(R, 15(R-lipoxin A4 were extracted from 0.5 ml of plasma using solid-phase extraction RP-18 SPE columns. The HPLC separations were performed on a 1260 liquid chromatograph. No significant differences were found in the concentration of analysed eicosanoids in phenotypes of women with PCOS. These women, however, have significantly lower concentration of inflammatory mediators than potentially healthy women from the control group. Dietary intervention leads to a significant (p<0.01 increase in the synthesis of proinflammatory mediators, reaching similar levels as in the control group. The development of inflammatory reaction in both phenotypes of women with PCOS is similar. The pathways for synthesis of proinflammatory mediators in women with PCOS are dormant, but can be stimulated through a reduction diet. Three-month period of lifestyle change may be too short to stimulate the pathways inhibiting inflammatory process.

  4. A study to determine whether targeted education significantly improves the perception of human torture in medical students in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husain, Munawwar; Ghaffar, Usama B; Usmani, Jawed Ahmad; Rivzi, Shameem Jahan

    2010-08-01

    This study was undertaken to find out the knowledge of torture in MBBS students. A fair comparison was done by selecting two groups of medical students; one, to whom torture was not taught ie, pretaught group (PrTG, n = 125), and second, to whom torture was taught in classroom ie, post-taught group (PoTG, n = 110) in more than one sessions. The topic on torture was taught under many headings maximising the effort to cover as much as possible; namely, definition, geographical distribution, types of torture (physical, psychological and sexual), post-torture sequelae, sociopolitical environment prevailing in the country, doctors' involvement in torture, rehabilitation of torture victims and the UNO's role in containment of torture. In all a questionnaire was designed having MCQ types on these aspects. It was found that significant level of difference in perception and knowledge about torture existed amongst the groups, and this was further accentuated in medical and non-medical intratopics. 'P' value of each question was computed separately. It was found that the study was statistically significant and reestablished the need of fortifying the gossameric firmament of education specific to torture.

  5. Drilling for improvement : Statoil and Halliburton report significant cost savings and more accurate well placement at the Leismer demonstration project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaremko, D.

    2010-07-15

    This article discussed new improvements in steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) made by Statoil and Halliburton at the Leismer demonstration project. The Leismer project is Statoil's inaugural project in oil sands development, and will have a capacity to produce 10,000 barrels per day through 4 separate well pads with 23 well pairs. Challenges to the project included the long lateral sections required for the well pairs to remain parallel to each other while remaining within the target formation. An azimuthal deep resistivity (ADR) tool was used to detect the proximity of the wellbore to shale and water zones. Use of the tool allowed operators to modify the planned well trajectory in order to optimize placements within the reservoir. A rotary steerable system (RSS) was used increase injection times. The project was completed 6 to 8 weeks ahead of schedule. Applications have now been filed for a further 10 phases that will produce 240,000 barrels per day. 1 fig.

  6. Icariin combined with human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells significantly improve the impaired kidney function in chronic renal failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wen; Wang, Li; Chu, Xiaoqian; Cui, Huantian; Bian, Yuhong

    2017-04-01

    At present, the main therapy for chronic renal failure (CRF) is dialysis and renal transplantation, but neither obtains satisfactory results. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (huMSCs) are isolated from the fetal umbilical cord which has a high self-renewal and multi-directional differentiation potential. Icariin (ICA), a kidney-tonifying Chinese Medicine can enhance the multipotency of huMSCs. Therefore, this work seeks to employ the use of ICA-treated huMSCs for the treatment of chronic renal failure. Blood urea nitrogen and creatinine (Cr) analyses showed amelioration of functional parameters in ICA-treated huMSCs for the treatment of CRF rats at 3, 7, and 14 days after transplantation. ICA-treated huMSCs can obviously increase the number of cells in injured renal tissues at 3, 7, and 14 days after transplantation by optical molecular imaging system. Hematoxylin-eosin staining demonstrated that ICA-treated huMSCs reduced the levels of fibrosis in CRF rats at 14 days after transplantation. Superoxide dismutase and Malondialdehyde analyses showed that ICA-treated huMSCs reduced the oxidative damage in CRF rats. Moreover, transplantation with ICA-treated huMSCs decreased inflammatory responses, promoted the expression of growth factors, and protected injured renal tissues. Taken together, our findings suggest that ICA-treated huMSCs could improve the kidney function in CRF rats.

  7. Identifying cultural representations of families and the health team to improve the management of severe malnutrition in childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo-Carniglia, Alvaro; Weisstaub, Sergio Gerardo; Aguirre, Patricia; Aguilar, Ana María; Araya, Magdalena

    2010-04-01

    Severe childhood malnutrition is no longer a priority in Latin America, but mortality of hospitalized malnourished children continues to be high, especially in Bolivia. The objective of the present study was to identify cultural representations in mothers and in health personnel that might influence the relationship between the family and the provider's health care services, thus affecting the treatment of malnourished children. We applied a flexible qualitative model of cases and controls (mothers or caregivers of both under- and well-nourished children), and in addition, health personnel. Results were analyzed following semiotics of statements. Mothers and health professionals based their cultural representations on different conceptions of health. The mothers' mindset indicated that traditional Andean medicine and public health systems are complementary and not contradictory. Conversely, health personnel expressed a univocal vision, accepting only biomedicine. Furthermore, they also expressed a negative attitude toward mothers of severely malnourished children. Results should be considered to improve ongoing local health programs.

  8. Improvement of Fabry Disease-Related Gastrointestinal Symptoms in a Significant Proportion of Female Patients Treated with Agalsidase Beta

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wilcox, William R; Feldt-Rasmussen, Ulla; Martins, Ana Maria

    2018-01-01

    of organ involvement. Although variable, gastrointestinal symptoms are among the most common and significant early clinical manifestations; they tend to persist into adulthood if left untreated. To further understand the effects of sustained enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with agalsidase beta......Fabry disease, an X-linked inherited lysosomal storage disorder, is caused by mutations in the gene encoding α-galactosidase, GLA. In patients with Fabry disease, glycosphingolipids accumulate in various cell types, triggering a range of cellular and tissue responses that result in a wide spectrum...... on gastrointestinal symptoms in heterozygotes, a data analysis of female patients enrolled in the Fabry Registry was conducted. To be included, females of any age must have received agalsidase beta (average dose 1.0 mg/kg every 2 weeks) for at least 2.5 years. Measured outcomes were self-reported gastrointestinal...

  9. Towards an improved prediction of the free radical scavenging potency of flavonoids: the significance of double PCET mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amić, Ana; Marković, Zoran; Dimitrić Marković, Jasmina M; Stepanić, Višnja; Lučić, Bono; Amić, Dragan

    2014-01-01

    The 1H(+)/1e(-) and 2H(+)/2e(-) proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) processes of free radical scavenging by flavonoids were theoretically studied for aqueous and lipid environments using the PM6 and PM7 methods. The results reported here indicate that the significant contribution of the second PCET mechanism, resulting in the formation of a quinone/quinone methide, effectively discriminates the active from inactive flavonoids. The predictive potency of descriptors related to the energetics of second PCET mechanisms (the second O-H bond dissociation enthalpy (BDE2) related to hydrogen atom transfer (HAT) mechanism, and the second electron transfer enthalpy (ETE2) related to sequential proton loss electron transfer (SPLET) mechanism) are superior to the currently used indices, which are related to the first 1H(+)/1e(-) processes, and could serve as primary descriptors in development of the QSAR (quantitative structure-activity relationships) of flavonoids. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Experience-based design for integrating the patient care experience into healthcare improvement: Identifying a set of reliable emotion words.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russ, Lauren R; Phillips, Jennifer; Brzozowicz, Keely; Chafetz, Lynne A; Plsek, Paul E; Blackmore, C Craig; Kaplan, Gary S

    2013-12-01

    Experience-based design is an emerging method used to capture the emotional content of patient and family member healthcare experiences, and can serve as the foundation for patient-centered healthcare improvement. However, a core tool-the experience-based design questionnaire-requires words with consistent emotional meaning. Our objective was to identify and evaluate an emotion word set reliably categorized across the demographic spectrum as expressing positive, negative, or neutral emotions for experience-based design improvement work. We surveyed 407 patients, family members, and healthcare workers in 2011. Participants designated each of 67 potential emotion words as positive, neutral, or negative based on their emotional perception of the word. Overall agreement was assessed using the kappa statistic. Words were selected for retention in the final emotion word set based on 80% simple agreement on classification of meaning across subgroups. The participants were 47.9% (195/407) patients, 19.4% (33/407) family members and 32.7% (133/407) healthcare staff. Overall agreement adjusted for chance was moderate (k=0.55). However, agreement for positive (k=0.69) and negative emotions (k=0.68) was substantially higher, while agreement in the neutral category was low (k=0.11). There were 20 positive, 1 neutral, and 14 negative words retained for the final experience-based design emotion word set. We identified a reliable set of emotion words for experience questionnaires to serve as the foundation for patient-centered, experience-based redesign of healthcare. Incorporation of patient and family member perspectives in healthcare requires reliable tools to capture the emotional content of care touch points. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Pt-decorated GaN nanowires with significant improvement in H2 gas-sensing performance at room temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdullah, Q N; Yam, F K; Hassan, Z; Bououdina, M

    2015-12-15

    Superior sensitivity towards H2 gas was successfully achieved with Pt-decorated GaN nanowires (NWs) gas sensor. GaN NWs were fabricated via chemical vapor deposition (CVD) route. Morphology (field emission scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy) and crystal structure (high resolution X-ray diffraction) characterizations of the as-synthesized nanostructures demonstrated the formation of GaN NWs having a wurtzite structure, zigzaged shape and an average diameter of 30-166nm. The Pt-decorated GaN NWs sensor shows a high response of 250-2650% upon exposure to H2 gas concentration from 7 to 1000ppm respectively at room temperature (RT), and then increases to about 650-4100% when increasing the operating temperature up to 75°C. The gas-sensing measurements indicated that the Pt-decorated GaN NWs based sensor exhibited efficient detection of H2 at low concentration with excellent sensitivity, repeatability, and free hysteresis phenomena over a period of time of 100min. The large surface-to-volume ratio of GaN NWs and the catalytic activity of Pt metal are the most influential factors leading to the enhancement of H2 gas-sensing performances through the improvement of the interaction between the target molecules (H2) and the sensing NWs surface. The attractive low-cost, low power consumption and high-performance of the resultant decorated GaN NWs gas sensor assure their uppermost potential for H2 gas sensor working at low operating temperature. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Towards a Diagnostic Instrument to Identify Improvement Opportunities for Quality Controlled Logistics in Agrifood Supply Chain Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jack G.A.J. van der Vorst

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available  Western-European consumers have become not only more demanding on product availability in retail outlets but also on other food attributes such as quality, integrity, and safety. When (redesigning food supply-chain networks, from a logistics point of view, one has to consider these demands next to traditional efficiency and responsiveness requirements. The concept ‘quality controlled logistics’ (QCL hypothesizes that if product quality in each step of the supply chain can be predicted in advance, goods flows can be controlled in a pro-active manner and better chain designs can be established resulting in higher product availability, constant quality, and less product losses. The paper discusses opportunities of using real-time product quality information for improvement of the design and management of ‘AgriFood Supply Chain Networks’, and presents a preliminary diagnostic instrument for assessment of ‘critical quality’ and ‘logistics control’ points in the supply chain network. Results of a tomato-chain case illustrate the added value of the QCL concept for identifying improvement opportunities in the supply chain as to increase both product availability and quality. Future research aims for the further development of the diagnostic instrument and the quantification of costs and benefits of QCL scenarios.

  13. Amphoteric Ion-Exchange Membranes with Significantly Improved Vanadium Barrier Properties for All-Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nibel, Olga; Rojek, Tomasz; Schmidt, Thomas J; Gubler, Lorenz

    2017-07-10

    All-vanadium redox flow batteries (VRBs) have attracted considerable interest as promising energy-storage devices that can allow the efficient utilization of renewable energy sources. The membrane, which separates the porous electrodes in a redox flow cell, is one of the key components in VRBs. High rates of crossover of vanadium ions and water through the membrane impair the efficiency and capacity of a VRB. Thus, membranes with low permeation rate of vanadium species and water are required, also characterized by low resistance and stability in the VRB environment. Here, we present a new design concept for amphoteric ion-exchange membranes, based on radiation-induced grafting of vinylpyridine into an ethylene tetrafluoroethylene base film and a two-step functionalization to introduce cationic and anionic exchange sites, respectively. During long-term cycling, redox flow cells containing these membranes showed higher efficiency, less pronounced electrolyte imbalance, and significantly reduced capacity decay compared to the cells with the benchmark material Nafion 117. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  14. Identifying the appropriate time for deep brain stimulation to achieve spatial memory improvement on the Morris water maze.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Da Un; Lee, Jihyeon; Chang, Won Seok; Chang, Jin Woo

    2017-03-07

    The possibility of using deep brain stimulation (DBS) for memory enhancement has recently been reported, but the precise underlying mechanisms of its effects remain unknown. Our previous study suggested that spatial memory improvement by medial septum (MS)-DBS may be associated with cholinergic regulation and neurogenesis. However, the affected stage of memory could not be distinguished because the stimulation was delivered during the execution of all memory processes. Therefore, this study was performed to determine the stage of memory affected by MS-DBS. Rats were administered 192 IgG-saporin to lesion cholinergic neurons. Stimulation was delivered at different times in different groups of rats: 5 days before the Morris water maze test (pre-stimulation), 5 days during the training phase of the Morris water maze test (training-stimulation), and 2 h before the Morris water maze probe test (probe-stimulation). A fourth group of rats was lesioned but received no stimulation. These four groups were compared with a normal (control) group. The most effective memory restoration occurred in the pre-stimulation group. Moreover, the pre-stimulation group exhibited better recall of the platform position than the other stimulation groups. An increase in the level of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was observed in the pre-stimulation group; this increase was maintained for 1 week. However, acetylcholinesterase activity in the pre-stimulation group was not significantly different from the lesion group. Memory impairment due to cholinergic denervation can be improved by DBS. The improvement is significantly correlated with the up-regulation of BDNF expression and neurogenesis. Based on the results of this study, the use of MS-DBS during the early stage of disease may restore spatial memory impairment.

  15. Post-exposure Treatment with Anti-rabies VHH and Vaccine Significantly Improves Protection of Mice from Lethal Rabies Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terryn, Sanne; Francart, Aurélie; Rommelaere, Heidi; Stortelers, Catelijne; Van Gucht, Steven

    2016-01-01

    Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) against rabies infection consists of a combination of passive immunisation with plasma-derived human or equine immune globulins and active immunisation with vaccine delivered shortly after exposure. Since anti-rabies immune globulins are expensive and scarce, there is a need for cheaper alternatives that can be produced more consistently. Previously, we generated potent virus-neutralising VHH, also called Nanobodies, against the rabies glycoprotein that are effectively preventing lethal disease in an in vivo mouse model. The VHH domain is the smallest antigen-binding functional fragment of camelid heavy chain-only antibodies that can be manufactured in microbial expression systems. In the current study we evaluated the efficacy of half-life extended anti-rabies VHH in combination with vaccine for PEP in an intranasal rabies infection model in mice. The PEP combination therapy of systemic anti-rabies VHH and intramuscular vaccine significantly delayed the onset of disease compared to treatment with anti-rabies VHH alone, prolonged median survival time (35 versus 14 days) and decreased mortality (60% versus 19% survival rate), when treated 24 hours after rabies virus challenge. Vaccine alone was unable to rescue mice from lethal disease. As reported also for immune globulins, some interference of anti-rabies VHH with the antigenicity of the vaccine was observed, but this did not impede the synergistic effect. Post exposure treatment with vaccine and human anti-rabies immune globulins was unable to protect mice from lethal challenge. Anti-rabies VHH and vaccine act synergistically to protect mice after rabies virus exposure, which further validates the possible use of anti-rabies VHH for rabies PEP. PMID:27483431

  16. Post-exposure Treatment with Anti-rabies VHH and Vaccine Significantly Improves Protection of Mice from Lethal Rabies Infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanne Terryn

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP against rabies infection consists of a combination of passive immunisation with plasma-derived human or equine immune globulins and active immunisation with vaccine delivered shortly after exposure. Since anti-rabies immune globulins are expensive and scarce, there is a need for cheaper alternatives that can be produced more consistently. Previously, we generated potent virus-neutralising VHH, also called Nanobodies, against the rabies glycoprotein that are effectively preventing lethal disease in an in vivo mouse model. The VHH domain is the smallest antigen-binding functional fragment of camelid heavy chain-only antibodies that can be manufactured in microbial expression systems. In the current study we evaluated the efficacy of half-life extended anti-rabies VHH in combination with vaccine for PEP in an intranasal rabies infection model in mice. The PEP combination therapy of systemic anti-rabies VHH and intramuscular vaccine significantly delayed the onset of disease compared to treatment with anti-rabies VHH alone, prolonged median survival time (35 versus 14 days and decreased mortality (60% versus 19% survival rate, when treated 24 hours after rabies virus challenge. Vaccine alone was unable to rescue mice from lethal disease. As reported also for immune globulins, some interference of anti-rabies VHH with the antigenicity of the vaccine was observed, but this did not impede the synergistic effect. Post exposure treatment with vaccine and human anti-rabies immune globulins was unable to protect mice from lethal challenge. Anti-rabies VHH and vaccine act synergistically to protect mice after rabies virus exposure, which further validates the possible use of anti-rabies VHH for rabies PEP.

  17. Significant Improvement of Puncture Accuracy and Fluoroscopy Reduction in Percutaneous Transforaminal Endoscopic Discectomy With Novel Lumbar Location System: Preliminary Report of Prospective Hello Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Guoxin; Guan, Xiaofei; Zhang, Hailong; Wu, Xinbo; Gu, Xin; Gu, Guangfei; Fan, Yunshan; He, Shisheng

    2015-12-01

    Prospective nonrandomized control study.The study aimed to investigate the implication of the HE's Lumbar LOcation (HELLO) system in improving the puncture accuracy and reducing fluoroscopy in percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy (PTED).Percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy is one of the most popular minimally invasive spine surgeries that heavily depend on repeated fluoroscopy. Increased fluoroscopy will induce higher radiation exposure to surgeons and patients. Accurate puncture in PTED can be achieved by accurate preoperative location and definite trajectory.The HELLO system mainly consists of self-made surface locator and puncture-assisted device. The surface locator was used to identify the exact puncture target and the puncture-assisted device was used to optimize the puncture trajectory. Patients who had single L4/5 or L5/S1 lumbar intervertebral disc herniation and underwent PTED were included the study. Patients receiving the HELLO system were assigned in Group A, and those taking conventional method were assigned in Group B. Study primary endpoint was puncture times and fluoroscopic times, and the secondary endpoint was location time and operation time.A total of 62 patients who received PTED were included in this study. The average age was 45.35 ± 8.70 years in Group A and 46.61 ± 7.84 years in Group B (P = 0.552). There were no significant differences in gender, body mass index, conservative time, and surgical segment between the 2 groups (P > 0.05). The puncture times were 1.19 ± 0.48 in Group A and 6.03 ± 1.87 in Group B (P HELLO system is accurate preoperative location and definite trajectory. This preliminary report indicated that the HELLO system significantly improves the puncture accuracy of PTED and reduces the fluoroscopic times, preoperative location time, as well as operation time. (ChiCTR-ICR-15006730).

  18. Mobile Phone Apps to Improve Medication Adherence: A Systematic Stepwise Process to Identify High-Quality Apps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santo, Karla; Richtering, Sarah S; Chalmers, John; Thiagalingam, Aravinda; Chow, Clara K; Redfern, Julie

    2016-12-02

    There are a growing number of mobile phone apps available to support people in taking their medications and to improve medication adherence. However, little is known about how these apps differ in terms of features, quality, and effectiveness. We aimed to systematically review the medication reminder apps available in the Australian iTunes store and Google Play to assess their features and their quality in order to identify high-quality apps. This review was conducted in a similar manner to a systematic review by using a stepwise approach that included (1) a search strategy; (2) eligibility assessment; (3) app selection process through an initial screening of all retrieved apps and full app review of the included apps; (4) data extraction using a predefined set of features considered important or desirable in medication reminder apps; (5) analysis by classifying the apps as basic and advanced medication reminder apps and scoring and ranking them; and (6) a quality assessment by using the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS), a reliable tool to assess mobile health apps. We identified 272 medication reminder apps, of which 152 were found only in Google Play, 87 only in iTunes, and 33 in both app stores. Apps found in Google Play had more customer reviews, higher star ratings, and lower cost compared with apps in iTunes. Only 109 apps were available for free and 124 were recently updated in 2015 or 2016. Overall, the median number of features per app was 3.0 (interquartile range 4.0) and only 18 apps had ≥9 of the 17 desirable features. The most common features were flexible scheduling that was present in 56.3% (153/272) of the included apps, medication tracking history in 54.8% (149/272), snooze option in 34.9% (95/272), and visual aids in 32.4% (88/272). We classified 54.8% (149/272) of the included apps as advanced medication reminder apps and 45.2% (123/272) as basic medication reminder apps. The advanced apps had a higher number of features per app compared with the

  19. Identifying barriers to mental health system improvements: an examination of community participation in assertive community treatment programs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wakefield Patricia A

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Integrating the best available evidence into program standards is essential if system-wide improvements in the delivery of community-based mental health services are to be achieved. Since the beginning of the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT program movement, program standards have included a role for the community. In particular, ACT program standards have sought to ensure that members of the local community are involved in governance and that former clients participate in service delivery as "Peer Support Specialists". This paper reports on the extent to which ACT program standards related to community participation have been implemented and identifies barriers to full compliance. Methods Qualitative and quantitative data were collected through a telephone survey of ACT Program Coordinators in Ontario, Canada, using a census sample of the existing 66 ACT programs. A thematic approach to content analysis was used to analyze respondents' qualitative comments. Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS 16.0 and included means, frequencies, independent t-tests and Pearson Correlations. Results An 85% response rate was achieved. Of the 33 program standards, the two that received the lowest perceived compliance ratings were the two standards directly concerning community participation. Specifically, the standard to have a functioning Community Advisory Body and the standard requiring the inclusion of a Peer Support Specialist. The three major themes that emerged from the survey data with respect to the barriers to fully implementing the Community Advisory Body were: external issues; standard related issues; and, organizational/structural related issues. The three major themes concerning barriers to implementing the Peer Support Specialist role were: human resource related issues; organizational/structural related issues; and, standard related issues. Conclusions The reasons for low compliance of ACT programs with community

  20. A diagnostic of knowledge management processes at the restaurant industry SMEs to identify improvements at their productive processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alonso Perez-Soltero

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: This paper is the result of an investigation performed in northwest Mexico with the objective to analyze and diagnose knowledge management (KM processes in small and midsize restaurants. The main purpose of this study was to identify the present state of KM processes in these organizations as a way to identify improvement opportunities as well as to define facilitators and barriers that could difficult the implementation of KM initiatives.Design/methodology/approach: The study was performed in 12 restaurants and two types of questionnaires were applied. The questionnaires were applied to managers and personnel. The questionnaires analyzed knowledge Identification/location, Acquisition/learning, Development, Distribution/transference, Utilization/Application, Preservation/maintenance, and Assessment/valuation.Findings: We found that the respondents agreed that five of the GC processes have an acceptable level of development, while less developed processes were the Preservation/maintenance and Assessment/valuation of knowledge. On the other hand, the main facilitators to implementing KM initiatives are the availability of entrepreneurs to participate, staff responsive to the needs of the company, and staff is willing to share their knowledge. The main barriers are resistance to change, low level of knowledge in the use of technology by some members of the organization; difficulty accepting a strategic plan including knowledge management and unwillingness to document good practices.Originality/value: It is a novel study in Latin America, since no similar work in this productive sector has been found. Additionally, the study has a methodological approach that simultaneously addresses the analysis of the processes of knowledge management, and the identification of facilitators and barriers to implementing knowledge management initiatives.

  1. Identifying critical steps towards improved access to innovation in cancer care: a European CanCer Organisation position paper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aapro, Matti; Astier, Alain; Audisio, Riccardo; Banks, Ian; Bedossa, Pierre; Brain, Etienne; Cameron, David; Casali, Paolo; Chiti, Arturo; De Mattos-Arruda, Leticia; Kelly, Daniel; Lacombe, Denis; Nilsson, Per J; Piccart, Martine; Poortmans, Philip; Riklund, Katrine; Saeter, Gunnar; Schrappe, Martin; Soffietti, Riccardo; Travado, Luzia; van Poppel, Hein; Wait, Suzanne; Naredi, Peter

    2017-09-01

    In recent decades cancer care has seen improvements in the speed and accuracy of diagnostic procedures; the effectiveness of surgery, radiation therapy and medical treatments; the power of information technology; and the development of multidisciplinary, specialist-led approaches to care. Such innovations are essential if we are to continue improving the lives of cancer patients across Europe despite financial pressures on our healthcare systems. Investment in innovation must be balanced with the need to ensure the sustainability of healthcare budgets, and all health professionals have a responsibility to help achieve this balance. It requires scrutiny of the way care is delivered; we must be ready to discontinue practices or interventions that are inefficient, and prioritise innovations that may deliver the best outcomes possible for patients within the limits of available resources. Decisions on innovations should take into account their long-term impact on patient outcomes and costs, not just their immediate costs. Adopting a culture of innovation requires a multidisciplinary team approach, with the patient at the centre and an integral part of the team. It must take a whole-system and whole-patient perspective on cancer care and be guided by high-quality real-world data, including outcomes relevant to the patient and actual costs of care; this accurately reflects the impact of any innovation in clinical practice. The European CanCer Organisation is committed to working with its member societies, patient organisations and the cancer community at large to find sustainable ways to identify and integrate the most meaningful innovations into all aspects of cancer care. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Biodiversity and Climate Modeling Workshop Series: Identifying gaps and needs for improving large-scale biodiversity models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiskopf, S. R.; Myers, B.; Beard, T. D.; Jackson, S. T.; Tittensor, D.; Harfoot, M.; Senay, G. B.

    2017-12-01

    At the global scale, well-accepted global circulation models and agreed-upon scenarios for future climate from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are available. In contrast, biodiversity modeling at the global scale lacks analogous tools. While there is great interest in development of similar bodies and efforts for international monitoring and modelling of biodiversity at the global scale, equivalent modelling tools are in their infancy. This lack of global biodiversity models compared to the extensive array of general circulation models provides a unique opportunity to bring together climate, ecosystem, and biodiversity modeling experts to promote development of integrated approaches in modeling global biodiversity. Improved models are needed to understand how we are progressing towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, many of which are not on track to meet the 2020 goal, threatening global biodiversity conservation, monitoring, and sustainable use. We brought together biodiversity, climate, and remote sensing experts to try to 1) identify lessons learned from the climate community that can be used to improve global biodiversity models; 2) explore how NASA and other remote sensing products could be better integrated into global biodiversity models and 3) advance global biodiversity modeling, prediction, and forecasting to inform the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. The 1st In-Person meeting focused on determining a roadmap for effective assessment of biodiversity model projections and forecasts by 2030 while integrating and assimilating remote sensing data and applying lessons learned, when appropriate, from climate modeling. Here, we present the outcomes and lessons learned from our first E-discussion and in-person meeting and discuss the next steps for future meetings.

  3. Identifying and Evaluating Options for Improving Sediment Management and Fish Passage at Hydropower Dams in the Lower Mekong River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild, T. B.; Reed, P. M.; Loucks, D. P.

    2015-12-01

    The Mekong River basin in Southeast Asia is undergoing intensive and pervasive hydropower development to satisfy demand for increased energy and income to support its growing population of 60 million people. Just 20 years ago this river flowed freely. Today some 30 large dams exist in the basin, and over 100 more are being planned for construction. These dams will alter the river's natural water, sediment and nutrient flows, thereby impacting river morphology and ecosystems, and will fragment fish migration pathways. In doing so, they will degrade one of the world's most valuable and productive freshwater fish habitats. For those dams that have not yet been constructed, there still exist opportunities to modify their siting, design and operation (SDO) to potentially achieve a more balanced set of tradeoffs among hydropower production, sediment/nutrient passage and fish passage. We introduce examples of such alternative SDO opportunities for Sambor Dam in Cambodia, planned to be constructed on the main stem of the Mekong River. To evaluate the performance of such alternatives, we developed a Python-based simulation tool called PySedSim. PySedSim is a daily time step mass balance model that identifies the relative tradeoffs among hydropower production, and flow and sediment regime alteration, associated with reservoir sediment management techniques such as flushing, sluicing, bypassing, density current venting and dredging. To date, there has been a very limited acknowledgement or evaluation of the significant uncertainties that impact the evaluation of SDO alternatives. This research is formalizing a model diagnostic assessment of the key assumptions and parametric uncertainties that strongly influence PySedSim SDO evaluations. Using stochastic hydrology and sediment load data, our diagnostic assessment evaluates and compares several Sambor Dam alternatives using several performance measures related to energy production, sediment trapping and regime alteration, and

  4. Using geographical information systems to identify populations in need of improved accessibility to antivenom treatment for snakebite envenoming in Costa Rica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik Hansson

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Snakebite accidents are an important health problem in rural areas of tropical countries worldwide, including Costa Rica, where most bites are caused by the pit-viper Bothrops asper. The treatment of these potentially fatal accidents is based on the timely administration of specific antivenom. In many regions of the world, insufficient health care systems and lack of antivenom in remote and poor areas where snakebites are common, means that efficient treatment is unavailable for many snakebite victims, leading to unnecessary mortality and morbidity. In this study, geographical information systems (GIS were used to identify populations in Costa Rica with a need of improved access to antivenom treatment: those living in areas with a high risk of snakebites and long time to reach antivenom treatment. METHOD/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Populations living in areas with high risk of snakebites were identified using two approaches: one based on the district-level reported incidence, and another based on mapping environmental factors favoring B. asper presence. Time to reach treatment using ambulance was estimated using cost surface analysis, thereby enabling adjustment of transportation speed by road availability and quality, topography and land use. By mapping populations in high risk of snakebites and the estimated time to treatment, populations with need of improved treatment access were identified. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: This study demonstrates the usefulness of GIS for improving treatment of snakebites. By mapping reported incidence, risk factors, location of existing treatment resources, and the time estimated to reach these for at-risk populations, rational allocation of treatment resources is facilitated.

  5. Novel mitochondria-targeted heat-soluble proteins identified in the anhydrobiotic Tardigrade improve osmotic tolerance of human cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sae Tanaka

    Full Text Available Tardigrades are able to tolerate almost complete dehydration through transition to a metabolically inactive state, called "anhydrobiosis". Late Embryogenesis Abundant (LEA proteins are heat-soluble proteins involved in the desiccation tolerance of many anhydrobiotic organisms. Tardigrades, Ramazzottius varieornatus, however, express predominantly tardigrade-unique heat-soluble proteins: CAHS (Cytoplasmic Abundant Heat Soluble and SAHS (Secretory Abundant Heat Soluble proteins, which are secreted or localized in most intracellular compartments, except the mitochondria. Although mitochondrial integrity is crucial to ensure cellular survival, protective molecules for mitochondria have remained elusive. Here, we identified two novel mitochondrial heat-soluble proteins, RvLEAM and MAHS (Mitochondrial Abundant Heat Soluble, as potent mitochondrial protectants from Ramazzottius varieornatus. RvLEAM is a group3 LEA protein and immunohistochemistry confirmed its mitochondrial localization in tardigrade cells. MAHS-green fluorescent protein fusion protein localized in human mitochondria and was heat-soluble in vitro, though no sequence similarity with other known proteins was found, and one region was conserved among tardigrades. Furthermore, we demonstrated that RvLEAM protein as well as MAHS protein improved the hyperosmotic tolerance of human cells. The findings of the present study revealed that tardigrade mitochondria contain at least two types of heat-soluble proteins that might have protective roles in water-deficient environments.

  6. Machine Learning Methods Improve Prognostication, Identify Clinically Distinct Phenotypes, and Detect Heterogeneity in Response to Therapy in a Large Cohort of Heart Failure Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Tariq; Lund, Lars H; Rao, Pooja; Ghosh, Rohit; Warier, Prashant; Vaccaro, Benjamin; Dahlström, Ulf; O'Connor, Christopher M; Felker, G Michael; Desai, Nihar R

    2018-04-12

    Whereas heart failure (HF) is a complex clinical syndrome, conventional approaches to its management have treated it as a singular disease, leading to inadequate patient care and inefficient clinical trials. We hypothesized that applying advanced analytics to a large cohort of HF patients would improve prognostication of outcomes, identify distinct patient phenotypes, and detect heterogeneity in treatment response. The Swedish Heart Failure Registry is a nationwide registry collecting detailed demographic, clinical, laboratory, and medication data and linked to databases with outcome information. We applied random forest modeling to identify predictors of 1-year survival. Cluster analysis was performed and validated using serial bootstrapping. Association between clusters and survival was assessed with Cox proportional hazards modeling and interaction testing was performed to assess for heterogeneity in response to HF pharmacotherapy across propensity-matched clusters. Our study included 44 886 HF patients enrolled in the Swedish Heart Failure Registry between 2000 and 2012. Random forest modeling demonstrated excellent calibration and discrimination for survival (C-statistic=0.83) whereas left ventricular ejection fraction did not (C-statistic=0.52): there were no meaningful differences per strata of left ventricular ejection fraction (1-year survival: 80%, 81%, 83%, and 84%). Cluster analysis using the 8 highest predictive variables identified 4 clinically relevant subgroups of HF with marked differences in 1-year survival. There were significant interactions between propensity-matched clusters (across age, sex, and left ventricular ejection fraction and the following medications: diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, β-blockers, and nitrates, P <0.001, all). Machine learning algorithms accurately predicted outcomes in a large data set of HF patients. Cluster analysis identified 4 distinct phenotypes that differed significantly in outcomes and in

  7. Forward genetics screen coupled with whole-genome resequencing identifies novel gene targets for improving heterologous enzyme production in Aspergillus niger.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reilly, Morgann C; Kim, Joonhoon; Lynn, Jed; Simmons, Blake A; Gladden, John M; Magnuson, Jon K; Baker, Scott E

    2018-02-01

    Plant biomass, once reduced to its composite sugars, can be converted to fuel substitutes. One means of overcoming the recalcitrance of lignocellulose is pretreatment followed by enzymatic hydrolysis. However, currently available commercial enzyme cocktails are inhibited in the presence of residual pretreatment chemicals. Recent studies have identified a number of cellulolytic enzymes from bacteria that are tolerant to pretreatment chemicals such as ionic liquids. The challenge now is generation of these enzymes in copious amounts, an arena where fungal organisms such as Aspergillus niger have proven efficient. Fungal host strains still need to be engineered to increase production titers of heterologous protein over native enzymes, which has been a difficult task. Here, we developed a forward genetics screen coupled with whole-genome resequencing to identify specific lesions responsible for a protein hyper-production phenotype in A. niger. This strategy successfully identified novel targets, including a low-affinity glucose transporter, MstC, whose deletion significantly improved secretion of recombinant proteins driven by a glucoamylase promoter.

  8. Forward genetics screen coupled with whole-genome resequencing identifies novel gene targets for improving heterologous enzyme production in Aspergillus niger

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reilly, Morgann C. [Joint BioEnergy Institute, Emeryville, CA (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Kim, Joonhoon [Joint BioEnergy Institute, Emeryville, CA (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Lynn, Jed [Joint BioEnergy Institute, Emeryville, CA (United States); Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, OH (United States); Simmons, Blake A. [Joint BioEnergy Institute, Emeryville, CA (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Gladden, John M. [Joint BioEnergy Institute, Emeryville, CA (United States); Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States); Magnuson, Jon K. [Joint BioEnergy Institute, Emeryville, CA (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Baker, Scott E. [Joint BioEnergy Institute, Emeryville, CA (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2018-01-06

    Plant biomass, once reduced to its composite sugars, can be converted to fuel substitutes. One means of overcoming the recalcitrance of lignocellulose is pretreatment followed by enzymatic hydrolysis. However, currently available commercial enzyme cocktails are inhibited in the presence of residual pretreatment chemicals. Recent studies have identified a number of cellulolytic enzymes from bacteria that are tolerant to pretreatment chemicals such as ionic liquids. The challenge now is generation of these enzymes in copious amounts, an arena where fungal organisms such as Aspergillus niger have proven efficient. Fungal host strains still need to be engineered to increase production titers of heterologous protein over native enzymes, which has been a difficult task. Here, we developed a forward genetics screen coupled with whole-genome resequencing to identify specific lesions responsible for a protein hyper-production phenotype in A. niger. This strategy successfully identified novel targets, including a low-affinity glucose transporter, MstC, whose deletion significantly improved secretion of recombinant proteins driven by a glucoamylase promoter.

  9. A quantitative analysis of statistical power identifies obesity end points for improved in vivo preclinical study design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selimkhanov, J; Thompson, W C; Guo, J; Hall, K D; Musante, C J

    2017-08-01

    The design of well-powered in vivo preclinical studies is a key element in building the knowledge of disease physiology for the purpose of identifying and effectively testing potential antiobesity drug targets. However, as a result of the complexity of the obese phenotype, there is limited understanding of the variability within and between study animals of macroscopic end points such as food intake and body composition. This, combined with limitations inherent in the measurement of certain end points, presents challenges to study design that can have significant consequences for an antiobesity program. Here, we analyze a large, longitudinal study of mouse food intake and body composition during diet perturbation to quantify the variability and interaction of the key metabolic end points. To demonstrate how conclusions can change as a function of study size, we show that a simulated preclinical study properly powered for one end point may lead to false conclusions based on secondary end points. We then propose the guidelines for end point selection and study size estimation under different conditions to facilitate proper power calculation for a more successful in vivo study design.

  10. Cyclic peptide inhibitors of lysine-specific demethylase 1 with improved potency identified by alanine scanning mutagenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumarasinghe, Isuru R; Woster, Patrick M

    2018-03-25

    Lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) is a chromatin-remodeling enzyme that plays an important role in cancer. Over-expression of LSD1 decreases methylation at histone 3 lysine 4, and aberrantly silences tumor suppressor genes. Inhibitors of LSD1 have been designed as chemical probes and potential antitumor agents. We recently reported the cyclic peptide 9, which potently and reversibly inhibits LSD1 (IC 50 2.1 μM; K i 385 nM). Systematic alanine mutagenesis of 9 revealed residues that are critical for LSD1 inhibition, and these mutated peptides were evaluated as LSD1 inhibitors. Alanine substitution at positions 2, 3, 4, 6 and 11-17 preserved inhibition, while substitution of alanine at positions 8 and 9 resulted in complete loss of activity. Cyclic mutant peptides 11 and 16 produced the greatest LSD1 inhibition, and 11, 16, 27 and 28 increased global H3K4me2 in K562 cells. In addition, 16, 27 and 28 promoted significant increases in H3K4me2 levels at the promoter sites of the genes IGFBP2 and FEZ1. Data from these LSD1 inhibitors will aid in the design of peptidomimetics with improved stability and pharmacokinetics. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  11. Metabolomics as a tool to identify biomarkers to predict and improve outcomes in reproductive medicine: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracewell-Milnes, Timothy; Saso, Srdjan; Abdalla, Hossam; Nikolau, Dimitrios; Norman-Taylor, Julian; Johnson, Mark; Holmes, Elaine; Thum, Meen-Yau

    2017-11-01

    Infertility is a complex disorder with significant medical, psychological and financial consequences for patients. With live-birth rates per cycle below 30% and a drive from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to encourage single embryo transfer, there is significant research in different areas aiming to improve success rates of fertility treatments. One such area is investigating the causes of infertility at a molecular level, and metabolomics techniques provide a platform for studying relevant biofluids in the reproductive tract. The aim of this systematic review is to examine the recent findings for the potential application of metabolomics to female reproduction, specifically to the metabolomics of follicular fluid (FF), embryo culture medium (ECM) and endometrial fluid. To our knowledge no other systematic review has investigated this topic. English peer-reviewed journals on PubMed, Science Direct, SciFinder, were systematically searched for studies investigating metabolomics and the female reproductive tract with no time restriction set for publications. Studies were assessed for quality using the risk of bias assessment and ROBIN-I. There were 21 studies that met the inclusion criteria and were included in the systematic review. Metabolomic studies have been employed for the compositional analysis of various biofluids in the female reproductive tract, including FF, ECM, blastocoele fluid and endometrial fluid. There is some weak evidence that metabolomics technologies studying ECM might be able to predict the viability of individual embryos and implantation rate better than standard embryo morphology, However these data were not supported by randomized the controlled trials (RCTs) which showed no evidence that using metabolomics is able to improve the most important reproductive outcomes, such as clinical pregnancy and live-birth rates. This systematic review provides guidance for future metabolomic studies on biofluids of the female

  12. Five-year results from a prospective multicentre study of percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation demonstrate sustained removal of significant pulmonary regurgitation, improved right ventricular outflow tract obstruction and improved quality of life

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hager, Alfred; Schubert, Stephan; Ewert, Peter

    2017-01-01

    . The EQ-5D quality of life utility index and visual analogue scale scores were both significantly improved six months post PPVI and remained so at five years. CONCLUSIONS: Five-year results following PPVI demonstrate resolved moderate or severe pulmonary regurgitation, improved right ventricular outflow...

  13. Air quality models and unusually large ozone increases: Identifying model failures, understanding environmental causes, and improving modeled chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couzo, Evan A.

    Several factors combine to make ozone (O3) pollution in Houston, Texas, unique when compared to other metropolitan areas. These include complex meteorology, intense clustering of industrial activity, and significant precursor emissions from the heavily urbanized eight-county area. Decades of air pollution research have borne out two different causes, or conceptual models, of O 3 formation. One conceptual model describes a gradual region-wide increase in O3 concentrations "typical" of many large U.S. cities. The other conceptual model links episodic emissions of volatile organic compounds to spatially limited plumes of high O3, which lead to large hourly increases that have exceeded 100 parts per billion (ppb) per hour. These large hourly increases are known to lead to violations of the federal O 3 standard and impact Houston's status as a non-attainment area. There is a need to further understand and characterize the causes of peak O 3 levels in Houston and simulate them correctly so that environmental regulators can find the most cost-effective pollution controls. This work provides a detailed understanding of unusually large O 3 increases in the natural and modeled environments. First, we probe regulatory model simulations and assess their ability to reproduce the observed phenomenon. As configured for the purpose of demonstrating future attainment of the O3 standard, the model fails to predict the spatially limited O3 plumes observed in Houston. Second, we combine ambient meteorological and pollutant measurement data to identify the most likely geographic origins and preconditions of the concentrated O3 plumes. We find evidence that the O3 plumes are the result of photochemical activity accelerated by industrial emissions. And, third, we implement changes to the modeled chemistry to add missing formation mechanisms of nitrous acid, which is an important radical precursor. Radicals control the chemical reactivity of atmospheric systems, and perturbations to

  14. Addition of 2-(ethylamino)acetonitrile group to nitroxoline results in significantly improved anti-tumor activity in vitro and in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrović, Ana; Sosič, Izidor; Kos, Špela; Tratar, Urša Lampreht; Breznik, Barbara; Kranjc, Simona; Mirković, Bojana; Gobec, Stanislav; Lah, Tamara; Serša, Gregor; Kos, Janko

    2017-08-29

    Lysosomal cysteine peptidase cathepsin B, involved in multiple processes associated with tumor progression, is validated as a target for anti-cancer therapy. Nitroxoline, a known antimicrobial agent, is a potent and selective inhibitor of cathepsin B, hence reducing tumor progression in vitro and in vivo . In order to further improve its anti-cancer properties we developed a number of derivatives using structure-based chemical synthesis. Of these, the 7-aminomethylated derivative (compound 17 ) exhibited significantly improved kinetic properties over nitroxoline, inhibiting cathepsin B endopeptidase activity selectively. In the present study, we have evaluated its anti-cancer properties. It was more effective than nitroxoline in reducing tumor cell invasion and migration, as determined in vitro on two-dimensional cell models and tumor spheroids, under either endpoint or real time conditions. Moreover, it exhibited improved action over nitroxoline in impairing tumor growth in vivo in LPB mouse fibrosarcoma tumors in C57Bl/6 mice. Taken together, the addition of a 2-(ethylamino)acetonitrile group to nitroxoline at position 7 significantly improves its pharmacological characteristics and its potential for use as an anti-cancer drug.

  15. Co-overexpressing a Plasma Membrane and a Vacuolar Membrane Sodium/Proton Antiporter Significantly Improves Salt Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pehlivan, Necla; Sun, Li; Jarrett, Philip; Yang, Xiaojie; Mishra, Neelam; Chen, Lin; Kadioglu, Asim; Shen, Guoxin; Zhang, Hong

    2016-01-01

    The Arabidopsis gene AtNHX1 encodes a vacuolar membrane-bound sodium/proton (Na+/H+) antiporter that transports Na+ into the vacuole and exports H+ into the cytoplasm. The Arabidopsis gene SOS1 encodes a plasma membrane-bound Na+/H+ antiporter that exports Na+ to the extracellular space and imports H+ into the plant cell. Plants rely on these enzymes either to keep Na+ out of the cell or to sequester Na+ into vacuoles to avoid the toxic level of Na+ in the cytoplasm. Overexpression of AtNHX1 or SOS1 could improve salt tolerance in transgenic plants, but the improved salt tolerance is limited. NaCl at concentration >200 mM would kill AtNHX1-overexpressing or SOS1-overexpressing plants. Here it is shown that co-overexpressing AtNHX1 and SOS1 could further improve salt tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, making transgenic Arabidopsis able to tolerate up to 250 mM NaCl treatment. Furthermore, co-overexpression of AtNHX1 and SOS1 could significantly reduce yield loss caused by the combined stresses of heat and salt, confirming the hypothesis that stacked overexpression of two genes could substantially improve tolerance against multiple stresses. This research serves as a proof of concept for improving salt tolerance in other plants including crops. PMID:26985021

  16. Co-overexpressing a Plasma Membrane and a Vacuolar Membrane Sodium/Proton Antiporter Significantly Improves Salt Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pehlivan, Necla; Sun, Li; Jarrett, Philip; Yang, Xiaojie; Mishra, Neelam; Chen, Lin; Kadioglu, Asim; Shen, Guoxin; Zhang, Hong

    2016-05-01

    The Arabidopsis gene AtNHX1 encodes a vacuolar membrane-bound sodium/proton (Na(+)/H(+)) antiporter that transports Na(+) into the vacuole and exports H(+) into the cytoplasm. The Arabidopsis gene SOS1 encodes a plasma membrane-bound Na(+)/H(+) antiporter that exports Na(+) to the extracellular space and imports H(+) into the plant cell. Plants rely on these enzymes either to keep Na(+) out of the cell or to sequester Na(+) into vacuoles to avoid the toxic level of Na(+) in the cytoplasm. Overexpression of AtNHX1 or SOS1 could improve salt tolerance in transgenic plants, but the improved salt tolerance is limited. NaCl at concentration >200 mM would kill AtNHX1-overexpressing or SOS1-overexpressing plants. Here it is shown that co-overexpressing AtNHX1 and SOS1 could further improve salt tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, making transgenic Arabidopsis able to tolerate up to 250 mM NaCl treatment. Furthermore, co-overexpression of AtNHX1 and SOS1 could significantly reduce yield loss caused by the combined stresses of heat and salt, confirming the hypothesis that stacked overexpression of two genes could substantially improve tolerance against multiple stresses. This research serves as a proof of concept for improving salt tolerance in other plants including crops. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists.

  17. miR-155, identified as anti-metastatic by global miRNA profiling of a metastasis model, inhibits cancer cell extravasation and colonization in vivo and causes significant signaling alterations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gravgaard, Karina Hedelund; Terp, Mikkel G; Lund, Rikke R

    2015-01-01

    To gain insight into miRNA regulation in metastasis formation, we used a metastasis cell line model that allows investigation of extravasation and colonization of circulating cancer cells to lungs in mice. Using global miRNA profiling, 28 miRNAs were found to exhibit significantly altered...... proliferation or apoptosis in established lung tumors. To identify proteins regulated by miR-155 and thus delineate its function in our cell model, we compared the proteome of xenograft tumors derived from miR-155-overexpressing CL16 cells and CL16 control cells using mass spectrometry-based proteomics. >4......,000 proteins were identified, of which 92 were consistently differentially expressed. Network analysis revealed that the altered proteins were associated with cellular functions such as movement, growth and survival as well as cell-to-cell signaling and interaction. Downregulation of the three metastasis...

  18. Low-level radioactive waste from commercial nuclear reactors. Volume 1. Recommendations for technology developments with potential to significantly improve low-level radioactive waste management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rodgers, B.R.; Jolley, R.L.

    1986-02-01

    The overall task of this program was to provide an assessment of currently available technology for treating commercial low-level radioactive waste (LLRW), to initiate development of a methodology for choosing one technology for a given application, and to identify research needed to improve current treatment techniques and decision methodology. The resulting report is issued in four volumes. Volume 1 provides an executive summary and a general introduction to the four-volume set, in addition to recommendations for research and development (R and D) for low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) treatment. Generic, long-range, and/or high-risk programs identified and prioritized as needed R and D in the LLRW field include: (1) systems analysis to develop decision methodology; (2) alternative processes for dismantling, decontaminating, and decommissioning; (3) ion exchange; (4) incinerator technology; (5) disposal technology; (6) demonstration of advanced technologies; (7) technical assistance; (8) below regulatory concern materials; (9) mechanical treatment techniques; (10) monitoring and analysis procedures; (11) radical process improvements; (12) physical, chemical, thermal, and biological processes; (13) fundamental chemistry; (14) interim storage; (15) modeling; and (16) information transfer. The several areas are discussed in detail

  19. Vitamin D and Calcium Addition during Denosumab Therapy over a Period of Four Years Significantly Improves Lumbar Bone Mineral Density in Japanese Osteoporosis Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takako Suzuki

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated whether or not vitamin D and calcium supplementation affected bone metabolism and bone mineral density (BMD over a period of four years of denosumab therapy in patients with primary osteoporosis. Patients were divided into a denosumab monotherapy group (22 cases or a denosumab plus vitamin D and calcium supplementation group (combination group, 21 cases. We measured serum bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRACP-5b, urinary N-terminal telopeptide of type-I collagen (NTX, and BMD of the lumbar 1–4 vertebrae (L-BMD and bilateral hips (H-BMD at baseline and at 12, 24, 36, and 48 months of treatment. There were no significant differences in patient background. Serum BAP, TRACP-5b, and urinary NTX were significantly and comparably inhibited in both groups from 12 to 48 months versus baseline values. L-BMD was significantly increased at every time point in both groups, while H-BMD was significantly increased at every time point in the combination group only. There were significant differences between the groups for L-BMD at 24, 36, and 48 months (P < 0.05 and for H-BMD at 12 months (P < 0.05. Compared with denosumab monotherapy, combination therapy of denosumab plus vitamin D and calcium significantly increased H-BMD at 12 months and L-BMD from 24 to 48 months. These findings indicate that continuous vitamin D and calcium supplementation is important, especially for 12 months to improve H-BMD and from 24 to 48 months to improve L-BMD.

  20. Significant improvement of olfactory performance in sleep apnea patients after three months of nasal CPAP therapy - Observational study and randomized trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina Boerner

    Full Text Available The olfactory function highly impacts quality of life (QoL. Continuous positive airway pressure is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA and is often applied by nasal masks (nCPAP. The influence of nCPAP on the olfactory performance of OSA patients is unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the sense of smell before initiation of nCPAP and after three months treatment, in moderate and severe OSA patients.The sense of smell was assessed in 35 patients suffering from daytime sleepiness and moderate to severe OSA (apnea/hypopnea index ≥ 15/h, with the aid of a validated test battery (Sniffin' Sticks before initiation of nCPAP therapy and after three months of treatment. Additionally, adherent subjects were included in a double-blind randomized three weeks CPAP-withdrawal trial (sub-therapeutic CPAP pressure.Twenty five of the 35 patients used the nCPAP therapy for more than four hours per night, and for more than 70% of nights (adherent group. The olfactory performance of these patients improved significantly (p = 0.007 after three months of nCPAP therapy. When considering the entire group of patients, olfaction also improved significantly (p = 0.001. In the randomized phase the sense of smell of six patients deteriorated under sub-therapeutic CPAP pressure (p = 0.046 whereas five patients in the maintenance CPAP group showed no significant difference (p = 0.501.Olfactory performance improved significantly after three months of nCPAP therapy in patients suffering from moderate and severe OSA. It seems that this effect of nCPAP is reversible under sub-therapeutic CPAP pressure.ISRCTN11128866.

  1. Using benchmarking to identify inter-centre differences in persistent ductus arteriosus treatment: can we improve outcome?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, E.J.; Dijkman, K.P.; Lingen, R.A. van; Vries, W.B. de; Vijlbrief, D.C.; Boode, W.P. de; Andriessen, P.

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify inter-centre differences in persistent ductus arteriosus treatment and their related outcomes. Materials and methods We carried out a retrospective, multicentre study including infants between 24+0 and 27+6 weeks of gestation in the period between

  2. Using benchmarking to identify inter-centre differences in persistent ductus arteriosus treatment : can we improve outcome?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, Esther J. S.; Dijkman, Koen P.; Van Lingen, Richard A.; de Vries, Willem B; Vijlbrief, Daniel C; de Boode, Willem P; Andriessen, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Objective: The aim of this study was to identify inter-centre differences in persistent ductus arteriosus treatment and their related outcomes. Materials and methods: We carried out a retrospective, multicentre study including infants between 24+0 and 27+6 weeks of gestation in the period between

  3. A Spreadsheet-Based Visualized Mindtool for Improving Students' Learning Performance in Identifying Relationships between Numerical Variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Chiu-Lin; Hwang, Gwo-Jen

    2015-01-01

    In this study, a spreadsheet-based visualized Mindtool was developed for improving students' learning performance when finding relationships between numerical variables by engaging them in reasoning and decision-making activities. To evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed approach, an experiment was conducted on the "phenomena of climate…

  4. Comparing identified and statistically significant lipids and polar metabolites in 15-year old serum and dried blood spot samples for longitudinal studies: Comparing lipids and metabolites in serum and DBS samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kyle, Jennifer E. [Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Casey, Cameron P. [Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Stratton, Kelly G. [National Security Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Zink, Erika M. [Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Kim, Young-Mo [Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Zheng, Xueyun [Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Monroe, Matthew E. [Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Weitz, Karl K. [Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Bloodsworth, Kent J. [Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Orton, Daniel J. [Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Ibrahim, Yehia M. [Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Moore, Ronald J. [Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Lee, Christine G. [Department of Medicine, Bone and Mineral Unit, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland OR USA; Research Service, Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Portland OR USA; Pedersen, Catherine [Department of Medicine, Bone and Mineral Unit, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland OR USA; Orwoll, Eric [Department of Medicine, Bone and Mineral Unit, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland OR USA; Smith, Richard D. [Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E. [Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA; Baker, Erin S. [Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA

    2017-02-05

    The use of dried blood spots (DBS) has many advantages over traditional plasma and serum samples such as smaller blood volume required, storage at room temperature, and ability for sampling in remote locations. However, understanding the robustness of different analytes in DBS samples is essential, especially in older samples collected for longitudinal studies. Here we analyzed DBS samples collected in 2000-2001 and stored at room temperature and compared them to matched serum samples stored at -80°C to determine if they could be effectively used as specific time points in a longitudinal study following metabolic disease. Four hundred small molecules were identified in both the serum and DBS samples using gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), liquid chromatography-MS (LC-MS) and LC-ion mobility spectrometry-MS (LC-IMS-MS). The identified polar metabolites overlapped well between the sample types, though only one statistically significant polar metabolite in a case-control study was conserved, indicating degradation occurs in the DBS samples affecting quantitation. Differences in the lipid identifications indicated that some oxidation occurs in the DBS samples. However, thirty-six statistically significant lipids correlated in both sample types indicating that lipid quantitation was more stable across the sample types.

  5. Aging Road User Survey and Crash Analysis to Identify Issues and Applicable Improvement Strategies for Kansas Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-02-02

    The United States has over 4-million mi (6-million km) of roadways. The renewable energy potential on this size of land is enormous and could significantly contribute to the electricity demands of the United States. Developing piezoelectric technolog...

  6. Tumor-selective replication herpes simplex virus-based technology significantly improves clinical detection and prognostication of viable circulating tumor cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Wen; Bao, Li; Yang, Shaoxing

    2016-01-01

    Detection of circulating tumor cells remains a significant challenge due to their vast physical and biological heterogeneity. We developed a cell-surface-marker-independent technology based on telomerase-specific, replication-selective oncolytic herpes-simplex-virus-1 that targets telomerase......-reverse-transcriptase-positive cancer cells and expresses green-fluorescent-protein that identifies viable CTCs from a broad spectrum of malignancies. Our method recovered 75.5-87.2% of tumor cells spiked into healthy donor blood, as validated by different methods, including single cell sequencing. CTCs were detected in 59-100% of 326...

  7. A facile template method to synthesize significantly improved LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 using corn stalk as a bio-template

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Guiyang; Kong, Xin; Sun, Hongyan; Wang, Baosen; Yi, Zhongzhou; Wang, Quanbiao

    2014-01-01

    In order to simplify the template method for the synthesis of cathode materials for lithium ion batteries, a facile template method using plant stalks as bio-templates has been introduced. Based on this method, LiNi 0.5 Mn 1.5 O 4 spinel with a significantly improved electrochemical performance has been synthesized using corn stalk as a template. X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared pectroscopy (FTIR) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) have been used to investigate the phase composition and micro-morphologies of the products. Charge-discharge measurements in lithium cells, cyclic voltammetry (CV) and Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) have been used to study the electrochemical performance of the products. The results indicate that the templated product exhibits higher crystallinity than that of non-templated product. Both of the templated product and the non-templated product are combination of the ordered space group P4 3 32 and the disordered Fd-3 m. The specific BET surface area of the templated product is about twice larger than that of the non-templated product. Moreover, the electrochemical performances of the templated product including specific capacity, cycling stability and rate capability are significantly improved as compared with the non-templated product, due to its higher crystallinity, larger Li + diffusion coefficient and lower charge transfer resistance

  8. Arthroscopic Debridement for Primary Degenerative Osteoarthritis of the Elbow Leads to Significant Improvement in Range of Motion and Clinical Outcomes: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sochacki, Kyle R; Jack, Robert A; Hirase, Takashi; McCulloch, Patrick C; Lintner, David M; Liberman, Shari R; Harris, Joshua D

    2017-12-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether arthroscopic debridement of primary elbow osteoarthritis results in statistically significant and clinically relevant improvement in (1) elbow range of motion and (2) clinical outcomes with (3) low complication and reoperation rates. A systematic review was registered with PROSPERO and performed using PRISMA guidelines. Databases were searched for studies that investigated the outcomes of arthroscopic debridement for the treatment of primary osteoarthritis of the elbow in adult human patients. Study methodological quality was analyzed. Studies that included post-traumatic arthritis were excluded. Elbow motion and all elbow-specific patient-reported outcome scores were eligible for analysis. Comparisons between preoperative and postoperative values from each study were made using 2-sample Z-tests (http://in-silico.net/tools/statistics/ztest) using a P value osteoarthritis results in statistically significant and clinically relevant improvement in elbow range of motion and clinical outcomes with low complication and reoperation rates. Systematic review of level IV studies. Copyright © 2017 Arthroscopy Association of North America. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Transplantation of N-Acetyl Aspartyl-Glutamate Synthetase-Activated Neural Stem Cells after Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury Significantly Improves Neurological Recovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingfeng Li

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Neural stem cells (NSCs hold considerable potential as a therapeutic tool for repair of the damaged nervous system. In the current study, we examined whether transplanted N-acetyl aspartyl-glutamate synthetase (NAAGS-activated NSCs (NAAGS/NSCs further improve neurological recovery following traumatic brain injury (TBI in Sprague-Dawley rats. Methods: Animals received TBI and stereotactic injection of NSCs, NAAGS/NSCs or phosphate buffered saline without cells (control into the injured cortex. NAAGS protein expression was detected through western blot analysis. Dialysate NAAG levels were analyzed with radioimmunoassay. Cell apoptosis was detected via TUNEL staining. The expression levels of specific pro-inflammatory cytokines were detected with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Groups with transplanted NSCs and NAAGS/NSCs displayed significant recovery of the motor behavior, compared to the control group. At 14 and 21 days post-transplantation, the motor behavior in NAAGS/NSC group was significantly improved than that in NSC group (pConclusion: Our results collectively demonstrate that NAAGS/NSCs provide a more powerful autoplastic therapy for the injured nervous system.

  10. Using benchmarking to identify inter-centre differences in persistent ductus arteriosus treatment: can we improve outcome?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, Esther J S; Dijkman, Koen P; van Lingen, Richard A; de Vries, Willem B; Vijlbrief, Daniel C; de Boode, Willem P; Andriessen, Peter

    2017-10-01

    The aim of this study was to identify inter-centre differences in persistent ductus arteriosus treatment and their related outcomes. Materials and methods We carried out a retrospective, multicentre study including infants between 24+0 and 27+6 weeks of gestation in the period between 2010 and 2011. In all centres, echocardiography was used as the standard procedure to diagnose a patent ductus arteriosus and to document ductal closure. In total, 367 preterm infants were included. All four participating neonatal ICU had a comparable number of preterm infants; however, differences were observed in the incidence of treatment (33-63%), choice and dosing of medication (ibuprofen or indomethacin), number of pharmacological courses (1-4), and the need for surgical ligation after failure of pharmacological treatment (8-52%). Despite the differences in treatment, we found no difference in short-term morbidity between the centres. Adjusted mortality showed independent risk contribution of gestational age, birth weight, ductal ligation, and perinatal centre. Using benchmarking as a tool identified inter-centre differences. In these four perinatal centres, the factors that explained the differences in patent ductus arteriosus treatment are quite complex. Timing, choice of medication, and dosing are probably important determinants for successful patent ductus arteriosus closure.

  11. Identifying Relevant Anti-Science Perceptions to Improve Science-Based Communication: The Negative Perceptions of Science Scale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Morgan

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Science communicators and scholars have struggled to understand what appears to be increasingly frequent endorsement of a wide range of anti-science beliefs and a corresponding reduction of trust in science. A common explanation for this issue is a lack of science literacy/knowledge among the general public (Funk et al. 2015. However, other possible explanations have been advanced, including conflict with alternative belief systems and other contextual factors, and even cultural factors (Gauchat 2008; Kahan 2015 that are not necessarily due to knowledge deficits. One of the challenges is that there are limited tools available to measure a range of possible underlying negative perceptions of science that could provide a more nuanced framework within which to improve communication around important scientific topics. This project describes two studies detailing the development and validation of the Negative Perceptions of Science Scale (NPSS, a multi-dimensional instrument that taps into several distinct sets of negative science perceptions: Science as Corrupt, Science as Complex, Science as Heretical, and Science as Limited. Evidence for the reliability and validity of the NPSS is described. The sub-dimensions of the NPSS are associated with a range of specific anti-science beliefs across a broad set of topic areas above and beyond that explained by demographics (including education, sex, age, and income, political, and religious ideology. Implications for these findings for improving science communication and science-related message tailoring are discussed.

  12. Improving Measures of Sexual and Gender Identity in English and Spanish to Identify LGBT Older Adults in Surveys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaels, Stuart; Milesi, Carolina; Stern, Michael; Viox, Melissa Heim; Morrison, Heather; Guerino, Paul; Dragon, Christina N; Haffer, Samuel C

    2017-12-01

    The goal of this research is to advance the study of health disparities faced by older sexual and gender minorities by assessing comprehension of and improving measures of sexual and gender identity in surveys. Cognitive interviews were conducted by expert interviewers with 48 non-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (non-LGBT) and 9 LGBT older English and Spanish speakers. All respondents were able to answer questions about their sex assigned at birth and current gender identity successfully despite some cisgender respondents' lack of clear understanding of the transgender response option. On the contrary, while the vast majority of English speakers could answer the question about their sexual identity successfully, almost 60% of the non-LGBT Spanish speakers did not select the "heterosexual, that is, not gay (or lesbian)" response category. Qualitative probing of their response process pointed mainly to difficulties understanding the term "heterosexual," leading to their choosing "something else" or saying that they didn't know how to answer. A second round of testing of alternative response categories for the sexual identity question with Spanish speakers found a marked improvement when offered "not gay (or lesbian), that is, heterosexual" instead of beginning with the term "heterosexual." This research adds to our understanding of gender and sexual identity questions appropriate for population surveys with older adults. Inclusion of these measures in surveys is a crucial step in advancing insights into the needs of and disparities faced by LGBT older adults.

  13. Identifying barriers and improving communication between cancer service providers and Aboriginal patients and their families: the perspective of service providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahid, Shaouli; Durey, Angela; Bessarab, Dawn; Aoun, Samar M; Thompson, Sandra C

    2013-11-04

    Aboriginal Australians experience poorer outcomes from cancer compared to the non-Aboriginal population. Some progress has been made in understanding Aboriginal Australians' perspectives about cancer and their experiences with cancer services. However, little is known of cancer service providers' (CSPs) thoughts and perceptions regarding Aboriginal patients and their experiences providing optimal cancer care to Aboriginal people. Communication between Aboriginal patients and non-Aboriginal health service providers has been identified as an impediment to good Aboriginal health outcomes. This paper reports on CSPs' views about the factors impairing communication and offers practical strategies for promoting effective communication with Aboriginal patients in Western Australia (WA). A qualitative study involving in-depth interviews with 62 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal CSPs from across WA was conducted between March 2006-September 2007 and April-October 2011. CSPs were asked to share their experiences with Aboriginal patients and families experiencing cancer. Thematic analysis was carried out. Our analysis was primarily underpinned by the socio-ecological model, but concepts of Whiteness and privilege, and cultural security also guided our analysis. CSPs' lack of knowledge about the needs of Aboriginal people with cancer and Aboriginal patients' limited understanding of the Western medical system were identified as the two major impediments to communication. For effective patient-provider communication, attention is needed to language, communication style, knowledge and use of medical terminology and cross-cultural differences in the concept of time. Aboriginal marginalization within mainstream society and Aboriginal people's distrust of the health system were also key issues impacting on communication. Potential solutions to effective Aboriginal patient-provider communication included recruiting more Aboriginal staff, providing appropriate cultural training for CSPs

  14. Identifying barriers and improving communication between cancer service providers and Aboriginal patients and their families: the perspective of service providers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Aboriginal Australians experience poorer outcomes from cancer compared to the non-Aboriginal population. Some progress has been made in understanding Aboriginal Australians’ perspectives about cancer and their experiences with cancer services. However, little is known of cancer service providers’ (CSPs) thoughts and perceptions regarding Aboriginal patients and their experiences providing optimal cancer care to Aboriginal people. Communication between Aboriginal patients and non-Aboriginal health service providers has been identified as an impediment to good Aboriginal health outcomes. This paper reports on CSPs’ views about the factors impairing communication and offers practical strategies for promoting effective communication with Aboriginal patients in Western Australia (WA). Methods A qualitative study involving in-depth interviews with 62 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal CSPs from across WA was conducted between March 2006 - September 2007 and April-October 2011. CSPs were asked to share their experiences with Aboriginal patients and families experiencing cancer. Thematic analysis was carried out. Our analysis was primarily underpinned by the socio-ecological model, but concepts of Whiteness and privilege, and cultural security also guided our analysis. Results CSPs’ lack of knowledge about the needs of Aboriginal people with cancer and Aboriginal patients’ limited understanding of the Western medical system were identified as the two major impediments to communication. For effective patient–provider communication, attention is needed to language, communication style, knowledge and use of medical terminology and cross-cultural differences in the concept of time. Aboriginal marginalization within mainstream society and Aboriginal people’s distrust of the health system were also key issues impacting on communication. Potential solutions to effective Aboriginal patient-provider communication included recruiting more Aboriginal staff

  15. Improving a full-text search engine: the importance of negation detection and family history context to identify cases in a biomedical data warehouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcelon, Nicolas; Neuraz, Antoine; Benoit, Vincent; Salomon, Rémi; Burgun, Anita

    2017-05-01

    The repurposing of electronic health records (EHRs) can improve clinical and genetic research for rare diseases. However, significant information in rare disease EHRs is embedded in the narrative reports, which contain many negated clinical signs and family medical history. This paper presents a method to detect family history and negation in narrative reports and evaluates its impact on selecting populations from a clinical data warehouse (CDW). We developed a pipeline to process 1.6 million reports from multiple sources. This pipeline is part of the load process of the Necker Hospital CDW. We identified patients with "Lupus and diarrhea," "Crohn's and diabetes," and "NPHP1" from the CDW. The overall precision, recall, specificity, and F-measure were 0.85, 0.98, 0.93, and 0.91, respectively. The proposed method generates a highly accurate identification of cases from a CDW of rare disease EHRs. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Medical Informatics Association. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com

  16. Protegemed2: an extended platform based on RFID to identify EME and improve the detection of microshocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebonatto, Marcelo Trindade; Spalding, Luiz Eduardo Schardong; Hessel, Fabiano Passuelo; Amaral, Leonardo Albernaz

    2013-06-01

    The use of electromedical equipment (EME) throughout the years has brought benefits in the aid of diagnosis and therapies as well as in surgical interventions. However, the equipment may fail and can cause health hazards, for example, the passing of a small but dangerous electric current through the patient (microshock). To prevent and minimize the risk of failure we propose the Protegemed2, an extension of the previous version called Protegemed, addressed in 2009. This system uses radio frequency identification to automatically identify EME and increases the performance of the system allowing a large-scale supervision of EMEs. Protegemed2 was built embedded into the gas and electric power panel of surgical rooms and uses an ARM 32-bit microcontroller.

  17. Can inbound and domestic medical tourism improve your bottom line? Identifying the potential of a U.S. tourism market.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fottler, Myron D; Malvey, Donna; Asi, Yara; Kirchner, Sarah; Warren, Natalia A

    2014-01-01

    In large part due to current economic conditions and the political uncertainties of healthcare reform legislation, hospitals need to identify new sources of revenue. Two potentially untapped sources are inbound (international) and domestic (within the United States) medical tourists. This case study uses data from a large, urban healthcare system in the southeastern United States to quantify its potential market opportunities for medical tourism. The data were mined from electronic health records, and descriptive frequency analysis was used to provide a preliminary market assessment. This approach permits healthcare systems to move beyond anecdotal information and assess the relative market potential of their particular geographic area and the diagnostic services they offer for attracting inbound and domestic medical tourists. Implications for healthcare executives and guidance on how they can focus marketing efforts are discussed.

  18. How Good Is Good: Improved Tracking and Managing of Safety Goals, Performance Indicators, Production Targets and Significant Events Using Learning Curves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duffey, Rommey B.; Saull, John W.

    2002-01-01

    We show a new way to track and measure safety and performance using learning curves derived on a mathematical basis. When unusual or abnormal events occur in plants and equipment, the regulator and good management practice requires they be reported, investigated, understood and rectified. In addition to reporting so-called 'significant events', both management and the regulator often set targets for individual and collective performance, which are used for both reward and criticism. For almost completely safe systems, like nuclear power plants, commercial aircraft and chemical facilities, many parameters are tracked and measured. Continuous improvement has to be demonstrated, as well as meeting reduced occurrence rates, which are set as management goals or targets. This process usually takes the form of statistics for availability of plant and equipment, forced or unplanned maintenance outage, loss of safety function, safety or procedural violations, etc. These are often rolled up into a set of so-called 'Performance Indicators' as measures of how well safety and operation is being managed at a given facility. The overall operating standards of an industry are also measured. A whole discipline is formed of tracking, measuring, reporting, managing and understanding the plethora of indicators and data. Decreasing occurrence rates and meeting or exceeding goals are seen and rewarded as virtues. Managers and operators need to know how good is their safety management system that has been adopted and used (and paid for), and whether it can itself be improved. We show the importance of accumulated experience in correctly measuring and tracking the decreasing event and error rates speculating a finite minimum rate. We show that the rate of improvement constitutes a measurable 'learning curve', and the attainment of the goals and targets can be affected by the adopted measures. We examine some of the available data on significant events, reportable occurrences, and loss of

  19. Spirulina Supplements Improved the Nutritional Status of Undernourished Children Quickly and Significantly: Experience from Kisantu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Féfé Khuabi Matondo

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim. Despite high levels of malnutrition, there is still very little information on the nutritional benefits of Spirulina, a natural alga that provides essential amino acids, rare essential lipids, and numerous minerals and vitamins, to undernourished children in the world. Methods. We carried out a prospective study of 50 children aged between six and 60 months. The intervention group consisted of 16 children who received 10 g of Spirulina daily, as well as the local diet administered by the nutritional centre, and the control group of 34 children who just received the local diet. Both groups of children were assessed on day zero, day 15, and day 30. Results. After treatment, the weight-for-age Z scores and weight-for-height Z scores increased significantly in the intervention group. At day 15, there was a statistically significant difference between the mean corpuscular volume, total proteins, and albumin (p<0.05 in both groups, in favour of the intervention group, and at day 30, this difference extended to all of the studied parameters (p<0.05. Conclusion. This study found that the nutritional status of undernourished children who received Spirulina supplements as well as the local diet administered by the nutritional centre improved quickly and significantly.

  20. Can hospital audit teams identify case management problems, analyse their causes, identify and implement improvements? A cross-sectional process evaluation of obstetric near-miss case reviews in Benin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borchert Matthias

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Obstetric near-miss case reviews are being promoted as a quality assurance intervention suitable for hospitals in low income countries. We introduced such reviews in five district, regional and national hospitals in Benin, West Africa. In a cross-sectional study we analysed the extent to which the hospital audit teams were able to identify case management problems (CMPs, analyse their causes, agree on solutions and put these solutions into practice. Methods We analysed case summaries, women’s interview transcripts and audit minutes produced by the audit teams for 67 meetings concerning one woman with near-miss complications each. We compared the proportion of CMPs identified by an external assessment team to the number found by the audit teams. For the latter, we described the CMP causes identified, solutions proposed and implemented by the audit teams. Results Audit meetings were conducted regularly and were well attended. Audit teams identified half of the 714 CMPs; they were more likely to find managerial ones (71% than the ones relating to treatment (30%. Most identified CMPs were valid. Almost all causes of CMPs were plausible, but often too superficial to be of great value for directing remedial action. Audit teams suggested solutions, most of them promising ones, for 38% of the CMPs they had identified, but recorded their implementation only for a minority (8.5%. Conclusions The importance of following-up and documenting the implementation of solutions should be stressed in future audit interventions. Tools facilitating the follow-up should be made available. Near-miss case reviews hold promise, but their effectiveness to improve the quality of care sustainably and on a large scale still needs to be established.

  1. Can hospital audit teams identify case management problems, analyse their causes, identify and implement improvements? A cross-sectional process evaluation of obstetric near-miss case reviews in Benin

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Obstetric near-miss case reviews are being promoted as a quality assurance intervention suitable for hospitals in low income countries. We introduced such reviews in five district, regional and national hospitals in Benin, West Africa. In a cross-sectional study we analysed the extent to which the hospital audit teams were able to identify case management problems (CMPs), analyse their causes, agree on solutions and put these solutions into practice. Methods We analysed case summaries, women’s interview transcripts and audit minutes produced by the audit teams for 67 meetings concerning one woman with near-miss complications each. We compared the proportion of CMPs identified by an external assessment team to the number found by the audit teams. For the latter, we described the CMP causes identified, solutions proposed and implemented by the audit teams. Results Audit meetings were conducted regularly and were well attended. Audit teams identified half of the 714 CMPs; they were more likely to find managerial ones (71%) than the ones relating to treatment (30%). Most identified CMPs were valid. Almost all causes of CMPs were plausible, but often too superficial to be of great value for directing remedial action. Audit teams suggested solutions, most of them promising ones, for 38% of the CMPs they had identified, but recorded their implementation only for a minority (8.5%). Conclusions The importance of following-up and documenting the implementation of solutions should be stressed in future audit interventions. Tools facilitating the follow-up should be made available. Near-miss case reviews hold promise, but their effectiveness to improve the quality of care sustainably and on a large scale still needs to be established. PMID:23057707

  2. Vulnerability- and Diversity-Aware Anonymization of Personally Identifiable Information for Improving User Privacy and Utility of Publishing Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majeed, Abdul; Ullah, Farman; Lee, Sungchang

    2017-01-01

    Personally identifiable information (PII) affects individual privacy because PII combinations may yield unique identifications in published data. User PII such as age, race, gender, and zip code contain private information that may assist an adversary in determining the user to whom such information relates. Each item of user PII reveals identity differently, and some types of PII are highly identity vulnerable. More vulnerable types of PII enable unique identification more easily, and their presence in published data increases privacy risks. Existing privacy models treat all types of PII equally from an identity revelation point of view, and they mainly focus on hiding user PII in a crowd of other users. Ignoring the identity vulnerability of each type of PII during anonymization is not an effective method of protecting user privacy in a fine-grained manner. This paper proposes a new anonymization scheme that considers the identity vulnerability of PII to effectively protect user privacy. Data generalization is performed adaptively based on the identity vulnerability of PII as well as diversity to anonymize data. This adaptive generalization effectively enables anonymous data, which protects user identity and private information disclosures while maximizing the utility of data for performing analyses and building classification models. Additionally, the proposed scheme has low computational overheads. The simulation results show the effectiveness of the scheme and verify the aforementioned claims. PMID:28481298

  3. Identifying Telemedicine Services to Improve Access to Specialty Care for the Underserved in the San Francisco Safety Net

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Russell Coelho

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Safety-net settings across the country have grappled with providing adequate access to specialty care services. San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, serving as the city's primary safety-net hospital, has also had to struggle with the same issue. With Healthy San Francisco, the City and County of San Francisco's Universal Healthcare mandate, the increased demand for specialty care services has placed a further strain on the system. With the recent passage of California Proposition 1D, infrastructural funds are now set aside to assist in connecting major hospitals with primary care clinics in remote areas all over the state of California, using telemedicine. Based on a selected sample of key informant interviews with local staff physicians, this study provides further insight into the current process of e-referral which uses electronic communication for making referrals to specialty care. It also identifies key services for telemedicine in primary and specialty care settings within the San Francisco public health system. This study concludes with proposals for a framework that seek to increase collaboration between the referring primary care physician and specialist, to prioritize institution of these key services for telemedicine.

  4. Vulnerability- and Diversity-Aware Anonymization of Personally Identifiable Information for Improving User Privacy and Utility of Publishing Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdul Majeed

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Personally identifiable information (PII affects individual privacy because PII combinations may yield unique identifications in published data. User PII such as age, race, gender, and zip code contain private information that may assist an adversary in determining the user to whom such information relates. Each item of user PII reveals identity differently, and some types of PII are highly identity vulnerable. More vulnerable types of PII enable unique identification more easily, and their presence in published data increases privacy risks. Existing privacy models treat all types of PII equally from an identity revelation point of view, and they mainly focus on hiding user PII in a crowd of other users. Ignoring the identity vulnerability of each type of PII during anonymization is not an effective method of protecting user privacy in a fine-grained manner. This paper proposes a new anonymization scheme that considers the identity vulnerability of PII to effectively protect user privacy. Data generalization is performed adaptively based on the identity vulnerability of PII as well as diversity to anonymize data. This adaptive generalization effectively enables anonymous data, which protects user identity and private information disclosures while maximizing the utility of data for performing analyses and building classification models. Additionally, the proposed scheme has low computational overheads. The simulation results show the effectiveness of the scheme and verify the aforementioned claims.

  5. Ochratoxigenic Black Species of Aspergilli in Grape Fruits of Northern Italy Identified by an Improved PCR-RFLP Procedure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Lodovica Gullino

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A collection of 356 isolates of Aspergillus spp. collected during 2006 and 2007 from grapevines in northern Italy were identified through Internal Transcribed Spacer based Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (ITS-RFLP and tested for ochratoxin A (OTA production. Restriction endonuclease digestion of the ITS products using the endonucleases HhaI, HinfI and RsaI, distinguished five different RFLPs. From each pattern, three samples were sequenced and the nucleotide sequences showed different species corresponding to Aspergillus niger, A. carbonarius, A. tubingensis, A. japonicus and A. aculeatus. By comparing the sequences of the ITS regions, also the uniseriate species A. japonicus and A. aculeatus could be differentiated by HinfI digestion of the ITS products. Among the aspergilli, A. niger was the major species associated with grapes during 2006 (57.4%, while A. carbonarius was the major species during 2007 (46.6%. All the strains of Aspergillus were tested for their ability to produce OTA on Yeast extract sucrose medium (YES, as it was tested as an optimal substrate for the evaluation of OTA production by black aspergilli. Out of 356 isolates, 63 (17.7% isolates produced OTA ranging from 0.05 to 3.0 µg mL−1. Most of the ochratoxigenic isolates were A. carbonarius (46 in both years, but also some strains of A. tubingensis (11 and A. japonicus (6 produced lower amounts of OTA.

  6. Enhanced Recovery After Surgery as an auditing framework for identifying improvements to perioperative nutrition care of older surgical patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrnes, Angela; Banks, Merrilyn; Mudge, Alison; Young, Adrienne; Bauer, Judy

    2018-06-01

    Older patients are at increased risk of malnutrition and reduced physical function. Using Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) guidelines as an auditing framework, this study aimed to determine adherence of nutrition care to perioperative best practice in older patients. A single researcher retrieved data via chart review. Seventy-five consenting patients ≥65 years (median 72 (range 65-95) years, 61% male) admitted postoperatively to general surgical wards were recruited. Sixty per cent had a primary diagnosis of cancer and 51% underwent colorectal resection. Seventeen per cent and 4% of patients met fasting targets of 2-4 h for fluid and 6-8 h for food, respectively. Fifty-five per cent were upgraded to full diet by first postoperative day. Nil received preoperative carbohydrate loading. Minimally invasive surgery (p = 0.01) and no anastomosis formation (p = 0.05) were associated with receiving ERAS-concordant nutrition care. This study highlights areas for improvement in perioperative nutrition care of older patients at our facility.

  7. Combination of Multiple Spectral Libraries Improves the Current Search Methods Used to Identify Missing Proteins in the Chromosome-Centric Human Proteome Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Jin-Young; Lee, Hyoung-Joo; Jeong, Seul-Ki; Kim, Kwang-Youl; Kwon, Kyung-Hoon; Yoo, Jong Shin; Omenn, Gilbert S; Baker, Mark S; Hancock, William S; Paik, Young-Ki

    2015-12-04

    searching and significantly increased the number of matches. From this trial, 12 new missing proteins were identified that passed the following criterion: at least 2 peptides of 7 or more amino acids in length or one of 9 or more amino acids in length with one or more unique sequences. Thus, the iRefSPL and simSPL combination can be used to help identify peptides that have not been detected by conventional sequence database searches with improved sensitivity and a low error rate.

  8. Scissor-type knife significantly improves self-completion rate of colorectal endoscopic submucosal dissection: Single-center prospective randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashina, Takeshi; Takeuchi, Yoji; Nagai, Kengo; Matsuura, Noriko; Ito, Takashi; Fujii, Mototsugu; Hanaoka, Noboru; Higashino, Koji; Uedo, Noriya; Ishihara, Ryu; Iishi, Hiroyasu

    2017-05-01

    Colorectal endoscopic submucosal dissection (C-ESD) is recognized as a difficult procedure. Recently, scissors-type knives were launched to reduce the difficulty of C-ESD. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the combined use of a scissors-type knife and a needle-type knife with a water-jet function (WJ needle-knife) for C-ESD compared with using the WJ needle-knife alone. This was a prospective randomized controlled trial in a referral center. Eighty-five patients with superficial colorectal neoplasms were enrolled and randomly assigned to undergo C-ESD using a WJ needle-knife alone (Flush group) or a scissor-type knife-supported WJ needle-knife (SB Jr group). Procedures were conducted by two supervised residents. Primary endpoint was self-completion rate by the residents. Self-completion rate was 67% in the SB Jr group, which was significantly higher than that in the Flush group (39%, P = 0.01). Even after exclusion of four patients in the SB Jr group in whom C-ESD was completed using the WJ needle-knife alone, the self-completion rate was significantly higher (63% vs 39%; P = 0.03). Median procedure time among the self-completion cases did not differ significantly between the two groups (59 vs 51 min; P = 0.14). No fatal adverse events were observed in either group. In this single-center phase II trial, scissor-type knife significantly improved residents' self-completion rate for C-ESD, with no increase in procedure time or adverse events. A multicenter trial would be warranted to confirm the validity of the present study. © 2016 Japan Gastroenterological Endoscopy Society.

  9. Call-to-balloon time dashboard in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction results in significant improvement in the logistic chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermans, Maaike P J; Velders, Matthijs A; Smeekes, Martin; Drexhage, Olivier S; Hautvast, Raymond W M; Ytsma, Timon; Schalij, Martin J; Umans, Victor A W M

    2017-08-04

    Timely reperfusion with primary percutaneous coronary intervention (pPCI) in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients is associated with superior clinical outcomes. Aiming to reduce ischaemic time, an innovative system for home-to-hospital (H2H) time monitoring was implemented, which enabled real-time evaluation of ischaemic time intervals, regular feedback and improvements in the logistic chain. The objective of this study was to assess the results after implementation of the H2H dashboard for monitoring and evaluation of ischaemic time in STEMI patients. Ischaemic time in STEMI patients transported by emergency medical services (EMS) and treated with pPCI in the Noordwest Ziekenhuis, Alkmaar before (2008-2009; n=495) and after the implementation of the H2H dashboard (2011-2014; n=441) was compared. Median time intervals were significantly shorter in the H2H group (door-to-balloon time 32 [IQR 25-43] vs. 40 [IQR 28-55] minutes, p-value dashboard was independently associated with shorter time delays. Real-time monitoring and feedback on time delay with the H2H dashboard improves the logistic chain in STEMI patients, resulting in shorter ischaemic time intervals.

  10. Improving significantly the failure strain and work hardening response of LPSO-strengthened Mg-Y-Zn-Al alloy via hot extrusion speed control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Xinghe; Chee, Winston; Chan, Jimmy; Kwok, Richard; Gupta, Manoj

    2017-07-01

    The effect of hot extrusion speed on the microstructure and mechanical properties of MgY1.06Zn0.76Al0.42 (at%) alloy strengthened by the novel long-period stacking ordered (LPSO) phase was systematically investigated. Increase in the speed of extrusion accelerated dynamic recrystallization of α-Mg via particle-stimulated nucleation and grain growth in the alloy. The intensive recrystallization and grain growth events weakened the conventional basal texture and Hall-Petch strengthening in the alloy which led to significant improvement in its failure strain from 4.9% to 19.6%. The critical strengthening contribution from LPSO phase known for attributing high strength to the alloy was observed to be greatly undermined by the parallel competition from texture weakening and the adverse Hall-Petch effect when the alloy was extruded at higher speed. Absence of work hardening interestingly observed in the alloy extruded at lower speed was discussed in terms of its ultra-fine grained microstructure which promoted the condition of steady-state defect density in the alloy; where dislocation annihilation balances out the generation of new dislocations during plastic deformation. One approach to improve work hardening response of the alloy to prevent unstable deformation and abrupt failure in service is to increase the grain diameter in the alloy by judiciously increasing the extrusion speed.

  11. PolySearch2: a significantly improved text-mining system for discovering associations between human diseases, genes, drugs, metabolites, toxins and more.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yifeng; Liang, Yongjie; Wishart, David

    2015-07-01

    PolySearch2 (http://polysearch.ca) is an online text-mining system for identifying relationships between biomedical entities such as human diseases, genes, SNPs, proteins, drugs, metabolites, toxins, metabolic pathways, organs, tissues, subcellular organelles, positive health effects, negative health effects, drug actions, Gene Ontology terms, MeSH terms, ICD-10 medical codes, biological taxonomies and chemical taxonomies. PolySearch2 supports a generalized 'Given X, find all associated Ys' query, where X and Y can be selected from the aforementioned biomedical entities. An example query might be: 'Find all diseases associated with Bisphenol A'. To find its answers, PolySearch2 searches for associations against comprehensive collections of free-text collections, including local versions of MEDLINE abstracts, PubMed Central full-text articles, Wikipedia full-text articles and US Patent application abstracts. PolySearch2 also searches 14 widely used, text-rich biological databases such as UniProt, DrugBank and Human Metabolome Database to improve its accuracy and coverage. PolySearch2 maintains an extensive thesaurus of biological terms and exploits the latest search engine technology to rapidly retrieve relevant articles and databases records. PolySearch2 also generates, ranks and annotates associative candidates and present results with relevancy statistics and highlighted key sentences to facilitate user interpretation. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  12. MO-FG-204-03: Using Edge-Preserving Algorithm for Significantly Improved Image-Domain Material Decomposition in Dual Energy CT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao, W; Niu, T; Xing, L; Xiong, G; Elmore, K; Min, J; Zhu, J; Wang, L

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: To significantly improve dual energy CT (DECT) imaging by establishing a new theoretical framework of image-domain material decomposition with incorporation of edge-preserving techniques. Methods: The proposed algorithm, HYPR-NLM, combines the edge-preserving non-local mean filter (NLM) with the HYPR-LR (Local HighlY constrained backPRojection Reconstruction) framework. Image denoising using HYPR-LR framework depends on the noise level of the composite image which is the average of the different energy images. For DECT, the composite image is the average of high- and low-energy images. To further reduce noise, one may want to increase the window size of the filter of the HYPR-LR, leading resolution degradation. By incorporating the NLM filtering and the HYPR-LR framework, HYPR-NLM reduces the boost material decomposition noise using energy information redundancies as well as the non-local mean. We demonstrate the noise reduction and resolution preservation of the algorithm with both iodine concentration numerical phantom and clinical patient data by comparing the HYPR-NLM algorithm to the direct matrix inversion, HYPR-LR and iterative image-domain material decomposition (Iter-DECT). Results: The results show iterative material decomposition method reduces noise to the lowest level and provides improved DECT images. HYPR-NLM significantly reduces noise while preserving the accuracy of quantitative measurement and resolution. For the iodine concentration numerical phantom, the averaged noise levels are about 2.0, 0.7, 0.2 and 0.4 for direct inversion, HYPR-LR, Iter- DECT and HYPR-NLM, respectively. For the patient data, the noise levels of the water images are about 0.36, 0.16, 0.12 and 0.13 for direct inversion, HYPR-LR, Iter-DECT and HYPR-NLM, respectively. Difference images of both HYPR-LR and Iter-DECT show edge effect, while no significant edge effect is shown for HYPR-NLM, suggesting spatial resolution is well preserved for HYPR-NLM. Conclusion: HYPR

  13. YH12852, a potent and highly selective 5-HT4 receptor agonist, significantly improves both upper and lower gastrointestinal motility in a guinea pig model of postoperative ileus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussain, Z; Lee, Y J; Yang, H; Jeong, E J; Sim, J Y; Park, H

    2017-10-01

    Postoperative ileus (POI) is a transient gastrointestinal (GI) dysmotility that commonly develops after abdominal surgery. YH12852, a novel, potent and highly selective 5-hydroxytryptamine 4 (5-HT 4 ) receptor agonist, has been shown to improve both upper and lower GI motility in various animal studies and may have applications for the treatment of POI. Here, we investigated the effects and mechanism of action of YH12852 in a guinea pig model of POI to explore its therapeutic potential. The guinea pig model of POI was created by laparotomy, evisceration, and gentle manipulation of the cecum for 60 seconds, followed by closure with sutures under anesthesia. Group 1 received an oral administration of vehicle or YH12852 (1, 3, 10 or 30 mg/kg) only, while POI Group 2 was intraperitoneally pretreated with vehicle or 5-HT 4 receptor antagonist GR113808 (10 mg/kg) prior to oral dosing of vehicle or YH12852 (3 or 10 mg/kg). Upper GI transit was evaluated by assessing the migration of a charcoal mixture in the small intestine, while lower GI transit was assessed via measurement of fecal pellet output (FPO). YH12852 significantly accelerated upper and lower GI transit at the doses of 3, 10, and 30 mg/kg and reached its maximal effect at 10 mg/kg. These effects were significantly blocked by pretreatment of GR113808 10 mg/kg. Oral administration of YH12852 significantly accelerates and restores delayed upper and lower GI transit in a guinea pig model of POI. This drug may serve as a useful candidate for the treatment of postoperative ileus. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. In vivo topical application of acetyl aspartic acid increases fibrillin-1 and collagen IV deposition leading to a significant improvement of skin firmness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillbro, J M; Merinville, E; Cattley, K; Al-Bader, T; Hagforsen, E; Nilsson, M; Mavon, A

    2015-10-01

    Acetyl aspartic acid (A-A-A) was discovered through gene array analysis with corresponding Cmap analysis. We found that A-A-A increased keratinocyte regeneration, inhibited dermal matrix metalloprotease (MMP) expression and relieved fibroblast stiffness through reduction of the fibroblast stiffness marker F-actin. Dermal absorption studies showed successful delivery to both the epidermal and dermal regions, and in-use trial demonstrated that 1% A-A-A was well tolerated. In this study, the aim was to investigate whether A-A-A could stimulate the synthesis of extracellular matrix supporting proteins in vivo and thereby improving the viscoelastic properties of human skin by conducting a dual histological and biophysical clinical study. Two separate double-blind vehicle-controlled in vivo studies were conducted using a 1% A-A-A containing oil-in-water (o/w) emulsion. In the histological study, 16 female volunteers (>55 years of age) exhibiting photodamaged skin on their forearm were included, investigating the effect of a 12-day treatment of A-A-A on collagen IV (COLIV) and fibrillin-1. In a subsequent pilot study, 0.1% retinol was used for comparison to A-A-A (1%). The biomechanical properties of the skin were assessed in a panel of 16 women (>45 years of age) using the standard Cutometer MPA580 after topical application of the test products for 28 days. The use of multiple suction enabled the assessment of F4, an area parameter specifically representing skin firmness. Twelve-day topical application of 1% A-A-A significantly increased COLIV and fibrillin with 13% and 6%, respectively, compared to vehicle. 1% A-A-A and 0.1% retinol were found to significantly reduce F4 after 28 days of treatment by 15.8% and 14.7%, respectively, in the pilot Cutometer study. No significant difference was found between retinol and A-A-A. However, only A-A-A exhibited a significant effect vs. vehicle on skin firmness which indicated the incremental benefit of A-A-A as a skin

  15. Low- and high-volume of intensive endurance training significantly improves maximal oxygen uptake after 10-weeks of training in healthy men.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arnt Erik Tjønna

    Full Text Available Regular exercise training improves maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max, but the optimal intensity and volume necessary to obtain maximal benefit remains to be defined. A growing body of evidence suggests that exercise training with low-volume but high-intensity may be a time-efficient means to achieve health benefits. In the present study, we measured changes in VO2max and traditional cardiovascular risk factors after a 10 wk. training protocol that involved three weekly high-intensity interval sessions. One group followed a protocol which consisted of 4×4 min at 90% of maximal heart rate (HRmax interspersed with 3 min active recovery at 70% HRmax (4-AIT, the other group performed a single bout protocol that consisted of 1×4 min at 90% HRmax (1-AIT. Twenty-six inactive but otherwise healthy overweight men (BMI: 25-30, age: 35-45 y were randomized to either 1-AIT (n = 11 or 4-AIT (n = 13. After training, VO2max increased by 10% (∼5.0 mL⋅kg(-1⋅min(-1 and 13% (∼6.5 mL⋅kg(-1⋅min(-1 after 1-AIT and 4-AIT, respectively (group difference, p = 0.08. Oxygen cost during running at a sub-maximal workload was reduced by 14% and 13% after 1-AIT and 4-AIT, respectively. Systolic blood pressure decreased by 7.1 and 2.6 mmHg after 1-AIT and 4-AIT respectively, while diastolic pressure decreased by 7.7 and 6.1 mmHg (group difference, p = 0.84. Both groups had a similar ∼5% decrease in fasting glucose. Body fat, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and ox-LDL cholesterol only were significantly reduced after 4-AIT. Our data suggest that a single bout of AIT performed three times per week may be a time-efficient strategy to improve VO2max and reduce blood pressure and fasting glucose in previously inactive but otherwise healthy middle-aged individuals. The 1-AIT type of exercise training may be readily implemented as part of activities of daily living and could easily be translated into programs designed to improve public health

  16. Rs895819 in MIR27A improves the predictive value of DPYD variants to identify patients at risk of severe fluoropyrimidine-associated toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meulendijks, Didier; Henricks, Linda M; Amstutz, Ursula; Froehlich, Tanja K; Largiadèr, Carlo R; Beijnen, Jos H; de Boer, Anthonius; Deenen, Maarten J; Cats, Annemieke; Schellens, Jan H M

    2016-06-01

    The objective of this study was to determine whether genotyping of MIR27A polymorphisms rs895819A>G and rs11671784C>T can be used to improve the predictive value of DPYD variants to identify patients at risk of severe fluoropyrimidine-associated toxicity (FP-toxicity). Patients treated previously in a prospective study with fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy were genotyped for rs895819 and rs11671784, and DPYD c.2846A>T, c.1679T>G, c.1129-5923C>G and c.1601G>A. The predictive value of MIR27A variants for early-onset grade ≥3 FP-toxicity, alone or in combination with DPYD variants, was tested in multivariable logistic regression models. Random-effects meta-analysis was performed, including previously published data. A total of 1,592 patients were included. Allele frequencies of rs895819 and rs11671784 were 0.331 and 0.020, respectively. In DPYD wild-type patients, MIR27A variants did not affect risk of FP-toxicity (OR 1.3 for ≥1 variant MIR27A allele vs. none, 95% CI: 0.87-1.82, p = 0.228). In contrast, in patients carrying DPYD variants, the presence of ≥1 rs895819 variant allele was associated with increased risk of FP-toxicity (OR 4.9, 95% CI: 1.24-19.7, p = 0.023). Rs11671784 was not associated with FP-toxicity (OR 2.9, 95% CI: 0.47-18.0, p = 0.253). Patients carrying a DPYD variant and rs895819 were at increased risk of FP-toxicity compared to patients wild type for rs895819 and DPYD (OR 2.4, 95% CI: 1.27-4.37, p = 0.007), while patients with a DPYD variant but without a MIR27A variant were not (OR 0.3 95% CI: 0.06-1.17, p = 0.081). In meta-analysis, rs895819 remained significantly associated with FP-toxicity in DPYD variant allele carriers, OR 5.4 (95% CI: 1.83-15.7, p = 0.002). This study demonstrates the clinical validity of combined MIR27A/DPYD screening to identify patients at risk of severe FP-toxicity. © 2016 UICC.

  17. The use of think-aloud protocols to identify a decision-making process of community pharmacists aimed at improving CMS Star Ratings scores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, David L; Smith, Michael J; Draugalis, JoLaine R; Tolma, Eleni L; Keast, Shellie L; Wilson, Justin B

    2018-03-01

    The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) created the Star Rating system based on multiple measures that indicate the overall quality of health plans. Community pharmacists can impact certain Star Ratings measure scores through medication adherence and patient safety interventions. To explore methods, needs, and workflow issues of community pharmacists to improve CMS Star Ratings measures. Think-aloud protocols (TAPs) were conducted with active community retail pharmacists in Oklahoma. Each TAP was audio recorded and transcribed to documents for analysis. Analysts agreed on common themes, illuminated differences in findings, and saturation of the data gathered. Methods, needs, and workflow themes of community pharmacists associated with improving Star Ratings measures were compiled and organized to exhibit a decision-making process. Five TAPs were performed among three independent pharmacy owners, one multi-store owner, and one chain-store administrator. A thematically common 4-step process to monitor and improve CMS Star Ratings scores among participants was identified. To improve Star Ratings measures, pharmacists: 1) used technology to access scores, 2) analyzed data to strategically set goals, 3) assessed individual patient information for comprehensive assessment, and 4) decided on interventions to best impact Star Ratings scores. Participants also shared common needs, workflow issues, and benefits associated with methods used in improving Star Ratings. TAPs were useful in exploring processes of pharmacists who improve CMS Star Ratings scores. Pharmacists demonstrated and verbalized their methods, workflow issues, needs, and benefits related to performing the task. The themes and decision-making process identified to improving CMS Star Ratings scores will assist in the development of training and education programs for pharmacists in the community setting. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  18. Prospective trial of angiography and embolization for all grade III to V blunt splenic injuries: nonoperative management success rate is significantly improved.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Preston R; Chang, Michael C; Hoth, J Jason; Mowery, Nathan T; Hildreth, Amy N; Martin, R Shayn; Holmes, James H; Meredith, J Wayne; Requarth, Jay A

    2014-04-01

    Nonoperative management (NOM) of blunt splenic injury is well accepted. Substantial failure rates in higher injury grades remain common, with one large study reporting rates of 19.6%, 33.3%, and 75% for grades III, IV, and V, respectively. Retrospective data show angiography and embolization can increase salvage rates in these severe injuries. We developed a protocol requiring referral of all blunt splenic injuries, grades III to V, without indication for immediate operation for angiography and embolization. We hypothesized that angiography and embolization of high-grade blunt splenic injury would reduce NOM failure rates in this population. This was a prospective study at our Level I trauma center as part of a performance-improvement project. Demographics, injury characteristics, and outcomes were compared with historic controls. The protocol required all stable patients with grade III to V splenic injuries be referred for angiography and embolization. In historic controls, referral was based on surgeon preference. From January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012, there were 168 patients with grades III to V spleen injuries admitted; NOM was undertaken in 113 (67%) patients. The protocol was followed in 97 patients, with a failure rate of 5%. Failure rate in the 16 protocol deviations was 25% (p = 0.02). Historic controls from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2009 were compared with the protocol group. One hundred and fifty-three patients with grade III to V injuries were admitted during this period, 80 (52%) patients underwent attempted NOM. Failure rate was significantly higher than for the protocol group (15%, p = 0.04). Use of a protocol requiring angiography and embolization for all high-grade spleen injuries slated for NOM leads to a significantly decreased failure rate. We recommend angiography and embolization as an adjunct to NOM for all grade III to V splenic injuries. Copyright © 2014 American College of Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Improved multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification analysis identifies a deleterious PMS2 allele generated by recombination with crossover between PMS2 and PMS2CL

    OpenAIRE

    Wernstedt, Annekatrin; Valtorta, Emanuele; Armelao, Franco; Togni, Roberto; Girlando, Salvatore; Baudis, Michael; Heinimann, Karl; Messiaen, Ludwine; Staehli, Noemie; Zschocke, Johannes; Marra, Giancarlo; Wimmer, Katharina

    2012-01-01

    Heterozygous PMS2 germline mutations are associated with Lynch syndrome. Up to one third of these mutations are genomic deletions. Their detection is complicated by a pseudogene (PMS2CL), which – owing to extensive interparalog sequence exchange – closely resembles PMS2 downstream of exon 12. A recently redesigned multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) assay identifies PMS2 copy number alterations with improved reliability when used with reference DNAs containing equal number...

  20. Significantly improving the yield of recombinant proteins in Bacillus subtilis by a novel powerful mutagenesis tool (ARTP): Alkaline α-amylase as a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yingfang; Yang, Haiquan; Chen, Xianzhong; Sun, Bo; Du, Guocheng; Zhou, Zhemin; Song, Jiangning; Fan, You; Shen, Wei

    2015-10-01

    In this study, atmospheric and room temperature plasma (ARTP), a promising mutation breeding technique, was successfully applied to generate Bacillus subtilis mutants that yielded large quantities of recombinant protein. The high throughput screening platform was implemented to select those mutants with the highest yield of recombinant alkaline α-amylase (AMY), including the preferred mutant B. subtilis WB600 mut-12#. The yield and productivity of recombinant AMY in B. subtilis WB600 mut-12# increased 35.0% and 8.8%, respectively, the extracellular protein concentration of which increased 37.9%. B. subtilis WB600 mut-12# exhibited good genetic stability. Cells from B. subtilis WB600 mut-12# became shorter and wider than those from the wild-type. This study is the first to report a novel powerful mutagenesis tool (ARTP) that significantly improves the yield of recombinant proteins in B. subtilis and may therefore play an important role in the high expression level of proteins in recombinant microbial hosts. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Cross accumulative roll bonding—A novel mechanical technique for significant improvement of stir-cast Al/Al2O3 nanocomposite properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ardakani, Mohammad Reza Kamali; Amirkhanlou, Sajjad; Khorsand, Shohreh

    2014-01-01

    Lightweight metal-matrix nanocomposites (MMNCs—metal matrix with nanosized ceramic particles) can be of significance for automobile, aerospace, and numerous other applications. There are some problems in obtaining suitable mechanical properties of MMNCs, including weak bonding between reinforcement and matrix, non-uniformity of reinforcement nanoparticles and high porosity content. In this study, aluminum/alumina nanocomposite was fabricated by stircasting method. Subsequently, cross accumulative roll bonding (CARB) process was used as an effective method for refinement of microstructure and improvement of mechanical properties. The microstructural evolution and the mechanical properties of the nanocomposites during various CARB cycles were examined by the Archimedes method, X-ray defractometer, scanning electron microscopy and tensile testing. The results showed that the microstructure of the nanocomposite after eight cycles of CARB had an excellent distribution of alumina nanoparticles in aluminum matrix without any remarkable porosity. The X-ray diffraction results showed that the crystallite size of the nanocomposite was 71 nm by employing eight cycles of CARB technique. Mechanical experiment also indicated that the ultimate tensile strength and the elongation of the nanocomposite increased as the number of CARB cycles increased. After eight CARB cycles, ultimate tensile strength and the elongation values reached 344 MPa and 6.4%, which were 3.13 and 3.05 times greater than those of as-cast nanocomposites, respectively

  2. Physiologically-based, predictive analytics using the heart-rate-to-Systolic-Ratio significantly improves the timeliness and accuracy of sepsis prediction compared to SIRS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danner, Omar K; Hendren, Sandra; Santiago, Ethel; Nye, Brittany; Abraham, Prasad

    2017-04-01

    Enhancing the efficiency of diagnosis and treatment of severe sepsis by using physiologically-based, predictive analytical strategies has not been fully explored. We hypothesize assessment of heart-rate-to-systolic-ratio significantly increases the timeliness and accuracy of sepsis prediction after emergency department (ED) presentation. We evaluated the records of 53,313 ED patients from a large, urban teaching hospital between January and June 2015. The HR-to-systolic ratio was compared to SIRS criteria for sepsis prediction. There were 884 patients with discharge diagnoses of sepsis, severe sepsis, and/or septic shock. Variations in three presenting variables, heart rate, systolic BP and temperature were determined to be primary early predictors of sepsis with a 74% (654/884) accuracy compared to 34% (304/884) using SIRS criteria (p < 0.0001)in confirmed septic patients. Physiologically-based predictive analytics improved the accuracy and expediency of sepsis identification via detection of variations in HR-to-systolic ratio. This approach may lead to earlier sepsis workup and life-saving interventions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Polyethylene imine/graphene oxide layer-by-layer surface functionalization for significantly improved limit of detection and binding kinetics of immunoassays on acrylate surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazaki, Celina M; Mishra, Rohit; Kinahan, David J; Ferreira, Marystela; Ducrée, Jens

    2017-10-01

    Antibody immobilization on polymeric substrates is a key manufacturing step for microfluidic devices that implement sample-to-answer automation of immunoassays. In this work, a simple and versatile method to bio-functionalize poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA), a common material of such "Lab-on-a-Chip" systems, is proposed; using the Layer-by-Layer (LbL) technique, we assemble nanostructured thin films of poly(ethylene imine) (PEI) and graphene oxide (GO). The wettability of PMMA surfaces was significantly augmented by the surface treatment with (PEI/GO) 5 film, with an 81% reduction of the contact angle, while the surface roughness increased by 600%, thus clearly enhancing wettability and antibody binding capacity. When applied to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), the limit of detection of PMMA surface was notably improved from 340pgmL -1 on commercial grade polystyrene (PS) and 230pgmL -1 on plain PMMA surfaces to 130pgmL -1 on (PEI/GO) 5 treated PMMA. Furthermore, the accelerated antibody adsorption kinetics on the LbL films of GO allowed to substantially shorten incubation times, e.g. for anti-rat IgG adsorption from 2h down to 15min on conventional and treated surfaces, respectively. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. An Evidence-Based Education Program For Adults About Child Sexual Abuse (“Prevent It!” Significantly Improves Behaviours As Well As Attitudes And Knowledge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin K Martin

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Here we describe the development of an evidence-based education program for adults about childhood sexual abuse (CSA, called Prevent It! Uniquely, the primary goal of this program was to change the behaviour of participants, as well as to increase knowledge about CSA and positive attitudes towards it. A comprehensive review shows no previous similar approach. The program includes a detailed manual to allow standardized administration by trained facilitators, as well as multiple video segments from CSA survivors and professionals. A total of 23 program workshops were run, with 366 adults participating. Of these, 312 (85% agreed to take part in the study. All completed baseline ratings prior to the program and 195 (63% of study sample completed follow-up assessments at 3-months. There were no significant differences between the demographic make-up of the baseline group and the follow-up group. Assessments included demographic data, knowledge, attitudes, and several measures of behaviour (our primary outcome variable. Behavioural questions asked individuals to select behaviours used in the previous 3-months from a list of options. Questions also included asking how many times in the previous 3-months have you talked about healthy sexual development or child sexual abuse with a child you know; suspected a child was sexually abused; taken steps to protect a child; or reported suspected sexual abuse to police or child welfare? The majority of attendees were women, with the commonest age group being between 30 – 39 years old. Approximately 33% had experienced CSA themselves. At 3-month follow-up there were highly statistically significant improvements in several aspects of behaviour and knowledge, and attitudes regarding CSA. For example, the number of subjects actively looking for evidence of CSA increased from 46% at baseline to 81% at follow-up, while the number of subjects who actively took steps to protect children increased from 25% at baseline

  5. The reasons for the epilepsy treatment gap in Kilifi, Kenya: using formative research to identify interventions to improve adherence to antiepileptic drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Julie A; Molyneux, Catherine S; Mbuba, Caroline K; Jenkins, Jo; Newton, Charles R J C; Hartley, Sally D

    2012-12-01

    Many people with epilepsy (PWE) in resource-poor countries do not receive appropriate treatment, a phenomenon referred to as the epilepsy treatment gap (ETG). We conducted a qualitative study to explore the reasons for this gap and to identify possible interventions in Kilifi, Kenya. Focus group discussions (FGDs) were carried out of PWE and their caregivers. Individual interviews were conducted of PWE, their caregivers, traditional healers, community health workers and leaders, nurses and doctors. In addition, a series of workshops was conducted, and four factors contributing to the ETG were identified: 1) lack of knowledge about the causes, treatment and prognosis of epilepsy; 2) inaccessibility to antiepileptic drugs; 3) misconceptions about epilepsy derived from superstitions about its origin; 4) and dissatisfaction with the communication skills of health providers. These data indicated possible interventions: 1) education and support for PWE and their caregivers; 2) communication skills training for health providers; 3) and improved drug provision. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Participatory approach to identify interventions to improve the health, safety, and work productivity of smallholder women vegetable farmers in the Gambia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanderwal, Londa; Rautiainen, Risto; Ramirez, Marizen; Kuye, Rex; Peek-Asa, Corinne; Cook, Thomas; Culp, Kennith; Donham, Kelley

    2011-03-01

    This paper describes the qualitative, community-based participatory approach used to identify culturally-acceptable and sustainable interventions to improve the occupational health, safety, and productivity of smallholder women vegetable farmers in The Gambia (West Africa). This approach was used to conduct: 1) analysis of the tasks and methods traditionally used in vegetable production, and 2) selection of interventions. The most arduous garden tasks that were amenable to interventions were identified, and the interventions were selected through a participatory process for further evaluation. Factors contributing to the successful implementation of the participatory approach used in this study included the following: 1) ensuring that cultural norms were respected and observed; 2) working closely with the existing garden leadership structure; and 3) research team members working with the subjects for an extended period of time to gain first-hand understanding of the selected tasks and to build credibility with the subjects.

  7. Improving the identification of people with dementia in primary care: evaluation of the impact of primary care dementia coding guidance on identified prevalence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Paul; Banerjee, Sube; Watt, Jen; Adleman, Rosalyn; Agoe, Belinda; Burnie, Nerida; Carefull, Alex; Chandan, Kiran; Constable, Dominie; Daniels, Mark; Davies, David; Deshmukh, Sid; Huddart, Martin; Jabin, Ashrafi; Jarrett, Penelope; King, Jenifer; Koch, Tamar; Kumar, Sanjoy; Lees, Stavroula; Mir, Sinan; Naidoo, Dominic; Nyame, Sylvia; Sasae, Ryuichiro; Sharma, Tushar; Thormod, Clare; Vedavanam, Krish; Wilton, Anja; Flaherty, Breda

    2013-12-23

    Improving dementia care is a policy priority nationally and internationally; there is a 'diagnosis gap' with less than half of the cases of dementia ever diagnosed. The English Health Department's Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) encourages primary care recognition and recording of dementia. The codes for dementia are complex with the possibility of underidentification through miscoding. We developed guidance on coding of dementia; we report the impact of applying this to 'clean up' dementia coding and records at a practice level. The guidance had five elements: (1) identify Read Codes for dementia; (2) access QOF dementia register; (3) generate lists of patients who may have dementia; (4) compare search with QOF data and (5) review cases. In each practice, one general practitioner conducted the exercise. The number of dementia QOF registers before and after the exercise was recorded with the hours taken to complete the exercise. London primary care. 23 (85%) of 27 practices participated, covering 79 312 (19 562 over 65 s) participants. The number on dementia QOF registers; time taken. The number of people with dementia on QOF registers increased from 1007 to 1139 (χ(2)=8.17, p=0.004), raising identification rates by 8.8%. It took 4.7 h per practice, on an average. These data demonstrate the potential of a simple primary care coding exercise, requiring no specific training, to increase the dementia identification rate. An improvement of 8.8% between 2011 and 2012 is equivalent to that of the fourth most improved primary care trust in the UK. In absolute terms, if this effects were mirrored across the UK primary care, the number of cases with dementia identified would rise by over 70 000 from 364 329 to 434 488 raising the recognition rate from 46% to 54.8%. Implementing this exercise appears to be a simple and effective way to improve recognition rates in primary care.

  8. The Significance of Emotions and Professional Relations for Accommodating a Web-Based Ulcer Record and Improving Home-Based Care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne G. Ekeland

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Evidence of technological performance, medical improvements and economic effectiveness is generally considered sufficient for judging advances in healthcare. In this paper, I aim to add knowledge about the ways human emotions and professional relations play roles in the processes of accommodating new technologies for quality improvements. A newly-implemented, web-based ulcer record service for patients with chronic skin ulcers constitutes the case. After one year, only a few home care nurses were using the service, interacting with a specialist team. The result was disappointing, but the few users were enthusiastic. An explorative, qualitative study was initiated to understand the users, the processes that accounted for use and how improvements were enacted. In the paper, I expose the emotional aspects of the record accommodation by analyzing the ways emotions were translated in the process and how they influenced the improvements. I contend that use came about through a heterogeneous assemblage of ethical engagement and compassionate emotions stemming from frustration, combined with technological affordances and relations between different professionals. Certain aspects of the improvements are exposed. These are discussed as: (1 reconciliations between the medical facts and rational judgments, on one side, and the emotional and subjective values for judging quality, on the other; and (2 mediation between standardized and personalized care. The healing of ulcers was combined with a sense of purpose and wellbeing to validate improvements. Emotions were strongly involved, and the power of evaluative emotions and professional relations should be further explored to add to the understanding of innovation processes and to validate quality improvements.

  9. The Significance of Emotions and Professional Relations for Accommodating a Web-Based Ulcer Record and Improving Home-Based Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekeland, Anne G

    2015-01-22

    Evidence of technological performance, medical improvements and economic effectiveness is generally considered sufficient for judging advances in healthcare. In this paper, I aim to add knowledge about the ways human emotions and professional relations play roles in the processes of accommodating new technologies for quality improvements. A newly-implemented, web-based ulcer record service for patients with chronic skin ulcers constitutes the case. After one year, only a few home care nurses were using the service, interacting with a specialist team. The result was disappointing, but the few users were enthusiastic. An explorative, qualitative study was initiated to understand the users, the processes that accounted for use and how improvements were enacted. In the paper, I expose the emotional aspects of the record accommodation by analyzing the ways emotions were translated in the process and how they influenced the improvements. I contend that use came about through a heterogeneous assemblage of ethical engagement and compassionate emotions stemming from frustration, combined with technological affordances and relations between different professionals. Certain aspects of the improvements are exposed. These are discussed as: (1) reconciliations between the medical facts and rational judgments, on one side, and the emotional and subjective values for judging quality, on the other; and (2) mediation between standardized and personalized care. The healing of ulcers was combined with a sense of purpose and wellbeing to validate improvements. Emotions were strongly involved, and the power of evaluative emotions and professional relations should be further explored to add to the understanding of innovation processes and to validate quality improvements.

  10. Rescreening for abnormal vaginal flora in pregnancy and re-treating with clindamycin vaginal cream significantly increases cure and improvement rates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lamont, R F; Taylor-Robinson, D; Bassett, P

    2012-01-01

    We investigated 199 pregnant women with bacterial vaginosis (BV) who received clindamycin vaginal cream (CVC) for three days and compared with 205 women treated with placebo. The vaginal flora was assessed at each visit. At the second visit, 71% in the CVC group were cured/improved, compared...

  11. Improving the performance of reflex Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) testing in triaging women with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS): A restrospective study in a tertiary hospital in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fakhreldin, Marwa; Elmasry, Karim

    2016-02-03

    Cervical cancer is the second commonest cancer in women worldwide. Infection with oncogenic types of human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most important risk factor for developing cervical cancer. Reflex High risk HPV (HR-HPV) testing is of significant value in the assessment of Papanicolaou (Pap) smear results where ASCUS are identified. To improve the performance of reflex HR-HPV testing in triage of ASCUS and analyze the factors impacting it. In this study, we generated a database of 9641 women who had cervical smears collected during the study period from the cytopathology record in a large tertiary hospital in UAE. These included 297 smears with ASCUS diagnosis. All cases were retrospectively followed up with a mean duration of 2.44 years. We analyzed data according to the outcome based on several follow-up Pap smear analysis as the reference assessment. We detected HR-HPV infection in 17.9% of cases. 9.1% ASCUS cases can be more accurate in premenopausal women upon adding age group and presenting complaint as a triage item. This improves the performance of reflex HPV testing and the subsequent selection of high risk patients for colposcopy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Addendum to the article: Misuse of null hypothesis significance testing: Would estimation of positive and negative predictive values improve certainty of chemical risk assessment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bundschuh, Mirco; Newman, Michael C; Zubrod, Jochen P; Seitz, Frank; Rosenfeldt, Ricki R; Schulz, Ralf

    2015-03-01

    We argued recently that the positive predictive value (PPV) and the negative predictive value (NPV) are valuable metrics to include during null hypothesis significance testing: They inform the researcher about the probability of statistically significant and non-significant test outcomes actually being true. Although commonly misunderstood, a reported p value estimates only the probability of obtaining the results or more extreme results if the null hypothesis of no effect was true. Calculations of the more informative PPV and NPV require a priori estimate of the probability (R). The present document discusses challenges of estimating R.

  13. Using Nurse Ratings of Physician Communication in the ICU To Identify Potential Targets for Interventions To Improve End-of-Life Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Kathleen J; Downey, Lois; Nielsen, Elizabeth L; Treece, Patsy D; Shannon, Sarah E; Curtis, J Randall; Engelberg, Ruth A

    2016-03-01

    Communication among doctors, nurses, and families contributes to high-quality end-of-life care, but is difficult to improve. Our objective was to identify aspects of communication appropriate for interventions to improve quality of dying in the intensive care unit (ICU). This observational study used data from a cluster-randomized trial of an interdisciplinary intervention to improve end-of-life care at 15 Seattle/Tacoma area hospitals (2003-2008). Nurses completed surveys for patients dying in the ICU. We examined associations between nurse-assessed predictors (physician-nurse communication, physician-family communication) and nurse ratings of patients' quality of dying (nurse-QODD-1). Based on 1173 nurse surveys, four of six physician-nurse communication topics were positively associated with nurse-QODD-1: family questions, family dynamics, spiritual/religious issues, and cultural issues. Discussions between nurses and physicians about nurses' concerns for patients or families were negatively associated. All physician-family communication ratings, as assessed by nurses, were positively associated with nurse-QODD-1: answering family's questions, listening to family, asking about treatments patient would want, helping family decide patient's treatment wishes, and overall communication. Path analysis suggested overall physician-family communication and helping family incorporate patient's wishes were directly associated with nurse-QODD-1. Several topics of physician-nurse communication, as rated by nurses, were associated with higher nurse-rated quality of dying, whereas one topic, nurses' concerns for patient or family, was associated with poorer ratings. Higher nurse ratings of physician-family communication were uniformly associated with higher quality of dying, highlighting the importance of this communication. Physician support of family decision making was particularly important, suggesting a potential target for interventions to improve end-of-life care.

  14. Significant mobility improvement of amorphous In-Ga-Zn-O thin-film transistors annealed in a low temperature wet ambient environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jallorina, Michael Paul A.; Bermundo, Juan Paolo S.; Fujii, Mami N.; Ishikawa, Yasuaki; Uraoka, Yukiharu

    2018-05-01

    Transparent amorphous oxide semiconducting materials such as amorphous InGaZnO used in thin film transistors (TFTs) are typically annealed at temperatures higher than 250 °C to remove any defects present and improve the electrical characteristics of the device. Previous research has shown that low cost and low temperature methods improve the electrical characteristics of the TFT. With the aid of surface and bulk characterization techniques in comparison to the device characteristics, this work aims to elucidate further on the improvement mechanisms of wet and dry annealing ambients that affect the electrical characteristics of the device. Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry results show that despite outward diffusion of -H and -OH species, humid annealing ambients counteract outward diffusion of these species, leading to defect sites which can be passivated by the wet ambient. X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy results show that for devices annealed for only 30 min in a wet annealing environment, the concentration of metal-oxide bonds increased by as much as 21.8% and defects such as oxygen vacancies were reduced by as much as 18.2% compared to an unannealed device. Our work shows that due to the oxidizing power of water vapor, defects are reduced, and overall electrical characteristics are improved as evidenced with the 150 °C wet O2, 30 min annealed sample which exhibited the highest mobility of 5.00 cm2/V s, compared to 2.36 cm2/V s for a sample that was annealed at 150 °C in a dry ambient atmospheric environment for 2 h.

  15. Incidentally detected enhancing lesions found in breast MRI: analysis of apparent diffusion coefficient and T2 signal intensity significantly improves specificity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arponen, Otso; Masarwah, Amro; Taina, Mikko [Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio University Hospital, Diagnostic Imaging Centre, Department of Clinical Radiology, PO Box 1777, Kuopio (Finland); Kuopio University Hospital, University of Eastern Finland, Institute of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, Department of Clinical Radiology, PO Box 1777, Kuopio (Finland); Sutela, Anna; Koenoenen, Mervi; Hakumaeki, Juhana; Sudah, Mazen [Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio University Hospital, Diagnostic Imaging Centre, Department of Clinical Radiology, PO Box 1777, Kuopio (Finland); Sironen, Reijo [Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio University Hospital, Department of Pathology, PO Box 1777, Kuopio (Finland); Kuopio University Hospital, University of Eastern Finland, Institute of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, Clinical Pathology and Forensic Medicine, PO Box 1777, Kuopio (Finland); University of Eastern Finland, Cancer Center of Eastern Finland, Kuopio (Finland); Vanninen, Ritva [Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio University Hospital, Diagnostic Imaging Centre, Department of Clinical Radiology, PO Box 1777, Kuopio (Finland); Kuopio University Hospital, University of Eastern Finland, Institute of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, Department of Clinical Radiology, PO Box 1777, Kuopio (Finland); University of Eastern Finland, Cancer Center of Eastern Finland, Kuopio (Finland)

    2016-12-15

    To evaluate the value of adding T2- and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) to the BI-RADS registered classification in MRI-detected lesions. This retrospective study included 112 consecutive patients who underwent 3.0T structural breast MRI with T2- and DWI on the basis of EUSOMA recommendations. Morphological and kinetic features, T2 signal intensity (T2 SI) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) findings were assessed. Thirty-three (29.5 %) patients (mean age 57.0 ± 12.7 years) had 36 primarily MRI-detected incidental lesions of which 16 (44.4 %) proved to be malignant. No single morphological or kinetic feature was associated with malignancy. Both low T2 SI (P = 0.009) and low ADC values (≤0.87 x 10{sup -3} mm{sup 2}s{sup -1}, P < 0.001) yielded high specificity (80.0 %/80.0 %). The BI-RADS classification supplemented with information from DWI and T2-WI improved the diagnostic performance of the BI-RADS classification as sensitivity remained 100 % and specificity improved from 30 % to 65.0 %. The numbers of false positive lesions declined from 39 % (N = 14) to 19 % (N = 7). MRI-detected incidental lesions may be challenging to characterize as they have few specific malignancy indicating features. The specificity of MRI can be improved by incorporating T2 SI and ADC values into the BI-RADS assessment. (orig.)

  16. Improving the Comprehension of Students with Significant Developmental Disabilities: Systematic Instruction on the Steps for Completing and Using a Graphic Organizer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britt, Alexander P.

    2015-01-01

    A single-subject, multiple-baseline across participants design was used to examine the functional relation between systematic instruction and the ability to complete a graphic organizer and recall facts about informational texts by students with significant development disabilities. Four high school students enrolled in an adapted academic program…

  17. Significantly improved photovoltaic performance in polymer bulk heterojunction solar cells with graphene oxide /PEDOT:PSS double decked hole transport layer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafique, Saqib; Abdullah, Shahino Mah; Shahid, Muhammad Mehmood; Ansari, Mohammad Omaish; Sulaiman, Khaulah

    2017-01-13

    This work demonstrates the high performance graphene oxide (GO)/PEDOT:PSS doubled decked hole transport layer (HTL) in the PCDTBT:PC 71 BM based bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaic device. The devices were tested on merits of their power conversion efficiency (PCE), reproducibility, stability and further compared with the devices with individual GO or PEDOT:PSS HTLs. Solar cells employing GO/PEDOT:PSS HTL yielded a PCE of 4.28% as compared to either of individual GO or PEDOT:PSS HTLs where they demonstrated PCEs of 2.77 and 3.57%, respectively. In case of single GO HTL, an inhomogeneous coating of ITO caused the poor performance whereas PEDOT:PSS is known to be hygroscopic and acidic which upon direct contact with ITO reduced the device performance. The improvement in the photovoltaic performance is mainly ascribed to the increased charge carriers mobility, short circuit current, open circuit voltage, fill factor, and decreased series resistance. The well matched work function of GO and PEDOT:PSS is likely to facilitate the charge transportation and an overall reduction in the series resistance. Moreover, GO could effectively block the electrons due to its large band-gap of ~3.6 eV, leading to an increased shunt resistance. In addition, we also observed the improvement in the reproducibility and stability.

  18. Significantly improved photovoltaic performance in polymer bulk heterojunction solar cells with graphene oxide /PEDOT:PSS double decked hole transport layer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafique, Saqib; Abdullah, Shahino Mah; Shahid, Muhammad Mehmood; Ansari, Mohammad Omaish; Sulaiman, Khaulah

    2017-01-01

    This work demonstrates the high performance graphene oxide (GO)/PEDOT:PSS doubled decked hole transport layer (HTL) in the PCDTBT:PC71BM based bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaic device. The devices were tested on merits of their power conversion efficiency (PCE), reproducibility, stability and further compared with the devices with individual GO or PEDOT:PSS HTLs. Solar cells employing GO/PEDOT:PSS HTL yielded a PCE of 4.28% as compared to either of individual GO or PEDOT:PSS HTLs where they demonstrated PCEs of 2.77 and 3.57%, respectively. In case of single GO HTL, an inhomogeneous coating of ITO caused the poor performance whereas PEDOT:PSS is known to be hygroscopic and acidic which upon direct contact with ITO reduced the device performance. The improvement in the photovoltaic performance is mainly ascribed to the increased charge carriers mobility, short circuit current, open circuit voltage, fill factor, and decreased series resistance. The well matched work function of GO and PEDOT:PSS is likely to facilitate the charge transportation and an overall reduction in the series resistance. Moreover, GO could effectively block the electrons due to its large band-gap of ~3.6 eV, leading to an increased shunt resistance. In addition, we also observed the improvement in the reproducibility and stability.

  19. Improved multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification analysis identifies a deleterious PMS2 allele generated by recombination with crossover between PMS2 and PMS2CL.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wernstedt, Annekatrin; Valtorta, Emanuele; Armelao, Franco; Togni, Roberto; Girlando, Salvatore; Baudis, Michael; Heinimann, Karl; Messiaen, Ludwine; Staehli, Noemie; Zschocke, Johannes; Marra, Giancarlo; Wimmer, Katharina

    2012-09-01

    Heterozygous PMS2 germline mutations are associated with Lynch syndrome. Up to one third of these mutations are genomic deletions. Their detection is complicated by a pseudogene (PMS2CL), which--owing to extensive interparalog sequence exchange--closely resembles PMS2 downstream of exon 12. A recently redesigned multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) assay identifies PMS2 copy number alterations with improved reliability when used with reference DNAs containing equal numbers of PMS2- and PMS2CL-specific sequences. We selected eight such reference samples--all publicly available--and used them with this assay to study 13 patients with PMS2-defective colorectal tumors. Three presented deleterious alterations: an Alu-mediated exon deletion; a 125-kb deletion encompassing PMS2 and four additional genes (two with tumor-suppressing functions); and a novel deleterious hybrid PMS2 allele produced by recombination with crossover between PMS2 and PMS2CL, with the breakpoint in intron 10 (the most 5' breakpoint of its kind reported thus far). We discuss mechanisms that might generate this allele in different chromosomal configurations (and their diagnostic implications) and describe an allele-specific PCR assay that facilitates its detection. Our data indicate that the redesigned PMS2 MLPA assay is a valid first-line option. In our series, it identified roughly a quarter of all PMS2 mutations. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Identifying Active Faults by Improving Earthquake Locations with InSAR Data and Bayesian Estimation: The 2004 Tabuk (Saudi Arabia) Earthquake Sequence

    KAUST Repository

    Xu, Wenbin

    2015-02-03

    A sequence of shallow earthquakes of magnitudes ≤5.1 took place in 2004 on the eastern flank of the Red Sea rift, near the city of Tabuk in northwestern Saudi Arabia. The earthquakes could not be well located due to the sparse distribution of seismic stations in the region, making it difficult to associate the activity with one of the many mapped faults in the area and thus to improve the assessment of seismic hazard in the region. We used Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data from the European Space Agency’s Envisat and ERS‐2 satellites to improve the location and source parameters of the largest event of the sequence (Mw 5.1), which occurred on 22 June 2004. The mainshock caused a small but distinct ∼2.7  cm displacement signal in the InSAR data, which reveals where the earthquake took place and shows that seismic reports mislocated it by 3–16 km. With Bayesian estimation, we modeled the InSAR data using a finite‐fault model in a homogeneous elastic half‐space and found the mainshock activated a normal fault, roughly 70 km southeast of the city of Tabuk. The southwest‐dipping fault has a strike that is roughly parallel to the Red Sea rift, and we estimate the centroid depth of the earthquake to be ∼3.2  km. Projection of the fault model uncertainties to the surface indicates that one of the west‐dipping normal faults located in the area and oriented parallel to the Red Sea is a likely source for the mainshock. The results demonstrate how InSAR can be used to improve locations of moderate‐size earthquakes and thus to identify currently active faults.

  1. Identifying Active Faults by Improving Earthquake Locations with InSAR Data and Bayesian Estimation: The 2004 Tabuk (Saudi Arabia) Earthquake Sequence

    KAUST Repository

    Xu, Wenbin; Dutta, Rishabh; Jonsson, Sigurjon

    2015-01-01

    A sequence of shallow earthquakes of magnitudes ≤5.1 took place in 2004 on the eastern flank of the Red Sea rift, near the city of Tabuk in northwestern Saudi Arabia. The earthquakes could not be well located due to the sparse distribution of seismic stations in the region, making it difficult to associate the activity with one of the many mapped faults in the area and thus to improve the assessment of seismic hazard in the region. We used Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data from the European Space Agency’s Envisat and ERS‐2 satellites to improve the location and source parameters of the largest event of the sequence (Mw 5.1), which occurred on 22 June 2004. The mainshock caused a small but distinct ∼2.7  cm displacement signal in the InSAR data, which reveals where the earthquake took place and shows that seismic reports mislocated it by 3–16 km. With Bayesian estimation, we modeled the InSAR data using a finite‐fault model in a homogeneous elastic half‐space and found the mainshock activated a normal fault, roughly 70 km southeast of the city of Tabuk. The southwest‐dipping fault has a strike that is roughly parallel to the Red Sea rift, and we estimate the centroid depth of the earthquake to be ∼3.2  km. Projection of the fault model uncertainties to the surface indicates that one of the west‐dipping normal faults located in the area and oriented parallel to the Red Sea is a likely source for the mainshock. The results demonstrate how InSAR can be used to improve locations of moderate‐size earthquakes and thus to identify currently active faults.

  2. Prostate Health Index (Phi) and Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 (PCA3) significantly improve prostate cancer detection at initial biopsy in a total PSA range of 2-10 ng/ml.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferro, Matteo; Bruzzese, Dario; Perdonà, Sisto; Marino, Ada; Mazzarella, Claudia; Perruolo, Giuseppe; D'Esposito, Vittoria; Cosimato, Vincenzo; Buonerba, Carlo; Di Lorenzo, Giuseppe; Musi, Gennaro; De Cobelli, Ottavio; Chun, Felix K; Terracciano, Daniela

    2013-01-01

    Many efforts to reduce prostate specific antigen (PSA) overdiagnosis and overtreatment have been made. To this aim, Prostate Health Index (Phi) and Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 (PCA3) have been proposed as new more specific biomarkers. We evaluated the ability of phi and PCA3 to identify prostate cancer (PCa) at initial prostate biopsy in men with total PSA range of 2-10 ng/ml. The performance of phi and PCA3 were evaluated in 300 patients undergoing first prostate biopsy. ROC curve analyses tested the accuracy (AUC) of phi and PCA3 in predicting PCa. Decision curve analyses (DCA) were used to compare the clinical benefit of the two biomarkers. We found that the AUC value of phi (0.77) was comparable to those of %p2PSA (0.76) and PCA3 (0.73) with no significant differences in pairwise comparison (%p2PSA vs phi p = 0.673, %p2PSA vs. PCA3 p = 0.417 and phi vs. PCA3 p = 0.247). These three biomarkers significantly outperformed fPSA (AUC = 0.60), % fPSA (AUC = 0.62) and p2PSA (AUC = 0.63). At DCA, phi and PCA3 exhibited a very close net benefit profile until the threshold probability of 25%, then phi index showed higher net benefit than PCA3. Multivariable analysis showed that the addition of phi and PCA3 to the base multivariable model (age, PSA, %fPSA, DRE, prostate volume) increased predictive accuracy, whereas no model improved single biomarker performance. Finally we showed that subjects with active surveillance (AS) compatible cancer had significantly lower phi and PCA3 values (pphi and PCA3 comparably increase the accuracy in predicting the presence of PCa in total PSA range 2-10 ng/ml at initial biopsy, outperforming currently used %fPSA.

  3. Combined use of hyperbaric and hypobaric ropivacaine significantly improves hemodynamic characteristics in spinal anesthesia for caesarean section: a prospective, double-blind, randomized, controlled study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ZheFeng Quan

    Full Text Available To observe the hemodynamic changes of parturients in the combined use of hyperbaric (4 mg and hypobaric (6 mg ropivacaine during spinal anesthesia for caesarean section in this randomized double-blind study.Parturients (n = 136 undergoing elective cesarean delivery were randomly and equally allocated to receive either combined hyperbaric and hypobaric ropivacaine (Group A or hyperbaric ropivacaine (Group B. Outcome measures were: hemodynamic characteristics, maximum height of sensory block, time to achieve T8 sensory blockade level, incidence of complications, Apgar scores at 1 and 5 min, and neonatal blood gas analysis.Group A had a lower level of sensory blockade (T6 [T6-T7] and longer time to achieve T8 sensory blockade level (8 ± 1.3 min than did patients in Group B (T3 [T2-T4] and 5 ± 1.0 min, respectively; P < 0.001, both. The incidence rates for hypotension, nausea, and vomiting were significantly lower in Group A (13%, 10%, and 3%, respectively than Group B (66%, 31%, and 13%; P < 0.001, P = 0.003, P = 0.028.Combined use of hyperbaric (4 mg and hypobaric (6 mg ropivacaine significantly decreased the incidences of hypotension and complications in spinal anesthesia for caesarean section by extending induction time and decreasing the level of sensory blockade.Chinese Clinical Trial Register ChiCTR-TRC-13004622.

  4. Disruption of the 5S RNP-Mdm2 interaction significantly improves the erythroid defect in a mouse model for Diamond-Blackfan anemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaako, P; Debnath, S; Olsson, K; Zhang, Y; Flygare, J; Lindström, M S; Bryder, D; Karlsson, S

    2015-11-01

    Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA) is a congenital erythroid hypoplasia caused by haploinsufficiency of genes encoding ribosomal proteins (RPs). Perturbed ribosome biogenesis in DBA has been shown to induce a p53-mediated ribosomal stress response. However, the mechanisms of p53 activation and its relevance for the erythroid defect remain elusive. Previous studies have indicated that activation of p53 is caused by the inhibition of mouse double minute 2 (Mdm2), the main negative regulator of p53, by the 5S ribonucleoprotein particle (RNP). Meanwhile, it is not clear whether this mechanism solely mediates the p53-dependent component found in DBA. To approach this question, we crossed our mouse model for RPS19-deficient DBA with Mdm2(C305F) knock-in mice that have a disrupted 5S RNP-Mdm2 interaction. Upon induction of the Rps19 deficiency, Mdm2(C305F) reversed the p53 response and improved expansion of hematopoietic progenitors in vitro, and ameliorated the anemia in vivo. Unexpectedly, disruption of the 5S RNP-Mdm2 interaction also led to selective defect in erythropoiesis. Our findings highlight the sensitivity of erythroid progenitor cells to aberrations in p53 homeostasis mediated by the 5S RNP-Mdm2 interaction. Finally, we provide evidence indicating that physiological activation of the 5S RNP-Mdm2-p53 pathway may contribute to functional decline of the hematopoietic system in a cell-autonomous manner over time.

  5. Cognitive cooperation groups mediated by computers and internet present significant improvement of cognitive status in older adults with memory complaints: a controlled prospective study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo de Rosso Krug

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Objective To estimate the effect of participating in cognitive cooperation groups, mediated by computers and the internet, on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE percent variation of outpatients with memory complaints attending two memory clinics. Methods A prospective controlled intervention study carried out from 2006 to 2013 with 293 elders. The intervention group (n = 160 attended a cognitive cooperation group (20 sessions of 1.5 hours each. The control group (n = 133 received routine medical care. Outcome was the percent variation in the MMSE. Control variables included gender, age, marital status, schooling, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidaemia, hypothyroidism, depression, vascular diseases, polymedication, use of benzodiazepines, exposure to tobacco, sedentary lifestyle, obesity and functional capacity. The final model was obtained by multivariate linear regression. Results The intervention group obtained an independent positive variation of 24.39% (CI 95% = 14.86/33.91 in the MMSE compared to the control group. Conclusion The results suggested that cognitive cooperation groups, mediated by computers and the internet, are associated with cognitive status improvement of older adults in memory clinics.

  6. Significantly improved surface morphology of N-polar GaN film grown on SiC substrate by the optimization of V/III ratio

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Gaoqiang; Zhang, Yuantao; Yu, Ye; Yan, Long; Li, Pengchong; Han, Xu; Chen, Liang; Zhao, Degang; Du, Guotong

    2018-04-01

    In this paper, N-polar GaN films with different V/III ratios were grown on vicinal C-face SiC substrates by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition. During the growth of N-polar GaN film, the V/III ratio was controlled by adjusting the molar flow rate of ammonia while keeping the trimethylgallium flow rate unchanged. The influence of the V/III ratio on the surface morphology of N-polar GaN film has been studied. We find that the surface root mean square roughness of N-polar GaN film over an area of 20 × 20 μm2 can be reduced from 8.13 to 2.78 nm by optimization of the V/III ratio. Then, using the same growth conditions, N-polar InGaN/GaN multiple quantum wells (MQWs) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) were grown on the rough and the smooth N-polar GaN templates, respectively. Compared with the LED grown on the rough N-polar GaN template, dramatically improved interface sharpness and luminescence uniformity of the InGaN/GaN MQWs are achieved for the LED grown on the smooth N-polar GaN template.

  7. A clinically based prognostic index for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with a cut-off at 70 years of age significantly improves prognostic stratification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gang, Anne O.; Pedersen, Michael; d'Amore, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    The introduction of rituximab and generally improved health among elderly patients have increased the survival of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The International Prognostic Index (IPI) from 1992 is based on pre-rituximab data from clinical trials including several lymphoma ...... dehydrogenase (LDH), stage and albumin level, and (2) a separate age-adjusted DLBCL-PI for patients 1 extranodal lesion, however excluding stage....... subtypes. We applied IPI factors to a population-based rituximab-treated cohort of 1990 patients diagnosed 2000-2010 and explored new factors and the optimal prognostic age cut-off for DLBCL. Multivariate-analyses (MVA) confirmed the prognostic value of all IPI factors except the presence of > 1 extranodal...... lesion. The optimal age cut-off was 70 years. In a MVA of albumin, lymphocyte count, sex, immunoglobulin G, bulky disease, hemoglobin and B-symptoms, only albumin was prognostic. We propose: (1) a modified DLBCL prognostic index (DLBCL-PI) including: age (70 years), performance status (PS), lactate...

  8. Gemtuzumab Ozogamicin (GO Inclusion to Induction Chemotherapy Eliminates Leukemic Initiating Cells and Significantly Improves Survival in Mouse Models of Acute Myeloid Leukemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cathy C Zhang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO is an anti-CD33 antibody-drug conjugate for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML. Although GO shows a narrow therapeutic window in early clinical studies, recent reports detailing a modified dosing regimen of GO can be safely combined with induction chemotherapy, and the combination provides significant survival benefits in AML patients. Here we tested whether the survival benefits seen with the combination arise from the enhanced reduction of chemoresidual disease and leukemic initiating cells (LICs. Herein, we use cell line and patient-derived xenograft (PDX AML models to evaluate the combination of GO with daunorubicin and cytarabine (DA induction chemotherapy on AML blast growth and animal survival. DA chemotherapy and GO as separate treatments reduced AML burden but left significant chemoresidual disease in multiple AML models. The combination of GO and DA chemotherapy eliminated nearly all AML burden and extended overall survival. In two small subsets of AML models, chemoresidual disease following DA chemotherapy displayed hallmark markers of leukemic LICs (CLL1 and CD34. In vivo, the two chemoresistant subpopulations (CLL1+/CD117− and CD34+/CD38+ showed higher ability to self-renewal than their counterpart subpopulations, respectively. CD33 was coexpressed in these functional LIC subpopulations. We demonstrate that the GO and DA induction chemotherapy combination more effectively eliminates LICs in AML PDX models than either single agent alone. These data suggest that the survival benefit seen by the combination of GO and induction chemotherapy, nonclinically and clinically, may be attributed to the enhanced reduction of LICs.

  9. Insulin-Like growth factor-II (IGF-II) prevents proinflammatory cytokine-induced apoptosis and significantly improves islet survival after transplantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Amy; Mohanasundaram, Daisy; Kireta, Svjetlana; Jessup, Claire F; Drogemuller, Chris J; Coates, P Toby H

    2013-03-15

    The early loss of functional islet mass (50-70%) due to apoptosis after clinical transplantation contributes to islet allograft failure. Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-II is an antiapoptotic protein that is highly expressed in β-cells during development but rapidly decreases in postnatal life. We used an adenoviral (Ad) vector to overexpress IGF-II in isolated rat islets and investigated its antiapoptotic action against exogenous cytokines interleukin-1β- and interferon-γ-induced islet cell death in vitro. Using an immunocompromised marginal mass islet transplant model, the ability of Ad-IGF-II-transduced rat islets to restore euglycemia in nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient diabetic recipients was assessed. Ad-IGF-II transduction did not affect islet viability or function. Ad-IGF-II cytokine-treated islets exhibited decreased cell death (40% ± 2.8%) versus Ad-GFP and untransduced control islets (63.2% ± 2.5% and 53.6% ± 2.3%, respectively). Ad-IGF-II overexpression during cytokine treatment resulted in a marked reduction in terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling-positive apoptotic cells (8.3% ± 1.4%) versus Ad-GFP control (41% ± 4.2%) and untransduced control islets (46.5% ± 6.2%). Western blot analysis confirmed that IGF-II inhibits apoptosis via activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling pathway. Transplantation of IGF-II overexpressing islets under the kidney capsule of diabetic mice restored euglycemia in 77.8% of recipients compared with 18.2% and 47.5% of Ad-GFP and untransduced control islet recipients, respectively (Pislet transplant outcomes in vivo. Antiapoptotic gene transfer is a potentially powerful tool to improve islet survival after transplantation.

  10. Significant reduction of radiation exposure to operator and staff during cardiac interventions by analysis of radiation leakage and improved lead shielding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuon, Eberhard; Schmitt, Moritz; Dahm, Johannes B

    2002-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to disclose and to reduce occupational radiation leakage in invasive cardiology. Prospectively, we analyzed various dose parameters for 330 coronary procedures. We used a Rando phantom to measure scatter entrance skin air kerma to the operator (S-ESAK-O) during fluoroscopy for all standard tube angulations, and to plot isodose lines for 0 degrees /0 degrees -posterior anterior angulation. The patient's measured dose area product due to diagnostic catheterization and elective percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty was 6.2 and 10.4 Gycm(2), which represents 11% and 13% of currently typical values, respectively. With use of 0.5- and 1.0-mm overcouch and undercouch shielding, it was possible to reduce the mean of 4,686 nSv/Gycm(2) to 677 and 277 nSv/Gycm(2), respectively. Closure of radiation leakage up to 897 microSv/hour at the operator's gonadal height (80 to 105 cm), not heretofore described, was achieved by an additional 1.0-mm, lead-equivalent undercouch-top and overcouch-flap adjacent to the table, down to a S-ESAK-O/dose area product level of 47.5 nSv/Gycm(2). With use of a 0.5-mm lead apron, collar, glasses, foot-switch shield and 1.0-mm lead cover around the patient's thighs, the operator received a mean S-ESAK-O of 8.5, while his forehead, eyes, thyroid, chest, gonads, and hands were exposed to 68.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 0.8, and 58.2 nSv/Gycm(2), respectively. In conclusion, radiation-attenuating intervention techniques and improved lead protection can effectively contribute to a new state of the art in invasive cardiology, with reduction of operator radiation exposure to 0.8% of typical S-ESAK-O levels in advanced catheterization laboratories.

  11. A new optical method improves fluorescence guided diagnosis of bladder tumor in the outpatient department and reveals significant photo bleaching problems in established inpatients PDD techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindvold, Lars R.; Hermann, Gregers G.

    2013-03-01

    Photo dynamic diagnosis (PDD) is a convenient and well-documented procedure for diagnosis of bladder cancer and tumours using endoscopic techniques. At present, this procedure is available only for routine use in an operating room (OR) and often with substantial photobleaching effects of the photosensitizer. We present a novel optical design of the endoscopic PDD procedure that allows the procedure to be performed in the outpatient department (OPD) and not only in the OR. Thereby, inpatient procedures lasting 1-2 days may be replaced by a few hours lasting procedure in the OPD. Urine blurs the fluorescence during PDD used in the OPD. Urine contains fluorescent metabolites that are excited by blue light giving an opaque green fluorescence confounding the desired red fluorescence (PDD) from the tumour tissue. Measurements from the clinical situation has shown that some systems for PPD based on blue light illumination (PDD mode) and white light illumination used for bladder tumour diagnosis and surgery suffers some inherent disadvantages, i.e., photo bleaching in white light that impairs the possibility for PDD as white light usually is used before the blue light for PDD. Based on spectroscopic observations of urine and the photoactive dye Protoporphyrin IX used in PDD a novel optical system for use with the cystoscope has been devised that solves the problem of green fluorescence from urine. This and the knowledge of photo-bleaching pitfalls in established systems make it possible to perform PDD of bladder tumours in the OPD and to improve PDD in the OR.

  12. Rivers and flooded areas identified by medium-resolution remote sensing improve risk prediction of the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 in Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weerapong Thanapongtharm

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Thailand experienced several epidemic waves of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI H5N1 between 2004 and 2005. This study investigated the role of water in the landscape, which has not been previously assessed because of a lack of high-resolution information on the distribution of flooded land at the time of the epidemic. Nine Landsat 7- Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus scenes covering 174,610 km2 were processed using k-means unsupervised classification to map the distribution of flooded areas as well as permanent lakes and reservoirs at the time of the main epidemic HPAI H5N1 wave of October 2004. These variables, together with other factors previously identified as significantly associated with risk, were entered into an autologistic regression model in order to quantify the gain in risk explanation over previously published models. We found that, in addition to other factors previously identified as associated with risk, the proportion of land covered by flooding along with expansion of rivers and streams, derived from an existing, sub-district level (administrative level no. 3 geographical information system database, was a highly significant risk factor in this 2004 HPAI epidemic. These results suggest that water-borne transmission could have partly contributed to the spread of HPAI H5N1 during the epidemic. Future work stemming from these results should involve studies where the actual distribution of small canals, rivers, ponds, rice paddy fields and farms are mapped and tested against farm-level data with respect to HPAI H5N1.

  13. An improved ChIP-seq peak detection system for simultaneously identifying post-translational modified transcription factors by combinatorial fusion, using SUMOylation as an example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Chia-Yang; Chu, Chia-Han; Hsu, Hung-Wei; Hsu, Fang-Rong; Tang, Chung Yi; Wang, Wen-Ching; Kung, Hsing-Jien; Chang, Pei-Ching

    2014-01-01

    Post-translational modification (PTM) of transcriptional factors and chromatin remodelling proteins is recognized as a major mechanism by which transcriptional regulation occurs. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) in combination with high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) is being applied as a gold standard when studying the genome-wide binding sites of transcription factor (TFs). This has greatly improved our understanding of protein-DNA interactions on a genomic-wide scale. However, current ChIP-seq peak calling tools are not sufficiently sensitive and are unable to simultaneously identify post-translational modified TFs based on ChIP-seq analysis; this is largely due to the wide-spread presence of multiple modified TFs. Using SUMO-1 modification as an example; we describe here an improved approach that allows the simultaneous identification of the particular genomic binding regions of all TFs with SUMO-1 modification. Traditional peak calling methods are inadequate when identifying multiple TF binding sites that involve long genomic regions and therefore we designed a ChIP-seq processing pipeline for the detection of peaks via a combinatorial fusion method. Then, we annotate the peaks with known transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) using the Transfac Matrix Database (v7.0), which predicts potential SUMOylated TFs. Next, the peak calling result was further analyzed based on the promoter proximity, TFBS annotation, a literature review, and was validated by ChIP-real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) and ChIP-reChIP real-time qPCR. The results show clearly that SUMOylated TFs are able to be pinpointed using our pipeline. A methodology is presented that analyzes SUMO-1 ChIP-seq patterns and predicts related TFs. Our analysis uses three peak calling tools. The fusion of these different tools increases the precision of the peak calling results. TFBS annotation method is able to predict potential SUMOylated TFs. Here, we offer a new approach that enhances Ch

  14. On a European collaboration to identify organizational models, potential shortcomings and improvement options in out-of-hours primary health care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leutgeb, Ruediger; Walker, Nicola; Remmen, Roy; Klemenc-Ketis, Zalika; Szecsenyi, Joachim; Laux, Gunter

    2014-09-01

    Abstract Background: Out-of-hours care (OOHC) provision is an increasingly challenging aspect in the delivery of primary health care services. Although many European countries have implemented organizational models for out-of-hours primary care, which has been traditionally delivered by general practitioners, health care providers throughout Europe are still looking to resolve current challenges in OOHC. It is within this context that the European Research Network for Out-of-Hours Primary Health Care (EurOOHnet) was established in 2010 to investigate the provision of out-of-hours care across European countries, which have diverse political and health care systems. In this paper, we report on the EurOOHnet work related to OOHC organizational models, potential shortcomings and improvement options in out-of-hours primary health care. Needs assessment: The EurOOHnet expert working party proposed that models for OOHC should be reviewed to evaluate the availability and accessibility of OOHC for patients while also seeking ways to make the delivery of care more satisfying for service providers. To move towards resolution of OOHC challenges in primary care, as the first stage, the EurOOHnet expert working party identified the following key needs: clear and uniform definitions of the different OOHC models between different countries; adequate-ideally transnational-definitions of urgency levels and corresponding data; and educational programmes for nurses and doctors (e.g. in the use of a standardized triage system for OOHC). Finally, the need for a modern system of data transfer between different health care providers in regular care and providers in OOHC to prevent information loss was identified.

  15. Improving lifetime trajectories for vulnerable young children and families living with significant stress and social disadvantage: the early years education program randomised controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Brigid; Tseng, Yi-Ping; Coombs, Nichola; Kennedy, Anne; Borland, Jeff

    2014-09-17

    Children who experience neglect and abuse are likely to have impaired brain development and entrenched learning deficiencies. Early years interventions such as intensive education and care for these children are known to have the potential to increase their human capital. The Early Years Education Program (EYEP) is a new program offered by the Children's Protection Society (CPS) in Melbourne, Australia. EYEP is targeted at the needs of children who have been or are at risk of being abused or neglected. It has the dual focus of seeking to address the consequences of abuse and neglect on children's brain development and redressing their learning deficiencies. Our objective is to determine whether EYEP can improve school readiness by conducting a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of its impacts. The RCT is being conducted with 90 participants (45 intervention and 45 control). Eligible children must be aged under three years and assessed as having two or more risk factors as defined in the Department of Human Services Best Interest Case Practice Model. The intervention group participate for three years (or until school entry) in EYEP. The trial does not provide any early years education or care to the control group. Data are being collected on outcome measures for participants in EYEP and the control group at the baseline, at yearly intervals for three years, and six months after commencing the first year of school. Outcome measures encompass children's health and development, academic ability and emotional and behavioural regulation; and quality of parenting practices. The study will evaluate the impact of EYEP on these outcomes, and undertake a benefit-cost analysis of the program. Findings from the study have the potential to influence the quality of care and education for the large population of children in Australia who are at risk of abuse and neglect, as well as for children in mainstream childcare. The study will provide up-to-date evidence on the impact of an

  16. Physicochemical state of the nanotopographic surface of commercially pure titanium following anodization-hydrothermal treatment reveals significantly improved hydrophilicity and surface energy profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takebe, Jun; Ito, Shigeki; Miura, Shingo; Miyata, Kyohei; Ishibashi, Kanji

    2012-01-01

    A method of coating commercially pure titanium (cpTi) implants with a highly crystalline, thin hydroxyapatite (HA) layer using discharge anodic oxidation followed by hydrothermal treatment (Spark discharged Anodic oxidation treatment ; SA-treated cpTi) has been reported for use in clinical dentistry. We hypothesized that a thin HA layer with high crystallinity and nanostructured anodic titanium oxide film on such SA-treated cpTi implant surfaces might be a crucial function of their surface-specific potential energy. To test this, we analyzed anodic oxide (AO) cpTi and SA-treated cpTi disks by SEM and AFM. Contact angles and surface free energy of each disk surface was measured using FAMAS software. High-magnification SEM and AFM revealed the nanotopographic structure of the anodic titanium oxide film on SA-treated cpTi; however, this was not observed on the AO cpTi surface. The contact angle and surface free energy measurements were also significantly different between AO cpTi and SA-treated cpTi surfaces (Tukey's, P<0.05). These data indicated that the change of physicochemical properties of an anodic titanium oxide film with HA crystals on an SA-treated cpTi surface may play a key role in the phenomenon of osteoconduction during the process of osseointegration. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Combined use of hyperbaric and hypobaric ropivacaine significantly improves hemodynamic characteristics in spinal anesthesia for caesarean section: a prospective, double-blind, randomized, controlled study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quan, ZheFeng; Tian, Ming; Chi, Ping; Li, Xin; He, HaiLi; Luo, Chao

    2015-01-01

    To observe the hemodynamic changes of parturients in the combined use of hyperbaric (4 mg) and hypobaric (6 mg) ropivacaine during spinal anesthesia for caesarean section in this randomized double-blind study. Parturients (n = 136) undergoing elective cesarean delivery were randomly and equally allocated to receive either combined hyperbaric and hypobaric ropivacaine (Group A) or hyperbaric ropivacaine (Group B). Outcome measures were: hemodynamic characteristics, maximum height of sensory block, time to achieve T8 sensory blockade level, incidence of complications, Apgar scores at 1 and 5 min, and neonatal blood gas analysis. Group A had a lower level of sensory blockade (T6 [T6-T7]) and longer time to achieve T8 sensory blockade level (8 ± 1.3 min) than did patients in Group B (T3 [T2-T4] and 5 ± 1.0 min, respectively; P hyperbaric (4 mg) and hypobaric (6 mg) ropivacaine significantly decreased the incidences of hypotension and complications in spinal anesthesia for caesarean section by extending induction time and decreasing the level of sensory blockade. Chinese Clinical Trial Register ChiCTR-TRC-13004622.

  18. Multimeric recombinant M2e protein-based ELISA: a significant improvement in differentiating avian influenza infected chickens from vaccinated ones.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farshid Hadifar

    Full Text Available Killed avian influenza virus (AIV vaccines have been used to control H5N1 infections in countries where the virus is endemic. Distinguishing vaccinated from naturally infected birds (DIVA in such situations however, has become a major challenge. Recently, we introduced the recombinant ectodomain of the M2 protein (M2e of H5N1 subtype as a novel tool for an ELISA based DIVA test. Despite being antigenic in natural infection the monomer form of the M2e used in ELISA had limited antigenicity and consequently poor diagnostic capability. To address this shortcoming, we evaluated the use of four tandem copies of M2e (tM2e for increased efficiency of M2e antibody detection. The tM2e gene of H5N1 strain from Indonesia (A/Indonesia/CDC540/2006 was cloned into a pMAL- p4x expression vector and expressed in E.coli as a recombinant tM2e-MBP or M2e-MBP proteins. Both of these, M2e and tM2e antigens reacted with sera obtained from chickens following live H5N1 infection but not with sera from vaccinated birds. A significantly stronger M2e antibody reaction was observed with the tM2e compared to M2e antigen. Western blotting also supported the superiority of tM2e over M2e in detection of specific M2e antibodies against live H5N1 infection. Results from this study demonstrate that M2e tetramer is a better antigen than single M2e and could be more suitable for an ELISA based DIVA test.

  19. Improving sensitivity of linear regression-based cell type-specific differential expression deconvolution with per-gene vs. global significance threshold.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, Edmund R; Dozmorov, Mikhail G

    2016-10-06

    The goal of many human disease-oriented studies is to detect molecular mechanisms different between healthy controls and patients. Yet, commonly used gene expression measurements from blood samples suffer from variability of cell composition. This variability hinders the detection of differentially expressed genes and is often ignored. Combined with cell counts, heterogeneous gene expression may provide deeper insights into the gene expression differences on the cell type-specific level. Published computational methods use linear regression to estimate cell type-specific differential expression, and a global cutoff to judge significance, such as False Discovery Rate (FDR). Yet, they do not consider many artifacts hidden in high-dimensional gene expression data that may negatively affect linear regression. In this paper we quantify the parameter space affecting the performance of linear regression (sensitivity of cell type-specific differential expression detection) on a per-gene basis. We evaluated the effect of sample sizes, cell type-specific proportion variability, and mean squared error on sensitivity of cell type-specific differential expression detection using linear regression. Each parameter affected variability of cell type-specific expression estimates and, subsequently, the sensitivity of differential expression detection. We provide the R package, LRCDE, which performs linear regression-based cell type-specific differential expression (deconvolution) detection on a gene-by-gene basis. Accounting for variability around cell type-specific gene expression estimates, it computes per-gene t-statistics of differential detection, p-values, t-statistic-based sensitivity, group-specific mean squared error, and several gene-specific diagnostic metrics. The sensitivity of linear regression-based cell type-specific differential expression detection differed for each gene as a function of mean squared error, per group sample sizes, and variability of the proportions

  20. Kinetics of improved 1,4-alpha-D-glucan glucohydrolase biosynthesis from a newly isolated Aspergillus oryzae IIB-6 and parameter significance analysis by 2-factorial design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatima, Bilqees; Ali, Sikander

    2012-01-01

    Sixteen different mould cultures viz. Aspergillus, Alternaria, Arthroderma, Trichoderma, Fusarium, Penicillium, Rhizopus and Chochliobolus were isolated from the soil samples of Qatar by serial dilution method. The preliminary screening of isolates was done by selecting initial colonies showing relatively bigger zones of starch hydrolysis on nutrient agar plates. The isolates were then subjected to secondary screening by submerged fermentation (SmF). The 1,4-α-D-glucan glucohydrolase (GGH) activity ranged from 1.906-12.675 U/ml/min. The product yield was analysed in dependence of mycelial morphology, biomass level and protein content. The isolate Aspergillus oryzae llB-6 which gave maximum enzyme production was incubated in M3 medium containing 20 g/l starch, 10 g/l lactose, 8.5 g/l yeast extract, 6 g/l corn steep liquor (CSL), 1.2 g/l MgSO4.7H2O, 1.3 g/l NH4Cl, 0.6 g/l CaCl2.2H2O, pH 5 at 30±2°C and 200 rpm. On the basis of kinetic variables, notably Qp (0.058±0.01(a) U/g/h), Yp/s (0.308±0.03(ab) U/g) and qp (0.210±0.032(abc) U/g fungal biomass/h), A. oryzae IIB-6 was found to be a hyper producer of GGH (LSD 0.0345) compared to A. kawachii IIB-2. A noticeable enhancement in enzyme activity of over 30% was observed (13.917±1.01 U/ml/min) when the process parameters viz. cultural conditions (pH 5, incubation period 72 h) and nutritional requirements (6 g/l CSL, 9.5 g/l yeast extract, 10 g/l starch, 20 g/l lactose) were further optimized using a 2-factorial Plackett-Burman design. The model terms were found to be highly significant (HS, p≤0.05), indicating the potential utility of the culture (dof~3).

  1. Identifying a practice-based implementation framework for sustainable interventions for improving the evolving working environment: Hitting the Moving Target Framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Højberg, Helene; Rasmussen, Charlotte Diana Nørregaard; Osborne, Richard H; Jørgensen, Marie Birk

    2018-02-01

    Our aim was to identify implementation components for sustainable working environment interventions in the nursing assistant sector to generate a framework to optimize the implementation of workplace improvement initiatives. The implementation framework was informed by: 1) an industry advisory group, 2) interviews with key stakeholder, 3) concept mapping workshops, and 4) an e-mail survey. Thirty five stakeholders were interviewed and contributed in the concept mapping workshops. Eleven implementation components were derived across four domains: 1) A supportive organizational platform, 2) An engaged workplace with mutual goals, 3) The intervention is sustainably fitted to the workplace, and 4) the intervention is an attractive choice. The highest rated component was "Engaged and Active Management" (mean 4.1) and the lowest rated was "Delivered in an Attractive Form" (mean 2.8). The framework provides new insights into implementation in an evolving working environment and is aiming to assist with addressing gaps in effectiveness of workplace interventions and implementation success. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  2. Using the serious mental illness health improvement profile [HIP] to identify physical problems in a cohort of community patients: a pragmatic case series evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuel, Francis; White, Jacquie; Jones, Martin; Gray, Richard

    2010-02-01

    The physical health of people with serious mental illness is a cause of growing concern to clinicians. Life expectancy in this population may be reduced by up to 25 years and patients often live with considerable physical morbidity that can dramatically reduce quality of life and contribute to social exclusion. This study sought to determine whether the serious mental illness health improvement profile [HIP], facilitated by mental health nurses [MHNs], has the clinical potential to identify physical morbidity and inform future evidence-based care. Retrospective documentation audit and qualitative evaluation of patients' and clinicians' views about the use of the HIP in practice. A nurse-led outpatient medication management clinic, for community adult patients with serious mental illness in Scotland. 31 Community patients with serious mental illness seen in the clinic by 2 MHNs trained to use the HIP. All 31 patients, 9 MHNs, 4 consultant psychiatrists and 12 general practitioners [GPs] (primary care physicians) participated in the qualitative evaluation. A retrospective documentation audit of case notes for all patients where the HIP had been implemented. Semi-structured interviews with patients and their secondary care clinicians. Postal survey of GPs. 189 Physical health issues were identified (mean 6.1 per patient). Items most frequently flagged 'red', suggesting that intervention was required, were body mass index [BMI] (n=24), breast self-examination (n=23), waist circumference (n=21), pulse (n=14) and diet (n=13). Some rates of physical health problems observed were broadly similar to those reported in studies of patients receiving antipsychotics in primary care but much lower than those reported in epidemiological studies. Individualised care was planned and delivered with each patient based on the profile. 28 discreet interventions that included providing advice, promoting health behavioural change, performing an electrocardiogram and making a referral to

  3. Quality Improvement to Demonstrate the Lack of Reliability of the Human Papillomavirus mRNA Assay to Identify Women With Latent Human Papillomavirus Infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotton, Sarah; Brown, Robert E; Nugent, Elizabeth K; Robazetti, Sonia C; Berens, Pamela D; Smith, Judith A

    2018-04-01

    To assess the consistency between human papillomavirus (HPV) mRNA testing in women with a history of previous HPV infections diagnosed by HPV DNA assay and the potential effects on follow-up HPV screening. This was a quality improvement study that used data from a pathology laboratory software database reviewed from November 2014 to June 2016 to identify female patients aged 30 years or older with greater than one HPV-positive result, including one or more HPV mRNA assay results and one or more documented HPV DNA assay results for comparison. Previous correlative cytology and colposcopic histopathology were also documented. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' cervical cancer screening guidelines were used to compare potential differences in follow-up recommendations. Four hundred twenty-five charts for female patients 30 years of age or older were identified with one or more prior high-risk HPV infections by DNA assay. There was a 69.3% difference in HPV mRNA results compared with previous HPV DNA-positive results. There was a potential change in follow-up for 71.7% of patients with one prior high-risk-HPV-positive result and 60.0% of patients with two or more prior high-risk HPV-positive results. There were 231 colposcopy reports evaluated in this study. Of these, 62 (26.8%) were abnormal colposcopy reports, including 45 low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, 15 high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, and two cancers. Twenty-five (40.3%) abnormal colposcopy findings were in patients with a history of at least than two prior HPV DNA-positive results and a report of currently being HPV-negative with the mRNA assay. The HPV mRNA assays are less sensitive for detection of latent HPV infections compared with HPV DNA assays. Based on these data and the potential change in follow-up care, the HPV mRNA assay should not be used for a primary screening tool for cervical cancer. Many pathology laboratories have shifted to using the HPV mRNA assay

  4. Consumer participation in quality improvements for chronic disease care: development and evaluation of an interactive patient-centered survey to identify preferred service initiatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fradgley, Elizabeth A; Paul, Christine L; Bryant, Jamie; Roos, Ian A; Henskens, Frans A; Paul, David J

    2014-12-19

    With increasing attention given to the quality of chronic disease care, a measurement approach that empowers consumers to participate in improving quality of care and enables health services to systematically introduce patient-centered initiatives is needed. A Web-based survey with complex adaptive questioning and interactive survey items would allow consumers to easily identify and prioritize detailed service initiatives. The aim was to develop and test a Web-based survey capable of identifying and prioritizing patient-centered initiatives in chronic disease outpatient services. Testing included (1) test-retest reliability, (2) patient-perceived acceptability of the survey content and delivery mode, and (3) average completion time, completion rates, and Flesch-Kincaid reading score. In Phase I, the Web-based Consumer Preferences Survey was developed based on a structured literature review and iterative feedback from expert groups of service providers and consumers. The touchscreen survey contained 23 general initiatives, 110 specific initiatives available through adaptive questioning, and a relative prioritization exercise. In Phase II, a pilot study was conducted within 4 outpatient clinics to evaluate the reliability properties, patient-perceived acceptability, and feasibility of the survey. Eligible participants were approached to complete the survey while waiting for an appointment or receiving intravenous therapy. The age and gender of nonconsenters was estimated to ascertain consent bias. Participants with a subsequent appointment within 14 days were asked to complete the survey for a second time. A total of 741 of 1042 individuals consented to participate (71.11% consent), 529 of 741 completed all survey content (78.9% completion), and 39 of 68 completed the test-retest component. Substantial or moderate reliability (Cohen's kappa>0.4) was reported for 16 of 20 general initiatives with observed percentage agreement ranging from 82.1%-100.0%. The majority of

  5. Consumer Participation in Quality Improvements for Chronic Disease Care: Development and Evaluation of an Interactive Patient-Centered Survey to Identify Preferred Service Initiatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Christine L; Bryant, Jamie; Roos, Ian A; Henskens, Frans A; Paul, David J

    2014-01-01

    Background With increasing attention given to the quality of chronic disease care, a measurement approach that empowers consumers to participate in improving quality of care and enables health services to systematically introduce patient-centered initiatives is needed. A Web-based survey with complex adaptive questioning and interactive survey items would allow consumers to easily identify and prioritize detailed service initiatives. Objective The aim was to develop and test a Web-based survey capable of identifying and prioritizing patient-centered initiatives in chronic disease outpatient services. Testing included (1) test-retest reliability, (2) patient-perceived acceptability of the survey content and delivery mode, and (3) average completion time, completion rates, and Flesch-Kincaid reading score. Methods In Phase I, the Web-based Consumer Preferences Survey was developed based on a structured literature review and iterative feedback from expert groups of service providers and consumers. The touchscreen survey contained 23 general initiatives, 110 specific initiatives available through adaptive questioning, and a relative prioritization exercise. In Phase II, a pilot study was conducted within 4 outpatient clinics to evaluate the reliability properties, patient-perceived acceptability, and feasibility of the survey. Eligible participants were approached to complete the survey while waiting for an appointment or receiving intravenous therapy. The age and gender of nonconsenters was estimated to ascertain consent bias. Participants with a subsequent appointment within 14 days were asked to complete the survey for a second time. Results A total of 741 of 1042 individuals consented to participate (71.11% consent), 529 of 741 completed all survey content (78.9% completion), and 39 of 68 completed the test-retest component. Substantial or moderate reliability (Cohen’s kappa>0.4) was reported for 16 of 20 general initiatives with observed percentage agreement

  6. A large survey among European trainees in clinical microbiology and infectious disease on training systems and training adequacy: identifying the gaps and suggesting improvements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusuf, E; Ong, D S Y; Martin-Quiros, A; Skevaki, C; Cortez, J; Dedić, K; Maraolo, A E; Dušek, D; Maver, P J; Sanguinetti, M; Tacconelli, E

    2017-02-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to perform a survey among European clinical microbiology (CM) and infectious disease (ID) trainees on training satisfaction, training tools, and competency assessment. An online, anonymous survey in the English language was carried out between April and July 2015. There were 25 questions: seven in a 5-point Likert scale (1: worst scenario, 5: best scenario) and the remainder as closed multiple-choice questions in five areas (satisfaction, adequacy, system, mentorship, and evaluation of training). Included were 419 respondents (215 CM, 159 ID, and 45 combined CM/ID) from 31 European countries [mean age (standard deviation) 32.4 (5.3) years, 65.9 % women]. Regarding satisfaction on the training scheme, CM and ID scored 3.6 (0.9) and 3.2 (1.0), respectively. These scores varied between countries, ranging from 2.5 (1.0) for Italian ID to 4.3 (0.8) for Danish CM trainees. The majority of respondents considered training in management and health economics inadequate and e-learning and continuing medical education programs insufficient. Many trainees (65.3 % of CM and 62.9 % of ID) would like to have more opportunities to spend a part of their training abroad and expected their mentor to be more involved in helping with future career plans (63.5 % of CM and 53.4 % of ID) and practical skills (53.0 % of CM and 61.2 % of ID). Two-thirds of the respondents across the specialties agreed that a European exam should be developed, but half of them thought it should not be made mandatory. This survey shows high heterogeneity in training conditions in European countries, identifies perceived gaps in training, and suggests areas for improvements.

  7. Significant improvement of electrochemical performance of Cu ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    LiVPO4F cathode material for lithium-ion batteries. YU ZHANGa,∗, XIAOLAN BAIb ... and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). ... Analysis of electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS) ... studied with a SEM (JSM-7500F, Japan) equipped with.

  8. Prostate Health Index (Phi) and Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 (PCA3) Significantly Improve Prostate Cancer Detection at Initial Biopsy in a Total PSA Range of 2–10 ng/ml

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perdonà, Sisto; Marino, Ada; Mazzarella, Claudia; Perruolo, Giuseppe; D’Esposito, Vittoria; Cosimato, Vincenzo; Buonerba, Carlo; Di Lorenzo, Giuseppe; Musi, Gennaro; De Cobelli, Ottavio; Chun, Felix K.; Terracciano, Daniela

    2013-01-01

    Many efforts to reduce prostate specific antigen (PSA) overdiagnosis and overtreatment have been made. To this aim, Prostate Health Index (Phi) and Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 (PCA3) have been proposed as new more specific biomarkers. We evaluated the ability of phi and PCA3 to identify prostate cancer (PCa) at initial prostate biopsy in men with total PSA range of 2–10 ng/ml. The performance of phi and PCA3 were evaluated in 300 patients undergoing first prostate biopsy. ROC curve analyses tested the accuracy (AUC) of phi and PCA3 in predicting PCa. Decision curve analyses (DCA) were used to compare the clinical benefit of the two biomarkers. We found that the AUC value of phi (0.77) was comparable to those of %p2PSA (0.76) and PCA3 (0.73) with no significant differences in pairwise comparison (%p2PSA vs phi p = 0.673, %p2PSA vs. PCA3 p = 0.417 and phi vs. PCA3 p = 0.247). These three biomarkers significantly outperformed fPSA (AUC = 0.60), % fPSA (AUC = 0.62) and p2PSA (AUC = 0.63). At DCA, phi and PCA3 exhibited a very close net benefit profile until the threshold probability of 25%, then phi index showed higher net benefit than PCA3. Multivariable analysis showed that the addition of phi and PCA3 to the base multivariable model (age, PSA, %fPSA, DRE, prostate volume) increased predictive accuracy, whereas no model improved single biomarker performance. Finally we showed that subjects with active surveillance (AS) compatible cancer had significantly lower phi and PCA3 values (p<0.001 and p = 0.01, respectively). In conclusion, both phi and PCA3 comparably increase the accuracy in predicting the presence of PCa in total PSA range 2–10 ng/ml at initial biopsy, outperforming currently used %fPSA. PMID:23861782

  9. Prostate Health Index (Phi and Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 (PCA3 significantly improve prostate cancer detection at initial biopsy in a total PSA range of 2-10 ng/ml.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matteo Ferro

    Full Text Available Many efforts to reduce prostate specific antigen (PSA overdiagnosis and overtreatment have been made. To this aim, Prostate Health Index (Phi and Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 (PCA3 have been proposed as new more specific biomarkers. We evaluated the ability of phi and PCA3 to identify prostate cancer (PCa at initial prostate biopsy in men with total PSA range of 2-10 ng/ml. The performance of phi and PCA3 were evaluated in 300 patients undergoing first prostate biopsy. ROC curve analyses tested the accuracy (AUC of phi and PCA3 in predicting PCa. Decision curve analyses (DCA were used to compare the clinical benefit of the two biomarkers. We found that the AUC value of phi (0.77 was comparable to those of %p2PSA (0.76 and PCA3 (0.73 with no significant differences in pairwise comparison (%p2PSA vs phi p = 0.673, %p2PSA vs. PCA3 p = 0.417 and phi vs. PCA3 p = 0.247. These three biomarkers significantly outperformed fPSA (AUC = 0.60, % fPSA (AUC = 0.62 and p2PSA (AUC = 0.63. At DCA, phi and PCA3 exhibited a very close net benefit profile until the threshold probability of 25%, then phi index showed higher net benefit than PCA3. Multivariable analysis showed that the addition of phi and PCA3 to the base multivariable model (age, PSA, %fPSA, DRE, prostate volume increased predictive accuracy, whereas no model improved single biomarker performance. Finally we showed that subjects with active surveillance (AS compatible cancer had significantly lower phi and PCA3 values (p<0.001 and p = 0.01, respectively. In conclusion, both phi and PCA3 comparably increase the accuracy in predicting the presence of PCa in total PSA range 2-10 ng/ml at initial biopsy, outperforming currently used %fPSA.

  10. Incorporating the Last Four Digits of Social Security Numbers Substantially Improves Linking Patient Data from De-identified Hospital Claims Databases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naessens, James M; Visscher, Sue L; Peterson, Stephanie M; Swanson, Kristi M; Johnson, Matthew G; Rahman, Parvez A; Schindler, Joe; Sonneborn, Mark; Fry, Donald E; Pine, Michael

    2015-08-01

    Assess algorithms for linking patients across de-identified databases without compromising confidentiality. Hospital discharges from 11 Mayo Clinic hospitals during January 2008-September 2012 (assessment and validation data). Minnesota death certificates and hospital discharges from 2009 to 2012 for entire state (application data). Cross-sectional assessment of sensitivity and positive predictive value (PPV) for four linking algorithms tested by identifying readmissions and posthospital mortality on the assessment data with application to statewide data. De-identified claims included patient gender, birthdate, and zip code. Assessment records were matched with institutional sources containing unique identifiers and the last four digits of Social Security number (SSNL4). Gender, birthdate, and five-digit zip code identified readmissions with a sensitivity of 98.0 percent and a PPV of 97.7 percent and identified postdischarge mortality with 84.4 percent sensitivity and 98.9 percent PPV. Inclusion of SSNL4 produced nearly perfect identification of readmissions and deaths. When applied statewide, regions bordering states with unavailable hospital discharge data had lower rates. Addition of SSNL4 to administrative data, accompanied by appropriate data use and data release policies, can enable trusted repositories to link data with nearly perfect accuracy without compromising patient confidentiality. States maintaining centralized de-identified databases should add SSNL4 to data specifications. © Health Research and Educational Trust.

  11. A checklist for identifying determinants of practice: a systematic review and synthesis of frameworks and taxonomies of factors that prevent or enable improvements in healthcare professional practice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Flottorp, S.A.; Oxman, A.D.; Krause, J.; Musila, N.R.; Wensing, M.; Godycki-Cwirko, M.; Baker, R.; Eccles, M.P.

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Determinants of practice are factors that might prevent or enable improvements. Several checklists, frameworks, taxonomies, and classifications of determinants of healthcare professional practice have been published. In this paper, we describe the development of a comprehensive,

  12. Predicting significant torso trauma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nirula, Ram; Talmor, Daniel; Brasel, Karen

    2005-07-01

    Identification of motor vehicle crash (MVC) characteristics associated with thoracoabdominal injury would advance the development of automatic crash notification systems (ACNS) by improving triage and response times. Our objective was to determine the relationships between MVC characteristics and thoracoabdominal trauma to develop a torso injury probability model. Drivers involved in crashes from 1993 to 2001 within the National Automotive Sampling System were reviewed. Relationships between torso injury and MVC characteristics were assessed using multivariate logistic regression. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to compare the model to current ACNS models. There were a total of 56,466 drivers. Age, ejection, braking, avoidance, velocity, restraints, passenger-side impact, rollover, and vehicle weight and type were associated with injury (p < 0.05). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (83.9) was significantly greater than current ACNS models. We have developed a thoracoabdominal injury probability model that may improve patient triage when used with ACNS.

  13. Integrated automation for continuous high-throughput synthetic chromosome assembly and transformation to identify improved yeast strains for industrial production of biofuels and bio-based chemicals

    Science.gov (United States)

    An exponential increase in our understanding of genomes, proteomes, and metabolomes provides greater impetus to address critical biotechnological issues such as sustainable production of biofuels and bio-based chemicals and, in particular, the development of improved microbial biocatalysts for use i...

  14. Insight about Norwegian Millennials and Blood Donation - A qualitative Study on Experiences, Expectations and Perceptions that identify potential Areas of Improvement and Innovation

    OpenAIRE

    Fredriksen, Hilde Vestby

    2017-01-01

    Norway needs more blood donors to increase the preparedness. With the decreasing number of blood donors, the preparedness situation is put in danger if catastrophes or epidemics should occur. Research about how blood donation should be organized exists, but often lack user-centricity when approaching the problem. This thesis offers an exploratory and problem identifying contribution to this problem. A qualitative and user-centred approach was taken, where 18 young adults who both are an...

  15. Determining Semantically Related Significant Genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taha, Kamal

    2014-01-01

    GO relation embodies some aspects of existence dependency. If GO term xis existence-dependent on GO term y, the presence of y implies the presence of x. Therefore, the genes annotated with the function of the GO term y are usually functionally and semantically related to the genes annotated with the function of the GO term x. A large number of gene set enrichment analysis methods have been developed in recent years for analyzing gene sets enrichment. However, most of these methods overlook the structural dependencies between GO terms in GO graph by not considering the concept of existence dependency. We propose in this paper a biological search engine called RSGSearch that identifies enriched sets of genes annotated with different functions using the concept of existence dependency. We observe that GO term xcannot be existence-dependent on GO term y, if x- and y- have the same specificity (biological characteristics). After encoding into a numeric format the contributions of GO terms annotating target genes to the semantics of their lowest common ancestors (LCAs), RSGSearch uses microarray experiment to identify the most significant LCA that annotates the result genes. We evaluated RSGSearch experimentally and compared it with five gene set enrichment systems. Results showed marked improvement.

  16. Consistent and significant improvement of nighttime voiding frequency (nocturia) with silodosin in men with LUTS suggestive of BPH: pooled analysis of three randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind phase III studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenhardt, Andreas; Schneider, Tim; Cruz, Francisco; Oelke, Matthias

    2014-10-01

    Nocturia is prevalent and bothersome in men with lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of BPH (LUTS/BPH). α-Adrenoceptor antagonists without subtype selectivity have inconsistently shown significant effects on nocturia in these patients. We explored the effects of the α1A-adrenoceptor subtype-selective antagonist silodosin on nocturia by analyzing three placebo-controlled registration studies. Responses to question 7 of the IPSS questionnaire were analyzed for the entire study population and patients with ≥ 2 voids/night at baseline. Improvement/worsening rates for nocturia were calculated for once-daily silodosin 8 mg and placebo. Silodosin effects on the mean number of nocturnal voids were compared with placebo, and the number of patients in whom nocturia was reduced to silodosin or placebo; 1,266 men (85 %) had ≥ 2 voids/night at baseline. Compared to placebo, more men treated with silodosin reported about nocturia improvement (53.4 vs. 42.8 %, p Silodosin significantly reduced nocturia within each study and pooled cohort compared to placebo (p silodosin and placebo had reductions of ≥ 1 voids/night, respectively (p = 0.0003), and significantly more patients with silodosin had nocturia episodes at study end compared to placebo (29.3 vs. 19.0 %; p = 0.0002). Although a weak impact on nocturia is already known from α-adrenoceptor antagonists without subtype selectivity, the individual placebo-controlled studies and the pooled data analysis showed that the α1A-adrenoceptor subtype-selective antagonist silodosin consistently and significantly improves nocturia in men with LUTS/BPH.

  17. miR-18b overexpression identifies mantle cell lymphoma patients with poor outcome and improves the MIPI-B prognosticator

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Husby, Simon; Ralfkiær, Ulrik Methner; Garde, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies show that mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) express aberrant microRNA (miRNA) profiles; however, the clinical effect of miRNA expression has not previously been examined and validated in large prospective homogenously treated cohorts. We performed genome-wide miRNA microarray profiling...... by decelerating cell proliferation. We conclude that overexpression of miR-18b identifies patients with poor prognosis in 2 large prospective MCL cohorts and adds prognostic information to the MIPI-B. MiR-18b may reduce the proliferation rate of MCL cells as a mechanism of chemoresistance....

  18. Identifying agricultural land management successes and water quality improvements at the sub-watershed scale: A case study in south-central Minnesota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, M.; Triplett, L.; Smith, C.; Westfield, J.; Clause, C.

    2017-12-01

    In agricultural regions with highly-impacted water quality, it can be challenging to generate local motivation for water improvement efforts. Although the problem is daunting, and the magnitude of each individual's efforts may be indistinguishable in a mainstem stream, we may be able to detect incremental improvements earlier within a sub-watershed. In Seven Mile Creek, a small watershed in south-central Minnesota, we monitored at the sub-watershed scale to search for evidence of intermediate improvements during a years-long effort to reduce nutrient and sediment loads. The watershed is 9300 hectares with approximately 95% committed to corn and soybeans. Subwatershed 1 (SW1) is 4030 hectares and subwatershed 2 (SW2) is 3690 hectares (43% and 40% of the watershed area, respectively). In both subwatersheds, ubiquitous subsurface drain tile quickly drains water from the land, shunting it into tributaries and the mainstem which then have flashy storm responses. In 2016-2017, the two subwatersheds differed in water quality and storm response, despite nearly identical size, topography, climate, and geology. For example, during large storm events in 2016, total suspended sediment (TSS) concentrations were measured as high as 113 mg L-1 in subwatershed 1 and 79 mg L-1 in subwatershed 2. However, the annual average TSS concentration was 2 mg L-1 in SW1 and 3 mg L-1 in SW2, resulting in a higher loading from SW2. In contrast, the annual average nitrate concentration was higher in SW1 than SW2 (28 mg L-1 and 20 mg L-1, respectively). We determined that the difference is likely due to differences in soil type, cropping practices, or recent best management practice (BMP) implementation. While a few landowners have taken substantial actions to implement BMPs, others remain skeptical about the sources of and potential solutions for pollution in this creek. In SW1 there has been more effective management of water flow and sediment mobilization, while in SW2 nitrate is the success

  19. Genome-wide analysis of heat shock proteins in C4 model, foxtail millet identifies potential candidates for crop improvement under abiotic stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Roshan Kumar; Jaishankar, Jananee; Muthamilarasan, Mehanathan; Shweta, Shweta; Dangi, Anand; Prasad, Manoj

    2016-09-02

    Heat shock proteins (HSPs) perform significant roles in conferring abiotic stress tolerance to crop plants. In view of this, HSPs and their encoding genes were extensively characterized in several plant species; however, understanding their structure, organization, evolution and expression profiling in a naturally stress tolerant crop is necessary to delineate their precise roles in stress-responsive molecular machinery. In this context, the present study has been performed in C4 panicoid model, foxtail millet, which resulted in identification of 20, 9, 27, 20 and 37 genes belonging to SiHSP100, SiHSP90, SiHSP70, SiHSP60 and SisHSP families, respectively. Comprehensive in silico characterization of these genes followed by their expression profiling in response to dehydration, heat, salinity and cold stresses in foxtail millet cultivars contrastingly differing in stress tolerance revealed significant upregulation of several genes in tolerant cultivar. SisHSP-27 showed substantial higher expression in response to heat stress in tolerant cultivar, and its over-expression in yeast system conferred tolerance to several abiotic stresses. Methylation analysis of SiHSP genes suggested that, in susceptible cultivar, higher levels of methylation might be the reason for reduced expression of these genes during stress. Altogether, the study provides novel clues on the role of HSPs in conferring stress tolerance.

  20. A NEW APPROACH FOR IMPROVEMENT OF THE METHODOLOGY TO IDENTIFY A TYPE OF INTERACTION OF LACTIC ACID BACTERIA IN CONSORTIUMS OF DIFFERENT STAGES OF CULTIVATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. V. Kondratenko

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Existing approaches for evaluation of types of interactions between individual monocultures in consortiums allow obtaining only qualitative results (synergistic, antagonistic, additive interaction as a whole, without regarding to changes in the cultivation process. Therefore, the development of a new approach for the quantitative determination of this indicator as a continuous function defined during the all period of cultivation is in need. In the course of the research a two-component consortium of lactic acid microorganisms cultivated on different mediums according to directed fermentation process in vegetable products was chosen to analyze types of interaction. As a result, the an original approach that was based on comparison of grow speed of biomass of microorganisms with calculated additive curve determined by results of dynamic analysis of titre of microorganism participating in consortium in monoculture during their cultivation has been elaborated. This approach is a convenient tool to identify complex regularity in changes of types of microorganism interaction in consortium represented by continuous function defined during all cultivation period.

  1. Time-driven activity-based costing of multivessel coronary artery bypass grafting across national boundaries to identify improvement opportunities: study protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erhun, F; Mistry, B; Platchek, T; Milstein, A; Narayanan, V G; Kaplan, R S

    2015-08-25

    Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is a well-established, commonly performed treatment for coronary artery disease--a disease that affects over 10% of US adults and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. In 2005, the mean cost for a CABG procedure among Medicare beneficiaries in the USA was $32, 201 ± $23,059. The same operation reportedly costs less than $2000 to produce in India. The goals of the proposed study are to (1) identify the difference in the costs incurred to perform CABG surgery by three Joint Commission accredited hospitals with reputations for high quality and efficiency and (2) characterise the opportunity to reduce the cost of performing CABG surgery. We use time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) to quantify the hospitals' costs of producing elective, multivessel CABG. TDABC estimates the costs of a given clinical service by combining information about the process of patient care delivery (specifically, the time and quantity of labour and non-labour resources utilised to perform each activity) with the unit cost of each resource used to provide the care. Resource utilisation was estimated by constructing CABG process maps for each site based on observation of care and staff interviews. Unit costs were calculated as a capacity cost rate, measured as a $/min, for each resource consumed in CABG production. Multiplying together the unit costs and resource quantities and summing across all resources used will produce the average cost of CABG production at each site. We will conclude by conducting a variance analysis of labour costs to reveal opportunities to bend the cost curve for CABG production in the USA. All our methods were exempted from review by the Stanford Institutional Review Board. Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at scientific meetings. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  2. Kinking and Torsion Can Significantly Improve the Efficiency of Valveless Pumping in Periodically Compressed Tubular Conduits. Implications for Understanding of the Form-Function Relationship of Embryonic Heart Tubes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Hiermeier

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Valveless pumping phenomena (peristalsis, Liebau-effect can generate unidirectional fluid flow in periodically compressed tubular conduits. Early embryonic hearts are tubular conduits acting as valveless pumps. It is unclear whether such hearts work as peristaltic or Liebau-effect pumps. During the initial phase of its pumping activity, the originally straight embryonic heart is subjected to deforming forces that produce bending, twisting, kinking, and coiling. This deformation process is called cardiac looping. Its function is traditionally seen as generating a configuration needed for establishment of correct alignments of pulmonary and systemic flow pathways in the mature heart of lung-breathing vertebrates. This idea conflicts with the fact that cardiac looping occurs in all vertebrates, including gill-breathing fishes. We speculate that looping morphogenesis may improve the efficiency of valveless pumping. To test the physical plausibility of this hypothesis, we analyzed the pumping performance of a Liebau-effect pump in straight and looped (kinked configurations. Compared to the straight configuration, the looped configuration significantly improved the pumping performance of our pump. This shows that looping can improve the efficiency of valveless pumping driven by the Liebau-effect. Further studies are needed to clarify whether this finding may have implications for understanding of the form-function relationship of embryonic hearts.

  3. Analysis of the Gli-D2 locus identifies a genetic target for simultaneously improving the breadmaking and health-related traits of common wheat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Da; Jin, Huaibing; Zhang, Kunpu; Wang, Zhaojun; Wang, Faming; Zhao, Yue; Huo, Naxin; Liu, Xin; Gu, Yong Q; Wang, Daowen; Dong, Lingli

    2018-05-11

    Gliadins are a major component of wheat seed proteins. However, the complex homoeologous Gli-2 loci (Gli-A2, -B2 and -D2) that encode the α-gliadins in commercial wheat are still poorly understood. Here we analyzed the Gli-D2 locus of Xiaoyan 81 (Xy81), a winter wheat cultivar. A total of 421.091 kb of the Gli-D2 sequence was assembled from sequencing multiple bacterial artificial clones, and 10 α-gliadin genes were annotated. Comparative genomic analysis showed that Xy81 carried only eight of the α-gliadin genes of the D genome donor Aegilops tauschii, with two of them each experiencing a tandem duplication. A mutant line lacking Gli-D2 (DLGliD2) consistently exhibited better breadmaking quality and dough functionalities than its progenitor Xy81, but without penalties in other agronomic traits. It also had an elevated lysine content in the grains. Transcriptome analysis verified the lack of Gli-D2 α-gliadin gene expression in DLGliD2. Furthermore, the transcript and protein levels of protein disulfide isomerase were both upregulated in DLGliD2 grains. Consistent with this finding, DLGliD2 had increased disulfide content in the flour. Our work sheds light on the structure and function of Gli-D2 in commercial wheat, and suggests that the removal of Gli-D2 and the gliadins specified by it is likely to be useful for simultaneously enhancing the end-use and health-related traits of common wheat. Because gliadins and homologous proteins are widely present in grass species, the strategy and information reported here may be broadly useful for improving the quality traits of diverse cereal crops. © 2018 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Interventions to significantly improve service uptake and retention of HIV-positive pregnant women and HIV-exposed infants along the prevention of mother-to-child transmission continuum of care: systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrazo, Alexandra C; Firth, Jacqueline; Amzel, Anouk; Sedillo, Rebecca; Ryan, Julia; Phelps, B Ryan

    2018-02-01

    Despite the success of Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programmes, low uptake of services and poor retention pose a formidable challenge to achieving the elimination of vertical HIV transmission in low- and middle-income countries. This systematic review summarises interventions that demonstrate statistically significant improvements in service uptake and retention of HIV-positive pregnant and breastfeeding women and their infants along the PMTCT cascade. Databases were systematically searched for peer-reviewed studies. Outcomes of interest included uptake of services, such as antiretroviral therapy (ART) such as initiation, early infant diagnostic testing, and retention of HIV-positive pregnant and breastfeeding women and their infants. Interventions that led to statistically significant outcomes were included and mapped to the PMTCT cascade. An eight-item assessment tool assessed study rigour. CRD42017063816. Of 686 citations reviewed, 11 articles met inclusion criteria. Ten studies detailed maternal outcomes and seven studies detailed infant outcomes in PMTCT programmes. Interventions to increase access to antenatal care (ANC) and ART services (n = 4) and those using lay cadres (n = 3) were most common. Other interventions included quality improvement (n = 2), mHealth (n = 1), and counselling (n = 1). One study described interventions in an Option B+ programme. Limitations included lack of HIV testing and counselling and viral load monitoring outcomes, small sample size, geographical location, and non-randomized assignment and selection of participants. Interventions including ANC/ART integration, family-centred approaches, and the use of lay healthcare providers are demonstrably effective in increasing service uptake and retention of HIV-positive mothers and their infants in PMTCT programmes. Future studies should include control groups and assess whether interventions developed in the context of earlier 'Options' are

  5. Meaning and significance of

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ph D Student Roman Mihaela

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The concept of "public accountability" is a challenge for political science as a new concept in this area in full debate and developement ,both in theory and practice. This paper is a theoretical approach of displaying some definitions, relevant meanings and significance odf the concept in political science. The importance of this concept is that although originally it was used as a tool to improve effectiveness and eficiency of public governance, it has gradually become a purpose it itself. "Accountability" has become an image of good governance first in the United States of America then in the European Union.Nevertheless,the concept is vaguely defined and provides ambiguous images of good governance.This paper begins with the presentation of some general meanings of the concept as they emerge from specialized dictionaries and ancyclopaedies and continues with the meanings developed in political science. The concept of "public accontability" is rooted in economics and management literature,becoming increasingly relevant in today's political science both in theory and discourse as well as in practice in formulating and evaluating public policies. A first conclusin that emerges from, the analysis of the evolution of this term is that it requires a conceptual clarification in political science. A clear definition will then enable an appropriate model of proving the system of public accountability in formulating and assessing public policies, in order to implement a system of assessment and monitoring thereof.

  6. First-line endoscopic treatment with over-the-scope clips significantly improves the primary failure and rebleeding rates in high-risk gastrointestinal bleeding: A single-center experience with 100 cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter-Schrag, Hans-Jürgen; Glatz, Torben; Walker, Christine; Fischer, Andreas; Thimme, Robert

    2016-11-07

    To evaluate rebleeding, primary failure (PF) and mortality of patients in whom over-the-scope clips (OTSCs) were used as first-line and second-line endoscopic treatment (FLET, SLET) of upper and lower gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB, LGIB). A retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected database identified all patients with UGIB and LGIB in a tertiary endoscopic referral center of the University of Freiburg, Germany, from 04-2012 to 05-2016 ( n = 93) who underwent FLET and SLET with OTSCs. The complete Rockall risk scores were calculated from patients with UGIB. The scores were categorized as < or ≥ 7 and were compared with the original Rockall data. Differences between FLET and SLET were calculated. Univariate and multivariate analysis were performed to evaluate the factors that influenced rebleeding after OTSC placement. Primary hemostasis and clinical success of bleeding lesions (without rebleeding) was achieved in 88/100 (88%) and 78/100 (78%), respectively. PF was significantly lower when OTSCs were applied as FLET compared to SLET (4.9% vs 23%, P = 0.008). In multivariate analysis, patients who had OTSC placement as SLET had a significantly higher rebleeding risk compared to those who had FLET (OR 5.3; P = 0.008). Patients with Rockall risk scores ≥ 7 had a significantly higher in-hospital mortality compared to those with scores < 7 (35% vs 10%, P = 0.034). No significant differences were observed in patients with scores < or ≥ 7 in rebleeding and rebleeding-associated mortality. Our data show for the first time that FLET with OTSC might be the best predictor to successfully prevent rebleeding of gastrointestinal bleeding compared to SLET. The type of treatment determines the success of primary hemostasis or primary failure.

  7. Prevention measures for avoiding unexpected drifting of marine component in recovery equipment of significant metals from sea water. Positioning and monitoring system for marine component and improvement of its positioning accuracy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tamada, Masao; Kasai, Noboru; Seko, Noriaki; Hasegawa, Shin; Takeda, Hayato; Katakai, Akio; Sugo, Takanobu [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Takasaki, Gunma (Japan). Takasaki Radiation Chemistry Research Establishment; Kawabata, Yukiya [Ebara Reseach Co., Ltd., Fujisawa, Kanagawa (Japan); Onuma, Kenji [Mitsubishi Materials Corp., Tokyo (Japan)

    2001-11-01

    Positioning and monitoring system for marine component in recovery equipment of significant metals from seawater with adsorbent was designed and assembled to avoid unexpected drifting accident. This system which was set on float part of the marine component obtains the positioning data from GPS satellites and sends them to Takasaki and Mutsu establishments through satellite communication. In both establishments, the position data were shown in computer displays. As characteristic test for 20 days in the real sea, 262 data were obtained every 2 hours. The twice of the distance root mean square (2DRMS) was 223.7 m. To improve this performance, three new functions were added to the present firmware. There are to raise positioning resolutions in longitude and latitude from 0.001 to 0.00001 degree, to remove the reflection of GPS signal from sea surface, and to average remaining three positioning data after maximum and minimum data were omitted from continuous five positioning data. The improved system shows the 2DRMS positioning of 15.5 m. This performance is enough to prevent marine component from its drifting accident. (author)

  8. Significant Radionuclides Determination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jo A. Ziegler

    2001-07-31

    The purpose of this calculation is to identify radionuclides that are significant to offsite doses from potential preclosure events for spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste expected to be received at the potential Monitored Geologic Repository (MGR). In this calculation, high-level radioactive waste is included in references to DOE SNF. A previous document, ''DOE SNF DBE Offsite Dose Calculations'' (CRWMS M&O 1999b), calculated the source terms and offsite doses for Department of Energy (DOE) and Naval SNF for use in design basis event analyses. This calculation reproduces only DOE SNF work (i.e., no naval SNF work is included in this calculation) created in ''DOE SNF DBE Offsite Dose Calculations'' and expands the calculation to include DOE SNF expected to produce a high dose consequence (even though the quantity of the SNF is expected to be small) and SNF owned by commercial nuclear power producers. The calculation does not address any specific off-normal/DBE event scenarios for receiving, handling, or packaging of SNF. The results of this calculation are developed for comparative analysis to establish the important radionuclides and do not represent the final source terms to be used for license application. This calculation will be used as input to preclosure safety analyses and is performed in accordance with procedure AP-3.12Q, ''Calculations'', and is subject to the requirements of DOE/RW-0333P, ''Quality Assurance Requirements and Description'' (DOE 2000) as determined by the activity evaluation contained in ''Technical Work Plan for: Preclosure Safety Analysis, TWP-MGR-SE-000010'' (CRWMS M&O 2000b) in accordance with procedure AP-2.21Q, ''Quality Determinations and Planning for Scientific, Engineering, and Regulatory Compliance Activities''.

  9. OnabotulinumtoxinA 100U provides significant improvements in overactive bladder symptoms in patients with urinary incontinence regardless of the number of anticholinergic therapies used or reason for inadequate management of overactive bladder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sievert, K-D; Chapple, C; Herschorn, S; Joshi, M; Zhou, J; Nardo, C; Nitti, V W

    2014-10-01

    A prespecified pooled analysis of two placebo-controlled, phase 3 trials evaluated whether the number of prior anticholinergics used or reason for their discontinuation affected the treatment response to onabotulinumtoxinA 100U in overactive bladder (OAB) patients with urinary incontinence (UI). Patients with symptoms of OAB received intradetrusor injections of onabotulinumtoxinA 100U or placebo, sparing the trigone. Change from baseline at week 12 in UI episodes/day, proportion of patients reporting a positive response ('greatly improved' or 'improved') on the treatment benefit scale (TBS), micturition and urgency were evaluated by number of prior anticholinergics (1, 2 or ≥ 3) and reason for their discontinuation (insufficient efficacy or side effects). Adverse events (AE) were assessed. Patients had taken an average of 2.4 anticholinergics before study enrolment. OnabotulinumtoxinA reduced UI episodes/day from baseline vs. placebo, regardless of the number of prior anticholinergics (-2.82 vs. -1.52 for one prior anticholinergic; -2.58 vs. -0.58 for two prior anticholinergics; and -2.92 vs. -0.73 for three or more prior anticholinergics; all p reason for discontinuation. OnabotulinumtoxinA reduced the episodes of urgency and frequency of micturition vs. placebo in all groups. AEs were well tolerated, with a comparable incidence in all groups. In patients with symptoms of OAB who were inadequately managed by one or more anticholinergics, onabotulinumtoxinA 100U provided significant and similar treatment benefit and safety profile regardless of the number of prior anticholinergics used or reason for inadequate management of OAB. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00910845, NCT00910520. © 2014 The Authors. International Journal of Clinical Practice published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Significant accomplishments, 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    BTS data is vital to improve transportation decision making, as well as evaluations of performance and what works in the nations transportation systems. As BTS continues its course of producing relevant, accurate, and timely transportation d...

  11. Identifying Breast Cancer Oncogenes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    tyrosine kinases with an SH3, SH2 and catalytic domain, it lacks a native myristylation signal shared by most members of this class [14], [38]. The...therapeutics and consequently, improve clinical outcomes. We aim to identify novel drivers of breast oncogenesis. We hypothesize that a kinase gain-of...human mammary epithelial cells. A pBabe-Puro-Myr-Flag kinase open reading frame (ORF) library was screened in immortalized human mammary epithelial

  12. Kefir drink causes a significant yet similar improvement in serum lipid profile, compared with low-fat milk, in a dairy-rich diet in overweight or obese premenopausal women: A randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fathi, Yasamin; Ghodrati, Naeimeh; Zibaeenezhad, Mohammad-Javad; Faghih, Shiva

    Controversy exists as to whether the lipid-lowering properties of kefir drink (a fermented probiotic dairy product) in animal models could be replicated in humans. To assess and compare the potential lipid-lowering effects of kefir drink with low-fat milk in a dairy-rich diet in overweight or obese premenopausal women. In this 8-week, single-center, multiarm, parallel-group, outpatient, randomized controlled trial, 75 eligible Iranian women aged 25 to 45 years were randomly allocated to kefir, milk, or control groups. Women in the control group received a weight-maintenance diet containing 2 servings/d of low-fat dairy products, whereas subjects in the milk and kefir groups received a similar diet containing 2 additional servings/d (a total of 4 servings/d) of dairy products from low-fat milk or kefir drink, respectively. At baseline and study end point, serum levels/ratios of total cholesterol (TC), low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLC and HDLC), triglyceride, Non-HDLC, TC/HDLC, LDLC/HDLC, and triglyceride/LDLC were measured as outcome measures. After 8 weeks, subjects in the kefir group had significantly lower serum levels/ratios of lipoproteins than those in the control group (mean between-group differences were -10.4 mg/dL, -9.7 mg/dL, -11.5 mg/dL, -0.4, and -0.3 for TC, LDLC, non-HDLC, TC/HDLC, and LDLC/HDLC, respectively; all P < .05). Similar results were observed in the milk group. However, no such significant differences were found between the kefir and milk groups. Kefir drink causes a significant yet similar improvement in serum lipid profile, compared with low-fat milk, in a dairy-rich diet in overweight or obese premenopausal women. Copyright © 2016 National Lipid Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Detecting Novelty and Significance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrari, Vera; Bradley, Margaret M.; Codispoti, Maurizio; Lang, Peter J.

    2013-01-01

    Studies of cognition often use an “oddball” paradigm to study effects of stimulus novelty and significance on information processing. However, an oddball tends to be perceptually more novel than the standard, repeated stimulus as well as more relevant to the ongoing task, making it difficult to disentangle effects due to perceptual novelty and stimulus significance. In the current study, effects of perceptual novelty and significance on ERPs were assessed in a passive viewing context by presenting repeated and novel pictures (natural scenes) that either signaled significant information regarding the current context or not. A fronto-central N2 component was primarily affected by perceptual novelty, whereas a centro-parietal P3 component was modulated by both stimulus significance and novelty. The data support an interpretation that the N2 reflects perceptual fluency and is attenuated when a current stimulus matches an active memory representation and that the amplitude of the P3 reflects stimulus meaning and significance. PMID:19400680

  14. Significant NRC Enforcement Actions

    Data.gov (United States)

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission — This dataset provides a list of Nuclear Regulartory Commission (NRC) issued significant enforcement actions. These actions, referred to as "escalated", are issued by...

  15. Identifying patient-centred recommendations for improving patient safety in General Practices in England: a qualitative content analysis of free-text responses using the Patient Reported Experiences and Outcomes of Safety in Primary Care (PREOS-PC) questionnaire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricci-Cabello, Ignacio; Saletti-Cuesta, Lorena; Slight, Sarah P; Valderas, Jose M

    2017-10-01

    There is a growing interest in identifying strategies to achieve safer primary health-care provision. However, most of the research conducted so far in this area relies on information supplied by health-care providers, and limited attention has been paid to patients' perspectives. To explore patients' experiences and perceptions of patient safety in English general practices with the aim of eliciting patient-centred recommendations for improving patient safety. The Patient Reported Experiences and Outcomes of Safety in Primary Care questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 6736 primary care users registered in 45 English practices. We conducted a qualitative content analysis of responses to seven open-ended items addressing patients' experiences of safety problems, lessons learnt as a result of such experiences and recommendations for safer health care. A total of 1244 (18.4%) participants returned completed questionnaires. Of those, 678 (54.5%) responded to at least one open-ended question. Two main themes emerged as follows: (i) experiences of safety problems and (ii) good practices and recommendations to improve patient safety in primary care. Most frequent experiences of safety problems were related to appointments, coordination between providers, tests, medication and diagnosis. Patients' responses to these problems included increased patient activation (eg speaking up about concerns with their health care) and avoidance of unnecessary health care. Recommendations for safer health care included improvements in patient-centred communication, continuity of care, timely appointments, technical quality of care, active monitoring, teamwork, health records and practice environment. This study identified a number of patient-centred recommendations for improving patient safety in English general practices. © 2017 The Authors Health Expectations Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. IGOB131, a novel seed extract of the West African plant Irvingia gabonensis, significantly reduces body weight and improves metabolic parameters in overweight humans in a randomized double-blind placebo controlled investigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mbofung Carl MF

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A recent in vitro study indicates that IGOB131, a novel seed extract of the traditional West African food plant Irvingia gabonensis, favorably impacts adipogenesis through a variety of critical metabolic pathways including PPAR gamma, leptin, adiponectin, and glycerol-3 phosphate dehydrogenase. This study was therefore aimed at evaluating the effects of IGOB131, an extract of Irvingia gabonensis, on body weight and associated metabolic parameters in overweight human volunteers. Methods The study participants comprised of 102 healthy, overweight and/or obese volunteers (defined as BMI > 25 kg/m2 randomly divided into two groups. The groups received on a daily basis, either 150 mg of IGOB131 or matching placebo in a double blinded fashion, 30–60 minutes before lunch and dinner. At baseline, 4, 8 and 10 weeks of the study, subjects were evaluated for changes in anthropometrics and metabolic parameters to include fasting lipids, blood glucose, C-reactive protein, adiponectin, and leptin. Results Significant improvements in body weight, body fat, and waist circumference as well as plasma total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, blood glucose, C-reactive protein, adiponectin and leptin levels were observed in the IGOB131 group compared with the placebo group. Conclusion Irvingia gabonensis administered 150 mg twice daily before meals to overweight and/or obese human volunteers favorably impacts body weight and a variety of parameters characteristic of the metabolic syndrome. This is the first double blind randomized placebo controlled clinical trial regarding the anti-obesity and lipid profile modulating effects of an Irvingia gabonensis extract. The positive clinical results, together with our previously published mechanisms of gene expression modulation related to key metabolic pathways in lipid metabolism, provide impetus for much larger clinical studies. Irvingia gabonensis extract may prove to be a useful tool in dealing with the

  17. Identifying Knowledge and Communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Coutinho Lourenço de Lima

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, I discuss how the principle of identifying knowledge which Strawson advances in ‘Singular Terms and Predication’ (1961, and in ‘Identifying Reference and Truth-Values’ (1964 turns out to constrain communication. The principle states that a speaker’s use of a referring expression should invoke identifying knowledge on the part of the hearer, if the hearer is to understand what the speaker is saying, and also that, in so referring, speakers are attentive to hearers’ epistemic states. In contrasting it with Russell’s Principle (Evans 1982, as well as with the principle of identifying descriptions (Donnellan 1970, I try to show that the principle of identifying knowledge, ultimately a condition for understanding, makes sense only in a situation of conversation. This allows me to conclude that the cooperative feature of communication (Grice 1975 and reference (Clark andWilkes-Gibbs 1986 holds also at the understanding level. Finally, I discuss where Strawson’s views seem to be unsatisfactory, and suggest how they might be improved.

  18. Signifikante Verbesserungen eines klinischen Untersuchungskurses nach einfachen strukturierten Veränderungen des Lehrinhalts und der Lehrmethoden [Significant improvement of a clinical training course in physical examination after basic structural changes in the teaching content and methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bott-Flügel, Lorenz

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available [english] Background: Regular student evaluations at the Technical University Munich indicate the necessity for improvement of the clinical examination course. The aim of this study was to examine if targeted measures to restructure and improve a clinical examination course session lead to a higher level of student satisfaction as well as better self-assessment of the acquired techniques of clinical examination.Methods: At three medical departments of the Technical University Munich during the 2010 summer semester, the quantitative results of 49 student evaluations (ratings 1-6, German scholastic grading system of the clinical examination course were compared for a course before and a course after structured measures for improvement. These measures included structured teaching instructions, handouts and additional material from the Internet.Results: 47 evaluations were completed before and 34 evaluations after the measures for improvement. The measures named above led to a significant improvement of the evaluative ratings in the following areas: short introduction to the topic of each clinical examination course (from 2.4±1.2 to1.7±1.0; p=0.0020 and to basic measures of hygiene (from 3.8±1.9 to 2.5±1.8; p=0.004, structured demonstration of each clinical examination step (from 2.9±1.5 to 1.8±1.0; p=0.001, sufficient practice of each clinical examination step (from 3.1±1.8 to 2.2±1.4; p=0.030 structured feedback on each clinical examination step (from 3.0±1.4 to 2.3±1.0; p=0.0070, use of handouts (from 5.2±1.4 to 1.8±1.4; p[german] Hintergrund: Die regelmäßigen Evaluationen der Studierenden der Technischen Universität München deuten auf einen Verbesserungsbedarf des klinischen Untersuchungskurses hin. Ziel der vorliegenden Studie war es, zu prüfen, ob gezielte Maßnahmen zur Umstrukturierung und Verbesserung eines Untersuchungskurstages zu einer höheren Zufriedenheit der Studierenden und zu einer besseren Selbsteinschätzung der

  19. Synthetic definition of biological significance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buffington, J.D.

    1975-01-01

    The central theme of the workshop is recounted and the views of the authors are summarized. Areas of broad agreement or disagreement, unifying principles, and research needs are identified. Authors' views are consolidated into concepts that have practical utility for the scientist making impact assessments. The need for decision-makers and managers to be cognizant of the recommendations made herein is discussed. Finally, bringing together the diverse views of the workshop participants, a conceptual definition of biological significance is synthesized

  20. Significant Tsunami Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunbar, P. K.; Furtney, M.; McLean, S. J.; Sweeney, A. D.

    2014-12-01

    Tsunamis have inflicted death and destruction on the coastlines of the world throughout history. The occurrence of tsunamis and the resulting effects have been collected and studied as far back as the second millennium B.C. The knowledge gained from cataloging and examining these events has led to significant changes in our understanding of tsunamis, tsunami sources, and methods to mitigate the effects of tsunamis. The most significant, not surprisingly, are often the most devastating, such as the 2011 Tohoku, Japan earthquake and tsunami. The goal of this poster is to give a brief overview of the occurrence of tsunamis and then focus specifically on several significant tsunamis. There are various criteria to determine the most significant tsunamis: the number of deaths, amount of damage, maximum runup height, had a major impact on tsunami science or policy, etc. As a result, descriptions will include some of the most costly (2011 Tohoku, Japan), the most deadly (2004 Sumatra, 1883 Krakatau), and the highest runup ever observed (1958 Lituya Bay, Alaska). The discovery of the Cascadia subduction zone as the source of the 1700 Japanese "Orphan" tsunami and a future tsunami threat to the U.S. northwest coast, contributed to the decision to form the U.S. National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program. The great Lisbon earthquake of 1755 marked the beginning of the modern era of seismology. Knowledge gained from the 1964 Alaska earthquake and tsunami helped confirm the theory of plate tectonics. The 1946 Alaska, 1952 Kuril Islands, 1960 Chile, 1964 Alaska, and the 2004 Banda Aceh, tsunamis all resulted in warning centers or systems being established.The data descriptions on this poster were extracted from NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) global historical tsunami database. Additional information about these tsunamis, as well as water level data can be found by accessing the NGDC website www.ngdc.noaa.gov/hazard/

  1. Asymptomatic proteinuria. Clinical significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papper, S

    1977-09-01

    Patients with asymptomatic proteinuria have varied reasons for the proteinuria and travel diverse courses. In the individual with normal renal function and no systemic cause, ie, idiopathic asymptomatic proteinuria, the outlook is generally favorable. Microscopic hematuria probably raises some degree of question about prognosis. The kidney shows normal glomeruli, subtle changes, or an identifiable lesion. The initial approach includes a clinical and laboratory search for systemic disease, repeated urinalyses, quantitative measurements of proteinuria, determination of creatinine clearance, protein electrophoresis where indicated, and intravenous pyelography. The need for regularly scheduled follow-up evaluation is emphasized. Although the initial approach need not include renal biopsy, a decline in creatinine clearance, an increase in proteinuria, or both are indications for biopsy and consideration of drug therapy.

  2. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-03-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (October - December 1993) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  3. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-11-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (July - September 1992) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  4. Creating Significant Learning Experiences across Disciplines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Laura E.; Fallahi, Carolyn R.; Nicoll-Senft, Joan M.; Tessier, Jack T.; Watson, Cheryl L.; Wood, Rebecca M.

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to use Fink's (2003) taxonomy of significant learning to redesign courses and assess student learning. Significant improvements were found across the semester for students in the six courses, but there were differences in which taxa showed improvement in each course. The meta-analysis showed significant, positive…

  5. Testing Significance Testing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joachim I. Krueger

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The practice of Significance Testing (ST remains widespread in psychological science despite continual criticism of its flaws and abuses. Using simulation experiments, we address four concerns about ST and for two of these we compare ST’s performance with prominent alternatives. We find the following: First, the 'p' values delivered by ST predict the posterior probability of the tested hypothesis well under many research conditions. Second, low 'p' values support inductive inferences because they are most likely to occur when the tested hypothesis is false. Third, 'p' values track likelihood ratios without raising the uncertainties of relative inference. Fourth, 'p' values predict the replicability of research findings better than confidence intervals do. Given these results, we conclude that 'p' values may be used judiciously as a heuristic tool for inductive inference. Yet, 'p' values cannot bear the full burden of inference. We encourage researchers to be flexible in their selection and use of statistical methods.

  6. Safety significance evaluation system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lew, B.S.; Yee, D.; Brewer, W.K.; Quattro, P.J.; Kirby, K.D.

    1991-01-01

    This paper reports that the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG and E), in cooperation with ABZ, Incorporated and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), investigated the use of artificial intelligence-based programming techniques to assist utility personnel in regulatory compliance problems. The result of this investigation is that artificial intelligence-based programming techniques can successfully be applied to this problem. To demonstrate this, a general methodology was developed and several prototype systems based on this methodology were developed. The prototypes address U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) event reportability requirements, technical specification compliance based on plant equipment status, and quality assurance assistance. This collection of prototype modules is named the safety significance evaluation system

  7. Gas revenue increasingly significant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Megill, R.E.

    1991-01-01

    This paper briefly describes the wellhead prices of natural gas compared to crude oil over the past 70 years. Although natural gas prices have never reached price parity with crude oil, the relative value of a gas BTU has been increasing. It is one of the reasons that the total amount of money coming from natural gas wells is becoming more significant. From 1920 to 1955 the revenue at the wellhead for natural gas was only about 10% of the money received by producers. Most of the money needed for exploration, development, and production came from crude oil. At present, however, over 40% of the money from the upstream portion of the petroleum industry is from natural gas. As a result, in a few short years natural gas may become 50% of the money revenues generated from wellhead production facilities

  8. Identifying Optimal Temporal Scale for the Correlation of AOD and Ground Measurements of PM2.5 to Improve the Model Performance in a Real-time Air Quality Estimation System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hui; Faruque, Fazlay; Williams, Worth; Al-Hamdan, Mohammad; Luvall, Jeffrey C.; Crosson, William; Rickman, Douglas; Limaye, Ashutosh

    2009-01-01

    Aerosol optical depth (AOD), an indirect estimate of particle matter using satellite observations, has shown great promise in improving estimates of PM 2.5 air quality surface. Currently, few studies have been conducted to explore the optimal way to apply AOD data to improve the model accuracy of PM 2.5 surface estimation in a real-time air quality system. We believe that two major aspects may be worthy of consideration in that area: 1) the approach to integrate satellite measurements with ground measurements in the pollution estimation, and 2) identification of an optimal temporal scale to calculate the correlation of AOD and ground measurements. This paper is focused on the second aspect on the identifying the optimal temporal scale to correlate AOD with PM2.5. Five following different temporal scales were chosen to evaluate their impact on the model performance: 1) within the last 3 days, 2) within the last 10 days, 3) within the last 30 days, 4) within the last 90 days, and 5) the time period with the highest correlation in a year. The model performance is evaluated for its accuracy, bias, and errors based on the following selected statistics: the Mean Bias, the Normalized Mean Bias, the Root Mean Square Error, Normalized Mean Error, and the Index of Agreement. This research shows that the model with the temporal scale of within the last 30 days displays the best model performance in this study area using 2004 and 2005 data sets.

  9. Significance evaluation in factor graphs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Tobias; Hobolth, Asger; Jensen, Jens Ledet

    2017-01-01

    in genomics and the multiple-testing issues accompanying them, accurate significance evaluation is of great importance. We here address the problem of evaluating statistical significance of observations from factor graph models. Results Two novel numerical approximations for evaluation of statistical...... significance are presented. First a method using importance sampling. Second a saddlepoint approximation based method. We develop algorithms to efficiently compute the approximations and compare them to naive sampling and the normal approximation. The individual merits of the methods are analysed both from....... Conclusions The applicability of saddlepoint approximation and importance sampling is demonstrated on known models in the factor graph framework. Using the two methods we can substantially improve computational cost without compromising accuracy. This contribution allows analyses of large datasets...

  10. Tumor significant dose

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Supe, S.J.; Nagalaxmi, K.V.; Meenakshi, L.

    1983-01-01

    In the practice of radiotherapy, various concepts like NSD, CRE, TDF, and BIR are being used to evaluate the biological effectiveness of the treatment schedules on the normal tissues. This has been accepted as the tolerance of the normal tissue is the limiting factor in the treatment of cancers. At present when various schedules are tried, attention is therefore paid to the biological damage of the normal tissues only and it is expected that the damage to the cancerous tissues would be extensive enough to control the cancer. Attempt is made in the present work to evaluate the concent of tumor significant dose (TSD) which will represent the damage to the cancerous tissue. Strandquist in the analysis of a large number of cases of squamous cell carcinoma found that for the 5 fraction/week treatment, the total dose required to bring about the same damage for the cancerous tissue is proportional to T/sup -0.22/, where T is the overall time over which the dose is delivered. Using this finding the TSD was defined as DxN/sup -p/xT/sup -q/, where D is the total dose, N the number of fractions, T the overall time p and q are the exponents to be suitably chosen. The values of p and q are adjusted such that p+q< or =0.24, and p varies from 0.0 to 0.24 and q varies from 0.0 to 0.22. Cases of cancer of cervix uteri treated between 1978 and 1980 in the V. N. Cancer Centre, Kuppuswamy Naidu Memorial Hospital, Coimbatore, India were analyzed on the basis of these formulations. These data, coupled with the clinical experience, were used for choice of a formula for the TSD. Further, the dose schedules used in the British Institute of Radiology fraction- ation studies were also used to propose that the tumor significant dose is represented by DxN/sup -0.18/xT/sup -0.06/

  11. Uranium chemistry: significant advances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mazzanti, M.

    2011-01-01

    The author reviews recent progress in uranium chemistry achieved in CEA laboratories. Like its neighbors in the Mendeleev chart uranium undergoes hydrolysis, oxidation and disproportionation reactions which make the chemistry of these species in water highly complex. The study of the chemistry of uranium in an anhydrous medium has led to correlate the structural and electronic differences observed in the interaction of uranium(III) and the lanthanides(III) with nitrogen or sulfur molecules and the effectiveness of these molecules in An(III)/Ln(III) separation via liquid-liquid extraction. Recent work on the redox reactivity of trivalent uranium U(III) in an organic medium with molecules such as water or an azide ion (N 3 - ) in stoichiometric quantities, led to extremely interesting uranium aggregates particular those involved in actinide migration in the environment or in aggregation problems in the fuel processing cycle. Another significant advance was the discovery of a compound containing the uranyl ion with a degree of oxidation (V) UO 2 + , obtained by oxidation of uranium(III). Recently chemists have succeeded in blocking the disproportionation reaction of uranyl(V) and in stabilizing polymetallic complexes of uranyl(V), opening the way to to a systematic study of the reactivity and the electronic and magnetic properties of uranyl(V) compounds. (A.C.)

  12. Significant improvement in performances of LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 through surface modification with high ordered Al-doped ZnO electro-conductive layer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sun, Hongdan; Xia, Bingbo; Liu, Weiwei; Fang, Guoqing; Wu, Jingjing; Wang, Haibo; Zhang, Ruixue; Kaneko, Shingo; Zheng, Junwei; Wang, Hongyu; Li, Decheng

    2015-01-01

    Graphical abstract: Al-doped ZnO (AZO)-coated LiNi 0.5 Mn 1.5 O 4 (LNMO) was prepared by sol–gel method. AZO-coated LNMO electrode shows excellent rate capability and a remarkable improvement in the cyclic performance at a high rate at elevated temperature. - Highlights: • Al-doped ZnO (AZO)-coated LiNi 0.5 Mn 1.5 O 4 (LNMO) was prepared by a traditional sol–gel method. • Al-doped ZnO (AZO) layer grown on the surface of LNMO is high ordered. • At a high rate of 10 C, the discharge capacity of the AZO-coated LNMO electrode can reach 114 mAh g −1 . • Al-doped ZnO (AZO) modification improved cyclic performance of LNMO at high temperatures. - Abstract: Al-doped ZnO (AZO)-coated LiNi 0.5 Mn 1.5 O 4 (LNMO) was prepared by sol–gel method. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis indicates that AZO layer grown on the surface of LNMO is high ordered. The results of electrochemical performance measurements reveal that the AZO-coated LNMO electrode displays the best rate capability compared with the bare LNMO and ZnO-coated LNMO, even at a high rate of 10 C. The discharge capacity of the AZO-coated LNMO electrode can still reach 114.3 mAh g −1 , about 89% of its discharge capacity at 0.1 C. Moreover, AZO-coated LNMO electrode shows a remarkable improvement in the cyclic performance at a high rate at elevated temperature due to the protective effect of AZO coating layer. The elect