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Sample records for improved behavioural assay

  1. An improved behavioural assay demonstrates that ultrasound vocalizations constitute a reliable indicator of chronic cancer pain and neuropathic pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selvaraj Deepitha

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background On-going pain is one of the most debilitating symptoms associated with a variety of chronic pain disorders. An understanding of mechanisms underlying on-going pain, i.e. stimulus-independent pain has been hampered so far by a lack of behavioural parameters which enable studying it in experimental animals. Ultrasound vocalizations (USVs have been proposed to correlate with pain evoked by an acute activation of nociceptors. However, literature on the utility of USVs as an indicator of chronic pain is very controversial. A majority of these inconsistencies arise from parameters confounding behavioural experiments, which include novelty, fear and stress due to restrain, amongst others. Results We have developed an improved assay which overcomes these confounding factors and enables studying USVs in freely moving mice repetitively over several weeks. Using this improved assay, we report here that USVs increase significantly in mice with bone metastases-induced cancer pain or neuropathic pain for several weeks, in comparison to sham-treated mice. Importantly, analgesic drugs which are known to alleviate tumour pain or neuropathic pain in human patients significantly reduce USVs as well as mechanical allodynia in corresponding mouse models. Conclusions We show that studying USVs and mechanical allodynia in the same cohort of mice enables comparing the temporal progression of on-going pain (i.e. stimulus-independent pain and stimulus-evoked pain in these clinically highly-relevant forms of chronic pain.

  2. An improved plating assay for determination of phage titer | Yang ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this study, an improved plating assay was developed for detection of the number of recombinant phage Cap-T7 present in a test solution at a certain dilution point by counting the plaque forming units. The data demonstrated that the improved plating assay is fast, useful, and convenient for the determination of the phage ...

  3. Improving privacy protection in the area of behavioural targeting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuiderveen Borgesius, F.J.

    2014-01-01

    This PhD thesis discusses how European law could improve privacy protection in the area of behavioural targeting. Behavioural targeting, also referred to as online profiling, involves monitoring people’s online behaviour, and using the collected information to show people individually targeted

  4. Improving shuffler assay accuracy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rinard, P.M.

    1995-01-01

    Drums of uranium waste should be disposed of in an economical and environmentally sound manner. The most accurate possible assays of the uranium masses in the drums are required for proper disposal. The accuracies of assays from a shuffler are affected by the type of matrix material in the drums. Non-hydrogenous matrices have little effect on neutron transport and accuracies are very good. If self-shielding is known to be a minor problem, good accuracies are also obtained with hydrogenous matrices when a polyethylene sleeve is placed around the drums. But for those cases where self-shielding may be a problem, matrices are hydrogenous, and uranium distributions are non-uniform throughout the drums, the accuracies are degraded. They can be greatly improved by determining the distributions of the uranium and then applying correction factors based on the distributions. This paper describes a technique for determining uranium distributions by using the neutron count rates in detector banks around the waste drum and solving a set of overdetermined linear equations. Other approaches were studied to determine the distributions and are described briefly. Implementation of this correction is anticipated on an existing shuffler next year

  5. Behavioural informatics for improving water hygiene practice based on IoT environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Yang; Wu, Wenyan

    2018-02-01

    The development of Internet of Things (IoT) and latest Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have changed the nature of healthcare monitoring and health behaviour intervention in many applications. Water hygiene and water conservation behaviour intervention as important influence factors to human health are gaining much attentions for improving sustained sanitation practice. Based on face-to-face delivery, typical behaviour intervention method is costly and hardly to provide all day access to personalised intervention guidance and feedbacks. In this study, we presented a behavioural information system and water use behaviour model using IoT platform. Using Expanded Theory of Planned Behaviour (ETPB) and adopted structure equation model, this study offers a solution for understanding the behaviour intervention mechanism and methodology for developing empirical model. A case study of behaviour intervention model is presented by utilising residential water conservation behaviour data collected in China. Results suggested that cultural differences have significant influences on the understanding of intervention drivers, promoting projects and increasing awareness, which could improve the behaviour intervention efficiency and further facilitate the improvement of water hygiene practice. The performance evaluation of water saving dimension is discussed as well in the paper. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. A systematic review of hand hygiene improvement strategies: a behavioural approach

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    Huis Anita

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many strategies have been designed and evaluated to address the problem of low hand hygiene (HH compliance. Which of these strategies are most effective and how they work is still unclear. Here we describe frequently used improvement strategies and related determinants of behaviour change that prompt good HH behaviour to provide a better overview of the choice and content of such strategies. Methods Systematic searches of experimental and quasi-experimental research on HH improvement strategies were conducted in Medline, Embase, CINAHL, and Cochrane databases from January 2000 to November 2009. First, we extracted the study characteristics using the EPOC Data Collection Checklist, including study objectives, setting, study design, target population, outcome measures, description of the intervention, analysis, and results. Second, we used the Taxonomy of Behavioural Change Techniques to identify targeted determinants. Results We reviewed 41 studies. The most frequently addressed determinants were knowledge, awareness, action control, and facilitation of behaviour. Fewer studies addressed social influence, attitude, self-efficacy, and intention. Thirteen studies used a controlled design to measure the effects of HH improvement strategies on HH behaviour. The effectiveness of the strategies varied substantially, but most controlled studies showed positive results. The median effect size of these strategies increased from 17.6 (relative difference addressing one determinant to 49.5 for the studies that addressed five determinants. Conclusions By focussing on determinants of behaviour change, we found hidden and valuable components in HH improvement strategies. Addressing only determinants such as knowledge, awareness, action control, and facilitation is not enough to change HH behaviour. Addressing combinations of different determinants showed better results. This indicates that we should be more creative in the application of

  7. Improved radioenzymatic assay for plasma norepinephrine using purified phenylethanolamine n-methyltransferase

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bowsher, R.R.; Henry, D.P.

    1986-01-01

    Radioenzymatic assays have been developed for catecholamines using either catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) or phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT). Assays using PNMT are specific for norepinephrine (NE) and require minimal manipulative effort but until now have been less sensitive than the more complex procedures using COMT. The authors report an improved purification scheme for bovine PNMT which has permitted development of an NE assay with dramatically improved sensitivity (0.5 pg), specificity and reproducibility (C.V. < 5%). PNMT was purified by sequential pH 5.0 treatment and dialysis and by column chromatographic procedures using DEAE-Sephacel, Sepharcryl S-200 and Phenyl-Boronate Agarose. Recovery of PNMT through the purification scheme was 50%, while blank recovery was <.001%. NE can be directly quantified in 25 ul of human plasma and an 80 tube assay can be completed within 4 h. The capillary to venous plasma NE gradient was examined in 8 normotensive male subjects. Capillary plasma (NE (211.2 +/- 61.3 pg/ml)) was lower than venous plasma NE (366.6 +/- 92.5 pg/ml) in all subjects (p < 0.005). This difference suggests that capillary (NE) may be a unique indicator of sympathetic nervous system activity in vivo. In conclusion, purification of PNMT has facilitated development of an improved radioenzymatic for NE with significantly improved sensitivity

  8. Development of a 44K SNP assay focussing on the analysis of a varroa-specific defence behaviour in honey bees (Apis mellifera carnica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spötter, A; Gupta, P; Nürnberg, G; Reinsch, N; Bienefeld, K

    2012-03-01

    Honey bees are exposed to a number of damaging pathogens and parasites. The most destructive among them, affecting mainly the brood, is Varroa destructor. A promising approach to prevent its spread is to breed for Varroa-tolerant honey bees. A trait that has been shown to provide significant resistance against the Varroa mite is hygienic behaviour, a behavioural response of honey bee workers to brood diseases in general. This study reports the development of a 44K SNP assay, specifically designed for the analysis of hygienic behaviour of individual worker bees (Apis mellifera carnica) directed against V. destructor. Initially, 70,000 SNPs chosen from a large set of SNPs published by the Honey Bee Genome Project were validated for their suitability in the analysis of the Varroa resistance trait 'uncapping of Varroa-infested brood'. This was achieved by genotyping of pooled DNA samples of trait bearers and two trait-negative controls using next-generation sequencing. Approximately 36,000 of these validated SNPs and another 8000 SNPs not validated in this study were selected for the construction of a SNP assay. This assay will be employed in following experiments to analyse individualized DNA samples in order to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) involved in the control of the investigated trait and to evaluate and possibly confirm QTL found in other studies. However, this assay is not just suitable to study Varroa tolerance, it is as well applicable to analyse any other trait in honey bees. In addition, because of its high density, this assay provides access into genomic selection with respect to several traits considered in honey bee breeding. It will become publicly available via AROS Applied Biotechnology AS, Aarhus, Denmark, before the end of the year 2011. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  9. Understanding catchment behaviour through model concept improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fenicia, F.

    2008-01-01

    This thesis describes an approach to model development based on the concept of iterative model improvement, which is a process where by trial and error different hypotheses of catchment behaviour are progressively tested, and the understanding of the system proceeds through a combined process of

  10. Improved laboratory assays of Pu and U for SRP purification and finishing processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holland, M.K.; Dorsett, R.S.

    1986-01-01

    Significant improvements have been made in routine assay techniques for uranium and plutonium as part of an effort to improve accountability at the Savannah River Plant (SRP). Emphasis was placed on input/output accountability points and key physical inventory tanks associated with purification and finishing processes. Improvements were made in existing assay methods; new methods were implemented; and the application of these methods was greatly expanded. Prior to assays, samples were validated via density measurements. Digital density meters precise to four, five, and six decimal places were used to meet specific requirements. Improved plutonium assay techniques are now in routine use: controlled-potential coulometry, ion-exchange coulometry, and Pu(III) diode-array spectrophotometry. A new state-of-the-art coulometer was fabricated and used to ensure maximum accuracy in verifying standards and in measuring plutonium in product streams. The diode-array spectrophotometer for Pu(III) measurements was modified with fiber optics to facilitate remote measurements; rapid, precise measurements made the technique ideally suited for high-throughput assays. For uranium assays, the isotope-dilution mass spectrometric (IDMS) method was converted to a gravimetric basis. The IDMS method and the existing Davies-Gray titration (gravimetric basis) have met accountability requirements for uranium. More recently, a Pu(VI) diode-array spectrophotometric method was used on a test basis to measure plutonium in shielded-cell input accountability samples. In addition, tests to measure uranium via diode-array spectrophotometry were initiated. This rapid, precise method will replace IDMS for certain key sample points

  11. Widespread nanoparticle-assay interference: implications for nanotoxicity testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ong, Kimberly J; MacCormack, Tyson J; Clark, Rhett J; Ede, James D; Ortega, Van A; Felix, Lindsey C; Dang, Michael K M; Ma, Guibin; Fenniri, Hicham; Veinot, Jonathan G C; Goss, Greg G

    2014-01-01

    The evaluation of engineered nanomaterial safety has been hindered by conflicting reports demonstrating differential degrees of toxicity with the same nanoparticles. The unique properties of these materials increase the likelihood that they will interfere with analytical techniques, which may contribute to this phenomenon. We tested the potential for: 1) nanoparticle intrinsic fluorescence/absorbance, 2) interactions between nanoparticles and assay components, and 3) the effects of adding both nanoparticles and analytes to an assay, to interfere with the accurate assessment of toxicity. Silicon, cadmium selenide, titanium dioxide, and helical rosette nanotubes each affected at least one of the six assays tested, resulting in either substantial over- or under-estimations of toxicity. Simulation of realistic assay conditions revealed that interference could not be predicted solely by interactions between nanoparticles and assay components. Moreover, the nature and degree of interference cannot be predicted solely based on our current understanding of nanomaterial behaviour. A literature survey indicated that ca. 95% of papers from 2010 using biochemical techniques to assess nanotoxicity did not account for potential interference of nanoparticles, and this number had not substantially improved in 2012. We provide guidance on avoiding and/or controlling for such interference to improve the accuracy of nanotoxicity assessments.

  12. Widespread nanoparticle-assay interference: implications for nanotoxicity testing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly J Ong

    Full Text Available The evaluation of engineered nanomaterial safety has been hindered by conflicting reports demonstrating differential degrees of toxicity with the same nanoparticles. The unique properties of these materials increase the likelihood that they will interfere with analytical techniques, which may contribute to this phenomenon. We tested the potential for: 1 nanoparticle intrinsic fluorescence/absorbance, 2 interactions between nanoparticles and assay components, and 3 the effects of adding both nanoparticles and analytes to an assay, to interfere with the accurate assessment of toxicity. Silicon, cadmium selenide, titanium dioxide, and helical rosette nanotubes each affected at least one of the six assays tested, resulting in either substantial over- or under-estimations of toxicity. Simulation of realistic assay conditions revealed that interference could not be predicted solely by interactions between nanoparticles and assay components. Moreover, the nature and degree of interference cannot be predicted solely based on our current understanding of nanomaterial behaviour. A literature survey indicated that ca. 95% of papers from 2010 using biochemical techniques to assess nanotoxicity did not account for potential interference of nanoparticles, and this number had not substantially improved in 2012. We provide guidance on avoiding and/or controlling for such interference to improve the accuracy of nanotoxicity assessments.

  13. Characterizing and improving passive-active shufflers for assays of 208-Liter waste drums

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rinard, P.M.; Adams, E.L.; Menlove, H.O.; Sprinkle, J.K. Jr.

    1992-01-01

    A passive and active neutron shuffler for 208-L waste drums has been used to perform over 1500 active and 500 passive measurements on uranium and plutonium samples in 28 different matrices. The shuffler is now better characterized and improvements have been implemented or suggested. An improved correction for the effects of the matrix material was devised from flux-monitor responses. The most important cause of inaccuracies in assays is a localized instead of a uniform distribution of fissile material in a drum; a technique for deducing the distribution from the assay data and then applying a correction is suggested and will be developed further. A technique is given to detect excessive amounts of moderator that could make hundreds of grams of 235 U assay as zero grams. Sensitivities (minimum detectable masses) for 235 U with active assays and for 240 Pu eff with passive assays are presented and the effects of moderators and absorbers on sensitivities noted

  14. Risk and ethical concerns of hunting male elephant: behavioural and physiological assays of the remaining elephants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tarryne Burke

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Hunting of male African elephants may pose ethical and risk concerns, particularly given their status as a charismatic species of high touristic value, yet which are capable of both killing people and damaging infrastructure. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We quantified the effect of hunts of male elephants on (1 risk of attack or damage (11 hunts, and (2 behavioural (movement dynamics and physiological (stress hormone metabolite concentrations responses (4 hunts in Pilanesberg National Park. For eleven hunts, there were no subsequent attacks on people or infrastructure, and elephants did not break out of the fenced reserve. For three focal hunts, there was an initial flight response by bulls present at the hunting site, but their movements stabilised the day after the hunt event. Animals not present at the hunt (both bulls and herds did not show movement responses. Physiologically, hunting elephant bulls increased faecal stress hormone levels (corticosterone metabolites in both those bulls that were present at the hunts (for up to four days post-hunt and in the broader bull and breeding herd population (for up to one month post-hunt. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: As all responses were relatively minor, hunting male elephants is ethically acceptable when considering effects on the remaining elephant population; however bulls should be hunted when alone. Hunting is feasible in relatively small enclosed reserves without major risk of attack, damage, or breakout. Physiological stress assays were more effective than behavioural responses in detecting effects of human intervention. Similar studies should evaluate intervention consequences, inform and improve best practice, and should be widely applied by management agencies.

  15. Use of immunoblotting assay improves the sensitivity of paracoccidioidomycosis diagnosis

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    D. F. Silva

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this work was to evaluate two serological assays: double immunodiffusion (DI and immunoblotting (IB in immunodiagnosis of paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM. We evaluated by IB assay 23 sera samples from patients with clinical confirmation of PCM, all of them with negative DI results against culture filtrate from Paracoccidioides brasiliensis isolate 113. For IB, as well as for comparative DI assay, we employed soluble components of the cell wall outer surface (SCCWOS from P. brasiliensis isolate 113 cultivated at 36°C in Fava-Neto's agar medium for 5 and 10 days. Among the 20 sera samples analyzed by DI, 13 (65% were negative and 7 (35% were positive against SCCWOS obtained on the 5th and 10th days. By IB assay, 95.4% and 100% of sera reacted against gp43 and gp70 present in SCCWOS from the 5th day and 95.6% recognized these fractions when evaluated against SCCWOS from the 10th day. Our results demonstrated that the use of an immunoenzymatic assay significantly improves the sensitivity of PCM immunodiagnosis and also suggests that at least two serological tests for antibody detection should be adopted in cases of questionable diagnosis.

  16. An improved method for the assay of platelet pyruvate dehydrogenase

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schofield, P.J.; Griffiths, L.R.; Rogers, S.H.

    1980-01-01

    An improved method for the assay of human platelet pyruvate dehydrogenase is described. By generating the substrate [1- 14 C]pyruvate in situ from [1- 14 C]lactate plus L-lactate dehydrogenase, the rate of spontaneous decarboxylation is dramatically reduced, allowing far greater sensitivity in the assay of low activities of pyruvate dehydrogenase. In addition, no special precautions are required for the storage and use of [1- 14 C]lactate, in contrast to those for [1- 14 C]pyruvate. These factors allow a 5-10-fold increase in sensitivity compared with current methods. The pyruvate dehydrogenase activity of normal subjects as determined by the [1- 14 C]lactate system was 215+-55 pmol min -1 mg -1 protein (n=18). The advantages of this assay system are discussed. (Auth.)

  17. Improved confidence in performing nutrition and physical activity behaviours mediates behavioural change in young adults: Mediation results of a randomised controlled mHealth intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Partridge, Stephanie R; McGeechan, Kevin; Bauman, Adrian; Phongsavan, Philayrath; Allman-Farinelli, Margaret

    2017-01-01

    The burden of weight gain disproportionally affects young adults. Understanding the underlying behavioural mechanisms of change in mHealth nutrition and physical activity interventions designed for young adults is important for enhancing and translating effective interventions. First, we hypothesised that knowledge, self-efficacy and stage-of-change for nutrition and physical activity behaviours would improve, and second, that self-efficacy changes in nutrition and physical activity behaviours mediate the behaviour changes observed in an mHealth RCT for prevention of weight gain. Young adults, aged 18-35 years at risk of weight gain (n = 250) were randomly assigned to an mHealth-program, TXT2BFiT, consisting of a three-month intensive phase and six-month maintenance phase or to a control group. Self-reported online surveys at baseline, three- and nine-months assessed nutrition and physical activity behaviours, knowledge, self-efficacy and stage-of-change. The mediating effect of self-efficacy was assessed in multiple PROCESS macro-models for three- and nine-month nutrition and physical activity behaviour change. Young adults randomised to the intervention increased and maintained knowledge of fruit requirements (P = 0.029) compared to controls. Intervention participants' fruit and takeaway behaviours improved to meet recommendations at nine months, with a greater proportion progressing to action or maintenance stage-of-change (P behaviours did not meet recommendations, thereby halting progress to action or maintenance stage-of-change. Indirect effects of improved nutrition and physical activity behaviours at three- and nine-months in the intervention group were explained by changes in self-efficacy, accounting for 8%-37% of the total effect. This provides insights into how the mHealth intervention achieved part of its effects and the importance of improving self-efficacy to facilitate improved eating and physical activity behaviours in young adults

  18. Joint estimation over multiple individuals improves behavioural state inference from animal movement data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonsen, Ian

    2016-02-08

    State-space models provide a powerful way to scale up inference of movement behaviours from individuals to populations when the inference is made across multiple individuals. Here, I show how a joint estimation approach that assumes individuals share identical movement parameters can lead to improved inference of behavioural states associated with different movement processes. I use simulated movement paths with known behavioural states to compare estimation error between nonhierarchical and joint estimation formulations of an otherwise identical state-space model. Behavioural state estimation error was strongly affected by the degree of similarity between movement patterns characterising the behavioural states, with less error when movements were strongly dissimilar between states. The joint estimation model improved behavioural state estimation relative to the nonhierarchical model for simulated data with heavy-tailed Argos location errors. When applied to Argos telemetry datasets from 10 Weddell seals, the nonhierarchical model estimated highly uncertain behavioural state switching probabilities for most individuals whereas the joint estimation model yielded substantially less uncertainty. The joint estimation model better resolved the behavioural state sequences across all seals. Hierarchical or joint estimation models should be the preferred choice for estimating behavioural states from animal movement data, especially when location data are error-prone.

  19. An improved 96-well turbidity assay for T4 lysozyme activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toro, Tasha B; Nguyen, Thao P; Watt, Terry J

    2015-01-01

    T4 lysozyme (T4L) is an important model system for investigating the relationship between protein structure and function. Despite being extensively studied, a reliable, quantitative activity assay for T4L has not been developed. Here, we present an improved T4L turbidity assay as well as an affinity-based T4L expression and purification protocol. This assay is designed for 96-well format and utilizes conditions amenable for both T4L and other lysozymes. This protocol enables easy, efficient, and quantitative characterization of T4L variants and allows comparison between different lysozymes. Our method: •Is applicable for all lysozymes, with enhanced sensitivity for T4 lysozyme compared to other 96-well plate turbidity assays;•Utilizes standardized conditions for comparing T4 lysozyme variants and other lysozymes; and•Incorporates a simplified expression and purification protocol for T4 lysozyme.

  20. Qualification of standard membrane-feeding assay with Plasmodium falciparum malaria and potential improvements for future assays.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazutoyo Miura

    Full Text Available Vaccines that interrupt malaria transmission are of increasing interest and a robust functional assay to measure this activity would promote their development by providing a biologically relevant means of evaluating potential vaccine candidates. Therefore, we aimed to qualify the standard membrane-feeding assay (SMFA. The assay measures the transmission-blocking activity of antibodies by feeding cultured P. falciparum gametocytes to Anopheles mosquitoes in the presence of the test antibodies and measuring subsequent mosquito infection. The International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH Harmonised Tripartite Guideline Q2(R1 details characteristics considered in assay validation. Of these characteristics, we decided to qualify the SMFA for Precision, Linearity, Range and Specificity. The transmission-blocking 4B7 monoclonal antibody was tested over 6 feeding experiments at several concentrations to determine four suitable concentrations that were tested in triplicate in the qualification experiments (3 additional feeds to evaluate Precision, Linearity and Range. For Specificity, 4B7 was tested in the presence of normal mouse IgG. We determined intra- and inter-assay variability of % inhibition of mean oocyst intensity at each concentration of 4B7 (lower concentrations showed higher variability. We also showed that % inhibition was dependent on 4B7 concentration and the activity is specific to 4B7. Since obtaining empirical data is time-consuming, we generated a model using data from all 9 feeds and simulated the effects of different parameters on final readouts to improve the assay procedure and analytical methods for future studies. For example, we estimated the effect of number of mosquitoes dissected on variability of % inhibition, and simulated the relationship between % inhibition in oocyst intensity and % inhibition of prevalence of infected mosquitos at different mean oocysts in the control. SMFA is one of the few biological assays used in

  1. An improved in vitro micronucleus assay to biological dosimetry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ocampo, Ivette Z.; Okazaki, Kayo; Vieira, Daniel P.

    2013-01-01

    The biological dosimetry is widely used to estimate the absorbed dose in people occupationally or accidentally exposed to the radiation for a better medical treatment, minimizing the harmful effects. Many techniques and methods have been proposed to detect and quantify the radioinduced lesions in genetic material, among them, the micronucleus (MN) assay. In the present study, we proposed an improved in vitro micronucleus technique that is rapid, sensitive and with minor cell manipulations. Assays were carried out with human tumor cells (MCF-7) seeded (3x10 4 cells) in slides placed into Petri dishes. Adherent cells were maintained with RPMI medium, supplemented with fetal calf serum, 1 % antibiotics, cytochalasin B (2 μg/mL), and incubated at 37 deg C in the presence of 5% CO2 for 72h. Cells were pre-treated for 24h with aminoguanidine, a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor. Nitric oxide is an intracellular free-radical, involved in DNA double-strand break repair mechanisms. After incubation, adherent cells on slides were briefly fixed with paraformaldehyde and stained with acridine orange (100 μg/mL) for analysis through fluorescence microscopy. Dye fluorescence permitted accurate discrimination between nuclei and micronuclei (bright green) and cytoplasm (red), and made possible a faster counting of binucleated cells. Aminoguanidine (2 mM) induced significant increase (p< 0.05) in frequencies of binucleated cells with micronuclei and in the number of micronuclei per binucleated cell. Data showed that proposed modifications permit to understand an early aspect of NO inhibition and suggested an improved protocol to MN assays. (author)

  2. Efficacy of interventions that use apps to improve diet, physical activity and sedentary behaviour: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoeppe, Stephanie; Alley, Stephanie; Van Lippevelde, Wendy; Bray, Nicola A; Williams, Susan L; Duncan, Mitch J; Vandelanotte, Corneel

    2016-12-07

    Health and fitness applications (apps) have gained popularity in interventions to improve diet, physical activity and sedentary behaviours but their efficacy is unclear. This systematic review examined the efficacy of interventions that use apps to improve diet, physical activity and sedentary behaviour in children and adults. Systematic literature searches were conducted in five databases to identify papers published between 2006 and 2016. Studies were included if they used a smartphone app in an intervention to improve diet, physical activity and/or sedentary behaviour for prevention. Interventions could be stand-alone interventions using an app only, or multi-component interventions including an app as one of several intervention components. Outcomes measured were changes in the health behaviours and related health outcomes (i.e., fitness, body weight, blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, quality of life). Study inclusion and methodological quality were independently assessed by two reviewers. Twenty-seven studies were included, most were randomised controlled trials (n = 19; 70%). Twenty-three studies targeted adults (17 showed significant health improvements) and four studies targeted children (two demonstrated significant health improvements). Twenty-one studies targeted physical activity (14 showed significant health improvements), 13 studies targeted diet (seven showed significant health improvements) and five studies targeted sedentary behaviour (two showed significant health improvements). More studies (n = 12; 63%) of those reporting significant effects detected between-group improvements in the health behaviour or related health outcomes, whilst fewer studies (n = 8; 42%) reported significant within-group improvements. A larger proportion of multi-component interventions (8 out of 13; 62%) showed significant between-group improvements compared to stand-alone app interventions (5 out of 14; 36%). Eleven studies reported app usage statistics

  3. Applying psychological frameworks of behaviour change to improve healthcare worker hand hygiene: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srigley, J A; Corace, K; Hargadon, D P; Yu, D; MacDonald, T; Fabrigar, L; Garber, G

    2015-11-01

    Despite the importance of hand hygiene in preventing transmission of healthcare-associated infections, compliance rates are suboptimal. Hand hygiene is a complex behaviour and psychological frameworks are promising tools to influence healthcare worker (HCW) behaviour. (i) To review the effectiveness of interventions based on psychological theories of behaviour change to improve HCW hand hygiene compliance; (ii) to determine which frameworks have been used to predict HCW hand hygiene compliance. Multiple databases and reference lists of included studies were searched for studies that applied psychological theories to improve and/or predict HCW hand hygiene. All steps in selection, data extraction, and quality assessment were performed independently by two reviewers. The search yielded 918 citations; seven met eligibility criteria. Four studies evaluated hand hygiene interventions based on psychological frameworks. Interventions were informed by goal setting, control theory, operant learning, positive reinforcement, change theory, the theory of planned behaviour, and the transtheoretical model. Three predictive studies employed the theory of planned behaviour, the transtheoretical model, and the theoretical domains framework. Interventions to improve hand hygiene adherence demonstrated efficacy but studies were at moderate to high risk of bias. For many studies, it was unclear how theories of behaviour change were used to inform the interventions. Predictive studies had mixed results. Behaviour change theory is a promising tool for improving hand hygiene; however, these theories have not been extensively examined. Our review reveals a significant gap in the literature and indicates possible avenues for novel research. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Human Resources and Innovative Behaviour : Improving Nursing Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Xerri, Matthew; Reid, Stuart

    2017-01-01

    This study examines, using the social exchange theory, the mediating effect of employees’ perception of wellbeing on the relationship between two human resource (HR) management factors (satisfaction with teamwork and satisfaction with training opportunities) and innovative behaviour of nurses working in Australian public and private hospitals. Current nurse shortages and limited budgets have increased the need for hospitals to improve their efficiency and cost-effectiveness. It is proposed th...

  5. Improving colorimetric assays through protein enzyme-assisted gold nanoparticle amplification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Xiaoji; Xu, Wei; Liu, Xiaogang

    2012-09-18

    The discovery of the DNA-mediated assembly of gold nanoparticles was a great moment in the history of science; this understanding and chemical control enabled the rational design of functional nanomaterials as novel probes in biodetection. In contrast with conventional probes such as organic dyes, gold nanoparticles exhibit high photostability and unique size-dependent optical properties. Because of their high extinction coefficients and strong distance dependent optical properties, these nanoparticles have emerged over the past decade as a promising platform for rapid, highly sensitive colorimetric assays that allow for the visual detection of low concentrations of metal ions, small molecules, and biomacromolecules. These discoveries have deepened our knowledge of biological phenomena and facilitated the development of many new diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Despite these many advances and continued research efforts, current nanoparticle-based colorimetric detection systems still suffer from several drawbacks, such as limited sensitivity and selectivity. This Account describes the recent development of colorimetric assays based on protein enzyme-assisted gold nanoparticle amplification. The benefits of such detection systems include significantly improved detection sensitivity and selectivity. First, we discuss the general design of enzyme-modified nanoparticle systems in colorimetric assays. We show that a quantitative understanding of the unique properties of different enzymes is paramount for effective biological assays. We then examine the assays for nucleic acid detection based on different types of enzymes, including endonucleases, ligases, and polymerases. For each of these assays, we identify the underlying principles that contribute to the enhanced detection capability of nanoparticle systems and illustrate them with selected examples. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the combination of gold nanoparticles and specific enzymes can probe enzyme dynamics

  6. Apps to improve diet, physical activity and sedentary behaviour in children and adolescents: a review of quality, features and behaviour change techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoeppe, Stephanie; Alley, Stephanie; Rebar, Amanda L; Hayman, Melanie; Bray, Nicola A; Van Lippevelde, Wendy; Gnam, Jens-Peter; Bachert, Philip; Direito, Artur; Vandelanotte, Corneel

    2017-06-24

    The number of commercial apps to improve health behaviours in children is growing rapidly. While this provides opportunities for promoting health, the content and quality of apps targeting children and adolescents is largely unexplored. This review systematically evaluated the content and quality of apps to improve diet, physical activity and sedentary behaviour in children and adolescents, and examined relationships of app quality ratings with number of app features and behaviour change techniques (BCTs) used. Systematic literature searches were conducted in iTunes and Google Play stores between May-November 2016. Apps were included if they targeted children or adolescents, focused on improving diet, physical activity and/or sedentary behaviour, had a user rating of at least 4+ based on at least 20 ratings, and were available in English. App inclusion, downloading and user-testing for quality assessment and content analysis were conducted independently by two reviewers. Spearman correlations were used to examine relationships between app quality, and number of technical app features and BCTs included. Twenty-five apps were included targeting diet (n = 12), physical activity (n = 18) and sedentary behaviour (n = 7). On a 5-point Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS), overall app quality was moderate (total MARS score: 3.6). Functionality was the highest scoring domain (mean: 4.1, SD: 0.6), followed by aesthetics (mean: 3.8, SD: 0.8), and lower scoring for engagement (mean: 3.6, SD: 0.7) and information quality (mean: 2.8, SD: 0.8). On average, 6 BCTs were identified per app (range: 1-14); the most frequently used BCTs were providing 'instructions' (n = 19), 'general encouragement' (n = 18), 'contingent rewards' (n = 17), and 'feedback on performance' (n = 13). App quality ratings correlated positively with numbers of technical app features (rho = 0.42, p improve diet, physical activity and sedentary behaviour in children and adolescents had moderate

  7. Brief biopsychosocially informed education can improve insurance workers' back pain beliefs: Implications for improving claims management behaviours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beales, Darren; Mitchell, Tim; Pole, Naomi; Weir, James

    2016-11-22

    Biopsychosocially informed education is associated with improved back pain beliefs and positive changes in health care practitioners' practice behaviours. Assess the effect of this type of education for insurance workers who are important non-clinical stakeholders in the rehabilitation of injured workers. Insurance workers operating in the Western Australian workers' compensation system underwent two, 1.5 hour sessions of biopsychosocially informed education focusing on understanding and identifying barriers to recovery of injured workers with musculoskeletal conditions. Back pain beliefs were assessed pre-education, immediately post-education and at three-month follow-up (n = 32). Self-reported and Injury Management Advisor-reported assessment of change in claims management behaviours were collected at the three-month follow-up. There were positive changes in the Health Care Providers' Pain and Impairment Relationship Scale (p = 0.009) and Back Beliefs Questionnaire (p = 0.049) immediately following the education that were sustained at three-month follow-up. Positive changes in claims management behaviours were supported by self-reported and Injury Management Advisor-reported data. This study provides preliminary support that a brief biopsychosocially informed education program can positively influence insurance workers' beliefs regarding back pain, with concurrent positive changes in claims management behaviours. Further research is required to ascertain if these changes result in improved claims management outcomes.

  8. Exploratory behaviour in the open field test adapted for larval zebrafish: impact of environmental complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Farooq; Richardson, Michael K

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed to develop and characterize a novel (standard) open field test adapted for larval zebrafish. We also developed and characterized a variant of the same assay consisting of a colour-enriched open field; this was used to assess the impact of environmental complexity on patterns of exploratory behaviours as well to determine natural colour preference/avoidance. We report the following main findings: (1) zebrafish larvae display characteristic patterns of exploratory behaviours in the standard open field, such as thigmotaxis/centre avoidance; (2) environmental complexity (i.e. presence of colours) differentially affects patterns of exploratory behaviours and greatly attenuates natural zone preference; (3) larvae displayed the ability to discriminate colours. As reported previously in adult zebrafish, larvae showed avoidance towards blue and black; however, in contrast to the reported adult behaviour, larvae displayed avoidance towards red. Avoidance towards yellow and preference for green and orange are shown for the first time, (4) compared to standard open field tests, exposure to the colour-enriched open field resulted in an enhanced expression of anxiety-like behaviours. To conclude, we not only developed and adapted a traditional rodent behavioural assay that serves as a gold standard in preclinical drug screening, but we also provide a version of the same test that affords the possibility to investigate the impact of environmental stress on behaviour in larval zebrafish while representing the first test for assessment of natural colour preference/avoidance in larval zebrafish. In the future, these assays will improve preclinical drug screening methodologies towards the goal to uncover novel drugs. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: insert SI title. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Reinforcement learning improves behaviour from evaluative feedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Littman, Michael L.

    2015-05-01

    Reinforcement learning is a branch of machine learning concerned with using experience gained through interacting with the world and evaluative feedback to improve a system's ability to make behavioural decisions. It has been called the artificial intelligence problem in a microcosm because learning algorithms must act autonomously to perform well and achieve their goals. Partly driven by the increasing availability of rich data, recent years have seen exciting advances in the theory and practice of reinforcement learning, including developments in fundamental technical areas such as generalization, planning, exploration and empirical methodology, leading to increasing applicability to real-life problems.

  10. Effects of rearing environment and population origin on responses to repeated behavioural trials in cane toads (Rhinella marina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruber, Jodie; Whiting, Martin J; Brown, Gregory; Shine, Richard

    2018-05-02

    Behavioural response to repeated trials in captivity can be driven by many factors including rearing environment, population of origin, habituation to captivity/trial conditions and an individual's behavioural type (e.g., bold versus shy). We tested the effect of rearing environment (captive raised common-garden versus wild-caught) and population origin (range-edge versus range-front) on the responses of invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) to repeated exploration and risk-taking assays in captivity. We found that behavioural responses to identical assays performed on two occasions were complex and showed few consistent patterns based on rearing environment or population of origin. However, behavioural traits were repeatable across Trial Blocks when all sample populations were grouped together, indicating general consistency in individual toad behaviour across repeated behavioural assays. Our findings exemplify the complexity and unpredictability of behavioural responses and their effects on the repeatability and interpretation of behavioural traits across repeated behavioural assays in captivity. To meaningfully interpret the results from repeated behavioural assays, we need to consider how multiple factors may affect behavioural responses to these tests and importantly, how these responses may affect the repeatability of behavioural traits across time. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  11. Two inhibitory control training interventions designed to improve eating behaviour and determine mechanisms of change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allom, Vanessa; Mullan, Barbara

    2015-06-01

    Inhibitory control training has been shown to influence eating behaviour in the laboratory; however, the reliability of these effects is not yet established outside the laboratory, nor are the mechanisms responsible for change in behaviour. Two online Stop-Signal Task training interventions were conducted to address these points. In Study 1, 72 participants completed baseline and follow-up measures of inhibitory control, self-regulatory depletion, fat intake and body-mass index. Participants were randomly assigned to complete one of three Stop-Signal Tasks daily for ten days: food-specific inhibition--inhibition in response to unhealthy food stimuli only, general inhibition--inhibition was not contingent on type of stimuli, and control--no inhibition. While fat intake did not decrease, body-mass index decreased in the food-specific condition and change in this outcome was mediated by changes in vulnerability to depletion. In Study 2, the reliability and longevity of these effects were tested by replicating the intervention with a third measurement time-point. Seventy participants completed baseline, post-intervention and follow-up measures. While inhibitory control and vulnerability to depletion improved in both training conditions post-intervention, eating behaviour and body-mass index did not. Further, improvements in self-regulatory outcomes were not maintained at follow-up. It appears that while the training paradigm employed in the current studies may improve self-regulatory outcomes, it may not necessarily improve health outcomes. It is suggested that this may be due to the task parameters, and that a training paradigm that utilises a higher proportion of stop-signals may be necessary to change behaviour. In addition, improvements in self-regulation do not appear to persist over time. These findings further current conceptualisations of the nature of self-regulation and have implications for the efficacy of online interventions designed to improve eating

  12. An improved haemolytic plaque assay for the detection of cells secreting antibody to bacterial antigens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barington, T; Heilmann, C

    1992-01-01

    Recent advances in the development of conjugate polysaccharide vaccines for human use have stimulated interest in the use of assays detecting antibody-secreting cells (AbSC) with specificity for bacterial antigens. Here we present improved haemolytic plaque-forming cell (PFC) assays detecting Ab......SC with specificity for tetanus and diphtheria toxoid as well as for Haemophilus influenzae type b and pneumococcal capsular polysaccharides. These assays were found to be less time consuming, more economical and yielded 1.9-3.4-fold higher plaque numbers than traditional Jerne-type PFC assays. In the case of anti......-polysaccharide antibodies aggregation of secreted monomeric antibody (IgG) is critical for plaque formation and increases the avidity of binding to target cells....

  13. Analytical Tools to Improve Optimization Procedures for Lateral Flow Assays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen V. Hsieh

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Immunochromatographic or lateral flow assays (LFAs are inexpensive, easy to use, point-of-care medical diagnostic tests that are found in arenas ranging from a doctor’s office in Manhattan to a rural medical clinic in low resource settings. The simplicity in the LFA itself belies the complex task of optimization required to make the test sensitive, rapid and easy to use. Currently, the manufacturers develop LFAs by empirical optimization of material components (e.g., analytical membranes, conjugate pads and sample pads, biological reagents (e.g., antibodies, blocking reagents and buffers and the design of delivery geometry. In this paper, we will review conventional optimization and then focus on the latter and outline analytical tools, such as dynamic light scattering and optical biosensors, as well as methods, such as microfluidic flow design and mechanistic models. We are applying these tools to find non-obvious optima of lateral flow assays for improved sensitivity, specificity and manufacturing robustness.

  14. Improvement of a real-time RT-PCR assay for the detection of enterovirus RNA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruynseels Peggy

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract We describe an improvement of an earlier reported real-time RT-PCR assay for the detection of enterovirus RNA, based on the 5' exonuclease digestion of a dual-labeled fluorogenic probe by Taq DNA polymerase. A different extraction method, real-time RT-PCR instrument and primer set were evaluated. Our data show that the optimized assay yields a higher sensitivity and reproducibility and resulted in a significant reduced hands-on time per sample.

  15. Collaborative study for the validation of an improved HPLC assay for recombinant IFN-alfa-2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jönsson, K H; Daas, A; Buchheit, K H; Terao, E

    2016-01-01

    The current European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.) texts for Interferon (IFN)-alfa-2 include a nonspecific photometric protein assay using albumin as calibrator and a highly variable cell-based assay for the potency determination of the protective effects. A request was expressed by the Official Medicines Control Laboratories (OMCLs) for improved methods for the batch control of recombinant interferon alfa-2 bulk and market surveillance testing of finished products, including those formulated with Human Serum Albumin (HSA). A HPLC method was developed at the Medical Products Agency (MPA, Sweden) for the testing of IFN-alfa-2 products. An initial collaborative study run under the Biological Standardisation Programme (BSP; study code BSP039) revealed the need for minor changes to improve linearity of the calibration curves, assay reproducibility and robustness. The goal of the collaborative study, coded BSP071, was to transfer and further validate this improved HPLC method. Ten laboratories participated in the study. Four marketed IFN-alfa-2 preparations (one containing HSA) together with the Ph. Eur. Chemical Reference Substance (CRS) for IFN-alfa-2a and IFN-alfa-2b, and in-house reference standards from two manufacturers were used for the quantitative assay. The modified method was successfully transferred to all laboratories despite local variation in equipment. The resolution between the main and the oxidised forms of IFN-alfa-2 was improved compared to the results from the BSP039 study. The improved method even allowed partial resolution of an extra peak after the principal peak. Symmetry of the main IFN peak was acceptable for all samples in all laboratories. Calibration curves established with the Ph. Eur. IFN-alfa-2a and IFN-alfa-2b CRSs showed excellent linearity with intercepts close to the origin and coefficients of determination greater than 0.9995. Assay repeatability, intermediate precision and reproducibility varied with the tested sample within acceptable

  16. Reducing Disruptive Behaviours and Improving Classroom Behavioural Climate with Class-Wide Positive Behaviour Support in Middle Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Närhi, Vesa; Kiiski, Tiina; Savolainen, Hannu

    2017-01-01

    Disruptive behaviour in classrooms is a significant challenge for learning in schools and a risk factor for students' academic achievement and a significant source of teachers' work-related stress. Earlier research shows that clear behavioural expectations, monitoring students' adherence to them and behaviour-specific praise are effective…

  17. Techniques for improving shuffler assay results for 55-gallon waste drums

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rinard, P.M.; Prettyman, T.H.; Stuenkel, D.

    1994-01-01

    Accurate assays of the fissile contents in waste drums are needed to ensure the most proper and economical handling and disposal of the waste. An improvement of accuracy will mean fewer drums disposed as transuranic waste when they really contain low-level waste, saving both money and burial sites. Shufflers are used for assaying waste drums and are very accurate with nonmoderating matrices (such as iron). In the active mode they count delayed neutrons released after fissions are induced by irradiation neutrons from a 252 Cf source. However, as the hydrogen density from matrices such as paper or gloves increases, the accuracy can suffer without proper attention. The neutron transport and fission probabilities change with the hydrogen density, causing the neutron count rate to vary with the position of the fissile material within the drum. The magnitude of this variation grows with the hydrogen density

  18. The Single-Molecule Centroid Localization Algorithm Improves the Accuracy of Fluorescence Binding Assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua, Boyang; Wang, Yanbo; Park, Seongjin; Han, Kyu Young; Singh, Digvijay; Kim, Jin H; Cheng, Wei; Ha, Taekjip

    2018-03-13

    Here, we demonstrate that the use of the single-molecule centroid localization algorithm can improve the accuracy of fluorescence binding assays. Two major artifacts in this type of assay, i.e., nonspecific binding events and optically overlapping receptors, can be detected and corrected during analysis. The effectiveness of our method was confirmed by measuring two weak biomolecular interactions, the interaction between the B1 domain of streptococcal protein G and immunoglobulin G and the interaction between double-stranded DNA and the Cas9-RNA complex with limited sequence matches. This analysis routine requires little modification to common experimental protocols, making it readily applicable to existing data and future experiments.

  19. Description of occupant behaviour in building energy simulation: state-of-art and concepts for improvements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabi, Valentina; Andersen, Rune Vinther; Corgnati, Stefano Paolo

    2011-01-01

    of basic assumptions that affect the results. Therefore, the calculated energy performance may differ significantly from the real energy consumption. One of the key reasons is the current inability to properly model occupant behaviour and to quantify the associated uncertainties in building performance...... predictions. By consequence, a better description of parameters related to occupant behaviour is highly required. In this paper, the state of art in occupant behaviour modelling within energy simulation tools is analysed and some concepts related to possible improvements of simulation tools are proposed...

  20. Improving the quality of manually acquired data: Applying the theory of planned behaviour to data quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murphy, Glen D.

    2009-01-01

    The continued reliance of manual data capture in engineering asset intensive organisations highlights the critical role played by those responsible for recording raw data. The potential for data quality variance across individual operators also exposes the need to better manage this particular group. This paper evaluates the relative importance of the human factors associated with data quality. Using the theory of planned behaviour this paper considers the impact of attitudes, perceptions and behavioural intentions on the data collection process in an engineering asset context. Two additional variables are included, those of time pressure and operator feedback. Time pressure is argued to act as a moderator between intention and data collection behaviour, while perceived behavioural control will moderate the relationship between feedback and data collection behaviour. Overall the paper argues that the presence of best practice procedures or threats of disciplinary sanction are insufficient controls to determine data quality. Instead those concerned with improving the data collection performance of operators should consider the operator's perceptions of group attitude towards data quality, the level of feedback provided to data collectors and the impact of time pressures on procedure compliance. A range of practical recommendations are provided to those wishing to improve the quality of their manually acquired data.

  1. Chromogenic Factor VIII Assays for Improved Diagnosis of Hemophilia A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodgers, Susan; Duncan, Elizabeth

    2017-01-01

    Hemophilia A is an inherited bleeding disorder caused by a reduced level of factor VIII coagulant activity (FVIII:C) in blood. Bleeding episodes may occur spontaneously in the severe form of hemophilia or after trauma in the milder forms. It is important that patients are diagnosed correctly, which includes placing them into the correct severity category of the disorder so that appropriate treatment can be given. Diagnosis is made by determination of the amount of FVIII:C in the blood, usually using a one-stage factor VIII:C assay. However, approximately one third of patients with mild or moderate hemophilia will have much lower results by the chromogenic assay, with some of them having normal results by the one-stage assay. The chromogenic factor VIII assay is used in some specialized hemophilia reference centers and is recommended for the diagnosis of mild hemophilia A, as this assay is considered to better reflect the severity status of hemophilia patients than the one-stage assay.

  2. Mechanical Behaviour of Soil Improved by Alkali Activated Binders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enza Vitale

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The use of alkali activated binders to improve engineering properties of clayey soils is a novel solution, and an alternative to the widely diffused improvement based on the use of traditional binders such as lime and cement. In the paper the alkaline activation of two fly ashes, by-products of coal combustion thermoelectric power plants, has been presented. These alkali activated binders have been mixed with a clayey soil for evaluating the improvement of its mechanical behaviour. One-dimensional compression tests on raw and treated samples have been performed with reference to the effects induced by type of binder, binder contents and curing time. The experimental evidences at volume scale of the treated samples have been directly linked to the chemo-physical evolution of the binders, investigated over curing time by means of X Ray Diffraction. Test results showed a high reactivity of the alkali activated binders promoting the formation of new mineralogical phases responsible for the mechanical improvement of treated soil. The efficiency of alkali activated binders soil treatment has been highlighted by comparison with mechanical performance induced by Portland cement.

  3. Adaptive e-learning to improve dietary behaviour: a systematic review and cost-effectiveness analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, J; Felix, L; Miners, A; Murray, E; Michie, S; Ferguson, E; Free, C; Lock, K; Landon, J; Edwards, P

    2011-10-01

    UK public health policy strongly advocates dietary change for the improvement of population health and emphasises the importance of individual empowerment to improve health. A new and evolving area in the promotion of dietary behavioural change is 'e-learning', the use of interactive electronic media to facilitate teaching and learning on a range of issues including health. The high level of accessibility, combined with emerging advances in computer processing power, data transmission and data storage, makes interactive e-learning a potentially powerful and cost-effective medium for improving dietary behaviour. This review aims to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of adaptive e-learning interventions for dietary behaviour change, and also to explore potential psychological mechanisms of action and components of effective interventions. Electronic bibliographic databases (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, The Cochrane Library, Dissertation Abstracts, EMBASE, Education Resources Information Center, Global Health, Health Economic Evaluations Database, Health Management Information Consortium, MEDLINE, PsycINFO and Web of Science) were searched for the period January 1990 to November 2009. Reference lists of included studies and previous reviews were also screened; authors were contacted and trial registers were searched. Studies were included if they were randomised controlled trials, involving participants aged ≥ 13 years, which evaluated the effectiveness of interactive software programs for improving dietary behaviour. Primary outcomes were measures of dietary behaviours, including estimated intakes or changes in intake of energy, nutrients, dietary fibre, foods or food groups. Secondary outcome measures were clinical outcomes such as anthropometry or blood biochemistry. Psychological mediators of dietary behaviour change were also investigated. Two review authors independently screened results and extracted data from

  4. Establishment and application of a modified membrane-blot assay for Rhizomucor miehei lipases aimed at improving their methanol tolerance and thermostability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Dong; Luo, Wen; Wang, Zhiyuan; Lv, Pengmei; Yuan, Zhenhong; Huang, Shaowei; Xv, Jingliang

    2017-07-01

    Directed evolution has been proved an effective way to improve the stability of proteins, but high throughput screening assays for directed evolution with simultaneous improvement of two or more properties are still rare. In this study, we aimed to establish a membrane-blot assay for use in the high-throughput screening of Rhizomucor miehei lipases (RMLs). With the assistance of the membrane-blot screening assay, a mutant E47K named G10 that showed improved thermal stability was detected in the first round of error-prone PCR. Using G10 as the parent, two variants G10-11 and G10-20 that showed improved thermal stability and methanol tolerance without loss of activity compared to the wild type RML were obtained. The T 50 60 -value of G10-11 and G10-20 increased by 12°C and 6.5°C, respectively. After incubation for 1h, the remaining residual activity of G10-11 and G10-20 was 63.45% and 74.33%, respectively, in 50% methanol, and 15.98% and 30.22%, respectively, in 80% methanol. Thus, we successfully developed a membrane-blot assay that could be used for the high-throughput screening of RMLs with improved thermostability and methanol tolerance. Based on our findings, we believe that our newly developed membrane-blot assay will have potential applications in directed evolution in the future. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Comparative effects of building envelope improvements and occupant behavioural changes on the exergy consumption for heating and cooling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schweiker, Marcel; Shukuya, Masanori

    2010-01-01

    Much focus is put on measures to improve the building envelope system performance to reduce the impact of the building sector on the global environmental degradation. This paper compares the potential of building envelope improvements to those of a change in the occupant's behavioural pattern. Three cases of improvements together with a base case were analysed using exergy analysis, because the exergy concept is useful to understand the underlying processes and the necessary adjustments to the calculation of the heat-pump system. The assumptions for the occupant behaviour were set up based on our field measurements conducted in a dormitory building and the calculation was for steady-state conditions. It was found that the potential of occupant behavioural changes for the reduction in exergy consumption is more affected by the outdoor temperature compared to building envelope improvements. The influence of occupant behaviour was highly significant (more than 90% decrease of exergy consumption) when the temperature difference between indoors and outdoors is small, which is the case for long periods in regions with moderate temperatures during summer and/or winter. Nevertheless, both measures combined lead to a reduction from 76% up to 95% depending on the outside conditions and should be the final goal.

  6. Data transformation methods for multiplexed assays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tammero, Lance F. Bentley; Dzenitis, John M; Hindson, Benjamin J

    2013-07-23

    Methods to improve the performance of an array assay are described. A correlation between fluorescence intensity-related parameters and negative control values of the assay is determined. The parameters are then adjusted as a function of the correlation. As a result, sensitivity of the assay is improved without changes in its specificity.

  7. Improving customer generation by analysing website visitor behaviour

    OpenAIRE

    Ramlall, Shalini

    2011-01-01

    This dissertation describes the creation of a new integrated Information Technology (IT) system that assisted in the collection of data about the behaviour of website visitors as well as sales and marketing data for those visitors who turned into customers. A key contribution to knowledge was the creation of a method to predict the outcome of visits to a website from visitors’ browsing behaviour. A new Online Tracking Module (OTM) was created that monitored visitors’ behaviour while they brow...

  8. Preliminary studies on the behavioural effects of the methanol ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The behavioural tests employed were diazepam-induced sleep onset and duration, hole board assay for exploratory activity, mouse beam walk assay for motor coordination, and the staircase test for the detection of anxiolytic compounds. Preliminary phytochemical screening was also carried out on the extract. Results: The ...

  9. Brief biopsychosocially informed education can improve insurance workers? back pain beliefs: Implications for improving claims management behaviours

    OpenAIRE

    Beales, Darren; Mitchell, Tim; Pole, Naomi; Weir, James

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Biopsychosocially informed education is associated with improved back pain beliefs and positive changes in health care practitioners? practice behaviours. OBJECTIVE: Assess the effect of this type of education for insurance workers who are important non-clinical stakeholders in the rehabilitation of injured workers. METHODS: Insurance workers operating in the Western Australian workers? compensation system underwent two, 1.5 hour sessions of biopsychosocially informed education fo...

  10. Group-based parent training programmes for improving emotional and behavioural adjustment in young children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, Jane; Bergman, Hanna; Kornør, Hege; Wei, Yinghui; Bennett, Cathy

    2016-08-01

    Emotional and behavioural problems in children are common. Research suggests that parenting has an important role to play in helping children to become well-adjusted, and that the first few months and years are especially important. Parenting programmes may have a role to play in improving the emotional and behavioural adjustment of infants and toddlers, and this review examined their effectiveness with parents and carers of young children. 1. To establish whether group-based parenting programmes are effective in improving the emotional and behavioural adjustment of young children (maximum mean age of three years and 11 months); and2. To assess whether parenting programmes are effective in the primary prevention of emotional and behavioural problems. In July 2015 we searched CENTRAL (the Cochrane Library), Ovid MEDLINE, Embase (Ovid), and 10 other databases. We also searched two trial registers and handsearched reference lists of included studies and relevant systematic reviews. Two reviewers independently assessed the records retrieved by the search. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs of group-based parenting programmes that had used at least one standardised instrument to measure emotional and behavioural adjustment in children. One reviewer extracted data and a second reviewer checked the extracted data. We presented the results for each outcome in each study as standardised mean differences (SMDs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Where appropriate, we combined the results in a meta-analysis using a random-effects model. We used the GRADE (Grades of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation) approach to assess the overall quality of the body of evidence for each outcome. We identified 22 RCTs and two quasi-RCTs evaluating the effectiveness of group-based parenting programmes in improving the emotional and behavioural adjustment of children aged up to three years and 11 months (maximum mean age three years 11 months

  11. A new DPYD genotyping assay for improving the safety of 5-fluorouracil therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sistonen, Johanna; Smith, Chingying; Fu, Yung-Kang; Largiadèr, Carlo R

    2012-12-24

    Chemotherapeutic use of 5-fluorouracil (5FU) is compromised by 10-20% of patients developing severe toxicity. Recently described genetic variation in dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPYD) has been shown to be a major predictor of 5FU toxicity. Here, we describe a new genotyping assay for routine clinical use that covers all the major DPYD risk variants. Genomic regions targeting DPYD risk variants (c.1129-5923C>G, c.1679T>G/A, c.1905+1G>A, c.2846A>T) and additional markers (c.234-123G>C, c.496A>G, c.775A>G) were amplified in a multiplex PCR reaction. The subsequent steps including allele-specific primer extension, hybridization of the primers to a microarray, scanning of the array, and data analysis were automated within the INFINITI® Analyzer (AutoGenomics). The assay was validated by analyzing 107 blood samples obtained from patients previously re-sequenced for the DPYD. The genotypes obtained with the developed assay were 100% concordant with the re-sequencing. The procedure is suitable for routine clinical use since the results are obtained within one day. For heterozygous risk variant carriers (~7% of Europeans), the treatment can be adjusted by 5FU dose reduction, whereas carriers of two risk alleles should be treated with an alternative therapy. The developed assay provides a novel tool to improve the safety of commonly used 5FU-based chemotherapies. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Silymarin improves the behavioural, biochemical and histoarchitecture alterations in focal ischemic rats: a comparative evaluation with piracetam and protocatachuic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muley, Milind M; Thakare, Vishnu N; Patil, Rajesh R; Kshirsagar, Ajay D; Naik, Suresh R

    2012-08-01

    Comparative neuroprotective potential of silymarin, piracetam and protocatechuic acid ethyl ester (PCA) was evaluated in focal ischemic rats. Various pharmacological, biochemical (lipid peroxidation, reduced glutathione, catalase, nitrite content, brain water content) and behavioural (memory impairment, motor control, neurological score) including infarct size and histopathological alterations were evaluated. Silymarin (200mg/kg) and PCA treatment significantly improved behavioural, biochemical and histopathological changes, and reduced water content and infarct size. However, piracetam only improved behavioural and histopathological changes, reduced water content and infarct size. The findings indicate that silymarin exhibits neuroprotective activity better than PCA and piracetam in focal ischemia/reperfusion reflected by its better restoration of behavioural and antioxidant profile. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Intervention strategies to improve nutrition and health behaviours before conception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, Mary; Dombrowski, Stephan U; Colbourn, Tim; Fall, Caroline H D; Kriznik, Natasha M; Lawrence, Wendy T; Norris, Shane A; Ngaiza, Gloria; Patel, Dilisha; Skordis-Worrall, Jolene; Sniehotta, Falko F; Steegers-Theunissen, Régine; Vogel, Christina; Woods-Townsend, Kathryn; Stephenson, Judith

    2018-05-05

    The nutritional status of both women and men before conception has profound implications for the growth, development, and long-term health of their offspring. Evidence of the effectiveness of preconception interventions for improving outcomes for mothers and babies is scarce. However, given the large potential health return, and relatively low costs and risk of harm, research into potential interventions is warranted. We identified three promising strategies for intervention that are likely to be scalable and have positive effects on a range of health outcomes: supplementation and fortification; cash transfers and incentives; and behaviour change interventions. On the basis of these strategies, we suggest a model specifying pathways to effect. Pathways are incorporated into a life-course framework using individual motivation and receptiveness at different preconception action phases, to guide design and targeting of preconception interventions. Interventions for individuals not planning immediate pregnancy take advantage of settings and implementation platforms outside the maternal and child health arena, since this group is unlikely to be engaged with maternal health services. Interventions to improve women's nutritional status and health behaviours at all preconception action phases should consider social and environmental determinants, to avoid exacerbating health and gender inequalities, and be underpinned by a social movement that touches the whole population. We propose a dual strategy that targets specific groups actively planning a pregnancy, while improving the health of the population more broadly. Modern marketing techniques could be used to promote a social movement based on an emotional and symbolic connection between improved preconception maternal health and nutrition, and offspring health. We suggest that speedy and scalable benefits to public health might be achieved through strategic engagement with the private sector. Political theory supports

  14. Safeguards and Non-destructive Assay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carchon, R.; Bruggeman, M.

    2001-01-01

    SCK-CEN's programme on safeguards and non-destructive assay includes: (1) various activities to assure nuclear materials accountancy; (2) contributes to the implementation of Integrated Safeguards measures in Belgium and to assist the IAEA through the Belgian Support Programme; (3) renders services to internal and external customers in the field of safeguards; (4) improves passive neutron coincidence counting techniques for waste assay and safeguards verification measurements by R and D on correlation algorithms implemented via software or dedicated hardware; (5) improves gamma assay techniques for waste assay by implementing advanced scanning techniques and different correlation algorithms; and (6) develops numerical calibration techniques. Major achievements in these areas in 2000 are reported

  15. Can Physiological Endpoints Improve the Sensitivity of Assays with Plants in the Risk Assessment of Contaminated Soils?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavina, Ana; Antunes, Sara C.; Pinto, Glória; Claro, Maria Teresa; Santos, Conceição; Gonçalves, Fernando; Pereira, Ruth

    2013-01-01

    Site-specific risk assessment of contaminated areas indicates prior areas for intervention, and provides helpful information for risk managers. This study was conducted in the Ervedosa mine area (Bragança, Portugal), where both underground and open pit exploration of tin and arsenic minerals were performed for about one century (1857 – 1969). We aimed at obtaining ecotoxicological information with terrestrial and aquatic plant species to integrate in the risk assessment of this mine area. Further we also intended to evaluate if the assessment of other parameters, in standard assays with terrestrial plants, can improve the identification of phytotoxic soils. For this purpose, soil samples were collected on 16 sampling sites distributed along four transects, defined within the mine area, and in one reference site. General soil physical and chemical parameters, total and extractable metal contents were analyzed. Assays were performed for soil elutriates and for the whole soil matrix following standard guidelines for growth inhibition assay with Lemna minor and emergence and seedling growth assay with Zea mays. At the end of the Z. mays assay, relative water content, membrane permeability, leaf area, content of photosynthetic pigments (chlorophylls and carotenoids), malondialdehyde levels, proline content, and chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm and ΦPSII) parameters were evaluated. In general, the soils near the exploration area revealed high levels of Al, Mn, Fe and Cu. Almost all the soils from transepts C, D and F presented total concentrations of arsenic well above soils screening benchmark values available. Elutriates of several soils from sampling sites near the exploration and ore treatment areas were toxic to L. minor, suggesting that the retention function of these soils was seriously compromised. In Z. mays assay, plant performance parameters (other than those recommended by standard protocols), allowed the identification of more phytotoxic soils. The

  16. Can physiological endpoints improve the sensitivity of assays with plants in the risk assessment of contaminated soils?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Gavina

    Full Text Available Site-specific risk assessment of contaminated areas indicates prior areas for intervention, and provides helpful information for risk managers. This study was conducted in the Ervedosa mine area (Bragança, Portugal, where both underground and open pit exploration of tin and arsenic minerals were performed for about one century (1857-1969. We aimed at obtaining ecotoxicological information with terrestrial and aquatic plant species to integrate in the risk assessment of this mine area. Further we also intended to evaluate if the assessment of other parameters, in standard assays with terrestrial plants, can improve the identification of phytotoxic soils. For this purpose, soil samples were collected on 16 sampling sites distributed along four transects, defined within the mine area, and in one reference site. General soil physical and chemical parameters, total and extractable metal contents were analyzed. Assays were performed for soil elutriates and for the whole soil matrix following standard guidelines for growth inhibition assay with Lemna minor and emergence and seedling growth assay with Zea mays. At the end of the Z. mays assay, relative water content, membrane permeability, leaf area, content of photosynthetic pigments (chlorophylls and carotenoids, malondialdehyde levels, proline content, and chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm and ΦPSII parameters were evaluated. In general, the soils near the exploration area revealed high levels of Al, Mn, Fe and Cu. Almost all the soils from transepts C, D and F presented total concentrations of arsenic well above soils screening benchmark values available. Elutriates of several soils from sampling sites near the exploration and ore treatment areas were toxic to L. minor, suggesting that the retention function of these soils was seriously compromised. In Z. mays assay, plant performance parameters (other than those recommended by standard protocols, allowed the identification of more phytotoxic soils

  17. Active music therapy improves cognition and behaviour in chronic vascular encephalopathy: a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giovagnoli, Anna Rita; Oliveri, Serena; Schifano, Letizia; Raglio, Alfredo

    2014-02-01

    This study describes the effects of active music therapy (AMT) on cognition and behaviour in chronic vascular encephalopathy. A single case study investigated different cognitive and psycho-behavioural changes after AMT. An adult patient with memory, attention, and verbal fluency deficits associated with Vascular Cognitive Impairment-No Dementia (VCI-ND) was treated. A four-months AMT course was based on creative and interactive music playing. Sixteen sessions were conducted simultaneously to the pharmacological therapy. Cognitive performances, mood, interpersonal interactions, and perceived abilities were assessed using standardized neuropsychological and psycho-behavioural measurements. At baseline, the patient reported a tendency to feel tense, nervous, and angry and difficulties in memory and visuospatial performances, frequently accompanied by attention drops. The social network was a habitual component of the patient's life, but not a source of sharing of personal experiences, safety or comfort. Neuropsychological tests showed deficits in object and figure naming, verbal fluency, short and long-term verbal memory, short-term spatial memory, selective attention, and visuomotor coordination. After AMT, the cognitive profile significantly improved in attention, visuomotor coordination, and verbal and spatial memory. Such positive changes were confirmed at the three-months follow-up. An increase of the interpersonal interactions and consistent reduction of anxiety were also observed. In selected patients with VCI-ND, a well-structured AMT intervention added to standard therapy may contribute in determining a stable improvement of cognitive and psycho-behavioural aspects. Controlled studies are needed to confirm these promising results. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Improved assay for thymine base damage in E. coli using high performance liquid chromatography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Claycamp, H.G.

    1985-01-01

    A simple high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) technique has been established for the simultaneous assay of thymine and thymidine radiation damage products. The HPLC procedure uses an isocratic mobile phase of 4% acetonitrile in 0.2 M ammonium dihydrogen phosphate (pH 5.0), a reversed-phase octadecylsilicate (5 micro-spherical packing) 0.45 x 25 cm column, and a variable wavelength UV detector. This procedure affords much better resolution than other published procedures that use 10 micron columns or separate assays for bases and nucleosides. For example, irradiation of 5 x 10 -3 M thymidine solutions have been performed to calibrate the system for base damage assays in E. coli. This yields up to 15 resolvable residues within 20 minutes. Sensitivity of the system (at 2210 nm) for 5,6- dihydrothymine (DHT) is about 10 -10 moles. Preliminary results show that this translates to about 0.4 DHT residues per 10 6 daltons of E. coli DNA. This is comparable to the sensitivities of monoclonal assays to thymine damage products that have recently been reported by others. Since it is feasible that the sensitivity of this system can be improved by 2-3 times, this HPLC technique should provide a simple and rapid means of detecting E. coli base damage release and base damage in nucleoside hydrolysates of DNA

  19. Assessing the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of adaptive e-Learning to improve dietary behaviour: protocol for a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Phil; Felix, Lambert; Harris, Jody; Ferguson, Elaine; Free, Caroline; Landon, Jane; Lock, Karen; Michie, Susan; Miners, Alec; Murray, Elizabeth

    2010-04-21

    The composition of habitual diets is associated with adverse or protective effects on aspects of health. Consequently, UK public health policy strongly advocates dietary change for the improvement of population health and emphasises the importance of individual empowerment to improve health. A new and evolving area in the promotion of dietary behavioural change is e-Learning, the use of interactive electronic media to facilitate teaching and learning on a range of issues, including diet and health. The aims of this systematic review are to determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of adaptive e-Learning for improving dietary behaviours. The research will consist of a systematic review and a cost-effectiveness analysis. Studies will be considered for the review if they are randomised controlled trials, involving participants aged 13 or over, which evaluate the effectiveness or efficacy of interactive software programmes for improving dietary behaviour. Primary outcome measures will be those related to dietary behaviours, including estimated intakes of energy, nutrients and dietary fibre, or the estimated number of servings per day of foods or food groups. Secondary outcome measures will be objective clinical measures that are likely to respond to changes in dietary behaviours, such as anthropometry or blood biochemistry. Knowledge, self-efficacy, intention and emotion will be examined as mediators of dietary behaviour change in order to explore potential mechanisms of action. Databases will be searched using a comprehensive four-part search strategy, and the results exported to a bibliographic database. Two review authors will independently screen results to identify potentially eligible studies, and will independently extract data from included studies, with any discrepancies at each stage settled by a third author. Standardised forms and criteria will be used.A descriptive analysis of included studies will describe study design, participants, the

  20. Self-Monitoring vs. Implementation Intentions: a Comparison of Behaviour Change Techniques to Improve Sleep Hygiene and Sleep Outcomes in Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mairs, Lucinda; Mullan, Barbara

    2015-10-01

    This study seeks to investigate and compare the efficacy of self-monitoring and implementation intentions-two post-intentional behaviour change techniques-for improving sleep hygiene behaviours and sleep outcomes in university students. Seventy-two undergraduate students completed baseline measures of four sleep hygiene behaviours (making the sleep environment restful, avoiding going to bed hungry/thirsty, avoiding stress/anxiety-provoking activities near bed time and avoiding caffeine in the evening), as well as the Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI) and the insomnia severity index (ISI). Participants were randomly assigned to an active-control diary-keeping, self-monitoring condition or completed implementation intentions for each behaviour. Post-intervention measurement was completed 2 weeks after baseline. Repeated measures analyses of variance found significant main effects of time for improvements in making the sleep environment restful and avoiding going to bed hungry or thirsty, as well as PSQI and ISI scores. Non-significant interactions suggested no group differences on any variable, except for increasing avoidance of stress and anxiety-provoking activities before bed time, for which only implementation intentions were found to be effective. Attrition was higher amongst self-monitoring participants. Both self-monitoring and implementation intentions appear to be promising behaviour change techniques for improving sleep hygiene and sleep. Future research should examine the acceptability of the two behaviour change techniques and the relationship with differential attrition, as well as effect size variations according to behaviour and technique. Researchers should investigate potential additive or interactive effects of the techniques, as they could be utilised in a complementary manner to target different processes in effecting behaviour change.

  1. Effectiveness of external inspection of compliance with standards in improving healthcare organisation behaviour, healthcare professional behaviour or patient outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flodgren, Gerd; Pomey, Marie-Pascale; Taber, Sarah A; Eccles, Martin P

    2014-01-01

    Background Inspection systems are used in health care to promote quality improvements, i.e. to achieve changes in organisational structures or processes, healthcare provider behaviour and patient outcomes. These systems are based on the assumption that externally promoted adherence to evidence-based standards (through inspection/assessment) will result in higher quality of health care. However, the benefits of external inspection in terms of organisational, provider and patient level outcomes are not clear. Objectives To evaluate the effectiveness of external inspection of compliance with standards in improving healthcare organisation behaviour, healthcare professional behaviour and patient outcomes. Search methods We searched the following electronic databases for studies: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness, Scopus, HMIC, Index to Theses and Intute from their inception dates up to May 2011. There was no language restriction and studies were included regardless of publication status. We searched the reference lists of included studies and contacted authors of relevant papers, accreditation bodies and the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO), regarding any further published or unpublished work. Selection criteria We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs), controlled clinical trials (CCTs), interrupted time-series (ITSs) and controlled before and after studies (CBAs) evaluating the effect of external inspection against external standards on healthcare organisation change, healthcare professional behaviour or patient outcomes in hospitals, primary healthcare organisations and other community-based healthcare organisations. Data collection and analysis Two review authors independently applied eligibility criteria, extracted data and assessed the risk of bias of each included study. Since meta-analysis was

  2. Tailored cognitive-behavioural therapy and exercise training improves the physical fitness of patients with fibromyalgia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spillekom-van Koulil, S.; Lankveld, W.G.J.M. van; Kraaimaat, F.W.; Helmond, T. van; Vedder, A.; Hoorn, H. van; Donders, A.R.T.; Wirken, L.; Cats, H.; Riel, P.L.C.M. van; Evers, A.W.M.

    2011-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Patients with fibromyalgia have diminished levels of physical fitness, which may lead to functional disability and exacerbating complaints. Multidisciplinary treatment comprising cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and exercise training has been shown to be effective in improving

  3. Consequences of implementing a cardiac troponin assay with improved sensitivity at Swedish coronary care units: an analysis from the SWEDEHEART registry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggers, Kai M; Lindahl, Bertil; Melki, Dina; Jernberg, Tomas

    2016-08-07

    Cardiac troponin (cTn) assays with improved sensitivity are increasingly utilized for the assessment of patients admitted because of suspected acute coronary syndrome (ACS). However, data on the clinical consequences of the implementation of such assays are limited. In a retrospective register-based study (37 710 coronary care unit admissions; SWEDEHEART registry), we compared the case mix, the use of diagnostic procedures, treatments, and 1-year all-cause mortality 1 year before the implementation of a cTn assay with improved sensitivity (study period 1) and 1 year thereafter (study period 2). During study period 2, more at-risk patients were admitted and more patients had cTn levels above the myocardial infarction cut-off (ACS patients +13.1%; non-ACS patients +160.1%). cTn levels above this cut-off exhibited stronger associations with mortality risk in study period 2 (adjusted HR 4.45 [95% confidence interval, CI, 3.36-5.89]) compared with period 1 (adjusted HR 2.43 [95% CI 2.11-2.80]), similar as for the cTn ratio relative to the respective 99th percentile. While there was no multivariable-adjusted increase in the use of diagnostic procedures, significant trends towards more differentiated treatment depending on the cause of cTn elevation, i.e. ACS or non-ACS, were noted. The implementation of a cTn assay with improved sensitivity was associated with an increase in the number of patients who due to their cTn-status were identified as suitable for beneficial therapies. There was no inappropriate increase in hospital resource utilization. As such, cTn assays with improved sensitivity provide an opportunity to improve the clinical management of patients with suspected ACS. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author 2016. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Assessing the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of adaptive e-Learning to improve dietary behaviour: protocol for a systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michie Susan

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The composition of habitual diets is associated with adverse or protective effects on aspects of health. Consequently, UK public health policy strongly advocates dietary change for the improvement of population health and emphasises the importance of individual empowerment to improve health. A new and evolving area in the promotion of dietary behavioural change is e-Learning, the use of interactive electronic media to facilitate teaching and learning on a range of issues, including diet and health. The aims of this systematic review are to determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of adaptive e-Learning for improving dietary behaviours. Methods/Design The research will consist of a systematic review and a cost-effectiveness analysis. Studies will be considered for the review if they are randomised controlled trials, involving participants aged 13 or over, which evaluate the effectiveness or efficacy of interactive software programmes for improving dietary behaviour. Primary outcome measures will be those related to dietary behaviours, including estimated intakes of energy, nutrients and dietary fibre, or the estimated number of servings per day of foods or food groups. Secondary outcome measures will be objective clinical measures that are likely to respond to changes in dietary behaviours, such as anthropometry or blood biochemistry. Knowledge, self-efficacy, intention and emotion will be examined as mediators of dietary behaviour change in order to explore potential mechanisms of action. Databases will be searched using a comprehensive four-part search strategy, and the results exported to a bibliographic database. Two review authors will independently screen results to identify potentially eligible studies, and will independently extract data from included studies, with any discrepancies at each stage settled by a third author. Standardised forms and criteria will be used. A descriptive analysis of included

  5. An improved assay for the determination of Huntington`s disease allele size

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reeves, C.; Klinger, K.; Miller, G. [Intergrated Genetics, Framingham, MA (United States)

    1994-09-01

    The hallmark of Huntington`s disease (HD) is the expansion of a polymorphic (CAG)n repeat. Several methods have been published describing PCR amplification of this region. Most of these assays require a complex PCR reaction mixture to amplify this GC-rich region. A consistent problem with trinucleotide repeat PCR amplification is the presence of a number of {open_quotes}stutter bands{close_quotes} which may be caused by primer or amplicon slippage during amplification or insufficient polymerase processivity. Most assays for HD arbitrarily select a particular band for diagnostic purposes. Without a clear choice for band selection such an arbitrary selection may result in inconsistent intra- or inter-laboratory findings. We present an improved protocol for the amplification of the HD trinucleotide repeat region. This method simplifies the PCR reaction buffer and results in a set of easily identifiable bands from which to determine allele size. HD alleles were identified by selecting bands of clearly greater signal intensity. Stutter banding was much reduced thus permitting easy identification of the most relevant PCR product. A second set of primers internal to the CCG polymorphism was used in selected samples to confirm allele size. The mechanism of action of N,N,N trimethylglycine in the PCR reaction is not clear. It may be possible that the minimal isostabilizing effect of N,N,N trimethylglycine at 2.5 M is significant enough to affect primer specificity. The use of N,N,N trimethylglycine in the PCR reaction facilitated identification of HD alleles and may be appropriate for use in other assays of this type.

  6. Structured Medication Review to Improve Pharmacotherapy in People with Intellectual Disability and Behavioural Problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheifes, Arlette; Egberts, Toine C G; Stolker, Joost Jan; Nijman, Henk L I; Heerdink, Eibert R

    2016-07-01

    Polypharmacy and chronic drug use are common in people with intellectual disability and behavioural problems, although evidence of effectiveness and safety in this population is lacking. This study examined the effects of a structured medication review and aimed to improve pharmacotherapy in inpatients with intellectual disability. In a treatment facility for people with mild to borderline intellectual disability and severe behavioural problems, a structured medication review was performed. Prevalence and type of drug-related problems (DRPs) and of the recommended and executed actions were calculated. In a total of 55 patients with intellectual disability and behavioural problems, 284 medications were prescribed, in which a DRP was seen in 106 (34%). No indication/unclear indication was the most prevalent DRP (70). Almost 60% of the recommended actions were also executed. This high prevalence of DRPs is worrying. The structured medication review is a valuable instrument to optimize pharmacotherapy and to support psychiatrists in adequate prescribing of both psychotropic and somatic drugs. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Improved HPLC assay for S-2-(3-aminopropylamino)ethyl phosphorothioate (WR-2721) in plasma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swynnerton, N.F.; McGovern, E.P.; Nino, J.A.; Mangold, D.J.

    1984-01-01

    An HPLC assay is presented for the detection and quantitation of the radioprotective drug S-2-(3-aminopropylamino)ethyl phosphorothioate (WR-2721, ethiofos) present in plasma. Improved selectivity and a 40-fold increase in sensitivity have been demonstrated over the method previously reported by this laboratory. Using precolumn derivatization with fluorescamine and S-3-(4-aminobutylamino)propyl phosphorothioate (WR-80855, a homolog of WR-2721) as the internal standard, drug levels of 0.05 to 1000 μg/mL were determined with excellent precision. Detector response was linear over the entire range. The assay uses 150 μL of plasma and requires a total chromatography time of about 50 minutes. The method was found suitable for pharmacokinetic studies in a preliminary experiment with a beagle dog in which no interferences due to plasma constituents or drug metabolites were observed

  8. Competitive binding thyroid assay with improved bound-free separation step

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1979-01-01

    A competitive binding assay is described for serum thyroid hormone using 125 I-labelled thyroid hormone and exogenous thyroid hormone binding protein. The unbound thyroid hormone is separated from thyroid hormone bound to thyroid hormone binding protein using an intermediate base anion exchange resin. This resin comprises tertiary and quaternary amine groups on a polyalkyleneamine lattice and is compressed with microcrystalline cellulose in a tablet form. The assay technique of the present invention employing an intermediate base anion resin was found to give superior results compared with alternative assay techniques used in serum thyroid hormone estimation. (UK)

  9. Impact of nurse-led behavioural counselling to improve metabolic health and physical activity among adults with mental illness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraser, Sarah J; Brown, Wendy J; Whiteford, Harvey A; Burton, Nicola W

    2018-04-01

    The life expectancy of adults with mental illness is significantly less than that of the general population, and this is largely due to poor physical health. Behavioural counselling can improve physical health indicators among people with non-communicable disease. This repeated-measures, single-group intervention trial evaluated the effects of a 19-week behavioural counselling programme on metabolic health indicators and physical activity levels of outpatient adults with mental illness. Sixteen participants completed the intervention that comprised individual face-to-face counselling sessions with a registered nurse every 3 weeks, and progress reviews with a medical practitioner every 6 weeks. Assessment included self-report and objective measurement of physical activity, and measures of blood pressure and anthropometry. Statistically-significant changes were demonstrated between baseline and post intervention for participants' waist circumference (P = 0.035) and waist-to-height ratio (P = 0.037). Non-significant improvements were demonstrated in weight and physical activity. The findings indicated that adults with mental illness can engage in a nurse-led behavioural counselling intervention, with improvements in some metabolic health measures after 19 weeks. It is recommended that behavioural counselling programmes for adults with mental illness be sustained over time and have an 'open door' policy to allow for attendance interruptions, such as hospitalization. © 2017 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.

  10. The improvement of movement and speech during rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder in multiple system atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Cock, Valérie Cochen; Debs, Rachel; Oudiette, Delphine; Leu, Smaranda; Radji, Fatai; Tiberge, Michel; Yu, Huan; Bayard, Sophie; Roze, Emmanuel; Vidailhet, Marie; Dauvilliers, Yves; Rascol, Olivier; Arnulf, Isabelle

    2011-03-01

    Multiple system atrophy is an atypical parkinsonism characterized by severe motor disabilities that are poorly levodopa responsive. Most patients develop rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder. Because parkinsonism is absent during rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder in patients with Parkinson's disease, we studied the movements of patients with multiple system atrophy during rapid eye movement sleep. Forty-nine non-demented patients with multiple system atrophy and 49 patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease were interviewed along with their 98 bed partners using a structured questionnaire. They rated the quality of movements, vocal and facial expressions during rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder as better than, equal to or worse than the same activities in an awake state. Sleep and movements were monitored using video-polysomnography in 22/49 patients with multiple system atrophy and in 19/49 patients with Parkinson's disease. These recordings were analysed for the presence of parkinsonism and cerebellar syndrome during rapid eye movement sleep movements. Clinical rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder was observed in 43/49 (88%) patients with multiple system atrophy. Reports from the 31/43 bed partners who were able to evaluate movements during sleep indicate that 81% of the patients showed some form of improvement during rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder. These included improved movement (73% of patients: faster, 67%; stronger, 52%; and smoother, 26%), improved speech (59% of patients: louder, 55%; more intelligible, 17%; and better articulated, 36%) and normalized facial expression (50% of patients). The rate of improvement was higher in Parkinson's disease than in multiple system atrophy, but no further difference was observed between the two forms of multiple system atrophy (predominant parkinsonism versus cerebellar syndrome). Video-monitored movements during rapid eye movement sleep in patients with multiple system

  11. Improving children's behaviour and attendance through the use of parenting programmes: an examination of good practice

    OpenAIRE

    Hallam, Susan; Rogers, Lynne; Shaw, Jacqueline

    2004-01-01

    There is powerful evidence that attendance at school and academic performance are positively related and that those who are excluded and do not attend school regularly, whatever the reasons, are more likely to become involved in crime. Recently, much emphasis has been put on the role that parents can play in improving the attendance and behaviour of their children. The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 introduced new powers for Local Education Authorities (LEAs) to apply for a parenting order to...

  12. Improving Collaborative Behaviour Planning in Adult Auditory Rehabilitation: Development of the I-PLAN Intervention Using the Behaviour Change Wheel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, Fiona; Lusignan, Simon de; Deborah, Cooke

    2018-05-18

    The consequences of poorly managed hearing loss can be ameliorated with hearing aid use but rates of use are sub-optimal. The impact of audiologist behaviour on subsequent use, particularly over the long term, is unknown. This study aimed to describe the role of the behaviour change wheel in developing an intervention to introduce and embed particular clinical behaviours into adult hearing aid fitting consultations, within the framework of the Medical Research Council guidance on complex interventions. Following the steps of the behaviour change wheel, audiologist behaviours that might influence hearing aid use were identified based on a systematic review and qualitative work with audiologists. An analysis, using the COM-B model, identified potential drivers of the target behaviours. This was used to select intervention functions and behaviour change techniques likely to influence behaviour in this context. The target behaviours were as follows: giving information about the benefits of hearing aid use and the negative consequences of non-use, providing prompts for use and engaging in collaborative behavioural planning for use. The behavioural analysis suggested that psychological capability, opportunity and motivation were potential drivers of these behaviours. The intervention functions of education, coercion, training, environmental restructuring, modelling and enablement were selected and combined to develop a single complex intervention that seeks to address the target behaviours.

  13. Improved assay to detect Plasmodium falciparum using an uninterrupted, semi-nested PCR and quantitative lateral flow analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background A rapid, non-invasive, and inexpensive point-of-care (POC) diagnostic for malaria followed by therapeutic intervention would improve the ability to control infection in endemic areas. Methods A semi-nested PCR amplification protocol is described for quantitative detection of Plasmodium falciparum and is compared to a traditional nested PCR. The approach uses primers that target the P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase gene. Results This study demonstrates that it is possible to perform an uninterrupted, asymmetric, semi-nested PCR assay with reduced assay time to detect P. falciparum without compromising the sensitivity and specificity of the assay using saliva as a testing matrix. Conclusions The development of this PCR allows nucleic acid amplification without the need to transfer amplicon from the first PCR step to a second reaction tube with nested primers, thus reducing both the chance of contamination and the time for analysis to PCR amplicon yield was adapted to lateral flow detection using the quantitative up-converting phosphor (UCP) reporter technology. This approach provides a basis for migration of the assay to a POC microfluidic format. In addition the assay was successfully evaluated with oral samples. Oral fluid collection provides a simple non-invasive method to collect clinical samples. PMID:23433252

  14. An Improved Neutral a-Glucosidase Assay for Assessment of Epididymal Function—Validation and Comparison to the WHO Method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Eertmans

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Neutral a-glucosidase (NAG activity in human seminal plasma is an important indicator for epididymis functionality. In the present study, the classic World Health Organization (WHO method has been adapted to enhance assay robustness. Changes include modified enzyme reaction buffer composition and usage of an alternative enzyme inhibitor for background correction (glucose instead of castanospermine. Both methods have been tested in parallel on 144 semen samples, obtained from 94 patients/donors and 50 vasectomized men (negative control, respectively. Passing-Bablok regression analysis demonstrated equal assay performance. In terms of assay validation, analytical specificity, detection limit, measuring range, precision, and cut-off values have been calculated. These data confirm that the adapted method is a reliable, improved tool for NAG analysis in human semen.

  15. Improved assay for measuring heparin binding to bull sperm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, D.J.; Ax, R.L.

    1988-01-01

    The binding of heparin to sperm has been used to study capacitation and to rank relative fertility of bulls. Previous binding assays were laborious, used 10 7 sperm per assay point, and required large amounts of radiolabeled heparin. A modified heparin-binding assay is described that used only 5 x 10 4 cells per incubation well and required reduced amounts of [ 3 H] heparin. The assay was performed in 96-well Millititer plates, enabling easy incubation and filtering. Dissociation constants and concentrations of binding sites did not differ if analyzed by Scatchard plots, Woolf plots, or by log-logit transformed weighted nonlinear least squares regression, except in the case of outliers. In such cases, Scatchard analysis was more sensitive to outliers. Nonspecific binding was insignificant using nonlinear logistic fit regression and a proportion graph. The effects were tested of multiple free-thawing of sperm in either a commercial egg yolk extender, 40 mM Tris buffer with 8% glycerol, or 40 mM Tris buffer without glycerol. Freeze-thawing in extender did not affect the dissociation constant or the concentration of binding sites. However, freeze-thawing three times in 40 mM Tris reduced the concentration of binding sites and lowered the dissociation constant (raised the affinity). The inclusion of glycerol in the 40 mM Tris did not significantly affect the estimated dissociation constant or the concentration of binding sites as compared to 40 mM Tris without glycerol

  16. Tailored cognitive-behavioural therapy and exercise training improves the physical fitness of patients with fibromyalgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Koulil, S; van Lankveld, W; Kraaimaat, F W; van Helmond, T; Vedder, A; van Hoorn, H; Donders, A R T; Wirken, L; Cats, H; van Riel, P L C M; Evers, A W M

    2011-12-01

    Patients with fibromyalgia have diminished levels of physical fitness, which may lead to functional disability and exacerbating complaints. Multidisciplinary treatment comprising cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and exercise training has been shown to be effective in improving physical fitness. However, due to the high drop-out rates and large variability in patients' functioning, it was proposed that a tailored treatment approach might yield more promising treatment outcomes. High-risk fibromyalgia patients were randomly assigned to a waiting list control group (WLC) or a treatment condition (TC), with the treatment consisting of 16 twice-weekly sessions of CBT and exercise training tailored to the patient's cognitive-behavioural pattern. Physical fitness was assessed with two physical tests before and 3 months after treatment and at corresponding intervals in the WLC. Treatment effects were evaluated using linear mixed models. The level of physical fitness had improved significantly in the TC compared with the WLC. Attrition rates were low, effect sizes large and reliable change indices indicated a clinically relevant improvement among the TC. A tailored multidisciplinary treatment approach for fibromyalgia consisting of CBT and exercise training is well tolerated, yields clinically relevant changes, and appears a promising approach to improve patients' physical fitness. ClinicalTrials.gov ID NCT00268606.

  17. Behaviour Centred Design: towards an applied science of behaviour change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aunger, Robert; Curtis, Valerie

    2016-12-01

    Behaviour change has become a hot topic. We describe a new approach, Behaviour Centred Design (BCD), which encompasses a theory of change, a suite of behavioural determinants and a programme design process. The theory of change is generic, assuming that successful interventions must create a cascade of effects via environments, through brains, to behaviour and hence to the desired impact, such as improved health. Changes in behaviour are viewed as the consequence of a reinforcement learning process involving the targeting of evolved motives and changes to behaviour settings, and are produced by three types of behavioural control mechanism (automatic, motivated and executive). The implications are that interventions must create surprise, revalue behaviour and disrupt performance in target behaviour settings. We then describe a sequence of five steps required to design an intervention to change specific behaviours: Assess, Build, Create, Deliver and Evaluate. The BCD approach has been shown to change hygiene, nutrition and exercise-related behaviours and has the advantages of being applicable to product, service or institutional design, as well as being able to incorporate future developments in behaviour science. We therefore argue that BCD can become the foundation for an applied science of behaviour change.

  18. Translating Developmental Origins: Improving the Health of Women and Their Children Using a Sustainable Approach to Behaviour Change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Barker

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Theories of the developmental origins of health and disease imply that optimising the growth and development of babies is an essential route to improving the health of populations. A key factor in the growth of babies is the nutritional status of their mothers. Since women from more disadvantaged backgrounds have poorer quality diets and the worst pregnancy outcomes, they need to be a particular focus. The behavioural sciences have made a substantial contribution to the development of interventions to support dietary changes in disadvantaged women. Translation of such interventions into routine practice is an ideal that is rarely achieved, however. This paper illustrates how re-orientating health and social care services towards an empowerment approach to behaviour change might underpin a new developmental focus to improving long-term health, using learning from a community-based intervention to improve the diets and lifestyles of disadvantaged women. The Southampton Initiative for Health aimed to improve the diets and lifestyles of women of child-bearing age through training health and social care practitioners in skills to support behaviour change. Analysis illustrates the necessary steps in mounting such an intervention: building trust; matching agendas and changing culture. The Southampton Initiative for Health demonstrates that developing sustainable; workable interventions and effective community partnerships; requires commitment beginning long before intervention delivery but is key to the translation of developmental origins research into improvements in human health.

  19. Comparison of Batch Assay and Random Assay Using Automatic Dispenser in Radioimmunoassay

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moon, Seung Hwan; Jang, Su Jin; Kang, Ji Yeon; Lee, Dong Soo; Chung, June Key; Lee, Myung Chul [Seoul Metropolitan Government Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Ho Young; Shin, Sun Young; Min, Gyeong Sun; Lee, Hyun Joo [Seoul National University college of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2009-08-15

    Radioimmunoassay (RIA) was usually performed by the batch assay. To improve the efficiency of RIA without increase of the cost and time, random assay could be a choice. We investigated the possibility of the random assay using automatic dispenser by assessing the agreement between batch assay and random assay. The experiments were performed with four items; Triiodothyronine (T3), free thyroxine (fT4), Prostate specific antigen (PSA), Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). In each item, the sera of twenty patients, the standard, and the control samples were used. The measurements were done 4 times with 3 hour time intervals by random assay and batch assay. The coefficient of variation (CV) of the standard samples and patients' data in T3, fT4, PSA, and CEA were assessed. ICC (Intraclass correlation coefficient) and coefficient of correlation were measured to assessing the agreement between two methods. The CVs (%) of T3, fT4, PSA, and CEA measured by batch assay were 3.2+-1.7%, 3.9+-2.1%, 7.1+-6.2%, 11.2+-7.2%. The CVs by random assay were 2.1+-1.7%, 4.8+-3.1%, 3.6+-4.8%, and 7.4+-6.2%. The ICC between the batch assay and random assay were 0.9968 (T3), 0.9973 (fT4), 0.9996 (PSA), and 0.9901 (CEA). The coefficient of correlation between the batch assay and random assay were 0.9924(T3), 0.9974 (fT4), 0.9994 (PSA), and 0.9989 (CEA) (p<0.05). The results of random assay showed strong agreement with the batch assay in a day. These results suggest that random assay using automatic dispenser could be used in radioimmunoassay

  20. Comparison of Batch Assay and Random Assay Using Automatic Dispenser in Radioimmunoassay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moon, Seung Hwan; Jang, Su Jin; Kang, Ji Yeon; Lee, Dong Soo; Chung, June Key; Lee, Myung Chul; Lee, Ho Young; Shin, Sun Young; Min, Gyeong Sun; Lee, Hyun Joo

    2009-01-01

    Radioimmunoassay (RIA) was usually performed by the batch assay. To improve the efficiency of RIA without increase of the cost and time, random assay could be a choice. We investigated the possibility of the random assay using automatic dispenser by assessing the agreement between batch assay and random assay. The experiments were performed with four items; Triiodothyronine (T3), free thyroxine (fT4), Prostate specific antigen (PSA), Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). In each item, the sera of twenty patients, the standard, and the control samples were used. The measurements were done 4 times with 3 hour time intervals by random assay and batch assay. The coefficient of variation (CV) of the standard samples and patients' data in T3, fT4, PSA, and CEA were assessed. ICC (Intraclass correlation coefficient) and coefficient of correlation were measured to assessing the agreement between two methods. The CVs (%) of T3, fT4, PSA, and CEA measured by batch assay were 3.2±1.7%, 3.9±2.1%, 7.1±6.2%, 11.2±7.2%. The CVs by random assay were 2.1±1.7%, 4.8±3.1%, 3.6±4.8%, and 7.4±6.2%. The ICC between the batch assay and random assay were 0.9968 (T3), 0.9973 (fT4), 0.9996 (PSA), and 0.9901 (CEA). The coefficient of correlation between the batch assay and random assay were 0.9924(T3), 0.9974 (fT4), 0.9994 (PSA), and 0.9989 (CEA) (p<0.05). The results of random assay showed strong agreement with the batch assay in a day. These results suggest that random assay using automatic dispenser could be used in radioimmunoassay

  1. Does the Animal Fun program improve social-emotional and behavioural outcomes in children aged 4-6 years?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piek, Jan P; Kane, Robert; Rigoli, Daniela; McLaren, Sue; Roberts, Clare M; Rooney, Rosanna; Jensen, Lynn; Dender, Alma; Packer, Tanya; Straker, Leon

    2015-10-01

    Animal Fun was designed to enhance motor and social development in young children. Its efficacy in improving motor skills was presented previously using a randomised controlled trial and a multivariate nested cohort design. Based on the Environmental Stress Hypothesis, it was argued that the program would also result in positive mental health outcomes, investigated in the current study. Pre-intervention scores were recorded for 511 children aged 4.83-6.17 years (M=5.42, SD=.30). Intervention and control groups were compared 6 months following intervention, and again in their first school year. Changes in teacher-rated prosocial behaviour and total difficulties were assessed using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, and data analysed using Generalised Linear Mixed Models. There was a significant improvement in prosocial behaviour of children in the intervention group six months after initial testing, which remained at 18-month follow-up. Total difficulties decreased at 6 months for the intervention group, with no change at 18 months. This effect was present only for the hyperactivity/inattention subscale. The only significant change for the control group was an increase in hyperactivity/inattention scores from pre-intervention to 18-month follow-up. The Animal Fun program appears to be effective in improving social and behavioural outcomes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Behaviour Centred Design: towards an applied science of behaviour change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aunger, Robert; Curtis, Valerie

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Behaviour change has become a hot topic. We describe a new approach, Behaviour Centred Design (BCD), which encompasses a theory of change, a suite of behavioural determinants and a programme design process. The theory of change is generic, assuming that successful interventions must create a cascade of effects via environments, through brains, to behaviour and hence to the desired impact, such as improved health. Changes in behaviour are viewed as the consequence of a reinforcement learning process involving the targeting of evolved motives and changes to behaviour settings, and are produced by three types of behavioural control mechanism (automatic, motivated and executive). The implications are that interventions must create surprise, revalue behaviour and disrupt performance in target behaviour settings. We then describe a sequence of five steps required to design an intervention to change specific behaviours: Assess, Build, Create, Deliver and Evaluate. The BCD approach has been shown to change hygiene, nutrition and exercise-related behaviours and has the advantages of being applicable to product, service or institutional design, as well as being able to incorporate future developments in behaviour science. We therefore argue that BCD can become the foundation for an applied science of behaviour change. PMID:27535821

  3. [Improvement of sensitivity in the second generation HCV core antigen assay by a novel concentration method using polyethylene glycol (PEG)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higashimoto, Makiko; Takahashi, Masahiko; Jokyu, Ritsuko; Syundou, Hiromi; Saito, Hidetsugu

    2007-11-01

    A HCV core antigen (Ag) detection assay system, Lumipulse Ortho HCV Ag has been developed and is commercially available in Japan with a lower detection level limit of 50 fmol/l, which is equivalent to 20 KIU/ml in PCR quantitative assay. HCV core Ag assay has an advantage of broader dynamic range compared with PCR assay, however the sensitivity is lower than PCR. We developed a novel HCV core Ag concentration method using polyethylene glycol (PEG), which can improve the sensitivity five times better than the original assay. The reproducibility was examined by consecutive five-time measurement of HCV patients serum, in which the results of HCV core Ag original and concentrated method were 56.8 +/- 8.1 fmol/l (mean +/- SD), CV 14.2% and 322.9 +/- 45.5 fmol/l CV 14.0%, respectively. The assay results of HCV negative samples in original HCV core Ag were all 0.1 fmol/l and the results were same even in the concentration method. The results of concentration method were 5.7 times higher than original assay, which was almost equal to theoretical rate as expected. The assay results of serially diluted samples were also as same as expected data in both original and concentration assay. We confirmed that the sensitivity of HCV core Ag concentration method had almost as same sensitivity as PCR high range assay in the competitive assay study using the serially monitored samples of five HCV patients during interferon therapy. A novel concentration method using PEG in HCV core Ag assay system seems to be useful for assessing and monitoring interferon treatment for HCV.

  4. Reporting behaviour change interventions: do the behaviour change technique taxonomy v1, and training in its use, improve the quality of intervention descriptions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Caroline E; Hardeman, Wendy; Johnston, Marie; Francis, Jill; Abraham, Charles; Michie, Susan

    2016-06-07

    Behaviour change interventions are likely to be reproducible only if reported clearly. We assessed whether the behaviour change technique taxonomy version 1 (BCTTv1), with and without training in identifying BCTs, improves the clarity and replicability of written reports of observed behaviour change interventions. Three studies assessed effects of using and training in the use of BCTTv1 on the clarity and replicability of intervention descriptions written after observing videos of smoking cessation interventions. Study 1 examined the effects of using and not using BCTTv1. Study 2 examined the effects of using BCTTv1 and training in use of BCTTv1 compared no use and no training. Study 3 employed a within-group design to assess change in descriptions written before and after training. One-hundred and 66 'writers' watched videos of behaviour change interventions and wrote descriptions of the active components delivered. In all studies, the participants' written descriptions were evaluated by (i) 12 'raters' (untrained in BCTTv1) for clarity and replicability and (ii) 12 'coders' (trained in BCTTv1) for reliability of BCT coding. Writers rated the usability and accessibility of using BCTTv1 to write descriptions. Ratings of clarity and replicability did not differ between groups in study 1 (all ps > 0.05), were poorer for trained users in study 2 (all ps < 0.01) and improved following training in study 3 (all ps < 0.05). BCT identification was more reliable from descriptions written by trained BCTTv1 users (p < 0.05; study 2) but not simple use of BCTTv1 (p = 0.93; study 1) or by writers who had written a description without BCTTv1, before training (p = 0.50; study 3). Writers reported that using BCTTv1 was difficult but 'useful', 'good' and 'desirable' and that their descriptions would be clear and replicable (all means above mid-point of the scale). Effects of training to use BCTTv1 on the quality of written reports of observed interventions

  5. An improved method for staining cell colonies in clonogenic assays

    OpenAIRE

    Guda, Kishore; Natale, Leanna; Markowitz, Sanford D.

    2007-01-01

    Clonogenic assay is a widely used experimental approach to test for the effects of drugs/genes on the growth and proliferative characteristics of cells in vitro. Accurate quantitation of treatment effects in clonogeneic assays depends on the ability to visualize and count cell colonies precisely. We report a novel method (referred as ETeB) for staining cell colonies grown on plastic and specially coated substrates like collagen. Using colon cancer cell lines grown on plastic and collagen, we ...

  6. Towards improved behavioural testing in aquatic toxicology: Acclimation and observation times are important factors when designing behavioural tests with fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melvin, Steven D; Petit, Marie A; Duvignacq, Marion C; Sumpter, John P

    2017-08-01

    The quality and reproducibility of science has recently come under scrutiny, with criticisms spanning disciplines. In aquatic toxicology, behavioural tests are currently an area of controversy since inconsistent findings have been highlighted and attributed to poor quality science. The problem likely relates to limitations to our understanding of basic behavioural patterns, which can influence our ability to design statistically robust experiments yielding ecologically relevant data. The present study takes a first step towards understanding baseline behaviours in fish, including how basic choices in experimental design might influence behavioural outcomes and interpretations in aquatic toxicology. Specifically, we explored how fish acclimate to behavioural arenas and how different lengths of observation time impact estimates of basic swimming parameters (i.e., average, maximum and angular velocity). We performed a semi-quantitative literature review to place our findings in the context of the published literature describing behavioural tests with fish. Our results demonstrate that fish fundamentally change their swimming behaviour over time, and that acclimation and observational timeframes may therefore have implications for influencing both the ecological relevance and statistical robustness of behavioural toxicity tests. Our review identified 165 studies describing behavioural responses in fish exposed to various stressors, and revealed that the majority of publications documenting fish behavioural responses report extremely brief acclimation times and observational durations, which helps explain inconsistencies identified across studies. We recommend that researchers applying behavioural tests with fish, and other species, apply a similar framework to better understand baseline behaviours and the implications of design choices for influencing study outcomes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Biomonitoring of genotoxic risk in radar facility workers: comparison of the comet assay with micronucleus assay and chromatid breakage assay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garaj-Vrhovac, V.; Kopjar, N.

    2003-01-01

    Genotoxic risks of occupational exposure in a radar facility were evaluated by using alkaline comet assay, micronucleus assay and chromatid breakage assay on peripheral blood leukocytes in exposed subjects and corresponding controls. Results show that occupational exposure to microwave radiation correlates with an increase of genome damage in somatic cells. The levels of DNA damage in exposed subjects determined by using alkaline comet assay were increased compared to control and showed interindividual variations. Incidence of micronuclei was also significantly increased compared to baseline control values. After short exposure of cultured lymphocytes to bleomycin, cells of occupationally exposed subjects responded with high numbers of chromatid breaks. Although the level of chromosome damage generated by bleomycin varied greatly between individuals, in exposed subjects a significantly elevated number of chromatid breaks was observed. Our results support data reported in literature indicating that microwave radiation represents a potential DNA-damaging hazard. Alkaline comet assay is confirmed as a sensitive and highly reproducible technique for detection of primary DNA damage inflicted in somatic cells. Micronucleus assay was confirmed as reliable bio-markers of effect and chromatid breakage assay as sensitive bio-marker of individual cancer susceptibility. The results obtained also confirm the necessity to improve measures and to perform accurate health surveillance of individuals occupationally exposed to microwave radiation

  8. RAPID COMMUNICATION: Improving prediction accuracy of GPS satellite clocks with periodic variation behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heo, Youn Jeong; Cho, Jeongho; Heo, Moon Beom

    2010-07-01

    The broadcast ephemeris and IGS ultra-rapid predicted (IGU-P) products are primarily available for use in real-time GPS applications. The IGU orbit precision has been remarkably improved since late 2007, but its clock products have not shown acceptably high-quality prediction performance. One reason for this fact is that satellite atomic clocks in space can be easily influenced by various factors such as temperature and environment and this leads to complicated aspects like periodic variations, which are not sufficiently described by conventional models. A more reliable prediction model is thus proposed in this paper in order to be utilized particularly in describing the periodic variation behaviour satisfactorily. The proposed prediction model for satellite clocks adds cyclic terms to overcome the periodic effects and adopts delay coordinate embedding, which offers the possibility of accessing linear or nonlinear coupling characteristics like satellite behaviour. The simulation results have shown that the proposed prediction model outperforms the IGU-P solutions at least on a daily basis.

  9. Self-regulationandthe intention behaviour gap: Exploring dietary behaviours in university students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullan, Barbara; Allom, Vanessa; Brogan, Amy; Kothe, Emily; Todd, Jemma

    2013-10-25

    The aim of this study was to explore whether two aspects of self-regulation (impulsivityand temporal orientation) could reduce the intention-behaviour gap for two dietary behaviours: fruit and vegetable consumption and saturated fat consumption. Australian undergraduate students(N=154)completed questionnaires (the Barrattimpulsivenessscale and the consideration of future consequences scale) and intention measures, and one week later behaviour was measured using the Block food screener.After controlling for demographics, intention was associated withfruit and vegetable consumption, but the self-regulation measures did notfurther improve the variance accounted for. For saturated fat, gender was associated with consumption, such that males tended to consume more saturated fat. Intention was significantly associated with consumption, and impulsivity further improved the model such that those who were more impulsive tended to consume more saturated fat. These findings suggest that health protective and health risk behaviours, such as those investigated in the current study, may have different determinants. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. Assay system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patzke, J.B.; Rosenberg, B.J.

    1984-01-01

    The accuracy of assays for monitoring concentrations of basic drugs in biological fluids containing a 1 -acid glycoproteins, such as blood (serum or plasma), is improved by the addition of certain organic phosphate compounds to minimize the ''protein effect.'' Kits containing the elements of the invention are also disclosed

  11. Development and validation of a behavioural assay to measure the tolerance of Hediste diversicolor to copper

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burlinson, Frazer C.; Lawrence, Andrew J.

    2007-01-01

    The behaviour of Hediste diversicolor from the Humber was investigated under different concentrations of copper sulphate. A range of behaviours were indicative of metal-stress. These included consistent attempts at burrowing, eversion of the proboscis and abnormal crawling. The bioassay itself consisted of exposing worms to increasing concentrations of copper sulphate and recording the concentration at which a stress response was elicited. The behavioural end-points were shown to be a good predictor of time of death of Fal estuary worms under acutely toxic conditions. The bioassay would therefore allow the separation of tolerance phenotypes without mortality to the worm. Worms were not affected by consecutive bioassays and it was proposed that tolerance to more than one metal could be determined for individual worms. - A non-destructive behavioural bioassay is developed to determine the copper tolerance of ragworms

  12. Cluster randomised controlled trial of a consumer behaviour intervention to improve healthy food purchases from online canteens: study protocol

    OpenAIRE

    Delaney, Tessa; Wyse, Rebecca; Yoong, Sze Lin; Sutherland, Rachel; Wiggers, John; Ball, Kylie; Campbell, Karen; Rissel, Chris; Wolfenden, Luke

    2017-01-01

    Introduction School canteens represent an opportune setting in which to deliver public health nutrition strategies given their wide reach, and frequent use by children. Online school canteen ordering systems, where students order and pay for their lunch online, provide an avenue to improve healthy canteen purchases through the application of consumer behaviour strategies that impact on purchasing decisions. The aim of this study is to assess the efficacy of a consumer behaviour intervention i...

  13. A randomised controlled trial of a theory-based intervention to improve sun protective behaviour in adolescents ('you can still be HOT in the shade': study protocol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hawkes Anna L

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most skin cancers are preventable by encouraging consistent use of sun protective behaviour. In Australia, adolescents have high levels of knowledge and awareness of the risks of skin cancer but exhibit significantly lower sun protection behaviours than adults. There is limited research aimed at understanding why people do or do not engage in sun protective behaviour, and an associated absence of theory-based interventions to improve sun safe behaviour. This paper presents the study protocol for a school-based intervention which aims to improve the sun safe behaviour of adolescents. Methods/design Approximately 400 adolescents (aged 12-17 years will be recruited through Queensland, Australia public and private schools and randomized to the intervention (n = 200 or 'wait-list' control group (n = 200. The intervention focuses on encouraging supportive sun protective attitudes and beliefs, fostering perceptions of normative support for sun protection behaviour, and increasing perceptions of control/self-efficacy over using sun protection. It will be delivered during three × one hour sessions over a three week period from a trained facilitator during class time. Data will be collected one week pre-intervention (Time 1, and at one week (Time 2 and four weeks (Time 3 post-intervention. Primary outcomes are intentions to sun protect and sun protection behaviour. Secondary outcomes include attitudes toward performing sun protective behaviours (i.e., attitudes, perceptions of normative support to sun protect (i.e., subjective norms, group norms, and image norms, and perceived control over performing sun protective behaviours (i.e., perceived behavioural control. Discussion The study will provide valuable information about the effectiveness of the intervention in improving the sun protective behaviour of adolescents.

  14. [Improvement of local lymph node assay for cosmetics safety evaluation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhen; Liu, Junping; Wang, Fei; Xu, Guifeng; Hou, Juan; Wan, Xuying; Zhang, Tianbao

    2009-09-01

    To improve the local lymph node assay (LLNA) as an alternative method to detect chemicals for both sensitization and irritation. The following chemicals: one negative control: 4-Aminobenzoic Acid, three sensitizers: 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB), Hexyl cinnamic aldehyde (HCA), 2-Aminophenol (2-APC) and two irritations: potassium hydroxide (KOH), sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) were selected. According to the normal LLNA, groups of female Balb/c mice were treated with test solutions. The thickness of each ear was measured and each auricle was weighed. On the sixth day, the bilateral draining auricular lymph nodes were excised and weighed. The single cell suspensions were prepared, the lymphocyte were counted and the proliferations of lymph cells were detected by cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8). Significant increase in ear thickness and weight were found in groups of KOH, SLS and DNCB (above 0.5%) (P LLNA using auricle thickness and weighing as observed markers for irritation, and using lymph nodes weighing and proliferation of lymphocyte as observed markers for sensitization, could evaluate both sensitization and irritation at the same time.

  15. Harmonization of radiobiological assays: why and how?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prasanna, Pataje G.

    2014-01-01

    The International Atomic Energy Agency has made available a technical manual for cytogenetic biodosimetry assays (dicentric chromosome aberration (DCA) and cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assays) used for radiation dose assessment in radiation accidents. The International Standardization Organization, which develops standards and guidelines, also provides an avenue for laboratory accreditation, has developed guidelines and recommendations for performing cytogenetic biodosimetry assays. Harmonization of DCA and CBMN assays, has improved their accuracy. Double-blinded inter-laboratory comparison studies involving several networks have further validated DCA and CBMN assays and improved the confidence in their potential use for radiation dose assessment in mass casualties. This kind of international harmonization is lacking for pre-clinical radiobiology assays. The widely used pre-clinical assays that are relatively important to set stage for clinical trials include clonogenic assays, flow-cytometry assays, apoptotic assays, and tumor regression and growth delay assays. However, significant inter-laboratory variations occur with respect to data among laboratories. This raises concerns on the reliability and reproducibility of preclinical data that drives further development and translation. Lack of reproducibility may stem from a variety of factors such as poor scientist training, less than optimal experimental design, inadequate description of methodology, and impulse to publish only the positive data etc. Availability of technical manuals, standard operating procedures, accreditation avenues for laboratories performing such assays, inter-laboratory comparisons, and use of standardized protocols are necessary to enhance reliability and reproducibility. Thus, it is important that radiobiological assays are harmonized for laboratory protocols to ensure successful translation of pre-clinical research on radiation effect modulators to help design clinic trials with

  16. Improving the efficiency of cognitive-behavioural therapy by using formal client feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janse, Pauline D; De Jong, Kim; Van Dijk, Maarten K; Hutschemaekers, Giel J M; Verbraak, Marc J P M

    2017-09-01

    Feedback from clients on their view of progress and the therapeutic relationship can improve effectiveness and efficiency of psychological treatments in general. However, what the added value is of client feedback specifically within cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), is not known. Therefore, the extent to which the outcome of CBT can be improved is investigated by providing feedback from clients to therapists using the Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) and Session Rating Scale (SRS). Outpatients (n = 1006) of a Dutch mental health organization either participated in the "treatment as usual" (TAU) condition, or in Feedback condition of the study. Clients were invited to fill in the ORS and SRS and in the Feedback condition therapists were asked to frequently discuss client feedback. Outcome on the SCL-90 was only improved specifically with mood disorders in the Feedback condition. Also, in the Feedback condition, in terms of process, the total number of required treatment sessions was on average two sessions fewer. Frequently asking feedback from clients using the ORS/SRS does not necessarily result in a better treatment outcome in CBT. However, for an equal treatment outcome significantly fewer sessions are needed within the Feedback condition, thus improving efficiency of CBT.

  17. Hormone assay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eisentraut, A.M.

    1977-01-01

    An improved radioimmunoassay is described for measuring total triiodothyronine or total thyroxine levels in a sample of serum containing free endogenous thyroid hormone and endogenous thyroid hormone bound to thyroid hormone binding protein. The thyroid hormone is released from the protein by adding hydrochloric acid to the serum. The pH of the separated thyroid hormone and thyroid hormone binding protein is raised in the absence of a blocking agent without interference from the endogenous protein. 125 I-labelled thyroid hormone and thyroid hormone antibodies are added to the mixture, allowing the labelled and unlabelled thyroid hormone and the thyroid hormone antibody to bind competitively. This results in free thyroid hormone being separated from antibody bound thyroid hormone and thus the unknown quantity of thyroid hormone may be determined. A thyroid hormone test assay kit is described for this radioimmunoassay. It provides a 'single tube' assay which does not require blocking agents for endogenous protein interference nor an external solid phase sorption step for the separation of bound and free hormone after the competitive binding step; it also requires a minimum number of manipulative steps. Examples of the assay are given to illustrate the reproducibility, linearity and specificity of the assay. (UK)

  18. Employees Use Of Empathy To Improve Their Job Behaviour

    OpenAIRE

    Prakash Singh

    2014-01-01

    Being simply cognitively capable would be inadequate for employees to satisfy job performance requirements associated with their job behaviour. Before an employee performs his job, he must understand what it entails because the activities and behaviours associated with a particular job are defined largely by the expectations and demands of other people, both inside and outside any organization. For instance, a teachers role is defined by the expectations of his or her pupils, their parents, s...

  19. Performance characteristics of the ARCHITECT anti-HCV assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonas, Gesa; Pelzer, Claudia; Beckert, Christian; Hausmann, Michael; Kapprell, Hans-Peter

    2005-10-01

    The ARCHITECT Anti-HCV assay is a fully automated high throughput chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay (CMIA) for the detection of antibodies to structural and nonstructural proteins of the hepatitis C virus (HCV). To further enhance the performance of this test, the assay was modified to improve the specificity for blood donor specimens. The specificity of the enhanced ARCHITECT Anti-HCV assay was evaluated by screening blood donor samples randomly collected from various German blood banks, as well as hospitalized patient samples derived from Germany and the US. Additionally, antibody sensitivity was determined on commercially available anti-HCV seroconversion panels and on a commercially available worldwide anti-HCV genotype performance panel. Apparent specificity of the modified ARCHITECT Anti-HCV assay in a blood donor population consisting of 3811 specimens was 99.92%, compared to 99.76% for the current on-market assay. Additionally, antibody sensitivity was determined on commercially available anti-HCV seroconversion panels. Seroconversion sensitivity equivalent to or better than the current on-market product was observed by testing 33 seroconversion panels. This study demonstrates that the modified version of the ARCHITECT Anti-HCV assay shows improved specificity for blood donor specimens compared to the current assay on market without compromising sensitivity. With the availability of the improved ARCHITECT Anti-HCV assay and the recent launch of the ARCHITECT HIV Ag/Ab Combo assay, the ARCHITECT system now offers a full hepatitis/retrovirus menu with excellent performance on a high throughput, random access, automated analyzer, ideally suited for blood screening and diagnostic applications.

  20. Does Academic Training Change Intentions? Drawing upon the Theory of Planned Behaviour to Improve Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodge, Brad; Wright, Brad; Bennett, Pauleen

    2017-01-01

    In order to improve transfer following training, it is important to understand what the training alters for each individual. We sought to develop a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms implicated in successful training. A questionnaire modelled on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (ToPB) was used to compare two distinct, academic skills…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-15

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

  2. Improved mass spectrometry assay for plasma hepcidin: detection and characterization of a novel hepcidin isoform.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coby M M Laarakkers

    Full Text Available Mass spectrometry (MS-based assays for the quantification of the iron regulatory hormone hepcidin are pivotal to discriminate between the bioactive 25-amino acid form that can effectively block the sole iron transporter ferroportin and other naturally occurring smaller isoforms without a known role in iron metabolism. Here we describe the design, validation and use of a novel stable hepcidin-25(+40 isotope as internal standard for quantification. Importantly, the relative large mass shift of 40 Da makes this isotope also suitable for easy-to-use medium resolution linear time-of-flight (TOF platforms. As expected, implementation of hepcidin-25(+40 as internal standard in our weak cation exchange (WCX TOF MS method yielded very low inter/intra run coefficients of variation. Surprisingly, however, in samples from kidney disease patients, we detected a novel peak (m/z 2673.9 with low intensity that could be identified as hepcidin-24 and had previously remained unnoticed due to peak interference with the formerly used internal standard. Using a cell-based bioassay it was shown that synthetic hepcidin-24 was, like the -22 and -20 isoforms, a significantly less potent inducer of ferroportin degradation than hepcidin-25. During prolonged storage of plasma at room temperature, we observed that a decrease in plasma hepcidin-25 was paralleled by an increase in the levels of the hepcidin-24, -22 and -20 isoforms. This provides first evidence that all determinants for the conversion of hepcidin-25 to smaller inactive isoforms are present in the circulation, which may contribute to the functional suppression of hepcidin-25, that is significantly elevated in patients with renal impairment. The present update of our hepcidin TOF MS assay together with improved insights in the source and preparation of the internal standard, and sample stability will further improve our understanding of circulating hepcidin and pave the way towards further optimization and

  3. Balanced: a randomised trial examining the efficacy of two self-monitoring methods for an app-based multi-behaviour intervention to improve physical activity, sitting and sleep in adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mitch J. Duncan

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many adults are insufficiently physically active, have prolonged sedentary behaviour and report poor sleep. These behaviours can be improved by interventions that include education, goal setting, self-monitoring, and feedback strategies. Few interventions have explicitly targeted these behaviours simultaneously or examined the relative efficacy of different self-monitoring methods. Methods/Design This study aims to compare the efficacy of two self-monitoring methods in an app-based multi-behaviour intervention to improve objectively measured physical activity, sedentary, and sleep behaviours, in a 9 week 2–arm randomised trial. Participants will be adults (n = 64 who report being physically inactive, sitting >8 h/day and frequent insufficient sleep (≥14 days out of last 30. The “Balanced” intervention is delivered via a smartphone ‘app’, and includes education materials (guidelines, strategies to promote change in behaviour, goal setting, self-monitoring and feedback support. Participants will be randomly allocated to either a device-entered or user-entered self-monitoring method. The device-entered group will be provided with a activity tracker to self-monitor behaviours. The user-entered group will recall and manually record behaviours. Assessments will be conducted at 0, 3, 6, and 9 weeks. Physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep-wake behaviours will be measured using the wrist worn Geneactiv accelerometer. Linear mixed models will be used to examine differences between groups and over time using an alpha of 0.01. Discussion This study will evaluate an app-based multi-behavioural intervention to improve physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep; and the relative efficacy of two different approaches to self-monitoring these behaviours. Outcomes will provide information to inform future interventions and self-monitoring targeting these behaviours. Trial registration ACTRN12615000182594

  4. Balanced: a randomised trial examining the efficacy of two self-monitoring methods for an app-based multi-behaviour intervention to improve physical activity, sitting and sleep in adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, Mitch J; Vandelanotte, Corneel; Trost, Stewart G; Rebar, Amanda L; Rogers, Naomi; Burton, Nicola W; Murawski, Beatrice; Rayward, Anna; Fenton, Sasha; Brown, Wendy J

    2016-07-30

    Many adults are insufficiently physically active, have prolonged sedentary behaviour and report poor sleep. These behaviours can be improved by interventions that include education, goal setting, self-monitoring, and feedback strategies. Few interventions have explicitly targeted these behaviours simultaneously or examined the relative efficacy of different self-monitoring methods. This study aims to compare the efficacy of two self-monitoring methods in an app-based multi-behaviour intervention to improve objectively measured physical activity, sedentary, and sleep behaviours, in a 9 week 2-arm randomised trial. Participants will be adults (n = 64) who report being physically inactive, sitting >8 h/day and frequent insufficient sleep (≥14 days out of last 30). The "Balanced" intervention is delivered via a smartphone 'app', and includes education materials (guidelines, strategies to promote change in behaviour), goal setting, self-monitoring and feedback support. Participants will be randomly allocated to either a device-entered or user-entered self-monitoring method. The device-entered group will be provided with a activity tracker to self-monitor behaviours. The user-entered group will recall and manually record behaviours. Assessments will be conducted at 0, 3, 6, and 9 weeks. Physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep-wake behaviours will be measured using the wrist worn Geneactiv accelerometer. Linear mixed models will be used to examine differences between groups and over time using an alpha of 0.01. This study will evaluate an app-based multi-behavioural intervention to improve physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep; and the relative efficacy of two different approaches to self-monitoring these behaviours. Outcomes will provide information to inform future interventions and self-monitoring targeting these behaviours. ACTRN12615000182594 (Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry. Registry URL: www.anzctr.org.au ; registered

  5. Group-based parent-training programmes for improving emotional and behavioural adjustment in children from birth to three years old.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, Jane; Smailagic, Nadja; Ferriter, Michael; Bennett, Cathy; Jones, Hannah

    2010-03-17

    Emotional and behavioural problems in children are common. Research suggests that parenting has an important role to play in helping children to become well-adjusted, and that the first few months and years are especially important. Parenting programmes may have a role to play in improving the emotional and behavioural adjustment of infants and toddlers. This review is applicable to parents and carers of children up to three years eleven months although some studies included children up to five years old. To:a) establish whether group-based parenting programmes are effective in improving the emotional and behavioural adjustment of children three years of age or less (i.e. maximum mean age of 3 years 11 months); b) assess the role of parenting programmes in the primary prevention of emotional and behavioural problems. We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Sociofile, Social Science Citation Index, ASSIA, National Research Register (NRR) and ERIC. The searches were originally run in 2000 and then updated in 2007/8. Randomised controlled trials of group-based parenting programmes that had used at least one standardised instrument to measure emotional and behavioural adjustment. The results for each outcome in each study have been presented, with 95% confidence intervals. Where appropriate the results have been combined in a meta-analysis using a random-effects model. Eight studies were included in the review. There were sufficient data from six studies to combine the results in a meta-analysis for parent-reports and from three studies to combine the results for independent assessments of children's behaviour post-intervention. There was in addition, sufficient information from three studies to conduct a meta-analysis of both parent-report and independent follow-up data. Both parent-report (SMD -0.25; CI -0.45 to -0.06), and independent observations (SMD -0.54; CI -0.84 to -0.23) of children's behaviour produce significant results favouring the

  6. Validation of an improved enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the diagnosis of trypanosomal antibodies in Ghanaian cattle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doku, C.K.; Seidu, I.B.M.

    2000-01-01

    The validation of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Ab-ELISA) for the detection of antibodies to pathogenic trypanosomes in cattle is described. Two hundred known negative sera obtained from the tsetse-free zone of Dori (Burkina Faso) were analyzed using microtitre plates pre-coated with crude antigen lysates of Trypanosoma congolense and T. vivax. A pre-test optimization was carried out and a percent positivity (PP) of 50% was chosen (specificity: >82%) for assaying field sera. A total of 440 serum samples collected from cattle in areas of known and unknown disease prevalence were assayed. For all animals the packed red cell volume (PCV) was determined and the buffy coat technique (BCT) and blood smears were examined to detect trypanosomes at the species level. A comparison of the BCT and Ab-ELISA results showed there was a much higher prevalence of antibodies to both species than the parasite prevalence as shown by the BCT (10 fold). The rate of agreement between BCT-positive and Ab-ELISA-positive samples for both species was low (<10%). No conclusion could be drawn from this finding because of the low number of known BCT positive cases that were identified. There was a better, albeit highly variable, agreement between BCT-negative and Ab-ELISA-negative samples (30-70%). Proposals for further improvement of the Ab-ELISA and prospects for the use of the assay in the monitoring of trypanosomosis control in Ghana are discussed. (author)

  7. Self-regulation and the intention behaviour gap. Exploring dietary behaviours in university students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullan, Barbara; Allom, Vanessa; Brogan, Amy; Kothe, Emily; Todd, Jemma

    2014-02-01

    The aim of this study was to explore whether two aspects of self-regulation (impulsivity and temporal orientation) could reduce the intention–behaviour gap for two dietary behaviours: fruit and vegetable consumption and saturated fat consumption. Australian undergraduate students (N = 154) completed questionnaires (the Barratt impulsiveness scale and the consideration of future consequences scale) and intention measures, and 1 week later behaviour was measured using the Block rapid food screener. After controlling for demographics, intention was associated with fruit and vegetable consumption, but the self-regulation measures did not further improve the variance accounted for. For saturated fat, gender was associated with consumption, such that males tended to consume more saturated fat. Intention was significantly associated with consumption, and impulsivity further improved the model such that those who were more impulsive tended to consume more saturated fat. These findings suggest that health protective and health risk behaviours, such as those investigated in the current study, may have different determinants.

  8. The redox behaviour of diazepam (Valium®) using a disposable screen-printed sensor and its determination in drinks using a novel adsorptive stripping voltammetric assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honeychurch, Kevin C; Crew, Adrian; Northall, Hannah; Radbourne, Stuart; Davies, Owian; Newman, Sam; Hart, John P

    2013-11-15

    In this study we investigated the possibility of applying disposable electrochemical screen-printed carbon sensors for the rapid identification and quantitative determination of diazepam in beverages. This was achieved utilising a previously unreported oxidation peak. The origin of this peak was investigated further by cyclic voltammetry and gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy. At pH 6 the voltammetric behaviour of this oxidation process was found to involve adsorption of the drug allowing for the development of an adsorptive stripping voltammetric assay. Experimental conditions were then optimised for the determination of diazepam in a beverage sample using a medium exchange technique. It was shown that no elaborate extraction procedures were required as the calibration plots obtained in the absence and presence of the beverage were very similar. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Gregarious settlement in cypris larvae: the effects of cyprid age and assay duration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Head, R.M.; Berntsson, K.M.; Dahlström, M.; Overbeke, J.C.; Thomason, J.C.

    2004-01-01

    Gregarious behaviour of marine larvae is perhaps most clearly associated with finding a suitable habitat in a changeable or restricted environment, or with finding other conspecifics with which to mate. Prior work has shown that in settlement assays using cypris larvae of the barnacle Balanus

  10. Diagnostic sensitivity of two radio receptor assays (TRAK Assay and TRAK Dyno human) for the detection of TSH receptor antibodies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paunkovic, N.; Paunkovic, J.

    2003-01-01

    Radio receptor assays for the detection of TSH receptor antibodies in serum are typically based on binding the competition of TSH-R antibodies and 125I -labelled-TSH for membrane preparation of thyrocytes (TBII tests). The sensitivity of the available tests utilizing porcine cell membranes was found to be around 80%. A new test (TRAK Dyno human, BRAHMS) utilizes human recombinant TSH receptor and human standard material that is supposed to improve the performance of the test. We have compared the results of these two assays. The sensitivity of the TRAK Assay tested in 356 patients with untreated Grave's disease was found to be 85%, and 97.5% for TRAK Dyno human in 111 newly diagnosed patients. Both tests were performed from the same serum specimen for 60 of the investigated patients. The TRAK Assay was positive in 50 patients (83.2%) and TRAK Dyno human in 59 patients (98.3%). The specificity of the new radio receptor assay was also improved. (author)

  11. Effect of dietary behaviour modification on anthropometric indices and eating behaviour in obese adolescent girls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabet Sarvestani, Raheleh; Jamalfard, Mohammad Hoseein; Kargar, Marziye; Kaveh, Mohammad Hoseein; Tabatabaee, Hamid Reza

    2009-08-01

    This paper is a report of a study conducted to evaluate the effects of behaviour modification on anthropometric indices and to explore if behaviour modification could improve eating behaviour in adolescents. Obesity is currently the most important nutritional disease of children and adolescents. To date, several attempts to achieve weight loss in children have been made, but little is known about their effects on improving eating behaviours. Sixty obese adolescent girls participated in a behaviour modification program which was held for 16 weeks in 2007. The participants were randomly selected from two different schools and were assigned to an experimental and control group (30 participants each). Anthropometric indices and eating behaviours were assessed before and after the program. Eating behaviour was assessed using the Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire. There were statistically significant differences in changes in body weight (-2.75 kg vs. 0.62 kg), body mass index (-1.07 kg/m(2) vs. 0.24 kg/m(2)) and arm circumference (-2.31 cm vs. 0.5 cm) in the experimental group in contrast to controls (P behaviour, emotional eating (0.63, 0.17), external eating (0.99, 0.05) and restrained eating (0.72, 0.03) in the experimental vs. the control group respectively (P < 0.001). Nurses, more than other healthcare professionals, can address obesity in adolescents and they should not concentrate solely on weight reduction, but also encourage children to acquire a healthy lifestyle.

  12. Nitrogen contribution to tribological behaviour improvement of titanium alloys

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Corre, Y.; Lebrun, J.P.; Douet, M.

    1996-01-01

    Titanium an titanium alloys are more used materials in mechanical applications. A low density and very interesting mechanical characteristics present these materials as a first choice in many fields (aeronautics, automobile precision mechanics, biomedical...). Nevertheless, their poor tribological qualities often negate them as a friction surface. Modifying their surface properties is thus a real concern. The introduction of nitrogen on the surface enables a significant improvement to the tribological behaviour of these materials. Nitrogen ionic implantation is a technique used in titanium alloy surface treatment. Industrial applications of this process are numerous (biomedical, aeronautics...) but the limitations its (essentially treatment depth) prevent its use in certain cases. The increase in treatment temperature can overcome these limitations. Thus, the analysis of the properties obtained after treatment at various temperatures (20 deg. C) enables us to find the best compromise between metallurgic, geometrical properties (surface condition, deformation) and friction properties. This compromise enables us to solve a majority of tribological problems of titanium alloys. (authors). 7 refs., 10 figs., 2 tabs., 1 photo

  13. [Evaluation of serum PIVKA-II by Lumipulse PrestoII assay].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiramatsu, Kumiko; Tanaka, Yasuhito; Takagi, Kazumi; Kani, Satomi; Goto, Takaaki; Takasaka, Yoshimitsu; Matsuura, Kentaro; Sugauchi, Fuminaka; Moriyama, Kazushige; Murakami, Hiroshi; Kitajima, Sachiko; Mizokami, Masashi

    2009-03-01

    Measurements of serum concentrations of Des-gamma-carboxy Prothrombin (PIVKA-II) are widely used for diagnosing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Recently, in Lumipulsef assay, it was reported that antibodies against alkaline phosphatase (ALP) derived from anti bleeding sheets led false high values of PIVKA-II in the patients with HCC resection. To improve the previous issue, newly developed Lumipulse PrestoII assay was examined. (1) The assay was reliable and positively correlated with the previous assays (Lumipulse f and Picolumi, R = 0.997 and 0.994 (n=115), respectively). (2) Eleven cases, which had false high values of PIVKA-II by the Lumipulsef assay, were examined by the PrestoII assay with excess of inactive ALP. The false high values of 10 cases were improved, but only one was still high. False reactivity of this case was stronger than other cases, more effective adsorption was required. (3) Comparing the absorbent activity of inactive ALP among 6 different kinds, we found inactive ALP with much higher adsorbent activity. When this inactive ALP was applied to assay, false high values of PIVKA-II were improved in all 11 cases. In conclusion, the PrestoII assay, which applies the inactive ALP with high activity, is reliable and useful for clinical screening.

  14. Feeding behaviour of Caenorhabditis elegans is an indicator of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shawn Lewenza

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans is commonly used as an infection model for pathogenesis studies in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The standard virulence assays rely on the slow and fast killing or paralysis of nematodes but here we developed a behaviour assay to monitor the preferred bacterial food sources of C. elegans. We monitored the food preferences of nematodes fed the wild type PAO1 and mutants in the type III secretion (T3S system, which is a conserved mechanism to inject secreted effectors into the host cell cytosol. A ΔexsEΔpscD mutant defective for type III secretion served as a preferred food source, while an ΔexsE mutant that overexpresses the T3S effectors was avoided. Both food sources were ingested and observed in the gastrointestinal tract. Using the slow killing assay, we showed that the ΔexsEΔpscD had reduced virulence and thus confirmed that preferred food sources are less virulent than the wild type. Next we developed a high throughput feeding behaviour assay with 48 possible food colonies in order to screen a transposon mutant library and identify potential virulence genes. C. elegans identified and consumed preferred food colonies from a grid of 48 choices. The mutants identified as preferred food sources included known virulence genes, as well as novel genes not identified in previous C. elegans infection studies. Slow killing assays were performed and confirmed that several preferred food sources also showed reduced virulence. We propose that C. elegans feeding behaviour can be used as a sensitive indicator of virulence for P. aeruginosa PAO1.

  15. Genetic mouse embryo assay: improving performance and quality testing for assisted reproductive technology (ART) with a functional bioassay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Rebecca S; Nunez, Brandy; Sakurai, Kumi; Fielder, Thomas; Ni, Hsiao-Tzu

    2016-03-24

    Growing concerns about safety of ART on human gametes, embryos, clinical outcomes and long-term health of offspring require improved methods of risk assessment to provide functionally relevant assays for quality control testing and pre-clinical studies prior to clinical implementation. The one-cell mouse embryo assay (MEA) is the most widely used for development and quality testing of human ART products; however, concerns exist due to the insensitivity/variability of this bioassay which lacks standardization and involves subjective analysis by morphology alone rather than functional analysis of the developing embryos. We hypothesized that improvements to MEA by the use of functional molecular biomarkers could enhance sensitivity and improve detection of suboptimal materials/conditions. Fresh one-cell transgenic mouse embryos with green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression driven by Pou6f1 or Cdx2 control elements were harvested and cultured to blastocysts in varied test and control conditions to compare assessment by standard morphology alone versus the added dynamic expression of GFP for screening and selection of critical raw materials and detection of suboptimal culture conditions. Transgenic mouse embryos expressing functionally relevant biomarkers of normal early embryo development can be used to monitor the developmental impact of culture conditions. This novel approach provides a superior MEA that is more meaningful and sensitive for detection of embryotoxicity than morphological assessment alone.

  16. Phenotypic variability in unicellular organisms: from calcium signalling to social behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, David; Nicolis, Stamatios C; Perez-Escudero, Alfonso; Nanjundiah, Vidyanand; Sumpter, David J T; Dussutour, Audrey

    2015-11-22

    Historically, research has focused on the mean and often neglected the variance. However, variability in nature is observable at all scales: among cells within an individual, among individuals within a population and among populations within a species. A fundamental quest in biology now is to find the mechanisms that underlie variability. Here, we investigated behavioural variability in a unique unicellular organism, Physarum polycephalum. We combined experiments and models to show that variability in cell signalling contributes to major differences in behaviour underpinning some aspects of social interactions. First, following thousands of cells under various contexts, we identified distinct behavioural phenotypes: 'slow-regular-social', 'fast-regular-social' and 'fast-irregular-asocial'. Second, coupling chemical analysis and behavioural assays we found that calcium signalling is responsible for these behavioural phenotypes. Finally, we show that differences in signalling and behaviour led to alternative social strategies. Our results have considerable implications for our understanding of the emergence of variability in living organisms. © 2015 The Author(s).

  17. Effect of community based behavioural change communication intervention to improve neonatal mortality in developing countries: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilahun, Dejene; Birhanu, Zewdie

    2011-01-01

    Background A great burden of infant and under-five childhood mortality occurs during the neonatal period, usually within a few days of birth. Community based behavioural change communication (such as interpersonal, group and mass media channels, including participatory methods at community level) intervention trials have been shown to be effective in reducing this mortality. However, to guide policy makers and programme planners, there is a need to systematically appraise and synthesise this evidence.Objective To systematically search, appraise and synthesise the best available evidence on the effect of community based behavioural change communication intervention to improve neonatal mortality in developing countries.Inclusion Criteria This review considered randomised controlled community trials on the effectiveness of community based behavioural change communication interventions aimed at decreasing neonatal mortality that were conducted in developing countries.Search Strategy This review considered English language articles on studies published between December, 2006 to January, 2011 and indexed in PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, Mednar, popline, Proquest, or Hinari.Methodological quality Studies that met the inclusion criteria were assessed for methodological quality using the Joanna Briggs Institute Meta Analysis of Statistical Assessment and Review Instrument by two independent reviewers. Data were analysed using a fixed effects model with RevMan5 software. Community based behavioural change communication interventions were found to be associated with a significant reduction in neonatal mortality of 19% (average OR 0.81; 95%CI 0. to 0.88), early neonatal mortality by 20% (average 0.80; 95%CI 0. to 0.91), late neonatal mortality by 21% (average 0.79; 95%CI 0. to 0.99). In addition, the intervention also resulted in significant improvement of newborn care practice; breast feeding initiation, clean cord cutting and delay in bathing were improved by 185%, 110% and 196

  18. Multiplexing a high-throughput liability assay to leverage efficiencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbst, John; Anthony, Monique; Stewart, Jeremy; Connors, David; Chen, Taosheng; Banks, Martyn; Petrillo, Edward W; Agler, Michele

    2009-06-01

    In order to identify potential cytochrome P-450 3A4 (drug-metabolizing enzyme) inducers at an early stage of the drug discovery process, a cell-based transactivation high-throughput luciferase reporter assay for the human pregnane X receptor (PXR) in HepG2 cells has been implemented and multiplexed with a viability end point for data interpretation, as part of a Lead Profiling portfolio of assays. As a routine part of Lead Profiling operations, assays are periodically evaluated for utility as well as for potential improvements in technology or process. We used a recent evaluation of our PXR-transactivation assay as a model for the application of Lean Thinking-based process analysis to lab-bench assay optimization and automation. This resulted in the development of a 384-well multiplexed homogeneous assay simultaneously detecting PXR transactivation and HepG2 cell cytotoxicity. In order to multiplex fluorescent and luminescent read-outs, modifications to each assay were necessary, which included optimization of multiple assay parameters such as cell density, plate type, and reagent concentrations. Subsequently, a set of compounds including known cytotoxic compounds and PXR inducers were used to validate the multiplexed assay. Results from the multiplexed assay correlate well with those from the singleplexed assay formats measuring PXR transactivation and viability separately. Implementation of the multiplexed assay for routine compound profiling provides improved data quality, sample conservation, cost savings, and resource efficiencies.

  19. Determination of Nitrate Reductase Assay Depending on the Microbial Growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Kabbany, H.M.

    2012-01-01

    A rapid micro-dilution assay for determination of the antimicrobial susceptibility of different bacterial isolates was developed. This assay is based on the ability of the most of viable organisms to reduce nitrates. The MIC or MBC could be determined by nitrate reductase (NR) only after 30 to 90 min of incubation depending on the behaviour of microbial growth. Bacterial viability is detected by a positive nitrite reduction rather than visible turbidity. The nitrate reduction assay was compared with standard micro-assay using 250 isolates of different taxa against 10 antibiotics belonging to different classes. An excellent agreement of 82.5 % was found between the two methods and only 17.5 % of 1794 trials showed difference in the determined MIC by tow-dilution interval above or below the MIC determined by the turbidimetric method under the same test conditions. However, the nitrate reduction assay was more rapid and sensitive in detecting viable bacteria and so, established an accurate estimate of the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) or the minimal bacterial concentration (MBC). The nitrate reduction assay offers the additional advantage that it could be used to determine the MBC without having to subculture the broth. 232 cases of resistance were detected by NR and 4 different media were tested for susceptibility test. The bacterial isolates were exposed to ultra violet (UV) light for different period

  20. A precise, efficient radiometric assay for bacterial growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boonkitticharoen, V.; Ehrhardt, C.; Kirchner, P.T.

    1984-01-01

    The two-compartment radiometric assay for bacterial growth promised major advantages over systems in clinical use, but poor reproducibility and counting efficiency limited its application. In this method, 14-CO/sub 2/ produced by bacterial metabolism of C-14-glucose is trapped and counted on filter paper impregnated with NaOH and fluors. The authors sought to improve assay efficiency and precision through a systematic study of relevant physical and chemical factors. Improvements in efficiency (88% vs. 10%) and in precision (relative S.D. 5% vs. 40%) were produced by a) reversing growth medium and scintillator chambers to permit vigorous agitation, b) increasing NaOH quantity and using a supersaturated PPO solution and c) adding detergent to improve uniformity of NaOH-PPO mixture. Inoculum size, substrate concentration and O/sub 2/ transfer rate affected assay sensitivity but not bacterial growth rate. The authors' assay reliably detects bacterial growth for inocula of 10,000 organisms in 1 hour and for 25 organisms within 4 1/2 hours, thus surpassing other existing clinical and research methods

  1. Expert system for transuranic waste assay

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zoolalian, M.L.; Gibbs, A.; Kuhns, J.D.

    1989-01-01

    Transuranic wastes are generated at the Savannah River Site (SRS) as a result of routine production of nuclear materials. These wastes contain Pu-238 and Pu-239 and are placed into lined 55-gallon waste drums. The drums are placed on monitored storage pads pending shipment to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico. A passive-active neutron (PAN) assay system is used to determine the mass of the radioactive material within the waste drums. Assay results are used to classify the wastes as either low-level or transuranic (TRU). During assays, the PAN assay system communicates with an IBM-AT computer. A Fortran computer program, called NEUT, controls and performs all data analyses. Unassisted, the NEUT program cannot adequately interpret assay results. To eliminate this limitation, an expert system shell was used to write a new algorithm, called the Transuranic Expert System (TRUX), to drive the NEUT program and add decision making capabilities for analysis of the assay results. The TRUX knowledge base was formulated by consulting with human experts in the field of neutron assay, by direct experimentation on the PAN assay system, and by observing operations on a daily basis. TRUX, with its improved ability to interpret assay results, has eliminated the need for close supervision by a human expert, allowing skilled technicians to operate the PAN assay system. 4 refs., 1 fig., 4 tabs.

  2. Expert system for transuranic waste assay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zoolalian, M.L.; Gibbs, A.; Kuhns, J.D.

    1989-01-01

    Transuranic wastes are generated at the Savannah River Site (SRS) as a result of routine production of nuclear materials. These wastes contain Pu-238 and Pu-239 and are placed into lined 55-gallon waste drums. The drums are placed on monitored storage pads pending shipment to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico. A passive-active neutron (PAN) assay system is used to determine the mass of the radioactive material within the waste drums. Assay results are used to classify the wastes as either low-level or transuranic (TRU). During assays, the PAN assay system communicates with an IBM-AT computer. A Fortran computer program, called NEUT, controls and performs all data analyses. Unassisted, the NEUT program cannot adequately interpret assay results. To eliminate this limitation, an expert system shell was used to write a new algorithm, called the Transuranic Expert System (TRUX), to drive the NEUT program and add decision making capabilities for analysis of the assay results. The TRUX knowledge base was formulated by consulting with human experts in the field of neutron assay, by direct experimentation on the PAN assay system, and by observing operations on a daily basis. TRUX, with its improved ability to interpret assay results, has eliminated the need for close supervision by a human expert, allowing skilled technicians to operate the PAN assay system. 4 refs., 1 fig., 4 tabs

  3. Participation in a 10-week course of yoga improves behavioural control and decreases psychological distress in a prison population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bilderbeck, A.C.; Farias, M.; Brazil, I.A.; Jakobowitz, S.; Wikholm, C.

    2013-01-01

    Background Yoga and meditation have been shown to be effective in alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety in healthy volunteers and psychiatric populations. Recent work has also indicated that yoga can improve cognitive-behavioural performance and control. Although there have been no

  4. Assay development status report for total cyanide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simpson, B.C.; Jones, T.E.; Pool, K.H.

    1993-02-01

    A validated cyanide assay that is applicable to a variety of tank waste matrices is necessary to resolve certain waste tank safety issues and for purposes of overall waste characterization. The target for this effort is an assay with an applicable range of greater than 1,000 ppM (0.10 wt%) total cyanide and a confidence level greater than 80%. Figure 1 illustrates the operating regime of the proposed cyanide assay method. The Assay Development Status Report for Total Cyanide will summarize the past experience with cyanide analyses on-tank waste matrices and will rate the status of the analytical methods used to assay total cyanide (CN - ion) in the tank waste matrices as acceptable or unacceptable. This paper will also briefly describe the current efforts for improving analytical resolution of the assays and the attempts at speciation

  5. Consumer behaviours

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grønhøj, Alice

    2016-01-01

    Energy-saving programmes are increasingly targeted at children to encourage household energy conservation. A study involving the assignment of energy-saving interventions to Girl Scouts shows that a child-focused intervention can improve energy-saving behaviours among children and their parents....

  6. Do behavioural insights matter for competition policy?

    OpenAIRE

    CIRIOLO Emanuele

    2016-01-01

    Behavioural insights make use of behavioural economics and psychology to analyse how humans behave when adopting economic decisions. The use of behavioural insights to improve policy-making is becoming increasing popular all over the world. Pensions, taxes, unemployment, energy efficiency, adult education, charitable giving and, of course, competition policy have benefitted from the application of behavioural insights. Emanuele Ciriolo, from the European Commission Joint Research Centre, expl...

  7. A report on developing a checklist to assess company plans focused on improving safety awareness, safe behaviour and safety culture: final report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steijger, N.; Starren, H.; Keus, M.; Gort, J.; Vervoort, M.

    2003-01-01

    This report describes the process of developing a checklist to asses company plans focused on improving safety awareness, safe behaviour and safety culture. These plans are part of a programme initiated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment aiming at improving the safety performance of

  8. Normal feline behaviour: … and why problem behaviours develop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradshaw, John

    2018-05-01

    improved by veterinarians taking a more proactive approach to educating their clients about the behavioural needs of pet cats.

  9. Do Electrochemiluminescence Assays Improve Prediction of Time to Type 1 Diabetes in Autoantibody-Positive TrialNet Subjects?

    OpenAIRE

    Fouts, Alexandra; Pyle, Laura; Yu, Liping; Miao, Dongmei; Michels, Aaron; Krischer, Jeffrey; Sosenko, Jay; Gottlieb, Peter; Steck, Andrea K.

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To explore whether electrochemiluminescence (ECL) assays can help improve prediction of time to type 1 diabetes in the TrialNet autoantibody-positive population. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS TrialNet subjects who were positive for one or more autoantibodies (microinsulin autoantibody, GAD65 autoantibody [GADA], IA-2A, and ZnT8A) with available ECL-insulin autoantibody (IAA) and ECL-GADA data at their initial visit were analyzed; after a median follow-up of 24 months, 177 of these 1,2...

  10. Prey capture behaviour evoked by simple visual stimuli in larval zebrafish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isaac Henry Bianco

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Understanding how the nervous system recognises salient stimuli in the environ- ment and selects and executes the appropriate behavioural responses is a fundamen- tal question in systems neuroscience. To facilitate the neuroethological study of visually-guided behaviour in larval zebrafish, we developed virtual reality assays in which precisely controlled visual cues can be presented to larvae whilst their behaviour is automatically monitored using machine-vision algorithms. Freely swimming larvae responded to moving stimuli in a size-dependent manner: they directed multiple low amplitude orienting turns (∼ 20◦ towards small moving spots (1◦ but reacted to larger spots (10◦ with high-amplitude aversive turns (∼ 60◦. The tracking of small spots led us to examine how larvae respond to prey during hunting routines. By analysing movie sequences of larvae hunting parame- cia, we discovered that all prey capture routines commence with eye convergence and larvae maintain their eyes in a highly converged position for the duration of the prey-tracking and capture swim phases. We adapted our virtual reality assay to deliver artificial visual cues to partially restrained larvae and found that small moving spots evoked convergent eye movements and J-turns of the tail, which are defining features of natural hunting. We propose that eye convergence represents the engagement of a predatory mode of behaviour in larval fish and serves to increase the region of binocular visual space to enable stereoscopic targeting of prey.

  11. Behavioural response of Heterorhabditis megidis towards plant roots and insect larvae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boff, M.I.C.; Tol, van R.W.H.M.; Smits, P.H.

    2002-01-01

    The behavioural response of infective juveniles (IJs) of Heterorhabditis megidis (strain NLH-E87.3) to cues from roots of strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.), thuja (Thuja occidentalis L.) and to larvae of the black vine weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus, was studied. Choice assays were conducted in

  12. A COGNITIVE-BEHAVIOURAL GROUP TREATMENT IMPROVED WORK ABILITY IN PATIENTS WITH SEVERE FUNCTIONAL SOMATIC SYNDROMES

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schröder, Andreas; Ørnbøl, Eva; Jensen, Jens Søndergaard

    2014-01-01

    Objective: Functional somatic syndromes (FSS) such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel and chronic fatigue syndrome often disrupt employment and may lead to long-term dependence on social benefits and permanently reduced work ability. Cognitive-behavioural treatments (CBT) relief symptoms and improve...... before to 3 years after treatment by means of random effects modelling allowing individual levels and slopes. Results: Compared with the general population, FSS patients showed a continuous decline in self-support, leading to markedly reduced work ability at trial entry. In the following years, EUC...

  13. A socio-technical approach to improving retail energy efficiency behaviours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christina, Sian; Waterson, Patrick; Dainty, Andrew; Daniels, Kevin

    2015-03-01

    In recent years, the UK retail sector has made a significant contribution to societal responses on carbon reduction. We provide a novel and timely examination of environmental sustainability from a systems perspective, exploring how energy-related technologies and strategies are incorporated into organisational life. We use a longitudinal case study approach, looking at behavioural energy efficiency from within one of the UK's leading retailers. Our data covers a two-year period, with qualitative data from a total of 131 participants gathered using phased interviews and focus groups. We introduce an adapted socio-technical framework approach in order to describe an existing organisational behavioural strategy to support retail energy efficiency. Our findings point to crucial socio-technical and goal-setting factors which both impede and/or enable energy efficient behaviours, these include: tensions linked to store level perception of energy management goals; an emphasis on the importance of technology for underpinning change processes; and, the need for feedback and incentives to support the completion of energy-related tasks. We also describe the evolution of a practical operational intervention designed to address issues raised in our findings. Our study provides fresh insights into how sustainable workplace behaviours can be achieved and sustained over time. Secondly, we discuss in detail a set of issues arising from goal conflict in the workplace; these include the development of a practical energy management strategy to facilitate secondary organisational goals through job redesign. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  14. Training Staff to Manage Challenging Behaviour

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oorsouw, W.M.W.J. van; Embregts, P.J.C.M.; Bosman, A.M.T.; Jahoda, A.

    2010-01-01

    Background - A training package for staff working with clients presenting challenging behaviour was developed to (1) increase their knowledge regarding challenging behaviour, and (2) to improve the quality of physical intervention techniques. The latter aim was intended to reduce staff anxiety about

  15. How to improve the validity of sexual behaviour reporting: systematic review of questionnaire delivery modes in developing countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langhaug, Lisa F; Sherr, Lorraine; Cowan, Frances M

    2010-03-01

    To systematically review comparative research from developing countries on the effects of questionnaire delivery mode. We searched Medline, EMbase and PsychINFO and ISSTDR conference proceedings. Randomized control trials and quasi-experimental studies were included if they compared two or more questionnaire delivery modes, were conducted in a developing country, reported on sexual behaviours and occurred after 1980. A total of 28 articles reporting on 26 studies met the inclusion criteria. Heterogeneity of reported trial outcomes between studies made it inappropriate to combine trial outcomes. Eighteen studies compared audio computer-assisted survey instruments (ACASI) or its derivatives [personal digital assistant (PDA) or computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI)] against another self-administered questionnaires, face-to-face interviews or random response technique. Despite wide variation in geography and populations sampled, there was strong evidence that computer-assisted interviews lowered item-response rates and raised rates of reporting sensitive behaviours. ACASI also improved data entry quality. A wide range of sexual behaviours were reported including vaginal, oral, anal and/or forced sex, age of sexual debut, condom use at first and/or last sex. Validation of self-reports using biomarkers was rare. These data reaffirm that questionnaire delivery modes do affect self-reported sexual behaviours and that use of ACASI can significantly reduce reporting bias. Its acceptability and feasibility in developing country settings should encourage researchers to consider its use when conducting sexual health research. Triangulation of self-reported data using biomarkers is recommended. Standardizing sexual behaviour measures would allow for meta-analysis.

  16. A methodology for modelling energy-related human behaviour: Application to window opening behaviour in residential buildings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabi, Valentina; Andersen, Rune Korsholm; Corgnati, Stefano P.

    2013-01-01

    that affect the results accuracy. Above all, the real energy performance can be affected by the actual behaviour of the building occupants. Thus, there are great benefits to be derived from improving models that simulate the behaviour of human beings within the context of engineered complex systems...... for modelling the human behaviour related to the control of indoor environment. The procedure is applied at models of occupants’ interactions with windows (opening and closing behaviour). Models of occupants’ window opening behaviour were inferred based on measurements and implemented in a simulation program......An energy simulation of a building is a mathematical representation of its physical behaviour considering all the thermal, lighting, acoustics aspects. However, a simulation cannot precisely replicate a real construction because all the simulations are based on a number of key assumptions...

  17. Training experience to improve and reinforce associated aspects to the control room operators' behaviour in the simulator setting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santiago Lucas Soriano, A.

    2002-01-01

    The experience, explained below, is based on the latest works carried out in TECNATOM, to improve the behaviour of the control room personnel, by an effective involvement of the operators in their own improvement, in which they create their own expectations and the instructors are only guides and advisors in a working place very close to the reality, that is, the simulator. The experience mainly deals with aspects such as: Teamwork, effective communications, use of procedures, self-checking, decision making, diagnose, motivation and other aspects that are present in the control room. (author)

  18. Facilitating improved road safety based on increased knowledge about driving behaviour and profiling sub-groups of drivers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martinussen, Laila Marianne

    The aim of the Ph.D. study presented in this thesis was to facilitate improved road safety through increased understanding of methods used to measure driving behaviour, and through increased knowledge about driving behaviour in sub-groups of drivers. More specifically, the usefulness of the Driver...... with underlying mechanisms of lack of focus, emotional stress, recklessness and confusion, and hence it is highly important to further explore means to making drivers become more focused or attentive when driving, and to deal with emotional responses in traffic like impatience and frustration (Article 1). 2......, indicating that the problem lies in the drivers’ attitudes towards safety (Article 3). 6. It is indicated that rather than viewing safety and risk as two ends of a continuum, safety and risk should be understood as two separate constructs, with different underlying motives. Therefore it is suggested...

  19. Mothers and teenage daughters walking to health: using the behaviour change wheel to develop an intervention to improve adolescent girls' physical activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murtagh, E M; Barnes, A T; McMullen, J; Morgan, P J

    2018-03-12

    The majority of adolescent girls fail to meet public health guidelines for physical activity. Engaging mothers in the promotion of physical activity for their daughters may be an important strategy to facilitate behaviour change. The aim of this study was to use the behaviour change wheel (BCW) framework to design the components of an intervention to improve adolescent girls' physical activity. Cross-sectional study to inform intervention development. The BCW framework was used to (1) understand the behaviour, (2) identify intervention functions and (3) select content and implementation options. A circular development process was undertaken by the research team to collectively design the intervention in accordance with the steps recommended by the BCW. The BCW design process resulted in the selection of six intervention functions (education, persuasion, incentivization, training, modelling, enablement) and 18 behaviour change techniques delivered via group-based, face-to-face mode. Behaviour change technique groupings include: goals and planning; feedback and monitoring; social support; shaping knowledge; natural consequences; comparison of behaviour; associations; comparison of outcomes; reward and threat; identity; and, self-belief. The BCW process allowed an in-depth consideration of the target behaviours and provided a systematic framework for developing the intervention. The feasibility and preliminary efficacy of the programme will be examined. Copyright © 2018 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Do mental health consumers want to improve their long-term disease risk behaviours? A survey of over 2000 psychiatric inpatients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlem, Kate; Bailey, Jacqueline; Metse, Alexandra; Asara, Ashley; Wye, Paula; Clancy, Richard; Wiggers, John; Bowman, Jenny

    2017-12-02

    Policies and clinical guidelines acknowledge the role mental health services have in addressing the physical health of individuals with a mental illness; however, little research has explored interest in reducing health risk behaviours or the acceptability of receiving support to reduce such risks among psychiatric inpatients. This study estimated the prevalence of four long-term disease risk behaviours (tobacco smoking, hazardous alcohol consumption, inadequate fruit and/or vegetable consumption, and inadequate physical activity); patient interest in reducing these risks; and acceptability of being provided care to do so during a psychiatric inpatient stay. A cross-sectional survey was undertaken with 2075 inpatients from four inpatient psychiatric facilities in one health district in Australia (October 2012-April 2014). Prevalence of risk behaviours ranged from 50.2% (inadequate physical activity) to 94.8% (inadequate fruit and/or vegetable consumption). The majority of respondents (88.4%) had more than one risk behaviour, and most were seriously considering improving their risk behaviours (47.6% to 65.3%). The majority (80.4%) agreed that it would be acceptable to be provided support and advice to change such behaviours during their psychiatric inpatient stay. Some diagnoses were associated with smoking and hazardous alcohol consumption, interest in reducing alcohol consumption and increasing fruit and/or vegetable consumption, and acceptability of receiving advice and support. The findings reinforce the need and opportunity for psychiatric inpatient facilities to address the long-term disease risk behaviours of their patients. © 2017 The Authors International Journal of Mental Health Nursing published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.

  1. Behavioural responses to human-induced environmental change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuomainen, Ulla; Candolin, Ulrika

    2011-08-01

    The initial response of individuals to human-induced environmental change is often behavioural. This can improve the performance of individuals under sudden, large-scale perturbations and maintain viable populations. The response can also give additional time for genetic changes to arise and, hence, facilitate adaptation to new conditions. On the other hand, maladaptive responses, which reduce individual fitness, may occur when individuals encounter conditions that the population has not experienced during its evolutionary history, which can decrease population viability. A growing number of studies find human disturbances to induce behavioural responses, both directly and by altering factors that influence fitness. Common causes of behavioural responses are changes in the transmission of information, the concentration of endocrine disrupters, the availability of resources, the possibility of dispersal, and the abundance of interacting species. Frequent responses are alterations in habitat choice, movements, foraging, social behaviour and reproductive behaviour. Behavioural responses depend on the genetically determined reaction norm of the individuals, which evolves over generations. Populations first respond with individual behavioural plasticity, whereafter changes may arise through innovations and the social transmission of behavioural patterns within and across generations, and, finally, by evolution of the behavioural response over generations. Only a restricted number of species show behavioural adaptations that make them thrive in severely disturbed environments. Hence, rapid human-induced disturbances often decrease the diversity of native species, while facilitating the spread of invasive species with highly plastic behaviours. Consequently, behavioural responses to human-induced environmental change can have profound effects on the distribution, adaptation, speciation and extinction of populations and, hence, on biodiversity. A better understanding of

  2. Improving physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep in COPD : Perspectives of people with COPD and experts via a Delphi approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lewthwaite, Hayley; Effing, Tanja W.; Lenferink, Anke; Olds, Tim; Williams, Marie T.

    2018-01-01

    Background. Little is known about how to achieve enduring improvements in physical activity (PA), sedentary behaviour (SB) and sleep for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This study aimed to: (1) identify what people with COPD from South Australia and the Netherlands, and

  3. Do Electrochemiluminescence Assays Improve Prediction of Time to Type 1 Diabetes in Autoantibody-Positive TrialNet Subjects?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fouts, Alexandra; Pyle, Laura; Yu, Liping; Miao, Dongmei; Michels, Aaron; Krischer, Jeffrey; Sosenko, Jay; Gottlieb, Peter; Steck, Andrea K

    2016-10-01

    To explore whether electrochemiluminescence (ECL) assays can help improve prediction of time to type 1 diabetes in the TrialNet autoantibody-positive population. TrialNet subjects who were positive for one or more autoantibodies (microinsulin autoantibody, GAD65 autoantibody [GADA], IA-2A, and ZnT8A) with available ECL-insulin autoantibody (IAA) and ECL-GADA data at their initial visit were analyzed; after a median follow-up of 24 months, 177 of these 1,287 subjects developed diabetes. Univariate analyses showed that autoantibodies by radioimmunoassays (RIAs), ECL-IAA, ECL-GADA, age, sex, number of positive autoantibodies, presence of HLA DR3/4-DQ8 genotype, HbA1c, and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) measurements were all significantly associated with progression to diabetes. Subjects who were ECL positive had a risk of progression to diabetes within 6 years of 58% compared with 5% for the ECL-negative subjects (P < 0.0001). Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were compared, with the base model including age, sex, OGTT measurements, and number of positive autoantibodies by RIAs. The model with positivity for ECL-GADA and/or ECL-IAA was the best, and factors that remained significantly associated with time to diabetes were area under the curve (AUC) C-peptide, fasting C-peptide, AUC glucose, number of positive autoantibodies by RIAs, and ECL positivity. Adding ECL to the Diabetes Prevention Trial risk score (DPTRS) improved the receiver operating characteristic curves with AUC of 0.83 (P < 0.0001). ECL assays improved the ability to predict time to diabetes in these autoantibody-positive relatives at risk for developing diabetes. These findings might be helpful in the design and eligibility criteria for prevention trials in the future. © 2016 by the American Diabetes Association.

  4. Reducing child conduct disordered behaviour and improving parent mental health in disadvantaged families: a 12-month follow-up and cost analysis of a parenting intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGilloway, Sinead; NiMhaille, Grainne; Bywater, Tracey; Leckey, Yvonne; Kelly, Paul; Furlong, Mairead; Comiskey, Catherine; O'Neill, Donal; Donnelly, Michael

    2014-09-01

    The effectiveness of the Incredible Years Basic parent programme (IYBP) in reducing child conduct problems and improving parent competencies and mental health was examined in a 12-month follow-up. Pre- to post-intervention service use and related costs were also analysed. A total of 103 families and their children (aged 32-88 months), who previously participated in a randomised controlled trial of the IYBP, took part in a 12-month follow-up assessment. Child and parent behaviour and well-being were measured using psychometric and observational measures. An intention-to-treat analysis was carried out using a one-way repeated measures ANOVA. Pairwise comparisons were subsequently conducted to determine whether treatment outcomes were sustained 1 year post-baseline assessment. Results indicate that post-intervention improvements in child conduct problems, parenting behaviour and parental mental health were maintained. Service use and associated costs continued to decline. The results indicate that parent-focused interventions, implemented in the early years, can result in improvements in child and parent behaviour and well-being 12 months later. A reduced reliance on formal services is also indicated.

  5. Predicting sugar-sweetened behaviours with theory of planned behaviour constructs: Outcome and process results from the SIPsmartER behavioural intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoellner, Jamie M; Porter, Kathleen J; Chen, Yvonnes; Hedrick, Valisa E; You, Wen; Hickman, Maja; Estabrooks, Paul A

    2017-05-01

    Guided by the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) and health literacy concepts, SIPsmartER is a six-month multicomponent intervention effective at improving SSB behaviours. Using SIPsmartER data, this study explores prediction of SSB behavioural intention (BI) and behaviour from TPB constructs using: (1) cross-sectional and prospective models and (2) 11 single-item assessments from interactive voice response (IVR) technology. Quasi-experimental design, including pre- and post-outcome data and repeated-measures process data of 155 intervention participants. Validated multi-item TPB measures, single-item TPB measures, and self-reported SSB behaviours. Hypothesised relationships were investigated using correlation and multiple regression models. TPB constructs explained 32% of the variance cross sectionally and 20% prospectively in BI; and explained 13-20% of variance cross sectionally and 6% prospectively. Single-item scale models were significant, yet explained less variance. All IVR models predicting BI (average 21%, range 6-38%) and behaviour (average 30%, range 6-55%) were significant. Findings are interpreted in the context of other cross-sectional, prospective and experimental TPB health and dietary studies. Findings advance experimental application of the TPB, including understanding constructs at outcome and process time points and applying theory in all intervention development, implementation and evaluation phases.

  6. Predicting sugar-sweetened behaviours with theory of planned behaviour constructs: Outcome and process results from the SIPsmartER behavioural intervention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoellner, Jamie M.; Porter, Kathleen J.; Chen, Yvonnes; Hedrick, Valisa E.; You, Wen; Hickman, Maja; Estabrooks, Paul A.

    2017-01-01

    Objective Guided by the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) and health literacy concepts, SIPsmartER is a six-month multicomponent intervention effective at improving SSB behaviours. Using SIPsmartER data, this study explores prediction of SSB behavioural intention (BI) and behaviour from TPB constructs using: (1) cross-sectional and prospective models and (2) 11 single-item assessments from interactive voice response (IVR) technology. Design Quasi-experimental design, including pre- and post-outcome data and repeated-measures process data of 155 intervention participants. Main Outcome Measures Validated multi-item TPB measures, single-item TPB measures, and self-reported SSB behaviours. Hypothesised relationships were investigated using correlation and multiple regression models. Results TPB constructs explained 32% of the variance cross sectionally and 20% prospectively in BI; and explained 13–20% of variance cross sectionally and 6% prospectively. Single-item scale models were significant, yet explained less variance. All IVR models predicting BI (average 21%, range 6–38%) and behaviour (average 30%, range 6–55%) were significant. Conclusion Findings are interpreted in the context of other cross-sectional, prospective and experimental TPB health and dietary studies. Findings advance experimental application of the TPB, including understanding constructs at outcome and process time points and applying theory in all intervention development, implementation and evaluation phases. PMID:28165771

  7. Training Staff to Manage Challenging Behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Oorsouw, Wietske M. W. J.; Embregts, Petri J. C. M.; Bosman, Anna M. T.; Jahoda, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Background: A training package for staff working with clients presenting challenging behaviour was developed to (1) increase their knowledge regarding challenging behaviour, and (2) to improve the quality of physical intervention techniques. The latter aim was intended to reduce staff anxiety about dealing with incidents and limit physical risk of…

  8. Cognitive behavioural interventions in addictive disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhir, Paulomi M

    2018-02-01

    Cognitive behaviour therapy is a structured, time limited, psychological intervention that has is empirically supported across a wide variety of psychological disorders. CBT for addictive behaviours can be traced back to the application of learning theories in understanding addiction and subsequently to social cognitive theories. The focus of CBT is manifold and the focus is on targeting maintaining factors of addictive behaviours and preventing relapse. Relapse prevention programmes are based on social cognitive and cognitive behavioural principles. Interventions for preventing relapse include, behavioural strategies to decrease the valence of addictive behaviours, coping skills to deal with craving, arousal, negative mood states, assertiveness skills to manage social pressures, family psychoeducation and environmental manipulation and cognitive strategies to enhance self-efficacy beliefs and modification of outcome expectancies related to addictive behaviours. More recent developments in the area of managing addictions include third wave behaviour therapies. Third wave behaviour therapies are focused on improving building awareness, and distress tolerance skills using mindfulness practices. These approaches have shown promise, and more recently the neurobiological underpinnings of mindfulness strategies have been studied. The article provides an overview of cognitive behavioural approaches to managing addictions.

  9. Model of Students’ Academic and Non-Academic Behaviours in Improving Learning Achievement and Discipline at Nurul ‘Ulum Modern Pesantren in Malang

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Binti Maunah

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This research is aimed at describing academic and non-academic behaviours that influence students’ achievements and discipline. This research used qualitative method. The data was collected by using two main methods: participative observation and deep interview. There were four steps to analyze the data: data collection, data filter, data classification, and conclusion. Based on the result of the research and the discussion, it can be concluded that : 1. Generally, students have very good academic behaviours during learning process inside and outside the class, 2. Most of the students master English and Arabic skill in which it becomes the most prominent academic behaviour in modern pesantren, 3. Academic behaviours to improve opportunity and learning achievement were conducted by boarding system in which students don’t cook, don’t wash clothes, don’t bring cellphones, motorcycle, radio, TV, and other electronic tools, 4. Students perform very good non-academic behaviours in form of politeness to senior students and teachers, discipline and obey the rules of pesantren. It’s proved by no one is expelled from pesantren due to the violation of the rules of pesantren.

  10. Providing education on evidence-based practice improved knowledge but did not change behaviour: a before and after study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lovarini Meryl

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many health professionals lack the skills to find and appraise published research. This lack of skills and associated knowledge needs to be addressed, and practice habits need to change, for evidence-based practice to occur. The aim of this before and after study was to evaluate the effect of a multifaceted intervention on the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviour of allied health professionals. Methods 114 self-selected occupational therapists were recruited. The intervention included a 2-day workshop combined with outreach support for eight months. Support involved email and telephone contact and a workplace visit. Measures were collected at baseline, post-workshop, and eight months later. The primary outcome was knowledge, measured using the Adapted Fresno Test of Evidence-Based Practice (total score 0 to 156. Secondary outcomes were attitude to evidence-based practice (% reporting improved skills and confidence; % reporting barriers, and behaviour measured using an activity diary (% engaging/not engaging in search and appraisal activities, and assignment completion. Results Post-workshop, there were significant gains in knowledge which were maintained at follow-up. The mean difference in the Adapted Fresno Test total score was 20.6 points (95% CI, 15.6 to 25.5. The change from post-workshop to follow-up was small and non-significant (mean difference 1.2 points, 95% CI, -6.0 to 8.5. Fewer participants reported lack of searching and appraisal skills as barriers to evidence-based practice over time (searching = 61%, 53%, 24%; appraisal 60%, 65%, 41%. These differences were statistically significant (p = 0.0001 and 0.010 respectively. Behaviour changed little. Pre-workshop, 6% engaged in critical appraisal increasing to 18% post-workshop and 18% at follow-up. Nearly two thirds (60% were not reading any research literature at follow-up. Twenty-three participants (20.2% completed their assignment. Conclusion Evidence

  11. Strategic behaviour under regulatory benchmarking

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jamasb, T. [Cambridge Univ. (United Kingdom). Dept. of Applied Economics; Nillesen, P. [NUON NV (Netherlands); Pollitt, M. [Cambridge Univ. (United Kingdom). Judge Inst. of Management

    2004-09-01

    In order to improve the efficiency of electricity distribution networks, some regulators have adopted incentive regulation schemes that rely on performance benchmarking. Although regulation benchmarking can influence the ''regulation game,'' the subject has received limited attention. This paper discusses how strategic behaviour can result in inefficient behaviour by firms. We then use the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) method with US utility data to examine implications of illustrative cases of strategic behaviour reported by regulators. The results show that gaming can have significant effects on the measured performance and profitability of firms. (author)

  12. War and peace in the classroom: moments of reprieve; a strategy for reflecting on – and improving – students’ classroom behaviour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lebor, Merv

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available In this article I intend to outline a strategy for supporting trainee teachers on Certificate in Education (Cert Ed and Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE courses in developing their ability to deal with disruptive student behaviour in their classes. I describe a particular class-based, peer-reflective practice and demonstrate how this has been effective in impacting on helping trainees to deal with teaching disruptive or challenging groups. The rationale for exploring this issue, and the problematic national context in which disruptive student behaviour takes place, is outlined. I then explore a strategy for offering trainee support and peer reflection by sharing a case study of two trainees’ classes where students were particularly disruptive. I examine how this reflective strategy helped support these trainees to improve their practice. Before concluding, some epistemological questions are raised as to the problematics of how teachers know whether improvements took place.

  13. Linearization of the bradford protein assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ernst, Orna; Zor, Tsaffrir

    2010-04-12

    Determination of microgram quantities of protein in the Bradford Coomassie brilliant blue assay is accomplished by measurement of absorbance at 590 nm. This most common assay enables rapid and simple protein quantification in cell lysates, cellular fractions, or recombinant protein samples, for the purpose of normalization of biochemical measurements. However, an intrinsic nonlinearity compromises the sensitivity and accuracy of this method. It is shown that under standard assay conditions, the ratio of the absorbance measurements at 590 nm and 450 nm is strictly linear with protein concentration. This simple procedure increases the accuracy and improves the sensitivity of the assay about 10-fold, permitting quantification down to 50 ng of bovine serum albumin. Furthermore, the interference commonly introduced by detergents that are used to create the cell lysates is greatly reduced by the new protocol. A linear equation developed on the basis of mass action and Beer's law perfectly fits the experimental data.

  14. Substrate coated with receptor and labelled ligand for assays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1980-01-01

    Improvements in the procedures for assaying ligands are described. The assay consists of a polystyrene tube on which receptors are present for both the ligand to be assayed and a radioactively labelled form of the ligand. The receptors on the bottom portion of the tube are also coated with labelled ligands, thus eliminating the necessity for separate addition of the labelled ligand and sample during an assay. Examples of ligands to which this method is applicable include polypeptides, nucleotides, nucleosides and proteins. Specific examples are given in which the ligand to be assayed is digoxin, the labelled form of the ligand is 3-0-succinyl digoxyigenin tyrosine ( 125 I) and the receptor is digoxin antibody. (U.K.)

  15. 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

  16. Can existing mobile apps support healthier food purchasing behaviour? Content analysis of nutrition content, behaviour change theory and user quality integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flaherty, Sarah-Jane; McCarthy, Mary; Collins, Alan; McAuliffe, Fionnuala

    2018-02-01

    To assess the quality of nutrition content and the integration of user quality components and behaviour change theory relevant to food purchasing behaviour in a sample of existing mobile apps. Descriptive comparative analysis of eleven mobile apps comprising an assessment of their alignment with existing evidence on nutrition, behaviour change and user quality, and their potential ability to support healthier food purchasing behaviour. Mobile apps freely available for public use in GoogePlay were assessed and scored according to agreed criteria to assess nutrition content quality and integration of behaviour change theory and user quality components. A sample of eleven mobile apps that met predefined inclusion criteria to ensure relevance and good quality. The quality of the nutrition content varied. Improvements to the accuracy and appropriateness of nutrition content are needed to ensure mobile apps support a healthy behaviour change process and are accessible to a wider population. There appears to be a narrow focus towards behaviour change with an overemphasis on behavioural outcomes and a small number of behaviour change techniques, which may limit effectiveness. A significant effort from the user was required to use the mobile apps appropriately which may negatively influence user acceptability and subsequent utilisation. Existing mobile apps may offer a potentially effective approach to supporting healthier food purchasing behaviour but improvements in mobile app design are required to maximise their potential effectiveness. Engagement of mobile app users and nutrition professionals is recommended to support effective design.

  17. The New Xpert MTB/RIF Ultra: Improving Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Resistance to Rifampin in an Assay Suitable for Point-of-Care Testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakravorty, Soumitesh; Simmons, Ann Marie; Rowneki, Mazhgan; Parmar, Heta; Cao, Yuan; Ryan, Jamie; Banada, Padmapriya P; Deshpande, Srinidhi; Shenai, Shubhada; Gall, Alexander; Glass, Jennifer; Krieswirth, Barry; Schumacher, Samuel G; Nabeta, Pamela; Tukvadze, Nestani; Rodrigues, Camilla; Skrahina, Alena; Tagliani, Elisa; Cirillo, Daniela M; Davidow, Amy; Denkinger, Claudia M; Persing, David; Kwiatkowski, Robert; Jones, Martin; Alland, David

    2017-08-29

    The Xpert MTB/RIF assay (Xpert) is a rapid test for tuberculosis (TB) and rifampin resistance (RIF-R) suitable for point-of-care testing. However, it has decreased sensitivity in smear-negative sputum, and false identification of RIF-R occasionally occurs. We developed the Xpert MTB/RIF Ultra assay (Ultra) to improve performance. Ultra and Xpert limits of detection (LOD), dynamic ranges, and RIF-R rpoB mutation detection were tested on Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA or sputum samples spiked with known numbers of M. tuberculosis H37Rv or Mycobacterium bovis BCG CFU. Frozen and prospectively collected clinical samples from patients suspected of having TB, with and without culture-confirmed TB, were also tested. For M. tuberculosis H37Rv, the LOD was 15.6 CFU/ml of sputum for Ultra versus 112.6 CFU/ml of sputum for Xpert, and for M. bovis BCG, it was 143.4 CFU/ml of sputum for Ultra versus 344 CFU/ml of sputum for Xpert. Ultra resulted in no false-positive RIF-R specimens, while Xpert resulted in two false-positive RIF-R specimens. All RIF-R-associated M. tuberculosis rpoB mutations tested were identified by Ultra. Testing on clinical sputum samples, Ultra versus Xpert, resulted in an overall sensitivity of 87.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 82.1, 91.7) versus 81.0% (95% CI, 74.9, 86.2) and a sensitivity on sputum smear-negative samples of 78.9% (95% CI, 70.0, 86.1) versus 66.1% (95% CI, 56.4, 74.9). Both tests had a specificity of 98.7% (95% CI, 93.0, 100), and both had comparable accuracies for detection of RIF-R in these samples. Ultra should significantly improve TB detection, especially in patients with paucibacillary disease, and may provide more-reliable RIF-R detection. IMPORTANCE The Xpert MTB/RIF assay (Xpert), the first point-of-care assay for tuberculosis (TB), was endorsed by the World Health Organization in December 2010. Since then, 23 million Xpert tests have been procured in 130 countries. Although Xpert showed high overall sensitivity and

  18. Using insights from animal behaviour and behavioural ecology to inform marine conservation initiatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooker, Rohan M; Feeney, William E; White, James R; Manassa, Rachel P; Johansen, Jacob L; Dixson, Danielle L

    2016-10-01

    The impacts of human activities on the natural world are becoming increasingly apparent, with rapid development and exploitation occurring at the expense of habitat quality and biodiversity. Declines are especially concerning in the oceans, which hold intrinsic value due to their biological uniqueness as well as their substantial sociological and economic importance. Here, we review the literature and investigate whether incorporation of knowledge from the fields of animal behaviour and behavioural ecology may improve the effectiveness of conservation initiatives in marine systems. In particular, we consider (1) how knowledge of larval behaviour and ecology may be used to inform the design of marine protected areas, (2) how protecting species that hold specific ecological niches may be of particular importance for maximizing the preservation of biodiversity, (3) how current harvesting techniques may be inadvertently skewing the behavioural phenotypes of stock populations and whether changes to current practices may lessen this skew and reinforce population persistence, and (4) how understanding the behavioural and physiological responses of species to a changing environment may provide essential insights into areas of particular vulnerability for prioritized conservation attention. The complex nature of conservation programmes inherently results in interdisciplinary responses, and the incorporation of knowledge from the fields of animal behaviour and behavioural ecology may increase our ability to stem the loss of biodiversity in marine environments.

  19. An acoustic prion assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordon Hayward

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available An acoustic prion assay has been demonstrated for sheep brain samples. Only five false positives and no false negatives were observed in a test of 45 positive and 45 negative samples. The acoustic prion sensor was constructed using a thickness shear mode quartz resonator coated with a covalently bound recombinant prion protein. The characteristic indicator of a scrapie infected sheep brain sample was an observed shoulder in the frequency decrease in response to a sample.The response of the sensor aligns with a conformational shift in the surface protein and with the propagation mechanism of the disease. This alignment is evident in the response timing and shape, dependence on concentration, cross species behaviour and impact of blood plasma. This alignment is far from sufficient to prove the mechanism of the sensor but it does offer the possibility of a rapid and inexpensive additional tool to explore prion disease. Keywords: Prions, Thickness shear mode quartz sensor

  20. Improving colloidal properties of quantum dots with combined silica and polymer coatings for in vitro immuofluorenscence assay

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang Bingbo [Tongji University, Institute for Advanced Materials and Nano Biomedicine (China); Xing Da [South China Normal University, MOE Key Laboratory of Laser Life Science (China); Lin Chao; Guo Fangfang; Zhao Peng [Tongji University, Institute for Advanced Materials and Nano Biomedicine (China); Wen Xuejun [Clemson University, Clemson-MUSC Bioengineering Program, Department of Bioengineering (United States); Bao Zhihao, E-mail: zbao@tongji.edu.cn; Shi Donglu [Tongji University, Institute for Advanced Materials and Nano Biomedicine (China)

    2011-06-15

    Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) are promising fluorescence probes for immuofluorescence assay in the biological applications. However, water solubilization and non-specific binding are two critical issues to be addressed for the practical uses. Here, we reported a new type of QDs with combined silica and polymer coating. QDs with excellent colloidal properties were prepared via carboxylation of the amino groups on the surface of silica-coated QDs by reacting with multi-carboxyl poly (acrylic acid) (PAA). Hydrodynamic size of PAA-functionalized silica-coated QDs was around 40 nm. They were highly fluorescent (about 47.8% quantum yield). No precipitate of QDs was observed after 3 month storage at 4 Degree-Sign C. When cancer cells (HeLa) were used, the functionalized QDs exhibited little or no non-specific cellular binding. The results from in vitro experiments indicated that PAA-functionalized silica-coated QDs-antibody bioconjugates had excellent antigen-capture ability and exhibited little or no non-specific binding to polystyrene spheres which were used to immobilize the antigen for immuoflurescence assay. The PAA-functionalized silica-coated QDs with improved colloidal properties could serve as excellent alternative fluorescent probes for biodetection.

  1. Nanoparticle-assay marker interaction: effects on nanotoxicity assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao, Xinxin; Xiong, Sijing; Huang, Liwen Charlotte; Ng, Kee Woei; Loo, Say Chye Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Protein-based cytotoxicity assays such as lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) are commonly used in cytotoxic evaluation of nanoparticles (NPs) despite numerous reports on possible interactions with protein markers in these assays that can confound the results obtained. In this study, conventional cytotoxicity assays where assay markers may (LDH and TNF- α) or may not (PicoGreen and WST-8) come into contact with NPs were used to evaluate the cytotoxicity of NPs. The findings revealed selective interactions between negatively charged protein assay markers (LDH and TNF- α) and positively charged ZnO NPs under abiotic conditions. The adsorption and interaction with these protein assay markers were strongly influenced by surface charge, concentration, and specific surface area of the NPs, thereby resulting in less than accurate cytotoxic measurements, as observed from actual cell viability measurements. An improved protocol for LDH assay was, therefore, proposed and validated by eliminating any effects associated with protein–particle interactions. In view of this, additional measures and precautions should be taken when evaluating cytotoxicity of NPs with standard protein-based assays, particularly when they are of opposite charges

  2. Nanoparticle-assay marker interaction: effects on nanotoxicity assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao, Xinxin; Xiong, Sijing; Huang, Liwen Charlotte; Ng, Kee Woei, E-mail: kwng@ntu.edu.sg; Loo, Say Chye Joachim, E-mail: joachimloo@ntu.edu.sg [Nanyang Technological University, School of Materials Science and Engineering (Singapore)

    2015-01-15

    Protein-based cytotoxicity assays such as lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) are commonly used in cytotoxic evaluation of nanoparticles (NPs) despite numerous reports on possible interactions with protein markers in these assays that can confound the results obtained. In this study, conventional cytotoxicity assays where assay markers may (LDH and TNF- α) or may not (PicoGreen and WST-8) come into contact with NPs were used to evaluate the cytotoxicity of NPs. The findings revealed selective interactions between negatively charged protein assay markers (LDH and TNF- α) and positively charged ZnO NPs under abiotic conditions. The adsorption and interaction with these protein assay markers were strongly influenced by surface charge, concentration, and specific surface area of the NPs, thereby resulting in less than accurate cytotoxic measurements, as observed from actual cell viability measurements. An improved protocol for LDH assay was, therefore, proposed and validated by eliminating any effects associated with protein–particle interactions. In view of this, additional measures and precautions should be taken when evaluating cytotoxicity of NPs with standard protein-based assays, particularly when they are of opposite charges.

  3. Nanoparticle-assay marker interaction: effects on nanotoxicity assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Xinxin; Xiong, Sijing; Huang, Liwen Charlotte; Ng, Kee Woei; Loo, Say Chye Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Protein-based cytotoxicity assays such as lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) are commonly used in cytotoxic evaluation of nanoparticles (NPs) despite numerous reports on possible interactions with protein markers in these assays that can confound the results obtained. In this study, conventional cytotoxicity assays where assay markers may (LDH and TNF- α) or may not (PicoGreen and WST-8) come into contact with NPs were used to evaluate the cytotoxicity of NPs. The findings revealed selective interactions between negatively charged protein assay markers (LDH and TNF- α) and positively charged ZnO NPs under abiotic conditions. The adsorption and interaction with these protein assay markers were strongly influenced by surface charge, concentration, and specific surface area of the NPs, thereby resulting in less than accurate cytotoxic measurements, as observed from actual cell viability measurements. An improved protocol for LDH assay was, therefore, proposed and validated by eliminating any effects associated with protein-particle interactions. In view of this, additional measures and precautions should be taken when evaluating cytotoxicity of NPs with standard protein-based assays, particularly when they are of opposite charges.

  4. A multiwell format assay for heparanase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behzad, Farhad; Brenchley, Paul E C

    2003-09-15

    This assay employs a biotinylated heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycan (HSGAG) substrate that is covalently linked to the surface of 96-well immunoassay plates. The ratio of biotin:HSGAG and the coating concentration of substrate bound to the wells have been optimized and allow removal of biotin HSGAG within 60 min of incubation at 37 degrees C in assay buffer with a standard dilution of bacterial heparitinase or platelet heparanase. Loss of biotin signal from the well surface is detected on incubation with peroxidase-streptavidin followed by color development using 3,3',5,5'-tetramethylbenzidine as the peroxidase substrate. The new assay allows specific detection of heparanase activity in multiple samples in a total time of 3 h including a 1-h substrate digestion step and is a significant improvement with regard to sensitivity, specificity, and ease of handling of multiple samples compared to other described assays. Heparanase specifically degrades the biotinylated HSGAG substrate, when used with an optimized assay buffer. A range of enzymes including collagenase, trypsin, plasmin, pepsin, chondroitinases, hyaluronidase, and neuraminidase show no effect on the substrate under optimized assay conditions. The covalent linkage of the substrate to the well prevents leaching of substrate and allows preparation and long-term storage of substrate-coated plates. The assay can be used to detect heparanase levels in clinical samples and cell culture supernatants and is ideal as a screening method for antagonists of enzyme activity.

  5. A Review of Behavioural Gerontology and Dementia Related Interventions

    OpenAIRE

    Josling, Megan

    2015-01-01

    Behavioural Gerontology is concerned with the interaction of the aging individual and their environment. One aspect of behavioural gerontology has focussed on the use of behaviourist methods to improve the functioning and quality of life of individuals with dementia. Positive reinforcement techniques have shown to have an effect on dementia related behavioural excesses (wandering, disruptive vocalisations), behavioural deficits (incontinence, self feeding) and mood changes (depression). One o...

  6. Improving medication management in multimorbidity: development of the MultimorbiditY COllaborative Medication Review And DEcision Making (MY COMRADE) intervention using the Behaviour Change Wheel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinnott, Carol; Mercer, Stewart W; Payne, Rupert A; Duerden, Martin; Bradley, Colin P; Byrne, Molly

    2015-09-24

    Multimorbidity, the presence of two or more chronic conditions, affects over 60 % of patients in primary care. Due to its association with polypharmacy, the development of interventions to optimise medication management in patients with multimorbidity is a priority. The Behaviour Change Wheel is a new approach for applying behavioural theory to intervention development. Here, we describe how we have used results from a review of previous research, original research of our own and the Behaviour Change Wheel to develop an intervention to improve medication management in multimorbidity by general practitioners (GPs), within the overarching UK Medical Research Council guidance on complex interventions. Following the steps of the Behaviour Change Wheel, we sought behaviours associated with medication management in multimorbidity by conducting a systematic review and qualitative study with GPs. From the modifiable GP behaviours identified, we selected one and conducted a focused behavioural analysis to explain why GPs were or were not engaging in this behaviour. We used the behavioural analysis to determine the intervention functions, behavioural change techniques and implementation plan most likely to effect behavioural change. We identified numerous modifiable GP behaviours in the systematic review and qualitative study, from which active medication review (rather than passive maintaining the status quo) was chosen as the target behaviour. Behavioural analysis revealed GPs' capabilities, opportunities and motivations relating to active medication review. We combined the three intervention functions deemed most likely to effect behavioural change (enablement, environmental restructuring and incentivisation) to form the MultimorbiditY COllaborative Medication Review And DEcision Making (MY COMRADE) intervention. MY COMRADE primarily involves the technique of social support: two GPs review the medications prescribed to a complex multimorbid patient together. Four other

  7. The effect of mobile application interventions on influencing healthy maternal behaviour and improving perinatal health outcomes: a systematic review protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daly, Lisa M; Horey, Dell; Middleton, Philippa F; Boyle, Frances M; Flenady, Vicki

    2017-02-08

    Perinatal morbidity and mortality remain significant public health issues globally, with enduring impact on the health and well-being of women and their families. Pregnant women who adopt, practice and maintain healthy behaviours can potentially improve the health of themselves and their babies. Mobile applications are an increasingly popular mode of accessing, storing and sharing health information among pregnant women. The main objective of this review is to evaluate the effects of mobile application interventions during pregnancy on maternal behaviour and associated maternal and infant outcomes. This review will include randomised and non-randomised studies which tested use of mobile applications designed to improve either maternal knowledge or behaviours to address known risk factors associated with adverse perinatal health outcomes. This review will include studies which included pregnant women and/or women during birth. The search strategy will utilise a combination of keywords and MeSH terms. Literature databases such as PubMed, Embase, The Cochrane Library, CINAHL and WHO Global Health Library will be searched. Two reviewers will independently screen retrieved citations to determine if they meet inclusion criteria. Studies will be selected that provide information about interventions commenced in early pregnancy, late pregnancy or labour. Comparisons to be made include mobile applications versus interventions relying on paper-based or text-messaging-based communication; interpersonal communication such as face-to-face or telephone conversation; and no intervention or standard care. Quality assessment of included randomised studies will utilise established guidelines provided in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Quality assessment of non-randomised studies will be based on the Risk of Bias in Non-randomised Studies-of Interventions (ROBINS-I) assessment tool. Quality of the evidence will be evaluated using the Grades of

  8. Proactive behaviour towards strength use and deficit improvement, hope and efficacy as predictors of life satisfaction amongst first-year university students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederick W. Stander

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Orientation: The orientation of this study is towards proactive behaviour towards strength use (PBSU and proactive behaviour towards deficit improvement (PBDI and their relationship with hope, efficacy and life satisfaction of first-year university students. Research purpose: To (1 determine whether PBSU and PBDI predict life satisfaction, (2 determine whether PBSU and PBDI predict hope and efficacy and (3 investigate a structural model where hope and efficacy mediate the relationship between PBSU and PBDI and life satisfaction. Motivation for the study: To validate the use of PBSU and PBDI as resources that will assist first-year university student to attain life satisfaction and to delineate the need for universities to incorporate interventions that promote PBSU and PBDI amongst these students. This supports the case for positive organisational behaviour. Research design, approach and method: A convenience sample of 566 first-year students from a university in Gauteng was used with a cross-sectional research design. Structural equation modelling was used to establish the validity of the measurement model, fit for the structural model and to test the mediating effects. Main findings: The results indicated that PBSU was a significant predictor of hope, efficacy and life satisfaction and that PBDI was a significant predictor of hope and efficacy. Hope mediated the relationship between PBSU, PBDI and life satisfaction. Efficacy mediated the relationship between PBSU and life satisfaction. Practical/managerial implications: Evidence suggests that PBSU was a predictor of life satisfaction. This was not the case with PBDI, which in fact negatively correlated with life satisfaction. Both PBSU and PBDI, however, predicted hope and efficacy. On a practical level this reveals that universities should, in line with positive organisational behaviour, introduce interventions that develop PBSU and PBDI amongst first-year students. It further suggests that

  9. Melt analysis of mismatch amplification mutation assays (Melt-MAMA: a functional study of a cost-effective SNP genotyping assay in bacterial models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dawn N Birdsell

    Full Text Available Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs are abundant in genomes of all species and biologically informative markers extensively used across broad scientific disciplines. Newly identified SNP markers are publicly available at an ever-increasing rate due to advancements in sequencing technologies. Efficient, cost-effective SNP genotyping methods to screen sample populations are in great demand in well-equipped laboratories, but also in developing world situations. Dual Probe TaqMan assays are robust but can be cost-prohibitive and require specialized equipment. The Mismatch Amplification Mutation Assay, coupled with melt analysis (Melt-MAMA, is flexible, efficient and cost-effective. However, Melt-MAMA traditionally suffers from high rates of assay design failures and knowledge gaps on assay robustness and sensitivity. In this study, we identified strategies that improved the success of Melt-MAMA. We examined the performance of 185 Melt-MAMAs across eight different pathogens using various optimization parameters. We evaluated the effects of genome size and %GC content on assay development. When used collectively, specific strategies markedly improved the rate of successful assays at the first design attempt from ~50% to ~80%. We observed that Melt-MAMA accurately genotypes across a broad DNA range (~100 ng to ~0.1 pg. Genomic size and %GC content influence the rate of successful assay design in an independent manner. Finally, we demonstrated the versatility of these assays by the creation of a duplex Melt-MAMA real-time PCR (two SNPs and conversion to a size-based genotyping system, which uses agarose gel electrophoresis. Melt-MAMA is comparable to Dual Probe TaqMan assays in terms of design success rate and accuracy. Although sensitivity is less robust than Dual Probe TaqMan assays, Melt-MAMA is superior in terms of cost-effectiveness, speed of development and versatility. We detail the parameters most important for the successful application of

  10. A mass spectrometry-based assay for improved quantitative measurements of efflux pump inhibition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam R Brown

    Full Text Available Bacterial efflux pumps are active transport proteins responsible for resistance to selected biocides and antibiotics. It has been shown that production of efflux pumps is up-regulated in a number of highly pathogenic bacteria, including methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Thus, the identification of new bacterial efflux pump inhibitors is a topic of great interest. Existing assays to evaluate efflux pump inhibitory activity rely on fluorescence by an efflux pump substrate. When employing these assays to evaluate efflux pump inhibitory activity of plant extracts and some purified compounds, we observed severe optical interference that gave rise to false negative results. To circumvent this problem, a new mass spectrometry-based method was developed for the quantitative measurement of bacterial efflux pump inhibition. The assay was employed to evaluate efflux pump inhibitory activity of a crude extract of the botanical Hydrastis Canadensis, and to compare the efflux pump inhibitory activity of several pure flavonoids. The flavonoid quercetin, which appeared to be completely inactive with a fluorescence-based method, showed an IC50 value of 75 μg/mL with the new method. The other flavonoids evaluated (apigenin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, luteolin, myricetin, were also active, with IC50 values ranging from 19 μg/mL to 75 μg/mL. The assay described herein could be useful in future screening efforts to identify efflux pump inhibitors, particularly in situations where optical interference precludes the application of methods that rely on fluorescence.

  11. Characteristics of Family Literacy Programmes That Improve Child Literacy, Behaviour and Parenting Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terlitsky, Amy Bowlin; Wilkins, Julia

    2015-01-01

    Children who struggle with reading, a critical component of literacy, may exhibit behavioural problems. Having difficulties in both literacy and behaviour increases children's risk of poor educational outcomes. We reviewed 82 studies of family literacy programmes and identified 15 empirical studies that reported positive child outcomes related to…

  12. Incorporating technology buying behaviour into UK-based long term domestic stock energy models to provide improved policy analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Timothy; Yao, Runming

    2013-01-01

    The UK has a target for an 80% reduction in CO 2 emissions by 2050 from a 1990 base. Domestic energy use accounts for around 30% of total emissions. This paper presents a comprehensive review of existing models and modelling techniques and indicates how they might be improved by considering individual buying behaviour. Macro (top-down) and micro (bottom-up) models have been reviewed and analysed. It is found that bottom-up models can project technology diffusion due to their higher resolution. The weakness of existing bottom-up models at capturing individual green technology buying behaviour has been identified. Consequently, Markov chains, neural networks and agent-based modelling are proposed as possible methods to incorporate buying behaviour within a domestic energy forecast model. Among the three methods, agent-based models are found to be the most promising, although a successful agent approach requires large amounts of input data. A prototype agent-based model has been developed and tested, which demonstrates the feasibility of an agent approach. This model shows that an agent-based approach is promising as a means to predict the effectiveness of various policy measures. - Highlights: ► Long term energy models are reviewed with a focus on UK domestic stock models. ► Existing models are found weak in modelling green technology buying behaviour. ► Agent models, Markov chains and neural networks are considered as solutions. ► Agent-based modelling (ABM) is found to be the most promising approach. ► A prototype ABM is developed and testing indicates a lot of potential.

  13. Improving the measurement of longitudinal change in renal function: automated detection of changes in laboratory creatinine assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norman Poh

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available IntroductionRenal function is reported using the estimates of glomerular filtration rate (eGFR. However, eGFR values are recorded without reference to the particular serum creatinine (SCr assays used to derive them, and newer assays were introduced at different time points across the laboratories in the United Kingdom. These changes may cause systematic bias in eGFR reported in routinely collected data, even though laboratory-reported eGFR values have a correction factor applied.DesignAn algorithm to detect changes in SCr that in turn affect eGFR calculation method was developed. It compares the mapping of SCr values on to eGFR values across a time series of paired eGFR and SCr measurements.SettingRoutinely collected primary care data from 20,000 people with the richest renal function data from the quality improvement in chronic kidney disease trial.ResultsThe algorithm identified a change in eGFR calculation method in 114 (90% of the 127 included practices. This change was identified in 4736 (23.7% patient time series analysed. This change in calibration method was found to cause a significant step change in the reported eGFR values, producing a systematic bias. The eGFR values could not be recalibrated by applying the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease equation to the laboratory reported SCr values.ConclusionsThis algorithm can identify laboratory changes in eGFR calculation methods and changes in SCr assay. Failure to account for these changes may misconstrue renal function changes over time. Researchers using routine eGFR data should account for these effects.  

  14. Behavioural Insights into Benefits Claimants' Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gloster, Rosie; Buzzeo, Jonathan; Cox, Annette; Bertram, Christine; Tassinari, Arianna; Schmidtke, Kelly Ann; Vlaev, Ivo

    2018-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the behavioural determinants of work-related benefits claimants' training behaviours and to suggest ways to improve claimants' compliance with training referrals. Design/methodology/approach: Qualitative interviews were conducted with 20 Jobcentre Plus staff and training providers, and 60 claimants.…

  15. Immunophenotyping does not improve predictivity of the local lymph node assay in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, Volker; Kolle, Susanne N; Honarvar, Naveed; Dammann, Martina; Groeters, Sibylle; Faulhammer, Frank; Landsiedel, Robert; van Ravenzwaay, Bennard

    2015-04-01

    The local lymph node assay (LLNA) is a regulatory accepted test for the identification of skin sensitizing substances by measuring radioactive thymidine incorporation into the lymph node. However, there is evidence that LLNA is overestimating the sensitization potential of certain substance classes in particular those exerting skin irritation. Some reports describe the additional use of flow cytometry-based immunophenotyping to better discriminate irritants from sensitizing irritants in LLNA. In the present study, the 22 performance standards plus 8 surfactants were assessed using the radioactive LLNA method. In addition, lymph node cells were immunophenotyped to evaluate the specificity of the lymph node response using cell surface markers such as B220 or CD19, CD3, CD4, CD8, I-A(κ) and CD69 with the aim to allow a better discrimination above all between irritants and sensitizers, but also non-irritating sensitizers and non-sensitizers. However, the markers assessed in this study do not sufficiently differentiate between irritants and irritant sensitizers and therefore did not improve the predictive capacity of the LLNA. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  16. Lifestyle behaviours and weight among hospital-based nurses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zapka, Jane M; Lemon, Stephenie C; Magner, Robert P; Hale, Janet

    2009-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to (i) describe the weight, weight-related perceptions and lifestyle behaviours of hospital-based nurses, and (ii) explore the relationship of demographic, health, weight and job characteristics with lifestyle behaviours. The obesity epidemic is widely documented. Worksite initiatives have been advocated. Nurses represent an important part of the hospital workforce and serve as role models when caring for patients. A sample of 194 nurses from six hospitals participated in anthropometric measurements and self-administered surveys. The majority of nurses were overweight and obese, and some were not actively involved in weight management behaviours. Self-reported health, diet and physical activity behaviours were low, although variable by gender, age and shift. Reports of co-worker norms supported low levels of healthy behaviours. Findings reinforce the need to address the hospital environment and culture as well as individual behaviours for obesity control. Nurse managers have an opportunity to consider interventions that promote a climate favourable to improved health habits by facilitating and supporting healthy lifestyle choices (nutrition and physical activity) and environmental changes. Such efforts have the potential to increase productivity and morale and decrease work-related disabilities and improve quality of life.

  17. MsLDR-creator: a web service to design msLDR assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bormann, Felix; Dahl, Andreas; Sers, Christine

    2012-03-01

    MsLDR-creator is a free web service to design assays for the new DNA methylation detection method msLDR. The service provides the user with all necessary information about the oligonucleotides required for the measurement of a given CpG within a sequence of interest. The parameters are calculated by the nearest neighbour approach to achieve optimal behaviour during the experimental procedure. In addition, to guarantee a good start using msLDR, further information, like protocols and hints and tricks, are provided.

  18. Neural coding in the visual system of Drosophila melanogaster: How do small neural populations support visually guided behaviours?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewar, Alex D M; Wystrach, Antoine; Philippides, Andrew; Graham, Paul

    2017-10-01

    All organisms wishing to survive and reproduce must be able to respond adaptively to a complex, changing world. Yet the computational power available is constrained by biology and evolution, favouring mechanisms that are parsimonious yet robust. Here we investigate the information carried in small populations of visually responsive neurons in Drosophila melanogaster. These so-called 'ring neurons', projecting to the ellipsoid body of the central complex, are reported to be necessary for complex visual tasks such as pattern recognition and visual navigation. Recently the receptive fields of these neurons have been mapped, allowing us to investigate how well they can support such behaviours. For instance, in a simulation of classic pattern discrimination experiments, we show that the pattern of output from the ring neurons matches observed fly behaviour. However, performance of the neurons (as with flies) is not perfect and can be easily improved with the addition of extra neurons, suggesting the neurons' receptive fields are not optimised for recognising abstract shapes, a conclusion which casts doubt on cognitive explanations of fly behaviour in pattern recognition assays. Using artificial neural networks, we then assess how easy it is to decode more general information about stimulus shape from the ring neuron population codes. We show that these neurons are well suited for encoding information about size, position and orientation, which are more relevant behavioural parameters for a fly than abstract pattern properties. This leads us to suggest that in order to understand the properties of neural systems, one must consider how perceptual circuits put information at the service of behaviour.

  19. Improved pump turbine transient behaviour prediction using a Thoma number-dependent hillchart model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Manderla, M; Koutnik, J; Kiniger, K

    2014-01-01

    Water hammer phenomena are important issues for high head hydro power plants. Especially, if several reversible pump-turbines are connected to the same waterways there may be strong interactions between the hydraulic machines. The prediction and coverage of all relevant load cases is challenging and difficult using classical simulation models. On the basis of a recent pump-storage project, dynamic measurements motivate an improved modeling approach making use of the Thoma number dependency of the actual turbine behaviour. The proposed approach is validated for several transient scenarios and turns out to increase correlation between measurement and simulation results significantly. By applying a fully automated simulation procedure broad operating ranges can be covered which provides a consistent insight into critical load case scenarios. This finally allows the optimization of the closing strategy and hence the overall power plant performance

  20. Improved pump turbine transient behaviour prediction using a Thoma number-dependent hillchart model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manderla, M.; Kiniger, K.; Koutnik, J.

    2014-03-01

    Water hammer phenomena are important issues for high head hydro power plants. Especially, if several reversible pump-turbines are connected to the same waterways there may be strong interactions between the hydraulic machines. The prediction and coverage of all relevant load cases is challenging and difficult using classical simulation models. On the basis of a recent pump-storage project, dynamic measurements motivate an improved modeling approach making use of the Thoma number dependency of the actual turbine behaviour. The proposed approach is validated for several transient scenarios and turns out to increase correlation between measurement and simulation results significantly. By applying a fully automated simulation procedure broad operating ranges can be covered which provides a consistent insight into critical load case scenarios. This finally allows the optimization of the closing strategy and hence the overall power plant performance.

  1. Development of an integrated assay facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Molesworth, T.V.; Bailey, M.; Findlay, D.J.S.; Parsons, T.V.; Sene, M.R.; Swinhoe, M.T.

    1990-01-01

    The I.R.I.S. concept proposed the use of passive examination and active interrogation techniques in an integrated assay facility. A linac would generate the interrogating gamma and neutron beams. Insufficiently detailed knowledge about active neutron and gamma interrogation of 500 litre drums of cement immobilised intermediate level waste led to a research programme which is now in its main experimental stage. Measurements of interrogation responses are being made using simulated waste drums containing actinide samples and calibration sources, in an experimental assay assembly. Results show that responses are generally consistent with theory, but that improvements are needed in some areas. A preliminary appraisal of the engineering and economic aspects of integrated assay shows that correct operational sequencing is required to achieve the short cycle time needed for high throughput. The main engineering features of a facility have been identified

  2. Going beyond audit and feedback: towards behaviour-based interventions to change physician laboratory test ordering behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meidani, Z; Mousavi, G A; Kheirkhah, D; Benar, N; Maleki, M R; Sharifi, M; Farrokhian, A

    2017-12-01

    Studies indicate there are a variety of contributing factors affecting physician test ordering behaviour. Identifying these behaviours allows development of behaviour-based interventions. Methods Through a pilot study, the list of contributing factors in laboratory tests ordering, and the most ordered tests, were identified, and given to 50 medical students, interns, residents and paediatricians in questionnaire form. The results showed routine tests and peer or supervisor pressure as the most influential factors affecting physician ordering behaviour. An audit and feedback mechanism was selected as an appropriate intervention to improve physician ordering behaviour. The intervention was carried out at two intervals over a three-month period. Findings There was a large reduction in the number of laboratory tests ordered; from 908 before intervention to 389 and 361 after first and second intervention, respectively. There was a significant relationship between audit and feedback and the meaningful reduction of 7 out of 15 laboratory tests including complete blood count (p = 0.002), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (p = 0.01), C-reactive protein (p = 0.01), venous blood gas (p = 0.016), urine analysis (p = 0.005), blood culture (p = 0.045) and stool examination (p = 0.001). Conclusion The audit and feedback intervention, even in short duration, affects physician ordering behaviour. It should be designed in terms of behaviour-based intervention and diagnosis of the contributing factors in physicians' behaviour. Further studies are required to substantiate the effectiveness of such behaviour-based intervention strategies in changing physician behaviour.

  3. The BokSmart intervention programme is associated with improvements in injury prevention behaviours of rugby union players: an ecological cross-sectional study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brown, J.C.; Gardner-Lubbe, S.; Lambert, M.I.; van Mechelen, W.; Verhagen, E.A.L.M.

    2015-01-01

    Background/aim Participants of rugby union (‘rugby’) have an above-average risk of injury compared with other popular sports. Thus, BokSmart, a nationwide injury prevention programme for rugby, was introduced in South Africa in 2009. Improvements in injurypreventing behaviour of players are critical

  4. BMVC test, an improved fluorescence assay for detection of malignant pleural effusions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin, I-Ting; Tsai, Yu-Lin; Kang, Chi-Chih; Huang, Wei-Chun; Wang, Chiung-Lin; Lin, Mei-Ying; Lou, Pei-Jen; Shih, Jin-Yuan; Wang, Hao-Chien; Wu, Huey-Dong; Tsai, Tzu-Hsiu; Jan, I-Shiow; Chang, Ta-Chau

    2014-01-01

    The diagnosis of malignant pleural effusions is an important issue in the management of malignancy patients. Generally, cytologic examination is a routine diagnostic technique. However, morphological interpretation of cytology is sometimes inconclusive. Here an ancillary method named BMVC test is developed for rapid detection of malignant pleural effusion to improve the diagnostic accuracy at low cost. A simple assay kit is designed to collect living cells from clinical pleural effusion and a fluorescence probe, 3,6-Bis(1-methyl-4-vinylpyridinium) carbazole diiodide (BMVC), is used to illuminate malignant cells. The fluorescence intensity is quantitatively analyzed by ImageJ program. This method yields digital numbers for the test results without any grey zone or ambiguities in the current cytology tests due to intra-observer and inter-observer variability. Comparing with results from double-blind cytologic examination, this simple test gives a good discrimination between malignant and benign specimens with sensitivity of 89.4% (42/47) and specificity of 93.3% (56/60) for diagnosis of malignant pleural effusion. BMVC test provides accurate results in a short time period, and the digital output could assist cytologic examination to become more objective and clear-cut. This is a convenient ancillary tool for detection of malignant pleural effusions

  5. Variation in cooperative behaviour within a single city.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Nettle

    Full Text Available Human cooperative behaviour, as assayed by decisions in experimental economic dilemmas such as the Dictator Game, is variable across human populations. Within-population variation has been less well studied, especially within industrial societies. Moreover, little is known about the extent to which community-level variation in Dictator Game behaviour relates to community-level variation in real-world social behaviour. We chose two neighbourhoods of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne that were similar in most regards, but at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of level of socioeconomic deprivation. We administered Dictator Games to randomly-selected residents, and also gathered a large number of more naturalistic measures of cooperativeness. There were dramatic differences in Dictator Game behaviour between the two neighbourhoods, with the mean allocation to the other player close to half the stake in the affluent neighbourhood, and close to one tenth of the stake in the deprived neighbourhood. Moreover, the deprived neighbourhood was also characterised by lower self-reported social capital, higher frequencies of crime and antisocial behaviour, a higher frequency of littering, and less willingness to take part in a survey or return a lost letter. On the other hand, there were no differences between the neighbourhoods in terms of the probability of helping a person who dropped an object, needed directions to a hospital, or needed to make change for a coin, and people on the streets were less likely to be alone in the deprived neighbourhood than the affluent one. We conclude that there can be dramatic local differences in cooperative behaviour within the same city, and that these need further theoretical explanation.

  6. Window opening behaviour: simulations of occupant behaviour in residential buildings using models based on a field survey

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Valentina, Fabi; Andersen, Rune Korsholm; Corgnati, Stefano Paolo

    2012-01-01

    Window opening behaviour has been shown to have a significant impact on airflow rates and hence energy consumption. Nevertheless, the inhabitant behaviour related to window opening in residential buildings is currently poorly investigated through both field surveys and building energy simulations....... In particular, reliable information regarding user behaviour in residential buildings is crucial for suitable prediction of building performance (energy consumption, indoor environmental quality, etc.). To face this issue, measurements of indoor climate and outdoor environmental parameters and window “opening...... and closing” actions were performed in 15 dwellings from January to August 2008 in Denmark. Probabilistic models of inhabitants’ window “opening and closing” behaviour were developed and implemented in the energy simulation software IDA ICE to improve window opening and closing strategies in simulations...

  7. An improved method for staining cell colonies in clonogenic assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guda, Kishore; Natale, Leanna; Markowitz, Sanford D

    2007-06-01

    Clonogenic assay is a widely used experimental approach to test for the effects of drugs/genes on the growth and proliferative characteristics of cells in vitro. Accurate quantitation of treatment effects in clonogeneic assays depends on the ability to visualize and count cell colonies precisely. We report a novel method (referred as ETeB) for staining cell colonies grown on plastic and specially coated substrates like collagen. Using colon cancer cell lines grown on plastic and collagen, we compared the colony staining efficiencies of the widely used methylene blue, and Ethidium bromide (ETeB) stains. Results show that the ETeB protocol works well on plastic and is extremely effective for staining colonies on collagen when compared to methylene blue. The key features and advantages of ETeB technique are; (a) reduction in background for colonies grown on collagen and possibly other substrates, (b) the whole procedure takes less than a minute, (c) no post-stain washing step is required which eliminates colony losses for cell lines that are loosely adherent, (d) colony visualization and counting can be done immediately following the staining procedure using a standard UV illuminator and software, and (e) the method works across a wide variety of cell lines. The simplicity and robustness of this procedure should warrant its usage in both small and large-scale clonogenic experiments.

  8. Admission to day stay early parenting program is associated with improvements in mental health and infant behaviour: A prospective cohort study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rowe Heather

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Australia’s Early Parenting Services support families and intervene early in mental health problems in parents. The Victorian Early Parenting Strategy, a platform for government policy recommended a stronger evidence base for early parenting services. Tweddle Child and Family Health Service (TCFHS is a not-for-profit public sector early parenting centre, which provides residential, day stay, home visiting and outreach programs. This study aimed i to examine the health, social circumstances and presenting needs of clients attending the Tweddle Day Stay Program (DSP with infants under 12 months old and ii to assess the parent mental health and infant behaviour outcomes and the factors associated with program success. Methods A cohort of clients was recruited prior to admission and followed-up 8 weeks after discharge. Data were collected using standardised measures in a study specific questionnaire at baseline, participant’s Tweddle records and a follow-up telephone interview. Health, social circumstances and presenting needs of clients were described. Changes in parents’ symptoms of depression and infants’ sleep and settling between admission and follow-up were calculated. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to examine factors associated with changes in primary outcomes. Results Of the total 162 clients who were eligible and invited to participate, 115 (72% were recruited. Parents admitted to the DSP had worse general self-reported physical and mental health than community samples. Infants of DSP participants were no more likely to be premature or have low birth weight, but significantly more unsettled than other community samples. Participants’ mental health and their infants’ behaviours were significantly improved after DSP admission. In multivariate analysis, higher depression score at baseline and greater educational attainment were significantly associated with improvements in parents’ mental

  9. Improving hand hygiene compliance for the reduction of nosocomial infections: recommendations for behaviour change in a health care setting

    OpenAIRE

    Reason, Florence Paige

    2008-01-01

    Nosocomial infection rates are highly dependent on hand hygiene compliance within health care facilities. This paper examines the literature concerning elements of effective hand hygiene interventions and relevant behaviour change theory, in addition to current practice surrounding hand hygiene interventions in leading institutions, in order to inform and propose recommendations for the improvement and success of the University Health Network’s current hand hygiene initiative. The results of ...

  10. An extended version of the theory of planned behaviour: the role of self-efficacy and past behaviour in predicting the physical activity of Chinese adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lijuan; Zhang, Ying

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to use an extended theory of planned behaviour (TPB), which incorporated additional self-efficacy and past behaviour, to predict the intention to engage in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and the MVPA level of Chinese adolescents. Questionnaires that focused on MVPA, attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioural control (PBC), self-efficacy and past behaviour related to the MVPA engagement were administered to a sample of 488 young people. Multiple regression analyses provided moderate support for TPB. Three TPB constructs predicted 28.7% of the variance in intentions to engage in MVPA, and that PBC, but not intention, explained 3.4% of the variance in MVPA. Self-efficacy significantly affected intention and behaviour over and above the influence of TPB. Past behaviour had a small but significant improvement in the prediction of intention, but no improvement in the prediction of MVPA. Based on the results, interventions should target adolescent self-efficacy and PBC in physical activity participation.

  11. Understanding and changing human behaviour--antibiotic mainstreaming as an approach to facilitate modification of provider and consumer behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stålsby Lundborg, Cecilia; Tamhankar, Ashok J

    2014-05-01

    This paper addresses: 1) Situations where human behaviour is involved in relation to antibiotics, focusing on providers and consumers; 2) Theories about human behaviour and factors influencing behaviour in relation to antibiotics; 3) How behaviour in relation to antibiotics can change; and, 4) Antibiotic mainstreaming as an approach to facilitate changes in human behaviour as regards antibiotics. Influencing human behaviour in relation to antibiotics is a complex process which includes factors like knowledge, attitudes, social norms, socio-economic conditions, peer pressure, experiences, and bio-physical and socio-behavioural environment. Further, key concepts are often perceived in different ways by different individuals. While designing and implementing projects or programmes for behavioural change with respect to antibiotics for professionals or consumers it is helpful to consider theories or models of behaviour change, e.g. the 'stages of change model', including pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. People in different stages of change are susceptible to different behaviour modification strategies. Application of marketing principles to 'global good', so-called 'social marketing', to improve 'welfare of the individual and society' is gaining increased attention in public health. In conclusion, just providing correct knowledge is not sufficient although it is a pre-requisite for behaviour modification in the desired direction. We can never change the behaviour of any other human, but we can facilitate for others to change their own behaviour. One possibility is to implement 'antibiotic mainstreaming' as a potentially effective way for behaviour modification, i.e. to address consequences for maintaining effective antibiotics in all activities and decisions in society.

  12. A Simple and Fast Kinetic Assay for the Determination of Fructan Exohydrolase Activity in Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gasperl, A.; Morvan-Bertrand, A.; Prud'homme, M. P.; van der Graaff, E.; Roitsch, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 6, dec (2015), s. 1154 ISSN 1664-462X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : 1-FEH * enzymaticactivity * fructanexohydrolase * fructandegradation * kinetic assay * perennial ryegrass Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 4.495, year: 2015

  13. Experience during development triggers between-individual variation in behavioural plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urszán, Tamás János; Garamszegi, László Zsolt; Nagy, Gergely; Hettyey, Attila; Török, János; Herczeg, Gábor

    2018-05-12

    1.Behavioural consistency within and across behaviours (animal personality and behavioural syndrome, respectively) have been vigorously studied in the last decade, leading to the emergence of 'animal personality' research. It has been proposed recently that not only mean behaviour (behavioural type), but the environmentally induced behavioural change (behavioural plasticity) might also differ between individuals within populations. 2.While case studies presenting between-individual variation in behavioural plasticity have started to accumulate, the mechanisms behind its emergence are virtually unknown. We have recently demonstrated that ecologically relevant environmental stimuli during ontogeny are necessary for the development of animal personality and behavioural syndromes. However, it is unknown whether between-individual variation in behavioural plasticity is hard-wired or induced. 3.Here, we tested whether experience with predation during development affected predator-induced behavioural plasticity in Rana dalmatina tadpoles. We ran a common garden experiment with two ontogenetic predation treatments: tadpoles developed from hatching in either the presence or absence of olfactory predator stimuli. Then, we assayed all tadpoles repeatedly for activity and risk-taking both in the absence and presence of olfactory predator stimuli. 4. We found that (i) between-individual variation in predator-induced behavioural plasticity was present only in the group that developed in the presence of olfactory stimuli from predators and (ii) previous experience with predatory stimuli resulted in lower plastic response at the group-level. The latter pattern resulted from increased between-individual variation and not from universally lower individual responses. We also found that experience with predation during development increased the predictability (i.e. decreased the within-individual variation unrelated to environmental change) of activity, but not risk-taking. In line

  14. Impact of an undergraduate course on medical students’ self-perceived nutrition intake and self-efficacy to improve their health behaviours and counselling practices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Crowley J

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Doctors are increasingly involved in the management of chronic disease and counsel patients about their lifestyle behaviours, including nutrition, to improve their health outcomes. AIM: This study aimed to assess the impact of a medical undergraduate course containing nutrition content on medical students’ self-perceived nutrition intake and self-efficacy to improve their health behaviours and counselling practices. METHODS: A total of 239 medical students enrolled in a 12-week nutrition-related course at The University of Auckland were invited to complete an anonymous questionnaire before and after the course. The questionnaire was adapted from a previous evaluation of a preventive medicine and nutrition course at Harvard Medical School. RESULTS: Sixty-one medical students completed both pre- and post-course questionnaires (25.5%. At baseline, medical students described their eating habits to be more healthy than non-medical students (p=0.0261. Post-course, medical students reported a higher frequency of wholegrain food intake (p=0.0229. Medical students also reported being less comfortable making nutrition recommendations to family and friends post-course (p=0.008. Most medical students (63.9% perceived increased awareness of their own dietary choices, and some (15.3% reported an increased likelihood to counsel patients on lifestyle behaviour post-course. DISCUSSION: Students can increase awareness of their own nutrition behaviour after undertaking a course that includes nutrition in the initial phase of their medical degree. Further investigation of how medical students’ confidence to provide nutrition advice evolves throughout their training and in future practice is required.

  15. Chronic disease health risk behaviours amongst people with a mental illness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlem, Kate M; Bowman, Jennifer A; Bailey, Jacqueline M; Freund, Megan; Wye, Paula M; Lecathelinais, Christophe; McElwaine, Kathleen M; Campbell, Elizabeth M; Gillham, Karen E; Wiggers, John H

    2015-08-01

    Amongst people with a mental illness, modifiable health risk behaviours contribute substantially to increased chronic disease morbidity and mortality. This study examined the prevalence of and interest in changing such behaviours amongst community mental health service clients in Australia. A telephone interview was undertaken with Australian community mental health service clients. Participants reported engagement in four health risk behaviours: tobacco smoking, fruit and vegetable consumption, alcohol consumption, and physical activity. Participants were classified as at risk based upon Australian national guidelines. At-risk participants were asked whether they were considering improving their health risk behaviour within the next month. The association between psychiatric diagnosis and risk, and interest in improving health risk behaviours was examined. Risk prevalence was highest for inadequate vegetable consumption (78.3%), followed by inadequate fruit consumption (60%), smoking (50.7%), physical inactivity (46.8%), short-term alcohol risk (40.3%) and chronic alcohol risk (35.3%). A majority of at-risk participants were considering improving their health risk behaviour for smoking, physical inactivity and inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption (65.1%, 71.1%, and 53.3%, respectively). After adjusting for demographic factors, no diagnostic categories were associated with risk for any behaviour. Those with a diagnosis of depression were more likely to be interested in quitting smoking and increasing physical activity. Regardless of diagnosis, a high prevalence of chronic disease health risk behaviours was identified, with many participants expressing an interest in improving these behaviours. Such findings reinforce recommendations that preventive care addressing the chronic disease risks of clients be provided routinely by mental health clinicians. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) ACTRN12613000693729. URL: www.anzctr.org.au/. © The

  16. Occupants' window opening behaviour

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabi, Valentina; Andersen, Rune Korsholm; Corgnati, Stefano

    2012-01-01

    Energy consumption in buildings is influenced by several factors related to the building properties and the building controls, some of them highly connected to the behaviour of their occupants.In this paper, a definition of items referring to occupant behaviour related to the building control...... systems is proposed, based on studies presented in literature and a general process leading to the effects on energy consumptions is identified.Existing studies on the topic of window opening behaviour are highlighted and a theoretical framework to deal with occupants' interactions with building controls......, aimed at improving or maintaining the preferred indoor environmental conditions, is elaborated. This approach is used to look into the drivers for the actions taken by the occupants (windows opening and closing) and to investigate the existing models in literature of these actions for both residential...

  17. Thyroglobulin (Tg) Testing Revisited: Tg Assays, TgAb Assays, and Correlation of Results With Clinical Outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Netzel, Brian C; Grebe, Stefan K G; Carranza Leon, B Gisella; Castro, M Regina; Clark, Penelope M; Hoofnagle, Andrew N; Spencer, Carole A; Turcu, Adina F; Algeciras-Schimnich, Alicia

    2015-08-01

    Measurement of thyroglobulin (Tg) by mass spectrometry (Tg-MS) is emerging as a tool for accurate Tg quantification in patients with anti-Tg autoantibodies (TgAbs). The objective of the study was to perform analytical and clinical evaluations of two Tg-MS assays in comparison with immunometric Tg assays (Tg-IAs) and Tg RIAs (Tg-RIAs) in a cohort of thyroid cancer patients. A total of 589 samples from 495 patients, 243 TgAb-/252 TgAb+, were tested by Beckman, Roche, Siemens-Immulite, and Thermo-Brahms Tg and TgAb assays, two Tg-RIAs, and two Tg-MS assays. The frequency of TgAb+ was 58%, 41%, 27%, and 39% for Roche, Beckman, Siemens-Immulite, and Thermo-Brahms, respectively. In TgAb- samples, clinical sensitivities and specificities of 100% and 74%-100%, respectively, were observed across all assays. In TgAb+ samples, all Tg-IAs demonstrated assay-dependent Tg underestimation, ranging from 41% to 86%. In TgAb+ samples, the use of a common cutoff (0.5 ng/mL) for the Tg-MS, three Tg-IAs, and the USC-RIA improved the sensitivity for the Tg-MSs and Tg-RIAs when compared with the Tg-IAs. In up to 20% of TgAb+ cases, Tg-IAs failed to detect Tg that was detectable by Tg-MS. In Tg-RIAs false-high biases were observed in TgAb+ samples containing low Tg concentrations. Tg-IAs remain the method of choice for Tg quantitation in TgAb- patients. In TgAb+ patients with undetectable Tg by immunometric assay, the Tg-MS will detect Tg in up to 20% additional cases. The Tg-RIA will detect Tg in approximately 35% cases, but a significant proportion of these will be clinical false-positive results. The undetectable Tg-MS seen in approximately 40% of TgAb+ cases in patients with disease need further evaluation.

  18. Can training improve laypersons helping behaviour in first aid? A randomised controlled deception trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van de Velde, Stijn; Roex, Ann; Vangronsveld, Karoline; Niezink, Lidewij; Van Praet, Koen; Heselmans, Annemie; Donceel, Peter; Vandekerckhove, Philippe; Ramaekers, Dirk; Aertgeerts, Bert

    2013-04-01

    There is limited evidence indicating that laypersons trained in first aid provide better help, but do not help more often than untrained laypersons. This study investigated the effect of conventional first aid training versus conventional training plus supplementary training aimed at decreasing barriers to helping. The authors conducted a randomised controlled trial. After 24 h of conventional first aid training, the participants either attended an experimental lesson to reduce barriers to helping or followed a control lesson. The authors used a deception test to measure the time between the start of the unannounced simulated emergency and seeking help behaviour and the number of particular helping actions. The authors randomised 72 participants to both groups. 22 participants were included in the analysis for the experimental group and 36 in the control group. The authors found no statistically or clinically significant differences for any of the outcome measures. The time until seeking help (geometrical mean and 95% CI) was 55.5 s (42.9 to 72.0) in the experimental group and 56.5 s (43.0 to 74.3) in the control group. 57% of the participants asked a bystander to seek help, 40% left the victim to seek help themselves and 3% did not seek any help. Supplementary training on dealing with barriers to helping did not alter the helping behaviour. The timing and appropriateness of the aid provided can be improved. The authors registered this trial at ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT00954161.

  19. Cognitive-behavioural treatment for women who binge eat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelley-Ummenhofer, Jill; MacMillan, Peter D

    2007-01-01

    A dietitian-administered, shortened form of the Apple and Agras cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) method was evaluated in a group setting to determine its effect on improving obese women's self-esteem and reducing binge-eating behaviours, depression, and negative body image. Participants were recruited through newspaper and radio advertisements. Respondents who met study selection criteria were randomly assigned to either a CBT group (n=13) or a delayed group (D-CBT) (n=9). The treatment was administered over six weekly sessions to the CBT group, and then twice weekly over three weeks to the D-CBT group. Two measures of bingeing behaviour (severity and frequency), three measures of mood (depression, body image, and self-esteem), and body weight were assessed. The intervention did not result in any changes in body weight. There were statistically significant and clinically important changes after treatment (pbody image improved, and self-esteem improved. All changes were greater in the six-week treatment group. The dietitian-administered, group setting CBT program is effective for reducing binge eating and improving emotional state in obese women.

  20. An LC-MS Assay with Isocratic Separation and On-Line Solid Phase Extraction to Improve the Routine Therapeutic Drug Monitoring of Busulfan in Plasma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ialongo Cristiano

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: Busulfan (Bu requires therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM in subjects undergoing a conditioning regimen for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT. To speed up the procedure and increase reproducibility, we improved our routine LC-MS/MS assay using the on-line solid-phase extraction (SPE of samples.

  1. Improving access to psychological therapies in voice disorders: a cognitive behavioural therapy model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Tracy; Deary, Vincent; Patterson, Jo

    2014-06-01

    The improving access to psychological therapies initiative has highlighted the importance of managing mental health problems effectively, and research has shown excellent outcomes from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) interventions. Patients presenting with functional dysphonia will often also describe psychological distress including anxiety, depression and reduced general well-being, and it is felt that effective voice therapy needs to include the management of psychological well-being. The evidence for the use of CBT enhanced voice therapy is limited to date. Recent research has only started to identify the benefits of this approach and questions regarding how to achieve and maintain competence are essential. Voice therapy outcomes are positive and patients receiving CBT with voice therapy have shown more improvement in their general well-being and distress. CBT is a very well evidenced therapy and recommended by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as the treatment of choice for mental health difficulties and medically unexplained symptoms. Allied health professionals are increasingly being trained to use CBT skills in the management of a number of symptoms/illnesses, and this should be considered for the management of functional dysphonia. However, there is a need for more research and detailed consideration of how therapists should be trained and supervised and how cost-effective this approach may be.

  2. Anxiety-like behaviour increases safety from fish predation in an amphipod crustacea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrot-Minnot, Marie-Jeanne; Banchetry, Loan; Cézilly, Frank

    2017-12-01

    Anxiety is an emotional state generally expressed as sustained apprehension of the environment and elevated vigilance. It has been widely reported in vertebrates and, more recently, in a few invertebrate species. However, its fitness value remains elusive. We investigated anxiety-like behaviour and its consequences in an amphipod crustacean, using electric shock as aversive stimuli, and pharmacological assays. An anxiety-like state induced by electric shocks in Gammarus fossarum was expressed through increased sheltering behaviour in the absence of predation risk, thereby showing the pervasive nature of such behavioural response. Increasing the number of electric shocks both increased refuge use and delayed behavioural recovery. The behavioural effect of electric shock was mitigated by pre-treatment with LY354740, a metabotropic glutamate receptor group II/III agonist. Importantly, we found that this modulation of decision-making under an anxiety-like state resulted in an increased survival to predation in microcosm experiments. This study confirms the interest in taking an evolutionary view to the study of anxiety and calls for further investigation on the costs counterbalancing the survival benefit of an elevated anxiety level evidenced here.

  3. Surfing depth on a behaviour change website: predictors and effects on behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Nele; De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse; Claes, Neree

    2010-03-01

    The primary objectives of the present study were to gain insight into website use and to predict the surfing depth on a behaviour change website and its effect on behaviour. Two hundred eight highly educated adults from the intervention condition of a randomised trial received access to a medical intervention, individual coaching (by e-mail, post, telephone or face-to-face) and a behaviour change website. Website use (e.g. surfing depth, page view duration) was registered. Online questionnaires for physical activity and fat intake were filled out at baseline and after 6 months. Hierarchical linear regression was used to predict surfing depth and its effect on behaviour. Seventy-five per cent of the participants visited the website. Fifty-one and fifty-six per cent consulted the physical activity and fat intake feedback, respectively. The median surfing depth was 2. The total duration of interventions by e-mail predicted deeper surfing (beta=0.36; pSurfing depth did not predict changes in fat intake (beta=-0.07; p=0.45) or physical activity (beta=-0.03; p=0.72). Consulting the physical activity feedback led to more physical activity (beta=0.23; p=0.01). The findings from the present study can be used to guide future website development and improve the information architecture of behaviour change websites.

  4. An improved enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for whole-cell determination of methanogens in samples from anaerobic reactors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, A.H.; Ahring, B.K.

    1997-01-01

    An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was developed for the detection of whole cells of methanogens in samples from anaerobic continuously stirred tank digesters treating slurries of solid waste. The assay was found to allow for quantitative analysis of the most important groups of methanogens......-quality microtiter plates and the addition of dilute hydrochloric acid to the samples. In an experiment on different digester samples, the test demonstrated a unique pattern of different methanogenic strains present in each sample. The limited preparatory work required for the assay and the simple assay design make...... in samples from anaerobic digesters in a reproducible manner. Polyclonal antisera against eight strains of methanogens were employed in the test, The specificities of the antisera were increased by adsorption with cross-reacting cells. The reproducibility of the assay depended on the use of high...

  5. Preventing and managing challenging behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallett, Nutmeg

    2018-02-21

    Patients exhibiting challenging behaviour, which includes any non-verbal, verbal or physical behaviour, is a significant issue in healthcare settings. Preventing such behaviour and the harm it can cause is important for healthcare organisations and individuals, and involves following a public health model comprised of three tiers: primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. Primary prevention aims to reduce the risk of challenging behaviour occurring in the first instance; secondary prevention involves reducing the risk associated with imminent challenging behaviour and its potential escalation; and tertiary prevention focuses on minimising the physical and emotional harm caused by challenging behaviours, during and after an event. De-escalation should be the first-line response to challenging behaviour, and healthcare staff should use a range of techniques - maintaining safety, self-regulation, effective communication, and assessment and actions - to reduce the incidence of challenging behaviour. In some situations, physical interventions may be required to protect the safety of the individual, healthcare staff and other individuals involved, and healthcare staff should be aware of local policies and procedures for this. Following a serious incident, where there was potential or actual harm to patients and healthcare staff, healthcare organisations should use post-incident reviews to learn from the situation, while healthcare staff should be offered the opportunity for debriefing. Positive responses to challenging behaviour at an organisational and individual level can lead to improved work environments for healthcare staff and optimal patient care and outcomes. ©2018 RCN Publishing Company Ltd. All rights reserved. Not to be copied, transmitted or recorded in any way, in whole or part, without prior permission of the publishers.

  6. A Review of Behavioural Gerontology and Dementia Related Interventions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josling, Megan

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Behavioural Gerontology is concerned with the interaction of the aging individual and their environment. One aspect of behavioural gerontology has focussed on the use of behaviourist methods to improve the functioning and quality of life of individuals with dementia. Positive reinforcement techniques have shown to have an effect on dementia related behavioural excesses (wandering, disruptive vocalisations, behavioural deficits (incontinence, self feeding and mood changes (depression. One of the major concerns of using reinforcement techniques in the case of dementia is maintenance of the behavioural changes with the continual implementation of the intervention. Research has indicated that individuals with dementia meet behavioural extinction criteria at an advanced rate in comparison with individuals without dementia. Thus for a behavioural change to be successfully maintained it requires diligence on the part of the caregiver and/or nursing home staff. In the case of dementia care centres and nursing homes, when using behavioural interventions to modify the behavioural symptoms of dementia, there needs to be a considerable overlap between Behavioural Gerontology and Organisational Behavioural Management to ensure the successful maintenance of behavioural change.

  7. Improving physician hand hygiene compliance using behavioural theories: a study protocol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Squires Janet E

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Healthcare-associated infections affect 10% of patients in Canadian acute-care hospitals and are significant and preventable causes of morbidity and mortality among hospitalized patients. Hand hygiene is among the simplest and most effective preventive measures to reduce these infections. However, compliance with hand hygiene among healthcare workers, specifically among physicians, is consistently suboptimal. We aim to first identify the barriers and enablers to physician hand hygiene compliance, and then to develop and pilot a theory-based knowledge translation intervention to increase physicians’ compliance with best hand hygiene practice. Design The study consists of three phases. In Phase 1, we will identify barriers and enablers to hand hygiene compliance by physicians. This will include: key informant interviews with physicians and residents using a structured interview guide, informed by the Theoretical Domains Framework; nonparticipant observation of physician/resident hand hygiene audit sessions; and focus groups with hand hygiene experts. In Phase 2, we will conduct intervention mapping to develop a theory-based knowledge translation intervention to improve physician hand hygiene compliance. Finally, in Phase 3, we will pilot the knowledge translation intervention in four patient care units. Discussion In this study, we will use a behavioural theory approach to obtain a better understanding of the barriers and enablers to physician hand hygiene compliance. This will provide a comprehensive framework on which to develop knowledge translation interventions that may be more successful in improving hand hygiene practice. Upon completion of this study, we will refine the piloted knowledge translation intervention so it can be tested in a multi-site cluster randomized controlled trial.

  8. Specific binding-adsorbent assay method and test means

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-01-01

    A description is given of an improved specific binding assay method and test means employing a nonspecific adsorbent for the substance to be determined, particularly hepatitis B surface (HBsub(s)) antigen, in its free state or additionally in the form of its immune complex. The invention is illustrated by 1) the radioimmunoadsorbent assay for HBsub(s) antigen, 2) the radioimmunoadsorbent assay for HBsub(s) antigen in the form of immune complex with antibody, 3) a study of adsorption characteristics of various anion exchange materials for HBsub(s) antigen, 4) the use of hydrophobic adsorbents in a radioimmunoadsorbent assay for HBsub(s) antigen and 5) the radioimmunoadsorbent assay for antibody to HBsub(s) antigen. The advantages of the present method for detecting HBsub(s) antigen compared to previous methods include the manufacturing advantages of eliminating the need for insolubilised anti-HBsub(s) and the advantages of a single incubation step, fewer manipulations, storability of adsorbent materials, increased sensitivity and versatility of detecting HBsub(s) antigen in the form of its immune complex if desired. (U.K.)

  9. From automated defensive behaviour to innovation resilience behaviour: Improving the management of R&D and innovation projects (presentation)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oeij, P.R.A.

    2016-01-01

    Teams responsible for innovation can benefit from concepts from crisis management and safety science. So called mindful infrastructures are helpful for teams in overcoming critical incidents because such mindful infrastructures enable a resilient type of problem solving behaviour in these teams

  10. Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Adherent Cell Differentiation and Cytotoxicity (ACDC) assay

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Embryonic Stem Cell Test (EST) is an assay which evaluates xenobiotic-induced effects using three endpoints: mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) differentiation, mESC viability, and 3T3-cell viability. Our research goal was to develop an improved high-throughput assay by establi...

  11. Behaviour change intervention to improve shared toilet maintenance and cleanliness in urban slums of Dhaka: a cluster-randomised controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alam, Mahbub-Ul; Winch, Peter J; Saxton, Ronald E; Nizame, Fosiul A; Yeasmin, Farzana; Norman, Guy; Masud, Abdullah-Al; Begum, Farzana; Rahman, Mahbubur; Hossain, Kamal; Layden, Anita; Unicomb, Leanne; Luby, Stephen P

    2017-08-01

    Shared toilets in urban slums are often unclean and poorly maintained, discouraging consistent use and thereby limiting impacts on health and quality of life. We developed behaviour change interventions to support shared toilet maintenance and improve user satisfaction. We report the intervention effectiveness on improving shared toilet cleanliness. We conducted a cluster-randomised controlled trial among users of 1226 shared toilets in 23 Dhaka slums. We assessed baseline toilet cleanliness in January 2015. The six-month intervention included provision of hardware (bin for solid waste, 4 l flushing bucket, 70 l water reservoir), and behaviour change communication (compound meetings, interpersonal household sessions, signs depicting rules for toilet use). We estimated the adjusted difference in difference (DID) to assess outcomes and accounted for clustering effects using generalised estimating equations. Compared to controls, intervention toilets were more likely to have water available inside toilet cubicles (DID: +4.7%, 95% CI: 0.2, 9.2), access to brush/broom for cleaning (DID: +8.4%, 95% CI: 2, 15) and waste bins (DID: +63%, 95% CI: 59, 66), while less likely to have visible faeces inside the pan (DID: -13%, 95% CI: -19, -5), the smell of faeces (DID: -7.6%, 95% CI: -14, -1.3) and household waste inside the cubicle (DID: -4%, 95% CI: -7, -1). In one of few efforts to promote shared toilet cleanliness, intervention compounds were significantly more likely to have cleaner toilets after six months. Future research might explore how residents can self-finance toilet maintenance, or employ mass media to reduce per-capita costs of behaviour change. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Does a one-day workshop improve clinical faculty's comfort and behaviour in practising and teaching evidence-based medicine? A Canadian mixed methods study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, David; Abourbih, Jacques; Maar, Marion; Boesch, Lisa; Goertzen, James; Cervin, Catherine

    2017-07-13

    The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of a 1-day evidence-based medicine (EBM) workshop on physician attitudes and behaviours around teaching and practicing EBM. A mixed methods study using a before/after cohort. A medical school delivering continuing professional development to 1250 clinical faculty over a large geographic area in Canada. 105 physician clinical faculty members. A 1-day workshop presented at 11 different sites over an 18-month period focusing on EBM skills for teaching and clinical practice. (1) A quantitative survey administered immediately before and after the workshop, and 3-6 months later, to assess the hypothesis that comfort with teaching and practising EBM can be improved.(2) A qualitative survey of the expectations for, and impact of the workshop on, participant behaviours and attitudes using a combination of pre, post and 3 to 6-month follow-up questionnaires, and telephone interviews completed 10-14 months after the workshop. Physician comfort with their EBM clinical skills improved on average by 0.93 points on a 5-point Likert scale, and comfort with EBM teaching skills by 0.97 points (p values 0.001). Most of this improvement was sustained 3-6 months later. Three to fourteen months after the workshop, half of responding participants reported that they were using the Population Intervention Comparator Outcome (PICO) methodology of question framing for teaching, clinical practice or both. Comfort in teaching and practicing EBM can be improved by a 1-day workshop, with most of this improvement sustained 3-6 months later. PICO question framing can be learnt at a 1-day workshop, and is associated with a self-reported change in clinical and teaching practice 3-14 months later. This represents both level 2 (attitudes) and level 3 (behaviours) change using the Kirkpatrick model of evaluation. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial

  13. Assaying Cellular Viability Using the Neutral Red Uptake Assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ates, Gamze; Vanhaecke, Tamara; Rogiers, Vera; Rodrigues, Robim M

    2017-01-01

    The neutral red uptake assay is a cell viability assay that allows in vitro quantification of xenobiotic-induced cytotoxicity. The assay relies on the ability of living cells to incorporate and bind neutral red, a weak cationic dye, in lysosomes. As such, cytotoxicity is expressed as a concentration-dependent reduction of the uptake of neutral red after exposure to the xenobiotic under investigation. The neutral red uptake assay is mainly used for hazard assessment in in vitro toxicology applications. This method has also been introduced in regulatory recommendations as part of 3T3-NRU-phototoxicity-assay, which was regulatory accepted in all EU member states in 2000 and in the OECD member states in 2004 as a test guideline (TG 432). The present protocol describes the neutral red uptake assay using the human hepatoma cell line HepG2, which is often employed as an alternative in vitro model for human hepatocytes. As an example, the cytotoxicity of acetaminophen and acetyl salicylic acid is assessed.

  14. Planning, Practising and Prioritising Wellness through an Integrative Behaviour Change Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossman, Joanne M.

    2016-01-01

    Study objective: To describe a successful approach to teaching principles and practices of behaviour change through a behaviour change plan (BCP) initiative to improve personal health while advancing health knowledge and general education intellectual skills. Students' perspectives of obstacles, behaviours important towards goal attainment and the…

  15. A Comparison of Real-Time and Endpoint Cell Viability Assays for Improved Synthetic Lethal Drug Validation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Single, Andrew; Beetham, Henry; Telford, Bryony J; Guilford, Parry; Chen, Augustine

    2015-12-01

    Cell viability assays fulfill a central role in drug discovery studies. It is therefore important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the wide variety of available assay methodologies. In this study, we compared the performance of three endpoint assays (resazurin reduction, CellTiter-Glo, and nuclei enumeration) and two real-time systems (IncuCyte and xCELLigence). Of the endpoint approaches, both the resazurin reduction and CellTiter-Glo assays showed higher cell viabilities when compared directly to stained nuclei counts. The IncuCyte and xCELLigence real-time systems were comparable, and both were particularly effective at tracking the effects of drug treatment on cell proliferation at sub-confluent growth. However, the real-time systems failed to evaluate contrasting cell densities between drug-treated and control-treated cells at full growth confluency. Here, we showed that using real-time systems in combination with endpoint assays alleviates the disadvantages posed by each approach alone, providing a more effective means to evaluate drug toxicity in monolayer cell cultures. Such approaches were shown to be effective in elucidating the toxicity of synthetic lethal drugs in an isogenic pair of MCF10A breast cell lines. © 2015 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.

  16. Driver education: Enhancing knowledge of sleep, fatigue and risky behaviour to improve decision making in young drivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvaro, Pasquale K; Burnett, Nicole M; Kennedy, Gerard A; Min, William Yu Xun; McMahon, Marcus; Barnes, Maree; Jackson, Melinda; Howard, Mark E

    2018-03-01

    This study assessed the impact of an education program on knowledge of sleepiness and driving behaviour in young adult drivers and their performance and behaviour during simulated night driving. Thirty-four participants (18-26 years old) were randomized to receive either a four-week education program about sleep and driving or a control condition. A series of questionnaires were administered to assess knowledge of factors affecting sleep and driving before and after the four-week education program. Participants also completed a two hour driving simulator task at 1am after 17 h of extended wakefulness to assess the impact on driving behaviour. There was an increase in circadian rhythm knowledge in the intervention group following the education program. Self-reported risky behaviour increased in the control group with no changes in other aspects of sleep knowledge. There were no significant differences in proportion of intervention and control participants who had microsleeps (p ≤ .096), stopped driving due to sleepiness (p = .107), recorded objective episodes of drowsiness (p = .455), and crashed (p = .761), although there was a trend towards more control participants having microsleeps and stopping driving. Those in the intervention group reported higher subjective sleepiness at the end of the drive [M = 6.25, SD = 3.83, t(31) = 2.15, p = .05] and were more likely to indicate that they would stop driving [M = 3.08, SD = 1.16, t(31) = 2.24, p = .04]. The education program improved some aspects of driver knowledge about sleep and safety. The results also suggested that the education program lead to an increased awareness of sleepiness. Education about sleep and driving could reduce the risk of drowsy driving and associated road trauma in young drivers, but requires evaluation in a broader sample with assessment of real world driving outcomes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. An ARGS-aggrecan assay for analysis in blood and synovial fluid

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsson, S; Lohmander, Stefan; Struglics, A

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To validate a modified ligand-binding assay for the detection of aggrecanase generated aggrecan fragments with the ARGS neoepitope in synovial fluid (SF) and blood, and to verify the identity of aggrecan fragments found in blood. DESIGN: An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA....... Aggrecan was purified from serum and plasma pools and analysed by Western blot. RESULTS: The limits of quantification for the ARGS-aggrecan assay was between 0.2 and 0.025 pmol ARGS/ml, and the sensitivity of the assay was improved two-fold compared to when using a standard purified from human donors...... similar, and correlated (r(S) = 0.773, P assay is highly sensitive and suited for analysis...

  18. Complementing in vitro screening assays with in silico ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    High-throughput in vitro assays offer a rapid, cost-efficient means to screen thousands of chemicals across hundreds of pathway-based toxicity endpoints. However, one main concern involved with the use of in vitro assays is the erroneous omission of chemicals that are inactive under assay conditions but that can generate active metabolites under in vivo conditions. To address this potential issue, a case study will be presented to demonstrate the use of in silico tools to identify inactive parents with the ability to generate active metabolites. This case study used the results from an orthogonal assay designed to improve confidence in the identification of active chemicals tested across eighteen estrogen receptor (ER)-related in vitro assays by accounting for technological limitations inherent within each individual assay. From the 1,812 chemicals tested within the orthogonal assay, 1,398 were considered inactive. These inactive chemicals were analyzed using Chemaxon Metabolizer software to predict the first and second generation metabolites. From the nearly 1,400 inactive chemicals, over 2,200 first-generation (i.e., primary) metabolites and over 5,500 second-generation (i.e., secondary) metabolites were predicted. Nearly 70% of primary metabolites were immediately detoxified or converted to other metabolites, while over 70% of secondary metabolites remained stable. Among these predicted metabolites, those that are most likely to be produced and remain

  19. A refined taxonomy of behaviour change techniques to help people change their physical activity and healthy eating behaviours: the CALO-RE taxonomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michie, Susan; Ashford, Stefanie; Sniehotta, Falko F; Dombrowski, Stephan U; Bishop, Alex; French, David P

    2011-11-01

    Current reporting of intervention content in published research articles and protocols is generally poor, with great diversity of terminology, resulting in low replicability. This study aimed to extend the scope and improve the reliability of a 26-item taxonomy of behaviour change techniques developed by Abraham and Michie [Abraham, C. and Michie, S. (2008). A taxonomy of behaviour change techniques used in interventions. Health Psychology, 27(3), 379-387.] in order to optimise the reporting and scientific study of behaviour change interventions. Three UK study centres collaborated in applying this existing taxonomy to two systematic reviews of interventions to increase physical activity and healthy eating. The taxonomy was refined in iterative steps of (1) coding intervention descriptions, and assessing inter-rater reliability, (2) identifying gaps and problems across study centres and (3) refining the labels and definitions based on consensus discussions. Labels and definitions were improved for all techniques, conceptual overlap between categories was resolved, some categories were split and 14 techniques were added, resulting in a 40-item taxonomy. Inter-rater reliability, assessed on 50 published intervention descriptions, was good (kappa = 0.79). This taxonomy can be used to improve the specification of interventions in published reports, thus improving replication, implementation and evidence syntheses. This will strengthen the scientific study of behaviour change and intervention development.

  20. Maternal feeding behaviour and young children's dietary quality: a cross-sectional study of socially disadvantaged mothers of two-year old children using the Theory of Planned Behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, Vivien; Power, Kevin G; Crombie, Iain K; Irvine, Linda; Kiezebrink, Kirsty; Wrieden, Wendy; Slane, Peter W

    2011-06-23

    Having breakfast, eating food 'cooked from scratch' and eating together as a family have health and psychosocial benefits for young children. This study investigates how these parentally determined behaviours relate to children's dietary quality and uses a psychological model, the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), to investigate socio-cognitive predictors of these behaviours in socially disadvantaged mothers of young children in Scotland. Three hundred mothers of children aged 2 years (from 372 invited to participate, 81% response rate), recruited via General Practitioners, took part in home-based semi-structured interviews in a cross-sectional survey of maternal psychological factors related to their children's dietary quality. Regression analyses examined statistical predictors of maternal intentions and feeding behaviours. Mothers of children with poorer quality diets were less likely than others to provide breakfast every day, cook from 'scratch' and provide 'proper sit-down meals'. TPB socio-cognitive factors (intentions, perceived behavioural control) significantly predicted these three behaviours, and attitudes, norms, and perceived behavioural control significantly predicted mothers' intentions, with medium to large effect sizes. Interventions to improve young children's dietary health could benefit from a focus on modifying maternal motivations and attitudes in attempts to improve feeding behaviours.

  1. An improved microculture-hemolytic spot assay for the study of carrier-specific antibody responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotkes, P; Weisman, Z; Mozes, E; Bentwich, Z

    1984-11-30

    A microculture system based on limiting dilution and a hemolytic spot assay was adapted for study of the carrier-specific anti-hapten response in vitro. Spleen or lymph node cells from normal mice or mice immunized with NIP-ovalbumin (NIP-OVA) or NIP-human thyroglobulin (NIP-Tg) were cultured for 5 days by the microculture technique. The anti-hapten (anti-NIP) response was measured by assaying the supernatants of the microcultures in a hemolytic spot test with NIP coupled to sheep red blood cells. A micro-ELISA reader was adapted to read the degree of lysis in the spot assay which gives an objective quantitation of the degree of lysis and thus reduces the number of culture replicates. In vivo induced specific helper cells in mice immunized with the carrier protein, human thyroglobulin, as well as carrier-specific T cell factors, gave rise to carrier-specific anti-NIP responses. The microculture system may enhance the expression of T-cell helper function when suppressor cells or their precursors are present in the initial cell preparation.

  2. The Influence of Learning Behaviour on Team Adaptability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Peter A.; Millett, Bruce

    2011-01-01

    Multiple contexts shape team activities and how they learn, and group learning is a dynamic construct that reflects a repertoire of potential behaviour. The purpose of this developmental paper is to examine how better learning behaviours in semi-autonomous teams improves the level of team adaptability and performance. The discussion suggests that…

  3. Food supply and actions to improve dietary behaviour of students - a comparison between secondary schools participating or not participating in the 'Healthy School Canteen Program'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milder, Ivon E J; Mikolajczak, Jochen; van den Berg, Saskia W; van de Veen-van Hofwegen, Madelon; Bemelmans, Wanda J E

    2015-02-01

    (i) To identify determinants of participation in the 'Healthy School Canteen Program', a programme that encourages schools to set up their canteen in a way that promotes healthy dietary behaviour. (ii) To compare food supply and actions between participating and non-participating schools. (iii) To investigate what reasons schools have to increase attention for nutrition in the curriculum. A cross-sectional study based on information from questionnaires performed in 2010/2011. All secondary schools (age group 12-18 years) in the Netherlands (n 1145). Response was 33 % (n 375). Analyses included all schools with a canteen in which food is offered (28 %, n 325). None of the investigated determinants was associated with participation. Participating schools offered significantly (P schools. However, there was no difference in the number of less healthy products offered (e.g. candy bars, cakes and regular soft drinks). Participating schools reported more often that they took actions to improve dietary behaviour and more often had a policy on nutrition. Participating schools more often increased attention for nutrition in the curriculum in recent years than non-participating schools (57 % v. 43 %, P = 0·01). Reported reasons were similar and included media attention, eating behaviour of students and 'overweight'. Schools that participate in the programme seemed to offer more healthy products in their canteens and took more actions to improve dietary behaviour than non-participating schools. However, at all schools less healthy foods were also available.

  4. Using formative research to design a context-specific behaviour change strategy to improve infant and young child feeding practices and nutrition in Nepal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locks, Lindsey M; Pandey, Pooja R; Osei, Akoto K; Spiro, David S; Adhikari, Debendra P; Haselow, Nancy J; Quinn, Victoria J; Nielsen, Jennifer N

    2015-10-01

    Global recommendations on strategies to improve infant feeding, care and nutrition are clear; however, there is limited literature that explains methods for tailoring these recommendations to the local context where programmes are implemented. This paper aims to: (1) highlight the individual, cultural and environmental factors revealed by formative research to affect infant and young child feeding and care practices in Baitadi district of Far Western Nepal; and (2) outline how both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used to design a context-specific behaviour change strategy to improve child nutrition. Quantitative data on 750 children aged 12-23 months and their families were collected via surveys administered to mothers. The participants were selected using a multistage cluster sampling technique. The survey asked about knowledge, attitude and behaviours relating to infant and young child feeding. Qualitative data on breastfeeding and complementary feeding beliefs and practices were also collected from a separate sample via focus group discussions with mothers, and key informant interviews with mothers-in-law and husbands. Key findings revealed gaps in knowledge among many informants resulting in suboptimal infant and young child feeding practices - particularly with relation to duration of exclusive breastfeeding and dietary diversity of complementary foods. The findings from this research were then incorporated into a context-specific nutrition behaviour change communication strategy. © 2013 Helen Keller International © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  5. Random assay in radioimmunoassay: Feasibility and application compared with batch assay

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Jung Min; Lee, Hwan Hee; Park, Sohyun; Kim, Tae Sung; Kim, Seok Ki [Dept. of Nuclear MedicineNational Cancer Center, Goyang (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-12-15

    The batch assay has been conventionally used for radioimmunoassay (RIA) because of its technical robustness and practical convenience. However, it has limitations in terms of the relative lag of report time due to the necessity of multiple assays in a small number of samples compared with the random assay technique. In this study, we aimed to verify whether the random assay technique can be applied in RIA and is feasible in daily practice. The coefficients of variation (CVs) of eight standard curves within a single kit were calculated in a CA-125 immunoradiometric assay (IRMA) for the reference of the practically ideal CV of the CA-125 kit. Ten standard curves of 10 kits from 2 prospectively collected lots (pLot) and 85 standard curves of 85 kits from 3 retrospectively collected lots (Lot) were obtained. Additionally, the raw measurement data of both 170 control references and 1123 patients' sera were collected retrospectively between December 2015 and January 2016. A standard curve of the first kit of each lot was used as a master standard curve for a random assay. The CVs of inter-kits were analyzed in each lot, respectively. All raw measurements were normalized by decay and radioactivity. The CA-125 values from control samples and patients' sera were compared using the original batch assay and random assay. In standard curve analysis, the CVs of inter-kits in pLots and Lots were comparable to those within a single kit. The CVs from the random assay with normalization were similar to those from the batch assay in the control samples (CVs % of low/high concentration; Lot1 2.71/1.91, Lot2 2.35/1.83, Lot3 2.83/2.08 vs. Lot1 2.05/1.21, Lot2 1.66/1.48, Lot3 2.41/2.14). The ICCs between the batch assay and random assay using patients' sera were satisfactory (Lot1 1.00, Lot2 0.999, Lot3 1.00). The random assay technique could be successfully applied to the conventional CA-125 IRMA kits. The random assay showed strong agreement with the batch assay. The

  6. Mechanisms of change in human behaviour

    OpenAIRE

    Marchal, Paul; Bartelings, Heleen; Bastardie, François; Batsleer, Jurgen; Delaney, Alyne; Girardin, Raphael; Gloaguen, Pierre; Hamon, Katell; Hoefnagel, Ellen; Jouanneau, Charlène; Mahevas, Stephanie; Nielsen, Rasmus; Piwowarczyk, Joanna; Poos, Jan-jaap; Schulze, Torsten

    2014-01-01

    The scope of this report is to present the science developed within the VECTORS project to improve the understanding of the key processes driving the behaviour of human agents utilising a variety of EU maritime domains. While particular attention has been paid to the spatial interactions between fishing activities and other human uses (e.g., maritime traffic, offshore wind parks, aggregate extractions), the behaviour of non-fishing sectors of activity has also been considered. Various quantit...

  7. Focus on aggressive behaviour in mental illness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pompili, Enrico; Carlone, Cristiano; Silvestrini, Cristiana; Nicolò, Giuseppe

    2017-01-01

    Aggression is a behaviour with evolutionary origins, but in today’s society it is often both destructive and maladaptive. Increase of aggressive behaviour has been observed in a number of serious mental illnesses, and it represents a clinical challenge for mental healthcare provider. These phenomena can lead to harmful behaviours, including violence, thus representing a serious public health concern. Aggression is often a reason for psychiatric hospitalization, and it often leads to prolonged hospital stays, suffering by patients and their victims, and increased stigmatization. Moreover, it has an effect on healthcare use and costs in terms of longer length of stay, more readmissions and higher drug use. In this review, based on a selective search of 2010-2016 pertinent literature on PubMed, we analyze and summarize information from original articles, reviews, and book chapters about aggression and psychiatric disorders, discussing neurobiological basis and therapy of aggressive behaviour. A great challenge has been revealed regarding the neurobiology of aggression, and an integration of this body of knowledge will ultimately improve clinical diagnostics and therapeutic interventions. The great heterogeneity of aggressive behaviour still hampers our understanding of its causal mechanisms. Still, over the past years, the identification of specific subtypes of aggression has released possibilities for new and individualized treatment approaches. Neuroimaging studies may help to further elucidate the interrelationship between neurocognitive functioning, personality traits, and antisocial and violent behaviour. Recent studies point toward manipulable neurobehavioral targets and suggest that cognitive, pharmacological, neuromodulatory, and neurofeedback treatment approaches can be developed to ameliorate urgency and aggression in schizophrenia. These combined approaches could improve treatment efficacy. As current pharmacological and therapeutic interventions are

  8. IMAGE ANALYSIS FOR MODELLING SHEAR BEHAVIOUR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Lopez

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Through laboratory research performed over the past ten years, many of the critical links between fracture characteristics and hydromechanical and mechanical behaviour have been made for individual fractures. One of the remaining challenges at the laboratory scale is to directly link fracture morphology of shear behaviour with changes in stress and shear direction. A series of laboratory experiments were performed on cement mortar replicas of a granite sample with a natural fracture perpendicular to the axis of the core. Results show that there is a strong relationship between the fracture's geometry and its mechanical behaviour under shear stress and the resulting damage. Image analysis, geostatistical, stereological and directional data techniques are applied in combination to experimental data. The results highlight the role of geometric characteristics of the fracture surfaces (surface roughness, size, shape, locations and orientations of asperities to be damaged in shear behaviour. A notable improvement in shear understanding is that shear behaviour is controlled by the apparent dip in the shear direction of elementary facets forming the fracture.

  9. Matrix effects of TRU [transuranic] assays using the SWEPP PAN assay system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, J.R.

    1990-08-01

    The Drum Assay System (DAS) at the Stored Waste Experimental Pilot Plant (SWEPP) is a second-generation active-passive neutron assay system. It has been used to assay over 5000 208-liter drums of transuranic waste from the Rocky Flats Plant (RFP). Data from these assays have been examined and compared with the assays performed at Rocky Flats, mainly utilize counting of 239 Pu gamma rays. For the most part the passive assays are in very good agreement with the Rocky Flats assays. The active assays are strongly correlated with the results of the other two methods, but require matrix-dependent correction factors beyond those provided by the system itself. A set of matrix-dependent correction factors has been developed from the study of the assay results. 3 refs., 4 figs., 3 tabs

  10. What interventions are used to improve exercise adherence in older people and what behavioural techniques are they based on? A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Room, Jonathan; Hannink, Erin; Dawes, Helen; Barker, Karen

    2017-12-14

    To conduct a systematic review of interventions used to improve exercise adherence in older people, to assess the effectiveness of these interventions and to evaluate the behavioural change techniques underpinning them using the Behaviour Change Technique Taxonomy (BCTT). Systematic review. A search was conducted on AMED, BNI, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE and PsychINFO databases. Randomised controlled trials that used an intervention to aid exercise adherence and an exercise adherence outcome for older people were included. Data were extracted with the use of a preprepared standardised form. Risk of bias was assessed with the Cochrane Collaboration's tool for assessing risk of bias. Interventions were classified according to the BCTT. Eleven studies were included in the review. Risk of bias was moderate to high. Interventions were classified into the following categories: comparison of behaviour, feedback and monitoring, social support, natural consequences, identity and goals and planning. Four studies reported a positive adherence outcome following their intervention. Three of these interventions were categorised in the feedback and monitoring category. Four studies used behavioural approaches within their study. These were social learning theory, socioemotional selectivity theory, cognitive behavioural therapy and self-efficacy. Seven studies did not report a behavioural approach. Interventions in the feedback and monitoring category showed positive outcomes, although there is insufficient evidence to recommend their use currently. There is need for better reporting, use and the development of theoretically derived interventions in the field of exercise adherence for older people. Robust measures of adherence, in order to adequately test these interventions would also be of use. CRD42015020884. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise

  11. Information Need and Seeking Behaviour of Diploma Students of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Understanding information need and seeking behaviour of information users is very crucial. The nature of information behaviour is vigorous thus, information scientist and librarians need to embark on investigation in order to understand the need of their clientele for service provision and improvement. This paper presented ...

  12. Improving risk stratification among veterans diagnosed with prostate cancer: impact of the 17-gene prostate score assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Julie A; Rothney, Megan P; Salup, Raoul R; Ercole, Cesar E; Mathur, Sharad C; Duchene, David A; Basler, Joseph W; Hernandez, Javier; Liss, Michael A; Porter, Michael P; Wright, Jonathan L; Risk, Michael C; Garzotto, Mark; Efimova, Olga; Barrett, Laurie; Berse, Brygida; Kemeter, Michael J; Febbo, Phillip G; Dash, Atreya

    2018-01-01

    Active surveillance (AS) has been widely implemented within Veterans Affairs' medical centers (VAMCs) as a standard of care for low-risk prostate cancer (PCa). Patient characteristics such as age, race, and Agent Orange (AO) exposure may influence advisability of AS in veterans. The 17-gene assay may improve risk stratification and management selection. To compare management strategies for PCa at 6 VAMCs before and after introduction of the Oncotype DX Genomic Prostate Score (GPS) assay. We reviewed records of patients diagnosed with PCa between 2013 and 2014 to identify management patterns in an untested cohort. From 2015 to 2016, these patients received GPS testing in a prospective study. Charts from 6 months post biopsy were reviewed for both cohorts to compare management received in the untested and tested cohorts. Men who just received their diagnosis and have National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) very low-, low-, and select cases of intermediate-risk PCa. Patient characteristics were generally similar in the untested and tested cohorts. AS utilization was 12% higher in the tested cohort compared with the untested cohort. In men younger than 60 years, utilization of AS in tested men was 33% higher than in untested men. AS in tested men was higher across all NCCN risk groups and races, particular in low-risk men (72% vs 90% for untested vs tested, respectively). Tested veterans exposed to AO received less AS than untested veterans. Tested nonexposed veterans received 19% more AS than untested veterans. Median GPS results did not significantly differ as a factor of race or AO exposure. Men who receive GPS testing are more likely to utilize AS within the year post diagnosis, regardless of age, race, and NCCN risk group. Median GPS was similar across racial groups and AO exposure groups, suggesting similar biology across these groups. The GPS assay may be a useful tool to refine risk assessment of PCa and increase rates of AS among clinically and

  13. Radioreceptor opioid assay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, R.J.; Chang, K.-J.

    1981-01-01

    A radioreceptor assay is described for assaying opioid drugs in biological fluids. The method enables the assay of total opioid activity, being specific for opioids as a class but lacking specificity within the class. A radio-iodinated opioid and the liquid test sample are incubated with an opiate receptor material. The percentage inhibition of the binding of the radio-iodinated compound to the opiate receptor is calculated and the opioid activity of the test liquid determined from a standard curve. Examples of preparing radio-iodinated opioids and assaying opioid activity are given. A test kit for the assay is described. Compared to other methods, this assay is cheap, easy and rapid. (U.K.)

  14. Consumer behaviour analysis and the behavioural perspective model.

    OpenAIRE

    Foxall, G.R.; Oliveira-Castro, J.M.; James, V.K.; Schrezenmaier, T.C.

    2011-01-01

    This is the FIRST of TWO linked articles on consumer behavioural analysis. Cognitive theories have dominated the field of consumer behaviour for the last few decades, however, an observed lack of consistency between attitudes and behaviour has suggested the need to investigate more thoroughly situational and behavioural variables. Consumer behaviour analysis can be viewed as an alternative theoretical approach that emphasizes situational variables and measures of behaviour. Within consumer be...

  15. Towards improved uptake of malaria chemoprophylaxis among West African travellers: identification of behavioural determinants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieten, Rosanne W; Harting, Janneke; Biemond, Pieter M; Grobusch, Martin P; van Vugt, Michèle

    2013-10-10

    Malaria is a potentially lethal illness for which preventive measures are not optimally used among all travellers. Travellers visiting friends and relatives in their country of origin (VFRs) are known to use chemoprophylaxis less consistently compared to tourist travellers. In this study, factors explaining the low use of chemoprophylaxis were pursued to contribute to improving uptake of preventive measures among VFRs. Following in-depth interviews with Ghanaians living in Amsterdam, a questionnaire was developed to assess which behavioural determinants were related to taking preventive measures. The questionnaire was administered at gates of departing flights from Schiphol International Airport, Amsterdam (the Netherlands) to Kotoka International Airport, Accra (Ghana). In total, 154 questionnaires were eligible for analysis. Chemoprophylaxis had been started by 83 (53.9%) and bought by 93 (60.4%) travellers. Pre-travel advice had been obtained by 104 (67.5%) travellers. Those who attended the pre-travel clinic and those who incorrectly thought they had been vaccinated against malaria were more likely to use preventive measures. Young-, business- and long-term travellers, those who had experienced malaria, and those who thought curing malaria was easier than taking preventive tablets were less likely to use preventive measures. Almost half of the VFRs travelling to West Africa had not started chemoprophylaxis; therefore, there is room for improvement. Risk reduction strategies could aim at improving attendance to travel clinics and focus on young-, business and long term travellers and VFRs who have experienced malaria during consultation. Risk reduction strategies should focus on improving self-efficacy and conceptions of response efficacy, including social environment to aim at creating the positive social context needed.

  16. Towards improved uptake of malaria chemoprophylaxis among West African travellers: identification of behavioural determinants

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Malaria is a potentially lethal illness for which preventive measures are not optimally used among all travellers. Travellers visiting friends and relatives in their country of origin (VFRs) are known to use chemoprophylaxis less consistently compared to tourist travellers. In this study, factors explaining the low use of chemoprophylaxis were pursued to contribute to improving uptake of preventive measures among VFRs. Methods Following in-depth interviews with Ghanaians living in Amsterdam, a questionnaire was developed to assess which behavioural determinants were related to taking preventive measures. The questionnaire was administered at gates of departing flights from Schiphol International Airport, Amsterdam (the Netherlands) to Kotoka International Airport, Accra (Ghana). Results In total, 154 questionnaires were eligible for analysis. Chemoprophylaxis had been started by 83 (53.9%) and bought by 93 (60.4%) travellers. Pre-travel advice had been obtained by 104 (67.5%) travellers. Those who attended the pre-travel clinic and those who incorrectly thought they had been vaccinated against malaria were more likely to use preventive measures. Young-, business- and long-term travellers, those who had experienced malaria, and those who thought curing malaria was easier than taking preventive tablets were less likely to use preventive measures. Conclusion Almost half of the VFRs travelling to West Africa had not started chemoprophylaxis; therefore, there is room for improvement. Risk reduction strategies could aim at improving attendance to travel clinics and focus on young-, business and long term travellers and VFRs who have experienced malaria during consultation. Risk reduction strategies should focus on improving self-efficacy and conceptions of response efficacy, including social environment to aim at creating the positive social context needed. PMID:24107150

  17. Identification of antifungal compounds active against Candida albicans using an improved high-throughput Caenorhabditis elegans assay.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ikechukwu Okoli

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Candida albicans, the most common human pathogenic fungus, can establish a persistent lethal infection in the intestine of the microscopic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The C. elegans-C. albicans infection model was previously adapted to screen for antifungal compounds. Modifications to this screen have been made to facilitate a high-throughput assay including co-inoculation of nematodes with C. albicans and instrumentation allowing precise dispensing of worms into assay wells, eliminating two labor-intensive steps. This high-throughput method was utilized to screen a library of 3,228 compounds represented by 1,948 bioactive compounds and 1,280 small molecules derived via diversity-oriented synthesis. Nineteen compounds were identified that conferred an increase in C. elegans survival, including most known antifungal compounds within the chemical library. In addition to seven clinically used antifungal compounds, twelve compounds were identified which are not primarily used as antifungal agents, including three immunosuppressive drugs. This assay also allowed the assessment of the relative minimal inhibitory concentration, the effective concentration in vivo, and the toxicity of the compound in a single assay.

  18. Integrating human behaviour dynamics into flood disaster risk assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aerts, J. C. J. H.; Botzen, W. J.; Clarke, K. C.; Cutter, S. L.; Hall, J. W.; Merz, B.; Michel-Kerjan, E.; Mysiak, J.; Surminski, S.; Kunreuther, H.

    2018-03-01

    The behaviour of individuals, businesses, and government entities before, during, and immediately after a disaster can dramatically affect the impact and recovery time. However, existing risk-assessment methods rarely include this critical factor. In this Perspective, we show why this is a concern, and demonstrate that although initial efforts have inevitably represented human behaviour in limited terms, innovations in flood-risk assessment that integrate societal behaviour and behavioural adaptation dynamics into such quantifications may lead to more accurate characterization of risks and improved assessment of the effectiveness of risk-management strategies and investments. Such multidisciplinary approaches can inform flood-risk management policy development.

  19. Room for improvement? Leadership, innovation culture and uptake of quality improvement methods in general practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apekey, Tanefa A; McSorley, Gerry; Tilling, Michelle; Siriwardena, A Niroshan

    2011-04-01

    Leadership and innovation are currently seen as essential elements for the development and maintenance of high-quality care. Little is known about the relationship between leadership and culture of innovation and the extent to which quality improvement methods are used in general practice. This study aimed to assess the relationship between leadership behaviour, culture of innovation and adoption of quality improvement methods in general practice. Self-administered postal questionnaires were sent to general practitioner quality improvement leads in one county in the UK between June and December 2007. The questionnaire consisted of background information, a 12-item scale to assess leadership behaviour, a seven-dimension self-rating scale for culture of innovation and questions on current use of quality improvement tools and techniques. Sixty-three completed questionnaires (62%) were returned. Leadership behaviours were not commonly reported. Most practices reported a positive culture of innovation, featuring relationship most strongly, followed by targets and information but rated lower on other dimensions of rewards, risk and resources. There was a significant positive correlation between leadership behaviour and the culture of innovation (r = 0.57; P improvement methods were not adopted by most participating practices. Leadership behaviours were infrequently reported and this was associated with a limited culture of innovation in participating general practices. There was little use of quality improvement methods beyond clinical and significant event audit. Practices need support to enhance leadership skills, encourage innovation and develop quality improvement skills if improvements in health care are to accelerate. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Reliability and Utility of the Behaviour Support Plan Quality Evaluation Tool (BSP-QEII) for Auditing and Quality Development in Services for Adults with Intellectual Disability and Challenging Behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    McVilly, K.; Webber, L.; Paris, M.; Sharp, G.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Having an objective means of evaluating the quality of behaviour support plans (BSPs) could assist service providers and statutory authorities to monitor and improve the quality of support provided to people with intellectual disability (ID) who exhibit challenging behaviour. The Behaviour Support Plan Quality Evaluation Guide II…

  1. Nondestructive assay of sale materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rodenburg, W.W.; Fleissner, J.G.

    1981-01-01

    This paper covers three primary areas: (1) reasons for performing nondestructive assay on SALE materials; (2) techniques used; and (3) discussion of investigators' revised results. The study shows that nondestructive calorimetric assay of plutonium offers a viable alternative to traditional wet chemical techniques. For these samples, the precision ranged from 0.4 to 0.6% with biases less than 0.2%. Thus, for those materials where sampling errors are the predominant source of uncertainty, this technique can provide improved accuracy and precision while saving time and money as well as reducing the amount of liquid wastes to be handled. In addition, high resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy measurements of solids can provide isotopic analysis data in a cost effective and timely manner. The timeliness of the method can be especially useful to the plant operator for production control and quality control measurements

  2. Maternal feeding behaviour and young children's dietary quality: A cross-sectional study of socially disadvantaged mothers of two-year old children using the Theory of Planned Behaviour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiezebrink Kirsty

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Having breakfast, eating food 'cooked from scratch' and eating together as a family have health and psychosocial benefits for young children. This study investigates how these parentally determined behaviours relate to children's dietary quality and uses a psychological model, the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB, to investigate socio-cognitive predictors of these behaviours in socially disadvantaged mothers of young children in Scotland. Method Three hundred mothers of children aged 2 years (from 372 invited to participate, 81% response rate, recruited via General Practitioners, took part in home-based semi-structured interviews in a cross-sectional survey of maternal psychological factors related to their children's dietary quality. Regression analyses examined statistical predictors of maternal intentions and feeding behaviours. Results Mothers of children with poorer quality diets were less likely than others to provide breakfast every day, cook from 'scratch' and provide 'proper sit-down meals'. TPB socio-cognitive factors (intentions, perceived behavioural control significantly predicted these three behaviours, and attitudes, norms, and perceived behavioural control significantly predicted mothers' intentions, with medium to large effect sizes. Conclusions Interventions to improve young children's dietary health could benefit from a focus on modifying maternal motivations and attitudes in attempts to improve feeding behaviours.

  3. Behavioural health analytics using mobile phones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Wlodarczak

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Big Data analytics in healthcare has become a very active area of research since it promises to reduce costs and to improve health care quality. Behavioural analytics analyses a patients behavioural patterns with the goal of early detection if a patient becomes symptomatic and triggering treatment even before a disease outbreak happens. Behavioural analytics allows a more precise and personalised treatment and can even monitor whole populations for events such as epidemic outbreaks. With the prevalence of mobile phones, they have been used to monitor the health of patients by analysing their behavioural and movement patterns. Cell phones are always on devices and are usually close to their users. As such they can be used as social sensors to create "automated diaries" of their users. Specialised apps passively collect and analyse user data to detect if a patient shows some deviant behaviour indicating he has become symptomatic. These apps first learn a patients normal daily patterns and alert a health care centre if it detects a deviant behaviour. The health care centre can then call the patient and check on his well-being. These apps use machine learning techniques to for reality mining and predictive analysis. This paper describes some of these techniques that have been adopted recently in eHealth apps.

  4. managing three approaches to organizational behaviour

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In Nigeria, organizations need to improve their behaviour for effectiveness and ... being rehabilitated or resuscitated, rather their structures and equipment are fast ... Avowal to deliver quality services based upon the needs of citizen.

  5. Comparison of tetrazolium colorimetric and [3H]-uridine assays for in vitro chemosensitivity testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, C H; Richardson, V J; Tsaltas, G

    1989-01-01

    We have routinely used a [3H]-uridine microplate assay for assessing chemosensitivity. A colorimetric assay with the advantages of safety, cost and simplicity has previously been described and relies on the ability of living cells to reduce a soluble tetrazolium salt, 3-4,5-dimethylthiazol-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MMT), into an insoluble formazan precipitate. We compared the chemosensitivity of 14 human tumour cell lines of colonic, lung and cervical carcinoma origin to doxorubicin, vindesine or vindesine immunoconjugates in both the [3H]-uridine assay and a modified MTT assay to evaluate whether we could change to the non-radiolabelled method. Correlation between the concentration of drug causing 50% inhibition of cell growth (IC50) for these agents between the two assays was very poor. However, taking account of recent reports in the literature, we modified the MTT assay by removing serum-containing medium and using dimethyl sulphoxide to solubilise the formazan precipitate. This considerably improved the correlation between the assays for doxorubicin (r = 0.871; P = 0.001) and vindesine (r = 0.981; P less than 0.001). Our data indicates that the MTT assay can be used to replace the [3H]-uridine assay for chemosensitivity screening, but further modifications are necessary to improve the sensitivity and decrease the problem of cell loss after washing, which was noted with some adherent cell lines.

  6. Oxidative stress, activity behaviour and body mass in captive parrots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larcombe, S D; Tregaskes, C A; Coffey, J; Stevenson, A E; Alexander, L G; Arnold, K E

    2015-01-01

    Many parrot species are kept in captivity for conservation, but often show poor reproduction, health and survival. These traits are known to be influenced by oxidative stress, the imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ability of antioxidant defences to ameliorate ROS damage. In humans, oxidative stress is linked with obesity, lack of exercise and poor nutrition, all of which are common in captive animals. Here, we tested whether small parrots (budgerigars, Melopsittacus undulatus) maintained in typical pet cages and on ad libitum food varied in oxidative profile, behaviour and body mass. Importantly, as with many birds held in captivity, they did not have enough space to engage in extensive free flight. Four types of oxidative damage, single-stranded DNA breaks (low-pH comet assay), alkali-labile sites in DNA (high-pH comet assay), sensitivity of DNA to ROS (H2O2-treated comet assay) and malondialdehyde (a byproduct of lipid peroxidation), were uncorrelated with each other and with plasma concentrations of dietary antioxidants. Without strenuous exercise over 28 days in a relatively small cage, more naturally 'active' individuals had more single-stranded DNA breaks than sedentary birds. High body mass at the start or end of the experiment, coupled with substantial mass gain, were all associated with raised sensitivity of DNA to ROS. Thus, high body mass in these captive birds was associated with oxidative damage. These birds were not lacking dietary antioxidants, because final body mass was positively related to plasma levels of retinol, zeaxanthin and α-tocopherol. Individuals varied widely in activity levels, feeding behaviour, mass gain and oxidative profile despite standardized living conditions. DNA damage is often associated with poor immunocompetence, low fertility and faster ageing. Thus, we have candidate mechanisms for the limited lifespan and fecundity common to many birds kept for conservation purposes.

  7. The Integrated Behavioural Model for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene: a systematic review of behavioural models and a framework for designing and evaluating behaviour change interventions in infrastructure-restricted settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreibelbis, Robert; Winch, Peter J; Leontsini, Elli; Hulland, Kristyna R S; Ram, Pavani K; Unicomb, Leanne; Luby, Stephen P

    2013-10-26

    Promotion and provision of low-cost technologies that enable improved water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices are seen as viable solutions for reducing high rates of morbidity and mortality due to enteric illnesses in low-income countries. A number of theoretical models, explanatory frameworks, and decision-making models have emerged which attempt to guide behaviour change interventions related to WASH. The design and evaluation of such interventions would benefit from a synthesis of this body of theory informing WASH behaviour change and maintenance. We completed a systematic review of existing models and frameworks through a search of related articles available in PubMed and in the grey literature. Information on the organization of behavioural determinants was extracted from the references that fulfilled the selection criteria and synthesized. Results from this synthesis were combined with other relevant literature, and from feedback through concurrent formative and pilot research conducted in the context of two cluster-randomized trials on the efficacy of WASH behaviour change interventions to inform the development of a framework to guide the development and evaluation of WASH interventions: the Integrated Behavioural Model for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (IBM-WASH). We identified 15 WASH-specific theoretical models, behaviour change frameworks, or programmatic models, of which 9 addressed our review questions. Existing models under-represented the potential role of technology in influencing behavioural outcomes, focused on individual-level behavioural determinants, and had largely ignored the role of the physical and natural environment. IBM-WASH attempts to correct this by acknowledging three dimensions (Contextual Factors, Psychosocial Factors, and Technology Factors) that operate on five-levels (structural, community, household, individual, and habitual). A number of WASH-specific models and frameworks exist, yet with some limitations. The IBM

  8. The Integrated Behavioural Model for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene: a systematic review of behavioural models and a framework for designing and evaluating behaviour change interventions in infrastructure-restricted settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Promotion and provision of low-cost technologies that enable improved water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices are seen as viable solutions for reducing high rates of morbidity and mortality due to enteric illnesses in low-income countries. A number of theoretical models, explanatory frameworks, and decision-making models have emerged which attempt to guide behaviour change interventions related to WASH. The design and evaluation of such interventions would benefit from a synthesis of this body of theory informing WASH behaviour change and maintenance. Methods We completed a systematic review of existing models and frameworks through a search of related articles available in PubMed and in the grey literature. Information on the organization of behavioural determinants was extracted from the references that fulfilled the selection criteria and synthesized. Results from this synthesis were combined with other relevant literature, and from feedback through concurrent formative and pilot research conducted in the context of two cluster-randomized trials on the efficacy of WASH behaviour change interventions to inform the development of a framework to guide the development and evaluation of WASH interventions: the Integrated Behavioural Model for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (IBM-WASH). Results We identified 15 WASH-specific theoretical models, behaviour change frameworks, or programmatic models, of which 9 addressed our review questions. Existing models under-represented the potential role of technology in influencing behavioural outcomes, focused on individual-level behavioural determinants, and had largely ignored the role of the physical and natural environment. IBM-WASH attempts to correct this by acknowledging three dimensions (Contextual Factors, Psychosocial Factors, and Technology Factors) that operate on five-levels (structural, community, household, individual, and habitual). Conclusions A number of WASH-specific models and frameworks

  9. Moderators of the intention-behaviour and perceived behavioural control-behaviour relationships for leisure-time physical activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Godin Gaston

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Intention is a key determinant of action. However, there is a gap between intention and behavioural performance that remains to be explained. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify moderators of the intention-behaviour and perceived behavioural control (PBC- behaviour relationships for leisure-time physical activity. Method This was tested in reference to Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behaviour. A sample of 300 volunteers, 192 women and 108 men, aged 18 to 55, participated in the study. At baseline, the participants completed a self-administrated psychosocial questionnaire assessing Ajzen's theory variables (i.e., intention and perceived behavioural control. The behavioural measure was obtained by mail three months later. Results Multiple hierarchical regression analyses indicated that age and annual income moderated the intention-behaviour and PBC-behaviour relationships. However, in the final model predicting behaviour (R2 = .46, only the interaction term of PBC by annual income (β = .24, p = 0.0003 significantly contributed to the prediction of behaviour along with intention (β = .49, p = 0.0009 and past behaviour (β = .44, p Conclusion Physical activity promotion programs would benefit not only from focusing on increasing the intention of low intenders, but also from targeting factors that moderate the perceived behavioural control-behaviour relationships.

  10. Radiation protection-culture. Culture improvement in radiation protection and ALARA behaviour

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boehler, M.C.

    1994-12-01

    In order to that the optimization principle become an actual professional liable dynamical critter in the radiological protection topics, the hierarchic impulse and the personnel sensitiveness are determining. The ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) in the firm cultivation modify the behaviour and act philosophy. 7 refs., 2 figs

  11. Management Control Systems, Evaluative Style, and Behaviour : Exploring the Concept and Behavioural Consequences of Evaluative Style

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J. Noeverman (Jan)

    2007-01-01

    textabstractOrganisations develop and implement performance measurement and performance evaluation systems to motivate employees to take actions that -in the end- improve organisational (financial) performance. But do these systems really influence employee behaviour as intended? This thesis shows

  12. Geometric morphometrics as a tool for improving the comparative study of behavioural postures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fureix, Carole; Hausberger, Martine; Seneque, Emilie; Morisset, Stéphane; Baylac, Michel; Cornette, Raphaël; Biquand, Véronique; Deleporte, Pierre

    2011-07-01

    Describing postures has always been a central concern when studying behaviour. However, attempts to compare postures objectively at phylogenetical, populational, inter- or intra-individual levels generally either rely upon a few key elements or remain highly subjective. Here, we propose a novel approach, based on well-established geometric morphometrics, to describe and to analyse postures globally (i.e. considering the animal's body posture in its entirety rather than focusing only on a few salient elements, such as head or tail position). Geometric morphometrics is concerned with describing and comparing variation and changes in the form (size and shape) of organisms using the coordinates of a series of homologous landmarks (i.e. positioned in relation to skeletal or muscular cues that are the same for different species for every variety of form and function and that have derived from a common ancestor, i.e. they have a common evolutionary ancestry, e.g. neck, wings, flipper/hand). We applied this approach to horses, using global postures (1) to characterise behaviours that correspond to different arousal levels, (2) to test potential impact of environmental changes on postures. Our application of geometric morphometrics to horse postures showed that this method can be used to characterise behavioural categories, to evaluate the impact of environmental factors (here human actions) and to compare individuals and groups. Beyond its application to horses, this promising approach could be applied to all questions involving the analysis of postures (evolution of displays, expression of emotions, stress and welfare, behavioural repertoires…) and could lead to a whole new line of research.

  13. Selection of non-destructive assay methods: Neutron counting or calorimetric assay?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cremers, T.L.; Wachter, J.R.

    1994-01-01

    The transition of DOE facilities from production to D ampersand D has lead to more measurements of product, waste, scrap, and other less attractive materials. Some of these materials are difficult to analyze by either neutron counting or calorimetric assay. To determine the most efficacious analysis method, variety of materials, impure salts and hydrofluorination residues have been assayed by both calorimetric assay and neutron counting. New data will be presented together with a review of published data. The precision and accuracy of these measurements are compared to chemistry values and are reported. The contribution of the gamma ray isotopic determination measurement to the overall error of the calorimetric assay or neutron assay is examined and discussed. Other factors affecting selection of the most appropriate non-destructive assay method are listed and considered

  14. User behaviour impact on energy savings potential

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rose, Jørgen

    2014-01-01

    and the residents' behaviour and if these defaults do not reflect actual circumstances, it can result in non-realisation of expected energy savings. Furthermore, a risk also exists that residents' behaviour change after the energy upgrading, e.g. to obtain improved comfort than what was possible before......, 3) Domestic hot water consumption and 4) Air change rate. Based on the analysis, a methodology is established that can be used to make more realistic and accurate predictions of expected energy savings associated with energy upgrading taking into account user behaviour....... the upgrading and this could lead to further discrepancies between the calculated and the actual energy savings. This paper presents an analysis on how residents’ behaviour and the use of standard assumptions may influence expected energy savings. The analysis is performed on two typical single-family houses...

  15. Managing Behaviour of Retail Trade Consumers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Budnik Maryna M.

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The article is devoted to the problem of management of behaviour of retail trade consumers. It shows importance of this topic at the stage of market changes in economic and social spheres. Generalising theoretical provisions about models of consumer behaviour, the article marks out three main groups of factors that influence them: external, internal and situational. The authors offer to allocate sensor forms of communications into a separate group of factors due to a distinctive property of their impact – orientation at subconsciousness of consumers. The article analyses a psychological process of making a decision on purchase of a commodity and draws a conclusion about necessity of exerting subconsciousness influence upon consumer behaviour using the modern marketing instruments. It develops an improved model of consumer behaviour, which takes into account innovation means of impact on the buyer. The prospect of further development of this direction in science is creation of theoretical methods of managing consumer behaviour on the basis of co-operation of specialists in the field of economy, management, marketing, sociology and psychology, which would be applied in practice of management of trade enterprises.

  16. Cell Culture Assay for Human Noroviruses [response

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Straub, Tim M.; Honer Zu Bentrup, Kerstin; Orosz Coghlan, Patricia; Dohnalkova, Alice; Mayer, Brooke K.; Bartholomew, Rachel A.; Valdez, Catherine O.; Bruckner-Lea, Cindy J.; Gerba, Charles P.; Abbaszadegan, Morteza A.; Nickerson, Cheryl A.

    2007-07-01

    We appreciate the comments provided by Leung et al., in response to our recently published article “In Vitro Cell Culture Infectivity Assay for Human Noroviruses” by Straub et al. (1). The specific aim of our project was to develop an in vitro cell culture infectivity assay for human noroviruses (hNoV) to enhance risk assessments when they are detected in water supplies. Reverse transcription (RT) qualitative or quantitative PCR are the primary assays for waterborne NoV monitoring. However, these assays cannot distinguish between infectious vs. non-infectious virions. When hNoV is detected in water supplies, information provided by our infectivity assay will significantly improve risk assessment models and protect human health, regardless of whether we are propagating NoV. Indeed, in vitro cell culture infectivity assays for the waterborne pathogen Cryptosporidium parvum that supplement approved fluorescent microscopy assays, do not result in amplification of the environmentally resistant hard-walled oocysts (2). However, identification of life cycle stages in cell culture provides evidence of infectious oocysts in a water supply. Nonetheless, Leung et al.’s assertion regarding the suitability of our method for the in vitro propagation of high titers of NoV is valid for the medical research community. In this case, well-characterized challenge pools of virus would be useful for developing and testing diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. As further validation of our published findings, we have now optimized RT quantitative PCR to assess the level of viral production in cell culture, where we are indeed finding significant increases in viral titer. The magnitude and time course of these increases is dependent on both virus strain and multiplicity of infection. We are currently preparing a manuscript that will discuss these findings in greater detail, and the implications this may have for creating viral challenge pools

  17. Effects of donepezil on behavioural manifestations of thalamic infarction: a single case observation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo eRiveros

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To examine the effect of donepezil for the treatment of cognitive and behavioural disorders associated with thalamic lesions in a 45 years old male who suffered an infarct in the left thalamus. Background: Recent studies suggest that donepezil may improve executive functions impairments due to subcortical ischemic lesionsMethod: The crossover effects of donepezil were analyzed in a single case of thalamic infarction with cognitive and behavioural alterations. Results: Significant behavioural modifications related to improved performances in executive functions were observed with the treatment. Conclusions: The results suggest that donepezil may have significant effect on executive functions that can alter behavioural outcomes after thalamic infarctions

  18. Integrating Seasonal Oscillations into Basel II Behavioural Scoring Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goran Klepac

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available The article introduces a new methodology of temporal influence measurement (seasonal oscillations, temporal patterns for behavioural scoring development purposes. The paper shows how significant temporal variables can be recognised and then integrated into the behavioural scoring models in order to improve model performance. Behavioural scoring models are integral parts of the Basel II standard on Internal Ratings-Based Approaches (IRB. The IRB approach much more precisely reflects individual risk bank profile.A solution of the problem of how to analyze and integrate macroeconomic and microeconomic factors represented in time series into behavioural scorecard models will be shown in the paper by using the REF II model.

  19. Correlation between the genotoxicity endpoints measured by two different genotoxicity assays: comet assay and CBMN assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carina Ladeira

    2015-06-01

    The results concerning of positive findings by micronuclei and non significant ones by comet assay, are corroborated by Deng et al. (2005 study performed in workers occupationally exposed to methotrexate, also a cytostatic drug. According to Cavallo et al. (2009, the comet assay seems to be more suitable for the prompt evaluation of the genotoxic effects, for instance, of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons mixtures containing volatile substances, whereas the micronucleus test seems more appropriate to evaluate the effects of exposure to antineoplastic agents. However, there are studies that observed an increase in both the comet assay and the micronucleus test in nurses handling antineoplastic drugs, although statistical significance was only seen in the comet assay, quite the opposite of our results (Maluf & Erdtmann, 2000; Laffon et al. 2005.

  20. School-Based Intervention for Nutrition Promotion in Mi Yun County, Beijing, China: Does a Health-Promoting School Approach Improve Parents' Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviour?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dongxu; Stewart, Donald; Chang, Chun

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to assess whether the school-based nutrition programme using the health-promoting school (HPS) framework was effective to improve parents' knowledge, attitudes and behaviour (KAB) in relation to nutrition in rural Mi Yun County, Beijing. Design/methodology/approach: A cluster-randomised intervention trial…

  1. 1-D Compression Behaviour of Acid Sulphate Soils Treated with Alkali-Activated Slag.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, Shahidul; Haque, Asadul; Bui, Ha Hong

    2016-04-15

    Improvements of soft soils by mechanically mixing cementitious additives have been widely practised for construction of infrastructure. Mixing of additives improves strength and compressibility properties of soils through the development of soil structure. This study investigates the 1-D compression behaviour of alkali-activated slag treated acid sulphate soils (ASS) cured up to 365 days. The void ratio-logarithm of pressure (e-logσ') behaviour of treated ASS, including the destructuration behaviour, with additive contents and curing time have been analysed. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analyses have been undertaken to explain the observed variations of the 1-D compression behaviour. This paper presents the results of these analyses in view of obtaining an insight into the 1-D compression behaviour of treated ASS with the help of mineralogical analysis.

  2. Analytical and Clinical Performance Evaluation of the Abbott Architect PIVKA Assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ko, Dae-Hyun; Hyun, Jungwon; Kim, Hyun Soo; Park, Min-Jeong; Kim, Jae-Seok; Park, Ji-Young; Shin, Dong Hoon; Cho, Hyoun Chan

    2018-01-01

    Protein induced by vitamin K absence (PIVKA) is measured using various assays and is used to help diagnose hepatocellular carcinoma. The present study evaluated the analytical and clinical performances of the recently released Abbott Architect PIVKA assay. Precision, linearity, and correlation tests were performed in accordance with the Clinical Laboratory Standardization Institute guidelines. Sample type suitability was assessed using serum and plasma samples from the same patients, and the reference interval was established using sera from 204 healthy individuals. The assay had coefficients of variation of 3.2-3.5% and intra-laboratory variation of 3.6-5.5%. Linearity was confirmed across the entire measurable range. The Architect PIVKA assay was comparable to the Lumipulse PIVKA assay, and the plasma and serum samples provided similar results. The lower reference limit was 13.0 mAU/mL and the upper reference limit was 37.4 mAU/mL. The ability of the Architect PIVKA assay to detect hepatocellular carcinoma was comparable to that of the alpha-fetoprotein test and the Lumipulse PIVKA assay. The Architect PIVKA assay provides excellent analytical and clinical performance, is simple for clinical laboratories to adopt, and has improved sample type suitability that could broaden the assay's utility. © 2018 by the Association of Clinical Scientists, Inc.

  3. A Systematic Review of the Reliability and Validity of Behavioural Tests Used to Assess Behavioural Characteristics Important in Working Dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brady, Karen; Cracknell, Nina; Zulch, Helen; Mills, Daniel Simon

    2018-01-01

    Working dogs are selected based on predictions from tests that they will be able to perform specific tasks in often challenging environments. However, withdrawal from service in working dogs is still a big problem, bringing into question the reliability of the selection tests used to make these predictions. A systematic review was undertaken aimed at bringing together available information on the reliability and predictive validity of the assessment of behavioural characteristics used with working dogs to establish the quality of selection tests currently available for use to predict success in working dogs. The search procedures resulted in 16 papers meeting the criteria for inclusion. A large range of behaviour tests and parameters were used in the identified papers, and so behaviour tests and their underpinning constructs were grouped on the basis of their relationship with positive core affect (willingness to work, human-directed social behaviour, object-directed play tendencies) and negative core affect (human-directed aggression, approach withdrawal tendencies, sensitivity to aversives). We then examined the papers for reports of inter-rater reliability, within-session intra-rater reliability, test-retest validity and predictive validity. The review revealed a widespread lack of information relating to the reliability and validity of measures to assess behaviour and inconsistencies in terminologies, study parameters and indices of success. There is a need to standardise the reporting of these aspects of behavioural tests in order to improve the knowledge base of what characteristics are predictive of optimal performance in working dog roles, improving selection processes and reducing working dog redundancy. We suggest the use of a framework based on explaining the direct or indirect relationship of the test with core affect.

  4. Testing five social-cognitive models to explain predictors of personal oral health behaviours and intention to improve them.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumitrescu, Alexandrina L; Dogaru, Beatrice C; Duta, Carmen; Manolescu, Bogdan N

    2014-01-01

    To test the ability of several social-cognitive models to explain current behaviour and to predict intentions to engage in three different health behaviours (toothbrushing, flossing and mouthrinsing). Constructs from the health belief model (HBM), theory of reasoned action (TRA), theory of planned behaviour (TPB) and the motivational process of the health action process approach (HAPA) were measured simultaneously in an undergraduate student sample of 172 first-year medical students. Regarding toothbrushing, the TRA, TPB, HBM (without the inclusion of self-efficacy SE), HBM+SE and HAPA predictor models explained 7.4%, 22.7%, 10%, 10.2% and 10.1%, respectively, of the variance in behaviour and 7.5%, 25.6%, 12.1%, 17.5% and 17.2%, respectively, in intention. Regarding dental flossing, the TRA, TPB, HBM, HBM+SE and HAPA predictor models explained 39%, 50.6, 24.1%, 25.4% and 27.7%, respectively, of the variance in behaviour and 39.4%, 52.7%, 33.7%, 35.9% and 43.2%, respectively, in intention. Regarding mouthrinsing, the TRA, TPB, HBM, HBM+SE and HAPA predictor models explained 43.9%, 45.1%, 20%, 29% and 36%, respectively, of the variance in behaviour and 58%, 59.3%, 49.2%, 59.8% and 66.2%, respectively, in intention. The individual significant predictors for current behaviour were attitudes, barriers and outcome expectancy. Our findings revealed that the theory of planned behaviours and the health action process approach were the best predictor of intentions to engage in both behaviours.

  5. Conceptualising the policy practice and behavioural research relationship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yeatman Heather

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Policy is frequently identified in the behavioural nutrition and physical activity research literature as a necessary component of effective research and practice. The purpose of this commentary is to promote a dialogue to contribute towards the further development of conceptual understandings and theories of the relationship between policy practice and behavioural research and how these two activities might work synergistically to improve public health outcomes. Methods Drawing on policy and public health literature, this commentary presents a a conceptual model of the interaction and mediation between nutrition and physical activity-relevant policy and behavioural nutrition and physical activity research, environments, behaviours and public health implications. The selling of food in school canteens in several Australian states is discussed to illustrate components of the relationship and the interactions among its components. Results The model depicts a relationship that is interdependent and cyclic. Policy contributes to the relationship through its role in shaping environmental and personal-cognitive determinants of behaviours and through these determinants it can induce behaviour change. Behavioural research describes behaviours, identifies determinants of behaviour change and therefore helps inform policy development and monitor and evaluate its impact. Conclusion The model has implications for guiding behavioural research and policy practice priorities to promote public health outcomes. In particular, we propose that policy practice and behavioural research activities can be strengthened by applying to each other the theories from the scientific disciplines informing these respective activities. Behavioural science theories can be applied to help understand policy-making and assist with disseminating research into policy and practice. In turn, policy science theories can be applied to support the 'institutionalisation

  6. A national quality control scheme for serum HGH assays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hunter, W.M.; McKenzie, I.

    1979-01-01

    In the autumn of 1975 the Supraregional Assay Service established a Quality Control Sub-Committee and the intra-laboratory QC Scheme for Growth Hormone (HGH) assays which is described here has served, in many respects, as a pilot scheme for protein RIA. Major improvements in accuracy, precision and between-laboratory agreement can be brought about by intensively interactive quality control schemes. A common standard is essential and should consist of ampoules used for one or only a small number of assays. Accuracy and agreement were not good enough to allow the overall means to serve as target values but a group of 11 laboratories were sufficiently accurate to provide a 'reference group mean' to so serve. Gross non-specificity was related to poor assay design and was quickly eliminated. Within-laboratory between-batch variability was much worse than that normally claimed for simple protein hormone RIA. A full report on this Scheme will appear shortly in Annals of Clinical Biochemistry. (Auth.)

  7. Modelling parking behaviour considering heterogeneity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    San Martin, G.A.; Ibeas Portilla, A.; Alonso Oreña, B.; Olio, L. del

    2016-07-01

    Most of motorized trips in cities of middle and small size are made in public transport and mainly in private vehicle, this has caused a saturation in parking systems of the cities, causing important problems to society, one of the most important problems is high occupancy of public space by parking systems. Thus, is required the estimation of models that reproduce users’ behaviour when they are choosing for parking in cities, to carry out transport policies to improve transport efficiency and parking systems in the cities. The aim of this paper is the specification and estimation of models that simulate users’ behaviour when they are choosing among alternatives of parking that there are in the city: free on street parking, paid on street parking, paid on underground parking and Park and Ride (now there isn´t). For this purpose, is proposed a multinomial logit model that consider systematic and random variations in tastes. Data of users’ behaviour from the different alternatives of parking have been obtained with a stated preference surveys campaign which have been done in May 2015 in the principal parking zones of the city of Santander. In this paper, we provide a number of improvements to previously developed methodologies because of we consider much more realism to create the scenarios stated preference survey, obtaining better adjustments. (Author)

  8. Improved testing of recent HIV-1 infections with the BioRad avidity assay compared to the limiting antigen avidity assay and BED Capture enzyme immunoassay: evaluation using reference sample panels from the German Seroconverter Cohort.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Hauser

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The variety and limitations of current laboratory methods for estimating HIV-incidence has driven attempts to improve and standardize the performance of serological 'Tests for Recent HIV-Infections' (TRI. Primary and follow-up HIV-1 positive plasma samples from individuals with well-defined dates of infection collected as part of the German Seroconverter Cohort provided specimens highly suitable for use in comparing the performance of three TRIs: the AWARE™ BED™ EIA HIV-1 Incidence test (BED-CEIA, Genetic systems HIV-1/HIV-2 Plus O EIA antibody avidity-based assay (BioRad Avidity and Sedia™ HIV-1 LAg Avidity EIA (LAg Avidity. METHODS: The evaluation panel included 180 specimens: 44 from antiretroviral (ARV-naïve individuals with recently acquired HIV-infection (≤ 130 days; 25 B and 19 non-B subtypes and 136 from long-term (>12 months infected individuals [101 ARV-naïve subtype B, 16 non-B subtypes, 14 ARV-treated individuals, 5 slow progressors (SLP]. RESULTS: For long-term infected, ARV-naïve individuals the false recent rates (FRR of both the BioRad and LAg Avidity assays were 2% (2/101 for subtype B and 6% (1/16 for subtype 'non-B', while the FRR of the BED-CEIA was 7% (7/101 for subtype B and 25% (4/16 for subtype 'non-B' (all p>0.05. Misclassification of ARV-treated individuals and SLP was rare by LAg (1/14, 0/5 and BioRad Avidity assays (2/14, 1/5 but more frequent by BED-CEIA (5/14, 3/5. Among recently-infected individuals (subtype B, 60% (15/25 were correctly classified by BED-CEIA, 88% (22/25 by BioRad Avidity and significantly fewer by LAg (48%, 12/25 compared to BioRad Avidity (p = 0.005 with a higher true-recency rate among non-B infections for all assays. CONCLUSIONS: This study using well-characterized specimens demonstrated lower FRRs for both avidity methods than with the BED-CEIA. For recently infected individuals the BioRad Avidity assay was shown to give the most accurate results.

  9. Lifestyle interventions for improving health and health behaviours in women with type 2 diabetes: A systematic review of the literature 2011-2017.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seib, Charrlotte; Parkinson, Joy; McDonald, Nicole; Fujihira, Haruka; Zietek, Stephanie; Anderson, Debra

    2018-05-01

    The development and maintenance of healthy lifestyle behaviours are among the most promising strategies for reducing complications and premature death among women living with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, despite the potential benefits of these interventions, they have had varying success and the sustained uptake of the recommended lifestyle modifications is limited. This paper reviews research on the impact of lifestyle interventions aimed at improving health and health behaviours in women with T2DM. In a systematic review of the literature, empirical literature from 2011 to 2017 is examined to explore the effects of various lifestyle interventions on a number of objective and subjective health indicators in women with T2DM. A total of 18 intervention studies in women aged between 21 and 75 years were included in this narrative review. Interventions included education/counselling, exercise, diet, or combined components of varying duration. The included studies used a variety of objective indicators, including glycaemic control, lipid profile and anthropometric indices, as well as a number of diabetes-specific and generic subjective scales (for example, the Diabetes Problem Solving Inventory and the Short Form 36). Significant heterogeneity was noted in the interventions and also the study findings, although exercise interventions tended to yield the most consistent benefit in relation to glycaemic control, while exercise/dietary interventions generally improved anthropometric indices. The findings from this review did not consistently suggest the greater value of any one type of intervention. Future research should consider interventions that target multiple health behaviours and emphasize health literacy, self-efficacy, and problem-solving skills. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Improved quantification of a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit for measuring anti-MDA5 antibody.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gono, Takahisa; Okazaki, Yuka; Murakami, Akihiro; Kuwana, Masataka

    2018-04-09

    To compare the quantitative performance for measuring anti-MDA5 antibody titer of two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) systems: an in-house ELISA and the commercial MESACUP TM anti-MDA5 test. Anti-MDA5 antibody titer was measured in sera from 70 patients with dermatomyositis using an in-house ELISA and the MESACUP TM anti-MDA5 test side-by-side. For the commercial ELISA kit, serum samples diluted 1:101 were used according to the manufacturer's protocol, but serial dilutions of sera were also examined to identify the optimal serum dilution for quantification. The anti-MDA5 antibody titers measured by the in-house and commercial ELISAs were positively correlated with each other (r = 0.53, p = .0001), but the antibody titer measured by the commercial ELISA was less sensitive to change after medical treatment, and 37 (80%) of 46 anti-MDA5-positive sera had antibody titer exceeding the quantification range specified by the manufacturer (≥150 index). Experiments using diluted serum samples revealed that diluting the sera 1:5050 improved the quantitative performance of the MESACUP TM anti-MDA5 test, including a better correlation with the in-house ELISA results and an increased sensitivity to change. We improved the ability of the commercial ELISA kit to quantify anti-MDA5 antibody titer by altering its protocol.

  11. Changing behaviour: successful environmental programmes in the workplace

    OpenAIRE

    Young, CW; Davis, M; McNeill, IM; Malhotra, B; Russell, S; Unsworth, K; Clegg, CW

    2015-01-01

    There is an increasing focus on improving the pro-environmental attitudes, behaviour and habits of individuals whether at home, in education, traveling, shopping or in the workplace. This article focuses on the workplace by conducting a multi-disciplinary literature review of research that has examined the influence of organisation-based behaviour change initiatives. The review includes only research evidence that measured actual environmental performance (e.g. energy use) rather than solely ...

  12. Predicting the behaviour or neptunium during nuclear fuel reprocessing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drake, V.A.

    1988-01-01

    Behaviour of Np and its distribution over reprocessing flowsheet is studied due to the necessity of improvement of reprocessing methods of wastes formed during purex-process. Valency states of Np in solutions of reprocessing cycles, Np distribution in organic and acid phases, Np(5) oxidation by nitric acid at the stage of extraction, effect of U and Pu presence on Np behaviour, are considered. Calculation and experimental data are compared; the possibility of Np behaviour forecasting in the process of nuclear fuel reprocessing, provided initial data vay, is shown. 7 refs.; 4 figs.; 1 tab

  13. Type and Behaviour Reconstruction for Higher-Order Concurrent Programs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Amtoft, T.; Nielson, Flemming; Nielson, Hanne Riis

    1997-01-01

    The authors develop a sound and complete type and behaviour inference algorithm for a fragment of CML (Standard ML with primitives for concurrency). Behaviours resemble terms of a process algebra and yield a concise representation of the communications taking place during execution; types...... are mostly as usual except that function types and `delayed communication types' are labelled by behaviours expressing the communications that will take place if the function is applied or the delayed action is activated. The development of the paper improves a previously published algorithm in achieving...

  14. Microbead agglutination based assays

    KAUST Repository

    Kodzius, Rimantas

    2013-01-21

    We report a simple and rapid room temperature assay for point-of-care (POC) testing that is based on specific agglutination. Agglutination tests are based on aggregation of microbeads in the presence of a specific analyte thus enabling the macroscopic observation. Such tests are most often used to explore antibody-antigen reactions. Agglutination has been used for protein assays using a biotin/streptavidin system as well as a hybridization based assay. The agglutination systems are prone to selftermination of the linking analyte, prone to active site saturation and loss of agglomeration at high analyte concentrations. We investigated the molecular target/ligand interaction, explaining the common agglutination problems related to analyte self-termination, linkage of the analyte to the same bead instead of different microbeads. We classified the agglutination process into three kinds of assays: a two- component assay, a three-component assay and a stepped three- component assay. Although we compared these three kinds of assays for recognizing DNA and protein molecules, the assay can be used for virtually any molecule, including ions and metabolites. In total, the optimized assay permits detecting analytes with high sensitivity in a short time, 5 min, at room temperature. Such a system is appropriate for POC testing.

  15. 1-D Compression Behaviour of Acid Sulphate Soils Treated with Alkali-Activated Slag

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shahidul Islam

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Improvements of soft soils by mechanically mixing cementitious additives have been widely practised for construction of infrastructure. Mixing of additives improves strength and compressibility properties of soils through the development of soil structure. This study investigates the 1-D compression behaviour of alkali-activated slag treated acid sulphate soils (ASS cured up to 365 days. The void ratio-logarithm of pressure (e-logσ′ behaviour of treated ASS, including the destructuration behaviour, with additive contents and curing time have been analysed. X-ray diffraction (XRD and scanning electron microscopy (SEM analyses have been undertaken to explain the observed variations of the 1-D compression behaviour. This paper presents the results of these analyses in view of obtaining an insight into the 1-D compression behaviour of treated ASS with the help of mineralogical analysis.

  16. How behavioural science can contribute to health partnerships: the case of The Change Exchange.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrne-Davis, Lucie M T; Bull, Eleanor R; Burton, Amy; Dharni, Nimarta; Gillison, Fiona; Maltinsky, Wendy; Mason, Corina; Sharma, Nisha; Armitage, Christopher J; Johnston, Marie; Byrne, Ged J; Hart, Jo K

    2017-06-12

    Health partnerships often use health professional training to change practice with the aim of improving quality of care. Interventions to change practice can learn from behavioural science and focus not only on improving the competence and capability of health professionals but also their opportunity and motivation to make changes in practice. We describe a project that used behavioural scientist volunteers to enable health partnerships to understand and use the theories, techniques and assessments of behavioural science. This paper outlines how The Change Exchange, a collective of volunteer behavioural scientists, worked with health partnerships to strengthen their projects by translating behavioural science in situ. We describe three case studies in which behavioural scientists, embedded in health partnerships in Uganda, Sierra Leone and Mozambique, explored the behaviour change techniques used by educators, supported knowledge and skill development in behaviour change, monitored the impact of projects on psychological determinants of behaviour and made recommendations for future project developments. Challenges in the work included having time and space for behavioural science in already very busy health partnership schedules and the difficulties in using certain methods in other cultures. Future work could explore other modes of translation and further develop methods to make them more culturally applicable. Behavioural scientists could translate behavioural science which was understood and used by the health partnerships to strengthen their project work.

  17. Electrochemiluminescence assays for insulin and glutamic acid decarboxylase autoantibodies improve prediction of type 1 diabetes risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miao, Dongmei; Steck, Andrea K; Zhang, Li; Guyer, K Michelle; Jiang, Ling; Armstrong, Taylor; Muller, Sarah M; Krischer, Jeffrey; Rewers, Marian; Yu, Liping

    2015-02-01

    We recently developed new electrochemiluminescence (ECL) insulin autoantibody (IAA) and glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 autoantibody (GADA) assays that discriminate high-affinity, high-risk diabetes-specific autoantibodies from low-affinity, low-risk islet autoantibodies (iAbs) detected by radioassay (RAD). Here, we report a further validation of the ECL-IAA and -GADA assays in 3,484 TrialNet study participants. The ECL assay and RAD were congruent in those with prediabetes and in subjects with multiple autoantibodies, but only 24% (P<0.0001) of single RAD-IAA-positive and 46% (P<0.0001) of single RAD-GADA-positive were confirmed by the ECL-IAA and -GADA assays, respectively. During a follow-up (mean, 2.4 years), 51% of RAD-IAA-positive and 63% of RAD-GADA-positive subjects not confirmed by ECL became iAb negative, compared with only 17% of RAD-IAA-positive (P<0.0001) and 15% of RAD-GADA-positive (P<0.0001) subjects confirmed by ECL assays. Among subjects with multiple iAbs, diabetes-free survival was significantly shorter if IAA or GADA was positive by ECL and negative by RAD than if IAA or GADA was negative by ECL and positive by RAD (P<0.019 and P<0.0001, respectively). Both positive and negative predictive values in terms of progression to type 1 diabetes mellitus were superior for ECL-IAA and ECL-GADA, compared with RADs. The prevalence of the high-risk human leukocyte antigen-DR3/4, DQB1*0302 genotype was significantly higher in subjects with RAD-IAA or RAD-GADA confirmed by ECL. In conclusion, both ECL-IAA and -GADA are more disease-specific and better able to predict the risk of progression to type 1 diabetes mellitus than the current standard RADs.

  18. GP's consult and health behaviour change project. Developing a programme to train GPs in communication skills to achieve lifestyle improvements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thijs, G A

    2007-08-01

    The European definition of General Practice states that GPs should use their core competence, amongst others, in their communication with patients. Their communication skills are particularly challenged in the field of lifestyle improvements. Most GPs feel they lack efficacy in achieving lifestyle changes. In November 2002 the Prevention Department of the Scientific Society of Flemish GPs (now Domus Medica) decided to start a project "consulting & behaviour change". Under this project, every Flemish GP should by the year 2007, have (amongst others things) a basic knowledge of the principles of lifestyle improvements and should be able to give a short advice to high risk patients. A literature search was conducted to make an inventory of models that could be used to train GPs. Experts at specific methods and topics were consulted to get acquainted with their specific approaches. Experts in the field of CME were gathered to discuss barriers and solutions to these barriers. During steering group meetings, several possible solutions were discussed. The Trans Theoretical Model (TTM-as theoretical framework) and brief motivational interviews (MI-as communication skill) were evaluated as offering the best opportunities for adapting the work situation of the GP. We promoted this approach to the GPs as an ABC concept (Anamnesis/Ask; Be the guide/Decision tree ("Beslissingsboom" in Dutch); Continuity) applied on different topics (smoke stop, alcohol, healthy food, physical activity). In our guidelines we pay more attention to brief motivational interviews for health behaviour changes. Recently we started developing an e-learning website as part of a larger learning project, this in cooperaion with different Flemish partners and disciplines. The Trans Theoretical Model and the brief motivational interviewing approach seem to be accepted by health care, educational and scientific organisations. The process of integrating this approach in the GP's daily practice has to be

  19. Intimacy and sexual risk behaviour in serodiscordant male couples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remien, R H; Carballo-Diéguez, A; Wagner, G

    1995-01-01

    Several studies have demonstrated individual-level determinants of HIV sexual risk behaviour. Very little research has been conducted to identify couple-level factors associated with unsafe sexual behaviour. As part of a three-year study of more than 100 serodiscordant male couples, we conducted an in-depth qualitative study of 15 Latino and non-Latino male couples via focus groups and a follow-up telephone survey. We identified the sexual risk behaviour that occurs in these male couples, their perceptions of susceptibility for HIV transmission, and numerous couple-level and intrapsychic factors associated with their risk behaviour. We also describe the challenges confronted by these couples and barriers to emotional intimacy and couple satisfaction. Finally, we provide suggestions for ways of intervening to facilitate improved couple functioning, pleasure, satisfaction, and communication, and ways of reducing sexual risk behaviour without loss of emotional intimacy.

  20. Isotope ratios as pollutant source and behaviour indicators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1975-01-01

    Recent years have witnessed significant advances in isotope techniques for identifying origins and for studying the behaviour of trace contaminants and pollutants of the environment under actual existing environmental conditions. Improvements in the supply of stable isotopes and their labelled compounds, instrumental analysis and information on stable or radioactive isotopic ratios of existing environmental contaminants as a function of origin or behaviour have provided relatively new tools for the environmental scientist. While variations in natural or existing environmental stable and radioactive nuclides could be regarded as 'background noise' in conventional tracer experiments they promised unique information about sources and behaviour to those who listened carefully. (author)

  1. Healthcare seeking behaviour among Chinese elderly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Hui; Wang, Wei; Xu, Ling; Li, Zhenhong; Ding, Yan; Zhang, Jian; Yan, Fei

    2017-04-18

    Purpose The Chinese population is rapidly ageing before they are rich. The purpose of this paper is to describe healthcare seeking behaviour and the critical factors associated with healthcare seeking behaviour. Design/methodology/approach Using a purposive sampling method, the authors recruited 44 adults aged 60 years or older from three provinces, representing the developed (Shanghai), undeveloped (Ningxia) regions and the regions in between (Hubei). From July to September 2008, using a semi-structured guide, the authors interviewed participants in focus group discussions. Findings The healthcare needs for chronic and catastrophic diseases were high; however, the healthcare demands were low and healthcare utilizations were even lower owing to the limited accessibility to healthcare services, particularly, in underdeveloped rural areas. "Too expensive to see a doctor" was a prime complaint, explaining substantial discrepancies between healthcare needs, demands and use. Care seeking behaviour varied depending on insurance availability, perceived performance, particularly hospital services, and prescription medications. Participants consistently rated increasing healthcare accessibility as a high priority, including offering financial aid, and improving service convenience. Improving social security fairness was the first on the elderly's wish list. Originality/value Healthcare demand and use were lower than needs, and were influenced by multiple factors, primarily, service affordability and efficiency, perceived performance and hospital service quality.

  2. Reducing Risky Security Behaviours: Utilising Affective Feedback to Educate Users

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lynsay A. Shepherd

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Despite the number of tools created to help end-users reduce risky security behaviours, users are still falling victim to online attacks. This paper proposes a browser extension utilising affective feedback to provide warnings on detection of risky behaviour. The paper provides an overview of behaviour considered to be risky, explaining potential threats users may face online. Existing tools developed to reduce risky security behaviours in end-users have been compared, discussing the success rates of various methodologies. Ongoing research is described which attempts to educate users regarding the risks and consequences of poor security behaviour by providing the appropriate feedback on the automatic recognition of risky behaviour. The paper concludes that a solution utilising a browser extension is a suitable method of monitoring potentially risky security behaviour. Ultimately, future work seeks to implement an affective feedback mechanism within the browser extension with the aim of improving security awareness.

  3. A Rapid Zika Diagnostic Assay to Measure Neutralizing Antibodies in Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chao Shan

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The potential association of microcephaly and other congenital abnormalities with Zika virus (ZIKV infection during pregnancy underlines the critical need for a rapid and accurate diagnosis. Due to the short duration of ZIKV viremia in infected patients, a serologic assay that detects antibody responses to viral infection plays an essential role in diagnosing patient specimens. The current serologic diagnosis of ZIKV infection relies heavily on the labor-intensive Plaque Reduction Neutralization Test (PRNT that requires more than one-week turnaround time and represents a major bottleneck for patient diagnosis. To overcome this limitation, we have developed a high-throughput assay for ZIKV and dengue virus (DENV diagnosis that can attain the “gold standard” of the current PRNT assay. The new assay is homogeneous and utilizes luciferase viruses to quantify the neutralizing antibody titers in a 96-well format. Using 91 human specimens, we showed that the reporter diagnostic assay has a higher dynamic range and maintains the relative specificity of the traditional PRNT assay. Besides the improvement of assay throughput, the reporter virus technology has also shortened the turnaround time to less than two days. Collectively, our results suggest that, along with the viral RT-PCR assay, the reporter virus-based serologic assay could be potentially used as the first-line test for clinical diagnosis of ZIKV infection as well as for vaccine clinical trials.

  4. Assaying the effect of levodopa on the evaluation of risk in healthy humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mkael Symmonds

    Full Text Available In humans, dopamine is implicated in reward and risk-based decision-making. However, the specific effects of dopamine augmentation on risk evaluation are unclear. Here we sought to measure the effect of 100 mg oral levodopa, which enhances synaptic release of dopamine, on choice behaviour in healthy humans. We use a paradigm without feedback or learning, which solely isolates effects on risk evaluation. We present two studies (n = 20; n = 20 employing a randomised, placebo-controlled, within-subjects design. We manipulated different dimensions of risk in a controlled economic paradigm. We test effects on risk-reward tradeoffs, assaying both aversion to variance (the spread of possible outcomes and preference for relative losses and gains (asymmetry of outcomes--skewness, dissociating this from potential non-specific effects on choice randomness using behavioural modelling. There were no systematic effects of levodopa on risk attitudes, either for variance or skewness. However, there was a drift towards more risk-averse behaviour over time, indicating that this paradigm was sensitive to detect changes in risk-preferences. These findings suggest that levodopa administration does not change the evaluation of risk. One possible reason is that dopaminergic influences on decision making may be due to changing the response to reward feedback.

  5. ImmunoCAP assays: Pros and cons in allergology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hage, Marianne; Hamsten, Carl; Valenta, Rudolf

    2017-10-01

    Allergen-specific IgE measurements and the clinical history are the cornerstones of allergy diagnosis. During the past decades, both characterization and standardization of allergen extracts and assay technology have improved. Here we discuss the uses, advantages, misinterpretations, and limitations of ImmunoCAP IgE assays (Thermo Fisher Scientific/Phadia, Uppsala, Sweden) in the field of allergology. They can be performed as singleplex (ImmunoCAP) and, for the last decade, as multiplex (Immuno Solid-phase Allergen Chip [ISAC]). The major benefit of ImmunoCAP is the obtained quantified allergen-specific IgE antibody level and the lack of interference from allergen-specific IgG antibodies. However, ImmunoCAP allergen extracts are limited to the composition of the extract. The introduction of allergen molecules has had a major effect on analytic specificity and allergy diagnosis. They are used in both singleplex ImmunoCAP and multiplex ImmunoCAP ISAC assays. The major advantage of ISAC is the comprehensive IgE pattern obtained with a minute amount of serum. The shortcomings are its semiquantitative measurements, lower linear range, and cost per assay. With respect to assay performance, ImmunoCAP allergen extracts are good screening tools, but allergen molecules dissect the IgE response on a molecular level and put allergy research on the map of precision medicine. Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Behavioural and Cognitive-Behavioural Treatments of Parasomnias

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Galbiati

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Parasomnias are unpleasant or undesirable behaviours or experiences that occur predominantly during or within close proximity to sleep. Pharmacological treatments of parasomnias are available, but their efficacy is established only for few disorders. Furthermore, most of these disorders tend spontaneously to remit with development. Nonpharmacological treatments therefore represent valid therapeutic choices. This paper reviews behavioural and cognitive-behavioural managements employed for parasomnias. Referring to the ICSD-3 nosology we consider, respectively, NREM parasomnias, REM parasomnias, and other parasomnias. Although the efficacy of some of these treatments is proved, in other cases their clinical evidence cannot be provided because of the small size of the samples. Due to the rarity of some parasomnias, further multicentric researches are needed in order to offer a more complete account of behavioural and cognitive-behavioural treatments efficacy.

  7. A case of spongiform polioencephalomyelopathy in a cat with a history of behavioural problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomàs Camps

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available A 7-month-old, entire female, domestic shorthair cat was referred to our behavioural service owing to soiling in the house and a play-related problem. The owners’ complaints were that the cat had never used the litter tray, and it did not know how to play. After reviewing the behavioural history, a problem of substrate preferences acquisition was suspected with regard to the elimination problem. During the consultation, the physical examination was unremarkable, but the neurological examination revealed a moderate and hypermetric ataxic gait, and a bilateral lack of menace response. Some degree of visual impairment was suspected. The problem was located in the central nervous system (CNS; specifically, an intracranial and multifocal problem was diagnosed. After a complete work-up (complete ophthalmological examination, complete blood count and a complete biochemistry panel, feline immunodeficiency virus/feline leukaemia virus test, thorax radiographs, abdominal ultrasound, brain magnetic resonance imaging [0.2 T], cerebrospinal fluid analysis and a urinary metabolic screen test, a degenerative CNS problem was suspected. No treatment was prescribed for the neurological problem. Regarding the problem of soiling in the house, reward-based training with a clicker was used, and the cat partially improved in a few weeks. Three months later, the cat was referred to the neurology service in status epilepticus. A symptomatic treatment was prescribed, with a mild response. After 2 years of treatment and a progressive worsening, the cat was euthanased. Necropsy revealed spongiform polioencephalomyelopathy. In order to rule out prion aetiology a PrPsc inmunohistochemistry assay was performed, and the results were negative. Congenital spongiform polioencephalomyelopathy (CSP was diagnosed. We strongly suggest that the cat’s behavioural clinical signs were caused by the CSP, causing learning impairment. To the best of our knowledge, this would be the

  8. Improvement of Computer Codes Used for Fuel Behaviour Simulation (FUMEX-III). Report of a Coordinated Research Project 2008-2012

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2013-03-01

    It is fundamental to the future of nuclear power that reactors can be run safely and economically to compete with other forms of power generation. As a consequence, it is essential to develop the understanding of fuel performance and to embody that knowledge in codes to provide best estimate predictions of fuel behaviour. This in turn leads to a better understanding of fuel performance, a reduction in operating margins, flexibility in fuel management and improved operating economics. The IAEA has therefore embarked on a series of programmes addressing different aspects of fuel behaviour modelling with the following objectives: - To assess the maturity and prediction capabilities of fuel performance codes, and to support interaction and information exchange between countries with code development and application needs (FUMEX series); - To build a database of well defined experiments suitable for code validation in association with the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD/NEA); - To transfer a mature fuel modelling code to developing countries, to support teams in these countries in their efforts to adapt the code to the requirements of particular reactors, and to provide guidance on applying the code to reactor operation and safety assessments; - To provide guidelines for code quality assurance, code licensing and code application to fuel licensing. This report describes the results of the coordinated research project on the ''Improvement of computer codes used for fuel behaviour simulation (FUMEX-III)''. This programme was initiated in 2008 and completed in 2012. It followed previous programmes on fuel modelling: D-COM 1982-1984, FUMEX 1993-1996 and FUMEX-II 2002-2006. The participants used a mixture of data derived from commercial and experimental irradiation histories, in particular data designed to investigate the mechanical interactions occurring in fuel during normal, transient and severe transient operation. All participants carried out calculations on priority

  9. Predictors of changes in child behaviour following parent management training: Child, context, and therapy factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, Kristine Amlund; Ogden, Terje

    2017-04-01

    This non-randomised study examined a set of predictive factors of changes in child behaviour following parent management training (PMTO). Families of 331 Norwegian girls (26%) and boys with clinic-level conduct problems participated. The children ranged in age from 3 to 12 years (M age = 8.69). Retention rate was 72.2% at post-assessment. Child-, parent- and therapy-level variables were entered as predictors of multi-informant reported change in externalising behaviour and social skills. Behavioural improvements following PMTO amounted to 1 standard deviation on parent rated and ½ standard deviation on teacher rated externalising behaviour, while social skills improvements were more modest. Results suggested that children with higher symptom scores and lower social skills score at pre-treatment were more likely to show improvements in these areas. According to both parent- and teacher-ratings, girls tended to show greater improvements in externalising behaviour and social skills following treatment and, according to parents, ADHD symptomology appeared to inhibit improvements in social skills. Finally, observed increases in parental skill encouragement, therapists' satisfaction with treatment and the number of hours spent in therapy by children were also positive and significant predictors of child outcomes. © 2016 International Union of Psychological Science.

  10. Developmental origins, behaviour change and the new public health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, Mary

    2016-01-01

    A developmental approach to public health focuses attention on better nourishing girls and young women, especially those of low socio-economic status, to improve mothers’ nutrition and thereby the health of future generations. There have been significant advances in the behavioural sciences that may allow us to understand and support dietary change in young women and their children in ways that have not previously been possible. This paper describes some of these advances and aims to show how they inform this new approach to public health. The first of these has been to work out what is effective in supporting behaviour change which has been achieved by careful and detailed analysis of behaviour change techniques used by practitioners in intervention, and of the effectiveness of these in supporting change. There is also a new understanding of the role that social and physical environments play in shaping our behaviours, and that behaviour is influenced by automatic processes and ‘habits’ as much as by reflective processes and rational decisions. To be maximally effective, interventions therefore have to address both influences on behaviour. An approach developed in Southampton aims to motivate, support and empower young women to make better food choices, but also to change the culture in which those choices are being made. Empowerment is the basis of the new public health. An empowered public demand for better access to better food can go a long way towards improving maternal, infant and family nutrition, and therefore the health of generations to come. PMID:26152930

  11. Developmental origins, behaviour change and the new public health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, M

    2015-10-01

    A developmental approach to public health focuses attention on better nourishing girls and young women, especially those of low socio-economic status, to improve mothers' nutrition and thereby the health of future generations. There have been significant advances in the behavioural sciences that may allow us to understand and support dietary change in young women and their children in ways that have not previously been possible. This paper describes some of these advances and aims to show how they inform this new approach to public health. The first of these has been to work out what is effective in supporting behaviour change, which has been achieved by careful and detailed analysis of behaviour change techniques used by practitioners in intervention, and of the effectiveness of these in supporting change. There is also a new understanding of the role that social and physical environments play in shaping our behaviours, and that behaviour is influenced by automatic processes and 'habits' as much as by reflective processes and rational decisions. To be maximally effective, interventions therefore have to address both influences on behaviour. An approach developed in Southampton aims to motivate, support and empower young women to make better food choices, but also to change the culture in which those choices are being made. Empowerment is the basis of the new public health. An empowered public demand for better access to better food can go a long way towards improving maternal, infant and family nutrition, and therefore the health of generations to come.

  12. When the going gets tough: behavioural type-dependent space use in the sleepy lizard changes as the season dries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiegel, Orr; Leu, Stephan T; Sih, Andrew; Godfrey, Stephanie S; Bull, C Michael

    2015-11-22

    Understanding space use remains a major challenge for animal ecology, with implications for species interactions, disease spread, and conservation. Behavioural type (BT) may shape the space use of individuals within animal populations. Bolder or more aggressive individuals tend to be more exploratory and disperse further. Yet, to date we have limited knowledge on how space use other than dispersal depends on BT. To address this question we studied BT-dependent space-use patterns of sleepy lizards (Tiliqua rugosa) in southern Australia. We combined high-resolution global positioning system (GPS) tracking of 72 free-ranging lizards with repeated behavioural assays, and with a survey of the spatial distributions of their food and refuge resources. Bayesian generalized linear mixed models (GLMM) showed that lizards responded to the spatial distribution of resources at the neighbourhood scale and to the intensity of space use by other conspecifics (showing apparent conspecific avoidance). BT (especially aggressiveness) affected space use by lizards and their response to ecological and social factors, in a seasonally dependent manner. Many of these effects and interactions were stronger later in the season when food became scarce and environmental conditions got tougher. For example, refuge and food availability became more important later in the season and unaggressive lizards were more responsive to these predictors. These findings highlight a commonly overlooked source of heterogeneity in animal space use and improve our mechanistic understanding of processes leading to behaviourally driven disease dynamics and social structure. © 2015 The Author(s).

  13. Immoral behaviour in medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmon, P; Tabak, N

    1997-03-01

    The purpose of this paper is to emphasize a social phenomenon that exists in Israel: immoral medicine. In recent years, nurses have been exposed to many instances of immoral medicine in hospitals. We want to protest about the demands for money from patients who are waiting for surgical intervention, arouse the medical community's conscience concerning these immoral activities, and improve professional and moral behaviour.

  14. The Hybrid II assay: a sensitive and specific real-time hybridization assay for the diagnosis of Theileria parva infection in Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer) and cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pienaar, Ronel; Potgieter, Fred T; Latif, Abdalla A; Thekisoe, Oriel M M; Mans, Ben J

    2011-12-01

    Corridor disease is an acute, fatal disease of cattle caused by buffalo-adapted Theileria parva. This is a nationally controlled disease in South Africa and strict control measures apply for the movement of buffalo, which includes mandatory testing for the presence of T. parva and other controlled diseases. Accurate diagnosis of the T. parva carrier state in buffalo using the official real-time hybridization PCR assay (Sibeko et al. 2008), has been shown to be affected by concurrent infection with T. sp. (buffalo)-like parasites. We describe the Hybrid II assay, a real-time hybridization PCR method, which compares well with the official hybridization assay in terms of specificity and sensitivity. It is, however, not influenced by mixed infections of T. sp. (buffalo)-like parasites and is as such a significant improvement on the current hybridization assay.

  15. Using the Theory of Planned Behaviour to examine health professional students' behavioural intentions in relation to medication safety and collaborative practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapkin, Samuel; Levett-Jones, Tracy; Gilligan, Conor

    2015-08-01

    Safe medication practices depend upon, not only on individual responsibilities, but also effective communication and collaboration between members of the medication team. However, measurement of these skills is fraught with conceptual and practical difficulties. The aims of this study were to explore the utility of a Theory of Planned Behaviour-based questionnaire to predict health professional students' behavioural intentions in relation to medication safety and collaborative practice; and to determine the contribution of attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived control to behavioural intentions. A descriptive cross-sectional survey based upon the Theory of Planned Behaviour was designed and tested. A convenience sample of 65 undergraduate pharmacy, nursing and medicine students from one semi-metropolitan Australian university were recruited for the study. Participants' behavioural intentions, attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived control to behavioural intentions in relation to medication safety were measured using an online version of the Theory of Planned Behaviour Medication Safety Questionnaire. The Questionnaire had good internal consistency with a Cronbach's alpha of 0.844. The three predictor variables of attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived control accounted for between 30 and 46% of the variance in behavioural intention; this is a strong prediction in comparison to previous studies using the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Data analysis also indicated that attitude was the most significant predictor of participants' intention to collaborate with other team members to improve medication safety. The results from this study provide preliminary support for the Theory of Planned Behaviour-Medication Safety Questionnaire as a valid instrument for examining health professional students' behavioural intentions in relation to medication safety and collaborative practice. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Assay-specific decision limits for two new automated parathyroid hormone and 25-hydroxyvitamin D assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souberbielle, Jean-Claude; Fayol, Véronique; Sault, Corinne; Lawson-Body, Ethel; Kahan, André; Cormier, Catherine

    2005-02-01

    The recent development of nonradioactive automated assays for serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) has made measurement of these two hormones possible in many laboratories. In this study, we compared two new assays for PTH and 25OHD adapted on an automated analyzer, the LIAISON, with two manual immunoassays used worldwide. We studied 228 osteoporotic patients, 927 healthy individuals, 38 patients with primary hyperparathyroidism, and 167 hemodialyzed patients. Serum PTH was measured with the Allegro and the LIAISON assays, and 25OHD was measured with DiaSorin RIA and the LIAISON assay. Regression analysis was used to calculate decision thresholds for the LIAISON assays that were equivalent to those of the Allegro PTH and DiaSorin 25OHD assays. The 25OHD concentrations obtained with the LIAISON assay and the RIA in osteoporotic patients were well correlated (r = 0.83; P 50 nmol/L as eligible for the reference population for the LIAISON PTH assay. In this group, the 3rd-97th percentile interval for LIAISON PTH was 3-51 ng/L. Considering upper reference limits of 46 and 51 ng/L for the Allegro and LIAISON assays, respectively, the frequency of above-normal PTH concentrations in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism was similar in both assays. Regression analysis between serum PTH measured by the Allegro and LIAISON assays in 167 hemodialyzed patients and the corresponding Bland-Altman analysis of these data suggest that the LIAISON PTH assay tends to read higher than the Allegro assay at low concentrations but lower at high concentrations (>300 ng/L). Because clinical decision limits for both PTH and 25OHD should be assay specific, we propose equivalences between these assays and two manual assays used worldwide. These assay-specific decision limits should help potential users of the LIAISON PTH and 25OHD assays.

  17. Pertussis serology: assessment of IgG anti-PT ELISA for replacement of the CHO cell assay*

    Science.gov (United States)

    DALBY, TINE; SØRENSEN, CHARLOTTE; PETERSEN, JESPER WESTPHAL; KROGFELT, KAREN ANGELIKI

    2010-01-01

    Dalby T, Sørensen C, Petersen JW, Krogfelt KA. Pertussis serology: assessment of IgG anti-PT ELISA for replacement of the CHO cell assay. APMIS 2010; 118: 968–72. Two types of serological assays are commonly used for the assessment of pertussis vaccine-induced antibodies; the Chinese hamster ovary cell (CHO cell) assay and the immunoglobulin G (IgG) anti pertussis toxin (PT) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (IgG anti-PT ELISA). Recently, both the techniques have been modified to improve performance with sera with interfering activity (CHO cell assay) or with heat-treated sera (IgG anti-PT ELISA). These two improved techniques were compared by the analysis of 100 individual serum samples from a previous clinical trial and 213 sera from a longitudinal serum collection from 20 Danish adults recently vaccinated with the Danish acellular pertussis vaccine. The comparison showed a significant linear correlation between the results of the two assays with a p-value of ELISA can be used as a replacement for the often troublesome and time-consuming CHO cell assay for the measurement of vaccine-induced human antibodies to PT. PMID:21091778

  18. Epithelial cells as alternative human biomatrices for comet assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rojas, Emilio; Lorenzo, Yolanda; Haug, Kristiane; Nicolaissen, Bjørn; Valverde, Mahara

    2014-01-01

    The comet assay is a valuable experimental tool aimed at mapping DNA damage in human cells in vivo for environmental and occupational monitoring, as well as for therapeutic purposes, such as storage prior to transplant, during tissue engineering, and in experimental ex vivo assays. Furthermore, due to its great versatility, the comet assay allows to explore the use of alternative cell types to assess DNA damage, such as epithelial cells. Epithelial cells, as specialized components of many organs, have the potential to serve as biomatrices that can be used to evaluate genotoxicity and may also serve as early effect biomarkers. Furthermore, 80% of solid cancers are of epithelial origin, which points to the importance of studying DNA damage in these tissues. Indeed, studies including comet assay in epithelial cells have either clear clinical applications (lens and corneal epithelial cells) or examine genotoxicity within human biomonitoring and in vitro studies. We here review improvements in determining DNA damage using the comet assay by employing lens, corneal, tear duct, buccal, and nasal epithelial cells. For some of these tissues invasive sampling procedures are needed. Desquamated epithelial cells must be obtained and dissociated prior to examination using the comet assay, and such procedures may induce varying amounts of DNA damage. Buccal epithelial cells require lysis enriched with proteinase K to obtain free nucleosomes. Over a 30 year period, the comet assay in epithelial cells has been little employed, however its use indicates that it could be an extraordinary tool not only for risk assessment, but also for diagnosis, prognosis of treatments and diseases.

  19. Predicting People's Environmental Behaviour: Theory of Planned Behaviour and Model of Responsible Environmental Behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, Yu-Long

    2012-01-01

    Using different measures of self-reported and other-reported environmental behaviour (EB), two important theoretical models explaining EB--Hines, Hungerford and Tomera's model of responsible environmental behaviour (REB) and Ajzen's theory of planned behaviour (TPB)--were compared regarding the fit between model and data, predictive ability,…

  20. DOE assay methods used for characterization of contact-handled transuranic waste

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schultz, F.J. (Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States)); Caldwell, J.T. (Pajarito Scientific Corp., Los Alamos, NM (United States))

    1991-08-01

    US Department of Energy methods used for characterization of contact-handled transuranic (CH-TRU) waste prior to shipment to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) are described and listed by contractor site. The methods described are part of the certification process. All CH-TRU waste must be assayed for determination of fissile material content and decay heat values prior to shipment and prior to storage on-site. Both nondestructive assay (NDA) and destructive assay methods are discussed, and new NDA developments such as passive-action neutron (PAN) crate counter improvements and neutron imaging are detailed. Specifically addressed are assay method physics; applicability to CH-TRU wastes; calibration standards and implementation; operator training requirements and practices; assay procedures; assay precision, bias, and limit of detection; and assay limitation. While PAN is a new technique and does not yet have established American Society for Testing and Materials. American National Standards Institute, or Nuclear Regulatory Commission guidelines or methods describing proper calibration procedures, equipment setup, etc., comparisons of PAN data with the more established assay methods (e.g., segmented gamma scanning) have demonstrated its reliability and accuracy. Assay methods employed by DOE have been shown to reliable and accurate in determining fissile, radionuclide, alpha-curie content, and decay heat values of CH-TRU wastes. These parameters are therefore used to characterize packaged waste for use in certification programs such as that used in shipment of CH-TRU waste to the WIPP. 36 refs., 10 figs., 7 tabs.

  1. DOE assay methods used for characterization of contact-handled transuranic waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schultz, F.J.; Caldwell, J.T.

    1991-08-01

    US Department of Energy methods used for characterization of contact-handled transuranic (CH-TRU) waste prior to shipment to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) are described and listed by contractor site. The methods described are part of the certification process. All CH-TRU waste must be assayed for determination of fissile material content and decay heat values prior to shipment and prior to storage on-site. Both nondestructive assay (NDA) and destructive assay methods are discussed, and new NDA developments such as passive-action neutron (PAN) crate counter improvements and neutron imaging are detailed. Specifically addressed are assay method physics; applicability to CH-TRU wastes; calibration standards and implementation; operator training requirements and practices; assay procedures; assay precision, bias, and limit of detection; and assay limitation. While PAN is a new technique and does not yet have established American Society for Testing and Materials. American National Standards Institute, or Nuclear Regulatory Commission guidelines or methods describing proper calibration procedures, equipment setup, etc., comparisons of PAN data with the more established assay methods (e.g., segmented gamma scanning) have demonstrated its reliability and accuracy. Assay methods employed by DOE have been shown to reliable and accurate in determining fissile, radionuclide, alpha-curie content, and decay heat values of CH-TRU wastes. These parameters are therefore used to characterize packaged waste for use in certification programs such as that used in shipment of CH-TRU waste to the WIPP. 36 refs., 10 figs., 7 tabs

  2. The need for a behavioural analysis of behavioural addictions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, Richard J E; Tunney, Richard J

    2017-03-01

    This review discusses research on behavioural addictions (i.e. associative learning, conditioning), with reference to contemporary models of substance addiction and ongoing controversies in the behavioural addictions literature. The role of behaviour has been well explored in substance addictions and gambling but this focus is often absent in other candidate behavioural addictions. In contrast, the standard approach to behavioural addictions has been to look at individual differences, psychopathologies and biases, often translating from pathological gambling indicators. An associative model presently captures the core elements of behavioural addiction included in the DSM (gambling) and identified for further consideration (internet gaming). Importantly, gambling has a schedule of reinforcement that shows similarities and differences from other addictions. While this is more likely than not applicable to internet gaming, it is less clear whether it is so for a number of candidate behavioural addictions. Adopting an associative perspective, this paper translates from gambling to video gaming, in light of the existing debates on this matter and the nature of the distinction between these behaviours. Finally, a framework for applying an associative model to behavioural addictions is outlined, and it's application toward treatment. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  3. Comparison of real-time SYBR green dengue assay with real-time taqman RT-PCR dengue assay and the conventional nested PCR for diagnosis of primary and secondary dengue infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paudel, Damodar; Jarman, Richard; Limkittikul, Kriengsak; Klungthong, Chonticha; Chamnanchanunt, Supat; Nisalak, Ananda; Gibbons, Robert; Chokejindachai, Watcharee

    2011-01-01

    Background: Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever are caused by dengue virus. Dengue infection remains a burning problem of many countries. To diagnose acute dengue in the early phase we improve the low cost, rapid SYBR green real time assay and compared the sensitivity and specificity with real time Taqman® assay and conventional nested PCR assay. Aims: To develop low cost, rapid and reliable real time SYBR green diagnostic dengue assay and compare with Taqman real-time assay and conventional nested PCR (modified Lanciotti). Materials and Methods: Eight cultured virus strains were diluted in tenth dilution down to undetectable level by the PCR to optimize the primer, temperature (annealing, and extension and to detect the limit of detection of the assay. Hundred and ninety three ELISA and PCR proved dengue clinical samples were tested with real time SYBR® Green assay, real time Taqman® assay to compare the sensitivity and specificity. Results: Sensitivity and specificity of real time SYBR® green dengue assay (84% and 66%, respectively) was almost comparable to those (81% and 74%) of Taqman real time PCR dengue assay. Real time SYBR® green RT-PCR was equally sensitive in primary and secondary infection while real time Taqman was less sensitive in the secondary infection. Sensitivity of real time Taqman on DENV3 (87%) was equal to SYBR green real time PCR dengue assay. Conclusion: We developed low cost rapid diagnostic SYBR green dengue assay. Further study is needed to make duplex primer assay for the serotyping of dengue virus. PMID:22363089

  4. High throughput analysis of red wine and grape phenolics-adaptation and validation of methyl cellulose precipitable tannin assay and modified Somers color assay to a rapid 96 well plate format.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercurio, Meagan D; Dambergs, Robert G; Herderich, Markus J; Smith, Paul A

    2007-06-13

    The methyl cellulose precipitable (MCP) tannin assay and a modified version of the Somers and Evans color assay were adapted to high-throughput (HTP) analysis. To improve efficiency of the MCP tannin assay, a miniaturized 1 mL format and a HTP format using 96 well plates were developed. The Somers color assay was modified to allow the standardization of pH and ethanol concentrations of wine samples in a simple one-step dilution with a buffer solution, thus removing inconsistencies between wine matrices prior to analysis and allowing for its adaptation to a HTP format. Validation studies showed that all new formats were efficient, and results were reproducible and analogous to the original formats.

  5. Novel assays to assess the functional capacity of the classical, the alternative and the lectin pathways of the complement system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Palarasah, Y; Nielsen, C; Sprogøe, U

    2011-01-01

    is therefore of great importance. In this study, we present novel improved enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for the functional assessment of the three individual pathways of the complement system. The method is applicable at high serum concentrations and we demonstrate that it minimizes both false negative...... as well as false positive results. In particular, for the functional mannose-binding lectin activity it represents an improvement on the existing assays. In this respect, the present assays represent novel improved diagnostic protocols for patients with suspected immunodeficiencies related...

  6. Significantly improving nuclear resonance fluorescence non-destructive assay by using the integral resonance transmission method and photofission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Angell, Christopher T.; Hayakawa, Takehito; Shizuma, Toshiyuki; Hajima, Ryoichi

    2013-01-01

    Non-destructive assay (NDA) of 239 Pu in spent nuclear fuel or melted fuel using a γ-ray beam is possible using self absorption and the integral resonance transmission method. The method uses nuclear resonance absorption where resonances in 239 Pu remove photons from the beam, and the selective absorption is detected by measuring the decrease in scattering in a witness target placed in the beam after the fuel, consisting of the isotope of interest, namely 239 Pu. The method is isotope specific, and can use photofission or scattered γ-rays to assay the 239 Pu. It overcomes several problems related to NDA of melted fuel, including the radioactivity of the fuel, and the unknown composition and geometry. This talk will explain the general method, and how photofission can be used to assay specific isotopes, and present example calculations. (author)

  7. Behaviour Recognition from Sensory Streams in Smart Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chua, Sook-Ling; Marsland, Stephen; Guesgen, Hans W.

    One application of smart homes is to take sensor activations from a variety of sensors around the house and use them to recognise the particular behaviours of the inhabitants. This can be useful for monitoring of the elderly or cognitively impaired, amongst other applications. Since the behaviours themselves are not directly observed, only the observations by sensors, it is common to build a probabilistic model of how behaviours arise from these observations, for example in the form of a Hidden Markov Model (HMM). In this paper we present a method of selecting which of a set of trained HMMs best matches the current observations, together with experiments showing that it can reliably detect and segment the sensor stream into behaviours. We demonstrate our algorithm on real sensor data obtained from the MIT PlaceLab. The results show a significant improvement in the recognition accuracy over other approaches.

  8. The oxidation behaviour of lanthanum implanted stainless steels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ager, F.J.; Respaldiza, M.A.; Luna, C.; Botella, J.; Soares, C.G.; da Silva, M.F.

    1997-01-01

    Rare earth oxide deposition onto stainless steel surfaces has been attempted as a way of improving corrosion resistance at elevated temperatures. The improvement in the corrosion behaviour has been related to the modification of the diffusion mechanisms through the chromia protective layer. In a previous work we have postulated the formation of a LaCrO 3 as responsible for such a behaviour. Among the alternatives to deposit reactive elements, ion implantation has been chosen as a way of obtaining surface and/or subsurface alloys with the desired composition. During ion implantation, a modification of the alloy structure may also occur, resulting in a way of testing the influence of the alloy structure on the oxidation behaviour. In the present work we propose two procedures for obtaining the refractory behaviour implantation in the bulk alloy and in controlled preoxidized layers. Ion fluency has been chosen in such a way that final rare earth element concentration falls within the limits experimentally observed as adequate using wet chemistry methods. Excellent parabolic oxidation is observed in every case showing the efficiency of the implantation method both in the implanted bulk alloy as well as in the preoxidized specimens. The differences in the oxidation kinetics are related to the surface composition and to the structure of the implanted materials. (author)

  9. Effects of a Redesigned Classroom on Play Behaviour among Preschool Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acer, Dilek; Gözen, Göksu; Firat, Zehra Saadet; Kefeli, Hatice; Aslan, Büsra

    2016-01-01

    Current research exists regarding the play behaviour of students in various settings and with varying abilities. Regardless, there needs to be improved understanding of how students' play behaviour is affected when their classroom environment is significantly redesigned. This study examined, over a 21-week period between December 2013 and May…

  10. Cognitive-behavioural approaches to self-management in rheumatic disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dures, Emma; Hewlett, Sarah

    2012-09-01

    Patients with rheumatic disease must adjust psychosocially and behaviourally in order to manage the impact of symptoms and treatment on their daily lives, and the emotional consequences of the disease. However, patients can improve their well-being by taking a proactive role in self-management, for example by using coping strategies. Support for patient self-management from clinical teams usually comprises information and advice on disease management; however, this largely didactic approach often focuses on the biomedical aspects of rheumatic disease, without addressing how these aspects interact with psychosocial factors to influence health behaviours and thus outcomes. A cognitive-behavioural approach based on the biopsychosocial model of rheumatic disease can facilitate the identification of effective self-management strategies through collaboration between patients and clinicians. Most patients do not require intense cognitive-behavioural therapy from a clinical psychologist; rather, basic cognitive-behavioural techniques and tools could be used by rheumatology clinical teams to expand and enhance the support already offered to patients.

  11. Specific binding assay technique; standardization of reagent

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huggins, K.G.; Roitt, I.M.

    1979-01-01

    The standardization of a labelled constituent, such as anti-IgE, for use in a specific binding assay method is disclosed. A labelled ligand, such as IgE, is standardized against a ligand reference substance, such as WHO standard IgE, to determine the weight of IgE protein represented by the labelled ligand. Anti-light chain antibodies are contacted with varying concentrations of the labelled ligand. The ligand is then contacted with the labelled constituent which is then quantitated in relation to the amount of ligand protein present. The preparation of 131 I-labelled IgE is described. Also disclosed is an improved specific binding assay test method for determining the potency of an allergen extract in serum from an allergic individual. The improvement involved using a parallel model system of a second complex which consisted of anti-light chain antibodies, labelled ligand and the standardized labelled constituent (anti-IgE). The amount of standardized labelled constituent bound to the ligand in the first complex was determined, as described above, and the weight of ligand inhibited by addition of soluble allergen was then used as a measure of the potency of the allergen extract. (author)

  12. Do the emotional states of pregnant women affect neonatal behaviour?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Martínez, Carmen; Arija, Victoria; Balaguer, Albert; Cavallé, Pere; Canals, Josefa

    2008-11-01

    The emotional states of pregnant women affect the course of their pregnancies, their deliveries and the behaviour and development of their infants. The aim of this study is to analyse the influence of positive and negative maternal emotional states on neonatal behaviour at 2-3 days after birth. A sample of 163 healthy full-term newborns was evaluated using the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale. Maternal anxiety, perceived stress, and emotional stability during pregnancy were evaluated in the immediate postpartum period with the State Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Perceived Stress Scale. Moderate levels of anxiety during pregnancy alter infant orientation and self-regulation. These aspects of infant behaviour could lead to later attachment, behavioural and developmental problems. Maternal emotional stability during pregnancy improves infant self-regulation and several aspects of infant behaviour that may predispose them to better interactions with their parents.

  13. Effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy in a community-based pulmonary rehabilitation programme: A controlled clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luk, Edwin K; Gorelik, Alexandra; Irving, Louis; Khan, Fary

    2017-03-06

    To investigate whether the use of cognitive behavioural therapy in pulmonary rehabilitation addresses the depression and anxiety burden and thereby improves rehabilitation outcomes. Prospective controlled clinical trial. A total of 70 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who were referred to a community centre for pulmonary rehabilitation. Patients were allocated to either the control group, consisting of pulmonary rehabilitation alone, or to the treatment group, receiving pulmonary rehabilitation and an additional 6 sessions of group-based cognitive behavioural therapy. Assessments consisting of questionnaires and walk tests were conducted pre- and post-pulmonary rehabilitation. A total of 28 patients were enrolled. The cognitive behavioural therapy group had significant improvements in exercise capacity following pulmonary rehabilitation (mean change 32.9 m, p = 0.043), which was maintained at 3 months post-pulmonary rehabilitation (mean change 23.4 m, p = 0.045). Patients in the cognitive behavioural therapy group showed significant short-term improvements in fatigue, stress and depression (mean change 2.4, p = 0.016, 3.9, p = 0.024 and 4.3, p = 0.047, respectively) and a 3-month post-pulmonary rehabilitation improvement in anxiety score (mean change 3.1, p = 0.01). No significant changes were seen in the control group. The addition of cognitive behavioural therapy improved patients' physical, psychological and quality of life results. Cognitive behavioural therapy should be considered for inclusion in a pulmonary rehabilitation programme to enhance outcomes.

  14. Player behavioural modelling for video games

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Lankveld, G.; Spronck, P.H.M.; Bakkes, S.C.J.

    2012-01-01

    Player behavioural modelling has grown from a means to improve the playing strength of computer programs that play classic games (e.g., chess), to a means for impacting the player experience and satisfaction in video games, as well as in cross-domain applications such as interactive storytelling. In

  15. Improved analysis of C4 and C3 photosynthesis via refined in vitro assays of their carbon fixation biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharwood, Robert E.; Sonawane, Balasaheb V.; Ghannoum, Oula; Whitney, Spencer M.

    2016-01-01

    Plants operating C3 and C4 photosynthetic pathways exhibit differences in leaf anatomy and photosynthetic carbon fixation biochemistry. Fully understanding this underpinning biochemical variation is requisite to identifying solutions for improving photosynthetic efficiency and growth. Here we refine assay methods for accurately measuring the carboxylase and decarboxylase activities in C3 and C4 plant soluble protein. We show that differences in plant extract preparation and assay conditions are required to measure NADP-malic enzyme and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (pH 8, Mg2+, 22 °C) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (pH 7, >2mM Mn2+, no Mg2+) maximal activities accurately. We validate how the omission of MgCl2 during leaf protein extraction, lengthy (>1min) centrifugation times, and the use of non-pure ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) significantly underestimate Rubisco activation status. We show how Rubisco activation status varies with leaf ontogeny and is generally lower in mature C4 monocot leaves (45–60% activation) relative to C3 monocots (55–90% activation). Consistent with their >3-fold lower Rubisco contents, full Rubisco activation in soluble protein from C4 leaves (<5min) was faster than in C3 plant samples (<10min), with addition of Rubisco activase not required for full activation. We conclude that Rubisco inactivation in illuminated leaves primarily stems from RuBP binding to non-carbamylated enzyme, a state readily reversible by dilution during cellular protein extraction. PMID:27122573

  16. Scientific issues in fuel behaviour

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    The current limits on discharge burnup in today's nuclear power stations have proven the fuel to be very reliable in its performance, with a negligibly small rate of failure. However, for reasons of economy, there are moves to increase the fuel enrichment in order to extend both the cycle time and the discharge burnup. But, longer periods of irradiation cause increased microstructural changes in the fuel and cladding, implying a larger degradation of physical and mechanical properties. This degradation may well limit the plant life, hence the NSC concluded that it is of importance to develop a predictive capability of fuel behaviour at extended burnup. This can only be achieved through an improved understanding of the basic underlying phenomena of fuel behaviour. The Task Force on Scientific Issues Related to Fuel Behaviour of the NEA Nuclear Science Committee has identified the most important scientific issues on the subject and has assigned priorities. Modelling aspects are listed in Appendix A and discussed in Part II. In addition, quality assurance process for performing and evaluating new integral experiments is considered of special importance. Main activities on fuel behaviour modelling, as carried out in OECD Member countries and international organisations, are listed in Part III. The aim is to identify common interests, to establish current coverage of selected issues, and to avoid any duplication of efforts between international agencies. (author). refs., figs., tabs

  17. Micro-fluidic module for blood cell separation for gene expression radiobiological assays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brengues, Muriel; Gu, Jian; Zenhausern, Frederic

    2015-01-01

    Advances in molecular techniques have improved discovery of biomarkers associated with radiation exposure. Gene expression techniques have been demonstrated as effective tools for biodosimetry, and different assay platforms with different chemistries are now available. One of the main challenges is to integrate the sample preparation processing of these assays into micro-fluidic platforms to be fully automated for point-of-care medical countermeasures in the case of a radiological event. Most of these assays follow the same workflow processing that comprises first the collection of blood samples followed by cellular and molecular sample preparation. The sample preparation is based on the specific reagents of the assay system and depends also on the different subsets of cells population and the type of biomarkers of interest. In this article, the authors present a module for isolation of white blood cells from peripheral blood as a prerequisite for automation of gene expression assays on a micro-fluidic cartridge. For each sample condition, the gene expression platform can be adapted to suit the requirements of the selected assay chemistry (authors)

  18. Social information influences trust behaviour in adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Nikki C; Jolles, Jelle; Krabbendam, Lydia

    2016-01-01

    Trust plays an integral role in daily interactions within adolescents' social environment. Using a trust game paradigm, this study investigated the modulating influence of social information about three interaction partners on trust behaviour in adolescents aged 12-18 (N = 845). After receiving information about their interaction partners prior to the task, participants were most likely to share with a 'good' partner and rate this partner as most trustworthy. Over the course of the task all interaction partners showed similar levels of trustworthy behaviour, but overall participants continued to trust and view the good partner as more trustworthy than 'bad' and 'neutral' partners throughout the game. However, with age the ability to overcome prior social information and adapt trust behaviour improved: middle and late adolescents showed a larger decrease in trust of the good partner than early adolescents, and late adolescents were more likely to reward trustworthy behaviour from the negative partner. Copyright © 2015 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Analysis of health behaviour change interventions for preventing dental caries delivered in primary schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adair, P M; Burnside, G; Pine, C M

    2013-01-01

    To improve oral health in children, the key behaviours (tooth brushing and sugar control) responsible for development of dental caries need to be better understood, as well as how to promote these behaviours effectively so they become habitual; and, the specific, optimal techniques to use in interventions. The aim of this paper is to describe and analyse the behaviour change techniques that have been used in primary school-based interventions to prevent dental caries (utilizing a Cochrane systematic review that we have undertaken) and to identify opportunities for improving future interventions by incorporating a comprehensive range of behaviour change techniques. Papers of five interventions were reviewed and data were independently extracted. Results indicate that behaviour change techniques were limited to information-behaviour links, information on consequences, instruction and demonstration of behaviours. None of the interventions were based on behaviour change theory. We conclude that behaviour change techniques used in school interventions to reduce dental caries were limited and focused around providing information about how behaviour impacts on health and the consequences of not developing the correct health behaviours as well as providing oral hygiene instruction. Establishing which techniques are effective is difficult due to poor reporting of interventions in studies. Future design of oral health promotion interventions using behaviour change theory for development and evaluation (and reporting results in academic journals) could strengthen the potential for efficacy and provide a framework to use a much wider range of behaviour change techniques. Future studies should include development and publication of intervention manuals which is becoming standard practice in other health promoting programmes. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  20. Cultural adaptation of a cognitive-behavioural intervention to improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy among people living with HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe: Nzira Itsva.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bere, Tarisai; Nyamayaro, Primrose; Magidson, Jessica F; Chibanda, Dixon; Chingono, Alfred; Munjoma, Ronald; Macpherson, Kirsty; Ndhlovu, Chiratidzo Ellen; O'Cleirigh, Conall; Kidia, Khameer; Safren, Steven A; Abas, Melanie

    2017-09-01

    Few evidence-based interventions to improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy have been adapted for use in Africa. We selected, culturally adapted and tested the feasibility of a cognitive-behavioural intervention for adherence and for delivery in a clinic setting in Harare, Zimbabwe. The feasibility of the intervention was evaluated using a mixed-methods assessment, including ratings of provider fidelity of intervention delivery, and qualitative assessments of feasibility using individual semi-structured interviews with counsellors (n=4) and patients (n=15). The intervention was feasible and acceptable when administered to 42 patients and resulted in improved self-reported adherence in a subset of 15 patients who were followed up after 6months.

  1. History of PUQFUA: plutonium body burden (Q) from urine assays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lawrence, J.N.P.

    1978-10-01

    PUQFUA is a FORTRAN computer program that calculates plutonium body burdens (Q) from urine assay data. This report describes the historical development of the program at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL) since 1959. After a review of the basic techniques used in the original PUQFUA, its deficiencies are listed. The procedures used to improve the program and correct the deficiencies are described. Appendixes provide a detailed discussion of the evaluation made of the analytical errors in the plutonium urine assay program at LASL from 1944 to 1978

  2. Assay strategies and methods for phospholipases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reynolds, L.J.; Washburn, W.N.; Deems, R.A.; Dennis, E.A.

    1991-01-01

    Of the general considerations discussed, the two issues which are most important in choosing an assay are (1) what sensitivity is required to assay a particular enzyme and (2) whether the assay must be continuous. One can narrow the options further by considering substrate availability, enzyme specificity, assay convenience, or the presence of incompatible side reactions. In addition, the specific preference of a particular phospholipase for polar head group, micellar versus vesicular substrates, and anionic versus nonionic detergents may further restrict the options. Of the many assays described in this chapter, several have limited applicability or serious drawbacks and are not commonly employed. The most commonly used phospholipase assays are the radioactive TLC assay and the pH-stat assay. The TLC assay is probably the most accurate, sensitive assay available. These aspects often outweigh the disadvantages of being discontinuous, tedious, and expensive. The radioactive E. coli assay has become popular recently as an alternative to the TLC assay for the purification of the mammalian nonpancreatic phospholipases. The assay is less time consuming and less expensive than the TLC assay, but it is not appropriate when careful kinetics are required. Where less sensitivity is needed, or when a continuous assay is necessary, the pH-stat assay is often employed. With purified enzymes, when free thiol groups are not present, a spectrophotometric thiol assay can be used. This assay is ∼ as sensitive as the pH-stat assay but is more convenient and more reproducible, although the substrate is not available commercially. Despite the many assay choices available, the search continues for a convenient, generally applicable assay that is both sensitive and continuous

  3. Consumer behaviours: Teaching children to save energy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grønhøj, Alice

    2016-08-01

    Energy-saving programmes are increasingly targeted at children to encourage household energy conservation. A study involving the assignment of energy-saving interventions to Girl Scouts shows that a child-focused intervention can improve energy-saving behaviours among children and their parents.

  4. Breeding for behavioural change in farm animails

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandøe, Peter; D'eath, RB; Lawrence, AB

    2009-01-01

    In farm animal breeding, behavioural traits are rarely included in selection programmes despite their potential to improve animal production and welfare. Breeding goals have been broadened beyond production traits in most farm animal species to include health and functional traits...

  5. Breeding for behavioural change in farm animals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Eath, R.B.; Conington, J.; Lawrence, A.B.

    2010-01-01

    In farm animal breeding, behavioural traits are rarely included in selection programmes despite their potential to improve animal production and welfare. Breeding goals have been broadened beyond production traits in most farm animal species to include health and functional traits...

  6. ICECAP: an integrated, general-purpose, automation-assisted IC50/EC50 assay platform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ming; Chou, Judy; King, Kristopher W; Jing, Jing; Wei, Dong; Yang, Liyu

    2015-02-01

    IC50 and EC50 values are commonly used to evaluate drug potency. Mass spectrometry (MS)-centric bioanalytical and biomarker labs are now conducting IC50/EC50 assays, which, if done manually, are tedious and error-prone. Existing bioanalytical sample preparation automation systems cannot meet IC50/EC50 assay throughput demand. A general-purpose, automation-assisted IC50/EC50 assay platform was developed to automate the calculations of spiking solutions and the matrix solutions preparation scheme, the actual spiking and matrix solutions preparations, as well as the flexible sample extraction procedures after incubation. In addition, the platform also automates the data extraction, nonlinear regression curve fitting, computation of IC50/EC50 values, graphing, and reporting. The automation-assisted IC50/EC50 assay platform can process the whole class of assays of varying assay conditions. In each run, the system can handle up to 32 compounds and up to 10 concentration levels per compound, and it greatly improves IC50/EC50 assay experimental productivity and data processing efficiency. © 2014 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.

  7. Hygienic food handling behaviours. An application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullan, Barbara A; Wong, Cara L

    2009-06-01

    It is estimated that 5.4 million Australians get sick annually from eating contaminated food and that up to 20% of this illness results from food handling behaviour. A study was undertaken to investigate the efficacy of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) including past behaviour in predicting safe food handling intention and behaviour. One hundred and nine participants completed questionnaires regarding their attitudes, perceived behavioural control (PBC), subjective norm, intentions and past behaviour. Behaviour was measured 4 weeks later. The TPB predicted a high proportion of variance in both intentions and behaviour, and past behaviour/habit was found to be the strongest predictor of behaviour. The results of the present study suggest interventions aimed at increasing safe food handling intentions should focus on the impact of normative influences and perceptions of control over their food handling environment; whereas interventions to change actual behaviour should attempt to increase hygienic food handling as a habitual behaviour.

  8. Solid phase assays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reese, M.G.; Johnson, L.R.; Ransom, D.K.

    1980-01-01

    In a solid phase assay for quantitative determination of biological and other analytes, a sample such as serum is contacted with a receptor for the analyte being assayed, the receptor being supported on a solid support. No tracer for the analyte is added to the sample before contacting with the receptor; instead the tracer is contacted with the receptor after unbound analyte has been removed from the receptor. The assay can be otherwise performed in a conventional manner but can give greater sensitivity. (author)

  9. Energy efficiency and behaviour

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carstensen, Trine Agervig; Kunnasvirta, Annika; Kiviluoto, Katariina

    separate key aspects hinders strategic energy efficiency planning. For this reason, the PLEEC project – “Planning for Energy Efficient Cities” – funded by the EU Seventh Framework Programme uses an integrative approach to achieve the sus‐ tainable, energy– efficient, smart city. By coordinating strategies...... to conduct behavioural interventions, to be presented in Deliverable 5.5., the final report. This report will also provide valuable information for the WP6 general model for an Energy-Smart City. Altogether 38 behavioural interventions are analysed in this report. Each collected and analysed case study...... of the European Union’s 20‐20‐20 plan is to improve energy efficiency by 20% in 2020. However, holistic knowledge about energy efficiency potentials in cities is far from complete. Currently, a WP4 location in PLEEC project page 3 variety of individual strategies and approaches by different stakeholders tackling...

  10. New Technology For Fissile Assay In Spent Fuel Using LSDS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Yongdeok; Park, Changje; Park, Geunil; Lee, Jungwon; Song, Keechan

    2012-01-01

    The principle of LSDS is very simple. The interrogated neutron induces energy dependent characteristic fission from fissile materials in spent fuel. The fission threshold detector screens the prompt fast fission neutrons from background and fissionable materials. However, intense source neutron is necessary to overcome radiation background. The detected signals have a direct relationship to the content of each fissile material. The isotopic fissile assay using LSDS is applicable for optimum design of spent fuel storage and management, quality assurance of recycled nuclear material, maximization of burnup credit. Another important application is verity burnup code and provide correction factor for improving the fissile material content, fission product correction factor for improving the fissile material content, fission product content and theoretical burnup. Additionally, the isotopic fissile content assay will increase the transparence and credibility for spent fuel storage and its re-utilization, as internationally demanded

  11. Preschool children's response to behavioural parent training and parental predictors of outcome in routine clinical care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Veen-Mulders, Lianne; Hoekstra, Pieter J; Nauta, Maaike H; van den Hoofdakker, Barbara J

    2018-01-01

    To investigate the effectiveness of behavioral parent training (BPT) for preschool children with disruptive behaviours and to explore parental predictors of response. Parents of 68 preschool children, aged between 2.7 and 5.9 years, participated in BPT. We evaluated the changes in children's behaviour after BPT with a one group pretest-posttest design, using a waiting period for a double pretest. Outcome was based on parents' reports of the intensity and number of behaviour problems on the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory. Predictor variables included parents' attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms, antisocial behaviours, and alcohol use, and maternal parenting self-efficacy and disciplining. Mother-reported child behaviour problems did not change in the waiting period but improved significantly after BPT (d = 0.63). High levels of alcohol use by fathers and low levels of maternal ineffective disciplining were each associated with somewhat worse outcome. BPT under routine care conditions clearly improves disruptive behaviours in preschool children. Mothers who consider themselves as inadequate in disciplining and mothers whose partners do not consume high levels of alcohol report the largest improvements. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  12. Detection of induced male germline mutation: Correlations and comparisons between traditional germline mutation assays, transgenic rodent assays and expanded simple tandem repeat instability assays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Singer, Timothy M. [Mutagenesis Section, Environmental and Occupational Toxicology Division, Safe Environments Programme, 0803A, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ont., K1A 0K9 (Canada); Department of Biology, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ont., K1S 5B6 (Canada); Lambert, Iain B. [Department of Biology, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ont., K1S 5B6 (Canada); Williams, Andrew [Biostatistics and Epidemiology Division, Safe Environments Programme, 6604B, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ont., K1A 0K9 (Canada); Douglas, George R. [Mutagenesis Section, Environmental and Occupational Toxicology Division, Safe Environments Programme, 0803A, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ont., K1A 0K9 (Canada); Yauk, Carole L. [Mutagenesis Section, Environmental and Occupational Toxicology Division, Safe Environments Programme, 0803A, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ont., K1A 0K9 (Canada)]. E-mail: carole_yauk@hc-sc.gc.ca

    2006-06-25

    Several rodent assays are capable of monitoring germline mutation. These include traditional assays, such as the dominant lethal (DL) assay, the morphological specific locus (SL) test and the heritable translocation (HT) assay, and two assays that have been developed more recently-the expanded simple tandem repeat (ESTR) and transgenic rodent (TGR) mutation assays. In this paper, we have compiled the limited amount of experimental data that are currently available to make conclusions regarding the comparative ability of the more recently developed assays to detect germline mutations induced by chemical and radiological agents. The data suggest that ESTR and TGR assays are generally comparable with SL in detecting germline mutagenicity induced by alkylating agents and radiation, though TGR offered less sensitivity than ESTR in some cases. The DL and HT assays detect clastogenic events and are most susceptible to mutations arising in post-spermatogonial cells, and they may not provide the best comparisons with TGR and ESTR instability. The measurement of induced ESTR instability represents a relatively sensitive method of identifying agents causing germline mutation in rodents, and may also be useful for bio-monitoring exposed individuals in the human population. Any future use of the TGR and ESTR germline mutation assays in a regulatory testing context will entail more robust and extensive characterization of assay performance. This will require substantially more data, including experiments measuring multiple endpoints, a greatly expanded database of chemical agents and a focus on characterizing stage-specific activity of mutagens in these assays, preferably by sampling epididymal sperm exposed at defined pre-meiotic, meiotic and post-meiotic stages of development.

  13. Detection of induced male germline mutation: Correlations and comparisons between traditional germline mutation assays, transgenic rodent assays and expanded simple tandem repeat instability assays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Singer, Timothy M.; Lambert, Iain B.; Williams, Andrew; Douglas, George R.; Yauk, Carole L.

    2006-01-01

    Several rodent assays are capable of monitoring germline mutation. These include traditional assays, such as the dominant lethal (DL) assay, the morphological specific locus (SL) test and the heritable translocation (HT) assay, and two assays that have been developed more recently-the expanded simple tandem repeat (ESTR) and transgenic rodent (TGR) mutation assays. In this paper, we have compiled the limited amount of experimental data that are currently available to make conclusions regarding the comparative ability of the more recently developed assays to detect germline mutations induced by chemical and radiological agents. The data suggest that ESTR and TGR assays are generally comparable with SL in detecting germline mutagenicity induced by alkylating agents and radiation, though TGR offered less sensitivity than ESTR in some cases. The DL and HT assays detect clastogenic events and are most susceptible to mutations arising in post-spermatogonial cells, and they may not provide the best comparisons with TGR and ESTR instability. The measurement of induced ESTR instability represents a relatively sensitive method of identifying agents causing germline mutation in rodents, and may also be useful for bio-monitoring exposed individuals in the human population. Any future use of the TGR and ESTR germline mutation assays in a regulatory testing context will entail more robust and extensive characterization of assay performance. This will require substantially more data, including experiments measuring multiple endpoints, a greatly expanded database of chemical agents and a focus on characterizing stage-specific activity of mutagens in these assays, preferably by sampling epididymal sperm exposed at defined pre-meiotic, meiotic and post-meiotic stages of development

  14. Early social environment influences the behaviour of a family-living lizard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riley, Julia L; Noble, Daniel W A; Byrne, Richard W; Whiting, Martin J

    2017-05-01

    Early social environment can play a significant role in shaping behavioural development. For instance, in many social mammals and birds, isolation rearing results in individuals that are less exploratory, shyer, less social and more aggressive than individuals raised in groups. Moreover, dynamic aspects of social environments, such as the nature of relationships between individuals, can also impact the trajectory of development. We tested if being raised alone or socially affects behavioural development in the family-living tree skink, Egernia striolata . Juveniles were raised in two treatments: alone or in a pair. We assayed exploration, boldness, sociability and aggression repeatedly throughout each juvenile's first year of life, and also assessed social interactions between pairs to determine if juveniles formed dominant-subordinate relationships. We found that male and/or the larger skinks within social pairs were dominant. Developing within this social environment reduced skink growth, and subordinate skinks were more prone to tail loss. Thus, living with a conspecific was costly for E. striolata . The predicted negative effects of isolation failed to materialize. Nevertheless, there were significant differences in behavioural traits depending on the social environment (isolated, dominant or subordinate member of a pair). Isolated skinks were more social than subordinate skinks. Subordinate skinks also became more aggressive over time, whereas isolated and dominant skinks showed invariable aggression. Dominant skinks became bolder over time, whereas isolated and subordinate skinks were relatively stable in their boldness. In summary, our study is evidence that isolation rearing does not consistently affect behaviour across all social taxa. Our study also demonstrates that the social environment plays an important role in behavioural development of a family-living lizard.

  15. Facilitating Data Sharing in the Behavioural Sciences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R de la Sablonnière

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available In most scientific fields, significant improvements have been made in terms of data sharing among scientists and researchers. Although there are clear benefits to data sharing, there is at least one field where this norm has yet to be developed: the behavioural sciences. In this paper, we propose an innovative methodology as a means to change existing norms within the behavioural sciences and move towards increased data sharing. Based on recent advances in social psychology, we theorize that a Survey Research Instrument that takes into account basic psychological processes can be effective in promoting data sharing norms.

  16. Detection and removal of spatial bias in multiwell assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachmann, Alexander; Giorgi, Federico M; Alvarez, Mariano J; Califano, Andrea

    2016-07-01

    Multiplex readout assays are now increasingly being performed using microfluidic automation in multiwell format. For instance, the Library of Integrated Network-based Cellular Signatures (LINCS) has produced gene expression measurements for tens of thousands of distinct cell perturbations using a 384-well plate format. This dataset is by far the largest 384-well gene expression measurement assay ever performed. We investigated the gene expression profiles of a million samples from the LINCS dataset and found that the vast majority (96%) of the tested plates were affected by a significant 2D spatial bias. Using a novel algorithm combining spatial autocorrelation detection and principal component analysis, we could remove most of the spatial bias from the LINCS dataset and show in parallel a dramatic improvement of similarity between biological replicates assayed in different plates. The proposed methodology is fully general and can be applied to any highly multiplexed assay performed in multiwell format. ac2248@columbia.edu Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Self-efficacy of foot care behaviour of elderly patients with diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maizatul Nadwa Mohd Razi

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Elderly patients with diabetes are at a high risk of contracting diabetic foot problems. Self-efficacy is essential to help improve foot care behaviour. Aim: To identify levels of self-efficacy and foot care behaviour and their relationship with demographic characteristics in elderly patients with diabetes Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in two general hospitals in Malaysia from May to June 2015. Diabetes patients aged 60 years with specific inclusion criteria were invited to participate in this study. The respondents were interviewed using a set of validated questionnaires. Data were analysed with descriptive and inferential statistics (multiple linear regression using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 20.0. Results: Levels of foot self-efficacy (mean+31.39; standard deviation=7.76 and foot care behaviour (mean=25.37; SD=5.88 were high. There was a positive significant relationship between foot selfefficacy (β = 0.41, p < 0.001 and gender (β = 0.30, p < 0.001 with foot care behaviour. Conclusion: Self-efficacy can be incorporated in diabetes education to improve foot care behaviour. High-risk patients should be taught proper foot inspection and protection as well as the merits of skin care to prevent the occurrence of diabetic foot problems.

  18. Behaviour of conductivity improvers in jet fuel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dacre, B.; Hetherington, J.I. [Cranfield Univ., Wiltshire (United Kingdom)

    1995-05-01

    Dangerous accumulation of electrostatic charge can occur due to high speed pumping and microfiltration of fuel. This can be avoided by increasing the electrical conductivity of the fuel using conductivity improver additives. However, marked variations occur in the conductivity response of different fuels when doped to the same level with conductivity improver. This has been attributed to interactions of the conductivity improver with other fuel additives or fuel contaminants. The present work concentrates on the effects of fuel contaminants, in particular polar compounds, on the performance of the conductivity improver. Conductivity is the fuel property of prime interest. The conductivity response of model systems of the conductivity improver STADIS 450 in dodecane has been measured and the effect on this conductivity of additions of model polar contaminants sodium naphthenate, sodium dodecyl benzene sulphonate, and sodium phenate have been measured. The sodium salts have been found to have a complex effect on the performance of STADIS 450, reducing the conductivity at low concentrations to a minimum value and then increasing the conductivity at high concentrations of sodium salts. This work has focused on characterising this minimum in the conductivity values and on understanding the reason for its occurrence. The effects on the minimum conductivity value of the following parameters are investigated: (a) time, (b) STADIS 450 concentration, (c) sodium salt concentration, (d) mixed sodium salts, (e) experimental method, (f) a phenol, (g) individual components of STADIS 450. The complex conductivity response of the STADIS 450 to sodium salt impurities is discussed in terms of possible inter-molecular interactions.

  19. Low-energy ED-XRF spectrometry application in gold assaying

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marucco, Alessandra

    2004-01-01

    The performances of a low-energy dispersive XRF spectrometer in gold assaying are evaluated by a series of analysis on international standards and other certified gold alloys with. Results of standard-free analysis based on fundamental parameters method compared to results of multi-standard method, demonstrate a large gain of accuracy by drawing appropriate calibration curves with use of 1 to 16 matrix-specific standards. The accuracy of gold assaying has improved by a factor of 10, as compared to the conventional touchstone test. This rather economical technique satisfies then numerous precious alloys analyst needs, representing an excellent alternative to the traditional method for quick anti-fraud controls

  20. Why building capacity is a necessary but insufficient condition for improved waste management in South Africa: The knowledge–behaviour relationship

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Godfrey, Linda K

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available beliefs form behavioural intentions which result in behaviour. Findings show that building capacity, which support control beliefs, while certainly a necessary condition, is insufficient to change waste behaviour. Consideration needs to be given...

  1. Evaluation of total PSA assay on vitros ECi and correlation with Kryptor-PSA assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassinat, B; Wacquet, M; Toubert, M E; Rain, J D; Schlageter, M H

    2001-01-01

    An increasing number of multiparametric immuno-analysers for PSA assays are available. As different immuno-assays may vary in their analytical quality and their accuracy for the follow-up of patients, expertise is necessary for each new assay. The PSA assay on the Vitros-ECi analyser has been evaluated and compared with the PSA assay from the Kryptor analyser. Variation coefficients were 0.91 to 1.98% for within-run assays, and 4.2% to 5.4% for interassay (PSA levels = 0.8 microgram/L to 33.6 micrograms/L). Dilution tests showed 93 to 136% recovery until 70 micrograms/L PSA. Functional sensitivity was estimated at 0.03 microgram/L. Equimolarity of the test was confirmed. Correlation of PSA levels measured with Vitros-ECi and Kryptor analysers displayed a correlation coefficient r2 of 0.9716. The half-lives and doubling times of PSA were similar using both methods. Vitros-ECi PSA assay meets the major criteria for the management of prostate cancer patients.

  2. Outdoor thermal comfort and behaviour in urban area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inavonna, I.; Hardiman, G.; Purnomo, A. B.

    2018-01-01

    Outdoor comfort is important due to the public spaces functions. Open spaces provide thermal comfort and a pleasant experience to improve the city life quality effectively. The influence of thermal comfort in outdoor activities is a complex problem. This paper presents a literature review and discussion of aspects of physical, psychology, and social behaviour toward outdoor thermal comfort. The valuation is determined not only by the “physical state” but also by the “state of mind”. The assessment is static and objective (i.e., physical and physiological characteristics) that it should be measured. Furthermore, an effective model to provide the knowledge of climatic conditions, as well as the dynamic and subjective aspects (i.e., psychological and social characteristics and behaviour), requires a comprehensive interview and observation. The model will be examined to describe the behaviour that is a reflection of perception and behaviour toward the environment. The adaptation process will constantly evolve so that it becomes a continuous cause between human behaviour and the spatial setting of the formation, which is eventually known as places and not just spaces. This evolutionary process is a civic art form.

  3. Beyond the novelty effect: The role of in-game challenges, rewards and choices for long-term motivation to improve obesity-related health behaviours in adolescents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Martin

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: The prevalence of adolescent obesity is high in the UK. Engaging adolescent boys and girls in health behaviour related to the prevention of obesity proves to be challenging. Mobile and wireless technology shows promise for increasing knowledge and motivation to increase physical activity and healthy eating by capturing the interest of many adolescents. However, solutions for overcoming the novelty effect to enable habit formation and thus long-lasting behaviour change needs to be explored. Aim: This study aimed to explore Scottish adolescents’ perception of the usability and acceptability of a serious mobile game, wearable activity sensors and a smart phone eDiary application (app for promoting physical activity and healthy eating. Methods: The game, sensors and app are being developed following the COM-B model of the Behaviour Change Wheel. The technology is interlinked in that physical activity tracked by the wearable activity sensors and healthy eating captured by using the eDiary app are central to recover the player’s energy levels in the serious game. The player replenishes their in-game energy to progress in the game and to boost abilities. Applying a user-centred approach for developing the technology, 11 adolescents aged 13-16 years (6 boys, 5 girls participated in semi-structured focus groups. This was the first of three pre-pilot study iterations. Mock-up versions of the serious mobile game, wearable activity sensors and the prototype of the eDiary app were presented. Focus groups were audio-recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed. Results: All adolescents responded positively to the general idea of the game and all were keen to play the actual game once developed. Adolescents understood the importance and novelty of the link between player’s real-life health behaviours and in-game activities for improving obesity-related health behaviour. It became evident that the adolescents would only be motivated to be

  4. Performance of the new Bayer VERSANT HCV RNA 3.0 assay for quantitation of hepatitis C virus RNA in plasma and serum: Conversion to international units and comparison with the Roche COBAS amplicor HCV monitor, version 2.0, assay

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beld, Marcel; Sentjens, Roel; Rebers, Sjoerd; Weegink, Christine; Weel, Jan; Sol, Cees; Boom, René

    2002-01-01

    We have evaluated the VERSANT HCV RNA 3.0. Assay (HCV 3.0 bDNA assay) (Bayer Diagnostics, Berkeley, Calif.), which is an improved signal amplification procedure for the HCV 2.0 bDNA assay for the quantitation of hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA in serum or plasma of HCV-infected individuals. The HCV 3.0

  5. Behaviour genetics of Drosophila: Non-sexual behaviour

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    netic and molecular studies helped to reveal the genetic basis of circadian time keeping and rhythmic behaviours. In ... methods of behavioural analysis from psychology and ethology. ... new properties of neurons, they help to dissect neuronal.

  6. Self Shielding in Nuclear Fissile Assay Using LSDS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Yong Deok; Park, Chang Je; Park, Geun Il; Song, Kee Chan

    2012-01-01

    fissile assay. When self shielding is severe, assay system becomes more complex and needs special parameter to treat this non linear effect. Additionally, assay of isotopic fissile content will contribute to accuracy improvement of burnup code and increase transparence and credibility for spent fuel storage and usage, as internationally increasing demand

  7. Child behaviour problems and childhood illness: development of the Eczema Behaviour Checklist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, A E; Morawska, A; Fraser, J A; Sillar, K

    2017-01-01

    Children with atopic dermatitis are at increased risk of both general behaviour problems, and those specific to the condition and its treatment. This can hamper the ability of parents to carry out treatment and manage the condition effectively. To date, there is no published instrument available to assess child behaviour difficulties in the context of atopic dermatitis management. Our aim was to develop a reliable and valid instrument to assess atopic dermatitis-specific child behaviour problems, and parents' self-efficacy (confidence) for managing these behaviours. The Eczema Behaviour Checklist (EBC) was developed as a 25-item questionnaire to measure (i) extent of behaviour problems (EBC Extent scale), and (ii) parents' self-efficacy for managing behaviour problems (EBC Confidence scale), in the context of child atopic dermatitis management. A community-based sample of 292 parents completed the EBC, measures of general behaviour difficulties, self-efficacy with atopic dermatitis management and use of dysfunctional parenting strategies. There was satisfactory internal consistency and construct validity for EBC Extent and Confidence scales. There was a negative correlation between atopic dermatitis-specific behaviour problems and parents' self-efficacy for dealing with behaviours (r = -.53, p behaviours; (ii) symptom-related behaviours; and (iii) behaviours related to impact of the illness. Variation in parents' self-efficacy for managing their child's atopic dermatitis was explained by intensity of illness-specific child behaviour problems and parents' self-efficacy for dealing with the behaviours. The new measure of atopic dermatitis-specific child behaviour problems was a stronger predictor of parents' self-efficacy for managing their child's condition than was the measure of general child behaviour difficulties. Results provide preliminary evidence of reliability and validity of the EBC, which has potential for use in clinical and research settings, and

  8. Behavioural design: A process for integrating behaviour change and design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cash, Philip; Hartlev, Charlotte Gram; Durazo, Christine Boysen

    2017-01-01

    Nudge, persuasion, and the influencing of human behaviour through design are increasingly important topics in design research and in the wider public consciousness. However, current theoretical approaches to behaviour change have yet to be operationalized this in design process support....... Specifically, there are few empirically grounded processes supporting designers in realising behaviour change projects. In response to this, 20 design projects from a case company are analysed in order to distil a core process for behavioural design. Results show a number of process stages and activities...... associated with project success, pointing to a new perspective on the traditional design process, and allowing designers to integrate key insights from behaviour change theory. Using this foundation we propose the Behavioural Design process....

  9. Dissolution Behavior and Content Uniformity of An Improved Tablet Formulation Assayed by Spectrofluorometric and RIA Methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morteza Rafiee-Tehrani

    1990-06-01

    Full Text Available Digoxin 0.25 mg tablets were manufactured by pregranulation of lactose-fcorn starch with 10% corn starch paste and deposition of solvent on pregranules to make digoxin granules. In the preparation of tablet A, granules of lactose-corn Starch was uniformly moistened with a 5% chloroform-ethanol solution (2:lv/vof digoxin by a simple blending. Tablet B was produced by spray granulation system on which the solvent was sprayed on the granules of lactose-corn starch by utilization of a laboratory size fluidized bed drier (Uniglatt . The content uniformity and dissolution of both tablets were determined by the spectrofluorometric and radio¬immunoassay (RIA method modified for the assay of tablet solutious. One available commercially brand of digoxin tablet (C was included in dissolution study for comparison. For the spectrofluorometric method the technique is based on the fluor-ometric measurenent of the dehydration product of the cardiotonic steroid resulting from its reaction with hydrogen peroxide in concentrated hydrochloric acid. For the RIA method, the filtrate was diluted to theoretical concentration of 2.5 ng/ml."nAliquots of this dilution were then assayed for digoxin content using a commercial digoxin125 I RIA kit. Results from both assay methods were extrapolated to the total tablet content and compared with the labeled amount of 20 individual tablets. All tablet assay results were within the USP standards for the content uniformity and"ndissolution of individual. The individual tablet deviations from labeled amount by RIA method were smaller when compared with the spectrofluorometric method.There was no significant difference between the release of digoxin from three products, and thus it is suggested that the Procedure B could be easily applied for manufacturing"nof digoxin tablets in industrial scales.It was also concluded that,the RIA method could be used for the digoxin tablet determination.

  10. The need for a behavioural science focus in research on mental health and mental disorders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wittchen, Hans-Ulrich; Knappe, Susanne; Andersson, Gerhard

    2014-01-01

    of patients who already have developed a disease to improve medical treatment, the proposed framework model, linked to a concerted funding programme of the "Science of Behaviour Change", carries the promise of improved diagnosis, treatment and prevention of health-risk behaviour constellations as well......Psychology as a science offers an enormous diversity of theories, principles, and methodological approaches to understand mental health, abnormal functions and behaviours and mental disorders. A selected overview of the scope, current topics as well as strength and gaps in Psychological Science may...... help to depict the advances needed to inform future research agendas specifically on mental health and mental disorders. From an integrative psychological perspective, most maladaptive health behaviours and mental disorders can be conceptualized as the result of developmental dysfunctions...

  11. Optimization of protein samples for NMR using thermal shift assays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kozak, Sandra; Lercher, Lukas; Karanth, Megha N.; Meijers, Rob; Carlomagno, Teresa; Boivin, Stephane

    2016-01-01

    Maintaining a stable fold for recombinant proteins is challenging, especially when working with highly purified and concentrated samples at temperatures >20 °C. Therefore, it is worthwhile to screen for different buffer components that can stabilize protein samples. Thermal shift assays or ThermoFluor"® provide a high-throughput screening method to assess the thermal stability of a sample under several conditions simultaneously. Here, we describe a thermal shift assay that is designed to optimize conditions for nuclear magnetic resonance studies, which typically require stable samples at high concentration and ambient (or higher) temperature. We demonstrate that for two challenging proteins, the multicomponent screen helped to identify ingredients that increased protein stability, leading to clear improvements in the quality of the spectra. Thermal shift assays provide an economic and time-efficient method to find optimal conditions for NMR structural studies.

  12. Optimization of protein samples for NMR using thermal shift assays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kozak, Sandra [European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Hamburg Outstation, SPC Facility (Germany); Lercher, Lukas; Karanth, Megha N. [European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), SCB Unit (Germany); Meijers, Rob [European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Hamburg Outstation, SPC Facility (Germany); Carlomagno, Teresa, E-mail: teresa.carlomagno@oci.uni-hannover.de [European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), SCB Unit (Germany); Boivin, Stephane, E-mail: sboivin77@hotmail.com, E-mail: s.boivin@embl-hamburg.de [European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Hamburg Outstation, SPC Facility (Germany)

    2016-04-15

    Maintaining a stable fold for recombinant proteins is challenging, especially when working with highly purified and concentrated samples at temperatures >20 °C. Therefore, it is worthwhile to screen for different buffer components that can stabilize protein samples. Thermal shift assays or ThermoFluor{sup ®} provide a high-throughput screening method to assess the thermal stability of a sample under several conditions simultaneously. Here, we describe a thermal shift assay that is designed to optimize conditions for nuclear magnetic resonance studies, which typically require stable samples at high concentration and ambient (or higher) temperature. We demonstrate that for two challenging proteins, the multicomponent screen helped to identify ingredients that increased protein stability, leading to clear improvements in the quality of the spectra. Thermal shift assays provide an economic and time-efficient method to find optimal conditions for NMR structural studies.

  13. Gender differences in environmental related behaviour

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dalen, Hanne Marit; Halvorsen, Bente

    2011-11-15

    survey, the effect of the number of adults in the household is often more important for choices. The results also imply that there are gender differences in how people respond to questions about hypothetical policy measures, where females tend to be more positive on average. Since these positive attitudes is not necessarily mirrored in reported behaviour, it may be difficult to infer on the basis of gender differences in the response to these hypothetical policy questions, to gender differences in actual behaviour. Even if the analyses reveal significant gender differences, it does not necessarily imply that gender differences in environmental behaviour should have implications for environmental policies. Focusing on gender differences may lead to inferior policy recommendations because the focus is shifted away from the main aim, which is to improve the environment. (Author)

  14. Technical energy savings versus changes in human behaviour

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørgaard, Jørgen

    1996-01-01

    Energy savings seems to be the most environmentally benign element in an energy policy. The paper is a reflection on the work on saving energy both by improving technology and by adapting human daily behaviour. A simple model is suggested for the energy chain which converts the primary energy all...... the way into human satisfaction via energy services. Results of various analyses and field experiments show saving potentials for electricity of 50 - 80 per cents. Barriers for implementing these technical saving options are discussed. Also the necessity and potentials for changing behavioural or life...

  15. Use of mass media campaigns to change health behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wakefield, Melanie A; Loken, Barbara; Hornik, Robert C

    2010-10-09

    Mass media campaigns are widely used to expose high proportions of large populations to messages through routine uses of existing media, such as television, radio, and newspapers. Exposure to such messages is, therefore, generally passive. Such campaigns are frequently competing with factors, such as pervasive product marketing, powerful social norms, and behaviours driven by addiction or habit. In this Review we discuss the outcomes of mass media campaigns in the context of various health-risk behaviours (eg, use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs, heart disease risk factors, sex-related behaviours, road safety, cancer screening and prevention, child survival, and organ or blood donation). We conclude that mass media campaigns can produce positive changes or prevent negative changes in health-related behaviours across large populations. We assess what contributes to these outcomes, such as concurrent availability of required services and products, availability of community-based programmes, and policies that support behaviour change. Finally, we propose areas for improvement, such as investment in longer better-funded campaigns to achieve adequate population exposure to media messages. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Fissile Content Assay of Spent Fuel Using LSDS System

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeon, Ju Young; Lee, Yong Deok; Park, Chang Je

    2016-01-01

    About 1.5 % fissile materials still exist in the spent fuel. Therefore, for reutilization of fissile materials in spent fuel at SFR, resource material is produced through the pyro process. Fissile material contents in the resource material must be analyzed before fabricating SFR fuel for reactor safety and economics. The new technology for an isotopic fissile material content assay is under development at KAERI using a lead slowing down spectrometer (LSDS). LSDS is very sensitive to distinguish fission signals from each fissile isotope in spent and recycled fuel. In an assay of fissile content of spent fuel and recycled fuel, an intense radiation background gives limits the direct analysis of fissile materials. However, LSDS is not influenced by such a radiation background in a fissile assay. Based on the decided LSDS geometry set up, a self shielding parameter was calculated at the fuel assay zone by introducing spent fuel or pyro produced nuclear material. When nuclear material is inserted into the assay area, the spent fuel assembly or pyro recycled fuel material perturbs the spatial distribution of slowing down neutrons in lead and the prompt fast fission neutrons produced by fissile materials are also perturbed. The self shielding factor is interpreted as how much of the absorption is created inside the fuel area when it is in the lead. The self shielding effect provides a non-linear property in the isotopic fissile assay. When the self shielding is severe, the assay system becomes more complex and needs a special parameter to treat this non linear effect. Additionally, an assay of isotopic fissile content will contribute to an accuracy improvement of the burn-up code and increase the transparency and credibility for spent fuel storage and usage, as internationally increasing demand. The fissile contents result came out almost exactly with relative error ∼ 2% in case of Pu239, Pu241 for two different plutonium contents. In this study, meaningful results were

  17. Promoting healthy lifestyle behaviour through the Life-Orientation ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Hennie

    behaviours learned in the formative years (such as those relating to smoking, physical activity (PA) and food choices) ..... in implementing the self-assessment at their schools. … ..... improving the health and well-being of students and staff.

  18. Child-orientated environmental education influences adult knowledge and household behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damerell, P.; Howe, C.; Milner-Gulland, E. J.

    2013-03-01

    Environmental education is frequently undertaken as a conservation intervention designed to change the attitudes and behaviour of recipients. Much conservation education is aimed at children, with the rationale that children influence the attitudes of their parents, who will consequently change their behaviour. Empirical evidence to substantiate this suggestion is very limited, however. For the first time, we use a controlled trial to assess the influence of wetland-related environmental education on the knowledge of children and their parents and household behaviour. We demonstrate adults exhibiting greater knowledge of wetlands and improved reported household water management behaviour when their child has received wetland-based education at Seychelles wildlife clubs. We distinguish between ‘folk’ knowledge of wetland environments and knowledge obtained from formal education, with intergenerational transmission of each depending on different factors. Our study provides the first strong support for the suggestion that environmental education can be transferred between generations and indirectly induce targeted behavioural changes.

  19. Child-orientated environmental education influences adult knowledge and household behaviour

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Damerell, P; Milner-Gulland, E J; Howe, C

    2013-01-01

    Environmental education is frequently undertaken as a conservation intervention designed to change the attitudes and behaviour of recipients. Much conservation education is aimed at children, with the rationale that children influence the attitudes of their parents, who will consequently change their behaviour. Empirical evidence to substantiate this suggestion is very limited, however. For the first time, we use a controlled trial to assess the influence of wetland-related environmental education on the knowledge of children and their parents and household behaviour. We demonstrate adults exhibiting greater knowledge of wetlands and improved reported household water management behaviour when their child has received wetland-based education at Seychelles wildlife clubs. We distinguish between ‘folk’ knowledge of wetland environments and knowledge obtained from formal education, with intergenerational transmission of each depending on different factors. Our study provides the first strong support for the suggestion that environmental education can be transferred between generations and indirectly induce targeted behavioural changes. (letter)

  20. Using a Smartphone Application to Promote Healthy Dietary Behaviours and Local Food Consumption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilliland, Jason; Sadler, Richard; Clark, Andrew; O'Connor, Colleen; Milczarek, Malgorzata; Doherty, Sean

    2015-01-01

    Smartphone “apps” are a powerful tool for public health promotion, but unidimensional interventions have been ineffective at sustaining behavioural change. Various logistical issues exist in successful app development for health intervention programs and for sustaining behavioural change. This study reports on a smartphone application and messaging service, called “SmartAPPetite,” which uses validated behaviour change techniques and a behavioural economic approach to “nudge” users into healthy dietary behaviours. To help gauge participation in and influence of the program, data were collected using an upfront food survey, message uptake tracking, experience sampling interviews, and a follow-up survey. Logistical and content-based issues in the deployment of the messaging service were subsequently addressed to strengthen the effectiveness of the app in changing dietary behaviours. Challenges included creating relevant food goal categories for participants, providing messaging appropriate to self-reported food literacy and ensuring continued participation in the program. SmartAPPetite was effective at creating a sense of improved awareness and consumption of healthy foods, as well as drawing people to local food vendors with greater frequency. This work serves as a storehouse of methods and best practices for multidimensional local food-based smartphone interventions aimed at improving the “triple bottom line” of health, economy, and environment. PMID:26380298

  1. Using a Smartphone Application to Promote Healthy Dietary Behaviours and Local Food Consumption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Gilliland

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Smartphone “apps” are a powerful tool for public health promotion, but unidimensional interventions have been ineffective at sustaining behavioural change. Various logistical issues exist in successful app development for health intervention programs and for sustaining behavioural change. This study reports on a smartphone application and messaging service, called “SmartAPPetite,” which uses validated behaviour change techniques and a behavioural economic approach to “nudge” users into healthy dietary behaviours. To help gauge participation in and influence of the program, data were collected using an upfront food survey, message uptake tracking, experience sampling interviews, and a follow-up survey. Logistical and content-based issues in the deployment of the messaging service were subsequently addressed to strengthen the effectiveness of the app in changing dietary behaviours. Challenges included creating relevant food goal categories for participants, providing messaging appropriate to self-reported food literacy and ensuring continued participation in the program. SmartAPPetite was effective at creating a sense of improved awareness and consumption of healthy foods, as well as drawing people to local food vendors with greater frequency. This work serves as a storehouse of methods and best practices for multidimensional local food-based smartphone interventions aimed at improving the “triple bottom line” of health, economy, and environment.

  2. Using a Smartphone Application to Promote Healthy Dietary Behaviours and Local Food Consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilliland, Jason; Sadler, Richard; Clark, Andrew; O'Connor, Colleen; Milczarek, Malgorzata; Doherty, Sean

    2015-01-01

    Smartphone "apps" are a powerful tool for public health promotion, but unidimensional interventions have been ineffective at sustaining behavioural change. Various logistical issues exist in successful app development for health intervention programs and for sustaining behavioural change. This study reports on a smartphone application and messaging service, called "SmartAPPetite," which uses validated behaviour change techniques and a behavioural economic approach to "nudge" users into healthy dietary behaviours. To help gauge participation in and influence of the program, data were collected using an upfront food survey, message uptake tracking, experience sampling interviews, and a follow-up survey. Logistical and content-based issues in the deployment of the messaging service were subsequently addressed to strengthen the effectiveness of the app in changing dietary behaviours. Challenges included creating relevant food goal categories for participants, providing messaging appropriate to self-reported food literacy and ensuring continued participation in the program. SmartAPPetite was effective at creating a sense of improved awareness and consumption of healthy foods, as well as drawing people to local food vendors with greater frequency. This work serves as a storehouse of methods and best practices for multidimensional local food-based smartphone interventions aimed at improving the "triple bottom line" of health, economy, and environment.

  3. Lowering the quantification limit of the QubitTM RNA HS assay using RNA spike-in.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xin; Ben-Dov, Iddo Z; Mauro, Maurizio; Williams, Zev

    2015-05-06

    RNA quantification is often a prerequisite for most RNA analyses such as RNA sequencing. However, the relatively low sensitivity and large sample consumption of traditional RNA quantification methods such as UV spectrophotometry and even the much more sensitive fluorescence-based RNA quantification assays, such as the Qubit™ RNA HS Assay, are often inadequate for measuring minute levels of RNA isolated from limited cell and tissue samples and biofluids. Thus, there is a pressing need for a more sensitive method to reliably and robustly detect trace levels of RNA without interference from DNA. To improve the quantification limit of the Qubit™ RNA HS Assay, we spiked-in a known quantity of RNA to achieve the minimum reading required by the assay. Samples containing trace amounts of RNA were then added to the spike-in and measured as a reading increase over RNA spike-in baseline. We determined the accuracy and precision of reading increases between 1 and 20 pg/μL as well as RNA-specificity in this range, and compared to those of RiboGreen(®), another sensitive fluorescence-based RNA quantification assay. We then applied Qubit™ Assay with RNA spike-in to quantify plasma RNA samples. RNA spike-in improved the quantification limit of the Qubit™ RNA HS Assay 5-fold, from 25 pg/μL down to 5 pg/μL while maintaining high specificity to RNA. This enabled quantification of RNA with original concentration as low as 55.6 pg/μL compared to 250 pg/μL for the standard assay and decreased sample consumption from 5 to 1 ng. Plasma RNA samples that were not measurable by the Qubit™ RNA HS Assay were measurable by our modified method. The Qubit™ RNA HS Assay with RNA spike-in is able to quantify RNA with high specificity at 5-fold lower concentration and uses 5-fold less sample quantity than the standard Qubit™ Assay.

  4. Healthcare professional behaviour change using technological supports: A realist literature review

    OpenAIRE

    Chris Keyworth; Jo Hart; Chris A. Armitage

    2015-01-01

    Background Changing healthcare professional behaviour is fundamental to effective patient management. Recent systematic reviews examining healthcare professional behaviour change interventions (such as audit and feedback) suggest that technological support is likely to be crucial in helping healthcare professionals to improve patient outcomes. However we know little about the effectiveness of technological support interventions, and whether the design of technological support interventions...

  5. Reproductive Knowledge, Sexual Behaviour and Contraceptive Use ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    More Gwari and Hausa respondents claimed that they did not use any family planning method during their first sexual relationship than Yoruba and Igbo respondents. There is need for reproductive health programmes to intensify efforts towards improving adolescents\\' attitudes to risky sexual behaviours and motivate them ...

  6. The Comet Assay: Tails of the (Unexpected. Use of the comet assay in pharmaceutical development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bas-jan Van Der Leede

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available In genotoxicity testing of pharmaceuticals the rodent alkaline comet assay is being increasingly used as a second in vivo assay in addition to the in vivo micronucleus assay to mitigate in vitro positive results as recommended by regulatory guidance. In this presentation we want to give insight into the circumstances in vivo comet assay is deployed in a Genetic Toxicology Department of a pharmaceutical company. As the in vivo comet assay is a salvage assay, it means that some events have occurred in an in vitro assay and that the compound (or metabolite responsible for this signal is potentially deselected for further development. More than often the decision to perform an in vivo comet assay is at a very early stage in development and the first time that the compound will be tested in vivo at high/toxic dose levels. As almost no toxicokinetic data and tissue distribution data are available a careful design with maximizes the chances for successful mitigation is necessary. Decisions on acute or repeated dosing need to be made and arrangements for combining the in vivo comet assay with the in vivo micronucleus assay are to be considered. Often synthesis methods need to be scaled up fast to provide the required amount of compound and information on suitable formulations needs to be in place. As exposure data is crucial for interpretation of results, analytical methods need to be brought in place rapidly. An experienced multi skilled and communicative team needs to be available to deploy successfully this kind of assays at an early stage of development. We will present a few scenarios on study conduct and demonstrate how this assay can make a difference for the further development of a new drug.

  7. Financial insight and behaviour of household consumers in Port ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Financial insight and behaviour of household consumers in Port Elizabeth. ... improve their money management skills and ensure they eliminate debt, which can be ... Significant relationships between demographical variables and financial ...

  8. Behavioural repertoire of working donkeys and consistency of behaviour over time, as a preliminary step towards identifying pain-related behaviours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regan, Fran H; Hockenhull, Jo; Pritchard, Joy C; Waterman-Pearson, Avril E; Whay, Helen R

    2014-01-01

    The donkey has a reputation for stoicism and its behavioural repertoire in clinical contexts is under-reported. Lack of understanding of the norms of donkey behaviour and how it may vary over time can compromise use of behavioural measures as indicators of pain or emotional state. The objective of this study was to find out whether the behaviour of working donkeys was influenced by gender, the time of day or differed between days with a view to assessing how robust these measures are for inclusion in a working donkey ethogram. Frequency and consistency of postural and event behaviours were measured in 21 adult working donkeys (12 females; 9 males). Instantaneous (scan) and focal sampling were used to measure maintenance, lying, ingestive and investigative behaviours at hourly intervals for ten sessions on each of two consecutive days. High head carriage and biting were seen more frequently in male donkeys than females (Pdonkeys (Pdonkeys expressed an extensive behavioural repertoire, although some differences in behaviour were evident between genders. While most behaviours were consistent over time, some behaviours were influenced by time of day. Few behaviours differed between the two test days. The findings can be used to inform the development of a robust, evidence-based ethogram for working donkeys.

  9. Behaviour change techniques in physical activity interventions for men with prostate cancer: A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallward, Laura; Patel, Nisha; Duncan, Lindsay R

    2018-02-01

    Physical activity interventions can improve prostate cancer survivors' health. Determining the behaviour change techniques used in physical activity interventions can help elucidate the mechanisms by which an intervention successfully changes behaviour. The purpose of this systematic review was to identify and evaluate behaviour change techniques in physical activity interventions for prostate cancer survivors. A total of 7 databases were searched and 15 studies were retained. The studies included a mean 6.87 behaviour change techniques (range = 3-10), and similar behaviour change techniques were implemented in all studies. Consideration of how behaviour change techniques are implemented may help identify how behaviour change techniques enhance physical activity interventions for prostate cancer survivors.

  10. Training practitioners to deliver opportunistic multiple behaviour change counselling in primary care: a cluster randomised trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Christopher C; Simpson, Sharon A; Hood, Kerenza; Cohen, David; Pickles, Tim; Spanou, Clio; McCambridge, Jim; Moore, Laurence; Randell, Elizabeth; Alam, M Fasihul; Kinnersley, Paul; Edwards, Adrian; Smith, Christine; Rollnick, Stephen

    2013-03-19

    To evaluate the effect of training primary care health professionals in behaviour change counselling on the proportion of patients self reporting change in four risk behaviours (smoking, alcohol use, exercise, and healthy eating). Cluster randomised trial with general practices as the unit of randomisation. General practices in Wales. 53 general practitioners and practice nurses from 27 general practices (one each at all but one practice) recruited 1827 patients who screened positive for at least one risky behaviour. Behaviour change counselling was developed from motivational interviewing to enable clinicians to enhance patients' motivation to change health related behaviour. Clinicians were trained using a blended learning programme called Talking Lifestyles. Proportion of patients who reported making beneficial changes in at least one of the four risky behaviours at three months. 1308 patients from 13 intervention and 1496 from 14 control practices were approached: 76% and 72% respectively agreed to participate, with 831 (84%) and 996 (92%) respectively screening eligible for an intervention. There was no effect on the primary outcome (beneficial change in behaviour) at three months (362 (44%) v 404 (41%), odds ratio 1.12 (95% CI 0.90 to 1.39)) or on biochemical or biometric measures at 12 months. More patients who had consulted with trained clinicians recalled consultation discussion about a health behaviour (724/795 (91%) v 531/966 (55%), odds ratio 12.44 (5.85 to 26.46)) and intended to change (599/831 (72%) v 491/996 (49%), odds ratio 2.88 (2.05 to 4.05)). More intervention practice patients reported making an attempt to change (328 (39%) v 317 (32%), odds ratio 1.40 (1.15 to 1.70)), a sustained behaviour change at three months (288 (35%) v 280 (28%), odds ratio 1.36 (1.11 to 1.65)), and reported slightly greater improvements in healthy eating at three and 12 months, plus improved activity at 12 months. Training cost £1597 per practice. Training primary

  11. Can Multiple Lifestyle Behaviours Be Improved in People with Familial Hypercholesterolemia? Results of a Parallel Randomised Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broekhuizen, Karen; van Poppel, Mireille N. M.; Koppes, Lando L.; Kindt, Iris; Brug, Johannes; van Mechelen, Willem

    2012-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the efficacy of an individualised tailored lifestyle intervention on physical activity, dietary intake, smoking and compliance to statin therapy in people with Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH). Methods Adults with FH (n = 340) were randomly assigned to a usual care control group or an intervention group. The intervention consisted of web-based tailored lifestyle advice and face-to-face counselling. Physical activity, fat, fruit and vegetable intake, smoking and compliance to statin therapy were self-reported at baseline and after 12 months. Regression analyses were conducted to examine between-group differences. Intervention reach, dose and fidelity were assessed. Results In both groups, non-significant improvements in all lifestyle behaviours were found. Post-hoc analyses showed a significant decrease in saturated fat intake among women in the intervention group (β = −1.03; CI −1.98/−0.03). In the intervention group, 95% received a log on account, of which 49% logged on and completed one module. Nearly all participants received face-to-face counselling and on average, 4.2 telephone booster calls. Intervention fidelity was low. Conclusions Individually tailored feedback is not superior to no intervention regarding changes in multiple lifestyle behaviours in people with FH. A higher received dose of computer-tailored interventions should be achieved by uplifting the website and reducing the burden of screening questionnaires. Counsellor training should be more extensive. Trial Registration Dutch Trial Register NTR1899 PMID:23251355

  12. Radioreceptor assays: plasma membrane receptors and assays for polypeptide and glycoprotein hormones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schulster, D.

    1977-01-01

    Receptors for peptide, protein and glycoprotein hormones, and the catecholamines are located on the plasma membranes of their target cells. Preparations of the receptors may be used as specific, high-affinity binding agents for these hormones in assay methodology akin to that for radioimmunoassay. A particular advantage of the radioreceptor assay is that it has a specificity directed towards the biologically active region of the hormone, rather than to some immunologically active region that may have little (or no) involvement in the expression of hormonal activity. Methods for hormone receptor preparation vary greatly, and range from the use of intact cells (as the source of hormone receptor) to the use of purified or solubilized membrane receptors. Receptors isolated from plasma membranes have proved to be of variable stability, and may be damaged during preparation and/or storage. Moreover, since they are present in relatively low concentration in the cell, their preparation in sufficient quantity for use in a radioreceptor assay may present technical problems. In general, there is good correlation between radioreceptor assays and in-vitro bioassays; differences between results from radioreceptor assays and radioimmunoassays are similar to those noted between in-vitro bioassays and radioimmunoassays. The sensitivity of the method is such that normal plasma concentrations of various hormones have been assayed by this technique. (author)

  13. Application of an improved enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method for serological diagnosis of canine leishmaniasis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Santarém, Nuno; Silvestre, Ricardo; Cardoso, Luís; Schallig, Henk; Reed, Steven G.; Cordeiro-da-Silva, Anabela

    2010-01-01

    Accurate diagnosis of canine leishmaniasis (CanL) is essential toward a more efficient control of this zoonosis, but it remains problematic due to the high incidence of asymptomatic infections. In this study, we present data on the development of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)-based

  14. Relationship between the radioisotopic footpad assay and other immunological assays in tumor bearing rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mizushima, Yutaka; Takeichi, Noritoshi; Minami, Akio; Kasai, Masaharu; Itaya, Toshiyuki

    1981-01-01

    KMT-17, a fibrosarcoma induced by 3-methylcholanthrene in a WKA rat, is a sensitive tumor to various kinds of immunological assays and is a suitable model tumor for the study of the immune status in tumor bearing hosts. The antitumor immune response of KMT-17 bearing rats was studied by a radioisotopic footpad assay (FPA) in comparison with other in vivo and in vitro assays. Delayed hypersensitivity to tumor antigens measured by the FPA was observed from the 8th day after transplantation of KMT-17 cells, reached a peak on the 12 - 15th day, and then declined in the late stage on the 17th day. The kinetics of the FPA correlated well with those of an in vivo Winn assay and of an in vitro lymphocyte cytotoxicity assay ( 51 Cr-release assay). The appearance of an antitumor antibody detected by a complement dependent cytotoxicity test also correlated well with the kinetics of the FPA. A growth inhibition assay (GIA) for non-specific cell-mediated immunity also showed similar kinetics to that of the FPA. The delayed hypersensitivity footpad reaction to tumor cell extracts measured by this FPA was tumor-specific. These results suggest that the FPA is a simple and reliable in vivo assay for evaluating antitumor immunity in tumor bearing hosts. (author)

  15. Performance of a Multiplex Serological Helicobacter pylori Assay on a Novel Microfluidic Assay Platform

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Filomena

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori occurs in 50% of the world population, and is associated with the development of ulcer and gastric cancer. Serological diagnostic tests indicate an H. pylori infection by detecting antibodies directed against H. pylori proteins. In addition to line blots, multiplex assay platforms provide smart solutions for the simultaneous analysis of antibody responses towards several H. pylori proteins. We used seven H. pylori proteins (FliD, gGT, GroEL, HpaA, CagA, VacA, and HP0231 and an H. pylori lysate for the development of a multiplex serological assay on a novel microfluidic platform. The reaction limited binding regime in the microfluidic channels allows for a short incubation time of 35 min. The developed assay showed very high sensitivity (99% and specificity (100%. Besides sensitivity and specificity, the technical validation (intra-assay CV = 3.7 ± 1.2% and inter-assay CV = 5.5 ± 1.2% demonstrates that our assay is also a robust tool for the analysis of the H. pylori-specific antibody response. The integration of the virulence factors CagA and VacA allow for the assessment of the risk for gastric cancer development. The short assay time and the performance of the platform shows the potential for implementation of such assays in a clinical setting.

  16. Liquor oligoclonal bands assay: interpretation, correlation with other laboratory assays and importance for diagnostics of neurological disorders

    OpenAIRE

    Bagdonas, Dovydas

    2017-01-01

    Aim: to analyse the possible relationship between liquor IgG oligoclonal bands assay and other laboratory assays in neurological patients. Objectives: to determine the frequency of oligoclonal bands in neurological patients; to compare the results between serum and liquor laboratory assays in dependence of oligoclonal bands assay results; to evaluate the relationships between oligoclonal bands assay and serological-immunological assays for infectious diseases, gender, age and neurological ...

  17. The transtheoretical model and strategies of European fitness professionals to support clients in changing health-related behaviour: A survey study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Middelkamp, P.J.C.; Wolfhagen, P.; Steenbergen, B.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: The transtheoretical model of behaviour change (TTM) is often used to understand and predict changes in health related behaviour, for example exercise behaviour and eating behaviour. Fitness professionals like personal trainers typically service and support clients in improving

  18. FDI-Unilever Brush Day & Night partnership: 12 years of improving behaviour for better oral health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kell, Kathryn; Aymerich, Marie-Anne; Horn, Virginie

    2018-05-01

    Twelve years ago, FDI World Dental Federation and Unilever Oral Care began a partnership to raise awareness of oral health globally. This aim reflects FDI's mission to "lead the world to optimal oral health", and one of the goals set by the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan "to improve health and well-being for more than 1 billion" by 2020. This partnership has developed a series of public health programmes to improve the brushing habits of targeted populations through health promotion and educational campaigns worldwide. Building on the success of the first two phases of the partnership, the third phase (Phase III), named Brush Day & Night, aimed to educate children in brushing twice-daily with fluoride toothpaste via a 21 Day school programme. This article reports the main outcomes of the past 12 years of this partnership, in particular the key outreach and figures of Phase III evaluation. School programmes were implemented in 10 countries, where local teams collected data from children aged between 2 and 12 years to monitor their oral health behaviours using specific indicators. In addition to the school programme, the World Oral Health Day was used as a vehicle to convey oral health awareness to influential governing bodies and the public. As a result, over 4 million people were directly reached by the programme in 2016. © 2018 FDI World Dental Federation.

  19. Quantitative Real-Time PCR using the Thermo Scientific Solaris qPCR Assay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogrean, Christy; Jackson, Ben; Covino, James

    2010-01-01

    The Solaris qPCR Gene Expression Assay is a novel type of primer/probe set, designed to simplify the qPCR process while maintaining the sensitivity and accuracy of the assay. These primer/probe sets are pre-designed to >98% of the human and mouse genomes and feature significant improvements from previously available technologies. These improvements were made possible by virtue of a novel design algorithm, developed by Thermo Scientific bioinformatics experts. Several convenient features have been incorporated into the Solaris qPCR Assay to streamline the process of performing quantitative real-time PCR. First, the protocol is similar to commonly employed alternatives, so the methods used during qPCR are likely to be familiar. Second, the master mix is blue, which makes setting the qPCR reactions easier to track. Third, the thermal cycling conditions are the same for all assays (genes), making it possible to run many samples at a time and reducing the potential for error. Finally, the probe and primer sequence information are provided, simplifying the publication process. Here, we demonstrate how to obtain the appropriate Solaris reagents using the GENEius product search feature found on the ordering web site (www.thermo.com/solaris) and how to use the Solaris reagents for performing qPCR using the standard curve method. PMID:20567213

  20. Thiamine and benfotiamine improve cognition and ameliorate GSK-3β-associated stress-induced behaviours in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markova, Nataliia; Bazhenova, Nataliia; Anthony, Daniel C; Vignisse, Julie; Svistunov, Andrey; Lesch, Klaus-Peter; Bettendorff, Lucien; Strekalova, Tatyana

    2017-04-03

    Thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency in the brain has been implicated in the development of dementia and symptoms of depression. Indirect evidence suggests that thiamine may contribute to these pathologies by controlling the activities of glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3β. While decreased GSK-3β activity appears to impair memory, increased GSK-3β activity is associated with the distressed/depressed state. However, hitherto direct evidence for the effects of thiamine on GSK-3β function has not been reported. Here, we administered thiamine or, the more bioavailable precursor, benfotiamine at 200mg/kg/day for 2weeks to C57BL/6J mice, to determine whether treatment might affect behaviours that are known to be sensitive to GSK-3β activity and whether such administration impacts on GSK-3β expression within the brain. The mice were tested in models of contextual conditioning and extinction, a 5-day rat exposure stress test, and a modified swim test with repeated testing. The tricyclic antidepressant imipramine (7.5mg/kg/day), was administered as a positive control for the effects of thiamine or benfotiamine. As for imipramine, both compounds inhibited the upregulation of GSK-3β induced by predator stress or repeated swimming, and reduced floating scores and the predator stress-induced behavioural changes in anxiety and exploration. Coincident, thiamine and benfotiamine improved learning and extinction of contextual fear, and the acquisition of the step-down avoidance task. Our data indicate that thiamine and benfotiamine have antidepressant/anti-stress effects in naïve animals that are associated with reduced GSK-3β expression and conditioning of adverse memories. Thus thiamine and benfotiamine may modulate GSK-3β functions in a manner that is dependent on whether the contextual conditioning is adaptive or maladaptive. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Endogenous Locus Reporter Assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yaping; Hermes, Jeffrey; Li, Jing; Tudor, Matthew

    2018-01-01

    Reporter gene assays are widely used in high-throughput screening (HTS) to identify compounds that modulate gene expression. Traditionally a reporter gene assay is built by cloning an endogenous promoter sequence or synthetic response elements in the regulatory region of a reporter gene to monitor transcriptional activity of a specific biological process (exogenous reporter assay). In contrast, an endogenous locus reporter has a reporter gene inserted in the endogenous gene locus that allows the reporter gene to be expressed under the control of the same regulatory elements as the endogenous gene, thus more accurately reflecting the changes seen in the regulation of the actual gene. In this chapter, we introduce some of the considerations behind building a reporter gene assay for high-throughput compound screening and describe the methods we have utilized to establish 1536-well format endogenous locus reporter and exogenous reporter assays for the screening of compounds that modulate Myc pathway activity.

  2. 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

  3. Ageing behaviour of [(n-1)/n] active redundancy systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eid, M.Y.

    1995-01-01

    Ageing of systems becomes a real concern if intelligent maintenance is required. Determining the ageing behaviour of a system necessitate having a powerful calculating tool and knowing the ageing behaviour of the basic components of the systems. Consequently, time dependent failure rates are required for basic components and need to be determined for systems. As, this is the general problem in reliability analysis, only (n-1)/n active redundancy system will be examined in the paper. Systems with (n-1)/n active redundancy are commonly used in a wide range of engineering fields. This should permit a priori improving the system reliability. Still, a deeper analysis of the ageing behaviour of such systems may reveal some particular aspects. (authors). 2 refs., 5 figs

  4. Behaviour change techniques to change the postnatal eating and physical activity behaviours of women who are obese: a qualitative study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, D M; Taylor, W; Lavender, T

    2016-01-01

    To explore the experiences of postnatal women who are obese [body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m(2) ] in relation to making behaviour changes and use of behaviour change techniques (BCTs). Qualitative interview study. Greater Manchester, UK. Women who were 1 year postnatal aged ≥18 years, who had an uncomplicated singleton pregnancy, and an antenatal booking BMI ≥ 30 kg/m(2) . Eighteen semi-structured, audio-recorded interviews were conducted by a research midwife with women who volunteered to be interviewed 1 year after taking part in a pilot randomised controlled trial. The six stages of thematic analysis were followed to understand the qualitative data. The Behavior Change Technique Taxonomy (version 1) was used to label the behaviour change techniques (BCTs) reported by women. Themes derived from 1-year postnatal interview transcripts. Two themes were evident: 1. A focused approach to postnatal weight management: women reported making specific changes to their eating and physical activity behaviours, and 2. Need for support: six BCTs were reported as helping women make changes to their eating and physical activity behaviours; three were reported more frequently than others: Self-monitoring of behaviour (2.3), Prompts/cues (7.1) and Social support (unspecified; 3.1). All of the BCTs required support from others for their delivery; food diaries were the most popular delivery method. Behaviour change techniques are useful to postnatal women who are obese, and have the potential to improve their physical and mental wellbeing. Midwives and obstetricians should be aware of such techniques, to encourage positive changes. © 2015 Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

  5. Exploring self-regulatory strategies for eating behaviour in Danish adolescents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nureeva, Liliya; Brunsø, Karen; Lähteenmäki, Liisa

    2016-01-01

    – Focusing on improving adolescents’ self-regulatory skills in the domain of eating behaviour is a promising approach in developing future interventions. Originality/value – The present article explores self-regulatory strategies for eating behaviour in adolescence and discusses their relevance.......Purpose – Healthy eating behaviour in adolescence may be negatively affected by lack of self-regulation. The purpose of this paper is to discuss strategies for regulating eating behaviour as formulated by adolescents themselves. Design/methodology/approach – Self-regulatory strategies were elicited...... with concept mapping, which is a group-based method. Three meetings were conducted with each of four school classes in Denmark. Participants in the 12-15-year age group were recruited for the study. At the first meeting, participants had to complete the phrase “Things I can do to ensure my healthy eating are...

  6. Time perspective and attitude-behaviour consistency in future-oriented behaviours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabinovich, Anna; Morton, Thomas; Postmes, Tom

    2010-03-01

    The authors propose that the salience of a distant-future time perspective, compared to a near-future time perspective, should increase attitude-behaviour and attitude-intention consistency for future-oriented behaviours. To test this prediction, time perspective was experimentally manipulated in three studies. Across studies, participants in the distant-future time perspective condition demonstrated a strong positive relationship between attitudes towards future-oriented behaviours (saving and environmental protection) and corresponding intentions, as well as between attitudes and behaviour. In the near-future time perspective condition, the relationship between attitudes and intentions and attitudes and behaviour was significantly weaker than in the distant-future time perspective condition. The theoretical implications of these results and suggestions for future research are discussed.

  7. Theoretical explanations for maintenance of behaviour change: a systematic review of behaviour theories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwasnicka, Dominika; Dombrowski, Stephan U; White, Martin; Sniehotta, Falko

    2016-09-01

    Behaviour change interventions are effective in supporting individuals in achieving temporary behaviour change. Behaviour change maintenance, however, is rarely attained. The aim of this review was to identify and synthesise current theoretical explanations for behaviour change maintenance to inform future research and practice. Potentially relevant theories were identified through systematic searches of electronic databases (Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO). In addition, an existing database of 80 theories was searched, and 25 theory experts were consulted. Theories were included if they formulated hypotheses about behaviour change maintenance. Included theories were synthesised thematically to ascertain overarching explanations for behaviour change maintenance. Initial theoretical themes were cross-validated. One hundred and seventeen behaviour theories were identified, of which 100 met the inclusion criteria. Five overarching, interconnected themes representing theoretical explanations for behaviour change maintenance emerged. Theoretical explanations of behaviour change maintenance focus on the differential nature and role of motives, self-regulation, resources (psychological and physical), habits, and environmental and social influences from initiation to maintenance. There are distinct patterns of theoretical explanations for behaviour change and for behaviour change maintenance. The findings from this review can guide the development and evaluation of interventions promoting maintenance of health behaviours and help in the development of an integrated theory of behaviour change maintenance.

  8. Behavioural assumptions in labour economics: Analysing social security reforms and labour market transitions

    OpenAIRE

    van Huizen, T.M.

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this dissertation is to test behavioural assumptions in labour economics models and thereby improve our understanding of labour market behaviour. The assumptions under scrutiny in this study are derived from an analysis of recent influential policy proposals: the introduction of savings schemes in the system of social security. A central question is how this reform will affect labour market incentives and behaviour. Part I (Chapter 2 and 3) evaluates savings schemes. Chapter 2 exam...

  9. Development and validation of a Luminex assay for detection of a predictive biomarker for PROSTVAC-VF therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Julie L.; Tacheny, Erin A.; Ferris, Allison; Galusha, Michelle; Srivastava, Apurva K.; Ganguly, Aniruddha; Williams, P. Mickey; Sachs, Michael C.; Thurin, Magdalena; Tricoli, James V.; Ricker, Winnie; Gildersleeve, Jeffrey C.

    2017-01-01

    Cancer therapies can provide substantially improved survival in some patients while other seemingly similar patients receive little or no benefit. Strategies to identify patients likely to respond well to a given therapy could significantly improve health care outcomes by maximizing clinical benefits while reducing toxicities and adverse effects. Using a glycan microarray assay, we recently reported that pretreatment serum levels of IgM specific to blood group A trisaccharide (BG-Atri) correlate positively with overall survival of cancer patients on PROSTVAC-VF therapy. The results suggested anti-BG-Atri IgM measured prior to treatment could serve as a biomarker for identifying patients likely to benefit from PROSTVAC-VF. For continued development and clinical application of serum IgM specific to BG-Atri as a predictive biomarker, a clinical assay was needed. In this study, we developed and validated a Luminex-based clinical assay for measuring serum IgM specific to BG-Atri. IgM levels were measured with the Luminex assay and compared to levels measured using the microarray for 126 healthy individuals and 77 prostate cancer patients. This assay provided reproducible and consistent results with low %CVs, and tolerance ranges were established for the assay. IgM levels measured using the Luminex assay were found to be highly correlated to the microarray results with R values of 0.93–0.95. This assay is a Laboratory Developed Test (LDT) and is suitable for evaluating thousands of serum samples in CLIA certified laboratories that have validated the assay. In addition, the study demonstrates that discoveries made using neoglycoprotein-based microarrays can be readily migrated to a clinical assay. PMID:28771597

  10. Improvements in Functional Exercise Capacity after a Residential Behavioural Change, Diet and Fitness Program for Obese Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Errickson, Sadye Paez; Kolotkin, Ronette L; Skidmore, Megan Simmons; Endress, Gerald; Østbye, Truls; Crosby, Ross; Eisenson, Howard

    2016-06-01

    Obese adults are at an increased risk for mobility-related problems. National guidelines recommend calorie restrictions and exercise for obese adults as a means to improve functional fitness capacity and to increase mobility. Yet, lifestyle weight loss interventions often fail to measure fitness changes. The aim of this study was to assess whether a 1-month, intensive behavioural change, diet and fitness intervention for overweight and obese adults would result in statistically significant and clinically meaningful changes in functional exercise. A pre-post test design was used in this study. Seventy-two participants (40 women, 32 men; mean baseline body mass index (BMI) = 42.6 + 9.0; mean age = 45.8 + 16.8) completed a modified 6-minute walk test (6MWT), performed on a treadmill, at baseline and at end of treatment. Significant improvements included decreased BMI (2.7 + 1.7 kg m(-2) , p diet and fitness programme. Physiotherapists are in a prime position to address the physical and motivational challenges participants face while living with severe obesity: targeting functional exercise capacity is one key strategy for addressing immobility associated with obesity. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  11. Trofile HIV co-receptor usage assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Low, Andrew J; McGovern, Rachel A; Harrigan, P Richard

    2009-03-01

    The introduction of CCR5 antagonists increases the options available for constructing therapeutic drug regimens for HIV-positive patients. However, as these drugs do not inhibit HIV variants that use the CXCR4 co-receptor, a pretreatment test is required to determine accurately HIV co-receptor usage (tropism) before initiating CCR5 antagonist-based therapy. To discuss the Monogram Trofile assay as a diagnostic tool for determining HIV tropism by critically reviewing reported literature and available data. Monogram Trofile has become, largely by default, the de facto standard for HIV tropism assay. However, there is significant room for improvement in the speed, cost and availability of the test. Furthermore, the test is not quantitative, requires high-input HIV RNA viral loads, and produces results that are less biologically stable than expected. These technical considerations may limit the use of CCR5 antagonists in therapy. Nevertheless, this test is likely to remain the most widely used tropism diagnostic for the short term. We expect that a more practical and possibly more accurate method for measuring HIV tropism can be developed.

  12. The mouse beam walking assay offers improved sensitivity over the mouse rotarod in determining motor coordination deficits induced by benzodiazepines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, Joanna L; Lincoln, Rachael J; Brown, Terry A; McDonald, Louise M; Dawson, Gerard R; Reynolds, David S

    2005-05-01

    The mouse rotarod test of motor coordination/sedation is commonly used to predict clinical sedation caused by novel drugs. However, past experience suggests that it lacks the desired degree of sensitivity to be predictive of effects in humans. For example, the benzodiazepine, bretazenil, showed little impairment of mouse rotarod performance, but marked sedation in humans. The aim of the present study was to assess whether the mouse beam walking assay demonstrates: (i) an increased sensitivity over the rotarod and (ii) an increased ability to predict clinically sedative doses of benzodiazepines. The study compared the effects of the full benzodiazepine agonists, diazepam and lorazepam, and the partial agonist, bretazenil, on the mouse rotarod and beam walking assays. Diazepam and lorazepam significantly impaired rotarod performance, although relatively high GABA-A receptor occupancy was required (72% and 93%, respectively), whereas beam walking performance was significantly affected at approximately 30% receptor occupancy. Bretazenil produced significant deficits at 90% and 53% receptor occupancy on the rotarod and beam walking assays, respectively. The results suggest that the mouse beam walking assay is a more sensitive tool for determining benzodiazepine-induced motor coordination deficits than the rotarod. Furthermore, the GABA-A receptor occupancy values at which significant deficits were determined in the beam walking assay are comparable with those observed in clinical positron emission tomography studies using sedative doses of benzodiazepines. These data suggest that the beam walking assay may be able to more accurately predict the clinically sedative doses of novel benzodiazepine-like drugs.

  13. The comet assay: Reflections on its development, evolution and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Narendra P

    2016-01-01

    The study of DNA damage and its repair is critical to our understanding of human aging and cancer. This review reflects on the development of a simple technique, now known as the comet assay, to study the accumulation of DNA damage and its repair. It describes my journey into aging research and the need for a method that sensitively quantifies DNA damage on a cell-by-cell basis and on a day-by-day basis. My inspirations, obstacles and successes on the path to developing this assay and improving its reliability and sensitivity are discussed. Recent modifications, applications, and the process of standardizing the technique are also described. What was once untried and unknown has become a technique used around the world for understanding and monitoring DNA damage. The comet assay's use has grown exponentially in the new millennium, as emphasis on studying biological phenomena at the single-cell level has increased. I and others have applied the technique across cell types (including germ cells) and species (including bacteria). As it enters new realms and gains clinical relevance, the comet assay may very well illuminate human aging and its prevention. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  14. A comparison of the effectiveness of three parenting programmes in improving parenting skills, parent mental-well being and children's behaviour when implemented on a large scale in community settings in 18 English local authorities : the parenting early intervention pathfinder (PEIP)

    OpenAIRE

    Lindsay, Geoff; Strand, Steve; Davis, Hilton

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Background There is growing evidence that parenting programmes can improve parenting skills and thereby the behaviour of children exhibiting or at risk of developing antisocial behaviour. Given the high prevalence of childhood behaviour problems the task is to develop large scale application of effective programmes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the UK government funded implementation of the Parenting Early Intervention Pathfinder (PEIP). This involved the large scale rolling...

  15. Behavioural repertoire of working donkeys and consistency of behaviour over time, as a preliminary step towards identifying pain-related behaviours.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fran H Regan

    Full Text Available The donkey has a reputation for stoicism and its behavioural repertoire in clinical contexts is under-reported. Lack of understanding of the norms of donkey behaviour and how it may vary over time can compromise use of behavioural measures as indicators of pain or emotional state. The objective of this study was to find out whether the behaviour of working donkeys was influenced by gender, the time of day or differed between days with a view to assessing how robust these measures are for inclusion in a working donkey ethogram.Frequency and consistency of postural and event behaviours were measured in 21 adult working donkeys (12 females; 9 males. Instantaneous (scan and focal sampling were used to measure maintenance, lying, ingestive and investigative behaviours at hourly intervals for ten sessions on each of two consecutive days. High head carriage and biting were seen more frequently in male donkeys than females (P<0.001. Level head carriage, licking/chewing and head-shaking were observed more frequently in female donkeys (P<0.001. Tail position, ear orientation, foot stamping, rolling/lying and head-shaking behaviours were affected by time of day (P<0.001. However, only two variations in ear orientation were found to be significantly different over the two days of observations (P<0.001. Tail swishing, head shaking, foot stamping, and ears held sideways and downwards were significantly correlated (P<0.001 and are assumed to be behaviours to discourage flies.All donkeys expressed an extensive behavioural repertoire, although some differences in behaviour were evident between genders. While most behaviours were consistent over time, some behaviours were influenced by time of day. Few behaviours differed between the two test days. The findings can be used to inform the development of a robust, evidence-based ethogram for working donkeys.

  16. Seasonal variations in the diet and foraging behaviour of dunlins Calidris alpina in a south European estuary: improved feeding conditions for northward migrants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo C Martins

    Full Text Available During the annual cycle, migratory waders may face strikingly different feeding conditions as they move between breeding areas and wintering grounds. Thus, it is of crucial importance that they rapidly adjust their behaviour and diet to benefit from peaks of prey abundance, in particular during migration, when they need to accumulate energy at a fast pace. In this study, we compared foraging behaviour and diet of wintering and northward migrating dunlins in the Tagus estuary, Portugal, by video-recording foraging birds and analysing their droppings. We also estimated energy intake rates and analysed variations in prey availability, including those that were active at the sediment surface. Wintering and northward migrating dunlins showed clearly different foraging behaviour and diet. In winter, birds predominantly adopted a tactile foraging technique (probing, mainly used to search for small buried bivalves, with some visual surface pecking to collect gastropods and crop bivalve siphons. Contrastingly, in spring dunlins generally used a visual foraging strategy, mostly to consume worms, but also bivalve siphons and shrimps. From winter to spring, we found a marked increase both in the biomass of invertebrate prey in the sediment and in the surface activity of worms and siphons. The combination of these two factors, together with the availability of shrimps in spring, most likely explains the changes in the diet and foraging behaviour of dunlins. Northward migrating birds took advantage from the improved feeding conditions in spring, achieving 65% higher energy intake rates as compared with wintering birds. Building on these results and on known daily activity budgets for this species, our results suggest that Tagus estuary provides high-quality feeding conditions for birds during their stopovers, enabling high fattening rates. These findings show that this large wetland plays a key role as a stopover site for migratory waders within the East

  17. DRABAL: novel method to mine large high-throughput screening assays using Bayesian active learning

    KAUST Repository

    Soufan, Othman

    2016-11-10

    Background Mining high-throughput screening (HTS) assays is key for enhancing decisions in the area of drug repositioning and drug discovery. However, many challenges are encountered in the process of developing suitable and accurate methods for extracting useful information from these assays. Virtual screening and a wide variety of databases, methods and solutions proposed to-date, did not completely overcome these challenges. This study is based on a multi-label classification (MLC) technique for modeling correlations between several HTS assays, meaning that a single prediction represents a subset of assigned correlated labels instead of one label. Thus, the devised method provides an increased probability for more accurate predictions of compounds that were not tested in particular assays. Results Here we present DRABAL, a novel MLC solution that incorporates structure learning of a Bayesian network as a step to model dependency between the HTS assays. In this study, DRABAL was used to process more than 1.4 million interactions of over 400,000 compounds and analyze the existing relationships between five large HTS assays from the PubChem BioAssay Database. Compared to different MLC methods, DRABAL significantly improves the F1Score by about 22%, on average. We further illustrated usefulness and utility of DRABAL through screening FDA approved drugs and reported ones that have a high probability to interact with several targets, thus enabling drug-multi-target repositioning. Specifically DRABAL suggests the Thiabendazole drug as a common activator of the NCP1 and Rab-9A proteins, both of which are designed to identify treatment modalities for the Niemann–Pick type C disease. Conclusion We developed a novel MLC solution based on a Bayesian active learning framework to overcome the challenge of lacking fully labeled training data and exploit actual dependencies between the HTS assays. The solution is motivated by the need to model dependencies between existing

  18. Mechanism of SOS PR-domain autoinhibition revealed by single-molecule assays on native protein from lysate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Young Kwang; Low-Nam, Shalini T; Chung, Jean K; Hansen, Scott D; Lam, Hiu Yue Monatrice; Alvarez, Steven; Groves, Jay T

    2017-04-28

    The guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) Son of Sevenless (SOS) plays a critical role in signal transduction by activating Ras. Here we introduce a single-molecule assay in which individual SOS molecules are captured from raw cell lysate using Ras-functionalized supported membrane microarrays. This enables characterization of the full-length SOS protein, which has not previously been studied in reconstitution due to difficulties in purification. Our measurements on the full-length protein reveal a distinct role of the C-terminal proline-rich (PR) domain to obstruct the engagement of allosteric Ras independently of the well-known N-terminal domain autoinhibition. This inhibitory role of the PR domain limits Grb2-independent recruitment of SOS to the membrane through binding of Ras·GTP in the SOS allosteric binding site. More generally, this assay strategy enables characterization of the functional behaviour of GEFs with single-molecule precision but without the need for purification.

  19. Evaluation of the Sepsis Flow Chip assay for the diagnosis of blood infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galiana, Antonio; Coy, Javier; Gimeno, Adelina; Guzman, Noemi Marco; Rosales, Francisco; Merino, Esperanza; Royo, Gloria; Rodríguez, Juan Carlos

    2017-01-01

    Blood infections are serious complex conditions that generally require rapid diagnosis and treatment. The big challenge is to reduce the time necessary to make a diagnosis with current clinical microbiological methods so as to improve the treatment given to patients. In this study, we assess for the first time the Sepsis Flow Chip assay, which is a novel diagnostic assay for simultaneous rapid-detection of the vast majority of bloodstream pathogens, including Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and fungi, in the same assay, and for the detection of most common antibiotic resistance genes. The SFC assay is based on multiplex PCR and low density DNA arrays. Positive blood cultures from 202 consecutive bacteremia patients were analyzed by SFC assay and the results were compared with the results obtained by the gold standard methodology used in clinical microbiology diagnostic laboratories (EUCAST guidelines). SFC assay overall sensitivity and specificity for bacterial identification were 93.3% and 100% respectively and sensitivity and specificity for the identification of antibiotic genetic resistance determinants were 93.6% and 100% respectively. This is the first evaluation of SFC assay in clinical samples. This new method appears to be very promising by combining the high number of distinct pathogens and genetic resistance determinants identified in a single assay. Further investigations should be done to evaluate the usefulness of this assay in combination with clinical multidisciplinary groups (stewardship), in order for the results to be applied appropriately to the management of patients`infectious processes.

  20. Two-Phase Microfluidic Systems for High Throughput Quantification of Agglutination Assays

    KAUST Repository

    Castro, David

    2018-04-01

    Lab-on-Chip, the miniaturization of the chemical and analytical lab, is an endeavor that seems to come out of science fiction yet is slowly becoming a reality. It is a multidisciplinary field that combines different areas of science and engineering. Within these areas, microfluidics is a specialized field that deals with the behavior, control and manipulation of small volumes of fluids. Agglutination assays are rapid, single-step, low-cost immunoassays that use microspheres to detect a wide variety molecules and pathogens by using a specific antigen-antibody interaction. Agglutination assays are particularly suitable for the miniaturization and automation that two-phase microfluidics can offer, a combination that can help tackle the ever pressing need of high-throughput screening for blood banks, epidemiology, food banks diagnosis of infectious diseases. In this thesis, we present a two-phase microfluidic system capable of incubating and quantifying agglutination assays. The microfluidic channel is a simple fabrication solution, using laboratory tubing. These assays are incubated by highly efficient passive mixing with a sample-to-answer time of 2.5 min, a 5-10 fold improvement over traditional agglutination assays. It has a user-friendly interface that that does not require droplet generators, in which a pipette is used to continuously insert assays on-demand, with no down-time in between experiments at 360 assays/h. System parameters are explored, using the streptavidin-biotin interaction as a model assay, with a minimum detection limit of 50 ng/mL using optical image analysis. We compare optical image analysis and light scattering as quantification methods, and demonstrate the first light scattering quantification of agglutination assays in a two-phase ow format. The application can be potentially applied to other biomarkers, which we demonstrate using C-reactive protein (CRP) assays. Using our system, we can take a commercially available CRP qualitative slide

  1. The influence of socio-economic variables on adoption behaviour ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The influence of socio-economic variables on adoption behaviour towards Tadco improved rice parboiling technique among rice parboilers in Kura processing Areas ... Age and educational level were found to be associated with non adoption ...

  2. Theoretical explanations for maintenance of behaviour change: a systematic review of behaviour theories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwasnicka, Dominika; Dombrowski, Stephan U; White, Martin; Sniehotta, Falko

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Background: Behaviour change interventions are effective in supporting individuals in achieving temporary behaviour change. Behaviour change maintenance, however, is rarely attained. The aim of this review was to identify and synthesise current theoretical explanations for behaviour change maintenance to inform future research and practice. Methods: Potentially relevant theories were identified through systematic searches of electronic databases (Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO). In addition, an existing database of 80 theories was searched, and 25 theory experts were consulted. Theories were included if they formulated hypotheses about behaviour change maintenance. Included theories were synthesised thematically to ascertain overarching explanations for behaviour change maintenance. Initial theoretical themes were cross-validated. Findings: One hundred and seventeen behaviour theories were identified, of which 100 met the inclusion criteria. Five overarching, interconnected themes representing theoretical explanations for behaviour change maintenance emerged. Theoretical explanations of behaviour change maintenance focus on the differential nature and role of motives, self-regulation, resources (psychological and physical), habits, and environmental and social influences from initiation to maintenance. Discussion: There are distinct patterns of theoretical explanations for behaviour change and for behaviour change maintenance. The findings from this review can guide the development and evaluation of interventions promoting maintenance of health behaviours and help in the development of an integrated theory of behaviour change maintenance. PMID:26854092

  3. Adding 'epi-' to behaviour genetics: implications for animal domestication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Per

    2015-01-01

    In this review, it is argued that greatly improved understanding of domestication may be gained from extending the field of behaviour genetics to also include epigenetics. Domestication offers an interesting framework of rapid evolutionary changes caused by well-defined selection pressures. Behaviour is an important phenotype in this context, as it represents the primary means of response to environmental challenges. An overview is provided of the evidence for genetic involvement in behavioural control and the presently used methods for finding so-called behaviour genes. This shows that evolutionary changes in behaviour are to a large extent correlated to changes in patterns of gene expression, which brings epigenetics into the focus. This area is concerned with the mechanisms controlling the timing and extent of gene expression, and a lot of focus has been placed on methylation of cytosine in promoter regions, usually associated with genetic downregulation. The review considers the available evidence that environmental input, for example stress, can modify methylation and other epigenetic marks and subsequently affect behaviour. Furthermore, several studies are reviewed, demonstrating that acquired epigenetic modifications can be inherited and cause trans-generational behaviour changes. In conclusion, epigenetics may signify a new paradigm in this respect, as it shows that genomic modifications can be caused by environmental signals, and random mutations in DNA sequence are therefore not the only sources of heritable genetic variation. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. Application of a Homogenous Assay for the Detection of 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene to Environmental Water Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellen R. Goldman

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available A homogeneous assay was used to detect 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT spiked into environmental water samples. This assay is based on changes in fluorescence emission intensity when TNT competitively displaces a fluorescently labeled, TNT analog bound to an anti-TNT antibody. The effectiveness of the assay was highly dependent on the source of the sample being tested. As no correlation between pH and assay performance was observed, ionic strength was assumed to be the reason for variation in assay results. Addition of 10x phosphate-buffered saline to samples to increase their ionic strength to that of our standard laboratory buffer (about 0.17 M significantly improved the range over which the assay functioned in several river water samples.

  5. Direct 125I-radioligand assays for serum progesterone compared with assays involving extraction of serum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ratcliffe, W.A.; Corrie, J.E.T.; Dalziel, A.H.; Macpherson, J.S.

    1982-01-01

    Two direct radioimmunoassays for progesterone in 50 μL of unextracted serum or plasma with assays involving extraction of serum were compared. The direct assays include the use of either danazol at pH 7.4 or 8-anilino-1-naphthalenesulfonic acid at pH 4.0 to displace progesterone from serum binding-proteins. Progesterone is then assayed by using an antiserum to a progesterone 11α-hemisuccinyl conjugate and the radioligand 125 I-labeled progesterone 11α-glucuronyl tyramine, with separation by double-antibody techniques. Direct assays with either displacing agent gave good analytical recovery of progesterone added to human serum, and progesterone values for patients' specimens correlated well (r > 0.96) with results of assays involving extraction of serum. Precision was similar with each displacing agent over the working range 2.5-100 nmol/L and superior to that of extraction assays. We conclude that these direct assays of progesterone are analytically valid and more robust, precise, and technically convenient than many conventional methods involving extraction of serum

  6. Absolute nuclear material assay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasad, Manoj K [Pleasanton, CA; Snyderman, Neal J [Berkeley, CA; Rowland, Mark S [Alamo, CA

    2010-07-13

    A method of absolute nuclear material assay of an unknown source comprising counting neutrons from the unknown source and providing an absolute nuclear material assay utilizing a model to optimally compare to the measured count distributions. In one embodiment, the step of providing an absolute nuclear material assay comprises utilizing a random sampling of analytically computed fission chain distributions to generate a continuous time-evolving sequence of event-counts by spreading the fission chain distribution in time.

  7. Review of the relationship between Mianzi, SSG and employee’s behaviour in family enterprise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping Wang

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available At present, voice behaviour under Chinese culture should be emphasized, and is in need of full consideration of Mianzi, supervisor-subordinate Guanxi and other factors influencing employee’s voice behaviour. This paper, from the perspective of psychological cognition, takes Chinese family business employees as research object to seek the mechanism of employee voice behaviour. This paper gathers more than fifty literatures in China and abroad to tease out the research model, and finds out Mianzi can positively predict the family enterprise employee’s voice behaviour, and play further influences on employee’s voice behaviour by affecting SSG,so SSG plays an intermediary role in the relationship between Mianzi and employee’s voice behaviour. This paper finally concludes that, organizations can increase the frequency of voice behaviour and improve the organizational performance by enhancing employee’s Mianzi and optimizing SSG.

  8. Multi-targeted priming for genome-wide gene expression assays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adomas Aleksandra B

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Complementary approaches to assaying global gene expression are needed to assess gene expression in regions that are poorly assayed by current methodologies. A key component of nearly all gene expression assays is the reverse transcription of transcribed sequences that has traditionally been performed by priming the poly-A tails on many of the transcribed genes in eukaryotes with oligo-dT, or by priming RNA indiscriminately with random hexamers. We designed an algorithm to find common sequence motifs that were present within most protein-coding genes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and of Neurospora crassa, but that were not present within their ribosomal RNA or transfer RNA genes. We then experimentally tested whether degenerately priming these motifs with multi-targeted primers improved the accuracy and completeness of transcriptomic assays. Results We discovered two multi-targeted primers that would prime a preponderance of genes in the genomes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Neurospora crassa while avoiding priming ribosomal RNA or transfer RNA. Examining the response of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to nitrogen deficiency and profiling Neurospora crassa early sexual development, we demonstrated that using multi-targeted primers in reverse transcription led to superior performance of microarray profiling and next-generation RNA tag sequencing. Priming with multi-targeted primers in addition to oligo-dT resulted in higher sensitivity, a larger number of well-measured genes and greater power to detect differences in gene expression. Conclusions Our results provide the most complete and detailed expression profiles of the yeast nitrogen starvation response and N. crassa early sexual development to date. Furthermore, our multi-targeting priming methodology for genome-wide gene expression assays provides selective targeting of multiple sequences and counter-selection against undesirable sequences, facilitating a more complete and

  9. Tools assessing nurse manager behaviours and RN job satisfaction: a review of the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feather, Rebecca

    2015-09-01

    To determine the state of the science in relation to registered nurse (RN) perceptions of nurse manager behaviours that influence registered nurse job satisfaction. Nurse managers have been related by research to the job satisfaction of their staff. However, little is known about how nurses perceive the behaviours of nurse managers as influencing their job satisfaction. A literature search was conducted to identify journal articles that included studies involving instruments of nurse manager behaviours and staff nurse job satisfaction levels. The literature shows a lack of consistency in the definitions of job satisfaction, instrumentation for measurement and conclusions that identify specific management behaviours effective for high levels of job satisfaction of RNs related to staff nurse perceptions. Studies include important aspects of what shapes a healthy work environment for nurses, but no single study identified specific nurse manager behaviours based solely on the perceptions of staff nurses and their job satisfaction. The perceptions of staff nurses are important for hospital administrators and nurse managers in order to know how to improve satisfaction and reduce turnover. Instruments developed based on manager beliefs may not provide data needed to influence a change in management behaviours that results in improved job satisfaction. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Assay method and compositions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1977-01-01

    Methods are described for measuring catecholamine levels in human and animal body fluids and tissues using the catechol-O-methyl-transferase (COMT) radioassay. The assay involves incubating the biological sample with COMT and the tritiated methyl donor, S-adenosyl-L-methionine( 3 H)-methyl. The O-methylated ( 3 H) epinephrine and/or norepinephrine are extracted and oxidised to vanillin- 3 H which in turn is extracted and its radioactivity counted. When analysing dopamine levels the assay is extended by vanillin- 3 H and raising the pH of the aqueous periodate phase from which O-methylated ( 3 H) dopamine is extracted and counted. The assay may be modified depending on whether measurements of undifferentiated total endogenous catecholamine levels or differential analyses of the catecholamine levels are being performed. The sensitivity of the assay can be as low as 5 picograms for norepinephrine and epinephrine and 12 picograms for dopamine. The assemblance of the essential components of the assay into a kit for use in laboratories is also described. (U.K.)

  11. Pelagic behaviour of reservoir fishes: sinusoidal swimming and associated behaviour

    OpenAIRE

    JAROLÍM, Oldřich

    2009-01-01

    Annotation Long-term fixed-location hydroacoustic study with uplooking transducer was performed during 2005 in Římov reservoir, Czech Republic. It dealt mainly with fish behaviour in the open water of reservoir, especially with sinusoidal swimming behaviour. The dependence of pelagic fish behaviour on environmental conditions was also studied.

  12. The influence of the number of cells scored on the sensitivity in the comet assay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sharma, Anoop Kumar; Soussaline, Françoise; Sallette, Jerome

    2012-01-01

    The impact on the sensitivity of the in vitro comet assay by increasing the number of cells scored has only been addressed in a few studies. The present study investigated whether the sensitivity of the assay could be improved by scoring more than 100 cells. Two cell lines and three different che...... of the assay. A two-way ANOVA analysis of variance showed that the contribution from the two variables “the number of cells scored” and “concentration” on the total variation in the coefficients of variance dataset was statistically significant (p...

  13. Genetics and Genomics of Animal Behaviour and Welfare - Challanges and possibilities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Per; Buitenhuis, Bart; Kjaer, Joergen

    2008-01-01

    Traditionally, the contribution of applied ethology to animal welfare science has concentrated on understanding the reactions of animals to their housing conditions. Domestication has had small effects on fundamental aspects of animal behaviour, and therefore, the needs of present day domesticated...... animals are closely related to the evolutionary history of the ancestors. However, the last decades have seen an unprecedented intensification of selection for increased production, which has significant side-effects on behaviour and welfare. Understanding the nature of such side-effects have therefore...... methods applied on behaviour and welfare related variables. Significant improvements in levels of fearfulness and abnormal behaviour have been achieved by selecting populations against these traits. As a next step, it is necessary to map the loci involved in affecting these traits, and quantitative trait...

  14. Do insect repellents induce drift behaviour in aquatic non-target organisms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fink, Patrick; Moelzner, Jana; Berghahn, Ruediger; von Elert, Eric

    2017-01-01

    Synthetic insect repellents are compounds applied to surfaces to discourage insects, mainly mosquitoes, from landing on those surfaces. As some of these repellents have repeatedly been detected in surface waters at significant concentrations, they may also exert repellent effects on aquatic non-target organisms. In running water systems, aquatic invertebrates actively enter downstream drift in order to avoid unfavourable environmental conditions. We thus tested the hypothesis that the widely used insect repellents DEET (N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide), EBAAP (3-[N-butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid ethyl ester) and Icaridin (1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-methylpropyl ester) induce downstream drift behaviour in the aquatic invertebrates Gammarus pulex (Crustacea, Amphipoda) and Cloeon dipterum (Insecta, Ephemeroptera), using a laboratory-scale drift assay. We found no clear increase in the drift behaviour of both invertebrate species across a concentration gradient of eight orders of magnitude and even beyond maximum environmental concentrations for any of the three repellents. We found no evidence for a direct drift-inducing activity of insect repellents on aquatic non-target organisms. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. High temperature oxidation behaviour of mullite coated C/C composites in air

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fritze, H.; Borchardt, G.; Weber, S.; Scherrer, S.; Weiss, R.

    1997-01-01

    Based on thermogravimetric measurements on Si-SiC-mullite coated C/C material the temperature dependence of the overall rate constant is interpreted in the temperature range 400 C 1400 C), however, the oxidation behaviour of SiC limits long term application. In this temperature range, additional outer mullite coatings produced by pulsed laser deposition improve the oxidation behaviour. (orig.)

  16. Parental monitoring and rule-breaking behaviour in secondary school students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kovačević-Lepojević Marina

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Parental monitoring is recognised as one of the most important family factors that are associated with rule-breaking behaviour. The objective of this paper is to determine the nature of correlations between parental monitoring and its key components (parents’ knowledge, child disclosure, parental solicitation and parental control and rule-breaking behaviour. Additionally, the prediction of the rule-breaking behaviour by parental monitoring variables, age and gender will be considered. The sample included 507 secondary school students from Belgrade, aged 15 to 18. The data on rule-breaking behaviour were collected through ASEBA YSR/11-18, and on parental monitoring via the Parental monitoring scale. The most important conclusions are the following: the strongest negative correlations are found between parental knowledge and child disclosure with rule-breaking behaviour; child disclosure is the most important source of parental knowledge; the variables of parental monitoring, gender and age explained 31.4% of the variance of rule-breaking behaviour; finally, parental control and age, unlike other variables, did not predict rule-breaking behaviour. Given that parents mostly know how children spend their free time only if the children tell this to them, it is recommended that the prevention programme of rule-breaking behaviour should be oriented towards the improvement of parent-child relationships instead of focusing on parental control and supervision. [Project of the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Grant no. 179017: Socijalna participacija osoba sa intelektualnom ometenošću

  17. Behavioural economics, travel behaviour and environmental-transport policy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garcia-Sierra, M.; van den Bergh, J.C.J.M.; Miralles, C.

    2015-01-01

    The transport sector creates much environmental pressure. Many current policies aimed at reducing this pressure are not fully effective because the behavioural aspects of travellers are insufficiently recognised. Insights from behavioural economics can contribute to a better understanding of travel

  18. Self-management support and training for patients with chronic and complex conditions improves health-related behaviour and health outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Peter W; Petkov, John N; Misan, Gary; Fuller, Jeffrey; Battersby, Malcolm W; Cayetano, Teofilo N; Warren, Kate; Holmes, Paul

    2008-05-01

    The Sharing Health Care SA chronic disease self-management (CDSM) project in rural South Australia was designed to assist patients with chronic and complex conditions (diabetes, cardiovascular disease and arthritis) to learn how to participate more effectively in the management of their condition and to improve their self-management skills. Participants with chronic and complex conditions were recruited into the Sharing Health Care SA program and offered a range of education and support options (including a 6-week peer-led chronic disease self-management program) as part of the Enhanced Primary Care care planning process. Patient self-reported data were collected at baseline and subsequent 6-month intervals using the Partners in Health (PIH) scale to assess self-management skill and ability for 175 patients across four data collection points. Health providers also scored patient knowledge and self-management skills using the same scale over the same intervals. Patients also completed a modified Stanford 2000 Health Survey for the same time intervals to assess service utilisation and health-related lifestyle factors. Results show that both mean patient self-reported PIH scores and mean health provider PIH scores for patients improved significantly over time, indicating that patients demonstrated improved understanding of their condition and improved their ability to manage and deal with their symptoms. These results suggest that involvement in peer-led self-management education programs has a positive effect on patient self-management skill, confidence and health-related behaviour.

  19. Research Priorities from Animal Behaviour for Maximising Conservation Progress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greggor, Alison L; Berger-Tal, Oded; Blumstein, Daniel T; Angeloni, Lisa; Bessa-Gomes, Carmen; Blackwell, Bradley F; St Clair, Colleen Cassady; Crooks, Kevin; de Silva, Shermin; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban; Goldenberg, Shifra Z; Mesnick, Sarah L; Owen, Megan; Price, Catherine J; Saltz, David; Schell, Christopher J; Suarez, Andrew V; Swaisgood, Ronald R; Winchell, Clark S; Sutherland, William J

    2016-12-01

    Poor communication between academic researchers and wildlife managers limits conservation progress and innovation. As a result, input from overlapping fields, such as animal behaviour, is underused in conservation management despite its demonstrated utility as a conservation tool and countless papers advocating its use. Communication and collaboration across these two disciplines are unlikely to improve without clearly identified management needs and demonstrable impacts of behavioural-based conservation management. To facilitate this process, a team of wildlife managers and animal behaviour researchers conducted a research prioritisation exercise, identifying 50 key questions that have great potential to resolve critical conservation and management problems. The resulting agenda highlights the diversity and extent of advances that both fields could achieve through collaboration. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  20. Value for money of changing healthcare services? Economic evaluation of quality improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Severens, J

    2003-01-01

    

 There are many instances of perceived or real inefficiencies in health service delivery. Both healthcare providers and policy makers need to know the impact and cost of applying strategies to change the behaviour of individuals or organisations. Quality improvement or implementation research is concerned with evaluating the methods of behavioural change. Addressing inefficiencies in healthcare services raises a series of issues, beginning with how inefficiency itself should be defined. The basic concepts of cost analysis and economic evaluations are explained and a model for working through the economic issues of quality improvement is discussed. This model combines the costs and benefits of corrected inefficiency with the costs and degree of behavioural change achieved by a quality improvement method in the policy maker's locality. It shows why it may not always be cost effective for policy makers to address suboptimal behaviour. Both the interpretation of quality improvement research findings and their local application need careful consideration. The limited availability of applicable quality improvement research may make it difficult to provide robust advice on the value for money of many behavioural quality improvement strategies. PMID:14532369

  1. Using theories of behaviour change to inform interventions for addictive behaviours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Thomas L; Sniehotta, Falko F; Michie, Susan

    2010-11-01

    This paper reviews a set of theories of behaviour change that are used outside the field of addiction and considers their relevance for this field. Ten theories are reviewed in terms of (i) the main tenets of each theory, (ii) the implications of the theory for promoting change in addictive behaviours and (iii) studies in the field of addiction that have used the theory. An augmented feedback loop model based on Control Theory is used to organize the theories and to show how different interventions might achieve behaviour change. Briefly, each theory provided the following recommendations for intervention: Control Theory: prompt behavioural monitoring, Goal-Setting Theory: set specific and challenging goals, Model of Action Phases: form 'implementation intentions', Strength Model of Self-Control: bolster self-control resources, Social Cognition Models (Protection Motivation Theory, Theory of Planned Behaviour, Health Belief Model): modify relevant cognitions, Elaboration Likelihood Model: consider targets' motivation and ability to process information, Prototype Willingness Model: change perceptions of the prototypical person who engages in behaviour and Social Cognitive Theory: modify self-efficacy. There are a range of theories in the field of behaviour change that can be applied usefully to addiction, each one pointing to a different set of modifiable determinants and/or behaviour change techniques. Studies reporting interventions should describe theoretical basis, behaviour change techniques and mode of delivery accurately so that effective interventions can be understood and replicated. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  2. [Food behaviour and obesity: insights from decision neuroscience].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petit, Olivia; Basso, Frédéric; Huguet, Pascal; Plassmann, Hilke; Oullier, Olivier

    2011-11-01

    Neuroimaging allows to estimate brain activity when individuals are doing something. The location and intensity of this estimated activity provides information on the dynamics and processes that guide choice behaviour and associated actions that should be considered a complement to behavioural studies. Decision neuroscience therefore sheds new light on whether the brain evaluates and compares alternatives when decisions are made, or if other processes are at stake. This work helped to demonstrate that the situations faced by individuals (risky, uncertain, delayed in time) do not all have the same (behavioural) complexity, and are not underlined by activity in the cerebral networks. Taking into account brain dynamics of people (suffering from obesity or not) when making food consumption decisions might allow for improved strategies in public health prevention, far from the rational choice theory promoted by neoclassical economics. © 2011 médecine/sciences – Inserm / SRMS.

  3. Demand response to improved walking infrastructure: A study into the economics of walking and health behaviour change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longo, Alberto; Hutchinson, W George; Hunter, Ruth F; Tully, Mark A; Kee, Frank

    2015-10-01

    Walking is the most common form of moderate-intensity physical activity among adults, is widely accessible and especially appealing to obese people. Most often policy makers are interested in valuing the effect on walking of changes in some characteristics of a neighbourhood, the demand response for walking, of infrastructure changes. A positive demand response to improvements in the walking environment could help meet the public health target of 150 min of at least moderate-intensity physical activity per week. We model walking in an individual's local neighbourhood as a 'weak complement' to the characteristics of the neighbourhood itself. Walking is affected by neighbourhood characteristics, substitutes, and individual's characteristics, including their opportunity cost of time. Using compensating variation, we assess the economic benefits of walking and how walking behaviour is affected by improvements to the neighbourhood. Using a sample of 1209 respondents surveyed over a 12 month period (Feb 2010-Jan 2011) in East Belfast, United Kingdom, we find that a policy that increased walkability and people's perception of access to shops and facilities would lead to an increase in walking of about 36 min/person/week, valued at £13.65/person/week. When focussing on inactive residents, a policy that improved the walkability of the area would lead to guidelines for physical activity being reached by only 12.8% of the population who are currently inactive. Additional interventions would therefore be needed to encourage inactive residents to achieve the recommended levels of physical activity, as it appears that interventions that improve the walkability of an area are particularly effective in increasing walking among already active citizens, and, among the inactive ones, the best response is found among healthier, younger and wealthier citizens. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. How can we conceptualize behavioural addiction without pathologizing common behaviours?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kardefelt-Winther, Daniel; Heeren, Alexandre; Schimmenti, Adriano; van Rooij, Antonius; Maurage, Pierre; Carras, Michelle; Edman, Johan; Blaszczynski, Alexander; Khazaal, Yasser; Billieux, Joël

    2017-10-01

    Following the recent changes to the diagnostic category for addictive disorders in DSM-5, it is urgent to clarify what constitutes behavioural addiction to have a clear direction for future research and classification. However, in the years following the release of DSM-5, an expanding body of research has increasingly classified engagement in a wide range of common behaviours and leisure activities as possible behavioural addiction. If this expansion does not end, both the relevance and the credibility of the field of addictive disorders might be questioned, which may prompt a dismissive appraisal of the new DSM-5 subcategory for behavioural addiction. We propose an operational definition of behavioural addiction together with a number of exclusion criteria, to avoid pathologizing common behaviours and provide a common ground for further research. The definition and its exclusion criteria are clarified and justified by illustrating how these address a number of theoretical and methodological shortcomings that result from existing conceptualizations. We invite other researchers to extend our definition under an Open Science Foundation framework. © 2017 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  5. A CpG-methylation-based assay to predict survival in clear cell renal cell carcinoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Jin-Huan; Haddad, Ahmed; Wu, Kai-Jie; Zhao, Hong-Wei; Kapur, Payal; Zhang, Zhi-Ling; Zhao, Liang-Yun; Chen, Zhen-Hua; Zhou, Yun-Yun; Zhou, Jian-Cheng; Wang, Bin; Yu, Yan-Hong; Cai, Mu-Yan; Xie, Dan; Liao, Bing; Li, Cai-Xia; Li, Pei-Xing; Wang, Zong-Ren; Zhou, Fang-Jian; Shi, Lei; Liu, Qing-Zuo; Gao, Zhen-Li; He, Da-Lin; Chen, Wei; Hsieh, Jer-Tsong; Li, Quan-Zhen; Margulis, Vitaly; Luo, Jun-Hang

    2015-01-01

    Clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCCs) display divergent clinical behaviours. Molecular markers might improve risk stratification of ccRCC. Here we use, based on genome-wide CpG methylation profiling, a LASSO model to develop a five-CpG-based assay for ccRCC prognosis that can be used with formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens. The five-CpG-based classifier was validated in three independent sets from China, United States and the Cancer Genome Atlas data set. The classifier predicts the overall survival of ccRCC patients (hazard ratio=2.96−4.82; P=3.9 × 10−6−2.2 × 10−9), independent of standard clinical prognostic factors. The five-CpG-based classifier successfully categorizes patients into high-risk and low-risk groups, with significant differences of clinical outcome in respective clinical stages and individual ‘stage, size, grade and necrosis' scores. Moreover, methylation at the five CpGs correlates with expression of five genes: PITX1, FOXE3, TWF2, EHBP1L1 and RIN1. Our five-CpG-based classifier is a practical and reliable prognostic tool for ccRCC that can add prognostic value to the staging system. PMID:26515236

  6. Behaviour change counselling--how do I know if I am doing it well? The development of the Behaviour Change Counselling Scale (BCCS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallis, Michael

    2013-02-01

    The purpose of this article is to operationalize behaviour change counselling skills (motivation enhancement, behaviour modification, emotion management) that facilitate self-management support activities and evaluate the psychometric properties of an expert rater scale, the Behaviour Change Counselling Scale (BCCS). Twenty-one healthcare providers with varying levels of behaviour change counselling training interviewed a simulated patient. Videotapes were independently rated by 3 experts on 2 occasions over 6 months. Data on item/subscale characteristics, interrater and test-retest reliability, preliminary data on construct reliability, were reported. All items of the BCCS performed well with the exception of 3 that were dropped due to infrequent endorsement. Most subscales showed strong psychometric properties. Interrater and test-retest reliability coefficients were uniformly high. Competency scores improved significantly from pre- to posttraining. Behaviour change counselling skills to guide lifestyle interventions can be operationalized and assessed in a reliable and valid manner. The BCCS can be used to guide clinical training in lifestyle counselling by operationalizing the component skills and providing feedback on skill achieved. Further research is needed to establish cut scores for competency and scale construct and criterion validity. Copyright © 2013 Canadian Diabetes Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. From sensor data to animal behaviour: an oystercatcher example.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judy Shamoun-Baranes

    Full Text Available Animal-borne sensors enable researchers to remotely track animals, their physiological state and body movements. Accelerometers, for example, have been used in several studies to measure body movement, posture, and energy expenditure, although predominantly in marine animals. In many studies, behaviour is often inferred from expert interpretation of sensor data and not validated with direct observations of the animal. The aim of this study was to derive models that could be used to classify oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus behaviour based on sensor data. We measured the location, speed, and tri-axial acceleration of three oystercatchers using a flexible GPS tracking system and conducted simultaneous visual observations of the behaviour of these birds in their natural environment. We then used these data to develop three supervised classification trees of behaviour and finally applied one of the models to calculate time-activity budgets. The model based on accelerometer data developed to classify three behaviours (fly, terrestrial locomotion, and no movement was much more accurate (cross-validation error = 0.14 than the model based on GPS-speed alone (cross-validation error = 0.35. The most parsimonious acceleration model designed to classify eight behaviours could distinguish five: fly, forage, body care, stand, and sit (cross-validation error = 0.28; other behaviours that were observed, such as aggression or handling of prey, could not be distinguished. Model limitations and potential improvements are discussed. The workflow design presented in this study can facilitate model development, be adapted to a wide range of species, and together with the appropriate measurements, can foster the study of behaviour and habitat use of free living animals throughout their annual routine.

  8. From sensor data to animal behaviour: an oystercatcher example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamoun-Baranes, Judy; Bom, Roeland; van Loon, E Emiel; Ens, Bruno J; Oosterbeek, Kees; Bouten, Willem

    2012-01-01

    Animal-borne sensors enable researchers to remotely track animals, their physiological state and body movements. Accelerometers, for example, have been used in several studies to measure body movement, posture, and energy expenditure, although predominantly in marine animals. In many studies, behaviour is often inferred from expert interpretation of sensor data and not validated with direct observations of the animal. The aim of this study was to derive models that could be used to classify oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) behaviour based on sensor data. We measured the location, speed, and tri-axial acceleration of three oystercatchers using a flexible GPS tracking system and conducted simultaneous visual observations of the behaviour of these birds in their natural environment. We then used these data to develop three supervised classification trees of behaviour and finally applied one of the models to calculate time-activity budgets. The model based on accelerometer data developed to classify three behaviours (fly, terrestrial locomotion, and no movement) was much more accurate (cross-validation error = 0.14) than the model based on GPS-speed alone (cross-validation error = 0.35). The most parsimonious acceleration model designed to classify eight behaviours could distinguish five: fly, forage, body care, stand, and sit (cross-validation error = 0.28); other behaviours that were observed, such as aggression or handling of prey, could not be distinguished. Model limitations and potential improvements are discussed. The workflow design presented in this study can facilitate model development, be adapted to a wide range of species, and together with the appropriate measurements, can foster the study of behaviour and habitat use of free living animals throughout their annual routine.

  9. [Health behaviour of doctors].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Németh, Anikó

    2016-07-01

    Health behaviour involves maintaining, improving and restoration of health. The aim of the author was to assess correlations of health behaviour with age, gender, job type and overtime. A quantitative cross-sectional study was conducted using an online questionnaire (N = 186). Data were analyzed with chi-square, Kolmogorov-Smirnov, Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests. Doctors working in in-patient care drink more coffee (p = 0.034) and energy drinks (p = 0.018); they eat undisturbed only on weekends at home (p = 0.032). Men consume more alcohol (p = 0.003), red meats (pmeals (p = 0.018) and their daily fluid consumption exceeds 2 litres (p = 0.005); their body mass index values are higher compared to women (peat more hot meals (p = 0.005), and those under the age of 30 consume more crisps, fast food (p = 0.001) and energy drinks (p = 0.005), while they are more active (p = 0.010). Dietary habits of doctors are not ideal and their physical activity is diminished compared to international trends. Orv. Hetil., 2016, 157(30), 1198-1206.

  10. Using plain English and behaviourally specific language to increase the implementation of clinical guidelines for psychological treatments in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ince, Paul; Tai, Sara; Haddock, Gillian

    2015-06-01

    Inequalities in the implementation of recommended psychological interventions for schizophrenia persist. Writing guidance in a particular style has been shown to improve service user intention to implement the recommendations. This current study explored this further in healthcare staff members. Can behaviourally specific and plain English language improve healthcare intentions to perform actions in line with guidance for schizophrenia. An independent measure, single blind, randomised control trial. Guidance was written and disseminated in two formats, the "original" and "alternative". Self-report measures were administered to assess the cognitive determents of behaviour as described by the Theory of Planned Behaviour, actual behaviour consistent with the guidance, comprehension and satisfaction with the guidance. No significant results were found when comparing the original guidance to the alternative for the cognitive determinants of behaviour, actual behaviour, comprehension or satisfaction. Behaviourally specific and plain English language does not affect healthcare professionals' intentions or behaviour to implement recommended guidance for the provision of psychological interventions for schizophrenia. A more multi-factorial approach including organisational culture may be required.

  11. One-year follow-up of a parent management training for children with externalizing behaviour problems in the real world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hautmann, Christopher; Hoijtink, Herbert; Eichelberger, Ilka; Hanisch, Charlotte; Plück, Julia; Walter, Daniel; Döpfner, Manfred

    2009-07-01

    The long-term effectiveness of parent training for children with externalizing behaviour problems under routine care within the German health care system is unclear. We report the 1-year follow-up results of the parent training component of the Prevention Program for Externalizing Problem Behaviour (PEP) for 270 children aged 3-10 years with externalizing behaviour problems. Outcome measures included child behaviour problems (externalizing behaviour problems, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms and Oppositional Defiant Disorder symptoms) and parenting (self efficacy of parenting and perceived ability to solve difficult parenting situations). Data were analysed using multilevel modelling. Comparison of the changes during the 3-month waiting and treatment periods revealed significantly stronger treatment effects on all outcome measures, indicating a substantial decrease in child behaviour problems and a significant increase in parenting due to treatment. At 1-year follow-up, initial treatment effects on child behaviour problems were maintained, while parenting continued to improve. Families whose children exhibited externalizing problem behaviour profit from PEP and improvements are maintained for at least one year.

  12. Predicting entrepreneurial behaviour: A test of the theory of planned behaviour

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kautonen, T.; van Gelderen, M.W.; Fink, M.

    2013-01-01

    This article contributes to the occupational choice literature pertaining to entrepreneurship by applying the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) to predict entrepreneurial behaviour. Originating from social psychology, the TPB posits that intention, a function of behavioural beliefs, is a significant

  13. Improved eating behaviours mediate weight gain prevention of young adults: moderation and mediation results of a randomised controlled trial of TXT2BFiT, mHealth program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Partridge, Stephanie R; McGeechan, Kevin; Bauman, Adrian; Phongsavan, Philayrath; Allman-Farinelli, Margaret

    2016-04-02

    Explanatory evaluation of interventions for prevention of weight gain is required beyond changes in weight, to determine for whom the intervention works and the underlying mechanisms of change. It was hypothesised that participant characteristics moderate intervention effect on weight change and improved eating and physical activity behaviours during the 3-month program mediate the relationship between intervention and weight. In our randomised controlled trial, young adults at risk of weight gain (n = 250) were assigned either to an intervention group that received a 3-month mHealth (TXT2BFiT) program with 6-month maintenance or to a control group. Data were collected via online self-report surveys. Hypothesised moderators and mediators of the intervention effect on weight were independently assessed in PROCESS macro models for 3 and 9-month weight change. Males (P = 0.01), mid-20s age group (P = 0.04), and higher income earners (P = 0.02) moderated intervention effects on weight change at 3-months and males only at 9-months (P = 0.02). Weight change at 3 (-1.12 kg) and 9-months (-1.38 kg) remained significant when 3-month nutrition and physical activity behaviours were specified as mediators (P <0.01 and P = 0.01 respectively). Indirect paths explained 39% (0.72/1.85 kg) and 40 % (0.92/2.3 kg) of total effect on weight change at 3 and 9-months respectively. Increased vegetable intake by intervention group at 3-months accounted for 19 and 17% and decreased sugar-sweetened beverages accounted for 8 and 13% of indirect weight change effects at 3 and 9-months respectively. TXT2BFiT was effective for both young men and women. Small sustained behavioural changes, including increased vegetable intake and decreased sugar-sweetened beverages consumption significantly mediated the intervention's effects on weight change. Improved eating behaviours and increased physical activity accounted for approximately 40% of the weight change. The trial is

  14. Obesity-risk behaviours and their associations with body mass index (BMI) in Korean American children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jang, Myoungock; Grey, Margaret; Sadler, Lois; Jeon, Sangchoon; Nam, Soohyun; Song, Hee-Jung; Whittemore, Robin

    2017-08-03

    To describe obesity-risk behaviours (diet, physical activity and sedentary behaviour) and examine the relationships of the obesity-risk behaviours with body mass index (BMI) in school-aged Korean American children. Korean American children have a risk of becoming overweight or obese and developing obesity-related complications; however, there is limited research about obesity-risk behaviours in Korean American children. A cross-sectional study. Obesity-risk behaviours of children were assessed with well-validated self-report questionnaires (i.e., Elementary-level School-based Nutrition Monitoring Questionnaire) from children and their mothers. Height and weight of children were measured. Data were analysed with bivariate and multivariate analyses using mixed effects models to incorporate the correlation within siblings. A total of 170 Korean American children (mean age 10.9 [2.0] years; 52.4% girls; mean BMI 19.3 [3.2]; 28.7% ≥85 percentiles) participated in the study. Only 38.3% of Korean American children met established recommendations of five fruits/vegetables per day; 56.5% met recommendations for more than 3 days per week of vigorous physical activity; and 40.8% met recommendations for obesity in Korean American children and initiate clinical interventions to improve obesity-risk behaviours, especially sedentary behaviour, in Korean American children. Clinical assessment and management of the risk of developing overweight and obesity as well as obesity-related behaviours are important to improve obesity-related complications in overall Korean Americans. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. The Influence Personality and Leader Behaviours Have on Teacher Self-Leadership in Vocational Colleges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Glenn; Kiffin-Petersen, Sandra; Soutar, Geoffrey

    2012-01-01

    Teacher self-leadership includes a set of individual cognitive and behavioural strategies that, when practised together, can lead to improved performance. This study examines the influence personality and leader behaviours have on teacher self-leadership in a vocational education and training setting. Survey data from 418 teachers from an…

  16. Rehabilitation after severe brain injury: a follow-up study of a behaviour modification approach.

    OpenAIRE

    Eames, P; Wood, R

    1985-01-01

    Twenty four patients with severe brain injury who had disturbed behaviours preventing rehabilitation or care in ordinary settings were treated in a token economy. This long-term follow-up study indicates that post-traumatic behaviour disorders can be lastingly improved, and that lengthy rehabilitation can have surprisingly good effects.

  17. Modification to 200 MW(e) CANDU for improved dynamic behaviour

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chamany, B.F.; Murthy, L.G.K.; Ray, R.N.

    1976-01-01

    Rajasthan Atomic Power Station is inherently suitable for base load operation. Its control philosophy is based on turbine following the reactor. However, due to load fluctuations and inherent limitation of the control system, there had been considerable number of outages of the station. This limitation is further enhanced by improper choice of the operating pressure range of the boilers. Besides, existing fuel design does not permit thermal cycling and hence there is no use in attempting to make the reactor follow the turbine. Design modifications have been suggested for incorporation in the further 200 MW(e) systems. The method adopted is complete decoupling of the reactor from the load. Dynamic behaviour of the station with the suggested modifications and its comparison with the existing situation has been brought out. (author)

  18. Exploring the impact of transformational leadership on nurse innovation behaviour: a cross-sectional study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, Rhay-Hung; Huang, Ching-Yuan; Chen, Li-Mei; Chang, Li-Yu

    2015-05-01

    This study explored the influences of transformational leadership on nurse innovation behaviour and the mediating role of organisational climate. Recently, global nursing experts have been aggressively encouraging nurses to pursue innovation in nursing in order to improve nursing outcomes. Nursing innovation, in turn, is affected by nursing leadership. We employed a questionnaire survey to collect data, and selected a sample of nurses from hospitals in Taiwan. A total of 439 valid surveys were obtained. Hierarchical multiple regression model analysis was conducted to test the study hypothesis. The mean values of agreement of nurse innovation behaviour and transformational leadership were 3.40 and 3.78, respectively. Patient safety climate and innovation climate were found to have full mediating effects on the relationship between transformational leadership and innovation behaviour. Organisational climate has a significant impact on innovation behaviour. Transformational leadership has indirect effects on innovation behaviour via the mediation of patient safety climate and innovation climate. Hospitals should enhance transformational leadership by designing leadership training programmes and establishing transformational culture. In addition, nursing managers should foster nursing innovation through improvements in organisational climate. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Explaining Vegetable Consumption among Young Adults: An Application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menozzi, Davide; Sogari, Giovanni; Mora, Cristina

    2015-09-10

    Although fruit and vegetable consumption is highly recommended for a healthy and balanced daily diet, several European countries do not meet these recommendations. In Italy, only 45% of young people are consuming at least one portion of vegetables per day. Therefore, this paper aims to understand the main determinants of vegetables consumption among young adults to suggest possible intervention strategies. A cross-sectional study was conducted on a samples of Italian students (n = 751), using the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) as a conceptual framework. A structural equation model (SEM) was developed to test the TPB predictors for vegetable consumption, and the role of background factors (socio-demographic and personal characteristics) in improving the TPB model's explaining power. Overall, 81% and 68%, respectively, of intentions and behaviour variance is explained by the TPB model. Socio-demographic and personal characteristics were found to influence intentions and behaviour indirectly by their effects on the theory's more proximal determinants. Interventions should be targeted to improve perceived behavioural control (PBC), attitudes and subjective norms that significantly affect intentions. Tailored interventions for male students, enrolled in courses other than food science, and doing less physical activity may have a larger effect on behavioural change.

  20. Genomic regulation of oestrous behaviour in dairy cows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kommadath, A.

    2012-01-01

    Concurrent to the impressive improvement achieved over the last few decades for the trait of milk production in dairy cows was a steady decline in several fertility traits including oestrous behaviour (OB). An understanding of the genomic regulation of OB, which is currently lacking in dairy

  1. Evaluation of the Sepsis Flow Chip assay for the diagnosis of blood infections.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Galiana

    Full Text Available Blood infections are serious complex conditions that generally require rapid diagnosis and treatment. The big challenge is to reduce the time necessary to make a diagnosis with current clinical microbiological methods so as to improve the treatment given to patients.In this study, we assess for the first time the Sepsis Flow Chip assay, which is a novel diagnostic assay for simultaneous rapid-detection of the vast majority of bloodstream pathogens, including Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and fungi, in the same assay, and for the detection of most common antibiotic resistance genes. The SFC assay is based on multiplex PCR and low density DNA arrays.Positive blood cultures from 202 consecutive bacteremia patients were analyzed by SFC assay and the results were compared with the results obtained by the gold standard methodology used in clinical microbiology diagnostic laboratories (EUCAST guidelines. SFC assay overall sensitivity and specificity for bacterial identification were 93.3% and 100% respectively and sensitivity and specificity for the identification of antibiotic genetic resistance determinants were 93.6% and 100% respectively.This is the first evaluation of SFC assay in clinical samples. This new method appears to be very promising by combining the high number of distinct pathogens and genetic resistance determinants identified in a single assay. Further investigations should be done to evaluate the usefulness of this assay in combination with clinical multidisciplinary groups (stewardship, in order for the results to be applied appropriately to the management of patients`infectious processes.

  2. RELEVANCE OF USE OF MULTIMEDIA IN ORDER TO PREVENT JUNIOR PUPILS’ AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOUR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia V. Oleksiuk

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The article analyzes the problem of aggressive behaviour of junior pupils and reasons for its occurrence. There are determined advantages of multimedia use in the prevention of aggressive behaviour of junior pupils and described types of multimedia, which should be used to work with pupils. Problem of aggressive behaviour of junior pupils become one of the main problems of our society. As noted by the most researchers, one of the cause of aggressive behaviour of junior pupils is media, the use of video games, watching movies, cartoons that provoke aggression. One of the important areas of prevention of aggressive behaviour of junior pupils is competence improvement of teachers, social workers and psychologists on the use of multimedia in social and educational classes for junior pupils.

  3. Adolescent Sexual Behaviour and Practices in Nigeria: A Twelve ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... given in this review have the potential to increase sexual awareness in adolescents, encourage contraceptive use and improve adolescent reproductive and sexual health in the country. Keywords: Adolescent sexual behaviour, Adolescent health and development, secondary school students, adolescent pregnancy.

  4. Extended prospect theory : Findings on choice behaviour from economics and the behavioural sciences and their relevance for travel behaviour

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van de Kaa, E.J.

    2008-01-01

    In Transport Sciences different implementations of Utility Theory are commonly used for the description and prediction of human choice behaviour. Almost 30 years ago Kahneman and Tversky proposed an alternative behavioural-economic model of choice behaviour called Prospect Theory. In contrast to

  5. Improved permeability of acyclovir: optimization of mucoadhesive liposomes using the phospholipid vesicle-based permeation assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naderkhani, Elenaz; Erber, Astrid; Škalko-Basnet, Nataša; Flaten, Gøril Eide

    2014-02-01

    The antiviral drug acyclovir (ACV) suffers from poor solubility both in lipophilic and hydrophilic environment, leading to low and highly variable bioavailability. To overcome these limitations, this study aimed at designing mucoadhesive ACV-containing liposomes to improve its permeability. Liposomes were prepared from egg phosphatidylcholine (E-PC) and E-PC/egg phosphatidylglycerol (E-PC/E-PG) and their surfaces coated with Carbopol. All liposomal formulations were fully characterized and for the first time the phospholipid vesicle-based permeation assay (PVPA) was used for testing in vitro permeability of drug from mucoadhesive liposome formulations. The negatively charged E-PC/E-PG liposomes could encapsulate more ACV than neutral E-PC liposomes. Coating with Carbopol increased the entrapment in the neutral E-PC liposomes. The incorporation of ACV into liposomes exhibited significant increase in its in vitro permeability, compared with its aqueous solution. The neutral E-PC liposomal formulations exhibited higher ACV permeability values compared with charged E-PC/E-PG formulations. Coating with Carbopol significantly enhanced the permeability from the E-PC/E-PG liposomes, as well as sonicated E-PC liposomes, which showed the highest permeability of all tested formulations. The increased permeability was according to the formulations' mucoadhesive properties. This indicates that the PVPA is suitable to distinguish between permeability of ACV from different mucoadhesive liposome formulations developed for various routes of administration. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association.

  6. First results with a radioreceptor-assay (TRAK-Assay) for TSH-receptor-autoantibodies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Becker, W.; Reiners, C.; Boerner, W.

    1983-01-01

    A new radioreceptor-assay (TRAK-assay) for autoantibodies against TSH-receptors was tested in 48 untreated thyrotoxic patients (26 regional autonomies, 22 toxic diffuse goiters). None of the 26 patients with regional autonomy showed positive autoantibody-titers. 4 patients with toxic diffuse goiter and thyrotoxic exophthalmos were TRAK-positive. Positive titers of microsomal and thyreoglobulin autoantibodies could be seen in 8 of 9 patients with positive TRAK-titers. In accordance with the conventional methods for detecting thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulins the new TRAK-assay seems to be suited for differentiating between immunogenic toxic diffuse goiter (Graves' disease) and goiter with disseminated autonomy as well as for prediction of relapse. (orig.) [de

  7. Host behaviour-parasite feedback: an essential link between animal behaviour and disease ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezenwa, Vanessa O; Archie, Elizabeth A; Craft, Meggan E; Hawley, Dana M; Martin, Lynn B; Moore, Janice; White, Lauren

    2016-04-13

    Animal behaviour and the ecology and evolution of parasites are inextricably linked. For this reason, animal behaviourists and disease ecologists have been interested in the intersection of their respective fields for decades. Despite this interest, most research at the behaviour-disease interface focuses either on how host behaviour affects parasites or how parasites affect behaviour, with little overlap between the two. Yet, the majority of interactions between hosts and parasites are probably reciprocal, such that host behaviour feeds back on parasites and vice versa. Explicitly considering these feedbacks is essential for understanding the complex connections between animal behaviour and parasite ecology and evolution. To illustrate this point, we discuss how host behaviour-parasite feedbacks might operate and explore the consequences of feedback for studies of animal behaviour and parasites. For example, ignoring the feedback of host social structure on parasite dynamics can limit the accuracy of predictions about parasite spread. Likewise, considering feedback in studies of parasites and animal personalities may provide unique insight about the maintenance of variation in personality types. Finally, applying the feedback concept to links between host behaviour and beneficial, rather than pathogenic, microbes may shed new light on transitions between mutualism and parasitism. More generally, accounting for host behaviour-parasite feedbacks can help identify critical gaps in our understanding of how key host behaviours and parasite traits evolve and are maintained. © 2016 The Author(s).

  8. Micropatterned comet assay enables high throughput and sensitive DNA damage quantification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Jing; Chow, Danielle N; Fessler, Jessica L; Weingeist, David M; Wood, David K; Engelward, Bevin P

    2015-01-01

    The single cell gel electrophoresis assay, also known as the comet assay, is a versatile method for measuring many classes of DNA damage, including base damage, abasic sites, single strand breaks and double strand breaks. However, limited throughput and difficulties with reproducibility have limited its utility, particularly for clinical and epidemiological studies. To address these limitations, we created a microarray comet assay. The use of a micrometer scale array of cells increases the number of analysable comets per square centimetre and enables automated imaging and analysis. In addition, the platform is compatible with standard 24- and 96-well plate formats. Here, we have assessed the consistency and sensitivity of the microarray comet assay. We showed that the linear detection range for H2O2-induced DNA damage in human lymphoblastoid cells is between 30 and 100 μM, and that within this range, inter-sample coefficient of variance was between 5 and 10%. Importantly, only 20 comets were required to detect a statistically significant induction of DNA damage for doses within the linear range. We also evaluated sample-to-sample and experiment-to-experiment variation and found that for both conditions, the coefficient of variation was lower than what has been reported for the traditional comet assay. Finally, we also show that the assay can be performed using a 4× objective (rather than the standard 10× objective for the traditional assay). This adjustment combined with the microarray format makes it possible to capture more than 50 analysable comets in a single image, which can then be automatically analysed using in-house software. Overall, throughput is increased more than 100-fold compared to the traditional assay. Together, the results presented here demonstrate key advances in comet assay technology that improve the throughput, sensitivity, and robustness, thus enabling larger scale clinical and epidemiological studies. © The Author 2014. Published by

  9. Reducing the Noise in Behavioral Assays: Sex and Age in Adult Zebrafish Locomotion

    OpenAIRE

    Philpott, Catelyn; Donack, Corey J.; Cousin, Margot A.; Pierret, Chris

    2012-01-01

    Many assays are used in animal model systems to measure specific human disease-related behaviors. The use of both adult and larval zebrafish as a behavioral model is gaining popularity. As this work progresses and potentially translates into new treatments, we must do our best to improve the sensitivity of these assays by reducing confounding factors. Scientists who use the mouse model system have demonstrated that sex and age can influence a number of behaviors. As a community, they have mov...

  10. Comprehensive analysis of sperm DNA fragmentation by five different assays: TUNEL assay, SCSA, SCD test and alkaline and neutral Comet assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribas-Maynou, J; García-Peiró, A; Fernández-Encinas, A; Abad, C; Amengual, M J; Prada, E; Navarro, J; Benet, J

    2013-09-01

    Sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) is becoming an important test to assess male infertility. Several different tests are available, but no consensus has yet been reached as to which tests are most predictive of infertility. Few publications have reported a comprehensive analysis comparing these methods within the same population. The objective of this study was to analyze the differences between the five most common methodologies, to study their correlations and to establish their cut-off values, sensitivity and specificity in predicting male infertility. We found differences in SDF between fertile donors and infertile patients in TUNEL, SCSA, SCD and alkaline Comet assays, but none with the neutral Comet assay. The alkaline COMET assay was the best in predicting male infertility followed by TUNEL, SCD and SCSA, whereas the neutral COMET assay had no predictive power. For our patient population, threshold values for infertility were 20.05% for TUNEL assay, 18.90% for SCSA, 22.75% for the SCD test, 45.37% for alkaline Comet and 34.37% for neutral Comet. This work establishes in a comprehensive study that the all techniques except neutral Comet are useful to distinguish fertile and infertile men. © 2013 American Society of Andrology and European Academy of Andrology.

  11. Survival behaviour and virulence of the fish pathogen Vibrio ordalii in seawater microcosms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Pamela; Poblete-Morales, Matías; Irgang, Rute; Toranzo, Alicia E; Avendaño-Herrera, Ruben

    2016-06-15

    Vibrio ordalii, the causative agent of atypical vibriosis, is a Gram-negative, motile, rod-shaped bacterium that severely affects the salmonid aquaculture industry. V. ordalii has been biochemically, antigenically and genetically characterized. However, studies on the survival behaviour of this bacterium in aquatic environments are scarce, and there is no information regarding its disease transmission and infectious abilities outside of the fish host or regarding water as a possible reservoir. The present study investigated the survival behaviour of V. ordalii Vo-LM-06 and Vo-LM-18 in sterile and non-sterile seawater microcosms. After a year in sterile seawater without nutrients, 1% of both V. ordalii strains survived (~10(3) colony-forming units ml(-1)), and long-term maintenance did not affect bacterial biochemical or genetic properties. Additionally, V. ordalii maintained for 60 d in sterile seawater remained infective in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. However, after 2 d of natural seawater exposure, this bacterium became non-culturable, indicating that autochthonous microbiota may play an important role in survival. Recuperation assays that added fresh medium to non-sterile microcosms did not favour V. ordalii recovery on solid media. Our results contribute towards a better understanding of V. ordalii survival behaviour in seawater ecosystems.

  12. Rethinking HIV-prevention for school-going young people based on current behaviour patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visser, Maretha

    2017-12-01

    The aim of the research was to gain increased knowledge regarding the sexual risk behaviour of school-going young people in South Africa after two decades of HIV-education in schools, to contribute to the development of improved HIV prevention strategies. In collaboration with the Department of Education, a sample of 5305 learners (between 10 and 18 years in Grades 5-12) from high-risk communities were identified. They completed a survey that assessed self-reported sexual risk behaviour and variables that potentially underlie sexual risk, such as attitudes towards preventive behaviour, perceived social norms and self-efficacy (based on the theory of planned behaviour [TPB]) and social factors like caregiver relationships and gender norms (based on the social ecological theory). Lifetime sex was reported by 49.4% of boys and 30.5% of girls in Grades 8-12, while 56% of the sexually active young people reported consistent condom use. Accurate knowledge about HIV transmission was low (37.8%). Regression analysis showed that risk behaviour was more prominent among older male youths, who perceived social norms as encouraging sexual activity, who use alcohol excessively, and who have negative attitudes towards abstinence. Perceived traditional community gender norms and negative relationships with caregivers were also associated with sexual risk behaviour. This research showed that the TPB can be used in planning HIV prevention interventions for young people. It also revealed that HIV-prevention strategies should focus beyond educating the individual, to address community factors such as improving caregiver relationships, the culture of substance abuse, peer group norms and inequality in community gender norms. These community processes influence young people's behaviour and need to be addressed to allow the youth to make healthy behavioural choices.

  13. Rethinking HIV-prevention for school-going young people based on current behaviour patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visser, Maretha

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The aim of the research was to gain increased knowledge regarding the sexual risk behaviour of school-going young people in South Africa after two decades of HIV-education in schools, to contribute to the development of improved HIV prevention strategies. In collaboration with the Department of Education, a sample of 5305 learners (between 10 and 18 years in Grades 5–12) from high-risk communities were identified. They completed a survey that assessed self-reported sexual risk behaviour and variables that potentially underlie sexual risk, such as attitudes towards preventive behaviour, perceived social norms and self-efficacy (based on the theory of planned behaviour [TPB]) and social factors like caregiver relationships and gender norms (based on the social ecological theory). Lifetime sex was reported by 49.4% of boys and 30.5% of girls in Grades 8–12, while 56% of the sexually active young people reported consistent condom use. Accurate knowledge about HIV transmission was low (37.8%). Regression analysis showed that risk behaviour was more prominent among older male youths, who perceived social norms as encouraging sexual activity, who use alcohol excessively, and who have negative attitudes towards abstinence. Perceived traditional community gender norms and negative relationships with caregivers were also associated with sexual risk behaviour. This research showed that the TPB can be used in planning HIV prevention interventions for young people. It also revealed that HIV-prevention strategies should focus beyond educating the individual, to address community factors such as improving caregiver relationships, the culture of substance abuse, peer group norms and inequality in community gender norms. These community processes influence young people's behaviour and need to be addressed to allow the youth to make healthy behavioural choices. PMID:28934898

  14. Can the theory of planned behaviour predict the physical activity behaviour of individuals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobbs, Nicola; Dixon, Diane; Johnston, Marie; Howie, Kate

    2013-01-01

    The theory of planned behaviour (TPB) can identify cognitions that predict differences in behaviour between individuals. However, it is not clear whether the TPB can predict the behaviour of an individual person. This study employs a series of n-of-1 studies and time series analyses to examine the ability of the TPB to predict physical activity (PA) behaviours of six individuals. Six n-of-1 studies were conducted, in which TPB cognitions and up to three PA behaviours (walking, gym workout and a personally defined PA) were measured twice daily for six weeks. Walking was measured by pedometer step count, gym attendance by self-report with objective validation of gym entry and the personally defined PA behaviour by self-report. Intra-individual variability in TPB cognitions and PA behaviour was observed in all participants. The TPB showed variable predictive utility within individuals and across behaviours. The TPB predicted at least one PA behaviour for five participants but had no predictive utility for one participant. Thus, n-of-1 designs and time series analyses can be used to test theory in an individual.

  15. A comparison of the effectiveness of three parenting programmes in improving parenting skills, parent mental-well being and children's behaviour when implemented on a large scale in community settings in 18 English local authorities: the parenting early intervention pathfinder (PEIP).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsay, Geoff; Strand, Steve; Davis, Hilton

    2011-12-30

    There is growing evidence that parenting programmes can improve parenting skills and thereby the behaviour of children exhibiting or at risk of developing antisocial behaviour. Given the high prevalence of childhood behaviour problems the task is to develop large scale application of effective programmes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the UK government funded implementation of the Parenting Early Intervention Pathfinder (PEIP). This involved the large scale rolling out of three programmes to parents of children 8-13 years in 18 local authorities (LAs) over a 2 year period. The UK government's Department for Education allocated each programme (Incredible Years, Triple P and Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities) to six LAs which then developed systems to intervene using parenting groups. Implementation fidelity was supported by the training of group facilitators by staff of the appropriate parenting programme supplemented by supervision. Parents completed measures of parenting style, efficacy, satisfaction, and mental well-being, and also child behaviour. A total of 1121 parents completed pre- and post-course measures. There were significant improvements on all measures for each programme; effect sizes (Cohen's d) ranged across the programmes from 0.57 to 0.93 for parenting style; 0.33 to 0.77 for parenting satisfaction and self-efficacy; and from 0.49 to 0.88 for parental mental well-being. Effectiveness varied between programmes: Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities was significantly less effective than both the other two programmes in improving parental efficacy, satisfaction and mental well-being. Improvements in child behaviour were found for all programmes: effect sizes for reduction in conduct problems ranged from -0.44 to -0.71 across programmes, with Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities again having significantly lower reductions than Incredible Years. Evidence-based parenting programmes can be implemented

  16. Behaviour Recovery. Second Edition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Bill

    2004-01-01

    This second edition of Behaviour Recovery puts emphasis on teaching behaviour concerning children with emotional and behavioural disorders (EBD). These children have many factors in their lives that affect their behaviour over which schools have limited control. This book acknowledges the challenge and explores the practical realities, options and…

  17. Comparison of corrosion behaviour of friction stir processed and laser melted AA 2219 aluminium alloy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Surekha, K.; Murty, B.S.; Prasad Rao, K.

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → Poor corrosion resistance of AA 2219 can be improved by surface treatments. → FSP and LM leads to dissolution of second phase particles. → No literature available on comparison of corrosion behaviour after FSP and LM. → The study implies FSP is as good as LM in improving the corrosion resistance of AA 2219. -- Abstract: Dissolution of second phase particles (CuAl 2 ) present in AA 2219 aluminium improves the corrosion resistance of the alloy. Two surface treatment techniques, viz., solid state friction stir processing and fusion based laser melting lead to the reduction in CuAl 2 content and the effect of these processes on the corrosion behaviour of the alloy is compared in this study. Potentiodynamic polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy tests were carried out to compare corrosion behaviour. The corrosion resistance achieved by friction stir processing is comparable to that obtained by the laser melting technique.

  18. Development of versatile universal reagent immunoradiometric assay technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hazra, D.K.

    1982-10-01

    Immunoradiometric assays, which make use of labelled antibodies, potentially offer better sensitivity and specificity than do radioimmunoassays, which use labelled antigens. In addition, they can in principle be performed in a particularly convenient scheme wherein the same labelled reagent may be used for many different analytes - thus serving as a ''universal'' labelled reagent. Thus if the specific antibody for every analyte is raised in rabbits, and an anti-rabbit antibody is labelled, the latter may be added after the specific antibody to quantify the amount of specific antibody bound to analyte and thereby the amount of analyte present. The potential greater sensitivity and specificity of the immunoradiometric procedure, coupled with the potential convenience of the ''universal'' labelled reagent, might allow such immunoradiometric techniques to be used effectively in the study of communicable diseases in developing countries. Development of these procedures was the subject of this investigation. Many components of these procedures had to be explored and provisionally optimized, including coating of assay tubes with ''extraction'' antibody, immunological purification of antibodies, labelling of antibodies, and intermediate steps toward these goals. Applications were thereupon tested using those provisionally optimized components. The ''universal'' labelled reagent, a donkey anti-rabbit antiserum, was successfully used in the assay of TSH; however, cross reactions of the reagent with non-rabbit immunoglobulins and other materials present seriously limited the sensitivity of the method. Using conventional immunoradiometric procedures, circulating TB and amoebic antibodies could be detected in patients suffering from these diseases. Similarly, circulating antigens in the same patients could also be detected, but not with sufficient sensitivity and specificity to provide a reliable analytical system. Numerous improvements will be required before these techniques

  19. Why the Canadian sedentary behaviour guidelines should reflect sex and gender.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liwander, Anna; Pederson, Ann; Boyle, Ellexis

    2013-10-31

    The world's first evidence-based sedentary behaviour guidelines were released in Canada in 2011. Based on evidence that time spent in sedentary pursuits poses important health risks, the guidelines recommend limits on the time that children and youth are sedentary throughout the day. Although the guidelines reflect differences in age, they do not include recommendations for adults, nor engage with other important determinants of health such as sex and gender, despite research suggesting that girls and boys, women and men, engage in different sedentary behaviours. For example, it has been suggested that girls spend considerable time in communication-based sedentary behaviours such as talking on the phone, texting and instant messaging, while boys are more likely to watch television and videos, or play computer games. There is also evidence suggesting that the health outcomes associated with sedentary behaviour differ for females and males, and there are gendered social and economic barriers that may influence sedentary behaviour. It is therefore time to consider sex and gender in research and policy on sedentary behaviour in order to effectively reduce time spent sedentary and to improve the health of women and men in Canada.

  20. [Stress after labour - significance for maternal health behaviour].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grieshop, M; Schücking, B

    2012-04-01

    Maternal stress and lack of social support in the postpartum period have a negative impact on health behaviour of new mothers. Midwives can enhance mother's coping with stress and improve their social support by early interventions in postpartum care. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  1. Domestic energy use and householders' energy behaviour

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yohanis, Yigzaw Goshu

    2012-01-01

    This paper discusses domestic energy use and energy behaviour. It shows some improvement in domestic energy consumption and adoption of good energy practice. The survey conducted indicated that 35% of homes could improve their energy efficiency by improved tank insulation. In the last 5 years condensing boilers have been installed only in 3% of homes, indicating that householders are unaware of their advantages. Although 88% of surveyed homes had purchased a major appliance in the last 2 years, only 16% had any idea of the energy rating of their new appliances. Use of energy saving light bulbs is predominant in kitchens compared to other rooms. 70–80% of householders undertook some kind of day-to-day energy efficiency measures. 20–35% of householders would like to invest in energy-saving measures but found cost to be a key barrier. Approximately 84% of those surveyed were unaware of the energy rating of their household appliances. Price and brand were the most important factors determining the purchase of a new appliance. Significant energy-saving could be achieved by providing appropriate information to the general public regarding temperature control, efficiency of appliances and energy-saving heating systems. - Highlights: ▶ Good practice in household energy use is being adopted but actual use is rising. ▶ Cost is dominant in energy related decisions purchasing of household appliances. ▶ Energy behaviour is improving but level of awareness needs more work.

  2. A Theory-Based Approach for Developing Interventions to Change Patient Behaviours: A Medication Adherence Example from Paediatric Secondary Care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gemma Heath

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In this article we introduce a Health Psychology approach to changing patient behaviour, in order to demonstrate the value of Health Psychology professional practice as applied within healthcare settings. Health Psychologists are experts in understanding, predicting and changing health-related behaviours at the individual, group and population level. They combine psychological theory, research evidence and service-user views to design interventions to solve clinically relevant behavioural problems and improve health outcomes. We provide a pragmatic overview of a theory and evidence-based Intervention Mapping approach for developing, implementing and evaluating interventions to change health-related behaviour. An example of a real behaviour change intervention designed to improve medication adherence in an adolescent patient with poorly controlled asthma is described to illustrate the main stages of the intervention development process.

  3. An Application of Graphics Processing Units to Geosimulation of Collective Crowd Behaviour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cjoskāns Jānis

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The goal of the paper is to assess the ways for computational performance and efficiency improvement of collective crowd behaviour simulation by using parallel computing methods implemented on graphics processing unit (GPU. To perform an experimental evaluation of benefits of parallel computing, a new GPU-based simulator prototype is proposed and the runtime performance is analysed. Based on practical examples of pedestrian dynamics geosimulation, the obtained performance measurements are compared to several other available multiagent simulation tools to determine the efficiency of the proposed simulator, as well as to provide generic guidelines for the efficiency improvements of the parallel simulation of collective crowd behaviour.

  4. Fission gas behaviour in water reactor fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2002-01-01

    During irradiation, nuclear fuel changes volume, primarily through swelling. This swelling is caused by the fission products and in particular by the volatile ones such as krypton and xenon, called fission gas. Fission gas behaviour needs to be reliably predicted in order to make better use of nuclear fuel, a factor which can help to achieve the economic competitiveness required by today's markets. These proceedings communicate the results of an international seminar which reviewed recent progress in the field of fission gas behaviour in light water reactor fuel and sought to improve the models used in computer codes predicting fission gas release. State-of-the-art knowledge is presented for both uranium-oxide and mixed-oxide fuels loaded in water reactors. (author)

  5. Usefulness of a rapid immunometric assay for intraoperative parathyroid hormone measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.N. Ohe

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available Intraoperative parathyroid hormone (IO-PTH measurements have been proposed to improve operative success rates in primary, secondary and tertiary hyperparathyroidism (PHP, SHP and THP. Thirty-one patients requiring parathyroidectomy were evaluated retrospectively from June 2000 to January 2002. Sixteen had PHP, 7 SHP and 8 THP. Serum samples were taken at times 0 (before resection, 10, 20 and 30 min after resection of each abnormal parathyroid gland. Samples from 28 patients were frozen at -70ºC for subsequent tests, whereas samples from three patients were tested while surgery was being performed. IO-PTH was measured using the Elecsys immunochemiluminometric assay (Roche, Mannheim, Germany. The time necessary to perform the assay was 9 min. All samples had a second measurement taken by a conventional immunofluorimetric method. We considered as cured patients who presented normocalcemia in PHP and THP, and normal levels of PTH in SHP one month after surgery and who remained in this condition throughout the follow-up of 1 to 20 months. When rapid PTH assay was compared with a routine immunofluorimetric assay, excellent correlation was observed (r = 0.959, P < 0.0001. IO-PTH measurement showed a rapid average decline of 78.8% in PTH 10 min after adenoma resection in PHP and all patients were cured. SHP patients had an average IO-PTH decrease of 89% 30 min after total parathyroidectomy and cure was observed in 85.7%. THP showed an average IO-PTH decrease of 91.9%, and cure was obtained in 87.5% of patients. IO-PTH can be a useful tool that might improve the rate of successful treatment of PHP, SHP and THP.

  6. Periodic activations of behaviours and emotional adaptation in behaviour-based robotics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burattini, Ernesto; Rossi, Silvia

    2010-09-01

    The possible modulatory influence of motivations and emotions is of great interest in designing robotic adaptive systems. In this paper, an attempt is made to connect the concept of periodic behaviour activations to emotional modulation, in order to link the variability of behaviours to the circumstances in which they are activated. The impact of emotion is studied, described as timed controlled structures, on simple but conflicting reactive behaviours. Through this approach it is shown that the introduction of such asynchronies in the robot control system may lead to an adaptation in the emergent behaviour without having an explicit action selection mechanism. The emergent behaviours of a simple robot designed with both a parallel and a hierarchical architecture are evaluated and compared.

  7. Rumination-focused cognitive behaviour therapy vs. cognitive behaviour therapy for depression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvenegaard, Morten; Watkins, Ed R; Poulsen, Stig

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Cognitive behavioural therapy is an effective treatment for depression. However, one third of the patients do not respond satisfactorily, and relapse rates of around 30 % within the first post-treatment year were reported in a recent meta-analysis. In total, 30-50 % of remitted patients...... of future depression. Rumination-focused cognitive behavioural therapy is a psychotherapeutic treatment targeting rumination. Because rumination plays a major role in the initiation and maintenance of depression, targeting rumination with rumination-focused cognitive behavioural therapy may be more...... effective in treating depression and reducing relapse than standard cognitive behavioural therapy. METHOD/DESIGN: This study is a two-arm pragmatic randomised controlled superiority trial comparing the effectiveness of group-based rumination-focused cognitive behaviour therapy with the effectiveness...

  8. A weighted least-squares lump correction algorithm for transmission-corrected gamma-ray nondestructive assay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prettyman, T.H.; Sprinkle, J.K. Jr.; Sheppard, G.A.

    1993-01-01

    With transmission-corrected gamma-ray nondestructive assay instruments such as the Segmented Gamma Scanner (SGS) and the Tomographic Gamma Scanner (TGS) that is currently under development at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the amount of gamma-ray emitting material can be underestimated for samples in which the emitting material consists of particles or lumps of highly attenuating material. This problem is encountered in the assay of uranium and plutonium-bearing samples. To correct for this source of bias, we have developed a least-squares algorithm that uses transmission-corrected assay results for several emitted energies and a weighting function to account for statistical uncertainties in the assay results. The variation of effective lump size in the fitted model is parameterized; this allows the correction to be performed for a wide range of lump-size distributions. It may be possible to use the reduced chi-squared value obtained in the fit to identify samples in which assay assumptions have been violated. We found that the algorithm significantly reduced bias in simulated assays and improved SGS assay results for plutonium-bearing samples. Further testing will be conducted with the TGS, which is expected to be less susceptible than the SGS to systematic source of bias

  9. Cell invasion in the spheroid sprouting assay: a spatial organisation analysis adaptable to cell behaviour.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Blacher

    Full Text Available The endothelial cell spheroid assay provides a suitable in vitro model to study (lymph angiogenesis and test pro- and anti-(lymph angiogenic factors or drugs. Usually, the extent of cell invasion, observed through optical microscopy, is measured. The present study proposes the spatial distribution of migrated cells as a new descriptor of the (lymph angiogenic response. The utility of this novel method rests with its capacity to locally characterise spheroid structure, allowing not only the investigation of single and collective cell invasion but also the evolution of the spheroid core itself. Moreover, the proposed method can be applied to 2D-projected spheroid images obtained by optical microscopy, as well as to 3D images acquired by confocal microscopy. To validate the proposed methodology, endothelial cell invasion was evaluated under different experimental conditions. The results were compared with widely used global parameters. The comparison shows that our method prevents local spheroid modifications from being overlooked and leading to the possible misinterpretation of results.

  10. Theories of behaviour and behaviour change across the social and behavioural sciences: a scoping review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Rachel; Campbell, Rona; Hildon, Zoe; Hobbs, Lorna; Michie, Susan

    2015-01-01

    Interventions to change health-related behaviours typically have modest effects and may be more effective if grounded in appropriate theory. Most theories applied to public health interventions tend to emphasise individual capabilities and motivation, with limited reference to context and social factors. Intervention effectiveness may be increased by drawing on a wider range of theories incorporating social, cultural and economic factors that influence behaviour. The primary aim of this paper is to identify theories of behaviour and behaviour change of potential relevance to public health interventions across four scientific disciplines: psychology, sociology, anthropology and economics. We report in detail the methodology of our scoping review used to identify these theories including which involved a systematic search of electronic databases, consultation with a multidisciplinary advisory group, web searching, searching of reference lists and hand searching of key behavioural science journals. Of secondary interest we developed a list of agreed criteria for judging the quality of the theories. We identified 82 theories and 9 criteria for assessing theory quality. The potential relevance of this wide-ranging number of theories to public health interventions and the ease and usefulness of evaluating the theories in terms of the quality criteria are however yet to be determined.

  11. Temperature Switch PCR (TSP: Robust assay design for reliable amplification and genotyping of SNPs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mather Diane E

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many research and diagnostic applications rely upon the assay of individual single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs. Thus, methods to improve the speed and efficiency for single-marker SNP genotyping are highly desirable. Here, we describe the method of temperature-switch PCR (TSP, a biphasic four-primer PCR system with a universal primer design that permits amplification of the target locus in the first phase of thermal cycling before switching to the detection of the alleles. TSP can simplify assay design for a range of commonly used single-marker SNP genotyping methods, and reduce the requirement for individual assay optimization and operator expertise in the deployment of SNP assays. Results We demonstrate the utility of TSP for the rapid construction of robust and convenient endpoint SNP genotyping assays based on allele-specific PCR and high resolution melt analysis by generating a total of 11,232 data points. The TSP assays were performed under standardised reaction conditions, requiring minimal optimization of individual assays. High genotyping accuracy was verified by 100% concordance of TSP genotypes in a blinded study with an independent genotyping method. Conclusion Theoretically, TSP can be directly incorporated into the design of assays for most current single-marker SNP genotyping methods. TSP provides several technological advances for single-marker SNP genotyping including simplified assay design and development, increased assay specificity and genotyping accuracy, and opportunities for assay automation. By reducing the requirement for operator expertise, TSP provides opportunities to deploy a wider range of single-marker SNP genotyping methods in the laboratory. TSP has broad applications and can be deployed in any animal and plant species.

  12. Quantitative digital image analysis of chromogenic assays for high throughput screening of alpha-amylase mutant libraries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shankar, Manoharan; Priyadharshini, Ramachandran; Gunasekaran, Paramasamy

    2009-08-01

    An image analysis-based method for high throughput screening of an alpha-amylase mutant library using chromogenic assays was developed. Assays were performed in microplates and high resolution images of the assay plates were read using the Virtual Microplate Reader (VMR) script to quantify the concentration of the chromogen. This method is fast and sensitive in quantifying 0.025-0.3 mg starch/ml as well as 0.05-0.75 mg glucose/ml. It was also an effective screening method for improved alpha-amylase activity with a coefficient of variance of 18%.

  13. Droplet Digital™ PCR Next-Generation Sequencing Library QC Assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heredia, Nicholas J

    2018-01-01

    Digital PCR is a valuable tool to quantify next-generation sequencing (NGS) libraries precisely and accurately. Accurately quantifying NGS libraries enable accurate loading of the libraries on to the sequencer and thus improve sequencing performance by reducing under and overloading error. Accurate quantification also benefits users by enabling uniform loading of indexed/barcoded libraries which in turn greatly improves sequencing uniformity of the indexed/barcoded samples. The advantages gained by employing the Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR™) library QC assay includes the precise and accurate quantification in addition to size quality assessment, enabling users to QC their sequencing libraries with confidence.

  14. CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR AND SATISFACTION TOWARDS ONLINE SHOPPING – A STUDY WITH REFERENCE TO TIRUPPUR DISTRICT

    OpenAIRE

    Dr. A. Lakshmanan; Dr. V. Karthik

    2018-01-01

    Consumer psychology is the study of the interactions between consumers and organizations that produce consumer products. Consumer behaviour has been of interest to organizational psychologists since the beginning of the field. Consumer behaviour could be conditioned and therefore, predicted and controlled just like any other kind of behaviour. The study of consumer helps the firms and organizations to improve their marketing strategies. Commerce has evolved over the centuries. Prior to the ev...

  15. Sleep hygiene behaviours: an application of the theory of planned behaviour and the investigation of perceived autonomy support, past behaviour and response inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kor, Kenny; Mullan, Barbara Ann

    2011-09-01

    This study investigated the sleep hygiene behaviour of university students within the framework of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB [Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179-211.]), and examined the predictive validity of additional variables including perceived autonomy support, past behaviour and response inhibition. A total of