WorldWideScience

Sample records for included significant improvements

  1. Speech-language therapists' process of including significant others in aphasia rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallé, Marie-Christine; Le Dorze, Guylaine; Mingant, Anne

    2014-11-01

    Although aphasia rehabilitation should include significant others, it is currently unknown how this recommendation is adopted in speech-language therapy practice. Speech-language therapists' (SLTs) experience of including significant others in aphasia rehabilitation is also understudied, yet a better understanding of clinical reality would be necessary to facilitate implementation of best evidence pertaining to family interventions. To explore the process through which SLTs work with significant others of people with aphasia in rehabilitation settings. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight SLTs who had been working with persons with aphasia in rehabilitation centres for at least 1 year. Grounded theory principles were applied in analysing interview transcripts. A theoretical model was developed representing SLTs' process of working with significant others of persons with aphasia in rehabilitation. Including significant others was perceived as challenging, yet a bonus to their fundamental patient-centred approach. Basic interventions with significant others when they were available included information sharing. If necessary, significant others were referred to social workers or psychologists or the participants collaborated with those professionals. Participants rarely and only under specific conditions provided significant others with language exercises or trained them to communicate better with the aphasic person. As a result, even if participants felt satisfied with their efforts to offer family and friends interventions, they also had unachieved ideals, such as having more frequent contacts with significant others. If SLTs perceived work with significant others as a feasible necessity, rather than as a challenging bonus, they could be more inclined to include family and friends within therapy with the aim to improve their communication with the person with aphasia. SLTs could also be more satisfied with their practice. In order to

  2. Speech-Language Therapists' Process of Including Significant Others in Aphasia Rehabilitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallé, Marie-Christine; Le Dorze, Guylaine; Mingant, Anne

    2014-01-01

    Background: Although aphasia rehabilitation should include significant others, it is currently unknown how this recommendation is adopted in speech-language therapy practice. Speech-language therapists' (SLTs) experience of including significant others in aphasia rehabilitation is also understudied, yet a better understanding of clinical…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillam, Steve; Siriwardena, A Niroshan

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salzenstein, Patrice; Zarubin, Mikhail

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-20

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

  6. Significant Improvement of Catalytic Efficiencies in Ionic Liquids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawton, Teri

    2004-06-01

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

  8. Specific balance training included in an endurance-resistance exercise program improves postural balance in elderly patients undergoing haemodialysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frih, Bechir; Mkacher, Wajdi; Jaafar, Hamdi; Frih, Ameur; Ben Salah, Zohra; El May, Mezry; Hammami, Mohamed

    2018-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of 6 months of specific balance training included in endurance-resistance program on postural balance in haemodialysis (HD) patients. Forty-nine male patients undergoing HD were randomly assigned to an intervention group (balance training included in an endurance-resistance training, n = 26) or a control group (resistance-endurance training only, n = 23). Postural control was assessed using six clinical tests; Timed Up and Go test, Tinetti Mobility Test, Berg Balance Scale, Unipodal Stance test, Mini-Balance Evaluation Systems Test and Activities Balance Confidence scale. All balance measures increased significantly after the period of rehabilitation training in the intervention group. Only the Timed Up and Go, Berg Balance Scale, Mini-Balance Evaluation Systems Test and Activities Balance Confidence scores were improved in the control group. The ranges of change in these tests were greater in the balance training group. In HD patients, specific balance training included in a usual endurance-resistance training program improves static and dynamic balance better than endurance-resistance training only. Implications for rehabilitation Rehabilitation using exercise in haemodialysis patients improved global mobility and functional abilities. Specific balance training included in usual endurance resistance training program could lead to improved static and dynamic balance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  10. Recommended Resources for Planning to Evaluate Program Improvement Efforts (Including the SSIP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Center for Systemic Improvement at WestEd, 2015

    2015-01-01

    This document provides a list of recommended existing resources for state Part C and Part B 619 staff and technical assistance (TA) providers to utilize to support evaluation planning for program improvement efforts (including the State Systemic Improvement Plan, SSIP). There are many resources available related to evaluation and evaluation…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  12. Bedtime Blood Pressure Chronotherapy Significantly Improves Hypertension Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Clayton, Christopher M

    2006-01-01

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

  14. Evaluation of a novel educational strategy, including inhaler-based reminder labels, to improve asthma inhaler technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basheti, Iman A; Armour, Carol L; Bosnic-Anticevich, Sinthia Z; Reddel, Helen K

    2008-07-01

    To evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of a brief intervention about inhaler technique, delivered by community pharmacists to asthma patients. Thirty-one pharmacists received brief workshop education (Active: n=16, CONTROL: n=15). Active Group pharmacists were trained to assess and teach dry powder inhaler technique, using patient-centered educational tools including novel Inhaler Technique Labels. Interventions were delivered to patients at four visits over 6 months. At baseline, patients (Active: 53, CONTROL: 44) demonstrated poor inhaler technique (mean+/-S.D. score out of 9, 5.7+/-1.6). At 6 months, improvement in inhaler technique score was significantly greater in Active cf. CONTROL patients (2.8+/-1.6 cf. 0.9+/-1.4, p<0.001), and asthma severity was significantly improved (p=0.015). Qualitative responses from patients and pharmacists indicated a high level of satisfaction with the intervention and educational tools, both for their effectiveness and for their impact on the patient-pharmacist relationship. A simple feasible intervention in community pharmacies, incorporating daily reminders via Inhaler Technique Labels on inhalers, can lead to improvement in inhaler technique and asthma outcomes. Brief training modules and simple educational tools, such as Inhaler Technique Labels, can provide a low-cost and sustainable way of changing patient behavior in asthma, using community pharmacists as educators.

  15. Improving the strength of amalgams by including steel fibers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cochran, Calvin T. [Hendrix College, Conway, AR 72032 (United States); Van Hoose, James R. [Siemens, Orlando, FL 32826 (United States); McGill, Preston B. [Marshall Space Flight Center, EM20, Huntsville, AL 35812 (United States); Grugel, Richard N., E-mail: richard.n.grugel@nasa.gov [Marshall Space Flight Center, EM30, Huntsville, AL 35812 (United States)

    2012-05-30

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer A room temperature liquid Ga-In alloy was successfully substituted for mercury. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Physically sound amalgams with included steel fibers can be made. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer A small volume fraction inclusion of fibers increased strength by {approx}20%. - Abstract: Mercury amalgams, due to their material properties, are widely and successfully used in dental practice. They are, however, also well recognized as having poor tensile strength. With the possibility of expanding amalgam applications it is demonstrated that tensile strength can be increased some 20% by including a small amount of steel fibers. Furthermore, it is shown that mercury can be replaced with a room temperature liquid gallium-indium alloy. Processing, microstructures, and mechanical test results of these novel amalgams are presented and discussed in view of means to further improve their properties.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ogris Manfred

    2010-03-01

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

  19. Improvement in Detection of Wrong-Patient Errors When Radiologists Include Patient Photographs in Their Interpretation of Portable Chest Radiographs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tridandapani, Srini; Olsen, Kevin; Bhatti, Pamela

    2015-12-01

    This study was conducted to determine whether facial photographs obtained simultaneously with radiographs improve radiologists' detection rate of wrong-patient errors, when they are explicitly asked to include the photographs in their evaluation. Radiograph-photograph combinations were obtained from 28 patients at the time of portable chest radiography imaging. From these, pairs of radiographs were generated. Each unique pair consisted of one new and one old (comparison) radiograph. Twelve pairs of mismatched radiographs (i.e., pairs containing radiographs of different patients) were also generated. In phase 1 of the study, 5 blinded radiologist observers were asked to interpret 20 pairs of radiographs without the photographs. In phase 2, each radiologist interpreted another 20 pairs of radiographs with the photographs. Radiologist observers were not instructed about the purpose of the photographs but were asked to include the photographs in their review. The detection rate of mismatched errors was recorded along with the interpretation time for each session for each observer. The two-tailed Fisher exact test was used to evaluate differences in mismatch detection rates between the two phases. A p value of error detection rates without (0/20 = 0%) and with (17/18 = 94.4%) photographs were different (p = 0.0001). The average interpretation times for the set of 20 radiographs were 26.45 (SD 8.69) and 20.55 (SD 3.40) min, for phase 1 and phase 2, respectively (two-tailed Student t test, p = 0.1911). When radiologists include simultaneously obtained photographs in their review of portable chest radiographs, there is a significant improvement in the detection of labeling errors. No statistically significant difference in interpretation time was observed. This may lead to improved patient safety without affecting radiologists' throughput.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hessen, Erik

    2011-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyce, John M

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-01-15

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

  4. Carotid endarterectomy significantly improves postoperative laryngeal sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helm, David Jay

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morscher, Gregory N.; Hurst, Janet B.

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Te-Fu Lin

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamgboye, Ebun Ladipo

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Kothandaraman, Narasimhan

    2010-02-24

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

  13. Significant improvement of olfactory performance in sleep apnea patients after three months of nasal CPAP therapy - Observational study and randomized trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina Boerner

    Full Text Available The olfactory function highly impacts quality of life (QoL. Continuous positive airway pressure is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA and is often applied by nasal masks (nCPAP. The influence of nCPAP on the olfactory performance of OSA patients is unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the sense of smell before initiation of nCPAP and after three months treatment, in moderate and severe OSA patients.The sense of smell was assessed in 35 patients suffering from daytime sleepiness and moderate to severe OSA (apnea/hypopnea index ≥ 15/h, with the aid of a validated test battery (Sniffin' Sticks before initiation of nCPAP therapy and after three months of treatment. Additionally, adherent subjects were included in a double-blind randomized three weeks CPAP-withdrawal trial (sub-therapeutic CPAP pressure.Twenty five of the 35 patients used the nCPAP therapy for more than four hours per night, and for more than 70% of nights (adherent group. The olfactory performance of these patients improved significantly (p = 0.007 after three months of nCPAP therapy. When considering the entire group of patients, olfaction also improved significantly (p = 0.001. In the randomized phase the sense of smell of six patients deteriorated under sub-therapeutic CPAP pressure (p = 0.046 whereas five patients in the maintenance CPAP group showed no significant difference (p = 0.501.Olfactory performance improved significantly after three months of nCPAP therapy in patients suffering from moderate and severe OSA. It seems that this effect of nCPAP is reversible under sub-therapeutic CPAP pressure.ISRCTN11128866.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boudria, Yacine; Feltane, Amal; Besio, Walter

    2014-06-01

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

  16. Nuclear reactor shield including magnesium oxide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rouse, C.A.; Simnad, M.T.

    1981-01-01

    An improvement is described for nuclear reactor shielding of a type used in reactor applications involving significant amounts of fast neutron flux. The reactor shielding includes means providing structural support, neutron moderator material, neutron absorber material and other components, wherein at least a portion of the neutron moderator material is magnesium in the form of magnesium oxide either alone or in combination with other moderator materials such as graphite and iron

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-01-02

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Hung Dylan Tsai

    2016-10-01

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

  19. Improving weather predictability by including land-surface model parameter uncertainty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orth, Rene; Dutra, Emanuel; Pappenberger, Florian

    2016-04-01

    The land surface forms an important component of Earth system models and interacts nonlinearly with other parts such as ocean and atmosphere. To capture the complex and heterogenous hydrology of the land surface, land surface models include a large number of parameters impacting the coupling to other components of the Earth system model. Focusing on ECMWF's land-surface model HTESSEL we present in this study a comprehensive parameter sensitivity evaluation using multiple observational datasets in Europe. We select 6 poorly constrained effective parameters (surface runoff effective depth, skin conductivity, minimum stomatal resistance, maximum interception, soil moisture stress function shape, total soil depth) and explore their sensitivity to model outputs such as soil moisture, evapotranspiration and runoff using uncoupled simulations and coupled seasonal forecasts. Additionally we investigate the possibility to construct ensembles from the multiple land surface parameters. In the uncoupled runs we find that minimum stomatal resistance and total soil depth have the most influence on model performance. Forecast skill scores are moreover sensitive to the same parameters as HTESSEL performance in the uncoupled analysis. We demonstrate the robustness of our findings by comparing multiple best performing parameter sets and multiple randomly chosen parameter sets. We find better temperature and precipitation forecast skill with the best-performing parameter perturbations demonstrating representativeness of model performance across uncoupled (and hence less computationally demanding) and coupled settings. Finally, we construct ensemble forecasts from ensemble members derived with different best-performing parameterizations of HTESSEL. This incorporation of parameter uncertainty in the ensemble generation yields an increase in forecast skill, even beyond the skill of the default system. Orth, R., E. Dutra, and F. Pappenberger, 2016: Improving weather predictability by

  20. Co-overexpressing a Plasma Membrane and a Vacuolar Membrane Sodium/Proton Antiporter Significantly Improves Salt Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pehlivan, Necla; Sun, Li; Jarrett, Philip; Yang, Xiaojie; Mishra, Neelam; Chen, Lin; Kadioglu, Asim; Shen, Guoxin; Zhang, Hong

    2016-01-01

    The Arabidopsis gene AtNHX1 encodes a vacuolar membrane-bound sodium/proton (Na+/H+) antiporter that transports Na+ into the vacuole and exports H+ into the cytoplasm. The Arabidopsis gene SOS1 encodes a plasma membrane-bound Na+/H+ antiporter that exports Na+ to the extracellular space and imports H+ into the plant cell. Plants rely on these enzymes either to keep Na+ out of the cell or to sequester Na+ into vacuoles to avoid the toxic level of Na+ in the cytoplasm. Overexpression of AtNHX1 or SOS1 could improve salt tolerance in transgenic plants, but the improved salt tolerance is limited. NaCl at concentration >200 mM would kill AtNHX1-overexpressing or SOS1-overexpressing plants. Here it is shown that co-overexpressing AtNHX1 and SOS1 could further improve salt tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, making transgenic Arabidopsis able to tolerate up to 250 mM NaCl treatment. Furthermore, co-overexpression of AtNHX1 and SOS1 could significantly reduce yield loss caused by the combined stresses of heat and salt, confirming the hypothesis that stacked overexpression of two genes could substantially improve tolerance against multiple stresses. This research serves as a proof of concept for improving salt tolerance in other plants including crops. PMID:26985021

  1. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-05-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (January--March 1990) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. Also included are a number of enforcement actions that had been previously resolved but not published in this NUREG. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  2. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-06-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (January--March 1989) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. Also included are a number of enforcement actions that had been previously resolved but not published in this NUREG. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Lysko, AA

    2012-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Quattrone

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  7. Co-overexpressing a Plasma Membrane and a Vacuolar Membrane Sodium/Proton Antiporter Significantly Improves Salt Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pehlivan, Necla; Sun, Li; Jarrett, Philip; Yang, Xiaojie; Mishra, Neelam; Chen, Lin; Kadioglu, Asim; Shen, Guoxin; Zhang, Hong

    2016-05-01

    The Arabidopsis gene AtNHX1 encodes a vacuolar membrane-bound sodium/proton (Na(+)/H(+)) antiporter that transports Na(+) into the vacuole and exports H(+) into the cytoplasm. The Arabidopsis gene SOS1 encodes a plasma membrane-bound Na(+)/H(+) antiporter that exports Na(+) to the extracellular space and imports H(+) into the plant cell. Plants rely on these enzymes either to keep Na(+) out of the cell or to sequester Na(+) into vacuoles to avoid the toxic level of Na(+) in the cytoplasm. Overexpression of AtNHX1 or SOS1 could improve salt tolerance in transgenic plants, but the improved salt tolerance is limited. NaCl at concentration >200 mM would kill AtNHX1-overexpressing or SOS1-overexpressing plants. Here it is shown that co-overexpressing AtNHX1 and SOS1 could further improve salt tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, making transgenic Arabidopsis able to tolerate up to 250 mM NaCl treatment. Furthermore, co-overexpression of AtNHX1 and SOS1 could significantly reduce yield loss caused by the combined stresses of heat and salt, confirming the hypothesis that stacked overexpression of two genes could substantially improve tolerance against multiple stresses. This research serves as a proof of concept for improving salt tolerance in other plants including crops. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia Mattioli

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-10-01

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

  10. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-09-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (April--June 1990) and includes copies of letters, notices, and orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  11. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-03-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (October - December 1993) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  12. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-05-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (January--March 1991) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  13. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-09-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (April--June 1993) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  14. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-11-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (July--September 1990) and includes copies of letters, notices, and orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  15. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-08-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (April--June 1992) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  16. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-02-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (October--December 1990) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  17. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-06-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (January--March 1993) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  18. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-03-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (October--December 1989) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  19. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-07-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (April-June 1991) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  20. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-05-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (January--March 1992) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  1. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-12-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (July--September 1993) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  2. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-03-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (October--December 1992) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  3. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-11-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (July--September 1991) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  4. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-03-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (October--December 1991) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  5. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-11-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (July - September 1992) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  6. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-12-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (July--September 1989) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Efstratios A. Parikakis

    2014-03-01

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

  9. Arthroscopic Debridement for Primary Degenerative Osteoarthritis of the Elbow Leads to Significant Improvement in Range of Motion and Clinical Outcomes: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sochacki, Kyle R; Jack, Robert A; Hirase, Takashi; McCulloch, Patrick C; Lintner, David M; Liberman, Shari R; Harris, Joshua D

    2017-12-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether arthroscopic debridement of primary elbow osteoarthritis results in statistically significant and clinically relevant improvement in (1) elbow range of motion and (2) clinical outcomes with (3) low complication and reoperation rates. A systematic review was registered with PROSPERO and performed using PRISMA guidelines. Databases were searched for studies that investigated the outcomes of arthroscopic debridement for the treatment of primary osteoarthritis of the elbow in adult human patients. Study methodological quality was analyzed. Studies that included post-traumatic arthritis were excluded. Elbow motion and all elbow-specific patient-reported outcome scores were eligible for analysis. Comparisons between preoperative and postoperative values from each study were made using 2-sample Z-tests (http://in-silico.net/tools/statistics/ztest) using a P value osteoarthritis results in statistically significant and clinically relevant improvement in elbow range of motion and clinical outcomes with low complication and reoperation rates. Systematic review of level IV studies. Copyright © 2017 Arthroscopy Association of North America. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-06-07

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leelawadee Sriboonnark

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  14. The energetic significance of cooking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmody, Rachel N; Wrangham, Richard W

    2009-10-01

    While cooking has long been argued to improve the diet, the nature of the improvement has not been well defined. As a result, the evolutionary significance of cooking has variously been proposed as being substantial or relatively trivial. In this paper, we evaluate the hypothesis that an important and consistent effect of cooking food is a rise in its net energy value. The pathways by which cooking influences net energy value differ for starch, protein, and lipid, and we therefore consider plant and animal foods separately. Evidence of compromised physiological performance among individuals on raw diets supports the hypothesis that cooked diets tend to provide energy. Mechanisms contributing to energy being gained from cooking include increased digestibility of starch and protein, reduced costs of digestion for cooked versus raw meat, and reduced energetic costs of detoxification and defence against pathogens. If cooking consistently improves the energetic value of foods through such mechanisms, its evolutionary impact depends partly on the relative energetic benefits of non-thermal processing methods used prior to cooking. We suggest that if non-thermal processing methods such as pounding were used by Lower Palaeolithic Homo, they likely provided an important increase in energy gain over unprocessed raw diets. However, cooking has critical effects not easily achievable by non-thermal processing, including the relatively complete gelatinisation of starch, efficient denaturing of proteins, and killing of food borne pathogens. This means that however sophisticated the non-thermal processing methods were, cooking would have conferred incremental energetic benefits. While much remains to be discovered, we conclude that the adoption of cooking would have led to an important rise in energy availability. For this reason, we predict that cooking had substantial evolutionary significance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. The VITRO Score (Von Willebrand Factor Antigen/Thrombocyte Ratio as a New Marker for Clinically Significant Portal Hypertension in Comparison to Other Non-Invasive Parameters of Fibrosis Including ELF Test.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Hametner

    Full Text Available Clinically significant portal hypertension (CSPH, defined as hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG ≥10 mmHg, causes major complications. HVPG is not always available, so a non-invasive tool to diagnose CSPH would be useful. VWF-Ag can be used to diagnose. Using the VITRO score (the VWF-Ag/platelet ratio instead of VWF-Ag itself improves the diagnostic accuracy of detecting cirrhosis/ fibrosis in HCV patients.This study tested the diagnostic accuracy of VITRO score detecting CSPH compared to HVPG measurement.All patients underwent HVPG testing and were categorised as CSPH or no CSPH. The following patient data were determined: CPS, D'Amico stage, VITRO score, APRI and transient elastography (TE.The analysis included 236 patients; 170 (72% were male, and the median age was 57.9 (35.2-76.3; 95% CI. Disease aetiology included ALD (39.4%, HCV (23.4%, NASH (12.3%, other (8.1% and unknown (11.9%. The CPS showed 140 patients (59.3% with CPS A; 56 (23.7% with CPS B; and 18 (7.6% with CPS C. 136 patients (57.6% had compensated and 100 (42.4% had decompensated cirrhosis; 83.9% had HVPG ≥10 mmHg. The VWF-Ag and the VITRO score increased significantly with worsening HVPG categories (P<0.0001. ROC analysis was performed for the detection of CSPH and showed AUC values of 0.92 for TE, 0.86 for VITRO score, 0.79 for VWF-Ag, 0.68 for ELF and 0.62 for APRI.The VITRO score is an easy way to diagnose CSPH independently of CPS in routine clinical work and may improve the management of patients with cirrhosis.

  17. Improvement of prediction ability for genomic selection of dairy cattle by including dominance effects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuanyu Sun

    Full Text Available Dominance may be an important source of non-additive genetic variance for many traits of dairy cattle. However, nearly all prediction models for dairy cattle have included only additive effects because of the limited number of cows with both genotypes and phenotypes. The role of dominance in the Holstein and Jersey breeds was investigated for eight traits: milk, fat, and protein yields; productive life; daughter pregnancy rate; somatic cell score; fat percent and protein percent. Additive and dominance variance components were estimated and then used to estimate additive and dominance effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs. The predictive abilities of three models with both additive and dominance effects and a model with additive effects only were assessed using ten-fold cross-validation. One procedure estimated dominance values, and another estimated dominance deviations; calculation of the dominance relationship matrix was different for the two methods. The third approach enlarged the dataset by including cows with genotype probabilities derived using genotyped ancestors. For yield traits, dominance variance accounted for 5 and 7% of total variance for Holsteins and Jerseys, respectively; using dominance deviations resulted in smaller dominance and larger additive variance estimates. For non-yield traits, dominance variances were very small for both breeds. For yield traits, including additive and dominance effects fit the data better than including only additive effects; average correlations between estimated genetic effects and phenotypes showed that prediction accuracy increased when both effects rather than just additive effects were included. No corresponding gains in prediction ability were found for non-yield traits. Including cows with derived genotype probabilities from genotyped ancestors did not improve prediction accuracy. The largest additive effects were located on chromosome 14 near DGAT1 for yield traits for both

  18. The surgery of peripheral nerves (including tumors)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fugleholm, Kåre

    2013-01-01

    Surgical pathology of the peripheral nervous system includes traumatic injury, entrapment syndromes, and tumors. The recent significant advances in the understanding of the pathophysiology and cellular biology of peripheral nerve degeneration and regeneration has yet to be translated into improved...... surgical techniques and better outcome after peripheral nerve injury. Decision making in peripheral nerve surgery continues to be a complex challenge, where the mechanism of injury, repeated clinical evaluation, neuroradiological and neurophysiological examination, and detailed knowledge of the peripheral...... nervous system response to injury are prerequisite to obtain the best possible outcome. Surgery continues to be the primary treatment modality for peripheral nerve tumors and advances in adjuvant oncological treatment has improved outcome after malignant peripheral nerve tumors. The present chapter...

  19. Habituation of the cold shock response may include a significant perceptual component.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barwood, Martin J; Corbett, Jo; Wagstaff, Christopher R D

    2014-02-01

    Accidental immersion in cold water is a risk factor for many occupations. Habituation to cold-water immersion (CWI) is one practical means of reducing the cold shock response (CSR) on immersion. We investigated whether repeated thermoneutral water immersion (TWI) induced a perceptual habituation (i.e., could lessen perceived threat and anxiety) and consequently reduce the CSR on subsequent CWI. There were 12 subjects who completed seven 7-min head-out immersions. Immersions one and seven were CWls [15.0 (0.1) degrees C], and immersions two to six were TWI [34.9 (0.10) degrees C]. Anxiety 120-cm visual analogue scale) and the cardiorespiratory responses [heart rate (f(C)), respiratory frequency (f(R)), tidal volume (V(T)), and minute ventilation (V(E))] to immersion were measured throughout. Data were compared within subject between conditions using ANOVA to an alpha level of 0.05. Acute anxiety was significantly reduced after repeated exposure to the immersion scenario (i.e., TWI): CWI-1: 6.3 (4.4) cm; and CWI-2: 4.5 (4.0) cm [condition mean (SD)]. These differences did not influence the peak in the CSR. The f(C), f(R), and V(E) responses were similar between CWI-1 and CWI-2. V(T) response was significantly lower in CWI-2; mean (SD) across the immersion: CWI-1 1.27 (0.17) vs. CWI-2 1.11 0.21 L. Repeated TWI lessened the anxiety associated with CWI (perceptual habituation). This had a negligible effect on the primary components of the CSR, but did lower VT, which may reduce the volume of any aspirated water in an emergency situation. Reducing the threat appraisal of an environmental stressor may be a useful biproduct of survival training, thereby minimizing psychophysiological strain.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  1. Interventions to significantly improve service uptake and retention of HIV-positive pregnant women and HIV-exposed infants along the prevention of mother-to-child transmission continuum of care: systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrazo, Alexandra C; Firth, Jacqueline; Amzel, Anouk; Sedillo, Rebecca; Ryan, Julia; Phelps, B Ryan

    2018-02-01

    Despite the success of Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programmes, low uptake of services and poor retention pose a formidable challenge to achieving the elimination of vertical HIV transmission in low- and middle-income countries. This systematic review summarises interventions that demonstrate statistically significant improvements in service uptake and retention of HIV-positive pregnant and breastfeeding women and their infants along the PMTCT cascade. Databases were systematically searched for peer-reviewed studies. Outcomes of interest included uptake of services, such as antiretroviral therapy (ART) such as initiation, early infant diagnostic testing, and retention of HIV-positive pregnant and breastfeeding women and their infants. Interventions that led to statistically significant outcomes were included and mapped to the PMTCT cascade. An eight-item assessment tool assessed study rigour. CRD42017063816. Of 686 citations reviewed, 11 articles met inclusion criteria. Ten studies detailed maternal outcomes and seven studies detailed infant outcomes in PMTCT programmes. Interventions to increase access to antenatal care (ANC) and ART services (n = 4) and those using lay cadres (n = 3) were most common. Other interventions included quality improvement (n = 2), mHealth (n = 1), and counselling (n = 1). One study described interventions in an Option B+ programme. Limitations included lack of HIV testing and counselling and viral load monitoring outcomes, small sample size, geographical location, and non-randomized assignment and selection of participants. Interventions including ANC/ART integration, family-centred approaches, and the use of lay healthcare providers are demonstrably effective in increasing service uptake and retention of HIV-positive mothers and their infants in PMTCT programmes. Future studies should include control groups and assess whether interventions developed in the context of earlier 'Options' are

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-13

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

  3. A Case for Including Transactions in OpenMP

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wong, M; Bihari, B L; de Supinski, B R; Wu, P; Michael, M; Liu, Y; Chen, W

    2010-01-25

    Transactional Memory (TM) has received significant attention recently as a mechanism to reduce the complexity of shared memory programming. We explore the potential of TM to improve OpenMP applications. We combine a software TM (STM) system to support transactions with an OpenMP implementation to start thread teams and provide task and loop-level parallelization. We apply this system to two application scenarios that reflect realistic TM use cases. Our results with this system demonstrate that even with the relatively high overheads of STM, transactions can outperform OpenMP critical sections by 10%. Overall, our study demonstrates that extending OpenMP to include transactions would ease programming effort while allowing improved performance.

  4. An improved technique for breast cancer irradiation including the locoregional lymph nodes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hurkmans, C. W.; Saarnak, A. E.; Pieters, B. R.; Borger, J. H.; Bruinvis, I. A.

    2000-01-01

    PURPOSE: To find an irradiation technique for locoregional irradiation of breast cancer patients which, compared with a standard technique, improves the dose distribution to the internal mammary-medial supraclavicular (IM-MS) lymph nodes. The improved technique is intended to minimize the lung dose

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  6. The utility of including pathology reports in improving the computational identification of patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Chen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Celiac disease (CD is a common autoimmune disorder. Efficient identification of patients may improve chronic management of the disease. Prior studies have shown searching International Classification of Diseases-9 (ICD-9 codes alone is inaccurate for identifying patients with CD. In this study, we developed automated classification algorithms leveraging pathology reports and other clinical data in Electronic Health Records (EHRs to refine the subset population preselected using ICD-9 code (579.0. Materials and Methods: EHRs were searched for established ICD-9 code (579.0 suggesting CD, based on which an initial identification of cases was obtained. In addition, laboratory results for tissue transglutaminse were extracted. Using natural language processing we analyzed pathology reports from upper endoscopy. Twelve machine learning classifiers using different combinations of variables related to ICD-9 CD status, laboratory result status, and pathology reports were experimented to find the best possible CD classifier. Ten-fold cross-validation was used to assess the results. Results: A total of 1498 patient records were used including 363 confirmed cases and 1135 false positive cases that served as controls. Logistic model based on both clinical and pathology report features produced the best results: Kappa of 0.78, F1 of 0.92, and area under the curve (AUC of 0.94, whereas in contrast using ICD-9 only generated poor results: Kappa of 0.28, F1 of 0.75, and AUC of 0.63. Conclusion: Our automated classification system presented an efficient and reliable way to improve the performance of CD patient identification.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  11. Addition of 2-(ethylamino)acetonitrile group to nitroxoline results in significantly improved anti-tumor activity in vitro and in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrović, Ana; Sosič, Izidor; Kos, Špela; Tratar, Urša Lampreht; Breznik, Barbara; Kranjc, Simona; Mirković, Bojana; Gobec, Stanislav; Lah, Tamara; Serša, Gregor; Kos, Janko

    2017-08-29

    Lysosomal cysteine peptidase cathepsin B, involved in multiple processes associated with tumor progression, is validated as a target for anti-cancer therapy. Nitroxoline, a known antimicrobial agent, is a potent and selective inhibitor of cathepsin B, hence reducing tumor progression in vitro and in vivo . In order to further improve its anti-cancer properties we developed a number of derivatives using structure-based chemical synthesis. Of these, the 7-aminomethylated derivative (compound 17 ) exhibited significantly improved kinetic properties over nitroxoline, inhibiting cathepsin B endopeptidase activity selectively. In the present study, we have evaluated its anti-cancer properties. It was more effective than nitroxoline in reducing tumor cell invasion and migration, as determined in vitro on two-dimensional cell models and tumor spheroids, under either endpoint or real time conditions. Moreover, it exhibited improved action over nitroxoline in impairing tumor growth in vivo in LPB mouse fibrosarcoma tumors in C57Bl/6 mice. Taken together, the addition of a 2-(ethylamino)acetonitrile group to nitroxoline at position 7 significantly improves its pharmacological characteristics and its potential for use as an anti-cancer drug.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. Improving Earth/Prediction Models to Improve Network Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, G. S.

    2017-12-01

    The United States Atomic Energy Detection System (USAEDS) primaryseismic network consists of a relatively small number of arrays andthree-component stations. The relatively small number of stationsin the USAEDS primary network make it both necessary and feasibleto optimize both station and network processing.Station processing improvements include detector tuning effortsthat use Receiver Operator Characteristic (ROC) curves to helpjudiciously set acceptable Type 1 (false) vs. Type 2 (miss) errorrates. Other station processing improvements include the use ofempirical/historical observations and continuous background noisemeasurements to compute time-varying, maximum likelihood probabilityof detection thresholds.The USAEDS network processing software makes extensive use of theazimuth and slowness information provided by frequency-wavenumberanalysis at array sites, and polarization analysis at three-componentsites. Most of the improvements in USAEDS network processing aredue to improvements in the models used to predict azimuth, slowness,and probability of detection. Kriged travel-time, azimuth andslowness corrections-and associated uncertainties-are computedusing a ground truth database. Improvements in station processingand the use of improved models for azimuth, slowness, and probabilityof detection have led to significant improvements in USADES networkprocessing.

  14. Adult-onset photosensitivity: clinical significance and epilepsy syndromes including idiopathic (possibly genetic) photosensitive occipital epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koutroumanidis, Michalis; Tsirka, Vasiliki; Panayiotopoulos, Chrysostomos

    2015-09-01

    To evaluate the clinical associations of adult-onset photosensitivity, we studied the clinical and EEG data of patients who were referred due to a possible first seizure and who had a photoparoxysmal response on their EEG. Patients with clinical evidence of photosensitivity before the age of 20 were excluded. Of a total of 30 patients, four had acute symptomatic seizures, two had vasovagal syncope, and 24 were diagnosed with epilepsy. Nine of the 24 patients had idiopathic (genetic) generalized epilepsies and predominantly generalized photoparoxysmal response, but also rare photically-induced seizures, while 15 had exclusively, or almost exclusively, reflex photically-induced occipital seizures with frequent secondary generalization and posterior photoparoxysmal response. Other important differences included a significantly older age at seizure onset and paucity of spontaneous interictal epileptic discharges in patients with photically-induced occipital seizures; only a quarter of these had occasional occipital spikes, in contrast to the idiopathic (genetic) generalized epilepsy patients with typically generalized epileptic discharges. On the other hand, both groups shared a positive family history of epilepsy, common seizure threshold modulators (such as tiredness and sleep deprivation), normal neurological examination and MRI, a generally benign course, and good response to valproic acid. We demonstrated that photosensitivity can first occur in adult life and manifest, either as idiopathic (possibly genetic) photosensitive occipital epilepsy with secondary generalization or as an EEG, and less often, a clinical/EEG feature of idiopathic (genetic) generalized epilepsies. Identification of idiopathic photosensitive occipital epilepsy fills a diagnostic gap in adult first-seizure epileptology and is clinically important because of its good response to antiepileptic drug treatment and fair prognosis.

  15. Creating Significant Learning Experiences across Disciplines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Laura E.; Fallahi, Carolyn R.; Nicoll-Senft, Joan M.; Tessier, Jack T.; Watson, Cheryl L.; Wood, Rebecca M.

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to use Fink's (2003) taxonomy of significant learning to redesign courses and assess student learning. Significant improvements were found across the semester for students in the six courses, but there were differences in which taxa showed improvement in each course. The meta-analysis showed significant, positive…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-30

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

  18. A facile template method to synthesize significantly improved LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 using corn stalk as a bio-template

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Guiyang; Kong, Xin; Sun, Hongyan; Wang, Baosen; Yi, Zhongzhou; Wang, Quanbiao

    2014-01-01

    In order to simplify the template method for the synthesis of cathode materials for lithium ion batteries, a facile template method using plant stalks as bio-templates has been introduced. Based on this method, LiNi 0.5 Mn 1.5 O 4 spinel with a significantly improved electrochemical performance has been synthesized using corn stalk as a template. X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared pectroscopy (FTIR) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) have been used to investigate the phase composition and micro-morphologies of the products. Charge-discharge measurements in lithium cells, cyclic voltammetry (CV) and Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) have been used to study the electrochemical performance of the products. The results indicate that the templated product exhibits higher crystallinity than that of non-templated product. Both of the templated product and the non-templated product are combination of the ordered space group P4 3 32 and the disordered Fd-3 m. The specific BET surface area of the templated product is about twice larger than that of the non-templated product. Moreover, the electrochemical performances of the templated product including specific capacity, cycling stability and rate capability are significantly improved as compared with the non-templated product, due to its higher crystallinity, larger Li + diffusion coefficient and lower charge transfer resistance

  19. Intensive lifestyle intervention including high-intensity interval training program improves insulin resistance and fasting plasma glucose in obese patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillaume Marquis-Gravel

    2015-01-01

    Conclusion: Following a 9-month intensive lifestyle intervention combining HIIT and MedD counseling, obese subjects experienced significant improvements of FPG and insulin resistance. This is the first study to expose the effects of a long-term program combining HIIT and MedD on glycemic control parameters among obese subjects.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heck, Andre

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Five-year results from a prospective multicentre study of percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation demonstrate sustained removal of significant pulmonary regurgitation, improved right ventricular outflow tract obstruction and improved quality of life

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hager, Alfred; Schubert, Stephan; Ewert, Peter

    2017-01-01

    . The EQ-5D quality of life utility index and visual analogue scale scores were both significantly improved six months post PPVI and remained so at five years. CONCLUSIONS: Five-year results following PPVI demonstrate resolved moderate or severe pulmonary regurgitation, improved right ventricular outflow...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Enhancing the efficacy of treatment for temporomandibular patients with muscular diagnosis through cognitive-behavioral intervention, including hypnosis: a randomized study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrando, Maite; Galdón, María José; Durá, Estrella; Andreu, Yolanda; Jiménez, Yolanda; Poveda, Rafael

    2012-01-01

    This study evaluated the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), including hypnosis, in patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) with muscular diagnosis. Seventy-two patients (65 women and 7 men with an average age of 39 years) were selected according to the Research Diagnostic Criteria for TMD, and assigned to the experimental group (n = 41), receiving the 6-session CBT program, and the control group (n = 31). All patients received conservative standard treatment for TMD. The assessment included pain variables and psychologic distress. There were significant differences between the groups, the experimental group showing a higher improvement in the variables evaluated. Specifically, 90% of the patients under CBT reported a significant reduction in frequency of pain and 70% in emotional distress. The improvement was stable over time, with no significant differences between posttreatment and 9-month follow-up. CBT, including hypnosis, significantly improved conservative standard treatment outcome in TMD patients. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Kuang-Hui

    2018-02-23

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

  6. Clinicopathological and Prognostic Significance of Cancer Antigen 15-3 and Carcinoembryonic Antigen in Breast Cancer: A Meta-Analysis including 12,993 Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuan Li

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. The prognostic role of serum cancer antigen 15-3 (CA15-3 and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA in breast cancer remains controversial. In this study, we conducted a meta-analysis to investigate the prognostic value of these two markers in breast cancer patients. Methods. After electronic databases were searched, 36 studies (31 including information regarding CA15-3 and 23 including information regarding CEA with 12,993 subjects were included. Based on the data directly or indirectly from the available studies, the hazard ratios (HRs and odds ratios (ORs and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs were pooled according to higher or lower marker levels. Results. Elevated CA15-3 or CEA was statistically significant with poorer DFS and OS in breast cancer (multivariate analysis of OS: HR = 2.03, 95% CI 1.76–2.33 for CA15-3; HR = 1.79, 95% CI 1.46–2.20 for CEA; multivariate analysis of DFS: HR = 1.56, 95% CI 1.06–1.55 for CA15-3; HR = 1.77, 95% CI 1.53–2.04 for CEA. Subgroup analysis showed that CA15-3 or CEA had significant predictive values in primary or metastasis types and different cut-offs and included sample sizes and even the study publication year. Furthermore, elevated CA15-3 was associated with advanced histological grade and younger age, while elevated CEA was related to the non-triple-negative tumor type and older age. These two elevated markers were all associated with a higher tumor burden. Conclusions. This meta-analysis showed that elevated serum CA15-3 or CEA was associated with poor DFS and OS in patients with breast cancer, and they should be tested anytime if possible.

  7. Improvement in genetic evaluation of female fertility in dairy cattle using multiple-trait models including milk production traits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sun, C; Madsen, P; Lund, M S

    2010-01-01

    This study investigated the improvement in genetic evaluation of fertility traits by using production traits as secondary traits (MILK = 305-d milk yield, FAT = 305-d fat yield, and PROT = 305-d protein yield). Data including 471,742 records from first lactations of Denmark Holstein cows, covering...... the years of inseminations during first lactations from 1995 to 2004, were analyzed. Six fertility traits (i.e., interval in days from calving to first insemination, calving interval, days open, interval in days from first to last insemination, numbers of inseminations per conception, and nonreturn rate...... stability and predictive ability than single-trait models for all the fertility traits, except for nonreturn rate within 56 d after first service. The stability and predictive ability for the model including MILK or PROT were similar to the model including all 3 milk production traits and better than...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  12. Improvement of Scratch and Wear Resistance of Polymers by Fillers Including Nanofillers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Witold Brostow

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Polymers have lower resistance to scratching and wear than metals. Liquid lubricants work well for metals but not for polymers nor for polymer-based composites (PBCs. We review approaches for improvement of tribological properties of polymers based on inclusion of fillers. The fillers can be metallic or ceramic—with obvious consequences for electrical resistivity of the composites. Distinctions between effectiveness of micro- versus nano-particles are analyzed. For example, aluminum nanoparticles as filler are more effective for property improvement than microparticles at the same overall volumetric concentration. Prevention of local agglomeration of filler particles is discussed along with a technique to verify the prevention.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Improving the accuracy of self-assessment of practical clinical skills using video feedback--the importance of including benchmarks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, S C; Osborne, A; Schofield, S J; Pournaras, D J; Chester, J F

    2012-01-01

    Isolated video recording has not been demonstrated to improve self-assessment accuracy. This study examines if the inclusion of a defined standard benchmark performance in association with video feedback of a student's own performance improves the accuracy of student self-assessment of clinical skills. Final year medical students were video recorded performing a standardised suturing task in a simulated environment. After the exercise, the students self-assessed their performance using global rating scales (GRSs). An identical self-assessment process was repeated following video review of their performance. Students were then shown a video-recorded 'benchmark performance', which was specifically developed for the study. This demonstrated the competency levels required to score full marks (30 points). A further self-assessment task was then completed. Students' scores were correlated against expert assessor scores. A total of 31 final year medical students participated. Student self-assessment scores before video feedback demonstrated moderate positive correlation with expert assessor scores (r = 0.48, p benchmark performance demonstration, self-assessment scores demonstrated a very strong positive correlation with expert scores (r = 0.83, p benchmark performance in combination with video feedback may significantly improve the accuracy of students' self-assessments.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Assigning Significance in Label-Free Quantitative Proteomics to Include Single-Peptide-Hit Proteins with Low Replicates

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Qingbo

    2010-01-01

    When sample replicates are limited in a label-free proteomics experiment, selecting differentially regulated proteins with an assignment of statistical significance remains difficult for proteins with a single-peptide hit or a small fold-change. This paper aims to address this issue. An important component of the approach employed here is to utilize the rule of Minimum number of Permuted Significant Pairings (MPSP) to reduce false positives. The MPSP rule generates permuted sample pairings fr...

  17. Improved flare tip design

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gogolek, P. [Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada). CANMET Energy Technology Centre

    2004-07-01

    This paper discusses the testing procedures and development of an improved flare tip design. Design objectives included performance equal to or better than utility flares at low wind speed; conversion efficiency; fuel slip; smoking; significant improvement at high wind speed; and no increase in trace emissions. A description of the testing facility of the flare tip was provided, with reference to the fact that the facility allowed for realistic near full scale gas flares in a single-pass flare test facility. Other details of the facility included: an adjustable ceiling; high capacity variable speed fan; sampling ports along working section in stack; windows along working section; and air cooled walls, floor, and ceiling. The fuels used in the flare tip included natural gas, propane, gasoline and inert gases. Details of wind speed, appurtenances and turbulence generating grids were presented, with reference to continuous gas emission measurements. A list of design constraints was provided. Flare performance included wind speed, turbulence and fuel composition. A chart of conversion inefficiencies with a correlation of wind speed and turbulence, fuel flow and pipe size was also presented. Several new tip designs were fabricated for testing, with screening tests for comparison to basic pipe and ranking designs. Significant improvements were found in one of the new designs, including results with 30 per cent propane in fuel. Emissions reduction from 10 to 35 per cent were noted. It was concluded that future work should focus on evaluating improved tip for stability at low wind speeds. Fuel slips are the primary source of emissions, and it was recommended that further research is necessary to improve existing flare tips. tabs, figs.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-07-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. The significance of Campylobacter jejuni infection in poultry: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shane, S M

    1992-01-01

    Campylobacter is a significant cause of enterocolitis in consumers of undercooked poultry meat. Campylobacter jejuni is the most significant of the three thermophilic Campylobacter species, and is responsible for intestinal colonization in poultry and food-borne enteritis in humans. Generally, C. jejuni is apathogenic in poultry, although newly hatched chicks and turkeys may develop a transient diarrhoea following infection. Modern intensive poultry production favours the introduction of infection into commercial growing units, resulting in intestinal colonization during the second to fourth weeks inclusive. Routes of infection include contaminated fomites, infected water supply, rodents, insects, and free-living birds. Vertical transmission is considered unlikely. Contamination of poultry meat is enhanced by deficiencies in transport and processing of broilers and turkeys. Scalding, defeathering and evisceration represent the significant points of cross-contamination during processing. Epidemiological correlation has been established between consumption of contaminated chicken and outbreaks of human campylobacteriosis. Amelioration of infection by application of improved standards of hygiene and decontamination is possible in the context of commercial poultry production. Improvement in washing of carcasses, and the application of chemical disinfectants and gamma irradiation have the potential to reduce the prevalence of C. jejuni contamination in poultry meat. These innovations, together with improved storage and handling of meat products, will reduce the risk of campylobacteriosis to consumers.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-01-05

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-05-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin Garry

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  6. Impact of a pain protocol including hypnosis in major burns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Mette M; Davadant, Maryse; Marin, Christian; Wasserfallen, Jean-Blaise; Pinget, Christophe; Maravic, Philippe; Koch, Nathalie; Raffoul, Wassim; Chiolero, René L

    2010-08-01

    Pain is a major issue after burns even when large doses of opioids are prescribed. The study focused on the impact of a pain protocol using hypnosis on pain intensity, anxiety, clinical course, and costs. All patients admitted to the ICU, aged >18 years, with an ICU stay >24h, accepting to try hypnosis, and treated according to standardized pain protocol were included. Pain was scaled on the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) (mean of daily multiple recordings), and basal and procedural opioid doses were recorded. Clinical outcome and economical data were retrieved from hospital charts and information system, respectively. Treated patients were matched with controls for sex, age, and the burned surface area. Forty patients were admitted from 2006 to 2007: 17 met exclusion criteria, leaving 23 patients, who were matched with 23 historical controls. Altogether patients were 36+/-14 years old and burned 27+/-15%BSA. The first hypnosis session was performed after a median of 9 days. The protocol resulted in the early delivery of higher opioid doses/24h (ppatient. A pain protocol including hypnosis reduced pain intensity, improved opioid efficiency, reduced anxiety, improved wound outcome while reducing costs. The protocol guided use of opioids improved patient care without side effects, while hypnosis had significant psychological benefits.

  7. BROMOCEA Code: An Improved Grand Canonical Monte Carlo/Brownian Dynamics Algorithm Including Explicit Atoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solano, Carlos J F; Pothula, Karunakar R; Prajapati, Jigneshkumar D; De Biase, Pablo M; Noskov, Sergei Yu; Kleinekathöfer, Ulrich

    2016-05-10

    All-atom molecular dynamics simulations have a long history of applications studying ion and substrate permeation across biological and artificial pores. While offering unprecedented insights into the underpinning transport processes, MD simulations are limited in time-scales and ability to simulate physiological membrane potentials or asymmetric salt solutions and require substantial computational power. While several approaches to circumvent all of these limitations were developed, Brownian dynamics simulations remain an attractive option to the field. The main limitation, however, is an apparent lack of protein flexibility important for the accurate description of permeation events. In the present contribution, we report an extension of the Brownian dynamics scheme which includes conformational dynamics. To achieve this goal, the dynamics of amino-acid residues was incorporated into the many-body potential of mean force and into the Langevin equations of motion. The developed software solution, called BROMOCEA, was applied to ion transport through OmpC as a test case. Compared to fully atomistic simulations, the results show a clear improvement in the ratio of permeating anions and cations. The present tests strongly indicate that pore flexibility can enhance permeation properties which will become even more important in future applications to substrate translocation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Modeling of Temperature-Dependent Noise in Silicon Nanowire FETs including Self-Heating Effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Anandan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Silicon nanowires are leading the CMOS era towards the downsizing limit and its nature will be effectively suppress the short channel effects. Accurate modeling of thermal noise in nanowires is crucial for RF applications of nano-CMOS emerging technologies. In this work, a perfect temperature-dependent model for silicon nanowires including the self-heating effects has been derived and its effects on device parameters have been observed. The power spectral density as a function of thermal resistance shows significant improvement as the channel length decreases. The effects of thermal noise including self-heating of the device are explored. Moreover, significant reduction in noise with respect to channel thermal resistance, gate length, and biasing is analyzed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian-Rong Wang

    2015-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-12-15

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

  13. Transplantation of N-Acetyl Aspartyl-Glutamate Synthetase-Activated Neural Stem Cells after Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury Significantly Improves Neurological Recovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingfeng Li

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Neural stem cells (NSCs hold considerable potential as a therapeutic tool for repair of the damaged nervous system. In the current study, we examined whether transplanted N-acetyl aspartyl-glutamate synthetase (NAAGS-activated NSCs (NAAGS/NSCs further improve neurological recovery following traumatic brain injury (TBI in Sprague-Dawley rats. Methods: Animals received TBI and stereotactic injection of NSCs, NAAGS/NSCs or phosphate buffered saline without cells (control into the injured cortex. NAAGS protein expression was detected through western blot analysis. Dialysate NAAG levels were analyzed with radioimmunoassay. Cell apoptosis was detected via TUNEL staining. The expression levels of specific pro-inflammatory cytokines were detected with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Groups with transplanted NSCs and NAAGS/NSCs displayed significant recovery of the motor behavior, compared to the control group. At 14 and 21 days post-transplantation, the motor behavior in NAAGS/NSC group was significantly improved than that in NSC group (pConclusion: Our results collectively demonstrate that NAAGS/NSCs provide a more powerful autoplastic therapy for the injured nervous system.

  14. Factoring local sequence composition in motif significance analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Patrick; Keich, Uri

    2008-01-01

    We recently introduced a biologically realistic and reliable significance analysis of the output of a popular class of motif finders. In this paper we further improve our significance analysis by incorporating local base composition information. Relying on realistic biological data simulation, as well as on FDR analysis applied to real data, we show that our method is significantly better than the increasingly popular practice of using the normal approximation to estimate the significance of a finder's output. Finally we turn to leveraging our reliable significance analysis to improve the actual motif finding task. Specifically, endowing a variant of the Gibbs Sampler with our improved significance analysis we demonstrate that de novo finders can perform better than has been perceived. Significantly, our new variant outperforms all the finders reviewed in a recently published comprehensive analysis of the Harbison genome-wide binding location data. Interestingly, many of these finders incorporate additional information such as nucleosome positioning and the significance of binding data.

  15. Power extraction calculation improvement when local parameters are included

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores-Mateos, L. M.; Hartnett, M.

    2016-02-01

    The improvement of the tidal resource assessment will be studied by comparing two approaches in a two-dimensional, finite difference, hydrodynamic model DIVAST-ADI; in a channel of non-varying cross-sectional area that connects two large basins. The first strategy, considers a constant trust coefficient; the second one, use the local field parameters around the turbine. These parameters are obtained after applying the open channel theory in the tidal stream and after considering the turbine as a linear momentum actuator disk. The parameters correspond to the upstream and downstream, with respect to the turbine, speeds and depths; also the blockage ratio, the wake velocity and the bypass coefficients and they have already been incorporated in the model. The figure (a) shows the numerical configuration at high tide developed with DIVAST-ADI. The experiment undertakes two open boundary conditions. The first one is a sinusoidal forcing introduced as a water level located at (I, J=1) and the second one, indicate that a zero velocity and a constant water depth were kept (I, J=362); when the turbine is introduced it is placed in the middle of the channel (I=161, J=181). The influence of the turbine in the velocity and elevation around the turbine region is evident; figure (b) and (c) shows that the turbine produces a discontinuity in the depth and velocity profile, when we plot a transect along the channel. Finally, the configuration implemented reproduced with satisfactory accuracy the quasi-steady flow condition, even without presenting shock-capturing capability. Also, the range of the parameters 0.01<α 4<0.55, $0

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-09-15

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

  17. An improved coupled-states approximation including the nearest neighbor Coriolis couplings for diatom-diatom inelastic collision

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Dongzheng; Hu, Xixi; Zhang, Dong H.; Xie, Daiqian

    2018-02-01

    Solving the time-independent close coupling equations of a diatom-diatom inelastic collision system by using the rigorous close-coupling approach is numerically difficult because of its expensive matrix manipulation. The coupled-states approximation decouples the centrifugal matrix by neglecting the important Coriolis couplings completely. In this work, a new approximation method based on the coupled-states approximation is presented and applied to time-independent quantum dynamic calculations. This approach only considers the most important Coriolis coupling with the nearest neighbors and ignores weaker Coriolis couplings with farther K channels. As a result, it reduces the computational costs without a significant loss of accuracy. Numerical tests for para-H2+ortho-H2 and para-H2+HD inelastic collision were carried out and the results showed that the improved method dramatically reduces the errors due to the neglect of the Coriolis couplings in the coupled-states approximation. This strategy should be useful in quantum dynamics of other systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  1. Low Dose Vaporized Cannabis Significantly Improves Neuropathic Pain

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Improved Riccati Transfer Matrix Method for Free Vibration of Non-Cylindrical Helical Springs Including Warping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.M. Yu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Free vibration equations for non-cylindrical (conical, barrel, and hyperboloidal types helical springs with noncircular cross-sections, which consist of 14 first-order ordinary differential equations with variable coefficients, are theoretically derived using spatially curved beam theory. In the formulation, the warping effect upon natural frequencies and vibrating mode shapes is first studied in addition to including the rotary inertia, the shear and axial deformation influences. The natural frequencies of the springs are determined by the use of improved Riccati transfer matrix method. The element transfer matrix used in the solution is calculated using the Scaling and Squaring method and Pad'e approximations. Three examples are presented for three types of springs with different cross-sectional shapes under clamped-clamped boundary condition. The accuracy of the proposed method has been compared with the FEM results using three-dimensional solid elements (Solid 45 in ANSYS code. Numerical results reveal that the warping effect is more pronounced in the case of non-cylindrical helical springs than that of cylindrical helical springs, which should be taken into consideration in the free vibration analysis of such springs.

  3. The surgical care improvement project and prevention of post-operative infection, including surgical site infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberger, Laura H; Politano, Amani D; Sawyer, Robert G

    2011-06-01

    In response to inconsistent compliance with infection prevention measures, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services collaborated with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the Surgical Infection Prevention (SIP) project, introduced in 2002. Quality improvement measures were developed to standardize processes to increase compliance. In 2006, the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) developed out of the SIP project and its process measures. These initiatives, published in the Specifications Manual for National Inpatient Quality Measures, outline process and outcome measures. This continually evolving manual is intended to provide standard quality measures to unify documentation and track standards of care. Seven of the SCIP initiatives apply to the peri-operative period: Prophylactic antibiotics should be received within 1 h prior to surgical incision (1), be selected for activity against the most probable antimicrobial contaminants (2), and be discontinued within 24 h after the surgery end-time (3); (4) euglycemia should be maintained, with well-controlled morning blood glucose concentrations on the first two post-operative days, especially in cardiac surgery patients; (6) hair at the surgical site should be removed with clippers or by depilatory methods, not with a blade; (9) urinary catheters are to be removed within the first two post-operative days; and (10) normothermia should be maintained peri-operatively. There is strong evidence that implementation of protocols that standardize practices reduce the risk of surgical infection. The SCIP initiative targets complications that account for a significant portion of preventable morbidity as well as cost. One of the goals of the SCIP guidelines was a 25% reduction in the incidence of surgical site infections from implementation through 2010. Process measures are becoming routine, and as we practice more evidence-based medicine, it falls to us, the surgeons and scientists, to be active

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Song; Chen, Xiao Dong

    2013-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  10. Improvements in scaling of counter-current imbibition recovery curves using a shape factor including permeability anisotropy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbasi, Jassem; Sarafrazi, Shiva; Riazi, Masoud; Ghaedi, Mojtaba

    2018-02-01

    Spontaneous imbibition is the main oil production mechanism in the water invaded zone of a naturally fractured reservoir (NFR). Different scaling equations have been presented in the literature for upscaling of core scale imbibition recovery curves to field scale matrix blocks. Various scale dependent parameters such as gravity effects and boundary influences are required to be considered in the upscaling process. Fluid flow from matrix blocks to the fracture system is highly dependent on the permeability value in the horizontal and vertical directions. The purpose of this study is to include permeability anisotropy in the available scaling equations to improve the prediction of imbibition assisted oil production in NFRs. In this paper, a commercial reservoir simulator was used to obtain imbibition recovery curves for different scenarios. Then, the effect of permeability anisotropy on imbibition recovery curves was investigated, and the weakness of the existing scaling equations for anisotropic rocks was demonstrated. Consequently, an analytical shape factor was introduced that can better scale all the curves related to anisotropic matrix blocks.

  11. Kinking and Torsion Can Significantly Improve the Efficiency of Valveless Pumping in Periodically Compressed Tubular Conduits. Implications for Understanding of the Form-Function Relationship of Embryonic Heart Tubes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Hiermeier

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Valveless pumping phenomena (peristalsis, Liebau-effect can generate unidirectional fluid flow in periodically compressed tubular conduits. Early embryonic hearts are tubular conduits acting as valveless pumps. It is unclear whether such hearts work as peristaltic or Liebau-effect pumps. During the initial phase of its pumping activity, the originally straight embryonic heart is subjected to deforming forces that produce bending, twisting, kinking, and coiling. This deformation process is called cardiac looping. Its function is traditionally seen as generating a configuration needed for establishment of correct alignments of pulmonary and systemic flow pathways in the mature heart of lung-breathing vertebrates. This idea conflicts with the fact that cardiac looping occurs in all vertebrates, including gill-breathing fishes. We speculate that looping morphogenesis may improve the efficiency of valveless pumping. To test the physical plausibility of this hypothesis, we analyzed the pumping performance of a Liebau-effect pump in straight and looped (kinked configurations. Compared to the straight configuration, the looped configuration significantly improved the pumping performance of our pump. This shows that looping can improve the efficiency of valveless pumping driven by the Liebau-effect. Further studies are needed to clarify whether this finding may have implications for understanding of the form-function relationship of embryonic hearts.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Improving patient safety culture in Saudi Arabia (2012-2015): trending, improvement and benchmarking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alswat, Khalid; Abdalla, Rawia Ahmad Mustafa; Titi, Maher Abdelraheim; Bakash, Maram; Mehmood, Faiza; Zubairi, Beena; Jamal, Diana; El-Jardali, Fadi

    2017-08-02

    Measuring patient safety culture can provide insight into areas for improvement and help monitor changes over time. This study details the findings of a re-assessment of patient safety culture in a multi-site Medical City in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Results were compared to an earlier assessment conducted in 2012 and benchmarked with regional and international studies. Such assessments can provide hospital leadership with insight on how their hospital is performing on patient safety culture composites as a result of quality improvement plans. This paper also explored the association between patient safety culture predictors and patient safety grade, perception of patient safety, frequency of events reported and number of events reported. We utilized a customized version of the patient safety culture survey developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The Medical City is a tertiary care teaching facility composed of two sites (total capacity of 904 beds). Data was analyzed using SPSS 24 at a significance level of 0.05. A t-Test was used to compare results from the 2012 survey to that conducted in 2015. Two adopted Generalized Estimating Equations in addition to two linear models were used to assess the association between composites and patient safety culture outcomes. Results were also benchmarked against similar initiatives in Lebanon, Palestine and USA. Areas of strength in 2015 included Teamwork within units, and Organizational Learning-Continuous Improvement; areas requiring improvement included Non-Punitive Response to Error, and Staffing. Comparing results to the 2012 survey revealed improvement on some areas but non-punitive response to error and Staffing remained the lowest scoring composites in 2015. Regression highlighted significant association between managerial support, organizational learning and feedback and improved survey outcomes. Comparison to international benchmarks revealed that the hospital is performing at or

  14. Applying the model of Goal-Directed Behavior, including descriptive norms, to physical activity intentions: A contribution to improving the Theory of Planned Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    The theory of planned behavior (TPB) has received its fair share of criticism lately, including calls for it to retire. We contributed to improving the theory by testing extensions such as the model of goal-directed behavior (MGDB, which adds desire and anticipated positive and negative emotions) ap...

  15. Improvement of basic food crops in Africa through plant breeding, including the use of induced mutations. Proceedings of a final research co-ordination meeting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-07-01

    The Co-ordinated Research Programme (CRP) on Improvement of Basic Food Crops in Africa Through Plant Breeding, Including the Use of Induced Mutations, funded by the Italian Government, was initiated in 1989 in the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture. The primary objective of this CRP was to breed improved varieties of stable food crops of Africa with the main emphasis on the indigenous species and their local cultivars. The fourth and final Research Co-ordination meeting under the CRP was held in Naples, Italy from 30 October - 3 November 1995. This publication includes the reports, conclusions and recommendations made by the participants. We hope that it will be of value to researchers, students and policy makers alike in their endeavour to promote plant breeding and increase food productions in Africa. Refs, figs, tabs.

  16. Improvement of basic food crops in Africa through plant breeding, including the use of induced mutations. Proceedings of a final research co-ordination meeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-07-01

    The Co-ordinated Research Programme (CRP) on Improvement of Basic Food Crops in Africa Through Plant Breeding, Including the Use of Induced Mutations, funded by the Italian Government, was initiated in 1989 in the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture. The primary objective of this CRP was to breed improved varieties of stable food crops of Africa with the main emphasis on the indigenous species and their local cultivars. The fourth and final Research Co-ordination meeting under the CRP was held in Naples, Italy from 30 October - 3 November 1995. This publication includes the reports, conclusions and recommendations made by the participants. We hope that it will be of value to researchers, students and policy makers alike in their endeavour to promote plant breeding and increase food productions in Africa. Refs, figs, tabs

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  18. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved: Quarterly progress report, July--September 1988

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-12-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (July--September 1988) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  19. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved: Quarterly progress report, October--December 1988

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-02-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (October--December 1988) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  20. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved: Quarterly progress report, April-June 1987

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-08-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (April-June 1987) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  1. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved: Quarterly progress report, April--June 1988

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-08-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (April--June 1988) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  2. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved: Quarterly progress report, July-September 1987

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-12-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (July-September 1987) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  3. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved: Quarterly progress report, January-March 1988

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-06-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (January-March 1988) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  4. The Benefits of Including Clinical Factors in Rectal Normal Tissue Complication Probability Modeling After Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Defraene, Gilles; Van den Bergh, Laura; Al-Mamgani, Abrahim; Haustermans, Karin; Heemsbergen, Wilma; Van den Heuvel, Frank; Lebesque, Joos V.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To study the impact of clinical predisposing factors on rectal normal tissue complication probability modeling using the updated results of the Dutch prostate dose-escalation trial. Methods and Materials: Toxicity data of 512 patients (conformally treated to 68 Gy [n = 284] and 78 Gy [n = 228]) with complete follow-up at 3 years after radiotherapy were studied. Scored end points were rectal bleeding, high stool frequency, and fecal incontinence. Two traditional dose-based models (Lyman-Kutcher-Burman (LKB) and Relative Seriality (RS) and a logistic model were fitted using a maximum likelihood approach. Furthermore, these model fits were improved by including the most significant clinical factors. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was used to compare the discriminating ability of all fits. Results: Including clinical factors significantly increased the predictive power of the models for all end points. In the optimal LKB, RS, and logistic models for rectal bleeding and fecal incontinence, the first significant (p = 0.011–0.013) clinical factor was “previous abdominal surgery.” As second significant (p = 0.012–0.016) factor, “cardiac history” was included in all three rectal bleeding fits, whereas including “diabetes” was significant (p = 0.039–0.048) in fecal incontinence modeling but only in the LKB and logistic models. High stool frequency fits only benefitted significantly (p = 0.003–0.006) from the inclusion of the baseline toxicity score. For all models rectal bleeding fits had the highest AUC (0.77) where it was 0.63 and 0.68 for high stool frequency and fecal incontinence, respectively. LKB and logistic model fits resulted in similar values for the volume parameter. The steepness parameter was somewhat higher in the logistic model, also resulting in a slightly lower D 50 . Anal wall DVHs were used for fecal incontinence, whereas anorectal wall dose best described the other two endpoints. Conclusions

  5. The Benefits of Including Clinical Factors in Rectal Normal Tissue Complication Probability Modeling After Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Defraene, Gilles, E-mail: gilles.defraene@uzleuven.be [Radiation Oncology Department, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven (Belgium); Van den Bergh, Laura [Radiation Oncology Department, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven (Belgium); Al-Mamgani, Abrahim [Department of Radiation Oncology, Erasmus Medical Center - Daniel den Hoed Cancer Center, Rotterdam (Netherlands); Haustermans, Karin [Radiation Oncology Department, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven (Belgium); Heemsbergen, Wilma [Netherlands Cancer Institute - Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Van den Heuvel, Frank [Radiation Oncology Department, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven (Belgium); Lebesque, Joos V. [Netherlands Cancer Institute - Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Amsterdam (Netherlands)

    2012-03-01

    Purpose: To study the impact of clinical predisposing factors on rectal normal tissue complication probability modeling using the updated results of the Dutch prostate dose-escalation trial. Methods and Materials: Toxicity data of 512 patients (conformally treated to 68 Gy [n = 284] and 78 Gy [n = 228]) with complete follow-up at 3 years after radiotherapy were studied. Scored end points were rectal bleeding, high stool frequency, and fecal incontinence. Two traditional dose-based models (Lyman-Kutcher-Burman (LKB) and Relative Seriality (RS) and a logistic model were fitted using a maximum likelihood approach. Furthermore, these model fits were improved by including the most significant clinical factors. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was used to compare the discriminating ability of all fits. Results: Including clinical factors significantly increased the predictive power of the models for all end points. In the optimal LKB, RS, and logistic models for rectal bleeding and fecal incontinence, the first significant (p = 0.011-0.013) clinical factor was 'previous abdominal surgery.' As second significant (p = 0.012-0.016) factor, 'cardiac history' was included in all three rectal bleeding fits, whereas including 'diabetes' was significant (p = 0.039-0.048) in fecal incontinence modeling but only in the LKB and logistic models. High stool frequency fits only benefitted significantly (p = 0.003-0.006) from the inclusion of the baseline toxicity score. For all models rectal bleeding fits had the highest AUC (0.77) where it was 0.63 and 0.68 for high stool frequency and fecal incontinence, respectively. LKB and logistic model fits resulted in similar values for the volume parameter. The steepness parameter was somewhat higher in the logistic model, also resulting in a slightly lower D{sub 50}. Anal wall DVHs were used for fecal incontinence, whereas anorectal wall dose best described the other two endpoints

  6. Infrastructure for large-scale quality-improvement projects: early lessons from North Carolina Improving Performance in Practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Warren P; Lefebvre, Ann; Donahue, Katrina E; Bacon, Thomas; Dobson, Allen

    2010-01-01

    Little is known regarding how to accomplish large-scale health care improvement. Our goal is to improve the quality of chronic disease care in all primary care practices throughout North Carolina. Methods for improvement include (1) common quality measures and shared data system; (2) rapid cycle improvement principles; (3) quality-improvement consultants (QICs), or practice facilitators; (4) learning networks; and (5) alignment of incentives. We emphasized a community-based strategy and developing a statewide infrastructure. Results are reported from the first 2 years of the North Carolina Improving Performance in Practice (IPIP) project. A coalition was formed to include professional societies, North Carolina AHEC, Community Care of North Carolina, insurers, and other organizations. Wave One started with 18 practices in 2 of 9 regions of the state. Quality-improvement consultants recruited practices. Over 80 percent of practices attended all quarterly regional meetings. In 9 months, almost all diabetes measures improved, and a bundled asthma measure improved from 33 to 58 percent. Overall, the magnitude of improvement was clinically and statistically significant (P = .001). Quality improvements were maintained on review 1 year later. Wave Two has spread to 103 practices in all 9 regions of the state, with 42 additional practices beginning the enrollment process. Large-scale health care quality improvement is feasible, when broadly supported by statewide leadership and community infrastructure. Practice-collected data and lack of a control group are limitations of the study design. Future priorities include maintaining improved sustainability for practices and communities. Our long-term goal is to transform all 2000 primary-care practices in our state.

  7. Radiation-curing of acrylate composites including carbon fibres: A customized surface modification for improving mechanical performances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, Arnaud; Pietras-Ozga, Dorota; Ponsaud, Philippe; Kowandy, Christelle; Barczak, Mariusz; Defoort, Brigitte; Coqueret, Xavier

    2014-01-01

    The lower transverse mechanical properties of radiation-cured acrylate-based composites reinforced with carbon-fibre with respect to the thermosettable analogues was investigated from the viewpoint of chemical interactions at the interface between the matrix and the carbon material. XPS analysis of representative commercial carbon fibres revealed the presence of a significant amount of chemical functions potentially exerting an adverse effect on the initiation and propagation of the free radical polymerization initiated under high energy radiation. The EB-induced polymerization of n-butyl acrylate as a simple model monomer was conducted in the presence of various aromatic additives exhibiting a strong inhibiting effect, whereas thiols efficiently sensitize the initiation mechanism and undergo transfer reactions. A method based on the surface modification of sized fibres by thiomalic acid is proposed for overcoming the localized inhibition phenomenon and for improving the mechanical properties of the resulting acrylate-based composites. - Highlights: • Surface functions of C-fibres are analyzed for their effect on radical reaction. • Irradiation of nBu-acrylate in presence of aromatic additives reveals inhibition. • Thiol groups sensitize the radiation-initiated polymerization of nBu-acrylate. • Modification of C-fibres with thiomalic acid enhances composite properties

  8. Establishing Maximal Medical Improvement After Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuke, William A; Leroux, Timothy S; Gregory, Bonnie P; Black, Austin; Forsythe, Brian; Romeo, Anthony A; Verma, Nikhil N

    2018-03-01

    As health care transitions from a pay-for-service to a pay-for-performance infrastructure, the value of orthopaedic care must be defined accurately. Significant efforts have been made in defining quality and cost in arthroplasty; however, there remains a lag in ambulatory orthopaedic care. Two-year follow-up has been a general requirement for reporting outcomes after rotator cuff repair. However, this time requirement has not been established scientifically and is of increasing importance in the era of value-based health care. Given that arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is a common ambulatory orthopaedic procedure, the purpose of this study was to establish a time frame for maximal medical improvement (the state when improvement has stabilized) after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. Systematic review. A systematic review of the literature was conducted, identifying studies reporting sequential patient-reported outcomes up to a minimum of 2 years after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. The primary clinical outcome was patient-reported outcomes at 3-month, 6-month, 1-year, and 2-year follow-up. Secondary clinical outcomes included range of motion, strength, retears, and complications. Clinically significant improvement was determined between various time intervals by use of the minimal clinically important difference. The review included 19 studies including 1370 patients who underwent rotator cuff repair. Clinically significant improvement in patient-reported outcomes was seen up to 1 year after rotator cuff repair, but no clinical significance was noted from 1 year to 2 years. The majority of improvement in strength and range of motion was seen up to 6 months, but no clinically meaningful improvement was seen thereafter. All reported complications and the majority of retears occurred within 6 months after rotator cuff repair. After rotator cuff repair, a clinically significant improvement in patient-reported outcomes, range of motion, and strength was seen up to 1

  9. Drug delivery device including electrolytic pump

    KAUST Repository

    Foulds, Ian G.; Buttner, Ulrich; Yi, Ying

    2016-01-01

    Systems and methods are provided for a drug delivery device and use of the device for drug delivery. In various aspects, the drug delivery device combines a “solid drug in reservoir” (SDR) system with an electrolytic pump. In various aspects an improved electrolytic pump is provided including, in particular, an improved electrolytic pump for use with a drug delivery device, for example an implantable drug delivery device. A catalytic reformer can be incorporated in a periodically pulsed electrolytic pump to provide stable pumping performance and reduced actuation cycle.

  10. Drug delivery device including electrolytic pump

    KAUST Repository

    Foulds, Ian G.

    2016-03-31

    Systems and methods are provided for a drug delivery device and use of the device for drug delivery. In various aspects, the drug delivery device combines a “solid drug in reservoir” (SDR) system with an electrolytic pump. In various aspects an improved electrolytic pump is provided including, in particular, an improved electrolytic pump for use with a drug delivery device, for example an implantable drug delivery device. A catalytic reformer can be incorporated in a periodically pulsed electrolytic pump to provide stable pumping performance and reduced actuation cycle.

  11. Improving the quality of care for patients with hypertension in Moshupa District, Botswana: Quality improvement cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cathy Kande

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Although there are no prevalence studies on hypertension in Botswana, this condition is thought to be common and the quality of care to be poor.Aim: The aim of this project was to assess and improve the quality of primary care forhypertension.Setting: Moshupa clinic and catchment area, Botswana.Methods: Quality improvement cycle.Results: Two hundred participants were included in the audit. Sixty-eight per cent were women with a mean age of 55 years. In the baseline audit none of the target standards were met. During the re-audit six months later, six out of nine structural target standards, five out of 11 process target standards and one out of two outcome target standards were achieved. Statistically-significant improvement in performance (p < 0.05 was shown in 10 criteria although the target standard was not always met. In the re-audit, the target of achieving blood pressure control (< 140/90 in 70% of patients was achieved.Conclusion: The quality of care for hypertension was suboptimal in our setting. Simple interventions were designed and implemented to improve the quality of care. These interventions led to significant improvement in structural and process criteria. A corresponding significant improvement in the control of blood pressure was also seen.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ozawa, L.; Hersh, H.N.

    1976-01-01

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

  13. How Good Is Good: Improved Tracking and Managing of Safety Goals, Performance Indicators, Production Targets and Significant Events Using Learning Curves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duffey, Rommey B.; Saull, John W.

    2002-01-01

    We show a new way to track and measure safety and performance using learning curves derived on a mathematical basis. When unusual or abnormal events occur in plants and equipment, the regulator and good management practice requires they be reported, investigated, understood and rectified. In addition to reporting so-called 'significant events', both management and the regulator often set targets for individual and collective performance, which are used for both reward and criticism. For almost completely safe systems, like nuclear power plants, commercial aircraft and chemical facilities, many parameters are tracked and measured. Continuous improvement has to be demonstrated, as well as meeting reduced occurrence rates, which are set as management goals or targets. This process usually takes the form of statistics for availability of plant and equipment, forced or unplanned maintenance outage, loss of safety function, safety or procedural violations, etc. These are often rolled up into a set of so-called 'Performance Indicators' as measures of how well safety and operation is being managed at a given facility. The overall operating standards of an industry are also measured. A whole discipline is formed of tracking, measuring, reporting, managing and understanding the plethora of indicators and data. Decreasing occurrence rates and meeting or exceeding goals are seen and rewarded as virtues. Managers and operators need to know how good is their safety management system that has been adopted and used (and paid for), and whether it can itself be improved. We show the importance of accumulated experience in correctly measuring and tracking the decreasing event and error rates speculating a finite minimum rate. We show that the rate of improvement constitutes a measurable 'learning curve', and the attainment of the goals and targets can be affected by the adopted measures. We examine some of the available data on significant events, reportable occurrences, and loss of

  14. [Functional results of cryosurgical procedures in rhegmatogenous retinal detachment including macula region - our experience].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chrapek, O; Sín, M; Jirková, B; Jarkovský, J; Rehák, J

    2013-10-01

    Aim of this study is to evaluate retrospectively functional results of cryosurgical treatment of uncomplicated, idiopathic rhegmatogenous retinal detachment including macula region in phakic patients operated on at the Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty Hospital, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic, E.U., during the period 2002 -2013, and to evaluate the significance of the macula detachment duration for the final visual acuity. In the study group were included 56 eyes of 56 patients operated in the years 2003 - 2012 at the Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty Hospital, Palacký University, Olomouc. All patients were phakic and in all of them, the retinal detachment including the macula region was diagnosed. The mean follow-up period of the patients was 8,75 months. The initial and final visual acuity testing were performed. Comparing the initial and final visual acuity we rated the level of the visual acuity change. The result was stated as improved, if the visual acuity improved by 1 or more lines on the ETDRS chart. The result was rated as stabilized, if the visual acuity remained the same or it changed by 1 line of the ETDRS chart only. The result was evaluated as worsened, if the visual acuity decreased by 1 or more lines of the ETDRS chart. In the followed-up group, the authors compared visual acuity levels in patients with the macula detachment duration 10 days and 11 days. For the statistical evaluation of achieved results, the Mann - Whitney U test was used. The visual acuity improved in 49 (87 %), did not changed in 5 (9 %) and worsened in 2 (4 %) patients. The patients with macula detachment duration 10 days achieved statistically significant better visual acuity than patients with macula detachment duration 11 days. Patients with macula detachment duration 10 days have better prognosis for functional result than patients with macula detachment duration 11 days.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  17. Scissor-type knife significantly improves self-completion rate of colorectal endoscopic submucosal dissection: Single-center prospective randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashina, Takeshi; Takeuchi, Yoji; Nagai, Kengo; Matsuura, Noriko; Ito, Takashi; Fujii, Mototsugu; Hanaoka, Noboru; Higashino, Koji; Uedo, Noriya; Ishihara, Ryu; Iishi, Hiroyasu

    2017-05-01

    Colorectal endoscopic submucosal dissection (C-ESD) is recognized as a difficult procedure. Recently, scissors-type knives were launched to reduce the difficulty of C-ESD. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the combined use of a scissors-type knife and a needle-type knife with a water-jet function (WJ needle-knife) for C-ESD compared with using the WJ needle-knife alone. This was a prospective randomized controlled trial in a referral center. Eighty-five patients with superficial colorectal neoplasms were enrolled and randomly assigned to undergo C-ESD using a WJ needle-knife alone (Flush group) or a scissor-type knife-supported WJ needle-knife (SB Jr group). Procedures were conducted by two supervised residents. Primary endpoint was self-completion rate by the residents. Self-completion rate was 67% in the SB Jr group, which was significantly higher than that in the Flush group (39%, P = 0.01). Even after exclusion of four patients in the SB Jr group in whom C-ESD was completed using the WJ needle-knife alone, the self-completion rate was significantly higher (63% vs 39%; P = 0.03). Median procedure time among the self-completion cases did not differ significantly between the two groups (59 vs 51 min; P = 0.14). No fatal adverse events were observed in either group. In this single-center phase II trial, scissor-type knife significantly improved residents' self-completion rate for C-ESD, with no increase in procedure time or adverse events. A multicenter trial would be warranted to confirm the validity of the present study. © 2016 Japan Gastroenterological Endoscopy Society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-01

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

  19. Sharing reference data and including cows in the reference population improve genomic predictions in Danish Jersey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, G; Ma, P; Nielsen, U S; Aamand, G P; Wiggans, G; Guldbrandtsen, B; Lund, M S

    2016-06-01

    Small reference populations limit the accuracy of genomic prediction in numerically small breeds, such like Danish Jersey. The objective of this study was to investigate two approaches to improve genomic prediction by increasing size of reference population in Danish Jersey. The first approach was to include North American Jersey bulls in Danish Jersey reference population. The second was to genotype cows and use them as reference animals. The validation of genomic prediction was carried out on bulls and cows, respectively. In validation on bulls, about 300 Danish bulls (depending on traits) born in 2005 and later were used as validation data, and the reference populations were: (1) about 1050 Danish bulls, (2) about 1050 Danish bulls and about 1150 US bulls. In validation on cows, about 3000 Danish cows from 87 young half-sib families were used as validation data, and the reference populations were: (1) about 1250 Danish bulls, (2) about 1250 Danish bulls and about 1150 US bulls, (3) about 1250 Danish bulls and about 4800 cows, (4) about 1250 Danish bulls, 1150 US bulls and 4800 Danish cows. Genomic best linear unbiased prediction model was used to predict breeding values. De-regressed proofs were used as response variables. In the validation on bulls for eight traits, the joint DK-US bull reference population led to higher reliability of genomic prediction than the DK bull reference population for six traits, but not for fertility and longevity. Averaged over the eight traits, the gain was 3 percentage points. In the validation on cows for six traits (fertility and longevity were not available), the gain from inclusion of US bull in reference population was 6.6 percentage points in average over the six traits, and the gain from inclusion of cows was 8.2 percentage points. However, the gains from cows and US bulls were not accumulative. The total gain of including both US bulls and Danish cows was 10.5 percentage points. The results indicate that sharing reference

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilian eCalderon-Garciduenas

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-12

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Shervin, Shahab

    2018-01-26

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

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2018-01-01

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

  4. Do telemedical interventions improve quality of life in patients with COPD?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gregersen, Thorbjorn L.; Green, Allan; Frausing, Ejvind

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Telehealth is an approach to disease management, which may hold the potential of improving some of the features associated with COPD, including positive impact on disease progression, and thus possibly limiting further reduction in quality of life (QoL). Our objective was, therefore......, three studies found statistically significant improvements in QoL for patients allocated to telemedical interventions. However, all of the other included studies found no statistically significant differences between control and telemedical intervention groups in terms of QoL. CONCLUSION: Telehealth...

  5. Vitamin D and Calcium Addition during Denosumab Therapy over a Period of Four Years Significantly Improves Lumbar Bone Mineral Density in Japanese Osteoporosis Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takako Suzuki

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated whether or not vitamin D and calcium supplementation affected bone metabolism and bone mineral density (BMD over a period of four years of denosumab therapy in patients with primary osteoporosis. Patients were divided into a denosumab monotherapy group (22 cases or a denosumab plus vitamin D and calcium supplementation group (combination group, 21 cases. We measured serum bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRACP-5b, urinary N-terminal telopeptide of type-I collagen (NTX, and BMD of the lumbar 1–4 vertebrae (L-BMD and bilateral hips (H-BMD at baseline and at 12, 24, 36, and 48 months of treatment. There were no significant differences in patient background. Serum BAP, TRACP-5b, and urinary NTX were significantly and comparably inhibited in both groups from 12 to 48 months versus baseline values. L-BMD was significantly increased at every time point in both groups, while H-BMD was significantly increased at every time point in the combination group only. There were significant differences between the groups for L-BMD at 24, 36, and 48 months (P < 0.05 and for H-BMD at 12 months (P < 0.05. Compared with denosumab monotherapy, combination therapy of denosumab plus vitamin D and calcium significantly increased H-BMD at 12 months and L-BMD from 24 to 48 months. These findings indicate that continuous vitamin D and calcium supplementation is important, especially for 12 months to improve H-BMD and from 24 to 48 months to improve L-BMD.

  6. Significantly improving the yield of recombinant proteins in Bacillus subtilis by a novel powerful mutagenesis tool (ARTP): Alkaline α-amylase as a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yingfang; Yang, Haiquan; Chen, Xianzhong; Sun, Bo; Du, Guocheng; Zhou, Zhemin; Song, Jiangning; Fan, You; Shen, Wei

    2015-10-01

    In this study, atmospheric and room temperature plasma (ARTP), a promising mutation breeding technique, was successfully applied to generate Bacillus subtilis mutants that yielded large quantities of recombinant protein. The high throughput screening platform was implemented to select those mutants with the highest yield of recombinant alkaline α-amylase (AMY), including the preferred mutant B. subtilis WB600 mut-12#. The yield and productivity of recombinant AMY in B. subtilis WB600 mut-12# increased 35.0% and 8.8%, respectively, the extracellular protein concentration of which increased 37.9%. B. subtilis WB600 mut-12# exhibited good genetic stability. Cells from B. subtilis WB600 mut-12# became shorter and wider than those from the wild-type. This study is the first to report a novel powerful mutagenesis tool (ARTP) that significantly improves the yield of recombinant proteins in B. subtilis and may therefore play an important role in the high expression level of proteins in recombinant microbial hosts. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Cross accumulative roll bonding—A novel mechanical technique for significant improvement of stir-cast Al/Al2O3 nanocomposite properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ardakani, Mohammad Reza Kamali; Amirkhanlou, Sajjad; Khorsand, Shohreh

    2014-01-01

    Lightweight metal-matrix nanocomposites (MMNCs—metal matrix with nanosized ceramic particles) can be of significance for automobile, aerospace, and numerous other applications. There are some problems in obtaining suitable mechanical properties of MMNCs, including weak bonding between reinforcement and matrix, non-uniformity of reinforcement nanoparticles and high porosity content. In this study, aluminum/alumina nanocomposite was fabricated by stircasting method. Subsequently, cross accumulative roll bonding (CARB) process was used as an effective method for refinement of microstructure and improvement of mechanical properties. The microstructural evolution and the mechanical properties of the nanocomposites during various CARB cycles were examined by the Archimedes method, X-ray defractometer, scanning electron microscopy and tensile testing. The results showed that the microstructure of the nanocomposite after eight cycles of CARB had an excellent distribution of alumina nanoparticles in aluminum matrix without any remarkable porosity. The X-ray diffraction results showed that the crystallite size of the nanocomposite was 71 nm by employing eight cycles of CARB technique. Mechanical experiment also indicated that the ultimate tensile strength and the elongation of the nanocomposite increased as the number of CARB cycles increased. After eight CARB cycles, ultimate tensile strength and the elongation values reached 344 MPa and 6.4%, which were 3.13 and 3.05 times greater than those of as-cast nanocomposites, respectively

  8. Multimodal Perioperative Analgesia Regimen to Improve Patient Outcomes After Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Multidisciplinary Quality Improvement Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donahue, Rebecca E; Bradbury, George R; Zychowicz, Michael E; Muckler, Virginia C

    2018-04-01

    The primary aim of this quality improvement project was to improve mobilization for patients after total knee arthroscopy by developing and implementing a standardized, evidence-based, multimodal analgesia regimen and patient-educational video. Secondary outcomes included opioid consumption, pain, and length of stay. A pre-post implementation design was used to compare two independent samples. Patients were screened based on inclusion and exclusion criteria 1-2 weeks before surgery. The anesthesia provider made the final determination for inclusion. Data were collected by retrospective chart review. Following implementation, patients displayed significantly improved mobilization, reduced opioid consumption, and reduced length of stay. Patient-reported pain scores were similar or significantly lower in the postimplementation group. Variability of patient outcomes was reduced, and quality of care was improved by standardizing care and incorporating the best available evidence, consistent with organization's resources in the nonacademic-affiliated, community hospital setting. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Including RNA secondary structures improves accuracy and robustness in reconstruction of phylogenetic trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Alexander; Förster, Frank; Müller, Tobias; Dandekar, Thomas; Schultz, Jörg; Wolf, Matthias

    2010-01-15

    In several studies, secondary structures of ribosomal genes have been used to improve the quality of phylogenetic reconstructions. An extensive evaluation of the benefits of secondary structure, however, is lacking. This is the first study to counter this deficiency. We inspected the accuracy and robustness of phylogenetics with individual secondary structures by simulation experiments for artificial tree topologies with up to 18 taxa and for divergency levels in the range of typical phylogenetic studies. We chose the internal transcribed spacer 2 of the ribosomal cistron as an exemplary marker region. Simulation integrated the coevolution process of sequences with secondary structures. Additionally, the phylogenetic power of marker size duplication was investigated and compared with sequence and sequence-structure reconstruction methods. The results clearly show that accuracy and robustness of Neighbor Joining trees are largely improved by structural information in contrast to sequence only data, whereas a doubled marker size only accounts for robustness. Individual secondary structures of ribosomal RNA sequences provide a valuable gain of information content that is useful for phylogenetics. Thus, the usage of ITS2 sequence together with secondary structure for taxonomic inferences is recommended. Other reconstruction methods as maximum likelihood, bayesian inference or maximum parsimony may equally profit from secondary structure inclusion. This article was reviewed by Shamil Sunyaev, Andrea Tanzer (nominated by Frank Eisenhaber) and Eugene V. Koonin. Reviewed by Shamil Sunyaev, Andrea Tanzer (nominated by Frank Eisenhaber) and Eugene V. Koonin. For the full reviews, please go to the Reviewers' comments section.

  12. Significance evaluation in factor graphs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Tobias; Hobolth, Asger; Jensen, Jens Ledet

    2017-01-01

    in genomics and the multiple-testing issues accompanying them, accurate significance evaluation is of great importance. We here address the problem of evaluating statistical significance of observations from factor graph models. Results Two novel numerical approximations for evaluation of statistical...... significance are presented. First a method using importance sampling. Second a saddlepoint approximation based method. We develop algorithms to efficiently compute the approximations and compare them to naive sampling and the normal approximation. The individual merits of the methods are analysed both from....... Conclusions The applicability of saddlepoint approximation and importance sampling is demonstrated on known models in the factor graph framework. Using the two methods we can substantially improve computational cost without compromising accuracy. This contribution allows analyses of large datasets...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    It is believed that traditional safety management needs to be improved on the aspect of preparedness for coping with expected and unexpected deviations, avoiding an overly optimistic reliance on safety systems. Remembering recent major accidents, such as the Deep Water Horizon, the Texas City....... A valuable approach is the inclusion of human and organisational factors into the simulation of the reliability of the technical system using event trees and fault trees and the concept of safety barriers. This has been demonstrated e.g. in the former European research project ARAMIS (Accidental Risk...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Velde, AA. de; Burtak, F.

    2000-01-01

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

  15. Including RNA secondary structures improves accuracy and robustness in reconstruction of phylogenetic trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dandekar Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In several studies, secondary structures of ribosomal genes have been used to improve the quality of phylogenetic reconstructions. An extensive evaluation of the benefits of secondary structure, however, is lacking. Results This is the first study to counter this deficiency. We inspected the accuracy and robustness of phylogenetics with individual secondary structures by simulation experiments for artificial tree topologies with up to 18 taxa and for divergency levels in the range of typical phylogenetic studies. We chose the internal transcribed spacer 2 of the ribosomal cistron as an exemplary marker region. Simulation integrated the coevolution process of sequences with secondary structures. Additionally, the phylogenetic power of marker size duplication was investigated and compared with sequence and sequence-structure reconstruction methods. The results clearly show that accuracy and robustness of Neighbor Joining trees are largely improved by structural information in contrast to sequence only data, whereas a doubled marker size only accounts for robustness. Conclusions Individual secondary structures of ribosomal RNA sequences provide a valuable gain of information content that is useful for phylogenetics. Thus, the usage of ITS2 sequence together with secondary structure for taxonomic inferences is recommended. Other reconstruction methods as maximum likelihood, bayesian inference or maximum parsimony may equally profit from secondary structure inclusion. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Shamil Sunyaev, Andrea Tanzer (nominated by Frank Eisenhaber and Eugene V. Koonin. Open peer review Reviewed by Shamil Sunyaev, Andrea Tanzer (nominated by Frank Eisenhaber and Eugene V. Koonin. For the full reviews, please go to the Reviewers' comments section.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  18. Well-being improvement in a midsize employer: changes in well-being, productivity, health risk, and perceived employer support after implementation of a well-being improvement strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamar, Brent; Coberley, Carter; Pope, James E; Rula, Elizabeth Y

    2015-04-01

    To evaluate employee well-being change and associated change in productivity, health risk including biometrics, and workplace support over 2 years after implementation of a well-being improvement strategy. This was an employer case study evaluation of well-being, productivity (presenteeism, absenteeism, and job performance), health risk, and employer support across three employee assessment spanning 2 years. Employee well-being was compared with an independent sample of workers in the community. Well-being and job performance increased and presenteeism and health risk decreased significantly over the 2 years. Employee well-being started lower and increased to exceed community worker averages, approaching significance. Well-being improvement was associated with higher productivity across all measures. Increases in employer support for well-being were associated with improved well-being and productivity. This employer's well-being strategy, including a culture supporting well-being, was associated with improved health and productivity.

  19. Prognostic significance of XRCC4 expression in hepatocellular carcinoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xiao-Ying; Yao, Jin-Guang; Wang, Chao; Wei, Zhong-Hong; Ma, Yun; Wu, Xue-Min; Luo, Chun-Ying; Xia, Qiang; Long, Xi-Dai

    2017-01-01

    Background Our previous investigations have shown that the variants of X-ray repair complementing 4 (XRCC4) may be involved in hepatocellular carcinoma (hepatocarcinoma) tumorigenesis. This study aimed to investigate the possible prognostic significance of XRCC4 expression for hepatocarcinoma patients and possible value for the selection of transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) treatment. Materials and Methods We conducted a hospital-based retrospective analysis (including 421 hepatocarcinoma cases) to analyze the effects of XRCC4 on hepatocarcinoma prognosis and TACE. The levels of XRCC4 expression were tested using immunohistochemistry. The sensitivity of cancer cells to anti-cancer drug doxorubicin was evaluated using the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50). Results XRCC4 expression was significantly correlated with pathological features including tumor stage, liver cirrhosis, and micro-vessel density. XRCC4 expression was an independent prognostic factor of hepatocarcinoma, and TACE treatments had no effects on prognosis of hepatocarcinoma patients with high XRCC4 expression. More intriguingly, TACE improved the prognosis of hepatocarcinoma patients with low XRCC4 expression. Functionally, XRCC4 overexpression increased while XRCC4 knockdown reduced the IC50 of cancer cells to doxorubicin. Conclusions These results suggest that XRCC4 may be an independent prognostic factor for hepatocarcinoma patients, and that decreasing XRCC4 expression may be beneficial for post-operative adjuvant TACE treatment in hepatocarcinoma. PMID:29152133

  20. Including asphalt cooling and rolling regimes in laboratory compaction procedures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bijleveld, Frank; Doree, Andries G.; Kim,

    2014-01-01

    Given the various changes occurring in the asphalt construction industry, improved process and quality control is becoming essential. The significance of appropriate rolling and compaction for the quality of asphalt is widely acknowledged and vital for improved process control. But what constitutes

  1. Benchmarking and performance improvement at Rocky Flats Technology Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elliott, C.; Doyle, G.; Featherman, W.L.

    1997-03-01

    The Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site has initiated a major work process improvement campaign using the tools of formalized benchmarking and streamlining. This paper provides insights into some of the process improvement activities performed at Rocky Flats from November 1995 through December 1996. It reviews the background, motivation, methodology, results, and lessons learned from this ongoing effort. The paper also presents important gains realized through process analysis and improvement including significant cost savings, productivity improvements, and an enhanced understanding of site work processes

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  3. MO-FG-204-03: Using Edge-Preserving Algorithm for Significantly Improved Image-Domain Material Decomposition in Dual Energy CT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao, W; Niu, T; Xing, L; Xiong, G; Elmore, K; Min, J; Zhu, J; Wang, L

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: To significantly improve dual energy CT (DECT) imaging by establishing a new theoretical framework of image-domain material decomposition with incorporation of edge-preserving techniques. Methods: The proposed algorithm, HYPR-NLM, combines the edge-preserving non-local mean filter (NLM) with the HYPR-LR (Local HighlY constrained backPRojection Reconstruction) framework. Image denoising using HYPR-LR framework depends on the noise level of the composite image which is the average of the different energy images. For DECT, the composite image is the average of high- and low-energy images. To further reduce noise, one may want to increase the window size of the filter of the HYPR-LR, leading resolution degradation. By incorporating the NLM filtering and the HYPR-LR framework, HYPR-NLM reduces the boost material decomposition noise using energy information redundancies as well as the non-local mean. We demonstrate the noise reduction and resolution preservation of the algorithm with both iodine concentration numerical phantom and clinical patient data by comparing the HYPR-NLM algorithm to the direct matrix inversion, HYPR-LR and iterative image-domain material decomposition (Iter-DECT). Results: The results show iterative material decomposition method reduces noise to the lowest level and provides improved DECT images. HYPR-NLM significantly reduces noise while preserving the accuracy of quantitative measurement and resolution. For the iodine concentration numerical phantom, the averaged noise levels are about 2.0, 0.7, 0.2 and 0.4 for direct inversion, HYPR-LR, Iter- DECT and HYPR-NLM, respectively. For the patient data, the noise levels of the water images are about 0.36, 0.16, 0.12 and 0.13 for direct inversion, HYPR-LR, Iter-DECT and HYPR-NLM, respectively. Difference images of both HYPR-LR and Iter-DECT show edge effect, while no significant edge effect is shown for HYPR-NLM, suggesting spatial resolution is well preserved for HYPR-NLM. Conclusion: HYPR

  4. Advanced neuroblastoma: improved response rate using a multiagent regimen (OPEC) including sequential cisplatin and VM-26.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shafford, E A; Rogers, D W; Pritchard, J

    1984-07-01

    Forty-two children, all over one year of age, were given vincristine, cyclophosphamide, and sequentially timed cisplatin and VM-26 (OPEC) or OPEC and doxorubicin (OPEC-D) as initial treatment for newly diagnosed stage III or IV neuroblastoma. Good partial response was achieved in 31 patients (74%) overall and in 28 (78%) of 36 patients whose treatment adhered to the chemotherapy protocol, compared with a 65% response rate achieved in a previous series of children treated with pulsed cyclophosphamide and vincristine with or without doxorubicin. Only six patients, including two of the six children whose treatment did not adhere to protocol, failed to respond, but there were five early deaths from treatment-related complications. Tumor response to OPEC, which was the less toxic of the two regimens, was at least as good as tumor response to OPEC-D. Cisplatin-induced morbidity was clinically significant in only one patient and was avoided in others by careful monitoring of glomerular filtration rate and hearing. Other centers should test the efficacy of OPEC or equivalent regimens in the treatment of advanced neuroblastoma.

  5. Predicting significant torso trauma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nirula, Ram; Talmor, Daniel; Brasel, Karen

    2005-07-01

    Identification of motor vehicle crash (MVC) characteristics associated with thoracoabdominal injury would advance the development of automatic crash notification systems (ACNS) by improving triage and response times. Our objective was to determine the relationships between MVC characteristics and thoracoabdominal trauma to develop a torso injury probability model. Drivers involved in crashes from 1993 to 2001 within the National Automotive Sampling System were reviewed. Relationships between torso injury and MVC characteristics were assessed using multivariate logistic regression. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to compare the model to current ACNS models. There were a total of 56,466 drivers. Age, ejection, braking, avoidance, velocity, restraints, passenger-side impact, rollover, and vehicle weight and type were associated with injury (p < 0.05). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (83.9) was significantly greater than current ACNS models. We have developed a thoracoabdominal injury probability model that may improve patient triage when used with ACNS.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-10

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

  8. Gas storage materials, including hydrogen storage materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohtadi, Rana F; Wicks, George G; Heung, Leung K; Nakamura, Kenji

    2013-02-19

    A material for the storage and release of gases comprises a plurality of hollow elements, each hollow element comprising a porous wall enclosing an interior cavity, the interior cavity including structures of a solid-state storage material. In particular examples, the storage material is a hydrogen storage material such as a solid state hydride. An improved method for forming such materials includes the solution diffusion of a storage material solution through a porous wall of a hollow element into an interior cavity.

  9. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved material licensees. Semiannual progress report, July--December 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-04-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during the period and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to material licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication.

  10. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved material licensees. Semiannual progress report, July--December 1996

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-04-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during the period and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to material licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  11. Reestablishing Open Rotor as an Option for Significant Fuel Burn Improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Zante, Dale

    2011-01-01

    A low-noise open rotor system is being tested in collaboration with General Electric and CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma and GE. Candidate technologies for lower noise will be investigated as well as installation effects such as pylon integration. Current test status is presented as well as future scheduled testing which includes the FAA/CLEEN test entry. Pre-test predictions show that Open Rotors have the potential for revolutionary fuel burn savings.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon D Angus

    -effecitive means of significantly improving clinical efficacy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angus, Simon D; Piotrowska, Monika Joanna

    2014-01-01

    of significantly improving clinical efficacy.

  14. Improvement in cognitive function after surgery for low-grade glioma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barzilai, Ori; Ben Moshe, Shlomit; Sitt, Razi; Sela, Gal; Shofty, Ben; Ram, Zvi

    2018-03-23

    OBJECTIVE Cognition is a key component in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and is currently incorporated as a major parameter of outcome assessment in patients treated for brain tumors. The effect of surgery on cognition and HRQoL remains debatable. The authors investigated the impact of resection of low-grade gliomas (LGGs) on cognition and the correlation with various histopathological markers. METHODS A retrospective analysis of patients with LGG who underwent craniotomy for tumor resection at a single institution between 2010 and 2014 was conducted. Of 192 who underwent resective surgery for LGG during this period, 49 had complete pre- and postoperative neurocognitive evaluations and were included in the analysis. These patients completed a full battery of neurocognitive tests (memory, language, attention and working memory, visuomotor organization, and executive functions) pre- and postoperatively. Tumor and surgical characteristics were analyzed, including volumetric measurements and histopathological markers (IDH, p53, GFAP). RESULTS Postoperatively, significant improvement was found in memory and executive functions. A subgroup analysis of patients with dominant-side tumors, most of whom underwent intraoperative awake mapping, revealed significant improvement in the same domains. Patients whose tumors were on the nondominant side displayed significant improvement only in memory functions. Positive staining for p53 testing was associated with improved language function and greater extent of resection in dominant-side tumors. GFAP positivity was associated with improved memory in patients whose tumors were on the nondominant side. No correlation was found between cognitive outcome and preoperative tumor volume, residual volume, extent of resection, or IDH1 status. CONCLUSIONS Resection of LGG significantly improves memory and executive function and thus is likely to improve functional outcome in addition to providing oncological benefit. GFAP and pP53

  15. Practical Significance of Basin Water Market Construction on Agricultural Production

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2011-01-01

    On the basis of introducing the concept of water market and the water market research in cluding both domestic market and foreign market,the system design features of water market are analyzed.The features include the prior distribution of agricultural water right,the close construction of market structure,reasonable price of water obtaining right and water pollution-discharge right and scientific stipulation of total volume of water use and total volume of pollution drainage.The practical significances of basin water market construction on Chinese agricultural production are revealed,which clover safeguarding the safety of agricultural water;effectively alleviating agricultural drought;saving the agricultural production water and improving the quality of agricultural products.

  16. PROPOSALS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF ISO 9001

    OpenAIRE

    Antero Ollila

    2012-01-01

    The ISO 9001 quality management system (QMS) includes a method of continuous improvement put in place in 1994. Through this system, audits and reviews are performed to identify, correct and prevent problems. Although the method of continuous improvement, combined with adherence to annual quality objectives, is an important part of the QMS, only a few business managers and quality professionals seem to acknowledge its significance. Whether the organization uses QMS or other improvement program...

  17. Towards ligand docking including explicit interface water molecules.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordon Lemmon

    Full Text Available Small molecule docking predicts the interaction of a small molecule ligand with a protein at atomic-detail accuracy including position and conformation the ligand but also conformational changes of the protein upon ligand binding. While successful in the majority of cases, docking algorithms including RosettaLigand fail in some cases to predict the correct protein/ligand complex structure. In this study we show that simultaneous docking of explicit interface water molecules greatly improves Rosetta's ability to distinguish correct from incorrect ligand poses. This result holds true for both protein-centric water docking wherein waters are located relative to the protein binding site and ligand-centric water docking wherein waters move with the ligand during docking. Protein-centric docking is used to model 99 HIV-1 protease/protease inhibitor structures. We find protease inhibitor placement improving at a ratio of 9:1 when one critical interface water molecule is included in the docking simulation. Ligand-centric docking is applied to 341 structures from the CSAR benchmark of diverse protein/ligand complexes [1]. Across this diverse dataset we see up to 56% recovery of failed docking studies, when waters are included in the docking simulation.

  18. Including α s1 casein gene information in genomic evaluations of French dairy goats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carillier-Jacquin, Céline; Larroque, Hélène; Robert-Granié, Christèle

    2016-08-04

    Genomic best linear unbiased prediction methods assume that all markers explain the same fraction of the genetic variance and do not account effectively for genes with major effects such as the α s1 casein polymorphism in dairy goats. In this study, we investigated methods to include the available α s1 casein genotype effect in genomic evaluations of French dairy goats. First, the α s1 casein genotype was included as a fixed effect in genomic evaluation models based only on bucks that were genotyped at the α s1 casein locus. Less than 1 % of the females with phenotypes were genotyped at the α s1 casein gene. Thus, to incorporate these female phenotypes in the genomic evaluation, two methods that allowed for this large number of missing α s1 casein genotypes were investigated. Probabilities for each possible α s1 casein genotype were first estimated for each female of unknown genotype based on iterative peeling equations. The second method is based on a multiallelic gene content approach. For each model tested, we used three datasets each divided into a training and a validation set: (1) two-breed population (Alpine + Saanen), (2) Alpine population, and (3) Saanen population. The α s1 casein genotype had a significant effect on milk yield, fat content and protein content. Including an α s1 casein effect in genetic and genomic evaluations based only on male known α s1 casein genotypes improved accuracies (from 6 to 27 %). In genomic evaluations based on all female phenotypes, the gene content approach performed better than the other tested methods but the improvement in accuracy was only slightly better (from 1 to 14 %) than that of a genomic model without the α s1 casein effect. Including the α s1 casein effect in a genomic evaluation model for French dairy goats is possible and useful to improve accuracy. Difficulties in predicting the genotypes for ungenotyped animals limited the improvement in accuracy of the obtained estimated breeding values.

  19. Immunological Effects of Probiotics and their Significance to Human Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Harsharn S.; Grover, Sunita; Batish, Virender K.; Gill, Preet

    Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit upon the host (FAO/WHO, 2001). Lactic acid bacteria, particularly Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species are commonly used as probiotics. Other less commonly used probiotics include the yeast Sacchromyces cerevisiae and some non-pathogenic Escherichia coli and Bacillus species. Studies over the past 20 years have demonstrated that probiotic intake is able to confer a range of health benefits including modulation of the immune system, protection against gastrointestinal and respiratory tract infections, lowering of blood cholesterol levels, attenuation of overt immuno-inflammatory disorders (such as inflammatory bowel disease, allergies) and anti-cancer effects. However, the strongest clinical evidence for probiotics relates to their effectiveness in improving gut health and modulating (via stimulation or regulation) the host immune system. This chapter provides an overview of the current status of our knowledge regarding the immunostimulatory and immunoregulatory effects of probiotics on the immune system and their significance to human health.

  20. Diagnostic terminology for urinary cytology reports including the new subcategories 'atypical urothelial cells of undetermined significance' (AUC-US) and 'cannot exclude high grade' (AUC-H).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piaton, E; Decaussin-Petrucci, M; Mege-Lechevallier, F; Advenier, A-S; Devonec, M; Ruffion, A

    2014-02-01

    We studied whether atypical, non-superficial urothelial cells (AUC) could be separated into new subcategories including AUC 'of undetermined significance' (AUC-US) and 'cannot exclude high grade'' (AUC-H) in order to help to standardize urine cytopathology reports, as it is widely accepted in the Bethesda system for gynaecological cytopathology. We investigated whether AUC-US and AUC-H, defined by distinctive cytological criteria, might be separated with statistical significance according to actual diagnosis and follow-up data. A series of 534 cyto-histological comparisons taken in 139 patients, including 221 AUC at various steps of their clinical history was studied. There were 513 (96.1%) postcystoscopy and 469 (87.8%) ThinPrep® liquid-based specimens (95.9% and 89.1% of AUC cases, respectively). Patients viewed between 1999 and 2011 had histological control in a 0- to 6-months delay and were followed-up during an additional 5.9 ± 9.2 (0- to 56-) months period. The 221 AUC represented 0.8-2% of the specimens viewed during the study period. Among AUC-H cases, 70 out of 185 (37.8%) matched with high-grade lesions, compared with 3 of 38 (8.3%) of AUC-US cases (P = 0.0003). Conservatively treated patients with AUC-H more frequently developed high-grade lesions than those with AUC-US (54.1% versus 16.7%, P = 0.0007) with a 17.6-months mean delay. Nuclear hyperchromasia, a nuclear to cytoplasm (N/C) ratio > 0.7 and the combination of both were the more informative diagnostic criteria, all with P < 0.01. We conclude that the new subcategories could help to standardize urine cytopathology reports and contribute to the patient's management, provided it is validated by multicentric studies. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. The Prognostic Significance of Pretreatment Serum CEA Levels in Gastric Cancer: A Meta-Analysis Including 14651 Patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Kai; Yang, Li; Hu, Bing; Wu, Hao; Zhu, Hong; Tang, Chengwei

    2015-01-01

    Background Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is commonly used as a serum tumor marker in clinical practice; however, its prognostic value for gastric cancer patients remains uncertain. This meta-analysis was performed to assess the prognostic value of CEA and investigate CEA as a tumor marker. Methods PubMed, EMBASE and other databases were searched for potentially eligible studies. Forty-one studies reporting the prognostic effect of pretreatment serum CEA expression in gastric cancer patients were selected. Data on 14651 eligible patients were retrieved for the meta-analysis. Based on the data extracted from the available literature, the hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for an adverse prognosis were estimated for gastric cancer patients with elevated pretreatment serum levels of CEA (CEA+) relative to patients with normal pretreatment CEA levels (CEA-). Results The CEA+ patients had a significantly poorer prognosis than the CEA- patients in terms of overall survival (OS: HR 1.716, 95% CI 1.594 - 1.848, P 0.05). In the pooled analyses of multivariate-adjusted HRs, the results suggested that pretreatment serum CEA may be an independent prognostic factor in gastric cancer (OS: HR 1.681, 95% CI 1.425 - 1.982; DSS: HR 1.900, 95% CI 1.441 - 2.505; DFS: HR 2.579, 95% CI 1.935 - 3.436). Conclusion/Significance The meta-analysis based on the available literature supported the association of elevated pretreatment serum CEA levels with a poor prognosis for gastric cancer and a nearly doubled risk of mortality in gastric cancer patients. CEA may be an independent prognostic factor for gastric cancer patients and may aid in determining appropriate treatment which may preferentially benefit the CEA+ patients. PMID:25879931

  3. The prevalence and significance of a short QT interval in 18,825 low-risk individuals including athletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhutia, Harshil; Malhotra, Aneil; Parpia, Sameer; Gabus, Vincent; Finocchiaro, Gherardo; Mellor, Greg; Merghani, Ahmed; Millar, Lynne; Narain, Rajay; Sheikh, Nabeel; Behr, Elijah R; Papadakis, Michael; Sharma, Sanjay

    2016-01-01

    The short QT syndrome is a cardiac channelopathy characterised by accelerated repolarisation which manifests as a short QT interval on the ECG. The definition of a short QT interval is debated, ranging from <390 to ≤320 ms, and its clinical significance in healthy young individuals is unknown. We assessed the prevalence and medium-term significance of an isolated short QT interval in a diverse young British population. Between 2005 and 2013, 18 825 apparently healthy people aged 14-35 years underwent cardiovascular evaluation with history, physical examination and ECG. QT intervals were measured by cardiologists using 4 recommended guidelines (Seattle 2013, Heart Rhythm Society 2013, European Society of Cardiology 2010 and American Heart Association 2009). The prevalence of a short QT interval was 0.1% (26 patients, ≤320 ms), 0.2% (44 patients, ≤330 ms), 7.9% (1478 patients, <380 ms), 15.8% (2973 patients, <390 ms). Male gender and Afro-Caribbean ethnicity had the strongest association with short QT intervals. Athletes had shorter QT intervals than non-athletes but athletic status did not predict short QT intervals. Individuals with short QT intervals ≤320 ms did not report syncope or a sinister family history, and during a follow-up period of 5.3±1.2 years, there were no deaths in this group. The prevalence of a short QT interval depends on the recommended cut-off value. Even at values ≤320 ms, there was an excellent medium-term prognosis among 14 people followed. We conclude that a definition of ≤320 ms is realistic to prevent overdiagnosis and excessive investigations. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

  4. Areva 2007 results: accelerated growth and significantly improved profitability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2008-02-01

    The AREVA group recorded accelerated growth and increased profitability in 2007, meeting both of its objectives for the year. The group made strategic inroads in fast growing markets. AREVA's integrated model met with record success in China, where GGNPC acquired two EPR nuclear islands in a combined order including both the reactors and the fuel, and the creation of a joint venture in engineering. Its T and D division was awarded the largest contract of its history in Qatar, making it the leader in a region where T and D was not even present a few years ago. For more than three years, AREVA has built up its capacity to meet surging demand in the nuclear power and T and D markets through an active policy of research and development and by capitalizing on the diversity and strength of its partnerships. Areva hired 8,600 people in 2006 and 11,500 people in 2007; this represents an investment in recruitment, training and integration of approximately euro 200 million per year. For 2008, the group foresees a further increase in its backlog, sales revenue and operating income. The Areva Group financial statements for 2007 are summarized below: - Backlog: euro 39.8 billion, up 55%; - Sales revenue: euro 11.9 billion, up 9.8% (up 10.4% like-for-like); - Operating income: euro 751 million, i.e. 6.3% operating margin, up 2.6 points compared with 2006; - Net income attributable to equity holders of the parent: euro 743 million (euro 20.95 per share), up from euro 649 million in 2006 (euro 18.31 per share); - Net debt: euro 1.954 billion, linked to the acquisition of UraMin; - Dividend: euro 6.77, to be proposed to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders convening on April 17, 2008

  5. Incidentally detected enhancing lesions found in breast MRI: analysis of apparent diffusion coefficient and T2 signal intensity significantly improves specificity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arponen, Otso; Masarwah, Amro; Taina, Mikko [Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio University Hospital, Diagnostic Imaging Centre, Department of Clinical Radiology, PO Box 1777, Kuopio (Finland); Kuopio University Hospital, University of Eastern Finland, Institute of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, Department of Clinical Radiology, PO Box 1777, Kuopio (Finland); Sutela, Anna; Koenoenen, Mervi; Hakumaeki, Juhana; Sudah, Mazen [Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio University Hospital, Diagnostic Imaging Centre, Department of Clinical Radiology, PO Box 1777, Kuopio (Finland); Sironen, Reijo [Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio University Hospital, Department of Pathology, PO Box 1777, Kuopio (Finland); Kuopio University Hospital, University of Eastern Finland, Institute of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, Clinical Pathology and Forensic Medicine, PO Box 1777, Kuopio (Finland); University of Eastern Finland, Cancer Center of Eastern Finland, Kuopio (Finland); Vanninen, Ritva [Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio University Hospital, Diagnostic Imaging Centre, Department of Clinical Radiology, PO Box 1777, Kuopio (Finland); Kuopio University Hospital, University of Eastern Finland, Institute of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, Department of Clinical Radiology, PO Box 1777, Kuopio (Finland); University of Eastern Finland, Cancer Center of Eastern Finland, Kuopio (Finland)

    2016-12-15

    To evaluate the value of adding T2- and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) to the BI-RADS registered classification in MRI-detected lesions. This retrospective study included 112 consecutive patients who underwent 3.0T structural breast MRI with T2- and DWI on the basis of EUSOMA recommendations. Morphological and kinetic features, T2 signal intensity (T2 SI) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) findings were assessed. Thirty-three (29.5 %) patients (mean age 57.0 ± 12.7 years) had 36 primarily MRI-detected incidental lesions of which 16 (44.4 %) proved to be malignant. No single morphological or kinetic feature was associated with malignancy. Both low T2 SI (P = 0.009) and low ADC values (≤0.87 x 10{sup -3} mm{sup 2}s{sup -1}, P < 0.001) yielded high specificity (80.0 %/80.0 %). The BI-RADS classification supplemented with information from DWI and T2-WI improved the diagnostic performance of the BI-RADS classification as sensitivity remained 100 % and specificity improved from 30 % to 65.0 %. The numbers of false positive lesions declined from 39 % (N = 14) to 19 % (N = 7). MRI-detected incidental lesions may be challenging to characterize as they have few specific malignancy indicating features. The specificity of MRI can be improved by incorporating T2 SI and ADC values into the BI-RADS assessment. (orig.)

  6. CANDU 9 Design improvements based on experience feedback

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu, S. K. W.; Bonechi, M.; Snell, V. G.

    2000-01-01

    An evolutionary approach utilizing advance technologies has been implenented for the enhancement introduced in the CANDU 9 Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) design. The design of these systems and associated equipment has also benfited from experience feedback from operating CANDU stations and from including advanced products from CANDU engineering and research programs. This paper highlights the design features that contribute to the safety improvements of the CANDU 9 design, summarizes the analysis results which demonstrate the improved performance and also emphasizes design features which reduce operation and maintenance (Q and M) costs. The safety design features highlighted include the increased use of passive devices and heat sinks to achieve extensive system simplification; this also improves reliability and reduces maintenance workloads. System features that contribute to improved operability are also described. The CANDU 9 Control Center provides plant staff with enhanced operating, maintenance and diagnostics features which significantly improve operability, testing and maintainability due to the integration of human factors engineering with a systematic design process. (author)

  7. Does bariatric surgery improve adipose tissue function?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frikke-Schmidt, H.; O’Rourke, R. W.; Lumeng, C. N.; Sandoval, D. A.; Seeley, R. J.

    2017-01-01

    Summary Bariatric surgery is currently the most effective treatment for obesity. Not only do these types of surgeries produce significant weight loss but also they improve insulin sensitivity and whole body metabolic function. The aim of this review is to explore how altered physiology of adipose tissue may contribute to the potent metabolic effects of some of these procedures. This includes specific effects on various fat depots, the function of individual adipocytes and the interaction between adipose tissue and other key metabolic tissues. Besides a dramatic loss of fat mass, bariatric surgery shifts the distribution of fat from visceral to the subcutaneous compartment favoring metabolic improvement. The sensitivity towards lipolysis controlled by insulin and catecholamines is improved, adipokine secretion is altered and local adipose inflammation as well as systemic inflammatory markers decreases. Some of these changes have been shown to be weight loss independent, and novel hypothesis for these effects includes include changes in bile acid metabolism, gut microbiota and central regulation of metabolism. In conclusion bariatric surgery is capable of improving aspects of adipose tissue function and do so in some cases in ways that are not entirely explained by the potent effect of surgery. PMID:27272117

  8. 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

  9. A water-based training program that include perturbation exercises to improve stepping responses in older adults: study protocol for a randomized controlled cross-over trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsedek Irit

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gait and balance impairments may increase the risk of falls, the leading cause of accidental death in the elderly population. Fall-related injuries constitute a serious public health problem associated with high costs for society as well as human suffering. A rapid step is the most important protective postural strategy, acting to recover equilibrium and prevent a fall from initiating. It can arise from large perturbations, but also frequently as a consequence of volitional movements. We propose to use a novel water-based training program which includes specific perturbation exercises that will target the stepping responses that could potentially have a profound effect in reducing risk of falling. We describe the water-based balance training program and a study protocol to evaluate its efficacy (Trial registration number #NCT00708136. Methods/Design The proposed water-based training program involves use of unpredictable, multi-directional perturbations in a group setting to evoke compensatory and volitional stepping responses. Perturbations are made by pushing slightly the subjects and by water turbulence, in 24 training sessions conducted over 12 weeks. Concurrent cognitive tasks during movement tasks are included. Principles of physical training and exercise including awareness, continuity, motivation, overload, periodicity, progression and specificity were used in the development of this novel program. Specific goals are to increase the speed of stepping responses and improve the postural control mechanism and physical functioning. A prospective, randomized, cross-over trial with concealed allocation, assessor blinding and intention-to-treat analysis will be performed to evaluate the efficacy of the water-based training program. A total of 36 community-dwelling adults (age 65–88 with no recent history of instability or falling will be assigned to either the perturbation-based training or a control group (no training

  10. How significant is the ‘significant other’? Associations between significant others’ health behaviors and attitudes and young adults’ health outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berge Jerica M

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Having a significant other has been shown to be protective against physical and psychological health conditions for adults. Less is known about the period of emerging young adulthood and associations between significant others’ weight and weight-related health behaviors (e.g. healthy dietary intake, the frequency of physical activity, weight status. This study examined the association between significant others’ health attitudes and behaviors regarding eating and physical activity and young adults’ weight status, dietary intake, and physical activity. Methods This study uses data from Project EAT-III, a population-based cohort study with emerging young adults from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds (n = 1212. Logistic regression models examining cross-sectional associations, adjusted for sociodemographics and health behaviors five years earlier, were used to estimate predicted probabilities and calculate prevalence differences. Results Young adult women whose significant others had health promoting attitudes/behaviors were significantly less likely to be overweight/obese and were more likely to eat ≥ 5 fruits/vegetables per day and engage in ≥ 3.5 hours/week of physical activity, compared to women whose significant others did not have health promoting behaviors/attitudes. Young adult men whose significant other had health promoting behaviors/attitudes were more likely to engage in ≥ 3.5 hours/week of physical activity compared to men whose significant others did not have health promoting behaviors/attitudes. Conclusions Findings suggest the protective nature of the significant other with regard to weight-related health behaviors of young adults, particularly for young adult women. Obesity prevention efforts should consider the importance of including the significant other in intervention efforts with young adult women and potentially men.

  11. Tumor-selective replication herpes simplex virus-based technology significantly improves clinical detection and prognostication of viable circulating tumor cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Wen; Bao, Li; Yang, Shaoxing

    2016-01-01

    Detection of circulating tumor cells remains a significant challenge due to their vast physical and biological heterogeneity. We developed a cell-surface-marker-independent technology based on telomerase-specific, replication-selective oncolytic herpes-simplex-virus-1 that targets telomerase......-reverse-transcriptase-positive cancer cells and expresses green-fluorescent-protein that identifies viable CTCs from a broad spectrum of malignancies. Our method recovered 75.5-87.2% of tumor cells spiked into healthy donor blood, as validated by different methods, including single cell sequencing. CTCs were detected in 59-100% of 326...

  12. Spirulina Supplements Improved the Nutritional Status of Undernourished Children Quickly and Significantly: Experience from Kisantu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Féfé Khuabi Matondo

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim. Despite high levels of malnutrition, there is still very little information on the nutritional benefits of Spirulina, a natural alga that provides essential amino acids, rare essential lipids, and numerous minerals and vitamins, to undernourished children in the world. Methods. We carried out a prospective study of 50 children aged between six and 60 months. The intervention group consisted of 16 children who received 10 g of Spirulina daily, as well as the local diet administered by the nutritional centre, and the control group of 34 children who just received the local diet. Both groups of children were assessed on day zero, day 15, and day 30. Results. After treatment, the weight-for-age Z scores and weight-for-height Z scores increased significantly in the intervention group. At day 15, there was a statistically significant difference between the mean corpuscular volume, total proteins, and albumin (p<0.05 in both groups, in favour of the intervention group, and at day 30, this difference extended to all of the studied parameters (p<0.05. Conclusion. This study found that the nutritional status of undernourished children who received Spirulina supplements as well as the local diet administered by the nutritional centre improved quickly and significantly.

  13. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved reactor licensees. Semiannual progress report, July 1996--December 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-04-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during the period (July-December 1996) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reactor licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication.

  14. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved reactor licensees. Semiannual progress report, July 1996--December 1996

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-04-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during the period (July-December 1996) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reactor licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  15. Soil physicochemical properties and their significance for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Soil physicochemical properties and their significance for sustainable sugarcane production in Kesem Allaideghe plains irrigation project area, Eastern Ethiopia. ... In order to improve soil structure and water availability, addition of gypsum, plant residues and organic matter are recommended. Keywords: Soil survey ...

  16. Significance of ISO 9000 Quality Management System for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Significance of ISO 9000 Quality Management System for Performance ... of ISO 9000 Quality Management System implementation for performance improvement. ... to find out the relationship between certification and process variability.

  17. Complication rates of ostomy surgery are high and vary significantly between hospitals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheetz, Kyle H; Waits, Seth A; Krell, Robert W; Morris, Arden M; Englesbe, Michael J; Mullard, Andrew; Campbell, Darrell A; Hendren, Samantha

    2014-05-01

    Ostomy surgery is common and has traditionally been associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality, suggesting an important target for quality improvement. The purpose of this work was to evaluate the variation in outcomes after ostomy creation surgery within Michigan to identify targets for quality improvement. This was a retrospective cohort study. The study took place within the 34-hospital Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative. Patients included were those undergoing ostomy creation surgery between 2006 and 2011. We evaluated hospital morbidity and mortality rates after risk adjustment (age, comorbidities, emergency vs elective, and procedure type). A total of 4250 patients underwent ostomy creation surgery; 3866 procedures (91.0%) were open and 384 (9.0%) were laparoscopic. Unadjusted morbidity and mortality rates were 43.9% and 10.7%. Unadjusted morbidity rates for specific procedures ranged from 32.7% for ostomy-creation-only procedures to 47.8% for Hartmann procedures. Risk-adjusted morbidity rates varied significantly between hospitals, ranging from 31.2% (95% CI, 18.4-43.9) to 60.8% (95% CI, 48.9-72.6). There were 5 statistically significant high-outlier hospitals and 3 statistically significant low-outlier hospitals for risk-adjusted morbidity. The pattern of complication types was similar between high- and low-outlier hospitals. Case volume, operative duration, and use of laparoscopic surgery did not explain the variation in morbidity rates across hospitals. This work was limited by its retrospective study design, by unmeasured variation in case severity, and by our inability to differentiate between colostomies and ileostomies because of the use of Current Procedural Terminology codes. Morbidity and mortality rates for modern ostomy surgery are high. Although this type of surgery has received little attention in healthcare policy, these data reveal that it is both common and uncommonly morbid. Variation in hospital performance provides an

  18. Strategies for improving memory: a randomized trial of memory groups for older people, including those with mild cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinsella, Glynda J; Ames, David; Storey, Elsdon; Ong, Ben; Pike, Kerryn E; Saling, Michael M; Clare, Linda; Mullaly, Elizabeth; Rand, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    Governments are promoting the importance of maintaining cognitive health into older age to minimize risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Older people with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) are particularly vulnerable to memory challenges in daily activities and are seeking ways to maintain independent living. To evaluate the effectiveness of memory groups for improving memory strategies and memory ability of older people, especially those with aMCI. 113 healthy older adults (HOA) and 106 adults with aMCI were randomized to a six-week memory group or a waitlist control condition. Outcome was evaluated through knowledge and use of memory strategies, memory ability (self-report and neuropsychological tests), and wellbeing. Assessments included a six-month follow-up. Using intention to treat analyses, there were intervention effects for HOA and aMCI groups in strategy knowledge (HOA: η2= 0.20; aMCI: η2= 0.06), strategy use (HOA: η2= 0.18; aMCI: η2= 0.08), and wellbeing (HOA: η2= 0.11; aMCI: η2= 0.05). There were also intervention effects in the HOA group, but not the aMCI group, in self-reported memory ability (η2= 0.06) and prospective memory tests (η2= 0.02). By six-month follow-up, gains were found on most HOA outcomes. In the aMCI group gains were found in strategy use, and by this stage, gains in prospective memory were also found. Memory groups can engage older people in techniques for maintaining cognitive health and improve memory performance, but more modest benefits are seen for older adults with aMCI.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-16

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

  20. Educational Intervention Improves Compliance With AAN Guidelines for Return Epilepsy Visits: A Quality Improvement Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Gary R; Filloux, Francis M; Kerr, Lynne M

    2016-10-01

    In 2011, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) released guidelines for return seizure visits detailing 8 points that should be addressed during such visits. These guidelines are designed to improve routine follow-up care for epilepsy patients. The authors performed a quality improvement project aimed at increasing compliance with these guidelines after educating providers about them. The authors performed a chart review before and after an intervention which included: education regarding the guidelines, providing materials to remind providers of the guidelines, and templates to facilitate compliance. The authors reviewed charts at 2 and 6 months after the intervention. Significant improvement in documentation of 4 of the 8 measures was observed after this educational intervention. This suggests that simple educational interventions may help providers change practice and can improve compliance with new guidelines while requiring minimal time and resources to implement. © The Author(s) 2016.

  1. Introducing artificial depth cues to improve task performance in ITER maintenance actions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heemskerk, C.J.M.; Eendebak, P.T.; Schropp, G.Y.R.; Hermes, H.V.; Elzendoorn, B.S.Q.; Magielsen, A.J.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► Operators regard lack of 3D perception as primary factor hindering remote maintenance. ► Promising techniques to improve depth perception are depth gauges and stereo vision. ► First experiment shows artificial depth gauges need to be designed with care. ► Second experiment shows that stereo vision improves task performance significantly. -- Abstract: Maintenance operations on ITER tokamak components will be largely performed by remote handling. In previous work it was shown that representative maintenance tasks could be performed significantly faster with direct visual feedback than with camera feedback. In post-test interviews, operators indicated that they regarded the lack of 3D perception as the primary factor hindering their performance. This paper discusses various techniques to improve depth perception in teleoperation, including stereo vision, head tracking, virtual camera views and depth gauges. The most promising techniques were tested. Performance metrics included time-to-complete, path analysis and operator work-load. In a first experiment, artificial depth gauges views were tested in a 1:1 scale hardware testbed with mechanical master-slave manipulators handled by experienced operators. Robust real-time image processing was achieved with marker-based objects. The simple depth gauge and graphical overlay did not significantly improve task performance. Operators commented on their view of the task being “obstructed” by the graphical overlay, and the depth gauge was judged not very informative. In a second experiment, real time tracking was combined with VR display including stereo and head tracking. While stereo was found to improve the task performance significantly over the 1 camera (mono) condition, head tracking unexpectedly did not

  2. Introducing artificial depth cues to improve task performance in ITER maintenance actions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heemskerk, C.J.M., E-mail: c.heemskerk@heemskerk-innovative.nl [Heemskerk Innovative Technology, Sassenheim (Netherlands); Eendebak, P.T. [TNO Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (Netherlands); Schropp, G.Y.R. [Heemskerk Innovative Technology, Sassenheim (Netherlands); Hermes, H.V. [TU Eindhoven (Netherlands); Elzendoorn, B.S.Q. [FOM Institute DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research), Association EURATOM-FOM, Partner in the Trilateral Euregio Cluster, P.O. Box 1207, 3430 BE Nieuwegein (Netherlands); Magielsen, A.J. [NRG, P.O. Box 25, 1755 ZG Petten (Netherlands)

    2013-10-15

    Highlights: ► Operators regard lack of 3D perception as primary factor hindering remote maintenance. ► Promising techniques to improve depth perception are depth gauges and stereo vision. ► First experiment shows artificial depth gauges need to be designed with care. ► Second experiment shows that stereo vision improves task performance significantly. -- Abstract: Maintenance operations on ITER tokamak components will be largely performed by remote handling. In previous work it was shown that representative maintenance tasks could be performed significantly faster with direct visual feedback than with camera feedback. In post-test interviews, operators indicated that they regarded the lack of 3D perception as the primary factor hindering their performance. This paper discusses various techniques to improve depth perception in teleoperation, including stereo vision, head tracking, virtual camera views and depth gauges. The most promising techniques were tested. Performance metrics included time-to-complete, path analysis and operator work-load. In a first experiment, artificial depth gauges views were tested in a 1:1 scale hardware testbed with mechanical master-slave manipulators handled by experienced operators. Robust real-time image processing was achieved with marker-based objects. The simple depth gauge and graphical overlay did not significantly improve task performance. Operators commented on their view of the task being “obstructed” by the graphical overlay, and the depth gauge was judged not very informative. In a second experiment, real time tracking was combined with VR display including stereo and head tracking. While stereo was found to improve the task performance significantly over the 1 camera (mono) condition, head tracking unexpectedly did not.

  3. 35/30 outage improvement project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clewett, L.

    2011-01-01

    Outage performance is a significant contributor to the business plan at Bruce Power. A process improvement initiative commenced in 2010-11 to improve outage efficiency and predictability. 12 teams (over 200 people) participated in improvement identification in four areas: Organizational Engagement; Outage Scope; Resources; and, Critical Outage Execution. Out of over 550 initiatives identified, 200 are being incorporated into the Outage Improvement Initiative. Key deliverables include: Development of a long-range 'fleet-level' business strategy to integrate outage duration, outage improvements and unit refurbishments; Development of a 35 day outage schedule template; Determining optimal outage organization to perform outages on an 8-unit site; Improved schedule adherence and productivity; Process to integrate scope needs to support life-cycle and long-range outage needs improvement while meeting near term and regulatory requirements; Consistent methodology in planning of outages to front-end load the high risk work into the outage schedule; Consistent baseline by senior leaders for the expectations of milestone ownership and completion; Consistent framework for milestone compliance and preparation; Communication strategy to educate personnel on the importance of the outage program and nuclear safety, business goals, and budget; and, Suite of metrics based upon industry benchmarks. The Outage Improvement Initiative has a goal of 35 day outages every 30 months. This potentially represents considerable savings to the Bruce Power business plan, both direct revenue savings attributed to reduced outage duration, as well as incremental outage cost savings. Other improvements from the initiative will include personnel radiation exposure and equipment reliability due to decreased outage duration and adherence to scoping, assessing and long lead part milestones. This presentation will describe the outage improvement initiatives to achieve a goal of consistent 35 day outages

  4. 35/30 outage improvement project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clewett, L. [Bruce Power, Tiverton, Ontario (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    Outage performance is a significant contributor to the business plan at Bruce Power. A process improvement initiative commenced in 2010-11 to improve outage efficiency and predictability. 12 teams (over 200 people) participated in improvement identification in four areas: Organizational Engagement; Outage Scope; Resources; and, Critical Outage Execution. Out of over 550 initiatives identified, 200 are being incorporated into the Outage Improvement Initiative. Key deliverables include: Development of a long-range 'fleet-level' business strategy to integrate outage duration, outage improvements and unit refurbishments; Development of a 35 day outage schedule template; Determining optimal outage organization to perform outages on an 8-unit site; Improved schedule adherence and productivity; Process to integrate scope needs to support life-cycle and long-range outage needs improvement while meeting near term and regulatory requirements; Consistent methodology in planning of outages to front-end load the high risk work into the outage schedule; Consistent baseline by senior leaders for the expectations of milestone ownership and completion; Consistent framework for milestone compliance and preparation; Communication strategy to educate personnel on the importance of the outage program and nuclear safety, business goals, and budget; and, Suite of metrics based upon industry benchmarks. The Outage Improvement Initiative has a goal of 35 day outages every 30 months. This potentially represents considerable savings to the Bruce Power business plan, both direct revenue savings attributed to reduced outage duration, as well as incremental outage cost savings. Other improvements from the initiative will include personnel radiation exposure and equipment reliability due to decreased outage duration and adherence to scoping, assessing and long lead part milestones. This presentation will describe the outage improvement initiatives to achieve a goal of consistent 35 day

  5. Benchmarking and Performance Improvement at Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elliott, C. [Kaiser-Hill Co., LLC, Golden, CO (United States)], Doyle, D. [USDOE Rocky Flats Office, Golden, CO (United States)], Featherman, W.D. [Project Performance Corp., Sterline, VA (United States)

    1997-12-31

    The Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS) has initiated a major work process improvement campaign using the tools of formalized benchmarking and streamlining. This paper provides insights into some of the process improvement activities performed at Rocky Flats from November 1995 through December 1996. It reviews the background, motivation, methodology, results, and lessons learned from this ongoing effort. The paper also presents important gains realized through process analysis and improvement including significant cost savings, productivity improvements, and an enhanced understanding of site work processes.

  6. Comparison of Glycomacropeptide with Phenylalanine Free-Synthetic Amino Acids in Test Meals to PKU Patients: No Significant Differences in Biomarkers, Including Plasma Phe Levels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirsten K. Ahring

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Management of phenylketonuria (PKU is achieved through low-phenylalanine (Phe diet, supplemented with low-protein food and mixture of free-synthetic (FS amino acid (AA. Casein glycomacropeptide (CGMP is a natural peptide released in whey during cheese-making and does not contain Phe. Lacprodan® CGMP-20 used in this study contained a small amount of Phe due to minor presence of other proteins/peptides. Objective. The purpose of this study was to compare absorption of CGMP-20 to FSAA with the aim of evaluating short-term effects on plasma AAs as well as biomarkers related to food intake. Methods. This study included 8 patients, who had four visits and tested four drink mixtures (DM1–4, consisting of CGMP, FSAA, or a combination. Plasma blood samples were collected at baseline, 15, 30, 60, 120, and 240 minutes (min after the meal. AA profiles and ghrelin were determined 6 times, while surrogate biomarkers were determined at baseline and 240 min. A visual analogue scale (VAS was used for evaluation of taste and satiety. Results. The surrogate biomarker concentrations and VAS scores for satiety and taste were nonsignificant between the four DMs, and there were only few significant results for AA profiles (not Phe. Conclusion. CGMP and FSAA had the overall same nonsignificant short-term effect on biomarkers, including Phe. This combination of FSAA and CGMP is a suitable supplement for PKU patients.

  7. Call-to-balloon time dashboard in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction results in significant improvement in the logistic chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermans, Maaike P J; Velders, Matthijs A; Smeekes, Martin; Drexhage, Olivier S; Hautvast, Raymond W M; Ytsma, Timon; Schalij, Martin J; Umans, Victor A W M

    2017-08-04

    Timely reperfusion with primary percutaneous coronary intervention (pPCI) in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients is associated with superior clinical outcomes. Aiming to reduce ischaemic time, an innovative system for home-to-hospital (H2H) time monitoring was implemented, which enabled real-time evaluation of ischaemic time intervals, regular feedback and improvements in the logistic chain. The objective of this study was to assess the results after implementation of the H2H dashboard for monitoring and evaluation of ischaemic time in STEMI patients. Ischaemic time in STEMI patients transported by emergency medical services (EMS) and treated with pPCI in the Noordwest Ziekenhuis, Alkmaar before (2008-2009; n=495) and after the implementation of the H2H dashboard (2011-2014; n=441) was compared. Median time intervals were significantly shorter in the H2H group (door-to-balloon time 32 [IQR 25-43] vs. 40 [IQR 28-55] minutes, p-value dashboard was independently associated with shorter time delays. Real-time monitoring and feedback on time delay with the H2H dashboard improves the logistic chain in STEMI patients, resulting in shorter ischaemic time intervals.

  8. Improved Biomass Cooking Stoves and Improved Stove Emission Equipment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    HATFIELD, MICHAEL; Still, Dean

    2013-04-15

    In developing countries, there is an urgent need for access to safe, efficient, and more affordable cooking technologies. Nearly 2.5 billion people currently use an open fire or traditional cookstove to prepare their meals, and recent models predict that use of biomass for cooking will continue to be the dominant energy use in rural, resource-poor households through 2030. For these families, cooking poses serious risks to health, safety, and income. An alarming 4 million people, primarily women and children, die prematurely each year from indoor and outdoor exposure to the harmful emissions released by solid fuel combustion. Use of traditional stoves can also have a significant impact on deforestation and climate change. This dire situation creates a critical need for cookstoves that significantly and verifiably reduce fuel use and emissions in order to reach protective levels for human health and the environment. Additionally, advances in the scientific equipment needed to measure and monitor stove fuel use and emissions have not kept pace with the significant need within the industry. While several testing centers in the developed world may have hundred thousand-dollar emissions testing systems, organizations in the field have had little more than a thermometer, a scale, and subjective observations to quantify the performance of stove designs. There is an urgent need for easy-to-use, inexpensive, accurate, and robust stove testing equipment for use by laboratory and field researchers around the world. ASAT and their research partner, Aprovecho Research Center (ARC), have over thirty years of experience addressing these two needs, improved cookstoves and emissions monitoring equipment, with expertise spanning the full spectrum of development from conceptual design to product manufacturing and dissemination. This includes: 1) research, design, and verification of clean biomass cookstove technology and emissions monitoring equipment; 2) mass production of quality

  9. Assessing the clinical significance of tumor markers in common neoplasms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beketic-Oreskovic, Lidija; Maric, Petra; Ozretic, Petar; Oreskovic, Darko; Ajdukovic, Mia; Levanat, Sonja

    2012-06-01

    The term tumor markers include a spectrum of molecules and substances with widely divergent characteristics whose presence in the significant amount can be related to the malignant disease. An ideal tumor marker should have high specificity and sensitivity, which would allow its use in early diagnosis and prognosis of malignant disease, as well as in prediction of therapeutic response and follow-up of the patients. Numerous biochemical entities have emerged as potentially valuable tumor markers so far, but only few markers showed to be of considerable clinical reliability and have been accepted into standard clinical practice. Recent development of genomics and proteomics has enabled the examination of many new potential tumor markers. Scientific studies on discovery, development, and application of tumor markers have been proceeding quite rapidly providing great opportunities for improving the management of cancer patients. This review is focusing on the clinical usefulness of various tumor markers already in clinical practice as well as certain potential markers, giving a brief description of their prognostic and predictive significance in most common malignancies.

  10. Quality Improvement Initiatives in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Sameer K; Siegel, Corey A; Melmed, Gil Y

    2017-08-01

    This article serves as an overview of several quality improvement initiatives in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is associated with significant variation in care, suggesting poor quality of care. There have been several efforts to improve the quality of care for patients with IBD. Quality improvement (QI) initiatives in IBD are intended to be patient-centric, improve outcomes for individuals and populations, and reduce costs-all consistent with "the triple aim" put forth by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Current QI initiatives include the development of quality measure sets to standardize processes and outcomes, learning health systems to foster collaborative improvement, and patient-centered medical homes specific to patients with IBD in shared risk models of care. Some of these programs have demonstrated early success in improving patient outcomes, reducing costs, improving patient satisfaction, and facilitating patient engagement. However, further studies are needed to evaluate and compare the effects of these programs over time on clinical outcomes in order to demonstrate long-term value and sustainability.

  11. Improving photometric redshift estimation using GPZ: size information, post processing, and improved photometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, Zahra; Jarvis, Matt J.; Almosallam, Ibrahim A.; Roberts, Stephen J.

    2018-03-01

    The next generation of large-scale imaging surveys (such as those conducted with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and Euclid) will require accurate photometric redshifts in order to optimally extract cosmological information. Gaussian Process for photometric redshift estimation (GPZ) is a promising new method that has been proven to provide efficient, accurate photometric redshift estimations with reliable variance predictions. In this paper, we investigate a number of methods for improving the photometric redshift estimations obtained using GPZ (but which are also applicable to others). We use spectroscopy from the Galaxy and Mass Assembly Data Release 2 with a limiting magnitude of r Program Data Release 1 and find that it produces significant improvements in accuracy, similar to the effect of including additional features.

  12. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved industrial licensees. Quarterly progress report, April 1994--June 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-08-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (April - June 1994) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to industrial licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  13. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved material licensees. Quarterly progress report, April 1995--June 1995

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-08-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (April-June 1995) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to material licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  14. [A mental health awareness anti-stigma program including user-trainers has a significant impact on knowledge, beliefs and attitudes of job centre professionals in Paris].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jouet, E; Moineville, M; Favriel, S; Leriche, P; Greacen, T

    2014-04-01

    Developing programs and actions to fight stigma and discrimination against people living with mental disorders is a priority both internationally and in France. Involving mental health service users in these anti-stigma programs has proved to be a key element for effective programs. The present study evaluates the impact of user-trainers in an anti-stigma campaign with job counselors on their knowledge, beliefs, and desire for social distance with regard to mental illness and the mentally ill. Eighty-nine professionals participated in eight mental health awareness days from December 2008 to June 2009. Each training day was built around two pedagogical units: firstly, a psychiatrist providing a theoretical overview of mental illness and care and secondly, user-trainers describing their point of view on mental illness and exchanging with participants. A questionnaire administered at the beginning and at the end of the mental health awareness day assessed the impact of the day on participants' knowledge, beliefs, and desire for social distance. Answers to open questions were evaluated using thematic qualitative analysis. The intervention had statistically significant positive effects on all three training objectives: knowledge, beliefs and desire for social distance. Analysis of qualitative data confirmed participants' need for information and training with regard to providing support to clients with mental health problems; participants frequently attributed their improved self-confidence at the end of the day with regard to providing job coaching for this population group to the presence of user-trainers. A mental health awareness day using mental health service users and psychiatrists as trainers had significant positive effects in terms of reducing stigma with regard to people with mental illness. Further research is needed to understand whether the impact of such awareness approaches can be maintained in everyday professional practice over time. Copyright © 2013

  15. Sustained participation in annual continuous quality improvement activities improves quality of care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAullay, Daniel; McAuley, Kimberley; Bailie, Ross; Mathews, Veronica; Jacoby, Peter; Gardner, Karen; Sibthorpe, Beverly; Strobel, Natalie; Edmond, Karen

    2018-02-01

    To determine whether participation in the continuous quality improvement (CQI) Audit and Best Practice for Chronic Disease programme improved care and outcomes for Indigenous children. Data were collected from 59 Australian primary health-care centres providing services to Indigenous people and participating in the programme (February 2008 and December 2013). Indigenous children aged less than 2 years and centres that completed three or more consecutive annual audits within the 6-year study period were included. Crude and adjusted logistic generalised estimating equation models were used to examine the effect of year of audit on the delivery of care. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated. Outcomes were related to age-relevant health issues, including prevention and early intervention. These included administrative, health check, anticipatory guidance and specific health issues. During the audit period, there were 2360 files from 59 centres. Those that had a recall recorded, improved from 84 to 95% (OR 2.44, 95% CI 1.44-4.11). Hearing assessments improved from 52 to 89% (OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.22-1.54). Improvement in anticipatory guidance, treatment and follow-up of medical conditions was almost universal. We documented significant improvements in quality of care of Indigenous children. Outcomes and their corresponding treatment and follow-ups improved over time. This appears to be related to services participating in annual CQI activities. However, these services may be more committed to CQI than others and therefore possibly better performing. © 2017 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (The Royal Australasian College of Physicians).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  17. Addendum to the article: Misuse of null hypothesis significance testing: Would estimation of positive and negative predictive values improve certainty of chemical risk assessment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bundschuh, Mirco; Newman, Michael C; Zubrod, Jochen P; Seitz, Frank; Rosenfeldt, Ricki R; Schulz, Ralf

    2015-03-01

    We argued recently that the positive predictive value (PPV) and the negative predictive value (NPV) are valuable metrics to include during null hypothesis significance testing: They inform the researcher about the probability of statistically significant and non-significant test outcomes actually being true. Although commonly misunderstood, a reported p value estimates only the probability of obtaining the results or more extreme results if the null hypothesis of no effect was true. Calculations of the more informative PPV and NPV require a priori estimate of the probability (R). The present document discusses challenges of estimating R.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Prognostic Factors Affecting Locally Recurrent Rectal Cancer and Clinical Significance of Hemoglobin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rades, Dirk; Kuhn, Hildegard; Schultze, Juergen; Homann, Nils; Brandenburg, Bernd; Schulte, Rainer; Krull, Andreas; Schild, Steven E.; Dunst, Juergen

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: To investigate potential prognostic factors, including hemoglobin levels before and during radiotherapy, for associations with survival and local control in patients with unirradiated locally recurrent rectal cancer. Patients and Methods: Ten potential prognostic factors were investigated in 94 patients receiving radiotherapy for recurrent rectal cancer: age (≤68 vs. ≥69 years), gender, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (0-1 vs. 2-3), American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage (≤II vs. III vs. IV), grading (G1-2 vs. G3), surgery, administration of chemotherapy, radiation dose (equivalent dose in 2-Gy fractions: ≤50 vs. >50 Gy), and hemoglobin levels before (<12 vs. ≥12 g/dL) and during (majority of levels: <12 vs. ≥12 g/dL) radiotherapy. Multivariate analyses were performed, including hemoglobin levels, either before or during radiotherapy (not both) because these are confounding variables. Results: Improved survival was associated with better performance status (p < 0.001), lower AJCC stage (p = 0.023), surgery (p = 0.011), chemotherapy (p = 0.003), and hemoglobin levels ≥12 g/dL both before (p = 0.031) and during (p < 0.001) radiotherapy. On multivariate analyses, performance status, AJCC stage, and hemoglobin levels during radiotherapy maintained significance. Improved local control was associated with better performance status (p = 0.040), lower AJCC stage (p = 0.010), lower grading (p = 0.012), surgery (p < 0.001), chemotherapy (p < 0.001), and hemoglobin levels ≥12 g/dL before (p < 0.001) and during (p < 0.001) radiotherapy. On multivariate analyses, chemotherapy, grading, and hemoglobin levels before and during radiotherapy remained significant. Subgroup analyses of the patients having surgery demonstrated the extent of resection to be significantly associated with local control (p = 0.011) but not with survival (p = 0.45). Conclusion: Predictors for outcome in patients who received radiotherapy for locally

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  1. Improved power performance assessment methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frandsen, S; Antoniou, I; Dahlberg, J A [and others

    1999-03-01

    The uncertainty of presently-used methods for retrospective assessment of the productive capacity of wind farms is unacceptably large. The possibilities of improving the accuracy have been investigated and are reported. A method is presented that includes an extended power curve and site calibration. In addition, blockage effects with respect to reference wind speed measurements are analysed. It is found that significant accuracy improvements are possible by the introduction of more input variables such as turbulence and wind shear, in addition to mean wind speed and air density. Also, the testing of several or all machines in the wind farm - instead of only one or two - may provide a better estimate of the average performance. (au)

  2. Oropharyngeal Dysphagia in Dermatomyositis: Associations with Clinical and Laboratory Features Including Autoantibodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mugii, Naoki; Hasegawa, Minoru; Matsushita, Takashi; Hamaguchi, Yasuhito; Oohata, Sacihe; Okita, Hirokazu; Yahata, Tetsutarou; Someya, Fujiko; Inoue, Katsumi; Murono, Shigeyuki; Fujimoto, Manabu; Takehara, Kazuhiko

    2016-01-01

    Dysphagia develops with low frequency in patients with dermatomyositis. Our objective was to determine the clinical and laboratory features that can estimate the development of dysphagia in dermatomyositis. This study included 92 Japanese patients with adult-onset dermatomyositis. The associations between dysphagia and clinical and laboratory features including disease-specific autoantibodies determined by immunoprecipitation assays were analyzed. Videofluoroscopy swallow study (VFSS) was performed for all patients with clinical dysphagia (n = 13, 14.1%) but not for patients without clinical dysphagia. Typical findings of dysphagia (pharyngeal pooling, n = 11 and/or nasal regurgitation, n = 4) was detected by VFSS in all patients with clinical dysphagia. Eleven patients with dysphagia (84.6%) had anti-transcription intermediary factor 1γ (TIF-1γ) antibody. By univariate analysis, the average age and the male to female ratio, internal malignancy, and anti-TIF-1γ antibody were significantly higher and the frequency of interstitial lung diseases and manual muscle testing (MMT) scores of sternomastoid and dertoid muscles were significantly lower in patients with dysphagia than in patients without dysphagia. Among patients with anti-TIF-1γ antibody, the mean age, the ratios of male to female and internal malignancy were significantly higher and mean MMT scores of sternomastoid muscle were significantly lower in patients with dysphagia compared with patients without dysphagia. By multivariable analysis, the risk of dysphagia was strongly associated with the existence of internal malignancy and ant-TIF-1γ antibody and was also associated with reduced scores of manual muscle test of sternomastoid muscle. Dysphagia was markedly improved after the treatment against myositis in all 13 patients. These findings indicate that dysphagia can develop frequently in patients with internal malignancy, anti-TIF-1γ antibody, or severe muscle weakness of sternomastoid muscle.

  3. Impact of lean six sigma process improvement methodology on cardiac catheterization laboratory efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Shikhar; Gallo, Justin J; Parashar, Akhil; Agarwal, Kanika K; Ellis, Stephen G; Khot, Umesh N; Spooner, Robin; Murat Tuzcu, Emin; Kapadia, Samir R

    2016-03-01

    Operational inefficiencies are ubiquitous in several healthcare processes. To improve the operational efficiency of our catheterization laboratory (Cath Lab), we implemented a lean six sigma process improvement initiative, starting in June 2010. We aimed to study the impact of lean six sigma implementation on improving the efficiency and the patient throughput in our Cath Lab. All elective and urgent cardiac catheterization procedures including diagnostic coronary angiography, percutaneous coronary interventions, structural interventions and peripheral interventions performed between June 2009 and December 2012 were included in the study. Performance metrics utilized for analysis included turn-time, physician downtime, on-time patient arrival, on-time physician arrival, on-time start and manual sheath-pulls inside the Cath Lab. After implementation of lean six sigma in the Cath Lab, we observed a significant improvement in turn-time, physician downtime, on-time patient arrival, on-time physician arrival, on-time start as well as sheath-pulls inside the Cath Lab. The percentage of cases with optimal turn-time increased from 43.6% in 2009 to 56.6% in 2012 (p-trendprocess improvement initiative, lean six sigma, on improving and sustaining efficiency of our Cath Lab operation. After the successful implementation of this continuous quality improvement initiative, there was a significant improvement in the selected performance metrics namely turn-time, physician downtime, on-time patient arrival, on-time physician arrival, on-time start as well as sheath-pulls inside the Cath Lab. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nishimura Sumiko

    2011-03-01

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

  5. Statewide Quality Improvement Initiative to Reduce Early Elective Deliveries and Improve Birth Registry Accuracy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Heather C; King, Eileen; White, Beth E; Ford, Susan E; Fuller, Sandra; Krew, Michael A; Marcotte, Michael P; Iams, Jay D; Bailit, Jennifer L; Bouchard, Jo M; Friar, Kelly; Lannon, Carole M

    2018-04-01

    To evaluate the success of a quality improvement initiative to reduce early elective deliveries at less than 39 weeks of gestation and improve birth registry data accuracy rapidly and at scale in Ohio. Between February 2013 and March 2014, participating hospitals were involved in a quality improvement initiative to reduce early elective deliveries at less than 39 weeks of gestation and improve birth registry data. This initiative was designed as a learning collaborative model (group webinars and a single face-to-face meeting) and included individual quality improvement coaching. It was implemented using a stepped wedge design with hospitals divided into three balanced groups (waves) participating in the initiative sequentially. Birth registry data were used to assess hospital rates of nonmedically indicated inductions at less than 39 weeks of gestation. Comparisons were made between groups participating and those not participating in the initiative at two time points. To measure birth registry accuracy, hospitals conducted monthly audits comparing birth registry data with the medical record. Associations were assessed using generalized linear repeated measures models accounting for time effects. Seventy of 72 (97%) eligible hospitals participated. Based on birth registry data, nonmedically indicated inductions at less than 39 weeks of gestation declined in all groups with implementation (wave 1: 6.2-3.2%, Pinitiative, they saw significant decreases in rates of early elective deliveries as compared with wave 3 (control; P=.018). All waves had significant improvement in birth registry accuracy (wave 1: 80-90%, P=.017; wave 2: 80-100%, P=.002; wave 3: 75-100%, Pinitiative enabled statewide spread of change strategies to decrease early elective deliveries and improve birth registry accuracy over 14 months and could be used for rapid dissemination of other evidence-based obstetric care practices across states or hospital systems.

  6. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved; Quarterly progress report, October--December 1993: Volume 12, No. 4

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-03-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (October - December 1993) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication.

  7. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved. Quarterly progress report, April--June 1993: Volume 12, No. 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-09-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (April--June 1993) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication.

  8. A Call to Include Severe Combined Immunodeficiency in Newborn Screening Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raz Somech

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Quantification of the T cell receptor excision circles (TRECs has recently emerged as a useful non-invasive clinical and research tool to investigate thymic activity. It allows the identification of T cell production by the thymus. Quantification of TREC copies has recently been implemented as the preferred test to screen neonates with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID or significant lymphopenia. Neonatal genetic screening for SCID is highly important in countries with high rates of consanguinous marriages, such as Israel, and can be used for early diagnosis, enabling prompt therapeutic intervention that will save lives and improve the outcome of these patients. TREC measurement is also applicable in clinical settings where T cell immunity is involved, including any T cell immunodeficiencies, HIV infection, the aging process, autoimmune diseases, and immune reconstitution after bone marrow transplantation.

  9. In vivo topical application of acetyl aspartic acid increases fibrillin-1 and collagen IV deposition leading to a significant improvement of skin firmness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillbro, J M; Merinville, E; Cattley, K; Al-Bader, T; Hagforsen, E; Nilsson, M; Mavon, A

    2015-10-01

    Acetyl aspartic acid (A-A-A) was discovered through gene array analysis with corresponding Cmap analysis. We found that A-A-A increased keratinocyte regeneration, inhibited dermal matrix metalloprotease (MMP) expression and relieved fibroblast stiffness through reduction of the fibroblast stiffness marker F-actin. Dermal absorption studies showed successful delivery to both the epidermal and dermal regions, and in-use trial demonstrated that 1% A-A-A was well tolerated. In this study, the aim was to investigate whether A-A-A could stimulate the synthesis of extracellular matrix supporting proteins in vivo and thereby improving the viscoelastic properties of human skin by conducting a dual histological and biophysical clinical study. Two separate double-blind vehicle-controlled in vivo studies were conducted using a 1% A-A-A containing oil-in-water (o/w) emulsion. In the histological study, 16 female volunteers (>55 years of age) exhibiting photodamaged skin on their forearm were included, investigating the effect of a 12-day treatment of A-A-A on collagen IV (COLIV) and fibrillin-1. In a subsequent pilot study, 0.1% retinol was used for comparison to A-A-A (1%). The biomechanical properties of the skin were assessed in a panel of 16 women (>45 years of age) using the standard Cutometer MPA580 after topical application of the test products for 28 days. The use of multiple suction enabled the assessment of F4, an area parameter specifically representing skin firmness. Twelve-day topical application of 1% A-A-A significantly increased COLIV and fibrillin with 13% and 6%, respectively, compared to vehicle. 1% A-A-A and 0.1% retinol were found to significantly reduce F4 after 28 days of treatment by 15.8% and 14.7%, respectively, in the pilot Cutometer study. No significant difference was found between retinol and A-A-A. However, only A-A-A exhibited a significant effect vs. vehicle on skin firmness which indicated the incremental benefit of A-A-A as a skin

  10. Improving a Dental School's Clinic Operations Using Lean Process Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Fonda G; Cunningham, Larry L; Turner, Sharon P; Lindroth, John; Ray, Deborah; Khan, Talib; Yates, Audrey

    2016-10-01

    The term "lean production," also known as "Lean," describes a process of operations management pioneered at the Toyota Motor Company that contributed significantly to the success of the company. Although developed by Toyota, the Lean process has been implemented at many other organizations, including those in health care, and should be considered by dental schools in evaluating their clinical operations. Lean combines engineering principles with operations management and improvement tools to optimize business and operating processes. One of the core concepts is relentless elimination of waste (non-value-added components of a process). Another key concept is utilization of individuals closest to the actual work to analyze and improve the process. When the medical center of the University of Kentucky adopted the Lean process for improving clinical operations, members of the College of Dentistry trained in the process applied the techniques to improve inefficient operations at the Walk-In Dental Clinic. The purpose of this project was to reduce patients' average in-the-door-to-out-the-door time from over four hours to three hours within 90 days. Achievement of this goal was realized by streamlining patient flow and strategically relocating key phases of the process. This initiative resulted in patient benefits such as shortening average in-the-door-to-out-the-door time by over an hour, improving satisfaction by 21%, and reducing negative comments by 24%, as well as providing opportunity to implement the electronic health record, improving teamwork, and enhancing educational experiences for students. These benefits were achieved while maintaining high-quality patient care with zero adverse outcomes during and two years following the process improvement project.

  11. Improved Sleep in Military Personnel is Associated with Changes in the Expression of Inflammatory Genes and Improvement in Depression Symptoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Whitney S. Livingston

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Study Objectives: Sleep disturbances are common in military personnel and are associated with increased risk for psychiatric morbidity, including posttraumatic stress disorder and depression, as well as inflammation. Improved sleep quality is linked to reductions in inflammatory bio-markers; however, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Methods: In this study we examine whole genome expression changes related to improved sleep in 68 military personnel diagnosed with insomnia. Subjects were classified into the following groups and then compared: improved sleep (n=46, or non-improved sleep (n=22 following three months of standard of care treatment for insomnia. Within subject differential expression was determined from microarray data using the Partek Genomics Suite analysis program and the interactive pathway analysis was used to determine key regulators of observed expression changes. Changes in symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder were also compared. Results: At baseline both groups were similar in demographics, clinical characteristics, and gene-expression profiles. The microarray data revealed that 217 coding genes were differentially expressed at the follow-up-period compared to baseline in the participants with improved sleep. Expression of inflammatory cytokines were reduced including IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-13, with fold changes ranging from -3.19 to -2.1, and there were increases in the expression of inflammatory regulatory genes including toll-like receptors 1, 4, 7, and 8 in the improved sleep group. Interactive pathway analysis revealed 6 gene networks, including ubiquitin which was a major regulator in these gene-expression changes. The improved sleep group also had a significant reduction in the severity of depressive symptoms.Conclusions: Interventions that restore sleep likely reduce the expression of inflammatory genes, which relate to ubiquitin genes and relate to reductions in depressive symptoms.

  12. Photoactive devices including porphyrinoids with coordinating additives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forrest, Stephen R; Zimmerman, Jeramy; Yu, Eric K; Thompson, Mark E; Trinh, Cong; Whited, Matthew; Diev, Vlacheslav

    2015-05-12

    Coordinating additives are included in porphyrinoid-based materials to promote intermolecular organization and improve one or more photoelectric characteristics of the materials. The coordinating additives are selected from fullerene compounds and organic compounds having free electron pairs. Combinations of different coordinating additives can be used to tailor the characteristic properties of such porphyrinoid-based materials, including porphyrin oligomers. Bidentate ligands are one type of coordinating additive that can form coordination bonds with a central metal ion of two different porphyrinoid compounds to promote porphyrinoid alignment and/or pi-stacking. The coordinating additives can shift the absorption spectrum of a photoactive material toward higher wavelengths, increase the external quantum efficiency of the material, or both.

  13. YMDB 2.0: a significantly expanded version of the yeast metabolome database.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez-Gaona, Miguel; Marcu, Ana; Pon, Allison; Guo, An Chi; Sajed, Tanvir; Wishart, Noah A; Karu, Naama; Djoumbou Feunang, Yannick; Arndt, David; Wishart, David S

    2017-01-04

    YMDB or the Yeast Metabolome Database (http://www.ymdb.ca/) is a comprehensive database containing extensive information on the genome and metabolome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Initially released in 2012, the YMDB has gone through a significant expansion and a number of improvements over the past 4 years. This manuscript describes the most recent version of YMDB (YMDB 2.0). More specifically, it provides an updated description of the database that was previously described in the 2012 NAR Database Issue and it details many of the additions and improvements made to the YMDB over that time. Some of the most important changes include a 7-fold increase in the number of compounds in the database (from 2007 to 16 042), a 430-fold increase in the number of metabolic and signaling pathway diagrams (from 66 to 28 734), a 16-fold increase in the number of compounds linked to pathways (from 742 to 12 733), a 17-fold increase in the numbers of compounds with nuclear magnetic resonance or MS spectra (from 783 to 13 173) and an increase in both the number of data fields and the number of links to external databases. In addition to these database expansions, a number of improvements to YMDB's web interface and its data visualization tools have been made. These additions and improvements should greatly improve the ease, the speed and the quantity of data that can be extracted, searched or viewed within YMDB. Overall, we believe these improvements should not only improve the understanding of the metabolism of S. cerevisiae, but also allow more in-depth exploration of its extensive metabolic networks, signaling pathways and biochemistry. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  14. Teacher coaching supported by formative assessment for improving classroom practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabiano, Gregory A; Reddy, Linda A; Dudek, Christopher M

    2018-06-01

    The present study is a wait-list controlled, randomized study investigating a teacher coaching approach that emphasizes formative assessment and visual performance feedback to enhance elementary school teachers' classroom practices. The coaching model targeted instructional and behavioral management practices as measured by the Classroom Strategies Assessment System (CSAS) Observer and Teacher Forms. The sample included 89 general education teachers, stratified by grade level, and randomly assigned to 1 of 2 conditions: (a) immediate coaching, or (b) waitlist control. Results indicated that, relative to the waitlist control, teachers in immediate coaching demonstrated significantly greater improvements in observations of behavior management strategy use but not for observations of instructional strategy use. Observer- and teacher-completed ratings of behavioral management strategy use at postassessment were significantly improved by both raters; ratings of instructional strategy use were significantly improved for teacher but not observer ratings. A brief coaching intervention improved teachers' use of observed behavior management strategies and self-reported use of behavior management and instructional strategies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  15. Clinical performance improvement series. Classic CQI integrated with comprehensive disease management as a model for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, M S; Bernard, D B

    1999-08-01

    In recent years, health and disease management has emerged as an effective means of delivering, integrating, and improving care through a population-based approach. Since 1997 the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) has utilized the key principles and components of continuous quality improvement (CQI) and disease management to form a model for health care improvement that focuses on designing best practices, using best practices to influence clinical decision making, changing processes and systems to deploy and deliver best practices, and measuring outcomes to improve the process. Experience with 28 programs and more than 14,000 patients indicates significant improvement in outcomes, including high physician satisfaction, increased patient satisfaction, reduced costs, and improved clinical process and outcome measures across multiple diseases. DIABETES DISEASE MANAGEMENT: In three months a UPHS multidisciplinary diabetes disease management team developed a best practice approach for the treatment of all patients with diabetes in the UPHS. After the program was pilot tested in three primary care physician sites, it was then introduced progressively to additional practice sites throughout the health system. The establishment of the role of the diabetes nurse care managers (certified diabetes educators) was central to successful program deployment. Office-based coordinators ensure incorporation of the best practice protocols into routine flow processes. A disease management intranet disseminates programs electronically. Outcomes of the UPHS health and disease management programs so far demonstrate success across multiple dimensions of performance-service, clinical quality, access, and value. The task of health care leadership today is to remove barriers and enable effective implementation of key strategies, such as health and disease management. Substantial effort and resources must be dedicated to gain physician buy-in and achieve compliance. The

  16. Early Recovery of Aphasia through Thrombolysis: The Significance of Spontaneous Speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furlanis, Giovanni; Ridolfi, Mariana; Polverino, Paola; Menichelli, Alina; Caruso, Paola; Naccarato, Marcello; Sartori, Arianna; Torelli, Lucio; Pesavento, Valentina; Manganotti, Paolo

    2018-07-01

    Aphasia is one of the most devastating stroke-related consequences for social interaction and daily activities. Aphasia recovery in acute stroke depends on the degree of reperfusion after thrombolysis or thrombectomy. As aphasia assessment tests are often time-consuming for patients with acute stroke, physicians have been developing rapid and simple tests. The aim of our study is to evaluate the improvement of language functions in the earliest stage in patients treated with thrombolysis and in nontreated patients using our rapid screening test. Our study is a single-center prospective observational study conducted at the Stroke Unit of the University Medical Hospital of Trieste (January-December 2016). Patients treated with thrombolysis and nontreated patients underwent 3 aphasia assessments through our rapid screening test (at baseline, 24 hours, and 72 hours). The screening test assesses spontaneous speech, oral comprehension of words, reading aloud and comprehension of written words, oral comprehension of sentences, naming, repetition of words and a sentence, and writing words. The study included 40 patients: 18 patients treated with thrombolysis and 22 nontreated patients. Both groups improved over time. Among all language parameters, spontaneous speech was statistically significant between 24 and 72 hours (P value = .012), and between baseline and 72 hours (P value = .017). Our study demonstrates that patients treated with thrombolysis experience greater improvement in language than the nontreated patients. The difference between the 2 groups is increasingly evident over time. Moreover, spontaneous speech is the parameter marked by the greatest improvement. Copyright © 2018 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Instructional strategies to improve women's attitudes toward science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newbill, Phyllis Leary

    Although negative attitudes toward science are common among women and men in undergraduate introductory science classes, women's attitudes toward science tend to be more negative than men's. The reasons for women's negative attitudes toward science include lack of self-confidence, fear of association with social outcasts, lack of women role models in science, and the fundamental differences between traditional scientific and feminist values. Attitudes are psychological constructs theorized to be composed of emotional, cognitive, and behavioral components. Attitudes serve functions, including social expressive, value expressive, utilitarian, and defensive functions, for the people who hold them. To change attitudes, the new attitudes must serve the same function as the old one, and all three components must be treated. Instructional designers can create instructional environments to effect attitude change. In designing instruction to improve women's attitudes toward science, instructional designers should (a) address the emotions that are associated with existing attitudes, (b) involve credible, attractive women role models, and (c) address the functions of the existing attitudes. Two experimental instructional modules were developed based on these recommendations, and two control modules were developed that were not based on these recommendations. The asynchronous, web-based modules were administered to 281 undergraduate geology and chemistry students at two universities. Attitude assessment revealed that attitudes toward scientists improved significantly more in the experimental group, although there was no significant difference in overall attitudes toward science. Women's attitudes improved significantly more than men's in both the experimental and control groups. Students whose attitudes changed wrote significantly more in journaling activities associated with the modules. Qualitative analysis of journals revealed that the guidelines worked exactly as predicted

  18. Some conditions for significant contribution from photovoltaics to sustainable development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coiante, D.

    1994-03-01

    In medium-long term perspective, the anthropogenic atmospheric pollution, due to fossil fuel burning, could be contained by massively using of renewable energy. Significant improvements are expected to arise from diffusion into use of large scale PV power systems. Considering the situation in Italy as a typical study case, a limit can be individuated, which makes that PV contribution to annual electric energy balance can reach a maximum of about 7%. Such a figure corresponds to about 2% in terms of contribution to total energy balance. Thus, the intermittent energy sources are destined, in Italy, to be confined to a role, just significant (7%) in the electric energy sector, but quite marginal (2%) with reference to expected environmental massive benefits. Apart from numerical results, this disappointing concept can be applied in general to all OCSE countries, wich globally produce the largest amount of world pollutant energy. Consequently, if photovoltaics wants to acquire a real environmental consistence, the limit of PV system diffusion has to be overcome. This can be attained by implementing the present grid-tied reference model for PV system diffusion by including an hydrogen production and storage system

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew H. Savoie

    2012-03-01

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

  1. Upgrading and efficiency improvement in coal-fired power plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2013-08-01

    Improving the efficiencies of the large number of older coal-fired power plants operating around the world would give major savings in CO2 emissions together with significant other benefits. This report begins with a summary of the ways efficiency can become degraded and of the means available to combat the decrease in performance. These include improvements to operating and maintenance practices and more major techniques that are available, including boiler and turbine retrofits. There is also an update on fuel drying developments as a route to higher efficiency in plants firing high moisture lignites. The largest chapter of the report contains a number of descriptions of case study improvement projects, to illustrate measures that have been applied, benefits that have been achieved and identify best practices, which are summarised. Major national and international upgrading programmes are described.

  2. An improved model for the Earth's gravity field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapley, B. D.; Shum, C. K.; Yuan, D. N.; Ries, J. C.; Schutz, B. E.

    1989-01-01

    An improved model for the Earth's gravity field, TEG-1, was determined using data sets from fourteen satellites, spanning the inclination ranges from 15 to 115 deg, and global surface gravity anomaly data. The satellite measurements include laser ranging data, Doppler range-rate data, and satellite-to-ocean radar altimeter data measurements, which include the direct height measurement and the differenced measurements at ground track crossings (crossover measurements). Also determined was another gravity field model, TEG-1S, which included all the data sets in TEG-1 with the exception of direct altimeter data. The effort has included an intense scrutiny of the gravity field solution methodology. The estimated parameters included geopotential coefficients complete to degree and order 50 with selected higher order coefficients, ocean and solid Earth tide parameters, Doppler tracking station coordinates and the quasi-stationary sea surface topography. Extensive error analysis and calibration of the formal covariance matrix indicate that the gravity field model is a significant improvement over previous models and can be used for general applications in geodesy.

  3. [The prognostic significance of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) for phobic anxiety disorders, vegetative and cognitive impairments during conservative treatment including adaptol of some functional and organic diseases of nervous system].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhivolupov, S A; Samartsev, I N; Marchenko, A A; Puliatkina, O V

    2012-01-01

    We have studied the efficacy of adaptol in the treatment of 45 patients with somatoform dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system and 30 patients with closed head injury. The condition of patients during the treatment was evaluated with clinical and neuropsychological scales. The serum level of BDNF before and after the treatment has been studied as well. Adaptol has been shown to enhance the production of BDNF, reduce significantly the intensity of anxiety, autonomic disorders and improve intellectual processes. The dose-dependent effect of the drug has been demonstrated. In conclusion, adaptol can be recommended for treatment of diseases that demand stimulation of neuroplasticity in the CNS.

  4. Containment performance improvement program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beckner, W.; Mitchell, J.; Soffer, L.; Chow, E.; Lane, J.; Ridgely, J.

    1990-01-01

    The Containment Performance Improvement (CPI) program has been one of the main elements in the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC's) integrated approach to closure of severe accident issues for US nuclear power plants. During the course of the program, results from various probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) studies and from severe accident research programs for the five US containment types have been examined to identify significant containment challenges and to evaluate potential improvements. The five containment types considered are: the boiling water reactor (BMR) Mark I containment, the BWR Mark II containment, the BWR Mark III containment, the pressurized water reactor (PWR) ice condenser containment, and the PWR dry containments (including both subatmospheric and large subtypes). The focus of the CPI program has been containment performance and accident mitigation, however, insights are also being obtained in the areas of accident prevention and accident management

  5. Improving the performance of reflex Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) testing in triaging women with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS): A restrospective study in a tertiary hospital in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fakhreldin, Marwa; Elmasry, Karim

    2016-02-03

    Cervical cancer is the second commonest cancer in women worldwide. Infection with oncogenic types of human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most important risk factor for developing cervical cancer. Reflex High risk HPV (HR-HPV) testing is of significant value in the assessment of Papanicolaou (Pap) smear results where ASCUS are identified. To improve the performance of reflex HR-HPV testing in triage of ASCUS and analyze the factors impacting it. In this study, we generated a database of 9641 women who had cervical smears collected during the study period from the cytopathology record in a large tertiary hospital in UAE. These included 297 smears with ASCUS diagnosis. All cases were retrospectively followed up with a mean duration of 2.44 years. We analyzed data according to the outcome based on several follow-up Pap smear analysis as the reference assessment. We detected HR-HPV infection in 17.9% of cases. 9.1% ASCUS cases can be more accurate in premenopausal women upon adding age group and presenting complaint as a triage item. This improves the performance of reflex HPV testing and the subsequent selection of high risk patients for colposcopy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomislav Hengl

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

  7. Improved pulmonary nodule classification utilizing quantitative lung parenchyma features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dilger, Samantha K N; Uthoff, Johanna; Judisch, Alexandra; Hammond, Emily; Mott, Sarah L; Smith, Brian J; Newell, John D; Hoffman, Eric A; Sieren, Jessica C

    2015-10-01

    Current computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) models for determining pulmonary nodule malignancy characterize nodule shape, density, and border in computed tomography (CT) data. Analyzing the lung parenchyma surrounding the nodule has been minimally explored. We hypothesize that improved nodule classification is achievable by including features quantified from the surrounding lung tissue. To explore this hypothesis, we have developed expanded quantitative CT feature extraction techniques, including volumetric Laws texture energy measures for the parenchyma and nodule, border descriptors using ray-casting and rubber-band straightening, histogram features characterizing densities, and global lung measurements. Using stepwise forward selection and leave-one-case-out cross-validation, a neural network was used for classification. When applied to 50 nodules (22 malignant and 28 benign) from high-resolution CT scans, 52 features (8 nodule, 39 parenchymal, and 5 global) were statistically significant. Nodule-only features yielded an area under the ROC curve of 0.918 (including nodule size) and 0.872 (excluding nodule size). Performance was improved through inclusion of parenchymal (0.938) and global features (0.932). These results show a trend toward increased performance when the parenchyma is included, coupled with the large number of significant parenchymal features that support our hypothesis: the pulmonary parenchyma is influenced differentially by malignant versus benign nodules, assisting CAD-based nodule characterizations.

  8. Does Competition Improve Public School Efficiency? A Spatial Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misra, Kaustav

    2010-01-01

    Proponents of educational reform often call for policies to increase competition between schools. It is argued that market forces naturally lead to greater efficiencies, including improved student learning, when schools face competition. In many parts of the country, public schools experience significant competition from private schools; however,…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Settineri

    2011-08-01

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

  10. Improved flotation recovery via hydrophobicity adjustment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Philip Ofori; Graham O' Brien; Bruce Firth; Clint McNally; Anh Nguyen [University of Queensland, Qld. (Australia). CSIRO

    2009-03-15

    The main goal of this project was to examine a new approach to maximising the recovery of product specification coal during coal flotation using new generation reagents complemented by the use of the Coal Grain Analysis tool. Laboratory flotation experiments in which the novel reagents were employed as promoters by adding small amounts before adding conventional collector (diesel oil) showed that flotation recovery was significantly increased with only a small product quality (ash%) penalty. The groups of reagents used included surfactants from the group of tri-block copolymers of polyethylene oxide (PEO) and polypropylene oxide (PPO) often denoted as PEO/PPO/PEO or the reverse block copolymer PPO/PEO/PPO. Analysis of the flotation products using the grain analysis technique determined that whilst the recoveries of most grain types were improved, the coarse composite grains which were the components targeted for enhancement showed the most improvement. Plant scale test results confirmed the laboratory findings with remarkable improvements in recovery achieved for all components, especially for coarse inertite and composite grains. The difficult to float coals that are lost at this plant may be recovered without significant modification to the fines circuit by the use of targeted reagents.

  11. Significance of acquired diverticular disease of the vermiform appendix

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kallenbach, Klaus; Hjorth, Sofie Vetli; Engel, Ulla

    2012-01-01

    To assess the prevalence of acquired diverticulum of the appendix (DA), including incipient forms and its possible significance as a marker of local/regional neoplasms.......To assess the prevalence of acquired diverticulum of the appendix (DA), including incipient forms and its possible significance as a marker of local/regional neoplasms....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-15

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

  13. Improving Cardiometabolic Monitoring of Children on Antipsychotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotes, Robert O; Fernandes, Nisha K; McLaren, Jennifer L; McHugo, Gregory J; Bartels, Stephen J; Brunette, Mary F

    2017-12-01

    This study evaluated changes in cardiometabolic monitoring for children and adolescents who were prescribed an antipsychotic medication in a state mental health system before and after a quality improvement intervention. The intervention included education for prescribers, auditing on metabolic monitoring, and feedback to mental health center leaders regarding their monitoring. Research staff extracted yearly data on cardiometabolic monitoring from randomly selected community mental health center records before and after the intervention. Pre- and postintervention changes in monitoring were assessed with chi-squared tests. Evidence of past year monitoring increased: for glucose 18.9%-42.1% (χ 2  = 6.75, p monitoring for blood pressure and waist circumference increased but not significantly. In both years studied, weight was obtained most frequently and waist circumference was obtained least frequently. Monitoring rates significantly improved for four out of six parameters evaluated, but overall monitoring rates remained low at the end of the study period. Prescriber education with audit and feedback may improve cardiometabolic monitoring rates, but research is needed to evaluate barriers to monitoring in children.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Velde Van de, A.; Burtak, F.

    2001-01-01

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

  15. Can NMR solve some significant challenges in metabolomics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowda, G.A. Nagana; Raftery, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The field of metabolomics continues to witness rapid growth driven by fundamental studies, methods development, and applications in a number of disciplines that include biomedical science, plant and nutrition sciences, drug development, energy and environmental sciences, toxicology, etc. NMR spectroscopy is one of the two most widely used analytical platforms in the metabolomics field, along with mass spectrometry (MS). NMR's excellent reproducibility and quantitative accuracy, its ability to identify structures of unknown metabolites, its capacity to generate metabolite profiles using intact biospecimens with no need for separation, and its capabilities for tracing metabolic pathways using isotope labeled substrates offer unique strengths for metabolomics applications. However, NMR's limited sensitivity and resolution continue to pose a major challenge and have restricted both the number and the quantitative accuracy of metabolites analyzed by NMR. Further, the analysis of highly complex biological samples has increased the demand for new methods with improved detection, better unknown identification, and more accurate quantitation of larger numbers of metabolites. Recent efforts have contributed significant improvements in these areas, and have thereby enhanced the pool of routinely quantifiable metabolites. Additionally, efforts focused on combining NMR and MS promise opportunities to exploit the combined strength of the two analytical platforms for direct comparison of the metabolite data, unknown identification and reliable biomarker discovery that continue to challenge the metabolomics field. This article presents our perspectives on the emerging trends in NMR-based metabolomics and NMR's continuing role in the field with an emphasis on recent and ongoing research from our laboratory. PMID:26476597

  16. Can NMR solve some significant challenges in metabolomics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagana Gowda, G A; Raftery, Daniel

    2015-11-01

    The field of metabolomics continues to witness rapid growth driven by fundamental studies, methods development, and applications in a number of disciplines that include biomedical science, plant and nutrition sciences, drug development, energy and environmental sciences, toxicology, etc. NMR spectroscopy is one of the two most widely used analytical platforms in the metabolomics field, along with mass spectrometry (MS). NMR's excellent reproducibility and quantitative accuracy, its ability to identify structures of unknown metabolites, its capacity to generate metabolite profiles using intact bio-specimens with no need for separation, and its capabilities for tracing metabolic pathways using isotope labeled substrates offer unique strengths for metabolomics applications. However, NMR's limited sensitivity and resolution continue to pose a major challenge and have restricted both the number and the quantitative accuracy of metabolites analyzed by NMR. Further, the analysis of highly complex biological samples has increased the demand for new methods with improved detection, better unknown identification, and more accurate quantitation of larger numbers of metabolites. Recent efforts have contributed significant improvements in these areas, and have thereby enhanced the pool of routinely quantifiable metabolites. Additionally, efforts focused on combining NMR and MS promise opportunities to exploit the combined strength of the two analytical platforms for direct comparison of the metabolite data, unknown identification and reliable biomarker discovery that continue to challenge the metabolomics field. This article presents our perspectives on the emerging trends in NMR-based metabolomics and NMR's continuing role in the field with an emphasis on recent and ongoing research from our laboratory. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Can NMR solve some significant challenges in metabolomics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagana Gowda, G. A.; Raftery, Daniel

    2015-11-01

    The field of metabolomics continues to witness rapid growth driven by fundamental studies, methods development, and applications in a number of disciplines that include biomedical science, plant and nutrition sciences, drug development, energy and environmental sciences, toxicology, etc. NMR spectroscopy is one of the two most widely used analytical platforms in the metabolomics field, along with mass spectrometry (MS). NMR's excellent reproducibility and quantitative accuracy, its ability to identify structures of unknown metabolites, its capacity to generate metabolite profiles using intact bio-specimens with no need for separation, and its capabilities for tracing metabolic pathways using isotope labeled substrates offer unique strengths for metabolomics applications. However, NMR's limited sensitivity and resolution continue to pose a major challenge and have restricted both the number and the quantitative accuracy of metabolites analyzed by NMR. Further, the analysis of highly complex biological samples has increased the demand for new methods with improved detection, better unknown identification, and more accurate quantitation of larger numbers of metabolites. Recent efforts have contributed significant improvements in these areas, and have thereby enhanced the pool of routinely quantifiable metabolites. Additionally, efforts focused on combining NMR and MS promise opportunities to exploit the combined strength of the two analytical platforms for direct comparison of the metabolite data, unknown identification and reliable biomarker discovery that continue to challenge the metabolomics field. This article presents our perspectives on the emerging trends in NMR-based metabolomics and NMR's continuing role in the field with an emphasis on recent and ongoing research from our laboratory.

  18. Consistent and significant improvement of nighttime voiding frequency (nocturia) with silodosin in men with LUTS suggestive of BPH: pooled analysis of three randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind phase III studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenhardt, Andreas; Schneider, Tim; Cruz, Francisco; Oelke, Matthias

    2014-10-01

    Nocturia is prevalent and bothersome in men with lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of BPH (LUTS/BPH). α-Adrenoceptor antagonists without subtype selectivity have inconsistently shown significant effects on nocturia in these patients. We explored the effects of the α1A-adrenoceptor subtype-selective antagonist silodosin on nocturia by analyzing three placebo-controlled registration studies. Responses to question 7 of the IPSS questionnaire were analyzed for the entire study population and patients with ≥ 2 voids/night at baseline. Improvement/worsening rates for nocturia were calculated for once-daily silodosin 8 mg and placebo. Silodosin effects on the mean number of nocturnal voids were compared with placebo, and the number of patients in whom nocturia was reduced to silodosin or placebo; 1,266 men (85 %) had ≥ 2 voids/night at baseline. Compared to placebo, more men treated with silodosin reported about nocturia improvement (53.4 vs. 42.8 %, p Silodosin significantly reduced nocturia within each study and pooled cohort compared to placebo (p silodosin and placebo had reductions of ≥ 1 voids/night, respectively (p = 0.0003), and significantly more patients with silodosin had nocturia episodes at study end compared to placebo (29.3 vs. 19.0 %; p = 0.0002). Although a weak impact on nocturia is already known from α-adrenoceptor antagonists without subtype selectivity, the individual placebo-controlled studies and the pooled data analysis showed that the α1A-adrenoceptor subtype-selective antagonist silodosin consistently and significantly improves nocturia in men with LUTS/BPH.

  19. Improving hand hygiene in a paediatric hospital: a multimodal quality improvement approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamal, Ahmed; O'Grady, G; Harnett, E; Dalton, D; Andresen, D

    2012-02-01

    Effective hand hygiene has long been recognised as an important way to reduce the transmission of bacterial and viral pathogens in healthcare settings. However, many studies have shown that adherence to hand hygiene remains low, and improvement efforts have often not delivered sustainable results. The Children's Hospital at Westmead is the largest tertiary paediatric hospital in Sydney, Australia. The hospital participated in a state-wide 'Clean hands save lives' campaign which was initiated in 2006. Strong leadership, good stakeholder engagement, readily accessible alcohol-based hand rub at the point of patient care, a multifaceted education programme, monitoring of staff, adherence to recommended hand hygiene practices and contemporaneous feedback of performance data have significantly improved and maintained compliance with hand hygiene. Hand hygiene compliance has increased from 23% in 2006 to 87% in 2011 (phand hygiene has been evident in the last 4 years. A decline in a set of hospital-acquired infections (including rotavirus, multiresistant organism transmission, and nosocomial bacteraemia) has also been noted as hand hygiene rates have improved. Monthly usage of alcohol-based hand rub has increased from 16 litres/1000 bed days to 51 litres/1000 bed days during this same period. This project has delivered sustained improvement in hand hygiene compliance by establishing a framework of multimodal evidence-based strategies.

  20. Photocoagulation treatment for clinically significant radiation macular oedema

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kinyoun, J.L.; Zamber, R.W.; Lawrence, B.S.; Barlow, W.E.; Arnold, A.M. [Washington Univ., Seattle, WA (United States)

    1995-02-01

    Macular oedema is a leading cause of vision loss in patients with radiation retinopathy. In an effort to find an effective treatment for this vision threatening complication, 12 eyes (eight patients) were treated with photocoagulation for clinically significant radiation macular oedema (CSRMO) defined as central macular thickening, exudates threatening the macular centre, or one disc area of thickening in the macula. Median visual acuity improved from 20/100 pre-operatively to 20/90 at the initial post-operative examination (mean follow up 5 months) and to 20/75 at the final post-operative examination (mean follow up 39 months). At the final post-operative examination, visual acuity had improved in eight (67%) eyes and six (50%) eyes had complete resolution of the CSRMO; two (17%) other eyes had improved anatomically in that fewer CSRMO criteria were present. These results suggest that macular photocoagulation is effective in decreasing macular oedema and improving vision in eyes with CSRMO. (author).

  1. Photocoagulation treatment for clinically significant radiation macular oedema

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kinyoun, J.L.; Zamber, R.W.; Lawrence, B.S.; Barlow, W.E.; Arnold, A.M.

    1995-01-01

    Macular oedema is a leading cause of vision loss in patients with radiation retinopathy. In an effort to find an effective treatment for this vision threatening complication, 12 eyes (eight patients) were treated with photocoagulation for clinically significant radiation macular oedema (CSRMO) defined as central macular thickening, exudates threatening the macular centre, or one disc area of thickening in the macula. Median visual acuity improved from 20/100 pre-operatively to 20/90 at the initial post-operative examination (mean follow up 5 months) and to 20/75 at the final post-operative examination (mean follow up 39 months). At the final post-operative examination, visual acuity had improved in eight (67%) eyes and six (50%) eyes had complete resolution of the CSRMO; two (17%) other eyes had improved anatomically in that fewer CSRMO criteria were present. These results suggest that macular photocoagulation is effective in decreasing macular oedema and improving vision in eyes with CSRMO. (author)

  2. Improving Energy Efficiency and Enabling Water Recycle in Biorefineries Using Bioelectrochemical Cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borole, Abhijeet P.

    2010-01-01

    Improving biofuel yield and water reuse are two important issues in further development of biorefineries. The total energy content of liquid fuels (including ethanol and hydrocarbon) produced from cellulosic biomass via biochemical or hybrid bio-thermochemical routes can vary from 49% to 70% of the biomass entering the biorefinery, on an energy basis. Use of boiler for combustion of residual organics and lignin results in significant energy and water losses. An alternate process to improve energy recovery from the residual organic streams is via use of bioelectrochemical systems such as microbial fuel cells (MFCs) microbial electrolysis cells (MECs). The potential advantages of this alternative scheme in a biorefinery include minimization of heat loss and generation of a higher value product, hydrogen. The need for 5-15 gallons of water per gallon of ethanol can be reduced significantly via recycle of water after MEC treatment. Removal of inhibitory byproducts such as furans, phenolics and acetate in MFC/MECs to generate energy, thus, has dual advantages including improvements in energy efficiency and ability to recycle water. Conversion of the sugar- and lignin- degradation products to hydrogen is synergistic with biorefinery hydrogen requirements for upgrading F-T liquids and other byproducts to high-octane fuels and/or high value products. Some of these products include sorbitol, succinic acid, furan and levulinate derivatives, glycols, polyols, 1,4-butenadiol, phenolics polymers, etc. Potential process alternatives utilizing MECs in biorefineries capable of improving energy efficiency by up to 30% are discussed.

  3. Safety improvement of Paks nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vamos, G.

    1999-01-01

    Safety upgrading completed in the early nineties at the Paks NPP include: replacement of steam generator safety valves and control valves; reliability improvement of the electrical supply system; modification of protection logic; enhancement of the fire protection; construction of full scope Training Simulator. Design safety upgrading measures achieved in recent years were concerned with: relocation of steam generator emergency feed-water supply; emergency gas removal from the primary coolant system; hydrogen management in the containment; protection against sumps; preventing of emergency core cooling system tanks from refilling. Increasing seismic resistance, containment assessment, refurbishment of reactor protection system, improving reliability of emergency electrical supply, analysis of internal hazards are now being implemented. Safety upgrading measures which are being prepared include: bleed and feed procedures; reactor over-pressurisation protection in cold state; treatment of steam generator primary to secondary leak accidents. Operational safety improvements are dealing with safety culture, training measures and facilities; symptom based emergency operating procedures; in-service inspection; fire protection. The significance of international cooperation is emphasised in view of achieving nuclear safety standards recognised in EU

  4. Biological, ecological and agronomic significance of plant phenolic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Our understanding of some phenolic compounds in the last few decades has greatly improved. However, their biological, ecological and agronomical significance in the rhizosphere of most symbiotic legumes is much less clear. Further understanding of these biomolecules will increase our knowledge of their contribution in ...

  5. Donepezil improved memory in multiple sclerosis in a randomized clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krupp, L B; Christodoulou, C; Melville, P; Scherl, W F; MacAllister, W S; Elkins, L E

    2004-11-09

    To determine the effect of donepezil in treating memory and cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis (MS). This single-center double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial evaluated 69 MS patients with cognitive impairment who were randomly assigned to receive a 24-week treatment course of either donepezil (10 mg daily) or placebo. Patients underwent neuropsychological assessment at baseline and after 24 weeks of treatment. The primary outcome was change in verbal learning and memory on the Selective Reminding Test (SRT). Secondary outcomes included other tests of cognitive function, patient-reported change in memory, and clinician-reported impression of cognitive change. Donepezil-treated patients showed significant improvement in memory performance on the SRT compared to placebo (p = 0.043). The benefit of donepezil remained significant after controlling for various covariates including age, Expanded Disability Status Scale, baseline SRT score, reading ability, MS subtype, and sex. Donepezil-treated patients did not show significant improvements on other cognitive tests, but were more than twice as likely to report memory improvement than those in the placebo group (p = 0.006). The clinician also reported cognitive improvement in almost twice as many donepezil vs placebo patients (p = 0.036). No serious adverse events related to study medication occurred, although more donepezil (34.3%) than placebo (8.8%) subjects reported unusual/abnormal dreams (p = 0.010). Donepezil improved memory in MS patients with initial cognitive impairment in a single center clinical trial. A larger multicenter investigation of donepezil in MS is warranted in order to more definitively assess the efficacy of this intervention.

  6. Deep Brain Stimulation Target Selection in an Advanced Parkinson's Disease Patient with Significant Tremor and Comorbid Depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amar S. Patel

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Clinical Vignette: A 67-year-old female with advanced Parkinson's disease (PD, medically refractory tremor, and a history of significant depression presents for evaluation of deep brain stimulation (DBS candidacy.  Clinical Dilemma: Traditionally, stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN has been the preferred target for patients with significant PD tremor. However, STN stimulation is avoided in patients with a significant pre-surgical history of mood disorder.  Clinical Solution: Bilateral DBS of the globus pallidus interna led to significant short term improvement in PD motor symptoms, including significant tremor reduction.  Gap in Knowledge: There is insufficient evidence to support or refute clinicians' traditional preference for STN stimulation in treating refractory PD tremor. Similarly, the available evidence for risk of worsening depression and/or suicidality after STN DBS is mixed. Both questions require further clarification to guide patient and clinician decision-making.

  7. Short-term Evaluation of a Comprehensive Education Program Including Inhaler Training and Disease Management on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoo, Kwang Ha; Chung, Wou Young; Park, Joo Hun; Hwang, Sung Chul; Kim, Tae Eun; Oh, Min Jung; Kang, Dae Ryong; Rhee, Chin Kook; Yoon, Hyoung Kyu; Kim, Tae Hyung; Kim, Deog Kyeom; Park, Yong Bum; Kim, Sang Ha; Yum, Ho Kee

    2017-10-01

    Proper education regarding inhaler usage and optimal management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is essential for effectively treating patients with COPD. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of a comprehensive education program including inhaler training and COPD management. We enlisted 127 patients with COPD on an outpatient basis at 43 private clinics in Korea. The patients were educated on inhaler usage and disease management for three visits across 2 weeks. Physicians and patients were administered a COPD assessment test (CAT) and questionnaires about the correct usage of inhalers and management of COPD before commencement of this program and after their third visit. The outcomes of 127 COPD patients were analyzed. CAT scores (19.6±12.5 vs. 15.1±12.3) improved significantly after this program (pmanagement and the correct technique for using inhalers than those who did not have improved CAT scores (peducation program including inhaler training and COPD management at a primary care setting improved CAT scores and led to patients' better understanding of COPD management. Copyright©2017. The Korean Academy of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases

  8. Improved application of the electrophoretic tissue clearing technology, CLARITY, to intact solid organs including brain, pancreas, liver, kidney, lung, and intestine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hyunsu; Park, Jae-Hyung; Seo, Incheol; Park, Sun-Hyun; Kim, Shin

    2014-12-21

    Mapping of tissue structure at the cellular, circuit, and organ-wide scale is important for understanding physiological and biological functions. A bio-electrochemical technique known as CLARITY used for three-dimensional anatomical and phenotypical mapping within transparent intact tissues has been recently developed. This method provided a major advance in understanding the structure-function relationships in circuits of the nervous system and organs by using whole-body clearing. Thus, in the present study, we aimed to improve the original CLARITY procedure and developed specific CLARITY protocols for various intact organs. We determined the optimal conditions for reducing bubble formation, discoloration, and depositing of black particles on the surface of tissue, which allowed production of clearer organ images. We also determined the appropriate replacement cycles of clearing solution for each type of organ, and convincingly demonstrated that 250-280 mA is the ideal range of electrical current for tissue clearing. We then acquired each type of cleared organs including brain, pancreas, liver, lung, kidney, and intestine. Additionally, we determined the images of axon fibers of hippocampal region, the Purkinje layer of cerebellum, and vessels and cellular nuclei of pancreas. CLARITY is an innovative biochemical technology for the structural and molecular analysis of various types of tissue. We developed improved CLARITY methods for clearing of the brain, pancreas, lung, intestine, liver, and kidney, and identified the appropriate experimental conditions for clearing of each specific tissue type. These optimized methods will be useful for the application of CLARITY to various types of organs.

  9. Use of a Surgical Safety Checklist to Improve Team Communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabral, Richard A; Eggenberger, Terry; Keller, Kathryn; Gallison, Barry S; Newman, David

    2016-09-01

    To improve surgical team communication, a team at Broward Health Imperial Point Hospital, Ft Lauderdale, Florida, implemented a program for process improvement using a locally adapted World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist. This program included a standardized, comprehensive time out and a briefing/debriefing process. Postimplementation responses to the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire revealed a significant increase in the surgical team's perception of communication compared with that reported on the pretest (6% improvement resulting in t79 = -1.72, P improved surgical teamwork behaviors and an enhanced culture of safety in the OR. Copyright © 2016 AORN, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 78 FR 75370 - Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for Flood...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-11

    ... Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for Flood Control Improvements to the Rio Grande... Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). SUMMARY: Pursuant to... Significant Impact for Flood Control Improvements to the Rio Grande Canalization Project in Vado, New Mexico...

  11. Quality Improvement Initiatives to Optimize the Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Patients With Lung Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Digby, Geneviève C; Robinson, Andrew

    2017-11-01

    Patients with lung cancer (LC) frequently have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the optimization of which improves outcomes. A 2014 Queen's University Hospitals audit demonstrated that COPD was underdiagnosed and undertreated in outpatients with LC. We sought to improve the diagnosis and management of COPD in this population. We implemented change using a Define/Measure/Analyze/Improve/Control (DMAIC) improvement cycle. Data were obtained by chart review from the Cancer Care Ontario database and e-Patient System for patients with newly diagnosed LC, including patient characteristics, pulmonary function test (PFT) data, and bronchodilator therapies. Improvement cycle 1 included engaging stakeholders and prioritizing COPD management by respirologists in the Lung Diagnostic Assessment Program. Improvement cycle 2 included physician restructuring and developing a standard work protocol. Data were analyzed monthly and presented on statistical process control P-charts, which assessed differences over time. The χ 2 and McNemar tests assessed for significance between independent and dependent groups, respectively. A total of 477 patients were studied (165 patients at baseline, 166 patients in cycle 1, and 127 patients in cycle 2). There was no change in PFT completion over time, although respirology-managed patients were significantly more likely to undergo a PFT than patients who were not managed by respirology (56.7% v 96.1%; P managed patients with LC with airflow obstruction receiving inhaled bronchodilator significantly increased (baseline, 46.3%; cycle 1, 51.0%; and cycle 2, 74.3%). By cycle 2, patients with airflow obstruction were more likely to receive a long-acting bronchodilator if managed by respirology (74.3% v 44.8%; P = .0009). COPD is underdiagnosed and undertreated in outpatients with LC. A DMAIC quality improvement strategy emphasizing COPD treatment during LC evaluation in the Lung Diagnostic Assessment Program significantly improved COPD

  12. The Significance of Emotions and Professional Relations for Accommodating a Web-Based Ulcer Record and Improving Home-Based Care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne G. Ekeland

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Evidence of technological performance, medical improvements and economic effectiveness is generally considered sufficient for judging advances in healthcare. In this paper, I aim to add knowledge about the ways human emotions and professional relations play roles in the processes of accommodating new technologies for quality improvements. A newly-implemented, web-based ulcer record service for patients with chronic skin ulcers constitutes the case. After one year, only a few home care nurses were using the service, interacting with a specialist team. The result was disappointing, but the few users were enthusiastic. An explorative, qualitative study was initiated to understand the users, the processes that accounted for use and how improvements were enacted. In the paper, I expose the emotional aspects of the record accommodation by analyzing the ways emotions were translated in the process and how they influenced the improvements. I contend that use came about through a heterogeneous assemblage of ethical engagement and compassionate emotions stemming from frustration, combined with technological affordances and relations between different professionals. Certain aspects of the improvements are exposed. These are discussed as: (1 reconciliations between the medical facts and rational judgments, on one side, and the emotional and subjective values for judging quality, on the other; and (2 mediation between standardized and personalized care. The healing of ulcers was combined with a sense of purpose and wellbeing to validate improvements. Emotions were strongly involved, and the power of evaluative emotions and professional relations should be further explored to add to the understanding of innovation processes and to validate quality improvements.

  13. The Significance of Emotions and Professional Relations for Accommodating a Web-Based Ulcer Record and Improving Home-Based Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekeland, Anne G

    2015-01-22

    Evidence of technological performance, medical improvements and economic effectiveness is generally considered sufficient for judging advances in healthcare. In this paper, I aim to add knowledge about the ways human emotions and professional relations play roles in the processes of accommodating new technologies for quality improvements. A newly-implemented, web-based ulcer record service for patients with chronic skin ulcers constitutes the case. After one year, only a few home care nurses were using the service, interacting with a specialist team. The result was disappointing, but the few users were enthusiastic. An explorative, qualitative study was initiated to understand the users, the processes that accounted for use and how improvements were enacted. In the paper, I expose the emotional aspects of the record accommodation by analyzing the ways emotions were translated in the process and how they influenced the improvements. I contend that use came about through a heterogeneous assemblage of ethical engagement and compassionate emotions stemming from frustration, combined with technological affordances and relations between different professionals. Certain aspects of the improvements are exposed. These are discussed as: (1) reconciliations between the medical facts and rational judgments, on one side, and the emotional and subjective values for judging quality, on the other; and (2) mediation between standardized and personalized care. The healing of ulcers was combined with a sense of purpose and wellbeing to validate improvements. Emotions were strongly involved, and the power of evaluative emotions and professional relations should be further explored to add to the understanding of innovation processes and to validate quality improvements.

  14. Increased office productivity through improved indoor air quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fanger, Povl Ole

    2002-01-01

    Control of indoor pollution sources and ventilation are both means of improving indoor air quality. Three independent experiments have recently documented that removing a pollution source or increasing the ventilation rate will improve perceived air quality, reduce the intensity of several Sick...... with the air quality was reduced by either measure. The quantitative relationsh8ip was 1.1% change in performance per 10% dissatisfied, in the range 25-70% dissatisifed, or 0.5% change in performance per 1 decipol (dp), in the range 2-13 dp. Significant improvements in performance occurred only when......, future developments in HVCAC technology may include "personalized air ", new ways of improving the quality of supply air (e.g., by filtration), more extensive use of heat recovery from exhaust air and systematic selection of low-polluting building and furnishing materials....

  15. Respiratory alkalosis may impair the production of vitamin D and lead to significant morbidity, including the fibromyalgia syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, John M; Fontrier, Toinette H; Coley, J Lynn

    2017-05-01

    Hyperventilation caused by physical and/or psychological stress may lead to significant respiratory alkalosis and an elevated systemic pH. The alkalotic pH may in turn suppress the normal renal release of phosphate into the urine, thereby interrupting the endogenous production of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (calcitriol). This could cause a shortfall in its normal production, leading to a variety of adverse consequences. It might partially explain the pathogenesis of acute mountain sickness, a treatable disease characterized by severe hyperventilation secondary to the hypoxia of high altitude exposure. Milder degrees of hyperventilation due to different forms of stress may produce other conditions which share characteristics with acute mountain sickness. One of these may be the fibromyalgia syndrome, a chronic painful disorder for which no satisfactory treatment exists. Should fibromyalgia and acute mountain sickness have a common etiology, may they also share a common form of treatment? Evidence is presented to support this hypothesis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Significant Tsunami Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunbar, P. K.; Furtney, M.; McLean, S. J.; Sweeney, A. D.

    2014-12-01

    Tsunamis have inflicted death and destruction on the coastlines of the world throughout history. The occurrence of tsunamis and the resulting effects have been collected and studied as far back as the second millennium B.C. The knowledge gained from cataloging and examining these events has led to significant changes in our understanding of tsunamis, tsunami sources, and methods to mitigate the effects of tsunamis. The most significant, not surprisingly, are often the most devastating, such as the 2011 Tohoku, Japan earthquake and tsunami. The goal of this poster is to give a brief overview of the occurrence of tsunamis and then focus specifically on several significant tsunamis. There are various criteria to determine the most significant tsunamis: the number of deaths, amount of damage, maximum runup height, had a major impact on tsunami science or policy, etc. As a result, descriptions will include some of the most costly (2011 Tohoku, Japan), the most deadly (2004 Sumatra, 1883 Krakatau), and the highest runup ever observed (1958 Lituya Bay, Alaska). The discovery of the Cascadia subduction zone as the source of the 1700 Japanese "Orphan" tsunami and a future tsunami threat to the U.S. northwest coast, contributed to the decision to form the U.S. National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program. The great Lisbon earthquake of 1755 marked the beginning of the modern era of seismology. Knowledge gained from the 1964 Alaska earthquake and tsunami helped confirm the theory of plate tectonics. The 1946 Alaska, 1952 Kuril Islands, 1960 Chile, 1964 Alaska, and the 2004 Banda Aceh, tsunamis all resulted in warning centers or systems being established.The data descriptions on this poster were extracted from NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) global historical tsunami database. Additional information about these tsunamis, as well as water level data can be found by accessing the NGDC website www.ngdc.noaa.gov/hazard/

  17. Process Improvement Through Tool Integration in Aero-Mechanical Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, Clark

    2010-01-01

    Emerging capabilities in commercial design tools promise to significantly improve the multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary design and analysis coverage for aerospace mechanical engineers. This paper explores the analysis process for two example problems of a wing and flap mechanical drive system and an aircraft landing gear door panel. The examples begin with the design solid models and include various analysis disciplines such as structural stress and aerodynamic loads. Analytical methods include CFD, multi-body dynamics with flexible bodies and structural analysis. Elements of analysis data management, data visualization and collaboration are also included.

  18. Impact significance determination-Pushing the boundaries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lawrence, David P.

    2007-01-01

    Impact significance determination practice tends to be highly variable. Too often insufficient consideration is given to good practice insights. Also, impact significance determinations are frequently narrowly defined addressing, for example, only individual, negative impacts, focusing on bio-physical impacts, and not seeking to integrate either the Precautionary Principle or sustainability. This article seeks to extend the boundaries of impact significance determination practice by providing an overview of good general impact significance practices, together with stakeholder roles and potential methods for addressing significance determination challenges. Relevant thresholds, criteria, contextual considerations and support methods are also highlighted. The analysis is then extended to address how impact significance determination practices change for positive as compared with negative impacts, for cumulative as compared with individual impacts, for socio-economic as compared with bio-physical impacts, when the Precautionary Principle is integrated into the process, and when sustainability contributions drive the EIA process and related impact significance determinations. These refinements can assist EIA practitioners in ensuring that the scope and nature of impact significance determinations reflect the broadened scope of emerging EIA requirements and practices. Suggestions are included for further refining and testing of the proposed changes to impact significance determination practice

  19. Significant improvement of electrochemical performance of Cu ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    LiVPO4F cathode material for lithium-ion batteries. YU ZHANGa,∗, XIAOLAN BAIb ... and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). ... Analysis of electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS) ... studied with a SEM (JSM-7500F, Japan) equipped with.

  20. Engineering, maintenance, and initiatives to improve LAMPF beam availability and system reliability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harris, H.W.; DeHaven, R.A.; Hart, V.E.; Parsons, W.M.; Sturrock, J.C.

    1992-01-01

    Two different requirements are driving engineering studies and hardware development to improve LAMPF. The first is concerned with component and system improvements to increase beam availability during the LAMPF production cycle. Hardware changes in RF, power supplies, and magnets are being implemented to increase mean time between failure and reduce time to replace or repair failed units. A joint LAMPF-Industry project is on-going to improve reliability of RF components. A component test stand is being refurbished to include significant development capability. The second approach includes several changes that will increase the duty factor of the existing accelerator. Major changes are being evaluated for replacing the front end of the accelerator. Other changes improving the high brightness capability could result in a new performance plateau for LAMPF. 2 refs., 2 figs

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaremko, D.

    2010-07-15

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

  2. Effectiveness of a quality-improvement program in improving management of primary care practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szecsenyi, Joachim; Campbell, Stephen; Broge, Bjoern; Laux, Gunter; Willms, Sara; Wensing, Michel; Goetz, Katja

    2011-01-01

    Background: The European Practice Assessment program provides feedback and outreach visits to primary care practices to facilitate quality improvement in five domains (infrastructure, people, information, finance, and quality and safety). We examined the effectiveness of this program in improving management in primary care practices in Germany, with a focus on the domain of quality and safety. Methods: In a before–after study, 102 primary care practices completed a practice assessment using the European Practice Assessment instrument at baseline and three years later (intervention group). A comparative group of 102 practices was included that completed their first assessment using this instrument at the time of the intervention group’s second assessment. Mean scores were based on the proportion of indicators for which a positive response was achieved by all of the practices, on a scale of 0 to 100. Results: We found significant improvements in all domains between the first and second assessments in the intervention group. In the domain of quality and safety, improvements in scores (mean scores were based on the proportion of indicators for which a positive response was achieved by all of the practices, on a scale of 0 to 100) were observed in the following dimensions: complaint management (from a mean score of 51.2 at first assessment to 80.7 at second assessment); analysis of critical incidents (from 79.1 to 89.6); and quality development, quality policy (from 40.7 to 55.6). Overall scores at the time of the second assessment were significantly higher in the intervention group than in the comparative group. Interpretation: Primary care practices that completed the European Practice Assessment instrument twice over a three-year period showed improvements in practice management. Our findings show the value of the quality-improvement cycle in the context of practice assessment and the use of established organizational standards for practice management with the

  3. Structured data quality reports to improve EHR data quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taggart, Jane; Liaw, Siaw-Teng; Yu, Hairong

    2015-12-01

    To examine whether a structured data quality report (SDQR) and feedback sessions with practice principals and managers improve the quality of routinely collected data in EHRs. The intervention was conducted in four general practices participating in the Fairfield neighborhood electronic Practice Based Research Network (ePBRN). Data were extracted from their clinical information systems and summarised as a SDQR to guide feedback to practice principals and managers at 0, 4, 8 and 12 months. Data quality (DQ) metrics included completeness, correctness, consistency and duplication of patient records. Information on data recording practices, data quality improvement, and utility of SDQRs was collected at the feedback sessions at the practices. The main outcome measure was change in the recording of clinical information and level of meeting Royal Australian College of General Practice (RACGP) targets. Birth date was 100% and gender 99% complete at baseline and maintained. DQ of all variables measured improved significantly (pImprovement was greatest with allergies. There was no significant change in duplicate records. SDQRs and feedback sessions support general practitioners and practice managers to focus on improving the recording of patient information. However, improved practice DQ, was not sufficient to meet RACGP targets. Randomised controlled studies are required to evaluate strategies to improve data quality and any associated improved safety and quality of care. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Bringing quality improvement into the intensive care unit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMillan, Tracy R; Hyzy, Robert C

    2007-02-01

    During the last several years, many governmental and nongovernmental organizations have championed the application of the principles of quality improvement to the practice of medicine, particularly in the area of critical care. To review the breadth of approaches to quality improvement in the intensive care unit, including measures such as mortality and length of stay, and the use of protocols, bundles, and the role of large, multiple-hospital collaboratives. Several agencies have participated in the application of the quality movement to medicine, culminating in the development of standards such as the intensive care unit core measures of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Although "zero defects" may not be possible in all measurable variables of quality in the intensive care unit, several measures, such as catheter-related bloodstream infections, can be significantly reduced through the implementation of improved processes of care, such as care bundles. Large, multiple-center, quality improvement collaboratives, such as the Michigan Keystone Intensive Care Unit Project, may be particularly effective in improving the quality of care by creating a "bandwagon effect" within a geographic region. The quality revolution is having a significant effect in the critical care unit and is likely to be facilitated by the transition to the electronic medical record.

  5. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved material licensees (non-medical). Quarterly progress report, October 1994--December 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-02-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (October - December 1994) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to material licensees (non-medical) with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  6. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved material licensees (non-medical). Quarterly progress report, October 1994--December 1994

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-02-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (October - December 1994) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to material licensees (non-medical) with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication.

  7. Improvement in Student Data Analysis Skills after Out-of-Class Assignments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristen Lee Williams Walton

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The ability to understand and interpret data is a critical aspect of scientific thinking.  However, although data analysis is often a focus in biology majors classes, many textbooks for allied health majors classes are primarily content-driven and do not include substantial amounts of experimental data in the form of graphs and figures.  In a lower-division allied health majors microbiology class, students were exposed to data from primary journal articles as take-home assignments and their data analysis skills were assessed in a pre-/posttest format.  Students were given 3 assignments that included data analysis questions.  Assignments ranged from case studies that included a figure from a journal article to reading a short journal article and answering questions about multiple figures or tables.  Data were represented as line or bar graphs, gel photographs, and flow charts.  The pre- and posttest was designed incorporating the same types of figures to assess whether the assignments resulted in any improvement in data analysis skills.  The mean class score showed a small but significant improvement from the pretest to the posttest across three semesters of testing.  Scores on individual questions testing accurate conclusions and predictions improved the most.  This supports the conclusion that a relatively small number of out-of-class assignments through the semester resulted in a significant improvement in data analysis abilities in this population of students.

  8. Engineering, maintenance, and new initiatives to improve LAMPF beam availability and system reliability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harris, H.W.; DeHaven, R.A.; Hart, V.E.; Parsons, W.M.; Sturrock, J.C.

    1992-01-01

    Two different requirements are driving engineering studies and hardware development to improve LAMPF. The first is concerned with component and system improvements to increase beam availability during the LAMPF production cycle. Hardware changes in RF, power supplies, and magnets are being implemented to increase mean time between failure and reduce time to replace or repair failed units. A joint LAMPF-Industry project is on-going to improve reliability of RF components. A component test stand is being refurbished to include significant development capability. The second approach includes several changes that will increase the duty factor of the existing accelerator. Major changes are being evaluated for replacing the front end of the accelerator. Other changes improving high brightness capability could result in a new performance plateau for LAMPF

  9. Perceptual learning improves visual performance in juvenile amblyopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Roger W; Young, Karen G; Hoenig, Pia; Levi, Dennis M

    2005-09-01

    To determine whether practicing a position-discrimination task improves visual performance in children with amblyopia and to determine the mechanism(s) of improvement. Five children (age range, 7-10 years) with amblyopia practiced a positional acuity task in which they had to judge which of three pairs of lines was misaligned. Positional noise was produced by distributing the individual patches of each line segment according to a Gaussian probability function. Observers were trained at three noise levels (including 0), with each observer performing between 3000 and 4000 responses in 7 to 10 sessions. Trial-by-trial feedback was provided. Four of the five observers showed significant improvement in positional acuity. In those four observers, on average, positional acuity with no noise improved by approximately 32% and with high noise by approximately 26%. A position-averaging model was used to parse the improvement into an increase in efficiency or a decrease in equivalent input noise. Two observers showed increased efficiency (51% and 117% improvements) with no significant change in equivalent input noise across sessions. The other two observers showed both a decrease in equivalent input noise (18% and 29%) and an increase in efficiency (17% and 71%). All five observers showed substantial improvement in Snellen acuity (approximately 26%) after practice. Perceptual learning can improve visual performance in amblyopic children. The improvement can be parsed into two important factors: decreased equivalent input noise and increased efficiency. Perceptual learning techniques may add an effective new method to the armamentarium of amblyopia treatments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  11. Exploring the significance of human mobility patterns in social link prediction

    KAUST Repository

    Alharbi, Basma Mohammed

    2014-01-01

    Link prediction is a fundamental task in social networks. Recently, emphasis has been placed on forecasting new social ties using user mobility patterns, e.g., investigating physical and semantic co-locations for new proximity measure. This paper explores the effect of in-depth mobility patterns. Specifically, we study individuals\\' movement behavior, and quantify mobility on the basis of trip frequency, travel purpose and transportation mode. Our hybrid link prediction model is composed of two modules. The first module extracts mobility patterns, including travel purpose and mode, from raw trajectory data. The second module employs the extracted patterns for link prediction. We evaluate our method on two real data sets, GeoLife [15] and Reality Mining [5]. Experimental results show that our hybrid model significantly improves the accuracy of social link prediction, when comparing to primary topology-based solutions. Copyright 2014 ACM.

  12. The effect of a resident-led quality improvement project on improving communication between hospital-based and outpatient physicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalanithi, Lucy; Coffey, Charles E; Mourad, Michelle; Vidyarthi, Arpana R; Hollander, Harry; Ranji, Sumant R

    2013-01-01

    This article reports on a resident-led quality improvement program to improve communication between inpatient internal medicine residents and their patients' primary care physicians (PCPs). The program included education on care transitions, standardization of documentation, audit and feedback of documented PCP communication rates with public reporting of performance, rapid-cycle data analysis and improvement projects, and a financial incentive. At baseline, PCP communication was documented in 55% of patients; after implementation of the intervention, communication was documented in 89.3% (2477 of 2772) of discharges during the program period. The program was associated with a significant increase in referring PCP satisfaction with communication at hospital admission (baseline, 27.7% "satisfied" or "very satisfied"; postintervention, 58.2%; P communication for patient care and audit and feedback of their performance as the principal drivers of their engagement in the project.

  13. Asthma and obesity: does weight loss improve asthma control? a systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juel CTB

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Caroline Trunk-Black Juel,1 Zarqa Ali,1 Lisbeth Nilas,2 Charlotte Suppli Ulrik11Respiratory Section, Internal Medicine Unit, 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Hvidovre Hospital and University of Copenhagen, Hvidovre, DenmarkAim and methods: Obesity is a major health problem, and obesity is associated with a high incidence of asthma and poor asthma control. The aim of the present paper is to systematically review the current knowledge of the effect on overall asthma control of weight reduction in overweight and obese adults with asthma.Results: Weight loss in obese individuals with doctor-diagnosed asthma is associated with a 48%–100% remission of asthma symptoms and use of asthma medication. Published studies, furthermore, reveal that weight loss in obese asthmatics improves asthma control, and that especially surgically induced weight loss results in significant improvements in asthma severity, use of asthma medication, dyspnoea, exercise tolerance, and acute exacerbations, including hospitalizations due to asthma. Furthermore, weight loss in obese asthmatics is associated with improvements in level of lung function and airway responsiveness to inhaled methacholine, whereas no significant improvements have been observed in exhaled nitric oxide or other markers of eosinophilic airway inflammation.Conclusion: Overweight and obese adults with asthma experience a high symptomatic remission rate and significant improvements in asthma control, including objective measures of disease activity, after weight loss. Although these positive effects of weight loss on asthma-related health outcomes seem not to be accompanied by remission or improvements in markers of eosinophilic airway inflammation, it has potentially important implications for the future burden of asthma.Keywords: asthma, weight loss, diet, bariatric surgery, asthma control

  14. Hyoscine butylbromide significantly decreases motion artefacts and allows better delineation of anatomic structures in mp-MRI of the prostate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ullrich, T.; Quentin, M.; Schmaltz, A.K.; Rubbert, C.; Blondin, D.; Antoch, G.; Schimmoeller, L. [University Dusseldorf, Medical Faculty, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Dusseldorf (Germany); Arsov, C.; Rabenalt, R.; Albers, P. [University Dusseldorf, Medical Faculty, Department of Urology, Dusseldorf (Germany)

    2018-01-15

    To prospectively evaluate the effect of hyoscine butylbromide (HBB) on visualisation of anatomical details and motion-related artefacts in mp-MRI of the prostate at 3.0 Tesla. One hundred and three consecutive patients (65 ± 10 years) were included in this trial, powered to demonstrate an improvement of image quality after HBB administration, assessed on a 5-point scale by two blinded readers. All patients received high-spatial resolution axial T2-weighted TSE sequences at 3.0 T without spasmolytic agent, repeated after application of 40 mg HBB and followed by routine mp-MRI. Secondary endpoints were (1) susceptibility to side effects, (2) dependence of spasmolytic effect on patients and acute; weight, and (3) prostate volume. In 68% of patients, HBB significantly improved the anatomic score (mean 3.4 ± 0.9 before and 4.4 ± 0.7 after HBB for both readers, p = <0.001). In 67%, HBB significantly enhanced the artefact score (mean 3.2 ± 1 before and 4.2 ± 0.8 after HBB for reader 1, p = <0.001; 3.2 ± 1 and 4.1 ± 0.8 for reader 2, p = <0.001). Subgroup analysis revealed no statistically significant difference between patients with different bodyweight or prostate volume. Inter-reader agreement was excellent (k = 0.95-0.98). Hyoscine butylbromide significantly improves image quality and reduces motion-related artefacts in mp-MRI of the prostate independent of bodyweight or prostate volume. No side effects were reported. (orig.)

  15. Hyoscine butylbromide significantly decreases motion artefacts and allows better delineation of anatomic structures in mp-MRI of the prostate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ullrich, T.; Quentin, M.; Schmaltz, A.K.; Rubbert, C.; Blondin, D.; Antoch, G.; Schimmoeller, L.; Arsov, C.; Rabenalt, R.; Albers, P.

    2018-01-01

    To prospectively evaluate the effect of hyoscine butylbromide (HBB) on visualisation of anatomical details and motion-related artefacts in mp-MRI of the prostate at 3.0 Tesla. One hundred and three consecutive patients (65 ± 10 years) were included in this trial, powered to demonstrate an improvement of image quality after HBB administration, assessed on a 5-point scale by two blinded readers. All patients received high-spatial resolution axial T2-weighted TSE sequences at 3.0 T without spasmolytic agent, repeated after application of 40 mg HBB and followed by routine mp-MRI. Secondary endpoints were (1) susceptibility to side effects, (2) dependence of spasmolytic effect on patients and acute; weight, and (3) prostate volume. In 68% of patients, HBB significantly improved the anatomic score (mean 3.4 ± 0.9 before and 4.4 ± 0.7 after HBB for both readers, p = <0.001). In 67%, HBB significantly enhanced the artefact score (mean 3.2 ± 1 before and 4.2 ± 0.8 after HBB for reader 1, p = <0.001; 3.2 ± 1 and 4.1 ± 0.8 for reader 2, p = <0.001). Subgroup analysis revealed no statistically significant difference between patients with different bodyweight or prostate volume. Inter-reader agreement was excellent (k = 0.95-0.98). Hyoscine butylbromide significantly improves image quality and reduces motion-related artefacts in mp-MRI of the prostate independent of bodyweight or prostate volume. No side effects were reported. (orig.)

  16. "Rheum to Improve": Quality Improvement in Outpatient Rheumatology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chow, Shirley L; Shojania, Kaveh G

    2017-09-01

    The commitment to improve care processes and patient outcomes is a professional mandate for clinicians and is also seen as an operational priority for institutions. Quality improvement now figures in the accreditation of training programs, specialty examinations, and hospital scorecards. Rheumatologists have traditionally focused primarily on quality problems such as guideline adherence; however, improvement goals should also include other aspects of care that are helpful to patients and are professionally rewarding for practitioners. This review makes use of improvement projects in outlining tangible tools rheumatologists can use to resolve quality concerns in their practices.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chao, Chun-Chang; Lin, Jyh-Der

    2004-01-01

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

  18. Improving human performance in maintenance personnel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonzalez Anez, Francisco; Agueero Agueero, Jorge

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Improving significantly the failure strain and work hardening response of LPSO-strengthened Mg-Y-Zn-Al alloy via hot extrusion speed control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Xinghe; Chee, Winston; Chan, Jimmy; Kwok, Richard; Gupta, Manoj

    2017-07-01

    The effect of hot extrusion speed on the microstructure and mechanical properties of MgY1.06Zn0.76Al0.42 (at%) alloy strengthened by the novel long-period stacking ordered (LPSO) phase was systematically investigated. Increase in the speed of extrusion accelerated dynamic recrystallization of α-Mg via particle-stimulated nucleation and grain growth in the alloy. The intensive recrystallization and grain growth events weakened the conventional basal texture and Hall-Petch strengthening in the alloy which led to significant improvement in its failure strain from 4.9% to 19.6%. The critical strengthening contribution from LPSO phase known for attributing high strength to the alloy was observed to be greatly undermined by the parallel competition from texture weakening and the adverse Hall-Petch effect when the alloy was extruded at higher speed. Absence of work hardening interestingly observed in the alloy extruded at lower speed was discussed in terms of its ultra-fine grained microstructure which promoted the condition of steady-state defect density in the alloy; where dislocation annihilation balances out the generation of new dislocations during plastic deformation. One approach to improve work hardening response of the alloy to prevent unstable deformation and abrupt failure in service is to increase the grain diameter in the alloy by judiciously increasing the extrusion speed.

  20. Ad libitum Mediterranean and Low Fat Diets both Significantly Reduce Hepatic Steatosis: a Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Properzi, Catherine; O'Sullivan, Therese A; Sherriff, Jill L; Ching, Helena L; Jeffrey, Garry P; Buckley, Rachel F; Tibballs, Jonathan; MacQuillan, Gerry C; Garas, George; Adams, Leon A

    2018-05-05

    Although diet induced weight loss is first-line treatment for patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), long-term maintenance is difficult. The optimal diet for either improvement in NAFLD or associated cardio-metabolic risk factors regardless of weight loss, is unknown. We examined the effect of two ad libitum isocaloric diets [Mediterranean (MD) or Low Fat (LF)] on hepatic steatosis and cardio-metabolic risk factors. Subjects with NAFLD were randomized to a 12-week blinded dietary intervention (MD vs LF). Hepatic steatosis was determined via magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). From a total of 56 subjects enrolled, 49 subjects completed the intervention and 48 were included for analysis. During the intervention, subjects on the MD had significantly higher total and monounsaturated fat but lower carbohydrate and sodium intakes compared to LF subjects (pfat reduction between the groups (p=0.32), with mean (SD) relative reductions of 25.0% (±25.3%) in LF and 32.4% (±25.5%) in MD. Liver enzymes also improved significantly in both groups. Weight loss was minimal and not different between groups [-1.6 (±2.1)kg in LF vs -2.1 (±2.5)kg in MD, (p=0.52)]. Within-group improvements in the Framingham risk score, total cholesterol, serum triglyceride, and HbA1c were observed in the MD (all pvs. 64%, p=0.048). Ad libitum low fat and Mediterranean diets both improve hepatic steatosis to a similar degree. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2018 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

  1. Immunophenotyping in leukemia and its diagnostic significance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. B. Kresno

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available The identification of cell surface markers, defined as clusters of differentiation antigens (CD’s could be used to classify and sub-classify leukemia. Although the same antigens are expressed on normal cells, the phenotype on malignant cells are aberrantly and frequently asynchronously expressed and may be present in combinations not observed in normal blood or bone marrow. Aberrant expression of surface antigens corresponds with poor therapeutic response and short survival. Additional surface marker analysis complementary to morphologic evaluation and cytochemical staining has greatly improved our ability to characterize hematologic malignancies. A review and illustration on the diagnostic significance of immunophenotyping in leukemia will be presented. Data from 225 patients having complete assessments including morphology, cytochemistry and immunophenotyping in the period of 1994-2001 were collected and analyzed. Based on morphologic evaluation and cytochemistry, the diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia and acute lymphoblastic leukemia were established in 51.1% and 48.9% of cases, respectively. Based on immunophenotyping AML was found in 49.0% of the cases. ALL could be classified into 4.9% pre-B-ALL, 18.7% B-ALL, and 14.7% T-ALL. Cases expressing cross-lineage antigens were found in 12.7%. The prognostic significance of these aberrant expression of antigens for those cases has yet to be established but some of the cases responded poorly to therapy. Immunophenotyping provides the tool to: 1 distinguish normal from clonal populations of leukemic cells; 2 define lineage and reveal the stage of maturation; 3 identify inappropriate expression of lineage associated antigens; 4 provides more informations to establish diagnosis and prognosis compared to standard methods. (Med J Indones 2004; 13: 195-202 Keywords: Immunophenotyping, clusters of differentiation antigens, lineage associated antigens

  2. Technical summaries of Scotian Shelf - significant and commercial discoveries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dickey, J.E.; Bigelow, S.F.; Edens, J.A.; Brown, D.E.; Smith, B.; Makrides, C.; Mader, R.

    1997-03-01

    An independent assessment of the recoverable hydrocarbon resource currently held under' Significant and Commercial Discovery' status offshore Nova Scotia was presented. A generalized description of the regulatory issues regarding the discovered resources within the Scotian Basin was included. Twenty discoveries have been declared significant and two have been declared commercial, pursuant to the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Acts. Salient facts about each discovery were documented. The information included the wells drilled within the structure, significant flow tests, geological and geophysical attributes, structural cross-section and areal extent, petrophysical parameters, hydrocarbons in place and anticipated hydrocarbon recoverable resource. tabs., figs

  3. MOS modeling hierarchy including radiation effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alexander, D.R.; Turfler, R.M.

    1975-01-01

    A hierarchy of modeling procedures has been developed for MOS transistors, circuit blocks, and integrated circuits which include the effects of total dose radiation and photocurrent response. The models were developed for use with the SCEPTRE circuit analysis program, but the techniques are suitable for other modern computer aided analysis programs. The modeling hierarchy permits the designer or analyst to select the level of modeling complexity consistent with circuit size, parametric information, and accuracy requirements. Improvements have been made in the implementation of important second order effects in the transistor MOS model, in the definition of MOS building block models, and in the development of composite terminal models for MOS integrated circuits

  4. Characteristics of Volunteer Coaches in a Clinical Process Improvement Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morley, Katharine E; Barysauskas, Constance M; Carballo, Victoria; Kalibatas, Orinta; Rao, Sandhya K; Jacobson, Joseph O; Cummings, Brian M

    The Partners Clinical Process Improvement Leadership Program provides quality improvement training for clinicians and administrators, utilizing graduates as volunteer peer coaches for mentorship. We sought to understand the factors associated with volunteer coach participation and gain insight into how to improve and sustain this program. Review of coach characteristics from course database and survey of frequent coaches. Out of 516 Partners Clinical Process Improvement Leadership Program graduates from March 2010 to June 2015, 117 (23%) individuals volunteered as coaches. Sixty-one (52%) individuals coached once, 31 (27%) coached twice, and 25 (21%) coached 3 or more times. There were statistically significant associations between coaching and occupation (P = .005), Partners Clinical Process Improvement Leadership Program course taken (P = .001), and course location (P = .007). Administrators were more likely to coach than physicians (odds ratio: 1.75, P = .04). Reasons for volunteering as a coach included further development of skills, desire to stay involved with program, and enjoying mentoring. Reasons for repeated coaching included maintaining quality improvement skills, expanding skills to a wider variety of projects, and networking. A peer graduate volunteer coach model is a viable strategy for interprofessional quality improvement mentorship. Strategies that support repeat coaching and engage clinicians should be promoted to ensure an experienced and diversified group of coaches.

  5. Running Improves Pattern Separation during Novel Object Recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolz, Leoni; Heigele, Stefanie; Bischofberger, Josef

    2015-10-09

    Running increases adult neurogenesis and improves pattern separation in various memory tasks including context fear conditioning or touch-screen based spatial learning. However, it is unknown whether pattern separation is improved in spontaneous behavior, not emotionally biased by positive or negative reinforcement. Here we investigated the effect of voluntary running on pattern separation during novel object recognition in mice using relatively similar or substantially different objects.We show that running increases hippocampal neurogenesis but does not affect object recognition memory with 1.5 h delay after sample phase. By contrast, at 24 h delay, running significantly improves recognition memory for similar objects, whereas highly different objects can be distinguished by both, running and sedentary mice. These data show that physical exercise improves pattern separation, independent of negative or positive reinforcement. In sedentary mice there is a pronounced temporal gradient for remembering object details. In running mice, however, increased neurogenesis improves hippocampal coding and temporally preserves distinction of novel objects from familiar ones.

  6. IRIS: A SIGNIFICANT ELEMENT OF THE MEDITERRANEAN LANDSCAPE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. UBRIZSY SAVOIA

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available The Southern European species of Iris growing in dry, rocky places, stony ground, terra rossa, sandy, basalt and/or calcareous hills, maquis and coastal rocky slopes, are a neglected bioplasm resource of the Mediterranean landscape. These species have traditional uses and cultural significance and have inspired artists. Both natural and naturalised ornamental Iris species may help to improve and maintain the Mediterranean landscape by avoiding land erosion, fixing dunes and preserving coastal zones. These Iris species are a significant component of Mediterranean floristic diversity. Their conservation and use in traditional Mediterranean landscape gardening are emphasised.

  7. IRIS: A SIGNIFICANT ELEMENT OF THE MEDITERRANEAN LANDSCAPE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. PIGNATTI

    2000-04-01

    Full Text Available The Southern European species of Iris growing in dry, rocky places, stony ground, terra rossa, sandy, basalt and/or calcareous hills, maquis and coastal rocky slopes, are a neglected bioplasm resource of the Mediterranean landscape. These species have traditional uses and cultural significance and have inspired artists. Both natural and naturalised ornamental Iris species may help to improve and maintain the Mediterranean landscape by avoiding land erosion, fixing dunes and preserving coastal zones. These Iris species are a significant component of Mediterranean floristic diversity. Their conservation and use in traditional Mediterranean landscape gardening are emphasised.

  8. CDBG Public Improvements Activity

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Housing and Urban Development — CDBG activity related to public improvements, including senior centers, youth centers, parks, street improvements, water/sewer improvements, child care centers, fire...

  9. Corporatization as a means of improving water quality: the experience in Victoria, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Narelle

    Factors including fragmentation, a lack of direction, poor accountability, poor water quality, and a sizable state government subsidy contributed to the rural water industry in Victoria, Australia, in 1993. In 1993 the state government set out parameters for reform to change the size, structure, performance, and culture of the water industry. The path taken was not privatization, but corporatization. Tools used included amalgamation of organizations; separating water provisions from local government; changing the composition and reporting mechanisms of the boards; establishing clear benchmarks and performance criteria; making information publicly available; and providing a commercial orientation. The outcomes of the reforms were to be a focus on water quality and effluent management. In 2001, 15 water authorities were in place. There were significant improvements in accountability, finances, and performance. The authorities provided information on performance to both the state and the public. Reductions of operating costs have been in the range of 20-35%, with savings put back into new infrastructure. Water quality has significantly improved in a number of parameters and effluent management has also improved. This paper describes the challenges faced before the reform process, the reforms initiated, and the outcomes. It argues that privatization is not the only path to improvement: Developing a corporate structure and accountability can also deliver substantial improvements.

  10. Impact of a quality improvement project on deceased organ donor management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olmos, Andrea; Feiner, John; Hirose, Ryutaro; Swain, Sharon; Blasi, Annabel; Roberts, John P.; Niemann, Claus U.

    2017-01-01

    Context Donors showed poor glucose control in the period between declaration of brain death and organ recovery. The level of hyperglycemia in the donors was associated with a decline in terminal renal function. Objective To determine whether implementation of a quality improvement project improved glucose control and preserved renal function in deceased organ donors. Methods Data collected retrospectively included demographics, medical history, mechanism of death, laboratory values, and data from the United Network for Organ Sharing. Results After implementation of the quality improvement project, deceased donors had significantly lower mean glucose concentrations (mean [SD], 162 [44] vs 212 [42] mg/dL; P donor cohorts from before and after the quality improvement project were analyzed together, mean glucose concentration remained a significant predictor of terminal creatinine level (P donors indicated that higher terminal creatinine level was associated with delayed graft function in recipients (P donor glucose homeostasis, and the data confirm that poor glucose homeostasis is associated with worsening terminal renal function. PMID:26645930

  11. Improvement in rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease management and prevention using a health centre-based continuous quality improvement approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ralph, Anna P; Fittock, Marea; Schultz, Rosalie; Thompson, Dale; Dowden, Michelle; Clemens, Tom; Parnaby, Matthew G; Clark, Michele; McDonald, Malcolm I; Edwards, Keith N; Carapetis, Jonathan R; Bailie, Ross S

    2013-12-18

    Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) remains a major health concern for Aboriginal Australians. A key component of RHD control is prevention of recurrent acute rheumatic fever (ARF) using long-term secondary prophylaxis with intramuscular benzathine penicillin (BPG). This is the most important and cost-effective step in RHD control. However, there are significant challenges to effective implementation of secondary prophylaxis programs. This project aimed to increase understanding and improve quality of RHD care through development and implementation of a continuous quality improvement (CQI) strategy. We used a CQI strategy to promote implementation of national best-practice ARF/RHD management guidelines at primary health care level in Indigenous communities of the Northern Territory (NT), Australia, 2008-2010. Participatory action research methods were employed to identify system barriers to delivery of high quality care. This entailed facilitated discussion with primary care staff aided by a system assessment tool (SAT). Participants were encouraged to develop and implement strategies to overcome identified barriers, including better record-keeping, triage systems and strategies for patient follow-up. To assess performance, clinical records were audited at baseline, then annually for two years. Key performance indicators included proportion of people receiving adequate secondary prophylaxis (≥80% of scheduled 4-weekly penicillin injections) and quality of documentation. Six health centres participated, servicing approximately 154 people with ARF/RHD. Improvements occurred in indicators of service delivery including proportion of people receiving ≥40% of their scheduled BPG (increasing from 81/116 [70%] at baseline to 84/103 [82%] in year three, p = 0.04), proportion of people reviewed by a doctor within the past two years (112/154 [73%] and 134/156 [86%], p = 0.003), and proportion of people who received influenza vaccination (57/154 [37%] to 86/156 [55%], p

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  13. Key Characteristics of Combined Accident including TLOFW accident for PSA Modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Bo Gyung; Kang, Hyun Gook [KAIST, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Yoon, Ho Joon [Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research, Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)

    2015-05-15

    The conventional PSA techniques cannot adequately evaluate all events. The conventional PSA models usually focus on single internal events such as DBAs, the external hazards such as fire, seismic. However, the Fukushima accident of Japan in 2011 reveals that very rare event is necessary to be considered in the PSA model to prevent the radioactive release to environment caused by poor treatment based on lack of the information, and to improve the emergency operation procedure. Especially, the results from PSA can be used to decision making for regulators. Moreover, designers can consider the weakness of plant safety based on the quantified results and understand accident sequence based on human actions and system availability. This study is for PSA modeling of combined accidents including total loss of feedwater (TLOFW) accident. The TLOFW accident is a representative accident involving the failure of cooling through secondary side. If the amount of heat transfer is not enough due to the failure of secondary side, the heat will be accumulated to the primary side by continuous core decay heat. Transients with loss of feedwater include total loss of feedwater accident, loss of condenser vacuum accident, and closure of all MSIVs. When residual heat removal by the secondary side is terminated, the safety injection into the RCS with direct primary depressurization would provide alternative heat removal. This operation is called feed and bleed (F and B) operation. Combined accidents including TLOFW accident are very rare event and partially considered in conventional PSA model. Since the necessity of F and B operation is related to plant conditions, the PSA modeling for combined accidents including TLOFW accident is necessary to identify the design and operational vulnerabilities.The PSA is significant to assess the risk of NPPs, and to identify the design and operational vulnerabilities. Even though the combined accident is very rare event, the consequence of combined

  14. 49 CFR 350.213 - What must a State CVSP include?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... include education, enforcement, legislation, use of technology and improvements to safety infrastructure... activities affecting the transportation of controlled substances by CMV drivers and training on appropriate... regulations with the FMCSRs and HMRs. (m) A copy of any new law or regulation affecting CMV safety enforcement...

  15. Improvements in brain and behavior following eradication of hepatitis C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, Taylor; Sayegh, Philip; Jones, Jacob D; Smith, Jason; Sarma, Manoj K; Ragin, A; Singer, Elyse J; Albert Thomas, M; Thames, April D; Castellon, Steven A; Hinkin, Charles H

    2017-08-01

    Despite recent advances in treatment, hepatitis C remains a significant public health problem. The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is known to infiltrate the brain, yet findings from studies on associated neurocognitive and neuropathological changes are mixed. Furthermore, it remains unclear if HCV eradication improves HCV-associated neurological compromise. This study examined the longitudinal relationship between neurocognitive and neurophysiologic markers among healthy HCV- controls and HCV+ adults following successful HCV eradication. We hypothesized that neurocognitive outcomes following treatment would be related to both improved cognition and white matter integrity. Participants included 57 HCV+ participants who successfully cleared the virus at the end of treatment (sustained virologic responders [SVRs]) and 22 HCV- controls. Participants underwent neuropsychological testing and, for a nested subset of participants, neuroimaging (diffusion tensor imaging) at baseline and 12 weeks following completion of HCV therapy. Contrary to expectation, group-level longitudinal analyses did not reveal significant improvement in neurocognitive performance in the SVRs compared to the control group. However, a subgroup of SVRs demonstrated a significant improvement in cognition relative to controls, which was related to improved white matter integrity. Indeed, neuroimaging data revealed beneficial effects associated with clearing the virus, particularly in the posterior corona radiata and the superior longitudinal fasciculus. Findings suggest that a subgroup of HCV+ patients experienced improvements in cognitive functioning following eradication of HCV, which appears related to positive changes in white matter integrity. Future research should examine whether any additional improvements in neurocognition and white matter integrity among SVRs occur with longer follow-up periods.

  16. A clinically based prognostic index for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with a cut-off at 70 years of age significantly improves prognostic stratification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gang, Anne O.; Pedersen, Michael; d'Amore, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    The introduction of rituximab and generally improved health among elderly patients have increased the survival of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The International Prognostic Index (IPI) from 1992 is based on pre-rituximab data from clinical trials including several lymphoma ...... dehydrogenase (LDH), stage and albumin level, and (2) a separate age-adjusted DLBCL-PI for patients 1 extranodal lesion, however excluding stage....... subtypes. We applied IPI factors to a population-based rituximab-treated cohort of 1990 patients diagnosed 2000-2010 and explored new factors and the optimal prognostic age cut-off for DLBCL. Multivariate-analyses (MVA) confirmed the prognostic value of all IPI factors except the presence of > 1 extranodal...... lesion. The optimal age cut-off was 70 years. In a MVA of albumin, lymphocyte count, sex, immunoglobulin G, bulky disease, hemoglobin and B-symptoms, only albumin was prognostic. We propose: (1) a modified DLBCL prognostic index (DLBCL-PI) including: age (70 years), performance status (PS), lactate...

  17. Electronic health records improve clinical note quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Harry B; Sessums, Laura L; Hoang, Albert; Becher, Dorothy A; Fontelo, Paul; Liu, Fang; Stephens, Mark; Pangaro, Louis N; O'Malley, Patrick G; Baxi, Nancy S; Bunt, Christopher W; Capaldi, Vincent F; Chen, Julie M; Cooper, Barbara A; Djuric, David A; Hodge, Joshua A; Kane, Shawn; Magee, Charles; Makary, Zizette R; Mallory, Renee M; Miller, Thomas; Saperstein, Adam; Servey, Jessica; Gimbel, Ronald W

    2015-01-01

    The clinical note documents the clinician's information collection, problem assessment, clinical management, and its used for administrative purposes. Electronic health records (EHRs) are being implemented in clinical practices throughout the USA yet it is not known whether they improve the quality of clinical notes. The goal in this study was to determine if EHRs improve the quality of outpatient clinical notes. A five and a half year longitudinal retrospective multicenter quantitative study comparing the quality of handwritten and electronic outpatient clinical visit notes for 100 patients with type 2 diabetes at three time points: 6 months prior to the introduction of the EHR (before-EHR), 6 months after the introduction of the EHR (after-EHR), and 5 years after the introduction of the EHR (5-year-EHR). QNOTE, a validated quantitative instrument, was used to assess the quality of outpatient clinical notes. Its scores can range from a low of 0 to a high of 100. Sixteen primary care physicians with active practices used QNOTE to determine the quality of the 300 patient notes. The before-EHR, after-EHR, and 5-year-EHR grand mean scores (SD) were 52.0 (18.4), 61.2 (16.3), and 80.4 (8.9), respectively, and the change in scores for before-EHR to after-EHR and before-EHR to 5-year-EHR were 18% (pquality scores significantly improved over the 5-year time interval. The EHR significantly improved the overall quality of the outpatient clinical note and the quality of all its elements, including the core and non-core elements. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that the EHR significantly improves the quality of clinical notes. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Medical Informatics Association.

  18. Willingness to pay for environmental improvements in hydropower regulated rivers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kataria, Mitesh

    2009-01-01

    This paper uses a choice experiment to estimate how Swedish households value different environmental improvements for the hydropower regulated rivers. We obtained clear evidence that Swedish households have preferences for environmental improvement in hydropower regulated waters, at least when the cost is relatively low. Remedial measures that improve the conditions for all of the included environmental attributes i.e. fish, benthic invertebrates, river-margin vegetation and birds were found to have a significant welfare increasing impact. The results can be of value for the implementation of the Water Framework Directives in Sweden, which aims to reform the use of all surface water and ground water in the member states. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  20. Outage preparation milestones - A tool to improve planned outage performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laplatney, Jere; Hwang, Euiyoub

    2006-01-01

    Sustainable development of Nuclear Energy depends heavily on excellent performance of the existing fleet which in turn depend heavily on the performance of planned outages. Nuclear Power Plants who have successfully undertaken outage optimization projects have demonstrated than an effective Outage Preparation Milestone program is a key component of their improvement programs. This paper will provide background into the field of 'Outage Optimization' including the philosophy, general approach, and results obtained in the U. S. industry. The significant safety improvements afforded by properly implementing outage improvement programs will be explained. Some specific examples of outage improvements will be given including the adoption of a strong Outage Preparation Milestone Program. The paper will then describe the attributes of an effective Outage Preparation Milestone Program and list a set of specific key milestones. The key milestones are defined and the reasons for each are explained. Suggested due dates for each key milestone relative to the outage start date are provided. Successful implementation of an Outage Preparation Milestone program depends heavily upon the management tools and methods used to assure that the organization meets the milestones on time and in a quality fashion. These include methods to handle cases where milestones are not met - either partially or fully. KHNP is investigating implementing an improved Outage Preparation Milestone program for its fleet of reactors as part of its overall program to improve its performance of planned outages

  1. Quality improvement in pediatrics: past, present, and future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Stephanie P; Rehder, Kyle J

    2017-01-01

    Almost two decades ago, the landmark report "To Err is Human" compelled healthcare to address the large numbers of hospitalized patients experiencing preventable harm. Concurrently, it became clear that the rapidly rising cost of healthcare would be unsustainable in the long-term. As a result, quality improvement methodologies initially rooted in other high-reliability industries have become a primary focus of healthcare. Multiple pediatric studies demonstrate remarkable quality and safety improvements in several domains including handoffs, catheter-associated blood stream infections, and other serious safety events. While both quality improvement and research are data-driven processes, significant differences exist between the two. Research utilizes a hypothesis driven approach to obtain new knowledge while quality improvement often incorporates a cyclic approach to translate existing knowledge into clinical practice. Recent publications have provided guidelines and methods for effectively reporting quality and safety work and improvement implementations. This review examines not only how quality improvement in pediatrics has led to improved outcomes, but also looks to the future of quality improvement in healthcare with focus on education and collaboration to ensure best practice approaches to caring for children.

  2. Improving the simulation of quark and gluon jets with Herwig 7

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reichelt, Daniel [Technische Universitaet Dresden, Institut fuer Kern- und Teilchenphysik, Dresden (Germany); Richardson, Peter [CERN, Theory Department, Geneva (Switzerland); Durham University, Department of Physics, IPPP, Durham (United Kingdom); Siodmok, Andrzej [Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Nuclear Physics, Krakow (Poland)

    2017-12-15

    The properties of quark and gluon jets, and the differences between them, are increasingly important at the LHC. However, Monte Carlo event generators are normally tuned to data from e{sup +}e{sup -} collisions which are primarily sensitive to quark-initiated jets. In order to improve the description of gluon jets we make improvements to the perturbative and the non-perturbative modelling of gluon jets and include data with gluon-initiated jets in the tuning for the first time. The resultant tunes significantly improve the description of gluon jets and are now the default in Herwig 7.1. (orig.)

  3. Significant incidents in nuclear fuel cycle facilities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-03-01

    In contrast to nuclear power plants, events in nuclear fuel cycle facilities are not well documented. The INES database covers all the nuclear fuel cycle facilities; however, it was developed in the early 1990s and does not contain information on events prior to that. The purpose of the present report is to collect significant events and analyze them in order to give a safety related overview of nuclear fuel cycle facilities. Significant incidents were selected using the following criteria: release of radioactive material or exposure to radiation; degradation of items important to safety; and deficiencies in design, quality assurance, etc. which include criticality incidents, fire, explosion, radioactive release and contamination. This report includes an explanation, where possible, of root causes, lessons learned and action taken. 4 refs, 4 tabs.

  4. Significant incidents in nuclear fuel cycle facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-03-01

    In contrast to nuclear power plants, events in nuclear fuel cycle facilities are not well documented. The INES database covers all the nuclear fuel cycle facilities; however, it was developed in the early 1990s and does not contain information on events prior to that. The purpose of the present report is to collect significant events and analyze them in order to give a safety related overview of nuclear fuel cycle facilities. Significant incidents were selected using the following criteria: release of radioactive material or exposure to radiation; degradation of items important to safety; and deficiencies in design, quality assurance, etc. which include criticality incidents, fire, explosion, radioactive release and contamination. This report includes an explanation, where possible, of root causes, lessons learned and action taken. 4 refs, 4 tabs

  5. Visual feedback training using WII Fit improves balance in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zalecki, Tomasz; Gorecka-Mazur, Agnieszka; Pietraszko, Wojciech; Surowka, Artur D; Novak, Pawel; Moskala, Marek; Krygowska-Wajs, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Postural instability including imbalance is the most disabling long term problem in Parkinson's disease (PD) that does not respond to pharmacotherapy. This study aimed at investigating the effectiveness of a novel visual-feedback training method, using Wii Fit balance board in improving balance in patients with PD. Twenty four patients with moderate PD were included in the study which comprised of a 6-week home-based balance training program using Nintendo Wii Fit and balance board. The PD patients significantly improved their results in Berg Balance Scale, Tinnet's Performance-Oriented Mobility Assessment, Timed Up-and-Go, Sit-to-stand test, 10-Meter Walk test and Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale at the end of the programme. This study suggests that visual feedback training using Wii-Fit with balance board could improve dynamic and functional balance as well as motor disability in PD patients.

  6. Four-phonon scattering significantly reduces intrinsic thermal conductivity of solids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Tianli; Lindsay, Lucas; Ruan, Xiulin

    2017-10-01

    For decades, the three-phonon scattering process has been considered to govern thermal transport in solids, while the role of higher-order four-phonon scattering has been persistently unclear and so ignored. However, recent quantitative calculations of three-phonon scattering have often shown a significant overestimation of thermal conductivity as compared to experimental values. In this Rapid Communication we show that four-phonon scattering is generally important in solids and can remedy such discrepancies. For silicon and diamond, the predicted thermal conductivity is reduced by 30% at 1000 K after including four-phonon scattering, bringing predictions in excellent agreement with measurements. For the projected ultrahigh-thermal conductivity material, zinc-blende BAs, a competitor of diamond as a heat sink material, four-phonon scattering is found to be strikingly strong as three-phonon processes have an extremely limited phase space for scattering. The four-phonon scattering reduces the predicted thermal conductivity from 2200 to 1400 W/m K at room temperature. The reduction at 1000 K is 60%. We also find that optical phonon scattering rates are largely affected, being important in applications such as phonon bottlenecks in equilibrating electronic excitations. Recognizing that four-phonon scattering is expensive to calculate, in the end we provide some guidelines on how to quickly assess the significance of four-phonon scattering, based on energy surface anharmonicity and the scattering phase space. Our work clears the decades-long fundamental question of the significance of higher-order scattering, and points out ways to improve thermoelectrics, thermal barrier coatings, nuclear materials, and radiative heat transfer.

  7. Three success factors for continual improvement in healthcare: an analysis of the reports of improvement team members.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandrud, Aleidis Skard; Schreiner, Ada; Hjortdahl, Per; Helljesen, Gro Sævil; Nyen, Bjørnar; Nelson, Eugene C

    2011-03-01

    The objectives of the Breakthrough Series Collaborative are to close the gap between what we know and what we do, and to contribute to continuous quality improvement (CQI) of healthcare through collaborative learning. The improvement efforts are guided by a systematic approach, combining professional and improvement knowledge. To explore what the improvement teams have learnt from participating in the collaborative and from dealing with promoting and inhibiting factors encountered. Qualitative interviews with 19 team members were conducted in four focus groups, using the Critical Incident Technique. A critical incident is one that makes significant contributions, either positively or negatively, to an activity. The elements of a culture of improvement are revealed by the critical incidents, and reflect the eight domains of knowledge, as a product of collaborative learning. The improvement knowledge and skills of individuals are important elements, but not enough to achieve sustainable changes. 90% of the material reflects the need for a system of CQI to solve the problems that organisations experience in trying to make lasting improvements. A pattern of three success factors for CQI emerges: (1) continuous and reliable information, including measurement, about best and current practice; (2) engagement of everybody in all phases of the improvement work: the patient and family, the leadership, the professional environment and the staff; and (3) an infrastructure based on improvement knowledge, with multidisciplinary teams, available coaching, learning systems and sustainability systems.

  8. Do clinical safety charts improve paramedic key performance indicator results? (A clinical improvement programme evaluation).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebbs, Phillip; Middleton, Paul M; Bonner, Ann; Loudfoot, Allan; Elliott, Peter

    2012-07-01

    Is the Clinical Safety Chart clinical improvement programme (CIP) effective at improving paramedic key performance indicator (KPI) results within the Ambulance Service of New South Wales? The CIP intervention area was compared with the non-intervention area in order to determine whether there was a statistically significant improvement in KPI results. The CIP was associated with a statistically significant improvement in paramedic KPI results within the intervention area. The strategies used within this CIP are recommended for further consideration.

  9. Improving Pharmacy Student Communication Outcomes Using Standardized Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillette, Chris; Rudolph, Michael; Rockich-Winston, Nicole; Stanton, Robert; Anderson, H Glenn

    2017-08-01

    Objective. To examine whether standardized patient encounters led to an improvement in a student pharmacist-patient communication assessment compared to traditional active-learning activities within a classroom setting. Methods. A quasi-experimental study was conducted with second-year pharmacy students in a drug information and communication skills course. Student patient communication skills were assessed using high-stakes communication assessment. Results. Two hundred and twenty students' data were included. Students were significantly more likely to have higher scores on the communication assessment when they had higher undergraduate GPAs, were female, and taught using standardized patients. Similarly, students were significantly more likely to pass the assessment on the first attempt when they were female and when they were taught using standardized patients. Conclusion. Incorporating standardized patients within a communication course resulted in improved scores as well as first-time pass rates on a communication assessment than when using different methods of active learning.

  10. Low- and high-volume of intensive endurance training significantly improves maximal oxygen uptake after 10-weeks of training in healthy men.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arnt Erik Tjønna

    Full Text Available Regular exercise training improves maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max, but the optimal intensity and volume necessary to obtain maximal benefit remains to be defined. A growing body of evidence suggests that exercise training with low-volume but high-intensity may be a time-efficient means to achieve health benefits. In the present study, we measured changes in VO2max and traditional cardiovascular risk factors after a 10 wk. training protocol that involved three weekly high-intensity interval sessions. One group followed a protocol which consisted of 4×4 min at 90% of maximal heart rate (HRmax interspersed with 3 min active recovery at 70% HRmax (4-AIT, the other group performed a single bout protocol that consisted of 1×4 min at 90% HRmax (1-AIT. Twenty-six inactive but otherwise healthy overweight men (BMI: 25-30, age: 35-45 y were randomized to either 1-AIT (n = 11 or 4-AIT (n = 13. After training, VO2max increased by 10% (∼5.0 mL⋅kg(-1⋅min(-1 and 13% (∼6.5 mL⋅kg(-1⋅min(-1 after 1-AIT and 4-AIT, respectively (group difference, p = 0.08. Oxygen cost during running at a sub-maximal workload was reduced by 14% and 13% after 1-AIT and 4-AIT, respectively. Systolic blood pressure decreased by 7.1 and 2.6 mmHg after 1-AIT and 4-AIT respectively, while diastolic pressure decreased by 7.7 and 6.1 mmHg (group difference, p = 0.84. Both groups had a similar ∼5% decrease in fasting glucose. Body fat, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and ox-LDL cholesterol only were significantly reduced after 4-AIT. Our data suggest that a single bout of AIT performed three times per week may be a time-efficient strategy to improve VO2max and reduce blood pressure and fasting glucose in previously inactive but otherwise healthy middle-aged individuals. The 1-AIT type of exercise training may be readily implemented as part of activities of daily living and could easily be translated into programs designed to improve public health

  11. Improving Autopsy Report Turnaround Times by Implementing Lean Management Principles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cromwell, Susan; Chiasson, David A; Cassidy, Debra; Somers, Gino R

    2018-01-01

    The autopsy is an integral part of the service of a large academic pathology department. Timely reporting is central to providing good service and is beneficial for many stakeholders, including the families, the clinical team, the hospital, and the wider community. The current study aimed to improve hospital-consented autopsy reporting times (turnaround time, TAT) by using lean principles modified for a healthcare setting, with an aim of signing out 90% of autopsies in 90 days. An audit of current and historical TATs was performed, and a working group incorporating administrative, technical, and professional staff constructed a value stream map documenting the steps involved in constructing an autopsy report. Two areas of delay were noted: examination of the microscopy and time taken to sign-out the report after the weekly autopsy conference. Several measures were implemented to address these delays, including visual tracking using a whiteboard and individualized tracking sheets, weekly whiteboard huddles, and timelier scheduling of clinicopathologic conference rounds. All measures resulted in an improvement of TATs. In the 30 months prior to the institution of lean, 37% of autopsies (53/144) were signed out in 90 days, with a wide variation in reporting times. In the 30 months following the institution of lean, this improved to 74% (136/185) ( P lean; 63 days post-lean). The application of lean principles to autopsy sign-out workflow can significantly improve TATs and reduce variability, without changing staffing levels or significantly altering scheduling structure.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Improving Patient Safety: Improving Communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bittner-Fagan, Heather; Davis, Joshua; Savoy, Margot

    2017-12-01

    Communication among physicians, staff, and patients is a critical element in patient safety. Effective communication skills can be taught and improved through training and awareness. The practice of family medicine allows for long-term relationships with patients, which affords opportunities for ongoing, high-quality communication. There are many barriers to effective communication, including patient factors, clinician factors, and system factors, but tools and strategies exist to address these barriers, improve communication, and engage patients in their care. Use of universal precautions for health literacy, appropriate medical interpreters, and shared decision-making are evidence-based tools that improve communication and increase patient safety. Written permission from the American Academy of Family Physicians is required for reproduction of this material in whole or in part in any form or medium.

  14. Consumption of Dairy Yogurt Containing Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei, Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis and Heat-Treated Lactobacillus plantarum Improves Immune Function Including Natural Killer Cell Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ayoung; Lee, Young Ju; Yoo, Hye Jin; Kim, Minkyung; Chang, Yeeun; Lee, Dong Seog; Lee, Jong Ho

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of consuming dairy yogurt containing Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei (L. paracasei), Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis (B. lactis) and heat-treated Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) on immune function. A randomized, open-label, placebo-controlled study was conducted on 200 nondiabetic subjects. Over a twelve-week period, the test group consumed dairy yogurt containing probiotics each day, whereas the placebo group consumed milk. Natural killer (NK) cell activity, interleukin (IL)-12 and immunoglobulin (Ig) G1 levels were significantly increased in the test group at twelve weeks compared to baseline. Additionally, the test group had significantly greater increases in serum NK cell activity and interferon (IFN)-γ and IgG1 than placebo group. Daily consumption of dairy yogurt containing L. paracasei, B. lactis and heat-treated L. plantarum could be an effective option to improve immune function by enhancing NK cell function and IFN-γ concentration (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03051425). PMID:28561762

  15. Consumption of Dairy Yogurt Containing Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei, Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis and Heat-Treated Lactobacillus plantarum Improves Immune Function Including Natural Killer Cell Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayoung Lee

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of consuming dairy yogurt containing Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei (L. paracasei, Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis (B. lactis and heat-treated Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum on immune function. A randomized, open-label, placebo-controlled study was conducted on 200 nondiabetic subjects. Over a twelve-week period, the test group consumed dairy yogurt containing probiotics each day, whereas the placebo group consumed milk. Natural killer (NK cell activity, interleukin (IL-12 and immunoglobulin (Ig G1 levels were significantly increased in the test group at twelve weeks compared to baseline. Additionally, the test group had significantly greater increases in serum NK cell activity and interferon (IFN-γ and IgG1 than placebo group. Daily consumption of dairy yogurt containing L. paracasei, B. lactis and heat-treated L. plantarum could be an effective option to improve immune function by enhancing NK cell function and IFN-γ concentration (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03051425.

  16. Consumption of Dairy Yogurt Containing Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei, Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis and Heat-Treated Lactobacillus plantarum Improves Immune Function Including Natural Killer Cell Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ayoung; Lee, Young Ju; Yoo, Hye Jin; Kim, Minkyung; Chang, Yeeun; Lee, Dong Seog; Lee, Jong Ho

    2017-05-31

    The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of consuming dairy yogurt containing Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei ( L. paracasei ), Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis ( B. lactis ) and heat-treated Lactobacillus plantarum ( L. plantarum ) on immune function. A randomized, open-label, placebo-controlled study was conducted on 200 nondiabetic subjects. Over a twelve-week period, the test group consumed dairy yogurt containing probiotics each day, whereas the placebo group consumed milk. Natural killer (NK) cell activity, interleukin (IL)-12 and immunoglobulin (Ig) G1 levels were significantly increased in the test group at twelve weeks compared to baseline. Additionally, the test group had significantly greater increases in serum NK cell activity and interferon (IFN)-γ and IgG1 than placebo group. Daily consumption of dairy yogurt containing L. paracasei , B. lactis and heat-treated L. plantarum could be an effective option to improve immune function by enhancing NK cell function and IFN-γ concentration (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03051425).

  17. Description of a multifaceted rehabilitation program including overground gait training for a child with cerebral palsy: A case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, Elizabeth; Naber, Erin; Geigle, Paula

    2010-01-01

    This case describes the outcomes of a multifaceted rehabilitation program including body weight-supported overground gait training (BWSOGT) in a nonambulatory child with cerebral palsy (CP) and the impact of this treatment on the child's functional mobility. The patient is a nonambulatory 10-year-old female with CP who during an inpatient rehabilitation stay participated in direct, physical therapy 6 days per week for 5 weeks. Physical therapy interventions included stretching of her bilateral lower extremities, transfer training, bed mobility training, balance training, kinesiotaping, supported standing in a prone stander, two trials of partial weight-supported treadmill training, and for 4 weeks, three to five times per week, engaged in 30 minutes of BWSOGT using the Up n' go gait trainer, Lite Gait Walkable, and Rifton Pacer gait trainer. Following the multifaceted rehabilitation program, the patient demonstrated increased step initiation, increased weight bearing through bilateral lower extremities, improved bed mobility, and increased participation in transfers. The child's Gross Motor Functional Measure (GMFM) scores increased across four dimensions and her Physical Abilities and Mobility Scale (PAMS) increased significantly. This case report illustrates that a multifaceted rehabilitation program including BWSOGT was an effective intervention strategy to improve functional mobility in this nonambulatory child with CP.

  18. Significance of Supply Logistics in Big Cities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario Šafran

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The paper considers the concept and importance of supplylogistics as element in improving storage, supply and transportof goods in big cities. There is always room for improvements inthis segmenl of economic activities, and therefore continuousoptimisation of the cargo flows from the manufacturer to theend user is impor1a11t. Due to complex requirements in thecargo supply a11d the "spoiled" end users, modem cities represe/ll great difficulties and a big challenge for the supply organisers.The consumers' needs in big cities have developed over therecent years i11 such a way that they require supply of goods severaltimes a day at precisely determined times (orders are receivedby e-mail, and the information transfer is therefore instantaneous.In order to successfully meet the consumers'needs in advanced economic systems, advanced methods ofgoods supply have been developed and improved, such as 'justin time'; ''door-to-door", and "desk-to-desk". Regular operationof these systems requires supply logistics 1vhiclz includes thetotalthroughpw of materials, from receiving the raw materialsor reproduction material to the delive1y of final products to theend users.

  19. An Intervention Including an Online Game to Improve Grade 6 Students' Performance in Early Algebra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolovou, Angeliki; van den Heuvel-Panhuizen, Marja; Koller, Olaf

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated whether an intervention including an online game contributed to 236 Grade 6 students' performance in early algebra, that is, solving problems with covarying quantities. An exploratory quasi-experimental study was conducted with a pretest-posttest-control-group design. Students in the experimental group were asked to solve…

  20. Including product features in process redesign

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvam, Lars; Hauksdóttir, Dagný; Mortensen, Niels Henrik

    2017-01-01

    do not take into account how the product features are applied throughout the process, which makes it difficult to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the activities in the processes and to generate significant improvements. The suggested approach models the product family using the so......This article suggests a visual modelling method for integrating models of product features with business process models for redesigning the business processes involving specifications of customer-tailored products and services. The current methods for redesigning these types of business processes......-called product variant master and the business process modelling notation for modelling the process flow. The product model is combined with the process map by identifying features used in each step of the process flow. Additionally, based on the information absorbed from the integrated model, the value stream...

  1. Does ownership of improved dairy cow breeds improve child nutrition? A pathway analysis for Uganda.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nassul S Kabunga

    Full Text Available The promotion of livestock production is widely believed to support enhanced diet quality and child nutrition, but the empirical evidence for this causal linkage remains narrow and ambiguous. This study examines whether adoption of improved dairy cow breeds is linked to farm-level outcomes that translate into household-level benefits including improved child nutrition outcomes in Uganda. Using nationwide data from Uganda's National Panel Survey, propensity score matching is used to create an unbiased counterfactual, based on observed characteristics, to assess the net impacts of improved dairy cow adoption. All estimates were tested for robustness and sensitivity to variations in observable and unobservable confounders. Results based on the matched samples showed that households adopting improved dairy cows significantly increased milk yield-by over 200% on average. This resulted in higher milk sales and milk intakes, demonstrating the potential of this agricultural technology to both integrate households into modern value chains and increase households' access to animal source foods. Use of improved dairy cows increased household food expenditures by about 16%. Although undernutrition was widely prevalent in the study sample and in matched households, the adoption of improved dairy cows was associated with lower child stunting in adopter household. In scale terms, results also showed that holding larger farms tends to support adoption, but that this also stimulates the household's ability to achieve gains from adoption, which can translate into enhanced nutrition.

  2. Significant Revisions to OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neitzel, Dennis K

    2015-06-01

    The updated OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269 requirements are significant for assisting employers in their efforts to protect their employees from electrical hazards. In addition, OSHA based these revisions on the latest consensus standards and improvements in electrical safety technology. Together, the updated regulation creates a unified and up-to-date set of requirements to help employers more effectively establish safe work practices to protect their workers.

  3. In-Patient Treatment of Fibromyalgia: A Controlled Nonrandomized Comparison of Conventional Medicine versus Integrative Medicine including Fasting Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Michalsen

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Fibromyalgia poses a challenge for therapy. Recent guidelines suggest that fibromyalgia should be treated within a multidisciplinary therapy approach. No data are available that evaluated multimodal treatment strategies of Integrative Medicine (IM. We conducted a controlled, nonrandomized pilot study that compared two inpatient treatment strategies, an IM approach that included fasting therapy and a conventional rheumatology (CM approach. IM used fasting cure and Mind-Body-Medicine as specific methods. Of 48 included consecutive patients, 28 were treated with IM, 20 with CM. Primary outcome was change in the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ score after the 2-week hospital stay. Secondary outcomes included scores of pain, depression, anxiety, and well being. Assessments were repeated after 12 weeks. At 2 weeks, there were significant improvements in the FIQ (P<0.014 and for most of secondary outcomes for the IM group compared to the CM group. The beneficial effects for the IM approach were reduced after 12 weeks and no longer statistically significant with the exception of anxiety. Findings indicate that a multimodal IM treatment with fasting therapy might be superior to CM in the short term and not inferior in the mid term. Longer-term studies are warranted to assess the clinical impact of integrative multimodal treatment in fibromyalgia.

  4. Significant Radionuclides Determination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jo A. Ziegler

    2001-07-31

    The purpose of this calculation is to identify radionuclides that are significant to offsite doses from potential preclosure events for spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste expected to be received at the potential Monitored Geologic Repository (MGR). In this calculation, high-level radioactive waste is included in references to DOE SNF. A previous document, ''DOE SNF DBE Offsite Dose Calculations'' (CRWMS M&O 1999b), calculated the source terms and offsite doses for Department of Energy (DOE) and Naval SNF for use in design basis event analyses. This calculation reproduces only DOE SNF work (i.e., no naval SNF work is included in this calculation) created in ''DOE SNF DBE Offsite Dose Calculations'' and expands the calculation to include DOE SNF expected to produce a high dose consequence (even though the quantity of the SNF is expected to be small) and SNF owned by commercial nuclear power producers. The calculation does not address any specific off-normal/DBE event scenarios for receiving, handling, or packaging of SNF. The results of this calculation are developed for comparative analysis to establish the important radionuclides and do not represent the final source terms to be used for license application. This calculation will be used as input to preclosure safety analyses and is performed in accordance with procedure AP-3.12Q, ''Calculations'', and is subject to the requirements of DOE/RW-0333P, ''Quality Assurance Requirements and Description'' (DOE 2000) as determined by the activity evaluation contained in ''Technical Work Plan for: Preclosure Safety Analysis, TWP-MGR-SE-000010'' (CRWMS M&O 2000b) in accordance with procedure AP-2.21Q, ''Quality Determinations and Planning for Scientific, Engineering, and Regulatory Compliance Activities''.

  5. Improved motion description for action classification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihir eJain

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Even though the importance of explicitly integrating motion characteristics in video descriptions has been demonstrated by several recent papers on action classification, our current work concludes that adequately decomposing visual motion into dominant and residual motions, i.e.: camera and scene motion, significantly improves action recognition algorithms. This holds true both for the extraction of the space-time trajectories and for computation of descriptors.We designed a new motion descriptor – the DCS descriptor – that captures additional information on local motion patterns enhancing results based on differential motion scalar quantities, divergence, curl and shear features. Finally, applying the recent VLAD coding technique proposed in image retrieval provides a substantial improvement for action recognition. These findings are complementary to each other and they outperformed all previously reported results by a significant margin on three challenging datasets: Hollywood 2, HMDB51 and Olympic Sports as reported in (Jain et al. (2013. These results were further improved by (Oneata et al. (2013; Wang and Schmid (2013; Zhu et al. (2013 through the use of the Fisher vector encoding. We therefore also employ Fisher vector in this paper and we further enhance our approach by combining trajectories from both optical flow and compensated flow. We as well provide additional details of DCS descriptors, including visualization. For extending the evaluation, a novel dataset with 101 action classes, UCF101, was added.

  6. THE FLUORBOARD A STATISTICALLY BASED DASHBOARD METHOD FOR IMPROVING SAFETY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    PREVETTE, S.S.

    2005-01-01

    The FluorBoard is a statistically based dashboard method for improving safety. Fluor Hanford has achieved significant safety improvements--including more than a 80% reduction in OSHA cases per 200,000 hours, during its work at the US Department of Energy's Hanford Site in Washington state. The massive project on the former nuclear materials production site is considered one of the largest environmental cleanup projects in the world. Fluor Hanford's safety improvements were achieved by a committed partnering of workers, managers, and statistical methodology. Safety achievements at the site have been due to a systematic approach to safety. This includes excellent cooperation between the field workers, the safety professionals, and management through OSHA Voluntary Protection Program principles. Fluor corporate values are centered around safety, and safety excellence is important for every manager in every project. In addition, Fluor Hanford has utilized a rigorous approach to using its safety statistics, based upon Dr. Shewhart's control charts, and Dr. Deming's management and quality methods

  7. Improvements in Defense in Depth in French Nuclear Power Plants Following Fukushima Accidents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barbaud, J. [EDF SEPTEN, Villeurbanne Cedex (France); Pouget-Abadie, X., E-mail: jean.barbaud@edf.fr [EDF DIN Headquarters, Saint-Denis (France)

    2014-10-15

    The accidents which occurred in the nuclear power plants in Fukushima-Daiichi resulted in a complementary safety assessment (CSA or stress-tests) of all French NPPs to confirm their compliance with their design bases and to evaluate their behaviour beyond it. They have shown that nuclear facilities have a satisfactory level of safety, but it had been decided to significantly improve their robustness to extreme situations, beyond the safety margins they have already. Planned improvements include several parts, where the main ones are the implementation of a hardened safety core (HSC) of key components for the management of extreme situations resulting from a hazard beyond the design and deployment of a nuclear rapid response force (FARN). The hardened safety core aims to avoid massive releases and lasting effects in the environment. It relies on existing or new components designed or verified to hazards with significant margins compared to the design levels of NPP beyond. It also includes provisions allowing crisis management, including crisis centre and communication means. The FARN complements the HSC and the crisis organization to bring from off-site sufficient human and material resources to increase the autonomy of the site. All these improvement contribute to a better defence in depth. (author)

  8. Initial experience with the NRC significance determination process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Madison, A.L.

    2001-01-01

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has revamped its inspection, assessment, and enforcement programs for commercial nuclear power plants. The new oversight process uses more objective, timely, and safety-significant criteria in assessing performance, while seeking to more effectively and efficiently regulate the industry. The NRC tested the new process at thirteen reactors at nine sites across the country on a pilot basis in 1999 to identify what things worked well and what improvements were called for before beginning Initial Implementation at all US nuclear power plants on April 2, 2000. After a year of experience has been gained with the new oversight process at all US plants, the NRC anticipates making further improvements based on this wider experience. (author)

  9. Initial experience with the NRC significance determination process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Madison, A.L. [Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (United States)

    2001-07-01

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has revamped its inspection, assessment, and enforcement programs for commercial nuclear power plants. The new oversight process uses more objective, timely, and safety-significant criteria in assessing performance, while seeking to more effectively and efficiently regulate the industry. The NRC tested the new process at thirteen reactors at nine sites across the country on a pilot basis in 1999 to identify what things worked well and what improvements were called for before beginning Initial Implementation at all US nuclear power plants on April 2, 2000. After a year of experience has been gained with the new oversight process at all US plants, the NRC anticipates making further improvements based on this wider experience. (author)

  10. Improvement Science Meets Improvement Scholarship: Reframing Research for Better Healthcare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cribb, Alan

    2018-06-01

    In this editorial essay I explore the possibilities of 'improvement scholarship' in order to set the scene for the theme of, and the other papers in, this issue. I contrast a narrow conception of quality improvement (QI) research with a much broader and more inclusive conception, arguing that we should greatly extend the existing dialogue between 'problem-solving' and 'critical' currents in improvement research. I have in mind the potential for building a much larger conversation between those people in 'improvement science' who are expressly concerned with tackling the problems facing healthcare and the wider group of colleagues who are engaged in health-related scholarship but who do not see themselves as particularly interested in quality improvement, indeed who may be critical of the language or concerns of QI. As one contribution to that conversation I suggest that that the increasing emphasis on theory and rigour in improvement research should include more focus on normative theory and rigour. The remaining papers in the issue are introduced including the various ways in which they handle the 'implicit normativity' of QI research and practice, and the linked theme of combining relatively 'tidy' and potentially 'unruly' forms of knowledge.

  11. Yoga & Cancer Interventions: A Review of the Clinical Significance of Patient Reported Outcomes for Cancer Survivors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Nicole Culos-Reed

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Limited research suggests yoga may be a viable gentle physical activity option with a variety of health-related quality of life, psychosocial and symptom management benefits. The purpose of this review was to determine the clinical significance of patient-reported outcomes from yoga interventions conducted with cancer survivors. A total of 25 published yoga intervention studies for cancer survivors from 2004–2011 had patient-reported outcomes, including quality of life, psychosocial or symptom measures. Thirteen of these studies met the necessary criteria to assess clinical significance. Clinical significance for each of the outcomes of interest was examined based on 1 standard error of the measurement, 0.5 standard deviation, and relative comparative effect sizes and their respective confidence intervals. This review describes in detail these patient-reported outcomes, how they were obtained, their relative clinical significance and implications for both clinical and research settings. Overall, clinically significant changes in patient-reported outcomes suggest that yoga interventions hold promise for improving cancer survivors' well-being. This research overview provides new directions for examining how clinical significance can provide a unique context for describing changes in patient-reported outcomes from yoga interventions. Researchers are encouraged to employ indices of clinical significance in the interpretation and discussion of results from yoga studies.

  12. Modified Design of Hydroturbine Wicket Gates to Include Liquid Control Jets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Bryan; Cimbala, John; Wouden, Alex

    2013-11-01

    With the ever-increasing penetration of alternative electricity generation, it is becoming more common to operate hydroturbines under off-design conditions in order to maintain stability in the electric power grid. Improving the off-design performance of these turbines is therefore of significant importance. As the runner blades of a Francis hydroturbine pass though the wakes created by the upstream guide vanes (wicket gates and stay vanes), they experience significant changes in the instantaneous values of absolute velocity, flow angle, and pressure. The concept of adding water jets to the trailing edge of the guide vanes is proposed as a method for reducing the dynamic load on the hydroturbine runner blades, as well as modifying the flow angle of the water entering the runner to improve turbine efficiency during off-design operation. In order to add water jets that are capable of turning the flow, a modified beveled trailing edge design is presented. Computational experiments show that a +/-5° change in swirl angle is achievable with the new design, as well as up to 4% improvement in turbine efficiency during off-design operation. This correlates to an overall improvement in machine efficiency of up to 2%, when the losses through the jet channels are taken into account. Funding for this work was provided by the DOD, through the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship, and the DOE, through the Penn State Hydropower Research Grant.

  13. 10 CFR 51.32 - Finding of no significant impact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... assessment is included, the finding need not repeat any of the discussion in the assessment but may... 10 Energy 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Finding of no significant impact. 51.32 Section 51.32... Section 102(2) Finding of No Significant Impact § 51.32 Finding of no significant impact. (a) A finding of...

  14. Low-level radioactive waste from commercial nuclear reactors. Volume 1. Recommendations for technology developments with potential to significantly improve low-level radioactive waste management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rodgers, B.R.; Jolley, R.L.

    1986-02-01

    The overall task of this program was to provide an assessment of currently available technology for treating commercial low-level radioactive waste (LLRW), to initiate development of a methodology for choosing one technology for a given application, and to identify research needed to improve current treatment techniques and decision methodology. The resulting report is issued in four volumes. Volume 1 provides an executive summary and a general introduction to the four-volume set, in addition to recommendations for research and development (R and D) for low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) treatment. Generic, long-range, and/or high-risk programs identified and prioritized as needed R and D in the LLRW field include: (1) systems analysis to develop decision methodology; (2) alternative processes for dismantling, decontaminating, and decommissioning; (3) ion exchange; (4) incinerator technology; (5) disposal technology; (6) demonstration of advanced technologies; (7) technical assistance; (8) below regulatory concern materials; (9) mechanical treatment techniques; (10) monitoring and analysis procedures; (11) radical process improvements; (12) physical, chemical, thermal, and biological processes; (13) fundamental chemistry; (14) interim storage; (15) modeling; and (16) information transfer. The several areas are discussed in detail

  15. Working-memory training improves developmental dyslexia in Chinese children

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yan Luo; Jing Wang; Hanrong Wu; Dongmei Zhu; Yu Zhang

    2013-01-01

    Although plasticity in the neural system underlies working memory, and working memory can be improved by training, there is thus far no evidence that children with developmental dyslexia can were recruited from an elementary school in Wuhan, China. They received working-memory training, including training in visuospatial memory, verbal memory, and central executive tasks. The difficulty of the tasks was adjusted based on the performance of each subject, and the training sessions lasted 40 minutes per day, for 5 weeks. The results showed that working-memory training significantly enhanced performance on the nontrained working memory tasks such as the visuospatial, the verbal domains, and central executive tasks in children with developmental dyslexia. More importantly, the visual rhyming task and reading fluency task were also significantly improved by training. Progress on working memory measures was related to changes in reading skills. These experimental findings indicate that working memory is a pivotal factor in reading development among children with developmental dyslexia, and interventions to improve working memory may help dyslexic children to become more proficient in reading.

  16. Short-term evaluation of arthroscopic management of tennis elbow; including resection of radio-capitellar capsular complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babaqi, AbdulRahman A; Kotb, Mohammed M; Said, Hatem G; AbdelHamid, Mohamed M; ElKady, Hesham A; ElAssal, Maher A

    2014-06-01

    There has been controversy regarding the pathogenesis and treatment of lateral epicondylitis. Different surgical techniques for the treatment of lateral epicondylitis prescribed. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the short-term outcomes of arthroscopic management including resection of the radio-capitellar capsular complex, using different validated scores. In this study, arthroscopic resection of a capsular fringe complex was done beside debridement of the undersurface of Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis (ECRB). Thirty-one patients with recalcitrant lateral epicondylitis for a minimum of 6 months had surgery. In all patients, a collar-like band of radio-capitellar capsular complex was found to impinge on the radial head and subluxate into the radio-capitellar joint with manipulation under direct vision. Outcomes were assessed using Mayo Elbow Performance Index (MEPI), the Patient-Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation (PRTEE), and the Disability of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH), beside visual analog scale (VAS) for pain and satisfaction criteria. After arthroscopic surgery, overall satisfaction was extremely positive, over the 31 patients, 93.5% of the patients are satisfied. The mean score for pain improved from 8.64 to 1.48 points. The total PRTEE improved from 55.53 to 10.39 points. The mean MEPI score was improved from 61.82 to 94.10 points. DASH score also improved from 24.46 to 4.81 points. All improvements are statistically significant (P < 0.05). Arthroscopic release of ECRB in patients with chronic lateral epicondylitis is a reproducible method with a marked improvement in function within a short period, with special consideration for resection of radio-capitellar capsular complex.

  17. Quality improvement, implementation, and dissemination strategies to improve mental health care for children and adolescents: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forman-Hoffman, Valerie L; Middleton, Jennifer Cook; McKeeman, Joni L; Stambaugh, Leyla F; Christian, Robert B; Gaynes, Bradley N; Kane, Heather Lynne; Kahwati, Leila C; Lohr, Kathleen N; Viswanathan, Meera

    2017-07-24

    Some outcomes for children with mental health problems remain suboptimal because of poor access to care and the failure of systems and providers to adopt established quality improvement strategies and interventions with proven effectiveness. This review had three goals: (1) assess the effectiveness of quality improvement, implementation, and dissemination strategies intended to improve the mental health care of children and adolescents; (2) examine harms associated with these strategies; and (3) determine whether effectiveness or harms differ for subgroups based on system, organizational, practitioner, or patient characteristics. Sources included MEDLINE®, the Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, and CINAHL, from database inception through February 17, 2017. Additional sources included gray literature, additional studies from reference lists, and technical experts. Two reviewers selected relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies, extracted data, and assessed risk of bias. Dual analysis, synthesis, and grading of the strength of evidence for each outcome followed for studies meeting inclusion criteria. We also used qualitative comparative analysis to examine relationships between combinations of strategy components and improvements in outcomes. We identified 18 strategies described in 19 studies. Eleven strategies significantly improved at least one measure of intermediate outcomes, final health outcomes, or resource use. Moderate strength of evidence (from one RCT) supported using provider financial incentives such as pay for performance to improve the competence with which practitioners can implement evidence-based practices (EBPs). We found inconsistent evidence involving strategies with educational meetings, materials, and outreach; programs appeared to be successful in combination with reminders or providing practitioners with newly collected clinical information. We also found low strength of evidence for no benefit for initiatives that

  18. Strengthening health system to improve immunization for migrants in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Hai; Yang, Li; Zhang, Huyang; Li, Chenyang; Wen, Liankui; Sun, Li; Hanson, Kara; Meng, Qingyue

    2017-07-01

    Immunization is the most cost-effective method to prevent and control vaccine-preventable diseases. Migrant population in China has been rising rapidly, and their immunization status is poor. China has tried various strategies to strengthen its health system, which has significantly improved immunization for migrants. This study applied a qualitative retrospective review method aiming to collect, analyze and synthesize health system strengthening experiences and practices about improving immunizations for migrants in China. A conceptual framework of Theory of Change was used to extract the searched literatures. 11 searched literatures and 4 national laws and policies related to immunizations for migrant children were carefully studied. China mainly employed 3 health system strengthening strategies to significantly improve immunization for migrant population: stop charging immunization fees or immunization insurance, manage immunization certificates well, and pay extra attentions on immunization for special children including migrant children. These health system strengthening strategies were very effective, and searched literatures show that up-to-date and age-appropriate immunization rates were significantly improved for migrant children. Economic development led to higher migrant population in China, but immunization for migrants, particularly migrant children, were poor. Fortunately various health system strengthening strategies were employed to improve immunization for migrants in China and they were rather successful. The experiences and lessons of immunization for migrant population in China might be helpful for other developing countries with a large number of migrant population.

  19. Exercise training programs to improve hand rim wheelchair propulsion capacity: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwinkels, Maremka; Verschuren, Olaf; Janssen, Thomas Wj; Ketelaar, Marjolijn; Takken, Tim

    2014-09-01

    An adequate wheelchair propulsion capacity is required to perform daily life activities. Exercise training may be effective to gain or improve wheelchair propulsion capacity. This review investigates whether different types of exercise training programs are effective in improving wheelchair propulsion capacity. PubMed and EMBASE databases were searched from their respective inceptions in October 2013. Exercise training studies with at least one outcome measure regarding wheelchair propulsion capacity were included. In this study wheelchair propulsion capacity includes four parameters to reflect functional wheelchair propulsion: cardio-respiratory fitness (aerobic capacity), anaerobic capacity, muscular fitness and mechanical efficiency. Articles were not selected on diagnosis, training type or mode. Studies were divided into four training types: interval, endurance, strength, and mixed training. Methodological quality was rated with the PEDro scale, and the level of evidence was determined. The 21 included studies represented 249 individuals with spinal-cord injury (50%), various diagnoses like spina bifida (4%), cerebral palsy (2%), traumatic injury, (3%) and able-bodied participants (38%). All interval training studies found a significant improvement of 18-64% in wheelchair propulsion capacity. Three out of five endurance training studies reported significant effectiveness. Methodological quality was generally poor and there were only two randomised controlled trials. Exercise training programs seem to be effective in improving wheelchair propulsion capacity. However, there is remarkably little research, particularly for individuals who do not have spinal-cord injury. © The Author(s) 2014.

  20. Cognitive-behavioral therapy improves the quality of life of patients with acromegaly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunzler, Lia Silvia; Naves, Luciana Ansaneli; Casulari, Luiz Augusto

    2018-06-01

    The delayed diagnosis, altered body image, and clinical complications associated with acromegaly impair quality of life. To assess the efficacy of the cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) technique "Think Healthy" to increase the quality of life of patients with acromegaly. This non-randomized clinical trial examined ten patients with acromegaly (nine women and one man; mean age, 55.5 ± 8.4 years) from a convenience sample who received CBT. The intervention included nine weekly group therapy sessions. The quality of life questionnaire the 36-Item Short Form Survey (SF-36) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were administered during the pre- and post-intervention phases. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was performed to assess the occurrence of significant differences. According to the SF-36, the general health domain significantly improved (d'  = - 0.264; p = 0.031). The mental health domain improved considerably (d'  = - 1.123; p = 0.012). Physical functioning showed a non-significant trend toward improvement (d'  = - 0.802; p = 0.078), although four of the five patients who showed floor effects improved and remained at this level. Regarding emotional well-being, five patients showed floor effects and four improved, and the condition did not change among any of the four patients who showed ceiling effects. No significant changes were found with regard to the other domains. No significant differences in the BDI were found before or after the intervention. The technique presented herein effectively improved the quality of life of patients with acromegaly with different levels of disease activity, type, and treatment time.

  1. Improvement in health-related quality of life in osteoporosis patients treated with teriparatide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Papaioannou Alexandra

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Individuals with osteoporosis and recent vertebral fractures suffer from pain and impaired health-related quality of life (HRQL. To determine whether patients with osteoporosis treated with teriparatide experienced improvement in HRQL and pain symptoms after several months of therapy. Methods We retrospectively studied a sample of osteoporosis patients treated with teriparatide in a Canadian rheumatology practice. We included patients that received teriparatide therapy with baseline and follow-up Mini-Osteoporosis Quality of Life Questionnaire (OQLQ data. Follow-up data was measured at three or six months. We used a paired Student's t-test to compare baseline and follow-up measurements for each of the questionnaire's ten questions (five domains. Statistical analysis was also repeated to only include patients who suffered a prior vertebral fracture. Results 57 patients were included in the study, including 47 women. The mean age was 63.8 years (standard deviation 12.1 years. About sixty five percent (37/57 had previously sustained one or more osteoporotic fractures and about 38.6% (22/57 had suffered a prior vertebral fracture. About 44% (25/57 of individuals were taking one or more types of pain medications regularly prior to starting therapy. At follow-up, significant improvements were observed in the OQLQ domains of pain symptoms. This was seen when all patients on teriparatide were included, and also when only patients with prior vertebral fractures were included. There was also an improvement in emotional functioning, relating to fear of falling at 3 months follow-up (p = 0.019. Respondents also reported improvement in the domain of activities of daily living, relating to vacuuming at 6 months follow-up (p = 0.036, and an improvement in the leisure domain, relating to ease of traveling in the prior vertebral fracture population at 3 months follow-up (p = 0.012. However, there was no significant improvement observed in the

  2. Kalaeloa Energy System Redevelopment Options Including Advanced Microgrids.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hightower, Marion Michael [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Baca, Michael J. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); VanderMey, Carissa [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2017-03-01

    In June 2016, the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) in collaboration with the Renewable Energy Branch for the Hawaii State Energy Office (HSEO), the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA), the United States Navy (Navy), and Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) established a project to 1) assess the current functionality of the energy infrastructure at the Kalaeloa Community Development District, and 2) evaluate options to use both existing and new distributed and renewable energy generation and storage resources within advanced microgrid frameworks to cost-effectively enhance energy security and reliability for critical stakeholder needs during both short-term and extended electric power outages. This report discusses the results of a stakeholder workshop and associated site visits conducted by Sandia in October 2016 to identify major Kalaeloa stakeholder and tenant energy issues, concerns, and priorities. The report also documents information on the performance and cost benefits of a range of possible energy system improvement options including traditional electric grid upgrade approaches, advanced microgrid upgrades, and combined grid/microgrid improvements. The costs and benefits of the different improvement options are presented, comparing options to see how well they address the energy system reliability, sustainability, and resiliency priorities identified by the Kalaeloa stakeholders.

  3. Anesthesiology leadership rounding: identifying opportunities for improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Significance of Nuclear Accumulation of Foxo3a in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, M.-F.; Fang, F.-M.; Lu, C.-H.; Lu, M.-S.; Chen, W.-C.; Lee, K.-D.; Lin, P.-Y.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: To investigate the value of Foxo3a in predicting the response to neoadjuvant treatment of, and prognosis for, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Methods and Materials: Immunohistochemical staining was performed in a retrospective series of 60 biopsied esophageal squamous cell carcinomas, and the correlation between nuclear accumulation of Foxo3a and clinicopathologic features was analyzed, including patient survival. In addition, in vitro biologic changes, radiosensitivity, and in vivo tumorigenicity of esophageal carcinoma cells after experimental manipulation of Foxo3a expression levels were determined. Results: Clinical findings point to a significant correlation between the nuclear accumulation of Foxo3a and the survival rate of esophageal cancer patients. In addition, Foxo3a is a significant predictor for the response to neoadjuvant therapy. In cell culture, irradiation and oxidative stress seemed to result in nuclear accumulation of Foxo3a. Down-regulation of Foxo3a significantly decreased radiosensitivity but had no obvious effect on tumor growth, as measured by a clonogenic assay in vitro and growth delay in vivo. Conclusions: Nuclear accumulation of Foxo3a in tumor cells was correlated with increased radiosensitivity and with improved patient survival. Thus, it is suggested that Foxo3a may be a potential marker for esophageal cancer

  5. A Motivational Physical Activity Intervention for Improving Mobility in Older Korean Americans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeom, Hye-A; Fleury, Julie

    2014-07-01

    There has been limited empirical support for interventions designed to promote physical activity targeting mobility in racially diverse older adults. This study aims to examine the effects of a Motivational Physical Activity Intervention (MPAI) on social resource, behavioral change process, physical activity, and mobility variables in sedentary older Korean Americans. A quasi-experimental, repeated-measure, pre- and post-tests design was used. Sixty-four community-dwelling, sedentary older Korean Americans (n = 33 for MPAI group, n = 31 for Attention Control group) participated in the study. There were significant improvements in social resources, including social support from family and friends; behavioral change process variables, including self-efficacy; motivational appraisal; and self-regulation for physical activity. There were significant intervention effects on physical activity, walking endurance, and flexibility. The MPAI is supported as improving mobility and physical activity, as well as increasing motivation for physical activity in older Korean Americans. © The Author(s) 2013.

  6. Endocrinological Assessment Of Children With Significant Short Stature Using Radioimmunoassay Techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ghaly, Isis; Hafez, Mona; Shousha, M. A.

    2004-01-01

    This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of clinical diagnosis in a group of children with significant short stature, height <-2.5 standard deviation below the mean for age and sex. Forty-nine children-l 8 female and 31 males-were included, mean age was 11.14 yr. (range 1.18 to 19 yr.). Clinical diagnosis, axiological measurements, thyroid profile, growth hormone, autoantibody screening for celiac disease were assessed. The patients were classified into 5 groups: Group I. familial short stature (FSS)and constitutional delay in growth and puberty (CDGP), (12%); group II. growth hormone deficiency (GHD), 54%; group III. Laron type of dwarfism (LTD) (10%); group IV. growth hormone neurosecretory disorder (GHND, 16%); group V. celiac disease (GSE, 8%). From this study the group with short normal variant (FSS-CDGP), uncommonly presents with significant short stature. Cranial CT scan should performed in any child with the diagnosis of GHD to exclude organic causes of GHD. In the group of GHND, a normal GH values to provocative tests does not guarantee sufficient GH secretion and should not be used to exclude these children from hGH treatment. Further investigations by measurement of integrated GH and IGFI may aid in the diagnosis of this disorder. Celiac disease may present only by short stature, therefore antibody screening tests should be a routine investigation for all children presented with unexplained short stature. Patient with GHD showed significant improvement of their GV SDS during treatment with hGH (p=0.021). Also children with GSE showed significant catch up growth after gluten withdrawal from the diet (p=0.029). (Authors)

  7. Microbial Resources and Enological Significance: Opportunities and Benefits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Petruzzi

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Among the innovative trends in the wine sector, the continuous exploration of enological properties associated with wine microbial resources represents a cornerstone driver of quality improvement. Since the advent of starter cultures technology, the attention has been focused on intraspecific biodiversity within the primary species responsible for alcoholic fermentation (Saccharomyces cerevisiae and, subsequently, for the so-called ‘malolactic fermentation’ (Oenococcus oeni. However, in the last decade, a relevant number of studies proposed the enological exploitation of an increasing number of species (e.g., non-Saccharomyces yeasts associated with spontaneous fermentation in wine. These new species/strains may provide technological solutions to specific problems and/or improve sensory characteristics, such as complexity, mouth-feel and flavors. This review offers an overview of the available information on the enological/protechnological significance of microbial resources associated with winemaking, summarizing the opportunities and the benefits associated with the enological exploitation of this microbial potential. We discuss proposed solutions to improve quality and safety of wines (e.g., alternative starter cultures, multistrains starter cultures and future perspectives.

  8. Microbial Resources and Enological Significance: Opportunities and Benefits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petruzzi, Leonardo; Capozzi, Vittorio; Berbegal, Carmen; Corbo, Maria R.; Bevilacqua, Antonio; Spano, Giuseppe; Sinigaglia, Milena

    2017-01-01

    Among the innovative trends in the wine sector, the continuous exploration of enological properties associated with wine microbial resources represents a cornerstone driver of quality improvement. Since the advent of starter cultures technology, the attention has been focused on intraspecific biodiversity within the primary species responsible for alcoholic fermentation (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and, subsequently, for the so-called ‘malolactic fermentation’ (Oenococcus oeni). However, in the last decade, a relevant number of studies proposed the enological exploitation of an increasing number of species (e.g., non-Saccharomyces yeasts) associated with spontaneous fermentation in wine. These new species/strains may provide technological solutions to specific problems and/or improve sensory characteristics, such as complexity, mouth-feel and flavors. This review offers an overview of the available information on the enological/protechnological significance of microbial resources associated with winemaking, summarizing the opportunities and the benefits associated with the enological exploitation of this microbial potential. We discuss proposed solutions to improve quality and safety of wines (e.g., alternative starter cultures, multistrains starter cultures) and future perspectives. PMID:28642742

  9. Significant Guidance Issued by the Federal Transit Administration

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Transportation — A list of Significant Guidance documents, which include guidance document disseminated to regulated entities or the general public that may reasonably be anticipated...

  10. Significant Guidance Issued by the Federal Aviation Administration

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Transportation — A list of Significant Guidance documents, which include guidance document disseminated to regulated entities or the general public that may reasonably be anticipated...

  11. Significant Guidance Issued by the Federal Highway Administration

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Transportation — A list of Significant Guidance documents, which include guidance document disseminated to regulated entities or the general public that may reasonably be anticipated...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hylkema, T.; Vlaskamp, C.

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Improving employee productivity through improved health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Rebecca J; Ozminkowski, Ronald J; Serxner, Seth

    2013-10-01

    The objective of this study was to estimate productivity-related savings associated with employee participation in health promotion programs. Propensity score weighting and multiple regression techniques were used to estimate savings. These techniques were adjusted for demographic and health status differences between participants who engaged in one or more telephonic health management programs and nonparticipants who were eligible for but did not engage in these programs. Employees who participated in a program and successfully improved their health care or lifestyle showed significant improvements in lost work time. These employees saved an average of $353 per person per year. This reflects about 10.3 hours in additional productive time annually, compared with similar, but nonparticipating employees. Participating in health promotion programs can help improve productivity levels among employees and save money for their employers.

  14. Improved Hand Hygiene Compliance is Associated with the Change of Perception toward Hand Hygiene among Medical Personnel

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Seung Soon; Park, Se Jeong; Chung, Moon Joo; Lee, Ju Hee; Kang, Hyun Joo; Lee, Jeong-a; Kim, Yong Kyun

    2014-01-01

    Background Hand hygiene compliance has improved significantly through hand hygiene promotion programs that have included poster campaign, monitoring and performance feedback, and education with special attentions to perceived subjective norms. We investigated factors associated with improved hand hygiene compliance, focusing on whether the improvement of hand hygiene compliance is associated with changed perception toward hand hygiene among medical personnel. Materials and Methods Hand hygien...

  15. 40 CFR 52.1485 - Significant deterioration of air quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... quality. 52.1485 Section 52.1485 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) AIR... Significant deterioration of air quality. (a) The requirements of sections 160 through 165 of the Clean Air... include approvable procedures for preventing the significant deterioration of air quality. (b) Regulation...

  16. Development of a Web-Based Quality Dashboard Including a Toolbox to Improve Pain Management in Dutch Intensive Care

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roos-Blom, Marie-José; Gude, Wouter T.; de Jonge, Evert; Spijkstra, Jan Jaap; van der Veer, Sabine N.; Dongelmans, Dave A.; de Keizer, Nicolette F.

    2017-01-01

    Audit and feedback (A&F) is a common strategy to improve quality of care. Meta-analyses have indicated that A&F may be more effective in realizing desired change when baseline performance is low, it is delivered by a supervisor or colleague, it is provided frequently and in a timely manner, it is

  17. Quality measurement and improvement in liver transplantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathur, Amit K; Talwalkar, Jayant

    2018-06-01

    There is growing interest in the quality of health care delivery in liver transplantation. Multiple stakeholders, including patients, transplant providers and their hospitals, payers, and regulatory bodies have an interest in measuring and monitoring quality in the liver transplant process, and understanding differences in quality across centres. This article aims to provide an overview of quality measurement and regulatory issues in liver transplantation performed within the United States. We review how broader definitions of health care quality should be applied to liver transplant care models. We outline the status quo including the current regulatory agencies, public reporting mechanisms, and requirements around quality assurance and performance improvement (QAPI) activities. Additionally, we further discuss unintended consequences and opportunities for growth in quality measurement. Quality measurement and the integration of quality improvement strategies into liver transplant programmes hold significant promise, but multiple challenges to successful implementation must be addressed to optimise value. Copyright © 2018 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved, material licensees. Semiannual progress report, July--December 1997; Volume 16, Number 2, Part 3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1998-04-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during the period (July--December 1997) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to material licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication.

  19. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved, reactor licensees. Semiannual progress report, July--December 1997; Volume 16, Number 2, Part 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1998-04-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during the period (July--December 1997) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reactor licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication.

  20. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved, material licensees. Semiannual progress report, July--December 1997; Volume 16, Number 2, Part 3

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-04-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during the period (July--December 1997) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to material licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  1. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved, reactor licensees. Semiannual progress report, January--June 1997; Volume 16, Number 1, Part 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-09-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during the period (January--June 1997) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reactor licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  2. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved, reactor licensees. Semiannual progress report, July--December 1997; Volume 16, Number 2, Part 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-04-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during the period (July--December 1997) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reactor licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  3. Improvement in cerebral function with treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Michael J; Francis, Jennifer; Friedlander, Joshua; Banks-Williams, Lisa; Lande, Raymond G; Taylor, Patricia; Blair, James; McLellan, Jennifer; Law, Wendy; Tarpley, Vanita; Patt, Ivy; Yu, Henry; Mallinger, Alan; Difede, Joann; Rizzo, Albert; Rothbaum, Barbara

    2010-10-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) are signature illnesses of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but current diagnostic and therapeutic measures for these conditions are suboptimal. In our study, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is used to try to differentiate military service members with: PTSD and mTBI, PTSD alone, mTBI alone, and neither PTSD nor mTBI. Those with PTSD are then randomized to virtual reality exposure therapy or imaginal exposure. fMRI is repeated after treatment and along with the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) and Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scores to compare with baseline. Twenty subjects have completed baseline fMRI scans, including four controls and one mTBI only; of 15 treated for PTSD, eight completed posttreatment scans. Most subjects have been male (93%) and Caucasian (83%), with a mean age of 34. Significant improvements are evident on fMRI scans, and corroborated by CGI scores, but CAPS scores improvements are modest. In conclusion, CGI scores and fMRI scans indicate significant improvement in PTSD in both treatment arms, though CAPS score improvements are less robust. © 2010 Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Disease.

  4. BCAA-enriched snack improves nutritional state of cirrhosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakaya, Yutaka; Okita, Kiwamu; Suzuki, Kazuyuki; Moriwaki, Hisataka; Kato, Akinobu; Miwa, Yoshiyuki; Shiraishi, Koichi; Okuda, Hiroaki; Onji, Morikazu; Kanazawa, Hidenori; Tsubouchi, Hirohito; Kato, Shinzo; Kaito, Masahiko; Watanabe, Akiharu; Habu, Daiki; Ito, Susumu; Ishikawa, Tomohisa; Kawamura, Naohiro; Arakawa, Yasuyuki

    2007-02-01

    A late evening snack improves the catabolic state in patients with advanced liver cirrhosis. We tested whether long-term (3 mo) late evening snacking that included a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA)-enriched nutrient mixture produces a better nutritional state and better quality of life than ordinary food in patients with hepatitis C virus-positive liver cirrhosis. In a multicenter, randomized study, 48 patients with liver cirrhosis received late-evening supplementation with the BCAA-enriched nutrient mixture or ordinary food, such as a rice ball or bread, for 3 mo. During the study period, each patient was instructed on energy and protein intake. Blood biochemical data, nitrogen balance, respiratory quotient, and health-related quality of life (Short Form 36 questionnaire) were evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study. Total and late-evening energy intakes were similar in the two groups at 3 mo. Serum albumin level, nitrogen balance, and respiratory quotient were significantly improved by the BCAA mixture but not by ordinary food. The parameters of the Short Form 36 did not statistically significantly improve over 3 mo in either group. Long-term oral supplementation with a BCAA mixture is better than ordinary food in a late evening snack at improving the serum albumin level and the energy metabolism in patients with cirrhosis.

  5. Can training improve human performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waylett, W.J. Jr.

    1986-01-01

    The nuclear industry has made a significant commitment to improve training through the implementation of performance-based training programs. Senior management expects that human performance improvement will result from this significant resource allocation. The author examines this hypothesis and discusses other issues that may interfere with enhancing human performance through training. The integration of quality improvement concepts to support training is also discussed by the author, who was a pioneer facilitator during the development of Florida Power and Light Company's Quality Improvement Program. Critical success factors are proposed based on the author's experience as a plant manager, training manager and quality facilitator

  6. Improved performance of maternal-fetal medicine staff after maternal cardiac arrest simulation-based training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Nelli; Eisen, Lewis A; Bayya, Jyothshna V; Dulu, Alina; Bernstein, Peter S; Merkatz, Irwin R; Goffman, Dena

    2011-09-01

    To determine the impact of simulation-based maternal cardiac arrest training on performance, knowledge, and confidence among Maternal-Fetal Medicine staff. Maternal-Fetal Medicine staff (n = 19) participated in a maternal arrest simulation program. Based on evaluation of performance during initial simulations, an intervention was designed including: basic life support course, advanced cardiac life support pregnancy modification lecture, and simulation practice. Postintervention evaluative simulations were performed. All simulations included a knowledge test, confidence survey, and debriefing. A checklist with 9 pregnancy modification (maternal) and 16 critical care (25 total) tasks was used for scoring. Postintervention scores reflected statistically significant improvement. Maternal-Fetal Medicine staff demonstrated statistically significant improvement in timely initiation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (120 vs 32 seconds, P = .042) and cesarean delivery (240 vs 159 seconds, P = .017). Prompt cardiopulmonary resuscitation initiation and pregnancy modifications application are critical in maternal and fetal survival during cardiac arrest. Simulation is a useful tool for Maternal-Fetal Medicine staff to improve skills, knowledge, and confidence in the management of this catastrophic event. Published by Mosby, Inc.

  7. Improved Hand Hygiene Compliance is Associated with the Change of Perception toward Hand Hygiene among Medical Personnel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Se Jeong; Chung, Moon Joo; Lee, Ju Hee; Kang, Hyun Joo; Lee, Jeong-a; Kim, Yong Kyun

    2014-01-01

    Background Hand hygiene compliance has improved significantly through hand hygiene promotion programs that have included poster campaign, monitoring and performance feedback, and education with special attentions to perceived subjective norms. We investigated factors associated with improved hand hygiene compliance, focusing on whether the improvement of hand hygiene compliance is associated with changed perception toward hand hygiene among medical personnel. Materials and Methods Hand hygiene compliance and perceptions toward hand hygiene among medical personnel were compared between the second quarter of 2009 (before the start of a hand hygiene promotion program) and the second quarter of 2012. We assessed adherence to hand hygiene among medical personnel quarterly according to the WHO recommended method for direct observation. Also, we used a modified self-report questionnaire to collect perception data. Results Hand hygiene compliance among physicians and nurses improved significantly from 19.0% in 2009 to 74.5% in 2012 (P Hand hygiene compliance among the medical personnel continued to improve, with a slight decline in 2013. Perceptions toward hand hygiene improved significantly between 2009 and 2012. Specifically, improvements were evident in intention to adhere to hand hygiene, knowledge about hand hygiene methods, knowledge about hand hygiene indications including care of a dirty and a clean body site on the same patient, perceived behavioral and subjective norms, positive attitude toward hand hygiene promotion campaign, perception of difficulty in adhering to hand hygiene, and motivation to improve adherence to hand hygiene. Conclusions The examined hand hygiene promotion program resulted in improved hand hygiene compliance and perception toward hand hygiene among medical personnel. The improved perception increased hand hygiene compliance. Especially, the perception of being a role model for other colleagues is very important to improve hand hygiene

  8. Improved profiling of estrogen metabolites by orbitrap LC/MS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xingnan; Franke, Adrian A.

    2015-01-01

    Estrogen metabolites are important biomarkers to evaluate cancer risks and metabolic diseases. Due to their low physiological levels, a sensitive and accurate method is required, especially for the quantitation of unconjugated forms of endogenous steroids and their metabolites in humans. Here, we evaluated various derivatives of estrogens for improved analysis by orbitrap LC/MS in human serum samples. A new chemical derivatization reagent was applied modifying phenolic steroids to form 1-methylimidazole-2-sulfonyl adducts. The method significantly improves the sensitivity 2–100 fold by full scan MS and targeted selected ion monitoring MS over other derivatization methods including, dansyl, picolinoyl, and pyridine-3-sulfonyl products. PMID:25543003

  9. Intensive inpatient treatment for bulimia nervosa: Statistical and clinical significance of symptom changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diedrich, Alice; Schlegl, Sandra; Greetfeld, Martin; Fumi, Markus; Voderholzer, Ulrich

    2018-03-01

    This study examines the statistical and clinical significance of symptom changes during an intensive inpatient treatment program with a strong psychotherapeutic focus for individuals with severe bulimia nervosa. 295 consecutively admitted bulimic patients were administered the Structured Interview for Anorexic and Bulimic Syndromes-Self-Rating (SIAB-S), the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (EDI-2), the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) at treatment intake and discharge. Results indicated statistically significant symptom reductions with large effect sizes regarding severity of binge eating and compensatory behavior (SIAB-S), overall eating disorder symptom severity (EDI-2), overall psychopathology (BSI), and depressive symptom severity (BDI-II) even when controlling for antidepressant medication. The majority of patients showed either reliable (EDI-2: 33.7%, BSI: 34.8%, BDI-II: 18.1%) or even clinically significant symptom changes (EDI-2: 43.2%, BSI: 33.9%, BDI-II: 56.9%). Patients with clinically significant improvement were less distressed at intake and less likely to suffer from a comorbid borderline personality disorder when compared with those who did not improve to a clinically significant extent. Findings indicate that intensive psychotherapeutic inpatient treatment may be effective in about 75% of severely affected bulimic patients. For the remaining non-responding patients, inpatient treatment might be improved through an even stronger focus on the reduction of comorbid borderline personality traits.

  10. Improving the safety of LWR power plants. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1980-04-01

    This report documents the results of the Study to identify current, potential research issues and efforts for improving the safety of Light Water Reactor (LWR) power plants. This final report describes the work accomplished, the results obtained, the problem areas, and the recommended solutions. Specifically, for each of the issues identified in this report for improving the safety of LWR power plants, a description is provided in detail of the safety significance, the current status (including information sources, status of technical knowledge, problem solution and current activities), and the suggestions for further research and development. Further, the issues are ranked for action into high, medium, and low priority with respect to primarily (a) improved safety (e.g. potential reduction in public risk and occupational exposure), and secondly (b) reduction in safety-related costs

  11. IRIS: A SIGNIFICANT ELEMENT OF THE MEDITERRANEAN LANDSCAPE

    OpenAIRE

    A. UBRIZSY SAVOIA; S. PIGNATTI; S. VAROLI PIAZZA

    2000-01-01

    The Southern European species of Iris growing in dry, rocky places, stony ground, terra rossa, sandy, basalt and/or calcareous hills, maquis and coastal rocky slopes, are a neglected bioplasm resource of the Mediterranean landscape. These species have traditional uses and cultural significance and have inspired artists. Both natural and naturalised ornamental Iris species may help to improve and maintain the Mediterranean landscape by avoiding land erosion, fixing dunes and preserving coastal...

  12. Interactive training improves workplace climate, knowledge, and support towards domestic violence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, Nancy; Hanson, Ginger C; Laharnar, Naima; Anger, W Kent; Perrin, Nancy

    2016-07-01

    As Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) affects the workplace, a supportive workplace climate is important. The study evaluated the effectiveness of an "IPV and the Workplace" training on workplace climate towards IPV. IPV training was provided to 14 intervention counties and 13 control counties (receiving training 6 months delayed). Measures included workplace climate surveys, IPV knowledge test, and workplace observations. (i) Training significantly improved supervisor knowledge on IPV and received positive evaluations, (ii) training improved workplace climate towards IPV significantly which was maintained over time, and (iii) after the training, supervisors provided more IPV information to employees and more IPV postings were available in the workplace. The study provides evidence to support on-site interactive, computer based training as a means for improved workplace safety. IPV and the Workplace training effectively increased knowledge and positively changed workplace climate. Am. J. Ind. Med. 59:538-548, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. From theory to practice: improving the impact of health services research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Levine Robert

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background While significant strides have been made in health research, the incorporation of research evidence into healthcare decision-making has been marginal. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of how the utility of health services research can be improved through the use of theory. Integrating theory into health services research can improve research methodology and encourage stronger collaboration with decision-makers. Discussion Recognizing the importance of theory calls for new expectations in the practice of health services research. These include: the formation of interdisciplinary research teams; broadening the training for those who will practice health services research; and supportive organizational conditions that promote collaboration between researchers and decision makers. Further, funding bodies can provide a significant role in guiding and supporting the use of theory in the practice of health services research. Summary Institutions and researchers should incorporate the use of theory if health services research is to fulfill its potential for improving the delivery of health care.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimelis, Techalew; Tassachew, Yayehyirad; Lambiyo, Tariku

    2016-05-10

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

  15. How do we make sense of significance?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lyhne, Ivar; Kørnøv, Lone

    2013-01-01

    Determination of significance is widely recognised as an important step in environmental assessment (EA) processes. The prescriptive literature and guidance on significance determination is comprehensive within the field of EA, whereas descriptive and explorative studies of how we go about making......' sense-making, including important differences in the way individuals screen and scope. These patterns concern what we notice, how fast we frame the choice, and when we are critical about the provided information. The indications provide a basis for reflections on practice and on how to organise EA...

  16. MULTIMODAL FEEDBACK PROVISION IN IMPROVING PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS’ COMPETENCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fazri Nur Yusuf

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Studies on potentials of feedback over English language teaching seem not to have not been well-revealed, including studies on the use of feedback to improve English pre-service teachers’ competence. The present study investigates to what extent a multimodal feedback can influence pre-service teachers’ teaching, and which teaching aspects are influenced. Twenty five pre-service teachers taking Microteaching Course served as respondents supervised by a course advisor. The data were collected by teacher observation in a rating-scale form, self-appraisal, and interviews. The data were analyzed by using correlated sample t-test and the eight teaching components proposed by Brown (2001. The results showed that after multimodal feedback provision, pre-service teachers indicated an improvement significantly in seven out of eight teaching aspects. The provision of multimodal feedback could improve their teaching competence on preparation, instructional objective elicitation, mastery of instructional materials, use of media, and classroom management, including classroom language. But, the results do not indicate that they perform well on reflection and follow-up due to some reasons. In addition, the results evince that multimodal feedback provision could improve pre-service teachers’ pedagogical competence when the multimodal feedback is integrated with content, interpersonal relationship, and management.

  17. Clinical significance of lymphadenectomy in patients with gastric cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tóth, Dezső; Plósz, János; Török, Miklós

    2016-02-15

    Approximately thirty percent of patients with gastric cancer undergo an avoidable lymph node dissection with a higher rate of postoperative complication. Comparing the D1 and D2 dissections, it was found that there is a significant difference in morbidity, favoured D1 dissection without any difference in overall survival. Subgroup analysis of patients with T3 tumor shows a survival difference favoring D2 lymphadenectomy, and there is a better gastric cancer-related death and non-statistically significant improvement of survival for node-positive disease in patients with D2 dissection. However, the extended lymphadenectomy could improve stage-specific survival owing to the stage migration phenomenon. The deployment of centralization and application of national guidelines could improve the surgical outcomes. The Japanese and European guidelines enclose the D2 lymphadenectomy as the gold standard in R0 resection. In the individualized, stage-adapted gastric cancer surgery the Maruyama computer program (MCP) can estimate lymph node involvement preoperatively with high accuracy and in addition the Maruyama Index less than 5 has a better impact on survival, than D-level guided surgery. For these reasons, the preoperative application of MCP is recommended routinely, with an aim to perform "low Maruyama Index surgery". The sentinel lymph node biopsy (SNB) may decrease the number of redundant lymphadenectomy intraoperatively with a high detection rate (93.7%) and an accuracy of 92%. More accurate stage-adapted surgery could be performed using the MCP and SNB in parallel fashion in gastric cancer.

  18. Quality improvement education to improve performance on ulcerative colitis quality measures and care processes aligned with National Quality Strategy priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greene, Laurence; Moreo, Kathleen

    2015-01-01

    Studies on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have reported suboptimal approaches to patient care. In the United States, the findings have motivated leading gastroenterology organizations to call for initiatives that support clinicians in aligning their practices with quality measures for IBD and priorities of the National Quality Strategy (NQS). We designed and implemented a quality improvement (QI) education program on ulcerative colitis in which patient charts were audited for 30 gastroenterologists before (n = 300 charts) and after (n = 290 charts) they participated in QI-focused educational activities. Charts were audited for nine measures, selected for their alignment with four NQS priorities: making care safer, ensuring patient engagement, promoting communication, and promoting effective treatment practices. Four of the measures, including guideline-directed vaccinations and assessments of disease type and activity, were part of the CMS Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). The other five measures involved counseling patients on various topics in ulcerative colitis management, documentation of side effects, assessment of adherence status, and simplification of dosing. The gastroenterologists also completed baseline and post-education surveys designed to assess qualitative outcomes. One of the educational interventions was a private audit feedback session conducted for each gastroenterologist. The sessions were designed to support participants in identifying measures reflecting suboptimal care quality and developing action plans for improvement. In continuous improvement cycles, follow-up interventions included QI tools and educational monographs. Across the nine chart variables, post-education improvements ranged from 0% to 48%, with a mean improvement of 15.9%. Survey findings revealed improvements in self-reported understanding of quality measures and intentions to apply them to practice, and lower rates of perceived significant barriers to high

  19. Implementation of a Quality Improvement Initiative: Improved Congenital Muscular Torticollis Outcomes in a Large Hospital Setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strenk, Mariann L; Kiger, Michelle; Hawke, Jesse L; Mischnick, Amy; Quatman-Yates, Catherine

    2017-06-01

    The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) published a guideline for congenital muscular torticollis (CMT) in 2013. Our division adopted the guideline as the institutional practice standard and engaged in a quality improvement (QI) initiative to increase the percentage of patients who achieved resolution of CMT within 6 months of evaluation. The aims of this report are to describe the QI activities conducted to improve patient outcomes and discuss the results and implications for other institutions and patient populations. This was a quality improvement study. In alignment with the Chronic Care Model and Model of Improvement, an aim and operationally defined key outcome and process measures were established. Interventions were tested using Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles. A CMT registry was established to store and manage data extracted from the electronic record over the course of testing. Statistical process control charts were used to monitor progress over time. The QI initiative resulted in an increase in the percentage of patients who achieved full resolution of CMT within a 6-month episode of care from 42% to 61% over an 18-month period. Themes that emerged as key drivers of improvement included: (1) timely, optimal access to care, (2) effective audit and clinician feedback, and (3) accurate, timely documentation. The initiative took place at a single institution with a supportive culture and strong QI resources, which may limit direct translation of interventions and findings to other institutions and patient populations. Improvement science methodologies provided the tools and structure to improve division-wide workflow and increase consistency in the implementation of the APTA CMT guideline. In doing so, significant CMT population outcome improvements were achieved. © 2017 American Physical Therapy Association

  20. Changing relationships with significant others: Reflections of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Symbolic interactionism provides the framework for analysing the building of relationships between elite athletes and their significant others. In-depth interviews were conducted with elite throwers and decathlon athletes. The sample included current (n=15) and retired (n=5) student-athletes, parents (n=5), coaches (n=2) ...

  1. Process, including PSA and membrane separation, for separating hydrogen from hydrocarbons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Richard W.; Lokhandwala, Kaaeid A.; He, Zhenjie; Pinnau, Ingo

    2001-01-01

    An improved process for separating hydrogen from hydrocarbons. The process includes a pressure swing adsorption step, a compression/cooling step and a membrane separation step. The membrane step relies on achieving a methane/hydrogen selectivity of at least about 2.5 under the conditions of the process.

  2. Cascade Controller Including Back-stepping for Hydraulic-Mechanical Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Choux, Martin; Hovland, Geir; Blanke, Mogens

    2012-01-01

    Development of a cascade controller structure including adaptive backstepping for a nonlinear hydraulic-mechanical system is considered in this paper where a dynamic friction (LuGre) model is included to obtain the necessary accuracy. The paper compares the performance of two variants of an adapt......Development of a cascade controller structure including adaptive backstepping for a nonlinear hydraulic-mechanical system is considered in this paper where a dynamic friction (LuGre) model is included to obtain the necessary accuracy. The paper compares the performance of two variants...... of an adaptive backstepping tracking controller with earlier results. The new control architecture is analysed and enhanced tracking performance is demonstrated when including the extended friction model. The complexity of the backstepping procedure is significantly reduced due to the cascade structure. Hence...

  3. Improving Exclusive Breastfeeding in an Urban Academic Hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Laura P; Williamson, Susan; Burke, Stephanie; Crawford-Hemphill, Ruby; Thompson, Amy M

    2017-02-01

    Breastfeeding has many well-established health benefits for infants and mothers. There is greater risk reduction in health outcomes with exclusive breastfeeding (EBF). Our urban academic facility has had long-standing low EBF rates, serving a population with breastfeeding disparities. We sought to improve EBF rates through a Learning Collaborative model by participating in the Best Fed Beginnings project. Formal improvement science methods were used, including the development of a key driver diagram and plan-do-study-act cycles. Improvement activities followed the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. We demonstrated significant improvement in the median adherence to 2 process measures, rooming in and skin-to-skin after delivery. Subsequently, the proportion of infants exclusively breastfed at hospital discharge in our facility increased from 37% to 59%. We demonstrated an increase in sustained breastfeeding in a subset of patients at a postpartum follow-up visit. These improvements led to Baby-Friendly designation at our facility. This quality improvement initiative resulted in a higher number of infants exclusively breastfed in our patient population at "high risk not to breastfeed." Other hospitals can use these described methods and techniques to improve their EBF rates. Copyright © 2017 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  4. Significance of perceptually relevant image decolorization for scene classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viswanathan, Sowmya; Divakaran, Govind; Soman, Kutti Padanyl

    2017-11-01

    Color images contain luminance and chrominance components representing the intensity and color information, respectively. The objective of this paper is to show the significance of incorporating chrominance information to the task of scene classification. An improved color-to-grayscale image conversion algorithm that effectively incorporates chrominance information is proposed using the color-to-gray structure similarity index and singular value decomposition to improve the perceptual quality of the converted grayscale images. The experimental results based on an image quality assessment for image decolorization and its success rate (using the Cadik and COLOR250 datasets) show that the proposed image decolorization technique performs better than eight existing benchmark algorithms for image decolorization. In the second part of the paper, the effectiveness of incorporating the chrominance component for scene classification tasks is demonstrated using a deep belief network-based image classification system developed using dense scale-invariant feature transforms. The amount of chrominance information incorporated into the proposed image decolorization technique is confirmed with the improvement to the overall scene classification accuracy. Moreover, the overall scene classification performance improved by combining the models obtained using the proposed method and conventional decolorization methods.

  5. Implementing 'Continuous Improvement' in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Decommissioning Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Orlando, D. A.; Buckley, J. T.; Johnson, R. L.; Gillen, D. M.

    2006-01-01

    The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (US NRC's) comprehensive decommissioning program encompasses the decommissioning of all US NRC licensed facilities, ranging from the termination of routine licenses for sealed sources, to the closure of complex materials sites and nuclear power reactor facilities. Of the approximately 200 materials licenses that are terminated each year, most are routine and require little, if any, remediation to meet the US NRC unrestricted release criteria. However, some present technical and policy challenges that require large expenditures of resources, including a few complex materials sites that have requested license termination under the restricted-use provisions of 10 CFR 20.1403. Fiscal constraints to reduce budgeted resources in the decommissioning program, as well as concerns over the time to complete the decommissioning process have led to actions to improve the program and use resources more efficiently. In addition, the US NRC's Strategic Plan requires efforts to identify and implement improvements to US NRC programs in order to improve efficiency, effectiveness, timeliness, and openness, of the US NRC's activities, while maintaining the necessary focus on safety. Decommissioning regulations, and more recently the analysis of several issues associated with implementing those regulations, also have been significant catalysts for improvements in the decommissioning program. Actions in response to these catalysts have resulted in a program focused on the management of complex sites in a comprehensive, consistent, and risk-informed manner, as opposed to the past practice of focusing on sites deemed to be problematic. This paper describes the current status of the decommissioning of US NRC-licensed nuclear facilities, including an overview of recent decommissioning project completion efforts. It provides a detailed summary of past, current, and future improvements in the US NRC decommissioning program including the

  6. Percutaneous Native Renal Biopsy Adequacy: A Successful Interdepartmental Quality Improvement Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurette Geldenhuys

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: An adequate renal biopsy is essential for diagnosis and treatment of medical renal disease. Objective: We evaluated two initiatives to improve adequacy of renal biopsy samples at our centre. Design: Retrospective determination of renal biopsy adequacy. Setting: Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre. Patients: Patients undergoing medical renal biopsies. Measurements: Renal biopsy adequacy. Methods: The first initiative was to restrict the performance of biopsies to a smaller group of radiologists and to include a comment on biopsy adequacy in every pathology report. The second initiative was to introduce on-site adequacy assessment by a medical laboratory technologist. Native renal and allograft biopsy adequacies were calculated for three periods: 1 baseline, October 2005 to September 2006; 2 after implementation of the first initiative, January 2007 to September 2011; and 3 after implementation of the second initiative, October 2011 to September 2012. A subset of native renal biopsies was examined to determine if there was a relationship between adequacy and number of passes. Results: The percentages of adequate native renal biopsies during the first, second, and third periods were 31%, 72% and 90%, respectively. This represents a significant increase (40%, p < 0.0001 in adequacy following the first initiative, and another significant increase (18%, p = 0.0003 following the second initiative. The percentages of adequate renal allograft biopsies during the first, second, and third periods were 75%, 56% and 69%, respectively. These changes in adequacy were not statistically significant. In the subset of native renal biopsies examined, a biopsy comprising more than three cores was not associated with increase in adequacy. Limitations: The most important limitation is the lack of generally accepted and applied adequacy criteria limiting generalizability of our findings. Conclusions: Restricting the performance of biopsies to

  7. Report of the ASSET (Assessment of Safety Significant Events Team) mission to the Cernavoda nuclear power plant in Romania 8-12 August 1994 Division of Nuclear Safety. Root cause analysis of a significant event that occurred during commissioning of unit 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-01-01

    The IAEA Assessment of Safety Significant Events Team (ASSET) report presents the results of the team's investigation of a significant event that occurred during commissioning of Unit 1 of Cernavoda nuclear power plant. The results, conclusions and suggestions presented herein reflect the views of the ASSET experts. They are provided for consideration by the responsible authorities in Romania. The ASSET team's views presented in this report are based on visits to the plant, on review of documentation made available by the operating organization and on discussions with utility personnel. The report is intended to enhance operational safety at Cernavoda by proposing improvements to the policy for the prevention of incidents at the plant. The report includes, as a usual practice, the official response of the Regulatory Body and Operating Organization to the ASSET recommendations. Figs

  8. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved reactor licensees. Quarterly progress report, October--December 1994, Volume 13, No. 4, Part 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-02-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (October--December 1994) and includes copies of letters Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reactor licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  9. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved, reactor licensees. Quarterly progress report, July--September 1994; Volume 13, Number 3, Part 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-12-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (July--September 1994) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reactor licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  10. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved. Reactor licensees: Volume 14, No. 1, Part 1, Quarterly progress report January--March 1995

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (January--March 1995) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reactor licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  11. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved, medical licensees. Quarterly progress report, July--September 1994: Volume 13, Number 3, Part 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-12-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (July--September 1994) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to medical licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  12. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved reactor licensees. Volume 14, No. 2, Part 2, Quarterly progress report, April--June 1995

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-08-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (April--June 1995) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reactor licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication.

  13. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved reactor licensees. Quarterly progress report, October--December 1994, Volume 13, No. 4, Part 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-02-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (October--December 1994) and includes copies of letters Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reactor licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication.

  14. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved reactor licensees. Volume 14, No. 2, Part 2, Quarterly progress report, April--June 1995

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-08-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (April--June 1995) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reactor licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to those described in this publication

  15. Enforcement actions: Significant actions resolved reactor licensees. Volume 13, No. 1, Part 1: Quarterly progress report, January--March 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-06-01

    This compilation summarizes significant enforcement actions that have been resolved during one quarterly period (January--March 1994) and includes copies of letters, Notices, and Orders sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reactor licensees with respect to these enforcement actions. It is anticipated that the information in this publication will be widely disseminated to managers and employees engaged in activities licensed by the NRC, so that actions can be taken to improve safety by avoiding future violations similar to these described in this publication

  16. Parent-training programmes for improving maternal psychosocial health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, J; Coren, E

    2004-01-01

    Mental health problems are common and there is evidence to suggest that the origins of such problems lie in infancy and childhood. In particular, there is evidence from a range of studies to suggest that maternal psychosocial health can have a significant effect on the mother-infant relationship, and that this in turn can have consequences for both the short and long-term psychological health of the child. The use of parenting programmes is increasing in the UK and elsewhere and evidence of their effectiveness in improving outcomes for children has been provided. Evidence is now required of their effectiveness in improving outcomes for mothers. The objective of this review is to address whether group-based parenting programmes are effective in improving maternal psychosocial health including anxiety, depression, and self-esteem. A range of biomedical, social science, educational and general reference electronic databases were searched including MEDLINE, EMBASE CINAHL, PsychLIT, ERIC, ASSIA, Sociofile and the Social Science Citation Index. Other sources of information included the Cochrane Library (SPECTR, CENTRAL), and the National Research Register (NRR). Only randomised controlled trials were included in which participants had been randomly allocated to an experimental and a control group, the latter being a waiting-list, no-treatment or a placebo control group. Studies had to include at least one group-based parenting programme, and one standardised instrument measuring maternal psychosocial health. A systematic critical appraisal of all included studies was undertaken using a modified version of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published criteria. The treatment effect for each outcome in each study was standardised by dividing the mean difference in post-intervention scores for the intervention and treatment group, by the pooled standard deviation, to produce an effect size. Where appropriate the results were then combined in a meta

  17. Occult pneumothoraces in Chinese patients with significant blunt chest trauma: radiological classification and proposed clinical significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ryan K L; Graham, Colin A; Yeung, Janice H H; Ahuja, Anil T; Rainer, Timothy H

    2012-12-01

    An occult pneumothorax (OP) is a pneumothorax not seen on a supine chest X-ray (CXR) but detected on abdominal or thoracic computed tomography (CT) scanning. With the increasing use of CT in the management of significantly injured trauma patients, more OPs are being detected. The aim of this study was to classify OPs diagnosed on thoracic CT (TCT) and correlate them with their clinical significance. Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected trauma registry data. Total 36 (N=36) consecutive significantly injured trauma patients admitted through the emergency department (ED) who sustained blunt chest trauma and underwent TCT between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2008 were included. OP was defined as the identification (by a consultant radiologist) of a pneumothorax on TCT that had not been detected on supine CXR. OPs were classified by laterality (unilateral/bilateral) and location (apical, basal, non apical/basal). The size of pneumothoraces, severity of injury [including number of associated thoracic injuries and injury severity score (ISS)], length of hospital stay and mortality were compared between groups. The need for tube thoracostomy and clinical outcome were also analysed. Patients with bilateral OPs (N=8) had significantly more associated thoracic injuries (median: 2 vs. 1, p=0.01), higher ISS (median: 35 vs. 23, p=0.02) and longer hospital stay (median: 20 days vs. 11 days, p=0.01) than those with a unilateral OP (N=28). Basal OPs (N=7) were significantly larger than apical (N=10) and non-apical/basal Ops (N=11). Basal OPs were associated with significantly more associated thoracic injuries (median: 2 vs. 1, p=0.01), higher ISS (median: 35 vs. 25, p=0.04) and longer hospital stays (median: 23 days vs. 17 days, p=0.02) than apical Ops, which had higher ISS (median: 35 vs. 25, p=0.04) and longer hospital stays (median: 23 days vs. 15 days, p=0.02) than non-apical/basal OPs. Non-apical/basal OPs were associated with more related injuries (median: 2

  18. Improving the Simulation of Quark and Gluon Jets with Herwig 7 arXiv

    CERN Document Server

    Reichelt, Daniel; Siodmok, Andrzej

    2017-12-16

    The properties of quark and gluon jets, and the differences between them, are increasingly important at the LHC. However, Monte Carlo event generators are normally tuned to data from $e^+e^-$ collisions which are primarily sensitive to quark-initiated jets. In order to improve the description of gluon jets we make improvements to the perturbative and the non-perturbative modelling of gluon jets and include data with gluon-initiated jets in the tuning for the first time. The resultant tunes significantly improve the description of gluon jets and are now the default in Herwig 7.1.

  19. Comparative analysis of diagnostic significance of biomarkers’ panels in cardiac recipients in the long term period after transplantation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. P. Shevchenko

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim. To perform comparative analysis of the diagnostic efficacy of sCD40L, PDGF-BB, VEGF-A and ST2 in recipients with cardiac rejection in different periods after transplantation. Materials and methods. The study included 144 cardiac recipients aged from 12 to 71 (mean age 44 ± 14 years old, among those 112 were men. Venous blood plasma taken on the same day with endomyocardial biopsy was used for the study. The concentrations of soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-BB were measured using xMAP technology. The concentrations of ST2 were measured by ELISA. Results. Men had significantly higher levels of ST2 and VEGF-A compared to women (p = 0.03. No correlation was found between the levels of biomarkers (sCD40L, PDGF-BB, VEGF-A, ST2 and age, diagnosis before transplantation, presence of arterial hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Comparative analysis of the biomarkers’ levels didn’t show significant difference between patients with heart transplant rejection and without it in the first month and in the first year after transplantation. The ST2 level was significantly higher in patients with heart rejection (p = 0.01 in the long term period (1–5 years after transplantation compared to patients without rejection. Relative risk of cardiac transplant rejection was significantly higher in patients with high (>22.8 ng/ml ST2 level (RR = 2.59 ± 0.33; Se – 35%, Sp – 93%. However, its combination with other biomarkers improved their diagnostic value. Relative risk for panel including ST2, VEGF-A and PDGF-BB 3.47 ± 0.55, Se – 57%, Sp – 91%; relative risk for panel including ST2, sCD40L and PDGF-BB was 3.75 ± 0.59, Se – 50%, Sp – 92%. The highest diagnostic efficacy for the heart transplant rejection was reached by a panel of biomarkers that included ST2 and PDGF-BB (RR = 5.0 ± 0.56 [95% CI 1.68–14.92], Se – 63%, Sp – 94%. Conclusion. ST2 had the biggest

  20. ELECTRICAL SAFETY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT A COMPLEX WIDE TEAMING INITIATIVE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    GRAY BJ

    2007-11-26

    This paper describes the results of a year-long project, sponsored by the Energy Facility Contractors Group (EFCOG) and designed to improve overall electrical safety performance throughout Department of Energy (DOE)-owned sites and laboratories. As evidenced by focused metrics, the Project was successful primarily due to the joint commitment of contractor and DOE electrical safety experts, as well as significant support from DOE and contractor senior management. The effort was managed by an assigned project manager, using classical project-management principles that included execution of key deliverables and regular status reports to the Project sponsor. At the conclusion of the Project, the DOE not only realized measurable improvement in the safety of their workers, but also had access to valuable resources that will enable them to do the following: evaluate and improve electrical safety programs; analyze and trend electrical safety events; increase electrical safety awareness for both electrical and non-electrical workers; and participate in ongoing processes dedicated to continued improvement.

  1. What makes British general practitioners take part in a quality improvement scheme?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spooner, A; Chapple, A; Roland, M

    2001-07-01

    To understand the reasons for the apparent success of a quality improvement scheme designed to produce widespread changes in chronic disease management in primary care. Purposeful sample of 36 primary care staff, managers and specialists. Qualitative analysis of 27 interviews in East Kent Health Authority area, where, over a three-year period, more than three-quarters of general practitioners (GPs) and enrolled in a quality improvement programme which required them to meet challenging chronic disease management targets (PRImary Care Clinical Effectiveness--PRICCE). Major changes in clinical practice appeared to have taken place as a result of participation in PRICCE. The scheme was significantly dependent on leadership from the health authority and on local professional support. Factors that motivated GPs to take part in the project included: a desire to improve patient care; financial incentives; maintenance of professional autonomy in how to reach the targets; maintenance of professional pride; and peer pressure. Good teamworking was essential to successful completion of the project and often improved as a result of taking part. The scheme included a combination of interventions known to be effective in producing professional behavioural change. When managerial vision is aligned to professional values, and combined with a range of interventions known to influence professional behaviour including financial incentives, substantial changes in clinical practice can result. Lessons are drawn for future quality improvement programmes in the National Health Service.

  2. Improvement of ultrasonic examination using the Spartacus system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benoist, P.; Chapuis, N.; Cartier, F.; Pincemaille, G.

    1992-01-01

    Improved computer technology and technical advances in data analysis have significantly modified the methods employed to perform ultrasonic inspections. The SPARTACUS system developed by the CEA (French Atomic Agency) in an example of this progress. The nerve center of the system is a graphic workstation. The system permits full digitization of waveform while retaining high data acquisition rates of conventional system. In addition, it enables ultra fast analysis with comprehensive interactive imaging including signal processing (filtering, correlation, deconvolution...), image processing, spectrum analysis, automatic edition of report, 3D presentation. This system is now use during In-Service Inspection with MIS (In-Service Inspection Machine). Some examples of applications are shown: improvement in sizing capabilities, examination of austenitic weldments; thickness measurement (tube applications...), automatic detection

  3. The corporate culture's significance toorganization management

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2015-01-01

    In modern organization management, the organization culture is gradually drawn attention by the entrepreneurs and the CEO or managers of the enterprises. Theclose relationship between culture management and organization successis constantly beingproved to be true that culture is indeed one of the vital elements of organization management.Although it is not simple to research the culture impact on management in all respects, this essay attempts to illustrate that culture management is very significant to a successful organization,and the recommendation of how organizational culture management improving the enterprise performance as well as making the companies successful are provided.

  4. Skipping one or more dialysis sessions significantly increases mortality: measuring the impact of non-adherence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Gottlieb

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Non-adherence to the prescribed dialysis sessions frequency ranges from 2% to 50% of patients. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of detecting and measuring the non-adherence to the prescribed dialysis frequency and to determine the importance of a multidisciplinary approach with the aim of improving adherence. Methods: longitudinal cohort study including 8,164 prevalent hemodialysis patients in April 2010, with more than 90 days of treatment, in Fresenius Medical Care Argentina units that were monitored for 3 years. The survey evaluated: interruption of at least one dialysis session in a month or reduction at least 10 minutes of a dialysis session in a month, during 6 months prior to the survey. Relative mortality risks were evaluated among groups. Results: 648 patients (7.9% interrupted dialysis sessions: 320 (3.9% interrupted one session per month and 328 (4.01% interrupted more than one session per month. After 3 years monitoring, 349 patients (53.8 % remained active in hemodialysis and 299 were inactive due to different reasons: 206 deceased (31.8 %, 47 transfers or monitoring losses (7.25 %, 36 transplanted (5.55 %, 8 changes to PD modality (1.2% and 2 recovered their kidney function (0.3 %.Interrupting one session per month significantly increased the mortality risk comparing both groups (interrupters and non-interrupters: RR 2.65 (IC 95% 2.24 – 3.14. Interrupting more than one dialysis session also increased significantly mortality risk comparing to the non-interrupters: RR 2.8 (IC 95% 2.39 – 3.28. After 3 years monitoring, 41.6 % of interrupters at the beginning had improved their adherence through a multidisciplinary program of quality improvement. Conclusion: Global mortality was greater among patients who interrupted dialysis sessions. A considerable proportion of interrupter patients at the beginning modified their behavior through the implementation of a multidisciplinary program of quality

  5. IRB Process Improvements: A Machine Learning Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoenbill, Kimberly; Song, Yiqiang; Cobb, Nichelle L; Drezner, Marc K; Mendonca, Eneida A

    2017-06-01

    Clinical research involving humans is critically important, but it is a lengthy and expensive process. Most studies require institutional review board (IRB) approval. Our objective is to identify predictors of delays or accelerations in the IRB review process and apply this knowledge to inform process change in an effort to improve IRB efficiency, transparency, consistency and communication. We analyzed timelines of protocol submissions to determine protocol or IRB characteristics associated with different processing times. Our evaluation included single variable analysis to identify significant predictors of IRB processing time and machine learning methods to predict processing times through the IRB review system. Based on initial identified predictors, changes to IRB workflow and staffing procedures were instituted and we repeated our analysis. Our analysis identified several predictors of delays in the IRB review process including type of IRB review to be conducted, whether a protocol falls under Veteran's Administration purview and specific staff in charge of a protocol's review. We have identified several predictors of delays in IRB protocol review processing times using statistical and machine learning methods. Application of this knowledge to process improvement efforts in two IRBs has led to increased efficiency in protocol review. The workflow and system enhancements that are being made support our four-part goal of improving IRB efficiency, consistency, transparency, and communication.

  6. Significance of Literature in Foreign Language Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babaee, Ruzbeh; Yahya, Wan Roselezam Bt Wan

    2014-01-01

    This research aims to consider literature as a significant tool for teaching fundamental language skills including speaking, listening, reading and writing. Reasons for the use of literature in language classrooms and major factors for choosing appropriate kinds of literary texts in such classes should be highlighted in order to make readers aware…

  7. Prognostic significance of multiple kallikreins in high-grade astrocytoma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drucker, Kristen L.; Gianinni, Caterina; Decker, Paul A.; Diamandis, Eleftherios P.; Scarisbrick, Isobel A.

    2015-01-01

    Kallikreins have clinical value as prognostic markers in a subset of malignancies examined to date, including kallikrein 3 (prostate specific antigen) in prostate cancer. We previously demonstrated that kallikrein 6 is expressed at higher levels in grade IV compared to grade III astrocytoma and is associated with reduced survival of GBM patients. In this study we determined KLK1, KLK6, KLK7, KLK8, KLK9 and KLK10 protein expression in two independent tissue microarrays containing 60 grade IV and 8 grade III astrocytoma samples. Scores for staining intensity, percent of tumor stained and immunoreactivity scores (IR, product of intensity and percent) were determined and analyzed for correlation with patient survival. Grade IV glioma was associated with higher levels of kallikrein-immunostaining compared to grade III specimens. Univariable Cox proportional hazards regression analysis demonstrated that elevated KLK6- or KLK7-IR was associated with poor patient prognosis. In addition, an increased percent of tumor immunoreactive for KLK6 or KLK9 was associated with decreased survival in grade IV patients. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis indicated that patients with KLK6-IR < 10, KLK6 percent tumor core stained < 3, or KLK7-IR < 9 had a significantly improved survival. Multivariable analysis indicated that the significance of these parameters was maintained even after adjusting for gender and performance score. These data suggest that elevations in glioblastoma KLK6, KLK7 and KLK9 protein have utility as prognostic markers of patient survival. The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12885-015-1566-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users

  8. Improving pediatric immunization rates: description of a resident-led clinical continuous quality improvement project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Kyle Bradford; Gren, Lisa H; Backman, Richard

    2014-09-01

    Increased emphasis is being placed on the continuous quality improvement (CQI) education of residents of all specialties. This article describes a resident-led continuous quality improvement (CQI) project, based on a novel curriculum, to improve the immunization rates of children under 2 years old at the Madsen Family Health Center (MHC). All third-year residents were trained in the FOCUS-PDSA CQI methodology through concurrent didactic lectures and experience leading the CQI team. The CQI team included clinical staff led by a third-year family medicine resident and mentored by a member of the family medicine faculty. Immunization records were distributed to provider-medical assistant teamlets daily for each pediatric patient scheduled in clinic as the intervention. Compliance with the intervention (process measure), as well as immunization rates at 2 and 5 months post-intervention (outcome measure), were monitored. Immunization records were printed on 84% of clinic days from October 24, 2011 to March 31, 2012. The percentage of patients immunized at baseline was 66%. The percentage immunized as of December 31, 2011 was 96% and was 91% as of March 31, 2012. An important educational experience was organized for third-year family medicine residents through learning CQI skills, leading a CQI team, and directing a CQI project to completion. Significant improvement in the percentage of patients under 2 years old immunized at the MHC was achieved by presenting provider-medical assistant teamlets with immunization records of all pediatric patients on the daily clinic schedule.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bays HE

    2015-02-01

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

  10. PGPR Potentially Improve Growth of Tomato Plants in Salt-Stressed Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariam Zameer

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria are colonized bacterial species that has the capability to improve plant growth by certain direct and indirect means. Environmental factors including both biotic and abiotic stresses are among the major constraints to crop production. In the current study, the effectiveness of microbial inoculation (Bacillus megaterium for enhancing growth of tomato plants under salt stress conditions has been investigated. Significant improvement in shoot length, root length, leaf surface area, number of leaves, total weight of the shoot and root was observed in tomato plants inoculated with zm7 strain post 15 and 30 days of its application. Zm3, Zm4 and Zm6 strains improved the morphological parameters as compared to the control. Chlorophyll content a, chlorophyll content b, anthocyanin and carotenoid content was increased in tomato plants subjected to Zm7, Zm6 and Zm4 strains. Stress responsive genes; metallothionein and glutothion gene were found highly expressed in Zm7 treated tomato plants as compared to control, untreated plants. Significant correlation of anthocyanin was reported for carotenoids, chlorophyll-b, shoot weight and total weight of seedling while carotenoids were significantly correlated with leaf surface area, root length, chlorophyll-b and anthocyanin. Overall, Zm7 strain proved best for improvement in salt stressed plant’s morphological parameters and biochemical parameters as compared to control, untreated plants.

  11. LEAN SIX SIGMA TECHNIQUES TO IMPROVE OPHTHALMOLOGY CLINIC EFFICIENCY.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciulla, Thomas A; Tatikonda, Mohan V; ElMaraghi, Yehya A; Hussain, Rehan M; Hill, Amanda L; Clary, Julie M; Hattab, Eyas

    2017-07-18

    Ophthalmologists serve an increasing volume of a growing elderly population undergoing increasingly complex outpatient medical care, including extensive diagnostic testing and treatment. The resulting prolonged patient visit times ("patient flow times") limit quality, patient and employee satisfaction, and represent waste. Lean Six Sigma process improvement was used in a vitreoretinal practice to decrease patient flow time, demonstrating that this approach can yield significant improvement in health care. Process flow maps were created to determine the most common care pathways within clinic. Three months' visits from the electronic medical record system, which tracks patient task times at each process step in the office were collected. Care tasks and care pathways consuming the greatest time and variation were identified and modified. Follow-up analysis from 6 weeks' visits was conducted to assess improvement. Nearly all patients took one of five paths through the office. Patient flow was redesigned to reduce waiting room time by having staff members immediately start patients into one of those five paths; staffing was adjusted to address high demand tasks, and scheduling was optimized around derived predictors of patient flow times. Follow-up analysis revealed a statistically significant decline in mean patient flow time by 18% and inpatient flow time SD by 4.6%. Patient and employee satisfaction scores improved. Manufacturing industry techniques, such as Lean and Six Sigma, can be used to improve patient care, minimize waste, and enhance patient and staff satisfaction in outpatient clinics.

  12. Significant Change Spotting for Periodic Human Motion Segmentation of Cleaning Tasks Using Wearable Sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai-Chun Liu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The proportion of the aging population is rapidly increasing around the world, which will cause stress on society and healthcare systems. In recent years, advances in technology have created new opportunities for automatic activities of daily living (ADL monitoring to improve the quality of life and provide adequate medical service for the elderly. Such automatic ADL monitoring requires reliable ADL information on a fine-grained level, especially for the status of interaction between body gestures and the environment in the real-world. In this work, we propose a significant change spotting mechanism for periodic human motion segmentation during cleaning task performance. A novel approach is proposed based on the search for a significant change of gestures, which can manage critical technical issues in activity recognition, such as continuous data segmentation, individual variance, and category ambiguity. Three typical machine learning classification algorithms are utilized for the identification of the significant change candidate, including a Support Vector Machine (SVM, k-Nearest Neighbors (kNN, and Naive Bayesian (NB algorithm. Overall, the proposed approach achieves 96.41% in the F1-score by using the SVM classifier. The results show that the proposed approach can fulfill the requirement of fine-grained human motion segmentation for automatic ADL monitoring.

  13. Improving the yield from fermentative hydrogen production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraemer, Jeremy T; Bagley, David M

    2007-05-01

    Efforts to increase H(2) yields from fermentative H(2) production include heat treatment of the inoculum, dissolved gas removal, and varying the organic loading rate. Although heat treatment kills methanogens and selects for spore-forming bacteria, the available evidence indicates H(2) yields are not maximized compared to bromoethanesulfonate, iodopropane, or perchloric acid pre-treatments and spore-forming acetogens are not killed. Operational controls (low pH, short solids retention time) can replace heat treatment. Gas sparging increases H(2) yields compared to un-sparged reactors, but no relationship exists between the sparging rate and H(2) yield. Lower sparging rates may improve the H(2) yield with less energy input and product dilution. The reasons why sparging improves H(2) yields are unknown, but recent measurements of dissolved H(2) concentrations during sparging suggest the assumption of decreased inhibition of the H(2)-producing enzymes is unlikely. Significant disagreement exists over the effect of organic loading rate (OLR); some studies show relatively higher OLRs improve H(2) yield while others show the opposite. Discovering the reasons for higher H(2) yields during dissolved gas removal and changes in OLR will help improve H(2) yields.

  14. Approaches for improving thermostability characteristics in cellulases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anbar, Michael; Bayer, Edward A

    2012-01-01

    Many efforts have been invested to reduce the cost of biofuel production to substitute renewable sources of energy for fossil-based fuels. At the forefront of these efforts are the initiatives to convert plant-derived cellulosic material to biofuels. Although significant improvements have been achieved recently in cellulase engineering in both efficiency and cost reduction, complete degradation of lignocellulosic material still requires very long periods of time and high enzyme loads. Thermostable cellulases offer many advantages in the bioconversion process, which include increase in specific activity, higher levels of stability, inhibition of microbial growth, increase in mass transfer rate due to lower fluid viscosity, and greater flexibility in the bioprocess. Besides rational design methods, which require deep understanding of protein structure-function relationship, two of the major methods for improvement in specific cellulase properties are directed evolution and knowledge-based library design based on multiple sequence alignments. In this chapter, we provide protocols for constructing and screening of improved thermostable cellulases. Modifications of these protocols may also be used for screening for other improved properties of cellulases such as pH tolerance, high salt, and more. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Duke Power's liquid radwaste processing improvement efforts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baker, R.E. Jr.; Bramblett, J.W.

    1995-01-01

    The rising cost of processing liquid radwaste and industry efforts to reduce offsite isotopic contributions has drawn greater attention to the liquid radwaste area. Because of economic pressures to reduce cost and simultaneously improve performance, Duke Power has undertaken a wide ranging effort to cost effectively achieve improvements in the liquid radwaste processing area. Duke Power has achieved significant reductions over recent years in the release of curies to the environment from the Liquid Radwaste Treatmentt systems at its Catawba, McGuire, and Oconee stations. System wide site curie reductions of 78% have been achieved in a 3 year period. These curie reductions have been achieved while simultaneously reducing the amount of media used to accomplish treatment. The curie and media usage reductions have been achieved at low capital cost expenditures. A large number of approaches and projects have been used to achieve these curie and media usage reductions. This paper will describe the various projects and the associated results for Duke Power's processing improvement efforts. The subjects/projects which will be described include: (1) Cooperative philosophy between stations (2) Source Control (3) Processing Improvements (4) Technology Testing

  16. EC6 safety enhancement - including impact of Fukushima lessons learned

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yu, S.; Zemdegs, R.; Boyle, S.; Soulard, M., E-mail: stephen.yu@candu.com [Candu Energy Inc., Mississauga, Ontario (Canada)

    2012-09-15

    The Enhanced CANDU 6 (EC6) is the new Generation III CANDU reactor design that meets the most up to date regulatory requirements and customer expectations. EC6 builds on the proven high performance design inch as the Qinshan CANDU 6 units and has made improvements to safety and operational performance, and has incorporated extensive operational feedback including Fukushima. The Fukushima Dai-ichi March 11, 2011 event has demonstrated the importance of defence-in-depth considerations for beyond-design basis events, including severe accidents. The EC6 design is based on the defence-in-depth principles and provides further design features that address the lessons learned from Fukushima. (author)

  17. Expanding Pharmacists' Scope of Practice to Include Immunization in Nova Scotia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beth O'Reilly

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available On 10 December 2010 An Act to Amend Chapter 36 of the Acts of 2001, the Pharmacy Act (Bill 7 received Royal Assent in Nova Scotia, including an amendment that enabled an expanded scope of pharmacy practice. Expanding pharmacists' scope of practice came about from recommendations by various federal and provincial government bodies as an attempt to improve accessibility to health care and decrease costs. In 2013, pharmacists in Nova Scotia began administering the influenza vaccine as part of the publicly funded program in attempts to improve vaccine coverage rates. Preliminary evaluation in Nova Scotia has shown an increase in influenza vaccination coverage. Although pharmacist administration of influenza vaccination may improve vaccination coverage and reduce demand on physician time, there may be tension created among the professions, which needs to be addressed and managed.

  18. Effect of Posture Training with Weighted Kypho-Orthosis (WKO on Improving Balance in Women with Osteoporosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed Ahmad Raeissadat

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. To determine the effect of weighted kypho-orthosis (WKO on improving balance in women with osteoporosis. In this nonrandomized controlled clinical trial, 31 patients with osteoporosis were included. The patients were assigned to two groups: (1 control group who received 4-week home-based daily exercise program including weight bearing, back strengthening, and balance exercises and (2 intervention group (WKO who performed aforementioned exercises and wore WKO for one hour twice a day. Patients were assessed using clinical balance tests (timed up and go test, functional reach test, and unilateral balance test before and 4 weeks after start of treatment. Results. Functional reach and timed up and go test were improved significantly in both groups compared to baseline. The improvement in intervention group was more significant in comparison to control group (P<0.05. Discussion. Posture training with WKO together with exercise program improved two clinical balance tests in women with osteoporosis. Conclusion. Posture training support (PTS applied as WKO together with back extension exercises can be prescribed as an intervention in elderly women in order to reduce the risk of falling.

  19. Microcirculatory Improvement Induced by Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy Is Related to Insulin Sensitivity Retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ministrini, Stefano; Fattori, Chiara; Ricci, Maria Anastasia; Bianconi, Vanessa; Paltriccia, Rita; Boni, Marcello; Paganelli, Maria Teresa; Vaudo, Gaetano; Lupattelli, Graziana; Pasqualini, Leonella

    2018-05-12

    Microvascular dysfunction is a potential factor explaining the association of obesity, insulin resistance, and vascular damage in morbidly obese subjects. The purpose of the study was to evaluate possible determinants of microcirculatory improvement 1 year after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) intervention. Thirty-seven morbidly obese subjects eligible for bariatric surgery were included in the study. Post-occlusive reactive hyperemia (PORH) of the forearm skin was measured as area of hyperemia (AH) by laser-Doppler flowmetry before LSG and after a 1-year follow-up. After intervention, we observed a significant reduction in BMI, HOMA index, HbA1c, and a significant increase of AH in all patients after surgery; this variation was significant only in those patients having insulin resistance or prediabetes/diabetes. Although significant correlation between the increase of AH and the reduction of both BMI, HOMA index, and HbA1c was observed, BMI was the only independent predictor of AH variation after LSG at the linear regression analysis. Our study shows that LSG intervention is correlated with a significant improvement in the microvascular function of morbidly obese subjects; this improvement seems to be related to the baseline degree of insulin-resistance and to the retrieval of insulin-sensitivity post-intervention.

  20. ECG Markers of Hemodynamic Improvement in Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcin Waligóra

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Several diagnostic tests have been recommended for risk assessment in pulmonary hypertension (PH, but the role of electrocardiography (ECG in monitoring of PH patients has not been yet established. Therefore the aim of the study was to evaluate which ECG patterns characteristic for pulmonary hypertension can predict hemodynamic improvement in patients treated with targeted therapies. Methods. Consecutive patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH or chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH were eligible to be included if they had had performed two consecutive right heart catheterization (RHC procedures before and after starting of targeted therapies. Patients were followed up from June 2009 to July 2017. ECG patterns of right ventricular hypertrophy according to American College of Cardiology Foundation were assessed. Results. We enrolled 80 patients with PAH and 11 patients with inoperable CTEPH. The follow-up RHC was performed within 12.6±10.0 months after starting therapy. Based on median change of pulmonary vascular resistance, we divided our patients into two subgroups: with and without significant hemodynamic improvement. RV1, max⁡RV1,2 + max⁡SI,aVL-SV1, and PII improved along with the improvement of hemodynamic parameters including PVR. They predicted hemodynamic improvement with similarly good accuracy as shown in ROC analysis: RV1 (AUC: 0.75; 95% CI: 0.63–0.84, PII (AUC: 0.67, 95% CI: 0.56–0.77, and max⁡RV1,2+max⁡SI,aVL-SV1 (0.73; 95% CI: 0.63–0.82. In Cox regression only change in RV1 remained significant mortality predictor (HR: 1.12, 95% CI: 1.01–1.24. Conclusion. Electrocardiogram may be useful in predicting hemodynamic effects of targeted therapy in precapillary pulmonary hypertension. Decrease of RV1, max⁡RV1,2+max⁡SI,aVL-SV1, and PII corresponds with hemodynamic improvement after treatment. Of these changes a decrease of R wave amplitude in V1 is associated with better