WorldWideScience

Sample records for quality human evidence

  1. Evidence to suggest that teeth act as human ornament displays signalling mate quality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin A Hendrie

    Full Text Available Ornament displays seen in animals convey information about genetic quality, developmental history and current disease state to both prospective sexual partners and potential rivals. In this context, showing of teeth through smiles etc is a characteristic feature of human social interaction. Tooth development is influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Adult teeth record environmental and traumatic events, as well as the effects of disease and ageing. Teeth are therefore a rich source of information about individuals and their histories. This study examined the effects of digital manipulations of tooth colour and spacing. Results showed that deviation away from normal spacing and/or the presence of yellowed colouration had negative effects on ratings of attractiveness and that these effects were markedly stronger in female models. Whitening had no effect beyond that produced by natural colouration. This indicates that these colour induced alterations in ratings of attractiveness are mediated by increased/decreased yellowing rather than whitening per se. Teeth become yellower and darker with age. Therefore it is suggested that whilst the teeth of both sexes act as human ornament displays, the female display is more complex because it additionally signals residual reproductive value.

  2. Home-based telecommuting and quality of life: further evidence on an employee-oriented human resource practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hornung, Severin; Glaser, Jürgen

    2009-04-01

    Building on previous research, further evidence for the potential of home-based telecommuting as an employee-oriented human resource practice is provided from a study in the German public administration. Survey data from 1,008 public employees were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Mean age of the sample was 43.6 yr. (SD = 8.8 yr.), and 27.5% (277) of the participants were women. Analysis supported the roles of higher Autonomy and lower Work-Family Conflict as psychological mediators between Telecommunication Intensity and both Job Satisfaction and Quality of Life. Implications for the design of flexible working arrangements are discussed.

  3. Quality in Human Resource Practice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kjeld

    resource practice in industrial and service-related work processes. The focus in these studies is directed at behavioural processes between managers and employees, especially at individual and group level. The conclusion is that quality in human resource practice can be considered to be a social process......Abstract: Quality in Human Resource Practice – a process perspective The purpose of this article is to establish criteria for what quality in human resource practice (HRP) actually means. The general thesis is that quality in human resource practices is shaped within social processes in the HRM...... areas (recruitment, training, work environment etc.). Initially the concept of quality is defined in general on the basis of selections from the HRM literature, and then related to human resource practice. The question posed in the article is then answered using examples from case studies of human...

  4. Quality in Human Resource Practice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kjeld

    resource practice in industrial and service-related work processes. The focus in these studies is directed at behavioural processes between managers and employees, especially at individual and group level. The conclusion is that quality in human resource practice can be considered to be a social process......Abstract: Quality in Human Resource Practice – a process perspective The purpose of this article is to establish criteria for what quality in human resource practice (HRP) actually means. The general thesis is that quality in human resource practices is shaped within social processes in the HRM...... areas (recruitment, training, work environment etc.). Initially the concept of quality is defined in general on the basis of selections from the HRM literature, and then related to human resource practice. The question posed in the article is then answered using examples from case studies of human...

  5. Inherent emotional quality of human speech sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers-Schulz, Blake; Pujara, Maia; Wolf, Richard C; Koenigs, Michael

    2013-01-01

    During much of the past century, it was widely believed that phonemes-the human speech sounds that constitute words-have no inherent semantic meaning, and that the relationship between a combination of phonemes (a word) and its referent is simply arbitrary. Although recent work has challenged this picture by revealing psychological associations between certain phonemes and particular semantic contents, the precise mechanisms underlying these associations have not been fully elucidated. Here we provide novel evidence that certain phonemes have an inherent, non-arbitrary emotional quality. Moreover, we show that the perceived emotional valence of certain phoneme combinations depends on a specific acoustic feature-namely, the dynamic shift within the phonemes' first two frequency components. These data suggest a phoneme-relevant acoustic property influencing the communication of emotion in humans, and provide further evidence against previously held assumptions regarding the structure of human language. This finding has potential applications for a variety of social, educational, clinical, and marketing contexts.

  6. Air quality and human welfare

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sundseth K.

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Human welfare is generally referring to allocation of resources to fit the well being of humans. If high standard of well-being is to be maintained, the concerns for a healthy environment must be balanced against requirements of economic growth. In a natural capital system, human welfare is best served by improving the quality and flow of desired services delivered rather than merely increasing the total money flow. An ecosystem based management of living and natural resource use will steer this progress to the best of human welfare while the efficiency of ecosystem based management depends strongly on the availability of integrated assessment tools that will combine environmental models and monitoring data with ecological economic valuation methods. In applied welfare economics, the methodological approach to assess resource allocations towards societal optimality and thereby establish criteria for government intervention is often linked to tools as Cost-ffectiveness Analysis (CEA, Cost-Benefit Assessment (CBA or Multi-criteria Analysis (MCA. By illustrating an assessment on costs and benefits of the implementation of Hg emission reduction measures in the coal sector, it becomes obvious that for a full analysis of societal costs and benefits, several aspects of Hg pollution, sources, impacts and co-benefits need to be considered.

  7. Mandatory Quality Disclosure and Quality Supply : Evidence from German Hospitals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Filistrucchi, L.; Ozbugday, F.C.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract: Using a newly constructed dataset on German hospitals, which includes 24 process and outcome indicators of clinical quality, we test whether quality has increased in various clinical areas since the introduction of mandatory quality reports and the online publication of part of the

  8. [Quality assurance in human genetic testing].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuhrmann-Spangenberg, Manfred

    2015-02-01

    Advances in technical developments of genetic diagnostics for more than 50 years, as well as the fact that human genetic testing is usually performed only once in a lifetime, with additional impact for blood relatives, are determining the extraordinary importance of quality assurance in human genetic testing. Abidance of laws, directives, and guidelines plays a major role. This article aims to present the major laws, directives, and guidelines with respect to quality assurance of human genetic testing, paying careful attention to internal and external quality assurance. The information on quality assurance of human genetic testing was obtained through a web-based search of the web pages that are referred to in this article. Further information was retrieved from publications in the German Society of Human Genetics and through a PubMed-search using term quality + assurance + genetic + diagnostics. The most important laws, directives, and guidelines for quality assurance of human genetic testing are the gene diagnostics law (GenDG), the directive of the Federal Medical Council for quality control of clinical laboratory analysis (RiliBÄK), and the S2K guideline for human genetic diagnostics and counselling. In addition, voluntary accreditation under DIN EN ISO 15189:2013 offers a most recommended contribution towards quality assurance of human genetic testing. Legal restraints on quality assurance of human genetic testing as mentioned in § 5 GenDG are fulfilled once RiliBÄK requirements are followed.

  9. Quality assurance and evidence in career guidance in Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plant, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Quality assurance and evidence in career guidance in Europe is based on a particular, positivtic model. Other approaches are largely neglected.......Quality assurance and evidence in career guidance in Europe is based on a particular, positivtic model. Other approaches are largely neglected....

  10. Policy and evidence in Canadian health human resources planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, C Ruth

    2013-01-01

    The health human resources supply in Canada swings reactively between over- and under-supply. There are numerous policy actors in this arena, each of whom could contribute to good data collection and an agreed-on process for decision-making. This could form the basis for evidence-informed policy. Absent these tools for pan-Canadian health human resources policy development, smaller health jurisdictions are experimenting with quality improvement initiatives which, when properly evaluated, can discover useful methods of aligning patient and community needs with healthcare resources.

  11. Competition, information, and quality: Evidence from nursing homes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Xin

    2016-09-01

    Economic theory suggests that competition and information can both be important for product quality, and yet evidence on how they may interact to affect quality is sparse. This paper estimates the impact of competition between nursing homes on their quality, and how this impact varies when consumers have better access to information. The effect of competition is identified using exogenous variation in the geographical proximity of nursing homes to their potential consumers. The change in information transparency is captured by the launch of the Five-Star Quality Rating System in 2009, which improved access to the quality information of nursing homes. We find that while the effect of competition on nursing home quality is generally rather limited, this effect becomes significantly stronger with increased information transparency. The results suggest that regulations on public quality reporting and on market structure are policy complements, and should be considered jointly to best improve quality.

  12. Biodiversity, air quality and human health

    Science.gov (United States)

    David J. Nowak; Sarah Jovan; Christina Branquinho; Sofia Augusto; Manuel C. Ribeiro; Conor E. Kretsch

    2015-01-01

    Air pollution is a significant problem in cities across the world. It affects human health and well-being, ecosystem health, crops, climate, visibility and human-made materials. Health effects related to air pollution include its impact on the pulmonary, cardiac, vascular and neurological systems (Section 2). Trees affect air quality through a number of means (Section...

  13. Corporate Governance Quality and Earnings Management: Evidence from Jordan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sinan S. Abbadi

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates the effect of corporate governance quality on earnings management in Jordan. Using a panel data set of all industrial and service firms listed on Amman Stock Exchange (ASE during the period 2009-2013; this paper provides evidence that earnings management is affected negatively by corporate governance quality. In particular; the results show that earnings management is affected negatively by overall categories of governance index represented by board of director, board meeting, Audit and nomination and compensation committee. Furthermore, results suggest that corporate governance quality has increased over time. Thus, its ability to constrain earnings management has also increased. It is recommended to industrial and service companies to boost their compliance with corporate governance code to improve the integrity and reliability of financial reports. This paper fills a gap in the literature by providing evidence about the effect of corporate governance quality on earnings management in Jordan as an emerging economy.

  14. Human Milk-Treatment and Quality of Banked Human Milk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picaud, Jean-Charles; Buffin, Rachel

    2017-03-01

    The aim of human milk banks is to deliver safe and high quality donor human milk. Treatment of human milk has to destroy most microorganisms while preserving immunological and nutrient components, which is obtained when using low time low temperature pasteurization. However it destroys bile-simulated lipase, reduces lactoferrin, lysozyme, immunoglobulins, and bactericidal capacity of human milk. New methods are under investigation such as high temperature short time pasteurization, high pressure processing, or ultraviolet irradiation. They have been tested in experimental conditions and there are promising results, but they have to be tested in real conditions in human milk bank.

  15. Evidence-based quality improvement: the state of the science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shojania, Kaveh G; Grimshaw, Jeremy M

    2005-01-01

    Routine practice fails to incorporate research evidence in a timely and reliable fashion. Many quality improvement (QI) efforts aim to close these gaps between clinical research and practice. However, in sharp contrast to the paradigm of evidence-based medicine, these efforts often proceed on the basis of intuition and anecdotal accounts of successful strategies for changing provider behavior or achieving organizational change. We review problems with current approaches to QI research and outline the steps required to make QI efforts based as much on evidence as the practices they seek to implement.

  16. Methods of Quality Appraisal for Studies Reviewed by Evidence Clearinghouses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Sandra Jo; Tanner-Smith, Emily

    2015-01-01

    This presentation will discuss quality appraisal methods for assessing research studies used in systematic reviews, research syntheses, and evidence-based practice repositories such as the What Works Clearinghouse. The different ways that the methodological rigor and risk of bias of primary studies included in syntheses is assessed means that…

  17. Competition and educational quality: evidence from the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E. Dijkgraaf (Elbert); R.H.J.M. Gradus (Raymond); M. de Jong (Matthijs)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractLittle evidence is available for the effect of competition on educational quality as only a few countries allow large-scale competition. In the Netherlands, free parental choice has been present since the beginning of the twentieth century and can be characterized as a full voucher progr

  18. Characterization of Evidence for Human System Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinberg, S. L.; Van Baalen, M.; Rossi, M.; Riccio, G.; Romero, E.; Francisco, D.

    2016-01-01

    environmental data on the astronaut population may create opportunities for advanced analytics and human-environment modeling that goes beyond that achieved in isolated experimental designs; and (7) Translation of relevant research to operations is a complex, transdisciplinary enterprise in which the approach must apply across the physical, biological, behavioral, and social sciences. The approach to synthesizing evidence must address both source and fidelity of data, and reflect the most general attributes of quality of evidence in science and engineering: reliability and validity. The authors are developing a two-factor approach which includes the various kinds of evidence required to understand risks and for the integrated interpretation of all evidence that is essential to develop standards and countermeasures. A unified framework for aggregating and assessing different kinds of evidence provides a consistent, traceable, evidence-based decision-making process to translate research to operations in an environment where engineers, scientists, physicians, and managers all engage in analyzing the trade space of vehicle design, standards, requirements and solutions for spaceflight.

  19. Do Perfluoroalkyl Compounds Impair Human Semen Quality?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joensen, Ulla Nordström; Bossi, Rossana; Leffers, Henrik

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are found globally in wildlife and humans and are suspected to act as endocrine disruptors. There are no previous reports of PFAA levels in adult men from Denmark or of a possible association between semen quality and PFAA exposure. OBJECTIVES: We investig...

  20. Pursuing Quality Evidence: Applying Single-Subject Quality Indicators to Non-Experimental Qualitative Educational Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stodden, Robert A.; Yamamoto, Kathryn K.; Folk, Eric; Kong, Eran; Otsuji, Derek N.

    2013-01-01

    The need for quality evidence in support of strategies used while working with persons with autism and intellectual disability (ID) has been long been recognized by researchers and practitioners. The authors reviewed and applied a number of evidence-based indicators, developed through the "What Works Clearinghouse" (WWC), to the conduct…

  1. Evidence-based medicine and quality of care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickenson, Donna; Vineis, Paolo

    2002-01-01

    In this paper we set out to examine the arguments for and against the claim that Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) will improve the quality of care. In particular, we examine the following issues: 1. Are there hidden ethical assumptions in the methodology of EBM? 2. Is there a tension between the duty of care and EBM? 3. How can patient preferences be incorporated into quality guidelines and effectiveness studies? 4. Is there a tension between the quality of a particular intervention and overall quality of care? 5. Are certain branches of medicine and patient groups innately or prima facie disadvantaged by a shift to EBM? In addition we consider a case study in the ethics of EBM, on a clinical trial concerning the collection of umbilical cord blood in utero and ex utero, during or after labour in childbirth.

  2. Evident?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plant, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Quality assurance and evidence in career guidance in Europe are often seen as self-evident approaches, but particular interests lie behind......Quality assurance and evidence in career guidance in Europe are often seen as self-evident approaches, but particular interests lie behind...

  3. Evidence, Quality, and Waste: Solving the Value Equation in Neonatology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dukhovny, Dmitry; Pursley, DeWayne M; Kirpalani, Haresh M; Horbar, Jeffrey H; Zupancic, John A F

    2016-03-01

    Rising health care costs challenge governments, payers, and providers in delivering health care services. Tremendous pressures result to deliver better quality care while simultaneously reducing costs. This has led to a wholesale re-examination of current practice methods, including explicit consideration of efficiency and waste. Traditionally, reductions in the costs of care have been considered as independent, and sometimes even antithetical, to the practice of high-quality, intensive medicine. However, it is evident that provision of evidence-based, locally relevant care can result in improved outcomes, lower resource utilization, and opportunities to reallocate resources. This is particularly relevant to the practice of neonatology. In the United States, 12% of the annual birth cohort is affected by preterm birth, and 3% is affected by congenital anomalies. Both of these conditions are associated with costly health care during, and often long after, the NICU admission. We will discuss how 3 drivers of clinical practice in neonatal care (evidence-based medicine, evidence-based economics, and quality improvement) can together optimize clinical and fiscal outcomes.

  4. Human acellular dermal wound matrix: evidence and experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirsner, Robert S; Bohn, Greg; Driver, Vickie R; Mills, Joseph L; Nanney, Lillian B; Williams, Marie L; Wu, Stephanie C

    2015-12-01

    A chronic wound fails to complete an orderly and timely reparative process and places patients at increased risk for wound complications that negatively impact quality of life and require greater health care expenditure. The role of extracellular matrix (ECM) is critical in normal and chronic wound repair. Not only is ECM the largest component of the dermal skin layer, but also ECM proteins provide structure and cell signalling that are necessary for successful tissue repair. Chronic wounds are characterised by their inflammatory and proteolytic environment, which degrades the ECM. Human acellular dermal matrices, which provide an ECM scaffold, therefore, are being used to treat chronic wounds. The ideal human acellular dermal wound matrix (HADWM) would support regenerative healing, providing a structure that could be repopulated by the body's cells. Experienced wound care investigators and clinicians discussed the function of ECM, the evidence related to a specific HADWM (Graftjacket(®) regenerative tissue matrix, Wright Medical Technology, Inc., licensed by KCI USA, Inc., San Antonio, TX), and their clinical experience with this scaffold. This article distills these discussions into an evidence-based and practical overview for treating chronic lower extremity wounds with this HADWM. © 2013 The Authors. International Wound Journal © 2013 Medicalhelplines.com Inc and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Climate change, air quality, and human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinney, Patrick L

    2008-11-01

    Weather and climate play important roles in determining patterns of air quality over multiple scales in time and space, owing to the fact that emissions, transport, dilution, chemical transformation, and eventual deposition of air pollutants all can be influenced by meteorologic variables such as temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and mixing height. There is growing recognition that development of optimal control strategies for key pollutants like ozone and fine particles now requires assessment of potential future climate conditions and their influence on the attainment of air quality objectives. In addition, other air contaminants of relevance to human health, including smoke from wildfires and airborne pollens and molds, may be influenced by climate change. In this study, the focus is on the ways in which health-relevant measures of air quality, including ozone, particulate matter, and aeroallergens, may be affected by climate variability and change. The small but growing literature focusing on climate impacts on air quality, how these influences may play out in future decades, and the implications for human health is reviewed. Based on the observed and anticipated impacts, adaptation strategies and research needs are discussed.

  6. [Sanitary quality of water supply for human consumption in Campeche].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaac-Márquez, A P; Lezama-Dávila, C M; Ku-Pech, P P; Tamay-Segovia, P

    1994-01-01

    This paper presents data of a study undertaken to know the sanitary features of water supply (deep pools) for human consumption in the city of Campeche, Mexico. Levels of intestinal bacteria (total and fecal coliforms) were monitored, as well as heterotrophic plate counts and the surroundings of each deep pool were inspected. Each water supply was monitored three times from January to July, 1993 and presented unacceptable levels of heterotrophic plate counts and coliforms which is a strong evidence of fecal contamination of animal or human origin. These findings are a clear indication of unacceptable contamination of water supply for human consumption which requires an improvement and systematic inspection in order to provide good quality water to the population of Campeche.

  7. Human influences on water quality in Great Lakes coastal wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrice, John A; Danz, Nicholas P; Regal, Ronald R; Kelly, John R; Niemi, Gerald J; Reavie, Euan D; Hollenhorst, Tom; Axler, Richard P; Trebitz, Anett S; Cotter, Anne M; Peterson, Gregory S

    2008-03-01

    A better understanding of relationships between human activities and water chemistry is needed to identify and manage sources of anthropogenic stress in Great Lakes coastal wetlands. The objective of the study described in this article was to characterize relationships between water chemistry and multiple classes of human activity (agriculture, population and development, point source pollution, and atmospheric deposition). We also evaluated the influence of geomorphology and biogeographic factors on stressor-water quality relationships. We collected water chemistry data from 98 coastal wetlands distributed along the United States shoreline of the Laurentian Great Lakes and GIS-based stressor data from the associated drainage basin to examine stressor-water quality relationships. The sampling captured broad ranges (1.5-2 orders of magnitude) in total phosphorus (TP), total nitrogen (TN), dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN), total suspended solids (TSS), chlorophyll a (Chl a), and chloride; concentrations were strongly correlated with stressor metrics. Hierarchical partitioning and all-subsets regression analyses were used to evaluate the independent influence of different stressor classes on water quality and to identify best predictive models. Results showed that all categories of stress influenced water quality and that the relative influence of different classes of disturbance varied among water quality parameters. Chloride exhibited the strongest relationships with stressors followed in order by TN, Chl a, TP, TSS, and DIN. In general, coarse scale classification of wetlands by morphology (three wetland classes: riverine, protected, open coastal) and biogeography (two ecoprovinces: Eastern Broadleaf Forest [EBF] and Laurentian Mixed Forest [LMF]) did not improve predictive models. This study provides strong evidence of the link between water chemistry and human stress in Great Lakes coastal wetlands and can be used to inform management efforts to improve water

  8. The Flanagan Quality of Life Scale: Evidence of Construct Validity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Archenholtz Brigitha

    2003-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Quality of Life Scale (QOLS, developed originally by John Flanagan in the 1970's, has been adapted for use in chronic illness groups. Evidence for reliability and validity has been published over the years for both English and translations. This paper presents further evidence of construct validity for persons with chronic conditions as well as across two languages, and gender. Methods A sample of 1241 chronically ill and healthy adults from American and Swedish databases was used to generate factor analyses for both the 15-item original QOLS and the 16-item chronic illness adaptation. Results Analysis of the data suggested that the QOLS has three factors in the healthy sample and across chronic conditions, two languages and gender. Factors that could be labeled (1 Relationships and Material Well-Being, (2 Health and Functioning, and (3 Personal, Social and Community Commitment were identified. Conclusions The QOLS is a valid instrument for measuring domains of quality of life across diverse patient groups.

  9. Lifestyle influences human sperm functional quality

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mnica Ferreira; Joana Vieira Silva; Vladimiro Silva; Antnio Barros; Margarida Fardilha

    2012-01-01

    Objective:To investigate the impact of acute lifestyle changes on human sperm functional quality.Methods:In the academic festivities week, young and apparently healthy male students who voluntarily submit themselves to acute lifestyle alterations(among the potentially important variations are increase in alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco consumption and circadian rhythm shifts) were used as a model system.Sperm samples were obtained before and after the academic week and compared by traditional semen analysis(n=54) and also tested for cleavedPolyADP-ribose polymerase(PARP) protein, an apoptotic marker(n=35).Results:Acute lifestyle changes that occurred during the academic week festivities(the study model) resulted both in a significant reduction in sperm quality, assessed by basic semen analysis(decrease in sperm concentration, total number of spermatozoa, progressive and non-progressive motility and increase in sperm morphological abnormalities) and by an increase in the expression of the apoptotic marker, cleavedPARP, in the ejaculate.Conclusions:Acute lifestyle changes have clear deleterious effects on sperm quality.We propose cleavedPARP as a novel molecular marker, valuable for assessing spermquality in parallel with the basic semen analysis method.

  10. Evidence for Cardiomyocyte Renewal in Humans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bergmann, O; Bhardwaj, R D; Bernard, S; Zdunek, S; Barnabe-Heider, F; Walsh, S; Zupicich, J; Alkass, K; Buchholz, B A; Druid, H; Jovinge, S; Frisen, J

    2008-10-14

    It has been difficult to establish whether we are limited to the heart muscle cells we are born with or if cardiomyocytes are generated also later in life. We have taken advantage of the integration of {sup 14}C, generated by nuclear bomb tests during the Cold War, into DNA to establish the age of cardiomyocytes in humans. We report that cardiomyocytes renew, with a gradual decrease from 1% turning over annually at the age of 20 to 0.3% at the age of 75. Less than 50% of cardiomyocytes are exchanged during a normal lifespan. The capacity to generate cardiomyocytes in the adult human heart suggests that it may be rational to work towards the development of therapeutic strategies aiming to stimulate this process in cardiac pathologies.

  11. Quality-adjusted Human Capital and Productivity Growth

    OpenAIRE

    Md. Rabiul Islam

    2010-01-01

    Both the quality and quantity of human capital are important for growth. Although the quality aspects of human capital may have greater potential in explaining growth, given that the quantity effects of human capital have been found to be ambiguous, they have long been ignored in empirical growth literature. This paper empirically tests the joint effects of both the quantity and quality of human capital in stimulating productivity growth for a panel of 89 countries over the period 1970-2007. ...

  12. Top 10 Lines of Evidence for Human Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nickels, Martin

    2001-01-01

    Provides 10 lines of evidence that support the theory of human evolution. The evidence relates to hierarchical taxonomic classification, comparative anatomy, comparative embryology and development, comparative biochemistry, adaptive compromises, vestigial structures, biogeography, the fossil sequence, ecological coherence of fossil assemblages,…

  13. Evidence of inbreeding depression on human height.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth McQuillan

    Full Text Available Stature is a classical and highly heritable complex trait, with 80%-90% of variation explained by genetic factors. In recent years, genome-wide association studies (GWAS have successfully identified many common additive variants influencing human height; however, little attention has been given to the potential role of recessive genetic effects. Here, we investigated genome-wide recessive effects by an analysis of inbreeding depression on adult height in over 35,000 people from 21 different population samples. We found a highly significant inverse association between height and genome-wide homozygosity, equivalent to a height reduction of up to 3 cm in the offspring of first cousins compared with the offspring of unrelated individuals, an effect which remained after controlling for the effects of socio-economic status, an important confounder (χ(2 = 83.89, df = 1; p = 5.2 × 10(-20. There was, however, a high degree of heterogeneity among populations: whereas the direction of the effect was consistent across most population samples, the effect size differed significantly among populations. It is likely that this reflects true biological heterogeneity: whether or not an effect can be observed will depend on both the variance in homozygosity in the population and the chance inheritance of individual recessive genotypes. These results predict that multiple, rare, recessive variants influence human height. Although this exploratory work focuses on height alone, the methodology developed is generally applicable to heritable quantitative traits (QT, paving the way for an investigation into inbreeding effects, and therefore genetic architecture, on a range of QT of biomedical importance.

  14. Does a "Level I Evidence" rating imply high quality of reporting in orthopaedic randomised controlled trials?

    OpenAIRE

    Sierevelt Inger N; Krips Rover; Struijs Peter AA; Poolman Rudolf W; Lutz Kristina H; Bhandari Mohit

    2006-01-01

    Abstract Background The Levels of Evidence Rating System is widely believed to categorize studies by quality, with Level I studies representing the highest quality evidence. We aimed to determine the reporting quality of Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) published in the most frequently cited general orthopaedic journals. Methods Two assessors identified orthopaedic journals that reported a level of evidence rating in their abstracts from January 2003 to December 2004 by searching the instr...

  15. Improving data retrieval quality: Evidence based medicine perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamalov, M; Dobrynin, V; Balykina, J; Kolbin, A; Verbitskaya, E; Kasimova, M

    2015-01-01

    The actively developing approach in modern medicine is the approach focused on principles of evidence-based medicine. The assessment of quality and reliability of studies is needed. However, in some cases studies corresponding to the first level of evidence may contain errors in randomized control trials (RCTs). Solution of the problem is the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system. Studies both in the fields of medicine and information retrieval are conducted for developing search engines for the MEDLINE database [1]; combined techniques for summarization and information retrieval targeted to solving problems of finding the best medication based on the levels of evidence are being developed [2]. Based on the relevance and demand for studies both in the field of medicine and information retrieval, it was decided to start the development of a search engine for the MEDLINE database search on the basis of the Saint-Petersburg State University with the support of Pavlov First Saint-Petersburg State Medical University and Tashkent Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education. Novelty and value of the proposed system are characterized by the use of ranking method of relevant abstracts. It is suggested that the system will be able to perform ranking based on studies level of evidence and to apply GRADE criteria for system evaluation. The assigned task falls within the domain of information retrieval and machine learning. Based on the results of implementation from previous work [3], in which the main goal was to cluster abstracts from MEDLINE database by subtypes of medical interventions, a set of algorithms for clustering in this study was selected: K-means, K-means ++, EM from the sklearn (http://scikit-learn.org) and WEKA (http://www.cs.waikato.ac.nz/~ml/weka/) libraries, together with the methods of Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) [4] choosing the first 210 facts and the model "bag of words" [5] to represent clustered documents

  16. Offshoring and Patterns of Quality Growth: Evidence from Danish Apparel

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Smeets, Valerie Anne Rolande; Traiberman, Sharon; Warzynski, Frederic Michel Patrick

    of quality tightens up and import competition appears to spur entry of higher quality firms and exit of lower quality producers. The reduction in trade costs leads to a massive increase in offshoring. The association of offshoring and quality depends on the quality of the sourcing country – while offshoring...... is generally associated with higher quality, offshoring to China is not. The reductions in trade costs also lead to changes in the distribution of prices and quality-adjusted prices. This has implications for policy as understanding the distribution of prices faced by heterogeneous consumers is key......Recently a small empirical literature has taken off attempting to analyze the role that quality plays in our understanding of trade. In particular, the recent work of Khandelwal (2010) has brought the insights of structural IO models of demand to bear into trade data. Our work builds on this new...

  17. Higher prices, higher quality? Evidence from German nursing homes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herr, Annika; Hottenrott, Hanna

    2016-02-01

    This study investigates the relationship between prices and quality of 7400 German nursing homes. We use a cross section of public quality reports for all German nursing homes, which had been evaluated between 2010 and 2013 by external institutions. Our analysis is based on multivariate regressions in a two stage least squares framework, where we instrument prices to explain their effect on quality controlling for income, nursing home density, demographics, labour market characteristics, and infrastructure at the regional level. Descriptive analysis shows that prices and quality do not only vary across nursing homes, but also across counties and federal states and that quality and prices correlate positively. Second, the econometric analysis, which accounts for the endogenous relation between negotiated price and reported quality, shows that quality indeed positively depends on prices. In addition, more places in nursing homes per people in need are correlated with both lower prices and higher quality. Finally, unobserved factors at the federal state level capture some of the variation of reported quality across nursing homes. Our results suggest that higher prices increase quality. Furthermore, since reported quality and prices vary substantially across federal states, we conclude that the quality and prices of long-term care facilities may well be compared within federal states but not across. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Evidence of mirror neurons in human inferior frontal gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilner, James M; Neal, Alice; Weiskopf, Nikolaus; Friston, Karl J; Frith, Chris D

    2009-08-12

    There is much current debate about the existence of mirror neurons in humans. To identify mirror neurons in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) of humans, we used a repetition suppression paradigm while measuring neural activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Subjects either executed or observed a series of actions. Here we show that in the IFG, responses were suppressed both when an executed action was followed by the same rather than a different observed action and when an observed action was followed by the same rather than a different executed action. This pattern of responses is consistent with that predicted by mirror neurons and is evidence of mirror neurons in the human IFG.

  19. No evidence of a Neanderthal contribution to modern human diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Hodgson, Jason A.; Disotell, Todd R

    2008-01-01

    The relationship between Neanderthals and modern humans is contentious, but recent advances in Neanderthal genomics have shed new light on their evolutionary history. Here we review the available evidence and find no indication of any Neanderthal contribution to modern genetic diversity.

  20. Direct evidence of milk consumption from ancient human dental calculus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Warinner, C.; Hendy, J.; Speller, C.

    2014-01-01

    directly to individuals and their dairy livestock. Here we report the first direct evidence of milk consumption, the whey protein β-lactoglobulin (BLG), preserved in human dental calculus from the Bronze Age (ca. 3000 BCE) to the present day. Using protein tandem mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that BLG...

  1. Growing evidence for human health benefits of boron

    Science.gov (United States)

    Growing evidence from numerous laboratories using a variety of experimental models shows that boron is a bioactive beneficial, perhaps essential, element for humans. Reported beneficial actions of boron include arthritis alleviation or risk reduction; bone growth and maintenance; central nervous sys...

  2. Direct evidence of milk consumption from ancient human dental calculus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Warinner, C.; Hendy, J.; Speller, C.;

    2014-01-01

    is a species-specific biomarker of dairy consumption, and we identify individuals consuming cattle, sheep, and goat milk products in the archaeological record. We then apply this method to human dental calculus from Greenland's medieval Norse colonies, and report a decline of this biomarker leading up......Milk is a major food of global economic importance, and its consumption is regarded as a classic example of gene-culture evolution. Humans have exploited animal milk as a food resource for at least 8500 years, but the origins, spread, and scale of dairying remain poorly understood. Indirect lines...... of evidence, such as lipid isotopic ratios of pottery residues, faunal mortality profiles, and lactase persistence allele frequencies, provide a partial picture of this process; however, in order to understand how, where, and when humans consumed milk products, it is necessary to link evidence of consumption...

  3. The Audit Committee Characteristics and Earnings Quality: Evidence from Jordan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allam Mohammed Mousa Hamdan

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the paper is to investigate the relationship between audit committee characteristics and earnings management. Samples in the study included 50 industrial companies listed on the Amman Stock Exchange ASE. Two models were used to measure earnings quality: one which depends on earnings continuity as an indication of quality, and one which depends on the decrease of discretionary accruals of quality, using pooled data regression for the two tests (Ordinary Least Squares OLS and Binary Logit. The study found that there was an influence of some standard characteristics of the audit committee on earnings quality.

  4. Managing service quality: Human resource management strategies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    K. K. Govender

    2000-01-01

    .... Furthermore, the mediated effects of these socialization tactics on the bank customers perception of the service quality was also ascertained by matching a random sample of 210 bank employees with 1050 customers...

  5. HUMAN CAPITAL GROWTH AND POVERTY: EVIDENCE FROM ETHIOPIA AND PERU.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attanasio, Orazio; Meghir, Costas; Nix, Emily; Salvati, Francesca

    2017-04-01

    In this paper we use high quality data from two developing countries, Ethiopia and Peru, to estimate the production functions of human capital from age 1 to age 15. We characterize the nature of persistence and dynamic complementarities between two components of human capital: health and cognition. We also explore the implications of different functional form assumptions for the production functions. We find that more able and higher income parents invest more, particularly at younger ages when investments have the greatest impacts. These differences in investments by parental income lead to large gaps in inequality by age 8 that persist through age 15.

  6. Bank service quality in private sector: Evidence from Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niloufar Asgarian

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Service quality plays an important role in service industries such as banks, insurance firms, etc. The purpose of this paper is to investigate level of service quality in private banking industry in Iran. The proposed model of this paper uses SERVQUAL tool for measuring service quality and population of this study includes customers of three private banks in Tehran. Results show that except efficiency, other variables of SERVQUAL obtained suitable level mean in this study. As a result, with the development of electronic commerce, internet banking has become an alternative for developing, operating and offering bank services.

  7. The earliest evidence for anatomically modern humans in northwestern Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higham, Tom; Compton, Tim; Stringer, Chris; Jacobi, Roger; Shapiro, Beth; Trinkaus, Erik; Chandler, Barry; Gröning, Flora; Collins, Chris; Hillson, Simon; O'Higgins, Paul; FitzGerald, Charles; Fagan, Michael

    2011-11-02

    The earliest anatomically modern humans in Europe are thought to have appeared around 43,000-42,000 calendar years before present (43-42 kyr cal BP), by association with Aurignacian sites and lithic assemblages assumed to have been made by modern humans rather than by Neanderthals. However, the actual physical evidence for modern humans is extremely rare, and direct dates reach no farther back than about 41-39 kyr cal BP, leaving a gap. Here we show, using stratigraphic, chronological and archaeological data, that a fragment of human maxilla from the Kent's Cavern site, UK, dates to the earlier period. The maxilla (KC4), which was excavated in 1927, was initially diagnosed as Upper Palaeolithic modern human. In 1989, it was directly radiocarbon dated by accelerator mass spectrometry to 36.4-34.7 kyr cal BP. Using a Bayesian analysis of new ultrafiltered bone collagen dates in an ordered stratigraphic sequence at the site, we show that this date is a considerable underestimate. Instead, KC4 dates to 44.2-41.5 kyr cal BP. This makes it older than any other equivalently dated modern human specimen and directly contemporary with the latest European Neanderthals, thus making its taxonomic attribution crucial. We also show that in 13 dental traits KC4 possesses modern human rather than Neanderthal characteristics; three other traits show Neanderthal affinities and a further seven are ambiguous. KC4 therefore represents the oldest known anatomically modern human fossil in northwestern Europe, fills a key gap between the earliest dated Aurignacian remains and the earliest human skeletal remains, and demonstrates the wide and rapid dispersal of early modern humans across Europe more than 40 kyr ago. ©2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved

  8. Quality of life assessment in domestic dogs: An evidence-based rapid review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belshaw, Z; Asher, L; Harvey, N D; Dean, R S

    2015-11-01

    Assessment of quality of life (QoL) is an important, increasingly popular outcome measure in veterinary research and practice, particularly in dogs. In humans, QoL is commonly assessed by self-reporting and since this is not possible for animals, it is crucial that instruments designed to measure QoL are tested for reliability and validity. Using a systematic, replicable literature search strategy, the aim of this study was to find published, peer-reviewed instruments for QoL assessment in dogs and to assess the quality of these. CAB Abstracts and PubMed were searched in July 2013 using terms relevant to dogs, wellbeing and QoL. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied. When instruments were not published in full, authors were contacted to obtain them. Criteria were applied to assess the quality, validity and reliability of the 52 instruments obtained. Twenty-seven additional instruments used in peer-reviewed publications were not included because they had not been fully described in the publication or were not provided by authors upon request. Most of the instruments reviewed (48/52) were disease-specific rather than generic. Only four publications provided a definition of QoL or wellbeing. Only 11/52 instruments demonstrated evidence of assessing reliability or validity, and the quality of these instruments was variable. Many novel, unvalidated instruments have been generated and applied as clinical outcomes before it was known whether they measured QoL. This rapid review can be used to identify currently available and validated canine QoL instruments, and to assess the validity and quality of new or existing instruments.

  9. Evidence for two types of brown adipose tissue in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lidell, Martin E; Betz, Matthias J; Dahlqvist Leinhard, Olof; Heglind, Mikael; Elander, Louise; Slawik, Marc; Mussack, Thomas; Nilsson, Daniel; Romu, Thobias; Nuutila, Pirjo; Virtanen, Kirsi A; Beuschlein, Felix; Persson, Anders; Borga, Magnus; Enerbäck, Sven

    2013-05-01

    The previously observed supraclavicular depot of brown adipose tissue (BAT) in adult humans was commonly believed to be the equivalent of the interscapular thermogenic organ of small mammals. This view was recently disputed on the basis of the demonstration that this depot consists of beige (also called brite) brown adipocytes, a newly identified type of brown adipocyte that is distinct from the classical brown adipocytes that make up the interscapular thermogenic organs of other mammals. A combination of high-resolution imaging techniques and histological and biochemical analyses showed evidence for an anatomically distinguishable interscapular BAT (iBAT) depot in human infants that consists of classical brown adipocytes, a cell type that has so far not been shown to exist in humans. On the basis of these findings, we conclude that infants, similarly to rodents, have the bona fide iBAT thermogenic organ consisting of classical brown adipocytes that is essential for the survival of small mammals in a cold environment.

  10. Impact of quality of evidence on the strength of recommendations: an empirical study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trikalinos Thomas A

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Evidence is necessary but not sufficient for decision-making, such as making recommendations by clinical practice guideline panels. However, the fundamental premise of evidence-based medicine (EBM rests on the assumed link between the quality of evidence and "truth" and/or correctness in making guideline recommendations. If this assumption is accurate, then the quality of evidence ought to play a key role in making guideline recommendations. Surprisingly, and despite the widespread penetration of EBM in health care, there has been no empirical research to date investigating the impact of quality of evidence on the strength of recommendations made by guidelines panels. Methods The American Association of Blood Banking (AABB has recently convened a 12 member panel to develop clinical practice guidelines (CPG for the use of fresh-frozen plasma (FFP for 6 different clinical indications. The panel was instructed that 4 factors should play a role in making recommendation: quality of evidence, uncertainty about the balance between desirable (benefits and undesirable effects (harms, uncertainty or variability in values and preferences, and uncertainty about whether the intervention represents a wise use of resources (costs. Each member of the panel was asked to make his/her final judgments on the strength of recommendation and the overall quality of the body of evidence. "Voting" was anonymous and was based on the use of GRADE (Grading quality of evidence and strength of recommendations system, which clearly distinguishes between quality of evidence and strength of recommendations. Results Despite the fact that many factors play role in formulating CPG recommendations, we show that when the quality of evidence is higher, the probability of making a strong recommendation for or against an intervention dramatically increases. Probability of making strong recommendation was 62% when evidence is "moderate", while it was only 23% and 13

  11. Managing service quality: Human resource management strategies

    OpenAIRE

    K. K. Govender

    2000-01-01

    This article reports the results of an empirical evaluation of a conceptual service encounter management model (Govender, 1999). The various hypotheses proposed to show a relationship between formal and informal socialisation strategies, and the bank employees' perception of the organisational climate and their role are empirically evaluated. Furthermore, the mediated effects of these socialization tactics on the bank customers perception of the service quality was also ascertained by matchin...

  12. Quality Disclosure in Sustainability Reporting: Evidence From Universities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto ROMOLINI

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Attention towards sustainability reporting is very high with reference to higher education. The paper aims to assess the maturity level of sus-tainability reporting and to measure its quality by evaluating the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI indicators currently disclosed. The research was carried out using the inductive method. We de-limited the study to universities and we evaluated the quality of sustainability reporting by analyzing the indicators disclosed in 2012 reports accord-ing to GRI guidelines. The research gives an overview of sustainability reporting in universities by evaluating the quality level of their disclosure. The results confrm previous research by high-lighting the necessity to improve sustainability reporting. Moreover, the results show there are differences between universities that are con-nected to the peculiarities of each country. They also enable us to draw up an initial classifcation of universities. The paper provides one of the frst in-depth studies of sustainability reporting quality for universities included in the GRI database.

  13. Feedback Effects of Teaching Quality Assessment: Macro and Micro Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchini, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates the feedback effects of teaching quality assessment. Previous literature looked separately at the evolution of individual and aggregate scores to understand whether instructors and university performance depends on its past evaluation. I propose a new quantitative-based methodology, combining statistical distributions and…

  14. Improving Service Quality by Using Organizational Citizenship Behavior: Iranian Evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nour-Mohammad Yaghoubi

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays, with increasing service industries, service marketing and service quality have become an important challenge to organizations. The attempts of organizations in this situation are witnesses to this matter. In the past years, the organizations tried to reach service quality appropriation and satisfaction of self-external customers by concepts and approaches of external marketing. One of the important features of service is the direct interaction with customers and having customer-oriented behaviors. Furthermore, with introducing the internal marketing and the important roles of it, an internal customer of organizations, on achievement of organizational plans, was noted to internal marketing more and more than before. So, the study researchers are going to argue about internal marketing and the effect of it on organizational citizenship behaviors and service quality and the important role of it on development and improvement of service quality by using organizational citizenship behaviors. For this purpose, first the researchers have studied internal marketing and its important components and then have done the same to the other items and finally have applied a quantitative study on all of them. It should be mentioned that the researchers have employed SPSS 17.0 and Lisrel 8.54 for data analysis. The findings of the present study illustrated that there is an appropriate interaction among all the items, which has been studied here and the structural equations for the conceptual framework of this study are goodness of fit.

  15. The Quality of the Evidence: Qualitative Research in Trauma Psychology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Mattar

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The efficacy of evidence-based practices with underprivileged groups and non-Western cultures has been a subject of controversy in the trauma psychology and disaster mental health literature. There has been a debate as to whether evidence based assessments and interventions work equally well for diverse populations. Resolving this controversy has been difficult in part because of the methodological challenges involved in the study of cultural mediation of psychological phenomena. The authors argue that adding qualitative research to the evidence base supporting trauma treatments, as a matter of standard practice, can fill this need. Qualitative research can provide a rigorous research basis for the identification of cultural factors to be accounted for in quantitative outcome studies, as well as a rigorous means of understanding the real-world meaning of quantitative outcome findings. This would address Evidence-based practices (EBP advocates’ concerns about the unscientific nature of the multicultural literature’s critique, and multiculturalism advocate’s concerns about the lack of contextualism in EBP outcome studies of trauma treatments.

  16. The Importance of Human Resources in European Quality Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristian-Ştefan Craciun

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available On European level, the involved human resources have an important role in ensuring a high competitiveness of some organizations. The quality management is a field with a spectacular rising, due to the beneficial effect on the organizations. Therefore, being familiar with the typology and the specialists’ role in this field is very relevant for the research of the human resources importance on improving the organizations activities. The human resources involved in this process are mainly the consultants in quality management, whose skills and abilities objectively determine the performance growth of organizations having called for their support.

  17. Evidence for a bimodal distribution in human communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Ye; Zhou, Changsong; Xiao, Jinghua; Kurths, Jürgen; Schellnhuber, Hans Joachim

    2010-11-02

    Interacting human activities underlie the patterns of many social, technological, and economic phenomena. Here we present clear empirical evidence from Short Message correspondence that observed human actions are the result of the interplay of three basic ingredients: Poisson initiation of tasks and decision making for task execution in individual humans as well as interaction among individuals. This interplay leads to new types of interevent time distribution, neither completely Poisson nor power-law, but a bimodal combination of them. We show that the events can be separated into independent bursts which are generated by frequent mutual interactions in short times following random initiations of communications in longer times by the individuals. We introduce a minimal model of two interacting priority queues incorporating the three basic ingredients which fits well the distributions using the parameters extracted from the empirical data. The model can also embrace a range of realistic social interacting systems such as e-mail and letter communications when taking the time scale of processing into account. Our findings provide insight into various human activities both at the individual and network level. Our analysis and modeling of bimodal activity in human communication from the viewpoint of the interplay between processes of different time scales is likely to shed light on bimodal phenomena in other complex systems, such as interevent times in earthquakes, rainfall, forest fire, and economic systems, etc.

  18. Evidence for widespread convergent evolution around human microsatellites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward J Vowles

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available Microsatellites are a major component of the human genome, and their evolution has been much studied. However, the evolution of microsatellite flanking sequences has received less attention, with reports of both high and low mutation rates and of a tendency for microsatellites to cluster. From the human genome we generated a database of many thousands of (AC(n flanking sequences within which we searched for common characteristics. Sequences flanking microsatellites of similar length show remarkable levels of convergent evolution, indicating shared mutational biases. These biases extend 25-50 bases either side of the microsatellite and may therefore affect more than 30% of the entire genome. To explore the extent and absolute strength of these effects, we quantified the observed convergence. We also compared homologous human and chimpanzee loci to look for evidence of changes in mutation rate around microsatellites. Most models of DNA sequence evolution assume that mutations are independent and occur randomly. Allowances may be made for sites mutating at different rates and for general mutation biases such as the faster rate of transitions over transversions. Our analysis suggests that these models may be inadequate, in that proximity to even very short microsatellites may alter the rate and distribution of mutations that occur. The elevated local mutation rate combined with sequence convergence, both of which we find evidence for, also provide a possible resolution for the apparently contradictory inferences of mutation rates in microsatellite flanking sequences.

  19. Serologic evidence for human hantavirus infection in Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo Oré, Roger M; Forshey, Brett M; Huaman, Alfredo; Villaran, Manuel V; Long, Kanya C; Kochel, Tadeusz J; Guevara, Carolina; Montgomery, Joel M; Alvarez, Carlos A; Vilcarromero, Stalin; Morrison, Amy C; Halsey, Eric S

    2012-08-01

    While human illness associated with hantavirus infection has been documented in many countries of South America, evidence for hantavirus transmission in Peru has been limited to the isolation of Rio Mamore virus from a pigmy mouse rat (Oligoryzomys microtis) in the Amazon city of Iquitos. To address the possibility of human hantavirus exposure in the region, we screened febrile patients reporting to health clinics in Iquitos from 2007 to 2010 for serological evidence of recent hantavirus infection. In addition, we conducted a serological survey for hantavirus-reactive IgG among healthy participants residing in Iquitos and rural areas surrounding the city. Through the febrile surveillance study, we identified 15 participants (0.3%; 15/5174) with IgM reactive to hantavirus (Andes virus) antigen, all with relatively mild, self-limited illness. From the cross-sectional serosurvey we found that 1.7% (36/2063) of residents of the Iquitos area had serum IgG reactive to one or more hantaviruses, with a higher prevalence in the urban population (2.2%, compared to 1.1% in rural areas). These results suggest that human infection with hantavirus has occurred in Peru.

  20. Organic Fertilisation, Soil Quality and Human Health

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Chapters: 1) Convergence or divide in the movement for sustainable and just agriculture. 2) No-till agriculture in the USA. 3) Organic fertilizers in sub-Saharan farming systems. 4) Biofuel Production Byproducts as Soil Amendments. 5) Pseudomonas and microbes for disease-suppressive soils. 6) Conservation Tillage Impact on Soil Aggregation, Organic Matter Turnover and Biodiversity. 7) Sustainable agricultural NP turnover in the 27 European countries. 8) Tomato production for human health, not...

  1. Effect of Total Quality Management on the Quality and Productivity of Human Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siregar, I.; Nasution, A. A.; Sari, R. M.

    2017-03-01

    Human resources is the main factor in improving company performance not only in industrial products but also services. Therefore, all of the organization performers involved must work together to achieve product quality services expected by consumers. Educational institutions are the service industries which are educators and instructor involved in it. Quality of product and services produced depends on the education organization performers. This study did a survey of instructors in public and private universities in North Sumatra to obtain the factors that affect quality of human resources and productivity of human resources. Human resources quality is viewed by the elements of TQM. TQM elements that are discussed in this study are leadership, communication, training and education, support structure, measurement and reward and recognition. The results of this study showed a correlation numbers across the exogenous variables on endogenous variables relationships tend to be strong and be positive. In addition, elements of TQM are discussed except the support structure which has a direct influence on the quality of human resources. Variable leadership, reward and recognition and quality of human resources have a significant effect on productivity.

  2. Accounting quality and the adoption of IASB standards: portuguese evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Isabel Morais

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Through rule 1606/2002 by the European Commission, Portuguese listed firms were required to adopt IASB standards in the preparation and presentation of consolidated accounts for the periods beginning on or after 2005. IASB standards are developed in environments where accounting practices are especially directed at the private sector, reporting rules are largely unaffected by taxation requirements and capital is traditionally raised in public markets. However, in Portugal, financial reporting is closely related to tax reporting and banks play a key role in providing finance and inside access to information. We investigate whether adopting IASB standards is associated with higher earnings quality and higher value relevance. We compare the earnings quality and value relevance of accounting data of 34 Portuguese listed firms before (1995-2004 and after (2004-2005 the adoption of IASB standards. We find that firms, during the period when they adopt IASB standards, report less smooth earnings than those firms in periods when they adopted national accounting standards, which seems to suggest an improvement in earnings quality. However, we also find that the value relevance of accounting information decreases with the adoption of IASB standards.

  3. An evidence-based approach to organization evaluation and change in human service organizations evaluation and program planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schalock, Robert L; Lee, Tim; Verdugo, Miguel; Swart, Kees; Claes, Claudia; van Loon, Jos; Lee, Chun-Shin

    2014-08-01

    The work described in this article focuses primarily on how human service organizations can use an evidence-based, self-assessment approach to organization evaluation to facilitate continuous quality improvement and organization change. Real-life examples are presented, strengths and challenges discussed, and future conceptual and measurement issues identified.

  4. Managing service quality: Human resource management strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. K. Govender

    2000-06-01

    Full Text Available This article reports the results of an empirical evaluation of a conceptual service encounter management model (Govender, 1999. The various hypotheses proposed to show a relationship between formal and informal socialisation strategies, and the bank employees' perception of the organisational climate and their role are empirically evaluated. Furthermore, the mediated effects of these socialization tactics on the bank customers perception of the service quality was also ascertained by matching a random sample of 210 bank employees with 1050 customers. Opsomming Hierdie artikel rapporteer die resultate van n empiriese evaluering van n konseptuele dienservaringsbestuursmodel (Govender, 1999. Verskeie hipoteses word voorgehou om n verband tussen formele en informele sosialise- ringstrategiee aan te toon, en die bankwerkers se persepsie van die organisatoriese klimaat en hulle rolle word empirics geevalueer.Verder word die modererende effek van hierdie sosialiseringstrategie op die bankkliente se persepsie van dienskwaliteit bepaal deur 'n ewekansige steekproefvan 210 bankwerkers met 1050 kliente af te paar.

  5. Specialised structural descriptions for human body parts: Evidence from autotopagnosia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buxbaum, L J; Coslett, H B

    2001-06-01

    Previous accounts of autotopagnosia (e.g., Ogden, 1985; Pick, 1908; Semenza, 1988) propose that the disorder is attributable to deficits in "mental images," visual body schema, or semantic representations. A recent account (Sirigu, Grafman, Bressler, & Sunderland, 1991b) posits deficits in visual structural descriptions of the human body and its parts, in the context of spared semantic and proprioceptivespatio-motor body representations, but provides no evidence bearing on the nature or format of the putatively damaged representation. We report data from a man with autotopagnosia consequent to lefthemisphere brain damage which bear directly on the nature of the representation impaired in the disorder. The subject, GL, is unable to localise body parts on himself or others, whether cued by verbal or visual input. In contrast, he uses body parts precisely in reaching and grasping tasks, correctly matches items of clothing to body parts, and localises the parts of animals and man-made objects without error. We also demonstrate that GL is unable to match pictured or real human body parts across shifts in orientation or changes in visual appearance, but can perform analogous matching tasks with animal body parts and man-made object parts. The data extend the account of Sirigu et al. (1991b) in suggesting that human body part localisation depends upon structural descriptions of human (but not animal) bodies that enable viewpoint-independent body part recognition and participate in the calculation of equivalence between the body parts of self and others across transformations in orientation.

  6. Audit quality and the audit partner effect : Evidence from European listed companies

    OpenAIRE

    Buuren, van, R.

    2009-01-01

    The main objective of this study is to provide evidence on the differences in audit quality amongst audit partners. I attribute these dissimilarities to (i) differences in the audit risk perception and the risk appetite of individual audit partners and (ii) to differences in the personal business case of audit partners. As a result, three audit partner archetypes have been identified: liberal, high quality and conservative. This paper will provide evidence that 50% of the audit partners (53% ...

  7. Managerial ability and earnings quality: Evidence from Tehran Stock Exchange

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamid Salehi

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Auditor independence is associated with the independence of the internal/external auditor from various parties who may have some financial interest in the business being audited. Many countries have set up different rules forcing firms to change their auditors every few years. This helps business retain healthy business. This paper presents an empirical investigation to study the effect of change in auditing system on 90 selected firms from Tehran Stock Exchange over the period 2007-2011. Using a regression model developed earlier by Demerjian et al. (2012a [Demerjian, P. R., Lev, B., Lewis, M. F., & McVay, S. E. (2012a. Managerial ability and earnings quality. The Accounting Review, 88(2, 463-498.], the study determines a positive impact of change in auditor system on business development.

  8. THE EVIDENCE OF THE MAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF COW MILK IN FUNCTION OF QUALITY CLASS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VIOARA MIREŞAN

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The main objective of the researchers was the evidence of phisico-chemical parameters of milk and the classification of it in classes. The quality parameters are given by the number of total germs count (TGC and number of somatic cells (NSC. These conditions of milk quality should be a guide for every farmer in order to assess the exploitation economicity.

  9. Evidence for Alpha Receptors in the Human Ureter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madeb, Ralph; Knopf, Joy; Golijanin, Dragan; Bourne, Patricia; Erturk, Erdal

    2007-04-01

    An immunohistochemical and western blot expression analysis of human ureters was performed in order to characterize the alpha-1-adrenergic receptor distribution along the length of the human ureteral wall. Mapping the distribution will assist in understanding the potential role alpha -1-adrenergic receptors and their subtype density might have in the pathophysiology of ureteral colic and stone passage. Patients diagnosed with renal cancer or bladder cancer undergoing nephrectomy, nephroureterectomy, or cystectomy had ureteral specimens taken from the proximal, mid, distal and tunneled ureter. Tissues were processed for fresh frozen examination and fixed in formalin. None of the ureteral specimens were involved with cancer. Serial histologic sections and immunohistochemical studies were performed using antibodies specific for alpha-1-adrenergic receptor subtypes (alpha 1a, alpha 1b, alpha 1d). The sections were examined under a light microscope and scored as positive or negative. In order to validate and quantify the alpha receptor subtypes along the human ureter. Western blotting techniques were applied. Human ureter stained positively for alpha -1-adrenergic receptors. Immunostaining appeared red, with intense reaction in the smooth muscle of the ureter and endothelium of the neighboring blood vessels. There was differential expression between all the receptors with the highest staining for alpha-1D subtype. The highest protein expression for all three subtypes was in the renal pelvis and decreased with advancement along the ureter to the distal ureter. At the distal ureter, there was marked increase in expression as one progressed towards the ureteral orifice. The same pattern of protein expression was exhibited for all three alpha -1-adrenergic receptor subtypes. We provide preliminary evidence for the ability to detect and quantify the alpha-1-receptor subtypes along the human ureter which to the best of our knowledge has never been done with

  10. Low quality evidence of epidemiological observational studies on leishmaniasis in Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Trentini

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Brazil has implemented systematic control methods for leishmaniasis for the past 30 years, despite an increase in cases and continued spread of the disease to new regions. A lack high quality evidence from epidemiological observational studies impedes the development of novel control methods to prevent disease transmission among the population. Here, we have evaluated the quality of observational studies on leishmaniasis conducted in Brazil to highlight this issue. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: For this systematic review, all publications on leishmaniasis conducted in Brazil from January 1st, 2002 to December 31st, 2012 were screened via Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA checklist to select observational studies involving human subjects. The 283 included studies, representing only 14.1% of articles screened, were then further evaluated for quality of epidemiological methods and study design based on the STROBE (Strengthening the Reporting of Observational studies in Epidemiology checklists. Over half of these studies were descriptive or case reports (53.4%, 151, followed by cross-sectional (20.8%, n = 59, case-control (8.5%, n = 24, and cohort (6.0%, n = 17. Study design was not stated in 46.6% (n = 181 and incorrectly stated in 17.5% (n = 24. Comparison groups were utilized in just 39.6% (n = 112 of the publications, and only 13.4% (n = 38 employed healthy controls. Majority of studies were performed at the city-level (62.9%, n = 178, in contrast with two (0.7% studies performed at the national-level. Coauthorship networks showed the number of author collaborations rapidly decreased after three collaborations, with 70.9% (n = 659/929 of coauthors publishing only one article during the study period. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: A review of epidemiological research in Brazil revealed a major lack of quality and evidence. While certain indicators suggested research methods may have improved in the

  11. CEO origin, CEO tenure, and earnings quality: empirical evidence from Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nurmayanti M Poppy

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This study examines whether CEO origin and tenure affect earnings quality. Using firms listed in the Indonesia Stock Exchange between 2012 and 2014, we provide evidence that firms with insider CEOs report earnings of higher quality relative to those with outsider CEOs. We further show that as CEO tenure increases and CEOs obtain more experience, the effect of CEO origin on earnings quality becomes less significant.

  12. Measuring quality of life in Macedonia - using human development indicators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitar Eftimoski

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available By the end of the 1980s, the central issue of development was focused on the growth of income and not on the growth of quality of life. Therefore, the development strategies were oriented towards production and left no significant space for improving the welfare of individuals.In the beginning of the 1990s, the human development concept emerged, stressing that economic development ultimately should result in growth of quality of life of individuals, while the goal of the development process was to expand the capabilities of individuals by placing them in the focus of the efforts for development.This paper if focused on the quality of life of the individuals. Moreover, in addition to the previous practice in Macedonia of calculating the human development index (HDI - as a measure of quality of life, an attempt will be made to calculate the humanpoverty index (HPI-2 - as a measure of non-income poverty, gender development index (GDI - as a measure of inequality between men and women, as well as the human development index at the level of aggregated urban and rural municipalities.We hope that it will contribute to the improvement of the quality of decisions made by the state and local authorities in Macedonia when it comes to issues concerning the human development.

  13. Human factors systems approach to healthcare quality and patient safety

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carayon, Pascale; Wetterneck, Tosha B.; Rivera-Rodriguez, A. Joy; Hundt, Ann Schoofs; Hoonakker, Peter; Holden, Richard; Gurses, Ayse P.

    2013-01-01

    Human factors systems approaches are critical for improving healthcare quality and patient safety. The SEIPS (Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety) model of work system and patient safety is a human factors systems approach that has been successfully applied in healthcare research and practice. Several research and practical applications of the SEIPS model are described. Important implications of the SEIPS model for healthcare system and process redesign are highlighted. Principles for redesigning healthcare systems using the SEIPS model are described. Balancing the work system and encouraging the active and adaptive role of workers are key principles for improving healthcare quality and patient safety. PMID:23845724

  14. Does a "Level I Evidence" rating imply high quality of reporting in orthopaedic randomised controlled trials?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sierevelt Inger N

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Levels of Evidence Rating System is widely believed to categorize studies by quality, with Level I studies representing the highest quality evidence. We aimed to determine the reporting quality of Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs published in the most frequently cited general orthopaedic journals. Methods Two assessors identified orthopaedic journals that reported a level of evidence rating in their abstracts from January 2003 to December 2004 by searching the instructions for authors of the highest impact general orthopaedic journals. Based upon a priori eligibility criteria, two assessors hand searched all issues of the eligible journal from 2003–2004 for RCTs. The assessors extracted the demographic information and the evidence rating from each included RCT and scored the quality of reporting using the reporting quality assessment tool, which was developed by the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group. Scores were conducted in duplicate, and we reached a consensus for any disagreements. We examined the correlation between the level of evidence rating and the Cochrane reporting quality score. Results We found that only the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery – American Volume (JBJS-A used a level of evidence rating from 2003 to 2004. We identified 938 publications in the JBJS-A from January 2003 to December 2004. Of these publications, 32 (3.4% were RCTs that fit the inclusion criteria. The 32 RCTs included a total of 3543 patients, with sample sizes ranging from 17 to 514 patients. Despite being labelled as the highest level of evidence (Level 1 and Level II evidence, these studies had low Cochrane reporting quality scores among individual methodological safeguards. The Cochrane reporting quality scores did not differ significantly between Level I and Level II studies. Correlations varied from 0.0 to 0.2 across the 12 items of the Cochrane reporting quality assessment tool (p > 0.05. Among items closely

  15. Human DNA quantification and sample quality assessment: Developmental validation of the PowerQuant(®) system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, Margaret M; Thompson, Jonelle M; McLaren, Robert S; Purpero, Vincent M; Thomas, Kelli J; Dobrowski, Patricia A; DeGroot, Gretchen A; Romsos, Erica L; Storts, Douglas R

    2016-07-01

    Quantification of the total amount of human DNA isolated from a forensic evidence item is crucial for DNA normalization prior to short tandem repeat (STR) DNA analysis and a federal quality assurance standard requirement. Previous commercial quantification methods determine the total human DNA and total human male DNA concentrations, but provide limited information about the condition of the DNA sample. The PowerQuant(®) System includes targets for quantification of total human and total human male DNA as well as targets for evaluating whether the human DNA is degraded and/or PCR inhibitors are present in the sample. A developmental validation of the PowerQuant(®) System was completed, following SWGDAM Validation Guidelines, to evaluate the assay's specificity, sensitivity, precision and accuracy, as well as the ability to detect degraded DNA or PCR inhibitors. In addition to the total human DNA and total human male DNA concentrations in a sample, data from the degradation target and internal PCR control (IPC) provide a forensic DNA analyst meaningful information about the quality of the isolated human DNA and the presence of PCR inhibitors in the sample that can be used to determine the most effective workflow and assist downstream interpretation.

  16. The spectacular human nose: an amplifier of individual quality?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Åse Kristine Rognmo Mikalsen

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Amplifiers are signals that improve the perception of underlying differences in quality. They are cost free and advantageous to high quality individuals, but disadvantageous to low quality individuals, as poor quality is easier perceived because of the amplifier. For an amplifier to evolve, the average fitness benefit to the high quality individuals should be higher than the average cost for the low quality individuals. The human nose is, compared to the nose of most other primates, extraordinary large, fragile and easily broken—especially in male–male interactions. May it have evolved as an amplifier among high quality individuals, allowing easy assessment of individual quality and influencing the perception of attractiveness? We tested the latter by manipulating the position of the nose tip or, as a control, the mouth in facial pictures and had the pictures rated for attractiveness. Our results show that facial attractiveness failed to be influenced by mouth manipulations. Yet, facial attractiveness increased when the nose tip was artificially centered according to other facial features. Conversely, attractiveness decreased when the nose tip was displaced away from its central position. Our results suggest that our evaluation of attractiveness is clearly sensitive to the centering of the nose tip, possibly because it affects our perception of the face’s symmetry and/or averageness. However, whether such centering is related to individual quality remains unclear.

  17. Education on human rights and healthcare: evidence from Serbia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vranes, Aleksandra Jovic; Mikanovic, Vesna Bjegovic; Vukovic, Dejana; Djikanovic, Bosiljka; Babic, Momcilo

    2015-03-01

    Ensuring and enforcing human rights in patient care are important to promote health and to provide quality and appropriate healthcare services. Therefore, continued medical education (CME) is essential for healthcare professionals to utilize their sphere of influence to affect change in healthcare practice. A total of 123 participants attended three CME courses. Course topics covered: (i) the areas of human rights and healthcare, (ii) rights, obligations and responsibilities of healthcare professionals in relation to human rights and the rights of patients, (iii) healthcare of vulnerable groups and (iv) access to essential medical services. Evaluation of the CME courses involved two components: evaluation of participants' performance and the participants' evaluation of the teaching process. The participants were assessed at the beginning and end of each course. Each of the courses was evaluated by the participants through a questionnaire distributed at the end of each course. Descriptive statistics was used for data interpretation. Knowledge of the healthcare professionals improved at the end of all the three courses. The participants assessed several aspects of the courses, including the course topics, educational methods, the course methods, organization, duration and dynamics as well as the physical environment and the technical facilities of the course, and rated each very highly. Our results corroborate the importance and necessity of courses to heighten awareness of the state of current healthcare and human rights issues to increase the involvement of healthcare professionals both locally and globally. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Motivating medical information system performance by system quality, service quality, and job satisfaction for evidence-based practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background No previous studies have addressed the integrated relationships among system quality, service quality, job satisfaction, and system performance; this study attempts to bridge such a gap with evidence-based practice study. Methods The convenience sampling method was applied to the information system users of three hospitals in southern Taiwan. A total of 500 copies of questionnaires were distributed, and 283 returned copies were valid, suggesting a valid response rate of 56.6%. SPSS 17.0 and AMOS 17.0 (structural equation modeling) statistical software packages were used for data analysis and processing. Results The findings are as follows: System quality has a positive influence on service quality (γ11= 0.55), job satisfaction (γ21= 0.32), and system performance (γ31= 0.47). Service quality (β31= 0.38) and job satisfaction (β32= 0.46) will positively influence system performance. Conclusions It is thus recommended that the information office of hospitals and developers take enhancement of service quality and user satisfaction into consideration in addition to placing b on system quality and information quality when designing, developing, or purchasing an information system, in order to improve benefits and gain more achievements generated by hospital information systems. PMID:23171394

  19. Peaches Preceded Humans: Fossil Evidence from SW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Tao; Wilf, Peter; Huang, Yongjiang; Zhang, Shitao; Zhou, Zhekun

    2015-11-01

    Peach (Prunus persica, Rosaceae) is an extremely popular tree fruit worldwide, with an annual production near 20 million tons. Peach is widely thought to have origins in China, but its evolutionary history is largely unknown. The oldest evidence for the peach has been Chinese archaeological records dating to 8000-7000 BP. Here, we report eight fossil peach endocarps from late Pliocene strata of Kunming City, Yunnan, southwestern China. The fossils are identical to modern peach endocarps, including size comparable to smaller modern varieties, a single seed, a deep dorsal groove, and presence of deep pits and furrows. These fossils show that China has been a critical region for peach evolution since long before human presence, much less agriculture. Peaches evolved their modern morphology under natural selection, presumably involving large, frugivorous mammals such as primates. Much later, peach size and variety increased through domestication and breeding.

  20. Human Factors in Software Development Processes: Measuring System Quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abrahão, Silvia; Baldassarre, Maria Teresa; Caivano, Danilo

    2016-01-01

    Software Engineering and Human-Computer Interaction look at the development process from different perspectives. They apparently use very different approaches, are inspired by different principles and address different needs. But, they definitively have the same goal: develop high quality software...

  1. The Human Side of Quality: Employee Care and Empowerment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thor, Linda M.

    Frequently, educational institutions seeking to implement Total Quality Management (TQM) as a means to improve institutional effectiveness, overemphasize training in the application of TQM tools and fail to fully address human needs and concerns, such as the critical issue of employee empowerment. Four principal barriers exist to adequately…

  2. Water Quality Criteria for Human Health and Aquatic Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collaborative effort with the Office of Water to provide science in support of the development and implementation of new or revised ambient water quality criteria for microbial and chemical contaminants for human health and aquatic life. The research also addresses implementation...

  3. Water Quality Criteria for Human Health and Aquatic Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collaborative effort with the Office of Water to provide science in support of the development and implementation of new or revised ambient water quality criteria for microbial and chemical contaminants for human health and aquatic life. The research also addresses implementation...

  4. Serologic evidence of human metapneumovirus circulation in Uruguay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santiago Mirazo

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available First identified in 2001, the human metapneumovirus (hMPV, is a respiratory tract pathogen that affects young children, elderly, and immunocompromised patients. The present work represents the first serologic study carried out in Uruguay. It was performed with the purpose of obtaining serological evidence of hMPV circulation in Uruguay and to contribute to the few serologic reports described until now. Sixty nine serum samples collected between 1998 and 2001 by vein puncture from patients without respiratory symptoms or underlying pathology aged 6 days to 60 years were examined using an indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA. The global seropositivity rate of the samples was 80% (55/69. Rates of 60% (15/25 and 91% (40/44 were observed for the pediatric and adult cohorts, respectively. Results obtained from a longitudinal analysis of 6 children aged 6 days to 18 months are discussed. These results are a clear evidence of hMPV circulation in Uruguay, at least since 1998, and reinforce the previous data on worldwide circulation of this virus.

  5. Bap31 enhances the ER export and quality control of human class I MHC molecules

    OpenAIRE

    Ladasky, John J.; Boyle, Sarah; Seth, Malini; Li, Hewang; Pentcheva, Tsvetelina; ABE, FUMIYOSHI; Steinberg, Steven J.; Edidin, Michael

    2006-01-01

    The assembly of class I MHC molecules and their export from the endoplasmic reticulum is governed by chaperones and accessory proteins. We present evidence that the putative cargo receptor protein Bap31 participates in the transport and the quality control of human class I molecules. Transfection of the human adenocarcinoma cell line HeLa with YFP-Bap31 chimeras increased surface levels of class I in a dose-dependent manner, by as much as 3.7-fold. The increase in surface class I resulted fro...

  6. Human endogenous retroviruses and cancer prevention: evidence and prospects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cegolon Luca

    2013-01-01

    as other tumors like sarcoma, lymphoma, bladder and breast cancer. An amino acid sequence similar to HERV-K-MEL, recognized to cause a significant protective effect against melanoma, is shared by the antigenic determinants expressed by some vaccines such as BCG, vaccinia virus and the yellow fever virus. HERV-K are also reactivated in the majority of human breast cancers. Monoclonal and single-chain antibodies against the HERV-K Env protein recently proved capable of blocking the proliferation of human breast cancer cells in vitro, inhibiting tumor growth in mice bearing xenograft tumors. Summary A recent epidemiological study provided provisional evidence of how melanoma risk could possibly be reduced if the yellow fever virus vaccine (YFV were received at least 10 years before, possibly preventing tumor initiation rather than culling melanoma cells already compromised. Further research is recommended to confirm the temporal pattern of this protection and eliminate/attenuate the potential role of relevant confounders as socio-economic status and other vaccinations. It appears also appropriate to examine the potential protective effect of YFV against other malignancies expressing high levels of HERV-K antigens, namely breast cancer, sarcoma, lymphoma and bladder cancer. Tumor immune-therapy, as described for the monoclonal antibodies against breast cancer, is indeed considered more complex and less advantageous than immune-prevention. Cellular immunity possibly triggered by vaccines as for YFV might also be involved in anti-cancer response, in addition to humoral immunity.

  7. Visuospatial integration and human evolution: the fossil evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruner, Emiliano; Lozano, Marina; Lorenzo, Carlos

    2016-06-20

    Visuospatial integration concerns the ability to coordinate the inner and outer environments, namely the central nervous system and the outer spatial elements, through the interface of the body. This integration is essential for every basic human activity, from locomotion and grasping to speech or tooling. Visuospatial integration is even more fundamental when dealing with theories on extended mind, embodiment, and material engagement. According to the hypotheses on extended cognition, the nervous system, the body and the external objects work as a single integrated unit, and what we call "mind" is the process resulting from such interaction. Because of the relevance of culture and material culture in humans, important changes in such processes were probably crucial for the evolution of Homo sapiens. Much information in this sense can be supplied by considering issues in neuroarchaeology and cognitive sciences. Nonetheless, fossils and their anatomy can also provide evidence according to changes involving physical and body aspects. In this article, we review three sources of morphological information concerning visuospatial management and fossils: evolutionary neuroanatomy, manipulative behaviors, and hand evolution.

  8. Dietary copper and human health: Current evidence and unresolved issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bost, Muriel; Houdart, Sabine; Oberli, Marion; Kalonji, Esther; Huneau, Jean-François; Margaritis, Irène

    2016-05-01

    Although copper (Cu) is recognized as an essential trace element, uncertainties remain regarding Cu reference values for humans, as illustrated by discrepancies between recommendations issued by different national authorities. This review examines human studies published since 1990 on relationships between Cu intake, Cu balance, biomarkers of Cu status, and health. It points out several gaps and unresolved issues which make it difficult to assess Cu requirements. Results from balance studies suggest that daily intakes below 0.8 mg/day lead to net Cu losses, while net gains are consistently observed above 2.4 mg/day. However, because of an incomplete collection of losses in all studies, a precise estimation of Cu requirements cannot be derived from available data. Data regarding the relationship between Cu intake and potential biomarkers are either too preliminary or inconclusive because of low specificity or low sensitivity to change in dietary Cu over a wide range of intakes. Results from observation and intervention studies do not support a link between Cu and a risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, arthritis or cancer for intakes ranging from 0.6 to 3mg/day, and limited evidence exists for impaired immune function in healthy subjects with a very low (0.38 mg/day) Cu intake. However, data from observation studies should be regarded with caution because of uncertainties regarding Cu concentration in various foods and water. Further studies that accurately evaluate Cu exposure based on reliable biomarkers of Cu status are needed.

  9. Impact of climate change on human infectious diseases: Empirical evidence and human adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaoxu; Lu, Yongmei; Zhou, Sen; Chen, Lifan; Xu, Bing

    2016-01-01

    Climate change refers to long-term shifts in weather conditions and patterns of extreme weather events. It may lead to changes in health threat to human beings, multiplying existing health problems. This review examines the scientific evidences on the impact of climate change on human infectious diseases. It identifies research progress and gaps on how human society may respond to, adapt to, and prepare for the related changes. Based on a survey of related publications between 1990 and 2015, the terms used for literature selection reflect three aspects--the components of infectious diseases, climate variables, and selected infectious diseases. Humans' vulnerability to the potential health impacts by climate change is evident in literature. As an active agent, human beings may control the related health effects that may be effectively controlled through adopting proactive measures, including better understanding of the climate change patterns and of the compound disease-specific health effects, and effective allocation of technologies and resources to promote healthy lifestyles and public awareness. The following adaptation measures are recommended: 1) to go beyond empirical observations of the association between climate change and infectious diseases and develop more scientific explanations, 2) to improve the prediction of spatial-temporal process of climate change and the associated shifts in infectious diseases at various spatial and temporal scales, and 3) to establish locally effective early warning systems for the health effects of predicated climate change.

  10. Worldwide floods are changing: Evidence from global high-quality annual maximum streamflow records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Do, Hong; Westra, Seth; Leonard, Michael

    2016-04-01

    In recent decades, floods have led to significant human and economic impacts (in 2014 alone the global cost of floods has been estimated to be US 37.4 billion), and reported flood losses have increased significantly from just US7 billion per year in the 1980s. Recent empirical evidence of significant increasing trends in heavy rainfall has raised the concern of potential changes in flooding magnitude and frequency as a result of large-scale climatic changes. However, other driving forces, including changes in channel capacity and catchment characteristics, also play a large role in rainfall-runoff processes so trends in heavy precipitation cannot be taken as a proxy for trends in flooding. In order to test whether global floods are changing or not, this study analyses a records global discharge time series from 1966 to 2005. Trends in worldwide flood magnitude were analysed using annual maxima daily streamflow obtained from Global Runoff Data Centre database, which holds records of 9,213 stations across the globe, with an average time series length of 42 years per station. High quality records during the reference period (1966 - 2005) with no more than 2 year of missing data were selected as the input of this study (1209 stations in all). To remove streamflow records impacted by large dams, the HydroSHEDS watershed boundaries and Global Reservoir and Dam (GRanD) databases are used to identify stations with existing dams in theirs upstream drainage basins. The Mann-Kendall test at the 5% significant level is applied on selected time series to identify stations showing significant positive and negative trends. The percentage of significantly increasing or decreasing stations are investigated in different climatic regions and catchment sizes, and compared against a bootstrap-based field significant test to represent the null hypothesis. The results indicate strong evidence against the null hypothesis of no change in flood magnitude at global and regional scales.

  11. Sensitive periods in human development: evidence from musical training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penhune, Virginia B

    2011-10-01

    One of the primary goals of cognitive neuroscience is to understand the interaction between genes, development and specific experience. A particularly fascinating example of this interaction is a sensitive period - a time during development when experience has a differential effect on behavior and the brain. Behavioral and brain imaging studies in musicians have provided suggestive evidence for a possible sensitive period for musical training; showing that musicians who began training early show better task performance and greater changes in auditory and motor regions of the brain. However, these studies have not controlled for likely differences between early- (ET) and late-trained (LT) musicians in the number of years of musical experience. This review presents behavioral work from our laboratory comparing the performance of ET (before age seven) and LT musicians who were matched for years of experience on the ability to tap in synchrony with auditory and visual rhythms. The results demonstrate the existence of a possible sensitive period for musical training that has its greatest impact on measures of sensorimotor integration. Work on motor learning in children and how this might relate to the observed sensitive period effect is also reviewed. These studies are described in the context of what is currently known about sensitive periods in animals and humans; drawing on evidence from anatomy and physiology, studies of deafness, as well as structural and functional neuroimaging studies in trained musicians. The possible mechanisms underlying sensitive periods for musical training are discussed based on current theories describing the influence of both low-level features of sensory experience and higher-level cognitive processing. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.

  12. Behavioural, modeling, and electrophysiological evidence for supramodality in human metacognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faivre, Nathan; Filevich, Elisa; Solovey, Guillermo; Kühn, Simone; Blanke, Olaf

    2017-09-15

    Human metacognition, or the capacity to introspect on one's own mental states, has been mostly characterized through confidence reports in visual tasks. A pressing question is to what extent results from visual studies generalize to other domains. Answering this question allows determining whether metacognition operates through shared, supramodal mechanisms, or through idiosyncratic, modality-specific mechanisms. Here, we report three new lines of evidence for decisional and post-decisional mechanisms arguing for the supramodality of metacognition. First, metacognitive efficiency correlated between auditory, tactile, visual, and audiovisual tasks. Second, confidence in an audiovisual task was best modeled using supramodal formats based on integrated representations of auditory and visual signals. Third, confidence in correct responses involved similar electrophysiological markers for visual and audiovisual tasks that are associated with motor preparation preceding the perceptual judgment. We conclude that the supramodality of metacognition relies on supramodal confidence estimates and decisional signals that are shared across sensory modalities.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTMetacognitive monitoring is the capacity to access, report and regulate one's own mental states. In perception, this allows rating our confidence in what we have seen, heard or touched. While metacognitive monitoring can operate on different cognitive domains, we ignore whether it involves a single supramodal mechanism common to multiple cognitive domains, or modality-specific mechanisms idiosyncratic to each domain. Here, we bring evidence in favor of the supramodality hypothesis by showing that participants with high metacognitive performance in one modality are likely to perform well in other modalities. Based on computational modeling and electrophysiology, we propose that supramodality can be explained by the existence of supramodal confidence estimates, and by the influence of decisional cues on

  13. Evidence of recombination within human alpha-papillomavirus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carvajal-Rodríguez Antonio

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Human papillomavirus (HPV has a causal role in cervical cancer with almost half a million new cases occurring each year. Presence of the carcinogenic HPV is necessary for the development of the invasive carcinoma of the genital tract. Therefore, persistent infection with carcinogenic HPV causes virtually all cervical cancers. Some aspects of the molecular evolution of this virus, as the putative importance of recombination in its evolutionary history, are an opened current question. In addition, recombination could also be a significant issue nowadays since the frequency of co-infection with more than one HPV type is not a rare event and, thus, new recombinant types could be currently being generated. Results We have used human alpha-PV sequences from the public database at Los Alamos National Laboratory to report evidence that recombination may exist in this virus. A model-based population genetic approach was used to infer the recombination signal from the HPV DNA sequences grouped attending to phylogenetic and epidemiological information, as well as to clinical manifestations. Our results agree with recently published ones that use a different methodology to detect recombination associated to the gene L2. In addition, we have detected significant recombination signal in the genes E6, E7, L2 and L1 at different groups, and importantly within the high-risk type HPV16. The method used has recently been shown to be one of the most powerful and reliable procedures to detect the recombination signal. Conclusion We provide new support to the recent evidence of recombination in HPV. Additionally, we performed the recombination estimation assuming the best-fit model of nucleotide substitution and rate variation among sites, of the HPV DNA sequence sets. We found that the gene with recombination in most of the groups is L2 but the highest values were detected in L1 and E6. Gene E7 was recombinant only within the HPV16 type. The

  14. Evidence for a Homodimeric Structure of Human Monocarboxylate Transporter 8

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visser, W. Edward; Philp, Nancy J.; van Dijk, Thamar B.; Klootwijk, Wim; Friesema, Edith C. H.; Jansen, Jurgen; Beesley, Philip W.; Ianculescu, Alexandra G.; Visser, Theo J.

    2009-01-01

    The human monocarboxylate transporter 8 (hMCT8) protein mediates transport of thyroid hormone across the plasma membrane. Association of hMCT8 mutations with severe psychomotor retardation and disturbed thyroid hormone levels has established its physiological relevance, but little is still known about the basic properties of hMCT8. In this study we present evidence that hMCT8 does not form heterodimers with the ancillary proteins basigin, embigin, or neuroplastin, unlike other MCTs. In contrast, it is suggested that MCT8 exists as monomer and homodimer in transiently and stably transfected cells. Apparently hMCT8 forms stable dimers because the complex is resistant to denaturing conditions and dithiothreitol. Cotransfection of wild-type hMCT8 with a mutant lacking amino acids 267–360 resulted in formation of homo-and heterodimers of the variants, indicating that transmembrane domains 4–6 are not involved in the dimerization process. Furthermore, we explored the structural and functional role of the 10 Cys residues in hMCT8. All possible Cys>Ala mutants did not behave differently from wild-type hMCT8 in protein expression, cross-linking experiments with HgCl2 and transport function. Our findings indicate that individual Cys residues are not important for the function of hMCT8 or suggest that hMCT8 has other yet-undiscovered functions in which cysteines play an essential role. PMID:19797118

  15. Typhoid Fever, Water Quality, and Human Capital Formation

    OpenAIRE

    Brian Beach; Joseph Ferrie; Martin Saavedra; Werner Troesken

    2014-01-01

    Investment in water purification technologies led to large mortality declines by helping eradicate typhoid fever and other waterborne diseases. This paper seeks to understand how these technologies affected human capital formation. We use typhoid fatality rates during early life as a proxy for water quality. To carry out the analysis, city-level data are merged with a unique dataset linking individuals between the 1900 and 1940 censuses. Parametric and semi-parametric estimates suggest that e...

  16. The Effect of Board Independence on the Earnings Quality: Evidence from Portuguese Listed Companies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Alves

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Agency theory suggests that independent outside board members may have an important monitoring function of the financial reporting process. As a result, boards with more independent directors have a tendency for increased monitoring and are therefore expected to insist on better earnings quality. This study examines whether board independence improves earnings quality by reducing earnings management in Portugal, a country with significantly different institutional and legal characteristics from the Anglo-Saxon countries. Using ordinary least square (OLS and two stage least squares (2SLS techniques to control potential simultaneity problems between board independence and earnings quality, we find evidence that independent board members improve earnings quality by reducing earnings management for a sample of Portuguese listed firms. This result suggests that strengthening the independence of boards by appointing more independent board members is a positive step toward improving earnings quality.

  17. Internal quality control in point-of-care testing: where's the evidence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Helen; Freedman, Danielle B

    2016-03-01

    ISO 22870 standards require protocols for performance of internal quality control for all point-of-care testing devices and training of users in its theory and practice. However, the unique setting of point-of-care testing (i.e. processes conducted by non-scientific users) means that laboratory internal quality control programmes do not easily translate to point-of-care testing. In addition, while the evidence base for internal quality control within the laboratory has been increasing, the equivalent literature surrounding point-of-care testing is very limited. This has led to wide variation in what is considered acceptable practice for internal quality control at the point of care. Indeed, it has been demonstrated that internal quality control is an area of deficiency in point-of-care testing. Internal quality control protocols used at point-of-care testing should be defined based on risk management. The protocol will therefore be dependent on analyser complexity and availability of inbuilt system checks, the risk associated with release of an incorrect patient result as well as frequency of use. The emphasis should be on designing an effective internal quality control protocol as opposed to the inherent tendency of introducing high-frequency quality control. Typically a simple pass or fail criterion is used for internal quality control in point-of-care testing based on whether internal quality control results fall within assigned ranges. While simply taught, such criteria can require broad internal quality control ranges to decrease the probability of false rejection (also reducing the probability of error detection). Customized internal quality control ranges, two-tier acceptance systems and assay-specific internal quality control can be used to improve error detection rates.

  18. [GRADE system: classification of quality of evidence and strength of recommendation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguayo-Albasini, José Luis; Flores-Pastor, Benito; Soria-Aledo, Víctor

    2014-02-01

    The acquisition and classification of scientific evidence, and subsequent formulation of recommendations constitute the basis for the development of clinical practice guidelines. There are several systems for the classification of evidence and strength of recommendations; the most commonly used nowadays is the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation system (GRADE). The GRADE system initially classifies the evidence into high or low, coming from experimental or observational studies; subsequently and following a series of considerations, the evidence is classified into high, moderate, low or very low. The strength of recommendations is based not only on the quality of the evidence, but also on a series of factors such as the risk/benefit balance, values and preferences of the patients and professionals, and the use of resources or costs.

  19. Audit quality and the audit partner effect : Evidence from European listed companies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buuren, van J.P.

    2009-01-01

    The main objective of this study is to provide evidence on the differences in audit quality amongst audit partners. I attribute these dissimilarities to (i) differences in the audit risk perception and the risk appetite of individual audit partners and (ii) to differences in the personal business

  20. Competition and quality indicators in the health care sector : Empirical evidence from the Dutch hospital sector

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Croes, Ramsis; Krabbe, Yvonne; Mikkers, Misja

    2017-01-01

    There is much debate about the effect of competition in healthcare and especially the effect of competition on the quality of healthcare, although empirical evidence on this subject is mixed. The Netherlands provides an interesting case in this debate. The Dutch system could be characterized as a

  1. Competition and quality indicators in the health care sector: empirical evidence from the Dutch hospital sector

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Croes, R.R.; Krabbe-Alkemade, Y.J.F.M.; Mikkers, M.C.

    2017-01-01

    textabstractThere is much debate about the effect of competition in healthcare and especially the effect of competition on the quality of healthcare, although empirical evidence on this subject is mixed. The Netherlands provides an interesting case in this debate. The Dutch system could be

  2. Evidence-based treatment and quality of life in heart failure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dobre, Daniela; van Jaarsveld, Cornelia H. M.; Ranchor, Adelita V.; Arnold, Rosemarie; de Jongste, Mike J. L.; Haaijer-Ruskamp, Flora M.

    2006-01-01

    To explore whether prescription of evidence-based drug therapy is associated with better quality of life (QoL) in patients with heart failure (HF). Patients (n = 62) were recruited in the outpatient clinic of Groningen University Hospital. Inclusion criteria were previous diagnosis of HF, age 40-80

  3. University Students' Understanding of Chemistry Processes and the Quality of Evidence in Their Written Arguments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seung, Eulsun; Choi, Aeran; Pestel, Beverly

    2016-01-01

    We have developed a process-oriented chemistry laboratory curriculum for non-science majors. The purpose of this study is both to explore university students' understanding of chemistry processes and to evaluate the quality of evidence students use to support their claims regarding chemistry processes in a process-oriented chemistry laboratory…

  4. Audit quality and the audit partner effect : Evidence from European listed companies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buuren, van J.P.

    2009-01-01

    The main objective of this study is to provide evidence on the differences in audit quality amongst audit partners. I attribute these dissimilarities to (i) differences in the audit risk perception and the risk appetite of individual audit partners and (ii) to differences in the personal business ca

  5. University Students' Understanding of Chemistry Processes and the Quality of Evidence in Their Written Arguments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seung, Eulsun; Choi, Aeran; Pestel, Beverly

    2016-01-01

    We have developed a process-oriented chemistry laboratory curriculum for non-science majors. The purpose of this study is both to explore university students' understanding of chemistry processes and to evaluate the quality of evidence students use to support their claims regarding chemistry processes in a process-oriented chemistry laboratory…

  6. Audit quality and the audit partner effect : Evidence from European listed companies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buuren, van J.P.

    2009-01-01

    The main objective of this study is to provide evidence on the differences in audit quality amongst audit partners. I attribute these dissimilarities to (i) differences in the audit risk perception and the risk appetite of individual audit partners and (ii) to differences in the personal business ca

  7. The human and the social: Asystematised comparison of the discourses of human development, human security and social quality.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D.R. Gasper (Des)

    2011-01-01

    markdownabstract__Abstract__ This paper presents a structured comparison of the social quality approach with the UNDP-led ‘human development’ approach and the sister work (especially in the UN system and Japan) on ‘human security’. Through clarification of their respective foci and roles and underl

  8. [Medical education and quality of decision-making: Is there an evidence-based relationship?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nendaz, M

    2011-07-01

    A medical decision when facing a clinical problem is the result of a complex process involving clinical reasoning and decision-making components. Several biases and external factors may influence this process. Educational interventions may be helpful to modify some of those factors and enhance the quality of decision-making, such as the training of clinical reasoning, making physicians aware of potential biases, or training them to use some tools brought by the evidence-based medicine movement. However, the impact of such interventions remains difficult to quantify because high-quality data are lacking and few studies really assess patient outcomes. This article reviews the available evidence of interventions aiming at improving the quality of decision-making and stresses the importance of involving clinician teachers in medical education research. Copyright © 2010 Société nationale française de médecine interne (SNFMI). Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  9. Developmental evidence for obstetric adaptation of the human female pelvis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huseynov, Alik; Zollikofer, Christoph P E; Coudyzer, Walter; Gascho, Dominic; Kellenberger, Christian; Hinzpeter, Ricarda; Ponce de León, Marcia S

    2016-05-10

    The bony pelvis of adult humans exhibits marked sexual dimorphism, which is traditionally interpreted in the framework of the "obstetrical dilemma" hypothesis: Giving birth to large-brained/large-bodied babies requires a wide pelvis, whereas efficient bipedal locomotion requires a narrow pelvis. This hypothesis has been challenged recently on biomechanical, metabolic, and biocultural grounds, so that it remains unclear which factors are responsible for sex-specific differences in adult pelvic morphology. Here we address this issue from a developmental perspective. We use methods of biomedical imaging and geometric morphometrics to analyze changes in pelvic morphology from late fetal stages to adulthood in a known-age/known-sex forensic/clinical sample. Results show that, until puberty, female and male pelves exhibit only moderate sexual dimorphism and follow largely similar developmental trajectories. With the onset of puberty, however, the female trajectory diverges substantially from the common course, resulting in rapid expansion of obstetrically relevant pelvic dimensions up to the age of 25-30 y. From 40 y onward females resume a mode of pelvic development similar to males, resulting in significant reduction of obstetric dimensions. This complex developmental trajectory is likely linked to the pubertal rise and premenopausal fall of estradiol levels and results in the obstetrically most adequate pelvic morphology during the time of maximum female fertility. The evidence that hormones mediate female pelvic development and morphology supports the view that solutions of the obstetrical dilemma depend not only on selection and adaptation but also on developmental plasticity as a response to ecological/nutritional factors during a female's lifetime.

  10. Competition and quality indicators in the health care sector: empirical evidence from the Dutch hospital sector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croes, R R; Krabbe-Alkemade, Y J F M; Mikkers, M C

    2017-01-03

    There is much debate about the effect of competition in healthcare and especially the effect of competition on the quality of healthcare, although empirical evidence on this subject is mixed. The Netherlands provides an interesting case in this debate. The Dutch system could be characterized as a system involving managed competition and mandatory healthcare insurance. Information about the quality of care provided by hospitals has been publicly available since 2008. In this paper, we evaluate the relationship between quality scores for three diagnosis groups and the market power indicators of hospitals. We estimate the impact of competition on quality in an environment of liberalized pricing. For this research, we used unique price and production data relating to three diagnosis groups (cataract, adenoid and tonsils, bladder tumor) produced by Dutch hospitals in the period 2008-2011. We also used the quality indicators relating to these diagnosis groups. We reveal a negative relationship between market share and quality score for two of the three diagnosis groups studied, meaning that hospitals in competitive markets have better quality scores than those in concentrated markets. We therefore conclude that more competition is associated with higher quality scores.

  11. Does Central Bank Quality Determine Sovereign Ratings and Credit Default Swap Spreads: Evidence from the World?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramlall Indranarain

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This study innovates from prior research which focuses on the determinants of sovereign ratings and credit default swap spreads for a large sample of countries by incorporating the quality of central banks, let alone refined proxies. Findings show that the explanatory power of both sovereign ratings and CDS spreads model improve by a hefty 11 percent in case of sovereign ratings and 6 to 9 percent in the case of CDS spreads when central bank quality is incorporated. Such a finding bolters the notion that institutional quality does play a preponderant role when it comes to assessing country risk, making it a systematic component of institutional quality. The effect of labour participation implies that countries buffeted by stronger effects of an ageing population have greater propensity of increases in CDS spreads. Evidence is also found as to the driving dynamics of CDS spreads and sovereign ratings to be distinct. Our results hold robust post tackling for endogeneity problem.

  12. Computer Assisted Audit Techniques and Audit Quality in Developing Countries: Evidence from Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omonuk JB

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Most business organizations world-over have computerized their accounting systems. Extant literature finds that the use of Computer Assisted Audit Techniques (CAATs is positively related to the quality of audit reports. CAATs are widely applied to audit financial statements in developed countries. However, there is a void in literature about the audit of computerized accounts in developing countries. We draw a sample from Nigeria to investigate the following questions, “Do auditors effectively audit computerized accounts and; Is there a positive relationship between the use of CAATs and audit quality?” Using descriptive statistics, correlation analysis and logistic multiple regression, we provide evidence that: (1 CAATs are effectively used, (2 there is a positive relationship between the use of CAATS and audit quality, and (3 in a sample that excludes the big 4 International audit firms, local Nigerian firms are not effective in applying CAATs, and so, do not produce quality audit reports.

  13. Improving the quality of medical care: the normativity of evidence-based performance standards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanenbaum, Sandra J

    2012-08-01

    Poor quality medical care is sometimes attributed to physicians' unwillingness to act on evidence about what works best. Evidence-based performance standards (EBPSs) are one response to this problem, and they are increasingly employed by health care regulators and payers. Evidence in this instance is judged according to the precepts of evidence-based medicine (EBM); it is probabilistic, and the randomized controlled trial (RCT) is the gold standard. This means that EBPSs suffer all the infirmities of EBM generally-well rehearsed problems with the external validity of research findings as well as the inferential leap from study results in the aggregate to individual patient care. These theoretical weaknesses promise to have a practical impact on the care of patients. To avoid this, EBPSs should be understood as guidelines indicative of average effectiveness rather than standards to be applied in every case.

  14. Some evidence on the distribution of air quality. [Correlations with income

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asch, P.; Seneca, J.J.

    1978-08-01

    This paper addresses the question: is exposure to air pollution in the U.S. related systematically to economic and social characteristics of the population. The evidence examined (based on micro data) indicates that air pollution in urban areas appears to be regressively distributed; and that recent air-quality changes have followed a progressive pattern. Although these findings must be treated with caution, they are in accord with some evidence reported elsewhere. Section I briefly reviews the literature dealing with the distribution of air quality and associated benefits. Section II describes new evidence on current air-quality distribution, while Section III presents some direct measures of the incidence of distribution. In Section IV some direct tests of the distribution of recent air-quality change are presented. Problems of interpretation are examined in Section V. It is concluded that both the inter- and intra-city distributions examined indicate that air-pollution exposure is inversely related to income and income-related variables. 61 references, 47 footnotes.

  15. QUALITY OF HUMAN RESOURCES IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofronov Daniil Sergeevich

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Human resources serve as the basis for development of the national economy, as a whole, and the construction industry, as its constituent part. The problem of inferior labor productivity within the framework of the national economy and its construction industry is considered in the paper. The author has identified the reasons why the productivity of the national economy and its construction industry is low. Low quality manpower is one of the reasons. Analysis of the statistical information has proven that the quality of the manpower in the construction industry is unsatisfactory. The author has also analyzed the relation between the construction industry development pattern and the quality of the manpower. Low manpower quality is a consequence of low personnel training and development expenditures assumed by local construction companies, if compared to the same assumed in the developed economies. Russian businesses do not invest any proceeds into their employees, as any employee may leave the company at any moment, and the employer will lose the investment. Therefore, the performance rate of the Russian construction industry cannot catch up with its western counterpart. The author also provides the analysis of the western personnel development concept. The author also makes his suggestions designated to reverse the unfavourable trend of the construction industry.

  16. Nanotechnology and human health: Scientific evidence and risk governance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    . As complexity and uncertainty are large, risk assessment is challenging, and formulation of evidence-based policies and regulations elusive. Innovative models and frameworks for risk assessment and risk governance are being developed and applied to organize the available evidence on biological and health...

  17. The human factors of quality and QA in R D environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hill, S.G.

    1990-01-01

    Achieving quality is a human activity. It is therefore important to consider the human in the design, development and evaluation of work processes and environments in an effort to enhance human performance and minimize error. It is also important to allow for individual differences when considering human factors issues. Human Factors is the field of study which can provide information on integrating the human into the system. Human factors and quality are related for the customer of R D work, R D personnel who perform the work, and the quality professional who overviews the process of quality in the work. 18 refs., 1 fig.

  18. Cooperation as a signal of genetic or phenotypic quality in female mate choice? Evidence from preferences across the menstrual cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrelly, Daniel

    2011-08-01

    Previous research highlighting the role sexual selection may play in the evolution of human cooperation has yet to distinguish what qualities such behaviours actually signal. The aim here was to examine whether female preferences for male cooperative behaviours are because they signal genetic or indirect phenotypic quality. This was possible by taking into account female participants' stage of menstrual cycle, as much research has shown that females at the most fertile stage show greater preferences specifically for signals of genetic quality than any other stage, particularly for short-term relationships. Therefore, different examples of cooperation (personality, costly signals, heroism) and the mate preferences for altruistic traits self-report scale were used across a series of four experiments to examine females' attitudes towards cooperation in potential mates for different relationship lengths at different stages of the menstrual cycle. The results here consistently show that female fertility had no effect on perceptions of cooperative behaviour, and that such traits were considered more important for long-term relationships. Therefore, this provides strong evidence that cooperative behaviour is important in mate choice as predominantly a signal of phenotypic rather than genetic quality.

  19. GRADE in Systematic Reviews of Acupuncture for Stroke Rehabilitation: Recommendations based on High-Quality Evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xin, Zhang; Xue-Ting, Liu; De-Ying, Kang

    2015-11-12

    Systematic reviews (SRs) of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have demonstrated acupuncture's effectiveness in stroke rehabilitation. The current study reviews the quality of evidence in SRs of acupuncture in stroke rehabilitation, and rates the strength of recommendation for its use based on this evidence using the GRADE (grading of recommendations, assessment, development and evaluations) approach. A comprehensive literature search was performed using multiple databases (e.g., Medline, Embase) with advanced search strategies. Two authors independently selected articles, collected data, and assessed the methodological quality of each identified SR according to AMSTAR (a measurement tool to assess systematic reviews) and OQAQ (Oxman and Guyatt's overview quality assessment questionnaire). Outcomes related to stroke rehabilitation were evaluated. SRs of high methodological quality (AMSTAR score ≥9 and OQAQ score ≥7) were graded using GRADE. Ultimately, acupuncture yields benefits in stroke rehabilitation (neurological function improvement: RR = 1.34; swallowing improvement: RR = 1.61, 1.49, 1.07; disability: SMD = 0.49 or 0.07). Poor evidentiary quality and insufficient information about harm led to weak recommendations. In conclusion, acupuncture may improve stroke rehabilitation, as the GRADE approach indicated a weak recommendation for acupuncture's usage in this context.

  20. Groundwater: Quality Levels and Human Exposure, SW Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olusola Adeyemi

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Groundwater serves as a source of freshwater for agricultural, industrial and domestic purposes and it accounts for about 42%, 27% and 36% respectively. As it remains the only source of all-year-round supply of freshwater globally, it is of vital importance as regards water security, human survival and sustainable agriculture. The main goal of this study is to identify the main cause-effect relationship between human activities and the state of groundwater quality using a communication tool (the DPSIR Model; Drivers, Pressures, State, Impact and Response. A total of twenty-one samples were collected from ten peri-urban communities scattered across three conterminous Local Government Areas in Southwestern Nigeria. Each of the groundwater samples was tested for twelve parameters - total dissolved solids, pH, bicarbonate, chloride, lead, electrical conductivity, dissolved oxygen, nitrate, sulphate, magnesium and total suspended solids. The study revealed that the concentrations of DO and Pb were above threshold limits, while pH and N were just below the threshold and others elements were within acceptable limits based on Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality and Nigeria Standard for Drinking Water Quality. The study revealed that groundwater quality levels from the sampled wells are under pressure leading to reduction in the amount of freshwater availability. This is a first-order setback in achieving access to freshwater as a sustainable development goal across Less Developed Communities (LDCs globally. To combat this threat, there is the need for an integrated approach in response towards groundwater conservation and sustainability by all stakeholders.

  1. Developing evidence-based maternity care in Iran: a quality improvement study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Kazem

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Current Iranian perinatal statistics indicate that maternity care continues to need improvement. In response, we implemented a multi-faceted intervention to improve the quality of maternity care at an Iranian Social Security Hospital. Using a before-and-after design our aim was to improve the uptake of selected evidence based practices and more closely attend to identified women's needs and preferences. Methods The major steps of the study were to (1 identify women's needs, values and preferences via interviews, (2 select through a process of professional consensus the top evidence-based clinical recommendations requiring local implementation (3 redesign care based on the selected evidence-based recommendations and women's views, and (4 implement the new care model. We measured the impact of the new care model on maternal satisfaction and caesarean birth rates utilising maternal surveys and medical record audit before and after implementation of the new care model. Results Twenty women's needs and requirements as well as ten evidence-based clinical recommendations were selected as a basis for improving care. Following the introduction of the new model of care, women's satisfaction levels improved significantly on 16 of 20 items (p Conclusion The introduction of a quality improvement care model improved compliance with evidence-based guidelines and was associated with an improvement in women's satisfaction levels and a reduction in rates of caesarean birth.

  2. [Development and Quality Evaluation of Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines of Chinese Medicine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yue-rong; Chen, Ke-ji

    2016-01-01

    More attentions have been paid to the development of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (ECPGs) of Chinese medicine (CM). International guideline evaluation instruments such as Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE I) has been gradually applied in ECPGs quality evaluation of CM. Nowadays, there are some certain methodological defects in partial ECPGs of Chinese medicine, with relatively low applicability and slowly update. It is suggested to establish technical specifications of CM-ECPGs in accordance with the characteristics of CM and international general specification, strengthen the quality evaluation of CM-ECPGs, attach great importance to the regularly update as well as popularization and application of CM-ECPGs.

  3. Quality of human milk expressed in a human milk bank and at home.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, Mayla S; Oliveira, Angela M de M; Hattori, Wallisen T; Abdallah, Vânia O S

    2017-08-30

    To evaluate the quality of the human milk expressed at home and at a human milk bank. This a retrospective, analytical, and observational study, performed by assessing titratable acidity records and the microbiological culture of 100 human milk samples expressed at home and at a human milk bank, in 2014. For the statistical analysis, generalized estimating equations (GEE) and the chi-squared test were used. When comparing the two sample groups, no significant difference was found, with 98% and 94% of the samples being approved among those collected at the milk bank and at home, respectively. No main interaction effect between local and titratable acidity records (p=0.285) was observed, and there was no statistically significant difference between the expected and observed values for the association between the collection place and the microbiological culture results (p=0.307). The quality of human milk expressed at home and at the milk bank are in agreement with the recommended standards, confirming that the expression of human milk at home is as safe as expression at the human milk bank, provided that the established hygiene, conservation, storage, and transport standards are followed. Copyright © 2017 Sociedade Brasileira de Pediatria. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  4. Perfluorochemicals and Human Semen Quality: The LIFE Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhen; Schisterman, Enrique F.; Kim, Sungduk; Sweeney, Anne M.; Sundaram, Rajeshwari; Lynch, Courtney D.; Gore-Langton, Robert E.; Barr, Dana Boyd

    2014-01-01

    : Buck Louis GM, Chen Z, Schisterman EF, Kim S, Sweeney AM, Sundaram R, Lynch CD, Gore-Langton RE, Barr DB. 2015. Perfluorochemicals and human semen quality: the LIFE Study. Environ Health Perspect 123:57–63; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1307621 PMID:25127343

  5. Does the transformation of accounting firms’ organizational form improve audit quality?Evidence from China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chunfei; Wang; Huan; Dou

    2015-01-01

    In this study,we examine the effects of the transformation of accounting firms’organizational form on audit quality.We find that the transformation from limited liability to limited liability partnerships has a significant negative effect on the absolute value of discretionary accruals of audited companies.In particular,the transformation has a significant negative effect on positive discretionary accruals and no effect on negative discretionary accruals.We also find that CPAs are more likely to issue modified audit opinions in the year after the transformation,and that there is no evidence that accounting firm size and listed company ownership influence the relationship between the transformation and audit quality.Our conclusions provide empirical evidence for policy makers and enrich the literature on accounting firms’organizational forms.

  6. Does the transformation of accounting firms’ organizational form improve audit quality? Evidence from China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunfei Wang

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we examine the effects of the transformation of accounting firms’ organizational form on audit quality. We find that the transformation from limited liability to limited liability partnerships has a significant negative effect on the absolute value of discretionary accruals of audited companies. In particular, the transformation has a significant negative effect on positive discretionary accruals and no effect on negative discretionary accruals. We also find that CPAs are more likely to issue modified audit opinions in the year after the transformation, and that there is no evidence that accounting firm size and listed company ownership influence the relationship between the transformation and audit quality. Our conclusions provide empirical evidence for policy makers and enrich the literature on accounting firms’ organizational forms.

  7. Strong evidence for pattern separation in human dentate gyrus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berron, David; Schütze, Hartmut; Maass, Anne; Cardenas-Blanco, Arturo; Kuijf, Hugo J.; Kumaran, Dharshan; Düzel, Emrah

    2016-01-01

    The hippocampus is proposed to be critical in distinguishing between similar experiences by performing pattern separation computations that create orthogonalized representations for related episodes. Previous neuroimaging studies have provided indirect evidence that the dentate gyrus (DG) and CA3 hi

  8. Does quality affect maize prices in sub-Saharan Africa? Evidence from Benin

    OpenAIRE

    Kadjo, Didier; Ricker-Gilbert, Jacob; Alexander, Corinne

    2015-01-01

    This paper uses household survey data from Benin to evaluate how grain quality affects maize prices in rural markets of sub-Saharan Africa. Stated preference methods reveal that a 10% increase in insect damage results in a 9% maize price discount. However, revealed preference results from farmers involved in past market transactions indicate that this discount is only 3 %. Evidence also suggests that this discount is larger in periods of maize abundance than in the lean periods when maize is ...

  9. Evidence for evolutionary specialization in human limbic structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barger, Nicole; Hanson, Kari L; Teffer, Kate; Schenker-Ahmed, Natalie M; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2014-01-01

    Increasingly, functional and evolutionary research has highlighted the important contribution emotion processing makes to complex human social cognition. As such, it may be asked whether neural structures involved in emotion processing, commonly referred to as limbic structures, have been impacted in human brain evolution. To address this question, we performed an extensive evolutionary analysis of multiple limbic structures using modern phylogenetic tools. For this analysis, we combined new volumetric data for the hominoid (human and ape) amygdala and 4 amygdaloid nuclei, hippocampus, and striatum, collected using stereological methods in complete histological series, with previously published datasets on the amygdala, orbital and medial frontal cortex, and insula, as well as a non-limbic structure, the dorsal frontal cortex, for contrast. We performed a parallel analysis using large published datasets including many anthropoid species (human, ape, and monkey), but fewer hominoids, for the amygdala and 2 amygdaloid subdivisions, hippocampus, schizocortex, striatum, and septal nuclei. To address evolutionary change, we compared observed human values to values predicted from regressions run through (a) non-human hominoids and (b) non-human anthropoids, assessing phylogenetic influence using phylogenetic generalized least squares regression. Compared with other hominoids, the volumes of the hippocampus, the lateral nucleus of the amygdala, and the orbital frontal cortex were, respectively, 50, 37, and 11% greater in humans than predicted for an ape of human hemisphere volume, while the medial and dorsal frontal cortex were, respectively, 26 and 29% significantly smaller. Compared with other anthropoids, only human values for the striatum fell significantly below predicted values. Overall, the data present support for the idea that regions involved in emotion processing are not necessarily conserved or regressive, but may even be enhanced in recent human evolution.

  10. Incorporating evidence review into quality improvement: meeting the needs of innovators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danz, Margie Sherwood; Hempel, Susanne; Lim, Yee-Wei; Shanman, Roberta; Motala, Aneesa; Stockdale, Susan; Shekelle, Paul; Rubenstein, Lisa

    2013-11-01

    Achieving quality improvement (QI) aims often requires local innovation. Without objective evidence review, innovators may miss previously tested approaches, rely on biased information, or use personal preferences in designing and implementing local QI programmes. To develop a practical, responsive approach to evidence review for QI innovations aimed at both achieving the goals of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and developing an evidence-based QI culture. Descriptive organisational case report. As part of a QI initiative to develop and spread innovations for achieving the Veterans Affairs (VA) PCMH (termed Patient Aligned Care Team, or PACT), we involved a professional evidence review team (consisting of review experts, an experienced librarian, and administrative support) in responding to the evidence needs of front-line primary care innovators. The review team developed a systematic approach to responsive innovation evidence review (RIER) that focused on innovator needs in terms of time frame, type of evidence and method of communicating results. To assess uptake and usefulness of the RIERs, and to learn how the content and process could be improved, we surveyed innovation leaders. In the first 16 months of the QI initiative, we produced 13 RIERs on a variety of topics. These were presented as 6-15-page summaries and as slides at a QI collaborative. The RIERs focused on innovator needs (eg, topic overviews, how innovations are carried out, or contextual factors relevant to implementation). All 17 innovators who responded to the survey had read at least one RIER; 50% rated the reviews as very useful and 31%, as probably useful. These responsive evidence reviews appear to be a promising approach to integrating evidence review into QI processes.

  11. Closing the quality gap: promoting evidence-based breastfeeding care in the hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartick, Melissa; Stuebe, Alison; Shealy, Katherine R; Walker, Marsha; Grummer-Strawn, Laurence M

    2009-10-01

    Evidence shows that hospital-based practices affect breastfeeding duration and exclusivity throughout the first year of life. However, a 2007 CDC survey of US maternity facilities documented poor adherence with evidence-based practice. Of a possible score of 100 points, the average hospital scored only 63 with great regional disparities. Inappropriate provision and promotion of infant formula were common, despite evidence that such practices reduce breastfeeding success. Twenty-four percent of facilities reported regularly giving non-breast milk supplements to more than half of all healthy, full-term infants. Metrics available for measuring quality of breastfeeding care, range from comprehensive Baby-Friendly Hospital Certification to compliance with individual steps such as the rate of in-hospital exclusive breastfeeding. Other approaches to improving quality of breastfeeding care include (1) education of hospital decision-makers (eg, through publications, seminars, professional organization statements, benchmark reports to hospitals, and national grassroots campaigns), (2) recognition of excellence, such as through Baby-Friendly hospital designation, (3) oversight by accrediting organizations such as the Joint Commission or state hospital authorities, (4) public reporting of indicators of the quality of breastfeeding care, (5) pay-for-performance incentives, in which Medicaid or other third-party payers provide additional financial compensation to individual hospitals that meet certain quality standards, and (6) regional collaboratives, in which staff from different hospitals work together to learn from each other and meet quality improvement goals at their home institutions. Such efforts, as well as strong central leadership, could affect both initiation and duration of breastfeeding, with substantial, lasting benefits for maternal and child health.

  12. Birth order and human capital development: evidence from Ecuador

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Haan, M.; Plug, E.; Rosero, J.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we examine the effect of birth order on human capital development in Ecuador. Using family fixed effects models we find positive and persistent birth order effects; earlier-born children stay behind in their human capital development from infancy to adolescence. Turning to potential me

  13. Lines of evidence for environmentally driven human migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, K. F.; D'Odorico, P.

    2012-12-01

    International human migration is an important mechanism that affects, and is affected by, various human and natural systems. With the number of people living outside their countries of origin currently estimated at 214 million people and projected to potentially reach more than 400 million people by mid-century, the topic of international human movements presents possible advantages and pitfalls for both sending and receiving countries on multiple fronts (e.g. economic, environmental, political and cultural). Understanding how human migration interacts with human and natural systems is therefore essential in realizing a sustainable and balanced future. While the study of international migration has historically been motivated largely by economic and political interests, the issue of environmentally induced migration has become increasingly important in light of a rapidly changing climate in conjunction with increasing population pressure on many important resources. Particularly in terms of theoretical and conceptual discussions, environmentally induced human migration has been receiving increased attention in the literature. To date, few studies - many of which focus on internal (intra-national) or regional migration - have attempted to quantify the interactions of human migration and the environment, with little attention paid to the global scale as a result of varying regional factors and lack of sufficient data. Recently available global bilateral migration datasets have been developed that allow for a more comprehensive understanding of human movements between all countries. With these datasets, we seek to elucidate environmental drivers of human migration over the past half-century using a multi-pronged approach. First, using a recently developed universal radiation model, we examine human movements based solely on global population distribution. Next, by comparison of migration movements with selected economic, environmental and human welfare indicators, we

  14. No evidence for ape Plasmodium infections in humans in Gabon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Délicat-Loembet, Lucresse; Rougeron, Virginie; Ollomo, Benjamin; Arnathau, Céline; Roche, Benjamin; Elguero, Eric; Moukodoum, Nancy Diamella; Okougha, Alain-Prince; Mve Ondo, Bertrand; Boundenga, Larson; Houzé, Sandrine; Galan, Maxime; Nkoghé, Dieudonné; Leroy, Eric M; Durand, Patrick; Paupy, Christophe; Renaud, François; Prugnolle, Franck

    2015-01-01

    African great apes are naturally infected by a multitude of Plasmodium species most of them recently discovered, among which several are closely related to human malaria agents. However, it is still unknown whether these animals can serve as source of infections for humans living in their vicinity. To evaluate this possibility, we analysed the nature of Plasmodium infections from a bank of 4281 human blood samples collected in 210 villages of Gabon, Central Africa. Among them, 2255 were detected positive to Plasmodium using molecular methods (Plasmodium Cytochrome b amplification). A high throughput sequencing technology (454 GS-FLX Titanium technology, Roche) was then used to identify the Plasmodium species present within each positive sample. Overall, we identified with confidence only three species infecting humans in Gabon: P. falciparum, P. malariae and P. ovale. None of the species known to infect non-human primates in Central Africa was found. Our study shows that ape Plasmodium parasites of the subgenus Laverania do not constitute a frequent source of infection for humans. It also suggests that some strong host genetic barriers must exist to prevent the cross species transmission of ape Plasmodium in a context of ever increasing contacts between humans and wildlife.

  15. Quality of research and level of evidence in foot and ankle publications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barske, Heather L; Baumhauer, Judith

    2012-01-01

    The quality of research and evidence to support medical treatments is under scrutiny from the medical profession and the public. This study examined the current quality of research and level of evidence (LOE) of foot and ankle surgery papers published in orthopedic and podiatric medical journals. Two independent evaluators performed a blinded assessment of all foot and ankle clinical research articles (January 2010 to June 2010) from seven North American orthopedic and podiatric journals. JBJS-A grading system was used for LOE. Articles were assessed for indicators of study quality. The data was stratified by journal and medical credentials. A total of 245 articles were published, 128 were excluded based on study design, leaving 117 clinical research articles. Seven (6%) were Level I, 14 (12%) Level II, 18 (15%) Level III, and 78 (67%) Level IV. The orthopedic journals published 78 studies on foot and ankle topics. Of the podiatric journals, the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association (JAPMA) published 12 clinical studies and the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery (JFAS) published 27, 21 (78%) of which were Level IV studies. When the quality of research was examined, few therapeutic studies used validated outcome measures and only 38 of 96 (40%) gathered data prospectively. Thirty (31%) studies used a comparison group. Eighty-seven articles (74%) were authored by a MD and 22 (19%) by a DPM. Foot & Ankle International (FAI) published higher quality studies with a higher LOE as compared to podiatry journals. Regardless of the journal, MDs produced the majority of published clinical foot and ankle research. Although improvements have been made in the quality of some clinical research, this study highlights the need for continued improvement in methodology within foot and ankle literature.

  16. Evidence for evolutionary specialization in human limbic structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole eBarger

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Increasingly, functional and evolutionary research has highlighted the important contribution emotion processing makes to complex human social cognition. As such, it may be asked whether neural structures involved in emotion processing, commonly referred to as limbic structures, have been impacted in human brain evolution. To address this question, we performed an extensive evolutionary analysis of multiple limbic structures using modern phylogenetic tools. For this analysis, we combined new volumetric data for the hominoid (human and ape amygdala and 4 amygdaloid nuclei, hippocampus, and striatum, collected using stereological methods in complete histological series, with previously published datasets on the amygdala, orbital and medial frontal cortex, and insula, as well as a non-limbic structure, the dorsal frontal cortex, for contrast. We performed a parallel analysis using large published datasets including many anthropoid species (human, ape, and monkey, but fewer hominoids, for the amygdala and 2 amygdaloid subdivisions, hippocampus, schizocortex, striatum, and septal nuclei. To address evolutionary change, we compared observed human values to values predicted from regressions run through a nonhuman hominoids and b nonhuman anthropoids, assessing phylogenetic influence using phylogenetic generalized least squares regression.Compared with other hominoids, the volumes of the hippocampus, the lateral nucleus of the amygdala, and the orbital frontal cortex were, respectively, 50%, 37%, and 11% greater in humans than predicted for an ape of human hemisphere volume, while the medial and dorsal frontal cortex were, respectively, 26% and 29% significantly smaller. Compared with other anthropoids, only human values for the striatum fell significantly below predicted values. Overall, the data present support for the idea that regions involved in emotion processing are not necessarily conserved or regressive, but may even be enhanced in recent human

  17. Natural Tendency towards Beauty in Humans: Evidence from Binocular Rivalry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Ce; Xia, Tiansheng; Qin, Kaixin; Mo, Lei

    2016-01-01

    Although human preference for beauty is common and compelling in daily life, it remains unknown whether such preference is essentially subserved by social cognitive demands or natural tendency towards beauty encoded in the human mind intrinsically. Here we demonstrate experimentally that humans automatically exhibit preference for visual and moral beauty without explicit cognitive efforts. Using a binocular rivalry paradigm, we identified enhanced gender-independent perceptual dominance for physically attractive persons, and the results suggested universal preference for visual beauty based on perceivable forms. Moreover, we also identified perceptual dominance enhancement for characters associated with virtuous descriptions after controlling for facial attractiveness and vigilance-related attention effects, which suggested a similar implicit preference for moral beauty conveyed in prosocial behaviours. Our findings show that behavioural preference for beauty is driven by an inherent natural tendency towards beauty in humans rather than explicit social cognitive processes.

  18. Natural Tendency towards Beauty in Humans: Evidence from Binocular Rivalry.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ce Mo

    Full Text Available Although human preference for beauty is common and compelling in daily life, it remains unknown whether such preference is essentially subserved by social cognitive demands or natural tendency towards beauty encoded in the human mind intrinsically. Here we demonstrate experimentally that humans automatically exhibit preference for visual and moral beauty without explicit cognitive efforts. Using a binocular rivalry paradigm, we identified enhanced gender-independent perceptual dominance for physically attractive persons, and the results suggested universal preference for visual beauty based on perceivable forms. Moreover, we also identified perceptual dominance enhancement for characters associated with virtuous descriptions after controlling for facial attractiveness and vigilance-related attention effects, which suggested a similar implicit preference for moral beauty conveyed in prosocial behaviours. Our findings show that behavioural preference for beauty is driven by an inherent natural tendency towards beauty in humans rather than explicit social cognitive processes.

  19. Local-Scale Air Quality Modeling in Support of Human Health and Exposure Research (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isakov, V.

    2010-12-01

    Spatially- and temporally-sparse information on air quality is a key concern for air-pollution-related environmental health studies. Monitor networks are sparse in both space and time, are costly to maintain, and are often designed purposely to avoid detecting highly localized sources. Recent studies have shown that more narrowly defining the geographic domain of the study populations and improvements in the measured/estimated ambient concentrations can lead to stronger associations between air pollution and hospital admissions and mortality records. Traditionally, ambient air quality measurements have been used as a primary input to support human health and exposure research. However, there is increasing evidence that the current ambient monitoring network is not capturing sharp gradients in exposure due to the presence of high concentration levels near, for example, major roadways. Many air pollutants exhibit large concentration gradients near large emitters such as major roadways, factories, ports, etc. To overcome these limitations, researchers are now beginning to use air quality models to support air pollution exposure and health studies. There are many advantages to using air quality models over traditional approaches based on existing ambient measurements alone. First, models can provide spatially- and temporally-resolved concentrations as direct input to exposure and health studies and thus better defining the concentration levels for the population in the geographic domain. Air quality models have a long history of use in air pollution regulations, and supported by regulatory agencies and a large user community. Also, models can provide bidirectional linkages between sources of emissions and ambient concentrations, thus allowing exploration of various mitigation strategies to reduce risk to exposure. In order to provide best estimates of air concentrations to support human health and exposure studies, model estimates should consider local-scale features

  20. The state of scientific evidence on air pollution and human health in Nepal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurung, Anobha; Bell, Michelle L

    2013-07-01

    Air pollution has been linked to acute and chronic health effects. However, the majority of evidence is based in North America and Europe, with a growing number of studies in Asia and Latin America. Nepal is one of the many South Asian countries where little such research has been conducted. We summarized the state of scientific evidence and identify research gaps based on the existing literature on air pollution and human health in Nepal. We performed a systematic literature search to identify relevant studies. Studies were categorized as those that estimate: (1) health impacts of indoor air pollution, (2) health impacts of outdoor air pollution, (3) health burdens from outdoor air pollution in Nepal based on existing concentration-response relationships from elsewhere, or (4) exposure and air quality but do not link to health. We identified 89 studies, of which 23 linked air pollution to health impacts. The remainder focused on exposure and air quality, demonstrating high pollution levels. The few health studies focused mainly on indoor air (n=15), especially in rural areas and during cooking. Direct exposure measurements were for short time periods; most studies used indirect exposure methods (e.g., questionnaire). Most health studies had small sample sizes with almost all focusing on respiratory health. Although few studies have examined air pollution and health in Nepal, the existing studies indicate high pollution levels and suggest large health impacts. Nepal's dearth of scientific research on air pollution and health is not unique and likely is similar to that of many other developing regions. Future research with larger studies and more health outcomes is needed. Key challenges include data availability.

  1. A quality assessment of systematic reviews on telerehabilitation: what does the evidence tell us?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Rogante

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Aims. To evaluate the quality of systematic reviews on telerehabilitation. Methods. The AMSTAR - Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews - checklist was used to appraise the evidence related to the systematic reviews. Results. Among the 477 records initially identified, 10 systematic reviews matched the inclusion criteria. Fifty percent were of high quality; anyway the majority of them did not report the following aspects: i analysis of the grey literature; ii a list of the excluded studies and their characteristics; iii the identification of possible source of bias and the assessment of its likehood; iv an appropriate method to combine the findings of the included studies addressing the heterogeneity as well. From the main findings of the high-scored systematic reviews telerehabilitation resulted at least as effective as usual care: 1 in the short term treatment of mental health related to people affected by spinal cord injury; 2 in rural communities for treating patients affected by chronic conditions; 3 in treating common pathologies (mainly asthma affecting children and adolescents. As for stroke, evidence is currently insufficient to reach conclusions about its effectiveness. As for costs, there is insufficient evidence to confirm that telerehabilitation is a cost-saving or cost-effective solution. Conclusions. In the authors' knowledge this is the first attempt to evaluate the quality of systematic reviews on telerehabilitation. This work also identified the main findings related to the high-scored systematic reviews; the analysis confirms that there is a mounting evidence concerning the effectiveness of telerehabilitation, at least for some pathologies.

  2. Evidence for a histaminergic system in the human testis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albrecht, Martin; Frungieri, Monica B; Gonzalez-Calvar, Silvia; Meineke, Viktor; Köhn, Frank M; Mayerhofer, Artur

    2005-04-01

    The complete lack of information about mast cells as a source of histamine and potential target cells for histamine in human testes prompted us to investigate these issues in testes of fertile and infertile patients using a combination of laser microdissection, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and immunohistochemistry. We show for the first time the expression of the rate-limiting enzyme in histamine synthesis-histidine decarboxylase-by human testicular mast cells and the expression of the histamine (H) receptors 1 (H1) and 2 (H2) by germinal, interstitial, and peritubular cells in the testes of fertile and infertile patients.

  3. Human enteric viruses–potential indicators for enhanced monitoring of recreational water quality

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Erin; Allmann; Updyke; Zi; Wang; Si; Sun; Christina; Connell; Marek; Kirs; Mayee; Wong; Yuanan; Lu

    2015-01-01

    Recreational waters contaminated with human fecal pollution are a public health concern, and ensuring the safety of recreational waters for public use is a priority of both the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC). Current recreational water standards rely on fecal indicator bacteria(FIB) levels as indicators of human disease risk. However present evidence indicates that levels of FIB do not always correspond to the presence of other potentially harmful organisms, such as viruses. Thus, enteric viruses are currently tested as water quality indicators, but have yet to be successfully implemented in routine monitoring of water quality. This study utilized enteric viruses as possible alternative indicators of water quality to examine 18 different fresh and offshore recreational waters on O‘ahu, Hawai‘i, by using newly established laboratory techniques including highly optimized PCR, real time PCR, and viral infectivity assays. All sample sites were detected positive for human enteric viruses by PCR including enterovirus, norovirus genogroups I and II, and male specific FRNA coliphage. A six time-point seasonal study of enteric virus presence indicated significant variation in virus detection between the rainy and dry seasons. Quantitative PCR detected the presence of norovirus genogroup II at levels at which disease risk may occur, and there was no correlation found between enteric virus presence and FIB counts. Under the present laboratory conditions, no infectious viruses were detected from the samples PCR-positive for enteric viruses. These data emphasize both the need for additional indicators for improved monitoring of water quality, and the feasibility of using enteric viruses as these indicators.

  4. The effect of managed care on quality: a review of recent evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellinger, F J

    1998-04-27

    This article reviews recent evidence about the relationship between managed care and quality. With one exception, the studies reviewed represent observation periods that extend through 1990 or a more recent year. The review has led to the conclusion that managed care has not decreased the overall effectiveness of care. However, evidence suggests that managed care may adversely affect the health of some vulnerable subpopulations. Evidence also suggests that enrollees in managed care plans are less satisfied with their care and have more problems accessing specialized services. In addition, younger, wealthier, and healthier persons were more satisfied with their health plans than older, poorer, and sicker persons, even after adjusting for the type of health plan.The findings of the studies reviewed do not provide definitive results about the effect of managed care on quality. Indeed, relatively few studies include data from the 1990s, and little is known about the newer types of health maintenance organizations that invest heavily in information systems and rely on financial incentives to alter practice patterns. Furthermore, managed care is not a uniform method that is applied identically by all health plans, and research studying the different dimensions of managed care also is needed.

  5. Pesticides and human chronic diseases: evidences, mechanisms, and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mostafalou, Sara; Abdollahi, Mohammad

    2013-04-15

    Along with the wide use of pesticides in the world, the concerns over their health impacts are rapidly growing. There is a huge body of evidence on the relation between exposure to pesticides and elevated rate of chronic diseases such as different types of cancers, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson, Alzheimer, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), birth defects, and reproductive disorders. There is also circumstantial evidence on the association of exposure to pesticides with some other chronic diseases like respiratory problems, particularly asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease such as atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease, chronic nephropathies, autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematous and rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and aging. The common feature of chronic disorders is a disturbance in cellular homeostasis, which can be induced via pesticides' primary action like perturbation of ion channels, enzymes, receptors, etc., or can as well be mediated via pathways other than the main mechanism. In this review, we present the highlighted evidence on the association of pesticide's exposure with the incidence of chronic diseases and introduce genetic damages, epigenetic modifications, endocrine disruption, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress and unfolded protein response (UPR), impairment of ubiquitin proteasome system, and defective autophagy as the effective mechanisms of action. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Direct evidence of milk consumption from ancient human dental calculus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Warinner, C.; Hendy, J.; Speller, C.

    2015-01-01

    Milk is a major food of global economic importance, and its consumption is regarded as a classic example of gene-culture evolution. Humans have exploited animal milk as a food resource for at least 8500 years, but the origins, spread, and scale of dairying remain poorly understood. Indirect lines...

  7. Repair pathways evident in human liver organ slices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vickers, Alison E. M.; Fisher, Robyn; Olinga, Peter; Dial, Sharon

    2011-01-01

    The extension of human liver slice culture viability for several days broadens the potential of this ex vivo model for characterizing pathways of organ injury and repair, and allows for the multiple dosing of compounds. Extended viability is demonstrated by continued synthesis of GSH and ATP, and ma

  8. How Does Educational Technology Benefit Humanity? Five Years of Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Ramos, Pedro

    2006-01-01

    This article presents a review of the 25 finalists (Laureates) in the Education category of the Technology Benefiting Humanity Awards, which started in 2001. Most of the applicants can be considered social entrepreneurs working to improve educational systems and the learning opportunities and experiences of their intended beneficiaries. While the…

  9. Politics drives human functioning, dignity, and quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Brian K; Spellings, Carolyn; McNeely, Clea; Page, Paul D; Giacaman, Rita; Arafat, Cairo; Daher, Mahmoud; El Sarraj, Eyad; Mallouh, Mohammed Abu

    2014-12-01

    Too little is known about human functioning amidst chronic adversity. We addressed that need by studying adult Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt), a population that has experienced longstanding economic and political hardships. Fourteen group interviews were conducted in February, 2010 in Arabic by local fieldworkers with 68 participants representing the main stratifications of Palestinian society: gender, region, refugee status, and political affiliation. Interview tasks included each participant: describing someone doing well and not well, free listing domains of functioning, and prioritizing domains to the three most important. Thematic analyses highlighted the dominating role of the political domain of functioning (e.g., political structures, constraints, effects, identity, and activism) and the degree to which political conditions impacted all other realms of functioning (economic, education, family, psychological, etc.). The discussion links the findings to relevant theory and empirical work that has called attention to the need to include the political in frameworks of quality of life. It also emphasized that values, such as justice, rights, dignity and self-determination, that underlie political structures and policies, are key elements of human functioning. This is the case not only in the oPt, but in any society where power imbalances marginalize segments of the population.

  10. A SIMPLE COLORIMETRIC METHOD TO DETECT BIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE OF HUMAN EXPOSURE TO MICROCYSTINS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxic cyanobacteria are contaminants of surface waters worldwide. Microcystins are some of the most commonly detected toxins. Biological evidence of human exposure may be difficult to obtain due to limitations associated with cost, laboratory capacity, analytic support, and exp...

  11. Epidemiologic evidence for chloroprene carcinogenicity: review of study quality and its application to risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukowski, John Arthur

    2009-09-01

    This article evaluates the quality and weight of evidence associated with epidemiologic studies of cancer among occupational cohorts exposed to chloroprene. The focus is on liver, lung, and lymphohematopoietic cancers, which had been increased in early studies. Literature searches identified eight morbidity/mortality studies covering seven chloroprene-exposed cohorts from six countries. These studies were summarized and their quality was assessed using the 10 criteria suggested by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The limitations within this literature (primarily the early studies) included crude exposure assessment, incomplete follow-up, uncertain baseline rates, and uncontrolled confounding by factors such as smoking, drinking, and co-exposure to benzene and vinyl chloride. Four cohorts were studied by the same group of investigators, who reported no overall increased associations for any cancers. This four-cohort study was by far the most rigorous, having the most comprehensive exposure assessment and follow-up and the most detailed documentation. This study also contained the two largest cohorts, including an American cohort from Louisville, Kentucky, that ranked at or near the top for each of the 10 quality criteria. There was evidence of a strong healthy worker effect in the four-cohort study, which could have hidden small excess risks. Small increased risks were suggested by internal or company-specific analyses, but these were most likely caused by uncontrolled confounding and low baseline rates. Overall, the weight of evidence does not support any substantial link between chloroprene exposure and cancer, but inconsistencies and a lack of control for major confounders preclude drawing firmer conclusions.

  12. Pesticides and human chronic diseases: Evidences, mechanisms, and perspectives

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mostafalou, Sara; Abdollahi, Mohammad, E-mail: Mohammad.Abdollahi@UToronto.Ca

    2013-04-15

    Along with the wide use of pesticides in the world, the concerns over their health impacts are rapidly growing. There is a huge body of evidence on the relation between exposure to pesticides and elevated rate of chronic diseases such as different types of cancers, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson, Alzheimer, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), birth defects, and reproductive disorders. There is also circumstantial evidence on the association of exposure to pesticides with some other chronic diseases like respiratory problems, particularly asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease such as atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease, chronic nephropathies, autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematous and rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and aging. The common feature of chronic disorders is a disturbance in cellular homeostasis, which can be induced via pesticides' primary action like perturbation of ion channels, enzymes, receptors, etc., or can as well be mediated via pathways other than the main mechanism. In this review, we present the highlighted evidence on the association of pesticide's exposure with the incidence of chronic diseases and introduce genetic damages, epigenetic modifications, endocrine disruption, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress and unfolded protein response (UPR), impairment of ubiquitin proteasome system, and defective autophagy as the effective mechanisms of action. - Highlights: ► There is a link between exposure to pesticides and incidence of chronic diseases. ► Genotoxicity and proteotoxicity are two main involved mechanisms. ► Epigenetic knowledge may help diagnose the relationships. ► Efficient policies on safe use of pesticides should be set up.

  13. Evidence for a Conserved Quantity in Human Mobility

    CERN Document Server

    Alessandretti, Laura; Lehmann, Sune; Baronchelli, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Faced with effectively unlimited choices of how to spend their time, humans are constantly balancing a trade-off between exploitation of familiar places and exploration of new locations. Previous analyses have shown that at the daily and weekly timescales individuals are well characterized by an activity space of repeatedly visited locations. How this activity space evolves in time, however, remains unexplored. Here we analyse high-resolution spatio-temporal traces from 850 individuals participating in a 24-month experiment. We find that, although activity spaces undergo considerable changes, the number of familiar locations an individual visits at any point in time is a conserved quantity. We show that this number is similar for different individuals, revealing a substantial homogeneity of the observed population. We point out that the observed fixed size of the activity space cannot be explained in terms of time constraints, and is therefore a distinctive property of human behavior.

  14. Income Shocks, Consumption, Wealth, and Human Capital: Evidence from Russia

    OpenAIRE

    Mu, Ren

    2006-01-01

    Using the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey, this article investigates how Russian households' consumption responds to income shocks and, in particular, how household wealth and human capital affect the households' ability to smooth consumption. An instrumental variable estimation method with household fixed effects is implemented. After correcting for potential problems of sample attrition using the inverse probability weighting method, the article finds that household consumption in Rus...

  15. Human resource management and organizational performance: Evidence from retail banking.

    OpenAIRE

    Ann P. Bartel

    2004-01-01

    Studies of the relationship between human resource management and establishment performance have heretofore focused on the manufacturing sector. Using a unique longitudinal dataset collected through site visits to branch operations of a large bank, the author extends that research to the service sector. Because branch managers had considerable discretion in managing their operations and employees, the HRM environment could vary greatly across branches and over time. Site visits provided speci...

  16. Evidence for thiocyanate-sensitive peroxidase activity in human saliva.

    OpenAIRE

    Cowman, R A; Baron, S S; Obenauf, S D; Byrnes, J J

    1983-01-01

    A procedure was developed for determining the relative levels of lactoperoxidase, leukocyte myeloperoxidase, and thiocyanate-sensitive peroxidase in human saliva. With this procedure, most of the peroxidase activity in whole saliva from normal (those without cancer) subjects was found to be associated with lactoperoxidase and thiocyanate-sensitive peroxidase, with only a minor contribution from leukocyte myeloperoxidase. In contrast, thiocyanate-sensitive peroxidase and leukocyte myeloperoxid...

  17. In silico evidence for gluconeogenesis from fatty acids in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Kaleta

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The question whether fatty acids can be converted into glucose in humans has a long standing tradition in biochemistry, and the expected answer is "No". Using recent advances in Systems Biology in the form of large-scale metabolic reconstructions, we reassessed this question by performing a global investigation of a genome-scale human metabolic network, which had been reconstructed on the basis of experimental results. By elementary flux pattern analysis, we found numerous pathways on which gluconeogenesis from fatty acids is feasible in humans. On these pathways, four moles of acetyl-CoA are converted into one mole of glucose and two moles of CO₂. Analyzing the detected pathways in detail we found that their energetic requirements potentially limit their capacity. This study has many other biochemical implications: effect of starvation, sports physiology, practically carbohydrate-free diets of inuit, as well as survival of hibernating animals and embryos of egg-laying animals. Moreover, the energetic loss associated to the usage of gluconeogenesis from fatty acids can help explain the efficiency of carbohydrate reduced and ketogenic diets such as the Atkins diet.

  18. Evidence for a human-specific Escherichia coli clone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clermont, Olivier; Lescat, Mathilde; O'Brien, Claire L; Gordon, David M; Tenaillon, Olivier; Denamur, Erick

    2008-04-01

    Escherichia coli is a widespread commensal of the vertebrate intestinal tract. Until recently, no strong association between a particular clone and a given host species has been found. However, members of the B2 subgroup VIII clone with an O81 serotype appear to be human host specific. To determine the degree of host specificity exhibited by this clone, a PCR-based assay was used to screen 723 faecal and clinical isolates from humans, and 904 faecal isolates from animals. This clone was not detected among the animal isolates, but was discovered in people living in Africa, Europe and South America. The clone is rarely isolated from people suffering from intestinal or extraintestinal disease and is avirulent in a mouse model of extraintestinal infection. Fine-scale epidemiological analysis suggests that this clone is competitively dominant relative to other members of the B2 phylogenetic group and that it has increased in frequency over the past 20 years. This clone appears to be a good candidate for use as a probiotic, and may be suitable as an indicator of human faecal contamination in microbial source tracking studies.

  19. Quality of evidence revealing subtle gender biases in science is in the eye of the beholder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handley, Ian M; Brown, Elizabeth R; Moss-Racusin, Corinne A; Smith, Jessi L

    2015-10-27

    Scientists are trained to evaluate and interpret evidence without bias or subjectivity. Thus, growing evidence revealing a gender bias against women-or favoring men-within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) settings is provocative and raises questions about the extent to which gender bias may contribute to women's underrepresentation within STEM fields. To the extent that research illustrating gender bias in STEM is viewed as convincing, the culture of science can begin to address the bias. However, are men and women equally receptive to this type of experimental evidence? This question was tested with three randomized, double-blind experiments-two involving samples from the general public (n = 205 and 303, respectively) and one involving a sample of university STEM and non-STEM faculty (n = 205). In all experiments, participants read an actual journal abstract reporting gender bias in a STEM context (or an altered abstract reporting no gender bias in experiment 3) and evaluated the overall quality of the research. Results across experiments showed that men evaluate the gender-bias research less favorably than women, and, of concern, this gender difference was especially prominent among STEM faculty (experiment 2). These results suggest a relative reluctance among men, especially faculty men within STEM, to accept evidence of gender biases in STEM. This finding is problematic because broadening the participation of underrepresented people in STEM, including women, necessarily requires a widespread willingness (particularly by those in the majority) to acknowledge that bias exists before transformation is possible.

  20. Evidence of Metacognitive Control by Humans and Monkeys in a Perceptual Categorization Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redford, Joshua S.

    2010-01-01

    Metacognition research has focused on the degree to which nonhuman primates share humans' capacity to monitor their cognitive processes. Convincing evidence now exists that monkeys can engage in metacognitive monitoring. By contrast, few studies have explored metacognitive control in monkeys, and the available evidence of metacognitive control…

  1. Spirulina in clinical practice: evidence-based human applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karkos, P D; Leong, S C; Karkos, C D; Sivaji, N; Assimakopoulos, D A

    2011-01-01

    Spirulina or Arthrospira is a blue-green alga that became famous after it was successfully used by NASA as a dietary supplement for astronauts on space missions. It has the ability to modulate immune functions and exhibits anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the release of histamine by mast cells. Multiple studies investigating the efficacy and the potential clinical applications of Spirulina in treating several diseases have been performed and a few randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews suggest that this alga may improve several symptoms and may even have an anticancer, antiviral and antiallergic effects. Current and potential clinical applications, issues of safety, indications, side-effects and levels of evidence are addressed in this review. Areas of ongoing and future research are also discussed.

  2. Spirulina in Clinical Practice: Evidence-Based Human Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. D. Karkos

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Spirulina or Arthrospira is a blue-green alga that became famous after it was successfully used by NASA as a dietary supplement for astronauts on space missions. It has the ability to modulate immune functions and exhibits anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the release of histamine by mast cells. Multiple studies investigating the efficacy and the potential clinical applications of Spirulina in treating several diseases have been performed and a few randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews suggest that this alga may improve several symptoms and may even have an anticancer, antiviral and antiallergic effects. Current and potential clinical applications, issues of safety, indications, side-effects and levels of evidence are addressed in this review. Areas of ongoing and future research are also discussed.

  3. Drug interactions at the human placenta: what is the evidence?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam eRubinchik-Stern

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Pregnant women (and their fetuses are treated with a significant number of prescription and nonprescription medications. Interactions among those drugs may affect their efficacy and toxicity in both mother and fetus. Whereas interactions that result in altered drug concentrations in maternal plasma are detectable, those involving modulation of placental transfer mechanisms are rarely reflected by altered drug concentrations in maternal plasma. Therefore, they are often overlooked. Placental-mediated interactions are possible because the placenta is not only a passive diffusional barrier, but also expresses a variety of influx and efflux transporters and drug metabolizing enzymes. Current data on placental-mediated drug interactions are limited. In rodents, pharmacological or genetic manipulations of placental transporters significantly affect fetal drug exposure. In contrast, studies in human placentae suggest that the magnitude of such interactions is modest in most cases. Nevertheless, under certain circumstances, such interactions may be of clinical significance. This review describes currently known mechanisms of placental-mediated drug interactions and the potential implications of such interactions in humans. Better understanding of those mechanisms is important for minimizing fetal toxicity from drugs while improving their efficacy when directed to treat the fetus.

  4. Towards Web Documents Quality Assessment for Digital Humanities Scholars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ceolin, D.; Noordegraaf, J.; Aroyo, L.; van Son, C.; Wolfgang, N.

    2016-01-01

    We present a framework for assessing the quality of Web documents, and a baseline of three quality dimensions: trustworthiness, objectivity and basic scholarly quality. Assessing Web document quality is a "deep data" problem necessitating approaches to handle both data size and complexity.

  5. Towards Web Documents Quality Assessment for Digital Humanities Scholars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ceolin, D.; Noordegraaf, J.; Aroyo, L.; van Son, C.; Wolfgang, N.

    2016-01-01

    We present a framework for assessing the quality of Web documents, and a baseline of three quality dimensions: trustworthiness, objectivity and basic scholarly quality. Assessing Web document quality is a "deep data" problem necessitating approaches to handle both data size and complexity.

  6. Decreases in Human Semen Quality with Age Among Healthy Men

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eskenazi, B.; Wyrobek, A.J.; Kidd, S.A.; Moore, L.; Young, S.S.; Moore, D.

    2001-12-01

    The objective of this report is to characterize the associations between age and semen quality among healthy active men after controlling for identified covariates. Ninety-seven healthy, nonsmoking men between 22 and 80 years without known fertility problems who worked for or retired from a large research laboratory. There was a gradual decrease in all semen parameters from 22-80 years of age. After adjusting for covariates, volume decreased 0.03 ml per year (p = 0.001); sperm concentration decreased 2.5% per year (p = 0.005); total count decreased 3.6% per year of age (p < 0.001); motility decreased 0.7% per year (P < 0.001); progressive motility decreased 3.1% per year (p < 0.001); and total progressively motile sperm decreased 4.8% per year (p < 0.001). In a group of healthy active men, semen volume, sperm concentration, total sperm count, and sperm motility decrease continuously between 22-80 years of age, with no evidence of a threshold.

  7. Drugs associated with teratogenic mechanisms. Part II : a literature review of the evidence on human risks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Gelder, Marleen M. H. J.; de Jong-van den Berg, Lolkje T. W.; Roeleveld, Nel

    2014-01-01

    What is the current state of knowledge on the human risks of drugs suspected to be associated with teratogenic mechanisms? Evidence for the presence or absence of human risks of birth defects is scarce or non-existent for the majority of drugs associated with teratogenic mechanisms. Medical drugs su

  8. Human Capital Questionnaire: Assessment of European nurses' perceptions as indicators of human capital quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yepes-Baldó, Montserrat; Romeo, Marina; Berger, Rita

    2013-06-01

    Healthcare accreditation models generally include indicators related to healthcare employees' perceptions (e.g. satisfaction, career development, and health safety). During the accreditation process, organizations are asked to demonstrate the methods with which assessments are made. However, none of the models provide standardized systems for the assessment of employees. In this study, we analyzed the psychometric properties of an instrument for the assessment of nurses' perceptions as indicators of human capital quality in healthcare organizations. The Human Capital Questionnaire was applied to a sample of 902 nurses in four European countries (Spain, Portugal, Poland, and the UK). Exploratory factor analysis identified six factors: satisfaction with leadership, identification and commitment, satisfaction with participation, staff well-being, career development opportunities, and motivation. The results showed the validity and reliability of the questionnaire, which when applied to healthcare organizations, provide a better understanding of nurses' perceptions, and is a parsimonious instrument for assessment and organizational accreditation. From a practical point of view, improving the quality of human capital, by analyzing nurses and other healthcare employees' perceptions, is related to workforce empowerment.

  9. Evidence that neomycin inhibits human cytomegalovirus infection of fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobert, P E; Hober, D; Delannoy, A S; Wattré, P

    1996-01-01

    The effect of phosphoinositide-binding aminoglycosides, such as neomycin, gentamicin and streptomycin, on human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection of human fibroblasts MRC-5 was studied. The inhibition of HCMV infection was obtained with all of these molecules but neomycin was more effective than the others. We showed that the inoculation of the cells with cell-free viral suspension in presence of neomycin concentrations above 5 mM at 37 degrees C, inhibited more than 98% the HCMV infection. However, the preincubation of the fibroblasts with neomycin at 4 degrees C, before the removal of the drug and the inoculation of the cells, induced only a 30% decrease in the number of infected cells. Addition of neomycin after the HCMV-binding at 4 degrees C or the infection of the cells was less efficient to inhibit HCMV infection than the standard incubation of neomycin during inoculation of the fibroblasts. Indeed, 1 hour after the inoculation of the cells at 37 degrees C, neomycin still inhibited HCMV infection, but 4 hours after the inoculation, this drug had no effect on HCMV infection. Our findings demonstrated that neomycin must be present at the time of infection in order to exert a full inhibiting effect. The effect of neomycin on the HCMV infection was almost immediate upon the addition of the drug (binding and/or internalization) and after the virus internalization (inhibition of immediate-early events). We suggest that neomycin and other aminoglycoside antibiotics may interact with HCMV glycoproteins for binding to similar structural features of cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans and may inhibit HCMV infection in fibroblasts by disrupting phosphoinositide-mediated events in the cells.

  10. Fuel poverty and human health: A review of recent evidence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liddell, Christine, E-mail: c.liddell@ulster.ac.u [School of Psychology, University of Ulster, Cromore Road, Coleraine BT53 8BZ (United Kingdom); Morris, Chris [School of Psychology, University of Ulster, Cromore Road, Coleraine BT53 8BZ (United Kingdom)

    2010-06-15

    The health impacts of tackling fuel poverty are reviewed, drawing primarily on large-scale studies completed in the last 10 years. Although physical health effects on adults appear to be modest, caregivers and children perceive significant impacts on children's respiratory health. There also appear to be significant effects on the physical health of infants, particularly on weight gain and susceptibility to illness. Mental health effects on adults emerge as significant in most studies, as do mental health impacts on adolescents. Mental health effects on children have, as yet, never been systematically assessed. Whilst several studies are methodologically rigorous, with some also based on very large samples, methodological problems remain. In future evaluations of health impacts, clinical outcomes could be more comprehensively augmented with measures that extend beyond physical health. These include measures reflecting quality of life, changes in patterns of social engagement and daily routine, and their concomitant impacts on mental wellbeing, Such measures may provide more rounded insights into the potential health impacts of tackling fuel poverty and-equally as important for policy and practice-the processes by which these impacts become manifest.

  11. Fuel poverty and human health A review of recent evidence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liddell, Christine; Morris, Chris [School of Psychology, University of Ulster, Cromore Road, Coleraine BT53 8BZ (United Kingdom)

    2010-06-15

    The health impacts of tackling fuel poverty are reviewed, drawing primarily on large-scale studies completed in the last 10 years. Although physical health effects on adults appear to be modest, caregivers and children perceive significant impacts on children's respiratory health. There also appear to be significant effects on the physical health of infants, particularly on weight gain and susceptibility to illness. Mental health effects on adults emerge as significant in most studies, as do mental health impacts on adolescents. Mental health effects on children have, as yet, never been systematically assessed. Whilst several studies are methodologically rigorous, with some also based on very large samples, methodological problems remain. In future evaluations of health impacts, clinical outcomes could be more comprehensively augmented with measures that extend beyond physical health. These include measures reflecting quality of life, changes in patterns of social engagement and daily routine, and their concomitant impacts on mental wellbeing, Such measures may provide more rounded insights into the potential health impacts of tackling fuel poverty and - equally as important for policy and practice - the processes by which these impacts become manifest. (author)

  12. Evidence for developmental programming of cerebral laterality in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Alexander; Osmond, Clive; Godfrey, Keith M; Phillips, David I W

    2011-02-16

    Adverse fetal environments are associated with depression, reduced cognitive ability and increased stress responsiveness in later life, but underlying mechanisms are unknown. Environmental pressures on the fetus, resulting from variations in placental function and maternal nutrition, health and stress might alter neurodevelopment, promoting the development of some brain regions over others. As asymmetry of cerebral activity, with greater right hemisphere activity, has been associated with psychopathology, we hypothesized that regional specialization during fetal life might be reflected persistently in the relative activity of the cerebral hemispheres. We tested this hypothesis in 140 healthy 8-9 year-old children, using tympanic membrane temperature to assess relative blood flow to the cerebral hemispheres at rest and following psychosocial stress (Trier Social Stress Test for Children). Their birth weight and placental weight had already been measured when their mothers took part in a previous study of pregnancy outcomes. We found that children who had a smaller weight at birth had evidence of greater blood flow to the right hemisphere than to the left hemisphere (r = -.09, P = .29 at rest; r = -.18, P = .04 following stress). This finding was strengthened if the children had a relatively low birth weight for their placental weight (r = -.17, P = .05 at rest; r = -.31, P = .0005 following stress). Our findings suggest that lateralization of cerebral activity is influenced persistently by early developmental experiences, with possible consequences for long-term neurocognitive function.

  13. The Impact of Human Capital on Economic Growth: Empirical Evidence from Sudan

    OpenAIRE

    Khalafalla Ahmed Mohamed Arabi; Suliman Zakaria Suliman Abdalla

    2013-01-01

    This paper empirically investigates the impact of human capital on economic growth in Sudan for the period 1982-2009 by using a simultaneous equation model that links human capital i.e. school attainment; and investment in education and health to economic growth, total productivity, foreign direct investment, and human development index. Based on three-stage least squares technique, the empirical results of the paper show that quality of the education has a determinant role in the economic gr...

  14. Postmenopausal Osteoporosis Management: A Review of the Evidence to Inform the Development of Quality Indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conklin, Annalijn; Yaqub, Ohid; Celia, Claire; Nolte, Ellen

    2012-01-01

    This article aims to inform the development of quality indicators for postmenopausal osteoporosis management through (a) assessing the evidence for screening and diagnosis of osteoporosis and related risk factors, and for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related fractures; (b) describing current practice for managing postmenopausal osteoporosis in Europe; and (c) highlighting existing gaps in the evidence base and management practices in Europe. Analyses involved a comprehensive review of reviews regarding the screening and diagnosis of osteoporosis and related risk factors and the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related fractures. While this identified a well-developed evidence base on the effects of selected treatments on clinical outcomes of postmenopausal osteoporosis and associated fractures, and on the usefulness of selected simple risk factor assessment tools to identify postmenopausal women who would benefit from further diagnostic assessment, uncertainties remain regarding for example the optimal use of pharmacological interventions for preventive purposes and the effectiveness of population-based screening. We also carried out case study reviews of current practices for managing postmenopausal osteoporosis in England, France, Germany and Spain. We identify a need for the establishment of routine monitoring systems to enable better understanding of contemporary patterns and trends and identify care gaps in the management of postmenopausal osteoporosis and associated fractures. Such analyses are crucial to inform targeted strategies and policies to effectively address the burden of osteoporosis and associated fractures, which is sizable and set to increase across Europe. We set out considerations as a starting point for the further development of quality measures for postmenopausal osteoporosis in Europe.

  15. Quality assurance and risk management: Perspectives on Human Factors Certification of Advanced Aviation Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Robert M.; Macleod, Iain S.

    1994-01-01

    This paper is based on the experience of engineering psychologists advising the U.K. Ministry of Defense (MoD) on the procurement of advanced aviation systems that conform to good human engineering (HE) practice. Traditional approaches to HE in systems procurement focus on the physical nature of the human-machine interface. Advanced aviation systems present increasingly complex design requirements for human functional integration, information processing, and cognitive task performance effectiveness. These developing requirements present new challenges for HE quality assurance (QA) and risk management, requiring focus on design processes as well as on design content or product. A new approach to the application of HE, recently adopted by NATO, provides more systematic ordering and control of HE processes and activities to meet the challenges of advanced aircrew systems design. This systematic approach to HE has been applied by MoD to the procurement of mission systems for the Royal Navy Merlin helicopter. In MoD procurement, certification is a judicial function, essentially independent of the service customer and industry contractor. Certification decisions are based on advice from MoD's appointed Acceptance Agency. Test and evaluation (T&E) conducted by the contractor and by the Acceptance Agency provide evidence for certification. Certification identifies limitations of systems upon release to the service. Evidence of compliance with HE standards traditionally forms the main basis of HE certification and significant non-compliance could restrict release. The systems HE approach shows concern for the quality of processes as well as for the content of the product. Human factors certification should be concerned with the quality of HE processes as well as products. Certification should require proof of process as well as proof of content and performance. QA criteria such as completeness, consistency, timeliness, and compatibility provide generic guidelines for

  16. On the evidence for human use and control of fire at Schöningen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahlschmidt, Mareike C; Miller, Christopher E; Ligouis, Bertrand; Hambach, Ulrich; Goldberg, Paul; Berna, Francesco; Richter, Daniel; Urban, Brigitte; Serangeli, Jordi; Conard, Nicholas J

    2015-12-01

    When and how humans began to control fire has been a central debate in Paleolithic archaeology for decades. Fire plays an important role in technology, social organization, subsistence, and manipulation of the environment and is widely seen as a necessary adaptation for the colonization of northern latitudes. Many researchers view purported hearths, burnt wooden implements, and heated flints from Schöningen as providing the best evidence for the control of fire in the Lower Paleolithic of Northern Europe. Here we present results of a multianalytical study of the purported hearths along with a critical examination of other possible evidence of human use or control of fire at Schöningen. We conclude that the analyzed features and artifacts present no convincing evidence for human use or control of fire. Our study also shows that a multianalytical, micro-contextual approach is the best methodology for evaluating claims of early evidence of human-controlled fire. We advise caution with macroscopic, qualitative identification of combustion features, burnt flint, and burnt wood without the application of such techniques as micromorphology, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, organic petrology, luminescence, and analysis of mineral magnetic parameters. The lack of evidence for the human control of fire at Schöningen raises the possibility that fire control was not a necessary adaptation for the human settlement of northern latitudes in the Lower Paleolithic.

  17. Applying water quality indexes (WQI to the use of water sources for human consumption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Torres

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Naturally occurring and anthropic contamination of water sources limits the use of water for human consumption. Fast and representative tools, such as water quality indexes (WQI,allow performing an integral assessment of the resource, this being essential when making decisions about the management and control of sanitary risks through different purification processes. A comparative analysis of applying WQINSF,Dinius WQI, ICAUCA and UWQI indexes at five points or stations on the Cauca River located in the Salvajina–Puerto Mallarino water uptake section, gave evidence of growing river deterioration due to the different socio-economic activities carried out in the river basin. This water quality condition brings about the incorporation of additional or specific treatment operations such as activated carbon or adsorption for the destination of the resource for human consumption. The presence of pathogens and particulate material were the variables mostly affecting WQI value. It is thus recommended that the development or adaptation of an index having a similar structure to the DQWI index should be considered to make a thorough river assessment and the additional use of soil which might generate the presence of other substances causing a sanitary risk in the source, considering variation in time and space of the parameters comprising it and its comparison with current legislation.

  18. Bap31 enhances the endoplasmic reticulum export and quality control of human class I MHC molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladasky, John J; Boyle, Sarah; Seth, Malini; Li, Hewang; Pentcheva, Tsvetelina; Abe, Fumiyoshi; Steinberg, Steven J; Edidin, Michael

    2006-11-01

    The assembly of class I MHC molecules and their export from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is governed by chaperones and accessory proteins. We present evidence that the putative cargo receptor protein Bap31 participates in the transport and the quality control of human class I molecules. Transfection of the human adenocarcinoma cell line HeLa with yellow fluorescent protein-Bap31 chimeras increased surface levels of class I in a dose-dependent manner, by as much as 3.7-fold. The increase in surface class I resulted from an increase in the rate of export of newly synthesized class I molecules to the cell surface and from an increase in the stability of the exported molecules. We propose that Bap31 performs quality control on class I molecules in two distinct phases: first, by exporting peptide-loaded class I molecules to the ER/Golgi intermediate compartment, and second, by retrieving class I molecules that have lost peptides in the acidic post-ER environment. This function of Bap31 is conditional or redundant, because we find that Bap31 deficiency does not reduce surface class I levels. Overexpression of the Bap31 homolog, Bap29, decreases surface class levels in HeLa, indicating that it does not substitute for Bap31.

  19. Research monitoring by US medical institutions to protect human subjects: compliance or quality improvement?

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jong, Jean Philippe; van Zwieten, Myra C B; Willems, Dick L

    2013-04-01

    In recent years, to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects, institutions in the USA have begun to set up programmes to monitor ongoing medical research. These programmes provide routine, onsite oversight, and thus go beyond existing oversight such as investigating suspected misconduct or reviewing paperwork provided by investigators. However, because of a lack of guidelines and evidence, institutions have had little guidance in setting up their programmes. To help institutions make the right choices, we used interviews and document analysis to study how and why 11 US institutions have set up their monitoring programmes. Although these programmes varied considerably, we were able to distinguish two general types. 'Compliance' programmes on the one hand were part of the institutional review board office and set up to ensure compliance with regulations. Investigators' participation was mandatory. Monitors focused on documentation. Investigators could be disciplined, and could be obliged to take corrective actions. 'Quality-improvement' programmes on the other hand were part of a separate office. Investigators requested to be monitored. Monitors focused more on actual research conduct. Investigators and other parties received feedback on how to improve the research process. Although both types of programmes have their drawbacks and advantages, we argue that if institutions want to set up monitoring programmes, quality improvement is the better choice: it can help foster an atmosphere of trust between investigators and the institutional review board, and can help raise the standards for the protection of human subjects.

  20. Evidence for developmental programming of cerebral laterality in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Jones

    Full Text Available Adverse fetal environments are associated with depression, reduced cognitive ability and increased stress responsiveness in later life, but underlying mechanisms are unknown. Environmental pressures on the fetus, resulting from variations in placental function and maternal nutrition, health and stress might alter neurodevelopment, promoting the development of some brain regions over others. As asymmetry of cerebral activity, with greater right hemisphere activity, has been associated with psychopathology, we hypothesized that regional specialization during fetal life might be reflected persistently in the relative activity of the cerebral hemispheres. We tested this hypothesis in 140 healthy 8-9 year-old children, using tympanic membrane temperature to assess relative blood flow to the cerebral hemispheres at rest and following psychosocial stress (Trier Social Stress Test for Children. Their birth weight and placental weight had already been measured when their mothers took part in a previous study of pregnancy outcomes. We found that children who had a smaller weight at birth had evidence of greater blood flow to the right hemisphere than to the left hemisphere (r = -.09, P = .29 at rest; r = -.18, P = .04 following stress. This finding was strengthened if the children had a relatively low birth weight for their placental weight (r = -.17, P = .05 at rest; r = -.31, P = .0005 following stress. Our findings suggest that lateralization of cerebral activity is influenced persistently by early developmental experiences, with possible consequences for long-term neurocognitive function.

  1. Assessment of human impact on water quality along Manyame River

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tirivashe P. Masere

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Human activities such as urbanization, agriculture, sewage treatment and industrialization are affecting water resources both quantitatively and qualitatively. The impact of these activities were studied by measuring and determining the concentration and values of eight selected water quality parameters namely nitrates, phosphates, copper, iron, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD, dissolved oxygen (DO, pH and turbidity along Manyame River, in the Manyame Catchment. Thirty five sites were sampled from the source of the river which is at Seke Dam, along Manyame River and on the tributaries (Ruwa, Nyatsime, Mukuvisi and Marimba just before they join the river. The 35 sites were categorized into 5 groups (A, B, C, D and E with group A and E being the upstream and downstream of Manyame. The analysis of results was undertaken using a simple one-way ANOVA with group as the only source of variation. Turbidity values, nitrate and phosphate concentrations were found to be higher than the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA maximum permissible standards for surface waters. DO saturation in the downstream groups was less than 75% (ZINWA standard. Agricultural and urban runoff and sewage effluent were responsible of the high nutrient levels and turbidity, which in turn, reduced the dissolved oxygen (DO.

  2. [Job Satisfaction: a quality indicator in nursing human resource management].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siqueira, Vera Thânia Alves; Kurcgant, Paulina

    2012-02-01

    This descriptive study addresses the job satisfaction of nurse managers and clinical nurses working at the Hematology and Hemotherapy Services of a public hospital in São Paulo. The study objectives were to identify the factors that caused job satisfaction among nurse managers and clinical nurses, and support the results in the development of indicators to evaluate the quality of nursing human resource management. The components of the study were: autonomy, interaction, professional status, job requirements, organizational norms and remuneration. Participants were 44 nurses. Data were collected using a Job Satisfaction Index (JSI) questionnaire. In conclusion, this study permitted the identification of the clinical nurse group, which was the most satisfied, with a JSI of 10.5; the managerial group scored 10.0. Regarding the satisfaction levels in regards to the current activity, 88.9% of the nurse managers reported feeling satisfied, as did 90.9% of clinical nurses. For both groups, autonomy was the component with the highest level of professional satisfaction.

  3. Evidence that human papillomavirus causes inverted papilloma is sparse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justice, Jeb M; Davis, Kern M; Saenz, Daniel A; Lanza, Donald C

    2014-12-01

    Controversy exists regarding the pathogenesis of inverted papilloma as it relates to the involvement of human papillomavirus (HPV). The purpose of this report is to describe the prevalence of HPV in nondysplastic, "early inverted papilloma" and to summarize HPV detection rates in the general population and in other HPV related neoplasia. This case series report characterizes consecutive inverted papilloma patients from January 2005 to August 2012 with regard to smoking history, dysplasia, and HPV detection rates. Presence or absence of low/high risk HPV was determined by standardized in situ hybridization DNA probes. Medline literature review was performed to determine the prevalence of HPV in inverted papilloma without moderate or severe dysplasia. Thirty-six consecutive patients were identified with an average age of 63.6 (range, 40-84) years; gender: 23 men, 13 women. More than half (55%) were active or former smokers (14% active and 41% former). High/low risk HPV was present in 1 in 36 (2.7%) patients and 1 in 36 (2.7%) had mild dysplasia. In the literature review: (1) HPV was detected in 16.4% of inverted papilloma without dysplasia; (2) oral cavity HPV detection was 4.2% to 11.4% in the normal population; and (3) HPV was normally detected in 85% to 95% of HPV-related neoplasia. Given histological features of inverted papilloma and comparatively low detection rates of HPV in inverted papilloma without dysplasia (2.7%), as well as the summary of the world literature, HPV is not related to the initial pathogenesis of inverted papilloma or inverted papilloma's tendency to persist or recur. It is postulated that since inverted papilloma is more an inflammatory polyp, it is susceptible to secondary HPV infection because of its metaplasia. Tobacco and other causes of respiratory epithelium remodeling are more plausible explanations for the initial tissue transformation to inverted papilloma. © 2014 ARS-AAOA, LLC.

  4. Serological evidence for human cystic echinococcosis in Slovenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kotar Tadeja

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cystic echinococcosis (CE is caused by the larva of tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus. Dogs and other canids are the primary definitive hosts for this parasite. CE may develop after accidental ingestion of tapeworm eggs, excreted with the feces of these animals. In the intestine, the larvae released from the eggs are nested in the liver, lungs or other organs of livestock as intermediate hosts and humans as aberrant hosts. The aim of this study was to examine serologically whether some of the patients in Slovenia, suspected of CE by imaging findings in the liver or lungs had been infected with the larva of Echinococcus granulosus. Methods Between January 1, 2002 and the end of December 2006, 1323 patients suspected of having echinococcosis were screened serologically by indirect haemagglutination assay (IHA. For confirmation and differentiation of Echinococcus spp. infection, the sera of IHA-positive patients were then retested by western blot (WB. Results Out of 127 IHA-positive sera, 34 sera were confirmed by WB and considered specific for CE. Of 34 sera of CE-positive patients sera, 32 corresponded to the characteristic imaging findings of a liver cysts and 2 to those of lung cysts. The mean age of CE-positive patients was 58.3 years. No significant differences were found between the CE-positive patients in regard to their sex. Conclusion In the study, it was found out that CE was mostly spread in the same area of Slovenia as in the past, but its prevalence decreased from 4.8 per 105 inhabitants in the period 1956–1968 to 1.7 per 105 inhabitants in the period 2002–2006. In spite of the decreased prevalence of CE in the last years, it is suggested that clinicians and public health authorities, especially in the eastern parts of Slovenia where the most CE patients come from, should pay greater attention to this disease in the future.

  5. Health-related quality of life outcomes and level of evidence in pediatric neurosurgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Daniel; Vedantam, Aditya; Briceño, Valentina; Lam, Sandi K; Luerssen, Thomas G; Jea, Andrew

    2016-10-01

    OBJECTIVE The emphasis on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) outcomes is increasing, along with an emphasis on evidence-based medicine. However, there is a notable paucity of validated HRQOL instruments for the pediatric population. Furthermore, no standardization or consensus currently exists concerning which HRQOL outcome measures ought to be used in pediatric neurosurgery. The authors wished to identify HRQOL outcomes used in pediatric neurosurgery research over the past 10 years, their frequency, and usage trends. METHODS Three top pediatric neurosurgical journals were reviewed for the decade from 2005 to 2014 for clinical studies of pediatric neurosurgical procedures that report HRQOL outcomes. Similar studies in the peer-reviewed journal Pediatrics were also used as a benchmark. Publication year, level of evidence, and HRQOL outcomes were collected for each article. RESULTS A total of 31 HRQOL studies were published in the pediatric neurosurgical literature over the study period. By comparison, there were 55 such articles in Pediatrics. The number of publications using HRQOL instruments showed a significant positive trend over time for Pediatrics (B = 0.62, p = 0.02) but did not increase significantly over time for the 3 neurosurgical journals (B = 0.12, p = 0.5). The authors identified a total of 46 different HRQOL instruments used across all journals. Within the neurosurgical journals, the Hydrocephalus Outcome Questionnaire (HOQ) (24%) was the most frequently used, followed by the Health Utilities Index (HUI) (16%), the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) (12%), and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) (12%). Of the 55 articles identified in Pediatrics, 22 (40%) used a version of the PedsQL. No neurosurgical study reached above Level 4 on the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (OCEBM) system. However, multiple studies from Pediatrics achieved OCEBM Level 3, several were categorized as Level 2, and one reached Level 1

  6. Quality Education for Social Development and Human Well-Being

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moradi Sheykhjan, Tohid

    2015-01-01

    Education as a phenomenon is rather complex which makes it difficult to define its quality. Definitions of quality must be open to change and evolution based on information, changing contexts, and new understandings of the nature of education's challenges. The main objective of the paper is to find out the significance of quality education for…

  7. Quality Service in the International Hotel Sector: A Catalyst for Strategic Human Resource Development?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxwell, Gill; Watson, Sandra; Quail, Samantha

    2004-01-01

    This paper analyses the nature of, and relationship between, a quality service initiative and the concept of strategic human resource development. Hilton International is the case study used for this analysis. The principal finding is that the quality initiative is acting as a catalyst for a strategic approach to human resource development to…

  8. Quality Service in the International Hotel Sector: A Catalyst for Strategic Human Resource Development?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxwell, Gill; Watson, Sandra; Quail, Samantha

    2004-01-01

    This paper analyses the nature of, and relationship between, a quality service initiative and the concept of strategic human resource development. Hilton International is the case study used for this analysis. The principal finding is that the quality initiative is acting as a catalyst for a strategic approach to human resource development to…

  9. [Assessment of the quality of scientific evidence in Anales Españoles de Pediatría].

    Science.gov (United States)

    González De Dios, J

    2001-04-01

    Evidence-based medicine is a new scientific paradigm that aims to use medical literature more effectively in guiding medical practice. The aim of this study was to assess the quality of scientific evidence in Spanish pediatric articles. Original articles published in Anales Españoles de Pediatría during a 6.5year period (n733) were compared with those published in Pediatrics during a 1.5year period (n300). The quality of scientific evidence in Anales was high in only 3% of original articles (randomized clinical trials). It was average in 30.4% (non-randomized clinical trials, cohort studies, case-control studies) and poor in 66.6% (descriptive studies, case reports, etc.). Only 10.2% of articles used appropriate methodological concepts according to evidence-based medicine. These concepts were mainly "soft" (odds ratio, relative risk, confidence interval) and no "hard" concepts (number needed to treat, likelihood ratio, odds pretest) were detected. The pediatric specialty showing the highest quality of scientific evidence, greatest use of appropriate methodological concepts and greatest statistical accessibility was pneumology. The first step in improving the quality of scientific evidence would be to establish collaboration between epidemiologists and/or biostatisticians. The evidence-based bibliometric indicators found in Pediatrics serve as a gold standard for Anales.

  10. Indoor Air Quality Assessment Based on Human Physiology - Part 1. New Criteria Proposal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. V. Jokl

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Human physiology research makes evident that the Weber-Fechner law applies not only to noise perception but also to the perception of other environmental components. Based on this fact, new decibel units for dor component representing indoor air quality in majority locations have been proposed: decicarbdiox dCd (for carbon dioxide CO2 and decitvoc dTv (for total volatile organic compound TVOC. Equations of these new units have been proved by application of a experimental relationships between odor intensity (representing odor perception by the human body and odor concentrations of CO2 and TVOC, b individually  measured CO2 and TVOC levels (concentrations – from these new decibel units can be calculated and their values compared with decibel units of noise measured in the same locations. The undoubted benefit of using the decibel scale is that it gives much better approximation to human perception of odor intensity compared to the CO2 and TVOC concentration scales.

  11. Environmental Quality and Human Well-being. Outcomes of a workshop

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kamp I van; Hollander AEM den; Staatsen BAM; Poll R van; MGO

    2003-01-01

    In April 2002 an international workshop on environmental quality and human well-being was held at Utrecht, the Netherlands. The workshop was aimed at obtaining consensus on basic principles and assumptions underlying conceptual models concerning environmental quality (EQ) and quality of life (QoL) a

  12. Human Capital Quality and Development: An Employers' and Employees' Comparative Insight

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neagu Olimpia

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the paper is to compare the employers' and employees' insights on human capital quality defining and human capital development at organisational level, based on a survey carried out in the county of Satu Mare, Romania. Our findings show that as human capital buyers, employers understand by human capital quality professional background and skills, professional behaviour and efficiency and productivity for the organisation. As human capital sellers, for employees human capital quality means health and the ability to learn and to be suitable to the job requirements. Regarding the opportunities to develop the organisational human capital, the views of employers and employees are very different when the level of discussion is international (macro-level. Employees consider that the international environment has a greater impact on human capital development in their organisation as the employers.

  13. Evidence-based medicine in bovine, equine and canine reproduction: quality of current literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simoneit, C; Heuwieser, W; Arlt, S

    2011-10-01

    The objective was to evaluate deficits and differences of published literature on reproduction in cattle, horses, and dogs. A literature search was conducted in the databases Medline and Veterinary Science. Approximately five times more articles on clinical bovine reproduction (n = 25 910) were found compared to canine (n = 5 015) and equine (n = 5 090) reproduction. For the evaluation of the literature, a checklist was used. A subset of 600 articles published between 1999 and 2008 was randomly selected. After applying exclusion criteria, a total of 268 trials (86 for cattle, 99 for horses, and 83 for dogs) were evaluated and used for further analysis. For the field of canine and equine reproduction, there were fewer clinical trials with a control group compared to bovine reproduction (cattle 66%, horses 41%, and dogs 41%). For all three species investigated, few publications were identified (4%) with the highest level of evidence, i.e., controlled, randomized, and blinded trials, or meta-analyses. In cattle 33% of the publications were graded adequate to draw sound conclusions; however, only 7 and 11% were graded adequate in dogs and horses, respectively. Therefore, the veterinarian should always assess the quality of information before implementing results into practice to provide best available care for the animals. In conclusion, improvement of the quality of well-designed, conducted and reported clinical trails in animal reproduction is required.

  14. Promoting Quality and Evidence-Based Care in Early-Stage Breast Cancer Follow-up

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Daniel F.; Ramsey, Scott D.; Hortobagyi, Gabriel N.; Barlow, William E.; Gralow, Julie R.

    2014-01-01

    Evidence-based guidelines for long-term follow-up of early-stage breast cancer patients developed by oncology societies in the United States and Europe recommend that breast cancer survivors undergo regular evaluation with history and physical examination, as well as annual mammography. Routine blood tests, circulating tumor markers, and/or surveillance imaging studies beyond mammography are not recommended in the absence of concerning symptoms or physical examination findings because of lack of supportive clinical evidence. Despite these guidelines, studies have shown that 20% to 40% of oncologists assess serum tumor markers as part of routine monitoring of early-stage breast cancer patients. As part of efforts to both address the financial challenges confronting the health-care system and optimize patient outcomes, the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Cost of Care Task Force identified adherence to breast cancer surveillance guidelines as an opportunity to improve care and reduce cost. However, these recommendations are based on trials done in an era of outdated technology and limited therapeutic options. It is possible that recent improvements in diagnostics and treatments could make earlier detection of recurrent disease important for improving both survival and quality of life outcomes. Research is necessary to further inform optimal breast cancer follow-up strategies, which could impact these recommendations. At this time, outside of well-conducted clinical trials, there is no role for ordering routine serial blood or imaging tests in monitoring for recurrence in early-stage breast cancer patients. PMID:24627271

  15. Improving Access to Quality Care in Family Planning: WHO's Four Cornerstones of Evidence-based Guidance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shang-chun WU; Yan ZOU; K Church; O Meirik

    2007-01-01

    The four cornerstones of guidance in technique service of family planning are established by WHO based on high quality evidences. They have been updated according to the appearing new evidences, and the consensuses were reached by the international experts in this field. The four documents include Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use, Decision-making Tool for Family Planning Clients and Providers and The Global Handbook for Family Planning Providers. The first two documents mainlyface to the policy-makers and programme managers and were treated as the important references for creating the local guideline. The other two documents were developed for the front-line health-care and family planning providers at different levels, which include plenty of essential technical information to help providers improve their ability in service delivery and counselling. China paid great attention to the introduction and application of WHO guidelines. As soon as the newer editions of these documents were available, the Chinese version would be followed. WHO guidelines have been primarily adapted with the newly issued national guideline, The Clinical Practical Skill Guidelines- Family Planning Part, which was established by China Medical Association. At the same time, the WHO guidelines have been introduced to some of the linicians and family planning providers at different levels. In the future, more special training courses will be introduced to the township level based on the needs of grassroot providers.

  16. Evidence-based practice barriers and facilitators from a continuous quality improvement perspective: an integrative review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomons, Nan M; Spross, Judith A

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of the present study is to examine the barriers and facilitators to evidence-based practice (EBP) using Shortell's framework for continuous quality improvement (CQI). EBP is typically undertaken to improve practice. Although there have been many studies focused on the barriers and facilitators to adopting EBP, these have not been tied explicitly to CQI frameworks. CINAHL, Academic Search Premier, Medline, Psych Info, ABI/Inform and LISTA databases were searched using the keywords: nurses, information literacy, access to information, sources of knowledge, decision making, research utilization, information seeking behaviour and nursing practice, evidence-based practice. Shortell's framework was used to organize the barriers and facilitators. Across the articles, the most common barriers were lack of time and lack of autonomy to change practice which falls within the strategic and cultural dimensions in Shortell's framework. Barriers and facilitators to EBP adoption occur at the individual and institutional levels. Solutions to the barriers need to be directed to the dimension where the barrier occurs, while recognizing that multidimensional approaches are essential to the success of overcoming these barriers. The findings of the present study can help nurses identify barriers and implement strategies to promote EBP as part of CQI. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  17. Quality management and safety culture in medicine - Do standard quality reports provide insights into the human factor of patient safety?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wischet, Werner; Schusterschitz, Claudia

    2009-12-15

    In 1999 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published the landmark report "To err is human: building a safer healthcare system" highlighting critical deficiencies within the area of patient safety. As a consequence, safety culture evolved as a core component of quality management in medicine. Purpose of the investigation at hand was to find out to what extent this is reflected in standard quality reports issued by German hospitals providing maximum medical care. Reports issued for the year 2006 were analysed with respect to the appearance of indicators for the presence of a safety culture. Results suggest that despite the huge awareness for patient safety caused by the IOM report, the topic of safety culture does not get the anticipated attention within the quality reports. This may indicate that the current requirements for the quality reports do not facilitate transparency when it comes to the human factor of patient safety.

  18. Human capital and career success: Evidence from linked employer-employee data

    OpenAIRE

    Frederiksen, Anders; Kato, Takao

    2011-01-01

    Denmark's registry data provide accurate and complete career history data along with detailed personal characteristics (e.g., education, gender, work experience, tenure and others) for the population of Danish workers longitudinally. By using such data from 1992 to 2002, we provide rigorous evidence for the first time for the population of workers in an entire economy (as opposed to case study evidence) on the effects of the nature and scope of human capital on career success (measured by app...

  19. Total Quality Management : Aspects of implementation and human resource

    OpenAIRE

    Brynnum, Niels

    2006-01-01

    Problem Discussion Total quality management has become a frequently used term in discussions concerning quality. The international and national competitive environment is in a proces of constant change by the globalisation of markets and increased interdependence of economic agents. This process of change has brought increased demands on the organizations compettiveness and the customers have gained a central role in the organizations focus. Total quality management is considered to be an imp...

  20. Quality of Life Theory II. Quality of Life as the Realization of Life Potential: A Biological Theory of Human Being

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soren Ventegodt

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available This review presents one of the eight theories of the quality of life (QOL used for making the SEQOL (self-evaluation of quality of life questionnaire or the quality of life as realizing life potential. This theory is strongly inspired by Maslow and the review furthermore serves as an example on how to fulfill the demand for an overall theory of life (or philosophy of life, which we believe is necessary for global and generic quality-of-life research.Whereas traditional medical science has often been inspired by mechanical models in its attempts to understand human beings, this theory takes an explicitly biological starting point. The purpose is to take a close view of life as a unique entity, which mechanical models are unable to do. This means that things considered to be beyond the individual's purely biological nature, notably the quality of life, meaning in life, and aspirations in life, are included under this wider, biological treatise. Our interpretation of the nature of all living matter is intended as an alternative to medical mechanism, which dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. New ideas such as the notions of the human being as nestled in an evolutionary and ecological context, the spontaneous tendency of self-organizing systems for realization and concord, and the central role of consciousness in interpreting, planning, and expressing human reality are unavoidable today in attempts to scientifically understand all living matter, including human life.

  1. The southern route "out of Africa": evidence for an early expansion of modern humans into Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armitage, Simon J; Jasim, Sabah A; Marks, Anthony E; Parker, Adrian G; Usik, Vitaly I; Uerpmann, Hans-Peter

    2011-01-28

    The timing of the dispersal of anatomically modern humans (AMH) out of Africa is a fundamental question in human evolutionary studies. Existing data suggest a rapid coastal exodus via the Indian Ocean rim around 60,000 years ago. We present evidence from Jebel Faya, United Arab Emirates, demonstrating human presence in eastern Arabia during the last interglacial. The tool kit found at Jebel Faya has affinities to the late Middle Stone Age in northeast Africa, indicating that technological innovation was not necessary to facilitate migration into Arabia. Instead, we propose that low eustatic sea level and increased rainfall during the transition between marine isotope stages 6 and 5 allowed humans to populate Arabia. This evidence implies that AMH may have been present in South Asia before the Toba eruption.

  2. Setting targets for human resources for eye health in sub-Saharan Africa: what evidence should be used?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtright, Paul; Mathenge, Wanjiku; Kello, Amir Bedri; Cook, Colin; Kalua, Khumbo; Lewallen, Susan

    2016-03-16

    With a global target set at reducing vision loss by 25% by the year 2019, sub-Saharan Africa with an estimated 4.8 million blind persons will require human resources for eye health (HReH) that need to be available, appropriately skilled, supported, and productive. Targets for HReH are useful for planning, monitoring, and resource mobilization, but they need to be updated and informed by evidence of effectiveness and efficiency. Supporting evidence should take into consideration (1) ever-changing disease-specific issues including the epidemiology, the complexity of diagnosis and treatment, and the technology needed for diagnosis and treatment of each condition; (2) the changing demands for vision-related services of an increasingly urbanized population; and (3) interconnected health system issues that affect productivity and quality. The existing targets for HReH and some of the existing strategies such as task shifting of cataract surgery and trichiasis surgery, as well as the scope of eye care interventions for primary eye care workers, will need to be re-evaluated and re-defined against such evidence or supported by new evidence.

  3. Human Origins: Problems in the Interpretation of New Evidence. Third Edition. AAAS Study Guides on Contemporary Problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almquist, Alan J.; Cronin, John E.

    This Chautauqua-type short course in human evolution is divided into two parts: The Biochemical Evidence for Human Evolution, and the Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution. The first part covers the comparison of macromolecular differences between species. This includes comparison of DNA base-ratios and amino acid substitution in enzymes and other…

  4. Phylogenetic evidence that two distinct Trichuris genotypes infect both humans and non-human primates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damiana F Ravasi

    Full Text Available Although there has been extensive debate about whether Trichuris suis and Trichuris trichiura are separate species, only one species of the whipworm T. trichiura has been considered to infect humans and non-human primates. In order to investigate potential cross infection of Trichuris sp. between baboons and humans in the Cape Peninsula, South Africa, we sequenced the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region of adult Trichuris sp. worms isolated from five baboons from three different troops, namely the Cape Peninsula troop, Groot Olifantsbos troop and Da Gama Park troop. This region was also sequenced from T. trichiura isolated from a human patient from central Africa (Cameroon for comparison. By combining this dataset with Genbank records for Trichuris isolated from other humans, non-human primates and pigs from several different countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa, we confirmed the identification of two distinct Trichuris genotypes that infect primates. Trichuris sp. isolated from the Peninsula baboons fell into two distinct clades that were found to also infect human patients from Cameroon, Uganda and Jamaica (named the CP-GOB clade and China, Thailand, the Czech Republic, and Uganda (named the DG clade, respectively. The divergence of these Trichuris clades is ancient and precedes the diversification of T. suis which clustered closely to the CP-GOB clade. The identification of two distinct Trichuris genotypes infecting both humans and non-human primates is important for the ongoing treatment of Trichuris which is estimated to infect 600 million people worldwide. Currently baboons in the Cape Peninsula, which visit urban areas, provide a constant risk of infection to local communities. A reduction in spatial overlap between humans and baboons is thus an important measure to reduce both cross-transmission and zoonoses of helminthes in Southern Africa.

  5. Phylogenetic evidence that two distinct Trichuris genotypes infect both humans and non-human primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravasi, Damiana F; O'Riain, Mannus J; Davids, Faezah; Illing, Nicola

    2012-01-01

    Although there has been extensive debate about whether Trichuris suis and Trichuris trichiura are separate species, only one species of the whipworm T. trichiura has been considered to infect humans and non-human primates. In order to investigate potential cross infection of Trichuris sp. between baboons and humans in the Cape Peninsula, South Africa, we sequenced the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region of adult Trichuris sp. worms isolated from five baboons from three different troops, namely the Cape Peninsula troop, Groot Olifantsbos troop and Da Gama Park troop. This region was also sequenced from T. trichiura isolated from a human patient from central Africa (Cameroon) for comparison. By combining this dataset with Genbank records for Trichuris isolated from other humans, non-human primates and pigs from several different countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa, we confirmed the identification of two distinct Trichuris genotypes that infect primates. Trichuris sp. isolated from the Peninsula baboons fell into two distinct clades that were found to also infect human patients from Cameroon, Uganda and Jamaica (named the CP-GOB clade) and China, Thailand, the Czech Republic, and Uganda (named the DG clade), respectively. The divergence of these Trichuris clades is ancient and precedes the diversification of T. suis which clustered closely to the CP-GOB clade. The identification of two distinct Trichuris genotypes infecting both humans and non-human primates is important for the ongoing treatment of Trichuris which is estimated to infect 600 million people worldwide. Currently baboons in the Cape Peninsula, which visit urban areas, provide a constant risk of infection to local communities. A reduction in spatial overlap between humans and baboons is thus an important measure to reduce both cross-transmission and zoonoses of helminthes in Southern Africa.

  6. Effects of interface pressure distribution on human sleep quality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zongyong Chen

    Full Text Available High sleep quality promotes efficient performance in the following day. Sleep quality is influenced by environmental factors, such as temperature, light, sound and smell. Here, we investigated whether differences in the interface pressure distribution on healthy individuals during sleep influenced sleep quality. We defined four types of pressure models by differences in the area distribution and the subjective feelings that occurred when participants slept on the mattresses. One type of model was showed "over-concentrated" distribution of pressure; one was displayed "over-evenly" distributed interface pressure while the other two models were displayed intermediate distribution of pressure. A polysomnography analysis demonstrated an increase in duration and proportion of non-rapid-eye-movement sleep stages 3 and 4, as well as decreased number of micro-arousals, in subjects sleeping on models with pressure intermediately distributed compared to models with over-concentrated or over-even distribution of pressure. Similarly, higher scores of self-reported sleep quality were obtained in subjects sleeping on the two models with intermediate pressure distribution. Thus, pressure distribution, at least to some degree, influences sleep quality and self-reported feelings of sleep-related events, though the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. The regulation of pressure models imposed by external sleep environment may be a new direction for improving sleep quality. Only an appropriate interface pressure distribution is beneficial for improving sleep quality, over-concentrated or -even distribution of pressure do not help for good sleep.

  7. Animate and Inanimate Objects in Human Visual Cortex: Evidence for Task-Independent Category Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiggett, Alison J.; Pritchard, Iwan C.; Downing, Paul E.

    2009-01-01

    Evidence from neuropsychology suggests that the distinction between animate and inanimate kinds is fundamental to human cognition. Previous neuroimaging studies have reported that viewing animate objects activates ventrolateral visual brain regions, whereas inanimate objects activate ventromedial regions. However, these studies have typically…

  8. Evidence for the existence of mammalian acetoacetate decarboxylase: with special reference to human blood serum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stekelenburg, Gerard J. van; Koorevaar, Gerrit

    In this article evidence is presented for the existence of mammalian acetoacetate decarboxylase (acetoacetate carboxy-lyase: E.G. 4.1.1.4). From experiments with human blood serum the presence of a non-ultrafiltrable activator, accelerating the decomposition of acetoacetate into acetone and carbon

  9. Evidence for Human Adaptation and Foodborne Transmission of Livestock-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Jesper; Stegger, Marc; Andersen, Paal S.;

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the evolution and epidemiology of a novel live-stock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strain, which colonizes and infects urban-dwelling Danes even without a Danish animal reservoir. Genetic evidence suggests both poultry and human adaptation, with poultry meat...

  10. Two independent killing mechanisms of Candida albicans by human neutrophils: evidence from innate immunity defects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gazendam, R.P.; Hamme, J.L. van; Tool, A.T.; Houdt, M. van; Verkuijlen, P.J.; Herbst, M.; Liese, J.G.; Veerdonk, F.L. van de; Roos, D.; Berg, T.K. van den; Kuijpers, T.W.

    2014-01-01

    Invasive fungal infections, accompanied by high rates of mortality, represent an increasing problem in medicine. Neutrophils are the major effector immune cells in fungal killing. Based on studies with neutrophils from patients with defined genetic defects, we provide evidence that human neutrophils

  11. Evidence for the existence of mammalian acetoacetate decarboxylase: with special reference to human blood serum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stekelenburg, Gerard J. van; Koorevaar, Gerrit

    1972-01-01

    In this article evidence is presented for the existence of mammalian acetoacetate decarboxylase (acetoacetate carboxy-lyase: E.G. 4.1.1.4). From experiments with human blood serum the presence of a non-ultrafiltrable activator, accelerating the decomposition of acetoacetate into acetone and carbon d

  12. Epidemiological evidence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia without the presence of human papillomavirus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burger, MPM; Hollema, H; Pieters, WJLM; Schroder, FP; Quint, WGV

    1996-01-01

    The aim of this paper was to provide epidemiological evidence to support the notion that cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (GIN) without human papillomavirus (HPV) is a true entity. If a diagnosis of HPV-negative cervical neoplasia is erroneous, one would not expect there to be any differences in r

  13. Evidence that masking of synapsis imperfections counterbalances quality control to promote efficient meiosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanna Mlynarczyk-Evans

    Full Text Available Reduction in ploidy to generate haploid gametes during sexual reproduction is accomplished by the specialized cell division program of meiosis. Pairing between homologous chromosomes and assembly of the synaptonemal complex at their interface (synapsis represent intermediate steps in the meiotic program that are essential to form crossover recombination-based linkages between homologs, which in turn enable segregation of the homologs to opposite poles at the meiosis I division. Here, we challenge the mechanisms of pairing and synapsis during C. elegans meiosis by disrupting the normal 1:1 correspondence between homologs through karyotype manipulation. Using a combination of cytological tools, including S-phase labeling to specifically identify X chromosome territories in highly synchronous cohorts of nuclei and 3D rendering to visualize meiotic chromosome structures and organization, our analysis of trisomic (triplo-X and polyploid meiosis provides insight into the principles governing pairing and synapsis and how the meiotic program is "wired" to maximize successful sexual reproduction. We show that chromosomes sort into homologous groups regardless of chromosome number, then preferentially achieve pairwise synapsis during a period of active chromosome mobilization. Further, comparisons of synapsis configurations in triplo-X germ cells that are proficient or defective for initiating recombination suggest a role for recombination in restricting chromosomal interactions to a pairwise state. Increased numbers of homologs prolong markers of the chromosome mobilization phase and/or boost germline apoptosis, consistent with triggering quality control mechanisms that promote resolution of synapsis problems and/or cull meiocytes containing synapsis defects. However, we also uncover evidence for the existence of mechanisms that "mask" defects, thus allowing resumption of prophase progression and survival of germ cells despite some asynapsis. We propose

  14. Quality of Mobile Phone and Tablet Mobile Apps for Speech Sound Disorders: Protocol for an Evidence-Based Appraisal

    OpenAIRE

    Furlong, Lisa M; Morris, Meg E.; Erickson, Shane; Serry, Tanya A

    2016-01-01

    Background Although mobile apps are readily available for speech sound disorders (SSD), their validity has not been systematically evaluated. This evidence-based appraisal will critically review and synthesize current evidence on available therapy apps for use by children with SSD. Objective The main aims are to (1) identify the types of apps currently available for Android and iOS mobile phones and tablets, and (2) to critique their design features and content using a structured quality appr...

  15. Modelling of the Quality Management of the Human Resource Training

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bucur Amelia

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available It is known that for the scientific substantiation of quality management have been applied models that pertain to mathematical statistics, the probability theory, the information theory, fuzzy systems, graphic methods, time series, and algebraic and numerical methods.

  16. Quality, language, subdiscipline and promotion were associated with article accesses on Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamato, Tiê P; Arora, Mohit; Stevens, Matthew L; Elkins, Mark R; Moseley, Anne M

    2017-08-12

    To quantify the relationship between the number of times articles are accessed on the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) and the article characteristics. A secondary aim was to examine the relationship between accesses and the number of citations of articles. The study was conducted to derive prediction models for the number of accesses of articles indexed on PEDro from factors that may influence an article's accesses. All articles available on PEDro from August 2014 to January 2015 were included. We extracted variables relating to the algorithm used to present PEDro search results (research design, year of publication, PEDro score, source of systematic review (Cochrane or non-Cochrane)) plus language, subdiscipline of physiotherapy, and whether articles were promoted to PEDro users. Three predictive models were examined using multiple regression analysis. Citation and journal impact factor were downloaded. There were 29,313 articles indexed in this period. We identified seven factors that predicted the number of accesses. More accesses were noted for factors related to the algorithm used to present PEDro search results (synthesis research (i.e., guidelines and reviews), recent articles, Cochrane reviews, and higher PEDro score) plus publication in English and being promoted to PEDro users. The musculoskeletal, neurology, orthopaedics, sports, and paediatrics subdisciplines were associated with more accesses. We also found that there was no association between number of accesses and citations. The number of times an article is accessed on PEDro is partly predicted by how condensed and high quality the evidence it contains is. Copyright © 2017 Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Aflatoxin is not a probably human carcinogen: the published evidence is sufficient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoloff, L

    1989-12-01

    Since the early 1960s, when aflatoxin, the mold-produced contaminant of a number of important food commodities, was found to be a potent hepatocarcinogen for laboratory rats, there has been a sustained search for evidence to support the regulatory presumption that aflatoxin is a probable human carcinogen. The developing laboratory evidence of differences between species in metabolism of aflatoxin and susceptibility to its oncogenic effects indicated that humans were probably refractory to aflatoxin carcinogenesis, but the early epidemiological evidence indicated otherwise. That epidemiological evidence, however, contained flaws so that Working Groups of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) meeting in 1970, 1976, and 1982, although ignoring the biochemical evidence, did consider the available epidemiological evidence insufficient for a conclusion of human carcinogenicity. During the 1970s and 1980s, studies on the connection between chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and primary liver cell cancer (PLC), the expected lesion from aflatoxin exposure, had established a very strong etiological relationship between HBV and PLC. Since all the epidemiological studies of aflatoxin and PLC conducted prior to 1982 had been of populations with endemic HBV infection, and, in addition to other flaws, had not been controlled for this confounding factor, there was a solid basis for their rejection. Most epidemiological studies in the 1980s of aflatoxin and PLC were either in the United States, where HBV-infected groups could be excluded from the study, or, when in areas of chronic HBV infection, attempts were made to include that factor. The study of U.S. populations showed no difference in mortality rates from PLC that could be attributed to aflatoxin exposure. The studies of populations with endemic HBV infection produced no convincing evidence to support a primary role for aflatoxin in the induction of human PLC, although an accessory role to HBV

  18. Human cranial diversity and evidence for an ancient lineage of modern humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schillaci, Michael A

    2008-06-01

    This study examines the genetic affinities of various modern human groupings using a multivariate analysis of morphometric data. Phylogenetic relationships among these groupings are also explored using neighbor-joining analysis of the metric data. Results indicate that the terminal Pleistocene/early Holocene fossils from Australasia exhibit a close genetic affinity with early modern humans from the Levant. Furthermore, recent human populations and Upper Paleolithic Europeans share a most recent common ancestor not shared with either the early Australasians or the early Levantine humans. This pattern of genetic and phylogenetic relationships suggests that the early modern humans from the Levant either contributed directly to the ancestry of an early lineage of Australasians, or that they share a recent common ancestor with them. The principal findings of the study, therefore, lend support to the notion of an early dispersal from Africa by a more ancient lineage of modern human prior to 50 ka, perhaps as early as OIS 5 times (76-100 ka).

  19. Possibilities of collecting evidences about crime act of sexual exploitation in human beings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mijalković Saša

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Collecting evidences about organized crime act of sexual exploitation in human begins often is very difficult because of high level of organization, secrecy ant precaution taken during committing prostitution, pornography, sex tourism and human trafficking. On the other side, high illegal profit enable criminals to engage "expensive" and experienced lawyers, whose often make values and reliability of collected evidences questionable, appealing to irregularities during police collecting procedure. Among traditional criminalities methods and proofing activities, in the study, modern tendencies in special investigative measures and techniques are considered. After that, there is pointing at specificity, meaning and value of material tracks and objects, which are essential for proofing crime act or perpetrator’s guiltiness. On the end, there is pointing at importance of victims’ cooperation in collecting evidences about their sexual exploitation.

  20. [Evaluation of urban human settlement quality in Ningxia based on AHP and the entropy method].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shuai; Wei, Hong; Ni, Xi-Lu; Gu, Yan-Wen; Li, Chang-Xiao

    2014-09-01

    As one of the key indicators of the urbanization and the sustainable development of cities, urban human settlement quality has been a hot issue. In this paper, an evaluation system containing indicators related to four aspects (ecological, social, humanities and economic environments) was established to assess the urban human settlement quality in five main cities in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Northwest China. After calculating each indicator' s weight in the evaluation system through AHP and the entropy method, the quality of urban human settlement was analyzed. Results showed that Yinchuan had a score of 0. 85 for the quality of human settlement, Shizuishan 0.62, Wuzhong 0.43, Zhongwei 0.33, and Guyuan 0.32, respectively. Shizuishan got the highest score in the eco-environment aspect, and Yinchuan had the highest scores for social, humanities and economic environments. Zhongwei and Guyuan had relatively low scores in all the four urban human settlement aspects. Coordination analysis showed that internal coordination was moderate for Yinchuan (0.79) and Shizuishan (0.72), and relatively good for the other cities. However, coordination was relatively poor among the five cities, especially in social environment (0.48). These results suggested that an unsatisfied situation existed in terms of the urban human settlement quality in Ningxia, and that corresponding measures should be taken to accelerate the development of vulnerable indicators, so as to coordinate all the urban human settlement aspects within and among cities.

  1. Weighing serological evidence of human exposure to animal influenza viruses - a literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sikkema, Reina Saapke; Freidl, Gudrun Stephanie; de Bruin, Erwin; Koopmans, Marion

    2016-11-03

    Assessing influenza A virus strains circulating in animals and their potential to cross the species barrier and cause human infections is important to improve human influenza surveillance and preparedness. We reviewed studies describing serological evidence of human exposure to animal influenza viruses. Comparing serological data is difficult due to a lack of standardisation in study designs and in laboratory methods used in published reports. Therefore, we designed a scoring system to assess and weigh specificity of obtained serology results in the selected articles. Many studies report reliable evidence of antibodies to swine influenza viruses among persons occupationally exposed to pigs. Most avian influenza studies target H5, H7 and H9 subtypes and most serological evidence of human exposure to avian influenza viruses is reported for these subtypes. Avian influenza studies receiving a low grade in this review often reported higher seroprevalences in humans compared with studies with a high grade. Official surveillance systems mainly focus on avian H5 and H7 viruses. Swine influenza viruses and avian subtypes other than H5 and H7 (emphasising H9) should be additionally included in official surveillance systems. Surveillance efforts should also be directed towards understudied geographical areas, such as Africa and South America. This article is copyright of The Authors, 2016.

  2. New Archaeological Evidence for an Early Human Presence at Monte Verde, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dillehay, Tom D.; Ocampo, Carlos; Saavedra, José; Sawakuchi, Andre Oliveira; Vega, Rodrigo M.; Pino, Mario; Collins, Michael B.; Scott Cummings, Linda; Arregui, Iván; Villagran, Ximena S.; Hartmann, Gelvam A.; Mella, Mauricio; González, Andrea; Dix, George

    2015-01-01

    Questions surrounding the chronology, place, and character of the initial human colonization of the Americas are a long-standing focus of debate. Interdisciplinary debate continues over the timing of entry, the rapidity and direction of dispersion, the variety of human responses to diverse habitats, the criteria for evaluating the validity of early sites, and the differences and similarities between colonization in North and South America. Despite recent advances in our understanding of these issues, archaeology still faces challenges in defining interdisciplinary research problems, assessing the reliability of the data, and applying new interpretative models. As the debates and challenges continue, new studies take place and previous research reexamined. Here we discuss recent exploratory excavation at and interdisciplinary data from the Monte Verde area in Chile to further our understanding of the first peopling of the Americas. New evidence of stone artifacts, faunal remains, and burned areas suggests discrete horizons of ephemeral human activity in a sandur plain setting radiocarbon and luminescence dated between at least ~18,500 and 14,500 cal BP. Based on multiple lines of evidence, including sedimentary proxies and artifact analysis, we present the probable anthropogenic origins and wider implications of this evidence. In a non-glacial cold climate environment of the south-central Andes, which is challenging for human occupation and for the preservation of hunter-gatherer sites, these horizons provide insight into an earlier context of late Pleistocene human behavior in northern Patagonia. PMID:26580202

  3. Evidence of fire use of late Pleistocene humans from the Huanglong Cave, Hubei Province, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Wu; WU XianZhu; LI YiYin; DENG ChengLong; WU XiuJie; PEI ShuWen

    2009-01-01

    Since 2004, three excavations have been carried out at a late Pleistocene human fossil site of Huan-glong Cave in Yunxi County, Hubei Province of China, which unearthed seven human teeth, dozens of stone tools, mammal fossils and other evidence indicating human activities. During the third excava-tion in 2006, in the same layer as the human teeth, we found some patches of black materials embed-ded in the deposit. We doubted that this black deposit layer is the remains of burning or even human use of fire at the cave. To further explore the possibility of human fire use at the Huanglong Cave, we examined samples directly taken from the black deposit layer and compared them with samples taken from several places in the cave using three methods: micromorphology, element content determination and deposit temperature analysis. Our results indicate that the contents of carbon element in the black deposit reach 64.59%-73.29%. In contrast, contents of carbon element of the comparative samples from other parts in the cave are only 5.82%-9.49%. The micromorphology analysis of the black de-posit samples reveals a plant structure like axial parenchyma, fibrocyte, uniseriate ray and vessel.High-temperature magnetic susceptibility measurements suggest that the stratum possibly underwent a high temperature in the nature. Based on these lab analyses, we are sure that the black layer in the Huanglong Cave is the remains of fire and combustion did occur in the cave 100000 years ago. Taking other evidence of human activities found in the Huanglong Cave into consideration, we believe that the evidence of fire from the Huanglong Cave was caused by the human activities of controlled use of fire.

  4. Rationale awareness for quality assurance in iterative human computation processes

    CERN Document Server

    Xiao, Lu

    2012-01-01

    Human computation refers to the outsourcing of computation tasks to human workers. It offers a new direction for solving a variety of problems and calls for innovative ways of managing human computation processes. The majority of human computation tasks take a parallel approach, whereas the potential of an iterative approach, i.e., having workers iteratively build on each other's work, has not been sufficiently explored. This study investigates whether and how human workers' awareness of previous workers' rationales affects the performance of the iterative approach in a brainstorming task and a rating task. Rather than viewing this work as a conclusive piece, the author believes that this research endeavor is just the beginning of a new research focus that examines and supports meta-cognitive processes in crowdsourcing activities.

  5. The Cerebral Palsy Quality of Life for Children (CP QOL-Child): evidence of construct validity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Kuan-Lin; Wang, Hui-Yi; Tseng, Mei-Hui; Shieh, Jeng-Yi; Lu, Lu; Yao, Kai-Ping Grace; Huang, Chien-Yu

    2013-03-01

    The Cerebral Palsy Quality of Life for Children (CP QOL-Child) is the first health condition-specific questionnaire designed for measuring QOL in children with cerebral palsy (CP). However, its construct validity has not yet been confirmed by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Hence, this study assessed the construct validity of the caregiver proxy-report version of the Chinese version of the CP QOL-Child in children with CP using CFA. A total of 312 children with CP (mean age: 8.59 years, SD: 2.52 years) and their caregivers participated in this study. The Chinese version of the CP QOL-Child was completed by the caregivers of children with CP. Then, CFA was applied to evaluate the seven-factor measurement structure of the CP QOL-Child. The seven-factor CFA model had an adequate fit to our data as judged by χ(2) statistic and various goodness-of-fit (GOF) indices, including the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA). This study provided empirical evidence of the construct validity of the CP QOL-Child to support its use with children with CP in the Chinese speaking society. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Can Payers Use Prices to Improve Quality? Evidence from English Hospitals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Thomas; Fichera, Eleonora; Sutton, Matt

    2016-01-01

    In most activity-based financing systems, payers set prices reactively based on historical averages of hospital reported costs. If hospitals respond to prices, payers might set prices proactively to affect the volume of particular treatments or clinical practice. We evaluate the effects of a unique initiative in England in which the price offered to hospitals for discharging patients on the same day as a particular procedure was increased by 24%, while the price for inpatient treatment remained unchanged. Using national hospital records for 205,784 patients admitted for the incentivised procedure and 838,369 patients admitted for a range of non-incentivised procedures between 1 December 2007 and 31 March 2011, we consider whether this price change had the intended effect and/or produced unintended effects. We find that the price change led to an almost six percentage point increase in the daycase rate and an 11 percentage point increase in the planned daycase rate. Patients benefited from a lower proportion of procedures reverted to open surgery during a planned laparoscopic procedure and from a reduction in long stays. There was no evidence that readmission and death rates were affected. The results suggest that payers can set prices proactively to incentivise hospitals to improve quality.

  7. Evidence of connections between cerebrospinal fluid and nasal lymphatic vessels in humans, non-human primates and other mammalian species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armstrong Dianna

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The parenchyma of the brain does not contain lymphatics. Consequently, it has been assumed that arachnoid projections into the cranial venous system are responsible for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF absorption. However, recent quantitative and qualitative evidence in sheep suggest that nasal lymphatics have the major role in CSF transport. Nonetheless, the applicability of this concept to other species, especially to humans has never been clarified. The purpose of this study was to compare the CSF and nasal lymph associations in human and non-human primates with those observed in other mammalian species. Methods Studies were performed in sheep, pigs, rabbits, rats, mice, monkeys and humans. Immediately after sacrifice (or up to 7 hours after death in humans, yellow Microfil was injected into the CSF compartment. The heads were cut in a sagittal plane. Results In the seven species examined, Microfil was observed primarily in the subarachnoid space around the olfactory bulbs and cribriform plate. The contrast agent followed the olfactory nerves and entered extensive lymphatic networks in the submucosa associated with the olfactory and respiratory epithelium. This is the first direct evidence of the association between the CSF and nasal lymph compartments in humans. Conclusions The fact that the pattern of Microfil distribution was similar in all species tested, suggested that CSF absorption into nasal lymphatics is a characteristic feature of all mammals including humans. It is tempting to speculate that some disorders of the CSF system (hydrocephalus and idiopathic intracranial hypertension for example may relate either directly or indirectly to a lymphatic CSF absorption deficit.

  8. Systems for grading the quality of evidence and the strength of recommendations II: Pilot study of a new system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oxman Andrew D

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Systems that are used by different organisations to grade the quality of evidence and the strength of recommendations vary. They have different strengths and weaknesses. The GRADE Working Group has developed an approach that addresses key shortcomings in these systems. The aim of this study was to pilot test and further develop the GRADE approach to grading evidence and recommendations. Methods A GRADE evidence profile consists of two tables: a quality assessment and a summary of findings. Twelve evidence profiles were used in this pilot study. Each evidence profile was made based on information available in a systematic review. Seventeen people were given instructions and independently graded the level of evidence and strength of recommendation for each of the 12 evidence profiles. For each example judgements were collected, summarised and discussed in the group with the aim of improving the proposed grading system. Kappas were calculated as a measure of chance-corrected agreement for the quality of evidence for each outcome for each of the twelve evidence profiles. The seventeen judges were also asked about the ease of understanding and the sensibility of the approach. All of the judgements were recorded and disagreements discussed. Results There was a varied amount of agreement on the quality of evidence for the outcomes relating to each of the twelve questions (kappa coefficients for agreement beyond chance ranged from 0 to 0.82. However, there was fair agreement about the relative importance of each outcome. There was poor agreement about the balance of benefits and harms and recommendations. Most of the disagreements were easily resolved through discussion. In general we found the GRADE approach to be clear, understandable and sensible. Some modifications were made in the approach and it was agreed that more information was needed in the evidence profiles. Conclusion Judgements about evidence and recommendations are

  9. Do Cooperatives Offer High Quality Products? Theory and Empirical Evidence from the Wine Market

    OpenAIRE

    Pennerstorfer, Dieter; Weiss, Christoph R.

    2011-01-01

    We investigate the impact of decentralised decision making on product quality. Comparing a cooperative (decentralized decision making) and a firm (centralized decision making) suggests that members of the cooperative have an incentive to produce too much and to free-ride on quality. Free-riding on quantity and quality are interrelated which implies that the final product of the cooperative can even be of higher quality than its entrepreneurial twin, despite free-riding on quality. Whether or ...

  10. Perceptions of sexual harassment by evidence quality, perceiver gender, feminism, and right wing authoritarianism: Debunking popular myths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Gargi; Stockdale, Margaret S

    2016-10-01

    This study examined the critique in public discourse that sexual harassment (SH) victim advocates, particularly women and feminists, ignore the quality of evidence in a SH claim and are reluctant to find evidence of a false accusation. To balance the inquiry, the study also examined whether right wing authoritarians (RWAs) also ignore evidence quality and presume such claims are false accusations. Participants were 961 U.S. adults (51% female) who completed an online experiment in which they read either a gender harassment (GH) or unwanted sexual attention (USA) scenario of hostile work environment SH and rated the scenario on severity, perceived guilt of the accused, belief that the accused should receive negative job consequences, and likelihood that the claimant was making a false accusation. Scenarios varied by the strength of the evidence in support of the SH claim. Participants completed measures of identification with and support for feminism, RWA, and demographic variables. Results found that contrary to expectations, evidence had a stronger effect on women's, feminists', and feminism supporters' perceptions and to a lesser extent RWAs' perceptions of the scenarios. When evidence was weak, women and feminists, compared to others, were less supportive of the prosecution, but when evidence was strong they were more supportive of the prosecution than were others. These findings address criticisms that advocates for gender equity and victim's rights, particularly women and feminists, are unable to reach fair judgments of SH complaints. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  11. Exposure to perfluorinated compounds and human semen quality in arctic and European populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Toft, Gunnar; Jönsson, B A G; Lindh, C H

    2012-01-01

    Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) have been suspected to adversely affect human reproductive health. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between PFC exposure and male semen quality....

  12. Applicability of two brief evidence-based interventions to improve sleep quality in inpatient mental health care

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Niet, G.J. De; Tiemens, B.G.; Achterberg, T. van; Hutschemaekers, G.J.M.

    2011-01-01

    The present study explored the applicability of two brief evidence-based interventions to improve sleep quality in inpatient psychiatry. The study involved three comparable admission wards of a psychiatric hospital. Stimulus control was introduced at the first ward, and music-assisted relaxation at

  13. Applicability of two brief evidence-based interventions to improve sleep quality in inpatient mental health care

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Niet, G.J. De; Tiemens, B.G.; Achterberg, T. van; Hutschemaekers, G.

    2011-01-01

    The present study explored the applicability of two brief evidence-based interventions to improve sleep quality in inpatient psychiatry. The study involved three comparable admission wards of a psychiatric hospital. Stimulus control was introduced at the first ward, and music-assisted relaxation at

  14. The quality of the evidence base for clinical pathway effectiveness: Room for improvement in the design of evaluation trials

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    T. Rotter (Thomas); L. Kinsman (Leigh); E. James (Erica); A. Machotta (Andreas); E.W. Steyerberg (Ewout)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractBackground: The purpose of this article is to report on the quality of the existing evidence base regarding the effectiveness of clinical pathway (CPW) research in the hospital setting. The analysis is based on a recently published Cochrane review of the effectiveness of CPWs. Methods: A

  15. Quality Assurance and Evidence in Career Guidance in Europe: Counting What Is Measured or Measuring What Counts?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plant, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Quality assurance (QA) and Evidence in career guidance are increasingly seen as an indispensable part of explaining and even legitimising career guidance activities and policies. It is no longer sufficient to assume that career guidance or career education has an impact. This has to be demonstrated. This paper provides an overview of how and why…

  16. Human amniotic epithelial cells as feeder layer to derive and maintain human embryonic stem cells from poor-quality embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ávila-González, Daniela; Vega-Hernández, Eva; Regalado-Hernández, Juan Carlos; De la Jara-Díaz, Julio Francisco; García-Castro, Irma Lydia; Molina-Hernández, Anayansi; Moreno-Verduzco, Elsa Romelia; Razo-Aguilera, Guadalupe; Flores-Herrera, Héctor; Portillo, Wendy; Díaz-Martínez, Néstor Emmanuel; García-López, Guadalupe; Díaz, Néstor Fabián

    2015-09-01

    Data from the literature suggest that human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines used in research do not genetically represent all human populations. The derivation of hESC through conventional methods involve the destruction of viable human embryos, as well the use of mouse embryonic fibroblasts as a feeder layer, which has several drawbacks. We obtained the hESC line (Amicqui-1) from poor-quality (PQ) embryos derived and maintained on human amniotic epithelial cells (hAEC). This line displays a battery of markers of pluripotency and we demonstrated the capacity of these cells to produce derivates of the three germ layers.

  17. Human amniotic epithelial cells as feeder layer to derive and maintain human embryonic stem cells from poor-quality embryos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Ávila-González

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Data from the literature suggest that human embryonic stem cell (hESC lines used in research do not genetically represent all human populations. The derivation of hESC through conventional methods involve the destruction of viable human embryos, as well the use of mouse embryonic fibroblasts as a feeder layer, which has several drawbacks. We obtained the hESC line (Amicqui-1 from poor-quality (PQ embryos derived and maintained on human amniotic epithelial cells (hAEC. This line displays a battery of markers of pluripotency and we demonstrated the capacity of these cells to produce derivates of the three germ layers.

  18. Soybean susceptibility to manufactured nanomaterials with evidence for food quality and soil fertility interruption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priester, John H; Ge, Yuan; Mielke, Randall E; Horst, Allison M; Moritz, Shelly Cole; Espinosa, Katherine; Gelb, Jeff; Walker, Sharon L; Nisbet, Roger M; An, Youn-Joo; Schimel, Joshua P; Palmer, Reid G; Hernandez-Viezcas, Jose A; Zhao, Lijuan; Gardea-Torresdey, Jorge L; Holden, Patricia A

    2012-09-11

    Based on previously published hydroponic plant, planktonic bacterial, and soil microbial community research, manufactured nanomaterial (MNM) environmental buildup could profoundly alter soil-based food crop quality and yield. However, thus far, no single study has at once examined the full implications, as no studies have involved growing plants to full maturity in MNM-contaminated field soil. We have done so for soybean, a major global commodity crop, using farm soil amended with two high-production metal oxide MNMs (nano-CeO(2) and -ZnO). The results provide a clear, but unfortunate, view of what could arise over the long term: (i) for nano-ZnO, component metal was taken up and distributed throughout edible plant tissues; (ii) for nano-CeO(2), plant growth and yield diminished, but also (iii) nitrogen fixation--a major ecosystem service of leguminous crops--was shut down at high nano-CeO(2) concentration. Juxtaposed against widespread land application of wastewater treatment biosolids to food crops, these findings forewarn of agriculturally associated human and environmental risks from the accelerating use of MNMs.

  19. Early modern humans and morphological variation in Southeast Asia: fossil evidence from Tam Pa Ling, Laos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabrice Demeter

    Full Text Available Little is known about the timing of modern human emergence and occupation in Eastern Eurasia. However a rapid migration out of Africa into Southeast Asia by at least 60 ka is supported by archaeological, paleogenetic and paleoanthropological data. Recent discoveries in Laos, a modern human cranium (TPL1 from Tam Pa Ling's cave, provided the first evidence for the presence of early modern humans in mainland Southeast Asia by 63-46 ka. In the current study, a complete human mandible representing a second individual, TPL 2, is described using discrete traits and geometric morphometrics with an emphasis on determining its population affinity. The TPL2 mandible has a chin and other discrete traits consistent with early modern humans, but it retains a robust lateral corpus and internal corporal morphology typical of archaic humans across the Old World. The mosaic morphology of TPL2 and the fully modern human morphology of TPL1 suggest that a large range of morphological variation was present in early modern human populations residing in the eastern Eurasia by MIS 3.

  20. Relevance of the glutathione system in temporal lobe epilepsy: evidence in human and experimental models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cárdenas-Rodríguez, Noemí; Coballase-Urrutia, Elvia; Pérez-Cruz, Claudia; Montesinos-Correa, Hortencia; Rivera-Espinosa, Liliana; Sampieri, Aristides; Carmona-Aparicio, Liliana

    2014-01-01

    Oxidative stress, which is a state of imbalance in the production of reactive oxygen species and nitrogen, is induced by a wide variety of factors. This biochemical state is associated with diseases that are systemic as well as diseases that affect the central nervous system. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder, and temporal lobe epilepsy represents an estimated 40% of all epilepsy cases. Currently, evidence from human and experimental models supports the involvement of oxidative stress during seizures and in the epileptogenesis process. Hence, the aim of this review was to provide information that facilitates the processing of this evidence and investigate the therapeutic impact of the biochemical status for this specific pathology.

  1. Developmental origins of health and disease: experimental and human evidence of fetal programming for metabolic syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Gusmão Correia, M L; Volpato, A M; Águila, M B; Mandarim-de-Lacerda, C A

    2012-07-01

    The concept of developmental origins of health and disease has been defined as the process through which the environment encountered before birth, or in infancy, shapes the long-term control of tissue physiology and homeostasis. The evidence for programming derives from a large number of experimental and epidemiological observations. Several nutritional interventions during diverse phases of pregnancy and lactation in rodents are associated with fetal and neonatal programming for metabolic syndrome. In this paper, recent experimental models and human epidemiological studies providing evidence for the fetal programming associated with the development of metabolic syndrome and related diseases are revisited.

  2. Human Research Program Human Health Countermeasures Element: Evidence Report - Artificial Gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clement, Gilles

    2015-01-01

    The most serious risks of long-duration flight involve radiation, behavioral stresses, and physiological deconditioning. Artificial gravity (AG), by substituting for the missing gravitational cues and loading in space, has the potential to mitigate the last of these risks by preventing the adaptive responses from occurring. The rotation of a Mars-bound spacecraft or an embarked human centrifuge offers significant promise as an effective, efficient multi-system countermeasure against the physiological deconditioning associated with prolonged weightlessness. Virtually all of the identified risks associated with bone loss, muscle weakening, cardiovascular deconditioning, and sensorimotor disturbances might be alleviated by the appropriate application of AG. However, experience with AG in space has been limited and a human-rated centrifuge is currently not available on board the ISS. A complete R&D program aimed at determining the requirements for gravity level, gravity gradient, rotation rate, frequency, and duration of AG exposure is warranted before making a decision for implementing AG in a human spacecraft.

  3. THE QUALITY OF HUMAN RESOURCES – A REQUEST FOR HOTEL INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT. A THEORETICAL APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aruștei Carmen Claudia

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available In this article we focus on the importance of human resource quality from hotel industry in obtaining quality services and further more in obtaining hotel industry development. We address this issue due to the fact that, usually, when talking about tourism or hotel industry development, the literature in the field offers macro solutions like, infrastructure development, service/product development and/or improving service quality. We consider that a micro approach is also important and from this perspective, we emphasis the role of human resource quality for industry development. The quality of human resources, as a dimension of service quality was not detailed extensively by the literature in the field but we found it relevant for hotel industry development, as this industry it is a service industry, and as Ritz-Carlton Company’s motto say “service comes only from people”. In this article we focus on the importance of human resource quality from hotel industry in obtaining quality services and further more in obtaining hotel industry development. We address this issue due to the fact that, usually, when talking about tourism or hotel industry development, the literature in the field offers macro solutions like, infrastructure development, service/product development and/or improving service quality. We consider that a micro approach is also important and from this perspective, we emphasis the role of human resource quality for industry development. The quality of human resources, as a dimension of service quality was not detailed extensively by the literature in the field but we found it relevant for hotel industry development, as this industry it is a service industry, and as Ritz-Carlton Company’s motto say “service comes only from people”. In this article we focus on the importance of human resource quality from hotel industry in obtaining quality services and further more in obtaining hotel industry development. We address this

  4. Are All Quality Dimensions of Equal Importance when Measuring the Perceived Quality of Official Statistics? Evidence from Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Costa Alex

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Quality has become the key concept in official statistics. There is a general consensus that we have to consider several components when assessing the quality of statistical information. Relevance, accuracy, timeliness, punctuality, comparability, coherence, accessibility and clarity are the dimensions most frequently mentioned. In this article we use regression analysis to evaluate the contribution of these different dimensions when assessing the overall quality of statistical products. We do this using the information collected in the structured consultation with users and experts from both inside and outside the Spanish Central Administration carried out by the Working Group of the Spanish High Council on Statistics, responsible for the preliminary draft of the proposals and recommendations of this council for the Spanish Multiannual Statistical Programme 2013-2016. We find that the abovementioned dimensions have different weights in the overall assessment of perceived quality (with accuracy and reliability having the highest weight, and relevance having the lowest and that the structure differs between both types of users.

  5. Managing quality heterogeneity in the mango supply chain: evidence from Costa Rica

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuniga Arias, G.; Ruben, R.; Boekel, van T.

    2009-01-01

    Quality is a key aspect for evaluating the performance of commodity chains. Quality performance depends on both subjective consumer perceptions as well as intrinsic attributes of the product. Supply chain procedures and management activities influence the quality level and may reduce or increase the

  6. Managing quality heterogeneity in the mango supply chain: Evidence from Costa Rica

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zúñiga-Arias, G.E.; Ruben, R.; Boekel, M.A.J.S. van

    2009-01-01

    Quality is a key aspect for evaluating the performance of commodity chains. Quality performance depends on both subjective consumer perceptions as well as intrinsic attributes of the product. Supply chain procedures and management activities influence the quality level and may reduce or increase the

  7. The functional neuroanatomy of the human orbitofrontal cortex: evidence from neuroimaging and neuropsychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kringelbach, Morten L; Rolls, Edmund T

    2004-04-01

    The human orbitofrontal cortex is an important brain region for the processing of rewards and punishments, which is a prerequisite for the complex and flexible emotional and social behaviour which contributes to the evolutionary success of humans. Yet much remains to be discovered about the functions of this key brain region, and new evidence from functional neuroimaging and clinical neuropsychology is affording new insights into the different functions of the human orbitofrontal cortex. We review the neuroanatomical and neuropsychological literature on the human orbitofrontal cortex, and propose two distinct trends of neural activity based on a meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies. One is a mediolateral distinction, whereby medial orbitofrontal cortex activity is related to monitoring the reward value of many different reinforcers, whereas lateral orbitofrontal cortex activity is related to the evaluation of punishers which may lead to a change in ongoing behaviour. The second is a posterior-anterior distinction with more complex or abstract reinforcers (such as monetary gain and loss) represented more anteriorly in the orbitofrontal cortex than simpler reinforcers such as taste or pain. Finally, we propose new neuroimaging methods for obtaining further evidence on the localisation of function in the human orbitofrontal cortex.

  8. Laetoli footprints preserve earliest direct evidence of human-like bipedal biomechanics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A Raichlen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Debates over the evolution of hominin bipedalism, a defining human characteristic, revolve around whether early bipeds walked more like humans, with energetically efficient extended hind limbs, or more like apes with flexed hind limbs. The 3.6 million year old hominin footprints at Laetoli, Tanzania represent the earliest direct evidence of hominin bipedalism. Determining the kinematics of Laetoli hominins will allow us to understand whether selection acted to decrease energy costs of bipedalism by 3.6 Ma. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using an experimental design, we show that the Laetoli hominins walked with weight transfer most similar to the economical extended limb bipedalism of humans. Humans walked through a sand trackway using both extended limb bipedalism, and more flexed limb bipedalism. Footprint morphology from extended limb trials matches weight distribution patterns found in the Laetoli footprints. CONCLUSIONS: These results provide us with the earliest direct evidence of kinematically human-like bipedalism currently known, and show that extended limb bipedalism evolved long before the appearance of the genus Homo. Since extended-limb bipedalism is more energetically economical than ape-like bipedalism, energy expenditure was likely an important selection pressure on hominin bipeds by 3.6 Ma.

  9. Human perception, productivity and symptoms related to indoor air quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wargocki, P.

    1998-08-01

    Three objectives of the present study are formulated: (1) to investigate whether total sensory pollution load on the air in space can be estimated by adding sensory pollution loads from the individual pollution sources; (2) to develop alternative reference exposures which can be used to calibrate sensory evaluations of the air quality indoors made by trained subjects; and (3) to investigate whether decreasing the pollution loads on the air indoors is an effective measure for improving the perceived air quality, reducing the prevalence of health symptoms and increasing people`s productivity. Limited data exist on the addition of families of sensory pollution, sources, i.e., building materials, people and tobacco smoke (research was mainly performed on building materials), and that no field study on addition has been carried out previously. Consequently, laboratory and field experiments on the addition of families of sensory pollution sources were undertaken. Reducing the sensory pollution load on the air indoors proved to be an effective and energy-efficient measure to improve the perceived quality of air, to lower the prevalence of symptoms and to improve productivity. Suggestions for future experiments are made including, i.a., using other sub-populations of subjects stratified for age, sensitivity and type of work, other pollution sources, as well as the independent measures design and repeated exposures to the same environmental conditions. (EG) 209 refs.

  10. A butchered bone from Norfolk: evidence for very early human presence in Britain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Parfitt

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available Before the Anglian glaciation some 450,000 years ago, much of England was drained by large rivers that deposited sediments - known as the Cromer Forest-bed Formation - now exposed along the coast of East Anglia. The Forest-bed has yielded a great variety of fossils but until now no definite evidence of human activity. The recent discovery of cut marks on a bison bone collected from it in the nineteenth century demonstrates conclusively that humans were present in this part of East Anglia over half a million years ago.

  11. A quantitative weight of evidence assessment of confidence in modes-of-action and their human relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dekant, Wolfgang; Bridges, James; Scialli, Anthony R

    2017-08-22

    A quantitative weight of evidence (QWoE) methodology was developed to assess confidence in postulated mode(s) of action for adverse effects in animal toxicity studies. The QWoE is appropriate for assessing adverse effects as relevant endpoints for classification and labeling purposes. The methodology involves definition of mode of actions and scoring supporting data for all key steps using predefined criteria for quality and relevance/strength of effects. Scores for all key steps are summarized, and the summary score is compared to the maximal achievable score for the mode of action. The ratio of the summary score to the maximal achievable scores gives an indication of confidence in a specific mode of action in animals. The mode of action in animals with highest confidence is then taken forward to assess appropriateness to humans. If one of the key steps cannot occur in humans, the mode of action is not relevant to humans. The methodology developed is applied to four case studies. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  12. Implementation outcomes of evidence-based quality improvement for depression in VA community based outpatient clinics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fortney John

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Collaborative-care management is an evidence-based practice for improving depression outcomes in primary care. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA has mandated the implementation of collaborative-care management in its satellite clinics, known as Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs. However, the organizational characteristics of CBOCs present added challenges to implementation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of evidence-based quality improvement (EBQI as a strategy to facilitate the adoption of collaborative-care management in CBOCs. Methods This nonrandomized, small-scale, multisite evaluation of EBQI was conducted at three VA Medical Centers and 11 of their affiliated CBOCs. The Plan phase of the EBQI process involved the localized tailoring of the collaborative-care management program to each CBOC. Researchers ensured that the adaptations were evidence based. Clinical and administrative staff were responsible for adapting the collaborative-care management program for local needs, priorities, preferences and resources. Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles were used to refine the program over time. The evaluation was based on the RE-AIM (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance Framework and used data from multiple sources: administrative records, web-based decision-support systems, surveys, and key-informant interviews. Results Adoption: 69.0% (58/84 of primary care providers referred patients to the program. Reach: 9.0% (298/3,296 of primary care patients diagnosed with depression who were not already receiving specialty care were enrolled in the program. Fidelity: During baseline care manager encounters, education/activation was provided to 100% (298/298 of patients, barriers were assessed and addressed for 100% (298/298 of patients, and depression severity was monitored for 100% (298/298 of patients. Less than half (42.5%, 681/1603 of follow-up encounters during the acute

  13. Hunger alters the expression of acquired hedonic but not sensory qualities of food-paired odors in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeomans, Martin R; Mobini, Sirous

    2006-10-01

    To test whether expression of hedonic and sensory odor qualities acquired by association with sweet and bitter tastes depend on hunger state, hungry volunteers experienced odors paired with sucrose, quinine, or water and then were tested under different hunger states manipulated with energy preloads. Acquired liking for sucrose-paired odors was evident following a low-energy or control preload but not a high-energy preload; however, odor sweetness increased in all preload conditions. Acquired dislike and increased bitterness of quinine-paired odors were independent of preloading. These data demonstrate hunger-dependent expression of acquired liking for flavors through flavor-flavor associations in humans and demonstrate independence between acquired hedonic and sensory qualities of odors. Copyright 2006 APA.

  14. Does standardised structured reporting contribute to quality in diagnostic pathology? The importance of evidence-based datasets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, D W; Srigley, J

    2016-01-01

    Key quality parameters in diagnostic pathology include timeliness, accuracy, completeness, conformance with current agreed standards, consistency and clarity in communication. In this review, we argue that with worldwide developments in eHealth and big data, generally, there are two further, often overlooked, parameters if our reports are to be fit for purpose. Firstly, population-level studies have clearly demonstrated the value of providing timely structured reporting data in standardised electronic format as part of system-wide quality improvement programmes. Moreover, when combined with multiple health data sources through eHealth and data linkage, structured pathology reports become central to population-level quality monitoring, benchmarking, interventions and benefit analyses in public health management. Secondly, population-level studies, particularly for benchmarking, require a single agreed international and evidence-based standard to ensure interoperability and comparability. This has been taken for granted in tumour classification and staging for many years, yet international standardisation of cancer datasets is only now underway through the International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting (ICCR). In this review, we present evidence supporting the role of structured pathology reporting in quality improvement for both clinical care and population-level health management. Although this review of available evidence largely relates to structured reporting of cancer, it is clear that the same principles can be applied throughout anatomical pathology generally, as they are elsewhere in the health system.

  15. Treatments for compulsive buying: A systematic review of the quality, effectiveness and progression of the outcome evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hague, Ben; Hall, Jo; Kellett, Stephen

    2016-09-01

    Background and aims This review appraises the progression and status of the evidence base for the treatment of compulsive buying disorder (CBD), in order to highlight what currently works and to prompt useful future research. Methods Online databases ISI Web of Knowledge, PsycINFO, and PubMed via Ovid were searched at two time points. Two quality checklists and an established model of therapy evaluation (hourglass model) evaluated the quality and progression of both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy treatments for CBD. Uncontrolled effect sizes were calculated and meta-regression analyses were performed regarding treatment duration. Results A total of 29 articles met the inclusion criteria, which were divided into psychotherapy (n = 17) and pharmacotherapy treatments (n = 12). Of the 29 studies, only 5 studies have been tested under conditions of high methodological quality. Both forms of treatment had been evaluated in a haphazard manner across the stages of the hourglass model. Although large effects were demonstrated for group psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy, such evidence of effectiveness was undermined by poor study quality and risk of publication bias. Long-term CBD treatment was associated with improved outcome with pharmacotherapy, but not when delivering psychotherapy. Discussion Group psychotherapy currently appears the most promising treatment option for CBD. Poor methodological control and sporadic evaluation of specific treatments have slowed the generation of a convincing evidence base for CBD treatment. Defining the active ingredients of effective CBD treatment is a key research goal.

  16. Y-chromosome evidence for no independent origin of mod-ern human in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    East Asia is one of the few regions in the world where a large number of human fossils have been unearthed. The continuity of hominid fossils in East Asia, particularly in China has been presented as strong evidence supporting an independent origin of modern humans in this area. To search for such evidence of a possible independent origin of modern humans in China, a total of 9988 male individuals were sam-pled across China. Three Y-chromosome biallelic markers (M89, M130 and YAP), which were located at the non-re- combinant region of Y-chromosome, were typed among the samples. Our result showed that all the individuals carry a mutation at one of the three loci. The three mutations (M89T, M130T, YAP+) coalesce to another mutation (M168T), which was originally derived from Africa about 31000 to 79000 years ago. In other words, all Y-chromosome samples from China, with no exception, were originally derived from a lineage of African origin. Hence, we conclude that even a very minor contribution of in situ hominid origin in China cannot be supported by the Y-chromosome evidence.

  17. Exploring Visual Evidence of Human Impact on the Environment with Planetary-Scale Zoomable Timelapse Video

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sargent, R.; Egge, M.; Dille, P. S.; O'Donnell, G. D.; Herwig, C.

    2016-12-01

    Visual evidence ignites curiosity and inspires advocacy. Zoomable imagery and video on a planetary scale provides compelling evidence of human impact on the environment. Earth Timelapse places the observable impact of 30+ years of human activity into the hands of policy makers, scientists, and advocates, with fluidity and speed that supports inquiry and exploration. Zoomability enables compelling narratives and ready apprehension of environmental changes, connecting human-scale evidence to regional and ecosystem-wide trends and changes. Leveraging the power of Google Earth Engine, join us to explore 30+ years of Landset 30m RGB imagery showing glacial retreat, agricultural deforestation, irrigation expansion, and the disappearance of lakes. These narratives are enriched with datasets showing planetary forest gain/loss, annual cycles of agricultural fires, global changes in the health of coral reefs, trends in resource extraction, and of renewable energy development. We demonstrate the intuitive and inquiry-enabling power of these planetary visualizations, and provide instruction on how scientists and advocates can create and share or contribute visualizations of their own research or topics of interest.

  18. Dietary Fiber and the Human Gut Microbiota: Application of Evidence Mapping Methodology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caleigh M. Sawicki

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Interest is rapidly growing around the role of the human gut microbiota in facilitating beneficial health effects associated with consumption of dietary fiber. An evidence map of current research activity in this area was created using a newly developed database of dietary fiber intervention studies in humans to identify studies with the following broad outcomes: (1 modulation of colonic microflora; and/or (2 colonic fermentation/short-chain fatty acid concentration. Study design characteristics, fiber exposures, and outcome categories were summarized. A sub-analysis described oligosaccharides and bacterial composition in greater detail. One hundred eighty-eight relevant studies were identified. The fiber categories represented by the most studies were oligosaccharides (20%, resistant starch (16%, and chemically synthesized fibers (15%. Short-chain fatty acid concentration (47% and bacterial composition (88% were the most frequently studied outcomes. Whole-diet interventions, measures of bacterial activity, and studies in metabolically at-risk subjects were identified as potential gaps in the evidence. This evidence map efficiently captured the variability in characteristics of expanding research on dietary fiber, gut microbiota, and physiological health benefits, and identified areas that may benefit from further research. We hope that this evidence map will provide a resource for researchers to direct new intervention studies and meta-analyses.

  19. Dietary Fiber and the Human Gut Microbiota: Application of Evidence Mapping Methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawicki, Caleigh M; Livingston, Kara A; Obin, Martin; Roberts, Susan B; Chung, Mei; McKeown, Nicola M

    2017-02-10

    Interest is rapidly growing around the role of the human gut microbiota in facilitating beneficial health effects associated with consumption of dietary fiber. An evidence map of current research activity in this area was created using a newly developed database of dietary fiber intervention studies in humans to identify studies with the following broad outcomes: (1) modulation of colonic microflora; and/or (2) colonic fermentation/short-chain fatty acid concentration. Study design characteristics, fiber exposures, and outcome categories were summarized. A sub-analysis described oligosaccharides and bacterial composition in greater detail. One hundred eighty-eight relevant studies were identified. The fiber categories represented by the most studies were oligosaccharides (20%), resistant starch (16%), and chemically synthesized fibers (15%). Short-chain fatty acid concentration (47%) and bacterial composition (88%) were the most frequently studied outcomes. Whole-diet interventions, measures of bacterial activity, and studies in metabolically at-risk subjects were identified as potential gaps in the evidence. This evidence map efficiently captured the variability in characteristics of expanding research on dietary fiber, gut microbiota, and physiological health benefits, and identified areas that may benefit from further research. We hope that this evidence map will provide a resource for researchers to direct new intervention studies and meta-analyses.

  20. Dietary Fiber and the Human Gut Microbiota: Application of Evidence Mapping Methodology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawicki, Caleigh M.; Livingston, Kara A.; Obin, Martin; Roberts, Susan B.; Chung, Mei; McKeown, Nicola M.

    2017-01-01

    Interest is rapidly growing around the role of the human gut microbiota in facilitating beneficial health effects associated with consumption of dietary fiber. An evidence map of current research activity in this area was created using a newly developed database of dietary fiber intervention studies in humans to identify studies with the following broad outcomes: (1) modulation of colonic microflora; and/or (2) colonic fermentation/short-chain fatty acid concentration. Study design characteristics, fiber exposures, and outcome categories were summarized. A sub-analysis described oligosaccharides and bacterial composition in greater detail. One hundred eighty-eight relevant studies were identified. The fiber categories represented by the most studies were oligosaccharides (20%), resistant starch (16%), and chemically synthesized fibers (15%). Short-chain fatty acid concentration (47%) and bacterial composition (88%) were the most frequently studied outcomes. Whole-diet interventions, measures of bacterial activity, and studies in metabolically at-risk subjects were identified as potential gaps in the evidence. This evidence map efficiently captured the variability in characteristics of expanding research on dietary fiber, gut microbiota, and physiological health benefits, and identified areas that may benefit from further research. We hope that this evidence map will provide a resource for researchers to direct new intervention studies and meta-analyses. PMID:28208609

  1. The quality of the evidence base for clinical pathway effectiveness: Room for improvement in the design of evaluation trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background The purpose of this article is to report on the quality of the existing evidence base regarding the effectiveness of clinical pathway (CPW) research in the hospital setting. The analysis is based on a recently published Cochrane review of the effectiveness of CPWs. Methods An integral component of the review process was a rigorous appraisal of the methodological quality of published CPW evaluations. This allowed the identification of strengths and limitations of the evidence base for CPW effectiveness. We followed the validated Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group (EPOC) criteria for randomized and non-randomized clinical pathway evaluations. In addition, we tested the hypotheses that simple pre-post studies tend to overestimate CPW effects reported. Results Out of the 260 primary studies meeting CPW content criteria, only 27 studies met the EPOC study design criteria, with the majority of CPW studies (more than 70 %) excluded from the review on the basis that they were simple pre-post evaluations, mostly comparing two or more annual patient cohorts. Methodologically poor study designs are often used to evaluate CPWs and this compromises the quality of the existing evidence base. Conclusions Cochrane EPOC methodological criteria, including the selection of rigorous study designs along with detailed descriptions of CPW development and implementation processes, are recommended for quantitative evaluations to improve the evidence base for the use of CPWs in hospitals. PMID:22709274

  2. The Quality of the Evidence According to GRADE Is Predominantly Low or Very Low in Oral Health Systematic Reviews.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikolaos Pandis

    Full Text Available The main objective was to assess the credibility of the evidence using Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE in oral health systematic reviews on the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR and elsewhere.Systematic Reviews or meta-analyses (January 2008-December 2013 from 14 high impact general dental and specialty dental journals and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were screened for meta-analyses. Data was collected at the systematic review, meta-analysis and trial level. Two reviewers applied and agreed on the GRADE rating for the selected meta-analyses.From the 510 systematic reviews initially identified 91 reviews (41 Cochrane and 50 non-Cochrane were eligible for inclusion. The quality of evidence was high in 2% and moderate in 18% of the included meta-analyses with no difference between Cochrane and non-Cochrane reviews, journal impact factor or year of publication. The most common domains prompting downgrading of the evidence were study limitations (risk of bias and imprecision (risk of play of chance.The quality of the evidence in oral health assessed using GRADE is predominantly low or very low suggesting a pressing need for more randomised clinical trials and other studies of higher quality in order to inform clinical decisions thereby reducing the risk of instituting potentially ineffective and/or harmful therapies.

  3. Improving the quality and safety of care on the medical ward: A review and synthesis of the evidence base.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pannick, Samuel; Beveridge, Iain; Wachter, Robert M; Sevdalis, Nick

    2014-12-01

    Despite its place at the heart of inpatient medicine, the evidence base underpinning the effective delivery of medical ward care is highly fragmented. Clinicians familiar with the selection of evidence-supported treatments for specific diseases may be less aware of the evolving literature surrounding the organisation of care on the medical ward. This review is the first synthesis of that disparate literature. An iterative search identified relevant publications, using terms pertaining to medical ward environments, and objective and subjective patient outcomes. Articles (including reviews) were selected on the basis of their focus on medical wards, and their relevance to the quality and safety of ward-based care. Responses to medical ward failings are grouped into five common themes: staffing levels and team composition; interdisciplinary communication and collaboration; standardisation of care; early recognition and treatment of the deteriorating patient; and local safety climate. Interventions in these categories are likely to improve the quality and safety of care in medical wards, although the evidence supporting them is constrained by methodological limitations and inadequate investment in multicentre trials. Nonetheless, with infrequent opportunities to redefine their services, institutions are increasingly adopting multifaceted strategies that encompass groups of these themes. As the literature on the quality of inpatient care moves beyond its initial focus on the intensive care unit and operating theatre, physicians should be mindful of opportunities to incorporate evidence-based practice at a ward level. Copyright © 2014 European Federation of Internal Medicine. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Quality of Mobile Phone and Tablet Mobile Apps for Speech Sound Disorders: Protocol for an Evidence-Based Appraisal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Meg E; Erickson, Shane; Serry, Tanya A

    2016-01-01

    Background Although mobile apps are readily available for speech sound disorders (SSD), their validity has not been systematically evaluated. This evidence-based appraisal will critically review and synthesize current evidence on available therapy apps for use by children with SSD. Objective The main aims are to (1) identify the types of apps currently available for Android and iOS mobile phones and tablets, and (2) to critique their design features and content using a structured quality appraisal tool. Methods This protocol paper presents and justifies the methods used for a systematic review of mobile apps that provide intervention for use by children with SSD. The primary outcomes of interest are (1) engagement, (2) functionality, (3) aesthetics, (4) information quality, (5) subjective quality, and (6) perceived impact. Quality will be assessed by 2 certified practicing speech-language pathologists using a structured quality appraisal tool. Two app stores will be searched from the 2 largest operating platforms, Android and iOS. Systematic methods of knowledge synthesis shall include searching the app stores using a defined procedure, data extraction, and quality analysis. Results This search strategy shall enable us to determine how many SSD apps are available for Android and for iOS compatible mobile phones and tablets. It shall also identify the regions of the world responsible for the apps’ development, the content and the quality of offerings. Recommendations will be made for speech-language pathologists seeking to use mobile apps in their clinical practice. Conclusions This protocol provides a structured process for locating apps and appraising the quality, as the basis for evaluating their use in speech pathology for children in English-speaking nations. PMID:27899341

  5. Quality of Mobile Phone and Tablet Mobile Apps for Speech Sound Disorders: Protocol for an Evidence-Based Appraisal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furlong, Lisa M; Morris, Meg E; Erickson, Shane; Serry, Tanya A

    2016-11-29

    Although mobile apps are readily available for speech sound disorders (SSD), their validity has not been systematically evaluated. This evidence-based appraisal will critically review and synthesize current evidence on available therapy apps for use by children with SSD. The main aims are to (1) identify the types of apps currently available for Android and iOS mobile phones and tablets, and (2) to critique their design features and content using a structured quality appraisal tool. This protocol paper presents and justifies the methods used for a systematic review of mobile apps that provide intervention for use by children with SSD. The primary outcomes of interest are (1) engagement, (2) functionality, (3) aesthetics, (4) information quality, (5) subjective quality, and (6) perceived impact. Quality will be assessed by 2 certified practicing speech-language pathologists using a structured quality appraisal tool. Two app stores will be searched from the 2 largest operating platforms, Android and iOS. Systematic methods of knowledge synthesis shall include searching the app stores using a defined procedure, data extraction, and quality analysis. This search strategy shall enable us to determine how many SSD apps are available for Android and for iOS compatible mobile phones and tablets. It shall also identify the regions of the world responsible for the apps' development, the content and the quality of offerings. Recommendations will be made for speech-language pathologists seeking to use mobile apps in their clinical practice. This protocol provides a structured process for locating apps and appraising the quality, as the basis for evaluating their use in speech pathology for children in English-speaking nations.

  6. Quality of sleep and quality of life in adolescents infected with human immunodeficiency virus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carina Caires Gazini

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: To assess sleep characteristics of adolescents infected by HIV, and to ascertain whether psychosocial aspects are associated to the quality of sleep. METHODS: A cross-sectional study assessing 102 HIV-infected adolescents of both genders, aged between 10 and 20 years-old and 120 Controls. Data collection was performed by applying the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory. RESULTS: A sleep disturbance prevalence of 77.4% was found in patients, and a 75% prevalence in controls, and there was correlation between quality of sleep and of life. HIV-infected adolescents scored higher for sleep breathing disorders and had higher prevalence of excessive daytime sleepiness. CONCLUSIONS: HIV-infected adolescents had similar quality of sleep compared to healthy adolescents. This may be explained by the steady improvements in daily living as a result of successful anti-retroviral therapy, and by the vulnerability that affects Brazilian adolescents living in major urban centers.

  7. Quality of evidence in studies evaluating neuroimaging for neurologic prognostication in adult patients resuscitated from cardiac arrest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, David K; Geocadin, Romergryko G; Greer, David M

    2014-02-01

    Neuroimaging has been proposed as a predictor of neurologic outcome in comatose survivors of cardiac arrest. We reviewed the quality and level of evidence of the current neuroimaging literature for predicting neurologic outcome in cardiac arrest patients treated with or without therapeutic hypothermia (TH). Medline, EMBASE, and Cochrane Databases were searched using the terms "cardiac arrest," "cardiopulmonary resuscitation," "brain hypoxia," "brain anoxia," "brain hypoxia-ischaemia," "neuroimaging," and "prognosis." Eligible studies were reviewed and classified by level of evidence and methodological quality as defined by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR). 928 studies were identified, 84 of which met inclusion criteria: 74 were supportive of neuroimaging to predict outcome, eight unsupportive, and two equivocal. Several studies investigated more than one imaging modality: 27 investigated computed tomography (CT), 46 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and 18 alternate imaging modalities, including positron emission tomography and single photon emission computed tomography. No randomized controlled trials were identified. Seven cohort and case control studies were identified, only one of which was graded "good" quality, two were "fair" and four were "poor." Neuroimaging is an evolving modality as a prognostic parameter in cardiac arrest survivors. However, the quality of the available literature is not robust, highlighting the need for higher quality studies before neuroimaging can be supported as a standard tool for prognostication in the patient population. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Do Restatements Break Bad Habits? Evidence of Earnings Quality Following Restatements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herly, Marie; Bartholdy, Jan; Thinggaard, Frank

    2014-01-01

    that the costly consequences of restatements documented in prior research incentivize firms to improve their accounting quality. We use a multivariate difference-in-difference research design and contrary to our expectations we find that firms do not improve the quality of their financial statements more than......This paper investigates if firms consider restatements so severe that they change their financial reporting strategies and subsequently improve their accounting quality. We compare the accruals quality of restating firms during the period 2000-2010 with a matched control group and hypothesize...... to the restatement announcements lead to significant improvement in accruals quality. Thus, while the restatement itself does not lead to improvements in accounting quality, the punishment by the capital markets does. Our findings thus suggest that capital market forces play a larger disciplining role than...

  9. Do Restatements Break Bad Habits? Evidence of Earnings Quality Following Restatements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herly, Marie; Bartholdy, Jan; Thinggaard, Frank

    2014-01-01

    to the restatement announcements lead to significant improvement in accruals quality. Thus, while the restatement itself does not lead to improvements in accounting quality, the punishment by the capital markets does. Our findings thus suggest that capital market forces play a larger disciplining role than...... that the costly consequences of restatements documented in prior research incentivize firms to improve their accounting quality. We use a multivariate difference-in-difference research design and contrary to our expectations we find that firms do not improve the quality of their financial statements more than......This paper investigates if firms consider restatements so severe that they change their financial reporting strategies and subsequently improve their accounting quality. We compare the accruals quality of restating firms during the period 2000-2010 with a matched control group and hypothesize...

  10. Addressing the threat of evidence-based practice to qualitative inquiry through increasing attention to quality: a discussion paper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Antonia M

    2008-02-01

    The current evidence-based practice (EBP) movement in healthcare emphasizes that clinical decision making should be based on the "best evidence" available, preferably the findings of randomized clinical trials. Within this context qualitative research findings are considered to have little value and the old debate in nursing has been re-ignited related to whether qualitative versus quantitative research findings provides the best empirical evidence for nursing practice. In response to this crisis qualitative scholars have been called upon by leaders in the field to clarify for outsiders what qualitative research is and to be more explicit in pointing out the utility of qualitative research findings. In addition, attention to "quality" in qualitative research has been identified as an area worthy of renewed focus. Within this paper two key problems related to addressing these issues are reviewed: disagreement not only among "outsiders" but also some nursing scholars related to the definition of "qualitative research", and a lack of consensus related how to best address "rigor" in this type of inquiry. Based on this review a set of standard requirements for qualitative research published in nursing journals is proposed that reflects a uniform definition of qualitative research and an enlarged yet clearly articulated conceptualization of quality. The approach suggested provides a framework for developing and evaluating qualitative research that would have both defensible scholarly merit and heuristic value. This will help solidify the argument in favor of incorporating qualitative research findings as part of the empirical "evidence" upon which evidence-based nursing is founded.

  11. A dual comparative approach: integrating lines of evidence from human evolutionary neuroanatomy and neurodevelopmental disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, Kari L; Hrvoj-Mihic, Branka; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of the human brain has been marked by a nearly 3-fold increase in size since our divergence from the last common ancestor shared with chimpanzees and bonobos. Despite increased interest in comparative neuroanatomy and phylogenetic methods, relatively little is known regarding the effects that this enlargement has had on its internal organization, and how certain areas of the brain have differentially expanded over evolutionary time. Analyses of the microstructure of several regions of the human cortex and subcortical structures have demonstrated subtle changes at the cellular and molecular level, suggesting that the human brain is more than simply a 'scaled-up' primate brain. Ongoing research in comparative neuroanatomy has much to offer regarding our understanding of human brain evolution. Through analysis of the neuroanatomical phenotype at the level of reorganization in cytoarchitecture and cellular morphology, new data continue to highlight changes in cell density and organization associated with volumetric changes in discrete regions. An understanding of the functional significance of variation in neural circuitry can further be approached through studies of atypical human development. Many neurodevelopmental disorders cause disruption in systems associated with uniquely human features of cognition, including language and social cognition. Understanding the genetic and developmental mechanisms that underlie variation in the human cognitive phenotype can help to clarify the functional significance of interspecific variation. By uniting approaches from comparative neuroanatomy and neuropathology, insights can be gained that clarify trends in human evolution. Here, we explore these lines of evidence and their significance for understanding functional variation between species as well as within neuropathological variation in the human brain.

  12. Serologic evidence of human influenza virus infections in swine populations, Cambodia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rith, Sareth; Netrabukkana, Punnaporn; Sorn, San; Mumford, Elizabeth; Mey, Channa; Holl, Davun; Goutard, Flavie; Y, Bunthin; Fenwick, Stan; Robertson, Ian; Roger, François; Buchy, Philippe

    2013-05-01

    This study was conducted from 2006 to 2010 and investigated the seroprevalence of influenza A viruses in Cambodian pigs, including human H1N1, H3N2, 2009 pandemic H1N1 (A(H1N1)pdm09), and highly pathogenic avian H5N1 influenza A viruses. A total of 1147 sera obtained from pigs in Cambodia were tested by haemagglutination inhibition (HI) assays for antibody to human influenza A viruses along with both HI and microneutralization (MN) tests to assess immunological responses to H5N1 virus. The results were compared by year, age, and province. Antibodies against a human influenza A virus were detected in 14·9% of samples. A(H1N1)pdm09 virus were dominant over the study period (23·1%), followed by those to human H1N1 (17·3%) and H3N2 subtypes (9·9%). No pigs were serologically positive for avian H5 influenza viruses. The seroprevalence of human H1N1 and H3N2 influenza viruses peaked in 2008, while that of A(H1N1)pdm09 reached a peak in 2010. No significant differences in seroprevalence to human influenza subtypes were observed in different age groups. Cambodian pigs were exposed to human strains of influenza A viruses either prior to or during this study. The implications of these high prevalence rates imply human-to-swine influenza virus transmission in Cambodia. Although pigs are mostly raised in small non-commercial farms, our preliminary results provide evidence of sustained human influenza virus circulation in pig populations in Cambodia. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  13. Oxidative Stress and Protein Quality Control Systems in the Aged Canine Brain as a Model for Human Neurodegenerative Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariarita Romanucci

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Aged dogs are considered the most suitable spontaneous animal model for studying normal aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Elderly canines naturally develop cognitive dysfunction and neuropathological hallmarks similar to those seen in humans, especially Alzheimer’s disease-like pathology. Pet dogs also share similar living conditions and diets to humans. Oxidative damage accumulates in the canine brain during aging, making dogs a valid model for translational antioxidant treatment/prevention studies. Evidence suggests the presence of detective protein quality control systems, involving ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS and Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs, in the aged canine brain. Further studies on the canine model are needed to clarify the role of age-related changes in UPS activity and HSP expression in neurodegeneration in order to design novel treatment strategies, such as HSP-based therapies, aimed at improving chaperone defences against proteotoxic stress affecting brain during aging.

  14. Vocational intervention based on the Model of Human Occupation: a review of evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jenica; Kielhofner, Gary

    2010-09-01

    Work is a growing concern in disability and rehabilitation fields. Specific evidence related to occupational therapy in the area of vocational rehabilitation is somewhat limited. With increased demands for occupation-focused, evidence-based, and theory-informed practice, this review aims to use clinically relevant questions to organize and synthesize evidence regarding work-related interventions specifically related to an occupation-focused theory, the Model of Human Occupation. A total of 45 published works related to both the MOHO and vocational issues were identified and included in the review. The review demonstrates that there is a range of evidence that supports the use of the MOHO and its tools as a basis for work-based clinical interventions. Evidence supports the conclusion that MOHO-based work assessments have good psychometric properties and are useful in evaluating vocational potential and needs. MOHO-based work programs have been shown to have a positive impact in improving vocational outcomes to a range of clients.

  15. The effect of school quality on black-white health differences: evidence from segregated southern schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frisvold, David; Golberstein, Ezra

    2013-12-01

    This study assesses the effect of black-white differences in school quality on black-white differences in health in later life resulting from the racial convergence in school quality for cohorts born between 1910 and 1950 in southern states with segregated schools. Using data from the 1984-2007 National Health Interview Surveys linked to race-specific data on school quality, we find that reductions in the black-white gap in school quality led to modest reductions in the black-white gap in disability.

  16. Evidence for a physiological role of intracellularly occurring photolabile nitrogen oxides in human skin fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opländer, Christian; Wetzel, Wiebke; Cortese, Miriam M; Pallua, Norbert; Suschek, Christoph V

    2008-05-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) plays a pivotal role in human skin biology. Cutaneous NO can be produced enzymatically by NO synthases (NOS) as well as enzyme independently via photodecomposition of photolabile nitrogen oxides (PNOs) such as nitrite or nitroso compounds, both found in human skin tissue in comparably high concentrations. Although the physiological role of NOS-produced NO in human skin is well defined, nothing is known about the biological relevance or the chemical origin of intracellularly occurring PNOs. We here, for the first time, give evidence that in human skin fibroblasts (FB) PNOs represent the oxidation products of NOS-produced NO and that in human skin fibroblasts intracellularly occurring PNOs effectively protect against the injurious effects of UVA radiation by a NO-dependent mechanism. In contrast, in PNO-depleted FB cultures an increased susceptibility to UVA-induced lipid peroxidation and cell death is observed, whereas supplementation of PNO-depleted FB cultures with physiological nitrite concentrations (10 microM) or with exogenously applied NO completely restores UVA-increased injuries. Thus, intracellular PNOs are biologically relevant and represent an important initial shield functioning in human skin physiology against UVA radiation. Consequently, nonphysiological low PNO concentrations might promote known UVA-related skin injuries such as premature aging and carcinogenesis.

  17. Docosahexaenoic acid and human brain development: evidence that a dietary supply is needed for optimal development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenna, J Thomas; Carlson, Susan E

    2014-12-01

    Humans evolved a uniquely large brain among terrestrial mammals. Brain and nervous tissue is rich in the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Docosahexaenoic acid is required for lower and high order functions in humans because of understood and emerging molecular mechanisms. Among brain components that depend on dietary components, DHA is limiting because its synthesis from terrestrial plant food precursors is low but its utilization when consumed in diet is very efficient. Negligible DHA is found in terrestrial plants, but in contrast, DHA is plentiful at the shoreline where it is made by single-celled organisms and plants, and in the seas supports development of very large marine mammal brains. Modern human brains accumulate DHA up to age 18, most aggressively from about half-way through gestation to about two years of age. Studies in modern humans and non-human primates show that modern infants consuming infant formulas that include only DHA precursors have lower DHA levels than for those with a source of preformed DHA. Functional measures show that infants consuming preformed DHA have improved visual and cognitive function. Dietary preformed DHA in the breast milk of modern mothers supports many-fold greater breast milk DHA than is found in the breast milk of vegans, a phenomenon linked to consumption of shore-based foods. Most current evidence suggests that the DHA-rich human brain required an ample and sustained source of dietary DHA to reach its full potential.

  18. Effect of Previous Chemotherapy on the Quality of Cryopreserved Human Ovarian Tissue In Vitro.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Babak Asadi Azarbaijani

    Full Text Available Cryopreservation of ovarian tissue has been widely accepted as an option for fertility preservation among cancer patients. Some patients are exposed to chemotherapy prior to ovarian tissue cryopreservation. Consequently, assessment of the developmental capacity of human ovarian tissue after chemotherapy is of primary importance.In order to study the impact of previous chemotherapy on in vitro development and viability of ovarian follicles, quality control samples from 34 female cancer patients at median age of 15 years (range 1‒35, cryopreserved for fertility preservation before (n = 14 or after (n = 20 initiation of chemotherapy, were thawed and cultured for 7 days. The morphology and developmental stages of ovarian follicles were studied by light microscopy before and after culture. Possible associations between follicular densities, age and exposure to alkylating agents, expressed as cyclophosphamide equivalent dose (CED were tested.Exposure to chemotherapy significantly impaired the survival and development of ovarian follicles in culture. After seven days, significantly higher densities of intermediary, primary and secondary follicles and lower densities of atretic follicles was detected in the samples collected before chemotherapy. Increasing dose of alkylating agents was identified by multivariate linear regression analysis as an independent predictor of a higher density of atretic follicles, whereas increasing age of the patient predicted a better outcome with less follicle atresia and a higher density of maturing follicles.This study provides quantitative in vitro evidence of the impact of chemotherapy on developmental capacity of cryopreserved human ovarian tissue. The results indicate that fertility preservation should be carried out, if possible, before initiation of alkylating agents in order to guarantee better in vitro survival of ovarian follicles. In addition, ovarian samples from younger girls show lower viability and fewer

  19. No evidence of murine leukemia virus-related viruses in live attenuated human vaccines.

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    William M Switzer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The association of xenotropic murine leukemia virus (MLV-related virus (XMRV in prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome reported in previous studies remains controversial as these results have been questioned by recent data. Nonetheless, concerns have been raised regarding contamination of human vaccines as a possible source of introduction of XMRV and MLV into human populations. To address this possibility, we tested eight live attenuated human vaccines using generic PCR for XMRV and MLV sequences. Viral metagenomics using deep sequencing was also done to identify the possibility of other adventitious agents. RESULTS: All eight live attenuated vaccines, including Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV (SA-14-14-2, varicella (Varivax, measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR-II, measles (Attenuvax, rubella (Meruvax-II, rotavirus (Rotateq and Rotarix, and yellow fever virus were negative for XMRV and highly related MLV sequences. However, residual hamster DNA, but not RNA, containing novel endogenous gammaretrovirus sequences was detected in the JEV vaccine using PCR. Metagenomics analysis did not detect any adventitious viral sequences of public health concern. Intracisternal A particle sequences closest to those present in Syrian hamsters and not mice were also detected in the JEV SA-14-14-2 vaccine. Combined, these results are consistent with the production of the JEV vaccine in Syrian hamster cells. CONCLUSIONS: We found no evidence of XMRV and MLV in eight live attenuated human vaccines further supporting the safety of these vaccines. Our findings suggest that vaccines are an unlikely source of XMRV and MLV exposure in humans and are consistent with the mounting evidence on the absence of these viruses in humans.

  20. The information infrastructure that supports evidence-based veterinary medicine: a comparison with human medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toews, Lorraine

    2011-01-01

    In human medicine, the information infrastructure that supports the knowledge translation processes of exchange, synthesis, dissemination, and application of the best clinical intervention research has developed significantly in the past 15 years, facilitating the uptake of research evidence by clinicians as well as the practice of evidence-based medicine. Seven of the key elements of this improved information infrastructure are clinical trial registries, research reporting standards, systematic reviews, organizations that support the production of systematic reviews, the indexing of clinical intervention research in MEDLINE, clinical search filters for MEDLINE, and point-of-care decision support information resources. The objective of this paper is to describe why these elements are important for evidence-based medicine, the key developments and issues related to these seven information infrastructure elements in human medicine, how these 7 elements compare with the corresponding infrastructure elements in veterinary medicine, and how all of these factors affect the translation of clinical intervention research into clinical practice. A focused search of the Ovid MEDLINE database was conducted for English language journal literature published between 2000 and 2010. Two bibliographies were consulted and selected national and international Web sites were searched using Google. The literature reviewed indicates that the information infrastructure supporting evidence-based veterinary medicine practice in all of the 7 elements reviewed is significantly underdeveloped in relation to the corresponding information infrastructure in human medicine. This lack of development creates barriers to the timely translation of veterinary medicine research into clinical practice and also to the conduct of both primary clinical intervention research and synthesis research.

  1. Edible Mushrooms: Improving Human Health and Promoting Quality Life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Elena Valverde

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Mushrooms have been consumed since earliest history; ancient Greeks believed that mushrooms provided strength for warriors in battle, and the Romans perceived them as the “Food of the Gods.” For centuries, the Chinese culture has treasured mushrooms as a health food, an “elixir of life.” They have been part of the human culture for thousands of years and have considerable interest in the most important civilizations in history because of their sensory characteristics; they have been recognized for their attractive culinary attributes. Nowadays, mushrooms are popular valuable foods because they are low in calories, carbohydrates, fat, and sodium: also, they are cholesterol-free. Besides, mushrooms provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D, proteins, and fiber. All together with a long history as food source, mushrooms are important for their healing capacities and properties in traditional medicine. It has reported beneficial effects for health and treatment of some diseases. Many nutraceutical properties are described in mushrooms, such as prevention or treatment of Parkinson, Alzheimer, hypertension, and high risk of stroke. They are also utilized to reduce the likelihood of cancer invasion and metastasis due to antitumoral attributes. Mushrooms act as antibacterial, immune system enhancer and cholesterol lowering agents; additionally, they are important sources of bioactive compounds. As a result of these properties, some mushroom extracts are used to promote human health and are found as dietary supplements.

  2. A systematic review of human factors and ergonomics (HFE)-based healthcare system redesign for quality of care and patient safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Anping; Carayon, Pascale

    2015-01-01

    Healthcare systems need to be redesigned to provide care that is safe, effective and efficient, and meets the multiple needs of patients. This systematic review examines how human factors and ergonomics (HFE) is applied to redesign healthcare work systems and processes and improve quality and safety of care. We identified 12 projects representing 23 studies and addressing different physical, cognitive and organisational HFE issues in a variety of healthcare systems and care settings. Some evidence exists for the effectiveness of HFE-based healthcare system redesign in improving process and outcome measures of quality and safety of care. We assessed risk of bias in 16 studies reporting the impact of HFE-based healthcare system redesign and found varying quality across studies. Future research should further assess the impact of HFE on quality and safety of care, and clearly define the mechanisms by which HFE-based system redesign can improve quality and safety of care.

  3. Plasticity resembling spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity: the evidence in human cortex

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    Florian Müller-Dahlhaus

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP has been studied extensively in a variety of animal models during the past decade but whether it can be studied at the systems level of the human cortex has been a matter of debate. Only recently newly developed non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS have made it possible to induce and assess timing dependent plasticity in conscious human subjects. This review will present a critical synopsis of these experiments, which suggest that several of the principal characteristics and molecular mechanisms of TMS-induced plasticity correspond to those of STDP as studied at a cellular level. TMS combined with a second phasic stimulation modality can induce bidirectional long-lasting changes in the excitability of the stimulated cortex, whose polarity depends on the order of the associated stimulus-evoked events within a critical time window of tens of milliseconds. Pharmacological evidence suggests an NMDA receptor mediated form of synaptic plasticity. Studies in human motor cortex demonstrated that motor learning significantly modulates TMS-induced timing dependent plasticity, and, conversely, may be modulated bidirectionally by prior TMS-induced plasticity, providing circumstantial evidence that long-term potentiation-like mechanisms may be involved in motor learning. In summary, convergent evidence is being accumulated for the contention that it is now possible to induce STDP-like changes in the intact human central nervous system by means of TMS to study and interfere with synaptic plasticity in neural circuits in the context of behaviour such as learning and memory.

  4. External quality assessment schemes raise standards: evidence from the UKNEQAS parasitology subschemes

    OpenAIRE

    Kettelhut, M M; Chiodini, P L; Edwards, H.; Moody, A

    2003-01-01

    Background: The burden of parasitic disease imported into the temperate zone is increasing, and in the tropics remains very high. Thus, high quality diagnostic parasitology services are needed, but to implement clinical governance a measure of quality of service is required.

  5. University Choice, Research Quality and Graduates' Employability: Evidence from Italian National Survey Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciriaci, Daria; Muscio, Alessandro

    2014-01-01

    Universities have come under increasing pressure to become key drivers of economic development in the age of the knowledge economy. In the case of Italy, there has been concern in recent years about quality and funding of academic institutions, but hardly any reference has been made about the impact of university quality on students' access…

  6. Quality of Teaching Mathematics and Learning Achievement Gains: Evidence from Primary Schools in Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngware, Moses W.; Ciera, James; Musyoka, Peter K.; Oketch, Moses

    2015-01-01

    This paper examines the contribution of quality mathematics teaching to student achievement gains. Quality of mathematics teaching is assessed through teacher demonstration of the five strands of mathematical proficiency, the level of cognitive task demands, and teacher mathematical knowledge. Data is based on 1907 grade 6 students who sat for the…

  7. Water quality degradation effects on freshwater availability: Impacts to human activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, N.E.; Meybeck, Michel

    2000-01-01

    The quality of freshwater at any point on the landscape reflects the combined effects of many processes along water pathways. Human activities on all spatial scales affect both water quality and quantity. Alteration of the landscape and associated vegetation has not only changed the water balance, but typically has altered processes that control water quality. Effects of human activities on a small scale are relevant to an entire drainage basin. Furthermore, local, regional, and global differences in climate and water flow are considerable, causing varying effects of human activities on land and water quality and quantity, depending on location within a watershed, geology, biology, physiographic characteristics, and climate. These natural characteristics also greatly control human activities, which will, in turn, modify (or affect) the natural composition of water. One of the most important issues for effective resource management is recognition of cyclical and cascading effects of human activities on the water quality and quantity along hydrologic pathways. The degradation of water quality in one part of a watershed can have negative effects on users downstream. Everyone lives downstream of the effects of some human activity. An extremely important factor is that substances added to the atmosphere, land, and water generally have relatively long time scales for removal or clean up. The nature of the substance, including its affinity for adhering to soil and its ability to be transformed, affects the mobility and the time scale for removal of the substance. Policy alone will not solve many of the degradation issues, but a combination of policy, education, scientific knowledge, planning, and enforcement of applicable laws can provide mechanisms for slowing the rate of degradation and provide human and environmental protection. Such an integrated approach is needed to effectively manage land and water resources.

  8. The Quality of Accounting Earnings and Change in Political Power Map: Evidence from Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harymawan Iman

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the earnings quality of politically connected firms listed in Indonesian Stock Exchange during 2006-2010. This study compare two definition (Soeharto Dependency Index (SDI and Politically Exposed Person (PEP of political connections to capture the effect of the changes of political power map on the earnings quality of politically connected firms in Indonesia. The finding shows that the quality of accounting earnings of politically connected firms which were formerly closely related to President Soeharto in 1998 are not significantly different to other firms. Furthermore, when this study employ politically exposed person as a proxy of political connections, the findings shows that connected firms have significantly lower quality accounting earnings. Consistent with prior findings, this study shows that change in political power map in Indonesia affect the level of earnings quality of politically connected firms.

  9. Protective effects of tea, red wine and cocoa in diabetes. Evidences from human studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Maria Angeles; Goya, Luis; Ramos, Sonia

    2017-09-08

    Prevention of diabetes through the diet has recently received an increasing interest, and polyphenolic compounds, such as flavanols, have become important potential chemopreventive natural agents due to their proved benefits on health, with low toxicity and cost. Tea, red wine and cocoa are good sources of flavanols and these highly consumed foods might contribute to prevent diabetes. In this regard, there is increasing evidence for a protective effect of tea, red wine and cocoa consumption against this disorder. This review summarizes the available epidemiological and interventional human studies providing evidence for and against this effect. Overall observational data suggest a benefit, but results are still equivocal and likely confounded by lifestyle and background dietary factors. The weight of data indicate favourable effects on diabetes risk factors for tea, red wine and cocoa intake, and a number of plausible mechanisms have been elucidated in human studies. However, despite the growing evidence it remains uncertain whether tea, red wine and cocoa consumption should be recommended to the general population or to patients as a strategy to reduce the risk of diabetes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. A new tool for assessing sediment quality based on the Weight of Evidence approach and grey TOPSIS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yu-Xia; Liu, You-Sheng; Ying, Guang-Guo; Wang, Hong-Wei; Liang, Yan-Qiu; Chen, Xiao-Wen

    2015-12-15

    Sediment is an important part of an aquatic ecosystem, so it is essential to develop an effective sediment quality assessment tool. This study aims to develop a new sediment quality assessment tool using a Weight of Evidence approach in combination with the grey TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity, a mathematical calculation of multi-criteria decision analysis). This tool can analyze data from chemical analyses, laboratory toxicity tests and benthic community structure analyses to generate individual results from each line of evidence, and integrate data from these three lines of evidence to obtain an overall assessment through an Excel Visual Basic for Application program. The tool can compare the relative magnitude of risks among sites and rate each site with high, moderate, or low ecological risk, thus guiding us to take pertinent measures toward polluted sediment. A case study of the sediment of Dongjiang River basin, south China, demonstrated the successful application of this tool. It proved that this assessment tool can provide a comprehensive and accurate assessment of sediment quality and efficiently discriminate risks among different sites, suggesting it is a powerful tool for environment risk assessment.

  11. China's human resources for health: quantity, quality, and distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anand, Sudhir; Fan, Victoria Y; Zhang, Junhua; Zhang, Lingling; Ke, Yang; Dong, Zhe; Chen, Lincoln C

    2008-11-15

    In this paper, we analyse China's current health workforce in terms of quantity, quality, and distribution. Unlike most countries, China has more doctors than nurses-in 2005, there were 1.9 million licensed doctors and 1.4 million nurses. Doctor density in urban areas was more than twice that in rural areas, with nurse density showing more than a three-fold difference. Most of China's doctors (67.2%) and nurses (97.5%) have been educated up to only junior college or secondary school level. Since 1998 there has been a massive expansion of medical education, with an excess in the production of health workers over absorption into the health workforce. Inter-county inequality in the distribution of both doctors and nurses is very high, with most of this inequality accounted for by within-province inequalities (82% or more) rather than by between-province inequalities. Urban-rural disparities in doctor and nurse density account for about a third of overall inter-county inequality. These inequalities matter greatly with respect to health outcomes across counties, provinces, and strata in China; for instance, a cross-county multiple regression analysis using data from the 2000 census shows that the density of health workers is highly significant in explaining infant mortality.

  12. AN EMPIRICAL EXAMINATION OF QUALITY TOOLS IMPACT ON FINANCIAL PERFORMANCES: EVIDENCE FROM SERBIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vesna Spasojević Brkić

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the impact of quality tools on financial performances using a sample of 119Serbian industrial firms. Factor and reliability analysis are used to show that quality tools may beclassified into three primary categories: quality tools for reviewing current conditions (for decisionmaking, quality tools for analyzing current conditions (for problems solving and quality tools forproduction planning and control (for improvement. The relationships between these 3 groups ofquality tools and financial performances were tested using the stepwise regression analysis. It wasconcluded that the first group of quality tools (quality tools for reviewing current condition, e.g. fordecision making has significant impact on most of the dimensions of financial performances, whilefor the second and third group there is no statistical support. Influence of the first group of qualitytools on sales revenue is statistically significant at a p<0.01 significance level while it`s influence oncompany profit and total revenue per employee are statistically significant at p<0.05 significancelevel. The model ranged from 4% to 7%.

  13. IN QUEST OF TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES IN ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN SERVICES: EVIDENCE FROM TURKEY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Umut Durmus

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Proposal: Architectural design companies increasingly recognize that time spent on management is not at the expense of their production and there are always better ways to organize business. Although architects have long placed a traditional emphasis on quality, quality management is still a new concept for the majority of architectural design companies, which have to organize relatively more complicated operations nowadays to meet their clients’ expectations. This study aims to understand how architectural design companies define quality and explores the extent to which Total Quality Management (TQM principles like continual improvement, employee involvement, customer satisfaction and others can be pertinent in these companies. Adopting a qualitative research strategy, the authors interviewed with the owner-managers of 10 widely-recognized architectural design companies of different size in Istanbul. The results from the content analysis of semi-structured interview data suggest that i TQM principles cannot be directly applied in architectural design companies without an appropriate translation; ii special characteristics of design services are important to explain quality-related perceptions of owner-managers; iii the owner-managers feel the pressure from the changing internal and external environmental conditions, however few of them adopt a systematic and documented approach to quality management. Architectural design offices which aim to establish a quality management system can benefit from this study to understand potential problem areas on their road.

  14. Does Viewing Pornography Reduce Marital Quality Over Time? Evidence from Longitudinal Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Samuel L

    2017-02-01

    Numerous studies have examined the connection between pornography viewing and marital quality, with findings most often revealing a negative association. Data limitations, however, have precluded establishing directionality with a representative sample. This study is the first to draw on nationally representative, longitudinal data (2006-2012 Portraits of American Life Study) to test whether more frequent pornography use influences marital quality later on and whether this effect is moderated by gender. In general, married persons who more frequently viewed pornography in 2006 reported significantly lower levels of marital quality in 2012, net of controls for earlier marital quality and relevant correlates. Pornography's effect was not simply a proxy for dissatisfaction with sex life or marital decision-making in 2006. In terms of substantive influence, frequency of pornography use in 2006 was the second strongest predictor of marital quality in 2012. Interaction effects revealed, however, that the negative effect of porn use on marital quality applied to husbands, but not wives. In fact, post-estimation predicted values indicated that wives who viewed pornography more frequently reported higher marital quality than those who viewed it less frequently or not at all. The implications and limitations of this study are discussed.

  15. Psychometric Evaluation of an Instrument for Measuring Organizational Climate for Quality: Evidence From a National Sample of Infection Preventionists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pogorzelska-Maziarz, Monika; Nembhard, Ingrid M; Schnall, Rebecca; Nelson, Shanelle; Stone, Patricia W

    2016-09-01

    In recent years, there has been increased interest in measuring the climate for infection prevention; however, reliable and valid instruments are lacking. This study tested the psychometric properties of the Leading a Culture of Quality for Infection Prevention (LCQ-IP) instrument measuring the infection prevention climate in a sample of 972 infection preventionists from acute care hospitals. An exploratory principal component analysis showed that the instrument had structural validity and captured 4 factors related to the climate for infection prevention: Psychological Safety, Prioritization of Quality, Supportive Work Environment, and Improvement Orientation. LCQ-IP exhibited excellent internal consistency, with a Cronbach α of .926. Criterion validity was supported with overall LCQ-IP scores, increasing with the number of evidence-based prevention policies in place (P = .047). This psychometrically sound instrument may be helpful to researchers and providers in assessing climate for quality related to infection prevention.

  16. Simulating receptive fields of human visual cortex for 3D image quality prediction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Feng; Chen, Wanting; Lin, Wenchong; Jiang, Qiuping; Jiang, Gangyi

    2016-07-20

    Quality assessment of 3D images presents many challenges when attempting to gain better understanding of the human visual system. In this paper, we propose a new 3D image quality prediction approach by simulating receptive fields (RFs) of human visual cortex. To be more specific, we extract the RFs from a complete visual pathway, and calculate their similarity indices between the reference and distorted 3D images. The final quality score is obtained by determining their connections via support vector regression. Experimental results on three 3D image quality assessment databases demonstrate that in comparison with the most relevant existing methods, the devised algorithm achieves high consistency alignment with subjective assessment, especially for asymmetrically distorted stereoscopic images.

  17. Evidence for model-based computations in the human amygdala during Pavlovian conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prévost, Charlotte; McNamee, Daniel; Jessup, Ryan K; Bossaerts, Peter; O'Doherty, John P

    2013-01-01

    Contemporary computational accounts of instrumental conditioning have emphasized a role for a model-based system in which values are computed with reference to a rich model of the structure of the world, and a model-free system in which values are updated without encoding such structure. Much less studied is the possibility of a similar distinction operating at the level of Pavlovian conditioning. In the present study, we scanned human participants while they participated in a Pavlovian conditioning task with a simple structure while measuring activity in the human amygdala using a high-resolution fMRI protocol. After fitting a model-based algorithm and a variety of model-free algorithms to the fMRI data, we found evidence for the superiority of a model-based algorithm in accounting for activity in the amygdala compared to the model-free counterparts. These findings support an important role for model-based algorithms in describing the processes underpinning Pavlovian conditioning, as well as providing evidence of a role for the human amygdala in model-based inference.

  18. Evidence for model-based computations in the human amygdala during Pavlovian conditioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte Prévost

    Full Text Available Contemporary computational accounts of instrumental conditioning have emphasized a role for a model-based system in which values are computed with reference to a rich model of the structure of the world, and a model-free system in which values are updated without encoding such structure. Much less studied is the possibility of a similar distinction operating at the level of Pavlovian conditioning. In the present study, we scanned human participants while they participated in a Pavlovian conditioning task with a simple structure while measuring activity in the human amygdala using a high-resolution fMRI protocol. After fitting a model-based algorithm and a variety of model-free algorithms to the fMRI data, we found evidence for the superiority of a model-based algorithm in accounting for activity in the amygdala compared to the model-free counterparts. These findings support an important role for model-based algorithms in describing the processes underpinning Pavlovian conditioning, as well as providing evidence of a role for the human amygdala in model-based inference.

  19. Evidence for recent, population-specific evolution of the human mutation rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Kelley

    2015-03-17

    As humans dispersed out of Africa they adapted to new environmental challenges, including changes in exposure to mutagenic solar radiation. Humans in temperate latitudes have acquired light skin that is relatively transparent to UV light, and some evidence suggests that their DNA damage response pathways have also experienced local adaptation. This raises the possibility that different populations have experienced different selective pressures affecting genome integrity. Here, I present evidence that the rate of a particular mutation type has recently increased in the European population, rising in frequency by 50% during the 40,000-80,000 y since Europeans began diverging from Asians. A comparison of SNPs private to Africa, Asia, and Europe in the 1000 Genomes data reveals that private European variation is enriched for the transition 5'-TCC-3' → 5'-TTC-3'. Although it is not clear whether UV played a causal role in changing the European mutational spectrum, 5'-TCC-3' → 5'-TTC-3' is known to be the most common somatic mutation present in melanoma skin cancers, as well as the mutation most frequently induced in vitro by UV. Regardless of its causality, this change indicates that DNA replication fidelity has not remained stable even since the origin of modern humans and might have changed numerous times during our recent evolutionary history.

  20. Effective governance: helping boards acquire, adapt and apply evidence to improve quality and patient safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barclay, Kevin

    2010-01-01

    They don't spend a lot of time treating patients. And they're seldom included on grand rounds. But health services boards of directors still have a significant role to play in quality and patient safety. Their responsibilities for quality go beyond those of boards in many other settings and so, therefore, does their need for specialized education and training. As Maura Davies, chief executive officer (CEO) of Saskatoon Health Region, has pointed out, "There is increasing awareness that health services boards cannot abdicate their responsibilities for ensuring quality and safety and need to take specific actions to address these duties" (Davies 2010: 37).

  1. PHYSICAL EVIDENCE AND QUALITY SERVICE DELIVERY IN PUBLIC HOSPITALS IN GHANA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edem Max Azila-Gbettor

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the value of physical environment in the delivering of quality healthcare or service in public hospitals in Ghana. Twelve set of self-administered questions were designed using Baker’s (1987 typology of servicescape. A descriptive univariate analysis was applied for the study. Based on 233 usable questionnaires retrieved from respondents, the study indicates a strong link between physical environment and quality healthcare delivery and the choice of healthcare facility. It is there by recommended that improvement in quality service delivery may be better served and improved by improving the servicescape/physical element in the services mix.

  2. Corporate Governance Quality, Board Gender Diversity and Corporate Dividend Policy: Evidence from Jordan

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ayat S Al-Rahahleh

    2017-01-01

    This paper examines the impact of corporate governance quality and board gender diversity on the corporate dividend policy for a set of all non-financial companies listed on Amman Stock Exchange (ASE...

  3. A Study on Financial Reporting Standards and Accounting Quality- Evidence from China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liou, Cheng-Hwai

    2013-02-01

    According to institutional theorists, the forms and business models of corporation are mainly shaped by factors such as politics, regulations, social norms and cultures. This paper examines how the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and institutional environment influence the accounting quality, in response to the threat of political extraction in China. We took mainland China as an example instead in our study, following the accounting quality definition of Barth et al. [2], we found that the developments of Chinese government performance audit are conspicuously different by region; to reflect such differences, we elaborated our research by dividing mainland China into 31 categories (provinces or cities). We set 2003-2010 as the time horizon for this study. After testing the Regression model, our empirical research achieved two conclusions: 1) IFRS adoption in China should significantly improve the accounting quality, and 2) IFRS and institutional environment should synthetically influence the quality of accounting as well.

  4. How does auditors’ work stress affect audit quality? Empirical evidence from the Chinese stock market

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huanmin Yan

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available With reference to the Job Demands–Control Model, we empirically examine the effect of auditors’ work stress on audit quality using a sample of Chinese A-share listed companies and their signature auditors from 2009 to 2013. The results show that (1 there is generally no pervasive deterioration in audit quality resulting from auditors’ work stress; (2 there is a significant negative association between work stress and audit quality in the initial audits of new clients; and (3 the perception of work stress depends on auditors’ individual characteristics. Auditors from international audit firms and those in the role of partner respond more strongly to work stress than industry experts. Auditors tend to react more intensively when dealing with state-owned companies. We suggest that audit firms attach more importance to auditors’ work stress and rationalize their allocation of audit resources to ensure high audit quality.

  5. Relevance of the Glutathione System in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: Evidence in Human and Experimental Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noemí Cárdenas-Rodríguez

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Oxidative stress, which is a state of imbalance in the production of reactive oxygen species and nitrogen, is induced by a wide variety of factors. This biochemical state is associated with diseases that are systemic as well as diseases that affect the central nervous system. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder, and temporal lobe epilepsy represents an estimated 40% of all epilepsy cases. Currently, evidence from human and experimental models supports the involvement of oxidative stress during seizures and in the epileptogenesis process. Hence, the aim of this review was to provide information that facilitates the processing of this evidence and investigate the therapeutic impact of the biochemical status for this specific pathology.

  6. Friend or foe? The current epidemiologic evidence on selenium and human cancer risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinceti, Marco; Crespi, Catherine M; Malagoli, Carlotta; Del Giovane, Cinzia; Krogh, Vittorio

    2013-01-01

    Scientific opinion on the relationship between selenium and the risk of cancer has undergone radical change over the years, with selenium first viewed as a possible carcinogen in the 1940s then as a possible cancer preventive agent in the 1960s-2000s. More recently, randomized controlled trials have found no effect on cancer risk but suggest possible low-dose dermatologic and endocrine toxicity, and animal studies indicate both carcinogenic and cancer-preventive effects. A growing body of evidence from human and laboratory studies indicates dramatically different biological effects of the various inorganic and organic chemical forms of selenium, which may explain apparent inconsistencies across studies. These chemical form-specific effects also have important implications for exposure and health risk assessment. Overall, available epidemiologic evidence suggests no cancer preventive effect of increased selenium intake in healthy individuals and possible increased risk of other diseases and disorders.

  7. Relevance of the Glutathione System in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: Evidence in Human and Experimental Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cárdenas-Rodríguez, Noemí; Coballase-Urrutia, Elvia; Pérez-Cruz, Claudia; Montesinos-Correa, Hortencia; Rivera-Espinosa, Liliana; Sampieri, Aristides; Carmona-Aparicio, Liliana

    2014-01-01

    Oxidative stress, which is a state of imbalance in the production of reactive oxygen species and nitrogen, is induced by a wide variety of factors. This biochemical state is associated with diseases that are systemic as well as diseases that affect the central nervous system. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder, and temporal lobe epilepsy represents an estimated 40% of all epilepsy cases. Currently, evidence from human and experimental models supports the involvement of oxidative stress during seizures and in the epileptogenesis process. Hence, the aim of this review was to provide information that facilitates the processing of this evidence and investigate the therapeutic impact of the biochemical status for this specific pathology. PMID:25538816

  8. Human action quality evaluation based on fuzzy logic with application in underground coal mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ionica, Andreea; Leba, Monica

    2015-01-01

    The work system is defined by its components, their roles and the relationships between them. Any work system gravitates around the human resource and the interdependencies between human factor and the other components of it. Researches in this field agreed that the human factor and its actions are difficult to quantify and predict. The objective of this paper is to apply a method of human actions evaluation in order to estimate possible risks and prevent possible system faults, both at human factor level and at equipment level. In order to point out the importance of the human factor influence on all the elements of the working systems we propose a fuzzy logic based methodology for quality evaluation of human actions. This methodology has a multidisciplinary character, as it gathers ideas and methods from: quality management, ergonomics, work safety and artificial intelligence. The results presented refer to a work system with a high degree of specificity, namely, underground coal mining and are valuable for human resources risk evaluation pattern. The fuzzy logic evaluation of the human actions leads to early detection of possible dangerous evolutions of the work system and alarm the persons in charge.

  9. Accounting Quality and Debt Concentration: Evidence from Internal Control Weakness Disclosures

    OpenAIRE

    Lou , Yun; Otto , Clemens

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines the effect of accounting quality on the degree of debt concentration (i.e., the tendency to rely predominantly on only a few types of debt) in corporate capital structures. Building on theoretical and empirical studies arguing that asymmetric information increases the renegotiation and bankruptcy costs associated with relying on multiple types of debt, the authors predict that lower quality accounting numbers induce firms to choose more concentrated debt structures. Measur...

  10. Educational Quality and Labour Market Performance in Developing Countries: Some Evidence from Pakistan

    OpenAIRE

    Ather H. Akbari; Naeem Muhammed

    2000-01-01

    Several studies have shown that investment in the quality of education has a higher payoff than investment in quantity alone.1 However, in many developing countries, investment in improving educational quality is still accorded a lower priority than investment in educational quantity. Countries which commit more resources towards education are generally observed to expand their enrolment ratios while paying little attention on improving such schooling inputs as student-teacher ratio that cont...

  11. IMPACT OF SERVICE QUALITY ON CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: EVIDENCES FROM THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY IN PAKISTAN

    OpenAIRE

    Ubedullah Amjad Ali SHAIKH; Naveed Ur Rehman KHAN

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to contribute to the literature of service quality importance in restaurant industry. The study has been based upon the Servqual technique and Dineserv tool of improving the quality by the service providing organizations. The study is undertaken from the perspective of Pakistani Restaurant Industry and the customers' perceptions vis-à-vis restaurant dining. Two variables of Servqual, i.e. Tangibles and Responsiveness, have been examined to demonstrate the signific...

  12. Service quality in peacekeeping mission as a determinant of customer’s perceived value: Empirical evidence

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    Azman Bin Ismail

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Previous studies have been employing SERVQUAL by Parasuraman et al. (1985, 1988 to measure service quality in various service sectors due to its generic nature. Understanding the relationship between service quality and customer’s perceived value in non-business organizational settings is equally important with business setting as positive perception leads to favorable outcome. Hence, the aim of this study is to examine the relationship between service quality and perceived value. Design/methodology/approach: The self-administered survey questionnaires were employed to gather data from Malaysian soldiers who involved in peacekeeping mission at a Middle Eastern country. The hypothesized model was analyzed using the SmartPLS 2.0. Findings: The outcomes of SmartPLS path model confirmed that that all service quality dimensions namely tangible, responsiveness, reliability, assurance, empathy did act as important determinants of customer’s perceived value in the organizational sample. Practical implications: The findings of this study may be used as guidelines by practitioners to formulate relevant and appropriate strategies in order to enhance quality of service delivery in agile organizations. Originality/value: The work deals with service quality in non-business setting. Although the scale has been widely used, some modifications are generally needed in order to reflect specific characteristics of service sectors under study. The findings confirmed that in general SERVQUAL five dimensions are important determinants to the various service sectors.

  13. Economic growth and the demand for dietary quality: Evidence from Russia during transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burggraf, Christine; Teuber, Ramona; Brosig, Stephan; Glauben, Thomas

    2015-12-01

    The increasing incidence of nutrition-related chronic diseases worldwide has raised people's awareness of dietary quality. Most existing studies on the topic of changing nutrition patterns measure dietary quality by single macronutrient indicators or anthropometric outcomes. However, such an approach is often too narrow to provide a picture of overall dietary quality and is sometimes even misleading. This study contributes to the existing literature by taking into account that the analysis of dietary quality comprises two dimensions: the adequate intake of vitamins and minerals, as well as the moderate intake of nutrients that increase the risk of chronic diseases. Thereby, we apply Grossman's health investment model to the analysis of the demand for dietary quality, explicitly addressing the different dimensions of dietary quality and the intertemporal character of health investments. We apply our approach to Russia using data from the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey from 1996 to 2008. Our results show that intake levels of vitamins and minerals as well as saturated and total fatty acids increased after 1998 along with economic recovery, while the intake of fiber decreased. Our econometric results imply an income elasticity of vitamins and minerals of 0.051, and an income elasticity of fats of 0.073. Overall, our results are in line with an ongoing nutrition transition in the Russian Federation, which is marked by decreasing deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, as well as the increasing consumption of fats with its accompanying negative health consequences.

  14. The Relationship Between Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction in the Telecommunication Industry: Evidence From Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olu Ojo

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available

    This study investigates the relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction in the telecommunication industry with a focus on Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN Nigeria. A total of 230 respondents participated in the study. Research questions and objectives were set, alongside the hypotheses that were formulated and tested. Descriptive statistics comprising the simple percentage and tables were used for data presentation and analysis. Regression analysis and Pearson product moment correlation coefficient were employed in testing our hypotheses. The study reveals that service quality has effect on customer satisfaction and that there is a positive relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction. The researcher concluded by recommending that organisations should focus more attention on service quality, because of its effects on customer satisfaction. To ensure that customer satisfaction level is high, organisation must first of all know the expectations of the customers and how they can meet such expectations. Customer satisfaction helps in customer loyalty and retention. It has been discovered that it costs to attract new customer than to retain existing ones. It is also recommended that organisations should welcome suggestions from customers and more programmes should be designed to measure service quality and customer satisfaction.

    Keywords: Customer, Service, Customer Satisfaction, Service Quality, Customer Loyalty.

  15. The Relationship Between Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction in the Telecommunication Industry: Evidence From Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olu Ojo

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction in the telecommunication industry with a focus on Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN Nigeria. A total of 230 respondents participated in the study. Research questions and objectives were set, alongside the hypotheses that were formulated and tested. Descriptive statistics comprising the simple percentage and tables were used for data presentation and analysis. Regression analysis and Pearson product moment correlation coefficient were employed in testing our hypotheses. The study reveals that service quality has effect on customer satisfaction and that there is a positive relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction. The researcher concluded by recommending that organisations should focus more attention on service quality, because of its effects on customer satisfaction. To ensure that customer satisfaction level is high, organisation must first of all know the expectations of the customers and how they can meet such expectations. Customer satisfaction helps in customer loyalty and retention. It has been discovered that it costs to attract new customer than to retain existing ones. It is also recommended that organisations should welcome suggestions from customers and more programmes should be designed to measure service quality and customer satisfaction.Keywords: Customer, Service, Customer Satisfaction, Service Quality, Customer Loyalty.

  16. THE QUALITY OF GROWTH: PERAN TEKNOLOGI DAN INVESTASI HUMAN CAPITAL SEBAGAI PEMACU PERTUMBUHAN EKONOMI BERKUALITAS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P Eko Prasetyo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In the process of developing economy in a whole and continuously, the macro economy stability of acountry is an essential prerequisite for producing a quality economic growth. For achieving the qualityeconomic growth, there should be a continuous capital human investment and the use of continuousscience and technology (IPTEK. The process of developing economy will be able to transform thesociety condition from vicious circle to virtuous circle condition if the growth of economy is qualified..Keywords: Quality of growth; human capital, technology and virtuous circle.

  17. Influence of quality of life on the state and development of human capital in Latvia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhanna Tsaurkubule

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Currently, the essence and forms of interrelation between human capital and quality of life are still insufficiently studied. Therefore, there is a need for defining general components of these categories and areas, where human capital interacts with quality of life. Today, Latvia has been developing in difficult conditions: the population is decreasing, emigration is growing, possibilities of employment are limited, and the income of residents is decreasing. All these factors reduce quality of life for the population and lead to the loss of human resources in the country. The existence of a problem stemming from the relationship between quality of life and human capital establishes the relevance of the research and determines its aim. The main contradiction is between the external positioning of the state as a country successfully overcoming crisis and the growth of internal crisis in the state, leading to the further impoverishment of the population, leading to an increased emigration of the working population of Latvia. The main research question is as follows: how to preserve human resources in the state? Based on an analysis of post-crisis socio-economic processes taking place in the society, recommendations are made to improve the socio-economic policy in ways that improve the welfare of the population of Latvia.

  18. Job Matching Efficiency in Skilled Regions: Evidence on the Microeconomic Foundations of Human Capital Externalities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel F. Heuermann

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Inspired by the literature on the role of local career networks for the quality of labour market matches we investigate whether human capital externalities arise from a higher job matching efficiency in skilled regions. Using two samples of workers in Germany we find that an increase in the regional share of highly qualified workers by one standard deviation is associated with between-job wage growth of about five per cent and with an increase in the annual probability of a job change of about sixty per cent. Wage gains are incurred only by workers changing jobs within industries. We find highly qualified workers in skilled regions to respond to these wage differentials by changing jobs more often within rather than between industries. Taken together, these findings suggest that human capital externalities partly arise because workers in skilled regions have better access to labour market information, which allows them to capitalize on their industry-specific knowledge when changing jobs.

  19. The early development of human mirror mechanisms: evidence from electromyographic recordings at 3 and 6 months.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turati, Chiara; Natale, Elena; Bolognini, Nadia; Senna, Irene; Picozzi, Marta; Longhi, Elena; Cassia, Viola Macchi

    2013-11-01

    In primates and adult humans direct understanding of others' action is provided by mirror mechanisms matching action observation and action execution (e.g. Casile, Caggiano & Ferrari, 2011). Despite the growing body of evidence detailing the existence of these mechanisms in the adult human brain, their origins and early development are largely unknown. In this study, for the first time, electromyographic (EMG) measures were used to shed light on the emergence of mirror motor mechanisms in infancy. EMG activity was recorded while 6- and 3-month-old infants watched two videos displaying an agent reaching for, grasping and bringing an object either to the mouth or to the head. Results indicate that the motor system of 6-month-olds, but not 3-month-olds, was recruited and selectively modulated during observation of the goal-directed actions, favoring the idea that mirror mechanisms driving action understanding gradually emerge during early development.

  20. French Maritime Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol®) Effects on Human Skin: Clinical and Molecular Evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grether-Beck, Susanne; Marini, Alessandra; Jaenicke, Thomas; Krutmann, Jean

    2016-01-01

    Nutritional strategies to benefit skin health are of growing importance. Current approaches mainly involve nutritional supplements containing antioxidants which were initially designed to protect human skin against ultraviolet radiation-induced damage. Within recent years, however, a growing number of studies suggests that the beneficial effects of these products clearly extend beyond photoprotection. In this review we take the nutritional supplement Pycnogenol®, which is based on an extract prepared from French marine pine bark extract, as an example to illustrate this development. Accordingly, the existing data provide compelling evidence that Pycnogenol® intake does not only provide photoprotection, but may be used to (i) reduce hyperpigmentation of human skin and (ii) improve skin barrier function and extracellular matrix homeostasis.

  1. Evidence for expression of melanocortin-1 receptor in human sebocytes in vitro and in situ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böhm, Markus; Schiller, Meinhard; Ständer, Sonja; Seltmann, Holger; Li, Zhuo; Brzoska, Thomas; Metze, Dieter; Schiöth, Helgi B; Skottner, Anna; Seiffert, Kristina; Zouboulis, Christos C; Luger, Thomas A

    2002-03-01

    Many lines of evidence indicate that the activity of sebaceous glands can be modulated by neuropeptides. Direct evidence in man, however, is still missing. We show that SZ95 sebocytes, an immortalized human sebaceous gland cell line, express receptors for alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction with primers against the five melanocortin receptors and immunofluorescence studies using an antibody directed against a peptide corresponding to the amino acids 2-18 of the human melanocortin-1 receptor disclosed specific transcripts and immunoreactivity for melanocortin-1 receptor in these cells. Melanocortin-1 receptor expression was confirmed in sebocytes of normal human skin by immunohistochemistry. In contrast, no immunostaining for the melanocortin-5 receptor could be detected in sebocytes in situ, in accordance with the lack of specific transcripts for this melanocortin receptor in SZ95 sebocytes. As cytokines play an important role in the recruitment of inflammatory cells in acne and related disorders and alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone exerts immunomodulatory effects in many other cell types, we investigated the effect of alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone on interleukin-8 secretion by SZ95 sebocytes. Treatment with interleukin-1beta resulted in a marked increase in interleukin-8 release that was partially blocked by coincubation with alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone in a dose-dependent manner. Taken together, we show here that the melanocortin-1 receptor is expressed in vitro and in situ in human sebocytes. By modulating interleukin-8 secretion, alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone may act as a modulator of inflammatory responses in the pilosebaceous unit.

  2. A general auditory bias for handling speaker variability in speech? Evidence in humans and songbirds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buddhamas eKriengwatana

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Different speakers produce the same speech sound differently, yet listeners are still able to reliably identify the speech sound. How listeners can adjust their perception to compensate for speaker differences in speech, and whether these compensatory processes are unique only to humans, is still not fully understood. In this study we compare the ability of humans and zebra finches to categorize vowels despite speaker variation in speech in order to test the hypothesis that accommodating speaker and gender differences in isolated vowels can be achieved without prior experience with speaker-related variability. Using a behavioural Go/No-go task and identical stimuli, we compared Australian English adults’ (naïve to Dutch and zebra finches’ (naïve to human speech ability to categorize /ɪ/ and /ɛ/ vowels of an novel Dutch speaker after learning to discriminate those vowels from only one other speaker. Experiment 1 and 2 presented vowels of two speakers interspersed or blocked, respectively. Results demonstrate that categorization of vowels is possible without prior exposure to speaker-related variability in speech for zebra finches, and in non-native vowel categories for humans. Therefore, this study is the first to provide evidence for what might be a species-shared auditory bias that may supersede speaker-related information during vowel categorization. It additionally provides behavioural evidence contradicting a prior hypothesis that accommodation of speaker differences is achieved via the use of formant ratios. Therefore, investigations of alternative accounts of vowel normalization that incorporate the possibility of an auditory bias for disregarding inter-speaker variability are warranted.

  3. Quality management: where is the evidence? Developing an indicator-based approach in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prytherch, Helen; Nafula, Maureen; Kandie, Charles; Brodowski, Marc; Marx, Irmgard; Kubaj, Sandy; Omogi, Irene; Zurkuhlen, Alexia; Herrler, Claudia; Goetz, Katja; Szecsenyi, Joachim; Marx, Michael

    2017-02-01

    The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda emphasizes the importance of quality of care in the drive to achieve universal health coverage. Despite recent progress, challenges in service delivery, efficiency and resource utilization in the health sector remain. The Ministry of Health Department of Standards and Regulations sought to operationalize the Kenya Quality Assurance Model for Health. To this end, the European Practice Assessment (EPA) was adapted to the area of Reproductive and Maternal and Neonatal Health. The adaptation process made use of a ten step-modified RAND Corporation/University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Appropriateness Method. The steps included a scoping workshop, definition of five critical domains of quality in the Kenyan context ('People, Management, Clinical Care, Quality & Safety, Interface between inpatients and outpatients care'), a review of policy documents, management and clinical guidelines, grey and scientific literature to identify indicators in use in the Kenyan health system and an expert panel process to rate their feasibility and validity. The resulting 278 indicators, clustered across the five domains, were broken-down into 29 dimensions and assigned measure specifications. A set of data collection tools were developed to furnish the indicators and piloted at two health facilities. They were subsequently finalized for use in 30 health facilities in 3 counties. The integrative and indicator-based aspects of the EPA process could be readily adapted to facilitate the operationalization of a practical quality assurance approach in Kenya.

  4. Do Energy Efficiency Standards Improve Quality? Evidence from a Revealed Preference Approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Houde, Sebastien [Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States); Spurlock, C. Anna [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2015-06-01

    Minimum energy efficiency standards have occupied a central role in U.S. energy policy for more than three decades, but little is known about their welfare effects. In this paper, we employ a revealed preference approach to quantify the impact of past revisions in energy efficiency standards on product quality. The micro-foundation of our approach is a discrete choice model that allows us to compute a price-adjusted index of vertical quality. Focusing on the appliance market, we show that several standard revisions during the period 2001-2011 have led to an increase in quality. We also show that these standards have had a modest effect on prices, and in some cases they even led to decreases in prices. For revision events where overall quality increases and prices decrease, the consumer welfare effect of tightening the standards is unambiguously positive. Finally, we show that after controlling for the effect of improvement in energy efficiency, standards have induced an expansion of quality in the non-energy dimension. We discuss how imperfect competition can rationalize these results.

  5. [Evidence-based quality assessment of 10-year orthodontic clinical trials in 4 major dental journals].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yan-nan; Lei, Fei-fei; Cao, Yan-li; Fu, Min-kui

    2010-02-01

    To assess the quality of orthodontic clinical trials published in 4 major dental journals in the past 10 years and establish the reference standard for orthodontic clinical trials and quality control of dental journals. All the clinical trials published in Chinese Journal of Stomatology, West China Journal of Stomatology, Journal of Practice Stomatology and Chinese Journal of Orthodontics from 1999 to 2008 were searched. The demographic information of the papers was extracted and the quality of the clinical trials according to the consolidated standards of reporting trials (CONSORT) was assessed. Four hundred and ninety-four clinical trials were retrieved, and 21.3% (105/494) of them were supported by grants. For the study design, only 26.1% (129/494) were prospective studies, and 3.8% (19/494) were randomized clinical trials. It was hard to evaluate precisely due to the lack of information about the details of the study designs. For the randomized clinical trials, the lack of details for randomization, allocation concealment, blinding and intention to treat compromised the quality. The general quality of clinical trials in orthodontics is poor. It needs to be improved both in the clinical study design and the paper writing.

  6. Evidence for positive selection on the Osteogenin (BMP3 gene in human populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong-Dong Wu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Human skeletal system has evolved rapidly since the dispersal of modern humans from Africa, potentially driven by selection and adaptation. Osteogenin (BMP3 plays an important role in skeletal development and bone osteogenesis as an antagonist of the osteogenic bone morphogenetic proteins, and negatively regulates bone mineral density. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we resequenced the BMP3 gene from individuals in four geographically separated modern human populations. Features supportive of positive selection in the BMP3 gene were found including the presence of an excess of nonsynonymous mutations in modern humans, and a significantly lower genetic diversity that deviates from neutrality. The prevalent haplotypes of the first exon region in Europeans demonstrated features of long-range haplotype homogeneity. In contrast with findings in European, the derived allele SNP Arg192Gln shows higher extended haplotype homozygosity in East Asian. The worldwide allele frequency distribution of SNP shows not only a high-derived allele frequency in Asians, but also in Americans, which is suggestive of functional adaptation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In conclusion, we provide evidence for recent positive selection operating upon a crucial gene in skeletal development, which may provide new insight into the evolution of the skeletal system and bone development.

  7. Early modern human dispersal from Africa: genomic evidence for multiple waves of migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tassi, Francesca; Ghirotto, Silvia; Mezzavilla, Massimo; Vilaça, Sibelle Torres; De Santi, Lisa; Barbujani, Guido

    2015-01-01

    Anthropological and genetic data agree in indicating the African continent as the main place of origin for anatomically modern humans. However, it is unclear whether early modern humans left Africa through a single, major process, dispersing simultaneously over Asia and Europe, or in two main waves, first through the Arab Peninsula into southern Asia and Oceania, and later through a northern route crossing the Levant. Here, we show that accurate genomic estimates of the divergence times between European and African populations are more recent than those between Australo-Melanesia and Africa and incompatible with the effects of a single dispersal. This difference cannot possibly be accounted for by the effects of either hybridization with archaic human forms in Australo-Melanesia or back migration from Europe into Africa. Furthermore, in several populations of Asia we found evidence for relatively recent genetic admixture events, which could have obscured the signatures of the earliest processes. We conclude that the hypothesis of a single major human dispersal from Africa appears hardly compatible with the observed historical and geographical patterns of genome diversity and that Australo-Melanesian populations seem still to retain a genomic signature of a more ancient divergence from Africa.

  8. Impulsivity is Associated with Uric Acid: Evidence from Humans and Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutin, Angelina R.; Cutler, Roy G.; Camandola, Simonetta; Uda, Manuela; Feldman, Neil H.; Cucca, Francesco; Zonderman, Alan B.; Mattson, Mark P.; Ferrucci, Luigi; Schlessinger, David; Terracciano, Antonio

    2013-01-01

    Background The ability to control impulses varies greatly, and difficulty with impulse control can have severe consequences; in the extreme, it is the defining feature of many psychiatric disorders. Evidence from disparate lines of research suggests that uric acid is elevated in psychiatric disorders characterized by high impulsivity, such as ADHD and bipolar disorder. The present research tests the hypothesis that impulsivity is associated with higher uric acid in humans and mice. Methods Using two longitudinal, non-clinical community samples (total N=6883), we test whether there is an association between uric acid and normal variation in trait impulsivity measured with the Revised NEO Personality Inventory. We also examined the effect of uric acid on behavior by comparing wild-type mice (WT), which naturally have low levels of uric acid, to mice genetically modified (UOX) to accumulate high levels of uric acid. Results In both human samples, the emotional aspects of trait impulsivity, specifically Impulsiveness and Excitement-Seeking, were associated with higher levels of uric acid concurrently and when uric acid was measured 3–5 years later. Consistent with the human data, the UOX mice displayed significantly more exploratory and novelty-seeking behavior than the WT mice. Conclusion Higher uric acid was associated with impulsivity in both humans and mice. The identification of biological markers of impulsivity may lead to a better understanding of the physiological mechanisms involved in impulsivity, and may suggest potential targets for therapeutic intervention. PMID:23582268

  9. Trabecular evidence for a human-like gait in Australopithecus africanus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meir M Barak

    Full Text Available Although the earliest known hominins were apparently upright bipeds, there has been mixed evidence whether particular species of hominins including those in the genus Australopithecus walked with relatively extended hips, knees and ankles like modern humans, or with more flexed lower limb joints like apes when bipedal. Here we demonstrate in chimpanzees and humans a highly predictable and sensitive relationship between the orientation of the ankle joint during loading and the principal orientation of trabecular bone struts in the distal tibia that function to withstand compressive forces within the joint. Analyses of the orientation of these struts using microCT scans in a sample of fossil tibiae from the site of Sterkfontein, of which two are assigned to Australopithecus africanus, indicate that these hominins primarily loaded their ankles in a relatively extended posture like modern humans and unlike chimpanzees. In other respects, however, trabecular properties in Au africanus are distinctive, with values that mostly fall between those of chimpanzees and humans. These results indicate that Au. africanus, like Homo, walked with an efficient, extended lower limb.

  10. Maturation of the human fetal startle response: evidence for sex-specific maturation of the human fetus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buss, Claudia; Davis, Elysia Poggi; Class, Quetzal A; Gierczak, Matt; Pattillo, Carol; Glynn, Laura M; Sandman, Curt A

    2009-10-01

    Despite the evidence for early fetal experience exerting programming influences on later neurological development and health risk, very few prospective studies of human fetal behavior have been reported. In a prospective longitudinal study, fetal nervous system maturation was serially assessed by monitoring fetal heart rate (FHR) responses to vibroacoustic stimulation (VAS) in 191 maternal/fetal dyads. Responses were not detected at 26 weeks gestational age (GA). Sex-specific, age-characteristic changes in the FHR response to VAS were observed by 31 weeks' GA. Males showed larger responses and continued to exhibit maturational changes until 37 weeks' GA, females however, presented with a mature FHR startle response by 31 weeks' GA. The results indicate that there are different rates of maturation in the male and female fetuses that may have implications for sex-specific programming influences.

  11. Maturation of the human fetal startle response: Evidence for sex-specific maturation of the human fetus1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buss, Claudia; Davis, Elysia Poggi; Class, Quetzal A.; Gierczak, Matt; Pattillo, Carol; Glynn, Laura M.; Sandman, Curt A.

    2009-01-01

    Despite the evidence for early fetal experience exerting programming influences on later neurological development and health risk, very few prospective studies of human fetal behavior have been reported. In a prospective longitudinal study, fetal nervous system maturation was serially assessed by monitoring fetal heart rate (FHR) responses to vibroacoustic stimulation (VAS) in 191 maternal/fetal dyads. Responses were not detected at 26 weeks gestational age (GA). Sex-specific, age-characteristic changes in the FHR response to VAS were observed by 31 weeks’ GA. Males showed larger responses and continued to exhibit maturational changes until 37 weeks’ GA, females however, presented with a mature FHR startle response by 31 weeks’ GA. The results indicate that there are different rates of maturation in the male and female fetus that may have implications for sex-specific programming influences. PMID:19726143

  12. Limited predictability of postmortem human brain tissue quality by RNA integrity numbers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonntag, Kai-C; Tejada, George; Subburaju, Sivan; Berretta, Sabina; Benes, Francine M; Woo, Tsung-Ung W

    2016-07-01

    The RNA integrity number (RIN) is often considered to be a critical measure of the quality of postmortem human brains. However, it has been suggested that RINs do not necessarily reflect the availability of intact mRNA. Using the Agilent bioanalyzer and qRT-PCR, we explored whether RINs provide a meaningful way of assessing mRNA degradation and integrity in human brain samples by evaluating the expression of 3'-5' mRNA sequences of the cytochrome C-1 (CYC1) gene. Analysis of electropherograms showed that RINs were not consistently correlated with RNA or cDNA profiles and appeared to be poor predictors of overall cDNA quality. Cycle thresholds from qRT-PCR analysis to quantify the amount of CYC1 mRNA revealed positive correlations of RINs with amplification of full-length transcripts, despite the variable degree of linear degradation along the 3'-5' sequence. These data demonstrate that in postmortem human brain tissue the RIN is an indicator of mRNA quantity independent of degradation, but does not predict mRNA integrity, suggesting that RINs provide an incomplete measure of brain tissue quality. Quality assessment of postmortem human brains by RNA integrity numbers (RINs) may be misleading, as they do not measure intact mRNAs. We show that the RIN is an indicator of mRNA quantity independent of degradation, but does not predict mRNA integrity, suggesting that RINs provide an incomplete measure of brain tissue quality. Our results resolve controversial assumption on interpreting quality assessments of human postmortem brains by RINs. © 2016 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  13. Does stewardship make a difference in the quality of care? Evidence from clinics and pharmacies in Kenya and Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spreng, Connor P; Ojo, Ifelayo P; Burger, Nicholas E; Sood, Neeraj; Peabody, John W; Demaria, Lisa M

    2014-08-01

    To measure level and variation of healthcare quality provided by different types of healthcare facilities in Ghana and Kenya and which factors (including levels of government engagement with small private providers) are associated with improved quality. Provider knowledge was assessed through responses to clinical vignettes. Associations between performance on vignettes and facility characteristics, provider characteristics and self-reported interaction with government were examined using descriptive statistics and multivariate regressions. Survey of 300 healthcare facilities each in Ghana and Kenya including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, pharmacies and chemical shops. Private facilities were oversampled. Person who generally saw the most patients at each facility. Percent of items answered correctly, measured against clinical practice guidelines and World Health Organization's protocol. Overall, average quality was low. Over 90% of facilities performed less than half of necessary items. Incorrect antibiotic use was frequent. Some evidence of positive association between government stewardship and quality among clinics, with the greatest effect (7% points increase, P = 0.03) for clinics reporting interactions with government across all six stewardship elements. No analogous association was found for pharmacies. No significant effect for any of the stewardship elements individually, nor according to type of engagement. Government stewardship appears to have some cumulative association with quality for clinics, suggesting that comprehensive engagement with providers may influence quality. However, our research indicates that continued medical education (CME) by itself is not associated with improved care. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press in association with the International Society for Quality in Health Care; all rights reserved.

  14. IMPACT OF SERVICE QUALITY ON CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: EVIDENCES FROM THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY IN PAKISTAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ubedullah Amjad Ali SHAIKH

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study is to contribute to the literature of service qualityimportance in restaurant industry. The study has been based upon theServqual technique and Dineserv tool of improving the quality by the serviceproviding organizations. The study is undertaken from the perspective ofPakistani Restaurant Industry and the customers' perceptions vis-à-visrestaurant dining. Two variables of Servqual, i.e. Tangibles andResponsiveness, have been examined to demonstrate the significance ofservice quality on customer satisfaction. The results endorse the importanceof enhanced complementary service standards in restaurant industry. Finally,the findings provide an insight for the Pakistani restaurant service providingestablishments and suggestion have been made for the caretakers of theindustry on ways to improve service quality.

  15. Schedule Control and Nursing Home Quality: Exploratory Evidence of a Psychosocial Predictor of Resident Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurtado, David A; Berkman, Lisa F; Buxton, Orfeu M; Okechukwu, Cassandra A

    2016-02-01

    To examine whether nursing homes' quality of care was predicted by schedule control (workers' ability to decide work hours), independently of other staffing characteristics. Prospective ecological study of 30 nursing homes in New England. Schedule control was self-reported via survey in 2011-2012 (N = 1,045). Quality measures included the prevalence of decline in activities of daily living, residents' weight loss, and pressure ulcers, indicators systematically linked with staffing characteristics. Outcomes data for 2012 were retrieved from Medicare.gov. Robust Linear Regressions showed that higher schedule control predicted lower prevalence of pressure ulcers (β = -0.51, p schedule control might enhance the planning and delivery of strategies to prevent or cure pressure ulcers. Further research is needed to identify potential causal mechanisms by which schedule control could improve quality of care. © The Author(s) 2014.

  16. Accounting for quality in the measurement of hospital performance: evidence from Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arocena, Pablo; García-Prado, Ariadna

    2007-07-01

    This paper provides insights into how Costa Rican public hospitals responded to the pressure for increased efficiency and quality introduced by the reforms carried out over the period 1997-2001. To that purpose we compute a generalized output distance function by means of non-parametric mathematical programming to construct a productivity index, which accounts for productivity changes while controlling for quality of care. Our results show an improvement in hospital performance mainly driven by quality increases. The adoption of management contracts seems to have contributed to such enhancement, more notably for small hospitals. Further, productivity growth is primarily due to technical and scale efficiency change rather than technological change. A number of policy implications are drawn from these results.

  17. Are Front of Pack Claims Indicators of Nutrition Quality? Evidence from 2 Product Categories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, Debra; Hooker, Neal H; Stanton, John L

    2016-01-01

    American grocery shoppers face an array of front of pack (FOP) nutrition and health claims when making food selections. Such systems have been categorized as summary or nutrient specific. Either type should help consumers make judgments about the nutrition quality of a product. This research tests if the type or quantity of FOP claims are indeed good indicators of objective nutrition quality. Claim and nutrition information from more than 2200 breakfast cereals and prepared meals launched between 2006 and 2010 were analyzed using binary and multinomial logistic regression models. Results suggest that no type or number of front of pack claims could distinguish "healthy" foods. However, some types and frequencies of FOP claims were significant predictors of higher or lower levels of certain key nutrients. Given the complex and crowded label environment in which these FOP claims reside, one may be concerned that such cues are not closely related to objective measures of nutrition quality. © 2015 Institute of Food Technologists®

  18. Does export product quality matter for CO2 emissions? Evidence from China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gozgor, Giray; Can, Muhlis

    2017-01-01

    This paper re-estimates the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) in China. To this end, it uses the unit root tests with structural breaks and the autoregressive-distributed lag (ARDL) estimations over the period 1971-2010. The special role is given to the impact of export product quality on CO2 emissions in the empirical models. The paper finds that the EKC hypothesis is applicable in China. It also observes the positive effect from energy consumption to CO2 emissions. In addition, it finds that the export product quality is negatively associated with CO2 emissions. The paper also argues potential implications.

  19. CAN QUALITY STANDARDS INDIRECTLY IMPROVE EMPLOYEE'S WAGE: EMPIRICAL EVIDENCES FROM MONTENEGRO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatjana Stanovcic

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we investigate the indirect effect of ISO 9000 adoption on employees' wage. Actually, the adoption of quality standards induces firm's re-organization, underlying improvement of work environment and employees' involvement. Therefore, in this paper, we analyze how work environment and employees' involvement are associated with employees' wage. Our empirical results based on Montenegrin employee database from two quality certified firms indicate that better work environment has no influence on employees' wage while employee involvement is positively associated with higher wages.

  20. The Processing of Human Emotional Faces by Pet and Lab Dogs: Evidence for Lateralization and Experience Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Anjuli L A; Randi, Dania; Müller, Corsin A; Huber, Ludwig

    2016-01-01

    From all non-human animals dogs are very likely the best decoders of human behavior. In addition to a high sensitivity to human attentive status and to ostensive cues, they are able to distinguish between individual human faces and even between human facial expressions. However, so far little is known about how they process human faces and to what extent this is influenced by experience. Here we present an eye-tracking study with dogs emanating from two different living environments and varying experience with humans: pet and lab dogs. The dogs were shown pictures of familiar and unfamiliar human faces expressing four different emotions. The results, extracted from several different eye-tracking measurements, revealed pronounced differences in the face processing of pet and lab dogs, thus indicating an influence of the amount of exposure to humans. In addition, there was some evidence for the influences of both, the familiarity and the emotional expression of the face, and strong evidence for a left gaze bias. These findings, together with recent evidence for the dog's ability to discriminate human facial expressions, indicate that dogs are sensitive to some emotions expressed in human faces.

  1. Genetic evidence for common pathways in human age-related diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Simon C; Dong, Xiao; Vijg, Jan; Suh, Yousin

    2015-10-01

    Aging is the single largest risk factor for chronic disease. Studies in model organisms have identified conserved pathways that modulate aging rate and the onset and progression of multiple age-related diseases, suggesting that common pathways of aging may influence age-related diseases in humans as well. To determine whether there is genetic evidence supporting the notion of common pathways underlying age-related diseases, we analyzed the genes and pathways found to be associated with five major categories of age-related disease using a total of 410 genomewide association studies (GWAS). While only a small number of genes are shared among all five disease categories, those found in at least three of the five major age-related disease categories are highly enriched for apoliprotein metabolism genes. We found that a more substantial number of gene ontology (GO) terms are shared among the 5 age-related disease categories and shared GO terms include canonical aging pathways identified in model organisms, such as nutrient-sensing signaling, translation, proteostasis, stress responses, and genome maintenance. Taking advantage of the vast amount of genetic data from the GWAS, our findings provide the first direct evidence that conserved pathways of aging simultaneously influence multiple age-related diseases in humans as has been demonstrated in model organisms. © 2015 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Ultrastructural evidence for differentiation in a human glioblastoma cell line treated with inhibitors of eicosanoid metabolism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, D.E.; Anderson, K.M. (Rush Presbyterian St. Luke' s Medical Center, Chicago, IL (United States)); Seed, T.M. (Argonne National Lab., IL (United States))

    1990-01-01

    Human glioblastoma cells incubated in the presence of inhibitors of eicosanoid biosynthesis show decreased cellular proliferation without cytotoxicity. The authors studied the ultrastructural morphology of a human glioblastoma cell line cultured with nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), a lipoxygenase inhibitor, or 5,8,11,14-eicosatetraynoic acid, a cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase inhibitor. When glioblastoma cells were treated for 3 days with antiproliferative concentrations of either agent, they shared many morphological characteristics, including evidence for increased astrocytic differentiation with only limited signs of toxicity. The inhibited glioma cells demonstrated an increase in the number and length of astrocytic processes containing greater numbers of glial filaments, and the NDGA-treated cells also demonstrated extensive lateral pseudopod formation along the processes. The glioblastoma cell shape also become more elongated, losing the usual nuclear lobularity and nuclear inclusions, especially in NDGA-treated cells. Many cytoplasmic organelles packed the cytosol of the inhibited glioma cells, including prominent Golgi apparatus, dilated smooth endoplasmic reticulum evolving into dilated vesicles, cytoplasmic vacuoles, and numerous concentric laminations. There was limited evidence for toxicity, however, as the mitochondria were more pleomorphic with some mitochondrial distension and disruption of the cristae along with an increase in cytoplasmic vacuolization. The authors conclude that the inhibitors of eicosanoid biosynthesis. NDGA and 5,8,11,14-eicosatetraynoic acid, not only suppress glioblastoma cell proliferation, but also include increased astrocytic differentiation.

  3. Evaluating the mechanistic evidence and key data gaps in assessing the potential carcinogenicity of carbon nanotubes and nanofibers in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuempel, Eileen D; Jaurand, Marie-Claude; Møller, Peter; Morimoto, Yasuo; Kobayashi, Norihiro; Pinkerton, Kent E; Sargent, Linda M; Vermeulen, Roel C H; Fubini, Bice; Kane, Agnes B

    2017-01-01

    In an evaluation of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for the IARC Monograph 111, the Mechanisms Subgroup was tasked with assessing the strength of evidence on the potential carcinogenicity of CNTs in humans. The mechanistic evidence was considered to be not strong enough to alter the evaluations based on the

  4. Use of the evidence base in substance abuse treatment programs for American Indians and Alaska Natives: pursuing quality in the crucible of practice and policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novins, Douglas K; Aarons, Gregory A; Conti, Sarah G; Dahlke, Dennis; Daw, Raymond; Fickenscher, Alexandra; Fleming, Candace; Love, Craig; Masis, Kathleen; Spicer, Paul

    2011-06-16

    A variety of forces are now shaping a passionate debate regarding the optimal approaches to improving the quality of substance abuse services for American Indian and Alaska Native communities. While there have been some highly successful efforts to meld the traditions of American Indian and Alaska Native tribes with that of 12-step approaches, some American Indian and Alaska Natives remain profoundly uncomfortable with the dominance of this Euro-American approach to substance abuse treatment in their communities. This longstanding tension has now been complicated by the emergence of a number of evidence-based treatments that, while holding promise for improving treatment for American Indian and Alaska Natives with substance use problems, may conflict with both American Indian and Alaska Native and 12-step healing traditions. We convened a panel of experts from American Indian and Alaska Native communities, substance abuse treatment programs serving these communities, and researchers to discuss and analyze these controversies in preparation for a national study of American Indian and Alaska Native substance abuse services. While the panel identified programs that are using evidence-based treatments, members still voiced concerns about the cultural appropriateness of many evidence-based treatments as well as the lack of guidance on how to adapt them for use with American Indians and Alaska Natives. The panel concluded that the efforts of federal and state policymakers to promote the use of evidence-based treatments are further complicating an already-contentious debate within American Indian and Alaska Native communities on how to provide effective substance abuse services. This external pressure to utilize evidence-based treatments is particularly problematic given American Indian and Alaska Native communities' concerns about protecting their sovereign status. Broadening this conversation beyond its primary focus on the use of evidence-based treatments to other

  5. Use of the evidence base in substance abuse treatment programs for American Indians and Alaska natives: pursuing quality in the crucible of practice and policy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fleming Candace

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A variety of forces are now shaping a passionate debate regarding the optimal approaches to improving the quality of substance abuse services for American Indian and Alaska Native communities. While there have been some highly successful efforts to meld the traditions of American Indian and Alaska Native tribes with that of 12-step approaches, some American Indian and Alaska Natives remain profoundly uncomfortable with the dominance of this Euro-American approach to substance abuse treatment in their communities. This longstanding tension has now been complicated by the emergence of a number of evidence-based treatments that, while holding promise for improving treatment for American Indian and Alaska Natives with substance use problems, may conflict with both American Indian and Alaska Native and 12-step healing traditions. Discussion We convened a panel of experts from American Indian and Alaska Native communities, substance abuse treatment programs serving these communities, and researchers to discuss and analyze these controversies in preparation for a national study of American Indian and Alaska Native substance abuse services. While the panel identified programs that are using evidence-based treatments, members still voiced concerns about the cultural appropriateness of many evidence-based treatments as well as the lack of guidance on how to adapt them for use with American Indians and Alaska Natives. The panel concluded that the efforts of federal and state policymakers to promote the use of evidence-based treatments are further complicating an already-contentious debate within American Indian and Alaska Native communities on how to provide effective substance abuse services. This external pressure to utilize evidence-based treatments is particularly problematic given American Indian and Alaska Native communities' concerns about protecting their sovereign status. Summary Broadening this conversation beyond its primary

  6. Does Teacher Testing Raise Teacher Quality? Evidence from State Certification Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angrist, Joshua D.; Guryan, Jonathan

    2008-01-01

    The education reform movement includes efforts to raise teacher quality through stricter certification and licensing provisions. Most US states now require public school teachers to pass a standardized test such as the Praxis. Although any barrier to entry is likely to raise wages in the affected occupation, the theoretical effects of such…

  7. Evidence-Based Practice: Quality Indicator Analysis of Antecedent Exercise in Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasner, Melanie; Reid, Greg; MacDonald, Cathy

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of the research was to conduct a quality indicator analysis of studies exploring the effects of antecedent exercise on self-stimulatory behaviors of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC), Google Scholar, SPORTDiscus, PsychINFO, and PubMed/MedLine databases from 1980 to October…

  8. Relational Capital Quality and Client Loyalty: Firm-Level Evidence from Pharmaceuticals, Pakistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mubarik, Shujaat; Chandran, V. G. R.; Devadason, Evelyn S.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: This study aims to examine the influence of relational capital quality on client loyalty, comprising both behavioral and attitudinal, in the pharmaceutical industry of Pakistan. Design/methodology/approach: The partial least squares technique is used to test the relationship using a sample of 111 pharmaceutical firms. We applied a…

  9. The Cerebral Palsy Quality of Life for Children (CP QOL-Child): Evidence of Construct Validity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Kuan-Lin; Wang, Hui-Yi; Tseng, Mei-Hui; Shieh, Jeng-Yi; Lu, Lu; Yao, Kai-Ping Grace; Huang, Chien-Yu

    2013-01-01

    The Cerebral Palsy Quality of Life for Children (CP QOL-Child) is the first health condition-specific questionnaire designed for measuring QOL in children with cerebral palsy (CP). However, its construct validity has not yet been confirmed by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Hence, this study assessed the construct validity of the caregiver…

  10. The Role of Geography in the Assessment of Quality: Evidence from the Medicare Advantage Program.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rene Soria-Saucedo

    Full Text Available The Affordable Care Act set in motion a renewed emphasis on quality of care evaluation. However, the evaluation strategies of quality by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services do not consider geography when comparisons are made among plans. Using an overall measure of a plan's quality in the public sector--the Medicare Advantage (MA star ratings--we explored the impact of geography in these ratings. We identified 2,872 U.S counties in 2010. The geographic factor predicted a larger fraction of the MA ratings' compared to socio-demographic factors which explained less. Also, after the risk adjustments, almost half of the U.S. states changed their ranked position in the star ratings. Further, lower MA star ratings were identified in the Southeastern region. These findings suggest that the geographic component effect on the ratings is not trivial and should be considered in future adjustments of the metric, which may enhance the transparency, accountability, and importantly level the playing field more effectively when comparing quality across health plans.

  11. How to Enhance the Impact of Training on Service Quality? Evidence from Malaysian Public Sector Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zumrah, Abdul Rahim

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study is to highlight the importance role of transfer of training as a mediator in the relationship between training and service quality. Design/methodology/approach: The data of this study were collected from three sources: the employees of public sector organizations in Malaysia who participated in a Basic Financial…

  12. Evaluation of Quality of Healthcare Service Avaeilable to People Living with HIVIAIDS: Evidence from Enugu State

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ndie Elkenah Chubike; Gladys Onoh

    2014-01-01

    The study evaluated the quality of healthcare services given to PLWHA (people living with HIV/AIDS) in different communities of Enugu State of Nigeria. Descriptive cross sectional survey design was employed for the study. The participants were PLWHA attending health facilities in different communities in the state. A sample of 180 PLWHA who participated in the study were selected using a multi-stage sampling procedure and were interviewed at community level. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The results showed that 82.2% of the respondents were cared for by government health facilities, 75% were of the opinion that the health workers in those places do not discriminate against them, 81.7% felt that they were being given high quality healthcare, 82.8% stated that their drugs were readily available, 75% were of the opinion that the physical facilities in their care centers were adequate, 84.4% felt that grievance redressing were good while 90% felt that their healthcare providers maintain confidentiality about their conditions. It was concluded from the findings that quality of care provided to PLWHA in communities was of good quality as perceived by PLWHA and that the national antiretroviral programmes are making drugs available and affordable in the state. It was then recommended that all levels of government in the nation should strengthen the programmes on HIV prevention and control to maintain the continuity of care to PLWHA.

  13. Exploring Quality Teaching in the Online Environment Using an Evidence-Based Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto-Rodriguez, Elena; Gore, Jennifer; Holmes, Kathryn

    2016-01-01

    Online learning is increasingly ubiquitous in higher education. However, research regarding online teaching often focuses on the affordances of the online environment rather than on the quality of pedagogy. In this paper we consider how online learning could be enhanced using rich pedagogical models that are consistent with a wealth of existing…

  14. The Cerebral Palsy Quality of Life for Children (CP QOL-Child): Evidence of Construct Validity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Kuan-Lin; Wang, Hui-Yi; Tseng, Mei-Hui; Shieh, Jeng-Yi; Lu, Lu; Yao, Kai-Ping Grace; Huang, Chien-Yu

    2013-01-01

    The Cerebral Palsy Quality of Life for Children (CP QOL-Child) is the first health condition-specific questionnaire designed for measuring QOL in children with cerebral palsy (CP). However, its construct validity has not yet been confirmed by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Hence, this study assessed the construct validity of the caregiver…

  15. Quality of children's knowledge representations in digital text comprehension: Evidence from pathfinder networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fesel, S.S.; Segers, P.C.J.; Clariana, R.B.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.

    2015-01-01

    Children in primary school read digital texts for school purposes while current research has shown that forming a coherent knowledge structure of such texts is challenging. We compared the quality of ninety 6th grade children's knowledge structures after the reading of four different hierarchically

  16. Quality of children's knowledge representations in digital text comprehension: Evidence from pathfinder networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fesel, S.S.; Segers, P.C.J.; Clariana, R.B.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.

    2015-01-01

    Children in primary school read digital texts for school purposes while current research has shown that forming a coherent knowledge structure of such texts is challenging. We compared the quality of ninety 6th grade children's knowledge structures after the reading of four different hierarchically

  17. The Role of Geography in the Assessment of Quality: Evidence from the Medicare Advantage Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soria-Saucedo, Rene; Xu, Peng; Newsom, Jack; Cabral, Howard; Kazis, Lewis E

    2016-01-01

    The Affordable Care Act set in motion a renewed emphasis on quality of care evaluation. However, the evaluation strategies of quality by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services do not consider geography when comparisons are made among plans. Using an overall measure of a plan's quality in the public sector--the Medicare Advantage (MA) star ratings--we explored the impact of geography in these ratings. We identified 2,872 U.S counties in 2010. The geographic factor predicted a larger fraction of the MA ratings' compared to socio-demographic factors which explained less. Also, after the risk adjustments, almost half of the U.S. states changed their ranked position in the star ratings. Further, lower MA star ratings were identified in the Southeastern region. These findings suggest that the geographic component effect on the ratings is not trivial and should be considered in future adjustments of the metric, which may enhance the transparency, accountability, and importantly level the playing field more effectively when comparing quality across health plans.

  18. Evidence-Based Quality Improvement: A recipe for improving medication safety and handover of care

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smeulers, M.

    2016-01-01

    In healthcare we strive to provide the highest possible quality of care. Even though healthcare professionals work together with the intention to provide safe care, medical errors still threaten patient safety. Patient safety has received considerable attention since the beginning of this century,

  19. Service Quality Assessment of Hospitals in Asian Context: An Empirical Evidence From Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shafiq, Muhammad; Naeem, Muhammad Azhar; Munawar, Zartasha; Fatima, Iram

    2017-01-01

    Hospitals vary from one another in terms of their specialty, services offered, and resource availability. Their services are widely measured with scales that gauge patients' perspective. Therefore, there is a need for research to develop a scale that measures hospital service quality in Asian hospitals, regardless of their nature or ownership. To address this research need, this study adapted the SERVQUAL instrument to develop a service quality measurement scale. Data were collected from inpatients and outpatients at 9 different hospitals, and the scale was developed using structural equation modeling. The developed scale was then validated by identifying service quality gaps and ranking the areas that require managerial effort. The findings indicated that all 5 dimensions of SERVQUAL are valid in Asian countries such as Pakistan, with 13 items retained. Reliability, tangibility, responsiveness, empathy, and assurance were ranked first, second, third, fourth, and fifth, respectively, in terms of the size of the quality gap. The gaps were statistically significant, with values ≤.05; therefore, hospital administrators must focus on each of these areas. By focusing on the identified areas of improvement, health care authorities, managers, practitioners, and decision makers can bring substantial change within hospitals.

  20. How to Enhance the Impact of Training on Service Quality? Evidence from Malaysian Public Sector Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zumrah, Abdul Rahim

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study is to highlight the importance role of transfer of training as a mediator in the relationship between training and service quality. Design/methodology/approach: The data of this study were collected from three sources: the employees of public sector organizations in Malaysia who participated in a Basic Financial…

  1. Exposure to perfluorinated compounds and human semen quality in arctic and European populations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Toft, G.; Jönsson, B.A.G.; Lindh, C.H.; Giwercman, A.; Spano, M.; Heederik, D.J.J.; Lenters, V.C.; Vermeulen, R.C.H.; Rylander, L.; Pedersen, H.S.; Ludwicki, J.K.; Zviezdai, V.; Bonde, J.P.

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) have been suspected to adversely affect human reproductive health. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between PFC exposure and male semen quality. METHODS PFCs were measured in serum from 588 partners of pregnant women from Greenland,

  2. Tree and forest effects on air quality and human health in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    David J. Nowak; Satoshi Hirabayashi; Allison Bodine; Eric. Greenfield

    2014-01-01

    Trees remove air pollution by the interception of particulate matter on plant surfaces and the absorption of gaseous pollutants through the leaf stomata. However, the magnitude and value of the effects of trees and forests on air quality and human health across the United States remains unknown. Computer simulations with local environmental data reveal that trees and...

  3. Social Capital, Human Capital and Parent-Child Relation Quality: Interacting for Children's Educational Achievement?

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Otter, Cecilia; Stenberg, Sten-Åke

    2015-01-01

    We analyse the utility of social capital for children's achievement, and if this utility interacts with family human capital and the quality of the parent-child relationship. Our focus is on parental activities directly related to children's school work. Our data stem from a Swedish cohort born in 1953 and consist of both survey and register data.…

  4. Social Capital, Human Capital and Parent-Child Relation Quality: Interacting for Children's Educational Achievement?

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Otter, Cecilia; Stenberg, Sten-Åke

    2015-01-01

    We analyse the utility of social capital for children's achievement, and if this utility interacts with family human capital and the quality of the parent-child relationship. Our focus is on parental activities directly related to children's school work. Our data stem from a Swedish cohort born in 1953 and consist of both survey and register data.…

  5. Total quality management: managing the human dimension in natural resource agencies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denzil Verardo

    1995-01-01

    Stewardship in an era of dwindling human resources requires new approaches to the way business is conducted in the public sector, and Total Quality Management (TQM) can be the avenue for this transformation. Resource agencies are no exception to this requirement, although modifications to "traditional" private enterprise versions of TQM implementation...

  6. Human Resource Development Practices as Determinant of HRD Climate and Quality Orientation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassan, Arif; Hashim, Junaidah; Ismail, Ahmad Zaki Hj

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of the study was to measure employees' perception of human resource development (HRD) practices, to explore whether ISO certification leads to any improvements in HRD system, and to examine the role of HRD practices on employees' development climate and quality orientation in the organization. Design/methodology/approach: A total…

  7. What is nature capable of? Evidence, ontology and speculative medical humanities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savransky, Martin; Rosengarten, Marsha

    2016-09-01

    Expanding on the recent call for a 'critical medical humanities' to intervene in questions of the ontology of health, this article develops a what we call a 'speculative' orientation to such interventions in relation to some of the ontological commitments on which contemporary biomedical cultures rest. We argue that crucial to this task is an approach to ontology that treats it not as a question of first principles, but as a matter of the consequences of the images of nature that contemporary biomedical research practices espouse when they make claims to evidence, as well as the possible consequences of imagining different worlds in which health and disease processes partake. By attending to the implicit ontological assumptions involved in the method par excellence of biomedical research, namely the randomised controlled trial (RCT), we argue that the mechanistic ontology that tacitly informs evidence-based biomedical research simultaneously authorises a series of problematic consequences for understanding and intervening practically in the concrete realities of health. As a response, we develop an alternative ontological proposition that regards processes of health and disease as always situated achievements. We show that, without disqualifying RCT-based evidence, such a situated ontology enables one to resist the reduction of the realities of health and disease to biomedicine's current forms of explanation. In so doing, we call for medical humanities scholars to actively engage in the speculative question of what nature may be capable of. 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/

  8. Structured Review of the Evidence for Effects of Code Duplication on Software Quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hordijk, W.T.B.; Ponisio, Laura; Wieringa, Roelf J.

    2009-01-01

    This report presents the detailed steps and results of a structured review of code clone literature. The aim of the review is to investigate the evidence for the claim that code duplication has a negative effect on code changeability. This report contains only the details of the review for which

  9. Defining Service Quality in Tramp Shipping: Conceptual Model and Empirical Evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vinh V. Thai

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Tramp shipping constitutes a prominent segment of the shipping market. As customers increasingly seek value from service providers for low price but yet high quality services, there is a pressing need to understand critically what construe the service quality for the tramp sector. In this respect, however, no prior research has been conducted for this market segment. This study recognises the gap in the existing maritime literature and aimed to propose and validate a service quality (SQ model to address such a gap. The study employs a triangulation approach, utilising literature review, interviews and surveys to develop, refine and verify the SQ model proposed. Interviews were conducted with various parties in the tramp sector while a survey using a sample size of 343 tramp shippers and 254 tramp service providers was also conducted with tramp shippers and tramp service providers. It was revealed that the SQ model of six dimensions of Corporate Image, Customer Focus, Management, Outcomes, Personnel and Technical, and their 18 associated attributes could be used as a reliable tool to measure service quality in tramp shipping. This research contributes to fill the gap in the existing literature by introducing and validating a new SQ model specifically for tramp shipping. Meanwhile, the model can also be used by practitioners to receive their customers’ evaluation of their service quality as well as a benchmarking tool for continuous improvement. This study is, however, confined to a small-sized data collected in Singapore and to the bulk commodity context. Further studies on the practicality of the SQ model involving larger sample size and in other regions and for the general and specialized cargoes would be required to enhance its reliability.

  10. Gearing service quality into public and private hospitals in small islands: empirical evidence from Cyprus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arasli, Huseyin; Ekiz, Erdogan Haktan; Katircioglu, Salih Turan

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this research is to develop and compare some determinants of service quality in both the public and private hospitals of Northern Cyprus. There is considerable lack of literature with respect to service quality in public and private hospitals. Randomly, 454 respondents, who have recently benefited from hospital services in Famagusta, were selected to answer a modified version of the SERVQUAL Instrument. The instrument contained both service expectations and perceptions questions. This study identifies six factors regarding the service quality as perceived in both public and private Northern Cyprus hospitals. These are: empathy, giving priority to the inpatients needs, relationships between staff and patients, professionalism of staff, food and the physical environment. Research results revealed that the various expectations of inpatients have not been met in either the public or the private hospitals At the micro level, the lack of management commitment to service quality in both hospital settings leads doctors and nurses to expend less effort increasing or improving inpatient satisfaction. Hospital managers should also satisfy their employees, since job satisfaction leads to customer satisfaction and loyalty. Additionally, hospital administrations need to gather systematic feedback from their inpatients, establish visible and transparent complaint procedures so that inpatients' complaints can be addressed effectively and efficiently. The hospitals need to organize training sessions based on the critical importance of service quality and the crucial role of inpatient satisfaction in the health care industry. Future studies should include the remaining regions in Cyprus in order to increase research findings' generalizability. Additionally, including other dimensions such as hospital processes and discharge management and co-ordination may provide further insights into understanding inpatients' perceptions and intentions.

  11. Heterogeneity in earnings quality between different classes of companies after IFRS adoption: evidence from Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Black

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT This paper aims to investigate the existence of heterogeneity in earnings quality between different classes of companies after the adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS. IFRS adoption is generally associated with an increase in the quality of financial statements. However, companies within the same country are likely to have different economic incentives regarding the disclosure of information. Thus, treating companies equally, without considering the related economic incentives, could contaminate earnings quality investigations. The case of Brazil is analyzed, which is a country classified as code-law, in which tax laws determined accounting practice and in which IFRS adoption is mandatory. First, Brazilian companies listed on the São Paulo Stock, Commodities, and Futures Exchange (BM&FBOVESPA were separated into two classes: companies issuing American Depositary Receipts (ADRs before IFRS adoption and companies that did not issue ADRs until the adoption of IFRS. Then, this second class of companies was grouped, using cluster analysis, into two different subclasses according to economic incentives. Based on the groups identified, the quality of accounting earnings is tested for each class of the companies before and after IFRS adoption. This paper uses timely recognition of economic events, value relevance of net income, and earnings management as proxies for the quality of accounting earnings. The results indicate that a particular class of companies began showing conditional conservatism, value relevance of net income, and lower earnings management after IFRS adoption. On the other hand, these results were not found for the two other classes of companies.

  12. Ambient Air Quality and Human Health: Current Concepts—Part 1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tee L Guidotti

    1995-01-01

    the control of which invites interest in second-order determinants of health. This article attempts to provide a framework for understanding air quality issues that pertain to human health. The objective is to provide the specialist in respiratory medicine with an overview that will assist in educating patients and in responding to their inquiries, and to equip the physician to respond to requests for assistance or interpretation when called upon to comment on public policy issues involving air pollution. The implications of setting air quality standards or objectives to meet arbitrary levels of risk of health effects are examined. The current state of the art does not support risk-based air quality standards. A policy of continuous improvement is most protective of both human health and the environment.

  13. Impact of human resources on wine supply chain flexibility, quality, and economic performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. L. García-Alcaraz

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This article assesses the impact of human resources skills on production quality, flexibility, and economic performance of La Rioja’s wine supply chain. These four elements were integrated as latent variables composed of 15 observed variables and associated through six hypotheses. Data were gathered from 64 wineries located in La Rioja, Spain, and hypotheses were validated in a structural equation model using WarpPLS v.5 software. Results indicate that human resources skills have a positive direct impact on SC flexibility and quality, but not on economic performance; however, these variables are indirectly associated through SC quality and SC flexibility.

  14. Evidence for Ixodes holocyclus (Acarina: Ixodidae) as a vector for human lyme Borreliosis infection in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayne, P; Song, S; Shao, R; Burke, J; Wang, Y; Roberts, T

    2014-01-01

    Ixodes holocyclus (Acarina: Ixodidae) and Ixodes cornuatus (Acarina: Ixodidae) are two tick species found in the more densely populated areas of Australia and are known to be the cause of the neurotoxic disease tick paralysis in humans and mammals. Borreliosis otherwise known as Lyme disease is an emerging infectious disease in humans in Australia. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (Spirochaetales: Spirochaetaceae) and sensu lato are closely related spirochetal species that are the causative agents of Lyme disease in humans. Clinical transmission of this tick-borne disease can be identified in several but not all cases by a characteristic rash known as erythema migrans. However, there has been no study of the tick vectors of this infection in Australia. We used morphological and molecular techniques to identify unequivocally the ticks on the patients of this study to be I. holocyclus and then show the presence of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto infection in erythema migrans biopsies. I. holocyclus has not previously been associated with erythema migrans or Lyme disease. Two patients presented to the lead author's medical practice with erythema migrans in mid and late 2012. The morphology and cytochrome oxidase 1 and ITS2 genes of the two ticks were studied. The skin at the attachment site was sampled by central biopsy for both real time and endpoint Borrelia polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis and subsequent sequencing. Morphologically, the two ticks were either I. holocyclus or I. cornuatus. Molecular studies and nucleotide sequencing revealed that both ticks were I. holocyclus. Real time and endpoint PCR on the central tissue biopsy samples returned positive results for B. burgdorferi DNA. Our results are evidence for transmission of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto species to humans by the tick I. holocyclus in Australia. I. holocyclus is commonly associated with human tick bites on virtually the entire eastern coastline of Australia. © The Author 2014

  15. Genetic evidence of paleolithic colonization and neolithic expansion of modern humans on the tibetan plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Xuebin; Cui, Chaoying; Peng, Yi; Zhang, Xiaoming; Yang, Zhaohui; Zhong, Hua; Zhang, Hui; Xiang, Kun; Cao, Xiangyu; Wang, Yi; Ouzhuluobu; Basang; Ciwangsangbu; Bianba; Gonggalanzi; Wu, Tianyi; Chen, Hua; Shi, Hong; Su, Bing

    2013-08-01

    Tibetans live on the highest plateau in the world, their current population size is approximately 5 million, and most of them live at an altitude exceeding 3,500 m. Therefore, the Tibetan Plateau is a remarkable area for cultural and biological studies of human population history. However, the chronological profile of the Tibetan Plateau's colonization remains an unsolved question of human prehistory. To reconstruct the prehistoric colonization and demographic history of modern humans on the Tibetan Plateau, we systematically sampled 6,109 Tibetan individuals from 41 geographic populations across the entire region of the Tibetan Plateau and analyzed the phylogeographic patterns of both paternal (n = 2,354) and maternal (n = 6,109) lineages as well as genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism markers (n = 50) in Tibetan populations. We found that there have been two distinct, major prehistoric migrations of modern humans into the Tibetan Plateau. The first migration was marked by ancient Tibetan genetic signatures dated to approximately 30,000 years ago, indicating that the initial peopling of the Tibetan Plateau by modern humans occurred during the Upper Paleolithic rather than Neolithic. We also found evidences for relatively young (only 7-10 thousand years old) shared Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA haplotypes between Tibetans and Han Chinese, suggesting a second wave of migration during the early Neolithic. Collectively, the genetic data indicate that Tibetans have been adapted to a high altitude environment since initial colonization of the Tibetan Plateau in the early Upper Paleolithic, before the last glacial maximum, followed by a rapid population expansion that coincided with the establishment of farming and yak pastoralism on the Plateau in the early Neolithic.

  16. The uniqueness of the human dentition as forensic evidence: a systematic review on the technological methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franco, Ademir; Willems, Guy; Souza, Paulo Henrique Couto; Bekkering, Geertruida E; Thevissen, Patrick

    2015-11-01

    The uniqueness of human dentition is routinely approached as identification evidence in forensic odontology. Specifically in bitemark and human identification cases, positive identifications are obtained under the hypothesis that two individuals do not have the same dental features. The present study compiles methodological information from articles on the uniqueness of human dentition to support investigations into the mentioned hypothesis. In April 2014, three electronic library databases (SciELO®, MEDLINE®/PubMed®, and LILACS®) were systematically searched. In parallel, reference lists of relevant studies were also screened. From the obtained articles (n = 1235), 13 full-text articles were considered eligible. They were examined according to the studied parameters: the sample size, the number of examined teeth, the registration technique for data collection, the methods for data analysis, and the study outcomes. Six combinations of studied data were detected: (1) dental shape, size, angulation, and position (n = 1); (2) dental shape, size, and angulation (n = 4); (3) dental shape and size (n = 5); (4) dental angulation and position (n = 2); (5) dental shape and angulation (n = 1); and (6) dental shape (n = 1). The sample size ranged between 10 and 1099 human dentitions. Ten articles examined the six anterior teeth, while three articles examined more teeth. Four articles exclusively addressed three-dimensional (3D) data registration, while six articles used two-dimensional (2D) imaging. In three articles, both imaging registrations were combined. Most articles (n = 9) explored the data using landmark placement. The other articles (n = 4) comprised digital comparison of superimposed dental contours. Although there were large methodological variations within the investigated articles, the uniqueness of human dentition remains unproved.

  17. Quality of dementia clinical guidelines and relevance to the care of older people with comorbidity: evidence from the literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damiani G

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Gianfranco Damiani, Giulia Silvestrini, Lucrezia Trozzi, Donatella Maci, Lanfranco Iodice, Walter Ricciardi Department of Public Health, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo Agostino Gemelli, Rome, Italy Purpose: The aim of this paper was to explore the applicability of dementia clinical guidelines (CGs to older patients, to patients with one or several comorbidities, and to both targets in order to evaluate if an association between the applicability and quality of the CGs exists.Materials and methods: A systematic search strategy conducted on electronic databases identified CGs on diagnosis and treatment of dementia published from 2000 to 2013. In addition, websites of organizations devoted to the treatment and awareness of dementia were searched. The quality of evidence was assessed using the Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation (AGREE instrument. Two investigators independently scored the relevance of the CGs by means of a specific tool. Descriptive and inferential analyses were performed (Mann–Whitney test, 0.05 α-level.Results: Twenty-two CGs met our inclusion criteria. On average, the quality of the CGs was higher than 70% in three of six domains measured by the AGREE tool. The domains with lower mean scores (less than 50% were “Applicability” and “Editorial independence”. Considering applicability to older patients, 20 CGs (91% addressed issues of treatment for older patients, five of them (23% classified older patients by age, and 13 CGs (60% addressed issues of comorbidity. Only seven (32% discussed the quality of evidence for patients with multiple comorbid conditions. Thirteen CGs (60% reported recommendations for patients with at least one comorbid condition, while seven of them (32% reported on several comorbid conditions. No statistically significant association between CG quality and relevance to care of older people with or without comorbidity was found (P>0.05.Conclusion: This study showed that

  18. Chronic kidney-disease screening service quality: questionnaire survey research evidence from Taichung city

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glen Robert

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Chronic kidney disease (CKD is a serious public health problem in Taiwan and the world. The most effective, affordable treatments involve early prevention/detection/intervention, requiring screening. Successfully implementing CKD programs requires good patient participation, affected by patient perceptions of screening service quality. Service quality improvements can help make such programs more successful. Thus, good tools for assessing service quality perceptions are important. Aim: to investigate using a modified SERVQUAL questionnaire in assessing patient expectations, perceptions, and loyalty towards kidney disease screening service quality. Method 1595 kidney disease screening program patients in Taichung City were requested to complete and return a modified kidney disease screening SERVQUAL questionnaire. 1187 returned them. Incomplete ones (102 were culled and 1085 were chosen as effective for use. Paired t-tests, correlation tests, ANOVA, LSD test, and factor analysis identified the characteristics and factors of service quality. The paired t-test tested expectation score and perception score gaps. A structural equation modeling system examined satisfaction-based components' relationships. Results The effective response rate was 91.4%. Several methods verified validity. Cronbach's alpha on internal reliability was above 0.902. On patient satisfaction, expectation scores are high: 6.50 (0.82, but perception scores are significantly lower 6.14 (1.02. Older patients' perception scores are lower than younger patients'. Expectation and perception scores for patients with different types of jobs are significantly different. Patients higher on education have lower scores for expectation (r = -0.09 and perception (r = -0.26. Factor analysis identified three factors in the 22 item SERVQUAL form, which account for 80.8% of the total variance for the expectation scores and 86.9% of the total variance for the satisfaction

  19. Chronic kidney-disease screening service quality: questionnaire survey research evidence from Taichung city

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    Background Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a serious public health problem in Taiwan and the world. The most effective, affordable treatments involve early prevention/detection/intervention, requiring screening. Successfully implementing CKD programs requires good patient participation, affected by patient perceptions of screening service quality. Service quality improvements can help make such programs more successful. Thus, good tools for assessing service quality perceptions are important. Aim: to investigate using a modified SERVQUAL questionnaire in assessing patient expectations, perceptions, and loyalty towards kidney disease screening service quality. Method 1595 kidney disease screening program patients in Taichung City were requested to complete and return a modified kidney disease screening SERVQUAL questionnaire. 1187 returned them. Incomplete ones (102) were culled and 1085 were chosen as effective for use. Paired t-tests, correlation tests, ANOVA, LSD test, and factor analysis identified the characteristics and factors of service quality. The paired t-test tested expectation score and perception score gaps. A structural equation modeling system examined satisfaction-based components' relationships. Results The effective response rate was 91.4%. Several methods verified validity. Cronbach's alpha on internal reliability was above 0.902. On patient satisfaction, expectation scores are high: 6.50 (0.82), but perception scores are significantly lower 6.14 (1.02). Older patients' perception scores are lower than younger patients'. Expectation and perception scores for patients with different types of jobs are significantly different. Patients higher on education have lower scores for expectation (r = -0.09) and perception (r = -0.26). Factor analysis identified three factors in the 22 item SERVQUAL form, which account for 80.8% of the total variance for the expectation scores and 86.9% of the total variance for the satisfaction scores. Expectation and

  20. Resveratrol and Clinical Trials: The Crossroad from In Vitro Studies to Human Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomé-Carneiro, Joao; Larrosa, Mar; González-Sarrías, Antonio; Tomás-Barberán, Francisco A.; García-Conesa, María Teresa; Espín, Juan Carlos

    2013-01-01

    Resveratrol (3,5,4’-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) is a non-flavonoid polyphenol that may be present in a limited number of food-stuffs such as grapes and red wine. Resveratrol has been reported to exert a plethora of health benefits through many different mechanisms of action. This versatility and presence in the human diet have drawn the worldwide attention of many research groups over the past twenty years, which has resulted in a huge output of in vitro and animal (preclinical) studies. In line with this expectation, many resveratrol-based nutraceuticals are consumed all over the world with questionable clinical/scientific support. In fact, the confirmation of these benefits in humans through randomized clinical trials is still very limited. The vast majority of preclinical studies have been performed using assay conditions with a questionable extrapolation to humans, i.e. too high concentrations with potential safety concerns (adverse effects and drug interactions), short-term exposures, in vitro tests carried out with non-physiological metabolites and/or concentrations, etc. Unfortunately, all these hypothesis-generating studies have contributed to increased the number of ‘potential’ benefits and mechanisms of resveratrol but confirmation in humans is very limited. Therefore, there are many issues that should be addressed to avoid an apparent endless loop in resveratrol research. The so-called ‘Resveratrol Paradox’, i.e., low bioavailability but high bioactivity, is a conundrum not yet solved in which the final responsible actor (if any) for the exerted effects has not yet been unequivocally identified. It is becoming evident that resveratrol exerts cardioprotective benefits through the improvement of inflammatory markers, atherogenic profile, glucose metabolism and endothelial function. However, safety concerns remain unsolved regarding chronic consumption of high RES doses, specially in medicated people. This review will focus on the currently

  1. Human Capital - A Quality Factor For The Competitiveness Of IT Companies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisei Crăciun

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper treats quality, human capital and competitiveness concepts in order to determine in which measure the Human Capital quality influences the competitiveness of a firm. The human capital theory is a relatively new approach, the first valuable approach being that of Garry Becker which, subsequent of the modern management theoretical views, puts human capital into scientific frame. This present paper relates deeply on this theoretical frame as it is considered that, besides financial or tangible resources that allows and generate long term benefits for an enterprise, there is also another source that consists in an intangible form: the human capital. This resource is based on education and health, indirectly generating additional benefits for the individual as for the organization and is calculated as instruction, education and health insurances costs. That implies that this capital is an asset for the worker itself and that the worker cannot be distinguished from the knowledges, capacities, his health or his values. From this perspective, the worker is actively present in any activity a firm operates: from defining and executing process, operational planning, monitoring and control, research and development, human resources, etc. The hypothesis of this present paper will be explored with the examples of Jeff Bezos ( Amazon or Steve Jobs ( Apple as human capital is considered to be the most important component for the competitive advantage of IT enterprises. The quality level of the human capital represents the main source for long term sustainability of this competitive advantage and, given the best case practices, it’s impact on firm’s effect indicators is obvious. The paper will also emphasize the role of values and health as they are also the main issues on an IT enterprise. The article is structured in two parts. One is the theoretical frame that encompass the influence of the human capital on the competitiveness of the firm. The

  2. The effect of visiting zoos on human health and quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakagami, Taketo; Ohta, Mitsuaki

    2010-02-01

    The increased mental stress of daily life and aging of the population are serious matters in Japan. There are many studies regarding the effects of human-animal interactions on mental and physical human health, whereas there are few studies examining the effects of visiting zoos. To determine the effect of visiting zoos on human health and quality of life, two different zoos were visited by 70 participants in Experiment 1 and 163 participants in Experiment 2. In this study we administered the WHO QOL-26 questionnaire in Japanese to assess the psychological scales of participants, and blood pressures and pulse rates were measured to assess their physical scales. We also used pedometers to count the number of steps taken during zoo visits. Both zoo visits decreased blood pressure and participants demonstrated more than 6000 steps during each visit. The quality of life sub-scale scores were improved after zoo visits.

  3. Tree and forest effects on air quality and human health in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowak, David J; Hirabayashi, Satoshi; Bodine, Allison; Greenfield, Eric

    2014-10-01

    Trees remove air pollution by the interception of particulate matter on plant surfaces and the absorption of gaseous pollutants through the leaf stomata. However, the magnitude and value of the effects of trees and forests on air quality and human health across the United States remains unknown. Computer simulations with local environmental data reveal that trees and forests in the conterminous United States removed 17.4 million tonnes (t) of air pollution in 2010 (range: 9.0-23.2 million t), with human health effects valued at 6.8 billion U.S. dollars (range: $1.5-13.0 billion). This pollution removal equated to an average air quality improvement of less than one percent. Most of the pollution removal occurred in rural areas, while most of the health impacts and values were within urban areas. Health impacts included the avoidance of more than 850 incidences of human mortality and 670,000 incidences of acute respiratory symptoms.

  4. Sediment quality assessment in tidal salt marshes in northern California, USA: An evaluation of multiple lines of evidence approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Hyun-Min; Carr, Robert S.; Cherr, Gary N.; Green, Peter G.; Grosholz, Edwin G.; Judah, Linda; Morgan, Steven G.; Ogle, Scott; Rashbrook, Vanessa K.; Rose, Wendy L.; Teh, Swee J.; Vines, Carol A.; Anderson, Susan L.

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of integrating a traditional sediment quality triad approach with selected sublethal chronic indicators in resident species in assessing sediment quality in four salt marshes in northern California, USA. These included the highly contaminated (Stege Marsh) and relatively clean (China Camp) marshes in San Francisco Bay and two reference marshes in Tomales Bay. Toxicity potential of contaminants and benthic macroinvertebrate survey showed significant differences between contaminated and reference marshes. Sublethal responses (e.g., apoptotic DNA fragmentation, lipid accumulation, and glycogen depletion) in livers of longjaw mudsucker (Gillichthys mirabilis) and embryo abnormality in lined shore crab (Pachygrapsus crassipes) also clearly distinguished contaminated and reference marshes, while other responses (e.g., cytochrome P450, metallothionein) did not. This study demonstrates that additional chronic sublethal responses in resident species under field exposure conditions can be readily combined with sediment quality triads for an expanded multiple lines of evidence approach. This confirmatory step may be warranted in environments like salt marshes in which natural variables may affect interpretation of toxicity test data. Qualitative and quantitative integration of the portfolio of responses in resident species and traditional approach can support a more comprehensive and informative sediment quality assessment in salt marshes and possibly other habitat types as well.

  5. The Early Development of Human Mirror Mechanisms: Evidence from Electromyographic Recordings at 3 and 6 Months

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turati, Chiara; Natale, Elena; Bolognini, Nadia; Senna, Irene; Picozzi, Marta; Longhi, Elena; Cassia, Viola Macchi

    2013-01-01

    In primates and adult humans direct understanding of others' action is provided by mirror mechanisms matching action observation and action execution (e.g. Casile, Caggiano & Ferrari, 2011). Despite the growing body of evidence detailing the existence of these mechanisms in the adult human brain, their origins and early development are…

  6. A code of ethics for evidence-based research with ancient human remains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreissl Lonfat, Bettina M; Kaufmann, Ina Maria; Rühli, Frank

    2015-06-01

    As clinical research constantly advances and the concept of evolution becomes a strong and influential part of basic medical research, the absence of a discourse that deals with the use of ancient human remains in evidence-based research is becoming unbearable. While topics such as exhibition and excavation of human remains are established ethical fields of discourse, when faced with instrumentalization of ancient human remains for research (i.e., ancient DNA extractions for disease marker analyses) the answers from traditional ethics or even more practical fields of bio-ethics or more specific biomedical ethics are rare to non-existent. The Centre for Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zurich solved their needs for discursive action through the writing of a self-given code of ethics which was written in dialogue with the researchers at the Institute and was published online in Sept. 2011: http://evolutionäremedizin.ch/coe/. The philosophico-ethical basis for this a code of conduct and ethics and the methods are published in this article. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Pollen evidence of early human activities in Erhai basin, Yunnan Province

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YANG Xiangdong; SHEN Ji; Richard T.Jones; WANG Sumin; TONG Guobang; ZHANG Zhenke

    2005-01-01

    The evidence of human activities around Erhai Lake catchment was revealed by pollen records from a sediment core in the lake, northwest Yunnan Province. The chronologic sequence based on AMS 14C data made it possible for pollen results to compare with archaeological records and historical documents. The preliminary deforestation started from the selective clearance at about 5500 14C a BP, marked by the loss of vertically distributed montane forest and the expansion of second pine woodland across the catchment. The deforestation resulted in the increase of surface runoff and the enhanced erosion in the catchment. The increased herbs of pasture and crop suggested the primitive agriculture and stockbreeding in study region. With the limited human activity, as well as the suitable climatic condition, second pine forest expanded quickly, resulting in the weakened soil erosion around the basin. The strong forest clearance inferred from pollen occurred since 2160 14C a BP, paralleling to the first dense immigration of population, when Yeyu County was first set up around west coast of Erhai Lake, documented in historic record. The development of agriculture led to the steady enhancement of soil erosion from farming land, increasing the input of fine materials and nutrients to the lake. Moreover, the serious deforestation by human activity stressed the vulnerability in ecosystem of the landscape. The time of primary anthropologic impact recorded from pollen is earlier than that of the oldest archaeological record by 1500 a (14C year).

  8. Dependence Assessment in Human Reliability Analysis Using Evidence Theory and AHP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Xiaoyan; Mahadevan, Sankaran; Xu, Peida; Deng, Yong

    2015-07-01

    Dependence assessment among human errors in human reliability analysis (HRA) is an important issue. Many of the dependence assessment methods in HRA rely heavily on the expert's opinion, thus are subjective and may sometimes cause inconsistency. In this article, we propose a computational model based on the Dempster-Shafer evidence theory (DSET) and the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method to handle dependence in HRA. First, dependence influencing factors among human tasks are identified and the weights of the factors are determined by experts using the AHP method. Second, judgment on each factor is given by the analyst referring to anchors and linguistic labels. Third, the judgments are represented as basic belief assignments (BBAs) and are integrated into a fused BBA by weighted average combination in DSET. Finally, the CHEP is calculated based on the fused BBA. The proposed model can deal with ambiguity and the degree of confidence in the judgments, and is able to reduce the subjectivity and improve the consistency in the evaluation process.

  9. Scientific Evidence in the Study and Treatment of Addictive Behaviours in Psychosocial Intervention. Journal on Equality and Quality of Life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itziar Iruarrizaga Díez

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available In Spain, the importance and relevance of substance dependence and other addictive behaviours has generated great interest among the scientific community. Since its creation in 1992, Psychosocial Intervention. Journal on Equality and Quality of Life has transmitted the needs and training demands of psychologists, paying special attention to those aspects related to prevention, health outcomes and psychosocial factors involved in the onset and maintenance of drug addiction, psychosocial intervention and the treatment of addictive behaviours. As an introduction to this report on the Scientific evidence in the study and treatment of addictive behaviours, all topics covered by this journal throughout the years will be addressed.

  10. Evidence for the adverse effect of starvation on bone quality: a review of the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kueper, Janina; Beyth, Shaul; Liebergall, Meir; Kaplan, Leon; Schroeder, Josh E

    2015-01-01

    Malnutrition and starvation's possible adverse impacts on bone health and bone quality first came into the spotlight after the horrors of the Holocaust and the ghettos of World War II. Famine and food restrictions led to a mean caloric intake of 200-800 calories a day in the ghettos and concentration camps, resulting in catabolysis and starvation of the inhabitants and prisoners. Severely increased risks of fracture, poor bone mineral density, and decreased cortical strength were noted in several case series and descriptive reports addressing the medical issues of these individuals. A severe effect of severely diminished food intake and frequently concomitant calcium- and Vitamin D deficiencies was subsequently proven in both animal models and the most common cause of starvation in developed countries is anorexia nervosa. This review attempts to summarize the literature available on the impact of the metabolic response to Starvation on overall bone health and bone quality.

  11. A business case for quality improvement in addiction treatment: evidence from the NIATx collaborative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quanbeck, Andrew R; Madden, Lynn; Edmundson, Eldon; Ford, James H; McConnell, K John; McCarty, Dennis; Gustafson, David H

    2012-01-01

    The Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx) promotes treatment access and retention through a customer-focused quality improvement model. This paper explores the issue of the "business case" for quality improvement in addiction treatment from the provider's perspective. The business case model developed in this paper is based on case examples of early NIATx participants coupled with a review of the literature. Process inefficiencies indicated by long waiting times, high no-show rates, and low continuation rates cause underutilization of capacity and prevent optimal financial performance. By adopting customer-focused practices aimed at removing barriers to treatment access and retention, providers may be able to improve financial performance, increase staff retention, and gain long-term strategic advantage.

  12. Evidence for the Adverse Effect of Starvation on Bone Quality: A Review of the Literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janina Kueper

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Malnutrition and starvation’s possible adverse impacts on bone health and bone quality first came into the spotlight after the horrors of the Holocaust and the ghettos of World War II. Famine and food restrictions led to a mean caloric intake of 200–800 calories a day in the ghettos and concentration camps, resulting in catabolysis and starvation of the inhabitants and prisoners. Severely increased risks of fracture, poor bone mineral density, and decreased cortical strength were noted in several case series and descriptive reports addressing the medical issues of these individuals. A severe effect of severely diminished food intake and frequently concomitant calcium- and Vitamin D deficiencies was subsequently proven in both animal models and the most common cause of starvation in developed countries is anorexia nervosa. This review attempts to summarize the literature available on the impact of the metabolic response to Starvation on overall bone health and bone quality.

  13. Controls of dissolved organic matter quality: Evidence from a large-scale boreal lake survey

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kothawala, D.N.; Stedmon, Colin; Müller, R.A.

    2014-01-01

    analyzed in relation to lake chemistry, catchment, and climate characteristics. Land cover, particularly the percentage of water in the catchment, was a primary factor explaining variability in PARAFAC components. Likewise, lake water retention time influenced DOM quality. These results suggest...... role as they retain waters in the landscape allowing for more time to alter DOM. We know DOM losses are significant at the global scale, yet little is known about how the reactivity of DOM varies across landscapes and climates. DOM reactivity is inherently linked to its chemical composition. We used...... fluorescence spectroscopy to explore DOM quality from 560 lakes distributed across Sweden and encompassed a wide climatic gradient typical of the boreal ecozone. Six fluorescence components were identified using parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC). The intensity and relative abundance of these components were...

  14. Does price reveal poor-quality drugs? Evidence from 17 countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bate, Roger; Jin, Ginger Zhe; Mathur, Aparna

    2011-12-01

    Focusing on 8 drug types on the WHO-approved medicine list, we constructed an original dataset of 899 drug samples from 17 low- and median-income countries and tested them for visual appearance, disintegration, and analyzed their ingredients by chromatography and spectrometry. Fifteen percent of the samples fail at least one test and can be considered substandard. After controlling for local factors, we find that failing drugs are priced 13.6-18.7% lower than non-failing drugs but the signaling effect of price is far from complete, especially for non-innovator brands. The look of the pharmacy, as assessed by our covert shoppers, is weakly correlated with the results of quality tests. These findings suggest that consumers are likely to suspect low quality from market price, non-innovator brand and the look of the pharmacy, but none of these signals can perfectly identify substandard and counterfeit drugs.

  15. Corporate governance and earnings quality : evidence from the Malaysian banking sector

    OpenAIRE

    Siniah, Thangamany

    2017-01-01

    This thesis investigates whether corporate governance conformance by Malaysian banks improves their financial reporting quality. It is motivated by the controversies surrounding corporate governance reforms and the calls for systematic research on its efficacy in the post-reform period. Malaysian banks have been subject to international standards of corporate governance since before and after the 1997–1998 Asian Financial Crisis. Malaysia’s common-law tradition, greater level of financial and...

  16. Evidence for the Adverse Effect of Starvation on Bone Quality: A Review of the Literature

    OpenAIRE

    Janina Kueper; Shaul Beyth; Meir Liebergall; Leon Kaplan; Schroeder, Josh E.

    2015-01-01

    Malnutrition and starvation’s possible adverse impacts on bone health and bone quality first came into the spotlight after the horrors of the Holocaust and the ghettos of World War II. Famine and food restrictions led to a mean caloric intake of 200–800 calories a day in the ghettos and concentration camps, resulting in catabolysis and starvation of the inhabitants and prisoners. Severely increased risks of fracture, poor bone mineral density, and decreased cortical strength were noted in sev...

  17. The Relationship Between Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction in the Telecommunication Industry: Evidence From Nigeria

    OpenAIRE

    Olu Ojo

    2010-01-01

    This study investigates the relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction in the telecommunication industry with a focus on Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN) Nigeria. A total of 230 respondents participated in the study. Research questions and objectives were set, alongside the hypotheses that were formulated and tested. Descriptive statistics comprising the simple percentage and tables were used for data presentation and analysis. Regression analysis and Pearson product...

  18. Optimization of a recombinant human growth hormone purification process using quality by design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz-Enriquez, Carolina; Romero-Díaz, Alexis de Jesús; Hernández-Moreno, Ana V; Cueto-Rojas, Hugo F; Miranda-Hernández, Mariana P; López-Morales, Carlos A; Pérez, Néstor O; Salazar-Ceballos, Rodolfo; Cruz-García, Norberto; Flores-Ortiz, Luis F; Medina-Rivero, Emilio

    2016-11-16

    This work describes a strategy to optimize a downstream processing of a recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) by incorporating a quality by design approach toward meeting higher quality specifications. The optimized process minimized the presence of impurities and degradation by-products during manufacturing by the establishment of in-process controls. Capillary zone electrophoresis, reverse phase, and size-exclusion chromatographies were used as analytical techniques to establish new critical process parameters for the solubilization, capture, and intermediate purification steps aiming to maintain rhGH quality by complying with pharmacopeial specifications. The results indicated that the implemented improvements in the process allowed the optimization of the specific recovery and purification of rhGH without compromising its quality. In addition, this optimization facilitated the stringent removal of the remaining impurities in further polishing stages, as demonstrated by the analysis of the obtained active pharmaceutical ingredient.

  19. Human rights and the governance of food quality and safety in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rongguang, Zhao; Kent, George

    2004-01-01

    National governments carry major responsibilities with regard to food security. In China, most families are now able to obtain enough food either by producing their own or by being able to purchase food in the marketplace. The government has been turning more of its attention to issues of food quality and safety. While there are several different kinds of programs in place, more needs to be done to assure the quality and safety of the food supply in China. The programs can be strengthened by making them more explicitly oriented to the human right to adequate food, based on the idea that the people are entitled to safe food of good quality. Through the Consumer's Association and other arrangements, consumers should be given a more active role in monitoring the quality and safety of their food.

  20. Effects of Different Zernike Terms on Optical Quality and Vision of Human Eyes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO Hao-Xin; XU Bing; LI Jing; DAI Yun; YU Xiang; ZHANG Yu-Dong; JIANG Wen-Han

    2009-01-01

    The visual quality of human eyes is much restricted by high-order aberrations as well as low-order aberrations (defocus and astigmatism), but each term of high-order aberrations contributes differently. The visual acuity and contrast of the image on the retina can be gained by inducing aberrations to each term of high orders. Based on an adaptive optics system, the visual acuity of four subjects is tested by inducing aberrations to each Zernike term after correcting all the aberrations of the subjects. Zernike terms near the center of the Zernike tree affect visual quality more than those near the edge both theoretically and experimentally, and 0.1-μm aberration of these terms can clearly degrade the optical quality and vision. The results suggest that correcting the terms near the center of Zernike tree can improve the visual quality effectively in practice.

  1. Influence of Indoor Hygrothermal Conditions on Human Quality of Life in Social Housing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, Sara; Fraga, Silvia; Delgado, Joao M.P.Q.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Modern societies spend most of their time indoors, namely at home, and the indoor environment quality turns out to be a crucial factor to health, quality of life and well-being of the residents. The present study aims to understand how indoor environment relates with quality of life and how improving housing conditions impacts on individuals’ health. Design and Methods: This study case will rely on the following assessments in both rehabilitated and non-rehabilitated social housing: i) field measurements, in social dwellings (namely temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide concentration, air velocity, air change rate, level of mould spores and energy consumption); ii) residents’ questionnaires on social, demogaphic, behavioural, health characteristics and quality of life. Also, iii) qualitative interviews performed with social housing residents from the rehabilitated houses, addressing the self-perception of living conditions and their influence in health status and quality of life. All the collected information will be combined and analysed in order to achieve the main objective. Expected impact It is expected to define a Predicted Human Life Quality (PHLQ) index, that combines physical parameters describing the indoor environment measured through engineering techniques with residents’ and neighbourhood quality of life characteristics assessed by health questionnaires. Improvement in social housing should be related with better health indicators and the new index might be an important tool contributing to enhance quality of life of the residents. Significance for public health This study will contribute to understand how indoor environment relates with quality of life and how improving housing conditions impacts on individuals’ health, in social housing neighbourhoods. As so, it is important to share the undertaken methodology carried out by a multidisciplinary team, in order to allow other researchers following comparable studies to

  2. Cruciferous vegetables and human cancer risk: epidemiologic evidence and mechanistic basis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higdon, Jane V; Delage, Barbara; Williams, David E; Dashwood, Roderick H

    2007-03-01

    Cruciferous vegetables are a rich source of glucosinolates and their hydrolysis products, including indoles and isothiocyanates, and high intake of cruciferous vegetables has been associated with lower risk of lung and colorectal cancer in some epidemiological studies. Glucosinolate hydrolysis products alter the metabolism or activity of sex hormones in ways that could inhibit the development of hormone-sensitive cancers, but evidence of an inverse association between cruciferous vegetable intake and breast or prostate cancer in humans is limited and inconsistent. Organizations such as the National Cancer Institute recommend the consumption of five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily, but separate recommendations for cruciferous vegetables have not been established. Isothiocyanates and indoles derived from the hydrolysis of glucosinolates, such as sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol (I3C), have been implicated in a variety of anticarcinogenic mechanisms, but deleterious effects also have been reported in some experimental protocols, including tumor promotion over prolonged periods of exposure. Epidemiological studies indicate that human exposure to isothiocyanates and indoles through cruciferous vegetable consumption may decrease cancer risk, but the protective effects may be influenced by individual genetic variation (polymorphisms) in the metabolism and elimination of isothiocyanates from the body. Cooking procedures also affect the bioavailability and intake of glucosinolates and their derivatives. Supplementation with I3C or the related dimer 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM) alters urinary estrogen metabolite profiles in women, but the effects of I3C and DIM on breast cancer risk are not known. Small preliminary trials in humans suggest that I3C supplementation may be beneficial in treating conditions related to human papilloma virus infection, such as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, but larger randomized

  3. Evidence of RNAi in humans from systemically administered siRNA via targeted nanoparticles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Mark E.; Zuckerman, Jonathan E.; Choi, Chung Hang J.; Seligson, David; Tolcher, Anthony; Alabi, Christopher A.; Yen, Yun; Heidel, Jeremy D.; Ribas, Antoni

    2010-01-01

    Therapeutics that are designed to engage RNA interference (RNAi) pathways have the potential to provide new, major ways of imparting therapy to patients.1,2 Fire et al. first demonstrated that long, double stranded RNAs mediate RNAi in Caenorhabditis elegans,3 and Elbashir et al. opened the pathway to the use of RNAi for human therapy by showing that small interfering RNAs (siRNAs: ca. 21 base pair double stranded RNA) can elicit RNAi in mammalian cells without producing an interferon response.4 We are currently conducting the first-in-human Phase I clinical trial involving the systemic administration of siRNA to patients with solid cancers using a targeted, nanoparticle delivery system. Here we provide evidence of inducing an RNAi mechanism of action in a human from the delivered siRNA. Tumor biopsies from melanoma patients obtained after treatment reveal: (i) the presence of intracellularly-localized nanoparticles in amounts that correlate with dose levels of the nanoparticles administered (this is a first for systemically delivered nanoparticles of any kind), and (ii) reduction in both the specific mRNA (M2 subunit of ribonucleotide reductase (RRM2)) and the protein (RRM2) when compared to pre-dosing tissue. Most importantly, we detect the presence of an mRNA fragment that demonstrates siRNA mediated mRNA cleavage occurs specifically at the site predicted for an RNAi mechanism from a patient who received the highest dose of the nanoparticles. These data when taken in total demonstrate that siRNA administered systemically to a human can produce a specific gene inhibition (reduction in mRNA and protein) by an RNAi mechanism of action. PMID:20305636

  4. Scientific Basics of Forming Human Quality and Perfection to Ensure Holistic Sustained Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nickolay Suvorov

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The general substance underlying the existence and development of the Universe and Man is energy. Energy is the unique and universal nature of all being. Everything is reduced to the amount and quality of energy. We were the first in the world to scientifically substantiate harmony as the universal criterion of the quality of energy of inner and outer interaction, optimality, perfection of energy-information images and systems of diverse nature. The harmony help solve the problem of forming high quality and perfection of human personality. Harmony is the key technology of creation, which God introduced when creating the Universe. The principles of harmony and holism are the basic components of Cosmo theory, the theory of development of the Universe and Man. In concentrated form, the theoretical studies dedicated to harmony and forming a new and perfect human being are presented in the book by NIKOLAI SUVOROV: "  − Perfect Man", International Publishers ERA, 2014, 300 pp. Embracing harmony creates conditions for sustained development-evolution of any human being, nation and civilisation as a whole. We believe that in the EU countries it would be practical to set up R&D and perfection training centres for studying and practically applying harmony. Key words: Harmony, quality, perfection.

  5. Serum α-klotho concentrations during preimplantation can predict aging or quality of human oocytes and clinical pregnancy rates

    OpenAIRE

    Takemura, Takashi; Okabe, Midori

    2016-01-01

    Background To discover simple biomarkers to evaluate the aging or quality of human oocytes and clinical pregnancy rates is needed. However, the association among serum α-klotho concentrations during preimplantation, the aging or quality of human oocytes and clinical pregnancy rates has not been investigated. Findings The serum α-klotho concentrations during preimplantation decreased due to aging (p 

  6. Institutional quality and economic growth: Empirical evidence from the Sudanese economy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexiou Constantinos

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to explore the extent to which conventional methods used in the majority of relevant growth studies can successfully interpret the economic performance of a highly underdeveloped African country such as Sudan. Applying an ARDL boundstesting approach to cointegration proposed by Pesaran et al. (2001, we look into the short-run as well as long-run relationships between institutional and various other key economic variables and economic growth over the period 1972-2008. The empirical results obtained suggest that, for the Sudanese economy, the quality of the institutional environment is one of the most important factors in defining economic prosperity.

  7. Co-benefits of mitigating global greenhouse gas emissions for future air quality and human health

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, J. Jason; Smith, Steven J.; Silva, Raquel A.; Naik, Vaishali; Zhang, Yuqiang; Adelman, Zachariah; Fry, Meridith M.; Anenberg, Susan; Horowitz, Larry W.; Lamarque, Jean-Francois

    2013-10-01

    Actions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions often reduce co-emitted air pollutants, bringing co-benefits for air quality and human health. Past studies typically evaluated near-term and local co-benefits, neglecting the long-range transport of air pollutants, long-term demographic changes, and the influence of climate change on air quality. Here we simulate the co-benefits of global GHG reductions on air quality and human health using a global atmospheric model and consistent future scenarios, via two mechanisms: reducing co-emitted air pollutants, and slowing climate change and its effect on air quality. We use new relationships between chronic mortality and exposure to fine particulate matter and ozone, global modelling methods and new future scenarios. Relative to a reference scenario, global GHG mitigation avoids 0.5+/-0.2, 1.3+/-0.5 and 2.2+/-0.8 million premature deaths in 2030, 2050 and 2100. Global average marginal co-benefits of avoided mortality are US$50-380 per tonne of CO2, which exceed previous estimates, exceed marginal abatement costs in 2030 and 2050, and are within the low range of costs in 2100. East Asian co-benefits are 10-70 times the marginal cost in 2030. Air quality and health co-benefits, especially as they are mainly local and near-term, provide strong additional motivation for transitioning to a low-carbon future.

  8. A Reflection on Research, Theory, Evidence-based Practice, and Quality Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eesa Mohammadi

    2016-04-01

    While each process is associated with its unique characteristics, overlaps are likely to appear between each of the two processes. For instance, in the EBP process, if one discovers (theory that evidence is inadequate to implement a certain intervention, it highlights the need for research on that specific subject. Similarly, QI may lead to the identification of new questions, which could be used for research purposes. All the discussed processes, as well as their scientific and professional dimensions, are essential to nursing disciplines in healthcare systems.

  9. Evidence from intrinsic activity that asymmetry of the human brain is controlled by multiple factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hesheng; Stufflebeam, Steven M; Sepulcre, Jorge; Hedden, Trey; Buckner, Randy L

    2009-12-01

    Cerebral lateralization is a fundamental property of the human brain and a marker of successful development. Here we provide evidence that multiple mechanisms control asymmetry for distinct brain systems. Using intrinsic activity to measure asymmetry in 300 adults, we mapped the most strongly lateralized brain regions. Both men and women showed strong asymmetries with a significant, but small, group difference. Factor analysis on the asymmetric regions revealed 4 separate factors that each accounted for significant variation across subjects. The factors were associated with brain systems involved in vision, internal thought (the default network), attention, and language. An independent sample of right- and left-handed individuals showed that hand dominance affects brain asymmetry but differentially across the 4 factors supporting their independence. These findings show the feasibility of measuring brain asymmetry using intrinsic activity fluctuations and suggest that multiple genetic or environmental mechanisms control cerebral lateralization.

  10. INFLUENCE OF LABOUR MIGRATION PROCESSES ON THE QUALITY OF HUMAN CAPITAL OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor M. Volodin

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract. Objectives The aim of the study is to identify the impact of labour migration processes on the quality of human capital. Methods For researching the methods and forms of migration capital’s impact on the formation of a new quality of human capital, a systematic approach is applied. In order to identify the imbalance in the distribution of labour resources among the regions of the Russian Federation and to assess migration processes, analytical and synthetic as well as statistical and comparative methods were applied. In order to help to visualise the identified economic and statistical dependencies, graphic images are provided. Results The essence of migration processes in the era of economic turbulence is revealed. The main share of labour migrants in the overall structure of migratory flows to the Russian Federation are labour migrants from the CIS countries; the main reasons for this situation are established. The factors of Russia’s high migration attractiveness are identified and the basic migratory process management tasks are defined. Among the main tasks of migration process management are: ensuring the national security of the Russian Federation; preservation, maintenance and improvement of comfort, well-being and quality of life of the Russian Federation population; solving the problems of stability and growth of the permanent population of the Russian Federation; creating conditions for the full satisfaction of the high-quality labour resource needs of the Russian economy, attracting labour migrants from highly developed countries; formation of conditions for the transition to sustainable development based on the introduction of scientific and technological progress and the creation of competitive industries. Conclusion The paper suggests three scenarios for the development of migration processes in Russia: inertial, realistic and optimistic. Improvements in the quality of migration capital can be achieved through the

  11. Surviving or thriving: quality assurance mechanisms to promote innovation in the development of evidence-based parenting interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Matthew R; Kirby, James N

    2015-04-01

    Parenting interventions have the potential to make a significant impact to the prevention and treatment of major social and mental health problems of children. However, parenting interventions fail to do so because program developers pay insufficient attention to the broader ecological context that influences the adoption and implementation of evidence-based interventions. This context includes the professional and scientific community, end users, consumers, and broader sociopolitical environment within which parenting services are delivered. This paper presents an iterative stage model of quality assurance steps to guide ongoing research and development particularly those related to program innovations including theory building, intervention development, pilot testing, efficacy and effectiveness trials, program refinement, dissemination, and planning for implementation and political advocacy. The key challenges associated with each phase of the research and development process are identified. Stronger consumer participation throughout the entire process from initial program design to wider community dissemination is an important, but an often ignored part of the process. Specific quality assurance mechanisms are discussed that increase accountability, professional, and consumer confidence in an intervention and the evidence supporting its efficacy.

  12. Socioeconomic Inequalities in Green Space Quality and Accessibility—Evidence from a Southern European City

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffimann, Elaine; Barros, Henrique; Ribeiro, Ana Isabel

    2017-01-01

    Background: The provision of green spaces is an important health promotion strategy to encourage physical activity and to improve population health. Green space provision has to be based on the principle of equity. This study investigated the presence of socioeconomic inequalities in geographic accessibility and quality of green spaces across Porto neighbourhoods (Portugal). Methods: Accessibility was evaluated using a Geographic Information System and all the green spaces were audited using the Public Open Space Tool. Kendall’s tau-b correlation coefficients and ordinal regression were used to test whether socioeconomic differences in green space quality and accessibility were statistically significant. Results: Although the majority of the neighbourhoods had an accessible green space, mean distance to green space increased with neighbourhood deprivation. Additionally, green spaces in the more deprived neighbourhoods presented significantly more safety concerns, signs of damage, lack of equipment to engage in active leisure activities, and had significantly less amenities such as seating, toilets, cafés, etc. Conclusions: Residents from low socioeconomic positions seem to suffer from a double jeopardy; they lack both individual and community resources. Our results have important planning implications and might contribute to understanding why deprived communities have lower physical activity levels and poorer health. PMID:28809798

  13. Socioeconomic Inequalities in Green Space Quality and Accessibility-Evidence from a Southern European City.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffimann, Elaine; Barros, Henrique; Ribeiro, Ana Isabel

    2017-08-15

    Background: The provision of green spaces is an important health promotion strategy to encourage physical activity and to improve population health. Green space provision has to be based on the principle of equity. This study investigated the presence of socioeconomic inequalities in geographic accessibility and quality of green spaces across Porto neighbourhoods (Portugal). Methods: Accessibility was evaluated using a Geographic Information System and all the green spaces were audited using the Public Open Space Tool. Kendall's tau-b correlation coefficients and ordinal regression were used to test whether socioeconomic differences in green space quality and accessibility were statistically significant. Results: Although the majority of the neighbourhoods had an accessible green space, mean distance to green space increased with neighbourhood deprivation. Additionally, green spaces in the more deprived neighbourhoods presented significantly more safety concerns, signs of damage, lack of equipment to engage in active leisure activities, and had significantly less amenities such as seating, toilets, cafés, etc. Conclusions: Residents from low socioeconomic positions seem to suffer from a double jeopardy; they lack both individual and community resources. Our results have important planning implications and might contribute to understanding why deprived communities have lower physical activity levels and poorer health.

  14. Predicting quality of life for people living with HIV: international evidence from seven cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skevington, S M; Norweg, S; Standage, M

    2010-05-01

    The need for a validated quality of life (QOL) model focussing on people living with HIV/AIDS has led to an international re-evaluation and extension of the Chronic Illness Quality of Life model using complex latent modelling techniques. After reoperationalising six model variables and including independence and sex-life, the WHOQOL-HIV was administered to 1281 people with asymptomatic-HIV (42%), symptomatic-HIV (40%) or AIDS (18%; 34 years; 62% male) living in Australia, Brazil, India (north & south), Italy, Thailand and Ukraine. The overall model fit was acceptable. Social inclusion did not directly improve QOL, but increased positive feelings, social support and perceived improvements of access to health and social care; all three improved QOL. Social inclusion increased perceived physical health indirectly through positive feelings. Better physical health improved sex-life and gave greater independence; both improved QOL. Gender and disease stage models were acceptable, fitting best for men and asymptomatic-HIV. Similar aspects of QOL were depleted for women and some disease stages. Increased social support did not consistently improve independence or positive feelings. Positive feelings improved the sex-life of men and those with asymptomatic-HIV. This cross-cultural approach combining assessment with theory, could guide future international interventions and practice.

  15. Can Sanitary Surveys Replace Water Quality Testing? Evidence from Kisii, Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misati, Aaron Gichaba; Ogendi, George; Peletz, Rachel; Khush, Ranjiv; Kumpel, Emily

    2017-01-01

    Information about the quality of rural drinking water sources can be used to manage their safety and mitigate risks to health. Sanitary surveys, which are observational checklists to assess hazards present at water sources, are simpler to conduct than microbial tests. We assessed whether sanitary survey results were associated with measured indicator bacteria levels in rural drinking water sources in Kisii Central, Kenya. Overall, thermotolerant coliform (TTC) levels were high: all of the samples from the 20 tested dug wells, almost all (95%) of the samples from the 25 tested springs, and 61% of the samples from the 16 tested rainwater harvesting systems were contaminated with TTC. There were no significant associations between TTC levels and overall sanitary survey scores or their individual components. Contamination by TTC was associated with source type (dug wells and springs were more contaminated than rainwater systems). While sanitary surveys cannot be substituted for microbial water quality results in this context, they could be used to identify potential hazards and contribute to a comprehensive risk management approach. PMID:28178226

  16. Does GLP enhance the quality of toxicological evidence for regulatory decisions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgert, Christopher J; Becker, Richard A; Carlton, Betsy D; Hanson, Mark; Kwiatkowski, Patricia L; Sue Marty, Mary; McCarty, Lynn S; Quill, Terry F; Solomon, Keith; Van Der Kraak, Glen; Witorsch, Raphael J; Yi, Kun Don

    2016-06-01

    There is debate over whether the requirements of GLP are appropriate standards for evaluating the quality of toxicological data used to formulate regulations. A group promoting the importance of non-monotonic dose responses for endocrine disruptors contend that scoring systems giving primacy to GLP are biased against non-GLP studies from the literature and are merely record-keeping exercises to prevent fraudulent reporting of data from non-published guideline toxicology studies. They argue that guideline studies often employ insensitive species and outdated methods, and ignore the perspectives of subject-matter experts in endocrine disruption, who should be the sole arbiters of data quality. We believe regulatory agencies should use both non-GLP and GLP studies, that GLP requirements assure fundamental tenets of study integrity not typically addressed by journal peer-review, and that use of standardized test guidelines and GLP promotes consistency, reliability, comparability, and harmonization of various types of studies used by regulatory agencies worldwide. This debate suffers two impediments to progress: a conflation of different phases of study interpretation and levels of data validity, and a misleading characterization of many essential components of GLP and regulatory toxicology. Herein we provide clarifications critical for removing those impediments.

  17. Gambling, Drinking and Quality of Life: Evidence from Macao and Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loo, Jasmine M Y; Shi, Yongdong; Pu, Xiaohong

    2016-06-01

    The investigation of the interface between psychological constructs, compulsive consumption of alcohol and pathological gambling is an important avenue for development of future initiatives in social marketing or prevention programs. This cross-cultural study attempts to bridge the gap in literature by providing an evaluation of the predictive ability of psychological variables such as gambling urge, gambling-related erroneous cognitions and comorbid alcohol consumption on pathological gambling behaviour and its impact on overall quality of life indicators. Participants consist of 445 Macao and Australian young adults (Mean age = 23 years). Results indicate that probable pathological gamblers as compared with non-gamblers reported significantly lower quality of life in all domains-physical health, psychological well-being, social relationships and environment. Adults who drank more alcohol and have stronger erroneous cognitions evidenced higher pathological gambling behavior. Our research model fits both cohorts and interestingly, erroneous gambling-related cognitions serve as a full mediator for the predictive relationship between gambling urge and pathological gambling in the Macao sample, but serve as a partial mediator in the Australian sample. Targeting erroneous cognitions in future social marketing or preventive campaigns should demonstrate to be an important strategy in reducing the effects of urge to gamble among at-risk individuals. Further implications for the industry, marketing and governmental strategies are discussed.

  18. [The quality control of preanalytical variations for the determination of lead in samples of human origin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Kun; Wang, Wei; He, Falin; Wang, Zhiguo

    2015-02-01

    The aims of this article was to provide the quality control requirements of preanalytical variation for the determination of lead in samples of human origin, reduce the influence of preanalytical variation on the test results. According to the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute documents, control of preanalytical variation in trace element determinations, analytical procedures for the determination of lead in blood and urine and other references and guidelines, the methods of quality control of lead determination had been made, including: the factors needed to be considered before collection, preservation, transportation and other preanalytical factors, the abilities and considerations of laboratory staff, etc.

  19. Entity/quality-based logical definitions for the human skeletal phenome using PATO.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gkoutos, Georgios V; Mungall, Chris; Dolken, Sandra; Ashburner, Michael; Lewis, Suzanna; Hancock, John; Schofield, Paul; Kohler, Sebastian; Robinson, Peter N

    2009-01-01

    This paper describes an approach to providing computer-interpretable logical definitions for the terms of the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) using PATO, the ontology of phenotypic qualities, to link terms of the HPO to the anatomic and other entities that are affected by abnormal phenotypic qualities. This approach will allow improved computerized reasoning as well as a facility to compare phenotypes between different species. The PATO mapping will also provide direct links from phenotypic abnormalities and underlying anatomic structures encoded using the Foundational Model of Anatomy, which will be a valuable resource for computational investigations of the links between anatomical components and concepts representing diseases with abnormal phenotypes and associated genes.

  20. Skeletal Indicators of Shark Feeding on Human Remains: Evidence from Florida Forensic Anthropology Cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stock, Michala K; Winburn, Allysha P; Burgess, George H

    2017-05-02

    This research examines a series of six Florida forensic anthropology cases that exhibit taphonomic evidence of marine deposition and shark-feeding activities. In each case, we analyzed patterns of trauma/damage on the skeletal remains (e.g., sharp-force bone gouges and punctures) and possible mechanisms by which they were inflicted during shark predation/scavenging. In some cases, shark teeth were embedded in the remains; in the absence of this evidence, we measured interdental distance from defects in the bone to estimate shark body length, as well as to draw inferences about the potential species responsible. We discuss similarities and differences among the cases and make comparisons to literature documenting diagnostic shark-inflicted damage to human remains from nearby regions. We find that the majority of cases potentially involve bull or tiger sharks scavenging the remains of previously deceased, adult male individuals. This scavenging results in a distinctive taphonomic signature including incised gouges in cortical bone. © 2017 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  1. A systematic approach for identifying and presenting mechanistic evidence in human health assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kushman, Mary E.; Kraft, Andrew D.; Guyton, Kathryn Z.; Chiu, Weihsueh A.; Makris, Susan L.; Rusyn, Ivan

    2013-01-01

    Clear documentation of literature search and presentation methodologies can improve transparency in chemical hazard assessments. We sought to improve clarity for the scientific support for cancer mechanisms of action using a systematic approach to literature retrieval, selection, and presentation of studies. The general question was “What are the mechanisms by which a chemical may cause carcinogenicity in the target tissue?” Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate was used as a case study chemical with a complex database of >3,000 publications. Relevant mechanistic events were identified from published reviews. The PubMed search strategy included relevant synonyms and wildcards for DEHP and its metabolites, mechanistic events, and species of interest. Tiered exclusion/inclusion criteria for study pertinence were defined, and applied to the retrieved literature. Manual curation was conducted for mechanistic events with large literature databases. Literature trees documented identification and selection of the literature evidence. The selected studies were summarized in evidence tables accompanied by succinct narratives. Primary publications were deposited into the Health and Environmental Research Online (http://hero.epa.gov/) database and identified by pertinence criteria and key terms to permit organized retrieval. This approach contributes to human health assessment by effectively managing a large volume of literature, improving transparency, and facilitating subsequent synthesis of information across studies. PMID:23959061

  2. Leptin Dysfunction and Alzheimer's Disease: Evidence from Cellular, Animal, and Human Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, Matthew J; Ishii, Makoto

    2016-03-01

    There is accumulating evidence from epidemiological studies that changes in body weight are associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) from mid-life obesity increasing the risk of developing AD to weight loss occurring at the earliest stages of AD. Therefore, factors that regulate body weight are likely to influence the development and progression of AD. The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin has emerged as a major regulator of body weight mainly by activating hypothalamic neural circuits. Leptin also has several pleotropic effects including regulating cognitive function and having neuroprotective effects, suggesting a potential link between leptin and AD. Here, we will examine the relationship between leptin and AD by reviewing the recent evidence from cellular and animal models to human studies. We present a model where leptin has a bidirectional role in AD. Not only can alterations in leptin levels and function worsen cognitive decline and progression of AD pathology, but AD pathology, in of itself, can disrupt leptin signaling, which together would lead to a downward spiral of progressive neurodegeneration and worsening body weight and systemic metabolic deficits. Collectively, these studies serve as a framework to highlight the importance of understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the body weight and systemic metabolic deficits in AD, which has the potential to open new avenues that may ultimately lead to novel therapeutic targets and diagnostic tools.

  3. Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Human Cognition and Affect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bem, Daryl J.

    2011-11-01

    Six experiments are described that take well-established psychological effects on human cognition and affect and "time-reverse" them so that the individual's responses are obtained before the putatively causal stimulus events occur. Two of the experiments tested for the retroactive facilitation of recall: It is well known that rehearsing or practicing a set of verbal materials enhances an individual's ability to recall them on a subsequent test. In our experiments, participants were first shown 48 common words one at a time and were then asked to recall as many of those words as they could. They were then given practice exercises on a randomly selected subset of those words. The results show that participants recalled more of the words they later practiced than the control words they did not practice. Two experiments on retroactive priming provide evidence for retroactive influence on an individual's response times when judging the pleasantness or unpleasantness of visual stimuli. Finally, two experiments provide evidence for the retroactive habituation to emotionally arousing visual stimuli. Each of the six experiments yielded statistically significant results, with a combined z = 3.66, p = .0001, and an effect size (d) of 0.25. The six experiments are a subset of nine retroactive influence experiments reported in Bem [1] that yielded a combined z = 6.66, p = 1.34×10-11, and an effect size of 0.22.

  4. Leptin dysfunction and Alzheimer’s disease: evidence from cellular, animal, and human studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, Matthew J.; Ishii, Makoto

    2016-01-01

    There is accumulating evidence from epidemiological studies that changes in body weight are associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) from mid-life obesity increasing the risk of developing AD to weight loss occurring at the earliest stages of AD. Therefore, factors that regulate body weight are likely to influence the development and progression of AD. The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin has emerged as a major regulator of body weight mainly by activating hypothalamic neural circuits. Leptin also has several pleotropic effects including regulating cognitive function and having neuroprotective effects, suggesting a potential link between leptin and AD. Here, we will examine the relationship between leptin and AD by reviewing the recent evidence from cellular and animal models to human studies. We present a model where leptin has a bidirectional role in AD. Not only can alterations in leptin levels and function worsen cognitive decline and progression of AD pathology, but AD pathology, in of itself, can disrupt leptin signaling, which together would lead to a downward spiral of progressive neurodegeneration and worsening body weight and systemic metabolic deficits. Collectively, these studies serve as a framework to highlight the importance of understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the body weight and systemic metabolic deficits in AD, which has the potential to open new avenues that may ultimately lead to novel therapeutic targets and diagnostic tools. PMID:26993509

  5. Enhanced genetic analysis of single human bioparticles recovered by simplified micromanipulation from forensic 'touch DNA' evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farash, Katherine; Hanson, Erin K; Ballantyne, Jack

    2015-03-09

    DNA profiles can be obtained from 'touch DNA' evidence, which comprises microscopic traces of human biological material. Current methods for the recovery of trace DNA employ cotton swabs or adhesive tape to sample an area of interest. However, such a 'blind-swabbing' approach will co-sample cellular material from the different individuals, even if the individuals' cells are located in geographically distinct locations on the item. Thus, some of the DNA mixtures encountered in touch DNA samples are artificially created by the swabbing itself. In some instances, a victim's DNA may be found in significant excess thus masking any potential perpetrator's DNA. In order to circumvent the challenges with standard recovery and analysis methods, we have developed a lower cost, 'smart analysis' method that results in enhanced genetic analysis of touch DNA evidence. We describe an optimized and efficient micromanipulation recovery strategy for the collection of bio-particles present in touch DNA samples, as well as an enhanced amplification strategy involving a one-step 5 µl microvolume lysis/STR amplification to permit the recovery of STR profiles from the bio-particle donor(s). The use of individual or few (i.e., "clumps") bioparticles results in the ability to obtain single source profiles. These procedures represent alternative enhanced techniques for the isolation and analysis of single bioparticles from forensic touch DNA evidence. While not necessary in every forensic investigation, the method could be highly beneficial for the recovery of a single source perpetrator DNA profile in cases involving physical assault (e.g., strangulation) that may not be possible using standard analysis techniques. Additionally, the strategies developed here offer an opportunity to obtain genetic information at the single cell level from a variety of other non-forensic trace biological material.

  6. MANAGEMENT OF INNOVATIVE IMPROVEMENT OF QUALITY OF LIFE AND HUMAN CAPITAL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. H. Usmanova

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Relevance of the chosen subject is caused by the current state and problems of development of a human capital and potential. The existing changes of the current legislation and a tendency of development of a human capital in Russia in developed countries allow to subject to doubt efficiency of planning of economic and social programs in the country. Also relevance of article is caused by the fact that in the conditions of a transitional economy and integration of economy into the world economy many countries create quality of life of the population according to standards and there is a need of revaluation of values regarding development of a human capital in Russia within the world device.In the first part of article the overview of historical aspects of planning of a human capital and the analysis of high budget revenues becomes. In article it is shown that expenses aren't effectively distributed on regional equalization and on social needs, that is on development of a welfare and a human capital and potential in the country.The second part of article describes one of manifestations of the quality level of life, that is the Minimum Wage (MW which is the main indicator for charge of temporary disability benefits, pension accrual, unemployment benefits, etc.The third part of article reflects the directions of development of innovative management: improvement of quality of life and a human capital where emphasis on need of preparation intellectual the oriented specialists is placed.The purpose/goal .The purpose of article is disclosure, comparison of features, and also determinations of criteria of management of innovative development of quality of life and a human capital in the Russian Federation.Methodology. The methodology of the solution of objectives is based on use of a method of a dialectic research, methods of the economic analysis, forecasting, the situation and system analysis, expert evaluations and the analysis of empirical data

  7. Basing information on comprehensive, critically appraised, and up-to-date syntheses of the scientific evidence: a quality dimension of the International Patient Decision Aid Standards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montori, Victor M; LeBlanc, Annie; Buchholz, Angela; Stilwell, Diana L; Tsapas, Apostolos

    2013-01-01

    Patients and clinicians expect patient decision aids to be based on the best available research evidence. Since 2005, this expectation has translated into a quality dimension of the International Patient Decision Aid Standards. We reviewed the 2005 standards and the available literature on the evidence base of decision aids as well as searched for parallel activities in which evidence is brought to bear to inform clinical decisions. In conducting this work, we noted emerging and research issues that require attention and may inform this quality dimension in the future. This dimension requires patient decision aids to be based on research evidence about the relevant options and the nature and likelihood of their effect on outcomes that matter to patients. The synthesis of evidence should be comprehensive and up-to-date, and the evidence itself subject to critical appraisal. Ethical (informed patient choice), quality-of-care (patient-centered care), and scientific (evidence-based medicine) arguments justify this requirement. Empirical evidence suggests that over two thirds of available decision aids are based on high-quality evidence syntheses. Emerging issues identified include the duties of developers regarding the conduct of systematic reviews, the impact of comparative effectiveness research, their link with guidelines based on the same evidence, and how to present the developers' confidence in the estimates to the end-users. Systematic application of the GRADE system, common in contemporary practice guideline development, could enhance satisfaction of this dimension. While theoretical and practical issues remained to be addressed, high-quality patient decision aids should adhere to this dimension requiring they be based on comprehensive and up-to-date summaries of critically appraised evidence.

  8. Exercise, Obesity, and Cutaneous Wound Healing: Evidence from Rodent and Human Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pence, Brandt D.; Woods, Jeffrey A.

    2014-01-01

    Significance: Impaired cutaneous wound healing is a major health concern. Obesity has been shown in a number of studies to impair wound healing, and chronic nonhealing wounds in obesity and diabetes are a major cause of limb amputations in the United States. Recent Advances: Recent evidence indicates that aberrant wound site inflammation may be an underlying cause for delayed healing. Obesity, diabetes, and other conditions such as stress and aging can result in a chronic low-level inflammatory state, thereby potentially affecting wound healing negatively. Critical Issues: Interventions which can speed the healing rate in individuals with slowly healing or nonhealing wounds are of critical importance. Recently, physical exercise training has been shown to speed healing in both aged and obese mice and in older adults. Exercise is a relatively low-cost intervention strategy which may be able to be used clinically to prevent or treat impairments in the wound-healing process. Future Directions: Little is known about the mechanisms by which exercise speeds healing. Future translational studies should address potential mechanisms for these exercise effects. Additionally, clinical studies in obese humans are necessary to determine if findings in obese rodent models translate to the human population. PMID:24761347

  9. Striatal dopamine mediates the interface between motivational and cognitive control in humans: evidence from genetic imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aarts, Esther; Roelofs, Ardi; Franke, Barbara; Rijpkema, Mark; Fernández, Guillén; Helmich, Rick C; Cools, Roshan

    2010-08-01

    Dopamine has been hypothesized to provide the basis for the interaction between motivational and cognitive control. However, there is no evidence for this hypothesis in humans. We fill this gap by using fMRI, a novel behavioral paradigm and a common polymorphism in the DAT1 gene (SLC6A3). Carriers of the 9-repeat (9R) allele of a 40 base pair repeat polymorphism in the 3' untranslated region of DAT1, associated with high striatal dopamine, showed greater activity in the ventromedial striatum during reward anticipation than homozygotes for the 10-repeat allele, replicating previous genetic imaging studies. The crucial novel finding is that 9R carriers also exhibited a greater influence of anticipated reward on switch costs, as well as greater activity in the dorsomedial striatum during task switching in anticipation of high reward relative to low reward. These data establish a crucial role for human striatal dopamine in the modulation of cognitive flexibility by reward anticipation, thus, elucidating the neurochemical mechanism of the interaction between motivation and cognitive control.

  10. New evidence for the therapeutic potential of curcumin to treat nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inzaugarat, María Eugenia; De Matteo, Elena; Baz, Placida; Lucero, Diego; García, Cecilia Claudia; Gonzalez Ballerga, Esteban; Daruich, Jorge; Sorda, Juan Antonio; Wald, Miriam Ruth

    2017-01-01

    Introduction The immune system acts on different metabolic tissues that are implicated in the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Leptin and linoleic acid have the ability to potentially affect immune cells, whereas curcumin is a known natural polyphenol with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Aims This study was designed to evaluate the pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidant effects of leptin and linoleic acid on immune cells from patients with NAFLD and to corroborate the modulatory effects of curcumin and its preventive properties against the progression of NAFLD using a high-fat diet (HFD)-induced NAFLD/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis mouse model. Results The ex vivo experiments showed that linoleic acid increased the production of reactive oxygen species in monocytes and liver macrophages, whereas leptin enhanced tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) production in monocytes and interferon-γ production in circulating CD4+ cells. Conversely, oral administration of curcumin prevented HFD-induced liver injury, metabolic alterations, intrahepatic CD4+ cell accumulation and the linoleic acid- and leptin- induced pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidant effects on mouse liver macrophages. Conclusion Our findings provide new evidence for the therapeutic potential of curcumin to treat human NAFLD. However, the development of a preventive treatment targeting human circulating monocytes and liver macrophages as well as peripheral and hepatic CD4+ cells requires additional research. PMID:28257515

  11. Modelling university human capital formation and measuring its efficiency: evidence from Florence University

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guido Ferrari

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, an analysis of the technical efficiency in the formation of 2,236 graduates in 1998 in the University of Florence, that is, in the university human capital formation, is performed, by modelling the production process as one in which the student produces himself as a graduate. The tool utilized is the DEA methodology, under the hypothesis of variable returns to scale. The production factors are represented by a set of human and capital resources provided by the faculties, along with individual factors represented by secondary school diploma score and by the length of university study. The analysis is conducted both for the overall graduates, and at a faculty level, in order to emphasize the contribution provided by the latter to efficiency. There is evidence that the students graduated with an average efficiency greater than 90% and therefore with an unexploited productive capacity lower than 10%. At a faculty level, Formation Science appears to be the most efficient, whereas Economics is the less efficient one. By and large, the contribution to efficiency provided by faculties is greater than that brought by students individual characteristics.

  12. Earnings quality and P/E ratio: Evidence from Tehran Stock Exchange

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hassan Ghodrati

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper evaluates the impacts of earnings quality criteria on the ratio of price to earnings per share (P/E on 88 accepted companies in Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE over the period 2007- 2012. The results indicate that there was a positive and significant relationship between the P/E ratio and cash dividend. There is also a positive and significant relationship between P/E ratio as dependent variable and the gross profit ratio to sales. On the other hand, there is a significant reverse relationship between P/E ratio and the profit variability. However, no significant relationship exists between P/E as dependent variable and deferrals (accruals variable.

  13. Personal spiritual values and quality of life: evidence from Chinese college students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Kaili Chen; Hui, C Harry; Lam, Jasmine; Lau, Esther Yuet Ying; Cheung, Shu-Fai; Mok, Doris Shui Ying

    2014-08-01

    Values are guiding principles in our life. While some studies found spiritual values to be "healthier," Sagiv and Schwartz (Eur J Soc Psychol 30:177-198, 2000) showed that people holding non-spiritual values were higher on affective well-being. We examined the predictive power of these two types of values with a longitudinal data set collected from Chinese students mainly in Hong Kong. Structural equation modeling revealed that spiritual values (as well as family income) positively predicted quality of life a year later. Non-spiritual, self-enhancement values, did not show any association. Results suggest that developing spiritual values may promote well-being through enabling individuals to find meaning and purpose in life.

  14. The Impact of Market Maker Competition on Market Quality: Evidence from an Options Exchange

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelo Aspris

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the dynamic relationship between competition, liquidity provision, and market structure. By examining the entry and exit of market makers in the Australian Options market, this study empirically analyses the issue of market maker competition. Results indicate that market maker entry depends on a broad range of profit, risk and market concentration characteristics, but free market maker movement does not explicitly result in a competitive market structure. This study also finds that the degree of market concentration additionally affects the marginal impact of market maker entry (exit, but the effect is significantly more pronounced for the most liquid classes of options. The implication of this finding is pertinent to market regulators since market maker competition may not necessarily contribute to enhancing market quality for less liquid securities.

  15. Trading Mechanisms and Market Quality: Evidence from the London Stock Exchange

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Giouvris

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Over the last years we have witnessed sweeping changes in trading systems all over the world. Those changes provided academics with an opportunity to look into the microstructure of different markets. Most empirical work in the area has concentrated on comparing changes in liquidity, volatility, trading volume and asymmetric information under different trading settings. Informational efficiency and spread sensitivity to volatility has been neglected however. This paper looks into informational efficiency and spread sensitivity to volatility under different trading settings namely a dealership, an order driven market and a hybrid market. We use FTSE100 and FTSE250 stocks as our sample. The evidence shows that order driven markets respond faster to information compared to dealerships and that spread is more sensitive to volatility in a dealership than in an order driven market. The degree of informational efficiency as well as spread sensitivity to volatility is the same between a dealership and a hybrid market.

  16. Neighborhood Quality and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Quasi-Random Neighborhood Assignment of Immigrants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damm, Anna Piil

    2012-01-01

    neighborhood may, therefore, hamper individual labor market outcomes because of lack of employed contacts. I investigate this hypothesis by exploiting a unique natural experiment that occurred between 1986 and 1998 when refugee immigrants to Denmark were assigned to municipalities quasirandomly, which...... successfully addresses the methodological problem of endogenous neighborhood selection. Taking account of location sorting, living in a socially deprived neighborhood does not affect labor market outcomes of refugee men. Furthermore, their labor market outcomes are not affected by the overall employment rate...... of men living in the neighborhood, but positively affected by the employment rate of non-Western immigrant men and co-national men living in the neighborhood. This is strong evidence that immigrants find jobs in part through their employed immigrant and co-ethnic contacts in the neighborhood of residence...

  17. Citizen Perceptions of Government Service Quality: Evidence from Public Schools. Program on Education Policy and Governance Working Papers Series. PEPG 10-16

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chingos, Matthew M.; Henderson, Michael; West, Martin R.

    2010-01-01

    Conventional models of democratic accountability hinge on citizens' ability to evaluate government performance accurately, yet there is little evidence on the degree to which citizen perceptions of the quality of government services correspond to actual service quality. Using nationally representative survey data, we find that citizens'…

  18. The factor harmful to the quality of human life--shift-work.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strzemecka, Joanna; Pencuła, Marcin; Owoc, Alfred; Szot, Wojciech; Strzemecka, Ewa; Jabłoński, Mirosław; Bojar, Iwona

    2013-01-01

    The system of human activity, which is established by genetics and regulated by outer and inner factors, is associated with many characteristics which maintain the body in the best condition and ensure appropriate life quality. To evaluate of life quality among male shift-workers. Research based on a self-devised questionnaire, conducted among 700 shift-workers, followed by statistical analysis of the results. Nearly a half of respondents (43.00%) reported that shift-work influences the quality of their family life. Remarkably, such an opinion was often stated by people with children (46.01%) pwork negatively influence their sexual life (31.14%). It was shown that shift-work negatively influences the respondents' life quality in the form of deterioration of the quality of family life; the respondents, regardless of marital status, age and having children, most often complained about the lack of contact with the family and irregular eating with them; negative influence on sexual life, which was the case in one-third of respondents. In order to encourage healthy behaviour and increase the quality of life of people performing shift-work, training and programmes should be introduced. These would help shift- workers to adjust their work time to their family and social life.

  19. What do social processes mean for quality of human resource practice?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kjeld; Pedersen, Louise Møller

    2014-01-01

    Well implemented Human Resource Practice (HRP) is linked to increased performance, innovation, and the well-being of both managers and employees. In the literature, a distinction between the hard and the soft HRM-models is drawn: the hard model focuses on employees as a cost, whereas the soft HRM....... The concept of social processes can help HRP to contribute on social processes between managers and employees as important aspects of quality in work with human resources. However, the influence of team organization and the social processes between employees need to be explored further....

  20. Human ocular filariasis: further evidence on the zoonotic role of Onchocerca lupi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Otranto Domenico

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Among ocular vector-borne pathogens, Onchocerca volvulus, the agent of the so-called “river blindness”, affects about 37 million people globally. Other Onchocerca spp. have been sporadically reported as zoonotic agents. Cases of canine onchocerciasis caused by Onchocerca lupi are on the rise in the United States and Europe. Its zoonotic role has been suspected but only recently ascertained in a single case from Turkey. The present study provides further evidence on the occurrence of O. lupi infesting human eyes in two patients from Turkey (case 1 and Tunisia (case 2. The importance of obtaining a correct sample collection and preparation of nematodes infesting human eyes is highlighted. Methods In both cases the parasites were identified with morpho-anatomical characters at the gross examination, histological analysis and anatomical description and also molecularly in case 1. Results The nematode from the first case was obviously O. lupi based on their morphology at the gross examination, histological analysis and anatomical description. In the second case, although the diagnostic cuticular characters were not completely developed, other features were congruent with the identification of O. lupi. Furthermore, the morphological identification was also molecularly confirmed in the Turkish case. Conclusions The results of this study suggest that O. lupi infestation is not an occasional finding but it should be considered in the differential diagnosis of other zoonotic helminths causing eye infestation in humans (e.g., D. immitis and Dirofilaria repens. Both cases came from areas where no cases of canine onchocerciasis were previously reported in the literature, suggesting that an in depth appraisal of the infestation in canine populations is necessary. Physicians and ophthalmologists are advised on how to preserve nematode samples recovered surgically, to allow a definitive, correct etiological diagnosis.

  1. Donor human milk for preterm infants: current evidence and research directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arslanoglu, Sertac; Corpeleijn, Willemijn; Moro, Guido; Braegger, Christian; Campoy, Cristina; Colomb, Virginie; Decsi, Tamas; Domellöf, Magnus; Fewtrell, Mary; Hojsak, Iva; Mihatsch, Walter; Mølgaard, Christian; Shamir, Raanan; Turck, Dominique; van Goudoever, Johannes

    2013-10-01

    The Committee on Nutrition of the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition aims to document the existing evidence of the benefits and common concerns deriving from the use of donor human milk (DHM) in preterm infants. The comment also outlines gaps in knowledge and gives recommendations for practice and suggestions for future research directions. Protection against necrotizing enterocolitis is the major clinical benefit deriving from the use of DHM when compared with formula. Limited data also suggest unfortified DHM to be associated with improved feeding tolerance and with reduced cardiovascular risk factors during adolescence. Presence of a human milk bank (HMB) does not decrease breast-feeding rates at discharge, but decreases the use of formula during the first weeks of life. This commentary emphasizes that fresh own mother's milk (OMM) is the first choice in preterm infant feeding and strong efforts should be made to promote lactation. When OMM is not available, DHM is the recommended alternative. When neither OMM nor DHM is available, preterm formula should be used. DHM should be provided from an established HMB, which follows specific safety guidelines. Storage and processing of human milk reduces some biological components, which may diminish its health benefits. From a nutritional point of view, DHM, like HM, does not meet the requirements of preterm infants, necessitating a specific fortification regimen to optimize growth. Future research should focus on the improvement of milk processing in HMB, particularly of heat treatment; on the optimization of HM fortification; and on further evaluation of the potential clinical benefits of processed and fortified DHM.

  2. Antioxidants and Quality of Aging: Further Evidences for a Major Role of TXNRD1 Gene Variability on Physical Performance at Old Age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dato, Serena; De Rango, Francesco; Crocco, Paolina; Passarino, Giuseppe; Rose, Giuseppina

    2015-01-01

    Oxidative stress is a major determinant of human aging and common hallmark of age-related diseases. A protective role against free radicals accumulation was shown for thioredoxin reductase TrxR1, a key antioxidant selenoprotein. The variability of encoding gene (TXNRD1) was previously found associated with physical status at old age and extreme survival in a Danish cohort. To further investigate the influence of the gene variability on age-related physiological decline, we analyzed 9 tagging SNPs in relation to markers of physical (Activity of Daily Living, Hand Grip, Chair stand, and Walking) and cognitive (Mini Mental State Examination) status, in a Southern-Italian cohort of 64-107 aged individuals. We replicated the association of TXNRD1 variability with physical performance, with three variants (rs4445711, rs1128446, and rs11111979) associated with physical functioning after 85 years of age (p < 0.022). In addition, we found two SNPs borderline influencing longevity (rs4964728 and rs7310505) in our cohort, the last associated with health status and survival in Northern Europeans too. Overall, the evidences of association in a different population here reported extend the proposed role of TXNRD1 gene in modulating physical decline at extreme ages, further supporting the investigation of thioredoxin pathway in relation to the quality of human aging.

  3. Antioxidants and Quality of Aging: Further Evidences for a Major Role of TXNRD1 Gene Variability on Physical Performance at Old Age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serena Dato

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Oxidative stress is a major determinant of human aging and common hallmark of age-related diseases. A protective role against free radicals accumulation was shown for thioredoxin reductase TrxR1, a key antioxidant selenoprotein. The variability of encoding gene (TXNRD1 was previously found associated with physical status at old age and extreme survival in a Danish cohort. To further investigate the influence of the gene variability on age-related physiological decline, we analyzed 9 tagging SNPs in relation to markers of physical (Activity of Daily Living, Hand Grip, Chair stand, and Walking and cognitive (Mini Mental State Examination status, in a Southern-Italian cohort of 64–107 aged individuals. We replicated the association of TXNRD1 variability with physical performance, with three variants (rs4445711, rs1128446, and rs11111979 associated with physical functioning after 85 years of age (p<0.022. In addition, we found two SNPs borderline influencing longevity (rs4964728 and rs7310505 in our cohort, the last associated with health status and survival in Northern Europeans too. Overall, the evidences of association in a different population here reported extend the proposed role of TXNRD1 gene in modulating physical decline at extreme ages, further supporting the investigation of thioredoxin pathway in relation to the quality of human aging.

  4. HUMAN CAPITAL, INCOME, AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY: A STATE-LEVEL ANALYSIS

    OpenAIRE

    Goetz, Stephan J.; Debertin, David L.; Pagoulatos, Angelos

    1998-01-01

    An empirical analysis reveals that states with more highly educated populations have better environmental conditions, after controlling for income, population density, and industrial composition. The strategy of raising human capital stocks to maintain or improve environmental quality is proposed as a complement, if not an alternative, to direct government intervention, which consists of command and control, market incentives, and moral suasion. Under this approach, general education becomes ...

  5. Quality Improvement Project to Improve Patient Satisfaction With Pain Management: Using Human-Centered Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trail-Mahan, Tracy; Heisler, Scott; Katica, Mary

    2016-01-01

    In this quality improvement project, our health system developed a comprehensive, patient-centered approach to improving inpatient pain management and assessed its impact on patient satisfaction across 21 medical centers. Using human-centered design principles, a bundle of 6 individual and team nursing practices was developed. Patient satisfaction with pain management, as measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems pain composite score, increased from the 25th to just under the 75th national percentile.

  6. What do social processes mean for quality of human resource practice?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kjeld; Pedersen, Louise Møller

    2014-01-01

    of the quality of HRP. Moreover, a good psychological working environment and systematic priority of HRP are essential contextual factors which can enable or hinder social processes. Otherwise, production pressure and power relations between managers and employees can hinder the implementation of the new concept....... The concept of social processes can help HRP to contribute on social processes between managers and employees as important aspects of quality in work with human resources. However, the influence of team organization and the social processes between employees need to be explored further....... the implementation and quality of HR-performance (Nielsen 2008b). Two studies of HRP within two manufacturing companies are used to illustrate the pros and cons of this new theoretical concept from a performance perspective. Involvement, commitment and competence development are identified as key aspects...

  7. Work stress, asthma control and asthma-specific quality of life: Initial evidence from a cross-sectional study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, Bettina; Leucht, Verena; Loerbroks, Adrian

    2017-03-01

    Research has suggested that psychological stress is positively associated with asthma morbidity. One major source of stress in adulthood is one's occupation. However, to date, potential links of work stress with asthma control or asthma-specific quality of life have not been examined. We aimed to address this knowledge gap. In 2014/2015, we conducted a cross-sectional study among adults with asthma in Germany (n = 362). For the current analyses that sample was restricted to participants in employment and reporting to have never been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (n = 94). Work stress was operationalized by the 16-item effort-reward-imbalance (ERI) questionnaire, which measures the subcomponents "effort", "reward" and "overcommitment." Participants further completed the Asthma Control Test and the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire-Sydney. Multivariable associations were quantified by linear regression and logistic regression. Effort, reward and their ratio (i.e. ERI ratio) did not show meaningful associations with asthma morbidity. By contrast, increasing levels of overcommitment were associated with poorer asthma control and worse quality of life in both linear regression (ß = -0.26, p = 0.01 and ß = 0.44, p < 0.01, respectively) and logistic regression (odds ratio [OR] = 1.87, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.14-3.07 and OR = 2.34, 95% CI = 1.32-4.15, respectively). The present study provides initial evidence of a positive relationship of work-related overcommitment with asthma control and asthma-specific quality of life. Longitudinal studies with larger samples are needed to confirm our findings and to disentangle the potential causality of associations.

  8. Air quality and human health improvements from reduced deforestation in Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddington, C.; Butt, E. W.; Ridley, D. A.; Artaxo, P.; Morgan, W.; Coe, H.; Spracklen, D. V.

    2015-12-01

    Significant areas of the Brazilian Amazon have been deforested over the past few decades, with fire being the dominant method through which forests and vegetation are cleared. Fires emit large quantities of particulate matter into the atmosphere, degrading air quality and negatively impacting human health. Since 2004, Brazil has achieved substantial reductions in deforestation rates and associated deforestation fires. Here we assess the impact of this reduction on air quality and human health. We show that dry season (August - October) aerosol optical depth (AOD) retrieved by satellite over southwest Brazil and Bolivia is positively related to Brazil's annual deforestation rate (r=0.96, Pdeforestation rates compared to years with low deforestation rates, suggesting regional air quality is degraded substantially by fire emissions associated with deforestation. This link is further demonstrated by the positive relationship between observed AOD and satellite-derived particulate emissions from deforestation fires (r=0.89, Pdeforestation have reduced regional dry season mean surface particulate matter concentrations by ~30%. Using concentration response functions we estimate that this reduction in particulate matter may be preventing 1060 (388-1721) premature adult mortalities annually across South America. Future increases in Brazil's deforestation rates and associated fires may threaten the improved air quality reported here.

  9. Perceived Neighborhood Quality and Cancer Screening Behavior: Evidence from the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyer, Kirsten M M; Malecki, Kristen M; Hoormann, Kelly A; Szabo, Aniko; Nattinger, Ann B

    2016-02-01

    Socioeconomic disparities in colorectal and breast cancer screening persist, partially accounting for disparities in cancer outcomes. Some neighborhood characteristics--particularly area level socioeconomic factors--have been linked to cancer screening behavior, but few studies have examined the relationship between perceived neighborhood quality and screening behavior, which may provide more insight into the ways in which neighborhood environments shape cancer related behaviors. This study examines the relationship between several aspects of the perceived neighborhood environment and breast and colorectal cancer screening behavior among a population-based sample of Wisconsin residents. A sub-goal was to compare the relevance of different perceived neighborhood factors for different screening tests. This is a cross-sectional study of 2008-2012 data from the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin, a population-based annual survey of Wisconsin residents. An average risk sample of Black, Hispanic and White women age 50 and older (n = 1265) were selected. Survey regression analyses examined predictors of screening, as well as adherence to screening guidelines. Models controlled for individual socio-demographic information and insurance status. Perceptions of social and physical disorder, including fear of crime and visible garbage, were associated with screening rates. Findings emphasize the particular importance of these factors for colorectal cancer screening, indicating the necessity of improving screening rates in areas characterized by social disorganization, crime, and physical disorder. Additional work should be done to further investigate the pathways that explain the linkage between neighborhood conditions, perceived neighborhood risks and cancer screening behavior.

  10. Internalizing disorders and quality of life in adolescence: evidence for independent associations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanni A. Salum

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To investigate whether internalizing disorders are associated with quality of life (QoL in adolescents, even after accounting for shared risk factors. Methods: The sample comprised 102 adolescents from a community cross-sectional study with an oversampling of anxious subjects. Risk factors previously associated with QoL were assessed and divided into five blocks organized hierarchically from proximal to distal sets of risk factors. Results: Multiple regression analysis yielded a hierarchical model accounting for 72% of QoL variance. All blocks were consistently associated with QoL (p < 0.05, accounting for the following percentages of variance: 12% for demographics; 5.2% for family environment; 37.8% for stressful events; 10% for nutritional and health habits; and 64.2% for dimensional psychopathological symptoms or 22.8% for psychiatric diagnoses (dichotomous. Although most of the QoL variance attributed to internalizing symptoms was explained by the four proximal blocks in the hierarchical model (43.2%, about 21% of the variance was independently associated with internalizing symptoms/diagnoses. Conclusions: QoL is associated with several aspects of adolescent life that were largely predicted by our hierarchical model. Our findings reinforce the hypothesis that internalizing disorders and internalizing symptoms in adolescents have a high impact on QoL and deserve proper clinical attention.

  11. Evidence of causality between the quantity and quality of energy consumption and economic growth

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Warr, B.S. [INSEAD Social Innovation Centre, INSEAD, Boulevard de Constance, Fontainebleau 77305 (France); Ayres, R.U. [International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg (Austria)

    2010-04-15

    The aim of this paper is to re-examine the energy-GDP relationship for the US for the period 1946-2000 by redefining energy in terms of exergy (the amount of energy available for useful work) and the amount of useful work provided from energy inputs. This enables us to examine whether output growth depends on either the quantity of energy supplied and/or the efficiency of energy use. Two multivariate models were estimated involving GDP, capital, labour and the two measures of energy. We find that unidirectional causality runs from either energy measure to GDP. We attribute the causation to both short- and long-run effects in the case of exergy, but only long-run effects in the case of useful work. We find no evidence of causality running from GDP to either energy measure. We infer that output growth does not drive increased energy consumption, and to sustain long-term growth it is necessary to either increase energy supplies or increase the efficiency of energy usage. Faced with energy security concerns and the negative externalities of fossil fuel use the latter option is preferred. (author)

  12. Poor quality evidence suggests that failure rates for atraumatic restorative treatment and conventional amalgam are similar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurst, Dominic

    2012-06-01

    The Medline, Cochrane CENTRAL, Biomed Central, Database of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), OpenJ-Gate, Bibliografia Brasileira de Odontologia (BBO), LILACS, IndMed, Sabinet, Scielo, Scirus (Medicine), OpenSIGLE and Google Scholar databases were searched. Hand searching was performed for journals not indexed in the databases. References of included trials were checked. Prospective clinical trials with test and control groups with a follow up of at least one year were included. Data abstraction was conducted independently and clinical and methodologically homogeneous data were pooled using a fixed-effects model. Eighteen trials were included. From these 32 individual dichotomous datasets were extracted and analysed. The majority of the results show no differences between both types of intervention. A high risk of selection-, performance-, detection- and attrition bias was identified. Existing research gaps are mainly due to lack of trials and small sample size. The current evidence indicates that the failure rate of high-viscosity GIC/ART restorations is not higher than, but similar to that of conventional amalgam fillings after periods longer than one year. These results are in line with the conclusions drawn during the original systematic review. There is a high risk that these results are affected by bias, and thus confirmation by further trials with suitably high numbers of participants is needed.

  13. Does Quality Time Produce Quality Children? Evidence on the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital using Parental Deaths

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    This paper uses variation created by parental deaths in the amount of time children spend with each parent to examine whether the parent-child correlation in schooling outcomes stems from a causal relationship. Using a large sample of Israeli children who lost one parent during childhood, we find a series of striking patterns which show that the relationship is largely causal. Relative to children who did not lose a parent, the education of the deceased parent is less important in determining...

  14. Can Green Traffic Policies Affect Air Quality? Evidence from A Difference-in-Difference Estimation in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu-Yi Qiu

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Air pollution has been a serious challenge for human sustainable development. Researches show that emissions from the transport sector have been found to be a main source of air pollution in cities. Governments have implemented numerous green traffic policies to mitigate harmful emissions. However, the problem as to whether the green traffic policies are effective, and the extent to which the policies affect air quality remain unknown. This paper is the first attempt to apply a difference-in-difference method to investigate how a specific green traffic policy (in our case, the green traffic pilot cities program affects air quality. The estimates show that the pilot program is associated with consistent reductions in annual concentration of pollutants. In pilot cities of China, the annual concentration of SO 2 , NO 2 and PM 10 decrease by 10.71 percent, 11.26 percent and 9.85 percent, respectively, after the implementation of the green traffic pilot cities program. The results show that the green traffic pilot has a noticeable improvement on air quality of the pilot cities, implying that government intervention has a positive influence on pollution prevention in the transport sector. Moreover, the green traffic system construction can be popularized in other cities to mitigate air pollution.

  15. MiRNA-320 in the human follicular fluid is associated with embryo quality in vivo and affects mouse embryonic development in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Ruizhi; Sang, Qing; Zhu, Yan; Fu, Wei; Liu, Miao; Xu, Yan; Shi, Huijuan; Xu, Yao; Qu, Ronggui; Chai, Renjie; Shao, Ruijin; Jin, Li; He, Lin; Sun, Xiaoxi; Wang, Lei

    2015-03-03

    Previous work from our laboratory demonstrated the existence of miRNAs in human follicular fluid. In the current study, we have sought to identify miRNAs that might affect oocyte/embryo quality in patients undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection and to investigate their roles in in vitro fertilization outcomes in mouse oocytes. 53 samples were classified as Group 1 (high quality) if the day-3 embryos had seven and more cells or as Group 2 (low quality) if the embryos had six and fewer cells. TaqMan Human microRNAs cards and qRT-PCR were performed to verify differently expressed miRNAs. The function of the corresponding miRNA was investigated in mouse oocytes by injecting them with miRNA-inhibitor oligonucleotides. We found that hsa-miR-320a and hsa-miR-197 had significantly higher expression levels in the Group 1 follicular fluids than in Group 2 (p = 0.0073 and p = 0.008, respectively). Knockdown of mmu-miR-320 in mouse oocytes strongly decreased the proportions of MII oocytes that developed into two-cell and blastocyst stage embryos (p = 0.0048 and p = 0.0069, respectively). Wnt signaling pathway components had abnormal expression level in miR-320 inhibitor-injected oocytes. This study provides the first evidence that miRNAs in human follicular fluid are indicative of and can influence embryo quality.

  16. Evidence for high inter-generational individual quality in yellow-eyed penguins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Aviva M; Young, Melanie J; Darby, John T; Seddon, Philip J; van Heezik, Yolanda

    2017-01-01

    Longitudinal studies focusing on lifetime reproductive success (LRS) have been used to measure individual breeding performance and identify commonalities among successful breeders. By extending the focus to subsequent generations we identify a proportion of high-quality individuals that contribute disproportionately to the population over multiple generations. We used 23 years of yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) breeding data from one breeding area to identify the proportion of individual birds that raised successful breeders, which in turn raised offspring. We explored which life-history components influenced LRS, as this knowledge would enable conservation resources to be focused on high-performing individuals in this endangered population. From 2,147 birds marked as chicks, 370 (17.2%) survived to adulthood and recruited to their natal location, of which 219 (10.2%) fledged offspring: 124 (56.6%) of the 219 birds produced offspring that recruited as breeders. Only 102 birds (4.8% of 2,147) fledged first-generation offspring that in turn fledged offspring (second-generation offspring, or grand-offspring). We found that ∼25% of the birds that survived to breed had above-average LRS as well as above-average numbers of grand-offspring, and were more likely to have produced first-generation chicks that recruited and also produced above-average numbers of second-generation chicks. Our findings suggest that there is a core of "super-breeders" that contribute disproportionately to the population over successive generations. Lifespan and age-at-first-breeding were correlated with LRS. We suggest that traits of birds relating to longevity, health (e.g., immunocompetence) and fitness could be examined to identify potential links with high LRS and inter-generational fecundity. "Super-breeders" appear to consistently achieve high LRS and long lifespans in a stochastic environment, demonstrating greater resilience in the face of extreme events.

  17. Evidence for high inter-generational individual quality in yellow-eyed penguins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aviva M. Stein

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Longitudinal studies focusing on lifetime reproductive success (LRS have been used to measure individual breeding performance and identify commonalities among successful breeders. By extending the focus to subsequent generations we identify a proportion of high-quality individuals that contribute disproportionately to the population over multiple generations. We used 23 years of yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes breeding data from one breeding area to identify the proportion of individual birds that raised successful breeders, which in turn raised offspring. We explored which life-history components influenced LRS, as this knowledge would enable conservation resources to be focused on high-performing individuals in this endangered population. From 2,147 birds marked as chicks, 370 (17.2% survived to adulthood and recruited to their natal location, of which 219 (10.2% fledged offspring: 124 (56.6% of the 219 birds produced offspring that recruited as breeders. Only 102 birds (4.8% of 2,147 fledged first-generation offspring that in turn fledged offspring (second-generation offspring, or grand-offspring. We found that ∼25% of the birds that survived to breed had above-average LRS as well as above-average numbers of grand-offspring, and were more likely to have produced first-generation chicks that recruited and also produced above-average numbers of second-generation chicks. Our findings suggest that there is a core of “super-breeders” that contribute disproportionately to the population over successive generations. Lifespan and age-at-first-breeding were correlated with LRS. We suggest that traits of birds relating to longevity, health (e.g., immunocompetence and fitness could be examined to identify potential links with high LRS and inter-generational fecundity. “Super-breeders” appear to consistently achieve high LRS and long lifespans in a stochastic environment, demonstrating greater resilience in the face of extreme events.

  18. Health-related quality of life in patients with Chagas disease: a review of the evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovane Rodrigo Sousa

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Chagas disease (ChD, a neglected tropical disease caused by infection with the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi, remains a serious public health issue in Latin America and is an emerging disease in several non-endemic countries, where knowledge of the condition and experience with its clinical management are limited. Regionally, the disease is the major cause of disability secondary to tropical diseases in young adults. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL impairment is common in patients with ChD, especially in those with Chagas dilated cardiomyopathy, the most severe manifestation of the disease, which frequently leads to heart failure. The aim of this review was to conduct a literature search for studies that have evaluated the determining factors of HRQoL in ChD patients. We included cross-sectional, case-control, cohort, and experimental studies, as well as clinical trials that evaluated the HRQoL in ChD patients aged 18 to 60 years and are presenting an explicit description of statistical analysis. Using a combination of keywords based on Descriptors in Health Sciences (DeCS and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH for searches in PubMed and the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO, 148 studies were found. After exclusions, 12 studies were selected for analysis. Three main findings were extracted from these studies: 1 cardiac involvement is associated with a worse HRQoL in ChD patients; 2 HRQoL is associated with the patients' functional capacity; and 3 simple and inexpensive therapeutic measures are effective for improving HRQoL in ChD patients. Hence, ChD patients' functional capacity, the effectiveness of non-surgical conservative treatment, and cardiac involvement are important determining factors for the HRQoL in ChD patients.

  19. High quality maize centromere 10 sequence reveals evidence of frequent recombination events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Kai Wolfgruber

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The ancestral centromeres of maize contain long stretches of the tandemly arranged CentC repeat. The abundance of tandem DNA repeats and centromeric retrotransposons (CR have presented a significant challenge to completely assembling centromeres using traditional sequencing methods. Here we report a nearly complete assembly of the 1.85 Mb maize centromere 10 from inbred B73 using PacBio technology and BACs from the reference genome project. The error rates estimated from overlapping BAC sequences are 7 x 10-6 and 5 x 10-5 for mismatches and indels, respectively. The number of gaps in the region covered by the reassembly was reduced from 140 in the reference genome to three. Three expressed genes are located between 92 and 477 kb of the inferred ancestral CentC cluster, which lies within the region of highest centromeric repeat density. The improved assembly increased the count of full-length centromeric retrotransposons from 5 to 55 and revealed a 22.7 kb segmental duplication that occurred approximately 121,000 years ago. Our analysis provides evidence of frequent recombination events in the form of partial retrotransposons, deletions within retrotransposons, chimeric retrotransposons, segmental duplications including higher order CentC repeats, a deleted CentC monomer, centromere-proximal inversions, and insertion of mitochondrial sequences. Double-strand DNA break (DSB repair is the most plausible mechanism for these events and may be the major driver of centromere repeat evolution and diversity. This repair appears to be mediated by microhomology, suggesting that tandem repeats may have evolved to facilitate the repair of frequent DSBs in centromeres.

  20. Organizational Variation in Implementation of an Evidence-Based Human Papillomavirus Intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carman, Angela L; McGladrey, Margaret L; Goodman Hoover, Anna; Crosby, Richard A

    2015-08-01

    "1-2-3 Pap" is a video-based intervention designed to improve human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine adherence rates among young women in rural Eastern Kentucky. The efficacy trial for the original intervention linked video exposure with increased likelihood of vaccine series completion among the target audience. Given their historic focus on prevention, local health departments were selected as pilot sites to study implementation of 1-2-3 Pap in a public health setting and identify site-specific variations in its implementation. A mixed-method, pre- and post-comparison pilot study conducted between October 2013 and April 2014 addressed three primary research questions: (1) how specific implementation planning activities using existing organizational resources and processes affect the selection and optimization of dissemination channels for evidence-based public health interventions; (2) what organizational resources, processes, or other attributes facilitate or impede implementation of evidence-based public health interventions; and (3) how variation in dissemination channels corresponds with intervention outcomes. Although analysis conducted in October 2014 found that the pilot study did not generate significant changes in HPV vaccine rates, data yielded from the Organizational Readiness to Change Assessment survey instrument and process evaluation interviews revealed variation in pre-study planning and in the use and coordination of staff, the adaptation of materials provided for implementation, and sites' ability to access HPV vaccine rate data throughout the study. The mixed-method pilot study advances dissemination and implementation science through identification of variation in planning activities and use of organizational resources and processes for implementation of prevention interventions in public health settings. Copyright © 2015 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. A critical appraisal of the methodology and quality of evidence of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of traditional Chinese medical nursing interventions: a systematic review of reviews

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Ying-Hui; Wang, Guo-Hao; Sun, Yi-Rong; Li, Qi; Zhao, Chen; Li, Ge; Si, Jin-Hua; Li, Yan; Lu, Cui; Shang, Hong-Cai

    2016-01-01

    Objective To assess the methodology and quality of evidence of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of traditional Chinese medical nursing (TCMN) interventions in Chinese journals. These interventions include acupressure, massage, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, electroacupuncture and use of Chinese herbal medicines—for example, in enemas, foot massage and compressing the umbilicus. Design A systematic literature search for systematic reviews and meta-analyses of TCMN interventions was performed. Review characteristics were extracted. The methodological quality and the quality of the evidence were evaluated using the Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approaches. Result We included 20 systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and a total of 11 TCMN interventions were assessed in the 20 reviews. The compliance with AMSTAR checklist items ranged from 4.5 to 8 and systematic reviews/meta-analyses were, on average, of medium methodological quality. The quality of the evidence we assessed ranged from very low to moderate; no high-quality evidence was found. The top two causes for downrating confidence in effect estimates among the 31 bodies of evidence assessed were the risk of bias and inconsistency. Conclusions There is room for improvement in the methodological quality of systematic reviews/meta-analyses of TCMN interventions published in Chinese journals. Greater efforts should be devoted to ensuring a more comprehensive search strategy, clearer specification of the interventions of interest in the eligibility criteria and identification of meaningful outcomes for clinicians and patients (consumers). The overall quality of evidence among reviews remains suboptimal, which raise concerns about their roles in influencing clinical practice. Thus, the conclusions in reviews we assessed must be treated with caution and their roles in influencing clinical practice should be limited. A critical

  2. Thawed human sperm quality is influenced by the volume of the cryopreserved specimen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abush, Ayelet; Hauser, Ron; Paz, Gedalia; Kleiman, Sandra E; Lehavi, Ofer; Yavetz, Haim; Yogev, Leah

    2014-03-01

    To test the effect of sperm specimen volume in the freezing-thawing process on specimen quality. Experimental prospective study. Tertiary academic medical center. Fifty high-quality sperm donors donated ∼3 times each. Sperm samples were split into two aliquots and frozen in volumes of 0.25 mL and 0.5 mL. Semen analyses. Eight sperm quality parameters of thawed specimens. Thawed 0.5-mL specimens had a higher percentage of motility and viability, progressive motility concentration, percentage of cells with high mitochondrial membrane potential, and intact chromatin compared with 0.25-mL specimens. Although there were fewer cells with intact acrosomes in the 0.5-mL thawed samples, they had a similar ability to respond to ionophore by acrosome reaction as the 0.25-mL specimens. Both groups had similar percentages of cells with oxidative stress and numbers of cells that bound to the zona pellucida. The remaining air volume in the straw and freezing medium composition had a minimal effect on tested parameters. Better quality thawed human sperm was achieved after cryopreservation of high volumes compared with low volumes of specimens. Air volume in the straw had no influence on specimen quality. Copyright © 2014 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Human requirements to the indoor air quality and the thermal environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanger, P. Ole

    Perceived air quality, general thermal sensation of the occupants and risk of draft, aspects which human comfort in a space depends upon, are reviewed separately based on European Guidelines for Ventilation Requirements in Buildings and on a modified ISO (International Standards Organization) standard 7730 on thermal comfort. The perceived air quality is expressed in decipol or percentage of dissatisfied occupants. The general thermal sensation is expressed by the PMV/PPD indices. The perception of draft is expressed by the model of draft risk. Indoor air quality is mediocre and causes complaints in many buildings. The reason for this is often hidden pollution sources in the building, hitherto ignored in previous ventilation standards. To determine the required ventilation, a method is used in the European Guidelines. The new Guidelines acknowledge all pollution sources in the building, expressed in olfs. The method is based on the desired air quality in the space, the available quality of the outdoor air, the ventilation effectiveness and on the total pollution load in the space. The model of draft risk predicts the percentage of occupants feeling draft as a function of the mean air velocity, the turbulence intensity and the air temperature.

  4. Quality of implementation in an evidence-based family prevention program: “The Family Competence Program”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Orte

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Family prevention programs need to be evidence-based in order to guarantee the success of their implementation. The Family Competence Program (FCP, a Spanish cultural adaptation of the Strengthening Families Program (SFP, has developed different measures and processes to gauge the quality of the implementation. This article is dedicated specifically to two of these measures: the evaluation of the facilitators and the assessment of the family engagement techniques. For evaluating the facilitators, a Delphi technique with experts and professionals is undertaken. For assessing the family techniques, both self-evaluation of trainers and evaluation by families are used. Finding underpin that, in the case of facilitators, is important that, after to skills and experience, they need to understand the theory of change of the program. In the case of family engagement techniques, more detailed, comprehensive talks, discussions and group activities lead to better family engagement outcomes.

  5. Virus-like particle-based human vaccines: quality assessment based on structural and functional properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Qinjian; Li, Shaowei; Yu, Hai; Xia, Ningshao; Modis, Yorgo

    2013-11-01

    Human vaccines against three viruses use recombinant virus-like particles (VLPs) as the antigen: hepatitis B virus, human papillomavirus, and hepatitis E virus. VLPs are excellent prophylactic vaccine antigens because they are self-assembling bionanoparticles (20 to 60 nm in diameter) that expose multiple epitopes on their surface and faithfully mimic the native virions. Here we summarize the long journey of these vaccines from bench to patients. The physical properties and structural features of each recombinant VLP vaccine are described. With the recent licensure of Hecolin against hepatitis E virus adding a third disease indication to prophylactic VLP-based vaccines, we review how the crucial quality attributes of VLP-based human vaccines against all three disease indications were assessed, controlled, and improved during bioprocessing through an array of structural and functional analyses.

  6. Evidence from 617 laboratories in 47 countries for SLMTA-driven improvement in quality management systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katy Yao

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: The Strengthening Laboratory Management Toward Accreditation (SLMTA programme is a large-scale effort to improve the quality of laboratories in resource-limitedcountries.Objectives: This study sought to evaluate the first four years (2010–2013 of SLMTA implementation.Methods: Country-level data were submitted by SLMTA programme leads and compiledglobally. Performance was measured before (baseline and after (exit SLMTA implementation using an audit checklist which results in a percentage score and a rating of zero to five stars. Some laboratories continued to monitor performance in post-exit surveillance audits. We evaluated score improvements using two-tailed t-tests for equal variances and estimated the number of tests performed by SLMTA laboratories based on star level.Results: SLMTA was implemented in 617 laboratories in 47 countries in Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and Southeast Asia. At the baseline audit, the laboratories scored an average of 39% on the checklist and 84% of them were rated below one star. As of December 2013, 302 laboratories had completed the SLMTA programme; mean checklist scores increased from39% at baseline to 64% at exit (p < 0.001 over an average 16-month programme duration. Ninety-two laboratories conducted a surveillance audit at a median of 11 months after their exit audit; 62% further increased their performance. Six SLMTA laboratories have achieved accreditation status. In total, the 617 SLMTA laboratories conduct an estimated 111 milliontests annually. Only 16% of these tests were conducted by laboratories with at least one star at baseline, which increased to 68% of tests after SLMTA training. Thus, approximately 23 million tests are conducted annually by laboratories previously at zero stars that now have one to five stars; this number is projected to increase to 58 million when currently-enrolled laboratories complete the programme.Conclusion: SLMTA has transformed the laboratory

  7. The nutritive and immunoprotective quality of human milk beyond 1 year postpartum: are lactation-duration-based donor exclusions justified?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrin, Maryanne Tigchelaar; Fogleman, April; Allen, Jonathan C

    2013-08-01

    Donor human milk is critical for the fragile preterm infant who does not have access to his or her mother's milk, improving survival rates and quality of survival and decreasing hospital stay. Despite the opening of donor milk banks around the world, shortages continue as demand for donor milk exceeds supply. One potential means of increasing supply is by reducing exclusion criteria that prohibit mothers from donating milk based on duration of lactation. Minimal research has been done on the composition of human milk during the second year of lactation, with most research focusing on the nutritive compounds and not the immunoprotective compounds. Several immunoprotective compounds, including lysozyme, lactoferrin, secretory immunoglobulin A, and oligosaccharides, are abundant in human milk compared to bovine-based infant formula and are partially or fully retained during Holder pasteurization, making them an important differentiating feature of donor milk. A PubMed search was conducted to review studies in human milk composition during the second year of lactation. Limitations of existing research include sample collection protocols, small study sizes, and use of populations that may have been at risk for nutritional deficiencies. Stable concentrations of several components were reported including protein, lactose, iron, copper, lactoferrin, and secretory immunoglobulin A. Lysozyme concentration increased during extended lactation, while zinc and calcium concentrations declined into the second year. Conflicting findings were reported on fat content, and no information was available regarding oligosaccharide content. More research is needed to create evidence-based guidelines regarding the nutritive and immunoprotective value of donor milk throughout the course of lactation.

  8. From Evidence-based Medicine to Human-based Medicine in Psychosomatics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musalek, Michael

    2016-08-23

    Human-based medicine (HbM), a form of psychiatry that focuses not only on fragments and constructs but on the whole person, no longer finds its theoretical basis in the positivism of the modern era, but rather owes its central maxims to the post-modernist ideal that ultimate truths or objectivity in identifying the final cause of illness remain hidden from us for theoretical reasons alone. Evidence-based medicine (EbM) and HbM are thus not mutually exclusive opposites; rather, despite superficial differences in methods of diagnosis and treatment, EbM must be integrated into HbM as an indispensable component of the latter. Probably the most important difference between EbM and HbM lies in the aims and methods of treatment. In HbM the goal is no longer simply to make illnesses disappear but rather to allow the patient to return to a life that is as autonomous and happy as possible. The human being with all his or her potential and limitations once again becomes the measure of all things. This also implies, however, that the multidimensional diagnostics of HbM are oriented not only towards symptoms, pathogenesis, process and understanding but also to a greater degree towards the patient's resources. Treatment options and forms of therapy do not put the disease construct at the centre of the diagnostic and therapeutic interest, but have as their primary aim the reopening of the possibility of a largely autonomous and joyful life for the patient.

  9. The Impact of Human Activities on Microbial Quality of Rivers in the Vhembe District, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Afsatou N. Traoré

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Water quality testing is dictated by microbial agents found at the time of sampling in reference to their acceptable risk levels. Human activities might contaminate valuable water resources and add to the microbial load present in water bodies. Therefore, the effects of human activities on the microbial quality of rivers collected from twelve catchments in the Vhembe District in South Africa were investigated, with samples analyzed for total coliform (TC and Eschericha coli (E. coli contents. Methods: Physical parameters and various human activities were recorded for each sampling site. The Quanti-Tray® method was adopted for the assessment of TC and E. coli contents in the rivers over a two-year period. A multiplex polymerase chain (PCR method was used to characterize the strains of E. coli found. Results: The microbial quality of the rivers was poor with both TC and E. coli contents found to be over acceptable limits set by the South African Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS. No significant difference (p > 0.05 was detected between TC and E. coli risks in dry and wet seasons. All six pathogenic E. coli strains were identified and Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC, atypical Enteropathogenic E. coli (a-EPEC and Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC were the most prevalent E. coli strains detected (respectively, 87%, 86% and 83%. Conclusions: The study indicated that contamination in the majority of sampling sites, due to human activities such as car wash, animal grazing and farming, poses health risks to communities using the rivers for various domestic chores. It is therefore recommended that more education by the respective departments is done to avert pollution of rivers and prevent health risks to the communities in the Vhembe District.

  10. Using social media for knowledge translation, promotion of evidence-based medicine and high-quality information on health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puljak, Livia

    2015-09-15

    Knowledge translation activities may be targeted towards all participants in healthcare practices, including patients, consumers, and policy makers. Hereby, use of social media, namely social network Facebook, as a tool for knowledge translation, promotion of evidence-based medicine and high-quality information on health is described. In March 2013, a Facebook page of the Croatian Cochrane Branch was created and its main content are translated plain language summaries (PLS) of the systematic reviews produced by The Cochrane Collaboration. Since the page was created it has gained 1441 followers, mostly from Croatia and neighboring countries with similar language. Most of the page followers are women aged 25 to 44 and the most popular content is related to pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. Page followers are lay persons, health professionals and journalists, who further disseminate the page content. In summary, social media enables multiple possibilities to engage with target audience and to disseminate the evidence-based medicine content. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  11. Establishing 'quality of life' parameters using behavioural guidelines for humane euthanasia of captive non-human primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambeth, Sp; Schapiro, Sj; Bernacky, Bj; Wilkerson, Gk

    2013-09-01

    Chronic pain and distress are universally accepted conditions that may adversely affect an animal's quality of life (QOL) and lead to the humane euthanasia of an animal. At most research institutions and zoological parks in the USA, a veterinarian, who has physically examined the animal and reviewed the clinical records, ultimately decides when an animal has reached a humane endpoint. To aid in the difficult process of interpreting pain and distress, we have developed specific behavioural guidelines, in addition to standard clinical information, to help define unique characteristics and traits of primates to assess and promote discussion of an individual primate's QOL, and thereby, to assist in the decision-making process regarding euthanasia. These guidelines advocate the creation of a QOL team when the animal is diagnosed with a life-threatening or debilitating chronic condition, or at the time the animal is entered into a terminal study. The team compiles a list of characteristics unique to that individual animal by utilising a questionnaire and a behavioural ethogram. This list enables the team to quantitatively assess any deviations from the established normal behavioural repertoire of that individual. Concurrently, the QOL team determines the number of behavioural deviations that are needed to trigger an immediate discussion of the necessity for humane euthanasia of the animal. The team remains intact once created, and revisits the animal's condition as frequently as deemed necessary. This process improves animal welfare by continuing the quest to optimally define QOL for captive primates, and potentially for all captive animals.

  12. Dietary options and behavior suggested by plant biomarker evidence in an early human habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magill, Clayton R.; Ashley, Gail M.; Domínguez-Rodrigo, Manuel; Freeman, Katherine H.

    2016-03-01

    The availability of plants and freshwater shapes the diets and social behavior of chimpanzees, our closest living relative. However, limited evidence about the spatial relationships shared between ancestral human (hominin) remains, edible resources, refuge, and freshwater leaves the influence of local resources on our species' evolution open to debate. Exceptionally well-preserved organic geochemical fossils-biomarkers-preserved in a soil horizon resolve different plant communities at meter scales across a contiguous 25,000 m2 archaeological land surface at Olduvai Gorge from about 2 Ma. Biomarkers reveal hominins had access to aquatic plants and protective woods in a patchwork landscape, which included a spring-fed wetland near a woodland that both were surrounded by open grassland. Numerous cut-marked animal bones are located within the wooded area, and within meters of wetland vegetation delineated by biomarkers for ferns and sedges. Taken together, plant biomarkers, clustered bone debris, and hominin remains define a clear spatial pattern that places animal butchery amid the refuge of an isolated forest patch and near freshwater with diverse edible resources.

  13. One-trial overshadowing: Evidence for fast specific fear learning in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haesen, Kim; Beckers, Tom; Baeyens, Frank; Vervliet, Bram

    2017-03-01

    Adaptive defensive actions necessitate a fear learning system that is both fast and specific. Fast learning serves to minimize the number of threat confrontations, while specific learning ensures that the acquired fears are tied to threat-relevant cues only. In Pavlovian fear conditioning, fear acquisition is typically studied via repetitive pairings of a single cue with an aversive experience, which is not optimal for the examination of fast specific fear learning. In this study, we adopted the one-trial overshadowing procedure from basic learning research, in which a combination of two visual cues is presented once and paired with an aversive electrical stimulation. Using on-line shock expectancy ratings, skin conductance reactivity and startle reflex modulation as indices of fear learning, we found evidence of strong fear after a single conditioning trial (fast learning) as well as attenuated fear responding when only half of the trained stimulus combination was presented (specific learning). Moreover, specificity of fear responding tended to correlate with levels of state and trait anxiety. These results suggest that one-trial overshadowing can be used as a model to study fast specific fear learning in humans and individual differences therein. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Evidence of disrupted high-risk human papillomavirus DNA in morphologically normal cervices of older women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, Sarah M; Pereira, Merlin; Roberts, Sally; Cuschieri, Kate; Nuovo, Gerard; Athavale, Ramanand; Young, Lawrence; Ganesan, Raji; Woodman, Ciarán B

    2016-02-15

    High-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) causes nearly 100% of cervical carcinoma. However, it remains unclear whether HPV can establish a latent infection, one which may be responsible for the second peak in incidence of cervical carcinoma seen in older women. Therefore, using Ventana in situ hybridisation (ISH), quantitative PCR assays and biomarkers of productive and transforming viral infection, we set out to provide the first robust estimate of the prevalence and characteristics of HPV genomes in FFPE tissue from the cervices of 99 women undergoing hysterectomy for reasons unrelated to epithelial abnormality. Our ISH assay detected HR-HPV in 42% of our study population. The majority of ISH positive samples also tested HPV16 positive using sensitive PCR based assays and were more likely to have a history of preceding cytological abnormality. Analysis of subsets of this population revealed HR-HPV to be transcriptionally inactive as there was no evidence of a productive or transforming infection. Critically, the E2 gene was always disrupted in those HPV16 positive cases which were assessed. These findings point to a reservoir of transcriptionally silent, disrupted HPV16 DNA in morphologically normal cervices, re-expression of which could explain the increase in incidence of cervical cancer observed in later life.

  15. Evidence that the Human Pathogenic Fungus Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii May Have Evolved in Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litvintseva, Anastasia P.; Carbone, Ignazio; Rossouw, Jenny; Thakur, Rameshwari; Govender, Nelesh P.; Mitchell, Thomas G.

    2011-01-01

    Most of the species of fungi that cause disease in mammals, including Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii (serotype A), are exogenous and non-contagious. Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii is associated worldwide with avian and arboreal habitats. This airborne, opportunistic pathogen is profoundly neurotropic and the leading cause of fungal meningitis. Patients with HIV/AIDS have been ravaged by cryptococcosis – an estimated one million new cases occur each year, and mortality approaches 50%. Using phylogenetic and population genetic analyses, we present evidence that C. neoformans var. grubii may have evolved from a diverse population in southern Africa. Our ecological studies support the hypothesis that a few of these strains acquired a new environmental reservoir, the excreta of feral pigeons (Columba livia), and were globally dispersed by the migration of birds and humans. This investigation also discovered a novel arboreal reservoir for highly diverse strains of C. neoformans var. grubii that are restricted to southern Africa, the mopane tree (Colophospermum mopane). This finding may have significant public health implications because these primal strains have optimal potential for evolution and because mopane trees contribute to the local economy as a source of timber, folkloric remedies and the edible mopane worm. PMID:21589919

  16. Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses (VEEV in Argentina: serological evidence of human infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Belén Pisano

    Full Text Available Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses (VEEV are responsible for human diseases in the Americas, producing severe or mild illness with symptoms indistinguishable from dengue and other arboviral diseases. For this reason, many cases remain without certain diagnosis. Seroprevalence studies for VEEV subtypes IAB, ID, IF (Mosso das Pedras virus; MDPV, IV (Pixuna virus; PIXV and VI (Rio Negro virus; RNV were conducted in persons from Northern provinces of Argentina: Salta, Chaco and Corrientes, using plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT. RNV was detected in all studied provinces. Chaco presented the highest prevalence of this virus (14.1%. Antibodies against VEEV IAB and -for the first time- against MDPV and PIXV were also detected in Chaco province. In Corrientes, seroprevalence against RNV was 1.3% in the pediatric population, indicating recent infections. In Salta, this was the first investigation of VEEV members, and antibodies against RNV and PIXV were detected. These results provide evidence of circulation of many VEE viruses in Northern Argentina, showing that surveillance of these infectious agents should be intensified.

  17. Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Viruses (VEEV) in Argentina: Serological Evidence of Human Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisano, María Belén; Oria, Griselda; Beskow, Geraldine; Aguilar, Javier; Konigheim, Brenda; Cacace, María Luisa; Aguirre, Luis; Stein, Marina; Contigiani, Marta Silvia

    2013-01-01

    Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses (VEEV) are responsible for human diseases in the Americas, producing severe or mild illness with symptoms indistinguishable from dengue and other arboviral diseases. For this reason, many cases remain without certain diagnosis. Seroprevalence studies for VEEV subtypes IAB, ID, IF (Mosso das Pedras virus; MDPV), IV (Pixuna virus; PIXV) and VI (Rio Negro virus; RNV) were conducted in persons from Northern provinces of Argentina: Salta, Chaco and Corrientes, using plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT). RNV was detected in all studied provinces. Chaco presented the highest prevalence of this virus (14.1%). Antibodies against VEEV IAB and -for the first time- against MDPV and PIXV were also detected in Chaco province. In Corrientes, seroprevalence against RNV was 1.3% in the pediatric population, indicating recent infections. In Salta, this was the first investigation of VEEV members, and antibodies against RNV and PIXV were detected. These results provide evidence of circulation of many VEE viruses in Northern Argentina, showing that surveillance of these infectious agents should be intensified. PMID:24349588

  18. Cortical oscillations in auditory perception and speech: evidence for two temporal windows in human auditory cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huan eLuo

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Natural sounds, including vocal communication sounds, contain critical information at multiple time scales. Two essential temporal modulation rates in speech have been argued to be in the low gamma band (~20-80 ms duration information and the theta band (~150-300 ms, corresponding to segmental and syllabic modulation rates, respectively. On one hypothesis, auditory cortex implements temporal integration using time constants closely related to these values. The neural correlates of a proposed dual temporal window mechanism in human auditory cortex remain poorly understood. We recorded MEG responses from participants listening to non-speech auditory stimuli with different temporal structures, created by concatenating frequency-modulated segments of varied segment durations. We show that these non-speech stimuli with temporal structure matching speech-relevant scales (~25 ms and ~200 ms elicit reliable phase tracking in the corresponding associated oscillatory frequencies (low gamma and theta bands. In contrast, stimuli with non-matching temporal structure do not. Furthermore, the topography of theta band phase tracking shows rightward lateralization while gamma band phase tracking occurs bilaterally. The results support the hypothesis that there exists multi-time resolution processing in cortex on discontinuous scales and provide evidence for an asymmetric organization of temporal analysis (asymmetrical sampling in time, AST. The data argue for a macroscopic-level neural mechanism underlying multi-time resolution processing: the sliding and resetting of intrinsic temporal windows on privileged time scales.

  19. Evidence for intermuscle difference in slack angle in human triceps surae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirata, Kosuke; Kanehisa, Hiroaki; Miyamoto-Mikami, Eri; Miyamoto, Naokazu

    2015-04-13

    This study examined whether the slack angle (i.e., the joint angle corresponding to the slack length) varies among the synergists of the human triceps surae in vivo. By using ultrasound shear wave elastography, shear modulus of each muscle of the triceps surae was measured during passive stretching from 50° of plantar flexion in the knee extended position at an angular velocity of 1°/s in 9 healthy adult subjects. The slack angle of each muscle was determined from the ankle joint angle-shear modulus relationship as the first increase in shear modulus. The slack angle was significantly greater in the medial gastrocnemius (20.7±6.7° plantarflexed position) than in the lateral gastrocnemius (14.9±6.7° plantarflexed position) and soleus (2.0±4.8° dorsiflexed position) and greater in the lateral gastrocnemius than in the soleus. This study provided evidence that the slack angle differs among the triceps surae; the medial gastrocnemius produced passive force at the most plantarflexed position while the slack angle of the soleus was the most dorsiflexed position.

  20. Chiral recognition of metalaxyl enantiomers by human serum albumin: evidence from molecular modeling and photophysical approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Fei; Li, Xiu-Nan; Diao, Jian-Xiong; Sun, Ye; Zhang, Li; Sun, Ying

    2012-06-01

    Metalaxyl is an acylamine fungicide, belonging to the most widely known member of the amide group. This task is aimed to scrutinize binding region and spatial structural change of principal vector human serum albumin (HSA) complex with (R)-/(S)-metalaxyl by exploiting molecular modeling, steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence, and circular dichroism (CD) approaches. According to molecular modeling, (R)-metalaxyl is situated within subdomains IIA and IIIA and the affinity of site I with (R)-metalaxyl is greater than site II, whereas (S)-metalaxyl is only located at subdomain IIA and the affinity of (S)-metalaxyl with site I is superior compared with that with (R)-metalaxyl. This coincides with the competitive ligand binding, guanidine hydrochloride-induced unfolding of protein, and hydrophobic 8-anilino-1-naphthalenesulfonic acid experiments; the acting forces between (R)-/(S)-metalaxyl and HSA are hydrophobic, π-π interactions, and hydrogen bonds, as derived from molecular modeling. Fluorescence emission manifested that the complex of (R)-/(S)-metalaxyl to HSA is the formation of adduct with an affinity of 10(4) M(-1), which corroborates the time-resolved fluorescence that the static type was operated. Furthermore, the changes of far-UV CD spectra evidence the polypeptide chain of HSA partially unfolded after conjugation with (R)-/(S)-metalaxyl. Through this work, we envisage that it can offer central clues on the biodistribution, absorption, and bioaccumulation of (R)-/(S)-metalaxyl. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Ab interno trabeculectomy: ultrastructural evidence and early tissue response in a human eye.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrari, Ettore; Ortolani, Fulvia; Petrelli, Lucia; Contin, Magali; Pognuz, Derri Roman; Marchini, Maurizio; Bandello, Francesco

    2007-10-01

    To report the results of ultrastructural analysis of the postoperative effects of ab interno trabeculectomy in a human eye. Department of Ophthalmology, Palmanova Hospital, Palmanova, Udine, Italy. A 60-year-old woman with cataract and glaucoma had enucleation for a choroidal melanoma 10 days after ab interno trabeculectomy combined with phacoemulsification. A second ab interno trabeculectomy was performed after enucleation to evaluate the outcomes of the previous trabeculectomy. Light and transmission electron microscopy analyses were performed on samples excised from areas (1) not subjected to a procedure (control samples), (2) that had ab interno trabeculectomy before enucleation, and (3) that had ab interno trabeculectomy immediately after enucleation. Control samples showed normal trabecular features. Semithin sections of all ab interno trabeculectomy samples showed full-thickness removal of trabeculum segments, with Schlemm's canal lumen opening into the anterior chamber and apparent preservation of the adjacent structures. On ultrathin sections of samples that had ab interno trabeculectomy before enucleation, the endothelium lining the outer wall of Schlemm's canal and other angle components showed intact ultrastructural features. In trabecular beams that were not removed, the extracellular matrix appeared to have maintained its fine texture and was free of activated fibroblasts or leucocyte infiltrates. Observations confirm that ab interno trabeculectomy causes direct communication between Schlemm's canal lumen and the anterior chamber in vivo and immediately after enucleation during the early postoperative period. The absence of an evident inflammatory reaction in the examined case should be considered with caution because of possible tumor-induced immune suppression.

  2. Blobs versus bars: psychophysical evidence supports two types of orientation response in human color vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gheiratmand, Mina; Meese, Tim S; Mullen, Kathy T

    2013-01-02

    The classic hypothesis of Livingstone and Hubel (1984, 1987) proposed two types of color pathways in primate visual cortex based on recordings from single cells: a segregated, modular pathway that signals color but provides little information about shape or form and a second pathway that signals color differences and so defines forms without the need to specify their colors. A major problem has been to reconcile this neurophysiological hypothesis with the behavioral data. A wealth of psychophysical studies has demonstrated that color vision has orientation-tuned responses and little impairment on form related tasks, but these have not revealed any direct evidence for nonoriented mechanisms. Here we use a psychophysical method of subthreshold summation across orthogonal orientations for isoluminant red-green gratings in monocular and dichoptic viewing conditions to differentiate between nonoriented and orientation-tuned responses to color contrast. We reveal nonoriented color responses at low spatial frequencies (0.25-0.375 c/deg) under monocular conditions changing to orientation-tuned responses at higher spatial frequencies (1.5 c/deg) and under binocular conditions. We suggest that two distinct pathways coexist in color vision at the behavioral level, revealed at different spatial scales: one is isotropic, monocular, and best equipped for the representation of surface color, and the other is orientation-tuned, binocular, and selective for shape and form. This advances our understanding of the organization of the neural pathways involved in human color vision and provides a strong link between neurophysiological and behavioral data.

  3. Two independent killing mechanisms of Candida albicans by human neutrophils: evidence from innate immunity defects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gazendam, Roel P; van Hamme, John L; Tool, Anton T J; van Houdt, Michel; Verkuijlen, Paul J J H; Herbst, Martin; Liese, Johannes G; van de Veerdonk, Frank L; Roos, Dirk; van den Berg, Timo K; Kuijpers, Taco W

    2014-07-24

    Invasive fungal infections, accompanied by high rates of mortality, represent an increasing problem in medicine. Neutrophils are the major effector immune cells in fungal killing. Based on studies with neutrophils from patients with defined genetic defects, we provide evidence that human neutrophils use 2 distinct and independent phagolysosomal mechanisms to kill Candida albicans. The first mechanism for the killing of unopsonized C albicans was found to be dependent on complement receptor 3 (CR3) and the signaling proteins phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase and caspase recruitment domain-containing protein 9 (CARD9), but was independent of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase activity. The second mechanism for the killing of opsonized C albicans was strictly dependent on Fcγ receptors, protein kinase C (PKC), and reactive oxygen species production by the NADPH oxidase system. Each of the 2 pathways of Candida killing required Syk tyrosine kinase activity, but dectin-1 was dispensable for both of them. These data provide an explanation for the variable clinical presentation of fungal infection in patients suffering from different immune defects, including dectin-1 deficiency, CARD9 deficiency, or chronic granulomatous disease.

  4. Evidence that the human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii may have evolved in Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anastasia P Litvintseva

    Full Text Available Most of the species of fungi that cause disease in mammals, including Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii (serotype A, are exogenous and non-contagious. Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii is associated worldwide with avian and arboreal habitats. This airborne, opportunistic pathogen is profoundly neurotropic and the leading cause of fungal meningitis. Patients with HIV/AIDS have been ravaged by cryptococcosis--an estimated one million new cases occur each year, and mortality approaches 50%. Using phylogenetic and population genetic analyses, we present evidence that C. neoformans var. grubii may have evolved from a diverse population in southern Africa. Our ecological studies support the hypothesis that a few of these strains acquired a new environmental reservoir, the excreta of feral pigeons (Columba livia, and were globally dispersed by the migration of birds and humans. This investigation also discovered a novel arboreal reservoir for highly diverse strains of C. neoformans var. grubii that are restricted to southern Africa, the mopane tree (Colophospermum mopane. This finding may have significant public health implications because these primal strains have optimal potential for evolution and because mopane trees contribute to the local economy as a source of timber, folkloric remedies and the edible mopane worm.

  5. Vitamin E As a Potential Interventional Treatment for Metabolic Syndrome: Evidence from Animal and Human Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sok Kuan Wong

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available A constellation of medical conditions inclusive of central obesity, hyperglycemia, hypertension, and dyslipidemia is known as metabolic syndrome (MetS. The safest option in curtailing the progression of MetS is through maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which by itself, is a long-term commitment entailing much determination. A combination of pharmacological and non-pharmacological approach, as well as lifestyle modification is a more holistic alternative in the management of MetS. Vitamin E has been revealed to possess anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-hypertensive and anti-hypercholesterolemic properties. The pathways regulated by vitamin E are critical in the development of MetS and its components. Therefore, we postulate that vitamin E may exert some health benefits on MetS patients. This review intends to summarize the evidence in animal and human studies on the effects of vitamin E and articulate the contrasting potential of tocopherol (TF and tocotrienol (T3 in preventing the medical conditions associated with MetS. As a conclusion, this review suggests that vitamin E may be a promising agent for attenuating MetS.

  6. Ultrastructural Evidence of Exosome Secretion by Progenitor Cells in Adult Mouse Myocardium and Adult Human Cardiospheres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucio Barile

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The demonstration of beneficial effects of cell therapy despite the persistence of only few transplanted cells in vivo suggests secreted factors may be the active component of this treatment. This so-called paracrine hypothesis is supported by observations that culture media conditioned by progenitor cells contain growth factors that mediate proangiogenic and cytoprotective effects. Cardiac progenitor cells in semi-suspension culture form spherical clusters (cardiospheres that deliver paracrine signals to neighboring cells. A key component of paracrine secretion is exosomes, membrane vesicles that are stored intracellularly in endosomal compartments and are secreted when these structures fuse with the cell plasma membrane. Exosomes have been identified as the active component of proangiogenic effects of bone marrow CD34+ stem cells in mice and the regenerative effects of embryonic mesenchymal stem cells in infarcted hearts in pigs and mice. Here, we provide electron microscopic evidence of exosome secretion by progenitor cells in mouse myocardium and human cardiospheres. Exosomes are emerging as an attractive vector of paracrine signals delivered by progenitor cells. They can be stored as an “off-the-shelf” product. As such, exosomes have the potential for circumventing many of the limitations of viable cells for therapeutic applications in regenerative medicine.

  7. Physical and human influences on fluvial water quality in the Tagus river catchment, Portugal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunes, A.

    2009-04-01

    Rivers are important resources of drinkable water, ecosystems with a high biologic potency and places of entertainment. Water quality at the catchment scale depends on climate, geology, geomorphology, soils and mainly of land use and land cover. Different activities such as agriculture, livestock, industrial and urban drains have promoted the deterioration of the fluvial water quality. The announced climate changes, the increase of food requirements, as well as the urban concentration of people pose new challenges for the assessment and sustainable management of water quality on the catchment scale. At present about 2/3 of portuguese population live near coast, in urban centers. Since the last three decades, the largest part of the marginal agricultural land has been abandoned whilst the most productive soils have experienced an intensification on its productivity. The Tagus river catchment, with an area of 24.850 km2 only in the Portuguese territory, shows very important contrasts in climate, geology, geomorphology, land use and population density. The main objectives of this work are to evaluate and compare the surface water quality in different sub catchments of Tagus river and to contribute to a better understanding of how physical and human factors (such as geology, precipitation, temperature, runoff, land use and land cover and population density) interfere in their spatial-temporal variability. In order to achieve this issue, twenty sub catchments were selected. The chosen catchments show different locations and areas, and a quite long data series of physical, chemical and biology properties of water, such as nitrates, phosphates, dissolved oxygen, total coliforms, etc. Making use of Geographic Information System (GIS) tools, a database was created for each sub-catchment containing all the physical and human characteristics. Afterwards, statistical analysis was carried out by using SPSS programme (11.0 for Windows. One-way analysis of variance and the Tukey

  8. Formative and summative assessment of science in English primary schools: evidence from the Primary Science Quality Mark

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earle, Sarah

    2014-05-01

    Background:Since the discontinuation of Standard Attainment Tests (SATs) in science at age 11 in England, pupil performance data in science reported to the UK government by each primary school has relied largely on teacher assessment undertaken in the classroom. Purpose:The process by which teachers are making these judgements has been unclear, so this study made use of the extensive Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM) database to obtain a 'snapshot' (as of March 2013) of the approaches taken by 91 English primary schools to the formative and summative assessment of pupils' learning in science. PSQM is an award scheme for UK primary schools. It requires the science subject leader (co-ordinator) in each school to reflect upon and develop practice over the course of one year, then upload a set of reflections and supporting evidence to the database to support their application. One of the criteria requires the subject leader to explain how science is assessed within the school. Sample:The data set consists of the electronic text in the assessment section of all 91 PSQM primary schools which worked towards the Quality Mark in the year April 2012 to March 2013. Design and methods:Content analysis of a pre-existing qualitative data set. Text in the assessment section of each submission was first coded as describing formative or summative processes, then sub-coded into different strategies used. Results:A wide range of formative and summative approaches were reported, which tended to be described separately, with few links between them. Talk-based strategies are widely used for formative assessment, with some evidence of feedback to pupils. Whilst the use of tests or tracking grids for summative assessment is widespread, few schools rely on one system alone. Enquiry skills and conceptual knowledge were often assessed separately. Conclusions:There is little consistency in the approaches being used by teachers to assess science in English primary schools. Nevertheless

  9. What do Social Processes mean for Quality of Human Resource Practice?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kjeld Nielsen

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Well implemented human resource practice (HRP is linked to increased performance, innovation, and the well-being of both managers and employees. In the literature, a distinction between the hard and the soft HRM-models is drawn: the hard model focuses on employees as a cost, whereas the soft HRM-model treats them as a potential Nielsen (2008a. However, little is known about the informal aspects of HRP and which social processes actually lead to implementation success or failure. The purpose of this paper is to develop a concept of social processes between managers and employees that can increase the implementation and quality of HR-performance Two studies of HRP within two manufacturing companies are used to illustrate the pros and cons of this new theoretical concept from a performance perspective. Involvement, commitment, and competence development are identified as key aspects of the quality of HRP. Moreover, a good psychological working environment and systematic priority of HRP are essential contextual factors that can enable or hinder social processes. Otherwise, production pressure and power relations between managers and employees can hinder the implementation of the new concept. The concept of social processes can help HRP to contribute on social processes between managers and employees as important aspects of quality in work with human resources. However, the influence of team organization and the social processes between employees needs to be explored further.

  10. [Evaluation of the quality of the human spermatozoon: comparison between spermatic DNA integrity and semen variables].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Ibis; Colmenares, Melisa; Berrueta-Carrillo, Leidith; Gomez-Perez, Roald; Montes, Henry; Berrueta, Lisbeth; Salmen, Siham; Osuna, Jesús Alfonso

    2010-03-01

    Semen analysis does not have an absolute predictive value on fertility, however it is a reflection of male fertility potential, which is related to its spermatozoa quality and other semen variables. Great variability in human semen parameters has been demonstrated within a single individual, an observation that could explain why a male with low semen quality can successfully fertilize an egg. Although conventional semen analysis, such as sperm concentration, motility and morphology, provide important information about the clinical status of male fertility, new procedures to predict the sperm functional capability have been developed in the last decade, such as analysis of nuclear DNA integrity, which have improved considerably the clinical diagnosis of male infertility, and increased the knowledge about spermatozoa function. DNA fragmentation consist in interruptions, both in single and double DNA strains, that frequently occur in sperm samples from infertile patients. We have conducted a clinical study in semen samples from patients who have attended the Andrology laboratory of the University of Los Andes, between March 2007 and March 2009. The aim of this study was to compare sperm DNA integrity, analyzed by flow cytometry, with traditional semen parameters. Our results show remarkable correlations between conventional human semen variables and sperm chromatin integrity, contributing to asses an integral evaluation of sperm quality allowing the analysis of its fertilizing potential in clinical studies.

  11. Quality management and safety culture in medicine – Do standard quality reports provide insights into the human factor of patient safety?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wischet, Werner

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available In 1999 the Institute of Medicine (IOM published the landmark report “To err is human: building a safer healthcare system” highlighting critical deficiencies within the area of patient safety. As a consequence, safety culture evolved as a core component of quality management in medicine. Purpose of the investigation at hand was to find out to what extent this is reflected in standard quality reports issued by German hospitals providing maximum medical care. Reports issued for the year 2006 were analysed with respect to the appearance of indicators for the presence of a safety culture. Results suggest that despite the huge awareness for patient safety caused by the IOM report, the topic of safety culture does not get the anticipated attention within the quality reports. This may indicate that the current requirements for the quality reports do not facilitate transparency when it comes to the human factor of patient safety.

  12. Further human evidence for striatal dopamine release induced by administration of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): selectivity to limbic striatum.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bossong, MG; Mehta, Mitul; van Berckel, Bart; Howes, Oliver; Kahn, RS; Stokes, Paul

    2015-01-01

    RATIONALE: Elevated dopamine function is thought to play a key role in both the rewarding effects of addictive drugs and the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Accumulating epidemiological evidence indicates that cannabis use is a risk factor for the development of schizophrenia. However, human

  13. Quality control in microarray assessment of gene expression in human airway epithelium

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    Attiyeh Marc A

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microarray technology provides a powerful tool for defining gene expression profiles of airway epithelium that lend insight into the pathogenesis of human airway disorders. The focus of this study was to establish rigorous quality control parameters to ensure that microarray assessment of the airway epithelium is not confounded by experimental artifact. Samples (total n = 223 of trachea, large and small airway epithelium were collected by fiberoptic bronchoscopy of 144 individuals and hybridized to Affymetrix microarrays. The pre- and post-chip quality control (QC criteria established, included: (1 RNA quality, assessed by RNA Integrity Number (RIN ≥ 7.0; (2 cRNA transcript integrity, assessed by signal intensity ratio of GAPDH 3' to 5' probe sets ≤ 3.0; and (3 the multi-chip normalization scaling factor ≤ 10.0. Results Of the 223 samples, all three criteria were assessed in 191; of these 184 (96.3% passed all three criteria. For the remaining 32 samples, the RIN was not available, and only the other two criteria were used; of these 29 (90.6% passed these two criteria. Correlation coefficients for pairwise comparisons of expression levels for 100 maintenance genes in which at least one array failed the QC criteria (average Pearson r = 0.90 ± 0.04 were significantly lower (p Conclusion Based on the aberrant maintenance gene data generated from samples failing the established QC criteria, we propose that the QC criteria outlined in this study can accurately distinguish high quality from low quality data, and can be used to delete poor quality microarray samples before proceeding to higher-order biological analyses and interpretation.

  14. Use of Ex Vivo Normothermic Perfusion for Quality Assessment of Discarded Human Donor Pancreases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, A D; Hamed, M O; Mallon, D H; Brais, R J; Gribble, F M; Scott, M A; Howat, W J; Bradley, J A; Bolton, E M; Pettigrew, G J; Hosgood, S A; Nicholson, M L; Saeb-Parsy, K

    2015-09-01

    A significant number of pancreases procured for transplantation are deemed unsuitable due to concerns about graft quality and the associated risk of complications. However, this decision is subjective and some declined grafts may be suitable for transplantation. Ex vivo normothermic perfusion (EVNP) prior to transplantation may allow a more objective assessment of graft quality and reduce discard rates. We report ex vivo normothermic perfusion of human pancreases procured but declined for transplantation, with ABO-compatible warm oxygenated packed red blood cells for 1-2 h. Five declined human pancreases were assessed using this technique after a median cold ischemia time of 13 h 19 min. One pancreas, with cold ischemia over 30 h, did not appear viable and was excluded. In the remaining pancreases, blood flow and pH were maintained throughout perfusion. Insulin secretion was observed in all four pancreases, but was lowest in an older donation after cardiac death pancreas. Amylase levels were highest in a gland with significant fat infiltration. This is the first study to assess the perfusion, injury, as measured by amylase, and exocrine function of human pancreases using EVNP and demonstrates the feasibility of the approach, although further refinements are required.

  15. Quality management and safety culture in medicine – Do standard quality reports provide insights into the human factor of patient safety?

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    In 1999 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published the landmark report "To err is human: building a safer healthcare system" highlighting critical deficiencies within the area of patient safety. As a consequence, safety culture evolved as a core component of quality management in medicine. Purpose of the investigation at hand was to find out to what extent this is reflected in standard quality reports issued by German hospitals providing maximum medical care. Reports issued for the year 2006 w...

  16. Do strategies to improve quality of maternal and child health care in lower and middle income countries lead to improved outcomes? A review of the evidence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoe Dettrick

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: Efforts to scale-up maternal and child health services in lower and middle income countries will fail if services delivered are not of good quality. Although there is evidence of strategies to increase the quality of health services, less is known about the way these strategies affect health system goals and outcomes. We conducted a systematic review of the literature to examine this relationship. METHODS: We undertook a search of MEDLINE, SCOPUS and CINAHL databases, limiting the results to studies including strategies specifically aimed at improving quality that also reported a measure of quality and at least one indicator related to health system outcomes. Variation in study methodologies prevented further quantitative analysis; instead we present a narrative review of the evidence. FINDINGS: Methodologically, the quality of evidence was poor, and dominated by studies of individual facilities. Studies relied heavily on service utilisation as a measure of strategy success, which did not always correspond to improved quality. The majority of studies targeted the competency of staff and adequacy of facilities. No strategies addressed distribution systems, public-private partnership or equity. Key themes identified were the conflict between perceptions of patients and clinical measures of quality and the need for holistic approaches to health system interventions. CONCLUSION: Existing evidence linking quality improvement strategies to improved MNCH outcomes is extremely limited. Future research would benefit from the inclusion of more appropriate indicators and additional focus on non-facility determinants of health service quality such as health policy, supply distribution, community acceptability and equity of care.

  17. Simple, inexpensive technique for high-quality smartphone fundus photography in human and animal eyes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haddock, Luis J; Kim, David Y; Mukai, Shizuo

    2013-01-01

    Purpose. We describe in detail a relatively simple technique of fundus photography in human and rabbit eyes using a smartphone, an inexpensive app for the smartphone, and instruments that are readily available in an ophthalmic practice. Methods. Fundus images were captured with a smartphone and a 20D lens with or without a Koeppe lens. By using the coaxial light source of the phone, this system works as an indirect ophthalmoscope that creates a digital image of the fundus. The application whose software allows for independent control of focus, exposure, and light intensity during video filming was used. With this app, we recorded high-definition videos of the fundus and subsequently extracted high-quality, still images from the video clip. Results. The described technique of smartphone fundus photography was able to capture excellent high-quality fundus images in both children under anesthesia and in awake adults. Excellent images were acquired with the 20D lens alone in the clinic, and the addition of the Koeppe lens in the operating room resulted in the best quality images. Successful photodocumentation of rabbit fundus was achieved in control and experimental eyes. Conclusion. The currently described system was able to take consistently high-quality fundus photographs in patients and in animals using readily available instruments that are portable with simple power sources. It is relatively simple to master, is relatively inexpensive, and can take advantage of the expanding mobile-telephone networks for telemedicine.

  18. Simple, Inexpensive Technique for High-Quality Smartphone Fundus Photography in Human and Animal Eyes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis J. Haddock

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. We describe in detail a relatively simple technique of fundus photography in human and rabbit eyes using a smartphone, an inexpensive app for the smartphone, and instruments that are readily available in an ophthalmic practice. Methods. Fundus images were captured with a smartphone and a 20D lens with or without a Koeppe lens. By using the coaxial light source of the phone, this system works as an indirect ophthalmoscope that creates a digital image of the fundus. The application whose software allows for independent control of focus, exposure, and light intensity during video filming was used. With this app, we recorded high-definition videos of the fundus and subsequently extracted high-quality, still images from the video clip. Results. The described technique of smartphone fundus photography was able to capture excellent high-quality fundus images in both children under anesthesia and in awake adults. Excellent images were acquired with the 20D lens alone in the clinic, and the addition of the Koeppe lens in the operating room resulted in the best quality images. Successful photodocumentation of rabbit fundus was achieved in control and experimental eyes. Conclusion. The currently described system was able to take consistently high-quality fundus photographs in patients and in animals using readily available instruments that are portable with simple power sources. It is relatively simple to master, is relatively inexpensive, and can take advantage of the expanding mobile-telephone networks for telemedicine.

  19. Associations among depression, suicidal behavior, and quality of life in patients with human immunodeficiency virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serafini, Gianluca; Montebovi, Franco; Lamis, Dorian A; Erbuto, Denise; Girardi, Paolo; Amore, Mario; Pompili, Maurizio

    2015-01-01

    AIM: To investigate the potential associations among major depression, quality of life, and suicidal behavior in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients. METHODS: A detailed MEDLINE search was carried out to identify all articles and book chapters in English published from January 1995 to January 2015. RESULTS: Based on the main findings, the prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD) ranged from 14.0% to 27.2%. Furthermore, the prevalence of suicidal ideation varied from 13.6% to 31.0% whereas, attempted suicides were reported to range from 3.9% to 32.7%. Interestingly, various associated risk factors for both depression and suicide were identified in HIV patients. Finally, consistent associations were reported among MDD, suicidal ideation, and poor quality of life in individuals living with HIV. CONCLUSION: Although additional studies are needed to elucidate this complex association, our results suggest the importance of early detection of both MDD and suicidality in patients living with HIV. PMID:26279991

  20. Bacterial zoonoses of fishes: a review and appraisal of evidence for linkages between fish and human infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gauthier, David T

    2015-01-01

    Human contact with and consumption of fishes presents hazards from a range of bacterial zoonotic infections. Whereas many bacterial pathogens have been presented as fish-borne zoonoses on the basis of epidemiological and phenotypic evidence, genetic identity between fish and human isolates is not frequently examined or does not provide support for transmission between these hosts. In order to accurately assess the zoonotic risk from exposure to fishes in the context of aquaculture, wild fisheries and ornamental aquaria, it is important to critically examine evidence of linkages between bacteria infecting fishes and humans. This article reviews bacteria typically presented as fish-borne zoonoses, and examines the current strength of evidence for this classification. Of bacteria generally described as fish-borne zoonoses, only Mycobacterium spp., Streptococcus iniae, Clostridium botulinum, and Vibrio vulnificus appear to be well-supported as zoonoses in the strict sense. Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, while transmissible from fishes to humans, does not cause disease in fishes and is therefore excluded from the list. Some epidemiological and/or molecular linkages have been made between other bacteria infecting both fishes and humans, but more work is needed to elucidate routes of transmission and the identity of these pathogens in their respective hosts at the genomic level.