WorldWideScience

Sample records for rapid biological assessment

  1. Diagnosis of tetanus immunization status: multicenter assessment of a rapid biological test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colombet, Isabelle; Saguez, Colette; Sanson-Le Pors, Marie-José; Coudert, Benoît; Chatellier, Gilles; Espinoza, Pierre

    2005-09-01

    Diagnosis of tetanus immunization status by medical interview of patients with wounds is poor. Many protected patients receive unnecessary vaccine or immunoglobulin, and unprotected patients may receive nothing. The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and accuracy of the Tetanos Quick Stick (TQS) rapid finger prick stick test in the emergency department for determining immunization status. We designed a prospective multicenter study for blinded comparison of TQS with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Adults referred for open wounds in 37 French hospital emergency departments had the TQS after receiving standard care (emergency-TQS). TQS was also performed in the hospital laboratory on total blood (blood/lab-TQS) and serum (serum/lab-TQS). ELISA was performed with the same blood sample at a central laboratory. We assessed concordance between emergency-TQS and blood/lab-TQS by the kappa test and the diagnostic accuracy (likelihood ratios) of medical interview, emergency-TQS, and lab-TQS. ELISA was positive in 94.6% of the 988 patients included. Concordance between blood/emergency-TQS and blood/lab-TQS results was moderate (kappa=0.6), with a high proportion of inconclusive blood/emergency-TQS tests (9.8%). Likelihood ratios for immunization were 3.0 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.8 to 5.1), 36.6 (95% CI, 5.3 to 255.3), 89.1 (95% CI, 5.6 to 1,405.0), and 92.7 (95% CI, 5.9 to 1,462.0) for medical interview, blood/emergency-TQS, blood/lab-TQS, and serum/lab-TQS, respectively. The sensitivity of the blood/emergency-TQS was 76.7%, and the specificity was 98% by reference to the ELISA. TQS use in the emergency room could make tetanus prevention more accurate if its technical feasibility were improved, and our assessment will be supplemented by a cost effectiveness study.

  2. Rapid classification of biological components

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thompson, Vicki S. (Idaho Falls, ID); Barrett, Karen B. (Meridian, ID); Key, Diane E. (Idaho Falls, ID)

    2010-03-23

    A method is disclosed for analyzing a biological sample by antibody profiling for identifying forensic samples or for detecting the presence of an analyte. In an illustrative embodiment of the invention, the analyte is a drug, such as marijuana, cocaine (crystalline tropane alkaloid), methamphetamine, methyltestosterone, or mesterolone. The method involves attaching antigens to a surface of a solid support in a preselected pattern to form an array wherein the locations of the antigens are known; contacting the array with the biological sample such that a portion of antibodies in the sample reacts with and binds to antigens in the array, thereby forming immune complexes; washing away antibodies that do not form immune complexes; and detecting the immune complexes, thereby forming an antibody profile. Forensic samples are identified by comparing a sample from an unknown source with a sample from a known source. Further, an assay, such as a test for illegal drug use, can be coupled to a test for identity such that the results of the assay can be positively correlated to a subject's identity.

  3. Rapid classification of biological components

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thompson, Vicki S.; Barrett, Karen B.; Key, Diane E.

    2006-01-24

    A method is disclosed for analyzing a biological sample by antibody profiling for identifying forensic samples or for detecting the presence of an analyte. In an illustrative embodiment of the invention, the analyte is a drug, such as marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, methyltestosterone, or mesterolone. The method involves attaching antigens to the surface of a solid support in a preselected pattern to form an array wherein the locations of the antigens are known; contacting the array with the biological sample such that a portion of antibodies in the sample reacts with and binds to antigens in the array, thereby forming immune complexes; washing away antibodies that do form immune complexes; and detecting the immune complexes, thereby forming an antibody profile. Forensic samples are identified by comparing a sample from an unknown source with a sample from a known source. Further, an assay, such as a test for illegal drug use, can be coupled to a test for identity such that the results of the assay can be positively correlated to the subject's identity.

  4. Rapid classification of biological components

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thompson, Vicki S. (Idaho Falls, ID); Barrett, Karen B. (Meridian, ID); Key, Diane E. (Idaho Falls, ID)

    2010-03-23

    A method is disclosed for analyzing a biological sample by antibody profiling for identifying forensic samples or for detecting the presence of an analyte. In an illustrative embodiment of the invention, the analyte is a drug, such as marijuana, Cocaine (crystalline tropane alkaloid), methamphetamine, methyltestosterone, or mesterolone. The method involves attaching antigens of the surface of a solid support in a preselected pattern to form an array wherein the locations of the antigens are known; contacting the array with the biological sample such that a portion of antibodies in the sample reacts with and binds to antigens in the array, thereby forming immune complexes; washing away antibodies that do not form immune complexes; and detecting the immune complexes, thereby forming an antibody profile. Forensic samples are identified by comparing a sample from an unknown source with a sample from a known source. Further, an assay, such as a test for illegal drug use, can be coupled to a test for identity such that the results of the assay can be positively correlated to a subject's identity.

  5. Rapid classification of biological components

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thompson, Vicki S.; Barrett, Karen B.; Key, Diane E.

    2013-10-15

    A method is disclosed for analyzing a biological sample by antibody profiling for identifying forensic samples or for detecting the presence of an analyte. In an illustrative embodiment of the invention, the analyte is a drug, such as marijuana, cocaine (crystalline tropane alkaloid), methamphetamine, methyltestosterone, or mesterolone. The method involves attaching antigens to a surface of a solid support in a preselected pattern to form an array wherein the locations of the antigens are known; contacting the array with the biological sample such that a portion of antibodies in the sample reacts with and binds to antigens in the array, thereby forming immune complexes; washing away antibodies that do not form immune complexes; and detecting the immune complexes, thereby forming an antibody profile. Forensic samples are identified by comparing a sample from an unknown source with a sample from a known source. Further, an assay, such as a test for illegal drug use, can be coupled to a test for identity such that the results of the assay can be positively correlated to a subject's identity.

  6. Rapid Building Assessment Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-05-01

    22  Figure 12. Average kWh savings per gross square footage ( GSF ). ....................................... 22  iii LIST OF TABLES...Certification Program FTP File Transfer Protocol GIS Geographical Information Systems GSF gross square footage JCI Johnson Controls Energy...Average kWh savings per gross square footage ( GSF ). 23 6.0 PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT FirstFuel chose each Performance Objective with the major project

  7. Groundtruthing Notes and Miscellaneous Biological Datasets from Coral Ecosystems Surveys from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Rapid Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program of 2000-2002 (NODC Accession 0001448)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (NOWRAMP) began in 2000 with the mission to rapidly evaluate and map the shallow water...

  8. Wyoming Basin Rapid Ecoregional Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Natasha B.; Melcher, Cynthia P.

    2015-08-28

    The Wyoming Basin Rapid Ecoregional Assessment was conducted in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The overall goals of the BLM Rapid Ecoregional Assessments (REAs) are to identify important ecosystems and wildlife habitats at broad spatial scales; identify where these resources are at risk from Change Agents, including development, wildfire, invasive species, disease and climate change; quantify cumulative effects of anthropogenic stressors; and assess current levels of risk to ecological resources across a range of spatial scales and jurisdictional boundaries by assessing all lands within an ecoregion. There are several components of the REAs. Management Questions, developed by the BLM and stakeholders for the ecoregion, identify the regionally significant information needed for addressing land-management responsibilities. Conservation Elements represent regionally significant species and ecological communities that are of management concern. Change Agents that currently affect or are likely to affect the condition of species and communities in the future are identified and assessed. REAs also identify areas that have high conservation potential that are referred to as “large intact areas.” At the ecoregion level, the ecological value of large intact areas is based on the assumption that because these areas have not been greatly altered by human activities (such as development), they are more likely to contain a variety of plant and animal communities and to be resilient and resistant to changes resulting from natural disturbances such as fire, insect outbreaks, and disease.

  9. Wyoming Basin Rapid Ecoregional Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Natasha B.; Means, Robert E.

    2013-01-01

    The overall goal of the Wyoming Basin Rapid Ecoregional Assessment (REA) is to provide information that supports regional planning and analysis for the management of ecological resources. The REA provides an assessment of baseline ecological conditions, an evaluation of current risks from drivers of ecosystem change (including energy development, fire, and invasive species), and a predictive capacity for evaluating future risks (including climate change). Additionally, the REA may be used for identifying priority areas for conservation or restoration and for assessing cumulative effects of multiple land uses. The Wyoming Basin REA will address Management Questions developed by the Bureau of Land Management and other agency partners for 8 major biomes and 19 species or species assemblages. The maps developed for addressing Management Questions will be integrated into overall maps of landscape-level ecological values and risks. The maps can be used to address the goals of the REA at a number of levels: for individual species, species assemblages, aquatic and terrestrial systems, and for the entire ecoregion. This allows flexibility in how the products of the REA are compiled to inform planning and management actions across a broad range of spatial scales.

  10. Colorado Plateau Rapid Ecoregion Assessment Data Catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior — Datasets used in the analysis of the Colorado Plateau (COP) Rapid Ecoregion Assessment (REA).They can be downloaded via a layer package (lpk, similar to a zip file...

  11. Southern Great Plains rapid ecoregional assessment : Pre-assessment report

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The purpose of the Pre-Assessment Report for the Southern Great Plains Rapid Ecoregional Assessment (REA) is to document the selection process for and final list of...

  12. Short Communication: Rapid Visual Assessment of Fish ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Short Communication: Rapid Visual Assessment of Fish Communities on Selected Reefs in the Bazaruto Archipelago. ... the Bazaruto reef types to provide a basis for their sound management and conservation. Keywords: Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique, ichthyofauna, fish surveys, underwater visual census, coral reefs.

  13. Rapid Hydraulic Assessment for Stream Restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-02-01

    governing equations are often used in conjunction with each other to define the flow characteristics of a given hydraulic phenomenon. The energy equation...Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. ERDC TN-EMRRP-SR-48 February 2016 Rapid Hydraulic Assessment for Stream Restoration...account the hydraulic conditions of the stream being restored. This is true whether the project involves a few feet of bank stabilization or several

  14. CFD Script for Rapid TPS Damage Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCloud, Peter

    2013-01-01

    This grid generation script creates unstructured CFD grids for rapid thermal protection system (TPS) damage aeroheating assessments. The existing manual solution is cumbersome, open to errors, and slow. The invention takes a large-scale geometry grid and its large-scale CFD solution, and creates a unstructured patch grid that models the TPS damage. The flow field boundary condition for the patch grid is then interpolated from the large-scale CFD solution. It speeds up the generation of CFD grids and solutions in the modeling of TPS damages and their aeroheating assessment. This process was successfully utilized during STS-134.

  15. Wyoming Basin Rapid Ecoregional Assessment: Work Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Natasha B.; Garman, Steven L.; Walters, Annika; Ray, Andrea; Melcher, Cynthia P.; Wesner, Jeff S.; O’Donnell, Michael S.; Sherrill, Kirk R.; Babel, Nils C.; Bowen, Zachary H.

    2013-01-01

    The overall goal of the Rapid Ecoregional Assessments (REAs) being conducted for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is to provide information that supports regional planning and analysis for the management of ecological resources. The REA provides an assessment of baseline ecological conditions, an evaluation of current risks from drivers of ecosystem change, and a predictive capacity for evaluating future risks. The REA also may be used for identifying priority areas for conservation or restoration and for assessing the cumulative effects of a variety of land uses. There are several components of the REAs. Management Questions, developed by the BLM and partners for the ecoregion, identify the information needed for addressing land-management responsibilities. Conservation Elements represent regionally significant aquatic and terrestrial species and communities that are to be conserved and (or) restored. The REA also will evaluate major drivers of ecosystem change (Change Agents) currently affecting or likely to affect the status of Conservation Elements. We selected 8 major biomes and 19 species or species assemblages to be included as Conservation Elements. We will address the four primary Change Agents—development, fire, invasive species, and climate change—required for the REA. The purpose of the work plan for the Wyoming Basin REA is to document the selection process for, and final list of, Management Questions, Conservation Elements, and Change Agents. The work plan also presents the overall assessment framework that will be used to assess the status of Conservation Elements and answer Management Questions.

  16. Rapid onsite assessment of spore viability.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Branda, Steven; Lane, Todd W.; VanderNoot, Victoria A.; Gaucher, Sara P.; Jokerst, Amanda S.

    2005-12-01

    This one year LDRD addresses problems of threat assessment and restoration of facilities following a bioterror incident like the incident that closed down mail facilities in late 2001. Facilities that are contaminated with pathogenic spores such as B. anthracis spores must be shut down while they are treated with a sporicidal agent and the effectiveness of the treatment is ascertained. This process involves measuring the viability of spore test strips, laid out in a grid throughout the facility; the CDC accepted methodologies require transporting the samples to a laboratory and carrying out a 48 hr outgrowth experiment. We proposed developing a technique that will ultimately lead to a fieldable microfluidic device that can rapidly assess (ideally less than 30 min) spore viability and effectiveness of sporicidal treatment, returning facilities to use in hours not days. The proposed method will determine viability of spores by detecting early protein synthesis after chemical germination. During this year, we established the feasibility of this approach and gathered preliminary results that should fuel a future more comprehensive effort. Such a proposal is currently under review with the NIH. Proteomic signatures of Bacillus spores and vegetative cells were assessed by both slab gel electrophoresis as well as microchip based gel electrophoresis employing sensitive laser-induced fluorescence detection. The conditions for germination using a number of chemical germinants were evaluated and optimized and the time course of protein synthesis was ascertained. Microseparations were carried out using both viable spores and spores inactivated by two different methods. A select number of the early synthesis proteins were digested into peptides for analysis by mass spectrometry.

  17. Final rapid reactivation project environmental assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1999-02-10

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the Rapid Reactivation Project at Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico. The EA analyzes the potential effects of a proposal to increase production of neutron generators from the current capability of 600 units per year up to 2,000 units per year. The project would use existing buildings and infrastructure to the maximum extent possible to meet the additional production needs. The increased production levels would necessitate modifications and additions involving a total area of approximately 26,290 gross square feet at Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico, Technical Area 1. Additional production equipment would be procured and installed. The no-action alternative would be to continue production activities at the current capability of 600 units per year. The EA analyzes effects on health, safety, and air quality, resulting from construction and operation and associated cumulative effects. A detailed description of the proposed action and its environmental consequences is presented in the EA.

  18. Rapid assessment of avoidable blindness in Bhutan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepcha, Nor Tshering; Chettri, Chandra Kumar; Getshen, Kunzang; Rai, Bhim Bahadur; Ramaswamy, Shamanna Bindiganavale; Saibaba, Saravanan; Nirmalan, Praveen Kumar; Demarchis, Emilia Hansson; Tabin, Geoffrey; Morley, Michael; Morley, Katharine

    2013-08-01

    To conduct a rapid assessment of avoidable blindness survey in Bhutan to obtain estimates of blindness, visual impairment, and cataract surgical coverage, outcomes and barriers among persons ≥50 years old. A total of 82 clusters of 50 people ≥50 years were selected using probability proportionate to size sampling. Eligible participants were selected from households using compact segment sampling, and underwent ophthalmic examination for visual acuity, followed by penlight and direct ophthalmoscopy. Participants with cataract were interviewed regarding surgical outcomes and barriers to surgery. Overall, 4046 of 4100 persons enumerated (98.7%) underwent ophthalmic examination. Adjusting for age and sex, the prevalence of bilaterally blind persons with available correction was 1.5% (95% confidence interval 1.09-1.89). Most blindness (67.1%) and severe visual impairment (74.1%) resulted from cataract, but 22.1% resulted from posterior segment pathology. Cataract surgical coverage for bilaterally blind persons was 72.7%. Almost 90% of patients reported moderate or good satisfaction, despite poor surgical outcomes in 23.6%. The prevalence of blindness in people aged ≥50 years in Bhutan was relatively low when compared with neighboring countries and World Health Organization sub-region estimates. Areas for improvement include community outreach, surgical outcomes, and posterior segment diseases.

  19. Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program rapid accident assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chester, C.V.

    1990-08-01

    This report develops a scheme for the rapid assessment of a release of toxic chemicals resulting from an accident in one of the most chemical weapon demilitarization plants or storage areas. The system uses such inputs as chemical and pressure sensors monitoring the plant and reports of accidents radioed to the Emergency Operations Center by work parties or monitoring personnel. A size of release can be estimated from previous calculations done in the risk analysis, from back calculation from an open-air chemical sensor measurement, or from an estimated percentage of the inventory of agent at the location of the release. Potential consequences of the estimated release are calculated from real-time meteorological data, surrounding population data, and properties of the agent. In addition to the estimated casualties, area coverage and no-death contours vs time would be calculated. Accidents are assigned to one of four categories: community emergencies, which are involve a threat to off-site personnel; on-post emergencies, which involve a threat only to on-site personnel; advisory, which involves a potential for threat to on-site personnel; and chemical occurrence, which can produce an abnormal operating condition for the plant but no immediate threat to on-site personnel. 9 refs., 20 tabs.

  20. Diagnostics in biological rapid sand filters treating groundwater – governing factors for nitrification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen; Gülay, Arda; Smets, Barth F.

    To improve the insight in the processes in biological rapid sand filters a range of methods were developed to diagnose the microbial mediated processes – particularly nitrification.......To improve the insight in the processes in biological rapid sand filters a range of methods were developed to diagnose the microbial mediated processes – particularly nitrification....

  1. Optimizing nitrification in biological rapid sand filters for drinking water production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen; Smets, Barth F.; Lee, Carson Odell

    Addition of phosphate or trace metals or better management e.g. in terms of anmonium load can improve the nitrification rate and efficiency in biological rapid sand filters.......Addition of phosphate or trace metals or better management e.g. in terms of anmonium load can improve the nitrification rate and efficiency in biological rapid sand filters....

  2. "Reinventing Life": Introductory Biology for a Rapidly Evolving World

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coker, Jeffrey Scott

    2009-01-01

    Evolutionary concepts are essential for a scientific understanding of most issues surrounding modern medicine, agriculture, biotechnology, and the environment. If the mantra for biology education in the 20th century was, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution," the mantra for the 21st century must be, "Nothing in biology…

  3. Southern Great Plains Rapid Ecoregional Assessment: pre-assessment report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assal, Timothy J.; Melcher, Cynthia P.; Carr, Natasha B.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of the Pre-Assessment Report for the Southern Great Plains Rapid Ecoregional Assessment (REA) is to document the selection process for and final list of Conservation Elements, Change Agents, and Management Questions developed during Phase I. The overall goal of the REAs being conducted for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is to provide information that supports regional planning and analysis for the management of ecological resources. The REA provides an assessment of baseline ecological conditions, an evaluation of current risks from drivers of ecosystem change, and a predictive capacity for evaluating future risks. The REA also may be used for identifying priority areas for conservation or restoration and for assessing the cumulative effects of a variety of land uses. There are several components of the REAs. Management Questions, developed by the BLM and partners for the ecoregion, identify the information needed for addressing land-management responsibilities. Conservation Elements represent regionally significant terrestrial and aquatic species and communities that are to be conserved and (or) restored. For each Conservation Element, key ecological attributes will be evaluated to determine the status of each species and community. The REA also will evaluate major drivers of ecosystem change, or Change Agents, currently affecting or likely to affect the status of Conservation Elements in the future. The relationships between Change Agents and key ecological attributes will be summarized using conceptual models. The REA process is a two-phase process. Phase I (pre-assessment) includes developing and finalizing the lists of priority Management Questions, Conservation Elements, and Change Agents, culminating in the REA Pre-Assessment Report.

  4. Rapid methods to detect organic mercury and total selenium in biological samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Basu Niladri

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Organic mercury (Hg is a global pollutant of concern and selenium is believed to afford protection against mercury risk though few approaches exist to rapidly assess both chemicals in biological samples. Here, micro-scale and rapid methods to detect organic mercury ( Results For organic Hg, samples are digested using Tris-HCl buffer (with sequential additions of protease, NaOH, cysteine, CuSO4, acidic NaBr followed by extraction with toluene and Na2S2O3. The final product is analyzed via commercially available direct/total mercury analyzers. For Se, a fluorometric assay has been developed for microplate readers that involves digestion (HNO3-HClO4 and HCl, conjugation (2,3-diaminonaphthalene, and cyclohexane extraction. Recovery of organic Hg (86-107% and Se (85-121% were determined through use of Standard Reference Materials and lemon shark kidney tissues. Conclusions The approaches outlined provide an easy, rapid, reproducible, and cost-effective platform for monitoring organic Hg and total Se in biological samples. Owing to the importance of organic Hg and Se in the pathophysiology of Hg, integration of such methods into established research monitoring efforts (that largely focus on screening total Hg only will help increase understanding of Hg's true risks.

  5. Rapid Detection of Cellular Response to Biological Agents

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Williams, Bryan R

    2005-01-01

    Our program objective is to develop simple and rapid methods for detecting at a cellular level, individual responses to environmental stresses elaborated by exposure to infectious agents such as bacteria and viruses...

  6. Rapid Detection of Cellular Responses to Biological Agents

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Williams, Bryan

    2004-01-01

    Our program objective is to develop simple and rapid methods for detecting, at a cellular level, individual responses to environmental stresses elaborated by exposure to infectious agents such as bacteria and viruses...

  7. Rapid Detection of Cellular Responses to Biological Agents

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Williams, Bryan

    2003-01-01

    Our program objective is to develop simple and rapid methods for detecting, at a cellular level, individual responses to environmental stresses elaborated by exposure to infectious agents such as bacteria and viruses...

  8. The Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment: A Concept Assessment for Upper-Division Molecular Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couch, Brian A.; Wood, William B.; Knight, Jennifer K.

    2015-01-01

    Measuring students' conceptual understandings has become increasingly important to biology faculty members involved in evaluating and improving departmental programs. We developed the Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment (MBCA) to gauge comprehension of fundamental concepts in molecular and cell biology and the ability to apply these concepts in…

  9. Rapid perceptual switching of a reversible biological figure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart Jackson

    Full Text Available Certain visual stimuli can give rise to contradictory perceptions. In this paper we examine the temporal dynamics of perceptual reversals experienced with biological motion, comparing these dynamics to those observed with other ambiguous structure from motion (SFM stimuli. In our first experiment, naïve observers monitored perceptual alternations with an ambiguous rotating walker, a figure that randomly alternates between walking in clockwise (CW and counter-clockwise (CCW directions. While the number of reported reversals varied between observers, the observed dynamics (distribution of dominance durations, CW/CCW proportions were comparable to those experienced with an ambiguous kinetic depth cylinder. In a second experiment, we compared reversal profiles with rotating and standard point-light walkers (i.e. non-rotating. Over multiple test repetitions, three out of four observers experienced consistently shorter mean percept durations with the rotating walker, suggesting that the added rotational component may speed up reversal rates with biomotion. For both stimuli, the drift in alternation rate across trial and across repetition was minimal. In our final experiment, we investigated whether reversals with the rotating walker and a non-biological object with similar global dimensions (rotating cuboid occur at random phases of the rotation cycle. We found evidence that some observers experience peaks in the distribution of response locations that are relatively stable across sessions. Using control data, we discuss the role of eye movements in the development of these reversal patterns, and the related role of exogenous stimulus characteristics. In summary, we have demonstrated that the temporal dynamics of reversal with biological motion are similar to other forms of ambiguous SFM. We conclude that perceptual switching with biological motion is a robust bistable phenomenon.

  10. Rapid Geriatric Assessment of Hip Fracture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanker, Jesse; Duque, Gustavo

    2017-08-01

    A comprehensive geriatric assessment, combined with a battery of imaging and blood tests, should be able to identify those hip fracture patients who are at higher risk of short- and long-term complications. This comprehensive assessment should be followed by the implementation of a comprehensive multidimensional care plan aimed to prevent negative outcomes in the postoperative period (short and long term), thus assuring a safe and prompt functional recovery while also preventing future falls and fractures. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Biological Based Risk Assessment for Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cucinotta, Francis A.

    2011-01-01

    Exposures from galactic cosmic rays (GCR) - made up of high-energy protons and high-energy and charge (HZE) nuclei, and solar particle events (SPEs) - comprised largely of low- to medium-energy protons are the primary health concern for astronauts for long-term space missions. Experimental studies have shown that HZE nuclei produce both qualitative and quantitative differences in biological effects compared to terrestrial radiation, making risk assessments for cancer and degenerative risks, such as central nervous system effects and heart disease, highly uncertain. The goal for space radiation protection at NASA is to be able to reduce the uncertainties in risk assessments for Mars exploration to be small enough to ensure acceptable levels of risks are not exceeded and to adequately assess the efficacy of mitigation measures such as shielding or biological countermeasures. We review the recent BEIR VII and UNSCEAR-2006 models of cancer risks and their uncertainties. These models are shown to have an inherent 2-fold uncertainty as defined by ratio of the 95% percent confidence level to the mean projection, even before radiation quality is considered. In order to overcome the uncertainties in these models, new approaches to risk assessment are warranted. We consider new computational biology approaches to modeling cancer risks. A basic program of research that includes stochastic descriptions of the physics and chemistry of radiation tracks and biochemistry of metabolic pathways, to emerging biological understanding of cellular and tissue modifications leading to cancer is described.

  12. Rapid Depression Assessment in Geriatric Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossberg, George T; Beck, David; Zaidi, Syed Noman Y

    2017-08-01

    Depression is common in geriatric patients, especially in those with multiple comorbidities and polypharmacy. Depression in older adults is often underdiagnosed and undertreated. Initial screening for depression can easily be accomplished in the waiting room. Yet the clinical interview still remains the gold standard for diagnosing geriatric depression. Key components of the clinical interview are observant watching of the patient for the subtle signs of depression. Clinical interview should be done with sensitivity to the importance of privacy. Illicit substances and medical conditions may significantly contribute. Suicide assessment should be done in a step wise manner. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Risk Informed Design Using Integrated Vehicle Rapid Assessment Tools Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A successful proof of concept was performed in FY 2012 integrating the Envision tool for parametric estimates of vehicle mass and the Rapid Response Risk Assessment...

  14. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Rapid Land Cover Change

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Rapid Land Cover Change provides data and information on global and regional land cover change in raster format for...

  15. READS: the rapid electronic assessment documentation system.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Hickey, Ann

    2012-12-13

    Patient documentation is time consuming and can detract from care. The authors report a novel computer programme that manipulates routinely collected information to quantify nursing workload, along with the reason for admission, functional status, estimates of in-hospital mortality and life expectancy. The programme stores information in a database, and produces a print-out in a situation\\/background\\/assessment\\/recommendation (SBAR) format. The average time taken to enter 629 patient encounters was 6.6 minutes. Pain was the most common presentation for low workload patients, while high workload patients often presented with altered mental status and reduced mobility. There was only a modest correlation between the risk of death and nursing workload. The programme measures nursing workload without further paperwork, and improves routine documentation with a legible brief report that is automatically generated. This report can be shared and provides data that is immediately available for day-to-day care, audit, quality control and service planning.

  16. Biological and psychological responses to two rapid shiftwork schedules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lac, G; Chamoux, A

    2004-10-10

    This study presents the biological responses to shiftwork in two groups of workers with different shiftwork rotas. Biological responses were studied by recording the heart rate and the changes in the circadian profile of salivary cortisol over 24 h (RIA assays). Various items were recorded through questionnaires aimed at determining self appreciation of sleep quantity, stress, health, satisfaction at work and in private lives. Thirty two male subjects aged from 23 to 56, working for the same company, having given their informed consent, took part in the study. The study was carried out under realistic conditions (at the work place) under the control of an occupational physician. Sixteen day-workers (8 am-6 pm) served as a reference group. Eight shiftworkers included in alternate schedules (morning M 4 am-12 am, evening E 12 am-8 pm, night N 8 pm-4 am) according to a system M, S, N 3/2, (3 work, 2 rest) and eight according to a system 7/5 (3M/2S/2N/5R, 2/3/2/5, 2/2/3/5) constituted the groups of shiftworkers respectively named 3/2 and 7/5. All subjects had comparable ages and BMIs. Shiftworkers expressed a higher stress level and frequency of health problems and a lower satisfaction at work than the control. Among the three groups, the 7/5 group had the best health and fitness score and was in need of less sleep. Heart rate was not affected by shift work. Conversely, consistent changes appeared in cortisol circadian profiles, the greatest changes appearing for the night shift and among the two groups of shiftworkers, more particularly for the 7/5 group. These changes correlated with self-perceived constraints of work and showed the difficulties of adaptation to shiftwork.

  17. Rapid Health and Needs assessments after disasters: a systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yzermans CJ

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Publichealth care providers, stakeholders and policy makers request a rapid insight into health status and needs of the affected population after disasters. To our knowledge, there is no standardized rapid assessment tool for European countries. The aim of this article is to describe existing tools used internationally and analyze them for the development of a workable rapid assessment. Methods A review was conducted, including original studies concerning a rapid health and/or needs assessment. The studies used were published between 1980 and 2009. The electronic databasesof Medline, Embase, SciSearch and Psychinfo were used. Results Thirty-three studies were included for this review. The majority of the studies was of US origin and in most cases related to natural disasters, especially concerning the weather. In eighteen studies an assessment was conducted using a structured questionnaire, eleven studies used registries and four used both methods. Questionnaires were primarily used to asses the health needs, while data records were used to assess the health status of disaster victims. Conclusions Methods most commonly used were face to face interviews and data extracted from existing registries. Ideally, a rapid assessment tool is needed which does not add to the burden of disaster victims. In this perspective, the use of existing medical registries in combination with a brief questionnaire in the aftermath of disasters is the most promising. Since there is an increasing need for such a tool this approach needs further examination.

  18. Rapid trachoma assessment in Kersa District, Southwest Ethiopia ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study was thus conducted to assess the prevalence estimate of trachoma and its risk factors in Kersa District, Southwest Ethiopia. Methods: A community based cross sectional Rapid Assessment of Trachoma was conducted using a WHO guideline. Six sub-districts were selected from Kersa District based on primary ...

  19. Rapid Assessment of Protected area Pressures and Threats in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Regular evaluation of protected area operations can enable policy makers develop strategic responses to pervasive management problems. Pressures and threats in seven National Parks of the National Park Service (NPS) were therefore assessed using the Rapid Assessment and Prioritization of Protected Area ...

  20. Use of basic biological information for rapid prediction of the response of species to habitat loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hockey, Philip A R; Curtis, Odette E

    2009-02-01

    Much research has focused on identifying traits that can act as useful indicators of how habitat loss affects the extinction risk of species, and the results are mixed. We developed 2 simple, rapid-assessment models of the susceptibility of species to habitat loss. We based both on an index of range size, but one also incorporated an index of body mass and the other an index combining habitat and dietary specialization. We applied the models to samples of birds (Accipitridae and Bucerotidae) and to the lemurs of Madagascar and compared the models' classifications of risk with the IUCN's global threat status of each species. The model derived from ecological attributes was much more robust than the one derived from body mass. Ecological attributes identified threatened birds and lemurs with an average of 80% accuracy and endangered and critically endangered species with 100% accuracy and identified some species not currently listed as threatened that almost certainly warrant conservation consideration. Appropriate analysis of even fairly crude biological information can help raise early-warning flags to the relative susceptibilities of species to habitat loss and thus provide a useful and rapid technique for highlighting potential species-level conservation issues. Advantages of this approach to classifying risk include flexibility in the specialization parameters used as well as its applicability at a range of spatial scales.

  1. Biological aspects and candidate biomarkers for rapid-cycling in bipolar disorder: A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buoli, Massimiliano; Serati, Marta; Altamura, A Carlo

    2017-12-01

    Rapid-cycling bipolar disorder represents a frequent severe subtype of illness which has been associated with poor response to pharmacological treatment. Aim of the present article is to provide an updated review of biological markers associated with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. A research in the main database sources has been conducted to identify relevant papers about the topic. Rapid-cycling bipolar disorder patients seem to have a more frequent family history for bipolar spectrum disorders (d range: 0.44-0.74) as well as an increased susceptibility to DNA damage or mRNA hypo-transcription (d range: 0.78-1.67) than non rapid-cycling ones. A susceptibility to hypothyroidism, which is exacerbated by treatment with lithium, is possible in rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, but further studies are needed to draw definitive conclusions. Rapid-cycling bipolar patients might have more insuline resistance as well as more severe brain changes in frontal areas (d range: 0.82-0.94) than non rapid-cycling ones. Many questions are still open about this topic. The first is whether the rapid-cycling is inheritable or is more generally the manifestation of a severe form of bipolar disorder. The second is whether some endocrine dysfunctions (diabetes and hypothyroidism) predispose to rapid-cycling or rapid-cycling is the consequence of drug treatment or medical comorbidities (e.g. obesity). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Rapid response to changing environments during biological invasions: DNA methylation perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xuena; Li, Shiguo; Ni, Ping; Gao, Yangchun; Jiang, Bei; Zhou, Zunchun; Zhan, Aibin

    2017-12-01

    Dissecting complex interactions between species and their environments has long been a research hot spot in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology. The well-recognized Darwinian evolution has well-explained long-term adaptation scenarios; however, "rapid" processes of biological responses to environmental changes remain largely unexplored, particularly molecular mechanisms such as DNA methylation that have recently been proposed to play crucial roles in rapid environmental adaptation. Invasive species, which have capacities to successfully survive rapidly changing environments during biological invasions, provide great opportunities to study molecular mechanisms of rapid environmental adaptation. Here, we used the methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) technique in an invasive model ascidian, Ciona savignyi, to investigate how species interact with rapidly changing environments at the whole-genome level. We detected quite rapid DNA methylation response: significant changes of DNA methylation frequency and epigenetic differentiation between treatment and control groups occurred only after 1 hr of high-temperature exposure or after 3 hr of low-salinity challenge. In addition, we detected time-dependent hemimethylation changes and increased intragroup epigenetic divergence induced by environmental stresses. Interestingly, we found evidence of DNA methylation resilience, as most stress-induced DNA methylation variation maintained shortly (~48 hr) and quickly returned back to the control levels. Our findings clearly showed that invasive species could rapidly respond to acute environmental changes through DNA methylation modifications, and rapid environmental changes left significant epigenetic signatures at the whole-genome level. All these results provide fundamental background to deeply investigate the contribution of DNA methylation mechanisms to rapid contemporary environmental adaptation. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. NATO Advanced Research Workshop, 19-22 May 1997: Rapid Method for Monitoring the Environment for Biological Hazards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-05-22

    The NATO Advanced Research Workshop met for the purpose of bringing to light rapid methods for monitoring the environment for biological hazards such as biological warfare agents, naturally occurring diseases, detection and identification of different biological threats in the environment , dormancy in non-sporulating bacteria and bioluminescence techniques with respect to the rapid detection of microbes in air, water and food.

  4. rapid assessment of polio virus antibodies prevalence amongst ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    northern Nigeria. There is paucity of information as it relates to polio antibody prevalence amongst children in the state. Periodic serologic assessment is needed to determine the quality and effectiveness of routine vaccination campaigns carried in the state to rapidly build immunity against poliovirus. Children were.

  5. Rapid Assessment of Tree Debris Following Urban Forest Ice Storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard J. Hauer; Angela J. Hauer; Dudley R. Hartel; Jill R. Johnson

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents a rapid assessment method to estimate urban tree debris following an ice storm. Data were collected from 60 communities to quantify tree debris volumes, mostly from public rights-of-way, following ice storms based on community infrastructure, weather parameters, and urban forest structure. Ice thickness, area of a community, and street distance are...

  6. Rapid assessment of assignments using plagiarism detection software.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bischoff, Whitney R; Abrego, Patricia C

    2011-01-01

    Faculty members most often use plagiarism detection software to detect portions of students' written work that have been copied and/or not attributed to their authors. The rise in plagiarism has led to a parallel rise in software products designed to detect plagiarism. Some of these products are configurable for rapid assessment and teaching, as well as for plagiarism detection.

  7. Rapid assessment as an evaluation tool for polio national ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... timely intervention in covering missed children and helps in careful interpretation of the usual over 100% coverage often recorded during NIDs. It is recommended that this be practiced widely to improve quality of NIDs for early global eradication of poliomyelitis. Keywords: rapid assessment, evaluation, polio immunization

  8. A novel methodology for the rapid assessment of waterbird ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A methodology for rapidly assessing the vulnerability of waterbirds to disturbance was tested at Sabaki estuary, Kenya. Three variables were employed to measure the responses of 15 species: (1) bird density, (2) minimum distance of birds from a stationary disturbance and (3) recovery times following a moving disturbance.

  9. The molecular biology capstone assessment: a concept assessment for upper-division molecular biology students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couch, Brian A; Wood, William B; Knight, Jennifer K

    2015-03-02

    Measuring students' conceptual understandings has become increasingly important to biology faculty members involved in evaluating and improving departmental programs. We developed the Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment (MBCA) to gauge comprehension of fundamental concepts in molecular and cell biology and the ability to apply these concepts in novel scenarios. Targeted at graduating students, the MBCA consists of 18 multiple-true/false (T/F) questions. Each question consists of a narrative stem followed by four T/F statements, which allows a more detailed assessment of student understanding than the traditional multiple-choice format. Questions were iteratively developed with extensive faculty and student feedback, including validation through faculty reviews and response validation through student interviews. The final assessment was taken online by 504 students in upper-division courses at seven institutions. Data from this administration indicate that the MBCA has acceptable levels of internal reliability (α=0.80) and test-retest stability (r=0.93). Students achieved a wide range of scores with a 67% overall average. Performance results suggest that students have an incomplete understanding of many molecular biology concepts and continue to hold incorrect conceptions previously documented among introductory-level students. By pinpointing areas of conceptual difficulty, the MBCA can provide faculty members with guidance for improving undergraduate biology programs. © 2015 B. A. Couch et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2015 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  10. A Creek to Bay Biological Assessment in Oakland, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahumada, E.; Ramirez, N.; Lopez, A.; Avila, M.; Ramirez, J.; Arroyo, D.; Bracho, H.; Casanova, A.; Pierson, E.

    2011-12-01

    In 2007, the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) assessed the impact of trash on water quality in the Peralta Creek which is located in the Fruitvale district of Oakland, CA. This 2011 follow-up study will take further steps in evaluating the physical and biological impacts of pollution and human development on Peralta Creek and in the San Leandro Bay, where the Creek empties into the larger San Francisco Bay estuary. This study will utilize two forms of biological assessment in order to determine the level of water quality and ecosystem health of Peralta Creek and San Leandro Bay in Oakland, California. A Rapid Bioassesment Protocal (RBP) will be used as the method of biological assessment for Peralta Creek. RBP uses a biotic index of benthic macroinvertebrates to provide a measure of a water body's health. Larval trematodes found in two mud snails (Ilynassa obsoleta and Cerithidea californica) will be used to evaluate the health of the San Leandro Bay. Due to the complex life cycle of trematodes, the measure of trematode diversity and richness in host species serves as an indicator of estuarine health (Huspeni 2005). We have completed the assessment of one section of Peralta Creek, located at 2465 34th Avenue, Oakland, CA 94601. Abundance results indicate a moderately healthy creek because there were high levels of pollution tolerant benthic macroinvertebrates. The tolerant group of benthic macroinvertebrates includes such organisms as flatworms, leeches, and scuds. This is possibly due to this section of the creek being pumped up to the surface from culverts impacting the macroinvertebrate's life cycle. Another contributing factor to creek health is the amount of organic debris found in the creek, which inhibits the flow and oxygenation of the water, allowing for more pollution tolerant aquatic insects to persist. Further investigation is being conducted to fully assess the Peralta Creek watershed; from the preliminary results one can surmise that

  11. Homogeneous, heterogeneous and biological oxidation of iron(II) in rapid sand filtration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beek, van C.G.E.M.; Hiemstra, T.; Hofs, B.; Nederlof, M.M.; Paassen, van J.A.M.; Reijnen, G.K.

    2012-01-01

    Homogeneous, heterogeneous and biological oxidation may precipitate iron(II) as iron(III) hydroxides. In this paper we evaluate the conditions under which each of these processes is dominant in rapid sand filtration (RSF). It is demonstrated that in the presence of iron(III) hydroxide precipitates

  12. Effects of dynamic operating conditions on nitrification in biological rapid sand filters for drinking water treatment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lee, Carson Odell; Boe-Hansen, Rasmus; Musovic, Sanin

    2014-01-01

    Biological rapid sand filters are often used to remove ammonium from groundwater for drinking water supply. They often operate under dynamic substrate and hydraulic loading conditions, which can lead to increased levels of ammonium and nitrite in the effluent. To determine the maximum nitrification...

  13. A robustness screen for the rapid assessment of chemical reactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Karl D; Glorius, Frank

    2013-07-01

    In contrast to the rapidity with which scientific information is published, the application of new knowledge often remains slow, and we believe this to be particularly true of newly developed synthetic organic chemistry methodology. Consequently, methods to assess and identify robust chemical reactions are desirable, and would directly facilitate the application of newly reported synthetic methodology to complex synthetic problems. Here, we describe a simple process for assessing the likely scope and limitations of a chemical reaction beyond the idealized reaction conditions initially reported. Using simple methods and common analytical techniques we demonstrate a rapid assessment of an established chemical reaction, and also propose a simplified analysis that may be reported alongside new synthetic methodology.

  14. Importance of copper for nitrification in biological rapid sand filters for drinking water production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wagner, Florian Benedikt

    , the reaction rate is sometimes not high enough. This results in incomplete nitrification, with residual ammonium and nitrite concentrations in the finished water, which are problematic for the biological stability of the drinking water. In Denmark, 11 % of the larger water works (>350,000 m3/year) fail......When anoxic groundwater is treated to produce drinking water, ammonium is commonly removed through nitrification in rapid sand filters. Nitrification is a biological process, and is mediated by chemoautotrophic microorganisms. Ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA) oxidize ammonium...... were the main active ammonium oxidizers during the dosing. This PhD project revealed that copper is of vital importance for efficient nitrification in biological rapid sand filters for drinking water production. The results of this study have important practical implications for biofilters currently...

  15. Probing fast ribozyme reactions under biological conditions with rapid quench-flow kinetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bingaman, Jamie L; Messina, Kyle J; Bevilacqua, Philip C

    2017-05-01

    Reaction kinetics on the millisecond timescale pervade the protein and RNA fields. To study such reactions, investigators often perturb the system with abiological solution conditions or substrates in order to slow the rate to timescales accessible by hand mixing; however, such perturbations can change the rate-limiting step and obscure key folding and chemical steps that are found under biological conditions. Mechanical methods for collecting data on the millisecond timescale, which allow these perturbations to be avoided, have been developed over the last few decades. These methods are relatively simple and can be conducted on affordable and commercially available instruments. Here, we focus on using the rapid quench-flow technique to study the fast reaction kinetics of RNA enzymes, or ribozymes, which often react on the millisecond timescale under biological conditions. Rapid quench of ribozymes is completely parallel to the familiar hand-mixing approach, including the use of radiolabeled RNAs and fractionation of reactions on polyacrylamide gels. We provide tips on addressing and preventing common problems that can arise with the rapid-quench technique. Guidance is also offered on ensuring the ribozyme is properly folded and fast-reacting. We hope that this article will facilitate the broader use of rapid-quench instrumentation to study fast-reacting ribozymes under biological reaction conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Rapid Risk Assessment: FY05 Annual Summary Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whelan, Gene; Millard, W. David; Gelston, Gariann M.; Pelton, Mitch A.; Yang, Zhaoqing; Strenge, Dennis L.; Lee, Cheegwan; Sivaraman, Chitra; Simpson, Mary J.; Young, Joan K.; Khangaonkar, Tarang P.; Downing, Timothy R.; Hoopes, Bonnie L.; Hachmeister, Lon E.

    2006-03-06

    The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is developing decision support tools that will assist in the transition of incident information into Protective Action Recommendations (PARs) that are understandable and can be executed in a real-world, operational environment. During emergencies, responders must rapidly assess risks and decide on the best course of action—all within minutes to hours. PNNL is blending existing modeling and decision support technology to develop new methods for transitioning science-based threat assessment to PARs. The rapid risk assessment tool will be both understandable and applicable to the emergency management community and would be a valuable tool during any water security-related incident. In 2005, PNNL demonstrated the integration of the multi-thematic modeling with emergency management decision support tools to create a Rapid Risk Assessment (RRA) tool that will transition risk to PARs that assist in responding to or mitigating the direct and indirect impacts of the incident(s). The RRA tool does this by aligning multi-thematic modeling capabilities with real-world response zones established by emergency and site operations managers. The RRA tool uses the risk assessment tool to drive prognostic models that use the type of incident, time of impact, severity of impact, and duration of impact to select the most appropriate PAR. Because PARs (and the thresholds by which they are selected) are jointly established by the technologists and the emergency management and operations decision makers, the science-based risk assessment can transition into a recommendation that can be understood and executed by people in the field.

  17. PAGER--Rapid assessment of an earthquake?s impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wald, D.J.; Jaiswal, K.; Marano, K.D.; Bausch, D.; Hearne, M.

    2010-01-01

    PAGER (Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response) is an automated system that produces content concerning the impact of significant earthquakes around the world, informing emergency responders, government and aid agencies, and the media of the scope of the potential disaster. PAGER rapidly assesses earthquake impacts by comparing the population exposed to each level of shaking intensity with models of economic and fatality losses based on past earthquakes in each country or region of the world. Earthquake alerts--which were formerly sent based only on event magnitude and location, or population exposure to shaking--now will also be generated based on the estimated range of fatalities and economic losses.

  18. An operational procedure for rapid flood risk assessment in Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dottori, Francesco; Kalas, Milan; Salamon, Peter; Bianchi, Alessandra; Alfieri, Lorenzo; Feyen, Luc

    2017-07-01

    The development of methods for rapid flood mapping and risk assessment is a key step to increase the usefulness of flood early warning systems and is crucial for effective emergency response and flood impact mitigation. Currently, flood early warning systems rarely include real-time components to assess potential impacts generated by forecasted flood events. To overcome this limitation, this study describes the benchmarking of an operational procedure for rapid flood risk assessment based on predictions issued by the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS). Daily streamflow forecasts produced for major European river networks are translated into event-based flood hazard maps using a large map catalogue derived from high-resolution hydrodynamic simulations. Flood hazard maps are then combined with exposure and vulnerability information, and the impacts of the forecasted flood events are evaluated in terms of flood-prone areas, economic damage and affected population, infrastructures and cities.An extensive testing of the operational procedure has been carried out by analysing the catastrophic floods of May 2014 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. The reliability of the flood mapping methodology is tested against satellite-based and report-based flood extent data, while modelled estimates of economic damage and affected population are compared against ground-based estimations. Finally, we evaluate the skill of risk estimates derived from EFAS flood forecasts with different lead times and combinations of probabilistic forecasts. Results highlight the potential of the real-time operational procedure in helping emergency response and management.

  19. Rapid in situ assessment for predicting soil quality using an algae-soaked disc seeding assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nam, Sun-Hwa; Moon, Jongmin; Kim, Shin Woong; Kim, Hakyeong; Jeong, Seung-Woo; An, Youn-Joo

    2017-11-16

    The soil quality of remediated land is altered and this land consequently exerts unexpected biological effects on terrestrial organisms. Therefore, field evaluation of such land should be conducted using biological indicators. Algae are a promising new biological indicator since they are a food source for organisms in higher soil trophic levels and easily sampled from the soil. Field evaluation of soil characteristics is preferred to be testing in laboratory conditions because many biological effects cannot be duplicated during laboratory evaluations. Herein, we describe a convenient and rapid algae-soaked disc seeding assay for assessing soil quality in the field based on soil algae. The collection of algae is easy and rapid and the method predicts the short-term quality of contaminated, remediated, and amended farm and paddy soils. The algae-soaked disc seeding assay is yet to be extensively evaluated, and the method cannot be applied to loamy sand soil in in situ evaluations. The algae-soaked disc seeding assay is recommended for prediction of soil quality in in situ evaluations because it reflects all variations in the environment. The algae-soaked disc seeding assay will help to develop management strategies for in situ evaluation.

  20. A rapid test for soy aeroallergens exposure assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Simon, Daniel; Cruz, María-Jesús; Untoria, María-Dolores; Muñoz, Xavier; Villalbí, Joan R; Morell, Ferran; Gómez-Ollés, Susana

    2014-01-01

    Determining soy aeroallergens levels is extremely important in the assessment of health risks due to these airborne substances. Currently, soy aeroallergens exposure in the environment is monitored using enzyme immunoassays (EIA) which must be evaluated in a specialized laboratory by skilled personnel. To describe the development and performance of a rapid immunochromatography assay for the detection of soy aeroallergens in environmental samples. A test strip using gold labeled anti-soy hull low molecular weight extract (SHLMWE) antibody for the rapid detection of soy aeroallergens in environmental samples was developed. One hundred nineteen airborne samples were analysed in parallel by the strip assay and the anti-SHLMWE sandwich EIA. The assay results were visually analysed by three independent observers who ranked samples as: -, + or ++. Strips were also scanned and analysed by densitometry. The rapid test detected a range of concentrations from 6.25 to 25 ng/mL. Agreement in strip assay interpretations between evaluators was substantial (Kappa = 0.63; CI 0.544-0.715). Visual interpretation also gave a good concordance with EIA results, with sensitivity ranging from 77.3 to 100 and specificity from 65 to 83.5 depending on the observer. Furthermore, a strong correlation was observed between densitometry results of strip assay and EIA determinations. The strip assay developed is rapid, simple, and sensitive and does not require expensive equipment or specific skills. It has considerable potential in the environmental monitoring field for screening soy aeroallergens levels in port cities where allergen measurements are not currently performed. Due to its simplicity, the test will improve the management of soy allergic patients by controlling environmental allergen exposure without the need for apparatus or skilled personnel.

  1. Rapid Assessment of Age-Related Differences in Standing Balance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Kalisch

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available As life expectancy continues to rise, in the future there will be an increasing number of older people prone to falling. Accordingly, there is an urgent need for comprehensive testing of older individuals to collect data and to identify possible risk factors for falling. Here we use a low-cost force platform to rapidly assess deficits in balance under various conditions. We tested 21 healthy older adults and 24 young adults during static stance, unidirectional and rotational displacement of their centre of pressure (COP. We found an age-related increase in postural sway during quiet standing and a reduction of maximal COP displacement in unidirectional and rotational displacement tests. Our data show that even low-cost computerized assessment tools allow for the comprehensive testing of balance performance in older subjects.

  2. A Diagnostic Assessment for Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Jia; Wood, William B.; Martin, Jennifer M.; Guild, Nancy A.; Vicens, Quentin; Knight, Jennifer K.

    2010-01-01

    We have developed and validated a tool for assessing understanding of a selection of fundamental concepts and basic knowledge in undergraduate introductory molecular and cell biology, focusing on areas in which students often have misconceptions. This multiple-choice Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology Assessment (IMCA) instrument is designed…

  3. The Simulation-Based Assessment of Pediatric Rapid Response Teams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fehr, James J; McBride, Mary E; Boulet, John R; Murray, David J

    2017-09-01

    To create scenarios of simulated decompensating pediatric patients to train pediatric rapid response teams (RRTs) and to determine whether the scenario scores provide a valid assessment of RRT performance with the hypothesis that RRTs led by intensivists-in-training would be better prepared to manage the scenarios than teams led by nurse practitioners. A set of 10 simulated scenarios was designed for the training and assessment of pediatric RRTs. Pediatric RRTs, comprising a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) registered nurse and respiratory therapist, led by a PICU intensivist-in-training or a pediatric nurse practitioner, managed 7 simulated acutely decompensating patients. Two raters evaluated the scenario performances and psychometric analyses of the scenarios were performed. The teams readily managed scenarios such as supraventricular tachycardia and opioid overdose but had difficulty with more complicated scenarios such as aortic coarctation or head injury. The management of any particular scenario was reasonably predictive of overall team performance. The teams led by the PICU intensivists-in-training outperformed the teams led by the pediatric nurse practitioners. Simulation provides a method for RRTs to develop decision-making skills in managing decompensating pediatric patients. The multiple scenario assessment provided a moderately reliable team score. The greater scores achieved by PICU intensivist-in-training-led teams provides some evidence to support the validity of the assessment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Rapid quantitative determination of cyanide in biological fluids from coyotes killed with a coyote getter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, R A

    1995-12-01

    A number of methods for the determination of cyanide in biological fluids have been published. Many are not really rapid or else rely on elaborate specialized equipment. The method reported here is rapid, uses only inexpensive disposable, and produces a quantitative result within 1 minute on as little as a few drops of blood. Cyanide concentrations found by this method in the blood of coyotes killed by sodium cyanide blasted into the mouth with a snub-nosed gun concealed in bait are given and discussed. Cyanide levels in blood from the left ventricle of the heart were always much higher than those from the right ventricle, and concentrations in the right ventricle were always very close to 700 micrograms/L.

  5. An operational procedure for rapid flood risk assessment in Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Dottori

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The development of methods for rapid flood mapping and risk assessment is a key step to increase the usefulness of flood early warning systems and is crucial for effective emergency response and flood impact mitigation. Currently, flood early warning systems rarely include real-time components to assess potential impacts generated by forecasted flood events. To overcome this limitation, this study describes the benchmarking of an operational procedure for rapid flood risk assessment based on predictions issued by the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS. Daily streamflow forecasts produced for major European river networks are translated into event-based flood hazard maps using a large map catalogue derived from high-resolution hydrodynamic simulations. Flood hazard maps are then combined with exposure and vulnerability information, and the impacts of the forecasted flood events are evaluated in terms of flood-prone areas, economic damage and affected population, infrastructures and cities.An extensive testing of the operational procedure has been carried out by analysing the catastrophic floods of May 2014 in Bosnia–Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. The reliability of the flood mapping methodology is tested against satellite-based and report-based flood extent data, while modelled estimates of economic damage and affected population are compared against ground-based estimations. Finally, we evaluate the skill of risk estimates derived from EFAS flood forecasts with different lead times and combinations of probabilistic forecasts. Results highlight the potential of the real-time operational procedure in helping emergency response and management.

  6. Copper deficiency can limit nitrification in biological rapid sand filters for drinking water production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wagner, Florian Benedikt; Nielsen, Peter Borch; Boe-Hansen, Rasmus

    2016-01-01

    Incomplete nitrification in biological filters during drinking water treatment is problematic, as it compromises drinking water quality. Nitrification problems can be caused by a lack of nutrients for the nitrifying microorganisms. Since copper is an important element in one of the essential...... enzymes in nitrification, we investigated the effect of copper dosing on nitrification in different biological rapid sand filters treating groundwater. A lab-scale column assay with filter material from a water works demonstrated that addition of a trace metal mixture, including copper, increased ammonium...... removal compared to a control without addition. Subsequently, another water works was investigated in full-scale, where copper influent concentrations were below 0.05 μg Cu L-1 and nitrification was incomplete. Copper dosing of less than 5 μg Cu L-1 to a full-scale filter stimulated ammonium removal...

  7. Photon-tissue interaction model for quantitative assessment of biological tissues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seung Yup; Lloyd, William R.; Wilson, Robert H.; Chandra, Malavika; McKenna, Barbara; Simeone, Diane; Scheiman, James; Mycek, Mary-Ann

    2014-02-01

    In this study, we describe a direct fit photon-tissue interaction model to quantitatively analyze reflectance spectra of biological tissue samples. The model rapidly extracts biologically-relevant parameters associated with tissue optical scattering and absorption. This model was employed to analyze reflectance spectra acquired from freshly excised human pancreatic pre-cancerous tissues (intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN), a common precursor lesion to pancreatic cancer). Compared to previously reported models, the direct fit model improved fit accuracy and speed. Thus, these results suggest that such models could serve as real-time, quantitative tools to characterize biological tissues assessed with reflectance spectroscopy.

  8. Electromembrane extraction as a rapid and selective miniaturized sample preparation technique for biological fluids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gjelstad, Astrid; Pedersen-Bjergaard, Stig; Seip, Knut Fredrik

    2015-01-01

    of organic solvent, and into an aqueous receiver solution. The extraction is promoted by application of an electrical field, causing electrokinetic migration of the charged analytes. The method has shown to perform excellent clean-up and selectivity from complicated aqueous matrices like biological fluids......This special report discusses the sample preparation method electromembrane extraction, which was introduced in 2006 as a rapid and selective miniaturized extraction method. The extraction principle is based on isolation of charged analytes extracted from an aqueous sample, across a thin film...

  9. Strengthening health professions regulation in Cambodia: a rapid assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, David; Duke, Jan; Wuliji, Tana; Smith, Alyson; Phuong, Keat; San, Un

    2016-03-10

    This paper describes a rapid assessment of Cambodia's current system for regulating its health professions. The assessment forms part of a co-design process to set strategic priorities for strengthening health profession regulation to improve the quality and safety of health services. A health system approach for strengthening health professions' regulation is underway and aims to support the Government of Cambodia's plans for scaling up its health workforce, improving health services' safety and quality, and meeting its Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) obligations to facilitate trade in health care services. The assessment used a mixed methods approach including: A desktop review of key laws, plans, reports and other documents relating to the regulation of the health professions in Cambodia (medicine, dentistry, midwifery, nursing and pharmacy); Key informant interviews with stakeholders in Cambodia (The term "stakeholders" refers to government officials, people working on health professional regulation, people working for the various health worker training institutions and health workers at the national and provincial level); Surveys and questionnaires to assess Cambodian stakeholder knowledge of regulation; Self-assessments by members of the five Cambodian regulatory councils regarding key capacities and activities of high-performing regulatory bodies; and A rapid literature review to identify: The key functions of health professional regulation; The key issues affecting the Cambodian health sector (including relevant developments in the wider ASEAN region); and "Smart" health profession regulation practices of possible relevance to Cambodia. We found that the current regulatory system only partially meets Cambodia's needs. A number of key regulatory functions are being performed, but overall, the current system was not designed with Cambodia's specific needs in mind. The existing system is also overly complex, with considerable duplication and

  10. Rapid climate change and society: assessing responses and thresholds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemeyer, Simon; Petts, Judith; Hobson, Kersty

    2005-12-01

    Assessing the social risks associated with climate change requires an understanding of how humans will respond because it affects how well societies will adapt. In the case of rapid or dangerous climate change, of particular interest is the potential for these responses to cross thresholds beyond which they become maladaptive. To explore the possibility of such thresholds, a series of climate change scenarios were presented to U.K. participants whose subjective responses were recorded via interviews and surveyed using Q methodology. The results indicate an initially adaptive response to climate warming followed by a shift to maladaptation as the magnitude of change increases. Beyond this threshold, trust in collective action and institutions was diminished, negatively impacting adaptive capacity. Climate cooling invoked a qualitatively different response, although this may be a product of individuals being primed for warming because it has dominated public discourse. The climate change scenarios used in this research are severe by climatological standards. In reality, the observed responses might occur at a lower rate of change. Whatever the case, analysis of subjectivity has revealed potential for maladaptive human responses, constituting a dangerous or rapid climate threshold within the social sphere.

  11. Rapid assessment of disaster damage using social media activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kryvasheyeu, Yury; Chen, Haohui; Obradovich, Nick; Moro, Esteban; Van Hentenryck, Pascal; Fowler, James; Cebrian, Manuel

    2016-01-01

    Could social media data aid in disaster response and damage assessment? Countries face both an increasing frequency and an increasing intensity of natural disasters resulting from climate change. During such events, citizens turn to social media platforms for disaster-related communication and information. Social media improves situational awareness, facilitates dissemination of emergency information, enables early warning systems, and helps coordinate relief efforts. In addition, the spatiotemporal distribution of disaster-related messages helps with the real-time monitoring and assessment of the disaster itself. We present a multiscale analysis of Twitter activity before, during, and after Hurricane Sandy. We examine the online response of 50 metropolitan areas of the United States and find a strong relationship between proximity to Sandy’s path and hurricane-related social media activity. We show that real and perceived threats, together with physical disaster effects, are directly observable through the intensity and composition of Twitter’s message stream. We demonstrate that per-capita Twitter activity strongly correlates with the per-capita economic damage inflicted by the hurricane. We verify our findings for a wide range of disasters and suggest that massive online social networks can be used for rapid assessment of damage caused by a large-scale disaster. PMID:27034978

  12. Rapid Response Risk Assessment in New Project Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graber, Robert R.

    2010-01-01

    A capability for rapidly performing quantitative risk assessments has been developed by JSC Safety and Mission Assurance for use on project design trade studies early in the project life cycle, i.e., concept development through preliminary design phases. A risk assessment tool set has been developed consisting of interactive and integrated software modules that allow a user/project designer to assess the impact of alternative design or programmatic options on the probability of mission success or other risk metrics. The risk and design trade space includes interactive options for selecting parameters and/or metrics for numerous design characteristics including component reliability characteristics, functional redundancy levels, item or system technology readiness levels, and mission event characteristics. This capability is intended for use on any project or system development with a defined mission, and an example project will used for demonstration and descriptive purposes, e.g., landing a robot on the moon. The effects of various alternative design considerations and their impact of these decisions on mission success (or failure) can be measured in real time on a personal computer. This capability provides a high degree of efficiency for quickly providing information in NASA s evolving risk-based decision environment

  13. Rapid Assessment of Habitat Diversity Along the Araras Stream, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriel Barboza Bentos

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Agriculture, urbanization, and industrialization are some of the anthropogenic activities that constantly generate negative impacts on natural environments. Part of this degradation directly affects aquatic systems. This study aimed to evaluate the visual characteristics of the Araras Stream, located in the municipality of Araras, São Paulo state, Brazil. Data was collected at six different assessment sites along the river in both rural and urban areas. The evaluation used a Rapid Habitat Diversity Assessment (RHDA protocol composed of 22 parameters, which define levels of preservation of ecological conditions. According to this protocol, the 32 Km-long study transect along the Araras Stream was rated as impacted (39.6 points. A separate assessment by transects showed that only Transect 1 presented a natural level of preservation (71.8 points. Transects located in the urban area contributed the most to impacts on the aquatic environment. The RHDA protocol proved to be an important tool to evaluate and monitor aquatic environments.

  14. Rapid assessment of disaster damage using social media activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kryvasheyeu, Yury; Chen, Haohui; Obradovich, Nick; Moro, Esteban; Van Hentenryck, Pascal; Fowler, James; Cebrian, Manuel

    2016-03-01

    Could social media data aid in disaster response and damage assessment? Countries face both an increasing frequency and an increasing intensity of natural disasters resulting from climate change. During such events, citizens turn to social media platforms for disaster-related communication and information. Social media improves situational awareness, facilitates dissemination of emergency information, enables early warning systems, and helps coordinate relief efforts. In addition, the spatiotemporal distribution of disaster-related messages helps with the real-time monitoring and assessment of the disaster itself. We present a multiscale analysis of Twitter activity before, during, and after Hurricane Sandy. We examine the online response of 50 metropolitan areas of the United States and find a strong relationship between proximity to Sandy's path and hurricane-related social media activity. We show that real and perceived threats, together with physical disaster effects, are directly observable through the intensity and composition of Twitter's message stream. We demonstrate that per-capita Twitter activity strongly correlates with the per-capita economic damage inflicted by the hurricane. We verify our findings for a wide range of disasters and suggest that massive online social networks can be used for rapid assessment of damage caused by a large-scale disaster.

  15. Trachoma rapid assessment in Shandong province of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Yi; Bi, Hongsheng; Wen, Ying; Li, Chaofeng; Wu, Hui

    2014-01-01

    This research aims at identifying relative interventions on trachoma and testing the effectiveness of control measures adopted by assessing its prevalence and related risk factors in Shandong province of China. Trachoma rapid assessment (TRA) was conducted in 6 sub-districts selected from Shandong province based on primary high risk assessment. Active trachoma in children aged 1-9 years and environmental risk factors of trachoma (unclean faces, absence of running water, and absence of flush toilets) were assessed (TRA 1). Control measures were taken in endemic areas. A second TRA (TRA 2) was conducted after 12 months in the same 6 districts and findings of the two TRAs were compared. In TRA 1, we found trachoma in 3 sub-districts and the detection rate was 4% (95% CI: 0.39%-11.12%), 6% (95% CI: 1.18%-14.17%), and 6% (95% CI: 1.18%-14.17%) respectively. We could not find trachoma cases in TRA 2. Research data supports that children living with environmental risk factors face an increased risk to active trachoma. However, we could not find statistical evidence for this association, which may be caused by the limited data on prevalence. This research indicates that the TRA methodology is easy to assess trachoma and its related risk factors. Based on the results of this study, we have already achieved the goal of "elimination of trachoma" in Shandong province, as the detection rate of trachomatous inflamation follicular/trachomatous inflammation intense in 1-9-year-old children was less than 5%.

  16. Mathematical modeling in biology: A critical assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buiatti, M. [Florence, Univ. (Italy). Dipt. di Biologia Animale e Genetica

    1998-01-01

    The molecular revolution and the development of biology-derived industry have led in the last fifty years to an unprecedented `lead forward` of life sciences in terms of experimental data. Less success has been achieved in the organisation of such data and in the consequent development of adequate explanatory and predictive theories and models. After a brief historical excursus inborn difficulties of mathematisation of biological objects and processes derived from the complex dynamics of life are discussed along with the logical tools (simplifications, choice of observation points etc.) used to overcome them. `Autistic`, monodisciplinary attitudes towards biological modeling of mathematicians, physicists, biologists aimed in each case at the use of the tools of other disciplines to solve `selfish` problems are also taken into account and a warning against derived dangers (reification of mono disciplinary metaphors, lack of falsification etc.) is given. Finally `top.down` (deductive) and `bottom up` (inductive) heuristic interactive approaches to mathematisation are critically discussed with the help of serie of examples.

  17. The Effects of Rapid Assessments and Adaptive Restudy Prompts in Multimedia Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renkl, Alexander; Skuballa, Irene T.; Schwonke, Rolf; Harr, Nora; Leber, Jasmin

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the effects of rapid assessment tasks and different adaptive restudy prompts in multimedia learning. The adaptivity was based on rapid assessment tasks that were interspersed throughout a multimedia learning environment. In Experiment 1 (N = 52 university students), we analyzed to which extent rapid assessment tasks were reactive…

  18. Rapid assessment methods in eye care: An overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srinivas Marmamula

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Reliable information is required for the planning and management of eye care services. While classical research methods provide reliable estimates, they are prohibitively expensive and resource intensive. Rapid assessment (RA methods are indispensable tools in situations where data are needed quickly and where time- or cost-related factors prohibit the use of classical epidemiological surveys. These methods have been developed and field tested, and can be applied across almost the entire gamut of health care. The 1990s witnessed the emergence of RA methods in eye care for cataract, onchocerciasis, and trachoma and, more recently, the main causes of avoidable blindness and visual impairment. The important features of RA methods include the use of local resources, simplified sampling methodology, and a simple examination protocol/data collection method that can be performed by locally available personnel. The analysis is quick and easy to interpret. The entire process is inexpensive, so the survey may be repeated once every 5-10 years to assess the changing trends in disease burden. RA survey methods are typically linked with an intervention. This article provides an overview of the RA methods commonly used in eye care, and emphasizes the selection of appropriate methods based on the local need and context.

  19. Rapid Assessment of Seismic Vulnerability in Palestinian Refugee Camps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Dabbeek, Jalal N.; El-Kelani, Radwan J.

    Studies of historical and recorded earthquakes in Palestine demonstrate that damaging earthquakes are occurring frequently along the Dead Sea Transform: Earthquake of 11 July 1927 (ML 6.2), Earthquake of 11 February 2004 (ML 5.2). In order to reduce seismic vulnerability of buildings, losses in lives, properties and infrastructures, an attempt was made to estimate the percentage of damage degrees and losses at selected refugee camps: Al Ama`ri, Balata and Dhaishe. Assessing the vulnerability classes of building structures was carried out according to the European Macro-Seismic Scale 1998 (EMS-98) and the Fedral Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The rapid assessment results showed that very heavy structural and non structural damages will occur in the common buildings of the investigated Refugee Camps (many buildings will suffer from damages grades 4 and 5). Bad quality of buildings in terms of design and construction, lack of uniformity, absence of spaces between the building and the limited width of roads will definitely increase the seismic vulnerability under the influence of moderate-strong (M 6-7) earthquakes in the future.

  20. Interactive Rapid Dose Assessment Model (IRDAM): reactor-accident assessment methods. Vol. 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Poeton, R.W.; Moeller, M.P.; Laughlin, G.J.; Desrosiers, A.E.

    1983-05-01

    As part of the continuing emphasis on emergency preparedness, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) sponsored the development of a rapid dose assessment system by Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL). This system, the Interactive Rapid Dose Assessment Model (IRDAM) is a micro-computer based program for rapidly assessing the radiological impact of accidents at nuclear power plants. This document describes the technical bases for IRDAM including methods, models and assumptions used in calculations. IRDAM calculates whole body (5-cm depth) and infant thyroid doses at six fixed downwind distances between 500 and 20,000 meters. Radionuclides considered primarily consist of noble gases and radioiodines. In order to provide a rapid assessment capability consistent with the capacity of the Osborne-1 computer, certain simplifying approximations and assumptions are made. These are described, along with default values (assumptions used in the absence of specific input) in the text of this document. Two companion volumes to this one provide additional information on IRDAM. The user's Guide (NUREG/CR-3012, Volume 1) describes the setup and operation of equipment necessary to run IRDAM. Scenarios for Comparing Dose Assessment Models (NUREG/CR-3012, Volume 3) provides the results of calculations made by IRDAM and other models for specific accident scenarios.

  1. Effects of dynamic operating conditions on nitrification in biological rapid sand filters for drinking water treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Carson O; Boe-Hansen, Rasmus; Musovic, Sanin; Smets, Barth; Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen; Binning, Philip

    2014-11-01

    Biological rapid sand filters are often used to remove ammonium from groundwater for drinking water supply. They often operate under dynamic substrate and hydraulic loading conditions, which can lead to increased levels of ammonium and nitrite in the effluent. To determine the maximum nitrification rates and safe operating windows of rapid sand filters, a pilot scale rapid sand filter was used to test short-term increased ammonium loads, set by varying either influent ammonium concentrations or hydraulic loading rates. Ammonium and iron (flock) removal were consistent between the pilot and the full-scale filter. Nitrification rates and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea were quantified throughout the depth of the filter. The ammonium removal capacity of the filter was determined to be 3.4 g NH4-N m(-3) h(-1), which was 5 times greater than the average ammonium loading rate under reference operating conditions. The ammonium removal rate of the filter was determined by the ammonium loading rate, but was independent of both the flow and influent ammonium concentration individually. Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea were almost equally abundant in the filter. Both ammonium removal and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria density were strongly stratified, with the highest removal and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria densities at the top of the filter. Cell specific ammonium oxidation rates were on average 0.6 × 10(2) ± 0.2 × 10(2) fg NH4-N h(-1) cell(-1). Our findings indicate that these rapid sand filters can safely remove both nitrite and ammonium over a larger range of loading rates than previously assumed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. A Rapid Physical Habitat Assessment of Wadeable Streams for Mixed-Land-Use Watersheds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lynne Hooper

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Mitigating stream and river impairment is complex, particularly in mixed-land-use watersheds given the likelihood of integrated responses of stream restoration to coupled and ongoing terrestrial ecosystem disturbance and the need for periodic reassessment and maintenance. Traditional biological sampling (e.g., macroinvertebrate sampling or other biological indices alone seldom identifies the cause of biological community impairment and large fiscal investments are often made with no apparent improvement to aquatic ecosystem health. A stream physical habitat assessment (PHA can yield information that, when paired with land-use data may reveal causal patterns in aquatic physical habitat degradation and help to identify sites for rehabilitation or restoration. A rapid and customizable physical habitat assessment method (rPHA is presented that reduces commonly high PHA time and labor costs while facilitating informative value. Sampling time is reduced to approximately 30–40 min per survey site with a crew of three individuals. The method is flexible and thus adaptable to varied applications and needs. The rPHA design facilitates replication at regular spatial and temporal intervals thereby informing land-use managers and agencies of current conditions and trends in habitat response to natural and anthropogenic stressors. The rPHA outcomes can thus provide science-based supplemental information to better inform management practices and stream restoration decisions in contemporary mixed-land-use watersheds.

  3. Rapid assessment of nonlinear optical propagation effects in dielectrics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoyo, J. del; de la Cruz, A. Ruiz; Grace, E.; Ferrer, A.; Siegel, J.; Pasquazi, A.; Assanto, G.; Solis, J.

    2015-01-01

    Ultrafast laser processing applications need fast approaches to assess the nonlinear propagation of the laser beam in order to predict the optimal range of processing parameters in a wide variety of cases. We develop here a method based on the simple monitoring of the nonlinear beam shaping against numerical prediction. The numerical code solves the nonlinear Schrödinger equation with nonlinear absorption under simplified conditions by employing a state-of-the art computationally efficient approach. By comparing with experimental results we can rapidly estimate the nonlinear refractive index and nonlinear absorption coefficients of the material. The validity of this approach has been tested in a variety of experiments where nonlinearities play a key role, like spatial soliton shaping or fs-laser waveguide writing. The approach provides excellent results for propagated power densities for which free carrier generation effects can be neglected. Above such a threshold, the peculiarities of the nonlinear propagation of elliptical beams enable acquiring an instantaneous picture of the deposition of energy inside the material realistic enough to estimate the effective nonlinear refractive index and nonlinear absorption coefficients that can be used for predicting the spatial distribution of energy deposition inside the material and controlling the beam in the writing process. PMID:25564243

  4. Rapid assessment of avoidable blindness in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Far Chiang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: There are no recent data on the prevalence and causes of blindness in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The aim of our study was to estimate the prevalence and causes of blindness and visual impairment in the population aged 50 years and above in the Occupied Palestinian Territories using the Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB survey method. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Clusters of 40 people who were 50 years and above were selected with probability proportionate to size using a multistage cluster random sampling method. Participants received a comprehensive ophthalmic examination in their homes, including visual acuity testing by one of three experienced ophthalmologists. The principal cause for visual loss was determined by an experienced ophthalmologist using portable diagnostic instruments. Information about previous cataract surgery, satisfaction with surgery and barriers to cataract surgery were collected. The prevalence of self-reported diabetes was also determined. The prevalence of bilateral blindness (VAor=3/60 and or=6/60 and or=6/18, 23.2% had a borderline outcome (VAor=6/60 and 22.3% had a poor outcome (VAor=50 year age group was 26.4% (95% CI: 24.9-27.9. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of blindness suggests that significant numbers of people in the Occupied Palestinian Territories exist who do not access eye care - predominantly women and those residing in Gaza. Programmes need to focus on maximizing the use of current services by these excluded groups.

  5. Competence of Litter Ants for Rapid Biodiversity Assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. H. Saumya E. Silva

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Rapid Biodiversity Assessment approaches associated with focusing taxa have overcome many of the problems related to large scale surveys. This study examined the suitability of litter ants as a focusing taxon by checking whether diversity and species assemblages of litter ants reflect the overall picture of arthropod diversity and assemblages in leaf litter in two vegetation types: secondary forest and pine plantation in Upper Hanthana forest reserve, Sri Lanka. In each vegetation type, arthropods were sampled using three sampling methods (Winkler extraction, hand collection, and pitfall traps along three 100 m line transects. From the two sites, 1887 litter ants (34 species and 3488 litter arthropods (52 species were collected. Species assemblages composition of both ants and other arthropods differed significantly between the two sites (ANOSIM, p=0.001 with both groups generating distinct clusters for the two sites (SIMPROF, p=0.001. But there was no significant correlation (p>0.05 between abundance and richness of litter ants and those of other arthropods in both vegetation types. The overall finding suggests that the litter ants do not reflect the holistic picture of arthropod diversity and assemblages in leaf litter, but the quality of the habitat for the survival of all litter arthropods.

  6. CTER—Rapid estimation of CTF parameters with error assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Penczek, Pawel A., E-mail: Pawel.A.Penczek@uth.tmc.edu [Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas Medical School, 6431 Fannin MSB 6.220, Houston, TX 77054 (United States); Fang, Jia [Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas Medical School, 6431 Fannin MSB 6.220, Houston, TX 77054 (United States); Li, Xueming; Cheng, Yifan [The Keck Advanced Microscopy Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94158 (United States); Loerke, Justus; Spahn, Christian M.T. [Institut für Medizinische Physik und Biophysik, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin (Germany)

    2014-05-01

    In structural electron microscopy, the accurate estimation of the Contrast Transfer Function (CTF) parameters, particularly defocus and astigmatism, is of utmost importance for both initial evaluation of micrograph quality and for subsequent structure determination. Due to increases in the rate of data collection on modern microscopes equipped with new generation cameras, it is also important that the CTF estimation can be done rapidly and with minimal user intervention. Finally, in order to minimize the necessity for manual screening of the micrographs by a user it is necessary to provide an assessment of the errors of fitted parameters values. In this work we introduce CTER, a CTF parameters estimation method distinguished by its computational efficiency. The efficiency of the method makes it suitable for high-throughput EM data collection, and enables the use of a statistical resampling technique, bootstrap, that yields standard deviations of estimated defocus and astigmatism amplitude and angle, thus facilitating the automation of the process of screening out inferior micrograph data. Furthermore, CTER also outputs the spatial frequency limit imposed by reciprocal space aliasing of the discrete form of the CTF and the finite window size. We demonstrate the efficiency and accuracy of CTER using a data set collected on a 300 kV Tecnai Polara (FEI) using the K2 Summit DED camera in super-resolution counting mode. Using CTER we obtained a structure of the 80S ribosome whose large subunit had a resolution of 4.03 Å without, and 3.85 Å with, inclusion of astigmatism parameters. - Highlights: • We describe methodology for estimation of CTF parameters with error assessment. • Error estimates provide means for automated elimination of inferior micrographs. • High computational efficiency allows real-time monitoring of EM data quality. • Accurate CTF estimation yields structure of the 80S human ribosome at 3.85 Å.

  7. The first rapid assessment of avoidable blindness (RAAB in Thailand.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saichin Isipradit

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The majority of vision loss is preventable or treatable. Population surveys are crucial for planning, implementation, and monitoring policies and interventions to eliminate avoidable blindness and visual impairments. This is the first rapid assessment of avoidable blindness (RAAB study in Thailand. METHODS: A cross-sectional study of a population in Thailand age 50 years old or over aimed to assess the prevalence and causes of blindness and visual impairments. Using the Thailand National Census 2010 as the sampling frame, a stratified four-stage cluster sampling based on a probability proportional to size was conducted in 176 enumeration areas from 11 provinces. Participants received comprehensive eye examination by ophthalmologists. RESULTS: The age and sex adjusted prevalence of blindness (presenting visual acuity (VA <20/400, severe visual impairment (VA <20/200 but ≥20/400, and moderate visual impairment (VA <20/70 but ≥20/200 were 0.6% (95% CI: 0.5-0.8, 1.3% (95% CI: 1.0-1.6, 12.6% (95% CI: 10.8-14.5. There was no significant difference among the four regions of Thailand. Cataract was the main cause of vision loss accounted for 69.7% of blindness. Cataract surgical coverage in persons was 95.1% for cut off VA of 20/400. Refractive errors, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and corneal opacities were responsible for 6.0%, 5.1%, 4.0%, and 2.0% of blindness respectively. CONCLUSION: Thailand is on track to achieve the goal of VISION 2020. However, there is still much room for improvement. Policy refinements and innovative interventions are recommended to alleviate blindness and visual impairments especially regarding the backlog of blinding cataract, management of non-communicative, chronic, age-related eye diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, prevention of childhood blindness, and establishment of a robust eye health information system.

  8. Practical biophysics: Sensors for rapid detection of biological targets utilizing target-induced oligonucleotide annealing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyduk, Tomasz

    2010-10-01

    Detection and quantitation of biomolecules is one of the most commonly performed measurements in biomedical research and clinical diagnostics. There is high demand for convenient, rapid and sensitive biomolecule detection methodologies. In this review we discuss a family of sensors that have been developed in our laboratory that share a common simple biophysical mechanism of action and that are capable of rapid detection of a diverse range of biological targets. The sensors generate fluorescence signal in the presence of the target molecule through target-induced association of short fluorochrome-labeled complementary oligonucleotides that are attached to target recognition elements of the sensors (antibodies, aptamers, etc.) via nanometer scale flexible linkers. This sensor design can be used for detecting proteins, antibodies, nucleic acids and whole cells. The assays using these sensors require only adding a sample to the sensor mix followed by simple fluorescence intensity readout. The simplicity, the speed of detection and the potential for miniaturization are the main assets of these sensors. 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Rapid detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biomarkers in biological fluids using surface-enhanced Raman scattering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaomeng; Chen, Jing; Zhao, Yiping; Zughaier, Susu M.

    2014-05-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) is an opportunistic pathogen that causes major infection not only in Cystic Fibrosis patients but also in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and in critically ill patients in intensive care units. Successful antibiotic treatment of the infection relies on accurate and rapid identification of the infectious agents. Conventional microbiological detection methods usually take more than 3 days to obtain accurate results. We have developed a rapid diagnostic technique based on surface-enhanced Raman scattering to directly identify PA from biological fluids. P. aeruginosa strains, PAO1 and PA14, are cultured in lysogeny broth, and the SERS spectra of the broth show the signature Raman peaks from pyocyanin and pyoverdine, two major biomarkers that P. aeruginosa secretes during its growth, as well as lipopolysaccharides. This provides the evidence that the presence of these biomarkers can be used to indicate P. aeruginosa infection. A total of 22 clinical exhaled breath condensates (EBC) samples were obtained from subjects with CF disease and from non-CF healthy donors. SERS spectra of these EBC samples were obtained and further analyzed by both principle component analysis and partial least square-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA). PLS-DA can discriminate the samples with P. aeruginosa infection and the ones without P. aeruginosa infection at 99.3% sensitivity and 99.6% specificity. In addition, this technique can also discriminate samples from subject with CF disease and healthy donor with 97.5% sensitivity and 100% specificity. These results demonstrate the potential of using SERS of EBC samples as a rapid diagnostic tool to detect PA infection.

  10. Copper deficiency can limit nitrification in biological rapid sand filters for drinking water production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Florian B; Nielsen, Peter Borch; Boe-Hansen, Rasmus; Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen

    2016-05-15

    Incomplete nitrification in biological filters during drinking water treatment is problematic, as it compromises drinking water quality. Nitrification problems can be caused by a lack of nutrients for the nitrifying microorganisms. Since copper is an important element in one of the essential enzymes in nitrification, we investigated the effect of copper dosing on nitrification in different biological rapid sand filters treating groundwater. A lab-scale column assay with filter material from a water works demonstrated that addition of a trace metal mixture, including copper, increased ammonium removal compared to a control without addition. Subsequently, another water works was investigated in full-scale, where copper influent concentrations were below 0.05 μg Cu L(-1) and nitrification was incomplete. Copper dosing of less than 5 μg Cu L(-1) to a full-scale filter stimulated ammonium removal within one day, and doubled the filter's removal from 0.22 to 0.46 g NH4-N m(-3) filter material h(-1) within 20 days. The location of ammonium and nitrite oxidation shifted upwards in the filter, with an almost 14-fold increase in ammonium removal rate in the filter's top 10 cm, within 57 days of dosing. To study the persistence of the stimulation, copper was dosed to another filter at the water works for 42 days. After dosing was stopped, nitrification remained complete for at least 238 days. Filter effluent concentrations of up to 1.3 μg Cu L(-1) confirmed that copper fully penetrated the filters, and determination of copper content on filter media revealed a buildup of copper during dosing. The amount of copper stored on filter material gradually decreased after dosing stopped; however at a slower rate than it accumulated. Continuous detection of copper in the filter effluent confirmed a release of copper to the bulk phase. Overall, copper dosing to poorly performing biological rapid sand filters increased ammonium removal rates significantly, achieving effluent

  11. Student Assessment in Large-Enrollment Biology Classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso, Manuel; Stella, Carlos; Galagovsky, Lydia

    2008-01-01

    Enrollments into first-year university biology courses may be very large, and therefore evaluating student learning can represent quite a challenge. In this article, we present our experience in assessing students by means of an assessment instrument called "Understand Before Choosing" (UBC). It has been used for six semesters, and its performance…

  12. Assessing Practical Laboratory Skills in Undergraduate Molecular Biology Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Lynne; Koenders, Annette; Gynnild, Vidar

    2012-01-01

    This study explored a new strategy of assessing laboratory skills in a molecular biology course to improve: student effort in preparation for and participation in laboratory work; valid evaluation of learning outcomes; and students' employment prospects through provision of evidence of their skills. Previously, assessment was based on written…

  13. Rapid Assessment Medical Support (RAMS) for active shooter incidents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mechem, C Crawford; Bossert, Richard; Baldini, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    This country has witnessed a steady increase in the number of active shooter incidents in recent years. The traditional emergency medical services (EMS) response to such incidents has been to stage at a safe distance until the scene has been secured by law enforcement. Such an approach may lead to unnecessary delays in medical care and potentially needless loss of life. To address this issue locally, the Philadelphia Fire Department (PFD) and the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) collaborated to develop the Rapid Assessment Medical Support (RAMS) program. All PFD paramedics have been equipped and trained to move with PPD officers into a scene that has been cleared by police but not yet secured in order to initiate emergency care, with an emphasis on hemorrhage control. Patients are then extracted to awaiting EMS resources in the cold zone. The history behind the program and the challenges and obstacles that had to be addressed in its development are described. These included initial and ongoing training and funding sources; buy-in from risk management, labor, and the individual providers; whether only paramedics should be included in the RAMS program or if the PFD's firefighter-EMTs should be included as well; the potential for mission creep as police recognized the value of this asset and its potential application to other scenarios; and how to involve the many nonmunicipal ambulance services that are not involved in the routine operation of Philadelphia's 9-1-1 system. To date, RAMS teams have been activated on multiple occasions, but fortunately the incidents were resolved without injury or loss of life. However, the program provides another valuable tool with which the City of Philadelphia can respond should another active shooter incident occur.

  14. Rapid assessment of avoidable blindness in Nakuru district, Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathenge, Wanjiku; Kuper, Hannah; Limburg, Hans; Polack, Sarah; Onyango, Oscar; Nyaga, Godfrey; Foster, Allen

    2007-03-01

    To estimate the prevalence of avoidable blindness in > or =50-year-olds in Nakuru district, Kenya, and to evaluate the Rapid Assessment for Avoidable Blindness (RAAB), a new methodology to measure the magnitude and causes of blindness. Cross-sectional population-based survey. Seventy-six clusters of 50 people 50 years or older were selected by probability proportionate to size sampling of clusters. Households within clusters were selected through compact segment sampling. Three thousand seven hundred eighty-four eligible subjects were selected, of whom 3503 (92.6%) were examined. Participants underwent a comprehensive ophthalmic examination in their homes by an ophthalmologist, including measurement of visual acuity (VA) with a tumbling-E chart and the diagnosis of the principal cause of visual impairment. Those who had undergone cataract surgery were questioned about the details of the operation and their satisfaction with surgery. Those who were visually impaired from cataract were asked why they had not gone for surgery. Visual acuity and principal cause of VA or =6/60) was 5.8% (95% CI, 4.8%-6.8%) in the sample. Definite avoidable causes of blindness (i.e., cataract, refractive error, trachoma, and corneal scarring) were responsible for 69.6% of bilateral blindness and 74.9% of bilateral visual impairment. Cataract was the major cause of blindness (42.0%) and visual impairment (36.0%). The cataract surgical coverage was high, with 78% of those with bilateral cataract who needed surgery having had surgery at VA or =50-year-olds in Nakuru district was low, in part due to the high cataract surgical coverage. The RAAB is easy to use and inexpensive and provides information about the magnitude and causes of avoidable blindness that can be used for planning and monitoring eye care services.

  15. Rapid assessment of injection practices in Cambodia, 2002

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goldstein Susan

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Injection overuse and unsafe injection practices facilitate transmission of bloodborne pathogens such as hepatitis B virus (HBV, hepatitis C virus (HCV, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV. Anecdotal reports of unsafe and unnecessary therapeutic injections and the high prevalence of HBV (8.0%, HCV (6.5%, and HIV (2.6% infection in Cambodia have raised concern over injection safety. To estimate the magnitude and patterns of such practices, a rapid assessment of injection practices was conducted. Methods We surveyed a random sample of the general population in Takeo Province and convenience samples of prescribers and injection providers in Takeo Province and Phnom Penh city regarding injection-related knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Injection providers were observed administering injections. Data were collected using standardized methods adapted from the World Health Organization safe injection assessment guidelines. Results Among the general population sample (n = 500, the overall injection rate was 5.9 injections per person-year, with 40% of participants reporting receipt of ≥ 1 injection during the previous 6 months. Therapeutic injections, intravenous infusions, and immunizations accounted for 74%, 16% and 10% of injections, respectively. The majority (>85% of injections were received in the private sector. All participants who recalled their last injection reported the injection was administered with a newly opened disposable syringe and needle. Prescribers (n = 60 reported that 47% of the total prescriptions they wrote included a therapeutic injection or infusion. Among injection providers (n = 60, 58% recapped the syringe after use and 13% did not dispose of the used needle and syringe appropriately. Over half (53% of the providers reported a needlestick injury during the previous 12 months. Ninety percent of prescribers and injection providers were aware HBV, HCV, and HIV were transmitted through unsafe

  16. Rapid ethnographic assessment of breastfeeding practices in periurban Mexico City

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Guerrero, M L; Morrow, R C; Calva, J J; Ortega-Gallegos, H; Weller, S C; Ruiz-Palacios, G M; Morrow, A L

    1999-01-01

    Before carrying out a breastfeeding promotion programme in a periurban area of Mexico City, we conducted a rapid ethnographic study to determine the factors associated with absence of exclusive breastfeeding...

  17. Biological methods used to assess surface water quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szczerbiñska Natalia

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In accordance with the guidelines of the Water Framework Directive 2000/60 (WFD, both ecological and chemical statuses determine the assessment of surface waters. The profile of ecological status is based on the analysis of various biological components, and physicochemical and hydromorphological indicators complement this assessment. The aim of this article is to present the biological methods used in the assessment of water status with a special focus on bioassay, as well as to provide a review of methods of monitoring water status. Biological test methods include both biomonitoring and bioanalytics. Water biomonitoring is used to assess and forecast the status of water. These studies aim to collect data on water pollution and forecast its impact. Biomonitoring uses organisms which are characterized by particular vulnerability to contaminants. Bioindicator organisms are algae, fungi, bacteria, larval invertebrates, cyanobacteria, macroinvertebrates, and fish. Bioanalytics is based on the receptors of contaminants that can be biologically active substances. In bioanalytics, biosensors such as viruses, bacteria, antibodies, enzymes, and biotests are used to assess degrees of pollution.

  18. ReagentTF: a rapid and versatile optical clearing method for biological imaging(Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Tingting; Zhu, Jingtan; Li, Yusha; Qi, Yisong; Xu, Jianyi; Gong, Hui; Luo, Qingming; Zhu, Dan

    2017-02-01

    The emergence of various optical clearing methods provides a great potential for imaging deep inside tissues by combining with multiple-labelling and microscopic imaging techniques. They were generally developed for specific imaging demand thus presented some non-negligible limitations such as long incubation time, tissue deformation, fluorescence quenching, incompatibility with immunostaining or lipophilic tracers. In this study, we developed a rapid and versatile clearing method, termed ReagentTF, for deep imaging of various fluorescent samples. This method can not only efficiently clear embryos, neonatal whole-brains and adult thick brain sections by simple immersion in aqueous mixtures with minimal volume change, but also can preserve fluorescence of various fluorescent proteins and simultaneously be compatible with immunostaining and lipophilic neuronal dyes. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this method in reconstructing the cell distributions of mouse hippocampus, visualizing the neural projection from CA1 (Cornu Ammonis 1) to HDB (nucleus of the horizontal limb of the diagonal band), and observing the growth of forelimb plexus in whole-mount embryos. These results suggest that ReagentTF is useful for large-volume imaging and will be an option for the deep imaging of biological tissues.

  19. An inexpensive and portable microvolumeter for rapid evaluation of biological samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglass, John K; Wcislo, William T

    2010-08-01

    We describe an improved microvolumeter (MVM) for rapidly measuring volumes of small biological samples, including live zooplankton, embryos, and small animals and organs. Portability and low cost make this instrument suitable for widespread use, including at remote field sites. Beginning with Archimedes' principle, which states that immersing an arbitrarily shaped sample in a fluid-filled container displaces an equivalent volume, we identified procedures that maximize measurement accuracy and repeatability across a broad range of absolute volumes. Crucial steps include matching the overall configuration to the size of the sample, using reflected light to monitor fluid levels precisely, and accounting for evaporation during measurements. The resulting precision is at least 100 times higher than in previous displacement-based methods. Volumes are obtained much faster than by traditional histological or confocal methods and without shrinkage artifacts due to fixation or dehydration. Calibrations using volume standards confirmed accurate measurements of volumes as small as 0.06 microL. We validated the feasibility of evaluating soft-tissue samples by comparing volumes of freshly dissected ant brains measured with the MVM and by confocal reconstruction.

  20. Rapid Biological Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles from Ocimum sanctum and Their Characterization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Z. H. Khan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available With development of nanotechnology, the biological synthesis process deals with the synthesis, characterization, and manipulation of materials and further development at nanoscale which is the most cost-effective and eco-friendly and rapid synthesis process as compared to physical and chemical process. In this research silver nanoparticles (AgNPs were synthesized from silver nitrate (AgNO3 aqueous solution through eco-friendly plant leaf broth of Ocimum sanctum as reactant as well as capping agent and stabilizer. The formation of AgNPs was monitored by ultraviolet-visible spectrometer (UV-vis and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR spectroscopy. X-ray diffraction (XRD and scanning electronic microscopy (SEM have been used to characterize the morphology of prepared AgNPs. The peaks in XRD pattern are in good agreement with that of face-centered-cubic (FCC form of metallic silver. Thermal gravimetric analysis/differential thermal analysis (TGA/DTA results confirmed the weight loss and the exothermic reaction due to desorption of chemisorbed water. The average grain size of silver nanoparticles is found to be 29 nm. The FTIR results indicated that the leaf broths containing the carboxyl, hydroxyl, and amine groups are mainly involved in fabrication of silver AgNPs and proteins, which have amine groups responsible for stabilizing AgNPs in the solution.

  1. The usefulness and significance of assessing rapidly progressive spermatozoa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Björndahl, Lars

    2010-01-01

    It is possible and clinically relevant to distinguish between slow and rapid progressive spermatozoa in basic semen analysis. This is discussed in light of the different purposes of semen analysis for the subfertile couple and the male patient. The two groups of progressive spermatozoa should be distinguished to help ensure that pertinent information available in the semen sample is not neglected. PMID:20111079

  2. Rapid Carbon Assessment Project: Data Summary and Availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wills, Skye; Loecke, Terry; Roecker, Stephen; Beaudette, Dylan; Libohova, Zamir; Monger, Curtis; Lindbo, David

    2017-04-01

    The Rapid Carbon Assessment (RaCA) project was undertaken to estimate regional soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks across the conterminous United States (CONUS) as a one-time event. Sample locations were selected randomly using the NRI (National Resource Inventory) sampling framework covering all areas in CONUS with SSURGO certified maps as of Dec 2012. Within each of 17 regions, sites were selected by a combination of soil and land use/cover groups (LUGR). At each of more than 6,000 sites five pedons were described and sampled to a depth of 100cm (one central and 4 satellites 30m in each cardinal direction). There were 144,833 samples described from 32,084 pedons at 6, 017 sites. A combination of measurement and modeled bulk density was used for all samples. A visible near-infrared (VNIR) spectrophotometer was used to scan each sample for prediction of soil carbon contents. The samples of each central pedon were analyzed by the Kellogg Soil Survey Laboratory for combustion carbon and calcimeter inorganic carbon. SOC stocks were calculated for each pedon using a standard fixed depth technique to depths of 5, 30 and 100cm. Pedon SOC stocks were transformed to better approach normality before LUGR, regional and land use/cover summaries were calculated. The values reported are geometric means. A detailed spatial map can be produced using LUGR mean assignment to correlated pixels. LUGR values range from 1 to 3,000 Mg ha-1. While some artifacts are visible due to the stratified nature of sampling and extrapolation, the predictions are generally smooth and highlight some distinct geomorphic features including the sandhills in the Great Plains in the central US, mountainous regions in the West and coastal wetlands in the East. Regional averages range from 46 Mg ha-1 in the desert Southwest to 182 Mg ha-1 in the Northeast. Regional trends correlate to climate variables such as precipitation and potential evapotranspiration. While land use/cover classes vary in mean values

  3. Rapid assessment of endemic bird areas in Michoacan, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilberto Chavez-Leon; Deborah M. Finch

    1999-01-01

    Non-sustainable land use practices in the state of Michoacan, Mexico, have perturbed endemic bird h~bitats for several decades. Endemic birds have a restricted geographic and ecological distribution. This feature makes them suitable to be used as indicators of biological diversity and environmental perturbation. Forty-one Mexican endemic species have been recorded in...

  4. DNA barcoding as a tool for Great Lakes biological assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enumerating organisms found in water samples in support of biodiversity and biological condition assessment is a mainstay of aquatic ecology, yet can require considerable resources and expertise. DNA-based identification of mixed-organism samples offers the potential to greatly ...

  5. BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF WATER QUALITY: A STUDY OF ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DR. AMIN

    ABSTRACT. This study was carried out to survey the biotic community of Challawa river water in Kano, Nigeria, using Biological Monitoring Working Party Score (BMWP) and Average Score Per Taxa (ASPT) assessment tools to evaluate the water quality in the field. Using standardized sampling technique insects, insects' ...

  6. River Pollution: Part II. Biological Methods for Assessing Water Quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Openshaw, Peter

    1984-01-01

    Discusses methods used in the biological assessment of river quality and such indicators of clean and polluted waters as the Trent Biotic Index, Chandler Score System, and species diversity indexes. Includes a summary of a river classification scheme based on quality criteria related to water use. (JN)

  7. A novel bench-scale column assay to investigate site-specific nitrification biokinetics in biological rapid sand filters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tatari, Karolina; Smets, Barth F.; Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen

    2013-01-01

    A bench-scale assay was developed to obtain site-specific nitrification biokinetic information from biological rapid sand filters employed in groundwater treatment. The experimental set-up uses granular material subsampled from a full-scale filter, packed in a column, and operated with controlled...

  8. The Cultural Dimensions of Freshwater Wetland Assessments: Lessons Learned from the Application of US Rapid Assessment Methods in France.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaucherand, Stéphanie; Schwoertzig, Eugénie; Clement, Jean-Christophe; Johnson, Brad; Quétier, Fabien

    2015-07-01

    Given the recent strengthening of wetland restoration and protection policies in France, there is need to develop rapid assessment methods that provide a cost-effective way to assess losses and gains of wetland functions. Such methods have been developed in the US and we tested six of them on a selection of contrasting wetlands in the Isère watershed. We found that while the methods could discriminate sites, they did not always give consistent rankings, thereby revealing the different assumptions they explicitly or implicitly incorporate. The US assessment methods commonly use notions of "old-growth" or "pristine" to define the benchmark conditions against which to assess wetlands. Any reference-based assessment developed in the US would need adaptation to work in the French context. This could be quite straightforward for the evaluation of hydrologic variables as scoring appears to be consistent with the best professional judgment of hydrologic condition made by a panel of French local experts. Approaches to rating vegetation condition and landscape context, however, would require substantial reworking to reflect a novel view of reference standard. Reference standard in the European context must include acknowledgement that many of the best condition and biologically important wetland types in France are the product of intensive, centuries-long management (mowing, grazing, etc.). They must also explicitly incorporate the recent trend in ecological assessment to focus particularly on the wetland's role in landscape-level connectivity. These context-specific, socio-cultural dimensions must be acknowledged and adjusted for when adapting or developing wetland assessment methods in new cultural contexts.

  9. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Lisianski, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  10. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Tau, American Samoa in 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  11. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Farallon de Pajaros, Marianas in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  12. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Rose, American Samoa in 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  13. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Alamagan, Marianas in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  14. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Howland, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  15. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at French Frigate, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  16. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Asuncion, Marianas in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  17. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Pagan, Marianas in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  18. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Ofu & Olosega, American Samoa in 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  19. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Molokai, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  20. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Maug, Marianas in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  1. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Kingman, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  2. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Tutuila, American Samoa in 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  3. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Wake, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  4. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Agrihan, Marianas in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  5. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Lanai, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  6. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Kure, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  7. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Rota, Marianas in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  8. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Hawaii, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  9. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Kauai, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  10. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Swains, American Samoa in 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  11. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Guguan, Marianas in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  12. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Sarigan, Marianas in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  13. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Johnston, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  14. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Aguijan, Marianas in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  15. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Palmyra, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  16. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Tinian, Marianas in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  17. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Pearl & Hermes, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  18. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Maui, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  19. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Guam, Marianas in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  20. Rapid ethnographic assessment of breastfeeding practices in periurban Mexico City.

    OpenAIRE

    Guerrero, M.L.; Morrow, R C; Calva, J.J.; Ortega-Gallegos, H.; Weller, S. C.; Ruiz-Palacios, G M; Morrow, A.L.

    1999-01-01

    Before carrying out a breastfeeding promotion programme in a periurban area of Mexico City, we conducted a rapid ethnographic study to determine the factors associated with absence of exclusive breastfeeding. The responses to pilot interviews were used to develop a standardized questionnaire regarding reasons for infant feeding choice, sources of advice, and barriers to breastfeeding. We interviewed a random sample of 150 mothers with a child < 5 years of age; 136 (91%) of them had initiated ...

  1. Rapid Assessment of Loiasis in parts of the Niger Delta, in Imo State ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The prevalence of loiasis was rapidly assessed based on the World Health Organisation RAPLOA technique in 24 rural communities of the Niger Delta Area of Imo State, Nigeria using 78-82 adults per community. The rapid assessment was based on history of eye worm and Calabar swellings from individual, as well as ...

  2. Rapid CO2 permeation across biological membranes: implications for CO2 venting from tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hulikova, Alzbeta; Swietach, Pawel

    2014-07-01

    The degree to which cell membranes are barriers to CO2 transport remains controversial. Proteins, such as aquaporins and Rh complex, have been proposed to facilitate CO2 transport, implying that the nonchannel component of membranes must have greatly reduced CO2 permeability. To determine whether membrane CO2 permeation is rate limiting for gas transport, the spread of CO2 across multicellular tissue growths (spheroids) was measured using intracellular pH as a spatial readout. Colorectal HCT116 cells have basal water and NH3 permeability, indicating the functional absence of aquaporins and gas channels. However, CO2 diffusivity in HCT116 spheroids was only 24 ± 4% lower than in pure water, which can be accounted for fully by volume exclusion due to proteins. Diffusivity was unaffected by blockers of aquaporins and Rh complex (Hg(2+), p-chloromercuribenzoic acid, and 4,4'-diisothiocyano-2,2'-stilbene-disulfonic acid) but decreased under hypertonic conditions (by addition of 300 mOsm mannitol), which increases intracellular protein crowding. Similar CO2 diffusivity was measured in spheroids of T47D breast cells (basal water permeability) and NHDF-Ad fibroblasts (aquaporin-facilitated water permeability). In contrast, diffusivity of NH3, a smaller but less lipophilic gas, was considerably slower than in pure water, as expected from rate-limiting membrane permeation. In conclusion, membranes, even in the functional absence of proposed gas channels, do not restrict CO2 venting from tissue growths.-Hulikova, A., Swietach, P. Rapid CO2 permeation across biological membranes: implications for CO2 venting from tissue. © FASEB.

  3. Rapid release of tissue enzymes into blood after blast exposure: potential use as biological dosimeters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peethambaran Arun

    Full Text Available Explosive blast results in multiple organ injury and polytrauma, the intensity of which varies with the nature of the exposure, orientation, environment and individual resilience. Blast overpressure alone may not precisely indicate the level of body or brain injury after blast exposure. Assessment of the extent of body injury after blast exposure is important, since polytrauma and systemic factors significantly contribute to blast-induced traumatic brain injury. We evaluated the activity of plasma enzymes including aspartate aminotransferase (AST, alanine aminotransferase (ALT, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH and creatine kinase (CK at different time points after blast exposure using a mouse model of single and repeated blast exposures to assess the severity of injury. Our data show that activities of all the enzymes in the plasma were significantly increased as early as 1 h after blast exposure. The elevated enzyme activity remained up to 6 h in an overpressure dose-dependent manner and returned close to normal levels at 24 h. Head-only blast exposure with body protection showed no increase in the enzyme activities suggesting that brain injury alone does not contribute to the systemic increase. In contrast to plasma increase, AST, ALT and LDH activity in the liver and CK in the skeletal muscle showed drastic decrease at 6 h after blast exposures. Histopathology showed mild necrosis at 6 h and severe necrosis at 24 h after blast exposures in liver and no changes in the skeletal muscle suggesting that the enzyme release from the tissue to plasma is probably triggered by transient cell membrane disruption from shockwave and not due to necrosis. Overpressure dependent transient release of tissue enzymes and elevation in the plasma after blast exposure suggest that elevated enzyme activities in the blood can be potentially used as a biological dosimeter to assess the severity of blast injury.

  4. Biological Assessment of the release of the biological control agent Diorhabda elongata on threatened, endangered and candidate species.

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This Biological Assessment proposes to release the biological control agent Diorhabda elongata on the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge (CMR) to combat...

  5. Advanced Level Biology Teachers' Attitudes towards Assessment and Their Engagement in Assessment for Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bramwell-Lalor, Sharon; Rainford, Marcia

    2015-01-01

    This paper reports on a Mixed Methods study involving an investigation into the attitudes of advanced level biology teachers towards assessment and describes the teachers' experiences while being engaged in Assessment for Learning (AfL) practices such as sharing of learning objectives and peer- and self-assessment. Quantitative data were collected…

  6. Rapid full-field OCT assessment of clinical tissue specimens (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalimier, Eugénie; Harms, Fabrice; Brossollet, Charles; Benoit, Emilie; Martins, Franck; Boccara, Claude A.

    2016-03-01

    FFOCT (Full Field Optical Coherence Tomography) is a novel optical technology that gives access to very high resolution tomography images of biological tissues within minutes, non-invasively. This makes it an attractive tool to bridge the gap between medical imaging modalities (MRI, ultrasound, CT) used for cancer lesion identification or targeting and histological diagnosis. Clinical tissue specimens, such as surgical cancer margins or biopsies, can potentially be assessed rapidly, by the clinician, in the aim to help him decide on the course of action. A fast FFOCT prototype was built, that provides 1cm2 images with 1 µm resolution in 1 minute, and can accommodate samples up to 50mm diameter. Specific work was carried out to implement a large sample holder, high-speed image acquisition system, optimized scanning, and accelerated GPU tiles stitching. Results obtained on breast, urology, and digestive tissues show the efficiency of the technique for the detection of cancer on clinical tissue specimens, and reinforce the clinical relevance of the technique. The technical and clinical results show that the fast FFOCT system can successfully be used for a fast assessment of cancer excision margins or biopsies providing a very valuable tool in the clinical environment.

  7. Assessing biological effects from highway-runoff constituents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckler, Denny R.; Granato, Gregory E.

    1999-01-01

    Increased emphasis on evaluation of nonpoint-source pollution has intensified the need for techniques that can be used to discern the toxicological effects of complex chemical mixtures. In response, the use of biological assessment techniques is receiving increased regulatory emphasis. When applied with documented habitat assessment and chemical analysis, these techniques can increase our understanding of the influence of environmental contaminants on the biological integrity and ecological function of aquatic communities.The contaminants of greatest potential concern in highway runoff are those that arise from highway construction, maintenance, and use. The major contaminants of interest are deicers; nutrients; metals; petroleum-related organic compounds, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX), and methyl tert -butyl ether (MTBE); sediment washed off the road surface; and agricultural chemicals used in highway maintenance. Hundreds, if not thousands, of biological endpoints (measurable responses of living organisms) may be either directly or associatively affected by contaminant exposure. Measurable effects can occur throughout ecosystem processes across the wide range of biological complexity, ranging from responses at the biochemical level to the community level. The challenge to the environmental scientist is to develop an understanding of the relationship of effects at various levels of biological organization in order to determine whether a causal relationship exists between chemical exposure and substantial ecological impairment. This report provides a brief history of the evolution of biological assessment techniques, a description of the major classes of contaminants that are of particular interest in highway runoff, an overview of representative biological assessment techniques, and a discussion of data-quality considerations. Published reports with a focus on the effects of highway runoff on the

  8. Rapid assessment of cataract surgical coverage in rural Zululand ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Objective. Cataract surgical coverage (CSC) is a useful indicator of the degree of success of a cataract intervention programme. However, because previously described methods are time-consuming and labour-intensive, they are rarely performed. This study describes a simple and inexpensive assessment of CSC based ...

  9. Rapid ethnographic assessment of breastfeeding practices in periurban Mexico City.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero, M L; Morrow, R C; Calva, J J; Ortega-Gallegos, H; Weller, S C; Ruiz-Palacios, G M; Morrow, A L

    1999-01-01

    Before carrying out a breastfeeding promotion programme in a periurban area of Mexico City, we conducted a rapid ethnographic study to determine the factors associated with absence of exclusive breastfeeding. The responses to pilot interviews were used to develop a standardized questionnaire regarding reasons for infant feeding choice, sources of advice, and barriers to breastfeeding. We interviewed a random sample of 150 mothers with a child health, growth, and hygiene were the main reasons for the type of feeding selected; cost, comfort, and the husband's opinion were less important. Physicians were ranked as the most important source of advice. Reduction or cessation of breastfeeding occurred on the doctor's advice (68%); or when the mothers encountered local folk illnesses such as "coraje" (52%) or "susto" (54%), which are associated with anger or fright; or had "not enough milk" (62%) or "bad milk" (56%); or because of illness of the mother (56%) or child (43%). During childhood illnesses and conditions, breastfeeding was reduced and the use of supplementary foods was increased. This study emphasizes the importance of cultural values in infant feeding choices, defines specific barriers to breastfeeding, and provides a basis for interventions to promote exclusive breastfeeding in the study population.

  10. Rapid assessment of disaster damage using social media activity

    OpenAIRE

    Kryvasheyeu, Yury; Chen, Haohui; Obradovich, Nick; Moro, Esteban; Van Hentenryck, Pascal; Fowler, James; Cebrian, Manuel

    2016-01-01

    Could social media data aid in disaster response and damage assessment? Countries face both an increasing frequency and an increasing intensity of natural disasters resulting from climate change. During such events, citizens turn to social media platforms for disaster-related communication and information. Social media improves situational awareness, facilitates dissemination of emergency information, enables early warning systems, and helps coordinate relief efforts. In addition, the spatiot...

  11. Rapid forest carbon assessments of oceanic islands: a case study of the Hawaiian archipelago

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory P. Asner

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Spatially explicit forest carbon (C monitoring aids conservation and climate change mitigation efforts, yet few approaches have been developed specifically for the highly heterogeneous landscapes of oceanic island chains that continue to undergo rapid and extensive forest C change. We developed an approach for rapid mapping of aboveground C density (ACD; units = Mg or metric tons C ha−1 on islands at a spatial resolution of 30 m (0.09 ha using a combination of cost-effective airborne LiDAR data and full-coverage satellite data. We used the approach to map forest ACD across the main Hawaiian Islands, comparing C stocks within and among islands, in protected and unprotected areas, and among forests dominated by native and invasive species. Results Total forest aboveground C stock of the Hawaiian Islands was 36 Tg, and ACD distributions were extremely heterogeneous both within and across islands. Remotely sensed ACD was validated against U.S. Forest Service FIA plot inventory data (R2 = 0.67; RMSE = 30.4 Mg C ha−1. Geospatial analyses indicated the critical importance of forest type and canopy cover as predictors of mapped ACD patterns. Protection status was a strong determinant of forest C stock and density, but we found complex environmentally mediated responses of forest ACD to alien plant invasion. Conclusions A combination of one-time airborne LiDAR data acquisition and satellite monitoring provides effective forest C mapping in the highly heterogeneous landscapes of the Hawaiian Islands. Our statistical approach yielded key insights into the drivers of ACD variation, and also makes possible future assessments of C storage change, derived on a repeat basis from free satellite data, without the need for additional LiDAR data. Changes in C stocks and densities of oceanic islands can thus be continually assessed in the face of rapid environmental changes such as biological invasions, drought, fire and land use

  12. Rapid forest carbon assessments of oceanic islands: a case study of the Hawaiian archipelago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asner, Gregory P; Sousan, Sinan; Knapp, David E; Selmants, Paul C; Martin, Roberta E; Hughes, R Flint; Giardina, Christian P

    2016-12-01

    Spatially explicit forest carbon (C) monitoring aids conservation and climate change mitigation efforts, yet few approaches have been developed specifically for the highly heterogeneous landscapes of oceanic island chains that continue to undergo rapid and extensive forest C change. We developed an approach for rapid mapping of aboveground C density (ACD; units = Mg or metric tons C ha-1) on islands at a spatial resolution of 30 m (0.09 ha) using a combination of cost-effective airborne LiDAR data and full-coverage satellite data. We used the approach to map forest ACD across the main Hawaiian Islands, comparing C stocks within and among islands, in protected and unprotected areas, and among forests dominated by native and invasive species. Total forest aboveground C stock of the Hawaiian Islands was 36 Tg, and ACD distributions were extremely heterogeneous both within and across islands. Remotely sensed ACD was validated against U.S. Forest Service FIA plot inventory data (R2 = 0.67; RMSE = 30.4 Mg C ha-1). Geospatial analyses indicated the critical importance of forest type and canopy cover as predictors of mapped ACD patterns. Protection status was a strong determinant of forest C stock and density, but we found complex environmentally mediated responses of forest ACD to alien plant invasion. A combination of one-time airborne LiDAR data acquisition and satellite monitoring provides effective forest C mapping in the highly heterogeneous landscapes of the Hawaiian Islands. Our statistical approach yielded key insights into the drivers of ACD variation, and also makes possible future assessments of C storage change, derived on a repeat basis from free satellite data, without the need for additional LiDAR data. Changes in C stocks and densities of oceanic islands can thus be continually assessed in the face of rapid environmental changes such as biological invasions, drought, fire and land use. Such forest monitoring information can be used to promote

  13. Hawaii Coral Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (CRAMP): Benthic Data from Rapid Assessment Transects Maui 2006 (NODC Accession 0039383)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset consists of CRAMP Rapid Assessment Transect surveys taken in 2006 and includes quantitative estimates of substrate type and species. In 2006, there were...

  14. Hawaii Coral Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (CRAMP): Benthic Data from Rapid Assessment Transects 2001-2004 (NODC Accession 0002464)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset consists of CRAMP Rapid Assessment Transect surveys taken in 2001-2004 and includes quantitative estimates of substrate type and species. The types and...

  15. Benthic data from rapid assessment transects, 2001-2004, in the Hawaiian Islands (NODC Accession 0002464)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset consists of CRAMP Rapid Assessment Transect surveys taken in 2001-2004 and includes quantitative estimates of substrate type and species. The types and...

  16. Methodology for Computer-aided, Interactive Rapid Assessment of Local or Regional Stress Fields on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colton, S. L.; Ferrill, D. A.; Sims, D. W.; Wyrick, D. Y.; Franklin, N. M.

    2003-03-01

    We present a method for rapid assessment of stress fields on Mars: (i) mapping geologic structures, (ii) calculating stress fields, and (iii) determining resolved stresses on faults. Preliminary results are presented for northern Utopia Planitia.

  17. Assessment of changes in smile after rapid maxillary expansion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Paula Morales Cobra de Carvalho

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: This study evaluated changes in the smile characteristics of patients with maxillary constriction submitted to rapid maxillary expansion (RME. METHODS: The sample consisted of 81 extraoral photographs of maximum smile of 27 patients with mean age of 10 years, before expansion and 3 and 6 months after fixation of the expanding screw. The photographs were analyzed on the software Cef X 2001, with achievement of the following measurements: Transverse smile area, buccal corridors, exposure of maxillary incisors, gingival exposure of maxillary incisors, smile height, upper and lower lip thickness, smile symmetry and smile arch. Statistical analysis was performed by analysis of variance (ANOVA, at a significance level of 5%. RESULTS: RME promoted statistically significant increase in the transverse smile dimension and exposure of maxillary central and lateral incisors; maintenance of right and left side smile symmetry and of the lack of parallelism between the curvature of the maxillary incisal edges and lower lip border. CONCLUSIONS: RME was beneficial for the smile esthetics with the increase of the transverse smile dimension and exposure of maxillary central and lateral incisors.INTRODUÇÃO: esse estudo avaliou as alterações das características do sorriso de pacientes com atresia maxilar submetidos à expansão rápida da maxila (ERM. MÉTODOS: a amostra consistiu de 81 fotografias extrabucais do sorriso máximo de 27 pacientes, com idade média de 10 anos, antes da expansão e aos três e seis meses após a fixação do parafuso expansor. As análises das fotografias foram realizadas por meio do programa Cef X 2001, e as seguintes medidas foram analisadas: dimensão transversal do sorriso, corredores bucais, quantidade de exposição dos incisivos superiores, exposição gengival dos incisivos superiores, altura do sorriso, espessuras dos lábios superior e inferior, simetria e arco do sorriso. As alterações no sorriso durante

  18. Rapid assessment of insect fauna based on local knowledge: comparing ecological and ethnobiological methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Daniele Cristina de Oliveira; Ramos, Marcelo Alves; da Silva, Henrique Costa Hermenegildo; Alves, Angelo Giuseppe Chaves

    2016-03-01

    The rapid assessment of biodiversity making use of surveys of local knowledge has been successful for different biological taxa. However, there are no reports on the testing of such tools for sampling insect fauna. The present study aimed to evaluate the efficiency of different ethnobiological techniques for rapid sampling of insect fauna. Field research for the conventional survey of insect fauna was conducted on a private farm (9 ° 43'38.95 "S, 37 ° 45'11.97" W) , where there was intensive cultivation of okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L. (Moench)). The survey of local entomological knowledge was conducted among all the producers of okra living in the rural villages Pereira, Santa Luzia, and Nassau de Souza, within the Jacaré Curituba irrigated settlement scheme. The combined use of the techniques "free list" and projective interviews was analyzed, using two types of visual stimuli: stock photos and an entomological box. During the conventional survey of insect fauna, the species Bemisia tabaci biotype B, Aphis gossypii, Phenacoccus sp., Icerya purchasi and Lagria villosa were the primary pests found in the okra crop. Regarding the survey of insect pests, the results were convergent  in both techniques (conventional sampling and free list). Comparing the interview with visual stimuli (pictures) and specimen witnesses (entomological box) revealed that the latter was more effective. Techniques based on the recording and analysis of local knowledge about insects are effective for quick sampling of pest insects, but ineffective in sampling predator insects. The utilization of collected insects, infested branches, or photos of the symptoms of damage caused by pests in projective interviews is recommended.

  19. Human biological monitoring of mercury for exposure assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romilda Z. Boerleider

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Mercury (Hg is a naturally occurring element that has metallic, inorganic and organic forms, each with their own implications for human health. Exposure to mercury primarily occurs by inhalation of metallic mercury vapors and by dietary intake of organic mercury. Early health effects are often not well detected. Therefore, determination of the internal dose is a valuable approach in primary prevention. With this review, we aim to give an overview of the different human biological monitoring (HBM approaches for short- and long-term exposure to different chemical forms of mercury. We performed a literature search in PubMed using Medical Subject Headings (MeSH terms as well as free text words. From 417 reviews found, we selected 8 reviews. In addition, online information from national and international health authorities was used. The format of the biological application datasheets from the BIOMONECS project was used to provide an overview of the different biological media for HBM of mercury and methyl mercury. Recent exposure to metallic mercury can be assessed by blood sampling within 24 h after exposure. If children are involved, breath sampling can be considered as a less invasive alternative. Urinary mercury levels mainly reflect long-term inhalation exposure to elemental mercury vapors and divalent mercury. Mercury in blood and hair reflects mid- and long-term exposure to methyl mercury, whereas analysis of a hair segment close to the scalp indicates recent exposure. A flow chart was developed to support the selection of the most suitable HBM approach. For each of the different biological matrices, we provided an overview of advantages and limitations. Depending on the source and duration of exposure, blood, exhaled air, urine or hair can be used for mercury exposure assessment.

  20. Microwave Hematoma Detector for the Rapid Assessment of Head Injuries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hadded, W.; Chang, J.; Rosenbury, T.; Dallum, G.; Welsch, P.; Scott, D.; Duarte, D.; Acevedo-Bolton, V.

    2000-02-11

    A non-invasive microwave device for the detection of epi/subdural hemorrhaging (hematoma) is under current development. The final device will be highly portable and allow real time assessment of head injuries, thereby satisfying early detection needs of the field technician as well as providing a tool for repetitious monitoring of high-risk individuals. The device will adopt the advanced technology of micropower impulse radar (MIR) which is a state of the art low cost ultra wide band (UWB) microwave radar developed here at LLNL. It will consist of a MIR transmitting and receiving module, a computer based signal processing module, and a device-to-patient signal coupling module--the UWB antenna. The prototype design is being guided by the needs of the patient and the practitioner along with the prerequisites of the technology including issues such as the specificity of the device, efficacy of diagnosis, accuracy, robustness, and patient comfort. The prototype development follows a concurrent approach which .includes experiments designed to evaluate requirements of the radar and antenna design, phantom development to facilitate laboratory investigations, and investigation into the limits of adapting pre-existing non-medical MIR devices to medical applications. This report will present the accomplishments and project highlights to date in the fiscal year 1999. Future project projections will also be discussed.

  1. Using Ant Communities For Rapid Assessment Of Terrestrial Ecosystem Health

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wike, L

    2005-06-01

    relative health of the ecosystem. The IBI, though originally for Midwestern streams, has been successfully adapted to other ecoregions and taxa (macroinvertebrates, Lombard and Goldstein, 2004) and has become an important tool for scientists and regulatory agencies alike in determining health of stream ecosystems. The IBI is a specific type of a larger group of methods and procedures referred to as Rapid Bioassessment (RBA). These protocols have the advantage of directly measuring the organisms affected by system perturbations, thus providing an integrated evaluation of system health because the organisms themselves integrate all aspects of their environment and its condition. In addition to the IBI, the RBA concept has also been applied to seep wetlands (Paller et al. 2005) and terrestrial systems (O'Connell et al. 1998, Kremen et al. 1993, Rodriguez et al. 1998, Rosenberg et al. 1986). Terrestrial RBA methods have lagged somewhat behind those for aquatic systems because terrestrial systems are less distinctly defined and seem to have a less universal distribution of an all-inclusive taxon, such as fish in the IBI, upon which to base an RBA. In the last decade, primarily in Australia, extensive development of an RBA using ant communities has shown great promise. Ants have the same advantage for terrestrial RBAs that fish do for aquatic systems in that they are an essential and ubiquitous component of virtually all terrestrial ecosystems. They occupy a broad range of niches, functional groups, and trophic levels and they possess one very important characteristic that makes them ideal for RBA because, similar to the fishes, there is a wide range of tolerance to conditions within the larger taxa. Within ant communities there are certain groups, genera, or species that may be very robust and abundant under even the harshest impacts. There are also taxa that are very sensitive to disturbance and change and their presence or absence is also indicative of the local

  2. Using the Semantic Web for Rapid Integration of WikiPathways with Other Biological Online Data Resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waagmeester, Andra; Kutmon, Martina; Riutta, Anders; Miller, Ryan; Willighagen, Egon L; Evelo, Chris T; Pico, Alexander R

    2016-06-01

    The diversity of online resources storing biological data in different formats provides a challenge for bioinformaticians to integrate and analyse their biological data. The semantic web provides a standard to facilitate knowledge integration using statements built as triples describing a relation between two objects. WikiPathways, an online collaborative pathway resource, is now available in the semantic web through a SPARQL endpoint at http://sparql.wikipathways.org. Having biological pathways in the semantic web allows rapid integration with data from other resources that contain information about elements present in pathways using SPARQL queries. In order to convert WikiPathways content into meaningful triples we developed two new vocabularies that capture the graphical representation and the pathway logic, respectively. Each gene, protein, and metabolite in a given pathway is defined with a standard set of identifiers to support linking to several other biological resources in the semantic web. WikiPathways triples were loaded into the Open PHACTS discovery platform and are available through its Web API (https://dev.openphacts.org/docs) to be used in various tools for drug development. We combined various semantic web resources with the newly converted WikiPathways content using a variety of SPARQL query types and third-party resources, such as the Open PHACTS API. The ability to use pathway information to form new links across diverse biological data highlights the utility of integrating WikiPathways in the semantic web.

  3. Microbial community structure and a core microbiome in biological rapid sand filters at Danish waterworks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gülay, Arda; Musovic, Sanin; Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen

    Rapid sand filtration is a traditional and common technology for drinking water purification from groundwater. Despite its wide scale and long-term use, the diversity and characterization of microbial communities in these engineered systems have remained unexplored and their roles in removal...

  4. Rapid recovery of cyanobacterial pigments in desiccated biological soil crusts following addition of water

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abed, R M M; Polerecky, Lubos; Al-Habsi, Amal; Oetjen, Janina; Strous, Marc; de Beer, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    We examined soil surface colour change to green and hydrotaxis following addition of water to biological soil crusts using pigment extraction, hyperspectral imaging, microsensors and 13C labeling experiments coupled to matrix-assisted laser desorption and ionization time of flight-mass spectrometry

  5. The Network Library: A framework to rapidly integrate network biology resources

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Summer, G.; Kelder, T.; Radonjic, M.; Bilsen, M. van; Wopereis, S.; Heymans, S.

    2016-01-01

    Motivation: Much of the biological knowledge accumulated over the last decades is stored in different databases governed by various organizations and institutes. Integrating and connecting these vast knowledge repositories is an extremely useful method to support life sciences research and help

  6. Grays River Watershed and Biological Assessment Final Report 2006.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    May, Christopher W.; McGrath, Kathleen E.; Geist, David R. [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Abbe, Timothy; Barton, Chase [Herrera Environmental Consultants, Inc.

    2008-02-04

    The Grays River Watershed and Biological Assessment was funded to address degradation and loss of spawning habitat for chum salmon (Onchorhynchus keta) and fall Chinook salmon (Onchoryhnchus tshawytscha). In 1999, the National Marine Fisheries Service listed lower Columbia River chum salmon as a threatened Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). The Grays River watershed is one of two remaining significant chum salmon spawning locations in this ESU. Runs of Grays River chum and Chinook salmon have declined significantly during the past century, largely because of damage to spawning habitat associated with timber harvest and agriculture in the watershed. In addition, approximately 20-25% of the then-remaining chum salmon spawning habitat was lost during a 1999 channel avulsion that destroyed an important artificial spawning channel operated by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Although the lack of stable, high-quality spawning habitat is considered the primary physical limitation on Grays River chum salmon production today, few data are available to guide watershed management and channel restoration activities. The objectives of the Grays River Watershed and Biological Assessment project were to (1) perform a comprehensive watershed and biological analysis, including hydrologic, geomorphic, and ecological assessments; (2) develop a prioritized list of actions that protect and restore critical chum and Chinook salmon spawning habitat in the Grays River based on comprehensive geomorphic, hydrologic, and stream channel assessments; and (3) gain a better understanding of chum and Chinook salmon habitat requirements and survival within the lower Columbia River and the Grays River. The watershed-based approach to river ecosystem restoration relies on a conceptual framework that describes general relationships between natural landscape characteristics, watershed-scale habitat-forming processes, aquatic

  7. Grays River Watershed and Biological Assessment, 2006 Final Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    May, Christopher; Geist, David [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    2007-04-01

    The Grays River Watershed and Biological Assessment was funded to address degradation and loss of spawning habitat for chum salmon (Onchorhynchus keta) and fall Chinook salmon (Onchoryhnchus tshawytscha). In 1999, the National Marine Fisheries Service listed lower Columbia River chum salmon as a threatened Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). The Grays River watershed is one of two remaining significant chum salmon spawning locations in this ESU. Runs of Grays River chum and Chinook salmon have declined significantly during the past century, largely because of damage to spawning habitat associated with timber harvest and agriculture in the watershed. In addition, approximately 20-25% of the then-remaining chum salmon spawning habitat was lost during a 1999 channel avulsion that destroyed an important artificial spawning channel operated by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Although the lack of stable, high-quality spawning habitat is considered the primary physical limitation on Grays River chum salmon production today, few data are available to guide watershed management and channel restoration activities. The objectives of the Grays River Watershed and Biological Assessment project were to (1) perform a comprehensive watershed and biological analysis, including hydrologic, geomorphic, and ecological assessments; (2) develop a prioritized list of actions that protect and restore critical chum and Chinook salmon spawning habitat in the Grays River based on comprehensive geomorphic, hydrologic, and stream channel assessments; and (3) gain a better understanding of chum and Chinook salmon habitat requirements and survival within the lower Columbia River and the Grays River. The watershed-based approach to river ecosystem restoration relies on a conceptual framework that describes general relationships between natural landscape characteristics, watershed-scale habitat-forming processes, aquatic

  8. The Biological Reference Repository (BioR): a rapid and flexible system for genomics annotation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kocher, Jean-Pierre A; Quest, Daniel J; Duffy, Patrick; Meiners, Michael A; Moore, Raymond M; Rider, David; Hossain, Asif; Hart, Steven N; Dinu, Valentin

    2014-07-01

    The Biological Reference Repository (BioR) is a toolkit for annotating variants. BioR stores public and user-specific annotation sources in indexed JSON-encoded flat files (catalogs). The BioR toolkit provides the functionality to combine and retrieve annotation from these catalogs via the command-line interface. Several catalogs from commonly used annotation sources and instructions for creating user-specific catalogs are provided. Commands from the toolkit can be combined with other UNIX commands for advanced annotation processing. We also provide instructions for the development of custom annotation pipelines. The package is implemented in Java and makes use of external tools written in Java and Perl. The toolkit can be executed on Mac OS X 10.5 and above or any Linux distribution. The BioR application, quickstart, and user guide documents and many biological examples are available at http://bioinformaticstools.mayo.edu. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.

  9. Filtration device for rapid separation of biological particles from complex matrices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Sangil; Naraghi-Arani, Pejman; Liou, Megan

    2018-01-09

    Methods and systems for filtering of biological particles are disclosed. Filtering membranes separate adjacent chambers. Through osmotic or electrokinetic processes, flow of particles is carried out through the filtering membranes. Cells, viruses and cell waste can be filtered depending on the size of the pores of the membrane. A polymer brush can be applied to a surface of the membrane to enhance filtering and prevent fouling.

  10. A rapid Q-PCR titration protocol for adenovirus and helper-dependent adenovirus vectors that produces biologically relevant results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallaher, Sean D.; Berk, Arnold J.

    2013-01-01

    Adenoviruses are employed in the study of cellular processes and as expression vectors used in gene therapy. The success and reproducibility of these studies is dependent in part on having accurate and meaningful titers of replication competent and helper-dependent adenovirus stocks, which is problematic due to the use of varied and divergent titration protocols. Physical titration methods, which quantify the total number of viral particles, are used by many, but are poor at estimating activity. Biological titration methods, such as plaque assays, are more biologically relevant, but are time consuming and not applicable to helper-dependent gene therapy vectors. To address this, a protocol was developed called “infectious genome titration” in which viral DNA is isolated from the nuclei of cells ~3 h post-infection, and then quantified by Q-PCR. This approach ensures that only biologically active virions are counted as part of the titer determination. This approach is rapid, robust, sensitive, reproducible, and applicable to all forms of adenovirus. Unlike other Q-PCR-based methods, titers determined by this protocol are well correlated with biological activity. PMID:23624118

  11. Assessment of stream biological responses under multiple-stress conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comte, Lise; Lek, Sovan; de Deckere, Eric; de Zwart, Dick; Gevrey, Muriel

    2010-09-01

    Due to the numerous anthropogenic stress factors that affect aquatic ecosystems, a better understanding of the adverse consequences on the biological community of combined pressures is needed to attain the objectives of the European Water Framework Directive. In this study we propose an innovative approach to assess the biological impact of toxicants under field conditions on a large spatial scale. Artificial Neural Network (ANN) analyses, focusing on impacts at the community level, were carried out to identify the relative importance of environmental and toxic stress factors on the patterns observed in the aquatic invertebrate fauna from the Scheldt basin (Belgium). Our results show that the use of the backpropagation algorithm of the ANN is a promising method to highlight the relationship between environmental pollution and biological responses. This method allows the effects of chemical exposure to be distinguished from the effects caused by other stressors in running waters. Moreover, the use of an overall estimate for toxic pressure in predictive models enables the links between toxicants and community alterations in the field to be clarified. The ANN correctly predicts 74% of samples with an area under the curve of 0.89 and a Cohen's kappa coefficient of 0.64. Organic load, oxygen availability, water temperature and the nitrate concentration appeared important factors in predicting aquatic invertebrate assemblages. On the other hand, toxic pressure did not seem relevant for these assemblages, suggesting that the water quality characteristics were therefore more important than exposure to toxicants in the water phase for the aquatic invertebrate communities in the study area. However, we suggest that the high organic load encountered in the Scheldt basin may lead to an underestimation of the impact of toxicity.

  12. Validity of the Rapid Eating Assessment for Patients for assessing dietary patterns in NCAA athletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurka, Jonathan M; Buman, Matthew P; Ainsworth, Barbara E

    2014-01-01

    Athletes may be at risk for developing adverse health outcomes due to poor eating behaviors during college. Due to the complex nature of the diet, it is difficult to include or exclude individual food items and specific food groups from the diet. Eating behaviors may better characterize the complex interactions between individual food items and specific food groups. The purpose was to examine the Rapid Eating Assessment for Patients survey (REAP) as a valid tool for analyzing eating behaviors of NCAA Division-I male and female athletes using pattern identification. Also, to investigate the relationships between derived eating behavior patterns and body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) while stratifying by sex and aesthetic nature of the sport. Two independent samples of male (n = 86; n = 139) and female (n = 64; n = 102) collegiate athletes completed the REAP in June-August 2011 (n = 150) and June-August 2012 (n = 241). Principal component analysis (PCA) determined possible factors using wave-1 athletes. Exploratory (EFA) and confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) determined factors accounting for error and confirmed model fit in wave-2 athletes. Wave-2 athletes' BMI and WC were recorded during a physical exam and sport participation determined classification in aesthetic and non-aesthetic sport. Mean differences in eating behavior pattern score were explored. Regression models examined interactions between pattern scores, participation in aesthetic or non-aesthetic sport, and BMI and waist circumference controlling for age and race. A 5-factor PCA solution accounting for 60.3% of sample variance determined fourteen questions for EFA and CFA. A confirmed solution revealed patterns of Desserts, Healthy food, Meats, High-fat food, and Dairy. Pattern score (mean ± SE) differences were found, as non-aesthetic sport males had a higher (better) Dessert score than aesthetic sport males (2.16 ± 0.07 vs. 1.93 ± 0.11). Female aesthetic athletes had a higher score

  13. Applications of stereolithography for rapid prototyping of biologically compatible chip-based physiometers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuad, Nurul Mohd; Zhu, Feng; Kaslin, Jan; Wlodkowic, Donald

    2016-12-01

    Despite the growing demand and numerous applications for the biomedical community, the developments in millifluidic devices for small model organisms are limited compared to other fields of biomicrofluidics. The main reasons for this stagnanation are difficulties in prototyping of millimeter scale and high aspect ratio devices needed for large metazoan organisms. Standard photolithography is in this context a time consuming procedure not easily adapted for fabrication of molds with vertical dimensions above 1 mm. Moreover, photolithography is still largely unattainable to a gross majority of biomedical laboratories willing to pursue custom development of their own chip-based platforms due to costs and need for dedicated clean room facilities. In this work, we present application of high-definition additive manufacturing systems for fabrication of 3D printed moulds used in soft lithography. Combination of 3D printing with PDMS replica molding appears to be an alternative for millifluidic systems that yields rapid and cost effective prototyping pipeline. We investigated the important aspects on both 3D printed moulds and PDMS replicas such as geometric accuracies and surface topology. Our results demonstrated that SLA technologies could be applied for rapid and accurate fabrication of millifluidic devices for trapping of millimetre-sized specimens such as living zebrafish larvae. We applied the new manufacturing method in a proof-of-concept prototype device capable of trapping and immobilizing living zebrafish larvae for recording heart rate variation in cardio-toxicity experiments.

  14. The spatial biology of transcription and translation in rapidly growing Escherichia coli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Somenath eBakshi

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Single-molecule fluorescence provides high resolution spatial distributions of ribosomes and RNA polymerase (RNAP in live, rapidly growing E. coli. Ribosomes are more strongly segregated from the nucleoids (chromosomal DNA than previous widefield fluorescence studies suggested. While most transcription may be co-translational, the evidence indicates that most translation occurs on free mRNA copies that have diffused from the nucleoids to a ribosome-rich region. Analysis of time-resolved images of the nucleoid spatial distribution after treatment with the transcription-halting drug rifampicin and the translation-halting drug chloramphenicol shows that both drugs cause nucleoid contraction on the 0-3 min timescale. This is consistent with the transertion hypothesis. We suggest that the longer-term (20-30 min nucleoid expansion after Rif treatment arises from conversion of 70S-polysomes to 30S and 50S subunits, which readily penetrate the nucleoids. Monte Carlo simulations of a polymer bead model built to mimic the chromosomal DNA and ribosomes (either 70S-polysomes or 30S and 50S subunits explain spatial segregation or mixing of ribosomes and nucleoids in terms of excluded volume and entropic effects alone. A comprehensive model of the transcription-translation-transertion system incorporates this new information about the spatial organization of the E. coli cytoplasm. We propose that transertion, which radially expands the nucleoids, is essential for recycling of 30S and 50S subunits from ribosome-rich regions back into the nucleoids. There they initiate co-transcriptional translation, which is an important mechanism for maintaining RNAP forward progress and protecting the nascent mRNA chain. Segregation of 70S-polysomes from the nucleoid may facilitate rapid growth by shortening the search time for ribosomes to find free mRNA concentrated outside the nucleoid and the search time for RNAP concentrated within the nucleoid to find transcription

  15. Phosphate limitation in biological rapid sand filters used to remove ammonium from drinking water

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lee, Carson Odell; Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen; Smets, Barth F.

    2013-01-01

    Removing ammonium from drinking water is important for maintaining biological stability in distribution systems. This is especially important in regions that do not use disinfectants in the treatment process or keep a disinfectant residual in the distribution system. Problems with nitrification can...... occur with increased ammonium loads caused by seasonal or operational changes and can lead to extensive periods of elevated ammonium and nitrite concentrations in the effluent. One possible cause of nitrification problems in these filters maybe due to phosphate limitation. This was investigated using...... a pilot scale sand column which initial analysis confirmed performed similarly to the full scale filters. Long term increased ammonium loads were applied to the pilot filter both with and without phosphate addition. Phosphate was added at a concentration of 0.5 mg PO4-P/L to ensure...

  16. Estimation of plant-available nitrogen in soils using rapid chemical and biological methods

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Velthof, G.L.; Oenema, O.

    2010-01-01

    The relationships between potential laboratory indices for plant-available nitrogen (N) and the plant N uptake in a pot experiment with ryegrass were assessed for 13 mineral soils and 2 peat soils. The methods included aerobic soil incubation, soil incubation in a bioreactor, hot potassium chloride

  17. A Rapid Assessment Tool for affirming good practice in midwifery education programming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fullerton, Judith T; Johnson, Peter; Lobe, Erika; Myint, Khine Haymar; Aung, Nan Nan; Moe, Thida; Linn, Nay Aung

    2016-03-01

    to design a criterion-referenced assessment tool that could be used globally in a rapid assessment of good practices and bottlenecks in midwifery education programs. a standard tool development process was followed, to generate standards and reference criteria; followed by external review and field testing to document psychometric properties. review of standards and scoring criteria were conducted by stakeholders around the globe. Field testing of the tool was conducted in Myanmar. eleven of Myanmar׳s 22 midwifery education programs participated in the assessment. the clinimetric tool was demonstrated to have content validity and high inter-rater reliability in use. a globally validated tool, and accompanying user guide and handbook are now available for conducting rapid assessments of compliance with good practice criteria in midwifery education programming. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  18. Rapidly detecting disorder in rhythmic biological signals: a spectral entropy measure to identify cardiac arrhythmias

    CERN Document Server

    Staniczenko, Phillip P A; Jones, Nick S

    2008-01-01

    We consider the use of a running measure of power spectrum disorder to distinguish between the normal sinus rhythm of the heart and two forms of cardiac arrhythmia: atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. This is motivated by characteristic differences in the spectra of beats during the three rhythms. We plot patient data derived from 10-beat windows on a `disorder map' and identify rhythm-defining ranges in the level and variance of spectral entropy values. Employing the spectral entropy within an automatic arrhythmia detection algorithm enables the classification of periods of atrial fibrillation from the time series of patients' beats. When the algorithm is set to identify abnormal rhythms within 6s it agrees with 85.7% of the annotations of professional rhythm assessors; for a response time of 30s this becomes 89.5%, and with 60s it is 90.3%. The algorithm provides a rapid way to detect atrial fibrillation, demonstrating usable response times as low as six seconds. Measures of disorder in the frequency do...

  19. Assessing health systems for type 1 diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa: developing a 'Rapid Assessment Protocol for Insulin Access'

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beran, David; Yudkin, John S; de Courten, Maximilian

    2006-01-01

    In order to improve the health of people with Type 1 diabetes in developing countries, a clear analysis of the constraints to insulin access and diabetes care is needed. We developed a Rapid Assessment Protocol for Insulin Access, comprising a series of questionnaires as well as a protocol for th...

  20. Rapid Evidence Assessments of Research to Inform Social Policy: Taking Stock and Moving Forward

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, James; Newman, Mark; Oliver, Sandy

    2013-01-01

    There is a tension between conducting comprehensive systematic reviews and completing them in time to meet policy-making deadlines. The "rapid evidence assessment" has been proposed as a solution to this; offering rigorous reviews in a condensed timescale. While used frequently in healthcare, this mode of reviewing presents considerable…

  1. The quality of rapid HIV testing in South Africa: an assessment of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract. Background: The aim of this study was to assess the quality of rapid HIV testing in South Africa. Method: A two-stage sampling procedure was used to select HCT sites in eight provinces of South Africa. The study employed both semi-structured interviews with HIV testers and observation of testing sessions as a ...

  2. The quality of rapid HIV testing in South Africa: an assessment of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: The aim of this study was to assess the quality of rapid HIV testing in South Africa. Method: A two-stage sampling procedure was used to select HCT sites in eight provinces of South Africa. The study employed both semi-structured interviews with HIV testers and observation of testing sessions as a means of ...

  3. Rapid Geriatric Assessment: Secondary Prevention to Stop Age-Associated Disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morley, John E

    2017-08-01

    The Rapid Geriatric Assessment (RGA) measures frailty, sarcopenia, anorexia, cognition, and advanced directives. The RGA is a screen for primary care physicians to be able to detect geriatric syndromes. Early intervention when geriatric syndromes are recognized can decrease disability, hospitalization, and mortality. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Rapid assessment of wildfire damage using Forest Inventory data: A case in Georgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard A. Harper; John W. Coulsten; Jeffery A. Turner

    2009-01-01

    The rapid assessment of damage caused by natural disasters is essential for planning the appropriate amount of disaster relief funds and public communication. Annual Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data provided initial estimates of damage to timberland in a timely manner to State leaders during the 2007 Georgia Bay Complex Wildfire in southeast Georgia. FIA plots...

  5. Development of flexural vibration inspection techniques to rapidly assess the structural health of rural bridge systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian K. Brashaw; Robert Vatalaro; Xiping Wang; Kevin Sarvela; James P. Wacker

    2008-01-01

    Approximately 4,000 vehicle bridges in the State of Minnesota contain structural timber members. Recent research at the University of Minnesota Duluth Natural Resources Research Institute (UMD NRRI) has been conducted on vibration testing of timber bridges as a means of developing rapid in-place testing techniques for assessing the structural health of bridges. The...

  6. A rapid assessment of species-specific bird strike risk at the Kotoka ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A rapid assessment of species-specific bird strike risk at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana. ... We conclude that wildlife management to avert the risk of bird strikes could be successfully achieved by adopting both proactive and reactive measures to reduce the presence of problem species at the aerodrome.

  7. Rapid psychological assessment of depression and its relationship with physical health among urban elderly

    OpenAIRE

    Pavithra Cheluvaraj; Mangesh Balu Nanaware; Surya Prakasa Rao

    2016-01-01

    Background Old age is associated with increased occurrence of a wide array of Psychological impairments or losses, which might contribute to physical disabilities. As Depression has been identified as the most common aberration its rapid assessment would be able to identify the quality of individual and family life of the elderly. Aims To assess psychological health status with respect to depression among geriatric urban community, and the relationship of depression with health perce...

  8. Rapid biological synthesis of platinum nanoparticles using Ocimum sanctum for water electrolysis applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soundarrajan, C; Sankari, A; Dhandapani, P; Maruthamuthu, S; Ravichandran, S; Sozhan, G; Palaniswamy, N

    2012-06-01

    The leaf extract of Ocimum sanctum was used as a reducing agent for the synthesis of platinum nanoparticles from an aqueous chloroplatinic acid (H(2)PtCl(6)·6H(2)O). A greater conversion of platinum ions to nanoparticles was achieved by employing a tulsi leaf broth with a reaction temperature of 100 °C. Energy-dispersive absorption X-ray spectroscopy confirmed the platinum particles as major constituent in the reduction process. It is evident from scanning electron microscopy that the reduced platinum particles were found as aggregates with irregular shape. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy revealed that the compounds such as ascorbic acid, gallic acid, terpenoids, certain proteins and amino acids act as reducing agents for platinum ions reduction. X-ray diffraction spectroscopy suggested the associated forms of platinum with other molecules and the average particle size of platinum nanoparticle was 23 nm, calculated using Scherer equation. The reduced platinum showed similar hydrogen evolution potential and catalytic activity like pure platinum using linear scan voltammetry. This environmentally friendly method of biological platinum nanoparticles production increases the rates of synthesis faster which can potentially be used in water electrolysis applications.

  9. Challenges of diatom-based biological monitoring and assessment of streams in developing countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bere, Taurai

    2016-03-01

    Stream biomonitoring tools are largely lacking for many developing countries, resulting in adoption of tools developed from other countries/regions. In many instances, however, the applicability of adopted tools to the new system has not been explicitly evaluated. The objective of this study was to test the applicability of foreign diatom-based water quality assessment indices to streams in Zimbabwe, with the view to highlight challenges being faced in diatom-based biological monitoring in this developing country. The study evaluated the relationship between measured water quality variables and diatom index scores and observed some degree of concordance between water quality variables and diatom index scores emphasising the importance of diatom indices in characterisation and monitoring of stream ecological conditions in developing countries. However, ecological requirements of some diatom species need to be clarified and incorporated in a diatom-based water quality assessment protocol unique to these regions. Resources should be channelled towards tackling challenges associated with diatom-based biological monitoring, principally taxonomic studies, training of skilled labour and acquiring and maintaining the necessary infrastructure. Meanwhile, simpler coarse taxonomy-based rapid bioassessment protocol, which is less time and resource consuming and requires less specialised manpower, can be developed for the country.

  10. Snakeheads (Pisces, Channidae): A biological synopsis and risk assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtenay, Walter R.; Williams, James D.

    2004-01-01

    Snakeheads (family Channidae) are airbreathing freshwater fishes containing two genera, Channa with 26 species native to Asia, Malaysia, and Indonesia; and Parachanna with 3 species native to tropical Africa. Some snakeheads are small, reaching about 17 centimeters, but most are much larger, the largest reported to be 1.8 meters in length. All are considered thrust predators with most being piscivorous as adults. A few of the smaller snakeheads and colorful juveniles of some larger ones have been available to hobbyists through the aquarium fish trade. Several species are highly valued as food fishes within parts of their native ranges, especially in Asia where they are an important part of capture fisheries and aquaculture. Because of these uses by humans, introductions far beyond native ranges have occurred. One Asian snakehead has been established in Oahu, Hawaii, since before 1900. Another species was discovered established in southeastern Florida in 2000, and a third in a pond in Maryland in 2002. Others have been captured from natural waters of the United States without evidence of reproduction and likely represent released aquarium fishes. That snakeheads at or near sexual maturity were being sold alive in ethnic food markets raised fears that they could be introduced into novel waters. These concerns led to this study on the biology of snakeheads. A risk assessment is included that examines environmental and related aspects of snakehead introductions.

  11. Rapid Analysis of Eukaryotic Bioluminescence to Assess Potential Groundwater Contamination Events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zacariah L. Hildenbrand

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Here we present data using a bioluminescent dinoflagellate, Pyrocystis lunula, in a toxicological bioassay to rapidly assess potential instances of groundwater contamination associated with natural gas extraction. P. lunula bioluminescence can be quantified using spectrophotometry as a measurement of organismal viability, with normal bioluminescent output declining with increasing concentration(s of aqueous toxicants. Glutaraldehyde and hydrochloric acid (HCl, components used in hydraulic fracturing and shale acidization, triggered significant toxicological responses in as little as 4 h. Conversely, P. lunula was not affected by the presence of arsenic, selenium, barium, and strontium, naturally occurring heavy metal ions potentially associated with unconventional drilling activities. If exogenous compounds, such as glutaraldehyde and HCl, are thought to have been introduced into groundwater, quantification of P. lunula bioluminescence after exposure to water samples can serve as a cost-effective detection and risk assessment tool to rapidly assess the impact of putative contamination events attributed to unconventional drilling activity.

  12. Methods for isolation and viability assessment of biological organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letant, Sonia Edith; Baker, Sarah Elyse; Bond, Tiziana; Chang, Allan Shih-Ping

    2015-02-03

    Isolation of biological or chemical organisms can be accomplished using a surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) system. The SERS system can be a single or a stacked plurality of photonic crystal membranes with noble-metal lined through pores for flowing analyte potentially containing the biological or chemical organisms. The through pores can be adapted to trap individual biological or chemical organisms and emit SERS spectra, which can then be detected by a detector and further analyzed for viability of the biological or chemical organism.

  13. The Development and Validation of a Rapid Assessment Tool of Primary Care in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mei, Jie; Liang, Yuan; Shi, LeiYu; Zhao, JingGe; Wang, YuTan; Kuang, Li

    2016-01-01

    Introduction. With Chinese health care reform increasingly emphasizing the importance of primary care, the need for a tool to evaluate primary care performance and service delivery is clear. This study presents a methodology for a rapid assessment of primary care organizations and service delivery in China. Methods. The study translated and adapted the Primary Care Assessment Tool-Adult Edition (PCAT-AE) into a Chinese version to measure core dimensions of primary care, namely, first contact, continuity, comprehensiveness, and coordination. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to assess the validity and reliability of the Chinese Rapid Primary Care Assessment Tool (CR-PCAT). Eight community health centers in Guangdong province have been selected to participate in the survey. Results. A total of 1465 effective samples were included for data analysis. Eight items were eliminated following principal component analysis and reliability testing. The principal component analysis extracted five multiple-item scales (first contact utilization, first contact accessibility, ongoing care, comprehensiveness, and coordination). The tests of scaling assumptions were basically met. Conclusion. The standard psychometric evaluation indicates that the scales have achieved relatively good reliability and validity. The CR-PCAT provides a rapid and reliable measure of four core dimensions of primary care, which could be applied in various scenarios. PMID:26885509

  14. A Convenient In Vivo Model Using Small Interfering RNA Silencing to Rapidly Assess Skeletal Gene Function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wen Zhang

    Full Text Available It is difficult to study bone in vitro because it contains various cell types that engage in cross-talk. Bone biologically links various organs, and it has thus become increasingly evident that skeletal physiology must be studied in an integrative manner in an intact animal. We developed a model using local intraosseous small interfering RNA (siRNA injection to rapidly assess the effects of a target gene on the local skeletal environment. In this model, 160-g male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated for 1-2 weeks. The left tibia received intraosseous injection of a parathyroid hormone 1 receptor (Pth1r or insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (Igf-1r siRNA transfection complex loaded in poloxamer 407 hydrogel, and the right tibia received the same volume of control siRNA. All the tibias received an intraosseous injection of recombinant human parathyroid hormone (1-34 (rhPTH (1-34 or insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1. Calcein green and alizarin red were injected 6 and 2 days before euthanasia, respectively. IGF-1R and PTH1R expression levels were detected via RT-PCR assays and immunohistochemistry. Bone mineral density (BMD, microstructure, mineral apposition rates (MARs, and strength were determined by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, micro-CT, histology and biomechanical tests. The RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry results revealed that IGF-1R and PTH1R expression levels were dramatically diminished in the siRNA-treated left tibias compared to the right tibias (both p<0.05. Using poloxamer 407 hydrogel as a controlled-release system prolonged the silencing effect of a single dose of siRNA; the mRNA expression levels of IGF-1R were lower at two weeks than at one week (p<0.01. The BMD, bone microstructure parameters, MAR and bone strength were significantly decreased in the left tibias compared to the right tibias (all p<0.05. This simple and convenient local intraosseous siRNA injection model achieved gene silencing with very small quantities of

  15. [Rapid ecological assessment of tropical fish communities in a gold mine area of Costa Rica].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinoza Mendiola, Mario

    2008-12-01

    Gold mining impacts have generated a great concern regarding aquatic systems and habitat fragmentation. Anthropogenic disturbances on the structure and heterogeneity of a system can have an important effect on aquatic community stability. Ecological rapid assessments (1996, 2002, and 2007) were employed to determine the structure, composition and distribution of tropical fish communities in several rivers and smaller creeks from a gold mining area in Cerro Crucitas, Costa Rica. In addition, species composition and relative abundance were related with habitat structure. A total of 35 species were registered, among which sardine Astyanax aeneus (Characidae) and livebearer Alfaro cultratus (Poeciliidae) were the most abundant fish (71%). The highest species richness was observed in Caño Crucitas (s=19) and Minas Creek (s=18). Significant differences in fish communities structure and composition from Infiernillo river and Minas creek were observed (lamda = 0.0, F(132, 66) = 2.24, p < 0.001). Presence and/or absence of certain species such as Dormitor gobiomorus, Rhamdia nicaraguensis, Parachromis loiseillei and Atractosteus tropicus explained most of the spatial variation among sites. Habitat structure also contributed to explain differences among sites (lamda = 0.004, F(60.183) = 5.52, p < 0.001). Substratum (soft and hard bottom types) and habitat attributes (elevation, width and depth) explained most of the variability observed in Infiernillo River, Caño Crucitas and Tamagá Creek. In addition, a significant association between fish species and habitat structure was observed. This study reveals a high complexity in tropical fish communities that inhabit a gold mine area. Furthermore, it highlights the importance of habitat heterogeneity in fish community dynamics. The loss and degradation of aquatic systems in Cerro Crucitas can have a strong negative effect on fish community structure and composition of local species. A better understanding of the use of specific

  16. Assessment of knowledge of participants on basic molecular biology techniques after 5-day intensive molecular biology training workshops in Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yisau, J I; Adagbada, A O; Bamidele, T; Fowora, M; Brai, B I C; Adebesin, O; Bamidele, M; Fesobi, T; Nwaokorie, F O; Ajayi, A; Smith, S I

    2017-07-08

    The deployment of molecular biology techniques for diagnosis and research in Nigeria is faced with a number of challenges, including the cost of equipment and reagents coupled with the dearth of personnel skilled in the procedures and handling of equipment. Short molecular biology training workshops were conducted at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), to improve the knowledge and skills of laboratory personnel and academics in health, research, and educational facilities. Five-day molecular biology workshops were conducted annually between 2011 and 2014, with participants drawn from health, research facilities, and the academia. The courses consisted of theoretical and practical sessions. The impact of the workshops on knowledge and skill acquisition was evaluated by pre- and post-tests which consisted of 25 multiple choice and other questions. Sixty-five participants took part in the workshops. The mean knowledge of molecular biology as evaluated by the pre- and post-test assessments were 8.4 (95% CI 7.6-9.1) and 13.0 (95 CI 11.9-14.1), respectively. The mean post-test score was significantly greater than the mean pre-test score (p biology workshop significantly increased the knowledge and skills of participants in molecular biology techniques. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(4):313-317, 2017. © 2017 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  17. Rapid quantitative assessment of visible injury to vegetation and visual amenity effects of fluoride air pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doley, D

    2010-01-01

    Quantitative measures of visible injury are proposed for the protection of the aesthetic acceptability and health of ecosystems. Visible indications of air pollutant injury symptoms can be assessed rapidly and economically over large areas of mixed species such as native ecosystems. Reliable indication requires close attention to the criteria for assessment, species selection, and the influence of other environmental conditions on plant response to a pollutant. The estimation of fluoride-induced visible injury in dicotyledonous species may require techniques that are more varied than the measurement of necrosis in linear-leaved monocotyledons and conifers. A scheme is described for quantitative estimates of necrosis, chlorosis and deformation of leaves using an approximately geometric series of injury categories that permits rapid and sufficiently consistent determination and recognises degrees of aesthetic offence associated with foliar injury to plants.

  18. Rapid health needs assessment following hurricane Andrew--Florida and Louisiana, 1992.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-09-18

    Following the impact phase of Hurricane Andrew in Florida (August 24) and Louisiana (August 26) (Figure 1), the primary objectives of the public health response have been to address the health and medical needs of residents in the storm-damaged areas and to provide data for relief interventions and decision-making. This report presents the combined findings from rapid health needs assessment surveys conducted by state health departments with CDC assistance 3-10 days postimpact.

  19. The FIBRO System: A Rapid Strategy for Assessment and Management of Fibromyalgia Syndrome

    OpenAIRE

    Boomershine, Chad S

    2010-01-01

    Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a complex disorder of widespread pain and tenderness associated with numerous other symptoms including fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, nonrestorative sleep, depression, anxiety, and stiffness. While new diagnostic criteria and previous management guidelines require quantitation of the severity of associated FMS symptoms experienced by individual patients, no system for rapid patient assessment has been made available to provide a basis for diagnosis, treatment s...

  20. Value of databases other than medline for rapid health technology assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenzetti, Diane L; Topfer, Leigh-Ann; Dennett, Liz; Clement, Fiona

    2014-04-01

    The objective of this study was to explore the degree to which databases other than MEDLINE contribute studies relevant for inclusion in rapid health technology assessments (HTA). We determined the extent to which the clinical, economic, and social studies included in twenty-one full and four rapid HTAs published by three Canadian HTA agencies from 2007 to 2012 were indexed in MEDLINE. Other electronic databases, including EMBASE, were then searched, in sequence, to assess whether or not they indexed studies not found in MEDLINE. Assessment topics ranged from purely clinical (e.g., drug-eluting stents) to those with broader social implications (e.g., spousal violence). MEDLINE contributed the majority of studies in all but two HTA reports, indexing a mean of 89.6 percent of clinical studies across all HTAs, and 88.3 percent of all clinical, economic, and social studies in twenty-four of twenty-five HTAs. While EMBASE contributed unique studies to twenty-two of twenty-five HTAs, three rapid HTAs did not include any EMBASE studies. In some instances, PsycINFO and CINAHL contributed as many, if not more, non-MEDLINE studies than EMBASE. Our findings highlight the importance of assessing the topic-specific relative value of including EMBASE, or more specialized databases, in HTA search protocols. Although MEDLINE continues to be a key resource for HTAs, the time and resource limitations inherent in the production of rapid HTAs require that researchers carefully consider the value and limitations of other information sources to identify relevant studies.

  1. Biological assessments for the low energy demonstration accelerator, 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cross, S.

    1997-03-01

    This report discusses the biological impact to the area around the Los Alamos National Laboratory of the Low Energy Demonstration Accelerator. In particular the impact to the soils, water quality, vegetation, and wildlife are discussed.

  2. 75 FR 28232 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Hemlock Woolly...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-20

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological... hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae). The environmental assessment considers the effects of, and...

  3. What Lies Beneath? An Evaluation of Rapid Assessment Tools for Management of Hull Fouling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke Murray, Cathryn; Therriault, Thomas W.; Pakhomov, Evgeny

    2013-08-01

    Despite an increased understanding of marine invasions, non-indigenous species (NIS) continue to be redistributed at both global and regional scales. Since prevention is an important element of NIS programs, monitoring vectors responsible for NIS introductions and spread, such as hull fouling, has become a priority and methods should be selected carefully to balance accuracy, time, and cost. Two common fouling assessment tools for the marine recreational boating vector were evaluated for accuracy using a traditional underwater SCUBA survey in coastal British Columbia: a dockside level of fouling assessment and a behavioral questionnaire model. Results showed that although rapid, dockside assessments did not provide an accurate assessment of fouling present below the surface, at least not in this region. In contrast, a questionnaire-based model using four easily obtained variables (boat type, age of antifouling paint, storage type, and occurrence of long distance trips) reliably identified boats carrying macrofouling species, a proxy for risk of NIS transport. Once validated, this fouling model tool could be applied in border inspection or quarantine situations where decisions must be made quickly. Further development and refinement of rapid assessment tools would improve our ability to prevent new introductions and manage spread of existing invasive species.

  4. Rapid Bioassessment and In Situ Bioassay: Cost Effective Tools for Environmental Impact Assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wike, L.D.

    2002-08-23

    Environmental impact can be difficult to assess, especially at the ecosystem level. Any impact assessment methodology that can give cost effective and timely results is highly desirable. Rapid bioassessment (RBA) is cost effective and produces timely results. Several types of RBA have been used at the Savannah River Site (SRS) to assess stream conditions, including the Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) based on fish community characteristics, and various techniques using aquatic macroinvertebrate species diversity and abundance. In an attempt to broaden the applicability of the RBA concept, we have also begun to develop RBA techniques for seep-fed wetlands and terrestrial habitats. These techniques will focus on vertebrate and macroinvertebrate assemblages for seep-fed wetlands and arthropod assemblages for terrestrial habitats. In situ bioassay is another technique that could be used for rapid and economical assessment of the effects of anthropogenic disturbance. We propose the development of two methods of in situ bioassay that can address bioavailability of constituents of concern. The use of caged bioassay organisms can be applied to terrestrial systems such as capped or existing waste sites using the common house cricket. Another proposed bioassay could use a resident species, such as the imported red fire ant, which is found in disturbed habitats and open areas such as waste sites. Combining in situ techniques with RBA methodologies has the potential to provide a comprehensive assessment of chemical and physical impacts to a wide range of ecosystem types.

  5. REAP and WAVE: new tools to rapidly assess/discuss nutrition with patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gans, Kim M; Ross, Elizabeth; Barner, Claudia W; Wylie-Rosett, Judith; McMurray, Jerome; Eaton, Charles

    2003-02-01

    Dietary changes can be helpful in preventing or treating a variety of prevalent health problems. Physicians can be helpful in helping patients make positive dietary changes, be physically active and lose weight, but, for a variety of reasons, many physicians do little nutrition counseling. There is a need for brief, user-friendly tools to enable physicians to rapidly and accurately assess patients' diets and exercise habits as well as provide information to aid the physician in delivering effective nutrition counseling. The purpose of this paper is to discuss two new tools, WAVE and REAP, that have been developed by the Nutrition Academic Award to help physicians and other health care providers conduct nutrition assessment and counseling with their patients in a practical and effective manner. The WAVE acronym and tool is designed to encourage provider/patient dialogue about the pros and cons of the patients' current status related to Weight, Activity, Variety and Excess. The Rapid Eating and Activity Assessment for Patients (REAP) is a brief validated questionnaire that is designed to aid providers in performing a brief assessment of diet and physical activity. An accompanying Physician Key aids the provider in discussing the patient's answers and counseling them appropriately. REAP and WAVE can be helpful tools to facilitate nutrition assessment and counseling in the provider office. Depending on patients' health priorities and how much time is available, these tools can be used in a variety of ways to discuss nutrition with patients during a clinical encounter in 1-9 min.

  6. Can rapid assessment protocols be used to judge sediment impairment in gravel-bed streams? A commentary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas E. Lisle; John M. Buffington; Peter R. Wilcock; Kristin Bunte

    2015-01-01

    Land management agencies commonly use rapid assessments to evaluate the impairment of gravel-bed streams by sediment inputs from anthropogenic sources. We question whether rapid assessment can be used to reliably judge sediment impairment at a site or in a region. Beyond the challenges of repeatable and accurate sampling, we argue that a single metric or protocol is...

  7. A Test of the Relationship between Reading Ability & Standardized Biology Assessment Scores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Denise A.

    2014-01-01

    Little empirical evidence suggested that independent reading abilities of students enrolled in biology predicted their performance on the Biology I Graduation End-of-Course Assessment (ECA). An archival study was conducted at one Indiana urban public high school in Indianapolis, Indiana, by examining existing educational assessment data to test…

  8. RAPID-N: Assessing and mapping the risk of natural-hazard impact at industrial installations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girgin, Serkan; Krausmann, Elisabeth

    2015-04-01

    Natural hazard-triggered technological accidents (so-called Natech accidents) at hazardous installations can have major consequences due to the potential for release of hazardous materials, fires and explosions. Effective Natech risk reduction requires the identification of areas where this risk is high. However, recent studies have shown that there are hardly any methodologies and tools that would allow authorities to identify these areas. To work towards closing this gap, the European Commission's Joint Research Centre has developed the rapid Natech risk assessment and mapping framework RAPID-N. The tool, which is implemented in an online web-based environment, is unique in that it contains all functionalities required for running a full Natech risk analysis simulation (natural hazards severity estimation, equipment damage probability and severity calculation, modeling of the consequences of loss of containment scenarios) and for visualizing its results. The output of RAPID-N are risk summary reports and interactive risk maps which can be used for decision making. Currently, the tool focuses on Natech risk due to earthquakes at industrial installations. However, it will be extended to also analyse and map Natech risk due to floods in the near future. RAPID-N is available at http://rapidn.jrc.ec.europa.eu. This presentation will discuss the results of case-study calculations performed for selected flammable and toxic substances to test the capabilities of RAPID-N both for single- and multi-site earthquake Natech risk assessment. For this purpose, an Istanbul earthquake scenario provided by the Turkish government was used. The results of the exercise show that RAPID-N is a valuable decision-support tool that assesses the Natech risk and maps the consequence end-point distances. These end-point distances are currently defined by 7 kPa overpressure for Vapour Cloud Explosions, 2nd degree burns for pool fire (which is equivalent to a heat radiation of 5 kW/m2 for 40s

  9. Anti-tick biological control agents: assessment and future perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samish, M.; Ginsberg, H.S.; Glazer, I.; Bowman, Alan. S.; Nuttall, Patricia A.

    2008-01-01

    Widespread and increasing resistance to most available acaracides threatens both global livestock industries and public health. This necessitates better understanding of ticks and the diseases they transmit in the development of new control strategies. Ticks: Biology, Disease and Control is written by an international collection of experts and covers in-depth information on aspects of the biology of the ticks themselves, various veterinary and medical tick-borne pathogens, and aspects of traditional and potential new control methods. A valuable resource for graduate students, academic researchers and professionals, the book covers the whole gamut of ticks and tick-borne diseases from microsatellites to satellite imagery and from exploiting tick saliva for therapeutic drugs to developing drugs to control tick populations. It encompasses the variety of interconnected fields impinging on the economically important and biologically fascinating phenomenon of ticks, the diseases they transmit and methods of their control.

  10. Application of portable XRF and VNIR sensors for rapid assessment of soil heavy metal pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Bifeng; Chen, Songchao; Hu, Jie; Xia, Fang; Xu, Junfeng; Li, Yan; Shi, Zhou

    2017-01-01

    Rapid heavy metal soil surveys at large scale with high sampling density could not be conducted with traditional laboratory physical and chemical analyses because of the high cost, low efficiency and heavy workload involved. This study explored a rapid approach to assess heavy metals contamination in 301 farmland soils from Fuyang in Zhejiang Province, in the southern Yangtze River Delta, China, using portable proximal soil sensors. Portable X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (PXRF) was used to determine soil heavy metals total concentrations while soil pH was predicted by portable visible-near infrared spectroscopy (PVNIR). Zn, Cu and Pb were successfully predicted by PXRF (R2 >0.90 and RPD >2.50) while As and Ni were predicted with less accuracy (R2 soils was conducted based on previous results; the Kappa coefficient was 0.87, which showed that the combination of PXRF and PVNIR was an effective and rapid method to determine the degree of pollution with soil heavy metals. This study provides a new approach to assess soil heavy metals pollution; this method will facilitate large-scale surveys of soil heavy metal pollution. PMID:28234944

  11. Rapid Assessment of the Toxicity of Fungal Compounds Using Luminescent Vibrio qinghaiensis sp. Q67

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qijie Jian

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Most tropical fruits after harvest are very perishable because of fungal infection. Since some pathogenic fungi can produce hazardous compounds such as mycotoxins, novel rapid and effective methods to assess those hazardous compounds are urgently needed. Herein we report that Vibrio qinghaiensis sp. Q67, a luminescent bacterium, can be used to rapidly assess the toxicities of mycotoxins and cultures from mycotoxin-producing pathogens. A good correlation (R2 > 0.98 between concentrations of the mycotoxins (fumonisin B1, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, ochratoxin A, patulin, and citrinin and the luminous intensity of V. qinghaiensis sp. Q67 was obtained. Furthermore, significant correlations (R2 > 0.96 between the amount of mycotoxin and the luminous intensity from the cultures of 10 major mycotoxin-producing pathogens were also observed. In addition, Fusarium proliferatum (half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50 = 17.49% exhibited greater luminescence suppression than Fusarium semitectum (IC50 = 92.56% or Fusarium oxysporum (IC50 = 28.61%, which was in agreement with the existing higher levels of fumonisin B1, fumonisin B2, and deoxynivalenol, which were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. These results suggest that V. qinghaiensis sp. Q67 is a promising alternative for the rapid evaluation of the toxicity of fungal mycotoxins.

  12. The Key Role of Eyewitnesses in Rapid Impact Assessment of Global Earthquake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossu, R.; Steed, R.; Mazet-Roux, G.; Roussel, F.; Etivant, C.; Frobert, L.; Godey, S.

    2014-12-01

    Uncertainties in rapid impact assessments of global earthquakes are intrinsically large because they rely on 3 main elements (ground motion prediction models, building stock inventory and related vulnerability) which values and/or spatial variations are poorly constrained. Furthermore, variations of hypocentral location and magnitude within their respective uncertainty domain can lead to significantly different shaking level for centers of population and change the scope of the disaster. We present the strategy and methods implemented at the Euro-Med Seismological Centre (EMSC) to rapidly collect in-situ observations on earthquake effects from eyewitnesses for reducing uncertainties of rapid earthquake impact assessment. It comprises crowdsourced information (online questionnaires, pics) as well as information derived from real time analysis of web traffic (flashourcing technique), and more recently deployment of QCN (Quake Catcher Network) low cost sensors. We underline the importance of merging results of different methods to improve performances and reliability of collected data.We try to better understand and respond to public demands and expectations after earthquakes through improved information services and diversification of information tools (social networks, smartphone app., browsers adds-on…), which, in turn, drive more eyewitnesses to our services and improve data collection. We will notably present our LastQuake Twitter feed (Quakebot) and smartphone applications (IOs and android) which only report earthquakes that matter for the public and authorities, i.e. felt and damaging earthquakes identified thanks to citizen generated information.

  13. Rapid diagnosis and intraoperative margin assessment of human lung cancer with fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mengyan Wang

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available A method of rapidly differentiating lung tumor from healthy tissue is extraordinarily needed for both the diagnosis and the intraoperative margin assessment. We assessed the ability of fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM for differentiating human lung cancer and normal tissues with the autofluorescence, and also elucidated the mechanism in tissue studies and cell studies. A 15-patient testing group was used to compare FLIM results with traditional histopathology diagnosis. Based on the endogenous fluorescence lifetimes of the testing group, a criterion line was proposed to distinguish normal and cancerous tissues. Then by blinded examined 41 sections from the validation group of other 16 patients, the sensitivity and specificity of FLIM were determined. The cellular metabolism was studied with specific perturbations of oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis in cell studies. The fluorescence lifetime of cancerous lung tissues is consistently lower than normal tissues, and this is due to the both decrease of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD lifetimes. A criterion line of lifetime at 1920 ps can be given for differentiating human lung cancer and normal tissues.The sensitivity and specificity of FLIM for lung cancer diagnosis were determined as 92.9% and 92.3%. These findings suggest that NADH and FAD can be used to rapidly diagnose lung cancer. FLIM is a rapid, accurate and highly sensitive technique in the judgment during lung cancer surgery and it can be potential in earlier cancer detection.

  14. Application of portable XRF and VNIR sensors for rapid assessment of soil heavy metal pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Bifeng; Chen, Songchao; Hu, Jie; Xia, Fang; Xu, Junfeng; Li, Yan; Shi, Zhou

    2017-01-01

    Rapid heavy metal soil surveys at large scale with high sampling density could not be conducted with traditional laboratory physical and chemical analyses because of the high cost, low efficiency and heavy workload involved. This study explored a rapid approach to assess heavy metals contamination in 301 farmland soils from Fuyang in Zhejiang Province, in the southern Yangtze River Delta, China, using portable proximal soil sensors. Portable X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (PXRF) was used to determine soil heavy metals total concentrations while soil pH was predicted by portable visible-near infrared spectroscopy (PVNIR). Zn, Cu and Pb were successfully predicted by PXRF (R2 >0.90 and RPD >2.50) while As and Ni were predicted with less accuracy (R2 <0.75 and RPD <1.40). The pH values were well predicted by PVNIR. Classification of heavy metals contamination grades in farmland soils was conducted based on previous results; the Kappa coefficient was 0.87, which showed that the combination of PXRF and PVNIR was an effective and rapid method to determine the degree of pollution with soil heavy metals. This study provides a new approach to assess soil heavy metals pollution; this method will facilitate large-scale surveys of soil heavy metal pollution.

  15. Rapid diagnosis and intraoperative margin assessment of human lung cancer with fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Mengyan; Tang, Feng; Pan, Xiaobo; Yao, Longfang; Wang, Xinyi; Jing, Yueyue; Ma, Jiong; Wang, Guifang; Mi, Lan

    2017-12-01

    A method of rapidly differentiating lung tumor from healthy tissue is extraordinarily needed for both the diagnosis and the intraoperative margin assessment. We assessed the ability of fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) for differentiating human lung cancer and normal tissues with the autofluorescence, and also elucidated the mechanism in tissue studies and cell studies. A 15-patient testing group was used to compare FLIM results with traditional histopathology diagnosis. Based on the endogenous fluorescence lifetimes of the testing group, a criterion line was proposed to distinguish normal and cancerous tissues. Then by blinded examined 41 sections from the validation group of other 16 patients, the sensitivity and specificity of FLIM were determined. The cellular metabolism was studied with specific perturbations of oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis in cell studies. The fluorescence lifetime of cancerous lung tissues is consistently lower than normal tissues, and this is due to the both decrease of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) lifetimes. A criterion line of lifetime at 1920 ps can be given for differentiating human lung cancer and normal tissues.The sensitivity and specificity of FLIM for lung cancer diagnosis were determined as 92.9% and 92.3%. These findings suggest that NADH and FAD can be used to rapidly diagnose lung cancer. FLIM is a rapid, accurate and highly sensitive technique in the judgment during lung cancer surgery and it can be potential in earlier cancer detection.

  16. Picture Pile: A citizen-powered tool for rapid post-disaster damage assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danylo, Olha; Sturn, Tobias; Giovando, Cristiano; Moorthy, Inian; Fritz, Steffen; See, Linda; Kapur, Ravi; Girardot, Blake; Ajmar, Andrea; Giulio Tonolo, Fabio; Reinicke, Tobias; Mathieu, Pierre Philippe; Duerauer, Martina

    2017-04-01

    According to the World Bank's global risk analysis, around 34% of the total world's population lives in areas of high mortality risk from two or more natural hazards. Therefore, timely and innovative methods to rapidly assess damage to subsequently aid relief and recovery efforts are critical. In this field of post-disaster damage assessment, several crowdsourcing-based technological tools that engage citizens in carrying out various tasks, including data collection, satellite image analysis and online interactive mapping, have recently been developed. One such tool is Picture Pile, a cross-platform application that is designed as a generic and flexible tool for ingesting satellite imagery for rapid classification. As part of the ESA's Crowd4Sat initiative led by Imperative Space, this study develops a workflow for employing Picture Pile for rapid post-disaster damage assessment. We outline how satellite image interpretation tasks within Picture Pile can be crowdsourced using the example of Hurricane Matthew, which affected large regions of Haiti in September 2016. The application provides simple microtasks, where the user is presented with satellite images and is asked a simple yes/no question. A "before" disaster satellite image is displayed next to an "after" disaster image and the user is asked to assess whether there is any visible, detectable damage. The question is formulated precisely to focus the user's attention on a particular aspect of the damage. The user-interface of Picture Pile is also built for users to rapidly classify the images by swiping to indicate their answer, thereby efficiently completing the microstask. The proposed approach will not only help to increase citizen awareness of natural disasters, but also provide them with a unique opportunity to contribute directly to relief efforts. Furthermore, to gain confidence in the crowdsourced results, quality assurance methods were integrated during the testing phase of the application using image

  17. Patient safety competencies in undergraduate nursing students: a rapid evidence assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchi, Monica; Bressan, Valentina; Cadorin, Lucia; Pagnucci, Nicola; Tolotti, Angela; Valcarenghi, Dario; Watson, Roger; Bagnasco, Annamaria; Sasso, Loredana

    2016-12-01

    To identify patient safety competencies, and determine the clinical learning environments that facilitate the development of patient safety competencies in nursing students. Patient safety in nursing education is of key importance for health professional environments, settings and care systems. To be effective, safe nursing practice requires a good integration between increasing knowledge and the different clinical practice settings. Nurse educators have the responsibility to develop effective learning processes and ensure patient safety. Rapid Evidence Assessment. MEDLINE, CINAHL, SCOPUS and ERIC were searched, yielding 500 citations published between 1 January 2004-30 September 2014. Following the Rapid Evidence Assessment process, 17 studies were included in this review. Hawker's (2002) quality assessment tool was used to assess the quality of the selected studies. Undergraduate nursing students need to develop competencies to ensure patient safety. The quality of the pedagogical atmosphere in the clinical setting has an important impact on the students' overall level of competence. Active student engagement in clinical processes stimulates their critical reasoning, improves interpersonal communication and facilitates adequate supervision and feedback. Few studies describe the nursing students' patient safety competencies and exactly what they need to learn. In addition, studies describe only briefly which clinical learning environments facilitate the development of patient safety competencies in nursing students. Further research is needed to identify additional pedagogical strategies and the specific characteristics of the clinical learning environments that encourage the development of nursing students' patient safety competencies. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Rapid Isolation and Determination of Flavones in Biological Samples Using Zinc Complexation Coupled with High-Performance Liquid Chromatography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chenghe Sun

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Chlorophyll-type contaminants are commonly encountered in the isolation and determination of flavones of plant aerial plant parts. Heme is also a difficult background substance in whole blood analysis. Both chlorophyll and heme are porphyrin type compounds. In this study, a rapid method for isolating flavones with 5-hydroxyl or ortho-hydroxyl groups from biological samples was developed based on the different solubilities of porphyrin-metal and flavone-metal complexes. It is important that other background substances, e.g., proteins and lipids, are also removed from flavones without an additional processing. The recoveries of scutellarin, baicalin, baicalein, wogonoside and wogonin, which are the primary constituents of Scutellaria baicalensis (skullcaps were 99.65% ± 1.02%, 98.98% ± 0.73%, 99.65% ± 0.03%, 97.59% ± 0.09% and 95.19% ± 0.47%, respectively. As a sample pretreatment procedure, this method was coupled to high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC with good separation, sensitivity and linearity and was applied to determine the flavone content in different aerial parts of S. baicalensis and in dried blood spot samples.

  19. Rapid Assessment of Aircraft Structural Topologies for Multidisciplinary Optimization and Weight Estimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samareh, Jamshid A.; Sensmeier, mark D.; Stewart, Bret A.

    2006-01-01

    Algorithms for rapid generation of moderate-fidelity structural finite element models of air vehicle structures to allow more accurate weight estimation earlier in the vehicle design process have been developed. Application of these algorithms should help to rapidly assess many structural layouts before the start of the preliminary design phase and eliminate weight penalties imposed when actual structure weights exceed those estimated during conceptual design. By defining the structural topology in a fully parametric manner, the structure can be mapped to arbitrary vehicle configurations being considered during conceptual design optimization. Recent enhancements to this approach include the porting of the algorithms to a platform-independent software language Python, and modifications to specifically consider morphing aircraft-type configurations. Two sample cases which illustrate these recent developments are presented.

  20. Assessing the biological potential of N2-fixing Leguminosae in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... fodder and grain production to support the growing local livestock and wildlife industries. Additionally, identifying native rhizobia in Botswana that alleviate water stress when in symbioses with legumes could be a first step to tapping the biological potential of the Leguminosae for increased yields in drier environments.

  1. Assessment of salivary flow rate: biologic variation and measure error.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongerius, P.H.; Limbeek, J. van; Rotteveel, J.J.

    2004-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the applicability of the swab method in the measurement of salivary flow rate in multiple-handicap drooling children. To quantify the measurement error of the procedure and the biologic variation in the population. STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study. METHODS: In a repeated

  2. Funding needed for assessments of weed biological control

    Science.gov (United States)

    John L. Maron; Dean E. Pearson; Stephen M. Hovick; Walter P. Carson

    2010-01-01

    Invasive non-native plants are a serious economic and ecological problem worldwide, and major efforts are therefore devoted to reducing weed abundance in agricultural and natural settings. Effective options for reducing invasive abundance and spread are few, although one common approach is biological control - the introduction of specialist herbivores or pathogens from...

  3. Utility and Usability of the Rapid Assessment of Hospital Procurement Barriers in Donation (RAPiD) as a Tool for OPO Hospital Development Staff.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alolod, Gerard P; Traino, Heather M; Siminoff, Laura A

    2016-09-01

    Few systematic assessment tools are available to organ procurement organizations (OPOs) for evaluating donation climates of hospitals in their donation service areas (DSAs). The Rapid Assessment of hospital Procurement barriers in Donation (RAPiD) was developed for OPO hospital development staff to assess the organ donation climate of hospitals. To implement a national test of the RAPiD to examine its efficacy and usability by OPO hospital development staff. Two-arm randomized design, comparing implementation of RAPiD protocol between qualitatively trained researchers (n = 7) and OPO hospital development staff (n = 24); all evaluators received the same training assessments of high-yield hospitals. A total of 77 hospitals in DSAs of 8 OPOs. A total of 2552 health-care providers (HCPs) in high organ donor potential units. Twenty-four donation-related attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors. More HCPs interviewed in the autonomous condition were positive toward the concept of organ donation. However, HCPs in the assisted condition were more candid about and critical of the OPO. As for knowledge, fewer HCPs in the autonomous condition reported familiarity with the donation process, need for donors, and generally accepted timely referral criteria. With respect to behaviors, more respondents in the autonomous condition reported frequent or occasional contact with the OPO and routine or occasional referral criteria use. Due to issues of bias, inadequate research experience, conflicts of interest, and ongoing OPO hospital development initiatives, the RAPiD's usability by OPO-based hospital development staff is questionable and not recommended in its current form. A next generation of the RAPiD is described for future consideration. © 2016, NATCO.

  4. The FIBRO System: A Rapid Strategy for Assessment and Management of Fibromyalgia Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boomershine, Chad S

    2010-08-01

    Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a complex disorder of widespread pain and tenderness associated with numerous other symptoms including fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, nonrestorative sleep, depression, anxiety, and stiffness. While new diagnostic criteria and previous management guidelines require quantitation of the severity of associated FMS symptoms experienced by individual patients, no system for rapid patient assessment has been made available to provide a basis for diagnosis, treatment selection and follow-up for clinicians in busy practices who have limited time. This review presents the FIBRO System, an easily remembered system for FMS symptom quantitation using the FIBRO mnemonic along with verbal questions on simple 0-10 scales to assess symptom severity (the FIBRO Problem Scale) and response to treatment (the FIBRO Change Scale) along with recommendations for pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic therapies to address individual FIBRO symptoms. This symptom-based approach can improve the care of FMS patients by providing a comprehensive, focused assessment in limited time.

  5. GROWTH ANALYSIS AND ASSESSMENT OF PIG’S BIOLOGICAL MAXIMUM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dragutin Vincek

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to determine a mathematical model which can be used to describe the growth of domestic animals in an attempt to predict the optimal time of slaughter/weight or the development of body parts or tissues and estimate the biological maximum. The study was conducted on 60 pigs (30 barrows and 30 gilts in the interval between the age of 49 and 215 days. By applying the generalized logistic function, the growth of live weight and tissues were described. The observed gilts reached the inflection point in approximately 121 days (I = 70.7 kg. The point at which the interval of intensive growth starts was at the age of approximately 42 days, (TB=17.35 kg and the saturation point the pigs reached at the age of 200.5 days (TC=126.74 kg. The estimated biological maximum weight of gilts was 179.79 kg. The barrows reached the inflection point in approximately 149 days (I=92.2 kg. The point at which the intensive interval of growth starts was estimated at the age of approximately 52 days (TB=22.93 kg, and the saturation point the barrows reached at the age of 245 days (TC=164.8 kg. The estimated biological maximum weight of barrows was 233.25 kg. Muscle tissue of gilts reached the inflection point (I = 28.46 kg in approximately 110 days. The point at which the interval of intensive growth of muscle tissue starts (TB=6.06 kg was estimated at approximately 53 days, and the saturation point of growth (TC=52.25 kg the muscle tissue of gilts reached at the age of 162 days. The estimated maximum biological growth of muscle tissue in gilts was 75.79 kg. The muscle tissue of barrows reached the inflection point (I=28.78 kg in approximately 118 days, the point at which the interval of intensive growth starts (TB=6.36 kg at the age of approximately 35 days. The saturation point of muscle tissue growth in barrows (TC=52.51 kg was reached at the age of 202 days. The estimated maximum biological growth of muscle tissue in barrows was 75.74 kg. The

  6. Rapid assessment survey for exotic benthic species in the São Sebastião Channel, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio C Marques

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The study of biological invasions can be roughly divided into three parts: detection, monitoring, mitigation. Here, our objectives were to describe the marine fauna of the area of the port of São Sebastião (on the northern coast of the state of São Paulo, in the São Sebastião Channel, SSC to detect introduced species. Descriptions of the faunal community of the SSC with respect to native and allochthonous (invasive or potentially so diversity are lacking for all invertebrate groups. Sampling was carried out by specialists within each taxonomic group, in December 2009, following the protocol of the Rapid Assessment Survey (RAS in three areas with artificial structures as substrates. A total of 142 species were identified (61 native, 15 introduced, 62 cryptogenic, 4 not classified, of which 17 were Polychaeta (12, 1, 1, 3, 24 Ascidiacea (3, 6, 15, 0, 36 Bryozoa (17, 0, 18, 1, 27 Cmdana (2, 1, 24, 0, 20 Crustacea (11, 4, 5, 0, 2 Entoprocta (native, 16 Mollusca (13, 3, 0, 0. Twelve species are new occurrences for the SSC. Among the introduced taxa, two are new for coastal Brazil. Estimates of introduced taxa are conservative as the results of molecular studies suggest that some species previously considered cryptogenic are indeed introduced. We emphasize that the large number of cryptogenic species illustrates the need for a long-term monitoring program, especially in areas most susceptible to bioinvasion. We conclude that rapid assessment studies, even in relatively well-known regions, can be very useful for the detection of introduced species and we recommend that they be carried out on a larger scale in all ports with heavy ship traffic.

  7. Photographic assessment of nasal morphology following rapid maxillary expansion in children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omar Gabriel da Silva Filho

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to use facial analysis to determine the effects of rapid maxillary expansion (RME on nasal morphology in children in the stages of primary and mixed dentition, with posterior cross-bite. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Facial photographs (front view and profile of 60 patients in the pre-expansion period, immediate post-expansion period and one year following rapid maxillary expansion with a Haas appliance were evaluated on 2 occasions by 3 experienced orthodontists independently, with a 2-week interval between evaluations. The examiners were instructed to assess nasal morphology and had no knowledge regarding the content of the study. Intraexaminer and interexaminer agreement (assessed using the Kappa statistic was acceptable. RESULTS: From the analysis of the mode of the examiners' findings, no alterations in nasal morphology occurred regarding the following aspects: dorsum of nose, alar base, nasal width of middle third and nasal base. Alterations were only detected in the nasolabial angle in 1.64% of the patients between the pre-expansion and immediate post-expansion photographs. In 4.92% of the patients between the immediate post-expansion period and 1 year following expansion; and in 6.56% of the patients between the pre-expansion period and one year following expansion. CONCLUSIONS: RME performed on children in stages of primary and mixed dentition did not have any impact on nasal morphology, as assessed using facial analysis.

  8. Benchmarking an operational procedure for rapid flood mapping and risk assessment in Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dottori, Francesco; Salamon, Peter; Kalas, Milan; Bianchi, Alessandra; Feyen, Luc

    2016-04-01

    The development of real-time methods for rapid flood mapping and risk assessment is crucial to improve emergency response and mitigate flood impacts. This work describes the benchmarking of an operational procedure for rapid flood risk assessment based on the flood predictions issued by the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS). The daily forecasts produced for the major European river networks are translated into event-based flood hazard maps using a large map catalogue derived from high-resolution hydrodynamic simulations, based on the hydro-meteorological dataset of EFAS. Flood hazard maps are then combined with exposure and vulnerability information, and the impacts of the forecasted flood events are evaluated in near real-time in terms of flood prone areas, potential economic damage, affected population, infrastructures and cities. An extensive testing of the operational procedure is carried out using the catastrophic floods of May 2014 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. The reliability of the flood mapping methodology is tested against satellite-derived flood footprints, while ground-based estimations of economic damage and affected population is compared against modelled estimates. We evaluated the skill of flood hazard and risk estimations derived from EFAS flood forecasts with different lead times and combinations. The assessment includes a comparison of several alternative approaches to produce and present the information content, in order to meet the requests of EFAS users. The tests provided good results and showed the potential of the developed real-time operational procedure in helping emergency response and management.

  9. Amniotic fluid volume: Rapid MR-based assessment at 28-32 weeks gestation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hilliard, N.J.; Hawkes, R.; Patterson, A.J.; Graves, M.J.; Priest, A.N.; Hunter, S.; Set, P.A.; Lomas, D.J. [Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Department of Radiology, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Lees, C. [Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Department of Obstetrics and Fetal Medicine, London (United Kingdom)

    2016-10-15

    This work evaluates rapid magnetic resonance projection hydrography (PH) based amniotic fluid volume (AFV) estimates against established routine ultrasound single deepest vertical pocket (SDVP) and amniotic fluid index (AFI) measurements, in utero at 28-32 weeks gestation. Manual multi-section planimetry (MSP) based measurement of AFV is used as a proxy reference standard. Thirty-five women with a healthy singleton pregnancy (20-41 years) attending routine antenatal ultrasound were recruited. SDVP and AFI were measured using ultrasound, with same day MRI assessing AFV with PH and MSP. The relationships between the respective techniques were assessed using linear regression analysis and Bland-Altman method comparison statistics. When comparing estimated AFV, a highly significant relationship was observed between PH and the reference standard MSP (R{sup 2} = 0.802, p < 0.001). For the US measurements, SDVP measurement related most closely to amniotic fluid volume, (R{sup 2} = 0.470, p < 0.001), with AFI demonstrating a weaker relationship (R{sup 2} = 0.208, p = 0.007). This study shows that rapid MRI based PH measurement is a better predictor of AFV, relating more closely to our proxy standard than established US techniques. Although larger validation studies across a range of gestational ages are required this approach could form part of MR fetal assessment, particularly where poly- or oligohydramnios is suspected. (orig.)

  10. Can juvenile corals be surveyed effectively using digital photography?: implications for rapid assessment techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Scott C; Osborne, Kate; Sfiligoj, Bianca; Sweatman, Hugh

    2010-12-01

    The widespread decline of coral reefs requires integrated management measures across whole regions. Knowledge of demographic processes of reef organisms is important for informed management, yet current techniques for assessing such processes are time consuming, making it impractical to gather relevant information over large scales. We tested the usefulness of digital still photography as a rapid assessment technique to estimate coral recruitment--an important process in coral reef recovery. Estimates of the density and diversity of juvenile hard corals from digital images were compared with direct visual estimates from the same plots made in the field. Multiple plots were sampled on four reefs from a range of locations on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. On average, estimates of juvenile densities from photographic images were lower, in both absolute and relative terms, than that estimated from images. This was the case whether colonies <20 mm or <50 mm in diameter were considered. Overall differences between methods were generally greater at reefs where recruitment was higher, though proportional differences (density from images/density from direct visual census) still varied among reefs. Although the ranking of taxa, in terms of their densities, from the two methods were similar, the density of common genera was generally underestimated in images, and the occurrence of 'unknown' taxa was higher. We conclude that photographic images do not constitute a reliable rapid assessment method for estimating the spatial patterns in the density or diversity of juvenile hard corals.

  11. Photographic assessment of nasal morphology following rapid maxillary expansion in children

    Science.gov (United States)

    da SILVA FILHO, Omar Gabriel; LARA, Tulio Silva; AYUB, Priscila Vaz; OHASHI, Amanda Sayuri Cardoso; BERTOZ, Francisco Antônio

    2011-01-01

    Objective The aim of the present study was to use facial analysis to determine the effects of rapid maxillary expansion (RME) on nasal morphology in children in the stages of primary and mixed dentition, with posterior cross-bite. Material and Methods Facial photographs (front view and profile) of 60 patients in the pre-expansion period, immediate post-expansion period and one year following rapid maxillary expansion with a Haas appliance were evaluated on 2 occasions by 3 experienced orthodontists independently, with a 2-week interval between evaluations. The examiners were instructed to assess nasal morphology and had no knowledge regarding the content of the study. Intraexaminer and interexaminer agreement (assessed using the Kappa statistic) was acceptable. Results From the analysis of the mode of the examiners' findings, no alterations in nasal morphology occurred regarding the following aspects: dorsum of nose, alar base, nasal width of middle third and nasal base. Alterations were only detected in the nasolabial angle in 1.64% of the patients between the pre-expansion and immediate post-expansion photographs. In 4.92% of the patients between the immediate post-expansion period and 1 year following expansion; and in 6.56% of the patients between the pre-expansion period and one year following expansion. Conclusion RME performed on children in stages of primary and mixed dentition did not have any impact on nasal morphology, as assessed using facial analysis. PMID:21986660

  12. Assessing health systems for type 1 diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa: developing a 'Rapid Assessment Protocol for Insulin Access'

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Courten Maximilian

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In order to improve the health of people with Type 1 diabetes in developing countries, a clear analysis of the constraints to insulin access and diabetes care is needed. We developed a Rapid Assessment Protocol for Insulin Access, comprising a series of questionnaires as well as a protocol for the gathering of other data through site visits, discussions, and document reviews. Methods The Rapid Assessment Protocol for Insulin Access draws on the principles of Rapid Assessment Protocols which have been developed and implemented in several different areas. This protocol was adapted through a thorough literature review on diabetes, chronic condition management and medicine supply in developing countries. A visit to three countries in sub-Saharan Africa and meetings with different experts in the field of diabetes helped refine the questionnaires. Following the development of the questionnaires these were tested with various people familiar with diabetes and/or healthcare in developing countries. The Protocol was piloted in Mozambique then refined and had two further iterations in Zambia and Mali. Translations of questionnaires were made into local languages when necessary, with back translation to ensure precision. Results In each country the protocol was implemented in 3 areas – the capital city, a large urban centre and a predominantly rural area and their respective surroundings. Interviews were carried out by local teams trained on how to use the tool. Data was then collected and entered into a database for analysis. Conclusion The Rapid Assessment Protocol for Insulin Access was developed to provide a situational analysis of Type 1 diabetes, in order to make recommendations to the national Ministries of Health and Diabetes Associations. It provided valuable information on patients' access to insulin, syringes, monitoring and care. It was thus able to sketch a picture of the health care system with regards to its ability to

  13. Rapid Assessment of Ecosystem Service Co-Benefits of Biodiversity Priority Areas in Madagascar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel A Neugarten

    Full Text Available The importance of ecosystems for supporting human well-being is increasingly recognized by both the conservation and development sectors. Our ability to conserve ecosystems that people rely on is often limited by a lack of spatially explicit data on the location and distribution of ecosystem services (ES, the benefits provided by nature to people. Thus there is a need to map ES to guide conservation investments, to ensure these co-benefits are maintained. To target conservation investments most effectively, ES assessments must be rigorous enough to support conservation planning, rapid enough to respond to decision-making timelines, and often must rely on existing data. We developed a framework for rapid spatial assessment of ES that relies on expert and stakeholder consultation, available data, and spatial analyses in order to rapidly identify sites providing multiple benefits. We applied the framework in Madagascar, a country with globally significant biodiversity and a high level of human dependence on ecosystems. Our objective was to identify the ES co-benefits of biodiversity priority areas in order to guide the investment strategy of a global conservation fund. We assessed key provisioning (fisheries, hunting and non-timber forest products, and water for domestic use, agriculture, and hydropower, regulating (climate mitigation, flood risk reduction and coastal protection, and cultural (nature tourism ES. We also conducted multi-criteria analyses to identify sites providing multiple benefits. While our approach has limitations, including the reliance on proximity-based indicators for several ES, the results were useful for targeting conservation investments by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF. Because our approach relies on available data, standardized methods for linking ES provision to ES use, and expert validation, it has the potential to quickly guide conservation planning and investment decisions in other data-poor regions.

  14. A rapid murine coma and behavior scale for quantitative assessment of murine cerebral malaria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan W Carroll

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cerebral malaria (CM is a neurological syndrome that includes coma and seizures following malaria parasite infection. The pathophysiology is not fully understood and cannot be accounted for by infection alone: patients still succumb to CM, even if the underlying parasite infection has resolved. To that effect, there is no known adjuvant therapy for CM. Current murine CM (MCM models do not allow for rapid clinical identification of affected animals following infection. An animal model that more closely mimics the clinical features of human CM would be helpful in elucidating potential mechanisms of disease pathogenesis and evaluating new adjuvant therapies. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A quantitative, rapid murine coma and behavior scale (RMCBS comprised of 10 parameters was developed to assess MCM manifested in C57BL/6 mice infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA. Using this method a single mouse can be completely assessed within 3 minutes. The RMCBS enables the operator to follow the evolution of the clinical syndrome, validated here by correlations with intracerebral hemorrhages. It provides a tool by which subjects can be identified as symptomatic prior to the initiation of trial treatment. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Since the RMCBS enables an operator to rapidly follow the course of disease, label a subject as affected or not, and correlate the level of illness with neuropathologic injury, it can ultimately be used to guide the initiation of treatment after the onset of cerebral disease (thus emulating the situation in the field. The RMCBS is a tool by which an adjuvant therapy can be objectively assessed.

  15. Rapid Assessment of Ecosystem Service Co-Benefits of Biodiversity Priority Areas in Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andriamaro, Luciano; Cano, Carlos Andres; Grantham, Hedley S.; Hole, David; Juhn, Daniel; McKinnon, Madeleine; Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa; Steininger, Marc; Wright, Timothy Max

    2016-01-01

    The importance of ecosystems for supporting human well-being is increasingly recognized by both the conservation and development sectors. Our ability to conserve ecosystems that people rely on is often limited by a lack of spatially explicit data on the location and distribution of ecosystem services (ES), the benefits provided by nature to people. Thus there is a need to map ES to guide conservation investments, to ensure these co-benefits are maintained. To target conservation investments most effectively, ES assessments must be rigorous enough to support conservation planning, rapid enough to respond to decision-making timelines, and often must rely on existing data. We developed a framework for rapid spatial assessment of ES that relies on expert and stakeholder consultation, available data, and spatial analyses in order to rapidly identify sites providing multiple benefits. We applied the framework in Madagascar, a country with globally significant biodiversity and a high level of human dependence on ecosystems. Our objective was to identify the ES co-benefits of biodiversity priority areas in order to guide the investment strategy of a global conservation fund. We assessed key provisioning (fisheries, hunting and non-timber forest products, and water for domestic use, agriculture, and hydropower), regulating (climate mitigation, flood risk reduction and coastal protection), and cultural (nature tourism) ES. We also conducted multi-criteria analyses to identify sites providing multiple benefits. While our approach has limitations, including the reliance on proximity-based indicators for several ES, the results were useful for targeting conservation investments by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). Because our approach relies on available data, standardized methods for linking ES provision to ES use, and expert validation, it has the potential to quickly guide conservation planning and investment decisions in other data-poor regions. PMID:28006005

  16. Critical Assessment of Information Extraction Systems in Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Blaschke

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available An increasing number of groups are now working in the area of text mining, focusing on a wide range of problems and applying both statistical and linguistic approaches. However, it is not possible to compare the different approaches, because there are no common standards or evaluation criteria; in addition, the various groups are addressing different problems, often using private datasets. As a result, it is impossible to determine how well the existing systems perform, and particularly what performance level can be expected in real applications. This is similar to the situation in text processing in the late 1980s, prior to the Message Understanding Conferences (MUCs. With the introduction of a common evaluation and standardized evaluation metrics as part of these conferences, it became possible to compare approaches, to identify those techniques that did or did not work and to make progress. This progress has resulted in a common pipeline of processes and a set of shared tools available to the general research community. The field of biology is ripe for a similar experiment. Inspired by this example, the BioLINK group (Biological Literature, Information and Knowledge [1] is organizing a CASP-like evaluation for the text data-mining community applied to biology. The two main tasks specifically address two major bottlenecks for text mining in biology: (1 the correct detection of gene and protein names in text; and (2 the extraction of functional information related to proteins based on the GO classification system. For further information and participation details, see http://www.pdg.cnb.uam.es/BioLink/BioCreative.eval.html

  17. A RAPID ASSESSMENT MODEL FOR UNDERSTANDING THE SOCIAL COST OF CARBON

    OpenAIRE

    STEPHEN C. NEWBOLD; CHARLES GRIFFITHS; CHRIS MOORE; ANN WOLVERTON; ELIZABETH KOPITS

    2013-01-01

    The "social cost of carbon" (SCC) is the present value of the stream of future damages from one additional unit of carbon emissions in a particular year. This paper develops a rapid assessment model for the SCC. The model includes the essential ingredients for calculating the SCC at the global scale and is designed to be transparent and easy to use and modify. Our goal is to provide a tool to help analysts and decision-makers quickly explore the implications of various modeling assumptions fo...

  18. Photograph-based ergonomic evaluations using the Rapid Office Strain Assessment (ROSA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebregts, J; Sonne, M; Potvin, J R

    2016-01-01

    The Rapid Office Strain Assessment (ROSA) was developed to assess musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) risk factors for computer workstations. This study examined the validity and reliability of remotely conducted, photo-based assessments using ROSA. Twenty-three office workstations were assessed on-site by an ergonomist, and 5 photos were obtained. Photo-based assessments were conducted by three ergonomists. The sensitivity and specificity of the photo-based assessors' ability to correctly classify workstations was 79% and 55%, respectively. The moderate specificity associated with false positive errors committed by the assessors could lead to unnecessary costs to the employer. Error between on-site and photo-based final scores was a considerable ∼2 points on the 10-point ROSA scale (RMSE = 2.3), with a moderate relationship (ρ = 0.33). Interrater reliability ranged from fairly good to excellent (ICC = 0.667-0.856) and was comparable to previous results. Sources of error include the parallax effect, poor estimations of small joint (e.g. hand/wrist) angles, and boundary errors in postural binning. While this method demonstrated potential validity, further improvements should be made with respect to photo-collection and other protocols for remotely-based ROSA assessments. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  19. Gaseous VOCs rapidly modify particulate matter and its biological effects - Part 1: Simple VOCs and model PM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebersviller, S.; Lichtveld, K.; Sexton, K. G.; Zavala, J.; Lin, Y.-H.; Jaspers, I.; Jeffries, H. E.

    2012-12-01

    This is the first of a three-part study designed to demonstrate dynamic entanglements among gaseous organic compounds (VOC), particulate matter (PM), and their subsequent potential biological effects. We study these entanglements in increasingly complex VOC and PM mixtures in urban-like conditions in a large outdoor chamber. To the traditional chemical and physical characterizations of gas and PM, we added new measurements of biological effects, using cultured human lung cells as model indicators. These biological effects are assessed here as increases in cellular damage or expressed irritation (i.e., cellular toxic effects) from cells exposed to chamber air relative to cells exposed to clean air. The exposure systems permit virtually gas-only- or PM-only-exposures from the same air stream containing both gases and PM in equilibria, i.e., there are no extractive operations prior to cell exposure. Our simple experiments in this part of the study were designed to eliminate many competing atmospheric processes to reduce ambiguity in our results. Simple volatile and semi-volatile organic gases that have inherent cellular toxic properties were tested individually for biological effect in the dark (at constant humidity). Airborne mixtures were then created with each compound to which we added PM that has no inherent cellular toxic properties for another cellular exposure. Acrolein and p-tolualdehyde were used as model VOCs and mineral oil aerosol (MOA) was selected as a surrogate for organic-containing PM. MOA is appropriately complex in composition to represent ambient PM, and exhibits no inherent cellular toxic effects and thus did not contribute any biological detrimental effects on its own. Chemical measurements, combined with the responses of our biological exposures, clearly demonstrate that gas-phase pollutants can modify the composition of PM (and its resulting detrimental effects on lung cells). We observed that, even if the gas-phase pollutants are not

  20. Uncorrected refractive errors, presbyopia and spectacle coverage: results from a rapid assessment of refractive error survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marmamula, Srinivas; Keeffe, Jill E; Rao, Gullapalli N

    2009-01-01

    To investigate the prevalence of uncorrected refractive errors, presbyopia and spectacle coverage in subjects aged 15-50 years using rapid assessment methodology in the Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, India. A population-based cross sectional study was conducted using cluster random sampling to enumerate 3,300 subjects from 55 clusters. Unaided, aided and pinhole visual acuity was assessed using a LogMAR chart at a distance of 4 meters. Near vision was assessed using N notation chart. Uncorrected refractive error was defined as presenting visual acuity worse than 6/12 but improving to at least 6/12 or better on using a pinhole. Presbyopia is defined as binocular near vision worse than N8 in subjects aged more than 35 years with binocular distance visual acuity of 6/12 or better. Of the 3,300 subjects enumerated from 55 clusters, 3,203 (97%) subjects were available for examination. Of these, 1,496 (46.7%) were females and 930 (29%) were > or = 40 years. Age and gender adjusted prevalence of uncorrected refractive errors causing visual impairment in the better eye was 2.7% (95% CI, 2.1-3.2%). Presbyopia was present in 690 (63.7%, 95% CI, 60.8-66.6%) subjects aged over 35 years. Spectacle coverage for refractive error was 29% and for presbyopia it was 19%. There is a large unmet need for refractive correction in this area in India. Rapid assessment methods are an effective means of assessing the need for services and the impact of models of care.

  1. A biologic approach to environmental assessment and epidemiology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Smith, Thomas J; Kriebel, David

    2010-01-01

    .... The two key fields of study on this issue, environmental epidemiology and exposure assessment, are still given separate names because of their separate historical roots and scientific traditions...

  2. Ranking of small scale proposals for water system repair using the Rapid Impact Assessment Matrix (RIAM)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shakib-Manesh, T.E.; Hirvonen, K.O.; Jalava, K.J.; Ålander, T.; Kuitunen, M.T., E-mail: markku.kuitunen@jyu.fi

    2014-11-15

    Environmental impacts of small scale projects are often assessed poorly, or not assessed at all. This paper examines the usability of the Rapid Impact Assessment Matrix (RIAM) as a tool to prioritize project proposals for small scale water restoration projects in relation to proposals' potential to improve the environment. The RIAM scoring system was used to assess and rank the proposals based on their environmental impacts, the costs of the projects to repair the harmful impacts, and the size of human population living around the sites. A four-member assessment group (The expert panel) gave the RIAM-scores to the proposals. The assumed impacts of the studied projects at the Eastern Finland water systems were divided into the ecological and social impacts. The more detailed assessment categories of the ecological impacts in this study were impacts on landscape, natural state, and limnology. The social impact categories were impacts to recreational use of the area, fishing, industry, population, and economy. These impacts were scored according to their geographical and social significance, their magnitude of change, their character, permanence, reversibility, and cumulativeness. The RIAM method proved to be an appropriate and recommendable method for the small-scale assessment and prioritizing of project proposals. If the assessments are well documented, the RIAM can be a method for easy assessing and comparison of the various kinds of projects. In the studied project proposals there were no big surprises in the results: the best ranks were received by the projects, which were assumed to return watersheds toward their original state.

  3. The use of rapid review methods in health technology assessments: 3 case studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaltenthaler, Eva; Cooper, Katy; Pandor, Abdullah; Martyn-St James, Marrissa; Chatters, Robin; Wong, Ruth

    2016-08-26

    Rapid reviews are of increasing importance within health technology assessment due to time and resource constraints. There are many rapid review methods available although there is little guidance as to the most suitable methods. We present three case studies employing differing methods to suit the evidence base for each review and outline some issues to consider when selecting an appropriate method. Three recently completed systematic review short reports produced for the UK National Institute for Health Research were examined. Different approaches to rapid review methods were used in the three reports which were undertaken to inform the commissioning of services within the NHS and to inform future trial design. We describe the methods used, the reasoning behind the choice of methods and explore the strengths and weaknesses of each method. Rapid review methods were chosen to meet the needs of the review and each review had distinctly different challenges such as heterogeneity in terms of populations, interventions, comparators and outcome measures (PICO) and/or large numbers of relevant trials. All reviews included at least 10 randomised controlled trials (RCTs), each with numerous included outcomes. For the first case study (sexual health interventions), very diverse studies in terms of PICO were included. P-values and summary information only were presented due to substantial heterogeneity between studies and outcomes measured. For the second case study (premature ejaculation treatments), there were over 100 RCTs but also several existing systematic reviews. Data for meta-analyses were extracted directly from existing systematic reviews with new RCT data added where available. For the final case study (cannabis cessation therapies), studies included a wide range of interventions and considerable variation in study populations and outcomes. A brief summary of the key findings for each study was presented and narrative synthesis used to summarise results for each

  4. Biology Needs a Modern Assessment System for Professional Productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDade, Lucinda A.; Maddison, David R.; Guralnick, Robert; Piwowar, Heather A.; Jameson, Mary Liz; Helgen, Kristofer M.; Herendeen, Patrick S.; Hill, Andrew; Vis, Morgan L.

    2011-01-01

    Stimulated in large part by the advent of the Internet, research productivity in many academic disciplines has changed dramatically over the last two decades. However, the assessment system that governs professional success has not kept pace, creating a mismatch between modes of scholarly productivity and academic assessment criteria. In this…

  5. Protocol: a rapid and economical procedure for purification of plasmid or plant DNA with diverse applications in plant biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Li

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Research in plant molecular biology involves DNA purification on a daily basis. Although different commercial kits enable convenient extraction of high-quality DNA from E. coli cells, PCR and agarose gel samples as well as plant tissues, each kit is designed for a particular type of DNA extraction work, and the cost of purchasing these kits over a long run can be considerable. Furthermore, a simple method for the isolation of binary plasmid from Agrobacterium tumefaciens cells with satisfactory yield is lacking. Here we describe an easy protocol using homemade silicon dioxide matrix and seven simple solutions for DNA extraction from E. coli and A. tumefaciens cells, PCR and restriction digests, agarose gel slices, and plant tissues. Compared with the commercial kits, this protocol allows rapid DNA purification from diverse sources with comparable yield and purity at negligible cost. Following this protocol, we have demonstrated: (1 DNA fragments as small as a MYC-epitope tag coding sequence can be successfully recovered from an agarose gel slice; (2 Miniprep DNA from E. coli can be eluted with as little as 5 μl water, leading to high DNA concentrations (>1 μg/μl for efficient biolistic bombardment of Arabidopsis seedlings, polyethylene glycol (PEG-mediated Arabidopsis protoplast transfection and maize protoplast electroporation; (3 Binary plasmid DNA prepared from A. tumefaciens is suitable for verification by restriction analysis without the need for large scale propagation; (4 High-quality genomic DNA is readily isolated from several plant species including Arabidopsis, tobacco and maize. Thus, the silicon dioxide matrix-based DNA purification protocol offers an easy, efficient and economical way to extract DNA for various purposes in plant research.

  6. Systems biology analysis of Brucella infected Peyer's patch reveals rapid invasion with modest transient perturbations of the host transcriptome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos A Rossetti

    Full Text Available Brucella melitensis causes the most severe and acute symptoms of all Brucella species in human beings and infects hosts primarily through the oral route. The epithelium covering domed villi of jejunal-ileal Peyer's patches is an important site of entry for several pathogens, including Brucella. Here, we use the calf ligated ileal loop model to study temporal in vivo Brucella-infected host molecular and morphological responses. Our results document Brucella bacteremia occurring within 30 min after intraluminal inoculation of the ileum without histopathologic traces of lesions. Based on a system biology Dynamic Bayesian Network modeling approach (DBN of microarray data, a very early transient perturbation of the host enteric transcriptome was associated with the initial host response to Brucella contact that is rapidly averted allowing invasion and dissemination. A detailed analysis revealed active expression of Syndecan 2, Integrin alpha L and Integrin beta 2 genes, which may favor initial Brucella adhesion. Also, two intestinal barrier-related pathways (Tight Junction and Trefoil Factors Initiated Mucosal Healing were significantly repressed in the early stage of infection, suggesting subversion of mucosal epithelial barrier function to facilitate Brucella transepithelial migration. Simultaneously, the strong activation of the innate immune response pathways would suggest that the host mounts an appropriate protective immune response; however, the expression of the two key genes that encode innate immunity anti-Brucella cytokines such as TNF-α and IL12p40 were not significantly changed throughout the study. Furthermore, the defective expression of Toll-Like Receptor Signaling pathways may partially explain the lack of proinflammatory cytokine production and consequently the absence of morphologically detectable inflammation at the site of infection. Cumulatively, our results indicate that the in vivo pathogenesis of the early infectious process

  7. Rapid fabrication of dense 45S5 Bioglass®compacts through spark plasma sintering and evaluation of their in vitro biological properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhong; Thompson, Brianna C; Hu, Huanlong; Khor, Khiam Aik

    2016-10-27

    It is challenging to obtain dense 45S5 Bioglass ® (45S5) with controlled crystallinity and satisfactory mechanical properties by conventional sintering processes due to its fast crystallization above the first glass transition temperature. Spark plasma sintering (SPS) has stood out in this respect by virtue of its capability to provide fast heating and densification rates. However, there have been insufficient investigations into the in vitro biological properties of 45S5 compacts obtained by SPS. In this study, we report the fabrication of fully densified 45S5 pellets in the temperature range of 500 °C-600 °C through a rapid SPS process (sintering for 3 min) as well as the assessment of the influence of sintering temperature and aqueous aging on the biological properties of sintered pellets with L929 and MG63 cells. The cell culture results showed that both extended ageing and a lower SPS temperature in the 500-600 °C range could generally lead to faster cell proliferation and higher cell viability. The former was possibly caused by the slower alkalization of the media during cell culture, and the latter may have resulted from the release of more Ca and Si ions. The pellet sintered at 550 °C without aqueous aging led to the highest ALP activity in MG63 cells, which may be attributed to the high interfacial pH at the pellet surface and the leaching of more Si ions. Therefore, dense 45S5 compacts with mild crystallinity consolidated by SPS at 550 °C is a promising candidate for orthopedic implants in loading bearing applications.

  8. Biological Inquiry: A New Course and Assessment Plan in Response to the Call to Transform Undergraduate Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldey, Ellen S.; Abercrombie, Clarence L.; Ivy, Tracie M.; Kusher, Dave I.; Moeller, John F.; Rayner, Doug A.; Smith, Charles F.; Spivey, Natalie W.

    2012-01-01

    We transformed our first-year curriculum in biology with a new course, Biological Inquiry, in which >50% of all incoming, first-year students enroll. The course replaced a traditional, content-driven course that relied on outdated approaches to teaching and learning. We diversified pedagogical practices by adopting guided inquiry in class and in labs, which are devoted to building authentic research skills through open-ended experiments. Students develop core biological knowledge, from the ecosystem to molecular level, and core skills through regular practice in hypothesis testing, reading primary literature, analyzing data, interpreting results, writing in disciplinary style, and working in teams. Assignments and exams require higher-order cognitive processes, and students build new knowledge and skills through investigation of real-world problems (e.g., malaria), which engages students’ interest. Evidence from direct and indirect assessment has guided continuous course revision and has revealed that compared with the course it replaced, Biological Inquiry produces significant learning gains in all targeted areas. It also retains 94% of students (both BA and BS track) compared with 79% in the majors-only course it replaced. The project has had broad impact across the entire college and reflects the input of numerous constituencies and close collaboration among biology professors and students. PMID:23222831

  9. Biological inquiry: a new course and assessment plan in response to the call to transform undergraduate biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldey, Ellen S; Abercrombie, Clarence L; Ivy, Tracie M; Kusher, Dave I; Moeller, John F; Rayner, Doug A; Smith, Charles F; Spivey, Natalie W

    2012-01-01

    We transformed our first-year curriculum in biology with a new course, Biological Inquiry, in which >50% of all incoming, first-year students enroll. The course replaced a traditional, content-driven course that relied on outdated approaches to teaching and learning. We diversified pedagogical practices by adopting guided inquiry in class and in labs, which are devoted to building authentic research skills through open-ended experiments. Students develop core biological knowledge, from the ecosystem to molecular level, and core skills through regular practice in hypothesis testing, reading primary literature, analyzing data, interpreting results, writing in disciplinary style, and working in teams. Assignments and exams require higher-order cognitive processes, and students build new knowledge and skills through investigation of real-world problems (e.g., malaria), which engages students' interest. Evidence from direct and indirect assessment has guided continuous course revision and has revealed that compared with the course it replaced, Biological Inquiry produces significant learning gains in all targeted areas. It also retains 94% of students (both BA and BS track) compared with 79% in the majors-only course it replaced. The project has had broad impact across the entire college and reflects the input of numerous constituencies and close collaboration among biology professors and students.

  10. Rapid Traversability Assessment in 2.5D Grid-based Map on Rough Terrain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Huang

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a rapid traversability assessment approach based on an extended 2.5D grid-based representaion of the rough terrain. Stereo vision system is used to perceive the environment surrounding robot. Conventional 2D, 3D and other 2.5D grid maps determine the traversability indices of the grids directly from the sensor feedback, while our approach attempts to address the indices of terrain from multiple grids instead. By analyzing the properties of multiple grids that the robot is to traverse, passable grids are distinguished, which also takes the robot's size into account. Fuzzy logic framework is applied to extract traversabiltiy indices from the terrain characteristics. A soccer robot equipped with a stereo vision system is adopted for experiments. The results show that our map is capable of speeding the process of traversability assessment and providing an autonomous mobile robot with a appropriate representation of 3D uneven terrain profile.

  11. Face and Convergent Validity of Persian Version of Rapid Office Strain Assessment (ROSA Checklist

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Afrouz Armal

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The aim of this work was the translation, cultural adaptation and validation of the Persian version of the Rapid Office Stress Assessment (ROSA checklist. Material & Methods: This methodological study was conducted according of IQOLA method. 100 office worker were selected in order to carry out a psychometric evaluation of the ROSA checklist by performing validity (face and convergent analyses. The convergent validity was evaluated using RULA checklist. Results: Upon major changes made to the ROSA checklist during the translation/cultural adaptation process, face validity of the Persian version was obtained. Spearman correlation coefficient between total score of ROSA check list and RULA checklist was significant (r=0.76, p<0.0001. Conclusion: The results indicated that the translated version of the ROSA checklist is acceptable in terms of face validity, convergent validity in target society, and hence provides a useful instrument for assessing Iranian office workers

  12. Predicting Airport Screening Officers' Visual Search Competency With a Rapid Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitroff, Stephen R; Ericson, Justin M; Sharpe, Benjamin

    2017-11-01

    Objective The study's objective was to assess a new personnel selection and assessment tool for aviation security screeners. A mobile app was modified to create a tool, and the question was whether it could predict professional screeners' on-job performance. Background A variety of professions (airport security, radiology, the military, etc.) rely on visual search performance-being able to detect targets. Given the importance of such professions, it is necessary to maximize performance, and one means to do so is to select individuals who excel at visual search. A critical question is whether it is possible to predict search competency within a professional search environment. Method Professional searchers from the USA Transportation Security Administration (TSA) completed a rapid assessment on a tablet-based X-ray simulator (XRAY Screener, derived from the mobile technology app Airport Scanner; Kedlin Company). The assessment contained 72 trials that were simulated X-ray images of bags. Participants searched for prohibited items and tapped on them with their finger. Results Performance on the assessment significantly related to on-job performance measures for the TSA officers such that those who were better XRAY Screener performers were both more accurate and faster at the actual airport checkpoint. Conclusion XRAY Screener successfully predicted on-job performance for professional aviation security officers. While questions remain about the underlying cognitive mechanisms, this quick assessment was found to significantly predict on-job success for a task that relies on visual search performance. Application It may be possible to quickly assess an individual's visual search competency, which could help organizations select new hires and assess their current workforce.

  13. Xurography as a Rapid Fabrication Alternative for Point-of-Care Devices: Assessment of Passive Micromixers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-López, J. Israel; Mojica, Mauricio; Rodríguez, Ciro A.; Siller, Héctor R.

    2016-01-01

    Despite the copious amount of research on the design and operation of micromixers, there are few works regarding manufacture technology aimed at implementation beyond academic environments. This work evaluates the viability of xurography as a rapid fabrication tool for the development of ultra-low cost microfluidic technology for extreme Point-of-Care (POC) micromixing devices. By eschewing photolithographic processes and the bulkiness of pumping and enclosure systems for rapid fabrication and passively driven operation, xurography is introduced as a manufacturing alternative for asymmetric split and recombine (ASAR) micromixers. A T-micromixer design was used as a reference to assess the effects of different cutting conditions and materials on the geometric features of the resulting microdevices. Inspection by stereographic and confocal microscopy showed that it is possible to manufacture devices with less than 8% absolute dimensional error. Implementation of the manufacturing methodology in modified circular shape- based SAR microdevices (balanced and unbalanced configurations) showed that, despite the precision limitations of the xurographic process, it is possible to implement this methodology to produce functional micromixing devices. Mixing efficiency was evaluated numerically and experimentally at the outlet of the microdevices with performances up to 40%. Overall, the assessment encourages further research of xurography for the development of POC micromixers. PMID:27196904

  14. Xurography as a Rapid Fabrication Alternative for Point-of-Care Devices: Assessment of Passive Micromixers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-López, J Israel; Mojica, Mauricio; Rodríguez, Ciro A; Siller, Héctor R

    2016-05-16

    Despite the copious amount of research on the design and operation of micromixers, there are few works regarding manufacture technology aimed at implementation beyond academic environments. This work evaluates the viability of xurography as a rapid fabrication tool for the development of ultra-low cost microfluidic technology for extreme Point-of-Care (POC) micromixing devices. By eschewing photolithographic processes and the bulkiness of pumping and enclosure systems for rapid fabrication and passively driven operation, xurography is introduced as a manufacturing alternative for asymmetric split and recombine (ASAR) micromixers. A T-micromixer design was used as a reference to assess the effects of different cutting conditions and materials on the geometric features of the resulting microdevices. Inspection by stereographic and confocal microscopy showed that it is possible to manufacture devices with less than 8% absolute dimensional error. Implementation of the manufacturing methodology in modified circular shape- based SAR microdevices (balanced and unbalanced configurations) showed that, despite the precision limitations of the xurographic process, it is possible to implement this methodology to produce functional micromixing devices. Mixing efficiency was evaluated numerically and experimentally at the outlet of the microdevices with performances up to 40%. Overall, the assessment encourages further research of xurography for the development of POC micromixers.

  15. Xurography as a Rapid Fabrication Alternative for Point-of-Care Devices: Assessment of Passive Micromixers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Israel Martínez-López

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Despite the copious amount of research on the design and operation of micromixers, there are few works regarding manufacture technology aimed at implementation beyond academic environments. This work evaluates the viability of xurography as a rapid fabrication tool for the development of ultra-low cost microfluidic technology for extreme Point-of-Care (POC micromixing devices. By eschewing photolithographic processes and the bulkiness of pumping and enclosure systems for rapid fabrication and passively driven operation, xurography is introduced as a manufacturing alternative for asymmetric split and recombine (ASAR micromixers. A T-micromixer design was used as a reference to assess the effects of different cutting conditions and materials on the geometric features of the resulting microdevices. Inspection by stereographic and confocal microscopy showed that it is possible to manufacture devices with less than 8% absolute dimensional error. Implementation of the manufacturing methodology in modified circular shape- based SAR microdevices (balanced and unbalanced configurations showed that, despite the precision limitations of the xurographic process, it is possible to implement this methodology to produce functional micromixing devices. Mixing efficiency was evaluated numerically and experimentally at the outlet of the microdevices with performances up to 40%. Overall, the assessment encourages further research of xurography for the development of POC micromixers.

  16. Rapid assessment of rice seed availability for wildlife in harvested fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halstead, B.J.; Miller, M.R.; Casazza, Michael L.; Coates, P.S.; Farinha, M.A.; Benjamin, Gustafson K.; Yee, J.L.; Fleskes, J.P.

    2011-01-01

    Rice seed remaining in commercial fields after harvest (waste rice) is a critical food resource for wintering waterfowl in rice-growing regions of North America. Accurate and precise estimates of the seed mass density of waste rice are essential for planning waterfowl wintering habitat extents and management. In the Sacramento Valley of California, USA, the existing method for obtaining estimates of availability of waste rice in harvested fields produces relatively precise estimates, but the labor-, time-, and machineryintensive process is not practical for routine assessments needed to examine long-term trends in waste rice availability. We tested several experimental methods designed to rapidly derive estimates that would not be burdened with disadvantages of the existing method. We first conducted a simulation study of the efficiency of each method and then conducted field tests. For each approach, methods did not vary in root mean squared error, although some methods did exhibit bias for both simulations and field tests. Methods also varied substantially in the time to conduct each sample and in the number of samples required to detect a standard trend. Overall, modified line-intercept methods performed well for estimating the density of rice seeds. Waste rice in the straw, although not measured directly, can be accounted for by a positive relationship with density of rice on the ground. Rapid assessment of food availability is a useful tool to help waterfowl managers establish and implement wetland restoration and agricultural habitat-enhancement goals for wintering waterfowl. ?? 2011 The Wildlife Society.

  17. Rapid assessment of large scale vegetation change based on multi-temporal phenological analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Danlu; Guan, Yanning; Guo, Shan; Yan, Baoping; Xing, Zhi; Zhang, Chunyan; Piao, Yingchao; An, Xudong; Kang, Lihua

    2011-11-01

    Detecting vegetation change is critical for earth system and sustainability science. The existing methods, however, show several limitations, including inevitable selection of imagery acquisition dates, affection from vegetation related noise on temporal trajectory analysis, and assumptions due to vegetation classification model. This paper presents a multitemporal phenological frequency analysis over a relatively short period (MTPFA-SP) methodology to detect vegetation changes. This MTPFA-SP methodology bases on the amplitude components of fast Fourier transforming (FFT) and is implemented with two steps. First, NDVI time series over two periods are transformed with FFT into frequency domain, separately. Second, amplitude components with phenological information from Step 1 are selected for further change comparison. In this methodology, component selection shows physical meanings of natural vegetation process in frequency domain. Comparisons among those selected components help enhance the ability to rapidly detect vegetation changes. To validate this MTPFA-SP methodology, we detect changes between two periods (2001-2005 and 2006-2010) in the eastern Tibet Plateau area and make two kinds of assessments. The first is for a larger scale, including statistic analysis of altitudinal zonality and latitudinal zonality. The second assessment is for rapid detection of vegetation change location. Landsat TM image were employed to validate the result.

  18. Use of refractometry and colorimetry as field methods to rapidly assess antimalarial drug quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Michael D; Nettey, Henry; Villalva Rojas, Ofelia; Pamanivong, Chansapha; Khounsaknalath, Lamphet; Grande Ortiz, Miguel; Newton, Paul N; Fernández, Facundo M; Vongsack, Latsamy; Manolin, Ot

    2007-01-04

    The proliferation of counterfeit and poor-quality drugs is a major public health problem; especially in developing countries lacking adequate resources to effectively monitor their prevalence. Simple and affordable field methods provide a practical means of rapidly monitoring drug quality in circumstances where more advanced techniques are not available. Therefore, we have evaluated refractometry, colorimetry and a technique combining both processes as simple and accurate field assays to rapidly test the quality of the commonly available antimalarial drugs; artesunate, chloroquine, quinine, and sulfadoxine. Method bias, sensitivity, specificity and accuracy relative to high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) analysis of drugs collected in the Lao PDR were assessed for each technique. The HPLC method for each drug was evaluated in terms of assay variability and accuracy. The accuracy of the combined method ranged from 0.96 to 1.00 for artesunate tablets, chloroquine injectables, quinine capsules, and sulfadoxine tablets while the accuracy was 0.78 for enterically coated chloroquine tablets. These techniques provide a generally accurate, yet simple and affordable means to assess drug quality in resource-poor settings.

  19. Utilizing web-based geodata for rapid disaster identification and assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leith, Kerry; Schmitt, Michael; Sickert, Salomon; Metzger, Alex; Krautblatter, Michael

    2014-05-01

    Developing methods to rapidly locate and quantify the impact of natural disasters can aid both the coordination of emergency response, and the long-term understanding of natural hazards in a range of environmental settings. Gaining such quantitative data in the aftermath of landslide events is particularly challenging, as the localized nature, steep terrain, and frequent damage to infrastructure caused by common triggering events (e.g. earthquakes, storms) complicates traditional methods of survey and data communication. As a result, the first, and often best overview of disastrous events is typically provided by eyewitness or first-responder photographs distributed through official, or social media networks. Although these images allow for an initial qualitative assessment of the event, their ad-hoc nature does not currently allow for either precise location, or quantitative evaluation of key event parameters (e.g. structural setting, geology, geometry, size, transport path, or total fall height). Here we present two tools designed to facilitate initial location and assessment of key event parameters using a combination of freely available geodata and information derived from eyewitness observations. These tools are currently under development, and rely on the adaptation of existing photogrammetric techniques in order to allow users to rapidly map and quantify event parameters from a combination of ad-hoc media photographs, and existing orthophoto and digital terrain model data (e.g. LiDAR, SRTM, ASTER). By incorporating results in freely-available GIS platforms such as Google Earth, local authorities will be able to to better assess and disseminate information regarding the impact of natural disasters in the critical hours following an event. We expect that quantitative data derived from events will provide important information to allow geohazard researchers to better assess landslide generation, and authorities to better plan responses to future triggering

  20. Relevance of new multispectral imagery for assessing tropical forest disturbance: RapidEye and WorldView-2

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Cho, Moses A

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The aims of this study were to assess utility of RapidEye imagery for predicting leaf nitrogen concentration and evaluate the effects of forest fragmentation on leaf nitrogen distribution in the Dukuduku forest, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Rapid...

  1. Adding biological realism to assessments of landscape connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Researchers have long appreciated the practical value of connectivity and source-sink analyses. The importance of these assessments for conservation, planning, and reserve design has motivated many empirical and simulation studies. But there are few modeling tools available that ...

  2. Applying an improved rapid impact assessment matrix method to strategic environmental assessment of urban planning in China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Wei, E-mail: weili@bnu.edu.cn; Xie, Yuanbo, E-mail: former_007@163.com; Hao, Fanghua, E-mail: fanghua@bnu.edu.cn

    2014-04-01

    Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) has become an increasingly important decision-support tool for providing information on the environmental implications of a policy, plan, or program. The goal is to safeguard the environment and promote sustainable development at the strategic level. Despite major progress in implementing SEA practices internationally, developing countries, such as China, often lag behind in applying SEA methodology. Lack of available data and time constraints arising from tight schedules create problems. The rapid impact assessment matrix (RIAM) is a potential resource for breaking through such difficulties. Our analysis of RIAM applications suggested that it could become a tool for evaluating strategic alternatives because of its applicability in interdisciplinary settings, its transparency, and its short implementation timeframe. To make it more suitable for the SEA context, we have developed two major improvements to the conventional RIAM process: assignment of weights to assessment indicators and the development of an integrated environmental assessment score (IES). The improved RIAM process was employed in an SEA of the development plan for the Nansha District in Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong Province in China. It was used to assess five alternatives for development in Wanqingsha (WQS), a subunit of Nansha, where important ecological resources are located and where industrial development could impact the air quality in the neighboring Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). The evaluation identified WQS-A04 as the preferred alternative. This alternative involved a minimal amount of industrial development – 10% compared with the most intense development alternative – and included important wetland preservation plans. The assessment results have been incorporated into the officially approved development plan for Nansha. The improved RIAM methodology is well adapted to the technical aims of SEA and decision

  3. 77 FR 46373 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Hemlock Woolly...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-03

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological... of Symnus coniferarum into the eastern United States for use as a biological control agent to reduce...

  4. 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. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  5. Scaling up success to improve health: Towards a rapid assessment guide for decision makers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Paltzer

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Evidence-based health interventions exist and are effectively implemented throughout resource-limited settings. The literature regarding scale-up strategies and frameworks is growing. The purpose of this paper is to identify and systematically document the variation in scale-up strategies to develop a rapid assessment tool for decision-makers looking to identify the most appropriate strategy for their organizational and environmental contexts. Methods A list of scale-up strategies and frameworks were identified through an in-depth literature review and conversations with scale-up and quality improvement leaders. The literature search included a broad range of terms that might be used interchangeably with scale-up of best practices. Terms included: implementation research, knowledge translation, translational research, quality improvement research, health systems improvement, scale-up, best practices, improvement collaborative, and community based research. Based on this research, 18 strategies and frameworks were identified, and nine met our inclusion criteria for scale-up of health-related strategies. We interviewed the key contact for four of the nine strategies to obtain additional information regarding the strategy’s scale-up components, targets, underlying theories, evaluation efforts, facilitating factors, and barriers. A comparative analysis of common elements and strategy characteristics was completed by two of the authors on the nine selected strategies. Key strategy characteristics and common factors that facilitate or hinder the strategy’s success in scaling up health-related interventions were identified. Results Common features of scale-up strategies include: 1 the development of context-specific evidence; 2 collaborative partnerships; 3 iterative processes; and 4 shared decision-making. Facilitating factors include strong leadership, community engagement, communication, government collaboration, and a focus on

  6. Sediment Processes on the Coral Reefs of Kahoolawe: A Rapid Field Assessment in 1993 (NODC Accession 0000883)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The nearshore coral ecosystems of Kahoolawe were rapidly assessed in 1993. Surveys were made of the coral coverage, fish communities, and sediment types from 19...

  7. Pacific Islands Coral Reef Ecosystems Division (CRED) Rapid Ecological Assessment (REA) algae species lists (NODC Accession 0010352)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Quadrats were sampled along consecutively placed transect lines as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at sites in American Pacific Islands: CRED REA...

  8. Next Generation Risk Assessment: Incorporation of Recent Advances in Molecular, Computational, and Systems Biology (Final Report)

    Science.gov (United States)

    EPA announced the release of the final report, Next Generation Risk Assessment: Incorporation of Recent Advances in Molecular, Computational, and Systems Biology. This report describes new approaches that are faster, less resource intensive, and more robust that can help ...

  9. A preliminary biological assessment of Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge Complex, North Dakota

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report represents an initial biological assessment of wetland conditions on Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Slade NWR, and Florence Lake NWR that was...

  10. Rapid quality assessment of Radix Aconiti Preparata using direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhu Hongbin; Wang Chunyan; Qi Yao [Changchun Center of Mass Spectrometry and Chemical Biology Laboratory, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130022 (China); University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039 (China); Song Fengrui, E-mail: songfr@ciac.jl.cn [Changchun Center of Mass Spectrometry and Chemical Biology Laboratory, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130022 (China); Liu Zhiqiang; Liu Shuying [Changchun Center of Mass Spectrometry and Chemical Biology Laboratory, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130022 (China)

    2012-11-08

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer DART MS combined with PCA and HCA was used to rapidly identify markers of Radix Aconiti. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The DART MS behavior of six aconitine-type alkaloids was investigated. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Chemical markers were recognized between the qualified and unqualified samples. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer DART MS was shown to be an effective tool for quality control of Radix Aconiti Preparata. - Abstract: This study presents a novel and rapid method to identify chemical markers for the quality control of Radix Aconiti Preparata, a world widely used traditional herbal medicine. In the method, the samples with a fast extraction procedure were analyzed using direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry (DART MS) combined with multivariate data analysis. At present, the quality assessment approach of Radix Aconiti Preparata was based on the two processing methods recorded in Chinese Pharmacopoeia for the purpose of reducing the toxicity of Radix Aconiti and ensuring its clinical therapeutic efficacy. In order to ensure the safety and effectivity in clinical use, the processing degree of Radix Aconiti should be well controlled and assessed. In the paper, hierarchical cluster analysis and principal component analysis were performed to evaluate the DART MS data of Radix Aconiti Preparata samples in different processing times. The results showed that the well processed Radix Aconiti Preparata, unqualified processed and the raw Radix Aconiti could be clustered reasonably corresponding to their constituents. The loading plot shows that the main chemical markers having the most influence on the discrimination amongst the qualified and unqualified samples were mainly some monoester diterpenoid aconitines and diester diterpenoid aconitines, i.e. benzoylmesaconine, hypaconitine, mesaconitine, neoline, benzoylhypaconine, benzoylaconine, fuziline, aconitine and 10-OH-mesaconitine. The established DART MS approach in

  11. The Rapid Assessment Interface and Discharge service and its implications for patients with dementia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Singh I

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Inderpal Singh,1 Sharan Ramakrishna,1 Kathryn Williamson21Department of Geriatric Medicine, 2Department of Old Age Psychiatry, Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr, Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly, United KingdomAbstract: The rising prevalence of dementia will have an effect on acute care hospitals around the world. At present, around 40% of patients older than 70 years with acute medical admissions have dementia, but only half of these patients have been diagnosed. Patients with dementia have poorer health outcomes, longer hospital stays, and higher rates of readmissions and institutionalization. Worldwide, health care budgets are severely constrained. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE has listed ten quality standards for supporting people in living well with dementia. NICE resource implications and commissioning support to implement these guidelines and improve dementia services have been recently published. Although most of the frail elderly patients with dementia are cared for by geriatricians, obstacles to making a diagnosis and to the management of dementia have been recognized. To provide a timely diagnosis of dementia, better care in acute hospital settings, and continuity of care in the community, services integrating all these elements are warranted. Extra resources also will be required for intermediate, palliative care, and mental health liaison services for people with dementia. The Birmingham Rapid Assessment Interface and Discharge service model uses a multiskilled team that provides comprehensive assessment of a person's physical and psychological well-being in a general hospital setting. It has been shown to be an effective model in terms of reducing both length of stay and avoiding readmission. The aim of this review is to discuss the implications of the Rapid Assessment Interface and Discharge model in people with dementia and to critically compare this model with similar published service provisions.Keywords: comorbidity, aged

  12. Workshop on biological assessment and monitoring evaluation and models (ICP Waters report 50/99)

    OpenAIRE

    Raddum, G.; Rosseland, B. O.; Bowman, J.

    1999-01-01

    The report presents the papers and conclusions from the "Workshop on biological assessment and monitoring evaluation and models", arranged by the International Cooperative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Acidification of Rivers and Lakes (ICP Waters) and the International Cooperative programme on Integrated Monitoring (ICP IM). The workshop was held in October 1998 in Zakopane, Poland. The workshop agreed upon the necessity of combining physico-chemical and biological monitoring. Th...

  13. Assessment of the Biological Treatability of Black Tea Processing ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The anaerobic degradability of tea beverage processing effluent was assessed using a stationary upflow anaerobic filter. The filter, with an active column of 1.2m height, inner diameter of 100 mm and filled with rock as the attachment medium was operated at room temperature ranging between 20-250C throughout the ...

  14. Six rapid assessments of alcohol and other substance use in populations displaced by conflict

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adelekan Moruf

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Substance use among populations displaced by conflict is a neglected area of public health. Alcohol, khat, benzodiazepine, opiate, and other substance use have been documented among a range of displaced populations, with wide-reaching health and social impacts. Changing agendas in humanitarian response-including increased prominence of mental health and chronic illness-have so far failed to be translated into meaningful interventions for substance use. Methods Studies were conducted from 2006 to 2008 in six different settings of protracted displacement, three in Africa (Kenya, Liberia, northern Uganda and three in Asia (Iran, Pakistan, and Thailand. We used intervention-oriented qualitative Rapid Assessment and Response methods, adapted from two decades of experience among non-displaced populations. The main sources of data were individual and group interviews conducted with a culturally representative (non-probabilistic sample of community members and service providers. Results Widespread use of alcohol, particularly artisanally-produced alcohol, in Kenya, Liberia, Uganda, and Thailand, and opiates in Iran and Pakistan was believed by participants to be linked to a range of health, social and protection problems, including illness, injury (intentional and unintentional, gender-based violence, risky behaviour for HIV and other sexually transmitted infection and blood-borne virus transmission, as well as detrimental effects to household economy. Displacement experiences, including dispossession, livelihood restriction, hopelessness and uncertain future may make communities particularly vulnerable to substance use and its impact, and changing social norms and networks (including the surrounding population may result in changed - and potentially more harmful-patterns of use. Limited access to services, including health services, and exclusion from relevant host population programmes, may exacerbate the harmful consequences

  15. An integrated platform for assessing biologics (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schein, Perry; O'Dell, Dakota; Erickson, David

    2016-04-01

    Protein therapeutics are a rapidly growing portion of the pharmaceuticals market and have many significant advantages over traditional small molecule drugs. As this market expands, however, critical regulatory and quality control issues remain, most notably the problem of protein aggregation. Individual target proteins often aggregate into larger masses which trigger an immune response in the body, which can reduce the efficacy of the drug for its intended purpose, or cause serious anaphylactic side-effects. Although detecting and minimizing aggregate formation is critical to ensure an effective product, aggregation dynamics are often highly complicated and there is little hope of reliable prediction and prevention from first principles. This problem is compounded for aggregates in the subvisible range of 100 nm to 10 micrometers where traditional techniques for detecting aggregates have significant limitations. Here, we present an integrated optofluidic platform for detecting nanoscale protein aggregates and characterizing interactions between these aggregates and a reference surface. By delivering light to a solution of proteins with an optical waveguide, scattered light from individual protein aggregates can be detected and analyzed to determine the force profile between each particle and the waveguide surface. Unlike existing methods which only determine size or charge, our label-free screening technique can directly measure the surface interaction forces between single aggregates and the glass substrate. This direct measurement capability may allow for better empirical predictions of the stability of protein aggregates during drug manufacturing and storage.

  16. The “jaundice hotline” for the rapid assessment of patients with jaundice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Jonathan; Hussaini, Hyder; McGovern, Dermot; Farrow, Richard; Maskell, Giles; Dalton, Harry

    2002-01-01

    Problem Patients with jaundice require rapid diagnosis and treatment, yet such patients are often subject to delay. Design An open referral, rapid access jaundice clinic was established by reorganisation of existing services and without the need for significant extra resources. Background and setting A large general hospital in a largely rural and geographically isolated area. Key measures for improvement Waiting times for referral, consultation, diagnosis, and treatment, length of stay in hospital, and general practitioners' and patients' satisfaction with the service. Strategies for change Referrals were made through a 24 hour telephone answering machine and fax line. Initial assessment of patients was carried out by junior staff as part of their working week. Dedicated ultrasonography appointments were made available. Effects of change Of 107 patients seen in the first year of the service, 62 had biliary obstruction. The mean time between referral and consultation was 2.5 days. Patients who went on to endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography waited 5.7 days on average. The mean length of stay in hospital in the 69 patients who were admitted was 6.1 days, compared with 11.5 days in 1996, as shown by audit data. Nearly all the 36 general practices (95%) and the 30 consecutive patients (97%) that were surveyed rated the service as above average or excellent. Lessons learnt An open referral, rapid access service for patients with jaundice can shorten time to diagnosis and treatment and length of stay in hospital. These improvements can occur through the reorganisation of existing services and with minimal extra cost. PMID:12142314

  17. Biology and preliminary host range assessment of two potential kudzu biological control agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frye, Matthew J; Hough-Goldstein, Judith; Sun, Jiang-Hua

    2007-12-01

    Two insect species from China, Gonioctena tredecimmaculata (Jacoby) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and Ornatalcides (Mesalcidodes) trifidus (Pascoe) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), were studied in quarantine in the United States as potential biological control agents for kudzu, Pueraria montana variety lobata (Willd.) Maesen and S. Almeida. Adults of G. tredecimmaculata were ovoviviparous and reproduced throughout the summer, producing offspring that had an obligate adult diapause. In no-choice tests, adult and larval G. tredecimmaculata rejected most of the plant species tested, but consumed foliage and completed their life cycle on soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) and on a native woodland plant, hog-peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata L. Fernald), which are in the same subtribe as kudzu (Glycininae). Insects showed similar responses to field- and greenhouse-grown soybean and kudzu foliage, despite measurable differences in leaf traits: field-grown foliage of both plants had greater leaf toughness, higher total carbon content, higher trichome density, and lower water content than greenhouse foliage. O. trifidus adults also rejected most of the plants tested but fed on and severely damaged potted soybean and hog-peanut plants in addition to kudzu. Further tests in China are needed to determine whether these species will accept nontarget host plants under open-field conditions.

  18. Rapid in situ assessment of physiological activities in bacterial biofilms using fluorescent probes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, F. P.; McFeters, G. A.

    1994-01-01

    Two rapid in situ enumeration methods using fluorescent probes were used to assess the physiological activities of Klebsiella pneumoniae biofilms on stainless steel. Fluorescent dyes, 5-cyano-2,3-ditolyl tetrazolium chloride (CTC) and rhodamine 123 (Rh 123), were chosen to perform this study. CTC is a soluble redox indicator which can be reduced by respiring bacteria to fluorescent CTC-formazan crystals. Rh 123 is incorporated into bacteria with respect to cellular proton motive force. The intracellular accumulation of these fluorescent dyes can be determined using epifluorescence microscopy. The results obtained with these two fluorescent probes in situ were compared to the plate count (PC) and in situ direct viable count (DVC) methods. Viable cell densities within biofilms determined by the three in situ methods were comparable and always showed approximately 2-fold higher values than those obtained with the PC method. As an additional advantage, the results were observed after 2 h, which was shorter than the 4 h incubation time required for the DVC method and 24 h for colony formation. The results indicate that staining with CTC and Rh 123 provides rapid information regarding cell numbers and physiological activities of bacteria within biofilms.

  19. A rapid assessment survey of invasive species of macrobenthic invertebrates in Korean waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Chul; Kim, Sung-Tae; Hong, Jae-Sang; Choi, Keun-Hyung

    2017-09-01

    Introduced species are a growing and imminent threat to living marine resources in parts of the world's oceans. The present study is a rapid assessment survey of invasive macrobenthic invertebrate species in Korean ports. We surveyed over 40 ports around Korea during the period of May 2010 March 2013. Among the sampling sites were concrete walls, docks and associated floats, bumpers, tires, and ropes which might harbor non-native species. We found 15 invasive species as follows: one Sponge, two Bryozoans, three Mollusks, one Polychaete, four Cirripedes, and four Ascidians. Three morphologically similar species, namely X. atrata, M. galloprovincialis, and X. securis were further examined for distinctions in their morphology. Although they could be reasonably distinguished based on shell shapes, significant overlap was noted so that additional analysis may be required to correctly distinguish them. Although many of the introduced species have already spread to all three coastal areas, newly arrived invasive species showed a relatively restricted range, with a serpulid polychaete Ficopomatus enigmaticus and a mytilid bivalve Xenostrobus securis found only at a few sites on the East Coast. An exception is for Balanus perforatus, which has rapidly colonized the East coast of Korea following its introduction into the region. Successful management of invasive macrobenthic invertebrates should be established in order to contain the spread of these newly arrived species.

  20. Rapid health response, assessment, and surveillance after a tsunami--Thailand, 2004-2005.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-28

    On December 26, 2004, an earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami that caused an estimated 225,000 deaths in eight countries (India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Seychelles, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand) on two continents. In Thailand, six provinces (Krabi, Phang-Nga, Phuket, Ranong, Satun, and Trang) were impacted, including prominent international tourist destinations. The Thai Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) responded with rapid mobilization of local and nonlocal clinicians, public health practitioners, and medical supplies; assessment of health-care needs; identification of the dead, injured, and missing; and active surveillance of syndromic illness. The MOPH response was augmented by technical assistance from the Thai MOPH-U.S. CDC Collaboration (TUC) and the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS), with support from the office of the World Health Organization (WHO) representative to Thailand. This report summarizes these activities. The experiences in Thailand underscore the value of written and rehearsed disaster plans, capacity for rapid mobilization, local coordination of relief activities, and active public health surveillance.

  1. Rapid non-destructive assessment of pork edible quality by using VIS/NIR spectroscopic technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Leilei; Peng, Yankun; Dhakal, Sagar; Song, Yulin; Zhao, Juan; Zhao, Songwei

    2013-05-01

    The objectives of this research were to develop a rapid non-destructive method to evaluate the edible quality of chilled pork. A total of 42 samples were packed in seal plastic bags and stored at 4°C for 1 to 21 days. Reflectance spectra were collected from visible/near-infrared spectroscopy system in the range of 400nm to 1100nm. Microbiological, physicochemical and organoleptic characteristics such as the total viable counts (TVC), total volatile basic-nitrogen (TVB-N), pH value and color parameters L* were determined to appraise pork edible quality. Savitzky-Golay (SG) based on five and eleven smoothing points, Multiple Scattering Correlation (MSC) and first derivative pre-processing methods were employed to eliminate the spectra noise. The support vector machines (SVM) and partial least square regression (PLSR) were applied to establish prediction models using the de-noised spectra. A linear correlation was developed between the VIS/NIR spectroscopy and parameters such as TVC, TVB-N, pH and color parameter L* indexes, which could gain prediction results with Rv of 0.931, 0.844, 0.805 and 0.852, respectively. The results demonstrated that VIS/NIR spectroscopy technique combined with SVM possesses a powerful assessment capability. It can provide a potential tool for detecting pork edible quality rapidly and non-destructively.

  2. Rapid assessment of populations trends of invasive species: Singular Spectrum Analysis (SSA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DANA, ED

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Singular Spectrum Analysis (SSA is a powerful analytical approach for biodi-versity management. Its main advan-tages are due to its intuitive processing and visualization, since mathematical workflow is conceptually similar to the widely accepted Principal Components Analysis. Detailed analyses of popula-tion trends with mathematical tools are often difficult to achieve for managers by a number of reasons (large numbers or areas monitored, large number of species, insufficient statistics skills, strong knowledge level in demographic analyses, etc.. SSA has been used since the 1970’s in signal processing to clarify signal vs. noisy information, but it has also been used in climate change analy-sis and other developmental areas. Be-sides, SSA is a rapid-learning method for technicians and managers with medium level of mathematical knowledge. Free software in Unix environment is avail-able. Unfortunately, no free and friendly software is available for Win-dows SO. Although R package may offer solutions for really advanced users, it does not fit real work situations for managers of biological invasions. Cater-pillar (Gistat Group, Ltd is by now, the best option found by the author in terms of price, facility for results inter-pretation and time consumed in learn-ing. The main disadvantage is the poor content of tutorial files

  3. Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    I am particularly happy that the Academy is bringing out this document by Professor M S. Valiathan on Ayurvedic Biology. It is an effort to place before the scientific community, especially that of India, the unique scientific opportunities that arise out of viewing Ayurveda from the perspective of contemporary science, its tools ...

  4. Everglades Landscape Model: Integrated Assessment of Hydrology, Biogeochemistry, and Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitz, H. C.; Wang, N.; Sklar, F. H.

    2002-05-01

    Water management infrastructure and operations have fragmented the greater Everglades into separate, impounded basins, altering flows and hydropatterns. A significant area of this managed system has experienced anthropogenic eutrophication. This combination of altered hydrology and water quality has interacted to degrade vegetative habitats and other ecological characteristics of the Everglades. One of the modeling tools to be used in developing restoration alternatives is the Everglades Landscape Model (ELM), a process-based, spatially explicit simulation of ecosystem dynamics across a heterogeneous, 10,000 km2 region. The model has been calibrated to capture hydrologic and surface water quality dynamics across most of the Everglades landscape over decadal time scales. We evaluated phosphorus loading throughout the Everglades system under two base scenarios. The 1995 base case assumed current management operations, with phosphorus inflow concentrations fixed at their long term, historical average. The 2050 base case assumed future modifications in water and nutrient management, with all managed inflows to the Everglades having reduced phosphorus concentrations. In an example indicator subregion that currently is highly eutrophic, the 31-yr simulations predicted that desirable periphyton and macrophyte communities were maintained under the 2050 base case, whereas in the 1995 base case, periphyton biomass and production decreased to negligible levels and macrophytes became extremely dense. The negative periphyton response in the 1995 base case was due to high phosphorus loads and rapid macrophyte growth that shaded this algal community. Along an existing 11 km eutrophication gradient, the model indicated that the 2050 base case had ecologically significant reductions in phosphorus accumulation compared to the 1995 base case. Indicator regions (in Everglades National Park) distant from phosphorus inflow points also exhibited reductions in phosphorus accumulation

  5. Rapid and Quantitative Assessment of Cancer Treatment Response Using In Vivo Bioluminescence Imaging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alnawaz Rehemtulla

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Current assessment of orthotopic tumor models in animals utilizes survival as the primary therapeutic end point. In vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI is a sensitive imaging modality that is rapid and accessible, and may comprise an ideal tool for evaluating antineoplastic therapies [1 ]. Using human tumor cell lines constitutively expressing luciferase, the kinetics of tumor growth and response to therapy have been assessed in intraperitoneal [2], subcutaneous, and intravascular [3] cancer models. However, use of this approach for evaluating orthotopic tumor models has not been demonstrated. In this report, the ability of BLI to noninvasively quantitate the growth and therapeuticinduced cell kill of orthotopic rat brain tumors derived from 9L gliosarcoma cells genetically engineered to stably express firefly luciferase (9LLuc was investigated. Intracerebral tumor burden was monitored over time by quantitation of photon emission and tumor volume using a cryogenically cooled CCD camera and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, respectively. There was excellent correlation (r=0.91 between detected photons and tumor volume. A quantitative comparison of tumor cell kill determined from serial MRI volume measurements and BLI photon counts following 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl-1-nitrosourea (BCNU treatment revealed that both imaging modalities yielded statistically similar cell kill values (P=.951. These results provide direct validation of BLI imaging as a powerful and quantitative tool for the assessment of antineoplastic therapies in living animals.

  6. Evaluation of ergonomic postures of dental professions by Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA, in Birjand, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nasl Saraji J.

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Statement of Problem: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs are major parts of the occupational diseases in workplaces. Protection from such diseases is dependent on assessment and improvement of job postures by using job analysis methods in ergonomics. Purpose: This study was aimed to evaluate ergonomic conditions in dental professions by rapid entire body assessment (REBA in Birjand city and also to assess the relation between MSDS in different parts of the body and work conditions. Materials and Methods: This study was a descriptive-analytical approach performed on 48 persons working at different professions by using REBA method. The prevalence of MSDs was obtained by using Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ. The data were analyzed by independent t-test, Chi-square and Fisher tests with P<0.05 as the limit of significance. Results: In this investigation, the prevalence of disorders for different parts of the body was as follows: 65% for neck, 60% for back, 38% for shoulders, and 31% for wrist. These disorders were higher in women than men except for the back. There were significant correlation between disorders of femur and foreleg with work history, ankle and sole with body mass index (BMI, and MSDs with work conditions (P<0.05. Conclusion: It is concluded that the work conditions and postures need to be improved. In addition the level of dental professional education regarding biomechanical hazardous effects as well as correct work conditions and postures should be increased.

  7. Ecosytem Services: A Rapid Assessment Method Tested at 35 Sites of the LTER-Europe Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dick Jan

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The identification of parameters to monitor the ecosystem services delivered at a site is fundamental to the concept’s adoption as a useful policy instrument at local, national and international scales. In this paper we (i describe the process of developing a rapid comprehensive ecosystem service assessment methodology and (ii test the applicability of the protocol at 35 long-term research (LTER sites across 14 countries in the LTER-Europe network (www.lter-europe.net including marine, urban, agricultural, forest, desert and conservation sites. An assessment of probability of occurrence with estimated confidence score using 83 ecosystem service parameters was tested. The parameters were either specific services like food production or proxies such as human activities which were considered surrogates for cultural diversity and economic activity. This initial test of the ecosystem service parameter list revealed that the parameters tested were relatively easy to score by site managers with a high level of certainty (92% scored as either occurring or not occurring at the site with certainty of over 90%. Based on this assessment, we concluded that (i this approach to operationalise the concept of ecosystem services is practical and applicable by many sectors of civil society as a first screen of the ecosystem services present at a site, (ii this study has direct relevance to land management and policy decision makers as a transparent vehicle to focus testing scenarios and target data gathering, but (iii further work beyond the scale investigated here is required to ensure global applicability.

  8. Rapid health assessments of evacuation centres in areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth Alma Ramos

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Typhoon Haiyan caused thousands of deaths and catastrophic destruction, leaving many homeless in Region 8 of the Philippines. A team from the Philippine Field Epidemiology Training Program conducted a rapid health assessment survey of evacuation centres severely affected by Haiyan. Methods: A descriptive study was conducted whereby a convenience sample of evacuation centres were assessed on the number of toilets per evacuee, sanitation, drinking-water, food supply source and medical services. Results: Of the 20 evacuation centres assessed, none had a designated manager. Most were located in schools (70% with the estimated number of evacuees ranging from 15 to 5000 per centre. Only four (20% met the World Health Organization standard for number of toilets per evacuee; none of the large evacuation centres had even half the recommended number of toilets. All of the evacuation centres had available drinking-water. None of the evacuation centres had garbage collection, vector control activities or standby medical teams. Fourteen (70% evacuation centres had onsite vaccination activities for measles, tetanus and polio virus. Many evacuation centres were overcrowded. Conclusion: Evacuation centres are needed in almost every disaster. They should be safely located and equipped with the required amenities. In disaster-prone areas such as the Philippines, schools and community centres should not be designated as evacuation centres unless they are equipped with adequate sanitation services.

  9. Application of a voltammetric electronic tongue and near infrared spectroscopy for a rapid umami taste assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagnasco, Lucia; Cosulich, M Elisabetta; Speranza, Giovanna; Medini, Luca; Oliveri, Paolo; Lanteri, Silvia

    2014-08-15

    The relationships between sensory attribute and analytical measurements, performed by electronic tongue (ET) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), were investigated in order to develop a rapid method for the assessment of umami taste. Commercially available umami products and some aminoacids were submitted to sensory analysis. Results were analysed in comparison with the outcomes of analytical measurements. Multivariate exploratory analysis was performed by principal component analysis (PCA). Calibration models for prediction of the umami taste on the basis of ET and NIR signals were obtained using partial least squares (PLS) regression. Different approaches for merging data from the two different analytical instruments were considered. Both of the techniques demonstrated to provide information related with umami taste. In particular, ET signals showed the higher correlation with umami attribute. Data fusion was found to be slightly beneficial - not so significantly as to justify the coupled use of the two analytical techniques. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. A participatory action research pilot study of urban health disparities using rapid assessment response and evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, David Richard; Hernández, Agueda; Saint-Jean, Gilbert; Evans, Siân; Tafari, Ida; Brewster, Luther G; Celestin, Michel J; Gómez-Estefan, Carlos; Regalado, Fernando; Akal, Siri; Nierenberg, Barry; Kauschinger, Elaine D; Schwartz, Robert; Page, J Bryan

    2008-01-01

    Healthy People 2010 made it a priority to eliminate health disparities. We used a rapid assessment response and evaluation (RARE) to launch a program of participatory action research focused on health disparities in an urban, disadvantaged Black community serviced by a major south Florida health center. We formed partnerships with community members, identified local health disparities, and guided interventions targeting health disparities. We describe the RARE structure used to triangulate data sources and guide intervention plans as well as findings and conclusions drawn from scientific literature and epidemiological, historic, planning, clinical, and ethnographic data. Disenfranchisement and socioeconomic deprivation emerged as the principal determinants of local health disparities and the most appropriate targets for intervention.

  11. RAPID EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT OF NATIONWIDE RIVER FLOOD FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Kwak

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available considerably increased. For flood disaster risk reduction, it is important to identify and characterize flood area, locations (particularly lowland along rivers, and durations. For this purpose, flood mapping and monitoring are an imperative process and the fundamental part of risk management as well as emergency response. Our ultimate goal is to detect flood inundation areas over a nationwide scale despite limitations of optical and multispectral images, and to estimate flood risk in terms of affected people. We propose a methodological possibility to be used as a standard approach for nationwide rapid flood exposure assessment with the use of the multi-temporal Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS, a big contributor to progress in near-real-time flood mapping. The preliminary results in Bangladesh show that a propensity of flood risk change strongly depends on the temporal and spatial dynamics of exposure such as distributed population.

  12. Professional Development Needs of Novice Nursing Clinical Teachers: A Rapid Evidence Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jetha, Farah; Boschma, Geertje; Clauson, Marion

    2016-02-26

    The current nursing profession is challenged with a decreasing supply of competent clinical teachers due to several factors consequently impacting the quality of nursing education. To meet this demand, academic nursing programs are resorting to hiring expert nurses who may have little or no teaching experience. They need support during their transition from practice to teaching. Using the systematic approach of a Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA), scholarly literature was reviewed to identify existing professional development needs for novice clinical teachers as well as supportive strategies to aid the transition of experienced nurses into teaching practice. The REA included 29 relevant studies. Findings revealed three main professional development needs for novice clinical teachers and key supportive strategies. Based on these findings recommendations for best practices to support and prepare novice clinical teachers are presented.

  13. Additional Interventions to Enhance the Effectiveness of Individual Placement and Support: A Rapid Evidence Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naomi Boycott

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Topic. Additional interventions used to enhance the effectiveness of individual placement and support (IPS. Aim. To establish whether additional interventions improve the vocational outcomes of IPS alone for people with severe mental illness. Method. A rapid evidence assessment of the literature was conducted for studies where behavioural or psychological interventions have been used to supplement standard IPS. Published and unpublished empirical studies of IPS with additional interventions were considered for inclusion. Conclusions. Six published studies were found which compared IPS alone to IPS plus a supplementary intervention. Of these, three used skills training and three used cognitive remediation. The contribution of each discrete intervention is difficult to establish. Some evidence suggests that work-related social skills and cognitive training are effective adjuncts, but this is an area where large RCTs are required to yield conclusive evidence.

  14. Rapid assessment of antimicrobial resistance prevalence using a Lot Quality Assurance sampling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Leth, Frank; den Heijer, Casper; Beerepoot, Mariëlle; Stobberingh, Ellen; Geerlings, Suzanne; Schultsz, Constance

    2017-04-01

    Increasing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) requires rapid surveillance tools, such as Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS). LQAS classifies AMR as high or low based on set parameters. We compared classifications with the underlying true AMR prevalence using data on 1335 Escherichia coli isolates from surveys of community-acquired urinary tract infection in women, by assessing operating curves, sensitivity and specificity. Sensitivity and specificity of any set of LQAS parameters was above 99% and between 79 and 90%, respectively. Operating curves showed high concordance of the LQAS classification with true AMR prevalence estimates. LQAS-based AMR surveillance is a feasible approach that provides timely and locally relevant estimates, and the necessary information to formulate and evaluate guidelines for empirical treatment.

  15. [Development and scientific rationale for a universal index for rapid assessment of readability].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teksheva, L M

    2007-01-01

    The hygienic regulations of academic books, including teachware, for children and adolescents necessitate the performance of special studies to assess their readability by the unified procedure that would suggest a visual response while reading. This study has developed and warranted a universal readability index by the velocity of reading. There are significant regression correlations between the velocity of reading as the readability index and the degree of tiredness, detected by various visual functions. The parameters of accommodation and adaptive properties of the eye are most sensitive to visual load on reading. Reading velocity as an indicator of readability of illogical texts may be used as a rapid method under laboratory and natural conditions to determine the action of various textual loads on the visual system.

  16. Reliable and Rapid Robotic Assessment of Wrist Proprioception Using a Gauge Position Matching Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinderknecht, Mike D.; Popp, Werner L.; Lambercy, Olivier; Gassert, Roger

    2016-01-01

    Quantitative assessments of position sense are essential for the investigation of proprioception, as well as for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment planning for patients with somatosensory deficits. Despite the development and use of various paradigms and robotic tools, their clinimetric properties are often poorly evaluated and reported. A proper evaluation of the latter is essential to compare results between different studies and to identify the influence of possible confounds on outcome measures. The aim of the present study was to perform a comprehensive evaluation of a rapid robotic assessment of wrist proprioception using a passive gauge position matching task. Thirty-two healthy subjects undertook six test-retests of proprioception of the right wrist on two different days. The constant error (CE) was 0.87°, the absolute error (AE) was 5.87°, the variable error (VE) was 4.59° and the total variability (E) was 6.83° in average for the angles presented in the range from 10° to 30°. The intraclass correlation analysis provided an excellent reliability for CE (0.75), good reliability for AE (0.68) and E (0.68), and fair reliability for VE (0.54). Tripling the assessment length had negligible effects on the reliabilities. Additional analysis revealed significant trends of larger overestimation (constant errors), as well as larger absolute and variable errors with increased flexion angles. No proprioceptive learning occurred, despite increased familiarity with the task, which was reflected in significantly decreased assessment duration by 30%. In conclusion, the proposed automated assessment can provide sensitive and reliable information on proprioceptive function of the wrist with an administration time of around 2.5 min, demonstrating the potential for its application in research or clinical settings. Moreover, this study highlights the importance of reporting the complete set of errors (CE, AE, VE, and E) in a matching experiment for the identification of

  17. A New Rapid In Vitro Assay for Assessing Reactivity of Acyl Glucuronides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Sheng; Jones, Russell; Lu, Wenzhe; Schadt, Simone; Ottaviani, Giorgio

    2015-11-01

    Idiosyncratic drug toxicity is a major challenge for the pharmaceutical industry since complex and multifactorial steps are involved, the dose-dependency is unclear, and its occurrence is not reliably predictable. Whereas the exact mechanisms leading to idiosyncratic toxicity remain elusive in many cases, there are often hints at the involvement of reactive metabolites, such as acyl glucuronides formed by conjugation of carboxylic acids with glucuronic acid. Because the patient-related susceptibilities leading to idiosyncratic toxicity are not sufficiently understood, the best option for the pharmaceutical industry is to minimize drug-related risk factors such as potential acyl glucuronide formation. Here, we describe a rapid in vitro assay for the assessment of the reactivity of acyl glucuronides, on the basis of acyl glucuronide migration, that can support the selection of low-risk drug candidates in the drug discovery phase. Twenty marketed compounds with a wide range of half-lives were tested, their acyl glucuronide migration rates were determined and compared with the half-lives of the respective acyl glucuronides. Ranking of acyl glucuronide stability using this method compared well with the results from existing methodologies. With this method, migration rates >20% would indicate higher risk of reactivity. This simpler approach using the acyl glucuronide migration rate is not dependent on authentic standards, therefore eliminating the requirement for either lengthy chemical synthesis or in vitro biosynthesis and purification of the 1-O-β-glucuronide. This methodology provides a rapid in vitro assay to assess acyl glucuronide stability and reactivity that is well suited for use early in the drug discovery phase. Copyright © 2015 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

  18. Rapid Cost Assessment of Space Mission Concepts Through Application of Complexity-Based Cost Indices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Craig E.; Cutts, James; Balint, Tibor; Hall, James B.

    2008-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the development of a rapid cost assessment models for evaluation of exploration missions through the application of complexity based cost indices. In Fall of 2004, NASA began developing 13 documents, known as "strategic roadmaps," intended to outline a strategy for space exploration over the next 30 years. The Third Strategic Roadmap, The Strategic Roadmap for Solar System Exploration, focused on strategy for robotic exploration of the Solar System. Development of the Strategic Roadmap for Solar System Exploration led to the investigation of a large variety of missions. However, the necessity of planning around scientific inquiry and budgetary constraints made it necessary for the roadmap development team to evaluate potential missions not only for scientific return but also cost. Performing detailed cost studies for each of the large number of missions was impractical given the time constraints involved and lack of detailed mission studies; so a method of rapid cost assessment was developed by us to allow preliminary analysis. It has been noted that there is a strong correlation between complexity and cost and schedule of planetary missions. While these correlations were made after missions had been built and flown (successfully or otherwise), it seemed likely that a similar approach could provide at least some relative cost ranking. Cost estimation relationships (CERs) have been developed based on subsystem design choices. These CERs required more detailed information than available, forcing the team to adopt a more high level approach. Costing by analogy has been developed for small satellites, however, planetary exploration missions provide such varying spacecraft requirements that there is a lack of adequately comparable missions that can be used for analogy.

  19. Rapid Assessment of Health Services in Punjab using a Mixed Method Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajesh Kumar

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The out-of-pocket expenditure is quite high in Punjab. Hence, a rapid review of health facilities was undertaken to suggest remedial measures. Methods: Mixed method research approach was used to identify strengths and weaknesses of the health services in Punjab. All health institutions were included in the assessment from the three purposively sampled districts – one from each of the three regions of Punjab. Tools were developed to collect data from record review, observations, and in-depth interviews. Six building blocks framework proposed by the World Health Organization was used for data collection and analyses. Results: In general physical infrastructure, especially the buildings were found to be reasonably constructed at most of the healthcare facilities. However, the maintenance was not regular. The vacancies for general doctors, specialist doctors, nurses, and paramedics were 26%, 38%, 31% and 12% respectively. Supply of drugs was irregular and inadequate. A large proportion (45% of ‘user charges’ were spent on purchase of drugs and other consumables. Most registers were found to be updated, and reports were transmitted to higher levels usually on time. However, institutionalized system of monitoring and supervision was lacking. Govt. hospitals were providing in-patient care to about 35.5% of those who were estimated to need hospitalization. State had allocated about Rs. 1200 crores to health (0.46% of GDP, thus, spending only Rs. 433 per capita per year. Conclusions: Despite constraints, the government health service is catering to the needs of a large section of the population. Rapid health system assessment at periodic intervals using a mixed method approach can supplement routine monitoring of the health system.

  20. Myths and misconceptions about cervical cancer among Zambian women: rapid assessment by peer educators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chirwa, Susan; Mwanahamuntu, Mulindi; Kapambwe, Sharon; Mkumba, Gracilia; Stringer, Jeff; Sahasrabuddhe, Vikrant; Pfaendler, Krista

    2014-01-01

    Objective To make a rapid assessment of the common myths and misconceptions surrounding the causes of cervical cancer and lack of screening among unscreened low-income Zambian women. Methods We initiated a door-to-door community-based initiative, led by peer educators, to inform unscreened women about the existence of a new see-and-treat cervical cancer prevention program. During home visits peer educators posed the following two questions to women: 1. What do you think causes cervical cancer? 2. Why haven’t you been screened for cervical cancer? The most frequent types of responses gathered in this exercise were analyzed thematically. Results Peer educators contacted over 1100 unscreened women over a period of two months. Their median age was 33 years, a large majority (58%) were not educated beyond primary school, over two-thirds (71%) did not have monthly incomes over 500,000 Zambian Kwacha (US$100) per month, and just over half (51%) were married and cohabiting with their spouses. Approximately 75% of the women engaged in discussions had heard of cervical cancer and had heard of the new cervical cancer prevention program in the local clinic. The responses of unscreened low-income Zambian women to questions posed by peer educators in urban Lusaka reflect the variety of prevalent ‘folk’ myths and misconceptions surrounding cervical cancer and its prevention methods. Conclusion The information in our rapid assessment can serve as a basis for developing future educational and intervention campaigns for improving uptake of cervical cancer prevention services in Zambia. It also speaks to the necessity of ensuring that programs addressing women’s reproductive health take into account societal inputs at the time they are being developed and implemented. Taking a community-based participatory approach to program development and implementation will help ensure sustainability and impact. PMID:20595342

  1. Imaging Spectroscopy Techniques for Rapid Assessment of Geologic and Cryospheric Science Data from future Satellite Sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvin, W. M.; Hill, R.

    2016-12-01

    Several efforts are currently underway to develop and launch the next generation of imaging spectrometer systems on satellite platforms for a wide range of Earth Observation goals. Systems that include the reflected solar wavelength range up to 2.5 μm will be capable of detailed mapping of the composition of the Earth's surface. Sensors under development include EnMAP, HISUI, PRISMA, HERO, and HyspIRI. These systems are expected to be able to provide global data for insights and constraints on fundamental geological processes, natural and anthropogenic hazards, water, energy and mineral resource assessments. Coupled with the development of these sensors is the challenge of bringing a multi-channel user community (from Landsat, MODIS, and ASTER) into the rich science return available from imaging spectrometer systems. Most data end users will never be spectroscopy experts so that making the derived science products accessible to a wide user community is imperative. Simple band parameterizations have been developed for the CRISM instrument at Mars, including mafic and alteration minerals, frost and volatile ice indices. These products enhance and augment the use of that data set by broader group of scientists. Summary products for terrestrial geologic and water resource applications would help build a wider user base for future satellite systems, and rapidly key spectral experts to important regions for detailed spectral mapping. Summary products take advantage of imaging spectroscopy's narrow spectral channels with band depth calculations in addition to band ratios that are commonly used by multi-channel systems (e.g. NDVI, NDWI, NDSI). We are testing summary products for Earth geologic and snow scenes over California using AVIRIS data at 18m/pixel. This has resulted in several algorithms for rapid mineral discrimination and mapping and data collects over the melting Sierra snowpack in spring 2016 are expected to generate algorithms for snow grain size and surface

  2. Rapid assessment of malaria transmission using age-specific sero-conversion rates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laveta Stewart

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Malaria transmission intensity is a crucial determinant of malarial disease burden and its measurement can help to define health priorities. Rapid, local estimates of transmission are required to focus resources better but current entomological and parasitological methods for estimating transmission intensity are limited in this respect. An alternative is determination of antimalarial antibody age-specific sero-prevalence to estimate sero-conversion rates (SCR, which have been shown to correlate with transmission intensity. This study evaluated SCR generated from samples collected from health facility attendees as a tool for a rapid assessment of malaria transmission intensity.The study was conducted in north east Tanzania. Antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum merozoite antigens MSP-1(19 and AMA-1 were measured by indirect ELISA. Age-specific antibody prevalence was analysed using a catalytic conversion model based on maximum likelihood to generate SCR. A pilot study, conducted near Moshi, found SCRs for AMA-1 were highly comparable between samples collected from individuals in a conventional cross-sectional survey and those collected from attendees at a local health facility. For the main study, 3885 individuals attending village health facilities in Korogwe and Same districts were recruited. Both malaria parasite prevalence and sero-positivity were higher in Korogwe than in Same. MSP-1(19 and AMA-1 SCR rates for Korogwe villages ranged from 0.03 to 0.06 and 0.07 to 0.21 respectively. In Same district there was evidence of a recent reduction in transmission, with SCR among those born since 1998 [MSP-1(19 0.002 to 0.008 and AMA-1 0.005 to 0.014 ] being 5 to 10 fold lower than among individuals born prior to 1998 [MSP-1(19 0.02 to 0.04 and AMA-1 0.04 to 0.13]. Current health facility specific estimates of SCR showed good correlations with malaria incidence rates in infants in a contemporaneous clinical trial (MSP-1(19 r(2 = 0.78, p<0.01 & AMA-1 r

  3. Prospective Technology Assessment of Synthetic Biology: Fundamental and Propaedeutic Reflections in Order to Enable an Early Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Jan Cornelius

    2016-08-01

    Synthetic biology is regarded as one of the key technosciences of the future. The goal of this paper is to present some fundamental considerations to enable procedures of a technology assessment (TA) of synthetic biology. To accomplish such an early "upstream" assessment of a not yet fully developed technology, a special type of TA will be considered: Prospective TA (ProTA). At the center of ProTA are the analysis and the framing of "synthetic biology," including a characterization and assessment of the technological core. The thesis is that if there is any differentia specifica giving substance to the umbrella term "synthetic biology," it is the idea of harnessing self-organization for engineering purposes. To underline that we are likely experiencing an epochal break in the ontology of technoscientific systems, this new type of technology is called "late-modern technology." -I start this paper by analyzing the three most common visions of synthetic biology. Then I argue that one particular vision deserves more attention because it underlies the others: the vision of self-organization. I discuss the inherent limits of this new type of late-modern technology in the attempt to control and monitor possible risk issues. I refer to Hans Jonas' ethics and his early anticipation of the risks of a novel type of technology. I end by drawing conclusions for the approach of ProTA towards an early societal shaping of synthetic biology.

  4. Gaseous VOCs rapidly modify particulate matter and its biological effects – Part 2: Complex urban VOCs and model PM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. E. Jeffries

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This is the second study in a three-part study designed to demonstrate dynamic entanglements among gaseous organic compounds (VOCs, particulate matter (PM, and their subsequent potential biological effects. We study these entanglements in increasingly complex VOC and PM mixtures in urban-like conditions in a large outdoor chamber, both in the dark and in sunlight. To the traditional chemical and physical characterizations of gas and PM, we added new measurements of gas-only- and PM-only-biological effects, using cultured human lung cells as model living receptors. These biological effects are assessed here as increases in cellular damage or expressed irritation (i.e., cellular toxic effects from cells exposed to chamber air relative to cells exposed to clean air. Our exposure systems permit side-by-side, gas-only- and PM-only-exposures from the same air stream containing both gases and PM in equilibria, i.e., there are no extractive operations prior to cell exposure for either gases or PM. In Part 1 (Ebersviller et al., 2012a, we demonstrated the existence of PM "effect modification" (NAS, 2004 for the case of a single gas-phase toxicant and an inherently non-toxic PM (mineral oil aerosol, MOA. That is, in the presence of the single gas-phase toxicant in the dark, the initially non-toxic PM became toxic to lung cells in the PM-only-biological exposure system. In this Part 2 study, we used sunlit-reactive systems to create a large variety of gas-phase toxicants from a complex mixture of oxides of nitrogen and 54 VOCs representative of those measured in US city air. In these mostly day-long experiments, we have designated the period in the dark just after injection (but before sunrise as the "Fresh" condition and the period in the dark after sunset as the "Aged" condition. These two conditions were used to expose cells and to collect chemical characterization samples. We used the same inherently non-toxic PM from the Part 1 study as the target PM

  5. Smartphone-based distributed data collection enables rapid assessment of shorebird habitat suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thieler, E. Robert; Zeigler, Sara; Winslow, Luke; Hines, Megan K.; Read, Jordan S.; Walker, Jordan I.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding and managing dynamic coastal landscapes for beach-dependent species requires biological and geological data across the range of relevant environments and habitats. It is difficult to acquire such information; data often have limited focus due to resource constraints, are collected by non-specialists, or lack observational uniformity. We developed an open-source smartphone application called iPlover that addresses these difficulties in collecting biogeomorphic information at piping plover (Charadrius melodus) nest sites on coastal beaches. This paper describes iPlover development and evaluates data quality and utility following two years of collection (n = 1799 data points over 1500 km of coast between Maine and North Carolina, USA). We found strong agreement between field user and expert assessments and high model skill when data were used for habitat suitability prediction. Methods used here to develop and deploy a distributed data collection system have broad applicability to interdisciplinary environmental monitoring and modeling.

  6. The importance of biologically relevant microclimates in habitat suitability assessments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna Varner

    Full Text Available Predicting habitat suitability under climate change is vital to conserving biodiversity. However, current species distribution models rely on coarse scale climate data, whereas fine scale microclimate data may be necessary to assess habitat suitability and generate predictive models. Here, we evaluate disparities between temperature data at the coarse scale from weather stations versus fine-scale data measured in microhabitats required for a climate-sensitive mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps. We collected two years of temperature data in occupied talus habitats predicted to be suitable (high elevation and unsuitable (low elevation by the bioclimatic envelope approach. At low elevations, talus surface and interstitial microclimates drastically differed from ambient temperatures measured on-site and at a nearby weather station. Interstitial talus temperatures were frequently decoupled from high ambient temperatures, resulting in instantaneous disparities of over 30 °C between these two measurements. Microhabitat temperatures were also highly heterogeneous, such that temperature measurements within the same patch of talus were not more correlated than measurements at distant patches. An experimental manipulation revealed that vegetation cover may cool the talus surface by up to 10 °C during the summer, which may contribute to this spatial heterogeneity. Finally, low elevation microclimates were milder and less variable than typical alpine habitat, suggesting that, counter to species distribution model predictions, these seemingly unsuitable habitats may actually be better refugia for this species under climate change. These results highlight the importance of fine-scale microhabitat data in habitat assessments and underscore the notion that some critical refugia may be counterintuitive.

  7. Rapid psychological assessment of depression and its relationship with physical health among urban elderly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavithra Cheluvaraj

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background Old age is associated with increased occurrence of a wide array of Psychological impairments or losses, which might contribute to physical disabilities. As Depression has been identified as the most common aberration its rapid assessment would be able to identify the quality of individual and family life of the elderly. Aims To assess psychological health status with respect to depression among geriatric urban community, and the relationship of depression with health perception and physical health status has been explored. Methods A cross-sectional total geriatric population survey consisting of 254 elderly has been carried out at urban field practice area. A standard geriatric depression scale (Short form has been utilized to assess psychological status. Detailed physical examination and investigations with special reference to Diabetes, Hypertension and Visual defects was carried out. Data was analyzed to find out the relationship of various socio-demographic factors, physical morbidities with depression. Results Out of 254 elderly examined, 32 per cent females and 23 per cent males were found to be suffering from depressive disorders. When assessed for individual health status perception, 25 per cent felt to have good health. Out of 190 geriatric subjects perceiving fair to bad health, 110 were found to be suffering from depression (p<0.001. Depression was also found to be associated with history of hospital admission in the previous year (p<0.05, low vision (p<0.05, diabetes (p<0.01 and hypertension (p<0.01. Conclusion Depression among geriatric age group is associated with physical illness and perception of health.

  8. Rapid assessment of cataract blindness in an urban district of Gujarat

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    Limburg Hans

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: To estimate the prevalence of bilateral cataract blindness in persons ≥50 years of age in Ahmedabad district, Gujarat. Methods: A total of 1,962 persons ≥50 years of age were examined in clusters of 45 people or less. The survey design used a systematic random cluster sampling. The sample size was calculated assuming a prevalence of bilateral cataract blindness (visual acuity <3/60 of at least 3% and design effect of 1.6, to estimate the actual prevalence of cataract blindness with a sampling error of ≤20 at 80% confidence level. Visual acuity was assessed with glasses, where available, and pinhole was used for visual acuity <6/18. Distant direct ophthalmoscopy in semidark condition with undilated pupil was used to assess the lens status. Results: The age-gender-adjusted prevalence of all blindness was 2.9% in persons ≥50 years of age (6.7% for visual acuity<6/60. The age-gender-adjusted prevalence of bilateral cataract blindness ( visual acuity <3/60 was 1.2% in persons ≥50 years of age. For visual acuity <6/60, the prevalence was 3.1%. The prevalence in females was slightly higher than in males. The prevalence of bilateral and unilateral aphakia and pseudophakia was high. The cataract surgical coverage, an indicator for coverage and service utilization, was 92.9% for persons and 83.1% for eyes. Conclusion: Rapid assessment of cataract blindness in persons ≥50 years of age can be conducted in urban settings with existing resources and at affodable costs, to provide district level data for assessment and monitoring of cataract intervention programs.

  9. Effects of organic amendment on soil quality as assessed by biological indicators

    OpenAIRE

    Sultana, Salma

    2011-01-01

    Soil quality decline is one of the most predominant effect deriving from human activities. In particular, intensive agricultural management can affect negatively soils, principally due to rapid depletion of soil organic matter, that affects, in turn, soil physical, chemical and biological properties. The declining trend of soil quality coupled with mismanagement of agricultural production is pose a serious threat to sustainability of intensive agriculture. Sustainable intensive agriculture is...

  10. Realizing the potential of rapid-cycling Brassica as a model system for use in plant biology research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musgrave, M. E.

    2000-01-01

    Rapid-cycling Brassica populations were initially developed as a model for probing the genetic basis of plant disease. Paul Williams and co-workers selected accessions of the six main species for short time to flower and rapid seed maturation. Over multiple generations of breeding and selection, rapid-cycling populations of each of the six species were developed. Because of their close relationship with economically important Brassica species, rapid-cycling Brassica populations, especially those of B. rapa (RCBr) and B. oleracea, have seen wide application in plant and crop physiology investigations. Adding to the popularity of these small, short-lived plants for research applications is their extensive use in K-12 education and outreach.

  11. Rapid assessment of quality of deer antler slices by using an electronic nose coupled with chemometric analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guojie Xu

    Full Text Available Deer antler is a precious animal-sourced traditional Chinese medicine. We aimed to rapidly assess the quality of deer antler slices by electronic nose so that we can ensure medical safety. In this study, response intensity of the electronic nose was favorably optimized, and samples were well assessed by using an electronic nose based on LDA model. The results obtained herein suggested that electronic nose could be an effective method to rapidly assess the quality of deer antler slices, and could also be an important tool for categorization of complex aroma mixtures for the control of quality of drugs or food.

  12. Development of a rapid loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay for diagnosis and assessment of cure of Leishmania infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Sandeep; Singh, Ruchi; Sharma, Vanila; Bumb, Ram Avtar; Negi, Narendra Singh; Ramesh, V; Salotra, Poonam

    2017-03-23

    Leishmaniasis is a spectrum of diseases with great relevance to public health. Conventional diagnostic methods are time consuming, needing trained personnel. A robust, rapid and cost effective diagnostic test is warranted for on-time diagnosis and field application. We have developed a loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay with primers (n = 6) based on Leishmania donovani kDNA for detection of Leishmania infection, using a closed tube to prevent cross-contamination. The assay was used to detect Leishmania infection in biological samples obtained from patients of visceral leishmaniasis (VL), post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) and cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). The assay was positive for L. donovani, L. tropica and L. major parasites, with the highest sensitivity towards L. donovani (1 fg DNA). The high sensitivity of the assay for detection of L. donovani was reflected in its ability to detect parasite DNA within 30 min of amplification time with a threshold detection limit of ≥25 copies per reaction. The assay detected parasite in 64 of 66 VL blood samples (sensitivity, 96.9%; 95% CI: 89.6-99.2%), 15 of 15 VL bone marrow aspirate samples (sensitivity, 100%; 95% CI:79.6-100%), 65 of 67 PKDL tissue biopsy samples (sensitivity, 97%; 95% CI:89.7-99.2%). The assay was evaluated in a few cases of CL wherein it was found positive in 8 of 10 tissue biopsies (sensitivity, 80%; 95% CI: 49-94.3%). The assay was negative in all control blood (n = 76) and tissue biopsy (n = 24) samples (specificity, 100%; 95% CI: 96.3-100%). Further, the assay was evaluated for its utility in assessment of cure in treated VL and PKDL patients. The assay detected parasite DNA in 2 of 20VL blood samples and 2 of 21 PKDL tissue samples. Out of 4 cases that were positive for parasite DNA at post treatment stage, 2 patients (1VL and 1 PKDL) returned with relapse. The study demonstrated a Leishmania genus specific closed tube LAMP assay for reliable and rapid

  13. Rapid Assessment of Earthquakes with Radar and Optical Geodetic Imaging and Finite Fault Models (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fielding, E. J.; Sladen, A.; Simons, M.; Rosen, P. A.; Yun, S.; Li, Z.; Avouac, J.; Leprince, S.

    2010-12-01

    Earthquake responders need to know where the earthquake has caused damage and what is the likely intensity of damage. The earliest information comes from global and regional seismic networks, which provide the magnitude and locations of the main earthquake hypocenter and moment tensor centroid and also the locations of aftershocks. Location accuracy depends on the availability of seismic data close to the earthquake source. Finite fault models of the earthquake slip can be derived from analysis of seismic waveforms alone, but the results can have large errors in the location of the fault ruptures and spatial distribution of slip, which are critical for estimating the distribution of shaking and damage. Geodetic measurements of ground displacements with GPS, LiDAR, or radar and optical imagery provide key spatial constraints on the location of the fault ruptures and distribution of slip. Here we describe the analysis of interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) and sub-pixel correlation (or pixel offset tracking) of radar and optical imagery to measure ground coseismic displacements for recent large earthquakes, and lessons learned for rapid assessment of future events. These geodetic imaging techniques have been applied to the 2010 Leogane, Haiti; 2010 Maule, Chile; 2010 Baja California, Mexico; 2008 Wenchuan, China; 2007 Tocopilla, Chile; 2007 Pisco, Peru; 2005 Kashmir; and 2003 Bam, Iran earthquakes, using data from ESA Envisat ASAR, JAXA ALOS PALSAR, NASA Terra ASTER and CNES SPOT5 satellite instruments and the NASA/JPL UAVSAR airborne system. For these events, the geodetic data provided unique information on the location of the fault or faults that ruptured and the distribution of slip that was not available from the seismic data and allowed the creation of accurate finite fault source models. In many of these cases, the fault ruptures were on previously unknown faults or faults not believed to be at high risk of earthquakes, so the area and degree of

  14. An assessment of various blood collection and transfer methods used for malaria rapid diagnostic tests

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    Baik Fred

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Four blood collection and transfer devices commonly used for malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs were assessed for their consistency, accuracy and ease of use in the hands of laboratory technicians and village health workers. Methods Laboratory technicians and village health workers collected blood from a finger prick using each device in random order, and deposited the blood either on filter paper or into a suitable casette-type RDT. Consistency and accuracy of volume delivered was determined by comparing the measurements of the resulting blood spots/heights with the measurements of laboratory-prepared pipetted standard volumes. The effect of varying blood volumes on RDT sensitivity and ease of use was also observed. Results There was high variability in blood volume collected by the devices, with the straw and the loop, the most preferred devices, usually transferring volumes greater than intended, while the glass capillary tube and the plastic pipette transferring less volume than intended or none at all. Varying the blood volume delivered to RDTs indicated that this variation is critical to RDT sensitivity only when the transferred volume is very low. Conclusion None of the blood transfer devices assessed performed consistently well. Adequate training on their use is clearly necessary, with more development efforts for improved designs to be used by remote health workers, in mind.

  15. Warm-ups for military fitness testing: rapid evidence assessment of the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeno, Stacey A; Purvis, Dianna; Crawford, Cindy; Lee, Courtney; Lisman, Peter; Deuster, Patricia A

    2013-07-01

    Warm-up exercises are commonly used before exercise as a method to physiologically prepare for strenuous physical activity. Various warm-up exercises are often implemented but without scientific merit and, at times, may be detrimental to performance. To date, no systematic reviews have examined the effectiveness of warm-up exercises for military physical fitness test (PFT) or combat fitness test (CFT). The purpose of this rapid evidence assessment of the literature was to examine the quantity, quality, and effectiveness of warm-up exercises for PFT and identify those that might increase PFT and/or CFT scores, as reported in the literature. Literature searches of randomized controlled trials were performed across various databases from database inception to May 2011. Methodological quality of included studies was assessed using the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) 50 criteria for randomized controlled trial designs, and studies were individually described. Subject matter experts summarized the results applicable or generalizable to military testing. The search yielded a total of 1177 citations, with 37 fitting our inclusion criteria. Cardiovascular warm-ups increased sprint/running time, but dynamic stretching and dynamic warm-ups had the most positive outcome for the various exercise tests examined. Systematically, static stretching had no beneficial or detrimental effect on exercise performance but did improve range of movement exercises. Selected warm-up exercise may increase PFT and possibly CFT scores. Further research is needed to investigate the efficacy of dynamic stretching and dynamic warm-ups.

  16. Periodontal and dental effects of surgically assisted rapid maxillary expansion, assessed by using digital study models

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    Danilo Furquim Siqueira

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: The present study assessed the maxillary dental arch changes produced by surgically assisted rapid maxillary expansion (SARME. METHODS: Dental casts from 18 patients (mean age of 23.3 years were obtained at treatment onset (T1, three months after SARME (T2 and 6 months after expansion (T3. The casts were scanned in a 3D scanner (D-250, 3Shape, Copenhagen, Denmark. Maxillary dental arch width, dental crown tipping and height were measured and assessed by ANOVA and Tukey's test. RESULTS: Increased transversal widths from T1 and T2 and the maintenance of these values from T2 and T3 were observed. Buccal teeth tipping also showed statistically significant differences, with an increase in all teeth from T1 to T2 and a decrease from T2 to T3. No statistically significant difference was found for dental crown height, except for left first and second molars, although clinically irrelevant. CONCLUSION: SARME proved to be an effective and stable procedure, with minimum periodontal hazards.

  17. Acute Kidney Injury Risk Assessment and the Nephrology Rapid Response Team.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizo-Topete, Lilia Maria; Rosner, Mitchell H; Ronco, Claudio

    2017-01-01

    Acute kidney Injury (AKI) is a serious medical condition affecting more than 10 million people around the world annually and resulting in poor outcomes. It has been suggested that late recognition of the syndrome may lead to delayed interventions with increased morbidity and mortality. Early diagnosis and timely therapeutic strategies may be the cornerstone of future improvement in outcomes. The purpose of this article is to provide a practical model to identify patients at high risk for AKI in different environments, with the goal to prevent AKI. We describe the AKI Risk Assessment (ARA) as a proposed algorithm that systematically evaluates the patient in high-risk situations of AKI in a simple way no matter where the patient is located, and allows different medical specialists to approach patients as a team with a nephrologist to improve outcomes. The goal of the nephrology rapid response team (NRRT) is to prevent AKI or start treatment if AKI is already diagnosed as a consequence of progressive events that can lead to progressive deterioration of kidney tissues and eventual decline in renal function and to ensure appropriate follow-up of patients at risk for progressive chronic kidney disease after the episode of AKI. Prevention is the key to avoid mortality and morbidity associated with AKI. Integration of these assessment tools in a global methodology that includes a multi-disciplinary team (NRRT) is critical to success. Video Journal Club 'Cappuccino with Claudio Ronco' at http://www.karger.com/?doi=452402. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  18. Earthquake Magnitude and Shaking Intensity Dependent Fragility Functions for Rapid Risk Assessment of Buildings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-José Nollet

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available An integrated web application, referred to as ER2 for rapid risk evaluator, is under development for a user-friendly seismic risk assessment by the non-expert public safety community. The assessment of likely negative consequences is based on pre-populated databases of seismic, building inventory and vulnerability parameters. To further accelerate the computation for near real-time analyses, implicit building fragility curves were developed as functions of the magnitude and the intensity of the seismic shaking defined with a single intensity measure, input spectral acceleration at 1.0 s implicitly considering the epicentral distance and local soil conditions. Damage probabilities were compared with those obtained with the standard fragility functions explicitly considering epicentral distances and local site classes in addition to the earthquake magnitudes and respective intensity of the seismic shaking. Different seismic scenarios were considered first for 53 building classes common in Eastern Canada, and then a reduced number of 24 combined building classes was proposed. Comparison of results indicate that the damage predictions with implicit fragility functions for short (M ≤ 5.5 and medium strong motion duration (5.5 < M ≤ 7.5 show low variation with distance and soil class, with average error of less than 3.6%.

  19. A Framework for Rapid Impact Assessment with special reference to wildfires

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    Isak D. Jansen Van Vuuren

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Geographical Information Systems (GIS technology is a powerful tool that can support decision-making in all the facets of disaster risk management. Being at the centre of all disaster risk management functions, GIS activities such as data acquisition, processing, analysis and visualisation should be seamless from planning to prediction, preparation, response and recovery. A case study of devastating wildfires that destroyed thousands of hectares of agricultural land during August 2011 in the North-West province, South Africa, identifies the lack of a comprehensive framework within which information-based disaster impact assessments are undertaken and which is integrated with the larger context of disaster risk management. Problems relating to the availability, quality and integration of data are typical of the ad hoc approach to the implementation of information technologies, indicating the need for an integrated and coordinated approach. The aim of this paper is to establish a framework for rapid impact assessment, with specific reference to geospatial data management. The framework is put into the theoretical context of disaster risk management and information management, with data acquisition and processing functions being anchored in the principles of information systems theory.

  20. Research and engineering assessment of biological solubilization of phosphate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rogers, R.D.; McIlwain, M.E.; Losinski, S.J.; Taylor, D.D.

    1993-03-01

    This research and engineering assessment examined a microbial phosphate solubilization process as a method of recovering phosphate from phosphorus containing ore compared to the existing wet acid and electric arc methods. A total of 860 microbial isolates, collected from a range of natural environments were tested for their ability to solubilize phosphate from rock phosphate. A bacterium (Pseudomonas cepacia) was selected for extensive characterization and evaluation of the mechanism of phosphate solubilization and of process engineering parameters necessary to recover phosphate from rock phosphate. These studies found that concentration of hydrogen ion and production of organic acids arising from oxidation of the carbon source facilitated microbial solubilization of both pure chemical insoluble phosphate compounds and phosphate rock. Genetic studies found that phosphate solubilization was linked to an enzyme system (glucose dehydrogenase). Process-related studies found that a critical solids density of 1% by weight (ore to liquid) was necessary for optimal solubilization. An engineering analysis evaluated the cost and energy requirements for a 2 million ton per year sized plant, whose size was selected to be comparable to existing wet acid plants.

  1. Using rapid assessment and response to operationalise physical activity strategic health communication campaigns in Tonga.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turk, Tahir; Latu, Netina; Cocker-Palu, Elizabeth; Liavaa, Villiami; Vivili, Paul; Gloede, Sara; Simons, Allison

    2013-04-01

    The aim of the present study was to identify stakeholder and program beneficiary needs and wants in relation to a netball communication strategy in Tonga. In addition, the study aimed to more clearly identify audience segments for targeting of communication campaigns and to identify any barriers or benefits to engaging in the physical activity program. A rapid assessment and response (RAR) methodology was used. The elicitation research encompassed qualitative fieldwork approaches, including semistructured interviews with key informants and focus group discussions with program beneficiaries. Desk research of secondary data sources supported in-field findings. A number of potential barriers to behavioural compliance existed, including cultural factors, gender discrimination, socioeconomic factors, stigmatising attitudes, the threat of domestic violence, infrastructure and training issues. Factors contributing to participation in physical activity included the fun and social aspects of the sport, incentives (including career opportunities, highlighting the health benefits of the activity and the provision of religious and cultural sanctions by local leaders towards the increased physical activity of women. The consultative approach of RAR provided a more in-depth understanding of the need for greater levels of physical activity and opportunities for engagement by all stakeholders. The approach facilitated opportunities for the proposed health behaviours to be realised through the communication strategy. Essential insights for the strategy design were identified from key informants, as well as ensuring future engagement of these stakeholders into the strategy. So what? The expanded use of RAR to inform the design of social marketing interventions is a practical approach to data collection for non-communicable diseases and other health issues in developing countries. The approach allows for the rapid mobilisation of scarce resources for the implementation of more

  2. A regional human services authority's rapid needs assessment of evacuees following natural disasters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Post, David E; Kasofsky, Jan M; Hunte, Christopher N; Diaz, James H

    2008-01-01

    The Atlantic hurricane season of 2005 was not an ordinary season, and Hurricane Katrina was not an ordinary hurricane. Hurricane Katrina damaged more than 93,000 square miles of Gulf of Mexico coastline, displaced more than 1 million residents from New Orleans, and flooded more than 80 percent of New Orleans for weeks, which killed more than 1,300 people, mostly New Orleanians. Inland regional state and local healthcare and human services agencies rushed to assist evacuees, most of whom were uninsured or displaced without employer healthcare coverage. The initial evacuation brought more than 350,000 evacuees seeking shelter to the greater Baton Rouge area, LA, 80 miles north of New Orleans, the closest high ground. This investigation describes the rapid needs assessment developed and conducted by the Capital Area Human Services District of the greater Baton Rouge area, a quasi-governmental human services authority, the regional provider of state-funded mental health, addictive disorders, and developmental disabilities services, on a sample of 6,553 Katrina evacuees in the greater Baton Rouge area. In the event of catastrophic natural and manmade disasters, state and federal decision makers should follow the National Incident Management System and support local designated lead agencies with additional resources as requested. They must rely on designated lead agencies to use their knowledge of the locale, local resources, and relationships with other providers and volunteers to respond rapidly and efficiently to evacuee needs identified through a designated, concise tool that is singularly utilized across the impacted region by all providers to determine the needed response.

  3. A rapid, noninvasive immunoassay for frataxin: utility in assessment of Friedreich ataxia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deutsch, Eric C; Santani, Avni B; Perlman, Susan L; Farmer, Jennifer M; Stolle, Catherine A; Marusich, Michael F; Lynch, David R

    2010-01-01

    Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder caused by reduced amounts of the mitochondrial protein frataxin. Frataxin levels in research studies are typically measured via Western blot analysis from patient fibroblasts, lymphocytes, or muscle biopsies; none of these is ideal for rapid detection in large scale clinical studies. Recently, a rapid, noninvasive lateral flow immunoassay was developed to accurately measure picogram levels of frataxin protein and shown to distinguish lymphoblastoid cells from FRDA carriers, patients and controls. We expanded the immunoassay to measure frataxin directly in buccal cells and whole blood from a large cohort of controls, known carriers and patients typical of a clinical trial population. The assay in buccal cells shared a similar degree of variability with previous studies conducted in lymphoblastoid cells (~10% coefficient of variation in controls). Significant differences in frataxin protein quantity were seen between the mean group values of controls, carriers, and patient buccal cells (100, 50.2, and 20.9% of control, respectively) and in protein extracted from whole blood (100, 75.3, and 32.2%, respectively), although there was some overlap between the groups. In addition, frataxin levels were inversely related to GAA repeat length and correlated directly with age of onset. Subjects with one expanded GAA repeat and an identified frataxin point mutation also carried frataxin levels in the disease range. Some patients displaying an FRDA phenotype but carrying only a single identifiable mutation had frataxin levels in the FRDA patient range. One patient from this group has a novel deletion that included exons 2 and 3 of the FXN gene based on multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) analysis of the FXN gene. The lateral flow immunoassay may be a useful means to noninvasively assess frataxin levels repetitively with minimal discomfort in FRDA patients in specific situations such

  4. A new threat to bees? Entomopathogenic nematodes used in biological pest control cause rapid mortality in Bombus terrestris

    OpenAIRE

    Alexandrea Dutka; Alison McNulty; Sally M. Williamson

    2015-01-01

    There is currently a great deal of concern about population declines in pollinating insects. Many potential threats have been identified which may adversely affect the behaviour and health of both honey bees and bumble bees: these include pesticide exposure, and parasites and pathogens. Whether biological pest control agents adversely affect bees has been much less well studied: it is generally assumed that biological agents are safer for wildlife than chemical pesticides. The aim of this stu...

  5. Rapid assessment of infrastructure of primary health care facilities - a relevant instrument for health care systems management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholz, Stefan; Ngoli, Baltazar; Flessa, Steffen

    2015-05-01

    Health care infrastructure constitutes a major component of the structural quality of a health system. Infrastructural deficiencies of health services are reported in literature and research. A number of instruments exist for the assessment of infrastructure. However, no easy-to-use instruments to assess health facility infrastructure in developing countries are available. Present tools are not applicable for a rapid assessment by health facility staff. Therefore, health information systems lack data on facility infrastructure. A rapid assessment tool for the infrastructure of primary health care facilities was developed by the authors and pilot-tested in Tanzania. The tool measures the quality of all infrastructural components comprehensively and with high standardization. Ratings use a 2-1-0 scheme which is frequently used in Tanzanian health care services. Infrastructural indicators and indices are obtained from the assessment and serve for reporting and tracing of interventions. The tool was pilot-tested in Tanga Region (Tanzania). The pilot test covered seven primary care facilities in the range between dispensary and district hospital. The assessment encompassed the facilities as entities as well as 42 facility buildings and 80 pieces of technical medical equipment. A full assessment of facility infrastructure was undertaken by health care professionals while the rapid assessment was performed by facility staff. Serious infrastructural deficiencies were revealed. The rapid assessment tool proved a reliable instrument of routine data collection by health facility staff. The authors recommend integrating the rapid assessment tool in the health information systems of developing countries. Health authorities in a decentralized health system are thus enabled to detect infrastructural deficiencies and trace the effects of interventions. The tool can lay the data foundation for district facility infrastructure management.

  6. Validation and adaptation of rapid neurodevelopmental assessment instrument for infants in Guatemala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, L; Peñaloza, R A; Stormfields, K; Kooistra, R; Valencia-Moscoso, G; Muslima, H; Khan, N Z

    2015-11-01

    Timely detection of neurodevelopmental impairments in children can prompt referral for critical services that may prevent permanent disability. However, screening of impairments is a significant challenge in low-resource countries. We adapted and validated the rapid neurodevelopmental assessment (RNDA) instrument developed in Bangladesh to assess impairment in nine domains: primitive reflexes, gross and fine motor development, vision, hearing, speech, cognition, behaviour and seizures. We conducted a cross-sectional study of 77 infants (0-12 months) in rural Guatemala in July 2012 and July 2013. We assessed inter-rater reliability and predictive validity between the 27-item RNDA and the 325-item Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition (BSID-III) and concurrent validity based on chronic malnutrition, a condition associated with neurodevelopmental impairments. For both RNDA and BSID-III, standardized scores below 80 were defined as borderline impairment. Children came from rural households (92%), were born to indigenous women of Mayan descent (73%) and had moderate or severe growth stunting (43%). Inter-rater reliability for eight RNDA domains was of moderate to high reliability (weighted κ coefficients, 0.49-0.99). Children screened positive for impairment in fine motor (17%) and gross motor (14%) domains using the RNDA. The RNDA had good concurrent ability; infants who were growth stunted had higher mean levels of impairment in gross motor, speech and cognition domains (all p < 0.001). The RNDA took 20-30 min to complete compared with 45-60 min for BSID-III. Wide-scale implementation of a simple, valid and reliable screening tool like the RNDA by community health workers would facilitate early screening and referral of infants at-risk for neurodevelopmental impairment. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Zika Virus in Ontario: Evaluating a Rapid Risk Assessment Tool for Emerging Infectious Disease Threats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Meer, Ryan; Hohenadel, Karin; Fitzgerald-Husek, Alanna; Warshawsky, Bryna; Sider, Doug; Schwartz, Brian; Nelder, Mark P

    To determine the Ontario-specific risk of local and travel-related Zika virus transmission in the context of a public health emergency of international concern, Public Health Ontario (PHO) completed a rapid risk assessment (RRA) on January 29, 2016, using a newly developed RRA guidance tool. The RRA concluded that risk of local mosquito-borne transmission was low, with a high risk of imported cases through travel. The RRA was updated 3 times based on predetermined triggers. An independent evaluation assessed both the application of the RRA guidance tool (process evaluation) and the usefulness of the RRA (outcome evaluation). We conducted face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with 7 individuals who participated in the creation or review of the Zika virus RRA and 4 end-users at PHO and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. An inductive thematic analysis of responses was undertaken, whereby themes were directly informed by the data. The process evaluation determined that most steps outlined in the RRA guidance tool were adhered to, including forming a cross-functional writing team, clarifying the scope and describing context, completing the RRA summary report, and updating the RRA based on predefined triggers. The outcome evaluation found that end-users judged the Zika virus RRA as evidence-informed, useful, consistent, and timely. The evaluation established that the locally tailored guidance tool, adapted from national and international approaches to RRAs, facilitated a systematic, evidence-informed, and timely formal RRA process at PHO for the Zika virus RRA, which met the needs of end-users. Based on the evaluation, PHO will modify future RRAs by incorporating some flexibility into the literature review process to support timeliness of the RRA, explicitly describing the limitations of studies used to inform the RRA, and refining risk algorithms to better suit emerging infectious disease threats. It is anticipated that these refinements will improve upon the

  8. Assessment of compost application to coal ash disposal sites to promote the rapid vegetation establishment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Repmann, F.; Slazak, A.; Babic, M.; Schneider, B. U.; Schaaf, W.; Hüttl, R. F.

    2009-04-01

    In the city of Tuzla, located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a coal fired thermo electric power plant is operated by the company JP ELEKTROPRIVERDA BIH TERMOELEKTRANA "TUZLA". High amounts of ash are produced by the power plant, which are currently disposed into settlement ponds bordered by dams in natural valleys. A total of four ash disposal sites covering an area of approx. 170 ha have been established during the last decades. Due to the fact that residual ash from coal combustion was found to contain a variety of trace elements (Ni, Cr, As, B), it must be assumed that ash disposal of that magnitude constitutes an environmental problem which is investigated within the EU-FP6 / STREP project "Reintegration of Coal Ash Disposal Sites and Mitigation of Pollution in the West Balkan Area" RECOAL. The main hazards relate to soil and groundwater contamination due to leaching toxins, dust dispersion, and toxins entering the food chain as these disposal sites are used for agricultural purposes. In order to rapidly establish a vegetation cover on barren ash dumps that particularly would prevent dust erosion we assessed the applicability of compost, produced from locally available municipal and industrial organic residues as an amendment to ash to improve substrate fertility. The envisaged remediation technology was considered to be a low cost, easy applicable and rapid method capable of substantially enhancing living conditions of residents in the vicinity of the abandoned disposal sites. Various compost application rates were evaluated in the field on experimental site Divkovici I in Tuzla and additionally in the greenhouse environment at Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus. Field and laboratory tests revealed that plant growth and cover rate can substantially be improved by mixing compost into the upper ash layer to a maximum depth of approx. 20 cm. Besides direct growth observations in the field analysis of soil parameters gave evidence that the fertility of ashy

  9. Using multimodal imaging techniques to monitor limb ischemia: a rapid noninvasive method for assessing extremity wounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luthra, Rajiv; Caruso, Joseph D.; Radowsky, Jason S.; Rodriguez, Maricela; Forsberg, Jonathan; Elster, Eric A.; Crane, Nicole J.

    2013-03-01

    Over 70% of military casualties resulting from the current conflicts sustain major extremity injuries. Of these the majority are caused by blasts from improvised explosive devices. The resulting injuries include traumatic amputations, open fractures, crush injuries, and acute vascular disruption. Critical tissue ischemia—the point at which ischemic tissues lose the capacity to recover—is therefore a major concern, as lack of blood flow to tissues rapidly leads to tissue deoxygenation and necrosis. If left undetected or unaddressed, a potentially salvageable limb may require more extensive debridement or, more commonly, amputation. Predicting wound outcome during the initial management of blast wounds remains a significant challenge, as wounds continue to "evolve" during the debridement process and our ability to assess wound viability remains subjectively based. Better means of identifying critical ischemia are needed. We developed a swine limb ischemia model in which two imaging modalities were combined to produce an objective and quantitative assessment of wound perfusion and tissue viability. By using 3 Charge-Coupled Device (3CCD) and Infrared (IR) cameras, both surface tissue oxygenation as well as overall limb perfusion could be depicted. We observed a change in mean 3CCD and IR values at peak ischemia and during reperfusion correlate well with clinically observed indicators for limb function and vitality. After correcting for baseline mean R-B values, the 3CCD values correlate with surface tissue oxygenation and the IR values with changes in perfusion. This study aims to not only increase fundamental understanding of the processes involved with limb ischemia and reperfusion, but also to develop tools to monitor overall limb perfusion and tissue oxygenation in a clinical setting. A rapid and objective diagnostic for extent of ischemic damage and overall limb viability could provide surgeons with a more accurate indication of tissue viability. This may

  10. An Approach for Rapid Assessment of Seismic Hazards in Turkey by Continuous GPS Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haluk Ozener

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The Earth is being monitored every day by all kinds of sensors. This leads an overflow of data in all branches of science nowadays, especially in Earth Sciences. Data storage and data processing are the problems to be solved by current technologies, as well as by those accessing and analyzing these large data sources. Once solutions have been created for collecting, storing and accessing data, then the challenge becomes how to effectively share data, applications and processing resources across many locations. The Global Positioning System (GPS sensors are being used as geodetic instruments to precisely detect crustal motion in the Earth’s surface. Rapid access to data provided by GPS sensors is becoming increasingly important for deformation monitoring and rapid hazard assessments. Today, reliable and fast collection and distribution of data is a challenge and advances in Internet technologies have made it easier to provide the needed data. This study describes a system which will be able to generate strain maps using data from continuous GPS stations for seismic hazard analysis. Strain rates are a key factor in seismic hazard analyses. Turkey is a country prone to earthquakes with a long history of seismic hazards and disasters. This situation has resulted in the studies by Earth scientists that focus on Turkey in order to improve their understanding of the Earth’s crust structure and seismic hazards. Nevertheless, the construction of models, data access and analysis are often not fast as expected, but the combination of Internet technologies with continuous GPS sensors can be a solution to overcome this problem. This system would have the potential to answer many important questions to assess seismic hazards such as how much stretching, squashing and shearing is taking place in different parts of Turkey, and how do velocities change from place to place? Seismic hazard estimation is the most effective way to reduce

  11. An Approach for Rapid Assessment of Seismic Hazards in Turkey by Continuous GPS Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozener, Haluk; Dogru, Asli; Unlutepe, Ahmet

    2009-01-01

    The Earth is being monitored every day by all kinds of sensors. This leads an overflow of data in all branches of science nowadays, especially in Earth Sciences. Data storage and data processing are the problems to be solved by current technologies, as well as by those accessing and analyzing these large data sources. Once solutions have been created for collecting, storing and accessing data, then the challenge becomes how to effectively share data, applications and processing resources across many locations. The Global Positioning System (GPS) sensors are being used as geodetic instruments to precisely detect crustal motion in the Earth's surface. Rapid access to data provided by GPS sensors is becoming increasingly important for deformation monitoring and rapid hazard assessments. Today, reliable and fast collection and distribution of data is a challenge and advances in Internet technologies have made it easier to provide the needed data. This study describes a system which will be able to generate strain maps using data from continuous GPS stations for seismic hazard analysis. Strain rates are a key factor in seismic hazard analyses. Turkey is a country prone to earthquakes with a long history of seismic hazards and disasters. This situation has resulted in the studies by Earth scientists that focus on Turkey in order to improve their understanding of the Earth's crust structure and seismic hazards. Nevertheless, the construction of models, data access and analysis are often not fast as expected, but the combination of Internet technologies with continuous GPS sensors can be a solution to overcome this problem. This system would have the potential to answer many important questions to assess seismic hazards such as how much stretching, squashing and shearing is taking place in different parts of Turkey, and how do velocities change from place to place? Seismic hazard estimation is the most effective way to reduce earthquake losses. It is clear that reliability

  12. Lake Whitney Comprehensive Water Quality Assessment, Phase 1B- Physical and Biological Assessment (USDOE)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doyle, Robert D; Byars, Bruce W

    2009-11-24

    Baylor University Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research (CRASR) has conducted a phased, comprehensive evaluation of Lake Whitney to determine its suitability for use as a regional water supply reservoir. The area along the Interstate 35 corridor between Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex and the Waco / Temple Centroplex represents one of the fastest growth areas in the State of Texas and reliable water supplies are critical to sustainable growth. Lake Whitney is situated midway between these two metropolitan areas. Currently, the City of Whitney as well as all of Bosque and Hill counties obtain their potable water from the Trinity Sands aquifer. Additionally, parts of the adjoining McLennan and Burleson counties utilize the Trinity sands aquifer system as a supplement to their surface water supplies. Population growth coupled with increasing demands on this aquifer system in both the Metroplex and Centroplex have resulted in a rapid depletion of groundwater in these rural areas. The Lake Whitney reservoir represents both a potentially local and regional solution for an area experiencing high levels of growth. Because of the large scope of this project as well as the local, regional and national implications, we have designed a multifaceted approach that will lead to the solution of numerous issues related to the feasibility of using Lake Whitney as a water resource to the region. Phase IA (USEPA, QAPP Study Elements 1-4) of this research focused on the physical limnology of the reservoir (bathymetry and fine scale salinity determination) and develops hydrodynamic watershed and reservoir models to evaluate how salinity would be expected to change with varying hydrologic and climatic factors. To this end, we implemented a basic water quality modeling program in collaboration with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to add to the developing long-term database on Lake Whitney. Finally, we conducted an initial

  13. Prevalence of visual impairment due to uncorrected refractive error: Results from Delhi-Rapid Assessment of Visual Impairment Study

    OpenAIRE

    Suraj Singh Senjam; Praveen Vashist; Noopur Gupta; Sumit Malhotra; Vasundhara Misra; Amit Bhardwaj; Vivek Gupta

    2016-01-01

    Aim: To estimate the prevalence of visual impairment (VI) due to uncorrected refractive error (URE) and to assess the barriers to utilization of services in the adult urban population of Delhi. Materials and Methods: A population-based rapid assessment of VI was conducted among people aged 40 years and above in 24 randomly selected clusters of East Delhi district. Presenting visual acuity (PVA) was assessed in each eye using Snellen's E chart. Pinhole examination was done if PVA was

  14. A Biological Condition Gradient Model for Historical Assessment of Estuarine Habitat Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shumchenia, Emily J.; Pelletier, Marguerite C.; Cicchetti, Giancarlo; Davies, Susan; Pesch, Carol E.; Deacutis, Christopher F.; Pryor, Margherita

    2015-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems are affected by ever-increasing natural and human pressures. Because the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics unique to estuarine ecosystems control the ways that biological resources respond to ecosystem stressors, we present a flexible and adaptable biological assessment method for estuaries. The biological condition gradient (BCG) is a scientific framework of biological response to increasing anthropogenic stress that is comprehensive and ecosystem based and evaluates environmental conditions and the status of ecosystem services in order to identify, communicate, and prioritize management action. Using existing data, we constructed the first estuarine BCG framework that examines changes in habitat structure through time. Working in a New England (U.S.) estuary with a long history of human influence, we developed an approach to define a reference level, which we described as a "minimally disturbed" range of conditions for the ecosystem, anchored by observations before 1850 AD. Like many estuaries in the U.S., the relative importance of environmental stressors changed over time, but even qualitative descriptions of the biological indicators' status provided useful information for defining condition levels. This BCG demonstrated that stressors rarely acted alone and that declines in one biological indicator influenced the declines of others. By documenting the biological responses to cumulative stressors, the BCG inherently suggests an ecosystem-based approach to management. Additionally, the BCG process initiates thinking over long time scales and can be used to inspire scientists, managers, and the public toward environmental action.

  15. Rapid assessment of visual impairment (RAVI in marine fishing communities in South India - study protocol and main findings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madala Sreenivas R

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Reliable data are a pre-requisite for planning eye care services. Though conventional cross sectional studies provide reliable information, they are resource intensive. A novel rapid assessment method was used to investigate the prevalence and causes of visual impairment and presbyopia in subjects aged 40 years and older. This paper describes the detailed methodology and study procedures of Rapid Assessment of Visual Impairment (RAVI project. Methods A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted using cluster random sampling in the coastal region of Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh in India, predominantly inhabited by fishing communities. Unaided, aided and pinhole visual acuity (VA was assessed using a Snellen chart at a distance of 6 meters. The VA was re-assessed using a pinhole, if VA was Results The data collection was completed in Conclusion There is a high prevalence of visual impairment in marine fishing communities in Prakasam district in India. The data from this rapid assessment survey can now be used as a baseline to start eye care services in this region. The rapid assessment methodology (RAVI reported in this paper is robust, quick and has the potential to be replicated in other areas.

  16. A tool for rapid assessment of product usability and universal design: development and preliminary psychometric testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenker, James A; Nasarwanji, Mahiyar; Paquet, Victor; Feathers, David

    2011-01-01

    While there are many available tools and methods to evaluate product usability, few have been tested on user groups with disabilities and even fewer systematically consider universal design principles. This paper describes the development and preliminary psychometric testing of the Rapid Assessment of Product Usability & Universal Design (RAPUUD), a 12-item user-report tool based on the seven principles of universal design. A preliminary set of items was created to elicit ratings of diverse product characteristics (e.g., physical effort, cognitive effort, assistance required, safety). Data were gathered from 61 participants who rated the usability of products they use in their own environments. Each item elicited a full range of responses, with no apparent floor or ceiling effects. Collectively, the 12 items achieved a high internal consistency (Cronbach's α=0.80). The data indicate that the tool was sensitive to differences in functional abilities, as well as differences in product characteristics. The instrument was usable for a range of consumer products, though not all items were appropriate for each and every product. The results suggest that the instrument could become a pragmatic tool for designers to identify usability problems experienced by a diversity of user populations. © 2011 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved

  17. Use of a modified cluster sampling method to perform rapid needs assessment after Hurricane Andrew.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hlady, W G; Quenemoen, L E; Armenia-Cope, R R; Hurt, K J; Malilay, J; Noji, E K; Wurm, G

    1994-04-01

    To rapidly obtain population-based estimates of needs in the early aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in South Florida. We used a modified cluster-sampling method (the Expanded Programme on Immunization [EPI] method) for three surveys. We selected a systematic sample of 30 quarter-mile square clusters for each survey and, beginning from a random start, interviewed members of seven consecutive occupied households in each cluster. Two surveys were of the most affected area (1990 population, 32,672) at three and ten days after the hurricane struck; one survey was of a less affected area (1990 population, 15,576) seven days after the hurricane struck. Results were available within 24 hours of beginning each survey. Initial findings emphasized the need for restoring utilities and sanitation and helped to focus medical relief on primary care and preventive services. The second survey of the most affected area showed improvement in the availability of food, water, electricity, and sanitation (P < or = .05). There was no evidence of disease outbreaks. For the first time, the EPI method provided population-based information to guide and evaluate relief operations after a sudden-impact natural disaster. An improvement over previous approaches, the EPI method warrants further evaluation as a needs assessment tool in acute disasters.

  18. Radiometric and geometric assessment of data from the RapidEye constellation of satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chander, Gyanesh; Haque, Md. Obaidul; Sampath, Aparajithan; Brunn, A.; Trosset, G.; Hoffmann, D.; Roloff, S.; Thiele, M.; Anderson, C.

    2013-01-01

    To monitor land surface processes over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales, it is critical to have coordinated observations of the Earth's surface using imagery acquired from multiple spaceborne imaging sensors. The RapidEye (RE) satellite constellation acquires high-resolution satellite images covering the entire globe within a very short period of time by sensors identical in construction and cross-calibrated to each other. To evaluate the RE high-resolution Multi-spectral Imager (MSI) sensor capabilities, a cross-comparison between the RE constellation of sensors was performed first using image statistics based on large common areas observed over pseudo-invariant calibration sites (PICS) by the sensors and, second, by comparing the on-orbit radiometric calibration temporal trending over a large number of calibration sites. For any spectral band, the individual responses measured by the five satellites of the RE constellation were found to differ B2B) alignment of the image data sets. The position accuracy was assessed by comparing the RE imagery against high-resolution aerial imagery, while the B2B characterization was performed by registering each band against every other band to ensure that the proper band alignment is provided for an image product. The B2B results indicate that the internal alignments of these five RE bands are in agreement, with bands typically registered to within 0.25 pixels of each other or better.

  19. Comparison between rapid and mixed maxillary expansion through an assessment of arch changes on dental casts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grassia, Vincenzo; d'Apuzzo, Fabrizia; Jamilian, Abdolreza; Femiano, Felice; Favero, Lorenzo; Perillo, Letizia

    2015-01-01

    Aim of this retrospective observational study was to compare upper and lower dental changes in patients treated with Rapid Maxillary Expansion (RME) and Mixed Maxillary Expansion (MME), assessed by dental cast analysis. Treatment groups consisted of 42 patients: the RME group (n = 21) consisted of 13 female and 8 male subjects with the mean age of 8.8 years ± 1.37 at T0 and 9.6 years ± 1.45 at T1; the MME group (n = 21) consisted of 12 female and 9 male patients with a mean age of 8.9 years ± 2.34 at T0 and 10.5 years ± 2.08 at T1. The upper and lower arch analysis was performed on four dental bilateral landmarks, on upper and lower casts; also upper and lower arch depths were measured. The groups were compared using independent sample t-test to estimate dental changes in upper and lower arches. Before expansion treatment (T0), the groups were similar for all examined variables (p>0.05). In both RME and MME group, significant increments in all the variables for maxillary and mandibular arch widths were observed after treatment. No significant differences in maxillary and mandibular arch depths were observed at the end of treatment in both groups. An evaluation of the changes after RME and MME (T1) showed statistically significant differences in mandibular arch depth (plip bumper effects" observed in the MME protocol.

  20. Application of near-infrared spectroscopy for the rapid quality assessment of Radix Paeoniae Rubra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhan, Hao; Fang, Jing; Tang, Liying; Yang, Hongjun; Li, Hua; Wang, Zhuju; Yang, Bin; Wu, Hongwei; Fu, Meihong

    2017-08-01

    Near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy with multivariate analysis was used to quantify gallic acid, catechin, albiflorin, and paeoniflorin in Radix Paeoniae Rubra, and the feasibility to classify the samples originating from different areas was investigated. A new high-performance liquid chromatography method was developed and validated to analyze gallic acid, catechin, albiflorin, and paeoniflorin in Radix Paeoniae Rubra as the reference. Partial least squares (PLS), principal component regression (PCR), and stepwise multivariate linear regression (SMLR) were performed to calibrate the regression model. Different data pretreatments such as derivatives (1st and 2nd), multiplicative scatter correction, standard normal variate, Savitzky-Golay filter, and Norris derivative filter were applied to remove the systematic errors. The performance of the model was evaluated according to the root mean square of calibration (RMSEC), root mean square error of prediction (RMSEP), root mean square error of cross-validation (RMSECV), and correlation coefficient (r). The results show that compared to PCR and SMLR, PLS had a lower RMSEC, RMSECV, and RMSEP and higher r for all the four analytes. PLS coupled with proper pretreatments showed good performance in both the fitting and predicting results. Furthermore, the original areas of Radix Paeoniae Rubra samples were partly distinguished by principal component analysis. This study shows that NIR with PLS is a reliable, inexpensive, and rapid tool for the quality assessment of Radix Paeoniae Rubra.

  1. Rapid Cost Assessment of Space Mission Concepts through Application of Complexity Indices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Craig; Cutts, James; Balint, Tibor; Hall, James B.

    2008-01-01

    In 2005, the Solar System Exploration Strategic Roadmap Conmrittee (chartered by NASA to develop the roadmap for Solar System Exploration Missions for the coming decades) found itself posed with the difficult problem of sorting through several mission concepts and determining their relative costs. While detailed mission studies are the normal approach to costing, neither the budget nor schedule allotted to the conmrittee could support such studies. Members of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) supporting the conmrittee were given the challenge of developing a semi-quantitative approach that could provide the relative costs of these missions, without requiring an in depth study of the missions. In response to this challenge, a rapid cost assessment methodology based on a set of mission cost/complexity indexes was developed. This methodology also underwent two separate validations, one comparing its results when applied to historical missions, and another comparing its estimates against those of veteran space mission managers. Remarkably good agreement was achieved, suggesting that this approach provides an effective early indication of space mission costs.

  2. Quality controls in cellular immunotherapies: rapid assessment of clinical grade dendritic cells by gene expression profiling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castiello, Luciano; Sabatino, Marianna; Zhao, Yingdong; Tumaini, Barbara; Ren, Jiaqiang; Ping, Jin; Wang, Ena; Wood, Lauren V; Marincola, Francesco M; Puri, Raj K; Stroncek, David F

    2013-02-01

    Cell-based immunotherapies are among the most promising approaches for developing effective and targeted immune response. However, their clinical usefulness and the evaluation of their efficacy rely heavily on complex quality control assessment. Therefore, rapid systematic methods are urgently needed for the in-depth characterization of relevant factors affecting newly developed cell product consistency and the identification of reliable markers for quality control. Using dendritic cells (DCs) as a model, we present a strategy to comprehensively characterize manufactured cellular products in order to define factors affecting their variability, quality and function. After generating clinical grade human monocyte-derived mature DCs (mDCs), we tested by gene expression profiling the degrees of product consistency related to the manufacturing process and variability due to intra- and interdonor factors, and how each factor affects single gene variation. Then, by calculating for each gene an index of variation we selected candidate markers for identity testing, and defined a set of genes that may be useful comparability and potency markers. Subsequently, we confirmed the observed gene index of variation in a larger clinical data set. In conclusion, using high-throughput technology we developed a method for the characterization of cellular therapies and the discovery of novel candidate quality assurance markers.

  3. Use of rapid needs assessment as a tool to identify vaccination delays in Guatemala and Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Ardenne, Katie K; Darrow, Juliana; Furniss, Anna; Chavez, Catia; Hernandez, Herminio; Berman, Stephen; Asturias, Edwin J

    2016-03-29

    To explore the use of rapid needs assessment (RNA) surveys to determine the prevalence and factors contributing to delays in vaccination of children in two low middle-income countries (LMIC). Data from two RNA surveys performed as part of program improvement evaluations in Guatemala and Peru were used for this analysis. The primary endpoint was the timeliness of immunization with delay defined as administration of vaccines beyond 28 days from recommended age for DTwP-HepB-Hib (Penta) and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccines, as well as past age-restrictions for rotavirus vaccine. Independent risk factors analyzed included child's gender, birth year, number of children in household, maternal age, maternal education, and food insecurity. Vaccine information was available from 811 children from 838 households surveyed. High rate of immunization delays was observed, with 75.6% of children in Guatemala and 57.8% of children in Peru being delayed for the third dose of Penta primary series. Factors associated with delayed vaccination in Guatemala included advanced maternal age and increased number of children in household. In Peru, significant associations were birth year before 2009, lower maternal education level, and increased number of children in household. RNA is a fast and effective method to identify timely vaccine coverage and derive a hypothesis of factors possibly associated with vaccination delay. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Utility and assessment of non-technical skills for rapid response systems and medical emergency teams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalwin, R P; Flabouris, A

    2013-09-01

    Efforts are ongoing to improve outcomes from cardiac arrest and medical emergencies. A promising quality improvement modality is use of non-technical skills (NTS) that aim to address human factors through improvements in performance of leadership, communication, situational awareness and decision-making. Originating in the airline industry, NTS training has been successfully introduced into anaesthesia, surgery, emergency medicine and other acute medical specialities. Some aspects of NTS have already achieved acceptance for cardiac arrest teams. Leadership skills are emphasised in advanced life support training and have shown favourable results when employed in simulated and clinical resuscitation scenarios. The application of NTS in medical emergency teams as part of a rapid response system attending medical emergencies is less certain; however, observations of simulations have also shown promise. This review highlights the potential benefits of NTS competency for cardiac arrest teams and, more importantly, medical emergency teams because of the diversity of clinical scenarios encountered. Discussion covers methods to assess and refine NTS and NTS training to optimise performance in the clinical environment. Increasing attention should be applied to yielding meaningful patient and organisational outcomes from use of NTS. Similarly, implementation of any training course should receive appropriate scrutiny to refine team and institutional performance. © 2013 The Authors; Internal Medicine Journal © 2013 Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

  5. Development and evaluation of an office ergonomic risk checklist: ROSA--rapid office strain assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonne, Michael; Villalta, Dino L; Andrews, David M

    2012-01-01

    The Rapid Office Strain Assessment (ROSA) was designed to quickly quantify risks associated with computer work and to establish an action level for change based on reports of worker discomfort. Computer use risk factors were identified in previous research and standards on office design for the chair, monitor, telephone, keyboard and mouse. The risk factors were diagrammed and coded as increasing scores from 1 to 3. ROSA final scores ranged in magnitude from 1 to 10, with each successive score representing an increased presence of risk factors. Total body discomfort and ROSA final scores for 72 office workstations were significantly correlated (R = 0.384). ROSA final scores exhibited high inter- and intra-observer reliability (ICCs of 0.88 and 0.91, respectively). Mean discomfort increased with increasing ROSA scores, with a significant difference occurring between scores of 3 and 5 (out of 10). A ROSA final score of 5 might therefore be useful as an action level indicating when immediate change is necessary. ROSA proved to be an effective and reliable method for identifying computer use risk factors related to discomfort. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  6. Assessment of Mechanical Performance of Bone Architecture Using Rapid Prototyping Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saparin, Peter; Woesz, Alexander; Thomsen, Jasper S.; Fratzl, Peter

    2008-06-01

    The aim of this on-going research project is to assess the influence of bone microarchitecture on the mechanical performance of trabecular bone. A testing chain consist-ing of three steps was established: 1) micro computed tomography (μCT) imaging of human trabecular bone; 2) building of models of the bone from a light-sensitive polymer using Rapid Prototyping (RP); 3) mechanical testing of the models in a material testing machine. A direct resampling procedure was developed to convert μCT data into the format of the RP machine. Standardized parameters for production and testing of the plastic models were established by use of regular cellular structures. Next, normal, osteoporotic, and extreme osteoporotic vertebral trabecular bone architectures were re-produced by RP and compression tested. We found that normal architecture of vertebral trabecular bone exhibit behaviour characteristic of a cellular structure. In normal bone the fracture occurs at much higher strain values that in osteoporotic bone. After the fracture a normal trabecular architecture is able to carry much higher loads than an osteoporotic architecture. However, no statistically significant differences were found in maximal stress during uniaxial compression of the central part of normal, osteoporotic, and extreme osteoporotic vertebral trabecular bone. This supports the hypothesis that osteoporotic trabecular bone can compensate for a loss of trabeculae by thickening the remaining trabeculae in the loading direction (compensatory hypertrophy). The developed approach could be used for mechanical evaluation of structural data acquired non-invasively and assessment of changes in performance of bone architecture.

  7. Rapid assessment of stony coral richness and condition on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheila A McKenna

    Full Text Available The benthic habitats of Saba Bank (17 degrees 25'N, 63 degrees 30'W are at risk from maritime traffic, especially oil tankers (e.g., anchoring. To mitigate this risk, information is needed on the biodiversity and location of habitats to develop a zone use plan. A rapid survey to document the biodiversity of macro-algae, sponges, corals and fishes was conducted. Here we report on the richness and condition of stony coral species at 18 select sites, and we test for the effects of bottom type, depth, and distance from platform edge. Species richness was visually assessed by roving scuba diver with voucher specimens of each species collected. Coral tissue was examined for bleaching and diseases. Thirty-three coral species were documented. There were no significant differences in coral composition among bottom types or depth classes (ANOSIM, P>0.05. There was a significant difference between sites (ANOSIM, P<0.05 near and far from the platform edge. The number of coral species observed ranged from zero and one in algal dominated habitats to 23 at a reef habitat on the southern edge of the Bank. Five reef sites had stands of Acropora cervicornis, a critically endangered species on the IUCN redlist. Bleaching was evident at 82% of the sites assessed with 43 colonies bleached. Only three coral colonies were observed to have disease. Combining our findings with that of other studies, a total of 43 species have been documented from Saba Bank. The coral assemblage on the bank is representative and typical of those found elsewhere in the Caribbean. Although our findings will help develop effective protection, more information is needed on Saba Bank to create a comprehensive zone use plan. Nevertheless, immediate action is warranted to protect the diverse coral reef habitats documented here, especially those containing A. cervicornis.

  8. A rapid method for assessing the environmental performance of commercial farms in the Pampas of Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viglizzo, E F; Frank, F; Bernardos, J; Buschiazzo, D E; Cabo, S

    2006-06-01

    The generation of reliable updated information is critical to support the harmonization of socio-economic and environmental issues in a context of sustainable development. The agro-environmental assessment and management of agricultural systems often relies on indicators that are necessary to make sound decisions. This work aims to provide an approach to (a) assess the environmental performance of commercial farms in the Pampas of Argentina, and (b) propose a methodological framework to calculate environmental indicators that can rapidly be applied to practical farming. 120 commercial farms scattered across the Pampas were analyzed in this study during 2002 and 2003. Eleven basic indicators were identified and calculation methods described. Such indicators were fossil energy (FE) use, FE use efficiency, nitrogen (N) balance, phosphorus (P) balance, N contamination risk, P contamination risk, pesticide contamination risk, soil erosion risk, habitat intervention, changes in soil carbon stock, and balance of greenhouse gases. A model named Agro-Eco-Index was developed on a Microsoft-Excel support to incorporate on-farm collected data and facilitate the calculation of indicators by users. Different procedures were applied to validate the model and present the results to the users. Regression models (based on linear and non-linear models) were used to validate the comparative performance of the study farms across the Pampas. An environmental dashboard was provided to represent in a graphical way the behavior of farms. The method provides a tool to discriminate environmentally friendly farms from those that do not pay enough attention to environmental issues. Our procedure might be useful for implementing an ecological certification system to reward a good environmental behavior in society (e.g., through tax benefits) and generate a commercial advantage (e.g., through the allocation of green labels) for committed farmers.

  9. Use of automated radon measurements for rapid assessment of groundwater flow into Florida streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnett, William C.; Peterson, Richard N.; Santos, Isaac R.; Hicks, Richard W.

    2010-01-01

    SummaryNaturally occurring 222Rn (radon; t1/2 = 3.8 days) is a good natural tracer of groundwater discharge because it is conservative and typically 2-3 orders of magnitude higher in groundwater than surface waters. In addition, new technology has allowed rapid and inexpensive field measurements of radon-in-water. Results from the C-25 Canal, a man-made canal in east-central Florida thought to be dominated by groundwater inflows, display how one can quickly assess a water body for locations of groundwater inputs. Although only the eastern portion of the canal was surveyed, use of a few assumptions together with some continuous radon measurements allowed reasonable estimates of the groundwater inflows to be made. Groundwater discharge estimates of 327,000 m 3/day and 331,000 m 3/day were measured for two stations based on determining the groundwater fraction of the total stream flow. This fraction in each case was calculated by correcting radon concentrations for decay over transit times determined from concentration differences between the apparent focal point of groundwater discharge (with a concentration of 520 ± 80 dpm/L) estimated to be ˜17.7 km upstream from the downstream sample locations. During the same period, an average flow of 312,000 ± 70,000 m 3/day was determined from time-series measurements of radon at a fixed downstream location. Coincident current meter readings and a measured cross-section area allowed an independent assessment of the total stream discharge of 336,000 m 3/day. The radon-derived estimates thus indicate that >90% of the total flow is groundwater derived, consistent with the known characteristics of this waterway.

  10. Quantitative Rapid Assessment of Leukoaraiosis in CT : Comparison to Gold Standard MRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanning, Uta; Sporns, Peter Bernhard; Schmidt, Rene; Niederstadt, Thomas; Minnerup, Jens; Bier, Georg; Knecht, Stefan; Kemmling, André

    2017-10-20

    The severity of white matter lesions (WML) is a risk factor of hemorrhage and predictor of clinical outcome after ischemic stroke; however, in contrast to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) reliable quantification for this surrogate marker is limited for computed tomography (CT), the leading stroke imaging technique. We aimed to present and evaluate a CT-based automated rater-independent method for quantification of microangiopathic white matter changes. Patients with suspected minor stroke (National Institutes of Health Stroke scale, NIHSS < 4) were screened for the analysis of non-contrast computerized tomography (NCCT) at admission and compared to follow-up MRI. The MRI-based WML volume and visual Fazekas scores were assessed as the gold standard reference. We employed a recently published probabilistic brain segmentation algorithm for CT images to determine the tissue-specific density of WM space. All voxel-wise densities were quantified in WM space and weighted according to partial probabilistic WM content. The resulting mean weighted density of WM space in NCCT, the surrogate of WML, was correlated with reference to MRI-based WML parameters. The process of CT-based tissue-specific segmentation was reliable in 79 cases with varying severity of microangiopathy. Voxel-wise weighted density within WM spaces showed a noticeable correlation (r = -0.65) with MRI-based WML volume. Particularly in patients with moderate or severe lesion load according to the visual Fazekas score the algorithm provided reliable prediction of MRI-based WML volume. Automated observer-independent quantification of voxel-wise WM density in CT significantly correlates with microangiopathic WM disease in gold standard MRI. This rapid surrogate of white matter lesion load in CT may support objective WML assessment and therapeutic decision-making during acute stroke triage.

  11. Rapid assessment of visual impairment in urban population of Delhi, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Noopur; Vashist, Praveen; Malhotra, Sumit; Senjam, Suraj Singh; Misra, Vasundhara; Bhardwaj, Amit

    2015-01-01

    To determine the prevalence, causes and associated demographic factors related to visual impairment amongst the urban population of New Delhi, India. A population-based, cross-sectional study was conducted in East Delhi district using cluster random sampling methodology. This Rapid Assessment of Visual Impairment (RAVI) survey involved examination of all individuals aged 40 years and above in 24 randomly selected clusters of the district. Visual acuity (VA) assessment and comprehensive ocular examination were done during the door-to-door survey. A questionnaire was used to collect personal and demographic information of the study population. Blindness and Visual Impairment was defined as presenting VA visual impairment. Of 2421 subjects enumerated, 2331 (96.3%) were available for ophthalmic examination. Among those examined, 49.3% were males. The prevalence of visual impairment (VI) in the study population, was 11.4% (95% C.I. 10.1, 12.7) and that of blindness was 1.2% (95% C.I. 0.8, 1.6). Uncorrected refractive error was the leading cause of VI accounting for 53.4% of all VI followed by cataract (33.8%). With multivariable logistic regression, the odds of having VI increased with age (OR = 24.6[95% C.I.: 14.9, 40.7]; p visual impairment is considerable in this region despite availability of adequate eye care facilities. Awareness generation and simple interventions like cataract surgery and provision of spectacles will help to eliminate the major causes of blindness and visual impairment in this region.

  12. Rapid assessment of trachoma in underserved population of Car-Nicobar Island, India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Praveen Vashist

    Full Text Available PURPOSE: To determine the burden of trachoma and its related risk factors amongst the native population of Car-Nicobar Island in India. METHODS: Rapid assessment for trachoma was conducted in ten villages of Car-Nicobar Island according to standard WHO guidelines. An average of 50 children aged 1-9 years were assessed clinically for signs of active trachoma and facial cleanliness in each village. Additionally, all adults above 15 years of age in these households were examined for evidence of trachomatous trichiasis and corneal opacity. Environmental risk factors contributing to trachoma like limited access to potable water & functional latrine, presence of animal pen and garbage within the Nicobari hut were also noted in all villages. RESULTS: Out of a total of fifteen villages in Car-Nicobar Island, ten villages were selected for trachoma survey depending on evidence of socio-developmental indicators like poverty and decreased access to water, sanitation and healthcare facilities. The total population of the selected clusters was 7277 in the ten villages. Overall, 251 of 516 children (48.6%;CI: 46.5-55.1 had evidence of follicular stage of trachoma and 11 children (2.1%;CI:1.0-3.4 had evidence of inflammatory stage of trachoma. Nearly 15%(CI:12.1-18.3 children were noted to have unclean faces in the ten villages. Trachomatous trichiasis was noted in 73 adults (1.0%;CI:0.8-1.2. The environmental sanitation was not found to be satisfactory in the surveyed villages mainly due to the co-habitance of Nicobari people with domestic animals like pigs, hens, goats, dogs, cats etc in most (96.4% of the households. CONCLUSION: Active trachoma and trachomatous trichiasis was observed in all the ten villages surveyed, wherein trachoma control measures are needed.

  13. Rapid Epidemiological Assessment of Onchocerciasis in a Tropical Semi-Urban Community, Enugu State, Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JE Eyo

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: This study was carried out in Opi-Agu a tropical semi-urban autonomous community comprising of three villages in Enugu State, Nigeria, between the months of April and June 2010. It was designed to determine the prevalence of Onchocerca volvulus infection and assess the perception of the disease among the inhabitants of this community.Methods: A total number of 305 individuals comprising of 148 males and 157 females were ex­amined for various manifestations of onchocerciasis symptoms using rapid epidemiological assess­ment (REA method.Results: Out of this number, 119 (39.02% individuals were infected. Prevalence of infection among age groups and villages varied. Age group 41 yr and above had the highest (31.00% prevalence, while among the villages, Ogbozalla village ranked higher (45.71% than the other villages. Overall the prevalence of infection among the sexes revealed that males were more infected (43.24% than the females (35.03%. Lichenified onchodermatitis (LOD was the most prevalent (35.29% onchocercia­sis symptom among others identified in the area, while leopard skin (LS had the lowest (20.17% occurrence and blindness (0.00% which is the most devastating effect of O. volvulus infec­tion was not observed. Questionnaire responses from 410 individuals revealed that 34.8% respon­dent from Idi village and 28.1% from Ibeku village believed that O. volvulus infection occurs through poor personal hygiene. Bite of blackfly ranked least (10.6% among the respondent’s knowledge of the causes of onchocerciasis in Opi-Agu community.Conclusion: Opi-Agu community members had poor knowledge of onchocerciasis, the vector and of its etiologic organism. There is need for integration of community health education with mass chemo­therapy

  14. Validation of the rapid assessment procedure for loiasis (RAPLOA in the democratic republic of Congo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wanji Samuel

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A simple method called RAPLOA, to rapidly assess what proportion of people in a community are infected with L. loa and hence which communities are at high risk of severe adverse reactions following ivermectin treatment, was developed in Cameroon and Nigeria. The method needed further validation in other geographical and cultural contexts before its application in all endemic countries. The present study was designed to validate RAPLOA in two regions in the North East and South West of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Methods In each study region, villages were selected from different bio-ecological zones in order to cover a wide range of loiasis endemicity. In each selected community, 80 people above the age of 15 years were interviewed for a history of eye worm (migration of adult L. loa under the conjunctiva of the eye and parasitologically examined for the presence and intensity of L. loa infection. In total, 8100 individuals from 99 villages were enrolled into the study. Results The results confirmed the findings of the original RAPLOA study: i the eye worm phenomenon was well-known in all endemic areas, ii there was a clear relationship between the prevalence of eye worm history and the prevalence and intensity of L. loa microfilaraemia, and iii using a threshold of 40%, the prevalence of eye worm history was a sensitive and specific indicator of high-risk communities. Conclusion Following this successful validation, RAPLOA was recommended for the assessment of loiasis endemicity in areas targeted for ivermectin treatment by lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis control programmes.

  15. Fast Plants for Finer Science--An Introduction to the Biology of Rapid-Cycling Brassica Campestris (rapa) L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomkins, Stephen P.; Williams, Paul H.

    1990-01-01

    Rapid-cycling brassicas can be used in the classroom to teach concepts such as plant growth, tropisms, floral reproduction, pollination, embryonic development, and plant genetics. Directions on how to obtain them for classroom use and how they may be grown are included. Practical physiology and genetics exercises are listed. (KR)

  16. Quantifying restoration success and recovery in a metal-polluted stream: A 17-year assessment of physicochemical and biological responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clements, W.H.; Vieira, N.K.M.; Church, S.E.

    2010-01-01

    Evaluating the effectiveness of stream restoration is often challenging because of the lack of pre-treatment data, narrow focus on physicochemical measures and insufficient post-restoration monitoring. Even when these fundamental elements are present, quantifying restoration success is difficult because of the challenges associated with distinguishing treatment effects from seasonal variation, episodic events and long-term climatic changes.2. We report results of one of the most comprehensive and continuous records of physical, chemical and biological data available to assess restoration success for a stream ecosystem in North America. Over a 17 year period we measured seasonal and annual changes in metal concentrations, physicochemical characteristics, macroinvertebrate communities, and brown trout Salmo trutta populations in the Arkansas River, a metal-contaminated stream in Colorado, USA.3. Although we observed significant improvements in water quality after treatment, the effectiveness of restoration varied temporally, spatially and among biological response variables. The fastest recovery was observed at stations where restoration eliminated point sources of metal contamination. Recovery of macroinvertebrates was significantly delayed at some stations because of residual sediment contamination and because extreme seasonal and episodic variation in metal concentrations prevented recolonization by sensitive species. Synthesis and applications. Because recovery trajectories after the removal of a stressor are often complex or nonlinear, long-term studies are necessary to assess restoration success within the context of episodic events and changes in regional climate. The observed variation in recovery among chemical and biological endpoints highlights the importance of developing objective criteria to assess restoration success. Although the rapid response of macroinvertebrates to reduced metal concentrations is encouraging, we have previously demonstrated that

  17. Assessment of the knowledge of graphical symbols labelled on malaria rapid diagnostic tests in four international settings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gillet Philippe

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Graphical symbols on in vitro diagnostics (IVD symbols replace the need for text in different languages and are used on malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs marketed worldwide. The present study assessed the comprehension of IVD symbols labelled on malaria RDT kits among laboratory staff in four different countries. Methods Participants (n = 293 in Belgium (n = 96, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, n = 87, Cambodia (n = 59 and Cuba (n = 51 were presented with an anonymous questionnaire with IVD symbols extracted from ISO 15223 and EN 980 presented as stand-alone symbols (n = 18 and in context (affixed on RDT packages, n = 16. Responses were open-ended and scored for correctness by local professionals. Results Presented as stand-alone, three and five IVD symbols were correctly scored for comprehension by 67% and 50% of participants; when contextually presented, five and seven symbols reached the 67% and 50% correct score respectively. 'Batch code' scored best (correctly scored by 71.3% of participants when presented as stand-alone, 'Authorized representative in the European Community' scored worst (1.4% correct. Another six IVD symbols were scored correctly by less than 10% of participants: 'Do not reuse', 'In vitro diagnostic medical device', 'Sufficient for', 'Date of manufacture', 'Authorised representative in EC', and 'Do not use if package is damaged'. Participants in Belgium and Cuba both scored six symbols above the 67% criterion, participants from DRC and Cambodia scored only two and one symbols above this criterion. Low correct scores were observed for safety-related IVD symbols, such as for 'Biological Risk' (42.7% and 'Do not reuse' (10.9%. Conclusion Comprehension of IVD symbols on RDTs among laboratory staff in four international settings was unsatisfactory. Administrative and outreach procedures should be undertaken to assure their acquaintance by end-users.

  18. Assessing the Soil Physiological Potential Using Pedo-Biological Diagnosis Under Minimum-Tillage System and Mineral Fertilization

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lazar Bireescu; Geanina Bireescu; Michele Vincenzo Sellitto

    2014-01-01

    .... Accordingly, the objective of this research was to assess the impact of technological systems by minimum tillage on soil biological activity, using the Pedo-Biological Diagnosis of Soil Resources...

  19. Geospatial Data Combined With The Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) Tool For Rapid Post-Fire Watershed Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrich, D. C.; Clifford, T. J.; Guertin, D. P.; Sheppard, B. S.; Barlow, J. E.; Korgaonkar, Y.; Burns, I. S.; Unkrich, C. C.

    2016-12-01

    Wildfires disasters are common throughout the western US. While many feel fire suppression is the largest cost of wildfires, case studies note rehabilitation costs often equal or greatly exceed suppression costs. Using geospatial data sets, and post-fire burn severity products, coupled with the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment tool (AGWA - www.tucson.ars.ag.gov/agwa), the Dept. of Interior, Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams can rapidly analyze and identify at-risk areas to target rehabilitation efforts. AGWA employs nationally available geospatial elevation, soils, and land cover data to parameterize the KINEROS2 hydrology and erosion model. A pre-fire watershed simulation can be done prior to BAER deployment using design storms. As soon as the satellite-derived Burned Area Reflectance Classification (BARC) map is obtained, a post-fire watershed simulation using the same storm is conducted. The pre- and post-fire simulations can be spatially differenced in the GIS for rapid identification of high at-risk areas of erosion or flooding. This difference map is used by BAER teams to prioritize field observations and in-turn produce a final burn severity map that is used in AGWA/KINEROS2 simulations to provide report ready results. The 2013 Elk Wildfire Complex that burned over 52,600 ha east of Boise, Idaho provides a tangible example of how BAER experts combined AGWA and geospatial data that resulted in substantial rehabilitation cost savings. The BAER team initially, they identified approximately 6,500 burned ha for rehabilitation. The team then used the AGWA pre- and post-fire watershed simulation results, accessibility constraints, and land slope conditions in an interactive process to locate burned areas that posed the greatest threat to downstream values-at-risk. The group combined the treatable area, field observations, and the spatial results from AGWA to target seed and mulch treatments that most effectively reduced the threats. Using this

  20. A method for rapid quantitative assessment of biofilms with biomolecular staining and image analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larimer, Curtis; Winder, Eric; Jeters, Robert; Prowant, Matthew; Nettleship, Ian; Addleman, Raymond Shane; Bonheyo, George T

    2016-01-01

    The accumulation of bacteria in surface-attached biofilms can be detrimental to human health, dental hygiene, and many industrial processes. Natural biofilms are soft and often transparent, and they have heterogeneous biological composition and structure over micro- and macroscales. As a result, it is challenging to quantify the spatial distribution and overall intensity of biofilms. In this work, a new method was developed to enhance the visibility and quantification of bacterial biofilms. First, broad-spectrum biomolecular staining was used to enhance the visibility of the cells, nucleic acids, and proteins that make up biofilms. Then, an image analysis algorithm was developed to objectively and quantitatively measure biofilm accumulation from digital photographs and results were compared to independent measurements of cell density. This new method was used to quantify the growth intensity of Pseudomonas putida biofilms as they grew over time. This method is simple and fast, and can quantify biofilm growth over a large area with approximately the same precision as the more laborious cell counting method. Stained and processed images facilitate assessment of spatial heterogeneity of a biofilm across a surface. This new approach to biofilm analysis could be applied in studies of natural, industrial, and environmental biofilms.

  1. sUAS for Rapid Pre-Storm Coastal Characterization and Vulnerability Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodie, K. L.; Slocum, R. K.; Spore, N.

    2015-12-01

    Open coast beaches and surf-zones are dynamic three-dimensional environments that can evolve rapidly on the time-scale of hours in response to changing environmental conditions. Up-to-date knowledge about the pre-storm morphology of the coast can be instrumental in making accurate predictions about coastal change and damage during large storms like Hurricanes and Nor'Easters. For example, alongshore variations in the shape of ephemeral sandbars along the coastline can focus wave energy, subjecting different stretches of coastline to significantly higher waves. Variations in beach slope and width can also alter wave runup, causing higher wave-induced water levels which can cause overwash or inlet breaching. Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) offer a new capability to rapidly and inexpensively map vulnerable coastlines in advance of approaching storms. Here we present results from a prototype system that maps coastal topography and surf-zone morphology utilizing a multi-camera sensor. Structure-from-motion algorithms are used to generate topography and also constrain the trajectory of the sUAS. These data, in combination with mount boresight information, are used to rectify images from ocean-facing cameras. Images from all cameras are merged to generate a wide field of view allowing up to 5 minutes of continuous imagery time-series to be collected as the sUAS transits the coastline. Water imagery is then analyzed using wave-kinematics algorithms to provide information on surf-zone bathymetry. To assess this methodology, the absolute and relative accuracy of topographic data are evaluated in relation to simultaneously collected terrestrial lidar data. Ortho-rectification of water imagery is investigated using visible fixed targets installed in the surf-zone, and through comparison to stationary tower-based imagery. Future work will focus on evaluating how topographic and bathymetric data from this sUAS approach can be used to update forcing parameters in both

  2. Rapid assessment of Cascadia tsunamis from real-time PANGA GPS crustal deformation measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melbourne, T. I.; Santillan, M.; Miner, A.; Webb, F.

    2008-12-01

    volcanic unrest and landslide early warning, as well as critical infrastructure such as dams and bridges; - GPS-based rapid estimation from afar (central Washington) of strong ground motion from large Puget Sound or megathrust earthquakes that incapacitate local seismic networks. These measurements will then be transmitted in real-time to the seismic networks and state emergency managers to facilitate emergency response; - Training of undergraduate and graduate students in high-precision geodetic measurement techniques and analyses needed for future hazards assessment and mitigation. Although the construction phase of the real-time network is nearing completion, the data analysis aspect is still ongoing. An overview of the network, data analysis strategies, parameter estimation routines, and third- party data access options will be discussed.

  3. Development of the Neuron Assessment for Measuring Biology Students’ Use of Experimental Design Concepts and Representations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasgupta, Annwesa P.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2016-01-01

    Researchers, instructors, and funding bodies in biology education are unanimous about the importance of developing students’ competence in experimental design. Despite this, only limited measures are available for assessing such competence development, especially in the areas of molecular and cellular biology. Also, existing assessments do not measure how well students use standard symbolism to visualize biological experiments. We propose an assessment-design process that 1) provides background knowledge and questions for developers of new “experimentation assessments,” 2) elicits practices of representing experiments with conventional symbol systems, 3) determines how well the assessment reveals expert knowledge, and 4) determines how well the instrument exposes student knowledge and difficulties. To illustrate this process, we developed the Neuron Assessment and coded responses from a scientist and four undergraduate students using the Rubric for Experimental Design and the Concept-Reasoning Mode of representation (CRM) model. Some students demonstrated sound knowledge of concepts and representations. Other students demonstrated difficulty with depicting treatment and control group data or variability in experimental outcomes. Our process, which incorporates an authentic research situation that discriminates levels of visualization and experimentation abilities, shows potential for informing assessment design in other disciplines. PMID:27146159

  4. Treatment plan comparison of Linac step and shoot,Tomotherapy, RapidArc, and Proton therapy for prostate cancer using dosimetrical and biological index

    CERN Document Server

    Lee, Suk; Chang, Kyung Hwan; Shim, Jang Bo; Kim, Kwang Hyeon; Lee, Nam Kwon; Park, Young Je; Kim, Chul Yong; Cho, Sam Ju; Lee, Sang Hoon; Min, Chul Kee; Kim, Woo Chul; Cho, Kwang Hwan; Huh, Hyun Do; Lim, Sangwook; Shin, Dongho

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to use various dosimetrical indices to determine the best IMRT modality technique for treating patients with prostate cancer. Ten patients with prostate cancer were included in this study. Intensity modulated radiation therapy plans were designed to include different modalities, including the linac step and shoot, Tomotherapy, RapidArc, and Proton systems. Various dosimetrical indices, like the prescription isodose to target volume (PITV) ratio, conformity index (CI), homogeneity index (HI), target coverage index (TCI), modified dose homogeneity index (MHI), conformation number (CN), critical organ scoring index (COSI), and quality factor (QF) were determined to compare the different treatment plans. Biological indices such as the generalized equivalent uniform dose (gEUD), based tumor control probability (TCP), and normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) were also calculated and used to compare the treatment plans. The RapidArc plan attained better PTV coverage, as evidenc...

  5. Using alternative biological information in stock assessment: condition-corrected natural mortality of Eastern Baltic cod

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Casini, Michele; Eero, Margit; Carlshamre, Sofia

    2016-01-01

    The inclusion of biological and ecological aspects in the assessment of fish population status is one of the bases for an ecosystem-based fisheries management. During the past two decades the Eastern Baltic cod has experienced a drastic reduction in growth and body condition that may have affected......) assumed in the analytical stock assessment model. The results in terms of Spawning Stock Biomass (SSB), Fishing mortality (F) and Recruitment (R) in the final year from the stock assessment using M values adjusted for low condition were up to 40% different compared with the assessment assuming a constant...

  6. Integrated chemical and biological assessment of contaminant impacts in selected European coastal and offshore marine areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hylland, Ketil; Robinson, Craig D; Burgeot, Thierry; Martínez-Gómez, Concepción; Lang, Thomas; Svavarsson, Jörundur; Thain, John E; Vethaak, A Dick; Gubbins, Mattew J

    2017-03-01

    This paper reports a full assessment of results from ICON, an international workshop on marine integrated contaminant monitoring, encompassing different matrices (sediment, fish, mussels, gastropods), areas (Iceland, North Sea, Baltic, Wadden Sea, Seine estuary and the western Mediterranean) and endpoints (chemical analyses, biological effects). ICON has demonstrated the use of a framework for integrated contaminant assessment on European coastal and offshore areas. The assessment showed that chemical contamination did not always correspond with biological effects, indicating that both are required. The framework can be used to develop assessments for EU directives. If a 95% target were to be used as a regional indicator of MSFD GES, Iceland and offshore North Sea would achieve the target using the ICON dataset, but inshore North Sea, Baltic and Spanish Mediterranean regions would fail. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. COMPARATIVE USABILITY ASSESSMENT OF REBA (RAPID ENTIRE BODY ASSESSMENT ERGONOMIC EVALUATION TOOL ON PAPER AND APP VERSIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabella de Souza Sierra

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Ferramentas para auxílio de análise ergonômica são frequentemente utilizadas quando há a necessidade de avaliação de riscos musculoesqueléticos no trabalho. Dessas ferramentas, uma das mais conhecidas é a REBA (Rapid Entire Body Assessment. Seu amplo uso fez com que suas formas de distribuição e aplicação fossem alteradas por vários autores, de forma a tentar encontrar a melhor maneira de aplicação. Inclusive, com o advento de celulares e tablets, foram feitas diversas versões em aplicativo da ferramenta. Pouco pode ser encontrado sobre a usabilidade desse método, ainda mais em qual versão é mais apropriado, em termos de usabilidade. Objetivou-se neste artigo realizar uma avaliação de usabilidade da ferramenta REBA em duas diferentes versões para verificar a influência que a usabilidade da ferramenta tem nos seus resultados. Acredita-se que qualquer tipo de ferramenta para uma avaliação ergonômica deve, de forma intrínseca, ser usável, pois sua usabilidade tem influência direta em sua confiabilidade e replicabilidade. Sendo assim, fez-se uma análise comparativa de usabilidade com a ferramenta em versão papel e aplicativos para celular com oito sujeitos para a verificação de tal usabilidade. Encontrou-se melhor usabilidade para o aplicativo, mas confiabilidade equiparada para as duas versões. Assim, constata-se que as duas podem ser igualmente usadas para avaliação REBA.

  8. Biological effects of anthropogenic chemical stress: Tools for the assessment of ecosystem health (BEAST)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lehtonen, Kari K.; Sundelin, Brita; Lang, Thomas

    In the Baltic Sea Action Plan the urgent need to develop biological effects monitoring of hazardous substances and the assessment of ecosystem health has been clearly indicated. These goals will be tackled in the newly launched BEAST project (Biological Effects of Anthropogenic Chemical Stress...... of Finland, Gulf of Riga, Gulf of Gdansk and the Belt Sea, most of which are characterised by scarce data on biological effects of hazardous substances. The data acquired will be combined with previous data (e.g. national monitoring activities, case studies, EU BEEP project) to reach the goals of WP2 and WP3....... The BEAST project involves 16 partner institutions from all nine Baltic Sea countries, being thereby the largest international effort in this field conducted in the area. In this presentation, the outline of a joint multidiciplinary research scheme for the assessment of ecosystem health of the Gulf...

  9. A Platform for Rapid, Quantitative Assessment of Multiple Drug Combinations Simultaneously in Solid Tumors In Vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joyoti Dey

    Full Text Available While advances in high-throughput screening have resulted in increased ability to identify synergistic anti-cancer drug combinations, validation of drug synergy in the in vivo setting and prioritization of combinations for clinical development remain low-throughput and resource intensive. Furthermore, there is currently no viable method for prospectively assessing drug synergy directly in human patients in order to potentially tailor therapies. To address these issues we have employed the previously described CIVO platform and developed a quantitative approach for investigating multiple combination hypotheses simultaneously in single living tumors. This platform provides a rapid, quantitative and cost effective approach to compare and prioritize drug combinations based on evidence of synergistic tumor cell killing in the live tumor context. Using a gemcitabine resistant model of pancreatic cancer, we efficiently investigated nine rationally selected Abraxane-based combinations employing only 19 xenografted mice. Among the drugs tested, the BCL2/BCLxL inhibitor ABT-263 was identified as the one agent that synergized with Abraxane® to enhance acute induction of localized apoptosis in this model of human pancreatic cancer. Importantly, results obtained with CIVO accurately predicted the outcome of systemic dosing studies in the same model where superior tumor regression induced by the Abraxane/ABT-263 combination was observed compared to that induced by either single agent. This supports expanded use of CIVO as an in vivo platform for expedited in vivo drug combination validation and sets the stage for performing toxicity-sparing drug combination studies directly in cancer patients with solid malignancies.

  10. Rapid assessment of octocoral diversity and habitat on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J Etnoyer

    Full Text Available Saba Bank is a large submerged platform (approximately 2200 km(2, average depth 30 m, located 4 km southwest of Saba Island in Netherlands Antilles, Caribbean Sea. Ships traveling to and from oil terminals on nearby St. Eustatius routinely anchor on the Bank, damaging benthic megafauna. Gorgonian octocorals are vulnerable to anchor damage, and they are common and conspicuous in shallow water (15-50 m around the banks. This prompted a rapid assessment of octocoral habitat and diversity. The primary objectives were to estimate total species richness and to characterize habitats vis a vis gorgonians. Landsat imagery and multibeam bathymetry were employed to identify random sites for quantitative transects. A Seabotix LBV200L remotely operated vehicle (ROV and SCUBA were used to collect and survey to 130 m. A total of 14 scuba dives and 3 ROV dives were completed in 10 days. During that time, 48 octocoral species were collected, including two likely undescribed species in the genera Pterogorgia and Lytreia. Gorgonian richness was exceptional, but not all species were collected, because the species accumulation curve remained steeply inclined after all surveys. Two shallow-water gorgonian habitat types were identified using multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analyses: 1 a high diversity, high density fore-reef environment characterized by Eunicea spp., Gorgonia spp., and Pseudopterogorgia spp. and 2 a low diversity, low density plateau environment characterized by Pseudopterogorgia acerosa, Pterogorgia guadalupensis, and Gorgonia mariae. The analyses support hypotheses of broad (approximately 15 km habitat homogeneity (ANOSIM, P>0.05, but a significant difference between fore-reef and plateau environments (ANOSIM, P<0.05. However, there was some indication of habitat heterogeneity along the 15 km study section of the 50 km platform edge along the southeast rim. Our results highlight the complexity and biodiversity of the Saba Bank, and

  11. A rapid assessment of the availability and use of obstetric care in Nigerian healthcare facilities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel O Erim

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: As part of efforts to reduce maternal deaths in Nigeria, pregnant women are being encouraged to give birth in healthcare facilities. However, little is known about whether or not available healthcare facilities can cope with an increasing demand for obstetric care. We thus carried out this survey as a rapid and tactical assessment of facility quality. We visited 121 healthcare facilities, and used the opportunity to interview over 700 women seeking care at these facilities. FINDINGS: Most of the primary healthcare facilities we visited were unable to provide all basic Emergency Obstetric Care (bEmOC services. In general, they lack clinical staff needed to dispense maternal and neonatal care services, ambulances and uninterrupted electricity supply whenever there were obstetric emergencies. Secondary healthcare facilities fared better, but, like their primary counterparts, lack neonatal care infrastructure. Among patients, most lived within 30 minutes of the visited facilities and still reported some difficulty getting there. Of those who had had two or more childbirths, the conditional probability of a delivery occurring in a healthcare facility was 0.91 if the previous delivery occurred in a healthcare facility, and 0.24 if it occurred at home. The crude risk of an adverse neonatal outcome did not significantly vary by delivery site or birth attendant, and the occurrence of such an outcome during an in-facility delivery may influence the mother to have her next delivery outside. Such an outcome during a home delivery may not prompt a subsequent in-facility delivery. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, reducing maternal deaths in Nigeria will require attention to both increasing the number of facilities with high-quality EmOC capability and also assuring Nigerian women have access to these facilities regardless of where they live.

  12. Rapid, serial, non-invasive assessment of drug efficacy in mice with autoluminescent Mycobacterium ulcerans infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianyu Zhang

    Full Text Available Buruli ulcer (BU caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans is the world's third most common mycobacterial infection. There is no vaccine against BU and surgery is needed for patients with large ulcers. Although recent experience indicates combination chemotherapy with streptomycin and rifampin improves cure rates, the utility of this regimen is limited by the 2-month duration of therapy, potential toxicity and required parenteral administration of streptomycin, and drug-drug interactions caused by rifampin. Discovery and development of drugs for BU is greatly hampered by the slow growth rate of M. ulcerans, requiring up to 3 months of incubation on solid media to produce colonies. Surrogate markers for evaluating antimicrobial activity in real-time which can be measured serially and non-invasively in infected footpads of live mice would accelerate pre-clinical evaluation of new drugs to treat BU. Previously, we developed bioluminescent M. ulcerans strains, demonstrating proof of concept for measuring luminescence as a surrogate marker for viable M. ulcerans in vitro and in vivo. However, the requirement of exogenous substrate limited the utility of such strains, especially for in vivo experiments.For this study, we engineered M. ulcerans strains that express the entire luxCDABE operon and therefore are autoluminescent due to endogenous substrate production. The selected reporter strain displayed a growth rate and virulence similar to the wild-type parent strain and enabled rapid, real-time monitoring of in vitro and in vivo drug activity, including serial, non-invasive assessments in live mice, producing results which correlated closely with colony-forming unit (CFU counts for a panel of drugs with various mechanisms of action.Our results indicate that autoluminescent reporter strains of M. ulcerans are exceptional tools for pre-clinical evaluation of new drugs to treat BU due to their potential to drastically reduce the time, effort, animals, compound

  13. Quantitative assessment of motor speech abnormalities in idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusz, Jan; Hlavnička, Jan; Tykalová, Tereza; Bušková, Jitka; Ulmanová, Olga; Růžička, Evžen; Šonka, Karel

    2016-03-01

    Patients with idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) are at substantial risk for developing Parkinson's disease (PD) or related neurodegenerative disorders. Speech is an important indicator of motor function and movement coordination, and therefore may be an extremely sensitive early marker of changes due to prodromal neurodegeneration. Speech data were acquired from 16 RBD subjects and 16 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects. Objective acoustic assessment of 15 speech dimensions representing various phonatory, articulatory, and prosodic deviations was performed. Statistical models were applied to characterise speech disorders in RBD and to estimate sensitivity and specificity in differentiating between RBD and control subjects. Some form of speech impairment was revealed in 88% of RBD subjects. Articulatory deficits were the most prominent findings in RBD. In comparison to controls, the RBD group showed significant alterations in irregular alternating motion rates (p = 0.009) and articulatory decay (p = 0.01). The combination of four distinctive speech dimensions, including aperiodicity, irregular alternating motion rates, articulatory decay, and dysfluency, led to 96% sensitivity and 79% specificity in discriminating between RBD and control subjects. Speech impairment was significantly more pronounced in RBD subjects with the motor score of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale greater than 4 points when compared to other RBD individuals. Simple quantitative speech motor measures may be suitable for the reliable detection of prodromal neurodegeneration in subjects with RBD, and therefore may provide important outcomes for future therapy trials. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. A Study of Postural Loading in Malaysian Mining Industry using Rapid Entire Body Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norhidayah M.S.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The ergonomics and environment factors have been the core issue for the mining industry for many years, and its profiles are rising. To ensure an ergonomics work environment, it is possible to require specific attention especially in this industries sector. It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the essential issue in Malaysia due to lack of ergonomics knowledge and low awareness among the engineers in the mining sector. The focus of this study is to evaluate and validate the physical risk factor associated with work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WMSDs by using Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA among mining industry workers. All the physical risk factors involved the main body regions such as upper arm, lower arm, wrist, trunk, neck and leg that has been identified associated with WMSDs. There were 18 subjects were selected to involve in this study. Those subjects were chosen according to their job task. To increase the reliability of the result, each subject was evaluated thrice in the trials. From the analysis, the average of final score of the REBA is 8.24 indicates high risk and calls for engineering/or work method changes to reduce or eliminate muscular disorder risk. The results of the analysis were used to improve the process of work, design of workstation and also improving the work posture to enhance the comfort level of operators. This study is crucial among the mining industry that is a lack of the information and research about the ergonomics issues in the industry. The overall finding indicated that the whole process of selected work task will contribute to musculoskeletal disorder either for a short or long time exposure.

  15. Rapid toxicity assessment of sediments from estuarine ecosystems: A new tandem in vitro testing approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, B. Thomas; Long, E.R.

    1998-01-01

    Microtox?? and Mutatox?? were used to evaluate the acute toxicity and genotoxicity, respectively, of organic sediment extracts from Pensacola Bay and St. Andrew Bay, two estuaries that cover about 273 and 127 km2, respectively, along the Gulf coast of Florida, USA. The sensitivity and selectivity of these two bioluminescent toxicity assays were demonstrated in validation studies with over 50 pesticides, genotoxins, and industrial pollutants, both as single compounds and in complex mixtures. The 50% effective concentration (EC50) values of insecticides, petroleum products, and polychlorinated biphenyls determined by Microtox all tended to group around the mean EC50 value of 1.2 (0.8) mg/L. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon sensitivity of Mutatox was in general similar to that reported in the Ames test. Surficial sediment samples were collected, extracted with dichloromethane, evaporated and concentrated under nitrogen, dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide, assayed for acute toxicity and genotoxicity, and compared with reference sediments. Samples with low EC50 values, and determined to be genotoxic, were detected in Massalina Bayou, Watson Bayou, East Bay, and St. Andrew Bay-East in St. Andrew Bay as well as Bayou Grande, Bayou Chico, and Bayou Texar in Pensacola Bay. An overview of these data sets analyzed by Spearman rank correlation showed a significant correlation between acute toxicity and genotoxicity (p < 0.05). Microtox and Mutatox in tandem was a sensitive, cost-effective, and rapid (<24 h) screening tool that identified troublesome areas of pollution and assessed the potential sediment toxicity of lipophilic contaminants in aquatic ecosystems.

  16. Adapting a rapid river assessment protocols to be used by elementary school children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guilherme Malafaia

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The present study aimed to adapt a rapid river assessment protocols (RAP to be used by elementary school children. The study was conducted in Ipameri, GO and the RAP was adapted for the evaluation of streams in the Cerrado biome. Based on two protocol models, the developed RAP included: physical parameters that affect the functioning of streams, language adapted to the educational level of elementary school and the presence of drawings that could facilitate the field application of RAP by the students. For consolidation of the adapted instrument, it was offered a monitoring workshop to 95 students from two public education institutions, and developed an analysis and interpretation of the pattern of responses obtained during the practical step of the workshop. The Bartlett and Levene tests revealed no statistical differences between the response patterns of the students, allowing to infer that the developed RAP was understandable by the evaluators. The application of the RAP was fast (20 to 40 minutes and the students reported that the developed instrument helped them to familiarize with environmental issues. In addition, the monitoring workshop helped them to understand the instrument and the available illustrations facilitated the field evaluation. In addition, the students concluded that they have become aware of the issues related to the water resource preservation and also that participation in the environmental monitoring workshop allowed the appropriation of knowledge about the river system functioning. It was concluded that adapted RAP has been proved to be a useful and interesting tool for using in environmental education projects and programs.

  17. A new threat to bees? Entomopathogenic nematodes used in biological pest control cause rapid mortality in Bombus terrestris

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandrea Dutka

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available There is currently a great deal of concern about population declines in pollinating insects. Many potential threats have been identified which may adversely affect the behaviour and health of both honey bees and bumble bees: these include pesticide exposure, and parasites and pathogens. Whether biological pest control agents adversely affect bees has been much less well studied: it is generally assumed that biological agents are safer for wildlife than chemical pesticides. The aim of this study was to test whether entomopathogenic nematodes sold as biological pest control products could potentially have adverse effects on the bumble bee Bombus terrestris. One product was a broad spectrum pest control agent containing both Heterorhabditis sp. and Steinernema sp., the other product was specifically for weevil control and contained only Steinernema kraussei. Both nematode products caused ≥80% mortality within the 96 h test period when bees were exposed to soil containing entomopathogenic nematodes at the recommended field concentration of 50 nematodes per cm2 soil. Of particular concern is the fact that nematodes from the broad spectrum product could proliferate in the carcasses of dead bees, and therefore potentially infect a whole bee colony or spread to the wider environment.

  18. A new threat to bees? Entomopathogenic nematodes used in biological pest control cause rapid mortality in Bombus terrestris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutka, Alexandrea; McNulty, Alison; Williamson, Sally M

    2015-01-01

    There is currently a great deal of concern about population declines in pollinating insects. Many potential threats have been identified which may adversely affect the behaviour and health of both honey bees and bumble bees: these include pesticide exposure, and parasites and pathogens. Whether biological pest control agents adversely affect bees has been much less well studied: it is generally assumed that biological agents are safer for wildlife than chemical pesticides. The aim of this study was to test whether entomopathogenic nematodes sold as biological pest control products could potentially have adverse effects on the bumble bee Bombus terrestris. One product was a broad spectrum pest control agent containing both Heterorhabditis sp. and Steinernema sp., the other product was specifically for weevil control and contained only Steinernema kraussei. Both nematode products caused ≥80% mortality within the 96 h test period when bees were exposed to soil containing entomopathogenic nematodes at the recommended field concentration of 50 nematodes per cm(2) soil. Of particular concern is the fact that nematodes from the broad spectrum product could proliferate in the carcasses of dead bees, and therefore potentially infect a whole bee colony or spread to the wider environment.

  19. Biological assessment for the effluent reduction program, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cross, S.P.

    1996-08-01

    This report describes the biological assessment for the effluent recution program proposed to occur within the boundaries of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Potential effects on wetland plants and on threatened and endangered species are discussed, along with a detailed description of the individual outfalls resulting from the effluent reduction program.

  20. Assessment of the Effectiveness of the Studio Format in Introductory Undergraduate Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montelone, Beth A.; Rintoul, David A.; Williams, Larry G.

    2008-01-01

    Kansas State University converted its introductory biology course, previously taught as an audio-tutorial (A-T), to a studio format in 1997. We share with others information about the process involved and present assessment data for the studio format course that address 1) student exam performance in A-T and studio; 2) student course grades in A-T…

  1. Application of biological indices in the assessment of pollution in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Application of biological indices in the assessment of pollution in the Mfoundi River Basin (Cameroon). G A Ajeagah, MS Foto, T Njine. Abstract. No Abstract. JCAS Vol. 6 (2) 2006: pp. 91-98. Full Text: EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT · AJOL African ...

  2. Biohorizons: An eConference to Assess Human Biology in Large, First-Year Classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moni, Roger W.; Moni, Karen B.; Poronnik, Philip; Lluka, Lesley J.

    2007-01-01

    The authors detail the design, implementation and evaluation of an eConference entitled "Biohorizons," using a presage-process-product model to describe the development of an eLearning community. Biohorizons was a summative learning and assessment task aiming to introduce large classes of first-year Human Biology students to the practices of…

  3. Biological assessment: water hyacinth control program for the Sacramento/ San Joaquin River Delta of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    A detailed Biological Assessment was developed for the proposed Areawide Water Hyacinth Control Program to outline the procedures that will be used to control this invasive aquatic plant in the Sacramento/ San Joaquin River Delta, and to help determine if this action is expected to threaten endanger...

  4. The use of Biological Index of Pollution (BIP) in assessing quality of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The biological index of pollution (BIP) which hinges on the responses of aquatic biota to pollution of water sources was used to assess the quality of some water sources in Zaria area, Nigeria. Water samples were collected from 15 stations comprising three open water sources (lakes) and twelve hand-dug wells on a ...

  5. Applying an Avian Index of Biological Integrity to Assess and Monitor Arid and Semi-arid Riparian Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    ERDC TN-EMRRP-RQ-01 January 2009 Applying an Avian Index of Biological Integrity to Assess and Monitor Arid and Semi - arid Riparian Ecosystems by...00-2009 to 00-00-2009 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Applying an Avian Index of Biological Integrity to Assess and Monitor Arid and Semi - arid Riparian...biological integrity to assess and monitor arid and semi - arid riparian eco- systems. EMRRP Technical Notes Collection (ERDC TN-EMRRP-RQ-01). Vicksburg, MS

  6. Air-launched GPR evaluation for rapid assessment of MoDOT bridge decks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-08-01

    The overarching goal of this study is to demonstrate that advanced nondestructive testing/evaluation (NDT/NDE) techniques can be rapidly, effectively, and economically implemented as part of routine MoDOT bridge deck surveys to determine the general ...

  7. Photographic assessment of nasal morphology following rapid maxillary expansion in children

    OpenAIRE

    Omar Gabriel da Silva Filho; Tulio Silva Lara; Priscila Vaz Ayub; Amanda Sayuri Cardoso Ohashi; Francisco Antônio Bertoz

    2011-01-01

    Objective: The aim of the present study was to use facial analysis to determine the effects of rapid maxillary expansion (RME) on nasal morphology in children in the stages of primary and mixed dentition, with posterior cross-bite. Material and Methods: Facial photographs (front view and profile) of 60 patients in the pre-expansion period, immediate post-expansion period and one year following rapid maxillary expansion with a Haas appliance were evaluated on 2 occasions by 3 experienced ortho...

  8. Impact of calcium and TOC on biological acidification assessment in Norwegian rivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Susanne C

    2011-02-15

    Acidification continues to be a major impact in freshwaters of northern Europe, and the biotic response to chemical recovery from acidification is often not a straightforward process. The focus on biological recovery is relevant within the context of the EU Water Framework Directive, where a biological monitoring system is needed that detects differences in fauna and flora compared to undisturbed reference conditions. In order to verify true reference sites for biological analyses, expected river pH is modeled based on Ca and TOC, and 94% of variability in pH at reference sites is explained by Ca alone, while 98% is explained by a combination of Ca and TOC. Based on 59 samples from 28 reference sites, compared to 547 samples from 285 non-reference sites, the impact of calcium and total organic carbon (TOC) on benthic algae species composition, expressed as acidification index periphyton (AIP), is analyzed. Rivers with a high Ca concentration have a naturally higher AIP, and TOC affects reference AIP only at low Ca concentrations. Four biological river types are needed for assessment of river acidification in Norway based on benthic algae: very calcium-poor, humic rivers (CaTOC>2 mg/l); very calcium-poor, clear rivers (CaTOC4 mg/l). A biological assessment system for river acidification in Norway based on benthic algae is presented, following the demands of the Water Framework Directive. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Conceptual Elements: A Detailed Framework to Support and Assess Student Learning of Biology Core Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cary, Tawnya; Branchaw, Janet

    2017-01-01

    The Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: Call to Action report has inspired and supported a nationwide movement to restructure undergraduate biology curricula to address overarching disciplinary concepts and competencies. The report outlines the concepts and competencies generally but does not provide a detailed framework to guide the development of the learning outcomes, instructional materials, and assessment instruments needed to create a reformed biology curriculum. In this essay, we present a detailed Vision and Change core concept framework that articulates key components that transcend subdisciplines and scales for each overarching biological concept, the Conceptual Elements (CE) Framework. The CE Framework was developed using a grassroots approach of iterative revision and incorporates feedback from more than 60 biologists and undergraduate biology educators from across the United States. The final validation step resulted in strong national consensus, with greater than 92% of responders agreeing that each core concept list was ready for use by the biological sciences community, as determined by scientific accuracy and completeness. In addition, we describe in detail how educators and departments can use the CE Framework to guide and document reformation of individual courses as well as entire curricula. PMID:28450444

  10. A study assessing the potential of negative effects in interdisciplinary math-biology instruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madlung, Andreas; Bremer, Martina; Himelblau, Edward; Tullis, Alexa

    2011-01-01

    There is increasing enthusiasm for teaching approaches that combine mathematics and biology. The call for integrating more quantitative work in biology education has led to new teaching tools that improve quantitative skills. Little is known, however, about whether increasing interdisciplinary work can lead to adverse effects, such as the development of broader but shallower skills or the possibility that math anxiety causes some students to disengage in the classroom, or, paradoxically, to focus so much on the mathematics that they lose sight of its application for the biological concepts in the center of the unit at hand. We have developed and assessed an integrative learning module and found disciplinary learning gains to be equally strong in first-year students who actively engaged in embedded quantitative calculations as in those students who were merely presented with quantitative data in the context of interpreting biological and biostatistical results. When presented to advanced biology students, our quantitative learning tool increased test performance significantly. We conclude from our study that the addition of mathematical calculations to the first year and advanced biology curricula did not hinder overall student learning, and may increase disciplinary learning and data interpretation skills in advanced students.

  11. A Study Assessing the Potential of Negative Effects in Interdisciplinary Math–Biology Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madlung, Andreas; Bremer, Martina; Himelblau, Edward; Tullis, Alexa

    2011-01-01

    There is increasing enthusiasm for teaching approaches that combine mathematics and biology. The call for integrating more quantitative work in biology education has led to new teaching tools that improve quantitative skills. Little is known, however, about whether increasing interdisciplinary work can lead to adverse effects, such as the development of broader but shallower skills or the possibility that math anxiety causes some students to disengage in the classroom, or, paradoxically, to focus so much on the mathematics that they lose sight of its application for the biological concepts in the center of the unit at hand. We have developed and assessed an integrative learning module and found disciplinary learning gains to be equally strong in first-year students who actively engaged in embedded quantitative calculations as in those students who were merely presented with quantitative data in the context of interpreting biological and biostatistical results. When presented to advanced biology students, our quantitative learning tool increased test performance significantly. We conclude from our study that the addition of mathematical calculations to the first year and advanced biology curricula did not hinder overall student learning, and may increase disciplinary learning and data interpretation skills in advanced students. PMID:21364099

  12. Noninvasive Assessment of Cell Fate and Biology in Transplanted Mesenchymal Stem Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franchi, Federico; Rodriguez-Porcel, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Recently, molecular imaging has become a conditio sine qua non for cell-based regenerative medicine. Developments in molecular imaging techniques, such as reporter gene technology, have increasingly enabled the noninvasive assessment of the fate and biology of cells after cardiovascular applications. In this context, bioluminescence imaging is the most commonly used imaging modality in small animal models of preclinical studies. Here, we present a detailed protocol of a reporter gene imaging approach for monitoring the viability and biology of Mesenchymal Stem Cells transplanted in a mouse model of myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury.

  13. Bulk Combinatorial Synthesis and High Throughput Characterization for Rapid Assessment of Magnetic Materials: Application of Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS™)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng, J.; Nlebedim, I. C.; Besser, M. F.; Simsek, E.; Ott, R. T.

    2016-07-01

    A bulk combinatorial approach for synthesizing alloy libraries using laser engineered net shaping (LENS™; i.e., 3D printing) was utilized to rapidly assess material systems for magnetic applications. The LENS™ system feeds powders in different ratios into a melt pool created by a laser to synthesize samples with bulk (millimeters) dimensions. By analyzing these libraries with autosampler differential scanning calorimeter/thermal gravimetric analysis and vibrating sample magnetometry, we are able to rapidly characterize the thermodynamic and magnetic properties of the libraries. The Fe-Co binary alloy was used as a model system and the results were compared with data in the literature.

  14. Overview of BioCreAtIvE: critical assessment of information extraction for biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hirschman Lynette

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The goal of the first BioCreAtIvE challenge (Critical Assessment of Information Extraction in Biology was to provide a set of common evaluation tasks to assess the state of the art for text mining applied to biological problems. The results were presented in a workshop held in Granada, Spain March 28–31, 2004. The articles collected in this BMC Bioinformatics supplement entitled "A critical assessment of text mining methods in molecular biology" describe the BioCreAtIvE tasks, systems, results and their independent evaluation. Results BioCreAtIvE focused on two tasks. The first dealt with extraction of gene or protein names from text, and their mapping into standardized gene identifiers for three model organism databases (fly, mouse, yeast. The second task addressed issues of functional annotation, requiring systems to identify specific text passages that supported Gene Ontology annotations for specific proteins, given full text articles. Conclusion The first BioCreAtIvE assessment achieved a high level of international participation (27 groups from 10 countries. The assessment provided state-of-the-art performance results for a basic task (gene name finding and normalization, where the best systems achieved a balanced 80% precision / recall or better, which potentially makes them suitable for real applications in biology. The results for the advanced task (functional annotation from free text were significantly lower, demonstrating the current limitations of text-mining approaches where knowledge extrapolation and interpretation are required. In addition, an important contribution of BioCreAtIvE has been the creation and release of training and test data sets for both tasks. There are 22 articles in this special issue, including six that provide analyses of results or data quality for the data sets, including a novel inter-annotator consistency assessment for the test set used in task 2.

  15. Biological assessment of remedial action at the abandoned uranium mill tailings site near Naturita, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-03-01

    Pursuant to the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing to conduct remedial action to clean up the residual radioactive materials (RRM) at the Naturita uranium processing site in Colorado. The Naturita site is in Montrose County, Colorado, and is approximately 2 miles (mi) (3 kilometer [km]) from the unincorporated town of Naturita. The proposed remedial action is to remove the RRM from the Naturita site to the Upper Burbank Quarry at the Uravan disposal site. To address the potential impacts of the remedial action on threatened and endangered species, the DOE prepared this biological assessment. Informal consultations with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) were initiated in 1986, and the FWS provided a list of the threatened and endangered species that may occur in the Naturita study area. This list was updated by two FWS letters in 1988 and by verbal communication in 1990. A biological assessment was included in the environmental assessment (EA) of the proposed remedial action that was prepared in 1990. This EA addressed the impacts of moving the Naturita RRM to the Dry Flats disposal site. In 1993, the design for the Dry Flats disposal alternative was changed. The FWS was again consulted in 1993 and provided a new list of threatened and endangered species that may occur in the Naturita study area. The Naturita EA and the biological assessment were revised in response to these changes. In 1994, remedial action was delayed because an alternate disposal site was being considered. The DOE decided to move the FIRM at the Naturita site to the Upper Burbank Quarry at the Uravan site. Due to this delay, the FWS was consulted in 1995 and a list of threatened and endangered species was provided. This biological assessment is a revision of the assessment attached to the Naturita EA and addresses moving the Naturita RRM to the Upper Burbank Quarry disposal site.

  16. The use of recently described ionisation techniques for the rapid analysis of some common drugs and samples of biological origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Jonathan P; Patel, Vibhuti J; Holland, Richard; Scrivens, James H

    2006-01-01

    Three ionisation techniques that require no sample preparation or extraction prior to mass analysis have been used for the rapid analysis of pharmaceutical tablets and ointments. These methods were (i) the novel direct analysis in real time (DART), (ii) desorption electrospray ionisation (DESI), and (iii) desorption atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation (DAPCI). The performance of the three techniques was investigated for a number of common drugs. Significant differences between these approaches were observed. For compounds of moderate to low polarity DAPCI produced more effective ionisation. Accurate DESI and DAPCI tandem mass spectra were obtained and these greatly enhance the selectivity and information content of the experiment. The detection from human skin of the active ingredients from ointments is reported together with the detection of ibuprofen metabolites in human urine. Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  17. Prevalence of visual impairment due to uncorrected refractive error: Results from Delhi-Rapid Assessment of Visual Impairment Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senjam, Suraj Singh; Vashist, Praveen; Gupta, Noopur; Malhotra, Sumit; Misra, Vasundhara; Bhardwaj, Amit; Gupta, Vivek

    2016-05-01

    To estimate the prevalence of visual impairment (VI) due to uncorrected refractive error (URE) and to assess the barriers to utilization of services in the adult urban population of Delhi. A population-based rapid assessment of VI was conducted among people aged 40 years and above in 24 randomly selected clusters of East Delhi district. Presenting visual acuity (PVA) was assessed in each eye using Snellen's "E" chart. Pinhole examination was done if PVA was attitude toward the refractive error. Understanding these aspects will help in planning appropriate strategies to eliminate VI due to URE.

  18. Examining Gender Differences in Written Assessment Tasks in Biology: A Case Study of Evolutionary Explanations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Federer, Meghan Rector; Nehm, Ross H; Pearl, Dennis K

    2016-01-01

    Understanding sources of performance bias in science assessment provides important insights into whether science curricula and/or assessments are valid representations of student abilities. Research investigating assessment bias due to factors such as instrument structure, participant characteristics, and item types are well documented across a variety of disciplines. However, the relationships among these factors are unclear for tasks evaluating understanding through performance on scientific practices, such as explanation. Using item-response theory (Rasch analysis), we evaluated differences in performance by gender on a constructed-response (CR) assessment about natural selection (ACORNS). Three isomorphic item strands of the instrument were administered to a sample of undergraduate biology majors and nonmajors (Group 1: n = 662 [female = 51.6%]; G2: n = 184 [female = 55.9%]; G3: n = 642 [female = 55.1%]). Overall, our results identify relationships between item features and performance by gender; however, the effect is small in the majority of cases, suggesting that males and females tend to incorporate similar concepts into their CR explanations. These results highlight the importance of examining gender effects on performance in written assessment tasks in biology. © 2016 M. R. Federer et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  19. Rapid Damage Assessment by Means of Multi-Temporal SAR — A Comprehensive Review and Outlook to Sentinel-1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Plank

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Fast crisis response after natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tropical storms, is necessary to support, for instance, rescue, humanitarian, and reconstruction operations in the crisis area. Therefore, rapid damage mapping after a disaster is crucial, i.e., to detect the affected area, including grade and type of damage. Thereby, satellite remote sensing plays a key role due to its fast response, wide field of view, and low cost. With the increasing availability of remote sensing data, numerous methods have been developed for damage assessment. This article gives a comprehensive review of these techniques focusing on multi-temporal SAR procedures for rapid damage assessment: interferometric coherence and intensity correlation. The review is divided into six parts: First, methods based on coherence; second, the ones using intensity correlation; and third, techniques using both methodologies combined to increase the accuracy of the damage assessment are reviewed. Next, studies using additional data (e.g., GIS and optical imagery to support the damage assessment and increase its accuracy are reported. Moreover, selected studies on post-event SAR damage assessment techniques and examples of other applications of the interferometric coherence are presented. Then, the preconditions for a successful worldwide application of multi-temporal SAR methods for damage assessment and the limitations of current SAR satellite missions are reported. Finally, an outlook to the Sentinel-1 SAR mission shows possible solutions of these limitations, enabling a worldwide applicability of the presented damage assessment methods.

  20. Assessment of three rapid methods for the detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, Maria João; Soares, Carlos; Mendes, Ana Constança; Guimarães, Maria Luís; Cabeda, José Manuel; Amorim, José Manuel

    2004-01-01

    We evaluated three rapid methods to detect methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and compared them with PCR amplification of mecA. A total of 103 S. aureus strains were studied by MRSA-Screen, BBL Crystal, Velogene Genomic and mecA PCR. All the methods detected the 61 MRSA strains having the mecA gene, showing 100% sensitivity and specificity. Despite the correlation between all the rapid methods and PCR, the ease of use and shorter turnaround time of MRSA-Screen were important factors leading to the selection of this method as the routine screening technique for MRSA.

  1. 75 FR 28233 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Asian Citrus Psyllid

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-20

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological... Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama). The environmental assessment considers the effects of...

  2. Assessment of Biology Majors’ Versus Nonmajors’ Views on Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paz-y-Miño C., Guillermo

    2016-01-01

    The controversy around evolution, creationism, and intelligent design resides in a historical struggle between scientific knowledge and popular belief. Four hundred seventy-six students (biology majors n=237, nonmajors n=239) at a secular liberal arts private university in Northeastern United States responded to a five-question survey to assess their views about: (1) evolution, creationism, and intelligent design in the science class; (2) students’ attitudes toward evolution; (3) students’ position about the teaching of human evolution; (4) evolution in science exams; and (5) students’ willingness to discuss evolution openly. There were 60.6% of biology majors and 42% of nonmajors supported the exclusive teaching of evolution in the science class, while 45.3% of nonmajors and 32% of majors were willing to learn equally about evolution, creationism, and intelligent design (question 1); 70.5% of biology majors and 55.6% of nonmajors valued the factual explanations evolution provides about the origin of life and its place in the universe (question 2); 78% of the combined responders (majors plus nonmajors) preferred science courses where evolution is discussed comprehensively and humans are part of it (question 3); 69% of the combined responders (majors plus nonmajors) had no problem answering questions concerning evolution in science exams (question 4); 48.1% of biology majors and 26.8% of nonmajors accepted evolution and expressed it openly, but 18.2% of the former and 14.2% of the latter accepted evolution privately; 46% of nonmajors and 29.1% of biology majors were reluctant to comment on this topic (question 5). Combined open plus private acceptance of evolution within biology majors increased with seniority, from freshman (60.7%) to seniors (81%), presumably due to gradual exposure to upper-division biology courses with evolutionary content. College curricular/pedagogical reform should fortify evolution literacy at all education levels, particularly among

  3. Assessment of Biology Majors' Versus Nonmajors' Views on Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paz-Y-Miño C, Guillermo; Espinosa, Avelina

    2009-03-01

    The controversy around evolution, creationism, and intelligent design resides in a historical struggle between scientific knowledge and popular belief. Four hundred seventy-six students (biology majors n=237, nonmajors n=239) at a secular liberal arts private university in Northeastern United States responded to a five-question survey to assess their views about: (1) evolution, creationism, and intelligent design in the science class; (2) students' attitudes toward evolution; (3) students' position about the teaching of human evolution; (4) evolution in science exams; and (5) students' willingness to discuss evolution openly. There were 60.6% of biology majors and 42% of nonmajors supported the exclusive teaching of evolution in the science class, while 45.3% of nonmajors and 32% of majors were willing to learn equally about evolution, creationism, and intelligent design (question 1); 70.5% of biology majors and 55.6% of nonmajors valued the factual explanations evolution provides about the origin of life and its place in the universe (question 2); 78% of the combined responders (majors plus nonmajors) preferred science courses where evolution is discussed comprehensively and humans are part of it (question 3); 69% of the combined responders (majors plus nonmajors) had no problem answering questions concerning evolution in science exams (question 4); 48.1% of biology majors and 26.8% of nonmajors accepted evolution and expressed it openly, but 18.2% of the former and 14.2% of the latter accepted evolution privately; 46% of nonmajors and 29.1% of biology majors were reluctant to comment on this topic (question 5). Combined open plus private acceptance of evolution within biology majors increased with seniority, from freshman (60.7%) to seniors (81%), presumably due to gradual exposure to upper-division biology courses with evolutionary content. College curricular/pedagogical reform should fortify evolution literacy at all education levels, particularly among

  4. Statistical assessment of biosimilarity based on relative distance between follow-on biologics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Seung-Ho; Chow, Shein-Chung

    2013-02-10

    In this paper, we propose a new three-arm parallel design to investigate biosimilarity between a biosimilar product and an innovator biological product by using relative distance based on the absolute mean differences. In the proposed design, one arm is for the biosimilar product and the other two arms are for the innovator biological product. The distance between the biosimilar product and the innovator biological product is defined by the absolute mean different between two products. Similarly, the distance between the innovator biological products from two difference batches is defined. The relative distance is defined as the ratio of the two distances whose denominator is the distance between the innovator biological products from two different batches. In the proposed design, if the relative distance is less than a prespecified margin, we claim that the two products are claimed to be biosimilar. The statistical test based on the ratio estimator and the linearization method are developed to assess biosimilarity. The power functions of two tests are derived in large sample and compared numerically. Because the statistical test based on the ratio estimator is more powerful than the linearization method, we recommend the statistical test based on the ratio estimator. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  5. Rapid embedding methods into epoxy and LR White resins for morphological and immunological analysis of cryofixed biological specimens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Kent L

    2014-02-01

    A variety of specimens including bacteria, ciliates, choanoflagellates (Salpingoeca rosetta), zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos, nematode worms (Caenorhabditis elegans), and leaves of white clover (Trifolium repens) plants were high pressure frozen, freeze-substituted, infiltrated with either Epon, Epon-Araldite, or LR White resins, and polymerized. Total processing time from freezing to blocks ready to section was about 6 h. For epoxy embedding the specimens were freeze-substituted in 1% osmium tetroxide plus 0.1% uranyl acetate in acetone. For embedding in LR White the freeze-substitution medium was 0.2% uranyl acetate in acetone. Rapid infiltration was achieved by centrifugation through increasing concentrations of resin followed by polymerization at 100°C for 1.5-2 h. The preservation of ultrastructure was comparable to standard freeze substitution and resin embedding methods that take days to complete. On-section immunolabeling results for actin and tubulin molecules were positive with very low background labeling. The LR White methods offer a safer, quicker, and less-expensive alternative to Lowicryl embedding of specimens processed for on-section immunolabeling without traditional aldehyde fixatives.

  6. Rapid MCNP simulation of DNA double strand break (DSB) relative biological effectiveness (RBE) for photons, neutrons, and light ions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Robert D; Streitmatter, Seth W; Argento, David C; Kirkby, Charles; Goorley, John T; Moffitt, Greg; Jevremovic, Tatjana; Sandison, George A

    2015-11-07

    To account for particle interactions in the extracellular (physical) environment, information from the cell-level Monte Carlo damage simulation (MCDS) for DNA double strand break (DSB) induction has been integrated into the general purpose Monte Carlo N-particle (MCNP) radiation transport code system. The effort to integrate these models is motivated by the need for a computationally efficient model to accurately predict particle relative biological effectiveness (RBE) in cell cultures and in vivo. To illustrate the approach and highlight the impact of the larger scale physical environment (e.g. establishing charged particle equilibrium), we examined the RBE for DSB induction (RBEDSB) of x-rays, (137)Cs γ-rays, neutrons and light ions relative to γ-rays from (60)Co in monolayer cell cultures at various depths in water. Under normoxic conditions, we found that (137)Cs γ-rays are about 1.7% more effective at creating DSB than γ-rays from (60)Co (RBEDSB  =  1.017) whereas 60-250 kV x-rays are 1.1 to 1.25 times more efficient at creating DSB than (60)Co. Under anoxic conditions, kV x-rays may have an RBEDSB up to 1.51 times as large as (60)Co γ-rays. Fission neutrons passing through monolayer cell cultures have an RBEDSB that ranges from 2.6 to 3.0 in normoxic cells, but may be as large as 9.93 for anoxic cells. For proton pencil beams, Monte Carlo simulations suggest an RBEDSB of about 1.2 at the tip of the Bragg peak and up to 1.6 a few mm beyond the Bragg peak. Bragg peak RBEDSB increases with decreasing oxygen concentration, which may create opportunities to apply proton dose painting to help address tumor hypoxia. Modeling of the particle RBE for DSB induction across multiple physical and biological scales has the potential to aid in the interpretation of laboratory experiments and provide useful information to advance the safety and effectiveness of hadron therapy in the treatment of cancer.

  7. Assessment of the validity of rapid diagnostic test kits available in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Blood samples were collected for serology tests using five (5) different rapid diagnostic test kits from different manufacturers, HIV status determination and evaluation of the haematological parameters we carried out. As a result, there were significant differences in the results obtained between AFB tests and serological ...

  8. Design of a biological method for rapid detection of presence of PCR inhibitors in aged bone DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghasemi, Akram; Mahdieh, Nejat; Tavallaei, Mahmood; Aslani, Mohammad Mehdi; Zafari, Zahra; Shirkavand, Atefeh; Farzad, Maryam Sharafi; Naderi, Mahdi; Azariyan, Sajjad Habibi; Zeinali, Sirous

    2012-01-01

    Molecular human identification is one of the most important tests performed in forensic laboratories. Some of these tests are applied for identification of human remains from natural disasters, wars, etc., but problems may occur as a result of DNA degradation and external DNA contamination. We investigated effects of bacterial DNA on identifying the presence or absence of PCR inhibitors in aged bone DNA. DNA samples were extracted from blood, bone remains and Escherichia coli. These DNA were amplified using human and bacterial specific primers. Using different blood, aged bone, and bacterial DNA dilutions along with PCR based methods; we checked their positive, negative effects, or detecting presence of inhibitors in aged bone DNA by PCR method. Our observation indicated that the addition of bacterial DNA could be a valid biological method for testing the quality of bone DNA to enable us to obtain a usable profile for the identification of human remains. This method will help to test the presence of inhibitors, quantity or even quality of DNA which are of importance in profiling archeological remains. Our method will help to determine if PCR failure is due to presence of inhibitors or lack of amplifiable DNA either because of degradation, minute amount or absence of human DNA.

  9. Validation of the Spanish-language version of the Rapid Assessment for Adolescent Preventive Services among Colombian adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez-Pinto, Tatiana A; Blanco-Gómez, Argénida; Díaz-Martínez, Luis A

    2016-10-01

    Seventy percent of adolescent morbidity and mortality is related to six risky behaviors. The Rapid Assessment for Adolescent Preventive Services is a screening questionnaire consisting of 21 questions but there is not a validated Spanish-language version. The obj ective of this study was to validate the Spanish-language version of the Rapid Assessment for Adolescent Preventive Services in two Colombian cities: Bucaramanga and Medellin. The questionnaire was administered to 270 randomly selected adolescent students aged between 11 and 19 years old. Its internal consistency measured using Cronbach's alpha was 0.7207. The factor analysis showed that two factors accounted for 84.5% of variance, but factor loading indicates that only one of these is valid in Colombia: substance use (tobacco, alcohol, narcotics, and psychoactive substances). Sociedad Argentina de Pediatría.

  10. Simplified method for the biological assessment of the quality of fresh and slightly brackish water

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dresscher, T.G.N.; van der Mark, H.

    1976-03-31

    A simplified method for the biological assessment of the saprobic quality of surface water is described. The method has the advantage that it is unnecessary to determine accurately the species of organisms present in the sample, which must be done when existing saprobic systems are used. The method described here cannot be used when there is a great abundance of a single species and a very strong environmental disturbance must be assumed.

  11. Rapid FLIM: The new and innovative method for ultra-fast imaging of biological processes (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orthaus-Mueller, Sandra; Kraemer, Benedikt; Tannert, Astrid; Roehlicke, Tino; Wahl, Michael; Rahn, Hans-Juergen; Koberling, Felix; Erdmann, Rainer

    2017-02-01

    Over the last two decades, time-resolved fluorescence microscopy has become an essential tool in Life Sciences thanks to measurement procedures such as Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM), lifetime based Foerster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET), and Fluorescence (Lifetime) Correlation Spectroscopy (F(L)CS) down to the single molecule level. Today, complete turn-key systems are available either as stand-alone units or as upgrades for confocal laser scanning microscopes (CLSM). Data acquisition on such systems is typically based on Time-Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC) electronics along with picosecond pulsed diode lasers as excitation sources and highly sensitive, single photon counting detectors. Up to now, TCSPC data acquisition is considered a somewhat slow process as a large number of photons per pixel is required for reliable data analysis, making it difficult to use FLIM for following fast FRET processes, such as signal transduction pathways in cells or fast moving sub-cellular structures. We present here a novel and elegant solution to tackle this challenge. Our approach, named rapidFLIM, exploits recent hardware developments such as TCSPC modules with ultra short dead times and hybrid photomultiplier detector assemblies enabling significantly higher detection count rates. Thanks to these improved components, it is possible to achieve much better photon statistics in significantly shorter time spans while being able to perform FLIM imaging for fast processes in a qualitative manner and with high optical resolution. FLIM imaging can now be performed with up to several frames per second making it possible to study fast processes such as protein interactions involved in endosome trafficking.

  12. Urban MEMS based seismic network for post-earthquakes rapid disaster assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Alessandro, Antonino; Luzio, Dario; D'Anna, Giuseppe

    2014-05-01

    Life losses following disastrous earthquake depends mainly by the building vulnerability, intensity of shaking and timeliness of rescue operations. In recent decades, the increase in population and industrial density has significantly increased the exposure to earthquakes of urban areas. The potential impact of a strong earthquake on a town center can be reduced by timely and correct actions of the emergency management centers. A real time urban seismic network can drastically reduce casualties immediately following a strong earthquake, by timely providing information about the distribution of the ground shaking level. Emergency management centers, with functions in the immediate post-earthquake period, could be use this information to allocate and prioritize resources to minimize loss of human life. However, due to the high charges of the seismological instrumentation, the realization of an urban seismic network, which may allow reducing the rate of fatalities, has not been achieved. Recent technological developments in MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems) technology could allow today the realization of a high-density urban seismic network for post-earthquakes rapid disaster assessment, suitable for the earthquake effects mitigation. In the 1990s, MEMS accelerometers revolutionized the automotive-airbag system industry and are today widely used in laptops, games controllers and mobile phones. Due to their great commercial successes, the research into and development of MEMS accelerometers are actively pursued around the world. Nowadays, the sensitivity and dynamics of these sensors are such to allow accurate recording of earthquakes with moderate to strong magnitude. Due to their low cost and small size, the MEMS accelerometers may be employed for the realization of high-density seismic networks. The MEMS accelerometers could be installed inside sensitive places (high vulnerability and exposure), such as schools, hospitals, public buildings and places of

  13. Clinical application of a rapid microbiological test based on capillary zone electrophoresis to assess local skin infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szeliga Jacek

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The basic clinical problem associated with infection treatment is the fact that classic, commonly and routinely used isolation and identification methods are based on long-term processes of a phenotypic analysis of microorganisms. Consequently sometimes, especially in small centres, rapid implementation of antibacterial treatment becomes delayed. The work presents the initial results of rapid microbiological identification based on an original method of capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE. The study involved the analysis of 78 biological samples from post-operative wounds and trophic ulcers. Results The attempt was made to identify individual bacterial species based on characteristic features of electropherograms achieved. Finally, G(+ cocci type bacteria and different G(- rods were identified with sensitivity of 88.1% and specificity of 100%. Conclusions Based on the clinical trials using an electrophoretic technique in the field of microbiological diagnostics of infected exudate from a post-operative wound it can be concluded that it is a rapid and relatively sensitive method for initial identification of infectious pathogens.

  14. Towards a rigorous assessment of systems biology models: the DREAM3 challenges.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J Prill

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Systems biology has embraced computational modeling in response to the quantitative nature and increasing scale of contemporary data sets. The onslaught of data is accelerating as molecular profiling technology evolves. The Dialogue for Reverse Engineering Assessments and Methods (DREAM is a community effort to catalyze discussion about the design, application, and assessment of systems biology models through annual reverse-engineering challenges.We describe our assessments of the four challenges associated with the third DREAM conference which came to be known as the DREAM3 challenges: signaling cascade identification, signaling response prediction, gene expression prediction, and the DREAM3 in silico network challenge. The challenges, based on anonymized data sets, tested participants in network inference and prediction of measurements. Forty teams submitted 413 predicted networks and measurement test sets. Overall, a handful of best-performer teams were identified, while a majority of teams made predictions that were equivalent to random. Counterintuitively, combining the predictions of multiple teams (including the weaker teams can in some cases improve predictive power beyond that of any single method.DREAM provides valuable feedback to practitioners of systems biology modeling. Lessons learned from the predictions of the community provide much-needed context for interpreting claims of efficacy of algorithms described in the scientific literature.

  15. Prospective assessment of FilmArray® technology for the rapid identification of yeast isolated from blood cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desoubeaux, Guillaume; Franck-Martel, Claire; Bailly, Éric; Le Brun, Cécile; Gyan, Emmanuel; Goudeau, Alain; Chandenier, Jacques; Lanotte, Philippe

    2014-11-01

    We prospectively assessed the ability of FilmArray® device to identify fungal species involved in bloodstream infections. It succeeded in identifying 85.7% of isolates. The automated readout of results enabled the rapid initiation of appropriate antifungal therapy. Thus, FilmArray® appeared as a reliable alternative diagnostic method for the most common yeast-like species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Rapid Evidence Assessment: What can be learnt from other jurisdictions about preventing and responding to child sexual abuse

    OpenAIRE

    Radford, Lorraine; Richardson-foster, Helen; Barter, Christine Anne; Stanley, Nicky

    2017-01-01

    This Rapid Evidence Assessment was commissioned by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in England and Wales which is investigating whether public bodies and other non-state institutions have taken seriously their duties to care for and protect children and young people from child sexual abuse and exploitation. The question for the review was: What can be learnt from jurisdictions, outside of England and Wales, about the role of institutions, including accountable state and non-sta...

  17. Surveillance for injuries and illnesses and rapid health-needs assessment following Hurricanes Marilyn and Opal, September-October 1995.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996-02-02

    Hurricanes rated a category three or greater (on a scale of one to five) strike the United States or its territories approximately once every 1.5 years (1). In 1995, both a category two and category three hurricane struck the United States within 18 days, causing approximately 40 deaths (2). This report summarizes the surveillance for injuries and illnesses and a rapid health-needs assessment conducted after the storms.

  18. Dual mode diffraction phase microscopy for quantitative functional assessment of biological cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talaikova, N. A.; Popov, A. P.; Kalyanov, A. L.; Ryabukho, V. P.; Meglinski, I. V.

    2017-10-01

    A diffraction phase microscopy approach with a combined use of transmission and reflection imaging modes has been developed and applied for non-invasive quantitative assessment of the refractive index of red blood cells (RBCs). We present the theoretical background of signal formation for both imaging modes, accompanied by the results of experimental studies. We demonstrate that simultaneous use of the two modes has great potential for accurate assessment of the refractive index of biological cells, and we perform a reconstruction of spatial distribution of the refractive index of RBC in 3D.

  19. Decoupling physical from biological processes to assess the impact of viruses on a mesoscale algal bloom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehahn, Yoav; Koren, Ilan; Schatz, Daniella; Frada, Miguel; Sheyn, Uri; Boss, Emmanuel; Efrati, Shai; Rudich, Yinon; Trainic, Miri; Sharoni, Shlomit; Laber, Christian; DiTullio, Giacomo R; Coolen, Marco J L; Martins, Ana Maria; Van Mooy, Benjamin A S; Bidle, Kay D; Vardi, Assaf

    2014-09-08

    Phytoplankton blooms are ephemeral events of exceptionally high primary productivity that regulate the flux of carbon across marine food webs [1-3]. Quantification of bloom turnover [4] is limited by a fundamental difficulty to decouple between physical and biological processes as observed by ocean color satellite data. This limitation hinders the quantification of bloom demise and its regulation by biological processes [5, 6], which has important consequences on the efficiency of the biological pump of carbon to the deep ocean [7-9]. Here, we address this challenge and quantify algal blooms' turnover using a combination of satellite and in situ data, which allows identification of a relatively stable oceanic patch that is subject to little mixing with its surroundings. Using a newly developed multisatellite Lagrangian diagnostic, we decouple the contributions of physical and biological processes, allowing quantification of a complete life cycle of a mesoscale (∼10-100 km) bloom of coccolithophores in the North Atlantic, from exponential growth to its rapid demise. We estimate the amount of organic carbon produced during the bloom to be in the order of 24,000 tons, of which two-thirds were turned over within 1 week. Complimentary in situ measurements of the same patch area revealed high levels of specific viruses infecting coccolithophore cells, therefore pointing at the importance of viral infection as a possible mortality agent. Application of the newly developed satellite-based approaches opens the way for large-scale quantification of the impact of diverse environmental stresses on the fate of phytoplankton blooms and derived carbon in the ocean. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. A new technique for rapid assessment of eutrophication status of coastal waters using a support vector machine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Xianyu; Che, Xiaowei; Su, Rongguo; Zhang, Chuansong; Yao, Qingzhen; Shi, Xiaoyong

    2017-05-01

    There is an urgent need to develop efficient evaluation tools that use easily measured variables to make rapid and timely eutrophication assessments, which are important for marine health management, and to implement eutrophication monitoring programs. In this study, an approach for rapidly assessing the eutrophication status of coastal waters with three easily measured parameters (turbidity, chlorophyll a and dissolved oxygen) was developed by the grid search (GS) optimized support vector machine (SVM), with trophic index TRIX classification results as the reference. With the optimized penalty parameter C =64 and the kernel parameter γ =1, the classification accuracy rates reached 89.3% for the training data, 88.3% for the cross-validation, and 88.5% for the validation dataset. Because the developed approach only used three easy-to-measure variables, its application could facilitate the rapid assessment of the eutrophication status of coastal waters, resulting in potential cost savings in marine monitoring programs and assisting in the provision of timely advice for marine management.

  1. A sudden-stop vestibulovisual test for rapid assessment of motion sickness manifestations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graybiel, A.; Lackner, J. R.

    1980-01-01

    A sudden-stop vestibulovisual (SSV) test employing a rotating chair centered in a striped cylindrical enclosure is discussed. A subject, with his eyes covered, is accelerated clockwise at 15 degrees per second squared and maintained at this velocity for 30 sec. The chair is then brought to rest within 1.5 sec and remains at rest for 30 sec while physiological parameters and motion sickness symptoms are recorded. The procedure is repeated until a predetermined motion sickness endpoint (slight nausea) is reached or 20 stops have been made. The scores made by 14 subjects in 4 sessions in terms of susceptibility to motion sickness are presented, and the pattern of all scores indicates rates of acquisition and decay of adaptation effects. It is concluded that at sea or in flight training good retention of adaptation is more important than is a rapid rate of acquiring adaptation, but in Spacelab, where early missions will be brief, rapid acquisition is all-important.

  2. Assessment of Knowledge of Participants on Basic Molecular Biology Techniques after 5-Day Intensive Molecular Biology Training Workshops in Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yisau, J. I.; Adagbada, A. O.; Bamidele, T.; Fowora, M.; Brai, B. I. C.; Adebesin, O.; Bamidele, M.; Fesobi, T.; Nwaokorie, F. O.; Ajayi, A.; Smith, S. I.

    2017-01-01

    The deployment of molecular biology techniques for diagnosis and research in Nigeria is faced with a number of challenges, including the cost of equipment and reagents coupled with the dearth of personnel skilled in the procedures and handling of equipment. Short molecular biology training workshops were conducted at the Nigerian Institute of…

  3. A biological tool to assess flow connectivity in reference temporary streams from the Mediterranean Basin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cid, N., E-mail: ncid@ub.edu [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain); Verkaik, I. [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain); García-Roger, E.M. [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain); Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva, Universitat de València (Spain); Rieradevall, M.; Bonada, N. [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain); Sánchez-Montoya, M.M. [Department of Ecology and Hydrology, Regional Campus of International Excellence “Campus Mare Nostrum”—University of Murcia (Spain); Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin (Germany); Gómez, R.; Suárez, M.L.; Vidal-Abarca, M.R. [Department of Ecology and Hydrology, Regional Campus of International Excellence “Campus Mare Nostrum”—University of Murcia (Spain); Demartini, D.; Buffagni, A.; Erba, S. [Instituto di Ricerca Sulle Acque (CNR-IRSA) (Italy); Karaouzas, I.; Skoulikidis, N. [Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR) (Greece); Prat, N. [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain)

    2016-01-01

    Many streams in the Mediterranean Basin have temporary flow regimes. While timing for seasonal drought is predictable, they undergo strong inter-annual variability in flow intensity. This high hydrological variability and associated ecological responses challenge the ecological status assessment of temporary streams, particularly when setting reference conditions. This study examined the effects of flow connectivity in aquatic macroinvertebrates from seven reference temporary streams across the Mediterranean Basin where hydrological variability and flow conditions are well studied. We tested for the effect of flow cessation on two streamflow indices and on community composition, and, by performing random forest and classification tree analyses we identified important biological predictors for classifying the aquatic state either as flowing or disconnected pools. Flow cessation was critical for one of the streamflow indices studied and for community composition. Macroinvertebrate families found to be important for classifying the aquatic state were Hydrophilidae, Simuliidae, Hydropsychidae, Planorbiidae, Heptageniidae and Gerridae. For biological traits, trait categories associated to feeding habits, food, locomotion and substrate relation were the most important and provided more accurate predictions compared to taxonomy. A combination of selected metrics and associated thresholds based on the most important biological predictors (i.e. Bio-AS Tool) were proposed in order to assess the aquatic state in reference temporary streams, especially in the absence of hydrological data. Although further development is needed, the tool can be of particular interest for monitoring, restoration, and conservation purposes, representing an important step towards an adequate management of temporary rivers not only in the Mediterranean Basin but also in other regions vulnerable to the effects of climate change. - Highlights: • The effect of flow connectivity on macroinvertebrate

  4. Relating dynamic conditions to the performance of biological rapid sand filters used to remove ammonium, iron, and manganese from drinking water

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lee, Carson; Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen; Smets, Barth F.

    filter management to performance. This research uses both pilot and full scale studies conducted at Islevbro water works, a drinking water plant in west Copenhagen, to determine how operating conditions and substrate loading affect the performance of the biological rapid sand filters. The pilot columns...... and media samples were collected throughout the depth of the column and over the operational cycle of the columns. Substrate analysis included ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, iron, and manganese. Qpcr analysis were also performed to quantify ammonium oxidizing bacteria (AOBs), ammonium oxidizing archea ( AOAs......), nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOBs), and total bacteria with both depth and time. Similar analyses were performed in the full scale filters. The data is used to validate a mathematical model that can both predict process performance and is used to gain an understanding of how dynamic conditions can...

  5. Rapid landslide risk assessment of transport infrastructure following the 13 November 2016 Kaikoura, New Zealand, earthquake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Tom; Rosser, Nick

    2017-04-01

    Earthquake-generated landslides pose a significant risk to critical infrastructure, especially transport networks. For post-earthquake emergency response, identifying where landslides have affected transport networks is vital for understanding the ground access available to affected locations. However, post-earthquake landslide mapping is a difficult and time-consuming task, hindered by issues relating to the collection and processing of satellite images, cloud cover, and manual mapping. The development of rapid landslide modelling techniques for post-earthquake application can allow landslide hazard and risk to be modelled within hours of the earthquake occurring, leading to faster understanding of the likely losses to transport infrastructure. This study presents the results of efforts to rapidly model the extent of and losses related to landsliding following the 13 November 2016 Kaikoura earthquake in New Zealand. Using previously published data on landslide pre-disposing factors, the landslide hazard resulting from this earthquake was modelled in order to identify locations where landslides were most likely. This was combined with a simple horizon-scanning method along critical transport lines to identify zones in which landslides could potentially impact the networks. Landslide hazard in these zones was subsequently weighted by the reach angle to the respective network and averaged for the entire zone. The results show the relative risk of landslides impacting different sections of the transport networks and were derived within 48 hours of the earthquake occurring. These models rapidly and correctly highlighted the numerous blockages along the vital State Highway 1 link between Christchurch and Kaikoura, as well as those on the only alternative inland route. This demonstrates that accurate and rapid analysis of landslide losses can be undertaken immediately post-earthquake, with results potentially available within hours of the event, far sooner than current

  6. Development and Assessment of Modules to Integrate Quantitative Skills in Introductory Biology Courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Kathleen; Leupen, Sarah; Dowell, Kathy; Kephart, Kerrie; Leips, Jeff

    2016-01-01

    Redesigning undergraduate biology courses to integrate quantitative reasoning and skill development is critical to prepare students for careers in modern medicine and scientific research. In this paper, we report on the development, implementation, and assessment of stand-alone modules that integrate quantitative reasoning into introductory biology courses. Modules are designed to improve skills in quantitative numeracy, interpreting data sets using visual tools, and making inferences about biological phenomena using mathematical/statistical models. We also examine demographic/background data that predict student improvement in these skills through exposure to these modules. We carried out pre/postassessment tests across four semesters and used student interviews in one semester to examine how students at different levels approached quantitative problems. We found that students improved in all skills in most semesters, although there was variation in the degree of improvement among skills from semester to semester. One demographic variable, transfer status, stood out as a major predictor of the degree to which students improved (transfer students achieved much lower gains every semester, despite the fact that pretest scores in each focus area were similar between transfer and nontransfer students). We propose that increased exposure to quantitative skill development in biology courses is effective at building competency in quantitative reasoning. © 2016 K. Hoffman, S. Leupen, et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  7. Hazard identification and risk assessment for biologics targeting the immune system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, Andrea B

    2008-01-01

    Biologic pharmaceuticals include a variety of products, such as monoclonal antibodies, fusion proteins and cytokines. Products in those classes include immunomodulatory biologics, which are intended to enhance or diminish the activity of the immune system. Immunomodulatory biologics have been approved by the U.S. FDA for a variety of indications, including cancer and inflammatory conditions. Prior to gaining approval for marketing, sponsoring companies for all types of products must demonstrate a product's safety in toxicology studies conducted in animals and show safety and efficacy in clinical trials conducted in patients. The overall goal of toxicology studies, which applies to immunomodulatory and other product types, is to identify the hazards that products pose to humans. Because biologics are generally highly selective for specific targets (receptors/epitopes), conducting toxicology studies in animal models with the target is essential. Such animals are referred to as pharmacologically relevant. Endpoints routinely included in toxicology studies, such as hematology, organ weight and histopathology, can be used to assess the effect of a product on the structure of the immune system. Additionally, specialized endpoints, such as immunophenotyping and immune function tests, can be used to define effects of immunomodulatory products on the immune system. Following hazard identification, risks posed to patients are assessed and managed. Risks can be managed through clinical trial design and risk communication, a practice that applies to immunomodulatory and other product types. Examples of risk management in clinical trial design include establishing a safe starting dose, defining the appropriate patient population and establishing appropriate patient monitoring. Risk communication starts during clinical trials and continues after product approval. A combination of hazard identification, risk assessment and risk management allows for drug development to proceed

  8. Assessment of network perturbation amplitudes by applying high-throughput data to causal biological networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Florian

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background High-throughput measurement technologies produce data sets that have the potential to elucidate the biological impact of disease, drug treatment, and environmental agents on humans. The scientific community faces an ongoing challenge in the analysis of these rich data sources to more accurately characterize biological processes that have been perturbed at the mechanistic level. Here, a new approach is built on previous methodologies in which high-throughput data was interpreted using prior biological knowledge of cause and effect relationships. These relationships are structured into network models that describe specific biological processes, such as inflammatory signaling or cell cycle progression. This enables quantitative assessment of network perturbation in response to a given stimulus. Results Four complementary methods were devised to quantify treatment-induced activity changes in processes described by network models. In addition, companion statistics were developed to qualify significance and specificity of the results. This approach is called Network Perturbation Amplitude (NPA scoring because the amplitudes of treatment-induced perturbations are computed for biological network models. The NPA methods were tested on two transcriptomic data sets: normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE cells treated with the pro-inflammatory signaling mediator TNFα, and HCT116 colon cancer cells treated with the CDK cell cycle inhibitor R547. Each data set was scored against network models representing different aspects of inflammatory signaling and cell cycle progression, and these scores were compared with independent measures of pathway activity in NHBE cells to verify the approach. The NPA scoring method successfully quantified the amplitude of TNFα-induced perturbation for each network model when compared against NF-κB nuclear localization and cell number. In addition, the degree and specificity to which CDK

  9. Rapid determination of 4-aminobutyric acid and L-glutamic acid in biological decarboxylation process by capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeda, Sahori; Yamano, Naoko; Kawasaki, Norioki; Ando, Hisanori; Nakayama, Atsuyoshi

    2012-01-01

    4-Aminobutylic acid (GABA) is a monomer of plastic polyamide 4. Bio-based polyamide 4 can be produced by using GABA obtained from biomass. The production of L-glutamic acid (Glu) from biomass has been established. GABA is produced by decarboxylation of Glu in biological process. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with derivatization is generally used to determine the concentration of GABA and Glu in reacted solution samples for the efficient production of GABA. In this study, we have investigated the rapid determination of GABA and Glu by capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE-MS) without derivatization. The determination was achieved with the use of a shortened capillary, a new internal standard for GABA, and optimization of sheath liquid composition. Determined concentrations of GABA and Glu by CE-MS were compared with those by pre-column derivatization HPLC with phenylisothiocyanate. The determined values by CE-MS were close to those by HPLC with pre-column derivatization. These results suggest that the determination of GABA and Glu in reacted solution is rapid and simplified by the use of CE-MS. Copyright © 2012 WILEY‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. A planar conducting micro-loop structure for transportation of magnetic beads: An approach towards rapid sensing and quantification of biological entities

    KAUST Repository

    Gooneratne, Chinthaka Pasan

    2012-03-01

    Magnetic beads are utilized effectively in a wide variety of medical applications due to their small size, biocompatibility and large surface to volume ratio. Microfluidic lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices, which utilize magnetic beads, are promising tools for accurate and rapid cell sorting and counting. Effective manipulation of beads is a critical factor for the performance of LOC devices. In this paper we propose a planar conducting micro-loop structure to trap, manipulate and transport magnetic beads. Current through the micro-loops produces magnetic field gradients that are proportional to the force required to manipulate the beads. Numerical analyses were performed to study the magnetic forces and their spatial distributions. Experimental results showed that magnetic beads could not only be transported towards a target region, e.g., for sensing purposes, but also the trapping rate could be increased by switching current between the different loops in the micro-loop structure. This method could lead to rapid and accurate quantification of biological entities tagged with magnetic beads. Copyright © 2012 American Scientific Publishers. All rights reserved.

  11. Assessment of nitrogen and sulphur cycle bacteria and shrimp production in ponds treated with biological products

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thangapalam Jawahar Abraham

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To study the influence of biological products on the levels of nitrogen and sulphur cycle bacteria in shrimp culture systems of West Bengal, India. Methods: The pond water and sediment samples were analyzed for physico-chemical parameters as per standard methods. The bacteria involved in ammonification, nitrification, denitrification, sulphate reduction and sulphur oxidation were enumerated by most probable number technique. Results: The semi-intensive and modified extensive shrimp farms used a variety of biological products during various stages of production. No biological products were used in traditional farms. The water and sediment samples of modified extensive system recorded significantly higher mean heterotrophic bacterial counts. The counts of ammonia, nitrite and sulphur oxidizers, and nitrate and sulphate reducers varied among the systems. The cycling of nitrogen and sulphur appeared to be affected with the intensification of culture practices. Conclusions: The application of biological products in certain systems helped to maintain the bacteria involved in nitrogen and sulphur cycles and safe levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. An assessment of these metabolically active bacteria in shrimp culture ponds and the application of right kind microbial products would help ameliorate the organic pollution in shrimp aquaculture.

  12. The white mullet (Mugil curema) as biological indicator to assess environmental stress in tropical coastal lagoons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Gasca, Alejandra; Ríos-Sicairos, Julián; Hernández-Cornejo, Rubí; Cunha, Isabel; Gutiérrez, Jesús N; Plascencia-González, Héctor; de la Parra, Luz María García; Abad-Rosales, Selene; Betancourt-Lozano, Miguel

    2016-12-01

    Several coastal lagoons and estuaries in Mexico receive untreated domestic and industrial discharges which contain complex mixtures of contaminants. In order to assess the effects of chemical contamination, we used the White mullet (Mugil curema) as biological indicator. We worked in two estuaries located in Northwest Mexico: Urias (highly polluted) and Teacapan (less polluted, therefore used as reference site). We measured several endpoints at different levels of biological organization: vitellogenin transcription in males as biomarker of estrogenic contamination, as well as reproductive, morphological (deformities), morphometric, and meristic parameters. Total RNA was isolated from the liver, and a partial sequence of the mullet vitellogenin gene was obtained; gene expression was analyzed by quantitative PCR. At the same time, gonad samples were analyzed by histologic techniques to determine sex ratios and the reproductive cycle stage. The reproductive season was detected from February to June in both sites, but the gonadosomatic index was consistently higher in Teacapan. Sex ratios were female-biased in both estuaries, and one intersex gonad and several malformations were found in fish from Urias. Vitellogenin gene transcription in males was detected in both sites, although gene expression was slightly higher in Urias. The results obtained in this study indicate that biological effects of contamination are evident in fish, environmental estrogens may be present in both estuaries, and the white mullet is useful as biological indicator to identify and characterize environmental stressors in tropical coastal ecosystems.

  13. Safety Assessment and Biological Effects of a New Cold Processed SilEmulsion for Dermatological Purpose

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Raposo

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available It is of crucial importance to evaluate the safety profile of the ingredients used in dermatological emulsions. A suitable equilibrium between safety and efficacy is a pivotal concern before the marketing of a dermatological product. The aim was to assess the safety and biological effects of a new cold processed silicone-based emulsion (SilEmulsion. The hazard, exposure, and dose-response assessment were used to characterize the risk for each ingredient. EpiSkin assay and human repeat insult patch tests were performed to compare the theoretical safety assessment to in vitro and in vivo data. The efficacy of the SilEmulsion was studied using biophysical measurements in human volunteers during 21 days. According to the safety assessment of the ingredients, 1,5-pentanediol was an ingredient of special concern since its margin of safety was below the threshold of 100 (36.53. EpiSkin assay showed that the tissue viability after the application of the SilEmulsion was 92 ± 6% and, thus considered nonirritant to the skin. The human studies confirmed that the SilEmulsion was not a skin irritant and did not induce any sensitization on the volunteers, being safe for human use. Moreover, biological effects demonstrated that the SilEmulsion increased both the skin hydration and skin surface lipids.

  14. Historical precedence and technical requirements of biological weapons use : a threat assessment.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Estes, Daniel P.; Vogel, Kathleen Margaret; Gaudioso, Jennifer Marie; Hickok, Lauren T.; Jung, Danielle F.; Barnett, Natalie Beth; Frerichs, Rebecca L.; Salerno, Reynolds Mathewson

    2004-05-01

    The threat from biological weapons is assessed through both a comparative historical analysis of the patterns of biological weapons use and an assessment of the technological hurdles to proliferation and use that must be overcome. The history of biological weapons is studied to learn how agents have been acquired and what types of states and substate actors have used agents. Substate actors have generally been more willing than states to use pathogens and toxins and they have focused on those agents that are more readily available. There has been an increasing trend of bioterrorism incidents over the past century, but states and substate actors have struggled with one or more of the necessary technological steps. These steps include acquisition of a suitable agent, production of an appropriate quantity and form, and effective deployment. The technological hurdles associated with the steps present a real barrier to producing a high consequence event. However, the ever increasing technological sophistication of society continually lowers the barriers, resulting in a low but increasing probability of a high consequence bioterrorism event.

  15. Biofabrication of manganese nanoparticle using aegle marmelos fruit extract and assessment of its biological activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keerthana Sivanesan

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Objective(s: The present investigation dealt with the biological production of manganese nanoparticles using Aegle marmelos fruit and assessing the antioxidant and antibiofilm activities. Methods: The nanoparticles were produced using the fruit extract of Aegle marmelos as the reducing agent with potassium permanganate as the substrate. Manganese nanoparticles synthesized were characterized by UV-Vis spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy, FT-IR spectroscopy and X Ray Diffractometry. Antibiofilm and antioxidant activities of the nanoparticles were assessed by DPPH and crystal violet staining methods respectively and were statistically analysed using SPSS software. Results: The characterisation study reported that the average crystallite size of the formed nanoparticle was 23.7nm. The results indicated that biofilms of gram positive and gram negative bacteria were inhibited at 80 and 100 μg of nanoparticles/ml respectively showing more activity against gram positive bacterial biofilms. The highest activity was observed against E.coli as 1.217±0.43 at 80 μg/ml and B.subtilis as 1.705±0.37 at 100 μg/ml. Maximum activity of nanoparticle against reactive oxygen species was found to be at a concentration of 5mg/ml as 27.31±0.03%. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that the biologically synthesized manganese nanoparticles are environment-friendly with its potential applications against pathogens and could be implied for various other biological purposes.

  16. Bibliographical database of radiation biological dosimetry and risk assessment: Part 1, through June 1988

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Straume, T.; Ricker, Y.; Thut, M.

    1988-08-29

    This database was constructed to support research in radiation biological dosimetry and risk assessment. Relevant publications were identified through detailed searches of national and international electronic databases and through our personal knowledge of the subject. Publications were numbered and key worded, and referenced in an electronic data-retrieval system that permits quick access through computerized searches on publication number, authors, key words, title, year, and journal name. Photocopies of all publications contained in the database are maintained in a file that is numerically arranged by citation number. This report of the database is provided as a useful reference and overview. It should be emphasized that the database will grow as new citations are added to it. With that in mind, we arranged this report in order of ascending citation number so that follow-up reports will simply extend this document. The database cite 1212 publications. Publications are from 119 different scientific journals, 27 of these journals are cited at least 5 times. It also contains reference to 42 books and published symposia, and 129 reports. Information relevant to radiation biological dosimetry and risk assessment is widely distributed among the scientific literature, although a few journals clearly dominate. The four journals publishing the largest number of relevant papers are Health Physics, Mutation Research, Radiation Research, and International Journal of Radiation Biology. Publications in Health Physics make up almost 10% of the current database.

  17. Understanding the Reading Attributes and Their Cognitive Relationships on a High-Stakes Biology Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawlusyk, Kevin James

    Test items used to assess learners' knowledge on high-stakes science examinations contain contextualized questions that unintentionally assess reading skill along with conceptual knowledge. Therefore, students who are not proficient readers are unable to comprehend the text within the test item to demonstrate effectively their level of science knowledge. The purpose of this quantitative study was to understand what reading attributes were required to successfully answer the Biology 30 Diploma Exam. Furthermore, the research sought to understand the cognitive relationships among the reading attributes through quantitative analysis structured by the Attribute Hierarchy Model (AHM). The research consisted of two phases: (1) Cognitive development, where the cognitive attributes of the Biology 30 Exam were specified and hierarchy structures were developed; and (2) Psychometric analysis, that statistically tested the attribute hierarchy using the Hierarchy Consistency Index (HCI), and calculate attribute probabilities. Phase one of the research used January 2011, Biology 30 Diploma Exam, while phase two accessed archival data for the 9985 examinees who took the assessment on January 24th, 2011. Phase one identified ten specific reading attributes, of which five were identified as unique subsets of vocabulary, two were identified as reading visual representations, and three corresponded to general reading skills. Four hierarchical cognitive model were proposed then analyzed using the HCI as a mechanism to explain the relationship among the attributes. Model A had the highest HCI value (0.337), indicating an overall poor data fit, yet for the top achieving examinees the model had an excellent model fit with an HCI value of 0.888, and for examinees that scored over 60% there was a moderate model fit (HCI = 0.592). Linear regressions of the attribute probability estimates suggest that there is a cognitive relationship among six of the ten reading attributes (R2 = 0.958 and 0

  18. [Field assessment of the new rapid diagnostic test Ebola eZYSCREEN®].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallais, F; Gay-Andrieu, F; Picot, V; Magassouba, N; Mély, S; Peyrefitte, C N; Bellanger, L

    2017-02-01

    During the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa in 2014, the World Health Organization has pointed out the need for rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) affordable, sensitive, specific, user-friendly, rapid, equipment-free, and deliverable. The rapid diagnostic test (Lateral Flow Assay) Ebola eZYSCREEN® was developed in this emergency frame using monoclonal antibodies against the envelope glycoprotein of the virus. Two distinct versions have been industrialized, one for whole-blood samples and the other for serum/plasma samples. Both versions have an analytical detection limit of 10 5 pfu/ml, the stability is at least 393 days at 30°C and 120 days at 45°C. The nonretrospective and independent validation study was carried out in the course of the outbreak in Conakry and at the Ebola Treatment Center of Coyah (Guinea) on 144 patients. In this study, the RDT showed a sensitivity of 65.3% and a specificity of 98.9% on whole blood, a sensitivity of 74.5% and a specificity of 100% on serum. Results from the whole-blood version must be analyzed with caution because of the delay between the blood collection and the completion of the tests, which was out of specification (3 days on average instead of 2 h). In contrast to laboratory tests, this easy to use field test does not require sophisticated instrumentation or even electricity and can contribute to the diagnostic chain of Ebola virus disease taking into account its benefits, high stability, and specificity but also its limit of sensitivity compared to laboratory techniques RT-qPCR (Real-Time reverse transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction), which remain the reference for the diagnosis of Ebola. The RDT Ebola eZYSCREEN® was granted EC IVD (IVD = In Vitro Diagnostic) marking.

  19. Impact of experience when using the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment to assess postural risk in children using information and communication technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Janice D; Falkmer, Torbjörn; Parsons, Richard; Buzzard, Jennifer; Ciccarelli, Marina

    2014-05-01

    The Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) is an observation-based screening tool that has been used to assess postural risks of children in school settings. Studies using eye-tracking technology suggest that visual search strategies are influenced by experience in the task performed. This study investigated if experience in postural risk assessments contributed to differences in outcome scores on the RULA and the visual search strategies utilized. While wearing an eye-tracker, 16 student occupational therapists and 16 experienced occupational therapists used the RULA to assess 11 video scenarios of a child using different mobile information and communication technologies (ICT) in the home environment. No significant differences in RULA outcome scores, and no conclusive differences in visual search strategies between groups were found. RULA can be used as a screening tool for postural risks following a short training session regardless of the assessor's experience in postural risk assessments. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  20. Can turbidity caused by Corophium volutator (Pallas) activity be used to assess sediment toxicity rapidly?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, Andrew D; Greenwood, Naomi; Grant, Alastair

    2003-04-01

    The standard toxicity test organism, Corophium volutator, exhibits a behavioural response to contaminated sediments that causes increased turbidity of overlying water. We quantify the effects of this response to an estuarine sediment spiked with copper and hydrocarbon contaminated sediments from an oil installation in the North Sea. Turbidity measured 24 h after the start of a toxicity test shows a strong relationship with contaminant concentrations and with mortality after 10 days. Turbidity measurements can therefore give a rapid indication of sediment toxicity, permitting a reduction in storage time of sediments to be used in dilution series and toxicity identification evaluation (TIE) tests, reducing the likelihood of contaminants degrading prior to testing.

  1. Utilizing Arc Marine Concepts for Designing a Geospatially Enabled Database to Support Rapid Environmental Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-07-01

    données d’évaluation environnementale rapide (EER) a été réalisée en vertu d’un contrat . La base de données a été élaborée à l’aide du PostgreSQL, un...quality flags to each specialized data set requires the modification of each specialized access method. Thus, multiple modifications are required...the drivers that dictate any level of effort placed on modifications to the data system. Alternately stated, it is the decision requirement of the

  2. A novel method for perceptual assessment of small room acoustics using rapid sensory analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kaplanis, Neofytos; Bech, Søren; Lokki, Tapio

    2016-01-01

    small rooms and car cabins. In-situ measurements were performed to obtain a range of possible acoustical settings, by varying physically the spaces under investigation. The measured responses were spatiallyanalyzed and synthesized to reproduce the observed fields in the laboratory. Expert listeners were...... presented with auralized sound over a loudspeaker array and followed a rapid sensory analysis protocol. The elicited attributes and ratings are analyzed and possible links to the acoustical properties of these spaces are discussed. [This study is a part of Marie Curie Network on Dereverberation...

  3. Rapid assessment methodology in NORM measurements from building materials of Uzbekistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safarov, A A; Safarov, A N; Azimov, A N; Darby, I G

    2017-04-01

    Utilizing low cost NaI(Tl) scintillation detector systems we present methodology for the rapid screening of building material samples and the determination of their Radium Equivalent Activity (Raeq). Materials from Uzbekistan as a representative developing country have been measured and a correction coefficient for Radium activity is deduced. The use of the correction coefficient offers the possibility to decrease analysis times thus enabling the express measurement of a large quantity of samples. The reduction in time, cost and the use of inexpensive equipment can democratize the practice of screening NORM in building materials in the international community. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Using exposure bands for rapid decision making in the RISK21 tiered exposure assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dellarco, M; Zaleski, R; Gaborek, B J; Qian, H; Bellin, C A; Egeghy, P; Heard, N; Jolliet, O; Lander, D R; Sunger, N; Stylianou, K S; Tanir, J Y

    2017-04-01

    The ILSI Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) Risk Assessment in the Twenty-first Century (RISK21) project was initiated to address and catalyze improvements in human health risk assessment. RISK21 is a problem formulation-based conceptual roadmap and risk matrix visualization tool, facilitating transparent evaluation of both hazard and exposure components. The RISK21 roadmap is exposure-driven, that is, exposure is used as the second step (after problem formulation) to define and focus the assessment. This paper describes the exposure tiers of the RISK21 matrix and the approaches to adapt readily available information to more quickly inform exposure at a screening level. In particular, exposure look-up tables were developed from available exposure tools (European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC) Targeted Risk Assessment (TRA) for worker exposure, ECETOC TRA, European Solvents Industry Group (ESIG) Generic Exposure Scenario (GES) Risk and Exposure Tool (EGRET) for consumer exposure, and USEtox(®) for indirect exposure to humans via the environment) and were tested in a hypothetical mosquito bed netting case study. A detailed WHO risk assessment for a similar mosquito net use served as a benchmark for the performance of the RISK21 approach. The case study demonstrated that the screening methodologies provided suitable conservative exposure estimates for risk assessment. The results of this effort showed that the RISK21 approach is useful for defining future assessment efforts, focusing assessment activities and visualizing results.

  5. Broad target chemical screening approach used as tool for rapid assessment of groundwater quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ter Laak, T.L.; Puijker, L.M.; van Leerdam, J.A.; Raat, K.J.; Kolkman, A.; de Voogt, P.; van Wezel, A.P.

    2012-01-01

    The chemical water quality is often assessed by screening for a limited set of target chemicals. This ‘conventional’ target analysis approach inevitably misses chemicals present in the samples. In this study a ‘broad’ target screening approach for water quality assessment using high resolution and

  6. The safety and effectiveness of Da Vinci surgical system compared with open surgery and laparoscopic surgery: a rapid assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Jiajie; Wang, Yingqiang; Li, Youping; Li, Xianglian; Li, Cuicui; Shen, Jiantong

    2014-05-01

    The primary objectives of this rapid assessment were to assess the clinical evidence of Da Vinci surgical system (DVSS) comparing with open procedures and laparoscopic procedures, and in order to provide the evidence for health decision makers and clinician. A comprehensive search of electronic databases (EMbase, PubMed, The Cochrane Library, Web of Science, CNKI, VIP, CBM and Wanfang) and HTA websites were completed up to 9 October, 2013. Two reviews (Jiajie Yu and Yingqiang Wang) independently extracted data of the manuscripts, and assessed quality of included studies using AMSTAR tools. Qualitative description and GRADE were used to report the outcomes and evidence quality. A total of 17 studies were included: 3 were HTA and 14 were SR/meta-analysis. The included studies focused on prostatectomy, nephrectomy, hysterectomy colorectal surgery, and cardiac surgery. DVSS was shown to be associated with statistically significant reduction in length of hospital stay, blood loss, and transfusion rate compared with open and laparoscopic surgery, but increase in operative time when compared with open surgery. Based on the evidence included in this rapid assessment, DVSS has a limited impact on several clinical outcomes. Considering no available data from randomized controlled trials and much higher cost, decisions will be complex and need to be made carefully. Decision makers should cut down the quantity of purchasing and reasonable allocate them. © 2014 Chinese Cochrane Center, West China Hospital of Sichuan University and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  7. Combination of 2D/3D Ligand-Based Similarity Search in Rapid Virtual Screening from Multimillion Compound Repositories. Selection and Biological Evaluation of Potential PDE4 and PDE5 Inhibitors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krisztina Dobi

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Rapid in silico selection of target focused libraries from commercial repositories is an attractive and cost effective approach. If structures of active compounds are available rapid 2D similarity search can be performed on multimillion compound databases but the generated library requires further focusing by various 2D/3D chemoinformatics tools. We report here a combination of the 2D approach with a ligand-based 3D method (Screen3D which applies flexible matching to align reference and target compounds in a dynamic manner and thus to assess their structural and conformational similarity. In the first case study we compared the 2D and 3D similarity scores on an existing dataset derived from the biological evaluation of a PDE5 focused library. Based on the obtained similarity metrices a fusion score was proposed. The fusion score was applied to refine the 2D similarity search in a second case study where we aimed at selecting and evaluating a PDE4B focused library. The application of this fused 2D/3D similarity measure led to an increase of the hit rate from 8.5% (1st round, 47% inhibition at 10 µM to 28.5% (2nd round at 50% inhibition at 10 µM and the best two hits had 53 nM inhibitory activities.

  8. Assessment of genotoxic exposure in Swedish coke-oven work by different methods of biological monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuterwall, C; Aringer, L; Elinder, C G; Rannug, A; Levin, J O; Juringe, L; Onfelt, A

    1991-04-01

    This study evaluated the results of several biological methods used simultaneously to monitor coke-oven work. Blood samples from 44 male coke-oven workers and 48 male referents, matched for age and smoking/snuff consumption, were examined for cytogenetic damage in lymphocytes. Urinary thioether excretion was determined for 62, and urine mutagenicity for 31, of the subjects, who followed a standardized diet during the urine sampling. Exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons varied with work task, the ambient air levels of benzo[a]pyrene sometimes exceeding 5 micrograms/m3. Cytogenetic damage, urine mutagenicity, and thioether excretion did not differ between the groups. The smokers, however, had significantly higher sister chromatid exchange frequencies, urine mutagenicity, and thioether excretion than the nonsmokers. The absence of biological indications of genotoxic exposure was unexpected and indicates that the studied methods are not adequate to assess the carcinogenic risks of Swedish coke-oven workers.

  9. Quantitative methylene blue decolourisation assays as rapid screening tools for assessing the efficiency of catalytic reactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruid, Jan; Fogel, Ronen; Limson, Janice Leigh

    2017-05-01

    Identifying the most efficient oxidation process to achieve maximum removal of a target pollutant compound forms the subject of much research. There exists a need to develop rapid screening tools to support research in this area. In this work we report on the development of a quantitative assay as a means for identifying catalysts capable of decolourising methylene blue through the generation of oxidising species from hydrogen peroxide. Here, a previously described methylene blue test strip method was repurposed as a quantitative, aqueous-based spectrophotometric assay. From amongst a selection of metal salts and metallophthalocyanine complexes, monitoring of the decolourisation of the cationic dye methylene blue (via Fenton-like and non-Fenton oxidation reactions) by the assay identified the following to be suitable oxidation catalysts: CuSO 4 (a Fenton-like catalyst), iron(II)phthalocyanine (a non-Fenton oxidation catalyst), as well as manganese(II) phthalocyanine. The applicability of the method was examined for the removal of bisphenol A (BPA), as measured by HPLC, during parallel oxidation experiments. The order of catalytic activity was identified as FePc > MnPc > CuSO 4 for both BPA and MB. The quantitative MB decolourisation assay may offer a rapid method for screening a wide range of potential catalysts for oxidation processes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Rapidly assessing changes in bone mineral balance using natural stable calcium isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Jennifer L. L.; Skulan, Joseph L.; Gordon, Gwyneth W.; Romaniello, Stephen J.; Smith, Scott M.; Anbar, Ariel D.

    2012-06-01

    The ability to rapidly detect changes in bone mineral balance (BMB) would be of great value in the early diagnosis and evaluation of therapies for metabolic bone diseases such as osteoporosis and some cancers. However, measurements of BMB are hampered by difficulties with using biochemical markers to quantify the relative rates of bone resorption and formation and the need to wait months to years for altered BMB to produce changes in bone mineral density large enough to resolve by X-ray densitometry. We show here that, in humans, the natural abundances of Ca isotopes in urine change rapidly in response to changes in BMB. In a bed rest experiment, use of high-precision isotope ratio MS allowed the onset of bone loss to be detected in Ca isotope data after about 1 wk, long before bone mineral density has changed enough to be detectable with densitometry. The physiological basis of the relationship between Ca isotopes and BMB is sufficiently understood to allow quantitative translation of changes in Ca isotope abundances to changes in bone mineral density using a simple model. The rate of change of bone mineral density inferred from Ca isotopes is consistent with the rate observed by densitometry in long-term bed rest studies. Ca isotopic analysis provides a powerful way to monitor bone loss, potentially making it possible to diagnose metabolic bone disease and track the impact of treatments more effectively than is currently possible.

  11. Biological assessment to support ecological recovery of a degraded headwater system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longing, Scott D; Haggard, Brian E

    2010-09-01

    An assessment of the benthic macroinvertebrate community was conducted to characterize the ecological recovery of a channelized main stem and two small tributaries at the Watershed Research and Education Center (WREC, Arkansas, USA). Three other headwater streams in the same basin were also sampled as controls and for biological reference information. A principal components analysis produced stream groupings along an overall gradient of physical habitat integrity, with degraded reaches showing lower RBP habitat scores, reduced flow velocities, smaller substrate sizes, greater conductivity, and higher percentages of sand and silt substrate. The benthic macroinvertebrate assemblage at WREC was dominated by fast-reproducing dipteran larvae (midge and mosquito larvae) and physid snails, which comprised 71.3% of the total macroinvertebrate abundance over three sampling periods. Several macroinvertebrate assemblage metrics should provide effective targets for monitoring overall improvements in the invertebrate assemblage including recovery towards a more complex food web (e.g., total number of taxa, number of EPT taxa, percent 2 dominant taxa). However, current habitat conditions and the extent of existing degradation, system isolation and surrounding urban or agricultural land-uses might affect the level of positive change to the system. We therefore suggest a preliminary restoration strategy involving the addition of pool habitats in the system. At one pool we collected a total of 29 taxa (dominated by water beetle predators), which was 59% of total number of taxa collected at WREC. Maintaining water-retentive pools to collect flows and maintain water permanence focuses on enhancing known biology and habitat, thus reducing the effects of abiotic filters on macroinvertebrate assemblage recovery. Furthermore, biological assessment prior to restoration supports a strategy primarily focused on improving the existing macroinvertebrate community in the current context of the

  12. An implementation plan for using biological indicators to improve assessment of water quality in Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boonsoong, Boonsatien; Sangpradub, Narumon; Barbour, Michael T; Simachaya, Wijarn

    2010-06-01

    Most national standards for assessment of water quality include physical and chemical indicators relevant to specific pollutants and stressors. However, biological communities reflect not only current conditions of aquatic resources but also change in conditions over time and impacts from multiple stressors. Assessing the health of the aquatic community (that is, bioassessments) has proven to be critical in protecting and maintaining healthy surface waters under the mandates of regulatory frameworks, such as the Clean Water Act in the USA and the Water Framework Directive of the European Union. Whereas, in Thailand water standards, bioassessment is lacking in favor of chemical criteria, only coliform bacteria measurement can be considered a surrogate biological parameter. Our paper argues that incorporating bioassessment will improve water resource condition evaluations and recommends the use of the benthic macroinvertebrate assemblage as a bioassessment framework in Thailand. We discuss the implementation of a bioassessment program that consists of two major components, (a) a scientifically valid technical approach and (b) consideration of technical resources for a cost-effective program. The technical design comprises (1) classification of streams into similar groupings, (2) design of a biological survey, (3) a well-documented sampling protocol, (4) calibration of biological metrics for data analysis, (5) development of criteria for determination of ecological condition, and (6) communication of the results to citizens and policymakers. A cost-effective way to develop a bioassessment program that will improve Thailand's ability to measure water quality and to make good decisions to attain healthy quality status is to establish partnerships by coordinating efforts and sharing data and technology with adjacent regional environmental offices or provinces. This collaboration would be fostered through a long-term national water resources management strategy and clear

  13. Assessment of Arteriovenous Shunt Pathway Function and Hypervolemia for Hemodialysis Patients by Using Integrated Rapid Screening System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei-Ling Chen

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Currently, the hemodialysis patients received body weight measurement by themselves, vital sign checking by nursing staffs before dialysis. Whenever, the arteriovenous routes with problems doubted, the patients needed to be referred to surgeon for vascular echography checking and then to be corrected. How to integrate these three tasks in one time is a very important issue. The project proposes to combine our previous study of audio-phono angiographic technology in detecting vascular stenosis with rapid screening system to evaluate dialysis patients’ arteriovenous routes function and their status of excess body fluids: inspecting and integrating the blood pressure, body weight, and fistula function work into a rapid screening system, and using the quantization of fistula phono angiography pitch to achieve assessing arteriovenous routes. Future hoping is developed a complete integrated intelligence system by combining the arteriovenous fistula signal processing with feature extraction with wireless sensor network technology.

  14. NCCOS St. Croix, USVI Rapid Habitat Assessment (RHA) and Monitoring Data (2001 - Present)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This metadata record refers to habitat assessment data collected as part of a larger effort described below. The intent of this work is five fold: 1) To spatially...

  15. A Comparison of Rapid Visual Assessments and Photo-Quadrat Analyses to Monitor Coral Reefs

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A common problem for monitoring programs is a lag between collecting and disseminating results. Here, the authors show that the visual assessment of hard coral cover...

  16. Rapid psychological assessment of depression and its relationship with physical health among urban elderly

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Pavithra Cheluvaraj; Mangesh Balu Nanaware; Surya Prakasa Rao

    2016-01-01

    .... Aims To assess psychological health status with respect to depression among geriatric urban community, and the relationship of depression with health perception and physical health status has been explored...

  17. A four-antigen mixture for rapid assessment of Onchocerca volvulus infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burbelo, Peter D; Leahy, Hannah P; Iadarola, Michael J; Nutman, Thomas B

    2009-01-01

    Onchocerciasis, an infection caused by the filarial nematode Onchocerca volvulus, is a major public health concern. Given the debilitating symptoms associated with onchocerciasis and concerns about recrudescence in areas of previous onchocerciasis control, more efficient tools are needed for diagnosis and monitoring of control measures. We investigated whether luciferase immunoprecipitation systems (LIPS) may be used as a more rapid, specific, and standardized diagnostic assay for Onchocerca volvulus infection. Four recombinantly produced Onchocerca volvulus antigens (Ov-FAR-1, Ov-API-1, Ov-MSA-1 and Ov-CPI-1) were tested by LIPS on a large cohort of blinded sera comprised of both uninfected controls and patients with a proven parasitic infection including Onchocerca volvulus (Ov), Wuchereria bancrofti (Wb), Loa loa (Ll), Strongyloides stercoralis (Ss), and with other potentially cross-reactive infections. In addition to testing all four Ov antigens separately, a mixture that tested all four antigens simultaneously was evaluated in the standard 2-hour incubation format as well as in a 15-minute rapid LIPS format. Antibody responses to the four different Ov antigens allowed for unequivocal differentiation between Ov-infected and uninfected control sera with 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity. Analysis of the antibody titers to each of these four antigens in individual Ov-infected sera revealed that they were markedly different and did not correlate (r(S) = -0.11 to 0.58; P = 0.001 to 0.89) to each other. Compared to Ov-infected sera, patients infected with Wb, Ll, Ss, and other conditions had markedly lower geometric mean antibody titers to each of the Ov 4 antigens (P<0.0002 for each antigen). The simplified method of using a mixture of the 4 Ov antigens simultaneously in the standard format or a quick 15-minute format (QLIPS) showed 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity in distinguishing the Ov-infected sera from the uninfected control sera. Finally, the QLIPS

  18. A four-antigen mixture for rapid assessment of Onchocerca volvulus infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter D Burbelo

    Full Text Available Onchocerciasis, an infection caused by the filarial nematode Onchocerca volvulus, is a major public health concern. Given the debilitating symptoms associated with onchocerciasis and concerns about recrudescence in areas of previous onchocerciasis control, more efficient tools are needed for diagnosis and monitoring of control measures. We investigated whether luciferase immunoprecipitation systems (LIPS may be used as a more rapid, specific, and standardized diagnostic assay for Onchocerca volvulus infection.Four recombinantly produced Onchocerca volvulus antigens (Ov-FAR-1, Ov-API-1, Ov-MSA-1 and Ov-CPI-1 were tested by LIPS on a large cohort of blinded sera comprised of both uninfected controls and patients with a proven parasitic infection including Onchocerca volvulus (Ov, Wuchereria bancrofti (Wb, Loa loa (Ll, Strongyloides stercoralis (Ss, and with other potentially cross-reactive infections. In addition to testing all four Ov antigens separately, a mixture that tested all four antigens simultaneously was evaluated in the standard 2-hour incubation format as well as in a 15-minute rapid LIPS format.Antibody responses to the four different Ov antigens allowed for unequivocal differentiation between Ov-infected and uninfected control sera with 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity. Analysis of the antibody titers to each of these four antigens in individual Ov-infected sera revealed that they were markedly different and did not correlate (r(S = -0.11 to 0.58; P = 0.001 to 0.89 to each other. Compared to Ov-infected sera, patients infected with Wb, Ll, Ss, and other conditions had markedly lower geometric mean antibody titers to each of the Ov 4 antigens (P<0.0002 for each antigen. The simplified method of using a mixture of the 4 Ov antigens simultaneously in the standard format or a quick 15-minute format (QLIPS showed 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity in distinguishing the Ov-infected sera from the uninfected control sera. Finally

  19. Global Data Quality Assessment and the Situated Nature of “Best” Research Practices in Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabina Leonelli

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper reflects on the relation between international debates around data quality assessment and the diversity characterising research practices, goals and environments within the life sciences. Since the emergence of molecular approaches, many biologists have focused their research, and related methods and instruments for data production, on the study of genes and genomes. While this trend is now shifting, prominent institutions and companies with stakes in molecular biology continue to set standards for what counts as ‘good science’ worldwide, resulting in the use of specific data production technologies as proxy for assessing data quality. This is problematic considering (1 the variability in research cultures, goals and the very characteristics of biological systems, which can give rise to countless different approaches to knowledge production; and (2 the existence of research environments that produce high-quality, significant datasets despite not availing themselves of the latest technologies. Ethnographic research carried out in such environments evidences a widespread fear among researchers that providing extensive information about their experimental set-up will affect the perceived quality of their data, making their findings vulnerable to criticisms by better-resourced peers. These fears can make scientists resistant to sharing data or describing their provenance. To counter this, debates around Open Data need to include critical reflection on how data quality is evaluated, and the extent to which that evaluation requires a localised assessment of the needs, means and goals of each research environment.

  20. Oil refinery experience with the assessment of refinery effluents and receiving waters using biologically based methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comber, Michael H I; Girling, Andrew; den Haan, Klaas H; Whale, Graham

    2015-10-01

    The trend in discharges of petroleum-related substances from refineries in Europe shows a consistent picture of declining emissions, since first measured in 1969. This decline coincides with enhanced internal capture or recycling procedures and increasing use of physical and biological treatments. At the same time, and partly in response to legislative drivers, there has been an increase in the use of chronic (long-term) toxicity tests and alternative methods for assessing the quality of effluent discharges. The Whole Effluent Assessment (WEA) approach has also driven the increased conduct of studies addressing the fate of effluent constituents. Such studies have included the use of biodegradation and solid-phase micro-extraction-biomimetic extraction (SPME-BE) methods to address potentially bioaccumulative substances (PBS). In this way, it is then possible to address the persistence and toxicity of these PBS constituents of an effluent. The data collected in various case studies highlights the advantages and pitfalls of using biologically-based methods to assess the potential for refinery effluents to cause environmental impacts. © 2015 SETAC.

  1. Traits related to biological invasion: A note on the applicability of risk assessment tools across taxa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa M. Emiljanowicz

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Biological invasions are occurring frequently and with great impact to agricultural production and other ecosystem services. In response to this, the Australian Weed Risk Assessment (AWRA was created to assess the potential ‘weediness’ of plants based on answers to questions related to biogeography, undesirable attributes, and biology or ecology. This basic model has been expanded and adapted for use on other taxa, often without adequate validation. Since invasive insect crop pests are a major economic cost to agricultural production, there is interest in using an expanded model for insects. Here, we review traits related to invasiveness of insects based on a systematic review of the literature. We then compare the identified invasive traits of insects with those identified for plants in the AWRA. Using insects as a case study, we illustrate that although there is some overlap in invasive traits, there are many unique traits related to invasion for both insects and plants. For insects, these traits relate largely to social behaviour. This lack of congruence may also be the case for other taxa. To increase predictive power, a taxon-specific risk assessment tool and deliberate verification are required.

  2. Rapid Bioassessment Methods for Assessing Stream Macroinvertebrate Community on the Savannah River Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Specht, W.L.

    1999-11-22

    Macroinvertebrate sampling was performed at 16 locations in the Savannah River Site (SRS) streams using Hester-Dendy multiplate samplers and EPA Rapid Bioassessment Protocols (RBP). Some of the sampling locations were unimpacted, while other locations had been subject to various forms of perturbation by SRS activities. In general, the data from the Hester-Dendy multiplate samplers were more sensitive at detecting impacts than were the RBP data. We developed a Biotic Index for the Hester-Dendy data which incorporated eight community structure, function, and balance parameters. when tested using a data set that was unrelated to the data set that was used in developing the Biotic Index, the index was very successful at detecting impact.

  3. Rapid Removal of Tetrabromobisphenol A by Ozonation in Water: Oxidation Products, Reaction Pathways and Toxicity Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xinghao; Huang, Qingguo; Lu, Junhe; Wang, Liansheng; Wang, Zunyao

    2015-01-01

    Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) is one of the most widely used brominated flame retardants and has attracted more and more attention. In this work, the parent TBBPA with an initial concentration of 100 mg/L was completely removed after 6 min of ozonation at pH 8.0, and alkaline conditions favored a more rapid removal than acidic and neutral conditions. The presence of typical anions and humic acid did not significantly affect the degradation of TBBPA. The quenching test using isopropanol indicated that direct ozone oxidation played a dominant role during this process. Seventeen reaction intermediates and products were identified using an electrospray time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Notably, the generation of 2,4,6-tribromophenol was first observed in the degradation process of TBBPA. The evolution of reaction products showed that ozonation is an efficient treatment for removal of both TBBPA and intermediates. Sequential transformation of organic bromine to bromide and bromate was confirmed by ion chromatography analysis. Two primary reaction pathways that involve cleavage of central carbon atom and benzene ring cleavage concomitant with debromination were thus proposed and further justified by calculations of frontier electron densities. Furthermore, the total organic carbon data suggested a low mineralization rate, even after the complete removal of TBBPA. Meanwhile, the acute aqueous toxicity of reaction solutions to Photobacterium Phosphoreum and Daphnia magna was rapidly decreased during ozonation. In addition, no obvious difference in the attenuation of TBBPA was found by ozone oxidation using different water matrices, and the effectiveness in natural waters further demonstrates that ozonation can be adopted as a promising technique to treat TBBPA-contaminated waters. PMID:26430733

  4. Rapid Removal of Tetrabromobisphenol A by Ozonation in Water: Oxidation Products, Reaction Pathways and Toxicity Assessment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruijuan Qu

    Full Text Available Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA is one of the most widely used brominated flame retardants and has attracted more and more attention. In this work, the parent TBBPA with an initial concentration of 100 mg/L was completely removed after 6 min of ozonation at pH 8.0, and alkaline conditions favored a more rapid removal than acidic and neutral conditions. The presence of typical anions and humic acid did not significantly affect the degradation of TBBPA. The quenching test using isopropanol indicated that direct ozone oxidation played a dominant role during this process. Seventeen reaction intermediates and products were identified using an electrospray time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Notably, the generation of 2,4,6-tribromophenol was first observed in the degradation process of TBBPA. The evolution of reaction products showed that ozonation is an efficient treatment for removal of both TBBPA and intermediates. Sequential transformation of organic bromine to bromide and bromate was confirmed by ion chromatography analysis. Two primary reaction pathways that involve cleavage of central carbon atom and benzene ring cleavage concomitant with debromination were thus proposed and further justified by calculations of frontier electron densities. Furthermore, the total organic carbon data suggested a low mineralization rate, even after the complete removal of TBBPA. Meanwhile, the acute aqueous toxicity of reaction solutions to Photobacterium Phosphoreum and Daphnia magna was rapidly decreased during ozonation. In addition, no obvious difference in the attenuation of TBBPA was found by ozone oxidation using different water matrices, and the effectiveness in natural waters further demonstrates that ozonation can be adopted as a promising technique to treat TBBPA-contaminated waters.

  5. In situ combined chemical and biological assessment of estrogenic pollution in a water recycling system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chi, Yulang; Huang, Qiansheng; Zhang, Huanteng; Chen, Yajie; Dong, Sijun

    2016-05-01

    Estrogenic pollution and its control in aquatic systems have drawn substantial attention around the world. The chemical and biological assessment approaches currently utilized in the laboratory or field cannot give an integrated assessment of the pollution when used separately. In this study, in situ chemical and biological methods were combined to detect pollution in a water recycling system. Data for the water quality index (WQI) demonstrated that the water treatment resulted in the decline of pollution from upstream to downstream. Wild male Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, was sampled in June and September. The concentrations of four common endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) were determined in the tilapia liver by chromatographic analysis methods. The level of 17β-estradiol (E2) declined from upstream to downstream in both months. In contrast, the levels of bisphenol A (BPA), di-(2-ethylhcxyl) phthalate (DEHP), and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) did not display this declining tendency. The highest relative expression of vitellogenin 1 (VTG1) was observed in tilapia from upstream, then the level significantly decreased along the water system. The relative expression levels of CYP1A1 in the water system were also significantly higher than that of the control. However, no declining trend could be observed along the water system. The change of VTG1 expression corresponded well with that of E2 levels in the tilapia liver. Overall, our study assessed the pollution by endocrine disruptors using chemical and biological data with good correspondence. This study also demonstrated the effectiveness of the water recycling system in eliminating estrogen pollution in municipal sewage. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  6. A Cardiac Depression Visual Analogue Scale for the brief and rapid assessment of depression following acute coronary syndromes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Benedetto, Mirella; Lindner, Helen; Hare, David L; Kent, Stephen

    2005-10-01

    A Cardiac Depression Visual Analogue Scale (CD-VAS) was developed as a rapid and easy method of assessing depressed mood in a cardiac population. The CD-VAS was contrasted against the Cardiac Depression Scale (CDS) and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). Depression was assessed in 58 participants, 2 weeks postacute coronary syndrome (ACS), using the BDI-II and the CDS. Participants then completed the six-item CD-VAS for 14 consecutive days. Using mean weekly scores, the CD-VAS had strong internal reliability (.91) and strong test-retest reliability that ranged from .85 to .97. Principal components analyses found that the CD-VAS only measured one component. The CD-VAS had strong concurrent validity with the BDI-II (r=.81) and the CDS (r=.82) and was able to differentiate between depressed and nondepressed participants. The CD-VAS is a valid and reliable measure for brief and rapid repeated assessments of depressive symptoms in a cardiac population.

  7. An alert system for triggering different levels of coastal management urgency: Tunisia case study using rapid environmental assessment data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, A R G; Jaoui, K; Pearson, M P; Jeudy de Grissac, A

    2014-03-15

    Rapid environmental assessment (REA) involves scoring abundances of ecosystems/species groups and magnitude of pressures, concurrently, using the same logarithmic (0-6) assessment scale. We demonstrate the utility of REA data for an alert system identifying different levels of coastal management concern. Thresholds set for abundances/magnitudes, when crossed, trigger proposed responses. Kerkennah, Tunisia, our case study, has significant natural assets (e.g. exceptional seagrass and invertebrate abundances), subjected to varying levels of disturbance and management concern. Using REA thresholds set, fishing, green algae/eutrophication and oil occurred at 'low' levels (scores 0-1): management not (currently) necessary. Construction and wood litter prevailed at 'moderate' levels (scores 2-4): management alerted for (further) monitoring. Solid waste densities were 'high' (scores 5-6): management alerted for action; quantities of rubbish were substantial (20-200 items m⁻¹ beach) but not unprecedented. REA is considered a robust methodology and complementary to other rapid assessment techniques, environmental frameworks and indicators of ecosystem condition. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Perceptions of consent, permission structures and approaches to the community: a rapid ethical assessment performed in North West Cameroon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kengne-Ouafo, Jonas A; Nji, Theobald M; Tantoh, William F; Nyoh, Doris N; Tendongfor, Nicholas; Enyong, Peter A; Newport, Melanie J; Davey, Gail; Wanji, Samuel

    2014-10-02

    Understanding local contextual factors is important when conducting international collaborative studies in low-income country settings. Rapid ethical assessment (a brief qualitative intervention designed to map the ethical terrain of a research setting prior to recruitment of participants), has been used in a range of research-naïve settings. We used rapid ethical assessment to explore ethical issues and challenges associated with approaching communities and gaining informed consent in North West Cameroon. This qualitative study was carried out in two health districts in the North West Region of Cameroon between February and April 2012. Eleven focus group discussions (with a total of 107 participants) were carried out among adult community members, while 72 in-depth interviews included health workers, non-government organisation staff and local community leaders. Data were collected in English and pidgin, translated where necessary into English, transcribed and coded following themes. Many community members had some understanding of informed consent, probably through exposure to agricultural research in the past. Participants described a centralised permission-giving structure in their communities, though there was evidence of some subversion of these structures by the educated young and by women. Several acceptable routes for approaching the communities were outlined, all including the health centre and the Fon (traditional leader). The importance of time spent in sensitizing the community and explaining information was stressed. Respondents held relatively sophisticated understanding of consent and were able to outline the structures of permission-giving in the community. Although the structures are unique to these communities, the role of certain trusted groups is common to several other communities in Kenya and Ethiopia explored using similar techniques. The information gained through Rapid Ethical Assessment will form an important guide for future studies in

  9. Assessment of compatibility among Armillaria cepistipes, A. sinapina, and North American biological species X and XI, using culture morphology and molecular biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark T. Banik; Harold H. Burdsall

    1998-01-01

    Ten single-spore isolates each of Armillaria sinapina, A. cepistipes, and North American biological species (NABS)X and XI were paired in all combinations. A second set of ten single-spore isolates of each species was likewise paired. Each pairing was duplicated for a total of 3280 pairs. Using the standard morphological criteria (e.g., fluffy, crustose) to assess the...

  10. Al2O3:C as a sensitive OSL dosemeter for rapid assessment of environmental photon dose rates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bøtter-Jensen, L.; Agersnap Larsen, N.; Markey, B.G.

    1997-01-01

    The use of Al2O3:C single crystals as optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dosemeters for rapid assessment of the environmental photon dose rate is proposed. It is shown that Al2O3:C possesses higher OSL sensitivity than TL sensitivity. In TL measurements thermal quenching is a major problem...... and the energy response (equal to that of quartz) make Al2O3:C ideal for measuring the environmental dose rates in connection with luminescence dating and retrospective dosimetry using natural materials and ceramics. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd....

  11. Analysis and assessment of the detriment in interventional radiology using biological dosimetry methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Montoro, A.; Almonacid, M.; Villaescusa, J.I. [Hospital Univ. la Fe de Valen cian, Servicio de Proteccion Radiologica, Valencia (Spain); Barquinero, J.F.; Rodriguez, P. [Universitat Autonom a de Barcelona, Servicio de Dosimetria Biologica, Unidad de Antropologia, Departamento de Biologia Animal, Vegetal y Ecologia., Barcelona (Spain); Barrios, L. [Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Dept. de Biologia Celular y Fisiologia. Unidad de Biologia Celular, Barcelona (Spain); Verdu, G.; Ramos, M. [Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Dept. de Ingenieria Quimica y Nuclear, Valencia, (Spain)

    2006-07-01

    Interventional radiologist and staff members usually are exposed to high levels of scattered radiation. As a result, the exposition to radiation procedures can produce detrimental effects that we would have to know. Effective dose is the quantity that better estimates the radiation risk. For this study we have realized an estimation of the radiological detriment to exposed workers of the Hospital la Fe de Valencia. For it, have been used physical doses registered in detectors T.L.D., and doses estimated by biological dosimetry in lymphocytes of peripheral blood. There has been estimated for every case the probability of effect of skin cancer and of non-solid cancers (leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma), being compared with the baseline probability of natural effect. Biological doses were obtained by extrapolating the yield of dicentrics and translocations to their respective dose -effect curves. The discrepancies observed between physically recorded doses and biological estimated doses indicate that workers did not always wear their dosimeters or the dosimeters were not always in the radiation field. Cytogenetic studies should be extended to more workers to assess the risk derived from their occupational exposure. (authors)

  12. An assessment of biologically-based optimization (BORT) in the IMRT era.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peñagarícano, José A; Papanikolaou, Nikos; Wu, Chuan; Yan, Yulong

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of biological-based IMRT (BORT) in treatment planning development; more specifically, to assess the possible advantages of BORT over the classic 3-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3DRT) and dose-based IMRT based on quantitative and qualitative indices. Three clinical cases are presented to evaluate the differences of BORT, IMRT, and 3DRT. 3DRT, IMRT, and BORT plans were generated for each case using a commercially available treatment planning system (Pinnacle by Philips). The plans were compared by evaluating biological endpoints such as tumor control probability (TCP), normal tissue control probability (NTCP), and uncomplicated tumor control probability (P+), as well as isodose line distribution, dose-volume histograms (DVHs), and dose uniformity. In all cases of this study, BORT yielded improved isodose coverage and P+. Our preliminary results suggest that BORT could play an important role in treatment planning optimization, especially as biological models and predictive assays become more accurate. Further case studies are needed to establish a definitive role for this type of optimization.

  13. Short-term stream water temperature observations permit rapid assessment of potential climate change impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter Caldwell; Catalina Segura; Shelby Gull Laird; Ge Sun; Steven G. McNulty; Maria Sandercock; Johnny Boggs; James M. Vose

    2015-01-01

    Assessment of potential climate change impacts on stream water temperature (Ts) across large scales remains challenging for resource managers because energy exchange processes between the atmosphere and the stream environment are complex and uncertain, and few long-term datasets are available to evaluate changes over time. In this study, we...

  14. development and field test of a protocol for the rapid assessment of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    contribution of the various factors, namely diet, malaria, intestinal parasites and other factors, in different settings and ... simplified food-frequency questionnaire; and (v) assessment of anaemia control programmes in place, ..... This could be ascribed to the contamination of the environment by bacteria and parasites and the ...

  15. Rapid Assessment of Tablet Film Coating Quality by Multispectral UV Imaging

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klukkert, Marten; Wu, Jian X.; Rantanen, Jukka

    2016-01-01

    and coated with a polyvinyl alcohol-polyethylene glycol graft copolymer using a pan coater. It was demonstrated that the coating intactness can be assessed accurately and fast by UV imaging. The different types of coating defects could be differentiated and localized based on multivariate image analysis...

  16. A rapid MCM-41 dispersive micro-solid phase extraction coupled with LC/MS/MS for quantification of ketoconazole and voriconazole in biological fluids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yahaya, Noorfatimah; Sanagi, Mohd Marsin; Abd Aziz, Noorizan; Wan Ibrahim, Wan Aini; Nur, Hadi; Loh, Saw Hong; Kamaruzaman, Sazlinda

    2017-02-01

    A rapid dispersive micro-solid phase extraction (D-μ-SPE) combined with LC/MS/MS method was developed and validated for the determination of ketoconazole and voriconazole in human urine and plasma samples. Synthesized mesoporous silica MCM-41 was used as sorbent in d-μ-SPE of the azole compounds from biological fluids. Important D-μ-SPE parameters, namely type desorption solvent, extraction time, sample pH, salt addition, desorption time, amount of sorbent and sample volume were optimized. Liquid chromatographic separations were carried out on a Zorbax SB-C 18 column (2.1 × 100 mm, 3.5 μm), using a mobile phase of acetonitrile-0.05% formic acid in 5 mm ammonium acetate buffer (70:30, v/v). A triple quadrupole mass spectrometer with positive ionization mode was used for the determination of target analytes. Under the optimized conditions, the calibration curves showed good linearity in the range of 0.1-10,000 μg/L with satisfactory limit of detection (≤0.06 μg/L) and limit of quantitation (≤0.3 μg/L). The proposed method also showed acceptable intra- and inter-day precisions for ketoconazole and voriconazole from urine and human plasma with RSD ≤16.5% and good relative recoveries in the range 84.3-114.8%. The MCM-41-D-μ-SPE method proved to be rapid and simple and requires a small volume of organic solvent (200 μL); thus it is advantageous for routine drug analysis. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  17. Implementing the Science Assessment Standards: Developing and validating a set of laboratory assessment tasks in high school biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, Gouranga Chandra

    Very often a number of factors, especially time, space and money, deter many science educators from using inquiry-based, hands-on, laboratory practical tasks as alternative assessment instruments in science. A shortage of valid inquiry-based laboratory tasks for high school biology has been cited. Driven by this need, this study addressed the following three research questions: (1) How can laboratory-based performance tasks be designed and developed that are doable by students for whom they are designed/written? (2) Do student responses to the laboratory-based performance tasks validly represent at least some of the intended process skills that new biology learning goals want students to acquire? (3) Are the laboratory-based performance tasks psychometrically consistent as individual tasks and as a set? To answer these questions, three tasks were used from the six biology tasks initially designed and developed by an iterative process of trial testing. Analyses of data from 224 students showed that performance-based laboratory tasks that are doable by all students require careful and iterative process of development. Although the students demonstrated more skill in performing than planning and reasoning, their performances at the item level were very poor for some items. Possible reasons for the poor performances have been discussed and suggestions on how to remediate the deficiencies have been made. Empirical evidences for validity and reliability of the instrument have been presented both from the classical and the modern validity criteria point of view. Limitations of the study have been identified. Finally implications of the study and directions for further research have been discussed.

  18. Longitudinal assessment of probable rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjørnarå, K A; Dietrichs, E; Toft, M

    2015-08-01

    Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) is frequently present in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and may have prognostic implications. There are few longitudinal studies of RBD in patients with PD. Our aim was to investigate whether RBD was a persistent feature in a follow-up study of 107 patients with PD. After a mean follow-up time of 3 years, 96 patients were available for reassessment. Probable RBD (pRBD) was diagnosed by the REM sleep behaviour disorder screening questionnaire. At follow-up, pRBD was found in 49% of the patients, versus 38% at baseline. The pRBD status remained unchanged in three-quarters of the patients, whilst 17% had new pRBD symptoms. Disease duration was longer in the pRBD group, 9.4 vs. 7.6 years (P = 0.02). Probable RBD is a persistent feature in PD and probably increases over time. © 2015 EAN.

  19. Rapid assessment of selected free amino acids during Edam cheese ripening by near infrared spectroscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiří Mlček

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The study focuses on rapid determination of free amino acids produced during the ripening of cheese, by using near infrared spectroscopy. Analyses of 96 samples of Edam cheese (30% and 45% of fat in dry matter were performed at monthly intervals up to the ripening age of 6 months. In total, 19 amino acids were analysed with infrared spectrometer using two different methods, either in the regime of reflectance in the integrating sphere of the apparatus or using a fibre optic apparatus with the fibre optic probe. Reference data based on high-performance liquid chromatography were used for calibration of the spectrophotometer. Calibration models were developed using a partial least square algorithm and tested by means of cross-validation. When measured with the integrating sphere and with the probe, the values of correlation coefficients ranged from 0.835 to 0.993 and from 0.739 to 0.995, respectively. Paired t-test did not show significant differences between the reference and predicted values (P < 0.05. The results of this new calibration method showed the possibility of near infrared technology for fast determination of free amino acids, which occur during the ripening of Edam cheese. The content of free amino acids allow us to prepare Edam cheese quickly and efficiently for sale or to prepare the material for processed cheese.

  20. Mechanosensitivity of a Rapid Bioluminescence Reporter System Assessed by Atomic Force Microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesson, Benoit; Latz, Michael I.

    2015-01-01

    Cells are sophisticated integrators of mechanical stimuli that lead to physiological, biochemical, and genetic responses. The bioluminescence of dinoflagellates, alveolate protists that use light emission for predator defense, serves as a rapid noninvasive whole-cell reporter of mechanosensitivity. In this study, we used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to explore the relationship between cell mechanical properties and mechanosensitivity in live cells of the dinoflagellate Pyrocystis lunula. Cell stiffness was 0.56 MPa, consistent with cells possessing a cell wall. Cell response depended on both the magnitude and velocity of the applied force. At the maximum stimulation velocity of 390 μm s−1, the threshold response occurred at a force of 7.2 μN, resulting in a contact time of 6.1 ms and indentation of 2.1 μm. Cells did not respond to a low stimulation velocity of 20 μm s−1, indicating a velocity dependent response that, based on stress relaxation experiments, was explained by the cell viscoelastic properties. This study demonstrates the use of AFM to study mechanosensitivity in a cell system that responds at fast timescales, and provides insights into how viscoelastic properties affect mechanosensitivity. It also provides a comparison with previous studies using hydrodynamic stimulation, showing the discrepancy in cell response between direct compressive forces using AFM and those within flow fields based on average flow properties. PMID:25809248

  1. Rapid Impedance Spectrum Measurements for State-of-Health Assessment of Energy Storage Devices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jon P. Christophersen; John L. Morrison; Chester G. Motloch; William H. Morrison

    2012-04-01

    Harmonic compensated synchronous detection (HCSD) is a technique that can be used to measure wideband impedance spectra within seconds based on an input sum-of-sines signal having a frequency spread separated by harmonics. The battery (or other energy storage device) is excited with a sum-of-sines current signal that has a duration of at least one period of the lowest frequency. The voltage response is then captured and synchronously detected at each frequency of interest to determine the impedance spectra. This technique was successfully simulated using a simplified battery model and then verified with commercially available Sanyo lithium-ion cells. Simulations revealed the presence of a start-up transient effect when only one period of the lowest frequency is included in the excitation signal. This transient effect appears to only influence the low-frequency impedance measurements and can be reduced when a longer input signal is used. Furthermore, lithium-ion cell testing has indicated that the transient effect does not seem to impact the charge transfer resistance in the mid-frequency region. The degradation rates for the charge transfer resistance measured from the HCSD technique were very similar to the changes observed from standardized impedance spectroscopy methods. Results from these studies, therefore, indicate that HCSD is a viable, rapid alternative approach to acquiring impedance spectra.

  2. Direct and indirect immunofluorescence staining of fecal streptococci for rapid assessment of water quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pavlova, M.T.; Beauvais, E.; Brezenski, F.T.; Litsky, W.

    1975-01-01

    Immunofluorescence (IF) techniques were employed in an attempt to develop a rapid test for the identification of fecal streptococci. Fresh isolates were obtained from river waters and raw sewage. Identification to species were made by the conventional physiological, biochemical, and serological tests. Both whole and disrupted cells of representative strains of each species were used for the preparation of the fecal streptococcal vaccine. Globulin fractions of individual and pooled antisera were labeled with fluorescein isothiocyanate, and the resulting conjugates were tested with homologous and heterologous antigens. The present findings suggest that the immunofluorescence techniques can be employed in the determination of the presence and source of fecal pollution in water employing the fecal streptococci as indicator organisms. By using this method it was determined that fecal streptococci can be identified from water and sewage samples within 20 hours. Parenthetically it should be noted that the identification procedures using the routine biochemical and serological tests may take as long as 7 to 14 days. The procedure may be automated for continual monitoring.

  3. Rapid assessment procedures in environmental sanitation research: a case study from the northern border of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cifuentes, Enrique; Alamo, Urinda; Kendall, Tamil; Brunkard, Joan; Scrimshaw, Susan

    2006-01-01

    There is a need to enhance the quality and sustainability of environmental health programs in Mexico. What socio-cultural factors influenced the adoption or rejection of Clean Water in Homes programs in this population? We applied rapid appraisal procedures (RAP) to evaluate these community-based programs. Qualitative study conducted in communities along Mexico's northern border. We conducted informal dialogues, semi-structured interviews, field notes and observations. Home visits used a checklist to observe: sources of water, handwashing, as well as human waste and garbage disposal patterns. Data analysis was conducted using ATLAS.ti, which facilitated comparison and illustration of discrepancies, the elaboration of emerging issues and relationships between them. Community members perceived that the Clean Water program was a top-down intervention. Water is perceived as a political issue and a matter of corruption. Inequity also limits solidarity activities involved in environmental sanitation. Migration to the United States of America (US) contributes to community fragmentation, which in turn dilutes communal efforts to improve water and sanitation infrastructure. While targeting women as program "recipients", the Clean Water program did not take gendered spheres of decision-making into account. Community members and authorities discussed the main results in "assemblies", particularly addressing the needs of excluded groups. The oversight of not exploring community members' needs and priorities prior to program implementation resulted in interventions that did not address the structural (economic, infrastructure) and socio-cultural barriers faced by community members to undertake the health-promoting behaviour change, and provoked resentment.

  4. Rapid assessment of mycotoxins in wine by on-line SPE-UHPLC-FLD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nistor Alina-Mihaela

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available According to the latest statistics, grapes are one of the largest fruit crops worldwide. In this regard, it is important to consider all factors influencing quality of grapes and wine. In the last years, scientist focused on the study of mycotoxins that can influence the quality of wine. It is considered that toxins produced by moulds, causing significant economic losses, affect approximately one quarter of the world grape production. If the selective sorting of infected grapes is not done adequately, wine will present a major risk to consumers, mycotoxins being considered by the “International Agency for Cancer Research” a carcinogenic compound. The main mycotoxins monitored in this study come from Aspergillus sp., and are represented by aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, G2 and ochratoxin A. This study purpose is to develop a faster method for the analysis of mycotoxins, in order to increase rapidity and efficiency for the evaluation of the degree of infestation in wine. The purposed method is using an on-line large volume injection coupled to pre-concentration of sample (SPE which is directly transfer to the ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography (UHPLC column for separation and the detection by means of the fluorescence detector (FLD. As the maximum tolerated level for mycotoxins in wines is 2 ppm, this method is able to detect under this limits of quantification with RSD below 2%.

  5. Accuracy Assessment of Using Rapid Prototyping Drill Templates for Atlantoaxial Screw Placement: A Cadaver Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuai Guo

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. To preliminarily evaluate the feasibility and accuracy of using rapid prototyping drill templates (RPDTs for C1 lateral mass screw (C1-LMS and C2 pedicle screw (C2-PS placement. Methods. 23 formalin-fixed craniocervical cadaver specimens were randomly divided into two groups. In the conventional method group, intraoperative fluoroscopy was used to assist the screw placement. In the RPDT navigation group, specific RPDTs were constructed for each specimen and were used intraoperatively for screw placement navigation. The screw position, the operating time, and the fluoroscopy time for each screw placement were compared between the 2 groups. Results. Compared with the conventional method, the RPDT technique significantly increased the placement accuracy of the C2-PS (p0.05. Moreover, the RPDT technique significantly decreased the operating and fluoroscopy times. Conclusion. Using RPDTs significantly increases the accuracy of C1-LMS and C2-PS placement while decreasing the screw placement time and the radiation exposure. Due to these advantages, this approach is worth promoting for use in the Harms technique.

  6. Insects as test systems for assessing the potential role of microgravity in biological development and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernós, I.; Carratalá, M.; González-Jurado, J.; Valverde, J. R.; Calleja, M.; Domingo, A.; Vinós, J.; Cervera, M.; Marco, R.

    Gravity and radiation are undoubtedly the two major environmental factors altered in space. Gravity is a weak force, which creates a permanent potential field acting on the mass of biological systems and their cellular components, strongly reduced in space flights. Developmental systems, particularly at very early stages, provide the larger cellular compartments known, where the effects of alterations in the size of the gravity vector on living organisms can be more effectively tested. The insects, one of the more highly evolved classes of animals in which early development occurs in a syncytial embryo, are systems particularly well suited to test these effects and the specific developmental mechanisms affected. Furthermore, they share some basic features such as small size, short life cycles, relatively high radio-resistance, etc. and show a diversity of developmental strategies and tempos advantageous in experiments of this type in space. Drosophila melanogaster, the current biological paradigm to study development, with so much genetic and evolutionary background available, is clearly the reference organism for these studies. The current evidence on the effects of the physical parameters altered in space flights on insect development indicate a surprising correlation between effects seen on the fast developing and relatively small Drosophila embryo and the more slowly developing and large Carausius morosus system. In relation to the issue of the importance of developmental and environmental constraints in biological evolution, still the missing link in current evolutionary thinking, insects and space facilities for long-term experiments could provide useful experimental settings where to critically assess how development and evolution may be interconnected. Finally, it has to be pointed out that since there are experimental data indicating a possible synergism between microgravity and space radiation, possible effects of space radiation should be taken into

  7. Indoor Air Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Health Modeling and Assessment System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stenner, Robert D.; Hadley, Donald L.; Armstrong, Peter R.; Buck, John W.; Hoopes, Bonnie L.; Janus, Michael C.

    2001-03-01

    Indoor air quality effects on human health are of increasing concern to public health agencies and building owners. The prevention and treatment of 'sick building' syndrome and the spread of air-borne diseases in hospitals, for example, are well known priorities. However, increasing attention is being directed to the vulnerability of our public buildings/places, public security and national defense facilities to terrorist attack or the accidental release of air-borne biological pathogens, harmful chemicals, or radioactive contaminants. The Indoor Air Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Health Modeling and Assessment System (IA-NBC-HMAS) was developed to serve as a health impact analysis tool for use in addressing these concerns. The overall goal was to develop a user-friendly fully functional prototype Health Modeling and Assessment system, which will operate under the PNNL FRAMES system for ease of use and to maximize its integration with other modeling and assessment capabilities accessible within the FRAMES system (e.g., ambient air fate and transport models, water borne fate and transport models, Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic models, etc.). The prototype IA-NBC-HMAS is designed to serve as a functional Health Modeling and Assessment system that can be easily tailored to meet specific building analysis needs of a customer. The prototype system was developed and tested using an actual building (i.e., the Churchville Building located at the Aberdeen Proving Ground) and release scenario (i.e., the release and measurement of tracer materials within the building) to ensure realism and practicality in the design and development of the prototype system. A user-friendly "demo" accompanies this report to allow the reader the opportunity for a "hands on" review of the prototype system's capability.

  8. [VOLATILE FATTY ACIDS IN SALIVA--BIOLOGICAL MARKERS FOR ASSESSMENT OF DRINKING WATER POLLUTANTS ON CHILDREN].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akaizina, A E; Akaizin, E S; Starodumov, V L

    2015-01-01

    The use of modern methods of analysis is aimed to the search of ultimately novel biological markers. Volatile fatty acids in saliva were not used previously for the assessment of the effects of contaminating substances in the drinking water on the body of children. The aim of the study is to investigate the informative value of volatile fatty acids in saliva as biological markers of the impact for the assessment of the exposure to contaminating substances in the drinking water on the body of children. Hygienic assessment of drinking water quality was made according to data of the own research of drinking water from centralized supply system of the city of Ivanovo. For the comparison of indices there was investigated the drinking water from wells at the village Podvyaznovsky of the Ivanovo region. In the Ivanovo water from the distributing network of centralized drinking water supply system of the city of Ivanovo, there were identified indices of the permanganate oxidation and the total concentration of residual chlorine exceeding norms, and also chloroform and carbon tetrachloride were in concentrations not exceeding the norms. Studied by us the samples of drinking water from Podvyaznovsky village wells, the water met the standards for all investigated parameters. The was studied the informative value of volatile fatty acids in the saliva of children aged 9-14 years from the city of Ivanovo and the Podvyaznovsky village, Ivanovo region. There was established the fall in acetic, butyric, isovaleric acids and the total amount of volatile fatty acids in the saliva in children of the city of Ivanovo, consuming water treated with chlorine of Ivanovo centralized drinking water supply system. Indices of volatile fatty acids in saliva are informative for the assessment of the impact of organic pollutants, residual chlorine and organic chlorine compounds of drinking water on the body of children.

  9. An overview of methods for assessment of free radical activity in biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, M J

    1999-11-01

    Assays which purport to assess free radical activity in biological systems are multiple. However, despite numerous published descriptions of new methods and modifications of methods to assess free radical activity in biological materials, there is still a lack of reliable techniques for quantification of activity in vivo. Analysis of a number of related indicators and use of a variety of approaches appears the only reliable way to evaluate these processes in vivo. In studies of free radical generation by contracting skeletal muscle we have attempted to use a variety of indicators, including measurement of endogenous antioxidant levels, measurement of indirect indicators of free radical activity (e.g. products of lipid peroxidation, DNA oxidation or protein oxidation) and, where possible, measurement of direct indicators of free radical activity by electron spin resonance techniques. In view of the relative lack of specificity of many available techniques, caution should be exerted in evaluating the numerous examples of isolated single measures of free radical activity which are present in the scientific literature.

  10. Tissue viability (TiVi) imaging: utility in assessment of rapid changes in the cutaneous microvasculature

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, Paul M.; O'Doherty, Jim; O'Connell, Marie-Louise; Fitzgerald, Barry W.; Anderson, Chris D.; Nilsson, Gert E.; Leahy, Martin J.

    2010-02-01

    This report outlines results from an independent study assessing the clinical potential of an emerging, contemporary imaging technology. Tissue Viability (TiVi) imaging is an easily implemented, non-invasive, and portable technique which maps the blood circulation in the surface dermal layer. However, its routine clinical implementation awaits the development of the necessary standardised protocols. Thus the pilot study examines the efficacy of a novel TiVi imaging device within a localised skin blood flow occlusion protocol. The test was administered to the upper volar forearm of 19 healthy subjects (10:9 Female:Male) for 5 different time periods ranging from 5 to 25 seconds. Dermal areas corresponding to 100 × 100 pixels (2.89 cm2) were monitored for 60 seconds prior to, during and after each occlusal test. Our results support the relevance of a TiVi occlusion protocol for physiological assessment of the skin microcirculation.

  11. Energy to the Edge (E2E) Equipment Assessment U.S. Army Rapid Equipping Force

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-01

    transport the entire system and could be improved if combined into one trailer. SS400 the inverter are recommended to improve the design. FORGE 440/510...laptop computers due to the inverter’s limitations. A pure sine wave inverter is required, and was procured by the OE Advisors/Trainers to enable use...Powering TOC and ADMIN shelter. Demonstrated Capabilities Providing power for classroom training. Equipment Assessments a. • power and is the largest

  12. Rapid assessment survey of earthquake affected Bhuj block of Kachchh District,FNx01 Gujarat, India

    OpenAIRE

    Pawar A; Shelke S; Kakrani V

    2005-01-01

    RESEARCH QUESTIONS: How much human loss would have caused by the earthquake in Bhuj block? What is the environmental sanitation status? OBJECTIVES: (1) To assess human loss and injuries after the earthquake in Bhuj block.(2) To study the status of some relief activities.(3) To study the environmental sanitation status of the earthquake affected Bhuj block. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTINGS: Bhuj block. Participants: All villages excluding Bhuj city of Bhuj block. Statist...

  13. Rapid assessment of urban wetlands: do hydrogeomorphic classification and reference criteria work?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stander, Emilie K; Ehrenfeld, Joan G

    2009-04-01

    The Hydrogeomorphic (HGM) functional assessment method is predicated on the ability of hydrogeomorphic wetland classification and visual assessment of alteration to provide reference standards against which functions in individual wetlands can be evaluated. The effectiveness of this approach was tested by measuring nitrogen cycling functions in forested wetlands in an urbanized region in New Jersey, USA. Fourteen sites represented three HGM classes and were characterized as "least disturbed reference" or "non-reference" based on initial visual assessment. Water table levels and in situ rates of net nitrogen mineralization, net nitrification, and denitrification were measured over one year in each site. Hydrological alterations, resulting in consistently low or flashy water table levels, were not correlated with a priori designations as reference and non-reference. Although the flat-riverine wetland class had lower net nitrification and higher denitrification rates than riverine or mineral flat wetland classes, this difference was attributable to the lack of hydrologically-altered wetlands in the flat-riverine class, and thus more consistently wet conditions. Within all HGM classes, a classification based on the long-term hydrological record that separated sites with "normal," saturated hydrology from those with "altered," drier hydrology, clearly distinguished sites with different nitrogen cycling function. Based on these findings, current practices for designating reference standard sites to judge wetland functions, at least in urbanized regions, are ineffective and potentially misleading. At least one year of hydrological monitoring data is suggested to classify wetlands into groups that have different nutrient cycling functions, particularly in urban landscapes.

  14. Development of a Rapid Cell-free Method for Cytotoxicity Assessment of Vapor Phase of Cigarette Smoke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cahours X

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Currently, several in vitro tests are widely used to measure toxicological properties of mainstream smoke (Neutral Red Uptake Assay, Micronucleus assay, Ames Test. These tests are necessary to assess cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, and mutagenicity, but are time consuming. This is essentially due to the preparation and the handling of cells. It is difficult to use these in vitro tests as screening method for product testing and development. For a better assessment of the cytotoxicity of the vapor phase, a rapid cell-free method has been developed. This paper describes a capillary electrophoresis cell-free method, based on the depletion of an anti-oxidant L-gamma-glutamyl-L-cysteinylglycine (GSH, applied to an aliquot of vapor phase phosphate buffered saline (PBS-trapped cigarette smoke (as recommended for in vitro testing. The correlation between this method and the survival/viability test (Neutral Red cytotoxicity is excellent (coefficient of correlation (r = 0.99.

  15. The Performance Assessment of the Detector for the Portable Environmental Radiation Distribution Monitoring System with Rapid Nuclide Recognition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Uk Jae; Kim, Hee Reyoung [Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-05-15

    The environment radiation distribution monitoring system measures the radiation using a portable detector and display the overall radiation distribution. Bluetooth and RS-232 communications are used for constructing monitoring system. However RS-232 serial communication is known to be more stable than Bluetooth and also it can use the detector's raw data which will be used for getting the activity of each artificial nuclide. In the present study, the detection and communication performance of the developed detector with RS-232 method is assessed by using standard sources for the real application to the urban or rural environment. Assessment of the detector for the portable environmental radiation distribution monitoring system with rapid nuclide recognition was carried out. It was understood that the raw data of detector could be effectively treated by using RS-232 method and the measurement showed a good agreement with the calculation within the relative error of 0.4 % in maximum.

  16. Rapid clinical assessment to facilitate the triage of adults with falciparum malaria, a retrospective analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josh Hanson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Most adults dying from falciparum malaria will die within 48 hours of their hospitalisation. An essential component of early supportive care is the rapid identification of patients at greatest risk. In resource-poor settings, where most patients with falciparum malaria are managed, decisions regarding patient care must frequently be made using clinical evaluation alone. METHODS: We retrospectively analysed 4 studies of 1801 adults with severe falciparum malaria to determine whether the presence of simple clinical findings might assist patient triage. RESULTS: If present on admission, shock, oligo-anuria, hypo- or hyperglycaemia, an increased respiratory rate, a decreased Glasgow Coma Score and an absence of fever were independently predictive of death. The variables were used to construct a simple clinical algorithm. When applied to the 1801 patients, this algorithm's positive predictive value for survival to 48 hours was 99.4 (95% confidence interval (CI 97.8-99.9 and for survival to discharge 96.9% (95% CI 94.3-98.5. In the 712 patients receiving artesunate, the algorithm's positive predictive value for survival to 48 hours was 100% (95% CI 97.3-100 and to discharge was 98.5% (95% CI 94.8-99.8. CONCLUSIONS: Simple clinical findings are closely linked to the pathophysiology of severe falciparum malaria in adults. A basic algorithm employing these indices can facilitate the triage of patients in settings where intensive care services are limited. Patients classified as low-risk by this algorithm can be safely managed initially on a general ward whilst awaiting senior clinical review and laboratory data.

  17. Rapid Clinical Assessment to Facilitate the Triage of Adults with Falciparum Malaria, a Retrospective Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, Josh; Lee, Sue J.; Mohanty, Sanjib; Faiz, M. Abul; Anstey, Nicholas M.; Price, Ric N.; Charunwatthana, Prakaykaew; Yunus, Emran Bin; Mishra, Saroj K.; Tjitra, Emiliana; Rahman, Ridwanur; Nosten, Francois; Htut, Ye; Maude, Richard J.; Thi Hong Chau, Tran; Phu, Nguyen Hoan; Hien, Tran Tinh; White, Nicholas J.; Day, Nicholas P. J.; Dondorp, Arjen M.

    2014-01-01

    Background Most adults dying from falciparum malaria will die within 48 hours of their hospitalisation. An essential component of early supportive care is the rapid identification of patients at greatest risk. In resource-poor settings, where most patients with falciparum malaria are managed, decisions regarding patient care must frequently be made using clinical evaluation alone. Methods We retrospectively analysed 4 studies of 1801 adults with severe falciparum malaria to determine whether the presence of simple clinical findings might assist patient triage. Results If present on admission, shock, oligo-anuria, hypo- or hyperglycaemia, an increased respiratory rate, a decreased Glasgow Coma Score and an absence of fever were independently predictive of death. The variables were used to construct a simple clinical algorithm. When applied to the 1801 patients, this algorithm’s positive predictive value for survival to 48 hours was 99.4 (95% confidence interval (CI) 97.8–99.9) and for survival to discharge 96.9% (95% CI 94.3–98.5). In the 712 patients receiving artesunate, the algorithm’s positive predictive value for survival to 48 hours was 100% (95% CI 97.3–100) and to discharge was 98.5% (95% CI 94.8–99.8). Conclusions Simple clinical findings are closely linked to the pathophysiology of severe falciparum malaria in adults. A basic algorithm employing these indices can facilitate the triage of patients in settings where intensive care services are limited. Patients classified as low-risk by this algorithm can be safely managed initially on a general ward whilst awaiting senior clinical review and laboratory data. PMID:24489828

  18. A rapid and efficient method for assessing pathogenicity of ustilago maydis on maize and teosinte lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavan, Suchitra; Smith, Shavannor M

    2014-01-03

    Maize is a major cereal crop worldwide. However, susceptibility to biotrophic pathogens is the primary constraint to increasing productivity. U. maydis is a biotrophic fungal pathogen and the causal agent of corn smut on maize. This disease is responsible for significant yield losses of approximately $1.0 billion annually in the U.S.(1) Several methods including crop rotation, fungicide application and seed treatments are currently used to control corn smut(2). However, host resistance is the only practical method for managing corn smut. Identification of crop plants including maize, wheat, and rice that are resistant to various biotrophic pathogens has significantly decreased yield losses annually(3-5). Therefore, the use of a pathogen inoculation method that efficiently and reproducibly delivers the pathogen in between the plant leaves, would facilitate the rapid identification of maize lines that are resistant to U. maydis. As, a first step toward indentifying maize lines that are resistant to U. maydis, a needle injection inoculation method and a resistance reaction screening method was utilized to inoculate maize, teosinte, and maize x teosinte introgression lines with a U. maydis strain and to select resistant plants. Maize, teosinte and maize x teosinte introgression lines, consisting of about 700 plants, were planted, inoculated with a strain of U. maydis, and screened for resistance. The inoculation and screening methods successfully identified three teosinte lines resistant to U. maydis. Here a detailed needle injection inoculation and resistance reaction screening protocol for maize, teosinte, and maize x teosinte introgression lines is presented. This study demonstrates that needle injection inoculation is an invaluable tool in agriculture that can efficiently deliver U. maydis in between the plant leaves and has provided plant lines that are resistant to U. maydis that can now be combined and tested in breeding programs for improved disease resistance.

  19. Rapid methods to assess sanitizing efficacy of benzalkonium chloride to Listeria monocytogenes biofilms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanova, Nadya A; Gawande, Purushottam V; Brovko, Lubov Y; Griffiths, Mansel W

    2007-12-01

    Different methods were used to investigate biofilm growth including crystal violet staining, ATP bioluminescence and total viable count. Seven strains of Listeria monocytogenes and 8 of their derivative strains were screened for their capacity to form biofilms. Both adaptation to benzalkonium chloride (BC) and curing of plasmids did not significantly affect biofilm-forming ability. The strains of L. monocytogenes belonging to serotype 1 formed biofilms significantly better as compared to serotype 4 (P=0.0003). To estimate the efficacy of BC for biofilm elimination the best and the poorest biofilm-formers were used (C719 and LJH 381). It was observed that, L. monocytogenes strain C719 in biofilms is at least 1000 times more resistant to BC than in planktonic form. Cells present in biofilms were shown to recover and grow after BC treatment thus providing a source of recontamination. It was shown that ATP bioluminescence provides good correlation with bacterial counts of L. monocytogenes in biofilms. Staining with crystal violet, on the contrary, did not correlate with bacterial growth in biofilms in the presence of high concentrations of BC but provided information on the concentration of bacterial cells, both live and dead, attached to the surface. ATP bioluminescence was found to be a reliable method for rapid estimation of the efficacy of sanitizers for biofilm disinfection. Crystal violet staining, on the other hand, was shown to be a suitable method to monitor removal of biofilms. Our investigation showed that for Listeria biofilms concentrations of BC higher then 10 mg/ml should be applied for at least 30 min to kill almost all the live cells in biofilms. However, this concentration was still not enough to remove biofilms from the surface of plastic.

  20. Fabrication and response of alpha-hydroxybutyrate sensors for rapid assessment of cardiometabolic disease risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarswat, Prashant K; Mishra, Yogendra Kumar; Free, Michael L

    2017-03-15

    Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent or delay progression of early-stage type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. Unfortunately, tests such as hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)/fasting plasma glucose (FPG) alone fail to diagnose or miscategorize up to 40% of individuals with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or frank diabetes based on the rarely utilized oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The serum metabolite alpha-hydroxybutyrate (AHB) is increasingly recognized as a reliable IGT and diabetes predictor, and can be measured using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. However, to address AHB adoption as a population screening tool, the reliable and low-cost measurement techniques are proposed. A periodate based oxidation was performed for an AHB-based buffer, and both nitroprusside and Raman tests confirmed the formation of a slow-oxidation product. Electrochemical tests of AHB-based buffers using electrodes such as Au-honeycomb, thiol self-assembled monolayers coated Au, 2D material (black-P) coated FTO, (3-aminophenyl) triethoxysilane modified TiO2, were performed. Many of these electrodes exhibited a systematic response when AHB concentration was varied from ~1.0-12.0µg/ml. A colorimetric assay containing a vicinal-diol recognition moiety, additives, and a photoinitiator, exhibited a different color for AHB based buffer. Benesi-Hildebrand analysis indicated the association behavior of boronic acid and AHB. These methods have a potential to be used for rapid point-of-care measurements of AHB that could enhance population-wide diabetes and prediabetes screening strategies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.